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Posts Tagged ‘crap I think about’


posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:13 AM
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I have a question. How do YOU deal with the parking garage guys who take the tickets on your way out?

Because I? Do not have any workable solutions.

Solution one: ignore. Meaning, I barely glance at them as they smile and say, “Thank you, have a nice day” or “How are you doing today?” and I roll my window up as quickly as it will climb the second the ticket is out of my hand.

But this seems unnecessarily rude. It’s not THEIR fault they have this job – I mean, SOMEONE has to have this job and it can’t be a trained MONKEY!

Can it?

I feel like I would prefer to give my ticket to a trained monkey.

Or to a woman!

I’ve never felt odd or awkward giving my ticket to a women. Women are easy – they just take my ticket without saying anything at all – the Zero Pressure Technique – or, they smile and are really friendly, and I’m friendly back, because after all, what’s up, girlfriend? Cool blue nails, even though they’re fake – somehow they look fine on you!

Or something like that.

Whereas the men… I don’t know. I get mild stalker-y vibes from them.

Solution two: be friendly back to them. But this makes me feel fake and icky, because, I mean, who are these guys? What exactly do they want  from me!? I don’t want to make eye contact, smile, and ask how they are doing too. I just want to get the hell out of there so I can pick up my kids from school on time.

Am I being paranoid?

I just don’t know what they expect from me, with their friendly banter and glance at me, as if the last thing I should want to do would be to roll up my window fast, turn my radio back on, and pedal it-to the metal-it out of there.

But that is how I feel.

Why can’t they just take the ticket, nod, and not seek out eye contact and a smile?

When my father was in town, we went to a few different restaurants and a play together, and I can’t recall which parking venue it happened in, but there was one place where, as we left the ticket guy in our wake, my dad remarked, “Well he wasn’t very nice.”

Huh? You want the guy to be nice?

New rule: Parking attendant men? You guys are encouraged and even required to make small talk and eye contact with the men who drive out of your lots. But when the women drive out? Take their ticket in silence and look out for who’s driving up to your window next.

Parking attendant women? Keep on keepin on, g-friends. I want to see stars and stripes on those babies next time your fingers take the card from mine!

Never said life was fair.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

I wanted to also draw a lady with long stars-and-stripes fingernails. But I can really only crank out one masterpiece at a time, people. So you'll just have to imagine her. Because she's perfect.


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Not Quite Done with that Subject

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 8:36 AM
Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I was going to title this blog “I Could Never Be Chinese” but then I thought, why pick on the Chinese? I could never be almost any other nationality other than a large white woman or a large black woman (fyi for those who haven’t met me, I’m the former), with these giant feet of mine.



Big feet-ed ladies  have feelings too.

Feelings, for example, of rage and jealousy, over how many cool shoes they make in Europe that go up to size – oh whoop dee do! – 42. And by the way, for Europeans? Size 42 is ENORMOUS. Like for elephants.

European shoe retailers never used to believe I was bigger than a 42. They’d be all, in their French accents or whatever, “Size 10? Yes, we have zat. ‘Ere.”

And they’d hand me a 42, and like that idiot fish in the sock-dangling sea, again I allow that dreamy daze to cloud my brain with hope as I snap up the shoes, thinking,

No way! Usually size 42 shoes never fit me but THIS guy says ‘size 10’ IS size 42, and that THESE amazing on-sale, one-of-a-kind, better-than-Manolos shoes are going to fit me like Cinderella’s slipper! – so he MUST be right! Right…??!!!

And then, as my big toe crushes into the end of the shoe and my heel develops an insta-blister, reality slams down on my dreams and crushes them.

Okay… yes… true… This size 42 does fit me like Cinderella’s glass slipper.

ONLY I’M NOT M-F-ING CINDERELLA! More like her step sister. At least in the foot department.


At least it’s better now, stateside, where most American retailers finally figured out there are more than 10 giants living in the United States with feet sizes larger than 8.5, and most stores here stock about two pairs of their cool styles in size 10, which still means they are always sold out by the time I get to the store, but at least I can be happy for some big-feet-ed GrownupGirl out there who can strut her Jimmy Choo stuff in style.

Back when I was a teenager hoping to wear something other than my ‘cool-but-made-my-feet-look-bigger-than-Magic-Johnsons’-Doc Martins’, it was basically impossible to find anything remotely feminine and cool/European that fit.

So at minimum, the pickins have gotten a bit less slim.

Maybe by the time I’m a grandma there will be a perfect storm of more larger shoes made generally around the world for the new crop of not-starving savvy teenager consumers, and my feet will have shrunk to a 9.5 or something tiny like that, and then ALL the cool styles in ANY country will carry my size.

A girl can always dream.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

How does it feel to have the shoe on the other foot, bee-ach? Specifically, my size 10 shoes on Cindarella's dainty glass slipper feet? What? Prince Charming called to cancel your date last minute? Whatever could have prompted it!?

Size One Zillion

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 8:55 AM
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The title of this blog, by the way, is my shoe size. More or less.

I thought about titling the blog “If the Shoe Fits” and then adding an asterisk, where, down below, the thoughtful reader would find some kind of witty footnote remark, like ‘then I obviously didn’t buy it in Europe” or “then it’s probably some ugly boat I’m trying to pass off as footwear.”

Bottom line here? My feet are… not what you would call small and dainty.

Unless you are Andre the Giant! He might think my feet were small and dainty.

But to most others – including my husband, whose feet are basically the same length as mine, just wider – my feet are more of the “large and in charge” variety.

For a man, that’s the kind of cool status ‘tell’ – like big hands – that makes the babes excited and other guys jealous and makes the guy who HAS the big feet or big hands super easy-going and confident, because, hey, let’s face it, whatever other shit life and chaos this guy has going on, at least he’s got a big penis.

Not so much, for the ladies.

For the ladies, it’s like “big feet, big – uh – okay, that’s gross.”

Or, put more delicately, “big feet, big – um – socks?”

Only that would be a lie, because I can tell you that nobody cool (like Puma or Polo) makes decent women’s socks that fit big women’s feet. Trust me. I fall for it EVERY time.

I see a set of women’s socks hanging there in the store, like a dazzled fish spotting a shiny lure in a murky sea.

I read the label: it says it fits sizes 6.5-11!!! It will fit me!! I’m only a size 10!!!! (10.5 if I was pregnant within a year or so of sock-shopping, but let’s not even go there.) Yay!!! Cool socks!

Cool socks, indeed. Cool socks that, after one or two washings, I have no choice but to slip quietly into my 8 year old son’s drawer so at least SOMEONE in the house can enjoy them comfortably, or – if they have pink or girly stuff on them – donate to charity.

I think I could probably have my own Goodwill sock line. BatSheva. Socks for GrownupGirls with giant feet. Has a certain ring to it, no?


No, it doesn’t.




Sheva (BatSheva “Goodwill Sock Hunting” Vaknin)

A (nearly) true-to-life portrait of me, on the very first day I was born.


posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:50 AM
Monday, January 7, 2013

You know that thing? That thing, where, it’s Thursday night, the last real weeknight of the kids’ (and your) “winter break” and you kind of pushed it so after your husband made this amazing dinner, you know it’s your turn to do the dishes and you’re totally down with that but once you put the kids to bed you realize you’re the last person awake in the house (including your husband) and even though it’s only 8:45 it feels kind of like midnight and the last thing you feel like doing is the dishes and you consider leaving them all for the once-a-week housekeeper who will come tomorrow but you know that’s a total cop-out move and so you know sooner or later you’ll have to bite the bullet and just do the m-f-ing dishes and you’re just about to get going when you decide instead to sit for a minute at your computer?



Sometimes I think I’ve got a whole lot of nothing going on in my head. I’ll lie down at night – earlier than usual these days, thanks to the exhaustion of pregnancy + busy days and especially thanks to my nudge-y husband (when did he get so nudge-y!?) who now goes to sleep at, like, 8pm, most nights because he’s waking up at something like, 2am to start his day… (yes I may be exaggerating just a tad)… but anyway -

Where was I?

Oh yeah. The stupid thoughts in my head.

Wednesday night, I lay wide awake in bed, thinking about dumb, stupid things (i.e. – wondering what Facebook ‘friends’ who I never ever ever see and never ever ever were friends with in real life but who sort of maybe knew who I was at one point so they accepted my friend request, must think of me – in a judge-y way, of course – about how they probably think my name BatSheva is so weird and different, and how my life is so weird and different– and then I think how even stupider it is that I am wasting even 10 seconds caring about any of this, and obviously none of these Facebook ‘friends’ probably waste even 10 seconds thinking about me)…

And then I fall asleep, only to wake up at 4:23am to 3 year old Esther, who is crying from a nightmare. And as I take her to our bed I realize I was having a massive nightmare myself, about live sharks swimming in the water beneath my feet as I walked from room to room of a hotel I was staying at for some event where I didn’t know anybody.

The dream didn’t seem scary as much as it seemed unnecessarily stressful. Sort of like Facebook.

Lately, my thoughts have been overrun with fluff and nonsense. A product of my 2 weeks vacation from blogging?

I know, I know.

Quit thinking, start scrubbing. Dishes await.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

I know there is a lot going on here. Seriously, I'm down with copyright protection & all, but let's face it: we'd ALL be better off if the internet would just let me "BORROW" some cool images for my blogs! I promise I'll give them back!

Flashback Friday! (Shangri La, Part 1)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:15 AM
Friday, December 21, 2012

Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Shangri La Part 1 – the BLOG

My last blog about lice, bullies and Lafayette Elementary reminded me of something else: lice, bullies and Lafayette. AKA, why I got the hell out of Lafayette first chance I got. Oh there were other reasons too, like the sub-standard education (my mother likes to remind me about my fourth grade teacher whose spelling was only one or two notches above her students’), the large classes, and – oh yeah, the anti-Semitism. (My mother insists that my 4th grade crush, Chris Q, once called me a “Kike” but I’ll never believe her. How could he have done so – he was so tall and cute and his eyes were so blue!?)

But I was smart, and I would have been able to thrive in a large class with a stupid teacher. And let’s be honest, lice are in every school. And, I didn’t really get the whole Jewish thing either, my parents having divorced and re-married non-Jews anyway, so I didn’t mind not calling attention to the fact that me and the snot-eating Benjamin Rosen-something-or-other were the only two Jews in my class (& maybe the whole school).

But the bullying – that got to me.

Mary was the worst. Mary was in 6th grade when I was in 4th. She had the best (and loudest) singing voice in the school, and would always get cast as the lead in every musical. She was popular, pretty, and for some reason, she didn’t like me. She used to run after me with her girlfriends in close second position. When they caught me, they’d call me names, tease me, and pull up my skirt or pull it down, depending on the waistline (elastic or buttoned/zipped – you other bullied kids know what I’m talking about). I think she gave me wedgies too, but lucky for me, my memory tends to erasethe worst of my sufferings from any place of easy recall, so who really knows.)

I was teased because I was too tall, I was too skinny, I was too geeky, or maybe just because I cared too much about being liked. When I would cry to the student counselor, Mary would rush over and interrupt and argue very convincingly that I had instigated the whole thing, that I had been teasing and taunting them, that I was to blame. Ugh. It’s not just the movies where the teachers are so dumb they don’t know which kid to believe…

Lucky for my self-esteem, my parents decided (and were financially able) to take me out of the DC public school system forever (which itself was lorded over at that time by our crack-smoking mayor Marion Barry not to mention the target of several drive-by shootings) and bring me to a new school, GDS… AKA…

Shangri La.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Brings back such fond memories of torture and hell

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Forty is the New Thirty!*

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 10:20 AM
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

*…except when you’re pregnant!

Hey folks! I’ve got a neat new game, and I’d like to invite all of you to play! It’s called, “Except When You’re Pregnant!” See if you can follow along.

You know that silly game you played once in college that was totally & completely hilarious (especially after downing 3 sakis, 2 large Sapporos, and possibly having smoked weed before even entering the restaurant)… that “between the sheets” game? If memory serves (which it rarely does), the phrase was most popular paired with a Chinese fortune:

“You will have great luck”

… Between the sheets!”

“You find beauty in ordinary things, do not lose this ability.”

… Between the sheets!”

“Plan for many pleasures ahead.”

Between the sheets!”

“Make two grins grow where there was only a grouch before.”

… Between the sheets!”

“Something you lost will soon turn up.”

… Between the sheets!”


Well, I’ve got a NEW game, a GROWNUP GIRL game, and it goes like this:

I’ll say a statement of fact, and then you yell, “except when you’re pregnant!”


Here goes:

Going out to the movies and a late dinner is SO MUCH FUN! (your turn: “Except when you’re pregnant!”)

Cleaning the house isn’t too hard! (“Except when you’re pregnant!”)

Staying away from ice cream and chocolate is hard, but I do it because I care about my weight. (“Except when you’re pregnant!”)

No one eats pizza every week, chocolate chip cookies and/or ice cream every single day, and full meals of a block of cheese with ten rice crackers every day too!! (“Except when you’re pregnant!”)

It’s so easy not to get emotional about the silly stuff. (“Except when you’re pregnant!”)


Well, that’s it for now, folks. Thanks for joining in, you did great!



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

P.S. Bonus points for coming up with your own phrases for the game and writing them in the Comments Section!

Getting a good night's sleep is easy! (EXCEPT WHEN YOU'RE PREGNANT... or married to someone who is pregnant!!!)

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Clothes that Suck

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 8:59 AM
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

So by now we all know I’m pregnant. Which means… ladies, altogether now:


Why do maternity clothes suck? Let me count the ways. (and btw, I apologize for the lack of SPACE between each listed item, below. HOW DO YOU F$*#(&%#$-ING USE WORDPRESS TO CREATE A PROPER LIST WITH NORMAL SPACING???!!!!?? ARGHHH!!)


  1. 1. Cap sleeves. Didn’t like them when I was four, don’t like them now. What do the designers think happens to a woman when she gets pregnant – that her fashion sense and style automatically reverts to Laura Ingalls circa-1820?
  2. 2. The belt below the bra. I mean, come ON! Really? Really?? Just because my belly is growing larger, doesn’t mean you now need to amplify it’s existence by strapping a ribbon or a belt below my boobs to help the belly-part of the shirt poof out even that much more. Don’t you have ANY imagination? [PS - and what is up with women wearing those types of shirts when they are NOT pregnant??? Ladies, don't you realize that shirt is making you LOOK 5 months preggers? Don't get lazy, find another style to suit your beautiful if not stick-skinny body! Don't give in to the bra-belt hype!]
  3. 3. Shitty construction. And by that I mean: my 6 year old could have slapped a few pieces of material & sewn them together in a more lasting and secure way than these people do! Why does the fact that you only wear these clothes for a few months mean the seams need to start coming apart and the whole thing starts to lose shape after 3 weeks?
  4. 4. If it doesn’t have shitty construction… it cost about a million dollars. Seriously. A million. This prowling, selfish industry is out to bankrupt us, my pregnant sisters! Because if you want to wear something half-way decent WITHOUT cap sleeves and WITHOUT a belt below your bra and WITHOUT the thing falling apart in 2 days… you have to empty your bank account to afford it. What is up with that???

After 3 kids & now into my 4th pregnancy, I realize the only way to go is to buy clothes in bigger sizes that are cute and fashionable and cut in a way that allows for tons of room in the belly arena. Too bad that is also expensive, time-consuming, and altogether nearly-impossible for a shopping-impaired person like myself.

Don’t get me wrong – I love to shop – but I simply don’t have the 3-4 hours it takes PER STORE to look, try on, and find those affordable gems that will look great, fit perfectly, and last forever.

Sigh…. gotta go throw on my old, non-maternity baby doll dress as a shirt with my over-priced maternity pants.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

FYI, you can click on the image if you want to read all my really pithy explanations of why maternity clothes suck so much without having to squint (for my over-40 and reading-impaired readers).


Flashback Friday! (No Fear)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 8:56 AM
Friday, November 30, 2012

Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

Ever had some rageaholic a-hole scream and go red and basically scare the shit out of you? (Even if they are screaming at someone else in front of me, my heart still speeds up to a mile a minute.) As a kid, did a parent terrify you? Or, later on, what about a boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse? Teacher? The IRS?

(Or were/are you the screaming rager type?)

As a kid, I would do all things necessary, including shrinking into a tiny mouse and/or people please to the Nth degree, just to avoid the feeling of being scared by someone’s disapproval, criticism or rage. As an adult… sad to say, not that much has changed. I still hate getting criticized, hate having someone mad at me, loathe being in the presence of shouting and rage. My stomach goes into a knot, I obsess about the person and situation, my shoulders hunch and my ability to get a good night’s sleep evaporates.

On the other hand… I secretly admire rageaholic friends of mine. Why? Exactly for that same attribute that scares the shit out of me: they have almost hunger for a confrontation – they seek it out, then act, speak, and instigate as they please. Usually, in the moment of anger, my brain partly shuts down and I don’t even consider making waves or really standing up for myself. Then later, I think about what I’d like to say, but I still DON’T GO BACK & say it. Why? Fear of how they will react. Fear that person will stop “liking” me. Fear…..

Yuck. So disgusting just to read my own words on the screen!

What is the answer? I KNOW I need to act differently. I’m afraid to.

One of the great spiritual kabbalists, the Baal Shem Tov, was given this advice by his father:

Never fear any person or any situation. The ONLY thing you should EVER be afraid of is disconnection with the Creator.

The Baal Shem Tov lived by this credo. Just remembering this story gives me strength and helps erase my own fears. Now, if only I could internalize this completely…

But until then, the only thing I’ve found that helps me dissolve my fear, besides literally talking myself out of it, is writing. Songs, blogs, stories, scripts… you name it, I’ve probably written it. To that effect, below is a song I wrote years ago… enjoy! [Editor's Note: Stupid $#&QY$%#(@ WordPress won't Play my song anymore. I tried to re-upload it & it's telling me to 'go take a hike' in WordPress language. My kingdom for some software savvy!]

And by the way, thanks again for providing an ‘audience’ for my thoughts & observations. Stay tuned, and…who knows! Maybe someday you’ll be reading about how I felt nary a drop of dread or fear as someone lobbed a harsh criticism or rage-a-tantrum at me.

I believe in miracles! You sexy thing…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Hard Love – SONG

I know I look fearless but it's all a facade. Quaking on the inside!

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Flashback Friday! (Seasons of Love)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:45 AM
Friday, September 14, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Seasons of LOVE – the BLOG

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes… How do you measure, Measure a year? – RENT (the musical)

You know the other night, I got to thinking… just exactly how many minutes of my life have I thus far spent in my children’s room, trying to get them to go to sleep? (I’m sure I don’t even need to say that this thought struck me as I was passing the ½ hour mark doing just that.)

To answer my question, I left my little one crying (the two bigger ones having mercifully fallen asleep already), and went to my desk. Took out the calculator, a pen, a stickie note (neon pink, if you must know – I KNOW they are overpriced, but who can put a price on things that make you that happy?), and got to work.

I reasoned that with 3 kids, the oldest turning seven this summer, I have probably spent ON AVERAGE about a half hour every night putting them to sleep. Yes, I know we have babysitters some nights, but then again, there are some nights they take hours to put to bed. So it evens out.

Here’s what I came up with:

30 (minutes) x 365 (days) x 7 (years – my oldest son & how long I’ve been doing this) = 76,650 minutes.

For those non-human calculators among you, that equals Fifty three days plus some change.


53 whole days!!!

Lord have mercy. I’m the kind of person who likes to maximize the use of my waking hours. I like to DO things, and to be of use. It could be argued that I’m happiest when I’m busiest (though I’ll hotly deny this if any of you leak this information to my husband – you know he’ll turn around & use it on me when it’s his turn to do dishes/put kids to bed).

Yes, it’s true, my husband does help – very often – to put our kids to bed. On average, I would guess he does it 2-3 times a week. Let’s be generous and say it’s 3 times a week. That still means I’ve spent the equivalent of ONE FULL MONTH putting kids to sleep.

Wait–! I didn’t even factor in the time it takes EACH DAY to get a baby down for his/her nap!

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

I know they look peaceful, but guaranteed it took her like 2 hrs to get that little sucker to sleep!

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posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:28 AM
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The following is a re-enactment of BatSheva Vaknin’s high-heeled shoes smackdown that she observed the other night as she tried to decide which pair to wear.

It is possible I animated all these voices out loud as I tried to make my decision…


COOL GLADIATOR-STYLE HEELS: You know you want me. We’re so cool we look good with everything.

STUART WEITZMAN SNAKESKINS WITH WICKER-LIKE HEELS: Awww, so sweet that they think ‘looking good with everything’ is an asset. B, have you SEEN how hot we are?

BROWN PLATFORMS FROM THE 90’s: Dude. We will kick all y’all’s ASSES. BatSheva. Hello? Vintage, funky, comfy, and we’re in great shape. Is there really a decision to be made here?

SNAKESKINS: Bring it on, brownies!

BROWN PLATFORMS FROM THE 90’s: You really want some of this? Yeah??

GLADIATOR HEELS: (to the brown platforms) hahhahahahahaha! SERIOUSLY??? Yo, the 90’s called, they want their heels back.

90’s PLATFORMS: You are going DOWN.

90’s Platforms knock the gladiator heels to the ground.

GLADIATOR HEELS: Help! We’ve been hit!

GOLD MARYJANE HEELS: (whisper) BatSheva. Do you really need this drama? We’re beautiful AND we’re comfortable.

GLADIATORS: (from the floor) Don’t listen to them! It’s sweltering outside, inside those golden leather tombstones your feet will melt! MELT!!!!


From seemingly out of nowhere, a pair of smokin’ hot yellow leather sandals perched on wooden platform heels enter the arena, towering over all who gaze in their direction.

YELLOW LEATHERS: Somebody needed a pair of killer heels for tonight?

Silence. BatSheva picks up the yellow leathers from the floor and puts them on.

YELLOW LEATHERS: (as the others stare in shock, and a single tear falls down the side of the gladiators) Get used to it, suckers.

Yellow Leathers give the others “the finger” as they allow themselves to be triumphantly clomped out of the room….


…It is also possible I’m due for a psychiatric evaluation.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Suck it, losers.

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