5 Brilliant Arguments for Why Your Woman Should Make You a Sammich

I must say this is brilliantly funny. Careful, might not be appropriate for work.

Fall Flash-The End

“He is a charlatan”, Mina sputtered , “How can you consider this?”

“Oh, honey he’s just a squirrel trying to get a nut, it will be fun”, Mona replied, “I see a tall dark man”.

Mina looked thoughtful, ‘What did Mona know?’

“He’ll reach you first, give him your hand”.

[49]


Charles patted his inner pocket, his ticket to another world as if it were charmed. All around him, the noise was overwhelming. The excitement of other passengers palatable, ready to embark on an adventure, a shiver ran down his spine.

He glanced to the bow; Titanic, he shivered again.

[49]


The air was crisp, the end of summer a tang running through True’s awareness, lifting her spirit just slightly. She sat outdoors, sipping coffee, twirling a curl and watching the final revelers stagger home, primitive passions finally spent. Cheshire smile bent perfect lips, she knew they would return tomorrow night.

[50]


FlashinthePan

Flash in the Pan is brought to you by the amazing Red of M3 fame, to join in the fun read the rules at the link provided and get to flashing!

The final autumn words are the Hot Flashes, three in fact. Reach, Embark and Return. Each Hot Flash has a word limit of 50 words. Reach comes in at 49, Embark comes in at 49 and Return comes in at 50 .

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Widening the Chasm

Idiom: a condition of being unequal of different, in disagreement, opposed. The idiom uses ‘odds’ to express the condition of ‘being unequal or different’ and transfers it to a difference of opinion or quarrel. [Late 1500’s]1


soapboxpileWe are a nation at odds. What does this mean, to be at odds as a nation? It could mean any number of things, I am going to tell you what I believe it means from my personal perspective. Given this is my personal opinion, although backed by a certain amount of boring statistical notations and research and facts, it remains my interpretation. There a couple of caveats I should make before continuing, I am a Boomer, I apparently do not follow my generation on many social trends, voting trends or overall political thinking. My guess is I am different from the majority of my cohort because of my life experiences, which are also vastly different from most of the Boomer generation (1946 – 1964).

How are we at odds?

First, there is the issue of being a ‘Christian’ nation that refuses to care for its weakest members, its aged, its children and those who cannot care for themselves. I find this to be fully ‘at odds’ with the philosophy born of the man who was Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ and all of the religious houses that lay claim to his teachings. One of my favorite examples of how American Right Wing zealots have fallen away from the teachings they pretend too is Matthew 31-46 The Son of Man Shall Judge the Nations, here is just a small piece of it if you are interested read the rest for yourself:

41“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’44“Then they also will answered Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45“Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’46“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

How does this translate into how we behave as a nation? If as so many wrongly insist, we are a Christian Nation, why is it so easy to watch children go hungry, entire generations incarcerated, poverty grow and illiteracy expand. Why, if we are a Christian Nation, as so many wrongly insist is the culture of violence the only culture we worship with any fidelity?

The Farm Bill is mired in partisan bickering, with the R’s praying to the idol of greed and Ayn Rand to cut billions of dollars from SNAP (Food Stamps) thus ensuring children, disabled veterans, women, other disabled and the aged must learn to subsist on even less than $133 per month for food currently allotted (sometimes less). I don’t know about you, I am fairly certain I could not survive on approximately $4.36 per day. If these cuts go through, for those who do not lose their benefit altogether the new benefit will be approximately $90 per month that is $2.95 per day. How, tell me just how does this translate back into the whole Christian Nation thing? Just curious mind you.

Census_Poverty

census_Povertyageandgender

Not to be pedantic about this whole issue, however why does GOP wander down this path, revisiting entire swaths of the 2012 presidential election, trying hard to forget THEY LOST. Why are we bombarded with foul rhetoric, 42 votes to defund ACA at a cost to the American public of $84,000,000. This number is calculated based on a daily rate of $2,000,000 per day for each time Congress meets to vote on something they know does not have a snowballs chance of snowballinhellgetting to the desk of the President. Why do they continue this folly, at a time when the acolytes of Ayn Rand and her philosophy of absolute selfishness (not Christianity) are trying hard to forget there are consequences to elections and ignoring their own stump of deficit reduction and fiscal conservatism. I guess their principals only count when it isn’t them who might be hungry, without work, buried in student debt, losing your home or facing life without health insurance for your child or yourself.

We are a nation at odds, we truly are. I speak to so many people both on-line and face-to-face throughout the week who cannot seem to reconcile their ‘Christianity’ with their gut level responses to the current ideological rhetoric coming from talking heads, written word, elected officials and even their pastors. It is damned near pathological and it is frightening. When faced with reasoned argument they have no response, but to name call and fall back on age-old arguments.

  • “Are you saying you think children should go to bed hungry?”
    A penniless mother hides her face in shame after putting her children up for sale, Chicago, 1948

    A penniless mother hides her face in shame after putting her children up for sale, Chicago, 1948

    • “That isn’t what I am saying. Their parents should get a job.”
  • “What if there are no jobs? Are you saying those children should go to bed hungry, go to school hungry?”
    • No, I don’t want children to be hungry. I am not heartless. Their parents shouldn’t have had them if they can’t take care of them.”
  • “But they are here now; their mother didn’t have access to birth control and couldn’t have an abortion because in this state it isn’t available. Are you saying her children should go to bed hungry and go to school hungry?
    • “That isn’t what I am saying dammit. She should get a job. She should get off Welfare. Maybe she should give her children to the State.”

The above is a conversation I had recently with someone in a store, her comments are in blue. The person I had it with is someone I know fairly well, we talk often about these issues; obviously, we are on different sides of the chasm.

My question to everyone, how do we fix this? The 113th Congress is the most ineffective Congress in history. They have done nothing since their swearing in. They waste money and time, they continue down this path of attempting redefine the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election, THEY LOST. Whether or not you like the outcome, it is frankly not relevant. What is relevant?

  • Poverty is growing in this nation.
  • Incarceration is growing and becoming a for-profit industry.
  • Unemployment is not going down perceptively in this nation.
  • The infrastructure of this nation is crumbling.
  • The middle class of this nation is nearly dead.
  • Violence is growing
  • Global competitiveness is shrinking

The list goes on and yet we sit back and do not one damned thing but stroke ourselves for what? American Exceptionalism? Really?


1http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/At%20odds

http://frac.org/leg-act-center/farm-bill-2012/

http://www.offthechartsblog.org/farm-bill-amendment-would-pay-states-to-cut-off-snap-benefits-for-people-who-want-to-work-but-cant-find-jobs/

http://hungercliff.org/

http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/34SNAPmonthly.htm

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/health-care/what-cost-house-vote

http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p60-245.pdf

Standing By

soapboxpileThere are times when the world seems to be a terrible place doesn’t it? For those of us who have soapboxes we climb on, sometimes those ladders get a bit shaky we fall on our asses more often than we would like. Those of us who follow the world of dreadful and ghastly, from the halls of the Hill to the streets of any city USA, sometimes we grow weary of the sheer volume of ugly. I know I do, it is my suspicion others do as well.

This morning as I was perusing the wise words of others, three wonderful bloggers poked my soul, my conscious and my self-respect. I am reminded constantly why I am grateful for all the friends I have made in the blogosphere these women are brilliant!

http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2013/09/19/whoah-what-happened/

http://mommasmoneymatters.com/clyde-try-dammit/

http://deborah-bryan.com/2013/09/19/i-am-greater-than-my-fear/

For very different reasons these three entries into my morning touched off my thinking about what I have been doing lately. Why I have been remiss in talking about what bothers me about the world we live in. It isn’t I haven’t had time, I have had more than enough time; truthfully I have had more time than I would like. It isn’t that I can’t, I of course can if I choose to do so; my problem is I have become unwilling to face the storm. This leads to fear, I have become afraid of what others think and of conflict, my ability to withstand the conflict is much lower these days than it has been in the past.

This feeling of dispiritedness, it doesn’t bode well for our nation. So many of us feel this way as we stare into the future and consider our options and the world our children will inherit if we do not move our asses. What do I mean by this? I don’t know that I can fully answer my own question, what I do know is I will not give in to fear or apathy, that road leads to dead ends, obstructionist governments and failures. This is what I believe; I have been failing myself lately. I have, as my friend Red pointed out so well been saying, “I can’t” not because “I can’t” but because I was afraid, maybe I will explore this one with you all in a later post.

This is what I know, I have to stop being afraid, apathetic and foolish. With this thinking in mind, I am going to pick my mantle back up, drape it around my shoulders and start to talk about the things that matter. Maybe some of these things won’t matter to you, they matter to me though and so I am going to talk about them. I am going to stomp my feet and raise my fist and stop being afraid I might offend you or others, I hope I don’t offend you, I hope you will talk back, tell me why you disagree or spread the word if you do agree. Either way, I am going to put my boots back on and return to my roots as a wonk, an activist and someone who actually gives two shits about what happens in the world.

Today, the thing I want to talk about is one of the things that troubles me the most about this country, this is not the only thing that deeply troubles me, there are many more. Nevertheless, this is one close to my heart that plunders my spirit, so let’s talk about Guns –

Yes, I could talk about the Constitution and how most people stomping around waving it as their justification for their personal arsenals have it wrong. I am not going to do that today; I have been down that road and it isn’t necessary to repeat myself I hope. What I am going to do is talk about just one aspect of our deep love affair with violence and guns, the increase in mass murder and spree shooting. What this means for us, how we are becoming increasingly unsafe, how our children are becoming increasingly less safe:

Thirty-one years of killing. Mass murders and spree killing.

Thirty-one years of killing. Mass murders and spree killing.

Look at those numbers in the past thirty-one years. What does that mean? I don’t know, beyond the idea the more easily accessible high-powered guns are, the greater capacity of rounds the more damage and the more likely the body count.

Some of the leading pro-gun lobbyists’ and spokespeople say it is just crazy people doing all this damage, committing all these terrible crimes. Look at this next graph though, it tells a very different story.

MentalHealth_gunpurchase

The known mental health of individual, whether their weapons were purchased legally and how many weapons were used during the commission of their mass / spree killing. This graph is telling, here are a couple of important facts to take away:

• Out of the 149 guns used in the mass murders and spree killings of the past thirty-one years, 23% were obtained illegally.

• Out of the 149 guns used in the mass murders and spree killings of the past thirty-one years, 52% were purchased legally by persons with known mental health disorders.

Finally, there is an issue of gender and race; yes, this is important because we should understand who is committing these crimes so we can begin build an accurate profile of the mass murder and spree killer. Maybe with this profile we can identify them before they kill rather than after.

MassKillers_Gender

We have to stop turning away from the issue of violence on our streets. We must stop pretending it isn’t real, isn’t dangerous and isn’t affecting our quality of life. Every single bullet has a dollar sign engraved in it. Every single American citizen buried due to gun violence is money in the pockets of the NRA, munitions manufacturers and legislatures with their hands out for more. We are as guilty as they are if we continue to passively stand by and accept the excuse, “nothing can be done”.

Something can be done, we can do something; we can refuse to stand by a watch more of our citizens die.

ValentineBullet

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other interesting sources, including the source of the data for the graphes.

http://www.motherjones.com/special-reports/2012/12/guns-in-america-mass-shootings

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/pro-gun-myths-fact-check

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/mass-shootings-investigation

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-victims-2012

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/nra-board-members-selleck-nugent

Fall Flash 12

Marlene stared across the yard, watching Jimmy John scratch his backside attempting to impress the new girl.

“Why did my parents continue to procreate?”

This question ran through Marlene’s mind as she watched the grin spread across his face for the umpteenth time.

“What in the hell is wrong with that nitwit girl?”

Jimmy John hiked up his pants and leaned in to whisper some inane nothing; the girl actually blushed and giggled, giggled for the love of God.

Marlene watched Jimmy John shuffled back to the porch a smile plastered to his face, “Well, sister looks like I got me a fresh one for Friday night.”

“What the hell did you say to this one JJ?”

“The same thing your husband said to you the first time you said yes!”

Jimmy John guffawed and slapped his knee. Marlene thought, “I have to get out of this backward town”.

FlashinthePan

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Dear Oprah

redhatOprah I just need a minute of your time to talk about your magazine, which I do enjoy reading except for a couple of small problems. Just a couple really, you being the publisher and one of the richest most influential women in the world could fix this with a smile and a snap of your well-manicured fingers. I wish you would think about the message you send, I do. So let me tell you what is on my mind, what is bugging me this lovely Sunday morning as I sit with my coffee and your magazine. I would bet if you knew you would think this might be relevant. Of course, then again you might think to yourself, “Really, I am Oprah Winfrey and my magazine makes millions without the advice of some barely read blogger from Texas, pfftt”.

Here is the problem Oprah, you don’t mind I am so familiar do you?

Never mind, Tom Cruise jumps on your sofa so certainly you don’t mind if I call you Oprah as if we know each other; back to the problem. In the first hundred (100) pages of the October magazine, every advertisement but one, nothing but skinny bitches not one single woman looks like me, or for that matter like you. Sorry for that but you and I both know most American women have a bit of meat on their boney asses. I will bet you a mani-pedi your entire editorial staff knows most of us do not look like that. For that matter, those women in those pictures, hell they don’t look like that. Really though, Oprah I simply expect more and better from you, don’t you remember when tent dresses were the only style you wore and elastic was your best friend? You are still wearing clothing in the double digits, so why doesn’t your magazine reflect the real American woman?

Just sayin.

Not her heaviest, but not her lightest either

Not her heaviest, but not her lightest either

Now on to my other issue, I think this one is even more of a problem. I know you are wealthy and what you have done is fabulous. Your accomplishments in life, as well as, your philanthropy are to be lauded and emulated. I don’t want you to take this the wrong way; honestly though, I think your magazine has lost sight of your readership, the economy and how we live. What do I mean by this; let me show you by just picking at a couple of your articles this month.

Adam’s Style Sheet, Page 92 this month was Top Coats. Nice selection and pairing, unfortunately not a single thing would fit a woman over size 14, some likely don’t even go that high (Readership loss). Then we have some interesting additions to the feature such as; Coach and Zac Posen Bags, Jean-Michael Cazabat and Zac Posen Shoes. The list could go on, I will stop here the real issue being the Economy, how many of your readership has hundreds of dollars to spend do you think? Yet, your stylist creates these looks, which are impossible to emulate on the cheap. Well why not? Perhaps the point is to simply make others feel inadequate? If that isn’t the point then something should change, maybe how to create these styles with the incomes real women have at their disposal.

So let us flip back to page 150, Strut your Stuff. Wonderfully laid out by the way, I simply loved every single boot in this article; of course, since you only style for the skinny bitch audience, those wonderful $850 Tony Burch boots wouldn’t fit my larger calves but nonetheless still loved looking. Back to my point, there must be a small (5%) audience who will see these marvelous outfits and will not read beyond where to buy, won’t care the wallet busting prices. Remember though, Readership and the Economy, most will; in fact, ninety-five percent (95%) of your readership will weep when they see those prices. Let me give you just a few of my favorites;

Page 153 – absolutely love the green bootie! Total price for the outfit, $1,205, this includes only the items priced on the page not everything.

I might need these

I might need these

Page 154 – those boots, I might have to starve my dearly beloved for a week or two for those boots. Total price for this one, $1,433. Fortunately for me the only thing that would fit are the boots, $450.

Remember what I said, Readership and Economy? Not a single one of the eleven (11) outfits presented in this layout was within the range of your average reader. Not a single one of these was even feasible to emulate from the places most of us usually find ourselves shopping. Come on Oprah; remember most of us left size 0 behind us when we were twelve years old, if we were even that then. Most of us don’t shop Tony Burch or L.A.M.B. as much as we might wish just once we could. Most of us don’t have a spare $1,500 for a single outfit for lunch with our BFF or date night with our version of Stedman.

Oprah, could you please cut us a break here? I have nothing against skinny bitches, truly I don’t. Nevertheless, I surely would like to think at least you have nothing against the rest of us.

To all my thin and healthy friends and readers, no offense was meant by Kickm reference to ‘skinny bitches’ and you have my sincere apology if you were offended, truly. The truth is I wish I was one of you so I could wear all the fabulous clothing I salivate over in Oprah and Vogue. This was written somewhat tongue in cheek but also in part to address what is lacking in all media today, women who look like me and like the average American woman.

Fall Flash 13

It is past boarding time, the departure lounge was full of people waiting for the flight to be called. The attendants rested heads upon hands not even pretending interest.

Infants squall, hungry and hot their parents ignoring the angry glares of others. Children run wildly, tripping over luggage and legs sprawling across open spaces. The air grows fetid with each passing minute, sour milk, half-eaten lunches and unchanged babies filling the lounge with its own pungent mixture.

Glancing around Demi wonders why she agreed to this trip, zip lines through jungle canopies and Rum Punch by the pool doesn’t seem worth this hell.

Finally, the speaker sputters, “ladies and gentlemen, we are ready for boarding, do not get in line before your row is called, we are warning you.”

Demi sighed, “Row 45, travel isn’t what it used to be. It will be at least another hour.”

FlashinthePan

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Fall Flash 11

Tap, tap, tap; Sorcha wanted to scream the constancy plagued her. It wasn’t enough she was lonely in this new land, without friend, music or hope of love, this terrible sleeplessness kept her evil all day. Like clockwork, it started at 11pm and continued throughout the night; tonight she would put a stop to it.

Scorcha marched upstairs to 2B, through the door she could hear clearly the offensive rhythm. Before she knocked, the door was flung wide and she was staring at the most handsome of men. Every thought of dressing down flew out of her head; instead, she considered the alternative, undressing.

“Scorcha, I was wondering when you would finally call.”

“Oh my; how have you gotten here? You are Lugh!”

“Just so, Scorcha you must go home. This dreary city, ’tis no place for you.”

Scorcha sat straight up, resolved to return home; called by Lugh himself.

 FlashinthePan

References:

Celtic (Welsh, Irish) God, he is a druid, carpenter, poet and mason. His animals are Raven and Lynx. He symbolizes healing, reincarnation, prophecy and revenge. He is associated with the Sun God thus the Pagan Sabbath Lughnasadh. In Ireland, he was associated with ravens; in Wales, a white stag is his symbol. He had a magic spear and otherworldly hounds. He is also known as Lleu, Llew and Lugh.

Flash in the Pan is brought to you by the amazing Red of M3 fame, to join in the fun read the rules at the link provided and get to flashing!

The Flash word is Go . The word limit is 150 words. This one comes in at exactly 150.

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Civility Lost

‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style’. Dr. Maya Angelo

Have you noticed our language seems to be getting uglier? Is this just me, am just getting more sensitive in my advanced age. It seems within all the mediums of communications we regularly use, our social interactions, especially where we enjoy anonymity our language and the way in which we speak to one another has a greater level of toxicity than ever before.

wizards6__span

Wizards, a lesson in toxic behavior

The greater  the anonymity the more toxic the language, right from the start. Where once we had at least the veneer of civility, now we are all in with the ugly; cannonballing into the pond, name-calling and nastiness, no regard for the human on the other side of the screen. It is damned near a contest to determine who can be the most offensive within a single exchange, who can pull the bully mantle across their shoulders and strut their obnoxious faster.

I have to ask, what got us to this point? How did we fall so far in our ability to communicate? Did we simply decided to shed our entire veneer of civility and pick up where we left off in grade school? Many of us shake our heads in dismay at the bullying in public schools across the nation; we are concerned our children are damaged by the name-calling and violence in the halls and playgrounds. We should be concerned, but let me ask you; just where in the hell do you think they learn this crappy behavior? Our children don’t pull this out of the air; they do not learn it from television, video games or on the radio! No, they learn it from you and I, they watch us acting like ill-mannered five-year-olds and think, what is good for my father / mother is good enough for me.

Off they go, to pull the hair, trip the nerd or otherwise make life miserable for someone weaker or different from them.

Let us take a quick look at some of the more polite terms we call each other in some of the political discussions I have been in recently, shall we?

  • Rightard
  • Righthug
  • Teatard or Teatarded
  • Repulicant
  • Racist
  • Libtard
  • Dumocrat
  • Environ-mentalist
  • Libturd
  • Libtroll
  • Femnazi
  • Baby killer
  • Race Baiter

Those are just a few after a quick glance through my own page. Nice right?

Don’t misunderstand, I am passionate about the things I believe in and even enjoy a good debate. I find many of the positions of the other side abhorrent, even morally reprehensible. I find many of the people who support them to be equally offensive, their words are a sometime deafening clamor to me.  Despite my personal feelings though, I find the name calling even more offensive than the positional differences. I would rather have a civil debate, one based on facts and even our personal historical context than simply this constant nastiness.

As an example, this is a part of a conversation I had some time back. The context of the conversation was whether the portrayal of the current president (Obama) as a Chimpanzee is the same as the portrayal of the previous president (Bush) as a Chimpanzee. My position was it is not the same because of the historical context of the portrayals. I have had this conversation previously with the person who started the conversation (my brother), on another thread. In this thread, another person jumped in, for context I have frequently bowed out of conversations with him because of the toxicity of his style. He is my nephew though I have never met him, he is in his twenties; both he and my brother are professed Conservatives with a very real hatred of the current President and all things “Liberal”. Despite my brother and my positional differences, we can usually carry on a civil discussion without name-calling. My nephew is not my brother’s son. These are my biological family members who I was not raised with, thus the reason I do not know all of them.

fb conversation

When I tell my nephew to get historical context I do not simply mean about me but also to learn the history of this nation. He is not educated. He is also, as noted, mean spirited and nasty in his communications. Feel free to tell me I was ugly as well, I may have been.

I find myself more often these days, simply bowing out. I no longer have the emotional wherewithal to support these conversations, to defend positions when I am attacked on a personal level. There was a time when I could see past the personal attacks, rhetoric and focus, now I simply say thank you and good-bye.

What is wrong with us?

I ask this of all of us, no matter what side of the fence we sit on what is wrong with us. What part of our compassion, empathy and civility did we drop off at the local Waste Station in the past ten years? I know there have always been issues that fired up our passions, now though it seems just the mention of what side of the very deep chasm you reside on is enough to get those guns roaring.  Nothing it seems can tap down this roar; nothing can extinguish the fires burning across this land setting families against each other in all out battles as if they didn’t share blood, friends in battles of witticism which in truth are nothing more than school yard taunts.

I tell you, I weep for us all. I weep for the lost art of communication, civility and even common courtesy. I weep for us all.

Fall Flash – 10

Shattered silence, broken dreams the alarm screams inharmoniously as an arm snakes out from under the covers to slam the snooze button, nothing happens the world does not return to quiet.

Grabbing the pillow, Bobbie Sue covers her head, wills herself back to sleep without success. Flickering neon lights her room in mad flashes from the flop across the road. The discordant sound of alarms breaking her sleep, nothing but police sirens.

How did she arrive here she wonders as she looks around the dismal space she calls home, stained bedding, rough towels and falling plaster. The flicker of the neon warns her, the sun will soon be down, it is time to get up. The street calls, her choices brought her to this corner of Hell; the transformation of Bobbie Sue to someone called Peaches.

Broken dreams, shattered innocence. Could she ever go home again?

FlashinthePan

Flash in the Pan is brought to you by the amazing Red of M3 fame, to join in the fun read the rules at the link provided and get to flashing!

The Flash word is Up . The word limit is 150 words. This one comes in at exactly 146.

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