I Hope I’m Just Paranoid

Excuse my language…or not, but — what the fuck are you doing, Word Press?

Okay, I’m going to try and not get too technical here because I’m an anti-technical person. I readily admit it. I have no idea what the fuck I’m talking about when it comes to setting up or running a blog site — which forces me to speculate — which is going to make me sound paranoid…or worse — like a conspiracy idiot.

Eh, what the hell.

Also, it’s fucking Word Press’s fault. ‘K?

I never wanted to write this post.

Let’s start with some basics, shall we? And by basics, I mean Word Press and their “free blogging site.”

If you’re a blogger and you have a “free” Word Press site, then you’re part of the Word Press blogging community. So, good for you and aren’t you special!

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Yep, you have easy access to other Word Press sites and God only knows what other kind of perks that you’ve been enticed with in order to join…and stay with Word Press. They sure have lots of different templates to choose from. Fancy as shit. And relatively easy to set up and use, too, I understand!

Look ma, I’m a professional and I have a professional site!

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Yeah, well remember that scene when Pinocchio ran off to Pleasure Island? Let’s take a moment and remind you, again. Okay? YAY, FREE IS GOOD!

It’s fun to have a free blog site. Would you like a free apple to go with that, my dear?

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Okay, I once had a free Word Press blog. For about two seconds. That’s before I took the writing class.

In this class from eons ago, the instructor said something along the lines of (and I paraphrase), “Be careful with free blog sites because they have fine print in their contract that allows them to use your writing or any of your material in pretty much whatever capacity they feel like using it. They can use your material for ads for their sites, for instance. It doesn’t mean they will, but they can if they want to. So by using their site and not paying for it, you’ve given them permission to use your work however they see fit and you won’t get paid for it either.”

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She told us, “If you’re serious about your writing and you want to keep control over what you produce and publish, then I recommend you go the self-hosted route instead.” Only at the time, she called it a paid blog site. She even told us that we could still use a Word Press format if we wanted because, you know, Word Press was cool with that. But paying for the privilege of self-hosting gave us individual control. Anyway, that’s the most important information this instructor ever imparted to me.

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The other thing that concerned me about a “free site” — and for me the only real option was Word Press because of the template options they offered — was that they could kick you off their site if they didn’t like your content. Since I bandy the word FUCK around like…a fucking lot — that worried me.

I didn’t want Word Press to kick me off for writing FUCK. I mean I think what I write is fairly mild, but I wouldn’t say that my site is meant for children. And FUCK has come a long way over the past five years or so. It’s almost as innocuous as damn. Not quite…but give it a few more years. Anyway, I’m an adult and I enjoy my “free speech” liberties. I’m not interested in letting Word Press dictate what I say and do. So, yeah, I pay for the luxury of control and I don’t mind!

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The other thing I realized years ago when I took up writing — I wanted to maintain a separate personal life vs. my writing life. It’s not like people don’t do this all. of. the. fucking. time. y’all.

Hello? Nom de plume? Pen name? Moniker? AKA?

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Some make fun of me for (allegedly and/or hypothetically) doing this. They think I’m being pretentious. Because you know I’m so fucking precious and pretentious y’all.

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But I have my reasons. You don’t know my life and why I sometimes do what I have to do.

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With these things in mind, I went about trying to self-host with a pen name (allegedly) and a Word Press template using Go Daddy, which is a hosting site…or a domain site…or something like that. The fact that I’m not sure what Go Daddy is should convince y’all, as it continues to do with me, just how un-technical I am even about the simple things.

So I went to a Word Press seminar to learn. Halfway through the seminar, I was completely lost because my eyes wouldn’t stop glazing over.

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Still, I needed a site cuz the agent I met with the year before at The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference said I had to have a social media presence if I wanted to be a successful writer. I needed a blog site and Twitter and Facebook at a minimum.

Shit. I didn’t need Grumpy Cat to tell me… I already knew I was in trouble.

 

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So yeah, I hired the Word Press seminar instructor to set me up on a self-hosted site using a Word Press format. I actually bought one of their premium formats, now that I think about it, so I could do a few extra things none of their free formats would allow me to do.

Anyway, Tony, my website guru, got rid of my unwanted bot/spam problems. He did a bunch of other awesome things, too, most of which I haven’t a clue. But I was very happy with the result.

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Now I go in for a maintenance check every year or two because everything is constantly needing to be updated. Tony makes sure my site runs like it’s supposed to. He undoes all the bad I’ve done through my attempts to fix stuff without him. I know I’m lacking, but I try. Just to be clear, though, I wouldn’t know an SEO if it came up and bit me on my ass. So when my dashboard tells me that my SEO needs an upgrade? Okay, yeah, my entire life needs an upgrade. So what?

Well, now my PHP needs an upgrade. Sooo….Do I know what my PHP is? Nope, I do not. Do I need to know that? That’s why I pay Tony. (Tony, please fix my dashboard and make all the red round alert thingies go away! I don’t like them.)

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Start talking technical shit to me and I will collapse in a blithering heap, sobbing and snotting all over myself, mumbling and questioning, “Why, God, why? Why couldn’t you have made me more tech-oriented?”

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Even with these and a few other drawbacks, though, I’ve been navigating my way through the bloggerverse (????) and Twitter and Facebook, meeting new people and making friends. I love the blogging/writing community! I love reading your/their stories — both the happy and the sad, the funny and the irate. I love sharing with y’all, as well!

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THAT’S WHY I’M SOOOOOO FUCKING PISSED!

Over the last two weeks, apparently, changes were made. Presumably by Word Press — but I’m guessing here.

I understand, though, that it’s not just Word Press giving the good people on social media grief at this time. Some of you are also finding it more and more difficult to set up under Facebook as well, especially if you’re trying to use a pen name.

I haven’t heard any rumblings about Twitter, yet; although Twitter has recently informed me that my email address under which it is set up is no longer working. How does that happen?

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I have no fucking clue. Or what to do about that. I don’t even remember my password for that email. I mean we’re going back over five years ago.  Whether I’ll have a working Twitter account next week is anyone’s guess at this point. I’ll probably end up losing all my Twitter followers. But that’s for another post.

Gee, I wonder if Tony can help me with that?

*SIGH*

So here’s the real deal:

If you’re one of the many people in the world who wouldn’t be caught dead living in a gated community but you also have a free Word Press site: boy, have I got news for you!

Your site is in the equivalent of a virtual gated community. Some of you might be perfectly fine with this. But for those of you who aren’t aware — you know what else? I and others of my ilk are now excluded from commenting or liking any of your sites anymore. At least at first blush this is what appears to be the case.

I get that I’m an idiot about this stuff, but I’ve tried logging onto Word Press because it requires me to do this now in order to comment or like one of your posts. Unfortunately, I’ve had no luck in getting through. I’ve even tried creating an account so I can log in using Wayward Sparkles.

Word Press said: Oh, in order to do that, you must transfer your domain over to us. Would you like to do that?

Me: No. No, Word Press, I would not. I just want to be able to comment on my friends’ blogs like I did last week.

WP: Okay, then, M.L. James…if that’s really what your name is…if you don’t want to assimilate with us, then you don’t belong. You can’t comment. You can’t even like any of the bloggers in our glorious gated community of talented bloggers. You can only look, but you don’t get to be One with of us.”

Me: What do you mean One? Like in Star Trek? Like becoming One with the Borg? The fucking Collective? Is that what you’re talking about, Word Press? You’ve become the fucking Collective on Star Trek?

WP: “Shhhh…don’t tell anyone, M.L. James…or else!

Me: Or else what? Are you threatening me, Word Press?

WP: *Silence*

Me: You know what? Fuck you, Word Press! Just fuck you and the fucking fuck you’ve become! K’?

WP: “No. Fuck you, M.L. James…if that’s really what your name is.”

**********************************

So, long story short, Wayward Friends — if you are part of the Collective have a free Word Press site, please don’t think I’ve abandoned you. The Collective Word Press just won’t let me comment on your site any longer. I have my thoughts about why this has happened, which I won’t go into here — much; but think in terms of MONEY, y’all.

For those with a free WP site, are you getting a lot of followers from businesses — just out of the blue and you’re thinking — why the fuck am I getting followers from nurseries just because I wrote last week that my garden looks nice after all the rain?

How do you think the nurseries know that you wrote about your garden? Huh?

Just asking…that’s all. I don’t get that kind of spammy nonsense, btw!

I’m meeting with Tony, my WP guru, next week to figure out what, if anything, I can do. I’ll update ya’ll the following week because, you know, 4th of July is this coming week. I hope all of my American followers have a safe yet exciting holiday, btw!

Anyway, hopefully, Tony will know how to fix this snafu! Maybe it’s an easy fix and I won’t have to compromise the years I’ve spent getting to this point. Maybe I’m just an idiot. Maybe I’m just paranoid and this isn’t the way it is at all.

It sure feels that way.

As far as I know, you can still comment on my blog — ANYTIME. YOU. WANT.

If you still wanna. If you’re adventurous enough to leave your virtual gated community and come slum at my site, I mean. I don’t blame you if you don’t wanna, though. I understand it’s nice living on the other side of the bars that keep the riff raff like me out!   *sniff*

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Anyway, now I’m in the mood for a little Garbage. How about you?

Also, speaking about pretentious and precious, how about a little Pretenders?

Happy blogging, y’all!

TTFN,

Mona

 

38 thoughts on “I Hope I’m Just Paranoid”

  1. Well that’s the utter shit all the way around. Have you tried commenting on my site? I use WP but not the free version and I have my own domain name… which I think they host?
    Try Riversworld.live
    I will be extremely annoyed if you can’t read my daily drivel.

    • River, it’s wanting me to sign in using my married name and I can’t do that. It didn’t ask me to do this last week. I wonder why? I can read your posts, btw, I just can’t comment under M. L. James for some reason.

  2. It has always done this to me – the trick is to sign out of WordPress completely and NOT put your e-mail address (make one up – I use lille@lille.com) – it works at that point. Experiment and report back?

  3. Well fuck.

    I don’t want to uproot my entire site (which I’ve had for around three years now, I think) and move somewhere else.

    Mostly because I cannot afford a paid site. :-/

    Crap.

    That definitely explains the spammy crap I’ve always gotten though. I mean I’ve always had weird, spammy people suddenly decide to follow me and I never thought anything about it because I knew it was probably bot-driven. I didn’t know by WHO, but I was like “Oh well. This is the price I pay for having a blog on the internet.”

    • Okay, MamaTrek, I can’t comment on your blog at present. So that really sucks!But maybe it’s just me b/c of my pen name thing. Maybe other people, who don’t use a pen name, can. Not sure. I’ll report back after I meet with Tony. In the meantime, don’t you have a cruise to catch? Bon voyage, my friend!

  4. Hope you get it all worked out!
    I feel your frustration though, because I know nothing about the back of the house aspect of blogging.

  5. Weird! Just weird. I’ve thought about srlf-hosting but money has always been a question. Mainly because I don’t have any interest in monetizing my blog, and I would have to in order to pay it. The fuck, y’all?

    • Lori,
      Right? I’m not looking to monetize my blog either; and if no one else is having these issues, then it has to just be me. I mean, who knows what I’ve done. Well, fuck, I haven’t done anything differently than what I’ve ever been doing; so, no, it’s not me. Word Press has changed shit. Still, I seem to be the only one having the issues, so wtf!

  6. Lori,
    No worries! I’m sure I’ve done that and worse. Glad you got the link to your blog corrected though; because, y’all, if you haven’t been over to Lori’s blog recently, Come Hell or High Water at — https://comehellorhighwaterblog.wordpress.com/ , she wrote this amazing and very entertaining post about why her neighbors are most likely vampires!

  7. The internet is a dark and scary place. I’m sorry WordPress dot com is a giant bag of dickholes. Facebook is also a giant bag of dickholes. And Instagram, but I’m not sure if you really use Instagram. I’m sure soon enough, Twitter will also be a giant bag of dickholes, because all the Internet Powers That Be seem to be combining forces to make it impossible for independent artists and creators to earn a living for themselves.

    The 90’s are making a comeback. Maybe we can band together and go back to a time before the internet was in every urban and suburban household, before major tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter ruled the entire world. Shut it all down, build a farm in the woods, avoid surveillance, quit your job, stop paying taxes.

    Or maybe I just need a nap.

    (Also: Apparently, I can get around the penname thing on Facebook by joining groups as my author page instead of my profile. But that won’t really work with The Skirmish, because I’m already joined and an admin, so I can’t join the group again as my page. I think I should be able to link it to my page, but I really don’t want to try to do that then fuck something up in the group, so I’m crazy paranoid about trying it. Technology is so annoying.)

    • Adie,
      It’s good to know I’m not alone on this! You and I are clearly twisted, paranoid soulmates when it comes to social media! I guess I don’t even know what an author page is and I’m scared to even ask! Yes to naps! Boo to FB and company! BTW, I liked the 90’s. If ya gotta time machine, I’m your girl. I’m ready to head back!

      • Lol my author page is just a regular Facebook page (like Kat’s for AWS, or if you “liked” a band’s page on Facebook) for my pen name.

        Also, I’m curious, is this WordPress specific? Like, can you comment on sites hosted on Blogger, or other self-hosted sites like Katie’s (fattymccupcakes.net)? Because if it is solely a wp dot com issue, that will definitely affect whether I host my new blog there or elsewhere when I eventually reopen shop. I am super not cool with my friends not being to comment on my stuff. Talking to people is 99% of the reason I have a blog!

  8. Well, maybe we’re living in dictatorship and didn’t even realize we were being manipulated by the powers that be. I’m sorry for your troubles but I see a lot of humor here. Great piece JL!

  9. Mona,
    I was busy doing 90s-type things all weekend, like cutting 2x6s to fit in soffit boxes and baking cookies for my cottage guests, so I am just getting to your post. Holy cow! You remind me of some of the reasons I like Netflix’s Stranger Things, which is set in the 80s (which I remember well) when kids played outside (and got in trouble, but ignore that for the sake of my point) and we all were not so bogged down with the trappings of technology such that we felt like some Big Bad is tracking and tracing every move we make (they had a different Big Bad to worry about but again ignore that for now) and deciding for us what we can say and how far we can go without plugging into/depending on said Big Bad. I too heard/read the “you must have a social media presence if you want any chance — ANY CHANCE — of publishing a book / finding an agent / being known by more than 154 people someday.” Start a blog, why not? I too am completely baffled by the tech aspects of it and more than a little concerned about all the gates, fences, rules, backlashes etc that are not only invisible but indeed hidden. Good for you for 1. your wonderful, truly wonderful, encouragement and support of me and other bloggers, 2. (as any artist should) honing your own (YOUR own, personal, unique, individual) voice that is always fun and refreshing and insightful and thoughtful (I love reading your stuff!!), 3. trying to maintain the distinction between personal and private (and sincerely I say good luck with that!) and 4. calling WP out on the sketchy and scary tactics that (we know too well) serve themselves and their pockets far more than they will ever serve us. My tech-savvy sons have said to me that I ought to be independent, have my unboringpath.com site stand apart from WP but I bet they own the name now and I would have to change it and maybe I don’t even own all the content. When I get frustrated with technology I always think it’s because I am old enough to remember the 80s well, but last week in the bank the 30-something man helping my mom renew a CD said vehemently (as the simple request he put into the system got all messed up and cost us 25 minutes), “I hate technology!! Can’t we go back to the 70s?!!” The 70s even! I vote for the 80s personally. We knew our neighbors, brought soup or casseroles when someone in their family was sick and sat in a room with other people and none of them had a device in their pocket or were unengaged because of it. I had better stop now … Mona, thank you. I have so appreciated your part in my little blogging venture. I am probably too pie-in-the-sky optimistic about the future, but I will hope, hope, hope that the current irritants/snafus/positively maddening and sometimes terrifying structures that bind and control us do NOT in the end get in the way of us all trying to do the simple thing that we set out to do — share our thoughts/humor/concerns/experiences with a larger (and magnificent) community of like-minded individuals (whether we meet them in person or not) that will in turn build and strengthen the interpersonal connections that are, in the end, what really matters.

  10. Wow. Somebody is pissed. Yeah, nothing is free. I bought my site and name. You always have to pay the gatekeeper. So, I chose to dance with the WP devil. I’ve been pleased. I have no spam, no advertising, and all my material, including my book, is copy write protected. (Although I was plagiarized once and WP said I could make my site private.) Instead, I and my fellow blog tribe went after the copy cat like thugs, she deleted my post that had her name on it!

    I wish I could join in but I am really happy with WP. But I’m not seeking anonymity. Great ideas to using an author page for FB. I need to tell my friend Jayne that… Also, as I sell my book on my blog, in addition to linking it to Amazon… it’s advertising tax write off! Yay! (well, yay for me.)

    Sorry!

  11. Aww, Kim,
    This isn’t pissed…well, I guess I am…but I’ve been worse. Up until, I’ve been happy with WP, too! Can you imagine not being able to comment, though? That’s where I currently am and why I haven’t commented on your posts the last few days. WP simply won’t let me and I don’t understand why! Just know that I’m still checking you out and I hope that this can get resolved sooner rather than later!

    Also, wow! Someone plagiarized your work? Glad you were able to stop that nonsense! Some people are unbelievable! Mona

      • Kim,
        I thought I might comment on your posts here, if you don’t mind starting with Going Dark — I understand if you have to, but I sure will miss you if you do. BTW, the 39′ Fuzion 5th Wheel Toyhauler is freaking amazing. I love the pics and this is state of the art. I’m so jealous! What a great way to achieve what you need to. I wish it wasn’t because of the fibromyalgia, but it all makes sense and I’m glad you can do this. Can’t wait to hear about life on the road! On Sunday’s questions, funny you should mention going places…I’m looking forward to meeting up with friends for a nice weekend this coming weekend in Oklahoma. It’s not too far away from where I live, so it’s doable. The one thing I wish I could improve — well, there’s so many to choose from — but I truly desire to excel in writing and actually getting paid real money for doing so (at present. 🙂 ) My husband seconds that! I’ve never experienced the opera before, but it’s on my bucket list. On Moody Monday — Woman, you’re going to give Stevie Nicks a run for her money! I love your poem. It’s evocative and takes me to magical places! Also, I love your photo! Also, the article on the CBD oil was really interesting. I suppose being on the road, that’s one of those things where it can be legal where you are and then a few hundred miles down the road, you’re traipsing into the legal unknown. Yikes. I know you’ll be careful if you choose to try this out! Also, I hope it truly helps those who are suffering.

        Anyway, thanks for bearing with me, Kim. Hopefully, Tony and I’ll get this mess figured out tomorrow! Have a wonderful 4th of July! Have you got plans?
        ~ M

        • So cool! I was checking back and just saw this. I know, going dark, not gonna. I need my peeps! My tribe (and you are part of the tribe I need!) The Fuzion! It’s fantastic! We were absolutely sure about another model but then… I. Found. This. The end! HA! We are freakin excited! I’m not enjoying the actual moving aspect but it’s easier with the knowledge that this is waiting for me. Oklahoma? The song, “Oaklahoma is the place to be…” comes to mind. That should be fun! I have no doubt that you WILL excel in your writing! No doubt at all. I tapped the bucket list! Opera. Let me know if you check this one off. Yes, the CBD oil. I’ve tried it, didn’t work for me but works for many others. So, I wanted to get that information out there. After fact checking this gals information, I agreed to post it for a nominal fee! My first paid guest post. She just emailed me and said how much? I was stunned… it happens! Never for one minute did I ever think it would. So, a bonus as the information was good, checked out, ( I’m a fact check freak! ) and I got a nominal fee. No, I do not know how to make this happened. For myself or for others… I still don’t know how it happened… an email out of the blue. Christ! Unbelievable. HAHAHA.

  12. I’ve made websites from scratch before. From. Scratch. With Notepad. Self-hosted at GoDaddy and all that, when I was young and energetic and wanted to prove how smart I was. I’d help you out, but honestly, half the time I still didn’t know what was going on.
    Now… WordPress sure is easy. LOL. I don’t really want it to steal my work but, gawds, it’s already on the Internet. Trying to protect it… I don’t even make money off of it. It’s not worth the effort.
    Comparing it to a gated community is brilliant. The pizza guy has to go through a lot of rigmarole just to make a delivery. As does the average commenter.
    The commenting problem, though – that IS irritating. I don’t want to drive you away!!! You’ve made me consider doing the hosting thing again. Bleh. Maybe one day. When I’m a real writer… when I find my focus and drive to do social media and all that… like Mona.
    I really hope your techie fixes it. Let us know?

  13. Hey Sarah,
    I have loved Word Press; but at the moment, I’m very disappointed; and considering what I’m trying to accomplish, this is quite the obstacle. Hopefully, my website guy can get this all straightened out…or straighten me out! Whichever! Wednesday can’t get here soon enough. As to your ability to build a website from scratch? Using Notepad? I knew a long time ago that you were a genius. Not surprised at all. Now don’t go and get your head all blown up big cuz I told the truth. It had to be said. And, btw, you are a writer! A real writer, even! Unlike Pinocchio,who understood the moment he turned into a real boy, writers don’t get something tangible to let them know when we turn into “real writers,” but we get a lot of hints from others when we have (you are a real writer, btw, hint, hint!) Is it money? Is it accolades? Is it the passion and drive that forces you to be your Muse’s slave that turns you into a real writer? Is it 10,000 hours mastering the craft of writing? I dunno. It’s funny because years ago, I learned that I could create and sell art work. I never considered myself an “artist,” but someone told me that if I received money for my art, then I was an artist. Voila! I is an artist, apparently. Not a very good artist, but…there you go. Anyway, I’ve made more money doing art than by anything I’ve written or any other creative venture I’ve had. Life is so weird.

    Also, I will still check out your posts, even if I can’t comment!

    *bows humbly in the presence of greatness* 🙂

    • You do art too?? I would LOVE to see some of your art!
      It’s a long journey, from aspiring writer to writer to real writer… all defined according to highly variable subjective standards. The journey never ends, lol. WordPress has helped me a lot with that though, and all the nice encouraging people here. People like you <3

      • Sarah,
        Art? Damn, it’s been a little while. Also, as you’ve explained about the vagaries of writing, so it is the same with art, is it not? I just like to play. I couldn’t draw or paint a picture to save my life. Do I like design and pattern and color and movement, though? YESSS!!!! Also, I just got my website cleaned up behind the scenes. However, Tony added those fancy “like” buttons that so many have and you are my first person to “like” on my newly improved site. *Fingers crossed* Haha!

  14. Wow–that sucks! Have you had trouble accessing my site? If you are, you can always comment on FB;-) And lord, if WordPress kicked people off for saying Fuck, I’d have been gone years ago!

  15. Suzanne,
    I don’t remember your ever using that word…I’m…shocked. I always read F**k or something like that on your blog! LOL. But I know, right? I was so green when I first started out and I just knew that I’d get kicked off for my language. Now I’m just a violent shade of blue. Well, or violet. Whichever. Yes, I’ve had trouble with everyone’s sites over the past two weeks-ish — all but a few, which is why I’ve thrown a conniption! Ugh. Hopefully, Tony and I’ll be able to figure this all out tomorrow; though I was able to access River’s blog just yesterday. Anyway, I’m totally confused but I’ll report back afterward. I’ll probably have to eat crow and apologize to WP. You never know. And, of course, I read your blog faithfully, Trainwine, regardless of my being able to comment! 🙂

  16. if that’s really what your name is…if you don’t want to assimilate with us,
    then you don’t belong. <—- begins to shake uncontrollabley ~Seven of Nine

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhahaha omg you crack me up.

    You got on my blog……………..didn't you? Or HAVE I been assimilated????

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