ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING is now On Sale at Amazon! (kindle & paperback)

PUBLISHED!!!!

The official announcement will come out at 6am today!

But in the meantime…

Sneak Peek!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is available now!

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Tales of Rock: All The Cultural References In The Song ‘American Pie,’ Explained

I love writing this column every Sunday! Enjoy!

Eight minutes long, starting with “A long, long time ago,” Don McLean’s “American Pie” is a slice of cultural history. Since the song’s release, fans have been obsessed with answering one question: what is “American Pie” about?

“That song didn’t just happen,” McLean said of his 1971 hit, which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and named a Song of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America. The classic folk-rock anthem, known for its expansive lyrics, is filled with cultural references related to American life in the 1950s and 1960s.

“I saw the implication of America going bye-bye, since by 1971 we were a horribly divided country with tremendous anger being directed at the government over… Vietnam,” McLean said in Alan Howard’s book The Don McLean Story, hinting at the song’s larger meaning: the disintegration of the American ideal McLean romanticized in his youth.

McLean’s ambiguous writing style lends itself to all types of interpretation, and that is how he wanted it. “People ask me if I left the lyrics open to ambiguity. Of course I did,” he said. “I wanted to make a whole series of complex statements. The lyrics had to do with the state of society at the time.”

McLean officially verified only one reference in the song: that Buddy Holly was a key influence in his life. As McLean put it, “I can say that Buddy was a huge part of my childhood dream. Long before I decided how I would use music or what kind of artist I would be, Buddy was there.”

Fans have pulled apart and analyzed the rest of the “American Pie” lyrics and references through context clues, research, and finding historical parallels to the decades that inspired the creation of McLean’s ballad.

‘Bye, Bye Miss American Pie’

Some fans believe the “American Pie” in the famous first line of McLean’s chorus refers to the name of the plane Buddy Holly perished on, but according to the federal Civil Aeronautics Board incident report about the aircraft’s demise, the plane didn’t have a name.

Jim Fann, creator of the Understanding American Pie website, argues the line has a potential two-fold meaning: a nod to the phrase “as American as apple pie” and an allusion to the Miss America beauty queen. The phrase “evokes a simpler time in American life when these icons held more meaning,” Fann said.

‘Drove My Chevy To The Levee But The Levee Was Dry’

McLean imbues his all-American song with all-American iconography, like the Chevy automobile or truck. The dried levee (which rhymes with Chevy) adds a sense of barrenness to the current landscape in the song.

Also, an advertisement for Chevrolet in 1953 featured a jingle sung by Dinah Shore that includes a reference to a levee.

‘Singin’ This’ll Be The Day’

This line likely refers to Buddy Holly’s song “That’ll Be the Day.”

Holly, along with singers the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, and pilot Roger Peterson, perished in a plane incident February 3, 1959. Their small aircraft went down on a snowy late night after a concert in Clear Lake, IA.

‘A Long, Long Time Ago’

McLean released the song in 1971, but “American Pie” focuses on the 1950s, thus the exposition.

‘But February Made Me Shiver’

This is the first reference in “American Pie” (before the chorus) to Buddy Holly’s demise on February 3, 1959. He hopped on a plane after playing a show in Iowa, and never made it to his next stop: Minnesota. Instead, the plane’s remains were found in an Iowa cornfield, where all the passengers, including the pilot, perished.

It’s believed the plane flew into a blizzard and the inexperienced pilot lost control.

‘With Every Paper I’d Deliver / Bad News On The Doorstep / I Couldn’t Take One More Step’

McLean apparently worked as a newspaper delivery boy. And on February 3, 1959, the “bad news” was Buddy Holly’s demise, on the cover of every paper (the afternoon version) that McLean distributed.

‘When I Read About His Widowed Bride’

Buddy Holly was married to his young wife, Maria Elena Santiago-Holly, for only six months when he perished.

His widowed, pregnant new bride was so traumatized by the news of his demise that she had a miscarriage.

 

‘The Day The Music Died’

Buddy Holly was not the only musician who perished in the plane incident. He was on a 24-day, 24-city tour with the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. The Big Bopper was known for his song “Chantilly Lace,” and Valens for “La Bamba.”

The loss of all three rock musicians in the same incident was seen as a tragedy, and in McLean’s mind, marked the end of a musical era that would never be reclaimed.

‘Did You Write The Book Of Love?’

“The Book of Love” is a famous doo-wop song by The Monotones, a group from Newark, NJ. The song was released in 1958, topping pop and R&B charts. It must have left an impression on young McLean. As the lyrics to the song go:

I wonder, wonder who, mmbadoo-ooh, who
Who wrote the book of love

The track actually made it to Woodstock 1969, where it was covered by Sha Na Na.

‘If The Bible Tells You So?’

“The Bible Tells Me So” was a gospel pop adaptation of the Sunday school song “Jesus Loves Me” written by Dale Evans in 1955 and recorded by a handful of singers the same year.

Versions from Nick Noble and Don Cornell were especially popular, soaring high on Billboard charts.

‘You Both Kicked Off Your Shoes’

This is likely a reference to sock hops, beloved teenage dance parties in the ’40s and ’50s that involved playing popular music in gymnasiums or community halls. Sock hops coincided with the rise of rock ‘n’ roll as the ’50s progressed.

Participants were told to take their shoes off to protect the varnish on dance floors.

‘With A Pink Carnation And A Pickup Truck’

In 1957, Marty Robbins released the heartbreak song “A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation)” about a young man “all dressed up for the dance” and “all alone in romance.”

‘And Moss Grows Fat On A Rolling Stone’

A year after Bob Dylan released “Like a Rolling Stone” in 1965, he was involved in a strange motorcycle incident that made him lie low for a year or two at the height of his career. He’d just transformed himself from a folk singer to an electric guitar-playing rock musician, which caused a lot of controversy within the American music scene.

Some fans believe McLean’s intention with this line in “American Pie” is to highlight the evolution of music between the ’50s and early ’70s while also pushing the action of the song into the ’60s.

‘When The Jester Sang For The King And Queen’

According to one fan theory, Bob Dylan is the jester, Pete Seeger is the king, and Joan Baez is the queen. All three were influential and politically motivated folk singers in early ’60s, and it’s not a stretch to suggest their music influenced McLean’s own folksy sound. Dylan, Seeger, and Baez were all on stage together at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963, where they sang Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” in unison.

Another theory is that the king and queen refer to President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jackie Kennedy.

‘In A Coat He Borrowed From James Dean’

This line could be another reference to Bob Dylan.

On the cover of his 1963 album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, Dylan wears a red windbreaker similar to the one worn by James Dean in the film Rebel Without a Cause.

‘And While The King Was Looking Down’

If the king is Pete Seeger, the godfather of folk, this could be a reference to him looking down upon the way Bob Dylan experimented with music in the 1960s.

‘The Jester Stole His Thorny Crown’

Bob Dylan the jester became the king, taking the crown when he won hearts with his brand of folksy rock ‘n’ roll.

Who did he take the crown from? Some people believe it’s Elvis, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Others stick with Pete Seeger.

‘The Courtroom Was Adjourned / No Verdict Was Returned’

Returning to the JFK theory, after he was slain in 1963 , the man accused of the slaying, Lee Harvey Oswald, was himself slain.

Therefore, “no verdict was returned” because no trial actually occurred.

‘And While Lennon Read A Book On Marx’

While some fans think McLean is singing about Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, the more popular theory is that he’s singing about the Beatles becoming more political with their music as tensions soared in the ’60s. The Beatles, adored by American youth, were deemed inappropriate by older generations who thought their music was too rowdy.

As their sound evolved, the Beatles released songs like “Revolution” in 1968, whose message is in line with the Communist philosophies of German writer Karl Marx, known for The Communist Manifesto.

’The Quartet Practiced In The Park’

The quartet is likely the Beatles: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

‘And We Sang Dirges In The Dark’

A dirge is a funereal song of mourning, and there were plenty of lives to mourn in the ’60s: President John F. KennedyMartin Luther King Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy among them.

The line could also refer to the Vietnam conflict; many drafted service members sent overseas never made it back home.

‘Helter Skelter In A Summer Swelter’

“Helter Skelter” is a song the Beatles released in 1968, a year of political and social turmoil in the United States.

The next August, “in a summer swelter,” followers of Charles Manson brutally slayed five people, including the actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time.

‘The Birds Flew Off From A Fallout Shelter’

Some fans speculate this is an allusion to the ’60s rock band The Byrds. A fallout shelter is a euphemism for a treatment center, which one of the band members checked into after being caught with illicit substances.

‘Eight Miles High And Falling Fast’

Eight Miles High is the title of a 1966 album by The Byrds, considered one of the first real trippy records.

The groundbreaking sound of the album was influenced by plenty of experimentation with illicit substances, particularly acid.

‘It Landed Foul On The Grass’

Grass. Herb. Dope. Pot. Doobie. All of these slang words refer to one thing, a certain illicit (and some consider foul-smelling) substance favored in the ’60s counterculture on display in “American Pie”: weed.

‘With The Jester On The Sidelines In A Cast’

Fans believe this is another homage to Bob Dylan’s 1966 motorcycle incident.

‘While Sergeants Played A Marching Tune’

The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, and this is likely an allusion to that significant album.

With this release, the Beatles amped up their innovative approach to rock music, including sitars and sound collages.

‘ ‘Cause The Players Tried To Take The Field / The Marching Band Refused To Yield’

Fans see this as a remark about the protest movement that seemed to peak in the late ’60s and early ’70s, from Chicago to Kent State.

Young people demonstrated en masse against prejudice, military conflicts, and economic injustice.

‘Oh, And There We Were, All In One Place’

McLean could be making a statement about the unifying power of the Woodstock 1969 festival in Bethel, NY, which brought together more than 400,000 people in one weekend.

Many of the most well-known rock musicians of the time performed, including Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. The festival is viewed as the height of American hippie culture.

‘Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick / Jack Flash Sat On A Candlestick’

This line could be a mash-up between the “Jack Be Nimble” nursery rhyme and the 1969 song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by the Rolling Stones, released on their album Live’r Than You’ll Ever Be.

Fans think this is an insult to the Stones for not coming up with a good comeback to the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. According to their theory, “Jack” is Mick Jagger.

‘Cause Fire Is The Devil’s Only Friend’

According to one theory, the “Devil” could be Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, representing rebellion and estrangement, and the pull away from a more innocent time perceived earlier in music and the world.

‘No Angel Born In Hell / Could Break That Satan’s Spell’

“No angel born in Hell” could refer to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, which instigated a riot at the 1969 Altamont Free Concert in California.

The Hells Angels agreed to provide security during a performance by the Rolling Stones, and an 18-year-old black man perished at the hands of a member of the motorcycle group. The events of the day are considered by some to be the day the “free love” movement ended.

‘I Met A Girl Who Sang The Blues’

The “girl” could be Janis Joplin, the rock singer with a singular bluesy voice who perished from taking illicit substances in 1970.

Her hits “Piece of My Heart” and “Me and Bobby McGee” were considered anthems for the hippie generation.

‘I Went Down To The Sacred Store / Where I’d Heard The Music Years Before / But The Man There Said The Music Wouldn’t Play’

McLean is possibly bemoaning the loss of interest in ’50s music at record stores.

When he released the song in 1971, perhaps he was suggesting no one cared about music from this bygone era anymore.

‘And In The Streets The Children Screamed’

This line could be an allusion to all the turmoil that occurred in the years leading up to the song’s creation.

Thousands of young people across the country were involved in various protest movements, which led to confrontations with law enforcement or other groups.

‘And The Three Men I Admire Most / The Father, Son, And The Holy Ghost’

McLean was apparently raised Catholic, so bringing religion in at the end of the song makes sense.

The sacred holy trinity, however, catches “the last train for the coast,” likely a sign McLean believes America lost its moral foundation in 1959.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on June 20th, on Amazon!

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Lockdown Might Lead to a Drop in STI Rates, But It Could Also Spark an Increase in STI Stigma

Fear of coronavirus infection could spark renewed fear of sexually transmitted infections

Bad news: Pandemic lockdowns are putting hookups on hold all over the world. Better news: Pressing pause on hookups might also halt the spread of sexually transmitted infections and give more people a chance to get tested before potentially passing on an infection to a new partner. Worse news: Global panic surrounding the viral coronavirus pandemic could prove as contagious as the virus itself, possibly sparking a regressive resurgence of STI shame and stigma.

Going back to the silver lining for a moment, doctors in the U.K. posit that lockdown conditions could greatly improve the nation’s sexual health, with Dr. John McSorley calling this period of relative sexlessness a “game changer” and urging people to get tested before lockdowns end and everyone returns to their regularly scheduled sleeping around.

“If we could test and treat everybody for their infections now, that would be a game-changer going forward as people slowly move towards normality,” McSorley, a sexual health doctor and president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, told BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat.

Justin Harbottle, of sexual health testing organization SH:24, echoed McSorley, calling this period of pandemic-imposed abstinence a “once-in-a-lifetime event” for the future of sexual health. “Even at the start of the HIV epidemic, I don’t think you had such a clean-cut period where collectively – as a population – people stopped having sex with new partners,” said Harbottle.

Unfortunately, one thing we definitely did have during the HIV epidemic was plenty of shame, stigma and moral panic surrounding sex, sexually transmitted infections, and the people who contracted (or were presumed likely to contract) them. And as STI anti-stigma activists have pointed out, our current panic surrounding the coronavirus pandemic could cause those attitudes to crop up again.

ella dawson

@brosandprose

Now that we’re all talking about how important it is to get rapid COVID-19 testing to slow down the pandemic…

| ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ |
| When were |
| you last |
| tested for |
| STIs? |
| _______|
(\__/) ||
(•ㅅ•) ||
/ づ

ella dawson

@brosandprose

I’m worried that the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic is going to lead to even more ignorant, knee-jerk fear of common viruses like herpes and HPV, and a strengthening of STI stigma in general. People are scared of infection right now and that attitude will ripple.

“I’m worried that the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic is going to lead to even more ignorant, knee-jerk fear of common viruses like herpes and HPV, and a strengthening of STI stigma in general,” writer Ella Dawson wrote in a tweet last month. “People are scared of infection right now and that attitude will ripple.”

More recently, Dawson has noted other similarities between flawed responses to the pandemic and misconceptions surrounding sexual health. “The people who are pushing to re-open society because they think the COVID-19 pandemic is exaggerated are the same people who think I’m an immoral disease vector because I have herpes,” Dawson wrote in a Twitter thread Monday. “Some people think they’re not at risk of COVID-19 because they’re too good for it, they’re the exception. They ascribe morality and inherent worth to whether or not they’re at risk of contracting a virus,” she continued, comparing the coronavirus response to an all too common line of thought that casts STIs as a kind of punishment for sexual wrongdoing or inherent moral failure.

“‘I don’t need to wear a mask, I’m not at risk of COVID-19’ is the new ‘I don’t need to wear a condom, the girls I have sex with aren’t dirty sluts,’” Dawson concluded.

ella dawson

@brosandprose

Replying to @brosandprose

It makes sense, honestly. Some people think they’re not at risk of COVID-19 because they’re too good for it, they’re the exception. They ascribe morality and inherent worth to whether or not they’re at risk of contracting a virus.

Guess what, Karen! Viruses don’t discriminate.

ella dawson

@brosandprose

“I don’t need to wear a mask, I’m not at risk of COVID-19” is the new “I don’t need to wear a condom, the girls I have sex with aren’t dirty sluts.”

None of this is to say that the doctors urging people to take this time to prioritize their sexual health are promoting stigma. People should absolutely get tested before hooking up with any new partners post-lockdown (though that’s always the case, lockdown or no lockdown). But as discussions of STIs inevitably get pulled into the coronavirus conversation, it’s important to avoid transposing fears about coronavirus onto other infections, especially those with a history of stigma.

Illness of any kind is never a punishment for wrongdoing, nor is it a reflection of someone’s worth or standing, moral or otherwise.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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10 Agonizing Truths Depressed People Never Talk About

There’s no reasoning with it. So don’t even try.

Here’s a great post from one of my readers. Thought it was worth sharing.

When I was 16, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. After the diagnosis, my uncle slapped me on the back and said, “Welcome to the family kid,” while my family all compared drugs around the kitchen table. At that time, I didn’t know how to deal with depression, but I’m extremely lucky that my family not only accepted that depression is a real, serious issue, but they understood it.

They were mindful to make sure that my depression wasn’t used as a crutch or an excuse, but thankfully, I never once heard the unhelpful, “Just suck it up and deal with it,” and for that, I will be eternally grateful.

What causes depression? It can be a number of factors, but depression is different for everyone. And over the years I’ve noticed a few things that don’t seem to waver. They hold fast in their level of suckiness and they seem to apply to most everyone I’ve talked to that’s dealt with depression.

1. You don’t choose to be depressed.

This isn’t a choice I’m making. My cat dying or my car being totaled aren’t the reason I’m depressed. Those things are tipping points, they push me over an edge I was already standing at.

Depression is a chemical imbalance. Yes, there are things I can do and medications I can take, but at the end of the day this isn’t something I’d choose for anyone and certainly not myself.

2. Your brain is the enemy.

For me, having depression is like walking around with a mean, petty, awful little friend in my brain all the time. It’s constantly telling me how awful I am, how I’m not good enough and how nobody likes me.

And just like the negative comments on a blog post, those thoughts stick. Trying to convince yourself that your brain is wrong is no easy feat.

3. Telling you to “suck it up” will never work.

Don’t tell me to “suck it up.” Don’t tell me to watch a sunset or exercise or appreciate the joy that is being alive. That’s about as effective as me telling you to go walk it off after you’ve broken your arm. It isn’t going to fix anything.

Depression isn’t logical. You can’t reason with it or apply coconut oil and suddenly be better.

4. Nobody can fix it.

And that sucks. There are medications and there are things that I can do that will help mitigate my depression, but they won’t fix it. There’s nothing anyone can say or do that it is going to fix my brain. I wish more than anything that there was a magic cure-all that would tip the scales back to center for my brain, but there isn’t. What works for one person might not work for another.

What works for you might suddenly stop working. That’s the thing about depression: it’s an ever-evolving disease. Once you think you’ve got things under control, it’ll contort and poke at a tender spot you didn’t even know existed.

5. It’s going to suck for the person dealing with the depressed person, too.

I’ve been on the other end of things, and not being able to help someone I love when they’re in the middle of a depressive episode is awful. Just know that there’s nothing anyone can say that a depressed person will believe or that will pull them back to surface where reason lies. This reality is very tough.

6. Relying on a pill is awful. 

I came to terms a long time ago that every night I’m going to have to take a little white pill. Having to rely on medication for anything is hard but relying on it to make you feel normal, whatever “normal” is for you, is extra difficult.

7. Finding the right meds might make you feel like a science experiment.

Finding the right medication, or in some cases medications that work, is daunting. I’ve had to switch meds a handful of times and every time left me feeling like a husk of my former self.

Even with proper weaning, coming off some medication is like detoxing. Outside of the physical effects, there’s just something about the whole process that makes me feel like a high school science experiment.

8. Depression makes you selfish.

This was one of the first things I noticed after I was diagnosed. I spend so much time in my own head thinking that I rarely have the ability to look out and think about others. It’s also one of the things I hate most about my depression.

I have a damn good group of family and friends, and not being the friend they deserve is hard. But learning how to deal with depression means coming to terms with this.

9. You take away the things you love when you’re depressed.

Everyone has signs when their depression hits. For me, I start taking away the things I love. I stop writing. I stop picking up my camera. Depending on how deep it is, I’ll stop feeding myself or bathing as often as society would like me to.

There’s no point in my mind. Everything sucks and it’s going to continue to suck whether I write about it or take a picture of my cat.

10. Sometimes not being here sounds like a great option.

The reality is, most people who’ve dealt with depression, especially long-term, may consider suicide. Some will form a plan and think it over for months. Some will decide on the spot.

For me, there was never any plan. I never wanted to die, per se, I just wanted to not be here. I just wanted to stop constantly feeling like I was feeling.

Because the thing about depression is, you can’t escape it. You can’t set it down in the morning, go to work, and pick it back up when you get it home. It’s everywhere. It’s at your best friend’s wedding. It’s at your desk at work. It’s at the gas station when you’re pumping gas. You take that little terrorist everywhere with you and sometimes you just need a break.

Note to our readers: If you ever need to talk to someone about depression, please call 1-800-273-8255. Someone will always be on the line. You are loved.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Woman Arrested & Charged After Telling 911 Her ‘P*ssy’ Was ‘On Fire’

This is so crazy I had to post it!

A woman from Ohio was arrested and charged after she called 911 to say the emergency she was experiencing, was that her “p*ssy was on fire.”

Katrina Morgan, 50, placed the called to 911 late Saturday evening to report that her “p*ssy was on fire” and that she needed someone from the fire department to “put it out with their hose,” according to the arrest report.

Morgan then dropped the call, and when a police dispatcher called her back, she repeated the claim and asked for responders to “come put her p*ssy out because it is on fire.”

It should come as no surprise that reports say that Morgan also “appeared highly intoxicated” when cops arrived at her friend’s home in Lake Erie, that she smelled of booze and was “having trouble walking, was slurring her speech,” police noted.

Morgan was handcuffed and booked into the Ottawa County jail on multiple counts, including disrupting public service, a felony, and making false alarms and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.

And Ye SHALL BE henceforth known AS FIRE CROTCH ! - Gingers do ...

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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No, There Is No Such Thing as ADHD

There is no brain condition that generates some disease called ADHD, and none has ever been demonstrated. And no child should be given amphetamines.

No, there is no such thing as ADHD.

 

Somewhere along the line, we have lost the understanding that kids come in all shapes and sizes. Some kids are active, some are quiet; some kids are dreamers, others are daring; some kids are dramatic, others are observers; some impulsive, others reserved; some leaders, others followers; some athletic, others thinkers.

Where did we ever get the notion that kids should all be one way?

Parents these days are subject to pediatric “experts” who proclaim that kids should follow some prescribed rates of physical, mental, and emotional growth. If they deviate from the “mean,” then there is a problem. Parents are intimidated and worry that there is something wrong with their babies.

Every child matures in his own way, in his own time. Every child is different. We need to throw away all the bell curves of “normal” — you know, developmental milestones. Parents worry if Johnny is a happy breastfeeding pudge-ball, heavier than his appointed weight; or crawls differently; or isn’t walking yet; or isn’t talking at his appointed hour; or still isn’t toilet trained (very few make it to adulthood without getting toilet trained).

There are experts at every turn, such as those who proclaim knowledge that a pudgy baby will create fat cells that will create weight problems for life, which is nonsense. Parents, leave these poor kids alone and enjoy them. Raise them well — you know, with boundaries and love.

Apparently, differences mean that we should make children conform to the idea that there is some ‘normal’ that all kids should be. If they’re active, give them amphetamines; if they’re moody, give them Prozac; for fears, give them benzodiazepines; and while we’re at it, let’s give them antipsychotics, or Lithium and other mood-stabilizing drugs.

What in the world are we doing?

My focus is on the interplay of temperament and trauma to demonstrate how the fiction of ADHD took hold in the first place. Dr. Peter Breggin and others have addressed the issue of giving amphetamines to children with compelling clarity. (see a “Towards a Ban on Psychiatrically Diagnosing and Drugging Children”).

Every single person is absolutely unique. No two of us are alike. Even identical twins are not the same. We all have our unique constellation of temperament. I want to emphasize that by temperament, we are talking about inborn temperamental styles, not pathology. (See “The Nature-Nurture Question—The role of ‘Nature’ comes from our genetic temperament.“)

Our temperament digests our parental nurture all the way through our development. Together, they create the varied and wonderful scope of human personality. Our cortical imagination, oriented by our temperament, writes a specific and nuanced character world in each of us, which is as unique as our fingerprints.

And so it is with nature and nurture for all of us. Our temperaments differ; our salient environments differ; our parents, our culture, and the happenstances of our lives differ. The specific qualities of our parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, teachers, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, and the moment-to-moment experience of our lives are all unpredictably alive. Our adult character is created out of all of these forces and is absolutely unique. No two snowflakes are alike, but we are all snowflakes. And we all form the same way.

To understand ADHD, we need to look at differences in temperament, as well as the degree of responsiveness, abuse, and deprivation that is digested into our plays of consciousness.

A typical child, often a boy, may have an active temperament. One can readily tell whether a child is active or passive. Active children sit and walk and climb early in childhood. They take off at the beach. The active child is naturally physical, physically expressive, and action-oriented. He is oriented to active, muscular, good aggression. In the context of good-enough loving, the active child, identifying with his active strength, operates as a take-charge doer.

(The passive child is not oriented by muscular, good aggression. In basic orientation, he is more absorbed elsewhere. He tends to be off daydreaming. The passive child depends more on someone else to provide shelter from the storm. He identifies as the recipient of action rather than as a doer.)

The next temperamental attribute is that our active child tends to be an externalizer, rather than an internalizer. What does this mean? The orientation of an externalizer is to look outward. With good enough love, he feels secure with love from others. In the context of deprivation and abuse, he is predisposed and oriented to feel attacked or criticized by others. He locates the source of attack, hatred, or criticism as coming from a person outside of him. For example, from a legacy of shaming abuse, an externalizer experiences being actively shamed by a person outside of him and will react to it. His orientation is as a blamer. As such, he would be inclined to blame and fight with others.

(An internalizer will carry a source of loving internally. In the absence of good-enough loving, instead of blaming and fighting, he will attack himself. It would manifest as self-hate: “I’m bad; I’m inadequate, I’m stupid, I’m ugly,” etc. In the context of shaming abuse, an internalizer, would feel ashamed.)

Our active child would tend to be more narcissistically inclined than echoistically oriented. His orientation is to operate from his sense of self, as opposed to an echoist who operates from the point of view of other people. In the context of deprivation and abuse, his “me” orientation focuses on himself as the injured party and isn’t as centered on thinking of others. He is furious and outraged at slights and injuries directed at him from others. He leads with an exposed nerve and indignantly feels, How dare you treat me this way?

And finally, this child tends to more of a participant and less of an observer. A participant is naturally oriented to be immersed in and emotionally involved in activities. He easily and naturally engages through feeling.

(The natural orientation of an observer, on the other hand, is to process at a distance, rather than be immersed in the feeling relatedness of the scenario of the play. An observer tends toward thinking, caution, circumspection, reticence, and figuring things out.)

So what do we have? An active, externalizing, narcissistic, and participatory child. Remember, there are no pejoratives associated with these qualities. This type of constellation generates the attributes of leaders and athletes. In many cultures, these children are valued rather than devalued. They grow up to be fun energetic people. They may show behaviors that get them called ADHD, but they are normal kids. They are easily bored, need to run around a lot, and may have short attention spans, except when they are interested. These actually are stereotypical boys. They can be fidgety and impulsive and may concentrate poorly, but there is nothing wrong with them.

In the context of deprivation and abuse, they may be prone to spin out of control. They may act out more and blame and fight. This may be a signal that something is problematic in the family and needs to be attended to. Many families don’t like to hear this, but the attention deficit may mean that the parents are giving insufficient loving attention to the child.

What is called ADHD, in general, is merely one part of the constellation of temperaments that make up the human condition. Even within this group, temperaments will vary. No two children are the same. And the specifics of deprivation and abuse vary with every child. Not only that, but there are also many other issues that can be very misleading. I give one example in “How Do Our Children Get Misdiagnosed With So-Called ADHD?

Certainly, symptoms present themselves, but they need to be correctly understood. All of these children need to be properly evaluated to understand what they need. It might be help for the family. It might be a more open classroom. It might be to help teachers be better teachers. But one thing is for sure:

There is no brain condition that generates some disease called ADHD, and none has ever been demonstrated. And no child should be given amphetamines.

 

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How To Trick Your Brain Into Releasing Chemicals That Make You Happy

Finding happiness is within your grasp.

There’s a link between the human brain and emotions, which you can take advantage of to learn how to be happy.

The limbic system is the part of the brain that controls our emotions, motivation, and behavior. The brain acts as a survival mechanism that produces chemicals that let our bodies know what’s good and bad for us, and that includes finding happiness.

Our brain is always on alert and tends to focus on negativity to protect us from harm. But, no one wants their brain to be on alert and focused on negativity all the time.

Did you know you can actually boost “feel-good” brain chemicals that can make you feel happy? You just need to learn how to tap into these four main chemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins (DOSE).

While daily events and situations trigger these neurotransmitters automatically, there are ways to encourage the brain to produce them — allowing us to create and repeat feelings of happiness.

Truly happy people know what makes them happier, which releases those chemicals. And when those chemicals are released, we become more motivated, productive, and experience greater well-being.

To start off on being happy, here are the 4 brain chemicals connected to your emotions that will boost your happiness.

1. Dopamine

Often referred to as the “happiness drug”, it’s responsible for motivating us to take action, make decisions, and feel pleasure when we reach our goals.

Dopamine is the brain’s way of patting us on the back for a job well done when we score a goal, get an ‘A’, or cross the finish line, for example. Experiencing procrastination, self-doubt, or lethargy? Low dopamine levels could be to blame. Time to manufacture a few wins for ‘team you’.

Here are ways to increase your dopamine levels:

  • Creating mini finish lines to cross instead of just a final, big one when a goal is achieved helps us feel good over a longer period of time.
  • Initiating acts of kindness towards others gives the brain a hit of dopamine.
  • Quit smoking. A recent study showed smokers had 15-20% lower capacity for producing dopamine than non-smokers – but it’s reversible if you stop smoking.

2. Oxytocin

Affectionately referred to as the “cuddle hormone”, it’s released through social interactions like giving (or receiving) gifts, making eye contact, giving or receiving affection (like a handshake, hug, or pat on the shoulder), giving birth, or having sexual intercourse.

Here are ways to increase your oxytocin levels:

  • Make eye contact during your conversations.
  • Get a massage.
  • Hug a friend, pet your pet, or share a more intimate moment with a loved one.
  • Meditation and prayer.

3. Serotonin

Are you in a good mood? You can thank serotonin. Serotonin is the brain’s antidepressant drug of choice. It surges when you feel like your life and your efforts matter.

Feeling ‘hangry’ (hungry and angry)? Since 80 percent of serotonin exists in the stomach skipping meals reduces serotonin, which can lead to grumpiness.

Here are ways to increase your serotonin levels:

  • Express gratitude.
  • Increase your exposure to sunlight. This produces Vitamin D, which, in turn, triggers serotonin.
  • Think happy thoughts. Serotonin doesn’t distinguish between reality and imagination so when the imagination or memory is active, it produces serotonin as if the event is real.
  • Exercise. Even low-key exercise stimulates serotonin so gardening, dog walking, or playing with your children counts.

4. Endorphins

If you’ve ever hit your thumb with a hammer, stubbed your toe, or experienced a “runner’s high”, then you know what endorphins feel like. They work like morphine to alleviate pain and stress.

Here are ways to increase your endorphin levels:

  • Eat chocolate. Chocolate contains phenethylamine which boosts endorphins.
  • Exercise releases endorphins. As little as 30 minutes can do the trick.
  • Find opportunities to laugh. Laughter has been shown to release endorphins.
  • Use aromatherapy. Certain aromas influence the production of endorphins – try diffusing vanilla, lavender, or peppermint into the air, your bath, or your next cup of tea or coffee.

When you design your daily experiences and habits around this knowledge, you can activate these chemicals, increase your productivity and, most importantly, proactively increase your happiness.

 

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.

 

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Experts Worry ‘Quarantine Fatigue’ Is Starting

Researchers tracking smartphone data say they recently made a disturbing discovery: For the first time since states began implementing stay-at-home orders in mid-March to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, Americans are staying home less.

The nationwide shift during the week of April 13 was relatively slight. However, any loss of momentum, particularly when stay-in-place orders remain in effect across most of the country, has some public health experts worried about “quarantine fatigue.” Any increase in travel, they say, is premature when staying home remains the most effective way to limit the spread of the virus until widespread testing and contact tracing become available.

“We saw something we hoped wasn’t happening, but it’s there,” said Lei Zhang, lead researcher and director of the Maryland Transportation Institute at the University of Maryland. “It seems collectively we’re getting a little tired. It looks like people are loosening up on their own to travel more.”

Zhang said he anticipates the number of people staying home will continue to drop as some states begin allowing businesses, beaches and other public facilities to reopen. That process began last week in South Carolina and Georgia.

Public health experts say any data showing widespread public resolve or cooperation beginning to wane is noteworthy. Because this is the first U.S. pandemic in 100 years, they don’t know how long people are willing to tolerate cabin fever for the greater good.

They say they’re not surprised, however, that a slide occurred in a week that saw the first highly publicized challenges to such orders by protesters and President Donald Trump, who tweeted his support to “liberate” states from shutdowns. The White House also released federal guidelines that week for states seeking to reopen their economies. And a growing number of governors, including in Texas, Minnesota and Vermont, set dates for when they planned to gradually lift restrictions.

By April 17, the researchers found, the share of people presumed to have stayed home – meaning their phones didn’t move at least a mile that day – declined from a national average of 33 percent to 31 percent, compared with the previous Friday. That came after six weeks of the staying-home percentage increasing or holding steady.

The number of work trips remained about the same. However, the average number of personal daily trips grew to 2.5 per person, up from 2.4 the previous Friday – a 4 percent increase. Trips between counties and states also increased.

Because the study’s sample size is so large – more than 100 million cellphones observed monthly – even slight changes are statistically significant, Zhang said.

Dr. Wilbur Chen, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said it’s too soon to know whether the findings reveal a one-week blip or the start of a trend. Chen, a member of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s covid-19 task force in Maryland, said he’s keeping a close eye on the data, but researchers won’t know for several weeks if more travel led to more coronavirus hospitalizations or deaths – the two most reliable measures of the virus’ spread.

“But it all makes sense,” Chen said. “If people are out and about, there’s more risk of transmission, and when there’s transmission, you have more cases of hospitalizations and deaths.”

George Rutherford, an epidemiology professor at the University of California at San Francisco, said he’s concerned to hear that more people are venturing out while infections remain on the rise in much of the country.

“We’re going to have to do this carefully,” Rutherford said of states beginning to ease restrictions. “Letting people decide for themselves because they’re bored is not a good way to do it. . . . This is not the time to be letting up.”

Experts have theories about why the week of April 13, the most recent data available, became a tipping point. Many homebound Americans hit the mental milestone of the fifth week, technically entering a second month, with no clear end in sight. Even with the boom in video calls and virtual cocktail hours, they say, feelings of loneliness and isolation continue to mount. Balmy spring temperatures also probably drew people out, particularly in warmer regions where a hot, sticky summer will soon descend.

It’s also no coincidence, they say, that resolve would begin to wane amid the Trump-supported protests, even as most Americans tell pollsters they support stay-at-home requirements.

Lorien Abroms, a public health professor at George Washington University, said it doesn’t help that the public has received “mixed messages,” including Trump’s “tacit support” of the protesters.

“I think the message is getting out that you can give in to your fatigue and say ‘It’s enough,’ ” Abroms said.

Some people also might have mistakenly believed they could safely start bending the stay-at-home rules, experts say, when some governors began to publicly announce how and when their economies would begin to reopen.

“People can feel it’s coming, so they get more antsy,” said Susan Hassig, an associate professor of epidemiology at Tulane University. “It’s kind of like a kid before Christmas.”

Governors in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee announced reopening dates Monday, after the latest cellphone data was analyzed. However, the percentages of people staying home in those states as of April 17 already were among the lowest in the country, between 23 percent and 26 percent.

Travis Gayles, the chief health officer in Montgomery County, Maryland, called the potential problem of residents losing patience “an important point that I think every jurisdiction across the country is grappling with in terms of making sure we reinforce our message related to shelter-in-place.”

Gayles said he wasn’t familiar with the data, but questioned whether Montgomery residents might have ventured out more after the county began requiring shoppers to wear face coverings in stores, pharmacies and other retailers.

Even so, Gayles said, “The message is very clear. We’re still encouraging folks to stay home and only come out when they need to,” such as to go to work or the grocery store.

The reversal first became apparent last week, when the Maryland researchers continued to analyze the movements of smartphones via location data from apps. The aggregated and anonymous data, while imperfect, is an easily obtainable and consistent way to measure how much people move about, Zhang said. He said researchers are sharing the mobility data with government officials and epidemiologists modeling the spread of covid-19.

The nationwide drop in the researchers’ “social distancing index” started April 14. That was one day before thousands of protesters in Michigan received national attention for jamming roads around the state capitol, demanding that the restrictions be eased and people be allowed to return to work.

The social distancing index reflects how much people stay home, as well as how much and how far they travel by plane, car, transit, bicycle and on foot, Zhang said. Phones that didn’t make any stops of 10 minutes or more, such as those on people out for a bike ride or walk with the dog, were counted as staying home, Zhang said.

In the Washington region, the District of Columbia and its suburbs all saw an increase in travel and a 1 percent to 5 percent drop in people staying home by April 17. The biggest drop occurred in Arlington County, Virginia, where 50 percent of residents stayed home, down from 55 percent the previous Friday. However, Arlington tied with the District for the highest percentage in the region.

In Montgomery County, Maryland, the number of those staying home fell from 45 percent to 43 percent, while Prince George’s County fell from 37 percent to 34 percent. In Northern Virginia, Fairfax County dropped from 46 percent to 44 percent, while Prince William County ended the week with 34 percent and Loudoun County with 37 percent.

Of course, the data has its limits. Zhang said researchers are still trying to determine where people are going. If someone takes a round-trip drive to walk alone in the woods, for example, they would be counted as making two trips, even though they weren’t any more likely to spread or catch the virus.

Hassig, of Tulane, said the data is interesting because the United States has such limited experience requiring residents to stay home for lengthy periods. Any quarantines typically are small enough that local health officers can check in daily to monitor people’s symptoms and encourage them to stay isolated. Moreover, she said, most last a maximum 14 to 21 days. “We can usually reduce the likelihood of substantial quarantine fatigue,” Hassig said. “. . . On this massive scale, the support and encouragement can get lost.”

The coronavirus stay-at-home orders are far less restrictive than quarantines, but public health experts say convincing people to stay in will become harder as the weeks pass. The more effectively such orders lower rates of infection, they say, the more some people will incorrectly assume they’re no longer necessary.

Most importantly, experts say, governments wanting to discourage people from venturing out need to better understand why they’re doing so. The response to restlessness, for example, might be to reopen larger parks or close more streets to traffic to allow people to get outdoors at safe distances. If some people are starting to drive for Uber or Lyft because they lost their retail job, the response might be more financial aid. For those feeling cut off, experts say, government messages of sympathy and compassion would help.

“The isolation is real. The loneliness is real,” said Abroms, of GWU. “We need to add that in our messaging. . . . We have to acknowledge that it’s not easy to stay home.”

 

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Tales of Rock – Sable Starr

More Evil Rock n Roll Debauchery! What a disgusting tale…

Sable Starr
Sable starr.jpg

Sable Starr, taken in 1973 at Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco
Born Sabel Hay Shields
August 15, 1957
Palos VerdesLos AngelesCalifornia, U.S.
Died April 18, 2009 (aged 51)
RenoWashoe County, Nevada, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Rock and rollgroupie
Children 2

Sable Starr (nee Sabel Hay Shields; August 15, 1957 – April 18, 2009[1]) was a noted American groupie, often described as the “queen of the groupie scene” in Los Angeles during the early 1970s. She admitted during an interview published in the June 1973 edition of Star Magazine that she was closely acquainted with Iggy PopMick JaggerRod StewartAlice CooperDavid Bowie, and Marc Bolan.[2]

Life as a groupie

Starr first attended concerts around Los Angeles with older friends who had dropped out of school in late 1968. She lost her virginity at age 12 with Spirit guitarist Randy California after a gig at Topanga, California.[3] She had a younger sister, Corel Shields (born 1959), who was involved with Iggy Pop at age 11.[4] Pop later immortalized his involvement with Starr herself in the 1996 song “Look Away.”

I slept with Sable when she was 13,

Her parents were too rich to do anything,
She rocked her way around L.A.,

‘Til a New York Doll carried her away…

Starr became one of the first “baby groupies” who in the early 1970s frequented the Rainbow Bar and Grill, the Whiskey A Go Go, and Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco; these were trendy nightclubs on West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. The girls were named as such because of their young age. She got started after a friend invited her to the Whiskey A Go Go at the age of 14.[5] Starr later described herself at that period as having been “nuts to begin with. I always liked getting into trouble”.[5] She had considered herself unattractive, so she had a nose job when she was 15.[5] During the time Starr was a groupie, she continued to live at home with her family and attended Palos Verdes High School to placate her parents.[6][7]

BAND AIDES: SABLE STARR AND LORI MATTIX!

In 1973 she gave a candid interview for the short-lived Los Angeles-based Star Magazine, and boasted to the journalist that she considered herself to be “the best” of all the local groupies.[6] She also claimed that she was closely acquainted with some of rock music’s leading musicians such as Jeff BeckDavid BowieMick JaggerRod StewartMarc Bolan, and Alice Cooper, adding that her favorite rock star acquaintance was Led Zeppelin‘s lead singer, Robert Plant.[2] When asked how she attracted the attention of the musicians, she maintained it was because of the outrageous glam rock clothing she habitually wore.[8] She was often photographed alongside well-known rock musicians; these photos appeared in American rock magazines such as Creem and Rock Scene.

Sable Starr has Left the Scene 1958-2009: LAist

Starr admitted to having gotten into fights with rival groupies and she allegedly had a confrontation with Bianca Jagger, who at the time was married to Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. According to Starr, she knocked on Bianca’s hotel room and when the latter opened the door she was told “in a few four-letter words to ‘get lost'”.[2] Her closest friends in Los Angeles were fellow groupies Shray Mecham and “Queenie”.[9] Model Bebe Buell described Starr as having been one of the two top Los Angeles groupies of the era, adding that “every rock star who came to Los Angeles wanted to meet her”.[5]

The extraordinary life of Sable "Queen of Groupies" Starr

She ran away from home when she was 16 after meeting Johnny Thunders, guitarist in the glam rock band the New York Dolls.[10] She went to live with him in New York City. Their relationship didn’t last, mainly due to his violent jealousy and drug addiction.[11] He had wanted to marry her after she became pregnant with his child, but she refused and instead had an abortion.[12] Tired of the physical abuse Thunders often inflicted upon her, and unable to adjust to the New York lifestyle, Starr moved back to Los Angeles. She claimed that “He [Thunders] tried to destroy my personality. After I was with him, I just wasn’t Sable Starr anymore. He really destroyed the Sable Starr thing”.[12] She made frequent visits to New York where she had an affair with Richard Hell, befriended Nancy Spungen, and participated in the local burgeoning punk rock scene. By the early 1980s, she was no longer part of the groupie milieu.[11]

BAND AIDES: SABLE STARR AND LORI MATTIX!

Later years and death

She later moved to Reno, Nevada. She became a table game dealer at Carson Valley Inn in Minden until shortly before her death.

Starr died at her home in Nevada on April 18, 2009 of brain cancer at the age of 51.

 

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Jennifer – Stay Sober

I started flirting with this one girl at a bar in Santa Monica. Eventually I got her number. A week or so goes by and I call her. She asks me to be her date at a super bowl party. I’m not really into sports but it sounded fun to me so I thought, why not?

She said the party was at 5:00pm but she wanted to come over around 3:30pm even though it was a ten minute ride there. I totally figured she wanted to hook up first so I totally prepared myself for that. She shows up, I invite her in and I ask, “how long before we have to leave?” she says it already started so we have to leave now. I thought that was weird but I got in my van and drove there with blue balls the whole way.

It was at a restaurant she worked at and it was an employees and dates party. When we get there it pretty much hasn’t started. Big surprise. We talk for about an hour and get to know each other, but it’s painful because she’s so shy. It was open bar but she doesn’t drink so I resisted the temptation.

Eventually her co-workers come and I meet them. She told me one of them was an ex. It didn’t really bother me. They seemed like good guys. A little on the scummy side though. They all looked like shaggy from Scooby-Doo. They’re all about 22 and have a kid or two and have low-income jobs.

Eventually they convince her to drink. One sip becomes a whole drink and one drink becomes three. (Here we go)

She’s really drunk but still being kinda flirty. I didn’t drink anything and played it on the safe side because I was driving. The plan was to leave halfway through and go to a house party. So I drive her and her coworkers there. What a horrible idea. It’s down in Mar Vista. We get there and it’s one of the shittiest places I’ve ever seen. There was a 75-year-old man reading Hustler instead of watching the super bowl. There was kids running around while people were doing various drugs and talking about selling drugs along with pregnant women drinking.

A little uncomfortable but fuck it. We all play a drinking game and then then Jennifer gets up to go to the bathroom down the hall. About three minutes later, two of the co-workers go down the hall to the porch to smoke. About ten minutes goes by and her ex gets up to go see if the bathroom’s open. He comes back and lays this on me:

“Uhh…. Jen is getting fucked by both those guys right now. Don’t go in the bathroom”.

I was absolutely stunned. I had no idea what to do. I sat there and just watched the super bowl. Minutes later she comes out literally pulling her pants up. She completely ignores me and continues playing. Five minutes go by and she goes to smoke weed with another guy. One guy goes to check and comes back to let me know…

“Yeah, sorry man she’s fucking him now too”.

The guys at the table start saying how nice a guy I am, and that it sucks that I’m her date and she’s fucked three guys. Then they start getting weird. They start whispering about me and pointing at me. I wasn’t entirely sure whether I was going to get my ass kicked. Jen comes back and I tell her we’re leaving in five minutes. One guy at the table stops me and says, “Wait! She’s already fucked Tim, Bill, and Mark, I figured me and Mike could have a go and you can have her the rest of the night!”

What the fuck? I left immediately with her. Unfortunately her car’s at my place. She kept saying the whole car ride that she hates it when this happens, and this is why she doesn’t drink.

I took the long way home because I knew she was drunk. She tried to prove she wasn’t by slapping herself and then saying “I’m not drunk, I see the three yellow lines in the road. I know there’s only two but that’s how I know I’m sober.

Right.

I tell her to stay for an hour knowing I could prolong it so she can sober up. She throws a hissy fit that she has to leave now and her parents are probably looking for her. She says she has to drive home immediately. She apologizes and leaves, saying she’ll see me soon.

Jennifer had sex with three guys on our first date and given the opportunity would have probably made it six.

I never spoke to her again.

 

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