NaNoWriMo and GO!

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There’s not a lot that can distract me from America’s impending doom if Donald Trump takes the “win” in less than a week from now.

I’ve already started researching Visa laws in Canada and England–there are burgeoning entertainment hubs in both of those countries. I wonder if I can qualify as a refugee…I’m multi-racial (all minority races) and I’m a woman so it’s not looking good for me in a Trump version of America.

I’m renewing my passport tomorrow.

Enough about my possible immigration–the one thing that’s keeping November from being a gigantic mess of a month for me is an incredible program for writers (and aspiring writers) called NaNoWriMo.

That crazy word is actually a shortened version of the real name: National Novel Writing Month.

As such–the “Wri” part of that word should be pronounced “Rye” as in the bread not “Ree” as an idiot might consider pronouncing it. You may think that sounds overly cruel/judgmental, but if you YouTube and google Vlogs about the event and then someone pops up with the “Ree” out of nowhere, it’s like freaking nails on a chalkboard.

THIS GIRL KNOWS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT and she is MAD.

The overall goal of the entire shindig is to write 50,000 words of a novel from November 1st until November 30th at midnight.

If you reach that goal, you “win”–if you don’t reach that goal, you still have thousands more words of a novel written than you did in October/than you would if you had spent the month sitting in front of a television screen procrastinating.

The cool thing about the website is that you can log on and create a profile, then create a profile for your novel and use their daily word counter to track your progress. They even stick it into this really neat graph to let you know what you need to do to meet the minimum daily goal (1,667 words a day). It even averages out your words per day, shows you how much more you have left to type before you reach 50k, and when you’ll finish at your current rate of writing speed (among many other very interesting facts).

I learned long ago that, in order for me to accomplish any sort of writing, I have to have some sort of deadline hanging over my head. As a screenwriter, it’s usually the submission period for a competition. For NaNoWriMo, it’s getting it all complete within those 30 days–and if you don’t stay on track at at least a rate of 1,667 for day, BOY can you fall behind really quickly.

Last year, I made it to day 10 and 16,752 words. Somehow, I got distracted or ran out of steam of SOMETHING–but I stopped because that’s where my bar graph caps off for the remaining 20 days. The fact that I can’t even remember why I stopped says a lot about what’s happened in the last 365 days since NaNo 2015. At this point, I can barely remember what I did yesterday, so I couldn’t tell you what slammed on the creative breaks a year ago.

But this year, I AM DETERMINED.

I put the call out en masse to my Facebook friends to see who would be up to the challenge and many replied with the courage of a thousand word warriors.

One of my grade school pals hooked me up with a small group of women that are all set to conquer NaNo 2016 and we’ve got a nice little FB group chat going on to encourage one another. And that really is the key to keep going–

ACCOUNTABILITY.

When you have someone else cheering you on and harassing you (in a positive way) to put your butt into the seat and start typing (or hand writing, if you prefer–or dictating, even!) you’re much more likely to be successful. And this is because, inevitably, halfway through the month your writing motivation will begin to peter out. You’ll wonder why you’re “wasting your time” and you’ll ask yourself in the harshest manner possible: “Why did I even THINK that I could write a novel?! Who do I think I am?!”

The answer, of course, is that you’re a writer. If you’re engaging in the act of writing, you are, indeed, a writer. Perhaps not a very good one (I’m just being honest!) but on the off chance that you are, that you’re even possibly spectacular, you’ll never know unless you give it a whirl.

So get your butt in that seat and try!

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Hollywood Throws Me a Bone

In high school, I applied to a state run (I think?) residential summer language arts immersion program. I applied to study French, a language I hadn’t studied a day in my life but for which I had always harbored a secret love.

This was pre-email notifications, so when I got a letter in the mail, I can remember thinking, “This is my Harry Potter Hogwarts letter!”

I got rejected.

That’s not the worst part, though. The worst part came a week before the program was supposed to start. I got another letter in the mail. Curious, I thought, since they had rejected me. It was with great excitement that I read it and saw directions to the campus!

I called the number provided on THAT letter to ask for more information and was promptly told that I had been mailed the map by accident, that I was still rejected, and I didn’t even receive an apology.

BITCHES.

Y’all keep that little trip down memory lane in your locker because I need to divert down a more contemporary path for a moment.

In the last few months, I experienced (I can now see from the other side) what was one of the deepest depressions I’ve had the displeasure of experiencing in the last decade. I blogged about it here and here if you need to get up to speed.

Some of the things that lifted me from the muck were:

  1. Being flown out to Texas to visit my goddaughter and her parents…errr…I mean my best friend, her loving husband, and their kid,
  2. Getting accepted into the next round of the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab,
  3. Getting asked to audition for a Network’s comedy showcase.

And all of that literally happened on August 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

INSANE the way the universe works sometimes.

I had a great time with my peeps, wrote the final draft of my screenplay submission, and developed several characters to present at my audition.

At the audition, I killed it. I don’t say that lightly as I’m usually self-deprecating when it comes to original comedic material. But all of The Network people listening to my audition were laughing continuously and even stated how impressed they were at the end. Usually, if you don’t do so well, you get a kind (yet pitying) “thanks” and you leave.

This time, though, they asked if I was also a writer and mentioned they had a writing program, as well.

“Yes. Yes, I am a writer and an actor. Both. I do both,” I managed to stutter out while gathering my bag.

“Great, we’ll be in touch!”

Whoa. Never before had I ever heard an audition committee make a rock solid commitment to follow up with me.

So I settled in with fingers crossed and the expectation to NEVER HEAR FROM THEM AGAIN. In The Industry, after you audition, you ONLY hear back if you’ve made it through to the next round or booked the job. Otherwise, you can assume from the silence that you didn’t get whatever it is that you just spent a massive amount of time preparing for.

It’s sad, it’s anxiety inducing, it’s depressing.

IT’S HOLLYWOOD.

did hear back, though, and submitted the requisite sketches I needed to, along with a bio and resume, and settled in with the expectation to NEVER HEAR FROM THEM AGAIN.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Weeks went by and not a peep.

I woke up this morning sweating from my lack of AC in a Los Angeles heatwave, in pain because mother nature sent “Aunt Flow” in for a visit at 2 a.m. (I must’ve displeased her last month because she is TEARING SH*T UP), and more than vaguely imagining my life on an isolated island somewhere far away from Tinseltown. Though nothing like the last few months, I still have waves of ennui that knock me into daydreaming about deserting my astronomical career goals and going to find some poor schlub that wants to take a go at domestic bliss.

And then I got an email from The Network with instructions for writing that I didn’t understand because I’d never heard back from them about moving forward.

Do you remember the story from earlier?

DO YOU?!

Deja vu, my friends, in the worst possible way.

But I guess I’m a bit of a masochist, because I wanted that confirmation of rejection. I needed it, needed to get some closure for another failed audition and submission, like any good LA actor and writer.

I typed a short email letting them know that they had accidentally emailed me the instructions.

Within half an hour, I got a return email.

I was expecting: “Oops, sorry about that. Thanks for applying, try again next year.”

Instead, I got: “You are most certainly in. I think we accidentally left you off of the original email! Are you still interested?”

My eyes went blurry and, I swear to you, I thought I was going temporarily blind and/or having a panic attack.

Nope, just tears. Tears of unadulterated joy, relief, satisfaction, vindication, whatever positive emotion you can think of, those tears were saturated in them.

My first move was to get in the shower because sending emails to people at The Network requires me to be presentable, even though they can’t actually see me.

The next was to go get a piece of cake from The Alcove. Their cake is amazing (though, at $7 a slice, you have to really want it).

But I was so flabbergasted by this awesome turn of events that I couldn’t focus enough to find my pants! If that isn’t comedy seeping out of my veins, I don’t know what is.

4 minutes later, I located a clean pair of shorts (well, they passed the smell test) and jumped into my car.

And I got a slice of a really gorgeous Princess cake.

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In the interest of full disclosure, I also walked home with a slice of Chocolate Godiva cake:

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Because I can’t think of a better day to spend $15 on celebratory cake.

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A Conversation in the Key of #Depression

“Hey.”

“Hey.”

“Get up.”

“No.”

“You’re being depressing.”

“Probably because I’m depressed.”

(Beat)

“Do you plan on leaving your bed today?”

“No. No plans. Except when the exterminator gets here. Because he’s apparently forcing me to leave on account of spraying toxic chemicals.”

“Freaking tiny, endlessly annoying, quickly multiplying, nameless beetles.”

(Beat)

“How about a shower?”

“No.”

“You’re kinda smelly.”

“So?”

::huffs in exasperation::

“You know, you won’t get anywhere career-wise if you’re set on remaining facedown in your pillow.”

“I’m not getting anywhere career-wise when I put in the effort, anyway, and this position is much more comfortable.”

(Beat)

“Aren’t you hungry?”

“No.”

“You haven’t eaten all day.”

“Probably because I’ve expended no energy lying here; therefor, I have no appetite.”

“Sound reasoning, albeit flawed logic.”

(Beat)

“Don’t you think it’s been enough time? It’s been months…”

“It still hurts.”

“What hurts?”

“Everything. Everything hurts. My whole life hurts.”

(Beat)

“Still holding back those tears?”

“Yup. Too proud to let them go.”

“Patricia told you that you’d feel better if you just had a good cry.”

“Can’t. I’ve made it this far. I’m already committed to being obstinate. Plus, you’ll probably beat me up about it if I do.”

“No, I won’t. I promise.”

“Right.”

(Beat)

“Hows about some Netflix?”

Good idea, but that isn’t going to get me out of bed, I’ll just watch it on my phone.”

“I know.”

“You know?”

“I know.”

(Beat)

“This is an unforeseen turn of events…are you going to stop pestering me about getting up?”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah?”

“DID I STUTTER?!”

(Beat)

“Why are you relenting now?”

“Because…”

“Yeeeessss?”

“Because I’m very understanding, and gentle, and kind to other people experiencing depression. Why wouldn’t I be just as understanding, gentle, and kind to myself?”

(Beat)

“Maybe we’ll get up tomorrow.”

“Maybe.”

“Let’s think about ordering pizza.”

“Good idea…I love you, you know…even when you annoy me–errr…us.”

“I know…let’s get some Murder, She Wrote up in this piece.”

 

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It’s OK to Vote for Trump!

You’ve plastered your Trump/Pence 2016 bumper stickers to the back of your 4×4 pickup and you’re sporting your “Make America Great Again” ball cap with your camo tank top and dungaree jeans. You look AMAZING, Trailer Chic is in!

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via netbugle.com

But the world at large is giving you crap! Don’t they know it’s your right as a citizen of the U S of A to pick whoever you damn well please to run this here nation?!

Don’t they know that you can vote for whomever you want, even if that candidate does not best represent your personal interests?!

Don’t they know that Hillary is corrupt and evil because EMAILS.

EMAILS PEOPLE.

And pant suits!

And EMAILS!

But I’m here to tell you today that you’re completely in the right to cast your ballot for these two bombastic men. I think voting for Trump/Pence is a very real and viable choice for all Americans going to the polls this November. We’ll see a lot of change if those two men are in power, and I, for one, have thought long and hard about just this topic.

FORGET that Trump has ZERO political or government experience and no sense of diplomacy. Psssh, who needs that to run one of the most formidable world powers? Who cares that he’s the laughing stock of every other country on this planet (except North Korea who actually endorses him).

FORGET the fact that he acts like an “asshole” in public and is unapologetic (which should prove awesome when it comes to international relations, WE WILL SHOW THE OTHER COUNTRIES WHO’S BOSS).

FORGET that he’s essentially a reality television star (on a program during which he behaved badly, according to a few thousand prudish women) with a lot of money to spend.

He’s your guy. And here’s why you should check the box next to the Republican candidates this fall:

1). You love history, and you’re hoping it’ll repeat itself. Especially when it comes to the “Muslim Problem”. Are we excited for our Trump Muslim database requiring every American Muslim to register under it?! Wait, that link was from NBC (TOO LIBERAL) so here’s one from Fox News stating the same thing. You know who else had a database of people based solely on their religion? If those Nazis were nothing else, they were excellent record keepers! That’s right, Adolph Hitler had his own database to solve his “Jewish Question” for which he came up with a “Final Solution”. “Oh, that would never happen here” is something we’ll probably be saying, just like many of the Europeans told themselves before all that systematic murder stuff happened. But we’ll really mean it, so it won’t happen here. Just like concentration camps could never happen here, just ask George Takei. After all, we had “internment” camps for the Japanese, totally different word than “concentration”–duh.

2) You hate Lesbian/Gay/B.T.etc people and you want them to be miserable spinsters. If you think that gay people signal “societal collapse”, if you think they shouldn’t be able to visit their dying partners in the hospital, adopt children, serve openly and proudly while defending this great nation through military service, or have access to delicious wedding cake at their own weddings with the tax breaks to go along with that paperwork, THESE ARE THE TWO MEN FOR YOU. Trump said he doesn’t care if anyone’s gay, but Pence is all about stopping those heathens from doing dastardly things that will ruin the American family. If you’re kind of a perverted voyeur and care that much about who your neighbor has consensual/adult/passionate/loving sex with or chooses to form a life with, these are the candidates for you.

Also bathrooms. Birth certificates should be required to go to the bathroom.

Just because the homosexuals have the right to marry today, doesn’t mean they deserve it–and since we’ll be getting 3 new conservative Supreme Court justices under Trump/Pence, they’re as good as banned again!

SANTICTY OF MARRIAGE. So sanctified that Trump has been married and divorced several times with children from each of them.

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Via Twitter

3) If you’re cool with your President and VP disagreeing on some of the most contentious and important topics to the American people, it’s Trump/Pence all the way. Healthcare, the war in the middle east, Foreign Trade, etc etc. 

4) If you’re excited for 3 brand spanking new conservative Supreme Court justices, this is your year Trump/Pence! Bye Roe v Wade, Hello again Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, So Long Equal Marriage Laws–hell, let’s do away with Brown v Board of Education while we’re at it because #AllLivesMatter and no one should get special treatment like desegregated schools.

5) If you’re cool with the country being run by men who know how to loose a ton of money, oh yes, vote ’em in. Trump has already said that he’d run this nation like he runs his business–for which he has declared bankruptcy 4 times. Nothing spells S-U-C-C-E-S-S like bankruptcy! Mike Pence cost the government of Indiana $60 million while serving as governor. America can be great again without money, you’ll see.

6) You know that America used to be great and it’s not anymore–and you know exactly WHEN it was great, too:

7) If you hate abortion in all forms, Trump/Pence, baby (pun intended). Women should absolutely NOT have the right to choose what goes on in their bodies, right? Especially when it comes to medical decisions–so WHAT if the mother’s life is in danger?? She got pregnant which means she should be willing to sacrifice her life, to die for her unborn baby. Forget the 5 kids, husband, and family she’ll have to leave behind. That baby needs to be born, even if it means her life expires in the process.

SO WHAT if her own father raped her, she should carry her son/brother to term and go through the heart wrenching adoption process when she can’t afford to raise it because she’s 14 and her mother (now the grandmother/stepmother) doesn’t want it around as a reminder since dad/grandpa is now in jail.

In fact, all women should be punished for having an abortion! Because the experience isn’t traumatic enough–and a fox news source corroborates, just to keep that non-liberal news media balance.

Look, all these women have to do is have the baby and put it up for adoption. Don’t dare go on welfare if you choose to keep it, though. God wanted you to have that baby, just like pro-life people insisted, but it’s up to you to afford it–not our tax dollars to the government!

Of course, since you’re anti-abortion, you’re also adopting some of the 100,000 older children currently available for adoption in the American foster care system–some of them who were the babies you so vehemently insisted should survive…right? Oh, no? Hmmm…

8) You know that women are awful and belong in the kitchen and you can’t wait to see them back there:

9) If you think the last 5 living presidents don’t know what the heck they’re talking about, vote Trump/Pence. He can’t get the Republican former presidents to endorse him and Obama, Clinton, and Carter certainly aren’t in his camp. BUT SERIOUSLY, WHAT DO THEY KNOW?! Just because you had the job, doesn’t mean you know what the job entails and who may be best qualified to do what you did for 4-8 years. For 2,920 days. 70,080 hours.

10) You love walls and you hate Mexican and Central Americans, that goes without saying. Yes, the wall will cost between $15 billion and $25 billion, but Trump says he is going to make Mexico pay for it. Because it’s easy to force foreign nations to pay for things we want. The GOP is set to endorse the idea, so we know it’s a smart decision.

Plus, most Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists:

  • “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

–Real estate mogul Donald Trump, presidential announcement speech, June 16, 2015

Plus, they’re taking all of our jobs! Especially the farming jobs! Ok, so, Georgia’s immigration bill triggered a $140,000,000 loss in agriculture in 2011 due to labor shortages, but it’s because  Georgians are lazy and just don’t want to work hard at backbreaking jobs, nor do they have the skills. Ok so similar things happened in Alabama (who then repealed theirs)  and Arizona, but again, flukes.

In Conclusion:

You know you’re right when it comes to Trump/Pence. You’ve been parroting your Maw and Paw’s views since you were a baby. So what if the conservative party’s main economic concerns are for the rich, a group you are not actually a part of–so what if they want to cut programs for the middle class (YOU) or the poor while giving the wealthiest Americans tax breaks? And so what if they preach small government, but really want the government to regulate everything under the dang sun?

Jesus, ‘Murrica, and Freedom says your ticking Trump/Pence and that’s A-ok in the USA, hip hip hooray, go Sarah Palin.

A Random Smattering of Online Dating Messages

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I’ve been pretty open about being at the bottom of an ice cold well of feelings these last couple of days. I’m adding PMS to the mix and now I’m a flood of human emotion mixed with full-body aches.

If I tell one more person, as a response to the question “How are you?”, that “My whole life hurts”, I’m sure someone will call a qualified healthcare professional and have them cart me off to a residential location with padded walls and no sharp objects.

All these feels got me like:

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The Tudors | Showtime

Going through a breakup, even the most amicable (which I guess this one sort of was?), hurts like a bitch–especially for extra feisty people like me that consider emotions to be for the weak:

Mean Me: Hey, me! Cry us a river, build a sustainably-built-eco-friendly bridge, and get over it!

Sad Me: Since when did we care so much about the environment? Also: sadness, sadness, rejection, loneliness, sadness.

Mean Me: Just kidding about the crying. You better not cry over this!

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs | SONY

But that inner-monologue tennis match gets old: there’s only so much time I’m willing to dedicate to staring at the undulating shadow of the ceiling fan, lying sprawled on my bed, pondering what I could have done differently to not have ended up here, in this pitiful state.

And because I had already dedicated the weekend immediately post-breakup to alcohol therapy, I decided that this past weekend, I would dedicate to online dating.

Somehow, in my mood fogged, discombobulated brain, I thought that physically seeing the other fish in the sea would cheer me up and make me feel less like the dejected quarter-life hag that I keep seeing in the mirror every morning.

WRONG.

And this is where I propose that grown adults should have “internet babysitters” to keep them from making crappy decisions when they’re emotionally unstable. Because in my hurry to check out dating options, I forgot what a mixed bag of people online dating sites contain. And by “mixed bag” I mean a few examples of Prince Charming ranging all the way to Creepy McCreeperson, with the majority of men falling toward the latter end of the spectrum.

Most of the horribly egregious messages, I’ve just been straight deleting, but tonight, I was inspired to keep the rest and share them with the world.

Originally, I thought I would sign on and just browse, not answering any messages (because it would be unfair to start a relationship when one is not emotionally available AT LEAST THAT’S WHAT KIND PEOPLE DO, RIGHT?). And I haven’t made much of an effort but since I am a generous blogger, I’m going to share a few selections of messages I’ve received with you now–

I signed on last week, and I’ve already received upwards of 80 messages.

THAT’S NOT A BRAG–it just goes to show how many dudes are trolling this site, participating in a numbers game by messaging everyone labeled “woman”. Most of the time, they haven’t actually read your profile, and they’re copy-pasting like you won’t figure that method out.

A small handful of dudes make real efforts at making conversation, based on the information that I have written in my profile, which is AMAZING and I won’t be profiling them here–I’ll never sneer at someone making a true effort.

But most messages look like this:

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He’s got that comma, but forgot to write the rest of his message.

Bonus points if he calls you “gorgeous” because that’s the most overused greeting on these sites. The first time you see it, you may feel great because maybe you’ve been starved for romantic attention, but then it just gets old:

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See what I mean? You could say, “Oh, they’re giving you a compliment!” but maybe you could compliment me on one of the many things I took the time to write in my damn profile and not just look at my photo and pass judgement on my appearance! Also, without identifying factors in the message, it’s most likely a copy-paste and that’s just lazy. 

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Oh, sorry, I was being presumptuous, thinking you may be interested in my intellect and not just my photos. Next time I WILL LEAVE EVERYTHING ELSE BLANK.

Also, the state of Iowa finds me beautiful, y’all, don’t get jealous.

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Just “pretty” cute? No, let me fix that for you: I’m “gorgeous”.

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A “dusk sunrise”…hmmm…dusk and sunrise are opposite astronomical occurrences. Is he saying I’m an enigma wrapped in a paradox? That’s deep. Also the answers to your questions are written in my profile.

At least this next guy read my profile, supposedly more in-depth than any other dude so far:IMG_2042.JPG

Sad that I’ll never know what.

And speaking of interesting conversation openers:

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And this one:

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No, no, I don’t think that I am.

And then there are those that have openers that leave you scratching your head just a little:

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If my future ex-husband had spent more time reading my profile instead of telling me about his medical prowess while neglecting his patients, he would have realized that EVERY SINGLE QUESTION he asked me was answered in my profile. His copy-paste game is strong.

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How do you know I like to travel and why are you making plans for my future-self without consulting my present-self, first?! And it’s a trend, apparently:

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Then there’s this guy, who isn’t short on confidence, but neglects to ask a leading question to get me to respond:

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Maybe he’s expecting, “This all sounds super. Sign me up!”

One of my personal faves, this guy who thinks it’s sexy to accuse me of being a phony “To Catch a Predator” profile:

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And this guy who does not have 4 hours’ worth of patience (although, he probably shouldn’t hold his breath):

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And the pièce de résistance:

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Now y’all know I was rip, roaring, and ready to answer this guy and take him up on his blessing me with his sexual abilities. Note that he does not guarantee my climax–it only happens if there’s a connection between us–so take the free sex on the off-chance that it could be enjoyable.

I posted this final missive of undying love for some of my internet pals to swoon over when one of the more attentive friends pointed out that this is, verbatim, actually a huge scam by some casanova that assures men that this pick-up-paragraph will guarantee they see action from total strangers on the internet.

Talk about insulted! I couldn’t even inspire this future-ex-husband to write a more original love sonnet to me!

Oh well–guess I better stay logged in and wait for the next offer of anonymous sex.