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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Busy, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 54
1. Too busy to breathe?

Have you ever felt yourself thinking you are too busy to even breathe? September, October, and November feel that way to me. I think it is because Summer Reading Club is finally over, and time to focus on the rest of the year. New projects are in the works, and here in Nova Scotia, we know bad weather is coming and so we try to pack all the programming in before the roads get nasty and folks stay inside.  Just a sample of what my schedule has crammed into it: present at the NSLA conference; teach storytelling at the community college; write reviews of audiobooks; launch tutor.com; create and present iPad literacy programs for grant; teach felt-board classes at the local family resource centre; help out with a Haunted House at a local museum; coordinate Teen Read Week activities and put together a newsletter for that; update social media and manage the blog; write a blog post for ALSC; order books; plan for high-school visits. Just writing that list left me a bit breathless. But I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way—who wants to be bored at work? Time to take a deep breath and plunge in. At least one thing on my list is ticked off now…..

What are your tactics for keeping your head above water? Tell us in the comments how you stay sane with a million projects on the go!

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2. Freshly Pressed: Friday Faves

WordPressers, day in and day out, you entertain us, you make us think, you make us laugh, and you make us grateful to be exposed to so many voices all over the world. It’s a pleasure to read what you’re writing. Like everyone in the community, we value that feeling of connection that comes from reading something that speaks to you, that resonates, that makes you feel not so alone.

For this edition of Freshly Pressed Faves, we’re looking at three posts that do just that, all around the idea of “busy-ness.” Modern society seems to embrace the idea that unless you’re “swamped” or “super busy,” you just aren’t being productive enough. Free time? Fill it up, preferably with something that pays! This attitude permeates children’s lives, too, with scheduled after-school dance classes and soccer practices and violin lessons and foreign language tutors. The idle hours that once allowed kids to daydream seem to be no more. When’s enough enough, though?

Doing more only to do less — do we glorify busy?

Author Tim Kreider believes ‘Our frantic days are really just a hedge against emptiness.’ We feel we are nothing, not worthy, unimportant or left out if we have nothing to do.

But there is another aspect to it. Perfectionism – that shadow from our childhoods. We want to be excellent – because if we are, we will be worthy of love. So we take on anything and everything that is thrown us. Even when we are aware we are overwhelmed, we find it hard to say ‘NO’. Because we fear that if we do – people will think less of us. So we end up doing more than our fair share.

Sofagirl at Campari & Sofa writes eloquently about her own fight with the “busy” beast and the scary personal episode that drove her to question it all. Weaving in others’ research on the topic, she presents a compelling argument for taking a step back — and a deep breath — and for refusing to participate in the tyranny of “busy” any longer. Bet you’ll find it difficult to disagree.

The Quiet Contemplation of Inactivity

As kids we could come up with 16 ways to put our lives on the line using the jungle gym in ways no designer ever intended. They were days when we simply looked at clouds and imagined animals (or teachers or, for the juvenile delinquents, body parts) hiding in the puffy expanse of the heavens. … We were bored, but no one was ever bored enough to learn something.

Except it appears, according to recent research, that boredom is good for the brain. Evidently, boredom switches our brain’s little buttons and the synapses and neurons start firing on more cylinders, pushing us to creativity and intellectual growth.

John Wegner of Consistently Contradictory harkens back to a time when “boredom” and free time were acceptable and even encouraged, when we didn’t rely on technology and scheduling quite so much, and when we allowed our brains to wander. Are we losing the benefits of this today? Should we re-introduce some “slack” into schools? Read John’s convincing and thought-provoking post and you’ll probably be answering “yes.”

The Kid Stays in the Picture

When I was a kid, Dad made it clear that ‘mere play’ was being idle—something lazy people did. And boy, you couldn’t get lazier than me.

Michael Maupin from Completely in the Dark takes us back to his childhood and the lasting effects of not being encouraged to “play.” He explains, “As a shadow, it darkened the room, filling me with anxiety and self-doubt: ‘What am I doing now? Is it practical? Is it useful? Shouldn’t I be ashamed?’ … For years that sound, that shadow, was all around. It blocked up my writing, my artwork, my self-esteem — everything. I was psychologically held at gunpoint by an ethic that carries little currency in my world.”

Not one to be bullied, however, Michael has found ways to protect and embrace his natural tendencies towards “play and reverie.” Read his post, and you’ll be inspired to do the same.

Did you read something in the Reader that you think is Freshly Pressed material? Feel free to leave us a link, or tweet us @freshly_pressed.

For more inspiration, check out our writing challenges, photo challenges, and other blogging tips at The Daily Post; visit our Recommended Blogs; and browse the most popular topics in the Reader. For editorial guidelines for Freshly Pressed, read: So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed.


7 Comments on Freshly Pressed: Friday Faves, last added: 4/20/2013
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3. Puppicasso Predictions #141

Long time no look.  It seems that Puppicasso has been predicting my neglect with taking good care of my balances in life.  Too much work for others, self-neglect, Pupp-neglect.  So without further procrastination, I turn to cleaning up the neglected areas, in doing so I find what Puppi has been trying to show me.

He was not feeling well, so I took him the vet yesterday (see PP #140, that has yet to be written), and now I am on Puppicasso watch for any signs of real trouble.  This worries me so, but in such worrisome moments, I find that it is better to maintain some normalcy — so off for Pupp’s regular, old morning walk.

And here is what he found…

Pennies in the Grass.

Pupp is very proud to find cash.

He has to sniff out the loot to count it.

He found 28 pennies to be exact.  He got the winnings from a natural slot machine and didn’t want to revel in the new found fortune — remember he is constantly seeking balance, in Puppicasso-style.

He found one more thing on the way back home.

Ivory love.

So it seems that Ivory hearts trash cans, and so does Puppi.

And off we go to the next thing, not looking back (well sort of not looking that way).


Filed under: Puppicasso Predictions Tagged: 2012 Predictions, Busy, Cute, Dog 1 Comments on Puppicasso Predictions #141, last added: 5/20/2012
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4. Busybusybusy

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5. TRAILERS, TEACHERS, CHOCOLATE AND SOME RANDOM BABBLING

It’s been a busy week around here and because of it I haven’t had a whole heck of a lot of time to write.

Which pretty much sucks.

For anyone that doesn’t know, my wife is a sixth grade teacher and her school year is winding down. If you, yourself happen to be a teacher or perhaps you’re married to one, I’m sure you’re well aware of the fact that things can get a bit – crazy – around this time of year.

When I say crazy, I really mean testy.

When I say testy, I guess I actually mean wackadoo.

When I say wackadoo, I’m actually just taking the opportunity to type a silly word.

Anyway, the wife is pretty much bonkers at the moment and it’s basically my job to keep a safe distance and offer up a steady stream of chocolate whenever she starts to freak out.

Despite the wackiness of both work and home, I did manage to find the time to get Fathers and Sons into the hands of a few quality bloggers (reviews should start rolling in next month – hopefully good), record another podcast with one of my good friends and fellow LitU author, Nina Perez, and whip up a little teaser trailer for the finale of the series.

Speaking of the finale of the series – I guess I should finish writing it.

That’s sort of an important part to the whole process, isn’t it?

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6. Wake Me Up When It’s Presidents’ Day

Is it the weekend yet? The blog has been feeling a little neglected the past few days, due to the fact  that it has been CRAZY busy around here.  It’s just one of those weeks… something scheduled every day, the “social butterfly” lifestyle that leaves me feeling more exhausted than cool.  I don’t have time to paint or write . . . I barely have time to eat!

Here’s another thing that I missed when I was too busy: The Sketchbook Project 2011I’d sworn I’d fill up the Moleskine (after all, I bought and paid for the chance to be in the exhibit), but after all the holiday rush, the pages were still blank.  I need what my mother calls “brain space” to concentrate on art – blocks, not seconds, of free time to complete something like that.  And when there’s no brain space available, sometimes you just have to call it quits.

Just because I’m not participating this year, doesn’t mean the traveling Sketchbook Project exhibit isn’t worth checking out.  And hey, it starts right here in Brooklyn this weekend!

Go see the thousands of sketchbooks from February 19-27 at:

Brooklyn Art Library
103A N. 3rd St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Open Tue – Sun
Noon – 8pm
Closed Mondays


Filed under: happenings, personal life, sketches Tagged: busy, eloise, sleep would be nice, the sketchbook project 0 Comments on Wake Me Up When It’s Presidents’ Day as of 1/1/1900
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7.

Ozark Writers Inc: http://owinc.webs.com An interesting and well crafted website & blog.
The days go by fast and I am too slow to catch-up. It was a busy housewife duty day.

2 Comments on , last added: 11/27/2010
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8. And Continue to Stand By...

Ah, I was almost up to writing the KidlitCon update when I had to take the cat back to the vet, only to find out that she’s not all better yet. Dang. Then a ninety-minute conversation with my mother — which mostly involved complaining — further derailed my writing mojo. Not to mention the weeks of housecleaning, which needs to take place in the next few hours. So no update today.

But Hey, Rabbit! comes to the rescue by featuring the MotherReader favorite picture books. My list is part of a series taken on by blog author — and real author — Sergio Ruzzier. Scroll down the site to see the lists of my fellow bloggers Travis and Julie, plus that of much-admired author/illustrator Emily Jenkins. And then just keep going back for more.

Now, if you’ll excuse me there’s a vacuum cleaner calling my name...

1 Comments on And Continue to Stand By..., last added: 10/27/2010
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9. Busybusybusy

Busy doesn't begin to cover it right now! Book due in a week or so plus a million personal things. But, after UNFRIENDLY COMPETITION is done, I think I'm going to start looking for agents who rep YA. Eeek!

Team Canterwood, if you've read ELITE AMBITION and want to give it a review (be totally honest, obvi!) feel free to do so at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Borders.com or any other bookseller site. YOU guys are keeping the series going.

Ooooh, and guess what? I saw text pics from the cover shoot yesterday and WHOA! Wait till you see the new covers!! I can't wait to share them with you! :)

xoxo

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10. WORK IN PROGRESS - ALBERT PAGE



I've been hard at work on the sequel to the first Cousin Albert book lately (among about a thousand other things).

The above is a an unfinished page. Unfinished means not done - so I don't want any comments from the peanut galley.

It's an elephant with a bruise on her butt.

Quality stuff.

Steve

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11. The End: National Poetry Month Is Over

April 30: “For today's prompt, write a letting go poem. The poem could be about letting go of a relationship; it could be about letting go of anger; it could be about letting go of a tree branch; or it could even be about, yes, letting go of this April challenge. There are so many things we can let go.“

Alas, the end has come to National Poetry Month and to the Poem A Day Challenge for April. Writing a "letting go" poem offers many paths. But in honor of squeezing yet another poem into a day, busy-ness came to mind. Today's offering is short and sweet because now I must get busy so we can leave for a weekend camping trip---lots to do. Busy, busy, busy....

Letting Go Of Busy
By Bill Kirk

Busy is as busy does.
So, why are we so busy?
Should busy bees our mentors be
And life be all a-tizzy?

Why not add a little sloth—
Try letting go of busy?
Moderation in all things
Will make you far less dizzy.

Guess I’ll kick back and enjoy
A few things I have missed.
But first I’d better check things off
My daily duty list.

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12. Let Your Hair Down: Max Said “Yes!” (The Woodstock Story)

Max Said Author: Abigail Yasgur & Joseph Lipner
Illustrator: Barbara Mendes (on JOMB)
Published: 2009 Change The Universe Press
ISBN: 9780615211442

Exuberant, edge-to-edge illustrations and simple rhyme salute a generous dairy farmer who took a chance on four kids, their dream and the prospect of peace.

You can watch Max Yasgur addressing the crowd at Woodstock, 1969, here.

August 15-17 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. How will you celebrate?

Other books mentioned:

More peace and tolerance on JOMB:

Pop over to Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup for today’s full menu of poetry offerings. Poetry Fridays are brought to us by Kelly Herold of Big A, Little A.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487, so we can include your audio in our show.

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13. Other Trains: Breakthroughs in Blogging


Busy is a word reserved for the few, the proud, the busy.  But when you are so busy, you cannot pursue your complete pursuit of happiness…  Sometimes you have to change the order of the to-do list.

Easier said than done, when the government has deadlines, and bill collectors have their deadlines, and publishers have their deadlines.  When they all converge at once, it sometimes helps to apply that old test-taking philosophy:  Do the easy questions first, then go back to the hard ones if you have time at the end of the test.

So, after doing the fun, but tiring things (like volunteer for ISU Skating Worlds), and the pressing things (like finishing up work on “Breaking Bad”), my April Fools Day was spent doing taxes.

I also managed to fit one more thing in– a revision that I am actually  happy with on my manatee picture book.  I have been wrestling with the concept of this book for years, going through many critiques from fellow writers and editors alike — and I am going to declare that I found it’s voice.  It’s truer to me now, and I know there will be editorial revisions in the future, but finally to me the story is clear.  It hit me as I did the dummy on it, and with the non-verbal “editing” skills that I use at work with ease, I cut and pasted my way to the heart of the story.

Thanks to Alexis O’Neill and the blank book from Santa Barbara retreat, it has been my work horse.

When I got home from my taxes appointment and flipped on the t.v. - this is what I saw:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lacanada-crash2-2009apr02,0,6454829.story

I have gone to several Writer 2 Writer events here, and was thinking of doing a birthday detour to it this Sunday…I hope the bookstore and everyone who worked there can survive something as freakish as this.   My sympathies go out to those hurt and to the families of the victims of the crash.

Posted in Kid Lit, Other Trains of Thought Tagged: Alexis O'Neill, Busy, Flintridge Book Store

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14. I Hate Busy Weeks



I dislike busy weeks, I really do, and the last couple have been among the busiest in quite some time. The good news is that I have dedicated myself to finishing a first draft of my novel before the year ends.

Can I do it? Yes.

Will I do it? That remains to be seen.

I've reached the climax of the story and I can see the end in sight, the problem is simply finding time to write these days. Overall I think it's a pretty solid first draft thus far. It's basically a fantasy story about some kids who end up in another world (which has been done a billion times) but I think how they get there, and what happens when they do are both different and interesting. While it's fantasy, at the same time it's a story about terrible father figures, family, fate, and faith (which is a bit strange seeing as I am by no means whatsoever a religious man) so it works on a few different levels.

Or maybe it doesn't, I don't know. Maybe it's total crap.

Anyway, crap or no crap I'm going to finish the thing before January 1st rolls around.

The sketch above is a very rough sort of outline of a possible book cover. (Really just an excuse to draw some of the characters.)

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15. No Holts Barred: Do Unto Otters (A Book About Manners)

Do Unto Otters (A Book About Manners)Author: Laurie Keller (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Laurie Keller
Published: 2007 Henry Holt and Co. (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0805079963

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Cluttered with comedy, melodrama and earthy, Looney-Toonesque artwork, this brilliant guide to social success is as hilarious as it is helpful.

(…er…actually….maybe more hilarious than helpful, as we now hear our girls screaming at each other “DO UNTO OTTERS, REMEMBER, DO UNTO OTTERS!!!!!”)

Other books mentioned:

HOTLINE VOICES: Michelle Mitchell from Scribbit: Motherhood in Alaska shares her thoughts about The Little Golden Book Anthologies.

4 Comments on No Holts Barred: Do Unto Otters (A Book About Manners), last added: 10/11/2008
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16. A Dog’s Eye View: Stella, Unleashed

Stella, UnleashedAuthor: Linda Ashman (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Paul Meisel (on JOMB)
Published: 2008 Sterling Publishing (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1402739877

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Unabashed autobiographical poems and hilariously expressive illustrations provide the observations and opinions of a straight-shooting canine in this irresistible pooch-hood memoir.

Other books mentioned:

More canine poetry on JOMB:

Pop over to author amok for today’s full menu of poetry offerings. Poetry Fridays are brought to us by Kelly Herold of Big A, Little A.

HOTLINE VOICES: Hugh Fraser of the Storynory podcast shares his thoughts on The Barefoot Book of Knights (by John Matthews and Giovanni Manna). Thanks, Hugh!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave us a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487.

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17. Slapstick Mapwork: The Scrambled States of America Talent Show

The Scrambled States of America Talent ShowAuthor: Laurie Keller (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Laurie Keller
Published: 2008 Henry Holt and Co. (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0805079971

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Gaffes, guffaws and gargantuan grins explode from page after page of frantic action as fifty fervent American states peel themselves from cartographical slumber and paint the town.

As a Canadian, I’m not embarrassed to admit that I learned more about U.S. geography and statehood history from these forty pages of tumult, tables and talent than I ever learned in school.

Other books mentioned:

3 Comments on Slapstick Mapwork: The Scrambled States of America Talent Show, last added: 9/19/2008
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18. So not chillin'

lolcats funny cat pictures

Um, no. I'm not chillin' with that cat! Things are wicked swamped right now. I've been:

* ordering the coolest TAKE THE REINS postcards (woo hoo!)
* querying a few mags
* devouring MY SO-CALLED FAMILY by Courtney Sheinmel
* prepping for an upcoming radio interview (thanks, Rose and Celeste!)
* starting to prep my Power Point for my Missouri Writers' Guild speeches
* planning a trip
* giving evil eyes to the new hurricane and threatening it to stay away
* and working on various book projects

I've also been glued to the DNC and am loving every minute of coverage. (Michelle Obama, you have awesome hair!)

Back to work... Read the rest of this post

6 Comments on So not chillin', last added: 8/28/2008
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19. Smart Thinking: Is A Worry Worrying You?

Is A Worry Worrying YouAuthor: Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz
Illustrator: Marie Le Tourneau
Published: 2005 Tanglewood Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1933718056 Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Collossal, consuming and yet so confoundedly intangible, that elusive gnawing that steals our peace of mind is given shaggy fur, a menacing grin and then several versions of “the boot” in this delightfully shadowy introduction to worries: what they are and how to send them packing.

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20. Of Songbirds and Suffrage: She’s Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head

She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her HeadAuthor: Kathryn Lasky (on JOMB)
Illustrator: David Catrow (on JOMB)
Published: 1995 Hyperion (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0786811641 Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Scowls, gasps and frowns abound in this surprisingly informative yet thoroughly entertaining account of the Audubon Society, its origins and its triumph over the silliness of the dead-bird fashion industry.

Other books mentioned:

You can read more about John Audubon’s Bird’s of America here.

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21. Exquisite Insanity: There Were Monkeys in my Kitchen!

There Were Monkeys In My KitchenAuthor: Sheree Fitch (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Marc Mongeau (on JOMB)
Published: 1992 Doubleday Canada (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0385254709 Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Concentrated comedy, chaos, and commotion explode from every detail-packed image and fervent verse of this frenzied celebration of syllables and silliness.

Is it just me, or does this book perfectly capture the pandemonium of parenting?

Other books mentioned:

Poetry Fridays are brought to us by Kelly Herold of Big A, Little A.

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22. Refined Irreverence: Lady Lupin’s Book of Etiquette

Lady Lupin's Book of EtiquetteAuthor: Babette Cole
Illustrator: Babette Cole
Published: 2001 Peachtree Publishers
ISBN: 1561452572 Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Growls, scowls and rowdiness meet high-brow how-to in this boisterous blend of rules and rule-breaking. Speaking of civility, we do apologize — this chat accidentally spirals into Babette Cole related babbling…

Other books mentioned:

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23. Superheroes, Sabayad and SUVs: My Friend Jamal

My Friend JamalAuthor: Anna McQuinn
Illustrator: Anna McQuinn and Ben Frey
Published: 2008 Annick Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1554511224

Beaming boyhood bliss pops from zesty action-packed photography-and-paint collage as a spunky seven year old proudly presents the shared adventures and intriguing details of life with his very best bud, Jamal — who happens to be Somali.

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

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24. Emulating Spaces: McFig & McFly (A Tale of Jealousy, Revenge, and Death — with a Happy Ending)

McFig & McFly (A Tale of Jealousy, Revenge, and Death -- with a Happy Ending)Author: Henrik Drescher
Illustrator: Henrik Drescher
Published: 2008 Candlewick Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0763633860

A veneer of feigned pleasantries can’t conceal the ceaseless, senseless competition that corrupts then consumes former friends in this deliciously absurd yet apt demonstration of misguided attention and life misspent.

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

1 Comments on Emulating Spaces: McFig & McFly (A Tale of Jealousy, Revenge, and Death — with a Happy Ending), last added: 5/17/2008
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25. I'm Back!

Holy toledo things have been busy lately!

Lots of work and lots of family stuff has made it a wee bit difficult to get around to posting on the ol' illustration blog. Add all of that to the fact that I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping and you've got a recipe for disaster more annoying than a weekend long marathon of Ben Affleck movies.

Anyway, hopefully I'm entering a bit of a downspell and hopefully that'll mean throwing something up on here more often.

Hopefully.

I don't like making promises, so we'll just stick with hopefully.

Anyway, my wife has been snapping some pictures of me early in the morning and we think that we've discovered the reason I'm not getting any sleep.

The stupid cats seem to think my head is their bed.

(Don't give me any guff on the black and white stripped quilt. I've had it since I was a kid, it's ugly as sin, it needs to be thrown away, I've heard it all from my wife more than once. I'll tell you the same thing I tell her...it's not going anywhere. That's right, I'm a thirty year old Linus. Deal with it.)

Steve~


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