Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

Diary #658

One of my reasons for building an addition onto my house is to make it easier to host company; ever since I was very young I’ve always wanted a place big enough for guests to visit without being cramped.  And though I’ve never been wealthy enough to buy such a place, I have a lifetime of experience at stretching my money to buy things most people would never have imagined I could afford, and stubborn enough to do what was necessary to modify it to my liking.  And even though I’m not yet completely done, the cottages have been habitable for a year and a half now, and a number of friends and friends of friends have enjoyed our hospitality.  At holidays it’s wonderful to be able to say, “You needn’t drive back to Seattle tonight, just stay in the guest cottage”, and when friends have wanted to just get away from the city for a few days, I can make that available for them.  There’s a quiet, serene energy here at Sunset which is very conducive to such retreats; animals seem especially sensitive to it.  I’ve seen nervous dogs calm down marvelously within hours of arrival; last weekend we dog-sat for a friend, and though she’s normally a fairly high-strung animal she spent most of her time just lounging around with our Annie.  Some of it is just the ambiance of the place itself, which I felt the first time I set foot here six years ago.  But part of it, I think, is due to my own influence; for the first time in many years, I really feel completely at home.  And for what may be the first time in my life, my prevailing mood while in residence here is one of peace and contentment.

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Federal prisons…[are] unwilling to get people the medical care they need.  –  Kevin Ring

Stalkers in Blue

Sleeping with a cop is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do:

A [New Jersey cop]…was arrested…[for] stalking and harassing his ex-girlfriend for over a month after they broke up…Erich A. Bennett…and the woman were in a brief dating relationship that she ended in late November 2022.  On Dec. 5, he showed up unannounced at her home and threatened her…She then blocked him from contacting her electronically and installed security cameras on the exterior of her home.  On Jan. 8, [she] began receiving harassing and threatening messages via social media from an online persona, which detectives connected to Bennett…The next weekend, on Jan. 14…he…[slashed] all four [of her] tires…keyed [her car, tore]…a flagpole…off the front of her house, and [stole] her Ring doorbell camera and two additional security cameras…Bennett also [used]…police databases on more than 30 occasions between October 2022 and January 2023 to find personal identifying information of the woman and [several of her friends]…

The Real World

Dr. David Ley schools his fellow therapists on the reality of sex work:

…As our society has become more open to discussions of sexual diversity, and more averse to sexual shame and stigma, more people are opening up to their therapists about their secret sexual lives and interests, including their past or present involvement in sex work.  Unfortunately, many therapists find themselves ill-prepared to effectively support their patients on these issues, and they may unintentionally harm or stigmatize their sex-working patients…Therapists often assume that anyone involved in sex work is doing so against their will and that the therapist needs to rescue them…sex work is not an inherent sign of pathology, attachment disturbance, substance abuse, or other problems…A sex worker’s job is not necessarily the reason the sex worker is coming to therapy.  They seek support for the same range of reasons that anyone else does…Not all sex workers are the victims of childhood sexual abuse, and for those who are, their abuse may have no direct relationship to their work in the sex industry.  This a version of the “damaged goods hypothesis”…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#1208) 

Computer-generated female images are replacing “sex robots” in prohibitionist fantasies:

[Prohibitionists and clueless young men on Twitter fantasized that] OnlyFans models could be in trouble [from]…hyper-realistic AI models…threatening to take over the adult platform and put them out of work.  A[n image of]…four almost identical [Barbie-like female characters]…spark[ed the fantasies among people who believe]…OnlyFans [is about pretty pictures rather than the fantasy of connection to a beautiful woman]…

It’s sad to see how many people still want to believe that actual sex workers with individual human personalities could be replaced by plastic dolls or computer-generated images without minds.

Torture Chamber (#1292)

This would be a real improvement if the conditions for release were objective rather than subject to the whims of those in power:

Federal inmates suffering from unconstitutional medical neglect could get a new avenue for relief under changes being proposed by the U.S. Sentencing Commission…[which] would broaden compassionate release, a policy that allows incarcerated people who are terminally ill or severely debilitated the mercy of spending their remaining days at home…the amendment would expand the qualifying circumstances…to include…people “suffering from a [serious] medical condition that requires longterm or specialized medical care…that is not being provided in a timely or adequate manner”…prisons and jails across the country regularly subject people to atrocious and humiliating neglect…The First Step Act of 2018…allow[ed] judges [rather than sadistic prison bureaucrats] to consider petitions…But…the [allowable]…reasons…were narrowly defined and did not include medical neglect…

To Molest and Rape (#1301)

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time“:

…a [typical and representative Missouri cop named Seth P. Wilkins who was]…convicted 10 years ago of possessing child pornography….was charged Jan. 18 with…sexual abuse of a 9-year-old girl…[he was convicted of] the [child porn] charge Nov. 19, 2012, in a plea agreement [for]…a suspended seven-year term with five years on probation…[from which] he was discharged…in August 2015…

To Molest and Rape (#1307)

Just a few more isolated incidents:

A…Dorset [cop named Ravi Canhye] has been charged with [eight sexual offences including] two counts of rape…A…spokesp[ig oinked out a lot of boilerplate obfuscation, emphasizing that he was not wearing his magical clown costume while committing the rapes]…

The Mob Rules (#1307)

Laws enabling nuisance lawsuits will keep multiplying until they’re ruled unconstitutional:

The Mississippi Senate Judiciary…committee approved a bill…that would [demand] age verification for any site that [hosts porn.  Politician]…Nicole Boyd…would exempt news gathering organizations and internet service providers from liability…[but]…is [otherwise] modeled after the Louisiana legislation…


I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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This isn’t a few “bad apples”; it’s a culture of rampant misogyny.  –  Rachel Cunliffe

Law of the Instrument

I guess they figure describing rape as “sex trafficking” will net a larger payout:

A federal sex trafficking and forced labor lawsuit filed by a former employee against…shipping giant Crowley Maritime will move forward…[after the] Judge…denied a motion…to dismiss…the plaintiff claims she was 21 years old when she was hired by Crowley as a credit and collections coordinator in Crowley’s San Salvador office and that she was paid less than $10,000 per year.  She says that in 2017 she was sexually assaulted inside an elevator at the Crowley offices by a supervisor…[and that] Crowley moved the supervisor to a new department instead of firing him…

The “sex trafficking” angle seems to derive from the fact that she was forced by her job to travel with the supervisor who raped her.

Follow Your Bliss

How nice of this guy to “volunteer” for a position that gave him access to children:

A [typical and representative] volunteer youth pastor at the Abba’s House church in Hixson [Tennessee, who was also the] PTA president at Wolftever Creek Elementary School…now faces [charges of] child molestation…and aggravated sexual battery…Dustin Spillers…is [originally from Louisiana and the charges appear to originate in Georgia]…

This one too:

A [volunteer] Colorado Springs Bible study teacher, Carlton Ranquist, pleaded guilty to [molest]ing a [girl under 15]…Ranquist accepted a plea deal that saw him plead guilty to just one of the nine charges he initially faced…the remaining eight charges will all be dismissed as part of the plea deal…Ranquist was arrested in Maine…to [which he had moved] in 2020…Five [of the] charges Ranquist faced prior to accepting the plea deal…[were for molesting other kids] between 2006 and 2012…

If Men Were Angels

Even the use of the distancing “former” is the same as for rapist cops:

A [typical and representative] youth pastor…[named] Sean Patrick Masopust…pleaded guilty to [molesting a teenage girl]…and was sentenced…to 10 years of supervised probation, 28 days in the Steele County [Minnesota] Jail, and a $1,000 fine…

To Molest and Rape (#1286)

Hey, female cops; how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

A [London cop]…who[se identity is being covered up by the government]…is…being investigated…[for] sexually assault[ing] a female colleague…the woman had previously complained about his…behaviour [to supervisors before he actually attacked her].  The man, who was [wearing his magical clown costume] at the time of the…attack, works [covering up other cops’ attacks on other women]…

Stalkers in Blue (#1289)

Another cop demonstrating exactly what he is:

A [cop] pulled down a teenage woman’s top and took a photograph of her breasts after pretending to ejaculate on her chest [by flicking beer foam onto her]…Paul Hinchcliffe…also…[loudly announced] he would use it [and other pictures he took without her consent] to masturbate …the [disgusting] incident took place when he was drinking with three other [pigs]…in a pub in Rotherham on October 3, 2020…[after] the woman l[eft due to his behavior]…she received a message from Hinchliffe saying: “God I’d do you, is that bad?”…accompanied by a number of emojis that the woman took to represent masturbation…

To Molest and Rape (#1298)

This guy needs to be put away before he murders her:

William Ray Pruitt…was arrested…for [stalking and harassing] a…girl [he raped at gunpoint]…in [December] 2020[, when she was 14]…the…stalking began in October 2021, when the victim was 15…and continued into December 2022…[after the rape], the victim’s mother left her job and moved [with her daughter] to an undisclosed location.  But soon after, a private investigator…was hired by Pruitt [to find them so he could]…start…driving by the…new residence…Pruitt [then] began leaving cryptic messages around the neighborhood referencing…an…[imaginary] unborn child…he [named “Libby” and pretended to have sired on his victim by the rape.  Then]…On 8/22/22 [the girl] was driving [home] alone from…school when…Pruitt pulled up next to her and yelled at her to pull over…the[n]…attempted to…force…her…off the road…[she escaped by dr]iving [to] her cousin’s apartment…[and running] inside…[before] Pruitt…[could catch her]…

To Molest and Rape (#1307)

It’s rare to see someone whose name isn’t Maggie McNeill expressing these thoughts this strongly:

[David] Carrick showed…his employers…who he was before he even became a [cop]…he had been under criminal investigation for…burglary.  They let him in anyway.  He was accused of assault against a former partner.  Nothing was done.  He continued to rape and assault women, and was promoted…14 [complaints]…of…violence…were ignored…Carrick did not commit these crimes in spite of being a [cop]…he was part of a force that enabled him to commit these crimes…power-hungry individuals are drawn to positions that give them power and enable them to abuse it.  A man predisposed to raping and harming women will seek a job in an organisation that provides him the opportunity to do so.  If that organisation ignores the blinking red lights and lets such men continue with virtual impunity, it will become a magnet for abusers…This isn’t a few “bad apples”; it’s a culture of rampant misogyny, and such cultures naturally attract and embolden rampant misogynists…The [police have] shown us what [they are].  Now we need to believe it.


I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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There [is] a culture of impunity for…police officers.  –  Harriet Wistrich

Divided We Fall (#736)

Contrary to popular belief, “conversion therapy” has never been banned anywhere in the US; most states merely restrict its use to sex workers and clients:

[Politicians] in Wisconsin voted to strike down a ban on [using] conversion therapy [against LGBT people]…effectively making the practice legal.  Conversion therapy is a broad term that can describe many practices that generally involve trying to force…sexual…[minorities] to [stop whatever sexual practices those with power over the victims dislike].  The methods involved in these practices are highly discredited by medical professionals, and those who have been victims of conversion therapy have described it as torture

The Widening Gyre (#928)

People interpreting a domestic violence incident as “sex trafficking” is basically a microcosm of the whole moral panic:

Bangor [Maine] police sa[id a] kidnapping [from a Target parking lot] is not part of a larger human trafficking ring, despite claims to the contrary on Facebook…Colby Cooper…arrived at the store with the unnamed woman[, but when she broke up with him while there] he…forced [her]…into a U-Haul rental van…[and] fled…police spotted Cooper a short time later…and…arrested [him]…The department cautioned people to refrain from believing everything they read on Facebook…

To Molest and Rape (#1212)

Just a few isolated incidents:

A [London cop] who used his [job] to put fear into his victims has admitted [to] dozens of rape[s] and [highly abusive] sexual [relationships with] 12 women.  David Carrick…who met some victims through dating websites, pleaded guilty to 49 offences across two decades.  The [police bureaucracy] has apologised after it emerged he had [been reported for rape]…nine [times]…between 2000 and 2021.  A [boss cop attempted to downplay the pervasiveness of rape among cops by uttering the obvious lie that] his [behavior] was “unprecedented in policing”…His offences spanned 2003 to 2020 and most took place in Hertfordshire, where he lived.  [In his abusive relationships] Carrick…would control what the women wore, what they ate, where they slept and even stopped some of the women from speaking to their own children…

Thou Shalt Not (#1227)

Prohibitionism is a dangerous mental illness:

Bringing cake into the office should be seen as being as socially unacceptable as inflicting passive smoking on your colleagues, Britain’s top food [nanny]…said…[Nutrition cultist] Susan Jebb…said it was not enough to rely on…personal [responsibility and free choice]… “If nobody brought in cakes into the office, I would not eat cakes in the day, but because people do bring cakes in, I eat them.  Now, OK, I have made a choice, but people were making a choice to go into a smoky pub”…

The Punitive Mindset (#1243) 

If there’s anything narrower and meaner than the mind of a prison official, I’m not sure what it might be:

Florida’s prison system has banned more than 20,000 books — the most tracked in the U.S., according to a new study from The Marshall Project…[which] published a database…of about 54,000 titles banned by [human-caging bureaucrats] in 18 states with such records…Most prison systems ban…books containing content related to violence, [criticism of the carceral system], sex or nudity…But…other books banned in Florida prisons include: adult coloring books, French language textbooks, [and] How to Make Money in StocksIn Texas, The Color Purple is banned, while Dungeons and Dragons books are prohibited in Michigan

Guinea Pigs (#1260) 

Alabama discovers the secret to detecting “sex trafficking” in ordinary escort ads: label everything “sex trafficking” and arrest all the women:

Computer modeling developed by…University of Alabama…collects data from online sex ads…[in order to] help…[cops] locate…and arrest s[ex workers]…the modeling has…[led to] over 100 arrests since February 2021…

The article goes on to dredge up lots of moldy decade-old “sex trafficking” propaganda, including the claim that half of all sex workers are children; “Human trafficking is the second-largest criminal enterprisebring[ing] in as much as $150 billion…a year“; the claim that someone other than gibbering idiots calls I-20 the “sex trafficking superhighway“; and the utterly-absurd fantasy of “6,000 human trafficking victims per day in Alabama alone.

The Mob Rules (#1303)

Laws enabling nuisance lawsuits will keep multiplying until they’re ruled unconstitutional:

Utah may follow Louisiana’s lead by requiring residents who want to access pornographic websites to verify their age first….[pro-censorship politician] Todd Weiler…[bloviated a lot of nonsense and dismissed] privacy concerns…[which should come as no surprise given that he’s the jackass who sponsored the bill]…declar[ing] pornography a [“]public health crisis[“ and also tried to establish a state internet censor]


I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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The Real Red Flag

My boyfriend of 3 yrs frequents local escorts and hookup websites and doesn’t erase his browser on our shared PC. I’ve confronted him about it and he threw the whole, “if you don’t believe me about not searching and what not then YOU have trust issues”.  He even said he didn’t even know what site I was talking about.  Lies.  What’s your take on this?  I want to trust him but this is a red flag.

Trust is not something that can merely be given; it must be earned.  And your boyfriend doesn’t seem to be making much effort to earn it.  While it’s certainly possible he’s just searching escort sites to look at the nude pics, it seems unlikely unless you know for a fact that he hasn’t got enough disposable income to actually hire escorts (and even then, it’s not like there isn’t plenty of free porn on the internet).  And the “hookup” sites don’t even have that catch.  Furthermore, while escort transactions are professional and therefore no threat to your relationship, the same cannot be said of amateur dating.  But whether he is or isn’t stepping out is far less important than what I see as the real red flag here: his apparent lack of respect for your intelligence and sense.  A guy who doesn’t erase his browser on a PC he shares with his girlfriend is either a fool or thinks his girlfriend is, and for him to respond to questions with weak denials tends to point toward the latter.  As for “If you don’t believe me something is wrong with you”, that tactic is such a classic of beginner gaslighting it probably appears in Chapter One of Partner Abuse for Dummies.

Look, if he was merely masturbating to porn, I’d tell you it was nothing to be concerned about.  And while it’s certainly possible that this is a similar fantasy-activity (because human sexuality is astonishingly varied and complex), his guilty reaction seems to hint otherwise.  As I said above, it’s not that he’s looking at other women, which is typical male behavior signifying absolutely nothing other than that he has a penis.  It’s that he reacted to your questions with lies and blame-shifting, which wouldn’t bode well even if it were about something other than sex.  In fact, I’m going to suggest you think about your other interactions with him; is this the only area in which he seems to be behaving dishonestly, or is it part of a pattern?  Because if you come to the conclusion that he cannot be trusted in general, not just about sex but about other aspects of your partnership, perhaps it’s time to consider whether the two of you may not really be right for one another.  Because while breakups are never easy, they’re usually a lot easier (and far less acrimonious) at the 3-years-living-together mark than at the 10-years-married-with-children mark.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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Diary #655

As I wrote last week, I’m trying to give myself permission to get back to the projects slowly now that Christmas is over; I’m thinking of it as a kind of trial run for next winter, when I want to put any big projects on hiatus for about four months and restrict myself to normal chores, holiday stuff, writing, and any emergencies or semi-emergencies that might arise.  When I look at that list I have to smirk at myself a bit, because it’s already as much as many people consider normal work; the writing and its attendant research & upkeep occupy 4-6 hours of every day, and regular chores (including meal prep) are another ≈ 2 hours.  On a typical day I’m occupied with set tasks (including stuff like eating and personal hygiene) from about 9 AM to 9 PM, and in the summer I’m doing well to stop by 10 PM.  Even on Sundays the only break in the pace is that the only blog writing I do is this weekly diary, and in summer that’s not always true because I need to catch up on whatever writing got crowded out of its proper place earlier in the week due to the longer summer days and the extra work that comes with them.  So it’s kind of a big deal that I’m also trying to make myself take Sundays “off” (ie, only the minimum writing plus basic chores and pressing stuff, except the weeks I need to drive into Seattle on Sunday for Monday appointments); once the annex project is basically done and I can get my financial situation a little more stable, I should be able to swing light duty on Sundays and the 12 days of Christmas, plus no big projects in winter, without too much guilt.  After all, even roses need a little time off to recharge.

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Reporters: could y’all please stop making claims about what politicians and bureaucrats “intended” some awful civil liberties violation to do?  One:  You are not fucking psychic and do not actually know what they intended; you just know what they claim, which for politicians means less than nothing.  Two: Nobody outside of a philosophy class should give a damn what was “intended”; if people’s lives are being ruined by extensive criminal records, sometimes before fucking puberty, the “intent” of those who inflict the police violence is of absolutely no consequence.  This “good intentions” shit is nothing but an excuse for evil, and anyone with the even the most basic education should be able to grasp this.  It’s not like we don’t all know the saying about the Road to Hell.

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Diary #654

Since Friday was Little Christmas, I took the decorations down and put them away; next, the tree went out to the fence, where we stack brush and the like to keep naughty animals from trying to go under.  Then it’s vacuuming up all the remaining needles, and mopping the floor before finally moving the table back to its normal angle, and the living room was back to the way it looks for 7/8 of the year.  De-Yuling the house is always just a little sad, but this year it felt a bit more so than usual; I actually managed to take it relatively easy during the holiday this year, so I suppose part of me is reluctant to go back to the usual level of activity.  But that’s really a good thing because, as everyone in my life is constantly reminding me, I work much too hard anyway.  I still have far too much to do on the annex project to just blow it off for the rest of the winter, but I’n not going to drive myself like I did last winter; I can keep that promise pretty easily because I’m not trying to get a roof in place or pig-proof a fence.  The remaining tasks for the annex are mostly small indoor ones: I need to finish the bathroom; install the wood-burning stove; help Jae with the decor; plane down several door frames so they don’t stick when the wood swells in wet weather; fix a small leak in the hot tub plumbing; close up a few gaps where rain blows in under the eaves; finish up the vestibule outside the bathroom; seal the shop roof and the annex roof join with Durabak; finish the main atrium floor and the lower deck; and a number of other similar tasks.  But if that sounds like a lot to you, take a look back at the diaries and annex columns for the first few months of last year and you’ll see it’s small potatoes in comparison; even at a more leisurely pace, I don’t think I’ll have trouble getting the entire project wrapped up before my birthday this year.  And then next winter, I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the thing without feeling as though I owe myself a full afternoon of work every day.

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People often use the titular expression as a generic expression of gratitude, but when I use it I mean it literally.  And by “you” I mean my loyal subscribers and readers who, even if they don’t actually subscribe, have always been generous when I ask for help with a specific expense, such as travel for speaking or a budgetary shortfall like the one I faced in the autumn.  Every month I see notice of incoming subscriptions from my stalwarts, some of whom have supported me in this way for the better part of a decade.  And when I ask for help with a specific goal, it rarely takes more than a few weeks to hit it.  I don’t know if that’s normal for blogs, but I do know that without that unflagging support this one would’ve folded years ago.  It’s not the hosting expenses; those are relatively small and I have no problem justifying them to myself.  No, it’s the sheer amount of work involved.  When I first started writing The Honest Courtesan, 40 was still visible in the rear-view mirror and I had years of pent-up anger and creative passion with which to drive my effort; now 60 is perceptible on the horizon and, as is the way of the world, my internal fires no longer  blaze as brightly as they once did.  If I thought nobody was reading this and few cared about my work, I would’ve closed up shop long ago.  But if there’s one thing being a whore has taught me, it’s that people value the things they pay for.  Whenever I receive a subscription notice or a contribution to one of my fundraisers, it sends me a message loudly and clearly: this reader cares about you and thinks what you’re doing is important.  And when I’m tired or feeling down, such gifts and their implied message give me a lift and keep me going.  There’s something beautiful, magical and a bit awe-inspiring about this kind of generosity; as I pointed out a couple of months ago, I haven’t paywalled this blog and I’m not going to even threaten to paywall it, because it doesn’t feel ethically right to me.  And yet, y’all give me what I need to be able to treat this as a part-time job without any kind of direct exchange or PBS-station-style-bribery on my part.  I can’t even begin to tell y’all how much that means to me; I’m not often at a loss for words, but my powers fail me when I sit down to try to express my gratitude.  In fact, I sometimes worry that y’all may feel I’m ungrateful or take all this for granted, and I cast about for some more concrete way to express it…only to realize that nothing I could come up with would express it any better than demonstrating my commitment to our implied pact by making sure that there’s a new post every day, and by reminding y’all that I’m only an email away if you need more direct (and, needless to say, discreet) advice or professional expertise.  But now my words are failing again; I feel the ones I’ve written here are woefully inadequate to express my feelings.  And yet, they’re the only ones I have, so I can only hope that y’all can sense the depth of emotion behind these all-too-limited sentences.

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