Sunday, April 28, 2013

DC Youth Pride 2013

Hey there,

Yesterday was DC Youth Pride, organized by the Youth Pride Alliance.

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, was just one of many organizations which had a table set up around the Dupont Circle Fountain. In case you didn't know, I sing with GMCW, and you can check out my last post about an event we were invited to be a part of, singing at the Human Right Campaign's Out for Equality event, HRC's inaugural ball this year.

But I digress. I got there right as it was getting started, and got to catch the tail end of Tom Goss' set on the main stage.

Up after him was an adorable band from Baltimore, Basement Instinct. Check out their Facebook page here. As much as I wanted to stay at the stage, I returned to the circle to keep walking around.

HRC had a table set up along with a wheel to engage youth and adults who stopped by.

Here are some of GMCW brothers, sporting our red polos as they manned the table all afternoon.

And guess who stopped by Youth Pride and our table? Ward 4 councilmember, Muriel Bowser. In case you didn't know, she's running for Mayor. Check out this piece in the Washington Post.

Real Talk DC showed up with their van. If you're not familiar with Real Talk DC, they're a subsidiary of Metro Teen Aids, funded by DC's Department of Health.

And as it was Youth Pride, Capital Pride was present.

At the next table was the National Black Justice Coalition.

If you're not familiar with NBJC, here's the blurb from their About section:
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
Got to chat with the two lovely ladies at the table, and looking forward to possibly talking to them more, particularly about their Emerging Leaders program.

The DC government was present, via the One City Action Plan (OCAP).

The OCAP has three goals, grow and diversify the District economy, educate and prepare the workforce for the new economy, and improve the quality of life for all.

SMYAL was also present, obviously. It stands for Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League, of which I am an alumn.

It provided a much needed safe space and community for me (where I also met my first boyfriend), the summer before my junior year of high school.

Casa Ruby, had a table. For those just getting to know Casa Ruby:
Casa Ruby is the first community, social and resources center run by LGBT queer Latinos in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.

And, small world, GMCW's last GenOUT visit was at Georgetown Day School, as part of their annual pride week activities. And when we asked the students what some of their favorite moments were, one mentioned the speaker they had just that day, an amazing transgender woman, Casa Ruby's founder and director, Ruby Corado.

In addition to the performance stage and the tables ringing the fountain, people had the chance to customize their own t-shirts. Check out my raver sister from another mister, Jen, working on hers.

And this is where I ran into one of my favorite people, Aram Vartian, who is the multimedia producer for Metro Weekly, doin' what he does best: capturing moments and telling our stories.

And just to show that half of life is simply showing up and being present, I had been walking around with current chorus president, Marcus Brown, also ex officio member of GMCW's Board of Directors so Aram took the opportunity to get Marcus' thoughts and feelings regarding youth pride and representing the chorus there.

So I captured the set up, and keep an eye out in the comments when Aram finalizes the piece.

So just some other highlights of organizations present. Here were a couple of folks with the Trevor Project who let me capture their smiling faces.

The Trevor Project was founded in 1998 by James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski and Randy Stone, the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR. Set in 1981, TREVOR is a timeless coming-of-age story about love, loss, and learning to be yourself.
Definitely recommend checking out their website for the rest of the organization's history, and more.

Speaking of checking out, I love that the ultimate place to check out books was present and presented themselves as a resource for LGBT youth, DC Public Library.

The DC Center, another great resource, was also there.

The Mayor's Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Affairs had a table, almost on the opposite side of the circle from One City.

DC Public Schools and the Youth Advisory Committee also participated in today's event.

And SMYAL had a couple neat engagement pieces set up. One was a photo booth, which you got to write a message to hold in the picture with you.

And the other was a board asking "who is your hero?"

Overall just an awesome day, with some beautifully perfect weather. And if you're on Facebook and you'd like to like Youth Pride Alliance's page, make sure to do so.

 It's also one of those things where when I think back to my own youth, and the world as I knew it when I graduated from high school in '99... far things have come. Yes, still plenty of work to do, but sometimes when you get caught up in the day to day, it's hard to really take a step back and reflect. Just glad that I could be part of moving forward as a community through GMCW's GenOUT program.

More than anything, I value it as a chance to really get to know the youth we're visiting with. In fact my goal is to make sure that we listen to them and know more about their world, than they do about us. Because they can check out our website, and come to our concerts, and talk to us after. But that's really one of the few chances and opportunities we have to listen to them. And it speaks to one of our values in the chorus:
We honor the unique backgrounds and experiences of our members
But I digress, I'm looking forward to next year. I'm really excited because I want to see how GMCW can take our own presence to another level with fun and surprise.

But until then, I wanted to share a music video a good friend just shared with me, that was particularly timely and relevant, which I hadn't seen until this wekend, Macklemore's music video for his track, "Same Love".

Where you at DC Youth Pride? How was it for you? What'd you think of the song and video, especially if you've never heard or seen it before. And if you have any photos or videos that are online and public, please share the link(s) in the comments. You can see my album for DC Youth Pride 2013 here on Google+here on Facebook, or here on Flickr.

And, just in case, with Flickr, if you decided to order prints, please consider throwing some change my way. PayPal's good and my email is

Also, I did not get pics of all the wonderful organizations that were there for Youth Pride. If I did not mention you in this post, please share you organization with a link to your website and any social media in the comments.

With love, yours in song,


Facebook photo upload issues

Hey there,

Encountering issues uploading photos on Facebook? Does this error message look familiar?

Storage Failure
We had trouble storing this photo, please try
again in a few minutes.

Well you're not the only one. Check out this question posted at the Help Center. Just posted a little after 11am EST, it's already got well over a hundred sympathetic "answers" from people experiencing the same issue.

Is this affecting you? Is it not? Did it, but now it's fine? Please share, in the comments.

Curious mind wants to know,


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Table for one

Hey there,

I'm sitting here at a table by myself. I had a craving for sushi, specifically the Japone Tempura Roll, which I actually had earlier this week already.

And I don't know if it was that today was my last day at Class Acts Arts, or that I had my Viral Marketing class tonight, or an audition for Keyvibe, or maybe some combination of all that and more, but on top of my dining craving, I suddenly realized I had a strong desire to dine alone.

Julius, an adorably sweet server, asked if I was looking for my friend. I said no, and proceeded to sit down and order. Sure I checked in on various social networks as is my habit, and started writing this. But when my food came, I put away my mobile device and devoted my attention to my food and myself. Yes, even when my phone beeped for my attention.

And it was good.

Just sitting alone with the food and my thoughts. Sure, I couldve done this at home. I suppose some might think it...a little off to go out and eat by oneself. And I certainly had the urge, a kind of social muscle memory, to find someone to join me.

But that goal seemed moot when the mere goal was to get something to eat.

Anyway, I digress. Is there anything you do to have some alone time, a place to eat, read, or maybe even just people watch? Or does the thought of alone time in a public place not appeal to you?

Curious mind wants to know. Please leave your thoughts in the comments,


Thursday, April 18, 2013

When tragedy strikes close to home and when it doesn't

Hey there,

So I was watching a video of the explosion in Texas, on

And here's what I wrote after, initially started on Facebook, but realized was probably more appropriate to put here.

Even from the distance the video is taken, the blast looks devastating. Not surprising since it was felt up to 50 miles away. And I don't share this to belittle other incidents of tragedy, local or around the world, accidental or intentional, etc. 
Just lost in thought over how it takes something unexpected and close to home like this to be shocked by the loss of life, and how used we get to hearing about it, especially when it's not happening in our own back yard. 
I'd say, that it probably reflects more on what we do as humans, in terms of being affected by things where we are more likely to, or even actually, know someone in the place where tragedy struck, which by nature makes it more personal.
But then the arts manager kicked in and began to address something I observed happening, in terms of what I started talking about. People being shocked that others were more affected by these events than by the ever increasing death tolls over seas.
So for anyone who might comment on, criticize and ask where is the shock and outrage, where are the thoughts and prayers which we (Americans) have for this incident or the Boston marathon explosions, (which I'm not saying are related in intent and execution, the only common denominator being the tragic loss of life and bodily harm to those who survived), and why it's lacking to that degree regarding death overseas in wars executed by us as a country? 
Even for those who don't, I would say this is why art and cultural exchanges are more important now more than ever. They share our collective global experience, the geo-societal quirks as well as universal thoughts and questions about the human experience. They break down borders to the point where the whole world is our collective back yard. 
If you're going to criticize others for being disconnected from what is foreign, then more needs to be done than simply sharing a news article on social media, or protesting. Find out how to participate and contribute to exchanges and dialogues which makes the 'other' the familiar, and I'm pretty sure you'll start to see a community and society that's as engaged and affected by overseas tragedies, as they are by when tragedy happens in their own back yard.

And this isn't to say that this has never happened. Actually, what comes to mind when you hink of ways in which we (Americans or not) have been present as members a global society, to stand in solidarity and support a foreign country in a time of tragedy? What comes to mind when you think of ways we've failed to do so?

Finally, do you have any thoughts or questions for anything else I might've said?

Can't wait to hear what you think in the comments,


Monday, April 15, 2013

The Level One Agent Who Could

There once was a level one agent, 

Who didn’t quite know if he could.

And one day he made several new friends,

New friends who could help, and they would.

They'd help him explore DC places.

From portal to portal, they flew.

He learned to keep up with their paces.

With them, he would reach level two.

These new friends, they were blue and were green.

Together they found a new truth.

They would find both the seen and unseen.

They'd find a lost fountain of youth.

All together they opened locked doors,

With bonds from this new brotherhood.

But this agent, he learned one thing more:

With friends, he had learned that he could.

- JR aka AWayofLife0

P.S. By the end of the portal hunt, in that last picture, he reached Level 3!!
P.P.S. The fountain of youth refers to a Mickey Mouse water bottle he lost somewhere between the first and the second portal. One of our teammates retraced our steps and met us at the third portal with it.
P.P.P.S. This cross faction team was made up of:
  • Resistance - dustmachine, Scaevola, Wheatious, & zenmabel
  • Enlightened - AWayofLife0, GurlieBoi, & PraxisLoki
P.P.P.P.S. To clarify, the agent who started out at level one was Matt aka Scaevola. I reached Level 8 a month or so ago, but (even though we were on opposite factions) for the duration of the portal hunt, my fellow Enlightened operatives and I worked with Scaevola and the other Resistance agents to strategically build up and break down portals and resonators, as well as drop low-level items for his inventory.

For more info:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My next step

This is copied from a note I wrote on Facebook:

Hey everyone!!

While I still have some personal calls to make, I feel it's time to at least share this with everyone publicly. My time at Class Acts Arts is coming to an end, as I submitted my two weeks yesterday

It's been a wonderful and formative time after receiving my M.A. in Arts Management from American University, and has forever informed me on the power of arts and cultural experiences in non-traditional spaces, not in a theatre but in a school's auditorium, not in a gallery but in the multipurpose room at a children's hospital, not in a studio but in the public space of a government organization. And NOT at the expense of the traditional and established arts experiences at an institution, but to compliment and support them, as well as vice versa.

So on April 25, 2013, I begin my work at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria, as their Marketing Manager. Now if you're not familiar with the Torpedo Factory, I highly recommend you check it out. And keep an eye out for the occasional post from me, which hopefully educate, entertain, or do some combination of the two. But I also promise that my personal page won't become all Torpedo Factory, all the time.

And...yeah, I'm pretty stoked!! Especially as I work to complete my certificate in Digital Media Management at Georgetown's School of Continuing Studies, I'm excited to jump into the deep end of the Visual Arts world. Also, if and when I do my job right, I can't wait for all of you to join me at some point, whether the Torpedo Factory is a place you're very familiar with or haven't even heard of before, whether you're in the area or might only ever get to know it and its artists digitally.

Oh, and don't worry. This does NOT mean that I'm not going to be involved or engaged in the performing arts either on stage or off. In fact, I've already got a number of ideas for cross-disciplinary collaborations and opportunities, but also plan to get back into my dancing in my free time!! I'll stop there, though.

Thanks to everyone I've gotten a chance to work with while at Class Acts Arts, and I can't wait until our paths cross again, in any capacity!! And I can't wait to meet all the artists I'll be working with!! In the meantime artist or not, especially if you're ever down in Old Town, you know where to set your sights if you want to find me.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You know you play Ingress when...

Hey there,

Just quickie, a list of ten, not necessarily the best or anything, so please feel free to add any of your own in the comments.

You know you play Ingress when:
  • You feign being lost in front of portals, to not arouse suspicions while you hack, burst, deploy or upgrade.
  • You do the scanner moonwalk, which is what happens when you want to deploy resonators as far away from the portal, so you walk until it is just beyond the edge of your scanner's field, and back-up to get it right on the end
  • You have the volume just a little above inaudible, so as to see if other operatives reveal themselves from the masses around you, when they react knowingly and look around to try and find the source
  • You carry around your laptop as a back-up portable charger until you can get a real one
  • You now realize just how many post offices and libraries there are in your area
  • You know the city speed limit allows you to hack about a portal each block, two if they're close to the road, spread out enough, and you're quick
  • You actually slow down to stop when you see a yellow light, because it let's you do more damage to that portal right on the corner
  • You actually want the red light to last longer, so you can finish deploying, upgrading, or linking
  • You will drive in the left lane just to be able to hack that portal just on the other side of the street
  • You recognize the screen's glow at night when another car pulls up near you
Disclaimer: for any of the car references, it is assumed that there are two operatives playing, one to drive, and one to use the scanner, as it is dangerous and illegal in some places to use a mobile device in your vehicle without a hands-free accessory or setting.

Anyway, that's all. Have any others you'd like to add?

Leave 'em in the comments :-)


Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Arts Advocacy Day and the STEAM Caucus

Hey there,

So it's Arts Advocacy Day, a national day of advocacy for the arts, organized by Americans for the Arts.

I wanted to share a call-to-action which I posted on my Facebook, particularly for anyone who's interested in participating, but couldn't make the pilgrimage to Washington, DC to join their fellow artists, arts administrators, and other arts advocates.

They have a campaign, which they informed their community, to Urge your U.S. Representative to Join the House STEAM Caucus:
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) are co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional STEAM Caucus, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. 
The Caucus aims “to change the vocabulary of education to recognize the benefits of both the arts and sciences—and their intersections—to our country's future generations. Caucus members will work to increase awareness of the importance of STEAM education and explore new strategies to advocate for STEAM programs.” 
By filling in your address information in the corresponding box, you will automatically be provided a message for you to send requesting your Representative to join the caucus - or a message thanking him or her for serving as a member already. Thank you for taking two minutes to send this message!
So in addition to sharing the link on Facebook, I said the following:
So today's the day!! It's Arts Advocacy Day!! And Americans for the Arts' Arts Action Fund makes it uber-easy to advocate. 
In fact, if you haven't sent an email to your representatives yet, I recommend you check out one of the fund's latest calls to action, either urging your reps to join or thanking them for joining the House STEAM Caucus, which adds the Arts to STEM. 
Obviously, there's work to be done at all levels (nationally, regionally, & locally) and this is just one form of advocacy on one particular arts issue. But if you don't know where to start and/or you just have 3 minutes you should definitely consider clicking on this link, because we gain so much more momentum with each person that lets their representatives know that the arts matter and are important to their constituency.
Anyway, that's what I wanted to share, particularly for all of you that might not be my friends in real life and on Facebook, or might not be following me there. If you would like to see my Facebook post, like it, and/or share, please feel free to.

And if you have two minutes, please, please, PLEASE go to this Arts Action Fund Action Alert and reach out to your representative, to thank them for joining the STEAM caucus, or to ask them to join it.

Together, we'll steam ahead!! Yeah, I know, not the first time someone's said that. In all seriousness, I've got one more resource to share. I recommend checking out this website, STEM to STEAM.
The STEM to STEAM initiative, championed by RISD President John Maeda, is supported by teachers, researchers, policy makers, students, and businesspeople from RISD and beyond.

At the heart of the activity, a team of student research assistants works in the Office of Government Relations to apply their firsthand knowledge of Art + Design education to exploring new avenues for STEM to STEAM.
That's it for now. As usual, let me know what you think, in the comments,


Friday, April 05, 2013

SideCar hits the streets of DC

Hey there,

So I've been approved to be a driver and ambassador for SideCar. "What's SideCar" you say?

Well, in case you don't know, SideCar is an app. It's a ride-sharing app. It's a ride-sharing app that allows the passengers to chip in with a donation to help out the driver with gas for and general maintenance of his or her vehicle.

Some see it as an evolution of slugging, with that next stage being the actual involvement of a monetary exchange. But I digress.

I've been approved to drive, and I'm going to a SideCarU session this evening. So I thought I'd just share some articles I've come across that I would say is recommend reading, if you'd like to know more about this app which started its life in San Francisco, and has made its way to DC.

This first quote is from Riding with Strangers: SideCar Is the Best Thing to Happen to Hitchhiking Since the Invention of Thumbs:
The first time I used SideCar, a new app-enabled car-sharing service that began in San Francisco and started operating in Seattle four months ago, I was excited by the fact that the driver was not only a complete stranger but he also owned the car. I was entering the stranger's private space. This is not what happens when I enter a bus; the driver doesn't own it, and so the bus is a neutral space. With SideCar, private space becomes connected with public space.
Read more here.

The next quote is from Dr. Gridlock at the Washington Post, SideCar, a new ride-sharing service, arrives in D.C.:
The premise is simple: Travelers can use the app to hitch rides with nearby drivers, while drivers who sign up can get paid for giving these rides. There’s no set fee, so passengers can pay the drivers any amount. (The app does come with a suggested donation, but riders can pay more or less if they want.)
Read more here.

And the final quote is from WAMU, Ride-Sharing Service, SideCar, Opens In D.C.:
"It's very simple," says Nick Allen, co-founder of the technology-based service. "You pinpoint your location, where you are and where you're going, and it sends out a request to drivers in your area. And they see where you are and where you're going, and they make a decision if they like to give you a ride. At the end, you make a voluntary donation and go on your way."
And not only can you read, but you can listen to more here, as well.

Anyway, that's that. You can be sure I'll be sharing more about my own experience with it. Definitely looking forward to meeting my fellow drivers.

And, yeah, there's the rational concern for safety and security, which I'm sure they'll address. In the meantime, let me know what you think, especially if you've used this app before in other cities, or even in DC.

Do so in the comments, especially if you're another driver,


Doing outreach? 3 acts of engagement

Hey there,

I've been fortunate enough to be a part of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington's GenOUT program. The program was mentioned before last year, actually, in a post I wrote about singing in our February concert, The Kids Are All Right.

Quick refresher, here's what GenOut's about.
GenOUT, the youth outreach program of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer  and allied youth (LGBTQA), using the mission of the Chorus to create a positive and affirming experience for all audiences, regardless of sexual orientation.
So, we've done 4 outreach events, this spring alone, and more often than not, we have time to hang around and a handful of youth come up to continue the conversation. In that context, I wanted to share three things I believe are an absolute necessity, in terms of things to do before that discussion ends.

And I realize outreach has a multitude of different models, so this might or might not apply based on how similar and relevant your own outreach programs and opportunities are.

1) Ask them what their name is and do you best to remember it. It may not seem like much, but I've definitely seen a handful of times where a student has come up and they almost finish talking with us, without names being exchanged. I believe, what it does (and I realize it's not original) is that it reminds them that it is as MUCH about them as it is about us, and that we care enough to know what they're name is, to know WHO they are, beyond just a student.

And to help you remember names, here's a great article at Forbes that was just published today (it's like they KNEW!!), 6 Easy Ways to Remember Someone's Name.

2) Try to ask more questions than you answer. This isn't to say that the youth, or audience in general, shouldn't ask any questions, and this isn't to say that you don't have information worth sharing, but you should be of the mindset to at least keep thinking about how to engage them by constantly refocusing the conversation on them and their experiences, particularly what they're getting out of the exchange.

In general, try to find out as much about them as they do about you. With GenOUT in particular, it meant asking them questions about bullying, or just speaking about LGBT people in their lives and speaking up for them. And that's one of the biggest rewards for me, in that they really provide a glimpse into a world that folks my age and older can only imagine, one that's even better and more forward thinking than the one we grew up in. Obviously that's not true across the board, and there are exceptions, which is why it's so crucial to give those who might want to speak up, for better or for worse, an opportunity to do so.

And I found this very relevant article, at KQED's blog, For Students, Why the Question is More Important Than the Answer.

3) When all is said and done, say "thank you". The GenOUT program exists to serve youth, and just them being present deserves a thank you. In some schools it's easier to be out as LGBT or even as an ally, than others, but without anyone to sing for and to talk to during these outreach events, GenOUT could not accomplish work that is just as significant as the work the full chorus does on stage.

So I think it's important to thank everyone, not just teachers and administrators, but the students themselves, especially the ones who continue to engage with me and other singers after the formal program is over. That's also part of the secret with GenOUT, is that it is just as much an opportunity for chorus members to grown and learn, as it is for the students. And that part of the thank you, at least in my mind, is a preemptive one that they don't realize yet, because those kids and their generation are going to take us and our communities, locally, regionally, even globally, into a brighter future with an even higher standard for acceptance and equality.

That being said, here's an article at Jezebel about it, Saying "Thank You" When You Really, Really Mean It.

Anyway, that's it. And what's great is that you can revisit all of these when the conversation wraps up. Say their name, try to touch base on something they might've mentioned about themselves (either wishing them luck on an endeavor, that they have fun at an event, etc.), and say thank you one last time.

But this is all just my two cents. Would love to hear what you think, if you have anything to add, any comments on the three things I mentioned, and any stories about your own experiences.

Please let me know in the comments,


Thursday, April 04, 2013

"You are the Social Media You're Using"...yeah

Hey there,

Just another infographic of the day. I know, I haven't gotten in the habit of doing this daily. But nevertheless, I saw this and had to share.

What do you think? What does the social media you're using say about you? Was this pretty accurate, or completely off the mark? Is reality somewhere in the middle?

Let me know in the comments,


Monday, April 01, 2013

Facebook fallout from unfriending

Hey there,

So...I've received my first threat from unfriending someone on Facebook. No joke, this was one of their last messages to me.
"It's "just Facebook" but you took time out of your day to "punish" me for liking something on your wall. Actions have consequences in this small town. Toodles!"
Up on his wall, barely hours after?

People do things on Facebook that they would never do if they had to "Face" the person they're doing it to IRL (in real life). It's called Facerage, and it can get you thrown in jail.
...I've misbehaved a lot on here, everyone knows that. And I will take my lumps. But I will also put the boot to the face of anyone who defriends me for no good reason. Shall I name names?
So I guess these were the consequences, because guess what? Not only did he name me, but there were 6 others he named. Honestly, it was actually kind of reaffirming to know I wasn't the only one. Was I worried that he called me out? Not really.

It's funny, Mashable just had an article in March titled 5 Alternatives to Unfriending Someone on Facebook which said this at on point:
Facebook unfriending can be awkward or taken personally, often making it more trouble than it's worth.
I've been on both sides of it, and everyone has their reason. I personally thought I had a good one, in that I had gotten into a heated Facebook exchange with another friend, and through it all, the ex-friend Liked one of their comments, and none of mine. Not that I took it personally, but it was just indicative of a general mentally and mindset represented in the particular comment that I honestly don't need or want in my life.

But from said person's point of view, I was "punishing" them for liking something on my wall, which was a fairly oversimplified statement of the situation. The reality was more nuanced and complex.

And not only that, there were 6 people OTHER THAN ME. I'd think most people would take multiple..."unfriendings" as a sign that maybe it's not OTHER people that are the problem, if there's any problem at all, to begin with.

Sometimes people also just go different ways. And we all have different barometers. One I loved, which a friend shared, was this:
"The defriending is usually when the answer to the question "would I stop on the street and say hi to this person" is no."
 So there it is. I can see what Mashable was saying, but honestly, this reaction just confirmed that this was not someone I probably wanted to be friends with in the first place.

And I even said so in my own Facebook post, although I did not name names. Because what does that accomplish? Trying to get people to choose sides? All I know is that if someone every puts me in that position, I tend to favor the party that didn't try to make me pick. Which is exactly what I wouldn't want any of our mutual friends to have to do.

That's that. Any thoughts? Questions? Stories of your own? Please share in the comments, below,