Posted by Terence P Ward

TWH –Whether it’s a shifting climate, rising intra-cultural tensions, or terrible luck, many natural and man-made disasters have been covered in the news of late. Hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and even mass shootings can have similar impacts on survivors, despite the differences in cause and physical damage resulting from each. Those impacts can include psychological and spiritual harm.

Holli Emore and other Red Cross volunteers [courtesy].

Although better known in Pagan circles as the executive director at Cherry Hill Seminary, Holli Emore is also trained in providing disaster spiritual care through the Red Cross. She recently returned from a trip doing just that in Las Vegas, in the wake of the concert mass shooting which recently took place.

“I wasn’t there on vacation,” she told The Wild Hunt.

It also wasn’t her first trip in recent weeks: Emore’s worked with Caribbean evacuees, and before that survivors of Irma. “I’m hoping to stay home a bit now,” she admitted.

In order to provide the kind of spiritual care required under such circumstances — and Emore says that volunteers are needed for this work throughout the country — an individual must be a trained chaplain, which in part means being able to help people in the context of their own faith practices. Professional chaplains, as well as those who are board-certified through a recognized agency or endorsed faith leaders, all fit the bill.

“Chaplaincy is a specific skill used for dealing with people in crisis,” Emore explained, and Red Cross rules are intended to make sure that no one doing that work makes things worse.

“I’ve often meant well, a lot of us mean well, but it’s good to have training.”

With that training, a chaplain helps victims draw on their own “values or faith resources, with or without religion,” and never injects values from another religious path into that work.

“One thing they teach us never to say is: ‘God must have a purpose for this,’ ” Emore said. “It’s 95% listening, much of it reflective, helping people think through and sort their own thoughts. Sometimes — not often — I pray with people.”

Emore is aware that the Red Cross organization gets a fair amount of criticism around disaster response, but she believes that its scale does have value. With many groups involved in providing aid, she said, “It’s important we’re all playing by the same rule book.”  The rules , in this case, are presumably created by, or at least standardized through, Red Cross personnel.

One standard rule promulgated at Red Cross-run shelters is the idea that “this is like walking into someone’s bedroom,” Emore said. That’s why only certain people are allowed entry, and even local ministers might be shut out.

Congregants will first be asked if they would like the company, and if there’s enough interest and space it’s possible services will be held, but no one without the training will be going from bed to bed providing comfort.

“You don’t want this experience,” she said of any disaster aftermath. “Who wants to sleep in a high school gym on a cot, surrounded by stranger? It’s tough. People are strained and stressed. I spoke to one man [after Irma] who was undergoing chemo, and now this on top of that.”

Right now, the disaster occupying the headlines is historically-large wildfires in California. Emore doesn’t plan on working with that population directly, but she did offer some advice. “It’s important for people to acknowledge that they are not going to get over this overnight. They may feel fine, but these events take time to process.”

She continued, “People may feel exhausted for awhile as they process the events on a soul level, and they may need professional help, even if only once or twice.”

“It’s important to be able to let go, and accept that help. That’s okay. I can’t imagine what it’s like losing everything, like some people in California have.”

In that or any disaster, Emore said that those close to the victims “can help just by being there. ” She said, “We can’t rescue everybody, but [we] can be a caring presence. When a friend finally knows what they want, they can call you and ask for it.”

Working in Las Vegas was important to Emore in part because it reminded her of the pain in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shootings. “We were burned out,” she said of people in her community, “and we felt there must be a way to come together as a community for something spiritual, but not necessarily religious.”

The result was a ceremony of healing and peace, which has been held in several locations and with participants from many faith groups in her local area in South Carolina.

Those kinds of ceremonies and that kind of loving care are needed far from the focus of hurricanes, or shootings, or wildfires. “We’re creating a diaspora of wounded people,” Emore observed, including some 22,000 who were at the Las Vegas concert and have since returned home.

A highly mobile society results in the trauma visited in one place migrating with its victims far and wide; Emore fears that they’re “becoming kind of invisible,” and infecting their communities with that pain if they aren’t getting the support they need.

“As Pagans, maybe we should consider this, since we understand how to energetically support our community,” she said. “At least acknowledging those who have crossed over this Samhain, their pain, and wishing them peace might be a good start.”

The back-to-back-to-back disasters have stretched Red Cross resources thin, Emore said, which is why she’s hoping some readers might opt to volunteer for this work. However, her description of what it looks like is frank: “It’s 12 to 14 hour days,” she said, “but they take care of us. We need more people.”

Emore has laid the groundwork for more than just asking for help: Cherry Hill Seminary offers a chaplaincy track which would satisfy Red Cross requirements. They include courses for those who wish to offer those skills as an adjunct, like herself, as well as those who wish to make a career of the work.

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([personal profile] cupcake_goth Oct. 17th, 2017 12:37 pm)
Oh hey, I haven't posted in a while, have I?

- The Interview with the Vampire screening at MoPop was wonderful. I hadn't seen it on the big screen since it was released!

- Work is work. The super-close deadline was pushed out by two weeks, Yay! The actual deadline was pushed up by two weeks, WTF BOO! Actually, there are good reasons for the actual deadline to be pushed up, but that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.

- Went to the zoo over the weekend with some wonderful friends. My beloved red panda was waaaaaay up in a tree, snoozing, and wouldn't come down no matter how much I beseeched and made flaily hands. But at least I got to see his cute face as he sleepily groomed his fluffy tail.

- Speaking of cute faces, Vlad has been extra needy, and has taken to standing on my office chair (did I mention I have a standing desk now?), and gently patting my hip when I'm not paying attention to him. On the one hand, it's adorable. On the other hand, I wish his sister liked him right now. (She doesn't. She Very Much Doesn't.)

- OMG IT'S MY FAVORITE MONTH! THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS TO DO! Which means I'm super-busy and kind of tired, but it's worth it. Not to mention it's our 20th wedding anniversary at the end of the month. :D
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([personal profile] jennaria Oct. 17th, 2017 01:52 pm)
36: In your opinion, what makes a good anime?

Well, there's the obvious, high-level answer of 'good art and good writing.' The more personal answer...I do like the art to be beautiful, but I also have a loose definition of 'beautiful.' I'm generally more interested in good characters than in a complicated plot, but really I just want the characters to feel real, not cardboard images tossing the Idiot Ball back and forth. Also I am a firm proponent of 'Real does not have to equal Grimdark,' so there's that too.

Finally, though - it comes down to it being the right story at the right time for you. And that's nearly impossible to call ahead of time.

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1 - Tasmanian Devil Joeys

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is pleased to announce the arrival of two healthy litters of Tasmanian Devil joeys! According to keepers, this is one of the most successful years to date for the Zoo’s Tasmanian Devil conservation breeding program.

The first litter of three joeys arrived on March 19 to mother Lana. Keepers were recently able to take a close look at each joey and confirm their sex (two males and one female). Another female, Pooki, birthed four joeys more recently on June 19, which are yet to emerge from the pouch.

“We’re very pleased to see nurturing, maternal instincts from both Lana and Pooki, who are both two-year-old females and first-time mothers,” Taronga Western Plains Zoo Senior Keeper Steve Kleinig said.

“The three joeys born in March…are now weaned (meaning they have left mother Lana’s pouch) but they still remain close by her side. They are now playing with each other and exploring independently outside the den.”

“The four joeys born in June are starting to open their eyes and become more aware of their surroundings. While they are still attached to their mother's teats, we’re expecting they will begin to leave their mother’s pouch in the coming weeks,” Steve said.

2 - Tasmanian Devil Joeys

3 - TWPZ Keepers Hayley Brooks  Karen James and Rachel Schildkraut with Tasmanian Devil JoeysPhoto Credits: Taronga Western Plains Zoo (Image 3: Keepers Hayley Brooks, Karen James, and Rachel Schildkraut)

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is part of a national insurance population program designed to help save the Tasmanian Devil from becoming extinct as a result of the Devil Facial Tumour Disease*.

The Zoo’s breeding success this year is the result of a more targeted approach, and has benefited from favorable breeding recommendations. These are based on the unique characteristics and genetics of a breeding pair and, combined with their compatibility upon meeting, can determine breeding success.

“We are continuing to collaborate with other breeding institutions to improve the long-term viability of our program, such as Devil Ark in the Barrington Tops, where Lana and Pooki came from, and Tasmania’s Trowunna Wildlife Park, where the father originated,” Steve said.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo has two breeding facilities for the Tasmanian Devil located behind the scenes. The Zoo has bred 31 healthy Tasmanian Devil joeys so far - a significant boost to the regional zoo-based insurance population of this endangered species.

With Tasmanian Devil numbers in the wild currently dwindling to between 15,000 and 50,000 individuals, every birth is significant. The mainland breeding program of which the Zoo is a part could play an important role in helping to re-establish healthy wild populations of the species in Tasmania if needed in future.

The Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial of the family Dasyuridae. It was once native to mainland Australia, but it is now found only in the wild on the island state of Tasmania, including tiny east coast Maria Island where there is a conservation project with disease-free animals.

The Tasmanian Devil is the size of a small dog and became the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world following the extinction of the Thylacine in 1936. It is related to Quolls and distantly related to the Thylacine.

It is characterized by its stocky and muscular build, black fur, pungent odor, extremely loud and disturbing screech, keen sense of smell, and ferocity when feeding. The Tasmanian Devil's large head and neck allow it to generate among the strongest bites per unit body mass of any extant mammal land predator, and it hunts prey and scavenges carrion as well as eating household products if humans are living nearby.

A breeding Tasmanian Devil female can produce up to 50 young that are about the size of a grain of rice. Competition for survival is fierce, and only the first four joeys are able to latch onto the mother’s teats.

In 2008, the Tasmanian Devil was assessed and classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN. In 2009, the Australian Government also listed the species as “Endangered”, under national environmental law.

*Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) is an infectious cancer that only affects Tasmanian Devils, and is transmitted through biting, fighting and mating. Since the first official case of DFTD in Australia in 1996, there has been a decline of up to 50-70 per cent of the Tasmanian Devil population across the majority of Tasmania.

Posted by Patrick Allan

IKEA products have a wide variety of interesting names. Some are Swedish words, others are named after places, and some are just made-up names made from mixing other words. This dictionary lists them all.

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([personal profile] seekingferret Oct. 17th, 2017 01:41 pm)
I'm up to date on The Orville and one episode behind on Star Trek Discovery.

The Orville, from day one, has been pretty clear about what it is as a show, and it's not what we thought it was going to be or what the trailers promised. It's not a space sitcom full of Family Guy style jokes. It's not in the Galaxy Quest vein. It's a pretty straightforward episodic modern take on Star Trek, created with deep respect for Roddenberry's ideals. Its particular lens on the material is a focus on the mundane: What if life in Starfleet was like a typical modern office? Your boss's boss is generally a decent guy but he sometimes says sexist things and he's in the middle of getting over an ugly divorce that sometimes bleeds his personal life into his professional life. Some of your co-workers are so burnt out they couldn't give a shit as long as it doesn't affect them. Your manager is way too inexperienced and seems uncomfortable giving orders. The fart jokes from the trailers, it turns out, weren't pointless sitcom props- they're character beats about how Starfleet means you are living 24/7 among your co-workers, and that means figuring out how to share bathrooms with people who are not like you. It's surprisingly well done.

I've been enjoying it, for the most part, though its basic mundanity sometimes blends awkwardly with its Roddenberry idealism. The Very Special Episode about transgender issues didn't quite fit together for me- the jokiness clashed with the seriousness of the question, making the question sometimes seem more trivial than it is. But I loved some moments from the episode- I loved seeing the human crew initially confronting the question from a position of revulsion- of course we in the Federation don't decide the gender of an infant, we let the infant grow up and make their own choice! It's no more obviously the right position- the Federation still clearly is a culture where cultural programming about gender roles matters. Still, it's so striking in just the right Star Trek way to say "Let's posit a future where a liberal orthodoxy about transgender issues has been completely adopted as a cultural norm... how does that liberal orthodoxy react to people taking a different approach to gender issues?"



Then there's Star Trek Discovery. I have no idea what to say about it yet. I don't understand it as a show. The first two episodes don't feature the ship Discovery that the show is named after, or most of its main characters. They're decent television, and the special effects are spectacular and leave The Orville in the dust, but they don't seem to have much connection to what the show is in its next two episodes.

It seems to be wrestling with what does Starfleet look like at war, except that unlike some past versions of the same, it doesn't entirely seem to be working from the expected premise that Starfleet at war is a fundamentally irresolvable tension. The first two episodes revolve around a mutiny driven by a violation of the apparent principle that Starfleet never shoots first, then the subsequent two episodes seem to revolve around a captain who has been charged by Starfleet to do whatever it takes to win the war. What does this version of Starfleet stand for? I don't know. What does this version of the Klingon empire stand for? Other than speaking endlessly in subtitled Klingon, making ST:D practically a foreign film, I don't know. Thus far, there's been very few scenes in the show not on the Shenzhou, the Discovery, or a Klingon vessel. Almost nothing on alien worlds, very little about alien races besides the Klingons and Vulcans. There is so little of what we expect from Star Trek here.

Amidst this general confusion of purpose, I've enjoyed moments. Sonequa Martin-Green's Michael Burnham, the only character on the show who's been at all fleshed out, is intriguing and well-acted, the brilliant loner so convinced of her own competence that she thinks as long as she survives and gives it her best, she can take everyone else along with her. Jason Isaacs has made the most of his limited work so far, giving off an extremely Shatnerian vibe in spite of the very different material he's being given to deliver. Anthony Rapp has been fun as a hardass engineer, and Mary Wiseman has been really effective as a mood lightener as Cadet Tilly.

I'm going to keep watching both shows- it'll be interesting to see where they go.
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([personal profile] knight_tracer posting in [community profile] podficbigbang Oct. 17th, 2017 08:03 pm)
Fic: Radio Silence by [archiveofourown.org profile] mardia
Reader: [personal profile] knight_tracer
Cover Artist: [archiveofourown.org profile] accrues
Fandom: Rivers of London
Ship: Peter Grant/Thomas Nightingale
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None

Summary: It should have felt more awkward, maybe, standing this close to Nightingale in public, the two of us staring into each other’s eyes--but all I could feel was that same bone-deep relief I had when I’d heard the Jag approaching--I was still alive, somehow, and Nightingale was here. (Future-fic.)



MP3 [132MB, 1:55:12]
Podbook [159MB, 1:55:12]

Podfic Post: AO3
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([personal profile] quantumcupcakes Oct. 17th, 2017 07:41 pm)
Mental health is important but it's so widely misunderstood, and mental illness is so misrepresented. I know there have been campaigns recently about ending the stigma, about opening communication. And as Bob Hoskins would tell us - it's good to talk.

I have personal experience with a number of conditions, namely depression, schizo-affective disorder and ADHD. I am not an expert on any of these illnesses and nor will I ever claim to be. This is purely based on my own observations and interactions with the people in my life.

I have had depressive episodes in my life. I have been depressed, generally for a period of one to three months and I generally don't realize that's what the problem is until I'm out the other side. Based on my current feelings of the universe hating me and desperate need to keep Jack & Lucy safe, I am most likely in the midst of one of these episodes which is undoubtedly brought on by stress and major change in life.

I am fortunate. I am surrounded by those who are not as fortunate. I watch my girlfriend doing battle with her mind everyday; every single day for the last 8 years she gets up and fights. I am awed by her strength, by her will to survive, her will to live.

For most, depression is a chronic condition. It is something that you live with daily. There are times when it flares up and overwhelms you. And there are times when you're fairly functional. You can have depression and be happy at the same time. You can have depression and no one know it.

Depression isn't just being sad. Obviously, it encompasses that, but it includes so much more. Your body slows down while the brain monkeys get to work feeding you lies and pressing all the buttons that fill you with fear and sadness and loneliness and anxiety. Depression is a hole that gets darker the deeper you fall into it. It strangles your view of the world outside as well as your view of who you really are.

Don't expect people with depression to be able to reach out for help when it gets really bad. They can't.

Instead, it is our responsibility, our societal contract if you will, to be the ones to check in with those we love, to not let them skate by with "I'm fine" when you know they aren't. It doesn't have to be a lot of work. Just reach out, remind them of your love, that you care that they exist, that you are glad they are alive and in your life. Don't expect them to just get better, just get over it, move on, be happy, etc. It really isn't something they can control.

For most, there is no "reason" that they are depressed, other than their brain chemistry. So put down all the platitudes and inspiration quotes. Stop assuming that if you leave them alone for a few weeks, they'll be all better the next time you see them. Let go of the idea that all they need is a little sunshine or a walk in the woods or a day at the beach or a night out with friends. None of those things fix brain chemistry.

Do reach out to them, especially if their pattern of behaviour changes or they go radio silent unexpectedly. Don't judge how they look (many folks with depression can not do the simple tasks of showering, brushing hair, getting dressed, etc) or the shape of their house (if they can't clean themselves, they likely can't clean their house). Do come over and sit with them, yes, even in the mess. Talk to them and keep talking....TO them, not AT them. Get them talking, GENTLY. Make them a meal. Help them clean (don't do it for them, that will just reinforce what the brain monkeys are telling them about how worthless they are). Offer to take them to see a doctor. Offer to go get their meds refilled.

Above all, just check the judgemental ableist attitude at the door. And love. Love deeply, warmly and without condition.

Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

At my company, we have large restrooms with 6+ stalls in both the men’s and the women’s bathrooms, with long counters that have three inlaid sinks. (I’m telling you this to let you know the rooms are large, echo-y, and there are no private “one-stall with a locked door” options.)

A coworker is choosing to use the bathroom as her personal phone booth. At least twice a week when I have to use the restroom, she’s in there chatting away on speakerphone. Sometimes she’s just “hanging around” in the area by the sink, but sometimes she’s also in a stall actively doing, um, bathroom business.

At first, I was embarrassed — can I flush? Should I wait? Does her caller not know she’s in a bathroom? But I’ve heard her flush a few times (she’ll acknowledge it into the phone, too, like “oh, I’m in the bathroom”), so now I’m just annoyed. I’ve also gotten passive aggressive about it; sometimes I’ll flush multiple times. Mostly I want privacy in the restroom and I don’t want to be subject to her loud conversation with her mother/daughter/whoever on the phone. And whether or not she’s comfortable flushing while on the phone doesn’t mean that I necessarily am (even though I am currently doing it out of spite).

Do you or your readers have any suggestions for how I can get peace while on the pooper?

Speakerphone? Why speakerphone? That makes it so much worse.

I’m tempted to tell you that you should go out of your way to make loud and revolting bathroom noises — perhaps play a recording of shockingly explosive diarrhea, if such a recording exists — but I know I personally couldn’t bring myself to apply that advice in reality and I suspect most people couldn’t either. (But if you can, I heartily encourage you to do it … although of course, she appears to have zero shame about her callers knowing she’s in the bathroom, so she might not care.) (Also, I’ve just grossed myself out.)

So, your basic options are:

1. Say something to her. For example: “I’ve noticed you’re often on the phone in the bathroom, which can make it hard to use it for its intended purpose. Would you mind vacating it when someone comes in to use one of the stalls?” (This doesn’t solve the problem of her being on the phone while actively doing toilet business, but at least you’d be addressing the hanging out by the sink situation.) Feel free to invoke “shy bladder” here — as in, “I know these aren’t private bathrooms, but it’s tough for me to use them when there’s a phone conversation happening right outside the stall.”

Or you could be less formal about it and just shout out, “Hey, could you take that off speakerphone? That’s really distracting.” Or even, “Hey, could you take that call out of here? It’s really distracting.” This is how I’d personally handle it — skip the diplomacy and just call her out when it’s happening.

2. Continue on with what you’re there to do. Flush multiple times if you want to, and don’t worry about being polite to her or the person she’s talking to. There’s no reason that you should be more concerned about being polite to her caller than she is.

Of course, part of the problem is that it’s uncomfortable to do this when someone is chattering away, but maybe you can reframe it in your mind to how you’d feel if she wasn’t on the phone but instead was talking in-person to another colleague who happened to be in the bathroom at the same time. That’s not always the most comfortable thing either, but it’s something that happens in the normal course of things, and so it might bother you less.

Mainly, though, feel bad for the person on the other end of the line.

my coworker uses the office bathroom as her personal phone booth was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

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([personal profile] amand_r posting in [community profile] hlh_shortcuts Oct. 17th, 2017 02:56 pm)


Check inboxes tonight. Sometime tonight. I have beer.

Posted by Claire Lower on Skillet, shared by Claire Lower to Lifehacker

Hello sous-vide fam, and welcome back to another topic-picking session for Will It Sous Vide?, the column where I make whatever you want me to with my immersion circulator.

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([personal profile] dirty_diana Oct. 17th, 2017 02:14 pm)
Has it really been over two months since I posted last? ugh. At some point I will babble about the television I've been watching, including The Defenders which I actually enjoyed SORRY to be weird as usual. But before that, I really need a reader for my [livejournal.com profile] dcu_bang story?

I do have one beta already on it but I think it came out a little wordy for her to handle on her own. Kara/Mon-El divergence AU, 36k. You don't have to be a hardcore grammar nerd unless that's your thing, here's the list of things that probably need checking:

-did I get excited by an idea and fail to finish the sentence I was working on
-did my phone app insert a word in the middle of a different word just to fuck with me
-is my portrayal of Krypton distractingly weird to someone more familiar with the wider DCU (for this you would only need to read the first 10k!)
-do the action scenes make any sense
-does the rest of it make any sense

If you can only read for one of these things it would be perfectly cool and a ten day or less turnaround would be ideal?

PS it mostly takes place on Daxam, so warnings for Daxam being a terrible place! Nothing graphic though.

And while you are doing that I will try not to flub this [community profile] fandomgrowthexchange deadline, ugh. They have open pinch hits if unlike me you are not already screwing up the whole writing to a schedule thing.

*blows kisses to everyone*

Posted by Amanda

This HaBO is from Mai, who’s been searching for this book for months:

I am not quite sure if this is a full-length novel, a novella, or part of an anthology.

It’s a historical book — the male lead is probably an earl or a duke of some sort and he’s married with children, but routine has dampened his and his wife’s relationship quite a bit. The man starts to leave his wife little notes to rekindle their love and I think these notes are about his fantasies or maybe he asks her out; I’m not too sure exactly.

I also remember that the male lead thinks a friend of his wife might be after her and that’s why he is so desperate to have her fall back in love with him.

Does anyone know this one?

oursin: Photograph of a statue of Hygeia, goddess of health (Hygeia)
([personal profile] oursin Oct. 17th, 2017 07:25 pm)

Last week I had the pneumococcal vaccine, courtesy of what is still, mostly, a beneficient National Health Service.

Unlike the flu shot, it is a one-off and should, as they say, See Me Out.

However, while I tend not to have any repercussions from the flu shot, this one gave me a sore arm, like, really sore for 2-3 days and still quite tender after that, as well a day or two feeling Vaguely Crap, that well-known unspecific medical condition.

Thought this was All Over, but this morning, discovered I had a Sore Armpit. Don't know whether this is a final repercussion, a muscle I pulled and didn't realise, or, since partner had something yesterday that might have been a virus and involved various aches and pains, whether it is that, though on the whole I would say I feel a good deal less Vaguely Crap than a few days ago.

A general condition of Slob-Out was declared and has not yet quite terminated.

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([personal profile] gwyn Oct. 17th, 2017 11:13 am)
The [community profile] fandomlovespuertorico auction is live! SO MANY amazing offerings and creators, guys, it's like the world's best fandom farmers market.

My fanfic entry is here, and I'm pretty sure you will be able to purchase me for a very low price, with this many amazing people participating.

My vidding entry is here, and while my minimum bid is a little higher at $40 (because vids are a lot more work and involve more equipment), I'm also sure that will not get bid up much, so you can have me for a lot less than the VVC auctions usually go for!
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Posted by Nick Douglas

Welcome to lesson 2 of How to Fake Playing Piano, a piano-lesson series that skips the “Hot Cross Buns” and teaches you how to bang around on a keyboard as if you know what you’re doing. Yesterday, composer Jason Oberholtzer taught me how to play octaves and fifths with my left hand. Today, he teaches how to play in…

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