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Outrunning the thieves

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

I was able to call my insurance agent in the US this afternoon to inquire about my 500% increase.

Nope, not a mistake.

The thieves...excuse me, insurance company...have declared that they must have a driver listed as the main driver of my car and since I am in France they have determined that my son is to be listed as the primary driver. And apparently the going rate for a 17 year old male is over $12,000 per year.

Ummmm...don't think so. I have no hard data yet to back up this hypothesis but I know plenty of people who have teenagers and are not paying that much for insurance. I didn't even pay that much for the car when I bought it!

So my agent is sending out for quotes and I am doing the same thing independently.

During my lunch time today I went to one of the sporting goods stores for the first time. They had a lot of variety in sports but when you got into specifics I wasn't too impressed. It was kind of like a Home Depot feeling, you go in and help yourself to what's on the shelves. No Clif Shot Bloks, which is a bummer since that is what I use on my long runs. I don't like gels and haven't had a great result with them but that is what I ended up getting today. It was gels or fruity granola type bars which I like even less. Trying to chew while running just does not sound like a good idea for me.

I also finally bought a head lamp and a reflective vest. I've been skipping my weekday runs because it's dark out when I get home (although there is enough light from the street lamps so I admit I'm just using the dark as an excuse). No more excuses now though. And I have a slightly higher confidence level that I won't be shot by a local hunter because he will - I hope - recognize that animals usually do not wear fluorescent yellow and run down a paved road.

Just in case the local hunters are not on board with that idea yet I've decided to relocate my running into the city where I can run on the bike trails. An added bonus is that I have a much higher chance of actually going out to run this way since I will have to bring my running clothes to work with me; I know that going home first tends to sap my will to go outside again. This way I can run right from the office door.

I went for my first run with the lamp and vest tonight and wound up doing the first 2 miles in under 20 minutes. I haven't run a 10 minute mile in a very long time so I am suitably impressed with myself. I even - for the first time ever! - passed another runner on the trail. He heard me coming and tried to speed up so I wouldn't catch up but he couldn't sustain it and I passed him by (it took awhile but I did it!).

I am so bad ass lol!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/7/2012 6:25AM

    Boo to insurance companies! or rather to the dumb people that make up insurance companies. It's funny how the faces that make these decisions get lost behind" the corporate veil"

Cheers to the increased speed and endurance. Looks like you will be ready for World War Z!

*) ✫ .*)
(. . .`.✫
.*) ✫ .*)✫ Spread the Spark....
(. . (..`.✫

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MCJULIEO 12/6/2012 12:29AM

    I'm so glad you invested in some safety gear!!!

AND are wearing it!

Way to go!

(And good luck on the insurance... there's GOT to be a better way!)

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MARISPHERE 12/6/2012 12:27AM

    We've been satisfied with Progressive for the last 7 years; good luck finding a sane insurance alternative.

As for the running--you are such a star!


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DOODIE59 12/5/2012 11:43PM

    Brutal! I sure am curious to see how this turns out:)

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IMPROVINGME 12/5/2012 11:23PM

    You rock!


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FROSTY99 12/5/2012 10:40PM

    You are making me very glad my sons are grown up. I cannot believe what they are charging you. When they turned 16, they had their own car, we insured it separately on their own policy and that meant our rates stayed low, and at that time, their rates were about $300 every 6 mo for full coverage! Once my son totaled his car, the rate jumped to double that so he had to trade his newer car with his brother's older vehicle and just carry liability so he could afford a car but we made it work. Good luck.

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RUNNER12COM 12/5/2012 7:01PM

    Can you register the car as "not being driven," or will he be using it some of the time?

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ILOVEMALI 12/5/2012 4:18PM

    This is unbelievable. Call State Farm.

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ANGRITTER 12/5/2012 3:40PM

    I love it! I live in Florida and it was 78 degrees here today and the mosquitos made a feast of my skin, so instead of walking my 1st mile I got up and jogged most of the way through it. I am waiitng for it to cool down some before I do my next mile and then everything else I need to do, I can do inside - cycling and ball workouts.

This weather has GOT to give in and let December shine! It was colder than this in November, but this is really ridiculous!

And please be safe running. I love to walk and jog in the woods as well, but in hunting season... you never know anymore!

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SEXBOBOMB 12/5/2012 3:29PM

    I'm not a shill for USAA, but if anyone in your family is or has ever been a member of the US Military or DOD, you're eligible for coverage through them, and I'll bet their rates are going to be far more reasonable.

I've had my car insured through USAA for the entirety of my driving life, as has my husband, and we've had nothing but positive experiences!

Good luck!

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WOWEETOO 12/5/2012 3:16PM

    oh boy oh boy
does your son have driver's ed??? that should get you a discount if he had that for his license and since you are on the other side of the world the car is considered a need and the rates should reflect that..i myself use shelter but then there are many others out there also that are good hope you find someone who will work with you
the lady mary

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/5/2012 3:13PM

    Although I wanted to believe otherwise, I had a strong feeling it was not a mistake. Hope you resolve for best possible outcomes.

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LITTLE_MCTURTLE 12/5/2012 3:12PM

    Way to go!!!! I'm like that if I have to swim laps in a pool lane, competing with people who probably don't even notice me, and I speed up if someones on my toes, feels great if I finish first! :D

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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Ok, I understand companies need to make a profit...but really? I just looked at my auto policy renewal...for 6 is $6130!!!

Yes, it is full coverage but I have a 2007 Kia Rondo, not a Ferrari. My insurance just increased more than 500%!

My car is not even worth much more than what they are charging me for 6 months, let alone a full year!

Somehow something got lost in the translation...when I asked how much extra a month it would be when my son got his license she told me about $150 a month. I wasn't happy about it but at least it was a somewhat understandable amount.

Someone apparently has added an extra zero though!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRIJ7 12/5/2012 9:47AM

    Of course, that's a mistake. I don't even think it's legal for them to charge that much.

It's enough to give you a mild heart attack though--right?

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DEZZIEJAMES 12/5/2012 8:39AM

    Wow... Please tell me someone messed up!

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GETSTRONGRRR 12/4/2012 10:40PM

    One word.....Geico!

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FROSTY99 12/4/2012 9:34PM

    I would have fainted if I had gotten that bill! I certainly hope it is an error-that is just crazy-why would one pay more that your car is worth!

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MYLADY4 12/4/2012 9:01PM

    The only time I have heard of insurance being that high is a young male driver who has been in accidents already but if he does not even have his license, that's just wrong. Might need to call the lizard.

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JUSTLIKEALICE 12/4/2012 8:58PM

    OMG! No, no, no. Absolutely not. They have to be kidding. Or else, I say buy your kiddo a bike. That is completely insane. I agree, shop around love. I hope that is a mistake.

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MCJULIEO 12/4/2012 8:51PM

    New kind of highway robbery.... what are your options??

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RUNNER12COM 12/4/2012 8:39PM

    Whoa, that can't be right!

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JERIBERI1 12/4/2012 6:21PM

    Oh my gosh!!!!! That's horrible!!! Our premium for two vehicles for 6 months is $650. Wow. You need to call and straighten that out. That's nuts!

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CAGMUAHFO2 12/4/2012 5:01PM

    Oh my goodness!! That is insane. I hope it is a mistake and you don't actually have to pay that much. If that is what you have to pay you might want to look at a new company

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/4/2012 4:41PM

    OMG! Hope it's a mistake.

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WOWEETOO 12/4/2012 4:14PM


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JILLITA55 12/4/2012 4:14PM

    I would call them and ask why it is so high. Maybe they made a boo boo! If not, find another company.

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ILOVEMALI 12/4/2012 4:10PM

    Agreed. Go shopping. Usurious rates!

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DAWN14163 12/4/2012 4:07PM

    Auto insurance for under-25 year old males is extortionate in the UK. Good luck with finding something more realistic.

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NAYPOOIE 12/4/2012 3:59PM

    definitely go shopping.

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PIPERJ4A 12/4/2012 3:59PM

  I'm guessing they entered something wrong, in a big way

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    Definitely sounds like it. Sorry to hear they are charging so much. May be time to look at a new insurance company.

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WACFIT 12/4/2012 3:53PM

    Yikes! Time to shop for new insurance. I know it's a hassle because I just did it. I ended up with Geiko but Progressive was close and there were a few others. Almost all were less than I was paying. I saved hundreds a year. Had no idea I was overpaying that much. I'm pretty sure you can save it you go online and shop rates. Depends on your driving record etc. Also, if your son only has temps it should be free. Once he gets a license it gets added. perhaps he can work part time to pay his part. Good luck!

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BOILHAM 12/4/2012 3:52PM

    Typo they made.

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I'm going to be a Grinch

Sunday, December 02, 2012

But in a good way, honest. No one will be writing nasty funny songs about me.

In keeping with my decluttering I've decided this year not to decorate. So no tree, no decorations, no lights. stress, no unpacking and repacking, no shopping and wondering if the gift will be liked, no trying to make sure the gift receipts get with the correct gift.

Just enjoying looking at everyone else's decorations, the displays in the towns and the little Christmas market that's sprung up. Enjoying the heated wine and roasted chestnuts (but still have not acquired a taste for the Nutella crepes). Enjoying the idea of going to Paris on a weekend to see the little chatelet market at the end of the Champs Elysees (and more heated spiced wine!). Enjoying wandering through the stores and people watching.

My son is living with his dad in the US and won't be coming to visit me until a few days after Christmas, for a week. My daughter leaves on the 19th to go spend 3 weeks with her Dad and his family. So I will be alone...before you commiserate...this is a GOOD thing!

I need my "me" time with no one around (except the cats...who invented "me" time and Stupid Dog who is genetically unable to grasp any concept more complicated than "food" / "walk" / "poop").

So I'm thinking of spending Christmas somewhere warm. No, scratch that, somewhere HOT & sunny. Where I can just lay outside and bask in the heat. Preferably with my new iPad since the Air France thieves won't even pretend to respond to me anymore, if it arrives soon enough (Merry Christmas to me!). But I can do without it if necessary. decide where to go...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TANYA602 12/4/2012 7:47PM

    I did this for a few years and didn't mind being a "grinch" at all. We decorated for the first time this year and it was pretty cool unpacking and seeing things I hadn't seen in years. I can't wait to hear where you plan on sneaking away to!

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KAREN_NY 12/4/2012 4:34PM

    It's restful just reading your idea of it, lol.

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BARCLE 12/2/2012 11:52PM


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FROSTY99 12/2/2012 10:47PM

    Enjoy your me time-there are days I think I could kill to even get a few hours of ME time!!!

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CARILOUIE 12/2/2012 10:01PM

    Spending Christmas somewhere hot sounds like HEAVEN to me. Enjoy!!!

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CODEMAULER 12/2/2012 6:47PM

    Heck alone time sounds fabulous; not sure that I even need a beach!


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MCJULIEO 12/2/2012 5:01PM

    Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Sweet alone time!

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IMPROVINGME 12/2/2012 4:34PM

    I think you've made a good decision. I'm already stressing out today with all I need to do before the holidays.

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    I haven't put up decorations in years - the cats think danglies are shiny cat toys, or they try to get behind the little tree when the pups chase them. Sigh. I just enjoy the neighborhood, the decorations at work, and the stores (except for the 2 months of Christmas music - my ears bleed!). I celebrate most of the holidays with my coworkers - at work. The best part is I make a dish to share, and get a variety at work.

Enjoy your Me time - I do. Altho, I kinda envy you the beach emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/2/2012 3:18:46 PM

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NAYPOOIE 12/2/2012 3:05PM

    I hear you.

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/2/2012 1:34PM

    I've done that many years and it's the best of all worlds. This year, I did decorate in honor of my dearly departed cousin who loved
Christmas. Me? I've done the traditional
route but am mostly non-traditional in my
heart. I don't need a designated day to
give present or be kind. (smiling) As far
as deciding where to go, that's the beauty
of being in Europe. You can do anywhere
in a matter of hours. Very very cool. Enjoy!

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ILOVEMALI 12/2/2012 1:30PM

    Sounds pretty wonderful!

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GARDENCHRIS 12/2/2012 1:23PM

    good for you!

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GETSTRONGRRR 12/2/2012 1:21PM

    Enjoy.....2 years ago we spent XMAS on Waikiki....not hot, just cool, breezy, and very, very tropical!.

I recommend the Hilton Hawaiian Village

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PJ2222 12/2/2012 1:11PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MAJTMS 12/2/2012 1:02PM

    Nutella crepes? Those sound like heaven!


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November Goal Results

Friday, November 30, 2012

1) Maintain my weight at +5 / -14 pounds
Ended the month 2 pounds under goal weight.

3) Do some sort of housecleaning or maintenance daily.

9) Other goals as they occur to me.
Got the dining table & car (& car insurance!). Kept tweaking the budget and marathon training plan. Re-incorporated pushups into daily routine. Started getting caught up at work now that I don't have to spend time on personal details related to the move.

10) Have fun and stress less!

12) New Goal – Marathon Training

2) Become a half fanatic by the end of August
4) Break my dependence on Splenda
5) Finalize my budget by the end of Jan and stick to it to pay off at least 3 loans by Dec.
6) Ready to test for black belt by end of June:
6a) All techniques approved by May
6b) Ni kyoso suro no kata approved in February; Bassai kata approved in March
6c) Make terminology flashcards by end of February; review weekly until testing
6d) Assist in 4 classes per month (20 total required)
6e) Learn and master sais kata
6f) Keep running so as to maintain ability to run 2 miles in 18 minutes
6g) Be able to do 55 pushups in May; 60 in June
7) Goal revamped – finish mailbox / light switches / outlets / floors / doors / ceiling fans / curtains before I move
11) NEW GOAL - weekly pushup challenge
5) Finalize my budget by the end of Jan and stick to it to pay off at least 3 loans by Dec.

8) Postponed to 2013 - Run my first marathon by October 21
My priority is black belt testing; I will aim for the Paris marathon in April 2013

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TANYA602 12/2/2012 7:36PM

    Paris marathon?! Awesome! And a blackbelt! Girl, you rock! What the heck is a "half fanatic"?
Good job on the maintenance and meeting your other goals!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/2/2012 7:23PM

    emoticon emoticon

Fantastic! You are an inspiration!

..) .*)
(.. . .`-::
-:.... :-: :*'*:-::-
.(`v) Keep Spreading the Spark!
.`..... .
(... (.

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MCJULIEO 12/1/2012 9:21PM

    Oh, WELL DONE!

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IMPROVINGME 12/1/2012 5:08PM

    Good for you to be successful with all those goals!
They weren't just little ones, either.

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FROSTY99 11/30/2012 9:48PM

    That is emoticon .

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CHERRYTOMATO 11/30/2012 12:02PM

    Wow, some awesome accomplishments! Nice work!

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CODEMAULER 11/30/2012 11:08AM

    Looks like November was successful!!

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SLIMMERJESSE 11/30/2012 8:58AM


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HOTPINKCAMARO49 11/30/2012 2:21AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Parent of the Year Awards

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cast your vote now, we have some real winners below! These people kind of make one want to enforce involuntary sterilization. Just think, we have to have a license to go fishing or own a dog but not to have children.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMPROVINGME 11/29/2012 5:08PM

    Oh. My. Gosh.

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KALIOPPE 11/29/2012 2:45PM


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NAYPOOIE 11/27/2012 11:48AM


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RAMONAFLOWERZ 11/27/2012 9:16AM

    To be completely fair - the second to last shot- that's a GOOD picture! Those babies were being evacuated from a dangerous situation (trying to recall, a major quake?) that would have killed them.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 11/27/2012 8:57AM


Perhaps we should look at the "good" side...

if it doesn't kill them....

Well, you can finish that thought...

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DEZZIEJAMES 11/27/2012 8:27AM

    My vote? The dad at the sports bar holding a LITTLE GIRL, and yelling at a bikini clad woman.

What class.

Is it the zombie apocalypse yet?

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FROSTY99 11/26/2012 10:34PM


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PROVERBS31JULIA 11/26/2012 10:28PM

    That family all piled up in the tiny rice burner ? That was my family back in the 60's, minus about 4 of the kids!! But DH and I don't have a motorcycle, even though we are like 3 miles from the Harley Davidson dealership... So I guess things turned put okay....



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MIDNIGHTER1 11/26/2012 9:03PM

    "Cigarettes and alcohol" Isn't that a Rod Stewart song? These are some really pathetic parents.
You look amazing by the way,your pics are really kool.

Comment edited on: 11/26/2012 9:04:52 PM

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GETSTRONGRRR 11/26/2012 8:41PM

    Yeah, and the real problem is that those kids are likely to grow up and do even dumber things to their offspring, thus passing the stupid genes on to the next generation!

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CECILANN 11/26/2012 8:15PM

    Some of these photos were taken in other parts of the world where resources and culture are VERY different.

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LALMEIDA 11/26/2012 7:43PM

  Seriously? Are people this ignorant?

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MCJULIEO 11/26/2012 6:45PM

    Oh dear!

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ILOVEMALI 11/26/2012 6:30PM

    Oh, my goodness! I'd laugh, but really should cry instead!

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ALWYS-LKN-UP 11/26/2012 5:59PM

    HOLY MOLY!!!

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FINEBABY72 11/26/2012 5:25PM

  Well pictures tell a thousand words,these people need some time away from ALL children!

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STELLASMYBEBE 11/26/2012 5:00PM


Some of these made my stomach turn... Hard to say which is worse. All pretty bad.

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CHANGING-TURTLE 11/26/2012 4:37PM


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