Friday, June 28, 2019

If you could stop crimes against humanity, would you?


My American friends, let's pretend you have the power to influence whether or not the United States continues to house elderly, sick, infant and child immigrants in very cold rooms, deny them proper nutrition, keep them from their families and cause them post-traumatic stress syndrome that will affect them for years. Let's just say you have influence over whether the U.S. government continues these practices or not. Would you do anything?

On Friday, July 12th Lights for Liberty is organizing A Vigil to End Concentration Camps to show that many Americans will not sit by and let these things happen. We aren't just horrified by news stories that we try to put out of our minds. We acknowledge that as Americans how we live our daily lives affects millions of others. We have a role in this crisis. We want to stand on the right side of history and show that we oppose the many, many Americans who don't believe Mexicans, Central Americans and South Americans are really human. 

Will you participate? How will you feel if you don't? What will it tell you about yourself if you read this and then try to put this out of your mind, too?

Maybe I didn't want to take any action until now because I didn't want to believe the reports were true of children are being made to bed down on floors without enough warmth or safety to actually fall asleep. I didn't want to imagine the assaults and abuses they're vulnerable to every day in prison-like facilities where they're locked up indefinitely. I didn't want to believe these reports aren't of a place like Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib. This is happening inside the continental U.S.

I also didn't think there was anything I could do. El Idiota has done an effective job of making many of us feel like he's in control, we are powerless, and all we can do is wait until he's re-elected and finishes his second term. But maybe that's not true. He is one of the many who don't believe Mexicans, Central Americans and South Americans are really human. That makes this one of those situations my dad would respond to like this: If you can't make them see light, make them feel the heat.


Lights for Liberty will organize five main events on Friday, July 12th in the following cities:
  • El Paso, Texas
  • Homestead, Florida
  • San Diego, California
  • New York City
  • Washington, D.C.
But many other cities are doing them, including Chicago where we'll meet in Federal Plaza and march to ICE headquarters at 101 W. Congress Parkway. Go here to see where the event is near you or to find out how to host one. 
The plan is for the events to take place between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm local time. At 9:00 pm local time, participants hold candles and share a moment of silence.
Maybe this will have no effect on El Idiota or his administration. Maybe it will have no effect on the millions of Americans who don't believe Mexicans, Central Americans and South Americans are really human. But it will send a message to the government officials and lawmakers who also have power to change conditions. These "detention centers" approximate prison camps on American soil where people are sent to languish and die. And whether or not you take any action will tell you a bit about who you are.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Grieving my sweet tooth

Previous post on food/fatness: Fatness - let's review

My physical and emotional dependence on processed sugar has caused me decades of pain. My physical need for all-day-long sweets started when I was a child. My childhood was so frightening that I developed unhealthy ways to cope and one of them was with cookies, ice cream, cake and candy. 

Eventually my physical and emotional needs for sugar became so tightly entwined that in adulthood, even when I managed to wean my body from sweets my emotional need for them messed me up again. Over and over I got processed sugar out of my diet just to get back on it when I had a bad day or just because I thought a life without cake was a life without color.

So it's taken from 1994 to 2019 for me to work with many therapists, healers and doctors, and finally reach a breakthrough on my emotional addiction to sugar. After 25 years and thousands of dollars I have finally untangled my physical from my emotional dependence on sweets, and now they just don't taste the same.

It used to be that my mood would lift as I savored cake, cake, CAKE! Expertly baked yellow layers with superb buttercream frosting used to make the world stop and the skies sing. I was unable to concentrate on anything else while I had such a reward in front of me. Even in my deepest depressions, cake made the pain stop at least for the time it took to eat it. It felt like what I imagined love was.

For a long time, I thought this response to sweets was normal. I thought only a minority of people didn't need everyone to stop talking because they were enjoying a cream-filled donut. I believed those who didn't look forward to celebrations because of the cake were bizarre, half-dead people. Of course dessert was the best part of everything. Everyone knew that. 

But it turns out that what I thought was a natural sweet tooth was a combination of physical disorder and emotional need. Deep inside I still carried the little girl who needed cookies to make her feel safe and cared for. She was the one who was easily dazzled by sugary decorations and cinnamon smells. 

[Imagine here a long description of all the things I did to slowly scrape away my fear and psychosis.]

I've now reached a new level of health. Finally -- on a deep, subconscious level -- food is no longer connected to relief from my emotional pain.

Finally -- on a deep, subconscious level -- food is no longer connected to relief from my emotional pain.

And now that food and emotional pain are two unrelated things, you know what that means? It means that food doesn't have the effect it used to have. Now a piece of cake just tastes overly sweet and feels kind of airy and empty. Same for cookies. It's as if I used to be in a trance or a dream and now I'm awake. The incredible, heaven-sent sweets I used to enjoy have been revealed as earth-produced. When I chew cookies I feel dry flour and grittiness. Cake frosting feels greasy and too sweet. The cake layers feel unsubstantial and leave me wanting a snack with heft, with weight, one that will feed my physical hunger (because cake no longer feeds my emotional hunger).

It's sad. My go-to, my drug, my guaranteed relief from the pain of life is gone. It's gone. I've finally healed myself from the processed sugar I hated to love, but there's no joy yet. I've even tried to get that feeling back, pushing cookies or cake into my mouth, waiting for the euphoria to kick in, but it doesn't. It doesn't and then I stop because what the hell sense does it make to force myself to eat what I don't want?

I've watched videos and read accounts of people stripping all added sugars from their diets for 30 days or 90 or whatever and then celebrating their new sugar-free life. These people have always been foreign to me. They clearly don't have my physical-entwined-with-emotional dependence on sugar. Maybe I'm in a tiny minority, but my disease went so deep it took 25 years of endless effort to arrive where I am now. Those people are also foreign because their loss of sweets is happy. They're just glad afterwards. They don't feel like they've lost a major source of emotional support. They don't grieve.

I'm grieving. This grieving started months ago when I started to feel the sugar addiction weaken, and I thought I was done. But I guess it's similar to grieving anything else: the pain comes and goes. Some days I'm okay without the sweets and other days I want it back badly. 

I've been trying desserts that used to make the day better, but they don't work anymore. Each time I confirm this I feel bewildered and sad. I must accept the new state of things. I must accept that sweets are no longer my crutch, grieve them and let them go. With the physical dependence and emotional dependence gone, all that's left is the habit of gazing at bakeries and desserts. I feel lost.


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Monday, June 17, 2019

15 Years of Chicana on the Edge!


I didn't have children, build an empire, or become famous, but today my blog is 15 years old! This is my big life accomplishment so far, and this might be it. I've lived a small life...

Fun facts about my blog:


1. It started out quite pretentious. Here's the pretentious beginning. Okay, it's still pretty pretentious.


2. The very first person to post on my blog, Dwight, is now dead.


3. At the beginning I used an external commenting platform where people posted all kinds of fun responses, but they were all lost when I stopped using it and that platform went under. That's why for the first several years of my blog, it looks like no one ever commented, but I swear they did!


4. Possibly the worst title of a blog post was "Suck it, Jesus."


5. Well, this is boring. I'll just link some of my favorite posts from these first 15 years, in order of their publication. Yes, my first 15 years. I might just keep this thing going until I'm dead and animals eat me.


An atheist's prayer, June 23, 2004

Chicana demographic, July 23, 2004

Would You Trust This God? Part Two, Jan. 7, 2005

First Date Etiquette, Men, May 24, 2005

First Date Etiquette, Women, May 25, 2005

Arthur Andersen: Not like a black fly in your chardonnay, June 2, 2005

I'm a bad Mexican, Part One, April 26, 2006

Thank god I don't believe in him, July 8, 2007

Spanish-non-speaker, August 10, 2007

Always a bride, never a bride-to-be, August 15, 2008

My husband is not my best friend, July 19, 2009

How I got married, Feb. 6, 2010

When I clean the toilet, Feb. 27, 2011

I'm not this animal's "mom," Feb. 19, 2012

The cycle of Halloween candy, Nov. 1, 2013 

Having children teaches you lessons, Jan. 10, 2014 - possibly my #1 favorite and it's short.

Blowing off steam, Feb. 5, 2015

The selfishness of having children, April 26, 2015

Valentine's Day irony, Feb. 14, 2016

You might have prosopagnosia if..., June 1, 2016

Dating while depressed, April, 15, 2017

Stuff I've noticed, Feb. 14, 2018

Depression one-liner, March 6, 2018 

Ten-year anniversary of a five-year marriage, Sept. 28, 2018

The true meaning of Christmas, Dec. 19, 2018

Still a failure: Don't join MLMs, Jan. 24, 2019

Spiritual but not religious, March 6, 2019 

Fatness - let's review, June 3, 2019

Patreon.com allows us closer communication, lets you support me with a monthly pledge of $3, $10 or $15 (that you can cancel at any time), and gets you rewards. Please visit my page to take a quick look.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Fatness - let's review

My dad and me, June 2018
Previous post on fatness: Get thinner without losing weight

To each post that's about weight I've put links that lead you through those posts. This lets you read the story of my weight like a book (with photos. I dislike blogs about weight that don't have photos). I start with a 2006 post called Fat blogs.

Or you can look at my homepage in desktop view and click on the fat posts links in the column on the right.

Going back and looking at all these posts made me realize just how completely I've suffered from body dysmorphia all of my life. The posts from 2006 through 2012, in which I whine about being fat when I was actually skinny, look clinically delusional to me. I was certain that I was overweight when I was actually perfectly thin.

Even after I put on a bunch of extra weight in 2013 and 2014, those posts also make me wonder what I was thinking. Now that I'm more than clinically obese, I'd love to be the size I was in 2014! In so many posts I wrung my hands about how fat I was when I wasn't all that fat or I was even downright skinny.

Instead of feeling ashamed of this, I feel outraged that this is what I learned as a little girl: to feel ashamed of myself even when there was nothing wrong with me. With no one to oppose that lesson, I learned shame and self-hatred and you can see it in these posts. If I were to turn this into an actual book, I might call it "Self-Loathing at Size 20 and Size 8."

Ozzie and me, June 2019
I used to be completely unable to see what my body really looked like, how attractive I really was. I'm probably not even seeing myself clearly now and maybe I never will.

I used to be a thin woman who was terrified of getting fat and then -- guess what? I got fat! Ha! It seems to me like a sad story of self-loathing, but it might still have a less-than-sad ending. If you started reading this blog since I became obese, you might be surprised by the photos of me skinny.  Start here.

Next post on fatness: Fatness - let's review

Patreon.com allows us closer communication, lets you support me with a monthly pledge of $3, $10 or $15 (that you can cancel at any time), and gets you rewards. Please visit my page to take a quick look.


Saturday, June 01, 2019

Get thinner without losing weight

Part of my ongoing series about my fatness. This was the last post and you'll understand this post better if you read that one first.

I've been eating very healthfully for five weeks. I'm happy to fit into my size 2XL shirts (down from my 3XL shirts), to be able to wear my rings again, and to hear my friends say I look slimmer. But the scale doesn't reflect it. My weight has stayed the same! In my frustration and disgust I asked Claire Boye-Doe (my holistic practitioner), "Is my body going to hold on to the weight no matter what? Would it be possible for me to reach size 14 and still weigh 200 pounds? Could I reach size 12 and still weigh 200 pounds?"


Claire says what's going on is that my body had a lot of inflammation and, for the past five weeks, the inflammation has been going down. So my mass isn't changing, but as my body becomes less inflamed, it reduces a bit in size. She said eventually the inflammation will be gone and then my weight will change.


Five weeks worth of inflammation! That's a lot of inflammation to have to get out of the way before I can lose any actual poundage, but it makes sense considering the amount of sugar and carbs I'd been eating daily for years. I imagine many Americans are as inflamed as me and that's why so many of us diet and diet but the scale doesn't change and then we give up. What a mess we are.


I asked Claire when my inflammation would be gone and when I'd start losing actual weight and she said I'm on the cusp of that happening now. I realize that my bitterness is a terrible attitude to have, but I feel like, "Great! Only a few more weeks of no wheat, sugar or dairy and I'll finally lose five pounds!" 


I've been writing down everything I put in my mouth (besides water and plain tea) since April 24th and Claire has been monitoring it to make sure I'm on the right path. Sure, I've had some desserts, sweet snacks and coffee with sugar, but apparently that's okay as long I'm mostly eating well. Claire also says I'll be able to eat everything again once my health is better.


(I love this about Claire: she has no judgment whatsoever and guides you without ever working the guilt if you haven't been sticking to whatever she recommended. She knows it's complicated and that eating in unhealthy ways is often emotional and sometimes spiritual. When that happens, Claire refers you to another healer who has the treatment you need.)


That was all to say that O Lord, I have been INFLAMED! But I shall be INFLAMED no more!


Any week/month now my inflammation will hit zero and I'll finally get below 200 pounds, which would be really great considering that I'm only 5 feet 2 inches tall (1.57 meters). If you - the person reading this - are thinking you wish you weighed 200 pounds, remember that you're probably taller than me, so 200 pounds on me is fatter than you at 200 pounds. (I could also describe myself as BMI 37.)


Because it's hard to see weight loss in photos unless you take the pictures in the exact same conditions each time, I've chosen a photo I took in December to use as the "control." Here's an updated photo I took this week: same clothes, same pose. As I continue my new way of eating, I'll keep comparing it to the one I took in December. Can you see any difference?


(Compared to the Dec photo I think my chest looks smaller, which I'm excited about!)

Patreon.com allows us closer communication, lets you support me with a monthly pledge of $3, $10 or $15 (that you can cancel at any time), and gets you rewards. Please visit my page to take a quick look.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Doing depression right

Following up on my most recent post about being fat.

Working with Claire Boye-Doe of Gnosis Natural Health since 2016 has taught me that there are endless ways our health can be messed up. 

We develop physical problems and/or inherit them from our parents, grandparents and ancestral line.
We develop emotional problems and/or inherit them from our parents, grandparents and ancestral line.
We develop mental problems and/or inherit them from our parents, grandparents and ancestral line.
We develop spiritual problems and/or inherit them from our parents, grandparents and ancestral line.

Spiritual? Makes me want to just give up right now. I don't even believe in spirituality, but getting spiritual treatment actually made concrete changes in my life, so I reluctantly guess this is true. Claire treats the first three, and we've been plowing through layers and layers and f*&^-ing layers of my and my ancestors’ crap for three and a half years now. 

In April, Claire told me my spleen (and spleen energy) was ailing and we needed to give it a lot of support. Among other steps, she recommended I avoid cow's milk, wheat and sugar (except for fruit). 

This is yet another variation of the diet I was put on by various doctors when I was in my 20s, 30s and 40s. Apparently my body just does NOT do well with those things. So here we go again: no sugar, wheat or dairy!

But I've also been working hard with Kerry Ito of Reclaim Your Joy and we've been focusing on my deep emotional reasons for using sweets as a coping mechanism. She has also wanted me to experiment with staying off the sugar, so I committed yet again. As of April 24th, I've been off sugar, wheat and dairy (but not 100%, of course).

Kerry and I have uncovered and released a lot of my self-destructive beliefs and fears in the past several months and -- after I've spent 25 years working on my sugar dependence using various therapies -- Kerry and I are making serious headway. I can tell because this has been the easiest it's ever been to give up sugar. 

This has been the easiest it's ever been to give up sugar!

I remind myself that the healers that are currently in my life aren't miracle workers. I've been working on my s@%# since 1994 and if it's paying off now it's because of all my work, not because Kerry or Claire are magical people (although they might be).

I also have to admit that the first week or so was very hard. I hated the first week or so. But after that, the past three weeks of this drastically changed way of eating has been easier than I expected. I eat animal protein, vegetables, fruit (fresh and dried), nuts and seeds. Instead of bread, I make rice or potatoes. Instead of cow's milk, rice milk. If I need extra sweetness, I have dark chocolate, coconut chips or granola. It's going shockingly well. I've done this diet so many times, but this is the first time I haven't felt deprived and resentful the whole time. Eating this way feels...good...whoa...

Friends even tell me I even look a bit smaller! Of course, my weight loss is deadly slow. At 52 years old, 5 foot 2 inches tall, 203 pounds (92 kg or 14.5 stone) and six years since I got fat, the weight doesn't move quickly. I'm down maybe two pounds. Yeah, two pounds in four weeks, even though I've cut out the huge amounts of carbs and sweets I was eating all day long. My fatness doesn't reduce even with less food and better nutrition!

But stunningly I'm losing my taste for layer cakes piled high with buttercream frosting. I'm not drawn to racks of candy bars. When I do treat myself to coffee with sugar, I don't need much sugar at all. My sugar cravings have been almost nil. Shocking.
less of this!

But the depression came back last weekend and I've spent the week feeling angry, weepy, low energy and have been doing a lot of zombie-like staring into space with a blank mind. Or with an active mind, but it's the zombie-like staring and not feeling like moving that has been the biggest sign that I'm in depression. God damn.

HOWEVER -- AND HERE'S THE BIG NEWS, EVERYONE -- in my depression, I didn't feel like turning to sweets! I even wandered around Whole Foods, determined to treat myself to anything in the bakery because I felt like crap and I deserved a treat. But none of the cupcakes or layer cakes looked good. I could imagine how the frosting would oil across my tongue and slip greasily down my throat, leaving me in no better a mood. I could imagine the sugary cake tasting sweet, but leaving me hungry again in a short while. It wouldn't even fill me up. It wasn't what I wanted.

I finally sat down with an oatmeal raisin cookie and a cup of peach yogurt, and after I ate them I went, "Well, that didn't change anything." Sweets just don't give me the lift they used to. This change has been happening gradually over the past year and I've grieved the end of my emotional crutch. But I think the change is reaching completion and now it doesn't make me sad.

OTHER BIG NEWS: now that my emotional relationship with food is diminished (gone?), my appetite has been down this week. In my depression, I've eaten LESS. On Tuesday I practically skipped lunch and went hours without eating because I was crying, zombie-ing and my body was too wound up to eat. I also couldn't think of anything I really wanted to eat. Another plate of eggs and potatoes? No. An apple with peanut butter? No. A little dark chocolate with a banana? No. No food sounded like a good idea. It was astounding.

When I told Claire this was the first depression ever that I didn't eat snack cakes or buy cookies, plus I actually ate less, she said that's what depression is supposed to do. That's the normal response: people have less appetite and don't eat as much. 

"So that's what people mean when they say they lose weight when they're depressed!" I said. "I never understood that because I'd always eat and eat. I'd say how the fuck does anyone lose weight in depression? It seemed impossible!"

So apparently, I'm finally doing depression the right way. I now have the typical physiological response to depression: loss of appetite and eating less. This must be how generations and generations of people experienced depression until the American food industry got us chemically hooked on junk food. Now we self-medicate with snacks because chemically-altered food acts so much to our brains like a serotonin boost. Damn our American greed.

Anyway, I wonder what will happen next. Maybe some damn weight loss?
What happened next.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Used to hate queasy-cams

goddamn queasy-cam Cloverfield
For 33 years I’ve gotten motion sickness when I watch movies filmed in the “queasy-cam” style (hand-held camera). Years ago, while watching The Blair Witch Project in the theater, I had to run to the women’s room to fully throw up, and that’s not the only time that happened.

Even on my little iPad, I can only watch queasy-cam movies in 20-minute stints. 

Last night I tested this again and it was different: I watched Cloverfield (the shakiest camera ever) in one go, with no nausea. None.

😮 WTF? It doesn’t seem possible! But it seems to be yet another way that Claire Boye-Doe of Gnosis Natural Health has helped me, in addition to reducing my depression, elminating my pica, helping my digestion and countless other problems. Countless. Let's hear it for Nutrition Response Testing! (And if you're nowhere near Chicago, IL USA, Claire works remotely.)

Patreon.com allows us closer communication, lets you support me with a monthly pledge of $3, $10 or $15 (that you can cancel at any time), and gets you rewards. Please visit my page to take a quick look.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Please put your damn cell phone away

ID 32196730 © Elena Elisseeva | Dreamstime.com

I was just reading an article that said this:


If a friend pulled out a cigarette and blew smoke into your face, you probably wouldn't have a problem telling them to stop because we have a societal understanding that doing that is rude. But if that same friend pulled out their phone in the middle of a conversation with you, it'd be much harder to speak up because we haven't yet agreed on etiquette for our phones. This is never going to change unless we start talking about it, so start talking about it.

Here's me talking about it. I've told this to my friends. I dislike it when I'm with someone and their phone goes off and they reach for it. Just that reach annoys me. I REALLY dislike it when the person takes the call or starts texting back. If they say, "Sorry, it's my mom. I have to answer her," or "I've been waiting for this call all day," I still dislike it. If it's someone's spouse, boss, child, big-money-client or deathbed-grandma, I DO NOT want people interrupting their time with me because of a phone. As we did before cell phones, we can receive that message later when we're free. Likewise, I ignore my phone when I'm with others.

I realize for some it’s an endorphin thing. Many of us now get a little hit of endorphins with every text and sound our phones make. I’m asking my friends to give up that good feeling while they’re with me, which must seem painful to them.

Others are used to being in constant, immediate contact with their kids or parents or whomever. To give up that connection for even one hour must feel like severing the lifeline and maybe letting their children die because Regina needs all the attention.

So asking my friends to put their phones away challenges both those needs, and they’re powerful needs. So be it. Politeness often requires a little discomfort.

Patreon.com allows us closer communication, lets you support me with a monthly pledge of $3, $10 or $15 (that you can cancel at any time), and gets you rewards. Please visit my page to take a quick look.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Blog oratory

A friend said he likes to listen to content instead of read it, so I made a video of myself reading my post, "Stop talking about INTENTION." If you want to hear me read my writing, here it is. This video is 3:02 (three minutes and two seconds) long. Apparently I make amusingly exaggerated faces when I read.


Patreon.com allows us closer communication, lets you support me with a monthly pledge of $3, $10 or $15 (that you can cancel at any time), and gets you rewards. Please visit my page to take a quick look.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Naked racism


When I was in grad school, my friend Christina and I spent mornings in the campus gym, lifting weights. It was one of the ways we dealt with the stress of being a Mexican-American and a Black woman in an environment that made us feel alternately invisible and demeaned.

After working up a sweat, we’d step into the large group shower and get clean before heading to a cafe. One day another woman showering at the same time turned to me. She was white and she said, “Your skin is such a beautiful color. I wish I could get my skin that color.” She might have said more about the way her skin tanned or burned, but I don't remember it.

It was one of the weirdest moments I experienced at Cornell, where I went through many weird moments. 

I probably mumbled a thank you, the white woman probably gave some half-apology for the strangeness of her “compliment,” Christina probably snickered uncomfortably, and I know I finished my shower stiffly. And it taught me that there's no limit to the places white people will suddenly pierce what little privacy everyone is pretending to have.

Patreon.com allows us closer communication, lets you support me with a monthly pledge of $3, $10 or $15 (that you can cancel at any time), and gets you rewards. Please visit my page to take a quick look.

Friday, April 12, 2019

I want to know YOU


You who are reading this post: who are you? How did you find my blog? What was the first post you read? Why are you reading this right now?

Chicana on the Edge launched on June 17, 2004 and will be 15 years old soon. And I would love to know who reads it!

I joined Patreon in January thinking it would be a way to earn money since I’d been broke for the previous six years. But my new business as a ghostwriter and virtual assistant is going so well that I’m on the brink of earning enough to live on! And if things keep going this way, I’ll soon have enough to restart a savings account, too. 

So my Patreon page is no longer about money. It’s about finding out who reads my blog and what you think about all day and why you read my blog and what your life is like. 

Are you inside or outside of the U.S? Do you prefer posts about mental illness or posts about general current events? Are you a writer? What do you worry about? Do you like reading my opinions or do you just like writing produced by someone who does a decent job with clear thinking and punctuation?

Please consider joining the community I’m building at Patreon and let’s get to know each other. After 15 years of sending my writing out into the world, I would love to interact more with my readers!
One of the rewards top tier Patrons get as an extra thank you. It says, "You can't cure families, you can only prevent them"

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

No change

The fattest I've ever been, blah, blah.
Just to follow up on this post about health and fatness: no change. No change...discouragement..disgust...

But one new thing is that I've added a list of my fatness-related posts to the right-hand scroll of my blog homepage (take a look in desktop view)). It's right under my list of depression-related posts. They're a couple of major themes of my life and maybe one or both are part of yours.

When I can't fix my problems, I organize them. 

(But wait -- things did change after I posted this! Read this!)




Patreon.com allows us closer communication, lets you support me with a monthly pledge of $3, $10 or $15 (that you can cancel at any time), and gets you rewards. Please visit my page to take a quick look.