Archive for May, 2011

Ami Kaye

Posted in interviews, news, poetry, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by intoviews

what is your name?

Ami Kaye. Ami (uh-mee) is short for Amita, and not pronounced “Amy.”

how would you describe what you do?

I am a journal editor and writer. I publish and manage Pirene’s Fountain, a biannual online poetry journal which will mark its 5th year in January 2012. We’re a global community of editors with diverse styles and preferences. Pirene’s Fountain presents an eclectic blend of work from emerging authors as well as highly accomplished poets. We nominate for the “Best of the Net,” “Best of the Web” anthologies, and “The Pushcart Prize.” We also offer a PF editors’ award, open to all submitting poets but excluding featured/guest poets. Our emphasis is on the celebration of the written word, learning from and inspiring each other without bias for school or genre.

Apart from working on the journal, I also write poetry, reviews, features and articles, and interview various literary personalities. My poetry collection “What Hands Can Hold” was published last April, and a new book “Singer of the Ragas” is slated for release later this year.

what are you currently working on?

I am working on a new poetry book concept, two novel outlines, four book reviews, revising the above mentioned poetry manuscript, planning our Fall/Winter journal issue, as well as editing two anthologies, one of them a “Best of Pirene’s Fountain” for our 5th anniversary next year, and one is a special project to aid Japan, due for release in December 2011. People interested in participating can click on this link— http://pirenesfountain.com/submissions_japan.html

what has had the greatest influence on your work?

*All the writers who have left a piece of themselves in my heart.

*Travelling widely and learning about people and cultures around the world. Exposure to music, dance, concerts, dramas, films, anime, museums, art galleries and alternate art forms that have informed my thinking.

*My parents who provided a richly multicultural upbringing and outlook.

*My husband and sons who are extremely supportive of my work and continue to inspire me.

*People who have read my work/our journal and sent words of appreciation and support—I am grateful and humbled by that encouragement.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?

Sometimes submitting authors feel that if we do not accept a poem we find something wanting and are rejecting the author. In our case, we get a large volume of submissions. Rather than actively “reject” a work, we are more likely to look through the submissions and search for poems that leap off the page. Those are the poems we place on our list. Since we do have a cutoff number (It can vary between 40-60 poets, depending on how many pieces we take per poet), the ones who do not end up on the list are sent a note stating truthfully that their poem was “not accepted for this issue.” Sometimes that means we already picked a poem addressing a particular subject and did not want a duplicate, or that it just was not right in some way for this particular issue, but more often than not, it means someone else’s poem connected with us first.

Basically, we want to like poems sent to us because they make the content of our journal, so when we read, we are already in a mindset to accept rather than reject poems.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?

The major strengths of our online medium are immediate and easy access to the journal and the ability to navigate back and from various resource links, such as author websites, vendor links to order books, etc. Also, the ability to make post-release corrections is convenient, something difficult or not possible at all in a print medium.

At one time online journals were not taken seriously, and submitting writers had the feeling that in some way they were inferior to their print counterparts. That perception is changing, I think. Now many more poets and writers are publishing their work online and are comfortable with the idea.

There is an entire discussion to be had on the sheer volume of work published online and how it affects the quality of literature and arts. I think that conversation will have to be addressed at another time, but suffice to say, I believe that good work will always stand out, and people desirous of finding such work will be able to do so online or in print. There are some people who do not have web access or some who prefer to “hold” the journal or book while reading, and may find it cumbersome to sit at a computer. However, now with iPad and products like the Kindle, people may find a way around those disadvantages.

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?

This is a fluid and fascinating time for publishing and writing. The internet has made it possible for journals without any monetary backing to run a professional grade organization, as is the case with Pirene’s Fountain, which is neither affiliated with an academic organization nor the recipient of any grants or donations. For us, going online saves us the overhead costs associated with a regular publishing company. We are able to deliver the magazine immediately upon release, distribute it to numerous readers and gain exposure via various networking sites and other venues. (It saves paper too!)

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?

Editorial boards serve the writer best if their journals run in a smooth and efficient manner. Writers who follow submission guidelines save organizational time for the journal and are also most likely to send in work that is most compatible with the journal requirements and aesthetics. A bit of courtesy on both sides can make the entire process more comfortable.

where can we find you online?

amikaye.com, pirenesfountain.com, Facebook, Pirene’s Fountain Poetry (a group on Facebook ) Goodreads, Twitter, Linked In and MySpace.

what are you reading at the moment?

If I start to name titles and authors I may not be able to stop, so I’ll just say I read reams of poetry every day…new stuff, old stuff and everything in between. I respect writers who employ a wide range of topics and treatment in their work. I enjoy fiction, history, mythology, well-written fantasy and science fiction. I read reviews, interviews and a lot of journals. I love work from Europe, China, Japan, Korea, and Africa, and dip occasionally into Zen philosophy, Sufi mysticism, and the rich, colorful tapestry of Indian writers. While I am perfectly harmless in a jewelry store, letting me loose in a bookstore can inflict major damage on a credit card.

what are you listening to at the moment?

My taste in music is as eclectic as my taste in literature—I’ve been listening to a mix of opera, jazz, classic rock and ghazals recently, but hands down, listening to my sons play piano together is the high point of any day! Their most recent pieces were Grieg’s concerto in A, and Rachmaninoff’s concerto no.2 arranged for two pianos.

anything else we should know?

The reason I greet every journal issue with enthusiasm is because I get to work with an awesome team—Oliver Lodge, Charles Morrison, Lark Vernon Timmons and Tony Walbran are not only talented editors and writers, they pitch in with features, interviews, submissions and all the other components that make Pirene’s Fountain a solid piece of work we can believe in. Katherine Herschler and Tracy McQueen from our production team tie the journal together seamlessly with a keen sense of aesthetics. The PF Team is dedicated, enthusiastic and serious about providing a unique platform for our poets, writers and readers. Add to that to a dynamic and generous writing community and I count myself as very, very lucky.

Hedra Helix

Posted in interviews, news, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , on May 17, 2011 by intoviews

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what is your name?
Hedra Helix

how would you describe what you do?
Right-at-this-moment I am busting my nonexistent ass off to pen you guys a great American novel, while simultaneously planting my garden with edibles so that I don’t need to eat my neighbors or vice versa come the impending apocalypse. That’s called multitasking beyotches!

what are you currently working on?
I’m in the editing phase of my first novel, Small Scale Magic. I have 30 intense days left to murder my sweet darling before I hand it over to the first of its two professional editors.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?
Gah! Too many things to name, hmm, vibrant poetry, several books that never close at my house, Gatsby, Tortilla Flats, With by Donald Harrington, and last but certainly not least Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz. Besides that, I love the way fruit looks when you cut it open, especially inedible poisonous types, the weird sense of the something’s wrongggg… that glitters from the wet pulpiness.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
Hmm, that’s a hard one to answer right now. I’ll let you know after I publish and the haters come out. 😉

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
I wrote this book using the cadaver of another book I’d quit. Never again, it was incredibly hard for me to piece the old things into something new. For me, that’s my main weakness in combination with the medium, not being able to see the entire MS at once makes it hard to come up with the same or appropriate energy to infuse the scene I need to write next.

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
I love my Mac. Dear sweet old Mac that hasn’t let me down yet, knock on wood. Not only did I write my whole book on this lil’ old lap top but I’ll be making all the flat art, the banners, the blog and the trailer on it too. Go Mac!

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
Know that it’s hard for every writer to finish a (worthwhile) book. It’s not easy. That’s a fact. It isn’t just you. So keep on going.

where can we find you online?
Nowhere until July 2011, and then every(freaking)where. I’m going to be rabid on marketing Small Scale Magic. I’ve put so much work into it. I’m gonna let all of you know where you can find it. Also, I’m going to be having the most magical giveaways you’ve ever seen. That, is a promise.

what are you reading at the moment?
A book by Jeremy C Shipp called ‘Vacation.’

what are you listening to at the moment?
Frogs vs afternoon birds duking it out to be the master of twilight. And some Grateful Dead drifting up from Tim’s studio downstairs

anything else we should know?
Small scale Magic is the first book in a trilogy. It’s going to be out on kindle and other e readers by mid July to early August for 99 cents, and it will be an amazingly immersive read -because I will not allow for it to be anything less. Personal promise x 2.

ivan stoikov

Posted in interviews, news, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , on May 16, 2011 by intoviews

what is your name?
Ivan Stoikov – aka Allan Bard

how would you describe what you do?
Well, I could say I’m a writer, though for the present I’ve published only one book (Tale Of The Rock Pieces) and almost written another (The Opposite Of Magic) but have about 20 other in my head, waiting impatiently to be written too. Yet, I would definitely claim that writing books is the best activity, job, hobby, way of life one could have!!! It is probably one of the few jobs, activities that’s connected with everything else one could imagine or think up… ;). For the present, writing is not my primary job, I work in a pharmaceutical company, I’m a healthy food consultant, massage therapist and I have a master’s degree in biology, which really helps for some of my books.

what are you currently working on?
I’m finishing my next The Opposite Of Magic, searching for some info for the next Kids’ Funny Business and The Lord Of The Christ, etc.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?
My dreams as a child, many famous authors’ works as Terry Pratchett, Ursula Le Guin, Michael Crichton, J.R. R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Ivan Vazov, Ivan Marinovski, Elin Pelin, Jack McDevit, Paolo Coehlo, G. Roddenberry, Victor Hugo, movies like Star Wars (especially The Empire Strikes Back), Star Trek, Masters Of Science Fiction, The Outer Limit, etc… the list goes on but it will be too boring I guess to write them all here? 😉
what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
After reading some of my book/s, some people said I was a racist… Yet, I guess my explanations helped them realize they were wrong. Using characters like Brown faces could not be a reason to make me something that I’m not and will never be. As in the past Brown faces had fair skin but their awful nature, thoughts and actions made them ugly and dark-skinned…

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
Well, I guess in all my works there are not just breath-taking adventures, incredible, unknown and never-seen-before creatures and characters, but also a lot of wisdom, philosophy and thoughts/quotes that could be used in any period of our history.
I guess greatest weakness in my works would be my English… I mean I’m not a native Englishman or American, so many times my writing needs a lot of editing, my sentences are too long, some of my expressions are with Bulgarian logic, from time to time I guess my descriptions are too long too…

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
I admire all the modern technologies, as Terry Pratchett said: We can find much more magic in an ordinary computer than in a gathering of witches…;) Using Internet, I could find editors, proof-readers of my works, literary agents, publishers, and having a PC and laptop made writing really easy! At first I used an old type-writer but after I bought my 1st PC, I’ll never use such a “trouble-making” device again…;)

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
Read not just to find out about new facts, adventures, thoughts, quotes, etc but to think and comprehend the wisdom we could find in any book ;). Books could be a great way for educating, not just for entertainment.

where can we find you online?
http://www.myspace.com/ivan_allanbard, http://www.facebook.com/ivanstoikov.allanbard, http://www.shelfari.com/allanbard, http://www.allanbard.blogspot.com/, yahoo.messenger: wingofsard, skype: ambigat.son

what are you reading at the moment?
Catcher In The Rye, Orcs, Photoshop’s manual, Goosebumps…

what are you listening to at the moment?
Duffy’s Mercy, The Asteroids’ Galaxy Tour’s Golden Age, London Philharmonic Orchestra’ Kashmir…

anything else we should know?
I cried when I wrote the most horrifying moments in my Tale Of The Rock Pieces though I knew very well what the end will be, I’ll have to learn to dance like Michael Jackson to write really well my future Lake Mystery, for some of my books I prefer to make my own illustrations as I guess the worst covers and illustrations are made by professional artists… which usually have little in common with the story…;)

bill ross

Posted in art, interviews, news, update with tags , , , , , , , on May 15, 2011 by intoviews

How would you describe what you do?
I see myself as a sort of confessional artist/painter.   I describe what I do as “slap stick surrealism”.   An artist writer friend, Matt Morris said my work takes the viewer to a place where birdbaths are terrifying.  This is what I want to do.  I strive for an overall weird intensity in my work.  I don’t know how else to explain it.  I draw from my childhood mostly, hence the confessional piece, and I try to create absurdly intense imagery using cakes, animals, giant trees, appliances, water towers and occasional bird baths all in bright concussion color.

What am I working on now?
It is a busy spring.  Tomorrow night 4-29-11 we are opening a show called 2+2=5 at Thunder-Sky Inc.  A nonprofit Gallery I help to run.  I have a number of collaborations in this show with some other great artists from the Cincinnati area. Check it out at www.thunderskyinc.org.  I just had a large show of my work at The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center.  The show was called “The Art of Food”.  I am currently working on a couple of collaborative pieces with artist Drew Kidd for a show called “Superwhat?” that will open June 25th at Greenwich Gallery.  I am also very excited that I will have work in the June show at U-turn Gallery here in Cincinnati in a small arts district known as Brighton.  My partner Keith and I are also preparing for a Thunder-Sky Inc exhibit at Howard Finster’s “Paradise Gardens” near Athens GA. in the middle of May.

What have been the greatest influences on my work?
I would be lying if I didn’t say first and foremost Keith Banner.  He is an amazing writer and visual artist as well as a creative thinker and I am happy to say we have been together for 21 years as a couple.   But besides Keith as far as visual artists go, I would say Max Ernst is the artist I find myself going back to as well as Thomas Hart Benton and Ed  Keinholtz.  I also draw from the confessional poets Ann Sexton, Sylvia Plath and Theodore Roethke.  My favorite poem right now is “The Lost Son”.  It is truly amazing!

What is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
I am not sure if there are too many misconceptions about my work.  I think people either really get it and love it or they don’t get it and disregard it and that is fine with me.  It truly makes me happy though when people like what I do and I am thrilled when people actually want to buy my work.  As for myself, Rupaul says “What other people think or say about me is none of my concern”.  I love this little piece of sanity

What do you see as the main strengths and weakness of my work?
I have been told I have an obviously recognizable style.  In my solo work I tell people I am basically painting the same painting over and over again no matter how hard I try to do something different.   I have realized this is probably a good thing.  However for me it gets harder and harder to try to figure out new ways to make it interesting both for myself and for the viewer.  With having an easily recognizable style you can quickly get pigeon holed.  So I try to break free from this by working collaboratively with other artists as much as I can.  Through collaborating I can pull my head out of my ass so speak and do something truly new that wouldn’t exist without the other artist or artists.

How has technology impacted upon your work?
Technology has not affected how I create work.   I do everything by hand.  I don’t even use power tools when I am building panels or framing etc.  I like the feel of using a hand saw, hammer and nails etc.  However, Facebook has done wonders for me in getting my work out into the world.  Shortly after posting a few piece on my fb page last year I was offered a show at a gallery I truly respect called 1305 Gallery.  This led to another show and another.  After my Dad died in Jan 2008 I had pretty much stopped painting my own projects altogether. Once I was offered a show I started painting again.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
Give it all you got!!!  Seriously!  If there is something you really want to accomplish you have got to put your whole heart into it.  This is the only way to figure out your own strengths and weakness.  All lessons that are meaningful are learned the hard way.  Besides being a social worker for people with disabilities I also co-founded a studio for people with disabilities here in Cincinnati called Visionaries and Voices.  I am proud of what I created.  The experience also helped me to understand what I needed to do and what not to do with the next project, Thunder-Sky Inc. because I truly gave what had to give, basically until it hurt.   I now know to control what I can and let go what I can’t.

Where can we find you on line?
It’s weird I know, but I don’t have a website of my work.  I just never thought about it.   You can see my work on my Facebook page and on www.thunderskyinc.org also the 2+2=5 blog through Thunder-Sky site.

What are you reading?
Sad to say but I don’t read as much as I would like.  I am just to ADD I suppose.  Besides the poets I love that I already mentioned, I am reading David Sedaris’ “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” I want to read “God Is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, when I can find time.

What are you listening to at the moment?
My music mood is dictated by the season.  Being that it is spring I have in the C/D changer “Fragile” by 9 Inch Nails, Nina Simone’s “Greatest Hits”, Kanye West new disk, Grizzly Bear and “The Shepherd’s Dog” by Iron and Wine.  I still love the new one by Interpol as well. I just played it too much.

Anything else we need to know?
Check out Thunder-Sky Inc. either on facebook or at http://www.thunderskyinc.org learn a little bit about Raymond Thunder-Sky and what Keith and I do.

michael basinski

Posted in interviews, news, poetry, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2011 by intoviews

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what is your name?

Michael Basinski

how would you describe what you do?
poetry

what are you currently working on?
large sized 3ft x 3ft visual poems and in which are vowel creatures and poetic plumbing and a form of text poem called a Trailer. A Trailer is a like a movie trailer with only the hot parts of a poem in a poem.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?
the cruelty and stupidity of the human race

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
that it (the poems) are/is confusing, that I am Justin Timbersnake

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
the cruelty and stupidity of the human race

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
great ability to disseminate poems that are drawn

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
don’t quit your day job

where can we find you online?
ubuweb
http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/museless-now-fay-wray/14442999
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwERys-O6hU
http://reconfigurations.blogspot.com/
http://anti-poetry.com/anti/basinskimi/

what are you reading at the moment?
The Idiot, Collected Letters Between Kerouac and Ginsberg, Miserable Miracle, The Craft of Poetry, etc.

what are you listening to at the moment?
Robert Johnson
Bo Diddley

Gillian Prew

Posted in interviews, news, poetry, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2011 by intoviews

how would you describe what you do?
I write poetry exclusively – free verse. I did start a novel 15 years ago entitled, Socrates Dissatisfied, of which I wrote 40,000 words and ended up pretty much in agreement with Socrates.

what are you currently working on?
I am not working on anything in particular at the moment, just writing poems as they come to me. I have recently finished a series called DISCONNECTIONS which has been published as a chapbook by erbacce-press. As the title suggests each poem deals in some way with my feeling of disconnectedness to the world.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?
I think influences are often subliminal and come from all areas of living. Certainly, I have been influenced by the dead poets…Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Dylan Thomas, but also from literature…Dostoevsky, Camus, Kafka, Celine, Cioran, and from philosophy to some extent where I have my education…Nietzsche, Sartre, Heidegger. Also, a couple of living poets I feel have influenced me…David McLean and Carolyn Srygley-Moore. There are three female poets currently writing in the UK who I feel I must also mention here…Petra Whiteley, Maria Gornell and Jacqui Corcoran. All three have provided some form of inspiration for me.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
I’m not sure. I guess some might think I am a pessimistic poet, but I think that’s merely because I acknowledge quite often the fact that we die, and then there’s nothing. Personally, I find this quite reassuring.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
I think poetry feels inaccessible to some, somewhat erudite and impenetrable. This can be true, but I do believe on the whole that the effort taken to appreciate poetry is part of its strength. Its layers of meaning, its dedication to language, its demand upon the intellect are all necessary to avoid the dumbing-down we so often see around us in most forms of popular media. There seems to be a group of poets insistent on reducing poetry to the simplest terms but I think if this was to become the poetic norm then I would discard poetry as an art form altogether. Poetry is all about making things seem new, showing the world in a different way, attacking one’s thinking from an angle so to speak. Another strength of poetry is its ability to resonate immediately regardless of time taken to analyse it. Often, I have had a instant resonance somewhere inside, that feeling of affinity I think the human being so much requires.

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
I doubt I would ever have anything published were it not for the internet. It makes networking and submitting spectacularly easy. There are forums for feedback and opportunities to read and befriend other poets. Computers themselves make writing and editing far easier, although it is always nice to write in a notebook with ink one’s thoughts as they come. I think technology has revolutionized the writing world on the whole, providing accessible publishing, marketing and networking opportunities.

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
I am not in a position to give out advice. However, I am attracted to the beginning of Anne Sexton’s ‘Live’…

Live or die, but don’t poison everything…

where can we find you online?
http://gillianprew.wordpress.com/

what are you reading at the moment?
I pretty much read only poetry. I haven’t read a novel in years. I have been trying to read Heidegger’s Poetry, Language, Thought, but inevitably I am seduced by the poems themselves and always have Plath, Sexton and Thomas on the go. Lately I have been reading the work of Michael Mc Aloran, a poet friend of mine, whose poetry is beautifully brutal and whose prose is sublime.

what are you listening to at the moment?
Strangely to some I seldom listen to music. The way my life is constructed means that I do not have much time to sit down and listen to it. If I were to put on something it would probably be Nick Cave or some form of Classical.

anything else we should know?
I have another chapbook forthcoming from Virgogray Press entitled, in the broken things. Not sure when it’s coming out though.

Hana-li Pendery

Posted in interviews, music, news, update with tags , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2011 by intoviews

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what is your name?

Hana-li

how would you describe what you do?
I’m a pop/rock singer/songwriter. I tend to write positive and uplifting songs but from a dark place as I feel that’s very easy to relate to and is my own personal brand of inspiration.

what are you currently working on?
I released my debut EP entitled “From the Dark” last August and recently released a single and companion music video for a cover of Muse’s “Undisclosed Desires”. You can watch it here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqBQhImnZoo. The EP and single are both available on iTunes under Hana-li.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?
I think traveling and seeing the things people are coping with all over the world on a universal level has really opened my eyes in a way that no schooling ever could. I’ve seen people live in the most horrifying conditions both mentally and physically and that’s what fuels me to write and communicate to people. I want to let people know what’s out there but also that we can always rise above the challenges of this strange and beautiful world.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
I think people really get who and what I am and do when they see or hear it firsthand. It’s always about the communication and connection with my audience whether they’re there at a live show or it’s through a recording. I think that always comes through.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
The strengths are that we can now capture so much emotion and create so many sounds to really convey the full concept of a song. I think the greatest weakness is that you can make anyone sound good and therefore a lot of real talent and dedication goes unheard. That’s why I don’t use any Auto Tune or Melodyne on my stuff. If you’re going to be a singer, you should be able to sing!

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
Microphones are so evolved now that they can capture everything an artist does and finding the right microphone for your particular voice is key! Also, there is a great new product called CLASP that allows you to record on reel to reel tape but edit in Pro Tools. This is revolutionary in that now you can have the warm sound of tape with the ease of Pro Tools. No more splicing! My EP was all recorded to tape this way and you can really hear and feel the difference.

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
When performing, it’s not about you, it’s about your audience. It’s all for them. Take the time to get yourself comfortable in the room, theater, arena or whatever the venue may be and then forget about yourself and deliver your soul to them. That’s why they come.

where can we find you online?
www.facebook.com/HanaliMusic
www.Hana-li.com
www.YouTube.com/HanaliMusic
www.twitter.com/HanaliMusic

what are you reading at the moment?
I’m actually between books right now. Any suggestions?

what are you listening to at the moment?
I’ve been really into Imogen Heap and “Ramalama Bang Bang” by Roisin Murphy lately. Also, Justin Nozuka has an incredible voice and he rocks live too! Right now however my husband has “The Seed 2.0” on by The Roots. Great jam!

anything else we should know?
I love New Hampshire more than any other place on the planet and I have 5 dogs!

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