Jessica’s Cranky Corner: Fifty Shades of Lame

Published February 28, 2015 by Chick-Lit Cafe

541919_3911362915034_469792480_n121Let me start this off by confessing that I never read any of E.L. James’ books. After watching the movie, I can promise you that I never will. It’s totally unfair to judge a book by the movie, but this is a rare exception.

On a whim, I went to see this thing with a friend who actually read the book. When the credits started rolling, I sat in stunned disbelief and asked if the plot and the characters were fleshed out more in the book. She shook her said and told me, “nope that movie pretty much captured it all.” The next day I asked my massage therapist, who also read the book, if I’m missing out on anything.  She likened the writing quality to the prose in Green Eggs and Ham. So yeah, I will not be revisiting Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele’s s torrid love affair ever again—in books or subsequent movies. The embarrassment of sitting through this raunchfest in a packed theater was torture enough.

It’s not that I’m a total square with old fashioned values about sex. Hey, if you like booty clamps and whips go knock yourself out.  One of my biggest gripes is the violence. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, it’s part of the BSD&M game, but I couldn’t help screaming in my head, “boys don’t hit girls!” I just wanted to smack that creepy bastard when he kept walloping a semi-compliant woman with a belt. That’s right, a belt. In a perfect world, there would be no belt spanking. But sadly this is a favorite pastime for parents, animal abusers, and apparently horny bastards with mommy issues.

If I took a shot every time this girl bit her lip, I'd have one mean hangover the next day.

If I took a shot every time this girl bit her lip, I’d have one mean hangover the next day.

Another major problem is the lack of character development. They made Anastasia out to be this bookish English lit major with brains and class, but that all spiraled down the drain the moment she became entranced by the venerable Christian Grey. Other than the fact that he’s a rich, powerful playboy with a killer six-pack, what’s the appeal? Love, security, long walks on the beach? Nope. He doesn’t do any of that, which he repeats over and over again to this poor, daft girl who’s so hung up on taming the dragon.  There were so many points when she should’ve been running for the hills, but yet she kept bending over and taking it—literally.

This image sums up everything that's wrong with this story.

Here’s a lovely screen capture of the powerful Christian Grey carrying his weakened sex slave back to her bedroom where she gets to sleep alone every night.

And then there’s the “contract.” Per Christian’s many ridiculous demands, she must relinquish her freedom and become his “submissive.” If she signs on the dotted line, he’ll continue to shower her with laptops, flashy cars, and jet-setting trips around the world.  He even sweetens the deal by relieving her of a huge burden: her brain. You see, with a master and commander you don’t need to think for yourself anymore.  He gets to call all the shots and even control her drinking and eating habits. Boy what a relief it would be to chuck your brain in the dumpster and let some rich bastard be in the driver’s seat. Gee, where do I sign?

Needless to say, I lost all respect for Anastasia and even started to resent her for allowing this creep to take over her life. If she got tipsy at a party, he’d be there in a heartbeat ready to whisk her away from “danger” in his flashy car. He also rescued her from drinking one too many cosmos at brunch with her mom (a minor infraction that warranted a swift flogging). When she should’ve been filing a restraining order, she let him take her away on another whirly plane ride. Such fun!

They tried to make Christian a sympathetic character by showing him stooped over a piano playing a melancholy love song. At this point, I could care less about all the many layers to this onion.  And to be perfectly honest, I’m even more ambivalent about Anastasia’s decision to sign his ridiculous contract. From where I’m standing, she’s just another brainless piece of arm candy that can be easily bought with money and power.

Moral of the story: Just because something is widely popular with the masses that doesn’t mean it’s worth your time. Listen to the crap on the radio and you’ll see what I mean.

 

Short and Sweet Sundays

Published February 8, 2015 by Chick-Lit Cafe

sundaysI’ve been reading like a fiend this past month—and not one review to show for it! In a perfect world, I would spend my days reading on the chaise lounge with my chubby cat and my nights toiling away on my book, which has been left stagnating in Scrivner for months. Needless to say, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with my poor little book blog!

So in the interest of saving time, I bring you some short and sweet reviews for a few standout books that were definitely worth my precious little free time:

Murder, She Wrote: A Question of Murder by Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain

334352When I saw this title pop up in Audible’s “daily deal,” I immediately hit the purchase button.  The TV show may be history, but Jessica Fletcher continues to be the harbinger of death in this extensive book series. Without fail, the charming and delightful J.B. Fletcher stumbles upon a dead body everywhere she goes—cocktail parties, beach resorts, book tours, weddings—you name it! I just want to cry out, “No, no, no! Don’t invite her to your party, you fool! Don’t you know that’s the kiss of death?!”

That’s exactly what happens in this mystery when our intrepid amateur sleuth attends a murder mystery weekend at a haunted East Coast mansion. She meets an eclectic cast of characters, all with hidden agendas. As expected, a member of the acting troop keels over dead in the middle of a scene. Now it’s up to Jessica to question the many suspects and piece together the clues. Was it a jilted lover? A jealous husband? Or perhaps a fellow mystery writer who loves writing about murder a little too much?

With so many questionable characters and possible motives, it wasn’t easy guessing whodunit. And just when I thought I had it all figured out, a plot twist in the very last chapter threw my theory right out the window. If you love an atmospheric whodunit set in a historic mansion filled with hidden trapdoors and ghosts, this one’s for you.

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

9640626Believe it or not, this is my very first zombie book. I love all things creepy and crawly, but yet I haven’t really ventured into the chick lit zombie genre, maybe because there’s nothing more grotesque than a zombie getting it on. Wouldn’t body parts fall off? And then there’s the stench—gross! True, this book ranks high on the ick-factor, but yet it cuts deeper than some of the titles you’d see in Oprah’s book club.

What makes this book special is the walking dead girl’s journey of self-discovery. She may look fierce on the cover, but she’s really a big-hearted, insecure girl who got dealt a shitty hand of parents. Nobody believes she’ll amount to anything more than trailer-park trash, including herself. It took being turned into a zombie for her life to change for the better. After a car crash, she heals not only from her wounds, but also from her drug addiction. A mysterious benefactor hooks her up with a job at the local morgue, where she falls into a new circle of friends who are surprisingly non-toxic. For the first time ever, people actually give a shit, and they believe she can amount to so much more than a lowly driver for the county morgue.

Her world has turned upside down for the better, except for one nagging problem: her insatiable craving for brains. Everything falls apart—literally—if she can’t sink her teeth into that delectable gray matter. Good thing she has a most advantageous new job where brains are plentiful…that is until a serial killer starts decapitating the townies. Why is the killer taunting her with headless bodies? Who turned her into a walking dead girl the night of the car crash? Was it her mysterious benefactor? You’ll have to read the book to find out! I enjoyed the murder mystery aspect of this story, but mostly I was more transfixed by Angel’s journey of self-discovery. Throughout the book I cheered her on as she discovered her strengths and stood up to her bullies. I’m excited to see how she evolves in the next two books in the series!

Geared for the Grave by Duffy Brown

23505722If you haven’t been to Mackinac Island up on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, put it on your bucket list! I married a Michigander, so we sometimes take a little daytrip up to the island while visiting his folks. Just imagine Disneyland’s Main Street on a remote island where there’s nothing but cutesy shops, restaurants and oodles of fudge! Aside from the chocolaty goodness, the best part about the island is that no cars are allowed. If you want to get around, you’ll have to hoof it, ride a bike or jump on a horse buggy. Coming from Austin—one of the worst traffic cities in the universe—that sounds like bliss!

So it’s only fitting that this mystery begins when the meanest lady in town dies in a horrific bike accident. Considering that everyone despised her, the suspect list is bigger than Lake Superior. Yet thanks to a supposed eye witness, it becomes an open-and-shut case. The temporary town Sherriff is more than happy to pin the murder on Rudy Randolph, owner of a rundown bike rental shop. This doesn’t bode well for our protagonist, Evie Bloomfield, who’s determined to fix up the bike shop to boost her chances of promotion. You see, Rudy’s daughter is Evie’s boss, and if he goes to prison, she can kiss her big-city job goodbye.  The townies also have reasons to sweep the murder under the rug. Tourists (aka “fudgies”) are their bread and butter, so it’s important to not botch up the island’s idyllic Norman Rockwellesque façade. Who knew that a happy place like Mackinac Island could be a seedy hotbed of murder, blackmail and organized crime?! If you, like me, love an atmospheric whodunit filled with quirky characters and snarky dialogue, give this one a try. I’m excited to see what’s in store for Evie and her eclectic sidekicks in the next installment of this new series. Boy, I sure could go for some gooey fudge right about now!

Adventures in Dating by Sara Rishforth

Published January 24, 2015 by Chick-Lit Cafe

21560377Let me start off by saying (sorry, single ladies!) that I’m SO glad I’m not in the dating world. I kissed that life goodbye the moment I met my drunken sailor boy on that fateful night in Tijuana—long before everyone became so transfixed with selfies and Facebook. Yes, that’s right, I came from the prehistoric age when boys used to pick up the phone to ask girls out.

Unfortunately for Kari Covington, this technology-enhanced dating scene is a part of her reality. To make matters worse, she lives in Alaska where it’s practically impossible to dress cute without catching hypothermia. Oh but don’t fret, this sassy girl is very strategic about swapping out her Eskimo clothes for frilly outfits and couture heels. Another added bonus—the frigid weather tames her naturally curly hair, which would otherwise be a hot mess in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.

So you see, this little lady has it going on, and the boys always come back calling for a second date. Everything is all fine and dandy until the other shoe drops and she’s back to square one. Good thing she has her work buddy and fellow foodie pal, Jack, to lean on when her princes turn back into frogs.

Seriously, Cher. How long can you be "just friends" with this guy?

Seriously, Cher. How long can you be “just friends” with this guy?

Remember screaming at Alicia Silverstone to finally make a move on Paul Rudd in Clueless? Well that pretty much sums up my frustration with Kari since chapter one. Are you blind, woman?! He’s hot, he’s totally into her, they’re both raging foodies (a hobby I will never understand), and he’s single! HELLO!  Is it terrible that I rather enjoyed Kari’s discomfort when Jack got scooped up by a long-legged red-head? She kind of deserved that, right?

Since I normally read mystery novels, I have to resign myself to the fact that this is not a guessing game. Anyone who’s familiar with the tropes of the romance genre is aware that this story is really more about the slow-motion journey through the field of daisies, with a few detours here and there. But I have to say that this is a pretty fun journey. I enjoyed all the little outings to pub trivia nights, cooking classes and singles bars. It was also fun guessing how all her seemingly perfect dates would end in disaster. I sure felt for her when she was trapped in a restaurant with a hard-core political journalist. Check, please!

What really set this book apart from your typical girl-in-the-city romance is the Alaska setting. It’s the perfect place for snuggling up with a hot man by a roaring fire. I’m also pleased that Kari is a normal size-12 lady, not a tall, willowy supermodel look-a-like. We need more of that in genre fiction! Despite her naivety, she’s a great friend and an excellent cook. I would gladly accept an invite to one of her dinner parties! Warning: this book will make you hungry. All the descriptions of Kari’s culinary creations had me drooling like a Saint Bernard on a hot summer’s day.

If you love a fun, light-hearted romance, pick this one up. I know it can be rather iffy trying out a new author, but I promise that this is quality stuff!

A Q&A with Katie Jansson Shahin, Author of ‘One Day this Will All Make Sense’

Published January 18, 2015 by Chick-Lit Cafe

One Day This Will All Make Sense - Book CoverIn One Day this Will All Make Sense, Emma moves to LA from Sweden to embark on a new, exciting career. She soon finds the city of her dreams may actually be more of a nightmare. The sink-or-swim work environment is filled with an array of malevolent forces—from dirty office politics, to sneaky HR loopholes, to one heck of a Machiavellian boss who would make Miranda Priestly look like a timid kitten.

Take it from someone who knows, conquering these obstacles makes Frodo’s epic journey to the flaming eye of Mordor look like a stroll through the Shire.

Read on to learn more about Emma’s voyage into the maelstrom of corporate America. Seeing as how we’re both career girls who have been through the gauntlet and back, we should totally get together for drinks!

What made you decide to write a story about a Swedish woman trying to make it in the city of LA?

LA is such a fascinating place, with its huge population of “chasing dreamers.” It’s a character in itself and paired with a meaningful message, it can make for a captivating combination. But mainly I chose LA because that’s where the actual story took place. I myself had a very interesting experience trying to make a life for myself in LA. And I felt it was a story worth telling. For various reasons I actually tried many times to move the location to NYC, but it just didn’t work. The story, my story, I wanted to tell just disappeared outside of the world’s largest suburb.

How did you go about researching corporate culture in America and Sweden?

I’ve experienced them both first-hand myself. I moved to CA summer of 2010. I’ve worked for two different companies here in the US. But it wasn’t until early spring of 2013 when I switched departments, that I actually started to see how incredibly different they can be. I was suddenly in the extremes of the extremes of American corporate culture, and it’s not for everyone. It can be ruthless and with a lot of mind games and intimidation going on and at times feel like a cult. What’s even worse is that there’s nowhere for the intimidated employee to safely turn, and no one who can help them because of the politics and unwritten rules of the American workplace. When I saw that extreme difference from Swedish culture, I thought, “wow, this book practically writes itself.”

What do you hope your readers will take away from this book?

The importance to somehow see the humor even in the darkest period of your life. To consistently remind yourself that it will get better so that you don’t give in to the temptation to give up. But more importantly, that even if you don’t believe things happen for a reason, you can still give it a reason by taking advantage of it afterwards and making the best of it. My debut novel would not have been written this early in life had it not been because of what I went through at my old job, which in itself is a positive outcome.

If you could take one of your characters out to lunch, who would it be and why?

It would be Nicky. She’s actually one of the few characters who is completely made up and not inspired by anyone I know. I love her no-nonsense attitude, and I think her support would be great to have in any tough period you’re going through. We all need a friend like that. Someone who just says it like it is but still always stays loyal and has your back.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Music was such a big part of writing this book. Each chapter has the same title as the song I was inspired by while writing that particular chapter and showcases Emma’s feelings. I’ve posted a playlist on my blog (you can find it here), if anyone wants to take a look.

AKatie Jansson Shahin - Picturebout the author: Katie’s love for writing is versatile. Before taking the big leap into novel writing she focused mostly on screenwriting. In addition to that, she has a blog where she writes book reviews and articles on writing: An Authorista’s Blog. Katie is originally from Sweden but moved to California summer 2010 and currently resides in the North Bay area just outside of San Francisco. When she’s not working on her writing, she is an HR and recruiting professional. Although her debut novel is not a biography, as you may have guessed, One Day This Will All Make Sense is heavily inspired by her own experience moving from Sweden to Los Angeles and her life there.

Chick Lit Café’s Best Books of 2014!

Published January 2, 2015 by Chick-Lit Cafe

Bust out the glitter and champagne—it’s time to ring in the new year and celebrate all the books that made us laugh, cry, swoon and yearn for adventure! Here are some highlights from last year’s mountainous reading list! I should note that not all of these books dropped in 2014, but they were new to me and therefore they made the list. It’s my blog, dammit, so I get to call the shots!

What were your memorable reads of 2014? Did any books in particular sing to your soul, make you want to change your life for the better, or transport you to another dimension through space and time? Post a comment and tell me all about it!

Best All-Around Book of 2014: Orphan Train by Kristina Baker Kline

15818107This is one of those traumatic coming-of-age stories that sucks you in and keeps you glued to the pages until the very end. The tragic characters were so real, it felt like I was right there on that train as it trudged its way to the Midwest, hungry, belittled and afraid of the unknown.  Even when I wasn’t reading, I found my mind drifting to little orphan Niahm, wondering how she was going to survive her current horrifying foster-home situation. I would also think of Molly’s unlikely friendship with a 91-year-old widow, wondering how they would eventually help each other overcome their hardships and find closure in the end. The author did a fantastic job unfolding both Molly’s and Niahm’s narratives as the chapters jumped from present day to the Great Depression. It was almost impossible setting down the book because I was dying to see their stories converge.

Memorable quote: So is it just human nature to believe that things happen for a reason – to find some shred of meaning even in the worst experiences?

 Best Wanderlust Book: Following Atticus by Tom Ryan

11100477Oh man, I don’t even know how to even begin describing how much I adore this book. I just want to climb to the top of one of Tom’s beloved mountain peaks with a bullhorn and tell the world to read Following Atticus. It’s that good, people!

This is just a beautiful story about the bond between a man and his dog, and how they both found inner peace in the enchanting New Hampshire Mountains. In defiance of what’s expected of an overweight middle-aged man and a 20-pound dog, they achieved the impossible. Not once, but twice, they conquered all 48 of the great White Mountain peaks in one winter.

I can tell you from experience that animals have a way of making us live in the present. Like standing atop a majestic mountain and looking down at nature’s splendor, seeing the world through a dog’s eyes can allow us to take in the bigger picture. All those trivial things—the office pettiness, the family melodrama, the overloaded inbox—seem so insignificant when you can truly understand the broad scheme of things. That’s why this book really hit home.

Memorable quote: In the mountains Atticus became more of what he’d always been, and I became less—less frantic, less stressed, less worried, and less harried. I felt comfortable letting him lead, and he seemed to know what I needed. He always chose the best route, if ever there was a question, and my only job was to follow.

Best Beach Read: Five Summers by Una Lamarche

16101148My happiest childhood memories took place at Camp Marston, a sleepaway camp nestled in the mountains of Julian, California. This book rekindled so many memories of the deep friendships that were forged over burnt marshmallows and capture-the-flag games. In this book, the four girls were lucky enough to stay in touch throughout the years and help each other through the trials and tribulations of young adulthood. Each girl is holding back a deep, dark secret and it all comes to a head when they reunite at their beloved Camp Nedoba. I really liked how the author used the third-person narrative to weave each of the girls’ past and present summer camp experiences in every chapter. I loved getting to know all the characters and reminiscing about my carefree summers at camp, where I only had to worry about hiding contraband candy from the counselors and getting caught on a night raid to boys hill!

Memorable quote: The way you act can sometimes be totally different from the way you actually are.

Best Inspirational Memoir: Eat and Run by Scott Jurek

13202092Confession: I bought this book for my husband without any intention of reading it myself. Just the thought of reading a memoir penned by a vegan ultra-marathoner made my eyes roll. But yet, the curiosity got the best of me when I read his inscription: “Dear Jarred, just do things.” Do things? Huh? Intrigued by this simple, yet provocative sentiment, I peeked into the first chapter and soon found myself totally enthralled by Jurek’s voyage into the unimaginable realm of ultra-marathon running. This book completely changed my perception of human limitations. At the risk of sounding trite, this incredibly gifted man shows that you can train your mind into believing –and proving—that anything’s possible. Example: the book opens with Jurek tossing his cookies on the side of the road in Death Valley with 60 more miles to go. Death freakin’ Valley! At this point any rational person would stick a fork in it and head back to the hotel. Not Scott Jurek. He not only completes the race—he wins it!  This isn’t just a book about running; it’s a story of perseverance. When the going gets tough, I’m going to keep his mantra in mind: Sometimes you just do things.

Memorable quote: I’m convinced that a lot of people run ultramarathons for the same reason they take mood-altering drugs. I don’t mean to minimize the gifts of friendship, achievement, and closeness to nature that I’ve received in my running career. But the longer and farther I ran, the more I realized that what I was often chasing was a state of mind – a place where worries that seemed monumental melted away, where the beauty and timelessness of the universe, of the present moment, came into sharp focus.

Chick Lit Café’s Bountiful Bookish Christmas!

Published December 28, 2014 by Chick-Lit Cafe

xmaslootAnother Christmas has come and gone, and once again a new stack of shiny paperbacks have been added to my mountainous to-read pile. They all look so great – I can’t decide which one to delve into first! Take a looksy at my show-and-tell video (aka “vlog”) and help me out. Have you read any of these titles? Which one strikes your fancy? Do tell!  

I should warn you in advance that this video is riddled with non sequiturs and awkward rambling. I’m much less of a space cadet when I put pen to paper!


 

Gizzy and Cee Cee’s Christmas Reading Roundup

Published December 21, 2014 by Chick-Lit Cafe

ceeceegizzyxmasWe’re reaching the bitter end of the holly jolly Christmas season, but there’s still some time to curl up with a good holiday read. What’s that? Oh you don’t have time to read, huh? Come on, do you really need to spend your precious free time assembling that complicated gingerbread house with the kiddos or battling angry shoppers at the mall? Give yourself a break. Order those last-minute gifts online, tell the kids to amuse themselves for a while and spend the day curled up with a good, Christmassy book. You deserve it!

My editorial assistants, Gizzy and CeeCee, picked out a few hits and misses from our holiday reading list. Put down those car keys, grab some naughty nog and start filling up your e-reader with some Christmas cheer. CeeCee and Gizzy give you full permission to treat yourself!

HITS

Christmas Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley

16136087I am so glad I impulsively purchased this $1.99 nugget of ghoulish holiday fun! The book of short stories is meant for the younger set, but it’s far creepier than anything you’ll see in the children’s section. It’s like the British version of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. These morbid tales of killer snowmen, demonic dolls, and caroling ghosts, are perfect for a night around the campfire surrounded by the winter woods. Come to think of it, that would be the most perfect Christmas Eve ever. Hmm…mental note for next year. Anyhoo, this book is definitely worth the peanuts that it’s going for online. If you’re a fan of gothic, atmospheric ghost stories by British authors like Susan Hill (Woman in Black) or Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book), give this one a read. Just remember to keep an eye on that fireplace. That persistent scuffling noise might just be pesky rats…but I wouldn’t be so sure!

Christmas is Murder by CS Challinor

4313297

Of all the many renditions of Agatha Christie’s seminal masterpiece And Then there Were None, this is one of my faves!  Set in a secluded Victorian Inn in the English countryside, the mystery revolves around a motley crew of characters – all with secrets to hide. Lo and behold, a man is poisoned to death and many others end up joining him in his eternal dirt nap. Trapped by a blizzard, the doomed guests are unable to escape the wrath of a cold-blooded killer stalking the halls. It’s up to Rex Graves to ferret out the murderous fiend before his own goose is cooked. Gee, does this all sound familiar? If you love a good game of Clue, or if you read cozy mysteries, you must be well acquainted with this tried-and-true mystery formula. But like a favorite Christmas song, it never gets old when the mood is just right. What I love about this recycled Agatha Christie story that it has all the great elements that make up the perfect Christmas cozy: A stately old English manor, a rescued puppy, and cozy nights by the fire amidst the backdrop of a raging snowstorm. It’s a great book to cuddle up with on a cold winter’s night with a hot cup of tea and a purring fat cat on your lap.

MISSES

All Is Calm: A Lonestar Christmas Novella by Colleen Coble

22509743

Don’t do it. That’s my advice if you’re a sucker for Christmas-themed books filled with horses, romance and mystery.  I made the grave mistake of listening to this turkey on audio, and it was AWFUL. The narrator was just fine up until she switched into her little kid voice. She sounded like that creepy psychic woman from Poltergeist.  I’m telling you, it was ridiculously bad. And then there’s the plot…or lack there of. It’s set in Texas, but it might as well have been anywhere USA. When you set a book in Texas, you need to have a good grasp on the culture, the twang, the rugged landscape. Perhaps it would have done her some good to pick up a title by Larry McMurty. Aside from ignoring all things Texan, she didn’t put much effort into puzzling together a murder mystery. She threw out a couple of clues here and there, but it’s pretty easy to identify the killer early on. The romance (or as my fellow bloggers call it “insta-love”) was way too sugary sweet. As for the leading lady, she fell flat as a pancake right from the get-go. All in all, this story is a total waste of time. I’ve seen more substance in a Lifetime movie starring Tori Spelling.

Murder of a Stacked Librarian by Denise Swanson

15808550

This is my first Scumble River mystery and I’m pretty sure it’ll be my last. It wasn’t horrible per say, just very lackluster. If you ask me to recall anything about this book a month from now, forget about it. The story is so forgettable, probably because the characters were either unlikeable or just plain boring.  It seemed as though the murder mystery took a backseat to all the mind-numbing wedding planning. If the author focused more on the festive Christmas atmosphere and less on the inane wedding details, it would’ve been more tolerable. As for improving the murder mystery plot, that would require an entire overhaul.  I figured it out the second the murderer was introduced. From that point on it was just a painful slog through wedding-planning follies and disjointed red herrings. On a side note, I was a bridesmaid at a Christmas wedding. It’s pretty much the worst time of year to get married – especially in a city like Austin where it takes at least an hour to get across town. Everyone is stressed, broke and overwrought with burgeoning to-do lists. Bad idea, y’all!

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