May 31, 2005

Deep Throat - Not A Woman

Deep Throat finally came out of the closet and not a moment too soon. I saw footage on Channel 2 of W. Mark Felt waving at reporters from inside his front door. He looks like he could expire any moment. This guy is old, really most sincerely old. He kept his identity a secret for over 30 years. That's remarkable. I am probably the only one of my current friends old enough to remember when Nixon was President, barely. My memories start coming clearly into focus around Ford, but that's neither here nor there. My understanding of Watergate is that the coverup was the scandal. What was covered up wasn't necessarily so bad. The scandal was complicated and resulted in the impeachment of a President who was a big fan of McCartheyism. Nixon wasn't cupcake but he wasn't such a bad guy either. It's important to remember that all politicians are crooked and probably all have some kind of Watergate like scandal in their closet. The trick is that their closets are locked a little tighter and are better guarded.

Home town parade

This weekend was great. You already know about Saturday. Sunday, I picked my china pattern and flatwear and crystal etcetera at Fortunoffs. My parent's neighbors threw a picnic which we were all invited to. Jon and I finalized our invitations - my dad is printing them.

And then on Monday the weather couldn't have been more perfect. Jon and I attended the annual Memorial Day Parade in Long Beach. My father organized it this year. Here is my dad marching with the AmVets.
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It was like any home town parade, every organization in town was represented. The Long Beach Public Library had five people walk with a huge banner and the post office touted all 5 of Long Beach Post Office's official mail vehicles.
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The most fun was watching the kids in the parade, especially the Long Beach High School band. I marched in the parade from 4th grade to my senior year as a flautist so I started to get choked up when I saw the flag twirlers leading the pack.
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When the band pulled up behind them, there were a couple of tears, especially when I saw the flutes. Later, I broke out into full tears when I caught up with former flute teacher who now teaches music in Long Beach and directs the elementary school marching bands.
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Here's one more shot of the band playing at the band stand. Notice how cool and stylish their berets look. When I was in the band we had to wear enormous Q-tip style hats with tassles. You've seen them. They are featured in every teen movie in the segment with the marching band as a tribute to most people's awful experience with those uncomfortable polyester uniforms.
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May 29, 2005

Saturday Highlights Figuratively

Lazy Saturday survives although yesterday I wasn't completely lazy. I was at the gym for two hours. 40 minutes on the treadmill, the remaining time was spent working on upper body. Of course I threw in a little leg and ass work but you have to do that every day to some extent.

The rest of the day I watched TV and went food shopping. That's it. Well, I didn't watch TV exactly. I watched an episode of The Amazing Race Season 2. I watched Public Enemy and programmed the remote so it controls the TV, the VCR and the cable box. Now I can turn everything on just by using one remote control. It probably doesn't surprise you that I made dinner last night - salad with avocado, apples and Newman's Own low calorie raspberry vinaigrette. It was good.

When Jon came home from work, we watched The Wizard of Oz which still holds up after all these years. I NEVER get tired of that movie- great special effects, great acting and great writing. Judy Garland's sweetness in The Wizard of Oz stands in sharp contrast to the not-so-innocent performance she gives in A Star is Born. In that movie, she's already fallen apart. She's too thin, drunk and ashen. She plays the has been that she was.

I much prefer the younger Judy.

May 28, 2005

What a Waist!!

After 4 months of working out I'm seeing results. This morning, I found my waist line. It's been a while.

In honor of this great accomplishment, I am going to the gym this morning. My personal sessions with Brandon ended on Wednesday night, but I learned so much from him that I can make it on my own without him, although I'll miss him. I don't know if I'll be able to match the intensity of our workouts on my own. I sure will try though.

May 27, 2005

Today's Disturbing Icons

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Disturbing. Clearly that horrible show with the talking baby resonated deeply with the advertising agency that thought up this campaign for Quiznos. It's not so much that the baby talks. It's more what he says. Babies should not be ironic.

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When did the Blue Man Group sell out? Apparently The Blue Man Group is some kind of theatrical franchise that can be seen in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Berlin and Toronto. So why not in a Centrino commercial? Because there is no connection between computer chip technology and alternative theater.

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This unfortunate icon is what happens when Mardi Gras meets Madison Avenue. Would you really eat anything this giant head handed over? No. Because only a deranged man would wear something like which means he could have put poison in anything he wanted to feed me.

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I couldn't find an image of this most disturbing icon of all but I was able to find an image of a child wearing the Great Adventure weird guy costume. Is there anything more unsettling than watching that old guy dancing? Yes. Yes. I know it's a young man in an old guy get up, but still. I never want to go to Great Adventure again in fear that I might see this guy and he asks me to dance.

May 26, 2005

Mister Rogers Watches Me

Image hosted by Photobucket.comSeptember 13, 1996, my friend Jane gave me a postcard of Mister Rogers wearing his golden sweater. It hangs over my desk and whenever I look up, there he is. In the card she wrote, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Happy, Happy Birthday Valerie! Love, J." I really liked Jane. We lost touch over the years. She was very interesting. She was the editor for the Occupational Health & Safety line of books for the publisher I was working for at the time. 10 years my senior, I thought everything she did was cool. She believed in recycling everything, so much so that she owned a used clothing, jewelry and furniture store. Cool. When she went to Bali with her boyfriend she came back with a bad case of Malaria. Cool. When she went to her assistant's wedding to an FBI agent, she thought for sure they all knew her because of her various anti-estblishment activities and attitudes. Cool. She was an Italophile and an expert in Italian literature. Cool. I left that job for a better one as a direct mail marketing manager for a conferencing company and when I left she gave me a picture of Mother Jones's tombstone with a private inspiration thought. Cool. Sadly, I lost touch with her. In the last message she left me, she told me she married a police officer and was having a baby which was cool because well everything she did is cool. That child is probably 8 or 9 years old by now.

Jane. If you find this, I would love to hear from you.

May 24, 2005

Sarah and me

Thank you to Caren for sending this picture of Sarah and me.

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A Storm Called Burt

Spent the evening contributing to the ratings for May Sweeps. I hit all the finales. From 8 - 9, I caught the big showdown on American Idol. From 9 - 10, I watched two men beat the shit out of each other on The Contendor and from 10 - 11, I watched Rob and Amber exchange their wedding vows. Oy Vey!!

Then from 11 to 11:03 pm, on CBS news, I watched footage of Burt Reynolds slapping a producer at a premier for The Longest Yard. He slapped the producer because he admitted to Burt that he never saw the original movie starring Burt Reynolds. After the slap,Burt asked him what kind of man he was that he never saw that movie. He didn't look like he was kidding. But his publicist released a statement that something to that affect - that Reynolds gave the guy a gentle tap as a joke. It sure didn't like a gentle slap. Reynolds seemed genuinely upset.

As soon as I can find the story, I'll link to it.

More Subway Fun

Image hosted by Here is a picture of me on the train last night. Notice the unhappy look on my face. Got in the train at 6pm. . . the absolute slowest to Astoria. Every five minutes the announcer said "Please be patient. We have a red signal. There is congestion up ahead."

There was congestion. It took me until about 7 to get home from station to front door.

May 22, 2005

S. Korean Cloning

So. . .the South Koreans have made advances in cloning human cells. Not suprisingly President Bush did not receive the news well.

"I am very concerned about cloning," President Bush said in response to the news. "I worry about a world in which cloning becomes accepted." If Congress manages to pass a bill it is considering that would lift some of the restrictions on stem-cell research in the U.S., the President promised to veto it.

It would easy to pick fun at our President's point of view. Because it seems almost backwards to some people that others might find cloning unethical.You have to admit it is kind of weird, especially when you start to really think about it. Granted, the kind of cloning the South Koreans are advancing is the type that would provide the most benefits - from replacing organs to repairing nerve damage and replacing parts of the brain damaged by Parkinson's or Alzheimers. It's called therapeutic cloning and the South Koreans have started with growing skin.What does it mean to grow human organs in a petry dish? Clearly, this would be something that is living but is this question relevant? If I need a kidney and a doctor can grow a kidney from my own DNA and then puts it in my body where is the ethical dilemma? I think the ethical dilemma comes into play when people start fantasizing that cloning specialists want to grow fetuses in large cylindrical fluid filled containers for the purpose of harvesting organs.

I do not support this sci-fi fantasy. What I do support is the former suggestion, that organs can be created from the DNA of the people that need them. And therefore I support the research that goes into making this idea a reality.

Birthday Fun

Thank you to Sarah for hosting a fun party last night. It was a great opportunity to celebrate with you and to catch up with some people I haven't seen in a while.

Happy Birthday Sarah!!
Happy Birthday Eric!!
Last night, I was reminded of that lesson I learned in Elementary School about thinking before speaking. Always be mindful of how what you say to others may sound to them. I said something last night, to someone that I should not have said because I didn't think first. I ended up hurting that person's feelings but at least that other person felt comfortable enough to tell me right away and didn't let it fester giving me an opportunity to apologize now. Hopefully, it will be forgotten. I'm sorry.

May 21, 2005

Washington DC

When Jon and I were in DC, we went to see the White House.
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We saw my favorite painting in the National Gallery.
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And we saw grasshoppers humping in the Insect Zoo at the
National Museum of Natural History.
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Sad Day for Saddam

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That picture of Saddam Hussein in his underwear almost made me feel sorry for him. Almost. Showing those pictures are an invasion of his privacy. It is my understanding that there is going to be an investigation into who leaked those photos to The Sun. But honestly, is there really a need? I'm guessing that this was done under some directive to show a defeated Saddam in order to lower the morale of the continuously rising insurgency - both the taking of the photos and their release to press.

"But wait" you say, "Doesn't that fly in the face of the Geneva Convention rules on the humane treatment of prisoners of war?" Yes. It does. The conventions say countries must protect prisoners of war in their custody from "public curiosity".

It is probably the same directive that allowed those photos released from the Abu Grahib prison and that also made sure those soldiers thoroughly and completely humiliated the prisoners there. Soldiers aren't known for their creative thinking. They are broken down in boot camp and rebuilt to follow orders without question.

Am I suggesting that the US military is somehow behind this? I am actually although I'm not sure how something like this would be done, I think somehow they are doing this. Could I back any of this up? I don't know. . . but I don't necessarily disagree with it.

May 19, 2005

Something Special

I got to do something special tonight. I helped a friend celebritate a special occasion.

That was really nice. Thank you for letting me celebrate with you.

Wha Happened?

It's Thursday already. Wow.

The week is going by fast, probably because I took Monday off from work.

My maid of honor bridesmaids have ordered their dresses. So, that's one more thing off the checklist. Also, we selected a flower girl and ring bearer.

Right now, we are considering hiring a Long Island dee jay who actually drove from Patchogue to our apartment in Astoria (a considerable schlep) to make his pitch. He showed us a DVD of a party that just looked like so much fun and he is really enthusiastic. He can pipe music into the sanctuary for the ceremony and we're considering a pianist for our cocktail hour.

The scale is continuing to cooperate. With all my setbacks which probably weren't really setbacks, my weight loss is actually on schedule. I'm amazed this is working. I should make my goal weight by the time of the wedding.


May 18, 2005


Today is Thursday.
Tomorrow will be Friday.

This post is more boring than Sarah's post.

May 17, 2005

Dulles Int'l Airport

Jon and I spent two days in DC. We flew in Sunday morning and flew back last night.

On Sunday, we left NY from LaGuardia at 7 in the morning and arrived at Ronald Reagan Airport around 8. That was easy. We checked into the hotel and spent the day, walking around, looking at the White House, visiting the National Archives, and looking through the National Gallery and National Museum of Natural History. We were staying near the White House and walked everywhere. We walked for 6 straight hours and the only time we rode the Metro was to get from the airport to the hotel. It was a great day.

On Monday, we visited the Renwick Gallery, the Corcoran and the mall. We walked around the WWII memorial and enjoyed it this time. Last year, when we went it was 97 degrees and way too hot to really appreciate the memorial. This year it was a cool and breezy 70 something degrees. Much better time of year to visit. We walked along the Reflecting Pool toward the Lincoln Monument and took a closer look at the Korean War Memorial.

Then we started back. We picked up our bags from the hotel, took the Orange line to West Falls Church and a shuttle to the airport. That was easy. Dulles was difficult. There were people everywhere crowding and pushing. We found a line, checked in but it tooka while to figure out what was going on. Of course, our ticket counter was the furthest away from where we were dropped off. Then we waited on a confusing security line. There were 6 or 7 lines that all wrapped around each other and somehow, airport security employees were able to manage them and direct everyone.

After we went through confusing security we had to take a shuttle bus to our departure gate.

Long story short, I was pooped by the time we boarded our plane, which taxied for half an hour before taking off. Arriving at JFK seemed easy after all that work.

But we made it back and we had a good time and it all that travelling was worth it because DC is a great place to visit.

May 14, 2005

Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle is taking some kind of sabbatical, postponing the third season of his hit show on Comedy Central. What I find hard to believe is that he's 31 years old. I thought for shizzle he was older. I know that he's alive and okay because the article I linked to above and several news stories that I've heard put him in South Africa. He's been working pretty hard for a long time. He's always been funny. The LA Times article said that he's been in 12 pilots that have failed and that finally he's had some success with the Chappelle show on Comedy Central.

My guess is that after struggling for so long, a great success like his probably came with a cost. It was a shock to his system and he needs some time to come to terms with it.

I'm sure after a few months of rest and relaxation . . .

Baby Story a Hoax?

Upon going back to the news story at the below link, I found that it's been pulled.My friend and I have been going back and forth on the possibility that the news story about the 12-year-old Maryland girl that looks like a baby is a hoax.

Here is the result of the search I found on my friend's site, which pulled more results than mine, which is why I'm using it. Her search found 56 links to news websites that printed the same article. All 56 links have been taken down. If you go to any of the above you will find the article is not available.

Jon and I have been searching this morning for any other mention of this girl and her strange syndrome which, according to yesterday's article, only she suffers from.

There is nothing. . .

May 13, 2005

A Strange Story Indeed

I found this story on Drudge's front cover and found it sad and compelling so I want to share it with you here.

The story is about a 12 year old girl who hasn't aged since she was a baby. She looks like a toddler and seems to be stuck in time and developmentally speaking she hasnt' come very far at all - her skills match those of a toddler.

As far as anyone knows, according to the article, this girl is the only person in the world suffering from this strange ailment.

She is in poor health and professionals attribute the love and support that she receives from her family with her ability to thrive

My Brother

Yes. It is true. My brother is the author of NYC MTA STINKS!! He is as irate about the subways as I am if not more so. I was inconvenienced on the subway this morning, but I'm saving that story for his website as I have been given writing privileges.

Today is Friday the 13th. I hope everybody packed an extra vile of holy water this mornign to fend off the evil demons, bad omens and oncoming wickedness.

I added Andrew Sullivan's blog to my list of media blogs. He's funny.

May 12, 2005

NYC MTA Stinks

Is the title of this blog God's honest truth or is it a fantastic new website by a very frustrated new blogger?

It is both.

Visit NYC MTA STINKS and comment freely. He makes some very good points.

May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

. . . to my mother and my adopted mothers. To my mother especially, I would like to thank you for bringing me into the world because without you, I wouldn't be here. Hopefully, it won't be too long before I'm celebrating Mother's Day with you.

What are WE doing today? Well, since we spent Passover with my family, we're spending Mother's Day with Jon's. We'll be going down to Princeton, meeting his cousins and then joining Jon's mom and aunt for dinner a little bit later.I'm looking forward to seeing Princeton again. It's very pretty down there.

Here's Spit In Your Eye

Now that winter is gone, I was looking forward to a season or two of NO SPITTING. December 21st in the city is not only the beginning of winter, it is also the beginning of SPITTING SEASON. But no. This year, the end of spitting season is overlapping with the beginning of Spring.

What is WRONG with people?

It seems as though men and women alike in Astoria and other parts of the city are so full of spit once the mercury dips below a certain temperature that the spit just flies out of them. And you know it's just not spit, right? It's some horrible substance SPITTERS produce that comes deep from within the most secret places of their lungs. You see it everywhere, if you look closely enough - going up the stairs in very cold winter you can see frozen spittle hanging off every step in front of you. But it's not very cold winter anymore, so I'm confused. Perhaps allergy season is taking ever the responsibilty of SPITTING SEASON from winter.

The absolute worst offender of this crime against being a good neighbour is the person 5 feet in front of you who spits and leaves their mark in your path. Because now not only have you had to suffer the indignity of having to accidentally watch somebody SPIT, but now you have to walk around their spit, making walking in the city even less relaxing than it already was.

Spit and dog piss covered sidewalks are a good reason to adopt the practice of removing your shoes at the entrance way to your apartment or home. I know people who do this and I admire them. I'm really trying to get into the practice but even as I speak my sneakers are at my socked feet awaiting my departure for my early Sunday appointment at the gym.

Here is my plea to spitters every where. JUST SWALLOW IT and spit later when you get home OR YOU CAN SPIT INTO A TISSUE OR NAPKIN AND THROW IT AWAY IN THE GARBAGE. DUH!!!!!!!

We have to live here also. So you and your nasty SPITTING friends should just think about this.

May 06, 2005

The Reviews Are In

The reviews are starting to come in anyway, as Lucas completes the mediocre prequel his exciting Star Wars trilogy.

Variety gives the movie a tepid review but finds it much improved over the first two in movies in the three part prequel.


I'm ready for the weekend. Are you?

I sent my mother an azalea plant for Mother's Day at her office. She received it yesterday. Infinitely more fun than sending someone flowers at home, because everyone loves to receive flowers at work.

I'm worn out and can't think of anything to write.

Oh yeah. My BuffBride workouts on Wed and Frid have been moved to 8pm from 6:30 am , so I'll be going to the gym on Friday nights now. Sorry to all the people out there, who wanted to hang out with on Friday nights but I'll be tied up for a while - actually not too much longer since the program is almost over.

I'm done.

May 05, 2005

Mitch Hedberg Passed Away. Sad.

I was sad to learn this morning that comedian Mitch Hedberg passed away. He was only 36 years old. You may not have heard of him. I barely knew who he was but I'd seen enough of his comedy on television to appreciate his humor. He was funny, really funny, f-ing hilarious.

He died back in March. The reason I found out is that someone did a search for his obit and it led that person to my page because I posted something about him well OVER a year ago. It is also a little jarring because he is around my age and I probably would have been friends with him in high school had we gone to the same high school.

Rest in peace, Mitch Hedberg. My heart goes out to your family.

Cinco de Mayo

Happy 5th of May.

You can read about it here. Wikipedia is GREAT!!!

May 04, 2005

The Zonkey (Zeedonk)

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Last week, I wrote that Jon had a byline but it was only in the early edition. In the late edition, in the place where Jon's headline had previously appeared was a story about a ZONKEY. A pet zebra in Barbados became friendly with a local donkey because her partner had fallen ill. The above Zonkey is the result of this union. When Jon first told me about the story, I thought of The Island of Dr. Moreau. On this fictional island created by H.G. Wells, a mad scientist interbreeds several species, splices their DNA or something to that effect, in order to create entirely new species. I guess zebras and donkeys aren't really that different and it's not the first time in history that zebras have bred with another equinesque animal. It really isn't too much different than blending breeds of dogs in order to create new breeds, like the Peekapoo and the Labradoodle. Maybe the ZONKEY will catch on and soon we all can own one.

May 03, 2005

Yet Another Non-News Story

The big non-news story of the day seems to be that Paula Abdul allegedly had an affair with an American Idol contestant several years back. Whether it's true or not doesn't matter since the judges don't pick the winner - millions and millions of interested home viewers pick the winner - making this in an ABSOLUTE NON-NEWS STORY.

Now available - 15 pound hamburgers. 10.5 pounds of beef, 25 slices of cheese, a head of lettuce, three tomatoes, two onions, a cup-and-a-half each of mayonnaise, relish, ketchup, mustard and banana peppers - and a bun.

New Blog Template

As if I don't have enough to do in the morning, I started looking for a new template for this blog. I didn't see anything else I liked. Argh. I guess I'll need to play with this one.
My bath is waiting for me; my nice, hot morning bath awaits. I am still a little bit achy from Sunday morning's workout. My scale has decided to cooperate once again. I hope my scale is right.
Jon and I are starting to meet with DeeJays. Our first appointment is Wednesday morning. I am looking forward to the Wed. am meeting because this group will bring in other professionals to suit your wants. For example, they would bring in a jazz trio for us if we wanted. Then on Thursday night, one of those guys is coming to our house I am not looking forward to this meeting, because this guy in particular is an extremely high pressure salesman who has followed up with me four times, to make sure I got his package, to see where we are, to check what we are eating for dinner - and Jon won't be here and I'll miss Survivor a second week in a row.
If you haven't noticed, Sarah is back and is posting picures of her Paris adventures. I am particularly fond of the picture that should be entitled "WOMAN ADMIRING DILDO". Because it is just that. That title tells you exactly what you need to know about the picture and so does the picture by the way.

May 02, 2005

May Day

May is here. That means that we're one month closer to summer, which means that the weird muggy, uncomfortable weather isn't too far behind. Am I alone? Am I the only one that thinks summer in New York City is overrated?

The weekend flew by so quickly because it was full of ANTI-MISANTRHOPIC activities. Saturday morning I performed a clutterdectomy on our apartment. Inspired by TLC's Clean Sweep, I went threw my collections and got rid of stuff. For example. I had about 100 playbills that I collected from Broadway shows I worked when I had a parttime theater job. I only kept the Playbills whose (notice the proper use of the word whose) covers were in color. Those are traditionally used for the first season a play is out and have some value I think. I had so many including about 20 from Chicago, which I was keeping because of the changing casts. I also threw away flute music I haven't looked at in 10 years. That was tough but it was also music that a friend lent me 20 or so years ago and that I never returned. Heck. . .I was only friend with the person for 2 months. There was no emotional or financial investment in that pile of music and I have no idea at all why I was keeping it.Granted, our house isn't any where near as cluttered as the people they feature on Clean Sweep but it still felt good to get started. Next weekend I'll tackle something else - perhaps get rid of some my old CD's that I don't care for anymore.

The rest of Saturday was devoted to preparing for our dinner party. We had our friends over and it was lovely. Of course, I went overboard with the food, as usual. I realize now that four people can not possibly consume a 14.5 pound turkey in one sitting. Leftovers were abundant and I won't have to cook for a few nights. Our guests brought us a bottle of wine with a really cute name. Goats Do Roam. Aside from being a great pun the name also sums up how this wine maker discovered the grapes for his wine. Turns out, their goats were left to pick a grape and that's the one Charles Black chose. It was yummy. Between the trytophan and the tannens (sp?) we were all feeling pretty relaxed, so much so that we all last track of the time and ended pretty late. I know one of my guests had to be up early for work. I had to wake up early for the gym. It was nice to have people over.

Sunday, I worked out, relaxed most of the day and had dinner at the Fitzpatrick Hotel in Manhattan with Jon and his friend and wife and wife's dad and wife's cousin. Nice people, glad to have met them but by 8:00 I was done. I abandoned them after dinner and went home to get some rest and to finish up some work I was doing for my office. Jon continued on with the group and had a good time.

How was your weekend?

May 01, 2005

English Genius

It's nice to know that my English skills are still up to snuff.

Take the test and see how you do.

Via Vidiot

English Genius
You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 93% Expert! You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: