The throwdown weekend.

Every so often you have to go out and have yourself a time. A pound-the-table, pound-some-shots, sing-karaoke-at-the-top-of-your-lungs, another-round-for-all sort of time. I had one Saturday night.

Probably shouldn’t say too much more about it, except that at some point I posted this photo on Twitter with the caption FUCK ALL Y’ALL:


Not quite sure what I was thinking, there.

This was at a bar that’s going to close at the end of the month, a victim of the new hockey arena. It looks like a wino dump from the outside, but inside? Ohsomuchfun. I have no doubt the Applebee’s or whatever the hell will replace it won’t be nearly as good a time. Nor will it have multiple Wu-Tang Clan albums on the jukebox.

(And have no fear, I paced myself admirably. By nursing beers, palming the vile butterscotch shots and slipping an occasional Vernor’s in there, I drove home with nary a fear of lights in the rear-view. I’m an adult now.)

That was Saturday. On Sunday, on four hours of sleep and still hoarse from kicking out the karaoke jams on “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” a friend and I rode bikes to John’s Carpet House, recently reopened after a brief shutdown by the authorities. The Carpet House has no house and no carpet, but it does have a stage and a small generator, enough to power a live blues jam on Sunday afternoons throughout the warm season. If you’re a Detroiter and you’ve never been there, what are you waiting for, and if you’re an out-of-towner, you should check it out, because it is awesome.

Once we arrived, I called Alan to come with lawn chairs and some beers, and after a couple of those, he was kind enough to give us a ride back and spare us a 10-mile pedal in the heat of the late afternoon, belching craft-beer fumes.

The Carpet House is an opportunity for entrepreneurs – food vendors mostly, but also this guy:


No drama.

All of which adds up to a great weekend, although I’m guessing I’ll be going to bed early.

A little bloggage? Sure:

The Freep did a nice job turning around a localization of the Ferguson fiasco — looking at the militarization of Michigan police. Mercy:

Michigan police departments have armed themselves with grenade launchers, armored vehicles, automatic rifles and other equipment — 128,000 items in all, worth an estimated $43 million — under a federal program that allows police to obtain surplus gear free from the U.S. military.

A Free Press review of items transferred from the military since 2006 shows Michigan law enforcement agencies have received 17 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles or MRAPs, built to counter roadside bombs; 1,795 M16 rifles, the U.S. military’s combat weapon of choice; 696 M14 rifles; 530 bayonet and scabbards; 165 utility trucks; 32 12-gauge, riot-type shotguns; nine grenade launchers; and three observation helicopters.

And the situation in Missouri has led to a miracle of the stopped-clock variety: I agree with Ross Douthat.

Abortion isn’t always a difficult decision. Someone had to say it.

A busy, busy, busy week awaits. Expect gaps and maybe some photos. But let’s enjoy it, eh?

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Detroit life |

45 responses to “The throwdown weekend.”

  1. Dexter said on August 18, 2014 at 2:09 am

    I had to post the John’s Carpet House link to my Facebook page so my Blues-lovin’ friends could read all about it.
    Another bar is closing…,550×550,075,f.jpg
    my New York radio guys are complaining about the closing of the “most famous dive bar in New York”, the Subway Inn.

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  2. brian stouder said on August 18, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Looks like big fun at John’s Carpet House, other than the buck to whizz(!)

    And speaking of containers of disgusting piles of waste, it is heartening to see at least a few of the rightwing folks, like Mr Douthat, objecting to the brutally heavy-handed initial police response to protesting American citizens.

    Watched a bit of the rally at the church yesterday at Ferguson, and it was very, very good stuff.

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  3. brian stouder said on August 18, 2014 at 8:51 am

    (psssst – and, gotta love the white blouse!)

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  4. beb said on August 18, 2014 at 10:04 am

    The “Abortion is a tough decision” was part of a ploy to take the fire out of the anti-abortionist crusade by agreeing with them that abortion was “icky” The thinking was that by agreeing with part of the anti-abortionists they could find some middle ground where abortion was legal and not insanely harassed. The whole policy was driven by the misconception that the anti-abortionists were rational people. They are not. They are religious fanatics who want to not merely end abortion, but end birth control and anything else who leads to women’s autonomy. These people are like rabid dogs but unlike rabid dogs there’s nothing we can do about them.

    Ross Douthat:


    The militarization of the police gets one’s attention because how many communities really need a mine resistent troop transport. But the story of Ferguson remains one where a cop felt the need to gun down a black youth for jaywalking.

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  5. Judybusy said on August 18, 2014 at 10:11 am

    The abortion article really resonated with me. When I was 19, I was a nanny in Manhattan. I met a guy–39–and got pregnant. I immediately made arrangements, got the money from the father and never regretted it. It was no-brainer. It was not difficult, and I really agree with the opinion of the author in terms of changing the language. The worst part was having to tell my employers I couldn’t care for the kids that weekend when they were desperate to get out of town, sorry. (And they were really good people who deserved the break.) I didn’t tell them the reason, although in retrospect, it probably would have been easier.

    The anti-choice folks always make adoption sound as easy as giving away a kitten your cat had. My partner, a labor and delivery nurse, had a 17-year-old mother giving up the baby for adoption on her shift last night. Now, that is probably almost always difficult. To make matters worse, the father’s mother was a nightmare, trying to convince this young woman *while in labor* not to give the child up. It made for a chaotic scene, and a much more difficult time for the birth mom. Thankfuly, her own mother was also there, and was very solid and supportive. The father was there too, stuck in the middle. Unfortunately, I think in part due to the drama, he didn’t get to see the baby, as she was whisked very quickly off the unit to the adoptive parents. The team feared his mom would try to take the baby. Hopefully, he can work with the adoption agency to see his kid; that’s the plan at this point.

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  6. Jolene said on August 18, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I think the “abortion is a tough decision” rhetoric came not so much from wanting to find middle ground with the opposition as from wanting to establish the idea that abortion was not an easy out for slatternly women but a medically and ethically sound choice that decent people might make after careful thought.

    But I agree with the author. Among the women I know who’ve had abortions, there was little hesitation and even less regret–not to mention no slatternlines.

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  7. Charlotte said on August 18, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Okay all you journalist types on this list — I don’t remember ever seeing such a disparity between the official reporting and the on-the-ground news. My twitter feed was aflame last night with the cops starting this thing off by shooting tear gas hours before the (unconstitutional) curfew, threatening Chris Hayes *on the air* as well as threatening to shoot a local radio reporter of color while he was livestreaming. This morning’s NYT and wire service stories are all about how the protesters were rioting and the forces of Law And Order. And how the Governor is calling in the National Guard not because the cops are out of hand, but because the protesters are. No mention of police overrreach. It’s like upside-down-world.

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  8. Sue said on August 18, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Judybusy, were there circumstances where the father or the father’s mother couldn’t/wouldn’t take the child? If the mother didn’t want to keep the baby, wouldn’t the father or father’s relatives be ‘first in line’ without needing to go through an adoption process?
    How does that work?

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  9. Judybusy said on August 18, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Sue, my understanding is that the father of the baby was also in agreement with the adoption. He would have to be in order for it to go forward. The grandmother would have no legal say.

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  10. Jolene said on August 18, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Charlotte, Ron Johnson, the highway patrol officer who has been given leadership responsibility in Ferguson, was on TV this AM saying that there had been Molotov cocktails and gunshots. Most important, he said that this violence was a planned assault, not a spontaneous occurrence. He has been very pro-community, pro-demonstrator, so I would put some faith in what he is saying.

    What seems to be happening is that a small group of young guys are causing trouble. My impression is that, after the initial ham-handed efforts by local police, subsequent law enforcement personnel and political leaders have tried to take a less restrictive approach, but this small contingent keeps causing trouble and making it difficult to maintain that less restrictive approach.

    More generally, it’s a mess. Too many people from too many agencies trying to make policy and carry out their duties, reporters capturing whatever piece of the action they happened to observe, and citizens of every stripe proclaiming with certainty that whatever they think they’ve seen is God’s truth.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on August 18, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Our Saturday night was much tamer but no less enjoyable as we celebrated our 35th anniversary. When we called our favorite celebration spot, they could only get us in at 4:15, but then, I guess soon that will be our preferred time for dinner, if we’re old enough to have been married that many years! It was fine, because it gave us enough time to see a movie afterwards.

    This place, (Cork ‘n Cleaver, for the locals) has a luxe salad bar which includes caviar, but my favorite was always the fancy mints at the end. Saturday, no mints! Who cares about caviar, I wanted my mints. Oh well, they still have mud pie.

    Aside from that, I am praying for a new leader like Martin Luther King, Jr, who has respect from both sides and can encourage non-violent responses. Because the news is highly discouraging right now and I’m not seeing a good way forward.

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  12. Deborah said on August 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Julie, happy anniversary! Little Bird always tells me that I’m on the AARP schedule because I like to eat dinner before 5. But I usually don’t eat lunch, just a late breakfast and an early dinner. And I totally agree there is a need for a leader like MLK now.

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  13. Peter said on August 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Speaking of AARP – we dropped our son off at college last week, and we met the new roommate and his mom. Guy’s name is Walter Smith, so my wife said “you mean like Walter E Smythe – the furniture people?” but that didn’t register because they’re from Kansas City. Then the mom introduces herself as Patti Smith, and my spouse said “like G L O R I A” The woman said she didn’t know what we were talking about, and my wife had a good recovery “it’s someone my husband listens to – but he’s old”.

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  14. Charlotte said on August 18, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Jolene — That’s not what Chris Hayes was reporting from the ground. When you’ve got cops threatening a live MSNBC reporter *on the air* — I don’t trust anything they’re doing off the air.

    And where are all the 2nd amendment gun nuts now? Why aren’t they supporting the right to carry for these angry young men who *are* actually experiencing an attack by a tyrannical government? (I know, I know. And I don’t want these kids escalating.) But as far as I can see from watching this story fairly obsessively over several days, ALL the provocation is coming from the police. They stuck Ron Johnson in there to placate people, but don’t seem to have given him any real control over the cops, who are subsequently attacking citizens and journalists and saying things like “You’re the media? Well you’re in Fergeson now” as they confiscate/break equipment, tear gas them, and arrest them. If they’ll do that to a live tv crew — what the hell are they doing to regular folks?

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  15. Dexter said on August 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Congratulations Mr.& Mrs. Julie Robinson. Glad to hear that brian’s favorite place treated you right…I have not been there since my 50th birthday party nearly 15 years ago.
    Next week we celebrate 37, and I am sure Carol will want to go to the Chinese buffet + grill-to-order place on N.66 in Defiance.

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  16. Deborah said on August 18, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    A month from now my husband and I will celebrate 14 years of marital bliss. If I was still married to my ex (and I’m so happy I’m not) it would have been 42 years last month, as it was I was married to him for 15 long years.

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  17. brian stouder said on August 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Indeed, Pam and I did Cork n’ Cleaver this past March for our anniversary, and really – we thought they’d lost a step, too.

    Maybe we’re just getting old and persnickety, but the beef was just OK, and the salad bar (which I’ve always loved – especially the heart of palm and the caviar) was so-so.

    Then, in June when Grant graduated, we hauled the extended family to Tucanos Brazillian Grill – and it was a hit all around. We’ve been there twice since, and it is refreshingly different – sort of a table service buffet/Roman feast kind of thing.

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  18. brian stouder said on August 18, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Btw- I’m finding the double-talk from the Ferguson police to be flat-out inflammatory. Six shots hit the kid they killed – including two in the head – and the news is “he wasn’t shot in the back”?? And the police can’t say how many shots were fired? BZZZT! It will be known how many bullets the gun could hold, so simple math will tell them how many were fired…plus – if any shots missed (for example, when the deceased was moving away from the policeman) THAT would look like he was shot in the back to an honest eye-witness. And – I couldn’t give Oxy-Rush even 20 seconds, before the vileness of that Florida-based swamp-slime from Missouri drove me to listen to commercials on Rock 96.3 (no more 104 for WXKE)

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  19. Connie said on August 18, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    So Brian, did the Brazillian Grill cost you out the wazoo? I went with a group of 9 to Fogo De Chao in Indianapolis, and our bill was over $600.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on August 18, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Apparently you have to make Tucano’s reservations really far in advance, at least on the weekend. The hubby was going for a big grand surprise, and when it didn’t work, it was too late for Tucano’s. He went there for lunch and has been raving about it since.

    But yes, C&C didn’t seem quite the same. The salad dressing was gloppy and seemed like it came in a big tub rather than being made on the premises. When I mentioned the mints the waitress said people kept thinking they were M&M’s and were disappointed, that’s why they took them off. It was a lame answer, but we’ve had 35 wonderful years together, what’s to complain?

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  21. Basset said on August 18, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    “Gloria” and Patti Smith? Shadows of Knight, kids, Shadows of Knight.

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  22. brian stouder said on August 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    We’ve found you can count on about $25/person at Tucano’s.

    One thing that has drawn us right back there is we got birthday coupons for both Pam (April) and Grant (July), wherein you buy one meal and you get one free.

    THAT’s a good deal!

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  23. Sue said on August 18, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Why did I think of Laura Branigan?

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  24. MichaelG said on August 18, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    This video seems to indicate that Michael Brown was walking away from the cop when the cop opened fire. At that point, Brown turned around and faced the cop and was shot in the front of his body.

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  25. Hattie said on August 18, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    What about the cop screaming at demonstrators, “Get the fuck out of here?” He sounded crazy.

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  26. Sherri said on August 18, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    John Oliver on Ferguson was outstanding:

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  27. Charlotte said on August 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Pew poll — white people think “nothing to see here, move along.”
    Ugh. If you looked at my FB feed, you’d think the only thing going on in America this weekend is people dumping buckets of ice water on their heads.

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  28. Dorothy said on August 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I think of Van Morrison when I hear G L O R I A.

    Happy anniversary Julie. We were married the same year. Ours is October 27th. We should compare wedding pictures someday!

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  29. brian stouder said on August 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Hot women in wedding pics…I’m there!!

    In our wedding pics, I have hair

    – but also a certain ridiculousness. (the effect of standing next to Pam in all her glory is like this beautiful princess has decided to try and transform a frog…which, really, was Mission: Impossible!)

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  30. Jeff Borden said on August 18, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Charlies Pierce has a mighty depressing column up on the Esquire site about Ferguson. I need a stiff drink after reading it.

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  31. Heather said on August 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    OK, I know my problems pale in comparison to what is going on in Ferguson (and the rest of the world), but I need to vent. I have been a writer/editor for about 20 years and have been working at my company for about five years. My last performance review was glowing and the feedback from coworkers was stellar. I and my coworkers were fairly stunned when I did not get a promotion that I fully expected and, everyone agrees, more than deserve. (I have already talked with my boss about this.) Just now my white, male, 20-something coworker showed me the award he just received. WTF, right? What should I do? Besides look for another job. I’m so mad I’m ready to quit at the end of the week.

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  32. Judybusy said on August 18, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Oh, Heather, that stinks! I have applied for several promotions over the years, and have found it very helpful to talk with the manager who didn’t hire me for feedback. It has been very positive to do this, and actualy helps me build relationships. (The county is a small, small world.) Is that a possibility? Or is that what you meant by you’ve talked with the boss? Leaving depends on the job market, I would think. You could always look while holding on at your current position.

    Congrats, Julie on 27 years!

    Two weeks ago on FB, it was all Gaza, Gaza, Gaza. Now: so much about Ferguson. I hide the people who just post mostly dumb stuff, and I like my friends with brains.

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  33. Heather said on August 18, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks Judybusy. I know my boss has been working on finding out the problem or trying to get me the promotion, even though the company only does them once a year, generally. He doesn’t really know the problem, or won’t say what the problem is. All my feedback is excellent. Our VP is pretty much a dick, though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the problem were him. I am definitely going to bring this up with my boss though and point out that if that promotion is not forthcoming, this is basically like a giant FU in my face.

    The other thing is that the universe has been giving me lots of signs that I am not in the right place–the problem is I’m not sure what the right place is. Not sure I want to jump from the frying pan right into another corporate frying pan.

    Congrats to Julie as well! As I get older, I can understand what kind of commitment so many years entails. Well done.

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  34. Heather said on August 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    I should point out that I am and have always been doing the same work as other people with this senior title, and doing it better, so I am told, so it’s not so much applying as it is being recognized for my work. Didn’t want it to sound like entitlement.

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  35. Dexter said on August 18, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Same here, Deborah…but I would have had even more time stuck with “the wrong one”. I would now have 42 years and 4 months.
    Worked out best for all…last I heard she was married to her true love, and they moved out to Silicon Valley where her man got hooked in good with some software design company on the ground floor and their fortunes soared. Right place, right time. $$$$$

    What’s up with Huffpo and other pages running with this bit about people who knew each other as small children in nursery schools and kindergartens , met as adults and married, and then to their amazement discover through old photos that they were mates like seventy years ago? Yeah, in small towns, even, where it would be a good bet you went to school with all the other kids all the way through school.

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  36. Dave said on August 18, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    I don’t know but my daughter and her future husband are standing next to each other in their kindergarten class picture, Dexter. They didn’t start dating until they were about 24, well after both had completed college. Before then, only a vague awareness of the other’s existence.

    GLORIA makes me think of WCFL and listening to the radio late at night, seeing what else I could hear besides WCOL. The Shadows of Knight makes me think of my schoolteacher uncle, who taught English at Evanston Township High School in Evanston, for many years and once told of the bands like the Shadows of Knight that played school dances.

    Haven’t been to Cork n’ Cleaver for a long time but always enjoyed it, also went there for wedding anniversaries and family celebrations. Sorry to read that it’s not so good these days. Haven’t been to Tuscano’s but it sounds like a pricy buffet. Buffets don’t interest us so much anymore. Congratulations, Dorothy, we’ve got 37 years in, if anyone’s counting.

    Heather, sounds like you’ve gotten shafted. I lived in strictly a seniority-driven world but I saw some supervision promoted well past the level of their abilities, but it made no difference. I retired thinking that other work worlds might be very much like that and have no background to reinforce my statement.

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  37. beb said on August 18, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Not boast but today is our anniversary, too. Anniversary’s divisible by five are always a milestone. Ours is also dividisbke by seven.

    Ferguson has reached the level of cluster-fk. Too many people going about this all wrong.

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  38. Charlotte said on August 18, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Heather — I was reading expecting the Cisco ending to your story which is “I got a great performance review and they laid me off.” Cisco was really aggressive about “early retirement” packages for a while, and it was clear they were starting the cuts with those of us who had been hired back in the fat days. I hope you don’t have to find a new job, that sucks …

    And congrats to all of you with anniversaries. May my non-marriage last so long …

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  39. Sherri said on August 18, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    How much longer before open carry laws and police shooting unarmed black men lead to Black Panthers II? What’s the land speed record for repealing open carry laws?

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  40. Deborah said on August 18, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    I love John Oliver. Sherri, another great link.

    And did I say Nancy, that’s a fabulous photo, the composition is fantastic, black on the right side and the expressions on everyone’s faces are classic. So cool.

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  41. Kirk said on August 18, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    My wife and I hit 27 years next week.

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  42. basset said on August 18, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Nice picture indeed, makes me wonder what it would have looked like if you weren’t being responsible about driving home, though.

    Mrs. B. and I, 33 years back in April.

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  43. Suzanne said on August 18, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Haven’t been to Cork & Cleaver in years but we got a gift certificate certificate, so off we will go. I hope it isn’t a disappointment.

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  44. Deborah said on August 18, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    The one good thing that came out of my marriage to my ex was the birth of my daughter known here as Little Bird. I can’t imagine my life without her…. Love you little bird, so much.

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  45. Little Bird said on August 19, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Awwwww!! Thanks!! I might harbor his genes, but I’m nicer than him!

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