Archive for December, 2010

Last week, on Days of Our Lives…

Last week of the year, faithful readers! Oh, 2010, how sad I am to see you go. Pff, nah. Farewell, 52 weeks of partial disappointment, partial euphoria, hello 2011! A new year, full of endless possiblities. Also, this is the year I’m finally allowed to legally imbibe, which means that come March, I will be inventing the DC Comics Drinking Game. But that will be then. This is now, and I plan on reviewing these five books as well as they deserve.

Action Comics’ main story ends with a cliffhanger and features Vandal Savage alternating between sweet and murderous. It’s an interesting concept, but does it work? Yes and no. While it’s obvious that Vandal still cares greatly for his daughter, Scandal, he is still a man of goals. Since it has been prophesized that Lex Luthor would bring him his greatest happiness, he’ll do anything to make that prophecy come true. It’s my personal belief that Vandal’s greatest happiness would come in the form of a son from Scandal, but since that will never happen willingly, I’m guessing some shenanigans will be involved to make it so.
When a second feature begins with the line “I am not a male prostitute”, you know that you’re in for a few chuckles. And when the punchline is basically “Jimmy Olsen marries the daughter of Mr. Mxy in a story worthy of the Silver Age”, as well as the news that the story itself leads into a new Jimmy Olsen ongoing, well, it’s enough to make a girl positively giddy.

I hate it when I have to admit that I liked an issue of Green Lantern. In my defense, Hal Jordan didn’t show up at all this issue, it was focused entirely on Atrocious, the Butcher, and the Spectre. Hal Jordan on the cover was a lie, the best lie I’ve ever seen. Geoff, please know that I don’t hate you. I really don’t. You’re an excellent writer, you have the ability to create witty, interesting, convincing characters, but you’re in love with Hal Jordan. When it comes to him, your fanboy hat comes on, as well as your nostalgia goggles, and you refuse to characterize him as anything but Jesus reborn and walking the Earth. This Red Lantern focused issue was awesome, and I hope you do more in the future, perhaps even one that would reveal more about the Indigo Tribe, or something that tells us what Larfleeze’s oath is. The comic community will thank you.

A jealous woman is a horrific thing. I would never want to be in love with the same man as Talia al Ghul, that bitch would rip me apart. What does this have to do with Gotham City Sirens? Everything. Zatanna, Talia, and Selina are all in love with Bruce Wayne. don’t ask me why, I don’t see the appeal. But remember, back in the second issue where a flashback sequence showed Selina and Talia talking, and Talia said that they were the only two women Bruce had ever really loved? Well, she got one woman right. I’m convinced that Bruce has never loved Talia, a woman many have considered to be a psycho, but has pretty much always loved Selina, in any identity she chooses to take. Talia can’t stand that, so she wants Selina’s memories of Bruce gone. Luckily, Zatanna caught on at the last second, shippers rejoice.

Oh, Teen Titans. At $2.99 a book again, I am pleased to say that I can afford to buy you and your pretty, pretty art again. JT Krul and Nicola Scott have been doing a great job with the new team, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where they’re going with the Hindi chick. But the real stars of this issue are Robin and Ravager. I really hope Rose doesn’t have a Robin fetish or anything, because that could get real creepy real fast. We’re going to see next issue whether or not the team wild cards play well together, and I can’t wait.

Wow, Scott Kolins. That’s really bad art you’ve got in Flash this month. I mean, holy shit. I have never seen Eobard Thawne drawn so badly in my life. But the story is…okay, I’m going to be frank. Geoff, you really knocked it out of the park in Green Lantern, but this issue of Flash sucks. It really does. The idea that Zoom spends his later life time travelling to make his earlier life easier is absurd. Rip Hunter and the rest of the Time Masters exist to prevent this sort of thing from happening. Every change Eobard made to his life would immediately be undone by Rip or Booster, and therefor no change would occur. You’re the one who rebooted the idea of the Time Masters back in 52 and the earliest run of the new Booster Gold series, what the hell are you doing contradicting yourself like this? I am disappoint, Geoff.

See you next year, lads and lasses! This it ToG reminding you to stay groovy, bundle the hell up, and always support your Local Comic Store by saying no to food and saying yes to comics! Peace out, and a happy new year!


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Oh the weather outside is frightful…no, seriously, I’m freezing

Happy Wednesday-before-Christmas, everyone! We’ve got eight books to cover, including two one-shots and the answer to the all-important question we’ve waited months for: Who shall lead the Legion of Superheroes?

First up is the long awaited Larfleeze Christmas Special. All I can say is, I’m glad DC already did their usual Holiday Special, because this one-shot, focused on Larfleeze’s hunt for Santa Claus, was ho ho horrible. Try again next year, maybe with a Batwoman Hanukah Adventure.

So, let me ask you something, DC. If you’re trying to uphold the sanctity of death, then why on earth would you reintroduce a character whose only power seems to be coming back from the dead?! Is it because Morrison is writing Batman: Incorporated? I bet it is. You guys let him get away with murder. Long story made incredibly short, Lord Death Man is now spacebound, and Japan has a new Batman. Also, Aquazon from the Super Young Team cameos, hyper-mega! Yeah, i probably shouldn’t do that again.

I’d like to congratulate two people today. Firstly, congratulations to Mon-El for being voted into leader of the Legion of Superheroes. Way to go, pal. Secondly, I’d like to congratulate Querl Dox from Gaia Online for guessing the outcome of the Legion Leader Poll a month or so in advance. Way to be as smart as the person you play, man. Legion was amazingly good this month. I’m really starting to get a feel for the character of Tellus. Having grown up reading the Reboot, I’d never even gotten to meet him until he started showing up in Action Comics a year or two back. In fact, I’m interested in getting to know all the characters that had been left out of the Reboot and Threeboot. Speaking of the Reboot, though, where the hell is XS?! She wasn’t even counted as an active Legion member when the vote for Leader came up! I am not pleased.

What? What? Tim, how would you know that the miniseries in which your father died was called Identity Crisis? Seriously, was that was Bruce classified it as? Why would he even do this? One panel into this Teen Titans one-shot and I’m enraged. This does not bode well. Aw, Eddie’s in this! I’ve missed him. Wait, is Ravager wearing a thong with the Robin symbol on it? Aaaand we’re back to me raging. Wait. Wait. Is Tim about to hit Eddie with a rolled up comic like he’s a bad dog?! Aw, Eddie has concern for Rose. And he really is a good fanboy detective. Wait, since when did Ravager’s costume have heels?! How is it that despite being the same age, if not older than the other people on the team at the time, everyone still treats Eddie like a kid? Of course you wish Kon was there, Cassie. That was the only thing you ever wanted during the OYL storylines. And now that he’s back, you treat him like shit, way to go! Little hearts? Really, Sean Murphy? You think this particular scene called for little hearts?! And then Pandora’s box was opened. Verdict: Teen Titans Cold Case was alright. Yes, it made me rage, but mostly, it was okay. Also, it made me really, really miss Eddie.
(The above is a reaction review, pay it little to no mind, as I was out of mine at the time.)

Green Lantern Corps amuses me. Any comic that has John Stewart blindfolded and bound like a calf at a rodeo is cool by me. We also get to see the extent of the pact between Ganthet, Guy, and Atrocious, and boy is it disgusting. I really haven’t got much to say about this particular comic, but the next one should be pretty awesome. The entire Sinestro Corps versus the Weaponer, now taking all bets. My money is on Natu shooting him before they even get to the surface of Qward, but that’s just me.

So, Zatanna freaked me the hell out this month. I’m not afraid of puppets, per say, but ever since I saw the movie Dead Silence, I’ve been no big fan of those wooden monstrosities. Paul, you are fantastic at setting things up. Fuseli, from the Brother Night storyline, takes Zatanna on a guided tour of one of her most prominent nightmares, at her own request this time. Hm, seems she and Daddy Z were even more similar than she thought. On a lesser note, I’m so in love with Zee’s stage manager now. “Are those real @#$%ing stars?!” Also, I happen to love how Zatanna’s therapist takes the form each of her clients would be most comfortable with. That’s one heck of a skill.

Man, I can’t get over how bad the art in Power Girl is now. I mean, maybe I was a bit spoiled by Amanda Conner, but holy crap, Sami Basri is right up there with Damion Scott on the DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WANT list in terms of art. And the plot, well, I already said my piece about Judd Winick taking away one of the only pieces of happiness in comics I got, so I think I’ll just stand down. I love minor characters. So when I saw the false-killing of Kara’s personal assistant/hacker Nicco, I flipped my shit a little bit. Max’s mind-whammy rears its ugly head yet again to keep people from finding out about him. You smug, glorious bastard. And don’t think I’m not talking about Max, too, Winick.

Generation Lost made me cry. Fire almost dying is not a good thing. Fire and Ice are probably my two favorite female heroes at any given time (sorry, Steph, Dinah, Helena, and Jesse), because aside from Wonder Woman, they were the first female heroes that I ever read about. But yeah, that’s the main plot of this issue: Fire was shot, and is now slowly dying. Except, enter Jaime and his magical ability to find healer mummies. Yeah, I don’t know either. End result: Fire makes a full recovery thanks to the magical healer mummy, and Max kidnaps Jaime. Way to end the year on a happy note, you guys!

And that was this week in comics. I’ve got a killer migraine and an insatiable hunger for microwavable yakisoba, let’s see if I can’t solve both in one fell swoop. Catch you later, fight fans! Peace.

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I miss your ginger hair and the way you used to stab me.

Ten books, including one I’d thought was cancelled and two that it’s gonna pain me to read. Well, let’s get this over with.

Fail train, why are you always finding new ways to underwhelm me? I mean, look at this first page. The picture! It’s made of water! Ooooh! Geoff Johns, are you some kind of sorcerer?! /sarcasm. So, I just noticed, DC. You don’t really like young black heroes, do you? Or at least, you don’t like having them in large quantities. Last Teen Titans storyline, you effectively got rid of iconic Milestone character Static by depowering him, and as I don’t follow Justice Society, only JSA All-Stars (I go to wherever Cyclone is, thank you), it’s been awhile since I’ve seen Lightning or Jakeem Thunder in a story. And now we have the rise of Aqualad into prominent storylines, plus his inclusion in the animated show…Dan, listen to me. Listen closely. It’s not racial equality if you’ve only got one of every other race amid a horde of white guys. Oh look, Black Lantern Firestorm can pick up the white lantern. This character wouldn’t be half as annoying if he didn’t speak like a frat boy circa 1997. Huh, so Mera isn’t Jackson’s mom? Good to know. I guess it explains a couple of things, too. But wait a minute, if Black Manta is Jackson’s biological father, then who’s the dude in the rubber raft with his mom? Unless…no, not rape baby! Really? Really, Geoff?! That’s only the most cliched character background ever. Sorry, man, but I think you may have finally lost it. Aaand then the kid throws a tantrum and we get a mini-episode of My Crappy Life from Aquaman. I will say one thing in praise of the artist. For a shitty story, you sure ended it on one hell of a splash shot. Literally. As he is on a wave-crashed rock. Oh wait, book isn’t over? Three pages of Firestorm left?

Goddamnit, fail train. Well, end of story. End of company. It’s all over. Two idiot kids destroyed the universe because they couldn’t stop arguing. See this, DC? It’s my middle finger. Sit on it and rotate.

Oh, Emerald Warriors. I swear, sometimes, when the night is darkest and the comics suck the most, only you can pull me back into a good mood. I made the mistake of glancing through Time Masters directly after reading Brightest Day, and my rage was so palpable, I was practically spitting blood. So I decided to do something to calm myself down and picked up a bit of Gardnery goodness. It wasn’t a particularly happy issue, what with the deaths of several Green Lantern recent grads, but it was a good way to showcase just how much of a softie Kilowog is when it comes to his students. Kilowog was the drill instructor for the Green Lantern Corps for many years. He’s trained all the Green Lanterns from Earth as well as, I’m assuming, Sinestro, and he’s damn good at his job. But it comes at a price. He’s connected to every rookie he teaches, because it is his responsibility to teach them everything that they need to survive. And with the events of the last three years or so, he’s been seeing a lot of his kids bite the big one. It’s pretty easy for me to see past the main plotline (Guy keeping himself and several unwanted others busy so that he doesn’t go completely Red and kill his best friend/bro, a prophecy spelled out in the red blood weeks before he started this jaunt) and into the emotional subtilities. Peter J. Tomasi is another GL writer that I hope sticks around for awhile, if only because he’s so good at tapping into the cores of the beings of those he writes. Rock on, PJT.

Does no one remember Hunter Zoloman exists? Is that it? I’m sorry, I’m jumping the gun here, let me backtrack. So the two evil magic people have been defeated, we get to see the testing of the atom bomb, I get a flashback to something evil!Skeets said during 52 (“and what do you think my outer shell was made off, burned off a corpse in a shallow grave..?”), daddy Booster and MiniRip are adorable, some secondary plotline with Supernova (who is probably older Booster), and then this! Okay, so, Professor Zoom is a time traveler. I get this. But Zoom exists outside of the damn time stream! So, logically, shouldn’t more people run into Zoloman than Thawne? It’s just another case of a good legacy character being completely discarded now that the original is back in action.

Gen 13 is an odd book for me. I’d never read a single issue before Wildstorm got the rights to it, and the first time I read the Wildstorm book was when I picked up the first two trades featuring the Gail Simone-penned issues. But I liked it enough to pick it up in comic form, and now it’s approaching 40 issues. Since I’ve started reading, the team has splintered, come back together, gained new members, had a love triangle, had a lesbian love triangle, and survived the end of the world. Since issue one, Burnout has been my favorite character. And now he’s radioactive and leaving. A new arc starts next month. I don’t know if I’ll be reading it.

Latest issue of the main Batman series summary: tl;dr, Riddler is evil again, Enigma gets a reintroduction and hopefully a backstory.

See, I’ve realized something. With a series like Velocity, I’m willing to wait months for the kind of quality they put out. Rocafort and Gho are a stunning art team, and holy shit, Ron Marz. Even your terrible puns that Carin thinks, but doesn’t say out loud, are precious. But why would you end it like that? On a cliffhanger?! Oh, and surprise, apparently this isn’t an ongoing, it’s just another mini. One issue from over. Everybody say it with me now, FRAG!

Supergirl #59: The issue in which Cat Grant wasn’t a heinous bitch for once. So, Winslow Schott, the Toyman, has a son. The fact that someone would actually breed with DC’s number one pedo disturbs me beyond all reason. And then there’s the fact that we never see her face. Seems like it’ll come up in later issues, so I’ll keep my eyes peeled. But yes, with the arrival of the Dollmaker, DC has a new Crazy Ginger on its hands, and this one is like, twelve. Hm, with the reintroduction of Enigma in Batman, Velocity, and the Death of Oracle storyline starting up in Birds of Prey, I think it would be a safe gamble to officially declare this Ginger Week. I wonder if Dollmaker could ever be considered an enemy for Robin, because that would be a pretty awesome fight. Think about it. If Pyg and his Dollotrons should team up with Dollmaker and his “friends”, Robin would be royally boned. Unless he brings his BFF Abuse into the fray, then he may stand a chance. No, I’m not over that. How did I get from talking about Supergirl to talking about Robin? Obviously, I am some kind of sorcerer. Anyway, long story short, Cat Grant punches out a preteen, Christmas is saved. God bless us everyone.

So, here we are once again. I don’t like reading the main, Johns-penned Green Lantern series. He is entirely too obsessed with making Hal Jordan look like some kind of comic book Messiah, which is ridiculous. Everyone knows that comic book Jesus is clearly Batman. But I read the book anyway. because I greatly enjoy the parts of it where Hal is not present. I like Saint Walker. I like Atrocious. To an extent, I even like Sinestro. Sadly, as the main focus of this issue is Parallax taking over Barry Allen, most of the issue is their interaction. And really, even though I know he doesn’t mean to do it, I don’t think I’ve seen a more poignant love letter from Hal to Barry outside of fanfiction…ever. “He’s my best friend, Parallax! Take me instead! You know you want me! Here, I’ll help you out by hanging myself on this big ol’ cross…”

…Una Nemo called Batman gay. This is the greatest day of my life. Am I dead? Is this heaven? Holy shit. I’m not going to lie and say I’ve never been referred to as a ‘crazy girlfriend’, but god damn. Absence makes every psycho ex out there look like a saint. She’s running around, cutting off bits of the women Bruce Wayne banged because she wants him to miss her. This is not a good way to make the heart grow fonder, Absence.

I’ve been looking forward to the “Death of Oracle” storyline for a while now, and this first chapter really delivers. Gotta say, nothing says ‘lady-bonding’ like an outing to a strip club. Zinda is probably my favorite Bird, on attitude alone. “But, but he’s a cowboy!” That girl will kick your ass and make you like it, bless her. Gail, you’ve done well.

That’s this week in comics, ladies and gents. I seem to desperately require some hot chocolate, so I’m gonna go do that now. The rest of you in more Northern climates, I hope you’re staying warm! This is ToG signing out. Peace.

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Won’t you come on over..?

Ten books this week! An ending, a spotlight, and a special lie among them. Ooh, fun!

DC doing a decent Hanukah story? Set in Jonah Hex’s book? Really?! Man, that totally makes up for the lame Anthro story that preceded it. The DCU Holiday Special is a good tradition, but this is the first time I can remember stories for all religions being included, it’s mostly about Christmas. But this year has seriously stepped it up. Discussing Hanukah, Muslim and Christian extremists (thank you, Tony Bedard), the Persian new year…it’s unheard of and taboo, but still the most awesome thing I’ve seen done in awhile. The Legion story was also very nice, and this isn’t me being Levitz-biased; the story itself was written by Abnett and Lanning.

I really do like Knight and Squire a whole lot. Both the team and the book, I mean. And this issue is focused squarely on the cloning of Richard III! Yeah, you read that right. Of course, he’s as evil as Shakespeare made him out to be, and he clones a bunch of other former kings so that he can take over England…it’s good fun, really. He’s defeated by, well, an old king stands no chance against Twitter and Youtube, all I’m going to say.

Tim Drake has to be the luckiest guy in the world…or the only Bat the Batfamily is trying to assure the heterosexuality of. Trying the hardest, at least. Seriously, Ariana, Steph, Zoanne, Cassie, Lynx, Cass, Scarab, Tam, and now this Promise chick..? Tim has more beards than a dapper gentleman’s club. Think about it; he’s attacked by a naked chick, and his first thought isn’t ‘Hurr, boobies.’. He even turns off his suit’s cameras. Timmy boy, you are the very farthest from the realm of straight guys one can be. And we love you.

I knew that something was up when Ivy showed up. Those of you with long memories may remember that she was one half of the main villain team the first time Robin and Superboy teamed up, so I knew her presence wasn’t something to just brush off. Except, it kinda was. All thanks to Kon’s new Jimmy Olsen, Simon, and his amazing parasite frogs! Yes, you read that correctly. And then there are the mysterious old men at the end. Okay, series. I’m intrigued. Let’s see where this goes.

Batgirl is one of the funniest books I pick up. Wit and action go hand in hand, and that’s always good to see. I’d just like to say, though, that in a fight of Batgirl versus guy in a speed suit, she’s probably gonna lose unless Oracle or Proxy can hack that thing quick. Seeing as this issue was just a setup for next issue with some banter mixed in, I haven’t got much to say on it.

Mixed feelings on the Captain Boomerang spotlight over in Flash this month. One one hand, it’s good to see Scott Kolins working on the Flash again. On another hand…Geoff is basically saying that with the exception of Axel Walker, none of the Rogues he created on the old run of Flash are of any consequence. They’re next to nothing. What is this? He said it on the third page: “They’re good for a laugh, but they’re not Rogues.” Geoff, I am disappoint. The rest of the issue wasn’t that much better. Beaten as a child, the product of an affair between his mother and the guy that headed the company that first provided his Boomerangs…predictable. Hopefully, the Reverse-Flash origin in a few weeks won’t be half as bad as this.

When Booster Gold can intimidate Captain Atom into standing the fuck down, you know you’re doing something right. Banter, interesting Rocket Red-isms, Bea and Tora being all BFF-y, more than two pages of Max…could it be that Winick (WINIIIIIIICK) is doing something…right? And it’s like Joe Bennet is channeling Kevin Maguire during the ‘Booster yells’ scene! I’m enjoying this book for the first time since Keith Giffen took a hike and then…Bea gets shot. Lovely.

Oh Booster, never stop monologuing about how you miss Ted. It’s heartbreaking, but it’s still makes for some of the best things I’ve ever read. Hopefully, this isn’t the last of the I-miss-Ted issues of Booster Gold, because I don’t think I’d be able to handle it. I don’t know if I ever told you guys this but Ted Kord…he’s my everything. He and Booster were the stars of the first comic I ever read (Justice League America #34, Club JLI). Without them, I wouldn’t be writing this blog today. I refuse to believe Ted is gone forever. A good Beetle is never truly down for the count. I miss you, Blue. -cough- Um, this blog will continue after a short crying jag.

Alright, now where were we? Ah, R.E.B.E.L.S.. I like this book for three reasons: First, it’s written by Tony Bedard, whom I would root for in a writer knife fight between anyone except Gail Simone. Secondly, it stars two of the Dox line, and anyone who knows me will know my extreme fondness for Coluans. And last, feuds everywhere! Seriously, L.E.G.I.O.N. vs Green Lantern Corps, Dox vs Starro, Lobo vs Everyone…whee, fighting! Oh, this cheered me up immensely. If you’re not reading this book, you should be.

I, I want to applaud. Gail, you are the light of my life. You take an aspect from the second issue ever and manage to tie it into the last issue of the mini. Also, don’t think I didn’t catch that Paul Simon reference in there, you clever wench. I love you. I think I need to have a bit of a lie-down to recover from the awesome that is this issue. Readers, this is no longer a request. Go out and buy Welcome to Tranquility. You will thank me.

Well, this week’s review is horribly late, but I blame it on the last night of Hanukah. Next week will be on time. Nay, early! Okay, on time. But perhaps with a fancy font..? Anyway, I’m hella tired and wondering how my Gaia sales are going, so I’m gonna get out of your hair. Next week, same place? Fantastic. Peace!

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A small week, but still juicy! Like a pear!

Five titles? That’s it? Ohh yeah, it’s a five-week month, so the loads will be relatively light all month long. Well, that’s okay. Shall we begin?

“I’m Batman, and I can breathe in space.” All Shortpacked! readers know that joke, and that’s what the cover of fail train Brightest Day reminds me of. It’s another J’onn issue, and I’m not hooked. Back when it was being presented as a sort of mystery, I was intrigued by the Martian Manhunter portions of Brightest Day. Now that things seem to be coming to a climax, it just looks like one of those wah wah my planet is dead emo emo emo type deals, and I really don’t care. Next issue is supposed to be the origin of Aqualad, which I assume means sex between Black Manta and Mera, so stay tuned!

So, in my personal opinion, a book full of redheads is a damned fine thing. I love JSA: All-Stars. Cyclone is one of my favorite characters. So a mini-arc featuring Cyclone? Oh yes please. So, Cyclone was infested with nanites that made copies of her every time she sneezed on someone. I, I’m surprisingly okay with that explanation. And yay, random space battle causes King Chimera to stop being a dork and just make kissies with Maxine already! It does my shipper heart good to see warm fuzziness every now and then.

The Action Comics annual is all about young Lex Luthor and his earlier adventures in greatness. So, apparently Lex has been an apprentice to both Darkseid and Ra’s al Ghul? Intriguing. The stories were actually pretty good, for an annual, and I’m glad they were focused on Lex and not Jimmy.

God DAMN, Gail. Well, it looks like Giganta knows about Ryan Choi now. A moment of silence for the surely fallen Dwarfstar, he will not be missed. I really like Black Alice as a character. Unlike the paragons of virtue that make up the Teen Titans, Lori is both a teenager and a total brat. She has her moments of kindness, and she really does love her parents, but for the most part, she’s a horrible little monster and I just want to smack her repeatedly. My only real question concerning her is, when the heck is the confirmation on her relation to Misfit going to come up again? As a matter of fact, where is Misfit? I know that last one was technically a Birds of Prey question, but it’s all the same in the eyes of Mother Gail.

Adventure Comics is making me wig out a bit. I mean, Mon-El is the new Green Lantern? What? And if Tasmia is with Kirt now, why’s she still trying to persuade Lar to stay with the Legion? In a more than friendly way? I’m still not going to read the Atom second feature, because I still don’t care about you, Ray Palmer.

It’s the second night of Hanukah for you Hebrew and Shebrew readers of mine, hope you’re celebrating it like I am, with a buttload of good food! Until next week, my lovelies. Peace!

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