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MONORAIL: LATEST ENTRIES [random]
VIDEO, LIFE (permalink) 07.18.2014
via bella





 
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WEB, HUMOR (permalink) 07.23.2009
i see it NOW! no NOW! NOW!
i just found out brian regan is coming to town september 12. i became smitten with him after someone (sa) told me about this eye doctor bit which used to not be on youtube but is now.

if any local folks are going to the show, let me know so i can keep an eye out for you.





monthly archives




KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 07.16.2014
concise
as anthony passed marty and i on the porch, marty called him back, saying there was something on his nose and asking what it was. without reaching up to feel it or asking to consult a mirror, he flatly said, "scabs and dirt" and not waiting for a response, continued his march into the house.




KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 07.15.2014
may i be frank
the day before fourth of july, which kindly fell on a friday this year, served up the most spectacular day of weather i can ever recall seeing in a usually hot and humid st. louis. work that day proved quiet and productive given many people chose to take the day off. staff was released at noon but i took advantage of the silence to get a few more things done, leaving at 3:30. i strolled along my walking commute staring at the magically blue sky which had crisply lined clouds slowly floating by. they were so pristine they looked near-animated, like miyazaki himself sketched them above us.

between this weather and my early jump on the three day weekend and my walking commute i near floated home. as i turned the final corner towards my house bella and anthony came towards me on roller blades. upon seeing me, their already large smiles grew bigger and they spread their arms wide before them asking (shouting) why i was home already.

throwing my own arms wide, i proclaimed, "i'm naming this the most beautiful day of the year and in honor of that, i'm coming home early to enjoy it with my family."

with them riding a scooter was an adorably cute neighbor girl of about six or seven years old (imagine how cute a huge-grinning, near-toothless anthony is, but then make him even cuter and give him lopsided, pigtails). after my proclamation, all three kids looked up and around, not having seemingly noticed the magical mood of the temperature or the cloud-dotted sky or relaxed state of our community. they consented that it all did seem pretty nice. i introduced myself to their friend and we chatted about the day briefly. as we parted bella stopped and yelled back to me that my pants were very blue. the pants were my new light-weight summer pants from jCrew and were a pastel blue (they were my favorite cut (urban-slim) and summer-time fabric (oxford-cotton) AND were on sale for 50% off BUT only in this color AND were part of the very necessary post weight-loss wardrobe re-fresh). I yelled back my thanks and that they were my homage to this beautiful day. bella flashed me the smile she uses when i say silly, fatherish things and turned to catch up to the others.

later, when bella and anthony returned home from roller-blading, bella told me that after our exchange about my pants, when she caught up to anthony and the new girl, the new girl said to her, in an understanding tone, "it's ok bella, my parents aren't very classy either".

just when i thought the day couldn't possibly offer me more.




QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 06.27.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
sobbing




LIFE (permalink) 06.26.2014
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
MAY 2014




QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 06.25.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
humiliated




LIFE (permalink) 06.24.2014
best regiment ever
with marty now working nine months of the year again, getting summers off from morning duties is like shedding an early-morning, part-time job. the result is one of the best-ever weekly schedules.






WIFE, TECHNOLOGY, TRAVEL, KIDS (permalink) 06.20.2014
marty post-cellphone: day five
in the middle of one of my hourly updates in the family's second day of travel, the following exchange took place between alex and i.

ALEX
we're doing great here dad. we just got into the mountains and should be there in another three hours.

TROY
ok. great. tell mom to be extra careful on those small, twisty roads.

ALEX
ok. is everything going good for you?

TROY
yep. tell mom her ant guy just got done.

ALEX
mom. your aunt just died.

TROY
WHAT? NO! ALEX! that's not what i said!

ALEX
what dad? i can't hear you.

TROY
mom's aunt didn't die. the ant-guy just finished his work.

ALEX
oh. mom. your aunt didn't die someone else just did something.

TROY
the ant-killing guy was just ... oh never mind ... i'll tell her later.

ALEX
sorry about that dad. your words got a little blurry there when you were talking.




WIFE, TECHNOLOGY, TRAVEL (permalink) 06.19.2014
marty post-cellphone: day four
on saturday marty left for a six day trip with the kids. some happenings at work prevented me from joining them (this obviously was the core reason for getting the phone as they couldn't take my work-issued one with them). as they piled into the packed car i gave each one an enormous feet-off-the-ground hug and told them to be amazing listeners and helpers to their mother. i told alex to be extra frosty as co-pilot because he and his mother hadn't logged the hours behind the wheel together that he and i had. at the end of my embrace with marty i gave her an extra squeeze and said:

TROY
be careful.

MARTY
i will. i've done this before.

TROY
i know. it's just that you have my whole world barreling down the highway at 70 miles an hour in that van.

MARTY
got it. enjoy your peace and quiet.

TROY
peace and quiet? with all the parties i have planned. ain't gonna be much peace and quiet around here.

MARTY
well, i thank you for having your parade of women wait until we left before getting started.

TROY
of course. but i hope they don't wait too long. i feel a nap coming on.

they left. forty minutes later the phone rang. i answered it.

TROY
hello.

ALEX
hey dad. this is alex.

TROY
hey aleo. you ok?

ALEX
yeah, i just wanted to call you and let you know we got out of the city ok.

TROY
ok. i'm glad to hear that. thanks for the update.

ALEX
it's ok. and i'm going to call you every hour and let you know how it's going.

TROY
hourly updates. ok. that would be awesome.

and while they weren't consistently on the hour they did come. part of me was thankful for these drips of insight that my family was ok and sound. another part of me was wondering when my parade of women were gonna start showing up.




WIFE, TECHNOLOGY (permalink) 06.18.2014
marty post-cellphone: day two
on the first morning with marty's new phone in the house, the low battery alert started chirping at 4:45 a.m. starting my day two hours and fifteen minutes earlier than i had planned.

i missed that perk in the marketing materials.




WIFE, TECHNOLOGY (permalink) 06.17.2014
game over
on june 5th at 12:55pm in an exchange that took a total of 35 seconds, marty walter made her very first phone call from her very first cell phone.

while marty was examining the cheapest flip-phone models the store had to offer, bella kept drifting towards the sexier, smart-phone options. seeing bella's longing glances, the young salesman sidled up next to her.

SALESMAN
you want a smartphone?

BELLA
oh my god. yes. they are so awesome.

SALESMAN
what is it specifically you need it for?

BELLA (stammering)
uhhh. well. uhhh.

SALESMAN (turning to marty)
that's what they all say to that question.




WEB, VIDEO (permalink) 06.06.2014
so impossible seeming






KIDS (permalink) 06.05.2014
gamer
anthony has been walking around with a stop-watch around his neck. a parent he walked by commented on the accoutrement asking if that is normal behavior in our house. i told them only when the library's summer reading competition fires up. the kid with the most reading minutes over the summer gets their picture hung in honor of their achievement. anthony has pointed to that section in the stands and due to this target now wears a stopwatch around his neck as to not miss a single minute of potential reading time.




WIFE (permalink) 06.04.2014
opposites
marty works with a guy who is trying to lose weight. he happily reported losing five pounds the week before. marty said she was trying to gain weight. reasonably astonished he asked whatever for. her reply -- because all the cute clothes on ebay were larges.




WEB, LIFE (permalink) 06.03.2014
the new normal
first off, sorry for dropping out like that. i do believe it is the first time i have dissapeared for that long, sans explanation in the fourteen year existence of this site, but, well, you know, life.

the lapse began after i had one of my most tumultuous weeks i can remember. there were dramatically high highs which the universe followed up with unexpectedly low lows. by week's end i was a bit of a spent mess. everything is back to great though. it just took a minute to let my mind cut it all down into consumable, bite-sized chunks. minutes up. chunks swallowed. moving forward. trending upward.

if you're wanting examples, i won't bore you with the lows, as who wants to document or read about those, but will share a sample high. on may 25 i drove bella across town to attend a roller-skating party. whenever bella wants to get somewhere on time she taps her time-obsessed father who attempts to respect other peoples' time as much as his own. when we pulled into the lot i commented on how empty it appeared. after checking the invite in her lap bella smiled at me uncomfortably and confessed that she may have gotten the time wrong and we were an hour early. now this may seem minor to some but sixty mid-day, beautiful-weathered weekend minutes to a guy who likes distance bike riding and reading on the porch is like four hours any other time of the week. no stranger to my ticks, my daughter knew this was no minor mis-read. i breathed deeply and circled us out of the barren lot at a clip a police car would have noticed. wanting to avoid the busy avenue that brought us here i turned us deeper into the neighborhoods and we unhurriedly glided our way through the tree-lined streets pointing out houses and yards we found interesting.

after passing a sprawling church complex i made a u-turn and pulled into its lot. i drove to the dead-center of the large, carless, blacktop and turned off the car.

BELLA
what are you doing?

TROY
you said you wanted to learn how to drive.

BELLA
what? like now?

TROY
yeah, why not do something with worthwhile with this unexpected free-time.

BELLA
oh my god! oh my god! yes. ok.

i then taught my thirteen year old (just turned) how to drive a stick-shift ... in seven minutes. the brief experience, twenty minutes end to end, culminated with bella driving figure eights in a church parking lot. my 91 bmw softly and slowly sailing across the smooth pavement, windows down, sunroof open and the biggest smile possible stretched across my fearless daughter's sunlit face. after we traded seats and headed back to the skating rink i told her that she, at thirteen, could do what a great number of adults could not, and she should feel like a bad-ass because of it. her beaming face and quaking frame revealed that she did.

so these are the sorts of things (e.g. the highs at least) i'm experiencing and as long as i'm the one charged with both having and documenting the happenings, the math will quickly show there are just not enough hours in the day. but i don't want to become that guy who just appears every now and again, and only when it is convenient for him and never for you (e.g. like that fair-weather college pal who is only hangs out between love interests) so i've given some thought to how i can continue to nurture this website (and our relationship) and still lead my new my hurly-burly life. here's what i've come up with. if you look in on monday and there is no posting, there will be no content all week. but if you look in on monday and there is a post, then there will be a post every day of the week. i think in a relationship like this there needs to be some sort of understood expectation.

of course the thought of just stopping rolls off my mind's ticker-tape machine every now again but for personal reasons i wish to continue recording my family's moments and i have learned this vehicle is an important/vital/imperative part of that commitment. for those of you that enjoy reading along, you incent me to pull my act together. without you, it's a very hard affair so i appreciate your on-going participation more than you understand.

my two core objectives with this site are:
1. to continue chronicling the funny, sad, curious, and note-worthy moments that occur in my home full of children.
2. to see that what i document is thoughtful, edited, and not being done for the wrong reasons (which has surely happened from time to time in the past).

most important to me is that i don't create an expectation that forces me to produce content against a schedule i can't maintain, well at least maintain and try to keep the content on point and thoughtful. because i find when we let such standards go, pride in the product being produced is not far behind.




VIDEO, SPORTS (permalink) 05.16.2014
bubble soccer






KIDS (permalink) 05.15.2014
single parent + only child = near arrest
friday night marty took alex and bella to an amen concert. amen is the acapella group our friend e-love operates. for not entirely clear reasons, anthony did not want to go this year so i agreed to hang back with him. just after the concert-crew left, i told anfer to saddle up and we were going on an adventure. wanting to assess if this second option held appeal to him he asked what we were doing. i told him it was a surprise. anthony is not a great fan of surprises and told me as much. i held my ground.

my palm V informed me that the bubble soccer courts were open tonight. i learned about bubble soccer some months back and after laughing till injury while watching their explanatory videos i entered the tournament dates into my palm. as i said that was many months ago and i recalled seeing it in my calendar and here i was with a young boy (who i thought would find bubble-soccer high-sterical) and some time on our hands. i planned to follow that up with a dam burger (the most amazing burger-fry combo in all of stl) which happened to be magically near the bubble soccer courts. and then we would swing by ted drewes which, once addicted, can always be rationalized as being close-by.

bubble soccer did not dissapoint and i found myself laughing till injury, again, while i watched a set of high school kids, male and female, sending each other awkwardly ricocheting off the walls, floors and other players. curiously, anthony found the sport "harsh", a description he repeated after every collision. his side of the dialogue included, most exclusively, the following lines repeated.

that was harsh dad.
why is this game so harsh?
why do you want me to see this kind of harshness dad?
do you want me to grow up to be this harsh?
that boy is the most harsh.
do these boys know they are harsh?

to picture the full dialogue you need to imagine the person he's talking to as resembling bobby deniro's character in cape fear cackling in the movie theater. and i'm not even a slap-stick comedy kinda guy but i found this inflated-gladiator warfare wickedly funny.

anthony's dislike turned into a full-on snit so i said we'd go. as we walked out his lecture about my choice continued. by the time i was pulling out of the rec center's lot i had cancelled our next two stops and was headed home (even though this injured me more that it did him but a good percentage of parenting needs to go that way).

as i closed in on our house i realized it was 8pm and i hadn't eaten since lunch. so i pulled up in front of our cheap chinese spot, told anthony i'd be right back (he was reading in the back seat). i ran in ordered my usual and then stepped back outside to wait for it to be ready. as i stood on the sidewalk i watched the people passing by got lost in my thoughts of work and the weekend. i was pulled out of my stupor by a loud-talking man. he appeared to be a college-student and was leaning into a police car. i heard him say to the officer, "maam. someone left that little boy alone in the car. they pulled up and ran into one of the stores here."

honestly, the first thougth through my head was "now what douchebag went and did that?" then the guy pointed at my car. my eyes went from my car, to his outstretched arm, to the police officer swiveling in her seat to get a better look, to my car, to the man's pointing finger to the officer to the pointing finger before my mind shook me from my daze enough to hear the words, "they're talking about you idiot".

i raised my own hand and said "excuse me sir. that is my car and i'm right here." he ignored me. i thought he didn't hear me so i repeated myself. this time i knew he heard me but still ignored me so he was fully caught up in some bizarre passive-aggressive move (like being left in the car alone too often as a child himself) so i just walked up to the policemen's window, leaned in and explained that the car and child were mine and i was standing there waiting for a food order. she nodded, smiled and drove on. i stood up and looked at the whistle-blower who was walking off self-importantly. my mind flashed an image of him wearing a huge clear bubble, then a bubble-wrapped me careening into him at full-speed sending him into a rolling ricochet off the plate-glass window of the storefront he passed. this mental movie may not have made me cackle, but it did make me smile.




LIFE, WIFE (permalink) 05.14.2014
heed your wife
to follow up marty's bit of life knowledge (here), the advice i always give to struggling folks who approach me:
there is one core law of relationships: you and your partner need to want to be with one another.

it doesn't matter if you're dating, committed or married. the only thing that matters to the longevity of a relationship is if both parties want to be together. sharing this vision, you can tend to shoulder anything that comes your way. the moment someone wavers in this conviction, trouble is ahead.

so work to be someone people want to be around by being an interesting, engaging, attractive, growing person. when you are that the rest should kinda take care of itself. and if it isn't with the human you're with right now, if you are the above things, there is surely another human that would be game to spending minutes with you.
in the name of full disclosure, marty is the person who taught me this lesson. she taught it to me when i wasn't making our early dating years as easy as she believed they should oughta be. so in some regards i guess everyone who has ever benefitted from marty's advice has me to thank because if i didn't spend a part of our early relationship being a crotch-face, then she would have never come to this bit of inspiration.

so you're welcome.




LIFE, WIFE (permalink) 05.13.2014
heed your elders
the single piece of advice marty has dispensed more than any other:
if a relationship is not easy in the beginning, get out. get out now and get out fast. at the start it should all be smiles and tingles and butterflies. this cannot be said ten years or twenty years down the line. so if you're struggling at the start, you've got no hope.
people's response to marty's counsel has varied.

marty's accuracy in her counsel has not.




VIDEO (permalink) 05.09.2014
i'm wild jealous of this guy's abilities.

David A Smith - Sign Artist from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.



KIDS (permalink) 05.08.2014
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
APRIL 2014




KIDS (permalink) 05.07.2014
like a pet-name
for one of our twenty-hour (one-way!) st. louis to salt lake road trips, i made each kid their own writing/drawing center. these included a clipboard, pad of graph paper, mechanical pencil, and architecture/lettering stencils. since that trip these work stations have been disassembled and cast to the various parts of the house, with one exception. anthony tracks his mechanical pencil with great care keeping it at his desk spot and sometimes taking it to school with him (against my counsel fwiw). while i appreciate how much he likes this object my favorite part of it his interest in this is that he calls it not his mechanical pencil but instead his "electric pencil".




KIDS (permalink) 05.06.2014
he may be quiet, but you know he's there
alex had a last-minute sleepover. the next morning i stirred from sleep to find anthony sitting at the foot of the bed looking very dour. i asked if he was ok. he turned to me and very sadly said he missed alex. i couldn't recall seeing him look so sullen. i pulled the sheets back, offering him a spot to which he slid in and cuddled into me extra close.

for the most quiet and unassuming member of our family, alex's absence might in the end leave the biggest footprint for all of us.




LIFE (permalink) 04.28.2014
the good life
as the boys and i were walking into school, i spied a mother who has been training her second grader to walk to school on his own. she has been doing this by stopping walking with him further away each day. she had built up to the point where she was stopping right when the school came into view. this allowed her to still see the child walk through the building's doors (for that next level you see the parents hiding behind bushes sneaking a look to see the kid makes the last leg without issue). on this day the child was about halfway to the building and a good bit of distance separated them.

the boy stopped next to a dogwood tree which had just started to bloom. he looked the tree up and down and then approached it until his nose was just inches from the closest bloom. he stared at the curious fascinating object with a great intensity. an adult might give it four or six seconds of their time but this child became transfixed. twenty seconds passed. then thirty. my boys were goofing off and not progressing much further much faster so i was able to take in this child's obsessed moment. i looked back to the mother to see her reaction. honestly i expected her to be restless, exasperated even, wanting her child to hurry up and get into the school so she could tap-out and return home to her coffee and facebook stream. but instead she stood patiently. seeing my glance she called across the street, "it kind of makes you remember what the saying 'stopping to smell the flowers' is meant to look like."

i smiled and shared my agreement. the boy continued his review another thirty seconds or more and the mother never prodded him on. after about a minute or so the child came out of his stupor and continued his walk. seeing him now you'd never know the two minute distraction took place (i reckon the same couldn't be said of his young mind though).

from time to time i ask my kids to imagine how blown away we would be if certain things were never part of our world and then suddenly one day, they just appeared, out of nowhere. i've used things like trees, clouds, insects, birds, squirrels, rain, falling stars, mountains. how fascinated would we be by these creations? how long would we stare at them? how long would we spend understanding the mechanics of their being? in short, how long would these infinetly complicated and wondrous parts of the universe intrigue us?

i found this child's quiet and unprodded appreciation of the world before him inspiring. further, i have found it has bettered my eye at spotting the signs of nature around me (which presently is full of action as it emerges from hibernation). in fact, in honor of this lesson and extraordinary span of time in our natural world, i'm logging off this week and am going to sit on my porch to enjoy more of my own dogwood's rebirth.




QUOTES (permalink) 04.25.2014
short, sweet, and clean-smelling
the most profound quote, for me, from this year's mancation:
cleaning your room is work.

keeping it clean is not.

-bookguy


PHOTO (permalink) 04.24.2014
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
MARCH 2014




PERSONAL (permalink) 04.23.2014
is this thing on (tap, tap)
my employer recently began a toastmasters group. the second i saw the opiton, i enrolled. one week ago today was our club's first meeting. and at this meeting i had the honor of being our club's first speaker. the first talk you are asked to do as a toastmaster is a six-minute ice-breaker. below is the transcript of my ice-breaker speech.
INTRO
the name of my talk is who i am and why i'm here.

for a man of my mature years, defining oneself can be a little tricky.

so, i'm going to solve this by starting with my birth and ending at this very moment right here.

that may seem an ambitious goal to achieve in six minutes but i'd guess that for many in the room, standing in front of an audience and told to entertain them for six minutes will feel like a lifetime, so it's actually rather fitting.

BULLETED LIFE
to begin.

my name is troy lane dearmitt.

i was born and adopted in lancaster pa.

when i was six, my parents poured their combined wealth on a twin bed in a one room space they occupied. the family fortune on this day came to 23 dollars and some change.

a few months later, my family left the state of pennsylvania in the dark of the night, my father, after fitting as many of the family possessions in the car as he could, rolled it down the hill past the landlord's house to escape detection.

we drove west along the canadian border until hitting the rocky mountains where he turned left.

the money ran out in fort collins colorado. this is where we'd spend the next twelve years. (the story goes, if gas was cheaper in cheynne wy, that is where i would have grown up, but my dad, ever the stickler for a good price at the pump, even to this day, didn't like what he was seeing in cheyenne and thought he could pull another sixty miles from the tank).

aside from puberty wreaking havoc with my hair, the twelve years i spent in colorado were quiet and uneventful which worked well for my demeanor.

when i was 18 my mother started a second career as an std woman for the cdc. translated this means a sexually transmitted diseases woman for the centers for disease control. and yes, your assumption is right, there is not an 18 year old boy on this planet that wants his mom working, publicly at least, in venereal disease, but i'd need another six minutes to get into the neurosis this brought on, but to give you a taste, i'll add the picture that i was usually the only boy in my college class who when pulling his book out of his bookbag would have five condoms spill into the aisle.

six months after arriving in st. louis i was thunder bolted by a st. louis girl. for those that might not know what getting thunder-bolted means, it means after seeing a person, the next thought to come from your mind's printer contain the words 'that is the girl i am going to marry'. and yes, this is like the greatest, most important, most valuable piece of knowledge a young man can ever receive. there is only one exception to this informational windfall and that is when the girl you were thunderbolted by did not get the same message, which was the case here. thus, i got to spend the next eight years convincing here i was the man she should marry (she had many suitors) which in time she did.

as our relationship solidified i assumed between st. louis and colorado we'd be living in colorado. but it is very true what they say about st. louis girls white-knuckling their zip codes because here we are some twenty years later.

and that is how i came to be in st louis.

WHY I'M HERE
next, as promised, let me share how i've come to be specifically in this room.

everyone i've mentioned this toastmasters affiliation with, who knows me, has expressed surprise.

the reason for this is for the past twenty years, every job i've had has included or been solely about public speaking.

so people who have seen me talk or work wonder why i'd join such an organization.

the reason is i have a secret.

the secret is before every speaking engagement i've ever done, a war has been waged in my mind.

a war full of shouting and intimidation.

this war was waged before i gave my first talk twenty years ago.

this war was waged last week when i guest lectured in a class of graduate students.

this war will be waged again this friday when i give an hour long talk to 100 law students.

and yes, this war was waged before this talk today.

the good news is in the last twenty years i have never lost this war. i've never avoided a speaking opportunity and every time i said i'd speak, i spoke.

but the smartest among us say that the true victory is not in winning the battle—the true victory is avoiding the war.

that is my personal goal—to not have the war.

and that is why i have come to be in this room today.

and that is who i am and that is why i'm here.



PHOTO (permalink) 04.22.2014
hands down, or perhaps it should be hands up (in joy)
LIFE magazine recently asked the question "is this the happiest photo ever made?" (link). the suggesting winning image was taken by one Alfred Eisenstaedt, picture below.



given a daily ritual i have of looking at another photo, my answer of no came quick as my preference quickly turns to the below photo, Burst of Joy taken by Slava "Sal" Veder, on March 17, 1973 and is captioned, "Lt. Col. Robert Stirm, is greeted by his family, returning home after more than five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam." (fuller back story).



upon digging further i was glad (and affirmed) to see time's more exhaustive list included my Burst of Joy choice as part of their fuller list of 20 timeless, joyful photos.




VIDEO, LIFE (permalink) 04.18.2014
exuisite






KIDS, WEB (permalink) 04.17.2014
so far, so good
people have long chided me that my kids would one day revolt towards this website. the below exchange between bella, age 13, and i affirms my choice, thus far at least. and, yes, i'm documenting this here in case her position ever changes.
On Feb 19, 2014, at 7:26 AM, Troy Dearmitt wrote:
bella,
i thought you might enjoy this dCom post from exactly five years ago to the day.

http://dearmitt.com/index02.php3?selDate=02.19.2009

how times change.

dad



On Mar 5, 2014, at  3:45 PM, Bella DeArmitt wrote:
OMG, I haven't had time to reply, but I read it on that day. I'm so sweet,  demonic, and SMART!

Thanks for making this website,

Bella C;D



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