Tag Archives: blogger

How to Find the Classic WordPress Editor

peter griffin grinds my gears

(Author’s Note: Feel free to skip to the bottom of this post for help finding the old “Add New Post” page because most of this doesn’t matter. Also, I know most of you have already figured this out because you’re a bunch of smarties. This is for the people who haven’t and are possibly just one or two posts away from offing themselves to avoid having to use the new editor again. They deserve our support.)

Ohhh. THIS is what she was talking about!

A friend who blogs on WordPress asked me how I felt about the recent changes to the “Add New Post” page.

I think she said something like: “I don’t know how to feel about it. I’m not sure I like it,” but at the time I was still seeing the trusty, familiar WordPress editor page that doesn’t hate children and puppies when I went to post something.

It’s because she’s nice and not dramatic, unlike me who has a tendency to arm-flail and loudly express displeasure with more exuberance than is warranted. I’ve had to point this out more than usual lately: I am all about hyperbole and exaggeration and redundancy and saying things more times than necessary.

So, did I really want to kill myself after having WordPress’ updated “Add New Post” page thrust upon me like an uninvited, smelly penis?

Yes. Yes, I did.

Not All Change is Good

For anyone still reading who doesn’t publish on WordPress, you might be thinking: “Oh, Matt! You’re just being silly! EVERYONE resists change at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll see it’s actually better! You can’t stop progress!”

And if you are thinking that, you can go drink pee and like it.

I was in the newspaper business for a decade. We would infrequently make thoughtful design changes to the daily newspaper, and geriatric anal-retentives would lose their minds because we moved the crossword puzzle from the third page to the seventh and now their lives were ruined and they were cancelling their subscriptions just as soon as they finished their episode of Murder, She Wrote.

I’m not one of those All-Change-Is-Bad people.

So when I stumbled on the new-and-different WordPress editor, I embraced it as a fun new toy to play with.

But THEN, I played with it. I used it to publish five blog posts. And honestly? It was a little bit shitty and kind of sapped my will to live. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen. But it’s obviously not an improvement, and I’m always confused by “updates” in which regular users lose more than they gain.

The new interface is kind of like a Slinky that doesn’t slink. Or playing basketball with a half-deflated ball. Or playing music with an out-of-tune guitar that’s missing its B string.

Maybe I’m a Terrible User

I may just be doing it wrong.

For example, it’s not difficult to add tags to posts in the new editor. But I’ve posted three times now forgetting to add them because of how different and hidden the new tag box is.

The shittiest change for me was trying to link to old posts. In the classic editor, when I want to add a link, there’s a little search box where typing in a couple keywords will bring up titles of all related old posts, and it’s super-easy to click on them and add the link. But now it looks like this:

Sad Link screen

All the great, user-friendly functionality is gone. I have to open a new browser window and find the post I want, and then copy-and-paste the URL to create a link. And that’s fine! I can handle it, I guess. But why make it suckier and more difficult for no reason?

How to Use the Classic WordPress Editor Instead of the New One You Hate

If you want to use the old “New Post” window that you’re comfortable with, it’s relatively easy to do…

When you’re signed into your WordPress account and you click on “My Site” in the top left corner, it takes you to an Admin page where you can see stats and stuff.

If you choose “Add New” from that page, you’ll be doused in sadness when this pops up:

Booooooo WordPress


If you look all the way to the bottom left, you’ll see “WP Admin,” in all its nearly hidden, understated glory:

WP Admin Click That

This is where you want to select “Add New” to create a new blog post:

That's your friend

And now, dear friends, life can suck a little less:

classic wordpress editor

Maybe WordPress will kill the classic editor entirely one day. But until then, keep on keepin’ on and stuff.

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Should I Be Afraid to Publish My Name?

Bloody pen

The words have to bleed. If you want to write about what it means to be human. (Image/Genius.com)

Most of you have no idea who I am (and don’t care).

Some of you know my name is Matt.

Fewer still know I’m Matt and I live in Ohio.

And a super-small group of you know my last name or actually know me in real life.

Does it Matter if it Doesn’t Bleed?

I don’t want to be critical of writers who entertain, inform or educate us. Those are great things.

Sometimes I keep it light, too. I’m immature and playful, so it’s often hard for me to leave that out of things I write.

But matters of the heart and mind are what I choose to spend most of my time exploring. I want to be a better person, and I’m sensitive to my flaws. I think it’s hard to be a human being, and it often gets harder in adulthood.

I think a lot of us frolic through childhood blissfully unaware, and then one inevitable day, that first tragic thing happens, rapes our innocence, and then we never get to be that version of ourselves ever again. Those moments take our breath away. They’re really hard. Some people freak out when life is really hard. They become addicts. They lose jobs. They have affairs. They commit suicide.

Awful things. Things I used to observe and think: What the hell is wrong with those people?

And the answer—in a macro-human sense—is: Nothing. They’re just people, and you can’t know how unmitigated fuckness feels until it’s stabbing your heart and mind mercilessly while you sob in the fetal position.

If you’re going to write about matters of the heart and mind, I don’t think there’s a lot of room for half-assing it. This is real life. When you strip away everything superficial about our lives (the jobs, houses, money, cars) the only things left are the people we love and our mental and emotional state of being when we wake up in the morning.

Mostly, we take this stuff for granted. Mostly, we feel just fine, with pockets of frustration and pockets of fun. Mostly, our relationships aren’t suffering, and people we love aren’t dying, and we’re not afraid of sickness or death ourselves.

No matter how many times a day we hear about some crazy-scary thing happening, or about some tragedy, or how many people around us get sick and die, we STILL just carry on in a That will never happen to me! sort-of way.

But bad things can and will happen. They test our character. They test our faith. They test our mettle.

And then we wallow and despair. Or we demonstrate courage. Or we climb our mountains with joyful hope. Often we do all of those things over a long period of time while we fight to find ourselves again.

THESE are the things that really matter to me. These are the things I want to write about.

I’m afraid of writing about those things, and then having my boss read them. I’m afraid of all the guys I work with, and imagining them laughing and snickering and calling me a pussy behind my back while they read about how I used to cry a lot after my wife left.

I’m afraid of my mom, or grandma, or aunts and uncles reading about how I lost my virginity or about doubting my faith sometimes or just all the bad words I use.

I’m afraid of my son reading it someday and being ashamed of his father. I’m afraid of other parents at his small Catholic school reading it and judging me. Even worse? I’m afraid of my son’s classmates reading it and punishing him socially for it.

Within the first few weeks of blogging, I stumbled on How To Be A TV Star by James Altucher and it completely changed the way I thought about first-person writing.

In the piece, he wrote about how he lied to get on television because he was afraid of flying after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. His boss was asking him to fly to a business meeting, and he needed a way out, so he lied to investor and TV personality Jim Cramer about how much investment money he managed.

He wrote this, and I’ve been hero-worshipping him ever since:

“Once Jim asked me to go on I couldn’t stop shaking,” he wrote. “I knew I was a fraud and I was finally going to prove it to everyone I went to high school with.

“I assumed they would all be gathered at the same place, eating popcorn and laughing at me.”

After retelling his experience on Cramer’s show, he said this:

“Afterwards two things happened. My dad wrote me an email congratulating me. Since we were in a fight and I tend to avoid people I’m fighting, I didn’t respond to him. Then he had a stroke and died.”

Something about it just slapped me across the face. Penetrated my soul.

THIS. This is how I want to write, I thought.

It’s Just About Time

Whether I wait until I publish my book, agree to let other publications use my first and last name, or finally break the seal here, the day I start publishing my full name draws nearer.

I met an editor at The Good Men Project who charitably praises my writing and has asked me to contribute regularly. I’ve agreed.

He has been kind enough to let me keep my last name off the work for a while.

My first post (repurposed content from this blog to start with) should run this week. It will be interesting to see what happens afterward.

In the meantime, there is only one way to write anything related to the mind, heart and soul, and have it matter: Honestly.

I hope I’m tough enough and brave enough to do so even after taking off that final mask and submitting to the judgment of internet commenters everywhere.

Even if those people can affect my professional future.

Or even if they used to change my diapers and tuck me into bed at night.

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How to Accept Gifts

I must learn to accept gifts.  So must we all.

I must learn to accept gifts. So must we all.

I am historically bad at accepting gifts from anyone who is not my mom or dad.

I get a little shy. I sometimes feel a little ashamed that I didn’t first give them a gift. I sometimes feel obligated to get them a gift after receiving theirs.

So, opposite of when I was a child, I often find myself wishing I wouldn’t receive gifts.

That’s a sad story.

And it really smacked me in the face how sad it was this morning when the wonderful writer at BulgingButtons—one of my newest readers—nominated MBTTTR for Blog of the Year 2013, not unlike my nominations about a month ago for Most Influential Blogger and Most Versatile Blogger.

And my initial reaction was to express my deepest gratitude, and leave it at that.

Because at first:

It felt egotistical to accept.

It will force me to nominate blogs for Blog of the Year, also. Which is not a problem. The problem is, I feel shitty thinking that people I care about might be wondering: Why doesn’t Matt think I deserve a nomination? Asshole!

The hard truth is, I don’t read a fraction of the great writing floating around WordPress and other corners of the Internet as much as I’d like to. I have a really hard time working 40+ hours per week, writing every day, being a single dad 50 percent of the time, and not letting every other facet of my life suffer. All that other stuff competes with my reading attention. Which is bad if you wish I’d spend more time reading your writing. And I’m so sorry. Because I feel deep within me the inequity that exists when many of you give more to me than you get in return.

Like a thousand micro-metaphors of the first seven years of my now-failed marriage.

I was going to thank BulgingButtons for the flattering nomination and simply leave well-enough alone.

And then I read something.

Accepting Gifts

I’m quoting this, word for word, from TheWannabeSaint.com from this morning.

“It was said of Abba Zeno, that from the outset he never wished to receive anything from anyone at all. Those who brought him something came away hurt that he had not accepted anything. Others came to him, wanting to receive some token from a great old man and he had nothing to give them so they too came away hurt.

The old man said, ‘What shall I do, since those who bring things are hurt just as much as those who wish to receive something? I know what seems right to me: when someone brings me something, I will accept it and I will give it to anyone who asks me for something.’ So he did that and was at peace and satisfied everyone.” 

The 180

So, I instantly recognized that me and Father Zeno suffer from the same illness—misplaced… I don’t know what… humility? Fake unselfishness? I’m not sure.

But I know this: We hurt people’s feelings when we don’t accept their gifts.

I love to give gifts.

And I’m often impatient about it, too. One of my favorite things about this time of year during my marriage was that we celebrated both my wife’s birthday and Christmas this month. Two opportunities to give her gifts.

She didn’t always love them. She hated an aftermarket car stereo I bought her one year. But mostly, she did like them. Tickets to live theater. Jewelry. Spa day gift certificates. Pretty, yet comfortable, things to wear around the house.

And those were some of my favorite moments. Buying her gifts. Giving them to her and seeing her smile. And mostly winning her approval afterward.

It’s not okay to deprive people who care about you of feeling the joy of giving.

They’re not giving because they want anything in return. Except one thing. You accepting their gift. Because that gift is a piece of them. Whether it’s a drink at a bar. A thoughtful card. An act of kindness. Or something much bigger.

I’m shitty at accepting gifts. One of the many accidental wounds I inflict with kindness efforts that miss the mark.

I’m always trying to be better.

Learning to accept gifts, compliments and love with graciousness is another leg on my journey.

Blog of the Year

I’m in the very early stages of learning to love myself again.

It’s laughable to me to have such a loftily titled award associated—even loosely—with what I’m doing here.

This still feels like a selfish exercise. Writing stories in the first person.

But in many respects, me giving myself to the keyboard is a bit like giving myself a gift. Present-day therapy. And long-term, perhaps my tiny little mark on this planet. My “I was here” sign stuck in the ground for wanderers—both hopeless and hopeful—to find.

In the end, I don’t get to decide how good or bad this stuff is. You do.

And instead of trying to discredit people who like my work, I should instead use their generosity to lift me up. To push me harder. To propel me further.

Thank you.

I don’t like nominating people for things for fear of offending the rest.

But if I’m going to be something like courageous, I’m going to have to be that here, too.

I’m also going to cheat.

1. Because I don’t always follow rules.

2. Because I care about truth (when it’s not too embarrassing for me to admit).

3. But mainly, because these are the blogs I don’t miss.

Only one of these is on WordPress, and I’m almost afraid to mention my blog crush on her because EVERYONE has a blog crush on her.

But, in my estimation, no one’s doing it better than Aussa right now.

1. Hacker. Ninja. Hooker. Spy.

But Matt! You just like her because she’s a pretty redhead with piercing blue eyes!!! Typical male!,” followed by lots of eye rolling and judging.

Believe what you want. She’s good. Really good. I can’t even really pinpoint what’s so good about it. But I want to. Because I want to capture it, bottle it, drink it and incorporate it into what I do.

But that’s impossible.

Because she is as unique and authentic as they come.

Her writing is good-natured. Hilarious. Filled with gobs of humanity. Excellent storytelling. Adventure. And it has captured the hearts and minds of 17 trillion people after only being in existence for nine hours. (She seriously launched the blog less than three months ago, I think. It’s beyond remarkable.)

Aussa is kind. Smart. Courageous. Loyal. Loving.

I feel like I know her because she lets us in.

She’s immensely talented and entertaining and I can’t not read whatever she posts next.

Blog of the (quarter of a) Year, yo.

2. The Altucher Confidential

I don’t think the rules state that I’m allowed to nominate hugely successful bloggers and published authors outside of WordPress. But I don’t really care. Because James Altucher is the most-important thing to ever happen to my writing.

He helped me find my voice. I read everything he writes. And I’m a better person, and hopefully, a better writer, for doing so.

Subscribing to his posts via email is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done.

No one is more human than James.

I’ll always love him for that.

3. Seth Godin’s Blog

No one is less needing of blog traffic than Seth. He has one of the most-popular blogs in the entire world. He is probably the most-brilliant marketer on the planet today. He writes several posts a day. Sometimes, they’re only a few paragraphs.

This guy sees the world through a prism that I wish I could clone. Because he really knows how to ask the right questions.

Questions that can make us better professionals, but more importantly, better people.

These three brilliant writers wield a lot of power. Aussa, you’ll get there soon enough.

And they wield it for good. All in their own, unique way.

The reason we need to receive gifts is so that we can in turn give to others.

For those of you unfamiliar with these three writers, I’ve given you a gift.

And these writers? They are gifts.

People who give to the world.

Making us laugh.

Making us think.

Making us feel.

To paraphrase Cousin Eddie, they are gifts that keep on giving the whole year.

And you can open these before Christmas.

Thank you, Aussa. Thank you, James. Thank you, Seth.

You make me want to be better in every facet of life.

The perfect gift.

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The Most [Neurotic] Blogger


A fellow writer has nominated me along with nine others for “Most Influential Blogger.”

I don’t fully understand it. But it’s flattering just the same. And I appreciate it, despite it not being particularly truthful.

I don’t know how one measures influence.

I suppose that’s for each of us to decide on our own.

And I don’t know that I consider anything I’ve written here to be particularly influential. If anything has passed that sniff test, I hope people have considered it positively influential, because I couldn’t stand myself if the opposite were true.

Influential? Nah.

But this is an opportunity. An opportunity to figure out what I think I am. What I think this place is after four and a half months of punching these keys. Here are a few possibilities:

The Worst-Dater-Ever Blogger

This is unquestionably my championship belt to wear. I am the undisputed king of being horrible at dating.

I gave one girl at a bar my number once (and she actually called!), but it turned out she lives in North Carolina and now I’ll probably never see her again.

I tried online dating but everyone hated me except for a couple platonic friends I made and a few women I hope I never see again.

The Biggest-Whiner Blogger

I challenge ANY of you to find a bigger whiner than me.

Everyone has problems. Every single person on Earth. I have a nice house. A nice car. Relative health. A decent job. I have food and the means to buy more.

And yet I whine. I whine and whine and whine and whine some more. I’m surprised so many of you put up with it.

Seriously. I’m throwing down the gauntlet. Find one blogger who whines more than me and drop a link in the comments so we can all go read it and laugh.

The Most Self-Deprecating Blogger

There is a teeny-tiny part of my whining that exists because my sense of humor includes the ability to laugh at myself. So I make jokes about never getting laid, when we all know I could TOTALLY get laid if I was only willing to pay for it or could get all my friends to throw money in a pile for another charity bone.

The Biggest Short-Man Complex Blogger


I take the 5’9” thing a little too far, eh?

You can say it.

I’m more self-aware than I might let on.

The Most-Schizophrenic Blogger

I’m so self-aware, in fact, that I’m fully aware of my schizophrenia and imbalance in terms of my day-to-day topics.

One day I’m writing about my completely ridiculous and unsubstantiated estimates regarding my chances of getting laid in states I’ve never visited.

The next day, I’ll scream and cry like a little girl because my life isn’t what I want it to be.

And then the next day, I’ll write some Sappy McSapfestival about hope and optimism and blah blibiddy blah blah.

You guys are probably like: What a freaking spaz, this guy is.

And you’re totally right.

The Most-Spazzy Blogger

Hey! If the shoe fits.

I’m a spaz. It’s probably my mom’s fault.

I spaz at work.

I spaz at my son, even though he’s totally five and is just trying to figure life out one little lesson at a time, doing exactly the same shit I used to do.

I spaz at everything.

I’m the mayor of Spazville.

Maybe I’m influencing people to not be like me.

That could totally be it.

The Most Influential Blogger Award

Firstly, thank you to Bryan at Can Bryan Write? for including me among the nominees. It’s impossible to evaluate one’s own work objectively. I do get an awful lot of praise and positive feedback here. It’s also impossible for me to know how much of that is warranted. After all, my mom and grandma think I’m Mark freaking Twain, and they haven’t even seen my best work, which is presumably here. Let’s pray they never do, otherwise I’ll lose even more family. I’m not even kidding. If my grandmother ever reads me writing about bondage or magic mushrooms or using the phrase “fuckity fuckness,” there’s a better-than-average chance she never speaks to me again. And she may seriously love me more than Jesus does right now. In fact, I can almost guarantee that’s true.

Pssst. Hey Matt. You’re being a spaz again.

Oh, shit. About influential blogging…


While it’s super-flattering to have someone nominate you for such an unworthy title, it also means you have a job to do.

Unless I want to be Break-the-Chain-of-Goodness Guy, and I don’t, I must answer some questions and nominate other bloggers for this award.

Instructions I’ve Been Given:

1. Display the Award on your Blog. (No. It’s a lie.)
2. Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who awarded you. (That’s what I’m doing!)
3. Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award. (“Influential” is an interesting word. I LOVE many bloggers, but I don’t know that “influential” is the word I’d choose to describe their work, nor do I believe they’re trying to be influential. They’re just writing. Like me.)
4. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded with a comment. (I HATE having to give people another chore. Everyone’s busy and recovering from divorce or alcoholism or Chlamydia or unemployment or just a shitty day at work. But I’ll try to do this.)
5. Answer each of the 10 questions that your awarder asked, and then write 10 for your awardees (or use the same ones; up to you!) (I’m going to use the same questions because I’m lazy!)


So, here are some blogs I follow that I might call “influential,” at least to me. There are SO MANY deserving writers out there, many of whom I haven’t had time to read through and digest because I’m so self-centered and crying and feeling sorry for myself at home all the time. And I’m so sorry to all of you. You deserve so much more of my attention than you get.

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

Lisa, the author, has been to hell and back and tells the story here. She’s smart, funny, wise, an outstanding writer, and I’m so blessed that she reads my stuff and offers her wisdom. And I’m so blessed to read her lessons and apply her experiences to mine. She’s brilliant and worthy of your time.

Dysfunctional Literacy

This dude. Jimmy. So funny. If nothing else, just read through his Literary Girlfriend series. It’s beyond awesome. He influences me to try humor in my writing, with “try” being the operative word.

Gotta Find a Home

This guy’s name is Dennis. Changing the world. He’s influential in the most-fundamental and important kind of way. 

Too Many Spiders

This lady is ridiculously awesome. She writes about stuff that’s intellectually over my head much of the time. But other times, she’ll just tell some simple human story about her family. The Spider Lady is a mother of like 79 kids in a New York City borough. She keeps her blog secret from her husband, for reasons unbeknownst to me, and which I’m not inclined to press her on. I just know she’s a good human being who loves her family and occasionally charms me with her funny take on the world.

Twenty-Three & Fancy Free

This young lady from Australia makes me laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh. She influences me to tell personal stories. To not be afraid to use a little rough language when the situation calls for it. She doesn’t write often enough for my taste, but when she does, I always smile. She’s wonderful.

Reflections Upon My Reality

This is a photo blog. She writes personal stories also on a separate blog, and she’s a fine writer. But I particularly enjoy her photo work. She’s kind of obsessed with cemeteries and she has a habit of wandering into abandoned houses and buildings to capture the ghosts. But, it’s compelling work. She influences me to think about the world differently. To find beauty in things that may not be conventionally beautiful.


This young medical doctor is in New York. Ramon’s been so supportive of the work I’ve done here. He influences me in the real world. With kindness. A zest for life. Optimism. He’s always looking for that silver lining. Always pushing himself and others to be more than they are through his writing. To seize life. To make the most of it. He’s a new digital friend. I’m lucky to eKnow him.

Knowingly Undersold

Everything he writes is smart and hilarious. If I could be anything as a writer, I’d want people to say I was smart and hilarious. His name’s Joe. He’s pretty awesome. Read him.

Match dot… come on already!

Like LizardoMD, this young lady in Los Angeles has been remarkably sweet and supportive of me since getting to know one another electronically. She’s a biased fan of my writing and has shared my work in the past. She’s kind and smart and funny, and if she ever gets around to dating again, the stories will be entertaining, like the author herself.


This woman is ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome, I mean. She’s been writing for one month. One. And she already has this epically entertaining and engaging blog. I’m beyond jealous. She’s kind of a rock star. And I’m hoping she’ll push me to be better. Because that’s always what I want to be. Better.

Questions I’m Supposed to Answer

1. What is your favorite season?

Summer, duh.

2. Who is your favorite singer?

Singer? How about musician? This isn’t right. I can’t pick just one. I don’t have just one.

3. What is your favorite kind of music?

I dabble in awesome. Sometimes awesome is indie rock. Sometimes it’s classical. Sometimes it’s blues or jazz or hip-hop or classic rock or electronic or even country, if I’ve been drinking a lot. The criteria is simply: Must be awesome.

4. Who is your favorite author?

My favorite writer is James Altucher. My favorite novelist is Michael Connelly.

5. If you had enough money, what charity would you donate to?

There is no amount of money too small to donate to charity. I donate to my church, to a shelter at which I’ve neglected to volunteer for seven months because I’m a whiny self-absorbed douchebag, and I donate to all of the little kids who come around the neighborhood, but only when they saw me through the window and totally know I’m home, OR when my five-year-old hollers: “DAD!!! There’s someone at the door!!!”

Dammit, kid! I was trying to pretend I wasn’t home!

“Dad! Did you hear me!?!? There are kids at the door!”

6. If you had enough money, what room in your home would you renovate?

My kitchen could use a little refresher. Like this list of questions, Bryan. Let’s hope not everyone is as lazy as us.

7. What is your favorite television show?

A month ago, I would have said Breaking Bad. Right now, The Walking Dead has my attention. It’s awesome.

8. Which of these is your most favorite drink: Pepsi – Coke – Ice Tea – Water?

Are you shitting me? Question fail! It’s invalid because none of these are alcoholic.

9. Do you own a desktop PC or laptop… or both?

I have an iMac. I like it. I don’t have a laptop because I’m poor. But I want one. I want to go write in a coffee shop and look awesome. I’m not even kidding. Dear Santa, please bring me a laptop so I can go look artsy in coffee shops on Saturday mornings and maybe talk to a girl for once in my life. Thank you!

10. What would you rather do for relaxation, read a book or watch television?

I do NOT approve of these questions. And I just don’t have time to write and answer 10 more. There are 29 other things I’d rather do for relaxation than read or watch TV. I respect that most of us only do those two things, though. I’d RATHER read. But I’m lazy. So, I often watch TV.

In conclusion, I’m about as “influential” as Question 8 is relevant and allowed to be asked for the rest of humanity’s existence.

I’m still kind of pissed about it.

Psssst. It’s tequila. My favorite drink. Because it’s amazing.

Arriba, you crazy vatos. And thanks for the nom, Bryan. I really do appreciate it.

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