Why Things Have Been Like They Are :

Hi Hi y’all!

You know sometimes I feel like the Queen of Excuses. It’s not that I mean to be really. I am very aware I have a natural born trait to resist ownership and responsibility and thus it needs to be managed… I guess, the thing is I always feel like I owe an explanation. That is probably due to a whole crapload of childhood trauma and shitty insecurities but that’s not really important here. What’s important is not only do I cripple myself but I cripple the relationships I have with others by being shitty with follow throughs and commitments.

I think, for awhile, this will hopefully be my last explanation:

More and more I have been taking both more frequent and longer absences. Part of it is due to health. I can’t say anything more than learning to live a life with a chronic illness seems to be a forever challenge. The ups are high and the downs are low. Dealing with being in my 20s and being bipolar along with it just seems to be this almost immeasurable task.

However, there are two bigger stressors in my life than even my health problems: school and family.

When I graduated high school university was this magical thing I was heading too. It was a place where I’d have everything I ever wanted and be an ambitious bad ass semi adult. I mean reality does kick in, challenges do present themselves and you do eventually become an adult. Going to the challenging school wasn’t what I thought it to be. Looking back, as thankful as I am for the lessons it’s taught me, I don’t think McGill was the university for me. It doesn’t flex to those who need flexibility. How smart I thought I was doesn’t matter in the end if I can’t handle the lifestyle of a proper student. I’ve always had a major thing about failure and learning to live that failure is okay in a high paced environment with many geniuses KILLS a soul. Everything school related becomes so much more emotionally and time wise to me.

Honestly, just sitting here waiting for my grades and taking my first test of the summer session has me dying in agony…

The second reason is of course family. I mean… guys. We all know I have family problems. However, lately I can’t help growing more and more annoyed. I am incessantly put in a position where, even when they say no, I have to end up as the family manager from another country. Things had gotten so bad my grandparents were preceding with divorce options (instead of just shouting about it) and still they do nothing. AND YOU KNOW WHY WE GOT THERE!

We got to that because my Aunt who lives with them bought a new house and didn’t want to move out her old furniture…. The same furniture that is representative of a ten year hoarding habit that has infuriated my grandma to no ends. The only funny side note is that she’s moving from there house to a house two miles up the road and three doors down from my mom’s house.

People in my family, I swear, do not actually separate from the uterus.

That drama cost me 4-5 days of major anxiety, panic attacks and being the only one who calms down my grandma.

Family is too difficult sometimes.

Anyways, today is part 2 of my first summer session exam. I have recommitted to yoga and started to seriously meditate again.

Hopefully, I can remain calm enough to get shit done for y’all~

I.L. Knight

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Family Portrait – P!nk

Back Pain & Why Tattoos :

Hi Hi Y’all,

I know more and more I talk about chronic illness. It’s not meant to just be a purge, a kvetch or a notice for recognition. Lately, my flare up have just been getting worse and longer. All the advice doctors gave and the awkward hard to explain moments just seem worse. More then ever, I am just tired. So very tired…

A friend of mine is coming up to visit me in April and I am so excited to have someone see where I go to University and be an understanding friend. I had been debating when ( and more importantly) where to get a back tattoo I have always wanted.

When I was a kid I was obsessed with Yakuza movies, samurai movies and ronin movies. I loved the traditional colorful tattoos on them and the values that seemed to come with them. As I got older, learned more about what it meant and how it was perceived I didn’t want such a large piece anymore. For awhile, I thought about abandoning the idea completely.

Then I got my diagnosis and I started to reconsider. What eventually solidified the desire to get the tattoo was this increasing problems. My drugs are increasing and surgeries that seemed far off seem sooner and sooner. More and more I feel like I am missing out and that I’ll miss out on things even more in the future. Weighed down by everything around me and having it all be unseen is taking a bigger toll on me. I can do less then I used to at the moment and no one really sees it or understands it. More and more I have to come to terms with being seen by the average person as a ‘disappointment’.

It’s these things that make me stop caring about some of the things I used to. If I feel like life is short and changing so much for me I have to at least do the things I enjoy? A giant back tattoo or some crazy visual representation of all my problems probably won’t do much for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t stick to aesthetic and feel as if I did something to show it.

My back has two curves and a tiny hump on my neck. At the top of my spine there are signs of bones thinning and possibly going to fade away. As you got to the bottom of my spine fusing has started, my hips are out of place and my legs are now two different lengths. None of this can be seen or understood unless I give up and say I want to walk around like Quasimodo so people notice me. That is always going to be the reality of my back. Anything from now on won’t be seen.

I like small minuscule and thin lined tattoos. Normally, I don’t want color and just want simple black. I’ve known since I was small I would want tattoos that represented ideas that meant a lot to me in life. Knowing this it isn’t hard for me to know what sort of tattoo I’d get on my back.

At the top of my neck, I would want in thin black lines Vegvisir. Vegvisir is one of the most popular Nordic charms. It wishes for the person to never lose their way in storm and bad weather even if the path is unknown. I don’t think there is anything more symbolic of everything going on then that. However, there is one more reason. My great grandma’s mother was a Swedish Orphan. She had come to the U.K. and met a Spanish Jew. They married and moved to the U.S. Apparently, unlike her husband and the efforts she put into now being Jewish and raising Jewish kids she never gave up her belief system. She was very very very Christian. I’m talking crosses and bloody Jesus pictures everywhere sort of Christian. Yet, there was one thing that my great grandma remembered seeing even when she didn’t know the name of it until I told her: Vegvisir. In a legacy where only food and some old myths managed to be passed down, my great grandma could vaguely in her dying times remember seeing Vegvisir as a child. Now how could I argue with that? Jewish or not, my great grandma read me Nordic myths as I was growing up, joked how if it was true Odin was 100% cooler than Zeus, and how we were meant to be tough because it was just in our blood. I’m traveling rough waters right now and maybe that means it isn’t just about being Jewish, but remembering all beliefs that helped create me.

Underneath Vegvisir is the real highlight though. Running in small thin lines will be the I Ching and its 64 changes. For a person of my aesthetic and weirdness (and love for Asian culture) what is better then 64 line patterns each symbolizing a different part of early understanding and divination? Nothing. Seriously, nothing at all. My life is certainly one of change and phases, of fortunes and dis-fortunes, and of joy and sadness. These line patterns will follow the crooked path my spine takes all the way to my tailbone. Maybe it will seem funny to some, but to me it’s a little part of the truth. And when these inevitable surgeries come, the scars appear on my back and the fight through new types of pain begins, I have marks of it all. Little lines that exist as part of scars and as part of the journey.

Going through all of this has taught me that living behind a mask is no longer something I’ll really be good at again. My body demands of me the truth. It demands that I grow past the angry cynical jaded girl I was when I was young and try to find the joy of life. It tells me that it will not tolerate lies and will only tolerate truth.

Don’t I have to do it then?

I.L. Knight

P.S. Odin really is way better. Norse > Greek everyday <3

Vegvisir

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I Ching

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Pagan Folk Music – Vegvisir

Am I Missing Out? :

I had just finished locking up the store I work out at night and I was passing the collection of fellow students in the lobby of my building. They were dressed up for no reason, laughing, chatting, and wondering what last minute plans they should make. For the first time in awhile I wondered if I was missing out.

I spend a lot of time trying to remind myself of the positives that have come with my life changing so drastically and so quickly. I have grown up, became a more understanding person, learned a new sort of strength, learned to love myself, learned to take it slow and learned to to speak out when I feel like someone should. I do all of this because it’s too easy to get pulled into the bad. No one wants to get stuck in a swamp of negativity.

However, I don’t think I am reminded of the bad. Maybe, I think I am reminded of the sad part of nostalgia. When I see them I am reminded of how I remember being. There were a lot less fears and a lot more risks for the joy of adventure. I could stay up as late and as far as I needed too to keep the thrill of it all going. Everything around me I wanted to experience. It’s so different to how I am now.

Now, I am a person who fights anxiety and fears about leaving my home to be a part of the world again. I am a person who makes lists on what I’ll need and where I can find things in case of an emergency. The odds are weighed before every move I make because it feels like that is the only way I can live. The silly little things I used to laugh about feel like scheduled in hassles.

I have gotten over not being able to remember how I used to be. It’s natural for people to change. Seeing people my age though like that reminds me of parts of myself I didn’t know I missed. I never thought I would miss being foolish, or jumping before I looked where I was going, or making mistakes because I had no idea what was going on or loving to be outdoors to feel the wind on my skin. I was someone who wanted to experience it all and dreamed of going everywhere. When did this change? When did I think that it was okay?

I know I am a different person and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Seeing them though reminds that I have let myself miss out. I have become so wrapped up in trying to stay on task, do things well and manage the unmanageable illness that I forgot to just do the things I like about life. I’ve been forgetting to live. I was letting the pain get to me more then I realized.

I think next weekend I am going to go to archery. Maybe I’ll go to the dog park near my apartment or to a cat cafe in the city. Maybe I’ll even just go for a walk.

I think we need to enjoy life again. What’s the point of being a warrior unless you are fighting for what you enjoy?

I.L. Knight

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Traveling Song – Ryn Weaver

 

Sneak Peek: Poem From New Poetry Book – Coming Soon –

Hi Hi Y’all,

I just wanted to share one of my favorite new poems that will appear in my COMING OUT SOON poetry book, Confessions of a Teenage Poet. The book is a collection of things I’ve written in earlier school years and shows the feelings I kept hidden from a lot of people around me. I think this poem does a great job at showing the underlying feelings I had from moving to high school to university. Some of these feelings I think still are there, but buried under new fears and anxieties.

The Pink Hotel

It’s four a.m. and the crowd twitches,

Built up nerve born from youth

seeking to run free.

“Let us go for a walk.

We are paying for the view.”

A silent ride down.

I walk ahead,

Lost in thoughts,

Drowning in my twenty four hour soda.

I look ahead.

There are low scattered fountains,

Large  and tiled with Spanish flowers.

In the darkness, I see light.

So much light is reflected

In waves of eerie hues.

Another match is burnt away.

“Dammit it won’t light.”

What was it, ten matches?

All to light his first cigar.

I don’t know why he kept trying.

I continue to walk away

To a farther fountain,

Where grass is still gentle,

To collapse in dewy golf turf.

I look to see a snake, none.

The pink hotel is a tower,

Looming in the sky above me.

Endless, reaching heights

I could never reach even reach

Laying eager on my back.

Why is there no stars,

Just a black sky?

A lonely Mercury

out of reach of Venus,

light up the seemingly black oblivion.

One cares to find me,

Upset at the foolish antics of youth.

“Are you ok?”

I smile and admit his thought was right.

I had lied on a truth question.

He looked away

And soon the two others

Reappeared  with a slow burning

Rolled bark of success.

“Want to walk?”

I nodded and got up,

Running ahead of the

Shambling pack.

I was always ahead,

Never next to anyone.

Not much is seen,

But a lonely palm tree

Framing Venus’ Lone arms,

And a single fish darting

Between lighted Angel mirrors.

There is another fountain.

I jump to the highest peak

And look down at my youth.

I open my mouth to say,

“When you were Polonius is this how you felt?”

The guy holding the cigar laughs,

“Never my dear.”

I shake my head and point

at the cigar he holds far from him.

“To thine own self be true.”

They laugh and keep walking,

Remarks on wealth and status.

We were so young, so eager

To make an image of ourselves-

An image we didn’t really understand.

I walk back to the room,

Another silent ride in the elevator.

Quietly I slip inside.

I’m hungry for something new.

I’m lonely.

Why did I choose this pink hotel?

Here Ya Go,

I.L. Knight

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Adolescents – Incubus

On Confusing Heritage : Getting Reacquainted

So seeing that Jason Momoa video also kind of reminded me of an interesting point. Jason Momoa’s step daughter Zoe Kravitz (can’t do accent for some reason) is of mixed heritage. They all are. Zoe’s mother, Lisa Bonet, comes from a Jewish mother and an African American Father. While Lenny Kravitz comes from a Jewish father and an African American mother. Jason Momoa himself is Caucasian and Hawaiian. Putting aside the obvious sub point that most people make that mixed kids are beautiful it reminded of something more personal.

You see, Zoe Kravitz admitted growing up she didn’t have connection to her African American heritage and identified as white. Now, she is interested in reconnecting with that side of her roots. Personally, I think it is a wonderful move on her part, because it is a part of who you are. But it also confuses me. Lenny Kravitz identifies as Christian when it comes to religion. I’m pretty sure Lisa Bonet identifies as spiritual, drawing from all walks of life for inspiration and understanding. But I don’t understand 100% of that decision.

People only like to admit being of Jewish descent in situational moments like this, when they aren’t religiously Jewish in some article. However, the religion of Judaism is separate from the ethnic background. It seems like although raised within the Jewish religion they gave up on their ethnic dies. As Lisa Bonet and Zoe Kravitz are technically by Orthodox standards ‘Truly of Jewish decent’ due to their matrilineal line. So why then is there this seemingly disconnect with that part of their heritage? Sure, in America the Jewish community is looked down upon by other Jewish communities for a lack of spirituality, but we do embrace our ethnic ties in some ways.

It makes me think about my own family. Where things are a little confusing, because it was some secret that wasn’t supposed to be brought up that we weren’t ‘truly of Jewish decent’ based on our religious affiliation. You see my grandmother’s heritage gets very mixed as you go back. You draw in many european and asian ethnic groups such as: Spanish, British, Swedish, German, Mediterranean, a few different Eastern European groups and my favorite the apparent Cossack Russian. I mean my grandmother was only Jewish, because her Swedish Grandmother married a Jew of Spanish/British decent. Her mother then married a Jewish man of seemingly German, Russian and Middle Eastern descent (all Jews claim the traits of their Middle Eastern ancestors sticking within them). My grandmother married my grandfather who was ‘truly Jewish’ by his Austrian and Polish descent. My mom in her rebellion married a Canadian of Scottish, British and French decent (from what I know). Yet, with all of this somehow I was still Jewish. Being Jewish was so hard core pushed on me I found little ways to reject it. I defined it only as my ethnic background, I didn’t go to hebrew school and certainly didn’t join in the community service groups. Temple was an only Yom Kippur thing, because I believed in fasting. Jewish was my ethnicity. It was the only thing I could embrace: not being white. I wasn’t like them. Now, I look back on it like I was even more stupid then people told me.

A couple of years ago, I went to Taiwan to live in a monastery to explore my growing interest in Buddhism. The experience was the best thing in my life so far when it came to becoming a person. It’s funny, the more I involved myself in the community the more I would read books on other Jews who explored Buddhism. One of my favorite authors is a woman by the name of Sylvia Boorstein. Who asserts her Jewish beliefs through Buddhist daily life practices. It was fascinating. The dots of this not connecting until someone who lived with me made an awfully racist comment about Jews. Suddenly, I was compelled to take up arms that I was a Jew and would not tolerate that. Then he pointed out that most of us aren’t ‘truly of Jewish descent’ by our own standards. And gosh dammit, why was he fucking right. Two things happened in that moment: (1) somehow I understood what Sylvia Boorstein was talking about and how I was rediscovering the Jewish religion through the lens of Buddhism and (2) I truly cared about my ethnic ties. It wasn’t just I am not white anymore, because in truth I was.

How could I miss that? I am so far from the Jewish stereotype people still ask me what I am doing for Christmas. Even liking Adam Sandler surprises people. I had to take a hard look at myself, because I lived my whole life by not being another white person. In truth, I don’t think anything I ever did up to that was about the Jewish religion. It was just my cultural upbringing. Then I remembered it wasn’t the only part of it. You see there was a trickle down effect of the smallest things that clung to my family like a desperate plea to remember. Times of Swedish dinners passed down by my great-great grandmother, stories of Norse gods and Russian fairytales, Yiddish and German in the household, and nights going to hockey games because I was Canadian. Looking back on it now I find it funny. It was like I did exactly what young Zoe Kravitz did. I embraced something because that was the environment at the time.

I truly respect her choices when it comes to exploring her heritage, but it still confuses me. It’s like a part of it seems to be overlooked. How could you do that? I mean I had to admit to myself I was a white person. I was mixed, by everyone’s standards. No one said anything about it, because I was pale. Only saying I was annoying, because I suddenly realized I want to identify as mixed. Like the right was not mine to say.

Their comments just made me place more importance in reconnecting to the heritage that was still passed down. It was a part of me that I had to now embrace and accept. I just don’t understand why in her interview with the press that never seemed to come up. Both African American and Jewish ethnic ties are her makeup. Seriously, she runs a high risk of health problems, because of us so it might be wise to know that.

Wonderful choice, but a choice that makes me feel slightly wrong and empty. It was another person not realizing that Jews are an ethnic group and Judaism is a religion. They don’t always go hand in hand. Why not think about that too? I try to now. I left my sheltered South Florida bubble. I wish more people would too, because at the end of the day it’s not about religion. It’s about recognizing who you are and accepting it as a joyful thing. Ethnic descent is a part of that.

Zoe Kravitz brings up my own confusion. Even though I know nothing about her personal journey. She could feel connected to it by all means. Yet, I am confused. If you seemingly deny it then I am just another American talking about not ethnically being American, because my great-great-great-great grandfather was Irish. I mean, ethnically no one is American except actual Native Americans. But I get the whole it’s kind of hypocritically, because we are so patriotic about our countries some times… But I don’t think I am a part of that. Parts of of these ethnic ties did survive in horribly understated cliché ways.

I am figuring out what I am separate of my religion. The food I eat, the stories I am told as a child, the music I listen to in the background, the dances I saw my family dance aren’t about religion. They are the backbones of culture itself. So while I am figuring out this confusion and watching others try to figure it out let me try to have changing opinions of others who may have similar confusion. Maybe let me have a temporary tittle of ‘mixed’ even?

Life is confusing enough now a days. Why make someone else’s life harder by being like that? I just want to figure out what it was like for my grandmother to Move from Sweden to the U.K. How did she bring British culture and Spanish culture into our lives. How did Russian stews survive, a barely spoken European language or a fondness for fermented fish and Lingon berries become an iconic part of who I am. It’s not much. It really is only a trickle down effect.

But in all the confusion I have as a person, I grasp on to it as a lifeline to a steady foundation. It is a part of me…. So Jason Momoa, the Kravitzs and anyone else out there struggling with confusion. Hold on to the confusion, because its changing viewpoints will help you grow I think. You are not one thing or two. You are just the combination of all sorts of things. And you will have a solid foundation at the end of it all.

I am still trying to find answers, but now I understand just a little bit more of myself… Thank You my dear loved ones (´・` )♡ .

I.L. Knight

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German Cradle Song

I am Building My House – Joe Crone

In The People’s Republic of China – Ella Jenkins

Accidental Racist – Brad Paisley Feat LL Cool J

Should I or Shouldn’t I?

I’ve been wrestling with the idea for years on wether or not I should have a podcast.  On one hand, it is a great platform to talk about my interests and explore areas I never thought I could explore. On the other hand, it is also an activity that challenges my anxieties about using technology, maintaining a schedule and truly promoting a person. It shouldn’t be such a daunting decision, but it feels like with the media relevant day and age we are in that it is a much bigger choice then what it initially lets on. Putting aside the pros of it all I see two major cons: (1)OBS basic software is a challenge for me on it’s own and (2) would anyone watch a podcast without seeing the person’s face. I mean… I would still want to keep that feeling of anonymity. I like following in the footsteps of past female writers. AND I love the fact a pen name gives off the feeling anyone could basically be the writer. A podcast would just destroy that? No?

All that being said…. I did write an intro script and one on Jason Todd (because yea right I would wing it).

SHOULD I? SHOULDN’T I?

I.L. Knight

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Carry On My Wayward Son – Kansas

What a week…

I know I am suppose to be better at posting and trust me it is still one of my goals. But this was just too hectic of a week for me to sit down and write something. Now that the week is over I’m all down for writing. I’ll start with a quick explanation of my week. Basically, I had an essay due Tuesday and a midterm on Thursday. I will not make excuses I was very much out of it this past week and this current week. So my essay happened to be written at 6 am the day it was due and i barely studied at all for my midterm. By the time Friday rolled around I was dependent on the news of my friend coming to town to fix my soul. This is the hectic part: my weekend. Friday was spent partying all night with my friend. Saturday I tried to catch up on work, but really just spent time eating Oreos and peanut butter with my friend. That night I had to pull a Second all nighter for sorority. Sleep finally happening at eleven am Sunday. After five hours I had to wake myself up to suffer so I could fall asleep again later that day and hopefully sleep through the night. The kicker of the week happened Sunday for me. I had been thinking about for awhile taking a semester off to take an Internship in North Carolina. I thought it would be good for me to return home and be in the environment I love. I don’t think it’s a secret I am currently lost and panicking way too much these days. Well, telling my grandma and my mom what I was considered turned into a huge headache. Although, also telling them I wanted to die my hair purple and that I messaged the father I’ve never met for names for a school genealogy assignment didn’t help the situation either. My grandma was most upset about the hair. My mother was upset about the Facebook message I sent. I guess the response of, “too little too late, sorry I am not here to be used and abused like this so…sorry but can’t help you take care of yourself and best wishes.” didn’t go down with a mom who already felted enraged by a fathers complete lack of caring for there sire. Trying to calm her down was more stressful then the actual message. I have many issues and weirdness, but having father issues over this man is not one of them. It may sound cold but I gave two shits about the man or ever pursuing a relationship. I just wanted an A on my assignment. I figured if he denied, I could show the message to my prof and be like “Welp. I tried.” But my mother, she freaked out. Laced into me about looking for answers and how he only signed my Canadian papers because his mother embarrassed him. I think there was also something about letting him stab my heart. I can assure you there was no such stabbing. This week really did end on weird note though. Not only am I exhausted and tired, but now I’m having to somehow formulate plans for all the weird thoughts and things around me. I really, really hate plans. If I could be anything, I suppose I would be some combination of way-word wanderer, drifter, lonely biker and isolated academic librarian. I think that role would suit me. 

Just a thought,
I.L. Knight

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I’m so tired- The Beatles

Wake Me Up When September Ends- Green Day

Tired Eyes- Neil Young

 

P.s. I am posting parts of the raps that occurred in my head on my drunk Friday escapade. 
 
RAP BATTLE: I.L. vs. Roommate (Rap of his written by me)
 
Yo Mr. Shin
Your the man made of tin.
Looking for a new heart
Just made up of old parts.
 
Yo Ms. Grace
Dependent on the Kawaii face.
Time to step up your game
Don’t just be the queen of the lame.
 
The next is just the last half of a long rap I did when I was out. I don’t have the whole thing :
 
I’m the mother fucking queen of my castle
a curtain with 92 fucking tassels
I’m epic
Making dough through the crowd of hectics
Don’t step up to me
Unless you’re ready to pay the toll fee
Because I got nothing to hide
Life’s just a joy ride
I have nothing to fear
There’s nothing to make me shed a tear.
 

-Sorry for the sailor mouth <3

Starbucks

Here’s the thing: NOT ALL WHITE GIRLS LIKE STARBUCKS. It’s a myth very similar to “all sorority girls rely on their daddy’s credit card to make friends”, both are simply not true. I can say this as I am both a Sorority girl and a white girl who hates Starbucks. Starbucks has very weak coffee and is overpriced. HOWEVER, I will give them the credit of having amazing baked goods, cute mugs and a great environment to spend hours reading about weird Japanese penis festivals and psychological vocabulary.

A+ environment Starbucks. I will give you this win.

p.s. I really love coffee.

I.L. Knight

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One More Cup of Coffee – The White Stripes

One Cup of Coffee – Bob Marley

One More Cup of Coffee – Bob Dylan

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A Cup of Coffee – Johnny Cash

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The Coffee Song -Cream

Ratatat …

I’m not going to lie, sometimes I am horrible at being a female. Especially when it comes to pets. I am a huge reptile fan. Furthermore, after an afternoon of playing with my friend’s rats I am now a die hard rat fan. Rats are adorable and friendly. Maybe I should get pet rats…

I.L. Knight

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The Schemers, The Scroungers and The Rats – The King Blues

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYbHsohMpKU