photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Posts tagged “IU East

Regression

This is what my screen looks like at 5:25 a.m.:

Regression

Yep. Good ole linear regression. It’s the fun stuff I get to do in between bivariate correlations and my final exam.

Josh had me on lockdown- snoring a heap of Zzzz’s into my face- as I lay there listening to the early morning birds, thinking about…you guessed it: multiple regression and p values. I’m so impressed with my professor, Dr. Kraha. She’s brilliant, to say the least. She breaks everything down into very easy-to-understand concepts. And I love her voice. She’s without a doubt the best professor I’ve ever had and truth be told, I’m going to miss her!

She’s helped bring my grade from a C in Statistics (coming in to her class), to a strong A. Even now, I still have an A in her class and really have 1 assignment and my final exam to go. If I do well in those areas, I’ll maintain my A.

I have a 30 slide Power Point presentation on Darwin (with voiceover) as well as a 15 page research paper on the levels of anger in prisoners and their causes + a 5 page paper in Psych. of Personality- all due 3 days from now.

Sigh. My life..

Back to the grind!

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Three Weeks to Go

I can’t believe that there are only 3 short weeks to go before graduation. (Bachelor’s in Psychology.) My long road is almost over! At least for a while. Somehow, through my incredibly crazy life, I’ve managed to hold on to my grades: I’ll be graduating with honours. 🙂

Statistics for Behavioral Health- A
Marine Biology- A
Senior Seminar- A
Sensations and Perceptions (Psych.)- A
Psychology of Personality (Psych.)- B

I’m not happy about that B, but I can live with it. I am utterly exhausted. Five classes is no walk in the park and I’ve been doing this college thing for a long time now. I’m looking forward to picking up my camera again and MAKING ART. 🙂 I miss the mercurial, barefooted girl I used to be- wandering around abandoned farm houses picking branches and leaves out of my hair. And, if I have to reject one more null hypothesis I’m going to SCREAM. (Feel free to scream with me if you even know what that means!)

I’ll be taking a significant amount of time off after May- at least for the rest of the year. (And maybe all of 2017.)  I need a long sabbatical. Two years ago, when I got my Associates degree in Behavioral Sciences, I wanted to take a year off and do the photography thing again; but- I ran right back into the fire because apparently, I like my challenges on full blast. But I think I’ve had just about enough of that for now, so I’m ready to kick off my shoes and break out my M42 lens adapter and the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon and go for a long walk.

I think it’s been more than two years consecutively since I’ve had an academic break. It’s been so long I don’t remember and I think I hit burnout about 3 years ago. I’m so glad it’s almost over! The academic and the artist have been battling it out for years now, and I’m happy to say, the artist is winning.


Sailing the Savage Seas of Suck

I don’t remember a crazier time in my life than the past 6 months.

I’ve been dealing with a dying family member, the hospitalization of one of my children, an ongoing legal situation that has drawn on for more than 3 years, and 9 months of freezing cold “Arctic showers”, thanks to a rickety old water heater.

Believe me when I say, those cold showers are no joke. I’m not at liberty to expound on any of the (aforementioned) scenarios- save the water heater- but suffice to say, this year has already damn near killed me.

But, you know what they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger bitter as hell! 🙂

Just kidding.
(Sort of.)

But really, thankfully, we’ve finally been able to replace the water heater and are at long last taking scalding hot showers once again. The legal situation seems to be coming to an end, my child has made a miraculous recovery, and life seems to be slowly stabilizing once again, making me believe that it just might be doable. What’s made everything particularly challenging is the fact that I’ve battled through all of these things tackling 5 classes as well. The 5 classes alone are enough to take someone down, but combined with everything else, it’s really tested me to the fullest.

As long as I can come through it all with some compassion left in my heart and serenity in my soul- I really can’t ask for more than that. Understandably, I blew an exam in one of my Psych. classes- (unacceptable!)- but still have 4 strong A’s in my remaining 4 classes, so I’ll be working extra hard to repair my grade in my Psychology of Personality course. My GPA is still right at 3.6, but I’m working hard to try and boost that up to a 3.8 before applying to grad. school over the next few weeks.

I’ve been working hard trying to complete all of my requirements (on the side) for the Society of Leadership and Success, and I’m 3 small projects away from being fully inducted. Afterwards, I’ll be able to take advantage of most of the Society’s scholarships. I’m racing against so many deadlines! I’ll be graduating in May, so I’m continually racing against this merciless clock- and the world seems to be spinning so fast. The days are just flying by.

I’m so busy that I haven’t been able to go out on a proper photo shoot, except for the picnic at Spring Mill Park last weekend that Josh and I were able to take with Brianna. She’s been staying with us for the past week and I’ve been so happy to have my little girl back, if even for a few days. Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences is going remarkably well; I can’t believe I have an A in the class still. On that note, I can’t believe I’m still making the Dean’s List so far this semester. I’m almost at the halfway point: I just have to keep hanging in there. I nabbed a shot of a few (mock) soldiers out at the Pioneer Village on Saturday; it would have been better if the modern-day cars weren’t included in the shot, but I don’t have time to clone them out right now. Still, it’s a cool shot. And that super furry dude isn’t Wild Bill Hickok, it’s Josh, with his winter beard that I love.

The last of the snow- taken last week
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Josh, overlooking the Ohio River at a restaurant called “The Overlook”
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View of the Ohio River at the Overlook
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Spring Mill Park/Lensbaby Composer/ f/5.6- manual- Feb. 20- Pioneers
Pioneers
Note to self: clone out those cars!
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Josh and Brianna on our picnic
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Josh, in the Weaver’s House- Pioneer Village
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One of my favourite pics of Josh ever- love that BG.
MJ1


One Semester to Go

I’m pretty excited that I only have one semester remaining before obtaining my bachelor’s degree in psychology. I’m almost there!

Here are just a few of the obstacles I’ve overcome since my academic journey began 5 years ago:

  • Dropped out due to chest pains and stress- 2010
  • Asked for $1,200 school debt to be forgiven so I could return (It was.)
  • Had a breakdown and had to temporarily withdraw 2011
  • House’s foundation crumbled/flooded due to freak thunderstorm/flood- causing my children and I to be homeless- 2012
  • Car accident which caused me to have to drop 1/2 my classes- 2013
  • Filed appeal to have balance deferred so I could complete AA degree
  • Filed (full) refund appeal for math course-2014 (won the appeal)
  • Filed another appeal to have 6 classes (erroneously added) removed from remaining course load (won the appeal)

It’s definitely been an uphill battle, and what should have taken me many more years to complete, I was able to complete in just 3 years. (Associates degree in Behavioral Sciences and a CPC/Certification in Substance Abuse.)

I’ve worked so hard and have fought through hell and back to be able to get to this point- relentlessly– and can finally see the finish line just ahead. My final semester begins in two weeks; and my last 5 courses are:

  • Marine Biology (Bio. elective)
  • Psychology of Personality (Psych)
  • Sensation and Perception (Psych)
  • Senior Seminar/Capstone Project
  • And that damn Statistics class

After I graduate in May (2016), I’ll have the summer off before beginning my Master’s in Forensic Psychology. Things are looking pretty good. 🙂 I received all A’s last semester so this next semester, it will be extremely important to make mostly A’s as well so that I can get into my Master’s program.

The years are flying by! Another year is gone. This year was the hardest year of my life. I have no doubt that 2016 will be a much better year on many levels.

I’m coming for you Bipolar Barbie-Q!

Early edit from 2009, from my Photoshopping days (friend’s daughter)

TheDayTheEarthDiedforNoe_zsyz7n2xrx


IU East: You Rock my Socks!

I’m sitting here in a semi-daze, stunned. I’m not used to receiving phenomenally good news. Actually, it’s usually the opposite. Life has been a little crazy lately. As I previously mentioned, I’ve had to file several appeals with my university, because I was initially told that almost 90 credit hours would be accepted as transfers-in. That would’ve meant that I could’ve graduated in May of 2016- a bit earlier than what would’ve been considered “standard”. (By about a year.) So I was pretty excited by that news a year ago, and that was part of the reason why I chose my school: IU East. It’s a top-notch school- one of the best in the state, in fact.

So again, when my adviser told me (only 4 months ago) that my previous advisers had made a mistake, and that they would now have to take away almost 30 of my credit hours, I lost it, understandably. I don’t have $11,000 for the remaining credit hours. Plus, it would’ve meant that I would have had to put off my graduation date by another year. Needless to say, all of this has taken away my academic shine and I began thinking that taking a year off was probably in store for me in the immediate future. In short, I was disenchanted altogether- to say the least.

My adviser told me that she had tried to plead with the graduation board on my behalf, but came back with the news that they “never make an exception”. I may as well not even try, and count my losses with my wins along the way in this academic journey. And, for a little while, I felt myself giving up. I just didn’t have it in me to put up a fight, really. At least, in the beginning. But as time drew on, I became angry. I couldn’t believe that a school could commit such an egregious oversight and tell me to clean up the mess, as it were. It just didn’t seem fair!

Really, I was supposed to contact my adviser and go through that channel. But when things get serious, I like to handle matters myself. So, I filed an appeal. I didn’t even tell my adviser. I just did it. I pleaded my case and provided documents to substantiate my claims. And then I waited.

That was several weeks ago. I had already decided to drop my Statistics course a few weeks ago, and then filed a refund appeal, because I felt my professor was entirely incompetent. I lost the appeal due to “insufficient evidence”, although I provided the committee with 9 accompanying documents. Perhaps that was a bit much. Live and learn!

That was an $800 loss, no biggie. So when  I checked my school email today, I wasn’t expecting to find what I did. I heard back from the 2nd appeal committee and they relayed to me that they had decided to make an exception (!) and shaved 6 classes off of my advising worksheet/audit, meaning, instead of needing to take 11 more classes to graduate, right now, I only need 5. This is a huge victory!

From what I know, this has never happened in the history of this school. It’s unbelievable. That will save me roughly $6,000- $7,000 off my tuition. I have a total of $4,100 for my spring semester, so that means that I’ll need to pitch in a grand or so for my remaining class, and if I push for the summit and take 5 classes in the spring (January-May of 2016), I’ll be able to graduate with my B.S. in Psychology then, in May, and begin working on my Master’s in Forensic Psychology the following semester, in August of 2016.

This is the best news I’ve received in a long time. 🙂

And I have to say it: IU East, you just changed my entire life’s course. THANK YOU.

And Al, if you’re reading this, a million thank you’s for encouraging me to file that appeal. You have no idea how much I appreciate your support. And, I wish you much continued success in the future and have no doubt that you’ll continue having many more successful solo exhibits. 😉

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It’s Pure Madness: And I Love It

So I’ve just gone over my syllabi for the semester: I’m cramming 4 months of classes into 6 weeks. That alone is madness.

My work for this week constitutes the following:

5 chapters in Forensic Anthropology
5 chapters in The Human Bone Manual
1 study guide that requires the memorization of the names and locations of 100+ bones in the human body
2 videos
5 Powerpoints/Lectures
Multiple discussion board postings + citations, etc.
2 quizzes

And that’s just one class.

Multiply that times 2 and then you know what I’m up against.

But I love it. 🙂

(See you when I come up for air!)

xo


Chasing Rabbits (and Big Dreams)

I read an article the other day in which a woman said, “A person who chases two rabbits at the same time catches neither in the end.” Thanks Taylor Swift.

It’s 4:10 a.m. and I’m just getting out of the shower. My head is throbbing again; I’m trying to stave off another migraine. I haven’t had a head-smasher in about 6 weeks- that’s a record for me! I ate en entire bag of Swedish Fish though and it’s trying to bite me in the ass: sugar is the enemy! (And I’m slightly addicted to Swedish Fish.)

I’m fresh out of Ambien; hence my insomnia. I was too lazy to go to the doctor, so…here I sit, editing pics and contemplating my future in the early wee morning hours! And on that note, I’m pretty sure I’m only 15 credit hours away from receiving my Bachelor’s in psychology. I have almost 100 credit hours so far; I’m pretty stoked about that. 🙂

I’ve decided that I’m going to try and get into Indiana University Southeast’s Master’s-to-PhD Clinical Psychology program in another year or so. Once I get my foot in the door- it’s a given- I’ll be in. So, it’s crucial that I keep my grades up because the competition in grad. schools is fierce! I’m going to have to really up my game when that time comes. Staying on the Dean’s List is very important. I raise the bar super high for myself so that if I don’t meet my standards and end up falling short, I’ll still succeed. And, I’m thinking about getting a dual Master’s degree- one in Clinical psychology and one in Social Work (M.S.W.); I’m going to need all of the extra tools in my bag that I can get. I’m betting that if I get a master’s degree in social work and a master’s in clinical psychology (minoring in forensic psych.) as well as my PhD in Clinical- I’ll be set. So, that’s what I’m aiming for. It’s ambitious as hell, but I’m an ambitious kinda gal.

In other news, I’m shocked (but not really) that Doggy Daddy hasn’t even requested to see his dog (or spend time with him) – not even once. 😦 It’s heart breaking. Who could walk away from a baby this cute?!

Chance

I really shouldn’t be surprised. Same thing, different year. On the other side of the coin though, it’s given Chance and I time to bond even more. I’ve had to fill in the gap and really make sure that he (my dog) isn’t suffering in Doggy Daddy’s absence. And, he’s not. But don’t let me get started on THAT.

Life has been super quiet lately. I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed the peace and quiet and the restoration of sanity in general. It hasn’t been easy! My heart is still raw and I’m still confused and bewildered that Josh and I aren’t even friends any more- we don’t speak. At all. It’s…very weird. But I suppose that’s how it has to be. I’m alright with it. As much as I want to divulge all sorts of juicy tidbits here, I’ll refrain. I don’t owe that man one more thing, but I do owe him the decency of not railing on him if he’s not here to defend himself. I’ll give him that. 

Sometimes, it’s a struggle to find my peace and smile throughout the day. I wrestle to do that in the wake of such a hideous breakup. (Then again, it’s only been a little over a month since parting ways.) But I know that I’m capable of great love and great compassion. If I were to lose those two components within me, I’d be nothing. So those are the things that I strive to hold onto more than anything: my love and compassion for my fellow human being. Generally, that’s not hard for me to do, love. But breaking up with the love of your life has a way of destroying innocent things and feelings; it pollutes beauty, and in the end, can leave a thick, evil feeling in your heart. It can be a real battle just to breathe sweet air again- but thank God those feelings don’t last. For some people, they actually become those feelings, until they’re hateful rotten shells of their former selves.

But I know me, and I know my heart. I’ll come out of this a winner. Stronger in love for it. 🙂

I’m not quite there yet! But I will be. And I can still smile and feel like a child inside. That’s a precious thing to me. Life is still sweet. ♥

Tell it to my Heart
Spring break is officially over and I have to get started soon on my 7 page term paper/literature review on OCD.

Short term goal: finishing my term paper
Long term goal: becoming a doctor/psychologist

One day at a time.


Substance Use vs. Abuse

So I’m studying all of the psychoactive drug groups and their accompanying behavioral properties in my Behavioral Neuroscience class, and I came across a fallacy in my instructor’s PowerPoint Presentation. She had written this:

Substance abuse = a pattern in which a person relies on a drug chronically and excessively for the psychological and behavioral changes the drug produces.

I can’t tell you how much I disagree with that statement/definition. That defines substance use, not abuse. By that definition alone, that would mean that every person who counts on his or her daily antidepressant to make those necessary biochemical, physiological changes in both their brains and behaviors are “addicts”. This is so untrue.

Keeping in mind that I have my CPC in Substance Abuse (from Vincennes University), I’ve created my own definition of substance abuse, and it’s as follows:

Substance abuse= destructive behaviors that accompany the drug-user in which he and others are affected in negative ways.

Very simple.

Just because somebody takes a drug regularly- with hopes of behavioral and psychological changes (even chronically/daily or “excessively”)- does not make that person a substance abuser.  The word “excessively” is a tricky one because what is excessive to one person will not be to another. Some people take one Ibuprofin- some take 5. Every person’s body is different and each person’s drug use is both circumstantial and situational. I think we really need to be careful labeling a person as a drug abuser if he or she continues taking a drug for holistic/homeopathic, and or medicinal reasons.

Back to your scheduled program. 🙂

(Don’t worry peeps- it’s only toilet paper from a ‘toilet paper challenge” I hosted at a photo site once.) 
TokeUp


My Beautiful Life

Money isn’t the answer to life’s problems, but it sure does help.

Josh and I are in a really good place right now. We’ve been doing some deep work on our relationship. What would have ruined us emotionally a year ago, we’re able to talk through and make emotional compromises and sacrifices. It’s amazing what a few well-placed rules can do for your relationship!

We’ve integrated a few, simple rules into our relationship that we hold in high regard. Our first one is: never interrupt. Before I began studying psychology (5 years ago), I was unaware of how much I interrupted people. I would focus on their subject, and before long, without even realizing it, my thoughts would bounce around like popcorn- and I was jumping into their sentences with similar experiences or something “pertinent” I thought would add to the conversation. And not to excuse myself, but this is not an uncommon thing for many people. Few people have the mental and emotional restraint to hold back their thoughts until there is an empty space in the conversation. And not to be sexist, but men do seem to be able to master this artful skill more successfully than women.

I guess my son, Brian, helped me also more than he’s even aware of. In an argument once (our only “email battle” that we’ve ever had), he accused me of being a narcissist. These days, this is a common slag against parents. I’ve read kids saying their parent is a narcissist many times lately. At first, I was angry when I read it. But then I came to the conclusion that in his anger or not, he still made the statement for a reason. Would he ever accuse me of being a kangaroo if he were angry? Of course not! it’s not on the radar because I’m not a kangaroo and it’s obvious. But the very fact that he did call me a narcissist- even in anger- and the fact that it made me angry to read that tells me that there was some level of truth to it. It wasn’t my truth, but it was his.

When he stated that, I immediately dismissed it as youthful arrogance on his part. What does he know? He’s all of 18! But then later, in the quiet chambers of my mind, I dissected myself. Do I try to make things about me? When he’s talking about his life, do I try to make it about my life suddenly? How often do I talk about myself? How often do I mention my own situations and experiences when he’s discussing his? And how often do I interrupt others?

These were some troubling questions that actually scared me when pondering. I couldn’t deny that he was right- to some degree. Looking back, I’m so glad he said that to me. I needed the reprimand. What it caused me to do was to become more aware of other peoples’ experiences and each person’s unique “voice”. I’ve worked very hard at this since he’s pointed it out. I’m mindful- always- of not interrupting others and I’m more careful now.

So, back to Josh and I. We’ve been working on some potential land mines that had the power to rip us apart. Through our careful navigation, we’ve been able to better communicate and show care and attentiveness while the other is talking. And again, it’s amazing how that one little rule (to never interrupt) has transformed our relationship- entirely. We seldom argue any more. It’s a beautiful thing. :0)

Also, for the first time in many years, we’re in a really good financial place! We’ve been able to pay off all of our credit cards and put back more than $1,500 in savings. We only use one of our credit cards actively, the rest are 100% payed down and we’re choosing to simply “garden” them- leaving them untouched. We may live in a mobile home, but darn it- we own it. Our home and car are payed for. Also, being home owners comes with additional perks.

We picked up a 40 inch flat widescreen for our bedroom wall, so now we have this enormous queen sized bed with a gajillion pillows on it and a really awesome widescreen on the wall at the end of the bed. Also, I’ve just ordered a new Lensbaby Composer (kit) + a Super Tak SMC 28 MM/3.5 and a Carl Zeiss 35/2.4- 3 new lenses! Life is pretty damn good right now.

Brian is spending the night here with his girlfriend, Amanda, so I’m off to make some ribeyes and collard greens + toasted whole grain baguettes (with EVOO + pink Himilayan sea salt and assorted fresh cracked green, pink, and black peppercorns, of course!).

Yeah, life is really good right now. 🙂


Psych on Psych

red

I’m in the best mood in the world today. I’ve dropped Social Psychology (as I’ve already taken it on the 200 level last year) and have replaced it with Cognitive Psychology. Therefore, my two courses this spring will be Cognitive Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience.

I guess I’m in such a good mood because I found out that I’m only 8 courses away from receiving my B.S. in Psychology. EIGHT. This changes my “take two years off” plans just a bit. I thought I was still 20+ classes away but dang. I’m almost there.

So then, I’m still going to be taking a break this semester (for me, that means going half-time rather than full-time) and then this fall, after having the entire summer off, I’ll jump back in full-time (4 classes) and do the same thing in the spring of ’16 and then voila! I’ll have my bachelor’s. As I’ve already stated, I made the Dean’s List last semester, so if I’m able to maintain that throughout the next year, I’ll have my pick (pretty much) for my Master’s program. Making the Dean’s List is not just about ego! It’s “academic security”. Why would anybody want to work in a factory line when they can have an office?

Another thing I’m considering is Anthropology. I was raised on Nat. Geo.’s and so that stuff is in my blood. I’m a closet sociologist so I’m entertaining the idea of working on a Master’s in Anthropology with a concentration in Sociology. Either that, or I’ll stick it out in Psychology and work on my Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, specializing in OCD neuroses and perhaps choose to freelance- working with hoarders and other OCD-based disorders or even “Skype-therapy”. Here’s my personal theory: going in to a clinical environment (i.e. therapist’s “office” with motivational posters on the wall) will produce “clinical results”. It’s comfortable to the therapist, because he or she spends a great deal of time there. They eat there, they write there, they chart the patients there. But for the patient, or “client” (so very 2015 and politically correct), it’s a foreign environment and it makes one feels as if they’re sitting in their Aunt Ida’s bedroom, being uncomfortably interrogated. Why not spend an hour of that patient’s time in an environment where he or she is comfortable and better able to express themselves? These days, the average person spends much of their free time either on their cell phones or laptops- which means- the average person spends much of his or her free time in any area of a social media platform: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. or texting.

My last 3 visits to the doctor proved my theory (sort of) in that 75 % of all people were on their cell phones for the duration of my wait in the waiting room. 75! Those people won’t likely be reading a book or putting puzzles together in their spare time. They’ll be on their cell phones or laptops at home too. So why not focus on a therapy program that allows people to log in on Skype for an hour? I know that this type of therapy does exist already, but it’s in its infancy. People need face time with therapists- I agree. But going to meet a therapist, whom you’ve never before met, and sitting in a sterile environment is very much like going on a blind date and going straight back to the date’s house; it might be pretty uncomfortable. People like to “build up” to that stage. Why does therapy have to be different? We’re dealing with psychologically and emotionally fragile people (for the most part). Being a former patient, I can tell you it’s damn uncomfortable going to a therapist’s office and her asking straightaway, “Why are you here? What do you expect to get out of therapy?”

Future therapists: Don’t ever say this to your clients! it’s pretty off putting. Better to tell them that you’re glad to see them and explain what YOU hope to gain from meeting with them (so that they might feel welcome and comfortable) and it also gives the client an idealistic outline or shape of what they can expect. I digress.

So yes. Skype therapy for perhaps the first 5 sessions so that the client can feel comfortable before taking that next step of “leaving their house to go to a therapist’s office”. Walking in on a cold call visit, basically, can heighten anxiety in itself. Skyping first would build a structurally sound foundation of trust so that the client would know what to expect to some degree. Why hasn’t the psychological world realized this and integrated it into their practicum/interum already? As I mentioned, it’s in its infancy still, so I’m in a good place to better explore this area academically. I wouldn’t mind doing my own investigative surveys on the subject in the future.

Any way it goes, I’m really close to obtaining my bachelor’s so I’ve got a new found desire to push on, and I’m excited about it. Bipolar Barbie- if you’re reading this, don’t look over your shoulder cause I’m right behind you! 🙂

Another reason I’m in such a good mood is that I’m now sleeping in the most awesome bed in the world. It feels like I’m floating on clouds all night; the mattress is a pillow top, but still firm. It’s pure heaven! And it doesn’t hurt having a human meat pillow that’s as gorgeous as Josh too…

Josh guitar