Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Let's Hear it for the Boys

One thing that I really love is that guys read this blog.  Men.  Boys.  Dudes.  I'll stick with the original--guys.

My law school dudes

I am....oh no....the one in the bright pink in the middle-ground.  Surrounded by men.  

Running with dudes

Freezing cold with dudes

Dancing with Wolves.  I mean, Running with Guys

One reason is because I feel it is some sort of validation that this woman's running blog doesn't fall into the same category as women's running blogs that regularly entertain topics like vanity, fashion, weight loss, how to be skinny by eating a pickle salad, how to look cute while running, how to maximize the number of running apparel items that can have sparkles on them, running skirts, "running for chocolate and champagne", blah blah blah.

Shut up, put on a cotton Hanes t-shirt, eat a burger, and run.  Veggie-burgers count.

Men obviously can use running for weight loss or weight control as well, and perhaps sometimes men care about fashion or good-looking running gear, so I don't mean that these aspects of women's running blogs are a strictly female stereotype.

But I do stereotype women as having more emotional red flags relating to food, appearance, weight, and their running, which makes for unhealthy, not-fun, bad role-model running/health blogs (at least when the author is in denial or not seeking help).  No matter how you cut it, taking 6 pictures of your food for every unremarkable meal is disordered.  You have a camera-compulsion disorder, or an eating disorder.   Okay, OR, food photography is your passion.  I guess some healthy version of that could exist.

See, when I first found "running blogs", all of them were written by women, and they were all primarily a "healthy diary" blog.  They posted about their running, their yoga, and took a lot of pictures of their food.  I think I found Eat, Live, Run first.  No disrespect at all, but I don't read that blog anymore (it is a recipe blog these days and I don't cook), nor do I read any of the healthy-running-food-diary blogs that I had started with.

Point is, when I did, I don't recall seeing any men comment, and so I assume men don't read exercise-running-green-smoothie-diet-diary-girl blogs.  

And the more that men read my blog, the more I feel a comforting buffer between this blog and the I'm-a-girl-look-at-my-lunch-and-my-sweaty-smile blog.

(Just to cover my butt from hurting anyone's feelings, I do enjoy a lot of blogs that include pictures of food amongst other (much more) interesting content.  It's called scrolling.  Scroll on past the food pictures).

Another reason I love that guys read this blog is because...I don't know how to explain this...but it makes me feel more a part of a real running community.  When I show up at races, there are men everywhere.  Men are clearly dedicated runners, just as much as women.  In fact, in not so ancient history, men were 100% of the people running at races.  So it feels more balanced to see that some of them are also excited enough about the sport to be a blog writer/reader on the subject too.



Dude, dude, dude, me.


Anyway, I was thinking about this today, because I received the best email ever from a relatively new reader.  He is a guy.  He occasionally asks ME for advice, and somehow, a guy asking ME for running advice just makes me smile (despite the fact that I am a pretty bad person to ask for valuable running advice--see my last post about how I don't really follow any rules....)

--A couple other running things--

Due to a tragedy at the laundromat over the weekend, in which a dryer machine like, burned all of my clothes into a barbie-sized crisp, I need to go on a shopping spree.  All my running clothes now smell like charred cloth and don't fit.  I hate spending money on running clothes.  That crap is not cheap.  This would be a good time for one of those companies that I loathe for feasting off bloggers at the utter boredom of blog readers to hook me up with some free running shorts.  Desperate times call for desperate measures...

I'm still planning to run a trail half marathon this approaching Sunday, but.....I don't have trail shoes.  How big of a mistake is this?  I'm considering wearing my trail hiking shoes -- these innov8 shoes.

Run in these -- yay or nay?

 I will be stoked if I come in under 1:45, these trails look like no joke.

Anyway, thank you, boys, for reading!  I really mean it.

43 comments:

  1. You should come run Saturday's Skirt & Dirt as a warm-up for your trail race. ;) I'm doing the 25k!

    I never thought about what it would mean to have dudes read my blog, and that IS super cool! You are a real runner, duh. :)

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  2. Hilarious post as usual Roserunner!

    And even though I'm a guy, I don't deserve any special kudos for reading your blog lol. I read because you are hilarious.

    And for your trail half marathon, I would just wear your regular running shoes. I run a lot on trails and just wear my regular running shoes

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  3. I do understand what you mean about guys and being taken seriously. I tend to get treated very differently from other women around me...I never know whether to see this as negative or not but guys seem to talk to me as if I'm just another bloke, or else their little brother, as opposed to all of the flirting and teasing they do with (particularly thin and pretty, but I would describe you as both so perhaps it's down to my perception) women. I suppose I'd rather be a bit less 'feminine' or whatever than simper around in pink sparkly leg warmers and be all 'tee-hee' about my running.

    You run with the guys primarily because you're so damn fast that few women keep up with you (reminds me of when Paula Radcliffe had to run with male pacers for ages because there weren't any women good enough...cost her a world record though) and therefore you earn men's respect. Although given that I'm also of the female persuasion, I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing you leave so many guys in your dust while running.

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  4. I like this. I'm a super girly girl in real life, I love to shop, wear makeup, etc. when it comes to running, that is not important to me. I usually wear pink when I run, but I don't like to spend time reading/blogging about $20 headbands and I don't "do" running skirts. It also puzzles me when bloggers photograph these green smoothies in a bowl- why do you eat a smoothie in a bowl? I make a protein smoothie after a run or hard workout but don't really think its particularly yummy or exciting. I also love running races near men, they are super supportive and encouraging.
    It's usually in July so it's probably over, but Dicks has a great 'tent sale' where I get my running clothes. Everything is always at least half off and made of wicking materials. I really enjoy the v split shorts on east bay, they run about $15.

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  5. We have a large community of trail runners where I live (Chattanooga, TN). Innov8s are one of the more popular trail running shoes here. I have that exact same pair myself. :)

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  6. You're welcome! I often use guys too. But one thing that's changed for me is the usage of "girls". I only used it to refer to females that had not reached puberty. Then during spin class, and workouts, and at races, and reading blogs, and watching race coverage on the internet, I heard women referring to themselves and other women as "girls". Maybe they maybe mentally spelled it with a z on the end, girlz. Or without an i, grlz.

    In any case, it was the word they used themselves to refer to themselves. Sometimes I hear boys, but but not often. Usually it's men. And "guys" is gradually becoming a term to refer to a group of men and women. "Hey guys, transition opens in half an hour, go get a cup of coffee and come back then." Note the subtle difference between "Hey guys, the washrooms are in the main building there" and "Hey, the guys washrooms are in the main building over there." English is still a work in progress, I guess.

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  7. I have a bunch of guys that read my blog too, and quite a few have emailed me for route tips or climbing questions, and I don't know...i like it too :) Makes me feel more legit or something

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  8. To be fair, if I ran in a cotton Hanes T-shirt in the summer in DC, I would be hauling around sweat-soaked cotton and chafe everywhere. Nasty. So given that, I don't mind reading blog posts about women's running clothing from a functional standpoint, since I'm always looking for better socks/shorts/sports bras. But I don't really care to read about how the clothes are "cute," I care about how they'll make me more comfortable while I run.

    Also, bravo, Keith. WOMEN. Not "girls."

    Anyway, I understand what you mean about liking how men read your blog, too, because that indicates you are putting out content about running and training and racing in general, not just "women's running." Which you are.

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  9. I've contacted RunningSkirts.com and they are going to replace your running wardrobe immediately - just email them your size and your promise to describe, in detail, how cute you feel and look in the skirts. Ok no, I didn't do that - but I did tweet Oiselle saying that you burned your favourite shorts and that they should hook you up with a discount code. You never know right?

    PS - i put pictures of food on my blog today...just for you.

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  10. Many people wear regular running shoes on trail runs, it works fine (particularly in summer when everything is drier and you're unlikely to be forging streams and such). But you should use an older pair, not your best, because they will get very dirty. It pains me to see people in shiny new shoes at the beginning of a trail run!

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  11. Since when do women runners need to be or feel validated by having guys read about them? And I've never known an effort at running to be made less worthwhile because of what the runner was wearing, sparkly or not. All runners should support each other, women runners should be supporting other women runners not feeling more "legit" because men, guys, dudes look their way for whatever reason. Maybe this post is just hitting me the wrong way first thing in the morning before my coffee etc etc but it seems to be a dangerous concept to compare one blog to another, one runner to another, and declare you like one because guys reading it gives it a different value. IMHO.

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    1. No persons running is less worthwhile because of what they wear, no one is more legit than anyone else. I agree with that. But I do totally compare my blog to others, and often....don't know how to avoid that. I am only appreciating the fact that I have a dozen male readers, maybe by virtue of being less sparkly.

      Sorry this post hit you the wrong way! I really do love all runners, but I don't love all bloggers, and sometimes that judgment comes out!

      (also, ew, I hope no one thought this was about men "looking my way". This was about them reading my written words, and I am happy for that)

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    2. I had my coffee and re-read the post...I get yout points better now. ;)

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    3. No worries, I appreciated your original input too!

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  12. I see what you're saying. It's not because of gender, necessarily, but I think there's a distinct divide between vanity running - running exclusively because it burns a lot of calories and is a so-called "healthy, exercise-y" thing to do - and running for the sake of it. The vanity thing, sadly, seems to appeal more to women. The running for the sake of it - getting better, challenging yourself, maybe even winning age group awards or winning races outright - is more of a gender-neutral thing. Yeah, "serious" runners burn calories too, and might be vain, and might even be trying to drop a few pounds (often to get faster rather than to look even cuter in that sparkly tutu) but the mindset is entirely different.

    I follow a lot of those healthy smoothie oatmeal blogs out of morbid curiosity. I follow you and a ton of other male and female bloggers because I enjoy reading people who are into the same things I am and are down to earth about it, not all "ZOMG let me tell you how to be healthy and perfect like meeeeeee!!!" Guys read my blog too, but because I'm fat and slow, it's more of a "mentoring this new person" vibe than "let me get advice from you because you are clearly awesome" vibe. Still, I guarantee you most of those guys are NOT reading sparkly pants oatmeal picture blogs.

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  13. I never wear trail shoes on trails because I'm el cheapo and refuse to buy a pair. I wear my trainers and I run on trails twice a week. If I race on them I might wear flats. Come to think of it, I've never even owned a pair of trail shoes. Do they make that much of a difference?

    I've also had that same thought about the food pictures as you do. I wonder what the deal is. Why do SO many girls feel the need to post their meals 2-3 times a day? I honestly thought maybe it is the worrisome mother side of me that is so concerned so I'm glad you pointed it out. I just don't get it.

    Also, when I saw this post title and your first pic I thought "Your milkshake brings all the boys to the yard....!" lol.

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  14. If your trail is relatively smooth and not particularly steep, then your regular running shoes should be fine. In my experience, the two major differences between trail and road shoes are that trail shoes have a lot more traction (although this is only true in varying degrees, some trail shoes have little traction) and trail shoes offer more underfoot protection from rocks, stones, sticks, etc. (usually in the form of a rock plate or a ton o' cushioning. Or both). I've heard good things about Inov8, so go with it if you think the trail warrants a beefier shoe than your normal running shoes.

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  15. I love you RR, but this point hits me in a spot that feels weird. I feel like women are often looking for men for validation or affirmation that they are legit and that this is part of the reason there's such a glass ceiling. It's like we like being the "only woman" that can run this fast or can be serious/successful at our job.

    And then we forget to support other women and pull them up and mentor them. Maybe I'm taking things too seriously here with this post, but I think as a super fast and super successful woman you're a role model to a lot of people including guys. Just make sure to take their admiration equally seriously :).

    Sorry for being uberpreachy.

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    1. No, I love YOU Margot! Not preachy, thanks for alerting me to this possible interpretation of this post.

      I should restate: men do NOT validate me here, as a runner, as a person, etc. The fact that some read here is just refreshing for me to know that I can attain a broader audience. Because with the flower wallpaper and the blond hair and all, this looks like a pretty boring girly blog at first glance. It makes me so happy that some men choose to stick around, and also so happy about the MUCH greater percentage of women who stick around. I guess I take the women support for granted, which is why I posted about men reading and not women...

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  16. I think you've hit on an interesting point here. I referred my friend (a MAN) to various running blogs I read. His response was, "How come all of the comments are from women? Do you read any blogs written by men?" And I do, but I have to admit that I probably follow more female than male bloggers. Maybe it comes from a subconscious desire to see myself in them? Consciously though, it's probably because I'm lazy and just stumbled upon a group of blogs that were written by women. Anyway, my point (and I do have one) is I never even noticed theses gender discrepancies in blogs. And so I can understand where you're coming from when you feel pleased that a more diverse audience reads your blog.

    I echo everyone's sentiment re: trail shoes. You don't need them unless your regular shoes lack tread. Don't wear those hiking shoes. They look heavy and your legs will want to kill you by the end of the first mile. Re: running clothes. REI is having a big Labor Day sale coming up. Also, I just bought stuff from Running Warehouse and was super pleased with the free overnight shipping and free returns. I used coupon code MANIACD and saved 15% too! (I swear they did not pay me to write this.)

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    1. Running Warehouse also carries Oiselle, maybe they'll have your shorts? I've ordered from them with no problems.

      Sports Basement usually has awesome deals -- just picked up a singlet for $10, and shorts are going for super cheap too. If you say you're from a local running club, you get 10 percent off. (I am not OFFICIALLY advocating that you should say you're in a club that you aren't in, but ... I used to belong to a slew of clubs, so if you want club names for store discounts I'll give them to you.)

      Ross, T.J. Maxx and Marshall's have great brand-name gear, I buy 99% of ALL my clothes -- not just run clothes -- from those three shops.

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    2. Sesa, Jen, you rock you rock you rock, thank you for having my back!

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    3. I have a 10% discount code for Oiselle posted on my blog and I've had luck ordering their stuff from Running Warehouse or Amazon as well. Their shorts are on the expensive side, but I feel you get what you pay for... Marshall's and TJ Maxx are great places to find cheap activewear, as well as Kohl's (as they always have tons of coupons, Kohl's cash, etc.)

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  17. If I had to distill the first part of this post down into a Sparknotes, it would look something like, "Check me out in these pictures, so down with the guys, cooler than other girls!"

    No discerning reader will ever confuse you with a sparkly oatmeal blogger. Your posts seem to attract a variety of reasonable and intelligent readers/runners, which is evident from a cursory glance of the comments section. I'm having a hard time understanding why it matters if the commenters are male or female. (Also, I love that we can always count on you to stir the pot with stuff like this.)

    As for the trail race, I've done lots of runs on trails/mountains in regular trainers. Getting into a zone with your foot placement seems way more important than the shoes. And I bet if your past running performances are anything to go by, you are about to discover a latent talent as a trail runner...

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    1. hahaha. My Sparknotes is terrible! I'm not cooler than other girls, I promise you that, and I had to do some digging to find those pictures amongst pictures of me with women. I always try and find pictures that fit the theme of a post. But, you know what, I totally get why I earned that Sparknotes. It can be read as annoying, thanks for hitting me with some honesty.

      I have about a dozen male readers. Comments are 97% by women, so I absolutely notice when I get one from a guy. That's why it matters. And I am glad that they are joining in. That's all!

      A zone with my foot placement...that sounds important. I really don't want to fall and break any body parts.

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  18. Just discovered your blog. amazing. love the lack of recipes and diet secrets. you rock.

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    1. Kate! it looks like you have a blog too!? I'll have to check it out...

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  19. Interesting post! Obviously there's no denying that women (ahem, not "girls") are the prime demographic for this blog and most others in this genre. Your blog, primarily because you are damn fast and very funny, probably appeals to men more. Plus, you're hot - lets not forget that men are probably more likely to read a blog of a tall, blonde athletic runner than say...well, anyone else.

    That being said...I'm really quite happy with my blog appealing to women more than men. I'm not looking for a date (happily married), validation (just happy) and I prefer to read the blogs of other women 90% of the time, so I like the female community more.

    Okay, stepping off my soapbox. I like this post and the comments so far!

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    1. Love this post and comments. Maybe some men are more likely to read a blog of a tall athletic runner, and I admit, I've got Jacqui Gordon on my blogroll. But really, what I'm looking for is good writing, talking about whatever the blog author wants to talk about. Some people can make a laundry list, or a recipe, or a dirty diaper, or a 5 K race report absolutely fascinating. And yes 5 of the bloggers on my blog roll that I can think of off hand have had babies in the last couple years. Yes, their blogs changed, and certainly dropped in update frequency, but they are still interesting writers. Generally a blog that I follow long term has a variety of stuff on it, because our lives are mostly variety. Funny is good, but nobody can be funny all the time, and it goes sour (not SUAR) if it's forced.

      The other thing is that at least on the general fitness front, there seem to be more female than male bloggers. 39 to 18 on my blogroll, and some of the men are not from the fitness pool. And being honest, most of the women are better writers.

      More on the boys/girls front. If the two are used together "boys over there, girls over there, get a move on!" I'm ok with it. But I can't help but sense that when girls is used, even by other women, there is a diminutive sense about it. "Just us girls." That's just wrong. And in today's time constricted world, you'll note that all the male synonyms are 1 syllable: boys, men, male, sir, lord, duke, king, vs two syllables or a longer feminized word, girls, women, female, ma'am or madam (gawd who would dare use that in mixed company now, and yet it's the formal term!) , lady, duchess, queen. There are probably more examples.

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  20. I'm a guy and enjoy your blog! Actually, I didn't even know it was a women's running blog - I just found your blog interesting with some funny stories about running. Keep up the great work and look forward to reading more.

    Chris
    amplifytoday.com

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  21. What is this pickle salad you mentioned that is going to make me skinny. I'd love to know more about that...

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    1. Seriously, as I was reading this post, my brain went, "blah blah guys blah blah running PICKLE SALAD WAIT IS THAT A THING IT SOUNDS DELICIOUS."

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    2. Hahaha. I think it involves lettuce, and then pickles. If you were extra good and ran 22 miles that day, you can add pepper and salsa. Delicious? I don't know. I suggest if you love pickles, have some on the side with your....real meal.

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  22. Your welcome for reading! Lol....thank you for writing. I have to admit when I first discovered the running blog world I did not realize that it was mainly dominated by women until a couple of weeks into it...by then I was hooked. It would be cool to find more men sites out there but it does seem to be 10% or less of the running blogs....

    My biggest fustration with the female blogs are when a good one goes baby...Ie the writer gets pregnant and then all you have is baby talk. It is fustrating when I find that blog interesting enough to check once and a while...

    I do find that women blogs are more into fitness and wellbeing were men blogs are more in the competition. (I do realize I am generalizing) I like a healthy mix of those aspects and it is hard to find that...runningandrambling.com does a good job at that and has amazing reviews...in my opinion he is one of the best bloggers around...

    those are my two cents...

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  23. I love this post and part of the reason that I really enjoy reading your blog is that you don't blog about a lack of food, that you eat healthy and that you put your hair in sparkly hair scrunchies so you'll take good race photos...um yeah anyways. Your posts are realistic and I also really enjoy your sarcastic humor.

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  24. i love this post. i agree, you should get some free shit!! and maybe it will be pink and sparkly and you can post pictures of yourself running in it... nevermind. forward along the pink sparkly stuff to me. i will wear it when i hit the 'nox. xoxo

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  25. If you're prone to falling on the trails, then trail shoes do help. I used to fall all the time doing trail running in regular running shoes. I sort of reached my limit for the amount of scars I want on my knees, so I tried the Saucony Kinvara TRs. Love them. I've had them since they came out in July and have fallen just once in >100 trail miles in them. If you're infinitely more coordinated than me and don't worry about falling, then I don't really see trail shoes being super beneficial. Stick with what works!

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  26. Hi there! I've been reading your blog for a while and have never commented, but I wanted to let you know that I appreciate your willingness to reconsider and clarify the subject matter of this post. When I read it last night, I was definitely put off. The feminist in me got a little pissed when I thought you were saying that you're a legit blogger now that men contribute to your community. Obviously, not true, not cool and not what you were saying. Now that I get that, rock on Rose Runner.

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  27. I'm commenting after reading your most recent post and working backwards...

    if you're running fast times you're racing with dudes and the scattered females. That's just the way it is and you call a spade a spade... I'm in the same boat.

    hate glitter, sparkles, skirts, make-up or fake lashes in races. but to each their own.. ya know.

    respect your blog a lot... and don't see anything wrong with what you wrote.

    good luck in the trail half!

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  28. Wasn't put off by the post in any way, but I'm not a feminist so I generally don't look for ways to be offended. I find myself using the phrase girls for my friends and other women...and I'm 29. Not derogatory but maybe it's denial that I am getting old, plus I don't love the word "woman/women." I don't know why. Sucks about your running clothes...check out running warehouse for some non sparkly goods. there are 10-15% off discount codes floating around the interwebs (msg me if you can't find one). Their prices are cheap to begin with and they often have stuff marked down further and they have free 2 day shipping (since they're in SLO and I'm outside of LA I get it overnight). Off to stuff my face with a pickle salad...

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  29. The reason you are surrounded by dudes is because you look like one. You may be fast, but you are ugly looking. And arrogant.

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    1. I think I would make a gross a man, like when Lady Gaga tries to dress up as one. Anyway, I will be less arrogant now that you've reminded me I am ugly and manly.

      Are you a regular reader or just stopping by? Stick around,I think you'll hate other posts less than this one.

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  30. Hello! Let me first tell the fact that you really managed to build a beautiful site. Also I can't wait to ask you one thing that I am interested of. Have you ever participated in some sort of competitions among online blogs?

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