TopShelf Blogs

Submissions for the next TG Mixed Tape are due on the 26th of July.

The Mixed Tapes showcase both fiction and non-fiction form a variety of author's in our niche. If you would like to contribute read on...

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GUIDELINES FOR FICTION SUBMISSIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

• Stories are to be no longer than 500 words.

• Write what you want to write. However, if you need a prompt…

Having connection problems

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Life seems to be overwhelming me at the moment. I seem to be perpetually tired so I'm not writing as much as usual and when I do, I have problems posting because my broadband connection is very intermittent. I've tried contacting my ISP but they either don't get the emails or ignore them.

On Tuesday, it will be the 29th anniversary of my transitioning - well going to work in skirts, then the following one is the first anniversary of my son's suicide. His timing was impeccable.

New eBook from Rebekkah deMere !

I am so happy to announce a new eBook by Rebekkah deMere , in her 8 Dragon Saga!

" The Songs of Chi " is book Four (4) of the 8 Dragon Saga's second Trilogy !
Continue to follow the sisters and their friends as they rescue others from the clenches of slavers, and experience more transformations in the process, including more unexpected Gender changes!

Follow our heroes as they come of age in the dystopian world that spirals with out of control magic as they start the middle trilogy of the "Twins" story, our 8 Dragons Saga!

Fighting the enemy

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There is a significant on air Transgender battle happening in Portland, Oregon. The stations airing Anti Trans crap. The Stations are: KPTV, and KATU. The other stations are KGW and KGW.

If others could comment on the stories or paste them to facebook, perhaps we can be heard. I am commenting and pasting it to facebook or just commenting just to pester them.

I could use some help here.

Gwen

fighting off grief

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I am not one of those people who thinks that "big boys/girls dont cry".

In fact, I think there some times when crying is exactly what you should be doing, and that crying can be good for you.

That said, I prefer to have a reason to cry, so what happened on my way to work last night was frustrating.

Out of the blue, for no reason I could figure, I was suddenly enveloped by grief, and it was all I could do to keep my car on the road until the feeling passed.

Ah, well.

I love it when kids make me smile!

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I don't blog normally, because I honestly feel that my problems are miniscule compared to so many on this site. The fact is however, it is a fact with most of us that being transgender is affects our whole being, and sometimes I just want to quit thinking about it!

The return of SOLR search and other additions.

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Hey Everyone!

So SEARCH is back! No more Google!

That being said, if you REALLY liked Google search (even with the changes they implemented recently that made it not work the same as it was) you can always use site:bigclosetr.us at Google.Com to search BigCloset with google.

Now back to awesomeness.

I have re-built our Apache Solr Search Server, and re-indexed the entire site (blogs, stories, books, etc) and turned back on our "Faceted Search"

Oregon's attempt at aiding trans children slammed by media (Fox News)

Today on Fox News an article has come out bashing the state of Oregon for its attempt to help gender dysphoric children with severe issues.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/07/09/oregon-allowing-1...

A Thoughtful Piece

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I read this interesting piece this morning and thought it would be worthwhile sending a link,even though it is in the Daily Wail.

I can sympathise with her early years, which echo in some respects mine, but I am glad that I transitioned some twenty odd years ago.

Here is the link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3153920/Is-little-...

Love to all

Anne G.

Incredibly amazing news!

For several years I have been limping along with a desktop computer that is now 13 years old. That will soon no longer be true. Thanks to the incredible generosity of a fan of my writing, a two year old laptop is on its way to me! I am simply blown away by this act of kindness. It's the kind of thing that makes you realize that, even with all the bad out there, the human race isn't a lost cause. We have a truly amazing family here, and I'm going to try my best, each and every day, to be worthy of it.

Hugs and love to all!
Bree

Blog Entry 8th July 2015- Who Are You?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdLIerfXuZ4 , obviously.

I've been doing more 3D imaging of my characters and have started work on Laura and her friends. The most recent one I completed was Harriet, [SPOILER] friend turned enemy turned friend of the eponymous heroine, and... I dunno. She looks familiar, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

my mother's guilt

I had an interesting conversation with my mom last night, in which she expressed her feelings of guilt over my situation.

She said she felt guilty that I was trans, guilty that she didn't stop my abuse, guilty about how my stepfather treated me.

I tried to explain that not only were some of those no fault of hers whatsoever, even what part she did play isnt worth feeling guilty over. I told her it was easy to look back with 20/20 hindsight, and say you'd do things differently, but ultimately its useless to do so.

Alexis Story Update

When I updated the Alexis Story, I failed to catch the two mistakes that I made in the new revised parts. The new correct parts have been uploaded. I am sorry for the confusion in trying to read the story. Getting all of those perms and sets just makes you a little forgetful at times. Thanks for the reader that caught my mistakes and notified me. I will try harder when I finish correcting and uploading the last revised parts of the Erica story.

Part 2 and Part 7 were affected
Hugs
Francesca

Comicon

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I'll be at San Diego Comicon International Wednesday, July 8 through Sunday, July 12. Piper and Cat will be keeping an eye on the site and I will be available through laptop, tablet and phone but I won't be checking in every hour or so like I do normally.

If anyone else is going to be at Con or in San Diego, maybe we can get together. I usually eat lunch and sometimes dinner at one of the excellent restaurants in the Gaslamp quarter or Seaport Village and can be found eating breakfast at Cafe 222 on Island Ave near the Con most days I am there.

Looking for an artist/illustrator

The cry rings out, far and wide! I am looking for an artist/illustrator to initially do some character design for my Novel "The Enhanced: TRI" that I am currently posting to BC. If things work out, I would love to adapt my novel into a graphic novel. RSVP here or by PM if you wish.
Cheers,
Diana M. Howe, Moongoddess at Large

Comments

I've watched this site almost from its beginning, and later joined at the encouragement of Sephrina. In those early days, I think there might have been less than 100 members here.

There was a warm camaraderie then and most stories, no matter how amateurish got at least a few votes and comments. The authors seemed to care about each other. New, unpolished authors got encouragement and help to improve, and I am grateful for the help that I got despite my limited talent.

A petition that vets need to sign if they need srs.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/executive-order-re...

I have no idea if this will come to fruition, but one can hope, right? I signed. If you're a Vet, or you support Vets, please sign?

Catherine L. Michel

It's been a while...

It's been a while, but I have just posted a story. Journey to Eden isn't new, it was posted on Stardust eight years ago as part of a contest, but I never got around to putting it here. That omission has been rectified, and hopefully there are some out there who haven't read it.

Enjoy!

Breanna

The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.
-- Tom Clancy

http://genomorph.tglibrary.com/

looking for a story

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There is a story I read sometime ago about a teenage boy who was always trying to find out where the cheerleaders where going so some how he was dissappear into the school basement so he followed them he found out that there was a cave under the school there kneel before a goddess and pray to her. So he did the same thing some how he was turn into a girl. The thing is don't know if was here or on another site.hope someone can help thank you

A happy Fourth of July to my American Friends and an Announcement

Happy Fourth of July to my American Friends
239 years old? you don't look a day over 230 ;) .

In 2008 I was privileged to have my novel "The Enhanced: TRI" published. Now, as a gift to you all, I will be posting the complete work for your reading pleasure.

This is the final text as submitted for publishing and any edits on my part will be for grammatical errors missed in the final version.

Although the novel was published in my former name, I will be posting here under my legal name of Diana M. Howe.

Understanding men

Having been raised in a particular gender role clearly didn't ‘imprint’ for many BC readers but I thought that I at least understood males until in raising the next generation I discovered that the boys were like a whole different species. Today I found an old (2002) radio show on testosterone which pulled the whole who, what and how of sex, gender, character and identity beautifully into focus

Blog Entry 4th July 2015- Young Girl

13 years before I was born, but here you go anyway- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn0ZJHVH17I

Laura's story, my most recent one (that I've published, anyway) if part of what I call a natural progression from Jamie and Nikki's story- Jamie started transitioning aged 19, Nikki started at the age of 16, so it only makes sense to have a story start with a character transitioning even earlier- at the age of 11, the start of high school (here in the UK, anyway).

My dear Big Closet family

It is my happy duty to inform you that the author known as Scott Ramsey is no more. He has been replaced, by me!

As I've been telling everyone who will listen tonight, this online community is the only place I will ever be me, so it's just plain silly to not have MY name on my stories. I hope you all are as happy for me as I am. I feel ... reborn. Maybe it's silly, but hey, I'll take it!

On Independence......

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Today marks the 239th anniversary of the day on which our forefathers declared this nation to be independent. I spent a large portion of this past evening preparing for the picnic which I will share with my family,and their friends, in celebration of that act.

As I lay here now, resting and reading as sleep is once again unable to find me, I cannot but reflect how we should rather be celebrating our interdependence. We all, each and everyone of us, is dependent to one extent or another on others. Whether family, friends, co-workers, or simply those who keep our society moving,

A plea to all for JulieO

I have just exchanged emails with my friend, Itinerant, and we are both very concerned. As many of you are probably aware, it has been over a year since Julie O last posted a story. I can't claim that Julie and I are friends, but we did share an editor in AmeliaR, we have exchanged numerous emails, and she graciously gave me permission to set a story within the Julieverse. She has always responded to my emails promptly in the past, but that hasn't been the case for almost a year. Itinerant informed me that their last contact was May of last year, when Julie sent a new story for editing.

Looking for a story

I usually remember stories pretty well but this one has something to do with a special forces type who rescues a girl from druggies somewhere in central or south america. He kills one (the leader?) on an old stone altar of some kind and the sacrifice/blood awakens a god who changes him....

It's humbling

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I wasn't going to blog about this because I know some people get upset at me whenever I do anything, but others have encouraged me to say something and not let the naysayers steal my joy.

The Dress Punishment has just hit 50,000 reads. That's a lot. That is more than I would ever expect, especially on a story that is such a departure from what I usually do. It's humbling, because I didn't think anything I produced could have such a draw. I want to thank the people who read and re-read the story. I'm glad you like it and thank you.

Rewriting away

to the my readers

I was almost done with chapter 17 of my story When tales come true but I was hit with a double whammy. Life and a massive rewrite will delay the chapter for a week or more. I am not sure what this means for the story. I will post when I can.

Hugs to all

Contest results are up, see center column

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Sorry these didn't get up yesterday as planned, stuff happened. :)

If you've won, let me know what you want done with your prize money. If you got prize money in the earlier version of this contest, I'm sorry but that was it. :)

Oh, and all entrants get a free 3 month subscription to Hatbox. That's probably going to be a feature of ongoing contests.

Hugs,
Erin

Life is NOT fair!!!

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Last night was “one of those”. I had an unsettling nightmare that led to me tossing and turning in grim reflection of my life. At my age (67) and given the tumultuous and very public life I’ve had I had plenty to think about. After due consideration I was not surprised that each and every problem I’ve had in my life could be laid at the doorstep of my transgender nature.

Each flaw in my four children sprang from my cross-dressing.

Every set back in my business was due to me being less than 100% male.

I can see her

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I could see her. Plain as day I can see her. At first I thought it was the shadows playing tricks on me or that I was very tired and my mind was conjuring images to keep me from falling asleep where I sit. I could see her, I would stake what little remains of my reputation on it. I could see the one I have seen before but I quite don't know where. I could see the one I know but can't place the name.

Being a spy

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Those in Salt Lake City are under a lot of heat right now.

Someone from "Mormon Newsroom" openly admitted that the church has not treated trans and intersex folk well, and I intend to keep the heat on. I'm not vitally interested in how they handle gays and lesbians because they threw us under the bus a few years ago.

In another decade there will be a changing of the guard, and I see T and I folk getting full rights. There are just lots of parents and partners keeping their heads down but in private they are dissatisfied.

Snarky Writers

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For the many, many years I've been opening the door to this Big Closet I've been amazed at our communities ability to heap pain on one another. Maybe it's just what writers do.

I was reading a Bathroom Reader last night ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1607109026?psc=1&redirect=t... ) and found the following.

Truman Capote on Jack Kerouac: "That's not writing, that's typing."

weirdness

Okay so this week things have got pretty weird. Let me try to explain. Last week the bosses at work decided to move the contents of our 2 adjacent stores around - in a major reorganisation which effectively moved me from the store i've worked in for over a decade to the other premises. Well after stuff has settled at least.
Then yesterday afternoon the boss asked to see me and offered me a new job. They must have been reading my mind, it's Monday to Friday no stupid late shifts and a move from sales to stock control.

As one cell door opens, another slams shut! - Part 3

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An accurate & recent account of a trans woman's incarceration in an American Prison

cover.jpg
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Part 3 - Cold, dehydrated, scared and alone

Now that Dahlia had been made to leave and drive away I suddenly felt much more vulnerable and anxious. As the young hostile officer returned to his desk a rush of panic come over me.

Last Chance to Contribute to BC Hatbox thru Amazon

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On July 1, Amazon will turn off their Payments gateway and the links that BC has been collecting gifts for the Hatbox will go away. Any ongoing subscriptions will be canceled as far as collecting future payments. All such subscriptions will, however, continue to be honored for at least two years.

So this is the last chance for anyone who wishes to contribute money to BC through the existing version of the Amazon gateway. We may have another Amazon gateway up in future weeks but the software and interface to be used are not clear.

OUTED !!!

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This is for those who can appreciate my devious nature.

So for a long time I have been juggling two theological balls and none of you have realized what my intentions were. I practice as a Muslim and a Mormon and am fairly sincere in my beliefs in both faiths. If you don't understand this, don't worry about it.

Last Chance

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After this week, Unreachable and the sequel Worth Fighting For will be unpublished from the site. I want to give fair warning to those still reading it. Next Monday the elves will hide it for a while (I might repub again in the future) so do what you need to so you get the story if you want.

Something to share

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I have something to share, but its a little complicated, so please bear with me.

I had ... an experiance? a vision? a stray thought? Not sure, but to explain it I have to do a little history first.

In 1980, Mt. St. Helens erupted in one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in North America in my lifetime. Lava and hot ash burned a huge area and the sky turned grey as far away as Calgary.

But 30 years later, life is returning to the area, and slowly the mountainside is turning back to green.

One for John in Wawawherever

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Only in Japan - 3000 attend funeral of Tama the only feline stationmaster. Next door in China, they eat them - go figure.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/29/tama-the-cat-30...

I thought the world was a crazy place when I came, but this makes more sense than many of the news stories we see.

"Last Week Tonight" with John Oliver reposted

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Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

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You have got to check out the episode of this show that airs this week.

Its on HBO Sundays at 8pm Pacific Time. It also repeats a bunch of times during the coming week.

He does a nearly 30 minute RANT on the overlooked rights of transgender people.

Its entirely in favour of us. It even has a few moments that make you laugh at the absurdity of it.

New on PBS Frontline this Week: "Growing Up Trans"

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This week's PBS Frontline program is titled Growing Up Trans.
Synopsis: A report on transgender children and their parents. Included: medical interventions that are increasingly offered at younger ages.

For me it's on Tuesday 6/30 9:00 PM - 10:30PM CDT. Check you local listings for the night and time in your area. The program will also be available online beginning 6/30 per the preview I just watched.

I Have

By devious means managed to publish the Gaby Character Guide on Kindle using just my BlackBerry! It should be available in a couple of hours if anyone is interested - just search for either Maddy Bell or Gaby Character Guide and it should come up.

I'm hoping to get it onto Lulu as well but might have to wait until the new internet connection is up and running in @ 10 days time - likewise the next Gaby chapter.

Please note - i've pitched it at the lowest price that Kindle allow!

Anyone who has changed back?

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Someone told me that 80% of us who transition regret it, and many return to their old gender. I think this is a lie and am only asking this because of their professed religiosity. I am actually quite happy living as me, the only issue being that I do not look as much of a babe as I would like. And, of course, as usual, the family are consummate asses, but they can bugger off.

I have never seen or spoken to anyone who has done this, though I have read about a couple and their suicide rate was very high.

I know I was MIA and I'm Sorry

I wanted to write an apology to everyone who has been supportive of my writing for the last 11 years. Real Life for the last 2 years has been hectic. Early in 2013 I had 6 months of dealing with a chronic acute gall bladder infection caused by stones. Gall bladder had to be removed. After that, I re-wrote FatIT as Tenjin for general consumption and promptly hit a dry spell that stymied both recreational and professional writing. I'm so, so, sorry FatIT Part 6 is taking so long to produce; I am at least as frustrated as anyone that it's not out there right now being read.

Look out

Later today for a new Gaby publication - Gaby Character Guide.

It's jam packed with illustrations depicting many of the main characters from the main series, covering the first 13 books. There's also a quick synopsis of the Gaby fanfiction as well as some information on locations and the Bond family tree.

So providing I can get an internet connection i'll post more details latert today.

Mads

Dream sharing time

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Guess what time it is?

Its dream sharing time!

Well, my latest was very different. In the dream, I was invited to a church event at someone's house, and going there, I found no one I recognized. I stayed for a while, but I felt so out of place among strangers that I eventually left and started walking around the city to clear my head.

What made it really interesting to me was my reaction to this circumstance. I didn't cry, feel sorry for myself, or anything of the kind. I passed it off as some kind of mistake, and basically let it go.

Just Another Gettysburg Moment

My latest story just fell into the abyss (off the front page).

It was an average story for me, in that it took about two months to write with considerable research. It received what has become my normal reception, with 111 kudos, 6 comments and 2,966 hits.

I assume about half my hits are unique readers since the story ran over 15k words and isn't easily read in one casual sitting.

Though political, still relevant

Today is shaping up to be a landmark day for equality in the US. Heck, a landmark month in certain ways, given recent changes to the standing of TG treatment in government health care. Whether you agree with gay marriage or not, though, let's all give a few moments to feel happy for all the people whose lives, both now and in the future, have a chance of being enriched by the decision the court made today.

Melanie E.

Covers and Blurbs

We all know that covers and blurbs are often the first look potential readers get when looking for a new new story to read. So, I worked up a little cover for Whispers from the Void (with a pen name) and updated the blurb. What do you think? Will it make readers interested in the story? Bear in mind the cover is just a concept, and I will likely get a pro to draw up a more polished look.

Cover

Dinner In Little rock

My wife and I had dinner this evening at a nice Chinese restaurant in the Heights in Little Rock. As I approached our table, I noticed a couple having dinner to one side of the booth and a woman wearing a hat and a black top at the other side. She was alone. She looked to be in her 30's. That assumption ended as we sat down. The 'woman' was carrying on a conversation on her telephone. She discussed upcoming decisions from the Supreme Court, LGBT topics and groups all around Arkansas.

Revised Editions of the Girly Gurl Salon Stories

I am doing rewrites and adding additional material to several of my stories.
Girly Gurl Salon Denise Part 1 revised Part 2 all new material posted today
Girly Gurl Salon Marissa Part 1 revised Part 2 Revised Part 3 all new material in a couple of days
Girly Gurl Salon Alexis to be revised and all parts doubled in size in the next few weeks
Girly Gurl Salon Erica to be revised and all parts doubled in size in the next few weeks

I feel stuck, and scared of moving forward

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Okay, I'm starting to feel frustratingly stuck in terms of my transition. For some reason, I cant get over the hump and take care of my legal name, or wear makeup in public, or lose enough weight to get surgery.

Its like somewhere in my brain something is saying "Look, you've been lucky so far, why push it? Its safe where you are, and you could get hurt if you go further."

I guess I'm just a big scardy-cat.

Not about money

As many people know, a good portion of my titles are sold through Amazon. Because of a review on OEM (in the UK), I was forced to not keep my stories on site for long periods of time. Though I sell my books, I am not the heartless bastard people make me out to be. For those who can't afford to buy books on Amazon (I don't need to know the reason, just be honest about the need) all you have to do is send me an email requesting a title and give me an email where I can send it to.

Felicia's flagship

Ok, so those reading my new story, Felicia's Second Life may be aware of how Felicia's turning everything upside down with her 'inventions'. In chapter 4, she will be introducing another 'invention' that would look like Eiffel Tower to these backward people. No, there's no actual tower involved.

In chapter 4, she will build ships. It starts with a cog, then larger ships. Let's talk about the largest ship.

I Was Right and Wrong

In 2005 I wrote "Renaming a Highway" that came to Big Closet in 2007. I was right about the problems of race and sexuality when I wrote, "Same shit, different decade." I was wrong when I wrote, " There still some embers, but Mississippi is no longer burning," referring to the 1988 movie, Mississippi Burning The flame of hate is throughout the U. S. We are all to blame. In the end the Romeo and Juliet character Mercutio was right, "Don't ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee."

shalimar

posting, Gabycon and the future

Sorry that there isn't a Gaby chapter this week, my borrowed internet connection no longer works so that's probably it from me.

It's also occurred to me that the new Maddybell.com site is actually no advance over the original in that I still won't be able to upload updates. So whilst i'm grateful to those who've been working on it it's something of a Dodo as far as i'm concerned.

An interesting life

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I'm half way through writing the next episode of Bike when I suddenly realise I hadn't heard the central heating/hot water boiler light up. It's old and noisy. On checking I find it isn't working. Up in the attic to make sure the header tank hasn't run dry - it hadn't. Looks like the boiler may have died of old age. After swearing at the cats because they wanted to see what was going on but know even less about boilers than I do - which is minuscule - I try the immersion heater, which I kept despite the assurances of the plumber I wouldn't need it.

Update, TWO groups with nine lives in town today

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Our two kittens, Gracie and Audrey. Both are doing well and making friends with our not quite two year old calico, Sniffanie.

Tonight, 8PM at the Marcus Amphitheater at the Summerfest grounds these really, really, REALLY OLD geezers are performing.

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John in Wauwatosa

P.S. Tickets ARE available through ticket brokers at 249 DOLLARS US last I looked -- 4:45 PM CDT -- and parking for just under 40 bucks.

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