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Terminator et al - moonspinner
moonspinner
moonspinner
Terminator et al
::waves at a_p::

Yeah Sarah/John. That's not the worst thing I've seen in fandom. :p Besides does every '/' have to be '/'? ::giggles:: Guess that answers the question.

I adore Kyle Reese's character in the Terminator. I think he's the archetype of the Knight in shining armour that lays down his life for his lady.

What's your favourite terminator movie?

p.s. I checked the pictures were from leia_. And tech_noir is a community. You can find the link in my profile.

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From: a_p_ Date: July 21st, 2005 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
::waves back::


Yeah, I'm sure fandom has all types of crazy things. ;) :O


I LOVE Kyle. His devotion to Sarah is very moving...she's the only thing of beauty in his difficult and hard and ugly life in the future. No wonder he was in love with her before he met her.


My favorite is Terminator 2 -- that's up there for my all-time favorite movies period. I think it's an amazing movie and sequel, and I find Sarah and John's characters pretty fascinating. The dynamic of the three mains (the Connors and Arnold's Terminator) is particularly interesting. And the T-1000 is one of the great villians ever, I think.

Which is your favorite? The first one? :)


(Speaking of Kyle -- his deleted dream sequence with Sarah in T2...man, do I wish that had been left in the film from the get-go. I love it.)


I'll check out tech_noir. :)
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: July 21st, 2005 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
T2 without a doubt. Like a_p_, it's one of my favorite movies, period, and it's one of the greatest sequels ever.

If you haven't already listened to it, I highly recommend the DVD commentary on the Extreme Edition. It's James Cameron and co-writer William Wisher, and it's just interesting from start to finish, with everything from on-set trivia, to writing/story development, to lighting, effects, and other technical considerations.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 22nd, 2005 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
What are the deleted scenes in T2? I know the list in T1... I think I saw the jacket once. I'm always more interested in deleted scenes than anything. That's why I loved the LotR extended DVDs so much.
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: July 22nd, 2005 06:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Off the top of my head....

- Sarah's dream where's she's talking to Reese while she's still in the psycho ward
- John stopping Sarah from smashing the T-1000's chip when they're repairing him in the garage
- T-1000 discovering that Woofy's name is really Max by looking at the dog's name tag
- various shots of the T-1000 malfunctioning at the factory (e.g., he partially takes on the shape of whatever he touches)
- Terminator practicing smiling while in Mexico

There are others, but most of the deleted scenes are small and ultimately unnecessary to the narrative (although interesting). Cameron says he stands by the theatrical cut, and I would agree with that.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 22nd, 2005 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
thanks! i think i might have read some of these scenes from the script that was circulating in the web. is circulating in the web, i'm sure. :p

have you read the 'terminator treatment'?
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: July 22nd, 2005 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't read the treatment...maybe I should?
From: a_p_ Date: July 22nd, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I haven't read the treatment either. Is it good?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 22nd, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh you should. it's really interesting how the idea evolved from the treatment to the final movie...

in the treatment, sarah is 19, i think? and kyle is 21. but i think in the movie they're supposed to be older.
From: a_p_ Date: July 22nd, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Where can I find it? Is it online, or would I need to buy it?


I thought Sarah was supposed to be about 19 in the first movie, but now I'm not sure why I think that. She's very young, in any event.
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: July 22nd, 2005 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Cameron himself says in the commentary that in the first movie, Sarah is supposed to be 19 or so. But yeah, in any event, she's supposed to be young and naive.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 23rd, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I posted this and deleted it by mistake! Rats!

I Googled for the treatment - I found it online in the first place and well, I think it's here...

http://www.writingtreatments.com/T1.pdf


You'll notice that 2 people were sent back in time. His companion was injured when he landed on Earth - I think he fell into rods - and Kyle mercy-killed him.

From: a_p_ Date: July 23rd, 2005 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I've saved the link in my favorites, and will read it through soon. I like seeing how story ideas start out and evolve.
From: a_p_ Date: July 22nd, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
- Sarah's dream, as I've said is great. Cameron apparently cut it because he worried that people who hadn't seen or didn't remember the first Terminator would find it confusing, and I can understand that. But it's a wonderful tie to the first film, and shows alot about Sarah.

- The chip scene...the focus seems to be showing that Sarah didn't trust the Terminator completely, which is a fair point to bring up (though I don't have a problem with her deciding to trust him back at the hospital in the theatrical version). But I think it's more interesting that John steps up and takes control here. He already knows that the Terminator is essentially under his command, and has quickly learned how best to sort of direct that power/responsibility. Now we see him put his mother under his command as well (and in a very pointed way, remind her that this is what she's always said he should do). I think it's a big moment for John, and sets the weird family dynamic they've got going down for the rest of the film.

- Short extra scene, not much to say here. Also, there's that scene of the T-1000 going through John's room (which was not put back in the film, but you can access it when watching the commentary).

- This answered the question I had of why the T-1000 had to stab Sarah to try to get her to call to John, instead of just pretending to be her (as he does later). Though it's not really necessary at the end to have John see the T-1000's malfunctioning feet; I like it better that he just knows which one is actually his mother, without any help.

- The smiling scene, I can do without. ;) It does further explain the smirking faces Arnold pulls later in the movie (though that's already explained by him learning and adapting to human behavior).

- Also not put back in the film, but available when watching the commentary is the alternate ending...instead of Sarah's voice-over with the road driving by, we see the new future where there was no war, and Sarah's a happy old woman, and John is a Senator and father. I much prefer the version used, and I'm glad they changed it (at the last second apparently). My one big question though is that by 10 years old, John was known to be on the run the Terminator and Sarah Connor, both big time criminals (Arnold's still wanted for killing all those cops in the first movie; they both destroy Cyberdyne, etc.). And yet, he can still be elected Senator? Guess politics in the non-nuclear future are much more forgiving than they are today. ;)
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: July 22nd, 2005 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
This answered the question I had of why the T-1000 had to stab Sarah to try to get her to call to John, instead of just pretending to be her (as he does later).

I think it's also a bit of a cheat in the writing, because the T-1000 could have just imitated Sarah's voice and called to John from the shadows, then jumped out and gotten him once John came to him. However, I can forgive this cheat because it shows just how great of a villain the T-1000 is. He's purportedly an emotionless machine, but we read a gleeful malice into the stabbing (at least, I do). It gives his character depth, and I love it.
From: a_p_ Date: July 23rd, 2005 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
He's purportedly an emotionless machine, but we read a gleeful malice into the stabbing (at least, I do). It gives his character depth, and I love it.

I do too. There's also the finger-wagging at the end, when Sarah runs out of bullets. And, the "Say, that's a nice bike" line, which is one of my favorites. There are a couple of moments when there seems to be something else there besides the single-minded, relentless, emotionless killing machine trying to complete his mission, and they contrast nicely with what we see of the character the rest of the time.
From: a_p_ Date: July 21st, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, foodsthatcan! :)

I've listened to that commentary, and you're right, it is great. Entertaining and insightful, which all DVD commentaries should be. I wore that DVD out when I first bought it!


moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 22nd, 2005 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
You wore the DVD out? ::giggles:: is that even like possible? ;)

I LOVE Kyle. His devotion to Sarah is very moving...she's the only thing of beauty in his difficult and hard and ugly life in the future. No wonder he was in love with her before he met her.

Oh yes. And the motel scene is like Wow whenever I watch it - no matter how many times. Not the latter part :p. I mean the scene when he gives her that speech about how he went back in time for her and how he had always loved her. When he gets up, you can see he's mentally kicking himself for what he thought was making a fool of himself in front of the most wonderful creature to have ever lived. And then when she gets up, and kisses him... ::faints:: He's so shocked. It's like he's telling himself, 'this is a dream, this can't be happening'. And then she gets confused and starts pulling back and then he...

::swoons::

Which is your favorite? The first one? :)

Pretty obvious, huh? ::blushes:: But I adored John Connor in T2.

I've never watched any of the Terminator DVDs. More is the pity. So Kyle was in T2? Cool!
From: a_p_ Date: July 22nd, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
You wore the DVD out? ::giggles:: is that even like possible? ;)

Probably not, but for flicks like this and SW, I try my best. ;)


When he gets up, you can see he's mentally kicking himself for what he thought was making a fool of himself in front of the most wonderful creature to have ever lived.

Yes! There's something so sweet about that.


You should definitely see the Kyle/Sarah scene in T2. It's terrific.


Have you seen any of the deleted scenes from the first movie?

- There's a "morning after" scene of Kyle and Sarah lying in bed, and she starts tickling him (he's never been tickled before!). Very cute. Apparently, Cameron cut it because he thought it was too cute, and he's probably right. (In the movie, Sarah's sort of playing around with Kyle briefly right before the Terminator shows up, and I think that might be the only time we see Kyle really smile in the whole movie. It says the same thing as the tickle scene in a subtler way.)

- There's a scene where Sarah finds the address for Cyberdyne in the phone book, and argues with Kyle about wanting to go there and destroy it right then, to prevent the future war. I think in this one Kyle sort of breaks down, talking about how he doesn't belong in the pre-war world, that it's so beautiful and different than everything he's ever known. Cameron said this scene was cut because he wanted to save Kyle's emotional-ness for the love scene later. Also, Sarah's determination to change the future obviously became a big part of her character in T2.

- There's one at the end, when Sarah's being wheeled away by the ambulance that shows that the factory where Sarah and Kyle fought the Terminator was actually Cyberdyne. You also see two employers take the chip or some other part of the Terminator.


I know I'm forgetting a couple...hmmm...
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 22nd, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lord, I want that DVD!

Talking about Titanic, what do you think about the parallels between the 2 movies?
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: July 22nd, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
One thing that a fellow Cameron-loving friend and I had discussed a while back was that Cameron, unlike pretty much any action director currently in the business, writes his movies about strong women. It doesn't mean that the woman is necessarily physically tough (like Sarah in T2), but his women are brave, courageous, and resourceful, yet never lose their feminine sensibility. At the same time, all Cameron females are an "every man"; at their core is a deep desire to love and be loved. That is why they resonate so deeply with viewers. You see it in Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley, Helen Trasker, Rose DeWitt Bukater, and Max (from Dark Angel), and I suspect we'll see more of it whenever Battle Angel Alita gets completed (since the main character there, too, is female).

Titanic and T2 are really just variations on the same story for the female characters--they see a predestined future for themselves, and they go to edge of their worlds to change it. For Sarah, it means destroying Cyberdyne; for Rose, it means forsaking her fiance, family, and money for a penniless artist.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 23rd, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Definitely. The plot of the 2 stories and the arcs of the female characters run in parallels. Both Sarah and Rose start out as young, sheltered girls with rather boring lives. Then they meet a young, unorthodox man - Kyle/Jack - who 'saves' them, not only physically but also by showing them possibilities that they had only just hoped for. Although Sarah embraces her future less reluctantly than Rose, she does embrace it in the end. The super-advanced and evil machine theme - the Terminator/the Titanic - is also repeated. In each film, the 'machine' is the title character. And in each film, the heroine is repeatedly rescued from death by the hero. Until the very end when she rescues herself - Sarah by killing the Terminator, Rose by saving herself from the Titanic's wreck. In each film, the hero dies at the end. Leaving the heroine to 'save herself'.

foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: July 22nd, 2005 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I wish more director's commentaries were as good as James Cameron's. Then again, I wish more directors were as good as James Cameron, period. He gets so much flack for Titanic, but he's incredibly talented and, imo, unparalleled in large-scale, blow-'em-up movies.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 22nd, 2005 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)
He gets so much flack for Titanic

Well he would, won't he? ::laughs:: before lotr, that was about the most successful movie in hollywood history and they hate his guts for it.

Those who can't do, critic.


But I'm surprised your using him as an example of directors who do commentary. I remember that the review I read of the Terminator DVD (and how I know about the deleted scenes) specifically said that he did not do a commentary for that one and that he never enjoyed doing them?
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: July 22nd, 2005 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)
He did one (that was pieced together with a bunch of other people) for the Ultimate Edition DVD (it's not the same as the one he and Wisher recorded for the Extreme Edition), and he also did commentary for the Aliens DVD, so even if he may not enjoy doing them, he's actually very good at it. He's very talkative, very articulate, very intelligent, and very knowledgeable.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 22nd, 2005 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)
okay then. my mistake. i must have read that he didn't enjoy commentaries not that he didn't do them.

i love commentaries - esp the director/writers/cast. i don't care too much for the techno crew and the costumes though. i'd rather watch a documentary than 2 hours of how the cgi was mixed in front of blue screen
From: a_p_ Date: July 24th, 2005 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't want to focus too much on this, but is it safe to assume that none of us are big Terminator 3 fans?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 25th, 2005 08:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not! And I say it with no shame!
From: a_p_ Date: July 25th, 2005 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I couldn't stand what they did to John and Sarah's characters. :( And even though I expected wholesale shredding of T2 (the fact that there simply was a third movie at all completely negated the T2 ending)...I somehow wasn't prepared for the complete and total rebuke of "The future is not set. There is not fate by what we make for ourselves." I mean, "Judgement Day is inevitable"?!?! Bah! Throw in the fact that it also wasn't as well done as the other two (lots of plot holes, not as great a villian, it's almost impossible to top the effects/stunts of the second one, etc.) and forget it.

And I feel a combination of terror and horror everytime I hear any mention of a T4 (without Arnold!). **shudders**
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 26th, 2005 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
::shudders in resonance with a_p_:: I think Claire Danes character was a bit of a Mary Sue. Was it a coincidence she was a redhead?

Not totally random question - but what is it about Mary Sues and red hair in literature/film?
From: a_p_ Date: July 26th, 2005 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really don't know. I guess it's that red hair is unusual, so any time an author wants to tell you how very, very special and cool a character is, they figure it's better to go with the red hair than just making her a brunette or something. I find it kind of silly, but boy, it seems pervasive, doesn't it?


Kate Brewster was an alright character. As you mention below, she's got some spunk to her (though I almost lost my eyes rolling them at the "You remind me of my mother" line). I didn't feel she added all that much to the story though (no, being John's wife isn't enough).

Speaking of shredding T2...Kate's father is the only one who could stop Skynet? (I bet Miles Dyson wishes someone had brought that up sooner!) If John had continued making out with Kate as a pre-teen, he could have stopped the near-destruction of mankind? Right.


As you also say below, John's character in T3 is essentially sapped of everything that made him who he was and made him interesting in T2. I mean, John Connor pulls a paint gun (or whatever that was) on someone he's trying to rob? Let's said person lock him in a cage? I'm amazed the Sarah Connor didn't come back from the dead to kick his $#% for that. ;) John's whining about being the future resistance leader? John's laughing about how "pathetic" it is that he looked to the Terminator as a father? John was burning rubber to get away from his mother so soon after she died that he never had any idea what happened to her remains (that was a BIG wtf moment for me)? Bah!
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 27th, 2005 06:30 am (UTC) (Link)
My sentiments exactly. Bah! indeed. It's beyond annoying how they messed up John's and Sarah's characters in T3. Sarah put guns in her coffin but didn't think to let John know this? John couldn't wait to get away from her when she died?

And you're right about the red hair - from Nancy Drew to Mara Jade. Can't they think of something else? It's becoming so that everytime I see a redhead in a movie/book, my Mary Sue-Spidey sense comes up!

Oh and about this:

"You remind me of my mother" line: I think my eyeballs did fall off! I gorged them out in frustration!
From: a_p_ Date: July 28th, 2005 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL. It was a pretty silly moment.


Aside from John and Sarah, I also think they couldn't make up their mind what to do with the Terminator. They make it clear that he's not the one from T2, and doesn't know anything about that (John even complains about having to teach him everything again)...yet he acts like a Terminator that got the John Connor treatment. Why does avoid human casualties? Do that thing with the keys? How does he know that Elton John-esque sunglasses are uncool? ;)

Also, was I the only one who had a problem with the Terminator telling John that they'd meet again at the end of the movie...when it had been established earlier that in the future, he would be the one to kill John? That was just strange.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 28th, 2005 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)


What was it with the whole ::terminator killed John Connor:: thing? A terminator couldn't kill him when he was: pre-born, pre-teen; but when he's this fearsome, awesome General they succeeded?

yeah, right!!!
From: a_p_ Date: July 29th, 2005 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Clearly, the T3 Terminator was the best one EVER! He killed John!

(I really didn't understand how John could be killed while there's an implication that the war hadn't yet ended -- the Terminator tells John that his and Kate's children will be important to the resistance -- how can John die before the final victory is won...?)

And how stupid must John be to let that design Terminator get close enough to kill him? And how does Skynet know in the future that John looked to the T2 Terminator as a father in the past?

I'm telling you, it's usually best not to think too deeply about T3. ;)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 29th, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
::lol!::

everyone in my office is glaring at me. my giggles are that loud.

but honestly, unless you want to burst something vital in your brain - steer clear off T3 analyzing.
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: July 27th, 2005 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I've only seen T3 once, which I guess means I'm not a big fan, but I thought that as an action movie T3 was okay. Prior to seeing T3, I was extremely anti-T3, couldn't think of another story worth telling with the Terminator, but after seeing it, I can't hate too much. Jonathan Mostow had huge shoes to fill, and he did a better job of it than a lot of the hacks out there might have. The thing about Terminator, though, is that he's James Cameron's. Terminator without James Cameron is just another action movie. To me, T3 plays like fanfic or EU: some interesting ideas, but it's not authentic.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 27th, 2005 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)
To me, T3 plays like fanfic or EU: some interesting ideas, but it's not authentic.

Definitely EU. Right down to the Mara Jade syndrome. Sometimes she's an interesting character but basically she's an invention of the new fanwriter and a Mary Sue.
From: a_p_ Date: July 28th, 2005 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yeah, as a typical summer action blockbuster, it's fine. As a Terminator movie...well...

Let's just say I agree with the SW EU comparison.

From: a_p_ Date: July 25th, 2005 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Let's talk a little John Connor (in T2)...

I love the scene where John is telling the Terminator all about his life (right before he decides to go get his mom). This conversation -- along with the later talk at Enrique's -- shows just how devastating it was for John when his mother was arrested, and he was told she was just crazy. I think the best thing Sarah ever did for John was to make that kind of life (where there are Terminators and nuclear war and John has to figure everything out) absolutely normal to him, to the point that he never realized that other people didn't live that way at all. I get the feeling that John is finally back at ease when the Terminators show up...once the initial shock fades way, John's back to place where everything makes sense again, he doesn't have to be angry at or ashamed of his mother, and he now knows what he needs to do. It makes him clearheaded and focused, and we get to see him in his element.

I find John's absolute moral clarity impressive almost to the point of astonishing. Considering his age and his upbringing, the fact that he's the moral center of their little family unit (doing his best to keep the Terminator and his mother in check, particularly when they disagree with him) is quite something. And it creates an interesting dynamic, since he definitely looks to both of them as parents, but he's the most level-headed and responsible one of the three of them.

John sort of strikes me as what Kyle might have been had he grown up before the war. At least, John reminds me more of Kyle than of Sarah in terms of his personality.

Ignoring both T3 and the alternate T2 ending, I always wondered what became of John (and Sarah) in a warless future. I think John would have very little or no desire to return to a "normal" life (which he couldn't do with Sarah around anyway, I don't think), but he's smart enough to know that he can't live his life just to become leader of the Human Resistance any more. What does he do?

The young John Connor is quite a complex and well-drawn character.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 26th, 2005 07:33 am (UTC) (Link)
The young John Connor is quite a complex and well-drawn character.

Which is one of the reasons why I am not the biggest T3 fan. John at 12 is such a powerful character - you can already see the seeds of greatness in him. In fact, forget seeds, he's already the great general, only he's not yet legal. :p The character in T3... lacks that. Kate Brewster's character is more spunky - one of the reasons why she comes across as Mary Sueish to me.


John sort of strikes me as what Kyle might have been had he grown up before the war. At least, John reminds me more of Kyle than of Sarah in terms of his personality.

I know what you mean. And it actually makes sense in a weird way. John Connor (old) was Kyle's mentor and probable surrogate father. Kyle clearly idolized the man and looked up to him, and possibly took after his personality to a large extent. John is like Kyle because Kyle is like John.

In a sense, it was essential for Kyle to die, wasn't it?
From: a_p_ Date: July 26th, 2005 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
John is like Kyle because Kyle is like John.

That's deep. But you're right, there's a loop going on here.


In fact, forget seeds, he's already the great general, only he's not yet legal. :p

Exactly. If people were willing to follow a kid into battle, John would already be the man in T2. ;) He's got all the necessary military knowledge, and already has the people/leadership skills. He's good to go.



By the way, what age do you think John is in T2? When the T-1000 looks him up in the cop car, the birthdate listed suggests he's around 10 years old. The T3 folks thought that was too young, and moved it up to 12. I didn't have a problem with him being 10 -- given his upbringing, I think it worked, even if he seemed to be rather mature and was doing things a ten-year-old isn't likely to do. Guess it's not a big deal either way.


In a sense, it was essential for Kyle to die, wasn't it?

Yeah, I think he had to. :(


I've never read either of the movie novelizations, but my understanding is that one of the books starts in the future, with the adult John. He's just been told that his mother was killed in a convoy or a raid...and he gets word just after that saying that Skynet has found a way to send a Terminator back in time. So he knows that he's got to send Kyle back to die protecting his mother. He loses his both his parents in the same day.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 26th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
By the way, what age do you think John is in T2?

10. T3 only made his age 13 so the fact that he was making out with Kate B won't seem so 'icky'. He was young enough to make friends with a cool machine. But he still grew up fast running aroung with guerrila fighters in Mexico or whoever his mom happened to be shacking up with. To me, he looked 10 and he acted 10, when you take his circumstances intoconsideration.

He loses his both his parents in the same day.

My poor baby! :((
I had a crush on him way back then, you know. :)
From: a_p_ Date: August 2nd, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Just for general discussion -- What do you think Sarah and John did after the events of T2 (completely disregarding Senator!John and HappyOldWoman!Sarah from the alternate ending and Wuss!John and Dead!Sarah from T3)?

moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 6th, 2005 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hello a_p! I'm sorry I've been on vacation for a week and I'm just popping in and popping out.
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