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we are, for some reason, all the time, bleeding,
and we love these dogs!!!

If you're looking to contact me regarding a custom mask, you may comment here, visit my etsy store, or email me at theuncommonfacade@gmail.com
~Your Humble Mask Maker


5 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
Mostly just so I can remember for next time!

All measurements are approximate

about 1.5 cups red wine (we went with a raven's wood zinfindel)
splash of red wine vinegar (1/8 cup ish)
1tbsp brown sugar
garlic powder

bring to a boil
simmer to reduce for a while
remove from heat and whisk in 2tbsp butter
add about 1tsp of flour to a little of the reduction in a teacup, whisk back in to help with thickening.

guys, this was AMAZING!
penny for your thoughts?
I'm using a New York Times article for a research paper and all I can think is "Why is this woman allowed to write for the times?" Like, seriously. Some of the worst writing I have encountered in a long time but the article has some really useful information for the angle of my paper so I can't just discount it... UUUUGH! Some winners:

"Thus inspired, she completed her Ph.D., showing, to the shock of herself and the entire scientific community, that humans and chimpanzees have more than 99 percent of their DNA in common."

"Dr. King, who is 47, is an unreclaimed liberal, and she is delighted that her headquarters, wedged in the middle of a building devoted to forestry science, has a bit of history to it."

"She won her greatest fame by working in Argentina with a human rights group, the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, attempting to reunite, with their families, children who were kidnapped in the 1970's and early 1980's by the Argentinian military junta."


"Yet in spite of it all, she manages to look young for her age, with a slab of dark hair that seems almost immobilized by its own thickness. Doesn't she ever feel overwhelmed? "Of course I feel overwhelmed!" she said, her voice rising up in a whoop ever so slightly reminiscent of Julia Child.

"What does being overwhelmed have to do with it?" She walks and talks so swiftly that by comparison one feels trapped in resin. Not a Bloodless Drone

"She's insightful, irreverent, energetic, a wonderful antidote to the notion people have of scientists as lifeless, bloodless drones," said Dr. Eric Lander, a molecular biologist at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, who is an old friend. "


Look, guys I'm not usually too critical of others writing. I know I make a lot of grammar faux pas myself. But! She writes for the mother fucking New York Times. I did a little research and found out she once wrote an article "Ew, don't touch it: Why is nature sometimes so ugly?" And now she writes for the New York Times. Not a Bloodless Drone
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I'm planning a very ambitious mask.

Watch this space.
1 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
guys, I have tons of product for sale, much of which I don't even have time to get up on my etsy store... so, if you want a mask for Halloween I have little jesters and imps for $50, a few lovely masks for $100, and a few big ones I can let go for $175-$225 (lion, medusa, minotaur, Cheshire cat) so let me know and I can send you a (cellphone) picture of one you're interested in. Tell your friends! :)
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Originally posted by cluegirl at StrowlerCon Feed
Hey everyone!

Last night was, in a word, AWESOME! For those of you who happened to glance at this blog last night, you saw me mention that the concerts and shows were going out on live feed, right?

Well, this is where it gets better. For the balance of today, right up until TONIGHT'S live feed goes out, we are leaving access to last night's broadcast up.

That's right, y'all get a replay option!
If you missed seeing Kellianna's stunning opening act; if you tuned in too late to hear [info]s00j and [info]stealthcello play the Skinny White Chick set; if you didn't get to see all of the Gypsy Nomads; or if you're stuck down at New York Comic Con, and missing Catherynne Valente more than you can bear, and would like to have a slice of her readings -- Hint; there was new stuff. Oh yes, there was! -- and S.J. Tucker's awesome songspinnings around those words -- Hint; there were new songs too!; if you missed the pasty-splosion of Rogue Burlesque...
We've got it handled for you!

You will also notice, as you click over to check out the awesome that is the live stream replay , that there is a little widget to the right of the screen, which will let you tip the artists you like and love.

Let me say it again, because I am a busker myself, and this is Relevant to my Interests: Tip the acts you enjoy. Just a bit of pocket change adds up to make the difference for a Strowler, you know. In the words of a wise man: "A little money makes the difference between an adventure, and an ordeal."

Tonight's feed will feature Kellianna at 7:00, followed by Heather Dale at 8:00, Sharon Knight at :9:00, Tricky Pixie at 10:00, and the Vagabond Vaudeville show at 11:00.

And finally, SHILL THIS POST! Oh, beloveds, let the internet ring with this ephemeral opportunity to sample our awesome!

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Originally posted by shadesong at HELL YEAH STROWLERCON

StrowlerCon is October 8-10 in Woburn, MA, and we are going to rock like you would not believe.

Join us in the Grand Ballrooms of the Woburn Holiday Inn, just north of Boston, on Columbus Day weekend — October 8th-10th, 2010 — for three nights of entertainment (live music, circus arts, burlesque) and two days of workshops, panels and other activities, including a special 10/10/10 celebration, and a Maker Showcase featuring inventions and material creations as well as artwork by local creators and attendees.

Click there to buy tickets - $45 for the weekend, $25 per day for day passes (so if you're going for more than one day, it pays to just buy the $45 weekend pass). To reserve your hotel room, e-mail lodging@strowlers.com.

Can't go but want to support StrowlerCon and sponsor a strowler? We have supporting memberships, and they come with goodies.

Okay. You have the technical details. But 'song, you say, what did you say about ROCKING?

Here you GO.

Friday night: Concerts by SJ Tucker, Kellianna, and Gypsy Nomads, and the MONSTERS' BALL featuring SJ Tucker, Catherynne Valente, Lee Harrington, and other special guests!

* Day One of a two-day intensive writing workshop with Catherynne Valente ([info]yuki_onna)!
* Sacred Kink and Rope Sex workshops with the amazing Lee Harrington!
* Burlesque workshop!
* Guitar workshop with Ben Deschamps!
* Costuming workshop with [info]cluegirl, the Wandering Legion, and Lady Cyanide!
* Poi-spinning tutorial with K Wiley ([info]omnisti)!
* "Zen for Clowns" - Beginning Contact Juggling and Object Manipulation with Russ Sharek!
* A reading by [info]yuki_onna!
* Panels about Making Your Own Way; Strowlers in Myth, Legend, and Folklore; disaster stories from street theater; and Meet the Performers sessions with Tricky Pixie and Sharon Knight!

Saturday night: Concerts by Tricky Pixie, Sharon Knight, Heather Dale, and Kellianna - and a naughty nightime show, Vagabond Vaudeville: Mountebanks, Shewers of Tricks, and Wanderers of Fortune, with tawdry circus performers, bodacious burlesque by Rogue Burlesque, a rope show by Lee Harrington, MCing by the infamous [info]lightcastle, and so much more! (This will probably be your only chance to see me tied up on stage, I am just saying. So if that is relevant to your interests, hey!)

* VIP brunch to celebrate 10:10:10!
* Day Two of the writing workshop!
* Maskmaking workshop with [info]ioianthe of The Uncommon Facade!
* Busking for Beginners with [info]cluegirl!
* Juggling for Beginners with [info]slipjig!
* Circus Arts for Beginners with Frank Mohr!
* Improv workshop with Frank Mohr!
* Vocal workshop with Sharon Knight!
* Origami workshop with Andrew Anselmo!
* Gentlemen's Duelling with the Wandering Legion!
* A reading by me (Shira Lipkin)!
* An hour with [info]s00j and [info]yuki_onna!
* Accessory-making workshop with [info]cluegirl, Lady Cyanide, and potentially others!
* Panels on cross-media collaboration (with [info]s00j, [info]yuki_onna, [info]kythryne, and me) and Music as Magic; Meet the Performers sessions with [info]s00j, [info]yuki_onna, Heather Dale, and the Gypsy Nomads!

Sunday night: Concerts by Heather Dale, Sharon Knight, and the Gypsy Nomads, and the StrowlerCon Challenge - a no-holds-barred open mic where you might actually get to see me dance.

All of this AND a maker showcase and art show and vendors including Kythryne of Wyrding Studios, [info]rivenwanderer of purpleshiny, Dark Siren Designs, Parrish Relics, Red Fork Empire, Behind the Mask, and many more, with demos going all the time!

So buy those tickets (only $45 for all of this!), reserve that hotel room, and come have truly epic amounts of fun at StrowlerCon. This is going to rock. your. socks.

penny for your thoughts?
I have pieces for bid up over at the blogathon auction to benefit the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center! You should go and bid, and not just on my stuff! Tons of amazing art and craft items to benefit a great cause. :) I should also point out that my needle felted phoenix is the kind of thing that you won't be able to get for this low a price ever again because needle felting is super fun but also very time consuming and my time is valuable!
2 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
You know what? Nobody ever tells you that real life NEVER STOPS. And I MISS hyper focus.

Have you seen those ADD pie charts? Wait, lemme get them.

So, this is my brain a big part of the time without Ritalin. It SUCKS.

This is my brain a smaller portion of the time without Ritalin. It is GODLIKE the way the rest of the world disappears and I can completely invest myself into something. Unfortunately I can't pick what it goes to so sometimes it's the internet or something awful. But when it's right? When it's art or writing and the world disappears? It's amazing.

The thing is? it's rare for that to happen. It's rare and only happens when my brain isn't medicated. Spending less time unmedicated drops the likelihood WAY down. It has only happened once since I started taking ritalin, and that was when I redecorated the kitchen/dining room.

This is the regular thing. Most brains. My brain with Ritalin. Look at how much stuff I am thinking about all the time, while STILL being able to do what I need to do! LOOK AT IT!

That's a lot of stuff, all the time... and I guess that's what being a functional adult is all about but OMG is it overwhelming.

And it points to the first thing I need to learn how to do, as opposed to having it just fall effortlessly into my lap like everything else I've discovered while being on Ritalin.

I need to re-teach myself to be truly still. I also need to learn not to expect to be able to let go of the things I need to keep track of... weird.


4 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
Watching Julie and Julia which is ADORABLE by the way, but this made me lol.

Amy Adams: "I can't finish anything I've started, and do you know why?"
The Guy: "Why?"
Her: "ADD"
Him: "you really think you have ADD?"
Her: "Yes! It's why I'm no good at housework."
penny for your thoughts?
Friends, gourmands, fellow citrus lovers! I am here to bring you great tidings of JOY and FOOD and GRAPEFRUIT.

Bill and I tried Alton Brown's simple recipe for grapefruit brulee. And it is *amazing*. my tastebuds want to taste nothing but this forever and ever right now, because it is clean and crisp tasting, but also subtle and sophisticated.

Cut your grapfruit in half and cut around the edge with a serrated knife so the segments will be easy to remove later (I cut each segment loose for maximum eating efficiency; but then I also don't have a grapefruit spoon)

Sprinkle with a thick layer of coarse sugar (maybe 2tsp)

Get your brulee torch. (*evil laughter* yes! I have a brulee torch! And I'm not afraid to use it!)

melt the sugar until golden brown, and burnt in some areas. MmmmMmmmMmmm Caramelization.

THEN! Then comes the secret ingredient: SALT! quickly sprinkle just a pinch of course sea salt onto the hot sugar... and be prepared to be amazed.

See, salt blocks bitter taste receptors. so while a grapefruit normally tastes sour and bitter, and we cover it in sugar to mask the bitterness and make it sweet, when we add salt the bitterness is gone and the salt enhances the sweet and sourness of the fruit.

Bill also really liked it.

7 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
I want to make another mask but am stuck for inspiration... anybody have any ideas?
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me: and Lepidus sucks with out his beard. I don't want to look at his face.
Michael: It's coming back! Very slowly. :)
me: yes! I did notice!
Michael: It must be so tough to keep beard continuity on a show like Lost.
me: yeah, seriously! like Jack beard.
9:43 PM Btw I'm blogging that one.
Michael: Well, take Jorge/Hurley. He's got to have like that constant medium growth. Sawyer is another stubble continuity nightmare.
Stubble Continuity Nightmare is my new band name.
me: cackle
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I have decided I would be failing at my duty to inform as many people as possible of awesome things if I did not share these here. (BTW THAT is my plan for world domination- spread the awesome... although this is not related to my warrior queen aspirations) If you only watch some, watch the first and last ones.

2 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
I got down to a 9 min 30 seconds mile on the elliptical.

This is big doings for me! This is the first time I've made it under 11, and I made it under 11 by A LOT.

To celebrate, I want to make a new gym mix... and I want your help.

What music really gets your blood pumping? Suggest a song! Hell, suggest ten songs! My preferred musics tend to not lead to high intensity exercise so any and all recommendations are welcome. :)
7 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
Chances are, you were not around for the conversation where we decided that the plural of octopus isn't octopi, nor is it octopodes (using the proper greek roots and all!)and certainly not "Octopuses" which wikipedia tells me is accepted but I think is vulgar, but rather, is cow-not cows, cows is the plural of cow, cow is the plural of octopus.)

And, my friends, this video shows the problem solving capacities of the octopus to be pretty impressive. Scarily impressive.

They can climb through twisting tubes!

Thankfully the MO of the tricky octopus tends to be to cram its large and boneless body into whatever container it has just opened.


Thumbs 1- Tentacles 0
3 two cents or penny for your thoughts?

3 two cents or penny for your thoughts?

My piece based on shadesong's Valentines is up on the IAF auction site Finally. *laugh*

I adore this piece. I really do.

And I couldn't ask for a better source of inspiration.

You should bid. ;)
8 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
So, I forgot to register because I am a serious slacker with ADD and too much on her platter (that's how much there is! I had to upgrade from a plate!)

But Bill and I will be walking with Team Monkey Hugs today, at the AFSP Out of the darkness walk, in memory of our friend Wyatt, and the others I have lost through suicide. Please, if you can, give to the cause. Your donations can go to anyone on the team!


*hugs everybody*
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Vulnerable Is Beautiful from Rachael Maddox on Vimeo.

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So, there are THINGS I want to MAKE today.

I've been down the fair briefly. I did not achieve run ins, but that's okay I think. I had a nice time walking around. I was thinking about going back down, but I want to MAKE.

The list:
1.) Make list
2.) find list
3.) uh, finish IAF. DEADLINE EXTENTION=GODSEND BTW. But not really, because then I just continue to slack.
4.) puppet. it's gonna be a carnivorous plant. IDK how to skin it though; my class never got that far.
5.) a book cover.
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Remember how I am going to be a warrior queen?

I've found my decor.

You have been warned.


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For the handful of you who haven't seen it:

muppets and gnosticism

READ! :)
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Hi friends!

So I decided to use a good chunk of my mask profits to buy a photography rig & camera. I'd love for both things together to come in at under $500.

Anybody have any suggestions for what I should get? I'd prefer a three light set up, and need at least a 30" tent... I don't know anything about free standing set ups but am willing to consider anything! I just need to be able to take great pictures of my product. :)

3 two cents or penny for your thoughts?

We're still trying to figure out what we're going to do, but we figure we'll do a "here is where we will be, join us if you can!" Kind of meet up and hang out!

Things will be happening for the afternoon/evening.

We are balls at coming up with plans, but will have some by this evening. We're hoping not to put the pressures of hosting on anyone, and instead do things which are "out" :D
5 two cents or penny for your thoughts?

Should I buy this dress?
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Bill presented me with a flower this morning, and said "see this one doesn't even have a bug in it!" I watched as a small brown bug inched its way over the petals. "are you sure?"

*laugh* the bug was released outdoors and I now have one beautiful bug free flower, and one very sheepish adorable husband.
penny for your thoughts?
I was going to come home for my break and post that I was cranky. Capitol C cranky. Damn kids and such.


I went around back and jumped on the land lord's trampoline. For a full 15 minutes. I overcame the fear of lift off (hell, I haven't jumped on one of these in a billion years) and just jumped. Jumped and ignored the three guys working on the roof next door and obviously watching. (subtle, stopping your conversation and standing on the edge of the roof) Jumped and felt my stomach lurch and my heart flutter and smiled. Jumped.

Guess who isn't cranky anymore? *grin*

Tell me something that makes you happy!! You know, to help me keep this mood going even once I go back to those kids... who are very cranky... (maybe we'll all do some jumping after nap time.)

(and a gif, because I don't have the icon until I get around to renewing my paid account!)

4 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
Guys, if you have not read Einstein's Dreams, you must. If you live near to me, I can lend you our copy for the hour it will take you to read it... otherwise seek it out.

I dearly loved this little book, and I want to share almost every page with you. Instead, I'll settle for a single bit (for tonight anyway):

A young woman sits near a fountain in the Botanischer Garten. She comes here every Sunday to smell the white double violets, the musk rose, the matted pink gillyflowers. Suddenly, her heart soars, she blushes, she paces anxiously, she becomes happy for no reason. Days later, she meets a young man and is smitten with love. Are the two events not connected? But by what bizarre connection, by what twist in time, by what reversed logic?

In this acausal world, scientists are helpless. Their predictions become postdictions. Their equations become justifications, their logic, illogic. Scientists turn reckless and mutter like gamblers who cannot stop betting. Scientists are buffoons, not because they are rational but because the cosmos is irrational. Or perhaps it is not because the cosmos is irrational but because they are rational. Who can say which, in an acausal world?

In this world, artists are joyous. Unpredictability is the life of their paintings, their music, their novels. They delight in events not forecasted, happenings without explanation, retrospective.

Most people have learned how to live in the moment. The argument goes that if the past has uncertain effect on the present, there is no need to dwell on the past. And if the present has little effect on the future, present actions need not be weighed for their consequence. Rather, each act is an island in time, to be judged on its own. Families comfort a dying uncle not because of a likely inheritance, but because he is loved in that moment. Employees are hired not because of their resumes, but because of their good sense in interviews. Clerks trampled by their bosses fight back at each insult, with no fear for their future. It is a world of impulse. It is a world of sincerity. It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or no future, each kiss is a kiss of immediacy.

(emphasis mine)

And that's just part of one beautiful, heartbreaking, breathtaking imagining of time.
5 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
When I am a warrior queen I will wear the HELL out of this dress

You have been warned.


25 two cents or penny for your thoughts?

Visit crappytaxidermy.com

Not all the taxidermy is crappy, not all of it is even taxidermy (but most is!) some of it is strangely beautiful, some of it is just strange, and yes, some of it is horrendously horrendously bad.

It's a good time. I promise.
3 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
2 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
I am sad that Atlas Obscura has been having RSS fail, because they bring me amazing things:

2 two cents or penny for your thoughts?

So the beast is done. Barring hand sewing. There are a few better shots on my flickr but I forgot how to rotate them, so this is the one you get!

I LOVE this mask. Love it. It let me be so much of what I am as an artist, while meeting a very specific set of instructions. And use faux fur. I say this with every new piece, but I think it is the best thing I have ever done... *grin*

In other news, adjusting to new glasses is HARD yo. It's like I can see TOO MUCH.
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Finishing, photographing and shipping are NOT the fun parts of what I do. I think I can get everything done and out tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow... :P
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Food log:Collapse )
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Holy crap! So, I don't know how this got away from me, but I think I forgot to mention... I have a new tattoo

Some of you may recognize it. Why? because I am a HUGE NERD. XD

Yesterday, a 3year old told me it looked like a factory. I thought that was pretty awesome.
22 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
Hey there friends! I want to let you know I'm having a HUGE HUGE HUGE sale on my Etsy. 25% off all stock items... I have ideas in my brain and I want to make space for them! Anyway, before I start sending messages to people who have marked my items as favorite I wanted to give the good folks of LJ a chance to grab them first!

This puts The Medusa under $200, and my $135 masks down to $100!

Buy Handmade

Please spread the word: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5627528

2 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
MUST hit up an art supply store in the next few days. I have new info on paints to use for leather, and need to procure it for the beast mask.
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I love how this:

Somehow becomes this:

in my hands.
13 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
So, Blogathon auction of awesome that I linked to before? One of my masks is up for bid! And right now it's going for practically free! so you should totally go bid. Because you want to get one of my masks and help a worth cause, right? The other items up over there are pretty spectacular as well so check out the whole thing!

food log shall not be abbreviated as -flog- lest I give people the wrong idea about what is under the cutCollapse )
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I am head over heels with Far. It breaks my heart in two and puts it back together again.
1 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
action of awesome to support Boston Area Rape Crisis Center:


There are a lot of great GREAT items, inspired by shadesong's writing. I have a mask up!

Spread the word! Bid!
penny for your thoughts?
Have I mentioned I have what sometimes boarders on a shoe fetish?

Stolen from http://www.funkytrend.com/amazingly-unique-footwear/

8 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
I'm trying to write a fake error code to look like a data retrieval error that I can then plug phrases from a story into. I want it to be good enough to pass or accurate enough to be funny to people who speak the language.

I cannot do this on my own.

Anyone out there able to help? I'd take something as simple as a copy paste of some script that I can alter as needed.
4 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
Also Also:

I am seeking more things for the center! I'll just continue to list them here, and then do a big round up at some point... again, if you have these things or know where I can get them cheap or mostly free, AWESOME!

Toaster oven
tea kettle or electric tea kettle
hot plate
penny for your thoughts?
oy! Back to stupid DVD which is stupid.

Anyone know of a good, FREE, EASY, can download from the internet program to let me burn MPEG2 to DVD-R?

I am fux0rd.

(also, ever accidentally look at something and make yourself REALLY sad? Yeah. That.)
17 two cents or penny for your thoughts?

1.) You may not be aware, but that is pretty much how maths go for me at all times.
2.) USB toast!
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If you have them, or can help me get them, that would be awesome!

Costume Jewelry
Old clothes with good buttons and zippers. Small or kids sizes are best since my little guys are only 3.
Fun "grandma's attic" type Hats
Shoes! Men and women's (we have a ton of flip flops)
plants (I will probably end up buying plants, because I will probably also end up killing them)
fish tank
plastic(or other not easily broken material) table lamps
ipod docking station (I probably need to suck it up and buy this one, but it never hurts to ask)
tiny boxes (again, not glass or ceramic etc.) for holding tiny treasures
cafeteria trays
sturdy but decorative crates/baskets/boxes etc

ETA: Pottery Wheel

My OCD is kicking into HIGH GEAR for the classroom design.
12 two cents or penny for your thoughts?
How friends? HOW?

How is it possible that I have lived on this earth for 27 years and not been warned of the existence of THIS crustacean?

I haven't felt this betrayed by the people responsible for teaching me about nature since I learned that lions can climb trees. (did you know? LIONS can climb TREES. It's, like, not fair to other animals. And terrifying to watch.)

Named the coconut crab because it has the ability to crush coconuts with its claws, if this fucker grabs you YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO TICKLE ITS BELLY. Appalling.

In any event, don't repeat this mistake! Learn! Teach your children about coconut crabs, and the impending threat of coconut crabocalypse. Make them promise to teach their children. The world must know!

And yes, I know king crabs are a plenty big crustacean, but they're all legs- don't let them fool ya!

This has been a public service announcement.
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