~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~it's all about the love~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hop Against Homophobia & Transphobia 1 - CockyBoys are in the house



Welcome to the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. As one of the organizers I want to thank you for taking the time to check out all the wonderful posts that will be popping up over the next ten days. I believe the best way to abolish the need to even have an International Day Against Homophobia, is to keep talking about it and sharing experiences both good and bad. The more that's out there, the more people become aware, and hopefully, start to understand.

I will have two posts from May 17-27. They are part one and two of an interview I did with three amazing men. I hope you'll take the time to read what their individual thoughts are on growing up gay, homophobia in today's society, running a successful business, and living together in a loving relationship of three.

Now let me introduce them to you. Please welcome Jake Jaxson, R.J. Sebastian, and Benny Morecock to my Hop post. Have a look at their bios then we'll start the interview. (and yes, I did color-code each of them – OCD at its finest) Oh, and leave a comment to be included in my draw—more information about my giveaway and donations being made to the Trevor Project is at the end of this post.) Read on, people.

~*~*~*~


Jake Jaxson ~ Filmmaker, artist, collector, hopeless romantic, and insatiable flirt. He lives in New York with his two loves and collaborators, R.J. Sebastian and Benny Morecock, & their four canine gaybies ~ Raif, Sebastian, Bailey & Jackson. Jake is also the owner/director of CockyBoys.

Benny Morecock ~ Jack-of-all-trades at CockyBoys. I'm the brains of the operation, Jake is the vision. On the side I collect hobbies and enjoy teaching myself random skills that may or may not come in handy during the second coming of Christ.

R.J. Sebastian ~ Director of photography for most of the CockyBoys updates, as well as the primary photographer for most of the shoots on the website. Jake Jaxson handed him a camera and encouraged me to start shooting the behind the scenes candid shots of the models. From there, RJ moved his way up to primary photographer, and has changed the look and feel of the CockyBoys websites images. RJ wants to transform the way pornographic photos are taken and viewed, and feels that you can shoot explicit images that can also live as art and live on their own. R.J. is also a part-time model and actor.

~*~*~*~


~~Hey Jake, Benny, R.J. welcome to Chaos in the Moonlight. I really appreciate you stopping by. First off, would you mind telling us a little about yourselves? Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like? Basically anything you'd like to offer up would be awesome.

Jake:
I was born at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, and was put up for adoption as a baby. I was the class clown and could talk my way in and out of anything. Because of that, I seemed to slip through the cracks at school, and did not learn to read until the fourth grade. Even today, I would rather talk than write and listen over reading. I was a theater geek all the way.

I went to a performing arts school and played the lead of Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun and Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. My mom cried every night during the wedding scene of that production—she knew that was the only time she would see me get married…to a girl!

My work merges elements of traditional pornography with reality TV, documentary, and non-linear storytelling. I like to think I create what I call "guilt-free porn." My current work has been described as a new genre of homoerotic pornography and erotic-docs, and that makes me very proud. My goal now is to continue this guerilla approach to producing and directing. I hope it will push the limits of sexual understanding, art, and commerce into a new porn paradigm.

Benny:
My early years, from four to six, were spent in the Philippines living with my sister and grandparents. After that, I grew up in Arizona and lived there for most of my childhood and adolescence. I was always a passive observer, and somewhat of an awkward kid, when it came to school and social situations.

However, you could say that my junior year of high school was my “coming out” in the social sense—where I became comfortable in my own skin and my identity. That was the year I embraced that I was different. I dyed my hair blue, turned into a “punk” kid, collected friends and really thrived socially. I loved school, enjoyed learning, but never did my homework so of course my grades were awful. Despite that, I joined every club that I could—Speech and Debate, Shakespeare club, German Club, Academic Decathlon, Science Club. I really thrived and it’s my first recollection of really wanting to grab the world by the horns.

R.J.:
Growing up Mexican in an all macho household, I was usually teased and made fun of so I tended to stay on the sideline, and not draw any attention to myself. But I did start delving into the arts in school, but was always very worried about what my classmates would think or say since I was called fag every day. I grew up with a constant voice in my head that always says, "there is something wrong here." This voice is still there to this day. I just know now it is just that…a voice. And I can choose to realize it is not real.


~~As I've explained a little above, this hop is working in conjunction with the International Day Against Homophobia to spread the word about hope for a prejudice-free world—specifically regarding homophobia. Can you tell me how homophobia affected you in your younger years, perhaps when you were coming out or whether the place you grew up was conducive to doing that? Do you still continue to be affected by homophobia now?

R.J.:
Growing up, I remember my dad saying, "If any of my kids are gay, I'll kill them".
So that set the tone for me always being very shy and quiet, trying to keep off anyone's radar. All through my schooling, I was called "faggot". Didn’t matter what school I went to or how much I tried to fit in or change myself, I heard it once a day, every day. I still walk into places and have the same pit in my stomach when anybody looks at me. My first gut thought is, "they are calling me a fag or judging me because they know I'm gay". Then I stop myself from thinking it and move on.

Homophobia completely shaped me to be who I am…I do have thick skin, but I still do entertain those old thought patterns. The difference now is I choose to stop them once they start. To a degree I also have been very guarded when it comes to acting/modeling because there is a stigma, once casting knows you're gay. They assume you can't be anything else….and I believed that…so much that I would get auditions and if the character description said "macho jock"…. I would doubt myself and stop myself from actually auditioning because I was convinced I could never be that because I was gay.

Benny:
I wouldn’t say that my younger experiences were more homophobic than the next kid. There was always that fear and awkwardness when I began to develop sexually, and I found that I was attracted to my male friends, and more importantly the realization that that feeling isn’t normal. As a kid, you learn to hide those feelings before you even realize exactly what they are—before you even know what "gay" is. And there were instances where I was made fun of for being a "fag" before I even knew what that was. And I don’t even think they knew what it meant either. Kids just sensed a "differentness" about me that wasn’t their perception of natural. And it’s just the nature of bullies in school to prey on that.
 
It was junior year of high school that I was able to have the internal dialogue of, "I am gay". It’s harder to be able to come to that realization than you can ever realize. You understand the concept of "gay" when you’re young, but you spend so much of your childhood hiding that from everyone else, that you also convince yourself that that’s not you. It’s a weird psychological game that can really fuck you up—denying your most basic identity, and the fear of being found out for who you really are.

Anyway, it was when I really accepted myself, and who I was, that the world changed for me. I was no longer fearful, but the exact opposite. I saw possibility where there was none before. If I experienced homophobia after that, it didn’t affect me because I didn’t care. I learned that I could create reality for myself, and choose who I accepted into that reality. So I created a world that accepted me, and people that didn’t accept me—well, it didn’t matter because they weren’t valid to me.

Nowadays, I don’t experience any homophobia. But I’m lucky enough to live in a socially progressive city, and I’ve surrounded myself by people that support me.

Jake:
Growing up in southern Louisiana was not exactly conducive to being gay. Since I also grew up in a very religious family—sex was taboo and gay sex was a sin—I was closeted (that is, as closeted as a quirky, skinny boy who loved musical theater could be). And because I feared that my lie would be discovered, I was also at times part of the problem. I picked on boys who were "obviously gay" in hopes that no one would think I was also "that way.".

My work now is directly influenced by that time in my life—it's a celebration of gay love and sexual expression. My film, The Haunting, produced with my partners, R.J. and Benny, is the story of two young men who were torn apart by religious intolerance and ignorance.

One of the boys is killed in an alleged "hunting accident," and that part of the film was directly inspired by a moment in my young adult life. While on a hunting trip with my Boy Scout troop, we were in a duck blind and the conversation turned to jokes about how Rock Hudson died after "eating a bad wiener" and then about a kid named Shannon who we all called "Sharon" and joked was gay. One of the guys in the blind said if "Sharon" was here, he would "fuck him up the ass" with the shotgun he was holding and "pull the trigger as he came."

At that moment, I experienced a fear that took me years to overcome. At that moment, I buried my "gay self" so deep inside me that uncovering it would take years of lies, self-hate, and reinvention.

Today I am blessed and so grateful. I am a polygamous pornographer! And my deep love and respect for my partners and the young men and women that work for me is my shield against that past. And I have more respect and admiration for my immediate "porn family" than I do the bankrupt moral crusaders, politicians, and religious zealots who often do not practice what they preach! I often say—the ones who are screaming the loudest about the sins of others are the very ones up to their eyeballs in sin and hypocrisy. To me, they represent that ignorant boy with the shotgun in that duck blind 30 years ago.

~~Family seems to be very important in your lives and according to Jake's bio, you have your own pack of dogs (and I've seen pics – they're all adorable). Have you always been animal lovers or have dogs always been your preference? Are they spoiled rotten (remember I've seen pics)? Tell us about Raif, Sebastian, Jackson, and Bailey. 

Benny:
I’ve always had a dog for my entire life—I love them and I’ll always be a dog person. I can’t imagine not having an animal companion by my side for my entire life. They’re pretty much spoiled rotten. They fly with us wherever we go, and my dog Bailey even rides on my bike with me.

R.J.:
I hated dogs. I was bitten by a dog when I was 19. I still have the scar, right by my nose, and my first thought was, "now I'll never be a model". Jake has always had and loved dogs. We would go to Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles during what we called "doggy rush hour" which was at about 5pm after work, and we would watch dogs on our hike and be like, "oh look at that one" or "if we had a dog, that’s what we would want".

We finally went for it and got Sebastian. Jake and I went into the pet store (I know, we were not educated back then on what pet stores really meant for animals) and we saw Sebastian. He was with another little grey and white Italian greyhound. They were 3 months old, and Sebastian was shy while the other one was a crazy and excited puppy.
We chose Sebastian, the all-black one.

Six months later we mentioned to a friend where we got Sebastian and our friend mentioned he had stopped by that pet store and had seen a grey and white Italian greyhound. Because he was older, they had mentioned to him that if no one bought the dog they would end up having to put him down. That week I went back to the pet store thinking it couldn’t be the same dog from seven months before I thought. When I walked in my heart broke. It was the same dog, but bigger and crazier than before. I took him out in the play area and I soon realized why no one had taken him home. Aside from the hefty price tag for a purebred, he started to pee and mark the entire playroom.

I called Jake at work and said, "you have to come right now—I'm taking this dog home". And that’s how we "rescued" Raif. I admit I still have guilt over not taking him home with us when we took Sebastian, but in the end it was meant to be. He is my King and I do everything I can to make his life perfect now.

~~Another aspect of your family is that the three of you are in a loving, committed relationship together—something not common in today's society, at least not that people are aware of or admit. Can you tell me a little bit about your partnership? How long have you been together? (Benny was interviewed for NYmag with regards to their "throuple" relationship. You can read it here http://nymag.com/news/features/benny-morecock-throuple/ It's an awesome article)

R.J.:
Jake and I have been together for 15 years. We met through our mutual trainer at Crunch Fitness in LA...so typical. We knew each other for about a year, but I was always traveling as a dancer and had just shot a commercial when we really started to see each other.

From our first date, we never stopped seeing each other. It's not all roses, I'm a devil, I'm stubborn, I'm selfish and I'm an incredibly negative person at heart…but Jake has really worked and fought tirelessly for 15 years to get me out of a lot of these habits. I thank him, and am grateful to have such a positive forward moving force in my life. I realize that not everyone is blessed to have this in their own life.

Benny:
I met Jake when I was an apprentice at a salon, he was a client there and I washed his hair. He'd always seen me there and had a crush on me, so when we finally talked we hit it off and exchanged numbers...the rest is history.

~*~*~*~

Make sure you come back tomorrow for the next part of my interview with Jake, R.J., and Benny. I might even ask them the most important question possible—top or bottom. :)

In honor of the International Day Against Homophobia, I will be making a donation to The Trevor Project, and in an awesome gesture, Jake, R.J. and Benny will be making a donation as well, on behalf of CockyBoys.

As for my giveaway, leave your name and email address in a comment and I will be drawing for two books from my backlist, as well as a $15.00 gift certificate for All Romance Ebooks, once the HAHAT is over.

68 comments:

  1. Loving the interview so far. :D

    ReplyDelete
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    1. *jumps for joy because she just figured out how to do this comment-reply-thread thing* :)

      Thanks, bb. I hope you like the rest too.

      <3

      Delete
  2. This has been a great post. I'm pretty jealous, seeing as you've gone all-out awesome. Will be back tomorrow :)

    HarperKingsley0.0@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All-out? That's a good thing I hope. ;)
      Glad you enjoyed - they're great guys. See you tomorrow. :)

      Hugs

      Delete
  3. Oh man, awesome interview!! I'll be back tomorrow

    pantsoffreviews@live.ca

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, D. Glad you're enjoying. See you soon. ;)

      K

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  4. Thank you for taking part in the hop! And I'm loving the interview :)

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks so much, and as one of the organizers of the HAHAT, thanks for participating.

      :)

      Delete
  5. Wonderful interview...will be back tomorrow....janer50
    jsmolen@triad.rr.com

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  6. Will be back tomorrow to continue the interview. its interesting to see the different experiences they all had growing up

    littlesuze at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I was hoping would be the case when I asked the guys to do it. Glad it worked out. Thanks for stopping by. :)

      Delete
  7. Loving the interview so far. :D

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

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  8. Fantastic interview. I'm aware of the kind of hate kids are subjected to, but it's always jarring to me to hear first person accounts. Thanks guys for opening up and sharing your experiences. Looking forward to hearing more!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. They were really so honest and open, weren't they? Wonderful guys. I feel blessed to get to know them a little better.

      Can you leave your email address for the give-away, hon?

      Hugs

      Delete
  9. So I actually got to the bottom of this post and thought, "NO!" I'll definitely be back to see more of what these guys have to say. :)

    georgiagreen73 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Lol sorry about that. I think I mentioned it in the beginning. :)

      Glad you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  10. What a great interview! Gives me hope for the future (cute dogs too).

    skadlec1@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope is definitely alive in this and the next part, and yes, I had a lot of trouble deciding which cute pics to use.
      Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. They did an awesome job. I'm a proud mama. Lol.

      Email address for the give-away?

      Delete
  12. Miss ET {Elaine}May 17, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    What a great interview. Can relate very closely to their relationship, growing up different and their love of dogs.
    Look forward to the continuation and culmination (•‿•)♡

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    1. Thank you, Elaine. I'm glad you stopped by and that this struck some chords in you. The guys were awesome and i couldn't love them more than right now. :)

      Hugs

      Delete
  13. Give all three guys a big hug. They deserve it!

    mell88@nycap.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Big hugs are definitely deserved. Thanks for stopping by Mell. :)

      Delete
  14. This is a great interview. I love these guys.

    morris.crissy@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously I love them too. They surprised me in such a good way with their answers and willingness to put themselves out there. Thanks for the comment. :)

      Delete
  15. Fantastic...it's so cool to read about their process, and I appreciate their support of m/m romance!

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. They're completely awesome men, all three of them, and they made me so happy with their openness and willingness. Thanks for the comment. :)

      Delete
  16. Great interviews. Thanks, guys for participating!

    lena.grey.iam@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lena, that means a lot. Glad you enjoyed.

      Hugs.

      Delete
  17. Wonderful interviews! And thanks for organizing the hop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you could join in, happy you liked the interview and thanks so much for stopping by. Welcome to the hop. :)

      Delete
  18. This post has everything... a great interview AND puppies! Looking forward to the next installment.



    emmasmom AT wi DOT rr DOT com

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    1. Lol. Definitely the cutest puppies ever. And yeah, Jake, R.J. and Benny gave me a stellar interview to post. I'm very thankful. And thank you for stopping by. :)

      Delete
  19. Tons of fun, K-lee. Thanks for putting these interviews together, and most of all, for helping to organize this year's hop. :D

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi, Amanda. Welcome to the hop. :) We appreciate your support and I'm happy you stopped by.

      :)

      Delete
  20. I love this! I can't wait to read the rest. Thank you so much for putting all of this together and bringing us these lovely gentlemen. :)

    Xakara at Xakara dot com

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  21. I love this interview! Will be back to read more, for sure. I've always been really intrigued about how poly relationships work. It's interesting to me that they formed separate relationships within the larger one and that one of them keeps a separate bedroom and apartment. I always thought everybody lived and slept together all the time, lol. I have so many questions...I hope some of them get answered in the later posts. :D
    bloodandfires (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  22. Love the interview. Thanks for posting! wendynjason04(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. That was a great interview. Thanks for doing the hop!

    Beth
    JPadawan11@gmail.com

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  24. Woo-hoo! Great interviews. I love being part of this year's Hop. Thanks for organizing it!

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  25. WoW!!! this is a great post...I am lookin forward to more from the guys...Interesting the different backgrounds and how they were drawn together. Thank you so much for sharing.

    hugs from your fan,
    jo
    johannasnodgrass(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  26. What an awesome interview! I just love when people come together and they just love one another period. I love seeing the happiness and the growing commitment over time. I can't wait to read the next post. Thank you guys for sharing your life with us. :)
    Thank you for being a part of the blog hop!

    Darcy
    pomma @akwolf.com

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  27. Great interview! Can't wait for part two! I love JJ, RJ & Benny.

    Lisa

    meee611@gmail.com

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  28. Excellent interview. :) Thanks for doing this K-Lee. These guys are such stars.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Awesome interview, I'm looking forward to reading part 2. It was great getting to know them and learning more about them.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love CockyBoys and your interview was great!!

    peggy1984 (at) live (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Great interview, I will be back for the rest.

    ocanana@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great Interview. Thanks for doing the hop.
    Miranda P
    bones_mcp(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  33. I've long admired Benny! what an amazing interview! Such wonderful intelligent men with obviously much love between them. <3

    engineerqueen (at) rocketmail (dot) com

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  34. Great interview :)
    Looking forward to reading more...
    Kuddos and thanks for sharing ...

    BeckeyWhiteATgmailDOTcom

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  35. Great interview and I love the dog pics.

    ShirleyAnn@speakman40.freeserve.co.uk

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  36. I very much appreciate their honesty and openness, especially relating some difficult experiences growing up.

    C.M. Trudell

    cmtrudell@outlook.com

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  37. Amazing interview! I'm in love with guys and their beautiful dogs. Thanks, this made my day!
    Urb
    brendurbanist @gmail. com

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  38. I really like these guys. It was great to see that after the fear and hate in their lives they seem to be truly happy with each other and their life together.

    Chris
    ceagles48218@yahoo.com

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  39. Just read both parts of this interview, I have been an admirer of these 7 guys (yes, including the pups) for quite a while now & I love having their presence in my life. The interview made me laugh & cry, my emotions are all over the place now, the Raif story shattered me but happily its a good ending.
    Thanks for this amazing interview K-lee & Jake, Benny & R.J. you guys rock!
    Kirsty
    kirstyjanemcdowell@gmail. com

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  40. Wow, I just finishing reading that interview and it was awesome. Thank you so much for sharing their loving story during the hop.

    sophiebonaste@gmail.com

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  41. Thanks for the great interview guys! And thanks so much for sharing your post in this blog hop! Such an important subject.
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

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  42. Thanks for writing books for EVERYONE! Blackhippiechick@yahoo.com

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  43. R.J., I just want to scoop you up and hug you (not that I could, because I'm a tiny person). Such a difficult childhood :/

    Thanks to all of you for sharing, and to K-Lee for doing the interview.

    Erica
    eripike at gmail dot com

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  44. Amazing interview! I read the one in the NYTimes and loved that one too.

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

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  45. Great interview/blog post. I also liked the pictures. Thanks for being a part of the hop.
    jessangil at gmail dot com

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  46. Great interview guys, thanks so much for sharing!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  47. Hi! Thanks for being apart of this fantastic hop! Wonderful post. Great pictures! And its amazing your donating! Your so sweet! Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful night!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Loved the interview! Thank you for taking part in the hop!
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

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  49. What an awesome blog post K-lee. Thanks to Jake, Benny and RJ for sharing with us.

    ReplyDelete