Sunday, January 31, 2010

Do the right thing

In today's Sunday paper, I noticed that there were at least three articles on what to serve at next week's Superbowl Sunday get together. Along with the standards of chips, wings, and beer (all Superbowl classics), I noticed that two menus included Gatorade as an alternative drink of choice. Yup, that unbelievably tasty sports drink that comes in neon colors (sarcasm intended).

I just want to be clear. When choosing a menu for a particular social event, the host should consider the guests, as well as what those guests will be doing while they are at the social event. I think there may be a little confusion on this. The football players will be the ones exerting energy and risking dehydration. What they will NOT be is attending a Superbowl party during the game. The guests at the Superbowl party will be the ones sitting on the couch stuffing their faces with football shaped nachos while intermittently exerting marginal physical activity by yelling at the TV screen. What the guests will NOT be doing is playing a sport and therefore requiring a sports drink that will replenish their electrolytes.

Ignore the push to include Gatorade at your party. Remember rule #1 of Superbowl Party 101: Inebriated guests are far more fun. Do the right thing - - serve beer like you are supposed to.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

There's a First for Everything

I mentioned a while back that I was going to try dipping my toe back in the tepid pool of the employed. I applied for a job that in many ways would have been perfect for me. I could use my experience in doing stuff I know how to do while making a worthwhile contribution to the organization - but I wouldn't be tethered to the loooong working days and high stress of the corporate world. A match made in heaven. But, alas, I was turned down.

I have to admit it was kind of a weird feeling. I can't remember the last time I didn't get a job. In the way, way back when I was first looking for a job after graduating college, there were probably a few jobs that I interviewed for that I didn't get. I can't remember the rejection, so I must have chosen to erase those from my memory.

History (my personal version) is I got my first job fairly quickly, lied my way effectively in to the second (OF COURSE I have been doing exactly what the job entails choke choke choke) and from then on I just moved along. Even when we moved across country I got the first job I interviewed for. Stayed with them for the next 15 years. The next job they came for me. The next job the same. But this time....

I have a big fat resume. And, that's what's likely going to be a little problematic. How do you move backwards? I am not interested in the many houred work days. I am not interested in the titles. What I am interested in is just being able to use the skills that I have in a work experience that allows me to spend a little time outside of this full time job they call Motherhood.

Conversely, the boys still need me at home (all of them). But, man a little extra moola might come in handy for this proposed home renovation (not to mention giving me a little pin money of my own). And, a little stepping outside into the real world has an obvious allure.

The other day I went downtown to have lunch with an old colleague. I stepped in to the world of "people with purpose" - everyone dressed for work, checking their PDAs obsessively for messages about things that they were doing in the business venue. I check my blackberry for information as to whether basketball practice will still go on in the rain. A different fruit altogether.

But for now, I will lick my not too terribly wounded ego and think about the pros and cons of starting a job search in earnest. What I want is for the perfect opportunity to fall in to my lap. Unrealistic, but it's still what I want. You know: Phone rings. Person on the other end, knows you or has heard of you and has the perfect job for you paying you an outrageously generous salary for doing exactly what you love to do.

It could happen. Couldn't it?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Scarlett and the Potato

Aging? There a number of tell-tale signs. Trying to buy moisturizer claiming to "reverse the ravages of time" or "make your skin tighter than an African Tama drum" would be one of them. Gazing at the clock and realizing that staying up until your teenager's bed time is just not. going. to. be. fun. But, sadly the most obvious harbinger is that lately some people that I know are dying. Yes, dying as in buying the farm, cashing in the chips, shuffling off their mortal coils.

Remember when the majority of people that passed away were your grandparents? The kinds of deaths where you were apt to say, "So sad, but think of the long and interesting life that they lead." Then we moved on to hearing more and more about acquaintance's parents getting the ticket to the show. And while these are tragic and heart wrenching - these folks were still older than me. But, lately, I've had a few folks dying who are my age. Cancer, aneurysm, heart attack, doesn't-matter. Just people in their 50s laying down for the long nap. It has given me pause.

So, I decided I'm going all out and I'm going to get a full physical for the first time in a decade. I don't usually do doctors. Yes, I do have a neuro that I see for that pesky MS thing on a regular basis - but I don't have a GP or an Internist or whatever the speciality is for the doctor that you just go to see to make sure you aren't riddled with something that you just don't know about yet. Plus rumor has it that at 50 I'm supposed to get in line for my inaugural colonoscopy. And while the thought of enduring that little gem of a test would have been put on the back burner on the Stove-of-Wendy's-procrastination - I'm realizing that this is something I need to do. Damn.

I think the hardest thing for me is that I prefer to be blissfully ignorant of the bad things that can happen. Sort of a Scarlet O'Hara fiddle-dee-dee approach. I can't even call myself an optimist, since I think you have to actually visualize the glass of milk and make a determination whether or not you see it as half-full or half-empty. I try not to look at the glass at all. What glass? Is there a glass? Maybe I will just use this nontransparent mug instead for my milk. Ahhh. That's better. But, didn't Scarlet said fiddle-dee-dee BEFORE she ended up clawing through the earth at Tara trying to get her starving paws on a piece of raw potato? Maybe that approach didn't work out so well for her. So, I made an appointment to see a doctor.

I called UCSF, since that's were most of our other physician relations are. I will go to see someone in March. That is the earliest appointment that I could get. That is unless I was willing to see a student. I passed. It is unlikely that I will find the grandfatherly citadel of medicine that I would prefer to see - but having to be examined by that Grandfather's scion who doesn't even show the faintest indication of a frown line or early on-set male pattern baldness yet isn't what I'm up for. Especially if that someone is going to be welding a camera on the end of a long stick heading for my bum. Nuff said.

And on a final note. Saw this photo on one of these funny celebrity watching blogs that I sometimes read. (Shallow, shallow me). I had been noodling about this doctor thing, about the need to get some better face cream (miracle cream) and the fact that I needed a nap. Then I saw this. Eureka! This made me feel much improved. While I was feeling kinda blue about having a 50 year old ass. While I was feeling kinda melancholy that I was now going to be reading more obituaries where the year 1959 wasn't such a stretch. While I was a bit woebegone that neophyte doctors are likely to be younger than my own offspring. What I was NOT going to be was this....

Now that's just taking the whole anti-aging thing farther than it ever needs to go. Fiddle-dee-dee for sure!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Supposed to

I was listening to NPR yesterday - actually only half listening, which is generally what I do while I am driving. I half listen, I half pay attention to driving and I half think about a million other miscellaneous topics while I am doing the rest. That adds up to greater than 100%, so maybe I more like 33% listen. But that's not the point.

There was a person commenting on whether or not the Pope should have a blog. I thought that was kind of funny. But what caught my attention was that the woman speaking said it might not be possible to have a blog since if you have one you need to blog everyday and the Pope might not have time for that. No kidding. The pope is likely a pretty busy guy. Lots of listening to God, lots of forgiveness time, lots of time to get dressed up in his various hats and make public appearances, lots of time to write long winded narratives on what catholics and can and cannot do. And, if the guy who wrote Angels and Demons is correct, he also needs to take time to protect himself from being poisoned at nearly every meal by those closest to him. That's a great deal of things to fit in to a single day.

I'm not the pope. My life is far less hectic and I do not own a popemobile (although tell me that wouldn't be cool - - sort of like the top o'the line smart car sitting right on the bed of an El Camino). Still, I have major trouble finding the time to blog every day. Moreover, I cannot not often think of anything interesting to blog about. I get some flack for this from my various blog readers (all 5 of them). Turns out, I'm not too terribly interesting :)

But what would happen if I forced myself to write something every day? Well, we're going to see about that. Starting today, I'm going to find something everyday to blog. Let's see how this goes. The lady talking about the pope says he should have a little cache of u-tube videos that he likes that he can post on days when he's not feeling inspired. Isn't that funny? A pope who's not inspired? How does that work? But, I will try not to resort to posting funny u-tube vides, mainly because I never go to u-tube unless someone else posts something. I'm lazy that way.

Will this work? Who knows. Let's see. Oh, and by the way, since I used up more than the typical 33% alloted to listening to the radio, I must have usurped some of that from the 33% that I use to pay attention to driving. I missed my turn while I was listing and had to go around the block. Yup, that's a true story. A sad, but a true story.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sticks, Stones and Bones

George the Younger announced yesterday during our normally spirited dinner conversation that his friends at school call him a "Twinkie." Yellow on the outside. White on the inside. He laughed about it. We laughed with him. Ha ha ha.

Then I got to thinking. Should we think that this is funny? It doesn't seem to bother him. In some way, I think he believes it a badge of honor of sorts. If your friends are taking the time to think of amusing nicknames for you - doesn't that make you part of the group? And yet, there's something about it that is nagging me. I won't Dwell - since it's not what I do. Still, there may come a time when he doesn't think it's so humorous.

We don't linger too much on the whole "adoption" part of our boys lives. We don't celebrate "gotcha day" or spend much time talking about their SE Asian ancestry. They have photo albums that memorialize our trips to go and fetch them. The requisite first photos that we got of them (George the Younger with his HUGE pie hole and stinking up hair. Henry looking like an 80 year old Indian business man with a bald head and wrinkled forehead). Plane tickets, pictures of orphanages and nannies, photos of Phnom Penh and Saigon. But, beyond yanking those out every one in a blue moon - well, the topic doesn't come up much. In our house they're just our kids. No matter where they came from or how they got here.

Reality is though - they were adopted and raised by your run-o-the-mill white folks. Yup. Twinkies. Yellow on the outside. White on the inside. So, while I won't dwell - I think I will noodle on whether this means anything or not and just let it sit for a bit.

In other news, Otto (the dog) got a new bone yesterday. He's a nylabone kind of guy. Being a decent dog sort, he doesn't chew on anything but his bones. Good dog. I got him a new chicken flavored one yesterday. Much excitement. Much chewing. Much showing of the new bone to his brothers when they got home from school.

Later in the aforementioned spirited dinner conversation, I wondered out loud how the dog bone designers tested whether or not the bones actually had the flavor of chicken. Do they have hoards of dog taste testers who rank the chicken flavoring from 1 to 10? Can a dog actually tell you that it tastes like chicken, or ham, or bacon for that matter? Dogs chew shoes and sniff poop for fun. Do they even care whether a bone smacks of chickeny goodness?

George the Elder then challenged George the Younger to take a taste of the bone just to see. The Younger immediately nixed the offer. The Elder starting offering money. It's true that everything has a price, isn't it? $20 was the agreed upon consideration. And, damn if the Younger didn't go over and wrench the bone right from Ottos slobbery mouth! He was about to start his trial chomping on the ends - the same ends that Otto had been chewing for the better part of the afternoon and therefore were already sullied with copious amounts of dog drool. I recommended just starting at the center where the nyla remained pristine. He thanked me for my recommendation. George the Elder glared at me for pruning his fun factor. Obviously he wanted gnawing AND ingestion of Otto spit for his $20.

And the deed was done. Result? No chicken flavor. Tasted "like rubber." Go figure. Henry, didn't believe it, thought maybe George the Younger didn't chew hard or long enough, so he got in on the action too. Same deal $20. He actually chewed longer and harder trying to excavate some of that chickeny goodness. No deal. Still just rubber.

Suffice to say that while all of this masticating was going on - George the Elder and I were laughing. I mean really laughing. And with the enticement of 20 clams, even Henry's germ-a-phob nature wasn't going to get in the way of his claiming that money.

I said to George the Elder in the kitchen later that I thought that they would have done it for $10 bucks a piece. He replied that for that kind of a show, he would have paid $50. Lucky for me the bid didn't go that high. I only had $40 in my wallet.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Headed off to the eye doctor the other day to get what I "thought" was just your run o' the mill vision check.

You know the drill, you put on your existing reading glasses and puruse the handy-dandy-can-you-read-this card. You gaze across the room at the random lines of letters getting progressively smaller in a triangular shape. You have little puffs of air blown at your eyes to make sure you aren't getting glaucoma or cataracts or whatever it is that the little puffs of air help to identify. You stand up thank the doctor and make an appointment for next year. Except for...

This year I put on my existing reading glasses and still had to move the handy-dandy-can-you-read-this card to arms length to read the smallest lines. Damn. I peered across the room to see the random lines of letters and realized that those bottom two lines were mainly illegible. Double Damn. Luckily, the little puffs of air still didn't show anything since I am not scheduled to have the cataracts removed from my eyes. I guess I will save that "fail" for a subsequent year.

Based on my AGING EYES (thank you Doctor Eye-Guy for just blurting that one out about three times in rapid succession and making me feel like I ought to scurry to the car and grab my walker) - I was given the option of TRI-FOCALS. Damn Daddy that was a punch in the gut. But, after listening to the selling points - small bands of focus areas that will cause you to bob your head up and down and up and down endlessly to finally find that sweet spot for being able to see what you are trying to see - I decided against.

Interestingly, it only occurs to me as I write this that perhaps some of the middle-to-upper aged folks I have heretofore secretly thought had Parkinson's were really just trying to see Something. Anything. Using their trifocals. All the bobbing and shaking and head adjustment was merely an effort to discover which small strip of their glasses they should be using to get clear focus on the mid-ground. Hmmm?

So, instead, I will have two pairs of glasses. One pair to wear around and drive with - still bi-focals since I can't read jack shit without them and it would be stupid to get glasses for which I would have to CONSTANTLY take off just to see what time it is. The other pair are the SERIOUS reading glasses. And yes, these are also bi-focals. Half for seeing the computer and half for reading a book. Glasses for those times when I am in my own home and don't really care to see across the room at the crap that the kids have left laying around. Just BIG pieces of glass that clarify and hone BIG hunks of paragraphs instead of single lines in focus.

And yet, am I prepared for the pain in the buttsky of trying to determine when I am going to need which pairs of glasses? Will I eventually resort to wearing not one - - but two - - of those old-lady beady chain things around my neck? I have avoided this in the past, but lately it's getting tiring looking for my glasses all over the whole darn house only to find them - - yup you guessed it, right on top of my head.

And last - what's with the new industry term for bi-focals - - Graduated Lenses? All I have to say about that is it's just a nice way of saying you've graduated to being blinder than you were a year before. And, does having two pairs of bi-focals mean that I actually have quad-focals? (I almost wrote four-focals - but then amended based on the bi and tri. Sheesh.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kindle me this?

I got a Kindle for Christmas. I've been noodling over whether or not I would like using one for about a year - I mean I'm not exactly one of those techno-geeks living on the cutting edge of technology. And, there are things about reading a book that I like. Like the pages. Like the size and weight of them. Like wondering when the hell publishers started informing me of the type of font that they used to print the book and why. So, why? And when?

Anywho - George the Elder got me a Kindle. And, surprisingly, for the most part I really do like it. I also enjoy the way that my other half knows me so well that he also bought me a cunning little leather cover for my Kindle. It makes it so much more "book-like" when you don't have to hold it like a teeny replica of the 10 commandments.

And, yes - I am enjoying my little gizmo. I like that I can carry around a volume of short stories and a whole novel in my purse at the same time. I'm a huge proponent of being prepared for waiting and have always carried some reading materials with me at all times. You never know when you're going to have some time to kill while you're waiting for something. Actually, there are times that you absolutely know when you're going to have to some time to kill: doctor's offices and car pool lines are two notorious examples. But, the beauty of the kindle is that it is light weight - so my purse doesn't have the attributes of a backpack now.

And yet (as you suspected), there are a couple o' things that sort of chap me about it. First, the inability to easily scan back and re-read some passage that seemed inconsequential at the time - but instead contains the information that will unlock your utter confusion two chapters later. Yes, you can "turn" back the pages. But what you can't do is fan the pages until a word or two pops out that reminds you where that previously inconsequential passage might well be.

Second, it bothers me that I can't tell where I am in the book. There's something about starting a book, getting to the physical middle and then anticipating the ending as the pages grow in girth on the left hand side. The last Kindle book I read surprised me when I got to the end. It wasn't nice feeling. It was thinking that you have three bites of Banana Cream Pie left and then the waitress takes your plate away with your fork still in mid-air. Maybe I just need to read the directions more carefully, but I like seeing "15 of 1003" and knowing that if I just had another several days of uninterrupted reading I would soon see "1000 of 1003" and would be jazzed to know that only 3 pages remained. On my Kindle the bottom of the page says something like "Locations 1640-47." What, in heaven's name, does that even mean?

And last, I feel like my Kindle is mocking me. While my Kindle "sleeps" the printed word disappears and is replaced by assorted and various "Wall Street Journal-Esque" kind of ink drawings of historically famous authors: Ralph Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austin, Virginia Woolf and many of their other distinguished writer buddies.

"How nice?" you might say. Sure, I guess it'd be "nice" if you were a person of high literary prowess - one who actually took time and pleasure in reading such staggering tombs of classical genius. I, alas, am not one of those folks. Sure, I whip out "To Kill a Mocking Bird" every once in a while, and I recently got down with "Giants of the Earth" a book that I had read in college, remembered truly enjoying and wanted to see if I would enjoy it again. The answer, "Yes!" But, for the most part - I'm just a flimsy disciple of current day main stream literature. And, GASP! Sometimes I read pure unadulterated brain candy. Sheepishly, I admit I read the whole damn Twilight trilogy. Hardly the stuff that will be remembered in years to come with stylishly created ink drawings.

So, while I am trying to enjoy the most recent collection of short stories by Elizabeth Strout - I am reminded time and time again that perhaps my time would be better spent chewing on "Pride and Prejudice" or "The Conduct of Life", not to mention finally reading "The Iliad" which I've been honestly meaning to do.

Like I said, mocked. I am being mocked by a tiny light-weight electronic reader. Why, I never!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Drills and War

Awhile back, before the broken limb that has managed to suck up an amazing amount of my free time, before the holidays that managed to suck up an amazing amount of every one's time, and before school started again on Monday where I then managed to suck up an amazing amount of my own time just breathing a sigh of relief and catching up on a whole boat load of what-not - - I mentioned that I had been very crafty and had managed to make my own candy garland this year.

To bring everyone up to date on why I made my own holiday garland. In August, when we moved in to mid-century-pre-renovation-house we packed up the lion's share of our belongings and we sent them to storage. Crazy as it seems, I actually glanced at our three LARGE boxes of Christmas decorations and then summarily dismissed them as "send them to storage." I wonder now if I had blocked out the fact that Christmas would come again? You know - big move requires big thoughts. Big thoughts require that most other thoughts are pushed out in to the abyss of rationality. I mean, why would I need Christmas decorations? It was only August for Pete's Sake! By December (a mere 4 months away), we ought to have the renovation complete by then. Our Christmas things would be with us. Madness. That's all I can chalk it up to. Sheer Madness. By December, we hadn't even finished with the preliminary plans. Madness. I say.

So, December arrived. Still living in aforementioned mid-century-pre-renovation-house. Only now, I must think about decorating for Christmas. And to complicate the issue, we had recently been shown the preliminary budget for ALL the things that we want to do to renovate said house and the only way it's all getting done is if a fed ex plane carrying exceptionally large sums of money happens to open its cargo doors as it flies over our house and parachutes big bags full of brand spanking new $20s right in to our nifty (but in need of renovation) inner courtyard. In other words, I had a teeny-weeny budget. This makes sense seeing as a) we need to save our money to pay for renovations, and 2) technically I already have a crap load of xmas stuff sitting in boxes somewhere in a dark, dark storage unit.

My solution? I headed out to our local Target with $30 in my hand (not dropped from a fed-ex plane). I decided that I should be able to decorate a tree with that amount of money. And you what? I almost did it. Those damn little light strings pushed me over the top. So, I fished another $6 out of my wallet (which is completely untrue since I pay for everything by Amex, but for the sake of artistic license - imagine me fishing a fiver plus scraping the change out of the bottom or my purse while people wait in line behind me sighing and moaning with utter impatience while I separate the dimes from the lint and empty gum wrappers that live at the bottom of my handbag). Here's what I bought:
  • 3 Packets of large sparkly Red Snowflake ($3)
  • 3 Packets of large sparkly White Snowflakes ($3)
  • 5 Packets of small sparkly White Snowflakes ($5)
  • 4 bags of red and white butter-mint candies ($8)
  • 1 bag of Christmas Nugget Candies ($2)
  • 3 100 twinkly light strings ($15)
The result? The Target Red &White Snowflake and Candy Tree 2009:

I bought the butter-mint candies under the woefully mistaken impression that I was going to rush home, bust open my sewing basket, whip out a large darning needle and string those bad Johnie's together like magic while I sat in front of a roaring fire listening to Christmas carols playing softly in the background. I opened the first mint and became immediately aware that unless my darning needle had a sonic hammer attached to it there was no way those puppies were being pierced. I reverted to Plan B and whipped out my handy-dandy Dewalt drill where for the next hour I drilled wee tiny holes in each of the bazillion candies in the 4 bags. So much for the dulcet quiet Christmas songs in the background. ZWEEEEE. ZWEEEE. ZWEEEE. Suffice to say that once those little gems had holes in them, stringing was a breeze (but still no fire. no carols). George the Elder thought the whole thing was pretty gosh darn funny (hence the photo). Of course, George the Younger and Henry both took turns with the drill - but while their initial enthusiasm was admirable, it faded quickly. There were a damn lot of mints!

Here is the finished product:
Once the lights were up and the garland was draped, we hung the sparkly snow flakes and then filled in the gaps with the Christmas nugget hung on ornament hangers. You know the hangers that I am talking about. You buy them in packages of 200. You open the package and they are all tangled together in one smallish twisty metal poky mess. You untangle the ones that you want to use and then throw the rest in the bag that holds the flotsam and jetsam left over from decorating. Next year you buy a whole new package hoping upon hope that they will come up with a better packaging solution by then. Wishful holiday imaginings, eh?

Oh yeah. One more thing. Note the white cutting board in photo of me and the drill. I guess I need to add its replacement in my budget. When you drill holes in to nearly 400 pieces of candy with a tiny little drill bit, the surface of the board gets - well, it gets 400 tiny little holes drilled in to it as well. Didn't take that into consideration in the big picture of Plan B.

In other news, the boys got the newest Call of Duty PC game for Christmas. This game, where you stealthily track each other down and try to kill each other in a fairly realistic background of some war or another, is a big family favorite. That's a lie. I do not play. So, it is a big favorite of all the man-boys in the family. My role is to listen to them play this game. There are great spans of silence (sneaky tracking, hiding and waiting, looking for weapons). These are punctuated by great loud yells, accusatory statements and ferocious pounding of desk tops (indicating either you have been killed, you are about to be killed or you are the one that did the killing). Here are the game faces:

And as a final aside. What were they thinking with the name "Call of Duty?" Is it the name of a game, or the announcement that it's time to take a dump? In our house, believe me, it's now both. Penal Institution and Call of Duty. Are you sensing a theme?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Time on the Couch

Turns out that when we aren't playing games, doing puzzles, playing dominoes, doing jigsaw puzzles, taking over in Settlers of Catan or all the other things that we have been doing to keep the Henster occupied while he is laid up with broken leg - well, I discovered that he makes his own videos on the laptop.

I don't know when he did this, cause it sure as heck feels like all I do lately is ENTERTAIN him - that is when I am not holding a large tupperware bowl so that he can take a leak in the living room. As a person who heretofore has never had to master that art of the "shake" - I'm pretty good at it now. Should I be proud of this?

And as much as I love him - and I really do love him - school starts tomorrow. I looking forward to my time off duty as chief-step-and-fetch-master, prop-the-giant-cast-up-repeatedly, purchase-new-pull-on-athletic-plants-where-one-leg-is-cut-off-and-the-other-one-hemmed-up-as-if-he-were-a-vet-returning-home-after-a-nasty-run-in-with-a-hand-grenade, help-me-take-a-dump, help-me-down-the-steps, generally HELP-ME!! kinds of things. Like I said, I love him. But having a broken leg with cast stem to stern means that we have stepped back in time to when he was 2.

I know that there are many, many who have it worse than we do here. It's just a broken leg after all. And to those folks I apologize. But, damn. I can't wait for the cast to come off.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Today the whole family was gathered around the dining table having a pretty normal lunch conversation. That is, at least, until George the Elder uttered the words "penal institution" aloud. I can't remember the context other than that we were talking about somebody spending some time in jail.

FYI in case this scenario should arise in the context of your own lunch conversation where 50% of the participants are under the age of 13 and are male: Uttering the word penal, pronounced penile, means that the conversation will immediately cease. In its place will be laughter. Hysterical laughter. Endless chortling, snorting and guffawing kinds of laughter. It will eventually require you (the remaining female) to remove yourself from the table muttering something like. "Oh for crying out loud!"

Note: George the Elder got to laughing too. hardy har har har.