Wednesday, April 30, 2008

La Tuna Canyon FireRoad Hike

Half way through the workday I resolved that I wouldn't go to french class but instead I would take my dogs for a hike before the sun set. I had that itching restless feeling that somehow my destiny had escaped me and I had to reclaim it. Probably because I finished Clarissa- which was truly an epically wonderful book to read. Sort of like watching 2 seasons of my favorite tv show in a marathon watch session- like the originator of Buffy or the very least Dracula, or that addage about angels and whores, the saint, the sinner. And whenever I wake up from some adventure, lately 1732, england, I feel the urge to validate my existence by some exploration. I realized as I walked down the steep incline of the hill that I'd taken my hills and my hiking roads for granted so busy was I to explore everything but my own backyard, but lately I've found all their mystery and wonder again- and how much they've been with me since I was skiing down the mountain at 4 or staring up at the moon on a creekbed at 16. How do we remember until it becomes us again.

Weird Facts Wednesday

I can't believe I remembered. Though that didn't stop me from forgetting I had an 11am all staff meeting. I was out in the parking garage looking for my phone then I said, well screw it, so I painted my nails and read my 'traveller' magazine. I sauntered back in hoping that my phone was bereft of me somewhere safe at home, when I saw all the empty desks. I fled downstairs to catch the last 2 minutes and luckily just tried to pretend that I was only stuck in the hallway because the room was full. Yikes. Anyway my new desk will be in a small room with Bob the Asian PA. I will give you a full report Monday.

But for now I leave you with: polar bear's skin is black. the fur is actually transparent.

Yah, I know... it's not that awesome. Sure an elephant's ear can weigh upto 150 lbs or a shark reaches currents to see what's coming down the smell pipe but nothing is bowling me over. Ah deal with it. I'm watching the Decalogue 9. I can't focus.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


*I'm just terribly behind, in so many things.

*Two rooms of my house are a complete and utter wreck. They're being overhauled. The guest bedroom will become N.Lo's room. The laundry room will be an organizational dream, a storage haven. Eventually. Until then, the doors are closed, and you are instructed not to look behind them.

*My dog, Bender, has been walking on 3 legs for 3 days now. There's nothing in her paw. She's been taking glucosamine for her hips. She doesn't appear to be in any pain, except for the fact that she's putting no weight whatsoever on that back leg. I feel terrible about it.

*According to the email mendacious sent me about tax refunds, we'll be getting ours by Friday. We plan to buy a sleeper sofa for our den, so we can continue to accomodate guests, and pay the bills with the rest. So you know, thank heaven for that. Or W. I guess.

*I really hope we can still go to NYC sometime this year, though. Dare I dream.

*K.Lo didn't take a nap yesterday... it's a long story. So she went to bed early, around 7:15, and slept super-late (for her), until 8:15. We may be onto something here.

*Our kitchen has a rad new shelf/cabinet, made by my dad. I painted it this weekend, and it's so fantastic. Our kitchen is almost "done." Is anything in a house ever really done?

*I have so many seeds I wanted to plant this year, for landscaping and the porch and whatnot, but I feel like I'm missing the boat. Whatevs?

*K.Lo is potty training. She's doing so much better with it than a few weeks ago, making progress by leaps and bounds, and I'm so proud of her. But, I really kind of hate potty training. It's messy and annoying and they're so damn temperamental about it. I know it won't last forever, and I should "enjoy" this "special wonderful phase" in my child's life, but um, gag. Can't wait till we've moved on.

*I have like a million emails to write and a maybe half a million blogs to post? Seriously I really need a secretary.

*I really want to delete my myspace page because even though I've connected with some old friends on there, I find the platform loud and annoying, and it makes my skin crawl. Help me kick the habit, people.

*We all need to eat more fruits and vegetables around here. Why's it got to be so hard?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Good Morn,

hello blog nation.
it's monday and it's hot in the valley. after a day of frolicking i woke up late, still smelling of chlorine and did not comb my hair. i slathered on some baby oil with aloe (its awesome) and stumbled to work with my sausage muffin and diet coke. (tomorrow is oatmeal) thinking greatgod, what. where am i. then i apologized to myself profusely for going to walmart on saturday, even though they had cheap hair dye and swimmers earplugs. which i accidentally lost somewhere in that mass of store. it wasn't my fault at all since friend amber dragged me there. later i rededicated myself to corporate indifference. vowed to eat my carrot, do my french homework. think of things to do that make me look busy. maybe watch the baby ravens outside our 5thfl window. curl my toes up because it's cold in here and my forehead is hot. think how strange that cathy knew the guy who died from the shark bite. think, why are our veins so exposed and not deep deep down and impenetrable. maybe i'll go watch the office. look at my bank balance, todo lists. tonight, whatever, i'll eat a grilled steak and take the dogs for a walk. yes, these are my last days as 31. i'd better enjoy it. maybe work on my skirt, pick flowers, make my grand plans and purchase my spot on the great central american tour of my dreams.

Friday, April 25, 2008

you guys ROCK. (for heaven's sake!)

So, like every time I do a negative friendship post, I seem to inspire feelings of paranoia in my dear, lovely, sweet, cool friends? It's so sad! I'm only philosophizing out loud, and trust me, if it were you, you would totally know. Wouldn't you? No, you would totally pick up on the cues, because you are not oblivious. I hope I show enough that I'm appreciative of our friendship. I hope I'm not so passive aggressive that we would break up over a blog post. The person or persons I speak of don't even read this blog. And anyway, in spite of my snarky shell, I am just not a Mean Girl! And I love and appreciate my friends. My blogger pals, my playgroup cohorts, my writers' group, my email buddies, my fellow neighborhood mamas. My girls who live here in Wilmy, and those who have moved away but have kept in touch. My mendacious out in Cali. The gals I've never even met in person. I love you all! You are absolutely invaluable to me and my everyday experience. The humor, the snark, the sweetness, the advice, the idea exchange, the support, the stories, the outings, the endeavors, the (mis)adventures. I'm totally giving a sickly-sweet pseudo Oscar speech here, but I totally mean it. Invaluable! Love you! Would never break up with you through a blog post! That is all. xoxo, pen.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Penelope Pussycat

Mendacious is always going on about friends and friendships, and though she is an uncompromising Taurus and I a gentle Pisces fish, I am apparently not so kind in certain friendship-related matters. Mendacious can forgive, look past major faults in some instances, and I can be so merciless.

By nature, I look for the good in people, almost to a fault, like I will excuse a person's behavior and defend them to the last when they are criticized by another. I'll be like, "Well maybe she...," or "But I don't think he meant..." Even when she totally did do it, and he totally meant it. It crushes me to see formerly good friendships die. I'll mediate wherever possible, until I remember that it's not my business or place to clear the air between two parties, it's totally up to them, their choice to make or not make. And sometimes friendships need to die, or even just rest for a little while.

As forgiving as I am, though, as open as I am to the bond of friendship, as willing as I am to meet a person halfway in a relationship, when I'm done, I'm done. If I see something so inherently broken with the person, or the friendship, or the energy between us that it can't possibly be fixed, I move on, and that's it. There are just some people I don't mesh as well with, and no amount of conversation or effort will alter that fact.

What I really can't stand, though, is when the other person cannot see that it's over. Or at the very least, that they should back off. I mean, probably that's part of what's so broken about the energy between us to begin with, what turns me off so much. I don't respond well to smothering. All bribery attempts will be shunned. Burying me in sugary compliments will only make me gag. Requests for more/any time together? Denied. I truly am Penelope Pussycat, and the more you chase me, the more I will try and hide.

See, I'm merciless. Probably I should at least extend to the offending party the courtesy of full disclosure, tell them why exactly it's over. But if it's an unsolvable problem, I don't see the point? I'd rather us both just wordlessly acknowledge that it's not working out, and then we can be civil in spite of the necessary detachment. Sometimes, you have to deal with the person regardless, even if you can't be friends, so why instigate drama and strife, when in the end you'll be left with the same set of circumstances.

I fear that this is all very bad friendship karma, and that perhaps I've been just as much the offending party in certain relationships. Although, I would hope that I am not that oblivious to those social cues, the ones that clearly say, Um, yeah, it's just not going to work out, between me and you.

Certainly we've all been in and/or will be in relationships where what you give is not what you receive in return. And it sucks, really. But when as a friend, I'm just not that into you, is not telling you to your face the kinder thing to do?

My Perfect Breakspot, by M

when the wind is rushing thru the trees. i look up to imagine myself in a liquid forest.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Weird Facts Wednesday

Hey I remembered. I'm sure it won't last but my latest query search for the EP was to find things that weighed roughly 4000 lbs. or 2 TONS. The following things weigh can/do weigh 4000lbs: they are:


<<exploding whale video for kurt>>

All Hail

On Monday, K.Lo, N.Lo, and I were out of town visiting my parents, so the kiddos could play with their cousins, and while we were away, there was apparently one hell of a random, freak hailstorm? And just in our neighborhood, oddly. I'm kind of glad we missed it, as I'm not a big fan of storms (mainly the noise); however, it may be the closest our lawn will ever come to seeing some white precipitation. Here are some pics, brought to you by J.Lo.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Expelled Okay I don't know. Maybe the people of LA are the last to find out about this film. I have no idea. People were all, drrr mendacious, you don't know about blah blah, npr, etc... whatevs. But I just knew it was some BenStein movie 3 friends wondered if I was going to see and it happened to be about Intelligent Design. I saw him in 'most smartest model'... so i said hey why not- And I loved it. This film is definitely inflammatory- to put it mildy- if you find yourself a staunch believer of Evolution (in the sense that we can spontaneously evolve and not the kind of evolution that accounts for species variation) and would consider yourself a Darwinist. Because it attacks what that worldview actually leads to- even more inflammatory. I mean he sort of broke all the argument rules about ad hominem attacks, for instance: reductio ad Hitlerum. He definitely went THERE, but he's Jewish so whatevs. I guess he can. And well looking at the definition he wasn't creating a faulty argument just a very aggressive one. I digress.

But anyway if you're on the fence and haven't ever heard of Intelligent Design you might like it. I myself ran across the theory when I read Michael Behe's book "Darwin's Blackbox"... fairly compelling argumentation, which very simply posits that because of the recent developments in molecular biology, there is now increasingly impossible gaps, which are extremely complex to cross if we were able to account for Darwins theory- which we can't. It's interesting how ferociously, apparently, academia attacks this counter-theory, and I found most of the people, obviously biased, who may or may not believe in God, be proponents of this ID theory, seemed very rational and forthright. I mean there was this one guy who had discovered several planets. And there was this cute CUTE old man with apple cheeks who was like, scottish with sparkly whimisical eyes- and he said, it's better to get your world view out on the table so we can have the basis of conversation before we decide anything. I would totally just love to hear him chat. Anyway, yah, there could've been more hot scientist guys in the movie but intelligent conversation about a complex topic is fairly hot itself. It was nice to see. Also Ben Stein is awesome. I had no idea. I am going to go see this movie again, and maybe get a I"heart"BenStein bumpersticker. He is unabashedly- himself. Or rather, he just is who he is. Cuz he's all funny and smart and what not and totally a smart-ass. I can't say no to that. I can't. I don't care what you say.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Sojourn into the Santa Monica Mtns (near the 210 at La Tuna Canyon)

so i'm watching this crazy murder she wrote in amish town right now! crazy! is all i'm saying. so these are a few pics from my sojourn into the mountains. the view and the dogs are from a previous hike but pretty much it was replicated today. with the exception that my dog didn't get a tick and my mom came along. also the wild cucumbers are ripening and the california dodder is all doddery. plus when the dogs got home they got a bath and then i took my laptop outside for a good 3+ hours and stayed until the shadows chased me in. it was a good day though not nearly long enough. mom said i shouldn't walk around the backyard in my underwear but i'm of a contrary belief. vile peepers be damned. now i'm reading clarissa and staring at the pile of laundry to put away. i've since dressed to come inside and have set about to identify for you, good reader, the curiosities before me.
the above golden podded plants in the corner are called "Black Mustard", so termed a "ubitquitous grain weed from the old world"- thats a fantastic phrase. this is actually the source of mustard. ce vrai. and to that i say, cool man. cool. below, is what mom believes to be 'clarkia'. i can't find the color in the guide book, thus i conclude she is wrong. also, i'm pretty sure we came across some 'poison hemlock'... which is fairly crazy. and old school. next time i will make sure to identify and photograph. since that's what did in socrates, and i'm all, we have that still, here and now? plants are as crazy as this murdershewrote i'm watching. crazy.well hello there: this is california dodder. it's a parasite! no roots, just messy growth. and is much like cornsilk., kind of cool and moist. it is a tangled suffocating mess. according to the guidebook its nicknames are: Love-vine, strangleweed, Devils/Witches Hair, and the Golden Thread. saweet!hello, my wild cucumber. CHILICOTHE. indians apparently used the seeds inside as marbles and beads for necklaces. i must investigate these claims further. totally not edible, this plant is part of the gourd family according the informative guide book. And it is known for its massive root system which tastes extremely bitter and can grow as large as a human body. they totally survive fires also. because of their awesome rootiness. excellent.
alright that's it. i almost twisted an ankle, fell on my ass and got dirty. i hope it was worth it. and that you enjoyed my photos. now i'm going back to silly jessica fletcher and those crazy amish people. theyre crazy. i'm right, right? i'm totally right. seriously.
ah nature. how i love thee!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

reality check

The latest in Reality TV, brought to you by penelope.

*SURVIVOR: This past Thursday night, Ozzlet's head officially became too big for his small stature, and he was rightly bamboozled by his tribe. He had the Hidden Immunity Idol in his backpack, and then in true James fashion, didn't play it. The newly formed faction of Cirie, Parvati, Alexis, Natalie, and Jason aimed to either level the playing field by putting the H.I.I. out of commission, or true bonus, send Ozzy packing, and the fool granted their big wish. Eliza's jaw nearly fell in fire, and Ozzy was pissed. At himself, and at the alliance member, note the singular, who betrayed him. And that therein is the beauty of Cirie's strategy. Parvati will totally take the fall, and if Cirie is lucky and the others continue to dumbly underestimate her, they'll keep her in the game. What no one seems to realize yet is that Cirie, while not the strongest physical contender, is the mastermind, pretty much orchestrating each of these vote-offs, and yet appearing to fly under the radar, just shuffling along with the crowd. She's brills, and my number one pick to win the mil.

*ANTM: Say what? I cannot believe they sent Stacy-Ann home, and kept Fatima! After the chickie not only didn't have her travel papers, but completely missed out on the photo shoot. I totally thought S.A. had more potential, Fatima's personality just seems a little flat to me. But whatevs, the ladies are off to Italy, and I predict Fatima will go home soon enough. Then Lauren. Then HOPEFULLY Dominique, because I totally cringe every time she opens her mouth to speak, not to mention the show's not called America's Next Top Drag Queen. So that leaves Whitney, Anya, and Katarzyna as the Final 3. That's my prediction and I'm sticking to it.

*TOP CHEF: And again, say what? They eliminated Ryan?! Nikki so needs to go home. And even Mark seemed like he effed up way more than Ryan, whose main faux pas was that he went too big for the tailgate challenge. Granted, his five-course meal was a little ridiculous for the challenge's perameters, but it seemed like Nikki's food wasn't even that great, much less the fact that she had very little to even present to the judges. She'll go home soon, though, I predict. I see Richard, Antonia, Dale, and Stephanie at the top, though Jennifer is gaining ground. Antonia and Richard display the added advantage of knowing the game, apparently having studied up on previous seasons, like every player should have. They've been latching onto the catchphrases from each challenge and catering to those aims, generally with much success.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ah You Know,

I think I sorta really don't like my trainer. Wednesday, after he broke up with me, he called me and wanted to know where I was. Like I didn't even listen to the entire message so tired as I was from like our disastrous relationship so far. Hello!? you broke up with me! And I was in the middle of dinner where we were celebrating my dads 60th birthday. Where upon my friend Kerry and my dad started harassing each other about politics and Amber started making unkind remarks about Jesus. It was like I was at dinner with my older and younger sister (both Aries) and I just sat there and thought, oh jesus christ. Like alot. In between this my mom started telling stories about how there was a man who wanted to be rehired at her work. He wrote on his application that 2 of his sons couldn't be trusted and have amounted to nothing in life. I wonder when the age cut off is. Is it 30? I feel like it might be, but maybe it's 35. Any thoughts on this? I'm not sure. Anyway and then he started faxing 9page love letters to the HR woman named Nancy. Aw, sweet. STALKER! Anyway then inbetween bristling remarks about Obama not being a Christian and Jesus being equated with a magician who pulls bunnies out of a hat my mom interjected another story about a man at work who got to finally use his CPR training, since a guy in the jacuzzi was passed out but no one at the gym called 911 or knew how to help him. It just proves there's only like the 1 guy. Which is pretty true of life. Anyway Kerry kept looking at me to say something to Amber but I just shook my head and rolled my eyes and when Amber would look at me like, please make dad stop talking about Obama because we're both voting for Hilary I just sighed and asked dad and mom how sad it might be if we only vote for McCain- unless his VP is like, killer... so after I don't know how many- interruptions my mom finished each of her stories, the chocolate dipped fortune cookies and hot tea came out and then my dad went to go smoke. Of course he never came back. And then mom says, It's not like in the old days when he used to return to the table. What?! Well anyway. So then we leave and get fancy cupcakes for dessert and pile on candles and sing my dad Happy Birthday and then the next day I eat another cupcake, 2 cookies and a Tommy's Burger but decided I'd go to the gym anyway just to run into my "trainer"... who tried to blame me for everything then wondered what the point was if I only met him once a week. I'm like, listen jackhole- where upon he answered his phone twice! while I was sitting there- which just led me to wonder how on earth I can get rid of him for good. Though we're back on for our appt 2wks from now. And then I wonder when my mom started getting better at diversionary conversational tactics, or my dad started acting like a really old man, and how I suddenly have 2 sisters and a sugar addiction. It might be planetary though or a phase of the moon but I'm going to just chalk it up to weirdness and try and act as calmly and normally as possible this weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Today I, by Pen

Today I woke up and my lips were so dry, they hurt real bad. I used Vaseline and drank lots of water, but they are still dry and may fall right off my face. And then I had a craving for tots at dinner. Tater tots. Clearly, this culmination of events can only mean one thing.

I am Penelope Dynamite.

Today I, by M

Feel like a Jelly ball that has been, after a very hard game, misplaced in the grass by a gust of wind. I am just to the left of the court. In the tall of it. The sun is hot and is bleaching out the part of my color but my underside is cool and all dewy from the grass. I can't seem to rotate myself over and the breeze hasn't stirred yet.

another vicious cycle

I can't, as I've said, stop painting trim. I'm almost done--I mean it, I really am, I have to be, because my house needs to be clean by Saturday. For N.Lo's Baptism. Not to mention the food I have to make, along with some other preparations. No more painting trim! I'm about to run out of paint, anyway. And I were to do every piece of molding in the house, seriously, it would be every piece of molding in the house, because they could all use a freshening. But I'm happy with the ones I've done, particularly in the kitchen, where my eye was drawn to/repelled by them, what with the new kitchen paint. It looks clean, fresh, and good. Doorframes, living room/kitchen door, the inner edge of the Dutch door, the bottom part of the kitchen window frame. Brills. But I'm stuck on this last little vexing piece of horrible trim on the front door. The front door hadn't been painted at all up until now for this very reason: that trim is nearly impossible to paint. It's kind of different and quirky and whatever, gives the house a little character, so I don't mind the trim in and of itself. But the painting, ugh. I painted the rest of the door white yesterday and this morning, and was left with the untouchable rectangle in the middle, standing out like a sore thumb. So then I think I'll paint it a whole different color, other than white. Maybe red, or black, or brown, or something. Bad idea. Ugly. Don't do it. I try it anyway, it's a wreck. This is all after I spend half an hour of hand-cramping tape gymnastics trying to get the glass all covered up. So then I try, dare I say it, to spray paint the obnoxious trim piece. Spray painting is an unmitigated disaster, and I should never have tried it. I now have unremovable white spots on my carpet. Because of course I do not do intelligent things like put down drop cloths while painting. My record proves this all too well.

Meanwhile, my iced coffee brain is racking up 50 million other tasks that need--okay, that I would really like to be completed before the weekend. They aren't going to happen, or at least not some of the more far-fetched, grandiose schemes. I veto several line items from the list. I feel a little better. But I still have this fucking trim that needs to be painted, which is a) looking ugly still and b) taking up way more time than I would like. And c) is standing in the way of my dusting, and guest bedroom sheet-changing, and fish-tank cleaning, and bathroom cleaning. And then I'm afraid I'll "finish" said trim, pull off the muscle-cramping tape job, and realize that I did a terrible job of painting the trim's inside, because it's practically flush with the glass and impossible to get to properly, and then I might actually blow a gasket.

Then J.Lo says, why don't you just take out the offending trim?

What? What. What do you mean, take it out. Like just get rid of it, forever? Could this not have been mentioned before.
So. I haven't solved the problem of what to do with that too-large section of exposed glass (a tiny, Smurf-sized curtain, complete with tie-backs?), but I think it may just have to go, that piece of crap trim. My psyche can't handle the pressure of getting the thing painted correctly, or even just thoroughly. I'm thinking that a little house character is sometimes overrated. That is all.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Weird Fact Wednesday, by M

I will probably forget all about this next wednesday but nevertheless besides having to boycott chimps in entertainment (which because what happens is: they become attached to the human community, their handler, and then when they reach a mature age (about 8) they are put into a chimp community and have almost no human contact for the next 40 years and this of course is the best case scenario if they don't end up in a lab. this bums them out. I would tell you more but i don't want to bum you out. )

Did you know: Chimps can't swim. Or rather they don't swim very well. Their bodies are very dense and that is why a lot of enclosures will have moats which they can't cross.
Chimps are awesome! Google them and learn all about their awesomeness.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Friend the Fabricator, by M

Yes, Yes it is another post about friends. RUN! (it's totally long too. you dodged a bullet)

For those of you are going to stay just to see what sort of strange things I'm going to say, welcome.

I have noticed that among friends that if they can't talk about their lives, and their friends I get bored really fast. Sure there's a fine line between gossip and storytelling but usually the people you spend time with are (part of) the makeup of your existence and I like to hear about their perception of their friends, their beliefs and why they like someone, are currently totally annoyed with someone etc. And it's fun if and when you finally meet the person to see how your mental picture has developed in comparison with the real thing. It's sort of like unwrapping a present. There's one group of friends that never talk about their friends and whenever I see them I think wow, really, do we have to talk about politics again or the state of religion in Europe? I mean what's going on with you? What did you do yesterday? Nothing? Wow, really. And then my head slumps down on the table. Bor-ring!

I have one friend in particular however who has run the other way of the equation. I mean sure I do like a good story but I generally prefer them to be true. Let me preface this by saying I do love this person a lot. I generally have shorter patience with such things as I am a mostly very honest person which to me illustrates how much I really do value them, that I overlook it. And well, what if this person reads this? Isn't that mean? No. They know they lie. It's not surprising. Do they know if I know they lie? Maybe not. But then if they think I'm marginally intelligent they might figure it out anyway. The problem is they can't stop unless they want to, because to them it is actually more comfortable than telling the truth. Even when confronted.

But as recent google searches attest pathological and compulsive lying are really very deep and complex pathologies and are usually associated with other disorders such as borderline personality disorder and narcissism. My friend is deeply deeply insecure and lacks things like love and grace. They need Jesus, in all the ways that phrase recommends itself. It is very important to them that they are perceived in a certain way and lying about their past and their finances or their social class just reinforces the way they want or really NEED to be seen. I love them anyway, poor or rich, sloppy or clean, educated or not. But they do not love themselves in the same way and they need to have control and this goes to creating drama for its own sake or inventing typical tall tales. But lying is only a symptom of a much larger problem.

I have to say it keeps me on my toes. Since natural born, I love a good story. I intuitively ask questions until I find the truth or that the story is assembled in such a way that it makes sense. Usually I can tell when someone is deliberately leaving out information, hemming, hawing, sidestepping, the dreaded lies by omission, debates. And usually if not infuriated by it, I find it fairly annoying. Just tell the truth ya'all. Even if it's difficult and awkward. Even if you're trying to spare my feelings because I didn't get invited to the ice cream social or that you really don't ever want to go hiking with me. I am tenacious. I will usually if I don't relax push the issue until it breaks. (Totally my problem I know.) Just tell the TRUTH. Everyone. Lying is LAME. Unless you're just trying to mess with people and have some fun. Then go for it.

But I digress, this person has been lying to me since the day I met them. Their friends and me get together sometimes and confab about the particular lies and question one another if it could possibly be close to the truth. Good liars do always make it close to the truth. That's what confuses the issue. Did they ever date so-n-so? Well, no. But that person does exist. Ohhhh. Have you ever met.... ? No. Ah! Do they have a house in.... ? NO! Gasp. You've never met their parents? Oh, that's weird!

I had forgotten, until recently reminded, that this issue was not just in my head but was actually real. Like, oh yah, they're totally a pathological liar! Ha. What?! Isn't that weird!

Besides the big things, they also lie about little things which refreshes my sense of watchfulness- little variations of the story that are pointless, thus illustrating that to them factual evidence, no matter how small, is insignificant. Hence the lying. For instance mid story small lie, "So then around 3 after waiting for like an HOUR..!" Truth: It was at 12pm and we only waited for 15minutes. Since the exaggeration wasn't used for comedic effect or slander, then it is completely 2nd nature compulsion. Or standard lies: "My family has a house in Jackson,Wy." "Oh we should totally go!" Truth: It never happens. When pressed they will say yes, but never follow up. Etc.

This is a serious but mostly annoying problem. I categorically do not trust them, or emphatically only trust their actions- what I see, observe, intuit. I watch for how the story repeats itself- does it change? Since we do tend to repeat stories, events, and traumas over and over the course of knowing someone. How does the past change? What details are they telling me and what does it build up to? How am I perceiving them now? What if they hadn't told me this story, what would I think? Who have I met that they've talked about? (this one is very important) Do they live up or match what that person has told me about them? Yes.No. Have I seen pictures?!

It's an interesting way to know a person. And reinforces to me all the ways in which I love this person and how much I know what they tell me sometimes, just doesn't matter. Mostly it bums me out to know they need to try to make me believe something about themselves. But the truth as some genius said once, Will OUT! The truth will out. And it shows itself at the most instinctual levels. For instance, I grew up upper middle class. My concept of money, security is based on that and my private school education, coupled with my luthern upbringing matched with my nondenominational conservative school, matched with the barrio i grew up in juxtaposed to state school vs. artschool.... etc. All shows itself no matter how much I would try to hide it or obscure it. My friend wants me to think they grew up rich. That their parents are rich, etc. But they act poor. Money is tight and carefully managed. It does not grow on trees. Their reactions to money, to work are completely different. Obviously I can't explain it in all the ways that would demonstrate it properly but I hope you can see my point. That who we are, partially constructed by our environment, does show itself. Which is why people who aren't ever "quite right" or just a little off is how finely attuned- instinctualy- we are to the people who match our class, education, religion, race.... even in the negation of those similarities or differences.

If I could smack some sense into them I would. Hit them with the common sense stick. . . But though the truth will out, I love them anyways. And I would pray for patience and ways in which to show them that in themselves they are sacred just as they are, and cared for and loved just as they are. And there is no need of ornamentation or diamond powder body cream. Because I see them for who they are.

This is a big step for me in facing lies with love instead of truth. Or both actually, which makes all the difference.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Well FINALLY, by M

Delilah Renee means: The Weak One Reborn. But then I looked at her birthday (in the birthday book) and decided she'll overcome such a sucky weird name. At least it wasn't Darcy which means the DarkOne, because that's like a whole 'nother prophecy. I'll maybe call her 'lil, or Lilah. Because I'm sick of D names... in my family alone we have David, Dave, Danny, Danny, Dennis, Donnie, Debbie- my brother met a Dawn whose brother was Drew whose parents names were Dean and Darlene. Their dogs names are also Dixie and Dakota. I hope you see what I mean when I say it's too much. It's like not funny anymore. So not funny or cute or like endearing or anything. And I can only hope my niece will be one cool hip kid- which will sort of match her name because Jesus. But at least it wasn't Deena, Dahlia or Daniella. Which were their top 3 choices.

That's my brother Dave. Which most people don't know I have because he doesn't understand what it might mean to not be oblivious, distant, self-involved and obscurely placed in Minnesota. God, love him. Because I don't know- like he doesn't think its important to see family or who knows what. I certainly haven't seen him in over 4 years. It's fairly infuriating. And it took him this long to send us pictures from the first day of her birth! That's 2 1/2 weeks. And just now he also sent us ultrasounds from 9 months ago and a pic of Dawn pregnant. 2 weeks ago he did send us a pic of the babe screaming her head off and naked and though i am pretty unrestricted I do have some sense of politeness and decorum toward others. And i can at least say to my niece i did not post that picture. Even though in a cute way my brother thinks that picture is cute and funny and totally emotionally appropriate. Anyway we've been,
waiting for this beautiful babe for over 10years. And finally! Phew. I was pretty emotionally detached all the way leading up to the birth but then when my brother called to say I was an aunt and that the baby looked like me when i was born made my heart grow 2x larger than it had been before. It was one of the nicest, and intouch things my brother has ever said to me. Because lets face it. He was a horrible brother. 6 years older and completely hostile to the fact that I was a girl, came about 5 years to late and that I got everything I wanted. And not at all protective or understanding. He's still fairly bitter. Not that we don't love each other. However that's the stuff in the corners.

But anyway, look at this little one. Maybe she will steal my heart. I can only hope so. And that maybe one day I'll get to see her and she'll obviously love her cooler than cool LA aunt who calls her nicknames and lets her paint on walls. Awwwww. maybe.

Weekend Notes

*N.Lo spit up on my head TWICE.

*Had ten tons of leftover lemon ice paint from kitchen, which was most unfortunate, as it cost a lot of money. Turned lemon ice into LEMONADE and painted the backyard playhouse.

*Brought the WHITE paint inside the house and began touching up spots on the kitchen trim that are chipped. Found that touch-up job makes moldings look wonderful and un-touched-up moldings look even more horrible. Have not stopped touching up trim. Found even more white paint in the laundry room, foresee myself painting trim forever.

*K.Lo and N.Lo (dare I speak it out loud) had two very good nights of sleep. Consecutively. As did I. Sort of.

*I've hidden all the candy so my daughter won't ask for chocolate all day long. Or at least so I can answer, "We don't have any" and effectively pretend that's the truth. The candy is now conveniently located in a drawer right next to where I keep the computer in the kitchen. Don't anyone tell her.

*The new Smartini blog is super-cool and you should visit and comment a lot. I personally am a comment whore.

*Two very cool things I read recently are here and here. One is about Neville Longbottom and the other features several favorite movie/TV/book characters including Barney Stinson and Dwight K. Schrute. And Mose. They made me laugh out loud, like genuinely laugh, which startled me.

*The peas and cucumbers and the marigolds in the garden have sprouted. I have yet to grow anything else.

*My To-Do List for this week (prepping for N.Lo's Baptism Sunday) is approximately 10 miles long.

*My hair is falling out, which happens sometimes after being pregnant. Usually (I would imagine) only if your hair grew a bunch while you were pregnant. Which mine did. When I was pregnant with N.Lo.

*J.Lo has been making this ice coffee that is crazy-good. But I'm not really a coffee drinker? Because I get buzzed from one cup? So I've been super-productive the past few days and my toes are really tingly. That is all.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Come Hell or High Water: Yard Sale in Review

Despite all my best efforts to reverse-psychologize the weather into NOT RAINING and BEING BEAUTIFUL, it did rain and was totally ugly. Muggy, wet, nasty. It didn't actually rain during the sale, for the most part, I'll give the oh-so-NOT-FUNNY Mother Nature that. But when we woke up, between 5 and 5:30 that morning, the sky was completely broken, downpouring rain with thunder and lightning, the whole shebang. What to do about this, I wasn't quite sure. After a good half hour of denial and internal hand-wringing, I cleared off the front porched, which is covered, and swept off the rainwater. Then, J.Lo got up on the roof, in the pitch-black, pouring down rain to rig up a tarp over the back deck. When my in-laws arrived with their things to sell, the canopy borrowed from erinhjones was constructed in the side yard. This thing was going to happen, come hell or high water, I was determined, even though I knew it was pretty much going to suck.

After all was said and done, we broke $150? Which I have to say I'm happy with, even though I feel the profits would have been way better on a sunny day. We didn't get the Mom Traffic (key to a really profitable yard sale, or (dare I say it?) the Mexican Clown Car traffic. I mean, I'm not trying to be an ethnocentric asshole here, but the illegal immigrant sect does tend to frequent the yard sale circuit, showing up in beat-up vans filled with more people than seems possible. And they get the deals, so more power to them, living here in the good ol' generous USA. They must not like the rain, though.

So we had all of The Lo. Co. stuff on the back deck, my in-laws took the canopy, and Good Lauren and Jason camped out on the front porch. People started coming a little late, thank heaven, because we were a little late getting all the stuff outside and set up after the rain stopped. Some old guy right away bought an armload of nutcrackers, and our random success continued from there. One coffee maker went, the printer, the wireless router, all the VHS, some rugs, some Christmas decor, a few books, the ghetto china set. What didn't go: some vases, the baby stuff, coffee mugs, clothes, an end table, craft stuff.

The Rescue Mission was scheduled to pick up all the leftovers afterward, on the condition that it could not be wet. So clearly the sky needed to open up again minutes before I planned on dragging everything inside, absolutely drenching us. Weeeeee. I hauled it inside anyway, dried it all off, and the stuff that couldn't be dried off, I shoved in some trash bags with some dry stuff on top. Sue me. I was not bringing that crap back into my house and having to get rid of it some other way. That was the whole point of the yard sale, to get rid of everything THAT DAY, and THAT DAY ONLY. And I did. It all went away, poof, and the huge weight of the extraneous was lifted. Sayonara, junkola.

We made enough money for: the kitchen paint and supplies and a sundry trip to Costco, as well as some rare take-out. I was brave, resolved, disciplined in forgoing entirely the Library Sale, but I had been graciously allowed to peruse both of our co-salers' book selections and take whatever I wanted for free! So I've got a ginormous stack of books to plow through anyway. Clearly it was the best of both worlds.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Open for Business

Yes, the rumors are true. I have joined a third blog, and it is now open for business. (Mis)Adventures is my home life, PenelOccupation is my work life, and so obviously, I need a blog for going out on the town. Please stop by our new blog bar, Smartini, where six smart, sassy ladies are serving up all the drinks needed to quench your thirst! For knowledge, that is.

See ya there, I'll save you a seat.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I Still Sorta, by M

suck, at posting right now. But this is my last one until maybe next Monday or Tuesday. I'm going to SD for the weekend. At work they've awesomely given me more research to do and in between searching for the impact of 7000 volts and how you can't really separate that from amperage bcs volts is like the pressure exerted but not the dosage or why moose swim, and bears climb trees,
or even that skunks maybe only live 3 years. Perhaps I will do an animal fact a week. Or try- so in between that, I am obsessively reading Clarissa online at which has many classics online FOR FREE... plus it's 1500 pages. I've got a lot of reading to do. And studying french and debating ditching class for the OFFICE and getting broken up with by my trainer since he in fact called to cancel on me before i could cancel on him- there's a host of birthdays to celebrate and friends to meet and nails to be painted and stories to write...

Here's to fair breezes, and warm sunshine, good drinks, and all things going according to plan.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Kitchen Paint Revealed

Lemon Ice: Makes you think of popsicles, doesn't it? Summer, Italian Ices, Snowcones, things like that. The Ice Cream Truck driving down your street. Warm weather and backyard sprinklers and swimming pools. Frozen margaritas. It's cozy, and brings the whole thing together, and I kind of love it.

Plus, it matches my lemon tree.

Monday, April 7, 2008

M: At least

you two care.

TheTRAINER'S name is John. I was suppose to train with Courtney, and she called me once to confirm our training sessions, which was promptly put on my to-do lists. Meanwhile, Courtney decided to move or something so John called me and left a message then called me AGAIN. And I picked up. I swear I was not avoiding them. Anyway, John is all irksome and like, yah well Courtney left and blah blah so... we need to get you on the calendar so blah blah. And then he says, You can actually workout before we begin, or the training sessions begin- but i thought he meant like actually come to the gym and start working out and I was all- jerk. Talk about condescending and then I called Amber and was all, I think my trainer is all grr nazi condescending and she's all, um, he probably just meant warm up so that you can go in at 630 and the session can begin at 700, and I'm all OOh. But anyway both of my training sessions are on peoples birthdays because apparently I can't escape Aries in my life- bcs kerry is on the 14th and Amber is on the 15th even though they like totally hate each other. I'ts like mixing white and dark chocolate in the worst ways even though they are totally both chocolate. Then my dad's birthday is the 16th. My niece is March 26th and I can think of at least 3 other people who I know- wait 4- who have that whole hey I'm a fiery stubborn bleeting Aries, or whatever. So now I have to be all, um John I need to reschedule even though like I fully knew I would have to when he was making me write them down. I did say I was penciling them in but um yah...

So the MOVIES: Amber and Kerry are movie-holics. I just, I mean I'm more a Tv, media-holic. And I just don't care about going to the "movies" and seeing it on the big screen. . . but anyway so Amber and I coordinate Netflix rentals sometimes, besides endlessly fighting. Just because I "liked" something doesn't mean it was good. Her tastes are oddly way less discriminating but conversely specific but she fast-forwards thru movies which i cannot almost ever abide. Because I think movies aren't just plot but emotionally driven and you can't possibly get that when 1/2 of it was a blur. So this weekend included:
  • No Country For Old Men: (her choice) The 2nd viewing clarified some things about the whacked out ending but not by much. Anyway I still like it, but seriously what the hell is with that ending. The words are still all literary and amazing and the violence is still definitely UGH. Gross. But strangely this was not the only killing movie we'd see. Amber did not like it. I told her she wouldn't. And I did, for her sake, fastforward thru some of the violent scenes while stopping for the dialogue. I rated this movie 4/5 stars. Mainly some of the themes I felt could've come across stronger and I loved TommyLeeJones- but the main assertion that this is no country for old men is sort of moot when you're up against a psycho with supernatural propensities. I was like really? Is that what you're saying? Or just life in general? And aren't there healthier ways to grapple with mortality. I don't know. But maybe that's my struggle with Lee's character.
  • The MIST: (My choice) Our favorite line: "Oh don't worry. It's not my blood." Hi=larious. There were some good moments and some weak ones. It was basically an uneven movie. But lovely, how it all quickly spiraled out of control and went to shit. And Amber and I do really, really enjoy talking about what we would be doing together in that kind of situation. We'd rally the forces. She'd try to kill the religious zealot. I'd try to talk her out of it...etc. Anyway we always have those conversations, as we chat thru movies like there's no tomorrow, that: Oh hey, wouldn't it be rad if... ah, but they'd never. So THEN**SPOILER** the rational group loses their nuts too and decide to flee the store after killing the religious lady (no way!) Who by the way has no actual understanding of Jesus and sacrifice. This was a major hole in that if you're gonna make them crazy I wonder if you could make their faith more real, but maybe that's the point. Bcs it's weird that a bible-toting whack job wouldnt use the word Jesus or understand that "sacrifice" is no longer necessary, but I digress. There are some GREAT character actors in this piece who got not nearly enough screen time, but anyway, so then like DUMBASSES they take supplies- food, weapons, water except for a weakly established gun that has as we find out only 4 bullets. 2. No gas 3. No logic 4. No actual escape plan. DUMBASSES. So of course the guy takes his son to see if his wife made it. She totally did not. The old couple in the back who were at the beginning of the movie full of fucking smarts somehow lose theirs and the blonde chick who has "faith in humanity" all tag along bcs they didn't get eaten by giant insects... cuz yah it was the "govt."... not the supernatural. I think a weak point. But anyway so then the dumbasses run out of gas. And they see this giant creature and they're like oh well fuck it. GAME FUCKING OVER. And when he pulls out the gun, you're thinking no fucking way! but then, holy fuck! WHAT!!?!? He shoots them all. Our hero shoots his son, his would be love interest and the 2 smarty pants old people. Then gets out of the car waiting to be eaten. Only to see the "Mist" receding and the military doing damage control and rescuing survivors. Fucking what!? So of course he just starts shrieking. Amber and I went from 2/5 stars to 3.5/5 stars just for that fucking twisted mfo of an ending. Hence, wow! That was MIST-tastic!!
  • IRA& ABBY: (My choice) So yah, some funny moments, but ultimately and unwanted cynical view of marriage but flimsy, godless and narrow. I said "I liked it." Amber did not but I was at least trying to branch out with the movie choices.
  • THE BRAVE ONE: (her choice) So, okay. It had a slow beginning. There could've been more concrete details to the life she had vs. the life she took on, besides showing that she used to wear flowy white skirts but now wears nothing but grey tight fitting shirts and dark eyeshadow. **SPOILER** And it got a little better as it went on, and as we saw the detective begin to figure out that she was the killer of all these people- like 8/9 by the end of the movie. And that there was this mutual attraction which was almost too subtly unspoken. Like there needed to be just a bit more. But anyway so hello, you think, sure he's going to catch her and turn her in and blah blah whatever. But then at the end he helps her shoot the last guy then asks her to turn the gun on him so she can be for once free and clear of all the murders. And by the end of the movie he's being put in an ambulance and she's walking off with her dog no longer afraid of the night. WTF!>? MIST-TASTIC! That's what we're saying! So my rating went from a 3 to a 4 on that, ballsy if slightly unwarrented ending. But I like it. A twist so easy that well, um, she gets away with it. NO reprucussions. Fucking yah! MIST-TASTIC!!
  • Under the Tuscan Sun... oh geez. I can't talk about it. IT's always on cable. What's a girl to do. Even if it is mostly lame and cringe worthy.

Wow, so, I should've been doing like many other things on my todo list but you guys totally baited me. If you stayed till the end, bravo, seriously. I mean I am interesting and rad and so are my thoughts but everyone has their limits. ALright i have to go revise my todo list and get some water now that we're all out of dietcoke and what not.

Peace. M.

M: I have

a cold. I don't know where the self hate besieged me, but there it is in all its head swelling, watery -eyed, sniffing ways. I boldly though, I must blame my cold, write from work. With nothing to report to you besides my tardy blogwriting and that I've watched too many movies and drank too much diet coke this weekend. That is the crux of it. I made a new todo list which includes sewing, not avoiding my trainer at 24f (complimentary 4 sessions), thinking about things to print for my portfolio, but who has the time to complete these things... I'm going to SanDiego this weekend in search of a tall ship. And all my other time is taken up reading Clarissa. Which for one of the first novels! So much to think about. And scandalous. Oh also I'm thinking of terming any movie where you know- how you wish it should, would, could end but then you think the people would never have the balls to shoot it that way and they do- Mist-tastic or Misticle, or Mistifying. Cuz have any of you seen the MIST or? the Brave One...because um, seriously! Anyway, THAT IS ALL.

Blog better soon,

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Yup, it rained anyway.

"Divination is one of the most imprecise branches of magic. I shall not conceal from you that I have very little patience with it." -Professor McGonagall, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Substitute "weather forecasting" for "Divination," and "science" for "magic?" And that is how I feel about it all. I am never consulting again. It just makes me crazy with all its predictions and percentages and accu-weather bollocks, and you know what? It's all just going to unfold the way it's going to unfold and you can't do a thing about it.

I know you guys like, and that's fine. I promise not to judge you. But I find it very, um, "wooly," and I am done.

Friday, April 4, 2008

News in Brief

*For the yard sale tomorrow, I'm trying some reverse-psychology tactics on the weather. I'm preparing for rain. I'm borrowing a canopy (thanks, erinhjones!), J.Lo's rigging up a tarp. In my mind's eye, I picture us all standing there, soaked and miserable. But really, I'm determined that we will pull this thing off, sell lots of stuff, and our efforts will totally be worth it.

*Library Book Sale this weekend!

*Claire deserved to go home this week on ANTM, but can we get rid of Dominique already? Chickie's got such an ego on her, and she's just... she's a hot tranny mess. I see Anya, Whitney, Stacy Ann, and Katarzyna as the final four.

*NKOTB was on the Today Show this morning, and even though they didn't sing (yet! coming up in May!), and even though I am old and they are old, and I can plainly see how totally ridiculous it was to worship them as a sixth and seventh grader, I still got a little chill. Like all time and age and reason filters just dropped away. I heart them.

*I didn't realize until Wednesday that The Office isn't new until NEXT week. Man. Also, I'm bummed because once again, the DVR and its limited recording abilities strike, and right now we are unable to keep up with Miss Guided. I hope they move the time slot. I heart Judy Greer.

*I cannot wait until next week's Survivor, seeing Eliza wave her little stick arms about the fake Immunity Idol. She's so smart. Annoying, but at this point in an almost endearing way.

*Lesson learned this week: One of my bad habits or character flaws is that I can't just let lost causes remain lost? I have to try to find a solution, work it out, because in my head the solution is just so obvious. Note to self: Don't do that. In the meantime, I feel pretty stupid for even trying to facilitate these hopeless situations. I'll be in the corner, licking my wounds.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Oh Man, M

I almost had to put myself on the blog more list. But this is what happens with me and "transitions" and I have a lot of them. So it's totally expected. I get so locked into trying to find a new routine and be comfortable in it I start eating more fries and none of my thoughts make it to the surface. I haven't even been making lists, except on the weekends. It's only the 4th week of my strange job and just this week they're starting to give me more research specific tasks so that's nice. I love reading Clarissa (200/1500) by the fountain goddess Emmy. I eat too many Mc'd breakfasts, I workout 4x a week and read while I elliptical. I hurt my shoulder and the dull ache is just the funnest it can be. I try to wander the garden before I leave for work... well anyway blah blah you get the point. It's nice to be tightly controlling the days and all the rest, but there's things I haven't been able to paint- another hike with my dogs, the dodgers game, my thoughts on joy, my new one and only niece and my idiot brother who's only sent us one picture, and well just scads of things... that being a big one and possibly more reflections on friends and cats and the wonder of dark chocoloate.

bon minuit.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


This is like, the worst week ever to have a yard sale, but I'm doing it anyway. I need to have this yard sale, and unload the ten tons of crap that I have accumulated in the shed and guest bedroom onto the buying public. The Rescue Mission will get the leftovers, which reminds me that I need to call them and arrange for a pick-up. It's all just so complicated, and I can already tell the day is going to be a nightmare on our end, between getting up at some ungodly hour, juggling the children and the setup, dealing with earlybirds and other neighborhood freaks. What if that lady came around to this yard sale too, omg. You can bet I'll blog about it. In the meantime, I am up to my eyeballs in assorted coffee mugs, can openers, coffee pots, clothes, curtains, VHS movies, books... price tags, signs, boxes... and a not-so-stellar weather forecast. Anyone know an anti-rain dance? Please advise. Because it has to be this weekend, our yard sale. The ad says so, the yard sale gods say so, I say so.

Dear Yard Sale Gods,

Please let the weather be dry, the set-up effort somewhat coordinated. Please let me step out of the house wearing something more presentable than pajamas and baby spit-up. Please let us rake the money in. Thanks forever.


More thoughts about the earth

Feeling encouraged by comments on the last post (m and I always feel encouraged by comments, period, right m?), I thought I'd add a few more things we do that I forgot about, and some more that I'm aspiring to.

*J.Lo rinses his razor in rubbing alcohol, a tip from clarkhoward, which extends the life of the razor... amazingly. Since Mach 3 razor replacements are tres expensivo, even if we buy them at Costco, this is a super-cool trick. It's the water and air that degrades a razor's sharpness, not the actual use, so rinsing in alcohol dries the razor quickly and completely. We have the alcohol in a little tupperware container, so we don't waste that, either.

*I did, after writing the last post, find a recipe for homemade granite cleaner, which I'm kind of excited about.

*Sometimes, I reuse foil, and every time I do, I think about my Grandma reusing foil, because that's just "what they did" in the Depression. I also will reuse ziploc bags if they're not dirty from the first use.

*When I say I buy certain things "as needed," I mean it. It takes a concerted effort to wait until we've really and truly have almost run out of something, as stockpiling is apparently in my blood.

*I'm seriously considering making my own Brita pitcher refills, as suggested by g. Or figuring out some way to refill our refigerator filter, because those bad boys are super-expensive, and I hate buying them just on principle.

*Someday, I might start using cloth napkins on a regular basis, and nix the paper ones.

*I'm getting better at (with, ahem, certain exceptions) getting the laundry clean, so fewer clothes are wasted. It's all about soaking. And frankly, regardless of the money factor, this recent revolution is kind of a relief. I hate it when I can't get a stain out, and I'm a pretty messy girl.

*I buy powdered Gatorade instead of the pre-made.

*We drink from 2-liter sodas instead of cans, even though it's much less exciting, and yes, the fizz does disappear after awhile.

I feel like there's more, but well, you get the picture for now.