Friday, March 21, 2014

B f L Day 17: The end is near.

Who am I kidding? The end is here. The end of this goofy blogging experiment, that is. What was I thinking? How do people blog I don't have that many thoughts worth writing about, and the condition of my house proves that it takes me way too long to do this every day. 

But it has been kinda fun, in a weird, pressure-filled kind of way. I'd like to think I've restarted my interest in blogging, and maybe I'll get back to at least a couple of times a week, rather than once a month. 

To make up for somewhat bailing on this experiment, I'll go the more traditional route for the rest of Lent and give up something. Let's see...chocolate, sugar, coffee,, the vice list just goes on and on...

With 23 days left, I believe I will choose...refined sugars! [No, that's not a cheat like saying I'm giving up liver...I've had way too much sugar lately, so this will be good for me.] And for the record, I didn't plan far enough ahead to do this so there was no big blowout on Fat Tuesday (or today). I honestly sat here trying to figure out a blog post and had this idea. How's that for impulse?

Wish me luck. And I won't wait a month before posting again. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

B f L Day 16: In the news.

Some things:
  • Stacy Keibler and George Clooney broke up after a couple of years. Stacy is now married and pregnant. How do you handle being the guy after George Clooney? 
  • Danica McKellar (Winnie) and Candice Cameron (DJ) are on this season of Dancing With the Stars. I loved The Wonder Years and Full House. I could never pick between those two - with or without dancing. And if they'd thrown Topanga into the mix, I'd have had to watch every single episode. 
  • I want this to be my next job. [To be clear - I want to be holding the water hose.]
  • The Malaysian airliner situation just breaks my heart. Whatever happened, I can't imagine how the families of those passengers are coping with not knowing. 
  • There are several families I know who are really struggling right now--a 16-year-old in a car accident who is struggling with recovery, a mom recovering from back surgery, a grandmother with MS who has pneumonia...sometimes it seems so overwhelming and I just hope and pray they have the strength they need to get through this.
  • Finally, this isn't really news, except that I've found the most amazing cake ever, and I do not understand how this was even possible:

Seen on Cake Wrecks and credit to Richard's Cakes
And that's all the news that's fit to print. 

What headlines have caught your attention lately?

[Edited to fix the title -- I can't have two day 15s or I'll NEVER finish this challenge.]

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

B f L Day 15: Wordless Wednesday

Almost wordless. This is in a corner of my office. I heard a few weird sounds. Then, this for about 45 minutes. Yes, those are my yoga mats. They were just rolled up standing in the corner.

You can't see that the table is tilted toward him. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

B f L Day 14: C'mon Spring. I insist.

I shamelessly stole this from somewhere on the web.
As I may have mentioned, I'm done with winter. Done. I've decided that Spring just doesn't know it's her time to shine, so I'm helping. 

Sunday it was about 45 and windy, but by golly that grill was going and we had fajitas. See, Spring? We remember you and look forward to your return.

Bug and I have been doing a workout series for the last week or so. Today we did the entire thing outside. Take that, Winter. It consisted of about 225 squats. We will not be moving tomorrow, so I won't care what the weather is.

Right now, I'm wearing a sundress and NO fuzzy socks. I believe this is the first time my feet have been uncovered for more than 10 minutes since about November. 

And I desperately need a pedicure. 

I planted my herbs a couple of weeks ago and I've been babying them since. Eventually, they will be so happy and look like this.

Let's all join in a chorus "Spring has sprung" and get this season started. 

What's your favorite season?

Monday, March 17, 2014

B f L Day 13: Happy Day o'the Green!

I'm not Irish. And I don't drink beer. And bright green isn't really my color. So why on earth am I doing a St Patrick's Day post?

[Ignore the 40 days of blogging pressure, and scraping bottom for ideas...]

Because it's a really cool story, that's why!

My 10 minutes of research has proven that this Saint Patrick had a very interesting life! Let's look at some of it, shall we?

  1. This tradition dates back to around 400 a.d. That's a long freaking time ago, and yet the legend continues!
  2. At 16, Patrick was captured by pirates and sold as a slave in Ireland. His owner was a pagan priest of Druidism. He escaped after about six years of slavery.
  3. He entered the priesthood in France, and after about 20 years, was allowed to go to Ireland to convert the pagans there. In his years there, he converted thousands to Christianity.
  4. He is said to have used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the holy trinity. 
  5. The legend that St Patrick banished all the snakes from Ireland is usually discounted because snakes don't live on islands that were glaciers at one point. But it's a good story.
  6. March 17th is widely believed to be the date of his death, and is widely celebrated with feasting. And green beer. 
"If they can dye it green one day, why can't they dye it blue the rest of the year?"
There ya go -- a little trivia for your St Patty's day celebration. I hope you're wearing something green!

And let's all hope that this really IS the sign that spring is almost here!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

B f L Day 12: This is my life.

This. Three rather large dogs, one rope, husband egging them on. 

Oh, and notice the fire in the fireplace. In. MARCH. In. TEXAS. 

Life right now is approaching ridiculous. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

B f l Day 11: Let's talk TV.

In the life of this blog, I've mentioned TV shows that I'm watching, or want to watch, or never want to watch, or not sure if I've a nutshell, I watch too much TV. But it's such cheap entertainment! I don't have to leave my house! I can pretend I'm only going to watch something when I'm on the treadmill, then finish the season on the couch. And now, with Netflix and Amazon and Hulu, I never have to watch more than a few commercials EVER. AGAIN. What's not to love?

On that note (and because I'm truly stuck for blogging ideas on this silly Lent idea I had), let's see what TV we can talk about.

Current likes:
Let's face it: I'm a follower. This list of my top shows will probably read like any other TV fan.

Downton Abbey Love everything about this show. Oh, except for that killing off main characters without asking my permission thing. And the Daisy/Alfred/Ivy triangle that just annoyed me - but it's likely over now. Oh, and the stupid British TV season that means just as I'm settling in, it's over for 9 months. The clothes, the castle, Mrs Hughes, Mr Bates, it all.

I want to be Lady Grantham when I'm 80. Or tomorrow. Either works for me.
Justified: This is such a guilty pleasure. Raylan's hat (and his Wranglers), Boyd's amazing way with words, Jere Burns as Wynn (Jere in anything)...all add up to a riveting show. Sure there's too much violence, and too many random hookups, but it really does advance the story! And what a story -- where's Raylan going to end up now? 
Timothy Olyphant. 'Nuff said.
Walking Dead: I don't know where to begin. There is no logic to my love for this show. I don't do gore or things jumping out at me, and this show is full of both. But the character development is unmatched by anything on TV, in my opinion. Watching the changes these characters go through as they face the unimaginable is a glimpse into any group you're a part of. Think you know how you'd react to never ending crises and tragedy? Think again. And get some target practice in with the weapon of your choice, just in case. 
Okay, forget character development. It's all about the arm porn.
Growing up Fisher: It's probably premature to put this one on the list, because there have been three episodes. But I find this sitcom so funny and touching, and I hope it stays around a long time. If you haven't heard, it stars J.K. Simmons (Farmer's insurance commercials, and The Closer) as a blind lawyer. His family knows, but everyone else has no idea he's blind. The story is narrated by Jason Bateman, as the voice of his son. And Dharma is his ex-wife! Give it a try!
Yes, the blind one is steering.
Shows I will forever select from the Guide, no matter how many times I've seen the episode:
NCIS: Gibbs and DiNozzo. Forever and ever, amen. 
Criminal Minds: Penelope, Morgan, Reid. Love them all. And the one with C. Thomas Howell as the bad guy who goes after Hotch's ex-wife makes me cry every time. 
Reba: If you didn't watch this when it was on, find it in reruns. Hilarious cast, awesome story line, and just so much fun. 

Series that I've recently watched on Netflix all at once, because I missed them the first time around:

I refuse to be embarrassed, but last year I watched the entire eight seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and loved it (at least until the last two seasons). I had no idea at the time that this was going to be such a cult thing, but I finally decided to find out what the deal was. Oh my word, it was hilarious and dramatic and cheesy...and so much fun. And Angel (David Boreanaz pre-Bones) was hot! I found I would go faster on the treadmill during the fight scenes of this one!

Right now, I'm watching Charmed on Netflix. This show is one of those that I would almost always watch when I was traveling for business. It seemed to be in reruns on one of those few channels I'd get in the hotel, and always in the morning while I was getting dressed. So I'd seen random episodes and liked them, but never in order, and I didn't really know the background. I love this show. The sisters and the spells and the "innocents" -- it's just something I enjoy. Sure, it has its cheesy moments (nothing nearly like Buffy!) but it's fun to watch. And the clothes -- as if anyone would wear what the sisters call "business attire," even in California! 

Have you watched any of these? What'd you think? What's on top of your list?

Friday, March 14, 2014

B f L Day 10: Just some updates.

Man, Lent lasts a long time. 

For the inquiring minds, some updates on recent happenings:

  • The cable and phone service was restored about 7pm tonight. Total of about 28 hours out. I want a discount on my bill. I used my cell phone as a hot spot all day for work, but for whatever reason I couldn't be talking on the phone and on the internet at the same time. So much for conference calls where I do a screen share. Discount, AT&T. Cough it up.

  • Jake is still with us. Everyone is adjusting, although the cat is still a little skeptical. The humans are outnumbered, and the females are definitely outnumbered in this house. And anyone who wants to gift me with candles to disguise the smell of dog will be my new best friend. I will never get all the dog hair out of my house again. 
  • The whole weight loss thing is not going well. I'm still being pretty consistent with working out, up until I skipped tonight (I'll do it tomorrow!), but I'm eating crap and there's just no way to work out enough to make up for that. Tomorrow is another day. The incentive better kick in soon because...
  • We just booked the graduation trip to Jamaica! A whole week in Runaway Bay coming in July. Hooray!
Here. Only 19 weeks from now. 
Now you're all up to date! And it's the weekend! Whoot!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

B f L Day 9: Charter vs UVerse

This is not going to be about what you think it's going to be about. This is not a request for opinion on the pros/cons of Charter Cable versus AT&T UVerse. But after tomorrow, it might turn into that. 

As of this afternoon, we have no Internet or land line phone. 

Not by choice.

By this:
Why am I not filled with confidence?
Charter Cable is coming to the neighborhood. They brought signs. And lots of people with spray paint and little flags to clutter up the neighborhood.

Apparently the corner of my flowerbed is just a convergence of a whole bunch of lines. They're so powerful they knock the little flags over. Or they knock them outta the guy's hand and he just can't pick them back up.

"Today, the entire Eastern Seaboard is alive with talk of incidents of paranormal activity. Alleged ghost sightings and related supernatural occurrences have been reported across the entire Tri-State area."
-- name the movie

Today I came back from an errand to discover I had no Internet access. Rebooted the router, nothing. Realized I didn't have a phone line either (neither land line worked). Have I mentioned that I work from home? All day, every day? Yeah, no phone or Internet is kind of a big deal. 

So...I call UVerse, to let them know that it's very likely that Charter has somehow interfered with their lines. Charter has no interest in talking to me because I'm not their customer, but AT&T should maybe pay attention, right? 


"Give it a couple of hours and then call us back," she says. 

RDub comes home, gets the story, calls AT&T. Yes, he's rebooted the router. No, there's no light on the "service" indicator. Verdict? It's a bad router. 

Yeah, AT&T, send us a new router, but that's not what it is. Whatever. Tomorrow is fine. 

We go for a walk with the dogs. As we arrive home, we see the AT&T truck parked next door and the guy going into our neighbor's back yard. Ever the stalker, RDub waits for him. 
It's true. I won't be watching Arrow on Netflix tonight -- that's TV like I've never seen.
What, our neighbor's UVerse service went out too? At 3pm? Just like ours? What are the odds that our routers died at exactly.the.same.moment? I'm gonna go play the lottery because obviously something is up.

Fifteen minutes later, RDub finally convinces the AT&T guy that maybe he should check the lines...which show interference. Hey, guess what? A new router isn't going to solve the problem, but the service guy coming out in the morning just might find the problem. 

How's my confidence in AT&T?

Well played, Charter, well played. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

B f L Day 8: Let's just do a recipe.

Winter has almost sucked the life out of my desire to cook anything. Even soups haven't sparked my interest - I just want to sit on the couch under three blankets and pout. 

But I made this one a few times. It's easy and I always have the stuff for it, so it's on the short list on those pouting nights.

Pizza Soup 
adapted from

[These quantities make about 6 servings, depending on how hungry you are.]

1 lb ground sausage or links (or season some ground beef or pork with Italian seasonings)
1 package (12 oz) frozen veggies - California blend or broccoli works well
3-4 cups broth - some mix of chicken or beef is fine
1 can (14.5 oz) chopped tomatoes -- fire-roasted, Rotel, or just diced, depending on the heat you like
3-4 teaspoons Penzey's pizza seasoning*
Olive oil

Brown the sausage in the olive oil. Add the tomatoes and the pizza seasoning and stir. Add the broth and the veggies (they can be frozen or thawed). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover to simmer for 10 minutes or so. 

You can make this much more complicated if you desire -- saute some onions and peppers if you like it on your pizza, even add some mushrooms. But this is the easy way - no chopping, no thawing, just brown the meat and go. Top it with Parmesan and a side of crusty bread, and enjoy your pizza!

*Penzeys seasoning is amazing. I've not tried any other kind called pizza seasoning, but it's possible it exists.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

B f L Day 7: PANIC!

OMG I'm out of ideas for blogs!!!

Forty days.... F O R T Y days! How on earth am I going to do this?! [TK, get a grip. Jesus withstood temptation for forty days in the're talking about blogging. Seriously.]


Let's talk random stuff then. [It's the safe talk of bloggers everywhere. I googled it. It's an officially sanctioned strategy when you have absolutely nothing to say. Expect a lot of this in the next 33 days.]

1. RDub has introduced the fam to a new show -- Arrow. Premise: Spoiled rich kid is stranded on an uncharted island after his yacht sinks, killing his father and sister-of-girlfriend-he-was-cheating-with. Rescued, comes back to right the wrongs his father had done. Oh, and the girlfriend is still around, pissed that her sister is dead AND that he cheated on her, AND their father is the police. He uses...wait for it...arrows (and a hoodie as a disguise). I sound sarcastic, but it's really good. Elliot Queen keeps up the pretense of being a poor little rich guy without a care in the world, as he works to bring the bad guys to...I'd say justice, but that's not it...he really doesn't care if they come to justice so much as he wants them to get caught at all the bad stuff they've done. And then there's the little sister... Watch it. Fun.

2. This weather is completely ruining my mood. The last two days have been unbelievably gorgeous -- 75-80 degrees, sunny, perfect outside weather to inspire thoughts of gardens and frolicking in the park...we had the windows open all day, and tonight we turned on the air conditioner! (Yes, we closed the windows first.) We only did it in protest of what is going to happen after 10pm -- dropping to the 30s with a high in the 50s tomorrow. We're in denial. I'm going to wear shorts tomorrow in protest. And I won't turn on the heater until I'm forced to do so. 

Get it?
3. My 30th high school reunion is coming up this summer. I'm trying not to be completely freaked out by that. Sympathy accepted.

4. I have a hard time saying any one thing is my "favorite," but right now, I'm completely infatuated with Pharrell Williams' "Happy" - like the rest of the world. I was driving home from my mom's on Saturday and was literally bopping my head and clapping against the steering wheel. How does anyone stay still during this?

5. I have to figure out animated gifs if I'm going to keep this blogging thing going. I hereby swear that I will find out how to do it before my next "I have nothing to say here" blog entry. Keep me accountable, people. 

So, how's this Blogging for Lent thing going? I've been enjoying it...

Monday, March 10, 2014

B f L Day 6: Senior Year Activity, Part 1

I named this Part 1 because there's no way there won't be more of these. Today I took part of the day off to go PROM DRESS SHOPPING with the girl. 

Moms, if you went to prom, take a moment to thank your mother. Being on this side of the experience, exhausting, sad, sweet, and a little unbelievable. Where is the baby I just had 5 minutes ago? How is it possible that we're approaching the end of her school years, and college is around the corner?

I'm not allowed to show the final dress - that will come when prom is actually here. But here are some of the runners up, with a disclaimer: she wasn't thinking about her hair or the look on her face when I took these!

We went to the bridal store first (and I told her she wasn't allowed to shop there again for MANY years). When shopping there, you're basically looking for style and size - they can order most colors. She was pretty set on blue - turquoise/teal/blue-green -- so we took time to find some different styles.

Let's start here:

She was pretty sure she didn't want strapless -- it's just not comfortable for her, but we tried a couple anyway. 

This one made the initial cut, even though it is strapless. A nearby bride even came over to look at it to see if she wanted it for her bridesmaids!

Then there was this one. It was gorgeous, and the deeper color just looked amazing. At this point, she had also tried on the one she ended up with, but this one would have been on the list...if they'd had her size. This one was just a little tight, and we didn't want to deal with major alterations. But it was a style we'd look for in other stores.

A couple more...

I was set against black, but this one made the first cut, too, and was quite elegant.

She tried this one on for the style, but I loved the color. Red isn't her thing, but we could have gotten it in another color if it had been a favorite. The halter was the option she wanted to test.

We put three on hold there, and went to Dillards to see if there was anything comparable.

Picture is a little fuzzy, but this was a beautiful dress. There are little sparkly beads all down the front, and the ombre fabric along the side with the ruffle was lovely. Best part - no hem needed! Length was perfect (which people under 5'5" knows is a miracle). This was the runner up to the eventual choice.

We picked three people to send the pics to, and asked them to vote. But it finally came down to what the girl wanted. Turns out it was even a little bit on sale, so win!

We'll get it hemmed in a few weeks, once we find shoes. Jewelry will be fun for that one, and she's looking at hairstyles. The final pictures of the selection will be posted on prom weekend! Girls are such fun!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

B f L Day 5: Playing CSI

If you know us personally, you might know that Bug, our daughter, is graduating this year and planning to study Chemistry with a forensic science certification. University of North Texas, here she comes! 

Today, at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, the location of the Kennedy assassination, UNT hosted a CSI day for families, and we went to solve the crime. The minimum age of participants was supposed to be eight years old, but I'm pretty sure they weren't checking IDs. Anyway, other than having a slew of girl scouts to work around, it was pretty fun. 

We viewed a crime scene, where a bomb had gone off in a casino. We read witness and suspect statements, viewed results of the explosive testings, and compared fingerprints. We got to take our own fingerprints and compare them to the "types" of fingerprint patterns - I'm a "loop" on at least a couple of fingers. Then we checked evidence to see if it was blood (it was).

We saw how they analyze paper and pen/pencil patterns. And yes, we identified the correct suspect! Yay us.

After the crime solving, we took the guided tour of the book depository and the walkthrough of the events of November 22, 1963. Of course I've heard the stories my entire life, but I've never been to the museum, or really even to Dealey Plaza - I've driven by, but that's it. 
This is the view of the Dealey Plaza memorial, taken from the grassy knoll area.
Fifty years later, it's amazing how real this feels - like it could have happened last week. Listening to the details from people who were there, seeing the autopsy sketches, looking at the bullets...and wondering what kind of findings there might have been with today's technology and knowledge. 

If you're in Dallas, don't miss this. Even if you aren't a history buff, this is totally worth a visit. 

It was a great family let's get on with Spring Break!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

B f L Day 4: Road Trip!

This is the house I grew up in.

It was yellow back then.
I made a quick trip to my momma's house today for a very important reason - tomorrow is her birthday. I surprised her today when I showed up on her porch with a flower delivery...rang the bell, then appeared behind the bouquet when she answered. [We'll save the "what are you doing answering the door when you can't see who it is?" discussion for later. I watch too much Criminal Minds.]

We went shopping at a little boutique in Waco where they sell lovely candles, flavored olive oils, and lots of stuff I don't need. 
Stop by if you're ever in town. It's a happy place. 
Then we went to lunch, at a place whose name Mom couldn't remember. Yes, seriously. It's "that little place in the shopping center...I'll know it when we get there." For the record, the name is Taqueria #9 on Valley Mills. And it was definitely tasty.
My sweet Momma
Shrimp, beef, and chicken fajitas for me, and tacos and enchiladas for her...and some rather spicy hot sauce. Doesn't get much better than that. 

Once you move away from home, things are never exactly the same. I moved away for the last time when I was 20, and since then I've married, graduated college, and raised children. When I go "home," it's because my family will always be there - and my mom is the best part of that. 

And this is what will be there to welcome me:

Puzzles. Always somewhere in the house.
And there's a puzzle upstairs in my house that needs my attention. The tradition continues. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

B f L Day 3: Stuff I find funny

Who can resist a title like that? I've gotten scared about posting pictures I come across on the web (hello, Pinterest) because of copyright stuff, but some of these are just too hilarious. Yes, I'm weird. 

Fair warning:

Funny captions on real photos is one of my favorite things ever.
Imagine there's an apostrophe in "Let's."
I always wink back.
I laughed harder before I realized she was talking to me.

Kittens AND a Harry Potter reference. Perfection.
I spend way too much time online, but at least I find things to giggle about. You should, too. 

[I also find it funny that I wrote this yesterday so I wouldn't miss a day, and then almost got in bed  tonight before I remembered to publish. No short-term memory.]

Thursday, March 6, 2014

B f L Day 2: Fostering

This week started a new experience for the family.

This is Jake. He's a five-year-old Husky that has belonged to our neighbors. They got transferred and will be in an apartment for too long to keep him. They asked if we wanted him, and we said we'd try to find him a home. He's all over Facebook now, but so far no takers. We brought him home Tuesday afternoon to ensure he wouldn't end up at the pound. But that's not the point. 

I'm watching this dog go to the front door and just sit there. "It's been fun, but I'm ready to go home now." It is heartbreaking. He is learning to get along with our dogs, and the cat is trying to tolerate him, but he's obviously confused. He paces, nudges me, and won't eat. It's just so very sad. 

I'm sure he'll adjust, but I just don't know how much we're helping. He gets used to us and hopefully before long we find him a home. Then he has to go through it all again -- how is that fair? We already have two big dogs, a third is really not part of the plan.

Anyway, I'm sure it will work out. He's a sweet boy and he deserves to be happy and loved. I'm trying not to be angry at his original family -- it just feels like they should have tried harder, instead of starting this a week before leaving. But that doesn't help anything, so I'll get over it. I do believe that they miss him, and just didn't want him to be miserable stuck inside all day. So there's that. 
I should clean house before I take pictures.

If you know anybody who's looking for a sweet dog, let me know. And say a little prayer for all of us. We need it. And pray my vacuum cleaner doesn't break - the dog hair is multiplying exponentially. Oh, and that he'll eat soon - I'm starting to worry. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Blogging for Lent

That's "Lent," not "lint." I'm not blogging for the stuff in my dryer or navel. But I've been sitting this year out on the blogging front, and I'd like to get back into it, so here goes: For the next 40 days, I'm going to post a blog 

[I've lost my mind.]

That's right, every day I will post something, probably something short, on some random topic. Hold me accountable, people. 

Day 1 (or maybe Day 40 if I want to do a countdown): Where Have I Been?
She's a brat, I tell ya. 
Basically, I've been fighting my inner five-year-old. Read this if you don't know what I'm talking about. I had all these plans to get back on the exercise and right-eating bandwagon, and that little brat just kept interfering. Oh, and so did the weather. Cold makes me cranky and depressed, and the excuses to just sit on the couch and eat chips seem so much more relevant with it's below freezing. And this is in Texas! I know, it's nothing compared to Chicago/Wisconsin/New Jersey, blah blah... I don't care. I'm not used to it, and it's been winter here for four months. I'm losing my mind. It seems like it should help that last weekend was 80 degrees on Saturday -- and then 20 degrees on Sunday. But no, it just makes it harder to adjust. 

The laundry alone is crazy - tshirts, shorts, fuzzy socks, and sweatshirts all in the same load. Ridic.

Anyway, as of Monday, I'm back on the straight and narrow. I signed up for 1fwtraining - downloadable workouts at all levels, using whatever equipment I want (I have it all, so I have options), and Bug is doing it with me. I'm tracking my food, something I haven't done in almost two years. But the pounds started jumping creeping back on and I have to stop that. I'm not buying new clothes in a larger size. N O T. 
I'd laugh, but that's not funny.
So it's been three days of eating well (under 1400 calories), getting some movement in, and generally just shutting up the five-year-old. She really is obnoxious.

Whoot! Day 1/40 done. Who knows, maybe I'll think about this Lent thing and come up with other stuff to do/not do. Guess I should hurry...