The art of losing is not hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
Some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.
Even losing you ( the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it ! ) like disaster.
There were no formerly heroic times, and there was no formerly pure generation. There is no one here but us chickens, and so it has always been: A people busy and powerful, knowledgeable, ambivalent, important, fearful and self-aware; a people who scheme, promote, deceive, and conquer; who pray for their loved ones, and long to flee misery and skip death. It's a weakening and discoloring idea, that rustic people knew God personally once upon a time - or even knew selflessness or courage or literature - but that it is too late for us. In fact, the absolute is available to everyone in every age. There never was a more holy age than ours, and never a less.
For The Time Being
Thérèse: Well, I tried exorcism, and if you recall, that just made it angry.
What would you like me to try this time?
Sarah Smile: whimpers
Thérèse: Maybe if I tell it about a very attractive snot in someone else's nose.
Sarah Smile: That might work.
Sarah Smile - "I can't think of a place I'd less like to be, than trapped on a bus with a bunch of Regis and Kelly fans."
My Nick - "A Justin Timberlake concert, a party with Britney Spears, within 50 feet of Paris Hilton..."
Sarah Smile - "I see your point. Perhaps there are worst places."
My Nick - "A buffet with Rosie O'Donnell ....." *continues for about ten minutes*
Later, for other reasons, they used a catheter (and lets never speak of that) and so the cup was never put to use.
When I got home, I realized that I still had the cup and biohazard baggie in my purse.
I promised the bag to My Nick, for him to take his lunch to work in, but I'm not sure what to do with the specimen cup. It's slightly too small for a coffee cup.
Other than keeping mints in it, in my purse, I'm not sure what the best use for it would be.
Vampire Nurse - "Ok, you vere good, you dinnot flinch."
Sarah Smile - *looking everywhere but at her arm on the tray, and vials of blood slowly filling up*
My Nick - *squeezes hand* "Hey."
Sarah Smile - "Hmmm?"
My Nick - "Your blood is green."
Sarah Smile - "That doesn't surprise me, and I'm still not going to look."
My Nick - "I'm SO bored."
Sarah Smile - "Lets see who can steal the largest item in this room. I'm thinking that end table over there."
My Nick - "Actually, I was thinking, of that old woman in the wheelchair over there."
Sarah Smile - "She's alone, poor thing, and looks very medicated. I bet if you called her Nana, she'd just go with it."
Nope. My toes are all rather even. I have cute feet. I'm trying to find a picture, but the only on I can find is this one. My foot is all the way on the right there.
2. Do you have a favorite type of pen?
Anything that glides well.
3. Look at your planner for March 14, what are you doing?
I don't have a planner. My Outlook calender says that I have a customer service meeting that day, but thats just because I book those meetings, I don't actually have to go. So nothing, really. Why? Wanna hang out? Lets get frozen yogurt and watch ANTM.
4. What color are your toenails usually?
*laughs* You should see my nail polish bag. It looks like a glitter factory blew up. I don't wear the outlandish colors quite as often though. I do try to have some class. Right now they're a very classic red. With glitter. But if I see a bottle of a color that makes you squint a little, I can't resist buying it. Nail polish makes great craft paint.
5. What was the last thing you highlighted?
Probably lines of poetry.
6. What color are the curtains in your room?
Sheer netting. *wink* Bet you want my address now.
7. What color are the seats in your car?
Tan. Like, a really clean tan now. You can see the tan. Nick cleaned the car. No more newspapers and straw wrappers.
8. Have you ever had a black and white cat?
Of course. I have Mau, and I suspect I'll always have him, since I think he'll outlive me. (Pact with Satan.) I've always been partial to tuxedo cats. Makes the place feel more formal.
9. What is the last thing you put a stamp on?
A postage stamp? A card for Lola, that I'll drop in the mail once I find her new address. It has Lisa Frank monkey stickers on it, arranged in obscene positions.
10. Do you know anyone who lives in Wyoming?
I have a very dear reader there.
11. Why did you withdraw cash from the ATM the last time?
12. Who is the last baby that you held?
A coworker's baby. Oh, the cuteness. I wanted to eat her cheeks.
13. Do you know of any twins with rhyming names?
I know of very few twins, actually. I knew some quadruplets when I was a kid. Two of them were identical, the third looked a lot like them, and the fourth didn't look like he even belonged in the same family. I thought the fourth one was cute. He just seemed like a rebel somehow.
Do you like cinnamon toothpaste?
Sure, but I'm not picky. A fact that Nick reminds me of, when ever it's time to pick some up. "Honey, you get whatever you want, of course, but I'm just gonna get something normal."
15. What kind of car were you driving 2 years ago?
My Gwenie, the '05 Ford Focus. She has engine trouble, but I still have her. Somebody broke into her a few months ago, picking the truck lock, folding down the back seat and crawling through, spending quite a bit of time trying to hotwire her, only find that she won't start. Frankly, when I saw it the next morning, I just laughed.
16. Pick one: Miami Hurricanes or Florida Gators.
Gators. 'Cause they're animals.
17. Last time you went to Six Flags?
Hmmm. Sept. 'O3, I think. With my kidlets. That was FUN.
18. Do you have any wallpaper in your house?
Nope. None. My only real experience with wallpaper was on a high school play set. "You Can't Get There From Here." We had no crew other than a director and one sound and lighting guy, so we built our own set. We stole furniture from our parent's houses. One girl's dad said he just came to see his sofa in action. The set rocked, I must say. We did GOOD.
19. Closest thing to you that is yellow:
Post its! The big, extra sticky kind. Since I order the supplies around here, I can get just the sort I want.
20. Last person to give you a business card?
*checks the stack*
Dan Shields, CSP
Nelson & Associates.
21. Who is the last person you wrote a check to?
Hmmm. Utilities, I think.
22. Closest framed picture to you?
My handsome Knickers, with his unicycle.
23. Last time you had someone cook for you?
Last night, Nick made burritos. It was DELICIOUS.
24. Have you ever applied for welfare?
No. Why? You think they'd give it to me? I doubt it. I don't have any kids or drug problems.
25. How many emails do you have?
In which account? 805 in my Gmail.
26. Last time you received flowers?
Hmmmm. Prolly from Nick. He has great taste.
27. Do you think the sanctity of marriage is meant for only a man & woman?
I love how this implies that every heterosexual marriage is holy and pleasing to God. I can think of plenty of ways to defile the sanctity of marriage, a person's choices and actions, but your gender? Please. So the short answer to your question is no, of course not.
29. Do you play air guitar?
Rarely. I'm more of an air drums girl. Which is bad, because I have no rhythm. I fake rhythm well, but deep down I know I have none.
30. Do you take anything in your coffee?
*eyes dart around* Why? What did you hear?
31. Do you have any Willow Tree figurines?
I don't even know what that is. *googles* Oh. Ew. No. Not my taste at all. The only little knickknacks I collect are owl figurines, and a small part of me despises myself for that.
32. What is your high school's rival mascot?
An eagle, I think. We were the Patriots. I was actually the mascot for awhile, after my bad knee kept me from cheer leading. (Shut up.)
33. Last person you spoke to from high school?
She didn't go to my school, but Lissy and I were friends in high school. From my school itself, Jessica. Nick was surprised to meet Jessica, he freely admitted when he met her that he thought I'd made her up.
34. Last time you used hand sanitizer?
Here at work. Trying to keep from giving my cold to everyone.
35. Would you like to learn to play the drums?
In theory. In reality I know I'm not well suited to it. See #29.
36. What color are the blinds in your living room
Beige. It's one of the few things in my home that I approve of being beige.
37. What is in your inbox at work?
Emails. I don't think I'm supposed to post them on my blog.
38. Last thing you read in the newspaper?
A feature on unusual court cases.
39. What was the last pageant you attended?
My Bug, when she won Miss Teen El Cajon, in '99.
40. What is the last place you bought pizza from?
Pizza Hut. I'm loyal to my previous employer. Mostly because having worked there, I know for a fact it's clean.
41. Have you ever worn a crown?
Mostly paper ones. That I may or may not have made myself.
42. What is the last thing you stapled?
Some office supply order records.
43. Did you ever drink clear Pepsi?
No, and it sounds a bit ominous.
44. Are you ticklish?
45. Last time you saw fireworks?
46. Last time you had a Krispy Kreme doughnut?
Dunno. Not much of a fan.
47. Who is the last person that left you a message you actually returned their call?
48. Last time you parked under a carport?
Last day we lived in the Flying Caravan.
49. Do you have a black dog?
I have a dog with black stripes, does that count?
50. Do you have any pickles in your fridge?
I think think Nick ate them all over the weekend, I remember throwing away the bottle.
51. Are you an aunt or uncle?
I might be a step-aunt, but I don't know.
52. Who has the prettiest eyes that you know of?
If he doesn't object to the word "pretty," I have to say My Nick.
53. Last time you saw a semi truck?
On the drive to work this morning.
54. Do you remember Ugly Kid Joe?
Nope. Not a clue.
55. Do you have a little black dress?
Yes. It's hella cute, in a boobalicious sort of way.
(No, really, we're not horrible people, she tolerates this. It's like petting, and anything that's sorta like petting is alright with Dulce. Especially from Nick. She was purring like mad as I took this.)
Dulce keeping an eye on Luca.
Luca was cold after his bath, so I wrapped him up and we watched bullriding on tv, and counted how many times the announcer said "get it done."
Apparently I was feeling very romantic earlier, but I'm more nervous now.
First. I'm all for mainstreaming the disabled or the slightly disabled, but please, don't assign the hard of hearing triage nurse to the front desk. Surely there must be a better place for her. Like paging doctors. Without an intercom.
"OK SARAH, AND WHAT ARE YOU HERE FOR?"
*cough* "Well, see I've been having some unusual *hand motions* down south, and, uh.... yeah. How specific do I need to be?"
"EXCESSIVE VAGINAL BLEEDING?"
"Yeah, that, and other stuff ........ like, um, excessive redness to the face ......... now."
"HAVE A SEAT, WE'LL HAVE SOMEONE CALL YOUR NAME IN A MINUTE."
"Could it be a code name? .......... No? Ok."
Second. The nurse who did my bloodwork was quick, efficient and generally very lovely. (A bit fond of waving the vials of my own blood in my face, which is bad, not that it scares me. I'm very calm as I observe my own blood, and then observe that the floor is about to slap me in the forehead. All of you who are wondering why I never became a vet, there's your answer. Me + blood = very sudden nap.)
But perhaps doing bloodwork isn't the best line of work for someone with a pronounced Eastern European accent.
"Ok, ve need just vone more vial of your blaaaaad."
"You do WORK here, right? I mean, we are in a hallway, and my doctor didn't mention this....."
I did really enjoy the orderly who pushed me down to my ultrasound. He said his habit of speedwalking was responsible for an entire new hospital policy on how fast you were allowed to push a patient. A speed limit, in effect.
And I had the Lamborghini of orderlies. I made sure to tell him I was proud of him.
The doctor who did my ultrasound was mercifully quick, bless his heart. He made sure the goo he smeared on my tummy was warm. You'd think it would have occurred to him that heated goo would have been even nicer when it came time for the inter-vaginal camera wand ultrasound thingamajig, but *shrug* he was in a hurry, no doubt for my sake.
He told me I have a very bright endometrial band, so I nodded primly and said thank you. (When in doubt, take it as a compliment, that's rule #4 when dealing with men.)
(Incidentally, I love that spell-check was not familiar with the word "endometrial" but had no issue with "thingamajig.")
Lastly, my nurse's name was Ulysses. That alone rocks. Also, he told me it was his medical opinion that I should avoid the hospital dinner, because tonight was tuna night.
One last suggestion for the hospital.
NEVER, EVER run out of stickers. It's an essential part of medical care, as far as I'm concerned. Anyone who is elbow deep in my ladybits had better give me either a sticker or a phone number.
Don't you agree?
I think if someone bought me these boots, it would cure my cold.
Or this purse.
Or this necklace.
Or these sheets on the left.
Or this kimono.
Or this sweater.
Or these shoes.
You know what else I think will work?
Toast and Thai soup.
Nick kisses on my face.
My feather pillows.
The movie Roman Holiday.
Wearing my giant sombrero.
Comments? I know it's comment-whoring, and I try not to do that. But my body is all jacked up at the moment, and I'm just sick and tired of being sick.
Tell me I'm pretty?
But I must say, as strange as this is, I love my healthcare provider, PacifiCare. (I love my doctor too, but it's not quite as unusual to find a caring doctor as it is to find a caring HMO.) They're efficient, pleasant and easy to deal with, phone system and customer service reps alike. And don't get me started on the Nurses line. They call me Honey and call back to check up on me. They make me feel snuggled, over a phone line.
All this for less than $30 a month.
Here's a subject line for you. I think I'll borrow this a lot.
"It does not describe an empirically observed reality."
(It went on to try and sell me some sort of building material.)
"Frida" emailed me to say that "I don't know what the future holds, none of us do." Thanks for clearing that up, Frida.
He knows to sit, shake and lay down. He knows the cats food is off limits, and to be gentle with the bunny.
He doesn't just snuggle, he PowerSnuggles.
I know I go on and on about how cool he is, but I'm telling you.
My dog is the best dog ever.
"No. It's cold."
Finally I had to tell them to quiet down, that the cold air was coming from a door they left open and that the only thing on the other side of that vent was a meeting of executives who were being loudly serenaded by their argument.
SarahSmile: Yes. I do know.
It's that my Employee of the Month picture on the wall is STARING at me.
With a SMIRK.
SarahSmile: Like she(I?) KNOWS something.
Thérèse: You know what else is disconcerting?
SarahSmile: No, what?
Thérèse: The fact that there is no magazine to celebrate the wonder of bread. Bread, it is so delicious. I want to marry it.
Marry it in Jonny's kitchen.
And I'll blog about it. That's sorta like a magazine.
It was a short ceremony. (We decided to wait until after we were married to... you know.)
.......... coworkers who always insist that I cut the line for Free Breakfast Day here at work, so I can get back to my desk.
He took down a few word suggestions and crafted this minor masterpiece for me, for turning in a lover to the police.
Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the kissing for both of us. Well, I've done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: teabags.
I'm saying that because it's true. Inside of us we both know your elbow doesn't belong here. If that plane leaves the ground and you and your crab are not on it, you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but next tuesday , and for the rest of your life.
Forget about us. We'll always have leeks. I'm no good at being unique, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a flock of pigeons in this dandy world. Some day you'll understand that.
Here's looking at you, kid!
And this one, for asking a special someone out on a date.
I'm a very smart guy. I haven't a feeling or scruple in the world. All I have is the itch for money. And leeks. But mostly money. For twenty-five bucks a day and expenses, I do my thinking myself, what there is of it. I risk my whole future, the hatred of the cops, and my own elbow. I'm expected to say thank you very much, if you have any more trouble, I hope you'll think of me.
I do all this for twenty-five bucks a day, day in day out, like an old flock of pigeons that your crab dragged in.
Go ahead - tell me I'm no better than teabags. I've been called worse than that. What do you think I am - unique? Now you offer me fifteen grand. How long will that last? Maybe till next tuesday. Then again, maybe not.
Do you think I'm going to take your dandy money and walk away? Think again, sister.
From now on, I will always ask Bogie.
"Ultimately time is all you have, and the idea isn't to save it, but to savor it."
- Ellen Goodman
"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart."
- Celia Thaxter
"This is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great."
- Willa Cather
"If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible."
- Soren Kierkegaard
"Out behind the house we have "our mountain." Alpinists would chuckle at its diminutive size, but the modest, grassy summit affords an ample perspective of the surrounding country. And why else do we climb, if not for perspective? When the mists in my head rival those of our valley floor on an early spring morning, I know where I need to go: up to where I can see. There is nothing fancy here, I'm afraid. Just my little footnote in the great human striving for clarity. But I must confess to a feeling that some happy magic is at work, when the mists clear and I arrive home, a little wiser, for today."
- David Jacoby
"Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it."
- David Lloyd George
"Saying nothing .... sometimes says the most."
- Emily Dickinson
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart."
- Jane Austen
"Leisure, some degree of it, is necessary to the health of every man's spirit."
- Harriet Martineau
Grind them up and shake them into a bag of Cheetos.
Put them into a bowl of JellyBelly Every Flavor Beans. Half of those taste like crap anyway.
Dissolve them in water, then soak pencil erasers in it.
Cough Syrup -
Mix it with RedBull, and serve it in a martini glass, in a dark club.
Drizzle it over a slice of cheesecake.
Dehydrate it down into a fruit roll-up.
Maybe Humphrey Bogart could walk me down the aisle. Sharon Stone could sit in the front row and perhaps flash the minister. The minister will of course be Robin Williams.
My wedding party will be as follows.
Another Sean Connery
Laurel and Hardy
John Wayne will object, of course.
Fran Drescher and Arnold Schwarzenegger will make toasts at the reception, hosted by the Gilligans Island Gang.
Oh, and he's completely out of his mind.
The people he interviews always look rather terrified of him. He has this bull in a china shop style of interviewing.
But this morning?
This morning was the best.
This morning he was reporting from a golf tournament, where his camera man was not allowed to follow him. So the camera man went up in a nearby crane, and zoomed in on Rod interviewing spectators.
Spectators who looked around and could not see a camera.
Only a crazy man with a microphone.
A crazy man with a microphone who couldn't figure why everyone was staring at him like he was nuts, a crazy man growing increasingly frustrated.
It was brilliant TV.
Things My Boyfriend Says -
"You shouldn't buy me things. Save your money for unicorn rides or whatever it is girls spend money on."
"Buy this truck and PUNCH MOTHER NATURE IN THE FACE."
"I think I'll ask the dentist to install tusks in my face so I can fully embrace my orcish heritage."
Also, Miss Kendra had me snorting with laughter today. You know, more so than usual.
I found his myspace.
This is one that went on a long rant about how anime fans are such dorks because they're "living in this whole other reality," while he's on his way out the door to a medieval war reenactment.
Sarah Smile: Swear to god.
Even when I tried to point it out, he still didn't get it.
Thérèse: well that's just it, isn't it. half of the dorkiness of being a dork is that they don't realize theyr'e dorks.
Sarah Smile: Kip was always good for a laugh. It wasn't that he was a dork. I like dorks. It's that he seemed rather distainful of other dorks. And THAT is where it got hilariously funny.
He left the candy store to manage a comic book store.
I dropped by once.
Not that I'm that fond of comic books, or even of Kip, but it felt good to see him there. Like when they release animals back into the wild.
Ok, so added Kip as a friend.
Because I couldn't think of any reason not to.
But now I remember why I shouldn't.
Because it's SO HARD to NOT make fun of him.
His wife's user name is Tinkrbelle. Her spelling, not mine.
Thérèse: I have no response to that.
Sarah Smile: I do. That's just the problem.
It's IMPOSSIBLE not to make fun of Kip.
Lord knows I've tried.
Thérèse: Hah a hah a.
Quit resisting then.
Sarah Smile: Since he's at heart a pretty decent guy.
He once burned me a Justin Timberlake cd that I was too ashamed to buy.
Thérèse: he had a justin timberlake cd just lying around?
Sarah Smile: Yep.
Thérèse: well, that's just...
he's asking for it.
Sarah Smile: I want to do a blog post.
Can I do a blog post and still be a decent human being?
Sarah Smile: Silence suggests the answer is no.
Thérèse: No no, you can.
It's just... "decent" is a strong word.
Sarah Smile: Did I ever tell you the story of how I met Kip?
Thérèse: Go on,...
Sarah Smile: Ok. So Lissy and I were sitting in a Dennys late one night, sobering up. I was maybe, 19?
And in the next booth over is this big group of guys.
And somehow we struck up a conversation and they invited us to join them in the big corner booth.
And I thought one of them was kinda cute. We'll call him KCG.
And KCG asked me for my number. He pointed to Kip across the table and said that Kip was a manager at the movie theater, so we could go see movies for free.
I gave KCG my number.
The next morning I get a call from Kip.
Thérèse: wait, in the morning?
Sarah Smile: Kip asks if I wanted to see The Patriot, and I said that I did, assuming that he was referring to a group outing, as discussed.
Kip said good, because he was looking forward to spending time with me.
I'm thinking OOPS.
Thérèse: Hoo boy.
Sarah Smile: So I brought two of my friends along, Lissy and her boyfriend at the time, Jonny.
Kip proceeded to introduce me as "the girl [he] is seeing."
And I wasn't sure what to say, because I didn't want to embarrass him in front of his coworkers.
Although they prolly picked up on my mortified expression.
But Kip did not.
After the movie, I was going to pull him aside and set him straight, but good ole Jonny beat me to the punch. He pulled Kip aside and said, "No."
Kip said, "But she-"
And then I didn't see him again until I started my job at the candy store.
Where he was my boss.
God, it's still funny now when I think about it.
I love that!!!!!
That's priceless and it belongs on your blog.
Sarah Smile: Ok.
If I throw in some kind and true facts about Kip, like that as my boss he never took it out on me that I wasn't interested.
That will even out the karma, right?
Thérèse: Then he's nice, if somewhat socially awkward.
Sarah Smile: I don't know if it was "nice" or "still hoping."
But at any rate, he could have been an ass, and wasn't.
Thérèse: That's why it's a good story.:
If he had been a bad sport about it, it would be more like "Rezzie, check out this stalker story...."
Supplier - "You still sound sick, hun."
Sarah Smile - "Yeah."
Supplier - "You should be at home."
Sarah Smile - "I thought about it. But there was no way I could deal with any more daytime tv, and my VCR is on the fritz. So I came in."
Not that he's full grown yet, of course.
At seven months he is bigger than most dogs, but he's still got a lot of growing left to do.
It's just his widdle puppy face is fading into a grownup dog's face.
It's less this ......
...... and more this.Now if only we can break the habit of calling him "Puppy."
Also, my heart is breaking.
Stay, puppy! Stay a puppy! Just a little while longer.
It's not that you're less cute, or less loveable. Trust me, the older you get, the better your manners, the more cute things you learn how to do, the more fun you are to have around.
It's just a subtle reminder of the fact that Great Danes owners can really only count on roughly 8 years with their beloved dog. Great Danes just don't live long lives, no matter how spoiled or well cared for.
We just wanna slow the whole thing down.
Because we already can't picture life without our Puppy.
Of course it's also true that I'm not over this weird flu yet either, and so it makes more sense when one realizes these facts are related. Or at least that's the story I'm sticking to.
But despite the aforementioned Robitussin induced coma, I did get a few boxes unpacked. Mostly into the new bookcase. (Which might look familiar because it's from the same set as the other bookcase.)
There is still a bunch of boxes to sort and unpack, but little spots of organization, islands in the sea of chaos are beginning to crop up.
It's slowly morphing from this (first weekend we were there)(ok, fine, the second weekend we were there) .......
to this ......
Can you believe my owl oil lamp ("Carlos") only cost a dollar? I love him almost as much as I love my old books. I pull out each book just to caress and sniff and gloat over them just as often as I do to read them. I can tell you right now off the top of my head which ones are there in that stack.
The red one on top is Silas Marner by George Eliot.
After that is a collection of Shakespeare's tragedies. (I always lay it sideways because it's leather cover is showing a lot of wear and starting to detach from the spine. Are there people who repair books? Wait, why don't I become one of those people?)
Below that is a collection of Robert Brownings' poetry, with a forward by L. Gibbs. (It has notes on every page, in a tiny but beautiful handwriting.)
After that is Wings of the Dove by Henry James, below that is one of my favorite books (and only one of the several copies of it that I have), Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and on the bottom is Katherine, by Anya Seton.
The one behind Carlos is a Reader's Digest collection that I bought purely for it's cover, a fact I'm not in least ashamed of. Mostly because I know I'll read it anyway, and there, then I will have read something I might never have otherwise picked up. It's ok to judge books by their cover sometimes. And if I don't like it, it will make a fabulous book purse.
I won't bore you with pictures and lists of the rest of my old books. And no, none of them are worth anything much. But I love them all, madly, and I know all their faces.
Seeing them makes me feel like I really live here now.
Ignore any weird emails from me. Someone seems to have taken my password. Sorry!
From Lola's Father
I don't understand. Your emails are always weird.
From Sarah Smile
That was exactly my thought.
What is this a setup to?
Is this like how I tell people I sleepwalk even though I don't, so I can terrorize them in their sleep without them getting mad at me?
Maybe that only happens after you drink a whole bottle. (Which I might add, after spending my weekend in a Robitussin-induced coma, really does NOT sound like fun. I know it's all the rage with the kids, but I fail to see the appeal. After taking just the regular dose, I felt like someone had hung weights from every available point on my body, and I yawned so hard it HURT. Apparently, I cannot hold my 'tussin.)
But while the Robitussin did not greet me, everyone else in the store did. You know how in dream sequences, were people imagine they're in heaven, and everyone greets them with a benevolant smile and warm words? It was like that, except they didn't know my name.
The florist, the butcher, the stockboys, everyone called out a hello like we were old friends.
It was creepy as hell, but also nice.
Everytime we ask them, "Is it Kaylie?" they say yes.
Everytime we ask them "Is it Kylie?" they agree to that too.
At any rate, we like her.
I'm sure you'll be able to see why.
Actually Nick made this video for me months ago, while I was at work one day and he was home. My favorite part is where you see Mau's tail pass by at the bottom of the screen near the beginning. It's so deliciously zen and soothing, and I wanted to share it with you all, in case you needed a stress break this Monday morning.
Which turns out to be my name in Chinese.
I don't know what it's a sign of, but it's obviously a sign of something.
On a completely unrelated note, while searching on myspace for an old high school friend, I found this picure, which is not my friend, but which I dearly love, mostly because of the collective four eyes in this picture, none of them seem to be focusing on the same thing.
Coworker B - "An email to some people on my soccer team. You?"
Sarah Smile - "A letter to a stranger in Nebraska. Just to see if they write back, if they pretend to remember me or admit they have no idea who I am. Just to make new friends, really."
Coworker B - "You're crazy."
Sarah Smile - *nods* "I know."
Coworker B - "Well, I guess it's ok, as long as you know it."
Sarah Smile - "Yeah. Just because I waltz back and forth across the line between insanity and normality so flippantly, doesn't mean I don't see the line."
Nick especially. All this week, as my cough got worse, the Whinies got worse as well.
He's been such a saint about putting up with me. I recognize how annoying my constant whining must be, and I really am trying to fight it.
But I've currently got a full-blown, nasal, high-pitched, the-whole-world-is-against-me case of the Whinies.
I mean, I do have some justification for it. The construction crew (the ones that gave me attitude yesterday, grrrrrr) didn't cover my desk last night while they widened a doorway. The part of the wall that is now additional door space was all over my desk this morning.
In powder form.
Like crack or snow, just not as much fun.
Seriously great for my cough.
Also, the dust they kicked up is now floating in the air and settling on my hands, forearms and neck. I'm allergic to dust.
*tries to pulls self together*
Owner with a Sense of Humor said he's got tequila, for my cough or my Whinies or something. And the warehouse manager made a special trip over to give me another canned air duster.
No better treatment for the Whinies than people being ridiculously nice to me. Now if somebody would just give me this pet, I think I'd be entirely cured.
8:18 AM - I nicely remind construction workers in room next to the lobby that because the phone are on now, that per their contract, they need to stop any loud work, which is only to be done by the after hours crew. I am informed airily by the construction workers that they "don't think they're gonna do that."
8:21 AM - I call our facilities manager to clarify that in fact, they are NOT supposed to be hammering during business hours.
8:28 AM - Facilities manager tells construction workers to wrap up the hammering, the construction workers promise to be done in 15 minutes, and cattily remark that the receptionist is "just" answering the phones, and that it doesn't matter if she can't. (!)
8:51 AM - Hammering is joined by drilling.
9:50 AM - I begin log of interrupted calls and loud noises of which I am not warned. (Ones of which I am warned I don't bother to log, because I simply turn off the phone in such cases.)
9:52 AM - Drilling is now going through metal.
10:17 AM - Drilling interrupts call.
10:18 AM - Drilling interrupts call.
10:24 AM -Drilling interrupts call.
10:36 AM - Drilling interrupts call of major customer.
10:39 AM - Drilling interrupts call.
10:40 AM - Drilling interrupts call. I begin to take the entire construction project personally.
10:44 AM - Drilling interrupts call.
10:45 AM - Drilling interrupts call. Head begins to hurt.
10:49 AM - Drilling interrupts call.
10:50 AM - Drilling interrupts call.
11:09 AM - Hammering on metal. I am no longer a good sport.
11:20 AM - Back to drilling.
11:23 AM - Drilling interrupts call.
11:26 AM - Drilling interrupts call.
11:30 AM - Drilling interrupts call.
11:40 AM - Drilling interrupts call. I show the facilities manager the log.
11:52 AM - Facilities manager tells construction workers to leave the building.
11:53 AM - Peace. Sweet peace.
It's this horrid, lingering, coughing all night, hacking-our-respective-lungs-out sort of cold.
I'm so ready to be done with it.
This morning in the shower I was coughing nasty gobs of snot, most of which resembled pea soup, or this guy.
It wasn't until I hacked up what appeared to be the southwestern Native American deity Kokopelli, that I realized this might not be so much a cold as a demonic possession.
The second best sort of dream, actually.
(The best are flying dreams.)
The second best kind of dream is the big house dream.
Where I'm exploring a huge house, the sort where you never know what the next room will be.
The sort that always turn out to be haunted in movies.
This one was sorta The Haunting (remember the twirly mirror room? must. have. twirly. mirror. romm.) meets The Shining (that place was AWESOME, I almost wouldn't mind going crazy and killing people), meets that Frank Lloyd Wright house, Falling Water (I'm not a huge FLW buff, but I LOVE that house).
'Cept they're never haunted in my dreams, or maybe only in a good way.
Just huge and furnished and very, very empty.
I get thrills just remembering those sort of dreams, and I do remember them all.
This was a hotel that Nick and I were buying. We were exploring, and we couldn't wait for the realtor to leave, because the bed in the master bedroom suite looked like it would be amazing to jump on.*
(*believe it or not, not a euphemism.)
He looked lost, and suddenly he had a lisp. I'm mean, it's cool if he likes his new look, which he seemed too, and he did look very handsome. Whether or not it was an improvement over his old look is a matter of opinion.
But after the makeover, he seemed to be acting so different. Quieter, subdued, dare I say it, boring? Normal?
Did he keep his personality in that beard?
Maybe he just needs time to settle into his new look, figure out how to rock it. I hope so. Otherwise that makeover was a bust.
Colsy sent me this brilliant link. I was instantly hooked when I saw "Buy a tame moose."
Also, the video I posted yesterday was from a band called I'm From Barcelona, and I can't get enough of them.
Figures, really, that it would be me.
(I can still email my posts in, so I'll keep doing that until I figure out what the heck is going on.)
Nick and I discovered a robber's hiding place (tacked up on a community bulletin board, behind all the fliers), and got to keep the money, woooo-hoooo!
But then in my dream, we went home only to discover that there was a fire surrounding the hill we lived on and we only had a few minutes to evacuate. We were running out of time and I still had to go get the baby ducks out of their pen (in my dream, I had baby ducks). I was frantically trying to round them up, but I couldn't, and I hurt one of them by accidentally dropping the cage on him. I had to leave them behind.
I woke up crying, it was so upsetting.
Nick snuggled me tight until it was time to get up, and that helped. I think it was just my subconscious reminding me that since I've moved and acquired new pets, I need to rethink and revise my evacuation plan.
But if anyone else has a theory about what this dream was, lemme know.
This post is really me whining about the weather.
Our wacky, record setting weather.
It's freakin' COLD. Like, there was FROST and it's jeopardizing the citrus crop. (If this hurts the avocado crop I'll be seriously pissed.)
It's COLD and I'm taking it PERSONALLY.
And this dryness. I'm really done with that.
Not that dry air is anything new, but cold dry air? This sucks. The heater dries out my poor skin more, and the lotion is so cold.
This is San Diego! It's not supposed to freeze! I'm not supposed to freeze! I shouldn't have to bundle up to sit on my couch! If I wanted this sort of weather, I'd go live someplace else! Someplace cheap! I want my money back from ........ well, somebody. I'll use it to go buy a coat.
Last night Nick and I ran an errand we'd been meaning to get around to since we moved, we picked up a heat bulb for the bathroom. After we put it in and turned it on, I turned to him and said, "As if we needed another reason to just live in the bathroom."
I'll be the first to admit it. I'm not so good with the 1-10 year old set. Odd, perhaps, since this seems to be most people's favorite age group.
I like babies, of course, I mean, who doesn't love a fat little baby blowing bubbles in their own spit at you? Babies are cool. Babies pretty much stay where you set them down. You can accidentally swear in front of a baby and they aren't going to tell. Relatively speaking, babies are easy to watch.
But once they start walking and talking, I prefer to hand them back to their mothers, until they get to Jr. High.
And while everyone else seems to think toddlers are the most fun, I'm not so sold on 'em. And that's most of the babysitting jobs that were offered to me as a teenager. And do I ever have some horror stories.
There the four year old we accidently got drunk, my friend's little sister. Lissy and I watched Kaitlin a lot. And there was always a yellow pitcher of fruit juice in the fridge, left there by her parents just for Kaitlin. On this particular afternoon, Kaitlin had been really whiny, so when she said her tummy felt funny, we were a bit dismissive and just offered her another glass of juice. When we figured out that her parents had used that pitcher for leftover margaritas we thought for sure we were going to jail. Fortunately Kaitlin was fine.
And there was the time I was watching three boys under the age of three. The baby was pretty easy, he mostly slept, but the 2 year old and the 3 year old wouldn't stop fighting. While cleaning up the 2 year old's pee from the kitchen floor, the 3 year old climbed the blinds. Fortunately the couch caught most of his fall, the blinds and the 3 year old weren't in the best of shape when their parents arrived home. And it was almost scarier when they just nodded at my story and said, "It happens."
And then there was our neighbor who within months adopted 2 two year old boys and a 6 month old. The overwhelmed wife begged me to babysit one night. Again, the baby mostly slept or drank his bottle or grabbed at his chubby little feet. The boys played with knives and launched themselves off the kitchen counters. They were one step ahead of me all night. I swore, never again.
A few months later, a friend of a friend asked if I would babysit her "very smart" five year old son, Nicholas. The money she was offering, for just one kid, was really good, and I thought one kid couldn't be so bad. I should have known that was my first red flag, that she was willing to pay so much and couldn't find anyone else to watch him. The second red flag was when the neighbor met me on the lawn and said, "You're Nicholas' new babysitter? I'm sorry." She then offered me some lemonade and said, "It'll be ok, dearie. I'm sure it will."
Nicholas was smart, in the sense that I'm sure Hannibal Lecter was smart as a child. He cut a swath of destruction that would put invading forces to shame, leaving me in his wake wondering whether to attempt to clean up and apologize to the neighbors, or chase him.
My last day as his babysitter, he'd taken off up the street. I'm fast, but DAMN that kid was cagey and quick. I'd finally corralled him, when he looked back towards his house and saw his father arriving home. He took off like a bat outta hell, running down the middle of the street. I made a mad dash after him, and was just about to catch up to him, despite his evasive maneuvers. Unfortunately he zigged just as I zagged. And the full weight of my body, not to mention the momentum I'd built up, ground him into the asphalt.
I picked him up gently, scratched and screaming, whispered, "I'm so sorry, kid," handed him to his father, looking him in the eye and said, "I QUIT."
He probably didn't know I was referring to the profession of babysitting as a whole.
"OnStar, how can I help you?"
"Could you tell my husband that sending naked pictures of yourself to a man named Ed in Nebraska IS cheating?"
"Could you tell my wife that if she wasn't such a frigid bitch ........"
"Is there any chance the passenger seat has an eject button you could activate?"
"OnStar, how can I help you?"
"Yeah, hi. Can I play back this voicemail from a guy I've been seeing, and tell me if you hear a subtext of guilt in his voice?"
"OnStar, how can I help you?"
"Would you pray with me?"
"OnStar, how can I help you?"
"Are you happy with your long distance service?"
Labels: being annoying
Apparently, Jesus wants us to drown.
These suits claim to "highlight the face, and not the body," but good lord, I don't believe draping something in a neon parachute is a good way to detract attention from it, so I say bullshit to that.
This is just as much a sexual statement as a skimpy bikini and in my opinion, a far more degrading one, as the message seems to be that we're all such animals that two extra inches of her skin will whip us into a frenzy resulting in a collapse of civilization as we know it.
Labels: religions or politics
Coworker T's Friend - "Here girls, look at me." *straightens Coworker T's hat and take the beer out of Sarah Smile's hand*
Sarah Smile - "Aw, that's sweet, to have someone to check to make sure we look put together and classy in pictures."
Coworker T - "Uh, she just stole your beer."
Sarah Smile - "Oh."
Coworker T - "You'll learn."
Recite the Lords Prayer loudly.
Stick your tongue out.
Yell "I'm jumping off!"
Stuff your sweatshirt under your shirt and wonder if anyone will point out the "No pregnant women" sign.
Sit next to 7 year old boys who are holding a jumbo cotton candy.
Sit next to 7 year old boys who are advertising how much they're about to puke.
Think "I'll just hold it between my knees."
Think "I'll just hold it."
After the ride, tell the attendant your friend fell off.
Before the ride, hold a bolt in your hand and stare up at the coaster with a dazed expression.
Assume the back rows won't get wet.
Get off weeping, in full view of the people about to ride.
Do I know these things from experience? Perhaps.
When we're just sitting around, watching tv or riding in the car, we can just laugh at the world, mocking it as if we're the most superior beings to ever live. And in those moments, when we're exchanging a look over some subtle inside joke, I wonder at the odds of ever finding someone with the exact same sense of humor as oneself, where you never have to explain why you find something funny. And in those moments I think that while we might not be the most perfect things this world has ever seen, our love might be.
The 25th caller wins $500, and a chance to risk it to spin the wheel, which if the wheel comes up with the day of their birthday, they will win $10,000. They can then take the ten grand or risk it to see if the year of their birth comes up, for a million bucks.
So at worst, a one in thirty-one shot at ten grand. With their money.
Today's month was Feb, and a woman called in.
Radio Announcer - "So, are you going to risk the five hundred and take a spin at our wheel?"
Contestant - "No, I'll just take the five hundred."
Radio Announcer - "Aw, why not?"
Contestant - "I'm just not a gambler."
Radio Announcer - "So what are you going to do with your five hundred?"
Contestant - "I'm going to Vegas."
As I banged my head on the steering wheel, she clarified that she won't be so foolish as to gamble the money, she'll just drink it.
Now it's her money, obviously, but you wanna go all the way to Vegas to drink five hundred bucks worth of liquor, which after that much, you won't remember anyway???
About a year ago, I had responded to a request from a friend, and made a profile on www.hi5.com. I uploaded one (very old and very flattering) picture, the fact that I was single (at the time) and then I completely forgot about it.
Today I got an email update from the site and wandered over to it to find that I had a whole bunch of messages. A few of the obligatory "check out my webcam over on this other site" (ew) but mostly stuff like the following.
Badly spelled (foreign?), slightly terrifying, yet very complimentary.
- "I was just browsing this site and fell in love with you"
- "I checked your profile and i think we have a lot in common, and we may become good friends only if you allow me." (He also included his phone number, so he's SO getting prank called. In fact, anybody else wanna call too? Email me and I'll give you the number.)
- "hi valancyh r u? well nice too meet u girl well waht to say i saw ur profil u look prety all i cna say and ur cute and also u do have a lovley baby face lol"
- "Very attractive!! ..Quick hello Miguel"
- "Well Valancy my name is Enrique and well like to go out with you."
- "Hey, How r u doing? I'm writing you because from your profile you seem to be someone that I could connect with. You look very beautiful in your pictures. I looking for someone like yourself who is fun and at the same time very chill. I think that we could be great friends, maybe more????? ~Joe"
- "hey sup beautiful, i am lee and looking at ur pro and u r really attractice and i luv ur eye's. and hey when some one is cute and gorgeous like u then i would like to ask if i can talk to u or u would mail me back. this is my mail and i hope to hear from u so perhaps , i can tak eu out. so i will pray to hear from u and take care bey bye"
- "HELLO.I WANT TO MEET WITH YOU..WHAT DO YOU SAY"
Also, lets rename it.
What would you like to name it?
Sarah Smile: I'm not sure.
Something spanish, perhaps?
Thérèse: Oooh, yes, definitely.
Sarah Smile: Something simple, maybe.
Like just Del Mar.
Thérèse: What would the people be?
* giggle *
Sarah Smile: HA!
Thérèse: And the currency?
Sarah Smile: Dellars.
Sarah Smile: We should just make up a odd accent too.
A cross between every accent you've ever heard.
Sarah Smile: Like how everyone spoke in movies in the forties and fifties.
Thérèse: And a way of saying certain words that no one ever says.
we could just pronounce every word like it's spelled.
Sarah Smile: Totally.
Thérèse: so "reid" would become "ree-eyed"
Therese would become "th-ee-ree-ce"
Sarah Smile: Totally.
Thérèse: Sarah = "sare-ah-hh"
Sarah Smile: Ok. So lets call the guy and make an offer.
Colsy wants in one the deal.
Sarah Smile: Oh, how much money have you got?
Colsy has some change on her, about $0.39.
Thérèse: Um... Let's see... I have about... $2.78 in my pocket.
Oh! Sorry, I have another $5, in another pocket. Forgot to add it.
Sarah Smile: Ok.
Thérèse: How about you?
Sarah Smile: I think I have about 1.56 in change, but tomorrow I'll be able to throw in a couple hundred bucks.
I'll mention that.
Thérèse: ooh, that's a good plus.
I'll have to see what doug's got.
Sarah Smile: K.
Thérèse: He's probably got about $50. Mention that too.
Sarah Smile: "'Rez's boyfriend prolly has about $50."
I'm pretty sure we could scare up another $100 with fundraising with a bake sale, too.
I mean, if it's necessary.
To tip the scales. You know. Mention that, too.
Sarah Smile: Totally.
Thérèse: Maybe even $105.
Better estimate it at $105.
Sarah Smile: *nods* I make good gingerbread.
Thérèse: Well, maybe even $107, then.
I know it would cost a mint, but I'm mostly just curious if they would.
And if they would, I wonder which would be worse, if you were an amorous couple, or a by yourself at a scary movie. Like if you were the type that hid or clawed at the air in fear. (I have actually tried this with strangers at a regular theater and most people are surprisingly good natured about me crawling all over them in fear, but for the sake of accurate research, I should point out that I've only ever tried this on men.)
So far our local yellow cab company has yet to reply to my email.
And I think I really need to find a new hobby besides thinking up ways to annoy people.
My Homie in Marketing - "You should do it like they do in Blue's Clues."
Sarah Smile - "Actually, this might shock you, and I can totally understand why you'd think I did, knowing me as you do, but I don't watch Blue's Clues."
My Homie in Marketing - "Shocking. Scandalous, really."
And you can prolly tell it was crafted by the lovely Miss Kendra, since it has that stamp of greatness and a trace of her lingering cookie scent.
I love it. I love it like I've loved all my templates, put together, plus more.
Additionally and unrelatedly, I have decided that my Mick's new cagemate is named Tess.
I was paid in pizza and cute boys and apples (the campaign manager had some weird apple hookup, so there were cases of them laying around) and cute boys and time out of my house.
Did I mention the cute boys? (Sex and politics always seem to go hand in hand, don't they?) And there was one in particular, TJ O'Neill. I use his real name here because I hope he googles himself, finds this, and smiles. But lets begin at the beginning.
I was 11, and tagging along with my brother to the campaign office. I figured I'd be stuffing envelopes or stapling signs to sticks. But a staffer looked me over, cocked her head, pointed to a flier on the wall and said, "Read that aloud for me, please."
I really enjoy reading aloud, and so showing off a little, I read it out, precise and clear.
It earned me a cubicle, a phone, and a list of registered voters.
"What exactly am I doing here?" I asked.
"Just call them and remind them to get out to vote and remind them of our candidate."
"But ............ what if they .......... like ............ ask questions? Deargodwoman, I'm eleven."
She brushed my questions aside. "You'll be fine."
I swallowed hard and dialed the first number. A woman picked up, and at the staffer's suggestion earlier, I asked for the person on my list by his first name.
"Hello, is John there?"
"Who is this?" (She did not sound happy.)
"This is Sarah. Uh, from the Get Out and Vote Campaign."
She pulled the phone away from her mouth. "Jooooooooooohhhhhhhhhnnnnnnnn! Some WOMAN is on the phone for you."
John picked up, sounding nervous, and I rattled through a little spiel, even more nervously.
When I finished, he said, "Ok."
I was about to hang up when I realized that the woman was still on the line.
"Well, that was the lamest cover-up ever, John. Who is that woman and why was she calling you?"
"I swear, I don't know her."
"Just like you didn't know Vanessa."
I coughed and interjected helpfully, "I'm 11."
And then I hung up before finding out if that helped poor John or made it worse.
Despite that rather traumatizing beginning, I took to odd office jobs like a duck to bread. And two years later when he ran again, I was a regular fixture in the office.
There was a girl that worked there named Jackie, who was in her mid-twenties. Despite the hellish hours, she maintained a sense of fun in the office. Jackie was COOL. Jackie's favorite joke was to tell the new college intern guys that I was single, wait for them to hit on me, and then tell them I was 13. (Back then I looked like I was in my twenties, and now that I'm in my twenties, I look like I'm thirteen. I'm regressing.) For some reason this was hysterical to her and she would laugh about it to herself for hours afterwards. Personally I thought it was much funnier when she loaned her little pickup truck to the bitchy campaign manager and then reported it stolen, or when we took an empty camera and told everyone we were taking pictures, and demanding that they pose endlessly. "Ok, smile. That's good. Now move over there and put your arm around her and smile. That's good. Lets try it again. Ok, once more with hats on......." Our record was twenty minutes before that very busy staffer rebelled and said he had work to do.
I strongly suspect Jackie and Lola are related.
But speaking of Jackie's relatives brings us to TJ. He and his sister Missy used to come down from LA to visit Jackie, their cousin, on occasion, and hang out in the office with us. Oh, did I ever have fun, getting my flirt on with TJ. We actually wrote each other long letters, garnished with doodled hearts and folded around the latest school picture, in between visits. For a teenage boy, he was a surprisingly good letter writer. He used to sign them very formally with his full name (which I wish I could recall now, it would make it a hell of a lot easier to look him up on myspace and see the wife and babies he prolly has by now. Cyberstalking is so much fun).
On one such visit, TJ and I were assembling campaign signs, and I had taken over a conference room for the occasion. I took a piece of campaign letterhead and wrote my name on it like a nameplate, and stuck it on the door as if it was my office. Later I noticed that TJ had added his name and a heart around both our names. Oh, the romantic thrills. (Also, the fact that everyone stuck their head in at various times, to "check on us" made more sense.)
I think I still have that piece of paper in a scrapbook somewhere.
And then there were elections nights. Everybody cleaned up as much as possible, considering none of us had slept in days, and in the case of the candidate and campaign manager, probably weeks. We'd mill around the floor at Golden Hall, visiting news booths, trying to angle ourselves behind the newscasters with our signs, screaming ourselves hoarse, chanting the candidate's name until it didn't even feel like a real word anymore. Watching every update on the board, and hoping we'd end the night crowded around the candidate as he was interviewed by the news, congratulating him/her on his/her win. The air was so heady and thick with excitement and defeat and exhaustion and adrenaline that sometimes it was too much, and I'd go find a quite hallway a few floors up to take some deep breaths before heading back down, but at the same time I couldn't fathom not being there and where on earth was the rest of the world, who wouldn't want to be in the middle of this?
Oddly, then and now, I never considered myself much of a political person. I've always thought it was perfectly acceptable to admit I didn't know which side of an issue was "right." I only have a few strong opinions on political issues. Fiscally I'm a bit on the conservative side, socially I'm rather liberal. I think when we take a step back, we'd find that we agree on far more than we disagree on. Our system isn't set up for extreme change anyway. We're a big ship with a small rudder, and so radicals just end up rocking the boat rather than changing much. This is comforting as well as frustrating. It will take a loooooooooong time to fix or to wreck this country.
And I learned to respect our public servants. I met very few that didn't make huge sacrifices, personally, professionally, and financially, to run for office because they really believed in what they were doing. It's a thankless job, with thousands of hypercritical bosses who will never even agree with each other what your job is. The personal scrutiny never lets up. And I'm not sure it should be any other way, but it's a hellish job and I don't envy them it for a moment.