html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: January 2006

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Scope this, I was just thinkin'

Perhaps you are familiar with the Prince song Gett off. In the song, the gentleman narrator (whom I understand to be Prince himself) is propositioning an attractive woman in a tight dress. He refers to a rumor that she is not having sex as frequently as she would prefer, and suggests that he is available to remedy this shortfall. He mentions his attraction to her, and offers her the benefit of his extensive experience and enthusiasm. He is agreeable to any conditions she sets, particularly in the matter of contacting her after their relations. The narrator is so concerned with her satisfaction that he has researched her desires beforehand, consulting a mutual friend about her sexual fantasies (a thorough lover indeed!). This is the verse that has me at a loss; I re-print the lyrics for our joint reference.

I clocked the jizz from a friend
Of yours named Vanessa Bet (Bet)
She said u told her a fantasy
That got her all wet (Wet)
Something about a little box with a
Mirror and a tongue inside
What she told me then got me so hot
I knew that we could slide

OK, so what is the box about? I usually picture a small box, perhaps three inches square with a removable side. When that slides back, I guess there is a tongue inside that the user could apply as she chooses? Maybe she holds the box to her girl parts, and the tongue goes to work? That could be useful, but if that’s how the box works, what is the mirror for? It has always seemed to me that the tongue and the mirror are mutually exclusive. Anywhere the tongue would feel nice, there are no vision receptors; anywhere you could see the mirror, you wouldn’t want to be licked.

Then I thought that there might be a couple angled mirrors inside the box (which you could prop at the correct angles as you opened a hinged side?) that would allow the user to hold the box to her down-there parts and watch simultaneously. I guess that could work (aside from keeping a live tongue in a box), but it would take some figuring out. Perhaps the user is highly motivated to recalibrate the mirrors with each new position, but it would still require a level of concentration that I don’t associate with getting eaten out.

I do know that the term ‘box’ may be a euphemism referring to her love orchid, which releases a lot of the constraints on this fantasy. The tongue’s owner could hold and angle the mirror for the lady’s benefit (again, an admirable level of concentration, this time on the giver’s part). I am not convinced that it would be a satisfying situation for either participant.

The verse closes by confirming that this fantasy is powerfully arousing, but none of my speculation has ever induced that result. What am I missing?

For you, baby? Scalding hot.

I was sitting with my little brother on my lap. He’s ten now, so he isn’t going to put up with that for much longer, but he’s a great kid and I’ll take it for as long as I can. I asked him what I ask anyone who sits on my lap. “So, are you a good boy?” He said he was, and I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. He didn’t come up with anything, so I prompted him.

“Would you like a cheerleader outfit with pom poms?”

He said he wouldn’t.

“How about an adorable pony?”

Nope. Not a pony.

“I know! I bet you want a really hard math book.”

Oddly, he didn’t want a really hard math book.

“For Christmas, would you like to do extra chores around the house? I can talk to Daddy…”

No, he didn’t want extra chores around the house.

I gave up. This was ridiculous. I teased him some about not getting him anything for Christmas if he was going to be so difficult about it. Then I hugged him and apologized for giving him a hard time. And he said “Well, it’s better than what you said you would get me for my birthday.” I didn’t remember, so I asked him what I said I would get him for his birthday. He said, “really hot water.”

“I told you I would give you hot water for your birthday?”

“Really hot water. Hot as I wanted it.”

“I said I would get you really hot water for your birthday?” “Yep.” “You’re sure?” “Yep. Really hot water.”

I can sort of reconstruct the context for that*, but most of me just thinks 'Jesus. What kind of horrible person tells her baby brother she’s giving him really hot water for his birthday?' I don’t know if it is better or worse that I didn’t even follow through on my offer.

*He got a trebuchet for his birthday. We were probably talking about sieging castles. From there, I think we talked about pouring boiling oil on the other army, and I suggested he needed boiling oil. Then I probably thought boiling oil would be hard to clean up, and offered him really hot water instead.


Maybe today I'll get to the Post Office. Sorry, hon.

I’ve been supposed to send Anand’s cell phone charger back to him since Thanksgiving. Instead, I send him the occasional update.

A few weeks ago:
Well, I am pleased to say that there has been some real progress on Operation Home on the Range. About a month ago, your charger was boxed neatly, and the box was taped. The sealed box went down to Los Angeles for a week, and then returned safely to Sacramento. Just this very morning, the box was addressed (black scented marker), and clear tape affixed over the address.

I think these are definite breakthroughs, and am optimistic that an agent could carry the addressed box to a post office ANY DAY NOW to mail it to Dallas.

If you get a new job and move first, please inform headquarters.


Bulletin, 31 January 2006, 13:00pm PST.
Phone charger held on terrorism charges

After weeks of misinformation, the Department of Homeland Security admitted they have been holding Anand’s cell phone charger for suspected terrorist activities. The charger is a known accomplice of Anand’s cell phone, which was the device used in communications critical of the President’s energy policy, Texas barbecue, and driving alone to work in SUV’s. The phone charger has not been allowed to contact his family, and has been held in isolation in a cell he describes as “little more than a box”.

Homeland Security denies violating Amendments IV, V and VI of the Bill of Rights, pointing out that the phone charger is not an American citizen. “This phone charger was built in China, and never naturalized. The Constitution affords him no protections against search and seizure, no guarantee of a speedy trial of his peers, no right to know the charges against him.” Homeland Security says the Geneva Conventions for prisoners of war also don’t apply to the phone charger: “Geneva Conventions? They aren’t for appliances that know appliances that were used to discuss heresies against our American way of life.”

Homeland Security refused to agree to a release date for Anand’s phone charger. “Considering the threat terrorism poses to Americans every day, it is not too much to ask Democrats to go without their preferred means of communication until this danger passes. Besides, if he can’t be talking on his phone, he can’t be calling George W. Bush a freakin’ moron. He’ll get his phone charger back when he gets it back.”

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Monday, January 30, 2006

I don't eat no ham and eggs...

I’ve been vegetarian since 9th grade, when I realized that meat was murder!!!!!!, and I was eating the rotting flesh of dead animals!!!!!!!! I don’t still think like that. In fact, I don’t think about it at all. After all this time, eating meat just doesn’t apply to me. Still, about ten years ago, I started to worry that a vegetarian diet wasn’t esoteric enough. I was afraid that I still had friends who could invite me over to dinner, feeling confident that they could serve me a meal I would enjoy. God forbid I become vegan. No, I needed something more intricate, something where the rules would constantly change, so that no one could be sure what I would eat without a long, patronizing explanation from me. I decided that in addition to being vegetarian, I would only eat seasonal, local produce. It works like a charm*.

I’ve only bought produce from farmers’ markets for about a decade now, and I’ve come to have strong opinions about them. I pretty much hate any farmers’ market with a band, although a solo guitar player can be OK. More than two flower vendors means the vegetables are overpriced. Same if there is a hummus or sprouts vendor. Market is inevitably frustrating in summer. Summer brings out the vegetable cruisers, who want to exclaim over the exquisite beauty of an heirloom tomato. Pay and clear the fuck out, people. Go “taste the sunshine” over by the band. Where were you last December, when I stood in the rain to get root vegetables for the fourth week in a row? Eating grapes from Chile, that’s where. Summer market shoppers don’t believe.

I love the Sacramento Sunday market. Sunday market is all about the vegetables. It’s under a freeway, so no one can pretend it is a beautiful stroll. There are farmers with greens I still can’t identify, and they don’t use market betties to sell their goods. At Sunday market, the vendors call me amiga and tiny Chinese women elbow me out of their way. There is nothing pretentious about Sunday market, which is great. I can only stand small doses of pretentiousness, so I need to save it all up for explaining to people that I don’t eat tomatoes between October and June.

*Eggplant parmesan? I love that… in August. No, really, I’m fine. I’ll just have salad. Lettuce is in season now. Fried bananas? Yummy. I eat those all the time… when I’m in the tropics.


Friday, January 27, 2006

My gentleman callers

I get asked out by homeless men a lot. Regularly. Often. I would be willing to bet that whenever you read this, the last man to ask me out lives in an alley. (I think it’s because I am almost always on foot, and I make eye contact.) My girlfriends tell me that I am too picky about men; perhaps at this point I shouldn’t be discouraging any potential beaux. I feel like I only have a few standards for my men: smart, funny, and nice all the way through. Height, looks, money? I didn’t think I cared. But getting asked out by homeless men exposes all sorts of subconscious biases. I have to admit that when it comes down to it, at the end of the evening, I want the question “your place or mine?” to involve a choice.

Perhaps the most memorable guy was about my age, and relatively clean. He was so scared to approach me that he was shaking. He stuttered when he told me that someone had given him too much money, and I was so pretty, and he would love to take me out for a drink. I knew I wasn’t going to go. That was before I started drinking, so going to a bar with anyone was awkward for me. And I couldn't let him spend a quarter of his total worth on me. So I smiled and told him he made my day, but kept walking. That may be one of the most sincere and generous offers I ever get.

I was at Concert in the Park when I was approached by a much older black man, in an old-school yellow and purple Lakers uniform. He looked me up and down and asked me in a heavy drawl if I needed “a full-time, part-time or temporary man”. His delivery was good, and I thought he had balls, but a Lakers uniform? In this town? Oh honey, it could never work between us.

I didn’t see which guy shouted at me as I was getting out of my car. There were three of them, drinking on the curb in front of a bar. Vietnam vets would be my guess. But I had to laugh at “That’s a whole lot of pretty in one little place!” Thanks, mister.

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Way to bring the child prostitution, lady.

Last fall I went to a new-agey dance class I’d heard about. The format sounded great: twenty minute stretch, hour and a half of free dance to dj’ed music, fifteen minute guided cooldown. For all that I’m about to make fun of it, the truth is that if the music had been just a notch more thumpy, I would never miss a week.

When I got there, I was a little put off that the class all seemed to be slightly older women (less thumpy music). There was one guy. He was in his mid-fifties, and you could tell that he had been a formally trained balletier. He's carrying a belly now, but his legs were completely cut and he was very flexible. You could see that he had nice legs because he was wearing the smallest french-cut leotard you can imagine.

I was also slightly dismayed to hear that I had come to class near the beginning of a series on dancing with our chakras. In general, people in Sacramento don’t have chakras. But I have my hippy co-op background to draw on, and I was not afraid. While I am more of a chi girl myself, I knew I could imagine my body bathed in a beautiful orange color, focus on my sexuality and creativity, and dance with my second chakra for a couple hours.

The dancing went fine. I did dance as I waited for the music to escalate, but I mostly watched the slightly older women dance all grindy, or do floor work. The balletier did a nice series of leaps. When the class ended, the teacher drew us all into a circle. She wanted us to talk about our experiences dancing with our chakra of desire, creativity and sexuality.

Our teacher went first, and she told us that it had been hard for her to keep her focus on her second chakra. She had been drawn into the dancing, and had to constantly bring her focus back.

A woman who had come in late went next. She was nearly in tears. She said that she wanted to come to class so much, but it seemed like everything was fighting her, her office, her car, traffic, her kids, her clothes. Her desire was just to be here.

The next woman said that evoking her desire had been a strong experience for her. She said that we spend so much time denying our desires and delaying gratification that actively seeking and expressing her desire felt really new.

The balletier simply thanked us all for dancing with him.

The next woman said “Dancing with my sexuality was a very powerful experience for me. It really brought me back to the first time I was paid for sex when I was seven.”

I was next, but I had absolutely nothing to say.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Correlation is not causation.

I was a pretty naïve sophomore when I moved into a sixty-person, vegetarian, clothing-optional co-op. I never entirely fit in, but it was an easy, tolerant place for me to grow up. My closest friends are still from Loth. When I first got there, though, there was a lot to the culture I didn’t understand.

There were half a dozen men in the house who always had one pant leg rolled up, and I just couldn’t figure out why. I must have worked on that for weeks. I watched them, and I thought about it, and I just kept at it. Why did they always have one pant leg rolled up?

Finally one day I put it together. I finally noticed that the five or six guys with one pant leg up were not the manliest men in this house full of sweet hippies. That was it!! They were bi! It made perfect sense … one pant leg up, one pant leg down … a little something for everyone.

And I was good with that. I never mentioned it to anyone, ‘cause I didn’t want to admit that I hadn’t known that one rolled pant leg meant you were bi. Really, I mostly forgot about it. Solving the secret code meant that it wasn’t interesting anymore, and I’ve never cared who anyone sleeps with.

Years later, at a different school, I rode my bike up to my early morning class, locked it real quick, and reached down to unroll my pant leg. Oh holy shit. I must have stood there in shock for thirty seconds. I had been so sure, and so serenely wrong, for years.

I guess I'll say two things in my defense. First, it was internally consistent and it fit the evidence. Second, it is no stupider than using an earring to announce a preference for boys.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Grrrl power!

I wrote to my pretty friend as soon as I heard that a longtime crush would be bringing his new girl to an event I was arranging.

HATE being gracious. I'll just have to be smiley and nice. I HATE that.

Pretty Friend:
I know!
I totally hear you!
I can be mean and nasty for you, if you want...*

Megan: No, no. Let's just be fake and pleasant to her face, and then really mean behind her back. I like to do it that way, because when I have other people to make fun of, I feel better about myself. Also, it’s nice to have a group of girlfriends who will tear other women down, instead of supporting the sisterhood.

Pretty Friend: I meant to him! But I'm totally good at pulling hair too, if you want me to go after her!

Megan: Sweet. We could take her. And remember? We only blame other women, not men, who are sweet and naïve and can't be held responsible for their choices.

Pretty Friend: You should be chair of the women's studies program in Berkeley!! Those bitches over there don't know what they're talking about!

Fortunately, the event was rained out. I didn’t have to be classy after all.

*This was a lie. She couldn’t really be mean and nasty to anyone.

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A friend asked me to announce Monday movie night, and got this.


Ben R. Presents is screening a private viewing of Mr. and Mrs. Smith at the Ben R. Theatres in downtown Sacramento.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a sensitive, moving portrayal of the quiet moments that make up a marriage of two extraordinarily pretty people. The acting is unparalleled; you can watch every emotion flicker across "Mr. Smith's" face as he faces a choice no man should have to make. Stay with the lovely (but definitely B-list) blond that he actually married? Or move on to the transcendentally stunning brunette who will ultimately break him as she maintains her trysts with former husbands and lesbian models in hotel rooms worldwide during her humanitarian missions?

All of this is captured in two hours, and you can watch it for free, or maybe some snackies at Ben R.'s house.

Starting a trifle late tonight: 7:45 so that Megan can go to yoga.

See you there!


So he asked me to announce another one.

Hey y'all,

When Ben said he was showing The Smartest Guys in the Room, I was all "Hell yeah! That is SO HOT. Will he talk dirty to me about physics while backing me against a wall and taking my clothes off?"

But it turns out The Smartest Guys in the Room is NOT about a bunch of guys who split their time evenly between reading advanced behavioral economics and biogeochemistry, working out with their shirts off, and talking about how smart and pretty I am.

Instead, it is about Enron's policy of hiring very smart people who got too clever for their own good and started gaming California's unregulated energy market, simultaneously bilking billions of dollars from California and driving their company into bankruptcy. What a tragic waste. It could have been such a better movie.

I'll go to Ben's anyway, for the recent historical importance, the good company, good snackies and drinks. But I'll be watching a different movie in my head, if you know what I mean.

Movie time has been pushed back to 7:45, because some of us have yoga class at 6:30.


A couple days after sending this, I checked -- our list has 278 people on it. Great.

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This one made Best of Craigslist.

I don't want to be unreasonable, but I have come to the conclusion that my dream man has the best qualities of Target stores, Excel, and my shovel.

Target understands me. Target understands me a little too well, but wants me to spend time with him anyway. Target knows that I need tools for home repair, and pretty pots for my plants, and thank you notes for my kind friends. Even when I think that I don't need anything from Target, Target has been watching me, and thinking about what I might need, and if I would like it in bright summery colors. My dream man would pay as much attention to figuring me out as Target does.

Honestly, I don't know how anyone could be as patient and smart as Excel. My conversations with Excel go like this:
Me: Honey, could you please go get that data from those lookup tables I told you about, and then perform several difficult operations on it, and then present it to me in this lovely summary table?
Excel: Sure, babe. Happy to.
Me: Oh shoot! I meant, could you please do these other things to it?
Excel: No problem. Anything for you, babe.
Me: And do you think you could suggest a way to try this other thing I was thinking of?
Excel: Already on it - this might work...
Me: Thanks! You're the best. How about tonight I write a special little macro for you...

I spent a while digging out my side yard this summer and ended up real impressed with my shovel. You know, my shovel doesn't pretend to be anything he isn't. He doesn't multi-task; he knows what he is good at. My shovel is always game. My shovel is ready for yardwork whenever I am. And when all I want to do is lounge around reading, my shovel is happy relaxing on the porch.

Now, I know that hundreds of personyears have gone into perfecting Target, Excel and shovel, and only thirtyish personyears have gone into perfecting you. I understand that these are very demanding specs. But if you tried, I swear I would appreciate your efforts. And I would make an effort of my own. Send me your retailers, programs or implements, and I'll let you know if I'm the girl you are looking for.

...but it didn't get me a boyfriend.


Take my boyfriend quiz!

Boyfriend Quiz
Please read the entire question before you choose an answer. If none of the given answers seems appropriate, you may fill in the answer “other”. Some questions may have more than one right answer; please choose the right answer that better suits you. Some questions have wrong answers; these will get you disqualified from consideration for the boyfriend position.

1. I live in Midtown.

Your response:
a. That’s great! Midtown is the ONLY place in Sacramento I could ever stand to live, because it reminds me of San Francisco, where I am SO COOL and all my really cool friends still live.
b. Hunh. That’s nice. Maybe we could grill dinner on your front porch.
c. Midtown is dirty and criminals live there. I like living in Natomas, where it is clean and new.
d. Other:

2. I am in my early thirties, and definitely want to have kids.

Your reaction:
a. I do not want kids, and I will politely not respond to this ad.
b. I really don’t think I want kids, but you are so pretty and smart and funny that I will fall for you anyway. Then I will woo you until you fall for me. Once you are in love with me, I will dick you around for two or three years until I finally decide that I do not want to have kids. Then we will break up, leaving you in your mid-thirties with no long term relationship and no kids.
c. I’m not in any real hurry, but my friends are getting married and having kids and it doesn’t seem so impossible any more.
d. If I were in a sweet, committed relationship with a non-crazy woman, it would be reasonable to think of having kids in the next couple years.
e. Other:

3. I play an obscure field sport, and go away to play in tournaments one or two weekends a month during the season.

Your reaction:
a. Phew! It’s hard to get away from my wife on the weekends. It’ll be so much easier to have someone on the side if she goes out of town for weekend tournaments.
b. Phew! That leaves me the whole weekend to pursue my own geeky hobby and catch up with my friends. It’ll be good to see her when she gets back.
c. I don’t really have anything of my own to do, so I’ll just go with her to the tournaments and cheer from the sidelines. We should never be apart for a whole weekend.
d. But, if she is gone for the whole weekend, who will wash my dishes and do my laundry? It can’t work like that. I’ll put a stop to this whole going-away-to-tournaments business.
e. Other:

4. I come home from a tournament on Sunday night. I am sweaty, exhausted, sunburnt and hungry.

Your response:
a. “Hi sweetheart! My parents will be here in twenty minutes! Can you make us dinner real quick? It doesn’t have to be fancy.”
b. “Hi sweetheart! Dinner is already on the table. After you eat like a starving wolf, I’ll clean up while you take a cool shower. Would you like a naked rubdown with aloe gel tonight?”
c. “Oh man, are you back already? I wanted to have the place cleaned up before you got home.”
d. Other:

5. During the season, when I play a lot, I get tanner and thinner. During the winter off-season I put on about ten pounds. I am always athletic and proportionate, but I am never slim.

Your reaction:
a. I don’t want to date someone whose weight fluctuates. I will politely not respond to this ad.
b. I don’t want to date someone whose weight fluctuates. I will write back to tell her that she will never find a man because she is a fat cow.
c. Eh. As long as she moves well and is happy in her body, I can’t get that worked up about it. Besides, the bigger the cushion….
d. I’m not that psyched for a preventable weight gain. Maybe I will offer to eat well and train with her during the winter.
e. Other:

6. You are talking about your techie or policy work, or your geeky hobby, or physics, or something you made, and I start to get flushed and say that you are talking dirty. Which of the following four statements are true?

I. I really mean it. You ARE talking dirty and I am getting turned on.
II. I am making fun of you for being so dorky.
III. I am making fun of me for being so dorky.
IV. I want you to stop talking about that and instead talk to me about whether you think Tom and Katie are genuinely in love.

a. I is true.
b. I and III are true.
c. IV is true.
d. All four statements are true.

7. If we went out on a first date, and if you were charming and sweet and funny, and if you had a deep, sexy voice, and if I were seduced by your explaining some difficult theory to me, I would probably sleep with you that night.

When you read the previous statement, your first thought was:

a. Hell yeah! I’m getting laid!
b. That girl is a slut. She’ll go to hell for her fornicating ways.
c. Oooh. Nice use of the subjunctive. But she needs to ease off the comma splices.
d. I wonder how long I can pitch my voice low.
e. Other:

8. I have been vegetarian for years.

Your reaction:
a. That girl doesn’t know what she’s missing! Just one bite of my bacon-wrapped ribs and she’ll totally go back to eating meat.
b. Me too! Our house will be a temple of purity, with no connection to the cruelty and viciousness perpetrated on our animal brothers and sisters by the ignorant masses who consume the lies perpetrated by the Meat Industrial Complex.
c. Hmm. Maybe I’ll bring some meat to cook for myself with whatever else we make for dinner.
d. Cool. I’ll have to remind Mom that chicken broth is not vegetarian.
e. Other:

9. We are at a party, and some harmless guy is hitting on me and backing me into a corner. You:

a. get drunk and beat the crap out of him.
b. don’t notice, because the host’s sister is smokin’ hot.
c. notice, but don’t intervene. Later, when we are debriefing the party, you will laugh at me ‘cause I had to put up with him.
d. notice, immediately come over, start frenching me, and make it clear that I am your territory.
e. notice, and when I start making pleading eye contact with you, come over to ask whether you can get me a drink.

10. Drop me an email to respond to this ad.

Your response:

a. BAYBEE, this is UR lucky day! I love to give oral and have a girl mone my name when she CUMS! Sendme a pic!
b. I can’t believe that I have finally found a spark of wit and sophistication in this hellhole called Sacramento. If we meet and hit it off, we can spend all of our weekends going to San Francisco, because I am TOO COOL for this cowtown. Have I mentioned that I go to Burning Man?
c. Hello im so lonely since my wife left me and i cant meet anyone nice. why are there no nice girls? doesnt anyone appreciate an old-fashioned guy? i just need a girl that i can give all my love and attention and time to and then i will be happy again. Also, i have four kids.
d. Other:

I got nearly a hundred replies, but this one was my absolute favorite:

Hi, I found your advertisement very humorous and entertaining. I think you are very intelligent, engaging, funny and extremely full of yourself. If you fiind a wimp that gives you all the right will have a...wimp that you can kick around and make him feel inferior. Yes, I do know all the right answers because I also find you very predictable.*

By the way, you misspelled "moan" not to mention made several gramatical errors.

Good luck!

*This comment actually gave me a little twinge, because I knew that I had been careless when I designed the quiz. For anything important, of course I would have used Excel to generate a random list of positions for the correct answer. But this was such a silly application, I thought I could get away with a shortcut. I got caught. The observant reader must have noticed that the better answers are grouped toward the end of the choices. My bad.


Soon, darling.

Last summer I was reminding people to come to our weekly conditioning nights. One week I sent this out:


We skipped last Monday, and I missed you terribly. I missed the way you laugh when you do windsprints, your sweet little push-ups, the graceful way you run between cones.

I can't wait until we are together again this Monday. I yearn for a warm-up lap with you. I want to feel the perfect unison of plyometrics together. If I'm with you, sprints will seem like flying; agility drills will seem like dancing. We'll do a sit-up for every minute I thought of you, and a push-up for every time it made me smile.

Soon, darling.


... but attendance was the same as always.