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Showing posts from 2012

Hark the Surly Angels Sing Thursdays

I'm not actually feeling surly today, or not much. I did take Eve to get a flu shot at a Rexall pharmacy where there was one pharmacist and one counter-person working, and then spend an hour or so in Loblaws, so the surliness opportunities were multiform, but I imagine I'm feeling like a lot of other people: happy and grateful about my life and sad and dispirited about some stuff that's happened to other people. Also, wishing that Nan hadn't told me about how doing NaBloPoMo killed her first blog, and, naturally, still pissed off about the cancellation of Firefly.

Still, I'd hate to disappoint anyone who came here in search of surliness, so let me just send out a pinch of snark to that woman on Twitter today who tweeted "Really? No one has experienced this?" I was concerned that someone needed help with a problem, and also curious because geez, if there's one thing the internet has done for all of us is to show us that there is almost NOTHING you can …

Wordless Sunday

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Because I'm feeling a little stuck for words, and I found this restorative today, I present: three-year-old Eve peeling a Christmas orange.









Communication Fail 2.0

Eve is fairly mature for an almost-ten-year-old. She expresses herself pretty well and has a reasonably extensive vocabulary. For this reason, I sometimes forget that she is, in fact, only nine years old and sometimes she doesn't catch all the nuances of a given situation. Usually it's not hard to figure out when she gets confused, because she huffs out "This is too confusing!" and flounces away, but sometimes she doesn't say anything and it's only much later that it becomes clear that she was completely in the dark.

Case in point: The final Harry Potter movie. Angus was going to the premiere with a friend and the friend's little brother was going so she begged us to take her too even though she hadn't read all the books or had them read to her. So we did. She said she liked it. Then later she was talking about the scene where Snape is watching his memories in the pensieve and he remembers finding Harry's mother dead after Voldemort kills her. It …

What we have here is a failure to communicate

It's been a while since we had a good Esso episode around here. But last night I took Angus to the chiropractor and on the way home he asked what we were having for dinner. I had been out all day and I was feeling lazy, so I didn't actually want to make the pizza that I had bought the pizza toppings for, but I knew we had naan bread in the freezer that I could use for pizza crust. So I said "naan pizzas". He said "so what are we having?" I looked at him quizzically and said "what did I just say?" and he said "well if it's not pizza, what is it?" Then we picked up Eve at my Mom's and had the same conversation, until I finally spelled it out: "NOT n-o-n pizzas, n-a-a-n pizzas!"

They liked them. Eve now calls them anti-pizzas.

Then in the middle of the night, my husband having wandered his restless legs off somewhere else already, Angus came in and said he'd had a really bad nightmare and crawled in with me. Matt, havi…

So much better than Dr. Phil

We had a weird Sunday. We were supposed to go get a Christmas tree, but it was raining so we put it off. Then Angus remembered he had a design and tech project and tried to call the boy whose house the table was being built at and couldn't get hold of him and there was a big freak-out over whether the project was being done without him and he was upset and we were upset and it was a whole big thing. Then we heard from the boy's Mom (who's my friend) and she said they thought Angus was busy with baseball on the week-end so two of the group were building the table and Angus and the fourth person were going to write up the project so it was all fine. Which was good, but obviously there was a lack of organization and clear communication that needed to be rectified, and there were leftover unsettled feelings.

We were coming off a month of Matt traveling a lot and Angus playing a crazy amount of sports and my fun-with-drugs experience. So at five o'clock I called an emergenc…

I believe that children are our future. Sorry, future.

I was driving Angus to school on Friday. It was -18 with the windchill. We stopped at a red light out around the corner, which put us right in front of two girls he knew waiting at the bus stop. I said "should we offer them a ride?" He said "NO!" I said "why the hell not? It's freezing out." He said "It would be too weird! Stop looking at them!" I said screw you and rolled down his window and asked them if they wanted a ride. They giggled and said no thank-you. I rolled up the window and said "Great. I'm an embarrassing mother all around. My work here is done."

A few days ago I found a sheet of paper on the dining room table with Angus's name on it. It looked like a sheet of questions that he was answering in order to describe himself. I asked him if we needed to do anything with it and he said I could just recycle it, but I put it on the kitchen table beside my computer so I could look at the rest of it when I had time bec…

Off the treadmill

I went to the gym today- oh wait.... yes, I really did go to the gym today. My ipod was dead and there wasn't an episode of I Didn't Know I was Pregnant on, so I consoled myself by spotting dubious grammar in various locations. There was a flyer for personal trainers and one of the benefits was that you would 'lose weight and tone'. Why would losing tone be a good thing? I wondered (no I didn't, yes this is kind of douchey, exercise sucks, work with me). Then the little stream of words at the bottom of the news channel said there was a drug raid in Quebec where the police seized 'heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana and vehicles'. There's a new drug called Vehicles, I thought? (no I didn't, well maybe I did for a second).

On the way out of the grocery store, an old woman pointed out that a bag of buns was falling out of my cart. Then she patted my arm and told me to put on my coat, which I hadn't because I was hot from working out and even though…

Surly Thursdays

I actually had a pretty nice day. I went to the gym - oh wait, no I didn`t, I had a headache and it was snowing so FUCK THE GYM. I made a hair appointment and recorded some cds onto the computer so I could donate them, and then I was all I`m gettin`shit DONE today and then I tried to watch Criminal Minds but it didn`t record because my PVR is all judgey and stupid. So I went to the library to shelve books and then Eve came in and sorted the picture books and ran around the shelves and made fun of silly book titles and it was like when she used to come in after morning junior kindergarten and we`d hang out in the library except it`s a new younger library tech now and she`s less cranky than the old one, who admittedly still was lovely to Eve, and once you hang around the library for a while you see how one could get burned out and short-fused, because man, the kids, they are loud, and you tell them not to run and they walk two steps and start running again as if they think they just tur…

Wordless Wednesday (thank god thank god thank god)

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MOTHER-IN-LAW ALERT: CHRISTMAS PRESENT SPOILER AHEAD




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I've been making up Shutterfly calendars for Matt's Mom and Dad. I've been meaning to do them for years and finally got around to it and it's easy and fun and I had them shipped out today. Until yesterday I didn't have a good November picture.


Four Days More

Oh! I was just typing that to console myself that I only have to post every day for four more days, but it made me think of this, have you seen this? Okay, most of you are Facebook friends with me so you probably have, but if you haven't, it's very, very funny.

We went to Yuk Yuks on Saturday night with (counts in head) seven other couples. We did the dinner and show thing because you get preferred seating if you do this. After we did it, we realized we probably shouldn't have, because the food is pretty much as indifferent as you'd expect and then you get to sit NICE AND CLOSE to people who are going to notice if you're not paying attention and will probably ridicule you in front of a full house if they get the chance.

Anyway, it was funny. I was expecting to be doing quite a bit of polite laughing because I always feel bad if I don't laugh when someone's trying to be funny, but they were actually funny. I would put a clip of one of them from Youtube that …

Pass the effing sedatives

I had an appointment at the Royal Ottawa Hospital today to see my sleep doctor. This is the place with the small parking lot right in front of the main entrance, where every time I go I can't quite believe how easy it is to park.

Until today.

I don't know if it was a two-electro-convulsive-therapy-treatments-for-the-price-of-one Cyber Monday thing  (yeah, I shouldn't make jokes about the fact that the Royal Ottawa is for crazy people, except EVERY SINGLE PERSON I told I was going there for sleep stuff made jokes about me going to the Crazy People Hospital, and apparently if you're in a group you're allowed to make fun of the group, so...) but today the front parking lot was completely full, and there were cars parked all along the drive that led to.... nowhere. It looked like it should lead to more parking, because the lot in front is really quite small, but there was a staff parking lot, and a maintenance-and-delivery parking lot. You really had no choice but to d…

Pass the effing kleenex

When I was young, I cried all the time. It pissed off my mother, which seems unfair because she always cried a lot too. And it drives me insane how people think you should just be able to not do it, because duh, it's not like we do it for fun, or on demand. I got a little older. I still cried a lot. Weddings, funerals, auto shows. Then I stopped. I hardly ever cried any more. I thought maybe I was maturing. Maybe I was developing a nice hard cynical shell. Maybe I'd cried all the tears and there were none left.

Then I read a blog post where someone mentioned that she didn't cry any more because of the antidepressant she was on. I was thunderstruck. It was the drug? How did I miss that? I knew it made my eyes and mouth dry. I knew it made it hard to lose weight. How did I miss that it made me not cry? Which I was all in favour of, by the way - the less snotting up in public the better.

Now here I am. Since I started on the CPAP machine, I've gone to an extremely low dos…

Going Postal

Every year, we send Christmas presents to Matt's two brothers and their partners and children (in Toronto and Edmonton), his Mom and her husband and his Dad and his wife (in Thunder Bay at two separate addresses - oh, I did make it clear that they were divorced and remarried, so obviously they'd be at two separate addresses or whoo, that would be weird). That's fine; these are all people that I love and I'm pretty good at finding the right present for the right person. What is not fine is that, for the duration of the acquiring/wrapping/packing process, which can take up a good part of November and December, my entire living room and dining room are full of boxes and presents and wrapping paper. Nothing gets bought all at once, and then somehow even when most of the packages are ALMOST ready to go, there are always one or two more finishing touches left, then I remember that I need to include a card, with a witty summation of our year, and some pictures, and THEN when …

Nablahpomo

I should go back and read last November's posts to see if I felt as disenchanted and resentful at this point as I do right now. Posting every day? Craziness! How is this a good idea?! What the hell was I thinking!? Would anyone notice if I stopped? Wouldn't everyone just be kind of relieved?

While I'm waffling, a couple of amusing anecdotes about testicles:

When I was living in Toronto, my parents were visiting and we were sitting out back drinking beer. The cat belonging to the people who lived in the basement was frolicking around and my dad, who loves cats, was playing with it. After it went back inside, someone asked if it was a male or female. My dad said it was a female. I said I was sure I had heard them say it was a male. He said it had rolled over and he had seen it didn't have testicles. I said maybe it was just fixed. He got very indignant and said "well I'm fixed and I still have mine!" And that was when we all realized my father didn't kn…

Surly Thursdays Two-fer! (not really)

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Pam and I went for a walk this morning on a trail we like. We were going to go to the gym but we figured we were running out of days where we could walk outside in the November sunshine. It's hard to maintain your surliness in the face of this:

Of course, the picture doesn't show the fact that the unusual warmth of the day really ramped up the essence of cow shit, but that isn't surly-making so much as slightly gag-inducing. Still, it was a good walk.
Then we went to the grocery store. The grocery store had Rold Gold Peppermint Dipped Snowflake Pretzels. Take that, surliness. Even the residual snark left over from when that woman had to pull into the parking spot right next to us so badly that she almost ran over Pam melted away, mostly. 
Then we went to Shoppers Drug Mart because Angus wasn't happy with the blackhead scrub I bought him, and insisted that he needed daily pore cleanser, because yes, I'm at that stage now, and it's a BARREL of LAUGHS, let me tel…

Surly Thursdays or whatever shut up I've been posting for twenty-one days straight

I'm cranky. No-good-reason, hair-trigger, don't-fuck-with-me cranky. Is it just me, or are some times just more difficult to fix in the mind than others? Eve has singing lessons at 6:30 on Wednesday evenings, but for some reason I always think it's six. I have dinner ready and remind her to brush her teeth, and we're ready to leave, and then I realize it's not until six-thirty, and we live about four seconds away from her teacher, so we're way too early. Except tonight the teacher wanted to do it at six, and all day I've been confused because I'm actually right, but then I'm not usually right, so am I really right? Then Eve came home with a sore throat and a fever and it didn't matter anyway, so FUCK.

Also, fuck the fucking people with their insisting on being served a fucking meal every fucking night. I'm sick of cooking the same four things over and over, and when I try something different why on earth is it a meatloaf with oats and milk i…

Upnea Apdate

I went to the CPAP supplier today (they're called Inspiration Medic, which is cheesy but I love my contact person so I'm okay with it). We finalized the purchase of the machine, which I've been trying for free. The Ontario government pays for up to $780, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the supplier bills the government on our behalf instead of us having to pay for it and get reimbursed (I'm sure anyone who's ever attempted a mail-in rebate understands my apprehension).

I'm feeling okay. Not fabulous. Not like a new woman. Not a hundred percent different. I'm still having trouble keeping the mask on past five a.m. or so, and it still feels like a huge relief when I take it off. I still have trouble dragging my ass out of bed in the morning, although I think I have a little more energy once I am up. The days that I've been home I've gotten a fair bit of clearing out in the basement done and delivered a bunch of stuff to Goodwill.

The last …

Mondays on the Margins: Inside by Alix Ohlin

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From the publisher:
When Grace, an exceedingly competent and devoted therapist in Montreal, stumbles across a man who has just failed to hang himself, her instinct to help kicks in immediately. Before long, however, she realizes that her feelings for this charismatic, extremely guarded stranger are far from straightforward. In the meantime, her troubled teenage patient, Annie, runs away from home and soon will reinvent herself in New York as an aspiring and ruthless actress, as unencumbered as humanly possible by any personal attachments. And Mitch, Grace’s ex-husband, who is a therapist as well, leaves the woman he’s desperately in love with to attend to a struggling native community in the bleak Arctic. We follow these four compelling, complex characters from Montreal and New York to Hollywood and Rwanda, each of them with a consciousness that is utterly distinct and urgently convincing. With razor-sharp emotional intelligence, Inside poignantly explores the many dangers as well as …

Our husbands think it's all pillow fights in our underwear

So I spent the week-end with six other women at a cottage. As far as I can recall, the same core group of us have done this in the fall for four or five years. Sometimes someone can't make it, but this time all seven of us who have ever come were there.

It's a pretty good cross-section of late-thirties, early-forties women. Two of us are divorced and happily remarried. One is unmarried and childless (by choice). Four of us have two or three kids roughly the same ages, one has a one-year-old, and one is pregnant. We work full-time, part-time, have just gone back to work and, uh, then there's me. Several of us wrestle with depression, anxiety and other issues and the attendant fun-with-medication on a regular basis.

We have lunch and go shopping in Westport and Newboro. There's this insane store called Kilborn's that's kind of like the Tardis - bigger inside than outside. It looks like nothing, and then you walk in and it's a complete shoe store, a complete w…

I'm not really here

I'm at my friend Collette's Dad's cottage with six other women, drinking and eating red curry sweet potato soup and seafood fondue and giant Costco muffins and playing no-holds-barred full-contact Cranium. What I have learned from playing Cranium: it's really really hard to figure out what a song is from hearing it hummed, even if you're very musical; almost anything one molds with playdough can be construed to be something obscene; the word 'nubile' does not mean what I thought it did; spelling words backwards is much more difficult than it seems like it should be; Collette is a hugely obnoxious douchebag when she wins.


Who's the Nuttiest of Them All?

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I was just emailing one of the commenters from yesterday's post saying that I wish people didn't have to feel like they have to say "my anxiety isn't as bad as yours" when talking about their anxiety. I really don't think I'm the Queen of Anxiety. I'm not the anxiousest in the land. But also, wtf is up with all the anxiety? Is it the genetically engineered corn? Is it a by-product of people idling their cars? Is Dr. Doofenshmirtz blasting us all with an Anxiety-inator?

The book fair was fine - fun, even. I knew most of the people I was working with, except one woman who was blonde and pretty and very nice but didn't quite get me, and I felt bad that I kept making her sort of freak out. I started filling out an order form and I did it at the top instead of the bottom which was not correct but also not the end of the world, but she was blushing and hyperventilating trying to point out my mistake and she kept saying "I'm sorry", so I pa…

I am anxious. And rambling.

So I'm shut of the bad drug. Well and good. I'm getting more good quality sleep than I have in years. Fine and dandy. But this week I'm having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep again and my anxiety is bad. Not for totally understandable reasons, like accidentally checking my luggage, but for really really stupid stuff, like picking Eve up at school for piano lessons or figuring out what to make for dinner or which book to read. I had stuff to do Monday Tuesday and Wednesday, which was good. Today I had nothing but making soup for a girls' cottage week-end and then my interview with Eve's teacher at four and then volunteering at the book fair until seven-thirty.

The soup is made. I drove Angus to school and went for a walk and mailed in an assignment and played Song Pop and took a shower and the soup was made before noon. I've been stuck ever since, waiting for four o'clock. Am I anxious ABOUT the interview? Hell no. My daughter is a teacher's dr…

Fear and Loathing on Via Rail

Forgot to share this fun little anecdote about what occurred on my way home from my awesome Montreal week-end. I had taken the train, because there was a half-price sale and I could go first class for a really good price. The trip there was lovely - I was right in the front and the porter either sensed my anxiety or was just really really good at his job, because he seemed to explain everything to me in extra-precise detail, including how to get to the escalator when I got off in Montreal. It was like he had visions of me wandering around on the platform with my suitcase or trying to drag it up a staircase because I looked just that incompetent. Also, the food was amazing and there was plentiful train wine.

When I looked at my voucher for the trip back, it looked like they were changing their baggage regulations between the Friday and the Sunday. Naturally, the written rules were completely impenetrable. I had a huge suitcase for only two days because my husband told me to take one bi…

I do not know what to blog about tonight

Or perhaps it's more accurate to say I don't really feel like blogging about anything substantial tonight. I'm tired, but tired because I've done stuff and not just too tired to do stuff, so that's good. Matt had a surprise trip to Texas come up, which spoils my evil plan for him taking the kids to get their flu shots at the nearby high school on Thursday while I go to my interview with Eve's teacher and then volunteer for the book fair all evening.

I took the kids out for dinner while our cleaning lady was here, and my parents came. It was nice. Our waiter was funny and my Dad is always funny with waiters, so it's terrible if the waiter has no sense of humour. Angus told us about playing dodgeball against the teachers and said his volleyball coach always fired the ball at him and all the other teachers said they were going to test him for steroids. Eve had spaghetti and french fries and cheese toast, so I guess I'll make her run a marathon before bed. …

Objectification

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I'm way too attached to things. I know this. I've never been good at throwing things out, not because of any intrinsic value but because of the memories attached to the artifacts. I feel a deep, yearning need to own books I love - just knowing that they exist in the world isn't good enough, even thought I tell myself I don't have enough time to reread them anyway. My house is crammed with souvenir mugs, old photographs, ticket stubs, wooden spoons from my mother's kitchen, and items I won't even admit to.Naturally it's only gotten worse since I had children. Some people keep the outfit they brought their baby home in. I have bins of baby and toddler clothes I can't bear to get rid of. Many people are able to keep one or two pictures their children have drawn and recycle the rest. I have teetering stacks of drawings and paintings: rudimentary people with only facial features and belly buttons; the picture Angus drew over and over of a house, a lawn, a gi…

A Pittance of Time

I wrote this post last year. It still says everything I want to say about Remembrance Day.
Two Minutes I was in my kitchen this morning when the clock clicked over to 11:00. I didn't know where to look for the two minutes of silence, so I watched my microwave clock. For two minutes.

It always feels longer than I expect, standing there doing nothing for two minutes. I tried not to let my mind wander, but I kept thinking about stupid stuff. I wanted to take out the garbage. I wanted to wipe the counters. I wanted to get set up on the table to start the assignment I should have started two days ago. I forced myself to be quiet and still for two minutes.

I thought about what it would be like not just to be annoyed about having to be still. About what it would be like to also be hungry, or thirsty, cold or hot, unwashed and weighed down with pounds and pounds of heavy equipment. I thought about what it would be like if I had to be quiet as if my life depended on it.

I can't find th…

Anecdotal EVEdence

The other day my husband called me at home to tell me about what happened while he was driving Eve to school. She was talking about a series of books they were reading about a boy named Marcus. Everybody had noticed that Marcus's dad never showed up for things at school, like a play he was in, and nobody knew why. Then, Eve said, the book they were reading the previous day revealed that Marcus's dad didn't show up "because he was drunk". It was so unexpected and she said it so matter-of-factly that it caught my husband totally off guard and he burst out laughing. And then couldn't stop laughing. And laughed until he had to pull the car over. He wanted to tell me in case Eve mentioned it. Which she did, as soon as she got home. She said "Daddy laughed so much I thought there was something wrong with him."

Today Eve crawled into bed to snuggle in the morning. She has this habit of recounting the entire plots and dialogue of tv shows that drives me cra…

More About Condoms!

Okay, that's a total lie, but clearly that's what you filthy-minded people respond to - don't hate the player, hate the game.

I'm heading out for World Trivia Night shortly to fill my valuable position anchoring our team. And by anchoring I mean I'm dead weight. Seriously, I don't even know why they let me keep coming.

I'm hoping to post again before midnight, but if I don't get a chance you could do worse than to read this and this. One of these women I know nothing about, and one I heard read at Voices of the Year at BlogHer in August, but when I saw the letters this morning I thought to myself that if I did nothing but read these today it would still have been a great day.

ProphylAxis of Evil

************TMI ALERT*****************

So. I've been on the pill until recently even though I'm a couple years past forty. I always had crummy periods off the pill and, aside from the headaches which I hadn't connected with it, it worked well for me in a number of areas, so I just kept taking it. I had a doctor's appointment last week and my doctor said if I have headaches a lot (which I do), this was a good reason (in addition to being past forty) to stop taking it.

Most of the men in our circle of friends had their appointment with Dr. Weiss (yes, that is pronounced 'vice') years ago, shortly after the second or third child; all the couples felt confident that their families were complete. Matt and I remained stubbornly on the fence about a third kid for a long time. At this point, when I confess this, people ask me "are you off the fence now?", with a tone implying "if you aren't, our further friendship and your sanity might be in line for…

Wordless Wednesday: Movember (times seven)

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Crap, I need a picture of a kitten

It's all very well to say yay, I'm done talking drugs for a while, but it's STILL NABLOPOMO people, and I sat down and all of a sudden I've got nothing. 

Book stuff: The book I mentioned in this post that I was trying to remember the title of in this post was The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams. I'll just go ahead and confess that, after determining that I had not recorded it on Goodreads (by scrolling through most of my one thousand three hundred and sixty 'read' books) I pored aimlessly over the list of 'Mystery' titles in the Ottawa Public Library's database until I found it. One might wonder why I can't apply this type of dogged perseverance to, say, attaining gainful employment or organizing my basement storage space, and one would not be alone, but one might end up with nothing but a vague sense of dissatisfaction and a yen for chocolate, so I don't recommend it. 

Anyway, the author did have a second book out. However,  I h…

Gratitude

Today I've decided to try channeling Harriet, whose gratitude posts I always admire and love reading. I know, I know, on my blog it should be probably be called Grattitude - I'm TRYING, people! Plus I'm only talking about drugs a little.

I am grateful for:

1) My whack-job of a daughter who turns everything into a laugh-fest. Today, after someone on YTV made a reference to helping 'old people', she said "a nicer way to say old people is 'elderlies'. It means they're wise. Well, no it doesn't, it still just means old. But it's a more sophisticated way to say it and sounds nicer."

2) My son, who is taller than me, but still wants me to tuck him in at night (which consists of holding on to the rail of his loft bed to pull myself onto the single bed under it, then leaning far enough over the rail to kiss his ear).

3) My husband, who has withstood a lot of bitching over the past week, including me asking him for Christmas present ideas for h…

Take This Drug and Shove It

So I woke up this morning. Ish. And I dragged myself into the shower. And I looked back at this nightmarish week (and I mean this in a sort-of literal sense - it's not that anything especially bad happened to me, it's just that everything felt uncanny and skewed and subtly but unmistakably wrong, like it does in a nightmare). And I pictured doing it all over again for another week, and then another.

And then I thought, well fuck that.

It gets so hard to get any clarity once you start putting something like this in your system. I know it feels bad, but I cling to this idea that maybe it has to be bad in order to then get better. He's a psychiatrist, he knows about the drugs, is what I've been thinking all week. But, I thought today, he doesn't know about me, or how my brain works, or what this feels like for me, or what my life is like - not like I do. I'm the expert in me.

Before I started this (in case I've been unintentionally cryptic about 'this'…