Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Quiet day here

Not a lot going on at my house today. The kids are napping. It's cold and rainy, so we've stayed home - plus I'm doing a lot of thinking, mostly about my grandfather. It's hard to believe he's gone. It scares me, really. His sister, my great-aunt, was a very important person to me growing up. She died my senior year of high school - for those of you who may remember a thread I started on Babycenter several weeks ago, she's the one who gave me the ring that I lost shortly after she died. It scares me to lose Pop for so many reasons. I feel very selfish thinking about how all of this is affecting me, but if I can't be a little selfish on a blog about my life, where can I do it?

I wish I could spend some time with my mom today, talking about him and looking through pictures, but she's already left town to see my grandmother and the rest of her family. I hope my mom will be willing to do this later. I hate to think about how much this must hurt her, losing her father.


My grandfather died this morning. He was 91. He lived about a three hours' drive away from me, and I'm kicking myself for not making that drive more often. I feel guilty and stupid for not spending more time with him, for not making sure that the kids got to know him before he was gone.

He fell last week and broke his hip. I know all too well that a broken hip is a really bad sign for the elderly, but somehow I didn't think that applied here. My grandmother, who is roughly the same age as Pop, broke her hip several months ago, and she recovered, and I know of a couple of other people who have also successfully recovered from surgery to repair a broken hip. I thought I would go down this week to see him but I wasn't in a hurry. I would wait until he was moved out of the hospital into rehab. I would wait until I felt a little better, until my sniffles were less annoying. I would wait until it worked best for our schedule. And I was too late. I waited too long, and I just pray to God that Pop knows how much I love him and miss him.

Monday, February 25, 2008

That maybe potential job

I stopped by and talked with the woman who would be my boss today and had a really nice conversation with her. I've known her my whole life and I think I would love working with her. I asked her some questions about the job, and she gave me a copy of the job description as well. I still haven't fully made up my mind about applying, but it was really helpful to ask some questions and get a better sense of the responsibilities and expectations for the job. It would be about 15 hours per week I shall continue to mull.

Wishful Shopping

I'm browsing around looking at cute clothes that I won't actually buy. I found this dress that would look amazing on Big Girl, but I won't get it for her because she already has several cute dresses for spring and summer. I made out like a bandit when I was shopping the clearance racks last fall. And she already has special occasion dresses for Easter and her birthday, so I must restrain myself.

I did pick up an Easter outfit for Baby Boy, finally. I exchanged some adorable clothes that my mom got from Gymboree, which unfortunately were too small, and got him a nice outfit that should be appropriate for cooler weather, since Easter falls so early this year. I remember that Big Girl couldn't wear her Easter dress for her first Easter because she would have been far too cold, so I tried to shop with that in mind. He can always lose the sweater if it's warmer that day.

Love the coffee!

Oh, coffee, how do I love thee! I'm a total addict - I admit it, confess it, embrace it. I like the fancy drinks from Starbucks and the like, and sometimes I make my own homemade versions of them, but nothing really compares to a nice hot mug with a touch of half and half, nothing more, as an early morning wakeup cup. I used to drink it black but my stomach can't quite handle that anymore - but I use a minimal amount of cream to keep the flavor rich and true. No sugar, thankyouverymuch!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's all about the Bee Bo

Baby boy loves to talk about his Bee Bo, and he gets a big kick out of reading Belly Button Book (Boynton on Board). I love Sandra Boyton's books and the CDs of silly kids songs, and I wish she offered more products with the cute animal images on them. I have an old towel from my childhood that has a Boynton monster on it, and I know she used to license the image for mugs and the like. I would love to have more towels for the kids' bathroom. I guess I'll just have to be thwarted in this, for now. From what I've read, Boynton has a conservative approach to licensing products with her characters, and I guess I can respect that. In the meantime, I can just say "Bee Bo" and baby boy breaks out in giggles. He also likes to point to his Bee Bo and grin - very proud of himself! Ashley has a cute picture of Little Kid on her blog doing something similar, and it cracks me up.

Big girl's the best!

The scene: Hubs is sitting on the sofa eating mini-marshmallows. Yeah, he does stuff like this all the time. Big girl enters and walks up to him hopefully.

Hubs: Hi Big Girl! Would you like for Daddy to share with you? Would you like some marshmallows? I can hook you up!

Big Girl: Yes, Daddy!

Hubs: Here you go, Big Girl! (hands her a few marshmallows)

Big Girl: Mmmm. Nummy!

Hubs: Hey, you like those, don'tcha! Who hooked you up, Big Girl! Who's the best?

Big Girl: ME!

Hubs: (delayed reaction) ... (big laugh)


That's my girl! Always modest!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

So much grading...

and so little motivation to do it. I have two classes' worth of papers to grade this weekend, plus a third class coming in next week. And all I want to do is watch Jane Austen movies and eat cookies. Instead of doing any of those things, however, I'm on my laptop, sitting in Hubs' recliner and drinking a cold beverage.

Hubs "watched" the kids this morning while I taught class. I say "watched" because he fed them breakfast and then parked them in front of Bob the Builder, playing on repeat, while he was on his laptop doing work in the adjacent room. So the kids are far over their Bob quota after watching it all morning.

As I expected, most of the class dragged in late this morning - usually the case when a paper is due. Sometimes I'm a witch and I don't accept papers that aren't there on my desk at 8 am (or whenever the class starts), but today I was nice and understanding. I even took one student - a nice young woman who's five weeks from her due date - to my office so she could print her paper off of a memory stick, since the computer lab is closed on the weekends and she ran out of ink at home. I'm becoming all soft in my old age.

Quick glance to CNN prompts the following: why do some reporters dress up in "local costume" when covering stories? For example, I just spotted Ali Velshi, and I know he's in Texas because he's wearing a brown cowboy hat and a leather barn coat and he looks like a total goofball.

So, I am debating applying for a new job. It would be in addition to my current part-time teaching gig, at least for now. The position would involve coordinating the children's educational programs at my church, and it would be part-time, and I can't decide if I should apply. One part of me says I should try it, and see how I like it (I think if I apply, my chances of getting the job are strong). Another part of me says I already have too many obligations and responsibilities, and I need to finish this *&^&^%$^%$ dissertation before I take on anything else. I just don't know. Hubs is no help - he says it's up to me and he's supportive of whatever I choose. Ugh.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The big girl who cried wolf...

We were in the car today (kids, my dad, and me) and baby boy kept tossing his stuffed dog into the floor. Then he'd call "Doggie! Uh-oh, doggie!" to get my dad to pick it up and give it back to him. After Dad did this a few times, I told the boy not to throw his dog anymore, and I said something about not being a little boy who cried wolf. Big girl piped up to ask what I meant about wolf, and I explained, briefly, that there was a famous story about a boy who called for help all the time when he really didn't need it, and then, when he did need help, people were reluctant to believe him. She said - quickly, and with a grin on her face - "Help! I need help!" Not even four, and already a smartass.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I love this class

I taught one of my evening composition classes tonight. There are eight women in the class - no men - and all of the women are my age or older. I just love it. It's such a refreshing change from my other classes because the women are all comfortable with each other, and everyone seems willing to speak up and respond to one another. They help each other, and it really feels like a community, a cohesive group. And I don't have to force conversation - if anything, I have to pull us back on schedule because we keep talking and run out of time if I'm not careful about the clock. The crazy thing about tonight's class was that we spent the entire time working on their first round of essays, due next week. And everyone listened carefully and offered helpful feedback, and even though they came into class telling me how concerned they were about their papers, they all left saying that they understood how to improve their drafts and they had a better sense of how to approach the short stories we've been reading. It's such a refreshing change, particularly from some of the students in my Saturday morning class who seem to want me to write their papers for them. And I can't get over how much I enjoyed a draft workshop class, one where we weren't even discussing literature directly. This reminded me why I love teaching.

And I thought the recipe was wordy

Wow, that last post was really verbose. I guess when I don't have any adults to talk to all day, I just type it all out.

Productive day so far

I decided that I would be somewhat productive today. So, after the kids were fed, I parked the big girl in front of the tv and hauled baby boy to the bathroom, where I plopped him on the counter in front of the mirror and began torturing him. Or at least that's probably what the elderly neighbors next door thought, if they heard him.

I used Hubs' beard trimmer and gave baby boy a haircut. The beard trimmer is quieter than the clippers, so I hoped that it would be less annoying to subject. He was pretty agreeable for a long while - he played with a rubber duck, made faces at himself and me in the mirror, played with his toes, and was a pretty happy camper until I was about 2/3 of the way done. Then he started getting annoyed, by the noise and by my insistence that he not touch his head while I was trimming, and he started howling. When he howls, he starts getting hot and sweaty, and his fine hair becomes nearly impossible to trim because it's all sticking to his scalp. Ugh.

So I managed to finish up, and I think I got all of the straggly bits, and then I stripped him down for a bath to get the excess hair off. He had a grand time playing by himself with all of the ducks, squirting animal toys, cups, and the bar of soap (one of those great Johnson's Buddies bars - I still have a ton from that fabulous coupon that made them free). But the big girl heard us having fun and came in and wanted to take a bath too. She was frustrated that I wouldn't let her hop right in - I told her that there was too much hair in the water and that she could have her own bath after I got her brother clean and dressed. So she stood next to the tub impatiently until I got baby boy clean, dry, and dressed in one of his favorite shirts - it has a bear driving a train on the front - and a pair of hand-me-down jeans that still fit the slim big girl in the waist, but are now too short for her. He looks pretty cute, and I'll have to take a picture of him later (he's napping with a full belly now).

So the impatient big girl then got her own individual bath, with sole reign over the toys, and after her bath I trimmed her hair. I was apprehensive about doing this. I've always cut baby boy's hair, and sometimes I cut Hubs' hair, but big girl has long curly hair and that's a bit different. I've never tried it before. She has always gone to a salon - a kids' place called Peekado before we moved, and the lady who cuts my aunt's hair over here. With her, I can't use clippers that keep everything the same length, so I have to be more cautious, and I have to aim for a straight line while dealing with her wiley locks that curl up as soon as they start to dry.

Anyway, it took a long time, and she got frustrated with me for telling her to sit still when she wanted to wiggle and sing songs, but I cut off most of the split ends and uneven bits and she told me that her hair looked "so pretty" when I was done. I wonder if Hubs will notice.

After that, we rescued baby boy from his crib of torture - he kept saying "more" and "food" and doing the "more" baby sign that he learned from one of the nursery workers at church - and I started on the mac and cheese discussed in the previous post. I've done three loads of laundry and a load of dishes, made some phone calls, and arranged a mystery shop for next week which will give me a nice bonus. Now I just need to clean myself and get ready to teach tonight before the kids wake up...

Lunch today was very tasty

I was feeling domestic today, so I made homemade mac and cheese for lunch. I actually used mostaccioli instead of macaroni, because I have several boxes of the former that I picked up on clearance at Kroger. Anyway, here's the recipe, from The Southern Living Cookbook: From the Foods Staff of Southern Living Magazine (Southern Living)

1 (8-ounce) packaged elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten

Cook macaroni, drain, and set aside.

Melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute & stir constantly. Gradually add milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in salt and cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot mixture into egg; add to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly.

Stir cheese sauce into macaroni and pour mixture into lightly greased baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

That's the version from the cookbook, abbreviated slightly because I found the directions a little wordy. Anyway, I made a few modifications: changed the pasta type, used colby instead of cheddar because it was on hand. Plus I thought the bit about mixing a quarter of the hot stuff with the egg and then adding that back to the rest of the hot stuff sounded a bit excessive, so I just added the egg directly to the pot and stirred quickly.

I think next time I'll want to use an actual measuring spoon for the salt, instead of guestimating, because it could use a bit more salt. Next time I'll also want to start this earlier, because the kids were hungry and filled up on other stuff (fruit and cheese cubes, which they had to have after seeing me shred cheese for the recipe) before this was done, so they didn't eat much. But hey, more for me.

I liked it, and I think they liked it - baby boy said, "mmm, cheee" so I take that as a compliment. Big girl has been full of love this morning, telling me regularly that she loves me too (she always adds the "too" even if I haven't said it first), so some of the lunchtime love may have been food-related as well.

Hubs apologized this morning

for nagging me so much lately about the housework. He has been complaining about the piles of (clean) laundry on the sofa in the den, and other things, for several days. We're all sick, and I really resented his complaints because he wasn't doing any housework and he was sick, so why couldn't he understand that I feel horrible too, and that it's a lot for me to keep the kids clean and fed.

So we had a long talk, which was somewhat productive, and I feel a little better about it. He agreed not to keep listing things that I need to do around the house (he does this in the mornings while he gets ready for work and I try to sleep, and anytime he's getting ready to leave the house), because, as he said, I already know all of the things he keeps telling me. And he has committed to helping more himself.

I wish I had known about these before...

I spotted a neat post about Grandparent Cards over on Cool Mom picks, and I'm highly amused by this one. Actually, it's only one of several great ideas from Alternate Greetings. I wish I had known about these before, so I could have used them when I had big girl and baby boy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tinker, tinker...

In case anyone is reading this - I'm tinkering with layout and design and such, so don't let it throw you.

ETA: Tinkering over. I have a nice painting now, by Mary Cassatt, who's a personal favorite. I used another painting by her for my Babycenter avatar. Note the mother laying in bed, as if she actually gets to sleep in. Note the little girl who has climbed in bed with the mother (I bet she's asking her mom to turn on Noggin so she can watch Wonder Pets). Note the coffee mug. This could be a scene from my life. If we had sound with this painting, we would also hear, in addition to the little girl asking for the "mote" to turn on the tv, a little boy calling, "Mooommmmeeeee!" from his crib. Good thing he doesn't know how to climb out yet.

A list of things on my mind...

  • Big girl has developed a big problem with twirling her hair into knots and chewing on her hair. I am attempting to break the habit and I am beginning to wonder if a haircut will help. Her hair is getting quite long, so even when she doesn't help it along, it tangles easily.
  • Baby boy went to the doctor today, after a fall last night which resulted in prolific bleeding from the underside of his lip. He apparently tore open the little connector that goes between the inside of the top lip and his gums. The doctor said to avoid salty and acidic foods, and he should heal fairly quickly. I'm glad he didn't need a stitch there or anything. He was a pain in the tuckus when the doctor wanted to examine it. His appetite remains prolific despite the injury.
  • My BFF Mel will be moving closer in the spring, so that I can reasonably drive to see her and her partner in a day. She'll have a new job with a (hopefully less-psycho) new boss, and I'm just so happy for her. She's also moving back to the town where we both lived previously, so she'll already know people and places there.
  • Hubs actually came home at a reasonable hour tonight - but that's because he's sick and tired and wanted to go to bed early. The kids are already in bed, too, and the dogs are fed and snoozing on the back deck, which means the house is really quiet and peaceful.

I think I'll take advantage of the quiet and go enjoy a Jane Austen movie from the BBC collection that the aforementioned BFF sent to me as a surprise gift.


This reminds me so much of the Babycenter Bargain Board...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Hubs is all cranky and sick, and keeps trying to boss me around and tell me chores to do around the house. I'll have none of that. Fortunately his cough medicine kicked in, so he meandered woozily back to bed and stopped making "helpful suggestions" about things I could do to make our den tidier. I have enough to do without any additions to the list from him, thankyouverymuch, and besides, if he's not an active participant in the cleaning, he doesn't get to make the rules.

If I ruled the world...

Okay, pardon me as I indulge in a brief lolkitty-induced rant. Am I the only person who doesn't like the smell of Febreeze? It makes me want to gag. I can't stand to smell the stuff, in any of its incarnations. I have a problem with air fresheners and perfumes in general. Subtle and non-offensive scents are okay, but even a lot of the stuff my mom wears is too strong for me. I ordered the Clinique Happy freebies that someone kind posted on the bargain board - too strong for me. I had one sent to my mom and she put a little dab on big girl, and the ride home in the van from mom's house was bad. I had the windows down in the front for me, so I could breathe, and the heat blasting in the back to keep the kids warm. Anyway, that concludes my rant. It is a cute lolcat. But if I were that cat, I'd run outside screaming.

Really useful site (wouldn't Sir Topham Hatt be proud?)

My BFF shared a cool item from Lifehacker with me this morning - the site is called Foodsel, and it offers some interesting ways to view the food you're eating. In addition to lots of nice nutrient info, it shows the amount of exercise (of different types, including things like pushing a child in a stroller) required to burn off the calories, and it puts things like fat content in terms of sticks of butter. So we can learn interesting things, like the fact that one of my beloved Chick-fil-a sandwiches contains 40.29 g of fat, equal to about 0.4 butter sticks. Yummy!

So, I think I'll keep referring to this site when I feel the urge to eat chocolate at bedtime, and I'll remember it fondly as I drive past Burger King and fail to stop for a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit. But then, knowing me, I'll just pull in at the Sonic a few yards down the street and get something just as bad. I guess I should be glad that the Chick-fil-a is on the other side of town or I'd be there more often than I already am.

Monday, February 18, 2008

She really did it this time

I sat big girl and baby boy down at the table with some food and stepped out to the back yard to feed the dogs. Big girl gets the bright idea to hop up and stroll over to the back door and lock the glass storm door. Which means that she and her baby brother are locked inside and I am outside with a couple of dogs and no keys.

I spend fifteen minutes attempting to coach her on how to turn the knob and unlock the door - but apparently she only knows how to turn it in one direction: the one that locks me out. She just looks at me and giggles and twirls her hair around her finger while I try to get her to unlock the door, but it's no use.

It's kind of dark in the back yard, and I'm kind of stuck in there, too. There are two gates. One is six feet tall and locked from the other side. The other is a gate in a chain link fence, and it's only about four feet tall. But it's on the dark side of the house, and because it has too much give there at the gate, such that determined dogs can wiggle through and escape if they feel so inclined, it also has three pieces of rope tying it shut. Three separate pieces of rope, with fancy knots, and it's completely dark on that side of the house. No exterior lights, no lights coming from the windows of my house or my neighbor's, since they aren't home. So - since only the dogs could see me, and they can't speak English - I climbed oh-so-gracefully over the chain length fence and plopped down on the other side. Fortunately I did not tear my jeans on the fence or land on my ass.

I went to the front door to see if I could coax big girl into unlocking it, but my efforts there were similarly unsuccessful. So I hiked up the street, in the dark except for some nice moonlight (because the exterior light in our front yard is broken at present), to see our friends up the street. They didn't have a spare key - I thought they might but no - but they did send their teenage girls down to keep an eye on big girl and baby boy through the front windows while I called Hubs on his cell phone.

Hubs was working late on a project, but he excused himself and raced home while I stood on the front porch with neighbor friend and continued to (unsuccessfully) coax big girl on the unlocking of dead bolts. By the time Hubs got there, baby boy was crying (but safely ensconced in his high chair where I had left him), and big girl had darted away from the front door several times to play in the water and make a big mess in the bathroom. She also grinned and made faces through the glass at us, brought out a drippy washcloth and wiped the window with it while proclaiming, "I wash your window," and danced around with her toy iron. She did not console her crying brother, despite my requests that she do so, and yet she also managed not to injure herself, her brother, or the house, aside from the water in the bathroom floor. So I was pretty relieved. And from now on, she will accompany me into the back yard to feed the dogs when Hubs isn't home, and I will also take the keys with me.

This wasn't the first time she had locked that storm door - she did it twice before, fortunately when Hubs was home to unlock it and let me back in. I guess that means I'm a slow learner and I should have seen this coming. My mom laughed when I told her about this, since she still remembers the time when I locked her out of the house and she had to break a window to get back inside. Yeah, I was about the same age that the big girl is now.


I'm sitting here in the recliner with a box fan blowing full force on me. Sweat is dripping down my neck, my hair is wet from all of this, and it's pretty gross. I decided to give the snot patrol a bath and the experience has left me sweaty and crippled. My back always hurts after I give them a bath and yet I never think to get a knee cushion or take any other measures to make the whole process less painful.

But they had a fabulous time - I used the last of the Tigger bath bubbles and they had plenty of ducks and other toys in the tub, too. They conspired to start splashing in unison and get me all wet early in the process, which was hil-arious. The big girl made tea with her brother's little cup toys, which was great fun until she actually tasted the soapy water, and baby boy's ducks had a grand time as well.

Of course, when they're having this much fun, ending bathtime is never a popular move, so after screaming and complaining about it for a while, they've settled down to watch a Bob the Builder video while I cool off. Then a quick run to the grocery store before Hubs comes home. Maybe I'll pull a June Cleaver and have dinner ready when he gets here.

We should own stock in Kleenex

These kids use up their body weight in Kleenex every week. I constantly find myself wiping noses and reminding them not to use their sleeves. And then there's the joy of finding a gross of Kleenex spread out all over a room after a spontanous naughty Kleenex-pulling party. I could go hoarse telling them not to play with the Kleenex, but then I'd just be a hoarse woman cleaning up after a Kleenex party.

Clothing manufacturers need to get their acts together

It's really confusing and frustrating for the big girl when the tag isn't located in the back of her clothing. I've been teaching her to look for the tag so she puts her clothes on correctly and she gets out of sorts when certain clothing manufacturers don't follow the rules. She's a kid who repeats certain phrases about how she expects life to be, such as "Tag go back." So we have to shake our heads at those "silly clothes companies" that don't know any better and do silly things like put tags on the sides. And we have to watch out - they could lead us astray and we could end up with our pants on backwward.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

They're OD-ing on Little Bear today

Both the big girl and baby boy are sick again today, as am I. My husband - let's just call him Hubs, shall we? - is not suitably sympathetic to my illness, but that's not new. So we've been watching Noggin a lot today. I've been really bad about using Noggin and Bob the Builder videos as electronic babysitters lately. I've been sick and congested since sometimes in late December, with only the occasional day of feeling good, and both of the kiddos keep getting sick. So I'm simultaneously delighted and horrified by my big girl's ability to sing the theme songs to Wonder Pets and other fabulous preschooler tv fare. I guess mostly I love it, because sometimes she's so quiet and shy when I try to get her to sing. Particularly if she has an audience of any size, she sticks her two fingers into her mouth and just looks at me when I ask her to sing. This is the same frustratingly adorable pose she struck throughout most of her preschool's Christmas song assembly.

Meanwhile, Max and Ruby are now on - their relationship reminds me of big girl and baby boy sometimes b/c big girl has no problem bossing her brother around and being vocal in the comforts of her own home. And baby boy is wandering around the den with a gift bag over his head. Good times, good times.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Baby skin

I love baby skin. Particularly baby cheeks. My baby boy's cheeks are so cute and plump and adorable. Even though he has dry skin and is itchy all over, his cheeks are still soft and have that pale pink sweetness to them. And he smells a little bit like pancakes, which is adorable (less adorable was me washing the pancake crumbs off his hands, face, ears, neck, and hair - but he still smells yummy). He fell asleep in the car today as we were driving back from my mom's house, so I picked him up and carried him inside to his crib. I just love that sensation of him collapsed against my shoulder in a sleepy baby weight, with one arm tossed casually around my neck. I almost hated to put him down - I wanted to hold him a little longer and enjoy the sleepy cuddle that he rarely wants to give when he's awake now. But the faster he gets into the crib, the less likely he is to wake up and complain. And that little lower lip of his is still pretty powerful when it's pushed out and accompanied by an irate wail.

The piece of wood

We have a piece of wood that has moved with us since college. It's not flashy, not carved or polished. It's a broken piece that my now-husband found on a mountain hike, I think. The wood is gray or grey - probably grey because that seems to suit it - and was obviously broken off abruptly from the rest of the tree. The ends are jagged and pointed even as the wood itself has become soft and weathered. I could toss in some neat metaphors about how the wood is symbolic of me, or my husband, or our relationship, but really it's just an interesting piece of wood. So I thought I would start my collection here with it.

There are so many interesting things that I find, or make, or encounter - so many interesting people, places, experiences. And my memory is terrible. So this begins as an exercise in collecting for the purpose of remembering, and also as a means of sharing, should anyone else find it interesting or useful in some way. I have no grand aims. This is just my metaphorical shoebox of treasures that I keep under the bed, or in the closet, and from time to time I bring it out and rifle through it and muse philosophically, or something intellectual like that. Actually, I rifle through it and say, oh, that's kind of cool. I won't promise anything more mentally challenging than that.