Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Storm Update #3

 Well, Isaac is dumping on us in earnest. Apparently, it's sitting still off the coast, so we're in for a whole lot more wind and rain. The girlfriend's pretty freaked, and is not enjoying the Katrina flashbacks. Me, I'm not all that wound up. Sure, there's still plenty of opportunity for things to get really shitty really quickly, and naturally since I've been smoking pot pretty much all day I'm liable to be a bit nonchalant over a little rain.

 Still and all, it's been pretty awe-inspiring. I sat through a couple rowdy hurricanes when I lived in Gainesville, but those came and went much like tornadoes did when I was a kid. This is definitely a different kettle of fish flying wildly at high speeds. So far, I haven't seen much damage. Part of a neighbor's fence fell over and a couple limbs have fallen off the old pecan tree in the girlfriend's front yard. From what I can gather from the news folks, something like 300,000 people in the area are without power. As for right now, we've still got power, cable and internet, and best I can tell, I'd have power in the Point, too.

 Frankly, I'm having a blast. Way everyone who knows better than me, girlfriend included, has said this is a pretty fierce storm even for a Category One, and all the folks who survived Katrina and are going through their first nasty storm since that one are freaking out. I don't blame 'em, no, but I simply cannot make the connection. At this point, we've done all there is to do, all that can be done to prepare, so we just might as well ride the bastard out.

 And I suppose, that in itself is a little unsettling. We like to tell ourselves that we're the masters of this world, but, boy, is it not so. Stay safe.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Storm Update #2

 Well, it's noon and we officially are dealing with a Category 1 hurricane in young Isaac. We're still in the Bywater with plans to ride out the storm. It's rained off and on during the night, raining now as a matter of fact, and the wind's been gusting since yesterday evening. A short walk around the neighborhood an hour ago showed folks pensive and a little tense, but for the most part prepared for the ride and properly hunkered down. I even saw a few random acts of kindness, neighbors hollering across the street "Call if you need anything" or a dollar loaned for a gallon of milk, that sort of thing.

 The girlfriend says that pre-Katrina there was a bit more festivity in the air in the tense hours leading up to landfall but that all changed when the levees broke. It's really never came back. People are polite, helpful and friendly - after all, this is our city - but this is all business. I doubt hurricanes will be any fun for New Orleans for a long, long time. That scar's a thick one.

Storm update #1

 Well, we're still here. The wind has picked up and the feeling outside is unsettling and charged. Isaac, which as far as I know is still a tropical storm, is supposed to hit landfall sometime early tomorrow afternoon. The bedraggled weather folk on the various local stations are saying it'll probably be a full-on hurricane by the time it hits, maybe a Cat. 2, and regardless it's going to dump a ton of rain on us and most likely knock out our power. They've repeated this mantra so much, I'm half convinced the storm's a cover-up for them to get at the grid for a couple days.

 In any event, we're here and hunkered down for the ride. The lady and I are both uneasy about the choice, but given the situation, it's the best option we got right now. Things turn ugly, we will split quick as we can. Otherwise, I do have some thoughts I will explore later, but right now my cognitive drive is take up with how bad Cadillac Records is. And apparently it got good reviews and was lauded for its history. It is neither good nor historically accurate. Then again, my pulse is rarely on the zeitgeist.

Monday, August 27, 2012

I would look up a synonym for "apathy", but why bother?

 More serious navel-gazing nonsense. Warned.

  When I try to study on the whole question of what's "wrong" with me, the problem is it isn't just one single, significant source.  That would be easier to tackle than a lot of little stumbles and sharp objects, which is what I'm dealing with now. For instance. I'm still getting over the realization I made a few years back that no matter how cunningly I craft my arguments, how airtight my logic, and how well-researched my facts, there are just some folks who are never going to listen.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Funny thing is, today's weather was gorgeous.

 So there's a serious storm coming this way. Isaac, this one's called, and as of right now (9:34 p.m.), it's off the Florida Keys. As of right now, it's still a tropical storm but them that know say it could pick up juice in the warm Gulf of Mexico and become a hurricane. Meteorologists are saying that, sometime late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, it'll make landfall somewhere between Mobile and Lake Charles and it's been said it will be a Category 2 storm by the time it hits. There has already been a number of deaths in Haiti and some heavy duty weather in south Florida.

 So far - and with all empathy to those who've already lost to this storm, but it doesn't seem like this thing is all that threatening, really, not compared to the serious shit Katrina or Gustav brought. Then again, around noon today, everyone's mood switched all at once, it seemed, and the lads started taking Isaac seriously. I'm sitting here watching the Weather Channel analyze every damn aspect of the thing to death, but I guess that's their job.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Spinoza slept here.

 Back in August 2011, I went to Europe. I'd never been to Europe, of course. Prior to a weekend trip to Montreal the year before, I'd never been out of the country. For this reason and that, I've rarely done much traveling. I regret that, even though often as not the reasons were valid, because I really do like traveling. I like going places I haven't been and I usually find a way to enjoy the journey. Just looking out the window, watching the world roll by is worth all the headache of travel.

 Earlier that year, my brother said he and his fiancée were going to Europe to go to her brother's wedding. (Got that?) Did I want to go? Sure, why not. A few years back, I decided to follow my whims more, which lead me to New Orleans, and since I had a decent amount of money saved up, I decided to go. After much to-ing and fro-ing, I found myself on a nine-hour flight to the Honky Motherland. I went to a couple significant places, not near enough, and saw a lot of neat things. That's for some other time. Now, I want to talk about Amsterdam.

Me reading Spinoza on a canal in Amsterdam. I did that on purpose.
 When I tell people I've visited Amsterdam, them that know I'm an unrepentant stoner get quite a knowing chuckle. Them that don't assumed I liked the town so much because of all the philosophy and art and probably the Red Light District. But, no, though most of it is the legal weed, I really enjoyed my time in Amsterdam.

 It is a damn confusing town. The layout makes no sense to me, and reminds me of a older college campus with its weird piling of new right next to, sometimes on top of the old. Plus, the roadsigns hurt my head. The Dutch language is difficult for me as opposed to, say, the Latin-based languages or even German. Dutch looks like dream writing, maybe it's just me. Anyhow, the combined effect made the town very weird to my own personal logic and I liked it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Just 'cause you're paranoid don't mean things ain't weird.

 So, just this morning, we've had another mass shooting, this time at the goddamn Empire State Building, and Romney made a "joke" about being asked for his birth certificate, and the most charitable explanation is the guy can't tell and joke to save his life. I do wonder sometimes if the walls really are getting thinner or am I just now noticing the constant background crazy. Either is an unsettling stroke, particularly on a hurricane weekend.

And is there any town that more lives the idea of "Don't Panic"?

 As much as I fought getting one, I must admit I do severely dig my smart phone. It's a battered Samsung Mythic, and it's a little over two years old. I'm way past the point of updating, but I tend to keep hardware until it quits working all together.

 Anyhow, one of the reasons I like my smart phone is because it fulfills a boyhood dream of having a hand-held, portable guide to Life, the Universe and Everything of my very own, and one that was updated in more or less real time. Just fire up the pitiful little browser, call up Wikipedia or Google, and I'm off. Should I wake up in an unfamiliar land, I've got Lost Planet and Wikitravels bookmarked. Finally, with Twitter and the AP, I've got a running, to-the-minute news-feed right in my pocket, which brings to mind the e-readers in Transmetropolitan. Hell, my phone's use as a communication device is almost tertiary.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm almost positive we're not supposed to know about this.

This doesn't sound right at all, does it?

Seriously, stop everyone on bikes? In the Fifth District, which as far as I can tell, includes the Marigny, the Bywater, St. Claude and St. Roch, and that’s going to be a helluva lot of bikes. Good gravy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Take what you can, live with the rest.

So. Two days away, two days with a serious distraction, and we're back to see if there is still anything to pick at. Perhaps I am being over dramatic about this, about my giving up on trying this writing thing after starting so soon, but no one knows better than I how easily I'll rabbit when given first chance.

 In any event, here we are and I say what the hell. The weekend was pretty turbulent, maybe the most turbulent in the whole relationship, and a lot of the turbulence came from the vast disparity in our moods. Me, I'm in a good mood, the best mood I've been in since the beginning of the year. The girlfriend's, none of your business, but when I thought about it, I know just why I'm in a good mood and it's not merely because the chemicals in my brain took a shift or because those One-A-Day vitamins I've been taking for the past week or so have kicked in.

 I'm actually excited about this. I don't know why, but I am. I have no expectations and I see nothing coming out of it in the future, but for the time being it's fun and feels right. Maybe it's just because of something Hatchet said the other night during his visit, "So, you're just writing and getting stoned, huh? Good." Something about that appealed to me. Maybe because it came from Hatchet's particular brand of bottomless enthusiasm, but that stroke galvanized me. I decided, "Well, dammit, I'll write again just for the hell of it", which I hadn't done in almost two decades.

 Perhaps it'd be useful to sketch out just why I'm doing this and what I think I'll get out of it when all is said and done. First and foremost, I do not see this being a financial bonanza, neither this blog in particular or the whole writing thing in general. I've had my whack at that and I do not believe I posses the moxie to pull off a writing career. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to actually be a Professional Writer. I used to tell people, when asked, my goal was to write some airport-ready door stopper, sell the rights to Hollywood, and live a life of eccentric obscurity on the residuals. I could live very well on very little, and as a Professional Writer, I'd certainly be up for hammering the occasional column or article for a little extra egg money. Sounds like a pleasant life indeed to me, but unfortunately, to be a Professional Writer one has to have actual material selling, and I don't think I have that in me. Maybe, but it has not even peeped so far.

 I've had ideas for books, sure, and I've sketched the odd outline here or there, but I've never had the balls to actually give it a shot. Most of it's a fear of failure, I'll own that, but I would want anything I'd expect people to buy to be at least enjoyable. I can't seem to find that way. Maybe it's not in me, I don't know.

 I really don't want to do journalism or criticism anymore, but I think I'm stuck with the latter as a part of my nature. Journalism is too much goddamn work and requires one to deal with too much goddamn bullshit. I still have nightmares about doing Little League box scores for The Times. Again, that'd be a great game to play, but I do not, absolutely not, have the internal fire to do that gig anything close to properly and take the licks I'd take. I'm a coward, but I know it. Besides, I'd have to talk to people and I hate talking to people.

 I haven't written for pay in over 10 years because by the time the end came, I hated, absolutely loathed writing, the physical process. Unless I was drunk and rowdy, I was constantly miserable because I knew I'd have to pound out some gibberish on some stupid band. Pretty much like now and cooking, I just absolutely hate having to do anything for pay, and I don't know quite why that is. About six months is how long I can enjoy any job, and by the time I quite writing, I hated it as much I used to hate working in my parents' garden.

 So here we are, and admittedly, it's all been very umbilically oriented so far, but I'm not doing this for anyone's benefit but mine. Sort of like Philip K. Dick's Exegesis, this is an attempt to figure out just what in the hell is wrong with me and what I should do about it. Of course, mine isn't a semi-mystical experience full of time travel, a broken world, and a malevolent god, just fairly tedious neurosis and self-doubt. But we've all got our own crosses to bear, as ridiculous as they might be.

 So, here I am, trying to be a writer. If asked, I would not call myself a writer" no more than I'd call myself a "philosopher". As of right now, I'm currently stuck on "stoner prep cook," which has its points. I'm still excited about it and still want to do it. However, as today shows, I won't always have anything interesting to write about but a desire to nevertheless gibber on. Sorry but it is what it is.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Don't let me hold you up, now.

 Random gibberish at the end of the week. Well, the end of my week, that is, as most folks have the other way around. See, I work in the service industry, and the whole idea of "weekends and holidays off" is strange and foreign to me. These days, my work week ends on Monday and starts back up Thursday evening. That's just the way it is. As a general rule, my bosses know I like to have "pseudo-weekends", or two days in a row off rather than splitting them. I just cannot enjoy myself otherwise, and most folks are generally agreeable to the idea as am I should it be necessary to adjust when needs must.

 Really, I haven't had weekends off since I started working as a teenager, and weekends always meant more work. When I did newspapers, I was generally working through the weekend, even if no one else on staff was. Funny how it always worked out like that. I didn't mind then, though, and I don't mind now, though it screws up my blog reading since everyone else in the world has normal weekends, it seems.

 The French Quarter is full of Shriners. This is to be expected, as there is a convention going on this weekend. Naturally, this has been going through my head all day, as well as the spinning wheels that make up my fascination with Freemasons and people who wear funny hats on purpose. In any event, I saw a fairly large number of portly, middle-aged gentlemen in white suits. Some had on presumably ceremonial garb,such as very sharp capes and slightly ostentatious shoulder necklaces. As I understand, these folks are big on hierarchy and honoring each other with titles and bric-à-brac and much whuffie is earned. Many were wearing fezzes, while a significant number were carrying what looked like tiny, cone-shaped road cases for their hats. At least, best I can tell from observation. I figured someone grinning ear-to-ear on top of looking like I do even on my best day, it was probably not conducive for me to bother these good folk with such trivialities. I don't know why I find a city full of Shriners as amusing as I do, but there it is.

 Boy, that Todd Akin sure stuck his foot in it, didn't he. I must say, I'm a bit surprised that the general run of the GOP came down like a hammer on the dumb son of a bitch, though I've no doubt he'll soon become a martyr to political correctness for the general run of wingnut. I don't understand how he thought something that goddamn stupid would fly, but perhaps he figured Ron Paul set the center on this particular debate.

 I swear, I haven't laughed so hard in months. I saw on Twitter this morning that some member of the House got busted for skinny-dipping and getting soused in Israel and apparently this actually happened in this universe. That's funny enough, sure. Funnier, it was a Republican, but deep down, no one was surprised. Even funnier, it was the Sea of Galilee, and really? You're in Israel and you're a conservative Republican and you thinking skinny-dipping in Jesus's sea is not going to be all over the Internet in a couple of hours?

 Turns out, this guy - Kevin Yoder, freshman Representative of the great state of Kansas - is a year younger than me. That just makes me sad. Now, I'm not claiming at having total wisdom and full coverage, but I do think that after 36 years of stomping the Terra I had enough sense to, when asked if I wanted to get liquored up, strip nekkid and try to walk on the same water Jesus was supposed to have walked on, I would have studied on it, considered my future in the Republican party and the ubiquity of camera phones. and replied with an respectful "No". But what do I know.

 And so much for all that. I'll be at the girlfriend's place for the next two days. Perhaps that will be the end of that. I'd really rather bring my laptop, but I know if I tell her I'm trying this, it'll go all pear shaped for reasons too tedious to get into here. So, we'll see.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Whitburn Codex #1 - Little David Wilkins, "Whoever Turned You On (Forgot To Turn You Off)"

 During a Facebook back-and-forth concerned a totally different country singer on Whitburn, my brother mentioned this cat's name as someone he'd been digging on lately. I hadn't heard him, otherwise I'd have been all over a dude named "Little David". Perhaps I thought he was from the pre-honky tonk batch. In any event, I decided to give it a listen and this was the first tune I clicked on once iTunes got itself properly warmed up.

 The title was too tempting, as a song called "Whoever Turned You On (Forgot To Turn You Off)" is either going to be a fairly awesome slice of sleazy honky tonk or it's going to be an embarrassing mess. Either way, I've got a good insight to what lies ahead in Little David's oeuvre via my own particular scanner dark. There's remarkably little fat on the Codex, most of it coming from the folks I'm most familiar with (like Willie Nelson or George Jones) or didn't care for in the first place (Eddy Arnold). These more obscure hopefuls are pretty easy to suss out after a listen or two. I don't know if that's due to my finely tuned honky-tonk bullshit detector or an immutable fact of the universe. I might also be talking nonsense, so take that into consideration.

 Regardless, Little David did not disappoint. This is a pretty nifty little honky-tonk two-stepper, with an awesome hook and an extremely dirty mind. Thematically, it's from the same school George Strait's early hit "The Fireman"; to wit, a good ol' boy finds himself dealing with a woman that another man left in an excited state of sexual agitation. However, where Strait makes a practice of dealing with this problem as it springs up all over his geographical area, while Little David is concerned with only one woman.

Whitburn Codex Intro

 Sometime last early last year, someone gave my brother a truly massive amount of mp3s, something like 50 gigabytes, called "The Whitburn Collection". My brother being my brother was less interested in the roots of the collection, which was indeed organized if haphazardly so - nor was he concerned if it had anything to do with the famous musicologist, author and record collector Joel Whitburn. My brother received parts One and Three of a four-part set, and the person he got it from couldn't adequately explain why he couldn't deliver the full set, but since he's a really good guy we don't fret much. We'd still like it, though, if anyone has any clue what I'm gibbering about here.

 Anyhow. After whittling out the relatively small number of tunes that duplicated stuff we already had and passing over other versions (single mixes, live stuff, etc.), we were left with 20 solid gigs of heretofore unknown country music. It's exciting and incredibly interesting. Not only is there so much country music I'd never heard - and I'm a man that loves him some country music - but it's a fascinating sociological snapshot of the music's time. Like all art, music - especially pop music and doubly so for country music - often acts as a mirror for the time of its creation. Some songs are timeless; some are inexorably tied to the events and opinions of the era and make little or no sense out of context.

 For me this has a deeper meaning. Though I was basically a child of the '80s, it wasn't really one John Hughes would recognize. I grew up in rural Northeast Mississippi, not far from where Elvis was born, in a dry country that bans MTV to this day. Worse, my family and neighbors in the little wooded river community I call home had little truck with popular culture and could've cared less about pop music. My brother and I both had our rock and pop likings, but our personal radios were always, always tuned to a country station. My parents were less stuck in the '70s and more unconcerned with the passage of time. Apart from the advances in baseball-watching technology, they could care less.

 So what I'm saying is this: country music, particularly from the '70s, plays a heavy role in my psychological make-up, as does dealing with and exploring the society and culture where that music grew and played. As I said, some songs are timeless, and they're just as relevant to us as when they were written. You know, everyone can relate to "Your Cheatin' Heart" and always will so long as hearts can break, that sort of thing. Some songs, however, deal with the world around them and, as often as not, fail miserably. The whole feminist thing hit country music right in the small of the back and even in today's conservative climate, the tunes dealing with "uppity gals who just need some good lovin'" is quite jarring. Lighter, as much affection as I personally have for them, songs about truckers and CB's really don't hold up.

 Which makes dealing with the Codex even more a chore. Plus, there is a whole lot of really, really bad songs on this thing. I mean, just embarrassingly bad. Some are songwriter cuts or deejay vanity projects, and hey, not everyone's Ray Price. Some are extremely poorly crafted tunes, some shooting for whatever the honky zeitgeist was and just whiffing it big-time. Some are merely examples of how the Industry has always foisted no-talent hacks upon a record-buying public that'll dutifully by the most horrific shit. *Shakes fist at uncaring sky*

Saturday, August 18, 2012

We'll always have Chuck Berry

 Sometimes, I swear, it seems like I shouldn't be allowed out of the house. Some days, it seems all you can do is get through the best you can without burning the goddamn house down. Okay, so it wasn't all that bad.

 My cousin's in town. He's about five years younger than me, and like all my cousins, we were pretty tight growing up. And, like all my cousins, he wonders just what in the hell went wrong with me. My twenties were spent with a good bit of chilly distance between my family and myself, and the vast majority of it was all my fault.

 Granted, they didn't expect me to stay weird and that sort of weirds them out. I'm 37 and, thus, should have at least a couple kids by now and at the bare minimum one marriage under my belt. I don't and that ain't right to them. Most of them have shrugged their shoulders and we're back to having a warm relationship that's based on actually being grown-ups, and all their kids are old enough so that we don't mutually freak each other out anymore.

 I got another cousin, also male, with whom that chilly distance is still there, but I'm not quite as bothered by that chasm quite as much. He and I have always had a distant relationship, never as close as the others or even his older sister. We're not much different now than when we were back in the day. This cousin in town, though, we played as kids and ran the roads as teenagers. He was the third stooge with my brother and I, and for a short while, it was just him and me.

 Thing is, of my cousin's, he's the one walking the weirdest path. It's not as "radical" as mine or my brother's, but it's definitely discussed around the various familial dinner tables, and rather sniffily at that. And his wife is cause for even more comment. Sure, he and I don't see eye-to-eye politically, 'cause FOX News makes even the smartest people believe the dumbest shit, but it's not like the rest of my family are wild-eyed anarchist lefties. 'Course, none of my people are exactly Birchers, either, so that's not it.

 I don't know what it is. Even if I did, I don't have any clue how to make it "better" or even what "better" means. He's still my cousin, he's still family, he's still blood, and I'd still do damn near anything to help him or his wife when they need it, and I know they'd do the same for me. That'll never change, and there's comfort in that.

Maybe the whole situations falls forevermore under that sagest of New Orleans nuggets of wisdom:, "it is what it is". Maybe. I do miss us being buddies, though, and I don't know if I'd say that about a lot of folks.

The bear in the cave

I'm not at my sharpest when I first wake up. More specifically, when I'm allowed to wake up on my own instead of those instances wherein I force myself awake. Truth be told, I'm probably not at my sharpest then, either, but we're not dealing with that particular scenario right now. Maybe tomorrow morning.

However, on the positive, I am totally able to get my shit together in an orderly, efficient fashion while at the same time smoking up, reading nonsense and eating. I am very good at maximizing my free time, especially when it comes to having as much free time as I can squeeze out of the universe.

 Honestly, the only thing I can think of is how much I do not want to go to work, and since I don't want to get into that right now, that's that.

But it's so cliche...

One of these days, I really do feel, I'll start writing again. For some reason, I don't know, but I see it happening. It's there, waiting patiently for the need to arise. I don't know, maybe it'll just be the writing involved if I do indeed go back to school. I'm not at all convinced I'll actually do that, though.

 I don't really see the point, beyond just needing something to do with myself, so it seems silly or childish, somehow. I can't explain it, which probably means I'm lying to myself in some form or fashion, that or I don't feel grok the problem I face. That's usually how it washes out.

 It's too bad this is such a (relatively) dull universe. I do think I'd make a good parapsychologist in a world where that didn't automatically mean "kook". But what do I know.

 I never really liked writing, honestly, at least I don't think I did. I did get off on crafting a piece, making an argument, be it about a political issue or a musicological bit of nonsense, and to a certain extent I still do. I don't know if I was ever that in love with the idea of being a writer. I never really bought into that whole romantic ideal. My writer persona was awfully confused. But he was young, and he owned he didn't know shit.

  I'm not entirely sold on the vaporizer. Perhaps I'm using it incorrectly. I wouldn't be surprised.

 Maybe that's an idea. While I sit on this couch, night after night, and smoke my mind on weed and Internet brain candy, I could keep a window open to scribble nonsense too dense and heavy and lengthy for Twitter. Maybe a running, stream-of-consciousness type thing while I read about conspiracy cranks, misunderstand philosophy/science, and listen to MST3K on an endless loop. Review music I listen to, movies I watch, maybe comment on socio-political nuggets I pretend to pay attention to. I'd automatically have two free days, at least, so that right there means I won't have to hold myself to doing it every day.

 I wonder just where the uncomfortable feeling I have about not writing, even just gibberish like this on a daily basis. It's not exactly guilt, but it's similar. Like the feeling I have when I contemplate someone learning something about another person that'd let them, the first person, down. Not so much betrayal or knocked off a pedestal, but more like "Awww, I thought you had more to you than that." I feel it when one of the lads says something massively homophobic, and I don't know what to tell 'em. I don't know who I should feel guilty to, though, who I'm letting down in some form or fashion. I know there are people who say they're disappointed in me not writing, but that ain't none of their damn business. One could give a metaphysical answer, a question of destiny or ode to a muse, but that's just silly.

 Thing is, this is sort of fun. Random, rapid lashing nonsense and wisdom into a digital stylus, nothing but light and smoke and math, but more concrete and permanent that the heaviest block of granite but still a whisper in the wind. Whiff, wham, okay Internet, here are my thoughts and they might be here forever or someone might spill a Diet Coke and wipe out the whole deal. I sort of like that, too. Caveat: while one lauds the Internet/Blogger/Tumblr thing giving us all a voice, one recognize most of us really should shut the hell up.

 I'm going to do this on both Tumblr and Blogger. Keep it connected to Twitter, too, but not Facebook. I'm going to keep this as existential ad possible and keep out of other folks' business, but there'll be plenty of shit I don't want certain folks reading. It may evolve in one direction or it may evolve in another. Regardless, I've grown to loathe Facebook and it's use as anything but a time-killer. Besides, I might very well not write one more single word the rest of my life. For now, it's late and I should go ahead and call it a day.