…he takes time out on his wedding night to upload photos(flickr link to wedding set) and write a quick blog post. (We also have video (sans audio)
He also takes an “At Arm’s Length” photo, because, well, it’s what we do…
The newly crowned Mr y Mrs Kent say thanks to the friends and family and coworkers and everyone else for their support and kindess and well wishes.
We’re so flipping happy… now, if you’ll excuse us… again…
…he takes time out on his wedding night to upload photos(flickr link to wedding set) and write a quick blog post. (We also have video (sans audio)
Time’s winding down… I just finished my work-from-home day for today, and now I have about 1/2 hour until I need to go pick up the pressed shirt and head over to meet the family. There’s no hesitation, just a little bit of anxiousness and a hope that everything goes smoothly. It’s as uncomplicated as we could make it so really there shouldn’t be any issue, but for all our comfort and smoothness and lax attitude towards it, the heavens have decided to lay the thunder and lightning smackdown on the day, which, I guess, like anything we shall roll with it.
The long-loved but newly acquired Daft Punk’s “Homework” is jazzing up my innards while Sasquatch and Clubber Lang grimace before me, taunting me to fidget with them. A little over three hours to go, but really not. I have 25 minutes before I need to get moving. I’m getting some laundry done and otherwise preoccupying myself with, well, blog. Hi blog.
I’m excited. Genuinely excited.
And happy too.
It’s a nice feeling.
S’posin’ I should eat something. But not too much.
Quality steak dinner and a Marmy-made cake for dessert later, who would want to spoil that?
13 months ago today, through a most coincidental happening, the woman I found myself rather infatuated with for many month prior - a friend whom I was very attracted to but was completely unsure or unaware of reciprocation - entered my life in a different capacity.
For one month what I guess we could call courting, or perhaps a mating ritual, ensued, with many friendly social encounters (movies, drinks, dinners, theatre) that left me with warm fuzzies and wanting, well, more. Much more. This woman needed to be in my life in a much greater capacity, and I could tell during those thirty days - as I was ignoring (or trying to ignore) all my insecurities that only seem to rear up during such phases of life - that she was feeling something of a similar approximation.
It was one month to the day that our intentions towards each other became clear. It was one year ago today that my dream girl suddenly became reality, that everything that I wanted out of a significant other, a partner, a lover and a friend I found in Adrienne.
Okay, all that didn’t happen in that one day, but one year ago it was “all systems go” on the beginning of that discovery, and it didn’t take me long, not long at all, to realize how much she meant to me. She is the woman who gives back, equally, everything I give her. She’s allowed me to let go of things that I couldn’t let go of before, she’s accepted every bit of me for who I am. She gives me confidence and comfort, security and strength. There’s nothing I can’t tell her, and there’s nothing I’m afraid to tell her. Our relationship although not perfect still is, to me, perfection.
It took some time to realize that it wasn’t all going to fall apart, that Adrienne is the real deal, that no matter what goes wrong in the world (whether it’s my world, her world, or the world outside of us) she will continue to love me, and I will love her.
It’s been a year that feels like a millennium that feels like a day.
Happy anniversary, beloved.
Seeing as how Valentine’s Day is this week, both Graig and I have been asked a few times now, by various co-workers for the most part, what it is we’re doing for the BIG DAY.
Neither he nor I are fans of it. I’ve long been of the opinion that if you need a special day, basically designated by corporations, to tell your significant other that you love them and show them you care, etc., well, there’s something wrong with that. So no, I’ve never been a supporter of Valentine’s Day*; I don’t like cards and I prefer flowers that can be planted in my garden to those that will die in a couple of days. Besides, Graig is wonderfully romantic normally and brings me gifts like the trade paperback of Squadron Supreme. I loves him, I do.
So, rather than saying the above in response to those who have inquired or wished us a happy Valentine’s Day in advance (which is a nice thought and we acknowledge it as such), we tell them that we’ve decided we’re going to have our first fight on that day. Problem is, we don’t know what to fight about… We’re very bad at it. We don’t argue as we’ve yet to find anything to argue about. We’re remarkably, disgustingly happy in each other’s presence, so there’s just never been any reason to have an argument. But as its coming down to the Valentine’s Day wire and reservations must be made and whatnot, we thought perhaps we’d better come up with our topic or some such planning. I shared with Graig today the saga of City TV’s Peter Silverman vs. Crazy Optometrist and he suggested maybe going to the guy’s shop and recreating this. Which immediately reminded me of the old Monty Python skit, Batley Townswomens’ Guild presents the Battle of Pearl Harbor, cause that’s just hilarious. So maybe recreations of great fights? Maybe we could be like these guys Marvel Secret Wars Re-enactment Society and recreate various comic book fights? That seems like a possibility…
So yes, if anyone would like to suggest a fight or an argument we can have, please do ;)
Actually, this is all pretty much moot, because on Wednesdays, there are always comic books to be read and Lost to be watched.
*Disclaimer: Just because I do not subscribe to the whole Valentine’s Day thing doesn’t mean I have anything against those who do. I have my idea of what is romantic and Valentine’s Day is not it. But for all those who do find it terribly romantic, all I can say is have at it and enjoy yourselves.
Aden called me last night after having an hour-long “discussion” with her Ex. She was audibly upset and it didn’t take rocket science to figure out things didn’t go well. I didn’t ask her what happened, I knew what happened already. I’ve dealt with people like him before, the kind of person who is always right and has an answer for everything. So she had essentially spent an hour on the phone with him listening to him beat down every answer to his questions, every statement she had to make, and invariably listen to him state his solution to his problem… a solution which isn’t any solution at all.
His argument generally was that it was wrong of her to bring me around the little one and that by doing so he’s become attached to me, and that, should things go wrong, he’s going to get hurt. In other words, he thinks it was a bad judgement call on her part and, essentially, that she’s a bad mother for it. He stated he went out with a girl for seven months but never introduced her to the little one, because he knew it wouldn’t last. He asked Aden if she could say unequivocably that we would still be together in six months and she said she cannot say 100% yes that we will be, and that was his point.
All of this is bullshit. All of these statements he made come not from the perspective of a concerned father, but of a control freak who no longer has control. From our perspective it was not just Aden’s call but mine as well to meet the wee one. We understood fairly early on that this was definitely a relationship and not just dating, and that if we were going to move forward than I was going to need to be a part of her life, her whole life and not just a fraction of it. We decided together that when I was ready and she was ready for myself and the little one to meet, that we would do it under the pretext of a party, where there would be other people the little one already knows and other children around as a distraction if need be… it just so happened that at the party the wee one took a shining to me and we had a great first interaction.
I wasn’t really concerned that I wouldn’t like him… I like kids, always have, and have had a good rapport with them, generally, for decades. No, what I was worried about was that the wee one wouldn’t like me, and that would be a strain on Aden and my relationship. But it’s been the exact opposite. The little one always seems happy or excited when I’m around. I play and I answer questions and I interact without patronizing or condescending. The little one’s a smart kid, and in general adults don’t give them enough credit for how intuitive and insightful they can be. The little one doesn’t talk much about what goes on at daddy’s when with mommy, an it’s obvious the reverse is true since the Ex didn’t know I was around until this week. It goes to show that the wee one understands that mommy and daddy don’t really like one another all that much and that they keep separate lives. Similarly, the little one understands that I make mommy happy and that we’re happy together, and the wee one genuinely seems to enjoy having that around.
The Ex says that if this relationship doesn’t work out it’s going to be hurtful to the little one. What the fuck does he know about it. I have friends who come from broken marriages and single parents, and honestly none of them are damaged from any of the relationships their parents brought into their lives. Yes, I’ve heard the stories of awful boyfriends or girlfriends and how the parents put their new relationships first over the children, but that’s not the case here. To accept Aden into my life meant accepting her child as well, and honestly, it wasn’t a hard decision to make at all. If the Ex is worried that his child is going to be hurt if I exit Aden’s life, well, you know what, it’s a fact of life that every person has to get used to. People come and go from others lives: friends, teachers, family… people move, people die, and people break up, and it does the wee one a real disservice to think he needs protecting from that.
The Ex asked Aden if she could say for certain that we were going to be together in six months? She could’ve said yes, and he would have called her a liar, because there’s nothing certain in life (save death and taxes). She’s smarter than that, so she said she couldn’t say for certain, and he then said that proved his point. The only point it proved is that he’s an irrational asshole who is using his child to try and get the better of his ex. That’s not concerned parenting, that’s just being an immature dick.
Aden and I aren’t dating. We were only dating for about three weeks before we both understood one another, and we both understood what we were in with each other. A relationship unlike anything either of us had experienced before, a relationship that not only met our greatest hopes but exceeded them, a relationship built on trust and honesty and, yes, love. To call me a skank, a fling, or a rebound is offensive, and not to me but to Aden. We’ve both had a couple long term relationships under our belt (aka, serial monogamy), enough to know what doesn’t work and what kind of relationship is not worth being in. We have nothing but the utmost respect, trust and love for one another, and how can you explain that to someone who doesn’t understand it? How to you explain it to someone that only sees what they want to see? How can you explain that to someone who is so self-involved that all they can do is project their own thoughts and habits upon others. He may have been in a 7-month rebound relationship, but that’s not what Aden does and that’s not what I do. He should know that, at least about her, but he doesn’t care. He wants to bitch and argue until he gets his way.
His way? He wants me to not be around the wee one anymore. For some reason in his illogical head this makes sense. His child is too attached to me and the little one is going to get hurt if I leave, so he wants me to leave. Yeah, that makes sense. And what’s Aden supposed to say when I’m not around anymore? We’re still going to be in a relationship. There’s not a reasonable lie to tell the child, and saying “Daddy said Graig isn’t allowed to be around you” isn’t a positive thing either. If I leave, and eventually come back (in six months time, I guess, which seemed to be his measure for a lasting relationship or something) the little one’s only going to be more confused, and perhaps even a little hostile towards me (which, I see now, might be part of the Ex’s little plan).
Well you know what? Tough luck, it’s not going to work. That option just isn’t an option. I said to Aden that if his concern is a stranger being around his child, then I’m willing to meet him so he can get to know me. We don’t need to be friends, but then he can at least understand I’m not a threat. The other option is we can keep going about things the way we have and we get to listen to the Ex bitch for another couple months until he gets tired and shuts up about it.
Aden and I would never dream of using the wee one to get to him, we’re not that spiteful. The way I figure is, over the next ten years, the little one will learn all about daddy’s character and he can make his own decisions. Neither one of us would even think of interfering in the Ex’s life to this degree, and Aden says she trusts him to make choices about whom he brings into his life with his child, and she asked the Ex why he can’t do the same. He said, basically, she hasn’t given him any reason to trust her. Ten years together and she never earned his trust. That makes me ill, especially since she earned my trust within the first week that we were dating. If anything is going to harm the little one it will be the Ex pursuing this any further. Maintaining hostility towards Aden and myself will only make the little one feel caught in the middle, and that’s a lot more damaging to him than if I ever left.
No, Aden and I aren’t getting married in the immediate future, and no, we’re not moving in together tomorrow either. But barring me getting hit by a car (most likely the Ex’s car I’d imagine), I’m not going anywhere. Aden and I have made long-term plans for travel and just life stuff. We are indeed happy even with him trying to interfere in our lives. He told Aden he wants her to be happy (which is complete bullshit) but that she has to keep her love life and her parental life separate. For her to be happy, they can’t be separate. She can’t compartmentalize her life like that. For him to ask that of her only shows how immature he is about relationships and how little he understands his ex.
I didn’t mean this to be a tirade against him, but I’m angry… I’m angry (but not surprised) about how he gets to Aden and I’m angry because I’ve dealt with people like him before. Statements like “I want you to be happy” are little gives, little lies that they use to make themselves sound like good people, when they’re just using such sentiments to try and justify their irrationality. You can talk to these people and answer their every question but they’ll twist and manipulate every statement and every answer into something that “proves” their point, twisted logic that need only make sense to them. The only way to deal with it is like dealing with a tantrum child, short, blunt statements that you don’t deviate from. Not succumbing to argument and not acquiescing is the only way to get through to them. They won’t like it, but they’ll come to understand that they have no power. I mean, there’s definitely a deeper seeded issue here than the wee one, I think it’s a control thing, it might be something else (I’m not a psychiatrist), but whatever it is, it’s annoying, but it’s nothing Aden and I (and the wee one) won’t overcome.
The Ex doesn’t get a say in this. That’s just how it works.
I should be going to sleep right now. It’s midnight as I type, I’ve been exhausted all day, and now I probably couldn’t fall asleep if I tried. It’s the drama, I know it is… and perhaps that nap I had when I got home from work, and the chocolate bar I had an hour ago. So I’m here, to talk about drama, but also to talk about the relationship, as I noted yesterday I would.
Those not in my inner intimate cadre might not know that the love of my life is also a single mother. I won’t go into detail in this post the thought processes that one goes through as a single, childless man when faced with an interesting and interested woman who also has a child, but suffice to say it’s not a frivolous decision to make: not for me, not for her. A friendship base of more than 8 months meant we had a good measure from which to make our choice, and neither one of us is one to let our hormones overcome our good sense (well, not initially at least).
I also won’t go into much detail right now about the pressure one goes through in meeting the child, but let’s just say that it’s not a frivolous encounter either, and that a lot of time was spent and conversation had, just Aden and myself, to make sure it was something I, she and the wee one were ready for when it would happen.
In short, as you might guess, Aden and I are getting along fabulously, and you might not know, but let me say that the little one took to me immediately and we became fast friends. I see his mother in him, so naturally I’m going to like him, and I’ve always had a great rapport with children (it’s not talking down to them that does it… that and being a big kid as well).
As you funnel through this info dump, you may wonder about the drama I speak of, and of which of these two it relates. Well, the drama relates to both, and myself, and yet stems from none of us. It’s the wee one’s father that’s causing the ruckous. I don’t want to bad mouth anyone, especially since I’ve never met the man, and this isn’t intended as an assault, believe me. You can bet I’ve heard enough of him to form an opinion, and it’s not the most positive one, but it’s not that negative of one either. Aden had a relationship with him that didn’t work out and there were reasons for that. The man isn’t a threat to me, if that’s where you thought I was going with this.
Recently, the little one was performing in a school sing-song, and I was invited along if I wanted to go. I wasn’t sure I did initially, but after a while it sunk it that it truly was something I wanted to be there for, and not just for Aden, or the little one, but for myself as well. To this point, Aden hadn’t mentioned me to the Ex at all, and we weren’t really sure whether he knew about me or not, or whether the wee one had talked about me or not. Aden called him to let him know I would be coming and he flipped his shit. Wigged right out. (Along the way I was referred to as a skank.) Essentially, he accused Aden of being irresponsible by having me around their child, which, for any who know me, is complete b.s. But he doesn’t know me, and he doesn’t want to know me, instead he wants to freak out about it.
But what it comes down to is this: I can see him being concerned about a stranger being around his child, but just because I’m a stranger to him doesn’t mean I am actually a stranger… or strange. I can also see him feeling threatened, thinking that I’m out to replace him as the wee one’s father, which isn’t the case. What is the case is I’m in love with the little one’s mother and I will do anything for her and therefore I will do anything for him because, obviously, he’s that important to her. He has a father, I know this, and I have no intentions of trying to take that away. But what gets me is that the Ex basically accused Aden of being a bad mother, which is utter rubbish. You may think I’m biased, but there’s no excusing bad parenting, and I wouldn’t keep shut about such a thing. Aden is a fantastic mother, and she AND the Ex (though separately) are raising a wonderful child. The fact that he doesn’t trust her just goes to show that he didn’t learn a thing about her in the 10 years they were together, he didn’t pick up on all those wonderful things in her character that I came to understand within a few weeks of meeting her. And that’s the saddest thing of all. Actually no, what’s sadder is the wee one expressed to him that he liked me which only seemed to make him more angry about the whole thing. It’s sad when you can’t even trust your own child.
Anyway, there’s more psychological analysis to be had, but not for public consumption. It’s not fair to anyone to air deeper dirt in a public forum. This is about the biggest issue Aden and I have faced in our relationship yet, but what we both understand is that a) this is the Ex’s issue and not ours, b) that the Ex has no say in what goes on between us, and c) no matter what, we’re all looking out for the little one and if we were having any negative impact on him at any point during these early stages of our relationship, we wouldn’t be together right now. But we are together, and we’re happy. The wee one’s even picked up on that and he’s happy to have me around, I’m sure mostly because I make Aden so happy. If the Ex doesn’t like us being together, that’s fine, he doesn’t have to, but for the wee one’s sake, he’s going to have to get used to it.
The holiday sing-song, by the way, was adorable, and myself, Aden, the wee one, all had a lovely time. Can’t speak for the Ex though, but he didn’t look very holly or jolly, and he took absolutely no initiative to approach or even look at me. I’m not saying we need to be friends, but you’d figure if he was so concerned about who this person was around his kid, he’d make the effort to know. But, I can’t say or do anything about it, it’s not my place to do so at this time. Aden’s handling it, and hopefully dude can relax and move along, but I guess we’ll see.
I’ve been pretty open about things here on the blog in the past, but at the same time I’ve been less and less forthcoming with things of a more personal nature. I’ve been holding back thoughts and stories about what has been going on in my life for well over a year now, and to be honest, it’s probably not going to stop. I might say some things, but somethings just aren’t worth saying in public places, things that might affect other people besides myself. I have no shame in embarassing or objectifying myself, but it’s not fair for me to do that to others who are or were in my life.
Time was I used to keep a journal, a regular, often daily, notation of my life. This blog was a public faced extension of that, but the journal is where I kept those things that weren’t worthy of public consumption because a) they’re nobody’s business but my own, b) they might change how people look at me or c) they might change how people look at someone else. Celebrities are fair game, friends and family not so much.
I’ve had this pattern in my life where, in keeping these journals of mine, I use them as a reservoir for innermost thoughts, often when things aren’t going right in my life. I know for a fact though, that in the past when I’ve stopped writing in my journals it’s because things are going so wrong that I can’t bear to admit it two myself. This has happened twice in my life, and astute readers will understand why.
Lately though, ever since I’ve started dating Aden, things have been going incredibly right…perhaps not perfect, but as near perfection as one could ever hope. My relationship with her is so… incredible that I don’t have to disguise anything, and I don’t ever need to hide from her or sugarcoat for her the truth. I’ve never experienced giving such honesty, nor have I ever experienced such appreciation for honesty. In the past it’s always felt like being honest would mean either an arguement or difficult times ahead, and usually it didn’t feel worth the trouble. It felt easier to bury thoughts and emotions sparing both myself and my partner from whatever potentially uncomfortable things were going through my brain. That was both immature and selfish on my part, and very unfair to relationships in the past… not just relationships though, but myself as well. This kind of thing made my life hell, and perhaps if only I’d been more honest with myself then I’d have spared myself a lot of anguish and heartache.
But I’ve learned, and now I’ve met what I think and feel is my match in Aden. There’s never been someone with whom I’ve taken so much pleasure in being with. We can talk, or not talk (and we both like soup*) ad infinitum, and we can share anything and everything. And we do. And it’s because we do that I’ve stopped journalling. All those welled up or bottled emotions, they don’t actually exist, because I have a beutiful springboard to bounce it all off of. What makes it even better is that all that trust and confidence that I have in her, she reciprocates, and it’s pretty flipping amazing.
There’s not a day I don’t realize exactly how lucky I am to have her in my life. That isn’t to say there aren’t … complexities to our relationship, but we havn’t yet had a problem we couldn’t solve together and the closest we’ve come to an argument was about how much she was going to reimburse me for the plane ticket to London (in fact the only thing we do squibble over is who’s going to let the other pay for things).
I’m extremely happy like I’ve never been before, and those that have seen me with Aden know this. I’ve been… withholding commentary about my relationship with her for the most part because I didn’t want to jinx anything… but we’re long past the jinxing phase. We’re a solid unit and I don’t mind sharing that with an audience (I’ll spare our overly mushy sentimentality for those with soft stomachs. Yes, we are one of “those” couples, and normally, yes we both would hate that, but, shit, we’re happy, and love cynics be damned… we do PDAs and we don’t really give a damn if people like it or not. If/when you find someone you’re this happy with, you’ll understand. Also, just like to say, we won’t ever intentionally dress alike, no matching track suits, and we won’t talk to each other in cutesy voices.)
I doubt I’ll have the time to write as often as I’d like in the old blog. I havn’t for some time anyway (mainly a result of increasing duties at work, and lack of desire to sit at a computer at home), but I’ll still be around about as often as I have been (so updates 1 to 3 times a week), and hopefully it’ll be something a little more worthwhile than a meme or random linkage.
Hi. I’m Graig. Welcome to my blog.
(* Actually, that’s a paraphrasing of a line from “Best In Show”… only I really enjoy soup. Aden’s not so fond of it)
Why I love my girlfriend:
(via a chat program): “well you have to eat and I have money”
Are there sweeter/sexier words in the English language? I think not.
Had my first nightmare in a looong, long time last night. I’d like to say I never get nightmares, but that’s probably not true. I rarely get them, though, and to be honest, I can probably say I havn’t had a woken-up-with-a-start kind of dream since those “oh my god I’ve missed my exam” panic dreams you get in university around exam time.
Last night I had a dream that Aden had died, not sure from what (car accident? disease? don’t know) but it was sudden and I couldn’t cope. I was freaking out and just couldn’t deal. I was distraught, and thinking of life without her seemed impossible. I tried to call my mother, but my fingers couldn’t make my phone work, and being on a cel phone at that time just didn’t seem right. I collapsed on my knees and cried, my heart feeling like it was fading away.
I woke up with the most awful empty feeling, only to find Aden asleep beside me. I grabbed onto her tight and mumbled a few expletives of joy and relief. She woke up a little puzzled asked me if I was okay. “Just a bad dream,” I said.
“You were gone.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“Not that kind of gone. Permanently gone.”
She turned, embraced me, kissed me on the forehead and said “I’m here, and not going anywhere, beloved.”
I smiled, squeezed her tight, kissed her back, and we fell back asleep in each other’s arms. Give me demons and monsters, psychos and savages… those kind of dreams I can handle…
There’s a Hot Dog shoppe near Dundas and Yonge called Frankz and though I’ve pretty much been eliminating the whole snout, arseholes and entrails streetmeat from my diet (ever since someone posed the question of “where do the vendors go to the bathroom and where do they wash their hands?”), I had a hankering for a frankfurter. Well, to my surprise Frankz hot dogs are 100% all beef, made from shoulder meat and no filler, made in an all natural casing. Hell, it was practically healthy. I mean, I had fries with it, but they make great fries there too.
You get your choise of 19 toppings, you can have cheese (but pay a little extra for it), and they have three kinds of buns to choose from, and you can get it boiled, steamed or bbq’d. It’s obviously a bit more expensive than the $1 streetcorner fare, but if you want to feel a little bit better about what you’re putting in your body, it’s certainly worth it. At the same time, it didn’t really taste much different than a regular hot dog (although the casing was a little more rigid making the dog kinda … pop every time you bite down on it.
A nice surprise, and a very clean enviro (they even have a liquor license).
Trolls, not just for the internet and bridges anymore
We were having a conversation at lunch today about the various downtown gyms and we were informed about the men’s changeroom and the various… activities that go on there. Apparently the men’s sauna is a notorious locale for the sex, so unless you’re looking to get doubly sweaty then best not to venture in there. More a notice to unsuspecting Finns than anything, heh. Meanwhile, to expand upon it all, we were told about the “sauna trolls”, who I guess are best defined as gym members who never actually partake in any of the facilities but rather troll around the changerooms in a towl (and likely flip-flops) scoping the talent to potentially lure into the hotbox. It’s all pretty fascinating and slightly disturbing, like finding your roommate’s gimp costume (not implicating Rooms in anything, honest).
Had a slash dream last night involving Zach Braff and Colossus from the X-Men. My predominantly hetero side feels a little disturbed by this, and that tiny iota that is my homosexual/curious side says “Colossus? Really? Huh.”
Book: Those Who Walk Away, by Patricia Highsmith
Purchased: eons ago… August 11, 2004
Start reading date: July 26, 2006
Finished reading: September 23, 2006
Total days taken to read the book: 59
Average reading speed: 4.24 pg/day
The plot was rather simple: Ray, a young American widower living in Italy, confronts Coleman, his father-in-law who blames him for his daughter’s suicide. Coleman makes numerous attempts on Ray’s life, and yet Ray still attempts to resolve their differences. A game of cat-and-mouse/hide-and-go-seek continually ensues about the Italian landscape. Highsmith paints a vivid and now lost era of low technology and primitive communication, travelling without passports and old fashioned police and private eyes. As much as I like technology, I would love to leave for a civilized yet incommunicado and, to some degree, niave world like the Italy in this book on occasion. Kind of like camping, but with lattés and warm baths.
Now starting Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Free-form blogpost. Stream-of-consciousness-like.
I’m often what they (”they” being nobody in particular) call a “perpetual thinker” (okay, I doubt the non-existant “they” actually call anyone that, but stick with me here). My brain is constantly engaged, rarely ever shutting down. I’m often thinking so many thoughts I’d rather not think that I wish sometimes I were a tad simpler so I could find enjoyment in dormancy, alas it is not to be. So when my mind is kicked in full gear, thinking about girls and music and comics and work and bills and a few dozen other things that constantly niggle away (I was checking to make sure I was using “niggle” in the right context and answers.com asked me “Or did you mean: niggardly” - with lack of question mark, no less - to wit I most certainly did not!) it often creates a very distracted and extremely restless me. I don’t remember the last time I had a really good, full night’s sleep. When I was in Windsor two weekends back, I was able to escape much of my routine life and also sleep in a house with air conditioning, so I did get a better sleep, comparatively, but still not a good sleep. Two of the big things that have been taxing my brain was a quandry about love and the other, oddly enough, was The Futureheads (see sidebar review). I know it’s weird to exhaust so much thought on a band, especially considering it really wasn’t me thinking about the band, but rather just being unable to get their songs out of my head. It was odd how often the chorus to “Fallout” would push every other thought aside for tens of minutes (”After days in the dark/The light broke through/And it was beautiful to see you/And sit in the warmth with you”), or to sort of enter a fugue state with the chorus from “Favours For Favours” (”But there’s something that you do/I just can’t help myself/and I wish that I could move more in time with you/I watch you step and I watch you turn/I watch you move like a knife in the water/As you move across the floor/Over to me/For all to see”) only to snap out of it and find I’ve been staring blankly at my monitor at work for an undetermined period of time. It’s really mildly insane how fixated I became with the Futureheads recently, so last night was the climax of this whole build-up, and mercifully it did the trick. I slept last night free of thoughts of sound, instead dreaming of… well, i dunno, bunnies and Wonder Woman or something. I don’t remember. The night before, however, I dreamt that a friend had turned into a demon, so I asked her if she is now or has ever been a demon. Peanut butter before bed will do that to you. So anyway, one major distractor resolved, and the other is resolving itself in a happiest circumstances as well so now my thoughts are less cumbersome. Well, Rooms and I are now in the apartment hunting market after the neighbours said that they’re not moving for another year and are likely selling the house, so that one other worry off my brain but a whole new one on it. And I’m trying to figure out what’s happened to my initiative and motivation, as it seems like all my little projects are nagging my brain and yet the rest of me can’t be bothered to deal with them. This post is disjointed, like Ragdoll in Secret Six. I’ve also lost weight, which isn’t good, considering I’m now on the 100lb dare-to-be-Wolverine thing. I’ve toned up quite a bit, which is nice, but dropping a belt size wasn’t part of the deal. (”Everything was ready but he had to run away/Shot for the money on the very same day/ Le Garage/ Le Garage-rage”… I don’t even understand what that means). VAAAH.
Anyway, this kind of ramble randomness is tiring and I’m hot and sweaty in the priests collar. I think I shall read some comics.
I realized this morning that for the past four days I’d been refreshing the Weather Network webpage for Stratford, Ontario, rather than Toronto (I went to Stratford on Sunday, see, and it was delightful… I have a fun idea for adapting Coriolanus to modern times… plus, Colm Feore).
I think I finally figured out what that wonky smell is in the basement sometimes… it’s the ages old dehumidifier (that overflowed this morning, by the way, since the duct-tape floater-thingy ain’t working none good so much anymore) overheating or something. Maybe. Good to know at least.
If the kitchen smells like hummus, that’s ’cause I made hummus. Help yourself, there’s lots there. It’s kinda tahini heavy.
I really thought I’d enjoy this rhubarb-ginger jam, but, you know, not so much.
A friend turned-recent bohemian (well, he’s still a friend despite his bohemian-ness) has taken to letting his manstink loose in public, and the women seem to be swarming him like blackflies to a bull moose’s behind (!?). I noted this to a ladyfriend today, mentioning how the mansmell wasn’t exactly the most enjoyable of scents I’ve experienced, but she said, “Well, that’s because you’re not a girl.”
So my question is, ladies who read my blog, do you find manstink attractive. We’re talking dewy warm-day man-sweat as opposed to stale, rank, cabbie odour. Is this something you’re drawn to? Or is it at least something that creates a lasting impression (and has there been good or bad impressions?).
Perhaps, like pheromones are used by the female body to attract males, maybe man-musk is the same. And perhaps I can’t tell it as anything other than stink is because it’s an opposing scent and on primal level it’s threatening to overpower my odour and thus my chances of coupling…. Thoughts one and all?
We spend so much time trying to contain, mask or eliminate body odour, but could it be that it is actually what nature intended us to use in our forages through the human sea in search of coupledom?
Forwarded to me by a friend at work, the new (even more) socially awkward version of speed dating:Eye Gazing Parties
Here’s how it works. An even number of singles meets in an attractive space over drinks and world beats. After a fun mini-lesson in the art of eye contact, the group splits into pairs, and each pair spends two minutes looking at each other’s eyes, no talking, with inviting beats in the background. The pairs switch up every two minutes, for a total of half an hour. Then there’s a party afterwards, with drinks flowing and luscious beats vibing. The eye gazing has an electrifying effect on the party; simply put, three minutes of eye contact is the Cadillac of ice-breakers. Come try out the exciting new way to meet single souls!
Umm. How about no?
For some reason that old “list 5 celebs that your significant other would let you sleep with” cliche has been a big topic of conversation amongst many friends and groupings of friends (including this guy) lately. I keep getting stuck at three, and Toast pointed out that it seems the women have generally been able to come up with their list of 5 a lot faster than the boys. Perhaps there’s just a monogomy to their top 5 that we lads just aren’t willing to commit to. Sure, we’ll commit to 3 out of 5, ’cause leaves two open for spur-of-the-moment potential.
Anyway, my three are, and have been for some time, in various orders (here alphabetically by first name): (1) Famke Janssen (2) Jennifer Connelly (3) Michelle Yeoh.
As for two more… well… shit.
(4) Audrey Tautou! Yes… must make that a fixture on the list.
… hrm… I waver in and out of celebrity crushes. And how big of a celebrity does this crush have to be. And could I have a whole band because the Organ just reaches inside me and twists me all around. But I suppose that’s cheating. Okay, sticking with actresses… Sigh. Maybe Rosario Dawson (that’s 5)… cause she’s a comic book geek…
There. We’ll see how long this sticks.
Of course a friend brought up fictional crushes, at which point She-Hulk is making the list.
Ah, ‘the moves’.
The moves are all about getting into a position to make your intentions clear, and the moves, like your intentions, don’t always have to be sexual or suggestive, but they’re almost always physical and especially flirtatious. The moves, regardless, involve some aspect of bravery, letting go of at least some inhibitions or hesitations (to start) and putting the potential for rejection in your path as opposed to always playing it safe and keeping rejection behind you.
The moves can be overt or subtle, realizing that with the former you can get further quicker but you could be irreparably rejected if the timing is off. Subtle moves are like testing the water with your big toe, at first you dip in in quickly to get a sense of how you’ll be received… iIf it’s too much you can pull back, if not, you can put more of yourself into it. The only problem with subtle moves is that you can get get stuck only doing subtle moves, like the guy who only dangles his toes in the water from the dock without ever jumping in. But subtle moves can (and should) grow into overt moves, otherwise you’ll wind up extremely frustrated … maybe both of you.
(I was going to use a stock market analogy for the high-risk/quick return versus blue chip/long-term gains nature of “the moves” but I hate the stock market so I won’t bother.)
The thing about the moves is that not all of them work for everyone, and often timing is crucial. Some people aren’t comfortable taking another’s arm while walking, sometimes hugs only say “platonic”, and not everyone finds tickling to be flirtatious. Caressing can be seductive, or creepy. Staring into the other’s eyes can be intense, or uncomfortable. And sometimes, just being close can feel intimate, or it can feel like a violation of personal space. Again, it’s part bravery and part perception that really does it. Being attuned to how the other person responds is as important as the act (and its execution).
Then there’s ‘the big move’: the first kiss. Now, depending on how long you’ve known the other person and how long the attraction has been festering, the big move can either be a big deal or just a precursor to that “I’m leaving town tomorrow” affair. If it’s the latter, well, the big move is a mid-step in the overt moves catalogue, and it’s not really that big a deal. Alcohol is usally involved, and a very little risk. But for those that have been pining away or aren’t just looking for a “first name only” encounter, the big move can be an awkward one. When? Where? For how long? Aggressive? Tender? French or Eskimo? There’s no right answer. Perhaps it’s just the romantic in me who thinks there’s a right time and place for the first kiss, and not on the subway or in some alleyway, but also there’s a part of me that says when two people are really connecting, it shouldn’t matter where it happens (and it may indeed be at a bus stop or in a cab). I like the idea of it being somewhere more private or personal so that you can succumb to it and you don’t have to concern yourself with your surroundings (whether it’s gawkers or oncoming traffic) but that’s not always a luxury, and waiting for a moment like that to present itself can take a long time, even with initiative.
Of course, once the big move is made, you’re either in or you’ve been rejected. If you’re in, there’s a whole different set of moves you need to concern yourself with, and at that point they generally start with the big move. If you’ve been rejected, well, you’re back to square one, only you’re likelyhood of success has been diminished by, like 900%.
This is by no means a definitive nor well-tested bible on ‘the moves’, but rather a conceptual analysis of the early stages of the human coupling process… I’m not claiming to be an expert, but rather, I’m like one of those dudes on an infomercial who’s read a pamphlet and started a business. Feel free to accept, reject, expand or detract the above sentiments in the comments section.
My new pants make that snowsuit sound when I walk. You know what I’m talking about…
Speaking of sounds, new concert review to the left. JMac took me out for a great belated birthday evening of food and song. The music wavered between acceptable and interesting, with the performances varying between bored and spectacle. I was, however, completely amused by the plethora of black & white horizontal stripe shirts in attendance (hell, there were two of them in the Two Koreas alone!).
When did the sailor shirt make a comeback, and why do so many people think they’re cool? Is the Robin Williams Popeye movie the next retro pop-culture phenomenon? Are we going to see a bunch of flapper-style dresses floating around the alterna-scene? Are canned spinach and hamburgers the next big food craze? I guess indie doesn’t stand for individuality.
Ah, I really don’t care all that much, but a couple gin’n'tonics in it did entertain me greatly.
I was talking with a friend a few weeks back about our respectively crappy computers:
He: I was looking at some boobie sites a few weeks back and I got a virus
Me: Dude, you mean you weren’t wearing a condom? How many times do I have to tell you to protect yourself…
He: Well it was just a worm.
Me: Ewww. Well, thankfully it wasn’t anything more serious. You might not be so lucky next time.
There’s you have it kids, if you’re trolling for on-line sex, play smart and play safe. Because when you visit boobie sites, you’re not just visiting them, you’re also visiting all the ads and pop-ups they’re in bed with.
Returning home is something I always look forward to, then get anxious about shortly before arriving. As always there’s a lot of ground to cover, so to speak, in one week, and sometimes it feels almost more stressful than relaxing trying to figure out my time. But now, scant hours away from leaving Thunder Bay, I feel the same thing every time I leave: loved.
It’s always a little bit sad leaving behind the people that you care for, knowing that chances are you aren’t going to see any of them until the next time you return. But it’s also nice to know they’re going to be here waiting for you with open arms and a welcoming hug, or a kiss on the cheek or a firm handshake. You always say that you’re going to call or write more, and this time you mean it, but even if you don’t pick up the phone or email as often as you really wish you did (and they, the same) it doesn’t mean a thing. They’re still your mom, your dad, your grandmother, your family, your friends who are like brothers and sisters and second parents and they’ll still be looking forward to making you dinner, to going to a movie, to sitting around chatting, to just see you again. Who wouldn’t want to return to that?
I’m lucky to have such a concentrated dose of affection in one contained area and it’s greater amplified by the usual time and distance between us (about 1400 KM or so). As much as I can put down my home town, I do it with an affinity that would see me stick up for it, if not for my own allegience, then for the people I care for who choose to call it home.
If you’re reading this, it’s time to give that friend, relative, or miscellaneous loved one a call. I’ll be here when you get back… tell me how it feels.
When we last left this story I had just spent a two week stint on Lavalife, before deciding it wasn’t my thing. Figuring that being where I am in life, and pondering the last decade of it, I needn’t really be looking for someone… I mean sure, relationships can be good, but they can also be more work than necessary, or more effort than worthwhile. I’m really into doing my own thing right now, really pushing forward with writing/reviewing, consuming more but wanting and having less, and getting into, quite literally, the best shape of my life. I can do what I want when I want, spend my money how I want to spend it, and go where I want to go without having to pass it by the committee. It’s funny, because I got an email the other day from a friend out west with the following statement:
I think I am beginning to understand why women in their early 30’s like to date younger or much older men. Guys in their early 30’s, I think, are even more immature than in their teens and 20’s. Once they hit 30, they all
seem to adopt this self-centered approach to dating. Feeling that they have always been the one sacrificing themselves, and tend to paint this rosy picture of them having always been the martyr. Blech! Get over yourselves!
You all hear me!
and in some respects, it’s so very true, for me at least. I don’t count myself as a martyr, but after looking back at the past decade, I see I spent a lot of my time not really understanding what I wanted. I would hang onto the goals or directions of others as a guide to where I’m going rather than forging my own path, which is only my fault I should disclaim. It’s just now that I’m realizing there are things I want to do, and I’m also realizing that I have the means to do them if I put a little thought or energy into it. I’m also realizing that there are things I like to do, and I don’t want to sacrifice them for the sake of someone else, not right yet anyway. So as I approach 30, I feel for the first time like I’m in control of my own life, and relationship, as formality anyway, doesn’t really factor into it. Trying to fit another person into my life doesn’t seem natural right now.
I mean, a best case scenario would be finding an easy-going working woman who likes going to indie concerts, watching lots of movies, has a goofy sense of humour and maybe, just maybe, likes comic books, and what was the likelihood that? Yeah, it wasn’t going to happen, at least I realized it wasn’t going to happen on Lava amidst all the snowboarders and world travellers . But then again, maybe it was.
(**aside** it kind of bothered me that so many women in the “dating” section so prominantly discuss how they like to travel the world… like, what? some guy is going to chat them up with a “hey baby, we’ll have our first date on the Riviera”. Maybe I’m just defensive ’cause I’ve yet to leave the continent)
I spied a picture of a cute brunette with blue-grey eyes and a fantastic smile. I clicked the profile and lo and behold she said straight out that she was looking for someone to go to indie shows with(namechecking “Lee’s Palace” and the “Horseshoe”) and that she wasn’t really looking for commitment, but just someone to hang out with. Also listed in her interests, under “things I like to talk about” was movies. An gig girl who likes to chat about movies… okay, yeah, I couldn’t resist. I sent a goofy little internal system message to her saying that we likely had a lot in common and that we should chat. A few days later a reply came through agreeing that we probably did have much to say to each other . She dropped some names of movies she’d just seen (like V For Vendetta and Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance) and shows she was going to check out in the future, but, even better, she left her email address at the bottom. Yeah, screw this Lava thing. I could tell right away that this woman enjoyed her film and muzak and had a sense of humour that said “I’m not some cooler-than-thou indie hipster snob”.
I replied immediately. It was late and the filter was off a bit, which meant I was in ramblin’ mode, letting the fingers to the talking and not really consciously trying to compose something. It’s so much easier when you don’t think so hard about it (writing emails to someone new is always a mind-bending procedure of “will this offend them” or “will they get this” or “does the inflection come through or will it be misinterpreted”… yes, instead of wooing I worry). I wrapped up the email with a few quick facts about myself, which included being from Thunder Bay. Her reply to that email I received the next morning and I would spend the rest of the day reassembling my skull because my brain exploded… it turns out that she is from Thunder Bay too, and that we’re the same age!
A flurry of emails were exchanged that day, back and forth about how weird it all was that we’d never connected before, trying to figure out if there was a connection, making plans to see gigs, geeking out about music and movies a little and even tossing some data about ourselves around. The chain spilled over into the next day, and the last email of the thread saw a phone number attached to it. I didn’t know what to think except that something strange was happening here.
Making that first phonecall to someone you’ve never spoken to before isn’t exactly easy. You tend to plan out all these things to say in advance… an opening line, for instance, or set up a list of conversation topics, just in case you don’t feel so natural. But that first phonecall, while a little nerve rattling, was one of the easiest things ever. The conversation just flowed and we both chatted with utter glee about our hometown to Metropolitan transitions, making each other laugh quite often, and eventually winding into making our top 5 films list. Our conversation lasted close to an hour before she had to run to get work done, but in the many emails that followed the next day, we completely agreed that we could have chatted until the wee hours. And in more random connectivity, I found out that she lives directly across the street from my old apartment. Curiouser and curiouser. Even more curious was she has a fascination of Superman and Wonder Woman iconography…that’s a dose of the warm butterflies in the stomach, right there.
We had a 2 hour plus conversation the next day, and I think both of us were immediately smitten with each other, or at the very least the idea of each other. We made a plan to get-together late in the weekend, a plan which I changed out of sheer excitement, and an empty Saturday night. We went to a movie, which I realized only as the movie began, was a stupid idea, because we had just settled into a great conversation when the projectionist rudely interrupted with his “cinema”. But after the film (which we both enjoyed, btw) we went to a pub and two hours passed by like it was 15 minutes. Conversing was so easy, and even though it was bordering on 2 am, we just didn’t feel like we’d finished yet. She suggested we take a little walk, which became a long walk, the conversation pausing if only to take in some of the ambiant noises that spilled from the bars into the streets around us.
We wouldn’t meet face to face again until the following Friday (and again on Saturday), but the frequent emails and phonecalls would tide us over. There was a lot of planning, much innuendo and a heavy dose of flirting perpetrated by both sides over the week. I joked about how great things were going on email and the phone but that we’d still probably be nervous wrecks when together again, but the joke was comprised of part truth from knowing myself, and all truth when the day actually came.
As far as second and third dates go, they went incredibly well, except for the fact that I was getting progressively more sick with a cold and that we mutually decided on Sunday to back off the whole dating thing.
Look, it’s not a case of not finding each other attractive, and it’s not a case of personality clashes, and it’s really not a “case” of anything that could be defined by cliche or metaphor. In one respect it’s simply that we stepped too far ahead of ourselves, because it was so very easy to. We understand each other in such a way that it made it easy to think that “yeah, this can work”. In talking about home, and how our tastes of film and music developed (NOSFA and Brave New Waves respectively), our relationship experiences, our take on turning 30, and so many other things we realized there was a parity there that would make it obvious that yeah, we should be together. But then, in ways less definable we also are at equal stages in our life… stages where the demands of a relationship just don’t fit… well, not the kind of relationship we were so quickly stepping towards.
So, in yet another odd coincidence we both thought the same thing at about the same time. We’ve decided to step away from the pressurized canister of “dating” and settle into the hands-free, pressure-free world of “hanging out” which I think is where we both wanted to be in the first place. We can do things together that we would probalby do by ourselves anyway, but together it just makes things more fun. An the “no pressure” means we don’t HAVE to do things together if we don’t want to or being disappointed if we can’t. We know we can call on each other any time without feeling like we’re interrupting, and that extends to doing the “pop-by” since we live so close to each other, which is relatively unheard of round these parts. Just by knowing her, the big city feels a little more like home, a little smaller, and a little sunnier.
For some reason I thought it would be a good idea, the whole “on-line” dating thing. I’m not sure why. I guess a recent dating experience told me that going out with people wasn’t nearly as scary as I used to find it. I was definitely ready to date again, but I’ve always had a difficult time meeting new people for a number of reasons: first because I’m just a little bit shy around new people (as opposed to being a little bit of a nuisance to the people I do know), second because I don’t operate on physical appearance alone (so I have a hard time just approaching someone who I find superficially attractive), and third, because I don’t often have a lot of desire to date. I don’t ever need a relationship, and spending a lot of time getting to know someone with whom you know nothing’s going to come of it can seem like a waste. Meeting new people can be fun but also frustrating. I have a lot in this life that I enjoy… playing emotional laser tag isn’t one of them.
The on-line thing definitely wasn’t the same as going out “with purpose” (like, say, the 905ers club scene or other such meat markets)… this was more staying in and doodling on the internet for hours, clicking on pictures and profiles and seeing if someone was a) attractive (based on a tiny picture) and/or b) interesting (based on a self-assessment profile). I had tinkered on Lavalife a few times before, just to see who was out there, but I never really got into it, but just before heading out to Montreal (literally the night before) for a week recently I decided to set up a profile, and see what happened when I got back. I wrote up a thoughtful, level headed, whimsical, and rather verbose profile (and revised it about a half dozen times), grabbed one of the better pictures of myself taken by the Photojunkie (he always captures me at my best), and posted it in both the dating and relatonship section. Then I started “trolling”…
Trolling Lava is addictive and a bit exciting. You see a cute picture, you click and see the profile. You read a clever “opening line” and you click for more. It’s an on-line equivalent to speed dating, where you instantly eliminate someone because they are vegan or they run a Matthew Good fan club or they use their profile space for an extended “cougar on the prowl” metaphor. Lava is a fairly robust system though… I was able to narrow down searches to my local area (Toronto only), specific age range (26 - 33, which is a +/- of about 3 of my age) and there were still hundreds of people to stroll through (one night I went through forty pages of search results at 12 per page, no repeats, and I’m still not sure how many were left). You have the option of communicating 3 ways: smile, mail or chat. A smile is free, and it basically sends the person you’re interested in a little happy face with a link to your profile. The system has internal email, and it costs credits to send someone an email, as well it has an internal chat system which also costs credits to operate on. My first day on and I was completely overwhelmed, so I didn’t smile/mail/chat anyone.
A week later, returning from Montreal, and I found myself a very popular lad, with a couple of mails in each section, and a plethora of smiles from a wide range of ladies. I started going through the smiles I had received, disseminating and dissecting the various profiles and interpreting what was actually being said. Even after the elimination round I still had nearly a dozen prospects which didn’t immediately scream “NO”, although none of them screamed “Yes”.
I read my mails and some were simply “Wanna chat?” while others were life stories or attempted seductions (yowza), and some just seemed like nice people reaching out, but at the same time I could tell by their profiles it wasn’t a match. Already I was rejecting people, and it was stressing me out a little bit. Same problem I have had most of my life… who am I to reject someone without actually knowing them? But you do what you have to do for your own sanity. Also, I deleted myself out of the relationship section, because, well, those people are hardcore… so many profiles scream “I needs a man!” or “biological clock ticking over here”. Sure some are just lonely people tired and sick of dating, but overall it wasn’t where I wanted to be… just being in that section sent the wrong message, and if you contact someone it’s almost as if the expectation is you’re immediately in a relationship.
So, left to the “Dating” section solely, I entered into a spurt of emails with three different people at the same time. One I quickly realized there was nothing happening there (that’s what happens when you write someone just because they have a hot picture), another had a wonderful sense of humour which complimented my own, and the third was just a really nice, level headed person. The problem was, after a few mails back and forth with the latter two, I wasn’t really finding the right connection even though I enjoyed the conversations. Just to mention, I also found it a little odd exploring multiple angles at once… it seemed kind of… scummy. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I was actually doing on Lava, and I realized I was losing sight of what I had told myself previously: I’m looking for what I want, and most of the people/profiles on Lava were not what I wanted.
I realized that dating or getting involved with almost any one of these people I was coming across would mean I would have to indoctrinate (for lack of a better term) someone into my interests and my lifestyle (should I have one), and that there’s a high probabliity that they’re only going to care because I do. It’s not that I object to doing different things, or new things, or sharing but at this stage in my life I really want to do more of what I like to do, and if I’m not finding someone who wants to share in doing these things, then really I’d rather do them myself. I don’t want to go to Greenpeace rallies and I don’t want to do $100 per plate fine dining and I don’t want to talk astrology. I’d much rather go to a gig, watch a movie, head out for a bike ride, cook a meal or have a good laugh. It sounds harsh, and limiting, but it’s not something I’m willing to compromise at the moment, because I’ve done enough catering to other people’s lifestyles for one decade, this next decade of my life I’m going to be a bit more conscious of myself (not that I’m getting self-involved or egocentric, but I’m not going to sacrifice my happiness any longer). Maybe I should just give up looking until I’m at a stage where I’m desperate enough for companionship that I’m willing to lose a part of myself again. I mean, looking at what I just wrote, it seems almost impossible that there’s going to be someone else out there that can relate to all of this, right?
So two weeks in and Lava really wasn’t working for me. I wasn’t that disappointed, but I felt bad for having to let a couple people down (even though you’ve hardly met, it’s still rejection and it still hurts, and it’s still awkward and sad doing it). I was done, and resigned myself to going back and doing things the natural way… after one last troll through the local profiles, for old times sake…
(not the end…)