I Like To Moob It, Moob It

I awoke to find this article in my Facebook feed this morning:

http://www.queerty.com/what-real-men-look-like-in-underwear-ads-20130919/

When I see articles like this, articles calling bullshit on the media and how it treats men’s bodies, I pretty much always think two things, in this order:

1. “Mwahaha, it’s about time men were made to feel self-conscious, the way that we women have been made to feel self-conscious since FOREVER.”

2. “Dude, dick move. The answer is that no one should be made to crappy. Not for everyone to feel crappy.”

As I looked through the article above, I started to understand how (almost) every guy on Earth feels when he looks at women and compares them to women he sees on TV. I thought “yeah, models are lovely, but those other guys? They look like nice guys. And I really, sincerely don’t care that they’re not all cut and musclely.”

Guys, we’re not just saying that we don’t care if you have a little moob happening. We really, sincerely don’t care. We just want you to act right, be nice to us, call when you say you’re going to call, not play with your phone at the dinner table, and talk to us. At the end of the day, we would rather you watch a movie with us than be like “sorry, babe, have to go put in 4 hours at the gym.”

Yep, 6-packs are hot, but so are dudes who will share a 6-pack with you while the two of you play video games.

The Biggest Loser Makes Me Feel Conflicted.

The irony of this whole thing is that I started watching The Biggest Loser on Hulu because I needed something to watch while I ate dinner. Being all caught up on RuPaul’s Drag Race and Vikings, I thought “hey, I used to watch The Biggest Loser…”

It’s just that, since those years ago when I watched the show and found it incredibly positive in comparison to other reality shows (granted, anything is more positive than Flavor of Love or whatever idiocy is going on with The Bachelor), I have read a few blogs written by former Biggest Loser contestants. There they were, saying all of the things we all secretly knew to be true: feeling manipulated by producers, feeling pressured to lose more and more weight, gaining weight back after they no longer had the eyes of America keeping them on the straight and narrow…it was just another reality show after all.

Still, I feel like this season’s treatment of the “child ambassadors” (a bid to bring light to the issue of childhood obesity) is remarkably kind. The kids get Skype calls from the trainers and occasionally visit the ranch to coach contestants in a challenge, but for the most part, they get to go about their lives. They get to go from being bullied to being The Kid From TV. That might come with its own set of problems, but having a TV crew show up to document a donation of thousands of dollars’ worth of gym equipment probably really IS going to help in the “people calling you a fat ass in the hall” factor. I’d like to think that the kids will come out of the experience feeling healthier and like someone somewhere thinks that they matter enough to send a TV crew to talk to them.

Jezebel.com disagreed with my naive optimism, immediately denouncing this move, saying “because adults shouldn’t be the only one running on treadmills until they puke.” In fairness, the blog was written before the shows even aired, but maybe…well, maybe Jezebel should have shut the hell up until they has a chance to see the thing against which they were rallying. Then again, jumping straight from speculation to poorly-researched sarcasm and anger is something that Jezebel does pretty frequently. Jezebel can be terribly entertaining, but must also be taken with a grain of salt.

Maybe The Biggest Loser shouldn’t have involved the kids. Maybe some horrors come out of this show. But maybe some good does, too. Maybe someone out there will finally be inspired to feed kids more vegetables or go on a family bike ride. Maybe a generation of kids will be inspired to be horribly neurotic about their weight. Hell, I don’t know.

See, that’s the point. I don’t know. Neither do you, nor does Jezebel.

As conflicted as this show makes me feel, you get out of it what you choose to get out of it. For me, I choose to see it as a group of people supporting each other in doing something that they all wanted, begged to do. No one is forcing them to stay on the show. I see it as an inspiration, a reminder that donuts are evil (delicious, awesome evil), and a message that people can change (if they want to…you are certainly not required to want to be skinny) and don’t need surgery to do so. If Jezebel wants to see it as “nothing more than a circus sideshow,” run by evil producers, watched by evil people who are watching solely to point and laugh, and participated in by sad, desperate fatties…maybe that’s just a mirror into what lurks in the heart of that particular Jezebel writer. As for me, I see people who are willing to work their butts off to make a change that they want to make, and that’s not such a bad thing to watch while eating dinner.

Frenemy

I am curious about the difference in the way the two sexes view their gender-specific parts. From what I gather from Maxim and male friends, dudes are pretty much all ABOUT their dicks. It’s like a love affair. A bromance between a man and…himself. A man loves the hell out of his dick, even during the teenage years of oddly-timed erections. Even through wet dreams. They’re just like “it’s cool, bro. Let’s play some video games.”

A man and his dick are two good friends with the same goal. They pretty much only disagree when the man is in a committed relationship and isn’t allowed to do whatever his dick wants to do. Even then, it’s a simple disagreement between friends.

Like a lot of female relationships, a woman’s relationship with her uterus is, how do you say, more complicated. A lot of women tend to look at their pieces-parts like frenemies. The uterus is the coworker we secretly hate but have to be civil to if we don’t want to get fired.

A uterus is the friend that screws up the plan. “We were going to (go swimming, have sex, be nudists) but it’s shark week.”

A uterus is the friend that is kind of high-maintenance. She demands to be taken to the doctor, and she also demands her own SPECIAL doctor.

A uterus is the friend with a gun to your head. “Be careful, or I will so totally get pregnant. You don’t want to see me pregnant, do you? DO YOU?”

“Ugh, I’m so puffy today.”
“I can’t go. Really bad cramps.”
“I want chocolate. And murder.”

In the uterus’s defense, this isn’t entirely her fault. Living as a female means dealing with a set of body parts that don’t always want to cooperate, but living as a female also means that it’s “gross” or “tmi” to talk about those body parts to anyone other than your female friends.

“I’m sorry I was bitchy about this long line, but I have wicked cramps and I just want to pay for this Tylenol and go home.”

“Sorry I snapped at you after getting your email. My brain is making me think everyone is completely stupid.”

God help you if you’re in a relationship with a guy who slaps his hands over his ears and goes “la la la!” any time you have to talk about your uterus. Right now, a lot of women are trying to avoid a coed shower, sex, or a trip to the pool without mentioning a real reason because we’ve all been taught that dudes are weirded out by periods. “Do not mention,” it is said.

To that, I have 2 answers:

1. This is my body, and I am not ashamed of its goings-on. It is doing what it is built to do.

2. If you are one of the “la la la” dudes, maybe you should attempt acting like an adult.

3. For all the dudes I just pissed off with #2, I’ll make up for it with a random tip for the ladies: stop being freaked out by ejaculate. That’s what HIS body is built to do, so shut up about it. (Happy, guys?)

So, what’s the big take-away here? Hell, I don’t know. Maybe that we should all be a little more accepting of whatever it is that are bodies are built to do. Maybe that we should be like “FUCK YEAH, I’m fertile, bitch!” every time Shark Week approaches, in the same way that you yell “fuck yeah, I’m getting laid!” at the Kroger checker when you buy condoms.

(You DO yell that when you buy condoms, don’t you?)

Forward, Finally.

I am sitting at my computer. Counting Crows are playing, a space heater is warming my feet and I smell a little like sweat because I mowed the yard earlier and haven’t showered. I am back in my pajamas. I am seemingly always in pajamas. I have Firefox tabbed to email, Facebook and TurboTax.

I am crying.
Let’s back up.

Work sends me a 1099. They don’t take out taxes, so I usually just have to set money aside and brace myself to write a HUGE check to Uncle Sam every March. There’s this ever-present fear, like maybe I haven’t saved enough. No optional large purchases are made before tax time. The fear sits on my shoulder like a cat perched on the passenger side pillow, laser eying me through the sheet, blanket, duvet and other blanket. Pet me. Pet me. Pet me. Who knows how much you’re going to owe.

Everything started to go to hell in 2009. By the time things started to get better at the end of 2010, I had no savings left and I had borrowed money from mom multiple times. I blew through everything I’d ever saved, all the while thinking, “if you were just better at your job, this wouldn’t be happening.”

I felt like I had nothing of value to offer. I felt like a non-adult. I had to close my savings account because I didn’t have enough money in it to avoid service charges. I went 6 months without buying produce, instead living on beans and pasta. I watched things around my house break and have to stay broken. I watched shoes fall apart and prayed that they would do so slowly enough that they’d wait until Christmas. By the time my office’s ceiling collapsed, I wasn’t even surprised. I just took pictures and started spooning bits of my house into trash bags with a dust pan. When I was done, I juts closed the office door and pretended nothing had happened as the room took on a parade of wasps. I did all of these things knowing that I had focused on work my entire adult life.

So this year I did my taxes with some trepidation. I stalled as long as I could, trying to wrap my head around another money-seeking call to mom. You get used to feeling like a half-adult after a while. I started my taxes just because I wanted to get them over with.

When the number at the top of the Turbo Tax window came up green (refund), I realized that whatever money I’d saved would stay with me. I could reopen my savings account. It would be like being an adult. It would be like being ME circa 2007. It was a sign screaming “the worst is over, and we survived it.”

I have been waiting for the worst to be over for almost two years. I have earned my tears of joy and I will keep them, along with what I’d saved up to give Uncle Sam. With my refund, I am purchasing a sandwich, a cream soda, a semester of school and the kitchen hardware I have waited two years to buy.

A Life Before LiveJournal Part 2: 1995

This notebook was kept as part of an assignment for AP English, so it couldn’t get too juicy. That said, it was apprently stolen at the halfway point and read by the punk dude who liked to pull my metaphorical pigtails. And so, we continue with whatever stupidity happened before my stupidity went digital…

9-8-95
“Well, Silverchair’s songs are cool, even if they may not be all that talented.”

9-18-95
“I never realized how freaking stupid slamdancing is.”

9-21-95
“Many things seemed futile then, but love and music could save us – and did” (Quote from Anthony Kiedis)

9-22-95
“If you could be anything on the menu at Wendy’s, what would you be?”

9-25-95
“Please excuse my nihilism. It’s the pms.”

9-27-95
“Last night, Jeff and I were talking about who’d we’d annihilate if we could.”

9-28-95
“Orange juice, my love, you are orange and filled with vitamin C. Let me suck you through a blue straw while I watch Geraldo.”

9-29-95
“Satan lives in my closet. He eats my socks. That’s where they go.”

9-29-95
“I have to pee. And cough. But not necessarily in that order.”

9-29-95
“What if life was a Sunny Delight commercial? No one would ever drink ‘the purple stuff.'”

10-2-95
“Nothing sexual. We were both fully clothed.”
(This, readers, is going to be carved on my tombstone.)

10-2-95
“Vampire kisses on a football bus.”
(A reference to an ill-fated game of Truth or Dare in which I had to kiss my crush on the football bus coming back from an away game. The bus hit a bump and I bit him, causing him to bleed profusely.)

10-3-95
“I’ve been a fan of mausoleums for a while.”

10-9-95
“Only dead fish swim with the stream.”

10-11-95
“With a piece of cheese. Keys? No, cheese.”

10-11-95
“My arse interests.”
(A quote from London Kills Me, which had a character named Muffdiver. When I mentioned said character to my mother, she laughed and explained.)

10-12-95 (last entry)
“I guess this is the last time I’ll write about hate, love, longing and music. Ame, look back on this later and remember.”

His Few Remaining Real Teeth

When I see someone with a grille, I always have the same thought:

“I wonder if he has really bad breath.”

I even Googled it, but I didn’t find anything conclusive. It seems that people who actually KNOW people with permanent grilles have good enough sense to not write blogs about whether Lil Wayne or Paul Wall have incredibly awful breath. You’d THINK there would be some kind of anonymous blog for this sort of thing. The internet disappoints sometimes.

Somebody like Diddy looks like he values taking care of himself: never a wrinkled shirt, poorly manicured hand, or dirty shoe. People like Lil Wayne may now be as rich as Diddy, but they come from a different world: the world where making money and not getting shot is way more important than using a tongue scraper. (As a female, I tell you this: I’d rather you get shot than not use a tongue scraper, kthxbai.)

But is this a little racist? Just because one poor lady from the ghetto went on Flavor of Love, was told she had horrible breath, was sent to the dentist and was told she needed $20,000 of dental work, that doesn’t mean that speaks for ALL people from poor neighborhoods. The dentist on the show said that the woman’s teeth looked like they had “never seen a toothbrush.” Not having 20 grand, the woman decided instead to make a necklace out of mints. This cued Flavor Flav to send her home.

Besides, there are plenty of white people with equally terrible dental situations. When Meredith Viera did that special about Appalachia, an entire segment was devoted to kids having rotten teeth coming out of their heads because their parents put Mountain Dew in their bottles (you can’t make this up, man).

Lil Wayne’s grille is permanent. He can afford good dentistry, right? The thing is sealed tighter than Fort Knox, right? His beloved Sour Patch Kids don’t come near his real teeth, right?

Well…

His prison sentence was recently postponed so he could get 8 root canals and “repairs done to his few remaining real teeth.”

Then again, further research (cough cough) indicates that, given enough mouthwash, Weezy could still be worth the trouble. If you’re into that sort of thing. Just make sure your hair’s real. My, but this got tacky quickly.

(props to @DJ_Spinja for the link)

Delusions: Go Big or Go Home

Once upon a time, I had a dream. No, not that one about all men being created equal. The one where I got hired to design paint jobs for Lil Wayne’s signature line of guitars. His little paw shook my little paw, he looked down at my cut-out Tuk lolita boots and I looked down at his spotless Adidas, and an understanding was reached.

You don’t understand.
You weren’t there.

Nearly two years later, I’ve expanded on the bizarre fantasy and my subconscious has come along for the ride in its own annoyingly prudish way. Lil Wayne and I have gone grocery shopping (“baby, grab some of that trail mix”), but we still haven’t gone all the way…to goth night, that is.

My ultimate fantasy is that Lil Wayne and I roll up to goth night in a black Escalade. Two footmen hop out of the back seat bearing tiny step-stools which Weezy and I use to dismount our pint-sized selves from said Escalade. It is comically badass. That is to say, it’s the weird combination of the comical and the mildly unsettling. This is the language we speak. Diamond grilles and weapons charges aside, this is why it works.

My friends have been enabling this delusion. When I tell them this fantasy, they pause for a second, then respond with “that’s perfect. Perfect.” Sure, Weezy’s presence in my life would mean that my friends would have an endless quantity of what is probably the world’s best weed, but this goes deeper. They know that I require someone who is frank, weird, elfin, and greater than the sum of his parts. Someone who can be three apples high, silly and still scary. Someone who whimsically wrinkles his nose when he laughs, but who knows at least twenty people who would shoot you just because he asked. Someone who works hard. Someone who can look you in the face and tell you to fuck off and you still won’t know whether to love his frankness, call the cops or make out with him. In short, someone who is different from me in every obvious way, but very much like me if we were put in a blender and pureed down to our nuts and bolts. Someone who would write a line about spritzing you all over the wall in a pink mist, and then chuckle maniacally. Is he serious, or was that hyperbole? Well, there’s the fun.

Long as we’re being delusional, I’ll tell you how it’s going to go down. Like so many delusions, it starts on Vh1. I go on Tough Love to be coached by Public Domain Fred Savage. It doesn’t help me find Mr. Right, but it does land me my own show, For the Love of Evil. I get just famous enough to weasel my way into the VMAs, where Weezy and I meet, shake little paws and come to an understanding. He and I combine or parallel work ethics, and I add secret sauce via piano to his next album. The bizarre combination of melodramatic, goth piano works well next to gangsta rap. The album is lauded for its new sound and Weezy and I joint-collect the Grammy: he in a fitted tee; me in a metal-boned corset.

All we’re missing is a show on Vh1.

Right?

Revelations On Tail

I’ve been making a serious effort to stop whining at you, and it’s getting easier because I’ve quit drinking so much and I’ve moved into the “denial” phase. I’ve been trying to stop whining at you, but it’s mostly resulted in a hell of a lot of quiet around here. So, what’s up?

The film company finally has a logo, and we’re all reasonably decently deluding ourselves into thinking that this is a perfectly reasonable backup plan. Like, if all the real jobs in America fall into a gaping crack in the Earth, (and become clubhouses for the lost boys), it’s no big. By then, I’ll be a film editor. Poo will smell like roses, cancer will be cured True Blood will come on some channel that I get, and my cat will live forever. Johnny Depp and Jack White will be fighting over me, trying to buy my affections with items from the Victorian Trading Company catalog.

Go big or go home.

(Jack will win by buying me the Cleopatra fainting couch.)

“How’s the book coming?” Well, I haven’t actually had time to think about it for the last couple of months. I tagged everything up to 2007, but 9 years of blogs take a while to tag. Seeing as how I’m now making a serious effort to stop working on dumb crap for dumb people who make me want to kill myself and never pay their bills, maybe some progress will be made. If your name is Tyler and you’re reading this, I’m not talking about you. Your stuff kept getting pushed back because someone else was sucking the life out of me. I have fired her, I’m working on your stuff and, rest assured, I will not be trying to get any money out of you. This has taken me an unacceptable length of time and I suck. Just sayin.

Despite efforts of friends and the internet, I have (so far) successfully dodged all members of the male gender (male? members? har?). It’s been more difficult of late, since October is always the time of year when random strangers decide to hit on the goth chick at the local Kroger. “What do goth chicks EAT?” “Babies.” Come November 1, the heat is usually off, but then I lost ten pounds and left the house a few times. Also, it’s knee boot season. I can’t take me anywhere.

A sense of humor is good.
Consistency is better.
Double points if you are short, sideburned and know what DeathRock is. Or if you are Jack White.

Jen is gone to the Navy, and that sucks ass. It’s good for her, and we’re all glad that she’s going to go off and live up to her potential and all that. I’m happy for her, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a big empty space next to me at goth night.

WAIT! That’s the problem!!

Without Jen (who I lovingly refer to as my official cockblock), there’s no perky, cute girl standing next to me for dudes to talk to. They have no choice but to end up talking to me.

Well, I’m glad we worked that out.

Forever

(I’d like to preface this by saying that I really DID try to break this up over several days, but each mini-point bleeds into the next. Thus, I say this: read this in sections if you need to, but please don’t just skip the entry. I’m going somewhere with this.)

It’s been a while, readers. Where have I been? Busy, mostly, filling my days with work and filling my nights with a boy, or going to bed early to make up for not getting any sleep the night before. I have put some miles on my body, via treadmill, and my liver, via vodka.

I sense that I’m back now. There was much I couldn’t tell you, much questions, much boring plot summary that you wouldn’t want to hear. And an endless death loop of “what’s going on here? should I be getting attached or watching my back? Is it too soon to just ask?”

Answers: I don’t know, watch your back, yes.

Some people find the initial dance of meeting someone bizarrely exhilarating. The thrill of the hunt or some such. I do not. I find it annoying, tiring and a little demeaning. Every day is this slow ticktock of over-analyzing every little stupid thing, trying to figure out if some guy likes you or if he’s going to abruptly stop calling. I think that this may be why women are always so damn pushy about defining relationships.

There’s this unspoken rule that, time and nudity aside, if you’re not in a committed relationship, the guy can just walk away. He can hit the previous track button and pretend the whole thing didn’t happen. He doesn’t owe you any explanations because, technically, you’re not allowed to get upset. You were just hanging out, and if you were getting attached it’s your own damn fault. The Dropping Someone Like They’re Hot thing still happens in actual relationships, but it’s a little less likely. At least this is what I tell myself. Otherwise, I’d just buy a Wii and never leave the house.

I understand the rules. I have been guilty of hitting the metaphorical previous track button. I know how much easier it is. Strangely, though, my stupid girl brain keeps going. It wonders what it did wrong. It wonders when it did the wrong thing. It wonders why whatever guy in question changed his mind.

Thing is, the only way to stop all the stupid questions is to ask them and you and I both know that you don’t REALLY want to know the whole truth of the answers. Even worse is when someone is too nice to even say “hey, let’s just forget this all happened.” I learned this lesson more than 10 years ago when someone clearly had no further use for me but kept telling me “don’t be a stranger” and “come hang out.” Instead of seeing a subtextual “fuck you” for what it was, the “fuck you” just took 6 or 7 months and cost me parts of my self-respect I still haven’t recovered. I kept trying because I liked him so much as my friend, but two people can’t be friends when the other person feels rejected. A friendship is between equals, and that poor guy couldn’t even look me in the eye anymore.

In my defense, I was ten years younger and had much less guy experience then. I was crueler than I should have been because I had never been on the other side. I had never been ditched. I had never been the rejected one. The one looking at the floor. That was back when I’d been half-assing my relationships. Once I started whole-assing them, I started being the one slinking away, knife-backed, staring at her shoes. My success rate was so much better ten years ago, when I was shy, skinnier, crazier, younger, and dumping every guy before the 3-month mark.

What happened? I realized that half-assing my “relationships” wasn’t good for me, my life path or whatever poor soul ended up dating me. I blame my cat for this. It’s a ballsy thing to bring a life into yours, knowing that you will fall in love but you will also outlive the other life. Even scarier: HOPING that you outlive the other life, because that’s the only way you can make good on the promise you made when you brought that life into yours. It’s the promise of Forever:

“Even if you get old and incontinent, even if you hate me, even if you claw my couch, I will feed and love you for however long you live. When you die, you will do so in my arms, and probably because I have to put you out of your misery. The last way I will be able to do right by you will be to let you go.”

Murphy taught me about the Forever. Even in my darkest, most depressed days when I wanted to just kill myself, he would look at me with big blue eyes, reminding me that I promised him Forever, which I can’t guarantee if I off myself.

Wait, that wasn’t supposed to be present-tense. I am not currently suicidal, no no. Any suicidal tendencies I may have ever had in my life melted away watching Diah’s mom having to bury her son’s ashes. That was the second time I’d had to watch a mother bury her child, and I have no intention of voluntarily inflicting that on my mom. Anyway, where were we?

Forever is a mighty long time, and I didn’t grasp that until a 14-pound cat sauntered into my life and made me his bitch. I understand now. It’s not about finding perfection. It’s about finding someone who’s worth the trouble. It’s not about someone who doesn’t annoy you at all. It’s about finding someone who annoys you much less than everyone else. It’s about finding someone and realizing that you life would be lessened if they weren’t it in.

Part of me wishes that I’d learned this sooner. Part of me is glad that I didn’t, as the breakups hurt much more when you’ve let someone get a good hard look at what lies inside the castle walls, beyond the dragon-filled moat. The consolation of the pain is knowing that you didn’t half-ass things. You went in with guns blazing, lost the battle, and still lived to tell the tale.

Surprising The Cynic.

Scylla recently made a comment in the blog about how she showed my blog to her daughter and hoped that it was ok with me. The thought keeps coming back, making me wonder if I really needed to say something out loud. Just in case…I will.

This ain’t private.**
Never has been.
Never will be.
In fact, if I could publish this drivel and sell it in Borders and have anybody give half a rat’s ass, I would do it in a heartbeat.

My sister one had a boyfriend who addressed me as Amy The Cynic. The title, even at age 15 or so, was not undeserved. I will never forget the feeling of shock I had back in 1999 when I realized that people were finding my terribly-designed site and reading the poetry. “There’s no porn here! Why are people looking at this? What the fuck?” That first site was an experiment, and the internet surprised me. I was so surprised, I saw potential and became a web designer. Go fig.

This is an extension of the insane amount of letter-writing I did in school. I loved to type. That whole element of having words go from your head to the page so quickly…over time, without having to think about where you’re reaching. Love it. Pen pals, friends in other cities, total strangers…the only difference here is that I can show you guys links, pictures, videos, and all kinds of other fun crap. It’s like a letter or a book on steroids. It may even be better than a book. If I sold this in Borders or if I wrote for a magazine, I would have to have a filter. Here, I can do this:

fuck fuck fuck fuck Oprah worships Satan fuck fuck fuck fuck

and no one cares. Granted, no one cares because my circulation is so small. I have freedom because I’m nobody. I can tell you everything about me because you don’t care. (Except those of you who know me in real life which, strangely, isn’t all of you.) The irony of that is delicious, but the truth is that I’d probably be sitting here typing even if you weren’t here. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re reading, I’m more than happy to have you. Part of the fun is that you guys sometimes join in. Kumbayah.

I don’t mind full disclosure. Maybe I just don’t care what you think about me. Maybe I’m naively thinking that, if you have full-disclosure, I (and everyone else) will start to make more sense.  Maybe the total lack of a filter that I have in real life just spills out here, too. As much bile as may spew forth from my fingers at times, there’s always the element of “don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to this person’s face.” It just happens that there aren’t too many things I wouldn’t say to people’s faces. Ah, spoken like someone who’s never had her ass kicked.

I’m about to up the ante on you with some experiments that may or may not work out. Who knows if anyone will find any of it interesting. Then again, I didn’t expect anyone to be reading that poetry nine years ago, either. Congratulations, internet. You’ve surprised The Cynic.

**With the exception of the odd “friends only” LiveJournal post, which I don’t employ very often.