Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Mea culpa.

I erred. It's human, I suppose. I said that my father gives good guilt, and has done it lately. Well, it has been quite a while since he's done so- and I'm the first to admit that when he did it last, I deserved it. So I retract any and all claims that he's been up to guilt trips- he has the power, but I haven't done anything to invoke said power. I'll be planning on keeping it that way!!! Sorry dad!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Black Friday

So named not because it's awful to work it in the retail biz, but named because it's the day retailers depend upon to go into the black for the year. Do we pity them? Maybe. But I pity the poor fools working for da retail man even more. Been there. Done that.

This year I did something entirely different on Black Friday. Yay! I got the call on Wednesday, at 4:45 from the agency. They were in dire need of people to work at the IMAX theater handing out some brochures or shit. I said sure. WTF. They said wear professional attire, a warm coat and they'll see you there.

Friday morning dawned. It was raining. Hard. And I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to do it. I spent a good 30 minutes trying to talk myself into going. Finally I just got ready and went.

I got there and only one other person was there. She was wet too. Holding a bottle of foetid looking fluid. After about 10 minutes the supervisor showed up hefting a heavy box and some bags. We couldn't get into the IMAX until 10. Glad we all showed up at 8:30. We went to the food court and discussed what we were really doing. Seems that we were going to hand out exit polls for the showing of Polar Express. In 3D. Then we would collect the forms. And get 300 by the end of the day. Or else. I never did hear what the or else would be. Probably some kind of sinister Warner Brother's displeasure. I dunno.

We got to the theater and set up in time for the first showing. Most people had what appeared to be at least a dozen squirming, damp, impatient children in tow. Bet they had lots of time to fill out an exit form, right? Especially since the geniuses at Warner Bros had decided that despite only really needing info for 4 of the questions, made the fucking thing front and back of a full sized piece of paper. Right ON!!

OK- let's get this straight- the whole bloody thing was depressing. The smell of the popcorn curdled my stomach, and sucessfully kept me from having an appetite all day. And the people I was working with were FREAKS. Mostly benign, but in one case seriously creepy. And since I hadn't been told what I was really going to be doing, I lacked any kind of reading material for the interludes while the movie was playing. I just closed my eyes, sat on the floor and listened to the others talk.

Team spirit- 2 of them were young, pretty inoccous girls. Nice. But boring. Then there was one middle-aged woman who kept to herself, but seemed fine. Then there were the freak twins. #1 was a largish (think taller Nathan Lane) gay man wearing a scarf that looked like Elmo with glitter. He knitted it himself. Did a fine job. For Halloween he was Glenda the Good Witch. Made the pink tulle dress himself, he did. I watched him get bitchier and testier as the day went on. I am guessing that it was a blood sugar thing. Hope so, because he had another job later at the carousel, where he would be in full contact with more children. He was also the kind of guy who is permanently disgruntled. He told me his professional history, and it was full of persecution and bitterness. I'm a thinking that he is one of those people who is perpetually unhappy at work. Bummer too, because they tend to bring others along for the ride.

Then there was freak #2. Deep breath. She was trippy. Scary trippy. Dead ringer (only a little taller) for the Romanian- Anka. Dead fucking ringer. Even the odd 100 yard stare. And had the same strange way of dealing with conversation- basically not really understanding normal conversation so much as interrupting with non-sequiturs that kind of related to the original topic. She was very tall- over 6 foot, I am guessing. With that odd sausage casing build- somewhat slender, but no muscle mass to add distinction, and no bones showing. She was also happy to tell us all about being a Sister of something something something- they dress up as nuns and wear geisha makeup and pass out condoms at events. I heard all about the way to get into the order, the rules, etc. Ad nauseum, ad infinitum. She also told us a truncated version of her life story. Sounded pretty rough. And she was a witch. And she "cleansed" peoples' homes of bad hoodoo. And she had just broken up with her girlfriend. She followed me around a lot.

Friendly, but creepy. She approached people with the forms and said, "Hello, I have a gift for you." I suspect that they took the forms from her in order to get some space. I saw a few of them sneaking their forms back onto the mother table later on, when she wasn't around.

After a couple of movies, they interspersed it with the Harry Potter film, and I left for the day. Enough pleasure for me, I thought. I decided that I really do HAVE to get a job in some normal kind of place- dealing with broken people really isn't my forte. Interesting, yeah- but they make me sad and tired.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Today my mom and step dad were in Helena- they had anthropology students doing some work determining boundary lines for the potter's cemetary on some of their land. The land is being developed, and no one wants to dig up bodies. Fun for the students, interesting for everyone else. So today's subject is digging things up. For fun and profit.

Digging up the truth. Over time I've found out that the truth is in most cases subjective. The winners determine what it is. Ask anyone who lost a war- define a war criminal- mostly someone who followed orders. The crime? Being on the losing side while following those orders. So whose truth is the best? Ask the religious. They will claim theirs. But with so many conflicting opinions in that regard, it's easy to get confused.

Digging up the past. Dicey proposition at best. Distant past is pretty safe. History in particular- that's why many document collections have dates in the distant future for revealing the contents. All the people involved will be dead, buried and untouchable. Good for them. Wouldn't want to actually live with the consequences of what the secrets were. Keep that under wraps. On the down low, as it were.

Personal past? Hmmmmm. There again, question of perspectives. Take any occurance. Run it past the various people who were there. Betcha you'll get any number of takes on what really happened. Add time and shake real hard, and it'll get murkier. Only the really passionate emotions stay pure. Hatred in particular. The reasons for the hatred might be lost, or dissapate over time, but the hatred can stick around very easily. Especially if it's cultivated properly. I think that some people live just to do this. They are the gardeners of a specific crop. It's easier than letting something go.

Digging up reality. Another set of perceptions that not only change with the amount of tequila consumed, but change with age. Kids see things that adults try to ignore. They learn to conceal and not pay attention to those things. They learn about loyalty- to whom over all others. They learn the costs for being loved. What they're meant to do in return. There are always strings attached. Always. Anyone who denies this is either a liar or a fool. Avoid them- they want something.

Digging for clams. Lots of work. Clams are gross. I wouldn't recommend it.

Digging for treasure. Define treasure. I don't have a metal detector, and am not bored enough to go get one and develop a new and slightly creepy hobby. Give me a few more months of unemployment, and it might just happen, however...

Digging for gold. Specific treasure. Makes people crazy-like. Watch The Treasure of Sierra Madre if you don't believe me. In AZ, there was a show on local access cable called Gold Fever. It had a theme song that went "gold gold gold gold fever fever fever fever..." in kind of a mind-numbing drone. It was about how to find gold. It seemed to be a big thing in the Phoenix area. Something about lost treasure in the mountains near Apache Junction. Whatever. I just liked the low production values, and singing the song. Especially after consuming some tequila. Gold gold gold gold fever fever fever fever....

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Newly minted obsession

This week it's the classic Western. I've steadfastly avoided the genre in the past- lived in the west, didn't see much to celebrate about it- hated seeing the blasted Charlie Russell exhibit in place of real art every year- hated the faux cowboys I went to school with- they were such narrow-minded little bigots.

But then I guilted myself into seeing High Noon. And my world went all haywire. Now I saw that the really skillful filmmakers in the genre were making all kinds of statements via the Western. Ahhhhh.....

So last night we watched The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. Still not as satisfying as any of the vengeance instilled Clint Eastwood ones, but pretty fun nonetheless. I love watching Jimmy Stewart act with people who could hold their own with him. John Wayne isn't my favorite actor by a long shot, but he's well used in this one. And I liked the civil rights subtext.

So. I have The Ox Bow Incedent cued up on the tivo, and will likely get through that one today. Henry Fonda said it was his favorite of his movies, as I recall. He was kind of a jerk, so whatever, Henry. But it also stars Frank Morgan, and I liked him while growing up on MASH.

I'm trying to figure out what genre to attach to next if this unemployment thingy goes on too long- maybe the musical? (fucking shoot me if that happens- I really hate musicals...with the exceptions of Sound of Music and My Fair Lady. Oh and Fiddler on the Roof...damn...maybe I don't really really hate them after all...)

Why I hate Thanksgiving

It's such a crap holiday for me. At least it's time off of work. If I had work. But then, that's part of the issue, no?

Historically it was the worst of all holidays. It wasn't redeemed by the happy feelings of receiving presents. So this would happen- without fail.

Spend the day getting all of that food together. Under the pressure umbrella of mom wanting perfection in all things- food, emotional, and otherwise. Put up with younger sister and her bitchiness in its varied forms. Put up with cranky grandparents. Watch evil Grandpa drink. Know with the security of the inevitable what is coming.

Serve dinner very early in the day. (I never really figured that one out. Thanksgiving dinner is more akin to Thanksgiving late lunch.). Then sit back and watch the inedible mass congeal when Grandpa finally lets loose- he's been percolating all fucking day. The shitstorm issuing from his mouth is usually pretty impressive. Especially since I was the target 98% of the time after the divorce, and Dad absented himself from the picture. Make that 100%. I never saw him verbally attack anyone else. Only me. Inevitably I would lose my temper and tell him to go fuck himself. Then leave. And my mother would sigh, with the forebearance of the angels above, and clear the table. Grandpa would go back to simmering, no doubt waiting in anticipation for next year.

Once I hit college I played my only card for sanity. I refused to go home for Thanksgiving. Ever again. I only revoked this standing rule once- several years ago. Grandpa had just died, and I did it as a favor to my mom. I took Kenga along for the ride. And it was a ride, indeed. Grandma was just starting to lose her grip on reality. So it was kinda amusing to see her deal with the half non-white person I married so long ago. The official story is that she really likes him, and thinks he's great. The real story is that they have never forgiven or forgotten his Japaneseness. She usually has to tell me why they still hate the Japanese. The war, doncha know? And she does speak in the "we" tense- not Imperial "we", but Grandpa's still around "we". Creepy.

The good news- I won't be going home for the festivities. I'll be safe and sound with friends. I'll see the family at Christmas. They'll be settled into the holiday mood more securely, and it'll be fine. Any fireworks will be supplied by aforementioned bitchy sister, and easily contained. Mostly cuz ding dong the witch is dead, and he won't be coming back for any more rounds. So that's what I'm thankful for, I guess. Peace on earth, and no more ugliness in the name of family harmony. No more sick tummies afterwards, and reproachful looks from Grandma and Mom. And that's that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Fact of the day

If this doesn't creep you out a tad, you're sterner stuff than I.

Did you know that Helen Keller had her eyes removed and replaced with glass ones because her real eyes were scary? And when she became a celebrity, it was an issue? EWWWWW!!!

Better than botox, baby!

Also- new book to check out one and all- if you like something interesting- just stayed up til 2:00AM finishing it- because I had to.

The Wilderness, by Karen Novak. I'll probably be inflicting it on choice people on my Christmas list this year. So if you do buy it, or read it before I go shopping, let me know, or you might get a duplicate copy!!!

I also finished The Codex, by Lev Grossman. Fun, but with one of those endings that makes you want to shake him- bit of a let down.

I watched, and highly recommend The Big Country yesterday. Gregory Peck, Burl Ives and of all things, a young and relatively hot Charleton Heston. It was gorgeous. Directed by William Wyler (who also did Ben Hur). I got totally sucked in. It's a western. Not my bag, for the most part (I grew up in the west, hated it, and wanted to leave for more populous parts as soon as I could- but then didn't, and decided that after all it wasn't too horrible- except for my home town- still hate it). But a lovely movie nevertheless. And there's a cool Cold War subtext to it- which is interesting when you consider the Heston inclusion.

Still jobless. Still working on Christmas presents. Still feeding the cats...they would kill me if I stopped...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Crimes and Felonies

Kenga got a book at the library- called Scenes of the Crime- with a foreword by James Ellroy (one of my true guilty pleasures- the man can invoke a time and place better than most- and has taught me more slang words for female genitalia than I thought possible). It's crime scene photos from the LAPD archives. Not all murders/death- some other stuff. It's interesting. They really edited carefully- nothing too horrible- all corpses have their faces, no children, basically pretty straight forward stuff.
Interesting though. Basically I am thinking that the photographers are an odd lot. These guys did some interesting things. While they had to provide a document of the crime that the investigators could use later (since a crime scene is by its nature temporary), they also had to keep some kind of emotional distance from it (probably to keep from cracking up- I met a crime scene photographer once who had cracked- not so good). So they focused on framing the photos in unique ways. There's one in particular of a glass door that had been shot though- and the photographer had taken care to include the reflection of children in the neighborhood gawking at the crime scene. Pretty cool shot.
It's kind of a moving book in a way. I am looking at people whose lives either changed or ended in such a sudden way. Most of the murdered ones were cut down in their prime. Looks like mostly middle to lower class. With the notable exception of Thelma Todd's death (look her up on IMDB- sad story). Creepy side note- I knew what I was looking at in several instances before reading the descriptions- I think I know too much about historic crime in LA for my own good.

The part that gets me though is the eyes. The expression on the faces. Just the abrupt ending of it all. No easing out by degrees. Just a sharp end. Some look surprised. Some just look sad. And they are all (with one exception) pretty young. Though since the crimes occurred mostly in the 20s and 30s, they would be very old or dead by now anyway. Just the permenance of it. Always dead at 25. Or 30. Funny how many of the crimes have to do with bootlegging. Makes prohibition seem silly on that level- it seems to have increased crime, rather than eliminated it. Go figure. But that could be a scewed editorial slant by the book's authors too. They obviously chose these images very carefully. With clear intent. Like I said before- it could've been far, far worse. Uglier. Stronger. More brutal.

I'm also haunted by the privacy that's being broken. Death seems like such a personal thing. That these people's deaths are in a book seems odd. I don't have any personal connection to them- if it was a book of my dead relatives, I would feel much differently. But it's strange to see this kind of invasion. I guess I would call it that- since I can't think of any better description.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Not much to say

Kenga took several days off- so I've actually had someone to spend time with during the day! And since we don't fight incessantly- it's been fun.

Yesterday we had an adventure. I took him on the bus to downtown- it was his first time. We visited the museum, the library and a newsstand that I like. He saw my neighborhood for the first time. It was good.

Now we prepare for house guests. So I can't spend lots of time online. There are things to do- people to see- I get to feel important for a while!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Hey guess what!

It's raining. And cold. And I'm still unemployed.

But now the focus of my life (besides getting a job- I haven't given up- I have not yet begun to fight- I regret that I have only one life to give...whatever) is on Christmas presents for the many varied family members. This year I've decided to try and make stuff for them. And not using cat fur and dryer lint held together with assorted kitchen ingredients (cream of tartar, anyone?). Nope. I know that certain peoples on my Santa's good list read this, so I won't detail. But it will keep me busy, and be happy.

And unless there's a big blizzard that prevents it, we will be going home for the holidays. We lack snow tires, or tyres, so shouldn't be all reckless. Despite what Kenga wants. Kenga doesn't get everything he wants- he's not Lola. At least not today. Maybe tomorrow I'll let him be Lola. But not Lola Lola. She was a bitch. (I'll perhaps give anyone who gets the second allusion a bright shiny dollar! I'm being all esoteric and obtuse- because it's raining, and I'm bored.)

Time to watch the rest of the Joan Crawford movie on the tivo. Then maybe finish up with a delightful Carole Lombard confection. Yummy.

Vanity thy name is me

Part of the ongoing maintenance is the hair. Now we are red again. (such the newsflash- it's fake... real is a nondescript blond, with I suspect by now, tons of white- I am really curious in a morbid way as to how much white- I haven't checked in a very long time.) Funny thing though. For some reason, guys- usually older- insist on calling me "red" Like it's some kind of film noir hell that we've stepped into all of a sudden. And they're Sam Spade. It's goofy. I know that they're being nice, but it's very strange to refer to some stranger by the color of their hair. If I see a nice looking guy, should I say- "Hi brown?" What if he's African American? Then what do we have? An incident, I would guess.

Just gotta thank mom for the white hair genes, though. Shout out mom! Kinda wish I could trade that one for the 20/20 vision, or amazing metabolism that you have that keeps you the same weight you were in college...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Literary snobbism

I read a book recently by an old friend. She is a wonderful short story writer- but I've been consistently disappointed by her novels. She just can't sustain story lines in a convincing fashion. And turns out that she is a literary snob. Standards- yes, important to maintain. But snobbishness is not cool in my book.

Her book was rather autobiographical- which kind of disturbed me to begin with, as it was jarring- there was no logical reason for the bits of herself that she trotted out. I know what she was trying to attempt, but it was surprisingly poorly done.

Then there was the story itself. Part of it was about being a romance novelist. And how horrible that is for anyone who can really write. That's where I got pissed off. Now for a very deep, and dark secret- I have read the occasional romance novel. Was avidly into them when I was around 12. Snuck them home from the library, and was off in another place. Not really good for me at the time- it did probably set me up for some reality checks later- but there were hours of fun involved anyway.

I see romance novels as interesting. They are so easy to decode, and have such a clearly defined formula. And I don't think that's a bad thing. I think of all types of fiction that I've encountered, the romance novel comes the closest to illustrating a certain kind of zeitgeist. These books really pull on archetypes in a clear and meaningful way- for lots and lots of people. I don't feel like it's fair to condemn them for reading them. Not fair at all. Maybe they aren't Balzac, Trollope or even Elliott, but they give the reader something to enjoy. And given how many women probably are one romance novel away from going batshit on any given day, I say, read on, sisters.

The other thing about her book that was rather nasty had to do with a Native American character. I remember a painting that Kenga and I saw at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. For those not familiar- wonderful museum of Native American art, culture and history. The katchina room is as creepy as it gets- chock full o hoodoo that made the back of my neck crawl. Back to the painting. It was modeled on Ingres's Jupiter and Thetis, with a Native American guy enthroned, and a white woman beneath him, with a hand crawling up his neck. She was wearing her obligatory bead earrings, and looking at him with naked adoration. It was one of the most underhanded artistic jabs that I've seen (short of a Diego Rivera portrait that I saw once- about busted a gut laughing at how he portrayed the sitters...nasty...). She was a poser. He was not real to her. He was an image of her rebellion, romantic longing, etc.

So back to the book- the character in it was basically ditto the painting. It was unpleasant. I don't enjoy stereotypes unless there's a way to break them. She didn't pull that one off. The stereotype was full on intact by the end, and the slam on romance authors/readers also intact. I saw this as dishonest. And I'm too much of a wuss to ever tell her to her face...

Somthing to do

Besides babysitting cats, I mean. I watched Kagemusha yesterday. Kurosawa is a passion of mine. Even with the silly scenes, he was breathtaking. Interesting trivia note- Kagemusha was produced for foreign distribution by Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas. Whoda thunk?!

Also on the Tivo were The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, with Myrna Loy and Cary Grant. I liked watching the two of them play together.

And the other good one from this week- that ought to be required viewing- The Haunting. From 1963. Lovely movie- taken from a creepy story by Shirley Jackson. It's one of those that stuck with me for quite a while afterwards.

And now back to the kitty babysitting thing- I have to go give Buddy a time out. He's being naughty. (bet you think I'm kidding!)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Bitter Betty's homemaker tips

When you install something with a sticker on it- fucking remove the sticker after it's installed. Immediately. Do not let it stay on the window/toilet/whatever for a lenghthy stay- it will get icky and difficult. That's just lazy and slipshod.

When you have a stainless steel sink, it needs to be scoured out once in a blue moon, or it will get stained by water/soap spots, and need weeks of scouring regularly to get it nice and shiny again. And don't put grout in there, or rusted objects. Stainless doesn't mean bulletproof.

Anything used for cooking food, particularly for human consumption, needs to be cleaned occasionally. This includes stoves and especially ovens. This is not a joke. This is not a suggestion. This is a rule.

Installing black granite shiny counters in a house with perpetual cats is a stupid idea. Always.

White/light beige carpets are never a good idea when cats and children are present. Avoid them.

When you have a cat that likes to urinate to mark territory, please shut her/him out of the bedroom that offends her/him- the smell will outlast her/his stay in the house. And nothing is worse on a humid, rainy day than the smell of kitty behavioral problems past. (luckily our cats haven't decided to follow suit- I don't think I could handle it). And once said kitty has marked, for fuck's sake, clean the crap/urine up!!! Don't be a fucking pig.

And finally, when cleaning the toilet (yes, you knew we would come to this), always scrub under the rim. No one wants to find your hardened, dried, scummy poop on the toilet years after you no longer live there. It is unsavory, unsanitary, and just vile.

(can you tell we're cleaning house today???)

Friday, November 04, 2005

How not to go batty ...

I've made a concerted effort not to go batshit crazy. Why, you ask? Well, it would be a tad inconvenient, and Kenga wouldn't like it much. I don't really relish the role of Bertha Rochester (read Jane Eyre, if you dare- she's in the attic.). Batshit isn't becoming- unless there's a pile of money involved. And in our case, there just isn't.

So. Keepin busy. Scheduling all of the stuff that should be done over the course of a week, so the pressure to get it all done at once doesn't paralyze me. So that the guilt of not getting it done doesn't keep me awake at night. So the self-loathing of feeling inadequate and stupid doesn't eat me alive. All in good time.

And knitting again. Just like Madame Defarge. Sitting at the foot of the guillotine, knitting while the heads hit the basket. Just being careful to keep the blood off of the wool.

It's all good. Really.

Anthropology report

I got this as part of an email, and thought that it was interesting.

Pallu, or the portion of the sari that falls over the left
shoulder, is usually its most decorated region, often picking up
and elaborating on the small motifs on the border or main body of
the drape. Much of the beauty of the garment thus lies in the
pallu, and it is the part that designers agonize over and which
shopkeepers use to clinch the sale.

Further, touching of the pallu by another is no small act, but a
most personal piece of interaction. It signifies an intimacy
which has been described thus: "as if by caressing a leaf one is
able to touch the tree." If someone gets too attached to a
person, they are likely to be teased by having it said that they
have 'attached themselves to the others pallu' (as a television
presenter of a live show said to a fan who kept phoning her
during the performance). In fact, signifying the eternal nature
of their union, the Indian groom during the wedding needs to tie
one end of his attire to the pallu of his bride. Thus yoked, they
then proceed to circumambulate the sacred fire seven times.

Thus the importance placed in Indian cinema on kissing becomes a little clearer.
Intimacy in such a crowded place seems quite prescribed.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

You'd think

That since I've got nuthin else to do, I would be blogging my ass off. Well you would be wrong.

Kenga and I have come up with an elaborate calendar that gives me things to do during my long, long, long days. And it helps. The house is finally getting fully unpacked, and very clean. And I'm applying all over tarnation (still in Tennessee Williams land a bit).

But I did spare an afternoon for creepy Halloween crappy 70s movie fest, Year 1. I watched an assortment of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing confections. Some very, very bad. Some kind of ok. But all very fun. Not scary at all. I don't handle scary very well. So this was a must.

I also watched Wicker Man- allegedly a cult classic about burning some dude up to make the apples grow. Christopher was in it- he had a very poncy hair do. It was funny. Lots of banging in it- and it got an X rating back in the day.

I finished it all off by watching the 40's version of Cat People, which was wonderful. Gotta love the old stuff. Like fine wine.

And today, miracle of miracles, the sun is shining. I'll be outside some. Soon.


I'm taking the theme of this post from a blogfriend (thanks Polly) who wrote today about the crazy chick in the press phenomena (Jess, Brit, et. al.). I have a spin on that that I'll share. Just cuz I feels like it!

Well. Shall I say right now that Tennessee Williams had it dead on? "Ah have always depended upon the kindness of strangers." Anyone with a passing acquaintance with Streetcar, knows whereof I speak. Especially the Viviene Leigh version. She was a total nutcase to start with (I love that kind of olde tyme Hollywoode shit), and that role drove her around the bend. Her English belfry was chock full o bats by the time the movie wrapped. Poor Viv. And Poor Larry (Olivier, for those without IMDB on the bookmarks).

Anyhew- I think that there is a certain kind of woman- usually raised with a very overbearing father- who snaps at a certain time, and gets all Blanche Dubois on us. And the ones who do it in the public eye are the most fascinating of all. The non-famous ones just scare the crap out of their families. And make scenes at Thanksgiving (God, I HATE Thanksgiving...sorry...another post there....).

So, let's watch the show unfold, and give Tennessee a tip of the glass for being about as accurate as possible, given that he's dead and all.

And if there were a male version of Blanche Dubois, who would that be? I nominate Jack White. Just cuz I think he's got creepy scary covered pretty well. And I love him despite myself.