Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Tiger

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Delirium Kisses, Fever Dreams

For those of you that don't know, not only do I talk in my sleep but I sing.


From my mother's amazement at my childhood nocturnal ramblings to my first roommate in college incredulously informing me that I sang the entirety of "The Perfect Nanny" from Mary Poppins the first night in my dorm.

It's nothing new.

Today has been spent mostly dozing on the couch, while Mojo and Arabis went about their day around me. At one point, I began to sing:

"Birds gotta swim!
And fish gotta fly!
I gotta love one man 'til he dies.
Can't help lovin' that man o' mine!"

Mojo has to pop in," Artemis? Are you awake?"

"Birds gotta swim!
And fish gotta fly!
I gotta love one man 'til I KILL HIM!
Can't help lovin' that man o' mine!"

"Art!" says Mojo laughing. "You're singing about killing me!"

"No, no! I don't want to kill you! You're taking good care of me. I like you. I don't want to kill you." I pause and then continue, "In fact, I need to embroider you a little tiny vest and hat. To show you how much I love you."

"Are you trying to say that I'm your minion?"

"No. You're the father of the minion. But when you really love someone, you embroider them little tiny vests and hats."

And with that I retreated into deep sleep. All this was related to me with great glee upon waking.

The vests and hats are reference to another dream of about a year ago wherein I was sobbing aloud and quite distressed, muttering how "Someone must have loved them very much to embroider all those hats and vests but now she's dead and they're ALL ALONE!!!!!!"

We figured out that one was about the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz.

Then there was the time I gleefully informed him that I was "On a mission from Frog" and that we had to find "Mr Fabulous," obviously channeling Kermit and the Blues Brothers together.

My brain is a frightening place to live when I'm healthy. When I'm sick, it becomes an E ticket ride!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


"Hmmmm, juice, Mommy. Good juice. Yummy, yummy juice!"

"What are you drinking, Arabis?"

"Juice!"'s not juice. That's the remains of your father's Turkish Coffee milkshake from last night that was almost full and is now...empty. Yeah. A two year old wired on Turkish Coffee, because anything with a straw in it is "juice."

I've already declared today a "pajama day" because I don't want to bother getting dressed. When is the feeling of being exhausted every going to go away? Perhaps it just never does. It's one of those things they don't tell you about being a parent, because if you knew it's possible the species would never propagate.

I do love my daughter. Even though she thinks eggs are "balls, mommy, balls!" that don't bounce. "Ball broke, mommy!"

I'm not getting sick. No way, no how. Not. Getting. Sick.

"I love you, Mommy."

Yeah, sweetie. I love you too. That's what this is all about.

"Tattoo? Have tattoo, please?"

Gods, help me! This is going to be a looong day.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Day Thirty

I don't know what it is, but it ain't art (said with a heavy Brooklyn accent).

All is well, and all is well, and all shall be well.
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Post 29

Crazy day with no chance to write and now having to relinquish the computer to Mojo to work on his book.

Here it is. My scintillating life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


There are things it's hard to let go:
The turn of a head
a look
the sound of a laugh

So the shock of seeing is tempered by a misleading familiarity
Despite the years, I smiled
Despite the years, I wanted to embrace you

That is my own foolish nature
I soften as I age
as the gray in my hair curls
as my daughter grows tall
This is what comes of laughing every day
a hope for the future and a sense of forgiveness
of myself and of you

Because what I remember is your laughter

So I smiled and opened my heart

It missed, you know
That dagger flung so casually
Shattered at my feet
The bitterness that you have become
Dissipated like fog before a breeze

Some women deny their power
Some women revel in being what men desire
Some women live to punish those that hurt them
never acknowledging the hurt they themselves inflicted

It feels like an undeclared war
that should be over
Not nurtured and cherished
I feel a chill from unexpected corners and realize that other doors have closed
blown shut by the winds of your influence

You've grown hard and brittle

I watched you across the room like a stranger who captures your attention
because they remind you of another
But it was clear you were unknown to me
The unfamiliar you in a form so like yet unlike
I felt like I could reach out and settle you gently in the palm of my hand
a fragile figurine
a walking voodoo doll cursing only herself

I say goodbye and go through the doors already open
The ones opening daily

There is a hole in my heart shaped like you
That no other can fill
It gets smaller with time
I'll always miss you and mourn a lost reconciliation
But I'll never lower myself to you

I love you
I mourn you
I walk forward

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 27

My girl is refusing to sleep. She is restless and ornery. I am tired and preoccupied.

This is my post.

Monday, November 26, 2007

No Time

Four hours spent in the kitchen cleaning up after three days of Mojo and Arabis playing bachelor father.

Five loads of laundry...and I'm still not done.

"'Time, time,' said old King Tut,
'Is something I ain't got anything but.'"

Don Marquis, from Archy and Mehitabel

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Three day weekend at opening of Dickens Fair is safely past. My daughter and my mate have hardly seen me and both clamour for my attention, so off I go to them.

And to bed. Ah, sweet bed. Bed is the friend I never get to spend enough time with.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Beyond tired. Beyond brains. Beyond logic.

Got filmed today for a local news station, doing my Peggotty bit with David Copperfield. I'm damned if I can remember what show it's for, but they were out doing a bit on the Dickens Fair and it's always fun to be color.

It's good work, but it is exhausting. I walk more miles within that one building and talk to more people during this five week period than I do all year. But it's home.

So very, very tired. One more day until this weekend is over...

Must climb the stairs to bed. Bed is good. We like bed.

Friday, November 23, 2007

One Down, Ten More to Go

This weekend is a whirlwind of activity leaving me little time to write and less energy and motivation to do so. I have walked miles today within the confines of the building housing our recreated 19th century London. I have talked to hundreds of people, dusted off my Yarmouth accent (I play Peggoty from David Copperfield), squired my young David Copperfield and reunited with the grown-up version later in the day.

And now I hear the voice of Mojo calling me from the other room, so come and sit. My friend Kathi has been driving down from Mono Lake to work as a barmaid at the Fair, so she is sitting with Mojo and Arabis. There's something about the easy camaraderie of friends you've known for so long they are family. I first met Kathi when I was 15. She threw my 21st birthday party. And here we are now.

My second call. Arabis is up far too late and I must put that child to bed. I find when father and daughter are left to their own devises, they tend to go a bit feral. It's good for them both, once in a while.

The third summons, my name echoing through the rooms. Until tomorrow.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It's That Time of Year Again

including the FRIDAY after Thanksgiving!
Fri. Nov. 23 through
Sun. Dec. 23, 2007
In San Francisco's Cow Palace Exhibition Halls

Celebrate the Holiday Season in Victorian London!

The bustling streets of London, immortalized for all time by the mighty pen of Charles Dickens, form the living backdrop of your excursion into Christmas Past. You are a living part of a Victorian Christmas card come to life!

A Bay Area tradition for 28 holiday seasons, the Great Dickens Christmas Fair returns to the San Francisco Cow Palace Exhibition Halls for five weekends , including the Friday after Thanksgiving, from Friday, November 23 through Sunday, December 23, from 11am 'til 7pm.

Created in 1970 by Ron & Phyllis Patterson, the fair is now produced by Kevin & Leslie Patterson and Red Barn Productions, who continue the family tradition of theatrical excellence through authenticity, participation, and playfulness.

Come wander the lanes of Victorian London, as the glow of twilight settles upon the city. With the scent of pine boughs and freshly baked scones floating in the air and the sound of carolers and holiday merrymakers accompanying your stroll...
  • Visit shops bedecked with Christmastime finery and filled with unique treasures.
  • Stop in for a hot toddy or a pint of Boddington's at Mad Sal's Dockside Ale House, where the low-life hang out and the high-born drop in.
  • Raise a champagne toast to the holidays at Fezziwig's Warehouse, the most cheerful spot in London.
  • Enjoy rollicking entertainments on four stages and in the streets.
  • Feast on fine foods from the British Empire and beyond.
  • Rest a spell in Cuthbert's Tea House, for a sip of hot tea and cucumber sandwiches or scones.
A holiday adventure into Victorian London, celebrating with hundreds of costumed players in 90,000+ square feet of theatrically-lit music halls, pubs, dance parties and Christmas shops on winding lanes. It'’s a twilight evening in Charles Dickens'’ London Town: a city filled with lively and colorful characters from both literature and history. Enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air. Cries of street vendors hawking their wares ring out above the bustling crowd. Dozens of lamp-lit shops are filled to overflowing with Christmas presents.

Experience the joys of Christmas past at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Night Before...

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

It must really be happening, because we watched Charlie Brown last night. I'm off to bed. There are pies that need baking bright and early.

Be thankful!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Well, This Could Explain A Lot

From an article by Virginia Heffernan in the New York Times Magazine:

"Sunny days! The earliest episodes of “Sesame Street” are available on digital video! Break out some Keebler products, fire up the DVD player and prepare for the exquisite pleasure-pain of top-shelf nostalgia.

Just don’t bring the children. According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, “Sesame Street: Old School” is adults-only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”..."

Brief points:
  • Dingy brownstones
  • Inner city slums
  • Friendship and trust across gender and age lines
  • Misanthropic characters (not just Oscar, but Bert as well)
  • Pipe smoking (Cookie Monster parodying Alastair Cooke)
  • Poor snack habits( Cookie Monster, of course)
  • Invisible friends indicating possible paranoid schizophrenia
  • Suspected whole milk

How on earth did we ever turn out to be okay?

Read the whole article here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Girls

I go upstairs to bed last night and what do I find? My daughter and my girl cat completely entangled in a kitty pile. Arabis is half atop Izzy and Izzy has flung a paw over Arabis.

I just had to stop and watch them for a while, remembering how Izzy and her brother Wolf would wrap themselves around my huge belly during my third trimester and purr. I would pet the cats and tell that what they felt were the kicks of their newest sibling-to-be: the hairless kitty with thumbs growing within.

I gently moved Arabis (since Izzy is a tiny cat, not even seven pounds) and Izzy sleepily mewed her protest, readjusting herself and nuzzling up to her human sister.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day 18

It's like this:
  • I have been awake since 3:00 AM and up since 4:00 AM. The second night of insomnia.
  • I spent over three hours researching arcane Victorian customs and old London streets.
  • I have made strange conjectures and connections between the archetypes of Robert Graves and the characters of Charles Dickens.
  • I had a rehearsal today that lasted from 9:00 to 5:00 with what amounted to one 20 minute break for lunch.
  • I have been on my feet for most of it.
  • We open on Friday (more info later for you curious lot).
  • I have driven home in traffic.
  • I have bought food for dinner.
  • I have cuddled my daughter
  • I have cooked said dinner.
  • I have knitted a tiny bit.
  • I cuddled my daughter some more.
  • There was a weak fruity rum drink in there somewhere that went straight to my head.
  • Everyone else in the house (including my friend, Kathi, who is spending weekends with us during the run) is fast asleep.
  • Even the cats.
  • I need to go to bed.
  • I need to post.
  • My brain meats are toast.
I am grateful for:
  • Chocolate.
  • And people that appreciate me, because let me tell you, I got so many compliments and encouragement on my work and characterizations today that I am walking about a foot off the ground.
I am for bed.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Drunky Moms

I am amazingly grateful and blessed to have this woman in my life.

We survived our parents.
We survived being poor.
We survived depression.
And, damn it, we're going to survive motherhood, too!

I love you, Shemena.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Gods Are Laughing

Because guess who fell asleep in my lap not ten minutes after I published yesterday's post. Uh huh. Yep. You got it.

So the one good piece of today is that when Alexandria came over yesterday for tea and costume talk we took some measurements for Mrs. Gamp's costume. I've lost 15 pounds and at least three inches. That's kind of exciting to me. I still have 50 more to go to hit my pre-pregnancy weight, but after two and half years this is a tremendous start.

Arabis ending up sleeping until just before 8:00 PM, despite my fervent hopes that she sleep all night. But we had a pretty mellow evening after that and got to bed by 11:00, so I'm not fretting too much. We all seem to be in better moods today.

I never did get my rum last night. Ah, well.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

We've Gone Feral

There were no pants today.

There was no nap today.

There was nothing accomplished today.

Sometimes I feel like I totally flunked Mom101 (it's a given that I radically failed Girl 101). It was a day that was akin to repeatedly beating one's head against a brick wall.

So for the rest of the evening I've decided to quit trying for anything grander than base survival. I'm off to make dinner. Then we'll have a bath. And if there is a deity overseeing our puny actions, they will smile down at us benevolently and give us an easy and early bed time. Because Mama's got a date with a fruity rum drink.

That's all I'm sayin'.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Alert the Media (Now WIth Unplanned Musings on Motherhood)

I'm showered. I'm dressed. I'm actually feeling like I can impersonate a human being today. Which is a damned good thing because if I don't get Arabis out of the house and into a park to run around chaos is going come raining down about my ears (not that it hasn't already, but I've learned the hard way not to say "it can't get any worse").

I haven't left the house since Saturday.

Kelly and Galen were supposed to come over and hang out yesterday and I could've actually used the company. But such is the life with kids. If anyone is sick, all bets are off. So I struggled to stay awake and keep Arabis mildly entertained. Her new favorite thing is jumping. She'll pull all the cushions off the tapestry sofa (we have two) and jump like a mad thing, all the while proclaiming her activity. "Jump, jump jump!"

She's very into tools right now. Screwdrivers, hammers. my five foot level: nothing is safe. She's running around right now with a two foot piece of white PVC pipe. It has been alternately a spyglass, a straw, a trumpet and a cane. I'm noticing her indulging in more pretend play now, too. She was playing with her Duplo blocks with Daddy on Sunday and they built a little ladder with them. She took one of her little Duplo men and made him climb the blocks, calling him Pingu. She's also taken to calling one of her little bears Ojo, a character from Bear in the Big Blue House.

Bubbles are also high on the list of can't-live-without. As are balls of any shape and size.

The language is there, but slow. She understands perfectly, but just seems to choose her own words carefully. Sometimes she'll chatter on for ages and we have no idea what she is saying. I think she's speaking Tibetan. My mother points out that I never did that and I once again point out to my mother that Arabis is not me.

I've noticed some interactions between my mother and daughter recently that have gotten me thinking about my own reactions to things and how I approach the world. Arabis has been very vocal about her desire to not wear pants. This will extend to diapers as well (we're actually using pull-ups now, since Mojo brought them home once and she refuses to go back).

One Monday night I was attempting to get Arabis in her pajamas post bath and my mother was standing nearby "helping." Arabis was upset for some reason and didn't want to put on her pull-up. My mother began challenging her and antagonizing her in an effort to get her to cooperate, "I bet you can't do it yourself, can you?" I got really upset and asked my mother to just go sit down and let me deal with it. So Arabis and I sang the Pajama Song and all progressed smoothly.

But it got me thinking. My ex-husband used to say that the only way he could get me to do anything was to piss me off. If I would get angry enough I would do it just to show him. It's true, actually and I always wondered where it came from, only to have it illustrated blatantly to me. It was my mother, challenging me to do things as a toddler and a baby, the same way she was challenging my daughter.

I got very angry with her. This revelation came in a split second, watching that interaction and her own with me throughout my life, it all came flooding over me. My mother is not a mean woman. On the contrary, she is a very supportive and loving person.

It got me thinking about how our actions when our children are small have repercussions that echo through time. How we can never know what little thing we do can shape someone later in life. It's overwhelming to think about, really. Because it's inevitable. We can only try to be the best people we can be, to model our behaviour and make our interactions as true and compassionate as possible.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Worth It

You know how it is, when you're sick and you want nothing more than to go to bed but you can't because you have a two year old with unlimited amounts of energy? When said two year old comes up to you out of the blue and gives you a sloppy wet kiss, just because she felt you needed it.

That's what makes it all worth while.

I am thankful beyond belief for my amazingly sensitive goofball of a daughter.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veterans of War

Yesterday would've been my grandmother's 90th birthday.

Yesterday my great-uncle Bob died at age 91. I just found out.

Can't write like I want to right now. Memories flood and drown me. The are a blessing though they overwhelm.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sniffly Thanks

Today I am grateful to Mojo and cold medicine. Mojo for taking care of me and Arabis with narry a grumble and cold medicine for the obvious reasons.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Blood From a Turnip

I'm having a terrible time making blogging a priority these days. I had hoped that NaBloPoMo would give me the impetus to come back with a bang and it hasn't. It has been more of a chore for which I have no time.

Between chasing around a two year old and rehearsals, I've no time for much else. But I'll persevere doggedly because I hate abandoning things half way through. This is a particularly challenging time in my life and I am finding myself reticent to delve too deeply into my inner psyche and air my mental trash for all the internet to see.

I'm having trouble sleeping again, so my synapses fire slowly or too rapidly to make much sense. Hell I'm so exhausted these days that I've even considered actually posting some of my poetry here. Guaranteed to drive away my three readers for sure!

I have fallen behind on giving daily thanks. I'm not sure by how much. So here's a quick off the cuff list that perhaps I can elaborate on in greater detail when I've more time (insert laugh here) or inclination (a wry chuckle would be appropriate at this juncture):
  • my mother
  • my daughter
  • Shemena, my best friend
  • all my friends, truthfully
  • Mojo
  • the ocean
  • the women who came before

Friday, November 09, 2007


As the mother of a toddler, insomnia is something I cannot afford to indulge in. However it is sometimes unavoidable.

I'm going to pay dearly for this in the morning.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Trouble in Toddler Town

Rough night last night. Arabis was up and down for most of the night. Sometimes mellow, sometimes manic, sometimes sobbing. There was no relief and much discomfort. I suspect more of the second year molars (she's gotten one so far).

Little sleep for me, a bit more for her and it is a somewhat sensitive and brittle morning.

There is just too much going on right now, and I am scattered and pulled in so many different directions I barely know where to turn.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Physics Lessons for my Daughter

Arabis and I went shopping for bras last night and I had a good long look in the mirror. And you know what, after having lost 15 pounds, they look like they're sagging even more.

I gave Arabis a science lesson; "Repeat after me, gravity is not mommy's friend."

"Gra'i'ee," she replied with a serious look on her face.

Yeah. It sucks.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Bonfire Night

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

I really need to burn something tonight.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Exhausting Weekend

I'm not feeling well at all. I am thankful for medicine and a good mattress that calls to me.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gratitude, Day Three: Surrey's Story

I am blessed with storytellers. I am blessed by those that will take the time to sit and share a bit of their life.

I was moved to tears today by the story a friend told of her childhood in England during WWII, of her evacuation from Bristol at about my daughter's age to a farmhouse in the countryside, where she lived with a man and his wife who detested one another and never spoke and the time she spent there, seeing bombs fall on the city where her parents were, not knowing whether they were alive or dead and no one to go to for comfort or solace.

After the war, her extended family pooled their ration cards for petrol so her parents could drive out to the farm to collect her.

She spoke of that first Christmas after the war, in London, reverting to her six year old self, the American tones of her voice fading as her child-self came out to talk of the wonders she saw. The lights bright after so many years of blackout curtains. The crowds of people in the streets. People still living in tube stations who had lost everything they had. Children her own age, bedraggled and dirty, scavenging along the Thames during low tide and among the bombed out buildings for anything they could sell. Shopkeepers taking to the streets with their wares in barrows or with tables set in front of their unusable shops.

Children were back in London for the first time in years, she said, and they were greeted with joy. Class lines were erased as strangers called out to one another, wishing the best of the season to rich and poor. A fruit seller gave her a banana as a gift, her first, and she bit into it like an apple, skin and all, not knowing it first had to be peeled.

A fishmonger, selling cockles and winkles and eels, reaching into his basket and pulling out a live eel, slitting it head to tail before her very eyes and cutting off a piece of the raw flesh to give to the wide-eyed, awe struck Surrey.

"My first sushi," she said. "It was salty and sweet all at once and tasted of the sea and freedom."

Friday, November 02, 2007

Dia de los Muertos

Today is Dia de los Muertos. I have always remembered and honored those who have passed before, whose presence in my life helped shape who I am. In the past I have built ofrendas for my ancestors and fallen contemporaries. I place photos, small keepsakes, flowers, water, salt, candles, bread and anything else that strikes me as being appropriate. The house is cleaned and incense is lit. It is a welcoming, refreshing feeling, the building and cleaning, the tears and joy that come with memory.

For the second year I have made no ofrenda. For the second year this post is my ofrenda.

There are people missing from my list. There is too much in my head...or too little, I can't remember which. I write their names and bring them to me for a moment in time. And send them on their way:

Rose Rushdoony Deovlet (Grandma Rosie)
Phil Deovlet (Grandpa)
Rose (Vartoohi) Mahdesian Deovlet (Grandma Darling)
Benjamin Deovlet (Grandpa Darling)
Rose (Vartanoush) Rushdoony (Grandma Rushdoony)
Y.K. Rushdoony (Grandpa Rushdoony)
Mary Movsesian (Auntie Mim)
Spurgeon Avakian (Uncle Sparky)
Ruth Avakian (Auntie Ruthie)
Evelyn Cooper Smith (Grandma Evelyn)
Haywood Smith (Grandpa Haywood)
Auntie Margie
Bob Thomas
Dave Ricker
Robin Wadsworth
Michael Hefflin
Maxina Danner (Snookie)
Jennifer Lee
Patrick Lee
Mace Hanley
Shelly Munge
Dan O'Brien
Ricky Paul
Barbara Rose
Ronnie Geoffrion
Dave Coker
Don Mills
Wally Lockwood
Sally Schneider
Linda Underhill
Manny Suarez
Mary Jo Goss
Andrew Small
Phil Robledo
Amethyst Mariani
Theryl O'Ryan

Gratitude: Today I am grateful for my family and friends who have gone on and for those who are with me still. I am blessed by your presence in my life, your belief in me and your love.

"To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due."
Neil Gaiman

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Late nap, late dinner, late bath, late laundry...exhausted me. So lest I forget:


I want to start out by giving thanks to the always encouraging Boogiemum herself. I don't even remember how we found each other in the vast unchartable wasteland that is the internet, but we did and have been enjoying each other's writing and chatting in the ether for over a year. She has been unflaggingly supportive of my ups and downs, always there with a kind word when I reappear after an absence and generally being just being an amazingly wonderful and giving woman.

So, thanks to you, Boogiemum. I wish we lived closer so we could actually go sit in a cafe and chat up a storm.

Oh, No! It's National Blog Posting Month!

That's right, folks. The return of the infamous NaBloPoMo, guaranteed to kick my butt for the second year in a row.

This is not my official first post, hence no links, graphics or photos. This is merely a post to say that I have a toddler who is refusing to nap, ergo no computer time for me just yet. I'm going to scrape by tonight if I can ever get to sleep!

The dilemma now is, of course, do I keep her up in the hopes of getting her to sleep early this evening, or try to get her to sleep for a few hours of blissful solitude and writing? Hmmmmmm....both are intriguing prospects.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Artistic Expression

To the Person Who Invented Washable Crayons:

I think I love you. Really.

You have a very special place reserved for you in Paradise.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

In Memorium

Maxina Danner
Born: 25 March 1987
Murdered: 27 September 2004

You are loved and missed, Snookie. You are forever in our hearts.
You are remembered.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Mojo: "Will you be a good girl for Mommy today?"

Arabis: "Noooooooooooooo."

Well. She's my kid, that's for sure!

Strike Two and a Home Run

While boiling pasta for Arabis' dinner last night I got distracted and let all the water boil out, leaving a charred mass of black sludge in the bottom of a vintage Revereware pot.

Thankfully my mother was here. She told me to put a little water in the bottom and some cleanser and let it set. Needless to say I then made new pasta while my daughter cried in the other room, telling her grandmother how much I mistreat her, scorch her food and force her to wear clothes.

Well, I may not be able to boil noodles tonight, but damn if I didn't make just about the best souboreg this side of Van! Yummy!!

(DISCLAIMER: The link is purely for identification purposes and is NOT my family's recipe.)


Monday, September 10, 2007

Two Dilemas

This afternoon we have two major problems. They work in tandem. The first is that I am having a terrible time staying awake. I feel like vultures are circling. I must keep moving. If I stop for only a minute, to sit on the sofa say, I will fall asleep. Then the vultures will descend in the form of the second problem.

Arabis will not keep her clothes on. Whenever I fall asleep, I awaken to her naked. Naked and jumping on my head. Naked and playing with her blocks. Naked and riding her wooden rocking horse like a pint-sized Lady Godiva. Then we reenact a distaff version of the infamous Undertaker vs. Mankind "Hell in a Cell" match wherein I attempt to clothe and diaper her and she resists. To anyone outside in the hallway it must sound like the Slaughter of the Innocents.

So I've finally managed to get her into a pair of Osh Kosh overall shorts, sans shirt, which she can't remove (knock on wood). I am in the kitchen drinking a coke and making her dinner.

But I can tell. This is not over. Not by a long shot.

Ready for her Bath

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Home from camping on Mt. Diablo this weekend, aptly named as it was hot as Hades! We saw a family of raccoons, quail, a tarantula and so many flies I wished for an Australian outback hat, despite its ridiculous nature.

Arabis had fun, although the constant vigilance was tiring for both Mojo and I. Our girl is tenacious and willful, albeit with a sweet nature, and it is coming out in droves right now. She will listen calmly to what is asked of her and then do her own thing if it doesn't suit her needs. (Expect an entry on discipline and cries for help very soon!)

I took a goodly amount of photos but am too tired to download the camera. A photo essay will be forthcoming in the next day or two. Unfortunately I didn't get a shot of the tarantula since I forgot my camera back at camp. But I did get a few spectacular shots of the sunset, tinged a brilliant orange-red by the smoke from all the wildfires.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why I Hate Berkeley (S)Mothers

Arabis and I headed off to Totland early this morning, leaving Monkey Boi home in bed (he was up too late playing Starcraft on the computer). We get there and Arabis heads off running to check out all her favorite stuff. There are two older girls on the slide (about seven and five: far older than the normal Totland demographic) and they are monopolizing the slide, climbing up it the wrong way and not letting other kids get on. Arabis manages to wriggle past them and as she is on the ladder almost to the top, the older one runs around to climb up the stairs and pushes past her, almost sending her tumbling backwards down the stairs. Then both girls stand at the top of the slide and prevent Arabis from going down. Arabis looks askance for a moment before deciding that she's just going back down the stairs. There is no adult in sight supervising them.

I come over and tell her that those girls didn't want to share and we'd just go play on something else. She was fine with that and we go off and play on some other equipment. We talked to another mother and grandmother who complimented Arabis on her t-shirt ("Hello, my name is Trouble") and her rock star sunglasses. I pushed her on the baby swings and we played on the big wooden structure and drove cars around.

Then she wanted to go on the adult swing (there are two in the corner). The older of the two girls from the slide was on one so I took Arabis to the other swing and pushed her very gently for a little bit (she's just getting the hang of the how the big swing works). She got down after a little while and walked in front of the other swing. I cried out and dove to grab her but the girl sped up and kicked Arabis in the head, sending her sprawling in the sand.

She had sand in her mouth, on her teeth, streaked down her face on the tracks of tears, in her hair. I scooped her up and carried her hysterical to the bench, checking her for any obvious injury and trying to comfort her as much as possible. Got her to drink some water and eventually calm down. Scooped the sand out of her mouth and checked all her teeth for anything loose (no, thank goodness) and cleaned her up as best I could. One woman came over to see if we were okay, which was very nice.

I look over and notice an adult talking to the older girl who is still on the swing. The girl gets off the swing and follows the woman to a stroller where the woman proceeds to strap the younger girl in to. I pick up Arabis, who has stopped crying and gasping and walk over to them.

"Your daughters almost pushed my child down the steps of the slide about a half hour ago. They have been bullying other kids in this playground and now your daughter just kicked my child in the head," I tell this woman in a voice so calm I frightened myself.

"Thank you for informing me of their actions," says the woman, not looking up at me and fiddling with her bag and the stroller.

"I would like your daughter to apologize," I tell her through clenched teeth.

"Only if you apologize first for being so angry," the miserable woman replies.

I was aghast. What the fuck?!? I look down at her kids, who are also refusing to look at me. I look at her with my mouth open in shock. A thousand unutterable names course through my head but I am aware of all the toddlers around us and I manage to not call her a miserable sniveling c*nt of a camel's whore and just say, "Excuse me?"

She repeated her desire that I needed to apologize for my anger before her child would apologize to Arabis for kicking her in the head.

"You're insane," I said. And she walked away.

I took Arabis to the car and gave her some milk and held her while she got hysterical again. Then after I got her calmed down I called my friend Shemena to rant because I got hysterical.

We went home and she's fine. She's got some bruising around one temple so I gave her some Tylenol. Her pupils are fine. She and Monkey Boi played with the Duplo blocks for a while and chased each other around laughing, so I think she is fine. I'll still watch her and look for any additional bruising in the bath tonight.

On a happier note, here are a couple portraits taken this morning prior to going to the park. It's hard to take self-portraits with a wiggly todder: we never both look good in the same shot!

The Look

Self-Portrait with Wiggle Worm

Wha' dat?

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Sky is Falling!

I bought a chicken today. Or more accurately, I purchased a carcass that once housed the soul of a chicken (if chickens can be said to possess souls {which is a philosophical discussion for another time}).

This is kind of a big deal for me. In no way am I the "Suzy Homemaker" type. No domestic diva, I. Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray (annoying woman who my mother adores) have nothing to fear from me. In short, I flunked Girl101.

I hate to cook. (Disclaimer: this does not apply to Armenian food. I am an awesome Armenian cook.) I love to bake and am quite good at that, but just the thought of cooking can still send shudders of horror and anxiety through me. I've gotten better over the years and especially in these last two and half years that have found me out of the workplace. Dare I say it, I've gotten almost adventuresome. I've cooked steaks. I've tried recipes from cookbooks. I've even deviated from them and branched out on my own. Now, I face the final frontier: the chicken.

I have a "thing" about chickens. It's not really a phobia. It's more of an extreme dislike and lack of respect. I even have trouble eating chicken. It stems from my childhood and spending time in Fresno during the summers. When I was younger, Fresno was the "New Old Country" for Armenians on the West Coast (I think that distinction has moved to Glendale now). And 35 to 40 years ago it was not the urban sprawl in the Central Valley that it is today. There were still orchards and farms quite close to town.

We would go visit my Auntie Zaroohi on her farm. Sometimes we kids would get sent into the fields to pick grape leaves and the old ladies would can them to use later for dolma and yalanchi. Afterwards, we would sit on her porch, drink lemonade and eat pomegranates. Auntie kept chickens. Chickens are disgusting animals. They are dirty and mean with cannibalistic tendencies. Occasionally we had to gather eggs or feed them. I never liked walking through the pen, being that close to them. They would peck at your feet and argue and harass you. The sensation of chicken shit squishing between my bare toes as I walked is one that instills a sense of stomach churning disgust in me to this day.

I have never baked a chicken. Or roasted. Or whatever you call it when you stuff it with dried bread and lay it nicely in a pan with potatoes and carrots and onions around it. But I am going to tonight. I am obviously possessed of a trickster djinn who is going to be greatly amused by the spectacle, but I'm going to give it my best shot. I've got a Joy of Cooking and Mojo has his Betty Crocker Cookbook around here somewhere, and damn it if I'm not going to feed this nasty bird to my loved ones! Just see if I don't!

I'll let you know tomorrow how it goes. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 09, 2007


My goodness, it's dusty in here! With cobwebs hanging from all the corners. No one has been here for a long time. That's going to have to change.

Let's do a little housekeeping and see what we can come up with.

Is anyone still out there?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It Runs in the Family

It's Saturday night and I am frantically getting ready to head to the art center for the final performance of "Macbeth." My mother has agreed to babysit Arabis for the night and is sitting at the table with my daughter, eating dinner.

From in the bathroom, I hear the following conversation:

Grandma: "Arabis, do you know how to scare a bee?"

Arabis: "Bee!"

Grandma: "You sneak up behind it very quietly and a great big voice yell, BOO BEE!"

Arabis: (giggling) "Boo-bee! Boobie! BOOBIE!!!!!!!!"

(Thanks, Mom.)

In other news: I promise a full post with updates very soon. My life has been crazed these past few months what with moving into a bigger live/work space (in the same building), rehearsing for and performing in a 13-show run of "Macbeth" in Berkeley (just closed this weekend), another possibly big thing in the works that I can't talk about right now and Arabis's second birthday. A lot has been going on. But I miss this forum and I miss everyone (Hi, Boogiemum!) and look forward to being a regular presence on the Interschnitzel once again.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Conversations With My Daughter

Me: Are you my evil minion?

Arabis: Yeah!

Me: Are we going to take over the world?

Arabis: Yeah, yeah!!

Me: Is Mama a benevolent dictator?

Arabis: Eh (shrugs shoulders).

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Living on the Freeway

Some of you local San Francisco Bay Area types may have heard of an accident recently involving a tanker loaded with gasoline and a particularly grueling stretch of freeway. What you may not know is that I live, oh, less than half a mile from the section of freeway in question. And now, thanks to the powers that be, all freeway traffic that would normally be bypassing my lonely stretch of industrial West Oakland is hurtling down the major thoroughfare in front of my house at freeway-like speeds.

I've watched the news the last few days (those of you can be as aghast as you want to find that this is not a normal occurrence for me) and listened to traffic reporters gratefully relating how traffic has been lighter than normal. There was even a mobile news van set up on the corner for about six hours on Monday with a reporter going on camera every hour or so. Had I known what kind of hogwash they'd be spilling, I'd have run out there with Arabis in tow and given them what for.

"How's this traffic affecting the neighborhood?" Ross McGowan of KTVU asks the anonymous reporter hanging out at the Arco station up the street.

"Oh, it's no big deal. It's great for small businesses," our clueless correspondent replied.

There is, wait let me count, *ONE* small business between the two points on the detour and that is (da-da-da-DAH, you guessed it!) the ARCO Station (known in the neighborhood as Crackhead Central).

The reality is that between the cars racing down the street, the exhaust that has easily trebled (if not more), the noise pollution of horns, engines and screeching brakes (not to mention the almost constant drone of the helicopters overhead) have made this a nightmare. The irony of the entire situation is there are other routes one could take that go through less populated areas and shorter distances. One news report does have the decency to urge drivers to "Please use extreme caution while driving this detour route as it makes it way through neighborhoods with children playing and going to school." But judging from the behavior of the drivers outside my window, that is not happening.

I inadvertently drove above the site early Sunday morning (probably less than six hours after it occurred) while going to breakfast, having heard nothing about it previously (other than the incessant helicopters {which in my 'hood could just signify a big drug bust}). It was the most frightening thing I have ever seen. Instant flashbacks to the Loma Prieta earthquake. Especially since I live right in front of the site of the old Cypress Freeway structure that collapsed in that disaster.

Who knows how long this will take to fix, especially with a purported shortage of steel (most of which is going into the new Bay Bridge currently being built). Estimates range from six weeks to months.

Free public transit on Monday was a good start, but it seems it's going to take more than a little freeway collapse to get folks out of their cars. Until then, can anyone recommend a good air filter?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Armenian Martyrs' Day

"If evil of this magnitude can be ignored, if our own children forget, then we deserve oblivion and earn the world's scorn."
Avedis Aharonian (writer and educator, 1866-1948), English translation by Diana Der-Hovanessian

Armenian Genocide Commemoration
Tuesday, April 24th, San Francisco CA

5:00 pm - Rally at San Francisco Civic Center, across from City Hall

7:00 pm - Commemoration Program, Herbst Theater, in the Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue at McAllister, S.F.
The 70 piece Oakland Youth Orchestra will perform Gomidas, Khatcaturian and other Armenian works. This evening will be dedicated to victims of the current genocide in Darfur, Sudan. There will be also be a special dedication to the memory of the recently assassinated Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Donations may be made at the door.

The Mt. Davidson Cross will be lit on April 24th


"I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose history is ended, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, whose literature is unread, whose music is unheard, whose prayers are no longer uttered. Go ahead, destroy this race. Let us say that it is again 1915. There is war in the world. Destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them from their homes into the desert. Let them have neither bread nor water. Burn their houses and their churches. See if the race will not live again when two of them meet in a beer parlor, twenty years after, and laugh, and speak in their tongue. Go ahead, see if you can do anything about it. See if you can stop them from mocking the big ideas of the world, you sons of bitches, a couple of Armenians talking in the world, go ahead and try to destroy them....for when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a new Armenia!"
William Saroyan "The Armenian and the Armenian"

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain

When I put away the dishes, I find myself now stacking my brightly coloured Fiestaware by their order in the colour spectrum. I am doing this with Arabis' plasticware from Ikea as well. This is new behaviour.

Am I turning into a hausfrau or just an obsessive/compulsive?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Smell of White Gas, the Roar of the Flame

Home from fire rehearsal to find Arabis and Mojo asleep together on the sofa. I strip off my sooty and soiled clothes in the bathroom and immediately jump in the shower. The water is as redemptive as the fire was. I scrub, smile at the familiar smell of burnt hair, close my eyes and let the water run over my face. Today was a shitty day and I was able to burn it all away this evening.

Someone once asked me what the unifying theme was that all fire dancers possessed ( fire?). The person pressed and I replied; "None of us have hair on our arms."

I'm starting to feel like I'm coming back.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Moving Right Along

We are moving. Not far...but far enough that it's still going to be a lot of work, albeit no truck will be required.

We are moving down the hall, relinquishing my 1100 square foot warehouse space for a 2300 square foot space. Suffice to say both Mojo and I are giddy with the possibilities. We will each have room for a personal studio/work space. Our living quarters will be quite separate. No more toddler running amok with art supplies and turning off the computer in mid-sentence! No more books piled high out of reach, leaving barren bottom shelves bereft of baby-borne chaos. (Please excuse the alliteration. I'm really tired.) We will have room to actually put our stuff and no longer be maneuvering through trails between furniture, laundry and baby toys. There will also be much purging of useless items. We will have SPACE!

The downside? We have seven days to move. That may sound like all the time in the world, but Mojo can't take any time off work and I am home alone with the Tiny Terror of Toddler Town which makes any ordinary task challenging (and this is no ordinary task).

We haven't even begun to pack. Also: I have another cold.

The upshot is that you may not hear from me for a week or two. But I am looking forward to having a dedicated workspace to actually write and really get this blog up and running again on a regular basis.

Great things are afoot, but right now I just want to scream.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Hope Springs...

Hope Springs

Found on a burnt husk of a house in West Berkeley this morning while Arabis and I were on walkabout.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pink Slip

To the part of me that thought giving Arabis a bowl full of apple yogurt and turning my back on her to wash the dishes was a good thing:

You're fired.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

We were watching Sesame Street the other day: Mojo, Arabis and I. The fabulous clown, Bill Irwin, came on and danced in front of a curtain.

"Hey!" exclaimed Mojo. "That's Mr Noodle!"

"No it's not." I told him. "That is the Fabulous Clown Bill Irwin."

And I proceeded to give him a rundown of Mr. Irwin's career from his local Pickle Family Circus days to his film and theatrical endeavors. I waxed poetic about having seen him as a child with the Pickles and later as an adult with his show, Fool Moon. I went on a brief tangent explaining who Geoff Hoyle was and their involvement, as well as the tithes owed to other great clowns of the past like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. I was beginning to expound on vaudeville and heading straight for the Italian commedia dell'arte lecture, when I noticed Mojo's eyes glassing over.

"Mr. Noodle is not Bill Irwin. Bill Irwin is a genius! Mr. Noodle is a cheap Bill Irwin impersonator!" I stated with an air of finality. I pretended to ignore Mojo rolling his eyes.

Fastforward to last night. Mojo is surfing the web. I hear a chuckle.

"Could you come here a moment please?" he asks me with a smirk. I have a foreshadowing of my own doom.

There it is. In black and white. IMDB says it's so: Bill Irwin is Mr. Noodle.

We pull up a Sesame Street on "On Demand" and fast forward to "Elmo's World." It's Mr Noodle, all right. Not Mr. Noodle's brother, Mr. Noodle (the late, amazing Michael Jeter), nor is it Mr. Noodle's sister, Ms. Noodle (the annoyingly adorable Kristin Chenoweth). It's Mr. Noodle trying to put on a hat. I look closely, past the wig and false mustache...yep, there he is. Bill Irwin.

I sure hope crow is in season right now. I'm going to be eating a nice big helping.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


We've been puke-free for three full days now.

The child was up and playing again as of yesterday, though with a little less enthusiasm then usual. Food is being gradually reintroduced with no upset. We even ventured out into the world today. It's nap-time now and Arabis is in the center of a pile of kitties on the day bed.

I'm trying to gauge whether or not it's safe to take her to her music class tomorrow. We've attended one and missed the following two due to illness. I doubt she's contagious. Just not sure if she's up to it or not. God, I wish the kid could talk.

Although...she did say "caper" yesterday. Heh. My little Bruno.

Thanks to everyone for your well-wishes! We survived (knock on wood, spit thrice)! Yippee!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

State of the Sickie

Arabis went right from having the cold of the century to the stomach virus from hell. And on top of that both ears are infected. We just got back from the doctor. The past 36 hours have been nothing but vomit and diarrhea. The child is a veritable Vesuvius, erupting from both ends. She's lost a pound and a half in weight.

But we have antibiotics for the ear infections and have been doing everything right according to the doctor to keep her hydrated. She's resting now, sleeping peacefully, thank the gods. There hasn't been a lot of sleep for the parental units.

I realize how lucky I am, that this is really only her second illness in 20 months of life, but that doesn't make it any easier. And I had a brief flashback of horror when the doctor said her ears were infected, to my own childhood and my own severe ear problems (resulting in my faulty hearing today). But the days of lancing ear drums are long gone.

She sleeps. I should too.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Courting the Middle Eastern Way

A few days before Christmas, we stopped at the halal market on San Pablo Avenue for supplies needed for the holiday dinner. Mojo, my mid-western goth boi, has developed a taste for Armenian cooking, and I tend to return to my roots when it's especially cold and rainy.

Leaving Mojo in the truck with Arabis and the Monkey Boi, I dashed through the rain and into the market, quickly gathering the necessities (buglar for pilaf, sharia and some paklava as a treat). As I walked toward the counter to pay for my goods, an older man entered and nodded respectfully to the cashier and the butcher, who was standing nearby.

"Happy New Year" he said in English.

"May we all have a happy new year, insh'allah," came the reply.

They proceeded to talk in a mixture of Arabic and English and I caught the word "basterma."

"Do you have basterma?" I interrupted excitedly.

The reply was an enthusiastic affirmative, and the butcher led me into the back of the store, chatting as we walked. He asked me where I was from and I told him I was Armenian. "Then we are cousins," he replied.

Basterma is a marinated and highly spiced meat product, the end result being somewhat akin to beef jerky...only this stuff is lethal to the uninitiated. Mojo, for some bizarre reason, loves it. One of the few odars (non-Armenians) I've ever met who can stomach it.

He showed me where it was kept and began selected a good package for me.

"No, no...not today," I hurriedly told him. "I don't have enough money today. But now I know you have it for next time."

"Not to worry. You don't need money. *I* will buy you the basterma!"

I quickly objected and he insisted that money was no object and the basterma would be a gift from him and that anytime I wanted basterma or soujuk (a spicy sausage) I should come and see him.

"So," he began, "are you married?"

"Yes," I quickly replied. "He is in the car with the children." (NOTE: This is not true. Mojo and I are not married...but marriage is the only concept which carries any weight in this context.)

"Ah. Then, my beautiful cousin, you must buy your own basterma!"

I walked back to the car in the rain laughing happily.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snotty Nosed Kid

Arabis has THE cold. You know the one? The one everyone is getting/has gotten/or is just getting over? Yeah. That one. The same one that I had and got over. That Mojo had...and got over. That I got again...because sharing is caring. And then he got one more time...can you feel the love?

This is the second time she's ever been sick. In her life. She's almost 20 months old but has been healthy as a little horse. Her first illness was the day before her first birthday. If the kid can't handle turning one, I'd hate to see what happens at her fortieth!

But now? Oh, my goodness! It's Sarah Bernhardt shrunk down to 35 inches tall. She's miserable. And must share. The child is living in a viscous environment. She wants nothing than to lay on Papa and moan. Unfortunately, Papa went to work today. I am currently the second (and non-preferred) choice of cuddle buddy. I don't make it all better like Papa does. (Trying not be bitter. Do I sound bitter? I have a "Daddy's Girl.")

So, to cheer everyone up, and then back to bed, I give you just about my favorite Sesame Street guest appearance ever (...well...the one with Robert DeNiro and Elmo is pretty good too).

"C'mon Monsters! You don't have to cry. We can be happy! Yeah!!"

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Year in Review

I've grown awfully fond of Boogiemum. So much so that I broke my self-imposed cardinal rule and posted a meme in her honor.

And I adore Wannabe Hippie. She did a meme too. So here I am...hopping on the lemming train.

Only it'll be a little truncated since this blog has been in existence for less than a year. The idea is that you post the first sentence from the first post of each month. Click on the month link to read the full entry.

May: I will post in this forum at some point.

June: Bit is obsessed with her own reflection.

July: Post coming soon with lots of photos.

August: We got one of our windows shot out yesterday.

September: I know I've not done a proper update in quite a while, but things have been proceeding at a whirlwind pace and to be perfectly honest, I know of no way to comfortably share with the world the poo-flinging currently going on in my personal monkey hut.

: On Sunday, Arabis, Mojo and I met my friend Lisa, her husband Evan and their fabulous son Blue for an afternoon of fun at Children's Fairyland in Oakland.

November: Okay.

: I feel the need to shout out to the world that I live still.

Not terribly exciting, is it? But it is a good reminder that a catchy opening line will do wonders.

Monkey Boi returns to Ohio tomorrow and then things will settle back to normal and I can regale you with holiday photos and tales of joy and mirth...or mayhem and murder. No debauchery. It wasn't that kind of Christmas, not with the two kids around. But we survived, despite my innate dislike of this time of year and the surly countenance that accompanies it.

I do hope everyone had a lovely and safe New Year's and that this upcoming year brings much joy and peace to all of us. This new year is one of transformation, and I am not sorry in any way to see the ass end of 2006 out the door.