Category Archives: My Friends

How May I Direct Your Call?


So apparently unrelenting boredom is an excellent motivator for blupdating one’s personal blog.  I had no idea.  I am working the front desk at my college of nursing today, which means other than answering phones, there isn’t much to do.  Add to that the little fact that it’s Spring Break this week and how the phone is most decidedly not ringing off the hook and you have a recipe for complete and utter soul-sucking boredom.  Seriously.  I tried to get my sister to entertain me, but she’s all “I have a job, I don’t have time to entertain you…”  Rude.  Okay, she wasn’t rude about it all.  I just need entertainment.  Clearly it’s up to me to relieve my ennui.

So what shall we talk about, gentle reader?


Wow, okay, so Spring Break was like three weeks ago and I never finished this post.  Know what happened?  I couldn’t think of anything to talk about.  That’s just sad.  It’s not like nothing has been going on.  There’s been somethings.  For example, I took a couple of days off during Spring Break and devoted them to complete self-absorption.  The parentals were on vacation so it was just me and the dogs.  Thursday and Friday were spent with friends doing fun friendy things like movies and rock barrels and IKEA, etc.  Had dinner Friday night at the Fort Worth Food Truck Park (Lee’s Grilled Cheeses-a food truck devoted to grilled cheese sandwiches.  What is not to love there??)  Saturday I slept in, read the newspaper, watched Bones and Vampire Diaries DVDs and went to bed early.  Sunday I slept in, read the newspaper and drank Dad’s superior “Daddy Coffee”, finished reading Kim Harrison’s newest, watched some more Bones DVDs and then went to bed early.

Then weekend before last, I went to that cosmopolitan metropolis known as Beaumont with mah bestie.  She received an academic award because she’s a smartie-pants.  We would have stayed in that sophisticated city, but we decided Galveston was more to our liking so we spent the rest of the weekend there.  We…walked on the beach (sweet!), collected sea shells, ate at Gaido’s sister restaurant, Casey’s (less than fresh, should’ve sucked it up and gone to Gaido’s), walked along the Strand, stared longingly at the Port of Galveston where the Triumph was sitting in dock waiting to cruise to Cozumel, got massively sunburned (just me), stayed in a crap hotel (but who cares where you sleep??), had breakfast at Waffle House (fan-freaking-tastic) and headed back to Fort Worth.  Plus, we stopped at Buc-cee’s twice, on the way there (tasty hot chocolate!) and on the way back (solarcaine!!).  I may have to do a separate post on the marvels of Buc-cees.  It’s like a little gas station theme park right in the middle of 1-10.  It’s a thing of beauty.  Would you like a couple of pics of the road trip?  TOO BAD!  You’re getting a couple anyway.  🙂

In East Texas on the road to Beaumont, pretty amirite?

This badass bridge between Beaumont and Port Arthur (I thought it was cool anyway…)

Galveston beach…got there early in the a.m. to watch the sun come up, but it was already kind of crowded.

So, see??  Stuff.

I think this qualifies as a blupdate.  Go, me!  Now go forth and enjoy your day. . .


Spoiled Rotten


That’s me.  Spoiled rotten.  I can’t even work up a respectable self-pity episode when I’m so completely and thoroughly spoiled by the people around me.  See it’s my birthday and I’m 40.  I know, I know I don’t look a day over 39, but it’s true.  I’ve been feeling…well…sorry for myself.  I mean as a youth I had an idea where my life would be and how it would look at 40 and, I’m telling you, there is absolutely no resemblance between my expectations and my reality.  I was prepared for rampant depression, comfort eating, and perhaps a bit of wallowing.  Instead I got BFF’d.  Have you ever seen the television show, “How I Met Your Mother?”  Every time Marshall successfully argues a point with his friends he follows it up with the word, “Lawyered!”  It’s funny because he is a lawyer.  Maybe you had to be there.  Anyway, I was not lawyered.  I was BFF’d.

L2 whisked me away first to Freebirds, where I disappointed her expectations by not ordering a burrito.  We did get chocolate next door at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  We then went to Fresco’s in Arlington where I had a pedicure and a haircut.  The pedicure was an experience because, well, I kind of maybe haven’t shaved my legs in three weeks.  What?  It’s been cold and I’ve been wearing jeans and boots.  No need.  So I was pretty embarrassed by my Chewbacca leg-do, but I pedicured up anyway.  I have sparkly burgundy toes now.  Then I cut off my hair-it’s kind of short now, but I really like it.  BFF then took me to Half Price Books where we spent all of ten minutes before leaving abruptly for El Gabby’s, where as it turns out, a whole host of friends and family were waiting for me.  L2 gave me a good old-fashioned surprise party.  I got bling, I got seriously good hot chocolate k-cups, and I got…wow, and hard to find the words, I have deleted and retyped this exactly five times.  L2 and Work Aunt got together and collected for my cruise fund.  I don’t know how much is in the jar, but it’s a lot.  I’ll count it later, right now I am kind of basking in the idea of a cruise, but more importantly I’m basking in the idea that so many people thought to contribute to it.

See, I can whine all day about how old I feel or how I’m middle aged now, or blah wah wah, boo hoo, but the truth is that age has brought me time to find and make friends, the kind of friends who will unselfishly think up a good idea and run with it just because they want the gratification of seeing someone else have a good day.  The kind of people who will give of themselves, whether it’s time or just some goofy ass sense of humor that turns out to be much needed.  And the kind of people who let you do for them in turn.

Yes, L2, I had a good day.  I did tear up even if you didn’t get quite the reaction you were hoping for (complete and total shock v. tears).  What made me cry tonight (and made me get up in the middle of the night to type it out because I couldn’t sleep until I did) was the fact that you would go to all that trouble for ME.  That my friends think enough of me to just to sign a card or show up for dinner, much less work together to give me such a gift.  The fact that everything did that for me?  It’s sort of leaving me gobsmacked.  From the bottom of my (sober) heart, thank you for being there and for reminding me that 40 is an opportunity, not a tragedy.

Here’s to another 40 with all my friends…

Teachers Know Best


My friend Yalayla is all kinds of smart, witty and fun.  I always love it when she comes to see a show I am in because I can pick out her unique contagious laughter from the crowd.  It makes me thrilled to have a friend there who supports me and doesn’t judge.  She can be serious when that’s called for, but she also has an excellent sense of play.  She likes what she likes, but she’s not afraid of trying new things, either.  All of these traits of Yalayla’s combine to form a compelling instructor.  She is an amazing teacher because she loves what she teaches and she has a genuine passion for sharing that with others.  She can take a difficult topic and break it down so it’s easy to understand.  She has the creative ability to approach a topic from many different angles, allowing many different types of learners the opportunity to understand the concepts she’s teaching.  She is humble and takes pride in continuing her journey as a life-long learner.  She knows she doesn’t know everything and that makes her open to so many ideas.  She is patient, wise and has fantastic taste in music.  No lie.  Between her and Elle, if there is anything worth listening to on my iPod it’s because my friend shared it with me.  I am lucky to have her for a friend.

Recently, she vented on her blog.  I like what she had to say.  It’s easy to villify others and point fingers about our educational system, but beating down the front line does no one any favors.  I hope every student has a Yalayla for a teacher at least once.  The world would be a better place.

Checking In…


December has been a mixed bag.  How is this you may ask?  Well let me explicate.  🙂

BAD: I was deathly ill the first two weeks.  I had the raging fever, chills, nausea, coughing (snot fun!), the whole nine yards.  Wasn’t flu-which THANK YOU, OH GREAT HIGHER POWER, because after relentlessly nagging my nursing students to turn in their flu shots, they would have never let me forget this.  Wasn’t pneumonia.  It was just a nasty mean little bug which required two rounds of antibiotics and some codeine, followed by hydrocodone-based coughing syrup just to get through it.

GOOD: The tech guy at my office taught me how to VPN from home and my boss allowed me to work from home almost the entire two weeks so I didn’t have to take so much sick time.  Most days were half-days and if I disappeared offline for hours at a time to rest, no one raised an eyebrow.  My office-peeps rock!!!!!

BAD: I ran out of money, like December 4th.

GOOD: The professors pitched in and gave every single secretary in the office a cash bonus out of their own pockets.  It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to get me through the month without having to borrow money from my parents or my sister.

BAD: I was sick when my parents bought my birthday lemon pie and I couldn’t even really taste it before it went bad.

GOOD: My former boss (from social work) stopped by my office the other day and gave me a plate of her homemade lemon bars, which DUDE, those babies are awesome.  Graham cracker crust, cream cheese and lemon.  That first bite of mannah did not taste as good.  Just saying.

BAD: I am officially out of room for books.  Like literally-in my closet where the clothes should live, I have stacks and stacks of books.  There is NO MORE ROOM IN THE INN.  Which for a total book-whore like myself is sadness.

GOOD: My sister and my friends pitched in and gave me a Nook for Christmas.  And my work-group of friends who were in on the secret gave me a pretty little cover for my Nook.  What?  You want to see it?  Okay.

Tupper Quote Cover in Leaf by Barnes & Noble: Product Image

So, although, being broke and being sick on my birthday sucked dirty socks, I’m going to say that the good outweighed the bad by like A LOT.

Aside from that, there are all kinds of things going on in the lives of my family and friends that I’m truly invested in.  I have an Arizona friend I need to feel better ASAP.  I have a family member in Utah that I’m sending all my happy-this-will-totally-work vibes out to.  I have a sister who is making huge life changes and is brave and badass.  In short, with all the other stuff all the other people in my life are dealing with, I’m just feeling blessed that I get to be in their lives.

A Real Actual Blupdate or Randomness 11/17/2010 Edition


Okay, so Glee has taken over my blog.  Not my life, just my blog, which you’d never know from how many Glee reviews there are v. how many life-for-izzybella blupdates there are not.  I thought I’d give the bullet version of the last month.  I had a longer description in me, but it went out in letter form to jehara and I’m all typed out.   (That’s not a tease, jehara, the envelope is sealed and stamped – Homer Simpson, thank you very much – and all that remains is for me to drop it off at the post office, which I will do right after work.)  So:

  • Went on a cruise to Cozumel.  My cruise ship did not have a fire in the engine room, which is such a relief!  Seriously that other Carnival cruise drama happened the week after I got back and about 20 different people gave me some variation of “wow, that could have been you!!”  The cruise was a lot of fun.  I spent the majority of the time reading, sleeping, eating, reading, sleeping, reading, eating, drinking alcoholic drinks out of a coconut, reading, eating, eating dessert after the eating, reading and sleeping.  Also I laid out in a deck chair and got an actual tan.  It was very taxing as you can see.  Cozumel is beautiful.  It’s astounding how blue and clear non-oil-slicked ocean water is.  Cozumel was a definite high point as was the reading, sleeping, and eating.  Plus Victor Krum, one of our dining room waiters from Bulgaria.  His name isn’t really Victor Krum.  You’re astonished, right?
  • Work.  I don’t know what to add to that.  I’ve gotten used to the cycles here-we’re about to hit a busy season and I’m currently in the calm before the storm.  They’re sending out acceptance letters right now and once those go out, my workload increases drastically.  So I’m enjoying the breathing room while I have it.
  • The Texas Rangers did not win the World Series.  Okay, that didn’t happen to me personally, but I’ve been mightily interested.  I did not expect them to actually win; in fact, I didn’t really expect them to even make it as far as they did.  Just winning our division was so entirely awesome-getting to play the World Series was like tasty buttercream icing on top of the cake.  I think what made it so awesome was that it happened the same season that Nolan Ryan and partners purchased the team.  There’s something just RIGHT about Nolan Ryan owning the Rangers.  It makes me happy.  I was at the stadium (the old one) the night Nolan Right pitched his sixth no-hitter.  That was pretty awesome.  I mean not as awesome as it would have to have been there this night:
  •   Image from (You could buy an autographed copy there if you want…)
  •  L2 is lucky she made it off the ship alive.  She made a comment in passing about how the Rangers were going to lose and almost got her head ripped off by card carrying tee-shirt wearing Ranger’s fan.  I may slightly exaggerate, but not much.  I diffused though and L2 still lives.  🙂
  • I will be watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I tomorrow night.  Midnight.  Okay, lets face it.  I’m not a night person.  If it weren’t Harry Potter there is no way on the Lord’s lovely green earth that I would be staying up late to watch a movie.  With teenagers.  Lots of them.  Oh, crap, is too late to change my mind???  No?  Okay, then.  I have Friday off, which I will be using to sleep.  I have my priorities.

So that’s my bullet blupdate for now.  Hope your month has been just as good or better!

Thursday Thirteen


My last two posts were about bat-shit crazies, so I thought I’d dedicate this list to thirteen people who have made my life better just by being who they are:

  1. I have to start with ChaucerianGirl (aka, foi, the best sister a girl could ask for).  I idolized foi from the moment I met her and at 5 my life’s goal was to be just like her when I grew up.  I realize now that would never have been possible as there can only be one foi and she’s it.  She loved, nurtured, and protected me as a child, not to mention there was a serious amount of spoilage that went on.  As I grew older she morphed into my best friend.  I have a lot of best friends-I’m just really blessed and lucky that way-but she’s something besides that.  It doesn’t matter what I say or do, she made it clear to me at a very early age that she would always love me.  And it’s not like she has to say it because she shows it – has shown it – every single day of my life.  Simply put, I can’t imagine my life without her.
  2. I’m on a brief sister theme here. I’m adding my younger sister, A, to the mix.  She’s gone now, and both foi and I miss her very much.  But she was pure joy when she was here and whole.  You couldn’t keep her down and depressed for long-she’d pop back up, cracking-wise and making everyone in the room laugh.  She kept me on two feet when I was going through my divorce and she gave, hands-down, the best hugs ever.
  3. My senior year of high school, I upped and moved to a different school in a different state.  It was strange and lonely and I felt like I didn’t belong even in my own skin.  And then I met R.  It was insta-best-friend.  I was sitting on the porch in front of the theatre building and I waved at her because I thought she was someone else.  She waved back and walked over to talk to me and I realized my mistake right away.  Best. Mistake. Ever.  Within 15 minutes, I’d made a friend that completely changed my life.  She was so completely different from me and saw things in such a unique way-it opened entire worlds for me and set a “best friend standard” that exists to this day.  See all of my best friends have different traits and strengths that I admire, and I always learn a new world-view from them.  I don’t talk to R as much as I used to-we’ve gone as long as five or six years without talking.  But to this day, when we do get back in touch, it’s like no time has passed.  We’ve been having the same conversation for over 20 years-just a lot of breaks in between.
  4. Mel was another insta-friend.  Actually, she intimidated me slightly when I first met her, just because she’s so wicked smart.  Sometimes when I look at our friendship, I sense a smartness imbalance because, like foi, she’s an eternal student, always trying to discover something new about the world.  The same time I was reading a Sookie Stackhouse novel, she was wrapped up in a re-read of Nineteen Eighty-Four, absolutely thrilling to it.  I just think we met up at the EXACT right moment in time at the exact right place.  We always have fun together-she has this unpredictable sense of humor and will verbalize the most delicious non-sequitors I’ve ever heard.  In addition to L2 (see #5) she’s the reason I have any remotely decent CDs in my musical collection.  She’s always discovering new bands and sharing them.  In fact, she shares all her discoveries and this woman is like freaking Jacques Cousteau when it comes to cultural exploration. 
  5. L2 and I have a special knack for pissing one another off at times, but we always get past it.  Here’s the thing I appreciate about her the most-she’s fearless about the things I am a total chicken about.  She pushes me and encourages me.  There’s a time for being upset and grieving, a time for crying, and she is ALWAYS there for those times.  But when it’s been long enough, she’s also the person who drags me off my ass and tries to show me the world.  When I say I can’t do a thing, her question is always “why not?”  She makes me rethink it and lots of times, she’s absolutely right.  I can do it if I stop being such a wuss.  Plus, she’s an awesome road trip/vacation buddy.  She does not bitch that I have to make so many rest stops.  I mean, there’s minor mocking, but never genuine bitching.  And she wants to see all the sights, but doesn’t object to slowing down, pulling out a pillow and taking a nap.  Since our friendship began, we’ve developed traditions and inside jokes that bring a lot of joy.  At the end of the day, though she absolutely accepts me for who I am, she’s also encouraging when I want to be better.  Not to mention, she keeps me supplied with the ultimate coffee flavored hard candy.  You know those reason, season, lifetime quotations regarding friendship?  She totally a lifetimer.
  6. Rosanna-danna.  She doesn’t read my blog so she won’t be reading the love-fest I’m partaking in here.  But she’s pretty freaking cool.  Single mom, works full-time, going to school, has her extra-sweet honey-love and still finds time to be a kick-ass friend.  Want to crack up at stupid jokes?  Wanna hear good fun bawdy stories?  Want someone who will always look on the bright side of things even when it’s a cloudy-gray day?  You need a Ro in your life, then.  But you can’t have mine, she’s taken.  🙂
  7. Waja, waja.  He’s like 20 feet tall (kidding, he’s only about 6’4) and a total nerdy beanpole.  I love him.  He’s a smiler-one of those types who, when he does finally get all old and wrinkly, will have tons of crinkley smile lines around his eyes.  He embraces his geekage-he loves, loves, loves technology, loves those online RPG games, got super wrapped up in television shows like Lost, Star Trek and the X-Files, and is always willing to engage in some new geeky-chic enterprise.  He likes to pick on people, tease them-it’s his way of showing love and affection.  He will replay an old joke over and over, getting continual laughter out of it.  He likes to really know people.  He asks questions and follow-up questions because he wants to understand.  He hates eating out, but loves going to the movies.  This one time we saw a Jim Carrey movie called The Truman Show.  He was totally caught up to till the end-or as he puts the non-ending.  There was this moment of silence, where the audience might have been soaking in the ambiguity and beauty of a freely-lived life, and then waja spoke…”THAT’S IT????”  It echoed all throughout the theatre and busted the audience up.  I think he’s still irked about the ending of that movie to this day.  He’s just an uncomplicated person.  He says what he means and there’s no subtext.  He’s smart and loyal and funny and one of the best friends I’ve ever had.
  8. Lei-lei.  I met her at university.  She’s hard to describe without descending into a cliche about that certain type of girl who is different from other girls, the free spirit.  But the thing is, she really is a free spirit.  She does not in any way feel confined to specific roles and expectations.  She gives freely of herself and when she loves, she loves deeply.  She doesn’t do anything by halves, but especially love and friendship.  She values her connections to people and she always seeks ways of connection whether it is to her family and friends or to the earth or to spirit.  Some of the most understanding, compassionate people in the world were broken first and then found a way to heal.  I find it amazing knowing all the things she has gone through, that lei-lei is so empathetic and present in her relationships.  Lesser people might have curled up in a ball and died.  Instead she creates art and enjoys others’ art.  She seeks beauty in people and in places.  She is unbelievably giving, but she’s not a pushover either.  She’s just an amazing, strong, beautiful individual and I am priveliged to know her.
  9. V, lei-lei’s artistic partner in crime.  V has cast me in numerous shows, each consecutive one scaring me more than the one previous.  Here’s the thing-V won’t accept anything less on stage than perfect honesty.  She doesn’t want to see an actor up there on stage acting.  She wants to see a human being living an experience.  She want to see the soul of a performer.  Speaking as an actor, that just scares the shit out of me.  I’m not saying that I don’t try for honesty on my performances, but V is at a whole other level.  It’s not one I’m always comfortable with, but in truth if I have grown at all as an actor it’s not because of that one time I played Caitlin in Over the River and Through the Woods.  It’s because of that month that I was a woman who was desperately trying to find her voice.
  10. Amythest.  Now, I don’t know her nearly as well as I want to, but I maintain that once you’ve successfully road-tripped with a person you are friends for life.  She is warm and wise and funny and she’s a very valued member of my tribe.  Her best friend is lei-lei and it kind of fits, you know?  They’re cut from a similar cloth.  She has so many varied interests and life experiences.  It seems like every conversation we have I learn something new about her that serves as further explanation for her kindness and compassion.  I may not know much, but I see enough to know that she’s pretty damn awesome.
  11. Gypsy is my only internet-based friend I’ve ever made.  I still haven’t even met her in person, but here’s what I know about her.  She has the tenacity and smarts to get through nursing school.  In my current position, I’m telling you, I have first hand knowledge of how NOT easy that is.  She has the kindness and generosity of spirit necessary to make her a good nurse.  I know this because I called her for nursing advice when foi fell and and hurt herself.  Her calm manner, soothing voice, and general demeanor got me all un-freaked and allowed me to be helpful to foi instead of a big dumb spazz-monkey.  She loves people hard and that makes her mighty.  Plus she’s a good friend to foi and I love anybody who loves foi.
  12. Ev,the work mom.  Actually, I don’t get to work with her anymore, but she will forever more be my work-mom.  In fact, the highest wish I could wish for my loved ones would be for each to have a work-mom of their own as good as Ev.  It’s not totally possible, because Ev is the bestest, but it’s still a sincere wish.  🙂
  13. MC.  He’s a friend from the early high school days and I’m going to be completely honest here-we only email each other about three or four times a year.  But sometimes when I’m a little blue, I remember him and it makes me happy just knowing he’s in the world.  We were pretty much attached at the hip for three years, and not in the boyfriend/girlfriend way.  He was my best friend, better than a brother, person I could tell anything in the world to.  We reconnected via facebook about two years ago and it’s damn cool knowing he’s a click away.

To play, visit thursday thirteen.

A Blupdate for Melissa–AKA Summer is the Cruelest Season


I need a mint.  I just got back from lunch with the parentals where I stole an onion ring off the monster’s plate.  It was tasty, but onioney and breaded and fried.  Yes, I know.  “Duh.”  But my mouth has that icky taste you get from eating onion rings and washing them down not with the superior Dr. Pepper (because yet again, you are trying to wean yourself off) but with water.  Water is always good, but it does not sufficiently eliminate onion ring mouth unless preceded by toothpaste and floss.  I used to secretly make fun of people I worked with who brushed their teeth right after lunch, but right now I think they’re pretty darn smart. 

It was freaking miserable work walking out to my car this afternoon to meet Dad and the Monster.  Texas isn’t the only state where summer just blows-I think that’s just generally how it is in America.  Sure, there are some places where it’s not so bad and where the concept of a “summer sweater” is not a sick joke.  But most people I know, no matter where in the US they live are not having fun this summer.  From out west (hey, Lei-lei) to east (what up, Mel?) everyone is kind of suffering from an excess of heat.  Here in Texas it’s hot and ridiculously humid.  I don’t think it would feel so unbearable today if we hadn’t just enjoyed a rare 5-day gift from God in the form of unseasonably cool temps and lots and lots of rain.  It was so nice I didn’t even need to use the sunshade in my car.  But the rain, rain has gone away and it’s back to normal, loosely translated as oppressively hot and humid and rather difficult to breathe.  Plus my fair skin turns bright red in the heat and I look like a walking, sweating tomato.  Not in the least bit attractive.  April may be the cruelest month, but summer is the cruelest season.

So what else (besides bitching about the weather which could quite possibly turn into some type of thesis topic by the time I’m done)? 

Let’s see…books.  Have read them.  I’ve been randomly picking authors in the fiction section of the library and seeing what I come up with.  There’s an interesting mix of topics that way, though I will admit that I cheat by reading jacket blurbs and pitching what sounds idiotic.  And trust me-I have a beautiful gift for suspension of disbelief, so if I chuck something for being “idiotic” that should say something.  I’ve read some classic and critical darlings, but I also read a generous amount of brain candy-or if you are a little bit of a book snob, and I won’t hold that against you-trash. 

Movies.  Have seen a few.  I will cop immediately to having seen Eclipse in the theatre on opening night with foi and clover.  It was way less sucky than the first movie and a little less sucky than the second.  The movies continue to improve is what I’m trying to say here, but they aren’t exactly supergood.  Although vampire decapitation?  Pretty cool.  More importantly they showed trailers for two movies I really would like very much to see.  The first is called Red, which I gather is based on a graphic novel of the same name.  I’ve never heard of it and haven’t really researched it, so I have no idea.  The point here is not the comicky nature of it.  The point is Helen Mirren as an action hero.  That’s like a gift straight from the cinema gods.  I love Helen Mirren.  I think she’s classy and a terrific actor and she’s sexier than 9 out of 10 much younger women.  The second is called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part the first.  🙂  I know my readership here, so when I say I squeed like a teenage girl who just saw Taylor Lautner in person, then you’ll completely understand.  It looks awesome.  So awesome I have to continually bold and italicize the word awesome.  Honestly.  Is it November yet?  No, really.  Because if it were November it would be not hot and that much closer to Harry Potter awesomeness

What else?  Work?  Still busy though it has slowed down somewhat.  This will definitely go in cycles, but it’s nice to not be asking someone for work.  There’s plenty for me to do here now.

So I guess that’s my life all blupdated.  Your turn.