Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sunday's Seven Snapshots #10

Monday was Australia Day. We went to a friend's house, had a swim and a BBQ, and played this raunchy game for the first time. 

My guy cuddling with little miss Ivy. 

Astro being Astro

One of my faves released a new album this week, and I'm lovin' it. 

Papa Roach favorited one of my tweets, and I had a fangirl moment. 

This happened - flight booked for May!!  Two Texas trips this year! 

I love wearing old concert tees, especially around the house because they're so soft and comfy. This one's so old that West Germany is still a country. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thoughts #24 - Guilty

From time to time, I get serious on this blog.  This is one of those times.

Australia reports news from the US.  Plus, I regularly read skim US news daily.  I hadn't paid close attention to the Vanderbilt rape case until recently while the trial for Vanderburg and Batey was happening.  Since that time, I've read news reports and opinion pieces.  I wasn't there; this is a quick summary based on the articles that I've read.

College student female (name withheld for the privacy of the victim) and college student athlete male (Vandeburg) return to the male's dorm room after a night out drinking heavily.  The female victim was carried into the room by the male.  She was passed out unconscious.  She was sexually assaulted and urinated on by Vandeburg's friends.  Vandeburg instructed, took pictures and video which he forwarded to other friends.  Female victim remembers none of this.  It wasn't until campus security was reviewing video footage in the dorm for another possible crime (theft or burglary) that the case was brought to the attention of authorities.

Photo:  Tennesean file photos

Vandeburg and Batey have been tried and convicted on all charges, including aggravated rape and aggravate sexual battery (awaiting their sentences).  Two others are awaiting trial, and another couple plead to lesser charges because they received images or video and tried to hide it or get rid of it.

If you want to read about the case yourself, just google.  Or read this -> "Vanderbilt rape trial: Defendants found guilty on all charges".  In fact, the Tennesean has complete coverage of the case and trial (Vanderbilt University is located in Tennessee).

I tell you what keeps feeling like a punch in the gut - this could have been me; this could have been one of my close friends.  This poor girl, the victim, didn't know it happened to her until police provided photographic and video proof to her.  She drank a lot.  She couldn't remember.  She may have been drugged (although, there was no evidence to prove this).  But, she claims she still doesn't remember things that she can see for her own eyes did occur based on the photos and videos.  She believed the story from her boyfriend at the time that she got drunk, vomited, passed out, and he had to take care of her.

I have been that girl.  I have been drunk, and vomited, and passed out, and a boyfriend had to take care of me.  More times than I should have.  This girl was on the Vanderbilt dance team; I was on my university's dance team.  I relate to her.  I have been stupid and irresponsible with my alcohol intake.  I've thrown my intelligence and caution out the door and put myself in dangerous and downright dumb places.  I would have assumed that anything that happened to me was my own fault for putting myself in such precarious situations.

Also, I have done incredibly stupid things while intoxicated.  Things I would have never done sober.  I take responsibility for those actions.

Also, I've experienced blackouts where I truly do not remember what has happened.  This is not a good mental place to be.  It is not a good place to put myself in.  It is not good place to be in if someone has manipulated or drugged you into submission.

When I was in university/college, we didn't have cell phones and social media to have photographic or video proof.  How many times has this happened, and no one knew about it?  How many times does this continue to happen?

A few simple rules for ALL of us to remember:
  • It is NOT okay for alcohol or drugs to be used as an excuse for illegal behavior.
  • It is NOT okay to physically or sexually assault someone while they are unconscious.
  • It is NOT okay to stick a water bottle up someone's anus without his/her consent.  (Yes, this is brutal, but this is one of the assaults that happened in this case)
  • It is NOT okay to NOT report an incident if you receive pictures or videos or an unconscious person being physically manhandled and sexually assaulted.
  • It is NOT okay to be involved in such activity but show little to no remorse, or downplay your part and actions in the assault.
  • It is NOT okay to blame the victim.
There are many, many girls in the university system that this could happen to/does happen to. If only there were investigative teams like those in this case to do the right thing.

I have much respect for the legal team that prosecuted this case, the detectives that investigated, and the victim advocates that counseled and continue to work with the victim.  The victim...from everything that I've read, after she realized the extent of what happened, she has faced this with courage and strength.  Her words - a written statement - after the guilty verdicts were announced:
"Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this difficult process. I'm thankful that the criminal justice system will hold the defendants responsible for their violent crimes. The hard work of the law enforcement officers, prosecutors and victims' advocates who dedicated so many months of their lives to this case has made justice possible.
I want to especially thank detective Jason Mayo, Sgt. Mike Shreeve, Detective Chad Gish, Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman, Assistant District Attorneys Jan Norman and Roger Moore and victims' advocates Wanda Swan, Lt. Rochelle Barrios and Teresa Shearon. You are my heroes and I am so proud of and grateful for each of you.
"I am also hopeful that the publicity this case has received will lead to a discussion of how we can end sexual violence on college campuses. Finally, I want to remind other victims of sexual violence: You are not alone. You are not to blame."
 So many lessons to learn from this one case.  So many lessons.

List #18 - Currently...

Eating: Kale, chickpea, and chicken salad is my new lunch of choice (because I'm trying to make healthier choices). 

Drinking:  Sparkling water

Listening:  My Soundwave playlist on my iPod (Papa Roach, Soundgarden, Slash, Gerard Way, Nothing More, Marilyn Manson, Fall Out Boy, Conditions, Godsmack, Incubus, All Time Low, Falling in Reverse, Smashing Pumpkins)

Reading: Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith by Joe Perry

Wearing: A dress with pockets - I love dresses with pockets!

Watching: QI and Would I Lie To You? -(British panel shows on UKTV or BBC that are hilarious and informative!)

Excited for: My second visit to Texas this year!  Woo hoo!!

Loving: These $5 sunglasses!

Feel free to steal this and tells us what you're currently doing........

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

List #17 - Irreplaceable Products

Being a Texan living in Australia, people often ask what I miss most.  For many people living away from "home", this question is not uncommon.  For all of us expats, there are people, places, and things that we miss.

Tex-Mex (a cuisine that is a fusion between Mexican and Texan foods), without a doubt, is what I crave the most when I'm away from Texas.  Other things that I miss?  Reasonably-priced make-up. (My mom always includes a mascara or lip gloss when she sends me care packages).  An affordable house cleaner (Isabel used to come to my house every other week, clean it perfectly, for only $35.  Man, do I miss Isabel).  Sonic. Taco Bell. Chick-Fil-A.  Oh, there are other things...but I've learned to live without them or find substitutes.

The following items are products that I miss where they are just no substitutes:

1.  Velveeta, or any other product that is processed cheese in a velvety smooth finish that can be made into chile con queso - This a pretty much a Tex-Mex thing.  It shouldn't be.  Smooth, melted cheese (or granted, a cheese-like product) should be appreciated by so many others.  You don't know what you're missing.  I've tried recipes that claim to be chile con queso without Velveeta.  I can't get it to taste anywhere close to what I'm missing.

2.  Bath & Body Works Body Cream - For me, this is the perfect consistency for a body moisturizer with fragrance.  I pretty much don't where any other perfume, and I always get compliments on how I smell.  I've tried other products since living here; nothing works quite as well for me.

3.  Blue Bell Ice Cream - First off, it's "the best ice cream in the country"; that's what they're advertising says, and we know all ads speak the truth.  Well, in this case, it does speak the truth.  The creamy goodness of Blue Bell ice cream is described in this post from - or if you are in the continental US, and you really want to treat yourself, go to their website and order some.  It's really that good, y'all.

4.  Green Goddess salad dressing - Australia has Kraft products.  Australia has salad dressings.  Australians eat a lot of salads.  This is not one available, and this is my favorite.  During this search, I found a recipe to make it.  I'm gonna try that.
5.  Hidden Valley Ranch packets - While we're talking about salad dressings, Australia has some Ranch dressings offered at some stores...but never Hidden Valley (which is the best) and never the packets.  They are so great for cooking and flavoring chicken or to make veggie dips.  Sure, I can look up a cheat recipe, buy all the ingredients, and mix it myself, but that ain't very convenient (or inexpensive).
6.  Anytime I am in need of a "sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine", I want NyQuil.  Again, there are substitutes, but none that work as well for me as NyQuil.

Okay...before I post pictures of the next three items, let's get something cleared up: I love cheese.  All things cheese.  Even substitute cheeses (as if you couldn't tell by the first item in this list).  I know Americans have a weird orange-y cheese that exists nowhere else in the world, but I love it.  It's comfort food for me.  Australia has cheesy flavored items, but none that are quite the same.  Fortunately, I can skip over these super bad snack items in Australia, but I can't pass them up in the US.

7.  Crunchy Cheetos - Australia has the puffed ball Cheetos; I don't want those.  I want the Crunchy Cheetos.  Australia has Twisties, similar size and crunch, but different taste.  I want the Crunchy Cheetos.

8.  Cheez-Its and/or Cheese Nips - Yep, more cheesy goodness.  They try to tell you these are made with real cheese and "baked", so somehow they're not bad for you.  They're bad, very bad...but oh-so-good.

If you were to move to another country, what product would you need to pack just-in-case they didn't have it in your new place of residence?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday's Seven Snapshots #9

I love this shirt I got from Aggieland Outfitters!

I'm such a fan of good candles. This has been my favorite for the past few months. 

Ricky "helping" with the ironing. 

No, I didn't take this picture, but I love it. From ESPN The Magazine, Katy Perry and JJ Watt's photo shoot was absolutely adorable. 

Lovin' my Christmas gift - sapphire & diamond earrings made by my guy. 

Recently, I've found a couple of places in Sydney that carry Stubb's sauces and marinades (from Austin, Texas). Chicken is marinating as I type this...

I'm pretty sure I made the world's best salad: iceberg and cos lettuce, carrot, broccoli, celery, shredded colby, bacon, tomato and onion with avocado vinegrette. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

For Cat Parents Only (because they are possibly the only ones who will enjoy this post)

Long story that I'm trying to write as concise as possible:

Once upon a time, I didn't like cats. I was scared of them, and I was convinced that they sensed my fear and would prey on that weakness. Me being their prey. I was ready for an attack, a hiss, or a scratch anytime I was around a cat.

I loved dogs and pretty much always had a dog in my life. 

My guy enters the picture. He likes dogs AND cats. Love is about compromise. So, I agreed to get a cat. Actually, we adopted three adorable kittens from the Animal Welfare League.  Kittens grew up and are now a little over a year old. I am a cat convert, I love them, and I'm such a crazy cat lady happy cat mama. 

Fast forward to now...I'm still learning about cats and cat behavior. I found myself googling this:

Well, because of this:

Yep, Astro loves to sit on my face, sleep on my head, and be a kitty scarf around my neck. I needed to ask Mr. Google "why?". 

My "research"* findings were this:
  • "He's displaying immense trust" and feels safe with me. - well, that's a good thing, right?
  • He adores me. - duh, who wouldn't?
  • It's the ultimate expression of affection. - awwww, that's so sweet
  • Not only is he "sharing his love", but he's "sharing his scent" too. - uhm, what?
  • "If any other kitties come around, they'll know you already belong to another cat" because he has spread his personal smell on me. - I don't know what to say about this.
  • He's being dominant.  In a household with more than one cat "sleeping on your face puts the top cat at the highest point". - I think some people would say this means he's just being an asshole to the other cats.
There you have it; I think this means Astro loves me.

I can't post this without showing off my other two pretty kitties who don't sit on their
mama's face but still show their love in other special ways (like watching me take a bath which is what they're doing in this photo). 
Ricky & Ivy


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Thoughts #23 - I Believe (link-up)

Megan and Amanda are hosting a link-up, and I'm joining in...
  1. I believe ... I can fly (no, I really don't...and I know that's a terrible joke, but I couldn't help it; it was stuck in my mind, and I had to get it out).
  2. I believe ... that my friend who had brain surgery less than a week ago is a total badass! 
  3. I believe ... that my other friend who is battling cancer is another total badass (her husband's support is pretty amazing too)!
  4. I believe ... that both of these women are touching more lives than they can even imagine with their fighting spirits, strength, and courage.
  5. I believe ... in faith.
  6. I believe ... we all have struggles and challenges, and no one's battle is any less important than another's.  Respect each others' struggles.  Help one another however you can.
  7. I believe ... I've had darker days than most people realize.
  8. I believe ... that my cat Astro's head butts can always bring a smile to my face (and to think there was a time that I didn't like cats).
  9. I believe ... everyone should embark on the experience of a dream vacation, a holiday to beat all holidays, to go to a place where you've always wanted to go, at least once in a lifetime (or lots in a lifetime). 
  10. As cliché as it sounds, I believe ... there is always room to grow.  There are always things to learn.  The search for self-discovery, growth, and knowledge is an on-going process.
  11. I believe ... Tex-Mex is the greatest cuisine on the planet.
  12. I believe ... in these words (thanks to those friends and family members who are "true"):

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday's Seven Snapshots #8

After a few weeks hiatus, I'm back with seven snapshots from this week. 

This week's read was a beautiful, endearing book. Loved it!

Practicing my best Kardashian/Jenner sister pose. Or just loving my "Burst of Coral" lipstick.

We still have some unpacking to do. 

Best lunch of the week: kale, chickpea, mango salad, dry roasted almonds, sparkling water. 

Best dinner of the week: chicken breasts in white wine, herbs, and lemon pepper sauce. 

I was friends with Kim in 7th through 12th grade. We hadn't seen each other for 20 years. She visited Sydney last March and loved it. This is us having a "Cheers!" that she was accepted into a Master's Program and gets to live in Sydney for two more years. A rekindling of an old friendship :)

Saturday night snuggles. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Thoughts #22 - Jenner

I can't say that I ever expected to write a blog piece about a Kardashian or a Jenner, but here it goes.......

Bruce Jenner should be allowed to be anyone he wants to be.

I'll say that again: Bruce Jenner should be allowed to be anyone he wants to be.

As long as he isn't causing harm to another human being (or animal), and he isn't breaking any laws, then Bruce Jenner should be allowed to be anyone he wants to be.

Yes, I said that three times.  I am SO tired of Hollywood tabloids criticizing his appearance, speculating if he is cross-dressing or choosing to transition to a woman.  If that is what he wants to do, shouldn't he be shown respect, even compassion?  I know, I know.  He chose to be on a reality television show with his family.  This choice catapulted him into the world as a topic for celebrity tabloid news (even though he was definitely the most normal voice on the show.  Why does anyone still watch this show?!  Why did I ever watch it, because I admit it...I watched the first season.  Enough already.  I'm going off on a tangent). 

Bruce Jenner won the GOLD MEDAL for the DECATHLON at the 1976 Summer Olympics.  The freakin' gold medal for the freakin' decathlon.  A sport where you actually compete to be the best in ten different events.  He even set the World Record at the time.  I was three years old when this happened (geez, go ahead, do the math, figure out how old I am).  I was only three, yet I remember Bruce Jenner on the Wheaties box.  He made that much of an impact.

Since that time...many things have happened.  Along the way, he had some cosmetic surgery (along with the majority of the rest of Southern California residents that have a considerable amount of money).  He married a woman, they blended their families, he agreed to take part in a ridiculous reality show, he divorced, and I don't think he is on that reality show anymore.

Now, all I ever hear or see about Bruce is his hairstyle, fingernail length, plastic surgery, and questioning if he is changing his gender to a woman.  IF Bruce wants to do this, it is HIS business as well as his children's and loved ones.  It should not be open fodder and target season to judge, mimic, ridicule, or speculate.  It has turned into bullying.  I am against bullying.

The fact that InTouch magazine published a photo and article that is obviously false and filled with irresponsible "journalism" is inexcusable.  Apparently, the photo on the right is an actress from Dynasty; the photo on the left is supposed to be what Bruce wants to look like. 
Read article criticizing In Touch here with above photo credit
I am guilty of buying the occasional trash tabloid magazine.  I admit it.  But, I will never, ever purchase In Touch again.  Plus, this has made me reconsider all the tabloid crap magazines that I may purchase in the future.  This is NOT behavior I want to continue or condone.  By giving them my money, I am condoning it and continuing to ask for further "articles" like this.  Please reconsider your purchases as well.

Bruce Jenner (like he's really going to read this, but if he did, this is for him): I support you being whoever you want to be.  Live your life to be fulfilled and happy in the best possible way that works for you.  Love your children.  Love your life.  Forget the haters.

Bruce Jenner should be allowed to be anyone he wants to be.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Texas on My Mind

I was quiet on my blog for a few weeks.  Did you miss me?  Well, if you were a member of my family in Texas, you probably saw me, so you could care less about this little ol' blog of mine.

If you are someone who doesn't care to read recaps or see highlights from a family vacation, this isn't the post for you.  But, if you want to see my little slice of Texas, join me.

First, how about a little tune to get you in the mood:

Are you in a Texas state of mind? we go...

 We left Christmas afternoon (notice the discarded stocking on the floor).  My bags were packed and ready partially filled with Christmas presents.  I cleared those out when I got there to make room for shopping!  The flight from Sydney to DFW is the longest operating daily commercial flight.  (Qantas announced this on both flights, going there and coming back, so I'm guessing they're pretty proud of this accomplishment.)  We were in the air for 17 hours.  The timezone changes make it seem like we go back in time.  We left at 3:25pm Christmas Day and arrived at 1:45pm Christmas Day.  Woo hoo for crazy time travel!

Dad & Helen were waiting for us.  After hugs and introductions, we hit the road.  It's a three hour drive from the airport to their house.  A road trip in Texas calls for a stop at Buc-cee's.  Yes, Buc-cee's is a gas station and convenience store, but it is oh-so-much more than that.  If you can't find a road trip snack here, then you aren't a snacker.  Two Texas-sized drinks, two t-shirts, two tacos, beef jerky, bar-b-q sandwich, and homemade fudge were gathered and purchased.  I got in the car, took one bite of the chicken fajita taco, and knew I was indeed in Texas.  Mmmmmmmm........

We arrived at Dad's and Helen's in Elkins Lake (Huntsville, Texas).  My dad put out more Christmas lights and decorations that I've ever seen him do.  He claims that he's retired now, so he has a little more time for Christmas lights than before.  Fair enough. 

This Christmas Day was an extra special one for a number of reasons.  I haven't spent Christmas in Texas since 2006.  Plus, the 25th of December is my dad's birthday...and this year was his 70th birthday!  I know he's not overly excited to admit that, but my dad looks great, feels great, and I'm happy to have him another decade (and more!).  This was my first Christmas married to my guy, and the first time he got to meet (in person) my Texas folks.  So many things to be thankful for this year.

On the 26th, we celebrated Christmas.  Dad & Helen were pretty happy folks.  They had their immediate children, step-children, grand-children, and two close friends in attendance.  I think there were 21 of us in all.  There was a lot of love, food, hugs, gifts, and laughs. 

My teenage nieces and nephew doing what we do - take selfies, of course!  I love these kids so much and *maybe* shed a tear or two after saying goodbye to them.

I have this friend, and her name is Erin too.  We call her Erin2.  We were pretty much inseparable for a few years before I moved to Australia.  Since I saw her last, we both gained some husbands that neither of us knew.  So, we decided it would be a good idea to get all of us together.  We had Tex-Mex which made me very happy, and we had a lot of laughs and almost shed some tears.  I miss this girl, but it's good to know that she is in a happy place, and that whenever we get together, our friendship is strong.

Speaking of Tex-Mex.......when people ask me what I miss most about Texas, I always answer Tex-Mex (hey! friend and family are a given!).  I could eat chips, queso, tacos, nachos, fajitas, salsa, enchiladas, quesadillas, and the goodness called Chuy's creamy jalapeño sauce for the rest of my life and be a fat happy girl.  Add some margaritas with that food, and I'm even happier.

My dad has three sisters, and we try to get together every time I'm in Texas for a visit.  This year, we had most of the cousins there too (minus my brother and youngest cousin, Laura).  My Memaw would be very happy and proud.

The Day the Wall Came Down: A Monument to Freedom
We spent a day in College Station, Texas...home of Texas A&M University (my alma mater), my brother, sister-in-law, and their kids, and the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library (no political fodder needed on my blog).  The library is fascinating with photos, handwritten letters, gifts from heads of state, pieces of the Berlin Wall (as seen in this sculpture), and more.  Regardless of supporting his politics or not, President 41 Bush has led an extremely full life from his family life, military service, Texas oil man, Congressman, ambassador to China, CIA Director, Vice President, President, and philanthropist.

The biggest reason that we were in College Station that day is that my oldest niece turned 18.  Yikes!  She picked a special place for a special dinner.  What did I eat you ask?  I had chicken fried filet mignon (only in Texas, and it was SO good y'all) with cream gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans followed by the cutest little key lime pie cheesecake.  All bellies were full and many smiles were shared. 

After dinner, my dad, stepmom, brother, sister-in-law, hubby, and I went to a Texas A&M Men's basketball game.  In my college career, I spent many hours at Aggie basketball games while I was on the Texas Aggie Dance Team (whoop!).  It was fun to see how the atmosphere has progressed and cheer for my team.

The next day, we drove through the piney woods of East Texas to meet up with my mom.  We had Whataburger (which has to be mentioned because it is the greatest fast food chain ever), then headed to Tyler, Texas.  My cousin had a baby since I saw her last, so I had to go by and meet him.  Also, she got a "puppy" named Winnie.  She may be the sweetest dog ever to live with the sweetest brothers ever.

After our visit to Fat Dog's liquor store on New Year's Eve (yep, that was some good people watchin'), we were ready to have our own NYE celebration at Mom's and George's with my two aunts, uncle, cousin, her husband, and kiddos.  It was a good time had by all.  (Yes, I polished off my aunt's bottle of Crown Royal which is my favorite Canadian whiskey that you can't get in Sydney).  So, a really good time was had by me!

More birthday celebrations - this time for my mama.  Yep, Dad was born on Christmas Day, and Mom was born on New Year's Day.  We celebrated with a cookie cake from the Great American Cookie Company (of course).  We feasted on my Aunt Sarah's good ol' home-cooked Southern meal of fried chicken, chicken fried steak, cream gravy, mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese...and I think there was a salad.

Saturday night in Texas...what do we do?  My cousins, close friend who is pretty much family, and I took Neil to his first honky tonk.  There was country music, boot scootin', line dancin', Texas beer drinkin' (hello, Shiner Bock, I've missed you), and people watchin'.  *Some* (not me) of the group stayed up playing games until 4:30 in the morning and maybe was feeling it the next day.
Another mini road trip to us to visit my dear friend in Fort Worth.  Katy moved here a few years ago, and I looooovvvvve Fort Worth.  The ambience of big city plus working cowboys at the stock yards is a perfect blend of Texas culture.  We spent the day eating great food, hanging at saloons called Booger Red's and Filthy McNasty's, listening to a little live music, drinking Texas beer, and walking around the stock yards.  For anyone interested in visiting Texas, I highy recommend Fort Worth. 

We had dinner (yes, Tex-Mex again) with Katy and her guy.  I had margaritas as big as their heads and enjoyed every last drop.  Katy has visited me in Australia, and every time I go to Texas, I see her.  To know Katy is to love Katy, and I'm a lucky girl that she loves me too.

We spent a couple of more days with my sweet mother and George.  We ate a lot, we shopped, and we laughed.  That's what we do.

We met up with Dad and Helen again.  We went to see the H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans Museum of Texas.  Helen had organized for Father's Day a brick to commemorate my dad's military service.  It was a nice museum to walk through, especially with my dad.

Our last day in Texas was spent relaxing and hanging with the folks.  They've got a pretty great place to relax.

Getting prepared for our flight to Sydney, I had a cocktail at Gas Monkey Bar & Grill.  I shed some tears, Neil offered comfort, and I re-grouped to get ready for the flight.  Maybe Neil should have followed my lead because he was a little wired before the 17 hour flight home. 

Seventeen hours later, and this is my view out of the airplane window.  Oh, Sydney, you do have a way with greeting a girl. 

Let's see...we ate A LOT - Sonic, Taco Bell, Whataburger, Chick-Fil-A, Mackenzie's BBQ, Chuy's, Guadalajara, Cantina Laredo, H3 Ranch, Texas Road House, Salt Grass Steak House, The Republic, Los Pericos, Chili's, Wing Stop.......and there were still so many places I wanted to take him.  We didn't even hit some of my favorite spots in Texas or see some of my favorite people, so you know what that means?  I need to go back soon :)