Friday, May 29, 2015

Nothing to say

I think I just went three nights without blogging--unusual for me. But in truth, I had nothing to say. Oh,  I could comment on Dennis Hastert and his troubles but what's the sense? He's dug his own hole and may be digging it deeper. And I could comment on my strong objections to open carry in Texas, especially the idea of "forcing" private schools to comply. What is this with government, particularly state governments, forcing their own morality and standards on everyone? I thought this was the land of the free. But then, if you read my blog at all, you know how I feel about these things, so why should I repeat. Facebook daily gives me things to rant about--Scott Walker's latest bill practically legitimatizing incest, a church scorning a woman for wanting an annulment from her pedophile husband. And the list goes on. It makes you think we live in the best of times, the worst of times.
I could tell you my horror at the flooding in my state. I have never seen anything like this in the 50 years I've lived here. I'm both repelled and fascinated by the TV coverage--Lake Lewisville is slowly backing up into the yard of a friend, and I can't imagine how she feels. I pray for the souls of those washed away in Wimberley, lost in Houston, and other places. Some rivers flood frequently, but we are having floods in unexpected places, and after three years of bemoaning dramatically low lake levels, we have lakes so full they're open the overflow gates. How would I feel if I lived in the path of those released waters? My oldest son and his family lives on a pond/lake that is creeping into their yard and the other day the road our was impassable.
I tend to believe with those who say this is Mother Nature's payback--climate change (scoff all you want--it's undeniable), fracking, pipelines, all the things we're doing to the earth which was God's gift to us. Years before it was fashionable to think about such things, I used to worry that we were covering the earth's surface with concrete--all those parking lots--and not allowing it to breathe, expand and contract in a natural way.
To me, it's sort of convoluted--we have a generation of politicians who put their pocketbooks ahead of public concern and any thought of the future. Don't they have children and grandchildren? Don't they worry about those young ones inheriting their folly, let alone debt. Oops, I've veered off into a political diatribe...but I feel so strongly about some of these points.
On the other hand, for all the worries about the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates and what some of them would do if elected, and for all the worries about ISIS and international problems, I kind of do believe we live in the best of times--our country is flourishing economically, employment is up, public confidence is up. We are a fortunate people.
So maybe tomorrow I'll have something wonderful to comment on--or maybe I'll tell you about the joys (?) of physical therapy.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The temptation to be a recluse

Holiday weekends are sometimes long for people who live alone--friends are busy with families, my local family often has plans (like the PGA tournament this weekend). I had Jacob for company Friday night and part of Saturday, company for brunch Sunday. But my lunch plans for Monday fell through and I didn't have much work on my desk. It looked like a long day inside looking at the rain.
Two things happened: Jordan asked Sunday night if I wanted to go to brunch with them to meet friends (their friends are incredibly nice to me) and several projects, one big, landed on my desk this morning. I decided I'd change my mind about going to brunch and stay home--after all, I was used to being home alone from Saturday and most of Sunday.
But then I thought when you're tempted to stay home is when you should get out of the house. I went with them to Joe T.'s, had huevos ranchero and enjoyed the company, saw Jacob's signed golf ball and pictures of his hat and glove, signed by the winner. Jordan came in for a few minutes when we got home, and then I got back to work.
I find when I stay home a lot, it's hard for me to make myself go out, even for things I enjoy. In fact doing just that after being home sick for a week accounted for my last fall, the one that sent me into physical therapy. It's so easy for me to wrap myself in a cocoon and stay home.
At the same time, I'm a social being by nature, and I need to get out of the house. One friend said I bring people to me rather than going out after them, and that's something I must work on. It's like a lot of things, like my walking exercises--you have to take it one day at a time, and instead of drawing the circle tighter around you, always push at its limits.
The comparison to my physical therapy is apt too. I have too many people willing to help me. Sunday in the rain the newspaper  was in a place that was hard for me to get to. I decided to go down the driveway and approach it from the street, but I had one of those moments--instinct or fear turned me back, and then I was mad at myself. The friends who came for brunch brought my paper in and assured me they were glad I didn't go get it.
Today at Joe T.'s I was walking on a brick walkway--sometimes uneven surfaces make me less certain but this really wasn't bad. But because either Jacob or Jordan were next to me, I held on to them. I've got to learn to think of my cane as the person I'm holding on to. Beating myself up about that one too.
Enough with the confessions.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

In the news...

The news is interesting lately. A Seattle couple left their entire estate--$847,237+ to the U.S. Government in gratitude for the opportunity of living in this country. Both were immigrants--he from Nazi Germany, she from Ireland--and had no family at all. Many of us, myself included, spend so much time moaning about what's wrong with this country--tax cuts for the rich, cuts on all kinds of aid to the poor, silly laws about food stamps and groceries, guns all around us--that maybe we should stop and take a break to think how lucky we are to live in this country. Most of us have food and shelter, we're safe, and as a friend reminded me today, some people would kill for a chance to come to this country. I for one am going to work on gratitude while continuing to fight to make our country the best it can be for all citizens. There is a discouraging note: some economist or such authority noted that at the rate the U.S. spends money, that legacy will be spent in 31 seconds. But it's the gesture that matters.
In new from France grocers are now by law not allowed to discard outdated food--they must either donate it to feed the poor or to be made into animal food. This was on Facebook, and most comments were enthusiastic. I was a bit dismayed by one that said it made so much sense it will never happen in America. That's the attitude I'm talking about above. I do actually know a man who buys industrial waste for conversion into animal food. It's a small step but a start.
And in news that I find really important, Nebraska lawmakers have voted to ban the death penalty, on the grounds that no one has the right to take another life. Maybe we're moving toward being more humane.
The Maldives is (are?) being taken over--by the ocean. The tiny group of islands in the Indian Ocean may be the first country to disappear into the ocean. It has 200 inhabited islands, and tourism is the biggest business--it's lush and tropical. I saw nothing linking this to global warming or climate change, but one can't help but wonder.
Meanwhile, we in North Texas share their concern. We're being taken over by storms, torrential rains, and floods. Major highways are under water, some lakes are above their capacity, river are overflowing. In central Texas, hit particularly hard, a family of four disappeared when the house they were staying in was swept away by water; the father was found and is intensive care. The mother and two young children have not been found. Others in that some town had to be rescued by boat. Be careful out there folks--and don't drive into water. It amazes me how many people you see being rescued from low-water crossings and flooded intersections, in spite of all the warnings. Sometimes people who try to beat low-water crossings aren't lucky enough to be rescued.
Jokes abound--I saw a picture of an ark, and there are lots of pleas for whoever is praying for rain to please stop. Of course, by August, we'll wish we had it. Meantime, we wish there was a way to send it to California.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Awesome dinner--to me

At a loss for something to have for dinner besides a half a pimiento cheese sandwich, I fixed a dinner that I thought was awesome--and would have sent son-in-law Christian running for Whataburger. Creamed tuna on toast and shredded zucchini, a la Julia Child. I know, most people equate creamed tuna either with the tuna casserole of their childhood (I can make a killer tuna casserole) or creamed chipped beef on toast (SOS in the army). I can make a pretty good version of that too!
First the zucchini which a neighbor brought me--it comes in her weekly vegetable delivery, and she's allergic. I used the large hole shredder and ended up with what I thought was too much--but I ate every bite. Just sauté in a bit of butter and olive oil adding salt and pepper--it will get weepy at first and then soak up the liquid. Don't let it stick to the pan. Doesn't take long to soften shredded zucchini.
Creamed things are a  problem for me because I don't keep milk on hand. Every time grandchildren are coming I dutifully buy milk, and when they leave I either send it home with Jordan or throw it out. I've also stopped buying them orange juice.
Anyway, back to tuna--I made a roux of butter and flour but didn't brown it, adding chardonnay by bits until I had a fairly thick sauce (1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. flour), then threw in a dollop of sour cream and the tuna. If I'd had green peas, I'd have added them, but I was out. Again, salt and pepper and you're done. I served it on crisp toasted French bread. Both were delicious.
Speaking of peas, a new favorite dish of mine is, I think, standard in the British Isles--pea mash. Just take some of those good, petite frozen peas (not the pale green canned) and sauté in butter. When they're soft, mash with the back of a wooden spoon. Keep mashing until you have a fairly even consistency. Salt, pepper, and you're done.
I seem to be in for easy cooking these days. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bone-weary tired

This is my not stodgy, not an old person's car--eleven years old with 31,000+ miles!
Bone tired. You  ever feel that way? That's how I feel tonight. I've done a lot of running around this week that I'd rather not do. I'd like to be home at my computer, but I took the dog to the vet for an annual check-up, went to physical therapy which is always tiring, went out to lunch twice and dinner once (all of which I enjoyed), had Jacob overnight three nights (which means I don't sleep as well even though I love having him here--mostly), got a haircut, went to the grocery, took the car to be repaired (predictably it cost four times what I anticipated) and went to a doctor's appointment. Maybe it was the nap I took this afternoon that made me lose my oomph--slept so soundly that the alarm was a great intrusion. Woke up to go get Jacob--who promptly went home to play with a friend. Should have gone back to bed.
The weather doesn't help. By now, everyone knows about the monsoon season we're having--22+ inches, more than all of last year. And it's supposed to rain at least until mid-week. Sometimes a gentle rain is comforting, but we've had sudden heavy downbursts--they don't last long, but they're intense. Plants and lawns are loving it. People not so much. We're beginning to long for sunshine and to feel moldy; crops are dying from too much water. It's been a great drought-breaker, with lakes a year ago almost empty now overflowing.
Texas novelist Elmer Kelton's most significant work was the novel The Time It Never Rained, but he later wrote an article titled "The Time It Always Rained." Writing mostly from sheepmen's point of view, Elmer stressed the difficulty for animal raisers. I wish he were here today to give us his view on this deluge.
To make it worse, this is the weekend of the PGA tournament at Colonial Country Club (sponsors change occasionally and I can't remember what we're calling it this year--it will always be Colonial to me). I don't know much about golf, but I imagine a soggy course is a real problem for golfers. And surely it discourages both real golf fans and those who go to drink beer and ogle the women--a Colonial tradition. However, if traffic is an indicator, it hasn't discouraged many people--traffic is as always a mess anywhere near the golf course. Streets closed, etc. This morning I thought I'd be smart and cut through a shopping village parking lot--blocked off with an official man patrolling. Had to retrace my steps. And my favorite way to come and go to West Fort Worth is blocked. This evening to avoid University Drive, I went almost downtown to get to White Settlement and retrieve my repaired car.
So glad to have my Beetle back. Grateful for the loan of a Passat but it felt stodgy and stiff to me, and I was never comfortable driving it. A friend told me in Germany all the old people drive Passats--oh good, just what I needed to know.
Enough rambling. I'm going to go fix breakfast for dinner--scrambled eggs and bacon. It's one of Jacob's favorites.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Taking a new road

I debated about blogging about this, because I try not to blog a lot about my writing career. But a timeline I recently saw said on the road to self-publication the first thing to do is tell family and friends. So here I am to say I'm going off in two new directions next fall: I will self-publish my historical novel, "The Gilded Cage." Yes, I know there are other novels by that name, but it's so apt. I've had some success with similar novels before, about extraordinary women of the American West, but this is different. It's a fictional biography of Bertha Honore (Cissy) Palmer and her husband, Potter Palmer of the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago.
I'm fascinated for two reasons: I grew up on Chicago's South side, Hyde Park/Kenwood to be specific, close to the grounds of the 1893 Columbian Exposition--rumor has it that the 1892 house in which I was raised was built for the exposition. As I delved into that story, I became more fascinated than ever at the amazing amount of talent showcased there, everything from scholars like Frederick Jackson Turner and Henry Adams to sculpture by St. Gaudens and art by Mary Cassett--to the Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, the original Ferris Wheel, and the scandalous "Little Egypt" where there was--gasp!--belly dancing.
And Cissy Palmer herself was an unusual and strong woman. Born and married into wealth, she was among the first to see the connection between wealth and philanthropy. Yes, her husband gave generously to various causes, but Cissy was the one who attended women's meetings, supported women's causes, traveled among the shanties of West Chicago to distribute help, worked at Hull House, Jane Addams' famous community shelter for immigrant women. The crowning glory of Cissy's career came whens she was elected President of the Lady Managers of the Exposition, responsible for the design, decoration, maintenance, and operation of the Women's Building.
I've turned the entire story into fiction, invented scenes and dialog and characters while sticking with the people who were really there. Most notably, I've injected a note of decorous romantic attraction, which I'm sure never existed. It all comes to a head the last night of the exposition.
The manuscript is with an editor and the idea with a cover designer. All plans can go awry of course,, but I hope to publish in October--so make your list of Christmas gifts. It will be in e-book and trade paper simultaneously.
And I'm equally excited about the book that Texas Tech Press is publishing in November: Texas is
Chili Country. I absolutely love the cover they've designed for it. The book is a light-hearted but documented look at the history of chili and the popularity of chili cook-offs today, with the granddaddy of them all at Terlingua each November. There are photos and recipes galore, along with chapters on beans and beer. Yes, I know--purists will not stand for beans in their chili, but they're often a side dish. And who can have chili without beer? I was lucky to have the cooperation of several good people in the compilation of this book, and I really look forward to some chili cook-off signing parties.
For those of you who like Kelly O'Connell and her Fairmount neighborhood or Kate and the Blue Plate Café, don't despair. There will be a third Blue Plate mystery in March or April 2016. Kelly will be back sometime, and so will Susan Hogan of The Perfect Coed.
As I said, plans can go awry, but there are my goals. Over the summer, I'll be blogging about Chicago history and chili recipes. Nothing like diversity in your writing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Touring Ireland: Sit Back and Enjoy Your Trip

Please welcome my Wednesday guest, Maggie King, a lover of all things Irish. Maggie is the author of Murder at the Book Group, published in 2014 by Simon and Schuster Pocket Books. She contributed the short story, “A Not So Genteel Murder,” to the Sisters in Crime anthology Virginia is for Mysteries. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the American Association of University Women and has worked as a software developer, retail sales manager, and customer service supervisor.

Maggie graduated from Elizabeth Seton College and earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive.

Ireland. This verdant and magical land with its charming people and troubled history has been described countless times in literature and film. You’ve probably seen more movies and television shows with Irish settings than you realize: Angela’s Ashes, The Boxer, Circle of Friends, The Commitments, The Crying Game, Michael Collins, My Left Foot, Ryan’s Daughter, and The Snapper, to name a few.

When I’m planning a trip I enjoy watching movies and shows produced by my potential hosts and set in their homeland. By the time I visited Ireland in 2007, I’d seen the above films plus a few more.

And when I returned home, I continued my tour of the Emerald Isle as an armchair traveler. For your own tour, I recommend the following:

Father Ted follows the hilarious adventures of three Roman Catholic priests who, due to “improprieties” in their pasts, have been banished to a parish on the fictional Craggy Island, off Ireland’s west coast. The show is laugh-out-loud funny but sometimes crosses the line into poor taste. If you tend to be refined, you may want to skip this one.

Ballykissangel, filmed in Avoca, a picturesque Irish village in County Wicklow, revolves around a young English Roman Catholic priest as he becomes part of a rural community. The show captures the delightful Irish spirit and the stories, with their ensemble cast of well-drawn characters who captivate viewers from the get-go.

Single-Handed is a gritty police drama set and filmed in the west of Ireland. It features Sergeant Jack Driscoll, a member of the Garda (police) and one of the grimmest characters in the history of television anywhere. The breathtaking scenery in Single-Handed belies the darkness of the stories and the evil they evoke.

Once, a film set in Dublin, is based on the true story of musical collaborators Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. What makes this delightful film extra special for me is that I can spot the restaurant Kafka is the background of one of the scenes. My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Kafka (in fact, we enjoyed great dinners all over Ireland, especially at the pubs).

The Irish R.M. is set at the turn of the 20th century and filmed in Kildare, Wicklow, and various locations in the West of Ireland. This comedy-drama series stars Peter Bowles and is based on stories written by Anglo-Irish novelists E. Somerville and M.Ross. If you’re knowledgeable of Ireland’s history with England, you’re sure to enjoy this one.

I also like to read books, especially mysteries, set in other places. So it’s no surprise that my fictitious characters share my passion. The Murder on Tour book group is the travel-themed group featured in Murder at the Book Group, my debut mystery. The members each read a different mystery based on a geographical setting, and gather to “booktalk” their selections—a fancy way of saying they give oral book reports, reminiscent of grade school.

When the group becomes skittish about reading murder mysteries after one of its members is killed, they transition to a film group, also with a travel theme—and no murders!

Here is a list of Irish films in chronological order:

Irish films and shows from Netflix:

Do you enjoy movies and TV shows set in other lands? Please share  your favorites.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Poor Waco...and poor Texas

The city of Waco seems doomed to bad publicity. Over a century ago, they had journalist William Cowper Brann in their midst, publishing his Iconoclast newspaper and savagely attacking Baptists, Episcopalians, the British and black people. The city, home of Baylor, the state's most revered Baptist university, could hardly stand it. Then Brann published evidence that Baylor officials had been importing young South American girls as house maids and that one young girl had been impregnated by someone from a prominent Baylor family. Scandal! Brann was silenced when a Baylor supporter shot him in the back. Fort Worth's own Jerry Flemmons wrote a one-man play featuring Brann.
Waco probably had other scandals in between but the one that really caught national attention was the raid on the Branch Davidian compound. David Koresh, a charismatic self-anointed leader of the sect, was accused of child abuse and statutory rape. When an attempt was made to serve warrants, federal agents were fired upon. Ultimately ATF agents raided the compound, losing four of their own men and killing several Branch Davidians. Ultimately they burned the compound, killing men, women and children. It's a blot on Waco, a blot on US law enforcement, and a cautionary tale about extreme religious sects.
Then they had the Western White House in nearby Crawford, which was a blessing, a tourist attraction, and a source of pride--except it drew many protestors of the war in Iraq until the Bush ranch was nearly besieged. I'm not sure the protestors were dealt any compassion, but the whole thing blew over. And today you rarely hear of the Bush family going to the ranch.
And now--Waco has the biker rumble, which has made national headlines. While police described it as one of the worst bloodbaths they've ever seen, some complain that the bikers were treated leniently--not handcuffed, allowed to keep their cell phones. That apparently ended when 170-some were indicted for organized crime activity and murder and were put under a million-dollar bond.
The question is what will happen next. Apparently rumors are flying that there will be a retaliatory rumble, and law enforcement is readying all its resources. Wouldn't surprise me if the rumble took place somewhere totally different. But meanwhile the fight that took nine lives, wounded I don't know how many others, gives Waco (and Texas) yet another black eye.
Just when things in Texas aren't going well--depending on your point of view. If current legislature passes--and apparently it will--even unconvicted criminals (how do you tell the difference?) will be able to walk the streets carrying any manner of guns they want, and police can't question them until they catch them in a criminal act. Is that locking the barn after the horse is gone? There will be a ban on banning fracking--cities can no longer determine the policy for their own boundaries--just when all scientific evidence points to the dangers of fracking and its part in causing earthquakes. And clergy cannot be forced to perform same-sex marriages--which looks like it's headed for a national law.
Texas is and always had been a nation onto itself. But our national reputation is getting ludicrous. I need to re-study the glorious history of this state to remind myself why I stay here...and hope good times will be here again. Meantime I'm not moving to Waco.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dogs on my mind

Today was Sophie's birthday, which I totally forgot about until I woke up this morning (that's okay, I also totally forgot that if I'd stayed married, Saturday would have marked 51 years--oh good gracious!). By coincidence, I made an appointment for Sophie's annual checkup today, and I'm pleased to report that she's in excellent health--a little dry skin and a little tartar on her teeth, nothing to worry about--I should have such minor problems.
But somehow tonight I got to thinking about the dogs I've owned and loved over the years. There have been a lot of them, and I loved them all but a few stand out. When I was quite young and terrified of dogs, my parents bought my brother a collie mix named Timmy--a female, no doubt a rescue dog. Someplace I have a wonderful picture of Timmy and me, sitting on a dune in the Indiana Dunes State Park, looking out over Lake Michigan. That particular spot is where I often go in my mind when I want to go to a place of calm and peace--and I take Timmy with me.
And then there was Shea, a beautiful mahogany tri-color male collie. When we were in Kirksville, Missouri, friends were going abroad for a year and asked us to keep him. Ever after when they came back, Shea would run away to our house. When we were moving to Texas, we gathered our nerves and asked if we could take him. The owner said, "Thank God. I thought you'd never ask." Shea was a magnificent, dignified gentleman.
At the same time my brother had a German Shepherd who would follow him to class. The professor would order him to take the dog outside; the next time someone opened the door, King was back upstairs at John's feet. Finally after this went on for a while, John said, "Sir, if you'll let him stay, he'll sit quietly at my feet." And he did.
Jacob with Scooby
We had all kinds of dogs when the children were little, but I think they most remember Claudine, the Irish Wolfhound and the most gentle giant I ever knew. A true sweetheart who had a litter while she was with us and had one limp puppy--she knew better than me and kept trying to bury it in sofa cushions or something because she knew it would die. I wore it on my chest so the motion and heat would revive it. It didn't work. The bigger the dog, the shorter the life--we lost Claudine at nine to cancer.
Along the way there were Cairns (the only other small dogs I ever owned) and Bearded Collies but the other dog who holds a special place in my heart is Scooby, my rescue Aussie. So gentle, so grateful for love. He'd been a junkyard dog and abused, and he had a lot of baggage, but he was a love.
I've always had big dogs, so Sophie is a bit of shock to me--she's medium, weighs 32 lbs. as of today--but in some ways she has a small dog temperament. Excitability, high-pitched barking when she feels it's called for. But I adore her and I think it's mutual (she's asleep at my feet right now) and I wouldn't trade for her. She has a long line of beloved dogs behind her.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Distant thunder

I just heard, I think, distant thunder. We're supposed to get storms tonight, with the greatest likelihood between 11 p.m. and 1 p.m. Jacob is here, and I'm going to try to get him asleep before that--we both tend to stay up late when it's not a school night. But if he's asleep he won't be frightened by the storms. I on the other hand may stand at the front door and watch in fascination.
There's a nice companionship about having Jacob here. He ate his dinner at the coffee table, and I ate at my desk. We don't talk much--his conversation consists of "Is there anything more to eat?" and "I'm hungry." I surprised him with three Girl Scout thin mint cookies, and his eyes widened, "Three?" He sorely misses the Blue Bell ice cream that came in individual servings. But even if we don't talk much, we each know the other is there.
There was a video on Facebook of my Austin grandson, Sawyer, playing guitar with a band. Jacob decided Sawyer was really good, the singer not so much. We also decided we can see Sawyer's future, and Jacob insisted on adding "To be continued" to the message I sent. My grandchildren are all so different. Morgan in Tomball just skipped a level and advanced in her karate training, and her eight-year-old brother, small for his age, tried out at the coach's suggestion and made the 11-year-old soccer team. He's a killer on the soccer field, and that coach knows it. Jacob's baseball team lost last night but aren't out of the playoffs yet--at least one more game to go.
I fixed his kind of dinner tonight--corn on the cob and broccoli, and he ate two helpings of each. Our meat was Taylor's Pork Roll. I recently rediscovered it. Colin used it for eggs Benedict (instead of Canadian bacon) over Mother's Day, and it was delicious. I had some one evening later, sautéed. So I thought I'd try it on Jacob--fixed two pieces for each of us. He ate one and said he liked it okay, but he didn't want any more. I ate his other one. Somewhere in my past I've had Taylor's Pork Roll, but I can't put my finger on it. I want to say in graduate school in Missouri, but my brother doesn't remember it, and we were in the same small town in those days.
Which brings me to a coincidence: at the postal station in the local hardware today, the clerk was complaining her plants were drowning. "I'm from Missouri, and this is Missouri weather, not Texas." So I said I'd gone to school in Missouri, and it turns out we were about thirty miles--and a lot of years--apart. I told her the one thing I remember about her town of Macon, a restaurant, and she said it had re-opened after a fire. Small world.
It's been a lazy day, and I've enjoyed it. Some work, but not much. A grocery trip plus post office plus cleaners. Long nap. I love weekends, which strikes me as funny since I'm retired and theoretically weekends are no different than weekdays. Doesn't work out that way.
And that, my friends, is enough trivia about my life. Hope you all have a good weekend. Stay safe, those of you in the path of storms.