Monday, January 25, 2010

Finding poetry in the Zombie Apocalypse

One of the banes of my existence is that drug that seeps through the computer screen into my children’s brains making them incapable of thought and action when tethered to their video life support system. Repeatedly, throughout the day you can hear me say: “Can you please turn the sound off?” I’m pretty much done with listening to explosions and bone crunching and grunts and splattering body parts. Or: “Are you still on that?” Or: “Did you do your chores yet?” Or: “That is disgusting!”

Both Harry and Ben love video games that seem somewhat gruesome to me. And their friends also love these games. They frequently play together, talking over headsets or Skype, laughing a lot, backing each other up. Sometimes Ben and Harry play with just each other, yelling back and forth at each other from their bedrooms, laughing hysterically, speaking in a lingo I barely understand.

But one of the games I really didn’t see any redeeming value in is called “Left 4 Dead 2.” It’s a zombie apocalypse story. You can be a zombie (Ben has a penchant for this) or a human survivor, still unaffected by the zombie virus. It’s mega-blood and gore. The only way to stop the apocalypse is to attack and decimate zombies, after all. It’s uber-popular in their circle of pals. And it’s uber-disgusting to me.

Until last week.

It started about two months ago, actually. Harry decided that he wanted to make Ben something to take with him to Philadelphia, something that would make him happy and be a symbol of healing. He decided that he wanted to make a replica of a first aid kit from Left 4 Dead 2  (seen at right). It looks like a medic’s Red Cross bag full of bandages and anti-bacterial ointments. I was basically unclear on its significance, but agreed to help Harry bring his concept to fruition as a pillow.

And then we found out about James and his Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis and we looked at the calendar and Ben’s surgery was only a few weeks away and there was a certain urgency that came over the house.

Harry figured out the pillow’s dimensions, went on a materials gathering expedition with Mark, and then we sat down to construct it. It was a great craft project and we spent about two days hanging around the cutting mat, the sewing machine and the ironing board lost in a crafting fog. (Harry is quite the crafter, but this was his first experience with the sewing machine.)

We both felt pride when we sewed the last stitch. Made from red flannel, felt and black elastic, and with each recipient's name stitched into the fabric with gold thread, the pillows are quite a good replica of the game’s kit. Harry bestowed his gift on Ben immediately, and on James a couple days later.

When I sat down to show our handiwork off on Facebook (did I tell you about my video life support system?) I asked Ben, “So, what’s the story with the first aid kit?” He told me that in the game if you have this kit in your possession (you earn it or find it or something along those lines) you can take it to your injured compadres and…well…when you give it to them you heal them.


You heal them. You heal them.

I mean, that about took my breath away. Not the game’s kit, really. Games are full of health points and tokens and objects of one sort or another. No, what stopped me in my tracks was the power of the object.

Harry had created something so poetic, a ritual object of a teenager that was probably about as perfect a symbol of his desire for his friend and his brother to be better as he could have designed. And in addition, his giving of that original, handcrafted gift was also a symbol, and more powerful and significant than anything he could have given them. It made them laugh (yes, James plays the game as well, of course) and smile. Ben sleeps with his already. James put his on his bed.

And we all know the power of laughter, right?

But the part that sticks with me is the irony. Out of blood and gore and the zombie apocalypse, this. Who would’ve guessed?

Survivor or zombie? You decide.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Welcome to my world

It occurs to me that you might look out the window on a morning like today's...rain pelting down, skies gray, temperatures low...and hug your mug of coffee a little closer to you thinking, "Sheesh, I really am not in the mood to brave this weather today!" or "Man, my commute is going to be a doosey..." or "Yuck. Too cold and wet. Gonna stay inside, make a fire, and read a good book."

Well, all's I can say is: Welcome to my world:

The girl....................................................and the boys.

Weed, Donkey Boy (aka Burrito) and Cassidy.

Tess. "OMG. That picture makes me look like a MOOSE!"


I may prefer taking care of business during the spring and fall, but I do love my equines and my country life!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On asking for help, accepting help, and silver linings

clouds breaking over Three Boys Farm, 1-18-2010

I am one of those people who has trouble asking for help. It’s not that I don’t appreciate help. It’s not that I want to do everything myself, either. I just can never figure out what someone else could do for me…the details being what they are: endless and mysterious. So, it’s actually the delegating that gets in the way of the asking.

I often offer help. I love to help. Mark loves to help. He’s actually a more selfless soul than I, and he’s been an amazing model for me through the years. He’d much rather help someone than do for himself, but he’s also not very good at asking for help for himself. In fact, I don’t think it ever occurs to him that he needs anything, so that clearly becomes a problem if help is being offered. “Who me? Oh, I’m fine. Don’t need a thing!”

These days help is coming to me in so many ways, from so many directions. As I pull together the details of our trip to Philadelphia for Ben’s surgery, I am fending off (just kidding) offers of help from friends and relatives. The problem is that it’s all so huge. I don’t even know where to start.

The other day, though, an amazing thing happened. I had spent hours that week calling hotels in the Philly area trying to find a rate that was cheap enough that I felt we could afford it for the 10-14 days we’d be needing it. (Ben will be in the hospital about 6-7 days, plus the night before he goes in, plus the 5 or so days after he is discharged before his follow-up appointment.) There are hospitals around the city who offer a discounted rate for families of Shriners patients, which is helpful, but it takes time. And it required me to relive or, should I say, pre-live the ordeal over and over and over. “Hi, my son is going to be having surgery at Shriners Hospital in February and I was wondering if you still have your special rate for families of patients there…?” “Oh, you don’t?” “Oh, it’s not available for those dates?”

I’ve been doing a pretty good job of holding it together emotionally. But that afternoon, all alone in my quiet house, confronting the near future repeatedly, imagining myself leaving Ben and Mark in the hospital and returning to an empty hotel room in an unfamiliar city, was pretty agonizing, and I finally fell apart. Completely. The tears started flowing. I finally felt the pain in a way I hadn’t yet and it was searing.

Ben’s neurosurgery ordeal began on Feb. 1, 2006. His orthopedic surgery will take place on Feb. 15, 2010. The coincidence of timing is not lost on me. It couldn’t be more excruciating. I feel like our wound is being opened again. My body’s memory of the first experience is still fairly fresh, and every memory cell is being resensitized. Though I believe we are doing the right thing and this is the option that gives Ben the best chances of making it to full maturity without needing fusion surgery, the concept of putting him through any surgery has me shaking. And the vision of packing him into the car to drive to the airport…even that act feels heartbreakingly painful and unfair.

Last Thursday night, the day after my afternoon of hotel calls, I visited my friend Barbara. I told her of my woes over tea and cookies. And she looked me in the eye and said, “Well, you have come to the right place tonight because I am a master at getting hotel deals and I’m going to take care of this for you.” So, I wrote down every detail we could think of from what my ideal location was to what my bottom line price was to how many beds we wanted. And I agreed to let her help me.

The beauty of her offer was that it had never occurred to me that anyone else could do that task for me. But as soon as she said it, I knew she could. And it was such a huge relief to leave it to her. I felt so taken care of and that’s exactly what she wanted to do.

My mom and cousin, Ruth, will be taking care of Harry and Toby at our home. My sister and her family will be with them here or at their home. My friend Sherry is setting up a Share the Care page for me so that friends can check in to see what we need and sign up to take care of those needs. Friends are offering rides and playdates and sleepovers and dinners and marketing. I am overwhelmed.

The last time Ben went through surgery we lived our lives by putting one foot in front of the other until the ordeal was over. And despite how awful the whole thing was we always felt there was a silver lining and it was the experience of being held by our community.

I can already see the edge of that silver lining peaking out around my mind's images of Philadelphia in February. Thank you friends. Thank you family. You are so loved.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


How do you register the magnitude of an earthquake that happens in your own life, the experience of being blindsided by information that permanently turns your world upside down?

Last night we found out that our friend’s son, Harry’s very first friend here in Sonoma county, has Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He’s 16. He’s an incredible, funny, brilliant, quirky kid. And his mom is one of my dearest friends.

What do you do with that information? Well, first of all, you don’t sleep.

Everywhere I go the talk is about Haiti. The devastation, the agony. It is hard to comprehend what life is like there right now. There is so much unknown. The profound grief hangs over everyone.

But last night, as I processed this terrible news from my friend, I did comprehend it. This is a personal, emotional earthquake. Everywhere I look I see rubble where once stood normal life. I ache for my friend, for whom the coming hours, days, weeks and months are going to be an excruciatingly painful and challenging journey. I ache for her son, who suddenly had that carefree, immortal aspect of teenagehood stolen from him. I am scared for them.

Our friend’s doctors are cautiously optimistic, and I read on the Mayo Clinic website that the disease is highly treatable with a potential for full recovery.

And I exhale. And I inhale. And I exhale.

There are moments when I wish I was more of a Pollyanna. I wish I was more of a glass is half full kind of person. I wish I was more of a believer, too. These are the moments that I feel most bereft religiously, though I find myself praying and praying and praying.

Ben’s own surgery is one month from yesterday. One month. I don’t think I mentioned that as soon as we turned towards home at the end of our Disneyland trip reality came crashing back down on me. My heart was racing before we even got to the airport in Orange County, knowing that now we were entering the homestretch, just a matter of days until Ben’s surgery.

We’re all struggling with it. Ben, of course, is feeling the weight. He flip flops between angry, lashing out, and needy, clingy and talking in a baby voice. He is suffering from mysterious pains and discomforts. And yesterday we started butting heads about chores which climaxed in a major tantrum involving a kitchen knife (“I’m going to kill myself! I hate my life!”) and some time spent huddled in the back of his closet, sobbing, hiding inside his upside down clothes hamper. Hours later all was calm again. And there was even laughter and silliness and chocolate chip cookies he helped bake.

You can practically see the earth move as the quake passes through.

Please send your blessings to our friends, Sarah and James. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Back from the Happiest Place on Earth

About a month ago Mark and I decided to take the kids to Disneyland as a surprise (for Chanukah) and a great diversion from our upcoming medical trials and tribulations. Last Friday afternoon we packed up the van, drove to Oakland Airport and flew down to the OC for three full days at the Happiest Place on Earth.

As cynical as I can get, I'm always taken with the mood at that place. Mark and I usually remark, while sauntering down Main Street, "This really is the Happiest Place on Earth!" and are frequently surprised at how well everyone gets along and how much fun we have.

It was just what the doctor ordered. Ben had three days mostly out of brace, which is a vacation in and of itstelf. All of us practically went into a diabetic coma (barely any protein to be found there, but oh the carbohydrates!). And much, much fun was had.

Our last day there we had an informal treasure hunt. Some of the things on the list:
  • A tantrum before 2 pm.
  • A princess decked out from head to toe.
  • A silly nickname stitched into Mickey Mouse ears.
  • A group all in the same shirt or jacket or uniform.
  • Matching mom and daughter or dad and son costumes.
  • 3 disgruntled employees, I mean, "Cast Members".
  • 4 different Churro stands.

I'll leave you with some images of our trip. And since I was the photographer (of course) you'll see I don't seem to have been there...but Harry's promised to Photoshop me in!

A twirl on the classic teacups

Made a new friend on the Grizzly River Rafting ride (Olivia from Athens, Ohio)

It's great to go on California Screamin' with your friend!

Another trip down the Grizzly River. This is before.

This is during.

This is not quite wet enough.

Is this wet enough?


It's a Small World at night. Beautiful. (It is still decked out in it's Christmas splendor. Toby commented: "I really think they should consider Chanukah. I mean, not everybody is Christian!")

Brotherly love!

Toby got picked to be in the Jedi Training Academy with a Jedi Master Mace Windu look-alike.

Darth Vader arrives.

Padawan Toby's fight with Darth Maul.

Looking pretty happy after his battle!

Oh, wait! Here I am! Can't you recognize me? I'm the one in the middle!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Time to stop taking it all for granted

Mark and I watched a sobering documentary last night called “Manufactured Landscapes.” I highly recommend it. You can get it on Netflix instant download. It brings into focus my goal for One Small Change this month: educate the boys about waste. But first I really need to educate myself. Again.

The film is a study of how people are changing the face of the earth, the landscape of the earth, through manufacturing. Really, it’s about how we’re raping the earth. And looking at the many, many scenes of devastation that were pictured, I have the desire to run and hide…in shame…for how I’ve contributed to it all.

This is why I would love to stick my head in the sand (all can be found at the filmmaker/photographer's website):
  • the vast Chinese factories
  • the thousands and thousands of Chinese workers testing spray nozzles or building irons or slipping a wire around a little plastic part, day in day out
  • their downcast faces
  • the graveyards of plastics and metals and electronics
  • the endless coal fields needed to power China’s factories and cities
  • quarries that have changed the size and shape of mountains
  • rivers turned red with toxic waste

The knowing is only one part of what’s hard for me. I sit here in bucolic Sonoma county, with my view of my animals in the field, the rolling green hills, the soaring vultures. I can use any appliance, do any activity, open my fridge and eat whatever I want without regard to the cost it took to get it to me. How is it possible these other landscapes exist? Wouldn’t it be easier if I didn’t even know that those places are real?

I have guilt about my contribution to the situation. My need for a car, for roads, for electronics, for all the little doodads of life…those all are the reason for the decimation of our earth. And bigger reasons, too. But I have to take responsibility at some level.

I remember when we were building this house and deciding on materials for the master bathroom. I fell in love with these beautiful river rocks from Thailand that you could use like a mosaic surface. They were blues and greens and absolutely the look I wanted for our shower floor. But I was consumed with guilt over the raping of some Thai riverbed for my 4 x 9’ shower stall. For a while I just couldn’t do it. And then, I stuck my head in the sand and went forward with my vision. The shower looks really nice, but my guilt remains. Especially after seeing this movie. I was completely right to feel the guilt. Our flippant attitude towards natural resources has gotten us into this mess. To appreciate the beauty of my bathroom without really appreciating that the taking of those rocks from an actual natural environment that had to be disturbed for my delight…well, that is sobering.

Oh, and let’s not forget, just as an example, my soapstone counters in the kitchen…A mountain somewhere in Brazil is shuddering because my kitchen is beautiful.

I feel so helpless to make a difference. I mean, when you look at the vastness of the problem and you think about how interconnected we are to it, even with our distance from the really devastating places, we can’t help but feel somehow responsible for it. It’s our dependence on cheap material goods from China that has created the places shown in the film.

I’m reminded of a great short film someone sent me on the net. The Story of Stuff. Watch it. It explains how all of this has happened. And really makes you pause the next time you’re at Target or Walmart or even just in your car and you take something, anything for granted in your life.

It’s the taking for granted that’s gotten us here. We must do something about it. Appreciate everything.

Can we do that?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Meet Weed, our Gentleman Boarder

I don’t know what they call equine social studies, but that’s what I’ve been a’studyin’ lately. Watching it all unfold in the pasture. The fireworks. The intrigue. The social ladder climbing. The pecking order emerges. The games they play. The love story.

A couple months ago I was riding my horse, Tess, on our neighbor’s ranch. (She’s been living at our place since July, since I discovered that her feet were so bad she couldn’t be ridden. Anyhow, after months of R&R she was ridable again and so there we were. Riding. Across the road!!!) She'd been living at our place with our mini-donkeys, Cassidy and Burrito, and she was L-O-N-E-L-Y. Bereft. She’d been living in a herd for years at our friend’s pack station. And then she lived at a barn down the road from us with her horse buddies all around for six months. And then I moved her home and it was just…lonely. No horses, just two sorry excuses (in her mind) for equines. They're short, they have long ears and man, can they be buttheads at times! (But oh so cute, at least, in my human opinion.)

So Tess and I are riding at Ken’s place and what do we discover but a gentleman by the name of Weed. Another chestnut quarter horse, these two look so much alike they could be bookends. There he was, living out his days in a pasture on the other side of the far edge of Ken’s property, with only a goat for company. A sorry excuse (in his mind), as you can imagine.

They immediately took to each other over the fences that separated them. Tess got all mare-y, tossing her head, flinging her mane, arching her neck, stomping a foot, and letting out a girlish "HEEEEeeeeeeee!" every time Weed sniffed at her. Weed was very interested, I tell you. And so was Tess. After our visit Weed stood at the edge of his pasture fence watching us go, whinnying for his new-found love. Hours later he was still standing there, waiting for his girl to return. It was love at first sight.

I spoke to Weed's owner the next day (after speaking to my wonderful, sweet and generous husband first, something along the lines of: “Can I? Huh? Huh? Can I?”) and asked if Mr. Weed could come live with Tess at our house, so they'd not be lonely anymore. We'd been wanting another horse for that very reason, but didn’t want to swing the vet and food bills. Here was our chance! Weed’s mom said YES. A match made in heaven. Weed is an old guy. He’s 30 now and she had been concerned he wouldn't even survive this winter alone. So we gave it a try.

Weed came over around Halloween and the minute he entered our pasture the dynamics changed. Tess, who heretofore didn't give the donkeys the time of day, spent four days herding them and keeping them in a corner away from Weed who skulked around with a sorrowful look on his face. At any indication that he was going to get near the donkeys or they, god forbid, were going to go check him out, she'd let out a neigh, run up and herd them apart.

Eventually things calmed down, though, and the new pecking order emerged. Weed is now the top man. He holds his head high. He stands at the gate and bangs on it with his hoof. “Where’s my breakfast?!” At every feeding time he makes sure that Tess is nowhere near the wheelbarrow and he gets to taste the hay first. He runs at her with ears laid back and she turns and bucks at him. And everyone else hangs back a bit, too.

Weed seems to find the donkeys intriguing in a way that Tess, with her feminine disdain, cannot. The donkeys run, fight and play with each other constantly like little boys. Tess always acts like she just can’t figure out their game, nor has she any interest in it. Weed, on the other hand, watches them until he can’t bear it any longer and then gets into it with them, tossing his head, prancing and running off after them for a game of equine tag. “Hey, Wait for me!!!” But he also is attached to Tess. She is his girl, after all. And if I should ever take her out of the pasture to work with her or take her for a ride, Lord Have Mercy. Does he put up a fuss and start to holler! "Where's my girlfriend!? What are you doing with my girlfriend?!"

They clearly are happy together, donkeys, horses and all. Tess seems to have her Three Boys Farm, just as I do. Seems fitting.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A date, a schedule, a trim, a birthday

We got Ben's surgery date today written in ink: February 15th, as mentioned before. Sort of feels like there should be cannon blasts or the sound of trumpets blaring. I guess since we've been looking at it on the calendar in pencil it felt anti-climactic. But then...quite urgent all at the same time.

Now it’s time to get my a** in gear and make some arrangements.

Airline tickets.
Transport to and from airports.

And the biggie: a schedule for Harry and Toby while I’m gone that can be overseen by any variety of relatives and friends who’ll be caring for them. That’s the hardest one.

When you homeschool your kids the day to day stuff is the EVERYTHING about your life. If they went to school our schedule would at least have some basic givens every Monday thru Friday…pack a lunch and get them out the door by 8…breathe deeply…pick them up by 3…or something along those lines. With homeschooling we have 4H on Tuesdays and Spanish on Wednesdays and teen group on Monday nights and and and…and then there’s the routine at home that involves some books or an online course or something of that nature.

Plus the folks who will be caring for them also have lives. My mom will be doing the lion’s share. She’ll be transplanting herself from Oakland for about two weeks to cart Harry and Toby hither and yon, foregoing her Great Books discussion group, caring for our niece on Wednesdays, teaching folk dancing...You get the picture. She's no slouch.

Instead she gets to wear the House Nag hat at Three Boys Farm to get the boys to do their chores (let’s not forget that the animals will need food every morning and a cleaned out pasture by afternoon), and the Homeschool Matron hat when she's reminding Harry to work on his Photoshop tutorials and sitting with Toby to read. Not that that’s all bad. I mean, that’s the sugar of homeschooling…reading with Toby in a cozy chair in the living room.

But, I digress. There’s lots to do and none of it is as easy as it could be. For example, Ben needs to get some pre-op tests done. Shriners sent us a script for PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) and EKG (Electrocardiogram). We went to Sutter Hospital to do the tests. Twice. Last week we went in with Toby in tow. They sent us right back out. “No children admitted without an appointment.” Due to the H1N1. “They didn’t even ask if I was sick!” he said indignantly. This week we went in (left Toby with friends first) and took care of the PFT. Then were sent to another desk to register for the EKG. “Sorry, we don’t take test orders from out of state doctors.” “But, they just did at the other desk!?” “She’s new and didn’t know.” Sheesh. Does this mean they won’t send the results to Shriners? Who the heck knows! Had to call our local doctor and have her write up an order for the EKG. Taking Ben in again for that tomorrow or Thursday.

Anyhow, one thing that’s easy around here these days is getting our hairs-cut. As you can see we had some long locks up until 3 pm today. Penelope is our new hairstylist. Our former stylist moved to Florida (Hi, Coco! We miss you!) We’re happy to have found Penelope who is awesome at cutting hair AND comes to our house. Doesn’t everyone look lovely?

Tomorrow is Toby’s birthday…very hard to believe my little bugger is turning 9! Yowza. What an old guy! Luckily, he still likes to cuddle with me in a big chair, still has a soft heart and is sweet as the day is long.

(Sorry, having some trouble with the photos...will post more with our new 'do's soon.)

Friday, January 1, 2010

One Small Change

Remind me not to eat a lot of delicious, handmade, dark chocolate truffles late in the evening. Oh, and large chunks of bittersweet chocolate with almonds dipped in whipped cream. Spent the hours between 12:30 and 5 a.m. sleeping fitfully with a racing heart.

But, that at least led me to the quiet of the office and my favorite blogs...which led me to new blogs...which led me back to my blog. So, there's a silver lining after all (and I love dark chocolate truffles and bittersweet chocolate and almonds and whipped cream...and thank you Joanna and Mia for the New Year's Eve treats!).

My blog treasure hunt led me to Hip Mountain Mama's blog and her challenge for 2010: Make One Small Change. I like that, because small and personal is the only way I feel I can make a positive difference in the world these days.

Ever since having kids, in fact, ever since being pregnant the first time I have felt incredibly vulnerable. All protective force shields were not only down, but non-existent. I sheepishly (at times, anyways) admit to hiding my head in the sand to survive. Limiting the input. I haven't watched the news on TV in 16 years and if for some reason I allow it to slip by me I regret it for weeks. TMI. Too much information, as the boys would say.

It being January 1st, and a new decade at that, it seems reasonable to set some fresh goals for myself. I'm not much into resolutions, but I find the inspiration in the date to be powerful enough.

So here's the challenge and below you'll find my first One Small Change that I plan to make for January 2010:
from Hip Mountain Mama's blog...
We want to challenge each of you to make 1 change each month leading up to Earth Day (April 22, 2010). It can be small or it can be huge, but all we ask is that you decide on something you will do to make a positive green impact and follow through with it. If everyone makes 4 changes between January and April, this can have a huge effect...

How does it work? On January first (or soon after) you will decide on what change you want to make for that month and blog about it. For the entire month you will be conscious of this decision and follow through with what you decided on. Then on Feb. 1 you will write another blog post explaining how the month went with your new green change and also write about what you will change for that month. You will do the same on March 1st and April 1st, then will have one final post on April 22nd listing all the changes you made and the differences it made in your life.

So, my first change is this:  Educate the kids about the topics of frugality, sustainability, and responsibility.

I think living by example is the best lesson. Lectures bomb, let's face it. Yet, I allow my many, many projects and responsibilities to distract me from being an example to my kids. I want to be less wasteful and more respectful of what we have. I want us to eat up what I buy at the market, what I know is delicious and healthy. So much good could come from just that intention. BUT...but...but...homeschooling keeps things crazy busy around here, not to mention the animals down in the field , the messy house...I allow these distractions to rule the day. Hence, we eat out too much and spend waaaay too much money on that. Money we need to be saving for other things. And we don't even eat up the food we have in the house. Throwing away moldy food kills me. Composting a full head of cabbage or flacid carrots, because I forgot about them in the fridge kills me. In addition, the beautiful and bountiful veggie garden we had going in 2008 never even got off the ground in 2009 (being distracted by huge health concerns is a reasonable excuse, yes, yes...) and it threatens to not get going in 2010, as well. Plus, for the holidays I made gorgeous market bags for my cousins, even a few for myself, but I forget to take them to the market myself! Ironic?

This year, with Ben's surgery coming up, will be challenging. No question about it. Making any positive changes, especially when I won't be at home for at least 3 weeks, will be tough. But I'm not off the hook, even with all we're going through. And mostly, I want the boys to become more aware of what impact our lives and choices have on the planet.

One small change, each month for 4 months.

Wanna join me?