Tuesday, January 31, 2012


It's Kira's 12th birthday today.  Since she has reached another milestone in her life, she thought she would give snapping her fingers another try.  You see, throughout her entire life, she has yearned, YEARNED, to snap her fingers and never could.  Meanwhile, other kids were strutting around, snapping like they didn't have a care in the world, not realizing how insensitive they were being because poor little Kira could not snap.  It was cruel.  Want to sing the Adam's Family song?  Sorry, you can't do the snaps.  Too bad.  Want to give accolades to people who read their poems at poetry slams?  Oops, sorry again, you can't snap.  You better stay home.

Well, tonight after birthday cake, she gave snapping another shot and she actually did it.  She was thrilled.  Way, way too thrilled.  Someone jokingly said that she can probably do all kinds of things now that she couldn't do before she turned twelve.  I saw her start thinking that over.  A short time later she dug out her old padlock that I bought her years ago for her gym bag.  It is a tricky one and she could never get the hang of jiggling it just right to get it open. I got her a different one and told her to throw the tricky one away but apparently she didn't. She was saving it for the day she could at last become master and commander of the tricky padlock and finally make it bend to her will! Oh, the agony and frustration she went through because she couldn't open that padlock.  Oh, the agony and frustration I went through because she couldn't open that padlock!

Tonight she was able to open the tricky padlock!  She really is full of all kinds of new abilities.  Watch out unicycle, you're next!  And after that, who knows, maybe she'll give the distributive property another whirl! Take that, MATH!

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Got Some Good Advice

I wrote in to get some advice from Hobo Siren recently.  Today she answered my question with an amazing video blog that you can see here.  Here's a screenshot of her:

Wait, that's not the best shot.  This is better:

Like how straight her teeth are?  Anyway, my question was:
Dear Hobo Siren,

There is a woman I see occasionally because she is a substitute teacher like I am.  I have known her for years but I don't remember her name.  In my head I call her "Wet Head" because her hair is dripping wet when she comes to school in the morning.  Seriously, it's like she stuck her head in a bucket right before she walked in the doors.  Is there any way I can tactfully ask her her name after all this time without it coming across as totally insulting?

She gave me some great advice.  First of all this:
Coming to Hobo Siren with my query was half the battle.  She had a few different options for me to solve my problem, and she reassured me that not remembering Wet Head's name is not my fault.  I can't be expected to remember the stupid name of every person I work with for five years, now can I?

No.  I can't.

Like I said, she gave me a few different methods, and was helpful enough to tell me which methods probably wouldn't work.  That's a real time-saver.

She was even kind enough to act out the scenarios I might use to tactfully find out Wet Head's actual name using real names so as to make the scenarios even more realistic.

Fool proof!  Now I don't have to hide behind doors and sneak through hallways when I see the tell-tale trail of drips indicating that Wet-Head is in the building!  I have options!*  Thanks, Hobo Siren!

*(I'm just going to call her Jessica)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kira in the Car

"Would you still drink milk 
if it was squeezed from the cow's eyeballs?"

Friday, January 27, 2012

Movie Review

A few of my lady-friends and I went to see the American version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo last night.  Well, it wasn't last NIGHT, it was 5:00 in the afternoon, but the movie takes place in what seems like real-time so we were there for a LONG time.  (It's a long movie).  If you haven't seen the movies or read the books, you might want to skip this post.  You won't know what I'm talking about and then you'll get frustrated and think to yourself, "What in the hell is she talking about?  Doesn't she know I don't CARE about this stuff?" and then you'll stop reading this blog.  We don't want that to happen. 

I saw the Swedish version of all three of the movies made from the Millenium Trilogy.  I loved the Swedish version because I thought Noomi Rapace did a fantastic job as Lisbeth Salandar. 

Swedish Lisbeth
The only problem with her was that she wasn't waifish enough.  The American Lisbeth, played by Rooney Mara was very waifish.  She did a good job and was a very convincing Lisbeth, but why did she have blond eyebrows?  Why? 

American Lisbeth
Nobody looks good with blond eyebrows.

I liked that the American version was very detailed, as was the book, but it didn't follow the book as well as the Swedish version.  (Harriet was supposed to be in Australia, not London!)  And was Hans-Erik Wennerstrom killed in the books?  We couldn't remember but we didn't think he was.  The American Martin was very good.  Robin Wright as Erika was a good choice.  When we first saw her one of my lady-friends said, "She looks ROUGH!" but Erika is supposed to be in her fifties and look like she's in her fifties, and although Robin Wright probably is in her fifties, being an American actress, she looks like she's in her thirties, but for this movie she actually looked like a beautiful woman in her fifties.  Oh, never mind, I just looked her up on IMDB and she's only 45.  I guess living with Sean Penn will do that to a girl.

What I didn't like, well, no, I guess I can't say I didn't like anything about it, but what made me kind of say, "wha?" was the fact that the little northern island where Mikael goes to write about the Vangers is supposed to be freezing, freezing, arctic cold and they tried to convey that by shivering and bundling up, but right behind the people acting their asses off was a big lake that was obviously NOT frozen.  They did that in the Swedish version too.  Don't their lakes freeze?  Because here in Minnesota people are out driving cars on lakes.  Come on, Hollywood.  I also was a uncomfortable with the graphic rape scene, but I suppose that's the point of the scene anyway, isn't it?  It is integral to all three stories in the trilogy, so we have to know the details of it, don't we?  Yes.  But we don't like to see detailed rapes, do we?  No, we don't. 

Oh, and Mikael was supposed to go to a cushy Swedish prison for 18 months and THEN go live with the Vangers, but in the American version, he never went to prison.  Why didn't he go to prison?  They made a big deal about him getting convicted of libel but then he didn't go to prison.  The whole story was wrapped up inside of one year.  Not so, Hollywood.  It is supposed to take a long time for Mikael to get revenge on Wennerstrom.  Then the revenge is sweeter, isn't it?  Yes, it is. 

The American version didn't even really show the dragon tattoo on Lisbeth's back.  Of course, we got glimpses of it, but it was never really the focus. 

Oh, you know what I thought was curious?  The actors spoke English throughout the movie but with a sort of Swedish accent, but all the signs and writing (except for what we, the audience, were supposed to read) was in Swedish.  I kind of liked that. 

The end of the American version kind of drags on.  The screen went black between scenes and I kept expecting the credits to appear, but then there was more movie, and then more movie, and then a little more movie.  I thought they were setting up the big reveal that Harriet really was in Australia, but they never did.

For the most part I liked the movie.  Not as much as the Swedish version, but I thought it was very good.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I Got Mail

I got the mail today and I saw an envelope from Kady.  Man, I really love getting mail from Kady, but this one wasn't a postcard, it was in an envelope!  What was it?!  Open it! Open it!  So I opened it and it was a holiday style photo-card of Kady and Summer:

I absolutely love every single thing about this card.  I love that they had a professional photo taken of the two of them in their man's-work clothing.  I love that they have featured some of their tools in the picture.  I love that they both have classic professional-portrait looks on their faces.  Look closer:

Look even closer:

Summer is looking off in the distance while sitting in an obviously uncomfortable and unnatural position.  Kady looks pleasantly lobotomized.  I love their gloves.  I love Summer's knee pads.  I love that the card is signed, "SL-Serc Ho's, Kady and Summer"  At first I thought SL Serc Ho's was some kind of French greeting, but then I read Kady's hat and I am making the assumption that SL Serco is their company.  I love that Kady kept this to herself and didn't blog about it as soon as she saw how hilarious the picture is.  I love that it was a total surprise.  I love that as soon as Mitch saw it the first thing he said was, "Wow, they have a really nice GPS."

Thank you, Kady and Summer.  You totally made my day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chicken Fights

The other night Mitch and I were at the hockey rink for one of Kira's games.  We were waiting for her to come out of the locker room and he was remembering an out-of-town tournament a few years ago that I didn't go to.

At out-of town tournaments all the families get rooms at the same hotel, usually one with a pool and if possible, a waterslide.  The kids go nuts in the pool and the parents (some of them, anyway) party.  Sometimes things get pretty wild.

On the trip Mitch was talking about, the one I didn't go to, he said that late one night one of the dads came and got him out of his room to participate in chicken fights in the pool with the other parents.  Mitch said he and his partner didn't win.  At this point I was feeling a little huffy.  He was having chicken fights in a pool  with some drunk mom on his shoulders and he never told me about it?  What?  Isn't this something a guy should mention to his WIFE?  I snottily said, "Oh yeah, who was your partner?"

He said, "Kyle."

Oh. It was all dads.  And after the chicken fight tournament they had waterslide speed trials.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kira in the Car

"I bet if people smoked slide whistles instead of cigarettes 
it would be a much louder world."

Bonus KITC!:  "If I had a baby and it had cancer I'd name it Cancy."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My New Obsession

We got a new channel on tv.  It's MeTV: Memorable Entertainment Television.  They play old shows and sitcoms and I can not stop watching it.  Whenever I'm not watching it I think, "I wonder what's on MeTV right now?" and then I go and check. My favorites are The Rifleman, The Dick Van Dyke show, Mary Tyler Moore, The Twilight Zone and I Love Lucy.  I'll also watch anything else too.  I'm not picky.

Yesterday I was watching My Three Sons and it was the one where Katy wanted Ernie and Chip to show her teenage cousins around town but they didn't want to be stuck with a couple of "clunky girls" so they said no.

But they eventually relented and long story short: Chip learned a valuable lesson about STDs.  Uncle Charlie sat him down and told him about the scorching case of the clap he got in WWII and they all had a good laugh.  Just kidding.  They haven't covered the topic of STDs on My Three Sons.  But they should.

My absolute favorite by far is The Rifleman.

I never heard of it before MeTV and I started watching it because of the crazy show opener.  Now I'm totally wrapped up with Lucas McCain and his young son Mark and all the people in North Fork.  I love how enormous Chuck Connors is, how adorable his son is, and you would not believe how many lessons I've learned!  You can pretty much solve any problem you have with a rifle.

I'm actually learning all kinds of things from MeTV.  For example, from the show Cannon I learned that it doesn't matter if you are tipping the scales at around 350, you can still knock out a gun-wielding bad guy with a well-placed karate chop.
"These hands are lethal weapons."
From Mary Tyler Moore I've learned two things:  Don't be afraid to wear a little more orange, and Rhoda is a fatass.

"creak creak creak" ~ Rhoda's stool

From I Love Lucy I have learned that Latin men are tyrannical hot heads and Ethel is a fatass.

"Maybe it's time to move to the women's shelter?  What do you think, Chubby?"

From Perry Mason I learned that court is booooooooorrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnggggggggg.

And finally, the person in charge of wardrobe for Star Trek was mentally ill.

Gotta go, Kojak's on!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kira in the Car

"I bet a blanket made out of kittens would be 
the warmest blanket in the world."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blacked Out

As you might know from previous things I have written on this blog, I strongly suspect that through some kind of black magic, Mitch is actually about 100 years old because most of his cultural references are from the 40s and 50s.  The other night during dinner I was dishing up some peas for Kira and our conversation went like this:

Me:  good?
Kira:  good.
Me:  more?
Kira:  more.
(give her another scoop)
Me: good?
Kira: good.
Me: more?
Kira: more.
(another scoop)
Me: good?
Kira: good.
Me: enough?
Kira: enough.

And then Mitch said, "You two just acted out a scene from Chilly Willy the penguin."  I never watched Chilly Willy because I suspect it was broadcast about seventy years ago and I'm only 41.  So this morning I thought about it and wanted to see when it was made so I could give him a hard time about it, and I loaded up good old Google and saw this:

What?  What's going on? Then I went to Wikipedia and saw this:

Holy crap.  How am I going to find out about Chilly Willy???  I need evidence to back up my continued harassment of my husband!  Come ON, internet!  Help a girl out!  Then I thought, "Oh well." and heard on the radio that winter has finally descended upon us and we are going to have very cold weather this week so I thought, "I should order some firewood!" so I went to Craig's List and saw this:

Now things were starting to get serious.  Because of this internet problem, I could potentially become very cold and much stupider.  I had to learn what was going on.

I listened to a story about it on NPR and learned what it is all about.  The movie and music industries want a law passed to prevent piracy of their intellectual property.  Because gall-dangit, if you watch the movie Chipwrecked illegally on Youtube from a guy who filmed it in the theater and then posted it in ten minute chunks on Youtube for no apparent reason other than the love of Alvin and his brothers, then you should probably be in jail, along with the guy who covertly pirated the movie, and the people on Youtube who let it be posted.  If you want to learn about Chilly Willy the penguin and maybe watch a video of it so you can more thoroughly make fun of your husband; well, you better make sure that that's a legally bought and paid-for copy you are watching OR ELSE!  If the piracy law was in effect I would probably be considered a pirate because I cut and pasted the above images!  If I can't lift images off the internet how am I supposed to write about dickies, or animal hybrids, or Jewish frogs?

Nevermind that I've had to re-buy Sweet's Ballroom Blitz every time it comes out on a new medium and renders my copies obsolete.  Nevermind that we are on our third copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone DVD because it gets watched so much and wears out.  I, along with everyone else, pay for the movies and music we like over and over.  So now because of the internet the playing field is leveling out and the movie and music industries have lobbyists to do their whining for them.   Don't let the congress limit our access to information over the internet.  It's none of their business.  Write to your congressman and let them know you don't want internet censorship.

And btw, does anyone out there have any info on Chilly Willy for me?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Look What I Touched Today!

Kira and I went to the zoo and one of the zookeepers saw me look in a tank FULL of hissing cockroaches and say, "Oh Gross!" so she went back and got one out to educate me on how wonderful they are.  They're not all that great.  I touched its shell just to get the lady to leave me alone.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy 800th Post!

Hey, guess what?  This is my 800th post!  That's pretty exciting!  Since I started writing this silly blog three years ago I have written 800 posts, gotten 80 followers, got a troll, got an award and had over 98,000 hits!  I don't really have anything exciting in mind for this landmark post so it's just going to be a re-run.  I was looking back on some of the posts and I found this one that I forgot about from 2009 and it made me laugh.  If I wouldn't have written it down, I would have forgot it even happened.
Tonight on the way to hockey practice, Sam was telling Kira and I about how he thinks Dwight from The Office is so funny when he prefaces things his says with "Question:..." or "Fact:..." Kira caught on to it and would not stop. Every utterance (and there were many) she had was prefaced. Here is just a short sample of her rambling:

Kira - "Fact: It is now 6:30. Question: Sam, what time does your practice start?"
Sam- "6:35"
Kira - "Fact: You are going to be late."
Sam - "Kira, I was kidding, it's not til 7:00. And would you stop doing that, it's getting annoying."
Kira - "Opinion: it was not very nice of you to lie to me. Threat: I am going to punch you in the face."

(merciful silence, driving along, eventually driving past the clinic)

Kira - "Fact: I've been there before. Fact: I choked on a lollipop that the doctor gave me. Fact: it hurt a lot. Fact: you had to give me a popsicle when we got home to make my throat feel better."

This went on and on for about an hour until she eventually said, "Fact: I'm getting very tired of talking like this but I don't think I can stop."

And she hasn't.
That one really should be labeled as a Kira in the Car post, but it wasn't.  I'll do it now.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I used to think people that complained about back problems were weenies.  I'm not talking about people who had spinal injuries or anything, just the people who would say, "I can't help you  move because of I have back problems." and things like that.  So obviously faking, right?  But I get it now.  I was way out of line being so judgemental.  And I've got nothing major to complain about.  I've had a muscle spasm in what I think must be my lower trapezius muscle, on and off for about two weeks now. 

At its worst it made me want to cry and the only relief I could get was by stretching my top half down over my bottom half and hugging my legs.  I'm not flexible, you guys.  That is not a comfortable (or attractive) position for me to be in at all.  Kills the hammies but is the only relief for the back.

At its best the clenching stops but then I'm so sore all over my whole back from the muscular trauma of having one part literally spaz out.  I would not help anyone move right now.  In fact if you asked me to help you move, I would laugh in your face and say, "UMMMMMM!!!! WHAT ABOUT MY BACK???" because your back is like the load-bearing wall in your house.  You know what happens if you knock down the load-bearing wall to open the place up a bit and put in an island that really ties the room together?  The roof falls in.  Totally ruins the Feng Shui.  So right now my metaphorical roof is balanced precariously and the slightest dusting of metaphorical snow could collapse my metaphorical world.  And you want me to help you to move.  Are you trying to kill me?  What about my Feng Shui?  WHAT ABOUT MY FENG SHUI???!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Book Club

It was book club night last night.  We met at a quiet little coffee shop where there were several young college types working on laptops.  We tried not to be too loud and disrupting and to act as mature as we look, but it didn't last long.  We dutifully discussed the book and picked a new book and then things kind of fell apart.  One of the ladies told us that she was going to Pampered Chef-like party, but instead of selling kitchen utensils, they sell sex toys.  Some of the ladies said they would be too embarrassed to actually buy anything and one of the ladies said that she went to one of those parties long ago and bought some strawberry-flavored edible body gel, but never used it and forgot about it until she was cleaning one day and found it.  She opened it and it had apparently gone bad.  She said it smelled like Robitussin.  She didn't want to just throw it away (that shit's expensive!) so she thought she could still make some use of it and kept it in case her husband was ever feeling amorous but also had a bit of a cough. Two birds, you know?

Then someone noticed a nearby table of three young women who looked like they were in the midst of a Bible study.  They all had Bibles, anyway.  We know they were Bibles because one of the ladies craned her neck to look and then turned back and whispered, "They aren't dictionaries, I'm pretty sure they are Bibles." because if it's not a Bible study, its probably a dictionary study, right?  Always a master of segue and conversation, I said (quietly), "Speaking of Bible study and sex toys, have any of you ever seen the Baby Jesus Butt Plug?

which the second after I said it I thought might be a show-stopper and would cause the our book-club meeting to be abbreviated, but it wasn't!  I love these ladies!  Unfortunately it did lead to a (quiet) discussion about butt plugs and how they could possibly be sex toys.  We don't see the appeal.  Hear that, kinky men out there?  No matter what your enthusiastic lady-friend says, nobody likes butt plugs.

I learn a lot at book club.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Movie Review

I saw three movies this past weekend:  We Bought a Zoo, Limitless, and Source Code.  The kids and I went to see We Bought A Zoo together on Friday mostly as an excuse to eat candy.  The movie was a formulaic bawl-fest.  Dead mom, sad kids, grieving husband, financial devastation etc etc.  Matt Damon is in it so that makes up for a lot, and the little girl that plays his daughter is A DOR A BLE; but still.  I don't go to movies to cry.  
Oh yeah, the tiger dies too.
Speaking of bawl-fests, while we were there we saw previews for that Tom Hanks movie that is coming out later this month, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, about the wonderful father who dies in the twin towers on 911 and his family is devastated and traumatized.  FUN!  I cried during the preview.  Why do they make movies like that?   

Sam and I watched Limitless on Saturday night.  

It's about a loser writer who takes a pill and is able to access all of his brain power.  His thoughts and memories are suddenly organized and easy to access and he thinks clearly and he is brilliant.  Wouldn't that be great? I often think that I would be an uber-genius if only I could organize my thoughts better.  I feel like everything I ever learned is somewhere there in my brain but it's like a file cabinet and all the individual nuggets of knowledge are just randomly stuffed into the drawers instead of organized into a neat filing system.  Anyway, problems arise when he discovers that the drug is illicit and in demand from some shady characters, and also that people who go off of it die.  Then the plot kind of spun out and I don't really know what happened (because I was lying on the couch and I might have fallen asleep) until the end when he has reverse engineered the drug and fixed the quirks and was running for senate.  The end seemed a little too neat and happy and all that it taught me was that illicit drugs may cause you some problems in the beginning, but in the long run make your life way better, and that I need to try some.  

Last night Mitch and I watched Source Code. 

That was the best movie of the weekend.  Jake Gyllenhall is an air force pilot on a special mission for a program called Source Code where they are able to put a soldier in the body of a person in the recent past to find clues to a crime.  Very Quantum Leap-y.  In this case, Jake gets put on to a train that will soon blow up from a terrorist attack and his mission is to find the bomb and the bomber.  He can't prevent the bombing, but he can find and identify the bomber who they suspect will do another bombing in downtown Chicago.  He has to relive the eight minutes prior to the train bombing over and over and look for the bomber.  I am not going to tell you what happens because I don't want to spoil it.  But I will tell you this: The train they are on is really cool.  It's big and roomy (double decker) and it has a Dunkin' Donuts shop RIGHT ON THE TRAIN.  I recommend that you see this movie, it was really good.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Prison is all the rage

I had my first sub job of the year this week.  I worked in a third grade room for three days.  The teacher had a death in the family early Tuesday morning so she called in to the automated system which called a different sub for Tuesday.  That sub apparently didn't want to come back because I was offered the rest of the week.  I like multiple-day jobs and I even like when I have to do all the plans.  It's kind of crazy the first day, but after that it is smooth sailing.  And I love third graders.

Today they had Friday Fun Time in the afternoon so a group of boys got out the geometric blocks and built a large and intricate prison.  They were very proud of it.  They had me come over and they showed me where the cells were located in the sturdily built section with no windows, and then there was a corridor going to the fenced-in yard that had a basketball court and a track.  I asked why they decided that it was a prison and they all just looked at me and shrugged like, "why not?"  Hear that, Playmobil? Oh, nevermind, I see you already know:

The kids are dying to play prison!  I told them that I used to work at the jail.  They wanted to know all about it so I told them some prison vocabulary words like "shiv," "shank," "keister" and "celly;" I also told them how to start a fire with pilfered paperclip and an electrical outlet; and they loved learning about toilet wine! (Just kidding. I didn't tell them what keister means.)

We also learned about our solar system this week.  I told them the mnemonic for remembering the planets, My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.  I had kids coming up to me all week screaming that sentence at me because I told them I'd give them a thank-you slip if they could remember it.  It was a very fun three days.  I'm sad it's over.  I'm going to miss those crazy little nutjobs.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a fun New Year's Eve.  Mitch and the kids and I went to Kira's hockey game, then went out to dinner at the Duluth Grill which was featured on that show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and I had a sandwich that was featured on the show - the wild rice patty melt.  It was okay if you are in love with Italian sausage.  I'm not really in love with Italian sausage.  But it was fun to be out with the fam.  We talked about how we used to fool the kids and tell them it was midnight at about 9:00 every NYE, and they never figured it out.  Even if they were in a room made of clocks they would still believe it was midnight.  "Wow!  It's so late and I'm not even tired!"

Then we got home around 9:30 and watched a bit of Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve.  We all shuddered at the thought of being in Time's Square on NYE.  We're not crowd people.  Then Mitch fell asleep in his chair and I fell asleep on the couch and the kids watched TV and played on their iPods.  WILD!
We went to bed at about 12:03.

So how was your 2011?  Mine had its highlights and its lowlights.  I got to go to Washington DC two times.  Once with my kids and once with my sisters.  That, of course, meant two trips to Mount Vernon which was awesome.  I said something to Mitch about feeling like a time traveler when I go there and under his breath he said, "More like a time stalker."  Jealous much?  I also got to see New York City.  That was pretty cool.  Unfortunately 2011 was also the year I lost my last grandparent and had a pretty serious bout of depression.  Neither one of those things was very fun at all.

Revisiting last year's Resolutions almost brought on a new bout of depression, but mostly just made me laugh at myself (not with myself).  Did I lose 26 pounds?  No, but I did lose and keep off about 10 pounds (until December.)  Did I work out 350 times?  HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!  No.  I stopped keeping track around April and was not anywhere on track for the 350 workout goal.  Did I stop picking my split ends?  No.  Did I save 10% of our income into an IRA?  No.  Did I travel somewhere cool?  YES!  Mount Vernon!  New York City!  Washington D.C!  So 1 out of 5.  Not too impressive.

This year I'm not making resolutions that can be quantified.  I'm going to be more positive.  I'm going to be more thankful.  That's it.  How about you?  How was your year?  What are your resolutions?