Try To Keep Up

 

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My week, summed up very well.

Hey, wait up! Time, where are you? This isn’t fun, I don’t like hide-and-seek. Or tag. Or whatever this is in game form. There’s so much going on, I just have to keep up and keep my head from rolling onto the floor and out the door (and under a bush, until I turn into mush).

I’ll start from the beginning, shall I?

My cousins are visiting. It’s great to see them, it truly is, it’s just time consuming. Over the weekend we went to our second cousins where I played pool for the first time (!) and other fun games fit for our old age. I loved it, though my head hurt me a ton, and I didn’t have time to study for my tests. And…. I was gonna say something…. I swear I knew what I wanted to say…. Shoot. It’s gone. I’m trying to think back to what happened at the beginning of the week. It’s been erased from my memory, apparently.

Oh! Now I remember. We started the day (at school) with triple biology (always a blast), and then we found out about a nasty rumor.  For those of you that have been following diligently, you know that I have already started my driving process (see Colloquial Miss if you want to catch up on that lovely experience). Well, after getting your green slip/form (where they check your eyesight and take the picture for your license), you need to get it signed by your doctor before you can go take your theory test. The theory test is basically made up of thirty multiple choice questions that test your knowledge of the road signs, laws, right of way, and all of those de facto important things. Up until now, you would study for it independently then arrive at the government ministry and take your test. You’re allowed to get up to four questions wrong (meaning if four are wrong, you’ve passed).

Okay, there’s your background information. What we found out was that as of the first of January, they’re changing the whole system. Or in other words, we all need to take our theory tests by January first. A bunch of us, including myself (us being my friends and schoolmates), were already in the process of studying for the theory test. Using either books or online websites, you spend some time learning what each thing means and what the rules are, then you test yourself over and over. Time consuming (keep track of how many times I need to use that phrase to describe my week and I’ll give you a sticker), but not too hard. Out of four chapters, I had finished the first.

We all kind of stressed out, until my good friend J had the idea to call the higher ups and ask them if the rumor is true before we all vomit up anxiety on our textbooks. I apologize for crudeness. She did, and they told her that they don’t know anything, and when prompted for information on who does, they replied that they do. But they “won’t know anything until two days before the system changes”. Essentially, they can’t confirm the rumors but the system will be changing. That was bad thing number one.

All day long, even before the rumor surfaced, I had a head splitting headache. Is that a thing? Can I say that? Too late. It was horrible. Sometimes it’s manageable, but that day I just put my head down in class and tried to block the world out. It hurt so much, I don’t know how to describe it (oh wait, I kind of did. Check out Shining, Elegant, Weightless White). Usually, no matter how bad I feel, I can put up a pretty good front, to the point where people don’t know I’m sick until I tell them. But this time my teachers were asking if I was okay, and I wanted to cry. We also found out that our teachers had organized to take us to go see snow the following day as a fun stress-reliever (it doesn’t snow in our area), and I knew that I couldn’t go because busses make me really sick.

I got home, and studied through the pain because I had no other choice, going back and forth between theory and a year-and-a-half’s worth of biology material. Later in the day I went to physical therapy, where my physical therapist/study buddy and I went over some of my biology terms, and then we talked about his cute kids for the remainder of the time.  Then I got home, and guess what I did? I studied! Shocker!

Wow I just realized I can’t tell you about everything that has happened because it would take me until next week to write all of that, and I don’t have that kind of time. Okay, fast-forward:

1)   My sister collapsed and I had to take care of her until my parents could get home and figure out whether she needed to be taken to the emergency room or not (she was in the end, and then sent home). That’s what I did on the day my friends went to play in the snow.

2)   The biology test went all right for me though it was pretty hard, but it went badly for most of my friends, which was very upsetting.

3)   I had to go to the doctor to get my form signed, and that took a long time that should have been spent studying for theory. The whole process was time consuming.

4)   I was told I need to go on another upsetting diet (my friend D said I should call it a “regime”), this time dairy-free, gluten-free and no processed foods. If anyone feels it’s important, I can explain why at some point. Mainly, it sucks and I hate being sick. It’s so time consuming having to prepare food every time I want to eat something.

5)   My parents bought me a new phone, and I chipped in for about a third of the cost, but it doesn’t work. I went to six stores to try to set it up, then my dad went to five stores to try to set up (time consuming), and he finally found someone who knows how to do it for the added cost of over 100 dollars… Meanwhile, all of the back and forth has messed up my old phone (a cute little red Sony Ericson), so it’s not really working. Hopefully next week my phone will be set, and then I’ll be able to post from my phone! Ah! Though I probably won’t, let’s be realistic here. No mobile version is better than the real thing.

6)   That very bad headache? Still here. It won’t go away, I think it’s going to drive me insane if it doesn’t let up soon.

7)   Hey my lucky number! Ooh, which reminds me, I have to tell you about the theory test itself! Man this post is really long.

Anyway, today J and I got a ride with her dad and went to take our test. First off, the office was in a deserted building, on the second floor, on a landing outside the building, past a bunch of workshops where men with masks on and working heavy machinery turned to stare at us as we walked past. Briskly. Then we got to office, opened the door and a guard jumped up and told us to put our things on the desk while he ran his metal detector over us and stuffed our things into lockers. A pleasant welcome if I’ve ever seen one. Then we were told to sit, and after being sent back to put more of our things into our lockers (including my scarf, because it’s all the rage to hide answers in them nowadays), they finally called my name. J wished me luck, and I went up to the desk. They had me sign some forms, then told me to look at the camera. I suddenly got worried, because I did not want my license picture to be taken then, seeing as I already worked so hard to get a nice one of my green slip. I asked the lady what the picture was for, and said that I had already taken mine, and she went, “You’re pretty, what do you care?” *clears throat* I insisted, and then she told me it was for “identification purposes”. Fine. I smiled. By the way, I saw the picture later and it was not pretty.

Then she sent me into the room, where I was lead to cubicle number 7 (hence the memory trigger) and shown how to work the test. It’s on the computer; I was basically told how to use a mouse to press the “next” and “finish” buttons. J was seated next to me at cubicle 8. I took my time, answered everything very carefully, then went back and counted up how many I thought might be wrong. I got to three, so I decided to go for it and pressed the finish button. I came out, waited with J on the waiting chairs (that’s their official name) and then the same lady who thinks I’m pretty came up with both of our forms and went, “One of you passed, one of you failed”. Such a kind, tactful lady. Now, J and I had discussed what might happen if we went together, and we both came to the conclusion that one of was going to pass and the other one wasn’t, because it’s just been that kind of week. It was so bad that our friend D sent us both a text saying (after I updated them about the new regime), that she doesn’t know what to say but she thinks “we should commune and create a cry session for one of the worst weeks in 2013”.  J said, “Spot on”, and I declared that “I concur. It’s a date.” J said she would laugh if she fails, I warned her and her dad that I would cry.

So when she said that to J and I, we looked at each other and turned to our forms, and she started laughing before I had time to process the little word on my form that let me know that I passed. The second we made eye contact we started laughing hysterically because we were right, and then my favorite lady asked us to leave because we were being disruptive. We grabbed out things and headed for the door, where the guard stopped us and gave us his advice on when to come again and what website to use to study. He was actually sweet in the end, surprisingly. We quickly walked into the building from the landing and left.

I’m glad we’re such good friends that the situation wasn’t awkward. I was sad for her, she was happy for me, and mainly we were both exhausted, tired and angry about what a bad week it’s been. Luckily everyone is going there to take the test in the next few days, so she has plenty of opportunities to go again with someone, and then I’m sure she’ll pass because she did eleven practice tests the night before and passed all of them, so it was really just a fluke that she didn’t pass the real one. And I know she’s reading this, and laughing. Go get some food and stop doing more practice tests.

I was so tired last night that when I wrote my checklist for this morning, this is what came out:

–       Green slip

–       Wallot

–       Phone + id

–       Wallet

Yeah, it was that bad. I showed it to my dad this morning and he laughed at me. Understandably, I suppose. Ooh, and I scheduled my first driving lesson for next week!

Wow, I’m at two thousand words. Maybe it’s time to stop talking. Maybe I should edit some of this stuff out. But we all know I won’t.

Yours truly,

Ella

Song Quote:

We have paved these streets with moments of defeat. –These Streets, Bastille

 

P.s. Who got the meatball reference?

 

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I’m Scared

Okay world, here’s your chance: what are you trying to tell me? Us? What’s the idea behind all of this? Third car accident in two months. Is there a reason? A message? Because if there is, I’m not getting it. I’m just getting that my family is getting hurt, and scared.

We’re okay. I mean, we’re not, but none of us are in the hospital, or seriously hurt. I just feel my sister’s pain so much. She and my other sister were driving to school six weeks ago and were rammed into from behind. Both were mildly hurt (the middle one has fibromyalgia too), but mainly the oldest suffered a lot from whiplash. This was her first time driving to school since (the middle sister wasn’t with her this time). And again, rear-ended on the same stretch of road as last time.

I just spent the last hour with her and my mom. We were trying to calm her down. She couldn’t stop crying. I hope her neck won’t have any permanent damage at this point. She and my mom just left for the doctor’s.

We’ve been having a hard time as a family. The middle sister and I both have fibro, my dad is always travelling for work (he was abroad for the previous two accidents, and now this one too), and now with all of these accidents happening… Oh, and my mom has shingles right now, to top it all off. My oldest sister was only just starting to regain some sense of normalcy, of being able to move about. I’ve been under a lot of pressure. It’s test season at school, I have all of these tests on everything I am supposed to have learnt in the past two years, back to back, and I’m starting to buckle under the pressure.

So what’s the point, huh? Why is this happening? Because clearly, I must be missing something. If the world wants to say something, it can just frickin’ say it already. Stop hurting my family. I can’t deal with this anymore, it’s too much, I just can’t. My friends are stressed out about tests. That’s it. Why am I the one that has to have all of the bad things? Sick self, sick sister, sick mother, car accidents… When is it going to end? Is our luck going to run out?

I’ve been walking around for the past few weeks being afraid to say good-bye to parents. I’m always scared it will be the last time I see them. The night my dad flew abroad a week and a half ago, I didn’t sleep. At all. I was too scared. There was a storm a few days ago, with thunder shaking up the house. My mom left to go to the doctor, leaving me in charge of the kitchen where we happened to be cooking up our own storm. I was left alone in charge of everything that was cooking at the time, frying this, measuring that, checking on that, stirring whatever. The thunder was so loud, I was in such a frenzy multitasking, I just suddenly got this feeling that something really, really bad was happening, right at that second. As my mom was leaving, my sister was trying to get the other car to start so she could drive herself to the physical therapist’s office, a five-minute drive. The car alarm went off, and it wouldn’t stop. It was the siren, the thunder, the sizzling, and I felt like I was drowning. Drowning in worry, I guess.

I didn’t burn any of the food. My sisters complained that the chicken was a little underdone. My family made it home okay. My dad is safe, far away at work. I told myself to calm down. I wrote in my diary that I’m really scared something is going to happen to one of my loved ones, and told myself that now I could let it be and try to move on. But then I was talking to my friends, and they all said that even with school pressure and things, they still felt like it was going to be a really great week. I was the only one that did not agree. I couldn’t help it, I was upset and worried, still. I told them I had a bad feeling about the week.

Then today I woke up, and my mom pulled me aside as I headed to get some breakfast and whispered, “she was in another car accident”. She whispered because she could barely bare to say the words. Now I’m alone at home, sitting in my room and writing. I actually woke up today, with this feeling that maybe I could make this week be a little more fun. I decided to have a dance party, but who can dance on an empty stomach?

So I never had my dance party. All my energy went to my sister, I have none left right now. I still have to go to school, and I have art later. I’m exhausted.

I don’t know why this is happening. I’m not sure I ever will. Just please, please, whoever makes these decisions, take pity on us already. We’re good people. My parents, my sisters, myself – we’re all very good, decent people. We don’t deserve this. I know no one does, but still, we really don’t. We have enough troubles already.

We don’t need more.

If you’re religious, any kind of religion, pray for us. If you’re not, just hope in your hearts for my family and me that we’ll be okay. I’ll take any help I can get at this point.

I’m scared,

Ella

Song quote:

Alice, there’s no reflection in the looking glass, you wear your party dress but there’s no party to attend… She’s looking for a way to escape and wondering whether she can find a way out without being seen… There’s no one left in paradise, just a pack of cards without the hearts. –Alice, Mononoke

Colloquial Miss

 

What a colloquial miss. We tried, we really did. This is just the I-don’t-know-how-many-I’ve-lost-count day that has gone down this way. My friends are all away, having themselves some great adventures, and I made my peace with the fact that I was going to be sticking out our weeklong break at home (sweet home). I had a highlight planned: completing the first step in the agonizingly long process of getting my driver’s license.

First thing’s first, I have to get my “green slip”- green as in go. Or Kermit. It’s mainly a technicality, an eyesight check, but you need it before you can start everything. I’ve been spending my days trying to catch up on homework, which I’m somehow still behind on, and I haven’t had any fun. At all. This was the one thing I was really looking forward to. The first step- it’s so momentous.

When you go, they make sure you don’t need glasses, take your picture (which is the one that will go on your license) and hand you your green slip. So, I purposely straightened my bangs today, picked out a shirt that makes my neck look great (just go with it) and brings out the blue in my eyes, and put on a tad of make up. I spent the whole entire day doing homework, primarily math (a whooping 65 geometry proofs and differential math equations for over vacation), making it through solely because I had something to look forward to. I was alone at home all day, with the excitement just growing and throbbing inside of me, pulsing with my heart.

My mom swooped by the house at a quarter to seven, and we drove to the mall, to the store that green slips people (awkward verb improvisation going on here). We arrive, after my long day of anticipation, and my mom and I talk about how exciting all of this is, and how it’s such a big step even though it’s a technicality. We walk into the store, tell them why we’re there and what do they say? “We don’t do that anymore”. You’re kidding me right?

We find out that as of a few days ago or something equally annoying in a ridiculous manner, a store on the main street is in charge of green slipping people. My puffed up plastic bag of anticipation started deflating. My mom and I leave the mall, get back in the car and start driving again. It was so anticlimactic. She agrees with me. We parked in the municipal parking lot off of the Main Street and start in our mad dash to find the infamous store. We’re running, running, running, (running), and we arrive out of breath as we see the overhead sign. We practically leap forward, and guess what? It’s closed. It closed at seven.

You’re frickin’ kidding me, right?! RIGHT?!

Wrong.

Closed.

That plastic bag still half full of spitty air? Punctured. Slashed. Empty. Hollow. Deflated. Depressing. Gone. Lost for eternity.

In an attempt to rebound into something positive, we brought my memory stick over to a photography store to get the pictures on it developed. All’s great, all’s well, until they let us know that because they’re closing soon, we’ll need to come back tomorrow to pick up the pictures. Yippee.

So we got frozen yogurt.

But do you know what this means? This means, that when we go back tomorrow my hair will be oily, I will no longer be wearing my perfect picture shirt, I’ll have dark circles under my eyes (because I can’t sleep when I’m upset) and I will have no spitty bag of anticipation. I will look tired and depressed in my picture. And the lighting in that store is awful. I will end up looking grotesque.

But here’s to being optimistic, eh?

As we were sitting outside the frozen yogurt shop, while I drowned my sorrows in banana-date flavored yogurt, I explained to my mom why the situation sucks so much. I was just getting to the part about how I look pretty today, and I won’t tomorrow, when someone walked right by our table. So a random woman got a mouthful about how “I looked pretty today!!!” My mom started laughing when the woman looked back at us, and tried to console me with the fact that at least it wasn’t a boy from my class. You know why it wasn’t one of them? Because they’re all abroad! I’ve got friends right now in Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Thailand, New York… Everywhere but right here, suffering with me. Although I think J will be back from Barcelona soon. Maybe I can depress her too. Here’s to hoping.

You know what? I wasn’t planning on doing this tomorrow. This is messing up my schedule! I’m lying, I have no plans. It’s just annoying. It’s doubly sad: I need to go there again, and I don’t have any plans.

I’m just gonna go to bed now. I think it’s safe.

It’s me,

Ella

Song Quote:

The worst things in life come free to us. –The A Team, Ed Sheeran

P.s. You know what? I’m gonna wear this shirt again. Take that.

Let It All Rain Down

Ice cream, red, melting

It looks good doesn’t it? Well you’re about to be told you can’t eat it. Then it’s going to drip, and rain down on your brand new boots, and you’re going to slip in the puddle of your own misery. I’m in a good mood.

I want to quit. I’m sick of feeling this way, like I’m doomed, because of the pile of homework that is staring at me. I want to quit advanced math and advanced biology. They’re making me miserable. I’m just barely managing to go to school every day, and they’re making it impossible for me to ever feel okay.

I don’t think I can do school. I just don’t think I can do it. I know there are harder things in life, but I don’t see how it’s possible for me to survive this. Actually, let me rephrase that: I don’t see how I can survive this while not losing my mind and my health.

Guys, I’m so tired. It’s insane. My entire body feels like it needs to stop and wheeze every time I try to move because I just have no energy. Every day I wake up and something else is hurting me, and I just have to deal with it. I don’t have a choice. I don’t get to say, “well, it’s my fault, because I should be going to bed earlier”, then change my ways and see results. I get eight or nine hours of sleep every night, and it makes no difference. My pain and fatigue are the same.

The homework, the pressure, the stress: it’s all becoming a little much for me. I have a stiff neck right now on top of it all, and I literally can’t look down, so homework has become this hill I can’t climb over. Every teacher thinks they are teaching the only subject that matters, so they happily grant us the gift of hours of work, without thinking about the fact that maybe we have other stuff to do.

I don’t want to complain about it anymore. I don’t think it would help. I just want to officially put it out there: I am sick of this. My brain is tired, my body is tired, my neck is tense and my patience is gone.

 

_______________________________

 

My school is going on a trip next week. I don’t know how I’ll manage. It’s a three day trip, so for now the plan is for me to leave with the school in the morning (5:45 am), and in the afternoon let my mom know how I’m doing: if I’m fine, she’ll come the following afternoon to pick me up, and if I’m not, she’ll come that evening. The thing is though, that I can’t do any of the hikes, so I’m just going on the bus with them (the student body), dropping them off at the trail, and then going with a bunch of teachers and the secretary to do the food shopping. Then we go pick them up, and when we get back to camp, I’m on kitchen duty (every year, 11th grade is in charge of food). So I’m basically there to be the mom.

Last year I missed the trip entirely, which pretty much sucked. I don’t want that this year, so here I am. I just hope it’s worth it. I have a feeling that ten minutes into the bus ride I’m going to feel sick to my stomach, and half an hour later my head will explode. Then I’ll go do the shopping, and I’ll hurt my neck and knees. When I get on the bus and pick everyone else up, I’ll get a horrible migraine. When I’m working in the kitchen, I’ll hurt my hands. Not to mention I’ll be having cramps all day.

But I’m not pessimistic at all.

Dammit, I just want to have a good time and feel like a normal human being! Is that too much to ask for?!

Virtual hugs are welcome,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

Let it all rain down from the blood-stained clouds, come out, come out, to the sea my love, and just drown with me. –Shallows, Daughter

P.s. Yes, I know the song quote is dramatic and depressing. It matches my mood. It is what it is.

The Humorous Side

For quite a while now, I’ve been trying to find something humorous in every situation I’m in. It comes pretty naturally to me, in most situations at least. For example, I always laugh when doctors want to listen to me breathe, or feel my stomach. Something about those two requests that they utter makes me laugh, and I try to contain it, because it’s a little weird, but now I’m embracing it.

I’ve had an interesting couple of days. If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know that last week was interesting too, and it seems to be becoming a theme. I’m embracing that too. Sort of.

I hate math. That said, I take it super seriously in school. My teacher has this schtick where he’s convinced that we won’t be able to finish all the material we need for the exam at the end of the year on time. Therefore, he wants us to come in on our day off school to study for four hours (that’s 240 minutes) in a row, so that we can be ready for the exam. Now obviously this is very complicated and upsetting for us because we have a day off for a reason and we don’t want to spend it doing math. We’ll get back to this later.

I was doing my homework the other day, and there was this question that I couldn’t get, so I went to my sister and asked for help (she’s studying computer engineering). She (and her friend, who happened to be there) figured it out, then taught me a certain technique we haven’t learnt yet, but that the question seemed to require. After that, I called my teacher and told him about it, but he was adamant that it could work the way he had taught us.

Okay.

In our next class, it turns out that every single student couldn’t answer that question, so he starts doing it on the board. Then he stops… falters…. “I’ll get back to you on that one.”

Okay.

In class today, he “got back to it”. He said that it’s a very complicated question, we don’t need to know how to answer it, and that it is really only meant to be done with a certain technique. The very specific technique that my sister taught me. I was right. Just saying. (Correction: my sister was right. Credit where it’s due).

Then, he led the conversation to his favorite topic (this is the aforementioned ‘later’)- when is the next time we’re going to come in for our dose of torture by complete boredom? I had said all I had to say on the matter, which is that I don’t think we need these extra lessons and I don’t like them, but I’m keeping my schedule free so I can come whenever it works out for everyone to show up. Being completely sure that everyone knows where I stand, I just kept working on the question that was on the board and trying to tune everyone out. Like that ever works. Want a play by play of everything that was said? Okay.

Actually no, it would probably be very tedious to read. If I nickname my teacher Ree, I’ll just give you a general overview (and yes, I’ve now nicknamed the math teachers Ree and Ran):

-Ree told us that usually, in every school, in our entire country, in the entire world (his words), students have to come in over spring break to study math for the exams, but because we tend to travel he can’t rely on that, therefore we really need to figure out dates for when we can come in on our day off. He wants at least twice a month.

-Ree thinks we’re being childish, and need to “show some maturity” and figure it out already. By next lesson he wants a sheet with all of the dates.

-Ree: “You’re going to have to pass up on social events and family gatherings. This is important, guys. Again, show some maturity. Next time your parents offer to take you travelling somewhere in the world, you’re just going to say no because this is important.”

-Ree is fed up with us. He declares that if we can’t tell him right away that we’re willing to give up our lives for math (he’s so dramatic), he can no longer teach us. He can’t work this way. He’s going to go to the principal, and the other math teacher Ran, because it just won’t work this way.

I don’t have much to add; this sums itself up. Now comes the part where I tie in what I talked about in my opening paragraph. Humor: there is a humorous side of this. I am sure of it. I’ll let you know if I find it.

No, I’m kidding. I found it humorous while it was happening. How can you not when a grown man is being so overly dramatic about something you know is dumb? My friend mentioned later that she volunteers on her day off, and I agree with what she said: points in heaven are way more important than points on a math test. At least us students have our priorities straight.

After Ree made it very clear to us that we are the ones that have to come up with a solution, I started trying to say this and a few others chimed in: okay, we will, now can you please teach us some math? Now remember I had solved the question while everyone was arguing, so when Ree turned to the board and said “somebody do these calculations”, I said “It comes out to two and a half.” Ree snaps around, looks at me, I try not to laugh, and repeat, “the calculations. The answer is  two and a half”. Ree just kind of nods, writes it down, and I can’t even remember what happened later.

I have one thing to say to you Ree: get over yourself.

Wow, that felt good.

I have more to tell you all. I went to acupuncture for the first time yesterday, and I had an amazing experience while there. I think I’ll write about it separately though. Be sure to check back for it soon, it will be called “The First Time”*.

For now, I just have another few things to tell you. The first one is, I finished my drawing! We framed it, I took a picture of it, and it’s down below, after the song quote (as usual). Second, I have now officially been on a yeast free diet for 22.3 hours. Yeah. Third, test season is starting soon, so my plan is to write a bunch of pieces and store them for when I’m super stressed and don’t have time to think whimsically. I’m letting you know because… well, I actually don’t have a reason. Just so you know, I guess.

Be humorous!!!

Love,

Ella

Song Quote:

Someday we’ll laugh about it. –All About You, Birdy

IMG_3980

All done!!! The angle here is really random, but it’s the only way I could manage to show the whole drawing without showing my reflection…

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This picture was taken before I put the finishing touches on, but it shows the whole drawing much better than the picture I tried to take after it was framed… (I showed this picture in my previous post)

This drawing goes incredibly well with the theme of this post… I’m impressed with myself for not having planned it. The original photo was from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/artetetra/2401088691/in/set-72157600061371063

Pictures of earlier stages are shown in:

To Create, It’s Called Perseverance, Game

*EDIT: 10.23.13 – I never ended up writing “The First Time” (it’s not what you’re thinking, trust me), so I’m just going to kind of, maybe, sorta leave you all hanging… deepest apologies, everyone. I had another acupuncture session that unfortunately clouded over the glow of the first one, and since I just can’t seem to get back into that initial buoyancy. Again, apologies from me to you.