Friday, December 29, 2006
That parking lot had the perfect speed bumps for practicing bunny hops. I once spent a whole Saturday practicing. I remember the feel of adrenaline pumping through my veins as I would approach my favorite series of speed bumps, the ones on the east side of the building by the dumpsters. "This is it. It's all or nothing. Go for the kill"And I would pop smoothly over the bump at record breaking speed. I was well on my way to hopping up a curb, but I would try that another day.
Then there was the day the police came banging on my door, disrupting a quiet evening of reading. "Pamela Greenfield?"
"Uh, no, you have the wrong apartment"
"Is Pamela Greenfield here?"
"No. You have the wrong apartment"
"Mind if we look around?"
"Go for it"
Apparently Pamela Greenfield was threatening suicide and my apartment was her last known address. Whatever.
When Teresa and Erin visited we drank wine and rum and went on a food hunt in the middle of the night. All we could find were Donettes at Walgreens. Which, according to Erin, aren't even real donuts. They're like donuts with vaginas.
I never did have the smoke alarm hooked up. Two days after I moved in the battery started dying which made a loud beep every eight minutes. I took the thing down and never bothered to buy a new battery. Oh well, the next renter can deal with it.
Goodbye grueling staircase, where it never mattered how good of shape you were in, you would always be panting and clutching your chest at the top...
Goodbye tiny bathroom where i locked myself for two days after learning I was pregnant...
Goodbye laundry machines that you had to have a laundry card to use, and you could only put money on it during office hours, which never happened to include times you suddenly remembered you desperately needed to do laundry...
Goodbye old lady with walker who has made me late to work on several occasions by clogging up the hallway with slowness...
Goodbye little gym where i got to watch VH1 while running on the treadmill, unless that one guy already had it on BET...
Goodbye cheerful ladies in the office who always remembered that my mom is the one who sends packages in shoe boxes covered in duct tape....
Goodbye family of eight with the mother of eighteen down the hall...
Goodbye mother of eighteen knocking on my door trying to sell me makeup in Spanish...
Goodbye going down the stairs to get to the main floor and then going up to get to my floor...
Goodbye couple who walks their cats on leashes outside...
Goodbye same couple who drive a motortricycle with a Minnesota Viking on one side and "Not Fragile" on the other...
Goodbye deceiving name of "Summer Grove" where it was rarely summer and hardly a grove...
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
running on the treadmill at the Y
It is cold and snowless today. I ran on the treadmill at the Y to avoid nature's ornery climate. Like a hamster on its excercise wheel, I ran and ran until I finally got to where I was going. Nowhere. I finished in the same spot I started. And I, being the overanalytical philosophizer that I am; equated this concept to life. You're born. You die. You run around a lot inbetween. Ultimately you achieve the very status you claimed before you entered the world. Nonexistance. Christians might argue that you've always had a soul. Hindus might say you were something else, and something else you will become. But how do you know? You were not aware of yourself until roughly the age of four and you're probably even less self-aware by the time you hit seventy. That leaves adolescence, young adulthood and middle ages. Please tell me I am not the first image I noticed of myself. The wishy washy pimply fat girl with braces that saw the world so blurrily because she refused to wear glasses. Please tell me I am not who I am now, because I am someone that I should have figured out by now but am still utterly clueless about. Please tell me I am not who I think I will be in 20 years. Crazy mom in the returns line at Target wearing sweatpants and a fanny pack. Glowing with the leftover post-exercise high as I run my errands after another provocative workout on the treadmill at the Y.
ashes to ashes
dust to dust
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
happy voting day. here's something that should have been on the ballots: old men in speedos. i was swimming at the Y last night, just minding my own business, swimming along when i stopped between sets for my 30 second break at the wall. as i removed my foggy goggles and reached for my waterbottle i saw something that made me do a double-take, ok a triple -take, ok so i couldn't stop staring!. this old man's speedo was completely worn and see through! he was walking across the deck to the hot tub, with his long veiny legs (partially tan with age spots), big bloated belly, and blue speedo thin as a fly's wing and loose with years and years of overuse. it was pulled up to his ribcage. i have to admit i let my gaze shamelessly follow his exposed crack and swinging ballsack all the way out of sight.
am i a pervert? no! it's not like it turned me on. it was more like a brutal car wreck that you just have to slow down for. the morbidly obese woman at the beach slathering sunscreen over waves of rippling flesh. the awkward gothic teenage boy with (is that a skirt?! or wide leg pants?) black lipstick and eyeliner and spikes and chains all over, glaring at you because he's insecure and you are blatantly staring at him but you know he must want to be seen or else he would wear what all the other kids are wearing... point being , I just couldn't tear my eyes off this speedo! i was shocked, i was appalled, i was fascinated, intrigued, disgusted! what should i have done? should i have told this old man that his speedo had seen it's last day thirty years ago and that it was time to let go for the sake of all YMCA patrons? i couldn't do it. i knew, judging by the obtrusive hearing aid protruding from his ear, i would ultimately end up repeating the already uncomfortable confrontation several times. no, there was nothing i could do.
as someone who swam competitively since the 6th grade, i am accustomed to many bodies in many speedos. i used to claim that i was immune to this obscene but functional garmet. at the Ft. Leavenworth pool, where we would frequently gather to tan and swoon as teenagers, my friends would giggle and point at the grape-smuggling foreign officers. but i would always roll my eyes as though i were the only mature one, and that seeing a speedo was no big deal and i saw them all the time at swim meets. but look at me now, image of an old man's buttcrack burned in my brain, unable to shake the swinging sack from my memory. i have grown younger. years younger.
Monday, November 6, 2006
yesterday was beautiful and i killed it. each passing minute i spent in my stuffy apartment shoved the guilt deeper and deeper down my throat until it was lodged in a most uncomfortable spot somewhere along my esophogus (i like that word). i couldn't smile. i couldn't cry. i couldn't go outside, though that is what i needed most. i settled on sleeping becuase it was easiest. it was an escape. a cop-out. i wussed out, i pussed out on Life.
i don't have an excuse or even an explanation. for some unkown reason i just felt that Life was too big for me yesterday. i coudn't face it. yes, i could have. i didn't want to. i slept, i sulked, i mourned the sun as it sunk lower and lower outside my window. Then suddenly lept up, unwilling to surrender completely. i had to get out and savor the last hour of a dying day. i felt as though i had done something horrible. something that would equate betraying a lover or wasting my life savings on a pool table. i had to get out there and redeem myself. i hiked in garden of the gods. i saw the moon shine full and bright between the kissing camels. pregnant with promise for new days.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
things i like:
colorado; old book smell; pink; black; nepalese food; running in the rain; boys with guitars; tori amos; text messages; exclamation points; forward motion
things i hate:
two or more girls at the same time (unless i am one of them- makes me nervous); overdraft fees; feeling obligated to maintain old friendships; feeling obligated to buy something when i go into a very small shop and the salesperson's attention is fixed on me alone; feeling obligated to close my underwear drawer when i am expecting someone; obligation; semicolons; roundabouts (what are you supposed to do at those things?); misplaced anger
Monday, October 16, 2006
lately i feel as though my workouts are semi trucks driving too fast down a tumultuous fire road and i am being drug behind by a rope, which i am clutching relentlessly in raw hands. i never feel in control anymore. i am not running the mile repeats. they are running me. i swam last night after work. even in the pool, you can tell it's nighttime. the lifeguards are yawning and checking their watches. they toss half-assed glances toward the pool as they finish up cleaning and closing duties, wishing i would just leave so they could go home and eat or go out with their friends or answer that booty call or whatever... but i still have 2 more sets of 6 x 25, 5 x 100 and a cool down left. fuck 'em. it's their fucking job and if i want to wait til the last possible minute of the day to do this workout it's nobody's business but mine, as long as i get out of here before 9 pm. and i did.
each morning i get a choice. i can get out of bed and venture into the cold dark morning and get it over with. or i can sleep in, wake up after the sun rises and allow that pregnant cloud of impending workout to hover over my head all day. dread, i call it.
i wanted this. i want this. i want the prestige, the pain, the proof, the chafing, the exhaustion, the blisters, the sunburn, the high, the bonk, the finisher's medal. i'm the one who signed up for this. i never thought it would be easy. i never even thought it would be much fun. i guess i just figured each day of training would hold the same excitement, the same triumph and glory as race day. not so. it's still the same me chugging along, however awkward or ably up another beastly hill on another boorish run. and when i reach the top, the road still ribbons on the way it always does with miles to go. and when i reach the end of that particular run, ironman is still a distant illusion. and although i come closer every day, the end is still an abiding horizon, keeping itself [this far] from me and my dream.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
i watched a man with a mustache and a mullet ogle my breasts as i pumped my car full of gas this morning. i cringed as a slow smirk spread across his face. "this is hate" i thought. or maybe "hate" is what i did to myself last night and i'm just taking it out on that slimy perv who is now looking me up and down, licking his lips and nodding his approval. was that a wink? now he is putting out his cigarette. "dirty" i thought. or maybe "dirty" is what i made myself last night and i'm just taking it out on the slimy perv who is now hawking a loogie in my path as i walk toward the door to pay. "vile" i thought. or maybe "vile" is how i acted last night when i dissected two healthy brains on clean sheets and then proceeded to mash them up like avacados, mixing in citric acid and sodium, ignobly attempting to make something old into something new or maybe something new into something familiar.
and now i remember my abandoned bicycle, rusty with morning dew, laying in the cold grass, drive-side down waiting to be stolen
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Love and Lust. Lust and Love. One is always disguised as the other. They are always working together to send people further into the hazy depths of confusion. Can't we separate them? Can you have one without the other? Can you have the other with out the one? (Sarah, I expect you to respond to this).
I am always putting things where they don't belong. I leave my keys in the sink or between the couch cushions. I sometimes put my YMCA card in the silverware drawer. I have a painting hanging over the light switch so I have to lift it up carefully everytime I come home at night and make sure it still hangs straight after turning the light on. I put the wrong things in the right places and the right things in the wrong places.
I let the wrong people in, learn "valuble lessons" from them, and then apply those lessons erroneously to the right people, who are veritably the wrong people to inflict my "valuble lessons" upon. Someday I will get it right. The pickle jar theory will take affect and I, already loosened by so many greasy hands will open easily for someone with clean ones.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
i was just thinking about my mom when we lived in minnesota, how she stuffed her jeans inside her knee high snow boots, even when the snow wasn't particularly deep. this parental humiliation did a number on my already arduous adolescence.
and i was just thinking about my mom again, when she took in Nacho for me because i got caught with him in college (no dogs allowed in my apartment complex). i was home for xmas break and everytime she came home from a walk with him she would jubilantly announce the literal outcome of the walk "Nacho peed and pooped!"
i was just thinking about my dad, how i came home one night all late and stoned and found him in the living room watching planet of the apes. he was sitting on the floor indian style inches from the television rocking back and forth like a mentally retarded kid who could barely contain his excitement. the sight of him, so child-like in all his thick-spectacled, open-mouthed fascination with the apes made me want to laugh and cry all at the same time. instead i joined him for the remainder of the movie, in an effort to bond with my unassuming father. i don't think he ever noticed me come in.
i was just thinking about teresa and erin, my sisters, and getting drunk with them in all their underaged glory. making fun of my poems and my quote book that i've kept since 6th grade. it's full of lame cliches such as "where there's a will there's a way" and "love is a many splendored red red rose that won't make you cry or puke" blah blah blah. things that must have been inspiring at one point in my life. "no guts no glory" and erin's famous "these aren't even donuts, they're donettes, they're like donuts with vaginas!" was the most recently added quote.
i was just thinking about brian and his obsession with cats. he could talk about his cats for hours. he could write a book on their nature and personalities. he could write an electronic journal article about their unique characteristics. and you could find it on an online library archive if you were writing a report about cats and use it as a source. it would tell you what makes them purr, what makes them vomit, what gives them diahrreah and why they knead your rolls of fat when you're sitting down (reminds them of the mama cat's nipples). it's okay that brian's obsessed with cats. i used to be obsessed with paris hilton, who posesses a few feline qualities herself.
i was jsut thinking about the man who sometimes rings me out at safeway. with his long wild grey hair, complete, or incomplete with a bald spot in the middle. he always has something interesting to say about witches. he told me how to tell if a woman is really a witch. it's quite simple, all you have to do is drown her and if her body floats she is a witch. or maybe it's if her body sinks. hell, i can't remember. he always tells me to smile, even if i'm already smiling, so then i have to smile harder, sometimes to the point that i feel as though the corners of my lips will push my eyeballs right off my face.
i know i said i was empty the other day, but really, how can i be empty in a world where frank rides his tawdry wal-mart "Next" bike down the wrong side of Academy, stopping to light a cigarette, unpahsed as cars, trucks, semis and pt cruisers speed by honking violently with formidable impacience? how can i be empty when i belong to a family that discusses homosexuality, old lady smell and farting when we are out to dinner at fancy resturant? how can i really be empty when i have friends who will give me a ride home even when i have pee in my Croc because i missed. how can i be empty when i have friends who forgive me for wearing the very shoe i sold out to?
i know i said i was empty, but regardless of what i claimed in a fit of frustration, i fell asleep that night with the sloppy leftovers of a smile sliding off my face...
Monday, September 11, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
If only I were oblivious to myself like a dog. Running around wildly, immersed in the world around me, remembering myself only for brief interludes, scratching my ear, licking my genitals and whatnot. Or a mentally retarded person only vaguley aware of the statistics and details of my relationships. Having intense emotions without knowing, much less caring what their sources are. Never bothering with the pages of recorded interactions- actions and reactions- left for me to analyze. So exhausting.
My hadwriting has shrunken over the past few years. You wouldn't know because I'm typing. Tiny script indicates insecurity. Neurocity. Paranoia. Everyone tells me to stop being silly. Why are my feelings always categorized as "silly"? Silly. Unimportant. Pointless. Insignificant. Likely to be dismissed. "Don't waste my time". Silly.
My head is a dark, deep canyon that I dwell inside. I'm trying desperately to climb out. Scrambling determinedly up these steep, loose walls and falling back down, lower than ever with each attempt. Trying relentlessly, Failing inevitably. I long to stand at the edge of the canyon and peer down into it objectively, sensibly. I just want to be outside my brain. I want clarity. It's loud in here and all reason is muffled by a roaring river of doubt and insecurity that drowns all hope. Hope- the serenity only heard from the top.
Psychology Today told me I am hotter than I think and I took comfort in that fact. I developed a mantra to use whenever faced with the mirror. "25 percent" because I am 25 percent more attractive than I percieve myself (according to Psychology Today) That 25 percent is my saving grace- whether or not it's true. I cling to it like the "Oh shit" handle around a fast, tight bend. And then I ask myself why approaching my reflection holds the same intense anxiety as high speed cornering. I am vain beyond reason. Vain beyond function. Unhealthily vain. Disgustingly vain. Vain. Vain. Vain.
I want nothing more than to see people for who they are rather than how I compare to them. I want to see people as their own beautiful and unique entities rather than incremental versions of one another. Higher and lower levels of the same design. Like the Specialized Allez. Sport. Comp. Elite. Pro. S-Works- whatever. Same idea with varying levels of componentry. I want to see myself for who I might really be rather than the culmination of my flaws plus that consolation 25 percent.
It could be worse. It could always be worse.
Saturday, July 1, 2006
In 5th grade Michelle and I made each other laugh so hard with our Down's Syndrome impressions at recess that we'd piss our pants. One day my leakage was more significant than the usual ignorable dribble. The next morning I ganked one of my mom's maxi pads from under the bathroom sink to use as reinforcement. The lofty thing bulged inside my tiny day-of the-week underwear. I was certain that my classsmates could hear the diapery swoosh over the quiet reverence of the spelling test as I squirmed uncomfortably at my desk. Ironically I didn't pee my pants that day.
Since Michelle, I can count the number of people on one hand, who have made me laugh that hard. High school held a few. Michael and Quinn in geometry. The laughin g was always at some unsuspecting quiet kid's expense. The ones who are all prettier, skinnier, and doubtlessly more successful than I am now. College went by with out much soulful laughing. It didn't count if it was drug or alcohol induced. There were witty comments here and there in the lecture hall or studio that made me snicker and think...always think. But nothing that overtook my bladder. Post college, the kids at BV cracked me up the most. Sarah and Bryan on occasion sent me running knock-kneed toward the bathroom begging them to stop. But now I make myself laugh more than anyone else does.
I was driving home from Patrick's shop yesterday, which by the way houses one of Colorado Springs' most devastating fat mirrors, when I got stuck at a red light right next to the Wild Wings chicken who was flapping his wings- arms- wingarms, eagerly at my window. I acknowleged him briefly and politely before assuming a somewhat exaggerated somber demeanor that said "I am not an asshole, but I am a serious person and am not in the mood to be flapped at." He had nice legs and cool shoes and for a brief moment I visualized myself meeting and falling in love with a beautiful, athletic and hilarious man in some neutral location such as Whole Foods or the gym, only to find out he was the man inside the ridiculous chicken costume flapping aggressively, relentlessly on the corner of Academy and N. Carefree as I hold my breath in desperate anticipation for the green light so that I could finally relax and aleiviate the awkward tension the "stare ahead" has caused my neck and head.
And when I find out that this hot guy is really the Wild Wings chicken man I'd have to let him down gently and with a new and unique excuse so as not to be like "all the other girls" who ran away. Or I could force myself to pretend the chicken gig was for a good cause. That he took on a 2nd job to help raise money for his friend who has rubella or Lou Gherig's Disease, or hell, just plain cancer for all I care, because he can't afford the treatment because the two friends had recently spent all their money on guitars and drumsets to start a band which would have had incredible potential but needed its dying bass player. I think I could respect and possibly even love a man in a chicken suit if it wall in the name of loyal friendships and rock and roll. I get so carried away sometimes...
Friday, June 9, 2006
The next day I hung my head at his funeral as Father David assured us that Ben would probably make it to Purgatory (at least). That was the last time I recieved Communion. I spent the next few years searching (unsuccessfully) for a more lenient god. I have since discovered Colorado and found Peace that no sermon can provide. I have felt here, a sense of belonging that joining hands in prayer with fellow church goers cannot transcend. I have seen skies and clouds of all colors, including red. I am an artist now, and although I rarely paint clouds myself, I cringe when others use white.
Wednesday, June 7, 2006
You spoke of loss and the need to win and I noted the screaming correlation between the two. You spoke of the rejection you recieved from loved ones. The cold righteous hands steering you away from yourself were incentive to rebel and through kissing you renounce those hands and their efforts to change you. And now you are searching for the love you lost in places that you and I both know you didn't leave it. Of all the ways you've tried to reach people, only one will affirm that the message was heard. Felt. Understood. If I kiss back you have succeeded in forcing someone to acknowledge you.
And I sopke of trickery and fraud. I told you how I used to call it love when really it's need and how I mistakenly interpreted a need for love and how I heard that word over and over with strong hands wrapped around my throat. By recieving your tongue I am saying that I have learned nothing from those hands. That I am as easily and willingly manipulated as ever. Each time I kiss back I try to convince myself that this time it will mean nothing and I will leave here as nonchalant as I came, carrying with me that smug, cannibalistic satisfaction that comes from stealing something from someone. I tell myself that I will leave here glowing with complacency and the primitive "get yours" mentality. But this has not been the case thus far.
"Survival of the fittest" has recently evolved into "survival of the heartless" and I drive home with all the windows down in hopes that mine will fly away so I can finally stop losing. I am hoping mine will fly away so I may come back tomorrow night with no qualms about using you...and the rest of your body.
Saturday, May 6, 2006
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Let's just stop talking about it for a second. I don't want to talk about it. Here we are so let's just live. And if what we believed turns out to be right we're okay and if not we're screwed. But no amount of sooth-seeking can deliver us at this point. There have been brilliant philosophers before us and we've heard what they had to say: know thyself. there is nothing stable in human affairs. necessity is the mother of invention. hope is a waking dream blah blah blah...but it doesn't affect the speed at which you ride your bike downhill or the vigor with which you embrace Love (whether you're right or wrong about it). And it doesn't affect the string of curses that fly from your mouth when you crash or the stream of tears that flow from your lachrymal glands when you discover you were wrong all along...
And maybe God isn't the answer to that ever-present void inside of you. Maybe the answer is a puppy or cheesecake or really good sex. And you can spend your whole life contemplating that void- why it's there, how it came to be so big, and what to fill it with, or you could opt for trial and error. You could keep sticking things in there and pulling them out until something fits and sticks and whether or not that will ever happen, no one knows but all you have is Life and Life is only Time so you might as well use it, however wisely....
I just don't want to talk about it anymore. I don't want to analyze it. I don't want to write songs about it that Sarah and Peter and Bob Dylan have already sung with so much more talent. I don't want to describe it with words that Petrarch and Virginia Woolf have already used. I don't want to paint it in Colors because colors rely too heavily on the eyes through which they're beheld and then they disappear altogether in the absence of light. I just want to laugh until no sound comes out and I am on the floor, crying and cramping and my belly aches. I want to run until there's nothing left in me and sing until I'm hoarse and weak and eat until I puke. Maybe I just want to puke and start all over. Is puking allowed? How about starting over?
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Monday, April 10, 2006
I must have perservered civily through the rest of this conversation, but I do not recall it. All I can remember is the rage that welled and swelled within me, overtaking my body as anger has never done to me before. I hung up the phone. I cursed. I yelled. I kicked things. I threw a book. I even cried a little. In a matter of minutes this emotional storm passed and a calm took its place. I was happy, and I didn't need an overweight, insecure, beer guzzling, coke snorting frat boy to tell me otherwise. I am happy and I love my life.
According to Brad, money must be the measure of how successful someone is. Nevermind that I am learning new things each day. Nevermind that I am being constantly challenged physically and mentally and growing evermore fearless in the mountains, whether rock or snow covered. Nevermind that I have found truer friends here that I did in college. Riding or running alone out on the trails I am still not as lonely as I've felt at crowded parties where someone is always touching me. I've never been so alone as when I had to link arms with two girlfriends to ensure that we make it from the front door to the keg out back without losing each other to the raging hormonal tides of tube tops and testosterone.
And college, according to Brad is the reason I am overqualified for the solace I have found in riding bicycles. It is my college degree that gives Brad the liberty to laugh at the otherwise respectable career I have chosen. But college?! The exhausting cycle: learning, testing, forgetting, learning, testing, forgetting...All for a piece of paper that tells me I am smarter than those who do not have it and no different from anyone who does. Is it there to tell me I am fulfilled? Complete? Or to remind me there are several higher levels of these papers I could potentially achieve and with each the font becomes more ornate and impossible to read. Is this what we strive for?
I have matted and mounted this thing on my wall as a recreational hunter does with a deer head. i have posed enthusiastically with it for pictures, holding it up like a trophy bass, hanging by his lip with droplets of his former home puddling beneath him. It is just a piece of paper! It is not a measure of intelligence or even perserverance. Despite the quality of glass that it glares at me from behind (I chose PerfectVue) it is still a piece of paper born of a copy machine who has born millions of other papers like mine designed to legitimize our social standings but conversley makes us insignificant.
What this diploma really says is not that I am educated and socialized and suited for the world, but that I know how to cheat. How to get by. How to lose myself in a Camelbak of Southern Comfort and promiscuous friendships. It says I know how to sand the edges of Love so that it interlocks neatly with Sex. I know how to identify Desperation when it's disguised as PDA emitted by last Saturday's MVP and its corresponding cheerleader. I know that 1 1=2 and -1 1=0 and that's how I feel about dating.
I know how to sit on a barstool in a tight halter and low-rise jeans in such a way that my butt crack doesn't show and my belly doesn't compress into an unsightly roll. I know how to act taken at a party when a drunk pervert keeps "accidentally" touching my breast and I know how to act available when a cute transfer student takes the seat behind me in American Lit.
This diploma says that I have mastered both arts of Avoiding and Casual Stalking. This diploma says that I have satisfactorily lost my identity in an earnest attempt to fit in. It says I have successfully memorized and recited the rules of "faking it". Smiles, orgasms, apathy and concern alike!. It says I have wallowed in self-pity, mistaking my ego for my heart and vice versa, ultimately discovering that both have been broken.
Brad called me agian last night at 2:25 am to say that he was hurt because I didn't include him in my list. he must have felt as though he had no impact on my life. What Brad doesn't know is that he had a great impact. He wasn't simply "not good enough" as he hypothesized in a brief, crude (possibly drunken?) voicemail message. But it was his profound negativity (Teresa calls them sunshine-suckers) that made me realize how happy I am, and that I have been happy all along. How disappointed Brad would be if he knew!