Harmony is Too Pretty A Word. Try “Ballswelloquent”.

NOTE:  the below post includes references to a masturbating holy figure.  Please discontinue reading if this will offend rather than amuse.

This is one of those mornings (not Those Mornings).  One where you get up, feel pretty good, have a cup of coffee, get to the gym, and then get to work, and everything is kinda humming right along.  You feel good.  You feel like you’re in sync with the rhythm of the world, like you’re circadian rhythm is lined up right next to the sine wave of the universe… like you’re in your car, and the rest of the world is in the car next to you as you both hit the red light at the same time, and you, very cockily, rev your engine.  Like you can outgun the cosmos.

That, my friends, is what I call a Good Friday.  Not to be confused with Jesus’ Good Friday… which I’m still confused about – was it the day they all decided they couldn’t abstain from whatever they had just given up for forty days?  (First, who chooses 40 days?  That’s not a clean number at all, so I don’t think it was a choice.  King James was a bit of a censorship nut, so no one knows the real story:  I think Jesus & his Lenten posse made a bet to see who could give up stroking it the longest… like that episode of Seinfeld.  I’ll bet Paul came back within 7 minutes & said “I’m out!”, but the rest of them made it forty days, and probably could’ve kept going except Jesus called it off because he rubbed one out during an especially enlightening prayer session… on a Friday, and they all went “Good!” and immediately sowed some orthodox oats.)

It’s April 1st.  It’s snowing in NJ, and I’m spending 3 hours of my day on a conference call – yes, just ONE conference call for THREE hours.  But I’m okay with that.  I’m revving my engine, toeing the line, ready to sprint.  The only word I could reasonably come up with for this feeling of “all is right with the world” is harmony… but that’s too pretty.  It lacks machismo.  It lacks bravado.  It lacks braggadocio.  It gives no sense of the up-fuckery sentiment – like it’s so good that you feel you could easily do anything, even things you’ve never done before, and it’ll all work out, and you’ll have added your own little dose of oats (orthodox or otherwise) into the mix.  You’re doing what you’re meant to be doing, and it’s changing the world.

… maybe that’s a little too far.  But harmony is too pretty a word.  We need something braver, bolder, faster, stronger.  Something with more balls.

I submit the following recommendations as terms that could be defined, loosely, as “the feeling that you can beat the world”:





Feel free to vote or contribute your own candidate in the comments.  My personal favorite is Ballswelloquent.

Team Eckhart

I just finished reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The New Earth”. It’s a significant event, because I rarely even venture into the land of New Age books, as Borders would undoubtedly classify this, and as such this book would long have stayed out of my purview were it not for life’s intervention. In this particular case, I have my wife, my sister, and Oprah to thank for conspiring to put this book in front of my face… Powerful women, all, so it’s no wonder that, after reading & reflecting on E.T.’s work, I too feel more “powerful”.

Here’s why.

His life, as explained in the book, is not what you & I, the unenlightened might call “life” at all. His consciousness has evolved. In his world, life is a series of things. Things that happen, things that you consume, build, lust after, chase, get, don’t get, etc. It’s literally all clutter. This is not Life, a separate definition that is hard to denote with any letters, even a Capital L. As he would express it, Life just is. The things of the lowercase life are all constructs, are all structures created by our dearest friend & most insecure friend, Monsieur Ego, in a constant & desperate effort to justify his own existence. We do not need Ego to accomplish our purpose in life. Ego actually runs counter plots to this true purpose by convincing us that he is the one in charge & that his desires are what matters. Our purpose is to simply live Life, the Life that Oprah would call her Best Life, by realizing we are all Beings, and as such we are all connected to a higher Being, which E.T. describes variously with apropos but loaded words like Truth, Consciousness, Awareness, God, Self and Life.

He claims that we, before attaining consciousness (which he explains in such adroit fashion as to encompass and equalize most of the world’s religions), create and destroy in the futility of the act of defining ourselves & everything in our world on some meter or scale or reference point. My favorite part of this dialog is his discussion of how nothing is actually Better or Bigger until you decide it’s so. I totally can’t do it justice at the moment, since i only read it once & neglected to take notes. Just take it from me that this was one of the many aha!- like moments I had in the course of his 300 pages: every measurement requires a point of reference, and since society is full of Beings with independent points of reference, yours is the only one that matters, which simultaneously means that none of them do (let’s all stop short of spiraling down into the dystopic argument that society can’t function without some shared givens). There is no Good or Bad, but thinking that makes it so.

But consider that every Being is born and has a spark of life – and that, my friends, is where the similarities end. The only thing we “know” is that we are alive and others are alive. If we can realize that, accept that, and act as though it were the only Truth, everything else that causes us discontent melts away.

The most freeing section in the whole book is where he relates that to action and time. When you accept that the world and time are constructs in which you are forced to participate physically but do NOT define who you are, because YOU are more than your actions, all the risk to You/Self is moot and it’s only your Ego at play that makes you act differently. What you choose to do in any given moment is exactly the right thing to do if you are aware of the choice. Put simply, the only moment there ever is is Now, and the only Action required is the one you choose.

That is a concept that made me fall off the couch. That is some Ninja shit right there. I feel like I earned a blackbelt in like thirty different isms all at once.

Here’s where it can go a little sideways for those less introspective than even I am. Realizing that, accepting that, acting on that… In short, thinking about it (or anything for that matter) is still a lowercase life. Thinking is all Ego. Getting in touch with Life, though, is “simpler” than that. He gives us a few activities to try in the book, but my go-to kata is this: close your eyes and just feel the blood, heat & energy I your fingertips. (I learned focused breath in college yoga classes, so I take for granted that this is easy; I highly recommend learning this technique if for no other reason than it’s ability to quell anxiety & get me to sleep at night). Then let that awareness slowly creep out into your hands, into your arms, your shoulders, your core, the top of your head… that sort of trancelike state you enter when you can honestly feel that energy & not act or think about anything else… that is the Awareness with a Capital A that E.T. says connects us all. It’s the only thing that connects us all, but the point is that we are all connected. However you choose to manifest that Life, whatever God you choose (if any), whatever clothes you wear, whether you’re for Team Edward or Team Jacob (note from my Ego: I am the only guy who would even ATTEMPT to mix Eckhart Tolle and Twilight, and therefore I am awesome), all those decisions are yours and all of them insignificant in the pursuit of Life, Happiness, Zen, Nirvana, Heaven, or Valhalla (what up Nordic readers!).

All you gotta do is let go. The only moment there ever is is Now, and the only Action required is the one you choose. There is no Good or Bad, but thinking that makes it so.

I apologize for the heady meta vapors you’re now wafting in, but this post serves three purposes. First and foremost, to document my own thoughts on this book. It hasn’t turned me into Superman or Oprah or even Dr. Phil, but whatever potential I had that I felt was untapped or that I wasn’t “allowed” to tap, which caused me to worry I was wasting myself, or at least that others were thinking I was wasting myself… Well, none of that matters. And holy jumping Jesus in a jumpsuit did it make a difference in my life.

Second purpose of this post is to tell you about it. Spread the germs of consciousness, I suppose. Without becoming an evangelist, I will simply say that, if you can hang with his meta-analysis (or at least aren’t totally turned off by the words meta-analysis), you will get something of value out of reading it.

Third purpose is to publicly acknowledge and accept that I am more than the sum of my actions, and so is everyone else. That, inevitably, leads to forgiveness, which is a surprising word at this time in my life. I’m afraid that’s a horse of a different color, though, so I’m postponing further public exploration of that.

My thanks to the many different Muses that manifested that book & granted me the good fortune to be able to read it. Hopefully at least one other person will choose the same experience.

More Stuff I Like (Other Than Our iPad)

Been a while since I wrote any suggestions or Top 5 lists, and even longer since a reader shared theirs (okay, that’s yet to happen ever).  So here you go; please read, then PLEASE suggest new stuff if you like.  And please don’t point me to one of the myriad ‘favoriting’ social sites like del.icio.us or whatever the hell teenagers think is cool these days.  (Okay, you can point me there, but if it sucks, I’ll come back & scold you publicly.)

Currently reading The First Tycoon, which is a massive biography of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and also my first foray into non-performer biographies.  Kinda digging it.  Learning a lot I didn’t know about US history, railroads, origins of capitalism, etc., but it’s not the type of biography (nor am I suggesting it SHOULD be) where you get much of a sense for the subject’s personality.  The author (TJ Stiles) obviously had very few primary references (CV’s been dead for more than 130 years), so the direct examples of his persona are nil, and even the secondary ones lead you to conclude the guy never wasted a breath on words he couldn’t squeeze a penny out of, so his persona has a very bright tinge of money around it.

Currently watching… well, we’re still reveling in the DVR we finally got.  We DVR a lot of things & “watch” them later – most of them we turn on & then end up doing other things or playing with the Nugget while it plays in the background.  But a current sample consists of:  Holmes on Holmes (HGTV), Your OWN Show (OWN), Enough Already! (OWN), Conan… there are actually an embarrassing number of additional shows from OWN.  But it’s no surprise really – the woman set out to launch a network full of shows that help folks lead their own best lives, and she succeded, and A LOT of us are really interested in that stuff.  We still make appointments out of all-time favorites:  Modern Family, The Good Wife, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, Community & 30 Rock.  The newest winner:  Nurse Jackie.  Comcast has turned on a free month of Showtime On Demand.  In the last two weeks the wyf & I have gone through all 24 episodes in the first two seasons.  The stories are okay, the characters are GREAT (I *heart* Zoey Barkow), and the writing is FANTASTIC.  It has the flavor of a darker, more personal Sorkin.  Not sure which of the three writers from those seasons it comes from, but it’s addicting.

As for movies, we just screened The Black Swan & True Grit last weekend.  From the comforts of our living room. :)  A friend of a friend has some not-so-ethical colleagues at an agency in L.A. that happened to send copies of the Awards season screeners.  They were both fantastic movies & well worth the hoopla.  Jeff Bridges deserves accolades, as does Natalie Portman.  Also Hailee Steinfeld, the young girl in True Grit.  Not so much for Mila Kunis or Matt Damon – both were good, and I loved Damon’s slightly naive take on a Texas ranger, but there are better supporting actor nominees in the running.

We also recently saw Due Date.  All I have to say about that is that we would’ve seen The Social Network instead if it had still been out, and we would’ve felt far more satisfied with our use of the grandparents’ babysitting capacity.

Finally, I’ve been keeping up with a few more blogs recently.  I check Zen Habits a lot.  I check Mark’s Daily Apple, although my interest is waning.  And I always find something interesting at The Happiness Project.  They all seem to speak to my desire for simplicity, for doing & owning & using less.

There’s a purposeful lack of musical influence.  Why?  I don’t listen to new stuff.  AT ALL.  My new car (2011 Hyundai Sonata) has XM radio, which has 3 or 4 comedy stations.  Since I bought it in October, I think I’ve listened to all the material they have for one of them, and the other two or three are either All Canadian or All Contemporary African American comedy, which I’m generally less in the mood for – only so many days I can laugh at bits about bacon & being poor or fat or fat & poor.  And the Blue Collar channel is abysmal – there’s no way the target audience for that crap can afford to pay $8 a month for radio.  They can’t even afford public schools, and those are free.

So I’m COMPLETELY MUSICALLY STAGNANT.  The last new suggestions I got were from my sister, in 2007.  That’s three years’ worth of evolution that my mind has gone without.  I thought maybe Ping would help, but either it doesn’t work well or it takes too much effort to get value out of it, because I’ve yet to get value out of it.  I’m in this situation because I generally don’t listen to music (even pre-XM), and when I do I just listen to whatever radio station is on, or to my iPod playlists.  I’m generally fine with that, but three years… three years was long enough to build the Hoover Dam.  A lot could’ve changed since then.  Thoughts?  If not, no biggie.

However, I could REALLY use some new inspiration for running mixes or great songs to run to.  I have 5 or 6 different playlists on iTunes that I use, but there are still only probably about 70 songs between them, with a lot of overlap between lists.  I’m even running to a lot of John Williams themes.  Would love it if someone could help me spice that up.  (If I’m unsuccessful in this post, this may become a new post all on its own.)

New Year’s, Schmew Schmear’s

This whole show called Life has changed.  A LOT.  History started to change about 3 years ago, and then the future changed when Kate arrived in May of last year.  The present, if that’s what you call these fleeting moments of intermission between acts, moves too fast to document.  That’s one reason (okay, it’s one attempted excuse) to explain my complete inability to maintain my blog.

But I don’t care if I fail at maintaining it to some absurd standard frequency I’ve set.  I’ll keep writing – erratically scheduled, a mélange of topics, self-referential exploratory voice, and any other $5 phrases you can think of to describe whatever this thing is – and hope that I haven’t completely alienated all of you.  (I think maybe only some family members & a few techies with RSS feeds of this still read.  RSS feeds are … something I still haven’t figured out how to wield in such a way to make my life easier.)

That being said, there are a lot of events of sheer magnitude – a baby, re-writing the upper branches of family trees, moving cross-country, closing myself off to outlets like acting & this blog – that would justify completely re-scripting this to fit the last years’ worth of posts, much the same way my life’s changed.

Well that just won’t work.  This is me.  This is part of whoever I am, and it’s the part that is whatever I say.  The only thing I know (or at least come close to knowing) is me.  Write what you know.

So here I am.  I’m in New Jersey.  I’m still working with the same company, same role, same everything – just doing it from here & going back to the West Coast once a month to maintain relationships.  I moved back in September/early October, and in the three months since, we’ve done a lot of adjusting.  Adjusting lifestyles (only one of us working, both of us closer to friends), adjusting finances (one income, extra body to clothe), adjusting eating habits (how to eat tons of the world’s best pizza & not look like we do), adjusting activity levels (horrible weather, have to drive more than we walk)…  but it’s a new year & a new act, and we feel settled.  Settled in a good way, though.  Not in, like, the dying way. :-)

Being a new act, and having a fresh new calendar year at the same time, it’s been pretty hard to resist the temptation to chase every dream I’ve ever had all at once.  It’s like someone opened a jar of carefully curated butterflies called Things We Could Do, and I’m running around with this tiny little net called 2011, and for some reason I think I can fit all the butterflies in my net, tie strings to their wings & make them do my bidding.  Open a restaurant.  Or at least go to Culinary School.  Start a charter school.  Or at least be a teacher.  Be a cooler, funnier, younger, less Southern Dr. Phil.  Or at least watch all the OWN network the DVR can capture.  Finally get into the shape I think I deserve.  Or at least try the caveman diet for three months.  Blog every day & write something that will add a spark in people’s minds.  Or at least make my 8-month old daughter laugh out loud once or twice.

But here was my epiphany (NOTE:  I almost just wrote “a-ha moment” – I really gotta lay off of the OWN network):  January 1st is no more special or accommodating to life changes than any other day.

Realizing this & embracing this is the first of what I’ve come to identify as Shitty Sacred Blessings.  The Shitty:  that means all of this energy for change that you feel on New Year’s Day, all that Resolution magic, is artificial, superficial, one of the other -ficials – and propagated by Hallmark & seafood vendors & diet companies & sauerkraut companies (I think we all already knew that sauerkraut companies are up to no good – their reason for being is to take the worst-tasting vegetable & make it soggy & then sell it to you so you force it on your kids as “tradition”.)  Made me feel kind of Shitty.

But the Sacred Blessing:  that means that when you decide to act on that energy & make those changes, you can do it ANY DAY YOU WANT.  There’s no need to wait for a new year or until you move cross-country or whatever particular “natural” inflection point you might think you need.  (I think the January 1st thing is strictly that – it feels like a natural point of inflection that comes on a regular basis – but consider that the entire concept of time & calendars is man-made and arbitrary and therefore not natural, and you’ll free yourself from the same gravity that causes the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve ball to drop.)  You can pick your own point of inflection.  That is nothing short of a Blessing.  It may or may not qualify as Sacred… but really, that adjective is highly misused – it’s rarely used, but when it is it’s almost never used properly.  So piss off.

I don’t know where all these thoughts are going to lead us, but I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve felt like we’re embracing our ability to choose our own path.  Why is that happening now?  IN NEW JERSEY OF ALL PLACES??  I can’t say for sure.  (I can say that it has little to do with the State of New Jersey itself, although I’ll admit to being somewhat fascinated by Chris Christie.)  But if I had to venture a guess, I’d say it’s because San Francisco always felt temporary.  Because we knew it would be.  We knew we could neither afford real estate nor to raise a child out there without becoming debt-leveraged, lottery winners, or slaves to larger corporations.  Hence we knew we weren’t there forever, because both of those things were goals, and none of those requirements were particularly appealing.

But now, even with all this energy around change & all these adjustments we’re making, our location feels permanent.  … No, that’s not the right word.  It feels… very Aronofsky.  As in there may or may not be an end to it, but if it kept going forever you’d be okay with it, and if it does eventually end you’ll be glad you went through it.  It just feels like we don’t have any guaranteed forks in the road ahead, which means we have (or at least feel like we have) much more control over the steps we take toward our golden sunset.  Pretty good feeling.  Away we go!

Oh, and in an update from the prior post:  the wyf uses the iPad more than I do.  She loves it.  Loves the convenience, the portability, the enhanced productivity that results from both.  It’s a surprise that she’s as in to it as she is, but it’s also surprising that it means I’m not using it as much as I thought I would either.  Most of that may be because it’s not worth fighting over who gets to use it & when, and it’s DEFINITELY not worth having two of them.  Plus, the majority of time she’s using it to sell/give away some of our stuff via Craigslist or eBay, or helping to organize her best friend’s wedding.  I’d just use it to look up random crap and/or spend money in the App Store or iTunes.  De-cluttering our space trumps IMDB inquiries almost every time.


Got an iPad. Definitely see why people ride the fence – is it the best thing ever? Or is it just a relatively redundant piece of thousand dollar plastic? – but I have faith that I will learn how to type relatively quickly, which will only add to the productivity quotient… I am disappointed that I can’t get iPhoto on it – I was really hoping that I could do a better job keeping up with our photo-sharing responsibilities – and I think it’s bollocks that I have to pay for apps like Numbers all over again if I want it on all my devices.

But this thing is pretty f-ing sweet. Totally understand Phil Dunphy’s obsession / love affair on his birthday. And Oprah was right. Ahem.

I’m pretty close to convincing the wyf that we should clear a space on the bedside table and keep it close by at all times. There are only a few apps that I’ve tried so far, and some are still buggy (specifically the free ones like NYTimes and WordPress), but I’m sure it will only get better. Glad I waited 9 months. Though honestly I’m dreading the day when they announce the second gen version… I hope all they do is add a camera, cuz that I can live without.

I don’t see how any other tablet could possibly compete with this thing, so all the developer focus has to end up here. (Note to self: buy more Apple stock.)

(Blogged from my iPad, whilst sitting on my couch, watching Inside the Actors Studio.)

A Couple of Beers & A Banana Nut Muffin

Just watch this.  You’ll thank me.  (And I have to thank Gretchen Rubin for linking to it – and to Brené Brown herself for saying it.)

My Wife The Exponent

The Over-Due Online Ode To My Wife, The Exponent

Today’s our third wedding anniversary.  Do you know how many times I have thought the thought “She is beautiful”?  More than I can count, and I can count pretty high.  It’s an astronomically high number.  The thought occurs with great frequency.

But do you know how often I’ve said it?  Almost zero by comparison.  Infinitesimally Small.  The Number of Times I’ve Thought The Thought divided by The Number of Times I’ve Said It Out Loud is so small, it would undoubtedly return #DIV/0! in the Spreadsheet Of Our Life.

I can admit this due to three facts:  A) She is, in fact, beautiful, and knows that I’m thinking it constantly; 2) I am completely & unequivocally exactly the type of nerd who writes blog entries containing references to Life as a spreadsheet; and D) neither one of us enjoy Carrot Top.

There are, however, other maths on which I would like to pontificate, if the reader will so oblige.  Ahem.

Me + Her = Balance.

Me – Her = Lost Soul/Puppy/Boy, depending on my mood/haircut.

Me / Her = Less Than Half, and the Worse Half.

Me x Her = We Had A Baby.

But Me ^ Her = Best Of All Possible Members of the Set {Me}.  I am who I am today because of her (well, okay, the haircut is totally my bad).

She’s my exponent.

Happy Anniversary to my beautiful wife.  I love you, and I’m so happy we’ve created our little family & we get to put down some Nerd roots.

And Now For Something Completely F***ed

My Dad is not my biological father.

Yup.  News to me too.  And hot news; as of this writing, I haven’t even talked to my Mom about it yet, and it hasn’t been 24 hours since I found out.  I found out over a few beers with my cousin on my last night in San Francisco, my life literally re-defined by fermented oats served cold by a waitress with nose jewelry named Miranda.

For someone who’s always struggled to identify himself, this news is both completely pedestrian and entirely shattering.  OF COURSE I wasn’t actually the offspring of that asshole who, even outside of this particular fabrication, lied to me for 27 years and then refused to swallow his pride and apologize for it (which was my requirement in order to ever speak to him again-which I haven’t done for 2 years).  It makes so much sense.  I don’t look like him.  I’m not shaped like him.  My skin doesn’t burn like his.  My hair curls when it’s long.  My palate wasn’t cleft.  Clearly I’m not a fiber in his fabric.  Duh.

But wait a tick.  If I’m not actually of his ilk, then there’s SO MUCH SHIT I don’t have to worry about any more.  I’m not genetically programmed to be as unhappy and angry as he was.  I’m not at hereditary risk for nerve damage, lung cancer, breast cancer, or becoming a pathological liar.  I won’t get addicted to pain & then drown myself in 30 years of narcotics and Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi.  His only (yet significant) impact on my existence was mere Nurture.

Nurture!  What a word.  I’d prefer inculcation or indoctrination for his particular brand of Terrible.  He’s a Ph. D. in Bullshit & Up-Fuckery.  And those are all things that, with time & some introspection, I can overcome.

I can be whoever the hell I want.  He has ZERO hold over me.

Do you get how significant & freeing that is?  I’m completely pardoned from my worries about repeating his mistakes, about feeling unable to control the risk of turning into someone that can literally turn the atmosphere of a birthday party into that of a funeral home without saying a word, about being obligated in any way to feel some sort of emotion for his plight.  Not my f***ing problems.

Not.  My.  F***ing.  Problems.

I don’t know anything about who my real father is, but according to my cousin, my sister & I are products of in-vitro fertilization by the same sperm donor from the same sperm bank.  My mom is actually my mom, as she did actually carry both of us.  It’s entirely possible that this guy-let’s call him Spanky to be glib-is also a ginormously horrible human being.  It’s also possible that he’s a sultan somewhere in one of those –istan countries.  In fact, as the product of his genetic material, the only thing I’m pretty certain he ISN’T is an underwear model.

Of course my world didn’t just immediately turn into sunshine sex & apple pie.  I still have to deal with the fact that at least four other people in the world have known this for quite some time & made continuous, repetitive choices not to share it with me.  I still have to deal with getting an explanation out of my mother – how this came about, her reasoning for not letting us know, how she sacrificed all of us for so long by staying with a husband with such a poisonous worldview – and figure out how to do it so that she understands that I’m actually just fine & just want to know the god**mn truth for the first time in 29 years.

And of course I have to decide whether or not I want to know Spanky’s actual identity.  If this were medieval times (or a sci-fi/fantasy genre story), I could be rightful heir to his legacy, potentially a primogenitor beneficiary of some oil field or rare book collection or ketchup recipe or Terabithia’s only unicorn stud farm.  But it’s 2010 and the likelihood of even being able to find out anything about the guy is miniscule, and I’m sure the last thing he would welcome (if I could find him) is to be confronted by the output of probably an unremarkable and all-too-brief masturbatory experience.  It would probably ruin his weekend.

I’ve told my wife, my sister, my boss, and my therapist.  I’ve also told you and the four other people who will read my blog before this posting moves farther down into the archives & no longer shows up on the first page, relegated to the thousands of “second layer” pages, like headstones with epitaphs of 1s and 0s.

As I work through this and there are further developments, I’ll come back & record it all here, of course.

They say comedy can be a sweet-smelling excrement of pain.  I may now be the funniest asshole in the world.

Except for Daniel Tosh.  That guy’s hilarious.

OSJ – Day 16

Six miles around the San Diego harbor.  A great start to a long morning of meetings, and I got to know one of our accounting guys pretty well in the process.

OSJ – Day 15

Geography makes a difference.

Being alone is difficult.  Even if you’re not alone, NOT being with the people you’re normally with, the people you love & care about… sh*t ain’t easy.  I have a renewed respect for any family that’s split between coasts (or more than a 3 hour drive – seems to be the tipping point on whether or not it’s “easy” to get together).

Glad to be closer to all the friends & family in NJ very soon… but sad about all the West coast family & friends we’ll be missing.  (To those of you West coasters I’m referring to, keep in mind that we’re moving the CHEAP direction.  I’m just sayin’.)