Tuesday, June 26, 2007

playing footsie

I've been having some problems with my feetsies ever since I started running again, but I DREADED going to the podiatrist.

The last time I had gone was about five or so years ago, to this guy I used to call "the foot fetish doctor".

He earned his name due to the fact that he was a bit of a perv, and I always felt like he was fondling my feet, and I felt kinda dirty. You know. Sitting in a reclining chair, having an older man fondle my feet while telling me how attractive I am. That's sort of not what's supposed to happen when one goes to the podiatrist, right?

My physical therapist had warned me about this guy, and really, it was kind of funny. He wasn't inappropriate enough to report, and he was a good doctor, ultimately, so what harm was there--he wasn't gross looking either, which definitely made it easier to stomach.

I called his office the other day to make an appointment, but he was booked solid for a month. I don't have a month. I need a doctor NOW. My feetsies hurt! So I went back to the drawing board, and looked up a doctor near work who could see me immediately. THIS time, I chose a woman.

My new podiatrist is around my age, and very cute in a Tina Fey sort of way. I immediately developed a girl-crush on her. She, however, did not fondle my feet or hit on me. I might have been slightly disappointed.

At any rate, towards the end of the appointment she asked me who my old doctor was, and I told her.

Immediately, we both started gushing about what a nice man he is. What a good doctor he is. Then there was a pause.

We both simultaneously looked at each other and started blurting out story after story about this man. How when she was in podiatry school she was told to "watch out" for him, and that if he was in the darkroom developing xrays she shouldn't go in there alone.

She looked relieved when she was done "confessing" these little tidbits to me. We had a good laugh, and then she said "you probably shouldn't repeat what I just told you, huh."

I told her it was a girl-to-girl conversation that needed to be had, and not to worry, it would never be repeated.

Except for on this blog, of course!

I Have a Dream

There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning in a total panic.

It happens to me a lot--I start out every new day with a feeling of dread. It's a pretty awful way to enter into the world after a night of sleep. It doesn't matter if I've had an amazing night prior, or if I am about to do something really fun...the anxiety persists. Thankfully, I can shake it pretty quickly, once I'm awake and realize what's going on.

But lately, I've been having the most annoying dreams.

I don't recall what happens in them generally. There's usually some sort of embarrassing situation, or my boyfriend is being really mean to me in front of people {would never happen in real life} or my mother is annoying the fuck out of me {would totally happen in real life}. It's never anything life-changing but I inevitably wake up in the foulest of moods and need to spend a few minutes each morning doing yoga breaths. So ridiculous.

This morning, I had a dream that I was at a dinner party. The dessert was on the table, cupcakes that had been made by the host and I offered to frost them...since I took pastry classes once and know how to properly frost things {the pastry class thing is true, but I never actually mastered the art of frosting, and quite frankly, when I try to frost my own cupcakes it usually ends up looking like a 5-year old took a bunch of finger paints, mixed it with papier mache, and voila, frosted cupcakes.}

I prepared the cupcakes and laid them out on the table--and then the next door neighbor, a kind of douchey guy wearing glasses, walked in. He took one look at the cupcakes and started critiquing the job I had done, showing the entire dinner party how much better it could have been had I done it some other way, which he demonstrated.

"What, did you study at the Bayard School?" I joked. I guess, in my dream, the Bayard School would be a fancy pastry school or something...not quite sure...but it got a few laughs from the dinner guests...so then throughout the dream I became the dipshit who kept making the same joke over and over...like a really sad version of George Costanza.

Everything he said, I'd say "Oh, did you learn that at the Bayard School?" The laughter started to trickle, until it stopped completely. So then I tried another tactic. I changed it to "Oh, do you work at Tisserie?" {a pastry shop at Union Square}.

Then I realized I'd gone too far, and the conversation had moved on, and no one was listening to me anymore, and I was, indeed, the biggest fuckwad at the party.

I have GOT to stop eating pizza right before bed!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Athlete in progress

So if one were to be eavesdropping on my life of late, one would unknowingly assume that I could quite possibly be a quasi-serious athlete, what with the two bikes in my hallway, the amount of times I visit prospect park in a given week, and the wet bathing suits that are always hanging in my bathroom.

Sadly for me, it is all merely an illusion.

True, I am training for a triathlon. I do work out six days a week. I have paid silly amounts of money for gear, and classes, and coaching.

However, there is still a motherfucking couch potato lingering inside me, and too often that fucker strays way too close to the surface.

Tonight I was supposed to run six miles, or more. We had a brutal class on Saturday, and I was still hurting from it, and decided that I was too sore to run and that I should take another day off...which, decidely meant that I was allowed to purchase a box of Little Debbie snack cakes on my way home, and chomp on a few during the walk down park place.

I am so hot I can barely keep my hands off myself.

ANYWHO, the guilt began to cripple me before I even got to my front door. For shame, I ate snack cakes, AND I wasn't going to work out? You would think my mother was standing over me with a wooden paddle, ready to whoop my ass for not taking out the garbage, I was so guilt-ridden. I decided that, since I was trying to take it easy, I would take my road bike out for a quick couple of loops in the park. Nothing crazy.

I am borrowing a road bike from my tri coach, because the hybrid that I own weighs about 5 million pounds and is just not going to cut it during a race {as many of you have commented that you know nothing about this stuff, I will just say that a road bike is the one where the handlebars curl under, and you are leaning forward when you ride. A hybrid is a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike, and is much heavier and slower. But you ride upright, which is much more comfortable}.

I am just getting used to the road bike, and it IS wicked fast, but it is quite a feat to ride. My biggest problem at the moment is the seat...my hybrid has a cushy gel seat with a hole in the middle for my girly bits.The road bike is more bare-boned, and when, I ride it I need to douse my crotch with Vaseline so my clit doesn't fall off. TMI, I know...

I decided that I was going to switch seats, I mean, how hard could it be?

So there I sat, in my Anthropologie sundress, sweat streaking my face as I took apart one bike seat with my screwdriver set from Ikea, that I have never used before...and as I tried to remove the other seat from my hybrid, realized that the screwdriver was too big. I couldn't remove the gel seat from the hybrid. Fuck.

Ok ok. So no big deal, I'll just go and put the road bike back together and voila, I'm ready to ride. Except that there were like, 3 little metal pieces that didn't seem to fit together anymore, and everytime I screwed it back together something seemed loose. It took me half an hour to figure out how to get it all back in working order. By then, I had black shit all over my hands, and smudged down my cheek. I looked like I'd just come back from the mines.

I certainly didn't trust my own handiwork, so fuck it, now I have to take the hybrid out, and it's already 73O, so I doubt I'll get more than 3 loops in, if I'm lucky.

Of course, I'm cruising around, sitting upright, coasting down the hill, braking a lot, certainly not looking like I'm prepping for a tri. I look up, and I see one of my coaches, Shane, not far ahead of me. Fuckin' prospect park. You can't escape, there's always some coach or another hanging around, and they ALWAYS see you, especially when you're slacking. Last week, one of the other coaches, Danny, apparently saw me cruising around like I was on a senior citizen's vacation--at our next class he called me out on it and was like "yea, you weren't exactly kicking it, but your form looked good." aye.

so yea, now I gotta hide from shane, cuz I'm on my hybrid, and I'm going slower than a turtle in a rowboat.

I'm pretty sure I was able to evade him, but then I got yelled at by a perfect stranger.

It's always the same thing, "YOUR SEATS TOO LOW."

This dude happened to be on rollerblades. What the fuck dude? You're on ROLLERBLADES? And you think you know my seat's too low? {it is}. "thanks man.. I know." I responded. I know, because once a week, someone yells at me that my seat is too low, but I'm too much of a wuss to fix it, because I need my feet to touch the ground or I think I'm gonna fall.

"It's bad for your knees" he continued. Why oh why is everyone a friggin know it all?

For some reason unbeknownst to me, I decided to take his advice, this stranger on rollerblades who yelled at me.

I raised the seat.

I tried it out. Lo and behold, my bad knee stopped creaking. I felt like I was riding a different bike. Wow.

What I wanna know is, how do people KNOW these things???

Friday, June 22, 2007

Girls Have Needs

After a session of mind-blowing, extended-play sex {I've got some badass hickeys to prove it} {I know, I know, I'm not in friggin high school anymore!}, complete with happy endings for all, and then some, I lay spent on the couch.

"Do you want me to get you off again?" the boyfriend asked.

Now, as we women know, usually after the deed is done, it can sometimes be a challenge to get the boyfriend to "finish things off" for us, due to the fact that - hey- they already got their rocks off, and dude, they're TIRED!

And although the boyfriend is very, very good about making sure I'm always taken care of, he had already gone above and beyond the call of duty once that evening. So a second time was purely a bonus. A bonus that normally, I'd jump on like a frat boy with a drunk, passed out chick.

I paused.

"Eh. I kinda want some pizza."

Sometimes, a girl needs pizza a little more than she needs penis. You know?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Yucko Oko

I was reading Time Out on the train this morning, during the most of horrendous of commutes (serves me right for trying to get to work early, ie by 9 am...I am usually on a much later train, and didn't realize the amount of freaks, psychos and overall miserable people that ride the train so early in the morning...starting with the woman who insisted on carrying the giantest of bags and not holding it close to her in order to not smack people in the ass with it, and ending with the neurotic fuckwad who kept getting bumped with said bag, and turned around like a snippy little sparrow to glare at the Bag Woman with the evilest of eyes...it was quite laughable actually, except that it was also annoying, and in truth, it made me a little bit of a nutter until I could finally get off the subway and escape these clowns}.

ANYWAY...sorry, where was I? Oh yea, Time Out.

It's been a while since I've picked one up, I have a subscription but they end up in a pile next to the bed...I don't have time to read them, much less go out to all the hot new places they keep talking about. plus I pretty much refuse to go out in Manhattan anymore and if I do...I certainly will NOT be going to a place that is going to be knee deep in youngsters trying to be hip. Oh God.

This morning, my eye was caught. I read a little blurb about Oko, a new frozen yogurt joint that happened to be on Fifth Avenue in park slope. Since fro yo is the new crack, according to all the celebs who are photographed holding
pinkberry cups in US magazine, which you KNOW is the bible for all things cool and trendy...I thought it sounded kinda interesting and vowed to check it out next time I was nearby.

Which happened to be tonight. Since I happened to be dining at Cocotte, which happens to be up the street from Oko.

I skipped dessert at Cocotte, which looked deadly and divine, by the way, in favor of checking out the fro yo crack that was calling my name. I should have been warned by the description, "the thick greek variety of yogurt is used as the base for this frozen treat." But I was suckered in, by the fact that the store is "eco-friendly" and they have toppings such as "fresh mango and chocolate ganache".

I will give props to the actual venue, it was very cute, bright, and modern. The toppings were all luscious looking, but damn if I saw chocolate ganache...the serving size was ample, but they only have two flavors at a time...and I asked for the "regular", which is seriously the equivilent of eating Total Greek Yogurt right out of the carton, no flavor, sour as can be...thank GOD I asked for chocolate chips and dried apricot...remember back in the 8O's {most of you won't remember} when frozen yogurt first came to be, and it looked so damn good, all soft-serve and creamy, but you would take a bite and tears would come to your eyes because it was so SOUR? That is what I was experiencing as I walked down 5th Avenue with my new yogurt.

SO much for new, trendy, and crack-like.

If you have a sweet tooth, like me, stay away from Oko.

But if you enjoy your frozen desserts tasting like they came straight out of the cow's teat, sat around in a musty bucket for a while, and then a goat pissed in it, then by all means, check it out. You might just like it.**

**I do realize that Oko is targeted towards people with a much more sophisticated palate than I, and I will fully admit that I am a hillbilly when it comes to exotic desserts. Just hand me a pint of Ben and Jerrys and I'm orgasmic.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

And You Thought My Other Blogs Were Bad

TMI ALERT-for those faint of heart or who don't want to know explicit details about my sex life, stay far away from this post.

For two people who are so incredibly compatible in the bedroom (as well as out}, my boyfriend and I have had our fair share of moments during sex that can only be described as, well, awkward, at best.

Our favorite moment, and the one the one that would least land someone in the hospital, would have to be the time that an unsuspecting Beehive, face between my legs, got a front row seat to what probably sounded like a symphony of tubas playing out of my butt.

"Whoa! Did you just fart?" a confused and amused Beehive came up for air.
"Uh. Eh. I don't know. I don't know." I stammered. I think I was hoping I could pass it off as a queef.

Why are queefs so much more acceptable anyway?

It was early enough in the relationship that I was pretty darn horrified at the entire thing, but Beehive thought it was hilarious, thank God.

A slightly scarier, but no less awkward situation, is the infamous bloody nose caused by sex in the shower creating need for an ER visit on a Sunday afternoon moment.

Thankfully, other ER visits have been avoided,but only just barely.

One such time was during a very amorous night back in February of last year. I will not go into details but it involved a fist, my vag, my white comforter and a bottle of Lestoil. Use your imagination with that one.

Most recently, I had the pleasure of being allowed to spectate, which I thoroughly enjoy.

Apparently , my face got too close to the money shot, because next thing I knew, I couldn't see out of my left eye.

"Ow. I think I'm blind", I shot up off the bed, totally ruining the moment, and lept to the bathroom.

"My eye is swelling up " I screeched. Beehive followed my panic to my left eye, and just started laughing. One eye was way bigger than the other.

Funny, yea, until I have to go to the ER. I could just picture filling out the forms.

"Cause of accident--semen in the eyeball."

Yea, TOLD ya this was TMI.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Those Durn Neighbors...

As you all know, my neighbors across the way know pretty much everything there is to know about me.

Because of the way our apartments are situated, we can see right into each others living rooms. Neither of us has blinds, and nobody is budging to remedy that.

The bedrooms also face each other, but thankfully we both have curtains that stay closed perpetually {mine are sheer, however}, but if both parties have the windows open, there is no denying of the activities that are occuring in our respective homes.

Unfortunately, I have yet to catch my neighbors in any embarrassing or compromising positions...but I am quite confident that these people{2 guys live there} have heard/seen me doing any of the following--petting my bunny with or without battery-operated assistance, giving/receiving head, having mad, loud, dirty sex, crying hysterically about everything and nothing, fighting with my boyfriend/sister/mother, stumbling around drunk on Blueberri Stoli, dancing to 8Os music, waltzing around topless/bottomless/in the nude. Et al. Ad nauseum.

I have nothing to hide, at this point...

So, I came home tonight from dinner on Smith Street, and the two dudes were standing outside, sharing a cigarette .

I've seen them out in front of the biuilding before, puffing away. I know they know I'm there.

I could either continue to keep walking and pretend they don't exist, or I could just, for once and for all, introduce myself as that "wacky neighbor across the way" and pass myself as yet another cuckoo New Yorker who doesn't give a shit.

What would you do?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I Should be A-Shane-d of Myself!

My friend Ceci and I are taking a Triathlon class in prospect park two days a week, to prepare for the NYC Tri on July 22nd. The NYC Tri is an Olympic distance, which means that we have to swim in the Hudson River 1 mile (yuck}, bike 28 miles, and run 6 miles. All of these distances alone are not that daunting, but when you pair them up into one big event, it's a whole different ball game...

I did one other tri in my life, and it was half the distance, and I could not have predicted how much my legs were going to lock up after doing the bike ride...I couldn't for the life of me get my legs to work, and thus crawled the 3.1 miles to the finish line. I looked kinda stupid shimmying across the route on my stomach, but what can you do? ha.

At any rate, we're taking this class, and we have the HUGEST crush on our coach, Shane.

Shane is milk chocolatey delicious, with a body the likes of which I've never seen before. He shows up to class in all sorts of crazy spandex and we all just stare at him with our jaws dropped to the ground, goons that we are.

Inevitably, after every class, Ceci and I spend the walk home discussing Shane, and his hotness.

"Did you see the bulge in his shorts?" I ask.

"Honey, I GAVE him that bulge" she retorted. Yea, we can dream, can't we?

Shane is great incentive to try harder, because who the hell wants to look retarded in front of the hot guy? So we bust our asses in each and every class, and try to look dainty and gorgeous in the process (not doing so well with that, but a girl can try...}

Today, Shane had us doing hill repeats, which basically meant doing an entire loop of the park, and once we got to the top of the big hill at the end, we had to turn around, run down it, and do it again. Three times.

I'm not the best runner on earth, but even someone with a lot of miles under their belt will tell you that hill repeats suck dirty ass. And more.

We started out at a really good pace, and as we approached the mile markers, I realized I was flying. One of the girls was calling out times, and it seemed we had done a sub 9 minute mile. Go us!

As someone who had been on a HUGE running hiatus, and had started out the year doing 12 minute miles (and had just quit smoking} and needed to walk in between, doing sub 9's was fucking OUT OF CONTROL for the likes of me. I was pretty impressed with myself!

I finished the first hill, and went on to the second, all the while trying to not look sweaty, red-faced and all around disgusting for Shane, who was waiting at the top of the hill.

By hill repeat three, I wanted to die. Fuck the 9 minute miles. I might just die, right here on this stupid hill, and in front of the hot coach no less, and my picture would be in the NY post as the idiot who died from running too fast. But then I realized that I just wanted to be done...so I booked it. I could see Shane waving me on. "Come on! You can do it!" he yelled.

I was feeling really phlegmy, so I coughed a bit, daintily, like a lady...and then I threw all caution to the wind.

I hocked a loogie right at Shane's feet.

I couldn't HELp it.

Bad timing, but eh, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Bizarre Love Triangle

I am not one for major drama in relationships. When I leave a relationship, I generally walk away with a clean break. The exception being my last long term, which lasted 8 years and we had a lot of history together. But even he, I don't hear from or speak to anymore, and other than wanting to know how my cats are doing, I'm really fine with not having any contact.

I am no stranger, however, to having my lovers' ex's be annoyingly present, whether in spirit or literally, they just won't fucking go away. What is it about women who feel the need to stay in the picture? Why do they do that? My last b-friend was married before he met me (long before he met me} and his stupid exwife, who had REMARRIED, insisted on never leaving the scene. SHe woud call at inappropriate hours (7am on a Sunday} or send emails saying things like "I certainly hope the Cheese doesn't think I'm trying to take you away from her. wink." To which I took it upon myself to reply, "Nobody, but NOBODY, can replace the Cheese." And to think, I was the one who got in trouble for "upsetting the ex". Good God. I cannot roll my eyes ENOUGH.

I have seen my ex on the street, several times since our breakup--with his new girlfriend. I have had mutual friends tell me about said girlfriend. And you know what I say? GOOD FOR HIM. I'm glad. I have no desire to make new girlfriend feel threatened, or to show her who's boss, or to try to sabatoge the relationship...what the hell do I care, really?

However, I find that I am an anomaly on this front.

When I met Beehive, I was not looking for a relationship. I had a string of suitors and was involved in many innappropriate dalliances, and had no desire to end any of that in any way.

He, in his own right, had his own stuff going on, and an ex that wasn't entirely gone, at least not from his heart.

When we met, I had no idea that a year and a half later, I'd be sitting here smiling at the very thought of his name.

Not long after we began spending time together, I realized that I wanted all the other dalliances to fuck off. I didn't care about them. I only had eyes for Beehive.

This ex of his, she always seemed to be hanging around somehow. Its like she didn't want him anymore, but she didn't want anyone else to have him either. It was a real mindfuck, to be sure, and the more I dated Beehive, the more I knew I was in deep shit because I was falling for him, hard, and he still had feelings for the Mindfucker.

It became a source of huge anxiety for me. She'd pop up again and again, causing him stress, and me in the process. I tried to break it off with him, early on in our relationship, before I fell in too deep, but even then I realized it was too late. I was hooked, and I wasn't ready to walk away.

I even met other people (sorry Beehive!} in the hopes that I would somehow magically stop caring for him. I should have known better, it just wasn't possible.

It seemed that the only time we ever had any disagreements would be when she would make an appearance and freak him out, and I would want so badly to run away. But somehow, I knew he was worth waiting for.

As our relationship progressed, we fell in love, and all the ex bullshit and drama seemed to fall away. I guess it was a combo of her backing off, and my knowing that whatever residual feelings he had for this girl had been resolved, and we were ready to move on together, Beehive and Cheese.

Last night, she felt the need to email him because she is getting married.

I should be jumping for joy. I should be running around singing "ding dong the witch is dead. the wicked witch is dead."

Yet, the sound of her name (I love the fact that Beehive has adopted the name I have given her, "LaBitcha"} even now, causes the most volatile reaction in me. I start to panic. I immediately want to cry. Why won't this bitch let it rest? Let HIM rest? Let ME rest?

I am not worried that he is going to start questioning his feelings for me. Nor am I worried that she is trying to get him to. It's just that, her constant need to come back and remind him that she is there is so ANNOYING,and annoying to me to have to remember that she's still out there, somewhere.

This is a woman who had to be blocked from all forms of communication in order to get her to go away, and apparently CREATED a new email address to ensure that her email to him would go through. I dunno...what's the word for that...psycho???!!!

Women are nuts.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Single in the Supermarket

Standing on line at my local Key Food, the highly overpriced, understocked one on Vanderbilt.

Behind me, the two cutest people I've ever seen in my life are cooing at each other. She has a Betty page haircut. He has floppy blonde hair. The two of them are making goo goo eyes at each other, making out on line, and just basically inducing vomiting in everyone around them. The items that they have in front of them indicate that they are going home to make a fabulous candlelit dinner for two, possibly after enjoying a raucous, yet romantic evening of fucking, er, lovemaking.

Me, I throw my shit on the counter. It consists of 7 Luna Bars, one lone frozen Lean Cuisine dinner, 2 cans of Fancy Feast, and a pear. And a container of Haagan Dazs {full fat, none of that diet crap}. My provisions SCREAM out "Look over here, yo. She's going home to her CAT. By HERSELF." It couldn't have been more obvious if I had written it in red lipstick all over my forehead.

Why the fuck did I stop ordering from Fresh Direct?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Blondes Have More Fun, and Sometimes We're Kinda Dumb

I've never in my life, as an adult owned a dishwasher. Like most New Yorkers, I washed my dirty dinnerware the old fashioned way, or I just let everything sit in the sink, rotting, hoping that someone else would do them.

In my current apartment, I am lucky enough to have a dishwasher. For months, it sat, unused. I didn't know what the fuck to do with one, in fact, I think that Beehive actually had to show me how to load glasses vs dishes, and which rack to put everything on.

Once I got the taste of using it, I was hooked. Why wash silverware, which is THE most tedious task on God's green earth, when you could throw it all into a machine and let modern technology take over? Genius, absolutely genius.

The other day, after a 2O mile bike ride in the burning hot sun, I dragged myself to the supermarket specifically for dishwashing detergent. It had been a long time between washings, and I'd run out of forks. God forbid I just take one out of the rack and wash it by hand. Fuck that.

In a bit of a daze, I went to the dishwashing isle, and saw a bottle of lavender flavored liquid. It excited me that I could have my glasses and such smell like a field in provence, so I nabbed it and got myself home.

Three days later, I'm finally doing my dishes. I poured in the soap, turned the dial, kicked back with the remote and relaxed.

Igby suddenly became obsessed with the corner of the kitchen. He seemed excited, like he had seen a mouse. I got up to see what the hubbub was all about, and this is what greeted me

I checked the detergent bottle.

I guess THIS is what happens when one uses dishwashing soap in a dishwasher...dishwashing soap that says on the bottle "not for use in dishwashers".


Well, four towels later, my dishes are spotless, and so is my wood floor. It's a mighty invention, that dishwasher.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Signs That I Did, Indeed, Drink Too Much

- Seeing an ex coworker at a party and thinking it approriate to greet him by punching him hard in the arm.

-Keeping a big secret from a current coworker for almost 2 years, only to spill the beans big time after only my SECOND margarita.

-Having to leave a concert during my favorite song that I waited to hear all night, because the urge to pee was way stronger than the need to hear said song.

-Shouting out as loud as humanly possible "I want to FUCK this bar. I want to FUCK it and MARRY IT" in response to being asked why I was not thrilled with the bar we were at.

-Trying to get one of my girlfriends to make out with me.

-Getting pissed off at my boyfriend for getting all hot and bothered at the thought of my making out with said girlfriend.

-Getting pissed off at my boyfriend for pretty much breathing.

-Making the cab drop me off in the middle of Grand Army plaza, literally right in the middle, and playing a life size game of Frogger to get myself out of oncoming traffic.

-Crying all the way down Eastern parkway.

-Urinating on Eastern parkway, behind a parked car.

-Falling asleep with the phone in my hand, thinking to myself "I know I was talking to someone on this at some point."

-Waking up and having the first thought be "never again."