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Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Monday, March 2, 2015
January 2014 Archives Gallagher, Anderson, Workshops, Twitter, Quotes
So tonight I just want to sit down and relax at the key board and let it all hang out. I wanna chill out to the nth degree. All seems to be well in my world, at least for the time being. I had the great opportunity to do what I love: write with kids and fellow teachers. Sometimes I don't get to do that and I miss it. I need to be in the action. I need to be writing and reading with students. That's is where the ideas flow. That is the laboratory into current practices and pedagogy flows. I loved it and hoping that I won't become ill. I say that because I was working in a guided writing group today. There was one boy who was so intrigued with the way I wrote and words that I used. He had wonderful things to write about in his own way. He just didn't have the confidence to know that he express himself with his thought and words. Sickness? He also had a horrible cough and kept sneezing up a storm. I reminded him that it might be a good idea to drink some water and cough in his arm, near his elbow. He kept trying but he kept coughing on me. I kept wondering if I would catch what he has. My health is delicate due to an autoimmune disease that I have, that has damaged my lungs. I can catch the most innocent of a cold and boom! I then have bronchitis or worse... pneumonia. Hanging in there was a necessity and I have taken my multivitamin and ate some fresh bell pepper and tomato. I hope I will be able to stave off this cold. We will see.
As you can see, I am trying to find myself in this post. I am trying to find out just what I would like to write about and I am allowing myself to do the stream of consciousness thing so that I might get to something that really will work for me in the future. Maybe a post tomorrow or next week will be born today. Seeding is what I am doing. I am planting seeds for future thoughts and writing. It might even lead me to future reading as it might pique my interest in somethings.
Speaking of piquing my interests, I have been on a craze of sorts. Amazon is loving this book binge of sorts and profitting quite well, I might add. I look for the occasion to write I might add...because it is fun and sounds rather...rather...sophisticated to playful. I just might add more. Here it goes again. The just might adds have reared their ugly and jovial heads. Any how, I have taken quite an interest in reading some books recommended by Kelly Gallagher and Jeff Anderson. I usually by the used ones on Amazon and they have been trickling in each day, as I come home from work. It feels like the twelve days of Christmas around here. I have so many that I don't know when I will get to them all. Feeling quite overwhelmed, I am going through the kid in the candy store type of euphoria. It's a great problem to have. But when do I find the time to really sit down and give them justice? I don't know where to begin but I want to read them all. Devouring them would help my diet for sure. They would be very low in carbs and sugar free! But alas, I am not a pesky insect that likes to eat paper. What are they called? I used to have tons of them on my books, when I was in the classroom. Someone told me that if you don't get rid of them, they will eat through my books. Some of my books are in Rubbermaid crates in my garage and I think those pests maybe have been having and perpetual feast for many years now. Who knows? What to do? Ya know?
This encounter with the keyboard and the page a la the blog has been quite therapeutic tonight. The weather is so cold and rainy. I hear the wind whip up against and smack the windows in my bedroom. I keep thinking about the branches...the branches of my neighbors tree that sometimes, when provoked by the wind, tap on my roof. I wonder when she will get someone to cut them down...again. This tree is very insistent. It insists on bothering me every Spring, before pruning season. Now the wind is so strong I think I will hear the Morse Code for Wake UP! Anyhow, ya know sometime I can't remember if any how should be divided or conjoined. On this post you will have two view of anyhow or any how. I can't remember right now and I really don't care because I am getting cold. I hope we don't have school tomorrow so I can post and post and post. I have been absent from this task for too many days and I need to get back. A two hour day would also be nice. There's something about driving in sleet and ice-black ice. I don't like sliding into other cars! No, I would rather stay at home and lounge in my sweats and hoodie while drinking some TAZO's Green Tea or Cinnamon Tea, while watching the news. Vamos a ver...vamos a ver. Chat with you later!
I haven't posted much lately and it is bothering me in worst way imaginable. If I could only post when I am in 290 traffic or stuck waiting in line at Krogers, then I would be content. Well cathartically content. I need to look into Dragon software to see it that would be possible. If I only could post or record my thoughts, while they happen, then I would have so much to post. Driving home yesterday, I was besieged or barraged with so many ideas for new poems and other writing pieces. So many thoughts flood my mind. Maybe, in that occasion, I could just say it, luego play it and then get to writing later on. I have been swamped lately too with other things. But as I was instant messaging a friend last night, as I was waiting for my fajita to arrive, I had tons of thoughts. She said, "How are you doing?" I replied, "Fair to Midland. Okay. Nope. I am not okay. I need to write." So today, later on, I will add more posts. I apologize for the intermission and the winter of my discontent. Post you later!
I just found a great blog that many of you might want to peruse. It goes hand in hand with Editing Invitations and Mechanically Inclined by Jeff Anderson. I want to take some time myself to see all the rich resources. It looks great so far. I have added it to my list of great resources and website to the right of your screen. You may also find it at: email@example.com or
For those of you who attended by workshop yesterday, I would like to say that it was wonderful working with you. Since we used Mechanically Inclined and Everday Editing as a resource, I decided to go to Jeff's website and download some of the FANBOYS (Coordinating Conjunctions) posters. I also found some great books on the teaching of writing. I already ordered them but wanted you to know about this great blog and resource. He has books that he recommends for punctuation and the teaching of writing. He has some great mentor text to peruse. I also found a blog that he recommended about sentences. Tonight, I will peruse this thoroughly. I wanted to get this up asap so you could use the resources today. I have downloaded the FANBOYS characters and suggested music to use in different teaching situations. I love to use music with kids and this is a great trigger and works in context-making learning meaningful for the learner. I want to thank Jeff Anderson for making all these precious resources available to everyone! It is such a big, big help! I also have the FANBOYS March recorded at the Abydos Grammar Week by Alana Morris. It is also added as a file on my Box account. I asked her to show it to us. We did this yesterday together.
Link to Coordinating Conjunction March with Alana Morris:
When I first saw this commercial, I loved it. The poet in me loved it. The digital photography and video is awesome. I got caught up in it to find out it's an ipod Air commercial. I will post later about the ideas that are popping with it!
Here are a few photo from today's video study using Jeff Anderson's work. I had an extremely splendid day working with everyone. I will post more. This photo I uploaded from my phone but I have a few more from my ipod. In the photo below, it looks like the participants are texting and being off task. Yes, they were texting. They weren't off task because I asked them to read an article by Jeff Anderson and then text their reading response to a partner in the room. Then they read it and then had a conversation with that person. The texting was a type of note taking, plus it will serve as a reminder of what we did and what our shared understanding was. Fun it was! I will post tomorrow with the ipod photos. I keep forgetting to bring my camera to work! Read the last post to understand my absentmindedness.
I am so painfully forgetful. I could say these days, but the truth is that I am perpetually forgetful. I don't know why, but I have been gifted with forgetfulness. GIFTED! I forget my smart phone on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. Sometimes my purse disappears without notice. My keys always seem to hide from me, right before it is time to go out the door to work. I have lost my memory and sanity at times. After a while, upon entering a room, I tend to find them both. One on the kitchen table and the other in the Frigidaire. Why? There's no rhyme or reason. Baby, I was born this way! Ask Lady Gaga. It is, sorely, what it is.
There's one thing that I have forgotten and lost. It tends to rear it ugly head later on: my excess weight. I have lost weight and then gained weight. I have lost it again and completely forgotten it. Unfortunately, it comes back. Where does it go? Into the abyss... never to return? Hardly. It comes back during the holidays and stressful times. So now that I am on a new diet and an exercise regimen, I am loosing it again. As I loose it, I then forget it was ever there. An amnesia of sorts. But as the amnesia subsides, my memory and weight slowly comes into full view. Until now. Now, I want to do something to forget and loose this burden. So for five days I have been good. I have been making way healthier choices, drinking lots of fluids of the H 2 O origin and trying to make a daily trek to Planet Fitness. For what? Points! I want to win points for a weight loss challenge. And I was doing great... until today. Today I hit a brick wall. I didn't sleep well the night before and I didn't make my lunch, as I had intended. So then I had to eat a Chickfila fried chicken sandwich, without the bun. I had papitas (potato chips) (unbaked). I didn't get to my yogurt and worst of all, I left my laptop in the place where I had given a staff development. Ugh! I didn't discover it until after 9 pm. I emailed my friends to see if they could check on it in the morning. I calmly texted them. I wasn't in full panic mode and stayed there because one of my friends has this awesome sense of humor. She made me laugh out loud, seriously. I didn't LOL, I sincerely laughed out loud for all to hear. My cat looked over at me to see if I was off my rocker. Nope! Olga happened. I took a screen shot to preserve the memory and to what? Yep, you guessed it. I posted it on Face Book. Please read the textual screen shot below. I hope you get a chuckle out of it. Here's to loosing it! Gracias!
Here is a post that I was going to complete. I may write some more later but I want to write 1,000 words a day or more. I would also like to have multiple post daily, if possible. Here's my first attempt. I just don't have the time to count each word from each post. Today I have three posts. It is a goal. We'll see how life and circumstance motivate and ingratiate themselves to me. How many do I have right now?
I am so excited that the Broncos won today. I only got to see the first half though. When I walked out of church, I briskly walked to my car to see how they were doing. They were up by one touchdown with 3:25 left. As I was buying some tea from Starbucks, I kept getting notifications on ESPN.com and Game cast. As I drove away from Starbucks the Broncos had won the game! Yeah! Now, I get to look forward to hearing about how things will go for the game next week. I will watch the 49ers play the Seahawks. That will be a good game. I really don't care who wins that game. They are very similar in their style and play. The game that I must watch is the Broncos and Patriots game. I will see two of the best quarterbacks to ever play. It will be like watching two artists and the masterpiece that they will paint with their brains, arms and leadership. It will be a chess match between two great coaches as well. This will be quite an exciting week.
I like Tom Brady but I want Peyton Manning and the Broncos to win. Peyton has had 4 neck surgeries and his time to play may be limited. Tom Brady is in his thirties as well, but I he has already won 3 Superbowl rings. I want Peyton Manning, who is class personified, to win at least one more ring. Why? Because he deserves this and secondly to shut up the haters. Peyton has put up monstrous stats in his career in the NFL. It would be an awesome feat to win two Superbowls with two different teams. If he won, they would have to be singing the song The Man because that is what he would be. The Man. He legacy is sealed no matter what but I just so want him to win so I don't have to hear the pundits get it wrong again and again and again.
So next week, we will see who goes to the Super Bowl in New York. New York in February? Now that's a another post. I think the game will go down to the wire. Brady is super clutch and his coach Bill Belichek is a master. Peyton is also a master and his coach is good too. We will see! I can't wait to watch.
Here are two books that I got in the mail today from Amazon. If you don't have Amazon Prime, you might look into purchasing it. With Prime I get many of my shipments free and in two days time. Any how, I found these recommended in one of Kelly Gallagher's book. I looked on the list and purchased a few of these great writing books. I started out reading Writers (on Writing) and found it very interesting to read the introduction by John Darnton. He said that he didn't consider himself a writer even though he was a correspondent for a news service and had traveled the world reporting the facts and verifying them. I found it odd that he really didn't consider himself a writer, when that was his job. Then I thought about it some more and it really wasn't that odd. I know that sometimes, I feel that I am not a "writer" because I haven't been published by Stenhouse, Corwin or Doubleday, to name a few. So then I thought, what makes you a writer? What makes me a writer? Does writing posts in a blog make me a writer? Does posting on Facebook make me a writer? Does writing in front of and with my students make me any less a writer than published writers from these companies? Yes and no. That depends on your definition of what makes a person a writer. I choose to take the wider view. I choose to think that I am a writer because I write. I share my writing and my thoughts. I would like one day to have my writing published by these companies and get paid for it. It may or may not happen. Who knows but there's one thing that I do know. I know that if I don't continue to write, then for sure it won't happen. In his introduction, someone mentioned to him that it was fine that he wanted to write a 1,000 words a day. He thought it wasn't anything to write home about. Then that friend put it into a different perspective. I am paraphrasing but basically he was saying that writing 1,000 words a day turns into months and weeks and before you know it, you have a book. I take that as great encouragement and I will be reading more of this books to get some tips from some of these writers. So I will continue to write on this blog and in other situations for different purposes. It seems to me that you might just find yourself or hit that nerve to major possibilities. Truth is: if I don't, there's no possibility.
Sandy waiting for me to finish posting, so that she can have my undivided attention.
My cat Sandy, a.k.a. The Orange Terror, has major problems when I write or read on my lap top. She wants to be the center of my attention and loves to lounge in my lap to nap, nap, and nap some more. She would prefer that I do this when she's not so needy. I have to work out a compromise with her. I am thinking about buying a wireless keyboard, so maybe I could finagle a way to get a win win for blogging and lap space for her. We will see. I will be posting more of the insights that I gain from these two books. I am pumped about reading them and putting some of the advice into practice. Who knows where it will take me? One thousand words a day? How many have I written in this post? One...two...three...maybe I need more posts? I'll ask Sandy.
I posted something on Face Book this morning. The ideas for this post have been percolating in my mind lately, on days when I drive in to work and on my way home in the HOV. So instead of letting them settle into nothingness, I decided to let them fly on Facebook.. Then I promised myself I would at least attempt to write about them, in some shape or form today. So here it goes.
I wanted to write a DISCLAIMER first for those who might be slightly to moderately miffed by my thoughts on the sure signs of oldom. I am in this group. How else would I know the signs if I didn't experience them everyday? I may delve into extreme hyperbole from time to tome. Please be aware of this and please, consult with your doctor before reading this post. No animals were harmed in the making of this post. All people referred to are fictitious and bare no resemblance to any of my family members or pets. Reader beware and aware of the possibility that this could be you or not. The choice is yours. At any time, if you feel light headed or nauseous, step away from your computer, tablet or smart phone and breath in and out for 10 seconds. Then you may proceed with extreme caution. Rinse and wash, if needed.
Top Ten List of Knowing When You Have Arrived at the Age of Seasoning (Oldness)
(These are in no particular order because I can't remember what I was thinking, as I was writing them. You determine the importance.)
1. You love elevator music. 2. You get distracted at Kroger's jamming out. 3. Car commercials seem to entice you to try to buy songs on iTunes
4. iTunes doesn't have the song from back in the day-The Ice Age 5. You say, "Did I already take that vitamin?" 6. Your body aches in a different place each day. You don't mind telling other people about this. 7. You say, "When I was a kid...." ad nausea um. 8. You laugh at your own jokes and don't understand teenage jokes like "KNOCK OUT!" Ouch! 9.Accumulating points for gas, restaurants and Walgreen's has become an obsession. You won't go shopping without the potential of gaining more points. It's pointless.
10. You enter rooms and don't remember how you got there or why you went there in the first place.
Bonus: You count the days, hours, and minutes to retirement so you can go and work somewhere else.
If you answered YES to 4 or more, you belong in the Smithsonian.
If you answered NO to 4 or more and you are past the age of 40, then either you don't remember or you are a sick liar. Remember, there's anger, denial and then comes acceptance. Accept your plight or not. It's up to your old self to decide.
The best writing is rewriting.--E. B. White For me, that is so, so true! I understand,. now, that I must get the words down. It doesn't matter if it comes out wonderfully or horribly, but they just have to get out of my mind and onto the page. Then the magic and the journey begins. One step to start a journey-one word to fill the page-- with brilliance. That's a new quote for me. I claim it because I thought it, said it and then wrote it. The real work comes in the revision and playing with the message. That is the hard part, the challenging part, the juicy parts and the ardvaark. It is coolness cubed to see what happens when the words meet the page and I become the sage and make it into something new and great. At least that is the goal.....something to ponder on a Friday morning!
Gretchen Bernabei has sent out an email regarding more STAAR 4th Grade Resources on her blog called Bernabei Writing Tools Bernabei Writing Tools . I have downloaded the resources that you might find helpful. She has placed other resources for high school and will be soon placing STAAR Writing resources for 7th grade. I will post the 7th grade, when they are available.
I am going to be using some of this resource and others in my February staff development for 4th grade teachers as a STAAR Writing Review. If you attend this workshop, you will try out some new writing tools from Gretchen and others to help your students. I hope to see you all there! I will be posting a flyer asap. Here is the eduphoria link for those 4th grade teachers, iCoaches and interventionsists:
I wanted to get this posted to start my day. I always like to start my day by reading and writing. Here is a writing quote. If I find any other, by reading or tweeting, I will post later on this evening.
Writing is not simply a way for students to demonstrate what they know. It is to help them understand what they know. At its best, writing is learning. --National Commission on Writing for America's Families, Schools and Colleges
Whoa baby! That the crux of it all! Writing is learning! What does it mean for us? You write more, you think more. Writing is so important. That is an understatement, if I ever heard one. I have heard some people, who teach other subjects say, " I don't teach writing." I heard someone say this earlier in the week. That person said, "I don't teach writing. I teach mathematics." The heard another person reply, "I think you do in journals and mathematical reasoning and justifications." He/she stated, "No, I don't write in math." Wow! There is so much more that the students aren't getting. At best, writing is learning. So if you aren't writing across the curriculum in ways to demonstrate what you know and how you know it, then how much has this learning solidified in the mind of the learner? If we aren't using writing as a tool for understanding and for the generation of ideas and making sense of things, then we are missing the boat, the entire fleet. Writing is so important for us as learners.PARAMOUNT! At best, writing is learning!
So cute!!!! A colleague had emailed me the video from Hallmark. This is what I found on Youtube. I loved watching the kitties interact. How do I connect this cute video to writing? I could have a writing connection to it in many ways. Maybe I want to write out the different actions that the cats performed and then rename them as in Gretchen's newest book. Maybe I want to describe their actions and write a poem. Maybe I would like to take a snap shot in time and describe what I see. I could use some info shots of the before and after writing by using this. Truisms? Lots of different ideas. Could I create something digitally? Endless are the possibilities. It all depends on what the focus will be. Synapes popping-dendrites growing!
I was driving to my daughter's school to pick her up to go the orthodontist's appointment. My idea of a great stereo is my ipod. It is my great stereo system complete with my headphones from Sony. They aren't the Beats kind or Bose noise cancelling expensive headphones. Nope! I don't have the change for that. They would be nice though. With my luck, the chord would break and then I would be stuck with noisy headphones that won't play any music.
So I am cruising in my Corolla listening to some jams. I uploaded some old songs from the 80's. So I was listening to The Fixx. Red Skies at Night, One Thing Leads to Another and Saved by Zero. I hadn't had time to make a decent play list yet so I continually listened to those old tunes, which brought me back to the MTV videos and high school. I liked the Fixx back then because their music seemed sort of deep. I always had a fascination to read the lyrics, to see if I could figure out the message. You know, for me, it's about the craft and the message. The beats come second. So I was listening to One Thing Leads to Another and I loved the feel of the song and the anger! The mood is set by the rhythm and the tone in voice of the singer. Being the teacher that I am, I thought about how I would use that song in my classroom. I thought of cause and effect, for sure. I thought about diction baby! Yea, you heard me, diction! All in a little trip to my daughter's school. The Fixx, One Thing and Diction! That sounds like a poem to me! Maybe tomorrow.
So, as I was sayin', The Fixx. I need to Google the lyrics tonight because I can't figure, for the life of me what Saved by Zero Means. Saved by Zero. It sounds so great coming off the tongue, a thousand times..saved by zero..sssssaavved by zero...but for the life of me...can't figure it out. Then I went back into my eighties frame of mind and I thought, "Mr. Gorbachev! Tear down this wall!" I thought of the Cold War in a cold, cold way with Paul McCartney playing the pipes of peace and the great nuclear escalation, annilation, and complete contamination. NO, this was not the Cuban Missile Crisis but we were pretty darn close to Armageddon, without Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis. I am talking for real. No amount of Hollywood could capture the complete seriousness the Cold War tensions encapsulated. I remember watching this made for television movie about an actual nuclear attack near Kansas City. It was one of those Sunday Night Movies that we talked about the next day at school, next to the water fountain. I remember, very clearly, that my mom didn't want me to watch the movie because she thought it would give me serious nightmares. (No, it was the the Exorcist that gave me serious nightmares and fear to sleep by myself!) I was maybe a sophomore or junior in high school, when that nuclear movie came out. It was scary because it was plausible, possible, and petrifying. How did I get all this from the Fixx? Memories are associated with songs, smells, shows, words-episodic moments. The last song brought me to the doorstep to remember all these things 80's was Stand or Fall. Visions of war and tension flood my mind along with guys in black trench coats, hats and black gloves carrying uzi's. Stand or Fall was the last Fixx song that I listened to on my way home.
Tonight, I will make my playlist for tomorrow, to include 80's music. I will read the lyrics to Stand or Fall and Saved by Zero and then remininsence. I wonder how my 40 something brain will interpret the lyrics and contrast it my limited background knowledge of me at sixteen. I have been changed by many revolutions around the Sun. I have lots more experience in life and have seen the end of the Cold War too. I will read and listen to songs with a seasoned mind, full of experiences and I would hope with some wisdom. No more Cold War. No more Zero temperatures around here. What am I being saved by now? Who knows? Makes me think and takes me back a while a time without twerking, the Kardashians and the Post Modern Era. 9/11 changed things for us drastically, but how far have we really grown? How far have we matured since the Gorbachev /Reagan years? Seems sad to say but mighten we have regressed? MTV back then was tame compared to now. Ask Miley Cyrus. More later.
I have been inspired lately by some tweets about writing, whether it would be writing advice or the power of writing. As I was looking through Kelly Gallagher's bookTeaching Adolescent Writers, I noticed he had some quotes about writing. Immediately I thought about the blog! The blog! The blog! More quotes for the blog! It is so nice to have an avenue to publish these quotes. I also think of great productions to put on the blog such as photos from staff developments to dinner at Carrabbas. There are so many ways to publish ideas, wondering and the kitchen sink, on this blog. So I decided that, before I forget, which happens quite a lot, I must put up a quote.
Yes, it is hard to write, but it's harder not to.--Carl Van Doren
I have to keep reminding myself of this. It's about getting these many thoughts down and then see where they go because in my brain, once they have gone, then they are gone to perpetuity!
Okay, one more! I can't resist!
The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.-Stephen King
This quote is so true! I spend hours and hours and hours thinking about things to write and which angle I might try. They call it percolating. I think Tom Romano said that. I call it in deep, deep, deep thought. I find that when do that, I get anxious a little but then when it is time, everything just flows. It just flows. Other times it takes a little while to get things going but once it goes, it goes. Then I might get stuck. What I do love about this crazy, creative and mind numbing process is that I can always go back and revise and revise some more. Suddenly, what was this minuscule thought, emerges a treasure of some sort. I say treasure for some and trash for others. It depends. I don't worry about the treasure or trash so much. I just have to trust the process and move forward, despite the neigh-sayers. Too many horses in the head! "Hold your horses," as my mom always says. "Stop horsing around!" I digress. Yep! Super cheesy, as my daughter continues to remind me.Cheesy are some of my references. I think it is quite amusing, otherwise I wouldn't write it or not? I don't know. Enjoy my frazzled thinking for today.(I am not finished thinking though. Time to percolate some more.)
I haven't posted in quite a while. I have been busy getting back into shape. Ha! I went to the gym one day to renew my membership and then another day to work out for 45 minutes. I will see what today holds. Instead of going to workout, I have been on cleaning binge. It usually happens this time of year. I see all the junk mail that has accomulated over the year or years. I broke one of my shredders trying to shred all these bills and junk mail. It is amazing just how much junk mail we receive over the years. I shredded 5 big garbage bag fulls and am not close to finishing. I went out to Staples to buy a new shredder. The on sale models were sold completely out. Actually there was not much of a selection, as I think a lot of people have the same idea. I bought a 12 sheet shredder that had a rebate. I brought it home and just 20 minutes into shredding, it made this horrible noise and stopped working. I have to take it back today sometime. I didn't misuse it all. I emptied it when I should have and didn't overuse it. I couldn't believe it broke. So I shredded by hand and my fingertips are hurting today. I didn't call 911 one for help or go to Urgent Care but I got a few paper cuts and the nicks of my thumbs and index fingers. Needless to say, they are sore today. Two Tylenol and call me in the morning moment? No, just sad that my shredder didn't meet up to my expectations. I hope Staples doesn't give me any flack about it breaking and return my hard earned money. I want my money back and think I will wait on buying a new one.
What do I need right now? Please don't say "a life." Nope. I need some coffee. I am thinking that I need some Starbucks inspiration in a grande Mocha Latte. I can hand shred and watch the Wild Card NFL Saturday and Sunday playoffs. The Mocha will take the edge off of my aching fingers.
To shred or not shred it the question. Watching the NFL Playoffs? No question. I will be in front of the TV today and tomorrow accompanied with my Starbucks cup of some kinda jo.