Friday, December 13, 2013

Count Your Friends

"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."

Oprah Winfrey 

"I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar."- Robert Brault 

I have been struggling lately to define what friends are and what friendship means to me, and it occurred to me that the reason for my struggle is because the lines that used to neatly define my friends/hips have been badly blurred.   How?  Well, I believe it's due to the fact that all of my friendships over the years have either changed drastically, faded to nearly nothing or dissolved altogether.  It's forced me to move away from the simple terminology of my youth (back then you had "friends" and then, if you were lucky one or two "best friends").

Now, as an adult, I've had to create more categories and sort them more thoroughly.   But.....why?    Why is this necessary?   Is it just me creating all this work or is this how it goes for us when we get older and life gets more complicated?   Do our friendships really have to become complicated as well?  You would think something like that would remain reliable, simple and uncomplicated.   Well, fuck if I know why, but mine hasn't!

So at this point I'm dealing with a whole slew of different types of "friends" and frankly, it's confusing, sad and disheartening to me.   Allow me to explain....

The Long Distance Friend:  This is a real kicker to me.  It turns out the three closest friends I ever had now live hundreds of miles away from me.   True, in the case of S and Sh, that's my fault.  I moved my happy ass here to Virginia and they stayed put.  Well, Sh moved a little further south but not enough to make seeing her any easier.   M on the other hand, moved here to VA shortly after I did, made me fall all madly in love with her (not literally, you perverts!) and then moved back up north.  What the fuuuuuudge???  I know, right?  Totally sucks.   The crazy thing is, I tried following her up north - and again, don't go getting stupid ideas.....we both talked about how cool it would be for me to live up there, too, then we could all hang out ALL THE TIME!  Well, that didn't turn out to be the perfect scenario we dreamed it would.  The weather sucked, she lived too fucking far from me and there I was, a lonely mother to a 10 month old baby boy, playing the role of stay at home mom for the first time, and having no one to interact with during my long days at home.  Eventually, we ended up back here in VA and while M and I stayed in contact and even visited each other a few times, we have since lost touch, not seen each other in forever and rarely communicate even via Facebook.  

The Facebook Friend:   There are actually two types in this category, and some of them fall into other categories as well (The Long Distance Friend as well as a few others I've not yet covered).   The first is the Friend I Made Through Facebook Friend - as the name implies, I met this person online, friended them, converse with often enough via Facebook but have never, ever actually laid eyes on them.   Probably never will, which is sad because at least two of them seem really fucking cool and I'd love to hang with them. The other type that falls under this category, is a much sadder story.  This is the I Used to Spend Time With You But Now I Never See You and We Just Talk Via Facebook Friend.  This one frustrates me greatly, probably more so than any other.  And hey, I admit - I'm probably one of those friends to someone else and I know I had a hand in it in either case.  BUT the roads go both ways, and so do the telephones, folks.  I guess some figure since I don't have a job I have all the time in the world to call THEM.  'cept, that being stuck in this house for the last three years has made me a little nuts and I forget sometimes and get wrapped up in my own little lonely cocoon.  Also, while I do tend to have a helluva lot of time on my hands, the rest of the world doesn't and therefore YOU should call ME when you find some time in your oh-so-busy-schedule. Am I wrong?  Well, maybe a little but, but it makes sense in my fevered mind.

You No Longer Fit Into My Lifestyle Friend:   Definitely another one of those "goes both ways, folks" situations.  My life has changed drastically over the last couple of years.  Many of you don't see it because you don't see me every day, we don't talk every day and frankly, even if we're related, it's really not all that much of your business anyway and you probably wouldn't understand or be able to keep yourself from judging me.  Oh wait, too late.....ANYWAY, I digress.  The point is, when things changed for me, yeah I went off in another direction and had a little less time for some of my friends.  I was happy to share with them my thoughts, my beliefs, my new interests, etc. but they didn't get it and didn't care to follow.  Fine.  No problem!   But also, some of those changes I went through (some which were involuntary, such as the loss of my job) left me behind in the dust while they moved on to richer, greener pastures, and to places and activities that I couldn't keep up with (due to geographic reasons and/or mostly due to financial reasons). Their situation changed and they made little to no effort to keep me in their life or part of their inner circle and I was effectively shut out.   They made new friends, found new places to go and things to do and I became a distant memory.  Oh sure, every once in a while I'm allowed a glimpse, a rare invitation to be part of their lives but only for a brief moment and more often than not when it's an occasion where, if I'm invited, so are many other people bearing gifts.   If I'm there or not likely makes little difference to them. They've moved on. Good for them.

The Fair Weather Friend:   I think we all have at least one of  these (turns out, I had a few).  They only stick around when things are sunshine, lollipops and skittles-colored unicorn farts.  But when things get messy, they bail.  Seriously....I had one tell me that he felt uncomfortable around my because of my "drama" (my marital woes) and when I got pissed and called him on it (because he only told me this AFTER I called him out for disappearing on me) he made a rude, immature comment about avoiding my bitchiness, too - as if it wasn't justified after the first asinine comment!   Who the fuck needs friends like that anyway?  Those aren't friends at all!

The Emotional Vampire/Needy Ned Friend:  Someone who, over and over and over and over, suffers from a never-ending stream of drama, trouble and woes.   You be a good friend and listen, lend money, open your house to them, loan them items and in the end, what you get is emotionally exhausted, broke, less a few items (or get them back WAY too late and in less than stellar condition) and realize you're being taken advantage of.   Look, I get it....we all go through shit.  I'm going through shit going on three years now and two of those years I've had another layer of shit added.   BUT I don't believe I've sucked anyone dry nor have I taken advantage of anyone.  In fact, I've tried to - except for some lame, woe-is-me Facebook posts, kept much of it to myself but for the rare opportunity to talk with someone else live and in person.  Trust me those moments are RARE and LONG GONE.  I haven't intentionally alienated anyone from my life, but fact is, I have no one to talk to.  And I hate the idea that I have pulled away from someone who may have needed someone to talk to but at some point you just get tired of the constant excuses, the let downs and bummers that these kinds of friends bring.  You can only do so much and it's either bail or slit your wrists.

Once-In-a-While, More-Like-Super-Awesome-Acquaintances-Than-Friends Friend:  These are people who you see so rarely but are always genuinely happy to see you and you to see them.  You don't know much about them but when you get together with them, you always have an awesome time.  Usually there is some common theme that brings you together and allows for such fellowship and camaraderie.  It's a wonderful thing and I'm grateful for it.  It makes me sad though when it's time to part and I know I'm not likely to see them again until the next time.  I always tell myself that I'll keep in touch and try to arrange a gathering or two, but I don't....and neither do they.    It's the nature of it, I suppose, and rather than try to force a closer friendship, I leave it alone.

I could sit here all day and break it down to a hundred sub categories, but my point is......I don't have any friends left - and by friends, as I define them, I mean people who are in my life currently, who I see, spend time with, talk to often and regularly and who mean a lot to me (and vice versa).  There are no people like that in my life at this moment.  I don't see the friends I used to see all the time, I don't see people from church, my old job, the communities I used to be a part one.   No one calls me up to ask me to go out (even if they think I don't have the money, an invite would make me feel better than never hearing from them at all).  

I'm not looking for pity - I've indulged in enough of that on my own as it is.  It is what it is.  I am just as responsible for this as those who are no longer in my life (or are hardly in it now when I need them most).
It is what it is.   Maybe someday I'll reconnect with my close friends, maybe I'll make new ones HERE, where I live.  Maybe.   Until then, it's a lonely fucking road.  Oh well....fuck it.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Shitty Blogger

Yes kids and skidmarks, I'm a shitty blogger.   Why?  Uh, well.....for starters I haven't posted anything in months.   And I only have one follower.   What does THAT tell you???   Duh.

I'm also too broke to pay for a decent blog hosting site.   Shit, I don't even KNOW about all that bloggety-blog bullshit stuff anyway.  I'd have to pay someone to figure all that out for me, but since I can't even afford a decent blog, I can't very well pay someone else to figure out what decent blog I need and how to navigate it. So, I'm stuck with this. And if you're reading this, so are you.  So MLEH!  ;-P

Also, I have had my head shoved so far up me own arse that I haven't really had time to stew on any decent blog topics.  There has been a LOT of drama in my life the last year and while it's true some of it has died down in the last month or so, it's still there, simmering below the surface.  Just WAIT til the shit hits the fan, kids.  Just wait. 

So what HAVE I been doing with myself?  Surviving.  That's about it.   Maybe kinda sorta half living.  There are few things I take joy in these days and everything else is a misery to me.  My lack of employment, my fat, lumpy, weak and utterly inflexible body and my inability to get off that fat, lumpy ass and do something about it, to name a few.   Aaaaaand the fact that just today I did do something about it, only to realize I've let myself go SO much that I hate myself even more.   I'm such a bitch for doing this to myself!!!!  LOL  OK OK, that's not very nice of me, to hate me so much.   I don't hate me.  I'm just disgusted with the state of me.   And sadly, I'm the only one who can do anything about it.  FUCK!  

Speaking of fuck......I need to fuck off and go do something productive.  Since I'm still one of the woefully unemployed (and by God, I hope that changes as of next week!) I need to earn my keep around here.  There are dishes to do, beds to be made and floors to be vacuumed. 

YAY!  *insert evil looking scowl here*

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Five Haikus

How I miss your smile
and the joy it used to give
me when I saw it

The curve of your lips
The lines around your lush mouth
made me crave your kiss

The warmth of your eyes
touched me somewhere deep inside
A place meant for you

A place where my soul
at this moment,  cries for you
Oh I miss your smile

I loathe this silence
this suffocating silence
between us my love

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

pre and post war

My, how I have neglected this blog.    Tsk tsk.  Such a shame.

Folks,  I've been going through some shit.  Some pretty heavy, emotional shit and my life has been turned on it's ear.   I'm working my way through it and while I won't come out the other side smelling very fresh,  I hope to eventually be a better,  stronger person for it.  However,  I've done some damage and the carnage ain't over yet I'm afraid.

Bear with me.  I'm trying.

And yes...I'll be back,  just as foul mouthed as ever.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Half Assed

I have had an epiphany.  Or rather a revelation.  An ugly one, at that.  I suppose on some level I have always known it but it wasn't until recently that I was finally able to admit it to myself.

I am a guilty of half-assery.  My entire life I have done nearly everything half-assed, bare minimum, and dripping with mediocrity.  I've done only what I need to do to get by and very little more.  Minimum effort for equally minimum results.  Rarely have I gone above and beyond unless it was for my own benefit, and even then I was likely to not put my at all into it, thereby shortchanging myself.   This is how I live.  

Fucking ridiculous, isn't it?

Now, some of you reading this - those that know and love me - might be tempted to argue and to cite examples.  While I appreciate that, I ask you not to.   Believe me, I am well aware of my accomplishments and they are few and far in between.  Looking back I could have done SO much more with my life and those few accomplishments I have managed could have been stellar instead of just "pretty good". 

Let me cite my own examples....

High school.   Barely graduated.  I skated by because I was too caught up in boys, clothes, bands and fun.   I was a lazy little bitch.   (now I'm a lazy big bitch).   I had the smarts and the time, I just didn't utilize them.  My teachers even told me they knew I could have done so much better and they hoped I would smarten up and prove them right.   I'm sorry to say I haven't.  College wasn't even on my mind then because I figured I'd end up in L. A. trying to become an actress.  No shit....I really thought that was my calling.

So that leads me to my acting dreams....what did I ever do about it?  Not a blessed thing!   I went on one or two auditions, both of which required me to sing as part of it and I was terrified.  Absolutely terrified.  I managed to squeak out some lines on the first one but was too quiet for anyone further than two feet from me to hear.   That would have made it difficult for the theater goers to hear me, eh?   The second audition, a few years later, I walked out of before they ever even called me.  I was out-gunned and I knew it.   I never went on another audition after that.  I talked a LOT about wanting to act - movies, TV, theater....but never made a move.   Even as recent as a year and a half ago, I read over a script for a production of....oh hell, I can't even remember what it was, but I made excuses not to go. 

Jobs.....every job I've ever had has been done half-assed.  Sure, I was fun to work with and on occasion I'd turn out a good product or finish a task on time and properly.   But I called out sick a lot, and was often easily distracted.   I did a good job overall, and here and there went above and beyond but I could have been better more often.  I could have been a star employee because I HAVE that potential....I just never bothered.   I told myself it was because it wasn't what I was meant to do, that I was unhappy and couldn't muster the energy to make the extra effort.  Bollocks. 

Friends......I don't always give as much as I get.  I try to, but sometimes I retreat into myself and don't pay close enough attention to those around me.  I am guilty of being completely self-absorbed and selfish.   True, if push comes to shove I'd like to think I'd be there if someone really needed me, but I should have been there ALL the time, or at least most of it.  I lose touch with people because I am wrapped up in my own little world.  Sure, it's understandable if I'm working full time, raising a kid and going to school all the while volunteering my time at the local homeless shelter....but I'm not.  Not right now.    Not sure I've ever been in that position so really, was there ever even an excuse?  Nope.

My child.....I'm not the mother I want to be....the mother I should be.   Don't get me wrong.  I love my child with a love that is fathomless, bottomless and all-encompassing.  No one will ever love that child more than I do.   And I tell him constantly, I hug him and smother him with kisses.   But is that enough?   I started off the year volunteering at his school but fell off when my health was sketchy.   I've long since gotten past that issue but haven't gone back.   I'm not sure I play with him enough, or read to him enough.  I feel like I could be doing so much more for him and with him but I fall short because I'm lazy, distracted or stressed.   Is that an excuse?  No.  That child deserves the best!  I have been given this awesome opportunity and responsibility to shape the life of this beautiful little boy and I feel as if I am squandering it.  Don't I owe it to him, as well as to myself to set the best possible example for him?   By BEING the best example?

My health.  Seriously, this one is a no-brainer.  Why do I continue to whine and complain about my weight, my stiff joints and various aches and pains rather than do anything about them?  When I do finally make an attempt, it is a sad one and the moment an opportunity to cease and desist all efforts to better my physical self presents itself, I'm all over like white on rice?

I am being crushed under the weight of the excuses I've used my entire life.  I can't breathe anymore.   I've become the Anti-Amy. I am my own worst advocate and my own Enemy Number #1.  What the FUCK IS THAT ALL ABOUT???

Why??? I don't understand it.  What is the magic formula?  Is there one?  I can't seem to make a decision to turn things around and stick to it.   I know I'm the only one holding me back, but why do I hold myself back?   Where is the mental block?   How fucking hard can it be for me to do the simplest of things in order to be the best Me I can be? 

- Eat right.
- Exercise regularly.
- Spend more quality time with my son.
- Relentlessly pursue job opportunities
- Be equally relentless about going back to school....apply for grants, scholarships (even if you don't think you have a snowcones chance in a Virginia summer sun of getting one), student loans and REGISTER!
- Reach out to friends and family more, make the connections, repair the connections and KEEP them

I don't need to live a life of extravagence.  I don't need to have a high paying job, or be on the move 24/7.   But the bare minimum ( and I at the very bottom of the barrell when it comes to doing what I should) isn't good enough.

I have enormous potential.  I know I do.  I have always known this.   But I've been wasting it, frittering it away because it seemed easier to just slide by.  Easier, eh?  Umm...I'm realizing now that taking the easy, minimum effort road has only led me to this point.   And this point is this:  I'm overweight, unemployed, unedcuated, prone to falling back into self-destructive behavior to deal with my stress (over-eating and smoking), and losing touch with friends and family.   There is more, but I'd rather not discuss it here.

I've realized I'm not doing anyone else any favors by short changing myself.   I'm 42 years old.  When am I going to cut the shit already?   Isn't it time I grabbed this bitch by the hair (my life), slapped it around a little and made it do what I want?  Isn't NOW the time to ensure the most quality life I can live and thereby ensuring my son gets the best of me, my friends and family get the best of me - fuck, the WORLD gets the best of me?   Maybe I can touch some lives in a small way.  Why not?  I want my son to see me give it my all, even if I never do anything more than go to school, graduate with top marks, get a good job, kick ass at it, turn my health around and be a fitness rock star and enjoy life with a serious gusto.   I want him to live his life to it's fullest, to his greatest will he ever learn if I don't do the same????

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I swear I'll be back

No, really...I will.  I WILL be blogging very soon.  Maybe even as soon as tomorrow.  I've got a million ideas swirling around in my squash.  I just have to fuster the mocus to narrow it down.....heh.  See what I did there?  I got my mords wixed.  Heh.  Yeah, I'm definitely heading for the nuthatch at this rate.  Shit.

Peace, yo.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lessons in Patience...and Cake Making

It's an ugly sumbitch, ain't it?

Having children requires a certain amount of patience.  Duh.  However, I have never been known for mine.  Admittedly, I have mellowed some over the years but I am still quick to judge, demand or snap.  Not all the time.  It depends.  (on how much liquor I've consumed).   I had hoped, as my son grew in my belly, that I would acquire the necessary patience to raise him right and not turn into one of those high-strung, screechy harpie moms who constantly harangue and holler at their children.   I am happy to report that I have not.  Not completely, anyway.  

Yesterday my teetering patience was greatly tested when my sweet, excited 6 year old son assisted me in making a cake.  My birthday cake.  From scratch, frosting and all.  If ever I had needed a valium and a bottle of Absolut in my life, that was the moment!!!  Naturally, he wanted to do everything himself!  Imagine his small, unsteady hands trying to level out the flour in the measuring cup.  Yeah, I know.  Picture that.  Like a fucking blizzard in here!   Then trying to dump the flour into the mixing bowl.  Oh yeah, you got that image too, right?  Like a cocaine bust gone bad, powder flying everywhere while the pushers, dealers and addicts go scattering like cockroaches, leaving their precious C-dust behind.

Criminy, I was on a hair trigger! 

I love my kid.  I would never hurt him.  I'd maim, kill, brutalize, destroy and obliterate anyone who even tried to lay a harming hand on my child.   Srsly.  But I was about 2 seconds from losing my marbles altogether and run screaming from the room throwing flour and sticks of butter at anyone who got in my way.

In the end, the cake turned out....well, edible.  Not bad, really.  It's crumbly and looks like absolute shit, but it's got a good flavor, just enough moisture in it to keep me from tossing it in the garbage and the frosting is pretty tasty.

The best part?

My kid had a blast.

Btw....I'm hoping to parlay this interest in cooking into a career for him - maybe as the next generations equivalent of Guy Fieri, with his own cool-ass show on Food Network.  Yes, I'm planning to live vicariously through my kid and I'm not the least bit ashamed of it.  Ha.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Have you seen the animated movie, Up?   You have?  OK.  Remember the sweet little dog named Dugg who, bless his little puppy heart, was, like all other dogs, riddled with Attention Deficit Disorder?  Smack in the middle of his dialogue he would stop, point and yell, "Squirrel!".   Now....take Dugg, put him in human form - specifically that of an overweight 42 year old house frau (who, nevertheless manages to usually look effortlessly hip and fabulous) - and add a smidge more A.D.D.  That, my friends, is moi. 

I'm the squirrel-pointing equivalent of an animated dog.  *face palm*

I have actually been in the midst of a conversation with someone while riding in a car and without warning or pause yelled out "Squirrel!".  "Bunny!" and "Deer!" are also favorite tourrette-like eructations of mine because, well....I like squirrel, bunny and deer.  If I happen to see one on the side of the road, I suppose my poor, addled brain thinks it's important enough to interrupt a conversation between two grown-ass adults and immediately call attention to the fact that one of these critters (soon to be road-kill, I imagine) is visible from the road.   

What the blue fuck is that all about???

I have a theory.  Your brain is like any muscle in your body (yes, yes, I know the brain is an organ, not a muscle); if you don't use it, you lose it.   Admittedly, I have likely always had a touch of A.D.D. but it has become increasingly more evident and frustratingly present in recent years.  It got a bit worse after the birth of my son.  I mean, let's face it - kids are incredibly distracting because your focus has to be in 26 places at once in addition to dealing with the other asshole members of your household (husband, cats, dogs, birds, in-laws, your old college roommate - that useless bag of unemployable snot who has been camping out on your couch for the last 6 months swearing up and down he's going to get a job and move out...meanwhile the couch cushions are full of his beer farts and the pillows reek of his stank-nasty Funions breath and his chest hair is sprinkled all over your bathroom vanity.... irritating fucker.  Oh.....see what happened there?  I went off on a tangent....A.D.D., kids).

Back to my theory.....if you don't have consistency and routine, and something to do other than scrubbing skid marks out of underdrawers and grocery lists to make, your brain is going to atrophy.  It's going to shrivel and die from lack of use.  It will short-circuit, fry and malfunction.  In my case, it's A.D.D. and to add insult to injury, a glorious case of short-term memory loss.  Although, it could be the A.D.D. had me so distracted I never processed the things I was supposed to remember because I wasn't paying attention at the time and therefore---ah, feck it. 

Folks, I've been out of work for two and a half years.  I never chose to become a stay at home mom (diva!).  I lost my fucking job rather unexpectedly and couldn't find another.   It's that tragically simple.  I looked.  I looked and looked and cried and raged and suffered horrible feelings of rejection and uselessness until I finally gave up and accepted my fate as just another unemployed schmuck.  It's been very hard getting myself into a routine and for the majority of the time I have been languishing here at home, I haven't had one.   I try but then a squirrel runs by or something shiny catches my eye and BOOM!...routine blown to hell.  Focus gone. 

Have any of you ever gone through something like this?  How does someone in my position, with my unfortunate affliction, drag their sorry carcass out of the rut and do something productive?   Please don't go all Nike on me and tell me to "just do it".  Try it and the next thing I "just do" will be digging a hole to toss your body into.  Seriously, kids.  I need real perspective here - real, tried and true solutions! 
Anyone have anything?  






Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Beginnings!

Ciao, kiddies!

Well, looks like I'm at it again.  Actually, it doesn't look like is.  Yes, I have (as you can plainly see since you're reading this) created...Yet.  Another.  Blog.  Ugh.  Go ahead, get it over with.  Roll your eyes.  Go on, I know you want to. 

You done now?  Good.  Now, pay attention.

The reason for this is twofold.  One; I need to start writing more and about a greater variety of subjects since I have all but decided I am going to pursue a creative writing degree.  Two; my other blog contains a great deal of extremely personal information that is not only not fit for general consumption but will reveal truths about me to certain folks I am not yet ready to reveal.   

Aw, I've done it.  I've tossed that tasty bone out there with lil bits o' meat clinging to it and now all you dogs are wondering what it tastes like.  Tough shit.  If I wanted you to gnaw on it, I'd have thrown it your way.  Sorry, suckas!  (no I'm not)

Look, here's the deal:  I love to write.  I can't say with any certainty that I'm very good at it.  There are times I am spot on and funny as hell.  I've got shit to say and by God, I'm-a gonna say it.  Sometimes I even say it rather well.  Other times my posts are a rambling mess of disjointed thoughts and nonsensical ravings (of a lunatic mind!) chock full o' typos, grammatical errors and truly bad punctuation.  Come to think of it, this one will likely be full of bad punctuation.  Somehow, I seem to have brain-farted that skill clean out of my head at some point in the last 10 or 15 years or so. 

This blog is meant to hone my skill, share my observations about life, be it my own, those of friends or family (with their permission, of course....usually) and/or things I see on the intrawebs and the news.   My inspiration, my fodder is the world around me.  Some days my scope and my focus will be very narrow and won't go any farther than my own  head.  There's a scary prospect.  Some days I'll see what's happening out there in cyber space and rant a little about that.  Maybe, every once in a while, I'll really wander far and see what's happening out in the big, bad, scary, fucked-up world we live in.

Oh yeah.....there's gonna be swearing.  Lots of it.  Perhaps not in every post, but you can bet douche bags to donuts that the majority of my posts are going to peppered with colorful language and some sweet little nuggets of cussing created by yours truly.  Folks, don't get yer knickers in a twist over it.  They are only words (says the would-be writer!).  They only have power if you give them power.  Frankly, I love to swear.  -- now would be the time to skedaddle if you find you cannot bear to expose your delicate eyeballs to my foul expletives --  Hello, the name of this blog is "Potty Mouth"!  Why are you here?  I fucking love to fucking swear and shitballs cock motherfucker I'm going to say every shitty fucking thing I fucking feel I need to 'cause dammit this is MY blog and I -- insert Cartman voice here--> do what I want! 


Still here??  Excellent!  You've made a good decision. I really think you're going to get a kick out of this.  If not....well....I'll look like a real asshole, won't I?