About michelleferg

a prairie dweller, a mom and a librarian...sounds like the start of a joke

In Which We Bake

My Bubs and I have become addicted to a little thing called season 10 of “The Great British Baking Show.”
Seen it? It’s a TV delight during which two hosts and two judges entertain and bulldoze through dozen or so British bakers who are appealing, funny, sweet, and addictive. I’ve become fanatical about each and every one of the contestants and I never want any of them to be voted out of the tent under which they bake because they’re all wonderful. And each week, when one must say so long, I weep internally and lust for the next installment so that I may root for victors and cry for the valiant fallen.
It’s high drama each Friday evening on the prairie for the Bubs and I.
I also wish for Smell-o-Vision — was it  The Jetsons  who had that? — or Taste-o-Matics because I want to try all of the bakers’ efforts. All of them. Sure, I can pull recipes from the internet but that is  not the same thing, I assure you. I have black hands when it comes to kitchen activities like using pans or pre-heating things.
But the bakers make me want to try!
Thus was Family Bake Night born, from British bakers and their enthusiasm for all things sugar infused and chocolate covered.
Each weekend, the Bubs, the Sire, and I hunker around an internet-printed recipe and make that thing.  We started with cinnamon rolls from Cook’s Illustrated. (I love cinnamon rolls, the gooshy, overly cinnamon’y, dripping-under-icing kind.
Cook’s Illustrated did not offer that particular brand of roll.
Thus, week 2 came along and boom, a second recipe offering gooey goodness was followed to a T — to a T, people! —  and alas, I messed that up, too..
No matter! A third week came along and because of persistence and the need to utilize an overwhelmingly large bag of flour, the third batch of rolls evolved atop the middle of my very own kitchen island and booyah, it was a WINNER!
Cinnamon rolls conquered, we moved on to meringue cookies — because the Great British baking people made us believe we could do it — and doggone it, we did it.
What’s next? Who knows. We haven’t followed the show’s pattern, we haven’t followed along and made the incredibly hard things they are attempting during their quest for baking fame and hopefully a cash prize — because it’s me and I know my limitations — but we ARE baking, and we ARE succeeding in gaining at least three pounds each weekend.
IT’S A WIN!
Plus, baking is cheaper than wrenching, following the mandates of our previous fascination, “Fastest Car,” in which car enthusiasts spend small fortunes in turning slo-mo vehicles into racing machines that blow asphalt away from turf.
I think I’m dangerous in a household kitchen. I’d be dead in minutes if I attempted to go into the garage and “better” the Ram 1500. I might make a fortune, though, on the YoutTube, following along with the shortest mechanical/maintenance/instant-car-death that would ensue. Bubs would have an inheritance from residuals; maybe I should consider the idea further.
Anyway, I’m hanging with the bakers and praying there is a way each of them get their own program so prairie dwelling stalkers — admirers! — may follow their journeys.

Parenting 101 — Nailed It

My teenager hates Sam’s Club.
I’m flummoxed.
I remind him repeatedly that I wheeled his adorable sleeping form for miles and miles, up and down every aisle, so that he could sleep.
Read that as: So I would stay awake and not lose precious hold on new-mom sanity while in the depths of fresh produce and free samples.
He loved the white noise, I tell myself. Even now, when he can’t sleep, I hiss like an ocean wave into his reclining ear.
(Not really. That’s creepy.)
M

Turns Out I’m Not a Carpenter…Very Disappointing

I wanted to install new flooring in Bubs’ room. He’s newly adolescent, and it happened over night. No exaggeration: he woke a different person than when he went to sleep.
Reeling from shock, I realized his adorable Boy Room was no longer appropriate, plus, truth be told, the elderly incontinent, blind, deaf, adorable pooch who can’t see well enough to Go Toward the Light may have destroyed the already-aged carpet in the Bubs’ Boy Room.
It was time, in many ways, for a makeover.
I bought flooring, the click kind, as advertised in the three-minute video that assured me I could install the flooring all by myself. The video  promised. 
And I am gullible.
Long story short, and utilizing the skills of my dad and a full day of his time, I learned how to use a saws-all — I’m not certain that’s the correct trademarked name — and I also learned that once baseboards are removed, they expand.
Did you know that? News to me. Naively, I thought wood parts would retain their size after removal, but they don’t.
And the flooring that was so easy — according to videotaped footage probably filmed in the confines of Light and Magic — was NOT so snap-simple, amateur-friendly, easily accomplished by a desperate-for-the-boy-to-have-a-Young-Man-room Mom.
Nope.
I mean, NOPE.
Let’s just say, no one wants to look super closely at the final slats, when Dad had returned home, inserted at one in the morning in an exceedingly hot, increasingly tiny dwelling of a mere eleven feet by the same.
Because, dang, it’s ugly.
Ugly, mostly because of my new friend Super Glue. It’s true.
And the baseboards? Well…they’re back in place, with the help of a two-pound sledge.
Nails were not necessary. Those boards, they aren’t moving.
Unless I renew my love with this new “saws-all” thing I’m fond of…
Meanwhile, the room is beginning to retain odor, and I can no longer blame the dog — no, he’s not Found the Light; the teen’s door stays shut 24/7, whether inhabited or not — and clutter is obscuring the newly installed flooring as well as the giveaway shine of glue.
I feel cheated.
1. The room is really no different.
B. I’m not a carpenter. I really wanted to be good at that stuff. Sigh.

 

(Fake) Challenge Accepted!

Last month I talked with a girlfriend, commiserating about aging and bat flaps on our arms and things popping in the middle like dough freshly baked.
It was a difficult conversation that left me depressed and eschewing food for at least an hour.
She said, “I workout.”
Me: “Me, too.”
She: “I do the Barre Method.”
Me:(Having followed suchly-named videos on YouTube) “Me, too.”
Quick Barre Exercise primer: I don’t have a barre de ballet anchored to any floors within my domicile. Without such equipment, it is recommended to use a kitchen chair — too squirrely; I was chasing it more than bending uncomfortably from it — or countertop. Check! I had one of those and I was quickly grateful to be a terrible housekeeper. The sticky whatever on the granite helps with grip when I’m hanging precariously from the edge to squat and lunge as though I’m going low enough to actually use the muscle. It’s an ignominious position, thankfully without video evidence.)
She perked up, energized by complicity in self-torture.
She: (leaning forward conspiratorially) “Don’t the little ones just kill you?”
Me: (Thinkng, “Little ones, I don’t know what those are…the big ones aren’t so great…” but not wanting to appear to have missed anything) “Yes, they’re awful.”
She: “And doing that for an hour? Isn’t it torture?”
Me: (At last we were on the same wavelength with abuse, but never having pursued a video playlist of any titles over twelve minutes, the “hour” confused me. Resenting 12 whole minutes of activity, I had moved down to ten; regretted that choice immediately, I lowered my standards to four minutes and complain through all four) “An HOUR? Are you CRAZY?”
She blinked, confused.
She: “How long do you exercise?”
Me: (Lying but fingers crossed so the lie didn’t count) “Probably twenty minutes.”
She: (blinking repeatedly, staring blankly, figuring things out) “…and you do the Barre Method?”
Me: (doubting entirely my existence) “Ya-huh.”
She: “And it only lasts twenty minutes?”
I pondered. Each video master I scrolled through had indeed used the word “Barre” in their title, but as for the word “method,” I was less certain. Plus, each of the probably-dozen videos I had used to tweak my intense muscular stature had ended with verbiage like, “After a quick cooldown, start this video over and work through it two more times…”
And I remember laughing, “Duh, why would anyone do THAT??” Then I walked toward the shower on spaghetti legs, breaking my own shoulder patting myself on the back for putting in a good four minutes of “burn.”
NOW I knew why instructors insisted on using the Replay button, because that is part of the METHOD.
Dang.
Me: (strictly for clarity) “You’re telling me there’s a different video with a more precise name using ‘Barre’ and ‘Method’ in the same tag line, then?”
She: (sensing weakness, using derisive eyebrows) “Uh…yeah.”
Me: (finger pointed to the sky in proclamatory fashion) “I shall find said video and follow it to the letter.”
She: (wrapping the last of her sandwich, checking her watch, readying to scurry) “Great. Let me know how it goes. Dare ya.”
I know she was laughing under her breath; I disliked her scorn. Thus, perhaps I created her flippant ‘So long,’ misinterpreting her words, but I heard NOT  the Dare portion, instead I heard: “I challenge you!!!
Oh, ho, nay nay, my friend. I am not one to take a challenge lightly, unless it involves wild boar or machetes. Those I can discard. YouTube video, though, I got.
After work, I went to the house and immediately changed into a comfy tee over the work pants o’ the day — they’re work pants; who cares? — and sought out the aforementioned, appropriately researched Barre Method video — a startling 39 minutes, the queue read! What the…
A woman with a purpose, I hit Play.
What the what the…
The LITTLE ones?! Holy Scrap Metal, Batman, the LITTLE ones number in the hundreds — literally, one HUNDRED pulses — MORE THAN ONCE, thus equaling nearly a thousand, by my count — of ceaseless down-and-up, clinging to the countertop, ready for a thigh muscle to pop, donedonedone with further torture of already ravaged muscles.
And squats, lunges, butt-clenching was NOT ENOUGH, because she continued with ARM exercises, with WEIGHTS, and then that mean, mean strange lady who ROCKED her own Lycra ensemble forced me to lay on the FLOOR and make my ABS bend, a lot, for an excessive number of reps. EXCESSIVE.
Then she tasked me with flipping over to hover over my elbows, lingering painfully in a PLANK position for FAR TOO LONG.
But I did it. It wasn’t pretty, and form was nonexistent, and though I felt like I did, I didn’t lose blood, only a bit of vision, and that, only momentarily, but I followed that crazy instructor lady for all 39 minutes.
While recovering on the tile floor, wishing I would vacuum more (not really; housework–yuk) my dog investigated the pooling sweat around my head before climbing me like some sort of small mountain in his territory to rest bodily upon my chest. Instinctively, I started to pet him but the sweaty palms and Pekingese hair were a poor blend, thus he abandoned me quickly, though I barely noticed what with fading in and out of consciousness.
After a half hour or so — could have been a day, I don’t know — still recumbent and perfectly happy to never rise, I reconsidered my earlier conversation and THAT was when I recognized the difference between Dare and Challenge. It’s minute. One is flippant; one is downright insulting. Both should be ignored.
I showered to wash away the pain and dog hair, then fell asleep wishing for new friends.
For four days — 4, my friends! — I moaned like a toothless weasel after each breath, each twitch, each movement of any part of my being. And once I’d recovered enough to use the gas pedal without fear of harming other travelers, I drove straight to my “friend’s” office and soundly told her, “Haha! I did it! ‘Tweren’t nothin’!”
(I used those words, in indignant fashion, with a curt nod and quick gloat.)
Then she responded, “Sweet! We should do it together sometime.”
I could not back away from that nonsense quickly enough.
“Look at the time!” I answered, anxious to round out the convo and hit the streets. “I’m late for work, see you soon!”
I haven’t heard from her again.
I’m sticking to four minutes. It’s my sweet spot of time lapsed on exertion.

The King Killed Adverbs

I read Stephen King’s book “On Writing” and I appreciated its insight.
Then he mentioned adverbs, that they are superfluous, and I wanted to toss the book rudely across the expansive mass of bedroom and its overly wrought textile décor.
What? Adverbs? I love adverbs! I run to them quickly,  I lovingly dote upon their entrance into literature, which seems often, very often, very often.
At which point I thought about it, because I hate the word “very” and always lecture that “If something is very anything, it’s something else.”
My own snobby lecture biting back.
King is right; adverbs are unnecessary, and that annoys me to no end.
Dang it.

In Which I Adult

So what if I make a fool of myself? I won’t be around forever. People’s memories fade, and if they don’t forget about whatever ridiculousness I get up to, well then maybe my inanity will be relegated to things like “cute,” or “fun.” I can handle Fun; it implies a sense of warm recollection.Warm remembrance. That’s sweet.
And as I perch precariously on the precipice of a major life birthday, I realize I should Adult Up.
I made an appointment with the eye doctor.
Sure, that’s not something worthy of celebration to most, but to me, it’s an enormous pat on my own back because of Fear.
I have an Eye Thing.
It’s real, it’s a thing, this Eye Thing of mine. Eye professionals are the ones who suffer from my squeamishness. Even the thought of someone nearing my eye makes me flush hot and sweat. I’m nearly hyper-ventilating at the mere thought.
Many eye docs in the past have not appreciated my combative gestures,
Fortunately, I am a good mom and found a perfect complement to my Bubs’ lack of interest in physical health. When last I drug my boy into yet another doctor’s office for an appointment he had less-than-zilch interest in attending, I happened upon the best eye pro for my boy. Calm, soothing, able to distract with a single vignette.
Of course, I thought, this might be the One for Me. I, too, could easily fall for his Look Over Here methodology.
I made the appointment.
Remember the glaucoma test, the little tiny puff of air that shouldn’t bother anyone but I know for a fact that it does indeed bother others as much as it does me? (Perhaps not a whole lot of folks, but at least a recordable percentage.)
Well, a tiny woman tried to give me that test and I sadly thought, “I can take her.”
Not my finest moment, and after the fifth or sixth time of her puffing the air to a face that had left the chin rest tiny moments before the air hit its target, she got the idea that perhaps she was not the one to administer this particular time.
“It’s okay,” she said. “Lots of people have trouble with this test.”
Hence, she was my source for all that scientific data about lots of people having my particular eye issue.
With generous numbers of apologies, I moved from the pre-emptive trials to the gauntlet itself. The doc. The pro. The one who loves my kid and may not be fond of me at all in a mere half hour.
He sensed my unease, perhaps the clenched fists, bobbing knee, and muttering helped with his diagnosis.
Enter: the distracting story. Humorous, dramatic, effective.
No eye drops, only A or B a million times behind the strikingly cold robotic mask of lenses, you know the one.
No talk of dilation, either, thank heaven, after I told him I needed to drive to fetch my child, the Bubs he knew and appreciated.
BUT.
“Okay, I’m going to check for glaucoma,” he offered.
“The hell you say,” I accidentally blurted.
Not my finest moment, but the next few moments would be full of less than stellar behaviors.
The test wasn’t a puff of air — nope — it was a tuning fork apparatus to directly touch the eyeball.
And because I didn’t want to be hauled out of the office in cuffs, I held all my tension within. I was a rock. A vibrating, humming, gyrating rock. Those are a thing, in nature, I’m certain.
I leaned as far back as leather upholstered chair headrests will allow, and still the doc pressed forward until at last his penetrative fork made contact, to the shock of us both.
But I was not as smooth as I mentally pictured, because I realized my hands had come up in a chopping motion, and one knee was bent so far upward that it touched my rib.
I didn’t know I was that flexible in such a high tension situation.
Plus, my thigh was sore the next day.
I said apologetically, “I don’t know why my hands need to be in this position, but they do.”
He laughed.
This, my friends, indicated that he was eye doctor soul mate. I’m sure that’s a thing, too.
He asked if he should continue, and I boldly said, “Do it.”
And he did, after I’d positioned myself into combat form.
We are still friends, can you believe it? I’ve never not once been able to say that about any other eye care professional, especially once I’d sat in his official chair.
Plus, this one doesn’t keep a two thousand yard berth and a wary eye upon me when he sees me in public.
Score.

“Fast,” the Misnomer

Lately I’ve been listening to ladies my age who talk of new habits in response to old-ing up.
Old-ing up stinks, have I said that a million times yet?
Two of my friends — TWO — talked about fasting for eighteen hours a day. EACH day. And EVERY day. FASTING.
Two ladies, slightly older than myself, fasting for good health, including better sleep, less bloating — yes, the conversation took a turn downward — and weight loss.
“What about the air bag?” I asked, repeating it in response to the quizzical looks.
About six months ago, I woke with an airbag around my belly. I can run into countertops with no fear of pain. I bounce off and walk away in whichever direction the airbag commanded.
No bruising, either, which is nice…unless the coloration is below the turn of the fold…not going to look for confirmation.
I meandered off topic, without even encountering a table top or other middle-range surface I could come across.
But give up ten to twelve hours of caloric intake, which is my favorite hobby? I mean, eating is fabulous. All the noshing, and the “what’s next?” aspect of each bite…good stuff.
I firmly shook my head “no” and forgot about my friends’ newly found health and sleep wellness. Because…I need to eat, repeatedly, with zeal and an open ice cream container.
Sometime during a night, asleep and vulnerable, my subconscious took over and that very next morning, I didn’t eat breakfast. Oh, sure, I drank three cups of coffee, but without food. Coffee sans nosh.
Before I realized, I waited until noon to finally eat my pitiful tiny lunch and that night I didn’t eat after 8pm. And though I may have slipped a few times about the noon rule, I forced upon myself the nothing-after-eight thing, no matter what. I was strong! I was strict! And I was up early, about an hour early each morning, invading the refrigerator’s personal space.
I figured ten hours — TEN hours! — of fasting…that’s a lot.
Before I knew it, I skipped breakfast entirely — no calories but coffee creamer until noon! This is a thing I found inconceivable. (Hopefully I used that word appropriately — since “The Princess Bride,” I’ve questioned proper use of the word.)
Quizzically, I realized that once I’d ingested the first bite of lunch, I was full quickly.
Whaaaa…
I’m entirely confused about this stuff.
Because now I actually DO fast for 18 hours. It took a few weeks, but I am an “intermittent faster;” it was a slow process to fast.
Not sure I like it.
No reduction in the air bag, sadly, which encouraged my puerile need to pack as many calories as possible into my six hour window. Five minutes until six o’clock equals three mini Tasty Kake donuts…if you’re counting or want to join me.
Now that I’m a few weeks into this denial and Adulting for Better Digestive Practices, my friend said the next step is to skip every other day — in other words, go along in the world for 24 plus 18 hours without caloric intake…
Blink.
Blink.
Nope. No, thank you.
Plus, I refuse to let my subconscious mull this one over either.
Sigh.
I miss grazing, that’s the truth…but I guess sleep is kind of nice, too.

Hair Styled

I have a cowlick, a noticeable, swooping, obvious, swooping bang thing I’ve wrestled forever to stay where I want it on the front of my face.
An when I tap out, let the cowlick win, well, I have a collection of hats that come in handy.
The last few years, a hat is out of the question because of that danged old full-time job thing. The public frowns on a librarian looking from beneath a billed brim, I guess.
It’s understandable, probably. I mean, librarians can look pretty creepy as it is, but then throw an upward peer from beneath a delicately fabric-covered cardboard face-awning and yeah, that could draw the shivers.
Each morning I wrestled with my hair dryer and a round brush in the bathroom at work every morning and silently swore while begging the bangs to lay down, to look rakish, to be even slightly attractive.
Really, I was surprised every time when I hadn’t knocked myself cold from trying to coordinate my own two hands, a brush in one, the dryer in the other; like cats in a bag.
A few weeks ago I went for my semi-annual haircut — that’s all the time and money I’m willing to give the tresses; they don’t like me; I’m not fond of them — and the stylist, who is a friend, finished our conversation/haircut by styling the bangs the “wrong” way — not fighting the cowlick, but acknowledging it and accepting it for itself. 
And she did it well, so I didn’t look quite so weird to myself as I usually do when I halfway try styling them that way in the privacy of my bathroom mirror.
Okay. Skip to today.
I have allowed the ‘lick to stay. I don’t fight it anymore — with age comes resignation to hair stupidity — and I’ve reclaimed the hours of life normally have wasted on fighting the unnecessary battle.
It stays in place.
The ‘lick.
It barely moves, even.
And I sleep on my right side, the preferred path of the hair-fall, so in the mornings, I don’t even need to touch my round brush.
I’m flummoxed.
And happy.
And so, so angry.
But here’s the rub: no one has mentioned my loss. Hair: Won. Me: Not.
And no one noticed.
This tells me one of two things: the change is so imperceptible that they see the glowing personality from within radiating from my eyes and they are so delighted to be in my presence that they bask in my aura, its glare obscuring the slant of my bang. Thus, understandable that no one would remark upon the change.
OR.
It looks ridiculous angled from the “wrong” direction and everyone is simply ignoring it so as to hurt my feelings.
EITHER WAY.
Don’t care. I’ve reclaimed five stressful, struggling minutes each morning. That alone is an enormous blessing and I’m just fine with it.
PLUS, I get to sleep a little later now.
🙂

 

Pants 101, years too late

Finding clothing for the “mature” — ugh, I hate that word — is a struggle.
Not that I ever had a fashion sense, but I still want clothing that I like, and that is difficult. The process of shopping has become a clearance-rack pull-and-go, in which I go to the section with items of my approximate size (there’s no standard sizing for clothing, am I the only one who believes that?), scan quickly for tolerable patterns/colors/textures and go to the checkout.
I know. It takes years to finesse the procedure, and it’s not for everyone — like anyone who truly cares about how they look — but it’s expedient and virtually pain free.
At Kohl’s the other day, a rack declared Vanderbilt “Amanda” pants were on sale, the declaration coming in the form of copious quantities of said slacks ready for perusal and purchase.
A long, long — longlonglong — time ago, I had a run-in with Gloria’s pantaloons and vowed never to return to the maker of the crime, thus I’ve avoided her brand entirely.
BUt here I was, in the midst of the fifteen minutes I’d allotted to the tedious procedure of procuring textiles and Amanda was essentially all on offer.
Well. What to do?
Because I was NOT trying things on.
And AManda seemed like she was popular at one time; she was in abundance once, but now shoved to the side for whatever new popular trend was over on the Rich People Racks.
Poor Amanda.
I grabbed three of her — a navy, a gray, and a maybe-brown? — in two different sizes, because, hey, I don’t know how Amanda fits, and went straight to the register.
Oh.
If you haven’t heard of Amanda’s pants, you should. So comfortable! Who knew?
I feel I’ve maligned Gloria and her subsequent style designs for far too long.
And I am sorry.
I have a new friend! Her name is Amanda. She’s a little shy, she was booted from the elite group and ended up in my closet, so poor, poor Amanda.
But dang it, I really like her.

Moral: Oldish dogs can change their minds. Under duress. Under a ticking clock. Under revulsion for shopping. Still. Changed my mind. Go me.

Gentle Yoga: an Oxymoron

A new yoga studio opened upon the prairie for us plains dwellers who wish to contort into unsavory positions whilst listening to the coyotes’ toenails click upon the weeds-in-the-cracks sidewalks.
Wednesday’s program was duplicitously titled “Gentle Yoga.”
Silly me, I didn’t believe yogis to be liars. Especiallyl when they are so kind, so thoughtful, with such soothing, low timbred, magical voices declaring positively how wonderful I am.
I believed her, which was Stage 1 in her nefarious plan.
We started with meditation so soothing I nearly fell over out of my cross-legged position, and that would have been especially embarrassing since I might have domino-ed about eight ladies.
After rousing from the 15 minute muscle-relaxer, emotion-numbing, self-esteem-building small talk with myself, we stood up, which normally is not an issue. Seems I was deeper into the trance than I realized, and tipping women from standing? That might have caused injury only 911 could have healed.
So we stood and we twisted a little; pivoted on a toe or two; bent and flexed.
It was nice, but not worthy of discussion. Nothing hurt, nothing popped out of whack; I was just relaxed. No biggie.
Then we laid upon our mats — which made me realize a little Febreze was in my future — and, on our backs, we were instructed to shut our eyes and begin envisioning.
Okay, we were too envision our bellies, pulling toward our spines, forming a well that fills from a gently flowing waterfall upon our concave flesh wells.
I only realized I was glad I’d visited the restroom a half hour before, and that water can’t fill a bowl that’s turned upside down. Water flows down the sides of convex objects, such as my gut.
That hurt my feelers.
Once upon a time, I could eat junk food, bloat like a gallon of rancid milk, and wake the next morning unscathed.
Now, with years tacked onto the ever-less-resiliency of my burgeoning figure? Not so much pooling as melting outward, like an amoeba. Bits of me try to run off, phalanges of skin pooching out, trying to bridge a gap between myself and Anything to get away from their original owner.
So I was envisioning water, “pooling,” but not in my belly cauldron but instead on the floor around me, and also violently wishing for another bathroom stop, just to “be sure” rivulets didn’t form into tributaries, if you know what I mean.
Plus … PLUS! ….the yogi insisted we students not twist ourselves into pain.
“Stretch! Take a hot shower, relax, drink water.”
Did I obey? Heck no! Did I tell you there’s a delightful Chinese restaurant just down the coyote-fur-covered sidewalk, four squares away? ‘Cause that’s where I went.
And then I went to bed.
No hot shower…no shower at all, actually, gross…and no draughts of water, no stretching of anything except the truth that I may not be the yogi I once thought.
Because the next morning? Well, I’ve been discouraged from using the word “pain,” so I’ll say my thigh muscles are still “vehemently tender.”
The next class is on Monday.
I may or may not go, mostly because the Chinese restaurant is closed on Mondays, so really, what’s the point of even going downtown?
Aging stinks.