Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday Frivolity was made for this

As seen at Frogs and Ravens, this is what I would look like if I worked in the ER. Not actual size.

You can also see what you'd look like as a Lego Jedi.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Me no read so much

As seen at Phantom's, below is the list of the 100 books that received the most challenges at libraries and schools from 1990-2000. Bold the ones you've read. It's sad how few I've read.

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson Holy crap, why was this banned? For making kids cry?!
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna Heh.
20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George Blech. Hated it.
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee You want to BAN this? Fuck you.
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell Got this in college.
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis Not yet--want to read it, though
61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright

72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein Ah, Norma Klein. The dirtier Judy Blume!
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford

89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell I can't wait till AB can read this!
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Pardon me?

Saw this tidbit today on the White Collar Crime Prof Blog. Bush issued 14 pardons the other day (happened to be the same day DeLay was indicted). If you follow the link in the blog, you'll see the sentences that these (apparently well-connected) folks received for their crimes. I was honestly suprised at how light the sentences were; lots of probations (this was before the adoption of the then-mandatory Sentencing Guidelines).

Also, saw this, which made me smile... and think of Angry Boy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Still too busy

to post anything of substance, so here's something my mom emailed me on Saturday. It's a list of signs she saw and liked from the antiwar march:

  • Osama Bin Forgotten

  • Bush--the crowning achievement of a country that eats too much and thinks too little

  • True patriots must defend their country against their government

  • Honor the warriors, not the war

  • Who would Jesus bomb?

  • Save the environment--plant Bush back in Texas

  • Hey, George, wrong gulf, dummy

  • My country 'tis of thee, governed by incompetency

  • Asses of evil--Bush, Cheney, Rove

Some I've heard before, some are new to me. I think I like "Who would Jesus bomb?" the best.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Late to the party: 100 things about APL

1. I like my job.
2. I don't want to get fired.
3. I don't blog about my job that often because of #2.
4. I love sports.
5. In my opinion, Nascar is not a sport.
6. Even though I know the Redskins should change their team name, a part of me will be sad when they inevitably do. And, just to reiterate, they should.
7. I like to watch TV.
8. I have been, well, obsessed with three television shows: "The X-Files," "NewsRadio," and "ER."
9. I've been to at least 45 of the 50 states, 'cause my mom, aunt and I went on a cross-country road trip when I was 9.
10. I've stood in 4 states at once.
11. I've only lived in 2 states.
12. I prefer the mountains to the beach.
13. War movies and sports movies make me cry.
14. I don't have time to read books anymore.
15. I read the paper every day.
16. I carry Mo Vaughn's Pawsox baseball card around in my dayplanner. (He was "Maurice" on the card.)
17. Excluding college, I've never lived without a dog.
18. Both cats I've lived with were evil, but I am still open to the possibility of owning another cat.
19. My first car was a 1983 Subaru hatchback.
20. It had a bumper sticker that my mom and I got at the 1983 March on Washington--the 20th anniversary of MLK's March on Washington.
21. The only other march I've been to was the 1992 March for Women's Lives, also with my mom.
22. I still have a T-shirt from that march.
23. After that march, I asked my mom to get me a couple of T-shirts out of the NOW catalog... and she did, and I wore them proudly.
23. I didn’t go to today’s antiwar march... but my mom is there.
24. My mom is the closest thing I've had to a role model.
25. Lots of women dread turning into their mothers; for a while it was a goal of mine.
26. I haven't always been a Democrat.
27. When I was 5, at my dad's behest, I wrote a letter to President Reagan and told him I liked jellybeans, too.
28. Four years later, I was hoping that Mondale would win and that Ferraro would be the first female VP.
29. I have voted for Republicans.
30. Since I turned 18, I have never NOT voted in a November election.
31. I have to wear a watch, or I will panic.
32. My dad gave me an awesome watch for my most recent birthday.
33. My favorite watch, though, is still my kickass digital watch that NSAH got me years ago when I was still running.
34. I haven't run in a few years.
35. I love going to the gym.
36. Since my knees are shot, I use the elliptical trainers.
37. I reeeeeeeeally want to buy one for my house.
38. I have wondered in recent years whether I might have a (very) mild form of Asperger's syndrome.
39. A few years ago, I took the online Autism-Spectrum Quotient test.
40. The average score is a 16.4. Eighty percent of people who have autism or a similar disorder scored a 32 or higher. I got a 28.
41. I wasn't surprised by that result.
42. People who don't know me very well tend to think that I am innocent and sweet, possibly to the point of being stuck up.
43. People who know me fairly well tend to think I'm very emotionally stable and well-balanced.
44. And for the most part, I am. Ninety-five percent of the time, I'm on an even keel.
45. I have gotten books autographed by: Dave Barry, Wendy Wasserstein and Maurice Sendak.
46. By tomorrow, I should have John Irving to add to that list.
47. My favorite authors include John Irving, Carrie Fisher, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Louisa May Alcott, Barbara Kingsolver and William Styron.
48. My favorite children's authors include Lloyd Alexander, John Christopher, and Alfred Slote.
49. I've stopped opening the Pottery Barn and Hold Everything catalogs we get in the mail, because I just get depressed at how much that stuff costs.
50. I typed "Potty Barn" in no. 49, then changed it when I saw my mistake.
51. I wrote a screenplay.
52. It's sitting on my computer, unedited.
53. I finished the first draft August 1, 2003.
54. I haven't looked at it since.
55. I like putting furniture together.
56. If I'd been born a boy, my name would've been Michael.
57. I/we considered giving Angry Boy the middle name "Carter."
58. I don't know what to do with my hair.
59. I've only had two manicures.
60. I really didn't enjoy them.
61. I've had two professional massages.
62. I wish I could go every week.
63. I've sprained both ankles twice, very badly. Twice in soccer games, twice from being a big clutz.
64. I fractured my wrist (hairline fracture, no biggie) playing goalie in high school.
65. I inherited my clutziness from my mother's mother.
66. Like someone else I know, I bite my fingers more than my fingernails.
67. Really, I only bite my fingernails if one has a little tear, 'cause I'm afraid I'll snag it on something and hurt myself.
68. I wish I was a little bit taller (she said, quoting Skee Lo).
69. I love Peter Reigert (I am reminded of this because "The Mask" is on TV right now).
70. Among my favorite musical artists are Aimee Mann, Coldplay, Garbage, Paul Simon, Michael Penn, Guster, and Toad the Wet Sprocket.
71. Ryan from Guster asked to touch my boucle sweater when I was standing in line to get their autographs, and I let him (he touched the sleeve).
72. I was so sad when I had to throw that sweater away--it had a really huge hole in it toward the end there.
73. I hate shopping for clothes.
74. When I absolutely need to buy clothes, I prefer to shop at Old Navy and Kohl's.
75. I am not afraid of flying, but I don't like to fly.
76. I love the train.
77. I've ridden the Accela train from DC to NYC once, and I had a blast.
78. I rode trains all over Europe with my mom, and I had a blast.
79. I don't sail very often.
80. I've enjoyed sailing the few times I've gone.
81. I've ridden a hovercraft across the English Channel.
82. I've never gone in the Chunnel.
83. I would like to be able to retire at 55.
84. Before I die, I would like to travel to Australia & New Zealand, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Scotland and Wales.
85. When I was 5, I wanted to be a farmer.
86. When it comes to gardening and planting, I have a black thumb.
87. Just like Han Solo, I believe in luck.
88. I'm also a fan of preparation.
89. I have excellent reflexes, despite the fact that I am a clutz.
90. My family is the greatest thing I have in life.
91. I even like my in-laws.
92. I love all the dogs in my family.
93. I would be happy wearing jeans and t-shirts every day.
94. In addition to the two pairs of nice work shoes I just bought (cute black pumps and brown loafers with brass buckles), I also bought a pair of gray Vans.
95. I hate wearing skirts and pantyhose.
96. I will wear long dresses if I don’t have to wear pantyhose with them.
97. When I do dress up to go out for a fancy dinner, I look damn good.
98. I wear a minimum of makeup, and no perfume.
99. It’s a good day when I remember to wear my earrings.
100. I’m ready for hurricane season to be over this year.

Friday, September 23, 2005

It's (not) a family affair

Two nights ago, NSAH and I reluctantly came to grips with the fact that we had no family members available to babysit for us on Sunday afternoon. So we can't go to the Red Sox-Orioles game with Nutso Ranter and her husband. Damn.

Angry Boy is over two now. I think it's about time that we find a non-family sitter. Sigh. OK, here are the two most obvious options for me:

First, there's a mature 13-year-old girl in our neighborhood who has taken a babysitting certification course at the local community center. This girl is really sweet--my husband met her when she was collecting diapers and other stuff to send to Hurricane Katrina victims. Second, there's a university not far from us, and I'm pretty sure I could find a college kid who'd be willing to make some money just sitting around our house watching cable or studying a few nights a month. College kids can always use cash, and like to get out of the dorms.

Any tips for me? Any questions you recommend I ask babysitting candidates? I never really babysat when I was a kid (maybe 3-5 times?), so I don't know the protocol. And what are reasonable rates these days? I know when I babysat, I got $2-5 an hour. I'm assuming it's a wee bit more than that these days.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Lead in kids' vinyl lunchboxes

For those of you with school-age and young kids, Mieke at Kid Squared has a post about the dangers of lead in kids' lunchboxes. The nitty-gritty from the California Center for Environmental Health website:
Normal use of positive lunchboxes CEH has tested would not cause acute lead poisoning. However, if your child is also exposed to other environmental exposures to lead such as lead paint, the cumulative effect could be toxic.

So while it's probably not something you need to panic about, if you have one of these lunchboxes, sounds like you should junk it as soon as possible. The CEH website also (helpfully) has photos of the types of lunchboxes they tested.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Lawyers just wanna have fu-hun

Despite the fact that I am the #8 result if you search "I hate being a lawyer" on Yahoo, I do not hate it. In fact, the past two weeks at work have been amazing. Busy and crazy, yes. But awesome, too. I've been doing work that I enjoy tremendously, and I've gotten a lot of kudos from my coworkers. (Yes, I feed off the praise of others. I'm an only child, what do you expect?) Can't give any particular details, but I'll just tell you that I was doing the Happy Dance in my office today.

Lawyerin': It don't suck so much.

I give, I give

Y'all are rabid. It was Yankee Transplant's Animal-like rant (yes, we're all-Muppets-all-the-time here) that really twisted my arm. Don't want to piss off da YT.

So here's a quick photo. It was taken earlier in the summer, as he was "helping" sweep up grass clippings.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Couldn't think of anything to say

I decided to post a rare picture of Angry Boy, because I didn't have anything to say. Then I remembered that I was upset, because the dining room chairs I've been putting off ordering, the ones that I think would look OK with our antique dining table, are now no longer available from the online store. I snooze, I lose.

And, apparently, the Red Sox got their collective ass kicked by the A's. Grrr.

So, really, I do have something(s) to say.

Friday, September 16, 2005

So apparently I've always been this way

Just got off the phone with my mom. Our main topic of conversation? You guessed it: the boy. As we gushed about him and how awesome he is, she mentioned that I was that cute, but I wasn't "grandchild" cute. So I asked her what I did that was cute. She cracked up and told me the story of when I was three and was walking around in the yard saying "shit shit shit shit shit shit shit..."

Friday Frivolity

As seen a while ago, everywhere but here:

Modern, Cool Nerd
65 % Nerd, 65% Geek, 30% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. OK.

Q: What was my reaction upon checking the digital cable guide to determine why our DVR hadn't been recording "Sesame Street" this week, as we'd set it up to do?

Yeah, so I didn't realize PBS was showing the Roberts hearings. We have them on at work, but on some cable news channel.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Head all better

Wow, you all are a no-nonsense bunch. Everyone telling me to see the doctor. Of course, as luck would have it, I didn't have a headache at all yesterday, so maybe your good thoughts have cured me. I know it wasn't that I simply had a less stressful day--I was up working till midnight (at home, not at the office).

Cool things people said to me yesterday:

"Have you lost weight?" --NSAH

(I haven't, but I was wearing a flattering shirt.)

"Good job." --a coworker whom I admire and whom I wish I were paired up with more often

"I make ... pineapples. I make ... milk. I like pears. I like cheese. I like peas. I like lettuce. I like eggs. I like toast. I like veg-ables." --Angry Boy, who was playing with our whisk, measuring spoons, and a bowl (I can't tell you all how excited I am that he's started to use the personal pronoun "I")

Monday, September 12, 2005

What does it mean...

if, unlike my normal headaches (which I don't get frequently), I seem to be suffering from a recurring sharp pain in my front left lobe?

My husband will be worried, I'll bet. We have reversed gender roles in our marriage: he's good about going to the doctor and stays on top of any symptoms. I'm the idiot who didn't go to the doctor for nearly two months when I felt worn down and slightly feverish, and who found out belatedly that I'd had mono.

Friday, September 09, 2005

File under "Things I've been meaning to tell Phantom for days now"

Well, it took us nearly a year to do it, but on Monday, I finally hooked up a VCR in our no-longer-new home. (Blame the delay on the fact that we packed up the necessary cables a bit too well and couldn't locate them for a long while.)

First thing to go in the VCR? Muppet Show tapes! And now, every morning when I go into Angry Boy's room, I'm greeted with the following: "Watch Muppet Show?" When I came home from work this evening, AB was already at the dinner table, munching happily on cheese, dinosaur-shaped Ritz crackers, and red peppers. But he stopped munching to tell me, "Want to watch Muppet Show."

So, after dinner, we went downstairs and watched the Harry Belafonte episode.

Friday Frivolity

To those who found it such an enjoyable term, I feel I need to inform you all that the word "bitchcakes" was a creation of Beth .... well, just "Beth," from one of the greatest sitcoms ever.

And, in the spirit of that show, here's my Friday not-so-random ten:
  1. "Breaking Us in Two," Joe Jackson

  2. "Sweetness," Jimmy Eat World

  3. "We're the Same," Matthew Sweet

  4. "I Gotcha," Joe Tex

  5. "Joey," Concrete Blonde

  6. "Jimi Thing," Dave Matthews Band

  7. "The Facts About Jimmy," Shawn Colvin

  8. "Sick of Myself," Matthew Sweet

  9. "Secondhand News," Fleetwood Mac

  10. "Radio, Radio," Elvis Costello

Thursday, September 08, 2005

This is no game

From the New York Times:

At a contentious press briefing on Wednesday, the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, used the phrase "blame game" eight separate times as he tried to push back on criticism of the White House effort.

If I hear the phrase "blame game" one more time I am going to go completely bitchcakes. It's not a fucking "game." Nothing about this in any way resembles a "game." Trying to determine who made the mistakes that resulted in thousands dead and dying is not a "game." Making these determinations in order to prevent a repeat of such calamitous inadequacy is not a "game." Enough already.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A weird break from the anger and sadness

Scene: Not So Angry Husband and me, lying in bed late at night. We hear someone on TV talking about fetishes right as we turn off the tube for the evening.

NSAH: I'm glad you don't have any fetishes.
APL: Me too. Sexual attraction based on inanimate objects is weird. (pause) Except penises. I have a penis fetish.
NSAH: And I have a vagina fetish. (pause) (in his best Charlton Heston voice) I like my vagina.


I swear, we usually don't talk like this.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I'll admit it

Rehnquist's health was the last thing I was thinking about these days, and now I feel even more hopeless.

My thoughts go out to Rehnquist's family and friends. Although I disagreed with him on an overwhelming majority of decisions, there were a few exciting times when he went in a completely different direction than I'd predicted (Dickerson, for example).

Saturday, September 03, 2005


In September 2001, I was still running a few times a week. On September 12, I took off on my usual route. I had cried so much the day before, I didn't think I had any left in me. I was feeling energized. I had given money. I had made contact with my friend in New York to make sure she hadn't lost anyone in the WTC collapse. The sun was shining, and the weather was warm. I was nearly done with my loop when I came to the interstate overpass. Someone had tied an American flag to the chain-link wiring above the bridge's short concrete walls. They must've done it the day before, because the string holding it up was fraying and loose. I paused my music and stopped my run, and as I was retying the flag, I just lost it. I started crying, not caring that complete strangers in cars were passing me with regularity, staring at me. They knew why I cried.

I hadn't felt that helpless and angry and yet full of love and sympathy until yesterday. I had to shut my office door repeatedly to keep my co-workers from hearing my sniffling.

So go to Americablog, yes, but go to Scrivenings, too. He is writing clearly and firmly about all of the problems (too many to list) with the response to Katrina, and he has many excellent links.

Lastly, I ask: Do all that you can do. Be as generous as you can be. But do not lose this feeling, this anger, this shock, this elemental need for accountability and answers. Keep it with you, always.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Wake Me Up When September Ends*

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Like my father's come to pass
Seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are

As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Ring out the bells again
Like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are

As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Like my father's come to pass
Twenty years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends
Wake me up when September ends
Wake me up when September ends

*The more I read about New Orleans, especially about what's going on in the Superdome, the more I hear this Green Day song in my head.

We'll have no more of that, then

Ok, I will leave the quizzes and contests and prizes to the folks who know how to pull it off.

My own gas report:

The station nearest my home was closed on my way home from work. Like most major chains, it hadn't raised its prices very high. The signs still read 2.97.

Went out to Bigass Wholesaler tonight, and on the way home I checked out the gas prices. Most were in the 2.97 to 2.99 range. Saw one very close to my home selling for 2.94! As I turned onto my street, though, I looked to see whether my closest gas station had reopened... Yup, but the price for regular was 3.14! It's a chain, too, so I don't know why their price went up.

Still, I'm not complaining. I know that the worst is yet to come.

Quick post before bed

A prize to the first among you who can correctly guess which comment in Gene Weingarten's Tuesday chat was posted by yours truly.

I should tell you right off the bat not to try too hard to analyze the various comments--I don't think there's much of anything in my comment that would indicate it was from me. Random guesses, people. That's what standardized testing has taught us!

UPDATE: I realized just now that I shamelessly stole this idea from Liz at MysteryMommy, who did the same guessing game, albeit with one of Tom Sietsema's chats.