Monday, December 29, 2008

Every Picture Tells A Story...

...You Just Might Not Want to Hear It.

I have a Hotmail email account that I use for certain aspects of my life (online betting, fake Craigslist personals, you know - the usual). Not long ago, Hotmail went through a big "upgrade" (I think anyone who's experienced a service upgrade will understand the quotes around that word), resulting in a wider and more luxurious selection of emoticons.

Now, I'm not a big emoticon user (no, I'm not), so I just recently got around to taking a closer look at the new selection now available. I can sum up my findings in two words:

"What the?"

Maybe I don't understand the purpose of these little symbols after all. I mean, I get the smiley faces - even the ones wearing party hats and/or sunglasses. But a sheep?!? Why do we need a sheep emoticon? Do I even want to know the answer to this question?

(My friend Beth says sheep are creative thinkers with their own ideas about landscape design. I don't think this one is a design sheep, though - he's not wearing retro-hip clothes or unusual glasses. I think this is a regular sheep.)

I had to be missing something. Hotmail is part of Microsoft, after all. I mean, if Bill Gates says I need a sheep emoticon, then clearly I need one...I'm just not sure why.

Think, Anna, I told myself. Think.

[Full disclosure: at this point I went and made myself a snack and, no, it was not a healthy one - in fact, its place in the nutrition pyramid was dubious at best.]

nd then it came to me. I had been looking at the emoticons from a superficial point of view - that was my mistake. I needed instead to get inside the sheep, to become one with the sheep, to understand the deeper, implied message of the sheep.

Okay, it sounds kind of stupid when I write it out like that, but, believe me, I kind of had a thing there - a moment of spectacular clarity - with the little symbols.


Anyway...allow me to share with you my interpretation of the deeper meaning of some of these petite pictorial punctuators and I bet you'll soon be scattering them throughout your electronic correspondence with gusto.

I know I will.

I feel really bah-ah-ahdly about how things ended the other night. (If you've got a decent JFK impression, now's the time to whip it out.)

It's days like this that make me pine for the attentions of a licensed healthcare provider.

Or a landscaper/fry cook.

Hey! There's a RuPaul special on TV tonight!

I disagree with my psychiatrist. I think there are some real advantages to having multiple personalities.

Can I list my appearance on my friend's nannycam on my acting resume? I mean, I really nailed it.

I am sick to hell of flying coach.

OMG, you are so naive.

Note to self: get Botox.

Don't forget: clog-dancing lesson this Tuesday!

I've also come up with some emoticons that, as far as I know, do not yet exist, but which I think you'll agree definitely should, including:
  • jar of Vaseline
  • cocktail weenie
  • pantyliner (regular for PC, thong for Mac)
  • tire track
  • Cool Ranch Dorito
  • minuteman missile
  • banana slug
I think the meanings of these emoticons require no interpretation.

Thank You...
Pseudonymous High School Teacher for linking to my Mad Libs Christmas letter! Lizzie at
Infectious Chatter for the cool Proximidade Award!

...and to
Pooba for this:

Monday, December 22, 2008

We [VERB] You A Merry Christmas

I want to share this year's family holiday newsletter with all of you!

Ask Family and Friends to Supply the Missing Words, Then Read the Letter Aloud and Stand Back for Holiday Hilarity!


Well, here we are at the end of another [ADJECTIVE] year. We hope this holiday letter finds you well as you celebrate this joyous season of [HOLIDAY]. 2008 has been [ADJECTIVE] yet [ADJECTIVE] for us, with the children continuing to [VERB] like crazy. Morticia is in 4th grade now, and if she could sum up the year so far in a single word, it would be "[EXCLAMATION]!" She continues to play the [MUSICAL INSTRUMENT] and has performed in several recitals this year. Third-grader Gomez also has continued with his [MUSICAL INSTRUMENT] lessons and recitals and even has composed a [NOUN]. On the sports front, both children attend weekly [VIOLENT SPORT] training sessions. We experienced a [ADJECTIVE] change in our household earlier this year when we got two [PLURAL BABY ANIMAL]. It's been a [ADJECTIVE] transition, with many of our furnishings being [ADJECTIVE] if not completely [VERB ENDING IN "ED"] up. But they sure are cute. Jon Bon Jovi has had a busy and rewarding year at work and Anna continues to write and [VERB]. In addition, she began blogging six months ago, an activity she finds both [ADJECTIVE] and [ADJECTIVE]. She and Jon Bon Jovi have stepped up their [VIOLENT SPORT] training, which explains why they [VERB] funny. In short, life is [ADJECTIVE] and we are grateful. As always, we wish you, our [PLURAL NOUN], the happiest of holiday seasons and a new [NOUN] filled with joy and good health. Take care and we hope to [VERB] you soon.


Anna, Jon Bon Jovi, Morticia and Gomez

Breaking News

The results of the most recent humor-writing contest at were just released and I'm excited to announce that I won 2nd Place - what a cool surprise! The title of my piece is "Invasion of the Body-Hair Snatchers" and you can read it here.

Record Secret Santa Loot Haul

I participated in the Secret Santa Swap hosted by Kori at Between a Whisper and a Roar and it was big fun. Thanks to Cassie at Southern Domestic Goddess (my Secret Santa) for all the wonderful goodies: holiday jelly beans, notepad, awesome scented candle and cosmetic case filled with all kinds of tasty eucalyptus luxuries. I raked! Thanks to Kori and Cassie!

100% Increase in Slacking Projected for Christmas Week

That's right, I'll be taking this week off to sit around in my chenille bath robe with my head in a bag of Chili Cheese Fritos watching "The Bodyguard" and yelling at my kids to put down the stupid Nintendo and come rub momma's feet like you promised and while you're at it pitch these old pizza boxes out the back door, will ya for meditation and soul-cleansing. I'll be back with a new post, though, on Monday, Dec. 29!

In the meantime, holiday wishes and my favorite Christmas song ever...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Brace Yourself, Kid.

Does This Bother Anyone But Me?

It was Barbie who broke the news to me that, unlike her, I would never have a 4-inch waist coupled with a pneumatic double-D bustline and size-nothing, golden lotus feet. Fine. I'm trying to get over it. I personally think that's about as bracing as a toy experience should be, life-lesson wise.

So I was flipping through the FAO Schwarz catalog a few days ago and came across this:

It's called "Food Chain Friends."

Really? Is this what we're doing to the children now?

(As an aside, I think
they're playing pretty fast and loose with the word "friends" considering they're biting each others' bodies in half. I think a downgrade at least to "Food Chain Frenemies" is in order.)

Yeah, yeah, I know that's how the world works, "dog eat dog" and all that. And I know every creature is known by at least one other creature as, simply, "lunch." (With the exception of humans, who are much too clever to end up as anyone's lun--Hey! What's that hot, musky breath on my neck?)

Since when are toys based on Mother N
ature's harsh realities? Don't children absorb enough of life's tough lessons

Here are a few other "reality-preparation" toys I hope not to see on the shelves anytime
ever soon:

"The Hot Flash" Action Figure
Pose "The Hot Flash" in a variety of real-life action positions, including throwing open a window, fanning herself with a restaurant menu and trying to climb into the refrigerator.

Middle-Aged Mort
Meet Mort: he's in a soul-killing job, he's strapped with alimony payments and he could use more fiber in his diet. Plush figure comes with battery-operated "Action Paunch."

"Taxes: The Musical" - Interactive CD

Giving a big, fat piece of the pie to Uncle Sam has never been so
much fun! (Includes extended music video of the smash hit "Hit Me, FICA, One More Time" and six new auditor avatars!)

The Game of Mortality
Draw cards to assemble your family medical history, then spin the dial to calculate your estimated life expectancy. Fun for all ages!

"He Said/She Said" - The High-Stakes Game of Romance
Players take turns racing the clock as they try to decode baffling relationship phrases such as
"I was looking at her but I wasn't looking at her", "Is that what you're wearing to the party?" and "I'm fine. No, really, I'm fine."

Big thanks to Wendy at Wenderful and The Rambler at My Rambling Thoughts for including my silly blog acronyms (from a couple of posts ago) in their wonderful blogs! Thank you so much!

And if you missed MuseSwing's Christmas in Bloggyland Tour earlier this week - good news! It's not too late! You can catch the sleigh here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Several Things, One of Them Sucky

What's Next - A Bouncer?

This little sign appeared on our 8-year-old son's door yesterday:

Now how am I going to unload all these dang Girl Scout cookies?

One More Thing to Worry About

So I was reading this book in my house the other day. (I don't think it's of consequence in which room I was reading, exactly. Suffice it to say I was sitting down.) Anyway...I was reading about black holes. Have you heard ab
out these things? They're crazy!

Basically, a black hole can result when a huge star dies out and collapses upon itself, compressing into a single point with no radius and infinite density. (Lost yet? Join the club.) This single point is so dense that even light can't escape it. (That sound is my mind breaking.)

[Flashback to my high school senior physics class, in which we spent approximately 72 months studying waves. Nothing but waves. Each lab table had a pan like you'd use to dip a paint roller, and attached to the pan was a tiny model plane engine hooked to a windshield-wiper blade. Now, if conditions were just right, you'd turn on the tiny engine and the wiper blade would smack the surface of the water in the pan, making perfect, regular waves that you could measure. Conditions were, of course, never right. Instead, there would be at each table the equivalent of an airboat turned on its side in a dank bayou, spewing funky water on us and making my hair all fuzzy from the humidity. Only Unibrow Guy could make that dang contraption work. (Side note: Unibrow Guy went on to attend Cal Tech, but he also kept female hair samples in a Tupperware in his backpack, so that all kind of evens out in my book.) Anyway, it didn't really matter if we got our wave machines to work because all that was riding on it was college admission. But no pressure. Takeaway: my physics teacher had a highly suspect goatee. And that pretty much sums up my grasp of physics.]

Okay, so there's a boundary around this super-dense point called an event horizon. (Yes, I think there
was a movie by that title!) Anything that crosses that boundary gets sucked into the super-dense point in the center and, well, hammered to crap.

Does anyone else find this troubling? I like dangers that I can understand and, if necessary, kick in the juevos then run away from.

So here's a real-life description of the black hole experience:

It says in this book that if you were to sashay across an event horizon, it would look to an outside observer like you were moving more and more slowly but never actually reaching the horizon. (Okay, now I can understand what they're saying, because that's exactly the effect when I am, say, heading to a mammogram appointment or PTA event-planning committee meeting.)

To the person actually crossing the horizon, however, nothing special occurs until you are (surprise!) crushed to death at the center point. (Once again, that certainly rings true with my experience at both of the above-mentioned appointments.)

As we all know, of course (guffaw), this whole idea flies in the face of the law of quantum mechanics, which states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed. The black hole theory poses a dilemma for physicists that continues today and which has drawn comment from several quarters over the years:

"God does not play dice with the universe."
~ Albert Einstein (confirmed smarty-pants with wild-ass hair)

"God not only plays dice. He sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen."
~ Stephen Hawking (confirmed smarty-pants and physics superstar)

"It looks more like Pictionary to me, guys. What is that, an anteater? A yam? No, wait - a garden gnome!"
~ Anna Lefler (confirmed crackpot and wave-machine reject)

Moving On

I've got a new post up on LA Moms Blog, FYI. Full disclosure: this one is not intended to be funny (like the Jeff Foxworthy one was), but is more on the, hmmm, introspective side.

Also, one of my newest favorite places to visit out there in the blogosphere is
Life at Willow Manor. Willow runs a truly classy joint and it's easy to see how she has acquired her robust following. Imagine my glee when she included my recent silly blog acronyms in one of her posts! Thanks, Willow!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We Mock What We Don't Understand

Is there anything more wonderful at the holidays than spending time with family and special friends?

This Christmas season is extra special because one of my dearest friends happens to be in town and I'm happy to be hosting him in our home for a few days.

Everybody, say hello to Whitey:

Whitey and I go way back (man, could I tell you some stories), but underneath he's just your average dude, ready to coast through vacation and do a few of his favorites things... rock climbing...

...hanging out in the yard...

...and diving into a fantastic book.

Whitey's no slacker, though:

As house guests go, he really pulls his weight.

Only Whitey's closest friends know his softer, more philosophical side...

...the one that believes we should all take time to stop and smell the roses.

As a hostess, I try to provide anything he might need while he's here...

...whether he's turning in for the night...

...or chillaxin' to some Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass.

Hey, Whitey...

...tell' em about that thing you did in Panama that time, you know, with the bacon and the ping-pong paddle. [*snort*]


Aw, no, man! You want to get your heart stomped on like last time?

Besides, she's too tall - too tall!

Man, I can not talk to him when he gets that look on his face.

So, get this: Ann, whose blog happens to be called Ann's Rants (there's a sweet coincidence - the perfect storm!), has paid me the immense honor of posting my list of silly blog acronyms (previous post) on her sidebar. That's right - I said sidebar. I mean, no one ever changes their sidebar, right? (I, for one, have not updated mine since 1978.) I look forward to seeing them there for years to come.

In the meantime, however, if you have not yet had the pleasure of visiting Ann's pad, you definitely should - she's smart, sly, a terrific writer and...I'll just say it: a minx. (There's also a rumor floating around the 'Net that she knows her way around a pair of nunchucks.) Thank you so much, Ann!

Big thanks also to Brenda Jean at In The Treetop for the Lemonade Award (available for viewing in the luscious sidebar at right) AND to Little Everyday Things for an awesome shout-out during the recent SITS holiday greetings event. More great blogs a-go-go!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Powerless Over Twitter

I've Got a Birdie on My Back, Man

It's not that this isn't a nice place, because it is.

It's lovely, in fact.

There are gardens with roses and wisteria and comfy benches. Through the gardens run paved paths that don't hurt your feet through the terry-cloth slippers they give you when you first arrive. When I'm a little stronger, they'll let me walk along the cliff path so I can look at the ocean.

The building is lovely, too. It's a rambling, white structure with plenty of picture windows and shiny wood floors. My room is on the second story and overlooks a small, tiled fountain that burbles day and night. I have a heavenly feather bed and a private bathro
om filled with fluffy towels and crystal jars of bath salts.

Like I said: lovely, right?

Well, you can have my room because first chance I get, I'm goin' over the wall.

That's right. Why? Because I'm disconnected. Out of the loop. Off the grid. That's how I've felt ever since they...[sob]...
they made me give up my Twitter.

I've been in here a week now, so it's getting a little easier for me to talk about it...

It started so innocently. I kept hearing about this social networking site called "Twitter," so I checked it out and I was..

Here were all these people, sending out tiny messages ("tweets") about what they were doing or thinking:

Leaving for work. Cat puked on rug again. Acted like I didn't see it. Wife is going to freak when she discovers.

May parents are total asshats! No WAY and I spending Xmas vaca away from Darryl!! Bite it, Mom & Dad!

PrincessMommyLA Since her husband got sick, "T" has dropped so much weight. It's not fair - she gets all the breaks.

Before I knew it, I had a personal profile page and was sending out little tweets of my own.

Then something magical happened: I got a follower! That's right, someone out there wanted to read my tweets - how about that? Pretty soon I had dozens - then hundreds - of followers (my "tweeps") and I was following hundreds, too.

It was like being plugged into a kaleidoscope of tiny little reality shows, each with its own star and story line...and I was invested in every one of them:

GramHugs is going to the store now. Hope she remembers to buy Depends, although how could she forget after what happened at her niece's wedding?

AngryTater is stuck making 40 cotton-ball Santas for her daughter's class. When, oh, when will she learn to stop volunteering for everything?

HoracetheSlayer is going deer hunting this weekend. Shame on you, Horace! I hope Bambi eats your face off.

Apparently, it was about this time that my turncoat family decided I was - what was the word they used? Oh, right:

Excuse me, but I don't see the difference between Twitter and their hobbies like golf or clog dancing or looping potholders or whatever. Sheesh, you forget the pick the kids up at school a few times and everyone has a cow and attacks your lifestyle.

So, after one particularly ugly incident during which m
y laptop was seized by the vice principal during the Middle Child's school production of "The Magnificent Seven," it was decided that I should spend some quiet time away and "reflect on my priorities."

In other words, they cut me off from my tweeps and stuck me in here on a technology time out.

Oh, sure, I've played along. I've talked to their counselors. I've sat through their intervention sessions, which cover things like this:

Signs that you may have an unhealthy relationship with Twitter:
  • You've been wearing the same dingy sweatpants for four days straight.
  • You've tweeted during your job performance review, sex and/or childbirth.
  • Your conversations consist solely of condensed, 160-character yelps.
  • You no longer answer to your given name, but you respond immediately to "BitterMomof3."
Well, that's a little judgmental, don't you think? Anyway, it doesn't matter because I'm out of here. I'm bustin' out of Twitter rehab and going back to my life...and my computer.

All those people who were so concerned (my husband, kids, former boss, mother, mailman, pastor, meter reader and prison pen pal) don't get it. They think I can't handle it, but I can.

I can stop anytime I want.

Say, is that a Blackberry you've got there? Mind if I borrow it for a moment? I just need to do one little thing - it won't take long at all.

Please? You'd really be helpin' me out.

Just one tweet,
man. Seriously.

That's all I'm askin'.

Monday, December 1, 2008

[Insert Awful Tennis Pun of Choice Here]

Inexplicably, I have tennis elbow.

Whatever, right? Right, except that the last time I swung a tennis racket I was wearing Roll-on Kissing Potion, my clarinet case was leaning against the chain-link fence and I was sporting a pink Izod shirt with the collar popped so high that it folded my earlobes. Now, that's some late-friggin'-onset tennis elbow.

I'm beginning to consider, however, the credibility of a second option that, in light of certain evidence, see
ms most plausible:

I think I'm playing tennis in my sleep.

That's right - I think I'm sleep-tennising. C'mon, you've read weirder things in the Internet. Everyone readily accepts the phenomenon of sleep-walking...can sleep-sports be far behind?

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense, really. All the signs are there:
  • The sudden appearance of a flock of those snow-white, frilly tennis-diaper-cover thingies in the laundry hamper
  • My recent obsession with Bjorn Borg - or is it Martina Navratilova? (Dammit.)
  • The fact that I have adopted Monica Seles' signature grunt for any activity requiring even the slightest exertion (Passing the green beans at dinner - "UNH!" Applying mascara - "UNH!" Answering the phone - "UNH!")
  • My new habit when helping out in my kids' classrooms of yelling "FAULT!" whenever one of the children answers a question incorrectly
  • The judgmental way Jon Bon Jovi (not my husband's real name) was looking at me this morning when I woke up and discovered I was wearing a read-white-and-blue-striped terry cloth headband...and sneakers.
Of course, I have questions about my new sleep-tennis lifestyle. Many questions.

For instance, which club have I joined? Does it have valet parking? Do they make a decent Monte Cristo sandwich? Are the dues such that I can effectively hide them from Jon Bon Jovi? Do they host a holiday dinner dance and, if so, am I on the decorations committee?

And what about my tennis-playing? Am I ranked? Should I be boning up for the state championships? Or wait - what if I got tennis elbow not from playing tennis but from repeatedly hoisting courtside gin and tonics and signaling for reloads of cocktail weenies? What if I'm one of those Mrs. Robinson types who goes to the club just to lounge around in a gold lame caftan and ogle the taut, young cabana boys?


Hey, back off, man - everyone needs a hobby.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for my afternoon nap...

Le Thanks

I'm tickled pink to receive the
Encouraged Award from The Wife of Riley! (((Hug.)))

Blicky Kitty has gone and created her own personal award, of which I am a very proud recipient. It's Blicky Kitty's Blogs Worth Stalking Award and you can see it here (as well as in my sidebar). Meow-meow and thanks-thanks!

Big thanks to
Ashley and JenniferSusan for the Proximidade Award!

And I've been tagged by
Elizabeth, Nicole, Hula, Brooke, and Mandy for some very cool memes that I have not yet had the chance to tackle. Thanks for taggin' me up!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Keeping Up With the Clauses

Sending Warmest Holiday Wishes

From Our House (see arrow)

To Yours.

Jonesing for more holiday wishes?
Well, then haul your Christmas ham over to
The Secret Is In The Sauce, where they've got holiday cheer
coming out their holly-embellished wazoos and
(Christmas bonus) you might just win a prize!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Linksgiving!

"Ladies and Gentlemen...
Start Your Ovens"

As I sit writing this (wow, that sounds either lah-tee-dah literary or like I'm writing from prison - your call), it is the day before Thanksgiving and I already am beginning to bloat in anticipation of all the food upon which I shall chow (ok, that was definitely literary) in the coming fortnight (paging Jane Austen!).

I have much to be thankful for (I know I dangled it - if I say it the long way it just sounds snooty) and I try to keep my blessings top of mind throughout the year, giving daily thanks for The Biggies such as churros and the health and well-being of my loved ones.

This post, however, goes out to my newest friends - my bloggy loved ones - who, in the few short months since I started this little roadside attraction, have stopped by (some many, many times) to encourage, inspire, entertain and support me. (And, yes, occasionally make me spew Mountain Dew out my nose with laughter.)

So, as I fire the starter pistol and wave the checkered flag o' mirth and we burn rubber into the official holiday season, I want to thank each and every subscriber, follower and commenter for being a part of whatever the hell this is. (Except maybe the guy who left the comment that looked like a comment at first but actually was 50 pounds of HTML directing people to his online lingerie store. Nice try, dude - like in this economy people are buying anything but
used lingerie. *snort*)

Please forgive my inability to send each of you an individual shout-out, but I hope you'll enjoy visiting some of the folks who go out of their way to make the blogosphere a place worth visiting.

Since The Outlaws (a much better name than The Inlaws, in my opinion) will be visiting for the holiday and it happens to be Morticia's (not my daughter's real name) birthday as well, I will leave this post up for the long weekend, which I hope will give you time to click on the links and do some worthwhile surfing as you digest Ye Olde Turkeye.

Glitter-Covered Thanks To...

Beth Kephart for not making the highly reasonable assumption that I was an Internet stalker with photos of National Book Award finalists taped up all over the inside of my locker.

Nanny Goats in Panties for not making me drive all the way to Sacramento and violate her personal space to give her the Heimlich maneuver. (Yes, that's how it's spelled. I know, I thought it was "Hind Lick," too! But it's not.)

Blicky Kitty for illuminating Albert Camus' inner Phyllis Diller.

La Belette Rouge for touching me each and every time I visit...but not, you know, in an inappropriate way.

Marinka for teaching me the genius parenting trick of bribing my children with ice cream and Webkinz when I'm trying to pry one of Daddy's secrets out of them.

Happy Meals and Happy Hours for sharing her tips on decorating with huge, blow-up birds wearing hats.

Chelle B. for founding in spite of the fact that it means she'll be spending the rest of her life putting up with a big bunch of freaks who all think they're soooo funny.

Tiffany and Heather at The Secret Is In The Sauce who looked the other way on the 'stache and welcomed me into one of the nicest groups of broads on the 'Net.

Nikkicrumpet, whose blog always makes cry, but only because she keeps posting pictures of glazed doughnuts. (What am I, made of titanium?) Other than that, it's hilarious.

Tug, who is 19 and a fellow enthusiast of "The Knife Show" and who is concerned that if he died suddenly, his legacy would be a lot of "gay" music on his iPod.

MuseSwings, who takes no guff from the other kids waiting to see the orthodontist and who claims to work from an "officette."

Rhea for having the courage to go public about the stuffed animal conspiracy to take over our infrastructure.

Kiki, with her powerful gaucho boot/Lawrence Welk mojo in full effect.

TattooedMinivanMom for putting up posts with titles like "The Gauntlet of Whores" - about people she actually knows.

Always Home and Uncool for having wicked reflexes for catching vomit in his bare hands.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher because, despite the fact that she lives in breathtaking Hawaii, still shows up to class - in a big way.

Larry G, for not letting his enjoyment of cooking on charcoal get in the way of being a true romantic.

HoratioSalt for breaking important satirical news stories such as the fate of Iron Man's rival "Pewter Man."

Braja, who lives in India where there is, surprisingly, not one decent burrito stand.

Eudea-Mamia, who sniffs all the fancy soaps in the soap aisle and calls the items in her underwear drawer her "unmentionables." Wait, I wasn't supposed to mention them. Dang!

CassouletCafe, who's pretty sure she accidentally ate a cat.

Amusing Muses, who possess loads of qualities both amusing and muse-like.

Tessa, through whose blog I have a secret window into a part of the U.K. countryside so charming that I'm quite sure the rabbits wear velvet waistcoats and carry pocket watches.

[Cartoon created by Rick at Organized Doodles]

Enjoy - thanks again to all of you -
and have a safe and smooth Thanksgiving!