Monday, October 27, 2003

back an old haunt

I went back to one of my old haunts after almost six months of absence. Yes, I went back to Greenhills. Although we were there for only a few hours and spent most of the time in the Shoppesville area, it was a good kind of rush... even if we were tired and spent after shopping. Where else can you get five nice shirts for PhP2,500 (roughly US$50)? Am going back after having my birthday thingy. There are still some pieces that I'm eyeing for when I have a little more extra money. So there. Shopping. Pastime, therapy, way of life.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

sabado nights

Ooh. Time in at work today at 6:41 pm. Wonderful. This is some kind of torture actually, borne by the entire I.T. department. Most of the I.T. staff are here in the office today because yesterday was the month-end commission cutoff and today we have to "stand guard" while the system is running, computing the commissions and overrides and doing initial checking because we've had so many changes to the system.

[an hour later]

The HELL... apparently Accounting isn't done with all their entries for the system! We haven't even started running. You see my work starts after the run itself. AND WE HAVEN'T STARTED YET! I'm going to the Santugon party now. Feh.

Friday, October 24, 2003

freaky friday

bad stomach
commission cutoff toxicity
no money
wonderful day for me!

i'm going home

Thursday, October 23, 2003

on endings

Studio 23 recently aired the last episode of Dawson's Creek, culminating in the death of one of the cast members (and no, it's not Jen's grandma). As per the storyline, it's been ten years since Jen moved to Capeside, Joey was climbing ladders into Dawson's bedroom, and Pacey was a problematic underachiever. Since the season when manic-depressive Andie left to be institutionalized and Joey and Pacey started dating, I didn't really follow Dawson's Creek except for that one episode after a few years when Joey and Pacey were locked in a K-mart together and they used all the stuff there (looked like fun--I think that was one of the fantasies of my childhood, although nerd that I was, I fantasized about being locked in National bookstore after hours... bad idea: no food).

Anyway, "fast forward to a few years later", Jack is still gay but having a hard time maintaining a relationship, Joey still has that goofy look and is now a book editor, Dawson's hair is mercifully short--he is the writer-producer of a TV show loosely based on the goings-on in Capeside and still in love with Joey, Pacey is a hotshot businessman but still in love with Joey too, and Jen has a one-year-old daughter and is dying. Yes, it is Jen's funeral that ends it all. But they were able to wrap it all up: Jack and his boyfriend make up and go public with their love, Jack promises to take care of Jen's baby, Joey and Pacey end up together, Dawson overcomes his writer's block for his semi-autobiographical series and finally comes to terms with his life.

It's so nice to think that everything can be neatly wrapped up in an "ending". In a bridal magazine recently (thanks to D&A's preparations, I am constantly browsing -but not buying- bridal magazines), I saw a fairy-tale themed wedding and in one of the pictures the bride and groom were kissing, with a flower girl in front holding up a sign saying "and they lived happily ever after..." It all ends like that, doesn't it? The boy gets the girl, everyone is happy. But it doesn't end up that way in real life does it? Because there are really no endings, only constant change. A wedding is not an ending, it is a beginning. Even graduation is called commencement--commence meaning to 'begin', right? We begin real life. Even death, for those with faith, is merely a beginning.

It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy when Pacey and Joey, Wesley and Buttercup, or Jerry Maguire and Dorothy end up together at the end, but of course that's not all there is to it. What happens when they have their first baby? Or when one of them dies? But that's the pessimist in me talking. Actually I'm a sucker for happy endings, evidenced by my constant re-watching of the Two Towers' interspersed scenes of Gandalf and the Rohirrim hordes' arrival at Helm's Deep and the storming of Orthanc by the Ents (thank heavens for DVDs). But the victory at Helm's Deep only foreshadows the greater battle against Mordor, when a greater battle but happier ending will be won. And so in life, there will be many, mini-happy endings. But they come and go, and then you may be dragged in turmoil again; but eventually there's going to be other happy endings, and maybe an ultimate happy ending at the end of this journey.

So here's to endings... which are only actually new beginnings.
Except in movies and fairy tales.
Unless there's a sequel.

Told you I'd write about Dawson's Creek.
posted to


Just had an informal focus group discussion/interview with a consultant from a market research firm. Just the second time that I've been involved in something like that: the first was in McCann-Erickson when I was in high school, Maita dragged me along when they were reviewing a Coke jingle. I really thought it had something to do with smoking because the girl who contacted me specifically asked. So I brought two of my yosi-buddies along.

He was really friendly, of course he had to be to be able to cull information the way that he was doing. He asked about our gimmick habits, where we ate most of the time, where we went shopping... I was wondering where it was all heading, but then I remembered that it was something about "lifestyle". Aaak! Sedentary lifestyle is tops for me! Of course the occasional badminton game (and tournament coming up, from which we are not expecting much anyway)... Well maybe he was trying to determine smoking habits and cigarette brands too. Maybe. I wouldn't know. Anyway, it was all good. Nice lunch with two of my friends and a quite likable person naman.

hoy hoy FPJ

Man, see what you're doing to the country? You just hint that you're about to announce your candidacy, and the peso-dollar rate falls. Sharply, may I add. You've negated the gains brought about by the Bush visit, when the peso gained quite considerably. And what happens when you become President of our beleaugered country, pray tell? After you set your best friend free and clear him of all plunder charges, what then? Will you magically rid this country of debt with your magic sword? Hoy hoy FPJ, are you sure you know what you're doing? To whom are you beholden? Sigh.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

two minutes late

Argh. Was two minutes late for work today--clocked in at 8:02am. Not bad actually, I thought I was going to be more late. Left the house at 7:16, then brought my mom to her office at Roxas Blvd/Buendia extension... and then went all the way back to Makati... I wasn't sure if I saved time by parking at the office (paying an extra PhP10) but at least it was convenient (no walking on gravel pathways), separate elevator. I could get used to this for an extra ten buck each time.

Parking expenses: average of 10 days a month that I bring a car @ PhP110 per day yields PhP1,100 a month on parking alone! Okay so that's not even 5% of my monthly income... but still! Eep! Total cost of bringing a car to work comes around to PhP2,500 a month because of gasoline, car washes and other expenses--and to think that my mom has paid for whatever repairs so far. Tsk tsk... all this thinking about expenses because I was two minutes late for work today. Sigh.

My sister was amused that Studio 23 was airing the last episode of Dawson's Creek a few days after its Filipino copycat Tabing Ilog aired its own final episode, although Dawson's Creek had already ended last year in the States (we are behind, after all). TV series endings have commonly been observed to be let-downs. These two were no exception, although I wasn't able to see the Tabing Ilog ending (apparently, Eds and Rovic renewed their vows, Badong and Corinne are picking up where they left off, George has let go of James--shucks forgive the ka-jologs-an!).

Anyway, I did see the Dawson's Creek ending. More on that later.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

some words from Alanis

excerpt from Hands Clean
Ooh this could be messy
But you don't seem to mind
Ooh don't go telling everybody
And overlook this supposed crime

We'll fast forward to a few years later
And no one knows except the both of us
And I have honored your request for silence
And you've washed your hands clean of this

I noticed that I seem to have more songs than ravings lately. Bad case of writer's block, not to mention dulled senses, repressed creativity, flagging spirit. But I'm writing about that too. Later.

Monday, October 20, 2003

mini-spending spree

Life for Rent - Dido's album containing 'White Flag'... must've listened to that song 40 times over the weekend. Other notable songs are 'Sand in My Shoe' and 'Don't Leave Home'. Ok so I bought the UM copy (LaSallians know what that is), so I'm not really sure if that last track is really supposed to have that bonus song that starts at 7 minutes... As a whole though, the album comes off as a collection of mostly nondescript songs which serve more as a showcase of Dido's melodic voice. But then that's my opinion--you don't really have to trust my taste since I liked 'Limp' by Fiona Apple, 'Stand' by Poison and 'Deeper Shade of Soul' by the Urban Dance Squad. [About the last song--does it show that I liked it?]

New pillows - treated myself to new fluffy fluffy pillows. PhP174.75 each. I love SM.

The Virgin Suicides DVD - haven't watched it yet. Although I really wanted to watch it before. Maybe I will be able to relate.

Saw the Buffy VCDs at Odyssey. Still don't know whether I should buy the boxed set from Amazon (real Amazon, not Quiamazon)... but what if it's available in Quiamazon? I would save 80%! Isn't that ok? Us being a Third World country and all...

Can't decide...
...whether to have my little birthday thingy at home or maybe at a resto. Was thinking of Bento Box--cheap but I really like the food. Nice to have it at home so that you don't have to worry about overflowing drinks (easily covered) and will cost much cheaper. But then I worry about the parking. After all we live in the sideskirts of Makati, where the streets are small with a squatters' area nearby. And our neighbors keep on buying cars without expanding their garages! Grrr! One time a few years ago, I was able to "rent" the parking lot of the church (a block from our house). Maybe I'll be able to do that again. However, we had to get the cars out at 12MN. Well... thinking thinking...

Saturday, October 18, 2003

beating around the Bush

Haha! Talk about trying hard for a title. Anyway, my mom is glued to the TV (and the volume is up REALLY high, I can hear it from my room which is in the other end of the house--but then it's a rather small house). Bush has just finished his speech, and the joint session of the House and Senate has been adjourned.

There were 19 applauses, some commentator mentioned. I was expecting as much, even if Bush's speech was generic in nature, citing the victory in Iraq, the shared history of the Philippines and the US, and the need to be eternally vigilant. My mom was saying, why isn't everyone clapping? But of course most people who were kids during or grew up right after the war, the US is a wonderful country and the savior of all. Let's hope that Bush's promises, however vague some of them were, will actually bear fruit.

I like the United States but I understand where most of the militant groups are coming from; needless to say because I used to share their ideology. But most probably, that won't work here in the Philippines. I believe that if we're going to succeed in our niche in the world right now, it won't hurt to have the biggest capitalist power on our side.

Am having a really bad headache right now (but am still posting). We just came from a meeting with Jaime Santiago, one of the florists that D. and A. are considering for their wedding. He has really good ideas. Of course as so-called coordinator I was there also; but I had to beg off from the meeting with the musicians because of this really bad headache. Add to that Kai's pang-aasar--hmmm take me out to coffee na lang dear, hehe. Maybe it's too hot--time to take a shower.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

time to go

had a busy day at work
boring meetings and trainings
hung out with Kathryn, wonderful person
shared a smoke with co-conspirator and acted like nothing happened
at least G-boy's coming back today
had lunch and merienda cena at O'Bento but nothing compares to Bento Box
and it's that time of month, i'm not used to it anymore

oh and i probably won't have time to post tomorrow because i'm going to renew my license


Wednesday, October 15, 2003

wedding bells

Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof (she was Buffy's Willow and he was Angel's Wesley) recently tied the knot. Hurrah for them (although some people in my PinoySlayer list are disappointed, hihi).

There's this guy who sang Didn't Know I Was Looking for Love to me while he was still with his girlfriend... I heard that he and his girlfriend ended up getting married, a few weeks ago. Good for them. Dysfunction deserves dysfunction. Haha.

my roles in weddings to come
M. and A., Dec. 12, 2003 - usherette
P. and M., Dec. 21, 2003 - lector
A. and S., Dec. 28, 2003 - candle sponsor and emcee
D. and A., May 1, 2004 - veil sponsor, emcee and so-called coordinator

ah, this is the life
hectic December for me then
wonder when my own wedding's going to be
i'm considering marrying my work

At Seventeen

by Janis Ian

I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired
The Valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
Were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth

And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately remained at home
Inventing lovers on the phone
Who called to say "Come dance with me"
And murmured vague obscenities
It isn't all it seems at seventeen

A brown-eyed girl in hand me downs
Whose name I never could pronounce
Said "Pity please the ones who serve,
They only get what they deserve"
And the rich relationed home town queen
Marries into what she needs
With a guarantee of company and haven for the ekderly

Remember those who win the game
Lose the love they sought to gain
In debentures of quality and dubious integrity
The small town eyes would gape at you in dull surprise
When payment due exceeds accounts received at seventeen

To those of us who knew the pain
Of Valentines that never came
And those whose names were never called
When choosing sides for basketball
It was long ago and far away
The world was younger than today
And dreams were all they gave for free
To ugly duckling girls like me

We all played the game and when we dared
To cheat ourselves at solitaire
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lives unknown
They call and say "Come dance with me"
And murmur vague obscenities
At ugly girls like me
at seventeen

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

belated friday five

1. Do you watch sports? If so, which ones?
Yes, the occasional UAAP basketball game, F1 races with Nin and GP, Man U and Real Madrid games (yay Zidane! yay Nistelrooy! and of course cute cute Beckham), badminton sometimes, pool, and some cheerleading and figure skating.

2. What/who are your favorite sports teams and/or favorite athletes?
Four-peat La Salle Green Archers (go Renren!). The grand slam Alaska team and Jolas. Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren. Before Sergei Grinkov died, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov. Zidane, Nistelrooy, Beckham. Jojo Lastimosa, Jojo Lastimosa, Jojo Lastimosa. Oh and Marat Safin just because he's so cute.

3. Are there any sports you hate?
Those that involve combat, like boxing and wrestling.

4. Have you ever been to a sports event?
Yes... (and the point of this question was? hehe)

5. Do/did you play any sports (in school or other)? How long did you play?
I still play badminton. Played a decent table tennis in college (won a frinedly tournament!). And of course there's my mean game of FreeCell...

Monday, October 13, 2003

White Flag

by Dido
I know you think that I shouldn't still love you,
I'll tell you that.
But if I didn't say it, well I'd still have felt it
where's the sense in that?

I promise I'm not trying to make your life harder
Or return to where we were

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

I know I left too much mess and
destruction to come back again
And I caused but nothing but trouble
I understand if you can't talk to me again
And if you live by the rules of "it's over"
then I'm sure that that makes sense

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

And when we meet
Which I'm sure we will
All that was then
Will be there still
I'll let it pass
And hold my tongue
And you will think
That I've moved on....

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

Saw R., the ex of my friend C., on a date last Friday night, rather early Saturday morning. They were both all in black. I knew he recognized me but I hurried away. I wasn't about to have some small talk with him on one of the most depressing nights of my life. Doesn't help that I went out with him a couple of times, too.

Same night. Was supposed to go with Alvin and his friends V. and D. to Dream bar but I was stubbornly trying to do something that didn't happen, and when I wanted to meet up with them they were already on their way home. V., my sometime-classmate from Grade School, had just broken up with J., my former student and ex of one of my good friends. Funnyman Alvin of course suggested that V. and I should trade stories. Hehehe.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Velasquez Park

(transcribed from notebook)

what the hell am i doing here?

the little girl is barking at the cat
a family is on a bench and i ask the mom for a light
the security guy on his bicycle probably checking where we'll throw the butts
and the lady jogging has gone around six times

what the hell am i doing here?

thinking around in circles just like that jogger
hoping epiphany will come with nicotine
thinking about things that should have never come to pass
but how somehow things are looking up for tomorrow

Sabado nights
No, I wasn't on a date. Didn't watch a movie or anything. But it was thoroughly gratifying. I spent most of the evening in Powerbooks reading JLA: Heaven's Ladder and books on home decoration. It was a good three hours. Definitely.

Heaven's Ladder was a bit strange, but quite entertaining. It was about the JLA encountering a superior alien race (to them humans were paramecium) that was around since the Big Bang but had no idea of the afterlife. I can't comment on the art, but it looked good to my untrained (and non-comicbook aficionado) eye. Sometimes the action was boring, but there were some high points, especially as they explored the JLA members' different ideas of the after-life. I especially liked Wonder Woman's statement, "The only way to deny death then is to live each day to its absolute fullest by constantly striving to carve an immortal legend which will server as your eternal legacy... by making the extraordinaty look easy..."

Also from Heaven's Ladder: "There is a sense of nobility and wonder to the universe that cannot be catalogued, only shared... and this can only be realized when we create connections instead of barriers." A bit cheesy, but then, peace has always seemed to be that way.

food odyssey

purple sky above
as natalie croons, "don't talk"
i stare into space

columns of white smoke
join the wispy clouds on high
the full moon looks on

At least when you hit rock-bottom you know there's nowhere to go but up. Thanks for the knock on the head--I knew I was going overboard but couldn't stop.

Thanks P. for that phone call. I needed that.

Friday, October 10, 2003

battered young professionals

Laura Vanderkam wrote about how White-collar sweatshops batter young workers, how last generation's yuppies are now overworked $12-an-hour white-collar workers, brilliant but overworked with 80- to 90-hour workweeks. She also goes on to mention that after all the overwork, some people just go on to get laid off. But the lay-offs and some human nature work together so that the brilliant young people actually think about how they could be better off in life in terms of fulfillment, time and happiness in general.

Struck a raw nerve somewhere because a few months ago I was logging around 75-80 hours of work a week, sometimes spending the night in the office, generally not having much of a life. It led to a rethinking of a relationship, rethinking of the quality of my leisure and home life, rethinking of life and purpose in general.

Right now I'm still averaging around 60 hours a week at work. More often than not I still like what I'm doing although it gets monotonous at times. It's not that bad considering breaks and free internet though. I rather like the people that I work with, too. They're a good and dependable (albeit underpaid--escept for Actuarial) bunch. New office rather sucks, but it's funny that so far I've been spending more time here than I used to at the old one. Food Odyssey at the 11th floor helps. Hehe.

The thing is, when I was working all those hours, I felt needed. I felt I was a vital cog in that whopper of a project for our agents' compensation.

Would I do it over? Yes, definitely. Was it worth it? Now that I can't answer off the top of my head. There are, of course, pros and cons. The realization that my relationship was not "the one" was a noteworthy effect. The disruption of my body clock was not. There was bonding with my officemates, but there was also some tension on the home front because I was rarely there. But I did it, I got Employee of the Quarter props while at it, and was able to pay off most of my debts because of all the overtime pay. So yes, I believe it was worth it.

But only for the same two months that I had the office as my home. More than that and I would have to put my foot down.

I think it should only get you down if you allow it to get you down; after all, you should have it in you to realize when you're going too far. But if I were to do that for more than two months on end, I don't think I could take it. So after those two months I made it a point not to work overtime for a while; and I up and signed on for a few visits to a spa.

I can't deny that I still wish I could have a job at which it seems like I'm at play; but this comes quite close because I've found that I'm having quite a bit of fun anyway. You know, if I do realize that this really isn't worth it, I'm definitely out of here. But so far, when I ask myself is there something else I would be doing rather than I.T.-related work with some freelance writing, nice people to work with, and ample time to spend with my family and friends (not to mention Buffy and CSI), the answer still comes out no.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

friendster this and friendster that

Been quite active on Friendster--it's something to do during lunchtime and when I get really riled with work, which is why I haven't been having daily blogs, my bad.

It's just funny how some people actually check out how many friends other people have ("ay you only have 39 friends"), or try to outdo each other. There are even cliques and everything!

Anyway, I do have 39 friends on Friendster but the most important thing to me right now is that there are some people whom I've practically dug up from the recesses of my high school memories; and I'm glad for that. I don't know what the fascination or obsession is with this Friendster thing but just for that at least it's doing some good.

One more thing. I'm finding out that I'm in the "older" batch of Friendster people. Aaak! Of course I've never acted my age, so there.

Happy day.

and so it goes...
Said co-conspirator from last Friday night is hell-bent on trying to act as if nothing happened. Well. I should have expected that.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

convo in the morning

Me: (calling a certain cellphone number)

Him: Hey!

Me: Happy Birthday ****!

Him: Yeah, right, happy birthday to me!

[small talk about his brother leaving and our office transfer]

Me: Hey, my office is so close to your office now! Let's have coffee sometime.

Him: Yeah, sure, hey, gotta go.

Why is he so scared of having effing coffee (see-ho-hef-hef-hee-hee) with me???

Monday, October 06, 2003

and the transfer is final

We've moved!
And, oh, the agony of it all!
No internet since Thursday afternoon.
No network last Friday.
Much stricter office.
And a much smaller workarea.
With no keyboard tray yet.

aak! I must learn...
  • not everyone is trustworthy, maybe even someone whom you think is your friend (I don't want to believe the above because I like all my friends)
  • a kiss is still a kiss, but it may mean different things to different people
  • my subconscious self that seems to come out after a few shots of alcohol could be a better, more morally upright person
  • to stop obsessing over something that seems to have no meaning at all and about which no one else is obsessing
  • to be careful not to fall in love with the wrong person and for all the wrong reasons YET AGAIN
Oh well.

Ger-ber going
Byebye Ger-ber. Will miss you for the next two weeks.

Friday night. You take a few beers after years without a tinge of alcohol. Inhibitions lost, the stage is set for waking up on Saturday morning with a hangover of a quite different sort, the last of which you thought you'd experienced when you were much younger and foolhardy.

Friday night. The hangover starts then. It's that sinking feeling you get after you do something infinitely stupid and live to tell the tale. Of course, people never do set out to do something infinitely stupid. It always seems like a good idea at the time. So you go out and do it. And right smack in the middle of it, you recoil in stunned disbelief, almost in horror. What have you done?

You get saved by the proverbial bell from doing something that you would further regret, but that doesn't really seem to matter because you have already crossed the line. And then you think about why you did it in the first place. Of course as they always say, alcohol does not make you forget yourself so that you don't know what you're doing--instead you just lose your inhibitions. And you spend quite a few minutes thinking what was it inside you that made you behave that way, and was it something that you really wanted in the first place. You gasp inwardly as you come to the conclusion that it was; somewhere deep inside you despite your exhortations to the contrary, it was something you actually wanted to happen.

Aside from you, only a select few know what really happened that night, which is maybe what worries you more--that someone else was in on it with you. And you rely on them to keep up their end of the deal and not talk. It is something like a gentleman's agreement but it seems you have more to lose. You wonder if they will ever talk; you wonder how their perception of you changed; and you wonder if it changed their opinion of you--because you wonder (worry) about those things, trivial as it may seem to others.

So you just have to face the consequences of your actions. You deal. And because it's a well-kept secret, you have to deal with the hardest of things: the knowledge of the deed and your own conscience. Because so much can be lost on the actions of just one night, and we almost always find out in hindsight.

Posted to

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Happy Birthdays

My one and only daddy

and also, my ex-fafa Sting


Wednesday, October 01, 2003

first day of the month

Was supposed to have a massage at the spa near our office last night but something was amiss with the regional office and I had to stay late. Boohoo... missed out on the 50% discount which was only until yesterday. Bah, work... really gets in the way of personal gratification.

Got here 7:05am. Officemate was already here. He's a bit on the strange side. Anyway, he was sitting in front of his PC in the dark. I wondered if he didn't know how to switch on the lights. He did though, but only when I mentioned it to him--apparently that was the only time that he realized that he could. Funny, strange person.

La Salle lost to Ateneo in a game that ended with another fracas, this time involving even former players and other alumni. I'm all for school spirit and everything, but I think this is getting out of hand. As I told Imo (who is from Ateneo), I've always had delusions of grandeur and sportsmanship with regards to both our schools and this is definitely bursting my bubble. Bah, jocks.

Congratulations though Ateneo! It was a job well done. Although the fight in the finals (against FEU) seems quite even. Oh well, Archers. We've had our streak of championships. It's time to rebuild the team and start anew. Who knows, maybe next year?

Feel bad because it's the birthday of our barkada here in the office today and because of too much work (remember, 2am in the office last Sunday), we weren't able to organize any surprise. I really have this thing for birthdays (and Christmas). Oh well. Lloyd was asking for a brand new car and we're going to get him a Matchbox. Teehee.

Finished LoEG. More on that later or tomorrow.

It's October, my favorite month. Dad's birthday tomorrow, my own birthday Halloween Eve.

Don't sit beside me, weird person, I'm trying to freaking blog here before office hours start, and I don't particularly want you breathing over my shoulder checking out what I write. Grrr!

By the way, time for me to mention:
Bipolar Disorder

Wanna find out what Psych-Ward you belong to?


Good morning, good morning!