Morning After... yes, I do know how late in the day it is. I've only been up for a couple of hours and that was mostly in a fog. I sleep days. It's a perk. It's a big perk in my life and I enjoy it.

But one of the things I need to get done today is taken care of. My long-awaited White Castle burgers are merrily circling around and around in the new microwave. It's even black. A tiny little point, but I like black appliances better than white ones.

Oh, that was fast. And they're so good. I had forgotten how great that was. I feel completely decadent at the moment. That was breakfast. That was one of the best breakfasts I've had in years - it's the first meal of the day so it counts as breakfast.

That didn't exist when I was a kid. Though there were White Castle burger joints, definitely. Proportionally, in my lifetime, I have seen more change to the physical artifacts of the place where I live than maybe centuries would have brought anywhere else. I should say anywhen else.

As a kid, we used to talk about these things sometimes. My family was a little odd, we were always odd. We were bookish and Dad was a scientist and we didn't just stick to sports scores and repeating cliches. All those folk sayings, all those tried and true maxims like Tried and True, get repeated over and over in conversations I've overheard. At the shelter they were one of the main topics of conversation. Someone would bring one up, then everyone would repeat it. But they aren't always timely and 'tried and true' thinking at the very least needs to be taken generally. My family had more of a troubleshooting approach.

Technology literally changes custom. When I was that young, Mom was trying so hard to live by society's definitions of womanhood and for that matter, everything. Life had a different pace. That's cliche, isn't it, that life had a different pace?

The pace then was one of agonizing stress and a hideous amount of fuss over things that don't generally matter much to people now. That's not the cliche observation, it's what my real memories tell me that time was. It gets idealized nostalgically sometimes. It's easy to see why from the underside of the rock, because then, it was a lot more important to put up a facade that everything was Nice and Normal, normal being simultaneously viciously competitive and miserably self conscious, often formal.

Then, dinner was served at the table every night and formal. There were no dishwashers. There were no microwaves. There were no kids independently taking care of themselves with those robot conveniences either, there was a lot of physical work involved in those meals. Mom had a full time job. I can remember when my baby sister was born, the amount of cotton diapers that she had to launder was astonishing. They didn't have Pampers or anything like that. It was pieces of cloth and giant safety pins that looked as if she could stab through to my sister's hip if she got it wrong. I was amazed at the diaper pins and amazed babies survived that process, I was three going on four at the time and the diaper pins were very large and sharp to me and I wasn't coordinated enough to use safety pins without sticking myself a few times. Biographical irrelevancies. But people use paper diapers now and environmentalists are concerned with the sheer amount of waste involved. Versus detergents and vast quantities of soap. I expect the next direction to move with that is 'paper diapers that break down quickly and harmlessly in landfill' more than that people would want to go back to handwashing rags before they go into the washing machine because the washing machine would break down on baby poop. I still have no clear idea of how they handled that in the stone age, though Jean Auel did mention just holding the kid out to drip and then wiping child.

Things were simply a lot harder. Day to day things were a lot harder to do.

That has changed custom, tremendously. The painful, formal, stressed family dinners with Everyone At The Table where anything you said or how you held your fork could be and would be held against you gave way to people eating buffet style from the kitchen. It started to shift, in big houses like my grandmother's, from eating in the dining room formally with the best china and dressing up for it instead of wearing scruffy stuff you wore to play outside in during the summer, to just eating at the kitchen table and talking normally about whatever was up. Then the buffet moved out of the kitchen into the living room or TV room.

TV is not a living bard whose artistic sensibilities are offended by custom if anyone speaks during the performance. TV isn't even a theatre where other people in another row will hush you. TV is social, something that the people when I was a kid who ranted against the hours and hours people spend watching it don't necessarily recognize. In a family, what's on is in some way a group experience whether someone's hogging the remote (a modernism) or not. And it's going to be discussed and critiqued and reacted to while it's going on. You can't offend the TV. The TV is the passive entertainer sitting there just being, the channel gets changed, people interact, people love or hate the content and talk about that.

On Thursday nights, I eat over at my friend Andrew's house. Georgia and Andrew and I will fill our plates buffet style in the kitchen, then sit in the living room watching Jeopardy and talking and guessing the answers. It's warm, it's friendly, it's familiar - and compared to those days it's shocking! That's 'with guests over' - and intimate family or close freinds were still Guests. Guests, one had to keep a perfect facade with, Guests meant extreme tension.

The news reports an incredible level of domestic violent crime today. In my view, based on people I've known and homes I visited then and survivors of it that I knew who are my age - that's the difference in custom that domestic violence is reported and is no longer considered something to hide so completely that no one in the world can tell. There is still some shame about reporting it - but if it goes over the top, it's socially acceptable to just walk and call it a crime and treat it as crime.

I look at history and the violence was there all along, in many periods the violence was socially accepted and taken for granted and anyone who complained about it was a whiny nutter.

The technology changed those customs. The dishwasher reduced the argument of who was going to spend two or three hours cleaning up after that daily formal dinner to a genuinely petty matter of a few minutes putting all the dishes in - and something that can be done for themselves by everyone at that dining room buffet in the same way dinner got served. Dinner at Andrew and Georgia's, whoever gets up first grabs a couple of plates and heads in, I grab mine, whoever's last does - and sometime in the evening someone pushes the button. No stress, no heavy silences between them over who did it more than who. The microwave is the same thing. They often cook using the microwave, the side dish will be in the microwave cooking while the entree's in the oven and it's very simple and it's along the counter like a buffet.

Things change and it's not always a bad thing. The informal dinner in the living room and the microwaved fast food, including, for me, just making a big pot dinner once and nuking bowls of it later on to make living easier, gives me more time for thinking and writing and making things and doing all the things I enjoy more than cooking. I do know people who cook that elaborately - but they are people who enjoy the process of cooking. They cook the way I'd make a medieval costume. All the stages of prep are fun. All the presentation's fun too and once in a while they'll make a special occasion of it - because that is just that, a grand production. Not an everyday thing, but someone's personal art form.

Just an unorganized ramble, sparked by a very pleasant meal and some questions about society that may have answers. If the pace of life seems too frenzied, consider this. Perhaps when needed work gets eliminated but people still live by an agricultural farm ethic where constant antlike industriousness did make the difference between survival or not, that's a matter that the custom no longer fits the technology. Just as before agriculture, customs that fit a hunting and gathering economy didn't fit for most people, industry is this new thing that has not got its right customs yet for how to live in harmony with it.

The technological problems of pressuring the environment are solvable in a few simple but hard to execute ways, the solutions aren't overnight ones. The social problems of 'you got what you wished for, why do you think that's a bad thing?' are a major part of my fiction. The world is in some ways a much better place than it used to be! The golden future that all the old SF talked about, before the Dark Wave (which is not what it's called, but did hit pretty hard when I was a kid) started tossing lots of cautionary stories into it, is in many ways a reality.

At 17, I took an anthropology class that opened my eyes and started me doing what I just did today - looking at a culture in terms of its daily habits, its artifacts, how people react to the artifacts and how all the ways people interact with each other are affected by custom, beliefs and physical tangible needs of life. People's cultures adapt to their climates. But for all my life I've heard horrible warnings about how air conditioning or reliable heating or this or that thing that has made my life livable and sometimes saved my life is a bad thing because it weakens the race or makes modern people soft or something like that. I see red when I hear that argument because I'm haunted by the ghosts of millions of peasants who died in their early thirties worked to death on the underpinnings of the work ethic and poor diet and bad living conditions and literal exhaustion. Most of history I would have died of the pneumonia I had at five and most of it, I'd have wound up facing greater dangers than I have in this life. That affects my perspective - and it's something to think about the next time someone's getting luddite about the things that may keep you alive and the things in life that are real pleasure and real value.

I no longer even discount status as real value or pleasure. I used to laugh at people who had name brand luggage or whatever, till I recollected a number of colorful Native American tribes with intricate status customs, the potlatches of the Tlingit, the Polynesian status intricacies - that stuff's a game, that's what clever primates do when survival needs are met. Elaborate on social stuff, make it up and get intense with it. That can even be done harmlessly. I've been in some groups and societies where it got very elaborate without being bitter.

Society is something made up on the fly by people who are living in it at the time. A democratic view of it, but it's not always as formal as a vote. Sometimes it's just something that shifts because individually many more of the people living in it do things the new way because it works better. In chat, we had a discussion of whether people eat at the table or not and this started this whole blog rant - because several chatters all agreed they never used the table except for playing games and cards and things, but also about half of those immediately said 'but that's my personal bad habit' or 'our personal bad habit' when they married someone else who had the same informal habit. Why be self conscious if that's what's actually becoming custom?

Things are looking up. They will look up even more, I think, since the human world continues to creak toward some ethics and some customs that are a lot less cruel to the individual and more respectful of life.

Robert and Ari >^..^< (He is philosophically meditating and looks like a cute zen cat)


Little bitty later blog, continued:

This is a hilarious exercise in self control. I've just had a massive shopping trip of the cheer you up variety, at a time when I haven't had one on that scale for a long, long time. With many welcome new conveniences that when the apartment's cleared up and everything put up and unpacked and sorted out, will kick my in-house lifestyle up to something resembling what it was like during some of my more prosperous life stages. I've got all these new toys to play with and even the motivational highlighters stacked up on top of the monitor next to the manuscript of Rites as a delicate hint to play with doing the line for line ON the manuscript, just to make rewriting more fun. Motivational toys!

And I got hungry. And my back is telling me 'no, you don't move. You sit still till I stop hurting.'

This is an exercise in self control. Also the willpower not to just take pain pills and get on with what I'd rather be doing and blitz the whole house and get it clean and nice and everything put away. The three organizational plastic tubs WILL hold all that's left from the Miscellaneous Boxes if I not only go through them, but make a Potlatch Stack of everything that's still good but now redundant. The extra toaster since two people gave me toasters when I left the shelter and got housing. The redundant electric frying pan I used as a stove when I hid it in my room and had hot food when I couldn't eat downstairs because I was allergic to most of what they served. I have a stove now. If I move somewhere I don't have a kitchen, I'll get a dang hot plate, that frypan was not as convenient as a hot plate. I have a microwave now that beats either.

But it's not set up yet and if I did all that clearing up and unpacking I'd throw my back with a vengeance. I've got things that could help my back, the heating pad and the back massager. To get them plugged in and working, I need to locate a circuit other than the one the computer's on, plug in the other surge protector, get them on that line and dangle the cord off the bookcase back of the desk.

I got to where my back calmed a bit, got up to make coffee, just that and it spasmed again so now I'm sitting down waiting before I get up to hunt down the cord. I have emptied the bags. Jeans, the new belt, the new clean black towels that don't even have cat hair on them yet are stacked up there. The lamps, light bulbs, heating pad and massager are piled up in Ari's spot where I can start unboxing them and put light bulbs in and test them to see if it works - once I locate that surge protector and get it plugged in on the coffeepot's side of the room.

I don't want to risk blowing the fuse the computer's on. But the one the coffeepot's on hasn't got anything but a lamp and the coffeepot on it, so that shouldn't be overloaded. The bed-lamp will go by the bed on a different plug (but needs testing) and the desk lamp - actually that should go on the surge protector with the computer but it's only a lamp with a 60watt bulb. It can perch on the tower.

And at some point I need to dump out the junk in the vertical paper filing holder so that I can start putting more writer junk in there, like the whole manuscript of Rites when I'm not working on it and any submissions that come back to me and so forth and so on, get my paper filing system current and limit it to those six slots! If I don't organize when it's not that bad it will get worse - to the point I have boxes of rotted paper the way I did in New Orleans.

Better to maintain than blitz...

Robert and Ari >^..^< (Robert moved all those boxes to My Spot and I didn't have room to lay on the desk! Mew! That place in front of the printer is My Spot! It deserves a cute cat! Nothing else belongs there!)
There! I did LiveJournal first this time, for those reading both weblogs. >^..^<

Short synopsis if you don't. One giant box and nine bags of loot from Wal-Mart culminated the day's journey through pain and adventure to raise my current standard of living immensely. Several appliances I've been doing without since I moved from New Orleans through the Midwest to New York State are now happily back into my life in their new incarnation. The microwave came after the sewing machine, I replaced the sewing machine right off as soon as I found work because I do a lot of costuming and sometimes sell crafted items - it pays for itself and this one did and it's still in excellent condition. But I have one again. Every night that I went to cooking something slowly in the oven or standing by the stove and shouldn't have, grumbling that I never replaced the microwave, is gone from the foreseeable future. And popcorn will be back into my life during writing binges as of next grocery trip. Two more lamps will seriously reduce seasonal affective disorder y adding more light to my nocturnal writing! One of them a clamp lamp for the bed, so that I'll actually relax and read in bed before dropping off!

Warm new sweater with no holes in it, decent looking army green one, comfortable, I'm wearing it. Compared to the donations sweaters that basically express "Homeless, might steal" as a Look, this is positively elegant. Four new pairs of black jeans. It will be some time before my pants scream "Homeless, might steal, spends his money on crack!" Which was a bit of a false impression, since I don't use drugs or really indulge much in alcohol or anything else. I'm much more addicted to sticky notes, printer cartridges, postage stamps, manila envelopes and electronics. I looked shabby because it's really a lot more important how my manuscripts look than how I do.

But with the new jeans and the new shoes - black sneakers stitched as if the makers were trying to impress one of H. R. Giger's creatures - and the black biker jacket, I could look respectable if not 'suit' sort of respectable if I ever had to have lunch with an editor. Basically use the good cane with the amber glass knob and slouch in with the impression "I do this to be a rebel, it's not just because I got scraped out of the gutter." When I've sold more than one novel, I'll think about getting a suit.

I am actually relieved that the suits from the donations room rotted in the flood and had to be thrown away, because they didn't fit and looked shabby. I'm not shaped like most men. I'm not even shaped like myself, one leg's longer than the other, one arm's longer than the other, and even if I do costuming, suits take a nightmare of work to tailor them in any way that doesn't scream "An amateur had to take up that arm of the suit!" - which they wouldn't notice a pants leg nicely hemmed, but you can't do that to the cuffs of suit jackets without it being obvious. Doing it on just one side makes the disparity obvious. Men's shirts are almost as tricky to take up an arm on and my neck's not a good match for my girth, given a skinny pencil neck on top of it all. What I will need to do if I get to the exalted state of prosperity where meeting editors demands suit and tie is to invest in some yardage of good black fabric, some shirt fabric and a couple of patterns. Then treat the production with as much care as if I was doing an Italian Renaissance costume or a late Elizabethan costume or something like that - and get the tailoring taken care of at the cutting stage, so when it's constructed it actually is my size on both my left side and my right side. That would make the deformity invisible. It would be a fun project. It's on the list of things to do - and it would result in my looking elegant rather than like scraped-up leftovers. If I am going to dress that way at all, ever, for anything, I want to look good when doing it and it has to be a delicate balance between looking like me and wearing the costume of the era I'm visiting.

I refuse to wear the bland colors of chartered accountancy. I look like the little man who'd push the red button someday just for going postal in gray suits or tan suits or brown suits or navy blue. If I genuinely wanted to indulge in espionage I'd wear a ratty cheap little navy blue suit, my glasses and carry a couple of clerkish looking electronics. This would make me invisible wallpaper, step on him and forget it. Since I'm not spying for anything but a nonexistent magical empire I made up in my head and-or lurid space epics, I might as well go all out weird and stick to the stark black suit that would give a subliminal impression of 'religious fanatic' or 'priest and forgot his collar' or 'vampire loosely pretending to be human' or 'mortician who wrote a book because his clientele were too quiet and let him think' or generally 'dang, that guy looks dramatic and he's got one foot over the edge into something.'

It's having new jeans that's made me think of it at all ... but lo, if the novel sells, I may have to think about that for book signings. Leather jacket, pagan jewelry, new black jeans and sneakers by Giger would work for 'fantasy novel' or 'vampire novel' or whatever signing, as long as the presentation and the reading got a little jazzed up and I had fun at it and schmoozed the people in line and just - had a good time with it. It's consistent, it's colorful, it's not quite traditional but it evokes the Artistic License that people who aren't working in the arts grant people who do work in the arts. I'll never really be able to pull off Just Like Everyone Else, so it's better to put the best face on Congenitally Weird, Mostly Harmless and Often Funny.

I want to play with my new toys. And there are more sticky notes (Another color! Another plot thread or level of complexity! Purple!) and matching set of highlighters for further markup! Wheeheee!

Robert and Ari >^..^< (He's sitting in his spot on the desk being cute and inspirational)
Good morning, Blog!

It's a great day to have written another good fantasy story, one that came out well plotted and tight, has plenty to interrupt the storyteller's story within a story, created something that's in essence a fable and not quite done it tongue in cheek. It isn't humor though it's got wit. Came out of an exercise. "Maitriyaha and the Feet of Clay" began in a scene exercise to describe your MC finding out his hero has feet of clay. The first time that exercise came up, I just couldn't do it. I couldn't empathize with it. I couldn't remember feeling hero worship for anyone who turned out to have feet of clay.

Till I remembered the nastiest rejection slip I ever had was from someone famous, literally famous for encouraging new writers. Advice from Marion Zimmer Bradley after four whiny pages of what might have been the worst cover letter ever written by a scared beginner was "Give up writing and go back to playing D&D!"

I suspect it hit her after a spate of bad D&D stories on a bad day when she just didn't have the stomach for another brat. Because I did win out in the end, the next rejection slip said "Good story. More suited to my Sword and Sorceress anthologies than my fantasy magazine, please read a sample and submit something again."

If that woman was still alive I'd try to sell her this story for that magazine, because on reflection this story would fit it! I did read it, and a light story with a good atmosphere that included a subtle parody of her own editorial style would not have offended her. That would've turned out more like Ray Bradbury's lampoon of a director in his dinosaur story - where the stop motion animator made the critical perfectionist director's body language turn his rubber tyrannosaur into a powerful creature! It was gentle parody. It had a bit of warmth to it because I miss her too. I half think I wrote this to lay the ghost, pick up what I learned from her and move on, no longer, ever, really angry at my ex-drill sergeant who had a bad day.

I got sense bashed into me by an amazon and I never pestered an editor like that again. She'd be glad to know that if she lived. If she remembered me on the second submission, she DID know that. It just went unsaid. Good story, read a sample issue and try again.

And I found myself going back in and editing furiously for about an hour after it was done too. Tweaking it. Adding a little to make the point of the story clearer. Adding a twist for a hair more humor at the end, humor at the expense of that oversensitive yet skilled and decent MC too, I laughed at both of us in that story because I really am a late bloomer and I didn't have to be that neurotic as a kid. I just was. That was telling the Terrible MZB Story the last time... because it got polished in the postscript and from the point I wrote the story that got "Good story, try again later" I knew it was something she'd laugh about if I mentioned it to her face at a con. I just didn't have the luck to see her at a con again before she died.

I have still more organizational work to do on the Rites of Chavateykar rewrite and now that it's all flagged, I need an outline to keep track of it. The little cottage has to be carefully taken apart into its structural components and laid aside while the foundation's dug deeper and then pegged and nailed up back into place seamlessly with the new and the old as one solid whole. That will take a scene by scene outline. Then writing the scenes in order, from opener to rewrite the parts I'll still use to next gap till it's one solid novel again the right size. It's a big project. I prefer overwriting to underwriting - but this is becoming a challenge!

In between, short stories are nice little daily chunks of writing that don't interfere with immersion in the Rewrite WIP. When they're done, I can put them down, because there's closure. They don't sit around half done. They get done. Same with any short story rewrites I do while I'm stumped on what the opening - the new opening scene - on Rites ought to be. It needs a grabby opener. It needs a hook of an opener that encapsulates the entire story in a subtle way and drives toward it like the train leaving the station, loudly. Firmly on track toward the end. Since the end hinges on the natural weather as affected by the deepest magics of the world, perhaps a paragraph of summer drought and mango madness before the rains, the weather's tension, and characters who shouldn't fight ripping into each other miserably over nothing at all will both show the demon's influence and the lousy dang season that it is - all the non magical causes why things get that nasty in that season before the storm breaks. And then rapidly obfuscate it with lighter, splashier magic like folks throwing spells at each other because they're in bad temper.

I like ruminating on it in blog and thinking it through. That's the right opener. I just have to figure out who that is in the scene - and move the big flashback mention of the village or use the villagers for it... more show the Empress in that kind of temper and then cut to village and show the demon, fill the chapter with petty infighting and pure seasonal cabin fever icky stuff nastiness that it's just a lousy day for everyone. Three scenes to a chapter is Holly's structural formula. Works for me - but maybe since the Empress is the MC she should stride on stage first - blowing her top and being in a very bad mood! She's doomed after all, if she doesn't solve that doom in three days!

Hello. Instead of a pompous prophetic foreword, maybe she can be arguing with a couple of different astrologers, several of them, all with completely different mostly nasty predictions! All agreeing on three days and establishing the timeframe!

Hmmm... this works! Onward!

Robert and Ari >^..^< (He is being a furry angel tonight, he is being Sweetie Kitty. Love him lots.)


Ugh ugh ugh. Earthlink's local server is having some major problems. I keep getting booted at very short intervals. It isn't something that has anything to do with my account, because it happens before my password goes in most of the time - or lets me on sometimes for distinct periods of time before bonking me.

It's very annoying but in Forward Motion chat, I got an idea that vitalized my rewrite - just a neat little candy scene when I've got so much that I have to add in that an exciting little candy scene - pair of them really - is going to just make it fun adding the material!

All for now... maybe more later!

Robert and Ari >^..^<

Done rereading and marking up Rites of Chavateykar in about two thirds of the time it took to write the dang thing. Plenty of room for expansion. There's even one page that has four different colors of sticky notes at the top signifying a scene that affects four different plot threads - kind of like the crossover points in knotwork, it's a good thing. And ... oddly, I'm getting tired.

Like I've worked hard at something. Not a bad fatigue. More just Duh. Yeah. I worked hard. This is good, something got accomplished. And now the something I did all that for is sitting ahead of me. Working from those notes, retyping and rewriting the whole thing from page one and writing the new scenes as I come to them in what's an expanded outline on sticky notes interspersed with scenes that have notations from 'just check punctuation' to "replace and show not tell." SNT markers are important to padding, if it got mentioned something probably hangs on it later on. But will work better shown not told!

Some paragraphs become scenes. It'll be a better book as well as a bigger book.

But tonight, I sleep on it. Stage one done. First booster is dropping and I'm off...

Robert and Ari >^..^< (Cats only lay on good manuscripts - Rita Brown said that and Holly Lisle quoted her)


Up to page 40 marking up the manuscript for rewrite. Wow. The book's hooking me again and I've spent most of the day on it. I wrote another 1,000 words or so of notes, and the marked portions of the manuscript have sprouted a rainbow of sticky-notes. This is fun!

I hadn't realized it would help make it fun, doing it on paper. Ludicrous, but this whole year is another series of new discoveries. My old habits were good enough for the shelter, when I broke through the barrier and got prolific. Now it's starting to really get underway - even if this rewrite may take longer than other ones. I'm rediscovering everything that was good in this book and happily scheming to insert new villains and more conflict and a strong side plot expanded from a two page infodump. I'm enjoying process, and that's a huge breakthrough. Every flaw seems like an opportunity to plot something better and wilder.

The Prolific Workshop came off well and turned into a great brainstorm. I got ideas from it just as much as anyone else there. Then there was worldbuilding class, on languages. Great day.

Holly Lisle finished her novel last night in a Word Count War and today a rewrite frenzy swept through the community. I wasn't the only one counting pages of rewrite instead of new words - that's my new 'quantity' marker. Just pages done. They're literal, doing it this way.

This week I'll get as far as I can on this rewrite - the whole book took only three days, maybe when I race into the scenes I'm outlining the new material will flow just as fast. I feel confident about it. More than that, I can't put it down.


Robert and Ari >^..^<


Well, that's a productive day! Two short stories and I printed out Rites of Chavateykar for editing. Poor little thing, it's only 216 pages. That'll change. Soon we'll beef that up into a proper fat fantasy novel. Feed it some protein supplements and plenty of action and thanks to Sheila's expert advice, introduce a few new characters here and there. She needs some nasties in her Court. One or both of the lovers needs an angry, jealous, self-destructive Ex who's not happy with the situation. And of course there's that old standby: two guys burst in, guns blazing. It's all ready to go.

And yesterday, did the eighth story that finished up the Dare - a longish fantasy story, fairytale with a sad ending that will need a bit of a rewrite but is an interesting one.

New vigor, new energy for the week's work and I'm going to relax, letting WIP slip to background while I plow into the rewrites. I want a book dangling in the water. Soon. Very soon, I want another book ready to ship out and a shot at splattering queries at anything and anyone that might actually send me money for it...

Incidentally, it may be standard operating procedure to chase pages and take coffee baths while doing printouts of novels, at least that's Ari's opinion of it. Maybe catnip-crazed drunken felines make the book more *interesting* by weird conflicts with the author...

Robert and Ari >^..^< (He is sleeping like a little furry angel because the printer's not running)