Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cottontail, Take Two

After almost three years working in relief printmaking, I've come to realize that when I start feeling... wonky.... about a piece, it's better just to stop and ditch it. That's what's happening with my new Eastern Cottontail woodcut. I started carving and something just didn't "feel" right. I don't know if I was already tired of it, or I was mad at the rabbit (he seemed to be more jackrabbit-ish than cottontail-ish, the more I looked at him), or if the wood was just giving me some bad juju. Either way, after a few half-hearted chisels, I scrapped it.

I re-drew my rabbit and gave her some new surroundings. I'm still a little nervous to start carving this (because of all the shadows I'm going to have to make in the snow-hard!) but the block definitely has a better "feel" than the last one.

I don't know if other artists have that good feeling/bad feeling when they start on a piece, or if I'm just losing my tentative grip on sanity, but some pieces really just seem to give off better "auras" than others. Strange.


Break for a Meme...

Sarah sent me this "Meme" through Facebook. I posted it on my Facebook page but I'm also posting it here. It was kind of fun! Anyone else who reads my blog want to give it a try? It's called "25 Random Things About Me" ...all you have to do is think of 25 random things about yourself and post it to your blog. :o) Here goes the Jen edition....

25 Random Things About Me

1. With the exception of 3 years in New York City after college, I have never lived anywhere but Upstate NY (Chittenango, Canastota, Weedsport, Aurora, and now Auburn)

2. I live in terror of seeing/hearing anything supernatural (ghosts, spirits, demons...omg. Just thinking about it makes me want to vomit.)

3. I am a huge Chicken Shit.

4. I am fiercely independent and the idea of having a spouse and/or kids makes my toes curl in a bad, bad way.

5. I used to be petrified of hospitals until I became addicted to "Guiding Light" in college (some scenes in Guiding Light took place in hospitals). Watching these scenes in GL somehow acclimated me to the emergency room and took the fear out of it. Man, I was so, so lame.

6. For years I had nightmares about drowning, am still scared of swimming in deep water, and yet all three of my names have water references (Jennifer=white wave, Lynn=waterfall, Zalewski= people that live by a bay or floodplain). I wonder if this is a premonition that I will die a watery death?

7. Speaking of Lynn, my middle name, I almost misspelled it on my High School Diploma. Thankfully a school administrator caught my mistake (how embarrassing!)

8. I really want to get tattoos of all my dogs across my back, and up and down my arms. And a nose ring.

9. I used to show dogs: 4-H obedience, and then AKC conformation (Nelson, my malamute, had about 7 points towards his Ch. title) and Junior showmanship (I was ranked in the top 5 Malamute Jr. Handlers in the U.S. by the Alaskan Malamute Club of America for every year I showed- huzzah! Maybe I should have become a professional handler?)

10. I still have a small undercurrent in my body that would love to show dogs, but I have HUGE moral and ethical problems with the AKC so I refuse to do so.

11. My dogs are too incorrigible to show anyways. This is because I spoiled them too much and they totally took advantage of me.

12. Not a day goes by that I don't feel incredibly lost.

13. Not a day goes by that I don't wonder why I was even born?

14. Not a day goes by that I don't have overwhelming feelings that life is just too hard.

15. Hmm, this is getting really depressing.

16. I am a Feminist. Rush would certainly call me a Femi-nazi.

17. I think Sharon Osbourne or Judge Judy would be awesome presidents.

18. I'm seriously thinking of going back to school to get my Master's of Library Science because I LOVE books and libraries. However, I HATE student loans.

19. People often talk about how they never forgot the day JFK was shot, or they never forgot the day that MLK was assassinated, or they never forgot the day the Challenger blew up. I never forgot the day John Denver died in that plane crash.

20. Speaking of... A job I would never, ever, ever want, not for all the money in the world: Airplane Pilot or Stewardess, Yeah, read the cockpit voice recorder transcripts at and you can see why.

21. I think of Sarah Anne Wood almost every week and wonder where she is.

22. The idea that aliens could possibly exist, and potentially steal humans for medical experiments during the night, totally wigs me out.

23. I am absolutely fascinated & horrified by cannibalism, serial killers, cult leaders, sociopaths- if I wasn't such a Chicken Shit, I might have gotten into forensics detective work or something.

24. I hate cooking and baking with a passion, but love watching cooking competitions on Food Network.

25. I piece of trivia I learned when I went to Poland in 2002: My last name really should be Zalewska, because I am a woman. Men in my family should be Zalewski. As a unit, we would be called the Zalewsky family. Unfortunately the jamokes at Ellis Island bastardized us so I will forever have a man's last name. Gosh, did they do ANYTHING right down there?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

XC-Skiing at the Erie Canal today. We went from Weedsport to Port Byron, which, according to the map I found online, was about 2 1/2 miles each way. It was fun, although I fell twice- once flat on my back (and I had my camera strapped to my back- thankfully I didn't crush it!)- and once when trying to carefully cross a road and Cliff yanked me over. Sigh. Otherwise-we had a nice time. :) It was beautiful out, and we saw four other XC Skiiers on the trail while we were out. A few obnoxious snowmobilers... they didn't slow very much when they passed us- one machine was driven by a kid who didn't look older than a third grader. Is that legal??

Lucy stayed at Mom and Dad's while Cliff and I were out. She was a very good girl (as usual) but of course had to wear her muzzle because we don't trust her around the Pugs. She really, really hates them and gets very upset whenever they come near her- curling her lips up so high that they almost cover her ears- snarling like a rabid cujo. They give her a wide berth and have never done anything to upset her... I think it is just their high-energy ya-ya's that make her uneasy.

Utter pugalicious-ness. Benny, Amos and "Red Duck"... aren't they adorable?
We are tired. My neck is sore from falling. I can't believe it is back to work tomorrow.... why do the weekends go so fast?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Can You See The Real Me?

This is a Spoiler Alert, in case you happen to be in the WetCanvas "Can You See the Real Me?" Printmaker's Exchange! Be forewarned! :o)

This month's WC exchange focused on making a Self Portrait in any relief printmaking method (woodcut, linocut, wood engraving). I've never liked drawing people- I find humans an incredibly selfish and -I dunno... inhumane- species overall, and prefer to focus on the more natural and beautiful side of life *coughgreyhoundscough*. However, I readily signed up for the challenge when I read about it because I have always wanted to do a self-portrait of myself. More specifically, I've always wanted to do a "Jen and the Greyhounds" version of William Hogarth's famous self-portrait, "The Painter and his Pug":

Isn't this the most exquisite peice? Trump, the pug, was Hogarth's favorite dog (it's interesting to see what a pug looked like in the 1740's compared to the stumpy wrinkled pork chops they look like today, eh?). Art historians muse that Trump represents the artist's link with Nature in this piece (which I find fascinating). Hogarth may also have been poking fun at himself because he often said he looked like a pug and commented on his resemblance to Trump.

So my exquisite exchange idea was to do an homage to Hogarth and Trump, instead using myself, Lucy and Cliff. Unfortunately, largest size block I could work on (to fit the 8 x 10 max paper size for this challenge) was a 5 x 7 or 6 x 8 block, and that's pretty small to do two greyhounds sitting next to a mirror reflecting moi back at the viewer LOL! So unfortunately my grand idea went by the wayside.

I went through a few weeks of "OMG what the heck am I going to do" panicked headache jaw-wrenching brainstorming after this, with no ideas percolating at all. I mean... the LAST thing I wanted to do was a head-and-shoulders standard self-portrait of myself. Ugh. And the title of the exchange- "Can you see the Real me?"- kind of hinted at something more than head-and-shoulders portrait anyway. It opened up an option to think "out of the box", so to speak. I banged my head on the wall. I doodled silly ideas. I took pictures of myself in different poses trying to come up with something other than a chubby fat white girl with red hair and 4 eyes staring cross-eyed at the camera. What kind of photo reference was THAT? ROFL!

While noodling ideas in my head, I suddenly remembered a talk I had had with one of my former pastors many years ago. I had been lamenting about my spiritual walk, how I always seemed to go through really wonderful spells where I felt God so strongly in my life, and other times where I went for months feeling totally... alone. No desire to pray, no desire to go to Church, feeling like God had totally abandoned me. It was frustrating... why couldn't I be one of those "Allelulia-God - is-Wonderful" people ALL the time?? One of those people that were SO deeply spiritual that they cried whenever they talked about Jesus?? This pastor encouraged me to read the Book of Jonah in the Old Testament. One of his professors at seminary had told him that most people can see themselves, and their walk with God, reflected in this 2-page book.


Needless to say, my former pastor was totally right. I see myself reflected in this book in so many ways. Like Jonah, I want to go through life on my own conditions. When God lays out direction for my life and provides opportunities, I freak out and find myself running away or avoiding anything that would bring change. I am constantly swallowed by fears, self-doubt, depression, anxiety, panick attacks, overwhelmed by life and fearful of any change (the leviathan/whale/large fish). I feel like Jonah's cry to God is the prayer I cry to God all the time:

"In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me.
I said, 'I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.' The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me;seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God. When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD. "

So that was going to be my Self-Portrait. Me, my struggles with faith and life. I think the animal in the Jonah story actually translates into a "large fish", but is traditionally represented by a whale, and I like whales better than fish, most especially baleen whales because of the beautiful shape of their heads and mouths. They are big and boxy, just like my Scion station wagon LOL!!!!! I chose to do the Right Whale, one of most endangered whales (because they are so easy to kill by whalers): there are only between 500-1000 Northern Right Whales left in the world sadly. They are beautiful and placid creatures, like the beautiful and placid (and blessed) life God has given me, so why I become swallowed with such a fear of experiencing life, such anxiety and constant depression and self-doubt is beyond me.
I started with some sketches (above), and easily moved them onto a 7 x 3 1/2" block of MDF. I then inked the block in a light LIGHT blue (GC oil-based titanium white and permanent peacock blue), and put it through the printer. Here is the result, the first reduction (the photo isn't the best- taken at night with a flash so it is kind of pinky):

I then carved away more of the block and inked it with a slightly darker blue (second reduction- again, sorry for the bad photo!):

Carved away even more, and printed with a darker blue (Third reduction- this photo is a bit more accurate in terms of color-):

And finally, carved away all of the block except the edges and lines I wanted a dark blue-black. And the final image, scanned to get true color:

I am very satisfied with the way it came out. The shocking brightness of the blues (more turquoise!) dismayed me at first, but they have grown on me. I like the abstractness of the water.The last reduction to go on (the darkest blue- black) printed a bit smeary/wet looking, but not too bad. And I used the new "Canson Edition" paper that is replacing my beloved, beloved (*sob*) Stonehenge which is retiring... it wasn't bad at all. There is a smooth side of the Canson and a rougher side, and I actually liked the look of printing on the rougher side. I also printed some on thin Japanese Masa paper- harder to get ink coverage- the Masa seemed to suck in more of the ink so I should have used more. All in all, a satisfying printing!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dear President Obama

Dear President Obama,

WTF, taking wolves off the Endangered Species List? Are you serious? Please tell me this is a joke.



Monday, January 19, 2009

Cottontail Woodcut

I have just finished my first woodcut for 2009--a self portrait of all things-- for a Printmaker's Challenge on Wetcanvas. I'll post pics as soon as they dry! Honestly, it was a very hard challenge- probably the hardest I've done so far. Here is my next woodcut, ready to go- an Eastern Cottontail in the snow. One ran in front of my car the other day on the way to work, and paused in the brambles on the side of the road- she was just beautiful. And then out taking pictures the other day, I just marvelled at the blue shadows in the snow. Soooo... my next woodcut... rabbit, snow, brambles, shadows... hopefully it will work out!

Monday, Monday

Took the day off from work today. No, not playing hookey... I actually had some "maintenance" dr. appointments so it was pretty legit. After my appointments I decided it was Dog Time (okay seriously, what time ISN'T dog time around here??) and planned some outings. Lucy and I would go to Petco and spend her Christmas gift card from my parents (her "grandparents"), and then Cliff (who also has a gift card, but that can wait...) and I would go cross-country skiing. :o)

Lucy got a nice stash of treats from Petco. Of course, she will have to share them with Clifford. She made quite a splash with the employees, especially wearing her sparkly red "Spoiled" shirt, which we bought at our first Dewey Beach gathering back in 2001.

How the heck do I open this thing???

The day was again "mild" (mid 20's) so I grabbed the skiis and Cliff, packed the car and drove to the Auburn-Fleming Trail, a 2 mile path on the other side of the city. Unfortunately when I tried to park in the small parking space, the Scion got stuck in the snow because the lot wasn't plowed (what was I thinking, trying to park there??). Literally, I was half in the parking lot, half in the road, tires spinning, stuck like a pig. Nothing I could do would get me out of the snow- good Lord. Thankfully after a few minutes of me standing on the side of the road looking forlornly at every car that passed by, a local delivery truck stopped and two gentlemen-bless their hearts- pushed my car out.

Not to be outdone, I carefully parked on the road BESIDE the parking lot, prayed we wouldn't be sideswiped, strapped on the skiis, unloaded Cliff, and we began our trek!

The path was well-groomed from snowmobiles, so I was able to ski pretty fast. I didn't fall once!! Cliff, again, was phenomenal- it is like he has been a X-Country Ski Greyhound all his life! Some pics from the trail:

The trail was 2 miles each way, and for the first time since I discovered it, we did the WHOLE thing- from trailhead to trailhead- 4 miles. My thighs are killing me (still developing those muscles) but Cliff, the machine that he is, barely slowed through the whole thing. He will be 11 in June!!!!

In the Knitting Department...

Back in December, I had posted about how I was learning to knit so I could make a bear for the Mother Bear Project. Well..... my bear has been long done, and I have started another! Here is Bear #1, and the "carcass" of Bear #2:

Pretty soon they will be on their way to Africa, to make a little boy or girl happy! I have bought a few more skeins of colorful yarn to begin my next ones, too. Knitting is so... zen. I just love it. :o)

In addition to learning how to knit a regular stitch (garter stitch), I have also learned to purl stitch. Alternating rows of a garter stitch and then purl stitch makes a stockingnette stitch. I have been practicing my my garter/purl=stockingnette by making a thin scarf for work:

Lucy was not exactly happy to model my scarf, but she is a fantastic at keeping me company while I knit in the evenings. She lays on the loveseat with me and keeps me warm, or if she takes up the whole loveseat then I sit on the floor next to her, and she kneads my head with her feet. I adopted Lucy when she retired from the track at 5 years old, and it's only been recently that she has become so... touchy-feely. In days of yore she was always very independent and indifferent to me, which I found kind of sad in a way. But within the past 18 months or so she has gotten so affectionate, snuggling with me in bed and nestling up with me on the couch- often laying with her head in my lap (!). She comes to me SO much more for pets and scritches. Half of me wonders if she is preparing to die and wants to make amends with me before she passes to the Great Beyond, ROFLMAO! What's up, Lucy? Is old age taming the beast? :o)


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Make Your Own Happiness

Living in Central NY in the winter can be absolutely depressing. It is beautiful but cold. The Lake Effect Snow Machine from Ontario never, ever stops. Spring doesn't come until April... at least. Driving to-and-from work every day can be hair-raising, especially when your car doesn't have 4-wheel drive. Your house is never, ever warm enough. Etc., etc. ...etc.

I am sick of kvetching about winter. I am sick of dreading winter. Unless I pick up and move, I need to learn to embrace November-March, the most severe months of the year. What better way to enjoy the winter than by embracing a winter sport? Ah, Cross Country Skiing with Dogs! :o)

On Saturday, I went to The Ski Company in Syracuse and was fashioned with a cross-country ski package. The folks there were excellent and I am SO glad I went there instead of some generic sporting goods store like Dicks or Sport Authority. They REALLY know skiing and an experienced x-country skiier sales guy helped me pick out the best equipment: boots, poles, skiis, and bindings. It made me feel confident and I got a great deal- everything cost under $260.

Today, temps soared (!!) into the mid-20's, so Clifford and I drove to Bear Swamp State Forest down on the south end of Skaneateles Lake for our first outing.

It was so, so, so much fun. There were quite a few people skiing, a few snowshoeing and lots of snowmobiles (I am NOT a fan of these noise-makers but the drivers were very considerate and polite when passing us on the multi-access roads).

Bear Swamp was like a Christmas Card. I was worried that it would be desolate and inaccessible since the past few weeks have been frigid... but the ski trails were groomed and easy for me to follow. The forest was breathtaking.

Clifford was fantastic. He stayed out front on his retractable leash which I had belted around my waist. He was definitely stubborn when we had to get off the trail to let faster people pass us (he didn't get why we had to move) but otherwise... he just loved it. I quickly picked up the gliding rhythm and was able to ski (most of the time) almost as fast as I jog, so Cliff was in heaven getting to go-go-go. He does NOT like to go slow or mosey along, so enjoyed the pace. He was even a trooper when I lost control going down some gentle hills and fell on my dupa. He would impatiently stop, wait for me to haul myself up, and then tug to go on.
Once, in some fit of dillusional-self confidence, we started down a pretty steep downhill multi-access road. As I picked up speed with Cliff trotting beside me, I bent my knees and put my ski poles under my arms, pretending I was a downhill skiier in the Winter Olympics. I could almost hear the crowds cheering as I picked up speed-! Ah, the taste of victory in my first Olympic competition-! All of a sudden, the road made a blind turn (which, being my first time on skiis in ages, I couldn't navigate) and --as the road, and Cliff, veered left--I (mouth open in horror) kept going straight- and went ass over kettle into the deep snowbank. I lay there on my face and couldn't stop laughing. Cliff, who sensed I wasn't with him, had stopped about 20 feet away towards the end of the leash and refused to even come over to see if I was okay. That was the biggest crash of the day. Otherwise, I think we did pretty good.

What a beautiful day to go out. It was like gliding through a Currier and Ives painting. I think I am in love with Cross country skiing and Cliff too! This will totally open up a new season to us. I can't wait to go out again.
Once home, I took Lucy for an easygoing walk (she would never have been able to do Bear Swamp in that kind of snow) and we settled down for the evening. Where will we ski next? I sooo can't wait!!!


Friday, January 16, 2009

Cold, Cold, Cold

Yowza. It has been absolutely frigid the past few days- I don't think we've gotten over 12 degrees during the day. I brought my camera to work today to take a few pics--went for a walk during lunch --almost got frostbite--it's been brutal.
Tomorrow it's going to be cold again, then Sunday temps are supposed to hit mid-20's--positively balmy!!!! I can't wait. The dogs have been going stir-crazy. Perhaps we can get a walk in...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oh Yes, Happy New Year....

I'm alive! I'm alive!

I think I have officially coasted out of my creative slump. Not so much as a creative slump but a creative... funk. It's hard because I totally fall apart under pressure and I not only had a goal to enter a woodcut in ASATDS this month but I also signed up for a very difficult (for me) SELF- PORTRAIT CHALLENGE at WetCanvas (if you enjoy any sort of creativity... check out the discussion forums at WC... painting, printmaking, glass blowing, drawing, etc... they have everything- it is a wonderful site!!). So the ASATDS deadline blew by, and I came up with a great idea for my Self-Portrait that didn't involve a head-and-shoulders literal portrait of my fat cheeked, ugly mug which would have been repulsive. I registered for a Beginners Nontoxic Etching class (etching involves carving zinc or copper plates, instead of wood blocks which I do now) and all of a sudden.... AAAAAaaaaaaaaaahh! (That is angelic singing)... the Creative Funk is gone because all that... Pressure... is gone. I am a free woman again!

How do I avoid these Oh-My-God-Too-Much-Pressure-I'm-Totally-Having-A-Breakdown-I-Can't-Ever-Do-Anything-Creative-Ever-Again episodes?? I am GOING to have deadlines (shows coming up, competition entries to fill out). I want to increase my competitions this year too so how do I buck through these panic modes while trying to expand my visibility as an artist? I am going to have to work on that. Maybe I need to take a class on Meditation lol.

Anyway, did everyone make resolutions for this year? I did. It took awhile. I know some people don't like making resolutions but I find having some goals for the year very fulfilling. Here are my art goals for this year:

1- Take a workshop (etching class in February)

2- Use the drypoint tools and plexi I got last fall (and have been too chicken to try)- also try Plate Lithography- both of these methods involves using the blankets I bought for my press... oye. I have never used Press blankets before!!! It scares me a bit!

3- Enter at least 3 shows this year: State Fair art show, State Fair wildlife art show, and Made in NY, a show held at the local art center.

4- Develop my style. I don't want my pictures to be just... boring run-of-the-mill pet portrait-y type prints. :o( How do I keep my prints fresh and exciting?

5- Update my website once a month, blog at least once a week. And keep my Etsy store popping.

6- Have at least 3 prints by the end of the year that I am satisfied with- that I LOVE- to enter in the 2010 ASATDS competition.

7- Begin working on 2 different portfolios- one of local Finger Lakes scenery and wildlife prints, and one of my greyhound prints- perhaps I can think about having a show at the local art center one day?? (hoo boy-!)

2009 is starting to look a bit better than it did a week ago. :o)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mid-Winter Blues

My friend Renee came over today with her greyhound Mercedes. It was really frigid (mid-teens) so the dogs didn't play long outside. Still, it was great for them to come over... Lucy, Cliff and I have been going so stir-crazy with the absolutely freezing cold and snow the past week or so... it was nice to have visitors and break up the monotony!
My creative juices, which kind of fizzled down the toilet mid-December, continue to be AWOL. It seems all I want to do is lay on the couch and nap, or zone out watching TV. So needless to say, I haven't been able to do any art at ALL. I am frustrated and irritated about it. I really wanted to create some new pieces for The Art Show at the Dog Show, but (obviously) wasn't able to do it, entry deadline is I think next week. I haven't been to church in 2 weeks. My eating habits have headed downhill in a handbasket. I can't seem to think straight or find any motivation at all.
Arg, I wish the cold and snow would go away! Winter is way too long!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bridget, Trace, Cosmo and Malcolm


On Friday (or was it Thursday? My vacation days are all screwed up now) Tracy and Bridget, along with Trace's two boys Cosmo and Malcolm, came to visit. It was so fun! Trace brought along some of her knitting and gave me some pointers. We had Chinese food (lots and lots and lots of bean curd...mmmmm....) and wine. Clifford hasn't been feeling good and they were even sweet enough to accompany him on a vet visit with me, because the only time the vet could squeeze me in was during their visit. It's great to have dog-minded friends!

Mal, Lucy and Clifford enjoyed mostly lounging, although Cliff and Mal did go out in the yard a bit. Cosmo, aka The White Wonder, spent about 10 minutes zooming around the yard as fast as he could with Cliff's stuffed rooster. Big drifts of snow, be darned! He just plowed through them. Cliff would have loved to race him if he was feeling better but he has been really lethargic and uninterested in everything the past few days- totally not himself- so Cosmo had the racetrack to himself. I swear, Cosmo had the biggest smile on his face the whole time! :o) Some of my best pics from the zooming:



And finally, a moment's rest:

Trace is a runner and Cosmo enjoys accompanying her quite a bit, except on her longest runs. He logs about 20 miles-per-week with her and is as solid as a rock!!
Cliff has not been feeling well at all, and turns out he has an infected tail (I accidentally slammed it in my aunt's storm door...owweeeee. Talk about guilt. The skin ripped up both sides of the tail, 2 inches on one side and about 3 inches on the other, and although I've been fastidious in keeping it clean, it still somehow got infected *sniff*). His urine was dark orange (turns out from having a Deramaxx- I gave it to him after his run with Mercedes) and he has "biliruben" and has not been his usual self. He's getting antibiotics for the tail and apparently, from what I've found out, male greyhounds normally have moderate levels of biliruben in their urine so it doesn't mean liver disease, so I'm not as freaked out as I was a few hours ago!

After a few days of being on medicine, eating a "bland diet" of rice and chicken soup- Cliff is almost back to new- barking, throwing toys around, and being a PITA. It is a relief!
P.S.- Sorry if the photos come out wierd, I am trying to use my Flickr account more, and upload the photos from Flickr instead of my computer. It is giving me a headache LOL.