Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday bites

I have never been much of a shopper. Too many choices, crowds and my indecisive habit of returning things often leads to a stressful Mommy meltdown. So what possessed me to venture out with the masses at midnight on Black Friday remains a mystery. Maybe it was the consumer spirit and the dangling possibility that I could save $50 on a Kindle. Or the idea that my kids and I could do some bonding while buying. Then again, it was probably just the thrill of being part of consumer madness and the novelty of it all.

Whatever the was a terrible choice and one I will not soon repeat or forget.

While there were no pepper spray or shootings, there was:

  • Honkin' long lines that truly did wrap around the perimeters of buildings
  • Lack of sleep (it was midnight after all)
  • Limited parking
  • Rain
  • Two cash poor children whose idea of Black Friday turned out to be shopping for themselves and wanting Mom to pay for part of an "early Christmas"
  • Long lines in the stores that wrapped up and down and around the aisles so if you wanted to actually shop on those aisles you did so at your own risk of bumping someone and ticking people off
And so it began. First at Target where we sat in the car with the motor running for about 10 minutes before acknowledging that we would indeed have to go stand in the snaking line if we ever wanted to get into the store. Shivering, we got in line about 10 minutes until midnight wondering how long the rest of the shoppers had been there. Did they get any turkey? Did they care?

Once the doors open with lack of fanfare that we could hear, we began to move along at a rather good clip until 35 minutes later...we were in! I headed to electronics sidestepping people with shopping carts already full of flat screen TVS. I quickly discovered another line and though I was pretty sure I'd missed my Kindle opportunity, went ahead and joined others in the baby aisle, all waiting to get a device that would make Charles Dickens and Tolstoy cringe. The only reason I liked our Kindle (the one I was buying was for a school auction) was that finding the time to read and concentrate for an extended period of time had become harder in my old age and with our busy family schedule. So unless it was a chicklet book, or something I could finish in the 3 weeks the library allowed one to check out a tome, the Kindle was my saviour.

I noticed while meditating in the baby aisle that there were sure a lot more doodads and outfits for wee ones than when my now tween and teen were tots. While we relied on unisex white onsies in the hot summer months our kids were born, they now how had a bountiful garden of patterns and colors to suit all baby personalities. Not to mention all the "childproof" toys and rattles. What every happened to a plastic block or old sock?

Finally, I reached the counter and low and behold I got one of the last remaining Kindles at the discount. "Is there any special offer or catch I need to know about," I asked the beleaguered clerk. He looked confused then shook his head. Move along lady.

I quickly texted my 12-year-old with plans to get the hell out of there, but when I found her she had three little hand picked items in her cart. No discounts applied but she was pretty happy with her finds...including a $17 shirt for herself which I quickly shot down. I showed her the lines weaving through cosmetics and back to plastics. "Do you really want to stand in that?" I promised to bring her back tomorrow (really?) and we left the little basket in the card section for some exhausted clerk to put up at 5 a.m. Or whenever they got to go home.

Then it was off to the mall to find my older child who had been shopping for a coat and waiting patiently. By now, the little one was getting highly pissed off as this was her idea to begin with and by George she was going to do some shopping! I again, gave the guilt trip to my older child who had an armful of sweaters, a shirt, a cap and, yes, the coat. I explained that Santa was not going to bring this followed by a lecture about giving vs. receiving. We filtered out most of the stuff and I sent them off to Old Navy to see if there was a cheaper coat. I stood in line...and stood in line...and stood in line. It was not moving. Finally after 30 minutes, and another text saying, yes indeed there was a coat for $25 at Old Navy, I got up to the cash register only to be told by the clerk that she was leaving now and no, there was not anyone coming to take over. I dramatically threw all the items on a table full of clearance purses and marched to Old Navy to see said cheap coat.

By then, younger daughter had dispensed to my LEAST favorite store in the mall, Hollister (more on that later). Older child was in line with a square of shapeless gray flannel. I asked him to model it for me and we both quickly agreed that the Macy's coat, while more, was much better. So I dispatched him back to Macy's to find the pile of clothes on the purses (with specific coordinates so he would not get lost and pick up some other frustrated shoppers discards) and went to find the tween.

Upon approaching Hollister, I took a deep breath. You really need to know three things about Hollister in order to prepare yourself before entering. It is very dark, has incredible deafening music blaring and only beautiful, blemish-free teens are allowed to work there according to rumor. As I got near the store, I blinked twice, as two very buff, topless young Adonis young men stood there in barefeet and swim trunks welcoming shoppers (even middle-aged ladies in sweats and an unflattering ponytail) into their den of hedonism and sexy clothes. Once inside, squinted looking around for my child. I texted. She texted back that she was in the store. "WHERE!" I shouted on my phone. Suddenly she was at my side showing me a sheer, ruffly blouse that she just had to have and it was 50 percent off. I was very tired at this point and did not have another lecture in me so I told her "fine, use your hard-earned babysitting money on yourself and see if I care that when relatives got a round of homemade gifts even though they are helping the economy by buying needless things for you!" She smiled and flounced off to buy her negligee, I mean shirt.

Back I dashed, past my surfer body builder boys, to Macy's where child #1 was in line. I quickly instructed him to stay put while I went to see the price on the new perfume by Justin Beiber. For girls, of course (for more on Justin, read my other blog on the subject. And for the record, I am told there is NO way he got that girl pregnant because he never met her and really, after all, he's Justin). While it smelled nice and flowery, I was not going to spend $65 on a box set of J.B. scents and CD and poster (Ok, it would have made a certain 12 year old very happy) least not now.

Back in line, we got the coat and shirt then discovered that the Sherlock Holmes green sweater, which we thought was 60 percent off was only 60 percent off until 1 a.m. -- a morning special! The look of sadness on my child's face must have made an impression on the saleslady as she did some magic on her keyboard and gave us the discount.

While waiting for the princess, who apparently was back in Old Navy searching for us, I left child #1 with purchases and dashed off to find a much needed bathroom. There is nothing worse than Black Friday with fatigue except really needing to go. Luckily, Macy's has nice bathrooms and nobody else was there so NO LINE!

I returned to my children with a desperate plea of "can we please go now before Mommy has a breakdown?" Say no more, they had been there and did not want that. Plus I think they were a little tired too.

We arrived home at 2:30 a.m. with a few purchases and some memories and a reminder that the stores would be there tomorrow, the sales would still be on, and that we had survived our first, and probably last, Black Friday.

I fell into bed exhausted with just a glimmer of satisfaction of my Kindle savings and bafflement that many people found joy in the midnight hunt for savings.

Let them have it.

I hoped those Hollister boys did not catch cold.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

And then they grow up

 I still remember the labor of both my kids.

Hal took his own sweet time, starting to warn me around 6 p.m. the night before but not finally emerging until my doctor with her Popeye post-spinach arms yanked him out with a suction cup on his head until almost noon the next morning (sadly I would have to look up the exact time, as well as height and weight).

Anna on the other hand didn't give us much warning at all. We pratically had to throw Hal out of the car at our sitter's house on the way to the hospital so I would not deliver in the car.  I think it was all of several hours before a deceptively demure baby arrived, sleeping most of the first couple days before the crying began. Maybe she needed to bake a little more but the colic was probably why there are only two wonderful children now and not three.

Their different labors were probably a sign of how different they would be. Hal is bookish, analytical and has always been more comfortable with adults than peers his own age. On the flip side, Anna's social calendar really deserves a personal manager and she is always up on the latest fashion and pop culture trends. I still have no idea what careers they will pursue but no doubt they will each excel in their respective fields.

Watching them grow up has been a blessing, but lately it's going way to fast. I was at a friend's BBQ the other day and while most the folks were my age or a little younger (I think) their children were all 5 and under. I'll admit part of me admired how cute the little ones were, asking parents to fix their plate or wipe their tears after a spill in the bouncy house (yes I guess you CAN rent these things now. So much for my cool air mattress in a tent idea from Anna's 5th birthday). Still, there was a part that was at peace knowing tomorrow I could get up, go to work and not have to fix a lunch, pick out an outfit, cut up bananas or make a bottle.

Soon Hal will start driver's education. Anna just started middle school. I'm not sure where the time went but I am realizing that my time is running out to have them at home and under my wings. This summer we took the kids on a splendid trip abroad for which I am so grateful. We could not have done this when they were little, but it is a tradition we started at ages 9 and 12 and hope we can do a few more before Hal goes off to college. That 24/7 time is truly a gift, with few distractions of cell phones, texting, email or activities.

I know we don't have much longer but I hope that someday my adult children will call on their own to say, "Hi Mom...guess what happened today?" I am trying to do more of that actually with my own parents as they get older.

Parenting is hard work. Really hard. But I would not exchange it for anything...tears, trials, puberty and all!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sleep is the word

4:04 a.m.
I know my body will punish me around 4:04 p.m. today for not getting enough sleep. What it doesn't understand is that I would LOVE to get more sleep, but lately my sleep clock is off and I find myself waking up around 3:30 a.m. just for fun! Since my family is sleeping I can't do anything uberproductive like mop the floors or walk the dog or clean out my messy cabinets. Nope, just gotta tiptoe around and either a) work...which I already did until about 9:30 p.m. last night or b) read, which my mind is not quite awake enough to do and my books are back in my room and I don't want to wake my husband or c) write on my blog which includes five followers.

I recently read a book all called "The HappinessProject"by Gretchen Rubin. She basically spends a year trying to get happy and devotes an entire chapter to the importance of sleep to getting "happy." I do not disagree but despite her tips like "hide the clock," "put socks on your feet," or "tidy up your room" I find myself wide awake. So today I tried tip #14: "Give up, and re-frame your sleeplessness."

4:14 a.m.
I am 99 percent sure that part of this is my changing hormones. Alas, I hear it only gets worse from here. Just once I wish men could have a dose of PMS or menopause or this wake up at 4 a.m. thing. Sure I know they have their own biological challenges such has hypertension, hairy faces and no breasts to nurse their young, but it seems to me that with the ability to produce offspring, women get the short end of the stick when it comes to hormone-related challenges. Unless of course you are my Mom who "never had problems" like cramping or blue moods.

4:20 a.m.
Before I piss off my one male reader who is a dear man and brother-in-law, I want to say that my husband (and maybe many, many men) do not have this same sleeping challenge. Is is that our bodies are different or do women just not have the same ability to "flip the switch" at night and dance off into sleepyland because we have too much on our minds? I wonder.

4:22 a.m.
I wonder some more...

In closing I would just like to say to others -- male or female or anything in between -- have a happy day even if you did not get enough sleep. Because one of these days we are not going to wake up and what a bummer that will be.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baby, Baby Bieber

There is a young man living in my daughter's bedroom. His presence is so pervasive that I've come to think of him like one of family. He's quite charming actually, with a sweet voice, and -- until recently -- this floppy signature bangs-in-the-face style that drives tweens wild when flipped just right (no wonder he sold a lock of it on E-bay for $40,000 to charity). All this going for him and he's still stayed away from drug addiction, petty theft and (that I know of) sexual scandals.

His name is Justin Bieber. That's BEE-ber, which rhymes with fever, which is why they call the international phenomenon and crazy following around this boy "Bieber Fever."

This winky young Canadian crooner was discovered on YouTube at age 12 by a manager/producer who new a teen angel and originality when he saw it. Justin rose quickly to worldwide fame on YouTube before he was signed by rap star/producer Usher. J.B. went on to sell more than 4 million albums in 2010. He is the Shawn Cassidy-Beatles-Elvis of a new generation of tweens like my daughter who love to sing and perhaps cling to the fact that maybe they too might be discoverd on YouTube.

Mostly though I think they just want to date him.

Why should you care about this young, puckish lad raised by a single mother? Because to know Justin Bieber is to understand that dreams can come true. Even if you don't like his catchy and somewhat addictive hits like, "Baby" or "One Time," it's hard not to admire this spunky kid who keeps on climbing the charts (and box office) and attracting adoring fans despite being passed over for an unknown jazz singer at the Grammy's for "Best New Artist" of the year. Plus the kid can dance, and even made fun of himself as he did with Tina Fey on "Saturday Night Live." Plus there was that huge charity concert for Japan...and the list goes on.

As you can see, I like the boy.

They say there are a lot of closet J.B. fans out there who love to say they hate him but secretly croon to his songs in the privacy of the car or shower. I'm "out" in my appreciation of the kid and just hope that guidance from his mom and others will help him stay on the straight and narrow unlike so many other teen stars gone bad. He's inspiring in a age of sexual innuendos and provacative R rated videos that blur the reality of what is cool and what is just plain wrong. That means, for now, he can keep living with my daughter and singing on my Smart Phone.

Then again, "Never Say Never."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Born this way

When I was a little girl, I liked to play with dolls but preferred pants to dresses. As I got older I cut my hair short and prefered to play Star Wars or run around with they boys on the playground. I found myself attracted to boys in general but thought Marilyn Monroe was amazing.

I share these things, not to reveal that I secretly wanted to be a boy (though at a certain time of the month it would have its advantages), but to point out how fluid and blurry gender lines can be.

The recent brutal beating of a transgender woman at a Baltimore McDonald's reminded me that sadly, our society has a long way to go in recognizing that some people are born with a body or biological gender that just feels alien to them. To most of the world, unfortunately, these people seem alien in a world of blue and pink. What society forgets, however, is that gender is more than just anatomy. It's an identity that is often chosen for us from day one when the hospital puts a certain color cap on our heads and checks M or F in the box on our birth certificate.

A friend of mine once told me about a transgender woman she knew who was going through a sex change and that her wife had decided to stay with her regardless. At this time I thought it was rather strange why someone would want to change the body they were born and go to the extreme of having surgery when they could just "be gay." Oh how naive and uninformed I was! Gender orientation is not necessarily gender preference ore presentation.

Recently in Oprah magazine, there was a feature about a woman who met the love of her life online only to discover that "he" used to be a "she." Beauty of it was, after consideration and time, she didn't care. They are now engaged and seemingly very happy.

I certainly don't expect the world to get it overnight. I'm personally still scratching my head at times but learning that gender identity like sexual orientation is not a choice. As we as a species make small steps in tolerance and acceptance of what may not be "the norm" in our society, I hope we will also consider that for most people who may appear or seem "different," well, "baby, they were born this way!"

Friday, April 29, 2011

Where have all the girlfriends gone???

I remember not so long ago when my mother told me how hard it was to stay in touch with her girlfriends.

"Oh not me," I quipped. "They are a priority...and help me keep it real."

Then something happened...I started losing touch. Weekly lunch dates were downsized to maybe birthdays and Christmas. Wine tasting...can't remember the last time. And phone calls...I'm lucky to get the occasional text and then if I reply I usually misspell things.

Book club was hopeful. Once a month with a circle of intelligent women who may or may not have read the book but always had a good time. Then they started meeting on Thursdays and I was doomed to admire them virtually from afar as that is the crazy night spent shuttling to piano-dance-karate (that's even with my husband doing part of the driving).

My husband tells me to give myself a break, but the break would be a regular night out with my girlfriends. That said, my job is demanding including weeknight meetings. The kids, while older, seem to take more time with all their growing lists of school commitments and dates with their friends (16 and driving seems so far away for my elder child...but not soon enough). Then my husband and I need some downtime if not an occasional date (rare). Reading this, even I'm exhausted.

There is a book of late called "I don't know how she does it" about a working mom who tries to balance it all and it just doesn't work. Surprised?! Not really. But how to find that beloved balance? I know I am always envious of those moms who look totaly pulled together and fit, well rested, have pretty nails, are in the PTA and organizing auctions. I was not that gal.

But then it happened. I found out I was not alone in my longing for girlfriend time. My friend, we'll call her Barbie*, was telling me about her devoted life as a fastpitch Mom. Weekend tournments, practices, physical therapy sessions, and so forth round the clock for all three of her girls. Suddenly the lightbulb went off -- I was not alone!  How selfish I had been thinking it was "just me."

We all lead busy lives...maybe those of us with kids more so maybe not...but we have to remind ourselves that girlfriend time is precious and we should take what we can carve out when we can. It may not be as often as we'd like but when we do manage to fit each other in, the investment is priceless. So let's quit beating ourselves up for what we don't do with our girlfriends and celebrate the times we can text, chat, send a card, grab a lunch or more.

It may just have to last us a little longer...until next time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


My old friend Kelly used to watch American Idol before it was fashionable. I was baffled by her devotion to a TV show until I discovered GLEE!If you are unfamiliar with this Emmy-winning phenomenon, this weekly high school musical comedy with a message is not for the judgemental or close-minded. The main characters are a group of misfit, while sometimes stereotypical, teens who are in their school Glee Club at McKinley High somewhere in Ohio. There is so much to love about the show even if the second season just quite doesn't have the authenticity of the first. After all, they are famous now...on I-tunes, on You Tube, on magazines everywhere and of course, the Emmys. What I truly love best about the show though is that both adults and kids can relate to it. Granted some of the themes are mature, but it has given me a golden opportunity to talk about things with my kids in a non-threatening environment (Oh NO! Here goes Mom again trying to talk about sex...). Boys kissing boys, Girls in love with girls. Boys and girls falling in and out of love. And the songs...I will never forget "Trouty Mouth!" Watch the show or google

Then again, sometimes nothing needs to be said. We just cry and laugh and sing and in the end we all got the same message...that everyone deserves respect, not a cherry slushy in the face. Oh, and that high school is really, really hard but we all survive and move on. Whether a pregnant prom queen wannabe, a dashing rapper in a wheelchair or a tone-deaf dancer, "we're all in this together," to quote a more innocent Disney high school musical theme song.

And Kurt and are the father/son duo of the year even if you are....fictional. Thank you Tuesday nights and Hulu for keeping it real.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'm sorry Oprah

Getting a smart phone was not very smart...or so I'm learning. Choosing the Droid over an I-phone was stressful enough but more so is the constant nagging I have to check my email (work and personal), or my Facebook, or my texts many, MANY times a day.

My family makes fun of my texts as they are often in another language. Example: "On my way home" could come out like "I am a gnome." Or something.

My husband feels I'm becoming way to intimate with Mr. Blue. I think he's more annoyed with the song I put on for his calls: the sticky sweet addictive country hit, "Stuck on You" by Sugarland.

So this week I am vowing to put the phone aside more even though it is sort of my lifeline to my kids, my peeps and co-workers. The reason it has finally hit home is that I have caught myself texting while operating a motor vehicle which in my state is now illegal and well, just plain stupid. Oprah even says so and has a contract for folks to sign called "No Phone Zone."

I briefly tried to defend myself to my husband with, "Well I'm at a stoplight...does that really count." Yes, it does. It also counts that I have two young kids who will all too soon be drivers themselves and I don't want to set an example for them that could be fatal.

So good bye Mr. Blue. I'm  buddying up with Mr. Blue tooth in case of emergencies otherwise it will just have to wait until the car has come to a complete stop and ignition is off.

Life is just too short to be tied to a phone.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Still the one

"Which one do you like?" asked my husband of nearly 20 years as we surveyed the options before us.
I glanced over at him then paused, admiringly, flashing back to when we met during a summer internship in Ohio. His blonde hair was longer back then in his pre-engineering days. He was the carefree Californian guy who took me on my first camping trip and introduced me to Rush (and tolerated my Richard Marx and Madonna).

Back then, we were still young, carefree -- and poor. When he proposed on the lakefront at Northwestern the following summer, he didn't even have a ring (and I didn't care). Later, he sold one of his many beloved guitars to buy my small but shiny diamond engagement ring which up until now I have refused to trade up because it reminds me of where we came from when we first fell in love in the foothills of Kentucky. And I like taking trips abroad more than big rings.

Back to the question at hand, "Which one did I like?" I tried to focus. There were so many choices and price variations I was not sure it was going to be an easy decision, but something we would have to live with for at least another 10-15 years.

"They kind of all look the same," I answered, staring not at anniversary rings, but at dozens of white, beige and uber white toilet seats in the bathroom section of Lowe's. The only one that really stood out was a needlepoint design, pink and yellow butterfly pattern that any grandma would be proud to display to her guests before they lifted the lid. "That one is pretty," I teased half-jokingly.

We finally agreed that the plain, white, $9.95 models would do just fine so we splurged and bought two.

From there we checked out sinks, dishwashers, lamps and finally...mailboxes. A snowplow had knocked down our mailbox a few snowstorms back and the little red flag no longer stayed up when we had mail to go out. It also had a large dent in the side. Small stuff I know, but it bugged me. I wondered if the postal carrier was annoyed too. I wanted a new mailbox.

"Gray or white?" my beloved asked. "We could also paint it."

"White...just plain white," I replied, standing on tip toe to reach the box.

"Are you sure you don't want the deluxe model?" he asked, reaching to get it down. "It's bigger..."

"This one is just fine," I said.

And it was.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happiness is...

  • Practice on the 6 word happiness model:
  • Husband making vegetable curry for family
  • Having dental insurance to fill cavity
  • Two parents alive and well to call
  • A job, a paycheck, and car
  • Two amazing children who love me
  • A dog who needs only love
  • A sister who makes me laugh
  • Friends who stand by me always
  • People who truly care about kids
  • A boss who understands family needs
  • Dancing with the Stars and daughter
  • A comfy bed which calls me...


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crying...over what exactly?

So imagine this...

You are in a public meeting of your peers, boss and strangers. Afterwards, instead of leaving gracefully with a smile and Queen Elizabeth wave, you decide, stupidly, "this is the moment to confront a colleague about a superficial but nagging issue."

Suddenly, Madame pre-Menopause, full moon, PMS crazy karma-pathetic-child-within-alter-ego decides it is time to cry...and cry and cry (Did I say this peer is a man and you are a woman? Should not matter, but GDI in our society we know it does).

Poor, poor bewildered colleague. "WTF?" he thinks, while nodding and trying to slowly back away gracefully. Others approach meanwhile and suddenly back off like they touched a hot stove. "Oh, I see.." they acknowledge.

Eventually you excuse yourself and splash your face in the thankfully empty bathroom and take three deep breaths (thanks Mom, but it does not really work) and sneek out to your car, passing concerned faces on the way. You breath-and-sob-and breathe some more. You call your bewildered husband and warn him to tell the girls "Danger, Danger, Mom's a not be afraid when she comes home with sobby face and tears."

Who has time for this really?

I do not know why this "deep crying" happens. There is a full moon. I am possibly, even at 42, ovulating. And my sister is having a tough situation maybe it's long distance empathy. Or the economy sucks, Japan is in chaos and we are probably going to war...again!

For guidance, since it was midnight and my family and friends would not appreciate me asking, "Why do I cry?" i consulted the internet. Here is what I found at ironically would not allow me to copy/paste little tidbits of wisdom, hence the entire website link:

Informative as it is, however, I did not appreciate the practicality of the suggestion to "watch a funny video or read a magazine." Yup, I always have those on hand when I need them most!

Puh-leez! Just let it flow and beg forgiveness the next day. Or watch a Hulu episode of Glee (or substitute your favorite TV show or video).

We are only human after all.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Butt Glue

Dear Lord...I know I'm getting old when I forget the name of my own blog. Second blog mind you. Though I have now re-lost mytaste for pork again (unclear, read my other blog)
Just completed Lacey Loves to Read 2011. Kirby Larson was our guest author and an amazing human being at that. Got to shuttle her around for two days in my little red Candy but really she did me the service.

Honestly, I'm tired about dreaming of being a writer. I mean, I am by training and maybe by title but for goodness sake I need to stop talking and start writing. I have a great book sitting around and it's not going to get published by sitting on a hard drive.
Kirby talked about having some butt glue to get a writer to stay in her chair and get the job done. This weekend I'm going to open that draft and start figuring out next steps.
Pearl deserves to have her story told...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Year, New Me

It started with a journalist. Nicole Broder from the Seattle Times wrote a column about "Dry January." No alcohol for a whole month. Yes, a whole month. And there was an online Facebook support group to help you on your journey.

This is a habit I'd been wanting to break for awhile and 2011 sounded like a good time to start. I decided to raise the bar and add the long procrastinated yoga classes with it. It was time to stop complaining about how stressed I was, how tired I was and start doing something about it. I was not getting any younger. My job was secure, though demanding.

Sure, the first week was hard. I enjoy my nightly glass of wine but had begun to look forward to it and rely on it a bit too much. Soon, however, I was sleeping better, had more energy at work and really didn't miss it much.

As for yoga, well it was long overdue. I learned to breathe. Listen to my body and discover child's pose. I could stay in that one forever. I made time at work making the class sacred like an appointment with my boss.

So here is February...watching the SuperBowl with the family. I turn 42 this month. Bring it on!