26 December 2006

So this is Christmas

No time to hang around the blogosphere before Christmas - and not really now, so I'll leave you with a photo of my five little angels - and there's hubby and me waving at the back... Hope you're enjoying the holidays - and a happy new year to all!
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19 December 2006

10 things about me that hubby somehow thinks are charming

... but that friends / other family members / passers-by might find uninteresting, at best... (Oh, yes, this is a very remotely related Tuesday tale tale...)

1. I smack my tongue in disappointment at vital moments like if I drop something on the floor, or if I have to go twice to get everything out to the kitchen (I always try to take everything in one go - which is often why I'm tut-tutting about the dropping things in the first place...) But never if the kids spill their milk or my favourite film just finished when I zap over to that channel or if Ronnie misses an easy ball. Then there's more! (No, I actually don't swear. But I know quite a few other words...)

2. I can wake him* up in the middle of the night because there's someone I just can't remember the name of, and I'll need to know to go back to sleep. (On the bright side, I'll never forget the name "Patrik Berger" again...)

3. I know the offside rules. I know this shouldn't be possible for women, but there you have it. I also know quite a few players and previous clubs and previous results. Only don't test me...

4. Watching a match I'll abuse the referee no end if he can't see that was actually a penalty for Liverpool. Same way I'll never stop talking about Peter Ebdon's horrible, slow march to crush my man** whenever "Mister" (and I use the term loosely...) Ebdon is on the screen.

5. Quite frankly I'll just never stop talking...

6. And I do go on about Ronnie a bit, don't I...

7. I'll scream like mad and hide my head in my hands watching important football or snooker matches. He'll do it to, but softer, so as not to wake the kids.

8. There are certain people (ok, men) that I'll be a bit shy around, even if they're on screen... He'll even call me in, if they're on and I'm not around!
(Judging by this, you'd guess my hubby would be dark-haired too. But he isn't! Ronnie is, though...)

9. I have censured clothes given to the kids - they haven't been allowed to wear ManU-kit, and Thomas only got to wear that Chelsea-kit because he was tiny and very cute and noone would look beyond those long lashes of his anyway...

10. I will stay up late most nights to blog or watch some silly film, and even if I really could do with some sleep he won't even mention it... Like he hasn't mentioned the fact that I've got Steven Gerrard as my desktop photo - not him or the kids.

-- You'd think after 11 (almost 12) years of knowing me he'd tire of these things at least, but no.. And have I tired of him***? Of course not!! :)

* Hubby, that is, not Ronnie...
** Ronnie, that is, not hubby...
*** hubby or Ronnie...

18 December 2006

HAHA - that's positively hilarious!!

So the photo below will be changing as the days go by -- this one above will - hopefully - stay the same... It's from today at 11:30 AM. Now - satisfied, y'all? It ISN'T that dark...

UPDATE!! (was: "the polar night?")

Really, Rarity - as a Norwegian you should have known there was something wrong...

My below post was written exactly to show you how dark it ISN'T in daytime "polar night" -- but then, apparently, I must have linked to the actual webcam, and not to the photo from 11:18 --- thus giving you exactly the impression of dark as I wanted to rid you of...

I think that's precious...

Well, when daylight hits again, provided there's no rain etc. etc. I'll try to give you a static photo next time, to show you what I mean.. (Yes, if you double click the photo below you may be able to detect the time on top of it - saying, e.g. 23:20 - an hour in which darkness will reign in most hemispheres...)

This is right now (11:18 AM) in Henningsvær, Lofoten

So - the sun disappeared December 5th, to come back January 6th. But it's not that dark, is it? People (including Norwegians from further south...) tend to think it'll be pitch black all day. I just thought I'd show you that it isn't. Or - it doesn't have to be. (Whether it's there or here it will be dark and gloomy in bad winter weather...)

16 December 2006

The nations of the world...

This is a Norwenglish* song you might actually enjoy - at least if you can endure the 1 minute monologue by the "girlfriend" of the "Latin American"... (Or just whiff past to 1:01) The performers are brothers, go by the name of Ylvis and can play all musical instruments you can think of - they can sing, dance, do comedy - and I've never laughed as much and for so long as when we saw them live a few years ago.

Also, this will prove really helpful if you (or your kids...) are trying to learn geography - so for your benefit the lyrics are right here :)
(*It's actually in English, but the introduction is in Norwegian)

15 December 2006

Rarity's back!

- If not with a vengeance, at least with this photo of last night's northern lights (in Oslo, no less). Beautiful picture?!! One of the web papers paid her to let them publish this, but I got to do it for free ;) Oh, and she's managing surprisingly well outside the blogosphere, but can occasionally be found here.

Walking away from it all

(No, not me, silly, I wouldn't do that, now, would I?)

I'm talking about (one of my) all time hero(es) - Ronnie O'Sullivan. Last night he was playing Stephen Hendry for a place in the semi finals. And trailing 4-1, he suddenly decided he'd had enough and walked out. That is - he did shake hands with Hendry and the referee before leaving the building.

Now, he's done a few odd things in his time, but this still came as a surprise... (Photo from his autobiography, just before he walked out from the session, I guess...) Today he issued an apology to his fans, saying he had been so disappointed in his own play that he just couldn't bear it. So he walked.

Maybe I should start doing that too?

"No, you can't have an extra helping of pudding. And anyway, I'm tired of quarrelling, so I'm going. Out."
"No, you can't stay up late. It's school tomorrow. And anyway, I'm tired of quarrelling, so I'm going. Out."
"No, we're not going to Greece this summer. It's too expensive. And anyway, I'm tired of quarrelling, so I'm going. Out. For a bit of a cry about just that..."

And so on and so forth. While the kids may not learn a lot about handling emotions or aggression control, I'll get a lot of healthy exercise, right?

(I realise most of you won't have the foggiest as to who is Ronnie or Stephen or even Jan Verhaas, but I decided against a prolonged explanation and settled for links... I think that was very nice of me. Father Christmas ought to bring me lots of pressies...)

Quote of the day (14)

"In due time we are looking at expanding school hours till 28 hours. In practice this means a sort of full-day school."

Norwegian Minister of Education and Research, this morning

Fuller than my days, anyway...

12 December 2006

Wintery Tuesday Tale

I hope you'll agree with me, that what we're having at the moment isn't winter. So we'll just skip that and mindleap (that's a word, right? At least it ought to be) to a wintery winter... And I'm really not such a big fan of snow, or skiing, or cold! But I'll be looking on the bright side...

The smells of winter
The smell of wood burning, inhaled through frozen nostrils. The smell of hot chocolate, coming home from the cold. The smell of hot blackcurrant squash (what we call 'toddy') and oranges taking a break on a skiing trip. That's cross country, obviously ;) The rancid smell of fresh-gutted fish and seawater during the fishing season.

The sights of winter

The northern lights. Couldn't possibly tire of them! The drying racks full of fish. The vastness of the starry sky on an endlessly dark night, as you see them lying on your back in the snow.

The sounds of winter
The sound made walking on kram* snow - it is in fact just like walking on potato flour. (Try it!) The sound of sea gulls calling from afar, then masses responding as the fishing boats return home! The swish-swash sound of skis run through a slope.

The touch of winter
Cold. Obviously. And very sticky... Like (probably) every Norwegian child I once just had to lick some metal surface that had ice on it. Don't try this at home kids! Yes. Your tongue will stick. And yes, it does hurt having it ripped lose. 'nuff said...
The tastes of winter
(Except from blood, in the above example...?) Well, hot chocolate, "toddy" and oranges I've already mentioned. Christmas cookies, I guess... And the taste of snow :) Well, no, I don't eat snow anymore - and I tell my kids not to (they haven't either, since one of them got those dreaded worms, and they all had to take the horrid medicine for a week...), but I do remember the taste of it. Tasty? Not really. But definitely wintery...

*Quite new and sticky snow, excellent for making snow-balls and snowmen!

And don't be silly - of course these photos aren't mine!! The daylight ones I ripped off somewhere I don't even remember, the starry night was taken by the excellent photographer, my Canadian friend r!

11 December 2006

Changed to beta version

Had to. Or so "they" told me. Now it seems it won't show Greek. No matter what coding I choose. Pah. Is what I feel about beta blogger. So far. And this is just the beginning...

Dote to self

Bust dot joid choir to hold Christbas condcert ad thed fall ill. Bust dot fall ill adyway just before Christbas, 'cause there's do tibe for such.

- Oh, the white stuff? I'b dot goig to say what they are but they rhybe with these:


08 December 2006

Not that I'm particularly interested...

I didn't have Chloe orbiting around me... But how can I resist telling you I'm this?

You are The Star

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised

The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

(And anyway, it's too close to Jakob's birthday and Christmas to actually think of something to write...)

06 December 2006

Greek night out in Norway

Last night was end of term celebration at restaurant 'Zorba' for all Greek language and dance classes. You can't really tell from this recording, but the Greeks - and the others - were pretty good :) And lovely food was had by all...

05 December 2006

Tell me about what you dream of

Yet another Tuesday Tale (I think I've nearly exhausted their funds now...). Favourite -

My current one. I get to play with words as much as I like. I have access to all the dictionaries I want - if we haven't got them, I can buy them. And if there are words I need to find out about I'm allowed to spend time googling for it (or posting it on my blog for you to help me out!). I get to work from home 4 days a week. Ok, it won't make me a millionaire. And we've got five weeks holidays a year, not, say, ten - but truly, how could I dream of more?

I don't think anyone will be surprised if I bring Greece into this... Crete, to be more precise, and Chania, to be very specific. This photo's from Gramvousa, the northwestern tip of Crete (check out a map and you'll know what I mean). It's absolutely paradisiac! In an ideal world, we'd go to Crete for an entire summer. The kids would be friends all the time and befriend some Greek kids to keep them company. (Which would explain their non-fighty-ness..) We'd be staying right by the beach, and we'd have friends coming over every so often. And there would be nothing to worry about - financially or concerning health. I wouldn't have to wish for nice weather - it would be, in Crete, in the summer. And I wouldn't have to wish that hubby and I stayed friends all the time - we always are... Leading me straight on to the next point:

Ideal mate & best friend? My hubby. Noone would come even close. His only flaw - and I admit it's a big one, but still - is that he isn't Greek...

- And as 'mate' (at least in British English) also means 'chum, buddy' I'll throw in how much I appreciate all my friends - IRL & in the blogosphere. Life's so much more fun with you guys! In my dreams I would have more time for each one...

Well, now... There are so many... The one we've got really isn't bad at all. We've got 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a spacious enough garden for all our little footballers... But I wouldn't mind if it was twice the size... So, in an ideal world, we'd have one built just like we want it - living room big enough for a snooker diner (...), one room for each child, a separate office, guest room .... In this ideal world, of course, we'd also have a villa or at least a flat of our own in Crete... But in this world, our house is good enough, methinks! But I can dream, right?!

Snooker player whose birthday it is today (Ok, I threw this one in for good measure...)
Ronnie O'Sullivan, of course! Happy birthday!!!

And I dream that you win the UK Championship tournament that started yesterday...

So - what are you're current dreams?

04 December 2006

Notice of revocation of independence

Supposedly by Basil Fawlty (otherwise known as John Cleese) - but not really, according to this and Moncrief Speaks. Well, it's still fun.. From sometime after dubya had been elected - but still topical! And as my American bloglings appear to all be among the below-mentioned 2.15% I don't think I risk being sued at printing this...

To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister (the Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium". Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour', skipping the letter 'U' is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter 'Z' (pronounced 'zed' not 'zee') and the suffix "ize" will be replaced by the suffix "ise". You will learn that the suffix 'burgh' is pronounced 'burra' e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you can't cope with correct pronunciation. Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Lookup "vocabulary". Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up "interspersed". There will be no more 'bleeps' in the Jerry Springer show. If you're not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn't have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you won't have to use bad language as often.

2. There is no such thing as "US English". We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of "-ize".

3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn't that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents - Scottish dramas such as "Taggart" will no longer be broadcast with subtitles. While we're talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is "Devon". If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become"shires" e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.

4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters. British sit-coms such as "Men Behaving Badly" or "Red Dwarf" will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can't cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness.

5. You should relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen", but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.

6. You should stop playing American "football". There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American "football" is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays American "football". You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies). We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by 2005. You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the 'World Series' for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls' game called "rounders", which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don't believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called "Indecisive Day".

9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren't even French, they are Belgian, though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called "crisps". Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat.Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.

12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer", and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Lager". The substances formerly known as "American Beer" will henceforth be referred to as "Near-Frozen Knat's Urine," with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as "Weak Near-Frozen Knat's Urine". This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen, Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

13. From November 10th the UK will harmonise petrol (or "Gasoline," as you will be permitted to keep calling it until April 1st 2005) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon - get used to it).

14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you'renot grown up enough to handle a gun.

15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.

16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to1776).

Thank you for your co-operation.

03 December 2006

100 things about yours truly

1. Restricted to one answer I might give you a hundred.
2. Granted a hundred I may just fall short...
3. But then I may not.
4. I'm no fan of short sentences.
5. I like blogging a lot.
6. I've got 5 blogs.
7. My niece, father, brother-in-law (sister's husband) and sister-in-law (hubby's twin sister) have also got blogs.
8. My mum, sister and niece reads this blog regularly (hi!).
9. My dear hubby doesn't.
10. I expect he knows what I'm doing most days anyway.
11. I've also got four registered domains.
12. I intend to take over all the world's
http://www.scholiast/... Moohaha.
13. Just kidding.
14. None of the homepages are operative, though...
15. I would love to learn more about webdesign.
16. I would love to learn something about webdesign is what I really mean...
17. Blogging is a great way to meet new people.
18. Like
Oscar Wilde, I always like to know everything about my new friends, and nothing about my old ones.
19. Actually, I quite like knowing about the old ones too...
20. At least their birthdays.
21. I'm a birthday-autist (is that a word?), meaning I'll remember your birthday if I've ever been told the date.
22. I'll remember your birthday 20 years from now too.
23. That is, if Alzheimer's hasn't set in.
24. And I'm addicted to quotes.
25. I can quote movie lines and song lyrics at any given moment and without further notice.

26. I may not stop even if you ask nicely.
27. I'm not as kind as I'd like to be.
28. I'd really, really like a snooker / dining table.
29. Sigh.

30. Three of our sons are getting pretty good at shooting pool.
31. We've only got a kiddy pool table.
32. They need a proper table.
33. Hubby agrees on this.
34. He's already pretty good at pool.
35. We're planning an extension to the house.
36. Not exactly for the table, but still.
37. We could squeeze it in.
38. Probably couldn't afford it anyway.
39. The table or the extension, that is.
40. But I can dream, can't I?
41. I like filling in forms.
42. That may explain all the e-mail addresses and domains...
43. ... And why I love having those phone calls from the National Bureau of Statistics or somewhere and answer their silly questions about who I voted for last and what brand shampoo I use.
44. I've always voted since I was old enough.
45. My parents told me it was my duty, and I agreed.
46. I'm not that interested in party politics, though.
48. The world, on the other hand, I quite like.
49. More for geography and travelling than political science.
50. But it's a start?!
51. I love games like Passport and Trivial Pursuit.
52. I get really embarrassed if I get the more obvious answers wrong.
53. But I pretend I just haven't got a competitive nature...
54. Truthfully, I like games more as a challenge and for social reasons than for winning.
55. Playing Monopoly, buying a row of streets, 4 hotels and then watching everybody else go bankrupt and fall out of the game in 10 minutes isn't my thing.
56. Hmm. Maybe I've got a feminine side after all.
57. I've got three handbags. Maybe even four. I don't use any of them.
58. Rucksacks are more practical, and better for your posture.
59. Did I mention my mum's a physiotherapist?
60. I wear clothes not to freeze and feed so as not to go hungry.
61. Meaning I've got no idea what brands my clothes are, and I don't care much if the food looks like a bunch of flowers or a piece of junk...
62. I do get passionate about some things, though.
62. And some people... ;)

63. My favourite author and I are e-mailing on occasion. And he recommends me books he likes - not just his own..
64. My favourite band considers me their most "ancient" and loyal fan.
65. I've got their phone numbers, but only use them to text birthday messages...
66. There's no such thing as background music.
67. If it's the kind of thing that doesn't sound good on it's own, it's not worth listening to.
68. I still haven't smashed the kids' Crazy Frog CDs.
69. Maybe I've got a kind streak after all.
70. And I like giving things away.
71. It's a lot of fun planning presents and watching the receivers' faces!
72. Planning anything is a lot of fun.
73. I've planned a lot of my travels in detail beforehand.
74. I've planned even more trips I'll never be going on, just for the fun of it.
75. I like to escape life for a bit, even if it's in my head.
76. Life isn't bad at all, though, so I like returning as well.

77. Hubby and I said we'd have between 4 and 10 kids before we had any.
78. Five kids make a lot of noise.
79. Five kids also make for a whole lot of hugs, though.
80. I still go week at the knees (or is it the ovaries?) when I see babies.
81. Really looking forward to grandchildren now ;)
82. In the meantime I borrow other people's babies.
83. May I borrow yours?
84. I'll bring it back later. Promise.
84. My soul is very weak at other points.
85. I work from home.
86. There's biscuit and chocolate in the kitchen.
87. Say no more!
88. I feel convinced I'd stay thin if I for some reason turned thin one day.
89. We won't find out, will we, before liposuction is a dollar a thigh..
90. I'm not too concerned, though.
91. My hubby's the best and he's happy.
92. I'm happy too :)
93. I'm very lucky I found him.
94. If you're planning to have quads, a soulmate with an extraordinary work capacity is a must.
95. A sense of humour doesn't hurt either.
96. Feeding our quads (back in time) - for the second time at night, at 06.00 - we'd laugh at eachother and say "we've still got our excellent wits!"
97. I know. I'm pretty amazed myself.
98. Reaching a hundred was harder than I though, so I skipped # 47.
99. I suddenly thought of something, though, so there are double 62's and 84's..
100. There!

01 December 2006

Traditional "julebord"

Julebord = [literally: Christmas table] Christmas party, Christmas dinner. Usually with colleagues, sometimes with friends. Sometimes with Christmassy food, sometimes not.

You haven't had a traditional Norwegian Julebord until you've been totally plastered / sloshed / [fill in equivalent of choice], told off your boss in public (just before you barfed at his shoes), made out with his / her spouse in the back room and shown up at work at noon the next day (to find noone arrived before you) with a severe headache and total amnesia.

Ours was last night.

But it wasn't that bad. Really. And I don't drink*, so I was fit as a fiddle this morning --- inasmuch as I'm ever really fit for anything at any morning... (I remind you that Oscar Wilde spoke the truth about this: "Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast".)

I had my fears, before it all began.

Firstly I hate having to dress up. Always have done. I feel like a transvestite! Only I don't look as good. I'll see if I can't find one of those lovely photos taken of a very grumpy me at some stage.

Secondly, as I mentioned, I *don't drink*. Well, it happens, and it's not a principle. But I don't like the taste of beer, or most wines or spirits, so I much prefer a traditional coke... (I do like stuff like cider, but we haven't got that here, so it was me and the waitress keeping up the sober rate.)

Thirdly, we were going to start the thing off by "playing games" at the office. Adult games usually involves a great deal of drinking and not much sense. Actually, this one wasn't so bad: Everyone had brought 2 presents, and we threw dice about who got what, then "stole" them off eachother with a lucky 6 etc. But I didn't get what I most yearned for:

The faster you type, the quicker the hamster runs. (And no, it's not a real one, animal lovers...)

Then we were off for the meal. Excellent food (five courses - none of which had anything to do with Christmas, luckily), good company, general goodmoodiness (is that a word?) and less inebriety than expected...

Tonight it's hubby's turn - and then we won't have to do this for another year...