Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

On Wednesday night I went up to stay with my cousin Ryan so that his sister Mandy and her family could pick us up Thursday on their way down to Long Island.  Mandy's brother in law and his wife live in Huntington.  They are dentists - he is from Guyana and she is from Brazil.

Is this confusing?

She usually has Thankgiving catered and it was delicious.  There were interesting Brazilian snacks - breaded balls of salted fish, breaded chicken balls, and the best one, beef meatballs made with bulgur wheat.  Now that's an addition to the mix I would have never thought of (usually breadcrumbs (too dry), grated potato (fairly moist), or water chestnut (juicy)).  Bulgur wheat doesn't exactly add moisture, but it does create an enjoyable texture, and there was a hint of mint.

Main course:  turkey that had been soaked for a couple of days in sugar water, very tender. Caesar salad, and a Brazilian ground chicken salad mixed with sliced green olives, raisins, diced apples, and topped with crispy fried potato sticks
Sides of sweet potato, seasoned rice, farina stuffing, and the nanny made shrimp lo mein.
Dessert included pumpkin pie, coconut custard pie, an assortment of luxury cookies, and a variety of Indian sweets made of milk/nuts, etc.

There was of course lashings of rose, red and white wines, and Moet & Chandon champagne.  No matter what the name, I still don't like champagne, and oddly enough neither does the host as he commented to me while collecting our empty flutes.

L-R: My second cousin Kristine, my cousin Mandy, another in-law's kid, Mandy's sis-in-law Monique and her son Danny(?)

Mandy, her daughters Kristine and Karissa, and her husband Cornel (son Kevin is missing, he was in the living room arguing politics with his uncles)

With my second cousin Karissa.  She is 13 now and so grown up and full of knowledge about anything you care to discuss.  But I still remember when she was a tiny baby and so cute with such a soft little voice, and my mother used to make whispery sounds in her ear to lull her to sleep...In fact, the first time I visited NYC that hot summer of 1995, Mandy was pregnant with her.  Her brother Kevin was 3 at the time and his brain worked faster than his little lispy mouth could talk, so all his information would come out in a jumble.  Or he would ask you a question and then impatiently answer it before you'd put your response together. :)


Monique's style is very warm and Mediterranean - everything has a Portuguese/Spanish/Italian authenticity, as though I'd been transported far from icy New York.  So of course I got caught up in light and color:

Champagne, flowers and light

Candle with solarize effect

Bright still life

Dark still life

I prefer the dark still life (looks more Old Master) but Karissa doubted that I wanted my crumpled napkin and her hands in it.  I should not have turned on the flash.  Which do you prefer?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Michael Crichton

The ironic tale of how I unwittingly found Michael Crichton's successor on the same day he passed away.

At Toronto airport last month I decided to break my rule of "no more books" and buy something riveting to read on the plane back to NYC. I usually skim for any Michael Crichton book I haven't seen yet.  Not easy.  So I picked up a medical thriller called Cold Plague by Daniel Kalla, apparently a rising star in Canada. The moment one of the reviews on the back compared him  to Michael Crichton I was hooked.  I have been jealous of actually running out of Crichton's works so was hesitant to finish the ones I haven't read yet.  (Robin Cook is also good but hasn't captured me in the same way.)

I devoured the book in a day. Kalla's writing indeed rivals Crichton's in that as you turn the pages, you lose sight of the author, his words, his craft, and any trace of self consciousness on his part - you see only the characters and the story.  Look out for Daniel Kalla. He needs to break out of the Canadian market to keep us literary nerds enthralled for years.

The next morning, amid the post-election results, I was surprised and saddened to hear that Michael Crichton had lost his short battle with cancer. It's tragic when a doctor succumbs to disease, and the loss of a respected cultural talent is disappointing.  He was only in his 60s but has had a significant impact on popular culture over the past couple of decades, and in spite of Hollywood's depictions good or bad, his books are highly technical, educational, engrossing, and addictive.

I hope many other teenagers are introduced to his works as I was.  Too easy for them that most have been adapted into film (~21 so far).  In the spring of 1993, our 10th grade Biology teacher assigned us the book 
Jurassic Park a few months before the movie came out and it changed the literary landscape for me forever - yes, Crichton succeeded in becoming my first favorite contemporary author.   

Additionally, that was the summer we moved to The Woodlands, a master-planned community nestled in the great Jurassic forest north of Houston.  (The tail end of the Piney Woods region of the Southeastern US.)  Coming from the arid prairies of Dallas where we'd been living, the first time we visited I believe my jaw hit the ground.  For months after moving down, every time we crossed the bridge over Lake Woodlands, I held my breath half expecting a brontosaurus to raise its giant head over the misty tops of the towering pine trees along the shore.

Thank you, Dr Crichton...

Lake Woodlands sunset

George Mitchell Preserve, named in honor of the founder of The Woodlands

Texas Piney Woods


If you follow this City Data link, you will see why my standards are still high, as proven in previous posts.  Even I can't believe this is where I lived for one-third of my life!  Is it possible to envy oneself?


Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Saturday I ventured up to the Upper West Side for a girl's evening in with Denise.

We had pizza and salad at a pizza place, and as it was so cold out we wanted dessert at home.  So we stopped in at Magnolia Cupcakes where we bought a couple of hot chocolates and two cupcakes.  

We got comfy in her adorable apartment where we had our dessert, some blueberries and raspberries, and even some Greek dessert wine.  It was just wonderful hanging out with my old friend, chatting and gossiping and watching Oswald (sooooo cuuuuute!).  Denise is a reading specialist with the little kids so would appreciate something like that :)  Oswald is a blue octopus who wears a little bowler hat and has a sausage dog called Weenie.  Oswald and Weenie cleared out the closet and put some things in the wagon to take to the city dump.  However, walking through the park on the way there, people kept stopping them to take items they thought they could use.  And by "people", I mean a penguin, a walkin' talkin' tree, cactus, daisy, butterfly and caterpillar, even a trio of paper cutout people....!

In the living room:




Saturday, November 22, 2008


My nose is cold all the time, I feel like a dog.  My fingers and toes fare little better.  I'm wearing three layers and long socks.

Since these frigid temperatures took hold last weekend, cold air has been streaming through the air-conditioning unit in the living room window.  (It should have a cover.)  Somehow my roomie claims this has never been a problem before (!).  I am not into hermetically sealed houses and am usually the one that keeps a window cracked open in winter to allow oxygenation, but when you have the radiator next to the window at full heat and the room is still cold, then something needs to be done.

Thankfully my room is the warmest, in fact a little too warm, but I do think that the bowl of water on my radiator contributes to the general comfort of my room.  It is attached to the living room, so I leave the doors open in the day so that some heat can flow into the living room.  But I suspect it's too scared to come out.

In the summer, you cannot possibly conceive of winter's coldness, so even if only 2 of 5 rooms have functioning radiators you assume they are going to spread their warmth comfortably around the house, as long as the windows are closed.  No such luck...

I know this is an old house, but surely winterproofing is not too much to ask, since the landladies only live downstairs and they can't be all cold round the edges.  This reminds me of growing up in our old house in London, which was draughty through the original leaded window panes.  Memories of my mother plastered against radiators, yet she always hung up on double glazing telemarketers.  We were all for authenticity, back then.

Then we moved to Texas, leaving behind our turn of the century Tudor style house.  We moved into a cozy modern townhouse, followed by a fairly luxurious new colonial style home with nary a draught, well finished in every corner.  Needless to say, my standards went up.

I like original features, but I think from now on I should choose new constructions...or at least very well refurbished old places rather than merely maintained ones.  Comfort AND authenticity in one place.

End of Rant.

I have another thing to whine about, but that's for later.

I've made my bed really cosy, redraping the swagged voile to completely enclose the top and sides, like a room within a room.


By the way, this week I applied to a couple of cool jobs in another major city south of NYC.  It had been my original intention to job hunt up and down the eastern seaboard while staying with my cousin, using NYC as a base but setting a time limit on my sojourn here.  However, when I was forced to find my own accommodations this changed slightly and I focused only on the local area.  Now that the economy has worsened and I haven't heard back from anyone, it's back to plan A:  expand the search and go wherever the job is rather than forcing it out of just one place.

Time for me to go off and meet my friend Denise for a pizza dinner followed by dessert in the comfort of her home.  It's on the Upper West Side so I need plenty of time to get there, especially on a weekend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Winter is here at last

Oh my gawd!  It musta snowed in Canada or somethin' cuz it's frickin' freezing out here!!!  (Said in best NYC accent.)

Seriously, I made a late night run to the grocery store on Atlantic Avenue and the wind was so biting that by the time I walked one block from the subway to the entrance my face went numb!  As I entered the relative warmth of the fresh produce section I gasped with shock and spent the next few minutes clutching my face.  

They say the Christmas weather has arrived a month early.  Eeee!


AND ANOTHER THING!  I HAVE LOST MY CURLS!!!  Yes, a few weeks ago my hair suddenly went straight, well ok, wavy - but to me that feels straight.  I hate it, hate it, hate it.  What used to be my kiss curl is now a straight wisp that keeps falling into my eye.  Very annoying.  

Once upon a time nothing would affect those curls - not cold weather, dry heating, or a change of styling products.  Now, nothing I use is bringing them back :(

I know I used to complain about them, but it was all in jest and I am sorry, I truly am....pleeeeeeeeease come back, please...?


This week has turned up a couple of good things to apply to, so wish me luck.

Just felt like sharing a nice picture, the clerestory of St Patrick's in Manhattan:

Gives me a contented feeling to look at it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thanks Facebook

Thanks to Facebook, I've gotten back in touch with many people I knew at my alma mater, the University of St Thomas. Whereas before we used to hear about each other through mutual friends, now FB has enabled us to network across oceans and meet up whenever anyone is in town.

So Friday I met with Lynette who was in town for a day and a bit. We know each other from the dorms because she was on the residence life staff. She's nearing the end of a 2-year work assignment in Italy, after which she will return to Houston HQ.

We ate near her hotel at the Cinema Brasserie where I had attended a dinner in the summer. Nice food, very chic. I was SO hungry I forgot to take photos before tucking in, but we ordered everything to share: a small plates taster - more like small bites - (tuna tartare, grilled shrimp on cilantro rice, filet mignon skewers, avocado salad, crabcakes) and a dim sum taster. A chorizo tarte flambe on a slate tile added weight to the starters, and we finished with a raspberry Napoleon pastry.

Cinema Brasserie on 45th St @ 5th Ave

She was staying midtown at the Library Hotel, which is a characterful boutique hotel near the Hyatt Regency where I stayed last year. I discovered it while exploring the neighborhood back then and slapped my forehead as soon as I saw it, so when she invited me to explore the place with her after dinner, I jumped at the chance.

This is how I saw it last year, the lights oozing yellow pools of warmth onto the sidewalk, inviting you in, promising comfort and satisfaction...

The hotel itself is stocked to the brim with vintage and antique books. The lobby is full of art history publications and the slots behind reception are actually card catalogue drawers. Every floor has a different theme of the Dewey Decimal System, Lynette's being Math and Science, and her hall was Zoology.
Her small but convenient room was tastefully finished in dark woods and warm tones, including a few shelves of zoological books. I found a 70 year old book of Spaniels with photos of curly-eared, puppy-eyed, um, puppies that made me happy :)

Actually, if I had stayed at that hotel you wouldn't have been able to tear me away from the books and then I would have been late to the event!

First we went up to the cute roof terrace and leaned over the gothic parapets to see the street and the surrounding buildings. It was a very mild night and quite a few people were sitting outside.

We settled in the Reading Room for tea and cookies and further chatting. There is a bar with carafes of coffee as well as an espresso/cappuccino machine, a selection of teas in a box, and cookies and pastries under glass domes for the late night snackers. Apparently in the afternoon there were cheese and crackers on offer. The music selection that night was opera but there was also a baby grand, more bookshelves, tables, and reading nooks.

1) The hotel seems very narrow from Madison Ave, though the width stretches to the back.
2) The Reading/Breakfast Room.
3) The exterior entrance on 41st St. The sidewalk outside the hotel is called "Library Way" and the paving slabs are inset with brass plaques with literary quotes and designed according to each.
4) The tiny lobby with card catalogue behind the reception desk.

1) See no evil, Speak no evil, Hear no evil on the window sill of the Reading Room.
2) A dictionary flanked by the two lions, Patience and Fortitude, which sit on the steps of the NYPL a block away.

[Food-wise (but not book-wise of course) the Reading Room at the Library Hotel reminds me of the Concierge Lounge on the top floor of the historic Beaux Arts Sheraton Gunter in San Antonio, which is a big comfy living room maintained exclusively for the 6th floor guests. We were there some years ago when my father served as best man at my cousin's wedding to a San Antone debutante. We didn't know her parents were there too, but we bumped into each other in that lounge and later spent many hours up there demolishing the chocolate-dipped strawberries and getting to know each other.]

Grand Central Station on 42nd St with the Chrysler Building shining like a beacon in the background

The cavernous interior of Grand Central at midnight
with the Milky Way on the ceiling


I love this city, with all the beauty in its details...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Winter Prep

But first, it was Veteran's Day today, honoring those who have dedicated their lives to serving their country:

WWI Memorial at Central Park


I had the strangest thought as I was opening my eyes this morning: maybe I should boil the frankfurter before frying it.

You see, last week I made what I call "white" pasta: olive oil, black pepper, chili flakes, minced garlic, romano cheese, capers...but I had no prosciutto di Parma on hand, so made do with sliced, fried beef franks. It was really delicious too! Who knew?

Hence the thought this morning. It's nearly time to make pasta in a red sauce and I want to use hot dogs again. They are more affordable than prosciutto but also the last time I bought prosciutto, I packed it sideways in my jute shopping bag. Five days later I picked the bag up to go shopping again, noticed it was unusually heavy, and found the prosciutto tucked in the corner! So annoyed I was!


View from the kitchen window now that the leaves are thinning out


Winter is coming apace. Granted, we're still above 10C (50F) and properly sunny, but I don't want to be caught short when frozen water starts falling from the sky.

My friend Chris and I met up on Sunday just for the sake of meeting up. I love how my Houston friends are so simple that way; he had called from work a few days before because he realized he hadn't spoken to me in a week and a half (well, I was out of town...). That is a true friend, you don't have to make an appointment to chat on the phone, and you can arrange impromptu visits.

We had some decent cheeseburgers at the Good Burger Co. off Union Square - just the right size and not too tall to wrap my teeth around. I had the works: cheese, onions, crispy fresh pickle, grilled tomato, mayo, and ketchup on an honest, medium-well-done burger patty. The soft bun was extremely unobtrusive, serving merely as a vehicle to get the fillings into your mouth, rather than the usual hindrance.
The fries were apparently baked not fried, but they were so good I didn't notice the difference. Conclusion: The Good Burger Co. makes good burgers.

Since we always fail at catching the movies we want to see, we have given up on that and were going to randomly walk around until Chris said, "Olivia, I need to get some winter boots!" I said, "So do I!" and as we were just across the Square from DSW Shoe warehouse, I dragged him in and taught him how to choose snow boots. Being Texan, he had no idea. And I only know from buying them a few times in Canada during Christmas visits.

Then he helped me to choose mine. I have never gone shoe shopping with anyone other than me, myself or my mother; certainly not a male friend, but it was fun. If I hadn't had the encouragement or the criticism, perhaps I would have walked out with no boots again, just as I did last month. It was funny though, at the first boot I reached for (a wool-lined dark green suede knee length boot by Merrell) Chris emitted a firm, "No", so I withdrew my hand and retorted, "How very dare you!" But then I got used to the input and ended up with a waterproof suede (seems to be the only thing out there these days) by Sporto with warm and fluffy cuffs. The soles are something to be reckoned with, having tread facing forwards and backwards, like tiny rubber ice picks.

I also bought an awesome pair of leather and waterproofed canvas chukka boots by Timberland because the sneakers I bought in summer are not waterproof or windproof, which in colder weather translates into "leaky and drafty"! The Timberlands almost look bomb proof. Chukkas are similar to the boots worn by British forces in the desert during WWII. Don't worry, I did try on a sexy pair of knee-high brown suede 3-inch heeled pointy boots, except they had no price and were sitting in a clearance box with a worryingly high price tag.


Ooh I didn't tell you, before I went to Canada, my little chest of drawers finally arrived:

Isn't it cute? Target has free shipping, therefore I love Target.

You guys, look at the boots and look at my dresser...!

I seem to be an odd mix of utility and romanticism, tomboy and sophisticate. I guess that is what comes of being an only child, you have to be everything to both parents...Help dad in the garage, help mum in the kitchen. Play with cars and electronics in my pink bedroom. Study science, study art. Nearly get recruited to the Navy at 18, study at Christies at 25, still want to do both at 31.
It is sometimes a balance; always a conflict.
Who am I???????????

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Family Reunion

We didn't fly back from Toronto in time to vote, but by the time we touched down on the tarmac New York State was blue and the electoral votes were probably already in.

Comment I made on Um Naief's blog last month re Powell's endorsement of Obama:

It will show the world that America is more sophisticated and therefore worthy of credit, if it can differentiate between Muslims and terrorists to such an extent that someone with a name like Barack Hussein Obama can be elected to leadership in an era where we have deposed a Hussein and are fighting an Osama.

My cousins had CNN on nearly 24/7 and it was refreshing to see the kids both from NY and Canada, ranging in age from 10 to 17, passionately discussing the candidates' closing speeches with each other and their parents. I mostly sat and listened, still not believing that these intelligent and articulate teenagers were babes in arms not so long ago...I remember when their moms were pregnant. I feel old. But I love that my cousins have such smart children. Well, so it should be, I mean imagine if it were otherwise for my cousin and her husband who are on the NY Board of Education and a high school principal.


Toronto Approach

My cousins (Ryan and Andrea) and I landed just a few minutes before the London bunch (including my Mum) so we all waited and met up in the International Arrivals lounge. My cousin Pierre from Orangeville picked up the London bunch and I went with them to Orangeville, and the rest were taken to Kitchener by their brother Neil.

Much of the drive between Toronto, Kitchener, and Orangeville looks like this:

I've been visiting Canada since 1979 but never have I been so impatient with the mileage. Usually I just let the endless driving pass by but this time every trip felt a half hour longer than it used to. 1 hr 45 min to get anywhere proved too much so my London cousins and I started up with the "Are we theeeeere yet?" a couple of times!

Endless straight flat or undulating roads slice through farms, fields, forests, and provincial parklands. Roads with names like Blind Line (because you can't see round the corner), 15th Line or 168th Line (running NW to SE), Sideroad 12 or Sideroad 39 (running NE to SW), Hurontario Road (because that's where it is) or Forks of the Credit Road (because that's what it passes through). I've made these trips in the dark in driving snow, and I will never know how my cousins know where to turn.

It was lovely countryside but I couldn't capture as many images as I'd have liked, even when we drove through the Forks of the Credit River area, over the river, and into Belfountain (conservation hamlet from the 1840s). Also, the fall colors were mostly over but my cousin Elizabeth asked me if I thought the deep orange sunset bathing the tops of the sparsely yellow-leafed forest trees reminded me of Klimt. Love it when my family says random things like that.

Despite an early snow last week which had melted, the weather warmed up and for most of the trip remained mild, even reaching 20 C (60s F). My London cousins were excited because it felt like English summer!


Some of you may remember Jay-Jay, or Jayj as I call him. He wuvs me. He's Aunty Rita's boy. My mother helped her adopt him about three years ago after she was widowed and her previous dog was put to sleep, so Mum was actually his first mum since Aunty Rita didn't really want him, and he missed my Mum when she returned to Texas. They rebonded after Mum sold our house and moved in a couple of years ago. He still loves his Aunty Ruth. When she talks to him on the phone from London now, he goes to her old room looking for her! She's the only one who tells him off so he can't get anything past her and he knows it.


Family reunions always make me happy. I have 24 cousins and between them they have about 17 children. Add to that the aunts and uncles who can make it, plus anyone related by marriage and you always have a full house.

On Friday some of us did last minute shopping at Canada's favourite store Winners, especially me. Not knowing Neil's 50th would be at a hall and there would be evening wear, I took decent clothes expecting we'd all go to Fiona's house like we did for New Year's '04. I picked up a black and white piece much like the one I have at home which is reddish and teal, both intriguing 4-in-1 dresses by Lapis:

The softer lining is a contrasting color to the shiny crinkled exterior, but interestingly the pattern is created by attaching the inner lining to the outer layer and punching it through. This lends a comfortable weight to the fall of the material. Also, the elastic smocked top ensures a comfortable fit. Because it's crinkled it's reminiscent of the old Fortuny gowns of the early 20th century that came rolled up in a self-cloth bag, and these things pack very well for travelling.

I had left my wide belt at home, so I called my cousin hoping she'd have a substitute. She did, but it kept popping off because the buckle was defective - the prong too short and the D-ring too soft. I wanted to wear it like the model on the far right but had to settle with the style on the far left until I gave up rebuckling it and left it off. The night of the party was bitterly cold so I layered up a little bit more than I'd have liked and don't know how some women turned up in proper gowns. Even when I'm indoors, if it's icy outside I feel it under my skin. Do you?


Rather excitingly, my mother splurged on me a bit with a pair of wool Tahari trousers and this striking red TH bag:

My cousin Ryan insists it is not "red", it is "oxblood". I would have never come up with that word unless I'd read it somewhere.


Images from Neil's surprise 50th:

1) Neil knew he was having a party, he just didn't know so many people (close to 200) would come and from so far away.
3) Mandy's husband Cornel emceed in true high school principal style with all the right speeches. He called every table up one by one to the buffet and then stood and authoritatively surveyed the room with his hands folded in front of him before deciding he could put down the mic and go off duty!

1) There was a belly dancer who danced to Moroccan music and then Neil joined in.
2) Five of six aunts showed up (the one in the middle is my Mum).
3) Cousin Alyssa and her man Jon, who is originally from the North of England.
4) Cousin Ryan and me.

1) Cousin Alyssa and my goddaughter Jada.
2) Aunty Rita and cousin Mandy.
3) Aunts Eve and Roh.
4) Cousin Pierre and Aunty Rita.


No rest for the wicked. We drove home to O'ville, and had to drive back to Kitchener the next day for dinner at Fiona's to celebrate cousin Michelle's 42nd birthday. Mich rarely leaves the UK, hates flying and isn't that keen on North America, so it was special to have her here.

1) Gathering for the cake and candles.
2) The cousins with a couple of aunts in the way.
3, 4) Neil and Mich cafuffle over the cutting. At Guyanese birthdays people rarely cut the cake alone. At my mother's 21st she drew names from a hat. Some English guy got called up, which puzzles most people not in the know, leading them to ask, "Who's she marrying there?"

1) Some of the older cousins chatting at the breakfast table. (Neil owns patents and a factory in Kitchener. Elizabeth (my godmother) is a non-profit consortium director in London. Michelle (Liz's sister) is a stay at home mum of three boys. Fiona (Neil's sister) also owns a company and her husband works with both her and Neil.)
2) Four of my second cousins. The two on the outside (Krystle and Tiffany) are Neil's and the two in the middle (Karissa and Kristine) are Mandy's, even though the two at the front look like sisters. Incidentally, Krystle is becoming a model and Alyssa was one briefly a few years ago.
3) Jada, Alyssa, and Jon who is really really good with Jada (whose father passed away 2 yrs ago).
4) Lala and O-o.

1,2) Jada and Sasha (a cousin's cousin on the other side).
2) Princess Kayla (Fiona's daughter) with her guitar.
3) Cousins Andrea and Mandy.

The Orangeville lot drove back but Mum and I stayed in Kitchener. That night she went to bed early but the rest of us changed into pyjamas and made lots of tea, and that's when we had the political discussions I mentioned at the top of my post. I love my family and they almost make up for my having no brothers and sisters. No matter how old we are, aunties and cousins will sit together and "hug up" as we call it. I had my turns with Fiona and Mandy, both of whom have been advising and encouraging me since I was a teenager. However, they are shameless and once they start teasing me or being cheeky, that's another story!


The cul de sac where Fiona and her family live. When I woke up on Tuesday morning after the rain, I heard a woodpecker rapping away on a tree in the copse behind the development.

The houses are spacious enough but still there's, like, another whole house in the basement! I envy those Canadians and New Yorkers their 1.5 homes on one lot. Texas doesn't have basements due to the tornadoes and floods. These basements have living rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, utility rooms and endless closets. They rarely feel underground when they're not walk-out/garden level. I'd love to move in to my cousin Mandy's in Westchester - with the exercise room connecting the basement den and nanny's room to the separate apartment with its cute bathroom and front door letting out to the backyard. Man!

The End. This was long eh?