Archive for the ‘Body of Mine’ Category

Jul

3

Someone to Watch Over Me

Shane and I headed out this morning on what we decided would be an epic adventure–at least by our standards. We’re easy to please. The morning started off pleasantly enough. We made our first stop in Valley Springs, Arkansas, for a quick lunch at Sonic. It was then we decided we’d play a game–for at least the first day–to see how little we could spend on food. (We brought only a few bottled waters with us and no food at all.) Our total bill there came to $4.82. That was a pretty good start, but we thought that was probably going to “win” the lowest meal amount for the day.

From there we detoured briefly to Eureka Springs to see the Christ of the Ozarks, a structure at the Great Passion Play complex. The monument, which stands almost 70 feet tall, sits atop Magnetic Mountain. It’s worth noting that as we pulled onto the complex, the heavens actually opened. It rained so hard that we had to wait about 15 minutes for the storm to  pass so we could take our photos. Considering the rest of the day, I’m pretty sure it was an omen of things to come.

Here’s the thing. I was once told the statue doesn’t have feet because if it had been that much taller, it would have required one of those red flashing lights to warn aircraft. To prevent the Giant Jesus from having a flashing red beanie, they just left off (or maybe cut off) the feet. I doubt this story is true, but it would be SO awesome if it was.

After we shot pictures and video of Jordan’s crate in the van next to the Giant Jesus, Shane had me pose next to the monument. He suggested I kneel down and touch the bottom of the robe, which is how I got a photo of me touching the hem of his garment.

We also stopped by the Crescent Hotel, a former psychiatric facility now said to be haunted, on our way out of Eureka. We hadn’t really taken into account the narrowness and bumpiness of the streets in Eureka and how that would affect our navigating them in a large van carrying a person locked inside a box. Oops! Hope there wasn’t any damage to Jordan or his computer equipment.

Not long after we crossed into Missouri we began experiencing intermittent interruptions on the mobile wireless. Finally it just went kaput, so we were sort of in the dark as to what Jordan was doing during that time. It was frustrating, so we decided to take a break and grab a bite to eat. We pulled into a McDonald’s and grabbed a meal. The final total was $4.30, so we actually came in .52 under our first meal.

Our Internet kicked back up just outside Kansas City, and once there we saw a couple of sights before settling in with our host for tonight. Jordan arranged for us to stay with a friend with whom he once worked at the Kansas City Zoo. We were thrilled not to have to pay for a motel room, and the friend had made us dinner and had cold beer to boot. Awesome, right?

Wrong.

The zookeeper has two dogs and three snakes.

I can’t think about it too much or I’ll end up sleeping in the van curled up next to Jordan’s crate, and that’s just weird. So tomorrow, when I’m out of here, I’ll tell you more.

Maybe.

If I survive.

 

Stats:

Mileage: 450 some-odd miles. (Shane has the exact total, and he’s asleep.)

Liquid consumed: 16 ounces water+32 ounces sweet tea+12 ounces soda=60 ounces total

On-the-road bathroom breaks: 3

Dec

24

Nipplectomy

2:16 pm · category: Body of Mine

I often refer to the fact that I’m mostly missing one nipple. I tend to leave it pretty cryptic; but since this happened almost 20 years ago, plenty of people know the story now. I figured I ought to post it somewhere permanently so I wouldn’t have to rewrite the whole thing every time someone asks for details.

Thus, here is the story of how I ended up with, essentially, one and one-third nipples instead of the typical two. Warning: Graphic (but hilarious) injury described ahead.)

I stepped into the shower on a particularly crisp and cool October morn. Unbeknownst to me beforehand, my roommate had fully opened (rather than cracked) the bathroom window. Hence, it was nipply: so said my nips!

I set about my regular hygiene routine. I shampooed and rinsed, washed my body, etc. Then it was time to shave my ‘pits.

I soaped up my hands, then dabbed my underarms. Then I proceeded to shave, using a razor with a brand-new (replaceable) blade. Shaving under my left armpit while using my right hand was fine and trouble-free.

Then tragedy struck.

As I tried to transition the razor from my right hand to my left, my grip slipped due to the slipperiness of the soap and the shower and the water. I freaked out for a split second, envisioning the brand-new blade neatly slicing off a tiny, terribly cute toe on my foot on its descent down. (Oh, what could have been!)

Operating purely on instinct, my right hand grasped wildly for the razor’s handle—thinking only of saving my terrific toes. (Look, I’m short and chubby—but I have nice feet. That’s not something with which one gambles.) I didn’t count, unfortunately, on the fact that the cool, wafting breeze from the open window had put me in peril.

So, yeah. My nipples were at full attention—as if they were in a life-or-death drill down at band camp—but I wasn’t at that point fully aware of my body’s autonomic responses.

My right hand continued its reach for and successfully grasped the razor, but a split second too late! I sliced right through that erect left nipple—and that was all she wrote.

Well, you know, except for the fact that “she wrote” torrents of blood in the shower stall. Turns out there must be some sort of huge artery or vein or something beneath the mammary glands, because the wound poured blood for fuckin’ ever. In fact, it didn’t even pour initially: it shot like a machine gun: PA-PA-PA-PA-PA-PA-PA-PA.

And in the meantime I had the unique and shiver-inducing privilege of seeing that meaty sliver of niplet I’d accidentally excised swivel around, around, around the drain until it disappeared into the depths of some unholy receptacle reserved for piss and turds.

I know you think I’m making this shit up: Everybody does. But I have two measures of defense.

First, you can ask anyone who’s seen me in person in the last 20 or so years.

Second, take a good, hard look at my physique if we ever meet. I have PHENOMENAL BOOBS, but the nip slit mars their magnificence. It’s particularly noticeable when it’s cold, but if there’s even the hint of a breeze you can usually tell I suffered “an accident” because one nip points north and the other points south—much like Hagdalena Magdalena Hoopasteina Walkadeina Hogan Logan Mogan’s teeth.

And that? Really was all she wrote. :)

I swear. (Because who would lie about this shit?)

Photo courtesy of Laszlo Ilyes and used under Creative Commons.
Oct

6

These Boots Were Made For Stompin’

1:30 pm · category: Body of Mine

Just kidding.  Anybody who knows me is aware that I don’t own a pair of boots.  There are certain Southern stereotypes I’m just not willing to play into.

But the truth is that I’m a heavy walker.  (When I say that out loud, it always sounds very Seinfeldian to me.  Wasn’t there an episode about a low talker?)  When I walk, things literally shake in my wake.  Knick-knacks are always toppling to the ground when I breeze by if they’re not pushed back far enough on the shelf.  People have been known to refer to my entrances as sounding like a herd of elephants.

I don’t know why I’m a heavy walker; I just always have been.  You’d think I’d be a little lighter on my feet since I’m so short, but it’s as if I make up for my lack of height with my astounding mass.  I try to walk quietly, but I can’t do it.  The only time I can walk without announcing my impending arrival 20 steps beforehand is when I shuffle in socks.  Thank goodness I don’t have to wear heels on the concrete floor of a classroom anymore, I suppose.

Nov

12

Fours?

7:02 pm · category: Body of Mine

I know this makes some of you shake your head in horror and bewilderment, but I don’t drink coffee.  Mostly, anyway.  A couple of times a year I’ll get a caramel macchiato from Starbucks or have a cup full of equal parts creamer and sugar and hot chocolate and coffee at Aunt Doodie’s, but for the most part I avoid it.  There are two reasons for this.  Number one:  It has an aftertaste worse than that of Diet Coke that will stick with me all day no matter how many times I brush my teeth.  Number two:  Well, that’s because of Number Two.  I usually just say coffee hurts my stomach, but the truth is it makes me shit my guts out.

Nevertheless, I do own a coffee pot and always have coffee in my house.  Sometimes I need it for cooking other stuff (The best chocolate cake I’ve ever had is chock full of coffee and mayonnaise.), but mostly I have those items available for guests because I know I’m in the coffee-free minority.  But lately I’ve discovered that I really, really, really like the iced hazelnut coffee thingie at McDonald’s, and it doesn’t cause me any intestinal issues if I nurse one all day long.  But at over $3 a pop, I can’t very well be buying them very often, so I decided to start making my own.  Today I picked up the hazelnut syrup and got ready to tingle my taste buds.

Coffee pot?  Kaput.

I know that for some of you this would be a tragedy of apocalyptic proportions, but I was just peeved that a fourth thing broke within two weeks.  What’s next?  A broken bone, maybe?  I’ve never had one of those and I don’t have health insurance, so that seems likely.

Nov

8

An Army of One

9:59 pm · category: Body of Mine

Okay, technically, my car didn’t “blow up” so much as it threatened to by expelling things from the wrong places.  Yesterday it decided to start lurching and acting like it couldn’t get a steady supply of gasoline when I was en route to purchase the new laptop I so desperately needed for my coursework, freelancing, and NaBloPoMoing.  I let it “rest” for awhile in my friends’ driveway, but when I got ready to leave it decided to spew thick, white smoke (So dramatic!) and drip gasoline from the tailpipe.  Come Monday, I will be driving my daddy’s truck until I can figure out what the hell is wrong with the car and scrape together the money to repair it.  Until then, I’m stuck here at my house without transportation.

Now, you have to remember that I live in a place where there is absolutely no public transportation: no trains, subways, buses, cabs, etc.  You either walk, bike, or drive; there are no other alternatives.  And while one of my favorite things about my house is its location (outside of town in a gently traveled area with beautiful scenery), it’s not exactly an ideal place if you don’t have wheels and are not in particularly good shape.

Last night I caught a ride home with my friend Kim’s parents, as they were en route to Little Rock and could drive right by my exit.  Those kind folks were nice enough to stop at a gas station so I could buy a pack of cigarettes.  I called Aunt Doodie to tell her of my situation (She likes to stay abreast of these things.), and then whined about my lack of supplies.  Aunt Doodie showed up on cue this morning with a 1/2 gallon of whiskey and a two-liter Coke.  It seemed I was all set for this stuck-at-the-house thing.

Until I got hungry.

I was starving by noon today.  You have to understand that I’m doing a half-assed version of Body for Life, so I’ve extended my “free day” to “free days” — Saturday and Sunday — wherein I eat pretty much what I want (read: anything and everything, within certain reason) on the weekends.  So I fully expected to be able to have KFC Original Strips and frozen hot chocolate and cocktails any time I wanted for 48 consecutive hours, provided I could drive into town to procure said items.  But that was not to be, due to my auto issues.  How was I going to survive my much-anticipated “free days” without snacks and such?

Apparently, all I needed to do was look in my freezer/refrigerator/pantry.  Here’s a condensed list of items I found:

Freezer

  • 1 (1 lb.) pkg. ground turkey
  • 2 (3 lb.) pkgs. chicken breasts/tenders
  • 1 (1 lb.) pkg. deveined shrimp
  • 2 (1 lb.) pkgs. fish (tilapia and cod)
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 2  individually self-packaged lean pork chops
  • 3 cheap-ass, disgusting, pre-packaged steaks (Lou will enjoy those)
  • 1 individually packaged bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin
  • 1 (2 lb.) beef butt roast
  • 1 pkg. frozen Brussels sprouts
  • 1 pkg. frozen spinach
  • 1 pkg. frozen turnip greens
  • 1 pkg. frozen breaded okra
  • 2 pkgs. Smart Balance butter substitute
  • 13 Lean Cuisines, variety
  • 1 pkg. whole wheat cheese tortellini
  • 2 (1 gal.) bags homemade bread crumbs

Refrigerator

  • 1 tub Smart Balance butter
  • 1 lg. jar mandarin oranges
  • 1 lg. jar Barlett pears
  • 1 lg. jar pineapple
  • 1 (carton) low-fat sour cream
  • 1 (1/2 gallon) soy milk
  • 2 cartons egg whites
  • 2 (opened) pkgs. sliced cheese (Sharp and Jalapeno Jack)
  • 1 (unopened) (2 lb.) pkg. Sharp cheddar (shredded)
  • 23 (!) bottles various condiments (pickles, salad dressings, pastes, jams/jellies, traditional condiments, cocktail sauce, Durkee sauce, various shakey cheeses, etc.)
  • 1 onion

Pantry

  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 2 cans cream of broccoli soup
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 4 cans chicken and rice soup
  • 6 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 6 cans vegetable beef soup
  • 3 cans various Chef Boyardee selections
  • 15 cans chicken broth
  • 1 jar chicken bullion cubes
  • 2 cans mushroom gravy
  • 2 cans beef gravy
  • 1 can chicken gravy
  • 1 can ranch style beans
  • 3 cans cream style corn
  • 2 cans blackeye peas
  • 1 can purple hull peas
  • 2 cans asparagus
  • 1 jar green olives
  • 8 cans tuna
  • 2 cans peaches
  • 1 can pineapple
  • 2 boxes raisins
  • 1 canister prunes
  • 1 pkg. dried apricots
  • 3 pkgs. whole grain pasta (various shapes/types)
  • 4 pkgs. rice (brown long grain, brown basmati, white basmati, brown instant boil-in-a-bag)
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 pkg. Alfredo sauce (to make)
  • 8 sweet potatoes
  • 1 box whole wheat crackers
  • Several (more than) half-empty boxes of specialty crackers and the like

And, of course, this doesn’t even include my baking cabinet or my spice rack/cabinet.  I bake, on average, four loaves of bread a week, so of course I have tons of flour, sugar, yeast and spices of all varieties.  Add in the oats, flax, karo, molasses, honey, coconut, nuts, and cocoa, and I’m pretty much set until Christmas.

Determination: If it seems likely the world is going to mostly end, you should come stay with me.  Also, I am not likely to go hungry this weekend.

(In my defense, I make my own bread crumbs and store them in the freezer forever.  Did you know you can use pretty much anything — crackers, chips, etc. [any flavor/seasoning!] — and toast it, dry it, and crush it to make bread crumbs?  If you do that, you usually don’t have to season the crumbs!  And since I mostly just use them for holiday casseroles, making my own comes in handy.  Also, I don’t actually eat “cream of” soups from a can.  [Except, on rare occasion, the broccoli variety.]  But Thanksgiving is coming up — which means casseroles galore! — and Kroger was having a kick-ass soup sale.  Yes, I have become the woman who is excited by soup sales.  [Soupy Sales?  Just okay.]  And the Chef Boyardee is in case my youngest sister decides her children are safe in my care and can stay overnight at my house.  [Except for the Chili Mac.  I like Chili Mac, okay?])

Oct

8

Promises, Promises

I’m working on stuff.  I swear it!  In the meantime, here’s some stuff to tide you over.

I threw the most kick-ass, environmentally friendly baby shower in the history of Central Arkansas last Saturday.  I should get a medal or something.  Miniature photologue tomorrow, I promise.

Heroes improved dramatically in the third episode/second week.  This week’s offering, however, was not so solid.  I’ll be sticking with it for the time being, but I’m not making any promises.

I bought a new sofa.  Quentin hasn’t peed on it yet!

I’m 90% sure Chuck is the most awesome show I’ve seen in a long time.  I realize it’s not for everyone, but I do love the whole dramedy/action/espionage thing all rolled into one.  Is it weird that Chuck is the TV character with whom I most identify?

My weight loss regimen is in the proverbial shitter.  Although I’ve stuck with the aerobic activity/weight lifting/yoga, my food choices are seriously messed up.  Today I bought a loaf of cheap-ass, store brand white bread for 89 cents and had four toasted slices with butter over the course of the day (Smart Balance “butter,” at least).  I can’t really explain any of that, except that toasted white bread with butter suddenly sounded beyond decadent.  Add to that the “bad” foods I ate during/while preparing for the shower, and I totally blew it.  Time to regroup!

I’m somewhat distraught that The Sarah Connor Chronicles is on the chopping block.  Last season was interesting but not spectacular; mostly, my complaint was that it was slow to start (Is there anyone watching this show who doesn’t already know the basics of the Sarah Connor story?) and dropped a rather important story line (What the hell was up with the silhouettes at the high school?  I need closure!) — although I realize that was due in part to the strike.  But the last few episodes of season one were noticeably better — especially that incredible swimming pool scene in the finale, which was pure, undiluted awesome.  This season, however, is much more interesting and consistent (so far) as a whole, what with the additional (non-movie-based) back stories and all.  And, while I kind of hate to admit it, I think Brian Austin Green is sort of awesome — and by that I mean the actor himself and not just his character.   BAG is… pretty convincingly bad ass.  This makes TWO original 90210 actors for whom I now have a certain affinity.  Thank goodness I’ve never watched an episode of Dancing With the Stars.  (But mostly — and I know I’m not alone in this — I’m most interested in seeing Summer Glau dance again.  Her movement is completely mesmerizing.)

Sep

16

For the Honor of Grayskull

12:46 pm · category: Body of Mine, The Whole Fam Damnly

About two weeks ago I realized I have muscle definition in my arms. I can actually see my biceps! Ever since I’ve spent at least a few minutes a day flexing in front of the mirror like a twelve-year-old boy. Last night I discovered I have definition in my triceps, too. So today I showed Aunt Doodie my awesome emerging muscles.

“Wow!” she said. “Pretty soon you’re going to be He-Man!”

“Or She-Ra. Because, you know, I’m a girl,” I said.

“Umm, I said ‘Wee Man,’” Aunt Doodie said.

“Fuck you!” I yelled.

“What?!? He’s all muscled up!”

She better pray I never find a Sword of Protection.

Sep

6

Bradi Lately

The following excerpt from Chelsea Handler’s opening monologue on a recent episode of her awesome show left me speechless (Although that might have been because my mouth was stuffed with the cannoli I was inhaling at the time.) and wondering if she and I were a set of creepy separated-at-birth twins*, a la Danny and Arnold in that shitty movie we all want to forget:

Chelsea: “Anyone who knows me knows I love a big breakfast buffet.  And, luckily for me, Chuy’s** full-grown cousin Paco owns an establishment called ‘Big Breakfast Buffets and Cigarettes.’  We went this past Saturday, and we went off.”

And that, dear readers, is pretty much my life.  Or my ideal life.  You know:  the one where I subsist on breakfast buffets and cigarettes instead of whole grains, raw vegetables, lean meats, yoga, cardio, and cigarettes — and still look stunning.  But then Ms. Handler turned out this gem:

Chelsea: “The only way to burn off eighteen jalapeno-Jack-cheese-stuffed cilantro waffles is to get back in bed and settle in to watch Oxygen’s Tori and Dean 44-hour marathon.  In the eleventh hour, I had a big revelation.  It was my big ‘a-ha!’ moment when I realized I, Chelsea Lately  [or, uh, Bradi Last Season], kind of like Tori Spelling.”

And I do like Tori Spelling.  Of course, I have the luxury (Or is that mercy?) of having seen maybe 10 episodes of the original 90210 rather than all 292.  (Jesus. 292?  And Firefly aired only eleven episodes?  The mind fucking boggles.)  So I don’t really know much about BH, 90210, except that I would be Andrea Zuckerman on every single “Which Character Are You?!?!?!? LOL!!!!!!!” quiz ever created.  I don’t know why I didn’t watch; I probably had high school jazz band practice on that night or something.

I do remember Ms. Spelling from Saved By the Bell, where she played a nerdy chick with a beautiful voice who stole Screech’s heart with her siren song in glee club.  (I totally kicked ass at the SBtB board game.  In college.  Kiss my ass, mother fuckers!  Everybody has to be good at something!)  And I decided then and there that Ms. Spelling was kind of awesome.

*FYI: If Chelsea and I were a set of creepy separated-at-birth identical twins, we would be 5’4″, 120 pounds, married and quickly divorced with a couple of kids, and (still) drinking shitloads of hard liquor.  So we’d pretty much be Britney.  And the last thing this world needs is three of those, so thank goodness we’re not.

**Handler’s dwarf sidekick; that is, her Ed McMahon.  Although the term “sidekick” seems really inappropriate here, but I can’t come up with anything better.

Sep

3

I’m Funnier Than the Average Bear

12:04 am · category: Body of Mine, Yogi Me at Yoga You

Alternate Post Title: “Why My Yoga Instructor Hates Me”

I love my yoga class.  I love it so much that I go even if I just ate a giant bowl of black beans and brown rice and will produce so much gas that I could power a small third-world country throughout the hour-long session.  I love it so much that I’ll go even if my arms already ache tremendously from lifting fat-ass dogs all morning.  I love it so much that I pay the extra sawbuck so I can go to all the classes rather than just the one for which I’m registered — even though I’m unemployed and can’t really afford it.

And I need my yoga class.  I knew that already, though, because I’ve seen my strength and flexibility increase dramatically over the last four months.  I’ve experienced the joy of sleeping straight through the night like a normal person.  I’ve felt better about my physical self and finally garnered the gumption to get off my ass to slowly sculpt my 5K Ass.

But my need of my yoga class became especially apparent in the last couple of weeks, because my instructor has begun to reference my Type-A personality in class.  And there is, of course, no arguing with that assessment.  I am a Type-A personality; my harried visage is probably on a Type-A motivational (or de-motivational, as it were) poster somewhere.

But there’s been a real emphasis in my yoga training on not being in competition with your classmates, and I’ve taken it to heart.  My only defense is that I want to be the best “me” I can, rather than the best in the class.  So I’ve channeled my competitive nature into being in competition with myself.   I will not rest until I can do every single pose with the “good” burn rather than the searing pain.*  I won’t stop pushing myself until I can breathe properly rather than whimper when I’m doing any of the poses that engage my stomach muscles.  And while I won’t do anything that hurts me, I’ll be damned if I quit working my ass off before I master the monkey pose.  We’re not even up to that point in class yet, but it’s my goal, dammit!

That said, I guess my weird-ass personality can be a bit disconcerting.  I vacillate between not speaking at all and bitching rather vocally (or grimacing visibly) about the poses I hate.  (I’m thinking of you, anything-involving-my-non-existent-ab-muscle poses.)  And I sometimes accidentally-on purpose turn my yoga class into my own personal comedy store, wherein I try out my new material.  (I miss teaching in that respect.  Teenagers are always a good audience.)

So I’m sort of dreading tomorrow’s yoga class, since this is the email I just sent my yoga instructor:

“My yoga clothes don’t have pockets, so I tucked a couple of aspirin in my sports bra before leaving the house tonight.  (I’m all the time losing stuff in there.  It’s like a black hole.  One time I found Stephen Hawking nosing around under my areola with a telescope and geiger counter.)  My intention was to take the aspirin on the way, but then I forgot all about it.  When I got undressed at home I could find only one aspirin, which was sort of dissolved around the edges by my boob sweat.  I don’t remember doing any inversions tonight in class, so I probably lost it when I was standing on my head in the smell-good aisle at Walgreens afterwards.  (I’m kidding!  Probably.  I don’t remember doing any inversions at Walgreens, either.)  But you might want to do a visual scan of the carpet before class tomorrow in case the place is littered with acetaminophen.”

*I have never actually had a searing pain in yoga class, because I’ll push myself just to that point without actually going there.  But I have had the strange experience of my ears “stopping up” — like when you drive into the hills or are on an airplane — in inversion poses so that I have to equalize the pressure.  That was kind of weird.

Note that my yoga studio is called Yoga You.  Hence, my Category descriptor of “Yogi Me at Yoga You.”

Aug

24

Random Bits

8:14 pm · category: Body of Mine, Yogi Me at Yoga You
  • Congratulations to Angela, aka. Podgy, who won the healing bracelet contest!  There will be a new contest at some point next month.
  • I am both disappointed and thrilled that the Olympics will be over in a few hours.  I’m disappointed because the Games gave me something entertaining to watch during the usual barren TV landscape that is late summer.  But I’m also thrilled because I’m tired of crying three to four times a night.  It’s never those athlete spotlights with a come-from-behind story designed to make me choke up that do it, either.  It’s always something silly like the roar of the crowd as the first marathoner enters the stadium.
  • I think I might have had my first migraine ever yesterday.  Wow, that really sucked.  I hope it never happens again.
  • One of my friends had both an upper and lower GI this week, which he shared in great detail in an hilarious email.  This was my favorite part: “…I don’t remember him [the doctor] saying anything except ‘Laura, we need to remove that for biopsy.’  I could see what it was on screen.  It looked like a balloon ready for takeoff, all someone had to due was remove the ropes and drop some ballast.  Hell, that may be where Stephen Fawcett disappeared to.”  Man, that made me laugh really hard.
  • I am the only person in my yoga class who can stand on her head.  What my classmates don’t know is that I can always stand on my head.  I have a bad habit of showing how drunk I’m not by standing on my head.  The problem is that I might not be able to walk or stand on my feet, but I can still stand on my head.  If I’m ever imbibing in your presence and offer to stand on my head, take the bottle away from me and put me to bed.

Okay, that’s all.  I hope the drummer guys come back for the Closing Ceremonies.  They were freakin’ awesome!