Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Warning: sappy content to follow

Psalm 57:9-10 (The Message translation)
“I'm thanking you, GOD, out loud in the streets, singing your praises in town and country. The deeper your love, the higher it goes; every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness.”

We all have days when we are positive that the Creator of the Universe is out to get us. I recently went through a season so horrific, so filled with pain that words fail to accurately describe it, except to say my heart literally, physically hurt. Most days I didn’t want to get out of bed, and when it was all over, I was genuinely angry with God for not acting in the way I thought He should have. You couldn’t have convinced me for a second that God loved me, not after what he allowed to happen.

And honestly, He could have stopped what happened. But had He done so, I would have missed the opportunity to see Him turn a disgusting, heart-wrenching situation around into something that showed how huge He is and how small I am. I would have missed the chance for Him to display what true freedom and healing mean, not just for me, but also for others. And I would have missed getting to know a Father who holds me firm when all hell breaks loose. I would have missed out on even a tiny understanding of the immensity of His love for me.

The Psalmist David wrote about this love while he hid from King Saul in a cave, in the middle of the wilderness, trying to avoid a man bound and determined to kill him. Not exactly the kind of circumstances that make you want to lift up your hands and sing praises, right? Because, like me, David had done nothing wrong, but was still suffering from the choices of others. And yet he chose to turn his focus elsewhere, reminding himself that God’s love is always true. Others may fail and desert you. They may disappoint you or break your heart. In fact, they probably will. And while all this is happening, God’s love for you multiplies.

Take the love that you feel the most deeply, the most passionately, and multiply it by a hundred. Powerful, right? Well take that and now multiply it by a thousand. Even better, multiply it by a million… a billion… ten trillion. Dizzy yet? Can you even comprehend the intensity of that emotion? Because that doesn’t even touch the depth of the love God has for you. It’s as close as I can come to explaining what “the deeper [God’s] love, the higher it goes” really means (Ps.57:9). Every time you think you understand just a snippet of God’s love, you dip your toes into the vast ocean of what He truly feels.

I, for one, am humbled by this astounding thought. God adores me. And believe it or not, whether you acknowledge it or not, God adores you, too. No matter what you do, God loves you enough that you should start singing and dancing in the streets about it.

And so, just for the sake of reminder, I think it’s worth repeating. You might even want to say it out loud, and I recommend you allow yourself the luxury of a little smile.

God adores me.

Feels good, doesn’t it?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kiss your nap goodbye

I can't stop falling asleep on our couch. And let me clarify. I mean our big, brand-new, smooshy, cozy, wonderful scarlet couch. Oh, it's fabulous, and there's nothing like the sound of the television to lull me into the perfect nap, curled up under my Jehovah blanket (a present from my mom) and buried amongst at least three giant pillows. I'm getting sleepy just thinking about it.

And until last night, I thought Nate was pleased when I fell asleep. I mean, I do get up a full two hours earlier than him, with plenty of time to run at least 3 or 4 miles, care for the dogs, shower, have my quiet time, iron clothes and make lunch, all before he cracks a peeper.  And a nap does mean that he can watch at least a single program in peace, without my incessant chatter and need for attention.

But I was wrong. He likes me awake, which honestly, delights me.  And so, today, I vow to sit upright on that delightful sofa, snack in hand and water near to keep me alert.  I will resist the urge to close my eyes, and give Kirstie Alley's Big Life my full attention.  No matter how much my body wants to lie down, my mind will refuse to accomodate it.  That's right, kids.  I'm going to suck it up. 

Naptime is over.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Easter Hat (part II)

And if you thought I left Nate out of the fun, you're wrong.  That would just be cruel.  Almost as cruel as it would be to hold back this amazing thug moment from my faithful readers.  So I had to show you...

Celebrating both the Resurrection and my dear brother Mikey Jay, here's Nate's Easter hat.

Now after seeing both pictures, don't we make a fine pair?  Look for the Jackson Two, coming soon to a church service near you.

The Easter Hat (part I)

Just in case you're wondering, yes, I do still subscribe to the theory that all delightful young ladies (like myself) deserve new clothes for Easter every year. Perhaps I was somewhat spoiled as a child? 

In that spirit, I'd like to celebrate this year with a special little something... 

Ladies and gentlemen, my Easter hat.

Another four-day week

The weekend is never long enough, and I'm already wondering what I'm going to do next week when I can no longer coach myself out of bed in the morning with thoughts of, "It's okay, it's just a four-day week."  Because that fact is providing my sense of sanity and fairness today - that I don't have to work on Friday.  Thank you, Easter, and thank you everyone for calling a Friday off of work exactly what it is - Good Friday.  Now please don't think I'm not astounded by what Jesus truly did for us, but I really will be celebrating a little extra from the quiet coziness of my own bed.  I'm jolly already just thinking about it.  Hallelu-yer.

Add to everything wonderful about a short week the fact that I get to teach Lord of the Flies to my 10th graders and A Raisin in the Sun to my 9th grade girls. I'm just going to say it.  YIPPEE!!!!!  Yippee for teaching literature in an English class.  Just for fun.

So last night was grooming night at the Jackson house.  While I bathed Berkley (who grows bigger every single day) and Bella, Nate gave Bruiser a little haircut.  The mess on the kitchen floor looked exactly like what comes of a sheep being shorn.  Awww, little Bruiser, the (literal) black sheep of the family.  He was such a trooper, and after all of that, his reward was... a bath.  He loves them - he is a poodle, after all. 

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, March 26, 2010

When did Friday get here?

After I finish this school day, I will have a feeling similar to that of conquering a mountain. It's been a busy week, both at school and at home, and I will admit that I have neglected my blog to edit a paper. Don't feel like I've been unfaithful to you. It's just that I have been determined to make my already smart friend sound like a living genius, and I have been wrestling his paper all week to beat it into submission. Oh yes. It's that serious.

Aside from that I have:
  • shouted at American Idol on tv (although at least they got it right when they sent Paige home),
  • attended a Wednesday night class,
  • disrupted a choir practice with my loud soprano and knowledge of the "better" part for a song (with Mer as my cohort in crime),
  • offered counseling and advice,
  • cried a small river in frustration and confusion over what God is trying to do in me,
  • snagged coffee from one of the principals while he was out of the office,
  • immediately found him, confessed, and earned myself a free pass for coffee from him any time,
  • congratulated Sarah on her "kind of sort of engagement," 
  • attempted to sound like a much better writer than I am, and
  • eaten Taco Bell no fewer than three times. 
WHEW!  No wonder I'm exhausted!  And I'm sure you are as well after reading my intensive list.  That's all I've got, though, kids.  I've got a paper to piledrive, and only one of us is coming out alive.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Well, you haven't heard from me in several days.  Did you miss me?  I spent some time just plain enjoying my spring break. 

Thursday I went to an AMAZING concert in Houston - Muse.  They had been on my list of top 5 bands to see live in my lifetime, so now I can delightedly check that off (I do love a list).  They played for literally two hours, and at the end I was partially deaf, and glad to be so.  Outstanding. 

I also took some lovely girls from church prom dress shopping and got all Stacy London on them. Example:  "What size?  Okay, just go to the dressing room.  I'll be there with a stack of dresses in 5 minutes."  Why don't people pay me to dress them?  I'm in the wrong profession for sure.

And then I got just plain lazy as soon as Nate finished work for the week.  We did practically nothing and it was absolutely divine.  Slept until we felt like it, got cheap take-out and watched tons of tv and movies.  Normally I'm a pretty antsy kind of girl, and being cooped up in the house drives me insane.  But I was so utterly content to just be with him.  Sorry if you're gagging at this point, but it's the truth...

Oh!  And last night I fell down the stairs at the movies.  I went to walk down, slid down several stairs at the same time (possibly spraining my shin - is that feasible?), and landed in a crouch position (no, not a crotch).  I quickly popped up and turned to Nate, who was directly behind me, and grabbed his coat to tell him all about it. And then I gazed at the incredibly large man whom I was clutching and realized that it was, indeed, not Nate.  I'm fairly certain I a.)scared him enough to pee his pants and b.)caused him to think I was drunk (I wasn't).  It was quite the end to spring break.

So it's back to reality today.  School, gerunds, the whole muckety muck.  After a week of laziness I should be all rested up for it, right?

Definitely not.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My, oh my

Well, this is the little bit that has been causing all this trouble.  Hard to believe, right?  Because here she is, head cocked to the side, saying, "Kate, oh Kate, how could you say such horrible things about me?  Do you see this face?  I am the epitome of postcard perfection.  Stop all this fussing and just cuddle me.  You know you want to."

And it's true.  She's sweet, cuddly, playful, a little bit lazy...  And she apparently has irritable bowel syndrome.  Is that possible in dogs?  And if so, how could I fault this precious little face for the poo disaster I dealt with this morning?

But let me tell you, on top of making two types of poo (of course, one being another poo smoothie), she took those adorable little paws and ground the hard poo into the carpet so I had to scrape, scrub, scrape, scrub, repeat.  Yes, I know, she's just a puppy.  But I am just a woman, with a weak stomach and an apparently short patience span for potty training.  I digress...

Needless to say, I spent nearly an hour cleaning out Berk's room this morning, and I've come up with a brilliant idea.  I can't tell you, unless it works.  So keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break: Day 4 (a.k.a. something hits the fan)

Berkley and I are no longer friends.

I sensed things going south yesterday afternoon, when she left me a poo smoothie in my bedroom... But nothing could have prepared me for this morning.

I got up bright and early to take a nice run while the morning was still cool, and smelled trouble as soon as I walked back into the house from the garage. I headed toward Berkley's room (the office) with trepidation, and opened the door to...

A poo EXPLOSION. I kid you not, there was poo everywhere, as if Berk had made a poo smoothie and a regular poo, and then went ahead and frolicked in it. All over the place. And she didn't even have the decency to look ashamed. She, in fact, danced all over my shoes and tried to crawl up my legs, thrilled that I had popped in to see her.

So I scooped her up and headed for the back door, while she licked my face and cuddled under my chin (she requires a lot first thing in the morning). As I set her down in the yard, I sniffed the air and thought, "Whew, it stinks out here today!"

And then I looked down at my brand-new, $120 running shoes and noticed that the portion that used to be silver was now an orangey-brown. I'm sure you can imagine what it was, and at this point you're probably thinking, "Oh no, where else was the poo?" Or maybe you aren't thinking that, because it's already too horrible.

Well, it gets worse. Because as I was howling about the shoes, I noticed that I still smelled poo when I stood up. I looked down at my shirt. "NO! Not there, too," you must be saying. Sadly, poo was indeed there. All over my shirt.

And then I brushed my hand across my cheek and felt something oddly slimy.

Oh yes. It was. Poo. On my face. At 7:00 a.m.

And then the true howling began. Because no one, and I do mean NO ONE, not even someone I hate with a firey passion, deserves to have puppy poo smoothie on her face EVER, and especially not at 7:00 a.m.

And on top of that, it really seems unfair to have to deal with that much at once, especially when there's still a poo explosion to deal with in the house (oh yeah, did you forget about that?). And a little wiggle-worm to bathe. And pants to iron. AND POO ON MY FACE (forgive me, but I just can't seem to get past that)! I will say this, though. I cleaned it ALL without throwing up (a first for me). That's right, ladies and gentlemen, give the lovely lady a handclap for developing a stomach of steel...

But, as previously mentioned, Berkley and I are no longer friends.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Break: Day 3

Berkley keeps playing a mean trick on me. She makes the most disgusting poo I've ever seen (or smelled), in the house, the consistency of a thick smoothie (pardon the graphic description, but you have to understand how appalling it is). She only does it when Nathan is asleep, so I have to clean it up, literally throwing up as I do so. And then she's fine when Nate gets up. RUDE!

Aside from that, spring break seems like it could be just fine. Last night Nate and I took the dogs on a "family outing" to Sonic. I'm sure the worker went back inside mumbling under her breath about the crazy people with a car full of dogs, but we just opened the sunroof and enjoyed the drive, laughing all the way.

And now, guess what? I'm headed back to bed for an early morning nap. After cleaning up two piles of poo (one of the smoothie variety) and several puddles, ironing Nate's work clothes and taking out the trash, I'm just plain spent. How do I do this on days I have to work? I'll let you know... next week.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Break: Day 1

Day 1 of spring break. What a lovely feeling, although I can't fully enjoy it until I would normally have to be at work. So Monday I will officially be frolicking through fields of flowers and dancing through the yard and whatnot...

I awoke at 7:30 a.m. to the melodious sounds of my new puppy, alternately yelping and barking in perfect harmony with Biscuit, the yippy little dog who lives behind us. Was it a snarl or a grin on my face? There's no telling, but I think I did scare a few early morning garage salers as I marched out the front door of my house in my t-shirt, Nate's old boxers, and rain galoshes, disgruntled puppy in one hand and sweatshirt in the other. Delightful.

Needless to say, I did go back to bed after an hour or so, woke up and went for a lovely run with Jen (although there were some bathroom issues that caused us to cut things short). I've been playing with DivaLily this afternoon, which has been fabulous, and she's currently conked out in my guest room. This should be my own nap time, but I can't help feeling the need to update you on spring break so far.

No complaints, and I'm anticipating tons of bonding time with the new pup. Did I mention her name is Berkley? Yes, we are those people. Our dogs are Bella, Bruiser and Berkley. And our names rhyme - Nate and Kate. It's ridiculous. But in a great kind of way.

Happy Saturday to you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Let me just rub it in...

I can't help it. I have to do this, and I'm so sorry, but let me just say, I'M ON SPRING BREAK!!!! And more than likely, YOU'RE NOT!!!

That's right, I sent my students out the door with a wave and a smile, making them swear a solemn oath to be safe and return to me with all their limbs still intact. And now I make this vow. I will not even think about school until next Monday, and even then, it will be for a brief period of time. Hallelujah!

This comes just in time, because I seem to be losing a small corner of my mind (and actually, the corner is expanding). This morning, as I walked into school, I thought to myself, "Oooooh, chilly. I can't believe I can feel the cold air on my tummy!" And then I looked down at my shirt, which is filled with decorative holes and stitching at the bottom, and realized that I did NOT have a shirt on underneath. Great. Because I just love showing my students my stomach... Right.

Needless to say, I spent an uncomfortable first period scrunched behind my desk, and I had to make a trip home for an undershirt during my conference period. I'm blaming the wardrobe malfunction on spring break fever. Is that fair?

Now, on with the break!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sharing the love

Nate and I did something royally stupid. I mean, REALLY crazy. Something we probably should not have done in a million years.

We got another dog.

Now, most of you probably know the love-hate relationship that we have with our two dogs, Bella and Bruiser, where Nate mostly loves them and I mostly hate them. They're a tad bit on the spoiled side, and a huge bit on the "peeing all over the house" side. I mean, seriously, the dogs are three and four years old and just recently got to start sleeping out of their kennels at night. They're BAD!

And now, on top of that, we're adding in another 7 week old puppy, and I am realizing what a startlingly non-nurturing person I am. I would much rather worry about ten other things at the same time than a puppy that is causing me to lose sleep. When she cries in the night, I cover my head with a pillow and think very naughty words. When I have to give her a bath first thing in the morning because she's drenched in pee, I run out of time to get myself ready and, again, think naughty words. When I realize at bedtime that I'll have to deal with it all over again in the morning, I want to get into my car, run away, and think numerous naughty words, more naughty words than there are ungraded papers on my desk (oh crap, insert a few more of those words). Are you sensing a pattern here?

Ask me again why I haven't had kids. I'll be honest - it's because I've always thought of myself as selfish. And I've never been ashamed to admit that. I wanted to focus on my career, on my Nate, on fixing my fabulous hair in the morning instead of washing someone else's. I WANTED TO HAVE TIME TO APPLY EYE MAKEUP FOR WORK! Is that so wrong?

And even as I'm typing that, I'm thinking about the strange flip side to myself. I'm claiming that I'm selfish, knowing that I always take care of things, people, etc., which is undoubtedly a total contradiction of what I mentioned above. Have I lost my mind? Is this the wrong time of month? Am I just a woman, and therefore make no sense? HELP!

Nate gave me the option of taking a Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy and starting from scratch raising an animal. She's like a combination of the elements of our two favorite breeds of dogs (chocolate lab and golden retriever), but I promptly said no. Then I asked for a picture...

One picture and I totally fell in love with her. It didn't take much. Apparently, at the end of the day, I'm just a big softie. I can't seem to say no to an adorable, wiggly little ball of fluff.

OR a puppy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Well, I made my girls class write poems today based on Sylvia Plath's "Yellow." They had to come up with 15 words or phrases that made them think of a specific color, and then fashion them into a poem. Here is my CRUDE attempt, simply because I like to write along with them.

As I pick up the tattered philosophy book,
worn at the edges and smelling of
intrigue and mystery,
I’ll let my mind smile and wander
to thoughts of summer heat
and cherry popsicles dripping down my fingers,
sunburns and kickballs,
island orchard candles and the scent of tangy comfort mixed with passion.
I’ll remember the crisp holiday scent of Christmas
and the scarlet ribbon of my white dress,
still covered in crumbs from candy cane cookies.
I’ll breathe in cinnamon and first kisses,
peppermint and spilled blood,
sweet candied apples.
And I’ll think that
gazing at the mobile swinging from the classroom ceiling
provides welcome diversion from this crimson intensity.

Participles and Punctation marks

ME: Okay, who remembers from yesterday what a participle is?

CLASS: random comments "It looks like a verb but acts like an adjective..." "It ends in -ing or -ed..." "You can take it out of the sentence and it still makes sense!"

ME: Fantastic! You guys were definitely paying attention yesterday. I'm so proud. Now, take this a one step further. Who can give me a sentence with the word "running" as a participle?

long pause

crickets chirping

sweet little blank faces

STUDENT: The loose goat was running down the hall.

ME: stifling a giggle Almost, but that still shows me what he was doing, so it's an action verb. How could you make "running" describe something instead?

STUDENT: Hmmmm... The loose goat, running down the hall, tickled my teacher?

ME: insert hearty laugh Excellent. Let's diagram it.

Ahhh, my fabulous students. They never cease to amuse me, even on a gross Tuesday when we're discussing participles. Oh, and check out this message a student left for me on my board yesterday, word for word. Sweet, although grammatically incorrect...:

You are one of my favorite Mrs. Jackson (insert exclamation mark with heart for the point )
P.S. I love the new look! It real working for you!

Sigh. Please don't think I don't try.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Yep, it's my niece, Diva Extraordinaire. Isn't she fabulous?

Life is now

Life is a journey. We all hear that, but how many of us actually believe it? Because, until last night, I was living my life in a furious race to make it to some exact "destiny." And I wasn't exactly sure how I would know it when I got there, but it would be the culmination of years of... Well, years of what?

Nate and I were talking about where we wanted to be, what we wanted to see happening in our lives, and we both came to this startling conclusion. Life isn't a means to an end. There's no magical moment when we'll "arrive" at some sort of purpose. Rather, life is lived in the individual moments. Life is what we walk through and experience. Life is what's happening right this second, and if we constantly rely on the fact that someday we're going to get somewhere other than here, we're going to miss the experience of the right now.

I think Rita Dove said it best in her poem "Flirtation" :

There are ways
to make of the moment

a topiary
so the pleasure’s in

walking through.

So make today full of moments that are worth living.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm a fast walker. Nate tends to grab my hand and slow me down when we're in public, but when I'm on my own, it's game ON. Why dawdle down the hall when I could reach my destination in 20 seconds flat? Why stroll through the parking lot when I could hustle?

That said, I've managed to put myself in the same uncomfortable situation multiple times, just today. Have you ever had that problem where you're walking briskly and get stuck behind someone taking his/her time? And you want to pass them, but you have to seriously estimate the amount of time it will take and how quickly you will have to continue walking after you've passed? And even worse, have you ever gotten stuck walking right beside them instead of being able to get around, or trailing close on their heels but unable to pass, just smiling an uncomfortable smile and looking like you did it on purpose? OH. MY. WORD. I can't make it stop happening.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Just a few things:

I drove all the way to school today with my dress hanging out the bottom of the car door. I'm sure it must have been an amusing sight for all who drove by, so if you were one of those people, you're welcome.

I'm eating mentos for lunch (see previous blog on things you might not know about me).

I am having a beast of a time staying on top of everything that I need to do for school. HELP!!! Spring Break, please come soon!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Seventh Level of Hell

Ahhh, TAKS testing in a special hall. Where a typical conversation follows a similar trend amongst all the rooms:

Student: "Ms. Jackson, I went in my testing room and the tester told me I'm not on her list. But my teacher told me I go to W227."

Me: "Ok, let's check and see your room number... Hmm, you're right, looks like W227."

Student: "But that's where I went and the teacher told me I'm not on the list."

Me: "Well let's walk over there together, okay?"

insert a variety of uncomfortable pre-testing small talk

Me: "Here we are, insert student name, let's check with the teacher."

Student: "Oh, this is my room?"

Me: "Yeah, W227."

Student: "Ohhhhh, well I went in that room." Points at a room directly across the hall... Or down the hall... Or in another hall...

Me: "W229? Why?"

Student: Open mouth, blank stare.

Right. I love my job I love my job I love my job I love my job...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Back in the saddle

And I'm home. Oh, thank goodness, I'm home. I love San Diego, I love the whirlwind feeling of travel, but when it comes right down to it, there's no place like my own bed, my own husband (who is still on his way back - last check he and the crew were in El Paso), my own dogs who are so delighted to see me that they've been hovering around my feet since I walked in the door. Jen and Mike welcomed me with open arms and open fridge (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICHAEL!!!!). I never thought I'd be so glad to get back to Lufkin, TX, but I am.

But more than my own bed or a little bit of privacy, I missed my sense of belonging, of purpose. Home is where I have family who love me and friends who care that I was gone. Home is where my students are, and when I'm away from it I worry whether they're getting the love and respect that I give them. Home is where two puppies jump straight up in the air to lick my face when I lean over because they are so excited that I'm back (and so proud of themselves for NOT tearing up the house even though I left the wrong key under the mat and they were prisoners in their own home for a full 28 hours).

WHEW! Lufkin, TX, here I am. Back and ready to go Go GO, because that's what I do. Oh, and pity me just a tiny bit tomorrow, as I'm home just in time for the English TAKS...

And by the way, yes, the run that I did at Torrey Pines is the Runner's World Rave Run this month. If you're a nerd like me, you know what that means. If not, you can check this out, but this picture doesn't do it justice like the fold-out spread in the magazine.,7124,s6-239-281--13429-0,00.html

Monday, March 1, 2010

The view from Torrey Pines

Today I fell in love with running all over again. And, in fact, I re-discovered my stride. And let me explain, because I'm speaking literally and metaphorically...

I've been at an amazing conference in San Diego, filled with educators who are passionate about their work. And as fascinated as I have been with these presentations, I've also been discouraged about myself, because there is no way I have the time or energy to do as much as these people are talking about. And I started to notice that none of them are married. None of them have kids. They are literally married to their jobs, staying until 6:00, 9:00, 10:00 at night with students after working a full day. I even met a woman who did all of this on a volunteer basis. WHAT??? So here I am, beating myself up because I can barely make it through tutoring until 5:00.

And then I realized something. Teaching isn't my life. Now, don't get down on me here. I love teaching. I adore my students and literally adopt 100 new babies every single semester. Ask Nate - I can't stop talking about them, just like a proud parent might. And there are nights I worry about them, discuss their problems, pray for them as I'm falling asleep. But at the same time, I have a life outside of the classroom. That's okay, right?

Did I mention that I'm ridiculously spoiled? Because I am here on Torrey Pines Golf Course presenting at a conference. The school is paying for me to be here. And when I finished my sessions today, I put on my running shoes and went for the most exquisite run I have ever had, following a trail on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The sun was beginning to set and paint the water beautiful shades of salmon and fuchsia, the wind danced around me and I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face. And I re-discovered my stride. I worked out the problems, made peace with my already passionate commitment to teaching and remembered that I love both teaching and runnning. And I remembered why I do it. Not to please anyone else. Not to be in competition or win any awards. I do it because it makes me happy. I don't have to change the world all at once. I'll settle for one student at a time, one great run at a time. And that's how I enjoy life.

Now, let me get back into my networking reception. There's a mariachi band calling my name...