Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Holy Packrats, Batman!

Wow, I have a lot of stuff. Weird, strange, why-in-the-world-did-I-keep-this stuff... and I'm emotionally attached to all of it. Every shred of paper, every tattered movie stub, every magazine, every book... okay, not ALL of it - but certainly more than what's probably healthy.

My brother is coming to stay in a couple of weeks. That means that my spare room must become a guest room in fairly short order. This presents something of an issue 'cause while I've been organizing the rest of my little abode, everything that I can't figure out what to do with has landed in a pile in the spare room. It currently takes a fairly significant effort to reach the closet light. (And, as an aside, what braintrust came up with the idea of linking light switches to electrical outlets and then not including any light other than the closet in a room?!?)

So I started in on the closet last night, thinking that if I could get that organized, a lot of the stuff in the middle of the floor could live in the closet. I found things that I had given up as lost forever... and things that I have no memory of at all. I am once again in awe of the interesting and different logic patterns apparently inherent in the minds of my movers. A box titled 'Kitchen' in fact holds a cook book, as well as the first 3 Harry Potter books, a small box full of paper and binder clips, a plastic bag full of leaves, 2 sweaters, a small stuffed dog, a portable CD player, a number of audiocassettes, 2 boxes of old canceled checks, a flashlight, a box of chalk, a handful of loose change and an assortment of movie stubs and programs. Okey-dokey.

But I can't blame the movers for other things. I had 26 plastic bags squirreled away in my closet. Here's the really sad thing - I only managed to throw one away. I keep them to recycle since they're really nice bags, only to forget I have them.

Most of the closet floor was taken up with luggage. (I include suitcases, garment bags, tote bags, backpacks and any other soft-sided storage vessel in this category.) I have the luggage that my parents gave me for my 21st birthday. It was an okay set, ten years ago, but it consists of actual suitcases with wheels on them and it is quite ungainly. I have four backpacks, two of which I never use; four or five different briefcase/laptop carriers - all with the tags still attached. I've mentioned that I'm compulsive before, right?

I have a dresser in storage that will be living in my spare room specifically for craft stuff (beads, ribbons, wood cut-outs, fake flowers, googly eyes in several sizes, pom-poms, felt, etc etc etc) but until I get that transported, I guess I'll pile it all into a box. Right now, it's all in several plastic bags and a laundry basket in the middle of the floor.

Then there's the several boxes of fabric. Most of that was given to me by a wonderful lady who was moving to Florida, but I have bits and bolts stashed here and there. This includes a leaf bag full of baby clothes that I will be converting into a memory quilt for a friend. I've settled on a pattern, and I have all of the materials - I just need to find the time to actually do it - sometime before the child enters high school would be good.

The spare room is also my repository for all the stuff I buy in bulk - like toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, napkins, garbage bags, multi-packs of ziplock bags in an assortment of sizes, cleansers, laundry paraphernalia, etc.

In the meantime, I really need to get to the cardboard recycle place. I have a stack of boxes to my ceiling. The cat and I have both been buried under an avalanche of boxes at some point in the last couple of weeks. I have to be strong 'cause I'm really attached to my box collection as well. It hurts me to throw away a perfectly good box that I know I can use again.

What would be really cool is if my apartment was like Mary Poppin's bag - same size on the outside, palatal on the inside. That would rock! Until I get that figured out though, I'd better plan on spending every day this week sifting through the debris of a stuff-obsessed life in progress. The week is not going to be long enough!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Birds, Birds Everywhere

I wander through several blogs on a near-daily basis, and one happy day I'll figure out that blog-roller-thing and can organize 'em. That'll be cool. At any rate, today I stopped by to visit Rurality, where she had posted a bit about her budgie. Her pictures of her birdie chowing on a banana took me back to the birds I've known. [Whoot! I think I've figured out linking! Yay, me!]

When my mom was young, she had a parakeet named "Teako." (I'm pretty sure I just spelled it wrong.) One winter day, Mom and her mom were sitting in the living room and heard something tapping on the window. When they went to look, there was a little green parakeet perched, half-frozen, on the window sill. Mom opened the window and let him in and so began a close relationship that lasted for years. Her mother didn't believe that the bird would ever talk, but Mom worked diligently with him for weeks. One morning, Grams was greeted with 'hello, I'm a pretty bird' when she uncovered his cage.

Fast forward many years, and Teako was a fond memory. During a stop at the pet shop for rodent food, Mom saw a beautiful pair of finches called 'red cheeked cordon bleu finches.' (Uraeginthus bengalus for the more technically minded.) Thus begins our family's adventures in birding.

Shortly after the finches moved in, my brother got a parakeet named Fancy and I got a Fischer's lovebird named Bippo. Bippo was very loving and friendly, but he was an escape artist extraordinaire. We had to tape his water and food dishes to the cage, and put a padlock on his cage door, and he still figured out ways to get out. Most mornings I would wake up to find him sitting on my pillow over my head, grooming my hair. I hadn't had him long when he caught a cold and was gone before we could get him to the vet.

Fischer's lovebirds were difficult to find, and some time passed before we went to the pet store and came home with Aurora. I've come to believe that Aurora was wild caught, because she was so scared of us. As much as she seemed to want to make up, she just couldn't bring herself to total trust. She was less scared of my dad, since the big-giant-hand-that-grabbed-at-her never came from him. She lived in the same cage that Bippo had for a while, and she was also very capable of exiting it any time she felt like it. Her favorite perch was my ceiling fan. She was hang over the edge and chatter at me. If I pretended to be asleep, she would fly down and land next to my head and creep closer until she could feel along my face with her beak and tongue. It tickled and my laughter would cause her to skitter back and take flight.

Aurora loved salad greens, millet, pasta, eggs, and picking the seeds off a strawberry. The leafy tops of celery were her favorite, but she dove into more than one salad bowl. Poor little thing - one of the most traumatic occasions during her life with us was when she dove into a bowl of salad - with dressing on it. The traumatic part was the bath I had to give her to get the oil off. She learned from that to test for dressing before diving into the bowl. We learned to make up a salad bowl just for her, set on the table close to the door of her cage so she could escape to her cave if any of us ventured too close. It was an arrangement that worked well for everyone.

She and Fancy did NOT get along. We couldn't let them out at the same time. As soon as my brother would open Fancy's door, he'd fly over to Aurora's cage. She would chase him all over and bite his feet, then they'd get into squawking battles. My little darling won the noise wars handily.

A couple of years after she moved in, I noticed a bald spot under a wing. In fairly short order, her feathers were gone. She looked like a tiny little chicken, although some of the feathers on her head remained. We had her for several more years, but her feathers never returned. I used to make bridges for her from yard sticks so she could explore beyond the kitchen table. She got very good at zipping along those pathways, and she never seemed to really mind her lack of feathers. We hung a soft toy in her cage that she cuddled up to at night. One winter day, however, someone came in the kitchen door and left the metal door open. She caught a chill and was gone soon after.

Fancy was my brother's bird and didn't really care for the rest of us that much. He talked when he wanted to, and fought with all the other birds, and generally didn't make much of an impression on me. We had him for several years, and he'd been an adult when we got him, so I think it was just old age that took him away in the end.

We'd had Aurora for a couple of years when Mom went to the pet store to find that they had just gotten in a clutch of cockatiels. They weren't full grown yet - less than a year old. One in particular ran over to Mom and zipped up her arm to coo at her from her shoulder. Not looking to add a fifth voice to the zoo, she put him back and walked away. A man came over and tried to get the same bird to climb onto his hand, and the bird would have none of it. He tried to fly to Mom, even though he didn't yet know how and ended up crashing to the floor. Mom was hooked, and Fred came home with her that day. (I could, and probably will, babble on about Fred - he was such a little character.)

We are a nocturnal family, and the birds in our lives were the same. Even the finches went to bed around 10 pm and got up around 11 am. We had to have strict rules about where the bird cages spent the night, because we had a cat. A 25 pound Maine Coon cat that REALLY liked birds and was strong enough to disassemble cages to get to them. As a matter of fact, Mom brought home a pair of green singing finches that were smaller than we thought - they could get between the bars of the cage. That night, they got out... and the cat had little birds for a midnight snack. At any rate, Aurora went upstairs with me at night, Fancy went upstairs with Scott and then the finches and Fred lived in Mom and Dad's room. Even after Snuggles (hey, I was six - cool pet names were beyond me at that age) was gone, the finches and Fred went to the bedroom for the night.

The last pair of cordon bleus that Mom had developed quite the personalities. The female (Sarah) really enjoyed flying around the house and then landing among the plants in the sunroom. She'd spend hours picking around the plants and watching the outside birds (while the cat spent quality time in the basement, behind tightly shut doors). The male (Slash) would call frantically trying to get her to return to the cage. He was a homebody and never ventured out on his own, even with the door clipped open. They both loved their baths and would drench the entire kitchen flipping around. One day, a small moth fluttered into their cage. They both eyed it, but Slash flashed forward and snarfed it down. That was how we learned that they really enjoyed live food. From that point forward, regular stops at the bait store for maggots and mealy worms were in order. It was a bit disturbing to think of these tiny, delicate-looking bits of fluff as avid, skilled hunters but watching them take after their bugs was remarkably like watching the velociraptors in "Jurassic Park" moving in for the kill. Slash was a wife-abuser and so their cage was divided into 2 smaller ones to give Sarah some peace. Sarah spent a lot of time making eggs. Lots of 'em. We provided every possible source of additional calcium we could think of, but one morning Sarah was dead - we think she became egg-bound. Slash lived on for several years after that, well past the maximum age that the books said talked about.

Eventually, we were a one bird family and Fred was the undisputed head of the household. When Lady moved in, she seemed to respect that Fred had been there first. She was curious about him and was always trying to sniff at him. He bit her on the nose more than once for the indignity. She got her own back though. Fred's favorite place to perch was on Dad's shoes, and Lady would walk by and, in all innocence, whack him with her tail. Then he'd squawk and grumble, and I swear she laughed every time.

Fred was getting to be elderly when the calico cat moved in. She was a stray, and made it very clear that she considered Fred to be a foodstuff. So, Fred's outside the cage time was curtailed to when Dad or I put the cat in the basement. By then, Scott had been out of the house for a couple years. Then I moved here. Fred was so glad to us when we made it home. He's been gone for a bit over two years now, and I still miss him so.

I'd love to have another bird, but it's just not practical right now. I don't have enough space to contain the cat to give a bird outside the cage time, and I'm barely there enough for the cat. *sigh* One day...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Licker

It has an interesting ring to it, doesn't it? So, as referenced yesterday, here's what happened...

Let's hop in the way-back machine, and travel to late fall of 2004. My baby truck finally gave up the ghost at Labor Day (*sob*) and I was driving my dad's Safari van. This is one of those minivans that has captains chairs with no console between in the front seats.

Whenever possible, my company would prefer that we not stay over when traveling for business so this particular day trip started at 4 am when I left for the airport for a 6:30 flight. (Just as a matter of personal quirk, I am not capable of paying $30/day to park in the garage at the airport. So, I always try to allow for enough time to park in the economy lot and take the shuttle over to the airport.) We flew to Atlanta, then drove two hours to the facility, were in meetings all day, drove back to Atlanta then took a red-eye back to Chicago. This flight, already leaving late in the day, was delayed for a couple of hours. So, I arrived back at the Chicago airport after midnight, heading into hour 21 or 22 of a very stressful day, lugging the four million and one things necessary in such meetings and I still had to trek to my car.

Of course there was a problem with the shuttle/train thing so it was nearly an hour later by the time I found myself wandering around the completely deserted parking lot, looking for my vehicle. I always get turned around after riding that tram and have to wander a fair bit to figure out which section is which.

I finally got myself oriented and headed in the right direction, and I found myself completely freaked out. I was utterly convinced that someone was following me. So I looked all around and couldn't see anyone, and I even altered my steps on the gravel and stopped a couple of times to see if I could hear anyone else walking. Nothing. You know those horror movies where it's quiet, too quiet? I was living one. I tend to be prone to the vulgarities of an overactive imagination, so I spent my walk trying to convince myself that I was just being, as usual, ridiculous and that by now I should really have outgrown this. No dice - I was still totally freaked out and all the hair on my neck and arms was sticking straight up.

An eternity later, I arrived at my vehicle. Standard operating procedure for me is to unlock the passenger side, dump my stuff on/around the seat, hit the inside unlock button, then circle the front of the van and hop into the driver's side. Well, I had gotten myself so creeped out that when I unlocked the passenger side, I leaped into the vehicle, slammed the door and hit the locks.

Then I laughed at myself for being such a ninny, turned in the seat, stood up and sat down on the drivers side. Still laughing at myself, I glanced up... and caught sight of the very large man standing directly outside my passenger window, looking in at me. Safari vans are high off the ground, and the guy was still looking directly across at me, so he had to be over six feet tall. I let out a shriek, that actually sounded more like a squeak and fumbled the keys into the ignition.

At that moment, I gained an all new appreciation for how a mouse feels, staring up at the cat and time kind of elongated. It took roughly four hours to get the keys in the ignition and start the van, and the whole time I stared directly into the eyes of the guy staring, unblinking, at me.

Now here's where it gets really creepy. Still holding my eyes, he bent down, put his tongue on the bottom of the window and licked all the way up the window. Gah! The van started and (Halleluiah!) went right into drive and I was so out of there! I think I skidded sideways into the pay lane.

He was long gone by the time I got to the pay booth. I told the girl working alone what happened and she called the airport security, but I don't think they ever saw him.

The next day, I told my boss what had happened and shortly thereafter, a memo went out saying that we were not to park in economy when our returning flights were expected after dark. As much as I was freaked out at the time, it wasn't until we were discussing it at lunch and someone else said something that it really hit me how lucky I was to have listened to my "overactive" imagination. I'm grateful now that I didn't manage to reason myself into circling the van to get in on the driver's side because whatever that guy was planning, he'd have had me before I made it. *shudder*

So, my thought o'the day is this: if your spidey senses are tingling and the hair on the back of your neck is telling you to run, do it. It's better to be silly and laughed at than to be a possible statistic.

Monday, February 20, 2006

My Weekend...

*yawn* I'm back from my trip home.

It's amazing the difference your general attitude can make, isn't it? I always get so freaked out and stressed by traveling that, if I were someone travelling near me, I'd cross to the other side of the plane to escape.

A few weeks ago, I flew to Nashville to visit my best friend. I left work early, although not as early as I'd hoped, only to get stuck at the train tracks while FIVE different metra trains came by, adding 20 minutes to my time. Then I dropped off my coworker and stopped at home momentarily before heading to the airport, only to get trapped on the highway. Due to inclement weather, there were several traffic accidents. It took me longer to drive to the airport than it takes to fly to Nashville. I was convinced that I was going to miss the plane. I called the airline and the customer service rep told me that there was another, nearly empty plane in an hour and to just relax. Riiiight. Anywho, I made the flight, by the skin of my teeth. I was the last one to board, and I was still getting settled when the plane took off. Whew! But the stress of the trip affected my whole visit. It takes me a while to calm down once I've gotten all twitchy.

Somehow, that experience made me much more relaxed this trip, so even though I had many silly things go wrong, it didn't phase me. I left work early, although once again, not as early as I'd hoped, dropped my coworker off and got home only to find that they changed the outside locks. So I buzzed the guy with the keys, listened to how he'd been broken into the day before, grabbed my stuff, dropped the new key off with the petsitter, parked in the spiffy new economy deck, shuttled over to the airport, made it through security, waited through the delays and was off. [I like that new deck, and not just because I think it decreases my chances of running into 'the licker' again. One day I'll tell you about him. *shiver* Odd things just happen to me.]

Once in Cleveland, I wandered around until I discovered the shuttle to the rental cars. (You have to wait outside, so learn from me and dig your scarf and gloves out of your baggage before going out to wait for the shuttle, 'cause it really sucks doing it outside when it's 10 F and there's an icy wind howling around you.) After arriving at the building where the rental cars live, I waited in line FOREVER for the one person on duty to help the couple ahead of me.

Finally, it was my turn. The desk lady fiddled around and finally handed me the contract, told me to turn right at the bathroom sign and help myself to any Alero out there. I spent 20 minutes wandering around outside in that wind, trying to find even a single Alero. (What the hell do those things look like, anyway?!?) Finally, I went over to the booth and begged for help. The guy there didn't know what an Alero was either, but he said they didn't have any. He did put me in his toasty warm vehicle and drive me over to the mid-size section. After pondering my choices for a while (Malibu? PT Cruiser? Strange little mini-van thing?) I decided on a G6, loaded all my stuff in and then spent another several minutes fooling around trying to fix the seat. Just out of curiosity, how do you drive with the back reclined like that? Is that to make room for a tail? And why do you have to leave it like that? *growl* Finally, I just plumped up the lumbar support enough to hold me upright and called it a day.

As I was zipping down the highway (that little car could move!), it occurred to me that I didn't get upset about any of the little setbacks that, while perfectly expected in travel, still usually manage to make my teeth clench. Maybe I'm maturing? Nah. Must be something else.

At any rate, I had a very nice, although very quick, visit home and made it back here before it was too late.

I've been trying to stick it out here until I managed to get my six sigma green belt certification. I've passed the test, so all I need now is to finish the project and get it signed off. Unfortunately, it's becoming the never-ending project from hell, so I think waiting on it is a mistake. Me thinks it's time to polish up the resume and start actively trying to get home. Someone around there somewhere must be in the market for a slightly cynical engineer, right??

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Whine, moan, whimper...

Well, the creeping crud has me in its clutches - just in time for me to hop into a flying tin can for the (thankfully) short flight home. Yay, exploding sinuses. This snuck up on me while I wasn't paying attention and now I feel much like I've been hit by a bus. Ugh.

And, before I leave tomorrow evening, I need to clean my kitchen, sweep, pay some attention to the cat box, dust, clean the half bath, wrap birthday presents, and pack - all tonight, after work.

And, once again, my attempts at planning and organization have been foiled. I bought my brother's birthday gift before Christmas. He's turning his mostly finished downstairs into a game room. He's got a pool table down there, and a very nice dart board (and I'm not just saying that because I gave it to him for Christmas a couple of years ago). So, for his birthday, I got him a corner stand that holds cues, and the triangle and has a table top for your beer. It is, fortunately, not assembled but now I have to figure out how to fly home with it, in its rather sizable box. *sigh* That was good planning. He's coming to visit me in March. He may have to wait for then to get it.

And, I just discovered that the cold medicine I took (that has done NOTHING for my symtoms) has apparently made me even loopier than usual. I left a message for someone at work to call me and I thought I was making perfect sense. When she returned my call, she played the message back to me and I am completely incoherent. Swell. So, I should probably not be calling suppliers this morning. I wonder how long this stuff is going to take to wear off. It's kind of a cool feeling though. Everything's all swirly. I'm glad it wasn't my day to drive in. I think that would have been an adventure... for everyone around me.

And, I have a sneeze stuck in my nose. I hate it when that happens. When it finally arrives, I'll probably blow the back of my head off.

And, somehow this weekend, I managed to rip a significant chunk out of the bottom of my little toe - right at the crease where it joins my foot. That has been a joy to keep bandaged. So, that side of my foot is throbbing in pain. I'll be very glad when it heals. Ouchie!

So, I think I'll go soak my head. It hurts too.

Monday, February 06, 2006

In Which I Apologize To My Mother, Sort Of...

As surely as the sun will set in the west and rise again in the east and the tides will rise and fall and so on and so forth, you probably have some issue with your mother. Doesn't everyone? And I think it is likely that if you are (or were) a girl, your issues are greater than your brother's are.

I am no exception to this rule. Between my experiences with my mom and listening to my friends, I've come up with a theory; a theory in which the act of giving birth plants a time-bomb in a woman's brain. At some point, somewhere down the road, she will go crazy. Her ability to reason will shoot straight out the window and never return. And, personally, I think my mom's bomb went off fairly early.

In my house, growing up, there was a set and distinct hierarchy. My father ruled the roost and his word was law, but he worked nights at *a really big tire company* and during the day when he wasn't asleep, he had an electrical contracting business on the side, so the day to day running of the household fell to my mother. My mother stayed at home and ran herd on my brother and I. My brother was her clear favorite, while I was daddy's little girl.

Looking back, I wonder if this arrangement came about because my mother never knew her father. My grandparents divorced when my mother was a baby, and her father had no place in her life. Her only memory of him is when she was 3 or so years old, she walked down a dock to where he was waiting for her, with a puppy named Penny. That's it. As a teenager, I nagged incessantly to meet him, with my father backing me all the way. When my grandmother called to tell Mom that her father was dead (Grams had seen the obituary in the paper), Mom's reaction was relief that Dad and I would finally get off her back about getting in touch with him. So, Mom had (and still hasn't) no understanding of the relationship between a father and a daughter.

She and my dad were married for seven years before I came along, Dad was the first person to really be hers, and I don't think she had any conception (and who does, really?) of how a baby would change their lives. My father (as fathers do everywhere) immediately decided that the sun rose and set in my eyes, and any time I was less than pleased, he went into full panic, must-make-it-better-RIGHT-NOW mode. As an example, we have several rolls of film - now slides - that my father took of my eyelashes when I was a baby. He remains convinced that no child ever had such long and angelic eyelashes.

And so, my brother was my mom's. I spent a fair amount of time as a child being punished for his offenses. Even if she admitted that he had done it, I, as the older child, should have been looking out for him. When he nearly cut his thumb off, trying to turn a cardboard box into a train at about 6 years old, I at nearly 8 was the one to wake Mom and Dad. I was also the one to get grounded for not taking the knife away from him. (I was using the huge kitchen shears and working on the engine of the train, and I had told him not to cut his fingers off when he got the knife from the block.)

One of our biggest disputes came about when I was around 14 years old. One of my greatest treasures was a tea set that my grandmother (my mother's mother)made for me. She did fantastic projects in ceramics, and this tea set was a child's dream. Cream colored with tiny pink roses and ceramic, it included the tea pot with a lid, four tiny cups with saucers, four dessert plates (the perfect size for easybake oven treats), the creamer and the sugar bowl with a lid. As a child, I had the Fisher Price kitchen - with the accompanying pots and pans and such. As a teenager, I no longer wanted those things in my room so I packed them carefully in boxes and put them in the attic. I included my tea set with those pots and pans (the same ones my mother had played with as a girl).

Mom has always made it clear that the house is hers and we existed there on her suffrage, and she told me that she wasn't willing to let me keep anything in her attic. As a typical teenager, I was horrified at the idea of having to keep baby toys in my room, where my friends could see them when they came over. It ended with an ultimatum - if I left those things in the attic, she was taking them to Goodwill. Given that most of those things were hers anyway, I didn't believe her, and I left them where they were. I came home from school one fine day shortly thereafter to her gloating news that those boxes were now in the hands of those deserving children who would appreciate them.

This led to a confrontation that had Dad and my brother both fleeing the house, and Mom and I not speaking for several days. The loss of that tea set has been a bone of contention for years, especially as my grandmother's arthritis progressed quickly and she had to give up ceramics.

The years passed and other, more serious events have taken place to drive a wedge between us. To this day, when I go home for holidays, I stay at my aunt and uncle's house, and only visit my parents. But through the years, the tea set has remained. As I got older, I mourned its loss more and more, and Mom professed to have no memory of getting rid of it. Indeed, she was sure that she wouldn't ever have done that... and the merry-go-round circles again.

So I called home last night to check in and see how the 'rents were getting along, and Mom told me that she has been hard at work, cleaning out my brother's room. This will be her craft room when she's done.

Growing up, I was jealous of my brother's room 'cause it was so neat. Mine was slightly bigger, but he had a built-in desk and a nifty closet that extended in steps over the stairs and, best of all, a tiny door that led to a small attic over the kitchen. This was a window to another world, the most perfect fort ever and the source of my ongoing envy. For Scott, as a child, it was a night-time source of terror as our old house creaked and groaned and more than one morning found me stepping on him when I climbed out of bed to discover him asleep on my floor. (Given that to this day, I sleep like the dead and would have been completely unaware of his arrival and we were very young, I still don't understand why he always curled up on the floor instead of climbing into the other side of my double bed.)

At any rate, Mom's been busying herself lately by cleaning out the detris of the ages from his room in general and that closet in particular. At the very back, lodged in a corner, she found a box marked 'knick-knacks.' It turns out that opening that box was much like Christmas morning, in that she found all sorts of things given up years ago as lost forever. This includes a portion of her Fenton collection, several horse statues (and if I'm not mistaken, they're the ones that I got grounded for breaking - we'll have to see) and, wonder of wonders, my tea set. She says she didn't find the pots and pans, but she hasn't gotten to all of the boxes either. So, my tea set is back from the dead, and I can't wait to get it back from her.

And, I'm sorry, Mom for believing you when you said you gave it to Goodwill and since you remain emphatic that you don't remember the argument or its aftermath, I guess we'll leave it at that. And if those statues are the ones that you told Dad that I destroyed to get back at you for something, I'll swallow hard and turn the other cheek... again... and let it go because it has to be enough that you overplayed your hand several years ago and Dad and I are fine and Scott and I are fine and bringing it all up again won't do anyone any good at all.