Tuesday, December 13, 2011

press release

I'd like to announce that I'll be stepping down from my current position to pursue research, writing, and scholarship. After many years of devoted service to the museum profession, I feel that now is an opportune moment to leave my current position and return to my original passions of reading interesting books and traveling the world in the pursuit of beauty, stimulation, happiness, and new experiences. It has been an honor serving alongside all of you, and I wish you only the best moving forward.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Take care of your teeth, people. My teeth are my weakest physical feature. I count myself lucky. Better my teeth than my liver or some important internal organ. But it still sucks, and as such, I should take extra special care of them with fancy toothbrushes, flossing, and REGULAR DENTAL CHECK UPS. After college I went almost five years without visiting a dentist, and when I finally built up the courage to go, I paid the price with a nice root canal and crown.

I was then a good girl for quite a while . . . until the last year and a half or so. Granted, I've been busy and distracted with other things, but I recently noticed that one tooth in particular was looking pretty sketchy, so I finally dragged my self into the dentist. I love my dentist, and especially my hygienist, but like many people, I HATE sitting in that chair having tools stuck in my mouth and tasting and smelling all the nasty dental tastes and smells! Today I had my second root canal, and I'll be back in a couple weeks for my second crown. Boo! But at least they can fix me up, and at least I'm finally back on the dental hygiene wagon. Don't let this tragedy happen to you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Hooray! My peccary is finally a reality on the new conservation carousel at the Los Angeles Zoo! This very special carousel showcases rare and endangered animals from around the world, and plays mellow gold music (instead of the usual sickening music box tunes). And no two are alike. In addition to my peccary, there's an armadillo, a gorilla, a chimpanzee, an okapi, a red river hog, a pronghorn, a lion and a tiger, a seal, a giraffe and a zebra, a baby elephant, a couple token horses, and a large praying mantis, to name only a few.

In a major fundraising effort, each carousel animal cost $25,000. Luckily for me however, there was a raffle for a free animal at one point, so I bought a $150 ticket (not expecting to win, but figuring it couldn't hurt to support the overall cause in my own small way), and my name was drawn! It was announced at the Beastly Ball this summer, and I think there was general pride and happiness that a volunteer should be the person to win such a prize. My first thought was to choose the armadillo, in honor of Dad, but he was already sold, so I chose the delightful peccary, which has special significance to me and Mr. G. But what do you know, the peccary and armadillo are side by side on the carousel. Yay!

italian ashes: venice

I swear this is the last entry about ashes for a while.

Venice. Everyone loves Venice. Mom had a special fondness for it. Almost an irrational fondness for it! Of course it's a wonderful place to visit, but one of the main reasons I wanted to go on this particular trip was specifically to make sure I could scatter some Mom ashes there. It's very important that she be there, and I know Dad would be happy to be there too. So we hopped on a vaporetto and cruised the Grand Canal.

There was a noisy gaggle of Italian teenagers crowding our boat for the first half of our journey, but happily they disembarked somewhere in the outer lagoon, so we were then able to have the open-air back section to ourselves. It was quite chilly and breezy, but I attempted to discretely deposit their ashes -- one canister at a time -- over the back edge of the boat and into the Canal. This way they can flow throughout the city, up and down the waterways, past the decrepit palazzos, under the many bridges, around the gilded gondolas, and soak up all that Venice has to offer.

Unfortunately, in my nervousness about getting caught or reprimanded, I was hasty, and soon realized that most of the ashes had accumulated on the edge of the boat instead of falling directly into the water! Dang! And if you know anything about anything, it's pretty clear that this isn't just "dust" on the back of the boat. I tried to casually brush it off with a rolled up map, but to little avail. So, Mom and Dad are cruising the Canal on a boat instead of in the water. You might envision them sitting back there dangling their feet in the cold water, enjoying the views. Eventually, they'll blow off or get rained on or something, and ultimately become one with the waters of Venice.

I still have plenty of ashes to spare, so perhaps I'll take them with me to Hawaii at Christmas. It's not a place they ever visited or expressed interest in, but I'm sure it's beautiful, so why not? Mom's sister Joyce has scattered her ashes in a few scenic spots in Rocky Mountain National Park. And I'll definitely take her to Cannon Beach up in Oregon some day. Until then, I guess wherever I travel, I'll bring them along too (one way or another).

italian ashes: san gimignano

Next stop: San Gimignano, one of the most beautiful and historic of all the Tuscan hill towns. We walked along the ancient city walls, and found a beautiful courtyard surrounded by olive groves and medieval towers. A harpist played and sang under a tree, and we almost felt transported back in time. Walking around Siena, Ravena, and Padua, I never found spots that seemed appropriate for Mom and Dad to rest. But this corner of San Gimignano called to me.

For Mom, a view of Tuscany through a narrow doorway in the old stone walls. She can see rolling green hillsides, blue skies, olive groves, and an old church in the distance. Maybe she'll sit and listen to the harpist. Maybe she'll take a walk down into town and have a gelato or buy herself some silly tea towels and miniature replicas of medieval houses.

For Dad, a view of Tuscany through the ramparts, under some gracious trees with the sun streaming through their leaves into an otherwise shady stretch of the old stone walls. Maybe he'll sit and contemplate the lives of those that have come and gone before him in this historic setting. Maybe he'll have a picnic of boar's meat salami and beer. Regardless, I hope they're happy here. I feel a little happy thinking of them being here.

italian ashes: florence

Now for Italy. I brought both my parents to Italy with me for my wedding and honeymoon, in color-coded containers of course so as not to confuse them, and to pass through airport security discretely. I don't know what the rules are for crossing international borders with human remains, but I do know that it's illegal to scatter them just anywhere. For whatever reason. They're hardly a bio-hazard -- they've been cleansed by fire for god's sake! Anyway, blue scientific jars for Dad and red spice jars for Mom, and a determination to spread them around Italy, a place they both loved (especially Mom -- man, she was obsessed with the entire country! Rightly so).

In Florence, I took them to one of the highest points in Boboli Gardens, with its stunning views of the rolling Tuscan countryside. It's an immensely pleasant place to be, dead or alive. In fact I wish I was there right now. Last time I was there, prior to our wedding trip, was with Mom in 2008. We trekked up to this particular garden, but it's hard to imagine her making that trek in more recent years, knowing what I know now about her heart condition. :-(

Anyway, there were pink rose bushes on either side of the main garden path, so I sprinkled some Dad on the left, and some Mom on the right. And there they lie, each under their own rose bush, looking up at the blue sky but protected from the bright sun. And if there are such things as spirits -- or even ghosts -- I like to think of them sitting on the edge of the wall looking out at the beautiful scenery when everyone else has gone for the day.

Under Mom's rosebush, I encountered this little green lizard. He/she ran at first, but then gave me a cautious backwards glance over his/her shoulder. Hello, little lizard! Somehow I thought this would've been more appropriate under Dad's rosebush (he often called me "Lizard"), but this lizard was waiting for Mom. Maybe because of all the lizard adventures we had in Paestum on our 2008 trip together. We counted 20+ lizards on our short walk between the train station and the temples, and there was even one in her lap while we ate lunch!

reunited in austin

My parents both went to the University of Texas at Austin. I think they probably met before Mom was technically a student there, but UT is certainly where their romance blossomed, and they were married in Austin in 1966. Dad was a college buddy of Mom's older brother Tom, which is how they met, no doubt when Tom brought his buddy home over some college break, and Joe noticed his cute younger sister sitting haughtily in the back seat of the car (at least I think that's the story I was told). So naturally, I felt it was important that they both reside there in the afterlife somehow.

My uncle Dwight (Mom's other brother) lives in Austin, and had already scattered her ashes under a big beautiful oak tree near the LBJ Library. It's a gigantic old tree, in a peaceful meadow on a quiet corner of campus. He took me there, and showed me where he'd placed Mom, near some low-hanging branches, the sunlight glinting through them from under the tree's canopy. I placed Dad there too. He would totally go on a tirade about being in proximity to anything having to do with LBJ, but it's a lovely location, and I think part of him must have secretly enjoyed those tirades in life. Rant on, Dad, rant on.

I wandered the campus for a while, and scattered some Dad ashes in a nice turtle pond near the infamous Campanile from which Charles Whitman shot dozens of people in 1966. My parents both walked that route frequently, and could easily have been among the victims. Luckily they lived to die another day. I'm happy that Dwight brought Mom to campus, but UT was really Dad's place. It was a highlight (if not "the" highlight) of his life, and I swear a day didn't go by that he didn't talk about it (or at least think about it privately). That era defined him, at least in his own mind, so it felt especially necessary to bring him back there, to let his spirit enjoy campus life once again.

I went to Waggener Hall, which is the current home of both the Philosophy and Classics Departments, my parents' two majors. I don't know if this was the case in the 1960's, but I figured it was a good gesture (at least) to scatter some Dad ashes here too. Outside of course. But I did buy a UT Philosophy Department t-shirt in his honor.

ashes, ashes . . .

I've been meaning to write about ash distribution for some time. You may think me morbid, with my seeming obsession with scattering my parents' ashes all over the world. But what can I say? It feels right. And for whatever reason, I feel compelled to document their dispersal in this blog. (See earlier posts about Dad on the beach, at Grandma's grave, and around San Francisco.) Why do I even bother? Do I really believe that some part of their soul or essence will remain in these locations; locations that mean something to me, or meant something to them? Perhaps. Or maybe I just don't want to be burdened with a box full of human remains, and so I'd rather distribute them in a tasteful and loving way. Or all of the above.

This spring I scattered some of Mom's ashes around La Jolla shores: up on the cliffs where we had her memorial gathering, overlooking the Pacific Ocean; and under the Pier that juts out into the ocean from her former office at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Now Mom and Dad are both scattered on the shores of La Jolla, but I took care to place them at opposite ends! Not that it matters, since their ashes were almost immediately washed out to sea where everything co-mingles anyway -- just like our souls or energy (or whatever it is) rejoins the greater energy force (or whatever you want to call it) when we leave this earthly sphere. But they both needed to be scattered in La Jolla because that's where I was conceived.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


One bad apple ruins the whole barrel. It's true. And what do you do when you have more bad apples than good apples? Throw out the whole barrel and start over? Or do you just keep eating them, worms and all? Or maybe you can mash them all up into applesauce, with lots of cinnamon, and that will somehow make them more palatable. But sometimes all you need is one GOOD apple to make the barrel worthwhile. There's no saving a rotten apple, but you can choose to focus on the sweet crisp apples -- even if they're few and far between -- and to be a shiny apple yourself.

I am a shiny apple.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


There are a ton of flags on the lawn at Pepperdine up in Malibu overlooking the sea. As you might expect, each flag represents a person who died on September 11, 2001, ten years ago. You can't help but be moved by this, yet there's also a part of me that resists the sentiment, finds something cloying and melodramatic about the notions of patriotism and heroism, and the intense nostalgia that our culture attaches to the events that occurred that day. Why is that? Am I just horribly jaded or afraid of my own emotions? Or is it more that I'm disconcerted by the fact that our culture is disproportionately obsessed with one tragic moment, while virtually ignoring the things that may have caused it, or the fact that we somehow avoided allowing such a shocking, potentially pivotal moment to have any real effect on how we live our daily lives? Or all of the above?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

for mom

This is a flattened candy corn I found in Balboa Park this weekend. It's been flattened by people stepping on it, distorting it into a larger irregular shape, but always identifiable by its tricolor striation. It reminds me of Mom. This sounds ridiculous but it's true. Once upon a time, we were riding the escalator at Nordstroms together, and we looked over the edge to see a gigantic candy corn on the lobby floor below. This is back in the day when they used to have live piano players. When we arrived at the lobby level, we saw that it was indeed a regular candy corn that had been trampled by dozens (if not hundreds) of people passing through the lobby until it had been flattened and expanded into seriously like ten times its original size. Perhaps time has exaggerated the true size of the candy corn, but it was a story that we often remembered and laughed about together, many times to the point of hysteria. For some reason it was just so absurd and hilarious. And we would've laughed about this one this weekend, even though it pales in comparison to the original, inspirational candy corn.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Apparently at a recent evening event at the zoo, some bastards managed to injure two of the resident meerkats. The meerkats live in an open enclosure so that people can see them clearly and enjoy their antics, and also so that the meerkats can see the blue sky and feel the fresh air on their little faces. It's a happy and popular exhibit. They're charming and fascinating animals. So why the FUCK would someone want to hurt them? One of them had her head/jaw smashed, and the other one was all scraped up -- both injured in ways that only a bastard human could have caused. It makes me so SICK. Of course they'll never find the culprits, but if they ever do, I recommend that they be put down immediately. Anyone who intentionally takes another life (except in self defense) forfeits their own. Even more so when it's a completely innocent life, of a captive animal, no less. These poor zoo creatures are only here for our amusement -- and supposedly our education and edification. If you think it's fun to shoot fish in a barrel, you should be shot in the head.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

current priorities

Current priority #1: Find a dress
We've set a date, reserved our plane tickets, and booked hotels in Florence, Ravenna, and Venice. We've signed a contract with the nice people who will (presumably) facilitate our civil service in the Sala Rossa. Mr. G is working on rings and a suit. And I need a damn dress. I thought I just wanted a light blue cocktail-type dress until a few days ago when I suddenly realized that I must have a white wedding dress. What the hell? Of course they all look weird to me because unlike many girls, I haven't spent all my time up until this point fantasizing about my wedding day. I don't want it to be too lacy, but I don't want it to be too plain. I want white, not cream or champagne. Do I want floor length or tea length? Strapless or sleeveless? Fitted or flowing? Sleek or fluffy? Simple and sophisticated or a bit outrageous because what-the-hell-you-only-do-this once-right? So many decisions, and literally an unlimited number of dresses to choose from. UNLIMITED! I need to make a dress selection within the next two months, never mind the accessories which must follow. And here's the really tricky part: it has to be something that suits both me AND Mr. G!

Current priority #2: Rent the condo
I would also LOVE to rent the condo within the next two months, but maybe that's asking too much. All I want is a graduate student couple, or maybe a visiting professor and his/her partner, who'll pay between $1,500-$2,000/month to allow me to pay the bills and make a little profit. The place is in excellent condition, in a wonderful and peaceful location, and it's perfectly outfitted with lovely furnishings, a patio & deck, a selection of sheets, towels, and dishes. You'll love it! I've posted it all over the university sites, and am trying to spread the word, but I have zero viable candidates. I must find a way to make this work because I am not about to sell the place, for a myriad of reasons.

Pretty much everything else can wait.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

la jolla playhouse

Mom's memorial stone is finally in place at the La Jolla Playhouse, and it looks great! The Playhouse was one of Mom's favorite spots for local theater, and she saw many performances there over the years, with many friends. Gregory Peck was one of its original founders, back in the day (he's a local boy, you know). We had originally planned to have a plaque placed on one of the seats inside the theater, but then we learned about the stones, which are obviously so much more beautiful and permanent. Plus, you can visit anytime because it's outside!

Her stone is right in the front row in the main courtyard, basking in the warm La Jolla sun in the mornings, and cooling in the gentle shade of the eucalyptus trees in the afternoon. The courtyard is the site of many receptions and celebratory events, and of course theater-goers mix and mingle there at intermission. Now all these happy people, feeling enriched by quality theatrical performances, will see Mom's stone and know that she was loved.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

spirit animals

Chakras are great. Little spinning wheels -- or blooming flowers -- of energy at key points in our bodies keeping us connected to ourselves and the greater universe. My mind is a ping pong ball (or a jar FULL of ping pong balls), so I suck at meditating, and envisioning the chakras, one at a time, is pretty much the only way I can focus myself. Recently, a dear friend suggested a new meditation technique she'd tried in which you associate a different animal with each chakra as you meditate. You don't choose the animals, of course, you let them choose you. Just open your mind, focus on your chakras, and see which creatures present themselves. I love animals, and I love contemplating and exploring our many and varied relationships with them, so this sounded perfect for me. I've only done it once so far, while sitting in the sun near the La Brea tar pits. I suppose you could/would receive different animals each time you do it, but here's who came to me during my first attempt:

The lion represents the confident creator. He/she teaches you about self love, how not to be so hard on yourself, and how to relax and let go. The lion encourages you to pamper yourself, and to acknowledge that you're worth pampering. When you're feeling stressed out, listen to the lion when he/she tells you to take a break instead of drowning in angst and neurosis. The base chakra is associated with our personal foundation and sense of being grounded. The confident and self indulgent lion seems like a good "base" to build on. (Portrait by Gericault, ca. 1820)

The pig uproots the soil, turning it over in preparation for new growth. The pig helps us become fertile ground for new ideas as we rid ourselves of the old. Listen to your soul (via the pig), and plow up some time in your life for the new ideas you're receiving. The sacral chakra is associated with our ability to accept others and new experiences. So I'm rooting around and perhaps opening myself up to new relationships -- or new dimensions to existing relationships -- particularly in the face of the loss of very important "old" relationships. And of course your relationships with the dead continue to evolve even after they've departed. (Piglet from Herculaneum, ca. 1st century A.D.)

The crab represents the fierce feminine (not the first thing that comes to mind, but okay). She stands for self protection and sensitivity, but can be moody and emotional. She will help you with self preservation through challenging times, and will help you to heal your relationship with your mother (of all people). When you listen to the crab, you listen to your gut and your intuition. The belly chakra is associated with our ability to be confident and in control of our lives. Interesting. The complexities of the mother/daughter relationship are often some of the trickiest things to navigate when trying to gain/retain "control" in one's life. My belly is the root of most of my problems, so I feel this is one of the most important chakras/animals to listen to, but I hate crabs! They creep me out to the extreme! This all makes sense somehow . . . (Vintage scientific illustration)

The deer is the sensitive listener. You can call upon the deer when you need to be heard and nurtured. She gives you the courage to speak your mind. A sense of calm and centeredness comes when the deer is invited into your life. The heart chakra is associated with our ability to love (duh). I think I need to love myself more, so perhaps I can interpret this as learning to listen to and nurture myself. For this chakra, the deer came in clearly, but there was a dove lurking nearby. Both creatures are often associated with purity and innocence, and that's very much the feeling I had from their presence. Is my heart somehow pure and innocent? And if so, is that a good thing? (Scythian gold deer, 7th century B.C.)


The butterfly is the delic
ate transformer. Of course butterflies have the classic cocoon metaphor of rebirth, emergence, and metamorphosis. They also live very short lives, so represent the fleeting nature of life. The butterfly guides you through change and transition, and encourages creative indwelling. She will help you find the power of change within yourself. The throat chakra is associated with our ability to communicate. Second to my belly, my throat is my other primary problem area. Interesting that both of these manifested as insect or insect-like creatures. Heebie-jeebies! Although of course butterflies are quite beautiful and full of all kinds of powerful symbolism (unlike the CRAB). I think I'm a good communicator in general, but I often suppress my own emotions and thoughts, so there's definitely a blockage there. The image that came to mind during meditation was the moth-over-the-mouth from "The Silence of the Lambs." Maybe this should be a moth instead of a butterfly, but they're not that different really, are they? (Maria Sibylla Merian, 17th century)

The whale is the cosmic record keeper, and embodies ancient wisdom. The whale will help you tap in to your intuition and tune in to your inner voice (even if that voice is buried in the ocean depths). The whale is also associated with spiritual rebirth, as in the story of Jonah and the Whale. And of course there's Moby Dick. The third eye chakra is associated with our ability to focus and see the big picture. Whales are damn powerful creatures, and damn powerful symbols. Of course it's ridiculous that my third eye chakra evoked a creature with a giant ivory tooth piercing its forehead. Maybe that's telling me that there's something very obvious about this chakra that I'm overlooking? (Inuit carving)

The eagle lives in both the ea
rthly and spiritual realms, and can teach you how to live in balance with your earthly reality and your celestial spirit. The eagle can ease you into a state of grace, and reconnect you with your personal power. The crown chakra is associated with our ability to be fully connected spiritually. I suppose the eagle is almost a cliche for this chakra, but there was definitely a sense of a golden eagle (specifically) with its wings outstretched over my head, in a protective way. Whatever you think about chakras and spirit animals, it's comforting to think of a majestic eagle watching over you as make your way through life, especially during the difficult times. (John James Audubon, 1833)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

robert, 1839

This is a self portrait by Robert Cornelius (1839), and is one of the first photographs of a human being ever produced. How amazing is that? And how dashing is he? I love his tussled hair, his high collar, and that slightly menacing gleam in his eyes. I'm reminded of Mr. Rochester, Mr. Darcy, Adam Ant, and Ray Davies of the Kinks! Never mind the inherently mysterious quality of the photograph itself. It's just so evocative! And to think that this was a man walking around and living a life in 1839, just like we do today. It's like a magical glimpse into the past. In fact, it IS a magical glimpse into the past.

Credit for bringing this to my attention is due to Ms. Tovar and http://mydaguerreotypeboyfriend.tumblr.com/.

Monday, June 6, 2011

the mysterious mercedes

The suspense is killing her. Furthermore, it has recently come to my attention that Marzipan is not even her real name. The official adoption papers list one kitten fitting her physical description, but going by the name of Mercedes. Who is this imposter living among us, chewing on the curtains, abusing small bunnies, and lolling on vintage paperbacks?

Meanwhile, a certain individual who until now had no particular love of felines was recently seen sketching this image of a cat resting comfortably on a chair in our home. Will the mysteries never cease?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

pee wee

We saw Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure on the big screen this weekend. It's over 25 years old, but still awesome! I want to emulate Pee Wee's joie-de-vivre. If you like filling your yard with plastic deer and flamingos, do it! If you like wearing funny suits and red bow ties, do it! If your dream is to find your beloved red bike, do it! He's so content and confident in his eccentricity. It's a beautiful thing, really. But of course, there's always the dark side. "There's a lotta things about me you don't know anything about, Dottie. Things you wouldn't understand. Things you couldn't understand. Things you shouldn't understand."


My totem animal for the year is the white buffalo, or bison. What's the difference anyway, you may well ask. Basic geography. Bison live in the Americas. Buffalo live in Africa and Asia. You're probably actually envisioning bison in your brain when you think of buffalo. Like this guy. Sacred to the plains Indians of North America. Systematically wiped out by the white man. Now existing only in our national parks.

Honestly, they've never been one of my favorite animals. I don't understand how they don't tip over on their noses with all that weight in their hump, shoulders and heads, and those comparatively narrow little flanks. But I admit I was quite impressed with the few I encountered in Yellowstone Park many years ago: their big, shaggy bodies; their steamy breath in the snow; their cute little babies and they way they're so protective of them; that attitude of impatience that you sometimes sense in a wild animal (okay, I'll let you admire me for a moment, but I'm getting annoyed, and you should probably move on and leave me in peace before I gore the side of your car). Like all animals, they are in fact awesome if you stop to think about it for a minute.

The white buffalo (bison!) is especially sacred to the Lakota people because it plays an important role in one of their origin myths. Each time a white calf is born, it's believed to have special significance, and indicates the presence of the White Buffalo Calf Woman. The bison is a link between the earthly and the unearthly. Wasn't there an X-Files episode about this? She symbolizes rebirth, and a return to harmony, balance, spirituality, and feminine energy. The bison is a reminder of the greater whole, and the interconnectedness of all life. Of course the bison also symbolizes provision, gratitude, abundance, strength, blessing, prosperity, which all makes sense given how much the Native Americans relied on these creatures, and how much these creatures gave to them. So in that way, the bison is also a reminder that we should be grateful for what we have, and that we should be receptive and accepting of what is given to us in this life.

Much of this feels very relevant to me at this point in my life. Especially in conjunction with the other information and insights that came out of my tarot reading today (interpreted and guided so sensitively by the divine Ms. S.), and things I learned during my Spirit Springs retreat. So I'm embracing the white buffalo as my guide for now, and will try to remain open and receptive to whatever it has to show me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

evolution becomes revolution

I cannot even describe how excited I am about this movie! Rise of the Planet of the Apes comes out in August. I just watched a bunch of trailers, and if the movie is even HALF as awesome as the trailers, I will be on cloud NINE! What is it about this subject that drives me so crazy? I'm covered in goose bumps, my heart is racing, and tears are welling up in my eyes. It elicits such strong emotions in me -- happiness, excitement, awe, fear, hope. I know it's only a movie, and I know the Burton remake of the original Planet of the Apes was absolutely horrible, but this one looks so promising! It seems to be tackling bigger and bolder ideas about what it means to be human.

Hail Caesar! Let the Revolution begin! I can't wait until August 5, damn it. I want to see it NOW! I want to LIVE it now!