Saturday, March 04, 2006


Why Eat Bulaga rocks: Vic and Jose Manalo just did four versions of their signature song (the one that goes "sing, sing a song") as opening number. Tipong concert effect ito. With matching naiiyak pa sa dulo. Yung una tipong classic na naka-white sila pareho, tapos next Victorian era naman ang dating, next hip-hop (may turntable pa), last syempre rock (naka-long hair si bossing). Patok talaga! Can't get over it. Sino lang ba sa buong mundo ang pwedeng gumawa nung gumawa nilang kagaguhan at papatok pa? Dito lang! San ka pa? Whoo-hoo!

Why Pride the Detergent commercial rocks: the man does the washing.

Why the Purpose-Driven Life rocks: because somewhere in it was written "The problem with a living sacrifice is that it can crawl off the altar."

Why going to confession rocks: because you can get unsolicited advice that is the only advice you ever really need (and let's not get to the one the priest actually said out loud).

Why I'm not really a writer: because I only enjoyed writing my Comm 2 paper in college because it was about schizophrenia.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Fuck the Fire Dog

Attacks from all fronts:

Career - doing work for two and a half superhuman people/ John Wayne/ here I come to save the day/ Hi, my name is MacGyver, can I service you?/

Health - something crazy going on / late nights / late awakenings / late at work / expecting a memo sometime soon / my jaw's whacked / my life's whacked / my molars are going someday / I keep biting my tongue / My bite's wandering / Hello, braces! / Aaack!

Love life - 24th Valentine's Day and no hope in sight/ shall we get into strange relationships again /How are the tangential love affairs? / They got girl friends! / Oh, sorrow, oh bitterness, oh regret / the good thing being there is no time, right now, to think of such things / No time! / No time! / I am cured of the plight of the overanalytical. / These days, I don't think anymore. At all.

Family - touchy / cute and happy and damn glad there is one thing bright and happy about my life; the brother is away at sea, aren't we all sad about that / the last of the balikbayans left last Thursday / sniffle

There's this thing sa bulletin board namin sa office, John Maxwell saying something about how life was like juggling many balls at the same time. However, work is a rubber ball, it will bounce back when you drop it. Things like family, health and the spirit, these are glass balls, that when you drop them, nagkaka-crack and chinks, you can pick them up again pero they're forever changed when you neglect them.

Last Friday, dumaan kami ni Janice sa Stella Orientis. May sinabi si Lord sakin pero sakin na lang yon. Pero I hope it brings you a warm fuzzy feeling like it did to me; I don't know where in the Bible it's written pero it's something about how the Lord knows the deepest desires of your heart, so whatever it is I'm going through right now, I have to trust, deep inside me that everything is going to be okay. I've been begging the Lord for that sort of affirmation these days. And that's as close as it'll get, that night at the chapel. I think it's time to stop worrying about the future. Because life is what's happening right now.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Today on the stumbler: the human world.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Road to Nowhere

I would like for this to change. Life for me, right now, feels like...

  • an open sea
  • running around blindfolded, knowing something terrible is chasing you
  • walking a straight plank that keeps getting skinnier and sharper into the horizon

You know it's going to get better, eventually, but I'd rather it be because of something I did and was aware of, then simply just the natural progression of things. I think it sucks that hormones are responsible for me feeling like this, like I am not my own person, like I'm some sort of test subject the universe seeks to tweak / antagonize / obliterate / zap into sunset.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mabuhay ang mga Kulot!

Dahil kulot ako this morning till mga a little after lunch time. Trip lang. A little birdy told me na laos na ang rebond drama ng sangkatauhan. Tandaan nyo yan! Papaperm na ako!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Punch Line for 2006

Even the horoscopes pointed it out.

Some time this week, the boss gave me a challenge I felt compelled to accomplish (streamlined costing templates and studies for our commissary products). Nakakainis kasi alam na niya paano ako ma-win over. Unlike other people who'd balk at more responsibility, just give me a reason why I'm perfect for the job (granted I agree with you), and even if it's just picking up trash, you'll probably have succeeded in making me stay.

STAY being the operative word, and case in point.

We were (me and Macky) planning to evacuate the premises come March, tama ba? Did we not have plans to apply for a passport, travel some, then apply online?

Pero sabi nga ni Ivy, it's high time we learn to love ourselves a bit. And the options are thus: stay or go abroad (we're not looking at other companies anymore: baka ma-delude kami into thinking that we're getting into something better, just because it's something new).

Nakakatawa lang: ang dali dali kong mabola.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Sometimes I get the feeling this blog is a lot like me right now. Halfway house comes to mind. Hotel/motel/temporary living arrangements. Me in between accidents (hihihi). Me in between 'real' things (as opposed to?). Me in between dreams. I had a home before this. Look closely and you'll find it. It was more homey (haha). Right now I feel like everything's packed and ready to go somewhere. I don't despair talking about little bloggy here like this. I know it knows we're just going to be friends for a while. No hard feelings. No investment, no risk. I get the feeling I'm floating over this wide stretch of unlined paper. Skating around, aimless.

I'm planning, just enough to make sure the next few months are livable/managable, and that no singular fuck-up can be attributed to my lack of attention. At work, in particular. I'm planning, of course, to get out of here. I mind the 9 to 5. I mind the unnecessary fear talking to touchy people from the other businesses gives my stomach (I've been having ulcers). I mind the set-up; that big people may have dreams that trickle down into us doing our jobs, but big people should understand that some people can only do so much. And the big people should share their dreams enough so the other businesses can understand our needs and start supporting our cause. I mind that I drag myself out of bed every single day. I mind that I see so much hope in the future but can still feel so stifled by time. I mind that I have health problems. I mind that I have this story in my head that can't get out on account of fatigue, oversleeping (read that right), stomach upsets.

And let's not get into my spectacular love life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Search for Almond Roca

Kahapon nag-kape kami ni Kalai (nakwento ko na sayo to dati).

Pareho kaming malungkot. Tinanong ko sa kanya ang classic: kung saan ba siya kumukuha ng motivation (mabuhay/huminga, etc.). Simple lang and sabi niya, ang desire na maging blessing sa mga tao sa paligid niya. Beat that, John Wayne. May dahilan kung bakit sa JMT na-assign si Kalai ngayong simula ng 2006. At iyon ay ang boto ko (as if naman importante ito, pero we can all pretend since teritoryo ko naman ito diba).

Nahawa ako sa kanya. Pero hindi niya kasalanan iyon. I just discovered how easy it was to slide back into depression if you don't watch it.

But we're happy now. Nagtext na naman ako ng one of them mindless texts to Sinda, etc., so I guess we're okay now (?). In the end, I guess, it's the One Person looking at you with laser eyes that matters (yes, I mean God), and whether you to talk to Him at all.

Ang sakit ng ulo ko kanina buong araw. Tapos dagdag pa itong internal auditor namin who is fast becoming markado (like imagine mental crosshair sa line of vision ko, yung tipong pumupula kapag parating na siya) in Mackyscope. Tapos dagdag pa ang pressure sa meeting bukas sa San Fernando: babarilin na naman ang mga ubeng! Kawawa naman kami! Ang pinaka-ayoko sa meeting yung ... pucha wala pala akong gusto talaga sa mga meeting-meeting na yan. Wala namang natatapos. Puro pangako hindi naman natutupad. Puro bilangan, sumbatan, minsan gusto ko nga sa bintana lang ako tapos magvo-voice over ako na tipong, "Okay, mga kaibigan, three points for the Poultry team, mukhang palpak na naman ang monitoring ng Foodservice. Can you see the look of success on their faces? Classic! Kodak moment ito. Makakabawi ba ang Foodservice sa ganitong pambabalahura? Abangan..." and such.

Hindi mo naman pwedeng aminin ang mga internal na problema ninyo dahil it will look like sinisiraan mo kapamilya (kapuso) mo, and rule number one says keep your enemies closer.


The truth is I'm tired of all this corporate bullshit. Politics, in whatever form, sorta sucks out the fun away from everything. Kaya totoo na ang laban ko dito: next time I see the golden head of opportunity waving in the wind, sayonara 9 to 5! Hindi talaga ako pang-ganito. I always manage to see the bullshit part in everything. I'm like this walking bullshit detector.

Pero let's not end in that token. Let's look at the bright side, people: we're getting the phone lines back in our area! No more acrobatic stunts whenever the phone rings. And Jovy's bringing us to San Fernando! Hindi kami magko-commute! Yipee!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Aba! May Entry!

Fuck the new year. I think it was yesterday when the giant 15feet ++ Feng Shui prognostications at the fucken Podium (ang haba nung banner pare, sakop yung isang colossal tore sa may guard) caught every passer-by's attention. I don't have opinions. Bilang pagrerebelde sa ginawa ng karamihan, sinadya kong hindi basahin ang kapalaran ng mga Rooster. Unang-una, nasa pinaka-ibaba kami. At kung tama ang pick-up ko sa pagbabasa sa ibang mga hayop, may pagkamalas ang mga ka-batch ko. Hindi ko na kailangan marinig yon. Ka, ika nga ni Roland of Gilead (at wag ka na magtanong, nasa Wolves of the Calla pa lang ako). Kanina I blurted the word out sa tatay ko ("ka") when I really meant na bahala na ang kapalaran. Let fate run its course. Bahala na si Batman.

Magdi-DSL na ako. Hindi mo na ako kailangang pilitin. Nag-sign up na rin ako sa, after forty-fucking-years. Sorry, ha. Wala sa listahan ng resolutions ko ang wag na magmura. Hanggang digital angst lang naman ako e (alam mo bang kapag sinabing 'digital' may konek sa daliri? like fingers = digits. Wala lang, baka gusto mo lang malaman). This is how I compensate, malamang, sa aking uber-accommodating outer self.

Crush ko si Uma! Iyan ang update sa love life ko ngayon. Now onto real life: puch wala na talaga akong ma-type-an sa opisina. Wala nang oras. Balak kong magpakalunod sa trabaho at racket dahil magte-25 na ako. Ayokong mag-asawa at malamang may hindi pa pala ako nagagawa. Ayokong magkaanak na may issues tungkol sa akin (si Mommy laging nakatingin sa kawalan, etc.).

New Year's resolution ko:
Hindi na ako mag-iisip masyado. FREEDOM!

The Three Things I Intend To Accomplish By 2006:
1. produce a portfolio for my digital artist dreams (late bloomer na kung late bloomer, pero hindi ako mamamatay nang sawi!)
2. launch a surprise kick-ass website for the kick-ass bro
3. finish "Sanga", ang pinaka-kick ass taglish nobela you've ever read in your life

Gusto ko pa magdagdag, (like, muster balls to quit the day job, or find one other person with the same brain, or learn the guitar, or soak up the Pinoy music rock scene, etc.) pero rules are rules.

Mga Kakaibang Pangyayari sa Opisina:
1. Ang saya-saya ng boss namin. Nakakapanibago.
2. May bata si Jas (tiga-A/R na tropa ko) na may benda sa ulo dahil noong Bagong Taon hinataw ng kung sino ng bote sa ulo kaya pumutok. (Riot! Punksnotdead!)
3. Ino-audit na ako/kami. Hindi ko alam kung simula na ito ng isang matinding opinyon tungkol sa mga auditor (pasintabi sa 10+ na college tropa ko na puro CPA), o nase-stress lang ako dahil ako lahat ang nag-aasikaso/sumasagot/sumasalo sa mga kailangan niyang malaman/diskubrehin/kalkalin. Dapat ata bago ka gawing auditor pinagpa-practicum ka muna sa totoong kumpanya (malamang naman may pinanggalingang mabangis yung internal auditor namin; mukha naman siyang matalino {pinagmumukha nga lang niya akong tanga hihihi}) para hindi ka lagi on the offensive. Hindi lang pala sa totoong kumpanya dapat i-immerse ang mga would-be auditor, dapat sa isang maliit at cute na cute na kumpanya na tulad nung amin, kung saan bilyon ang target revenue pero tatatlo lang kayong empleyado sa Finance HAHAHAHA. Wala lang. Or perhaps gusto ko na rin kasi aminin sa kanya na kulang talaga kami sa tao kaya may mga control steps na hindi na talaga nagagawa. HR ba ako?
4. Bago na boss namin. Hindi na lalaki. Babae na. Maganda. Sa sobrang ganda lumabas pa ito sa commercial. Seryoso. At hindi ko pa naaayos ang Lotus Notes niya (side-note: hanggang ngayon ay type ko pa rin ang Outlook).

May nadiskubre ako. Remember the Milk: isang online calendar/alarm utility. Beta pa lang ata. You should try it.

Goodbye na, papanoorin ko pa si Uma. Tomorrow pala, off to Makati ang lola mo. Tapos pag-uwi tatapusin ko na ang 2005 utang ko kay Kuya, ang pagcompile/edit ng raw footages ng Last Call! 4 Bartending Challenge, ang pinaka-astig at may utak na bartending compet sa bansa. Tapos sisimulan ko na yung pamaskong utang ko sa A/R team namin, ang CD ng videos ng teambuilding workshop/bonding sa Starlake Resort.

Tapos, next week, magsesked ako ng leave (the following week) para asikasuhin ang NBI clearance ko sa Carriedo. Pati lisensya ko. Pati derma ko.

Tapos, the week after, off to some faraway land kami ng office tropa para magmumuni-muni sa bagong taon. Bawal mag-usap. Self-imposed namin. Parang silent retreat pero walang facilitator. 'Stig.

Tapos, come Feb, dapat may passport na ako. Aalis na ako dito! Magulat na ang sangkatauhan, pero isang malaking joke na ang Philippine government. Babalik ako kapag may maibibigay na akong trabaho sa mga kababayan ko. Promise yan. Hindi man, magtuturo ako ng libre sa mga liblib na lugar (better, actually). Syempre para makapagturo ka ng libre dapat may naipundar ka nang makakapagpakain sa iyo ng ilang taon diba. Hindi man, sapat lang para hindi ako maging pabigat.

Ang saya-saya ng 22006! No looking baaaaaack!!!!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Habol Bakasyon

Nothing impresses me more than a man being so much of a man, being the kind of man all men were made to be before humanity sort of fucked it with modernism and domesticity. Last Thursday we departed incognito to Anao Bay (area better known as Anilao, Batangas) to soak up the sun, the atmosphere, the general feel of what being on vacation should be like. We three stooges (Janice, Jinky and the undersigned) tagged along with three Sales people, a PD and her guy (of whom I'll talk about later), their niece, and a guest (the nice and bubbly girl from Pizza Hut).

We (three stooges and guest) hogged the Karaoke till sun up (literally, shocking all the other normal people who slept around 3am or so like normal people), six-ish, so we slept in till around ten at the rented cottage and dressed for swimming. I wore the same thing I wore at La Luz (katas ng prolonged search for the perfect bathing suit with Janice early this year), white sando-ish racer-back over red/white/orange striped haltered top piece of a two-piece. Strange thing about this time, I brought a pair of fully-absorbent cotton capri jogging pants -- okay, stupid, not strange, but I kept wondering for the life of me where all my shorts went.

The place, (would have shot tons of it had I been able to buy the Powershot A520 I was so bent on buying last Wednesday, but that's another story) was a watersport hobbyist's heaven (did I get that right). Unlike public beaches (where people number as the sand), this area was relatively more peaceful, perfect for some sincere soul-searching (if only the guys didn't keep wanting to get drunk). Perfect too, for wind-surfing and scuba-diving, because of the even waters, I guess, which is exactly why we saw none of the normal vacationers there, just people who were serious about their sport / hobby (flippers, 2m-high sails, surf boards and skin-tight swimsuits were the fare).

Papa Rey / Tito Rey / Kuya Rey, Ms. Chai's boyfriend (and soon to be partner for life) was such a man of the elements he reminded me so much of my own father. Laking dagat kasi tatay ko, kaya magaling lumangoy, alam lahat ng lamang dagat, hindi takot mag-isa sa tubig kahit malayung-malayo na sa pampang. Papa Rey had friends who are competing at the SEA games, and they were practicing that morning it was so cool. Gusto nga namin makisakay pero patay daw yung hangin sa area namin kaya ayaw kami daanan ng mga kalalakihan. Papa Rey was talking about how "habagat to amihan na kaya lumalabas ang mga microscopic kuto" to explain why we were feeling tiny, itchy bites on our legs.

The water was a little on the salty side, but not enough to prevent us from swimming/wading like happy little water babies. Me, still stinging after the Galera incident (near-death in the hands of renegade currents that brought us away from shore despite all human effort to return), was still afraid of water, but a little coaxing was all it took. I still don't swim away from the pack, though, and when they say it's already deep where they are, I wouldn't dare try.

After breakfast at twelve noon, we slept on the second floor of this hut that was just a couple of feet away from shore, the view lent a wondrous sight of the entire beach, which made us sentimental that night, but we were still too tired from all the singing that morning that we gave in till around three pm. Then we grilled some meat and fish (pwede na kami mag-asawa! yehoo!) and ate around six. Kain-tulog talaga. Haha.

We played a second round of Ninety-Nine (fuck math) a few hours after eating, and this time they introduced us to the exclusive drink of the area, one which they innocently called "Gataka", which really stood for Gatas, Tanduay at Kape. Riot! Parang mala-Bailey's: it went down so nice bukas ka pa tatamaan! Personally, nasarapan talaga ako, pero you don't admit that when the 'punishment' for the game you're playing was a shot of the said drink.

So there, we slept a little earlier, got out by seven in the morning, said goodbye to the locals, and reached Q.C. at around eleven. Halfway homeward I got my period and that both sucked and was great, because at least I didn't have the cramps when we were Anilao; that would have made me resident party pooper the entire time.

Sucked because I won't be able to go to Yuuki's birthday that lunch time. So sorry, Anna.

Anyways, all in all I was a happy road rat, and was already excited at plans for Palawan care of Jinky (whose brother-in-law lived there) some time next year. Kailangan magrecharge muna.

The experience further solidified my dreams of wanting to travel more pa (something of which I was very afraid of before the thought of rediscovering the world excited me), kahit here lang muna sa Philippines, where they say madami pa rin talagang magagandang tanawin. I still also resolve to buy the digital camera (para hindi naman ako puro kwento lang, but maybe you'll see some kung mapa-CD ni Marvin yung mga kinuha niya), and I will get my driver's license some time this month.

Ang saya saya!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

On Becoming Male

I downloaded an e-book na mala-men are from mars ang dating, and here's one critical lesson I learned from it. If I'm having children, I'm definitely sending them to a co-ed highschool.

Number two is this: Men do not have inner worlds. That is such a comforting thing to know, and I don't know why. Things are so much simpler if you're a guy, I think. They can always blame their hormones.

(suddenly tired of topic, moving on)

There are times I feel strong, like I can do anything, and kanina sinasabi ko kay Mira na between you and your work, ikaw lang ang pwede magbago (ng pananaw, etc.). Yung work load mo, kahit anong reklamo mo, anjan pa rin. Ikaw, ngawa ka nang ngawa pero ikaw rin naman ang gagawa ng trabaho mo. So why don't you save yourself the trouble at magtrabaho na lang? E di kumonti yung tratrabahuhin mo.

(suddenly tired of writing, moving on)

Kahapon, out of a whim, I visited Gawad Kalinga's website and decided somebody better stop being lazy.

(suddenly tired of blogging, will recommend nice stumble to compensate)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I had the strangest realization kanina, watching Jah tinkering with Visual Basic. Walang koneksyon pero sa lakas ng tama naikwento ko pa kay Janice. Parang suddenly I wanted to be good at my job. Gasp! Oo, in the face of mala-mass resignation and the Great Depression and what the fuck ba talaga are we doing here, may neon sign board na biglang tumawid sa line of vision ko kanina. It said: I PUT YOU THERE, DAMMIT. {Lord, ikaw ba yan?}

Saturday, October 15, 2005


I'm twenty-something, lying still,
Seven hundred signposts compete for attention
This for corporate success, long life,
mutual funds for nice returns,
salvation in nice little pockets of medication,
safe sex, no sex, when can you start thinking
about sex when your first kiss
is miles away,
real estate, who moved my cheese,
the circus that is the Philippine government,
passports, nursing, going away,
teaching kids in the barrios,
figuring out what you really want to do,
computers and gadgets and how you never have
enough money for everything
you want,
how small your brain is compared
to everything out there,
how small the world is compared
to where your mind can take you
if you let it,
why don't they sell dog food in giant sacks,
brain fetuses and cannibalism in the second millenium,
love and waiting and how fucking long the wait is,
how mythological artifacts messed up my brain when I was younger,
they had statues of Poseidon; was he real?
This for health and spiritual peace
virgin coconut oil
apple juice and olive oil and fasting for four days
trips to Mecca, Jerusalem, Lourdes, France,
silence, ohm,
yoga and sublime simplicity
Dalai Lama smiles about his art,
understanding your inner child,
Og Mandino, Bo Sanchez: you can do it,
life is beautiful,
let's all get cancer so we have deadlines.
Pain is therapeutic.
This for meaning and substance in the mad rush
of both corporate bullshit and bum-hood,
karma rules,
dharma rules,
what goes around comes around,
can you please fucking hold the elevator door,
for the old, slow lady
(na may hawak ng puting bato! Darna, ikaw ba yan?)
wanting to get to the seventeenth floor,
love songs on the guitar,
writing the movie in your head,
until your hand bleeds,
shooting pictures of people who hold hands,
who fight, who scream, who smile,
who deny ever falling in love with each other.
This is for death and dying before turning thirty,
love people, fiercely, totally,
so much till you can shit love in your pants.
That's all there is.
That's all you need to know.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mamatay na ang Magtanong Nito

Kanina pag-uwi ko e di ang sakit ng tiyan ko diba kasi hindi pa tapos ang killer siopao episode buong araw na ako hinihiritan ng mga tao na kesyo kung anu-ano ba daw kasi ang pinagkakakain ko kaya lang at some point nakakabanas na tinatanong ka ng ganon kasi parang naiisip ko ganon ba akong katanga na kakain ng kung anu-ano hanggang e di yan derecho ako kasilyas paglanding sa bahay tapos humirit pa itong kuya ko anu-ano ba daw kasi ang pinagkakakain ko ang sarap batuhin ng timba ano ba ibig sabihin ng kung anu-ano: bubog? plato? bakit naman ako kakain ng plastic, moth ball, dora rat killer para ikasira ng tiyan ko? what's up with the hostility pare tao lang akong nagtatae din. Mamatay na magtanong uli saken neto.

* * *

Nagwa-wild na si De Quiros! Sasali ako sa rally! I-Calibrated Pre-emptive Response niyo mukha niyo! Di ko alam kung bilib pa ako sa dramang ito, pero one thing's for sure, naka-bingo ka na, Gloria.

* * *

Sierra, friend at dinner talking about name tags, I just want to say the rest of twenty-something-hood has got to be going through the same thing. With some people jackpot agad sa trabahong gusto na talaga nila, with some it's a totally different ball game. Come to think of it, baka nga hindi talaga day job ang sagot sa mga katanungan natin. At least for me, medyo papunta na nga don ang iniisip ko. Hindi business. Buhay radikal. Mamumundok ako! Aanhin pa ang sweldo kung wala ka namang magawa tungkol sa bayan mong Pilipinas. Joke lang. Pero hindi rin. Give me three to five years pa I'll figure it out. Maybe that's why they didn't give us maps when we landed. I don't know. I'm not God.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Stealth (or what I did today)

So Jessica Biel lands in unfriendly North Korea, in spectacular manner: EDI just premeditated having her unit self-destruct somewhere in Asia, she had to duck burning debris falling headlong along with her, suffer the suspense of not having her parachute open in time, watch her chute get hit by a burning piece of metal some deadly feet before she hits the landing, land on thorny vegetation (mala-yung monster sa Lord of the Flies), and wait for unsure salvation from the head pilot (also her love interest) who's been lied to by top military that she's actually okay while he's fighting some plane manned by some invisible intelligence. She gets hunted down in an unknown territory by killer dogs, top-brass sniper guys, up a cold mountain as night descends. She gets hit by a bullet, finally, and now immobile, waits for death as troops of trigger-happy enemy soldiers close in on her.

The guy finds her at the end of it, all bloody and fragile, near death and absolute terror, and whisks her off to safety. Earlier they had a dialogue where it looked like he was going to respond favorably to what sounded like the girl's confession of feelings. Sure the guy loved her but did not think it was appropriate. Something about not falling in love with your wing man or something.

But the punch line is all this guy had to say at the end of the movie was this: "You and me, we're two. Two is a prime number. A lucky number. We're very lucky."