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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Chronically Late People

When I was growing up, my parents stressed to me that being on time (or early) is mandatory ... not optional. I don't recall ever being late for school, school functions, extracurricular activities, church, parties, etc. My parents taught me that it's rude to be late, that it tells someone their time isn't as important as yours, and you really don't care if they are inconvenienced because of you. As an adult, I can count on one hand the number of times I've been late for work, and those were usually due to the alarm not going off because of a power outage.

I was a single mom of a newborn, a 1-1/2 year old, and a 3/1/2 year old, and I managed to get the kids to daycare and make it to work on time ... every single day. My now ex-husband and I were separated when I was pregnant with our third child, and we were still separated when I gave birth. There was no one to help me, and I was still on time for everything ... because it was important to me.

I tried to stress the idea of being on time to my kids when they were young. I started by making sure were never late to anything. One time the girls had a birthday party to go to and I couldn't get them to quit playing and get ready to go. When they finally got ready, it was time for the party to start and the venue was on the other side of town. I told them they couldn't go because it's rude to arrive 30 minutes late. They cried and cried, but I didn't give in. As a result, I never had to nag them to get ready for anything ever again ... especially parties! Thing 1 is my most punctual child ... she arrives chronically early (so do I ... I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree). Things 2 and 3 don't arrive quite as early as Thing 1 prefers, but they are always on time.

Diana DeLonzor, author of 'Never Be Late Again' said, "Yes, being late is a rude act, but I've interviewed hundreds of people and the vast majority of late people really dislike being late. They try to be on time, but this is something that has plagued them throughout their lives. Telling a chronic late person to be on time is like telling a dieter, 'Don't eat so much.'"

She went on to say that the issue might have something to do with fundamental differences in the way we think. In her research, she's found that late-arriver's tend to perceive time differently than their punctual peers, saying. "Part of my research included a test to measure the differences in how timely and late people perceive the passage of time. The test I devised is a simple one you can try yourself. Choose three or four pages in a book, mark the time, and start reading. Stop reading when you think ninety seconds have elapsed, then check your watch to see how accurate you were. I found that early birds, almost without fail, stopped reading before ninety ­seconds had passed, while lateniks put their books down well ­after the ninety-second mark."

My take on that study is that I think the on-time people quit reading before 90 seconds had passed because they didn't want to miss the mark. They would rather err on the side of caution than be late. The lateniks quit reading when they wanted to, with no regard to how much time had elasped. I'm not surprised at the results of her experiment. If you spend your life not caring if you are late, you're not going to care if you read more than 90 seconds. I don't think "latenik's" perceive time differently ... they don't care about time. They also don't realize the effect their chronic tardiness has on their reputation.

I propose an alternative test for those who are chronically late ... give them the same test, but add this caveat ... tell them they will be given a new car of their choosing if they quit reading when 90 seconds have passed. I can pretty much guarantee the chronically later's would be able to perceive 90 seconds when there's a shiny carrot dangling in front of them.

Anyone can be on time if they want to. You can make all the excuses in the world, but if you are always late, it's because you don't care if you inconvenience others ... period.

Here's my advice for people who are always late ...

Friday, January 30, 2015

Red Velvet Oreo's with Cream Cheese Filling

Yes, please!
Okay, so the filling isn't really cream cheese ...
it's cream cheese flavored ... 
but Yum!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Since You're Not Doing Anything ...

You can pet my belly now!
I'm waiting!
How can you possibly resist me?
If you're not going to rub my belly,
then you don't get to study.
video

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Challenger Exploded 29 Years Ago Today

Photo courtesy of NASA
I remember the sickening feeling in my stomach as I watched the new coverage. The shuttle program had ran flawlessly for so long, I think we'd all forgotten just how dangerous space travel is. It had been a while since there had been a tragedy of this magnitude at NASA. I remember looking at the crowd and seeing the reaction of the family members and school children in attendance. I couldn't even begin to imagine the agony they were in when they realized what had just happened.

On January 28, 1986, my father was in the hospital. He'd just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was stuck in the hospital bed and watched the news all day long. He had watched it so many times he could tell you the exact moment it was going to explode.

Daddy was fascinated with the space program. Growing up, he would wake us kids up to watch every launch, and call us home during the day to watch every splashdown. Had he been alive when the shuttle program was scrapped, I have a feeling he'd have been furious.

Every January 28th I think about the lives that were lost that day, and those that changed forever ... and I can't think about the Challenger Disaster without thinking of father.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Poetic Justice


A student at one of the high schools here in town decided to park sideways, taking up two parking spots ... so the police officer assigned to that school and one of the staff members decided to park close by. I'm guessing this student wasn't nearly as cocky and proud of himself when school let out that day as he was that morning!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Talapia????


Our server at Outback wrote the name of the entree on my takeout box. My daughter's boyfriend ordered the same entree as I did, and her takeout box had the same misspelling, so it wasn't a "typo".

Maybe she should take a menu home ... and learn how to spell the entree's!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

It's Her Own Fault


If she had been paying more attention to her surroundings, Olivia would have seen Thing 2 sneaking up on her ... and she could have escaped this lovefest altogether.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Canned Beer Makes It's Debut

On January 24, 1935, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Compnay began selling canned beer in to outlets in Richmond, Virginia. Until this time, food was sold in cans, but beer was only available in glass bottles ... and purchasing beer in a glass bottle required a deposit, whereas the cans did not. Canned beer was easier to stack, deliver (because it didn't break), and most importantly ... chilled more quickly! The rest, as they say, is history!


Millions of cans of beer were shipped overseas to soldiers during World War II. These cans didn't have the convenient pop-top tabs of modern-day beer cans ... the beer these men drank was likely to have been consumed by two knife punctures on opposite sides of the top. Lucky soldiers with a Swiss pocket knife might have had an easier time getting into these cans ... but something tells me that a man risking his life at war isn't intimidated by how difficult a can of beer is to open!

I don't remember ever opening beverage cans like this, but any other liquid that came in a can, like evaporated milk, broth, etc., was always opened with these. Kids today have probably see these can openers in drawers and wonder what they triangle-shaped end is used for!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Will Work for Food

I made meatloaf for dinner the other night. I knew Things 1 and 2 liked meatloaf, and I assumed Thing 3 did.

I texted Thing 1 to tell her and her husband to come for dinner, but she was already home and cooking, so they couldn't come.

Thing 2 was at work, so I texted her and told her there was meatloaf and mashed potatoes in the fridge for when she got home. She was thrilled! After she ate it, she came up to my room to tell me it was the best thing she's eaten in a long, long time.

Thing 3 said he did not like meatloaf. I told him to taste it. After some cajoling, he reluctantly did ... and then proceeded to eat several huge portions for dinner ... and again for breakfast the next morning ... before calling me at work to tell me it was really, really good ... and that I needed to make more!

And finally ... my boyfriend, who is so in sync with me that he can sense when I am cooking, called just as I set dinner on the table. I hadn't invited him over earlier because I knew he didn't like meatloaf, but I told him there was plenty if he was interested. He accepted the offer. It was late, and he was tired ... and eating food he didn't really like was easier than cooking for himself. (I like to think he really came over just to see me :) He didn't particularly care for it, but he ate it, and he wasn't hungry when he left, so mission accomplished, right?

The next day, Thing 2 was dreaming of meatloaf all day at school, and was heartbroken when she got home and found only a small piece left. She ate it, but wanted more ... so she texted me the above message. (Autocorrect changed "love" to "vote" ... but I knew what she meant!)

I haven't made meatloaf again (yet). Now that I know the power of meatloaf, I'm saving it to bribe them in the future. My kids may as well be carrying this sign around the house ...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Guess Who's Mad At Me ...


Olivia likes to sit on this table and watch all the exciting things that happen in our backyard (which might be once a year). She was plenty upset that I had a Christmas tree setting on this table for a month ... but she forgave me when I finally took it down ... until I replaced it with my teapot lamp. So, she gave up an hour of her nap time to stare at me and scowl. 

She didn't stop there ... whenever she's downstairs, she spends her time letting me know "This is not working out! The lamps gotta go!"




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Iran Hostage Crisis Ended 34 Years Ago Today

November 4, 1979, Muslim militants stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran in retaliation for the United States friendship with the Shah. When the embassy guards brandished firearms, the protesters retreated, but as it became clear the guards would not use deadly force, the militants broke through the embassy gates. All personnel within the compound were taken hostage. After two weeks, the Ayatollah began releasing all non-U.S. captives, females, and minority Americans. 52 hostages remained.

On January 20, 1981, just moments after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th President of the United States, Iran released the remaining 52 American hostages, after 444 days of captivity. The timing of release was no mere coincidence ... the Iranians knew that Ronald Reagan would not sit meekly by while Iran held Americans hostage. They were not afraid of the spineless Jimmy Carter ... but they were afraid of Ronald Reagan.

The day the hostages were seized, six American diplomats evaded capture and went into hiding at the home of Canadian diplomat John Sheardown, under the protection of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor. In late 1979, the Canadian Government secretly issued an Order In Council allowing Canadian passports to be issued to those six Americans so that they could escape. In cooperation with the CIA, which used the cover story of a film project, two CIA agents and the six American diplomats boarded a flight to Zurich, Switzerland, on January 28, 1980. The rescue was fictionalized in the 2012 film "Argo," with the movie showing a number of non-historical elements. (That last sentence ... that the rescue was fictionalized and showed a number of "non-historical elements" is per the History channel, not my personal opinion ... although I certainly agree with it.)

While I remember the hostage crisis, I did not recall ever hearing about the six Americans rescued by the Canadians until the movie "Argo", starring Ben Affleck, came out. My boyfriend and I went to see it. I looked around before the movie started. Most of those in attendance were not even born in 1979, so their knowledge of what happened was limited to what they were taught in school, and what, if anything, they remembered.

The movie started with a mock "documentary" detailing why the Iranians hated the Shah, painting him as a violent, dangerous man akin to the terror wreaked by Saddam Hussein. I was confused when I saw this. I didn't remember the Shah being a violent dictator, but that's how the producers of this film portrayed him. This Hollywood-produced "documentary" showed how Americans supported this "despicable" man, and that's why the Iranian's were so angry. The "documentary" made it appear as though the Americans deserved this treatment because of their friendship with the Shah.

Was I remembering history through rose-colored glasses? Had the Shah really been a horrible, violent, vicious man?

After the movie, I Googled the Shah of Iran. I couldn't find any website that documented, or even hinted, that he had been a brutal dictator. Quite the contrary ... he was very western-thinking and believed in democracy. In reality, his western values were what angered the Iranians ... not his "brutality". That point, it seems, was manufactured by the film's producers for their opening "documentary". The Shah fought for education for everyone, especially girls and women. School attendance soared under his reign, to the point that Iran's labor market could not absorb the high number of educated youths. Despite this fact, the national income of Iranian citizens show an unprecedented rise during his reign.

The Shah was certainly not without flaws. His extravagant lifestyle was in stark contrast to the lives of the ordinary Iranian. There were several instances where the army opened fire on religious rioters who would not disperse, killing and injuring a large number of people. I'm not defending everything this man did, but he was not the brutal dictator Hollywood depicted in their "documentary".

I don't have a problem with Hollywood taking creative liberty with the minor facts when producing a movie, but when making a film of historical significance, I take umbrage at producers presenting blatant lies and distorting the facts to fit their agenda, and then presenting that as "fact" in the form of a "documentary".

I read an article the other day that high ticket prices are the reason for slumping movie ticket sales. I'm sure that's part of it, but there are also a growing number of Americans who simply refuse to support the lifestyles of people whose views are so diametrically opposed to their own or distort reality (aka history) to fit their own skewed ideologies. I am one such person, and I know many others who refuse to plop down $10 (or more) to see a movie starred in or produced by someone for whom they have no respect. This drives my boyfriend crazy at times, but he understands my stance, and we find something else to watch. There are plenty of movies out, so there is always a plethora of other options.

I would really like to see Gone Girl, but I refuse to pay to see any movie that Ben Affleck is associated with. I'll just read the book. The book is always better anyway.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Young

A friend of one of my kid's is going through a tough time right now. I remember being her age, and I remember ... vividly ... the pain she feels right now. I've compiled a list of things I wish I knew when I was her age. Some of these things fit her situation and some of them have nothing to do with her. Some of these are things I learned firsthand, and some are things I observed and learned by watching others. Either way ... I think there is some good advice here:

I wish I would have known that when a guy rejected me, it really didn't have anything to do with the kind of person I was. He rejected me for the same reason I rejected others ... I simply wasn't interested in a relationship with them. Some of them were really great guys, but they just didn't do it for me. My rejection of them wasn't because they weren't good or lovable, it was because I knew they weren't right for me. The guys I rejected moved on to find someone who appreciate and love them in ways I never could ... and the guys who rejected me allowed me to be available when the love of my life walked in. I owe them all a giant thank you. That Garth Brooks song is right ... some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. By the way ... God always answers your prayers ... it's just that sometimes, the answer is "No".

I wish I had known that if someone is asking me to change, then it's time to move on. It's a good thing to desire an alcoholic to quit drinking ... it's an entirely different thing to ask a shy person to be the life of the party, or asking the class clown not to act silly. There is something everyone can improve upon, but if someone is asking you to change who you are, neither of you will ever be happy. Pretending you are something you're not might work for a while, but at some point, you will both realize you are fundamentally not right for each other ... and how many years will you allow someone to take from you before you realize they aren't the one? How many great guys will you never meet because you're so busy trying to please someone who doesn't appreciate you?

I wish I had known that it's okay to be alone. I wish I had understood that there are much worse things than being alone. It's worse to be in an abusive relationship than it is to be alone. It's worse to be in a relationship where the other person is using you so that he isn't alone than it is to be alone. It's worse to hold onto a relationship that isn't fulfilling than it is to be alone. When you stay in a bad relationship, or a relationship that isn't working, you're cheating yourself out of the opportunity to meet someone who can make you happy. Trust me ... there are worse things than being alone. Much worse things.

I wish I had listened to my friends and family when they all said the same thing about the same person. Unless there is something seriously wrong with your friends and family, they want you to be happy ... and if all (or many) of them don't approve of your choice of a friend or guy ... there's probably something to their concerns. It's like the old adage says ... where there's smoke, there's fire. If your friends and family are seeing smoke ... you need to look for the fire. Better yet ... run away from the source of the fire.

I wish I had known that there is nothing wrong with my body. People are rarely as fat or ugly as they think they are. In fact, you might even have a body others are envious of. I wish I had known that if someone is making disparaging remarks about my body, then I should ignore him and walk away ... for good. I wish I had understood that them pointing out my flaws and imperfections was their way of deflecting the conversation away from their flaws and imperfections. It was to keep me looking inward and not out ... at them ... and seeing the things they were trying so hard to distract me from noticing.

I wish I had known how hard it was to find friends as an adult, and that not having friends at any given time isn't the end of the world. It's lonely, but it's not because of the kind of person you are ... all it means is that at this particular point in time, you are not around the kind of people you want to or can be friends with. Once you get out of high school, and later college, life gets in the way of having friends, but no one goes through their entire life without friends. Sitting at home on a Friday or Saturday night when everyone you know is out having fun doesn't mean that you are not fun. You won't spend every Friday and Saturday night alone forever. If you're in college, spend those nights studying and getting ahead. The people you are around right now will scatter to the wind in a few years anyway. Trying to fit in with people who don't like the things you like or like to do things you don't enjoy is exhausting ... and trying to be friends with people who aren't like you will only make you more lonely.

I wish I had paid more attention to the compliments and less attention to the criticism. It's true ... you can't please all of the people all of the time. There are a lot of cruel, petty, jealous people in the world who enjoy being mean and making others miserable. You don't have to pay attention to them, and you shouldn't pay attention to them. If the criticism is fair and deserved, and given in the spirit of making you a better person, then take it to heart and try to work on it ... but if it's simply to point out something someone else just doesn't like ... let it roll off of you and forget about it. The people who know you the best know your fears and insecurities, and they can use those to hurt you. The ones that do that don't deserve a place in your life. Understand there is generally a lot more truth in the compliments than in the criticism.

I wish I had taken more time to do things to make myself happy and I less time trying to please others. I wish I had moved on when I realized I was doing things to make them happy, but they never, or seldom, reciprocated. All relationships, friendly and romantic, are give and take. If you're the only one doing the giving, you may as well leave now. It's not going to get any better. In fact, it's going to only get worse. If you are a few weeks, or months, or even years into a relationship and you aren't happy ... you never will be. You might be lonely for a while, but it's better than throwing away years of your life on someone who clearly doesn't care about your happiness. We've all heard it, and it's true ... happiness comes from within. If you are not happy with yourself, you will never be happy. Someone else cannot make you happy. They can buy you things or do things that give you moments of happiness, but it won't last. You have to understand that who you are is good enough, and that someone will love the things about you that someone else hated. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. There will be times in your life that precious few swim by and you'll be tempted to cast your line and take your chances, but you'll end up being sorry. Some fish are rotten ... and just because you can no longer smell the stench doesn't mean they don't stink.

I wish I had known that if someone is lying to or accusing me of cheating, then they are probably doing that to me. People who lie or cheat all the time assume everyone does. In fact, that's how they justify their own lying and cheating ... "Everyone does it!" Well, everyone doesn't lie and everyone doesn't cheat. There is a big difference between telling someone they don't look fat (when they kind of do), and telling someone they were at the library studying or working late or "with the guys" when they were with another woman. A small, white lie to spare someone's feelings is a totally different animal than a lie intended to deceive and manipulate. People who lie and cheat look for the keywords they use when lying or hiding their cheating behaviors. If they hear any of those keywords come out of your mouth, they pounce. If you're together long enough, you'll learn the things you can and cannot say, and you'll work so hard at not setting them off that the truth comes out sounding like a lie. You rehearse what you will say in your head (devoid of the words you shouldn't say!), and an innocent, truthful explanation sounds contrived and rehearsed. Remember ... they rehearse their lies, so anything that sounds rehearsed will come off as a lie to them.

I wish I had known that parents are people and they make mistakes. They are running from their own ghosts. They have skeletons in their closet they are desperate to hide. They have demons they are trying to exorcise. Some people get two really great parents. Some only get one. Some don't get any. Who your parents are is no reflection of you or the kind of person you are. If you are one of the lucky ones to get two really good parents, count your lucky stars, because you'll probably be spared some of the bad decisions people who weren't so lucky will make. If you only got one good parent, listen to them and tune the other one out. The good parent is the one who really loves you and has your best interests at heart. The other one doesn't like themselves, and they will take out their anger and frustration on you. Misery really does love company. Don't be their company. If you didn't get any good parents, you've got a tough row to hoe. You might be stuck with the parents you got while you're a child, but you don't have to let them influence you your entire life. You have the right to distance yourself from anyone who is toxic to you ... even family. Especially family, because the pain a parent can inflict is more damaging than the pain from anyone else. If they aren't the kind of people you want in your life, you don't have to allow them in, or you can give them limited access. It doesn't matter if you are three or thirty ... the abusive parent is always wrong. Always. When someone reads that a three year old was beaten black and blue, no one wonders "What did they do to deserve that?" ... and you shouldn't believe that you deserve whatever abuse your parent dishes out ... regardless of your age. Accept them for who they are ... damaged people who don't know how to be happy. You have the right to protect yourself from anyone who hurts you. Don't believe the venom they spew and don't allow them to steal your joy.

I wish I had understood that the family you come from and the friends you choose influence the decisions you make, but ultimately, the decisions you make are yours ... and you can't blame them on anyone else. You might have made better choices if you had had better parents or if you had chosen better friends, but not everyone with bad parents or questionable friends make bad choices. You control your destiny. You control the direction your life is going to take. You are the reason your life is good or bad.

And finally, I wish I had known that if you try to take the easy way out, you're likely to find the detour will take you down the steeped, gnarliest, most frightening path imaginable. The easy way out is often more painful because it's a cop-out. Remember, it's the "easy" way out ... not the right thing to do. There's a difference. A huge difference. Doing the right thing can be extremely painful. Leaving someone you (think) you love is hard, but if you know they aren't right for you, or they are no longer the right person for you, you owe it to yourself to leave. If you know you aren't right for each other, they know it, too ... and the sooner you sever the cancerous limb, the sooner you can start to heal.

I hope this helps, sweetie. I love you :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

"Stuck" in Savannah


Not me ... I wish I was stuck in Savannah right now! One hundred and fifty years ago today, Union General William T. Sherman and his army were rained in at Savannah, Georgia, waiting to begin their march into the Carolina's. 

Savannah, Georgia is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been fortunate enough to visit. When I was writing Boomerang, I was originally going to set the majority of the novel in Athens, Georiga, with a small piece set in Savannah. Before I began writing, I did extensive research on Atlanta, Athens, and Savannah. When I read that General Sherman, who arrived at Savannah in December, said that the beauty of Savannah was breathtaking, I was definitely intrigued. It was so beautiful, he "gave" President Lincoln the city of Savannah as a Christmas present. Anyplace described as "breathtaking" ... by a man ... in December ... was someplace I needed to see!

The first time I went to Savannah was in February, and General Sherman was right ... Savannah is breathtaking ... and I immediately fell in love with the Gem of the South. I also decided the novel would be set predominantly in Savannah ... not Athens. I love the city of Athens. It's main street is lined with restaurants that boast some of the most delicious food on earth, at a surprisingly affordable price. The best meal I ever had was in Athens, Georgia. As much as I enjoyed Athens, it could not compare to the beauty of Savannah.

I have a goofy smile on my face and my heart is overflowing every time I drive down the charming, tree-lined streets of Savannah. I love the entire area. I love Bonaventure Cemetery and Wormsloe. I love the squares and the homes and the Spanish moss covered branches of the gnarled live oaks. It's like walking in a fairy tale.

When I was there the first time, I was talking to a shop owner on River Street. I gushed about how beautiful the city was. She said if I think it's pretty in February, I should see it in May. I took her at her word ... I did go back to see it in May ... and she was right. Actually, "beautiful" doesn't even begin to describe Savannah in the spring! I've seen Savannah at various times during the year, and it's gorgeous during every season. 

Because of the historic rainfall in January of 1865, Sherman and his troops weren't able to begin their march into the Carolina's until the end of January. There are certainly worst places to be rained in, right?



Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Day in the Life of Olivia ...

(Make sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom!)









And, just so that we don't get in a rut ...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

One Last View of the Mountains Before We Left


I took one last photo before we headed for home last fall.
How glorious it was to awaken to this view every morning.
Oh, how I wish I were there right now!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Keurig Recall

Keurig is recalling it's Mini Brewer (pictured at right) after several hundred reports of the coffeemaker spewing hot liquid when brewing more than two cups in quick succession.

The Keurig model in question is the Mini, the one where you add water before each brew ... not the larger model that has a water reservoir on the side. The affected models have a model number of K10 and in identification number starting with 31 printed on the bottom of the unit.

If you own one of these units, a kit is available from Keurig that will correct the problem. You can click here for more information or to fill out a from to request your kit.

I bought one of these coffeemakers a couple of years ago, but I'm not a fan. I don't particularly care for the flavor of the coffee brewed in a Keurig. I've tried a lot of different flavors of K-Cups, and I've tried using the reusable K-Cup with my own coffee. I still didn't care for the taste. Also, when I drink coffee in the mornings, I like to add more coffee as I drink it to keep it warm ... and you can't do that with a Keurig. It seemed like such a good idea, and there are some people who love their Keurig ... but I'll stick with my good 'ole Mr. Coffee.

Friday, January 9, 2015

It's so clear, you can see the mountains!


Just to clarify, there are no mountains around here, but sometimes when the clouds are low, it kind of looks like mountains.

When Thing 1 was in middle school, I picked up her best friend on the way to school. One morning, the clouds were low and I told her friend, "Look! It's so clear you can see the mountains today!" She looked up and got all excited. "Yeah, you can see them!"

A moment later she said "I didn't know we had mountains around here." I told her we didn't ... that those were clouds. We had a good laugh ... at her expense. We still tease her about it ... and I will post a pic on her Facebook page today to let her know I haven't forgotten! It does kind of look like mountains, don't you think?