Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why is Kim Kardashian Stalking America?

(Twilight Zone theme music)  You're standing in the grocery store... there it is again!  You turn to your left... then to your right!  You can't get away!  Everywhere you turn there's Kim Kardashian… Kim Kardashian… KIM KARDASHIAN!!!!!  She's taking over! 
               Ugh… it pains me to even write about this but I feel something has got to be said.  Why oh why oh why are my television channels and Internet completely CLOGGED with the goings on of this woman’s life?  Why?  Can someone please explain the importance of this to me?
                I literally feel that this is an invasion of my life.  That’s right, I said it.  It’s an invasion of MY life… and I’ll tell you why.  Everywhere that I turn for entertainment, I have to see this woman with her big doe eyes, long fake lashes, and black extensions looking at me.  Whether it’s on my television screen, on the internet, or all the magazines in the grocery store, I see this woman’s face plastered all over everything like it’s breaking news.  I ride the train to work, there she is!  I pick up the Express (local DC newspaper), there she is!  At work, they're talking about her, there she is again!  Damn it, is it even safe to use the bathroom without seeing her?  I'm almost afraid.  I’m beginning to feel like she’s stalking me… trying to force me to be interested in her world.  Should I get a restraining order? 
*Sigh, get this, Miss Kardashian, I am in no way, shape, or form interested in the stupid decisions you make in your life.  I wasn’t interested in the sex tape you made with Ray J… wasn’t interested in you being friends with Paris Hilton… wasn’t interested in your little reality show with your sisters, and yet, I can’t seem, for the life of me, to get away from you and your mess.  It’s like America seems to think your big pile of nothingness is interesting.  ARRRRRRRGH!  To think I pay $130 a month for cable just to see some crap like this…  What’s the world coming to?
                I mean seriously, children in Africa are out there starving… the Republicans are going HAM on Barack… the poor little troops are waiting to come home from overseas who haven’t seen their families in who knows how long, but all the news can report to me on the state of affairs in America is that Kim Kardashian is getting a divorce after a 72 day farce of a marriage.  I mean, does that sit well with everyone else? 
Good Lord, woman.  Here I am just waiting for a good man to come along and propose to me so I can have a great husband someday and share a great life, and your ass is out there making a mockery of marriage.  Not only did we have to suffer through every channel on TV going on and on about your wedding (which I for one could care less about), now we have to suffer through it going on and on about your divorce?  How about you go sit your little ass down somewhere and give us a break.  Seriously, you could have done the world a great favor and donated the 2 mil you spent on your wedding to the school systems to get the kids new books and could have gotten just as much publicity.  But oh no, blow it all on a wedding for a marriage in which you won’t sit still for even half a year.
                I mean all these publicized weddings and direct views into people’s lives is getting ridiculous.  Just when I thought I had gotten away from this mess, here comes something else.  First I had to listen to them go on and on about Charlie Sheen.  To tell you the truth, I’m still not 100% on what happened there.  Didn’t care to listen to be quite honest…  Then I had to listen to them go on and on about the Prince and Princess getting married over there in England.  Newsflash!  This is America.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t care what dress little Miss Middleton was going to wear.  It was guaranteed to be ugly whatever she picked.  And true to form, it was!  Now this bull with the Kardashian girl.  And to boot, in response to the Kardashian chick, you’ve got all these gay rights activists crying the blues because lil Kardashian can get married and divorced all in a matter of 72 days but they can’t get the government to agree to let them marry their partners for the rest of their lives.  Poor things.  I know it must be hell.
                I don’t mean to be a cynical blog writer, here.  I mean really, I’m all for a good love story and happily ever after, but this is just a hot, deep fried, nuclear mess.  This is a woman who has become famous because her father helped defend a murderer along with the fact that she made a sex tape and was great friends with a billionaire heiress who also made a sex tape.  This is the worst reason to be famous.  And now you want us to sit around and listen to your fairytale wedding story all in the same quarter of the year as your divorce? What the bloody hell?????  I mean, is America on drugs or what?  Why are you broadcasting this to my television?
                So in short, on behalf of all the sane people left in America, Kim Kardashian, please stop stalking us with your bull. We don’t care.  And unless you’re going to donate some of the interview money you’re making to us, we don’t care to listen.  So shut it up and go sit down somewhere!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Relationship Plight of Single Mothers...

                Single mothers… in the United States, they are probably the persons who have it the hardest out here.  Now, I don’t generally like to bring race into things, but I’m going to go a step further and say that black single mothers probably have it worse than anybody else… especially a college educated, black single mothers.  And Lord help you if you have more than one child, that’s for sure.
                In terms of a long-lasting committed relationship with a man, as a single mother, you can pretty much hang it up.  I don’t like to be negative, but that’s how it feels to me.  I find it amazing that you can meet a man and he can take the time to get to know you.  He loves the time that you spend together because you have so much fun.  He thinks you’re sexy enough to sleep with, cook well enough to love your cooking, and you like doing all the things he likes to do.  But wouldn’t you know it… you’re not good enough to make a real commitment to because standing behind you is little Johnny or Mary.  Cute as little buttons… they sure are, standing there sucking on a lollipop waiting for you to chuck them under the chin.  Or maybe they’ve spilled juice all over your flat screen and you’re ready to lay into their ass… either way, they’re standing there.  And there’s the hang up right there.
                Oh you’re a great woman!  Supportive woman!  You know how to comfort that man… know how to boost up his self-esteem and give him the courage to take on the world.  You know how to forgive his faults and look past his flaws!  You know how to lift him up when he’s down and help him find his inner strength.  You’re perfect (or as perfect as we women can get)… the best woman a man could have, but then again no you’re not, because Little Johnny or Mary is still standing there holding your hand.
                Lord have mercy, where would we be today if Joseph had just up and dumped Mary because she was pregnant with Jesus?  What would have happened to poor Mary?  Back then, she probably would have been stoned to death or jailed or whatever for having a child who wasn’t by her husband.   Even as recent as the 60’s, it was downright shameful for an unwed woman to have a child and the man didn’t marry her.
                Now I know with education and the independent thinking of women, we all say, “I don’t need a man.”  And I’m in agreement, if he’s going to treat you like shit, you sure don’t need him, but it sure would be nice for him to be there for you if he’s a genuinely good guy.  I don’t know why relationships are so important to me.  Maybe it’s because I am nearing 30 and want to spend my life with someone, but I just don’t think we were meant to spend our lives alone… hopping from one man to the next or sitting around talking about we just don’t need a man yet we’re fiddling around with battery operated machinery every night just to get our tweeter tickled.  I’m gonna be straight up and honest.  I’d like to have a life time companion…  someone who loves me because I’m me and isn’t afraid to commit to that.  Who doesn’t want that?  The problem is men nowadays can’t see past the fact that you may have a child because some asshole left you to raise his kid alone while he went off in search of his dreams… dreams that didn’t include you or his child or any sense of responsibility.
                So what now?  Obviously you love your child and you’re going to do what you have to do to raise him or her correctly… with or without a man, but where does that leave you emotionally?  What does that say about life and our society?  We are good enough to lie down with but not necessarily good enough to marry simply because we have a child. 
The child is innocent and we as single mothers do the best that we can with what we have.  Truth be told, we could use a support system.  Not even financial support, though some of us could use that too, but an emotional support.  We need someone there to hold us and say it’s going to be alright when we get so overwhelmed by everything we have to do every day.  Cook, clean, do homework with little tyke, spend time with the little tyke, make sure he takes a bath before bed, read him a bed time story, all while still trying to have time for yourself.  God forbid you’re still trying to get your degree, or you’re actively pursuing a graduate degree or whatever the case may be.  Lord, a woman could go insane.  Then at the end of all of that, you have to trudge off to your bedroom, peer down at your cold, empty, bed and fall asleep alone with nothing but an extra pillow that no one uses for company.  Smh…
                Are we cursed to bare the Scarlett C (Children) branded into our foreheads for the rest of our lives?  I mean, children are a blessing, so why are women who have them treated as if they have The Plague flowing through their veins like a river?  Where are the men who believe in family and unconditional love?  Do they even exist anymore?  Why are the only men out there the ones who say “I love you BUT I can’t?”  Sounds like a condition to me.  Or some of those guys don't love you at all, they just want your poom poom.  So in response... trying to survive, we women convince ourselves that we don’t need a man and furthermore don’t want one.  All the while, that little seed of anger that has formed because we’ve been shunned so many times begins to eat away at our hearts.  Where in the world do we go from here?
                So we get dressed every morning, comb our hair just right, apply that light make up that accentuates our features so well.  We look good.  We spray on that special scent that sets us apart from the rest.  We smell good.  We take out the meat we’re going to have for dinner to be cooked later.  We cook good.  We head off to the office to put in an 8-10 hour day.  We work hard.  We get off work and pick up the little tyke from school or from day care or the baby sitter and take him home to nurture him.  We are comforters and we love our kids unconditionally.  After the tyke is put to bed, we sit down to go over the finances to make sure the rent is paid, the car note is paid, there is money for groceries and laundry, money for little tyke’s clothes because all his school uniform shirts have grass stains that just won’t come out, and student loans from our education…  We clean the kitchen up from tonight’s dinner and take out the trash then go scrub the tub and the toilet.  We take care of the house good.  But when we take a minute to breathe and we look around, it’s really just you and the kid.  And quite possibly, it’s going to always be you and the kid because no man seems to be capable of committing to both of you.  The rule is, a man doesn’t want a woman with a child.  Does that mean we should stop hoping that someday we’ll be the exception?
                *Sigh… and the struggle continues.  I’m still a ringless (engagement ring that is) soul.  It’s just me and my little stink butt (that’s my son by the way… I don’t mean my butt stinks  haha).  Maybe someday someone will decide that I’m the one, but until then, I guess I have no choice but to wait and keep hope alive.  Boy, that sounds so pitiful.

*This blog is mere opinion and is not meant to discourage anyone from pursuing a lasting, meaningful relationship.  This is my own personal rant of how it feels to me to be a single mother in regard to relationships with men.  I hope that all single mothers out there find the love that they so richly deserve for themselves and for their children.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Strange Mystique of New Orleans

                It’s impossible to be called to a city that you’ve never visited simply through your own imagination, yet I feel like that’s exactly what New Orleans does for me.  I’ve never been there… never seen hide nor hair of its infamous city line or banks along Lake Pontchartrain.  Yet for some strange reason, I can see it so clearly in my mind’s eye.  Isn’t that peculiar?  I think the strangest oddity of all is perhaps that I don’t see it as it stands today.  I couldn’t tell you for the life of me what I thought New Orleans looked like today (honestly my first thoughts of modern New Orleans jump to Lil Wayne and that’s a scary thought), but I seem to have quite a vivid picture of what I think the New Orleans of old looked like.
 Perhaps it’s the antique flair of a different era, where elegant parties, flashy Mardi Gras Queens, and voodoo priestesses reigned supreme.  I can hear the distant melody of a trumpet softly serenading some remote corner of the French Quarter, as a gentle breeze sweeps through ripe with the smell of honeysuckle and sweet Magnolia blossoms.  I can hear women laughing, holding on to their beaus as they head to a party… one that won’t end until the dawn conquers the uncertain night.  Maybe it’s the antique houses with the wrought iron fencing that seemed to swirl and curl into vines and tendrils. 
I see these things… I imagine them… it’s almost like I’ve been there before.  Maybe since that area of the US has been glamorized in so many movies I’ve seen, I just seem to have developed a liking for what I think it might be like.  I’ve sought out certain things native to New Orleans just so that I could be a part of it.  I found a little boutique café in the Adams Morgan section of Washington, DC run by a family from New Orleans, and their food was spectacular.  I had a poboy and a trio of beignets sprinkled with powdered sugar so sweet that it seemed to melt into the hot dough and form a syrup.  Delicious!
I think if I could have lived in another time, I would have loved to live in New Orleans, where race didn’t seem to be as much of an issue as it was in other places in the US.  Where a person would hear talk of the infamous Quadroon balls where white men and free women of color would get together to form an alliance of some sort… what they call a placage.  Or what would it have been like to see Marie Laveau down in Jackson Square dancing with her pet snake, Zombi, leading the city to its Voodoo calling on St. John’s Eve.
What beautiful threads of multi-culture woven into a rich tapestry of history, New Orleans has.  Or at least I think it has.  I dream of it sometimes… of the ancient cemeteries of yesteryear, filled with white slave masters, black mistresses, and a bouillabaisse of different people, coming together to coexist peacefully… or at least more peacefully than the rest of the Southern US.  The jazz funerals with bands following the dead to its final resting place… The Mardi Gras beads and sex in the streets as a last hurrah before Lent…  New Orleans is a beautiful city of sin.
Even the taboo… the images of voodoo dolls with pins stuck in them and priestesses worshipping the Loa with faces painted white and ash upon their foreheads, they all bring a certain mystique to the city that just seems to draw people in.  How could you resist wondering what a place like that would be like?  And how could you resist being attracted to its rich traditions, wanting to be a part of it in some way?
Maybe I will get there some day…  I will hear the music and taste the Andouille gumbos, and sip café au lait, taking in the afternoon sun.  I’ll slap the mosquitos and visit the bayou, stopping in to some remote hole in the wall that specializes in crawfish and jambalaya.  I will visit that strangely addictive place… and I will be a part of that culture, if only for a day.  I will see what my heart wishes to see, and it will remain with me forever.  Laissez les bon temps rouler, la Nouvelle Orléans!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Twilight... Buying into the Hype

            Twilight… what can be said?  Moody, brooding, sparkly vampires walking around not biting people.  It sounds absurd, and that’s hardly a formidable vampire, now is it?  I mean, what happened to the intense seduction of vampires?  The blood lust?  The sheer brutality of it when he’s angered?  Now that’s what makes a vampire!  Not to mention, the allergy to sunlight?  Remember when vampires used to burst into bright flames and burn like nobody’s business when exposed to the sun?  What about the old stake through the heart?  Or even coffins?
            None of that was in Twilight… and I admit, because of this, I wasn’t interested in watching it.  In my opinion, a moody, sparkly vampire certainly makes for a poor excuse for a night stalking bloodsucker.  But alas, my curiosity got the best of me.  And as Borders was going out of business and having a helluva sale, when I saw the book being advertised for about $5 bucks, I said, what the hell… I’ll give it a whirl.  How bad could it be? Right?  What I discovered was completely unexpected.  What I found instead of vicious, sexy, blood sucking vampires with huge chompers was an intensely romantic love story that touched even me.  Who would have thought?
            The love story between Bella and Edward was seductive to me in the sense that it was so unconditional.  He loved her so much yet his natural instincts wanted to do what all vampires must do… kill her.  But he fought it… fought it because he swore not to drink human blood and somehow… somewhere… this incredible, passionate, deep, yearning type love developed for her.  And I think the best part about it was that she was just as drawn to him… just as in love with him.  For lack of better words, it was simply beautiful.
            Stunned… utterly stunned, I decided that I needed to read the next book in the series: New Moon.  I rushed myself on down to Barnes and Noble and purchased it and began to read it.  To my surprise, Edward leaves Bella… for her own good.  The heartbreak that was portrayed there was incredible.  Bella was more depressed than anyone I had ever read about in a book; and I found myself crying along with her.  Perhaps because I understand and could definitely relate to how she felt, having experienced so much heartbreak and loss myself.  I had to put the book down… couldn’t finish it.  It made me depressed to read about the emptiness she felt.  It reminded me of my own emptiness... that hollow place inside that houses the pain from losing love.  I decided the best way for me to get the gist of what was going to happen was to watch the movies instead.  Maybe the movies would be kinder on my senses, and I wouldn't be sitting there crying like a blubbering fool.
            I went to Target and found all three movies on sale.  I think I now understand what the hype is about.  It wasn’t the fact that Edward was a vampire but the fact that the love between the two young people (and I use the term young loosely considering Edward is actually 104 years old) was epic… immortal like the vampire himself.  Though the first movie wasn’t as good as the book, I found that the love they experienced was very pure and very much coveted… by me.
            It makes me feel silly to yearn and long for that type of love when I know it’s just a story.  Maybe that type of love doesn’t even exist.  I don’t really know.  But I know the times where I thought I had something similar, I didn’t.  And each time I watch the movies, I find myself crying… crying for me.  Crying because I don’t have… and have never had what two fictional characters have.  I found myself crying because when Bella thought she had lost Edward forever, I understood her despair and desolation.  I found myself crying for poor Jacob (the werewolf) who was in love with Bella but couldn’t have her.  Found myself crying because I know how that feels too.
            I suppose at this point I understand people’s obsession with this series.  Maybe they long to feel the same love that I do… that Bella and Edward do.  Maybe the only way they can get close to it is to watch two fictional characters act it out.  I think that’s sad… sad and a tad pathetic… but in my case, an unfortunate truth.
            It sounds stupid, but I hope that someday… someday soon, I can experience that eternal, unconditional love that Bella and Edward have.  I hope that as hard as I love… whomever I am meant to love, that they will reciprocate the feelings.  That they will fight to keep me close to their heart the way Edward fought for Bella... and the way that Bella fought for Edward.  Sad to say that a whiny, moody, high schooler and a sparkling vampire are the models to show you how love is supposed to be, but it’s pretty true.  I hope someday that I can find my Edward… if he exists for me.   Until then… I guess I’ll always have Twilight. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Truth about Real Zombies

Hmm… do you ever think about Zombies and what you’d do if you actually met one?  Probably not, because if you’re like most “normal” people, something as silly as a Zombie has no place in your life; and unless you’re watching the Chiller channel or some B list movie that has horrible special effects where there’s some second rate actor eating the brains of a dead carcass, you probably don’t give Zombies any thought at all. And rightly so.  You’ve got more important things to think about like Obama’s national debt problem and that Casey Anthony trial that went left field out of nowhere.

But even though you might not be thinking about them, I’ve got news for you: Zombies are real. Now what do you think about that?  Oh, I’m not saying that those idiotic reanimated corpses that are sluggishly walking around town biting chunks of flesh out of people’s arms are real… that would be ridiculous, but there is such a thing as a real Zombie out there… theoretically speaking, of course.

Now, I don't claim to be an expert in the ways and culture of the Voodoo religion.  Hey, I’m not an expert on the ways and culture of any religion, but I’ve read up on the subject just a bit and the findings are a tad interesting… if not uncomfortable.  I’ve read that a Zombie can be created if the coup de poudre (a powerful powdered poison made from the toxins of a puffer fish) is ingested or absorbed through the skin.  Oh yeah, and this is usually carried out by people who are involved with the Voodoo religion.  No judgment!  Just saying… you won’t usually see a Baptist or Methodist handing out Zombie powder.  Now let’s think about that for a moment.  All it takes to make a Zombie is some really powerful, toxic powder.  Lord have mercy!  If the terrorists ever get a hold of a secret like that, the US is in big trouble.

Anyway, the way that it works is that the powder begins to affect the person's heart, slowing it down to an almost undetectable rate.  It then leaves that person completely paralyzed for at least 36 to 72 hours, making it appear that the person is dead.  Just what the world needs… another crazy ass powder that leaves you without the ability to move or function… as if there aren’t enough nonfunctioning assholes out there…  But even though the person is unable to move in addition to their extremely lowered heart rate, the person has full awareness of what’s going on around him or her.  Talk about torture…  If you do make it out alive, your head is probably all messed up watching everyone around you think that you're dead.  My head is messed up just thinking about it.

In most cases, the person is often buried alive and upon regaining “consciousness” it can look like the person is rising from the dead.  And what is a reanimated dead person but a Zombie?  It amazes me that anyone would actually set out to do this to another person, but this condition exists just the same.  It’s strange… and pretty insane, but true.  Of course, this type of thing would only work if the person wasn’t being embalmed.  Obviously if a mortician embalms you while you’re in this state, you’re gonna bite the big one for real and can kiss Zombie status goodbye.  But in under developed countries- particularly Haiti where this type of thing has happened on more than one occasion, dead bodies just aren’t embalmed.  That leaves a lot of room for the walking dead.

Now, there have been a few documented cases of Zombies roaming around in Haiti.  Maybe that’s why they don’t have the highest rate for tourism in the world…  I know I’m not gonna hop on a plane to a place where there are Zombies walking around all willy nilly.  Anyway, one of the most famous documented cases is that of Clairivius Narcisse.  Don’t take my word for it, Google him.  I suppose he’d done something to wrong someone or maybe he’d just made someone pretty angry, but someone (probably a sorcerer they call a bokor) gave him a dose of Zombie powder and turned him into a Zombie.  I think the whole point of this is to enslave the person… maybe enslave their soul, but then again, I don’t really know.  But it is claimed that Narcisse was declared dead in 1962, but when he returned home in 1980, he was pretty “Zombied out.” 
I hear that others aren’t always quite as lucky as Narcisse, who seemed to retain his sanity.  A lot of other Zombies suffer brain damage from lack of oxygen while buried alive and seem to wander about aimlessly with no recollection of who they are or where they’re from.  Sheesh!  That’s an awful way to spend life… or can you even call it that?  I suppose once you’re declared dead and buried, life has ended right?

My advice to everyone out there is to stay on the good foot.  Don’t make anybody mad.  If you thought Hannibal Lecter was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  You never know who has the power out there to put you on Zombie status and I’m pretty sure you’re not trying to find out.  Keep it polite out there, ya’ll! The US doesnt need Zombies... we've got enough scary stuff going on... like Republicans and OJ. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Vending Machines

What comes to mind when you think of vending machines?  Sodas?  Chips?  Maybe even a bottle of aspirin?  I bet your first thought won’t be of a man.  But let me tell you, men are nothing but vending machines when you get right down to it…  and I don’t mean a standard operating vending machine either.   No, I’m talking about that worthless piece of junk that sucks in your money but the soda gets stuck before it can come out.  Yeah… that infuriating thing… that’s a man… an inconstant, irresponsible, inconsistent man.
                Now you’re probably wondering, how in the world does that correlate?  I mean, men and vending machines?  That just doesn’t compute.  Hmph, take a closer look honey because when you have a waffling man on your hands, you don’t have anything but a damn vending machine.  Let me explain…
                Patricia Johnson was a successful business woman… the first black woman in her marketing firm to make partner.  She and her fiancé, James, had been together for five years and had just made the major decision to buy a house together.  Life couldn’t be better.  That is until the shit hit the fan…  Suddenly Patricia’s success reflects badly on James as a man… or maybe he’s just suddenly dissatisfied... who knows what the problem was?  Whatever the problem, Patricia’s life is never going to be the same when she arrives home to find that James is gone.  Not a word of warning… not a note on the floor.  Just an apartment completely empty of everything that belonged to the love of her life.
                Sounds like a devastating situation doesn’t it?  I can assure you, she was pretty devastated.  But the kicker was when she went on Facebook to find that just a few weeks after he’d left her, James had hooked up with a hot, young, sexy thing and was in a new committed relationship!  Just look how happy and in love they look in those pictures!  Now how in the hell had that happened?
                What Patricia didn’t understand was that James was nothing but a vending machine, and you’ve got to be on the look-out for those things because they don’t come with a warning sign.  You spend years feeding quarters into that machine expecting to get the “prize” in the end, and you get nothing…  Oh you can see the prize getting closer and closer to finally popping out, but it’s not there just yet.  You figure maybe if you bang on the front of it a bit, that prize might just fall out.  But no… it’s stuck, and no amount of banging or putting in more money is going to make it budge.  It’s stubborn and you can’t do a damn thing with a stubborn vending machine.  So you give up!  You walk away.  You figure hey, I’ll find another machine to get my prize.  Or even better, I’ll just go into a store where it’s a guarantee that I’ll get my prize and be done with it.  But just as you’re walking away, Little Miss Video Vixen walks up to that machine with a bit of swag in her walk and she puts in a nickel… not even a quarter,  a nickel… and low and behold, that prize pops right out!  She got your prize!  And as much as you want to slap the taste out of her mouth for doing what you couldn’t, with less effort, it’s not her fault.  It’s that damn vending machine… that inconstant, irresponsible, inconsistent man.  Ugh!
                That’s not to say that all men are that broken down, hunk of junk vending machine.  No.  To the contrary, there are a lot of men out there who are top notch… those VM5000’s, the newest technology in vending machines.  You put in a quarter and bam!  Your prize pops right out with little effort.  And it’s a great machine too!  It’s attentive.  It gets your sodas nice and super cold for ya and even gives you a straw to go with it.  That’s a helluva machine.  But let me tell you, they are hard to find.  Most of what’s walking around out there is that machine from the 70’s… the dusty one that gives you bent up cans that are piss warm.  That’s the man that Patricia had.  Keep your eyes peeled, ladies…  Keep on the look-out for those VM5000’s because those 70’s vending machines just aren’t hittin’ and holdin’ anymore.