Wednesday, June 27, 2018

K is Kicking

I'm halfway through the blogging alphabet challenge. The goal is to work through the alphabet and write about five favorite things that begin with each letter. A lot of people have completed the challenge in a year. Not me. It's taken me a few years to get to the halfway point. And that's okay.

I don't post often as I used to. But when I do posts, they're like novellas--long but hopefully, entertaining and informative. So I think it's okay to post weekly, especially as my posts are rather lengthy. Apologies. But when the ideas come, I find it best to just go with the flow. I'll edit it down afterwards. And I'll try to stay on point.

Today's letter is K. And K is Kicking! To be honest, I drew a blank at first. Just how many things that I like begin with the letter K? I paused for a moment. But once I started thinking about places and things I like that begin with K, the ideas just stampeded in, and I had to wrangle them into a manageable corral.

Once I wrote down all the great things that I like that begin with the letter K, it was easy to organize them. I just group them into places, food, things, and a mix of all three:

Some of my favorite K words are Kiss, Keen (Highly Developed, Sharp, Enthusiastic), and Kismet (Destiny, Fate). I love Kirsch, the liqueur made from the wild cherries. I also love Karats--the measure of purity of gold. The more karats the merrier (and the more precious the gold)!

I love Karate and Kung Fu movies! The dubbed ones are my favorite! They have the best action sequences, and they feel a lot more genuine when the English dub occasionally fails to cover the actors lip movements. You know the film was originally recorded in a foreign language. That's what makes it so cool!

These are my favorite places that start with the letter K:

I love deserts, so I'd like to see the Kalahari: For the wildlife, the ancient tribal peoples who still speak the clicking languages, and for the Meerkats!

At the opposite end of the terrain spectrum is Kamchatka, the far northeastern peninsula of Russia: It is a land of volcanoes, snow capped mountains, hot springs, rushing rivers, and lots of wildlife surrounded by a rich fishing coast. It's a rugged and wild landscape, and that is something that I find alluring and fascinating. Lots of grizzlies, too! But if I ever make it there, I plan to observe the big brown bears from a far and secure location, preferably in an armored and heavily armed vehicle. I am NOT going to be bear food! That would totally ruin the experience.

Kona and Kauai (Hawai'i): the first for the coffee, and both for the beauty and gorgeous landscapes.

Korea: For the BBQ (Bulgogi), the Soju, and the culture. Plus, I want to see the sights and the historic and beautiful locations.

And I want to hear some K Pop and try some Karaoke bars in Korea. I'm not sure how I feel about K Pop, but I'm willing to give it a shot if I ever make it to Korea. Karaoke is a given. Luv it! It's a lot of fun with friends and alcoholic drinks!

I want to try the authentic local Korean cuisine and compare it to the US versions: Bibimbap (rice topped with sauteed/stir fried veggies, chili soy sauce, and meat), Japchae (noodles, marinated stir fried beef and veggies), and Gimbap (rice and veggies and meat with sesame oil/seeds rolled in seaweed wrap, sort of like a Korean sushi roll).

But I may or may not try the Kimchi, the fermented spicy cabbage and veggies salad. Sorry, but I can't get past the pungent stench! I may need some serious soju to get past the smell of kimchi. But I will definitely try the Dak-kkochi, grilled chicken skewers, because everyone loves delicious grilled meat on a stick! The world would be a much better and more peaceful place if everyone had delicious grilled meat on a stick.

And because I love BBQ and grilled food, I'd like to go to Kansas City and Kentucky to try their fantastic BBQ and sauces. Also, I like Kentucky Fried Chicken. Sure, I'll go to Popeye's if I want something spicy. But I love KFC's original recipe.

I also love Key Lime Pie! We had key limes on the farm. It was the only kind of lime that grew well in our area. And it ranks right at the top with pineapple and lemon meringue as my favorite pie flavors!

Kool Aid pickles are a guilty pleasure! The colors are fantastic! And the flavors are an awesome mash up of sweet, sour, and tangy! The red cherry flavor is more popular because of the stunning bright color. But I enjoy the lemon lime, watermelon, and orange flavors. Pineapple is my fave Kool Aid pickle flavor.

Speaking of pineapples, I like to lay out the rings or chunks and sprinkle them with sweetened Kool Aid for an awesome sweet and tangy flavor. They look cool and kids love 'em! So do the adults. Sometimes, I get creative and lay out several lines of Kool Aid varieties on top of pineapple rings, to make a sort of rainbow striped pineapple ring. It's an easy and delightful treat for parties, and it gives the kids something fun to do.

My other favorite K treat is a Kolache. Brought over to Texas by Czech immigrants, the original kolache is a pastry made of sweet fruit filling. After the Czechs settled in Texas beef country, they created klobasniky, replacing the fruit with a delicious meat sausage. Kolaches became pigs in a blanket! And I love the meat kolaches! The cheesy meaty savory ones are my fave! The fruit ones are delicious, too. If I want to make a special, scrumptious savory treat for a party or picnic, I make sausage and cheese kolaches. It takes time, but they are so worth it!

These are my favorite K animals:

Kestrels are gorgeous!

I love the unique, exotic, gorgeous Aotearoa (New Zealand) birds like:

The Kakapo,

The Kereru, the NZ Wood pigeon, at Wharepuke Kerikeri,

The Kaka,

and The Kea.

I also love the New Caledonia Kagu. Talk about awesome hairstyle!

I used to like Koalas, but then I saw a disturbing wildlife special that showed koalas as violent and vicious when fighting each other. But the koalas were also defending themselves against attacking predators and invasive species, so I'm back to liking them a whole lot. Koalas are special.

I feel bad that they are losing their habitat, and they aren't really protected in their own country, Australia. Their habitat is being continually razed by an expanding, invading human population. They only eat certain types of eucalyptus, and those eucalyptus forests are being torn down by an infestation of human encroachment. And they're dying from chlamydia! I would be very sad to see koalas go extinct.

The Tasmanian devils are going extinct, too. They've lost significant habitat to human infestation, and they're also suffering from a fatal, infectious cancer. So double sad for iconic Australian animals.

Tasmanian Devils by Martin Willis

Another fave K animal of mine is another Australian icon, the Kangaroo. They hop around and they just look cool. And there are so many varieties! I want to see a whole troop of them. And I want to see a real live tree kangaroo.

Kittens are my Kryptonite. So are puppies. And tiny babies. Actually, I have a weakness for cute baby critters, like ducklings, chicks, piglets, ewes, and kids (the baby goat kind). Baby critters are gorgeous!

But kittens are a particular fave of mine. We had a lot of cats back when I was growing up on the farm. Cats are great pets, and they were very useful in eliminating vermin from the farm. We loved our cats. We enjoyed feeding them and playing with them. And they made great company. It was always a special event when kittens were born.

We never gave our cats away, even when other people begged us for kittens. They were outstanding mousers. And they were fantastic companions and playmates. We loved all our pets. They were a part of our family.

Cats are cherished treasures and loved ones. They are wonderful and special. They come to us when we are feeling sad or distressed, and they comfort us. They make us laugh by playing with us. And they keep us company, letting us know that we are not alone, and that we are loved.

Of mythical animals, I'm fascinated by the Kumiho (Korean) or Kitsune (Japanese) spirit fox. In China, they are called Huli Jing. They are shapeshifting spirits. Sometimes, they become humans. Some even have gifted children with human spouses! The most powerful grow 9 tails after living for 1000 years, and in some tales, it grants them power over the elements, and they achieve greater deity status.

The Korean kumiho is usually thought of as an evil, harmful spirit that eats humans. Though, not always. Some Korean kumihos are seen as beneficial, guardian spirits, even great protective and good luck deities. The Japanese kitsune is a mischievous spirit, but is often protective and beneficial to those who show them kindness and respect. They also work with the great Shinto goddess, Inari (goddess of fertility, rice, tea, agriculture, industry, wealth, prosperity, pleasure, health, traders, actors, artists, entertainers, prostitutes, fishermen, firefighters, warriors, and craftsmen).

There are a lot of fantastic K words. And these are my top five favorite things that begin with the letter K:

1. Ketchup

I love ketchup! It's one of my favorite condiments. The other is mayo. And I like to mix ketchup with mayo for a delectable awesome sauce. Add some yellow mustard and pickle relish and you've got special sauce.

By itself, ketchup makes everything better! The sweet and tangy taste adds zing to any dish: Eggs, hot dogs, burgers, fries, meatloaf, and even tacos and pizza. I like to dip my grilled cheese in ketchup. And if I can't find any or am too lazy to make a delicious dip, I dip my chips in ketchup. And if I can't find any ranch dressing, I'm dipping my carrot sticks in ketchup, too. Ketchup is a scrumptious topping on mac and cheese.

It's also a great sauce for BBQ and fried chicken. Actually, the tangy sweetness and sharpness of ketchup is a perfect complement to any fried or grilled food: Pork chops, steak, mushrooms, onions, even fish and other seafood, like octopi, crabs, and mussels. Meat is better with ketchup. And potato dishes are perfect with ketchup: Tater tots, hash browns, potato pancakes, even potato salad and mashed potatoes and gravy are fantastic with ketchup.

Over the years, I've come to love other red sauce varieties, like salsa, sriracha, hoisin, gochujang, and sweet and sour sauce. But ketchup is still ranked at the top as my fave condiment.

2. Knowledge

Knowledge is important. Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge makes us better and wiser. I've always been a curious kid. I love learning and discovering new things. I'm a nerd who gets a kick out of reading about stars and cosmic phenomena. I love learning about animals and plants, exotic and local, and I enjoy being out in nature.

Archeology fascinates me, because history is fascinating. And Indiana Jones made it look like a lot of fun! I love Architecture, because it's beautiful: it's mathematics and art made real and given physical form. Anthropology and Travel excite me, because I love meeting new people, seeing new places, and experiencing new adventures. I like learning about other cultures and their customs, witnessing their beliefs, and trying their unique foods. Traveling has allowed me to meet some enchanting people, seen some spectacular sights, and tasted some sublime food.

I like learning about art and music from different places all over the world. I like listening to other people tell me their stories. I like exchanging ideas and discussing different thoughts and perspectives with other people. It helps to expand your point of view and you learn something new. Often, I've discovered some amazing and splendid things from other people who've shared their own experiences with me.

I like sharing knowledge, especially if it helps others. And I appreciate it when other people share their knowledge with me. Exchanging ideas and expertise makes us more productive, more efficient, and more likely to succeed and thrive.

Sharing knowledge helps us become smarter, stronger, and more resilient. We learn from our mistakes and are better prepared to survive emergencies and crises. Knowledge keeps us from repeating the mistakes and failures of the past. Knowledge can help ease our troubles and pain. Knowledge can keep us safe and protect us from danger and harm. Knowledge banishes away the fear of the unknown and allows us to reach for the stars.

"Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up."
--- Stephen Hawking (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018), scientist, philosopher, and Futurama voice actor.

Rest in Peace. You are greatly missed. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Knowledge nurtures us. When we share knowledge, we can help each other grow food to end hunger, find medicine to heal the sick, and create opportunities and help lift up those living in poverty. If we help each other, we all become better and stronger in the long run.

Knowledge can expose us to the marvels and majesties of the universe. Knowledge is important, because it can help us become better people. Knowledge can improve our lives and make our world a more amazing and more wonderful place to live.

3. KC and the Sunshine Band

I love KC and the Sunshine Band! Their festive songs make me happy and feel great. My eldest siblings had their records. And with my older cousins, they formed a cover band that included KC and the Sunshine Band songs on their set list.

All the neighborhood kids would gather at our farm to hear the band practice in the converted carriage house. It was a lot fun. And when other people would show up with food and drinks, it became an impromptu block party. My two closest brothers and I grew up dancing to KC and the Sunshine Band.

When we heard "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty", we shook it!

When they sang: Do a little dance, make a little love, "Get Down Tonight", we got down all right!

And though we didn't have any platforms, we still loved grooving and singing: I want to put on, my, my, my, my, my "Boogie Shoes"! Just Boogie with you!

And we loved dancing and singing: "I'm Your Boogie Man", that's what I am! And proceeded to show off our dance moves.

And we loved proclaiming: "That's the Way (I Like It)", Uh Ha, Uh Ha!

"Keep It Comin' Love", "Please Don't Go", and "Give It Up" were a big part of our childhood. Those songs made our older siblings and cousins' cover band very popular and much in demand for parties, weddings, and other festive events.

Disco may have died in other places, but it survived and thrived out in our remote coast. We loved to dance, and dance music is a mainstay on the local radio and music scene.

I still love dancing and I still love KC and the Sunshine Band. Their beats are awesome and the songs are catchy, fun, and fantastic. Their hits are on my playlist for parties and for long drives. And if I want some great music to listen to while I cook or clean or just dance around in the living room, I play some KC and the Sunshine Band.

4. Kitchen

The kitchen is one of my favorite places. Back on the farm, we had a large eat in kitchen. There was a separate formal dining room. But that was mostly for formal occasions when we had guests over for a meal. Guests were anyone other than family and close friends. Family and friends ate with us in the kitchen, where we had most of our meals.

And for our large Sunday lunch feasts, my whole extended family and friends would spill out into the veranda, eating our meals in the shade of the covered porch. A few would use the formal dining room, but the food and the majority of the action was in the kitchen, the liveliest room of the house.

I loved the farmhouse kitchen. It was very cozy and full of warmth. It was where my big family would gather to make meals, play card games, gossip, laugh, and tell tales, all while the a.m. radio played music. If there were any matters to be discussed or projects to plan, they were done at the kitchen table, usually over snacks. Some of my happiest childhood memories are with my two closest brothers, sitting at the kitchen table, next to Dad, eating our favorite foods made by our Mom.

We loved breakfast pancakes. And it was a whole lot of fun making pancakes with Mom and Dad. Some nights, as a special treat, we'd have pancakes and French toast for dinner, especially if it was just the three of us youngest boys with Mom and Dad. Our older siblings were usually out with friends or had plans to be elsewhere. Those pancake dinners were awesome. Pancake dinners were special occasions for us three youngest, one of the few times we had both parents to ourselves, without having to compete with our older siblings for attention.

Our parents would indulge us at those small dinners. My Dad would sit at the head of the table, our baby brother on his lap; and Dad would cut the pancakes into small pieces to feed our baby brother. Mom would have an assortment of pancake flavors with syrup and honey, and sometimes caramel and chocolate sauces, to spread on our pancakes. Some nights, we even had peanut butter with pancakes! Eggs, bacon, and sausage made for great side dishes to the fluffy, flavorful pancakes and French toast.

Lunch was always a treat, because that's when Mom made our favorite sandwich: The fried egg sandwich. When the three of us youngest were old enough, it became part of our job to collect eggs from the hen house. This was usually much easier when we fed the chickens. We would put out the feed, and while the chickens ate, we took their eggs. Some laid in the morning. Others, in the afternoon.

The fried egg sandwich is a heavenly treat. The kitchen smelled wonderful when the eggs were being fried. The simplest version was the best: Fried egg, lightly salted and peppered, with a dollop of ketchup, placed in between buttered bread that was pan toasted. It was delicious. Sometimes, we'd have it with shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and caramelized onions.

My older teen brothers showed us youngsters how to mix the ketchup with mayo, mustard, and pickle relish to make a special sauce. That special sauce elevated our toasted buttered fried egg sandwiches to a whole other level of scrumptiousness! But I still love the simple version the best.

As I grew older and became responsible for making some of the meals, I came to love the kitchen even more. It started out as a punishment, a lesson for complaining about the food. I was a picky eater and I was a selfish, spoiled brat. Mom corrected that ungrateful behavior by putting me to work in the kitchen. But I soon discovered how much I love cooking. And I started to try out new things and figure out what works and what didn't. It was the beginning of my culinary adventures.

I quite enjoyed experimenting with food; but sometimes, my family didn't enjoy some of my experiments as much--soy sauce pancakes and black pepper tilapia curry were huge failures. Just gawd awful! We had toast, scrambled eggs, and hash browns as a back up meal those nights. Thankfully, I had more kitchen successes with honey fried chicken and corned beef chop suy.

I love cooking and being in the kitchen. It feels good to make something delicious. It feels great to share it with the people I love. Cooking food and feeding people is an art form, a most divine, delectable expression of creativity and love. I like to see people smile and enjoy the food that I make. Cooking makes me think of home. Cooking makes me think of Mom and Dad making us food when we were little kids, and that makes me smile.

Every time I sauté onions, roast a chicken, or make soup, I smile and think of home; I picture my family all gathered in the kitchen, cooking, eating, laughing. The older kids helping with the meal, bossing us younger ones around; us younger ones being pests to the older ones, defiant and stubborn, ready to run and hide behind Mom or Dad if we pushed an older sibling too far.

I remember the radio playing good music in the background. We'd play board games and card games on the table. There would be gossiping, teasing, joking, and story telling as we snacked in the kitchen. It was always fantastic and exciting having other relatives and friends join us in the fun and exchange tales and play games. I remember elder relatives bringing us treats to share and small children playing.

I remember our cats wandering in and out, rubbing up against us; the dogs sitting by the back door, looking for a snack. Us younger kids would feed our pets while the older siblings made our meals. The kitchen was the room where you would most likely find all of us together, especially around meal time.

The kitchen was the heart of our home, it was the place where we gathered to share our meals and enjoy each other's company. A lot of love was generated and shared in the kitchen. And some of our happiest memories are from times spent in the kitchen with our family: cooking, baking, eating, cleaning, playing, laughing, and talking, singing, and dancing.

Whenever I need a boost or some comfort, I go to the kitchen and cook. Whenever I have time to do something fun at home, I bake, cook, or make a delicious dish in the kitchen. I don't always eat it all, but I do save a lot for later on in the week, when I don't have time to make a meal. It's why I make huge portions and divide them into meals for the next few days. That way, I'll have a delectable meal waiting at home or a packed lunch set for work.

Being in the kitchen is a pleasant experience for me. Making good food and sharing it with people feels great, feels right, and feels amazing. The kitchen is a sanctuary and a place of joy. It's my studio to create art and share some love. Sharing meals makes the world a little bit better.

The food I make is a reflection of who I am and where I come from. Pancakes, fried egg sandwiches, donuts, pies, and fried chicken remind me of home. They comfort me and make me feel good. They remind me that I was loved and that I am not alone, that I have people that I care for, and there are people who care about me. Making good food and sharing meals with good company makes life more enjoyable and absolutely wonderful.

5. Kindness

Kindness is the most beautiful and most powerful of all human behavior. Kindness can change lives and makes the world a better place. Small acts of kindness make life more wonderful.

When I was three, I woke up one day from a nap to discover my parents were gone. They had taken my baby brother to the hospital, because he had a fever. My year older brother went with them. I was asleep, so they left me behind. I cried. I felt abandoned. None of my other much older siblings were home.

But my Mom's eldest sister was there. My aunt. I was still a very shy child, not comfortable around strangers, and that included my aunt. Though I recognized her from her frequent visits to our farm and our few visits to her place, she was still a stranger to me. I would've cried harder and hid behind my parents if they were there. But they weren't there.

So when my aunt took me in her arms and lifted me, I didn't resist. I buried my head in her shoulder as she tried to comfort me, patting my back gently, whispering, "There, there. Your Mommy and Daddy will be back soon from the hospital. It's okay."

A few minutes later, we were in the kitchen. I stopped sobbing when I smelled something sweet and rich and tasty. I raised my head when my aunt offered me a piece of pie. I liked pie. We sat at the table and she cut up a half moon shaped pie into bite sized pieces for me. It smelled so amazing! And when I took a tentative bite, it was the most scrumptious, sweetest, and most heavenly treat that I had ever tasted in my young life! I was hooked! And that was the day that pineapple became my favorite flavor of pie!

More importantly, that was the day I began to love hanging out with my aunt. For the rest of her time on Earth with us, she fed us amazing, delicious, decadent treats. She made us feel loved and safe and happy. My two brothers and I loved spending time with her and eagerly sought out her company. We excitedly awaited her visits and coming over for our family Sunday feast. She always brought a scrumptious dessert, usually a cake, pies, or a cobbler. And cookies, made especially for us kids! With extras for the adults (the bigger kids!).

And when we were old enough, my brothers and I loved running over to our Aunt and Uncle's home and spend some time with them in their garden, pulling weeds or collecting fruits and veggies, and making delicious, tasty treats to share and eat. From my Aunt and Uncle, we three learned that sharing food is an act of kindness. Our friends loved tagging along with us to go visit and help our Aunt and Uncle with some chores. And we loved getting rewarded with yummy, delectable sweets!

Even better, as we ate our tasty snacks, our Aunt and Uncle regaled us with tales of their adventures and life in different parts of the world. Their stories were so much better than anything else on tv. Our imaginations ran wild. We oohed and ahhed over their souvenirs and treasures, and we especially loved fotos of those faraway places. We loved that they took the time to feed us and entertain us. And I think they loved having us visit and help around the house for a little while.

I grew up watching my parents and aunts and uncles share food with others. When we had a BBQ, we shared with our neighbors. When we made treats for large family parties and gatherings, we made extra to share with guests to take home. When we were blessed with a good harvest, we shared the bounty with neighbors and those who had less.

And I learned to make new friends by sharing my lunch and treats with others, especially new kids. It made them feel welcomed. I made a lot of good friends that way. And I'm still friends with a lot of them. And we still enjoy sharing a good meal or snacks. From my family, I associated kindness with feeding others, especially those who had less. Feasts were meant to be shared with good company, good people, loved ones, and friends.

If you come over to my place, I'm going to feed you, because I want you to feel welcomed and have a good time. And if you invite me to a party or for a meal, I'm bringing a dish to share, even if you ask me not to bring anything. I'm going to bring some food, because I was taught that it is the courteous, polite, and proper thing to do. Also, I like sharing good food with others.

Being kind meant taking good care of animals, our livestock and our pets. We were very attentive to the animals we raised on the farm for food and to sell. We took great care tending to them. We fed them, cleaned them, and provided them with a safe home. Good quality livestock comes from well tended animals. And when the time came, we slaughtered our livestock as quickly and humanely as possible.

Our pets were treated with love and care. Any stray that came to our farm was fed. Many stayed and became pets. That's how we got some of our dogs and cats--mutts and abandoned animals who found their way to our home.

A few of our pets were saved as puppies or kittens that some horrible people had cruelly tied in a sack and tossed into the trash can. Others were starving strays left for dead on the side of the road. Some of our pets were blind or missing limbs or even born with deformities. But we loved them all, and they loved us in return. We took very good care of them, and most lived long, happy, comfortable lives on the farm. They had wide open spaces to roam, a good home, and a family (including other pets) who loved them.

Being kind also meant helping out the wild critters we shared our spaces with. After a severe hurricane one year, a large colony of bats left the scoured mountains and fallen forests to seek shelter and nest in our fruit trees. There were so many of them huddled upside down on our rows of fruit trees. Other people wanted to hunt them. The bats were easy pickings, crowding upside down on the low fruit branches. You only needed a step ladder to reach some of them.

But my parents refused to let anyone come hunt the bats on our land, no matter how much people begged or how much money they offered. Bats are considered a rare, delicious delicacy in the remote frontier. Our dogs and cats were very busy that first week, raising the alarm and keeping trespassers and hooligans away from sneaking onto the farm to disturb the bats.

Those bats were protected on our farm. And they reduced the number of pests that ate our crops; and the bats helped pollinate and fertilize our crops and plants. The bats eventually returned to the woods and mountains after two months when the forests had regenerated.

But while they were with us, the bats made an awesome, impressive sight for our young friends and neighbors who came over to marvel at the bats sleeping in the day. We even had scientists dispatched from the regional office come study the bats as they roosted in our trees. I was quite sad to see the bats go. They looked like little foxes hanging upside down!

But I was also happy they were headed home where they belonged, up in the mountains and hidden in the deep, wild forests, far away from hunters and reckless idiots who would harm them.

I watched my parents and aunts and uncles give aid to those who needed it: Sheltered those who were displaced. Lent a hand to those who fell on hard times. And stood up for those who were oppressed and suffered unjustly.

I saw how those acts of kindness helped people when they needed it the most. And when my parents passed on in due time, many of those people came to pay their respects at the funerals. They spoke of the kindness my parents had shown them, and how that kindness made their lives better.

The stories told by those people who were helped by my parents made me cry. It made me miss my parents so much more. The loss of our Dad, and then later, our Mom, was hard to bear. I missed them so much. But hearing stories of their kindness made me so proud to be their son. It inspired me to be a better person, to try harder, to do the right thing.

I wasn't always a good son. And I was a difficult child at times. And it was too late to change the past. But remembering my parents and the positive effect they had on people made me realize that I can be a better man, a stronger man, a reliable and decent human being.

I was taught that kindness meant being courteous and thoughtful. That meant giving up my seat to the elderly and infirm; helping seniors and struggling neighbors with their tasks; opening doors and pulling out chairs for women. And being polite means saying "Please" and "Thank You" and addressing people as "Ma'am" or "Sir" appropriately.

Courtesy means respecting boundaries and offering people aid when they are in distress. It means doing the right thing, because it's the right thing to do. Whether they are elderly or small children, I like to be courteous and nice to people. And I try to respect others and treat them the way I want to be treated. I like watching children smile when I give them a tasty treat to eat or a small toy to enjoy. I love hearing them laugh when I take a few minutes to play with them and pay them some attention.

It's easy to be rude and selfish and be mean to people. It takes a lot more strength and character to be kind and thoughtful and stand up to bullies and fight for justice and fairness. Kind people are courageous, wise, and beautiful. A kind soul is reflected in kind actions. And kind people are worth their weight in gold. Kind people attract and keep the best people as friends and loyal companions. Everybody wants someone they can count on.

I confess, though, that times have changed. And people look at me weirdly if I open doors for them or offer them my seat. Some feel uncomfortable when I address them as "Sir" or "Ma'am". Some just look at me dumbfounded when I say"Please" and "Thank You."

But I still do it anyway. I smile at people that I just met and say hello. And most times, they smile back. If I'm walking somewhere, I tip my hat if someone meets my eye, a small nod of acknowledgement, a polite gesture of greeting.

I was raised to be courteous and polite with company; to listen to what people are saying; to not interrupt nor be rude to people; to be a stand up kind of guy, loyal and thoughtful and reliable; to be a good person and a trustworthy friend; to do the right thing.

And there are still a few people who genuinely appreciate the kindness and courtesy. Their smiles make it worth the small acts of common courtesy. The rarity and critical endangerment of common courtesy makes courtesy all the more valuable and precious. Courtesy is a distinct characteristic of sophistication. And I reciprocate when someone does something nice for me or shows me kindness. I really do believe in treating others the way you want to be treated. If you want first class treatment, you need to show some class first.

It feels good when we do something kind for others; and it feels great when someone does something nice for us. Small acts of kindness spread good will. They make our day a little bit brighter. And they make our world a little more wonderful. We make the world we want to live in. So let's make our world a special, amazing, caring, and beautiful space, a wondrous and kind, lovely place.

And that's my list of top five favorite things that begin with the letter K. And K is Kalon, beauty that is more than skin deep. What are your favorite things that been with the letter K? I would like to Know.

Related Links

A list
B all that you can B
What you C is what you get, the beginning
What you C is what you get, the middle
What you C is what you get, the end
D lighted
F is for Fun
G is Great
H is Heavenly
I is Iconic
J is Jubilant
K is Kicking
Brought to you by the letter S
U doing that thing U do
Zing Zing Zoom

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Cars, Cheese, and Jelly

This post was inspired by the creative Inexplicable Device, who asked:

✧ How long have you had your current car, or other mode of transportation?

I have had my silver Honda CR-V for 14 years, too! I fell in love with this car the first time I saw it. It was the first new car I bought for myself, after my second car was damaged in a flood. And I drove two and half hours to the big city to save 7 thousand dollars and get $400 dollars more for my old car I was trading in.

The car was a gift to myself, too, for all my hard work to reach a better place--financially, mentally, physically, socially, and personally. I had exceeded my goals. I still love my car.

✧ How often do you wash it? And do you wash it yourself, or get those insouciant young Bulgarian youths down at the local car wash to do it?

Because of the damned birds, I wash my car at least once to twice a week. I park under a tree. Plus side: Nice shade from the hot, hellish sun. Minus side: Birds seek shade, too, in the tree, and they poop down on my car! So, I break out the bucket and sponge to clean up the mess. And I'm actively feeding stray cats, so they will hang around my porch and scare off or eat those filthy birds!

If I'm coming back from the beach, I stop at a self service carwash and hose the car down and vacuum up all the much sand!

✧ Does your car (or whatever) have any little peculiarities or foibles that you love or loathe? If so, what?

My car comes with a foldup table that covers the trunk space floor. Under the floor is a space that doubles as storage or a cooler, great for filling with ice packs and drinks (including alcoholic ones!). That table is a fantastic card or game table, or a small table for dining/snack use. The table is surprisingly popular, especially at cookouts, bonfires, and picnics. My friends often beg me to bring my car for beach BBQs and cookouts because of the neat, useful table and extra space to store cool drinks in my trunk floor!

✧ If money (and taste) was no object, what car etc. would you buy?

I'm practical. It'll be a Subaru Forester, also silver. It's the closest modern auto similar to my car, size wise and build. Also, they're great for outdoor adventures.

Fantasy wise: I'd love any of the cool, spy gadget cars from the 007 James Bond movies. Some days, I fantasize about blasting idiots who cut me off without using a turn signal or make an illegal turn in front of me unexpectedly and stupidly, nearly crashing into me.

✧ What's your favourite sing-a-long song/s while driving?

Mostly dance/pop/hip hop music, top 40 hits, songs that make me want to dance or pump me up. Lately, I've been listening to a retro radio station that plays a lot of 90s and classic pop/dance/rock/hip hop songs. And I am shocked that the music I enjoy is now considered "Retro"!

✧ Have you been excited to discover that your car (same make & model) has featured in a film or TV show? If so, which one/s?

Not my car. But I do remember smiling when I saw an old VW van in a Woodstock film. My uncle had one, and it was the van that took us on fun beach trips when we were kids. And we always stopped for ice cream on the way back.

I'd love to get my hands on one of those classic WV vans. They exude beach/surf vibes to me. I love the cool colors and fantastic, stylish body. They radiate fun and charm! And they still make me smile and feel happy.

✧ What's the weirdest thing you've done with/in your car?

Made chili cheese dogs for dinner, fresh from the packages and cans. Hot dog buns, hot dogs, chili from a tin, and scrumptious processed cheese from a spray can. Some people may frown at the spray can cheese, but I think it's a genius and delicious invention!

It was raining, so no camp fire, and I didn't feel like starting a fire in the car. I was hungry, not stupid. So cold but delicious chili cheese dogs it was for dinner in a lovely, marvelous natural park. I had majestic mountains and magnificent river views, even in the early evening rain.

I pigged out and ate 8 chili cheese dogs. I earned it! I had just hiked 9 hours up and down a steep mountain range! Made it back just as the rain started in the early, darkening evening.

I listened to the portable emergency radio as I ate. I found a fantastic pop/rock/hip hop/dance top 40 station. The party songs made me want to get up and dance. After I ate, I washed the plate and disposed of the trash.

I came back to the car and found more great songs playing on the radio. I locked the car and got into my tent. I was feeling dirty from the day's activities, so I took off my socks and boots, put on my slippers, and cranked up the radio volume so I could hear the music as I danced in the rain.

I was in the remote section of the campground, five big empty lots, usually reserved for large RVs. But I chose it because of the views, the large trees providing shade, and the tall bushes providing screen cover, and the distance from the bigger sites afforded more privacy. I was the only one there. Had been solo for three days, so it was like I was in the frontier wilderness all by myself. Only tame deer, bunnies, foxes, small birds, and overly friendly/curious squirrels and chipmunks visited me daily. It was awesome!

Plus, there was this marvelous slab of rock, about a foot high, 6 feet wide by 8 feet long, bigger than a queen size mattress, that was worn smooth by weather and time, right by my tent. I originally planned on setting up my tent on that rock. But that rock was exposed to the sun, and so it got really hot in the day and retained that heat. It was too hot in the summer to set the tent on.

But that rock did make a nice warm lounge in the cool evening though. I liked sitting and eating dinner on that rock more than the picnic table. As a bonus, it was the perfect spot to spread a blanket on and watch the innumerable, sparkling stars and glowing heavenly bodies, glittering and shimmering like diamonds and sapphires on a black velvet sky, with a radiant pearl moon adding mystery and beauty to make for enchanting, gorgeous nights.

But there were no stars out tonight. Only heavy gray clouds spilling down cool rain that felt refreshing and invigorating on my body. I slipped off my slippers and hopped on that rock. It had enough grip that I wasn't going to slip and fall. I raised my face and hands in supplication and gratitude to the heavens. Then as the music blasted from my tent, I embraced the pouring rain and danced.

A favorite dance song was playing on the radio. I felt free and the song was energizing and exhilarating. I just had to dance and jump and spin on that rock. And when my long sleeved shirt was thoroughly soaked and heavy, I took it off and threw it on the picnic table. And when my T shirt got wet and heavy, I took that off, too, and tossed it on the table. After a few minutes, my drenched khakis became too heavy to gyrate in, so I shimmed them off and threw them on the table.

Now I had stripped down to my black boxer briefs, and let the cool waters wash off the sweat and grime from my body. I raised my hands in the air and spun and swayed and let loose on that rock. I danced like I was Marine Jahan, Jennifer Beals' dance double in Flashdance (1983), and the rain was just a big bucket of water the heavens were pouring down on me.

I had a blast shaking and rolling and grooving to the song. I was feeling ecstatic as I gyrated and swayed on that rock as the song reached its climax. It was a liberating and thrilling experience. Just as I was about to take off my wet underpants, lightning flashed overhead, seconds later, thunder boomed and roared down the mountains. That was my cue to hop off the rock and head into the tent. I changed into dry shorts and slept well that night, even with the thunder and lightning occasionally blasting in the dark. The sound of the steady rain lulled me to sleep.

When I woke up the next morning, I straightened out my wet clothes on the picnic table, then weighed them down with heavy stones, so the wind wouldn't blow them away as they dried under the sun.

The rains would've created new waterfalls in the canyons, and I wanted to see them and any new bursts of desert flowers that bloom vibrant colors after the rains. And it would be so much better than I had hoped, much more incredible and resplendent than I had imagined.

But before I started to pack for the canyon hike, I took some time to admire the view from my camp site. In clean, dry blue shorts, I stood on the rock and soaked in the morning light. The skies were clear enough to see the beautiful sun rising over the far hills across the valley. It was a breathtaking sight. The singing birds and visiting deer made my morning feel divine. And a cool morning breeze carried the sweet scent of flowers and pines. It was a magical, serene experience as I stood on that rock and marveled at the natural wonders.

But the spell was broken when I heard a voice call out, "Good morning, neighbor!"

I turned on the rock to the sound of the voice, and I was surprised to see four women standing behind the bushes in the next lot over. I suddenly noticed a large dark RV behind them, camouflaged and hidden in the shadows of the large trees.

I returned the greeting, "Good morning. It's a lovely view isn't it?"

"It sure is," one of them drawled.

Then I noticed they were eyeing me up and down. I must've looked out of place in shorts, standing on a rock in the middle of a valley forest instead of a sandy beach. I chuckled as I could only imagine their reaction had they seen me the night before. I assumed they had arrived late last night, sometime during the storm.

I politely said, "That was quite a storm last night. What a spectacular show."

One of them smiled and replied, "It sure was a spectacular show. Too bad the lightning ended the show just before we got to see the best part."

They sighed and giggled. And a horrible realization dawned on me.

Oh.My.Gawd. These women didn't arrive during the storm. They were here when the rain started! I just didn't notice their RV hidden under the darkness when I got back to camp. That meant they saw me dancing the night before!

I stayed cool, nodded politely at the women, hopped off the rock, and returned to my tent for the rest of my clothes. Inside the tent, I was mortified to realize that I had witnesses to my performance on the rock during the rain.

Oh, the horror! The embarrassment! The shame! To think that I've been caught out in public...dancing to Bootylicious by Destiny's Child!

Destiny's Child: Bootylicious

I blame the scrumptious processed cheese from a spray can.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Small Change

This morning, I went out to pick up some items from one of my favorite shopping spots: The Dollar Tree, where everything's a dollar (except for greeting cards, which are 50¢ a piece). I like shopping at the Dollar Tree, because cleaning products are inexpensive, and I can find party supplies and fun items for only a buck.

Some of the best fun party items can be found at the Dollar Tree: Glow sticks and glow bands/necklaces, bubbles, flower leis and Tiki torches for luaus, and plenty of festive decorations and colorful, thematic disposable plates and cups that makes serving and clean up a breeze at cookouts and parties. Just throw away the party plates and cups--no need to wash dishes! Just take out the trash.

Sales tax on nonfood items comes to 8.25%. Food items (including bags of candies, large bag of potato chips, packets of popcorn, and packages of cookies) are nontaxed, so they each cost a dollar. That's another reason why I like the Dollar Tree. The snacks are good and cheap. Lots of big brands sell their wares at the Dollar Tree.

I needed some storage containers and cleaning products, so I went to the Dollar Tree. The first one didn't have the large size containers that I was looking for. At least not anymore. That's one of the down sides of shopping at the Dollar Tree. There's really no set merchandise. Sometimes, they sell overstock items. And once they sell out of that item, there's no restocking or more items coming in. So if you find something that you like, then buy a lot of it, because they're going to run out. And that's exactly what happened.

Three days ago, I bought two large storage containers--airtight, food grade plastic, freezable, solid. I thought about buying more, but I didn't. And now when I needed three more containers, the store has sold out.

Thankfully, there was another store just three more miles down the road. It was busy with morning shoppers, and there was only one cashier. He was doing an excellent job amidst the hustle and bustle.

I found the three containers I needed and picked up three more extra items. Then I stood in the line and waited my turn as the cashier rang up purchases and assisted customers who came up to ask him questions. I don't know where the other workers were, but the cashier kept cool, was courteous, and even took the time to go in the back room to get an item a customer couldn't find on the shelves.

I've shopped enough at the Dollar Tree to know that if I buy three non food items, I pay $3.25 with tax. I had picked up six items, so I knew that I would pay $6.50.

Except when it was my turn, I was charged $5.41. That's a whole $1.09 difference. I had $7 in hand--a $5 bill and two $1, anticipating that I was going to pay $6.50. So being undercharged threw me off for a second.

Then I realized that the cashier had miscounted the containers. I had taken off their lids and stacked them to save space in the cart. But they were stacked tight, so it looked like two containers instead of three.

The cashier was waiting for me to hand over the money. No doubt he had other tasks that needed to be done as soon as he was done ringing up my purchases. I was the last person in line. And I suppose I could've just handed over $6 and be done with it.

But that's not how I roll. So I told the cashier that I had picked up three containers. He looked stumped for a second. Then he did a quick, more detailed examination of the stacked containers and said, "You're right. There are three containers."

He sounded surprised. He scanned one more container and charged me $6.50. He carefully packed my items and gave me ¢50 change from the $7 that I handed over. Then he thanked me and wished me a good day. I returned the well wishes and left the store to drive back home.

Before I exited the store, an elderly couple I hadn't noticed before spoke to me. They were standing by the front display, having observed what happened. The old lady said, "That was very honest of you."

I was surprised by her comment and answered, "I just paid what I owed."

"That you did," said the elderly man. Then they just nodded and smiled as I left.

I suppose I could've just kept quiet and underpaid for the items. It was only a dollar and nine cents difference in my favor. And I suppose the store could afford to lose the small change in the big picture.

But that's not me. And maybe I'm just being silly or self-indulgent. But over they years, I've learned to go with my instincts and follow my own code. I'm much happier when I do, and things are better for me when I listen to my gut. Yes, I know. It's just a buck and some change. But my character and self respect sure costs a whole lot more than $1.09. It may be small change, but it makes a big difference.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

7 Days--Snapshots of life in a week

Last week


I had the day off, so that morning, I was at the beach. Got a text from work asking if I could come in. Totally ignored it. Instead, I applied sunscreen, then I went into the water. The waves were gentle and the sea felt great.

The crowds from the holiday weekend were gone. The beaches were empty, except for a few birds, great and small, keeping me company on the remote shore. I deliberately chose this spot, because it was far from human habitation and populations. Nothing but miles of endless sand dunes and sea.

Small sandpipers ran up and down the shore, chasing retreating waves and fleeing from incoming ones as they scoured the disturbed sands for small creatures to eat. Pelicans flew in V formation overhead, a few diving in the water to scoop up fish. And those flying rats, seagulls, hovered nearby, ready to dive and ambush me for any snacks or food I may carelessly bring out to eat.

But I'm used to dealing with seagulls, so no food, no beach picnic on a blanket, no chance to give those flying, thieving rats an opportunity to steal from me. Soon enough, the sounds of their calling and the hypnotic waves lulled me to sleep under a beach umbrella, after I'd worn myself out enjoying the waves and water. I slept from noon til sunset! And it's the best sleep I've had in a month!

When I woke up, I checked my phone. Three more texts from work, begging me to come in, with promises of future days off. Don't care, and it's too late now. I have no regrets. Sun's setting, and it's beautiful as it dips low behind the dunes.


It's the last day of work for a friend, a peer, a colleague I respect and have had a great productive relationship with. She's transferring to another city, having taken a promotion she thoroughly deserved. I baked her a giant cupcake the night before. And I frosted the lemon cake with red, yellow, and blue flowers. For everyone else, two dozen cupcakes, each with a flower decoration. She was moved by the gesture, and the cupcakes were a big hit.

Her upward move and relocation was a great surprise to others, especially junior management, shocked that someone that ranked a step below them was now above them. But she's worked hard for this, and this year was incredibly demanding as she balanced going back to college to earn her business degree and work full-time at the same time. I could only encourage her when she felt overwhelmed, worried that she was older than her classmates or behind in her career.

But I reminded her that what she was doing was amazing. It's very challenging going back to school, especially when you're older and have a full-time job, necessary to pay the bills and tuition. But she's all ready proven she's a hard worker, and she's got drive, and she's smart. She's got experience and leadership skills and wisdom that will make her succeed and excel. And it showed this last semester.

She graduated with honors. Armed with her new degree, she applied for a position in administration, and she got it! I am very happy for her. I am happy for anyone who works hard to achieve their dreams. I'll miss her, and her department is definitely losing a great resource. But onwards and upwards to bigger and better things. Life is short, so I'm always happy when someone seeks my advice and listens when I tell them to seize the moment and follow their heart.


A peer is celebrating her birthday, by working on a project with us. She had just returned from a long trip, spending a few days on the road. I was surprised to learn the day before that she was coming in to work on her birthday. But it was part of her plan to work Sunday, so she'd start her vacation on Monday. It was a well deserved break after a hectic quarter.

I've never seen anyone hustle as much as she does, working odd hours and overtime to get things done in her department. At the same time, she's starting a small side business as a consultant. I'm happy to encourage her to follow her dreams. She's a fantastic collaborator and she toes a fine line, staying professional in a department plagued with gossips and backstabbers and fake people. Whatever the drama, she manages to stay above the fray.

Since it was her birthday, I made a giant cupcake for her. I knew she was embracing a healthy lifestyle, having lost forty pounds over the last year. Her colleagues give her grief from time to time for her insistence on staying healthy. But I think that just stems from jealousy, and I admire how she stays calm and stays the course. And she recently ran her first 10km and finished better than she planned!

Since she ate healthy foods, I decided to make an angel food giant cupcake. Angel food cake is the healthiest cake, and it's delicious! As I wasn't using any frosting, I decided to split and dye the batter. I ended up making a rainbow layered giant cupcake and two dozen regular cupcakes, all just colorful and festive. The smaller cupcakes I made with an orange cake batter, also dyed but frosted a plain white flower to contrast beautifully with the rainbow layers.

She was surprised at the gesture, and loved her giant cupcake. As it was her birthday, she treated herself to a frosted rainbow cupcake and loved the taste of the orange cake. She had two more and took some home to her fiance. That made me smile. She thanked me profusely for the nice surprise.

Meanwhile, I had invited the few other people in the building to come by my department for a cupcake. Everyone who had one loved the taste and were thrilled at the colored layers. Everyone loves free food, especially delicious treats!

And a surprise, unexpected bonus: The lesbians from the procurement dept declared, "Wow! You made awesome rainbow cupcakes for Pride Month!"

I had been so busy working the holiday that I forgot that it was pride month. And once the lesbians made their declaration, word spread faster than the speed of light, and the other gays came running for their own cupcakes and raved over the treats. I was deemed a fabulous baker. I was surprised when they took fotos of the cupcakes and posted them on their social media accounts, spreading them out in the world. Honestly, I was just happy to see people enjoy the treats, especially since we were working on a Sunday.

My reputation as a pro LGBT supporter was solid. The rainbow cupcakes just elevated it. I all ready had a reputation for being fair and a civil rights advocate. Now, I can add "fabulous baker" to that list.


A long day. We were short three workers. They all called in sick, so the rest of us had to work harder to cover for them. One coworker in department tripped and fell, spraining her ankle during the weekend. Her ankle is bruised and swollen. She had to stay home to recover.

Official story: She was distracted and didn't see the landscape rocks in her way and tripped and fell over one, injuring her ankle.

The rest of the story: She was distracted because she was drunk, and unsteadily made her way across the Japanese inspired garden, making her own shortcut instead of sticking to the sidewalk. She was laughing, making crude comments and gestures to the group she was with when she tripped over those rocks. Her last words before the tumble, "Bitch, don't tell me where to walk! I'll go wherever I want to go...", and then she hit the rocks and went, "Oh!," and fell over like a chopped tree. It was hilarious.

I know because I was there Friday night, and it was one heck of a party we were just leaving at 3 a.m.


Another long day at work. I got home late after doing some grocery shopping. It was almost midnight when I took out the trash.

On the way to the dumpster, I spotted something darting from a second floor apartment. A mewling sound confirmed that it was a small cat, a juvenile, just barely older than a kitten. And it was crying for attention.

I could see it follow me part of the way to the dumpster, but it also seemed shy, unsure, and hid behind some bushes. Still, it called after me after I ditched the trash and made my way home. It took a few steps towards me, still keeping its distance, ready to bolt to safety, yet still mewling for attention at me.

I could never resist the cries of a small critter or babies, so naturally, I started calling softly back to the kitten, making encouraging gestures for it to follow me just two buildings over and across the parking lot to my place.

I wasn't sure if this was someone's pet or a new stray. Most of the strays who hang out on my porch had all ready been fed an hour earlier when I got home. And as usual, they had vanished into night, off doing whatever important, secret business cats engage in under the cover of night.

I couldn't really see this new small cat, as it kept in the shadows, ducking under parked cars as it followed me tentatively. I left my door open, continually calling out and encouraging the small cat to follow me.

I suddenly realized that I couldn't feed the small cat any of the chicken I had made. The chicken that I fed the strays were just seasoned with salt. Now, the rest of the chicken was seasoned with onions, pepper, and bell peppers, not exactly cat friendly food.

So I did the next best thing. I popped open a can of tuna and put it in the feed bowl and with clean water, I left the feeding bowls out on the front porch.

The small cat inched closer, but kept at least a yard away, conflicted about wanting to eat and still a bit wary of me. So I stepped back inside and closed the door. I peeked out the front porch window and was satisfied to see the small cat eating and drinking.

It ate everything in fifteen minutes, enough time for me to see that it was just a few months older than a kitten. I couldn't see a collar, but the fact that it was hanging at a second floor apt and it called out to me as I passed by made me think it was someone's pet. Or at least was raised by people.

When the small, mackerel tabby cat was done eating all the tuna and had some water, it left back in the direction it came from. I can only assume it was going back home. At the very least, I hope it was going somewhere safe. I went out to pick up the feed bowls, and I was tempted to follow the cat. But I couldn't see it, and I wasn't sure if following it was a good idea. I didn't want to confuse it, and honestly, as much as I love cats, I am not equipped nor do I have the time to take care of a pet responsibly.

I had fed that small cat, and it wasn't crying anymore. That was enough. I hope that small cat stays safe, and knows that if it ever gets hungry or needs a safe place to hang out, my front porch is a place that will always welcome cats.


I was supposed to be off today and tomorrow, to make up for working the weekend. But on Monday, my manager pleaded for me to come in Wednesday, because we were short staffed from people leaving, sick, or on vacation.

So it was another long day, made even longer by the unexpected meeting with the big boss. Loves my outstanding work, impressed with my customers feedback and satisfaction, a few tips on areas of improvement, and a big hint for me to apply to some management positions that have opened up. Not happening. Sorry. I just nod, smile, laugh, and start planning my exit in my head. I'm going to start looking for a new job, just in case they try to corral me into a management position. Sorry, but I didn't take this job to get into management. If I wanted to do admin and managerial work, I'd've taken the management track!

When I left work, I spent an hour wandering the grocery store. I need a few items to get me through the next few days, and a treat for myself for finishing a long week.


It's my day off. I planned to sleep in. Didn't happen. And instead of going to the beach, I'm spending the day experimenting with a cheesecake recipe, adapting it to what I like. I'm not a fan of cheesecake. Its ok, but it is not my fave pie by any means. Maybe I'll find a way today to make it more enjoyable. We'll see how it turns out. It's my day off, and I want to enjoy it doing something fun.

I hope your week is going well, and I hope you're doing fine. Hang in there, it's almost the weekend. Cheers and Take Care!