Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Through out my life I have had numerous people tell me that they love to watch me eat.  Thank you, I guess.

Monday, September 29, 2008

This weekend in San Francisco

This is the first weekend I've spent in San Francisco in about four or five weeks.  

Friday night was spent watching the debates with my brother and Cat.  We were both kind of disgusted with the moderation and how the candidates were just left to bicker.  It was also disappointing that certain candidates weren't called out on truths stretched or for trying to redirect the 'conversation.  
Anyway, after that we went to my place for more beers and records.  Brett came over soon after too.  Cat and John bowed out so Brett and I did the usual walk towards the bar and find a cab on the way, which inevitably turned into us walking almost all the way to the bar.  We drank overly priced beers at Deco or Deca or whatever.  I played crappy pool and sliced my finger.  Took a cab home, dropped Brett off and I walked from there to Alamo Square and sat for a while looking out over the city.  Walked home ate a cookie and fell asleep.  

Saturday, breakfast with Brett, Ria and Scott.  Crab cakes florentine.  John and Cat arrived late, ate a bagel with cheese and salsa.  My breakfast was better.  We had decided to spend the day at Baker Beach.  Picked up Jesse Easley on the way and Cat and John opted out.  On the way we drove in a spirally kind of direction but eventually ended up with beer, lime and water.  This left lots of time for trash talking, mostly to me about my 'big ship' story (see below post).  While there we saw the Maltese Falcon sail into the bay.  We drank lots of beer, played frisbee on the beach/in the surf, saw lots of penises of old men (they did, I wear glasses and couldn't see that far down the beach).  We drove in spirally directions on the way home as well.  Jesse and I broke off to eat burritos in the hood and then to his place for beers and a movie, The Fall.  It was pretty.  Home for beers with roomie, chat, chat, chat.  I like my roomie.  Went to meet up with my brother and Cat at Amber.  John had gone home.  Cat and I hung out and for the first time it I felt normal around her.  It was fun.  We talked trash and had beers.  I walked home to go to bed but not before stopping into The Page for a solo beer.  That place always disappoints on the weekends.  Get out of my neighborhood bar you sloppy slutty frat boy assholes!!  Sleep.
Sunday I took off to Moss Beach for a bbq with Steve and Brenda.  Hung out and grilled lots of lamb and chicken sausage, chicken wings, and two pizza's, yes, we grilled pizza.  Played in the tide pools.  Stuck my finger in some weird sea creature, pet large starfish, caught a crab, and saw a stone fish.  
I finally did the laundry last night that I had promised myself I'd do by the end of the week.....three weeks ago.  It got to the point that I was pulling things out from half way down, spraying it with febreeze and tossing it on my back.  Gross. 

The Maltese Falcon

This weekend the Maltese Falcon sailed under the gate and into the bay. I was supposed to be out at sea with my friend Bill sailing in in her wake. But I was too hung over to get up at a decent hour. Instead I opted to eat crab cakes and eggs florentine and head to the Baker Beach with Jesse, Scott, Ria and Brett. On the way I was telling them about this giant sailboat that was going to be sailing in. At 289 feet long, 42 feet wide and 20 stories tall it was the largest privately owned wind powered yacht in the world. It would have to sail in at low tide because it was so massive. They brushed me off saying I didn't know what I was talking about. That the Maltese Falcon was a bird statue or something and that they were sure I was crazy or had been misinformed.
We had been at the beach maybe an hour or so when out of the fog crept a mass of wood and sails. Three giant 20 story masts supported three giant sails. Its size made the other boats look positively insignificant. The amount of boats in the water that day made it look like some sort of tribe had gone out to greet their god. We watched as it sailed in slowly through the gate. It was truly the coolest boat I've ever seen.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Focus Group at Amazon Advertising

Do you consider yourself an outdoor enthusiast?
Are you an adventure seeker?
Are you 21-35 years old?

If so, Amazon Advertising needs your help! We’re currently conducting research for an upcoming client pitch. Those interested would participate in a small focus group, from 6:30-8:00 PM on one of the following dates: September 30th, October 1st or October 2nd. Of course, participants will receive a small gift for their help. But there is one catch; no granola haters allowed!

If you meet the above requirements and are interested in participating in this focus group, please email me (or comment) for details.

Because work is slow today

This morning I took the bus, I believe it was the number 7 Haight/Ferry Plaza bus.  Two buses had already passed, filled beyond capacity, at least in the front of the bus.  Those in the back had enough room to comfortably read their papers.  The bus I hopped on was an accordion bus and there were plenty of seats.  Only three cute girls and a mix of financial/thug/ogre types.  I stood the whole way.  I figure if I'm going to be forced to sit for 8 hours a day I'll stand when I can.  The bus ride was fine, though it made my right hand feel clammy and dirty.  These days I always ride with one hand in my pocket to make sure that I, at least, have one hand remain clean.  

Walking up Sansome I had KK Cafe's Croissantwich on my mind.  

Today at work I read lots of political posts and articles in between getting Woodbridge ads ready.  I have been training twice this week.  Tuesday and Wednesday.  About two hours each night.  This has left me feeling both exhausted and re energized.  I really, really enjoy hitting the bag.  Last night I really wanted to spar with some folks, work around in the ring, but no one was willing.  All this training has left my belly feeling like a bottomless pit.  No matter what I put in I am still craving.  I crave mostly meat.  Octopus and pork and lamb.  My craving was so intense on Tuesday night that while I was cooking a pork roast I splurged on a can of fried spam.  Yes.  Spam.  It was actually just what I was looking for.  Salty.  Porky.  Rectangular.  I mixed up a quick sauce of Sriracha, Mayonnaise, and some other smokey bbq sauce I picked up while visiting New Orleans.  Quite good.

This morning though I was out of luck.  There was no spam, lamb or croissantwich in sight.  Today, for breakfast, I ate a bowl of Bear Naked Fruit & Nut granola with some vanilla soy milk.  For a snack I had a heaping handful of cashews.  I love cashews.  For lunch I'd like to have a schawarma, lamb of coarse.  I doubt I'll find that.  I am thinking of trying out this new, hole in the wall, dirty looking gyro shop.  Who knows.  I'm hungry.  


Tonight the gang is going to take a bit of a hiatus from the usual Bean Bag-cheap beer-athon that we've been so good at keeping up with. Tonight we will spend the evening in Dolores Park

to watch this wonderful girl Cat

kick some kickball ass.
See you tonight boys.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jongsanan - vs - Bunkerd

This is one of the sweetest videos I have ever seen of Muay Thai.  This is my old trainer Bunkerd, the shorter one, and my current trainer Jongsanan.  I love how childish and playful it is.  Just thought I'd share.



This is one of my current trainers at Fairtex.  This is Jongsanan -vs- Superlek.  This fight took place in the early 90's.  You can read more about Jongsanan here http://www.mymuaythai.com/archives/noom-chaiyasen-aka-jongsanan/
In this fight he is the one in the  reddish shorts.

Here is another one of his fights aptly named 'The Elbow Fight'.  Check it out.  The actian really gets heated in the second round.  Man, what a tough bastard.  Here he is also in the red shorts.

Here is Jongsanas -vs- Orono.  Jongsanan in Blue.  Just that kinda day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

California Academy of Sciences

This Saturday the California Academy of Science is opening it's doors.....for free.  Anyone interested in going to check it out?  Maybe a bike ride?  Maybe some beer or, I never thought I'd say this, whiskey (i think it might be too cold for beer)?
I'm done with it.  I'm through giving a damn....about everything.  
I feel like the past year and a half, possibly two years, has been wrought with guilt, worry, concern, and stress.  I was always worried about something.  Find a job, an apartment, roommates, be fit, be active, get enough sleep, don't drink too much, don't spend too many evenings alone.  Work comes first.  No, life comes first.  Girlfriend.  Family.  Friends.  Be social  Meet new people.  Reconnect with long lost friends.  To be honest, I'm done with it.  I'm exhausted.   I need about three months of deep, dark sleep, constant sleep, hard dreamless sleep.  Then I'll just wake up fresh and say to hell with it. 
I used to not give a damn.  It wasn't that long ago.  I didn't care what strangers thought, not the girls and definitely not the boys.  I was having a blast and I didn't care how it looked.  What I was doing felt good and who I was doing it with felt even better.  I've spent the last year and a half to two years trying to get my life in order.  To make something of myself.  Secure my place.  I now realize that I'm not all that thrilled about where I've settled or who I've become while powering through and establishing this place, this spot, this perch. 
Now that I'm here I'm starting to see the things I left in my wake.  I'm starting to see the parts of me I left behind.  I'm going to do my best to regain those parts.  To back track.  To become what I once was.  To do the things I want to do.  To strive where I want to strive and work on the things I want to work on.  I'm sick of living with my neck strained trying to look forward or to look back.  I'm going to stop a while, rest my neck and look around at the options just sitting idle.  Gather myself up and do what ever the hell it is I feel like and I'm not going to give a damn. 
Today was a good day. 

Totally crushing.

These are my secret celeb crushes.

The guilty pleasures:
-The Pussy Cat Dolls
-Miley Cyrus (but not Hanna Montana)
-Hillary Duff

The If I were gay's:
-Daniel Craig
-Jeremy Piven

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday night and repeat...

For the past few weeks my friends and I have been enjoying the evening sun and the $1.79 beers and all the wonderfully summery people at Bean Bag Cafe on Divis.
It's been a pretty regular thing and to be quite honest, it really helps the work week whizz by.  Tonight will be no exception.  I actually can't wait to see my friends, take a deep breath, release all those work thoughts, and drink up some cheap ass beer.  See you tonight gang.

Sun Sun Sun

This song by Noah and the Whale makes me happy.  By the way, these guys are playing on October 2nd at 330 rich.  Who's down for a bit of indian summer rock dance??

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hit and Run....Sorry dude.

Well, it finally happened.  It was bound to sooner or later.  I mean, if you ride a bike long enough in San Francisco you will inevitably be doored, hit by a car, spit on, yelled at, walked in front of/hit a pedestrian, laughed at, swerved at/pushed off the road and threatened in all kinds of creative and colorful ways.  I have already been doored, run off the road, spit on, yelled at, laughed at, and slightly hit by a car so this particular incident has been long coming and was really, no big surprise.  I hit my first pedestrian.  I say first because if you've ever ridden, or even driven a car in San Francisco then you know as well as I do, that pedestrians are basically idiots living in an oblivion of cell phones and coffee and cigarettes and...well, they're basically a notch up from a herd of cattle.
You can blame this phenomenon on a couple of things.  One being tourists.  People from all over the country/world come to our little foggy city to bask in all its charm and beauty.  The problem with tourist is that they don't know how to walk (LRS, you know exactly what I'm talking about).  They don't know that spilling out of a cafe in a large group and just standing there blocking the whole sidewalk is rude.  They don't know that walking four abreast when people are trying to pass is rude.  They don't know that looking both ways is a good idea before stepping into the street.  And apparently they don't know what a bicyclist looks like because they walk in front of speeding ones all day every day.
You can blame it on the crack heads who are basically bat shit crazy.  These are the ones you will most likely get shouted at/spit on/shoved by.  They have nothing to lose so they walk where they like, when they like and they usually carry a four story shopping cart stuffed with ribbons, aluminum siding and deflated basketballs.
You can blame the financial crowd.  People who have too much money and too little time.  Who believe that the seas, read traffic, will stop and part before them when they step off the curb.  
But yesterday, I hit none of these.  The man I hit did not fit into any one particular category, or rather, he fit into several.  You see, the man I hit yesterday had the look of a thug, though it was kind of sad because he was around 50 years old.  The combination mentality of a crack head and a financial type, bursting through crowds and into traffic like he either had nothing to lose or was just that much more important than everyone else.  He was also just a really ugly person.
Anyway,  I'm riding my bike up Market Street from downtown.  I get about half way through the intersection when this man, this absolute moron, walks out about four steps into the cross walk.  Not only did he just stroll out but he did so with a ghetto blaster on his shoulder and looking the wrong way (he was looking with traffic, not at on coming traffic).  When he did finally look in my direction his face dropped.  He lowered the boom box and did a shuffle dance trying to decide which direction to go.  Little did he know that that decision wasn't up to him.  I had already decided that if this idiot wanted to get out in traffic like he was the big man then that's where I was going to put him.  I mean, I wasn't about to swerve into traffic and compete with vehicles thousands of pounds heavier than me.  So I swerved behind him, between him and the curb.  He decided to try to jump back on the curb in front of me so I stood up and pedaled harder to gain some momentum to make it through him.  As I got closer I leaned into it and rammed him hard with my left shoulder.  I bounced off, my pedal hitting the curb, and rode away fine.  I didn't look back to see what happened to him, but whatever.  
So that was that, my first hit and run....if that counts.

Bay Area, get your act together

This is a real 'What the Fuck' kind of moment.  My stomach is literally turning with disgust.



The Tao of Eating With Your Hands

Half an ounce of granola.
One hot link.
One handful of roasted mixed nuts.
One herb roast chicken breast.
Several herb roasted carrots/parsnips and green onions.

Friday, September 12, 2008

butcher bbq

I wasn't joking about wanting to work in a butcher shop.  I get these really strong cravings, especially in the summer time.  These craving are mostly to slap slabs of meat, just giant hunks of meat, down onto a counter, preferably marble, granite, metal or cement.  And I mean really, just slap it down.  God that's a great noise.  Season the hell out of it.  Season it until your hands are covered in oil and herbs, fat and grease.  Then walk it over to a giant stove grill and lay it down on the rack.  I love seeing it drip, how the coal flares up.  Seeing the meat adjust and settle as it cooks.  I love this whole process.  But that smell, oh that smell, the word love doesn't do that smell justice.

I could go on but really I've got the hangover bubble gut and am in need of the instant cure a lamb schawarma.  I feel I may have a hard time finding a quality one so I'll settle for the second best cure, a big ass burrito.


The way I eat.
Cashews are meant to be eaten by the handful.  You must first pick out all the broken halves and eat those, then you get to eat the whole halves.  Next in line are the cashew that have both halves still stuck together but are in some other way broken or not whole.  Chow on those.  And when you're finished with them you'll have in your hand what I like to imagine as a miniature herd of baby elephant seals.  Look at them.  Just lounging around in all their buttery, blubbery goodness.  Just relaxing, listening to the waves lap against the rocks.  Slowly.  Steadily.  You study them.  Which baby elephant seal looks the least tastiest?  This is the one you must eat first.  Generally the lighter, smaller ones.  Then you work your way up in both size and color until you have left the perfect baby elephant seal of a cashew.  Oh, it's so good, so buttery and crunchy.  
This is how I eat my cashews.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My band

I was in a band called the Chinese Stallions for a few years.  It was a duo, the fastest, hardest duo around.  I am considering starting up with another band called DioDeca.  We'll see.

I do

I'd like to work at a butcher shop for obvious reasons.  
I'd like to learn Spanish, Thai, Greek and Portuguese.
I'd like to have my own herb garden.
I'd like to have a pet dog or pig.
I'd like to have a posse.
I'd like to live abroad.
I'd like to work in ecotourism.
I'd like to teach kids about the outdoors.
I'd like to feel better about what I'm doing today.
I'd like to be closer to my extended family.
I'd like to get filthy.  Like muddy, dirty, dusty, crusty filthy.
I'd like to walk barefoot in the muck.
I'd like to shave my head.
I'd like to have a six pack.
I'd like to ride my bike every where.
I'd like to have more people to ride my bike with.
I'd like to have a cold beer on a hot day.
I'd like to swim.
I'd like to pick up the guitar again but my brother broke the strings over tuning it.
I'd like to live where the sun shone and the water is warm and blue.
This list can go on but I'd like it to end.

I think I am going to go and grab a beer from the work fridge.  I ate some bad sushi today.  I knew it was bad because the fish was brown and stiff and stank.  I ate it anyway.  Well, some of it.  I feel like a glass of wine to tide me over for the last hours at work but I know I'll be drinking beer later so I think that's what I'll have.  
I'm having a hard time remaining in the city on the weekends.  I think I might try to stick around this weekend.  There are a few things going on and I kind of just feel like having drinks, laying low and spending much needed time with much appreciated friends.  I miss my friends.  Truman, Easley, Britt, Steve, Dempsey, John, Dimbo, Brett that means you.  I hope to see you tonight.  Let's hug.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Last night I had a dream...

I was living on the east coast.  It was summer.  I had been out driving around the city in a Ferrari that this girl I was dating was letting me borrow.  It was Halloween so there were lots of little kids out running around dressed like skeletons and goblins and super heroes.  It was a super hot Halloween so there were also kids playing in fountains and sprinklers and with hoses.  It was getting late in the evening and I knew that this girl was having a party and that I was supposed to spend the evening with her so I drove up to her apartment.  She was asleep and wanted to go to my place to sleep in peace.  I was driving to my place so that we could go to bed.  I really wanted to go out though so I convinced her to go back to her place and that she could sleep in my arms and that way I could be out and social while she slept against my chest.  Some how she agreed and when I pulled back up to the party I woke up.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tonight at 3:30 a.m. eastern time

The world is going to come to an end.  Everything as you know it will cease to exist.  Say your goodbyes and I love you's because after tonight there will be no more.  
Or some would have you believe.  Tonight will be the first time that proton beams will be injected into a 17 mile long track, 300 feet under the earths surface.  They'll race around in opposite directions at a ridiculous speed and eventually collide. Some think that this will create a mini black hole that we wont be able to control. Google Large hadron Collider. Rad.

Hurting for something that sounds not boring.

I am in desperate need of new music.  My ipod has been turned inside out in my search for something that I don't find completely boring.  It's not that I don't like what I already have, it's that I've heard it fifteen thousand times too many.  As of late my favorites have been Devendra Banhart, Grizzly Bear, Cold War Kids (I think, I've only heard a few songs), MIA, The Walkmen...etc.  Suggestions please.

Monday, September 8, 2008


For those of you that don't really care that much to read that whole behemoth of a post below I bullet it for you.

1-Spur of the moment trip to Yosemite.
2-Bears were going to eat me in the middle of the night.  I heard then snorting and stomping..........turns out it was just the horses in the stable.
3-Hike to Pot #3 to swim and spend the day with the fish.  Not a person in sight.
4-Drive home.  Spend time with the family, swimming at my sisters.
5-Relaxing morning with the family and one giant ass bowl of yogurt and blue berries and cinnamon.
6-Capitola with my sister.  Swimming in the sea.  
7-Movies with my roommates.


Let me first apologize.  This post will probably be a series of minute details and run on sentences that will be of no importance to anyone but me.  But hell, this is my journal so go to hell.  Oh, and to make it even more unbearable for all three of my readers, I haven't added any pictures for your viewing pleasure.  Just green words on white.  Enjoy.

On Friday I made a last minute decision to pack up a few things and head off into the wilderness by myself.  This isn't always the smartest thing to do but I desperately needed to get out of the city.  Plus, I wasn't going any where too far off the map.
I wanted to be able to swim, to be alone, and to do a bit of hiking.  After some quick research on my down time at work I decided that I would head down to Wawona a small village in southern Yosemite.  I packed up my truck with some Kashi bars, some lamb, and plenty of water and headed south/south east.  I totally forgot how therapeutic driving could be.  I drove for approximately six and a half hours (I got a bit lost, not to mention that Google maps sucks big time) on major freeways, highways, and a whole bunch of on lane, back roads.  It was pitch black out, so black that I was hallucinating my surroundings.  It felt like I was driving through a deep canyon but when I'd turn my brights on there was nothing.  Not a tree, not a rock, nothing.  Just the rolling hills of agricultural California.
I finally arrived at the gates to Yosemite and proceeded to Wawona to try to find a place to park my truck where I wouldn't be seen sleeping in the back of it.  About a half an hour later I settled down, safely tucked away in the back of a tree filled parking area.  I should mention that I couldn't find any bear lockers for my food so I just tied up my cooler and walked it into the middle of a field and left it.  I mention this because it weighed heavily on my mind all night.  So heavily that I slept with a hatchet in my sleeping bag.  I could just see the headlines 'Man mauled by bear, sleeping in back of truck'.  Anyway, so as the night goes on my paranoia increases with every little breaking twig.  And then I hear a stomp.  Or I think I heard a stomp.  I peek my head out of my sleeping bag and peer over the side of my truck half expecting my head to be swiped off by a huge paw.  Nothing.  I'm frozen, staring into the night, when I hear it again.  This time I definitely heard it.  It was a stomp.  Then I hear more stomping and now I hear heavy breathing too.  Ok, at this point I'm for sure freaking out.  I unzip my sleeping bag and sit up and listen.  The breathing has turned to snorting and stomping and me freaking the eff out.  I get up and make a dash for the drivers seat, toss it in drive and press on.  
It is now probably close to two thirty in the morning.  I finally find another nice sleeping spot and quickly fall asleep.  In the morning I head out to find my cooler, half expecting that it be in several pieces.  It's not.  Looking around the field and parking area where I first planned to sleep I realize what it was that was going 'bump' all night.  I was parked near the horse stables.  One must have woken up when I got there and been stamping and snorting and make all that 'terrifying' ruckus through the night.  I laughed at myself as I chowed down on an almond and chocolate Kashi cereal bar.  
I hoped in my truck and headed for the trail head.  Once there I brushed my teeth, stripped down to my swimming suit and headed up the dirt path.  I should also mention that I got plenty of looks from my heavily geared fellow hikers.  Who was I to think that I could hike up wearing nothing but a tiny pair of shorts, my bare feet slipping around in my vans while these folks, ski poles and boots and floppy hats and wool socks and all had to hike up in a miserable sweaty mess of fleece, wool and polypropylene.  Needless to say they looked at me like I was c.r.a.z.y.
Oh, I guess I should mention where exactly I was and what trail I was on and where I was heading, right?  So, like I said, I was in the town of Wawona, heading up the Chilnualna Falls trail to a little known swimming hole called Pot #3.  The trail head starts at around 4,200 feet in elevation and the hike to the top ends at around 6,000 or so.  There, so now you have the gist/motivation of my trip and now I can get back to my step by step recount.  
So I head up the trail with my little guide book tucked into my shorts, pulling it out at every twist and turn in the trail making sure that I don't get lost.  I eventually come to the creek witch is actually pretty stunning.  It is comprised mostly of granite slabs and boulders and cascading falls and trickling pools.  I hike about half way up the trail, making several false stops/discoveries of what I thought was Pot #3, when I come to a clearing.  I scramble to the top of some boulders and look down at the valley.  I follow the creek up seeing if there could possibly be a more interesting way to do this hike, i.e. through the creek, soaking wet and scrambling boulders and tromping through the water when my eyes come to rest and the spot below me; a beautiful, secluded little swimming hole that, interestingly enough, looks exactly like Pot #3.  
After a series of boulder hopping, sliding on my butt and climbing my way off the path I arrived at my destination.  The water was crisp, the air even crisper as the sun hadn't even crested yet.  Oh yeah, did I mention that I did all this before it was even 9:00 am??  Well I did.  So I sat around, reading, widdling and breaking sticks.  Waiting.  Watching as the sun peeked over the hillside to warm my little valley.  Soon enough it was screaming hot.  Sweat was dripping down my back, beaded on my forehead and shining on my forearms.  
I spent the day talking to myself, reflecting, reading, spitting, swimming, and talking to the four large fish, three medium and countless tiny ones that were trapped in the swimming hole until next years rains.  I spent the better part of that day just lounging and relaxing in my own private paradise as apparently no one had either heard of or knew where this hole was.  
After 24 hours alone, speaking to no one, seeing no one I decided I wouldn't spend another day in this place.  That I would head home for some family love.  My drive time was cut in half no thanks to Google.   I was home by 7pm and swimming in my sisters soon to be ex apartment complex by 8 pm.  
Sunday was spent lounging around the house in the morning and then heading off to spend the day in Capitola.  It was nice to spend the day at the beach, swimming in the sea.  Yes, we swam in that frigid water.  I am actually reluctant to wash the sea out of my hair.  Gross, yes, but that's me.  
I ended the day my day cozying up with my roommates and watching The Golden Compass.  

Now, sorry for the breathy post but I just wanted to get it all down on record.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Currently listening to...

Bessie Smith, Patty Page, Teresa Brewer (brauer), Birtha 'Chippie' Hill, etc...
While enjoying my pesto, turkey, peppers and sun dried tomato sandwich.  It's the end of the day and I can't wait to walk home.  It's super nice in the city, I've got a lot on my mind and a nice walk sounds like the perfect thing.  I've got some wine waiting at home, some nice records, a beautiful back patio over looking the Lower Haight/Duboce Triangle and a lovely book to keep me company.