Friday, October 31, 2008


My Halloween morning Gchat with Bridget:

Bridget: i dont have plans. dress up black out and frolic
me: what are you dressing up as?
Bridget: 3 amigos
me: hhaha stop
Bridget: yes its great
wooden toy horses
huge sombraros
me: haha
Bridget: yes it will be fun
and its totally comfy
Bridget: what s good song i shoudl listen to
me: eh i dont know
although i sort of like "if i were a boy" by beyonce
Bridget: oh me2!!!
Bridget: i put it on
i look rudolph
my nose just keeps running
and i barely ever wipe it
me: haha
Bridget: and now my nose is raw
bc when i do wipe it it is usualyl with a sleeve
me: uhmmmmm
Bridget: haha i know i cant get it together
me: my friend molly maybe can't go out tonight because she has pink eye...
i mean thats worse
Bridget: haha bizarre. i had double pink ey e in college once
and i wiped it allll over Feathers' bed bc he was pissing me off
me: omg

Bridget: sorry about that FEATHS!
me: you are the WORST!
Bridget: i actually think most of the soccer team go it
got it
and im not exaggerating
me: OMG stop it right now
Bridget: haha
ya it was terrible actually
my eyes were like fire red and i couldn't wear make up (which i secretly liked )
me: haha i can imagine your elegance
Bridget: haha!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

At the time this was totally normal...

The Halloween dressing up festivities remind me of the good old Club Med days. Now for those of you who don't know- right after college I went to work for Club Med in the exotic Port St. Lucie, Florida. I'll spare you the details of what exactly Club Med is, but basically its an all inclusive resort where the employees "wear many different hats" if you will. My main job was working at reception, I later moved to be the logistics manager. So basically you do your 6-8ish hours a day at your "main job". The evenings are set aside for you to work some more! Many people will be in the shows that play each night. I managed to avoid the shows for a few months until that little kitty of a choreography lured me into the shows (story for another day). There were also mandatory "greetings" where we had to stand outside of the shows in our evening dress code saying "cou cou" to every single guest. My anxiety is rising just thinking about it.

LONG story short we sometimes had "special celebration" nights. This was usually around a holiday or if a lot of French were in town. What this consisted of was a champagne toast and 8 girls standing on a podium in old Italian wedding dresses. Whats that? Why? I have NO idea. I was picked (and by picked- I mean forced) to do the wedding dress thing because apparently I was small enough to fit into the dresses. I guess that was sort of a compliment at the time. So after dinner I would run over to this dressing room to grab the "least ugly" dress. And yes, I had to fight for the dress every week. And yes after doing it long enough, I felt entitled.

Next we had to do our makeup! This was supervised by Martina, the French golf store manager. Martina figured out that I spoke French and would then ONLY speak to me in French. Martina would enforce that we have our hair in a low bun using maybe 3000 bobby pins and hairspray. Bright red lipstick that we all shared was also mandatory. And god forbid we forget the GLITTER! I kid you not, we had glitter powdered all over our body.

Once the transformation was complete, we trekked over to the main outdoor stage area and got on our platform. We then stood there smiling for an entire 40 minutes. Fireworks would go off directly behind us and since we weren't allowed to freak out, we could merely cross our fingers that our shellacked hair wouldn't catch on fire.

Its funny how I remember the very first time I did it. The other girls had done it before and it was TOTALLY normal to them. I actually laughed at myself the entire time. All I could think was "Really??" Of course, by the time the next week rolled around I was a champ and it was totally normal for me.

I obviously didn't win the "least ugly" dress race in this picture!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ugh Lilies...

There are very few things in this world that I do not enjoy...jk. Anydespise, one object of my hatred are lilies. "Oh they are soo pretty" "I want them to be my center piece at my wedding" EW. Lilies smell like funeral homes. Think about it, I am not making this up. As I sit here in the office with a glorious little bouquet of flower beside my desk, the overwhelming smell of LILIES enters my nostrils...and then I think about death. Oh right, and Michael hates them too (he told me to write that).
Alright, I will say that Calla lilies are pretty...from afar.

Excited for Halloween!

So this is basically what I'm going for on Halloween this Friday:

+ accessories and a couple props.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Things I enjoy Lately

So since I have nothing better to do around 10:30 at night and TV is my favorite thing- I have started watching Chelsea Lately. I LOVE Chelsea Handler. She says everything that she wants, and has given me new names for the female no-no area like peekachoo. And of course I love the term nugget. She also has some pretty funny people on her "round table" like Brad Wollack who is also a writer for her show. That little ginger either makes hilarious jokes, or awkward ones that no one gets. I like all of it.

My top five Chelsea quotes:

5. "In her new book, Barbara Walters reveals she had an ongoing affair with Senator Edward Brooke in the '70s. Shockingly, Senator Brooke was married and black at the time. I want to know what she's saving for her juicy follow-up book. Maybe she was there when Biggie got shot."

4. "British people who do good things get made knights or lords. They should make Heather Mills a count and then just remove the O."

3."Miley Cyrus is giving her first concert in the U.K., and she's really enjoying her taste of a new culture, like how they use different words for things, like how they call elevators lifts and Clay Aiken a cigarette."

2. "There are two kinds of people I don't trust: people who don't drink and people who collect stickers."

1."The National Enquirer says Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend, 20-year-old underwear model Jason Gaston, has virtually moved in with her. I think Billy Ray needs to start worrying about Miley’s achy breaky hymen."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh Canada!

So this weekend was my Opa's 80th birthday so we made the trek up to the homeland. Ever since we moved to the US 12 years ago, we have really only been able to make it back once a year at Christmas time. We have driven every time which can take anywhere from 8-12 hours depending on weather. My parents discovered what I think is a MUCH better plan. We now fly into Buffalo and drive another hour or so to our hometown. This is much easier to swallow than a 10 hour drive sitting in cramped quarters.

We stopped in Niagara Falls for a quick photo op.

This is also a mandatory stop as soon as we get into Canada. For those of you who don't know what Poutine is, it is the most delicious fat person food ever! Its fries with cheese curds, and gravy smeared over top. Aka delicious in every way. I inhaled it.

So after travelling all day, stopping by to see Babci (my dad's mom) we surprised my Opa by taking him to a CFL game: the Hamilton Tigercats vs. the Calgary Stampeders. The Tigercats (or Ticats is what the cool people call them) gave my Opa a jersey with his name and the #80. I was of course busy shoving hot dogs and caramel corn in my mouth. Oh, and the cheerleaders wear parkas? It really wasn't that cold out...

We even got to sit near Walter Gretzky, who is actually just as big a celebrity as his son, Wayne Gretzky. He lives in our hometown, Brantford so we saw him often growing up and I swam my whole life in the Gretzky Center. He is a cute little nugget.

Saturday we were headed out to dinner and got the entire Van Dongen side of the family to stop by my Babci's apartment to say hi. She could not have been more excited, but then she cries and then I cry. It definitely made her day!

Dinner to celebrate the family all being together and my Opa's 80th bday was at the Old School House. We celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary here, so it was nice to get back. This is the entire side of my mom's family. So it was a great weekend, had an awesome time catching up with the family! I will be heading back to Canada in 2 weeks for my cousin's wedding on the other side of the family! This will maybe be the first year since we moved that we will actually get to see everyone.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This is what I have to deal with people-

So I'm going to the homeland this weekend (aka Canada) for my Grandpa's 80th birthday. And THIS is the text I get from Michael just a few minutes ago:

"Better bring me back something Canadian! Oooh! Like a sexy hockey player! One of those real rough ones that'd call u a bitch while they f*ck you!"

"Yeah! Bring me that!!"

I will be WAY too busy making maple syrup and riding around via sled dogs to do any hockey player recruiting.

I just...can't

Really with those props? I cannot handle it. And correct me if I'm wrong, it is not short and tank top weather in LA this time of year. I love how these two completely think that they will swing the Republican vote with their delightful propaganda. Remember when they looked like this:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm sure it has nothing to do with her annorexia...

That poor Taylor Momsen, a.k.a. Jenny Humphrey from Gossip Girl has a been in the hospital for a "severe, potentially life-threatening throat infection".

Dr. Shawn Nasseri said, "I have been treating Miss Taylor Momsen for the last few days. She has been hospitalized for a severe, potentially life-threatening throat infection since Sunday. She has been an excellent patient, and after aggressive antibiotics and medications, she is expected to make a full recovery in the next three to five days."
Alright, it was mean of me to suggest that she has an eating disorder...I'm just jealous of her self control. She actually isn't even my least favorite person on Gossip Girl. That Vanessa needs to be the one that gets killed off the show.


Well, one of the perks of my job is that my desk is right by the bathroom. I get to monitor everyone going in and out, how long they hang out in there, etc. Its really exciting! You would actually be surprised at how many times during the course of the day someone asks me "Who is in the bathroom? Is so-and-so in the bathroom?" So, when I'm not putting out fires, I am keeping a close eye on the bathroom. Ok not really. But I find it hard to believe that when you are in the bathroom maybe 30 seconds, that you had time to pee, put the seat back down and thoroughly wash your hands. I know, gross...and weird that I notice things like that.

Ok, so I might be a bit of a germaphobe- but I am a firm believer in hand washing. I know, crazy, right? I wash my hands immediately after getting into work, for fear that the train handrail harbored some kind of unknown hepatitis strain. Then, I wash my hands every time I even venture near the bathroom, before I eat lunch, before I leave for the day, etc. I would say that during the day I wash my hands at least 7-9 times at work alone. I have strategically placed waterless hand sanitizer all around the office so that we don't have a flu epidemic this winter season. I HATE when I see someone handling chicken, or cracking eggs- and then they rinse their fingertips quickly under cold water not using soap. Are you insane? Salmonella everywhere! I am paranoid about food poisoning. If you've ever had it, then you know what I'm talking about.

Did you know?

- Up to half of all men and a quarter of women fail to wash their hands after they've been to
the toilet
- Right handed people tend to wash their left hand more thoroughly than their right hand, and
visa versa
- We have between 2 and 10 million bacteria between fingertip and elbow
- Damp hands spread 1,000 times more germs than dry hands
- The number of germs on your fingertips doubles after you use the toilet
- Germs can stay alive on hands for up to three hours
- Millions of germs hide under watches and bracelets and there could be as many germs
under your ring as there are people in Europe

Alright, I guess all I'm trying to say is please wash your hands!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fun weekend!

So this past Saturday, aside from watching Baby Mama- we all had a great girls night! It was Jessica's 25th bday, so we had to do it up right. We started off with wine at Jaime's condo. Then a nice romantic dinner at La Madia which was delish. We then headed off to English on La Salle for some alcoholic beverages. After English we headed over to NV Penthouse which was actually awesome. It wasn't too crowded and it had awesome views!


So I think that I need to invest in some kind of mace/taser apparatus. (I've actually looked into this and tasers are actually really expensive! wtf?)

So I live in a lovely little area in Lakeview with three roommates. Right near Southport corridor and the cute little boutiques. This is supposedly a very safe area relative to other areas in Chicago.

Lately, there have been a couple instances that have freaked us out.

1) A couple of months ago I was in bed sleeping when all of a sudden at 1:30am someone starts ringing our doorbell erratically. After I practically peed my bed because I was so startled, I hid there under the covers waiting for it to stop. After maybe 5 minutes of CONSTANT ding dong ding dong ding dong- I called Eileen who was the only other roommate home at the time. She hadn't heard the doorbell rings, but stayed on the phone with me as I tip toed out of my room to see who was ringing the bell. I crawled up to the window- fearing that whoever was ringing the doorbell would be looking in the window. I peeked over the window sill to see a tall black man on our front porch. Now, keep in mind that we are two little girls, home alone- its 1:30 in the morning and we do not at all recognize this person at all. Eileen came up and we saw the man walk down the front steps and walk down the street. We called 311 to report some odd behavior and they said that they would send a couple cops over to check out the scene. Meanwhile, we saw this guy wandering back in front of our place going in the other direction. The cops came and checked everything out, and didn't find him around anymore. Either way we were freaked out and barely slept that night.

2) Last week we got an email from our friend Jaime about a coworker of hers that just had his babysitter held up at gunpoint practically in our alley on Southport! The attacker wanted all of her money- she only had $6. I mean, who carries cash anymore? This happened at 11:00AM!!!! In the middle of daylight! Can you believe that?!

3) The latest news out break is a dead body found at the Restaurant Lucca's just a couple blocks south of us on Southport. It turns out that the body was one of the restaurant co-owners, Randall Hilderbrand. Apparently he was hog tied, and died of multiple injuries. They are now saying that the victim "knew" the murderer somehow. Really scary stuff.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baby Mama

Well I can't believe that I actually had nothing better to do this morning than to watch Baby Mama. You must have heard about this cinematic adventure with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The premise of the movie is that Tina Fey's character can't get pregnant, so she hires a surrogate (Amy Poehler). I have to admit that there were actually some really funny scenes. I almost died laughing when one of the gays in the group therapy session was talking about his "morbidly obese" aka pregnant surrogate. If you have some time to kill, I would recommend it!
Amy Poehler: "What IS this?!?"
Tina Fey: "Its water..."
Amy Poehler: "Its AWFUL!"

Friday, October 17, 2008

Common Bond: Bacon

* Note: Cheetos all over Bridget's face...

As I walked past the ghetto little diner near work this morning, I smelled my favorite smell in the world: Bacon. Whenever I think of bacon, I think of my favorite person in the whole wide world.

It is time that I introduce you to Bridget.

Bridge and I met in Paris at our CEA group orientation. I sat on one end with my roomie, and she sat on the other end with her tan roomie, Kate. We sat there listening to our program leaders discuss obvious taboos and common mistakes American females make, while they handed out maps and condoms... After way too long of picturing our "slightly unattractive" program leaders while they described their intimate experiences, we glanced at each other and did the obligatory half smirk, eye roll to show our mutual disgust. It was love.

From then on it was the 4 of us (which quickly became 3) frolicking and blacking out around Europe learning the ways of the world together. Bridget, being from Connecticut taught me things like "Lilly Pulitzer" and Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. We discovered that we both had an unnatural attraction to the delicious, and classy meat: bacon. She once casually suggested that we get bacon tattoos on our butts. We have recently discussed this again and when Bridget comes to visit Chicago in the may happen. Just a small, sizzling piece of bacon on our doesn't get much classier!

Bridget also had a bizarre attachment to her childhood blankie named Silkies. When when left Paris, she stashed a small piece of silkies in my bag which I still have to this day.

Ahhhh the memories!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shutting it down

"Because I have Jewish guilt...even though I'm not Jewish."

So I finally got to watch the finale of Rachel Zoe last night. I am devastated that its over :( There had BETTER be a reunion. I mean all they need to do is have Brad crying, fogging up his glasses. Meanwhile, Andy Cohen will be caressing him...and by caressing I mean undressing. (Remember the Flipping Out reunion?! Andy was TOTALLY hitting on Ryan). Tay can be glaring out of her one visible eye while bitching non stop about Brad. Rodge can make sure his hair is parted correctly on the side while justifying his terrible lonely life. And Rachel will sit there emotionless drinking her venti Starbucks tea.
This is my favorite show and I am keeping all the recorded episodes on my DVR so that I can watch them all year long.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Post Secret Favs of the week

For once, a happy Monday!!

So I went back to suburbia this weekend which was fantastic. Wendy (My mother- who I only refer to as Wendy when speaking about her...and she hates it) and I spent Saturday spending money that I don't have at the outlets. It was great- I got some great things that were on sale because of the holiday. We found a dress for my cousin's wedding at BCBG. I got great professional clothes at Banana. Brown and black pumps that I have needed forever at Aldo. A couple sweaters/cardigans from JCrew. All necessities I might add...including this from Coach:

What?!? I needed a black purse!?!

Then, I later got this second piece for my Halloween costume at Forevs:

It is starting to come together!
Today is great because we actually got work off! I am going to do laundry, which is always exciting. And interview dog walkers...don't ask. And maybe going with Carrie to the grocery store... don't be jealous.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ohhh Halloween...

Alright so its a terrible picture but this is piece #1 of my Halloween costume. It arrived today and I am very excited! Its an elegant black faux fur jacket from an equally exquisite website. I am going to keep my really creative costume a secret, but I'll let you know as I find pieces to add to it. I am going to do some major hunting this weekend.

I ONLY like Halloween when I have a costume planned. Usually what happens is that I wait until the last minute, and get totally stressed out. You can't just decide not to wear a costume, but then if you have to wear one, it needs to be somewhat cute. Its a battle every year.

I also don't enjoy when people wear masks. I'm pretty much scared of all things clownish/mascots/masks etc. so this isn't my favorite holiday of all time.

Last year I was a sailor girl...

(I'm going to go out on a limb and say this wasn't the best picture we've ever taken... Well K2 looks good but Carrie will kill me for putting this up.)

And this was my first costume of the night while at Club Med 2 Halloweens ago:

(I was some kind of 80's thing...and that's Ed-he was actually the security guard)

And...let's not talk about what I had to dress as for the end of the night:

I was SO mad. I couldn't get that shit out of my hair for days.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Missed connections

Alright, am I the only one who reads "Missed Connections" on Craigslist? Yes, that's right. I am still waiting for the day when someone notices my beauty as I scowl the whole way to work on the train. No, not really. But they are really entertaining to read. In fact now that I'm thinking about it, there really aren't any websites 100% dedicated to "missed connections". Hmmmmm alright don't steal my idea- I'm going to be rich.

I came across this little love post today:

"Cute Braces - m4w"
I saw you at The Fucky Buddah.
You were with a few friends.
You had dark hair and braces.
We talked briefly but it was loud...
I think your name was Nicole.
Do you remember my name?

Uhmmm I'm not sure what to say about that. Braces? Mrs. McAuslan? But that does remind me of the time that we wanted to have a girls night and go to a cool lounge. We found Funky Buddha on Metromix and thought that it would be great to go there. FALSE. I do not enjoy.

Compulsive Shopping

So I don't know if its the weather or what the deal is, but lately when I get down, I feel the need to shop. I know- sooo not girl-like at all. Since I have negative money, I have somehow been able to suppress the urge. HOWEVER yesterday was a really bad day and I peer pressured myself into buying something.

It all started when my greatest friend in the land Courtney, Gchatted me about a coat Elle (She also has to maintain strict secrecy about her real identity) had posted on her blog. Then I decided to take a look at the website where she got it, and wanted to buy everything in sight. I ended up with this:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Its over :(

Well after much speculation about Holly Madison f*ing Criss Angel and Kendra Wilkinson apparently engaged to Hank Baskett and poor Bridget getting nothing... Holly confirmed to TMZ that her and Hef are no longer together. I don't know how I feel about this.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Celebrity Sighting!

So I'm minding my own business pretending to put out fires on my Blackberry when who do I see crossing the street but "Kiss From a Rose" Seal! You know, that singer who is married to Heidi Klum. He crossed the street and then walked across the street right besides me! Some Greenpeace chick was harassing him about saving the planet and he just kept saying "Save yourself" "Save yourself". He did stare at me, obviously because he thought perhaps his wife had come to Chicago to surprise him...but no, it was just me, the Heidi Klum look alike. He went into the Apple store on Michigan while I continued on to the dermatologist.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


While cabing around last night to somewhere WAY out of my comfort zone- I noticed the "PINK" lights on the Sears and Hancock towers. Which reminded me that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer is near and dear to my heart since it is very prevalent in my family history...sweet.

I was watching Oprah the other night and she had Christina Applegate on, talking about her breast cancer. I learned some very interesting facts, which really only increased my paranoia.

Some breast cancer facts:

  • Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. women, accounting for more than 1 in 4 cancers.

  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.

  • One out of eight American women who live to be 85 years of age will develop breast cancer, a risk that was one out of 14 in 1960.

  • 2.4 million women living in the U.S. have been diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer.

  • An estimated 182,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in American women during 2008. About 1,990 new cases of breast cancer are expected in men. In addition, an estimated 67,770 cases of in situ breast cancer (both DCIS and LCIS) are expected, with 85 percent being DCIS.

  • An estimated 40,930 breast cancer deaths are anticipated this year (40,480 women, 450 men).

  • The greatest risk factor for developing breast cancer is gender (female) and the second is age. During 2000-2004, 95 percent of new cases and 97 percent of breast cancer deaths occurred in women aged 40 and older.

  • The risk of developing breast cancer increases for women whose parent, sibling or child have had the disease.

  • It has been estimated that 5 percent to 10 percent of breast cancer cases result from inherited mutations or alterations in BRCA1 and BRCA2.

  • Women who begin menstruating before age 12 are at increased risk of developing breast cancer. The more menstrual cycles a woman has during her lifetime, the more her risk increases.

  • Other risk factors include inherited mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, a personal or family history of breast cancer, high breast tissue density, high-dose radiation to the chest wall, long menstrual history, never having given birth or giving birth for the first time after age 30, and biopsy-confirmed atypical hyperplasia.

  • After decreasing 16 percent from 2006 to 2007, the estimated number of new cases of female invasive breast cancer is expected to increase slightly in 2008 to 182,460, up from 178,480. The estimated number of new breast cancer cases in men is expected to continue to decline slightly, with 1,990 new cases in 2008, down from 2,030 in 2007.

  • Female breast cancer incidence rates continuously increased for two decades, but have leveled off since 2001.

Some ways to prevent breast cancer:

  • Limit alcohol/NO Smoking. A strong link exists between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. The type of alcohol consumed — wine, beer or mixed drinks — seems to make no difference. To help protect against breast cancer, limit alcohol to less than one drink a day or avoid alcohol completely.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. There's a clear link between obesity — weighing more than is appropriate for your age and height — and breast cancer. This is especially true if you gain the weight later in life, particularly after menopause. Excess fatty tissue is a source of circulating estrogen in your body. And breast cancer risk is linked to how much estrogen you're exposed to during your lifetime.

  • Stay physically active. Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and, as a consequence, may aid in lowering your risk of breast cancer. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you haven't been particularly active in the past, start your exercise program slowly and gradually work up to a greater intensity. Try to include weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging or aerobics. These have the added benefit of keeping your bones strong.

  • Consider limiting fat in your diet. Results from the most definitive study of dietary fat and breast cancer risk to date suggest a slight decrease in risk of invasive breast cancer for women who eat a low-fat diet. But the effect is modest at best. However, by reducing the amount of fat in your diet, you may decrease your risk of other diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. And a low-fat diet may protect against breast cancer in another way if it helps you maintain a healthy weight — another factor in breast cancer risk. For a protective benefit, limit fat intake to less than 35 percent of your daily calories and restrict foods high in saturated fat.

  • Exposure to pesticides. The molecular structure of some pesticides closely resembles that of estrogen. This means they may attach to estrogen receptor sites in your body. Although studies haven't found a definite link between most pesticides and breast cancer, researchers have learned that women with elevated levels of pesticides in their breast tissue have a greater breast cancer risk.

  • Unnecessary antibiotics. Scientists recently found a link between antibiotic use and breast cancer — the longer antibiotics were used, the greater the risk of breast cancer. Researchers caution, however, that other factors, such as underlying illness or a weakened immune system, rather than antibiotics themselves, may account for the elevated cancer risk.

  • Retinoids. Natural or synthetic forms of vitamin A (retinoids) may have the ability to destroy or inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Unlike other experimental therapies, retinoids may be effective in premenopausal women and in those whose tumors aren't estrogen-positive. Research is ongoing.

  • Flaxseed. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring compounds that lower circulating estrogens in your body. Flaxseed is particularly high in one phytoestrogen, lignan, which appears to decrease estrogen production and which may inhibit the growth of some breast cancers.

It doesn't hurt to change a few things in your life, to be a little healthier. I, personally, am going to work on my morbid obesity ;) Jk...