The Rantings of a Tortured Mind

Valerie Rayne Rants


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Brain Freeze


I have been having the hardest time this last week with my brain. We’ve been fighting all the time and I swear it’s making me lose a few IQ points. If I could remove it, without any pain, I probably would because I’m starting to get annoyed with it now.

It started with doing a minor re-design of Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous. That was the thing that made all this happen. I worked my butt off on it for 2 days straight and finally completed it and was all proud of myself for getting so much accomplished.

Of course, when it comes to this blogging life of mine, checking off 2 or 3 things from your to do list, only adds about 2 or 3 more things that eventually need to get done. I’m not good with goals of any kind, seriously! I keep coming up with things that I want to do and how I want to do them, and then it comes time to get them done and I just can’t.

I’ve spent the last 2 days,  mostly just staring at my computer screen. Attempting to loosen up this extreme mental blockage I’ve got going on. I’m having no problem coming up with ideas, pages and pages of ideas, it’s implementing them that has become a problem.

I hate times like this the most for what they do to my creative self-esteem. Most of the time, I consider myself to be a very creative person. Maybe not as creative as some people, but pretty darn creative. But when these mental farts come sneaking up on me, I start doubting how creative I actually am. And that probably gives me the most hassle, that doubt.

I’ve tried a few different things to get me out of the rut that I’m in, but none of it seems to be working. From doodling, which normally does me really good, to going for walks and reading tons of other blogs. But it just doesn’t get my mental juices flowing enough to do more than come up with ideas. Hopefully that will change and hopefully it’ll change soon.

I should start tracking when these mental blockages begin happening, that way I can plan my schedule accordingly. Like if I knew that the 3rd Tuesday of every month was going to be a brain-bunged-up kind of day, then I make where that day I had a post scheduled to go out or something… A back up plan.

So, to anyone else who might read my blog and writes their own blog, what do you do when you’re trying to get over writer’s block? What are some of the things that you have tried to unblock yourself? Do you have a pattern of productivity vs. slacker-ville?


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What do you want?!?


So, I’ve been brainstorming like crazy to come up with new post ideas, so that maybe I can get posting on a more regular basis (seriously, it’s a goal!). Well in my search for new ideas, I figured maybe I should just ask you, my readers, what you’d like to read.

I know from my WordPress stats on just about every site I write on, my most popular post is 100+ Sexual Bucket List Ideas. And don’t worry folks, I am working pretty hard on a follow up post to this, because I know you’ll love it. Don’t hesitate to pop on over to that post and leave your ideas there. But what else would you like to read more of?

What types of blog posts do you generally tend to read? What types of posts would you like to read more of? What types of posts are you most likely to comment on or share with your friends? Any feedback you could give me would be great, so leave your comments below and let me know what kind of posts you’d like to see here on The Rantings of a Tortured Mind.

Thanks in advance to everyone and I’ll also be asking this same question across my social networks, so you can comment there too.


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I do not look THAT pregnant!!


Well today wasn’t AS successful as I had hoped it would be, but I did go and get my ID. So two weeks time and I will officially have picture ID, which I plan to be much smarter about when it comes to knowing where it is, so that I don’t have to do this again for awhile…

I got a good majority of my online work done yesterday, so I felt mighty good about that until I started looking back at all the work I had done yesterday, and how much work still needed to be done. And not that it absolutely needs to get done, it’s just that I have a vision and I’m not getting close enough to that vision yet.

I started thinking I need a blogging/website buddy. Someone who can check out the things that I’m working on and give me feedback when I need it and gets my sometimes scattered thinking. Kind of like what I do with The Boyfriend’s blog idea, just a little less involved. Because with him, not only do I give him ideas and edit all of his writing, I also customize the blog and the newsletter. NOTE: All this stuff is still in the works and we’re still not ready to release anything, I was just writing that as an example.

It’s been a mostly lazy day today, which I really have to stop having so many of. But it’s been pretty hot all day today and I don’t have any summer type clothes, so I’ve been sitting in front of my fan for most of the day, except when I went to Mom’s earlier, where I was sitting in front of her fan…

The kids were all relatively good, though thanks to the recent clumsiness and Mama T’s cat, they are all scratched and dinged up. Kenzie has scratches all along his back from falling out of or onto (not really sure…) a tree or maybe from sliding down the ladder off the top bunk of his bed. He also has a bump on his head from the day that he decided to spin around in Kaeidyn’s small room – albeit it was very clean – hit the playhouse and stumbled knocking his head on Kaeidyn’s metal bed frame (Ouch!).

Carter has cat scratches all over his body. From his forehead, to his stomach and his legs, he is so rough with Mama T’s cat, so she gets him really good. The worst part is, I think he likes it. I’ve never heard him cry from a cat scratch, he seems to egg it on and seeks it out, and Nat (that’s the cat’s name), was the first REAL word he said and now says with ease. He’s also added Mom, but he’ll only say that when he’s telling on one of the other kids, Mama – for Grandma –  and Dad, but this is only when he really wants a bottle or something else that he can point at…

Kaeidyn and Keirnan are the least wounded, but theirs seems to be more serious. Kaeidyn had a few mosquito bites (few is a little bit of understatement), so her legs are completely scabbed up. Her knee is still scabbing over, which she scratches off, causing it to scab over again, but it’s looking really good. Keirnan tripped over his own feet today and scraped up his knee rather nicely. So it was a really good thing that the last time we went shopping, I picked up band-aids.

Things between The Boyfriend and I are pretty much going the way the always go, so there’s not much to report on that front. We kind of stay in our own spaces, but somehow it never gets boring and it never gets annoying and it never makes me feel like I’m lonely. There’s only one area of our life that needs improving and I keep begging for it and he keeps making it sound like maybe one day… Minor details at this point.

Work has been kind of hit or miss. Some days, I love my job completely and other days it’s the last place I want to be. They’re going through sort of a transition at work as we look at moving offices, hiring on new people, and going online. I think everyone is just kind of stressed out about the whole thing, so the atmosphere has been stressed and hectic. Some days, it’s exactly what I need and it makes me feel alive. Other days, it just feels like one more thing added to my already over flowing plate.

So that’s pretty much my latest update of all the crap that’s been going on. Oh, I don’t know if I mentioned this yet, but I can officially say that I’ve lost 5 pounds, so only 25 more to go before I’m completely satisfied. I got asked for a 2nd time today if I was expecting and all I have to say is, Seriously people, I do not look THAT pregnant!! Stop making assumptions!! So, how’s your week going?


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Checked Off The List…


Today was an incredibly productive day online! I have had a things-I-need-to-get-done-online list percolating for a few days and I’ve had a really hard time concentrating on the stuff. After 12 hours in front of my computer (can’t believe it’s been that long… I just noticed…), give or take a few minutes here or there, I have checked off the biggest things on my list and ended up getting even more than that done!

So all of my work today was Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous-related. First thing I had to work on was the minor design renovations to the site. I had started this a few days ago and then gave up on it for a bit and then re-started yesterday and left it unfinished until today. Finally, I got it done! I even did a few extra things that I hadn’t planned on…

  1. I changed the Navigation menu to now include drop-down menus to more in-depth content. Some of these links take you to internal site pages (on Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous), and some of these links take you to external pages such as the new blog or the Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous Facebook Fan Page.
  2. I changed up the header. Not only did I make the actual header smaller, but I added an 18+ warning below the navigation menu. It’s a pretty cool little picture:

    Adult

    Slowly getting better with my default Paint program. One day I'll get an actual graphics program...

  3. I added new stuff to the sidebars of almost every single page. You can now donate directly to Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous, unlocking access codes for the new blog and check out who is online.
So after all that, which took way longer that I expected it to take, I hopped on over to the new blog. Originally I had done this up on Blogger, but became unsatisfied with the labels option, so I switched it over to WordPress, so that I could get Categories and Tags. Seriously got so much done here, considering just yesterday it was a blank canvas.
  • I created every page and every category. Now you can learn more about the blog, check out all of the features, answer questions we have for you or ask your own, learn about subscribing to Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous and the forums and much much more!!!
  • On this blog, we have a Members Only section, which offers exclusive content and insider updates, but only for people who have an access code. So first I created a page explaining all the ways in which you can get an access code, which includes:
Which takes me to the last thing, that I spent a large chunk of time on, creating newsletter related stuff. Using my MailChimp account, which Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous Donations go towards upgrading as well, I made templates for donors who request access codes, and templates for the Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous Newsletter, which also gives out access codes. That probably sounds a lot more complicated than it is, but what do you expect, I’m all happy I accomplished so much.
I’ve also spent some time customizing the @LBAnonymous Twitter account, creating a YouTube account for Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous, creating a few different Google Moderator Series and checked out a couple posts on Mashable, because that’s how much of a nerd I am!
Over the next week, I have to:
Now it’s just a matter of getting all my offline stuff done on top of all that, because I’ve been completely sucking at that. If anything, that list has now gotten exceptionally longer. Tomorrow is the day that I plan to deal with all that!
So what have you been getting done online and off?


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Another Cool Piece of the Google Puzzle!


So the other night, after a great deal of a long time of waiting, one of my awesome Twitter followers sent me an invite to Google+. I’ve been hoping it would happen eventually, so I’m more than excited that it did. Needless to say, you can check me out here!

I decided to check out Google on YouTube, which I had never thought to do before. I didn’t even think they would be on YouTube, but they are… Well, jumping from video to video, I discovered probably one of my favorite Google tools yet, and from a blogging perspective, this is the best idea generator in the world!

What do you love?

What Do You Love is essentially like a Google search engine. The only difference is, instead of getting a big long page of search results, you get these cute little boxes that are sort of like search results. Here, I’ll show you what it looks like when I do a search for Human Sexuality:

Human Sexuality Results on What do you love?

Now, of course, if you were searching for something a little more popular, you would probably get more results. But I love that I can access all of the great Google products from this dashboard. From participating in group discussions about human sexuality to finding books and patents regarding human sexuality and after I’ve finished reading other people’s blogs about the topic, I can jump on over to Blogger directly from the page and write my very own post about human sexuality.

Anything you love, you can find a whole whack of information on What Do You Love. Probably even information you probably didn’t know that you were looking for. It’s a dynamic, easy-to-read and exciting search engine. Could it possibly be the future of search?

Conversation Starters

  • Have you ever used What Do You Love?
  • What do you like and dislike about it?
  • Did you just fall more in love with Google, like I did?

Let me know by leaving a comment below!

UPDATE: A few of the things that I love…


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Interesting Facts About Sex – An Infographic


I’ve recently started using StumbleUpon again after a long time of not using it. As I entered in my desired category, Sexual Health, this was the first thing I got on my first time back to stumbling. I couldn’t be more impressed!

Continue reading


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This Week I…


Got these things done:

  • Finally put in an application for Carter’s birth certificate so that I can get child tax benefit for him. Don’t ask why it took me so long…
  • Went down 5 pounds and 3 inches and then gained it all back…
  • Tracked my hours of sleep everyday on sparkpeople.com
  • Took in my TD1 form to work so that I can begin working full-time hours and get a raise (even though I seriously don’t think I need one, full-time is good enough for me!)
  • Started another blog… I know, it’s a horrible addiction. I keep creating and deleting and then creating some more… Ugh! This one has been really great so far though. It’s a blog giving you the latest and greatest from the social networking community I run, Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous. My post about how my number one rule when it comes to penis size also applies to social media has proven to be rather popular…
  • I’ve figured out the themes for the next year for the Blog Readers Club on Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous, though suggestions are always welcome!

Need to Get These Things Done:

  • Take in the daycare papers so that Mom can get paid for all the hard work she’s doing babysitting my brats
  • Hopefully Carter’s birth certificate will arrive and then we can get the other papers filled out
  • Exercise at least 10 minutes a day, and preferably something with a little bit of cardio
  • Get the bathroom clean… Seriously why is this one so hard for me? I used to love to clean bathrooms and now my bathroom just sucks…
  • Get some groceries. We’ve been so hurting for money that groceries have been slim picking and again thank you to my Mom for feeding the kids lots while they’re at her house, so that they’re not as hungry when they get home. Just got to make it until Friday…
  • Get a security clearance from the cop shop…
  • Take library books (that I didn’t finish) and a movie (that is overdue) back to the library…
  • Add more quotes/videos/links to Valerie Rayne’s Randomness

Want To:

  • Go to Mom’s and try to record at least one song to throw up on YouTube, it’s been WAY too freaking long
  • Get through all 450 of my unread items in my Google Reader (add another 100 for everyday that I don’t read it…)
  • Drink more water… I know this should be a NEED TO DO, but I’m a stubborn person, so this is more of a want situation – that way if I don’t get it done, I won’t feel bad, sorta…
  • Clean behind and under the furniture, the pieces I can move anyways. It’s about that time again and normally I let things go a little past their due date when it comes to cleaning. I’d like to get underneath of the computer desk, under the chair and behind the couch all cleaned out…
  • Get 10 more visitors to this blog than I did this time last year, so don’t hesitate to share this blog with your friends by sharing the link —> https://valerieraynerants.wordpress.com/

Conversation Starters

  • So what did you accomplish this week?
  • What are you hoping to get done the rest of the week?
  • Is there anything you’re not looking forward to this week?


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July 7, 2011 Central Alberta Storm (There’s Videos!!)


I’m hating the weather this summer so far. Have I ever told you how much I despise storms? My greatest fear in life is that I’ll be taken out by a natural disaster. It used to be lightening, then it changed to an unexplained fire, and now it is 100% a tornado.


Near Penhold, Alberta

On Thursday, we had a wicked storm and it was the first time I’ve ever been a part of a city that had a tornado warning that advised you to “take shelter immediately”. The worst part about the entire thing was that The Boyfriend had walked to the store…

So as we normally do when there’s a storm, we go out on the balcony and check out the rain, the lightening, the thunder and really I’m checking to see if I think it looks rough enough to be down in my bathroom! I walk outside and it’s still pretty light out, but I see a father and his daughter underneath of an umbrella. Then I see the Dad point to the sky and then they ran back into the house. Automatically I thought, shit a tornado is coming and I don’t know if The Boyfriend is going to be safe.

Clouds began billowing up into the sky at a speed that I’ve never seen before. The only thing at all that brought me comfort is that there was a plane following the storm and passing through the absolutely wicked clouds. It’s interesting to me how many people, when every information source is telling you to take shelter, will go outside. The street filled with people as my neighbor tells me a tornado has just touched down outside of Innisfail.


Near Penhold, Alberta

Then it starts hailing wickedly. Of course when I first learned of all the tornado warnings, I automatically read up on the internet about disaster preparedness. I knew what to do if there was a tornado, but I wanted some reassurance that I absolutely knew, just in case! Rain is usually not present during a tornado, but hail is. So that set off even more panic as I paced frantically in the living room wondering if I should wake all the kids up to go hide in the bathroom while we waited for The Boyfriend to get back.

By the time The Boyfriend got back, the hail had stopped and the sky behind our house turned a brilliant blue with light fluffy clouds. All I have to say is thank goodness for The Weather Network and @AB_EmergAlert. Because if I wouldn’t of been able to check those two things every few minutes, I’m sure a panic attack would’ve hit.


Near Sundre and Olds, Alberta

So far, no injuries have been reported even though a total of 4 (last I heard) tornadoes touched down in Central Alberta. No idea how many funnel clouds there were, I know of 2 in Red Deer alone. Though I don’t even want to know how many people, who all feel the same way about tornadoes as I do, are still worrying about it.

The last two nights has been pretty windy at night. It seems to be pretty calm during the day, just some cloudy skies. Then we get to night and the wind picks up. Falling asleep has been pretty darn hard, because being defenseless worries me. At least during the day, you can see the storm a-brewing. At night, not so much.

I hope, for my sake and for the others who are scared of storms, that this is the last bad storm of the year. I know it probably won’t happen, but I definitely don’t like when it happens and even more so, I hope that if it does happen, The Boyfriend is at least at home when it does. I also hope that this crappy weather goes away soon, so that I can get a really good nights sleep…

What natural disaster scares you the most? Or are you one of the lucky soles who isn’t really afraid of it? Have you ever witnessed a tornado or other disaster? Let’s talk storms people!


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You’re Gonna Miss Me…


So, I finally got around to reading my Google Reader, which I hadn’t done in a few days. I’ve got to stop waiting so long for two reasons. One because then they pile up like crazy. Today, I had 498 unread items waiting for me and only got through 200 of them before my internet froze up. Second, because I miss some really great things!

Mashable, one of the many blogs I follow, posted a really great video that I’d love to share with you, because not only do I love that the girl is using a plastic cup as her drum, this girl has a truly amazing voice. And just below that you can hear the original of the song.

I just seriously think this song is so pretty. I’m really glad that I got to hear it. Now here is the actual version by Lulu and the Lampshades.

Which version do you like better? I personally prefer the cover more than the original, mainly because you can hear the lyrics better and the cup is done more cleanly. It’s just a really pretty song. Super thumbs up to Lulu and the Lampshades!


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But…


I am so ready for this month to be over. I know it just started and everything, but I wish it’d just end already. Hell, I’m ready for the next few months to be over because I just don’t want to deal with all of this crap.

So first things first, our hot water gets cut off. No big deal, most of what gets done around the house doesn’t need hot water and for the things that do, there’s always boiling pots of water on the stove. And luckily, for now, my Mom only lives a block and a half away, showers can be taken at her house.

Then, our electricity gets cut off. Again, thank goodness for my Mom (and her boyfriend…), so that we’re not sitting here in the dark without the ability to put movies on for the kids or use our stove – because the 2 1/2 days of that was pure hell!

I’m not exactly sure where and how everything financially speaking is getting so out of control. Yes, if we could quit smoking it would save us a pretty penny, eventually or something. But that’s not exactly 100% doable. When we work it out on paper and create our monthly budget, and that’s over pricing how much we spend on things like take out or how much our grocery bill is, once the money starts rolling in, it just doesn’t work.

So after we got the electricity turned back on, we thought we were going to be okayish, at least for a bit. Then the dreaded rent payment day arrived. I seriously hate this time of month, because I never have all of rent on the 1st. Well, not never. It’s happened before and I’m sure eventually it will happen again. But with the way our paydays work, it’s easier to pay half on the 1st and the other half a week later, and I’m lucky enough to have a landlord that will let that happen.

But lately, he’s been feeling some financial strain himself, so he’s on everyone’s case to start paying on time. So now, for everyday we’re late there’s a $20 late fee. I always hate that kind of stuff, because if I couldn’t afford to pay you all of your rent on time, what makes you think that I can afford to pay you $20 for every additional day that I don’t pay. It doesn’t logically make sense. But that’s the dice that has been rolled and now I have to deal with it.

Which in turn makes me so sure that we’re going to be coming up on an eviction right away… Which wouldn’t be so bad since we’re all wanting to move, but the chances of finding something in our “budget” that will allow a total of 6 people to live there is not going to be easy. Every time I think about it, it just reminds me of the constant gut-wrenching horribleness when I was looking for this place.

I don’t know how many places I called back then, but it was ALOT! It took me weeks of searching (almost an entire month), tons of tears and more than enough hope and disappointment. The second I said that I had 3 kids, 2 at home and 1 in the hospital, people automatically turned me down. I had to look for 3 bedrooms, even though I knew I could never afford a 3 bedroom. I was lucky as hell to find this place, especially when I did, because I definitely didn’t want to bring Keirnan home from the hospital to a hotel room…

So needless to say, things are stressful around here. I was supposed to go pay a portion of the rent today, but we don’t have any of it. So I have to call my landlord tomorrow and tell him that he’ll have to wait for the full amount until the 8th, when we’ll be getting a paycheck and a payday loan to pay off rent. Which just screws us over for rent next month, but it’s necessary right now. And that’s making it all the worse, because I can just see it’s going to be a long hard road financially speaking…

Then there’s all the stuff I have to do this week, and my Mom’s rushing me to get it done now, now, now. Which I understand and totally get, but while I’m feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders, adding a few more things to the list is seriously bumming me out. It’s making it so hard for me to force myself out of bed every morning, because my list just keeps getting longer and longer. When I think I’ve fixed one thing, ten more things get added. It’s exhausting, it’s overwhelming and frankly, it’s just plain annoying!

I know I sound like a whiny baby and I’m really just venting, because this is fixable, or at least in some ways I believe it is. To a degree. I’m just not looking forward to it. I’m not looking forward to the stress, I’m not looking forward to the work, I would rather just not do it… Unfortunately, that’s not an option.

So, I threw out a few resumes this week. I really don’t want to leave my job and I’m hoping that I’ll find something that works around this job. But otherwise, I need something full-time, that’s going to earn me a full-time wage. We’re also trying to cut down on other costs, though it’s still in the very beginning stages. But things like turning off the lights when we leave a room, except the bathroom (because I can’t sleep without that light…). Even though we’ve been sucking at it, turning off the TV when both The Boyfriend and I are on our respective computers.

I’m hoping this week, we can try to at least cut down on the smoking. I wish we could just quit it cold turkey, but I honestly panic when I think about it. It’s kind of become my safety blanket. When I’m upset with the kids, I have a smoke with the hopes it will calm me down. When I’m hungry but don’t want to eat, I have a smoke. It’s not even the smoke itself that calms me down, it’s the exhaling of the smoke that calms me down. Watching the smoke come out of my mouth. I’m not ready to quit yet… I know, I know, they’re all just excuses.

I’ve also got a bunch of errands that I have to run tomorrow, which makes it a hectic Monday, which I always hate! First thing in the morning, gotta go over to Mom’s for a shower. Then the bus, then work, then quickly to the library to drop off overdue movies and then to go get the kids birth certificates so that I can get Carter on my child tax benefit. I know, I know, I should have done that a year and a half ago…

So many mistakes, so many consequences. In other news, we’ve gone to the exercise park two days in a row, and if our weather holds out, we’ll do it again tomorrow. Mainly because now with Kaeidyn being out of school, it’s very rough on me mentally to be stuck inside the house with all four of the kids all day long. It never used to be like this, but lately, it’s just been absolutely rough.

None of the kids seem to be listening lately, they are all full of questions that I can’t or don’t want to answer, they are constantly arguing with each other or using their “friends” outside to gang up on one another. They’ve all just been a little out of control. The worst part is, just when we think any of our disciplinary tactics is working, it all just goes out the window in an instant.

For example, we had a really bad day the day before yesterday. So when the kids went to bed, they were told the safety gate was going up and if they took it down they would be grounded all day. Well, when I woke up the next morning, the safety gate was down and they had gotten into the juice crystals, which they’ve decided they like to lick their fingers and then stick them in the juice and suck it off their fingers. Yuck!

Or another example, stay in the yard or you get grounded from going outside to play. So they did fine for a little bit. They played nicely in the front yard. Then the boys came in and Kaeidyn wandered off three or four houses down… Needless to say she got grounded and had a pissy attitude for the rest of the day.

But no matter what kind of punishment we’ve tried so far, it doesn’t seem to get any better. For a few moments and then WHAM! They’re right back to being bad. We think it’s mostly just boredom, hence the visits to the exercise park. Also, it’s a little bit trying to get them tuckered out enough that bed time isn’t a two hour fight.

Today’s visit to the exercise park was interesting to say the least. We knew the weather wasn’t that great, it had started to get a little windy out and the clouds were graying, but we figured we had some time to play around. Within about five minutes of being there, a huge chunk of hail falls. Then another, and then it was beating down really hard. Hurt so bad when it bounced off your ears! So we rushed home to get out of the hail/rain. Once we got inside though, wouldn’t you know the sun came out…

I still wish I could just skip this month all together and that everything falls into place while I’m skipping it. Wishful thinking I suppose. Well that was a much longer rant than I intended. If you’re still reading, I thank you!