The Rantings of a Tortured Mind

Valerie Rayne Rants


Leave a comment

Rough Couple of Days…


It’s been a rough couple days around here and you can tell… You can tell the second you walk into my house and it’s dark and gloomy and nothing looks clean at all (even though we’ve been cleaning every single day) and it just looks like a house filled with sadness and stress. Frankly, because that’s exactly what this house is filled with right now. And I’m really really hating it….

The first thing that’s all out of whack is our financial situation and neither The Boyfriend or I can figure out how it’s going as wrong as it is. Back before we moved into this place, the house that is now dubbed “Gilchrist”, we were paying $300 more a month in rent, we were spending our money on a lot more stupid stuff like video games and movies and general electronics, we were paying a lot more where bills and utilities were concerned and somehow we managed to not always be hurting for money. I mean yes, we had our months, but it wasn’t like this where it seems to be constant.

Now, we’re paying $300 less, we’re no longer buying movies because we have Netflix, The Boyfriend hasn’t bought a video game that couldn’t be found in the cheap bin since we moved in here (oh, now that I think about it, one game new), and we have one less utility bill and the bills that we are getting are cheaper than they were in the other house. We have spent the last few weeks trying to see where we’re going wrong and the only thing that keeps coming to mind is the cost of our groceries.

With all the kids getting bigger and having fuller days, we’ve noticed that we’re spending about $100 more per week on groceries. And yes, there are a few things that The Boyfriend and I could cut down on big time, such as smoking and the amount of Sprite that I’m drinking or the number of store-bought coffees we could be getting, so yes, there are changes that can still be made to remedy this financial situation, but we can’t figure out what we’re doing wrong or differently from Gilchrist. And it’s bringing both of us down a lot.

For him, he feels nothing but guilt. He loves his job so much, he really does. I don’t think you’ll ever meet a Wal-Mart employee who has so much pride in his work and who loves working for that company as much as The Boyfriend does. But, he’s not getting paid enough to be able to support this big family of ours, he’s just not, not by himself anyways. And he feels incredibly guilty about that. He feels guilty because he can’t be a better provider while keeping this job that he loves and while I constantly remind him that I’d rather him be happy at a job than make tons of money, he still feels inadequate.

For me, I just keep thinking that I need to get back to work but right now it’s so damn hard. The big thing that’s standing in my way when it comes to returning to the workforce is a daycare. With my Mom working, she can’t really be relied on to watch the kids and even if she could, it could only be for 21 days out of the month because of her partner’s job. Getting them into a daycare facility or into a dayhome program, not only involves tons of waiting on waiting lists, but also costs a whole heck of a lot of money and if you didn’t catch it from all my ranting before, money is so damn tight right now that just thinking about having to throw out all that money is a hugely overwhelming shock to my system that I’m just avoiding thinking about it at all…

There also comes the issue of Keirnan and his half school days. If I were to get a job and couldn’t take the time off at lunch to get him to school, how would he get there? He wouldn’t, and as it is with how often he’s been sick or how often he’s had to stay home because Carter or I was too sick to walk him, the schools already calling about all his missed days… Just the whole thought of me going back to work right now is such a huge stressor and yet, I sincerely don’t think we’ll last too many more months with our crappy financial situation. It’s kind of like, I need a job or we’re completely screwed…

Then, we’re still dealing with all this Child Services stuff. Not technically Child Services anymore but that stuff. So, Child Services came in (as I’ve told you before) and even though the report that was filed against us was proven to be false on the very first day, the lady decided we still needed a little help as parents. After a few more interviews with her and a lot of being told that we simply weren’t doing a good enough job in her eyes, we were referred to a parenting program with another lady. I still don’t know exactly how I feel about it. One day I’ll think it’s a great idea and that The Boyfriend and I could use some help with some of the problems that we’re having with the kids and as parents. I mean, how many times do I vent to you guys all about how annoyed I am by the kids? That’d be nice not to do anymore. But then the next day, I’ll think that I really don’t need that kind of help when it comes to parenting and that I want the chance to figure it out on my own and that I stopped going to all the parenting programs I was a part of for a reason and those reasons still exist today. It’s a confusing time for my brain.

But, we really have no choice. If we don’t go to this program, our Child Services file will stay open and I fear that eventually, they won’t be nice about things anymore and eventually they’ll just take my kids and I absolutely do not want that. So, I concede to their wishes, no matter how much I fight with myself about it, because it’s necessary. So, I had my first appointment last Thursday and this Friday, The Boyfriend and I go for the first real assessment of our family… And I’m just not looking forward to it.

Firstly, because a lot of it will be discussing Alfie… We chose Kaeidyn as the kid we were going to focus on, because her and I just can’t seem to get along very well. We’re always arguing, our attitudes are always colliding and we’re both so stubborn that we don’t get anywhere with each other. At our first meeting, we discussed a little bit about our break-in awhile back and how that was a traumatic experience for her and then, her Dad got brought up. This is always such a sensitive subject for all of us, not just her. I mean, Alfie was a really toxic influence in our lives and easily was a traumatic experience for us all. The boys are all too young to really remember what it was like with him, but not Kaeidyn…

And the worst part is, is even though Alfie is hardly present at all in their lives anymore (save for the holidays and his birthday apparently), he still has such a massive effect on them. For instance, Kaeidyn has an email address and she uses it to send messages to her grandparents, sign up for computer game accounts and mostly, check in with her Dad. For awhile, he was responding to her as fast as he could and things were going really well. Then, he called and said he would start paying child support to us directly now that he had gotten this great paying job. Month one went by without a hitch and then the next month, he asked if he could not pay one week so that he could come and see the kids. I’ve always told him that to me, it’s more important to have him around than it is to have his money. And up until recently, we were doing fine without his money. So, I said yes to not paying that week so he could come see the kids.

That weekend went by and he never came to see them, never called and never sent any money. Kaeidyn had been emailing him non-stop during this time. Asking when he was coming down, asking how his day was going, just constantly with the emails. Not once did he respond. The kids got to see him last weekend, not because he paid money for it and not because he went out of his way to make sure he got to see them, but because his family did. Here he is, bragging about the new phone he got and the new this and that that he got, and still, Kaeidyn’s been emailing him, and there’s been no response. No one knows how to get in touch with him, he hasn’t called here in weeks and Kaeidyn can definitely tell that The Boyfriend and I are having some major freaking problems surrounding Alfie. We’re both beyond pissed at him.

I can’t stop beating myself up for ever choosing such a loser to be the father of 3 out of 4 of my kids, The Boyfriend can’t stop being angry that any dad can just “abandon” (his words, not mine) his kids like this and we’re both just not dealing well with this whole Alfie situation. And guaranteed, it’s going to get brought up over and over again in these parenting program appointments of ours and it’s just a great big stress that I would much rather not deal with. We’re just not having a good couple of days…

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Nothing But Complaints…


Alright, so I officially suck at blogging everyday, it’s just impossible. And yesterday, there were so many opportunities and I just could not force myself to write anything. I had absolutely no motivation. This is something I’m going to be exploring with a passion over the next few days, because I can’t keep doing this to myself. I can’t keep letting every single goal I ever make for myself slip through my fingers, especially when it’s something I enjoy doing…

Plus, I’m never going to get anywhere that I want to be if I just continue to get discouraged or whatever you want to call it. I am in one heck of a funk though. This thing has got a vicious grip on me and all day yesterday and all day today, I have just felt completely boggled down by whatever this negative emotion is that I’m feeling at the moment. It’s not even really any particular feeling, just a general blah-ness.

I’m not sure exactly what’s causing this. I know part of today’s funk has to do with the fact that it was supposed to be The Boyfriend’s day off and then he ended up getting called into work bright and early this morning because night crew didn’t do their jobs. I would’ve been less upset about it if it weren’t for the fact that they had been dicking him around in general over this day off for the last two weeks, constantly changing when it would be and constantly changing how many days it would be, that it was annoying that they had finally gotten it figured out and then I get woken up this morning to a phone call for him to come in on his day off. I was not impressed…

But the day, for the most part, has been overall decent. Yes, there’s been moments of getting angered with the kids or moments of laughter, such as – we downloaded a whole bunch of game demos because The Boyfriend got a hard drive. One of the games we downloaded was Just Dance 4 for the kids and it was just about the cutest thing watching Kenzie and Kaeidyn try to nail these dance moves. It’s been a day like any other basically.

I hate that school is already starting again. I definitely don’t feel prepared at all. I was hoping to go to the laundromat before school started, I was planning on having so much more of the house completely cleaned. We’ve had each area of the house completely cleaned at one point or another, but keeping it that way seems physically impossible. And that’s only because my energy levels are at an absolute minimum – or else it wouldn’t be that impossible.

And that’s another thing that I really need to figure out. How to get my energy levels up, because I just feel exhausted and un-motivated all the time. I don’t want to do anything or go anywhere or move. I just want to stay in one spot… I feel incredibly lazy and I hate it. I mean, obviously I’m not just staying in one spot or not doing anything, because that’s definitely impossible, but I’m not doing all that I want to be doing.

Darn this winter thing. I swear, if it were summer, I would not be going through all these whiny days and nothing but complaints. I hate this weather and I hate the lack of sunshine and I hate that I can’t kick the kids outside to play… I’m just pissy…


Leave a comment

The Boyfriend is NOT Alfie…


It has not been a good couple of days these last few ones. It’s been stressful, I’ve been sad and I feel like there is absolutely no light to end of this tunnel. It started with a visit from my landlord, just adding to the stress of all the things we’re already stressing about. After exchanging words with him, he gave us a 24-hour-notice to come into the house. The Boyfriend was wonderful and missed many good hours of sleep to help me get the house decent enough for the landlord’s inspection. Who knows what exactly will come out of all of that.

We threw out so many things though. Literally just went into the kids room with shovels and garbage bags and everything went in there. Toys, clothes, garbage and even some things that I would want to consider sentimental. At first, I was barely phased at all by it. I just kept on working. But then, we got to our room and there was just so much stuff in there that I would’ve preferred to keep, and it was incredibly sad for me. I felt like I was throwing away my past. I felt bitterly angry with the kids.

Then, my sisters kids are down for a couple weeks. And while that part of it has me more than thrilled (especially being that I rarely get to spend this much time with my niece and nephew), it is just another stress. Last night had to be one of the roughest nights I’ve had in a long time as we were asked to take all 6 kids for a couple hours so my Mom could get some of her own stuff done. And while the actual experience itself was surprisingly wonderful, we returned back to our house to discover that our power had been disconnected and 6 kids and no electricity tends to be a pretty big pain in the butt, even more so when you take into account the 4 boys and their obsession with gaming.

Upon realizing that we didn’t have enough bowls for breakfast in the morning, I just called my Mom and we all came and slept at her place. First time in months that The Boyfriend and I have slept in a real bed!! Not a mat on the floor… But it’s just adding to my sour mood. I mean, not the fact that I slept at my Mom’s place, but the fact that I’m never prepared for anyone to do anything. I can’t have people sleeping over at my house, because it’s either too dirty or I don’t have what I need. I feel like a crappy mom and a crappy aunt.

Every single day though, I can feel myself getting ready for the changes that are about to commence. I’m absolutely sick of living life this way. This unorganized, messy, unprepared, not ready for anything type of life. I’m done with it! I’m ready to start fresh and create routines and clean every single day. Unfortunately, we’re still weeks away from moving and the impatience of it all is killing me. I am tired of waiting and just want to get this show on the road already. I need it, The Boyfriend needs it and our family needs it.

We were supposed to get to go see the place in the middle of July, but now we won’t get to see it until our move-in date, which is seriously bumming me out. I’d really like to know what we’re getting into and what we’re going to need, outside of all the stuff we already know. For instance, how many bathrooms does this place actually have? Do I need to get one garbage can for bathrooms or two? Where are all the bedrooms? Is that going to affect the type of beds we can now get? Will I have a place that I can put a dining room table or are we going to have to get creative? I don’t like knowing so little about the place that we’re moving to.

Then, The Boyfriend leaves for his training on Sunday. I am beyond stressed about that and so is he, but for completely different reasons. I’m trying so hard to be the supportive girlfriend in every way I can possibly think of, but it is being much harder than I had expected it to be. The Boyfriend is more stressed about it than I’ve ever seen him over anything before. He hates the idea of leaving us for 5 days. I, on the other hand, feel the same jealousy towards him getting this “vacation” from the kids as I do for their Dad never being around. It took me all week to figure out that this was what was really bugging me.

It took until Kaeidyn began freaking out that he was leaving us for good before it even slightly clicked for me. I didn’t fully realize it until The Boyfriend expressed that he was upset that I wasn’t more upset about him going. At first, I stammered and stuttered through, “It’s because I think it’s important for you to go, so I don’t want to talk you out of it in anyway” and then I kind of snapped, “I’m trying not to feel the same way about this as I do about Alfie. He’s always getting a break from these kids and now you’re getting it too and I just want to know, when the hell my break is going to be?”. I think we were both kind of taken aback by this thought. I hadn’t realized that that’s what I was feeling and I don’t think he ever thought that I would put him in the same category in any way as Alfie. The big difference though, and I just keep reminding myself of this over and over again, is that The Boyfriend doesn’t want to leave, Alfie did. The Boyfriend would rather not leave me with the kids and has caused himself so much stress just worrying about it, Alfie never thought any of that. I need to remember that The Boyfriend is not Alfie…

I just need for the next two weeks to go by so fast!! I need them to whiz by like nothing. Ideally, I’d just sleep through them…


6 Comments

Getting Crazy


I think a stress that we haven’t fully realized is beginning to consume both The Boyfriend and I. It wasn’t apparent to me, until last night when a minor storm rolled over the house and I began seriously freaking out. Not just my normal regular “I’m-scared-of-these-storms” freaking out, but to the point that I, as I was cleaning the window to better be able to see the clouds, began bawling my eyes out. I could not seem to break the pending panic attack, no matter how hard I tried.

The Boyfriend did a wonderful job of staying extra calm and saying as many calming things as he could come up with. Not that anything he was doing was working the way he had hoped it would, but he was patient and relaxed and over the next two hours the storm passed by and everything was clear and I was finally calmed.

But then, The Boyfriend came home from work today, unusually stressed out. He normally comes home flustered from crap at work, but after you let him vent about it for about 45 minutes, he usually is less stressed. Not today. He has been, apparently, stressing pretty hard about money. I think that he thinks that I’m not paying as much attention as I am on the money. I proved him wrong and eased his worries there, thank goodness!

I’ve never, in the 4 years that I’ve been with him, seen him stress about money. Honestly though, I think it’s a whole bunch of different kinds of stress and he’s just focused in on the money right now. But I think it’s this move. I think he feels unprepared and I think he really hates that. Of course, I’m just piecing this together from what I know of him since it will probably take him another week or two to figure out what’s bothering him. Once we get right close to the move date.

He’s also majorly stressed out by work right now. He’s not looking forward to his training while he’s got so many things already on the go at the job. He just started a new initiative with his crew and he’s having to leave for 5 days. That frustrates him a lot. He’s also pretty concerned about leaving me here for 5 days alone with the kids, being that they have been a handful and a half lately.

Yesterday seemed like the longest day of my life and about an hour before The Boyfriend got home from work, I broke down in tears because I was so upset by them. They are all at such unmanageable ages when you stick them all together. I’ve got Carter, who is learning every bad habit his older siblings are teaching him, while at the same time just learning how to really talk. So, what we end up with is a full-of-attitude back talker. I don’t know how many times I’ll give him heck for something and he’ll sternly turn back to me and exclaim a solid, “No!”.

Kaeidyn and I are constantly clashing heads about everything. I woke up the other morning to her arguing with me about whether or not the nail polish she had found was actually hers or mine. Today, I had to give her a huge long lecture about respect and accountability. Try explaining that one to a stubborn 7-year-old… I walked away from that conversation with a headache and feeling like she hadn’t heard a single word that I said. And sometimes I wonder if she ever hears me or if she never will. My Mom had cursed me with my first-born being exactly like I was growing up, and if 7-year-old Kaeidyn is already like 13-year-old me, I am absolutely screwed!

Kenzie has been getting very rough lately, to the point where we’re almost worried about it. He doesn’t seem to notice at all how strong he is and it’s resulting in a lot of hurt people and broken house. From the window breaking, extreme rough housing and payback hitting. If Keirnan does something to him, that in anyway Kenzie doesn’t like, Keirnan will get a hard hit from his bigger brother. It’s mean and unnecessary and we’re just trying to figure out how to manage it. Today seemed to be a bit better, so we’ll just have to see what is going to go down.

Needless to say, we’re frustrated, stressed and exhausted and I don’t even think either of us have come to really realize it yet. I imagine that the 5 days that he’s gone are going to be an extreme test. All I can say is, there better not be any storms for those 5 days…


Leave a comment

Coming and Going


Seriously… I need to start posting more. Every single day, I’ve written something. There it sits in my drafts folder, waiting to be published. You’d think I’d just hit publish, but I leave them unfinished. I hate that… Anyways.

The older kids are gone for a couple days. They left Saturday night and they won’t get back until Thursday sometime. So it’s just me, The Boyfriend and Carter for the next few days. Let me tell you, it’s been amazingly beautiful so far!! The first night, my Mom took Carter for The Boyfriend and I and we slept in so late the next day. Then today, Carter let me sleep until almost noon. I am one heck of a well-rested girl!

I also impulsively dyed my hair yesterday. About a year or so ago, I had been mentioning it constantly. Right around the time that I started showing my first real noticeable gray hair. Then, I guess I must have forgotten about it, because it didn’t come up in conversations or anything. Then, we were wandering through Wal-Mart yesterday and I abprubtly said, “I should dye my hair…” and moments later we were walking out the door with a rich mahogany color.

It’s been about 12 years since I last dyed my hair. Needless to say, I was much more nervous than was necessary. Concerned I was going to do it wrong, concerned about how it was going to turn out. By the time I actually started, my stomach was in absolute knots. All of which were unjustified. It ended up being a pretty decent experience. The only thing that I’m noticing after the fact is that it’s not enough of a change. It’s pretty much my natural hair color. I want to put pictures up, but my camera is dead and my webcam isn’t working. So you’ll have to wait.

In about a week and a half, The Boyfriend’s going away for a few days to further his training for work. It’ll be the first time since we’ve been together that we’ll be apart for this long. The biggest thing that I’m not looking forward to is 5 days alone with all 4 of the kids. Non-stop. I’m trying to keep my jealousy over his vacation-from-the-kids to an absolute minimum, because I don’t want him to decide not to go. It’s his next step on the ladder to where he wants to be, which I’m not even sure he knows where it’s headed. But I’m determined to not hinder him. It’s much harder than you would think it is.

Then, almost as soon as he gets back, we’re moving. It seems like it’s further away than it’s ever been and looking around our house, you’d have no idea. We’ve barely begun packing. Our move-in date got pushed back 15 days, so we still have tons of time. I’m hoping we’ll get to at least see the inside of the place sometime around the 20th, because I really want to know what the place we’re moving into looks like. That’s one thing that sucks about going this route, is that we have no idea what we’re getting into right now. All we know is that it’s a 4-bedroom and that our rent is a lot cheaper than it is now… But, no complaints!

So that’s the latest this week. Hopefully I will start publishing more posts coming up soon. Maybe I’ll spend the night going through my drafts. Hope everyone’s having a great week!!


Leave a comment

Thoughts from the Last 72 Hours


Well, last night’s storm (the first real storm of the season) ended up being absolutely perfect for the first one of the year. It wasn’t so bad that I was freaking out all night about it (though I did stay up about 2 1/2 hours later than everyone else watching the storm) and I was able to keep myself and whichever kid happened to be woken up by the thunder, relatively calm. All in all, I was very impressed with myself.

The only urge that I had all night was to watch those clouds and make sure they didn’t turn into anything horrible. The Weather Network had been posting for a day or two that they were expecting this storm to come in and were getting everyone ready for tornado weather, so I had gone into this storm already paranoid. Luckily, after the first two really big cracks of thunder, the storm was relatively a small one. Lots of lightning, a couple of rumbles of thunder and tons of rain, but the wind wasn’t nearly as bad as they had called for.

Looking through the Weather Network today, it looks like a total of 4 tornadoes did touch down here in Alberta, but only in the south and no one was injured. Looking into the future around the site and their Summer Outlook, it looks like we’re not exactly in for the best season here. It sounds like it’s going to be a lot more of these storms and I can only hope that I deal with them as well as I did last night. We’re still under a severe thunderstorm watch, so we’ll see what happens!

It’s hard to believe that another school year is almost done. In September, we have another kid starting school, only one more to go after that. Kenzie goes to full days, which will be beautiful. Plus, he can walk with Kaeidyn, instead of having to walk with adults. Though, we’ll still be doing the half days with Keirnan…

I’ve been calling around for houses and landed myself a job interview for Monday. The houses part of that sentence is not going as well as one would hope at all. We went to apply for Community Housing, which I was stressing out about way more than was necessary, but because of the amount of kids we have and their guidelines regarding the number of bedrooms we need, they currently have nothing available. I have to call today to find out if their other assistance program will work for us. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep calling all these places that I know we won’t be able to get, for whatever reason. Today, a whole bunch of places a lot like the one I currently live in (but cheaper) came online, so I’ve already called about them.

I’m excited about my interview and cannot wait to go to it. It makes me nervous that it’s still 5 days away, but I figure it gives me more time to prepare. And if I go in there prepared, with the way my resume looks right now, I’m confident that I’ll walk out with something. If not a job, at least a sense of accomplishment (as opposed to failure). Until I get a job though, things are going to be so financially strapped it’s ridiculous. It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t that long ago that we had just gotten everything back on track and it seemed like it was all going to be great…

I need to go see a doctor eventually too. Especially if The Weather Network is right. First of all, I’ve been getting a lot of pain in my legs again. My knees seem to only really be bad at night, but my calves and ankles are always feeling like muscles are being stretched too hard or torn, when I’m not even doing anything. Then, I’ve been getting this horrible nagging pain right at the bottom of my rib cage, sort of where you would imagine the spleen, liver, pancreas, etc. I’ve had pain like this in the past, when I was pregnant with Kaeidyn, but instead of the nagging type of pain it was sudden and sharp. It landed me in the hospital for 4 days, plus every couple of months after that.

The doctor’s at the time had thought that it was a gallstone, but then when I was pregnant with Kenzie and was having the same problem, the doctor wanted to get an ultrasound of my liver, which I never went for. So now, I’m worried that it’s something I should be worried about. Especially being that it’s been happening for so long now. It’s been this dull and nagging constant pain in my upper stomach for over a month now. So it’s probably about time I get it checked.

I’m also seriously considering asking about getting some anti-anxiety meds for these storms. I was talking with The Boyfriend yesterday about my fears about it and the reasons why I am so hesitant to take them. It’s not that I haven’t taken anti-anxiety meds in the past, I have. I know what to expect going into it and that’s kind of the part that has me stressing the most. I just don’t want to be running into my bathroom at the first sight of every storm this summer. I want to be able to be calm in front of the kids, so that they stay calm, and I want to be able to keep myself calm so that if anything were to happen, I could be prepared for it, instead of frazzled and crying.

Well, that’s the things that have been on my mind over the past 48 – 72 hours. Have you been getting any storms where you live? What are your reactions to storms? Do you freak out or do you take them in stride? Are you able to sleep through them or are you like me, constantly checking on it? Leave your comments and let’s share our thoughts on storms!!


1 Comment

Keeping Myself Distracted


Today’s mission is to keep myself distracted from thinking about my life too much. Things could not be doing all that much worse than they’re doing right now. And I’m trying not to think about it, because then I’ll stress. I’ll stress a lot. I wouldn’t say that I experience stress in the same way that a majority of the people I know deal with it. Instead, it is more consuming and feels so profound, and the stressful mood of one day can end up lasting weeks at a time. So I’m trying not to really think about it and instead, just doing what is necessary, without thoughts and emotions behind it.

So today’s mission is to come up with as many ways as possible to keep myself distracted, at least until The Boyfriend gets home from work. I’m starting my day off right, vegging out in front of the computer. I’ve had my morning coffee, I’ve joked at the news and now I’m letting the screen take me away to a hopefully productive place. After I’ve bored of the computer, I plan to clean the kitchen. It hasn’t been that many days since we last cleaned the kitchen, and the upstairs of our house is finally starting to look less like a disaster-zone and more like a lived-in space. The downstairs unfortunately is still a lot like World War 3…

It’s hard to believe that the four years at this place is swiftly coming to an end and it’s even harder to believe that I’m leaving this place with only a few more pieces of furniture than I came into it with. And that, in general, I’m leaving with less “stuff” than I came here with.  I’m excited about getting rid of so much of this junk. I’m definitely more excited about it than everyone else. They all  want to hold onto things and keep things. I guess I just stopped being sentimental about things awhile ago. Getting rid of things is nothing.

So here’s hoping that all goes well in the keeping myself distracted department for the next few hours… About seven of them!