10 Years, 1 Year

Posted in Everyday Life on December 18th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 18 marks two anniversaries of immense personal loss – 10 years ago today, my father-in-law passed away from ALS.  Though some memories are still painful, a decade of time has numbed the pain of his loss a little, and it’s easier to focus on the good times we shared and the countless wonderful things he did for people during his lifetime.  Albeit selfishly, I sometimes wish that Vince was here to meet his 7 wonderful grandchildren, to realize our family’s growing relationship with God and our spiritual journey, and to see how far his son has come in life.  I think he would be so proud.  More about December 18, 2000 was written here.

December 18, 2009 – Last year, on the day that was 9 years to the day after Vince’s passing, our family dog Charity passed away unexpectedly.  She was almost 12 years old but in seemingly good health.  She was fine in the morning, gone by dinnertime.  Not enough time has passed to heal the pain of her loss since she was like a child to us, but there is no reason to dwell on such melancholy topics here in the blog.

I’m thankful that I have a busy December 18 this year, that it’s on a Saturday and that I don’t have to spend it alone.  I’m writing this ahead of time and scheduling it to post itself on December 18 automatically in hopes of maybe not realizing this day of personal infamy until it’s over.  Will the entire day pass without me thinking about Vince or Charity?  Probably not, they and other loved ones lost hold a special place in my heart, and I think about them most every day, especially  in December.  But December 18 this year will have joy of its own as family comes from far away to celebrate the season.  I look forward to making happy memories for December, especially for the 18th, which just happens to be exactly one week before Christmas, a day I’m really looking forward to celebrating this year more than ever.  Losing Charity last year was an awful thing to happen just before Christmas time, just as it was even more terrible to lose a parent / grandparent in our family just before Christmas 10 years ago.  But when I lost Charity, and I realized that I was more curious about God’s plan for me than I was looking to be angry with Him, I knew that I was on my way to having a wonderful spiritual relationship with Him.

For that, I am very thankful, and it makes me want to celebrate this Christmas season for what it truly is: a celebration of the birth of Jesus and an acknowledgment of the glorious love that God has for us.

I Needed To Smile Today

Posted in holidays on December 13th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

A Not-So-Cynical Look At The 2009 Holiday Season

Posted in holidays on December 29th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I was thinking about our family’s 2009 holiday season, now come and almost gone already, and I was envisioning words to describe this wonderful season, despite the fact that this year ours was peppered with unpleasant familial dramatics.  But about a week ago, I made what was a conscious decision to pull myself up from the depths of despair I had fallen into after losing a beloved family member just one week before Christmas.  So, in my good humor, I chose 24 of the best words to describe my holiday season, each beginning with a different letter of the alphabet.  Here goes…

Avatar – Saw it and actually liked it, despite my typical sci-fi reluctance.  But I liked Avatar so much that I’m really hoping the timing and budget work out so that I can see it again in 3D at a more technologically savvy theater.

Big Family Christmas – We traveled to Illinois on Christmas Day and got to take part in a huge gathering of my husband’s large extended family.  His 92-year-old grandmother, who speaks with a thick east-coast Connecticut accent (and who smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day from age 16 until age 70!) told many of her infamous stories that had everyone in stitches!  After hearing one of Monie’s stories, I could have used the words Blue Boob for B, but I will spare you those details…  😉

Christ Was Born – We went to a beautiful church service on Christmas Eve to celebrate and reflect upon the entire purpose of the Christmas holiday.

De…  There are two words that come to mind for this letter based upon certain recent events in my life, but I’m not going to go there; this is to be “A Not-So-Cynical Look…” blog post.  So here, D will stand for Dumbledore, since I’m almost halfway through my first Harry Potter book and lovin’ it!

Elf – My favorite holiday movie, and we actually had time to watch it this year!  It, unlike a few other favorite Christmas experiences, did not lose any magic this year.  I still felt that warm and fuzzy “Christmas Magic” feeling after I watched this movie – I’d pull it out more often, but it’s not the same unless it’s Christmas! 
“I love smiling; smiling’s my favorite!!”  – Buddy The Elf

Friends – We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends, and I can’t thank them enough for the things they did and just for being there during this bittersweet time.

Grandparents –  We were able to visit 3 of our grandparents this holiday season!  Even being in our 30’s, we have 3 surviving grandparents among my husband and I –  we were blessed to be able to spend time with all of them this year!

Homemade spaghetti – Best.  Christmas.  Gift.  EVER!!  My mother-in-law sent us home 4 huge frozen batches of her out-of-this-world spaghetti sauce!  AND a large bag of grated Asiago cheese.  AND…  something I’ll save for another letter…

Ice – Drove through plenty of it to reach IL and get back to Ohio on Christmas day.  Luckily, traffic was light and travel for us was smooth and safe.  The kids were good as gold and slept for the majority of both drives.

Jill – Screwed us over again!  This little story begins with Walmart.  Since this is “A Not-So-Cynical Look…”, I won’t go off about Walmart, but I will simply state the facts:  the pump in our windshield wiper cleaner fluid dispenser stopped working after the last time we got an oil change at Walmart.  We didn’t really need it until Christmas night, when we were driving past the city of Chicago, and apparently smog + snow = some sort of disgusting pollution paste.  So visibility is limited, and we still don’t know exactly what happened since we’ve driven this route dozens of times, but basically the express lanes on I-90 seemed to suddenly dissolve into city streets.  So now it’s 10:30 on Christmas night, and we’re wandering around in the city.  We can’t see out the back of the car since there’s tons of Christmas presents, and we can’t see out of the front of the car because of the pollution paste.  This is where Jill comes in – and she directs us straight back to I-90.  Only problem is, our van can’t just jump guardrails; we needed an entrance ramp, and Jill was only directing us to streets that crossed over the expressway and didn’t actually intersect with it.  So we crossed bridge after bridge, and we criss-crossed I-90 until one of those streets had an entrance ramp.  Then Jill freaked out and tried to get us off of the expressway again, but she got her power button pressed – we knew our way from there.

Kalachkies – I have a fun memory of a Christmas years ago when my forgetful Polish grandmother was sitting in her wheelchair, instructing my equally Polish uncle and myself how to make kalachkies, a usually delicious Polish cookie.  The end results were inedible and referred to as “hockey pucks”.  This year at Christmas, my husband’s cousin made homemade kalachkies – real ones, no hockey pucks, and they were delicious!  Thanks Lilly!

Late night drive – One night, we took the kids out in the car in their pajamas with some snacks, and we drove through the snowy countryside to a town  about 30 minutes away for a drive-thru lighted display that’s just wonderful.  Late night drive could also refer to my husband’s and my peaceful drive home (after the unscheduled tour of the city) while the kids were asleep all the way from Illinois to Ohio – nice.

Mashed Potatoes – My mother-in-law is a great cook!  I guess it’s been  awhile since the last time I had her mashed potatoes, because I  didn’t remember how they tasted.  But I told her the truth after Christmas dinner – they were the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had!

Noodles – My mother-in-law’s spaghetti sauce also came with EIGHT pounds of whole wheat gourmet organic pasta!  I love whole wheat pasta – it actually tastes better, and you don’t get the pasta-stomachache / horrible stuffed feeling that can accompany pasta over-indulgence.

Onions – One of my favorite holiday dishes is creamed onions, and it was a nice surprise to see this dish on the Christmas buffet.  Fortunately for me, my husband can replicate the taste of his mother’s creamed onions –  yum!

P.A.S. – Pompous Ass Syndrome – my poor brother-in-law is a victim.  Enough Said.

Quiet – With 4 kids and Christmas celebrations spread out over 2 weeks, there really wasn’t much of this.

Revenge – My brother and sister-in-law gifted our kids 3 little gumball machines.  Cute, but not when you realize how many gumballs needed to be pried out of our candy-obsessed toddler’s little hands, for one thing.  Who would give little kids gumball machine gifts?  Wait, isn’t that what we got her 3 kids last year?!?  I’m all for re-gifting; I really think it’s a smart thing to do.  But maybe next year I’ll choose our Christmas gifts more carefully…

Snow – It’s been snowing on and off for a week and a half here in Ohio.  The Chicago area was unexpectedly blanketed with about a foot of snow on Saturday – thank goodness we left for Ohio on Friday night!

Turkey – We ate it and it was good.

U-Turn – see “J” – Jill the GPS.  Besides the time we were lost in Chicago, Jill caused us to make at least one other U-turn on this trip.

Vile – Odor in Gary Indiana – I don’t care what the Music Man had to say – Gary Indiana STINKS!  Literally!!!

Weather  – I was worried about it all week, but thankfully, it didn’t impede our journey in the slightest.

X-changing gifts –  Ok, that’s too generic?  What else could X stand for, the rating of Monie’s Blue Boob story?  We x-changed gifts many gifts, and that’s all I’m going to say.

Yellow Puppy – When our friends heard about our family’s heartbreak, they gifted us a gigantic (stuffed) dog.  This cute puppy’s headband wouldn’t even fit on my head, and she wears a sweater that could probably fit me – or at least all 4 of my kids in it together…  so cute and so thoughtful, and the kids LOVE her!

Zoo lights – With everything that was going on during this December, I’m so thankful that we were able to make it to  one of our favorite Christmas destinations this year –   the Toledo Zoo for their Lights Before Christmas displays.  Beautiful lights in a peaceful atmosphere, and if you get there early enough, you can see some zoo animals, which is probably my favorite thing to do in the whole world!

Hope you had a Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a great New Year!!!

Country Music Award Time!!!

Posted in music on November 11th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s time for the CMAs, and I’m making just a quick little post to share my guesses –  we’ll see how I do at the end of the night.  I know, I know I whined and cried about missing the show this year, but my family came down with H1N1 and we’re under a self-imposed quarantine.  I think the kids need to get to bed early – for their health, of course 😉 –  and I get to watch the show live after all!  Believe me, I would so much rather be at youth group tonight, despite all my whining, I swear!  This is an awful sickness, and I would so much rather not have anyone in my family have to have it…  but I don’t want to dwell on that now –  we’ve been living this illness since Friday night, so it’s time to break from that now a little bit –  CMA time!!!!!

My picks – I’ll try to update throughout the night to see how I did.  Correct in green, wrong in red.

TOTAL:  4/11

Entertainer of the Year:
Taylor Swift
, winner
Kenny Chesney

Female Vocalist:
Taylor Swift
, winner
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist:
Brad Paisley

Vocal Duo:
Sugarland
, winner
Brooks and Dunn

Vocal Group:
Lady Antebellum, winner

Rascal Flatts

New Artist:
Darius Rucker, winner

Jake Owen

Album:
Taylor Swift’s Fearless

Single:
I Run To You – Lady Antebellum

Song:
In Color – Jamey Johnson, winner

I Told You So – Randy Travis

Event:
Start a Band

I Told You So

Music Video:
Taylor Swift

NOTES:  Awesome show so far –  great performances, and I love the hosting duo of Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.  Their little duets are entertaining, funny, and even pleasant music to listen to!  I especially  appreciate the ditty about the swine flu – priceless, and it really hits home right now!  Carrie Underwood has an amazing voice!  Thank you American Idol for gifting her to country music!
I love the infusion of the classic country: Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys and especially the Zac Brown Band’s rendition of Devil Went Down to Georgia (on speed!) was EXCELLENT!!
Brooks and Dunn’s final CMA performance (retiring) with ZZ Top is a highlight!
Still enjoying the show, but what the heck happened to the awesome hosting duo of Paisley and Underwood?  Seems like they haven’t been onstage together for a while.  And when they do reappear together, let’s can the jokes about Brad checking out Carrie’s looks behind the back of his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley – there’s just been too many of those jokes, and they’re stale.

What could be better than Martina McBride singing When Country Wasn’t Cool with Charlie McCoy on harmonica as a tribute to Barbara Mandrell to welcome her into the Country Music Hall of Fame?!?  That was GREAT!  That reminds me of an addition I must make to a fellow tangents.org blog about my favorite Christmas special – The Mandrell Sisters Christmas!
Oh man…  the show started out the best CMA awards show EVER!  But then it slowly went downhill…  until the final award – Taylor Swift?!?  You’ve got to be kidding.  She is very talented and has done a wonder for attracting teen and tween girls to the country music genre, but…  What about the rest of us!?!  Let’s face it, she did have a heck of a time hitting some of those high notes…  Well, I’m not going to act like Kanye West.  Taylor Swift deserves her time in the spotlight, even if it did ruin the entire flow of the CMAs…

Oh, and judging by my total guesses correct, it’s obvious how much I’m allowed to listen to country music radio these days…  For me, it’s mostly KidsSongs and videos from the library (lately Shelley Duvall’s Fairy Tale Theater) in the car.  Whatever – no one could have seen that Taylor Swift Entertainer of the Year coming no matter what you spend your day listening to.  I don’t care if she IS the youngest CMA nominee for Entertainer of the Year ever – in my opinion, she should have had a lot more ground to cover before she won an award like that!  The show started out great, but I have to say, I am left disappointed, and not only by my terrible score 🙁

Wagon O’ Cuties

Posted in Kids on April 3rd, 2009 and tagged , , ,

With the return of warmer weather comes the return of our locally famous wagon o’ cuties:

random-march-09-pics-0011Except what’s that in the wagon, a little red elf?  Now I might be biased here, but that is the cutest elf I’ve ever seen!  This is the first time I put that little sweatshirt on my son.  I wish I had found it in time for Christmas last year – I don’t think it’ll still fit him by December for next Christmas.  And it seems the kids are starting to overflow the wagon…  Might be time to make our oldest walk or ride her bike…

Hannah’s Wish

Posted in Kids on January 10th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our 4-year-old daughter Samantha is having her first sleepover tonight.  She’s been here when her older sister had friends sleep over, but tonight it’s her friend, just for Sammie.  Four years old is a little bit young to have a sleepover.  And tonight is the second sleepover in a row since older sister Taylor had a friend sleep over last night.  I don’t usually condone two sleepovers in a row because that would make for a very crabby Sunday.  But this is a special sleepover.

Sammie’s friend, Hannah, is an extraordinary little girl.  She was born with a condition that made her spine grow into her brain.  My daughter knows her from preschool, and then she was invited to Hannah’s 4th birthday party – that’s where we learned of her condition.  In the weeks after the party, Sammie called Hannah to see if she could come over and play, but Hannah could not – she was scheduled to have brain surgery in early December, but it was postponed because she suffered a seizure and was also diagnosed with asthma.  Then she underwent the brain surgery just before Christmas, and Sammie called her to see how she was doing.  For an entire week after the surgery, Hannah was bedridden and in constant pain.  She couldn’t come to the phone, much less go anywhere to play.  Now she’s feeling better, although her symptoms are starting to reappear.  So crabby Sunday, shmabby shmunday – my kids are having 2 sleepovers in a row.

Hannah’s recovery wish was to sleep over at Sammie’s house.  And even if it involved a 4-year-old with a double sleepover, what parent would be able to refuse Hannah’s wish?

Christmas With The Kranks

Posted in Movies on December 26th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ok, going in, I knew it would be a terrible movie.  When Christmas With The Kranks came out in the movie theater, it was met with terrible reviews from critics, and its imdb.com rating is a measley 4.7 with over 7,000 votes.  So why did I want to watch it?  Two reasons – I wanted to watch a Christmas movie on Christmas Eve, and I had read Surviving Christmas –  one of the rare John Grisham books that isn’t legal fiction, “Surviving Christmas” months ago – I always like to see books come to life on the screen.  Well, ok, not always…  because Christmas With The Kranks was simply awful – even worse than I thought.

The story is about a couple of empty-nesters who decide to skip Christmas since their daughter will be out of town.  They plan to take a tropical cruise and go about getting fake tans and whatnot to prepare for their unconventional holiday celebration.  Not such a big deal, you’d think.  Except that the Krank’s live on a street that is famous for their Christmas decorations.  Every house is expected to put a Frosty the Snowman decoration on their roof every year, and so when the Kranks are preparing to leave town without doing so, the neighborhood is abuzz.  That’s it.

The novel was alright; it was a fun little story, and although it wasn’t one of the best books, I did get all the way through it.  But I can’t say the same about the movie.  We turned it off in the middle and I can’t say I missed the rest.  My main problem with it was the casting of Tim Allen as Luther Krank.  While reading the book, I kept picturing Luther as a crabby senior citizen, but Tim Allen made Luther more angry than crabby.  In the novel, John Grisham does a nice job setting scene of a small, close-knit community, but all that is lost in the movie, especially with Tim Allen involved.  I was shocked to read on imdb.com that John Grisham has casting approval rights for movies based on his novels.  Maybe that was established because of Christmas With The Kranks.  Well anyway, that’s enough time wasted on this movie.  From what I hear, it’s not the best example of a John Grisham book, but worth a try, I suppose, if you have lots of spare time and like to read.  On the other hand, I wouldn’t recommend the movie to anyone.

It WAS A Very Merry Christmas, Thank You!

Posted in holidays, Uncategorized on December 26th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our Christmas was wonderful, thanks for asking!  Our 8 9 year old and our 2 year old were awake first on Christmas morning, and they crept downstairs to see if Santa came.  He did, and surprisingly, they waited very patiently until Mom and Dad were ready to roll out of bed to open their presents.  Christmas Eve was a late night, and because we weren’t really being pestered, we stayed in bed until about 9:45 Christmas morning.  After that, it took A LOT of prodding to wake our middle daughter who is 4.  Believe it or not, even telling her to check if Santa came didn’t do the trick…  she was apparently tired!  Like I said, late night last night.

Finally she was awake and excited, so then the kids opened their gifts, and they were really happy with what Santa had picked out.  So happy, in fact, that they were really good during the day, and we had few fights amongst the natives – a rarity in our house.  Their favorite toys seem to be these large inflatable balls with handles that they sit on and bounce.  I guess Santa didn’t realize how annoying it would be to have 3 little girls bouncing all around the house 🙂

So what did I get?  My husband got me a game based upon our favorite tv show, The Office.  A good friend had gotten us another board game (with a dvd as a big part of the game) based upon the show, and so now we have both games – the complete set.  I love it.  I was looking forward to playing it all day, and it’s easy to see that the game is REALLY cool.  It’s different than your average trivia game; lots of added elements, making it a stand-out favorite board game.  But then again, we feel the show is a stand-out favorite.  My husband also got me a Snuggie – ever heard of them?  Snuggies are big blankets with sleeves, essentially.  That way you can do many a chore (or even fun things, like changing channels on the remote or blogging) while still being covered by a blanket.  We’re waiting for mine to arrive, and once they do, they will be an especially appreciated gift since our electric bill doubled between last month and this month – must be all those space heaters we were using to supplement our giant furnace because we thought our gas bill was too high.  Just wait til we get that bill in the mail this month… ugh.  At least it didn’t come on Christmas Eve like I was sure it would.

So what did I get for my wonderful hubby?  It’s lame I know, but months ago while I was still pregnant with our son, I found a picture frame that says “I get my good looks from my Daddy”.  I liked it immediately and bought it, and it’s ironic that at that time, I thought we were going to have a baby girl instead of a boy which would make more sense when it comes to the photo frame.  But then we found out we were indeed having a boy, and so I was able to give my husband the picture frame with a picture of our son inside.  A good gift, but I had wanted to get him something else.

I almost asked a friend to get something for him from me.  My husband usually wants-for-nothing, but this year, he did spy a few gadgets for his wish list.  Since he’s usually with me when we’re shopping at the stores that carry the items, I was going to ask a favor of someone to pick them up.  But alas, my plan was foiled when I told my husband (and the captain of our family finances) I need some money for Christmas shopping.  He basically vetoed the idea of me getting him anything, and I was under the impression it was mutual, that we were going to focus on the kids this year and not get each other anything.  But he sneakily got me some really good gifts, and I’m not going to let this happen again – I’ll be squirreling away some money here and there until I have enough to buy him a birthday present in June – HA!

Hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Posted in holidays on December 24th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Merry Christmas!


We hope this Christmas Blogcard finds you and yours happy, safe, and healthy.  We want to thank all of you who thought of our family this year and sent us the wonderful Christmas cards.  I was going to send out Christmas e-cards with pictures of the kids this year, but somehow time got away from me (somehow?  I have 4 kids!) and wouldn’t you know it – it’s already Christmas and we never even got our family Christmas picture taken!  So I gathered the kids, put them in front of the Christmas tree, and viola!  Our family’s 2008 version of Christmas cards, and this is the fastest way to make sure we sent our Christmas wishes before the holiday is over.
As for our family, 2008 was busy but great.  The kids are doing wonderfully!  Taylor just turned 9 and really likes 3rd grade.  She loves to read and is a very talented artist.  Sammie is 4 and in preschool.  She is learning to write her name and loves Barbies.  Disney is 2 and still very sweet.  She loves to play with baby dolls and play-doh.  Baby Christopher has learned to jump in his bouncy seat, and he loves to use his hands, especially to grab his toes.
God Bless everyone and we wish you and your family a truly happy holiday season, as well as the rest of the year, of course!  We are so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Love,
Chris, Lisa, Taylor, Sammie, Disney, and Christopher

4 Christmases

Posted in Movies on December 6th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I shouldn’t have liked it.  It’s an 82 minute comedy farce co-starring Reese Witherspoon – what’s to like?  But I actually enjoyed the movie 4 Christmases more than I thought.

So why did I see if I thought I’d hate it?  For one, it was the only thing playing at the matinee price and for two, I had a sort of curiosity about the acting abilities of two country music super-stars:  Dwight Yoakam and Tim McGraw.  Actually, having seen Dwight Yoakam in Sling Blade, I’m well aware of his acting skills.  It was such a great performance in Sling Blade that I thought it was Oscar-worthy.  He’s not given much to work with in this movie however, and his role as one of those Leap of Faith-type preachers is not very well developed.  I don’t think it’s any fault of Yoakam, though, but more a testament to the lazy script.

Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon star as a freewheeling couple who don’t see the need to marry since they’re already happy, and they don’t want kids.  The first scenes of the movie really emphasize how perfect this couple’s lives are, and it’s almost sickeningly sweet how well they get along.  Enter their extended families, and they become miserable people.  It begins when their flight to Fiji is cancelled on Christmas and they are featured on the news.  The couple (their names were not memorable) is now busted in their annual lie about travelling to some exotic location for charity work.  They fib about this every year to their families so they can avoid seeing all 4 families (each set of parents is divorcd) for Christmas.  So now that they can’t go to Fiji, they have to visit 4 sets of crazy relatives on one day and yada, yada, anticipated baby jokes and predictable chaos ensues, you get the picture.

For some reason, a lot of Hollywood stars agreed to be in this movie.  And just as I expected, Vince Vaughn was the same in this movie as the characters he always plays.  He can be funny, but he’s not very versatile.  I was surprised that Reese Witherspoon did not get under my skin because for some reason, she annoys the heck out of me, and it’s distracting when watching her in movies.  As far as the country music super-stars are concerned, I consider this movie a waste of Dwight Yoakam’s acting talent, and Tim McGraw was barely in the movie at all.  I read somewhere that he beefed up for the role, and he was hard to recognize, although I don’t really know why he bothered gaining all the weight for a part that hardly has him on camera and with barely any lines.  Other big name actors making cameos were Mary Steenburgen, Jon Voight, Robert Duvall, and Sissy Spacek – maybe it’s just me, but even though she’s almost 60, I still look at her and see Carrie the fire-starting teen from the famous Stephen King horror movie of the ’70’s.

Overall, there was only one scene where I couldn’t even watch because of its ludicrousness, so instead I turned to my husband and whispered, “This is unbelievably dumb”.  Other than that, I was entertained, and mostly because it was a holiday movie, it was fun to sit, watch, and eat popcorn.  I wonder how Christmas With The Kranks will compare.  I’ve heard that one is just awful, yet I want to see it since I read the John Grisham novel upon which it was based.