A Sharp Mind

I'm reading Game of Thrones right now, by George R.R. Martin. It's engrossing so far and I think, 125 pages in, that I've gotten the characters straightened out. The chapters alternate between seven different characters and it took me a bit to keep track of who was who, who they were talking about, and the relationships between them. Anyway, I wanted to share a quote from one of them, Tyrion Lannister. He's dwarfed, misshapen, and has just been asked why he reads. He says,

"I have a realistic grasp of my own strengths and weaknesses. My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind...and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." Tyrion tapped the leader cover of the book. "That's why I read so much, Jon Snow."

A mind needs books. I like that thought :)

I'm going to go read the next chapter now.

P.S. I seem to be having technical difficulties again. I'm unable to comment at the moment. I can't stay signed in and sometimes the OpenID thing doesn't work either. I hope this little hiccup doesn't last much longer but, in any case, know that I'm reading and enjoying y'alls posts even though I cannot comment.


A Word for Wednesday

Muggard - a, Sullen; displeased

My Webster's 1828 Dictionary has a note after the definition of this word that says [Not is use]. It's a shame that such a word fell out of use. I think we should bring it back.

I wasn't able to find much on the history of this word and the subsequent decline of it's use. All I can tell you is that it was used in popular English literature sometime before 1828. I tried to find some examples of such literature and promptly failed, much to my disappointment. The search engines stubbornly equated "mugger" with "muggard," no matter how I worded my query. And since the meaning of mugger isn't even slightly related to that of muggard, none of my searches produces any helpful results.

So, seeing that there's no more ado to give, I suppose there's nothing left but to go on to the narrative :)

"The room was a riot of color and noise. A riot so dear and familiar to me that I ached with longing, though I had not yet left. The lively music of the players matched the step and swirl of ladies and gentlemen, young and old, as they danced just beyond the doorway I stood in. Laughter, melody, and chatter filled the place to bursting. I saw my sisters among the twirling mass, their faces bright with gaiety. My brother grinned at me as he spun past. Oh, how would I bare leaving them?

"I think he fancies you."

I smiled at my friend's voice. She was at my shoulder now, up on her toes, looking out over the dancing pairs.

"Yes, I'm sure of it," she said. "Though I don't envy you."

"Whoever are you talking about, Elise?" I said. "Another one of your dashing strangers?"

"No, the muggard fellow by the band. He's seated there on the right. Do you see him?"

I did. His sullen brow had no more place than filthy dog in the cheer of the evening, but there he sat. He lifted his eyes and, for a briefest of all fleeting moments, we were staring at each other. I spun and put the wall between myself and the man's unsettling gaze.

"Who is he?" I asked.

"I haven't the slightest idea," she said. "Except that he's bold enough to have been watching you all evening long."

"To what end?" A sudden fearful panic rose in me. Had he come for me? I hadn't breathed a word of what I had planned. How could a stranger possibly know? What did he want?

"I imagine he desires your hand," Elise said.

"How can you speak of him so lightly?"

"He's just a man, Reina." She laughed as she turned to look at me. "Reina, why are you pale?"


Escape Artist?

You know how people talk about how they love to escape into books?

I always squirm a little when I hear someone say that, or read it in an interview, or see it in any other format. It makes me really, really uncomfortable. I finally figured out why: I don't like having books - wonderful, marvelous books - equated with escapism. I don't like the idea of reading being a way for people to avoid or neglect their lives. And the idea of enabling escapism scares me as a writer.

I don't want my readers (assuming they actually exist at some point) to escape into the words I write. I don't want them to grab up my story as a way to run away from their problems. I don't want my books to be the fantasy they turn to when a stressful situation arises. I know I'm not responsible for other people's behavior. If someone uses books as a form of escapism, I can't change that about them. I know that. But I think when writers talk about loving to escape into books we're inadvertantly condoning the idea that escapism is all right and that books are a way to accomplish that escape.

When people use food as an escape, it's perceived as a negative thing. When people use drink or drugs to escape, it's seen as a negative thing. Why is it that when people use books to escape, it's perfectly all right? Sure, it's not physically destructive. You won't end up in the hospital from an overdose or morbid obesity if books are your escape. But when people use books as an escape, it's fundamentally the same as any other form of escapism. It's just dressed in a lovely cover.

Escape is temporary. I don't want to provide my readers an escape. That probably sounds callous. I mean, what if someone has had a horrific, terrible life? Isn't it OK in that case? I don't think so, especially if a reader is dealing with some sort of trauma. I don't want to help them escape it. I want to help them conquer it. I want to help them overcome it. I don't want to give them some sort of fleeting reprieve from their troubles. I want to give them something more permanent. I want my books to foster courage and hope. I want my readers to come away from my books armed with something that goes beyond "The End." I want to give them the inner strength to face the trouble and pain in their lives, because the trouble and pain will still be there after the last page has been turned. I want to give them a quiet place - a place they can leave with a fresh perspective, an idea for how to deal with the difficulty before them, or even just a confident hope that change and goodness and beauty is possible.

I want people to take books off the shelves to enrich their lives, not escape them. I want people to use books to explore new places and perspectives, and through that exploration, to expand their own view of our world and all the complexities of it. I want people to pick up a book when they're upset or depressed, not to escape, but to be encouraged that there is good in this world and it's worth fighting for. I want people to open the cover when they're bored, not to escape the boredom, but to find something to inspire them to action.

Now maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe people don't really mean that they escape into books. Maybe they're just lazy in their diction. But if you don't actually view books as a means of escape, don't describe them that way. There are thousands of words. Find some that acurately describe what books are to you.

I read to improve not just my mind, but my character, my being. I write to the same end. I write to make beautiful minds - minds filled with whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or worthy of praise. Because beautiful minds make beautiful people and beautiful people make beautiful lives and beautiful lives make a beautiful world.

That's what I want to be a part of.

"The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create."
~ Chuck Palahniuk


A Word for Wednesday

Actually, I'm going to give you two words today for two reasons: (1) as a reward for ya'll being forebearing with me and my late-in-the-day posts, (2) the first word is just fun and the second is just too interesting not to share.

Mordaciously - adv. In a biting manner; sarcastically

See? I told you it was a fun word :) Now you don't have to overuse "sarcastically;" you have a replacement.

But now for the "real" word for Wednesday:

Mithridate - n. In pharmacy, an antidote against poison, or a composition in form of an electuary, supposed to serve either as a remedy or a preservation against poison. It takes its name from Mithridates, king of Pontus, the inventor.

Mithridate seems to have been a semi-mythical remedy with upwards of 65 different ingredients (depending on which version of the recipe was followed), making it one of the most complex and sought-after drugs during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. It appears that Pliny's skepticism, noted in AD 77, went unheeded. In his Natural History XXIX.24-25, he said, "The Mithridatic antidote is composed of fifty-four ingredients, no two of them having the same weight, while of some is prescribed one sixtieth part of one denarius. Which of the gods, in the name of Truth, fixed these absurd proportions? No human brain could have been sharp enough. It is plainly a showy parade of the art, and a colossal boast of science."

Despite Pliny's doubts, historical accounts of the man who invented this all-purpose anti-poison seem to suggest that his brain was in fact sharp enough. Mithridates VI, a prince of Persian and Greek Macedonian ancestry, was King of Pontus and Armenia Minor from about 120 BC to 63 BC. When his father was poisoned, he was left to rule the kingdom with his younger brother and his mother as regent. His mother preferred his younger brother, prompting him to escape her plotting by going into hiding. It was during this time that he is said to have spend seven years in the wilderness. There he became strong and accustomed to hardship before returning to Pontus between 116 and 113 BC. He was hailed king, removed both his brother and mother from power, and initiated his conquest of the Black Sea and Asia. As sole ruler, his ambition was to make his state the dominant power in the Black Sea and Anatolia region.

Mithridates is remembered as one of the Roman Republic’s most formidable and successful enemies. He engaged three of the late Republic's prominent generals (Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Lucullus, and Pompey) in the Mithridatic Wars, which raged from 88 to 63 BC. Pliny the Elder and several other historians report that the man had a prodigious memory: he could speak the languages of all the twenty-two nations he ruled.

He is most famous, though, for his practice of hardening himself against poison. He is said to have so fortified his body against poisons that, when he tried to kill himself, he could not find any poison that would have an effect. It seems he accomplished this both by taking increasing sub-lethal doses of the poisons to build tolerance, and by fashioning a 'universal antidote' to protect him from all earthly poisons. The recipe, written in his own hand, was found in his cabinet and taken to Rome by Pompey. It was translated into Latin by Pompey's freedman Lenaeus, and later improved upon by Nero's physician Andromachus and Marcus Aurelius's physician Galen.

There is a poem about King Mithridates and his antidote, found in A.E. Housman's collection of poetry titled A Shropshire Lad:  

There was a king reigned in the East:
There, when kings will sit to feast,
They get their fill before they think
With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
He gathered all the springs to birth
From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence to more,
He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink it up:
They shook, they stared as white's their shirt:
Them it was their poison hurt.
--I tell the tale that I heard told.
Mithridates, he died old.

I find historical figures like him fascinating (disturbing sometimes, but still fascinating). I wonder what drove him to inoculate himself so thoroughly. Surely, his father's poisoning played a role, but did Mithridates ever trust anyone? He had wives and sons and daughters but he didn't have them ingesting the antidote. Only himself. Who did he love (beside himself)?Does it make you wonder? Or is it just me?

All right. Enough about a probably-paranoid-poison-fortified-king-of-Pontus. If anyone is still with me (or opted to just skip to the end), here's the narrative/scene/glimpse of a story:

"Mithridate!" I shouted, reaching behind me with open hand only to close over air.

I swore and spun, turning my back on my lord for a moment I could not spare. That useless boy was knocking vials to the floor in every direction. I shoved him aside and snatched the precious vial.

My lord was trembling now, the poison causing his limbs to convulse and his regal face to writhe.

"What now? The man who boasted his prowess has no cure?" he said, though how he managed to choke the words out is beyond me.

"I'll have none of your mordacity just now, my Lord. Drink this."

I tipped his head back and drained the vial down his throat. I prayed all the gods, known and unknown, that it would be enough to spare him. He coughed, spluttered, and tried to raise himself. His arms gave way. I caught him before his head could hit the stone. He felt cold as I laid him back. I put my ear to his chest.

It was silent."


I Have Fallen Victim...

...to some sort of malfunction.

I was out of town for the last four and half days with my family. My sister, Frances, had her first vaulting (which is basically gymnastics on horses) competition so we took a twelve hour road trip in our giant 15-seater van to Virginia. Both sets of grandparents met us there and we had a surprise high school graduation for Frances, a blown spark plug and dead battery, a tour of D.C. and other sundry happenings.

I had scheduled the Versatility post since I was working the morning of the day we were leaving (and then I had to pack and try to get some semblance of studying in before we left). Six of you were kind enough to comment. I had a chance to read them but not to respond before we all loaded into the van. Well, when I signed in this morning, they were gone! All of them, along with a few other comments from previous posts. I was so disappointed, because I had been looking forward to replying to all of you.

I have no idea what happened. And there's some weird arrow thingies on my label links. Sometimes, technology is not my friend. At all.

So, to all of you who left such fun and thoughtful comments, (a) I wasn't being rude or ignoring you, (b) I wish I could get them back and stick them back on the posts where they belong, (c) I don't know how so I'm afraid your comments are fated to be lost forever in cyberspace. I'm sorry.

In other news: I'm terrible at chess. My computer beats me on Level 2.



I have received yet another bloggity award. This one comes from the cheerful Ashley Nixon. She has a boyfriend who looks like Aladdin and she's written a book about pirates (which sounds like a boatload of fun and adventure). Check her out.

So, this award comes with rules. You probably know them by heart now ;)

- Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
- Share seven random facts about yourself.
- Pass the award along to 5 new-found blogging buddies.
- Contact those buddies to congratulate them

(I will do my best to follow the rules but that's all I can promise)

1. I look significantly younger than I am. I'm almost 22 but most people guess that I'm somewhere between 12 and 15. And they think that my sister (who actually is 15) is around 18. I don't understand it.

2. I use a giant coffee mug for a pen-holder.

3. I've hiked Mount Algonquin - the second highest peak in the Adirondacks.

4. I love peanut butter. I'll eat it straight out of the jar. Or with apples. Or chocolate chips.

5. I have a typewriter. It doesn't work. I just like having it.

6. I can remember actors' names and what they've been in without trying. Even if I only see them in a trailer, I can name a bunch of movies they're in if asked. It sounds like I spend hours looking up actors/actresses and memorizing what they've been in even though I don't. At my house, it's always "Hey, Caitlin, what has So-and-So acted in?" 90% of the time I can answer.

7. A Sonic Mocha-Caramel Java Chiller is my favorite thing to buy whenever I want a treat to celebrate a small accomplishment. They're amazing.

I'm passing this on to:

Bluestocking Mum

Enjoy, ladies!


A Word for Wednesday

Micher - n, One who skulks, or creeps out of sight; a truant; an idler; a thief, etc.

I love finding fresh words to describe age-old things. It would be easier, of course, to just call a thief a thief and a truant a truant. But we're writers and easy is not our business. Not only that, but easy descriptions also quickly become boring, predictable ones. And that simply will not do. Fortunately for us, three-inch-thick wonders called dictionaries exist. Scanning the pages for unfamiliar words has to be one of my favorite things about Wednesdays.

I really like this word. Micher. I could hear it in dialogue the minute after I read the definition. I restrained myself from skipping right to the narrative and did some searching as to the history of the word. I found this passage from Nottinghamshire History:

"If [a boy's] companion is loitering in the street, he will tell you he is miching, and in so doing he uses one of the oldest words in the language, taking its derivation from the Old Norse mak, leisure—a term which even Shakespeare does not disdain to use:
‘Shall the blessed sun of heaven prove a micher?’ I Henry IV., ii. 4.
Spenser writes, ‘To straggle up and down the country, or miche in corners amongst their friends idly’; and in a pamphlet written in 1493 we find, ‘At such fayrs and markets there be many theyvs, mychers and cut-purses."

I think it's safe to say that we're in good company whenever we use this word, don't you? Oh, and the fact that it's derived from Old Norse only makes it better as far as I'm concerned. (I've mentioned that I have a fondness for the Vikings, haven't I?)

I've been itching to get to the narrative for this word so that's all you get as far as interesting factoids surrounding the word. The fact that the above passage is all I could find regarding "micher" is merely a happy coincidence ;)

"I was crouched in the shadow that hung beneath a window-opening of the building. The tread of the two men was coming closer. I tried to make my frame smaller than it was, desperately hoping the hair atop my head would not betray my presence. I could hear them searching for me - kicking at wineskins and rattling barrels - while the scent of fermenting grapes assaulted my nose. It began to itch, a sneeze building, just as voices sounded directly behind me. I pinched my nostrils together.

"Where is he?" one voice growled. "That micher will be the end of us. You know how the Signor is about his wine."

I curled the laden skin closer to my chest.

"We won't find him tonight," the second man said. "He'll be off in the vines by now. There'll be no finding him out there."

The man with the stony voice muttered something I couldn't make out. Their steps retreated into silence and still I dared not move. Not with my heart thrumming so loud that all of Italia could hear its noise. It was as loud as the first time I'd stolen from the Signor - proof that I was no micher by nature. I was only a boy who continued in this wrong because I needed to - not for pleasure or for gain. Those men didn't understand what drove me to the vineyard at an hour when decent folk slumber. They didn't know why I flirted with discovery for a single wineskin. They had no idea how much more precious the liquid was to me than to the Signor.

When night had reigned undisturbed for several long minutes, I darted off into the sprawling field of vines, dreading my inevitable return."


Berry Goodness

Look at all that yumminess! (Actually, if you're hungry right now like I am, looking at a strawberry desert is a really, really bad idea...) I was given this award by the ever-sweet Cherie. If you aren't following her blog already, you should be. She's highly amusing and intelligent and writerly.

These are the rules that go along with that strawberry goodness:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated me.
2. Share seven random facts about myself.

3. Pass the award to 15 blogging friends.
4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to break two of them. And Cherie is nice enough that I'm sure she'll forgive me. You see, I don't have 15 blogging friends to award this too. See those 28 lovely followers on the right? Not all of them have blogs...some of them don't even have profiles I can view. And I've already given several awards to my favorite bloggers, and my new followers (*waves hello*) just got the same award or a similar one. So I'm about 15 people short of being able to fulfill rule number 3. Instead, I'm going to use this award to celebrate all the writers in the blog community who are sharing their admiration and enthusiasm for each other. I raise my strawberry pastry to you.

And now for seven more random facts about me:

1. Lucky Charms is my favorite cereal. If I kept that stuff in the house, I would turn into a marshmellow from eating so much of it.

2. I don't make my bed (except on rare occasions). It's much more comfortable to sleep in a messy bed with all the covers heaped up on top of you than a nicely made one where the sheets are tucked in just so.

3. I love doing laundry. Odd, I know, but I really do like it. I find it very therapeutic to turn piles of dirty laundry into stacks of neatly folded clothes that smell like lavender dryer sheets.

4. I can't eat eggs for breakfast. I can eat them for lunch. I can eat them for dinner. But if I try to eat them for breakfast, I get nauseous. So I avoid eggs in the morning.

5. I'm frighteningly bad at frisbee. If my life depended on my ability to throw a frisbee accurately, I would die. Within seconds.

6. I have a monogrammed wax seal that I use on my letters. I love it. You can look here to get an idea of what it looks like.

7. This makes me laugh. Every single time:


I Feel Accomplished

I used iTunes successfully for the first time ever today.

(Stop laughing at me.)

The download actually worked. And then creating an account worked and I was able to sign in without some irritating little pop-up box telling me that something was wrong. And then I was able to redeem gift cards a good friend sent me and buy music.

It's amazing. I have a little iTunes icon on my computer and, if I click on it, it works! Music actually starts coming out of my speakers when I push that triangle play button.

I've fought with iTunes before (and lost) but this time I won. Oh yes. I conquered the software. I harnessed it to my computer and now I can use it whenever I want.

It's a pleasant feeling :)


Look, it's Sparkly ;)

Christine has bequeathed this shiny new award to me:

Isn't that classy? I'd like to thank Christine and encourage you all to check out her blog. Oh, did I mention that she's from Dublin? Yes, she's Irish - which I think adds to her cool-and-classy-chick factor :) So go pay her a virtual visit.

This award comes with rules. And they are the following:

1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 5 new-found blogging buddies.
4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

Seven Totally Random and Unimportant Things About Me

1. My ears are asymmetrical. My right ear sticks out more and is higher on my head than my left ear.

2. I have a pair of fingerless purple zebra-striped gloves that I wear when I write. Not the jotting down ideas kind of writing, but the kind where I'm actually sitting down and in-putting words onto the blank screen. I found them in some random store I don't even remember the name of for a couple dollars and I've worn them ever since. It's weird, but I feel more creative and writerly when I have them on.

3. I was named after a character in a movie that I have never seen.

4. I have my own mini museum. All through middle school and part of high school I collected just about everything: stamps, foreign currency, insects, rocks, shells, etc. Everything that hasn't disintegrated is in an old type-case my grandfather gave me and my family calls it "the museum," even though we hardly ever look at any of it. I still like to collect rocks and minerals (especially geodes) but I've lost interest in most of the others as collectibles.

5. I over use parentheses (can you tell?). It's a really bad habit that I can't seem to break myself of. Somehow, I managed to keep them out of my manuscript and I hope to keep (most) of them out of future novels as well. Apparently all that restraint has spilled out into my blogging and letter-writing. My pen-pals will attest to the fact that my parenthetical statements tend to turn into whole paragraphs about bunny-trail topics.

6. I am almost always cold. My dad calls me a cold-blooded vertebrate because 99.99999999% of the time I am wearing layers. I even wear sweaters in the summer (though, in my defense, I only wear them in the air conditioned house after I come in from being out in the sunshine).

7. I want to have a pet dolphin someday.

And now I'd like to give this award to...


Enjoy! :)


A (Late) Word for Wednesday

(I'm sorry I got this post up so late. I ended up with a full day of landscaping for a private client on my plate, so I pretty much had time to eat dinner before it was time to get ready and go to Jiu-Jitsu class. But there's still an hour and fifteen minutes left of Wednesday from where I'm sitting and I'm going to make it count.)

I had the hardest time picking a word for today. I got to flip all the way to M in my Webster's 1828 dictionary and there were just so many fun words to choose between. There was maffle, which means "to stammer" with a little note that looked exactly like this: [Not in use]. There was mackerel, which I thought was a type of fish, but is actually a noun from an old French words that means "a pander or pimp." There was a host of others, of course, but I finally decided on one.

Mangonel - n, an engine formerly used for throwing stones and battering walls.

The word itself is derived from a Greco-Latin word, manganon, that means "engine of war." There seems to be some debate as to whether the engine referred to was a specific one or whether it was a general term for catapults. In any case, all the sources I found (during my oh-so-in-depth, twenty-minute Google search) agree that it was used during the medieval period.
Wikipedia, my other trusty source when conducting speedy research for basic facts, says this, "Mangonel had poorer accuracy than a trebuchet (which was introduced later, shortly before the discovery and widespread usage of gunpowder). The mangonel threw projectiles on a lower trajectory and at a higher velocity than the trebuchet with the intention of destroying walls, rather than hurling projectiles over them. It was more suited to field battles."
It shot these projectiles, which ranged from rocks to fire pots and other less than savory things, from a bowl-shaped bucket at the end of the arm. It could launch these things up to 1,300 feet. From what I've read, it's primary use was to break down a castle's or city's walls another other infrastructure, not to kill. It's strikes were powerful but unpredictable and so it was better suited for non-moving targets.

I'm going to quote Wiki again because Thursday is fast approaching. "The mangonel was loaded by lowering a rope with a hook at its end, this hook was tied to another rope connected to a "pulling" system to pull the rope and lower the main rod. Once the rod was lowered a few workers were responsible for the attachment of a sling where the projectile is placed. When the mangonel was loaded the leader gave the order to release the main rod, and at the same time several men (usually around 20) pulled the ropes attached to the counter-weight. If the crew was well trained, it was possible to control whether the projectile traveled in a low or high trajectory, but if the crew was not well trained then existed the risk of the projectile killing friendly troops or even the crew itself."

You didn't know you were going to get a crash course in medieval siege machines today, did you? ;) Well, for better or worse, now you have. And I have...*looks at clock* less than twenty minutes to wrap this up. (Am I the only glacially slow blogger out there??) So onto the story, or rather the character/scene, we go.

"Sometimes I wondered what it would be like to be the enemy soldiers who had to deal with the things I prepared for them. Some thought, even expected, me to be some manner of magician. I built the mangonel. I filled it's arm and watched it fling some horror toward whatever castle or city chanced to be before us. Some would call me a wretch for filling the fire pots and setting the burning sand inside the sling. They would despise me further if they knew how often I placed corpses into the mangonel's arm to spread fear and disease among those we attacked. Perhaps they would be right to despise me. Perhaps I am a wretch - I fear all men are - but I fight because I must. This is the one service I can render and I am compelled to do so. Compelled by the debt I cannot repay."


Oh, the Sweetness!

My three youngest siblings were in bed by the time I got home today after finishing a 10-hour painting job with one of my other sisters. They heard me coming up the stairs and started calling out for me to say goodnight to them. So I made the rounds between the rooms, reaching my youngest brother last.

Rilian: "No hugs. You're all paint."

(This was true. I hadn't changed out of my paint clothes yet.)

Me: "Okay. Can I have a kiss?"

(Yes, I have stooped to asking my baby brother for goodnight kisses.)

Rilian promptly pecks me and then flops back down onto his pillow. I put his covers back on, say goodnight, tell him I love him, and head for the door. Just as I'm about it close it, he says,

"I love you better."

How cute is that?! I melted inside. Completely melted.