Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hartford Comic-Con



Lately, one might assume that I spend all of my time attending Comic-Cons or Star Trek events. Sadly, this is not the case. I can see why it might look that way from the last few weeks, but really - normally - it is not the case.

My brother has never been to a Comic-Con. He is a magician and has attended and been a part of many magic conventions and Ren Faires, but he has never been to Comic-Con. Because I did not want him deprived of that experience, we made plans months ago to visit a Comic-Con that was not overly large or too long of a drive away.

I checked the scheduled guests many times before actually purchasing tickets. It did not look like there would be any one there that DC knew at all, or even anyone I could relate to something DC was interested in so I opted not to get him a ticket.

Just a few weeks ago, they announced Judith Hoag to their list of guests. Anyone that knows DC, knows that he has a great love for anything:

Having to do with Disney
Having to do with Halloween
Having to do with Witches

One of his very favorite movies (or series of movies) is Halloweentown.

He's been watching all of these movies for years and years. Judith Hoag plays the mother, Gwen in these movies so DC would have been over the moon to be able to meet her.

At the point that I discovered this, he had already made plans with his Dad, who would be taking off for Florida for the winter so I did not mention it to him.

As Comic-Cons go, this was the least crowded I have attended. It was spaced out well so that when it began to get a little bit more crowded later, walking traffic was still able to move without much difficulty.

I was able to get an autograph from Dustin Pari (and a photo of him signing the autograph) for DC's friend BB, who was always a big fan of Ghost Hunters and TAPS.


DC's Uncle took a photo with Judith Hoag holding DC's autographed picture as proof for DC that the picture and the autograph were real and that we had really met her in person.


I wasn't sure how that was going to go over with him. I didn't know if he would understand that we did see her in person, but when I showed him the picture - I knew he did.

Looking at the picture, I said

 "Who is that, DC?"

DC: "Uncle Scamp"

"Who else?"

I wish I had thought to video this, because just watching his face change when he began to realize who was in the picture with 'Uncle Scamp' was a sight to see.

"Gwen! Mother from Halloweentown!"

He was so excited. Then I gave him the picture she had autographed.  We tried at the table to come up with a Halloweentown quote that she could write on his photo, but we couldn't think of anything off the top of our heads. I knew I had one on video somewhere but I couldn't come up with it fast enough. So she wrote that she hoped to meet him the next time and he was thrilled with that.


I'm kicking myself for not just bringing him. Meeting her would have kept him going the entire time we were there. It was not crowded and there were plenty of things to look at  - he would have been just fine with all of it.



This was the quote I was trying to remember - one that DC randomly blurts out for any or no occasion. 



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Oh and there was the Impala and a few other things to see, too.








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*****
This site is used for smaller posts and long facebook statuses - please visit my official blog site at
Taking it a Step at a Time 

See: Other Cons, Sing-a-longs, and "Experiences" (Dr. Who Experience in Cardiff, Star Fleet Academy Experience, NYC) - At Taking it a Step at a Time page - Cons and Sing-a-longs

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Speechless - It's a Keeper

Photo credit: http://televisionpromos.com/shows/speechless/

I decided to give "Speechless" a try today (I didn't get to finish watching but the little but I saw was good). DC was on his iPad next to me - he looked up and screamed "Mason Cooke! Mason Cooke!" (Spy Kids - all the time in the world) - He did the same during an episode of New Girl once and we have since day watched that same episode over 20 times, I'm sure.

Actually looking up from his iPad and watching because, Mason Cook.... he suddenly yells, "Minnie Driver! Jane from Tarzan, Mandy from Ella Enchanted, Old Wendy from Peter Pan Live!" - and with that, he went searching for "Speechless" on YouTube even though it was playing on TV right in front of him.

He's hooked.

*****
I did finally get to watch the entire episode. I thought while over the top at times, it was hilarious. Realistically, although it is a comedy and as I said a little bit over the top, the struggles are real.... absolutely real.

I look forward to more episodes and really hope it lasts.



From: Facebook Page Statuses




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This blog is used to copy my posts (as back-up) from my official site and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time











Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What is he up to?



DC: "Mom! Your hair looks 'loverly' it looks so 'grouchous' " 

(believe me, it does NOT!)


Can we all agree that he is definitely up to something?



Later he came into the living room with coffee for me. 

He can't make coffee but I thought that maybe it was cold coffee that I'd forgotten (again) in the microwave. 

Me: "Where did you get coffee?"


DC: "in the sink"


He found a cup in the sink with coffee (and probably soap, crumbs, dishwater) in it. 


Yay! ...


I still don't know what he's trying to butter me up for.


To be continued, I guess.....


From: Facebook Statuses - Take Another Stephttps://www.facebook.com/TASanotherstep/posts/1269746406401210

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This blog is used to copy my posts (as back-up) from my official site and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time

Sunday, September 18, 2016

New Special Days at Camp

Everything is related …. Camp “Special Days”

special-days
DC’s summer camp sports a calendar chock full of “special days” or themed days. Every single day is some sort of theme, if not a theme then a cookout or a group day (meaning each group gets a special day during the camping season). Every day on the calendar is filled with something.
DC, being DC loves themes and loves nothing more than wearing a costume. Not all days require a costume, but he loves going to camp wearing something specifically for that day.
Most of the Special Days are easy for him to get excited about and relating things, places and activities to his beloved Disney (and other) movies and characters makes it fun for him.
Some of the Special Days at Camp are:
  • Pirate Day, which of course he relates to Captain Hook, Captain Jack Sparrow and even the Dread Pirate Roberts.
  • Luau Day – Lilo and Stitch – what else?
  • luau glassesluau day
  • Western Day relates to Toy Story
  • Chief Day complete with a visit from Chief Gotchbagollie, the elusive Chief that lives in the “forest” behind the camp who ventures out of said forest only once a year –  for him relates directly to Tiger Lily in Peter Pan.Chief
  • Super Hero Day – DC has little interest in Super Heroes but he does love his patriotic songs so Captain America always   works in a pinch (but only after he out-grew his Captain Hammer shirt)
  • And of course, the beloved Hat Day which needs no relating. He just loves wearing silly hats.

A few years ago the directors felt the need to change things up a bit and added 80’s day and 90’s day (these days have since been combined into one day called “The Battle of the Decades”). Now, I can dress DC up in anything and he would go with it, but I really like him to understand and know what he’s wearing, so these additional days took some thought. He has more fun and gets into it more when he can relate the theme to something else and I wanted to be sure he could.
After giving it some thought, I realized that 80’s day would be relatively easy and better still, easy for DC to relate.
There are only a handful of songs that DC knows and likes from nowhere else but the radio. Almost everything else he likes musically has a connection to Disney, a movie or one of his TV shows. It always surprises me when he tells me to stop changing radio channels so that he can hear a particular song. Even then, most of the time the song is from a movie. The few that I have not been able to determine the DC connection are:
Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz (I’m going to guess that he likes it because, in his mind it’s about flying)
‘Don’t worry ’bout’ (DC-speak) otherwise known as December – Collective Soul
Light Shine Down – also from Collective Soul
‘Don’t you cry no more’ (DC-speak) otherwise known as Carry On Wayward Son – Kansas
‘Roses on a grave’ (DC-speak) otherwise known as Kissed by a Rose – Seal. I do know this song was in a Batman movie, but he has no interest in Batman and has never seen the movie.
We’re not gonna take it – Twisted Sister
Sister Christian – Night Ranger (I’ll admit that this one is only because I am obnoxious when it comes on the radio and I make him sing it with me).
The reason I am telling you all of this is because DC is definitely my “Broadway Baby” and he has seen quite a few Broadway shows. 99% of the shows we see are DC-related. On Mother’s Day 2012 it was Mom’s choice for a change and I wanted to see Rock of Ages. Doug and I weren’t sure that DC would be able to sit through it. I went on-line to find the song list and was happy to discover that “We’re not gonna take it” and “Sister Christian” were on the list. Also on the list were “We Built This City”, which he loves from “*The Muppets” – Any Way You Want It; **Gleeand of course “Don’t Stop Believing” also from Glee but more importantly from Adam Sandler’s “Bed Time Stories”.
All relatable enough for him that he did sit through it and he loved it. He loved it so much that he saw it again for a second time locally with his friend BB and he owns the ***movie version.
I also have to mention that DC wants nothing more than to have long hair. Unfortunately his hair grows out instead of down so being able to wear his Rock of Ages shirt AND a wig to camp……. priceless.
Rock of Ages
80's Day

80’s day was a hit that year and the following year. Even though it was 80+ degrees both years, he insisted upon wearing the wig all day long.
Although the concept of ‘decades’ is not something DC understands, he knew he what he was wearing. He did not understand that the wig and the music and oh, I completely forgot – the tattoo arm sleeves were about the 80’s, he just knew that all of was related to a show and songs that he liked.
90’s Day was proving to be more difficult. I could not come up with anything, so I resorted to thinking about the songs he liked. While I was thinking about that and out of the clear blue sky I remembered the day not that long before this when he came running downstairs and through the living room yelling “I’m going to be late for the Smashing Pumpkins concert!”
What?!?!?!?!?!?!
“I am late for the Smashing Pumpkins concert!”
When he comes out with something random and odd like that I always have to ask what movie or show it is from, because italways is from a movie or a show.
“Sabrina”
Okay, I got it. Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (He has the entire series; he loves witches because they relate to Halloween and if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that in this house we LOVE Halloween). There is an episode entirely devoted to Sabrina trying to go to a Smashing Pumpkins concert. Does he understand who or what Smashing Pumpkins are? I do not think so. I am sure he is imagining people actually smashing pumpkins. I did try to explain that they are a band and that Sabrina wanted to go to see this band play in concert. Did/Does he “get” that? I am not sure. To this day any time any Smashing Pumpkins song comes on the radio, I say “DC, it’s Smashing Pumpkins singing” to which he always replies “Smashing Pumpkins Concert” because that is the way it must always be said.
For 90’s day… it was something – if only relatable to Sabrina, it was something. Thanks to Amazon, I was able to find a Smashing Pumpkins shirt and that was good enough for him.
Smashing Pumpkins Concert

“Look DC, I got you a Smashing Pumpkins shirt for 90’s Day at camp”
DC: “Smashing Pumpkins Concert”
“All-righty then…”
New Camp Special Days? We got this….
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More “relatables”:
“*The Muppets” – With the exception of Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, the Muppet version of the Frog Prince and the song “Sir Robin the Brave”, DC was never a fan of Sesame Street or the Muppets in general. The one and only reason he is now the Muppets biggest fan is Amy Adams. Amy Adams was in Enchanted (and any princess is related to Disney) and he will now watch anything and everything she is in, including non-Muppet or non-Princess movies like “Leap Year” and “Trouble with the Curve”.
**Glee – Music and dancing always being a plus, he then realized that Mr. Schuester was Sir Harry in “Once Upon a Mattress” – one of his favorites. In addition, Kristin Chenoweth from more of his favorites, “The Music Man” and “Wicked” made quite a few guest appearances. Then of course there was Neil Patrick Harris in a guest spot that tied it all up for him. Neil Patrick Harris being “Dr. Horrible” and Barney from “How I Met Your Mother”.
I was thrilled when he started asking to watch “How I Met Your Mother” because almost all of the television series he does like to watch, like Full House, Sabrina and The Brady Bunch have been off the air for many years. It is nice when he discovers something contemporary that his friends might also be watching. How I Met Your Mother was a windfall of relatables for him. He got there originally because Lilly was Willow on Buffy, but then he discovered Marshall was Garry in The Muppets and of course Barney who we have already covered.
Speaking of Dr. Horrible: Dr. Horrible and Neil Patrick Harris not only brought him to HIMYM but it also brought him to The Big Bang Theory by way of the character “Moist” aka Howard on Big Bang. Next he noticed Penny, who was in his favorite Easter Movie, “Hop” and holding tight to that witch theme; Billie on “Charmed”. The few appearances by Wil Wheaton did not hurt at all. Wil along with Felicia Day (running neck and neck with Amy Adams as the love of his life) appeared in ‘Erica’ (DC-Speak – “Eureka”) and of course played Penny in “Dr. Horrible”.
Eureka: It is just a great show. He loves it. I love it more. For DC, there was Felicia and Wil and they had him interested enough to start watching episodes from the seasons before they appeared. He still watches the animated Christmas Special year-round, with the voice of the sheriff’s car being none other than Sheldon from Big Bang.
One big giant circle of relatability for DC and in all honesty, this is the way he comes to many things in his life, not just TV shows or Special Days at Camp. Relating things for him has helped him adjust and made him more open to a variety of new things.
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***movie version – Anyone that knows me well, knows very well that I would never spend money on anything that Tom Cruise is in. I knew he wanted the Rock of Ages movie and I also knew that I would not be buying it for him. He got it only because I added it to his “What does DC want for Christmas” list and one of my friends bought it for him.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Star Fleet Experience at the Intrepid NYC


 
 




Ready to beam up



See: Other Cons, Sing-a-longs, and "Experiences" (Dr. Who Experience in Cardiff, Star Fleet Academy Experience, NYC) - At Taking it a Step at a Time page - Cons and Sing-a-longs

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

When I mess up

I like to share (I don't like to but I will and there is no swearing in this version) my screw-ups so maybe others will know not to do the same thing..... We had our annual Social Security assessment the other day, because, you know he might not be autistic anymore and able to hold a regular job...
Anyway, I may be the most unorganized person in the world, but not when it comes to my child. I go out of my way to make sure everything is done on time and properly. 12 years ago we had the paperwork drawn up for his "Special Needs" Trust - that will be funded with a "second to die" policy. I made sure NOTHING was in his name, no one could buy him savings bonds or leave money to him in their will. When he turned 18, we had to apply for SS in order to apply for Title 19, in order to get funding for his work program and funding for the future when I (and his Dad) am gone as he will most likely be living in a group home because there is no one else.
So.... do you know those little life insurance policies that they offer you at work (or the ones you see advertised through Gerber)? That you pretty much purchase just to get the hell out of the room? Yep, those... 
When DC was an infant, they talked me into not only one for myself (which is fine, I have to pay for my funeral somehow :) )but one for him. I though that was odd - why would any one do that? But it was explained that the benefit of buying it was that when he turned 18, I could turn it over to him and it would be his policy to do with what he wished. He could cash it out for the cash value or he could keep it as his own life insurance at the same premium that I paid 25 years ago when I bought it. He was an infant at the time so of course I did not know that when he was 18 he would not be able to understand money, hold a regular job, tell time or even know what a life insurance policy is, so I never transferred it over to him and kind of forgot about it. I was at one time planning on closing it since I really couldn't turn it over to him as planned but never got around to it.
I DID mention this account to anyone and everyone that asked; the attorney who did our trust and SS every time we were evaluated.
For some reason during this re determination this policy is an issue. As I never turned it over to him, I am the account owner. Even if he were capable understanding what a policy is and said "Oh let me cash this out." he would not be able to because I am the owner of the account. But, because it exists, and he is the insured even though he does not own or will ever benefit from the account - he is now losing his benefits until I can get the account closed, spend the money and prove I have spent it on him. Which is fine, but these things are what my nightmares are made of. I'm glad it happened while I am alive to fix it, but what if it happened later when it accumulated even more money? So the moral of the story is if you have one of these accounts and there is any cash value (it can't be over 2,000.00) - get the rid of it or make sure the cash out value is always under 2000.00. And if any family might be reading this; DO NOT LEAVE HIM ANYTHING IN ANY ONE's WILL. I don't need any more surprises, nor would it be a good thing for something else to happen years from now when I'm not around to fix it. 

From: Facebook Page Statuses

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Star Trek Missions-Con

Star Trek Missions NY (and a little bit Reading Rainbow)

star-trek-mission-ny
In honor of Star Trek (The Original Series) 50th anniversary I present Our Trip to Star Trek Missions New York….
I just happened to actually read my email one day in mid-August and I saw the announcement for Star Trek Mission NY on Labor Day weekend. I bought the tickets almost immediately. I have been a fan of Star Trek from the time the very first episode aired back in 1966 – <sarcasm font> I was just an infant, not even born, yet really <end sarcasm font>, so needless to say, I was excited.
The first obstacle for DC would be going to New York City (his favorite place) without visiting “DC’s New York City”; meaning the big Barnes and Noble, the Disney Store, the Eloise Store in the Plaza, Hershey Store, Hard Rock CafĂ© and ‘Citral’ Park (Central Park). I began explaining this to him weeks beforehand. We also promised him that we would go back another day very soon to spend the day doing his favorite things. As much as he seems to understand when I am prepping him for something, I never really know if he does until I get his reaction when it happens. I have to say that I did expect some kind of reaction to not going out into the city when we arrived, but the promise of going back another day seemed to be good enough. – Progress!
DC knows Star Trek TOS because he has me for a mother, of course. One of his first “signs” before he could speak was the “Live Long and Prosper” sign. Of course he did not know it meant LLAP, it was just his sign for Star Trek in general.
I have seen all of the incarnations of Star Trek over the years with the exception of Enterprise so I knew most of the guests that would be in attendance. DC? Not so much. We have been watching the original series on Netflix in the mornings before work  and about a month ago we began alternating between that and Deep Space 9, so I was hopeful he would recognize a few others.
img_6449We got there not very long after the doors opened and I was amazed that it was not very crowded at all. I don’t know if it was because it was the very first one, the holiday weekend or if this was just the crowd they were expecting; in any case it worked out perfectly for us.
The first thing DC came upon was a Tribble and he had to have it. When he found that it made “Tribble” noises, he had to have it even more.
img_6450
He got it……..
His normal “Arrival Anxiety” did not rear it’s head as it usually does when we first arrive anywhere. I was a bit surprised but relieved. We walked the show floor and came upon an Enterprise set where one could sit in the Captain’s chair. It was a long line, but he was all for it.
There was also a man off to the side of the set who looked so much like “Scotty” that I had to do a double take. It unnerved me for a second.
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(While in line we were told that there is a replica of the Enterprise in Ticonderoga, NY so hmmmm…. I smell a road trip in the near future.)
By the time we finished taking photos of “Captain DC”,  the autograph sessions were starting. DC recognizes Robert
Picardo from the Baltimore Con a few years ago so we headed there first.
For some reason, this is where his anxiety set in. The line was short, very short and as I said the hall was not crowded at all but this was where it hit. He started flapping angrily and making a horrendous noise. He used to make a clucking noise but it has evolved into something unrecognizable lately. In-between the flapping and the extremely loud noises he would stop only to say he was sorry and then start again. I could see that the woman in front of us getting a little bit nervous, but I just kept telling him to do what he had to do to calm down and as long as there was no one around for him to hit with his flapping arms, it was okay. She seemed to relax, I suppose because she saw I wasn’t treating it as a big deal. He did finally relax too. To keep him relaxed, I joked that he should not do that when he got to the table because he would scare Robert Picardo. He laughed. Still trying to keep his mind off of his anxiety, I asked him who we were going to look for next.
“Reading Rainbow. I have to find him. I will find him somewhere.”
The anticipation of meeting “Reading Rainbow Man”  (DC-speak) took his mind off of whatever was making him anxious and he was back to his perfectly happy self when he got to the front of the line. He got Robert Picardo’s autograph and we set out on our hunt for Reading Rainbow Man.
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We found “Reading Rainbow Man” (LeVar Burton to the rest of you) rather quickly. In true DC – delayed reaction and pronoun reversing fashion, the very first thing he said to him was “You scared me!”. LeVar, not knowing what was going on said “How did I scare you?”
“Noises”
I then had to explain that in the previous line I told him if he made that much noise he would scare people.  LeVar understood and told him that no, DC had not frightened him. He asked “How are you?”
DC: “Twenty-Five”
Me: He asked how are you, not how old are you.
DC: “Great!”
The conversation continued pretty much like that, with me jumping in to translate when necessary.
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DC had been looking so forward to meeting him and was so very excited when he did that I was kicking myself for not thinking about  saving this meeting until later. I was worried that after meeting LeVar he would not be interested in staying any longer, but he surprised me once again and wanted to move on to the next meeting.
We got to see and meet quite a few people…….
img_6459The only Original Series cast member there that day was Walter Koenig. William Shatner was scheduled to appear on Sunday. DC met him at NY Comic-Con a few years earlier so we weren’t disappointed that we would be missing him this time. Of course, if he happened to have been there we surely would have been in his line too.
There were a good number of TNG cast there as well. We did not get to see all of them, but we saw Levar and Gates McFadden.
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I asked him who he wanted to see next. He looked around toward the Deep Space 9 section and answered “Jake”. I was a little bit impressed with that since he has only been watching for a few weeks and I was not sure how much he was actually paying attention. Of course by the time we got to the front he did not ‘renember’ his name but that was all just a matter of him not understanding the question or that the question was not asked in a way he understood. He will typically give a lot of random answers until he is asked properly – unfortunately one never knows what “properly asking” might be on any given day. There are times when he can answer a question correctly the very first time the question is asked and other days, the question has to be asked in many different ways.
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He saw Quark over in the next line. Quark, not in costume is only the principal from Buffy to DC. His line was a little bit longer than the others so we skipped over to Nana Visitor. DC was his charming self but when she told him her name he really got excited. He was clutching his chest and squealing with the biggest smile on his face.
I don’t know about any of you, but most of the time when I take DC to a play, event or something of the sort, I spend more time watching him get excited than I do watching the play or show or whatever is going on. Then I get teary-eyed. That is just what happened here. He just was so thrilled to be talking to her and she was just so cheerful and upbeat with him that I not only got teary-eyed, but I thought I was going to burst out into an all out ugly face cry right there. It was tough trying to keep my composure. When we finished and headed back over to where Doug was holding up the pole he thought something had happened as it was pretty apparent that I was trying to contain myself. When I tried to explain it to him I got all choked up again. Sometimes I just fall apart when I see him so happy – I know, I know, get a grip, woman….
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We walked around a little bit more waiting for the rest of our photo-ops when we came upon an attendee all dressed up in a long flowing gown. DC could hardly control himself. She was talking to people and not paying attention while DC was yelling“Excuse me! Excuse me!”. I had to keep telling him not to touch her dress but he wanted her attention so he tapped her on the shoulder before I could stop him. When she turned around the first thing he said was “Sorry to touch”. She smiled and told him it was all right and he said “Dress Beautiful” (and another squeal). That was all he needed to do; get her attention to tell her that her dress was beautiful. She thanked him and we were off to look at everything else there was to see.
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It is a given that he will always find somewhere to buy a book………

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He got to see his beloved Nana again at his DS9 cast photo-op (and Buffy’s ‘teacher’ who we never made it back to in the autograph lines) and of co. I think she may just have earned herself a place on DC’s favorite women list alongside of Felicia Day and Amy Adams.
What a perfect day! Everything went exactly as planned. The whole event was very well organized and of course it helped that it was not very crowded.
We all had a great time!
Well……
Except for this guy….
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In case anyone might be wondering; the Reading Rainbow theme remains trapped in my head, still.
And, Oh – there were M&M’s
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aaaaaaannnnnnnnd
levar