There is no “Oh no we’re not” in ‘Team’

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Walking Night. Stay tuned.

Linking up with my happy place: Five Minute Friday.

Today’s theme:

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Well… of course it is.

Ok, here’s the story:

I still haven’t posted my kids’ back to school pictures yet. This is kind of against nature and I am very sorry. Every mom knows that is it the LAW that those pictures get posted on the facebooks, pronto, and here I am, still just trying to make sure they’re fed and in clean underwear before they head out the door.

So, last night was Walking Night. It’s this Thing that the labrador-retriever husband came up with to help us Stay in Shape and Be a Family, all at the same time. We are a Team, after all. We go out and walk together. Or, rather, the boys shoot off on their bikes, like little nutball savages, while the husband and I, who mainly operate like ships in the night, walk and talk.

It’s better to be ships in the day, I guess.

Sometimes we even hold hands. Like ships in love.

Anyhow. LAST night I also wanted to Take it Up a Notch, by adding devotionals to the whole thing. I like to Take it Up a Notch whenever possible because my life is not chaotic or jam-packed enough and this whole Notch business seems to fulfill some basic need in me to be basically Perfect.

Ok, I’m just gonna stop with the capitals thing now. It’s Annoying, isn’t it?

So. I had my devotional all ready. And it went like this:

Both boys were instructed to take a tube of toothpaste and squeeze it out, which they did with some glee. The Blonde informed me right away, however, that this was a terrible waste of money. I just love him. He is so like his momma.

Then, I said, in my church lady voice:

“So, boys, now I want you to put the toothpaste back IN the tube.”

I then made the very overused, this whole toothpaste gag has been so done before thing, analogy that once your words are out there you can’t put them back. It’s not actually a BAD analogy by any means. I had figured that since we were starting up school again and that they might, well, hear stuff and say stuff because school is basically the Child Thunderdome where they learn interesting concepts like “fart train” and such, that this whole toothpaste thing would be memorable and important.

Oh, and it was. It was really, really memorable, y’all.

It started when Red, who was playing with his toothpaste like it was fingerpaint, decided to paint his brother’s face with the gooey stuff. I laughed. Brother laughed. It was all good clean minty fun, right? Learning moment. It was a learning moment! And then Blonde followed suit with some of his gooey stuff, and that’s when the screaming started.

You see, gentle reader, toothpaste is MINTY.

Minty + eyeballs = screaming.

Let me provide you with a short re-enactment:

Red: OH NOOO MY EYES MY EYESSSSS THE PAIN THE PAINNNN!!

Blonde: NOOOO MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP MY EYEBALLS ARE ON FIRRREEEEEEEE!

Red: I AM DYING! AS WE SPEAK RIGHT HERE  JUST GONNA DIE. FROM DEVOTIONALS!

Blonde: MOTHER I WILL NEVER DO DEVOTIONALS AGAIN! BAD! BAD!

Both: AS GOD IS MY WITNESS, I WILL NEVER DO DEVOTIONALS AGAIN!

 

And that was my first try at family devotionals.

Toothpaste: 1

Devotionals: 0

 

We will try again. We will fight the good fight. We’re like the military. We never leave anyone behind.

Also, we flipping MINTY FRESH.

We are minty team, and as I have explained, numerous times to both boys: We are all stuck with each other, I’m sorry, but you can’t just go live with another family.

But next time devotionals will involve four pounds of M and M’s, soft music, and maybe the Care Bears.

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The Last Days of Summer

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I gotta admit. The motherhood over here is getting a little screechy. Like, we’re all kinda tired of each other. The pool is closed. School starts in T-minus two days. For some reason, I just don’t have it in me to start a craft project any time soon.

We are experiencing a LULL, people. A LULL IN PARENTING AND CHILDRENING.

Breakfast was a highly uninspired bowl of cold gloom and orange juice. The boys sat and chewed silently, staring off in the distance, while I set up my IV intake of coffee.

I had bought a sale brand of coffee. It tastes like despair.

The boys decided “make your beds” meant “stir the sheets with both tiny hands until tangled. In despair.”

Also, this. My sweet six year old decided he wanted MORE gloomy cereal, so he poured an ENTIRE bowl of the stuff WITH milk and then ate TWO BITES. And then, he proceeded to spill the rest of it on the floor as he was trying to “clear his place” which to him meant, “set in front of the dishwasher.”

And then. I stepped on THIS:

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I mean. What even IS this thing? It has SPIKES. Legos don’t have SPIKES. Also, note the gigantica that is my seven year old’s clodhopping paw-foot. He used to have the chubby cute toddler hobbit feet. No longer.

Silly Momsie. The cute hobbit feet are long gone. And… so is my motivation to get into a bra today.

Too much?

I need reiterate: DESPAIR, PEOPLE. HEAPING SPOONFULS OF IT ALL OVER THE HECK PLACE. INCLUDING THE FLOOR.

Now, there are two things that Momsie can do here. Shall I show you in a chart?

Let me show you in a chart:

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I like charts, don’t you ? This one doesn’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense but WHY START NOW?

The thing is, I wanted the grand send off. I wanted the Last Days of Summer to equal something Big and Memorable for the wee ones. And I realize The Last Days of Summer kinda sounds like a Lifetime made for television movie about some girl and her boyfriend Chet who fall in love and do PG-13 things… but that’s not the vibe I was going for here.

The Last Days of Summer are equaling going to the dry cleaners and listlessly playing with the cat with a sock someone found under the couch. The sock has so much fur on it I think Steve has adopted it as his own. He’s sobbing and holding it, rocking back and forth like he’s Daddy Warbucks in Annie.

Ok, not really, but you know I gotta do something with this post to make it more interesting.

So. The Last Days of Summer. They’re here. And I got nothing. No campouts in the backyard. No glorious scavenger hunts for school supplies. No movie marathons or bungee jumping or shouting our barbaric yawps to the universe before we head off to the land of education.

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It’s tough being me. The world I envision in my head is soooo often NOT even close to reality. Pfft. My head is overrated anyhow.

You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna bake them a cake. Frosted with my Aunt Dorothy’s fudge icing.

BOOM.

I know, right? Nothing says

LAST DAYS OF SUMMER

like that fudge frosting, ya’ll. That fudge frosting could straight up fix everything. We could mail it to Afghanistan and it would all get ironed out, with some cold glasses of milk and a lot of spoons.

Also? If you come up with something that involves chalkboard signs and some balloons and maybe some stray washi tape or anything, ANYTHING from Hobby Lobby re this end of summer business???  Well, you make me go, “Pfft.”

PFFT, I say!

And now I shall take my children to the dry cleaners and it’ll be FUN. Just you watch.

Well, ok. Honestly, the dry cleaners isn’t ever gonna be fun but at least we can listen to Abba while we’re in the car.

Happy Summering!

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LIFT and drag.

Linking up with my happy place,Five Minute Friday today.

The theme,

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Ok, bear with me. It’s gonna be a bumpy flight.

I have had insomnia for the past, well, seems like forever now. On and off all summer. But the last week has been the worst. I have tried all sorts of remedies: melatonin, sleepytime tea, so much sleepytime that I am SLOSHING before bed. Lots of soft music. No screen time. Copious reading of things all soft and lovely… And the bible. I hate to say it, but a good read of Leviticus and I am usually nodding off all over the place. I know. That makes me sound rather unspiritual, and shallow. But good heck. I am TIRED so we’re keeping it real.

What better time, when so tired you are starting to see spots, to be real?

Lack of sleep has a variety of results. Let me share them with you.

  1. Momsie become unnaturally ferocious. Like, really, really cranky.
  2. She forgets things. Like where her keys are and how to feed her children lunch.
  3. She also feels dreadful and achy. Like her whole body just is UP and QUITTING this nonsense.
  4. Then, the wonderfullness that is MomGuilt comes up and pokes at her, hissing things like, “Feed your children, woman! And, for Pete’s sake, get a bra on! And what is UP with the laundry room situation? It looks like a college dorm room in there! DOOM and GLOOM, Momsie! You are a MESS!”

I remember once, my husband, Mr. Smartie Engineer, telling me about flight. He has actually flown a plane before, which gives him total street cred in this situation. He said something like this:

“For the plane to fly, it needs LIFT true. Of course. That is a given. But it also has to have DRAG. Without DRAG, the plane would just go all willy nilly all over the place.”

Ok, it’s possible he didn’t use the actual words “willy nilly.” But you get my point.

This non sleeping thing? It’s a total pain and I do need to work on it. But yet, it has done something good.

It has sat me down. Last night it kept me still and staring out at a tree and some stars and guess what I did?

I prayed. For like a long time.

I know. This TOTALLY  makes up for the Leviticus comment, right? So spiritual, that Momsie!

But really, prayer for me is a tricky thing. I keep doing it, yes, but a lot of times it ends up being All About Me, and also, God Why Aren’t You Fixing This Right Now?, and you know how that goes. So last night I just went through every possible person I could think of, and I prayed for them.

And people, if you don’t know, you better believe Hillary and Donald were in there. Along with our veterinarian (no idea why, but he was in my head so there you go) and our church, and a lot of people IN our church, and our weird neighbors and that one lady that doesn’t seem to like me much and my husband and my husband’s HUGE family and so on.

We need the drag to experience the lift. That’s what I learned at three am last night.

You’re welcome.

Also this: the FIRST thing I thought when I saw “Lift” as the theme? A bra. Yep. Aren’t you glad I went with option two?

 

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Lift and separate, ladies!

 

LIFT AND SEPARATE!

I Went Away and Came Back Again. Episode #34

I think I’ve written about this before. But you guys. It is SO exciting! I went away!

And! Double bonus! I came back!

Last weekend I went away to write.

Does that not make me sound like Zelda Fitzgerald? I mean, without all the booze and angst about her husband and all. But still. It sounds so… writerly, doesn’t it?

Ok, so I packed my stuff:

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Important! Always include incredibly soft Netflix shirt (jammies) in blog post as Shameless Plug.

Also, I didn’t read Big Magic at all. I meant to. It is a great book and I will… but really, all I did all weekend was write or watch You’ve Got Mail. And Jaws 3. Which is in 3D, may I remind you, and has some really awesome acting in it. Basically, people shouting “Get out of the water!” and staring at horror as a gigantic fake shark slowly 3D’s its way towards them. I had forgotten how good that movie is. The shark was a little stiff but perhaps he just needed to work on his motivation.

Anyhow. I also wrote. I went to a hipster coffee shop, plunked my stuff down, and wrote my hands off.

I wrote. I wrote like the wind.

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The poor focus on this picture is not because I am a bad photographer. It’s symbolic. It’s showing you, dear reader, the very writerly PROCESS I struggled THROUGH to try and make this book something with some SORT OF FLIPPING POINT BECAUSE MY GOD PEOPLE I AM SO STUCK. I HAVE WRITER’S BLOCK. IT’S NO LONGER A BLOCK IT IS MORE LIKE A BOULDER. HELLLLP.

 

 

 

So, then I administered about six cups of very strong coffee:

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And after a lot of flipping back and forth between my writing timeshare with the Facebooks, I then spread my crap out even MORE (All the while muttering: “I don’t CARE if it was annoying fellow coffee shop hipsters, this is IMPORTANT. I am a WRITER, people. THIS IS MY CRAFT.” Which really worked because people kept moving away.)

AND VOILA!!!!

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It’s my book, see! SEE! In post-its!

And also, then:IMG_5709.JPGI celebrated with carbs.

I now notice that Porters, next door, was offering nachos and a pitcher AND hiring… which I could always pursue, you know, if I can’t make it as a writer.

IMG_5724.jpgAs I had not had carbs in over a week, it’s possible this was a mistake. But I only at ONE. I promise. (Lower right, lemon cream. Oh my goodness. Heaven.) The rest of the box I faithfully shlepped home to mah babies.

Yes. I did come back to them.

And now the book is well underway, the blockage is over, and I am just spewing writing all over the place. Lovely analogy, isn’t it? Really has great imagery, doesn’t it. That, my peoples, is what we writers do.

We constantly attach too much meaning to everything and end up with poop metaphors.

It’s our thing.

So, The Second Book is on its way. I now I am thinking of some possible titles. What do you think?

All about MEEEEEE!  Part 2.

I Know I Have a Lot to Say, Don’t Leave

or maybe?

Being Me is Very Difficult Let Me Tell You Why

or my favorite:

Bottled in THREE D. THE SAGA CONTINUES.

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The Force is With Me. Sometimes.

This post was brought to you by:

ALL CAPS and Overdramatization!!! Wheeeeee!!!

Ok. I gotta warn you.  I am going to do something on Momsie I’ve never done before.

I’m going to blame it all on Star Wars.

I have to. It’s the only way.

Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.

Yesterday I:

1. Ran three miles. Ok, two and a quarter and then kinda lurched the rest, but I’ll call if running if you will? Ok? We good on that? Ok.

2. Then, I made breakfast for two kids and actually managed to CLEAN UP THE KITCHEN BEFORE WE LEFT THE HOUSE.

3. And do you know what we did when we left the house.? I put TWO MORE children in my car (they are friends. I didn’t just grab random children, ok?) and we all went BOWLING.

4. And THEN we went and had a very healthy lunch at McDonalds. I sat on the other side of the glass and watched them run around like little rats in ratty Thunderdome. I ate my salad and contemplated my life choices, but you know.

5. And THEN: I decided to take them all shopping for back to school stuff. Well, I just bought stuff for my actual children, but you know.

Backpacks and shoes. So, now that our college fund is totally depleted, I bring them all home and make them snacks (healthy! I promise!) and by heavens I DESERVE A FLIPPING PARADE OK?

Where is my parade? Where? Maybe just a small one? Couple Shriners? One politician in a car much cooler than he is? PLEASE?

Nope. What happened instead:

There seemed to be a problem with one of the backpacks. And by “problem” I mean:

R2-D2 STOPPED WORKING. (“MOM. He’s upposed to light UP and blink at me! He is JUST LIGHTING UP. DER IS NO BLINKING. WHERE ID DA BLINKINNNNNNNGG?” And then he just looked at me as if I could just WAVE my hands over the thing and WAZAAM the blinking back in the backpack. Say that fast three times. And, by the way,  I so wish that was wazamm thing was a thing. Moms could use that thing, sometimes. But I guess that would make me Harry Potter, and it is kinda tricky, that. I mean, I liked the books and all but not sure Jesus would truck with me becoming a wizard. Anyhow. I’m kinda swerving on this, right?

Right. Anyhow. Back to R2.
IMG_5677.jpgLet me also explain that BOTH boys brought home the SAME backpack. And now ONE is not working. And, as you know, that means that ONE kid is now really REALLY Def Con 5 UPSET. The other one is smirking. And then you know that thing that you do, you moms? Where you try to comfort and pat one AND glare at the other one? Well. This maneuver is complex and I MIGHT have fumbled the ball a bit.

Oy vey.

I had figured to just do what Solomon did. Just cut the other one in half and it’s all good. I mean, it’s just STARING at me.

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Help.

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Is it just me, or??

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I dunno. Maybe it’s just me.

Anyhow, I settled the backpack issue. Don’t ask. It might have involved the negotiation skills of Atticus Finch. And also a Nutter Butter. But you know.

And THEN, the husband got home from an after-work-go-have-a-beer-with-the-colleagues thing (he’s a total normie and for that I am so grateful and he really did probably have at most a BEER or TWO like he said) but holy Corona, he leaned in to kiss me and I smelled it. Alcohol. And my eyes narrowed to tiny snakey slits of anger and judgement and I swear we both heard a rattle. Because I CAN judge at this point. Do you know WHY?

Do ya? Do you know WHY I CAN JUDGE NOW?

Because it’s past five o’clock and it’s been a DAY and I NEVER GOT THAT PARADE.

Also, I made tuna and stirfry for dinner because my children wanted to act like I was feeding them plague food again tonight.

So, the husband tells me, after a nice, healthy dinner paired with a side serving of snake, and a lottttt of soy sauce,

“Dear. I love you.”

And I responded with:

“That’s because you HAVE to. You’re MARRIED to me. That’s, right, Drinkie McDrinkerson. You are STUCK. WITH. ME.” (rattle, rattle)

AND then. As he slowly trudged up the stairs he called down, “Yes. I am. And I am blessed.”

“YES YOU ARE MR. DRINKY-PANTS. YOU ARE SO BLESSED.”

Like I said. This behavior was all R2-D2’s fault. Perhaps, if we had gotten the Captain America backpacks like I had SUGGESTED NONE of this would have EVER happened.

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AND WEAR MY BACKPACK. MINE. NOT THE ROBOT ONE.

 

“Hey, did you know that goats don’t like leashes?”

This is my vantage point:

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Look closely. The cat is also helping.

 

Chair. Coffee. Lots of coffee. Oatmeal. Computer. Listening.

Four small boys are circling the table in dining room. The table looks like Lego Land walked by and puked all over the table. Like, all over it. Also on the floor. Maybe also in the living room too. A bit.

They are discussing various things. It’s pretty technical at times. “No! I LOSTED MY HEAD! Do you guys see my head anywhere? It’s ok, though I still have powers. *whispers* In my tiny hands.

Then the conversation takes a rather interesting twist:

“GUYS. GUYS. Did you know? If you put a leash on a goat and try to walk him? He’ll chew your face off.”

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting that either.

I don’t know how the goat thing started. Is there a Lego goat? Is there a teeny tiny leash in there that can of course get lost and then become REALLY IMPORTANT?

Then, one poor soul says: “Cats. Cats don’t like leashes either.”

They all look, as if on cue, at Steve, Mr. Sweet Fluffypants, who is lounging by the table in all his furry glory. He eyes them with the cool confidence. “Bring it, small people,” he says.

And so, they put a leash on him. I am still watching from the chair, wondering at which point I should get involved. Prior to the face chewing? Or maybe after just a small nibble?

And then Steve allowed himself to be drug across our wood floors, like a kitty Swiffer. It should have been on film. Instead, I watched in awe as he actually put one paw up to groom his ears while being dragged around.

Like a boss.

I did put a stop to the dragging after one full rotation of the room. For one, poor Steve’s fur was now coated in dust bunnies and I needed to squeegee him off. I did consider taking him upstairs and throwing him under our bed a couple times, though. He really picks up dirt and lint with amazing finesse!

I could market this.

Anyhow, also, the leash thing was morphing into, “Hey! Lemme put this on you! I’ll take YOU for a walk! Around the block! Outside!” to the littlest brother and we have enough rumors, about general parenting practices at our house, thank you. We don’t really need leashes added to that mix.

Also, safety. Basic safety. Don’t email me. I shut the whole leash thing down, I promise.

And then, the boys just kinda stared at each other. Bereft. Their weird game had been snuffed out and what to do? I, always helpful, pointed out there was basically the population of China in Legos within two feet of them. One of the boys melted to the floor in despair. The Legos were old and tired. They had just drug a cat across the FLOOR, woman. You CAN’T GO BACK FROM THAT.

Until one of them* said,

“Hey, I can make a bubble with my own saliva.” And they were off to find a mirror and set up the Disgusting Saliva Bubble Olympics 2016.

I would like to say, just for the record, that usually I would intervene on this because EW and We are a Nice Family, and we Don’t Do That. Etc.

But it’s been raining for the past two hours and it’s August. You get the idea, you moms of huddled children at the End Times of Summer. You know.

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Notice the way this cat likes, literally, to live in the edge.

*This was not my kid, who said that, about the saliva thing.

*Well, it might have been.

*Not sure. I can’t recall exactly.

The More You Know.

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Here are the Things I Learned On Netflix:

  1. British television is superior to American, in every way. All the time. It’s the law.
  2. When I am tired I seem to want to watch cooking shows. They soothe me, somehow. All is right in the world when you watch someone whip up a maple creme filled zeppole. Also, I learned Italian right there! So double bonus!
  3. Nurse Jackie can be watched until 1 am and then the next morning you kind of feel hungover but NO REGRETS.
  4. THE PEREGRINE FALCON CAN DIVE AT A SPEED OF 143 MILES AN HOUR. FOR REALS. YOU HAVE TO WONDER IF THEY FREAK OUT WHEN THEY DO IT.

Ok, I’m not exactly sure on that last one, as a seven year old was the dispenser of the information there, but he would know. Why? Because the boys watch these cuties:

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They love the Brothers Kratt. And, did you know? Chris and Martin are ACTUALLY BROTHERS. And, Chris and Martin LIKE EACH OTHER, at the SAME TIME, WHILE BEING BROTHERS. Amazing.

And so, whenever we watch them, I tend to add my Mom Two Cents after each live-action segment with the Kratts with something like, “Oh look, Martin just let Chris fall and slip in the muddy gator pit but yet THEY ARE NOT FIGHTING ABOUT IT! AT ALL!. Instead, they are smiling and attempting to befriend a gator! And we know there won’t be any blood because children’s programming! Brotherly love!”

Now, Blonde and Red follow me around like a mini Kratts, spouting facts about animals, in a very endearing, if not slightly nutty Kratt-ian way. I’ll be making dinner and one will fly by, and spout at me, in all caps, because that’s their volume setting at all times:

MOM? MOM??? DID YOU KNOW THAT GORILLAS CAN CATCH COLDS?

Or later, in the bath:

ALSO. MOM? A LION ONLY KILLS ABOUT TWENTY TIMES A YEAR.

Or, while drifting off to sleep:

AND? DID YOU KNOW? RATS CAN LAUGH. THEY CAN! WE NEED TO GET ONE AND SEE.

Ok, it’s possible that last fact was not learned through the Kratts. I just always remember my college roommate’s creepy boyfriend who liked to carry his pet around on his shoulder telling me that. It stuck with me, somehow. Things like that do.

This summer on The Netflixes we are learning. All the time. Like, I just learned this from one of my beloved cooking shows, Cupcake Wars:

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I KNOW, RIGHT????

If for some reason, summer is starting to wear a little thin and you would like your children to USE THEIR NOGGINS FOR SOMETHING OTHER THAN WHACKING EACH OTHER WITH LIGHT SABERS AND FIGHTING OVER TEENY TINY LEGOS, then I suggest Wild Kratts.

Or, this option:

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This is also on the mighty Netflixes. AND the narrator? BRITISH. BOOM. DOUBLE BONUS!

Hey, did you know? Ring-tailed Lemurs actually purr when they are content.

YEP, I LEARNED IT FROM THAT SHOW.

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Thank you, Netflix, for all the learning!