Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Karla And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year... A love letter to my urban family

I have been sitting at this computer forever trying to figure out what I need to do to sum up what this year was for me. How many things changed, how I changed. Do I start with the events? Do I tick off the highlights? The lowlights? How very "Seasons of Love" right.

Its amazing what one year can bring, how much your heart can both hurt and be filled. I can in all honesty say, my heart was broken quite a few times this year. I was talking to Jed last night and enumerating for him what a craptastic year it was for me. I was a little frustrated at first because he kept trying to make me look at the bright side. There are moments when looking at the rainbow through the rain doesn't make you feel any less drenched.

However, I digress. What I mean to say is Jed did have a point. I am still standing! Hallelujah for that. I mean its a comfort to know that after a year where I watched my group of friends fall apart and put itself together, walked away from a friend I loved, saw a spiritual mentor kicked out of the church for abuses of power, saw another two friends come out of the closet, saw a coworker fired for harassing me, my cousin was murdered and I was sexually assaulted... I can still stand up, put one foot in front of the other, and smile.

My heart has some resilience boy. There is a security in knowing that I will always be able to get back up again.

I've been trying to process, the lessons that I am supposed to learn. And rather then stress myself out about it, I'm gonna give it a big honkin rest. I don't think that all the lessons can possibly come before the New Year. The only thing I need to know right now is that I am blessed.

I was out with my friends at this spoken word poetry event and as cheesy as it sounds I had a moment when I was totally struck by how much I loved them. Now I really am a total cheese head so these moments aren't exactly rare. Even so, I was looking at their faces while they laughed at the end of the night. Stood their watching all of us hug. Encouraging the one of us with a date the next night, lol. Taking in just how much these people have meant to me. Even when it was tough I never ceased to believe that they loved me.

I remember how in the middle of the assault, when my brain was abandoning me for numbness, the words I heard were Jed's. He had instructed me long ago as to how to defend myself, and in the clutch moment of my life, those words came to me like armor and I got away. I called one team member that night, one member of the Elite 8. By the next morning, my entire facilitation family had mobilized to provide whatever support they could, they didn't believe distance to be a block and wanted to be there for me any way they could. Isacc was at a workshop, with so many worries besides me and through my tears was able to be the first to pull out of me what had occurred that night. I can remember the day after the assault the girls forced me into a car to see a therapist and get the help they knew I needed yet I was too embarrassed to seek out. As I tottered out of the car, literally scared of the world around me, they held my hand and I knew I was safe. I remember that very night as I slept, Rey slept next to me, hugging me whenever I awoke crying with memories that made me feel like the world was closing in on me and I would never be right again. I remember sitting with Bola, having her hold me as I fell apart while filing a police report, knowing that life couldn't possibly get this rough or painful again. I remember sitting at restaurants with Sam, drinking a beer and having the feeling of being understood in ways no one really ever got before she came into my life. In one such instance hearing her plea to stop believing the person I was had somehow vanished, listening to her assurance that I wasn't lost, and the accompanying embrace that had so much love in it, I longed to believe her. Having my first real argument with Bola and even in the middle of it finding comfort that we would never yell at each other, never make each other feel less than, knowing that in her I found my life-long sister and no one thing would ever be great enough to take that away. Laughing with Rey on various carpool rides at times when laughter seemed like a foreign concept to me. Yet there he was, constant, supportive and my goofball. Writing an email to shut out the very people who helped me make myself capable of surviving, knowing I was hurting them, yet knowing that this time my pain had to be a private endeavor, I had to know how to go forward on my own.

I pushed all of them away in 100 different ways. Lack of communication, shutting down, depression. I wouldn't tell them how I was feeling and then I sat bewildered at why I felt so alone. Even now, I know that if I apologize for it, I'll get several reiterations of "Well it’s what you had to do at the time for you, you don't need to feel sorry for it."

I want you all to know, I realize not only how painful this year was for me, but how painful it must have been for you to watch me go through it. I want you to know that I love you all. I love you for being the people you are and for keeping my heart alive. I love you for accepting me for who I am and encouraging me to do the same. I love you because not a one of us isn't a strong ass survivor. I am proud of you and your personal struggles. I see the beauty in your choices. I admire your character and am astounded by the immensity of your strength. Let it be known, this year SUCKED, and at the end, we got through it together.

With that said PEACE OUT 2005! See ya, wouldn't want to go through you again, thank you for the lessons you taught, but get the hells up outta here. We got some joy coming to us in a big way and you can't stand in the way of that. Though I know you to be more a metaphorical than physical difference, I think we earned throwing that baby out with that particular bath water.

Happy New Years guys! I said it a billion times, I'll say it again, with all my heart, I love you.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Appreciating My Eric

I would like to be clear, I know I am a fruit fly(1). I have long been like bees to honey with gay men. I have had a few gay men (both closeted and non-closeted) that have been my best most intimate friends. I have shared with these people and given them pieces of me very few people have gotten. I like the role of confidant, emotional intellectual, emotional support and fun time friend. However, I am starting to notice the effect the role has had on my social life. I mean if you hang out with mostly gay men, you really won't to have the space to meet the straight ones. Up until now, I think that's been okay with me.

I've been working on my issues for a hot second. I'm a pretty self-aware girl and I've actively sought ways to heal. There has been enough work for me to acknowledge the daddy, self-esteem, trust, safety and sexual issues attached with my inability to actively seek a healthy long (or short) term relationship. I have been scared and running since about the teen years from the possibility of men who would want me back.

It isn't enough anymore you know? I didn't contextualize this until very recently. I was walking through the Mission on the phone with my Eric. Feeling how good it felt to love him the way I do now rather than the way I used to. It was my first time out walking in the Mission since the assault. Eric didn't know this, he didn't know that in summoning all the courage I could find to step out of the car that day. He was the refuge I sought to keep me strong to make life normal again. It was just a casual conversation but something about having him on the phone provided me the safety I needed to regain my ability to have command of my surroundings. Being reflected to myself trough Eric's eyes has always rocked the house.

Eric was my first love you see, at 15, I just knew he should be mine. He was the first guy to (and he still does from time to time) look at me like the sun rises and sets in my eyes. He was the first guy I ever found I could talk to till all hours of the night. We pondered the universe, the Spice Girls and our friends. We laughed a lot and I often got caught on the phone long after curfew. I knew we had the chemistry every couple should have. He was my first kiss. Sitting next to him made my stomach flip-flop AND I still could confide in him like no other. To be quite honest, I haven't known love like that since.

My love for him lasted for many years. At varying levels really, not one consistent stream of in love, but most definitely notable. While I was in Spain for 6 months we called each other every couple of weeks. Emailed all the time. When I returned I think I felt a certain certainty that he would realize how horrible having been away from me for six months was, and we would become the couple we were always meant to be. I can still remember my first night home, sitting with him and my friends in my childhood bedroom, my head on his lap, his stroking my hair.

I remember the feeling of him having his head lying on my stomach the night that he told me he was gay. "Karla, I think I like boys." I have never processed so many emotions at once. The bottom had dropped out from under me, but I still wanted him to feel supported and loved through what I know was going to be a difficult process. I shut off a piece of myself that night to be there for him. I spent the night asking him all sorts of questions. "Have you kissed a boy yet?" "How did it make you feel?" "Are you happy?" Assuring him all the while, we would get through this together.

I left his house in the morning, got in the car and started to drive away. It was about two blocks later I fell apart. I was sobbing, tears and snot coming down my face. I was crying so hard I had to pull over the car on the side of the road. I mourned the relationship that I had wanted to bad and that I knew would never be. He had even left a door open for me, he thought he could be bisexual, he might just be experimenting, but he knew he was attracted to men. But knowing him as I did, loving him as I did, I knew it was only going to take some time before he got comfortable with himself. I knew then he would be happy in ways I would never have been able to provide. I knew that day, it was over.

I got home, called a friend, devastated, I told him Eric had come out. Then got off the phone because my tears were blocking my ability to communicate anything rationally. I cried for days. It was good crying too. The kind you go into the shower to hide.

When people ask me whether or not I knew, I don't quite know how to give a response they'll understand. I did. I mean how can you love someone that much and NOT know. I knew in the same way parents know. The "No, that can't be true." way. The "But he loves me, I just know it. We can be happy if he just tried." kind of way.

I appreciate so much what Eric gave me. He allowed me to realize that people don't have to just "give love a chance", they deserve to be overwhelmed by it in ways they can't help but express. Embarrassedly enough, I have to say, for a few months after he came out, I still hoped he would kiss me. Tell me I was enough. It took quite some time before I let go of the safety of that fantasy. When I did, it changed many things for me. I was 20.

Four, almost five years later, I found myself in a similar, but different situation with another person I deeply cared for. Except this time I found myself feeling relief that they had found themself. Relief that I would see this person truly satisfied and in love one day. I knew the moment they said something that my years of friendship had been spent hoping for this person to find love, not find my love.

Walking through the Mission with Eric on the phone, with the easy banter of years of intimacy, I felt free. Free because, at last, I get to enjoy him for who he is and not what he can or cannot provide for me. I no longer need him, I just want him around. Because I am a complete person for having loved him and having survived it. And for the first time in years I am starting to want things for myself and not the people around me.

This all bring me back to my original realization. I have spent a lot of time on the happiness of other people. I love them and I tend to do this with people I love. It allows me a safe distance from the kinds of leaps that I would have to make for myself. In part I think I wanted (and still struggle wanting) people to love me and figure doing things for them will help them care. Its not a conscious thing, but I know now that I'm not just the nice deeds I do. I am wonderful for a slew of reasons that I could enumerate for you but I won't. Its enough that I know.

I'm not going to front, I'm still working on all this. But I'm ready to find a man who can love me the way I deserve to be loved. Who will look at me and realize how fantastic I am. Who wants to rip off my clothes to feel as close to me as he can, not as a way of denying who he is. I want to parachute into it and feel fear yo. I'm ready, and that's a nice place to be for the new year. Thank you Eric, for playing such a large role in getting me there.

(1) Fruit Fly - term used for women who have lots of gay friends. Also known as Fag Hag. However, I have never been and will never be a hag of anything.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Peer Pressure Space

I finally succumbed to the MySpace plague. haha. Oh peer pressure, what can you do. Eric and Rey kept needling me til I went on my hours long myspace rampage. I indentified people from high school and college whom I'm sure barely remember my name. If I was in a class with them, they got invited to my "friend network" haha. I swore up and down I wouldn't do it. Serves me right for being high and mighty. If you are reading this because you looked at my page "HI!" Congrats on your life. As you may already be able to tell, I have partially come into being the socialist you all thought I would be. Next step in my "friend network", my Pomona life.

For those of you who haven't heard of myspace, in case I am not the only one far removed from the 21st century, it is a website where you can post a personal page with your info. Then you can seek out the pages of long lost friends and acquaintances and add them to your "personal network". Then you can reconnect or just know you have their contact info if you ever desire to. I am actually pretty sure there is more to this, however, that is the level of knowledge that I have about the whole deal.

Its crazy to see how many people are married or having kids or have kids. I am just not at that place in my life. I am happy for those people. I can't imagine what its like to have that kind of stability in your life already. I'm still the kid thats flying to crazy locations, traveling for work, working crazy long and obscene hours. Don't trip, I wouldn't have my life any other way. Commitment-phobe as I am, workaholic as I am, I think there is something really special about my path. All its speed bumps, adventures, and quirks. I feel chosen. And really, as much hurt as their is in the world, isn't it great to have that feeling, even in random burts?

Alright, I better go join the fam, just a few hours left with them and then I head back to SF.

Myspace me!

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Me and My dad

This is bar none my favorite holiday. I wanted to write a quick post before the whole weekend of thanks is over. It is a weekend right? I mean technically, a day, but we celebrate to an extent for more then that. I feel like there is nothing more pure then being able to give that thanks. Its not something our American culture lends itself to, we spend so much time bitchin and complaining over what is created with our complacency... but I digress.

I needed this weekend. I needed it sooo bad. I needed the rest comfort and safety of my childhood home. I sure got it too. There are times when I feel so distanced from this place and the life I had here. Its almost like that line in Garden State, the one about home being this place you miss but doesn't quite exist anymore. Especially now that I am running on year three of having my own place.

Let me tell you though, there is love here I don't know I can find in the same form anywhere else. Anywhere from the way my mom hugs to the way Eric and Ricky (my true blue dear high school friends) look at me to the way I joke around with my brother.

Its taken me a long time to appreciate this place as I should, warts and all, but I do.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Poetry Slam

The event I had with my students last Friday was off the chain. Can I tell you, my kids are remarkable. I never stop being blown away by them. There was freestyling, poetry, dance performances, multicultural foods, really they did the damn thang. My contribution to the affair was the last post as well as a plate of platanos. Can I pause to say, I love my job. I feel really lucky, I spent most of last Friday turning a library into a nightclub, complete with votives on the tables, rainbow color light ball and a stage. I mean really, who gets to do that for a living.

I love the atmosphere at College Track right before an event like that. Most, if not all, students (and staff) are feeling insecure about going on stage and opening their hearts. There is mega-anxiety about the whole thing. Its really about just encouraging everyone to get there day of, because once you get in the room, its amazing. All that nervous energy really just transforms itself into this fantastic space of expression. I sound totally cheesetastic right now, but if you saw it, you would know what i mean. On top of that, my kids are mad talented. (Between Mad and Hella, I've been around to many bay area people and too many New Yorkers, haha)

I'm hoping to get a few of my students wrapped into this spoken word CD project. Watch out, it may be coming to a Starbucks near you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My Souls Ode to My Body

To My Dearest Body,

I looked at you today and I want to say I'm sorry,
I realize how rarely I stand in appreciation of you, defend you, admire you.

Shoulders, you have carried a backpack at least 30 pounds in weight and launched me into the world.
It was due to YOUR determination body I was able to know a Grecian ocean, Italy's art, and Japan's lights.

Yet still I critiqued you and judged you for your fullness.

The same thighs I resented became the muscles that carried me to mountain-tops
There half way to the heavens, you helped me know God's majesty as well as becoming acquainted with my own.

I THANK YOU body for never losing faith in me, trusting at all turns that I would find our way.
Carrying in me the knowledge that not only was I a future bearer of life but a current bearer of light.

As much as I ridiculed you arms, you help me show love and receive it through your embrace.
You allow me to cradle those in need and find support in tides of empty.

Face, I fear you deserve the deepest of my apologies
How many times did I avoid looking at you
How much I longed to change you, rework you into what someone else told me was beauty
Yet strong you stayed allowing the world to know what I needed to express.

Eyes when I had so much pain or so much joy words were not enough,
You gave me tears and allowed me to feel release.

I mourn how I underestimated you, thought less of and even ignored you.

How long I left you as my last priority... yet never did you abandon me.

I pushed you and you kept going
I deprived you of sleep, yet you still woke up

In the most vicious attack of our lives,
An attack that could have numbed us both into submission,
We joined forces and together we found freedom!

We did not allow cruelty to take our power.

I am indebted to you as we are indebted to each other.

I HONOR you body for being a vessel of change,
for not allowing fear, grief or fatigue to stop our greatness.

I can say it no simpler, speak it no clearer, express it no plainer...

With all the joy in my being.

I love you.

Sincerely, truly, and with all my esteem,

Your spirit, essence, heart and core...
aka Your Soul

Monday, October 03, 2005

And life just gets more complicated...

I appreciate having Rey and Nathan here. Those two guys have really added a lot of joy to this place for the three of us. I have to tell you though part of me has to admit, I am nostalgic for the time when Bola, Sam and I were the three amigos and spent a sisterly amount of time together. Don't get me wrong. This doesn't no longer happen soley because the guys moved here. There are unfortunately many sadder twists and turns to that peice. But I miss the freedom I felt with us as a trio. We used to laugh, cry, express and share so completely. There is now distance, lack of time, awkwardness in a space that used to have so much warmth.

Why does life get so complicated that as much as you love people you can't be on the same page? Don't get me wrong, I have no desire to cry you a river. My life has love in it. I am just coming off this really great weekend. I did so much stuff, had so much fun. Between our mini-bar crawl, to frisbee golf, birthday dinner for Nathan and quiz night on Clement we had more then enough to fill the last two days.

I just wonder when the feeling of having my girls as a part of my family dissapated. It just all feels so diseperate right now. Ebbs and tides I guess.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Out of the mouths of teenage babes

It is amazing to me how much the kids teach me. I think there are two schools of people that work with kids. One is the person who know they have a lot of information to give and go in to give it. And the second is the kind of person that goes in knowing that the kids probably will school them before they ever get to school. I'm pretty much the second person. Today, I got schooled.

One of my boys, Braulio, has really been such an interesting kid to watch grow. In two years he has grown tremendously. It is only after being dismissed from our program that he really made the leaps that I always knew he could make. He came back and he's been kicking ass ever since.

Today he had asked me for help with a scholarship application, we were chatting and then he says "Hey Karla, I'm sorry I was so hard headed when I was a freshman." At which I laughed and joked with him. Then he says "You know I don't regeret it. I know that I learned from being that person. I would never know how to talk to people like that if I hadn't been that person. I mean life is a maze right? You don't like the patch you chainsaw your way through another place where you can be happy. Otherwise, you just follow the maze. No reason to feel too guilty. You spend so much time feeling guilty you can't get better. I was spending a lot of time telling myself I sucked."

I was listening to Braulio and I started thinking about how much time I spend saying that to myself lately. The assault didn't do it as much as the workshop. The USC workshop had me really feeling guilty for my inability to get past the assault to be the Rap Director I know I can be. I know its silly, it was a week after the assault, I was still in shock, I should let up on myself. It was just still hard for me. Its not about being perfect, it was more a doubting of how strong I actually was.

I actually mustered the ability to call Derek soon there after. I owe him and Oudete a phone call. I apologized for having charged into certification when I wasn't personally ready, for not having been able to clear my filters enough to hear the feedback being given to me, for shutting down. I don't know what I expected to hear Derek say honestly. I think something along the lines of "we all have hard workshops, we have to just keep cleaning out the fliters so we don't get in the way of ourselves." but really I didn't expect what I got.

He told me I needed to not "flip the script" on myself. The long and short of what he communicated was that what I did under the cicumstances I did it in was testament to who I was. There probably could have been more opportune times to certify me, but I got to show myself what I was made of that week. Hearing him say that was so freeing. I wish I could get myself to the point where I can do that for myself or see things that clearly for my own preservation.

It is a process gosh darn it. This has had ripple effects on my whole life. I heard what he said, it will take some time to process and digest it as fact. But I heard it, and I guess thats really the first huge step.

Thank god for my students yo. My life and my growth is so influenced by them, I wonder if they even know how much. How grateful I am for the lessons they teach.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Another One

Mark and I are heading back from the Best Buy/Starbucks complex today and we come up against a few police cars blocking the street next to College Track. There is police tape all over the place, and we hear a neighbor say "Someone shot up a whole car!" Mark and I sat in silence for a bit before either of us opens our mouths.

I still don't know the whole story. For that matter I'm not sure if it was a car, a person, if anyone was hurt. At this point, I really don't care. I am tired of this. I am tired of this neighborhood being a war zone. It makes no sense to me. There is so much anger. So much. All it does is poison more and more people.

On one level, let me say, if it is not clear, taking away the life of someone does not make another person come back. It does not heal a place in your heart, It doesn't make the smile of a loved one any less missed. It only serves to provide that same emptieness to another group of people. I went from watching this kinda of senselessness happen in my community to watching it happen in the one I chose to work in. Trust me, the results are the same across the board.

I have to go speak to a group of my seniors now, I'l write more later. Pray for this community ya'll. It's heart is broken.

Home Sweet Home

You work so hard for the creation of home. So much comes up that disrupts it. Its really a fight to establish a place where you feel safe and have love on demand. No matter how great your parents are, you work your entire life to get out of your parents house and have one of your own. To have that little piece that is just yours.

Tonight I had home. It was nothing planned, just dinner with friends. Some half ass tacos with some slammin bell peppers. But damn if it isn't nice to just feel comfortable. I have been so sad for so long. More then I care to tell the people I love. It makes it so easy to forget that I created a home long before the assault. No bastard takes that away.

I look at the faces of the people who are dear to me and it just fills me. ::sigh:: Thank the good Lord for the blessing of my urban family.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Making Peace With Soccer

Yesterday I went with Rey to take a group of BUILD students (two of which happened to also be College Track students) to a San Jose Earthquakes game. Now, I gotta tell you. I love spending time with my kids. Spending time with soccer? Now that is a whooooole other issue. She and I have a a history that is much more complicated then most friendships.

It started out with AYSO. My brother was 5, I was 7. He was naturally gifted at the sport, I was not so much. Bottomline, by the end of my first practice, I knew this was not something I would be doing a lot of. It wasn't until my first game however that I ran screaming from it. In my 7 year old brain, the girls we were playing against were towering giants. My soccer coach, whose name I do not remember, in their infinite wisdom made me a goalie. And I stood there and ducked as 8 goals sailed through my goal post. I was devastated by the end of the game and asked my parents to never make me return. My brothers team in the mean time, was league champs. And it didn't get much better then that.

Soccer was the ultimate division of "Karla is the brain" and "Gabriel is the athlete". Now looking back as an adult, I see we were much more multi-faceted then that. I believe to this day that my brother is naturally smarter then me. Don't get me wrong, I am no slouch. I work hard to make up for what I don't have in natural ability, I make myself very informed of the world around me, I have musical abilities (not talents, just abilities) and I have an emotional perception far far ahead of any member of my family tree. But, in short, my brother is waaaay smarter then he ever gives himself credit for. He's just so busy undermining and not believing that, he doesn't really see it. To this day, I blame soccer (and you know from time to time dad) for this. I blamed her for my artistic abilities never being developed. I blamed her for my brothers lack of confidence. I blamed her for never allowing me to be the apple of daddies eye.

I spent every Saturday of my life from the ages of 7 to 17 on a soccer field. I cheered, I yelled and I read books while my brother got anywhere from exhaulted to berated for his performance. When I stopped going to games, it was the family rift of the century. I was no longer the good daughter of yesterday, I was the abandoner. Because Soccer ya'll was a family member. And you just do not choose anything over family.

Now don't get me wrong, I had some great moments with soccer. We were close from time to time. I saw so much of it, at some point, I probably could have coached it. Good days were good days. It was the most time my family and I ever spent together. It was the only reason we ever traveled. It was even responsible for the first time I ever laid eyes on a college campus. Falling in love that day, as I did so completely, changed my life. I saw my first crush on her fields. I learned the love of reading on her green grass

I've never had the need to make peace with soccer. My brother stopped playing in college (another massive turning point in our families history) and I moved away from it, from them.

Yesterday, I revisited her. Given the events of the last two months, I really did understand how difficult this was going to be. The assault has made every event a challenge to walk into for some reason. Whenever I get into my car, its a matter of bracing myself for the next place I have to be. It can be excruciating. Going to a stadium, around lots of people, predominantly men, many of which have had beer... well it felt scary. However, I had the kids, I had Rey and I had soccer. I knew those three factors would get me through okay.

I found joy in the sport I had forgotten all about. I saw her for what she was. I had grown and learned to accept her for the joy she provided. I thanked her for the sense of competition she gave me. I forgave her. Forgiveness after all opens space for love and I have about all the anger and resentment I can take as of late. Most of all though, she helped my kids laugh. She helped my kids be free. She helps them be kids and I really have to pay my respect to anything that can get that done.

Friday, September 09, 2005


I tried doing one of these about two years ago. I got about two posts out and then gave up. haha. Its been a long time since I have written down my thoughts, I figured I deserve to find a new outlet. We'll see if I can do this with any kind of consistancy. I guess I should start by saying who I am.

My name is Karla and I'm 24 years old. I'm a California girl, born and bred in the Los Angeles area, Pomona to be exact. I went to la Uni at the University of Southern California. I am every bit the brainwashed Trojan and proud of it.

About two years ago I moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I have since managed to recruit and wrangle a couple of other So Cal refugees. I have my own little commune, if you are cool, you are welcomed to come and join. My urban family is crazy wonderful. My little liberal northern Cal bubble is great. Full of a lot of really cool people. I'm still trying to find my way and navigate this place. Its a beautiful city, but creating home is always a challenge wherever you may go.

I am totally dedicated to my work. I am a youth professional. Work with kids in lots of different capacities. Is my full time place of employment. Check out the website, that way I don't have to spend a whole lot of time telling you what I do. haha. oooh I have a bio on the site too.

I would spend more time on this, however, I'm sure that as time goes on I'll talk about my students and coworkers at length to the "I'm gonna be ill" point.

And as silly as it is, I am going to post any other thoughts seperately, thats my boring little intro and I'll leave it at that.