Wednesday, October 30, 2002

TV and Politics?

My best friend, who keeps me focused on real life, rather than life on television, has been in California weeknights this last month, so I've been watching television. I've watched some TV that's bad, some that's indifferent, some entertaining, and a little bit that's good.

Tonight, as with every Wednesday night, what's good is West Wing. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, and it makes me think.

Will it make me vote?

This coming Tuesday is Election Day. In Washington State, it means a lot of local initiatives will be voted on and decided. Will we support monorail funding or major highway improvements or a low car registration tax or fireman/ policeman pension determination? Nationally, we will be determining which political party has a majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

This is pretty important stuff.

I'm not very shy about expressing my political views. I think we should vote for those who oppose war in Iraq, tax decreases, and restrictions on a woman's right to chose. Those are just my views, however. What is more important is that we all vote for what we believe in. We have tremendous power on Tuesday. We can make the government more like what we want our government to be. We can make the world more like we want it to be.

Please vote.
Happy Halloween! Blah blah bwahhahahah...
I didn't know there were enough female characters to justify this very cool "Which Pulp Fiction Character Are You?" quiz from Brigita

It has to be YOUR way. But when it isn't, you panic, but hold your ground. You keep your gun pointed and trigger finger ready, but you'd never really hurt anyone. Though you like being tough, feeling control, you often enjoy blending in and being part of the ordinary human race.

Update: Thanks to Brigita not only for the quiz, but for the advice about my initial posting problems. It took me about 30 minutes to trouble shoot this one, and I'm still not exactly sure what the problem was. I had to strip the code down until it worked, after making many little changes.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Pop This

I figured I was due for a little pop culture reference, so I have an anti-recommendation. Last Monday night I was sucked into TV land, so I tuned into the new David E. Kelly show, Girls Club. Now I was an Ally McBeal fan (like many others who don't admit it anymore) for a couple years, and watched and enjoyed Boston Public's first season, so I thought that this might actually be a good show (despite starring the annoying bad-nose job chick from Beverly Hills 90210). It wasn't. It was really really bad. I thought it was actually a bit offensive. There were no likable characters among the leads; they all seemed to hate their jobs and everyone they worked with. The young female characters were offended by the fact that they weren't respected by their male co-workers (they're all fresh out of school lawyers, by the way, so deserving of professional respect), and yet, they were extremely rude to the senior female lawyer in the firm. As I remarked before even seeing the show, anything that plays a Goo Goo Dolls song in a promo is bound to be bad.

I needed to read more anyway.
The theme of the weekend: Martha Madness

As I was recounting my weekend to a co-worker this morning, I realized that I had quite the Martha Stewart weekend.

It all began when I brought the October issue of Living along with me to brunch on Saturday for inspiration (I didn't find any, but had a very tasty meal).

Most of Saturday was spent planning, purchasing, and constructing the spider and web costumes. The spider was very simple, and worked really well. I had the inspiration on Saturday morning of constructing my 4 extra legs out of 2 pairs of black tights, stuffed with clothing (mostly dark socks and t-shirts). I then pinned them stratigically to the inside a black fleece vest, attached some string to the ends and to my wrist so that all my arms would move together and, voila, I was a spider! I added an atomic symbol to my back and put on a black ballcap with atomic symbol (from my last ship) and green goggly glasses to become radioactive. The web was hand-knotted with silvery yarn and then the victims (Harry Potter, his friend Ron, and Frodo the hobbit) were tied up and attached along with some spider babies. It was then attached at the head, shoulders, wrists, and knees.

The Jack-o-Spider was Sunday's more complicated project. We carved a large round pumpkin for the body, a smaller pumpkin for the head, and 24 winter squash for the 8 segmented legs. Jeff carved a very frightening fanged face with large, meshed eyes, and cool patterns on the body, while I drilled lots of holes in the legs. We then strung the spider up so that it's hanging from the porch, filled with x-mas tree lights (put them on a timer, and it's maintenance free). It looks fantastic. It has a bit of an octopus look to it, since the legs curl up, not down, but it's very freeky and scary and big. I took a couple photos, so perhaps I'll be able to get them developed and posted soon.

What made me feel very Martha-ish is that we interupted Sunday's craft activities to create a lovely dinner of pork chops stuffed with apples, onions, and fresh herbs, accompanied by braised escarole with garlic, and mashed acorn squash with nutmeg and brown sugar. We celebrated the completion of our weekend projects with homemade apple pie. It was a very autumnal meal.

Martha showed up to the costume party I attended Saturday night, simply attired in her black and white striped prison garb. Across the country, my mom dressed up as Martha with various tips pinned to her costume: household and entertaining tips, stock tips, and a request for legal tips.

Weekend summary: it was a good thing.

Saturday, October 26, 2002

Trail Note Hiatus

I've been on a few runs this past week, post marathon, and despite short distances and an easy pace, I have been having trouble with my knees. The more I learn about ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome), the more certain I am that I have it and that I shouldn't mess around with trying to run through it. Therefore, I have decided to take a month off from running. This is kind of scary, actually, but I figure that a few weeks off now will mean less chance of knee surgery later.

In order to maintain some level of fitness, I've decided to ramp up my swimming plans (this means actually getting into a pool, rather than just talking about it). I went swimming for the first time in many many months yesterday and the second time this morning. I feel pretty good, other than the usual side effects (dry skin, limp hair, sleepy eyes, rampant hunger). The hunger side effect didn't really last too long, as I've been eating constantly. I'm actually a much better swimmer than I am a runner: I've been swimming much longer that I've been running and am more physically built for swimming (I certainly don't have the thin, leggy build of a runner).

While the pool is not the gym, it's interesting getting back into the world of the locker room. I'm less self-conscious about showering with strangers than I used to be. This morning there was an aqua-aerobics class after lap swim, so as I was showering after my swim, the women going to class were taking their pre-class rinse-offs. The aqua-aerobics crowd seemed to be made up of older, heavier participants than the lap swimmers. One of these women looked at us (lap-swimmers) showering and said to me that she would come shower near us hoping some of our youthful energy would rub off on her. Seeing my body through her eyes was an interesting paradigm shift. It helped me view my body as young, strong, healthy, and beautiful. Maybe if I stand near her more, more of that feeling will rub off on me.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Friday Five (finally on a Friday)

1. What is your favorite scary movie? The Blair Witch Project. I get freaked out going to the web site. I couldn't watch any scary movies when I lived alone; I'm very easily scared. Now that I have housemates I'll have to watch a few more.

2. What is your favorite Halloween treat? I don't know. I don't like candy that much any more. Roasted pumpkin seeds, perhaps? Does squash soup count? I have a great recipe with Indian spices that is delicious.

3. Do you dress up for Halloween? If so, describe your best Halloween costume. Almost always. I've dressed up as Princess Lea the last few years, and the costume turned out very well. I sewed it by hand when I was unemployed in 1999. (My mom sewed the one I wore in first grade.)

4. Do you enjoy going to haunted houses or other spooky events? Yes, but can't remember the last time I went to one.

5. Will you dress up for Halloween this year? Yes. I"m going to be a spider and will be accompanied by my friend the web. Not too elaborate, just wear all black and find 4 extra limbs to pin to my clothes. I'm also going to wear my "Reator Chick" ballcap from my days as a nuke. It has an atomic symbol on the front to indicate that I'm a radioactive spider. :) The web might have a few hobbits and Harry Potter and Ron caught in it.

Update: I just linked to the Blair Witch site, and it's not nearly as scary as it used to be. Now it's all about marketing.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

This sniper is getting too personal

I drove by a neighborhood park tonight and watched kids playing soccer in the lights just beyond the dark autumn evening. So safe, and yet, you wouldn't be able to find kids playing outside in the Washington D.C. area tonight.

He began in areas too close for comfort. My sister lives in DC and my parents live in a VA suburb just outside of DC (we have all shopped in the Seven Corners area where one victim was shot). Then he moved south, and suspects were apprehended halfway between where I used to work and live, near my best Richmond friend's home. Now they're searching for evidence in towns just north and south of mine in Washington state, 3000 miles away from the crimes.

Why are we trying to find a war in Iraq, when there are terrorists at home?
50 Things

I'm not finding much to say so here's a meme I found recently on both Kristen and Nicci's sites.

1. Your name spelled backwards: Aicirt
2. Where were your parents born? dad: Birmingham AL (Army brat) and mom: Mount Vernon NY
3. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? My sister's recently published study about the tax environment in Baltimore
4. What's your favourite restaurant? I don't really have favorite. Shiro's is my favorite sushi place, so there's a start
5. Last time you swam in a pool? It was supposed to be Monday, but I showed up to find the pool closed. :( I can't remember the last time; some time in the spring, I guess.
6. Have you ever been in a school play? Yup. I ran a bit with the drama crowd in high school.
7. How many kids do you want? 0 maybe or 2.
8. Type of music you dislike most? Christian.
9. Are you registered to vote? Yes
10. Do you have cable? Yes, but just the basic kind
11. Have you ever ridden on a moped? No.
12. Ever prank call anybody? No.
13. Ever get a parking ticket? Yes.
14. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? I'd like to do both once.
15. Furthest place you ever traveled? Tasmania.
16. Do you have a garden? Yes, but I spend very little time in it.
17. What's your favorite comic strip? Bloom County
18. Do you really know all the words to your national anthem? Yes.
19. Bath or Shower, morning or night? Shower. Morning.
20. Best movie you've seen in the past month? Hmm... Probably Punch Drunk Love, the new Paul Thomas Anderson / Adam Sandler movie
21. Favorite pizza topping? Pesto
22. Chips or popcorn? It depends. I love both.
23. What color lipstick do you usually wear? I put on a brownish pink color on called "coffee run" on most mornings, but since I never reapply, usually none.
24. Have you ever smoked peanut shells? No. ???
25. Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? Now these questions are just getting ridiculous.
26. Orange Juice or apple? Orange
27. Who was the last person you went out to dinner with and where did you dine? Jeff, at McMennamins (sp?) pub in lower Queen Anne (my old neighborhood)
28. Favorite type chocolate bar? Toblerone
29. When was the last time you voted at the polls? 2000 presidential election; I'm planning on being there in 2 weeks, though; big initiative votes!
30. Last time you ate a homegrown tomato? July, when I visited my parents in VA
31. Have you ever won a trophy? Yes, Math Counts, kids sports (participant)
32. Are you a good cook? Yes. Pretty good.
33. Do you know how to pump your own gas? Yes. I'm an American, after all.
34. Ever order an article from an infomercial? Once; one of those pillows that goes between your knees when you sleep
35. Sprite or 7-up? The more interesting question is coke or pepsi and the answer is coke (and sprite)
36. Have you ever had to wear a uniform to work? Yes; high school after school job at a movie theatre. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot about those 5 years in the Navy. I wore a uniform for that one too.
37. Last thing you bought at a pharmacy? Citrus altoids. They're not bad, but I won't buy them again.
38. Ever throw up in public? Yes. I do not care to think much more about this one, though.
39. Would you prefer being a millionaire or find true love? True love. Money's easier to come by.
40. Do you believe in love at first sight? Love, no. Infatuation, sure.
41. Ever call a 1-900 number? Do I have to answer this one? Yes. Middle of the night, insomnia over horrible relationship, I called one of those horoscope people.
42. Can exs be friends? It depends, so sometimes. It depends on whether there was real friendship and respect there and how intense the relationship was.
43. Who was the last person you visited in a hospital? I can't remember.
44. Did you have a lot of hair when you were a baby? Nope; bald as a billiard ball.
45. What message is on your answering machine? No answering machine; just voicemail on the cell, and it's little more than my name.
46. What's your all time favorite Saturday Night Live Character? Hmm... gotta be a Mike Meyers one; probably Gunther (touch my monkey)
47. What was the name of your first pet? Suckie was the first pet (cat) that my parents had while I was a little baby. The first one I remember, though, was Willie. She was a calico cat.
48. What is in your purse? Wallet, keys, checkbook, palm pilot, cell phone, pencil, pen, nail clippers, lip goop, gum, stamps, passport, glasses case
49. Favourite thing to do before bedtime? Read
50. What is one thing you are grateful for today? The sky is finally blue again.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Weekend Update

It was fun having a normal, no-travel, no-training weekend. It was pretty lazy, with the typical mix of errands, movies, and cooking. Errands and cooking took on an Eastern twist on Saturday. Jeff introduced me to Uwajimaya, the huge Asian grocery store in Seattle's International District. I love seeing all of the different spices, snacks, and seafood delicacies on the shelves. The shop is very western friendly with a typical American supermarket feel and labels in English (as opposed to other Asian markets I've been in). We stocked up on sushi supplies for dinner as well as some snacks and staples for later. I just ate a kimchi flavored noodle bowl for breakfast.

While I've eaten others' home-made sushi before, this was my first time behind the counter. I overcooked the edaname a bit, but other than that, everything was great. I managed to make a very tasty spicy tuna roll and tuna sashimi, while Jeff made some beautiful California rolls and nigiri with more tuna and unagi.

We finished up the feast and hopped in the car to go downtown to see Dennis Miller perform. I haven't really listened to him since I watched him on SNL in high school, and didn't realize how conservative he is (has become?). Regardless of my thoughts about his very overt political views, he was very funny. I was shaking my head one minute and shrieking with laughter the next. My favorite part is when he giggles at himself.

One of Dennis' rants was against Congressman Jim McDermott, the Washington State dove to Miller's hawk. I went to church on Sunday morning (for the first time in many months) and guess who was sitting in on the service? Not Mr. Miller. McDermott had just participated in a forum at the church that I unfortunately missed, and had stayed on to hear the children's choir. He received a standing ovation from the congregation. I love Unitarians.

Well, that's the news. I am outta here.
Trail Note

Saturday was my first run post-Chicago, so I decided to do the not-quite-4-mile loop around the top of the hill, slooowwwly. The leaves are just about at their peak here, and despite very gloomy weather, the neighborhood looked fall-tastic. I also had the pleasure of seeing what must be the end of the season's chestnut gatherers. There are chestnut trees all along the eastern half of the loop, and this time of year the street is littered with the fuzzy-prickly burs and the smooth brown nuts. I've seen elderly Asian women picking them up the last few weeks and Saturday morning I was able to see the customer of the harvest: an older gentleman was sitting on the sidewalk snacking on the nuts. Except for some slight IT band pain near the end of the run, I felt pretty good. Not good enough for the 7 miler I had planned on Sunday, but good enough to do an easy 5. Now it's time to do all that other stuff I've been putting off (swimming, biking, hiking, yoga...).

Saturday, October 19, 2002

I think it's still Friday in Hawaii right now

1. How many TVs do you have in your home? 3, 2 of which are hooked up.

2. On average, how much TV do you watch in a week? This varies drastically between winter (more) and summer (very little). It also depends on whether I'm alone (more) or not (much less). So I'd say it varies from 5 - 10 hours a week, this past week I've watched about 5

3. Do you feel that television is bad for young children? Most TV probably is (I'm not up on the current kid shows, which are probably innocuous; I have to check out Sponge Bob Square Pants one of these days). Probably most of the TV young kids isn't that bad, but it's got to have something to do with declining attention spans and hyperactivity. Kids hypnotized in front of a TV is a scary thing to see. Kids should be playing outside, reading books, or figuring out how to entertain themselves alone. I watched Sesame (sp?) Street and some cartoons as a young kid, and that was about it. I understand how hard it is to keep kids quiet and occupied, but I do think some people use TV as a babysitter some times.

4. What TV shows do you absolutely HAVE to watch, and if you miss them, you're heartbroken? I like to think that I don't have to watch any shows. There were times (those sea-going years, college) when I watched no TV and didn't miss it. Now there are shows I routinely watch (Frasier, Ed, West Wing, Friends, Scrubs, Will & Grace, ER)., but would not schedule my life around them. TV is like any other habit: once you've broken it, it's easy to abstain. Currently, I'm mildly addicited. I could stop any time I wanted, though. ;)

5. If you had the power to create your own television network, what would your line-up look like? NPR with pictures. Interesting news told from a mostly liberal perspective. Foody shows. Books and movie reviews. A little comedy (like the Daily Show or Kids in the Hall). NO SITCOMS!

All in all, while I think that some television is quality entertainment, there's very little of it that's really worth my time. I rarely treasure the time that I've spent in front of the TV, unlike time I've spent with friends, or with books, or outside, or participating in a hobby. That being said, I watch it quite a bit. I tend to fall into it when I'm lazy or bored or lonely. I watched a lot more when I lived in Richmond. I guess I use it to babysit myself.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Friday Five (5 days late)

1. If you could only choose 1 cd to ever listen to again, what would it be? 10,000 Maniacs Unplugged

2. If you could only choose 2 movies to watch ever again, what would they be? Next Stop Wonderland and Star Wars (the original, although like Kris, I think episodes 4-6 should count as I)

3. If you could only choose 3 books to read ever again, what would they be? Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, and Meet the Austins

4. If you could only choose 4 things to eat or drink ever again, what would they be? Sushi, pizza (thin, olive oil based crust, sun-dried tomato, pesto, garlic, cheese (goat and mozarella), perhaps artichoke hearts and/or roasted red peppers), beer, and creamed spinach

5. If you could only choose 5 people to ever be/talk/associate/whatever with ever again, who would they be? Not a fair question, so on the 5th question of the 5 day late Friday Five, I'm pleading the 5th.

Monday, October 14, 2002


Jeff and I got back this afternoon from a great weekend in Chicago. We ate at great restaurants, had some quality sightseeing, hung out with good friends, and, I'm forgetting something here, oh yeah, ran 26.2 miles with 31,580 new friends (and 2 old ones).

I'll let Jeff tell his own story, but my 3 friends and I all finished the race safely with personal records (PR's). I beat mine by a mere 2 minutes, finishing at 3:53:00. The weather was just about perfect, sunny and cool (39 at start, low 40's throughout most of the race), but windy. With runners all around me, most of them taller than me, however, the wind wasn't much of an issue. It really was a fantastic race to run. The course wound its way throughout downtown Chicago, with views of skyscrapers, stadiums, and parks. I loved the flamenco dancers in the hispanic district, the dragon in Chinatown, and the drag queens dancing at "the Broadway on Broadway." The supporters were fantastic. They cheered, gave high 5's, and held up inspiring and funny signs. It's an extremely fast course (record setting again this year), and the miles came fast and furious for the first 15 or so (that's mile 9 already? I just passed 8...). My knee did start hurting at mile 8, and I was worried about the rest of the race, but it eased up a bit and I didn't start really hurting until the last hour or so when my pace slowed significantly.

Today I'm hobbling a bit (you don't want to be walking behind me going downstairs), but not too bad off. I think (to my mother's dismay; she thinks I won't be able to walk in ten years) I'm up for another one of these in another 2 years.

Thanks again for all of your support!

Thursday, October 10, 2002

We're off!

Right now the only things between me and Chicago are an ER episode (get me in the Windy City mood), a few hours of sleep, and an early morning flight!

Thanks for all of the support and good wishes! You'll hear all too much about how everything goes on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

I'm starting to sound like a real leaner when I talk about NPR

I blogged the other day about the story I heard on NPR about "leaners," those folks who are paid to talk up a product at a bar or such place. As I was researching restaurants over the past few days, I ran across a review about a restaurant that wasn't a review at all. It was someone going on and on about some drink that they served there. (Note: I'm trying to find the link, but have been unsuccessful; sorry.) The lightbulb popped on: a leaner was using the user review feature to advertise their product! It was not very subtle, and was actually kind of a turn off. I've seen them in other places online, too.

I realized that sometimes when I ramble on and on about something that I love, I can sound like a leaner, too. And wondered... is this a new slang term? If not yet, well then, you heard it here first, folks! Next time someone raves about something like he/she is getting paid to do it, well, he/she is acting like a leaner.

Some examples of when bloggers are leaners:
Me about NPR, Legend Brown Ale, orange Luna bars, books by Anne Tyler or Tom Robbins, (the list grows)
Jeff or Kris about Mac's
Brigita about Buffy
Max about TIVO

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Let the Preparations Begin!

With the marathon a mere 5 days away, and my flight to Chicago 3 days away, preparations turn from running-centric to food-centric. I've been having fun with Zagats on-line, and have dinner plans all lined up: dinner at Cafe Spiaggia Friday night, Wildfire on Saturday, and pizza at (probably) the Original Ginos East on Sunday (they don't take reservations).

I've also started officially carbo-loading. I've really been carbo-loading all of my life, but this week I have great reason for it.

Getting obsessive about the who, what, when, and where of the trip (there is a group of 5 of us flying out on Friday, meeting up with one more in Chicago: 3 runners, 3 supporters) is helping to distract me from getting nervous about the race. I visited the official web site today, and my stomach knotted up.

Visiting a museum or two is also on the agenda for the weekend. I'm taking any recommendations about places to eat, things to do or see in the Chicago area. Requirement is that it must be easily accessable from the train.

I think it's time to get something else to eat now...

Monday, October 07, 2002

The best investment I've made..

...this week was my contribution to the local NPR station during its pledge drive. I usually just listen in the car and while getting ready for work, but I've been listening off and on tonight. Luckily (?), I left work early enough to catch the end of President Bush's speech. I only just realized (thru BBC radio, on right now, makes me feel like I'm living abroad) that I'm in the minority having heard it live, since it wasn't broadcast on the big 3 TV networks. At home, I had the pleasure of listening (for the first time) to On the Media. There was an entertaining story about leaning ("viral marketing"). This is the new advertising technique where an attractive person very publicly orders and speaks about a product, to create an advertising buzz. I put this in the category of "if you're not cheating, you're not trying hard enough," as I don't see it as unethical or illegal, but some are very upset about this process. I'd try a new drink because of a buzz like this to see if I like it, but hope that I'm not so weak minded that I would let an attractive stranger influence my drinking habits despite my personal taste. If I were, then let the advertisers enjoy their victory.

What do you think?
No news is good news

Our president (with whom I will try to disagree more respectfully) is getting us into war, the stocks are falling because of that, and there's a random sniper at large in the Washington D.C. area (where my family lives and works).

It all makes my personal gripes seem very very small. This doesn't make me any happier, however.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

More shoe business / Trail note

I was reflecting last night while running around the neighborhood that my favorite shoes aren't even ones that I own anymore. My favorite shoes this week are the running shoes that I wore when I ran my first (and so far only) marathon 2 years ago. I was hoping to run the race in under 4 hours, but as I got closer to the date without having lost weight or run as many miles as I had planned (sound familiar?), I was more realistically aiming for 4:30. I felt so good while running, however, I did finish in under 4, (3:55, in fact). So I was happy with myself, and my shoes.

In exactly a week from today, I hope to be eating a huge deep dish pizza in Chicago, and celebrating the completion of marathon #2. I'm no longer shooting for the Boston qualifying time of 3:40, but just want to have a good race and a personal best time.

A friend of mine from work ran/walked the Portland marathon today. He walked it last year, and this year ran over half of it. He didn't get the time he was shooting for, but significantly beat his time from last year, and sounded great.

That's success.

Friday, October 04, 2002

It's time once again for the Friday Five!

1. What size shoe do you wear? Women's size 8, men's 6, European 37

2. How many pairs of shoes do you own? 20?

3. What type of shoe do you prefer (boots, sneakers, pumps, etc.)? I prefer boots in the winter, comfy sandels in the summer (Tevas, birks, etc)

4. Describe your favorite pair of shoes. Why are they your favorite? I have a pair of black boots, very chunky, slightly funky, very comfortable that I picked up on sale for $14. I like them because they are comfortable, look cools, and in boots I always feel ready for anything (like a superhero). :)

5. What's the most you've spent on one pair of shoes? About $200 for my knee high black boots

I way underestimated the number of pairs of shoes that I own. Remembering that I have 4 pairs of black boots alone was the trigger (low with chunky heel for work, knee high with low heel, low with higher heel, and my doc-looking-but-not-doc pair). Add to those 4:
Tevas (2 pairs, old ones ready for good will box)
Birks (same as above)
brown boots
hiking boots (again, old and new)
running shoes (3 pairs, soon to be 2)
climbing shoes (worn 3 times)
7 pairs dressy shoes (pumps of varying shades and styles)
3 pairs slides
3 flip flops
4 pairs dress shoes, not boots or heels
2 pairs doc's (brown and black)
2 pairs oxfords with my old uniforms (the white ones work great with my Princess Lea costume)

So that gets me up to 36, with at least 6 needing to go away. As big as the number sounds, I don't think it's excessive.