Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Things I love about my life Part 1: My flat

I have always had this thing about playing house. Seriously. The hours of thought and worry that would go into decorating my room, choosing bedsheets, etc as a kid simply astound me now. When in hostel, I really wanted one of those embroidered wall hangings. But then I realized they were too expensive. I was sad, until I had a brainwave--I would buy the affordable cushion covers, stick them to chart paper and voila! I think one of those is still hanging somewhere in my parents' house (a.k.a. The place everything I own eventually ends up).

It's no surprise then that when I moved out on my own I was thrilled to bits about setting up house. The first time I did it in New York, I inherited lots of furniture, and had a very kind aunt who bought my these gorgeous red glass plates (I still dream about them). It's the only time in my life I have ever owned wine glasses. No, wait, I own a pair of very delicate pale blue ginormous balloon glasses that I'm terrified to use and are--yup, you guessed it--in my parents' house. Anyway, those wine glasses were mismatched and weird, but I had em! Now people come to my house and sniff at the fact that everything I give them will be given in white plastic glasses. Nice ones haan, but nonetheless. What can I say, yars of experience! We had gorgeous blue glasses in college, and they all died. And there were my Spanish cow glasses in Hyderabad--yup all gone now too. So Dragon and I bought twelve white plastic glasses, which were divided up in the divorce, so I have six. This annoyed Lithium so much that he went and bought me a set of whiskey glasses. Aw.

Wait, where was I?
Yes, moving out.
So then I came back after my first semester, for Appa's 60th birthday, and while I was here I went to Fab India, did some converting to dollars and went NUTS. I schlepped it all back to NY and then had to go to IKEA to get curtain rods, and then flirt with the maintenance guy to have em put up. Eventually though, I had my gorgeous curtains and I lived very happily until the day I had to pack and realized they wouldn't fit. I called my friends and, nearly sobbing, said, raid the house. Whatever you like that's Indian, take it. It makes me happy though to think that bits of my NY life live on.

Then I moved back, and set up house with Mungi. We went MAD. We bought a steel pressure cooker (still using it baybeh) and Amma spluttered, BUT WHY DO YOU NEED ONE IN STEEL??? We waited and waited and bough the most perfect cane dining table to fit in our tiny living-cum-dining room, and the perfect squishy, fabric covered sofa-cum-bed. We didn't really buy much else. When our house broke up, I just bought her out, and then when OOF moved out, BBot and Disco Dancer took the couch while my parents found room for the dining table.

When I moved to Delhi, I didn't bring too much. Except a carton of mugs and glasses. Yeah, I have this thing for mugs. Especially interesting ones or sentimental ones. There's the half of the pair Mungi bought when we moved in. There's the ones The Scientist got me from Our Name is Mud before I left. There's the St. Stephen's one and the NYU one. There are the ones various friends and juniors have given me over the years in college. Then there are my Mexican glass glasses, and my Pier 1 martini glasses, and the aforementioned wineglasses. I brought some--some remain at home for morning chai when I'm visiting. But that's all I brought of all my house stuff. And my life since I moved here has been SO shaky and unstable that I was terrified (not to mention too poor) to acquire anything. (Expect, yup, mugs. Especially cos work has the most GORGEOUS merchandise!)

The flat that The Dragon and I had was pretty great. It was big and airy and fairly well connected, with lots of light. Except my bedroom. Which had no windows. And except that we couldn't ever keep our windows open or lounge on the balcony because it was right on the first floor over the main Munirka village road, which meant it was constantly reverberating with dust and noise. And yes, because of the mill downstairs, this went on all night. I'm not complaining though, we had a gigantic kitchen WITH A FAN and tons of furniture Dragon's parents donated, and I was very happy until you know the shit hit the fan.

So then I moved again. I was desperate, with my budget and terror of living alone, because I couldn't find a decent place that had light and air and a reasonable person and was located in  nice area. Suddenly and miraculously I found my current place, and the Psycho showed no symptoms at the time, so I moved in. I put my lamps in the living room. The horror. She moved them into hidden corners. I put my vase on the sideboard. I found it inside my room when I came home. I got it. It was HER house and I was a visitor. Never mind that her decor consisted of shiny plastic streamers hanging from a cord across the wall, and a scattering of what appeared to be stuffed dead sparrows that gave me and everyone regular heart attacks. The sheets were vaguely coloured with wild floral patterns and mismatched. The piles of cushions were not for using because I was sternly adjured to PUT THEM BACK HOW THEY WERE if I ever used them. The dining table was 'rustic' and badly painted and had an uneven surface and was too high. I could go on.

And then she moved out. After some serious panic about what I was going to do, my parents stepped in and did their thing and I calmed down. Then I realised I had to acquire furniture for a large two-bedroom DDA flat. And a fridge. And a gas connection. (We shall never speak of that gas connection again. KILL KILL KILL.) I totted it all up and figured it would just be cheaper for the parents to send me some of my stuff theyw ere storing than to buy everything again, especially since I was fairly sure I wasn't going to be moving out of Delhi anytime soon. And so it came about that my dining table came back to me, and my father's bachelor bed that used to be in our balcony came with it, along with random furniture and crockery and a motley crew of table linen that my parents saw fit to send. In fact my mother even threw in an open and half used roll of cling wrap. Yes, seriously. Then I ran about for a while and acquired curtains and chik and so on.

And now, finally, my house looks the way it should.

Mind you, it's a royal pain in my ass. The plumbing regularly airlocks between 7 and 730 a.m. so while there's water when I get up, the minute I put on the geyser to shower bam, byebye. Sometimes I can fix it, sometimes, like today, I have to give up and call the plumber when I get home. Half the windows don't open or don't close or their panes threaten to fall out. The drains are all badly closed and I did have a rat for a while. There's no lift. If I come home after ten, I don't know where or if I'll get parking. The water comes between 6 and 7 a.m. and 5 and 6 p.m.. Far from perfect.

But I love it not just because of my sense of ownership. It has a huge airy balcony. The giant living room has a wall of windows looking out onto said balcony. The dining room has wall to wall windows too, and now they have curtains and chik they are great in the summer too. It's on the second floor so It doesn't get too hot, and it gets much sun so it doesn't get too cool. It's roomy. There can be three people there and each feel like they have personal space and privacy. It's big enough for me to have big parties, and my neighbours are sweethearts (touch wood) who don't object to large groups of people nattering on the balcony late at night, or beer in disposable glasses crashing into their gardens. It really has become a proper house.

Well, okay there is an empty bedroom in which repose the litterbox, the food bowls, a carton and miscellaneous cushion and cloth entities for GJams. I don't have nearly enough shelf space for anything, forget about books. And my balcony is a wreck. But it is still the most home I have ever had in many ways, and so completely my own that I find that I am SO comfortable living on my own after all that I don't know what I'm going to do in June when the lease runs out...

Friday, October 26, 2012

In which I thought of an awesome title but forgot it

EDIT: this was begun some days ago, so the timelines might get wonky halfway through.

Yesterday, when I was having the perfect Sunday evening involving me and a friend curled up on the couch watching a movie with G-Jams stalking about and then finding a spot where he could be in contact with both of us to settle down and watch for a bit before falling asleep, I had a click moment--which is how I define the moment when you actually realize something you've been building up to for a while. The while here was about a year, and the what was, of course, boys and girls and relationships and expectations.

So, in Up in the Air, which is the movie we were watching, there is a point where Natalie (Anna Kendrick, the young woman) has just been dumped by text message. She and Alex (delectable Vera Farmiga) talk about men and what they want from the men they hope to date. Gods bless teh interwebs cos I googled and the whole transcript turned up!

Natalie: I thought I'd be engaged by now. I thought by 23, I'd be married, maybe have a kid, corner office by day, entertaining at night. I was supposed to be driving a Grand Cherokee by now.  
Alex: Well, life can underwhelm you that way.  
Natalie: Where did you think you'd be by now?  
Alex: It doesn't work that way. At a certain point, you stop with the deadlines. It can be a little counter-productive.  
Natalie: I don't want to say anything that is anti-feminist. I really appreciate everything that your generation did for me.  
Alex: It was our pleasure.  
Natalie: Sometimes it feels like, no matter how much success I have, it's not gonna matter until I find the right guy. I could have made it work. He really fit the bill, you know. White collar, 6'1, college grad, loves dogs, likes funny movies, brown hair, kind eyes, works in finance but is outdoorsy. I always imagined he'd have a single syllable name like Matt or John or Dave. In a perfect world, he drives a 4-Runner and the only thing he loves more than me is his golden lab. And a nice smile. What about you?  
Alex: You know, honestly by the time you're 34, all the physical requirements just go out the window. You secretly pray that he'll be taller than you, not an asshole would be nice. Just someone who enjoys my company, comes from a good family. You don't think about that when you're younger. Someone who wants kids. Healthy enough to play with his kids. Please let him earn more money than I do, you might not understand that now but believe me, you will one day. Otherwise that's a recipe for disaster. And hopefully, some hair on his head. I mean, that's not even a deal breaker these days. A nice smile. Yeah, a nice smile just might do it.  
Natalie: Wow. That was depressing.I should just start dating women  
Alex: Tried it.We're no picnic either
So apart from the all kinds of awesome of delivery and deadpan wisecracks, I found myself nodding frantically at everything Alex said. "You secretly hope that he'll be taller than you, not an asshole would be nice." "Healthy enough to play with his kids." "Please let him earn more money than I do." (This is not really an issue for me with my income!)

Of course this made me think back to all the man ideas I have built in my life. I remember in high school a then dear friend and I made lists, involving 6 feet tall and green eyes that we then exchanged and promised to show up at each other's weddings to check off the checklist. Then one went off to college and whatnot and realized one was falling in love with bizarre boys, like OOF, who were most nondescript on paper and had nothing to do with the men one dreamed of. So I recalibrated. I went for things like, has to get how my brain works in this weird way--ref the monkey ballet, which I never finished sorry. Reads books, likes the same music, is, you know, 'cool'. Well time passed and that went out the window. BSW was balding, the next guy barely spoke English and was hardly cultured, though a lovely man--but in his case I wasn't in love with him so maybe he doesn't count. All sorts and shapes and sized came and went in my life.

Then we came to BBot. He GOT me. Like I GOT him. Like no one ever had for either of us--though in my case my family did GET me like that. He was not 'hot', but I had never been worried about that--the first things to go from the list were indeed 6ft tall and green eyes =D But that brain. So intelligent. SO. FUCKING. INTELLIGENT. I was in love with his brain. Everything about him gave my brain a hard-on. And he was funny. So funny. All the time with him was great. But you know, emotionally, it didn't work. We didn't communicate the same way; our insecurities fed off each other. He didn't need me enough.

Then there was the Architect. Who needed me so much I distinctly remember at one point thinking OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD GET IT OFF MY ARM and having to resist the urge to flail the arm he was clinging to to dislodge him. So then I recalibrated again. Intelligent and curious, I said. Someone who isn't intimidated by my brain and could also handle how social I am.

And now, I'll settle for someone who's interested.

I find myself giving my friends and cousins aged 24-28 advice that goes like this: Take a long hard look at him and make up your mind because now is the time it can happen. You won't meet the perfect guy. Some people might, but they're exceptions. And if you are so set on the perfect match, goals, tastes, families, expectations, etc--you might find yourself waiting forever. So prepare for that. Otherwise one morning you'll wake up like me, thirty and with a vast desert of no-hopers your only way forward.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mind your language

No, this isn't a Grammar Nazi's response to this.

So, I am active on Couchsurfing. I love the site, and I've really met some amazing people through it. I've also had lots of fun from it. Since I started hosting in Delhi, I've met and hung out with about four or five fun people and hosted three Colombian guys, one of whom integrated so well into my life I was tempted to keep him. forEVAR. The next surfer I expect to host is Chinese.

Now, with my profile, I usually get requests from southern Europeans and Latin Americans. So I was surprised to see this Chinese guy write, but he seemed normal and once he figured out his dates I said ok, I'll host you. He asked me if I have Whatsapp so we could keep in touch, and then began to text me. It's actually super convenient when people have it because then no international texts or calls are necessary. Anyway, we chatted desultorily about what he was expecting to do, etc. I was impressed by his English, he was surprised I know where canton is, and so on.

Then last night, he texted to say: I am preparing some gifts for you. do you have some special likes?
It is actually quite normal I have discovered, for surfers to get their hosts a present. It's a very sweet gesture but I don't really expect it and it embarrasses me mildly. So I said no, you don't have to. He said no, I want to. I said okay, I like fans and I LOVE green jasmine tea. He said: Sure. i will bring that for you. I said: Awww. Thank you. And then things began to get a little creepy.

Him: feeling excited to meet me?
Me (slightly disturbed): Haha it should be fun :)
Him: did you meet any Chinese guy before?
Me (alarm bells begin to ring): Nope
Him: now you have the chance
Me (completely nonplussed at this point): Haha
Him: I could accompany you for drinks haha
Me (freaked out): Well that depends. Okay, I gotta go.

So here's the thing. With SuperSurfer, that's exactly what we did. We lay around my house drinking desultorily and having insane conversations. I consumed an impressive amount of alcohol with him. But there was no creepy. With the other two guys also I went drinking. Going drinking is my usual proposition! Sometimes I take them to Flamenca's concerts. So what he proposed wasn't unnatural in the least. Why did it ring all my alarm bells?

I was talking to (of course) The Bride about it this morning and I realized that maybe it has something to do with language. As someone with a highly developed sense and use of language, I tend to associate certain traits with various levels of facility with language. I try and consciously not do that, and make an effort with people to bridge language gaps, but undeniably, sharing a language just elevates the experience. Of all the Spanish speakers I know, only the truly bilingual SuperSurfer managed to connect with my friends the way the rest connect with me. So when someone who does not the ease I expect from a certain kind of interaction, I am a little reserved. The kicker here, though, is that he sounds EXACTLY like an I-want-to-make-fraandship type. And that's just plain scary.

Again, I wonder if it's really fair even to those types. I mean, the Hag used to date this Spanish professor friend of mine and when they broke up she said that it was because it was impossible to have a conversation with him beyond a point because it was hard to take someone seriously when they sound autistic in your language. to which I replied, but he has no problem with language! We talk all the time! (See where this is going?) And she fixed me with a stare and said drily, yes, you two talk in Spanish. So maybe the IWMF types are superbly intellectual and articulate in their own languages but sound like douches in English?

When I think of Flamenca too, who is such an insanely mad person that most of the mad friends should love her, they can barely relate to her because they won't make the effort needed to bridge that gap, and she's trapped with her personality all piebald and peeling in this language that is not hers. And mind you, she's a tour guide so her English is decent. It's just not as good as her Spanish. And, again, as I often find with Spanish, it's frustrating to keep trying to articulate something when you are accustomed to seamless articulation in your own language and you keep having to use not the best word and you just know you could SAY IT BETTER. So I'd say you definitely don't shine at your best in a foreign language (even if it is one of the eighteen official languages of your country...).

But then how much does this actually end up colouring things? Should I just slam the door closed and say bye bye to Chinese guy? That's what I'd do to okc guys or random desi guys I meet who are like that. Or to Latinos I've met who are like that in Spanish--by which I meant giving me creepy vibes, like the desk clerk at Tayrona who wouldn't let go of my hand and said oh hod how can your boyfriend allow someone as beautiful as you to leave his sight, and Indian women are so sensual and so on. Or should I give the guy a chance--it's only one night and I can release the killer G-Jams on him. Do you think that if he is essentially creepy it will come through regardless of language, while interesting or not might not?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Well, I was wrong

And I sit here, fighting for control, trying to gulp air and chanting my mantra manically.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

In which I am an international woman of mystery (and crepe bandage)

The night after the concert was the night the Spanish embassy threw it's annual yay we are Spanish party. Flamenca, her husband and I  decided to go, though slightly weak from the previous night's festivities. All my plans of getting all dress UP were trashed because all I could wear were my very grotty turquoise blue Old Navy canvas shoes, since they fit over the crepe bandage. Yup, that sprain wasn't nearly ad unimportant as I thought it was. So I put on some linen pants and random black top, and minimal makeup and giant earrings and off we went. Flamenca was also not feeling like dressing up, so she was in jeans and a top, and her husband was in a nice fab India shirt and jeans.

All these sartorial choices were questioned when we got there and saw the long line of people waiting to get in all in suits and ties and dresses and high heels and saris. Feeling rather shabby we joined the line and realized that it was there because of some name checking that was happening. Now, we had been reliably informed that normally all you had to do was turn up with your passport/national ID, and you and your 'accompanying person' would get it. But this year, for some reason, they went all batshit security mad, and everyone had to be on a list and have an email or a card, etc. We also realized that by 'accompanying person' they meant partner. Flamenca promptly declared that I was her husband's wife and we twiddled our thumbs as we inched closer and closer to the woman in ill-fitting sari who was checking. Flamenca told her that we were on the list but hadn't received the email. She, obviously, didn't find us on the list, and then directed us to talk to another woman, who was in a rather better fitting lehenga choli. We milled about waiting for her to see us, and then someone else we know came up and said I don't have email either. At which point we decided to just walk in. And we did!

As we rounded the corner (the embassy is in this EXQUISITE brit era house like the one that my friend Chica used to live in cos his dad was in the IFS) and ran smack into another line. Wondering what this was, we shuffled along making desultory conversation, with the Spaniards exclaiming that this was excessive and embarrassing  I was asked if I was Colombian. Actually I was asked this often that night and I always said yes =D But then I had to say no, cos you know lies and all. Anyway, it turned out that the line was to shake hands with the ambassador, his wife and two more men. It was hilarious.

Eventually released into the huge garden, we fell like wolves upon the Spanish wine and the bits of tortilla, which I was eventually informed were for TASTING ONLY. The wine was exquisite, as always, but the food was terrible. It was mediocre Punjabi food. Ugh.

We knew a lot of people at that party, so we flitted about saying hello and whatnot. I ran into an old professor, who has not changed a bit--I shall say no more to be diplomatic. But the main problem with that party was that it was too damn European! Seriously. All stiff-necked and snooty. Eventually we created a sidebar next to the pool (!!), with Flamenca and Mr Flamenca, their bassist and his wife, me, and a couple that Flamenca inadvertently set up by making them dance at a concert. The Syrian bassist, who looks for some reason like he's from the secret police, would walk to the bar and say give us a bottle of red and they'd just meekly hand it over. At one point we started getting them in twos! This miniparty was, of course, much fun, with all us hippies having random conversations such as the use of the subjunctive in English etc. That one was sparked by the bassist asking me how long I'd been in India. If I had a dollar...

At one point, the DJ started to play Señorita. And it is hysterical the way nearly half the party just surged onto the dance floor and began to boogie like mad doing fake flamenco. Really. I couldn't dance for laughing. Then they played chammak challo, which sparked even more hysteria. Then they switched to Spanish music.

The rest of the details of that night escape me, but there were some really bizarre highlights. Flamenca is doing some work with a couple of businessmen, one in his late forties and one in his late sixties. She calls the latter Mick Jagger because she says he's very youthful in this unnerving way. I dismissed her out of hand, saying there's no way a sixty-year-old could be hot. And then I met him. Holy Mary mother of Jesus! It is just wrong that a man his age should be that attractive. It didn't help that he was all superbly dressed and horrible chivalrous and flirty.

Then there is this particular gay man who used to be very thick with us, but got bitchier and bitchier and we decided to ignore him. He was there, and then very drunkenly wanted to bond with both of us. At the end of the night, he was standing at the table with Flamenca, me and the businessmen, and he began to tell us how he wanted to get home really fast because HE WAS GOING TO HAVE SEX WITH HIS HUSBAND! 'MY HUSBAND HAS SUCH A HUGE COCK AND I LOVE HAVING SEX WITH HIM BIM BAM BOOM!' We were in shock. Then he said 'MY HUSBAND HAS GIANT BALLS FILLED WITH SEMEN.' This was too much for us and we had to run away and giggle frantically.

And then there was the mad auto ride at 2am, all the way back here and the frantic devouring of dosias made form idle batter before collapsing in bed, to wake up the next morning and make strange cat videos with G-Jams. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Could I be flakier?

I shan't even claim to promise to try and be good about posting, not even to myself. It's embarrassing now.

MinCat now has her very own Kitteh! His name is G-Jams, short for Greebo Jameson, since I am, after all, Nanny Ogg, and I do, most certainly, love Jamesons. He is nearly 8 weeks old, and quite the firecracker! I think he's going to be a vocal cat. *bangs head on desk* He's incredibly loud for something as tiny as he is, and like to express his love by leaping upon exposed flesh, canines and claws at the ready. *wince* But he purrs a lot, and is warm and soft and fuzzy and he loves me. And I love him.

In other news, I went shoe shopping for the first time since April 2011, when I went to DSW in Union Square to buy a pair of boots. I've been hearing about how Shahpur Jat is awesome and all so I finally dragged my lazy ass there and bought a lovely pair of comfortable wedge heels. And then promptly wore them to concert last night, where I was official photographer for band frontlined by my beloved Flamenca (flamenco-singing Spanish friend), and in a moment of excitement re-entering the restaurant from the balcony, didn't see a tiny step and promptly fell over and sprained my ankle. Sigh. Lithium, who was present with a harem in tow, was most solicitous and, when I stood up and apologized to the woman whose hair I'd pulled in a desperate attempt to hold onto something, muttering, 'I didn't see that damn step', he proceeded to walk me down the stairs to the stage chanting step, step, step at every step. Smartypants. *mutters darkly*

When Flamenca and I were chattering away eagerly as we returned from the shops, a bald guy in hipster glasses who was blowing his nose uttered an emphatic 'Españolas!' to us, and we, two ridiculously gregarious people (Flamenca having just befriended someone who works across from me in the three minutes it took me to come down the stairs), were so lost in our conversation that we chorused 'sí' and returned to dissecting the character of whatever unfortunate soul was the subject of our conversation. A twinge of guilt made me look back and I saw him standing there, in a sea of motley traffic, his forlorn eyes framed by his hipster glasses, still blowing his nose.

The thing is, I am always collecting people. In fact, the Bride, when she was here last week with the express purpose of making it the best week of 2012, told me that that's what I do--collect people. By which she said she means that wherever I go, I manage to find interesting people. I think her visit came at a time of planetary alignment, because when I look back at the last two years I cannot believe I have good friends in Delhi. But then, I realized I do. And I also realize that putting people together is what I love.

Disco Dancer used to protest feebly, especially since he espouses the silo method of friend having--each group is each group and they CAN NEVER MIX OR THE WORLD WILL END--but I have always thrown motley collections of people together and ignored them while they sorted themselves out. And they usually do. Being hypergregarious I also know lots of people and a little bit about each of them--enough to say oh you both studied physics! or oh you both go hiking! or oh you both hate football! Which is really all one needs to start things. The cramp in my style this past year has been CB and MW and their ridiculously judgemental reactions to people. Whatever happens in the first five minutes will set the tone for ever. I'm always trying to explain that they lose out on really amazing people by refusing to consider revising first opinions--forget about revising, they will refuse to even meet someone who hasn't made a favourable first impression. And since they were my main friends and I was snivelling pathetic mess, I lived in terror of not having them around, and thus tamped down on that side of me. Then again, it's very easy to blame someone--I was depressed and lonely, so maybe that's all it was. Either way, I now have G-Jams!

The other things that make me giggle when I think of last night were the following. Flamenca has an Indian Spanish-speaking tour guide friend who is from Jaipur and dark and rajputly handsome. Like really my kinda hot, though I'm not entirely convinced by the gold earrings. Anyway, we have met once and he was apparently struck by me, and has been asking for a re-meeting. So he was there last night, and his eyes lit up when he saw me, and once they noticed the cut of my dress he began to address my chest. Lol. To his credit, it is an arresting sight when on display, and he managed to regain control in ten minutes or so. But then he began to hit on me. Which is nice, only why can't desi boys be subtle? He stroked my arm and said, 'Your skin is so soft.' I simply did not know what to say. What CAN you say to that? I made a joke about sweating so much and ran away.

Flamenca also has a Spanish friend, whom we shall call Spanish Builder, who she set me up with a couple of weeks ago. It certainly went well, only he never replied to my text saying I got home, and didn't call me when back from business trip as promised. He was also there last night, and after the concert was done we were standing about chatting and I asked him about his trip, and he said yeah it was all right. And then he said, I got your message but I was half drunk, half hungover and trying to get my flight and it was all so confused...I'm sorry I didn't reply. I laughed and said, no it's fine. (This is where I should have said that's all very well but why didn't you call EH?) And then he said, 'But I had such a lovely time.' Again, something very sweet--but what am I supposed to say to it? Two weeks later? If you had such a lovely time, pick up the phone and call me and we can do it again! It didn't help that Lithium was trying to be wingman and winking broadly and giving me a thumbs up from across the bar. *eyeroll*