On Living

On Living

Sometimes you can’t get enough of it; sometimes it can’t get enough of you.

Sometimes it hurts like hell; sometimes you know the pleasure will kill you.

Sometimes you lie to preserve the truth; sometimes you tell the truth to preserve a lie.

Sometimes you hope the end never comes; sometimes all you want is for it all to end.

Sometimes you force yourself to believe that everything will be okay; sometimes okay abandons you. Read more

Words, ‘Work’ and Withdraw

Words, ‘Work’ and Withdraw

HOY2: D248

Mundane Monday

I finished my fiction-writing, word-count quota early today, and so, I thought I’d jot down a few happenings. One moment please …

Wow, fuck! I haven’t posted a Mundane Monday post since April. I had to look up the most recent post, and yea, I’ll just say that I’m … sorry? To be fair, I spent four posts logging our Sydney vacation, so there’s that, at the very least. I’ve also been writing some poetry that I’ve posted sporadically between then and now as well. *sigh. Let’s see … where to begin, then? One more moment please …

Holy shit! We’ve been back from our trip for six weeks! Where does time go? Seriously, I want to know! Ugh! Oh, right, I know. I’ve been cranking out those words for my manuscript, which I am proud to say, I will finish in exactly sixteen days. Like I said at the opening of this nonsense post, I’ve been diligently writing my little [big] ass off since December, and I’ve realized that having deadlines and actual “work” to do makes time fucking fly. Oh, I also returned to The ‘Gram after our trip cause, let’s be honest, I really really really wanted to brag about the trip and all egoistically related suchness. So … there’s that.

As for real updates, there’s not much to tell. I’m two, ten-day due dates away from finishing my 150,000-word manuscript, and I’m quite proud. Obviously, I still haven’t completed the task, but I know I will, unless some sort of karmic balance needs to unfold … or something. With the potential for any unknowable circumstance that would/could prevent me from finishing my ultimate #goals still lingering, I feel fully confident that I will scale this particular undertaking roughly unscathed, physically and deeply knowledgeable and fit [bruised and bewildered] psychologically. A sort of this-is-what-I’ve-learnt-type exercise will assuredly [or perhaps not] come forth once I’ve actually completed the thing.

In other news, the lifemate and I are basically going to the movies every other weekend. Two weekends ago, we watched Wonder Woman, obviously. Uh, yea, I definitely fucking cried during that movie. It was crazy awesome. One of my blogging/social media rules is “No Commentating;” another is “No Critiquing,” so, yea, there’s not really much for me to say about the flick, intellectually. I also can’t really suggest the movie to you, dear readers, for fear that that sort of … proffered instruction would fall under “No Curating,” another rule. So, there’s that. Last weekend [picture set below] we celebrated the lifemate’s birth, which is sort of really stupid if you think about it, so we’re in discussions about how best to “deal with” certain “special days,” etc.

If there had been a movie to watch [that we would’ve been willing to pay to see], we would’ve gone to the movies last weekend but alas … . And then yesterday, we went and saw Transformers: The Last Knight, a movie for which I was quite excited. I’m not ashamed to admit that I liked the previous installment for what it was. I thoroughly enjoyed all the transforming in 3D; it was epic, and I was looking forward to more of the same, but alas, that was not what we were given. Oh well. And then obviously, we will go see Spider-man: Homecoming the weekend after next.

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In between all this movie watching, we haven’t been up to much except writing, ‘working’ [in my case ’cause the lifemate definitely work {no quotes} WORKS], and withdrawing. Yea, we’re trying to cut back on the liquor, but we’re still partaking in our summer slushies when we “hit the town.” My days are still the epitome of mundane. One ought not fear that you’re missing out or that my life is somehow, awesome. Of course, I think that my life is awesome, cause, let’s face it, it’s my life; and I love my life! But the reality is that it probably looks pretty fucking lame, and that’s fine. I have absolutely no qualms with looking lame. Just take a look at my The ‘Gram [at the bottom of this blog]. Ha! Obviously I’m lying, and I’m completely delusional about whatever it is that makes me feel as though I’m “OK” with people thinking my life is lame. I totally want people to think my life is awesome … obvs. The ‘Gram is a wholly different beast, though; I use it in a completely different way. If anyone’s willing to read my writing, then they’ll get the real [best parts that I’m willing to share as opposed to the, sometimes, totally contrived ‘awesomeness’ posted elsewhere] me. All that social media shit is just that … shit. But I like it; it’s fun. *sigh.

I don’t really know what else to say, cause, it’s like I said, my life is “Boring as Shit!” Well, I mean, shit might not be the proper … simile, so … maybe my life is “boring as an uncle you’ve been seated next to, whom you barely know, at a wedding for a person you barely know, who is telling you a story about someone you don’t know at all, for the second time in thirty minutes.” Yea. Nailed it. Peace out, bitches. Until next time …

 


 

#Goals

#Goals

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FIVE

2017 April 24 [Monday]

Mundane Monday (obviously)

*sigh. Well, a lot of time has passed, and yet, I don’t really have much to share. There are a few topics, maybe two or five, about which I would like to diary-type write simply because so much time has gone by and so much fiction writing has been accomplished. I suppose, then, I ought to just get to it. I remember being able to write more interesting or compelling intros to these things, but honestly, I just don’t care. As you’ll soon find out, I’ve been writing my ass off (but not really [but really]), and I’m tired. No matter, I finally have my first Monday off (I like to take the day after a ten-day due-date off from writing) from the fiction writing since February, and so, I thought it might be a “fun” “exercise in remembering” to write a Mundane Monday post. I have the time but more importantly, the energy.

First things first, the reason why I’ve been so thoroughly absent across all of my various blogs and social media (well, I’m always absent from social media, but I was on Instagram for about four months before I pulled the plug, so, yea, that’s what I mean). Yesterday, I proudly announce!, marked day 130 of my 200-day, 150,000-word-count extravaganza! For Episode Thirteen (due yesterday), I (easily) surpassed my 9,350-word ten-day quota. Each episode has had a steady increase in word quotas, with a slow growth from 900 – 8,000 words over Episodes 1 – 8, culminating at a 9,350-word goal for Episodes 9 – 14. This steady increase has proven itself demanding. And so, not only have I not had the energy to write anything else, but also, I simply do not care about much else except the book. Are you dying to read it? Probably not. Oh well. Woe is me.

What happens after Episode 14?, is sure to be the question hanging from all your lips! Well, that brings the second topic to the forefront, but for now, I’ll simply introduce it. We are going on our vacation next week, so Episode 14 is due next Wednesday (May 3rd), and then we will embark on our ten-day vacation, through which I will do no writing. This means that I have to reach 100,000 words before the trip, and then, when we return, I will have an 8,350-word, ten-day quota for the remaining six episodes (Episodes 15 -20) to reach that coveted 150 big ones. All of this will come to its deeply anticipated end on July 12, 2017. In total, my manuscript currently sits at 91,783 words, which amounts to roughly 152 Letter-sized pages of printer paper, typed upon in Times New Roman at an 11-pt font size. As you can see, I only have about 8,200 words left to reach 100,000 total words (before our trip), but I have a 9,350-word, ten-day quota for Episode 14, which happily means that I will (presumably) surpass my 14-episode goal! Obviously, I’m talking about all of this in future terms, so I still have ten days of writing work ahead of me. Nevertheless, I hope that all of this droll info helps to convey my current writing sitch and excuses my lacking presence here in this blogspace. Oh, and about Instagram … I sort of found it to be mind-numbingly prosaic, so I deleted everything and got the hell outa there. I wasn’t using any other social media, other than this and my photography blog, so that’s the only update I have for ya.

Now, for the good stuff! The lifemate and I are embarking on our 2017 ETMC Travels: Sydney Edition in just ten days! We fly out to Sydney, Australia, on May 03, 2017, and we’ll be back on May 13, 2017. I’m finally so excited that I can’t stand it! I’ve had to push the trip to the back of my mind as I write, write, write, but now that we’re so close and my word-count goal is all so possible, I allow myself now to daydream about the trip. I can’t fucking wait! It’s going to be so awesome – lying by the beach, eating cheap western foods, doing a whole lotta nonya, swimming in a pool, getting up to no good, smeezin’ some serious beez. *sigh. The lifemate bought a new backpack for the trip on Saturday, and it’s so damn cute. I wanted to take a pic to post here today, but I forgot to ask him if he’d mind, so a pic of the thing will just have to wait. I will say this, however, the backpack, as a whole, looks like a panda bear. Haha! And it’s not like a kids’-sized pack either. It’s a full-sized thing, and man, it’s so damn cute! He looks great with it.

What else … tutoring? Yes, I’m still tutoring two days a week but on Tuesdays and Fridays now. SJ is less-enthused about middle school, but she’s still convinced that school makes her happy. I could write a whole book about her. Perhaps one day. Uh … I’m gonna do some last-minute shopping today to pick up some travel stuffs so that I can focus on the last bit of fiction writing over the course of this last weekday week. What’s the book about? Well, if only you knew how irritating that question is, you wouldn’t have asked. Wait, but I asked. So, let’s see … yea, I’m definitely not ready to broach that subject. I will, however, (maybe) post a tiny portion of it here once it’s all finished. Obviously, there will be months and months of editing afterwards, but I have to at least get this “principal photography,” as the lifemate likes to put it, all wrapped up.

I guess that ought to do it for today. Like I said, there’s not much to say. Every day I wake up sometime between 8AM and 2PM, drink coffee, watch a movie, eat breakfast, drink more coffee, write for 1- 2 hours, go to tutoring (when applicable), workout (when necessary), grocery shop, eat dinner, watch basketball, watch one other show or another movie, eat more food, drink libations (wine, sparkling wine, beer, or vodka), read a chapter from a book that’s already taken a month to read, and I’m only a third of the way through it, and then pass out or fall asleep. On weekends, the sitch remains. I think we’ve “hit the town” three times this year, so far. The poor lifemate has to deal with my lame ol’ life, but he’s being a righteous (not like religious, but like badass) trooper. So, yea, I love life right now, it’s just not all that “shareable.” Hahaha! Suckers! I’ve read a few articles lately … okay … never mind. I cannot go there right now. Anyway, I’ll just say, when reality meets delusion, a life spent mostly online reveals itself as a life not at all.

Bis später (oh yea, and we’re learning German)!

Week-Long Ultra-Feast

Week-Long Ultra-Feast

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN

2017 February 13 [Monday]

Monday, Monday, Monday, Monday!, couldn’t come soon enough! The week started with a light cold that left me feeling a bit dull and snot-ridden for about three days, but the whole sitch came and went quick enough. I went for a light jog on Wednesday to get some new blood pumping through my system and felt pretty good the rest of the week. Today, I feel fine. The cold, however, brought about the beginning of a week-long ultra-feast, meaning the lifemate and I indulged ourselves in all of the unapproved foods we normally never eat.

We ate bags of chips, bags of [Snyder’s-style] pretzels, half a dozen fudge-filled brownies, half a dozen super-fancy Krispy Kreme donuts, hash browns, potato hash, Taco Bell, honey biscuit sandwiches, BLTs, bacon, cheese-filled corn dogs, cream cheese-filled and ice cream-filled Belgian waffles, vodka and pricier beers. Basically, we stuffed ourselves so that we would not want to eat anything so heavy and carb-loaded ever again!, and it worked.

I felt so bad by Saturday night that I was sure I would not be able to eat anything on Sunday, but a deal’s a deal. We had to gorge ourselves [and not workout] through Sunday so as to be sure we’d land somewhere truly disgusted with ourselves. It was not awesome. Luckily, today is now today and so, I woke up and immediately hit a hard circuit workout, ate a bowl full of veggies, and soon, I’ll be meeting with the lifemate to eat a chicken stick and grocery shop for ginormous salad stuffs. I’m so excited! From here on out it’ll be back to business as usual until our vacation in May!

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As far as other happenings from the past week are concerned, there’s not much to tell these days since most my days revolve around writing the fiction. I had a fiction word quota of 7500 words due yesterday, and I pretty much kicked the thing in the ass. All-in-all the fiction writing is going really well. I easily write anywhere between 1500 and 1800 words per sitting. Lately, I’ve been doing one writing sesh per day on five of the ten days in each metric week. It’s a pretty good system, honestly. I have the freedom to relax my mind and come up with ideas, but I can only take one or two days off at a time and have to write on back-to-back days. The challenge of consistently having to output fiction is truly wonderful, while the consistent time off helps the ideas flow constantly. I’m finding a rhythm, and I gotta say, it feels great.

02-17-yakultuploadMy other weekly responsibility of teaching English to my student, SJ, on Thursdays and Fridays has been great as well. Her mother bought her some new social studies textbooks, and SJ really seems to enjoy the content. During class, her mother always provides me with some delicious drink and sometimes a treat, and last week, her mother gave me the coolest little yogurt drink. It was one of those Yakult probiotic drinks, but the packaging was not only twice as big as usual, but also, it was upside down! So amazing. That little treat made my day. It was so fun. We, SJ and I, then discussed whether or not she thought her mother was cool. I think that her mother is really cool cause she seems to know what’s “now,” but SJ disagrees. SJ thinks that her mother has such “old style.” That may be true as far as what her mother herself likes to eat and wear, but the things her mother buys SJ is always pretty hip and on trend. AND the food and drinks her mother provides for me are always pretty cool, I think. Haha.

*sigh*

Anyhow, I suppose that’s all. There’s not much to talk about since I just don’t feel all that connected to these Mundane Monday posts anymore. They’re totally pointless from a writing standpoint, but maybe they’re nice to have when considering where I might be living in the future and how nice it might be to look back on these posts from our time in Seoul. No matter, I will continue to write them. If I figure out some other topic about which to write instead, perhaps I will rethink these diary-type entries then. For now, I still enjoy how easy these entries are to write, and I probably need to have some writing output that requires less brainpower. *sigh* Back to the fiction.

Until next time …

Quickly, now …

Quickly, now …

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY NINETY-FOUR

2017 January 23 [Monday]

Mundane Monday

Since I also have a shit-ton of fiction writing due before today becomes tomorrow, I will make this Mundane Memoir quite short. There’s one exciting announcement, one new writing goal, an update about the weather, and there is a, uh, happening?, that I would like to touch upon for the sake of posterity. Shall I simply trot through the week in order? Okay, here we go.

Monday was, by far, one of the more exciting days of the past week or month even. When I was fifteen years old, I set a goal to travel to each continent [excluding Antarctica b/c one does not simply travel to Antarctica, but I do wish to be qualified to do a six-month stint there sometime in the future] by the time my twenty-fifth year of life came to a close. Proudly, I can state that I did indeed travel to every continent except one [sad face emoji]. Nevertheless, my goal has always pricked the back of my mind, and I’m excited to announce that I will finally check off that last continent this summer! For our [the lifemate’s and my] 2017 ETMC Travels, we will be traveling to … a dun dun duh da! … Sydney, Australia! Yay! I’m so excited, I can’t even think about it yet. So, diligent, focused writing and meticulous planning is the name of the game until we set off on our 2017 vacation in May!

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*caption below

 

As for the new writing goal, my English student, SJ, requested [about three months ago] that I write a story using her as the main character. I sort of brushed it off as her request being mere excitement around my first novel that was published last October. But then, she kept on asking me about her story. I knew I needed a good idea before I could even hope to write, what would essentially need to be, a children’s story, so I just told her I would think about it. When the idea came to me, however, I kept it a secret so that I could present the story to her after she had hopefully forgotten all about it.

I’m so happy and excited with the result of this request that I’ve decided to draw up a few pictures and publish the damn thing as a children’s book. Woot woot! I’ve also decided that I will write a few more children’s stories. So, there’s that.

When considering the weather, it snowed an epic [for Seoul] amount last Wednesday, and then it kept on snowing off and on through Saturday. It’s been amazing! For a girl like me who grew up in the mountains of Colorado, I’ll just say I probably throw a tantrum every other day about how I can’t snowboard anywhere in this ephing country [I mean, you can, but I’m way too much of a snob to pay for a bunny hill].

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**caption below

 

And then, Saturday brought about the most delightful snow storm that the lifemate and I decided would make for an excellent run! Thus, we ran our asses off until we were both covered in, surprisingly fluffy, snow! It was the perfect mood-lifting activity. I spent all of Sunday writing fiction so that I could reach my word count quota. This metric week’s quota is 6000 words, and I have about 1600 to go. So, I better finish up this, basically, nonsensical writing and get to it. Laters.


 

*It’s always nice to have something exciting coming at ya in the near future!

**Enough snow to require my snow boots!

Make Every Day Everyday

Make Every Day Everyday

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY SEVENTY-SEVEN

2017 January 06 [Friday]

Friday Feature

When the aspects of life that are enacted every day become everyday aspects of life, that’s when the magic happens. Once every day becomes everyday, that’s when every day starts to feel like everything. It’s only against the bland that flavor is tasted. The place at where I [my life philosophy] currently stands reveals the sort of mundane essence of my life, especially since “mundanity” continues to surface as the topic about which I so frequently write. People [read the DISCLAIMER] are constantly bombarding my consciousness with droll remarks about how I must “live life to the fullest,” “live like it’s my last day,” “make every day an adventure,” etc., &c. I fucking hate it because they’ve got it all wrong! But the masses are idiots, so they’ll believe every NEXT AD campaign, which has been specifically designed to rob them blind.

Have you ever wondered why your life sucks, how happiness never finds you, why life doesn’t excite you? Well, I have an small inkling as to a possible answer [not to say that I’m the first or only person to have come to this conclusion]. And I’ll tell you, but it’s not going to be what you think it is. I’ll also only tell you if you can accept that everything that will be said from here on out is all opinion, conjecture, my own experiences that I’m willing to share because maybe I’m onto something. Who knows. It’s all too possible that I’m the idiot, so yea. If I’m the idiot, then everything will make sense to you because that means I’m just a normy, and normies are, generally speaking, quite stupid. If I’m not an idiot, well there’s no way of knowing. So, let’s get to it.

The problem [according to me, the writer of this goddamn post] … a dun dun du da! … is that people think that every day is supposed to be special, an adventure, that every day should be lived like it’s your last. Let me tell ya, that’s the straight and girthy path to unhappiness. If the world is selling you a message that requires your money in order to fulfill, then that’s definitely not the direction in which you want to travel. Listen to how stupid it sounds to say, “Make every experience special with X and Y. Experience every moment to the fullest and remember it as the most special moment of your life through X and Y, and then every moment of your life will be memorable and special because you bought X and Y.” If every single day of your life is special and memorable, that directly contradicts the definition of special. So, what is this “brilliant” conclusion I’ve come to? Well, it’s quite simple actually.

everydayeveryday

If you want some seriously special moments in your life, you need to make every day quite plainly everyday. It’s the banal routine that exciting experiences are set against which ultimately makes those exciting experiences exciting. The same goes for things that you wish weren’t such a big deal. If you want something to be exciting or special, you can’t do it every day. If you don’t want something to be such a big deal, you have to do it every day. Does that make sense? Okay, so here are some examples from my own life.

For starters, I absolutely love [like seriously, I think it’s one of the most entertaining things to listen to people talk about] when people drone on about how hard it is to workout. I mean, I get it, but I also get it. When you only work out, let’s say, once a week, yea, every workout is going to fucking suck. It’ll be tough. And then, when people only workout for a short period of time and then take months off, yea, returning to your workouts is a nightmare. If you don’t want your workouts to be a big deal or anything special because you just want to be able to do it without it being this big production, you need to workout every, single, ephing, day. Or at the very least, every other day. It’s the stuff we do every single day that becomes routine, that we hardly acknowledge as being “special.” You sleep, shit, eat, work [maybe], do the laundry, wash the dishes, clean, shower, etc., regularly, and these sorts of things are nothing special [this is not to say you can’t be grateful for the small things in life, but this is not about that]. So, if there are aspects of your life that you wish were “no big deal,” you’ve got to make them routine. Like picking up a new hobby or learning something new, you’ve got to do it every day, and then, before you know it, it’ll become routine.

The other side of the routine is where the magic happens. Let’s say you eat out every day for dinner. Then, when a special day comes along, like a birthday or celebratory event, picking a restaurant becomes difficult because the restaurant has to be either more expensive or more glamorous than the restaurants you eat at every day. And, I’d wager to say that when you eat out all the time, it’s hard to find the special-ness in eating out for a special occasion. So, the only way to have a special dinner would be to eat in, cook. Does that make sense? Or, looked at another way. If you want to have eating out be a special experience, then you need to eat in regularly, that way, when you eat out, it’s special.

These, I understand, are typically reductive examples, but they are examples from my own life. I can’t really come up with anything astute because I am either too dull or too simple-minded to think of more … relevant examples for the every-person. All of this boils down to the lifestyle that my lifemate and I live. I’ll be shamelessly honest. We basically live at the [by U.S. standards of income] poverty level, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it. Our everyday life is very much the same. We live on a 15,000 KRW [about $15.00] per day, food budget, not because we have to but because we want to [this does not include the budgets we have for domestic items and entertainment {100,000 KRW/month for each}]. We basically eat the same two dozen things in a weather-coordinated [some things we only eat in the summer because it’s hot, etc.] rotation. We eat out within our daily budget about once or twice a week, and the rest of our money gets saved up or invested.

When the time comes for something special like a holiday or birthday, we greatly exceed our food budget with no financial consequence because the money’s there. We also only watched four movies in a movie theater last year, one of which was while we were on vacation. When we go to the movies, though, we only see them in IMAX 3D. As far as vacationing goes, we vacation once a year, and I’ll just say this, on our most recent ten-day vacation to Vancouver, we lived large. We spent six months saving up all the cash we’d spend on that trip, and after the plane tickets, AirBNB rental and whale-watching tour were booked, we had $200 per day to spend. We had a really hard time spending that much money because that’s a shit ton of money to spend every single day, and not a single penny was added to our credit card. But see, we live every day on a strict budget, that way, when we have the opportunity to spend frivolously we a) have the cash to do it and b) thoroughly enjoy begin able to do it.

Yes, our everyday life seems quite lame, but whenever anything happens beyond the everyday routine we heartily stick to, it’s quite spectacular, special, exciting, adventurous, different. I’m also not saying that we’ve figured it out and that living this way is perfect. Sometimes I just want to do something more, live beyond. And so, sometimes we do. We don’t stick to this plan as if our lives depend on it. We do stick to this plan, though, quite successfully because it’s what we both want. Yes, I can hear you saying, “But you could die tomorrow! If you don’t live now, you’ll never live at all!” I get that sentiment. I also get how hard it is to live a disciplined life most of the time so that you can live large some of the time, but when you do live large, it’s awesome. If you live large every day, then living large becomes routine, which means you’re not really living large anymore, you’re just living your routine life. And to the “But you could die tomorrow!” thoughts I say this, But you could also live until you’re 100. Why feel burned out by life when you’re only sixty or at the pace some people live, at forty?

My whole philosophy revolves around Life making each tier and experience available to me when I’m ready, only when I’m ready. Yes, there’s a strong case to be made for “Living it up!” Where that motivation comes from, however, is a place of fear, fear that your life will be lost without you having experienced EVERYTHING. The more likely case, fortunately, is that you’ll probably live a pretty average life until you’re old and grey. No one wants to accept this, of course. This is the battle. The struggle is real. No matter, living as if you’ll one day be old and grey is living your life through hope.

The whole point is not to point fingers at who’s living better or how to live your best life; the point, for me, is that I want to have truly significant moments and experiences in my life. And so, I consistently think about how to make this happen. If I make every experience significant, though, then none of them will be because that’s my normal. Does that make sense? So, what I do instead is I live a simple life the majority of the time, and whenever anything beyond the ordinary [which is quite ordinary when considering most of my days are filled with coffee first, writing, reading, running, working out, the yoga, some piano playing, watching old movies, shopping for groceries, making dinner, eating dinner, showering, watching basketball games, watching the lifemate play video games, and then sleeping] happens, it’s special, and more importantly, I remember each moment with more clarity and gratitude. [Again, obviously, what I consider to be a simple, boring life is something for which I have immense gratefulness. This, however, is not about that. This is about how, too often times, I hear people complain about how not-exciting their lives are even when they’re jam-packed with excitement, or how it’s impossible to have an exciting life when you don’t have money.]

*sigh. To conclude, I suppose I will end with this: You also don’t want to get too ingrained in a routine either because then you’ll lack growth through the lack of new experiences. Just like how when you go, go, go, it’s hard to grow as well because if you don’t take time to reflect and apply all the lessons you’ve gathered, then the go-getter never finds growth either. The key, of course, then becomes balance. Why, though, is balance so difficult to establish? What is it about being human that swings us so vigorously between extremes?