i150W: My Young Life

Good things must come to an end, and that includes my young life.

I’m already a young adult, but I still look and act like a teenager. I still find it difficult to accept and move on, but I have to. Just imagine the things I’ll have to go through in order to accept the fact that I’m already a grown-up.

There are some things I’m not willing to give up. These include my unusual outfit choices, my fascination with anime and manga, and playing video games. Who cares if they call me immature just because I continue living like a teenager?

There’s a lot of things to catch up on, but I don’t think if I’ll ever get to experience these. Maybe it’s a little too late for me to try.

I knew my young life will be over by the time I reach 30. So is this goodbye then?

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Age Is Nothing But A Curse: A Harsh Reality Check [E]

Let’s face it, age doesn’t really matter but only if they don’t actually pay attention to it.

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You see, there are cases where age is seen as a basis for most types of application, particularly contests and job hiring. The younger, the better. I don’t understand why they always pay attention to this kind of bullshit when there are a growing number of people who are unemployed and more qualified than the first-timers? Perhaps they thought that overaged applicants can no longer keep up with the younger generation. Actually, the younger ones are no match for the veterans when it comes to experience. Well, the veterans do orient the younger ones on various things, serving as a trainer. But then, are they gonna stay long in the company? No, because some companies believe that they’re no longer fit to work in an environment of mostly young people. Sad, isn’t it?

It sucks that you can never turn back the clock and remain young forever. It sucks to grow old and lose the charm you once had. It sucks to grow old and develop health problems later on. It sucks to be singled out of the group just because you’re far too older than the rest of the people. It sucks that no matter how many cosmetic procedures you’ve gone through, you can never escape aging. Life sucks, I’ll have you that. So is growing old really something to be thankful for, despite the fact that you’re gonna suffer that you’d rather die-while-you-still-have-the-chance instead? It depends on the person.

No matter how you try to keep yourself many years younger, you can’t escape aging. So it’s either you move on with it or die right now.

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So here are the situations where age is considered a curse by me:

  • Hanging out with younger people–Being the oldest person in the group isn’t at all bad, but it’s not something to be happy about either. Depending on the age gap, there’s a possibility that the oldest person in the group would feel awkward among the rest of the group.
  • Job applications–The younger the applicant, the more chance he/she will be hired. It’s just a matter of discrimination regarding an applicant’s age. Take note that this only applies to certain jobs which don’t involve machinery or seriously difficult labor.
  • Responsibility–The older you’ll get, the more responsibility you’ll take. Care to have a few adulting lessons in order for you to be prepared for a more challenging life ahead, the one involving paying the bills, budgeting your expenses, and starting a family? Bet some of you will cringe at the thought of this possibility.
  • Looking good–The older you’ll get, the more you’ll run out of suitable outfit choices unless you’re a woman. So whatever clothing you’re wearing right now may no longer look good on you once you grow old. And even though you look young, age can still be a turn-off factor for some people, who will always believe that a particular piece of clothing or outfit is only suitable for a person of a certain age group.
  • Giving up your childhood/teenage hobbies and interests–This is the most difficult part of growing up–letting go of your childhood hobbies. As you can see, these are the main reason why we continue living. So can you expect a 40-year-old otaku to stop watching anime shows just because they’re too old for that sort of thing? If I were that 40-year-old, I’m not willing to give that up, not without a fight anyway.
  • Enjoying the things you used to do–I used to enjoy gaming back when I was a teen. Nowadays, I don’t feel like doing it… well, I still do gaming but on a sporadic basis. Also, at this age, I should be focusing on my career and not with my friends… wait, do I have one? Seriously, it does feel awkward for an adult to be playing a handheld video game out in the open. This sucks, isn’t it?
  • Health conditions–By the time you reach 50, health problems are bound to come, though this is now irrelevant due to the fact that young people are at risk of developing heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other serious illnesses due to their unhealthy lifestyle. Still, this is one thing to worry about once you reach that age, no matter how healthy you are.
  • Changes in your body–Your age may have nothing to do with how you look right now, but you can’t hide the fact that you’re growing older. After all, your birth date never lies. Well, no one actually told me how young I looked, but I’m pretty sure that my age is clearly showing for two reasons: there are traces of facial hair on my face even though I shaved thoroughly, and I started slowing down and feeling lethargic at times. Yes, I’m already 27 and I feel like this seems to be a pretty normal case for an adult. Not good.
  • Moving out and retirement–In some countries, a child is expected to move out of their parents’ house by the time they reach 18 in order for them to live independently. In the workplace, a person is expected to retire by the time they reach 60 or older. It’s pretty much a source of separation anxiety for those who wanted to continue living with their parents and those who wanted to continue working to support themselves or their families, and age is said to be blamed for the anxiety they experienced.

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Now then, who wants to grow up? Well, only the optimistic ones do. And that, [un]fortunately, does not include me.

Oh well, life really is a never-ending journey full of experiences and unexpected surprises. Guess it will do good if I just stop thinking about my own age and focus on the things that I really enjoy then?

Age is just a number, that’s for sure. It’s up to you to keep misleading them with your youthful looks or actions and get away with it. Oh well, this is one thing I should never fuss about. Anyway, I’m still young… depending on how I feel right now.

How I Spent My Saturdays… Then And Now

I love Saturdays, and that’s something to be proud of. For me, it’s always the most special day of the week, and will always be ’til I’m old and gray.

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Saturdays are generally reserved for a lot of fun things. Of course, it is that time of the week when we can freely enjoy the entire morning watching cartoons and/or anime shows, spending the entire afternoon doing various stuff from sports to video games. And of course, it is always the best day to enjoy a nice, weekend outing. Now, who wouldn’t love Saturdays?

When I was in sixth grade, I always look forward to watching anime shows every Saturday mornings. Then I’ll proceed with spending time in front of the computer playing video games in the afternoon. The best part of being a kid that time is when you don’t have to deal with a lot of problems and enjoy life the way it should. It just keeps getting more exciting as time passes by.

It continued all through high school, making it my official rest and relaxation day. I find it amusing to recall the days where I always look forward to my favorite day while waiting for the class to end. As if I’m looking forward to a weekend outing, though it is not. I simply love spending my Saturdays watching TV and playing video games, as well as not minding my homework. You know how I tend to procrastinate during these times, especially when the entire school week is basically all about studying and less fun.

In short, my Saturdays are mostly dominated by anime shows, RPG games, my PC, and sometimes visiting my relatives or going to the mall. It sure was an easygoing life for the likes of me.

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College sure changed the way I spend my Saturdays since I also have classes on that day, though not every semester. Regardless, I still enjoy my favorite day whether I’m at my college or at home.

The only times when I don’t have classes on Saturdays was when I was in the first-year college (first semester) and fourth-year college (second semester). Somehow, my weekend habits changed and there’s nothing much to do, except writing stories, reading books, surfing the internet, and at times watch movies. Times have changed and I really missed the old days.

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Nowadays, I generally spend my Saturdays outside the house, visiting various malls and some landmarks in Metro Manila, but at times I spend some time at a milk tea shop sipping my favorite drink while writing a story. On the days when I don’t feel like going out, I only surf the net and write stories or posts on my blog.

Right now, this is what my Saturdays are like. And yet, it may change.

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Seventeen years had passed and I’m still fascinated with the most special day of the week. Why am I so obsessed with it?

Saturday is more of a relaxation day, but this is not the case for others. As you can see, there are some people who go to work on that day, including my brother. So if I ever have a new job, am I willing to give up that day just to go to work and earn some monetary equivalent of the hours I worked on that day? That depends, really.

Well, I already explained the reason why I’m so obsessed with Saturdays. It is when I can do a lot of fun things without having to worry about school or work. Also, since this can be considered a rest day for some, it makes sense that you’re supposed to plan something relaxing for the weekend, especially on Saturdays.

Times sure have changed, but Saturdays will always be here to stay. And it’s more than just an obsession or a fascination.

The Online World, According To KCOX

We’re living in a high tech society, so almost everything is accessible by means of the information superhighway, the internet. It is where we connect with our friends and relatives online, and it is something we rely on when it comes to finding information about various things. Yes, the internet is a cyber miracle.

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The internet is a fascinating place to search for anything you might find interesting. Back then, it was a luxury.

Thirteen years ago, I was pretty curious about how the internet works, but I don’t have the idea where to start. Anyway, my brother and I used to surf the internet outside the house, at a nearby internet shop, probably browsing through some interesting websites. He’s the one doing the browsing since I’ve yet to learn the basics of surfing the net that time. As I watch him visiting a few websites and logging on to a social media platform (Friendster, I believe), there was this website, a search engine, where you can search something by typing the keyword on a search bar, and out comes the list of websites that’s related to the keyword you just entered. And that’s how I came to know Google, which I knew back then as a search engine that I still use as of this writing.

I decide to surf the internet on my own and try visiting various websites. Of course, I don’t do downloads just yet. I somehow managed to visit a few sites within hours of the session but it was not until my final year in high school when I finally learn how the internet works, as well as discovering a lot of awesome sites and had my first e-mail (Yahoo) and social media account (Friendster). Of course, Google becomes my constant partner in internet browsing, but I also use AltaVista, Yahoo Search, and MSN Search as well.

From that point on, I began downloading various stuff, from image to music and video files. I then became more active on Friendster and Multiply (and later, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and I tend to check on my friends’ profiles for their pictures… yup, mostly pictures. Well, I tend to post updates and testimonials on my social media accounts, but as of the moment I’m more focused on my Twitter and Instagram accounts and less on my Facebook accounts. I mean, I’m no longer comfortable posting updates on my Facebook account due to various reasons, mainly due to the incident of bashing and bullying online. I just want to stay out of trouble. Anyway, I mostly post updates on my Instagram account, and Twitter on a sporadic basis. I believe that social media is becoming a circus lately, courtesy of some of the millennials who wouldn’t control their urge to post a lot of selfies (and groufies), emotions, and flaming statements online. Also, social media is pretty much a dangerous place to meet strangers, do business transactions (like online selling), and sharing information with anybody.

Well, I use the internet for social media, blogging, news and information, and downloads. There are a few websites (mostly mall construction and public infrastructure forums) I routinely visit every time I power the computer on, and I always check my e-mail and social media accounts. I may have spent a lot of time online, but I’m quite the observer type. And of course, the hardworking type when it comes to blogging.

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Anyway, the online world is becoming more and more accessible so we tend to be online all the time, thanks to smartphones and mobile internet offers. Still, the netizens need to learn some basic rules when it comes to posting content and comments online, interacting with others online, and respecting cultures, values, and privacy online. This is where netiquette and online ethics comes in.

So what are the things to remember when you’re online?

  • Always remember that the internet is a public space. You may have the freedom to express yourself or post a lot of content, but there are certain limitations and restrictions on what you say or post online.
  • The internet is not a venue for hate, discrimination, bullying, bigotry, and anything that can harm a person’s well-being. Be mindful of your actions and respect everyone.
  • Don’t use the internet for any illegal activities, such as uploading copyrighted content, any form of theft, child exploitation, and child pornography.
  • Don’t share your personal information, pictures of valuables, location, and any offending and disturbing material such as pornography. Any of these can get you into trouble.
  • Be careful of who you meet online. Although the internet can be a good place to meet and chat with others online, there are some bad guys who are using the internet to do terrible things to others, such as online bullying, identity theft, extortion, scam, and various crimes when trying to meet someone offline.
  • Respect other people’s privacy. The internet may be a public space, but you certainly don’t want others to tag along, right? Stalking others and stealing their personal information online is already an invasion of privacy, what more if it happens offline?

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Being online is something to be thankful about. A miracle to friends, family, and relatives who are miles apart, the internet is essentially helpful in long-distance communications. For students, the internet can be a great place to do some research. For those who want to entertain themselves, there are music and video streaming sites available to suit your amusement needs. And of course, the internet does provide convenience through its online services, online delivery, and online shopping. Anything is possible as long as you stay connected.

But of course, there are also dangers in the online world. So it’s best to exercise caution while surfing the net. And of course, be courteous and respectful to the other online users at all times, no matter how nice or rude they are.

The internet really is a miracle, don’t you agree? Well, as long as I find something interesting and stay connected with others online, I’ll definitely live this kind of life.

i150W: Blogging

Blogging is one way of expressing yourself online. Most of the time, some people tend to blog about their experiences, adventures, or their own personal stories, much like an online diary. Nowadays, it is seen as an opportunity to promote themselves and inform others through posts.

Having a blog is like having your own website. Since most blogging platforms are free of charge (registration required), it is now possible for you to create one. Just think of anything you can write for your blog, like your interests, opinions, or personal experiences. Well, some people are actually earning from blogging various content, focusing mostly on food, fashion, entertainment, travel, and lifestyle. The possibilities are endless.

For me, blogging is a hobby that I enjoyed for almost ten years. I always blog to express and inform, and at times, raise awareness. What else could be better than expressing yourself online through blogging?

The Things I’ll Never Experience [E]

I feel a flash of grief so intense it almost makes me cry out: not for what I lost, but for the chances I missed.

Lauren Oliver, Requiem

Dear me, how long do I have to suffer before I can finally move on from all of those missed chances?

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There are a lot of fun things in the past that I never got to experience. Just the good ones. I don’t know if I’m gonna be happy about it or not. And until now, there are some things that I won’t be experiencing after all. I really sounded envious at the thought of it, but I just couldn’t help it.

Well, I always think about it, and I ended up feeling depressed because of that. I’m pretty much a hopeless case, something that they wouldn’t care about. I mean, why would they? If I let them know about this, then they’ll probably laugh at me and say such unpleasant stuff. And then what, crawl in the corner?

To be honest, I was about to move on from all of these missed chances, but they tend to come back from time to time in order to remind me of the things I missed or something I’ll probably miss later on. And it’s not okay.

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Anyway, here are some of the fun things that I’ll never experience:

  • Sleepovers–I suddenly feel awkward at the thought of it, but luckily, I wouldn’t have to do this. I mean, it’s more of a high school/college thing and it would be silly if a group of people over 25 would ever plan a sleepover. Really.
  • Cosplays–This reminds me of the otaku event from last year, and I sometimes wished that I’m one of the participants. Sadly, I won’t be able to do this for two reasons: one, I might be overqualified to join, and two, it can be costly… well, not to mention that I’m not that handsome enough to get noticed.
  • A night on the high school prom–This is something I’ll definitely regret later on. Our school only had a seniors’ prom that time but I chose not to attend, largely due to my annoying fourth-year high school classmates. So whenever I think of missing the seniors’ prom, I feel frustrated. Well, right now, it didn’t matter to me since it’s been more than ten years since it happened, but it’s really worth regretting.
  • A high school romance–It was kind of silly at first, but I thought it was kind of cool in the end. Whatever. I’m not into that sort of thing and there’s no way I’ll ever fall in love. Besides, I’m not that handsome.
  • A night out/outing with friends–Being the loner I was, there’s no way I’ll ever get to experience this.
  • Contribute a piece of literary work–My college classmates suggested that I should contribute one for the student publication, but I never get to do this.
  • Engaging in sports activities–Though I’m a little fascinated with baseball and everything, I’m really not a sports person.
  • An elementary/high school reunion–I don’t think it will be possible for now, at least with my elementary and my first- and third-year high school classmates. Although my fourth-year high school classmates would even think of inviting me over, there’s no way I’ll ever come to that dreaded reunion with these annoying people, period.

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Right now, I hate myself for missing such chances. But there’s nothing I can do… I can never turn back the clock. Even if I try to catch up on the things that I can still enjoy at my current age, it’s not enough to fulfill my [childhood] desires. In other words, there’s no second chance.

Oh, whatever. Just don’t tell me to lighten up and move on since I’m not willing to do it, you inconsiderate jerks.

i150W: Of Procrastination And Boredom

The feeling when everything slows down and you’re not feeling up to your tasks… it’s a real-life struggle. Sometimes, it can make you feel tired and grumpy.

Procrastination is associated with boredom, and these impede your productivity. It can be a simple case of avoidance or a severe case of laziness. Basically, if you can’t get fired up doing a certain task, then you already consider it as boring and difficult and then focus on doing something else, unrelated to the task you’re doing right now.

The complexity of a task may also contribute to your boredom, which makes it more difficult for you to accomplish everything. If you have the habit of giving up on a difficult task and not doing anything, then you’re causing trouble for everybody.

With a right mindset and a great amount of determination, you’ll be able to make it out of boredom and procrastination.

#Throwback: KCOX, The Writer

I guess you already know who I am. I’m a writer and a blogger… well, not a professional one obviously.

I may have spent a lot of time typing (and writing) various stuff, but right now, my efforts remain amateurish. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been reading a lot of books these days, which should really help in developing my writing skills. Oh well, I often read a lot of stuff on the internet. Isn’t that enough?

So how I do manage to write a lot of [unfinished] drafts with a lot of grammatical errors, poor choice of words, and unusually weird names and plot? Read on.

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It begins with a scanned hentai-like romantic manga series saved on a burned CD, which I discreetly viewed out of curiosity. And that’s how I become interested in writing a story, though I didn’t have much progress and were left unfinished.

Right after finishing high school back in 2007, I started writing stories ranging from love stories to mysteries, and later dark-themed ones. As with my earlier works, it remains unfinished. Imagine that, it’s already more than a decade when I started writing these unfinished works. I guess I really need to do more than just writing stories… I also need to know how to make a better plot for my stories, something I’m not really good at, even up to this day.

One of the stories I worked on is “In The Last 5 Years” which is somewhat based off my sixth-grade and high school life, only everything in that story is a product of my unusual imagination. I made a lot of progress on that story, but somehow I decided it was really pointless to write such an unrealistic story where a sixth-grade student is living alone in a condominium, acting like a teenager with a part-time job. Very unrealistic indeed.

It was about September or October that year when I was really making progress on a dark-themed story entitled “Nightmares” which was eventually rewritten and retitled as “The Madcap” about four or five years later. The story centers around a 14-year-old boy named Radcliff who was kidnapped along with his brother, who later died from multiple injuries, possibly due to the fact that he was tortured by a group of kidnappers. Since then, he hasn’t fully recovered from this distress and in the end, he took his own life. The thought of writing such morbid story is somewhat horrifying for me to proceed, and that one too was abandoned. Again, it was eventually rewritten and retitled as “The Madcap”, with a light ending. It is one of the two novellas I finished so far.

The following year, I was really fired up in writing a few stories, one of them is “The White Ribbon”. I actually read an article talking about depression and suicide, and I came across the fact that the color white represents innocence when young ones depart. I know it’s totally unrelated to what I’m reading, but it was there in the article and that spurred me to write the aforementioned title. The story focuses on the youngest child named Terry who was banished from the house by his own father after an unfortunate incident involving his twin brother. He then transferred to another school but not after he slashed his left wrist, leaving his new friends mystified about what lies behind the black handkerchief. Eventually, he told them the truth and he gained a lot of support from his new friends. However, he was longing for his father’s forgiveness that he was hoping that he would reconsider. But things don’t go as expected and in the end, he (oh dear, not again) took his own life. Another version of the story is that his father was dying and wished to see Terry in order to beg for his forgiveness but he refused to forgive him. His father later died of a broken heart but Terry then decided that he did the right thing and tried to move on. Both of these stories remain unfinished as of this writing, but I’m considering rewriting it one of these days.

Of course, there are a lot more stories I can actually feature in this throwback post, but none of them are as remarkable as the ones mentioned here… well, except for the ones I’m currently working on (and still unfinished as of this writing).

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I may have done a lot of writing. But of course, they’ll end up as unfinished drafts and will always be… unless I decided to either continue them or rewrite them, depending on how I feel about it.

Has it been that long? I know I could do better than these unfinished drafts and stories, but would it be nice if I can actually finish them? I mean, I already finished two novellas but I don’t think they’re any better than the novels that I’ve read many years ago. But then, there’s always room for improvement.

My writing career isn’t over yet. I know I can finish another story in due time. And hopefully, it will end up in Wattpad as soon as I’m done writing it.

i150W: Strange Thoughts

I tend to feel strange at times. And that’s how I started having strange thoughts.

Everything I read, watch, dream, experience, hear, and discover may contribute to such strange thoughts I’m having at the moment. I tend to feel immersed in that thought and that makes me feel excited and anxious at the same time.

Do you know what it feels like to have strange thoughts? Well, it’s like having a warm and fuzzy feeling, almost like a heartwarming feel-good moment. You couldn’t help smiling at the thought of this weird feeling and you certainly don’t want it to end.

Of course, my strange thoughts had an effect on my plans and tasks, and it often serves as an inspiration for some of my writings and fascinations. Even if it only happens for a short period of time, I always enjoy every second of it. Oh well, that was weird.

#Throwback: A Matcha Drink

Matcha craze is real. We have matcha flavored lattes, milk tea, donuts, cakes, Kit Kat bars… you name it!

Of course, I tried a variety of matcha sweets and drinks. Well, I’ll be focusing on the drinks, since that is the #Throwback topic for this post. But first, what is matcha and how it is processed.

The Green Powder That Everybody Loves

Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves.^ It is generally processed by grinding the leaves into a fine green powder, but the preparation is quite tedious. It is classified into three grades: the ceremonial grade (most expensive), the premium grade, and the culinary/cooking grade (least expensive). The ceremonial grade is mainly used in tea ceremonies and Buddhist temples, and are of the highest quality. The premium grade is for daily consumption and contains the full nutritional content. The culinary/cooking grade is suitable for cooking purposes and is slightly bitter than the others.^

Matcha is processed by carefully selecting growing tea buds, which are shaded for 20 days. The harvested fresh tea leaves are steamed at a very high temperature and then cooled. The leaves are then sorted according to grade, removing the stems and veins, and then grinding the leaves into a fine powder.^

Now that I explained what matcha is and how it is processed, then it’s time for some throwback memories about the matcha drinks I’ve had during those times.

April 2016

The first matcha drink I had is a bottled one. It had a milky root crop taste (similar to taro) and it was really good. The moment I want to have one, I can’t find it in some supermarkets. Turns out that it was only available in select convenience store branches and it’s more of a limited edition item.

I must have bought the bottled drink twice or thrice, and I really enjoyed it so much that I wanted to pair it with a matcha flavored donut or Kit Kat. Well, I tried pairing it with a matcha donut, but the donut itself is incredibly too sweet to consume along with the bottled matcha drink that I felt jittery after that. I guess that was the last time I had that bottled matcha drink. Since then, I can no longer find that particular bottled matcha drink anywhere as of this writing.

January 2017

I always order fruit tea or fruit-flavored milk teas whenever I passed by a milk tea shop. But that time, I just noticed something written on a small blackboard beside the counter. Yup, there’s a matcha drink available at the milk tea shop I frequented. I asked the person at the counter if it’s still available, and she said yes.

Before long, I already sat down in one of the tables, with a matcha drink in hand. I enjoyed an entire afternoon sipping the matcha milk tea and marvel at its mild flavor… absolutely not too bitter.

I was hoping to have another sip of the matcha milk tea again, but they always ran out of stock, therefore, they’re not always available. Oh well, I’ll try to have one when I got the chance.

Postscript

Of course, these are not the only times when I had some of the matcha drinks.

Sure, it was kind of a premium (and at times, expensive) treat, but this shouldn’t stop me from having a cup (or a bottle) of it. After all, matcha drinks are something worth enjoying, don’t you agree?