Thursday, March 31, 2011

cultural lessons from a 13 year old + pics from last post

today i learned something new.

today was a beautifulllll day in valencia! hot and sunny, just how i like it. so when i went to the school to tutor this morning i forced the girls to sit with me on the terrace despite their complains against the heat (how could you not like the heat?!) anyways so as we were chatting and they were sweating we started to talking about being in school plays. then they told me how to say "good luck" in spanish. now if you have any knowledge of the language, directly translated you would say Bueno suerte! or something like that. instead, the girls told me you say "Mucha Mierda". now ..directly translated...mucha mierda literally means "a lot of *the-not-nice-word for poop*". you can imagine my surprise. but i asked why and they told me an interesting story that i felt compelled to share with you so that you too can be cultural.  

back in the yonder days people would go to the theatre (or is it theater??) for entertainment. except since they obvi didnt have cars back then they would go by horse + carriage. if a lot of peeps went to watch you perform at a theatre, that would mean lots of horses were out in the streets, and thus "lots of poop". so thats why instead of good luck they say "mucha mierda". interesting huh? i dont recommend telling that story to your boss.

tomorrow were going to the mercado central and la playa because its supposed to be sunny and hot!!! yayy spring is finally here!
oh and here some pics from last time:
on the double decker tourist bus

in front of the pretty catedral

in soller, mallorca

playa de palma!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

palm trees!

so just a little update on ze madre situation...things over this side of the pond have been getting better with in, i think she's forgotten about the tostada/mermelada incident. haha. however, last week i wanted to snap a pic of dinner and with her so i could post it for you guys but when i took my camera out & asked to take a pic w/ her, she flat out told me "no porque necesito ponerme guapa" aka...she has to make herself look prettier?? which like...she's 76 years old i dont know who she's trying to woo but to each his own i guess (<--does that saying even apply here?)

okay anyways on to mallorca!

soo originally it was supposed to be me anna sarah carly and yeans but last minute sarah & yeans had other plans. i had forgotten that i bought the tix earlier for a flight that was earlier w/ sarah so since she wasn't coming anymore, it was just gonna be me myself and i chillin in the airport for 5 1/2 hours until anna & carly arrived. no pasa nada

skipped my one arte class that day (which turned out, only 5 ppl went anyway haha), figured out the metro (go me!), somehow managed to not have my one bag weighed by the psycho RyanAir people (because it was definitelyyy more than 10kg), & made it to mallorca! i got a little ansy w/ all the duty free & couldn't resist buying some peanut m&m's (love those things) & other chocolate goodies while i was waiting..typical me

so the girls finally arrive & by the time we made it back to our hostel we were beat. so we went to sleep.
friday morning we woke up early to get in on the included-breakfast action & then set off for the day. we walked over to the plaza d'españa (i think every city in spain has one of these haha) & saw that big red open air tourist bus. we got starry-eyed. a guided tour that'll take us to all the important stops in mallorca! sidenote: my computers being uber fussy and isnt letting me upload pics at the moment so see fbook for some pics!
anyways so the bus was great because our tix were valid for 24 hours so that meant we could go on and off at the different places that we wanted and all would be grand. it went around to 16 different stops, all over the city of Palma but we decided to get off at the most important: the catedral y el castillo de bellver. both superrrr cool and the former was breathtaking! also, the only catedral in the world (so they say) that reflects in the water (because its built next to the playa!) anyways, as per recommendation of my daddio we walked all around the old streets behind the cathedral where they have looots of tapas restaurants & neat shops. including a "chocolate factory" where carly bought the most delicious dark chocolate truffle i think ive ever had in my life.
so after a long nap, tapas dinner, and some mojitos, we decided to bar hop until we arrived at the discotecas. the funniest part about going to these discotecas in all these cities is that the VIEWS are literally INSANE! like they alllll are in prime picture-taking location and Tito's in mallorca was no exception. had to take a glass elevator to get up to the top [niiice].
in true fashion, we were hungry by the time we left tito's only to discover the tour de latenight that is mallorca. food stands liiiine the playa and stay open until 7-8AM! we were in heaven. we stopped for a super giant hot dog (no carne for me), french fries, & ended w/ a sweet treat aka dulce de leche crepe (probs the best flavor ive chosen thus far).

on saturday morning our receptionist guy recommended we take this really cute old wooden train thats been around since 1912 to take us to a town in the north of mallorca called Soller. We couldn't have asked for better weather. literally the train rides through beautiful forests and cuts through mountains. i mean the views were absolutely amazing and when we arrived at the town, there was a market going on!! ugh my favorite!! i freakin love these open air markets with all the specialized people with all their specialized products. this one was especially cute, and it had FREE SAMPLES!! ohh i died. slash went sample-crazy. they also had people squeezing oranges and selling the best tasting orange juice evaaaa! tasted literally like you bit into an orange. no synthetic chemicals and preservatives! just the way i like it! of course they sold other stuff besides food like traditional clothing and castinette's but the food in these places makes me googly-eyed so sorryyy for the excessive descriptions.
after the mercado we took a tram over to the port de soller where the beach was! finally some beach time!! it was a little chilly still but we managed to bite the bullet and pass out in the sun for a couple hours before heading to a cafe right on the water for a little lunch. i felt like i was on my honeymoon minus the...husband. bummer.

sunday we basically just lounged the whole day by the beach even though it was chillier than the previous 2 days because our flight wasn't until the night. all in all a great vacay and im so happy i went!!

this week my tutoring lady wants me to come back three times this week! eeeek at least im makin some c@$h m0n3Y ya know? haha also, the program finally took our suggestions and tomorrow we're going to see a traditional flamenco show! bet you didn't know that when i was younger i made my mama buy me a flamenco dress from spain and i wore it to school for show-n-tell HA wish i could show you a pic of THAT! anyways its 12:40 and i have to write a paper (can you tell im procrastinating??) sooo ¡hasta luego!

Monday, March 28, 2011

faulty vids

sorry about the fallas vid that didn't show up...i think it's too long and it won't download :/ ill try another day.

but for now, here is a lil vid i took during the bullfight. now its just like you were there! i got a kick outta this guy haha

more to come on mallorcaaaa!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I could give you a play by play of everything we did during Fallas but it would be a novel post & words really cant describe this experience. nevertheless, i shall try (but def check my new f-book album with the pics!!)

alrighty so here we go

Last week we only had class on Monday & got the rest of the week off for "Fallas festivities." On Tuesday morning it was gloomy outside when we woke up so we crawled back into bed until lunchtime. After lunch the skies cleared up & we went for a run in the parque. went to our favorite hang-out spot w/ the rest of the crew [BEER--really though, that's what the bar is called] and topped off the night w/ our first real churro's from the churro stands i talked about earlier. phenomenal.

Wednesday we couldnt get our lazy butts out of bed before lunch again but after lunch we ventured out into the world because the weather was beautiful! sarah and i decided to head to the center of the city to see what kind of action was going on there. we ran into a really cool mercade de las fallas that had loots of vendors selling literally everything under the sun from candied peanuts to handmade fairies...lots of fresh cakes/nuts/breads/etc & doo-dad's (sp?). of course churros were at every other stand. we walked all around the city to see all of the Fallas. let me explain what this is. they're these creepy looking sculpture-ish things that they build all around the city in the plazas. who builds them you ask? our prof explained it as somewhat like a country club. people pay money to become part of a certain "falla" & then if you're a girl you're known as a fallera and a boy is a fallero. these fallera/o people get to dress up in big dresses & traditional clothing and march allllll around the city of valencia. every day. with lots of music. at all hours of the day. anyways, so each falla hires an artist to design their falla and they're all critiques of something of society (either political, social, etc).
here is some fallera people casually waking down the street in the afternoon

and this is a falla (i have no idea how to explain this one)
there's 385 of ^ those guys (but different of course). there's a competition to see whose is best and the winner gets lots of cash money. more on these guys later

every afternoon they have a thing called "mazcletá" which is a essentially a noise-fest in the center of the city. i dont even really know exactly what it is that makes the noise but let me tell you, it sounds like explosives (probably is...) and the finale?? you basically go deaf if you're anywhere near the plaza. the Spaniards go nuts over these mazcletás.
okay so another part of fallas is a thing they call "castillo". this is a fireworks show but one of the best fireworks shows i've ever seen!! better than fourth of july, boat parade, etc. AND every night they get better! this is also a competition because each night they have a different choreographer. the whole entire city meets on the rio (which is the parque that i've talked about before) and watch the show for 20 mins and theeen go all over the entire city to party on the streets, go to concerts in the middle of streets, and eat churros on the middle of the streets. they also have pretty lights all over the streets that look like this ^ .

here is a little video so you can get an idea of what the streets looked like
since thursday was st patty's day, we decided to get in touch w/ our irish roots and go to an irish pub to hang out to celebrate. sadly no green beer there (i settled for sangria instead). one thing lead to another and before we know it, we made friends with half the bar (they were all actually members of the same family that go to this pub every year for st patty's day).
we went out that night making our way through different street parties and actually also discovered an FSU program thats here in Valencia also! 

on friday jean's padres went out of town so we seized the opportunity to go grocery shopping and make gigantic salads. we also mozied around the río for a little bit because it was a gorgeousss day!
on friday night starts another Fallas tradition called the Ofrenda. Remember all those fallera/o people i told you about walking around the whole city during the days? well, eventually those people all end up in the Plaza de la Virgen where they have put up a gigaaaantic Virgin Mary (but just the structure of her). All these people carry bunches of roses to her and when they get there, some dudes put them up on her dress. the finished product is a Virgin Mary with a cape that's made entirely out of flowers!!

our madre says lots of people always get emotional during this part

saturday is the last day of Fallas and the most important day because this is when they BURN them! earlier in the night they have a parade of fire (called the Nit de Foc) where they have all these dudes dressed up in crazy looking costumes and outfits (like devils and demon-type things) and they run through the streets w/ sparklers and firesticks and other weird fire-spitting contraptions. then at 1AM they start the fires. all 385 of them! except they do them a couple at a time because they have to wait for the bomberos (firefighters) to get there first. we were wandering around the streets hoping to catch one and then ultimately decided to plop down at one that was still intact and wait for it. we waited for two hours. BUT then when the bomberos finally came, we were front row! look at this neat video i got of them lighting it up!

pretty neat huh? after 5 nights of going out, i was pretty exhausted so after this thing burned down, i called it a night.

What better way to end our Spanish week with a bullfight?? On sunday afternoon we watched a "corrida de los toros". a lot bloodier than a remember (a long time ago i went to one in madrid w/ my mama and sisters). it was also a lot sadder than i remember. maybe it's cuz i dont eat meat anymore. let me tell ya, after watching this, i think this vegetarian thing is for good. here's a little snippet of the bull w/ the matador! we watched three different  matadors, but this one definitely loved himself the most! check out his body language hahah also, i didnt get any pics or a video but the last matador was only 24 yrs old and he was gushing blood from his shin after the bull knocked him over. he could barely walk but he insisted on finishing the fight against this 3000 lb bull. everyone in the crowd kept saying "que valiente!" haha sounds kinda like a fool to me yikes

well i'm off to bed because it's 3AM and me carly and anna are going to mallorca tomorrow! yippeee cross your fingers for sun! my pastey face is scaring me

Thursday, March 10, 2011

things i am loving

let's talk about some things that i'm loving right now...

1) spanish teenagers' conversations
    For those of you that don't know, i've been doing about 5-7 hours of tutoring a week here in valencia, ages 9-16 (and every age in between) SO that means i get to hear a lot of kids talking. kids talking to me, kids talking to their parents, kids talking to each other. the last type is the type i like best though. i love it. it's literally like im a fly listening in on a convo in another world. i know that sounds really obvious because duh, they're not speaking english, but everything about their interactions is different... and it's hilarious. for example spanish people are much more blunt than americans. they don't worry about being overly polite with their please's, thank you's, and i'm sorry's. they just say "pass the bread." "you took my woman." etc. so the same thing goes when spanish kids talk to each other. they're really blunt. what you see is what you get and what you say is what you mean. sometimes when the guys want to make comments about what im saying, they'll whisper really low & fast to each other cuz they think i cant understand them. i chuckle a devilish laugh in my head because i can understand every word! also, the spanish teenage boys looove having girlfriends. i think its because they don't realize american boys "can have their cake & eat it too" --which is quite sad/pathetic. (so let's not tell them and corrupt them though). they also call each other tio and hombre (which literally translates to "uncle" and "man") but they call girls that too. it's kinda like saying dude. except they use it every third word. so a little excessively. it's really cute. one day ill get a pic with them and put it on here

2) fallas/churrería's
    Go to google images right now and type in "Fallas." Pretty neat, huh? those things look like they belong in an alice & wonderland world, with all their exaggerated features & weird-looking shapes. I would describe Fallas as a rough mix between Mardi Gras/New Year's Eve/Macy's Day Parade. It's basically this week-long festival in (and only in!) Valencia that happens every year (march 15-20). For four days they have parties in the streets, music, pretty lights, fireworks, little girls in funny-looking costumes called falleras, those float thingies called fallas (they literally work on these things from the day Fallas ends to the day it starts the following year) and then on the last day they light them all on fire. FIRE! these fallas things are allllll over the city so basically on the last day it looks like the entire city is up in flames. There's no school & pretty much anything goes during this week. "Petardos" (think firecrackers) are legal even though they are illegal everywhere/anytime else. Drinking in the streets is rampant. a city of normally around 800,000 people turns into a city of 3 million. there's kids flyin everywhere with those petardo thingies. it's pretty much debauchery but everyone says its the best week in valencia. but let me tell you why it's really the best week. besides all this really cool traditional stuff with the dresses & the outfits & the music, they also have a tradition of putting churro stands on the corner of the streets. literally every street, just casually baking up millions of churros & chocolate for people to snack on while they're partying all over the place. let me just tell you- the city smells like a giant bakery. like im living in a baker's oven. and it's torture! torture i tell you because i can't stop at every street and get a churro (trust me, i want to but i need to fit into my jeans still). bottom line: the smells here are amazinggggggg. i die.

3) food blogs
    this is rather a new obsession of mine that i've picked up on since i came here and realized i can't just go into the kitchen and make what i wanna make, when i wanna make it. it kinda feels like food jail. (hence when me and sarah had to SNEAK into the kitchen & then later got caught.....and punished....). anyways, so first i started with this blog. This lady Joy knows what she's talkin about. she makes a good mix of sweet & savory recipes that are all pretty easy and then even some really cool ones like homemade almond milk! also she makes eggnog pancakes so i mean, c'mon, how could i not be intrigued?! her blog led me to this blog which is currently my favorite baking blog because the things Jess makes, makes me drool over my keyboard. then that led me to this one and this one and this one and most importantly this one. Do you see my dilemma here? before i knew it, it was 2 in the morning the night before my exam and i was still bookmarking recipes. this is actually a little embarrassing to share now that im typing it out but you get the picture. this also leads me to my next thing i love...

4) MY CARE PACKAGE!!!!! :)
    So a couple weeks ago, amidst my 15+ blog repetoire, i came across this little recipe and my mouth dropped. anybody who knows me knows chocolate chip cookies are my ultimate, absolute, for better or for worse weakness. like i cannot i repeat cannot help myself when im around them. ive never heard of this bakery in nyc but fat, cakey choco chip cookies are my absolute favorite (even though the flat ones will do also). so naturally, i desperately emailed the recipe to my kind, huge-hearted sister Christina. Guess what came in the mail today?
DO I NOT HAVE THE SWEETEST SISTER IN THE WORLD OR WHAT?! she literally read my mind and put together this cookbook of all these amazing, old, secret, family recipes that is the PERFECT start to all the cooking/baking/creating i am going to be doing this summer (i've been inspired to turn this into a food blog when i return to america). and dulce de leche girl scout cookies?!?!? i died and went to heaven. needless to say i remembered to snap this shot after i shoveled 5 cookies into my mouth. did i mention she also put these in the care package too??! are you jealous yet?? don't worry i'll make you some too this summer. or better yet- you go make them! right now! you have freedom to walk into the kitchen (unlike me) so go do it! and send me a pic :)

last but certainly not least.....

5) Granada!
    You may or may not have seen my status this weekend BUT we went to Granada last weekend! since time is limited and we wanted to make the most of it, we decided to catch an overnight bus on Thursday night that arrived in Granada at 8am Friday morning. when we got there, the skies were grey (gray?). like really grey. and rainy. and cold. ick. BUT we had pre-purchased tickets to the alhambra that day so we were determined to still go. granada's a much smaller city compared to valencia so the gals and i wanted to walk everywhere and instead of catching the bus to the alhambra (that is uphill...) we thought itd be a great idea to walk. well besides being rainy & cold it was a great idea. but right before we scaled the mountain we decided to stop in a little cafe for a round of beers and BS (the cardgame). we trekked up to the top and after wandering around the whole thing finally found the entrance & went in. pretty neat place. it's amazing that people could build things like that hundreds of years ago!! so anyways, later we go back to the hostel, shower/change, & meet up w/ one of anna's friends who is studying abroad in Valencia. She took us to this amazingg tapas restaurant called D'Cuadros where you order a drink and a huuge plate of tapas comes out. FOR FREE. we ended up getting 3 bottles of wine, 6 plates of food, and only paid 7 euros each. amazing. then we hit the town for a couple hours until eventually heading back to our hostel where sarah broke the bed. (dont ask).
The next day we woke up and sun was brilliantly shining! we were soo excited that we insisted on going back up to the alhambra to retake our nasty pictures from before and walk around the city some more. it was a great idea. on the way down we stopped for lunch and i had my very first donor kebap. the owner was soo nice & it was so fun chatting with him about granada. after showering/changing back at the hostel, we headed out for dinner, and stopped in a restaurant that was recommended by someone we asked on the street. then we had to leave because every dish was over 20 euros (we forgot to look at the menu before). then we went into another place...not good food. then we went into another place...really crowded. after 6 failed attempts at finding restaurants, we threw the towel in & just went into a crepe place at midnight. it was pretty good & we shut the place down. typical us.
ridin solooo in this shot
sarah & jean had decided that they were going to go skiing on Sunday & since the cold and me are basically like water & oil, i decided to stay back with yacks. after dinner, we all headed to a discoteca called El Camborio that sits across from the Alhambra. its suuch a cool place. the dance floor is inside of this big glass dome so the view out the window is the Alhambra all lit up! its pretty amazing. me & yacks stayed there for a couple hours dancing the night away with loots of teen-tourists & then went back to sleepy sleep. Sunday morning we woke up feeling wonderful (Sarah & jean left at 8am for their ski trip) so yacks & i had a loong breakfast, chatting over café & tostada. We didnt exactly have a set plan for the day so we just started walking. and walking and walking all over the place, through neighborhoods, and plazas, and the albaicin (all the houses are white & antique-looking -- kinda reminds me of santorini). anyways at the top we stumbled onto the most amazing little patio staring directly at the alhambra!! amazing views of the entire city-yacks & i were freaking out. on our way down the mountain we passed by this really cool turkish restaurant so we decided to stop in for an afternoon delight of hummus, Moroccan bread, and hookah. niice.

cute swimsuits, huh?
Sarah & Jean got back just in time for our special excursion that yacks & i planned while they were gone- an appointment in the ARAB BATHS! how cool! these are what the arab people that used to live in spain used to bath in. there were 7 pools, each with different water temperatures. it was soo relaxing. yacks snuck her camera in and managed to snap a shot before the masseus (massage lady?) came scurrying over to tell her "¡no fotos!" hahaha. anyways, we decided to go back to d'cuadro's for dinner because we knew it would be delicious & cheap & fast. after dins, we headed back to the bus station, popped some tylenol pm's and before i knew, i was back in valencia :)

sorry this post was a novel...i congratulate slash thank you if you've read this far. i'm off to bed-
¡hasta luego!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No hay mal que por bien no venga

hi. sorry it's been a real long time..i forgot we had these little things called midterms. speaking of midterms, ya like the album title? 'member when i told you in my first post that i'm really bad with idiomatic expressions/sayings?? well, for my translation class we had to learn 50 idiomatic expressions in spanish. i don't even know any in english. but now i can even say that gift horse one in spanish! talk about learning experience (also the title in english means "every dark cloud has a silver lining")

anyways, i've got some good stories for ya today.

where should i start? i think i'm gonna go backwards so i can remember stuff.
SO today i had three midterms. yes three. 4 1/2 hours of straight test-taking. thats like the same as the SAT's but like worse because it's all essay. it was really fun NOT im actually really convinced that my spanish lit teacher things im the biggest bimbo there is and is extremely subjective when grading and thus refuses to give me a good grade. you can imagine how well i did on the exam today...yaaaaaaa. i lie. i actually don't think ive ever written two worse essays than i did for that midterm despite studying + paying attention in class (dont kill me yet dad!). sometimes ya just gotta get on the teacher's good side though ya know. too bad i dont have my own oven to make these... then i bet he'd give me a good grade. oh well.

speaking of food, i gotta tell you some stuff about madre.
last week sarah and i had the best week of meals. like everything our favorite, she made. AND SALADS! salads came with every meal. it was great. tasty. plus, i asked her for tea one time after dinner and then i got it every time after. it was delish. our bellies were very happy.
then we had a little incident. ya see, sarah and i are not really fond of the 9 hour time gap between lunch and dinner, so one time, when she was out, we snuck into the kitchen and ate some tostadas with marmelada. and i by some i mean we had one each. and mayybeee a tablespoon of jelly.
so then the next morning, while sarah and i are eating breakfast, she comes up to us and starts ranting in spanish about how there was enough cereal/toast/and jelly for breakfast last night when she went to bed and now there's not enough and blah blah blah asking us if we ate it. obvi sarah and i had to deny it - it was soo awkwardddddddddd but i mean sue me lady i got hungry! she was pissed. then she brought it up AGAIN at dinner that night and started mumbling something under her breath (i think a prayer for our souls) to which we ate in silence without the TV on. double awkward.
so now, since she's pissed, she's back to giving us nasty food (including the gross mushroom pasta she gave us tonight...) and salads are few and far between. sigh. maybe i should get her flowers or something. she keeps sending hints.

happy 21st carly! :)

in other news! let's go back to last week. last wednesday was carly's 21st birthday -happy birthday carly fries!- so we celebrated by going to a fancy lebanese restaurant (it was sooo gooooood) and got a delicious chocolate cake that literally had me drooling the entire meal. the rest of the girls went out but i, like a true nerd, had 5 hours of tutoring the next day, so i figured it would be best to go home. 

over the weekend, sarah fled to geneva to see a high school friend (jealous) so i held down the fort with feli here. luckily our friend megan maclean who is studying in Grenada this semester came to Valencia! so that was uber fun! she didnt get in until friday night so during the day, since we didn't have class and it was gorgeoussss outside, i went for a really nice in the parque and then met up with yackie again later in the parque for some gal talk. later that night i went to go get megan from the hostel she was staying in (because our madre told us we couldn't have people stay here even though other people's madres let them COOL). after meeting up with the rest of the crew, we mozied over to this really authentic italian restaurant that was sooo delicioussss. i got pasta w/ pesto and i think i devoured it in 3 minutes. for dessert i was convinced against my will to get the cheesecake because the waiter said it was the best (never heard that one before) but let me tell was literally the. best. you could totes tell they made it from scratch; creamy goodness over crunchy shortbread crust topped with a homemade, warm strawberry sauce. im salivating.
since we got these flyers for a "nations party" earlier that day at this cool discoteca called Indiana, we decided to try it out. it was a really cool place...loots of study abroad people which was nice to meet other foreigners! they also played really good american music which was essential for the mood, ya feel me? on saturday i had every intention of waking up before lunch but that didn't happen so i ate lunch w/ madre. paella! the second time she's ever made it. this was before the breakfast incident though, back when she liked us and didn't punish us with meals. how does she know me so well?! anyway it was great and after stuffing my belly to the brim i rolled back over to megan's hostel and we wandered around valencia all day. on saturday night, madre said megan could come over for dinner. she made tortilla and chicken (fish for me) and for dessert she even gave strawberries and whip cream! she really liked megan and couldn't stop saying how sweet she was :-) i walked megan back to her hostel after the Feli Show (which was legit two hours and ranged in topic from franco to what constitutes a marriage) and we called it a night. 
Sunday was the first day of the partying before Fallas so they had this big parade/bomb-sounding explosions called "Mazcletá" in the BKP (they are going to have this festival every day at 2pm until Fallas) so it was a nice way for megan to spend her last day! sarah also returned from geneva just in time to see megan for a couple hours.
That was my fun weekend.
And then i had a paper and presentation due monday, an exam on tuesday, and THREE exams on wednesday. also, can i just say really quickly before this post turns into a novel, that whoever said the classes abroad are easy are liars. straight lies. taking five spanish classes is not easy unless you take grammar 201. taking five spanish literature classes is like taking five english literature classes but then having to translate and interpret everything you read. so like....doubly hard. ok im done ranting.