Sunday, November 18, 2012

Catherine Vanderbilt

Side View 
Where do I start?  There is so much to share.  

Key notes...
  • Asheville is Amazing
  • The Biltmore is breathtaking
  • Rental Cars are ALWAYS low points in vacations.  When will I learn my lesson?
  • I love Starbucks more and more each day
  • I'd like to go back to 1895 and marry a Vanderbilt, or simply be a slave to one in their majestic kitchen.
The Story

I met up with two amazing friends from Louisiana in Ashville, NC.  Asheville is a 5 hour drive from Lewisburg, and well worth the trip.  Being that J and I are a one vehicle family, I rented a car to met my friends and bring us all back to Lburg.  I reserved a compact car, and Alamo upgraded me to a 2013 Altima.  Saying I was a nervous wreck driving a car that felt like a Rolls Royce compared to my Corolla would be an sad understatement.  But the saddest part of all is that I felt so chic driving it.  (this only turned into a low point when I returned the car, and got a lovely $175 fee for a crack in the windshield)

I plugged in my John Kerouac On the Road audiobook, day dreamed of becoming Mrs. Vanderbilt of 1895, and cruised in my Rolls Royce for 5 beautiful hours. This trip was starting off on the right foot.

Megan and Brooke made it to Asheville shortly after I did and we grabbed dinner, turned on Jersey Shore (a first for me), and fell asleep in our quiet, cozy hotel room  (Mamma Megan even put pillows at my feet to keep me warm). That is, until the 10 guys in the room adjacent to us commenced in their loud discussion of "their powder stash" at 2 A.M.  

For a while, I thought I was the only unfortunate sleepy soul that could hear them, but when Brooke frantically shot up out of bed, soldier marched to the door, and slung it open.... I knew I wasn't the only one missing valuable shut eye.

We called the front desk to make a complaint, and then had nightmares that our powder friends were going to come shoot our hotel room up.  Asheville is safe, and our hotel room was nice.  Why all three of us thought we were sleeping under a bridge in Detroit is beyond me.

I have a horrible habit of not being able to fall asleep once I wake up in a panic, and after the powder fiasco... I spent a solid hour staring at the ceiling dreaming of becoming a Vanderbilt.  Despite my desperate need for sleep, I decided to cut my losses and be productive.  I snuck out of bed, got dressed in the dark, and made my way out of our room.  My clock said it was 5:30, which meant I was only 30 minutes away from being the first in line at Starbucks.  EXCEPT one little bitty small issue.  The time changed for my Louisiana friends and the clock I was looking at was wrong. 

I made it to the front desk (bird's nest hair, backwards shirt and all), asked where the nearest Starbucks was, and felt my heart drop when he told me the time.  4:30 A.M.

I pulled out a book, browsed facebook for a while, and people watched until it was time to make my way to soy lattes.  

I don't have the best sense of direction, but for some reason... I can find a Starbucks shop even if it's weighted down in a trash bag at the bottom of the Mississippi River.  

This one was only down the street.  

They played Louis Armstrong, and I loved them all the more for it.

Around 8 A.M. I headed back to the room, and we all got dressed and headed for the Biltmore.  I knew the Biltmore would be amazing, but I had no idea of it's vast acreage and beauty.  It's like a grown up Disney World with green houses.

I've always felt so strange, because when I visit museums or antebellum homes I always picture living there in it's prime.  I love the smells, the breeze that sneaks through the small cracks in old windows, and I love dreaming of how life was like centuries ago.  I thought I was alone in this, but Brooke and Megan proved me wrong.  They were mesmerized by it all just like me, and Brooke let it show.  :)

We drank bloody marys at The Stable Cafe, walked the gardens, picked up truffles from The Sweet Shop, went to a wine tasting, and walked in every shop the Biltmore had to offer.

My lovely friend who always comes to visit me in my many random locations!  :)

The most hilarious girl I've ever met!  She kept us laughing the whole trip!  

Megan blending in with the fall scenery!  

See, I told you!  :)

I cannot express how much fun I had on the this trip!  Thank you Megan and Brooke for making it so special!  :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Long Time No See

Thanks to Cap for keeping the blog going during the last two weeks. My apologies on being MIA. I decided that Hurricane Sandy was the best excuse yet to forego media of all kinds (blogs, facebook, twitter, internet in general, tv, cable, hulu, etc.). Sandy also knocked out the internet for four days. I spent most of Sandy and the past weekend curled up on the couch with Harry and a heating pad. I wasn't sick or hurt. I just really like laying on a heating pad. And by Harry, I mean the wizarding one. You know, Potter.

Despite all of my curling up and reading, I found myself surprisingly busy as well. For instance, I just spent the last two days in a strategic planning meeting with about 15 other women (wooooo...) for the museum. I then had to attend a Junior League Board Meeting (snooooze... when you're not on the board, its not very interesting) to make my provisional requirements. I sound like I know what I'm talking about, don't I?

I spent all day Monday and Tuesday thinking that it was actually Wednesday. Today, I keep thinking its Friday. I am obviously very confused.

I have also taken on some extra-curricular work that requires hours upon hours of computer work. But at $30/hour, I am NOT complaining. Not one bit.

So needless to say, all of this combined with a water spill on my dear, beloved Mac that found him (yes, personified) resting in a box of rice for two days means that I have sadly been unable to blog! Interestingly, I have hardly contemplated clever ways of murdering W for the past two months. Progress on this whole how-to-not-murder thing!

However, I did want to murder him and his school when I found out that we won't know his days off (positively assuming he will have at least one) for Thanksgiving until the Monday of Thanksgiving week. WHAT. That is ridiculous. I am not happy.

I also wanted to murder him and the federal government when I got another call from collections because our insurance company wouldn't pay for a medical related expense, and none bothered to send us a bill. Where's my affordable healthcare, Mr. President?

Sorry. That's not really a political statement. That's frustration with all of the promises of Obamacare of which this hardworking, tax-paying woman has seen ZILCH. Not that I agreed with it in the first place, but if we are all being "helped" by it, I would like to experience this help. Just saying.

But let's go back to how W is a 3rd year medical student, who is required to have health insurance to be in school, and so has to pay for it out of pocket since his wife (me) is lame and works for a non-profit that doesn't have insurance and pays her pennies. Let's also talk about how expensive this health insurance is each and every month. Then, let's talk about how it pays for NOTHING and then doesn't alert us to not paying for the nothing.

How ironic that my medical student husband and I cannot afford "affordable healthcare".

Off soap box.

So, the issue of days off for Thanksgiving and health insurance have been the only episodes that might have threatened the well being of dear W. Fortunately, I have learned to take out my frustrations in the kitchen.

Here is what I have been dishing up lately with links to recipes:

 (from left to right: jalapeno cheddar, plain, rosemary, lemon zest and gruyere)

I have made 3 loaves of this bread and will be making a loaf to take to my Junior League recipe exchange this weekend. (I know, I hate myself a little for saying that.) I have made cheddar jalapeno and rosemary, lemon zest, and gruyere. The latter is definitely a favorite!

I made this Hoppin' Johns inspired recipe. I wish that I had used smoked sausage or ham instead of chopped up pork. Other than that, it was a hit! I love one pot meals. I used 20 minute rice and frozen black eyed peas that I cooked beforehand.

Then, on the day that Sandy hit and it SNOWED in OCTOBER, I made this homemade tomato soup. All I had in the cupboard was a can of tomato sauce/puree and half and half instead of heavy cream. It was still delicious! Just add more stock/water if you use tomato sauce/puree.

My new breakfast of choice is a smoothie, and its delicious. Ingredients: half of a frozen banana, 8 frozen or fresh strawberries, 1 large handful of spinach, 1/2 - 2/3 cup of skim milk, 1 heaping tbs. of peanut butter, 1 tsp. honey, 1 heaping tbs. of yogurt. Blend and enjoy! I just started adding plain Greek yogurt. I am NOT a yogurt fan but wanted extra protein and the good stuff that yogurt has, so I started adding what I could handle. Yogurt unfortunately triggers my gag reflex. So far though, I don't really notice it in the smoothie.

If you like mustard greens, this recipe with onions and pasta is delicious especially with a side of kielbasa!

This is one of my favorite pork loin recipes. I make variations of it all the time. The most recent was this Sunday, when I made a pork roast in my dutch oven with carrots and potatoes. I didn't have white wine, so I used chicken stock instead. I LOVE lemon with roasted veg and meat. Yum.

So, who's coming for dinner????


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Religion, Man.

This is a difficult blog to write, but it’s been on my mind a lot lately.  It’s also taking up a lot of my quality mind rest… we’re talking HOURS in bed staring at the ceiling contemplating. 

Contemplating what you may ask? 



Now that that’s out of the way, I will preface this post with a very subtle assuring message for my dear family and friends.


Whew.  I bet you’re all happy to know I’m going to heaven.

Now, let’s get to the hard stuff.

I grew up Pentecostal.  I grew up sneaking in our downstairs bathroom with my mom, sister, and a nice pair of kitchen scissors, to do what every normal family does with mother-daughter time... attempt to trim the dead ends off of our hair while still keeping it in a natural “V” shape.  I was seven.  That’s hard to do with kitchen shears.  Maybe that’s why I’m a hair stylist now. 

I remember being afraid of wearing pants in public in fear of someone from our church seeing us out.  On one occasion, I did run into someone from church.  I remember squeezing my legs together as tight as I possible could, and praying that they would think my jeans were a long skirt.  I also spoke in tongues, and was often found laid out in the front of the pulpit (via the holy ghost) with the other kids from Sunday School.

Can someone say Jesus Camp?


If this is what believing in Jesus requires, you might have to count me out.

Religion has become a controlling, monitored, gossiping, judgmental way of living, and frankly, that’s not what I think believing in Jesus is all about.

I’ve struggled with religions ever since my mother and father got a divorce, and I was suddenly allowed to start cutting my hair, wearing lip-gloss, and heaven forbid… painting my fingernails.  This was a hard change for a nine year old.  I would go to my grandparent’s house and hear, “Tessa’s got them girls in shorts again”, and wonder why in the hell my mother would not warn me about this inevitable persecution before hand.   Geez.  THE SHORTS AREN’T WORTH IT!

Quick shout out to my mom…
One Thanksgiving, I didn’t want to go to my grandparent’s house, because I’d forgotten to pack a skirt to change into, and I didn’t want to upset my grandfather.  My mother, being the smart woman she is, said to me…

“Catherine, do you want to wear skirts everyday?”

“No.”  “Should I want to?”

“You should do whatever feels right in your heart, and when you make that decision, you don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.  Not even family.”


Cut to present. 

Once the strange phase of getting my first real haircut at nine years old was over, I started wondering why all of these churchgoers still wanted to save me.  I didn’t need saving.  I was going to church. I just wasn’t going to their church.

Religion, man.  It’s a crazy thing.

Religion tends to have a way of making everyone in their specific group think that their way is the right way.  Maybe that is just us being humans.  We are of course.. always right.  There are HUNDREDS of different religions out there.  What makes ONE right and another wrong? 

Just take a second, roll your computer chair away from the screen, gaze into the abyss, and think….

What is my normal?

My own personal normal, at seven years old, was being a Pentecostal.  It wasn’t a bad normal.  It didn’t seem strange.  I didn’t know all of the kids at my school weren’t doing the same things at church.  It was my normal.

Now, think about someone in China, India, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and anywhere else in the world. 

What’s their normal?  Buddha? Reincarnation? Muhammad? Allah? Head covers?

Have a mental picture yet?

Great, but we’ve got miles to go…   That was just in THIS time era.

Now, think about the Greeks circa 1675 BCE.

Agamenmon sacrificed his OWN DAUGHTER to Zeus for favorable winds.

Think of Iceland 1000 years ago.  People there believed in Thor.

That was their normal.  Jesus wasn’t even a thought in their mind, much less, a sub religion of Jesus (i.e.: Baptist, Pentecost, Catholic, or Methodists).

Or, keep it real simple and just think about little Suri Cruise.


Her normal is Scientology. 

L. Ron Hubbard, the man who started scientology, was once a science fiction writer who said, 

You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.” 

Normal is relative, people.  And so is religion.

Let's start trying to understand each other's background, struggles, and beliefs instead of creating more adversities between one another? What do you say? 

Changing the subject to something even more debatable... :)

I voted for the first time in my life today.  Talk about empowering!  I should have been doing this years ago. 


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chicken & Dumplings

In honor of Frankenstorm and this cold weather, I thought I would share my favorite (and easiest) way to stay warm...

Frankenstorm Chicken & Dumplings


- one store bought rotisserie chicken
- 1 can cream of chicken
- 1 can cream of celery
- 1 finely diced onion
- 2-3 stalks of finely chopped celery
- 1 cup of sliced fresh carrots
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
-1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1-2 cans of Pillsbury biscuits (Depending on how many dumplings you like in this dish.  I tend to use 1 large can and 1 small can.)


Fill a large stock pot about 3/4 of the way full with water and boil.  While your water is starting to boil, de-bone the rotisserie chicken and set all of the yummy chicken meat aside.  Place remains from de-boning is the stock pot and add salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.  Let the water and chicken remains continue to boil on med-high to high for an hour.  Once the hour has past, remove the chicken remains from the stock pot.  Add cream of celery, cream of chicken, finely diced onion, finely chopped celery, and carrots to the stock pot.  Cook for another hour on med-low heat, stirring occasionally.

During the hour, roll biscuits with rolling pin on a floured surface until they are approximately 1/4 of an inch thick.  Cut into small squares (about an inch) and set aside.  (biscuits are an easy alternative from homemade dumplings, and they taste WONDERFUL.  You can also use frozen dumplings (which are still very yummy) if you really want a quick version of this dish.  My mother always used biscuits... so that is how I prefer them!) :)

After the hour has passed, add in the chicken and cut biscuits.  Let these simmer for about another 45 minutes, and then add in the frozen peas.  Cook for 15-30 more minutes, add salt and pepper if needed, and serve with love.

* If you find the C&D need to be thicker, just add a little bit of sifted flour.

This dish is perfect for weathering snowing days or Frankenstorm.  :)

Hope you enjoy!



*These received the Med Student's seal of approval, and that's a tall order! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The District and Frankenstorm!

 This past weekend we spent the last of our warm days with friends in D.C.  It was fun.  J and I have added D.C. to the top of "The Places We Could Live" list.

The gang(minus me)

We found a LSU bar in Capitol Hill, and decided to hang out with the local fans.  "TACKLE HIM!" became the phrase of the game.  We stole it from the girl at the bar who thought she knew a little something about foozeball.

Molly Malone's yummy bloody mary

Casey was our good luck charm.  We started winning when she walked in!  GEAUX TIGERS!

We ate at Ben's Chili Bowl.  The place where only Obama and Bill Cosby eat free.  :)

We also ate Ethiopian food... It's still up for debate whether I like it or not.  Everyone eats from the same plate with their fingers, and that doesn't sit too well with me. ;)

That's J's hand.  He's waving to the new love of his life.  Good luck loving a med student, hot stuff!

We also had a chance to meet up with Bri and her friends! (Unfortunately, by the time we met up, I was tired of carrying my camera around... so I don't have a C&B in D.C. pic.) Being in a big city is always fun, but being in a big city with lots of friends is even better.  Life felt right again.  I got a daily Starbucks, ate lots of ethnic food, and surrounded myself with big buildings and busy streets.  I love city life.

Today, we are preparing for FRANKENSTORM!  The storm that meteorologist have started calling, "The perfect storm".  YIKES.

What does one do to prepare for their first snow storm?  

They probably fight the crowds at the local supermarkets buying candles, batteries, water, and can goods.

But we just play in the snow.  :)

Mosie's first snow

Be afraid.  Be VERY afraid.

Our backyard

Frankenweenie and J

The Hansel and Gretel house

Hope all of our East Coast friends stay warm and dry this week!  


Friday, October 26, 2012

B Travels to DC

This past weekend was a flash and in the best of ways.

I won't bore you with all of the details, so I will share my travels with you in a very orderly, Type-A-med-student-husband-approved way.

1. It all began with a seven hour road trip with two of my fifty-year-old board members. It was awesome. We stopped every hour to pee and ate schnitzel along the way!

2. I got to Georgetown around 5pm and checked in at the hotel all by my lonesome. I was antsy and excited, so I decided to go for a walk and explore a bit, and yeah, mother nature happened. Torrential downpour sans umbrella.

3. I ducked into a Hagen Dazs for refuge and was guilt-ed into spending $4 on a sorbet that I took three bites of before the rain temporarily let up, inducing me to chuck the sorbet and hightail it back to the hotel. I spent the remaining few hours before Marg arrived painting my nails and watching Twilight movies.....

4. 9pm - Margaret arrived. We went to Thunder Burger. OMG. My burger was so delicious. And the fries?! And the aioli for the fries!? I can't. Marg had a gin martini, dirty. I had a vodka (duh).

1. Marg thought it was a WONDERFUL idea to go see Jessica the psychic. I can attest to this being a very bad idea indeed. We walked up the narrow stairs and into the woman's living room where her eight year old granddaughter was playing on an IPad with a cat snoozing under the chair. "The Psychic" then charged Marg $10--since the $5 special had just run out..............--and proceeded to stare at the ceiling while she read Marg's palm..................................... and got EVERYTHING wrong.

2. Elizabeth got in at midnight so we called it an early evening and got up bright and early Saturday to go explore the Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. I didn't take any pictures there because I was too busy obsessing over the incredible jewelry stands! W will be getting me earrings from one stand for Christmas :). I will post those later.... After the market, we introduced Marg to the US Capitol, which she had confused with the White House. She kept saying, "Where's the big black fence that you stand in front of?????? Its so much bigger than I remember!!" Lawdy.

3. We walked through the sculpture garden on the way to the Natural History Museum.

4. Fall colors in DC on our way to the Natural History Museum and the Hope Diamond.

1. Lunch at Paul's, a favorite bakery. Marg and I split the biggest, most delicious raspberry macaroon we had ever seen. Mmmm.


3. Flamingos! My new obsession.

4. The tiger was very agitated.

1. Dinner at Bistrot du Coin, another favorite. Cotes du Rhone was the beverage of choice.

2. WE FOUND CAP!!! Margaret, Elizabeth, Me, Cap at a rooftop bar.

3. View from the rooftop.

4. Of course, we had to stop and love on the DCPD Clydesdales.

1. Elizabeth escaped early on a plane Sunday morning. Margaret and I thought it would be a great idea to ride bikes all over Georgetown after the previous evening's antics. It actually was awesome! I was very surprised that we were able to stay upright the entire time. We had brunch on a patio by the river with Margaret's BFF, Carrie and then we parted ways. :(

2. My conference began that night at a palatial building near Dupont Circle called Anderson House. It was filled with elderly women drinking gin and scotch. The final day of the conference found me at Gunston Hall Plantation, eight miles south of Mt. Vernon. It was incredible in all of its colonial charm.

3. Napoleonic Bee necklace I purchased at the gift shop and am now obsessed with.

4. Came home to my fluffy daughters and sweet W who is another year older.

Great trip ladies! Let's do it again soon!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Where is my mind?

The lovely Pixies sing one of my favorite songs.
It goes like this...

Your head will collapse
If there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind?

It's been stuck in my head a lot lately.

However, around this medical school stricken house we sing...

Where is Jason's mind? 

Yesterday, I made amazing mexican stuffed peppers with ground turkey.  Since I'm only cooking for two, I wrapped half of the ground turkey in tin foil to save it for another dinner.  I asked J to write ground turkey and the date on the front side.

Simple enough, right?


This is what I found this morning while reaching for my frozen blueberries to make my daily spinach smoothie...

"Ground Turkey & The Date"

Dear Friends, I fear this man's brain is gone... or likely just too full of board material that it no longer has room for normal everyday function.

Either way.. we have reached absent minded/crazy husband period.  Actually we reached that weeks ago.  While I do feel for my sanity through this, I must admit I'm more worried for J.  I've never seen him study so hard for anything in my life.  I know he wants to do well so badly, and for both of our sakes... I hope he dominates that dang test!  I also hope he comes back to me with his brain fully functioning and intact.

Maybe that's asking too much...

I can only hope to get him back to how I found him 10 years ago!  ;)

In other news...

One of my best friends from home sent me a little necklace via snail mail, and my day has been bright ever since!

It's a charm of Louisiana and a turquoise stone.  Could she know me any better?  I mean... REALLY!
Mose also approved.

There are few things I love as much as snail mail.  Turquoise and Louisiana are among the few.

Being that honey bunny (J) and I got into a little debate about why an ipod shuffle does not say "I'm so happy you're my wife and HAPPY THREE YEARS"... I'm thinking maybe I should tell Megan to pick out my anniversary gifts from now on.  :)  It would be better for all of us.  (Even Megan, because she has to listen to me vent.)

Happy Wednesday, Friends!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

B on the Road Again

I am off--yet again--this weekend sans the medical student. I know you all must think I am quite the absent spouse, but I am becoming more and more convinced that the old adage, "absence makes the heart grow fonder," might indeed be true as well as a necessity when it comes to NOT murdering your med student husband.

Now, I am going to shock you all when I confess that I will be leaving W for five days this Friday, which also just so happens to be his 29th birthday. Terrible, right? I should be so ashamed of myself. In fact, I totally am, yet it did not deter me from scheduling my girl's reunion in DC this weekend.

You see, dear readers, I get to hang out with two of my dearest friends in one of my favorite cities.

At Margaret's Kansas-themed going away party. I was the state insect. She was Glenda.
This is Elizabeth. We were doing what we did best, barhop in CHS, SC.

You see, I was heading to DC this weekend anyways for a work conference that starts on Sunday and ends on Tuesday. I am notorious for turning work trips into fun getaways, hence this weekend's obvious girl-time theme!

Margaret currently lives in NYC, and when W and I were there visiting in April, she told me that she had purchased a Groupon for a round-trip bus ride to DC. Knowing that I went to DC often for work, we decided that my next work trip should coincide with her using the Groupon. We are so economical.

I haven't seen Elizabeth since a few months after my wedding, nearly 3 years ago. RIDICULOUS. So, we thought we would make it a true reunion. You see, all three of us enjoy visiting one another.

Elizabeth and I visited Margaret when she lived in Denver.

This weekend is sure to be thrilling. I have barely recovered from our whirlwind weekend in Lewisburg and the hazy late-night we spent at the Greenbrier and its cave-like casino on Saturday (geesh), but I wouldn't miss this epic girl's weekend for anything (even for W's birthday, apparently!!!!).

Coincidentally, Cap and J will also be in DC this weekend, so I have convinced Cap that she must stay with us and even stay on with me through Tuesday. J just doesn't have a say.

Can you spot Margaret and Elizabeth? Hannah from the Birmingham trip is in there, too!

Can't WAIT!


Monday, October 15, 2012

October Fun

This weekend was filled with wonderful fall festivities and lots of friends!

Friday, Bri and W came to visit from Charleston. Bri and I had our hopes set on an Oktoberfest night, and I think we pulled it off rather well!

Our Menu 

Bratwarts on hoagie bread with grilled onions
Cheese fries
Fresh greens beans 

Smores over the bon fire

Drink of choice
Sangria (for the ladies) 
Sam Adams Oktoberfest (for the guys)

The Sangria was a big hit (even the guys approved)!  I made one pitcher with white and one mini pitcher with red.  Both were great!  You can get the Sangria recipe here

Fall Sangria

While Bri and I were enjoying our Sangria and cooking the scrumptious Oktoberfest spread, the guys showed off their boy scout skills by starting are backyard bon fire.  

Star gazing.

Saturday, the wonderful weekend continued with Rob (guest writer from Confessions of a Mousewife) and KK, who came to visit from Bridgeport, WV!  With an adorable toddler along for the ride, we all went to stuff our faces at T.O.O.T (taste of our town) in downtown Lewisburg.

TOOT is a wonderful festival in Lewisburg were all of the local restaurants come out and set up booths selling their favorite dish!   

If you're like Bri and me.. You can skip all the booths and hit up the local bakery's boiled peanuts!  I'm still convinced they were the best thing I ate all day!

Southern girls love their boiled peanuts!

Rob and Kayla

The Gang
FLASH MOB in the streets of Lburg!

Fall is in bloom!

The guys showing a 10 year old how hardcore they are.  :)

Adorable Toddler!
 After it was all over Saturday, I became quite jealous of this kid's napping ability!  If I could nap while hundreds of people walked amongst me and loud music played in my ears... I could rule the world.