Preparing For A New Adventure.

next-step-journey

A week from Monday my life changes – I officially start my new job!  It is a big deal because a) I am temporarily relocating to the Bay Area, and b) I am transitioning into a new role.  I am not looking forward to being back in the Bay Area BUT I am excited about:

  • My manager…  She has many years of experience as a manager and running a global organization.  She knows her shit AND she is cool beans.  I am looking forward to working with someone I can learn from (finally).
  • The industry…. the industry is changing and I will be a part of of the transformation.  My company is kick-ass and I am thrilled to be working with them to change the face of the industry, and becoming an industry expert in the process.
  • the role… I love putting things together.  My new role is all about putting pieces of the puzzle together, for prospects and customers, and seeing a solution come to fruition.  This makes my heart sing.  🙂

Even with all of this positive energy, I am also experiencing melancholy and loss.

I am melancholy about leaving (temporarily) my life here in Utah.  I love it here.  I love being close to AbFab and her family and the Utah community has been kind to me.  Even though I do not know many of my neighbors, I feel looked after and cared for.  People are watching and I like that.  Here are a few examples:

  1. When I am away, people take my trash and recycling out to the curb.
  2. When there is a heavy snowfall, someone snowplows my driveway.  I don’t ask for it, people don’t ask for recognition, they just do it.  I’d love to thank them, but I don’t know who they are.

I know these are small things, but I did not experience this in CA in the last 10 years I was there. Even when I lived in my house..  and when I was a renter… forget about it.  This small acts of kindness make me feel better, and have had a positive influence on me – I feel they make me a more aware, kinder person.  I remember these acts of kindness and it makes me smile and pass it onto others.  All around, moving to Utah has been a very positive experience for me.

The loss is Baby Boy.  Baby Boy is the cat I rescued from AbFab’s family after their tragedy.  I loooooovvvee him so much.  He is my favorite cat – so easy to love, such a sweet, caring, lovebug…  BUT I am overwhelmed with the chaos that will become my regular life… Sophie and Zoey (babies I adopted in 2005/2006) are used to the travel and chaos, Baby Boy is not. Because of this, I made the decision to find Baby Boy the forever home he deserves.   I found a home for him with a wonderful woman and her sidekick, an adorable cat-loving dachshund named Tucker.  Based on the pictures I have received, he loves his new mom…. but he isn’t so fond of Tucker.  Tucker attempts to play with him but Baby Boy will have nothing to do with him.  So sad.  😦   I am in constant communication with his new mom – we will monitor his progress. If he does not acclimate by mid-February, I will take him back.  For now we are crossing our fingers that Baby Boy will learn to love Tucker and all will be good.  Here is a picture of my little angel. He is the best cat in the world.

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I am heartbroken about my loss.. He is so lively, so personable, so loving.  I am devastated.  I’ve been crying for 5 days straight now.  I’m crying right now as I write this post.   It feels awful, not natural to not have Baby Boy near me.  A piece of me is missing, my heart is truly broken.  But a new, loving, stable home is what is best for Baby Boy so I have to move on.

So through my tears, I am packing up, organizing my stuff, covering as much of my furniture as possible (remodels are messy), and prepping the cats for the drive/change.  I will be driving to CA with the cats early this week.  Yes there is a lot of weather – wind and snow – I am keeping an eye on the weather and will make the journey when it is the most safe.

I will speak more to the job and the Utah house remodel in the upcoming months.

I’m always looking for feedback – Please share what you have done to better enable yourself for a new life.. or how you have dealt with the loss of a loved one…   I would greatly appreciate any/all feedback, guidance, and words of wisdom.

 

 

 

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Life Is a Bumpy Ride.

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Hello all!

Life has been bumpy these last few weeks (months is it now?).  Things have NOT turned out at all close to how I planned them.

Employment.  Yes, I resigned. Now that I’m out, I realize I made the right decision for my sanity and physical health.  And boy, do I looooovvvveee not working (I still keep plenty busy, it’s like I have a full time job taking care of me!) .  But I am not independently wealthy.  My home in CA has not sold (see below) and I don’t have enough savings to support myself for an extended period of time…so my dreams to go back to school are on the back-burner and I need to get job (yes, that heart wrenching wailing in the background is me).  Deep sadness set in… and I got through it.  I put on my big girl pants, assessed what I want to do (no more Customer Success, it’s a thankless, shit job – more on this in a later post).  I figured out what I want to do and the kind of companies I want to work for. Married these two… and voila, found a a job.  I signed an offer of employment this week. It is a bittersweet moment for me.

  • I love the company and what they are doing.
  • Every person I met was wicked smart and incredibly nice.
  • I believe they will be tremendously success at what they do (yes, another startup).
  • I know I can be successful in the role and there is a lot of room for growth.

The not so great part?

  • I have to go back to work (boo), and
  • I have to move back to the Bay Area…

Yes, the cats and I will be moving back to the Bay Area, at least for the first 6 months of 2019.  Not at all sure what this looks like or how it is going to happen… I just know that it has to happen. That I need to make it happen.

 

O.k.. 2nd big unexpected turn.  Retirement.  My House in CA.  It has not sold.  It’s been on the market since Oct. 17, 2018. I received one low ball offer which I declined.  It has been on the market long enough that folks think something is wrong with it.  As of now,  I own and am paying the mortgage on an empty house in California (not a cheap endeavor).

Here is the sad truth.  I knew the market turning in Northern CA back in early Summer.  I could feel it (I study real estate in my spare time). I approached the agent in June 2018. I was ready to go.  But I let my realtor talk me into two things that I regret. I only bring this up as to remind you that you should always trust your instincts.  AT 47, I wonder why I discount my intuition. Most of the time (if not all times), the trouble I experience in life is because I DID NOT trust my gut. Shame on me.

So the two worst pieces of advice that I followed are:

  1. Remove tenants and stage the house.  I had wonderful tenants. The lived cleanly and took very good care of the property.  They wanted to stay in the home while it was up for sale – they agreed to cooperate with the agent and all showings. My agent said that it was not best for a home to be occupied during a sale.  So against my better judgement, I gave the tenants 60 days notice to move out. It pains me to know that I am paying a mortgage and the costs to stage a home just so it  looks like its lived in.  The irony is not lost on me.
  2. Turn town an private offer – “you are better off listing your home”.  The tenants that moved out wanted to purchase the home. They made a healthy offer.  The realtor recommended that I do not accept their offer and that I put the house on the open market as I am more likely to get more $$ if there are competing bids.  Yes, there is truth to his statement, but it is not the norm.  Not sure why he did this, he probably would have made more commission by representing the both of us in this transaction.

I feel like someone who’s profession it is to read and know the market would NOT offer this advice given the market conditions.   If I were to do this again, I would do it my way, and if the realtor didn’t like it, I would find another realtor.

Anywhoo… the house has not sold, I just put it on the rental market.  Please cross your fingers and toes that I get amazing tenants soon.

 

Last but not least, I am living through a home remodel in my home in UtahI am immersed in it.  It started the week before Thanksgiving.  The project is to remodel 2 bathrooms.   The first bathroom, the guest bathroom, was demolished the Friday before Thanksgiving.  It is scheduled to be complete by Friday, Dec. 14th.  That will be exactly 2 weeks late, which means the 2nd bathroom remodel is delayed, not set to start until the guest bathroom is done (I need at least one toilet and shower).  This has a direct and negative impact on my schedule now that I have to move for my job (see above).

I do love the fact that I’m doing the remodel and that I found a contractor I trust, but shit, this is hard.  It is so dirty and messy, it cannot be good to breathe in all the fumes and particles.

Cost wise, I’m on budget on materials and labor…

  1. The contractor and I agreed to a fixed labor amount for the totality of each project, so the longer the project goes, the more it eats into his profits.  My guess is that the delay in the first bathroom can be made up on the 2nd bathroom..  He now has intimate knowledge of how the house was constructed and what to expect. FYI – the delay is NOT due to me – all items, parts, pieces, and the like are available to him.  Any timing delays have been due to lack of detail on his part. As of now he has NOT asked me for more $$.
  2. Cost of items are on target with my expectations.  I am a bargain shopper and have been cost conscious.  It helps that I know exactly what I want, so finding it on sale is easy, especially during the holidays.  🙂  BTW, Amazon is AMAZING.  I found some of the best deals on Amazon – prices were competitive, but shipping (2 day prime, hell yes!) was what sealed the deal.  When I say items, I mean tubs, toilets, shower sets, etc… construction stuff.  It’s insane what you can find on Amazon and the prices are very very competitive.

FYI – I spent a LOT of time trying to shop locally to little avail.  Its too bad as I do not want a world where we don’t have local options…

 

All of these elements is not what I expected or envisioned for myself.  But this is how the cards are folding for me.  I have made decisions – the best decisions I can based on my options at this point – so now it’s a matter of moving forward.

Ever forward.

I have so much more to share, but this is a lot to absorb in one post.  For those of you that I owe a response to, I’m sorry for my delayed response.  I have been super busy and a bit overwhelmed and stressed with everything going on.

Last but certainly not least, please keep your comments and words of encouragement coming. Hearing from you makes a difference to me -makes me feel connected, tethered, to others…    so thank you for those that have reached out. I greatly appreciate it!!

xoxo.

I’m Doing My Level Best Right Now.

L

 

 

 

 

Life is complicated right now. I have been overwhelmed by it all .. and I’ve been frozen with fear and anxiety. The top anxiety producers are:

  1. Resigning from my job. It could have been a great job.  It wasn’t – made horrible by a terrible manager and consistently bad experiences .. I call it a death by a 1000 cuts.  I know I’m not alone here – check this out – Why I Quit My Job by Life of Kai.  This is my experience so eloquently written.  I do not mean to diminish Kai’s experience as a PoC, or to diminish that the Ad Industry needs an upgrade.  But this story is my story too (I’m a white woman working in Tech).  Terrible managers and the leadership teams that support them exist in all industries.  It truly is death by a 1000 cuts (politically correct terminology is micro-aggressions).   I just wished I had the strength this woman had to recognize the problem as not mine and resign earlier.  I would have more confidence at this point and have spent less time trying to improve a impossible situation.
  2. Risking My Retirement.  Given #1 above,  I have to support myself. So I decided to sell my #1 asset – my California property.  It is my largest asset.. and I’m selling it 20 years prior to retirement.  Am I crazy?  Yes.  It feels like crazytown right now given the stock market, political landscape, and the uncertainty of the midterms.  Yes, I have a 401K and an IRA (I’ve been saving since I started my career at 24), but those haven’t grown in value nearly as much or as quickly as real estate in CA.  So in order to support myself while I look for another job, I need to sell this asset.  It hasn’t been easy to unload an expensive house in a volatile market.
  3. Planning/managing a home remodel.  I’ve been living in a shit hole. I purchased a house a year ago in as-is condition. It was a rental for 28 years before I purchased it. Everything is in original/terrible condition.  Why did I buy it? Because it was close – 4 blocks – from the family I love.  My living condition has gotten the better of me and I just cannot live like this anymore. Given the current market, finding a contractor is challenging… I finally found one.. and he is available Nov. 15th.   Yeah me!!   But #1 was unplanned and #2 has been challenging, making me stress out about the $$ I’m spending on the remodel (Yes, I put a deposit down… I need this change for my sanity)..

Yes,  I am very aware that these are all self-inflicted wounds.  On top of causing my own trouble, I obsess about being poor, not having a roof over my head, and eating cat food to survive.  What can I say, when you grow up poor, these things never leave you… I wake up physically sick every morning.  I have nightmares about working at Walmart and eating cat food to survive in my old age..  The anxiety is overwhelming.

Given all of this, I struggle every day to get anything done.  And as a Type A person that likes to get shit done, I am mortified by my state.  I literally cannot make myself do what I know needs to be done.  I am doing my best to not let it get to me and to overcome it.  I am embarrassed to share my goals with you at this time as they are tiny… but they do get me out of bed and accomplishing something each day.

Here are a few things that motivate me:

  • Daily emails from Inspire More.  I read these emails every morning and it let’s me know that a) there are good people in this world, and b) I can be one of them with a small, kind gesture.
  • Positive Interactions with Others.  Anytime I go out of my house, I focus on having positive interactions with others. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I am hyper aware of my interactions with others and do what I can to make it positive for the other person.
  • Make a difference.  I do my best to make a difference in every life I touch.  I see others doing this and it makes me happy. I don’t care what it is, if someone has passion to help others and make a positive impact on others, I’m all for it.  For me, its a small action – smiling and saying hi, listening to someone who wants to share there story, or showing appreciation for the help/kindness of others (Home Depot you are the best!!).  The kindnesses I am watching now are:
    • Marc Benioff’s effort to help the homeless.  Hands down we need more Marc Benioff’s.  I have traveled a lot internationally, and the USA is the only country that doesn’t take care of their own… makes me sad. I see how other countries take care of their people. And we, the USA, richest country in the world, do not make it priority to take care of our own peeps.  It hurts me deeply.
    • Kathrine Zellner , Laura Nirider, Alison Claytonand any/all involved with Innocence Projects. Wow, there are a lot of innocent people serving time.  Can you imaging if this was you?  The more I research this, the scarier it is for the the innocent. I have a cousin in prison, serving a life sentence, for a murder she didn’t commit.  I’ll write more about this in a future post, but the justice system is not kind to the innocent.
    • For the Love of Farm Animals.  Why people on this planet that hurt animals is a mystery to me.  I am the person who saves spiders..  I can’t help it.  I imagine their families missing them…  and they do eat misquotes.. What does it hurt to guide them back to the great outdoors?  But what about those awesome animals bred for our food?  I have fallen in love with Esther the Wonder Pig and her friends..  I’m hard pressed to eat pork and turkey at this point in my life.  It’s easy to make a difference – only purchase food from humane farms, donate and save an animal or two, or visit a farm sanctuary near you

A very long, rambling post… yes I’m drinking wine…    I’ll do my best to write more consistently.  🙂

If you have made it this far, then you have probably been in a similar place.  Please let me know how you have gotten over your life challenges, how you get out of your own way, and the path that ultimately set you free..

 

Do Blondes Have More Fun? Aka the 2nd Day of The Rest Of My Life.

AtomicBlonde2017

I am was a brunette.  No longer. Things are different as of tonight.

I started going grey very early… in my early 30’s.  I went completely grey in my late 30’s. I blame AbFab – as much as I love her, while she lived with me, she stressed me out!  All is well now, but it was bumpy there for a while.

The first time I dyed my hair was a few months before my wedding… over 15 years ago.  As (un)luck would have it, my hair grows fast. So I have thin hair, not much of it, but what I do have grows like a weed.  Which is great until you start going grey at an alarming rate.  For 15 years I have been dying my hair every 3-4 weeks.  When I can make it to the salon I do, sometimes I have to do it myself.  Either way, it’s a pain in the ass and something I was doing religiously because I am (was) self-conscious about the “skunk stripe”.

SIDE RANT:  Why do we have pills for erectile disfunction, but nothing for women going grey??  I know why – because men are scientists, they have the money, say where the money goes… but god damn it, why can’t they invest in research that would deliver a pill that will stop hair from going grey!??! Why!?

Tonight I was at the salon, going for another “Skunk stripe” coverup.  I am sooo fed up with this routine…  I just want to remove this task from my forever growing to-do list.  I have been researching solutions/options on going grey naturally.  A few sites I referenced:

I went in for a discussion… Walked away making a decision.

Instead of going full grey (which I will do one day), I decided to go Blonde.  Yep. Blonde. Bleached Blonde.

So many options, why did I go this route? Because grey isn’t an option for me in this stage of my career.  I just resigned (another blog post soon!) and I need to find full time employment. I am 47 – smart as hell, but being 47 in an industry (tech) where agism is rampant, the cards are already stacked against me. Don’t believe me?  See here, here, and here . Most women are washed up after 35, “too qualified” is what they call it.   I’m lucky I look young and have made it this far.  But shit howdy, if I showed up for an interview with a skunk stripe or with a full head of grey hair…… forgettaboutit.

So now I am a Bleached Blonde.  I do still have a skunk stripe, but it is not nearly as noticeable as it used to be (somehow grey and blonde blend). Why didn’t I also rid myself of the skunk stripe?  Because I want to wait and see.. get over the shock of what I’ve just done, adjust to the blonde…  and figure out the next steps at my next appointment.  Which is in 2 weeks.  In the meantime, I will be using a “purple shampoo” when I wash my hair (forget why this is important) and otherwise conditioning the hell out of my hair (bleaching dries your hair considerably).

My resignation was a choice – I am changing up my life. Worked sucked. Everyday was horrible. I had become depressed, it was having a direct negative impact on my outlook on life.  My manager (a she) was the worst. Talk about microaggression – if there was an Olympic award for this, she would easily win the gold.  I’m wise and financially stable enough to know I don’t have to put up with his.  Yes I went to HR. Over 6 months ago. They did nothing. HR is in place to protect the company… not the employee.  I have so many stories.. and will definitely write more about this.

For now, I am focused on taking care of myself.  I started a 6 week bootcamp to whip my ass back into shape (20 lb weight loss or 6% fat loss guaranteed or my money back!)..  I’ve bleached my hair, and I am searching for a job that I am passionate about (cybersecurity here I come!!)..

So today is the 2nd day of the rest of my life.  Let’s do this adventure together!!

Would love your words of wisdom, tips, tricks, or any advice you have… I could certainly use the support while I transition to a new, healthier, happier way of life.

Muah.

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Modern Day Wardrobe Malfunction.

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So I have been traveling this week for work.  I love to travel. I love meeting and working  with Customers – I love to hear their stories, understand their goals and aspirations, and relate to them in a personal and professional way.  When I am able to make a difference in their work life, it makes me feel really good. I gain great pleasure seeing them “get it” – when they learn that there is a different, better way.  Makes my day.

This article is not about my work travel and adventures, my passion for travel, or how much I love my customers.  It is about picking the wrong clothes and packing too lightly- aka a modern day wardrobe malfunction.

Having been through hundreds of airports, on thousands of flights in the last 20 years,  I like to be comfortable when I travel (who doesn’t?).   I used to travel in my business wear – skirt, high heel, silk blouse….  no longer.  I like to look fashionable but be comfortable.  So upscale “active wear” (if you haven’t seen the Active Wear video, stop everything and watch it. Bookmark it and give yourself a good laugh on tough days).

Anywhoo, being on the curvy side, I love the Curvy Fit at Ann Taylor and The Loft.  Honestly, if you are a woman with substance, check the curvy fit out …  pants that actually fit without having to nip, tuck, hem… no tailoring!  They actually carry the Curvy fit in Petite.  I discovered this about 4 years ago and have not purchased another pair of pants since.  They fit my body and my short stature.

Well, I was with a friend a few weeks ago and we stopped into an Ann Taylor.  I find these lounge pants that have elastic at the waist and the leg bottoms.   The material is so soft… and they are more form fitting (not sloppy).. fashionable right?!?!  They definitely fit The Do of Jogger pants fashion.  I fall in love. I buy them (I never pay retail for anything!).  My vision is that these are my stylish travel pants.. with a pair of comfy sneakers or short heel, a nice t-shirt/top, a casual jacket.  I will own it – My vision is stylish AND comfy.  I. Am. The. Boss.

Nope. Vision vs. Reality.  The pants, well they stretch out.. a lot.  I purchased a Small. Based on the amount of stretch after one flight alone, I should have purchased a Petite XS.  Wow, these things went from stylish and sexy, to sloppy and frumpy in 2 hours… This probably wouldn’t be that big a deal, except that I chose to ONLY bring these pants on my trip (along with a dress and a skirt)…   I look like I’m wearing my pajamas when I wear these pants.  I tried to find a picture of a fashion fail like the one I have made, but alas, there are none. Apparently no one else makes these kinds of faux-pas.  But I did find a very long article on the right vs. wrong way for men to wear suspenders. Fascinating article. 😉

Needless to say, I recommend that you do not pack a brand new pair of pants as the ONLY pair of pants when traveling. Your welcome.

What are your favorite places to purchase clothing?  @Greygoose – You are tall (I am short).. I always think about what it’s like for you to purchase clothing..  I’d love to hear your story!

 

 

 

 

 

Lovely Lady Land Yacht Bits.

pehrump - drive through mtns
enjoying the open road

So the Lady Land Yacht was purchased from a dealer in Pahrump Nevada.  Pahrump is about 50 miles West of Las Vegas Nevada.   When I tell people about Pahrump, they all tell me about legalized prostitution.  I had to look it up, they are right, it is where the Chicken Ranch is…  Why did I not know this???

Lady Land Yacht was sitting on a lot of what I call the “auto graveyard” – where autos go to die.  I wished I had taken a picture of this.. I think I was in shock when I first saw the whole scene.

Onto the Lady Bits and her “under the dress” bits.  The mechanics.  She has been with the mechanic for a few weeks now and they have assessed her… and it is not as bad as I thought.  There are 5 major areas that need fixing,  most of which are turning out to not be that big of a deal.

Now, I share all this with you because when you buy a used motorhome, you just don’t know what you will get.  Yes, you can have a mechanic check it out (I did), but unless you are in the same location as the apple of your eye or you know the original owner…  you take a risk.

So, on with the assessment.

First, the good news.  Brakes, belts, tires are all in good condition.  Engine is in excellent condition (with only 87k miles on her, she will last a lifetime!)..

Now, areas of improvement:

  • Generator – is not getting fuel due to burned up wiring to the fuel pump. Replace these and a few carburetor parts.  The generator only has 56 hours on it.. so essentially its brand new.  Should last forever.  Now she/we can go boondocking!
  • Air conditioner blows hot air – yes, I drove this beast home from Vegas (to SLC Utah) NOT only without air conditioning, but BLOWING HOT AIR.  In July. Yes. You read right. This is story for another day.  The reason for the hot air? There was a “crack in the cap”. The cap was replaced and cool air is now blowing.
  • Steps not operational – the stairs that get you into/out of the motorhome through the main door were not working. Or rather, I could hear them working, but they were tied up, which I didn’t untie because I thought they were probably tied up for a reason. Yep. They were.  Bad wiring. Wires have been fixed and steps go up and down as needed.
  • Leveling jacks not functioning- the things that are used to level the RV when camping. You have to keep the RV as level as possible – for sleeping, but more importantly to keep the refrigerator working properly.  Gotta keep the drinks food cool while RV’ing!
  • Missing battery  – bought this lady from what I call the “car graveyard”. When I drove up to the lot, it looked like the place where cars go to die.  Seriously.  Anyway, It makes sense that a battery was missing.  He probably took it out to get another car started/sold.  It was clearly missing – the battery cage/holder was empty and there were wires that were hanging out that clearly where meant to be attached to a battery.  Anyway, I got myself a new battery which should help. 😉

So there you have it.  Not so bad. Not as bad as I thought it would be anyway.

Once I get her back I am planning on taking her to her first RV park so I can gain some new skills – RV Hookups.  Once I’m done I’m ready for the open road!

Do you live near a beautiful park you can recommend?  Have you been somewhere you would highly recommend?  Share your favorite, memorable, or bucket list places so I can check them out!!

 

 

Speak Up or Shut Up (or as my mom would say: Please Share Your Opinion).

airstream in driveway

Hello.

So my intention since my last post was to write every week on Wednesday. You can see I’ve failed miserably…… but in all fairness, I’m writing now, and it’s much more timely than my last last post.  So treat me like a millennial and give me some kudos.  🙂

After my last post I received several emails from folks asking if I was dying.  My response:  Yes, we are all dying and we should want to take care of those we love.  No, I do not have any disease or illness that will shorten my expected life expectancy.   Summary: Don’t worry, I am not dying prematurely, or if I am, I am not aware of it.

Why do I write today?  First to calm your fears about the length of my existence. But I also have some exciting news.  I BOUGHT A MOTOR HOME. Yes, you read right, I purchased and old school 1997 Airstream Land Yacht.  It’s in need of renovation. Yes I still work full-time so, No, I do not have the time to fix it… But I gone and did it anyway – she is mine. The lovely lady is all mine.  I see great adventures in our near future.  I named her Rosie (from Neil Diamonds song Cracklin Rosie), but when I picked her up, she isn’t a Rosie.. she is something else. I’m holding off naming her until she is all gussied up.  No matter what, in all her perfectly imperfect wonder, she is mine and we will have wonderful adventures together.  It cannot wait to travel the USA, meeting new people, and see all the amazing natural wonders of our great country.  My first big adventure – Mt. Rushmore!!

Soooooo… my friends are saying I need to start an entirely new blog to speak to my new adventures to come – in the Airstream. They tell me that this blog is stale…. and I should start anew.  I don’t see why I need to do that.

What are your thoughts?  Your opinion matters.. reply or direct message/email me with your thoughts since I cannot figure out how to insert a Poll plugin for free (free being the key word here)..  speak up now or forever hold your tongue.

Tell me what you want