I Should Have Started This 25 Years Ago.

Greetings, faithful readers. No time for pleasantries lets get right to it.

A year ago, I made the fateful decision that taking up skateboarding at the age of 37 would be a good idea. It all started when eight year old Little Mitch got it into his head that he needed to skateboard. Check that, not strong enough. More like my Photo on 2015-03-22 at 6.17 PMoffspring relentlessly dogged me for months to get him a skateboard. Skateboarding was one of those things that I never really considered since childhood. I thought I want to skateboard too, I don’t want to sit there on the sidelines, I want to skate with my kid. After a quick trip to our skateshop we picked out our decks and have not looked back since. We jumped into the deep end of the skatelife and we love it. It’s been a year and I wanted to reflect upon what I’ve learned about myself as I skateboard.

-I should have started this 25 years ago. Now, I mean this a couple of ways. Right from the first time I got on a board and got moving, it just felt good. Good and right. There’s no better feeling than feeling the vibration of the pavement beneath you, the wind in your face, your heart beating rhythmically, the zen feeling of knowing you are in total control of that wood plank beneath you. For me, these things combined with the mental concentration it requires to control the physical aspect and the mental input of constantly scanning for cracks, rocks, branches in the pavement etc. creates a clear place of mental zen for me. Which, when you have bipolar/OCD is extremely rare, my brain literally never shuts up. Comes in handy for pointless pop culture trivia, not so good for long business meetings.blossom-hats-today-150702_3_8a2ef44cd14b522976e72f202163b4a0.today-inline-large

“Remember that episode of Blossom where Six sang Neil Diamond? That was awesome. Oh shit, the boss just asked me what I think of the fall statistics proposal. Six sang “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” Oh right, frick I have no idea about the stats, damn it. Now I got that song on a loop in my head all day. Thanks OCD. “

-I should have started this 25 years ago Part II I’m under no delusions that skateboarding is a young mans sport to learn. Little Mitch is a freaking mimic sponge. He can spend all afternoon watching pro skateboarders doing tricks on YouTube and attempt them later at the skatepark with ease. Me? It’s been a year and here is the list of tricks I have on lock.

-Staying on board whilst moving.

-Bombing down a hill.

-Surfing and hard carving.

-Carving a skate bowl.

-Kickturn (which I lost for at least 6 months due to injury, more on this later)

That’s the list of tricks I got on lock. Sure I’d love to grind down a huge eighteen stair set like you see those pros doing on the swanky-talking-pornstache-3covers of skate magazines ,but that’s the thing. These guy are pros, as in professional. They’ve been doing this for twenty plus years since they were children, this is what they do day in day out. I think of professional skateboarders as I do professional porno actors. These guys are the elite physical athlete masters of their specialized skill set. Just because they can do that act you’re watching doesn’t mean you should attempt that act before you’re ready. Unless its growing a pornstache, everyone looks great with one of those.

Plus, there’s the risk assessment. Many times I look at a skate line or route and think I could attempt that but I weigh the pros and cons of physical risk first. When you’re fourteen, you break your arm skateboarding, the effect on your life is minimal. Miss a few days of school and get a cool cast for your friends to write on. When you’re thirty seven years old and type for a living to feed your family and pay for your housing and general living a broken arm would impact my life immensely. Which brings me to my next topic.

I should have started this 25 years ago Part III. Don’t get me wrong, skateboarding has become one of my life passions. To be totally honest though, it has a steep learning curve. First lesson of skateboarding should be “You’re going to fall. It will happen. Repeatedly.” Seeing as we have been talking about personal risk, let’s do a retrospective of my injuries the past year. Stop take a minute, and put Skid Row’s classic ballad “I Remember You” on your Ipod for dramatic effect while you read the list.

-Sprained wrist.

-Sprained knee.

-Sprained shoulder.

-Heel pain.

-Bursitis in both arms.

-Hip pain.

-Back pain (I think I paid for my chiropractors new BMW this year).

-Achy knees.

-Achy ankles.

-Too many numerous scrapes and bruises to count.

Was it worth it? HELL YES. I love skateboarding so much, that the pain and the ache doesn’t bother me. Sure, it sucks some mornings crawling out of bed feeling like a I got hit by a Mack truck after hard slamming into the concrete bowl at the skatepark the day before, but I don’t care. Each bang, bruise or strain is a marker on the journey. I’ve had numerous people, friends, family and health care professionals tell me I’m crazy to start skating at my age.

You know what’s crazy to me? Running in place going nowhere on a moving treadmill for a set amount of time. Or lifting a heavy weight up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down again. I would feel like a hamster on a wheel doing those things, not accomplishing anything. To be fair to people who do those activities, I am not criticizing what you do, I’m just stating it’s not for me. I don’t have the luxury of not exercising. I go sedentary and my weight balloons fast, it always has. Plus, when you have bipolar regular exercise helps keep you on an even keel with your symptoms. I really don’t have a choice, I need to exercise, so If I’m going to exercise I might as well do an activity I love.

I’m sure you could read this blog entry and still think why anyone would want to skateboard? Think what you want but the great part of being a thirty seven year old rookie skateboarder is that I’m old enough to know better, old enough to not give a shit what people think, old enough to know that the only person I need to please on my board is myself and old enough to know that I am definitely a better skater than Elvis, Gandhi and Jesus. I really have to evidence to support this claim but I have no evidence to refute it either.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I have a pornstache to grow.

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Wine For Normal Guys Vol 1 A.K.A “No doobt aboot it, keepin’ it Canadian, eh?”

50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Canada-$35

IMAG0275I have a personal rule when it comes to wine, I call it the “1525 rule.” Meaning I try to keep my wine in that price range. I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t have to spend more than $25 to get good wine. On the other hand, when you spend anything south of $15 you truly are getting what you pay for. Same goes for any wine you buy with a jug handle, comes in quantities of 5 litres or more, or uses the phrase “wine style product” on the label.

I kind of broke my own rule on this one. I was on vacation in wine country, on a wine tour, caught up in the atmosphere and scenery and I think that influenced my purchase. Whilst I do loves me a good subtle delicate Pinot Noir now and then, there are things about Pinot Noir I dont like. One, price tag. Pinot Noirs are on average pricey due to the delicate nature of the grape. Two, theres a point of being subtle and theres a point where you’re so subtle you just gave me some alcoholic grape juice. Enough of my ranting lets get to the tasting notes for the normal guy.

Nose-(AKA How’s this bad boy smell?)- Got a decent whiff of dark cherry right off the bat, vanilla and some kind of spice but I couldn’t quite name it.

When I was in high school a common comment on my reports cards was “Mitch, has lots of potential that could be utilized and channelled for success if only he applied himself. However, he seems quite content to be a B minus student and put in just what’s required.” That’s kind of how I felt about this wine.

The flavour was flat as hell, there was almost no body to it. And it might just be me, but wine shouldn’t be ‘tangy’. This wine was just too dang young for my liking. I forgave the wine a little more once our BBQ steak dinner was with it, the food seemed to tame the wines flaw but not enough for me to say I liked the wine. Fuck it, I’ll say it. This was downright  over priced $35 grape shit in a bottle.

Screw It Pinot Grigio-Canada $12

IMAG0277A budget blend for a cheap ass price and it was actually pretty decent. Would work well with most foods, or as standalone drinking vino. You get a lot of citrus and herb at first whiff. Mild body, crisp finish, easily drinkable. A good wine to start the night with before moving onto other wines.

This would be perfect for dudes who got a ladyfriend coming over and need some booze to tip the getting lucky scales in their favour. If anyone actually gets lucky due to my half assed review, I better damn well get a thank you card.

-Mitch

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Mitch Returns: The Mitchening.

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Like a punchy aging boxer with financial troubles Mitch has come out of blogging retirement. Why now, you ask? The people of Earth need me. Like Jesus did after his final performance, it was time to let the blog rise from the dead. Actually, there really is no good reason other than I had an itch to write that needed to be scratched.

There’s going to be some changes to the format of the blog. First, the name of the blog. Over time the old title “Mitch Being Honest” just grew old and tiresome. I tried a few new titles on for size but none I was happy with. Then, I figured if the blog is about all things Mitch why not just call it “Mitch.” Simple, clean, easy to spell and remember. If one name is good enough for Cher, then God damn it, it’s good enough for me.

Over the next few weeks there will be some cosmetic changes to the site but frankly I hate dealing with crap like that so bear with me, it could take months before you actually see these changes.

The blog will still be mainly about all things Mitch and whatever the hell else I feel like writing about. My romantic relationship will still be off limits for two reasons. 1. That relationship is only between me and my lady and should remain that way. 2. I’ve written about dating and relationships to death and I am bored with writing about those topics.

Coming soon! If there’s one thing I love, it’s wine and last weekend after a few bottles I was ranting to the GF how I hate pretentious wine reviews like this:

An intense red, showing concentrated flavors of dark plum, kirsch, dried beef and baker’s chocolate flanked by sublime notes of tobacco leaf and ginger. The powerful finish is filled with sanguine details for it’s low $125 price. Only 5000 bottles made. Best paired with smoked venison with a light walnut glaze, served with a understated caviar pate…”

Let’s face it, as a normal dude who has fully embraced his bachelorhood I am never going to eat that kind of food, let alone ever cook food like that at home. I’m more apt to make some Manwich sloppy joes with a side of canned beans than haute cuisine.

I’ve been drinking wine for years, managed a wine boutique, and have taken numerous tasting courses. At best, I can pick out three to four flavours, tops, and two scents maybe on a good day if I was downwind and my allergies weren’t bugging me.

Not to mention I have never smelled half the bullshit adjectives they mention in pretentious wine reviews. Kirsch? villagepeople-branson's best reservationsWhat the hell is kirsch? I don’t know what kirsch is but I’m pretty fucking sure I’ve never smelt that. Dried beef? I don’t care what dried beef smells like. I don’t want to know nor do I want to smell anything in my wine that sounds like the title of a lesser known innuendo laced Village People song.

As well, a $125 dollar bottle of wine is out of my pay grade so a review like this is as useful as my arts degree. So I came up with a solution. Wine reviews for normal people, who drink normal wine, with a normal price range of $10-$25ish. Simple, no bullshit wine reviews. As an added bonus I now have a rational, viable explanation for my weekend alcohol abuse AKA “blog research.”

So keep an eye out for that feature coming soon…maybe Sunday… if I’m not too hungover.

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Running in Mud

It’s been four days since Pops died. The question I most get from people is “How are you doing”, usually with an emphasis on the “you.” I assume the “you” is emphasized when I read it by text, anyways. They could be emphasizing the “how” or the “doing” for all I know, but that would make for some odd lines of questioning “HOW are you doing?” or “how are you DOING?”

I was sitting on my couch half watching a terrible, even by my forgivable rom com loving standards, rom com asking myself in my head “how am I doing, really?” when another friend texted the same question at that exact moment. I don’t know how I’m doing actually.

This morning, I woke up finally getting the first good night sleep I had in four days but the sharp headache I’ve had since Pops passed was back. Later that morning, I was on the verge of tears right before my taekwondo class for no reason other than an unspecific encompassing grief. It took all I had to summon the will to not cry and get through class. My legs felt heavy, my arms felt weak, it felt like I was trying to run in knee high mud with a one hundred pound concrete slab strapped to my chest. I wanted to quit more times than I can recall. I wanted nothing more to throw in the towel, call it a day and head home for the security of my couch and blanket. I’ve done enough martial arts in my life to know that if the mind, soul and body are not in sync, its a herculean uphill battle but its one thing to know this and another to experience this.

Later that afternoon, Little Mitch had his taekwondo yellow belt test. We already postponed his test a month ago as he was struggling with his own feelings over his Papa’s cancer. Our instructor asked me if he was still wanting to do his test today, knowing that we lost Pops this week. “Yes,” I replied, “he says he still wants to do it. Says he’s ready.” He did fantastic. That tricky turn that has been plaguing him for months, no problem, fluid, graceful. That unsure left leg kick that never quite broke the wood board these past few weeks, with intention, clean snap in two.

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Like most fathers I’m especially proud of my son’s athletic accomplishments but today I have never been prouder. If roles were reversed I would have to postpone my belt test as there would be no way I could do it with the painful raw hurt for my Dad I’m carrying in my heavy heart right now. My seven year old son showed me an example of tenacity and fortitude that I will use for those painful times that are ahead of us as we adjust to a life without Pops.

So how am I doing? My head won’t stop aching. I sleep but I don’t feel rested. I’m missing my Dad. I want to cry today, but I can’t, it’s just not there. I’m digging deep for that extra little bit I don’t have just to get through the day. I’ve got a dull pain in my chest that hurts every time I breathe. I’m numb. I’m disconnected. I’m grey. I’m tired. I’m unfocused. I’m hazy. I’m hurting. I’m holding on.

You know what I wish someone would ask me, instead of “how are you doing?” I wish someone would just once ask me “what do you want?” I would answer, I want just one more afternoon with my Pops. To finally get his chili recipe I kept forgetting to ask for. To hear him complain about his favourite hockey team. To tell him about that powder blue ’57 Chevy I saw drive by the other day. To watch my son hug his Papa one more time.

How am I doing? I’m running in mud.

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I’ll Miss You Pops.

It doesn’t feel real yet. It’s been two days. It still feels like he’s here. It was surreal when Mom called. I’m at home with some cable guy in my home when my cell rings. In a weird way, I knew what the call was before I picked up. Mom never calls me in the middle of the afternoon, ever. It was a quick phone call, she managed to tell me between pain racked sobs that Pops was gone. Like that, his long cancer battle was over. The man who was my Dad for thirty of my thirty six years was gone.

I hang up the cell. I’m numb. I’m in blank shock. I have a complete stranger in my home finishing up work on my cable internet and I just found out my Dad died. The cable guy finishes up his work. I make some lame joke about having a beer after his shift, he earned it today, and see him out the door.

I head to seven year old Little Mitch’s school. I knock on his classroom door, the teacher knows why I’m there without saying a word. Little Mitch doesn’t know why, he’s just happy to get out of math class. He asks me why he gets to go home early. I say I’ll tell him when we get home. We’re home, both of us on the couch. I tell him I have sad news. I tell my son that his Papa has died. His little face just goes blank, some tears but not many, and then I hold him for a few quiet minutes, when he asks if he can play some video games. I say yes, and he plays. He’s quiet, very quiet. Little Mitch is never quiet, he’s overwhelmed trying to process enormous feelings he can’t comprehend.

The last two days have been a blur. Hours fly by and seem to stand still. My head hurts from crying and from trying not to cry. I’m not hungry and I can’t stop eating. I feel like I can sleep and I can’t sleep. I wan’t to be alone and I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to talk about it and all I want is to talk about it. I don’t want to be touched and all I want to do is cuddle Little Mitch.

Little Mitch is hurting. His little seven year old heart is in so much pain it makes me feel helpless as my child grieves. He goes silent and I can hear his quiet sobs and he reaches for me with open arms, his little body shaking from the tears. He says he misses Papa. I tell him I miss him too. We were both quietly watching cartoons when he says with the emotional weight of a child whose in a depth of pain he can’t comprehend “It will be different without Papa”, I asked him if he’d like to talk about it. No he says and the conversation is abruptly over by his choice. I’m sorry my son, there is nothing I can say that will make the hurt go away, just know that I am hurting too and am with you every step of this journey.

I slept terribly the night after I got the news. I’d sleep and wake up. Cry, sleep, cry, sleep, cry sleep. I’m not sure if it was a dream, or a fervent wish, or if it was real or a little bit of all three but I felt you there Pops. I honestly felt you there, you were there. I got out of bed. Went downstairs and you were sitting there. Sitting on the couch, your hair lush dark brown again, not the sickly wispy cancerous grey it was those last months. You were sitting with your arms crossed, and your leg up on your knee as you always sit. Wearing faded jeans like you always do, and a light tan brown sweater. You smiled at me as I came down the stairs, waiting for me, to say goodbye.

It felt so real, it couldn’t be a dream, Pops was there I felt it. I wake up in the middle of this, not rested, my head hurting as much as my heart, if not more. There’s a faint glimmer of hope that this is real and I head downstairs and look to the empty couch illuminated by the bleak winter morning light. The realization hits me with so much weight I feel a tinge of physical pain in my heart. My Dad is gone.

I’ll miss you every day Pops.

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Life Lessons With Mitch Lesson 251

Lesson 251 AKA “Why You Can’t Have Motivating Sports Talks With a Seven Year Old.”

Scene: I’ve been coaching Little Mitch for the past 3.5 weeks for his first Taekwondo tournament employing many strategies from my wrestling coach and martial arts days.

The-Karate-Kid-Ralph-Machio-and-Pat-Morita-catMitch: “Okay buddy, tournament is 2 days away and this is our last practice. Do you feel ready?”

Little Mitch: “Yeah. I’m ready. I feel good.”

M: “Last drill. Let’s put it all together, let’s spar, offence, defence, the whole thing.”

LM: “Ok.”

M: “The sparring tournament is to 5 points. Right?”

LM: “Uh, I dont know. I guess so.”

M: “It’s to 5 points, okay. That other kid has your 5 points. You need to take those 5 points from the other kid. Those 5 points are yours! I want you to go out there and TAKE your 5 points!!! Whose 5 points is it?!?!?!”

LM: (Blank Stare)….”His? No, mine? No, his, wait, mine…his? mine,? I don’t know his? Uhhh… whose points?”

M: “The other kid has your 5 points. Take it from him. ”

LM: “He has my points? Wait the points are on his chest. I get a point for that right?”

M:”Sigh…You know what? Just go out and have fun, you’ll do fine, you’re ready.”

LM: “Can we order pizza tonight?”

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I’m Back Baby! And People I Can’t Hang With.

Greetings faithful readers! No time for pleasantries, let’s get to some housecleaning. Yes, I took five months off from writing. Do I feel recharged? Yes. Am I chock full of writing ideas? No. Did the break help? Yes. Am I psyched to be blogging again? Kind of. Did I miss it? Sort of.

Yes, I do realize five months ago I “retired” from blogging but like many a professional athlete who walked away from the game there was still some stuff in the basement that needed to get out. So I’m back to writing on a “semi-occasional-whenever-the-hell-the-mood-strikes-me-without-feeling-guilty-that-I-have-to-write-sporadic-basis.” If Jesus can come back after his most famous final performance well, then so can I. You read that right, I just totally just compared myself to Jesus.

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Will I regale you once more with more comical tales of my amusing dating hijinks and absurd relationship sagas? Hell no. Two reasons. One, I’m bored of talking about that and as I said numerous times in the past Mitch Being Honest was never intended to be about dating it just kind of evolved into that. Two, I met someone quite lovely and out of respect for her and our relationship I’m keeping it out of the blog. It’s been six months and just like when a pitcher is working on a perfect game in baseball you don’t mention the pitcher is working on a perfect game lest you jinx it.

Housecleaning done, let’s get to it.

Five Random People Mitch Can No Longer Hang With.

(Disclaimer: person can come in either gender but for sake of example I may choose one gender pronoun because I am a really lazy writer).

“You know HOW bad that is for you” guy: There’s always that one person who has to mention with a mild disdain just how bad the food you are eating is for you. They always make the “where is that weird smell in my kitchen coming from” disgust face while they say this. Then they start to mention all the healthy just as delicious alternatives. Look, first off, I know how bad the food I am eating is, I’m not a moron. The fact is I just don’t care. I know your healthy food alternatives are good for me but if I wanted that I would have chose that in the first place. When I was a kid my parents said when I was an adult I could eat whatever I wanted, they may have been sarcastically saying it but God damn it, I waited all my childhood to get to that point in my life and I don’t intend to waste that victory. Now, if you’ll excuse me my Reese Pieces, BLT with double extra bacon (BBBLT? B-cubed-LT?) and Bourbon on the rocks breakfast is getting cold.

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“Sensationalist Social Cause Facebook” gal: We all have that person who bombards our Facebook feed with sensational shocking photos of abused kids/dogs/cats/people/nature and the like. Personally, I have no problem with being passionate about a cause. Just be aware that not all of us are as passionate as you are about your cause and the last thing I want to see is a graphic explicit picture you posted about your cause that causes me to lose my appetite for my breakfast Froot Loops whilst I persuse my Facebook.

 “I don’t watch TV let alone OWN a TV” guy: Fine I get it, you’re more intellectually evolved than the rest of us because you choose not to watch TV but you don’t have to be a smug bag of dicks about it. You could just say “I don’t really like TV, I prefer reading” if you say it that way it’s more diplomatic and I may be more inclined to ask you about your reading habits and look at that, we have an engaging conversation. Say it the smug bag of dicks method and I just want to throat chop you with a book about the History of Television.

 “Joggy Joggerson” gal: They went for a jog… They are going for a jog…Once on a jog…This occurred to them on a jog…let them just check their resting heart rate because you know, they jog…the ancient mayans invented jogging…this energy bar is good for their jogs…they’ll get on the Henderson account file right after their lunch jog…sore from their jog but a good sore because you know, they jog…jogging is more than exercise its a lifestyle commitment to jogging…let them just stretch at their cubicle because the hammies are tight from the jog…

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 “That’s what THEY want you to believe” guy. There always that person in our social circle who feels that some vague anonymous “THEY” are out to screw with us. They are ever vigilant for “THEY” and their grifter ways but not this person, they are onto “THEY”.

“Yeah, I got this coupon for my next oil change, $10 off”

“Whoa. Hold up. Thats what THEY want you to think.”

“What? They want me to think I’m getting $10 off? But I am getting $10 off, I’m paying $10 less than the last oil change I got there.”

“Exactly. THEY want you to think that…”

Well, it was good to get back to the blogging thing. See you soon.

-Mitch

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Coming Soon…

It’s time…the semi-retirment from blogging is ending. Stay Tuned…

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Good Luck, Goodbye.

Greetings faithful readers,

May 15, 2013 will be the exact three year anniversary of Mitch Being Honest. I have been flirting with the idea for about a year now and I have finally decided to retire Mitch Being Honest. Before you shave your heads and take vows of celibacy in protest to my shocking retirement news that I’m sure will shake the foundations of your very existence, let me lay out for you the reasons behind my decision.

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After three years of writing from the “Mitch” persona premise, I’m just downright bored with it. There’s nothing new I can do with this premise and I’ve lost a bit of that fire in the belly I had for keeping the Mitch Blog train a rollin’. It used to be fulfilling and therapeutic to fire out a blog that made me laugh, now it feels like a chore to come out with something for my readers. And the point of the blog was to always make myself laugh first and foremost, but now I feel guilty that my output is not regular. I’ve gotten away from writing to make myself laugh first, others second.

“The You Got Civilized Dilemma.”Any of my regular readers knows that Mitch is a die hard fan of Rocky film franchise. They are more than films to me, they are a philosophical way of life. In Rocky 3, Mickey at one point says to Rocky “The worst thing that can happen to you, that can happen to any fighter, you got civilized.”

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The blog was a therapeutic way for me to deal with the turmoil that was going in my life by finding the humour in the absurdity of it all. I wrote about my unstable marriage, my marriage failing, my divorce, single parenting, learning to be single, and learning to date and much more. All of those things provided me a wealth of material to draw upon and find humour in. This past year I’ve made a real concerted effort to lead a quiet, mellow existence. Definitely, an antithesis reaction to spending spending sixteen years of my life in a volatile, unhealthy emotionally charged relationship. By creating my new quiet, mellow, stable life, I killed off much of what I used the blog for and what I used to say with it. In a sense, I got civilized.

Originally, the blog was a business school project that I just kept going for myself. To date the blog has 106 Facebook followers, and 99 WordPress followers. I’ve made some friends through the blog, chatted with other bloggers and even landed a paying social media gig from blogging. Not too shabby seeing as the only real effort I put in was to make myself laugh.

I will be back to blogging someday, with a new premise and a new format but for now I need a long break.

Good luck, goodbye- Mitch.

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Life Lessons With Mitch Lesson 250

On a recent road trip, Little Mitch and I were passing the time playing Pictionary on his Nintendo 3DS. My first guess was soooooooo not even remotely close to “light post.”

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(Sorry for the lack of updates gang, I been getting my ass kicked by  my annual spring allergies and I’ve been licnesed to ill for a solid two weeks)

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