Now in the darkening of the year
The veil between the worlds wears thin
And those gone on ahead draw near
Like a harvest gathered in
In the hours of quiet remembrance
The waning season brings
We may feel their whispered presence
Like the brush of gentle wings


poem ©2010 The Owl Underground

Absent Friends

Gobi Gobatiputtitatti
11 July, 1999 to 17 April, 2015

He had a variety of nicknames, but the one that stuck was “Pu” (short for Emperor Pu An Yu).  His father was a Godknows out for a night on the town.  His mother was a long haired lilac-point Siamese belonging to the then daughter-in-law of my then landlord and his wife.  They owned the apartment building where I lived for over 21 years, longer than I have lived anywhere else.  That building is no more, pulled down to make way for the building of the Marsha Sharp Freeway.  Where it was is now the deli section of a Market Street supermarket.

When I had Stormy put down in March of 2015, it was because she was dying of kidney failure.  That left me with two cats, Jaks and Pu, who was 15 going on 16, but was still healthy and active.  The reality of that situation was it cost $20 a day per cat to board cats at Petsmart’s pet hotel and my then 91-year-old mom wanted me to drive her places, to visit relatives and friends.  She would pay to board one cat, but not two.  I had Pu, my wingman, put down a month after I had to say goodby to my baby girl, Stormy.  That left me with Jaks, the black one I lost in January of 2018.  He was 11 when I had him put down also, right at the start of this horrible year.  He was badly overweight, had been getting clingy and very stressed by having to be boarded, and it was as if I somehow knew I was going to have a heart attack less than a month later, and be hospitalized four times over the next five months and be one sick puppy for most of the first half of the year. It was time for him to go and it was the first time in 21 years that I had been without a cat.  Yeah, I miss all of them, including my first two, Shadow whom I lost to osteosarcoma in 2004 and Jett whom I lost to diabetes in 2009, but Pu is the one I regret.  I could have kept Pu.

What brought all this on was I dreamed about him last night, ol’ Pu.  My wingman.  The one that followed me from room to room, content to be where ever I was, gruff, crotchety, opinionated ol’ curmudgeon that he was.   I dreamed he was living with my former landlord and his wife, and that I got to visit him there.  I was so glad to see him again.  I picked him up and held him in my lap and petted him and loved on him.  It was a dream of sensory memories, of having him to hold again.  The feel of his fur, the weight of his body, that one whisker (his wild hair) that grew in a quirky direction.  I started crying about the second sentence of this post, looking through my pictures of him, remembering his taste for paper, his thing about boxes, his puffy-fluffy, eloquent plume of a tail, the tufts of fur between his pink paw pads and his splendidly long whiskers. Remembering that time it rained on his house.   He was a part of my life for almost 16 years.  I had him longer than I had any of the other ones.   He’s the one I regret.  I could have kept him.

Keeping Tabs on Tabs

Ran across a video yesterday about a new way to do garter tabs in shawls.  Say, for example,  you want to knit a triangular shawl.  You have several options for construction all of which will have an effect on the finished product.  You can start at one side point, get wider toward the center, and then get narrower to the point at the other side.  You can start wide, by knitting all across the top edge, and decrease to the bottom point, or you can start at the bottom point and increase to the whole top edge.  The garter tab allows you to start in the center of the top and knit outward to the side points and downward to the bottom point, all at the same time.  I’ve used this technique in my own patterns, and I’ve used it in other’s patterns.

Ms. Bryan’s method uses a multi-stitch increase method:  k,yo,k (or kyok) which means work a knit stitch, a yarn over, and a knit stitch in one stitch.  This is a technique for increasing one stitch into three stitches.  I’d never encountered this stitch combination before.   As I was hunter-gathering through the selection of YouTube videos watching this video produced, I ran across a video by Ms. Benson about an easy lacy crescent shawl, and this shawl pattern also used the kyok stitch combination.   So here’s an increase method I’d not encountered before, and bang!  I encounter it twice in the same day.   Cue sound tract.

Most of the colorways of the Mandala yarn are pretty meh! as far as I’m concerned.  The two exceptions were the “Troll” pink/purple/dark blue combination (at right) I’m using for the reader’s shrug.   (Apparently, the name hearkens to one of the characters in the film “Trolls who has this color scheme). The other one is this grey/blue combination called “Spirit.” (at left) I had a cake of it, and ordered more from Lion Brand Yarn.  I decided on a semicircular shawl, which I’ve started.  Oh, so much yarn, so little time!  Instead of doing the shawl in garter stitch, I’m doing it in stockinette with a purl detail.   Oddly enough, it has kyok’s in it.  The yarn is a DK weight, lighter in weight than regular worsted yarn and I’m doing it on a size US4 (3.5 mm) needle.  It won’t be quite so heavy as those shawls I’m doing in worsted weight.  This is the same weight of yarn that my reader’s shrug will be when I get the sleeves done.

I ripped this shawl all out and reworked the pattern.  I don’t like how the bottom point is.  It doesn’t look right and doesn’t lay right, so RIBBIT!

I played with the pattern and reworked it, and it’s still not exactly perfectly right, but it’s better than it was before, and close enough for gummint* work.

I’ve written up the pattern and I’m calling it “Najidama Bay.” In C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner books, this is the bay on the Atevi mainland where Bren Cameron’s estate of Najida is located.  The “eyelets” in the knitted as you go edging kind of make it look like waves on the beach.  I still may end up frogging it yet again and take out two rows at the point, but not tonight.  When I’m completely satisfied with the way it looks, it’ll go up on my knitting patterns website.

My friend CB who had bypass surgery on the 16th went home on the 22nd, which I find amazing.  I mean, they saw your breast bone in half down the middle and open your chest up!  Still I think you do better at home than you do in the hospital — where it’s quiet and you can sleep in your own bed instead of those horribly uncomfortable hospital beds (and where you can just plain sleep without nurses waking you up two or three times during the night),  and where you’re not surrounded by all those sick people.  Most importantly, you’ve got all your stuff — all your tunes, your electronic devices, and your books, and a TV you can turn up loud enough to hear.

His wife, L, who is a knitting friend, knitted him this hat in black and white at his request.  I have a picture of him in his hospital gown and this hat, but don’t have his permission to publish it.  The nurses got as big a kick out of it as he did.   He has such a positive attitude and I expect him to continue to do well, especially now that he’s home.

*gummint -- that bunch of yahoos in D.C. who think they know how to run a country, and the massive bureaucracy they think it takes to do it.



Things That Make You Go “Hmmmm”

Watched a YouTube how-to video on Turkish cast-on just now, and the first thing the lady says is, “The Turkish cast on is a provisional cast on. . .”
Until that moment, I had never thought of the Turkish cast-on as a provisional cast-on.  Then she starts talking about open and closed cast-ons, which is something else I’d never thought about.  The Turkish cast-on has always been my go-to method when I want to knit  in opposite directions at the same time, as it produces a row of knitting with live stitches across the top (the way it always works), and a row of live stitches across the bottom.  When you use it as a closed cast-on, you knit across the top stitches, turn your work upside down and knit across the bottom stitches to form a circle.  This is how you use it to form the toe of a sock that has no seam across it, which is the main selling point for the toe-up method of making socks.   It’s also how I do my seamless pussy hats.  I also used the Turkish cast on to do my shrug that I started in the center of the back and knitted in both directions out toward the arms (which would be using it as an open cast-on).

But here, this lady is showing me the Turkish cast on where you use the ends of TWO sets of circular needles to do the cast-on, where the second set is just holding the stitches until you need them.  Immediately, I thought of my toboggan hat pattern where I use the provisional cast-on method that uses a piece of scrap yarn to hold the stitches, then I go back later and pick up about 20 stitches at a time off the scrap yarn with a double pointed needle to “hem” them to the live stitches using k2tog.   If I used two circular needles and did the Turkish cast on, instead of using the scrap yarn method, I wouldn’t have to go back and take the provisional stitches off the scrap yarn and put them on a needle because they’d already be on one and I’d just fold them under and voilá. Hmmmm.   Just shows to go me that my thinking about the Turkish cast-on had gotten into a rut that had kept me from considering all the possibilities of this useful technique.

In other knitting news, the shrug kind of got bumped to the back burner because of recent events.  I’ve made a close friend in my knitting group, LB.  Seems her husband C woke up in the night last weekend with chest pains and this Monday, he had an angiogram of his heart whereby they discovered he had some significant blockages in all three coronary arteries that they could not bridge with stents.  He was scheduled for open heart surgery on Wednesday.  LB can’t drive because she has had problems with her vision(Fuchs dystropy) either brought on or aggravated by the fact that she’s had multiple rounds of chemotherapy for recurrent breast cancer.  Her husband C is her main ride.

Their daughter also lives here in town and is a professor at Tech, but Wednesday she was scheduled to go to a conference that the University paid for, and which is important to her career advancement.  They convinced her to go ahead and attend it, which created a problem with LB getting to and from the hospital.  So since Wednesday, I’ve been her ride to and from the hospital, and I’ve been staying there lending moral support.  We sat there knitting while he was in surgery (they did a triple bypass), and I have been sitting and knitting with her in his room for the last three days. Because I’ve had to be portable with my knitting, and I didn’t want to be juggling two balls of yarn, I’ve taken hats and cowls, so the shrug has been on the back burner.  I’ve finished two hats and a cowl in just the four days since his surgery. I am happy to report that he has done extremely well.  He was only in the Surgical ICU for two days, and they had him up in a chair, and walking in the hall in SICU on the first day.  Yesterday, he went to a regular room.  His color is so much better.  But, as I say, he won’t be able to drive for about six weeks.

LB was working on this hat in black and white for her husband (at his request!) and finished it yesterday.  He wore it for a while, and the nurses all got such a kick out of it.

Naturally, the weather has been rainy and cold all week, and I’ve been bringing one of those large traveling cups worth of hot tea to the hospital every day.  Finally yesterday, the sun came out, and we were mighty glad to see it.  Yesterday as I was taking LB home, we stopped off at this place where you can get pizza and calzones and got calzones for supper.  I can’t eat a whole calzone at one sitting, so there’s half a calzone sitting in the refrigerator right now that’s been calling my name for the last hour or so.  I guess I better go see what it wants . . . as if I didn’t know. . .

I Broke Down* And Cooked Today

I know it’s hard to believe, but I actually cooked something on the stove today.  Earlier this afternoon, I cooked up a package of elbow macaroni.  I had some of that precooked fajita chicken which I diced, and I chopped up a couple of green onions, a stalk of celery, quartered a handful of cherry tomatoes, and opened and drained a can of baby peas.  Mixed it all up with about a tablespoon of Ranch dressing and a couple of serving spoons of mayonnaise.  Made a rather tasty chicken pasta salad, if I say it myself.  The cherry tomatoes give it nice color.  Had a bowl of it just now and it was right tasty.  Well worth the time and effort.

I cooked the whole package of elbow macaroni, and I’ve got two plastic containers of it in the fridge for later.  What with the weather having turned cool, I’ve been doing some serious thinking about adding some elbows and some chopped onions to a can of Wolf Brand Chili.  Dish up a bowl of it, sprinkle some Sargento Mexican Four Cheeses sprinkle cheese on top and give it a zot in the microwave. . . . serious nums!

I have this big stainless steel four-piece pot affair (counting the clear glass lid) that has the big pot with the strainer insert for cooking pasta and a separate little basket for steaming vegetables.  It has the hollow handles that let you lift it right off the burner bare handed.  That’s what I cook pasta in.   Our water here is hard as a rock, and that shiny stainless steel will water spot like mad if you even get it near the sink let alone actually get it wet.  I have to dry each piece the minute I wash it.

Anyway, I carried a pot of tea (Earl Grey, hot), one of my clear pressed glass tea cups, and a bowl of that chicken pasta salad back to my computer. (You can see another one of my famous non-matching teacups in the picture below.)

I’ve been typing on my story, with this in my lap.  I’m moving right along on it, but it is a bit of a juggle doing sleeves two at a time, with two balls of yarn attached.   The trick to the two at a time business is not letting the strands of yarn from the two balls get twisted around each other.   (Like Egon says, “Don’t cross the streams.“)

This is what the armpit looks like.  You can see where I joined the garter-stitch border together and then started knitting in the round on the sleeves.  Below you can see how far I’ve gotten on the sleeves already.   I’m going to try to write this pattern up and put it on my knitting patterns blog.

I need to get busy on this sucker and get it done.  It fooled around and got cold on us here.  (I’ve got long sleeves, long pants and socks on.)  It’s supposed to get down to 32F (0 C) tonight, and our lows for the next 10 days are going to be in the 40’s F (4-8 C) with highs only in the low 60’s F (15-16 C).  Last time I looked at my thermostat in the hall, it said 72 F (22.2 C).  My office is typically the warmest room in the house, and the thermometer on the clock that sits on my computer tower, which usually stays at around 82-84 F (27-28 C) says 72 F (22.2 C).    I generally keep my AC set to come on at 80 F (26.6 C) and my heater set to come on at 68 F (20 C), otherwise my electric/gas bills are higher than giraffe’s ears.  But it doesn’t cost me a penny to go put on a shawl or sweater or put a lap robe over my legs.  I’m definitely putting the waffle blanket on the bed when I change the sheets tomorrow.  Probably time to take my pedestal fans to the store room in the garage.

In the late spring, Walmart will usually put their microfleece blankets on sale.  You can usually get a really good price on the twin size, which is what I make lap robes out of.  If the blanket has a hemmed border, I cut that off.  I fold them in half top edge to bottom edge and with my sewing machine, I run a seam around all four sides, leaving about six inches open so I can turn it inside out.  Then I hand-sew closed the open part and run a second seam about an inch in from the edge on all four sides to make a border.  This makes a really nice lap robe.  I’ve made several — they make great gifts.  I’ve got a “leopard print” one I keep in my knitting nook.  I’ve got a blue twin sized blanket I’ve been meaning to make into one for my office.  I may have to unlimber my sewing machine here soon.

*"broke down and (did something) -- Texan, to do something that you  usually avoid doing or almost never do.  The implication is that the reason you don't do whatever it is you broke down and did is because it goes against your principles or personal moral code.

Making a Case for Odds and Ends

I have a set of dishes, Churchill’s beautiful version of the classic blue willow ware pattern.  (Those regular readers of this blog will have seen pieces of it.) I have place settings for 12.  I got them in the early 1980’s at my local Skaggs-Albertson store. It was the classic “grocery store dishes” deal.   For every $x you spent on groceries, you got a stamp.  You filled in a card with 9 stamps and you could buy a four piece place setting for, like, $2.50.  We’re talking nice, good quality ceramic dishes.

I already had a set of Noritaki pottery left over from a wedding that didn’t take, and I liked them well enough, but I had always secretly yearned for a set of blue willow ware dishes.  Now was my chance.  I bought all the accessory bits, too —  12 coffee cups and saucers, serving bowls, platters (round and oval), coffee pot, teapot, condiment set, a butter dish for stick butter, a gravy boat, two of the cutest covered casserole dishes you ever saw, relish tray, the whole nine yards.   Why did I buy so many place settings?  These are my forever dishes, and I figured having so many place settings would allow for attrition and still leave me enough dishes that matched to serve food to a reasonable number of people if the need arose.  I have broken a salad plate, which I promptly replaced at about 5 times what I originally paid for it, because matching sets . . . .

And that’s kind of what I wanted to talk about, matching sets.  We’ve been indoctrinated for centuries to think that dishes need to match.  If you set a table, the dishes must all be part of a matched set.  Glassware all has to match.  Silverware all has to match.  The table linens have  to match.

While the part of me that has been inculcated since infancy in the orthodoxy of Matching Sets (and the part of me that swoons over blue and white china anything) glories in my cabinet full of matching dishes, there is the part of me that glories in my shelf of teacups.  Oh, I have a set of 9 of those tall, slender Chinese style blue and white tea cups with lids from Pier 1 (because blue and white!), but they’re on a different shelf.  No, I have this one shelf where I have a pair of el cheapo clear pressed glass “hot chocolate” cups, two hand-thrown heavy pottery mugs with handles and a larger, handle-less thrown pottery mug from this potter in southeastern NM who signed her/his work “Taylor,” a collection of about six Chinese teacups without handles but with  lids that double as saucers alike in style, but not in color or design.  None of them match except the two clear glass cups (they came as a pair in the Christmas gift) and the two white pottery cups (I saw the one, loved it, had to have it, and then saw there was another one like it . . . pounce! . . .).   That shelf is like a family photo album.  I remember how and where I got every one of those cups, and using any of them evokes memories of places and people and good times.  They’re a carefully curated collection, to coin a phrase, not just of teacups, but memorabilia.

And the thing is, I can make a case for cups, glasses and dishes that you use on a daily basis being collections, rather than sets.  Odds and ends gathered from hither and yon because you like them — their shape, or their pattern, or their color (I have a set of 10 cobalt blue drinking glasses I bought 10 of because cobalt blue, — and because they color coordinate with the blue willow dishes) or because they were a gift from a special person, or were what remained of a set that was inherited from a family member, and each piece would come with a history.

See, if none of your wine glasses matched, then you wouldn’t need to offer those absurdly chichi wine glass charms to your guests so they could keep track of whose wine was whose.   Each glass would be one of a kind, and there wouldn’t be another glass like the one that was yours.

You could use the plate or bowl that fit your mood — if you were sad, you could use the one with the beautiful hand-painted flowers on to cheer yourself up;  if you were feeling dumped on by the world, you could use that elegant bone china one that was all that was left of a set brought over from Europe by great great Aunt Ermintrude when she immigrated from Upper Loose Chippings, Blighty, in Eighteen-Oh-Something;  when you were feeling burnt out from work, you could use the brilliantly colored majolica one you got in Spain.   Mood therapy through dinnerware.  What a concept.


Houston, We Have Sleeves!

Sometimes my brain works in strange and idiosyncratic ways.  I tend to have trouble with homonyms when I’m typing  — not when I’m writing by hand, mind you, just when I’m typing.  I invariably make the wrong choice first, like typing ‘right’ when I mean ‘write’ or ‘by’ when I mean ‘buy.’  I know perfectly well which one is which, and I’ll be looking right at what I’m typing as I’m typing it, — and still type “meat me after work.”  Like this morning.  I can’t recall now which ones they were, but it was a set of three homonyms, and I swear I typed and backspaced twice before I finally got the right one.  It’s like my eyes know which is which, but my fingers can’t keep them straight.

As I mentioned, I’ve been in the throes of a story for weeks now, and here’s today’s winning brain fart: What I meant to type was “got off on the wrong foot.”  As I was reading back through the paragraph, I saw I had typed, “got off on the round foot.”   I mean, it’s like I’ve just washed my hands and I can’t do a thing with them!

I think part of it is that I was a medical transcriptionist and typed for eight hours a day, five to six days a week for years and years, and I had this brain circuit really solidly wired in where the dictation went in my ears, through the part of my brain that interprets spoken words and the part where it got transliterated from spoken words to written words, turned left at my cerebellum and went out my fingers, while my eyes rode herd on the whole process, making sure that I was not only accurately typing what I heard, but that what was being typed was also spelled and punctuated correctly, and that it made sense.   I did it so much for so long that to this day, the first thing I do when I sit down at the computer is to put my earbuds in, and I can’t write at the computer without some kind of sound coming through them.  I’ve got an old copy of Winamp and a whole list of internet radio station URLs set up to play through it, and you wouldn’t believe the number of playlists I have on Napster.

Typically, the first thing I do when I’m in storyland is read what I typed the day before, which is wear where the knitting comes in. (See what I mean?) My brain is convinced that when I’m sitting at the computer, my hands have to be doing something, so while I’m reading yesterday’s work, I’m doing some form of “TV” knitting.   I guess I’m going to have to name my reader’s shrug “Mirabilo” because that’s the title of the story I was working on when I started it, and have been wrestling with like Laocoön  all the time I’ve been knitting on it.

Yesterday, I finally got the back of the shrug to the right dimensions and put everything on the 60-inch needle to do the sleeves.  The back has a 9-stitch wide garter stitch border top and bottom, and the first thing I did was join the top border to the bottom border on each side by putting wrong sides together and then taking a stitch from the top border and knitting it together (k2tog) with a stitch from the bottom border, and binding the stitches off as I went.

The basic shrug idea is to take a long rectangle, fold it in half, and seam the part at each end together to make the sleeves.  I’ve just started the sleeves here but instead of seaming them, I’m knitting them in the round.

But you can see the garter stitch border along the bottom which I joined at each end to make it into a loop.  This is the part of the shrug that goes behind your neck, over each shoulder, under both arms and across your back.  You can get the idea here.  A lot of patterns have you go back and pick up all the edge stitches and knit this part on last. Too many steps to suit me.   I like to do it all in one pass.

In this picture you can see I’m knitting the sleeves in the round, using the two-at-a-time method.   It’s knitted left sleeve starting at the center  bottom, going around to the top, then changing balls of yarn to do the right sleeve starting at the center top and knitting around to the bottom.  It’s coming along nicely.

I’ll be glad to get it finished.  The weather has already turned cool enough that I’ve switched over to hot tea and long sleeves.  I’ve had that little single microfleece blanket on my side of the bed for three nights now. (I’ll have to look at the 10-day weather forecast to decide if it’s time to put a blanket on the bed next time I change my sheets.)   I haven’t been reading anything lately because I don’t want the writing style or subject matter of what I’m reading to bleed over into my story.

Stand Fast, Sisters!

Lest we forget, in this time of raucous voices raised in scorn and derision,  that precious and so vital sound of sisters singing in sweet harmony. . . .


And by the way, a little riff on an old favorite lyric, just because.

In the deep dark woods,
Way up in the trees,
Where you can’t never see them
Hiding up in the leaves,
Oh, the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs.

They don’t be caring
If you listen or not,
Ain’t singing to you, anyway.
Uh-huh, the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs.

They be sing just because they want to.
They be singing Just because they can.
They be singing just to be singing.
They be singing all day long
Yes, the littlest birds sing the pretties songs.

They don’t be caring
if you listen or not,
Ain’t singing to you, anyway.
Don’t the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs.

Both Ends Are In the Deep Purple Now

I’ve had my reader’s shrug at my computer desk where I can work on it while catching up with the blogs, webcomics and YouTube channels I follow.

I’ve also been knitting on it while I’ve been working on this story idea.  I thought I knew what the story was about and where it was going, but when I was deciding on character names and identities, setting scenes and doing a little world-building, I decided to incorporate a little back story on two of the three main characters just as a kind of set-up for the main story for when I bring the third main character in, and the durn thing bolted, got the bit between its teeth and took off in a totally unexpected direction for 9 whole chapters!  It’s an interesting direction, though, and I’ve decided to give the story its head just to see where it ends up.

I should know by now.  I’ll get a set of characters and put them in a situation, thinking I know who they are and what they’ll do, and then the characters start telling me stuff I didn’t know about them that changes how I see them, or they insist they would never do the stuff I’m trying to get them to do, and the next thing I know, the inmates are trying to take over the asylum.  I have found that knitting keeps the motor part of my brain out of the way while the business end is trying to get the madhouse back under control.  Wrestling with the angel, indeed.

And speaking of knitting, I’ve been making quite a bit of progress on my reader’s shrug.   But, because it’s technically “TV knitting,” every now and again, I have to stop and do the “two steps forward and one step back” dance because I’ve made an oops.

Here, I discovered that instead of the 9 stitches I was supposed to have on the ribbed border, I had lost a stitch at some point and only had 8, so I had to frog just that bit row by row until I found out what I’d done with it.  Took me over an hour to locate my little uh-oh and repair it.  All better now, though.

The color change on the yarn is interesting — pink gradates into a fuchsia that gradates through a kind of maroon purple to just plain purple, and then pushes on through to a kind of cyan blue, a really greenish turquoise (which I edited out) and back to pink.

I’m mystified as to how somebody came up with the name of “Troll” for this set of colors. (What were they smoking?) (And where can I get some!)

Anyway, I did some more research on the construction of shrugs and realized a key measurement was wrong because I had not measured me in the right places.  Pas de problème.  I remeasured me and got the correct dimension of 24 inches wide before I start the sleeves.  (Instead of running the tape measure from the point of one shoulder across my back to the point of the other one, which gave me 18 inches, I should have run the tape measure from the edge of one armpit around the back of my neck to the edge of the other armpit, and got the more useful measurement of 24 inches.)

Anyway, I’ve gotten 12 inches from the center point to one end, and I’ve got about 4 inches to go to have 12 inches on the other end.  I’m further along now than I was when the above picture was taken.  Both ends are in the deep purple now.  When it measures 24 inches from one 32-inch circular needle to the other, that’s when it all goes onto the 60-inch circular needle and we start two-at-a-timeing the sleeves.  Oh, what fun.

However, it’s sneaking up on 1 a.m. just at the moment, and I think I hear my beddy boo calling me. . . Hasta banana.