I have no ready explanation for this.

I started this yesterday evening. When I have the page filled sufficiently, I’m posting it.

1. This post brought to you through the auspices of Weyerbacher Brewery in Easton PA, my erratic luteal phase, and a fresh loaf of Italian bread, and is dedicated to Rumson, New Jersey, my friend Anna*, and everyone who portrayed Mr Knightley in a movie.

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I went to Kroger for some Italian sausage (thus, also some bread,) and because I needed a few minutes around some people; collective energy and so forth, and listened to my iPod there and back, noticing it has a remarkable understanding of just the sort of mood I’m in. So that’s what this is. Well, plus a few more songs that played while I was cooking sausage.
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Check it out: 20160405_161926That sign has been up at Tuesday Morning for at least a couple months, definitely before the news of Hancock’s new bankruptcy was announced, and waaaay before they announced they were closing ALL stores. Things that make you wonder…

I have On The Beach on while typing this. Wasn’t Tony Perkins just beautiful?

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And in 1959, as skinny as my beautiful sons. People seem to find this wrong now, or maybe they always did, I dunno. I remember being made fun of for it when very young, then later as a teen and young woman, the ugly sneers… But if it’s okay for people to weigh a whole lot, it’s also okay for them to weigh not very much at all. Life, you know. Diverse and all.

Hello. I’d like to talk with you about Gregory Peck’s jawline.

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2. Because of reasons to do with that unfortunate Lois Lane scene, no, not in the completely awesome exciting and thoughtful unless there is something seriously wrong with you new film, but the old outdated Superman movie, I have this Gordon Lightfoot song in my head.


I do like this song, but I always thought of it as some of the “grownup” music when I was a kid.

Speaking of which, Merle Haggard has died, and while I was not a fan, I mean, of course I remember him and he was a part of our youth and etc., and it occurs to me that all our childhood grownups are dying, and pretty soon we’ll be the only grownups who remember them, or something like that. I couldn’t quite hang onto the thread I was following. Our childhood is all ghosts, is maybe what I mean. I have a list of half a dozen people who, when they are gone, will have been the end of it all. Let us not speak their names just now. Not because of superstitions we need not have, but because we will rather continue to think of them as healthy and strong.

I was in a better mood earlier, and also yesterday when I began this exercise. It’s gloomy and raining now, which does a thing to my brain, I guess, though I never mean for it to. And so I am not going to finish this until I am in a better mood again. That’s what it’s meant to be about.

3. I’ve had a look at my “notes for later” document that I keep in my dock, and found some items to share:
    
    a. "Exquisite Timing: Perimenopause and the Bee Gees:" this is an essay I’m working on which I’ll probably post to Medium some time or other. But Medium has already changed a lot since it started. I’m not quite as keen on it as I was in the beginning. I’m that way, just always was, I guess. Nobody steal my title.

    b. My son said this a few weeks ago: Jesus was walking around the desert with chest damage, trying to build an arc reactor, Judas turned his back on him and betrayed him, trying to steal the technology.

    c. I copied this from somewhere, don’t remember who said it. You can Google it if you like. “What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly - that is the first law of nature.”

4. You know how people used to complain that their old out of touch parents would send them painful inspiring emails, or chain letter emails, or ridiculous urban legends? Here are examples of the things I text to my kids.
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5. I saved this photo to share as well, but do not recall why. Something to do with his speech pattern.
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6. A little while back I made my hair lighter, and it's also shorter than it's been in awhile, but then I saw this brief stuttering video from a few years ago and got to missing it dark, never mind long, a person should be only so fickle.

So what do you think? A little darker than image a like it is now, or a little lighter than image b like it's sort of now meant to be?
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* For Anna, I was going to post a link to a Tumblr site devoted to red-haired men. But they turned out to all be gay porn. So, anyway...here's a song.

  


30 in 31: day twenty: grab bag

As I am typing, I do not know what will appear below. I have the final week of December planned, and a list to go by for a few other days. But today, for two disparate reasons, I have no plan. Yet, I am a regimented person when it comes to the least essential aspects of life, and so I felt compelled to post something.

Having had a look through the LCARS Annex, I've come up with photos of Young Robert Montgomery. Tomorrow's entry will be filled with import and meaning, I'm sure...

PrivatelivesWith Norma Shearer

Strangersmaykiss.Also with Norma Shearer

Tallulah1With Tallulah Bankhead

ThedivorceeNorma Shearer again. That tart.

JunebrideIn the following decade, with Bette Davis.


30 in 31: day nine: wading again

Which magazine recently featured ten actors over fifty who are still sexy? I forget. But I super hated their list, and made my own. Here, in alphabetical order, with no useful information, because I'm really busy with my Hallmark Christmas Movie color/symbol ratings key, and for no good reason, is the list I made which is better than theirs. I'll link to that one sometime or other.

Pierce Brosnan Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 7.00.07 PM
Robert Downey, Jr Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 7.01.51 PM
Colin Firth
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Jeff Goldblum Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 7.04.54 PM
Greg Kinnear Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 7.07.26 PM
Christopher Meloni Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 7.09.02 PM
Dermot Mulroney
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Jimmy Smits
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Mark Strong
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Blair Underwood
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30 in 31: day three part one: no diving in shallow end of pool

I feel like being silly. So likely there'll be a part two and three. Which means (at least) thirty-two rather than thirty, but whatever.

Anyway. A couple weeks ago or more, I saw an article with ten actors over fifty who are still sexy. And I super hated their list. It was just pandering to a crowd I'm not part of, and also wrong and weird.

Only maybe Pierce Brosnan was on it? And if so, they were only 90% wrong. More on that in another post. Back to this one. Pierce Brosnan was oddly perfect-looking in the eighties, kind of like a doll? And that wasn't his fault, of course, but it wasn't my thing even then when I was a rather younger person, no matter how well he wore a suit.

He got better and better, and now at 62, is still a rather fine fellow to view, extra real estate around the middle or no. I wanted some pictures of him that would be funny, or sort of beaten up, etc., but his Bond never really got it in the face the way Craig's does. Also, a super annoying thing was I kept running into headlines about how he married a fat woman. Only instead of stating either a) obviously this basically fulfilled a fantasy many ordinary women have about a super handsome man desiring them, or b) look, here is a reality where people marry each other for reasons other than how well they fit an image, they seemed to imply this was weird and not a good thing.

But I digress. None of that matters in regard to the following images. Here are eight past times Pierce Brosnan was sexy and one time he was...not. I have, for the sake of us all, not included the time he tried to sing in a movie. It was endearingly awful, but need not be stuck in anyone's head on a rough day.

Boysincars

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Beingwet

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Attackthis is a poor animated gif which will replay if you click on it.

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Bongos

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resonating encounter

I’ve been mulling over the nature of attraction, and therefore also the nature of repulsion. Mostly attraction, but why are we sometimes drawn to a stranger or a picture and other times repelled by one? However, I'm not going to talk about repulsion, as that is unpleasant, and instead focus on the desire for the train to slow down a little before it reaches your stop. Setting aside generally objective standards of beauty, as well as what we find personally physically appealing, what causes us to seek out an encounter or delay ending one with someone we might not otherwise notice in a crowd, or a waiting room, or mowing a lawn, perhaps? DSC_4051

It’s not scent; it occurs online sometimes, as well, though this can create a false narrative. Over the years I’ve met a couple dozen people I spoke with online, male and female, mostly female, and the ones with whom I settled in and really connected to weren’t always the ones I’d have predicted.

Sometimes I’m at a Target on the other side of town where the cashier available at that time of day is a fairly stereotypical gay man about my age. He wears a divine scent and we always have a bit of good conversation. I’m drawn to his scent, and I like our brief talks, but I don’t feel drawn to him in any way other than by a notion we probably have some commonalities based on age. He might would probably bore me at dinner. But recently at the symphony, I made a polite remark to a woman sitting near me, and this caused her to strike up a conversation during intermission. She was clearly one of those people with a thousand stories, able to hold court wherever she is, surrounded by listeners. I’m often drawn to that archetype, at least, the female version, and will politely listen, nod, and smile in turn. A man who holds court in that fashion is rarely interesting to me, and I wonder what the difference is, but I suppose that’s another topic.

That’s all another kind of attraction, anyway, not the “I might like to touch your arm as we speak” variety.

I might be mulling this over because as I age, the bits of attractiveness I relied on to ease myself through the extroverted world are mostly all faded, and I feel sometimes like quite a different person than the one I see in the mirror, especially since I began wearing glasses all the time. I never felt like my insides and outsides quite matched anyway, but they do even less so now. It vainly occurred to me that other people have probably been confronting this all along. And as I never regarded their beauty or the lack of it as a paramount characteristic, why should I assume other people ever regarded me only as something to view or avoid viewing? I’m not really so awful as to think I am the only person in the room with a measure of depth…
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We should definitely all smell nice and make our hair and clothes neat when we go out. Is it old-fashioned of me to think so? I don’t care.

A few days ago, I was watching a TV show, and saw a young actor who struck me with his beauty. (Yes, like a smack on the back of the head.) I looked him up to see what else he appeared in and learned he is about 30 years old. Yikes. I was drawn to him on screen, nonetheless, but would I have been in real life? It’s doubtful, as I’m generally drawn to people, in this way or the other way, who are about my same age or just a little older. There’s a data equation for it with incrementally shifting variables, I think. But as I grow older, one thing never changes, and it’s that thing I seemed to start out talking about at the beginning of this wandering typefest.

For me, that “I want to touch your arm as we speak” sensation occurs only with men, but it’s reasonable to assume both males and females might experience it with either gender. It’s physical attraction, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into “I want to touch you beneath your clothing.” People are sometimes confused on that point, and would breathe a lot easier if they’d stop to consider the matter for what it is and isn't. Did you ever have a “work spouse,” which I understand to be a thing, and actually try to take that next step with him or her, only to have it end in awkwardness and the sense that you can never go back to your previous groovy “we might, but we don’t” status? Sometimes, anticipation is the reward. You pin that person to your internal “I probably would” board, but don’t actually follow through.
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When I was younger, I was really no good at that. If I wanted someone, he’d absolutely learn about it. But I was a little mixed up and would get in over my head. My switch was stuck halfway on, which isn’t nice for other people. I wanted it badly sometimes, yet not quite enough to follow through (that is inaccurate; it was the protective mechanism of fear, not lack of desire, that took over.) Well, I loved that “we could if only we could” sensation, and would happily sustain it for a long time, but then switch off if the response was too close to reality. I wasn’t this way on purpose; I just didn’t know how to take anyone as seriously as they take themselves, which can be terribly hurtful. To be honest, I’m still no good at that, but eventually I learned to avoid any appearance of interest, which is a kinder path to take, though it became too stringent. I used to laugh and say if I were a man I’d have been…much more physically impulsive. Certain gender-defining properties being what they are, it’s possible. But I can’t think about that more than very abstractly. I cannot for the life of me imagine what sort of woman I’d find attractive were I a man. Perhaps if I were a man, I’d still just prefer other men.

So, where was I? On a train ride, perhaps, stuck on that one bridge between Penn Station and Seacaucus for no reason anyone ever could see. Or in a waiting room or a bookstore. Very little is said, there’s just some palpable nature to the air that brings a smile when thought of later on.
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Is it always reciprocal? Is that particular (from chemical or electrical particles? neat thought) sensation only possible when it goes both ways? It’s awfully nice to think so, even though it usually doesn’t and generally shouldn’t lead anywhere further. I think we should, with our better natures, remain open to these little moments in time, appreciate our connectivity, allow it to energize our thoughts and moods and improve our view of humanity. I allowed that to happen pretty often when I was younger, not only in the more focused manner I referred to above, but just out and about in the world. I’ve probably been overlooking that opportunity for years now, knowing there’ll never be another boy with a bouzouki looking back at a girl seemingly made entirely of contrasts. That girl wasted some measurable energy mourning the loss of something that could never, ever be real, though. This woman knows there is no loss in appreciating energy without seeking to manipulate it.

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The Night of the Shirtless Agent

Yeah, I never claimed to be original all the time.

A friend on Google Plus was sharing tidbits from The Wild, Wild West today, which got me thinking two things. First, as I have been wanting to do some weekly themes, Thursday might be a good day for posts such as this one here. Which I am doing because something you might not know about me is that Bret Maverick was not entirely my first crush. He shared that privilege with two others:

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Jameswest

though my heart actually belonged to James Garner, and a piece of it always will.

I really loved The Wild Wild West. Well, actually, Artie always made me super uncomfortable, but James West captivated me for awhile. So I watched it after school when I was a little kid. It's definitely ironic that CBS had to can the show because of a congressional uproar over violent programming, but I was just watching it at 4 in the afternoon a few years later, for my own little reasons. Poolstick
As a child, I never thought of the show as violent. I mean, none of it seemed real to me or particularly visceral. It was just TV. Beltbuckle
But The Wild, Wild West was actually extremely violent at times, to anyone who was paying attention to the actual events taking place. Am I saying I've always been kind of shallow? Probably.
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James West as portrayed by Robert Conrad set the standard for how the good guy should be treated by villains. He was super fit and rarely tied up or pinned down until he was shirtless, but he always had a couple gadgets in his pockets he could use to free himself before the bomb went off or the bad guy came back from having wandered off to tend to his minions, dressed or undressed. This is how these things should operate. Imagine if Adam West had been so fit as Batman. Dynamite
In The Wild, Wild West, two guys traveled around together in a private train car, wore fancy clothes, and one of them was nearly always wearing a disguise. The other one was always finding himself tied up. Those were the good old days I grew up with. The Wild, Wild West was born the same year I was, actually. It was a very good year.

Here are a few more shots from the show. If you expected me to note which episodes they came from, I expect you're at the wrong blog. But you can watch many of them on YouTube, and collect your own favorite shirtless/torture moments. Also, you can read this blog post written by a friend in 2005, which actually discusses the show and its production.

Colosseum

Escape

Aching

Hanging

Untied

Strappedin

Traincar

Steamy

 


Then I just shouldn't have named him Jack, is the thing.

I never meant for my ongoing story character Jack D’Abruzzo to become my Lord Peter. I inserted deliberate flaws from the beginning, eight or nine years ago. He never used his broadcast degree; he lives with his mother and owns a donut shop. He’s previously always dated women who are way too young for him. He started out goofy and kind of manic. But I let him be the theatre director and then I let him buy the building, and then I let him grow interested in Violet, who is not that much like me, but is something like I’d probably be if I never had children.

But now he’s stuck in my head all the time, and since I made him up, well, that’s super awkward. I thought he could be handsome like Russ Columbo, but I didn’t want him compared to an idiot, plus, he wouldn’t be because no one knows who that is and I probably already use too many arcane references. Maybe like Jerry Vale, but with less face in his face. But more like one of those guys who is just perfectly pleasant and ordinary-looking until he hits the late 30s and suddenly has a strength to his face that nobody saw coming except maybe his mother, because she married the guy he resembles an awful lot. Maybe kind of like Perry Como only four inches taller, because I really don’t feel like overthinking this.

Although, I have to wonder at myself for thinking only of singers. His mother’s maiden name was Cassotto, so I guess it turns out like if Alan Alda and Bobby Darin had a baby, and that doesn’t really bear consideration, does it? It doesn’t matter. I describe him only as over 45, about 5’ 10”, black hair with threads of silver, and reasonably fit. That’s good enough, enough.

Anyway. I’ve resisted just handing him over to Violet, but it isn’t quite reasonable that all these characters in their late 40s all stay single. They can’t just up and get married, though. His mother still needs him, but there’s no way she could live in Violet’s old Victorian mansion. And why would I make Violet leave that place? I would not do that to her.

Maybe my personal ideal is that sort of relationship. They’re firmly together, but drift in and out of each other’s houses as they like. If I had my own house all those years, I might resent someone else taking up permanent space in it. And that house has been in her family since it was built in the 1860s, so it has to be lived in. If you don’t live in a house, Nature tries to claim it for its own. So I think Violet can have Jack in her own way and Jack can have Violet in what I have masterfully deemed pretty much the same way, and bits of me will find rest in that, for now.  

Well, I guess I’ve worked a couple things out so that I can carry on. But I want the computer to just shut right down if I start having him quote Wilde for his own.

Okay, Jack can look like Matteo Garrone, only I’ve let him keep his hairline for now. He's pointlessly vain about it. 


Time travel, characters, NaNoWriMo, and the ways I love men

In the past two days, I've seen two references to Johnny Carson at Google+. I'm taking that as a sort of serendipitous force leading me to consider a topic some like to call "fuck, marry, or kill." Or those actions in another order, but I like this one, as it takes a logical progression.

For the next couple of weeks I'll try to write 1500-2000 words here every day as a sort of warm-up to NaNoWriMo. But I'm not breaking any new ground. I'll write about what I enjoy thinking about; self-indulgent blather, mostly. You know I love story. I love characters. I read biographies but not much other non-fiction, because stories of lives are what interest me most. For a person who spends very little time with other adults, this might seem odd. But it's so.

And I do love men. Rarely have I been entrancingly intellectually attracted to a man I didn't also want to know intimately, but it does happen from time to time, and that's cool by me. Occasionally, as well, I'm wildly physically attracted to a man with whom I would not find intellectual common ground, or else I know he's some kind of sleazy bastard, but some fairly dynamic area of my brain really doesn't care. Especially since it's all largely theoretical. It's story, you know. I can't live it, but I can read it or imagine it in my head or try to tell it.

So I guess I have two "types," or thought I did all along, but lately I've confronted the honest fact that I have a third. Let's let Johnny Carson represent that category, for now. First, though, James Garner. James Garner, that is, when he was roughly the age I am now, or a few years younger. Tall, black hair, direct, uncompromising, charming. I idolized him when I was a child. He was my cowboy detective super hero who also looked good in formal wear. I mean, I knew even then to separate the actor from his roles, but I never could with him, and I'll confess it; I still can't. He's kind of my hero. In the girly sense of things, at least.

The second type is currently represented by Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock on the TV show Elementary. He's the new Dr. House, only really really fit. Miller's Sherlock is dryly funny, enigmatic, well-meaning but often seems rude to other people, detached, but enthusiastic about his pursuits. Out here in the real world, he's the one I'm usually drawn to, something of a mirror to myself, only with a maleness to his guts that I admire. And of course, he's not much in the way of relationship material, is he? But then neither, perhaps, am I. I like a quirky misfit not because I am a quirky misfit, but because I'm content with myself this way.

Right now, if you know me, you're wondering where Bill Holden fits into this picture. Well, you know he represents a time period, largely, but he's also a lot more like Sherlock than he might charmingly appear. Kind of moody, but self-aware. Someone you keep yearning for even though you know he's no good to wake up next to every day, because he has problems. We all have problems, but his are the kind you aren't allowed to touch. He wants to let you in, but he doesn't really want you to find out how vulnerable he is.

Let's change the game name to bed, wed, or dead, because there are only going to be so many times I can type "fuck" without starting to feel silly. Or something. The second group is the kind you'd I'd go to bed with. The first group, maybe that's the guy you'd marry, if he'd have you, because he's the kind of rich ideal that you behave awkwardly around and it confuses him. That makes the third group the dead group, but maybe you I don't want them to actually die.

Johnny Carson is a good example of this. He was a hilarious and seemingly gregarious person who was actually quite a brooder, emotionally detached, impulsive, and selfish. Maybe that guy isn't even good in bed but you still want to find out. Why? I don't know. Plenty of women did, though. He was like someone else I know, who heavily dated only after getting married. The first or second wife wouldn't know this about him, but the third one had to. Being someone's second wife is understandable, I think. Being the third starts to look a little silly. My dad married three more women within about a 15-year span after my mother died. He and Mom were already divorced, but he didn't start his wife train until she was gone. What possessed these women to keep making it legal with him? He didn't even have any money.

I have to theorize that my dad was either, in fact, some kind of Great Lover, or really good at pretending his emotional and intellectual sensitivity made him someone worth trying to keep around. Me, I'd probably just want to kill him.

That's speaking of my Dad, though, and this isn't Shakespeare.

It's some kind of cliché that women are drawn only to this "bad boy" type. I'm drawn to no one who thinks of himself as a "boy," but that's for another topic. However, clichés develop from reality, of course. So what makes us physically drawn to a sleazy bastard we know our hearts should avoid? Biology says we see one kind of man as a good babymaker and another kind as a good protector/provider (shhh, that's another topic, as well,) and of course, the golden ticket would allow us to have the man who is both. Also, supposedly, we are drawn to different types of men at different points in our cycles. I think that's neat, except that in reality we don't get to take advantage of it…

When I was a girl, I loved the TV show Barney Miller. I thought Barney was fairly awesome, but can you guess which character I had a crush on? It was Dietrich. I thought someday I'd probably marry a man pretty much like that, only able to see myself in my mate at that point. Dietrich had a similar personality to my own, though I wouldn't have known it at the time. And I did end up married to someone who is kind of a mirror image of myself in certain ways, only as it turns out, he is better suited to someone who is a lot different instead. I've been thinking about that lately, and it led to this bloated examination of whether I truly have a "type" beyond some physical and superficial characteristics. That keeps leading me back to Johnny Carson, and in a certain way, my dad.

My dad wasn't so bad, as dads go, and I didn't grow up seeking one in a mate. At the same time, he wasn't so great as a family man, either, and I never thought of him as a role model for a husband and father. I'm more like him than I am like my mother, whom I also loved dearly, but I don't know that a male counterpart of her would suit me all that well, either. What makes any of us think we're great marriage material? I would have no real idea of that, even after all this time.

You only truly want to kill the ones you loved and poured yourself into, after all, once you learn that the "forever" vessel has a leak in it. Yet some people seem to want to keep trying at that, like Carson and my dad. I've had my fill, personally.

I don't like even thinking about that. I like thinking about conversation and sex, and sometimes romance, instead. It's good, you know, getting past the age and vulnerable stage of needing a suitable mate for raising a family, and living in a world in which we have the freedom to explore what else we might like in a relationship or in a series of them.

So in a perfect world, I'd time-travel, and have what I liked for as long as I liked, then move on to the next adventure. I had a brief exchange with a man yesterday who said we should time-travel back to the days when Johnny Carson went nuts for an hour or so because his wife was supposedly sleeping with Frank Gifford. He'd take Gifford and I'd have Carson. But only for like a weekend, because I think we'd have to make a murder pact beyond that point, since they'd both end up being extremely annoying. And I doubt Johnny'd really be that good in bed; his problems were the kind that get in the way. No, in the real perfect world, intellect and sensuality would fuse like magic or physics, and the yearning that comes from intensely driven conversation would be equally or even more fulfilling in physical union. Scientists say that phase of a relationship usually lasts for only seven months or so. A couple of seasons. Apparently, though, people are lousy at parting as friends when it's all over. I'd still want to be friends.

In another perfect world, though, we were never really friends at all, just a stellar collision, drawn together by unstoppable gravity, and we create gold when we collide, then each take our share when we part.

I'm going to let my NaNoWriMo book character create some gold this season.

 


Time isn't holding us

Everything about this song is gorgeous, from the original writing of it to every aspect of the Talking Heads' treatment of it.  

I've continued to listen to David Byrne over the years, enjoy his collaborative works and his writing. I feel certain that if events had only played out differently, we were probably meant to be together, even if only for a brief astronomical experience. But oh, alas. It was never to be. 

He turned 61 today! That hardly seems possible because he's just not that much…older than me…and so anyway. This is my favorite recent thing that I've heard him do, from 2010, but I just downloaded the album he recorded with St. Vincent and am looking forward to hearing that and seeing them play live this summer. 

 

One more thing, just because I always always love this song. This is from 1996.