Love, Simon.

So, friends, let’s have a hopefully no spoilers chat about this movie.

I’ve seen so many people gush about it, as much as I have seen the discourse machine already rear it’s head into full analytical dissection. I’m just here to express my thoughts and emotions regarded to this film as candid as possible, just trying to be honest. That may mean I am mistaken, misinformed, have a different opinion, or just be really emotional/invested, or biased. I say that, and I own that as I write this. I am aware that my white, middle class queerness does inform my perspective as I write, too.

And one last thing before getting into it: this is your only content warning. The themes discussed or language used may be either triggering, upsetting, or stressful. It may not be for everyone, so that is you’re only warning. And, well, get ready for me to rant about, well, me, too.

One of my biggest fears of coming out not proving folks wrong, but proving them right. 

I was a fag. That people calling me that before we ever new the term, seeing my sin in plain site, could possibly have more insight into who I was than I. That it was more than something that was wrong, or a shit thing to be. That was that shit thing.

I didn’t want to even entertain the thought because being a shit thing also meant, well, that I was shit. A waste of space.

That I didn’t deserve to be here. To live.

Even in my most toxic, impulsive, or shitty behaviour, trying to prove I existed (or deserved too) centered around that question. My cries for attention, letting my loud voice carry, both trying to be who I was without conforming, but also Idol worshiping and seeking community in the popularity contests and drama, actually stemmed from a long anxiety that they were right about that, too.

That even in my ivory tower, I had assumed that my entitlement to life was an illusion. To it’s length, it’s laughs, it’s loves, and up and down’s, was always conditional.

I see eyed people who told me that wasn’t true, that God’s love was without conditions, and I was entitled to life because he created it. I had no words to explain I never felt, or never felt the extent to my right to live was either delusional/ condition based until arriving in Catholic school. It’s not just I never felt so judged, it was in those “accepting” communities I never felt so judging. God could never push you away, and neither could the faithful. To explain that’s the very time I started pushing folks away, or felt pushed. Like I was not allowed to exist, or be here, was in those earliest years.

Trying to find help in those communities felt like I was playing a game of “Fool me 9 times, shame on you.” 10? 11? 12? When was the time were the same was on me?

The very people who told me to sought help accused me of crying wolf. The people who said they would be there were the ones to scoff, or deject me, or hold the people I was scared of in high regards so they wouldn’t listen to me. Or, hold me in high regards when I was also being an ass, so they wouldn’t listen to those I hurt, either. (At times it felt like I  was held to a higher standard but I would be lying to myself if this wasn’t also true).

I felt like saying “I exist” or “I was allowed too” was the very thing to violate the terms and conditions of the contract. When, I felt upset that this is the behaviour I was being taught, I would called out for both the behaviour, and the fact I would point out it was what we were teaching each other.

I was afraid that they were right. Or, that if I let them be right about being queer, a clear “terms and service” violation, then they would be right about whether I was allowed to live at all. Something I debated, a lot.

Both the thought of living and dying made me anxious. Both seemed to impossible to accept. To absurd.

But, here I am.

Here I am.

There have been people who’ve liked me. I have hurt people, but I’ve helped people. I’ve made folks smile.

And everyone of them said “the thing I appreciate about you is your desire to life. Your passion, your energy, the fact you can be yourself and accept yourself (even when you don’t make the best decisions, or folks mock you). Your smile. You enjoy being. Existing, being you. And that can be infectious.”

And part of that for me, for many folks, is natural. That is from the heart.

To explain that being in the closet wasn’t a straight out lie, but living a half truth. That I could both find this deep sense of appreciating the world and dread getting up in the morning. That just because I was out going doesn’t mean I was confident, or that I didn’t have crippling social anxiety.

That people could not understand how much that I wanted to be here, and yet still asked the question: “Did I deserve too?”

“Did I deserve to live?”

And though my parents are awesome, and have always been accepting. That didn’t mean I grew up in world where queerness, and specifically my queerness, felt like violating the terms and conditions to live. Being queer felt like I didn’t deserve to live more than when I legitimately did someone wrong.  

Even after seeing people go before their time made me realize I couldn’t play this game anymore. Even after taking my name back, being close two years on hormones, to feeling so much better than ever before, I still play this game.

Less than I did. Considerably less. But I still do play it.

I mean, I was trying so hard to show that having things like: Mom and I having a good relationship especially when I was little (being a momma’s boy), liking both easy bake oven’s and action figures, being sensitive, having parents that would help me when I struggled (even if it was simple), that I had moments where Make up/pink/and glitter didn’t seem so evil as I was told they were, meant I was queer. That it meant they were right.

And to tell people that correlation isn’t causation, that I wasn’t “turned” queer, that I can have all these experiences and be queer, as much as someone else could have them and not be.

But, you know what?

It’s only after so long that I realized, maybe that was not the question I need to ask. Or even was the one I was really worried about.

Did it matter if they were right?

Not “who cares,” but, even if I was queer, that had no impact whether I had a right to live or not.

And slowly, framing the question from that way, made me slowly. Definitively answer their other question.

They were wrong, as much as they were right. I am queer, and I deserve to live. They are not mutually exclusive, and this is not debatable. It never was, or it never should’ve been. Or both.

And if I realized that, I may have not (accidentally and intentionally) dragged folks when I was down, too. I would have walked with them, rather than hide. Behind hate, my loud voice, or anything else. I wouldn’t have ran had I been as strong as people believed I was.

But for the first time, I feel stronger than I ever have been. In my heart. If I had been a cracked, broken person, I finally found where it was and I have patched it. Or started to patch it. I’ve found how to be a whole person of my own. Not an Island, not isolated, very much one of many billions of people, but a whole one, all the same.

I’m queer as fuck.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Now, you may ask:

What the FUCK does this have to do with the movie?

Wasn’t this about “love Simon?”

This movie was about this, for me.

Simon navigating the closet, his worth, his relationships, his queerness.

People talk about how this movie is about “assimilation” more than living our queer stories unapologetically. “We’re just like you,” “you haven’t changed,” a “straight passing” kind of gay.

I’m not saying there weren’t elements of that. Or that there isn’t more to that perspective that’s super valid and I may not do it justice as I type, here. And it’s a little white, middle class, kind of gay. The movie doesn’t have a lot outside of the G in “Lgbtq+,” either.

But I was sitting beside a queer person I could only hope to be, an inspiration from another generation. We talked how this didn’t exist (Movie’s like this) when they were growing up, and I who came after could relate to that. Or, that if movie’s and shows did exist when I was younger, my relationship was either ignorant or tenuous at best. Yet, we both bawled our fucking eyes out when we saw this film. It wasn’t just for the teens and future generations to come, as much as it was for them, too. This movie about a white gay kid reminded us that we both deserved to live. 

I may be wrong to speak for them, but I think the emotions spoke for themselves.

We cried for a reason.

We deserved to be here, like Simon. We may have been afraid to speak up. We may have messed up. We may get lost in the drama. We may fall down, like Simon.

But we get up too. Like Simon.

And so, if Simon was a real kid (and someways, he and all his friends are) I would give him a big hug, if he was up for it. Because, he loves, with a very big heart.

And we love you too, Kiddo.
And your Movie,

We’re so proud of you.

Dear Simon,

Thank you,

Love,

Izzy.

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Let me complain about irrelevant nerd stuff at you: Part 1 (A TMNT 2012 perspective piece)

I mean, if you want. You can totally skip because it is not as relevant as the things I should and shall be studying. But here is somethings for those who are #TMNT fans. No, this isn’t about the Movie made by Mister Motherf***ing Money made, but the most recent cartoon, and some comparisons to the older ones.

Also: #SPOILERS. And opinions. And language warnings.

You’ve beenwarned.

Alright, so:

I grew up with only the reruns of the 1987 show of TMNT. I loved the show, but it had ended… not quite before I was born I think? I will have to double check that after, but I know I wasn’t watching it when it originally aired. So, I only got to watch so many episodes and some of the ones I remember were kind of obscure. Possibly from tapes I had rented. So, this influenced my perspective on some of the iconic henchmen of the show: The bops of bee and the steady rock. Namely, I didn’t see them a lot.

Now, keep this in mind, too. The show (the 1987 TMNT) was basically was an add for a toy line inspired by a comic made by two unknown nerds who created the idea by, essentially, accident. (Pretty sure this is the documentary I saw on Netflix about it, and if you have Netflix you can check the movie out too). And if I remember the documentary correctly, Bebop and Rocksteady were made basically as mutant toys. You know, for selling. As in, they hadn’t a purpose in the story outside of the show trying to sell impressionable kids toys. SO, combing that and only watching a few episodes with those characters in it… I only ever became attached to them superficially. Though I missed Shredder having two stupid henchmen to go over in the 2003 cartoon, Hun was a freaking bad ass and more than made up for it.

So, you can imagine I cared very little if Bebop or Rocksteady made it into the most recent show. Really, if I had two bad ass mutant villain sidekicks, I was kinda satisfied. If I did miss the Pig and the Rhino, I would have missed them in the 2003 series and promptly given less of a shit after that point. I got over it, which would have been a lot harder to do for those who grew up with the show as it aired, or watched all the episodes, and got to see more of the two characters than the glimpses I did. You know, the people who actually grew up with Bebop and his horned pal.

Dogpound and Fishface seemed to be enough for me. Like, they served the same roles as B & R did.  They were menacing, tie ins to the Turtles or Shredder’s group/ past. They were interesting, they were tough, and they lost almost every encounter with the Heroes. If I missed Bebop and Rocksteady, it wasn’t for very long. I had accepted their replacements, and was happy. So when I heard that the characters were being introduced, I was skeptical to say the least. I though nostalgia hungry fans forced creator hands and that just meat they were shoe horned in.

Well, in some ways I fell I was partially right. Taking Anton Zeck, basically a Michael Jackson impersonator with a cool suit, AND SUPER FORMER COMMUNIST GENERIC RUSSIAN STEREOTYPE MAN… who may have had some cool and important plot points, and some actual character details that make them SLIGHTLY less generic stereotypes into these iconic villains seemed… forced. The afro-Brazilian man (Who becomes Fishface) and the Chuck Norris wanna-be (Dogpound ten Razar) seemed better set up, more developed, villains. Though, they did suffer some stereotypical characterization (Must every person south of the American border talk like he is Zorro or from Mexico? Even if their Heritage isn’t a Spanish speaking country?) I felt they were less shoe horned to be Shredder’s mutant sidekicks. I mean, in “The Pig and Rhino” Shredder tells the New Bebop and Rocksteady (Zeck and Steranko) to follow him. They say no. He beats them up. They go “okay.” Like, parts of it feels forced.

So, all of this is me trying to explain why I wasn’t sure how much I would actually like the Bebop and Rocksteady of the new series. If I felt they fit. Even the designs (I though Bebop would be bulkier and Rocksteady to be more “He-man” shaped) felt a little off. At FIRST. My verdict after watching the “Pig and the Rhino episode?” The characters. Are. Brilliant.

Yes, even with how skeptical I was, I loved them. Even with Rocksteady’s dorky fake accent. “July of Fourth” doesn’t make sense even if English IS his second language, and the syntax would be different in mainstream Russian. As someone who once taught English as a foreign language, it bugs me for reasons. Though that is getting away from my point.

The two proved to be the Tweetle-dee and Tweetle-dumbass in some goofy ways, which was awesome for the nostalgia. Bringing those who loved them from the past, specifically the cartoon, what they loved most. Yet at the same time they made one of the most formidable teams the turtles faced yet. Though Ivan seems less calculating and less of a strategist when he was turned into Rocksteady, relying more on brute force than before, Anton seems to have the reverse happen.

He is still a cocky, goofy dancing machine (which makes Bebop fit him more than he will EVER admit), he. Is. Angry. At first, when you see them mutate from the episode previous,  it sounds like Anton is being over dramatic and whiny. But seeing him stealing the turtle communicator, and using it to bait the other turtles? Even the way he says cheesy lines like “I won’t hit a girl, nut I will trip her,” it sounds like he has more contempt in his voice. You don’t have to see him doing his over dramatic yelling to see he isn’t happy, and it is that which clouds his judgement this time around. Not his cockiness as much. With his clouded Judgement, Ivan can still assume his old role as “the brains” in some ways by making Anton think things through when he is being rash.

I think the line that shows the possible question of roles is when Ivan tells Anton to “think for once,” (that’s paraphrased, I know) and instead of using the Retro mutagen on the Turtles they should turn themselves into people again. Though, even though there is some truth to that… But even thinking that turning the turtles into people or turtles again (I don’t know if he knows that they were mutated from regular Turtles, unless he found that in the communicator he stole) seems more the ruthless sort of thing that I would have attributed to Ivan. Especially in the past episodes. Things have changed. And Anton maybe goofy, they may both be, but I am ready for more of the tenaciousness from the new Bebop and Rocksteady. And they. Are. Tenacious.

And, what do they mean for Shredder’s group dynamics? Think about it, even though the two new mutants failed in their personal goal of destroying the Turtles, they did capture Karai. Which was their Shredder assigned task, and something even Tigerclaw failed. Will this lead to jealousy from the two former main henchmen? Infighting in Shredder’s inner circle that will weaken them? Or will the four, Fishface, Razar, Bebop, and Rocksteady be their own special task force lead by Tiger claw to fight the Turtles? If Tigerclaw trains them like Splinter trains the Turtles, the next show down with Shredder’s crew may resemble Charles’s XMEN fighting the brotherhood of mutants!

Either way, I am super happy with the new Bebop and Rocksteady even though I wasn’t sure if I would. And much like the show they are in, they may not be the perfect but they are super fucking awesome.

Review comics 4 (language warning)

SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN: Godzilla, 2014. 

And some KICKASS2 spoilers.
Review comic 4-Recovered

 First, I apologize id I fucked up the Japanese.

Two, this comic is a little bit based off of this.

And this sketch was prep for this comic.

Their critique is a little crude, but so is mine, because the intention is that they are both played up for laughs. So, let me go a little more in depth here.

Godzilla, originally, was basically a message saying “the Atom bomb was going to far.” “Man played god, and weren’t supposed too.”  Godzilla was kinda the counter balance to that. Puts humanity back in it’s place for going to overboard. But, he also kinda became a super hero that “saved” humanity from the other monsters (no one talks about the casualties from these battles?). So, kinda terrifying, human killing Godzilla. And, anime hero Godzilla. They both exist, and are both relevant to Godzilla’s history. One with him being a horror movie monster, the other being the bad ass hero that spawned awful knock-offs like “Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark.”

My issue is, this movie kinda started as the former and ended as the latter. The teasing, the half-reveals, the over emphasis on humans? It makes sense to me, if they all tragically died. Get invested in these humans, they die. A slap to the face that makes humanity question if it actually has gone to far. And honestly, with colonel JACK-ass being the main human? Surprised they DID survive. -_- Actor kisses a girl who is underage when he is like forty, and now acts like a loser in every other movie (Kickass and H kiss in the second kick ass movie, and I am PRETTY sure there was a twenty year age gap between the actors. AND she was a minor) . As hokey as Cranston was, they totally played it up that there was going to be more of him. And even with the bad Japanese, he was more interesting a human XD.

I don’t know. I feel like It tried too hard to be both the “Godzilla is a terrifying Monster that kills a dumb ass humanity” and “KICK ASS GODZILLA KICKS MONSTER ASS.” Would have been a stronger movie if It pick one or the other, in my opinion.

This is my brothers book! Check it out?  

The Promised post (assignment comics)

So, I said I would post a bunch of things, yeah? Well, I am half delivering on that promise.

These are comics that I have made for an assignment for one of my summer courses I am taking. There were three different topics, all about media. The first was a culture or behaviour patterns on a certain media technology. The second was a comparison between “old” and “new media.” The last one was supposed to show an understanding of Cyber punk. Now, I think each of these suffer a little from “over ambition”/ “illusions of Grandeur” syndrome. I will explain what I mean in a second.

Culture of Netflix 2 copy

This is the first one. It’s supposed to be a gag strip based on the premise of what I feel defines “Netflix Culture.” Which is, to me, marathoning programs late into the night and not getting proper sleep. This is a good comparison between new media and old media too, I think? Old media being more commercial radio/network tv and new media being blogs/blogging, Netflix, and Youtube (for example).

Then there is this second one right hur.

Old verses New

I really don’t like this one. Like, for some obvious reasons and some less than obvious. What is the first thing you notice? Super, super tons of text. There is a reason for that, even if it isn’t the best one. And if you want to know why, buckle in for a long one. If you want to skip it, go past the picture of David Willis. You will know it when you see it.

Let me start with my original inspiration/idea with this strip. It started with a personal beef from one Franchise I always had a special affinity for, good Ol’ Spidey. Now, for those of you who do not know, Sony bought the rights to the movies and the original Spider-man movies were made by that company (and oversimplification, I know). But the important thing is that Spidey was NOT made buy the same studios as the Avenger Movies, which is Marvel Studios.

So Sony was going to make a fourth movie but the director, Sam Raimi, was not going to do it. He was already pressured to put a villain in Spider-man 3 that he didn’t care for (Venom) and that didn’t work out well for him, did it?

So Sony was trying to figure out how they were going to get another movie out there, but they were going to take some time to figure it out. And it is in the time gap between Spider-man 3 and the first “The Amazing Spider-man” movie we get the cartoon “Spectacular Spider-man.”

No, at first I didn’t like Spectacular Spider-man. The aesthetic was to different, I didn’t like the voice actor for Spidey, and the Theme song was an actual song that was kinda “alternative” to me. It wasn’t a stupidly catchy song like the Spider-man theme of Yore, nor was it the terrible techno-chants that were the Nineties Spidey or the Digimon theme (Digimon, Digital monsters! Digimon are the champions!). But then I watched the thing from beginning to end. And honestly? It was probably one of the best together cartoons I have ever seen. Now, the combat scenes were good and almost all of the characters were believable and made sense, but that isn’t the big thing.

Each villain lead to the next. Like, each action led or tied into the next thing. like, It was like each episode was a panel for a the story board of a larger Arch. Each villain needed a specific tactic to defeat, and the same trick never worked twice. Basically, you could see Spidey learn. He was thrown into complex situations and he took something away from each of them. Sure there were some problems that were reoccurring, but that was less to do with his incompetence and more to do with how complex the situations were. Either they were highly emotional charged, impairing his reason, or they were things that he just didn’t have the info to solve. Basically, I could see the Hero’s journey. I could see his progress, how he grew, and that even at the end he had a lot more to go.

So I really liked this show. Was it perfect? No. But it stuck out as being something great. For something made by a big company, it really stood at as more than just an ad for some toys. For a cartoon, it didn’t seem patronizing as some cartoons do.

So I was a little miffed when I learned it was canceled, or was only the two seasons long or whatever. But guess why it was only two seasons? Remember how I talked about Sony doing the movies, and then they did the cartoon? Well, Marvel wanted Spidey back. But Sony wasn’t going to completely give that cash-cow up. So they made Marvel a deal. We will either sell you rights to the Cartoon, OR the movies. Pick. Marvel picked the cartoon. Which was a dumb move, in my personal opinion.

Marvel still wanted Spidey to be part of the Universe they were making (the avenger movie universe), but now couldn’t just put him in the movies because of copy right infringement. This is where the “Ultimate Spider-man” Cartoon comes in. Spidey gets his own team that is run by Shield he so that he is not in the avengers, but still connected to them. This is kinda similar with what they were doing with the live action show “Agents of Shield” and is an interesting and creative way of doing things.

Now, I get this cartoon was intended for kids, and to try to attract kids to the Marvel universe. However, this pisses me off for a number of reasons. I think the biggest reason is like, does Marvel really need a boost to attract kids? I mean, the Avenger universe movies aren’t really for kids, but kids still buy up that merchandise like its sustenance. Toys, colouring books, T-shirts, Avenger shit is everywhere. Like, you don’t need an extra cartoon to get kids to buy your shit. They are doing it already.

The other big reason is, like, the “Ultimate Spider-man cartoon” is just not as good as “Spectacular Spider-man.” I mean, in Spectacular Spidey learns (it takes him longer to learn about relationships, but he still kinda does). He faces different problems. I feel like in Ultimate he kinda, doesn’t. The main problem of like over 50% of the episodes is that: “We need to work as a teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam.” You know, the team he is a part of because he is not in the avenger movies. It’s not that the characters aren’t likable, they just seem to get into the same stupid things after they supposedly learn a thing. Which didn’t happen, or at the very least, happen as often in Spectacular. The other Episodes are cameo by other Marvel characters. Again, some of them are good and funny, even cute in their own way. But it’s just not as cohesive as Spectacular was. It didn’t gel the same way. It wasn’t as layed out, and you kinda run into a lot of the same even within different scenarios.

I think the worse part of “ultimate” is when they realized something wasn’t going right with their formula. They used this cheesy sort of “Draw journal” thing for comedy effect to get kids to watch, cutesy sort of thing. I mean, it isn’t terrible and you get used to it, but it is not riveting. So now, not really being super potent as the kids show/comedy, “Ultimate” kinda sits down and gets serious about its plot. And what happens, they kinda take from “Spectacular Spider-man’s” plot. SPOILERS AHEAD: I mean, sure, I bet “Spectacular” is not the only Spider-man iteration where Osborn and Octavius are guilty for the production of like 75-90% of Spidey’s villains, but the situation between the two Cartoons situations regarding this is suspiciously similar considering how recently both were created. But it has to be different from Spectacular, right? So they do things like make Harry Osborn into the Villain “Venom’ (Don’t get me started on that) or make “Carnage” Spidey wearing the Venom symbiote (something else that kinda bugs me). I feel like it’s almost as if they are gasping for straws to find the plot and over arching stories that were in “Spectacular.” That may not be true, but that is vibe I get.

And what about Sony’s new Spider-man movies? The ones that were supposed to be the sequels Sam Raimi refused to do? I get some people like Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, but man I feel like he sooooooooo oversells it. I mean, you don’t have to pummel people with your awkwardness for us to get that you are a socially inept individual. And as far as I know, there has never been an sign that Peter was socially inept to begin with. He just got picked on because he was an intellectual, a nerd. Just because he had few friends didn’t mean that he didn’t know how to talk to people, it could have just meant that no one gave him a chance. So I don’t feel like it was necessary to make him that freakin’ awkward. He was a funny Spidey, but I dunno. Kurt Conners was not done super well in that movie to me, and they changed lines to not be “verbatim remakes” of the first three movies, but ugh. The whole “not saying “with great power comes great responsibility” thing, or the falling down and seeing the luchadore mask instead of actually fighting the wrestler? I felt like they were cop-outs. And the second movie, I felt like half the dialogue for all the characters was Peter’s awkward “uh’s” from the first movie. Electro in the second movie and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy in both were kinda saving graces.

So there is my frustration. To make money, both Marvel and Sony kinda made sub par products (movies and shows) based on Economics and not, in my opinion, on what was best for the Spidey franchise. That’s why I talk up this guy:

David WIllis

This is David Willis. He makes web-comics. Has he made slightly lower quality stuff before? Yes. To sell out and make cash like Sony and Marvel though? Not that I know of.
The stuff he made that was lower quality was just his early stuff, which is better than anything I have ever made/posted, and as he learned and got better so did his art. When he did his reboot, he just wanted to give his older characters a new life. See if he could do them justice. Not saying that the people who worked on the various Spidey projects didn’t love the characters, but just saying that Willis’ characters are less likely to be subject to company politics, and that gives him an advantage. As an independent, there is no Executives breathing down his neck and selling rights to characters, and thus less limit to how he structures his own multi-verses.

So basically I am saying there is an advantage to new media (Web comics and blogs) versus big companies (old media, centralized and distributed by one or two big guys) because company decisions won’t undermine what you make. Profit is still important, but not so important that one makes less quality products to make more money.

That’s how I view it, anyway.

But what does that have to do with my comic? I was trying to say all that IN my comic. That’s why it is all text and no art. I drew it already, not thinking of how much exposition I had needed, to make the comic. So, I drew it, realized there was no way I was going to say I wanted to in the comic I had created, and tried to edit it so I got as much as I could in. Did it work? No.

But I want to post it as an example of what NOT to do, so if I come back to that concept I can do it right.

Then there is the Third strip, which is me just kinda parodying cyber punk.

Cyber thing

I was going to post some other strips as well, but I don’t have a scanner. Before I can post all the ones I drew, I have to post one I have no yet scanned. So, I have all these things that were ready to post like, a whiiiiiiiiiiiile ago, and they are nowhere to be seen because of that slight error. So, Next week there maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe a lot more activity on here to make up for that. I will do my best, but I promise I will see you all next week XD