Tuesday, April 29, 2008

el toro negro

Ahhhhh, the long black stripe. the weaving tarmac. the whistle of my armadillos* as they stroke the precious pavement.

Don't tell Dave, but I've spent next to no time on my bike the spring and I am ill-prepared for the upcoming 5-boro bike tour. I am, however, fully prepared for the eating of the Chinese food that traditionally ends the day. And I did put in an hour in the saddle moments ago. So maybe it will all work out.

*Armadillos are a brand of puncture-resistant tires.

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's three-oh-nine

Man, this is late.

Some talk between a key collector of mine and me about throwing either the existing black and white version of Warren Buffett or a newly-minted color version up for auction in Omaha at the Berkshire-Hathaway annual meeting.

Part of the discussion will certainly center on who foots the bill. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, so long as we are on the subject of Anne Hathaway (the actress, not Ann Hathaway, William Shakespeare's wife), I can't wait to see the movie version of "Get Smart." She plays Agent 99. Steve Carrell is Maxwell Smart.

Makes me laugh just to think about it.
Don't you have a "cone of silence" joke?
You know, it's really late and I just don't have the energy.
Okay. But get back to me with one. There must be a hundred.
Maybe more.
Exactly. We'll speak....
I'm breathless with anticiapation.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Additional note on dearth of posts...

Sometimes when the painting goes badly, so goes the blogging. And Hey Joe is going, I think, by any set of metrics (a word I loathe, by the way), badly. But tomorrow is another day, and Sundays are always good for squeezing a little paint on a religious icon.

This is Chris Ofili's painting of the Virgin Mary. It's a bit notorious because, in addition to squeezing paint, he squeezed some elephant dung onto the painting too.

If you think that Irish woman was voted off American Idol because Middle America is uncomfortable with the lyrics of "Jesus Christ, Superstar" (a notion I find preposterous on one level and totally understandable on another), you can imagine how hard the shit hit the fan when they found out what Ofili was using to paint the Virgin Mary.

The fact that those little paired round things that seem to be floating around the painting are actually cut-and-pasted pictures of asses didn't help matters.

Me? I've never seen this particular one in the flesh, but I've seen several other works by him and he is a beautiful painter. Or, rather, his paintings are often beautiful. I can't speak for the man himself.

The real question is...

Well--there are a lot of real questions.  Plural, not singular.

Earl from Denver poses the real question as being:

... What the hell's wrong with your blogging?

Man, if I knew the answer to that, I'd be golden.   Quality aside, regarding the dearth of posts, I will only say that I've been either moving or fixing my car this week--neither a particularly pleasant endeavor--and have been negligent.  I apologize to all concerned and promise that next week will be literally full of shit...blogwise.

What else is new?

I'll ignore the Greek Chorus for now to share some additional reader mail.  Gerald from Dallas writes:
"... Debbie wants a portrait of the girls but is balking at the price.  You may have to come down and turn on the charm."  

This raises a couple of questions:  a) If she's balking at the price ($7,500, plus an additional fee for a second head), what's she going to say about paying for me to fly first class--NY/Dallas?  And b) Do I even have any charm to turn on anymore?  I believe I exist in what one might call a charmed state.  Constantly charming, if you will.  No more nor less is possible.  Wysiwyg, if you will.  And c)  Does the phrase "come down" even refer to traveling to Dallas?  Might it not instead mean "come down on your price"?  Or, taking a more macro perspective, does it mean that I have to both reduce my price and turn on the charm (which we already have determined I cannot do)?  These, gentle readers, are real questions.  And d) I think, should the proposed gig become a reality (the smart money is shaking its head so hard its eyeballs are beginning to rattle), I would be inclined to paint twinned paintings rather than one.  

Envision the following:  My portrait of the portrait of Gertrude Stein.  A painting that measures twoandahalf feet by two, rendered in the obscured box technique.  Now imagine a painting of one kid (I use the word "kid" here for web security purposes--I know her name), looking off into the distance in one direction paired with a painting of the other kid (ibid--if that's even right) looking off into the distance in another, or perhaps looking down at her hands (although you wouldn't be able to see the hands, I don't think).  

This serves one massively important purpose:  If you have to paint two people, experience suggests that one is going to work out better than the other (see Maria Bartiromo/Erin Burnett).  And the act of fixing, and refixing the second, if it populates the same canvas as the first, is bound to compromise the first as well as the second.  Better to paint both of them (by "them" I mean the paintings, not the kids) at the same time, side by side, obscured box after obscured box, and then, at the end, moving each toward what one might call the center--that being, in this case, that thing that makes them seem twinned.  

Or paired, since the kids aren't twins.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What the Hell's wrong with my camera? -- Volume 2

They say it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools.

What the hell's wrong with my paint?

Or this painting?

The answer to the second part could go on for quite a while. The short version is that I wasn't sure what the hell I was trying to do when I started the thing and this seemingly essential bit of info continues to elude me. So it's no wonder things are a bit amuck.

That said, I am liking the angles. And the beginning of the new arm on Joe. And the angel, on some fundamental level, is strong.

A gallery-mate says Joe looks like he just walked in from the Brazilian rain forest.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What the Hell's wrong with my camera?

I bet I go back to the studio tomorrow and see some adjustment or another is awry. In any case, here's a really blurry set of images showing that we are moving in the right direction with the A of J:

I'm liking the diagonals. And how the angel is becoming less corporeal. There was a moment (in picture number two, above) when the angel's hair looked a bit like rendition of Bob Dylan's hair in the poster they included in one of his early greatest hits albums:

I'm kind of sorry to see that go.

Classic Post--April 19, 2007

My friend Earl suggested that I repost this entry of a year ago. One theory says it's because he knew and loved my father. Another suggests he's a media whore and likes to see his name in print. In any case, take a look at the picture (taken about two weeks before Dad died). I might paint it...

Good Night Sweet Prince...

A call came through my cell phone last night around 1 a.m. That late, I figured it could be one of only two things: a) my friend Earl calling from a bar to discuss American Idol or b) a nurse from my father's nursing home calling to tell me he had died.

It was the second.

But don't be Blue, Stephanie. After a bit of sad reflection I've come to recognize this passing, because it is so right for so many reasons, as a cause for celebration.

So hereafter, at least in some circles, April 19th will be forever called Allen Raymond Day.

Me? I got out of bed, drove down to the nursing home and sat next to Dad until the people from the funeral home came to pick him up. Resting on the table next to the bed was perhaps his favorite book---Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The large type version.

I sat close to the bed, in the stillness of the nursing home, just one light on, and read the first chapter as I waited. Some guy named Bingley had apparently rented the big house down the road from the Bennets. Who knew?

Actually, I knew. What a beautiful book.

Like "Call me Ismael," or "It was the best of times...", the beginning of P&P is one of the most famous opening lines in literature. It goes:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
A few days earlier, having checked this very book out of the library, I had read this sentence aloud to my father. It made him smile like a madman.

Me? I once described the writing of P.G.Wodehouse (Dad's and my shared all-time favorite) as what Jane Austen would have written were she dropping acid.

That night I watched about an hour of "The Mask" dubbed into Spanish. This, too, was like dropping acid. I found it very comforting.

Likewise my memory of my father's now-peaceful face as he lay in bed next to me as I read my Jane Austen.

Good Night Sweet Prince.

ValueRich Magazine

You can see "The Annotated Spitzer" on the cover of Value Rich magazine--a digital publication for small cap investors.

You completists can also read the profile of me on page 14.

Allen Raymond Day

And of course today is Allen Raymond day. Provided it's the 19th.


Remind me to put some dogtags on The Wounded Man. Additional options might include a necklace with a peace sign--although that's a bit obvious--or a leather strand festooned with dried human ears.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The wind...

Here's something painting (the way I paint) has taught me:  the wind is everywhere.

I know this how?  Well, today for instance, I'm drizzling a bit of red on the surface of "Hey Joe" and I realize that as the stream thins out to the thickness of thread, the paint is being propelled to my left at an angle of perhaps ten degrees.  That is, I'm holding the stick two feet or so above the surface of the painting and the paint is landing perhaps two inches to the left of where I think it should be going.  

And there is no window, or even a door, open.  I am not breathing heavily.  All is calm.  But still, there's that wind.


When things go bad...

Sometimes when the painting is not going particularly well, I like to look back on some recent, and not so recent successes. The sequence below was cut and pasted from a Thanksgiving post of last year, so the copy accompanying each painting has something to do with what one gives thanks for.

Me? I just like to look at the pictures.

Also, I'm a little hungover from last night/this morning and rather than post anything of merit, I'm just throwing this up (If that's not too indelicate a phrase):

Big Dick I (Hundred Million)
--for putting me on the Wall Street map

The Annotated Murdoch--because "news is sacred." Plus, I love that blue wedge above his left eye.

Girl With The Pearl Earring (2003)--because although it wasn't the first, it was, in many ways.

Elena in the Morning--because sometimes its enough to just be beautiful.

Michele A.--because she, too, is a beauty. Plus, one can draw a direct line between Michelle A. and Cheerleader With Banana (Fallen Angel) I. Which is either a good thing or not, but something for which I, at least, am giving thanks.

Big Maria I (Plane Too Many)--because she may be my most famous painting (toss-up with Big Rupert).

Old Bobby Lee--because I love how his nose is gray. One wonders what the thinking was behind that. Plus, as many have noted, he is the single best example of the obscured box technique.

The Ecstasy of St. Theresa--because I don't think this painting gets enough credit. And for uniquely embodying the primary idea behind the Catholic Saints series--the depiction of the fine line between spiritual and sexual ecstasy--and for, by doing so, sparking the Cheerleader With Banana series (which is about the fine line between success and failure).

Close, But No Cigar--because it's good to know you can still crank out a real painting every once in a while.

And, of course Chuck--because not only was his painting as much, if not more, given how early it came in the process, of an "aha" moment as Close, But No Cigar, but also because he's cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

Remind me to tell you about my creamed spinach.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Okay, Edge--play the blues...

What's fun about this clip is that what Edge plays has nothing to do with the blues, as near as I can tell. This is why U2 is the greatest rock and roll band in the world. Or at least in the top five.

What's that Joni Mitchell song?

How does that Joni Mitchell song go? By the time we got to the Cambodian Highlands, we were half a million strong. Something like that?

Anyway, here's seven straight versions of The Wounded Man:

The top three you've seen before. The bottom four I did over yesterday and today.

I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I do think I'm a wonderful painter. At least at this one moment in time. This one moment right now. Here. Exactly now. Bang. This exact second. Kaboom. Bingo.
Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug you. Okay Edge--play the blues...
I like that look on his face. Looks a little bit like Leo DiCaprio.

I'm going to touch the thing up tomorrow and then hand it over to Kate. And then we'll see. In the end I see a lot of his body being a lot darker--kind of disappearing into the darkness of the shade of the tree trunk he's leaning against--but I can't gauge how much darker until I get a sense of what the background will look like. It's hard to tell what anything looks like against all that white.

Rough chronology going forward: I think she gets it, then I get it back, then she gets it back, and then I finish it.

Although you could argue (particularly after listening to me bitch and moan about needing to paint rougher; avoiding the urge to "finish" too neatly) that I should just stop where things stand now. I don't think it's the right answer, but one could make the argument.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hey Joe, Where you goin' with that gun in your hand?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Marching to a different drummer--one of my personal specialties

How does that Bruce Springsteen song go?

Anyway, the point is that there are about a million paintings of the Annunciation of Mary and about zero of the A of J. Thus, into the breach we charge.

How does that poem go? Half a league, half a league?

I must say, having looked at a lot of the Mary paintings, the one by El Greco does give me a charge. The look on both their faces is priceless:

You can almost imagine her, upon hearing the news, going: "Oy gevalt!" And him? Perhaps something along the lines of: "You don't know the half of it, sweetie."

How does that passage from the Qur'an go?

[Redacted. I decided that I don't want to get in trouble by quoting the Koran and then be the object of a fatwa, or a jihad, or whatever it is that Salman Rushdie got the sharp end of. Although if dating Padma Lakshmi is part of that package, then I'm reconsidering the fatwa. Or jihad. I love the scar on her arm.]

How, by the way, is THAT for a you-learn-something-new-everyday item?

Sometimes, if you can't remember something, you think about something else and it comes back to you. This is also one of my personal specialties. That said, the Bruce Springsteen song I was thinking about was "Growin' Up."

Growin' Up Lyrics

Special emphasis on the line that goes: "I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, but when they said, "Sit down," I stood up."

Then there's something about growing up (perhaps not my strongest suite).
Wasn't it Picasso who said he worked his whole life to be able to paint like a child?
Yes, but I'm trying to be self-deprecating here and that's not helping.
But still...
I know.

Monday, April 07, 2008

A peek behind the curtain

I know some of you think of me as some pre-Dorothy version of the Great and Powerful Oz. Or that you think this shit just shoots out of me like bolts of lightning from the forehead of Zeus. But no. Sometimes it takes a bit of work, a bit of backing-and-forthing.

Witness the three stages of The Wounded Man that I went through tonight:

The question has to do with the placement of the M16...

Wow, this is fun.

And it ends up here for a couple of reasons. The first being, I thought the rucksack clogged up the left side of the picture and I wanted more room for Kate to do her thing. Second, I like the way the vectors line up better this way. Third, the placement of the rifle against the tree nicely mirrors the placement of the sword in the original. And finally, I liked giving more emphasis on his right hand, which, as near as I can tell, is grabbing his balls.

Here is the original, just for reference:

If you look closely at the GI in my series, you can see that his shirt is open and his chest is bandaged. The idea is that much of the area surrounding him will be dark, like he's sitting in deep shade, but the light will strike his facial features, his hand holding the gun, and the white (and red) of the bandage--a close approximation of what my boy Gustave was trying in the original.

I couldn't be more fired up.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

And people think I'm odd...

I suppose I am a little odd, as folks go. But not as odd as David Bowie. This is a collection of stills accompanied by "Teenage Wildlife."
[Redacted. The clip seemed to be having technical problems]
There-don't say I never did anything for you.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

My Vietnam series

And have we even covered my Vietnam series?

This is Gustave Courbet's "The Wounded Man." I sometimes get him confused with Gussy Fink-Nottle, the Wodehouse character, although I'm not sure why.

Anyway, the painting will be a collaborative effort (which is odd for painters). I'm doing the man and Kate (who's clearly getting access to better drugs than me--wait til you see...), a BAG colleague, is doing the background. Loosely re-interpreted, as you can imagine from the title, in a Vietnam setting. M16s and k-bars. Stuff like that.

Gonna be a big freaking fight about who gets the tree, I can tell you that.

Courbet, by the way, was a trip. This also happens to be a self-portrait. And though he's an acknowledged master, some of his stuff is so naughty, even I'm passing on posting the images. Give him a shot on Wikipedia and you can see for yourself. I mean, really!

All that said, however, it should be interesting to see how a collaboration works. Kate does these large canvases covered with what appear to be machines (sometimes machines of war) attached to balloons, floating in space. Since they are simultaneously realistic and abstract (aren't we all), that's just what I think they are. She may have a whole different story. Either way, I mean, this stuff is a trip, and I thought her take on the jungle might add just the right surreal touch to the series. I'll see if I can grab a shot of one of her paintings and post it in the next couple of days.

Joseph (and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat)

This would be a first stab at Hey Joe:

In the end, I'm thinking that the angel's hand will be on his cheek, and that Joe's head will probably be turned more toward the angel's face.

But maybe not on that last part. Part of me likes the idea of him looking away into the middle-distance. I mean, he can't be liking the news (if you catch my drift).

Anyway, these are matters to be resolved during the normal course of business. It is good, all that aside, to have this much on canvas.

And have we covered the idea that somewhere--probably on the lower third--the words "Hey Joe, where you going with that gun in your hand?" will be scrawled.

Who knew the angels were listening to Hendrix.

Laying it on

I know you don't give a shit about this painting (all you people want is more controversial stuff so you can say to your friends, or strangers, even, at cocktail parties, that you know me), but I think it's significant.

First of all, if you are not completely in the groove, it is a reinterpretation of Picasso's seminal portrait of Gertrude Stein. This, of course, would be that:

I like the idea of riffing on Picasso. I particularly like reinterpreting his non-cubist stuff (of which this is one) using the Obscured Box Technique, since it calls cubism to mind for many people. Even though it isn't.
Isn't what?
Really? Why not?
I think it's a question of intent. Cubism was as much an intellectual exercise as it was an artistic one--a carefully calibrated effort designed to create, among other things, what we call, here at The Year of Magical Painting, dynamic disjunction.
Well, the OBT is designed to create similar disjunction, granted, but it happens through accident rather than through calculation. To me, that speaks volumes.
A somewhat calculated accident, a cynic might suggest.
He might. But isn't that just the cynicism talking?
Maybe. Is that why some of your OB paintings really suck? Because you can't control the accidents every time?
Also, it isn't without precedent in the Geoff Raymond oeuvre. To date we've reinterpreted Vermeer, Close and Motherwell--although I don't think anybody ever saw the Motherwell. I ended up giving it to a mover a couple of years ago who liked it a lot. I thought it was a bit too breast-heavy.
Motherwell was all about the breasts, wasn't he?
Yes he was.
Do you think people who tell other people at cocktail parties that they know you end up going home with those people more than they would have if they didn't say anything about you?
Yes. How could it be otherwise?
So you're like a public service to them.
Yes, provided they practice safe sex.
Nicely said.
Thank you. It can't be overemphasized.
But all that aside, the reason I titled this post "Laying it on" is that I'm taking advantage of the smaller dimensions of Big Gertie (24" x 30") and doing something I never otherwise do. That being, I'm covering the face of the painting with a thick layer of acrylic varnish. You have to do it in layers, so it takes a number of days. But in the end, it will have a much glossier finish that, interestingly enough, changes the very nature of the painting itself. Seems to deepen some of the colors. Adds a richness.

I'm all fired up.

My fight with CNN

Did I tell you I had a bit of nastiness with CNN? More specifically, I wrote them a nasty letter about their coverage of The Annotated Spitzer and they wrote me an apology. Which I suppose is great, but I bet you won't see me on CNN anytime soon.

A portion of my letter went like this:
What really bothers me came later in the piece when Ms. Brown started talking about me taking the painting on a tour, ending up at room 871 of the Mayflower. At which point several things occurred to me:

I realized that the language in that portion of the segment was taken directly from, and without any credit being given to, Dealbreaker.com and its coverage of the painting. The copy from that piece ran, in part:

He'll be displaying it in front the stock exchange for the next week, before going on a tour that'll retrace Kirsten's steps from New York to DC, (hopefully) culminating in an exhibition in Mayflower room 871, which, interestingly enough, has yet to be cleaned.

This is the humorous ranting of a highly popular Wall Street blog. IT IS COMPLETELY FALSE.

As for Dealbreaker, I love reading it. I love that they have said some wonderful things about me in the past, some nasty things and some completely false things. Anybody who reads it regularly can tell the difference between all three categories. I'm a big fan.

CNN, however, is a completely different beast. Or one would at least like to think so. Surely whoever wrote that copy should have verified it in some manner, particularly knowing it came from a blog. Mr. [redacted], you know from personal experience that I am easy enough to reach and that I reply to inquiries quickly. Yet you guys just picked it up off the web and ran with it as if it were fact.
A part of their letter went like:
While we don’t believe the story reported anything that is in any way damaging to you, we will accept that the line about the “tour” was not accurate.
We apologize for any confusion that may have been caused.
Which I thought was nice enough. I mean, I take enough shit from Dealbreaker; you'd think I wouldn't have to get it from CNN as well.

I wrote a squishy note back accepting the apology.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Quick note on HD television

If you double click Big Erin you get a sense of what people look like on HD television without their make-up.

I've been messing around lately with clear gel--a kind of neutral medium to which you add the acrylic paint of your choice to create a transparent colored wash--and thinking it might work nicely on Big Erin. To sort of take the edge off the harshness inherent in the process. Smooth her out a bit. But I'm leaning the other way. Still, this is what people like me think about when other people are watching the Mets on TV.

Actually, because I'm a multi-tasker, I can do both at the same time. How 'bout that Pedro? Oy!

The Current State of Affairs

This would be Big Erin, as we speak.

I'm letting her stew in her own juices, like the way soup tastes better the day after you cook it. Then I'll do some more stuff to her. Then I'll throw up the copy. (All of which sounds either kinky or disgusting or both.) And then we'll be done.

I do like the kind of friendly, accessible look to/in her eyes. She seems like a nice person. As nice, at least, as one could reasonably expect from somebody who makes her living on television. The hair? Well, the hair is what it is--an impressionistic take on something that doesn't take particularly well impressionistically. I mean, the best way to paint long, straight, highlighted hair is with a brush. And I don't have one.

I mean, I have one. But I'm not using it.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

From the Annals of the Obscured Box...

There are those (who shall remain nameless) who have suggested that the obscured box technique--or rather, those paintings rendered through its good auspices--is inferior to what one might call the stick-the-stick-in-the-paint-and-start-flailing technique--or rather, those paintings rendered through its good auspices.

To this I say faaaaa. Or raspberries. Or any other reasonably polite expletive. You choose.

And don't get me wrong. the STSITPASF technique remains one of the primary weapons in my armamentarium. But I have to say that some of my favorite paintings (Old Bobby Lee jumps to mind. Likewise, Big Rupert) are obscured box paintings. One might suggest that when the OBT works (which, let's admit, it just plain doesn't sometimes), it really works.

I hereby submit Exhibit A for the defense:

Titled interchangeably: "Big Gertie" or "Portrait of Portrait of Gertrude Stein," I believe it is a strong one. Particularly if you are a hockey fan, as there are more than a couple of boxes that bring people like Mike Richter or that French-Canadian guy--what's his name? Not Guy LaFleur. Somebody else. Martin Brodeur! That bring guys like Mike Richter and Martin Brodeur to mind.

But really--fuck hockey; we're here to talk painting. And on that note, to the naysayers, I say Faaaaaa!

To those who are with me, I say let's have a Guinness float!

For you completists

For you completists, here is the beginning of Big Erin 2:

The end, as they say in those New Yorker cartoons with the guy in the sack with a rope around his waist wearing sandals, is neigh.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Reality check

You are reading The Year of Magical Painting from the bottom up, yes?
(Good. Because to read it from the top down is a betrayal of the first order of everything I'm trying to achieve here. It galls me to even have to ask. I mean, did Ed. Spenser have to stop in the middle of Paradise Lost and ask if people were reading it in the manner in which it was designed to be read? Of course not. If for no other reason than he didn't write it. But the point still holds.)
Assuming that you are, then the last words you read prior to encountering this post were:
We are feeling sanguine. As we often do.
Now, feeling sanguine (whatever that even means) is all well and good. My problem is that sometimes I start getting too pleased with myself and my head swells up. As a prophylactic measure I am attaching this:

A reminder that you can't make good music without playing the black keys as well as the white ones.

This my brain on drugs, part two...

This is my brain on drugs ... again:

Or rather, perhaps more accurately, this is the actual making of a Guinness vanilla float (like a root beer float, but with the famous stout instead). Notice the italicization of the word "making." This by way of making a connection between the photo of the float and the fundamental purpose of The Year of Magical Painting--i.e. the depiction of the process of making paintings.
Warts and all.
Manoman, what good clean fun that float business was. My testing companions were of mixed opinions. Wyn drank all hers, then made another with some Belgian cassis beer (which, actually, was also pretty good, albeit pinkish). Chuck made a face like nothing you've ever seen. And some noises. I ended up drinking his.

Now, here's today's exercise:
  1. Look closely at the picture of the float.
  2. Now imagine filling the right side of the image (flush right, rag left, but not extending onto the image of the glass itself) with the words: "If I see that idiot Jim Cramer staring down the front of my blouse one more time I'm gonna freak out!"
  3. Now pretend that the glass is, in fact, the head of Erin Burnett.
If it helps, scroll down the the next post to see the resource photo.

This, by the way, is where we recently stood:

Disregard the hair. We're still working on that. Also, it looks like there's a bit of a goober coming out of her windward nostril That's gone now. And I've given her a slightly jauntier eyebrow. Cocked upward, if you will. Would this be the detail that makes the painting? TBD. An embodiment of the painting's Erin Burnett-ness. Definitely.

We are feeling sanguine. As we often do.