Monday, June 30, 2008

Hauntings





“I swear this pool is haunted!” Capt. G shook her head in amazed wonder as PP dunked under the hot tub’s warm bubbles. Damn it was cold! And dark! While PP had been swimming in Capt G’s Haunted Pool, the lights in the deep end had gone off, leaving this end of the pool eerily darkened. It reminded PP of that Graham Green novel, the one where the guy inherits the deserted hotel from his slutty mother in Haiti and when he arrives to claim his inheritance there’s a dead body in the deep end of the drained pool.

PP kept thinking that there was gonna be a dead body in the deep end of Capt G’s pool this night. And with the fog, and the dark and the wind, PP had the shivers for more reasons than just the cold.

She thought she’d seen a Ghost.

Now, PP will be the first to admit that she’s highly susceptible to superstitious apparitions. When she in Santa Cruz, which frankly, she thinks the whole town is haunted, but besides this, she lived in a haunted house there on the hill with her hilarious group of student friends. Pam Witte came home one day to find all of her movie posters of Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart, Betty Grable strewn all over her room in mad disarray. Of course, they had all told her it was the wind, but yet….PP couldn’t help but think that the Big White House on the Hill was haunted.





So, when Capt. G exclaimed how her pool was haunted, PP had nodded in quiet agreement. Cuz she coulda sworn that while she was swimming backstroke, a flash of white Something had flown right over her. Now of course, it coulda just been the plastic backstroke flags waving. Or a seagull. Or a white bird.

Yeah, right. PP was sure it was a ghost. It had that feeling. That other worldly feeling. Anyone that’s ever been around or seen a ghost knows just what she’s talking about. So when Capt G exclaimed how the pool was haunted and then went on to describe by whom, PP was both entranced and creeped out. Entranced because, goddamn! She never knew that Capt G believed in ghosts! What a Delight! And creeped out? Well, duh. Because she believed in ghosts too!

“Did you see Her?” Capt G asked when PP had told her of the ghostly white flash.
“Her?”
“Yeah, the Little Pioneer Girl!” Capt G’s eyes widened behind her foggy wire rimmed glasses steamed up from the hot tub, her voice shaking with excitement.
PP shook her head, “The little Pioneer Girl?”
“Yeah. I just flashed on her one night. I know that’s who it is. She’s so forlorn. And I know that what happened is that her parents had to leave her. They told her to wait for them to come back and then they never did and now she just hangs out back there in the forest. Under those big black dark trees up there on the lawn. I bet that’s who you saw when you were swimming!”
“Maybe….” PP’s head was swimming. A little Pioneer Girl? Abandoned by her parents decades ago when Alameda was first being settled? And what happened to her parents, PP wondered, like it was a real story and not just Capt G’s vivid storyteller imagination!






“I know it might sound crazy but….” Capt G shook her head. “But did I tell you about my neighbor?”
“No, I don’t think so…”
“Well, she’s completely nuts. But I won’t go into That. She actually has good reason. But she married the guy next door whose wife, Luann, died of Breast Cancer three years ago, and when I went over there the other day, I was walking into the kitchen and I felt this wall of cold. I don’t know how else to describe it…..” Capt G paused, and shivered a bit before continuing. “… and when I told my Nutty Neighbor about it, she just nodded and said, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s Luann,’ like it was no big deal that she was living with the Dead Wife’s Ghost in her kitchen. Can you believe it?”
PP nodded, “Oh, yeah.”
“Yeah, so well, I just told her that I hadda get outta there. The kitchen I mean. And so we went outside and drank our iced tea on the patio, but I gotta tell you. It was weird!”
Shivering, PP nodded, glancing over at the darkened lawn where the sinister trees were hiding the Little Pioneer Girl. Or maybe they weren’t sinister. Maybe they were her sanctuary. They protected her and had been protecting her all these years. Yet, weren’t ghosts sad souls that needed to find relief on The Other Side? This is what Jennifer Love Hewitt did every week as the Ghost Whisperer. She helped those poor wayward ghosts with unfinished business make it back to the Other Side.

Maybe Jennifer Love Hewitt could come to Capt G’s pool and help the Little Pioneer Girl?

And wear a red bikini and golden high heeled flip flops and let her cleavage do its magic and…..

Okay, PP is a little off topic here, but the Little Pioneer Girl does have her worried.

If only Jennifer Love Hewitt would come to Capt. G’s pool. Then maybe she’d find her parents again and wouldn’t be wandering around the pool scaring susceptible swimmers like PP.

“You ‘bout ready to head in?” Capt. G asked, sighing.
“Yeah, sure, but….” PP wanted to go check out the forest to see the Little Pioneer Girl before she left.

If only it weren’t so damn cold.

And so damn dark.

And so damn spooky!





Oh, Jennifer! Where are you when we need you?

PP collected her swim bag and followed, shivering, Capt. G back into the warm cozy normalcy of the women's locker room.
"Have you ever been to the Hotel Del Coronado?" Capt. G asked, her eyes twinkling.
"Yeah, why?"
"It's haunted too! Some Love Triangle with a Crime of Passion angle...." Capt. G grinned broadly, holding the door open for PP as followed, ready to hear the next chapter of Haunted Pools ala Capt. G!
Boo!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Paddle that Paddle Man




Pandemonium reigns at the YMCA now. It’s summer. Everyone wants to swim. Leaving PP to negotiate increasingly hazardous conditions.

Take today for instance. Sure when she got there, at 2:15 in the afternoon, the pool was relatively calm though a swim lesson was being given in the lane next to hers that was not on the schedule. (She’d asked the beautiful Tibetan Woman for a Summer Pool schedule on their way in, reading it aloud to Dashingly Handsome Boyfriend as they proceeded down the stairs.)

“See…between 2 and 3 p.m there’s supposed to be 7 lanes available. Before that there’s only 5 and after that there’s only 3, so it’s a narrow window of swimming opportunity.”
DHBF nods. He doesn’t really care. Or maybe he does. PP has to be careful what she writes about him. He can be prickly when she makes certain assumptions.

But with swimming it’s all about her, so if she assumes wrongly about him, it doesn’t really matter.

In any case, today, when she finished her wimpy workout upstairs on the Torture Machines and treadmill, it was 2:15 and the “Slow” lane was completely open. Now, PP knows this is iffy. If she starts here, some real “Slow” swimmers will appear and then she’s in trouble.

Of course this is exactly what happened. 20 minutes later one smiling Asian Woman in a Brown Baggy Suit asked if she could split the lane. Not in so many words. It was more an asking pantomime. Jumping in. Standing at the wall. Motioning with her hands to point down the right side of the narrow lane. PP nodded, “Sure, ok.” And it was. Ok. With just the two of them.

But then, all Hell broke loose. Hemophiliac Swimmer claimed the lane next to hers once the swim lesson was over. Then another baggy suited Asian Woman tried to swim with him, but no, the lifeguards directed her to PP’s lane and asked her to do the dreaded circle swim.

Okay, PP could try this, but with two super slow spastic backswimmers to dodge, she finally gave up. Spied a lane over at the other side of the pool with only one swimmer and decided to move there. Seemed like a good idea until ……

Alas. This one swimmer was Paddle Man. Ugh. She really hates Paddle Man. He’s so dangerous. PP thinks that paddles should be prohibited in the Y pool cuz the lanes are so narrow and the paddles are so lethal. Especially in Paddle Man’s hands.







So, she watched, perched on the edge of the deck for a moment as he slammed the big yellow plastic paddles on the water, taking up the entire lane, making it impossible for anyone to share. He came to the wall, turned, should have acknowledged her, but didn’t. Just kept swimming. Now PP will admit that she does the same thing sometimes, but only when she knows there are other lanes to partake of. Today, PM had the only lane that had only one person in it.

And he was being a Paddle Pig!

Throwing up her hands in disgusted dismay, PM made a display of anguished frustration. And a Lifeguard actually came over to her! She was completely astounded by this. Not that the lifeguard did anything to get PM to be more swimmingly civilized, but at least he spoke to PP about the situation.

“Just get in and swim on the right side here,” the lifeguard motioned, his big beefy dark eyes lit with understanding.
“But I don’t know if he saw me,” PP whined.
“Oh, I’m pretty sure he saw you,” he nodded. “He’s just being a Jerk. He’s always like that!” The Lifeguard shook his head in futility.

PP laughed. “Oh, so it’s not me?”
“No way. It’s not you.”
“Well, that’s a relief.”
“Yeah, just signal when he gets to the other side and let him know you’re getting in. He’ll see you.”

PP nodded, dubious. She didn’t really want to swim with Paddle Man. But it was nice to know that someone agreed with what she’s always thought. Paddle Man is a Menace. And, true to form, he was being a Jerk. And the paddles were scary. Big, plastic hard triangles on the end of each hand. His arms flailing out to the center of his body and not in front like a normal swimming stroke.

PP was afraid that he would slice off her forehead with one of his goddamn paddles!

But hell, she needed to finish her swim and as you all know, anything for a swim.
So in she went. And yes, PM did pause for a moment at the far end of the pool when she signaled. And he did kinda stay to one side. But barely. He was a little too close for PP’s comfort, so she got out after only 10 minutes or so.

Swimming wasn’t worth losing one’s skin over. Well, at least not today.

What to do if the situation arises again with Paddle Man? Should PP go get her own set of paddles and duel it out?

Somehow this seems like not such a good idea. Paddle Man is crazed. She knows this not just cuz of the paddles, but also cuz of the way that he wears his yucky green swim trunks hiked up above his waist, and pulls his blue swim cap too far over his eyebrows and…..well, you get the picture.

He’s a weirdo. And PP knows better than to tangle with any weirdoes. Even if she is a better swimmer!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Swim Test

A whole week away! PP, naturally, builds her trips around pools, and the first stop is a cool lazy spacey swim at the always-calm Arcata Community Pool.

Here, away from the Bay Area and back in the water, PP finally starts to relax. She loves this pool. So close to her parent’s house in Eureka. Finally! They are living places where SHE can swim. (Even though neither of her parents has swum in years. Though to give her mom a LOT of credit, she did do her languid ‘noodle’ swims in Palm Springs after she hurt her back. Swimming, of course, cured her!) And there, too, in Palm Springs, at the Sun City Gated Community Clubhouse, there’d been a lovely indoor pool for PP to partake of.



But when the folks had moved to Eureka, PP was crestfallen! How could they move away from that perfect warm indoor pool where no one ever even shared a lane with her? Granted, the move to Eureka, might have been better for them weather-wise and more. But the pool?

It had been Heaven for PP!

Fortunately, she’d discovered the Arcata Community Pool, which was also indoors and also gleefully uncrowded. (PP is sure she’s written about this Arcata Pool before, but maybe not about its predecessor in Palm Springs.)

Now it was a Monday afternoon, round 1:30, and the retirees’ water workout was just winding down when PP and Dashingly Handsome Boyfriend arrived. Sure they had to share a lane for a few minutes before all the retirees got out, but the lanes were wide and the water was clear. When the Chatty Big Fin Guy in the lane next to them got out, PP ducked under the lane lines, and swam happily away. Her own lane! Such a rarity at the YMCA! But here, it was the norm. Something PP thinks the YMCA should make possible for her all the time, like the Hemophiliac Swimmer who always gets his own lane at the Y. It has occurred to PP that she could claim a Blood Disease to also procure her own lane, but this does seem a bit extreme and besides it’s already being done.

They probably wouldn’t believe her. Though those lifeguards at the Y are so stupid that…okay, that’s another blog.

Today, she’s blissful in the Arcata pool, stopping at the wall to turn round, her feet touching the weird squishy bottom. It’s so strange. It’s like they lined this pool with some rubbery flooring instead of the usual cement or tiles. PP has never swum in such a pool bottomed like this before. Wonder what its advantage might be? Maybe it doesn’t crack or get dirty? Maybe it’s cheaper? Maybe it’s just so PP can wonder about it in her Blog? Whatever, all PP cares about is swimming in her own lane until…..

“Excuse, me?”
PP stops at the wall hearing the timid lifeguard crouching down next to her. “But would you mind if he took a Swim Test here in your lane? It’ll just take a minute.”
PP glances up at the pudgy red headed kid nervously shifting back and forth on the deck behind the lifeguard. His pale fleshy arms twitching in anticipation.

Swim Tests. She knew them well. They were always screaming for them at Willard Jr. High when she used to swim there. “HEY LIFEGUARD!!! CAN I TAKE A SWIM TEST?” “ME TOO” ME TOO!”

Inner City African American kids clambering for a chance. Willard’s seasoned lifeguards would take it all in stride. Yellin’ back at the kids. “YOU KNOW THE DRILL! YOU GOTTA SWIM ALL THE WAY TO THE DEEP END AND BACK WITHOUT TOUCHING THE WALL!”

PP remembers watching these kids, their scrawny brown arms flailing about. Determination spraying in noisy abandon. They all wanted to swim in the deep end. This is where the diving board was. But they had to pass the Swim Test first.

No way would she have passed them. But they always passed. No matter how bad they swam. And PP did have to give them credit. They did get across the 25-yard pool and back again without touching the wall.

So today, seeing this one nervous kid eyeing her, PP shrugged and grinned, “Sure, no problem,” she answered as she pulled her mask back on and took off back down the left side of the wide lane, leaving the right side near the wall open for The Swim Test.


Out of the foggy corner of her eye, she watched as the Red headed kid plunged into the water, flailing about, his stroke spastic and jerky. No way was he gonna pass, she thought. But then, remembering Willard’s standards she wasn’t surprised when the kid reached the other side and asked the lifeguard if he passed.
“Yeah, you passed. You did GREAT!”

Uh? PP smiled to herself. Great? Well, yeah, the kid did make it to the other side without touching the wall. Evidently this was the only criterion to pass. PP wished that all of life were this undemanding. What if she could just show up at work and when a student asked her a really esoteric question about APA documentation, she could just shrug and make a good or not so good guess at the answer?

My, that would change her life.

And PP wonders if maybe this might work? If you lower your standards, then it will all work out anyway. Maybe this is what she did as a kid? (Why her adult self is so godamn conscientious, she’ll never understand!)

Yet she can’t ever remember taking a swim test herself though she must have at some point. She grew up swimming in public pools till her family built the enchanting fantasy pool in Hacienda Heights. And PP musta swam the Swim Test just as spastically as all these kids.




Or maybe not. Maybe she was a fish all of her life and when she took the swim test at the age of 4, she swam with the grace and confidence of a young Esther Williams.

Yeah, PP thinks this is probably the case.

Now if she could only apply this natural ease in the water to the rigors of APA documentation!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wounded Fish Unite!


PP expects such masochistic dedication to swimming from “The Type”—Super Swimmer Woman, but when she thinks about it, she and many of her friends are guilty of it too, just not to the same degree.

Yet.

So when SSW divulges to PP one night in the sauna, lying flat on her back, unable to move after her workout, how she swims two miles and it takes her over 2 hours (“I’m embarrassed to admit”) and how after the first mile she starts to feel the pinched nerve in her neck and toward the middle of the second mile she feels (or doesn’t feel) numbness in her right arm and PP thinks to herself. Shit. Why the hell do you swim so far? Why not just swim a mile and leave it at that with the minimal pain in your arm and neck, but no numbness from the pinched nerve?





Isn’t this just a bit extreme? What drives her to keep swimming even when she’s in this intense pain? Is it a fear of gaining weight? Or losing her athleticism in her middle age? Or her brain exploding cuz swimming is the only activity that keeps her sane?

Or all of the above?

And she’s not the only one, though her case is more extreme than most. PP’s best swimming friend, JJ, injured her shoulder years ago. Not swimming but in a nasty fall. Had a surgery. Maybe two. 10 years later the soreness flares up and she’s supposed to lay off swimming.

Does she?
Oh, maybe for a little while. A week at most. And when she gets in the water after a week on dry land, she hurts so badly. But does she stop swimming?

Hell no.

And PP’s dear friend, JM, from Jr. High School, facing a shoulder surgery this fall shakes her head in refusal when confronted with the possibility of not swimming. “Just take me out back and shoot me when I can’t swim anymore. That’s all I ask.”

And while all these women seem extreme in their fanaticism to continue swimming, PP gets it. She, too, hurts sometimes after a swim. Her neck can ache and her right shoulder feels tight. But then she sits in the hot tub. Relaxes in the sauna. The pain eases off. And it’s all good.

Yet if she quit swimming, she probably wouldn’t have this neck pain at all. Or it would be much more minimal.

So why does she continue to swim? Why do any of these women? Is it just to stay slim, fit and youthful?

Of course, PP can’t speak for them, but for her, yes, she must admit, this is part of it. Yet as she’s written before, it goes deeper, the power of swimming. It is the one thing that keeps her sane through it all. Without it, well, JM may be right. Just take her out and shoot her.





But not before she gets one last swim in.

That’s her Final Request.

Monday, June 09, 2008

In Trouble....



“You know you have to be 18 to be in here.” Mean Munching on Nuts Woman glares at the two abashed teenage girls in the Hot Tub. PP had greeted them 3 minutes earlier as they had stepped gingerly into the bubbling warmth. “You guys been swimming?”
“Yeah,” the Bigger Older One had grinned, her smaller friend staring at PP in wide-eyed wonder. Did they already suspect they were gonna get “In Trouble” for being here?

PP hadn’t even thought about what their ages were as they sunk tentatively into the welcoming warmth. She just wanted to congratulate them on their Pool Time. It hadn’t even remotely occurred to her that the two girls weren’t 18 and therefore were breaking the “Rules.”

But Hell. PP is all about breaking the Rules. At least when it comes to the pool or hot tub.

Yet Mean Munching Nuts Woman was having none of it, glaring at the two culprits as she limped past them, not even entering the hot tub herself, but heading over to the steam room instead, calling over to them in no nonsense crankiness. “I will call UPSTAIRS!” she announced, her voice crackling with Mean Authority.

The Bigger Older Girl sat up taller in the tub, eyeing PP (conspiratorially?) before speaking, “I’m 17 and she’s 16….” Her voice trailing off in defeat, but PP still admired her trying. After all who the hell were they hurting? Not PP. And she was the only one in the tub at the moment. Maybe she should say something?




Yet MMNW was so god damn mean. PP was half afraid of her too. Though today she wasn’t breaking any rules that she knew of. And the signage did say clearly ‘No One Under 18 allowed in the Hot Tub or Sauna.” What could PP do? Leaping to their defense would probably only make MMNW madder, and maybe even turn her ire upon PP. Which she did not need. Not today.

MMNW shook her head, her gray black hair hanging in stringy limpness as she started back towards the phone, presumably to call upstairs, yelling out as she waddled back past them, “IT don’t matter how old you are! You are NOT allowed in here at anytime. I’m going to call upstairs,” she repeated.

Older Bigger Girl sighed heavily, eyed her friend, then shrugged. “We’ll just go…,” she murmured, glancing over at PP who continued to watch in shocked silence.

Hell, PP was all for keeping little screaming kids out of the Hot Tub. This made sense. But these girls? What was the big deal? They were chilly after their swim and wanted to warm up for a few minutes. Why did MMNW care?

PP could only surmise the she was a Miserable Person. She limped. She ate yucky dried out nuts. Her hair was wrong and stringy. Her body sagged in middle-aged angst.

So she was gonna take out her Misery on these two innocent teenage girls?

Well, maybe they weren’t so innocent, as PP watched them sheepishly leave the Hot Tub, but yet….were they really deserving of the Dreaded Call Upstairs?

Shit.

Why couldn’t everyone just be Happy and get along?





Like Wanda. She was so hilariously insanely Happy. The day before announcing to PP, relaxing in the hot tub post swim, how her ‘Pain…oh, the Pain…it all just go away now…’ and PP had thought she was talking about her Rotary Cuff Surgery Pain, and maybe she was, but then she went on to say how her daughter, finally, had graduated last night from high school and PP had said, congrats and yes, that’s quite a Rite of Passage and Wanda had nodded, agreeing, and then said, “Yes, but it’s whole Lot of Work too.” And PP had murmured some appropriate agreement, only able to guess (thank goodness!) how much work it must be to raise a teenage daughter by yourself with the loser absentee father and the full time shitty office job.





But in spite of the hardship, or perhaps because of it, Wanda was so excited. She told everyone who came into the Hot Tub and then later the Locker Room how her daughter had graduated from High School and when someone had made the comment that Wanda likes to Talk and will talk to anyone and everyone and why not just give it a rest sometimes, Wanda had turned to her and said, “Hey, I’m a Happy Person. I’m Happy. I’m a Gemini. I like to Talk. You gotta a Problem with that then it’s your problem,” her Pride echoing through the rows of women changing as one woman hollered back, “You have every right! Be Happy!”




And she was. And she is. And why can’t everyone? What was Miserable Nut Woman’s problem anyway?

Maybe her daughter flunked high school and her absentee husband wouldn’t stay absent but came by every night unannounced drunk and full of the dickens wanting to get back together with her, but she refused to listen to him cuz she was a miserable sexless Mean Woman who didn’t have a grain of Love or Life left in her heart?

Okay, maybe this is laying it on a bit thick, and yeah, PP has certainly had her share of feeling miserable and cranky.

But just out and out Meanness for no reason?

Take it from Wanda, the Happy Gemini, even if you’ve got Pain, even if it’s a Lot of hard work to raise a daughter as a single working mother, even if your hair won’t blow dry just right, there’s still so much to be Happy about, right?

Right. At least if you’re Wanda . Obviously, Mean Nut Woman was a whole other story. One that PP can write about, but also one that she’s glad she’s NOT living!

Monday, June 02, 2008

She's a Type




She is a Type. You know her. Serious, very, serious, Swimmer. Swims two miles twice a week. Concerned. Very Concerned. For hers and everyone else’s welfare. Advice. Lots and lots of Advice. About anti-chlorine suits. (Speedo makes one that says ‘chlorine resistant’ right on the label!) Chlorine stripping shampoos. (Neutrogena and Paul Friedman, while a little more expensive than PP’s Anti Chlorine Brand, are gentler and better for your hair. And PP, suddenly, well maybe not so suddenly, has LONG hair. So. Designer Shampoo for her? Not too likely, but you never know. PP could go against Her Type once it awhile. )





She’s had a “Health Issue”—yes, haven’t we all. This one is mysterious and generic all at the same time. Something to do with the skin? The breasts? The brain?

It doesn’t really matter. It’s an Issue. But it’s been dealt with in a no-nonsense practical sort of way. But it’s still there. Underlying her reality.
And yours. If you happen to chat with her in the locker room. The hot tub. At the side of the pool, hanging out waiting to see what manifests itself in circle swim hell.

But she’s likable, for all of her Seriousness. She’s warm. She’s genuinely caring. Or so it seems when she makes her recommendations. Introduces herself. Shakes your hand firmly.

Tells you you smell good?

Okay, maybe this is where it all starts.
With smell. And lord knows, PP has been through this one before. It’s so sexy. Scent is, isn’t it? And in the locker room, all the women comfortably naked, dressing, undressing, lotioning and scenting up.

Please do NOT use Scented Product in the Locker room” the signage at the Y threatens, “For consideration of those with Environmental Sensibilities.”

Hell, PP wishes more women would use those Scented Products—makes the Environment so much nicer.






So when PP had sat down next to Super Swimmer’s locker, (before she showed up) to put on her shoes and socks, and SS had commented on how “You smell good” to PP, and PP, shyly had joked that it must be the chlorine and SS had shaken her head and asserted, STRONGLY of course, That NO. It’s not the Chlorine. She knows what the chlorine smells like. She swims two miles twice a week and the chlorine is Hell on her skin and hair. Well, PP just has to take the compliment with a smile. And it’s nice. Even though SS isn’t really her type. It’s okay. Everyone can use an admirer or two.

Is an Admirer a Type too? Of course! There are certainly those that fulfill this role. SS's role isn’t this exclusively, but she can shift back to her Serious Issue Concern Athlete Type effortlessly.

And isn’t this what makes people so interesting, PP muses banally? And isn’t this just what Carrie claimed at the end of the Fabulous Sex and the City Movie? That we’re all types. Carrie is the Romantic Writer. Charlotte is the Conservative Wifey. Miranda is the Complicated Lawyer. And Samantha? (PP’s personal favorite!) She’s the Slutty Fun One! (Don’t we all wish we could be Samantha if even for just one day? Hell, PP does! Why lusting after Dante’s Dick in the shower would be reason enough for her!)





So, when Serious Swimmer calls after PP as she heads out of the locker room. “See you next Month!” , PP has to pause for a moment and grin. It was May 31. Of course, when next PP sees her it will be the next month.

A joke? Yeah. A lame joke, but a joke nevertheless.

And so the Type can surprise you.

Cuz who woulda thought that SS would have made such a silly joke to a new acquaintance?

See. Types surprise you.

And after all, isn’t this what Carrie’s end of the movie musing is all about?