Dear j,

You fell off the bed again. This time it wasn’t me. Mama was at her computer. I was downsttheairs when I heard a thud, followed by a WAAAAAA. I ran up. Mama said, “Why do I think I can hear her when she moves?” She hugged you with one hand behind your back and the other pressing your head against her neck. “I’m so sorry,” she said, over and over, while she rocked. She said, “I’m such a bad mom to her.” I said, “Don’t even start.” She said, “I’m going to sidecar the crib tomorrow.” It was only 10 but she did nothing but sit in bed next to you for the rest of the night.

At least I could say, “Hey I did it too.” But just about everything can make a parent feel like a failure. Mama spends all day with one or two of you. So at night is when she finally gets her “me” time. But then these things happen. I know, that’s how it happened to me too. I got too into my computer when I should’ve been watching you. Then CRASH! and there comes the guilt. The only way to escape guilt as a parent is to not play the game at all.

And that’s reason #153 why a parent quits. We had a play date last week with the twins who go to your same classroom. Mama didn’t tell me anything other than “we have a play date with the twins this Saturday.” But when we got to their house something wasn’t quite right. I was about to ring the doorbell when mama said, “she said come through the side door.” So we went round the side and she greeted us with smiles and hugs. It was a narrow path to the back. “It’s easier this way,” she said. We entered through a door that opened into the laundry area. Then through the kitchen and into the living room. It was tight. I stayed standing for a while because I couldn’t find a place to sit. It also got warm quickly.

First things first: get you comfortable. So you kids would play with each other. In the beginning, they were quiet and you were quiet. So I walked you around the room, pointing out things, and asking the twins about a few toys. They didn’t mind sharing. Their mom said, “That’s all they know. They shared this,” she pointed to her tummy and shrugged. I took the chance to sneak a glance around the room. Picture of kids, picture of kids, drawing by kids, picture of kids, picture of kids with mom.

No dad. Okay. The moms started chatting. I thought, “I like books. There’s a bookshelf stuffed with books. I bet that’ll tell me something.” One spine read, “… Getting Into Residency…”

I put together what I knew: she was older than us, it was a Saturday and no dad, half a house. And latest clue: almost a doctor.

I overheard a couple of things that confirmed my guesses. She rented out the front of the house. She used to live in the front and rent out the back. But now she lives in the back. I asked, “Can you use the pool across the street? It’s covered up.” She explained, and mama talked about water safety.

I can deal with tight spaces. But I thought, “Hey it’s a nice day, and we have 6 adult hands here. We could go to the park.” I wondered why we were all stuck inside when we could walk across the street to the park. I’m sure I could find us lots of fun things to play. You could even teach the twins a thing or two. Then it occurred to me that she might not get to take them to the park much. It’s hard for one parent to keep two toddlers from doing something stupid alone. I mean, last week there were two grownups and one of you J, when you tried to fly and almost broke your nose.

She said, “I’m a swimmer. That’s how we met.” I still wasn’t sure what the deal with the dad is. She talked about him fondly. Her eyes unfocused for a split second and she smiled when she said, “He loves kiteboarding. He has a home in Santa Cruz.”

Well. That explained it.

Because the first lesson every parent has to learn is sacrifice. I’ll still try to deny it. But I know that kids change things and kids kill dreams. The people who cannot give things up struggle the most with new life as a parent. And some quit. It might be the lifestyle, or freedom, or free time, or money, or hobbies… like kiteboarding. Of course, it’s never really about the specifics like Kiteboarding. It’s more about sacrifices. When parents are separated and the dad doesn’t visit in the weekend, that’s a sign he’s gone. He never had any skin in the game.

You can’t be a parent and keep your old life. It doesn’t work that way. Maybe age has something to do with it too. Older parents mean that they spent longer living the kid-free lifestyle. I had to get rid of my Z and mama had to get rid of her TT. It was sad, but we weren’t invested in a lifestyle house by the beach and a garage stacked to the ceiling with kiteboarding gear and a truck to tow it in the driveway.

Which made me wonder how he slept at night. He had all his space in his bachelor pad. All by himself. While his two children and their mom roughed it out in half a home. There was only one bedroom with a bunk bed. At first I thought the bunk bed was for the kids, because it just a twin mattress at the top. But I looked closer and saw that the bottom was split in two.

I guess selling his “beach house” never occurred to him. I mean, she bought her home while single. If she could afford that, it’s probably just the kids with new expenses pushing her over. And it shouldn’t be too bad if he split the family bills. Plus, if he sold his house, that’d be half a million or more, and that could cover them comfortably for many years until she got on her feet as a proper MD.

The way I saw it, the only reason she could be struggling is if he was out of the picture.

When we played, your friend called me “Daddy” to get my attention. Now that’s not that uncommon, because we get introduced as J’s daddy or J’s mommy. So kids often think that “Daddy” or “Mommy” are our first names. But it still pinched me.

I’m not gonna lie. All us parents feel guilt. But one of the things that takes the mind away is seeing how other parents can do worse. That’s Social comparison. Comparing down makes you feel better. Comparing up “is the thief of joy.” That’s why making $60K/year while your friends make $45K makes you feel great. But making $100K when you friends make $200K makes you sad.

This is the reason why Tabloids sell. We can’t resist gawking when the upper-class crash down. It makes us feel great. I’m not saying it’s good. It’s just what we do.

I tried to imagine how she goes through her daily routine in that house. Does she get embarrassed to invite her friends over? Does she do it with a smile? Does she break down crying? Raising two kids… alone. I think the biggest dagger might not be the routine itself. I mean, we can handle pain. We love suffering. People go through hell to summit Everest, risking life, fingers and toes. If the pain is worth it, it becomes part of the pleasure. Kids make the pain worth it, but the loss it what hurts. The loss of someone you love. The loss of dreams. The loss of the dreams you built with someone.

We thought our house was small. But that put things in perspective. And then, J, you said this one night:

“I don’t want to be alone.”
“You’re not alone,” I said. “We’re in the same house.”

We want bigger bigger bigger, but children just want to be close to their parents. If you had your way, you’d be happiest if you could be right next to us.

By the way, we have a king size bed and we still don’t have enough room. You know why? When you sneak into our bed, you like to put your head near mine. But you don’t sleep next to me. You drive the top of your head into the side of my head. We make an L. I wake up and I’m like WHAT THE HELL. So I turn so that I’m diagonal. Then in my head I noticed that you, me and mama formed a triangle.

My new “Friend Test”. I was thinking about what happened to all my friends. Why do I have so few of them? What do all the friends I still have, have in common? What do all the friends I lost have in common?

I think the common factor is reading. All the people I can still talk to read. So I think this might be a useful (and fast) way to decide if someone I meet will get past the small talk phase. I just have to ask, “What are you reading right now?”

I’m not talking about all the trash you read online. Yes, on average people read more these days, but the shit online is designed for the zombie stumbling through life, looking for a distraction. The headlines are designed to make you curious enough to click to see a train wreck. Or something to make you angry or sad. They’re almost never anything valuable. They’re like junk food.

I’m talking about the kind of reading that someone consciously seeks out. It could be a passion. Or something he/she is actively, deliberately trying to learn or research. Like if someone is serious about climbing Everest, he’ll study all he can about what he needs to know or do. On the other hand, a distracted zombie-junkreader might click to read a list about the “10 dumbest ways to die while climbing Everest.”

So if you apply this filter to most of your friends, you might discover that almost none of them really Read. And what you’ll notice among those who don’t read is that they’ll be same in 10 years. They’ll whine about the same things. Gossip about the same things. Go to the same places. Nothing new goes in, so the shit that comes out looks the same.

On the other hand, someone who reads always has something new to share. Even if she doesn’t finish whatever she’s reading, one sentence in a book could change her life. she might get excited and share it with you, and it could change your life too. If you read, you’ll have the same effect on her. Friends who Read keep learning. And they keep growing. If you surround yourself with people who grow, you can’t help but grow too.

So it’s my new test I try to sneak into the conversation when I meet new people. “Hey, what book are you reading right now?” Come to think of it, I’ve given a few books as gifts to a few friends recently. Books are my favorite gifts to give and get. But I wish I had more friends who’d recommend me books.

I’m still stuck with Raymond Carver. I usually read 1-2 books a month, but that Carver book is like an anchor. I had to order new books to read. Carver’s book is just… too much feelings. I don’t know how long it’ll take me to get through it, if every short story puts me into a short coma.

I told mama it was too depressing. Mama said, “I like depressing stories sometimes.” So she read the one I bookmarked for her: Nobody said anything. It had the same effect. She had to put it down because it made her feel. I said, “See?!” With other things I read, I can flip from page to page until it’s done. But with Carver, every story stops me dead.

But you know what I realized about Carver? He had two children. A daughter and a son. But he never writes about life with them. My whole life has been taken over by you two. I can’t finish a sentence without either of you interrupting. And there is so much to write about as a parent because everything changes every day. And not just with the kids. With us parents too, because every day brings new challenges that force you to grow in a different way, as you flail to stay above water.

So how can it be that his family life never made it into his stories? He’s a master of painting rich scenes with few words. So how could all the details of his family life escape his writer’s microscope?

I was trying to read “The Ducks” but this thought made me stop. I gave up after reading the same lines over and over.

Curious, I searched the Internet: “Did Raymond Carver write about his kids?” What I found was this article by Stephen King.

I saved this screen shot in case that article disappears

I saved this screen shot in case that article disappears from the NY Times website

I checked my copy. YES! I owned the “Collected Stories” Stephen King recommended. Thanks Steve. Now I have something else to look forward to: comparing Carver’s story with the one his editor butchered. But damn, Carver was an asshole to his first wife and kids. After all she did for him. She believed in him when he was still a loser; she worked so he could write. She loved him while he was drunk. She loved him after he almost killed her in a rage one night. He hit her with a wine bottle and almost opened an artery in her head. She ran away and someone found her in an alley.

Maybe that’s why there are no children in his stories. He loved writing and the bottle more than his wife and kids. Writers write about what they know. He didn’t know his children.

This week in pictures

At the Children's Discovery Museum. J was Racoon and j was Beaver

At the Children’s Discovery Museum. J was Racoon and j was Beaver

... and a turtle

… and a turtle

When you're not fighting for attention, you like teaching your sister

When you’re not fighting for attention, you like teaching your sister

You waited a long time for the treehouse

You waited a long time for the treehouse

You even showed her how to put the ball in the hole

You even showed her how to put the ball in the hole

Brosis moment #3

Brosis moment #3

Bunny slippers

Bunny slippers



Green spinning pole - I was with j on the bridge. I had you two alone to give mama a break. She was sick that Saturday

Green spinning pole – I was with j on the bridge. I had you two alone to give mama a break. She was sick that Saturday



Copying brother at the park

Copying brother counting at home

(BTW, the copying goes both ways. j, you’re picking up dangerous activities from J, in addition to learning good skills. J, you’re trying to learn how to be a baby so that we’ll give you the attention that j gets because she’s less independent.)

Filling water by yourself

Filling water by yourself

"Your daughter can put a screwdriver on a screw. She's playing with J's tools :)"

“Your daughter can put a screwdriver on a screw. She’s playing with J’s tools :)”

j being j at home:

Mama: “Are you having big feelings?”
J: “Ya.”
Mama: “Let’s try to make them smaller.”

Next day at lunch:

J: “My legs are long. They’re even longer than my hands. Sometimes when I’m growing I have big feelings.”
Me: “Sometimes I have big feelings too.”
J: “I will help you calm your body.”
Me: “I will help you too.”

Mama: “Ah! These bubbles are attacking me!”
Joshua: “Maybe they are predators!”

Night time ritual. It drives me crazy. I put you in bed, and then it’s like playing Whack-a-mole. Every 5 minutes, you pop up, asking me for something. First, it’s “I need a hug.” Then, “Wait, you forgot a kiss.” Then, “I’m thirsty. I need water. Wait, I need another hug.” Then, “I need to go potty.” I can’t say no, we’re trying to potty-train you. So okay, get you out of PJs, tinkle, back in diaper, back in PJs. 5 minutes later, “I have to make peepee again.” No you don’t, you just went. “I want to keep my diaper dry.” I stare at you. “It’s coming a little.” ALRIGHT. Let’s go. We wait. “Maybe it’s just gas. Sometimes it takes time.” Are you done? “My gas takes some time.” Jesus, are you done? “It’s coming down so that takes some time.” When you have kids of your own one day, please call me so I can laugh at you suffering like we did. I’m sure I can look back at this and laugh someday.

Mama has been keeping a journal. I’ll try to take some pictures for you. BACK! I respected her privacy and tried not to read them. But I thought one day we will be old and we won’t care anymore, and that’s when you’ll find these. Or like if we were gone and you were cleaning out the attic of our house. (Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5.)

She started this one after joining a “Biggest Loser” contest with friends. When she told me about it I said, “You should do it.” I thought it was genius. Whether by chance or by design, whoever put it together got all the elements right. If you wanted to design a program that has the highest chance of helping people lose weight and stick to the program, you couldn’t do much better than this.

I mean, it was hitting all the right buttons. I don’t even know if there were many more buttons left to hit. I’ll list down the “features” of the contest, and why don’t you first try to figure out what makes each one effective. Then I’ll reveal the answers after.

  • You pay $60 to enter
  • It spans several weeks
  • winner gets the pool (~$1000) (most % weight lost)
  • official weigh in at host’s house using host’s scale
  • participants are a group of friends

I said, “You should do it” because I knew it was going to work. Here are the reasons why. One, paying money up front creates commitment (“People who pay, pay attention”). It’s like paying for a personal trainer. You know that if you quit, you just wasted the money (Loss Aversion, Sunk Cost Bias). AND, you lose the chance of winning the prize. The prize itself is great (Reward Substitution). The money is not big, but not small either. It’s big enough. Because weight loss and health is an abstract long-term benefit, but $1000 is a near-term goal you can lick your chops at. Next, her friend won it last year. It’s a local contest, run among friends. Average people, not marathon runners who got fat after breaking a leg. “If she can win it, I can too.” (Availability Bias, Optimism Bias). There’s also Group Effect. It’s hard to be motivated by yourself. But now there’s an element of camaraderie and competition. “We’re all in it together. I don’t have to be embarrassed to say I’m trying to lose weight, we’re all doing it, etc.” Finally, it’s long enough that you can’t win by cheating. You have to develop real habits. So chances are, if you make it through to the final weighing, you’ll have reinforced new behaviors (diet, exercise) that will continue after the contest is over.

Can you think of more factors at play here? How could you make it better? (Here’s one hint: mama shared her results with her friends and they made her disclose her secret diet. Now 3 people are trying it. She said, “Now the pressure is on; I can’t quit because they’re looking up to me.” That’s another powerful factor: public commitment.)

Anyway, guess how much mama lost? 9 lbs in 1 week! She also measured 7.5 inches lost total from all over her body. She feels great and she looks great. She glows. She said her sugar level is better (she’s on a slow carb diet) and she doesn’t get migraines anymore. I accused her of sandbagging. Because unlike some women who have been over 200 lbs all their life and didn’t know how to lose it even if they had to, she was sitting on weight she knew how to and could have lost if she had a fire under her butt. Sometimes that’s what you need.

Sometimes you know what to do but you just don’t do it. That’s when you have to go and figure out how to light a fire under your butt. Hmm. Maybe I should take my own advice.

Oh, good news. Daddy got a 13% raise. 5% max merit raise, plus a Deus Ex Machina 8% adjustment raise on top of that. Plus some stocks. It was mainly for the Achilles stuff I have been doing I said, “Well, that’s more than I’ve ever gotten.” Boss said, “Forget you. I’ve never seen these numbers for anyone ever.” And for the 3rd time, he said, “I know I keep saying this, but don’t get used to these numbers. Don’t expect to get them every time. I know I keep saying this, and then you go and do something crazy.”

Mama said, “I’m afraid to ask how much you make.” In my mind, I know I have friends who make 2-3 times my salary in the Finance world. So I said, “Forget that. Think about how much you used to make. Now think about how you felt. Money’s one thing if you need it. But think about how getting $150 helping a mom in your current business makes you feel compared to the 6 figures you were getting as an engineer.

And I’m glad we don’t need the money like the mom with the twins. Because I treasure things like the time I get after work, before the sun goes down. We get to do things like go to the park. Our neighbor’s kids are your age. But we’ve never seen them at the park. We live so close to the park too. Do they never go? When we run into them, their garage door is open and they are right outside. Mom’s usually cradling the baby while the kid just sits on his tricycle. When I see the dad he’s usually standing there too, in front of the garage, smoking while poking his smartphone. They drive BMWs. When he passes me walking Kimi in the morning, he makes sure he revs real loud to make sure I notice his red BMW. And I’m thinking, Please. By the way, your engine’s cold. Maybe give it some time to warm up. And I may drive a Camry now, but what you don’t know is that I drove a car with exhaust tips big enough to fit a cat and obnoxious enough that I’d have cops waiting for me outside my apartment the next day. And fast enough that when I got pulled over, the cops called for backup from the opposite direction just in case I was stupid enough to try to run. Please. But do show me how well you pout with your sunglasses in your convertible of the cheapest entry-level model you can barely afford, for the badge that you so desperately need to feel okay about yourself.

It’s just crazy. We’re pretty much a single-income household, trying to compete with all these crazy double-income families. I’m sorry we’re the weird ones who try to be with our kids. If everyone chilled the fuck out a little, maybe the housing prices would be saner. But most people are set on making more money so they could give a better life for their kids they never get to see because they’re too busy trying to make money. Hello! TIME. You can’t get back TIME. Money for WHAT? You’re paying for it with the TIME you have now. Time you will never get again. Because kids never stop growing.

He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you, Dad
You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cycle continues.

The problem with inequality. I figure this is a good time as any to talk about this. For some reason, especially since the Millennial generation, people think they’re entitled to some sort of “fairness.” That we should “fix” inequality. Another common position is that successful people are lucky. “If Or the delusion that “if I work hard, I deserve to be successful.” It’s a delusion because the universe doesn’t care how hard you work. So that’s why they believe that the top 1% are lucky or privileged. Like God designed everyone’s lives from the beginning of time til eternity like a infinite Rube Goldberg machine. I can see why that’s an appealing idea. That’s the seductive appeal of Religion after all. To give people meaning in a meaningless life. To console the poor that it’s okay if life sucks, because there’s afterlife. To tell people it’s okay, because it is not up to you, it’s up to God.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s just focus only on two points. One: “If I work hard, I ought to be successful.” And two: “Someone has to be a CEO, and someone has to be the janitor. Not all of us can be the CEO, even if all of us work as hard.”

That’s as stupid as saying, “I have a penis. Some penii have to penetrate supermodels, and some penii have to penetrate ugly women. Since supermodels are rare, not every penis can have them, no matter how hard they work.” So why even try, right? All men should just sit back and wait for God to bless them with their predestined partner. If they’re lucky, a supermodel falls on their lap. If they’re not, oh well. “Not everyone can be a CEO. I didn’t want to have to be a greedy asshole anyway.”

Let’s talk about a minimum wage job like dishwasher or janitor. First, there’s no shame in doing these jobs. In fact, those who do deserve more respect than those who choose not to work when they can. But they are dead-end jobs. They’re not meant to be a career. Because anyone can do those jobs, and if you won’t do them, someone else can. Being the best dishwasher doesn’t make you more useful in anything other than dishwashing. So trying to wash dishes twice as fast as the next person will just mean that you get twice as many dishes to wash.

So it should quickly be clear, that it doesn’t matter how hard you work. BUT, how hard you work on the things that matter most. The hardest problem a restaurant has to solve is how to get butts in tables. Finding a dishwasher is never a problem. Filling the restaurant is always the biggest problem. No customers, no restaurant. It is not fair because the value of the skills is not equal. It’s not supposed to be fair. But remember that there’s nothing stopping a dishwasher from hustling his way into learning more about the business. And there lies the true root of the problem: Inequality exists because of what some people are willing to suffer to master, but other people aren’t. I mean just take Reading for example. You can give someone a free book a month with precisely what he needs to know to live a better life. But the reason why there’s a top 1%, 15% and 20% and bottom 80% is because 80% won’t read, even if they could, and even if it were free. That’s why the income distribution hasn’t changed, despite free public libraries and now even the Internet.

“The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.” – Aristotle

Now don’t get me wrong. This is a difficult topic. You can always ask, how is it fair for the Chinese factory workers? Apple makes billions while the factory workers are rewarded with low wages, shitty lives and benzene poisoning:

Sure, some people have no choice. But if you do have a choice, you can try to be smart about what you choose to spend your time on. And when in doubt, don’t do what the majority is doing. There is always a top 20% and a bottom 80%. So…

“When you find yourself on the side of the majority. It’s time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain.

The presentation went well, thanks for asking. Did I tell you? I got pulled into this silly thing. Director said make some slides. One guy said what’s the script. Director thought he meant, “let’s make a video.” I’m like you idiots, let’s just keep it simple. But I couldn’t reel them back. “Movie? That’s a great idea!” They got into it and I thought what the hell. It’s good to have a little excitement. Why should I be the wet towel? After watching them fumble around, I said “Okay, if we’re going to do this, here’s a simple formula we can follow: Problem → Agitate → Solve. Think of infomercials.” That immediately focused everyone. The ideas were now less “artsy” and more “salesy”, even though they were still as campy or silly.


Incidentally, the Sr Director of Product Marketing gave a talk in all-hands too. His slides showed all the ways we were kicking our competitor’s ass.

At the end of it, I considered letting it slide and stay out of trouble for once. But I couldn’t resist. So I raised my hand and asked him, “If [competitor] is so bad compared to us, what are the biggest reasons why customers choose them?”

Everyone laughed. They laughed louder than anything they laughed at in our X-Team skit. But I wasn’t laughing, and he wasn’t either. He looked down for a few seconds and said, “That’s actually a good question.” Everyone stopped laughing. He gave a few weak answers, and I could see that he didn’t know.

I stayed after his talk to discuss an idea with him. He grimaced because of the legal issues. So I thought about it some more. Then I sent him the following email later:

Hi R,

I was thinking a little more about what you said. And I think we could make an interactive demo to present your results (without running into legal problems).

Imagine this: in the video that you will soon record/release, you could say for example –

“Visit our interactive calculator to discover which ____ device is right for you, and compare how it does against our competitor:”

On the website:

1. Enter your email address / phone number / company (for Sales to follow up)

2. From the list, choose the closest match to the design you are planning to run
Since one of our strengths is the GNL, we can sweep the GNL to produce choices for the user to find the closest match for his needs

3. And, because we have the GNL, we can also pre-run the tools to pre-load the results for all the options the user could choose

4. So as soon as user selects, the next page shows log file for both our solution and our competitor’s. As well as a comparison that highlights all the things you want to highlight like in your presentation.

5. On the results page, you could:
a. direct users to more info/marketing materials
b. take the next step into the sales process
c. stick a live chatbox with sales guys on hand
d. make an offer
e. etc

What do you think? If this sounds good, I could work with [name drop] or IT or whoever usually does these things to set it up. (Assuming it’s okay with [my director] too.)

His reply:

Wow! that’s a great idea!!
Let me run this by Sales…

— R

I said to mama, in case you were wondering, this is how I get silly performance reviews without doing any “real” work. Do I feel like a fraud? Sure, sometimes. But like I explained above, the universe doesn’t care how hard you work.

Anyway, the trouble with thinking you’re good is, you think your work matters. You think you’re in charge of the game-winning shot. That’s too much pressure. So you need to find reasons why you still suck. These bring you back to reality: “No, you have to work. What you have isn’t that great. Stop clinging to it like it is. Get over yourself.”

Never start to think you’re wonderful. If you do, it means you got lazy and stopped looking hard enough for someone better than you. Because there’s always someone who does one particular thing better than you. And there’s no reason to feel bad. It’s always refreshing to find someone new who reminds you you’re not good enough. Because that means you can be even better. (E.g., I just found Richard Armstrong, the copywriter, and got a hold of his sample book, “My First 40 Years in Junk Mail.”)



P.S. – Damn, I started out struggling to write this letter, but then one rant led to another. I’m sorry. I hope you got something useful out of this. I’ll try harder next time.

It was your last day of school on Friday. Ms G gave you this

It was your last day of school on Friday. Ms G gave you this

Mama and j picked you up one last time. That morning, you were happy in the car. You said it's my last day. You proudly reminded me that you will be home on Monday. You asked will you be home with us daddy. I said I have to work. I asked if you knew which school you'll go to. You said BING!  and smiled and sank back into your seat and looked out the window.

You were happy in the car. You said it’s my last day. You proudly reminded me that you will be home on Monday. You asked will you be home with us daddy. I said I have to work. I asked if you knew which school you’ll go to. You said BING! and smiled and sank back into your seat and looked out the window.