Saturday, March 31, 2007

They start young

Today I saw some kids (maybe 8-10 years old) hawking newspapers on the street. I guess that the Chinese kids first learn the trade with something legit, so they can figure out what selling stuff on the street is like. The mothers were SO proud. It takes a little while, however, before they can manage to sell mini-Terracotta Warriors for 50 kuai a pop to foreigners overly excited for a piece of the Big Red Machine.

Here's a cute little girl from Shanghai:

Ballin' in Shanghai

The ball was only a one dotter, the racket was too heavy, and I have my suspicions that the tin was a couple inches too high, but other than that, squash at the Riviera Tropical Club was a blast. And (listen up Yale Club), they have four free computers, one of which I am using right now.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Redemption Song

I know that I have written some bad stuff about the Chinese trying to take advantage of foreigners, but just when I thought things were all bad, the Chinese came around and completely redeemed themselves. In this case, redemption came in the form on my main man Lu Qinglin.

By going into the wrong compartment for my train from Beijing to Xi'an, I stumbled on happiness. Traveling alone is something of a daunting experience on the whole (although it does allow me to take infinite pictures without anyone complaining about it...), so it was nice to talk to someone for awhile, even if he barely spoke English and I barely spoke Chinese (although I am traveling alone technically, I spent every night and maybe half my days with friends, so I am overstating things a bit). Lu is from Hangzhou and he is extremely proud of it. He told me to shorten my stay in Shanghai, so that I could lengthen my stay in Hangzhou. He showed me countless pictures of his home and family and we talked for hours...mostly communicating through the aid of my Mandarin phrasebook and his computer dictionary. Amazingly in Xi'an, he bought me dinner and made sure that I got on the right train to Shanghai. I hope to see him in Hangzhou next week.

So never fear readers, there are plenty of nice Chinese people. Unless Lu is running the ultimate game on me...

Xi'an Surprise

So if you have been reading along about China, you have seen that Chinese people just LOVE to say "Hello" to Westerners like me. I ignore them a lot, but my natural reaction is to at least acknowledge these people, so this it what happened in Xi'an:

I was walking alone on a side street when I heard...
Chinese woman: Hello my friend where you from?
Me (she was sort of cute): From America, New York City.
Chinese woman: Oh really? Very nice, you should come into my shop and buy something.
Me: That's ok, I've gotta get going anyway.
Chinese woman: Come on, just take a look.
I agreed and when I took a peek I saw nothing but the raunchiest sex DVDs and other goodies, along with a curtain to a back room of sorts.
She smile politely and said, "You like, my friend?"

Goodbye my friend.

Random Observations

Internet has been and will continue to be spotty now that I have left Beijing. Since I last wrote, I have taken two overnight trains, actually gotten to better know a few Zhungguoren, and been to Xi'an and now Shanghai.

-Something you don't see in midtown Manhattan is a man walking a monkey on a chain. Something that I did see in my first day in downtown Shanghai was a man walking a monkey on a chain.

-Even in Shanghai, it still smells just as terrible outside of a Subway sandwich shop.

-(For Dan) The Shanghai subway has those protective glass doors so that no one can fall onto the tracks while waiting for a train. Also, on the outskirts of Beijing (and in parts of Shanghai) they have traffic lights that count the length of time left in red and green lights. Finally, Nick and I will be visiting the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall soon. We'll take good notes.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

BeRiched at the Great Wall

Rich has had trouble finding roles in the U.S. since his run-in with the law, so he took a trip to China. Check out what happened and note the brilliant camera work by Connie Chan.

Better Know A "Zhungguoren"

Welcome to part 874,513,228 of John Delury's 1.3 billion part series, Better Know A Zhungguoren (Chinese person). Today's interview brings us to the fightin' Soho 7-Eleven.

John Delury: As I entered the store I couldn't help but notice the "No vacation" sign on the door. How do you cope with that draconian policy?
Zhungguoren 874,513,228: Working here is like being on vacation.
JD: I see. If the store was on fire and you could save one item before it burned to the ground, what would that be?
ZG: Definitely a bottle of Pocari Sweat, the big size.
JD: What is your favorite page from Jonathan Spence's epic tome, The Search for Modern China? You know that I helped him research that, right?
ZG: Page 188.

JD: Alright, I've got one final question for you. Great Wall or Greatest Wall?
ZG: Did it keep the Mongolians out? I don't think so.
JD: Ok, I'll put you down for Great.

Friday, March 23, 2007


That's Chinese for "photo", and since I have been alone at a number of tourist sites, I have had to break that out a few times. Look at the results, you like?

(Don't worry Mom, I have good pictures too...)

The Goods

Lest you all think that everyone in China is constantly trying to scam Westerners, never fear, that only accounts for 75 % of the population. The rest are very friendly.

Seriously though, Beijing has been great so far, but that kind of stuff is boring to write about. The food is wonderful, Tian'anmen Square is simply epic, and I saw an 18-meter tall Buddha statue. Oh, and I got a great foot massage.

Other tidbits:

-Beijing desperately needs more subways (which are being built). Rush hour here is unreal, and people don't believe in letting others off the train before they get on so the pushing is pretty heavy. There are only three functioning lines (the 1, 2, and 13...not sure about the skip in numbers...) and the transfer from the 13 to the 2 at Xizhimen is about a half mile walk, with a lot of it outside. But if you feel like it, you can buy a puppy on the way (seriously).

-There are wide bike lanes all over the place and special bike traffic lights. Very cool. BUT many intersections are still a total mess of cars, people, and bikes anyway.

-The pollution here is insane. I keep thinking that the haze surrounding every building above the 10th story is fog, but it's not.

"This nice taxi"

Leaving the Summer Palace late in the day, I needed to get a taxi to the subway station so I could go home. Seeing as I am Western (and obviously fabulously did they know?) I got many offers right away. I walked over to the normal Beijing cabbie and asked to get in, but for some reason he refused and pointed me over to the first guy who offered me a ride, a guy with a black, tinted window taxi (not normal). He showed me the meter ("look meter, meter") and I got in the front seat. As we were driving, I quickly noticed that the meter was moving way too fast. Beijing meters start at 10 kuai and you get to go a few kilometers on that money, before the meter starts going up in 1 kuai increments at a pretty slow pace. This meter started going up almost immediately.

Driver: You know how much it cost to Wudaokou (the subway station)?
Me (having taken the ride earlier): Yeah, about 15 kuai, maybe 20.
Driver (shocked): No no no. Traffic now, cost at least 40 kuai. Look at this sheet, this nice taxi, it cost 3 kuai per kilometer (he showed me a sheet putting this in writing, although it said "kilomeper" so I'm not sure that it was binding).
Me: Stop now.
(As we pulled over the meter read 16, then shot up to 18 in the interim. I handed the guy 20 kuai and he gave me 2 back. I said that the last 2 kuai came after I had told him to stop, so I got 1 extra back.)
Driver (as I am about to get out, he switches the 20 I gave him for another in his roll): Wait, mister, you give me fake bill. This not real!
Me: I just saw you switch them, besides they look exactly the same anyway.
Driver (as I step out of the cab): I call police!

I didn't get put in a Chinese prison (yet) and I got a new cab to the station that ended up costing another 17 kuai. Lesson learned, blog material gained.

This is a normal Beijing taxi:

"I have good price for you, my friend"

Six floors of fake merchandise of every kind. Hundreds of Chinese women (and a few men) dressed in red who only speak enough English to pout and try to get you to buy something. It's called the Silk Market.

I went in there having been given a crash course on bargaining with the Chinese salespeople, which was basically that I should be paying 40% or less of their initial offer for my item. So picture this exchange as I eye an FC Barcelona jersey:

Saleswoman (thick Chinese accent): Oh, my friend, you like Barcelona, very good team, colors look very good on you.
Me: Yeah, they're pretty good, but I'm not sure that I want this jersey.
Saleswoman: You like other color? Or Manchester United? Jersey come with shorts...How much you offer?
Me (walking away): I'll come back later...
Saleswoman (grabbing my arm): Wait my friend, I give you jersey for 180 kuai (8 kuai=1 dollar).
Me: I just CAN'T pay that much...maybe 60 (all prices are quoted by punching them into a calculator).
Saleswoman (on the verge of tears): 50 kuai no good, this very nice jersey. 150.
Me: 60.
Saleswoman: 125.
Me: 60.
Saleswoman: 100.
Me: 60.
Saleswoman: 80.
Me: 60.
Saleswoman: Come on my friend, 70 kuai.
Me (throwing her a fricking bone): Fine. I'll take the jersey.
(Of course I hand her a 100 kuai bill! This is one of my favorite parts of the process, pretending to not be able to offer above a certain price then rubbing it in her face that I obviously have more than enough money. At this point I start to walk away.)
Saleswoman: My friend my friend, the shorts.
Me: No thanks.
Saleswoman: 30 kuai, 20 kuai, 10 kuai!!!!
Me (turning around): 10 kuai it is.

My other favorite sales moments were when I actually made a saleswoman curse at me because I wouldn't budge from 30 kuai on a mini-computer mouse and when I would buy an item for 40 kuai and then as I was paying the salesman would say, "We said 45 right?"


While I did decently on some items for my first time at the market, I screwed up on others, especially polo shirts (I bought two, one is for you Tom!). Turns out that the salespeople there are now aware of the bargaining tactic of looking for about 40% of the first price. So, brilliantly, they have just jacked up the starting prices! This is most relevant for bigger-ticket items. So next time I know that when they quote me a price of 500 kuai for a sweater, I can stand firm and offer just 50!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lost in Translation

As you might imagine, I was a bit tired when I arrived in Beijing. But I delayed my initial nap and mustered up enough energy to leave Connie's apartment and buy some supplies (including a super-cool backpack) at Wal-Mart.

Upon my return "home", however, I think that my lack of sleep caught up to me. You see Connie lives in what looks like (is?) Communist-era housing.

Not surprisingly, there are other apartment buildings in the area that look just like hers! So when I got back to the complex on my first night in Beijing, I walked into one of them. Workers were doing some welding on one of the elevators, something that I hadn't noticed earlier, but I thought little of it. The second elevator was taking too long to arrive, so I foolishly decided to walk to the 13th floor (where Connie lives). I looked around for a bit, went where I thought her place was, and I saw a screen in front of the door...something was not right. Now, before I go any further, you have to understand that besides being fresh off of a 13-hour flight, I had to deal with the fact that the lights in the hallways in the building constantly turned off to save energy, and I had to clap them back on. It was a bit of harrowing experience.

At this point, I was getting a little concerned, so I went back towards the one working elevator. I buzzed for it and when it opened, a woman was standing inside. I must have looked very much like a "Zhungguoren" (Chinese person) at that moment because she immediately started talking to me rapidly in Chinese. I said "bu zhidao" (I don't know) a few times and tried to speak to her in English, but it was hopeless. Then I pointed at 13, because Connie lives on that floor, and she continued to speak to me in Chinese and point at every other button. That's when it struck me and I remembered that the buttons in this elevator were different from Connie's elevator! For some reason, I didn't notice the completely different lobbies...Anyway, at this point I took the elevator down with her while she continued to talk to me (I'd love to know exactly what she was saying), and then I left with my head down and dropped a "xie xie" (thank you) on her. Turns out of course, that Connie lives the next building over.

Quirks of China

Yo shower's so skinny that when it's in the bathroom, it's IN the bathroom.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Blogging from the Future

In your world, it's almost midnight. In my world it's almost noon. Think of the possibilities.

Last night I tried really hard to find some General Tso's Chicken, but I had to settle for (delicious) Imperial Manchurian food instead. Today, the search for Sweet and Sour Pork!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Freedom and Democracy

This might be my last chance to type those words before I get to China, so here goes:

Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom

Democracy Democracy Democracy Democracy Democracy Democracy

Sunday, March 18, 2007

This is Jeopardy

Just watched the Jeopardy 3-way tie. A couple of comments:

1. Scott Weiss clearly bet exactly $2600 on purpose in Final Jeopardy. No doubt in my mind.

2. Scott's play was brilliant. Not only does he become much more famous, but he only loses $1 in the process (each player received his full winnings of $16,000) and gets to play again against two opponents that he just (basically) defeated easily!

Keeping up with the Joneses

So since I left work on Wednesday, I have fallen impossibly far behind on my Google Reader. The only things that I have been able to keep up with are my friends' blogs (cause you guys don't post that much and I love you all). At least this internet irresponsibility implies that I am doing something with my life, right?

Oh yeah, and tomorrow I leave for China. Probably gonna have that 100+ up there in a few places...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Vacation (in 1993)

For some reason, in 4th grade I was a troublemaker. As a result of this, I had to write many 8-line rhyming poems and short essays. And I was a starting guard on what we called the 3:30 team (because we had to stay late for detention). It was a weird time. Here is one poem I wrote about vacation:

I went to the Southwest
of the U.S. of A.
I saw many sights
that filled my whole day.

I went to the Grand Canyon
and Death Valley too.
I saw the Painted Desert,
what a great view!

Don't Stop Til You Get Enough

No games have been particularly exciting yet in the tourney (for those interested, I think that Kansas is gonna win it all), although Boston College-Texas Tech and Maryland-Davidson were both competitive. We'll see if Penn can change that with a shocking run against Texas A&M. Doubtful. Meanwhile, I have watched a little March Madness on Demand, and they did a great job with the Boss Button. Luckily I no longer have a boss, but I feel like if someone is looking over my shoulder in a Chinese internet cafe I might have to be careful...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Retirement Party

That's all she wrote. Today's my last day at work. Now, just like NFL players, I will be retiring to a career of public speaking, car dealerships, and dementia.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Why George Orwell writes

An interesting short essay written in 1947 by one of my favorite writers. He was very much a man of his times, but I wonder what he would make of the current international political climate. This passage from the end of the essay is amusing when you think about the fact that Orwell's next and final book was 1984, the work for which he is best known today:

In any case I find that by the time you have perfected any style of writing, you have always outgrown it. Animal Farm was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole. I have not written a novel for seven years, but I hope to write another fairly soon. It is bound to be a failure, every book is a failure, but I do know with some clarity what kind of book I want to write.

By the way, I write because I enjoy it, I think that it's an important skill to practice on a regular basis, and it helps me to structure and remember ideas and arguments.

Restaurant Closing

I'm pretty positive that this place is closed (it's boarded up at all times of day), so I am going to take it off the restaurant guide. Good night, sweet prince Yodo.

Yodo Restaurant of Japan [13 E. 47th St. (bet. Madison and Fifth Aves.) 212-751-8775]
Discovered while working for my father, this hidden gem boasts one of New York's best happy hours. From 5:30-8 PM every day, you can sip $3 large Sapporos and $2.50 sakes while munching on free appetizers such as edamame or California rolls. A nice way to end a day of work or to start a night out on the town.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Remember me?

On Saturday afternoon, I attended the last two rounds of the 10th Annual USA Memory Championships, and I really enjoyed myself. The event was free to attend and I also got some cake, chocolate, and Smart Water (not everything in New York is expensive). The first event that I saw was the "Tea Party," in which contestants, known as Mental Athletes (MAs), had to remember many different facts (name, phone number, favorite car, hobbies, etc...) about 5 separate people. Then, the MAs were asked quizzed on these facts. A person would come out and the first MA in the row would provide that person's name, the second MA would provide the address, and so on.

Poor Chester Santos (all the way on the right with the medals) was stuck with the phone number two times in a row and he was one of the two MAs eliminated in this round. I ran into him later in the bathroom and while he was upset, particularly because he is very good at the final event (memorizing a deck of cards), he was still friendly and gave me some behind the scenes info.

As mentioned, the final round was memorizing a deck of cards and while this was very compelling in person, I feel like it might be even better on TV if they give viewers the chance to memorize cards as well. 16-year-old Brice Morey (who reminded me a lot of Eric) finished in third place, and when Ram Kolli could not remember the 31st card in the deck, David Thomas became the U.S. champion. It's a little disappointing because David is actually British and just moved to America recently, but he did do a great job.

In closing, I liked this event because it was very accessible (in the idea that memory is something that we are constantly engaged with) and that people watching the event can attempt to play along. But at the same time, these competitors are incredibly impressive and it is almost invariably fascinating to see people who are the best in the country or world at anything. Finally, I first read about memory competitions last year when Josh Foer (TC '04) won the competition, and now I might even try some practice myself...

Leave the toilet seat up!

An academic paper on the subject.

Also, read about N'kisi, the African grey parrot with a great sense of humor. He even knows that Mr. Show is funny, but that he should not laugh at Everybody Loves Raymond.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


One for every blogger:

Actual God

you blogged like a genius,
but not like AG.

(the) Actual Rod

One post longer than
six months of AG. It must
be Actual Rod.


He was a hungry
blogger. I caught him blogging
for a sandwich once.

Beneficent Allah

A new twist on god
in the blogs. Has he got the
goods? Bien sur mengs.


To Dan it's easy.
To us it's hard. That's why Dan's
our comedy bard.

Elm Rock City

Our youngest blogger
and last link to Yale, lucky
for us, she blogs well.


The Chess Babes may not
make the man. But the witty
posts about them do.


the politics of
weightlifting keep finnegan
in shape for blogging


Like dark and dirty?
Looking for a new opening? Take
a stab at Kingspawn.


We still check each day,
hoping against hope for at
least Congdon content.

Mr. Wrongway

The idiot's book
on blogs says that Mr. Wrong-
way speaks the real truth.

Mulatto Jesus

No Yale, no problem.
MJ was the new AG,
now he's his own man.


Looking for a muse.
Must be comatose or dead.
Call Nostradamus.


All those blog posts. Still,
people just ask where to eat.
Better than nothing.

That Girl

Liveblogging ain't a
game. It's a lifestyle. Don't trust
me? Just ask That Girl.


Quality over
quantity means Tom only
gives us his best work.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Schiavo should still be living

A woman woke up for three days after being in a coma for six years. Then she went back into dream land.

Her first comment was: "How's Schiavo doing?"

No one had the heart to tell her the truth. They just fed her some ice cream instead.

The Big Day

Expect staircase pictures as people approach the front door, the blogarazzi will be everywhere around this event. I am speaking, of course, about tonight's Blog Party. See you there around 9 pm. Call me if you wanna have dinner first.

Restaurant of the Week

Just because it might be where we eat dinner tonight (and because it's pretty good):

El Paso Taqueria [1642 Lexington Ave. (at 104th St.) 212-831-9831]
Head to the Upper Upper East Side for some delicious guacamole and tacos at reasonable prices. Throw in a mango margarita and you'll have the full experience. I had three tacos, one each of chicken, beef, and pork and was pretty full afterwards for just $8. Although I normally prefer pork tacos, I would say that the beef (Bistec) was my favorite one here. Of course, El Paso also offers all the other classic Mexican dishes and the Burrito de Hongos (mushrooms) is a solid vegetarian option.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Best Blog Post Ever?

We miss you Lester.

My first disappointment about China

I will not get to see Mao's body inside its crystal sarcophagus. Let's hope that when the bloggers take that inevitable trip to Anna Nicole's grave, we are not treated with the same lack of respect.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I've got company

I was just watching Freak Show and guess who makes a cameo signing baseballs for "1 Night Only" at the Imperial Viennese Glaucoma Ball? That's right, Marquis Grissom! I couldn't be happier for Marquis and perhaps if Comedy Central keeps showing reruns of this episode at 3:00 AM on Tuesdays, I can get a few more readers.

Gothamist inspired by Marquis?

Check out the picture from their recent post about the cold weather.

Look familiar

Training the Kid

I was very impressed by his TV watching habits, particularly the fact that he knew about Mr. Show! I was less impressed by his math abilities. But I think that the pressure of me staring him down might have made a difference. I can be pretty intimidating.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Spot On

This wonderful article reminds me of a comment I once wrote about Everybody Loves Raymond: "Relax, I just wanted to tell you that I love that one where Raymond does something marginally wrong like going to play golf with his friends and his wife gets angry at him and his mother interferes somehow."

The nuts:

In the revised episode, taped late last week and scheduled to air in May, Remini's character Carrie Heffernan, the sharp-tongued but beautiful wife of portly Queens delivery man Doug Heffernan, will reveal to her husband she was pregnant and had an abortion without his knowledge. Carrie's revelation comprises the secondary, or "B," story of the episode, in which Doug eats a meatball sandwich against his wife's wishes...

"Leah did some brilliant acting," said Krespie, who called Remini's portrayal of a woman who had recently had an abortion "spot-on." "Our show does a lot of quiet, observational humor, and I think anyone who's had an abortion would be hard-pressed not to relate to, and get a chuckle out of, Carrie's situation."

Update (3/7/07):
For some reason, I cannot find this article anywhere on the Onion web site! Was it taken down or is it just missing? The link above goes to another article. Can someone look into this for me?

Update (3/13/07): Thanks to Anonymous' comment, I now see that they put the article back up, but with generic names. Incredible! CBS/The King of Queens must have gotten really pissed off about it and forced the Onion to take it down. Luckily, anyone who reads this blog knows the real story.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Nice to see Terri back in the blogs, but this could definitely have been weirder and funnier.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The End of an Era

What I used to call Home Sweet Home:

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Stumbling on Happiness

Tom, you only think that getting paid a million dollars to do your job would make you REALLY happy. Your mind is playing tricks on you. Read Dan Gilbert's wonderfully enjoyable book.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Iraq: Q & A

A very informative look at the situation, focusing on the insurgency.

Thanks Dan.

Restaurant of the Week

After having just eaten here again on Wednesday, I figured that I would recommend Caracas again. It's delicious. And they have good fruit drinks as well.

Caracas Arepa Bar [91 E. 7th St. (bet. 1st Ave. and Ave. A) 212-228-5062]
From what I have read, this tiny place might be the only authentic Venezuelan restaurant in the city (except for its To Go sister cafe next door). Caracas offers a variety of Venezuelan specialties, but the arepas (think stuffed english muffin, but made of corn flour) are the signature dish. Along with my assistant, I tried the De Guasacaca (guacamole and cheese), the Reina Pepiada (chicken and avocado), and the De Pabellon (beef, black beans, plantains, cheese). All the fillings were fresh and tasty. The arepas themselves were very good as well. They were a little too hard for me the first time I went, but the second time, the arepa consistency was just right for my delicious La Del Gato. For appetizers, start with the Guasacaca (Venezuelan Guac) and the Yoyos. All in all, Caracas will offer you a great meal for a great price.

One Week

T-minus 7 days until the blog party chez Nostra/Lucy. There will be haikus, the #1 post of 2006, and many bloggers. Apocalypto might be on in the background.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

New Kid on the Block

This coming Monday, I will be training an intrepid NYU Senior to do my job on a part-time basis for the next couple of months (while I am getting a new job and traveling in China). I hope that he has the "right stuff" to take on all of my responsibilities, which should be fairly minimal now that it's the off-season. This will be my first real exercise as an authority figure at work. Should be interesting.


As part of the unpacking process here at the new Berger residence, I have been looking through my old notebooks and tests and teacher evaluations. These stretch as far back as the 1st grade and they have gotten me to think about what might have been for me...although then again, I'm still doing pretty decently for myself, so this is a pretty conflicted post.

For example, last night I stumbled upon my second grade ERB scores. I scored in the 99th percentile on that test. Apparently my math and reasoning skills were at a 6th grade level! Then I saw my 6th grade math tests. My average score was a 104 (but then again, I was ready for that stuff in 2nd grade). Why did I stop taking math in college? That was dumb. But anyway, one reason why I seemed so smart back then was that my competition was so much worse. In those days, I was in a class of 100 in a school of 1,000 that was generally pretty smart, but had its share of mediocre students. By the time I got to Yale, I was studying with 5000+ of the smartest people in the entire world (well, mostly...), a large number of whom had probably been in that same 99th percentile all their lives as well. All of a sudden those 104s didn't look so amazing. So during college and since graduation, I've had a lot more humility about my intelligence, which is certainly a good thing (although I still know that I'm wicked smart). I have a much better sense of the many people out there who are more intelligent than myself. But at the same time, seeing these past accomplishments has rekindled a bit of competitive fire in me and has made me think about striving to use the intelligence that I have to do some more productive things. Most of all, I know that I really need to work harder to be more successful. I hope it lasts.

Too bad life isn't an algebra test.