Monday, December 31, 2012

Mini-Reviews: Looking a gift horse in the nose

For the longest time I thought the proverbial gift horse was literally a horse that brings you gifts, and "looking the gift horse in the mouth" was kind of like biting the hand that feeds you. Don't look into his mouth, he might chew your eyes out! Or maybe it's like the second trial in The Neverending Story, a mirror that shows you your "true self." Finally I realized the horse IS the gift. (And you're probably looking in its mouth to check for gum health or whatever.)

Anyway. Today I'm reviewing some recent gifts. Thank you to my mom for the Nostalgie and to Sherri Miller for the surprise fairy-godmother bag of wonders!

Sonoma Scent Studio Nostalgie  The aptly named Nostalgie is a throw-back kind of scent, and its nostalgic qualities became all the more apparent when I sprayed it for the first time. I had previously worn it dabbed from a sample vial (both in its present form and a couple of previous incarnations), and dabbing a perfume tends to downplay its top notes and rush you through to the drydown. Sprayed from my new purse spray, I find that Nostalgie opens with a big cloud of sweet, powdery aldehydes  indeed, it's reminiscent of a Vega (a comparison Angela at Now Smell This drew recently) or even an aldehydic lipstick scent like Broadway Nite or Andy Tauer's Une Rose Vermeille, giving that frosted-glass effect to the florals. When dabbed, it had put me more in mind of my vintage Eau de Joy, with its big, bright, rosy jasmine. But in Nostalgie, the more prominent aldehydes smear the florals out (mimosa and violet in addition to rose and jasmine), making them less distinct and more perfumey. This is up there with Jour Ensoleille and To Dream among Laurie Erickson's perfumiest perfumes, if by "perfumey" we mean retro and feminine, as opposed to legible and unisex (like, say, Tabac Aurea). Upping the retro quotient is a pleasantly animalic thread running below the aldehydic floral accord, a slightly pissy undercurrent that is difficult to pin down  it could be any combination of the beeswax or leather or jasmine absolute or patchouli or oakmoss or musk, all of which have animalic facets. That soupcon of a human smell underneath the soapy artificial scent of aldehydes and the naturally sweet smells of gardens and forests is what could fool you into thinking Nostalgie really is a vintage scent from the '40s or '50s, complete with a bit of civet. It's heart-warming to know that someone is still producing scents like this, full of naturals and nearly oblivious to trends (though there's been a recent mini-trend for this style among indie perfumers; see Tauer's Miriam and Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's Pandora). Laurie Erickson is a treasure.


Dior Oud Ispahan  I have it on good authority that no commercial oud perfumes these days actually contain oud  it's too rare and costly. So this, like others of recent vintage, is an interpretation of oud. To my nose, this rose + oud perfume (a combo that's getting as popular as rose + patchouli) doesn't scream "ROSE!" and "OUD!" in the manner of By Kilian Rose Oud, with its sweeter, louder rose and much more diffusive, petrol-y oud accord (an odor I'm not overly fond of outside of gas stations). Instead, I get a somewhat sour saffron top note (a la Agent Provocateur) and a sheer, dry rose accord, plus some leather and earthiness. Now, some of this we can choose to ascribe to "oud." Conveniently, the scent profile of oud (Persolaise describes it as "woody, leathery, faecal, boozy, earthy and petrol-like" and I'd add "peaty" and "meaty" based on an oud sample I got from Liz Zorn, which I do believe contains real Laotian oud) is pretty similar to that of labdanum (which is certainly woody, leathery, and earthy, but without the gas and poop notes). And guess what! Labdanum is listed as the top note of Oud Ispahan. As it dries down, more of a honeyed, ambery character comes out, but it never gets truly sweet  and all the while a big animalic note is growing in proportion to the rest, till finally it smells like a hunk of sandalwood at the zoo. These Collection Privee bottles, incidentally, are so enormous that the price per ounce works out to just $27, but a full bottle costs more than $200. While I like it very much, I find that Agent Provocateur does most of what Oud Ispahan does (the spice, the dry geranium-like rose, the earthiness, the dirty base) but with more richness and what feels to me like more naturals. YMMV.


Mona di Orio Musc  I ignored the Mona di Orio line for years, for pretty much the same reasons that I have largely ignored Le Labo: a) a lot of them got trashed by Luca Turin, whose opinion I disproportionately value even though I often disagree with his assessments, and b) they're too expensive for me anyway, at $200+ a bottle. However, on a recent trip to NYC, I went to MiN, and after 20 minutes or so of half-hearted blotter-sniffing, collapsed on the big leather couch from sore feet and fatigue. The MdO collection was sitting on the table in front of me, so I picked one up and sniffed the nozzle. The bottle was Musc. I expected something heavily animalic in the manner of Muscs Koublai Khan, but instead I smelled super-fancy baby powder. I got some on the cuff of my coat and it smelled delicious well into the next day. I came home dreaming about it and a lovely fellow perfume fan sent me a gift decant. When you spray it on, it's surprisingly green, in the direction of the grassy, vegetal top notes of L'Ombre dans l'Eau but not quite so strident. That fades and you're left with a fluffy, sugary sweetness, like powdered sugar donettes, but recognizably floral as well  with soft green and violet notes much like my beloved Flower by Kenzo, which I've taken a long break from due to overexposure to a certain synthetic musk, thankfully absent here. In fact, I assume what you're paying for is some combination of subtle, high-quality synthetic musks that smell clean without smelling like laundry detergent (because, amazingly, they've never been used in one). I hope Flower will smell right to me again one day, but until then, this will get me through. And if I ever inherit a million I'll buy myself a bottle.

Diptyque Volutes  I'm not sure what the standard alcohol formulation smells like, but in the solid perfume, Volutes is oddly reminiscent of Carmex. I may be unduly influenced by the look of the stuff, but I've tried a number of solid perfumes, and they all look a little like Carmex, and none of the other ones have smelled like it. That said, maybe because I'm getting over the flu, I sort of enjoy the effect. It smells like herbal, slightly mentholated vanilla – not as minty as white Tic-Tacs, but in the same crossover zone between candy and medicine. And come to think of it, the taste of white Tic-Tacs always reminded me of the smell of pipe tobacco. I'm in no position to pick this apart into components or stages, given the state of my sinuses, but if memory serves, this didn't evolve much the first time I wore it a couple of weeks ago, pre-virus. It's a simple, good smell, not a bit perfumey. But, as recent tobacco scents go, it doesn't hold a bougie candle (Diptyque pun intended) to Spicebomb.

Aside 1: Last week, in the nadir of my misery – or would it be the zenith? – I tried to buy a bottle of Tea for Two from the L'Artisan website, listed at $60 for 50 ml, a steal even if it wasn't impossible to find. I was cheered! Two days later I got an email from their customer service rep saying that Tea for Two was not actually available, and I had been refunded. I was saddened, but I used the money to buy myself a bottle of Spicebomb instead. I like Tea for Two better, but they're pretty similar and it's better than nothing.

Aside 2: Strong investment in the romantic attachment of two fictional characters is called "shipping," as in "I ship Chuck and Blair (duh)." Is there a word for it when you become super-attached to a contestant on a reality TV show? That both Cassadee Pope and Alex Guarnaschelli won their shows (The Voice and The Next Iron Chef, respectively) pleased me greatly.

Happy new year, my friends.

Friday, December 21, 2012

SMH at the Atlantic Wire's "Worst Words" List (+ Some Links)

Word snobs are the new grammar nazis, which I guess makes ageist squeamishness the new literacy privilege. It's become "a thing" (or was this always a thing?), at the close of the year, when in full list-making mode, to make grandiose announcements about which words and phrases are officially terrible and should be retired, so we can move into the future with unsullied vocabs.

The Atlantic Wire, the "what matters now"(!) division of the ever-insufferable Atlantic, is on top of the trend and has published an A to Z list of the "worst words" of 2012. The list of words we're supposedly supposed to stop using includes such common interjections as "really" (really?!) and "ugh," basic concrete nouns like "hashtag," "vagina" (these things just mean what they mean, folks, those are the words for those things) and "quinoa" (clearly included simply because they chose the odious alphabet format), as well as brilliant acronyms like "TLDR" and "YOLO." What do these humorless pricks have against slang? Naturally, "hipster" is on there, but isn't it tres hipster to denounce a term just because it's popular or, as they say of the portmanteau, has "jumped the shark"? (No longer are we denouncing only single terms, whole categories of word formation get the boot.)

I'm just going to object to their objections on a couple of these:

Ping: They quote someone from Gizmodo saying "I hate ping because it means the exact same thing as contact. There's no difference between ping and contact." A) "Contact" itself is a perfect example of language change, since it used to be a noun and then got verbed, much like "impact" (another word that the word snobs frequently "ding"). Why can't you let the language change?! B) "Ping" and "contact" are not the same, because tone matters. "Contact" sounds needlessly formal in the context in which people use the word "ping." You might tell a job applicant that you'll "contact" them within 2 weeks, but you tell your chummy coworker to "ping" you when they have those slides ready. It's a workplace-specific "LMK."

Slacks: I feel like most word snobbery comes down to a kind of ageism. When you're young, you hate words that old people use. When you're old, you hate words that young people use. "Slacks" belongs to the former category. Why else would people hate this word? I think it's cute and funny and, like "trousers," it conjures a particular kind of pant, so it's not purely synonymous with "pants." I also support "blouse" and "hose" and even the once-detested "panties," though I still don't and can't use it to refer to my own undergarments with a straight face.

I give them "glocal" which sounds stupid but honestly, I had never heard it before reading the list. But I don't understand the problem with Urban Dictionary-style neologisms like "butt-chugging," "brogrammer" and "YOLO." These words are hilarious! I mean, don't these stodgy journos realize that words like this are always already ironic? At least half the time, they are used with camp.

And can somebody tell me what is wrong with the word "moist"? It's not on this particular list, but this perfectly serviceable word is so despised that someone suggested we refer to well-made baked goods by synonyms like "hydrated" and "spongy." All I can say is, Ugh. Keep your hydrated, spongy pumpkin bread well away from me.

OK, enough of that. I have a couple of links to share with you. I have a few new poans up in the December issue of Everyday Genius, guest-edited by Sandra Simonds. This is one of them:

What I miss about childhood is awe – the filter of inexperience, without the further filter of inadequacy, shame. But shame, a friend told me, can be comforting. Adulthood is knowing that someone is watching, an increasing sensation of things being fixed. When I hear the song for the second time, what I like is its familiarity. It has not become more beautiful, nor have I gained access to its beauty.

Also:


In honor of the end, Dustin Luke Nelson put together The Last Reading on Earth, Ever: A Marathon Reading of Apocalyptic Writing, including video readings by Amaranth Borsuk, Heather Christle, Amelia Gray, Matt Hart, Becca Klaver, Michael Martone, Joseph Michael Owens, Christopher Salerno, Bianca Stone, Mathias Svalina, Maureen Thorson, Rachel Zucker and many more, including me (reading "Pitville," a poem I co-wrote with Kathleen Rooney; it appears in That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness). I seem very sad in the video, but I guess that's appropriate for the end of the world. You can watch all the videos on the InDigest Mag tumblr, or on YouTube.

Love to you all, and a happy new year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

No new years, just higher numbers

I've had these two posts saved as drafts in Blogger since 2010. Instead of deleting them, I'm publishing them. Why the hell not? I'm not sure why I didn't in the first place, and they basically still apply, except that I don't live in Boston anymore.

POST 1

To date, I've seen two reviews of my book that suggest its intelligence, or braininess, is ultimately its downfall. Though I absolutely appreciate any reviews and readings of the book (and don't expect, or even want, really, everyone to like it), I admit to being a little perplexed and a little disappointed by these types of comments. There are worse things than to be called "smart" as a kind of backhanded compliment; I'd certainly rather my poems fail for being too smart than for being too stupid. But it's hard for me to understand this mentality. My favorite poets are often intimidating in their intelligence (Wallace Stevens, Anne Carson); I've never read a poem and thought, "This would be better if it weren't so smart."

Take this passage in a review on a blog called 52 Songs:
Wordsworth described an affliction of an “almost savage torpor,” caused by political upheaval, the growth of cities, and the “craving for extraordinary incident, which the rapid communication of intelligence hourly gratifies.” (What would he have made of the 21st Century?) For him, poetry was to defend and preserve all that’s good in the world, was to carry forward with it “relationship and love,” and it would do this by using the language of common men and the subjects of common life, reminding readers of a shared humanity. Even as his diagnosis remains sapient, his prescription has come to feel quaint, as much of the Romantic project has, in the face of lightning-quick change and rampant ecological destruction. This may explain why poets like Gabbert retreat into their own heads, describing the distorted view of the world perception affords, like the backward, very limited vision provided within a camera obscura (which happens to be the subject of one of her poems): It may not be an accurate picture of things, but it’s mine. A blurb on the back of the book makes this very point, describing the work as “obsessively interior.”
I want to stress that I find this to be an intelligent (in a good way) and careful review, whether or not we agree on what makes a good poem. But we do seem to disagree, because I don't see any way of escaping my own head or the view of the world my own perception affords. I don't see how anyone can. But I can glimpse the view from other people's cameras. Part of the reason I go to poetry (or any art) is for unfamiliar perceptions and unfamiliar ideas. Though there's often pleasure in recognition and validation, what awes me is the perspective, the thought, I've never seen before. By writing from my own perception, I don't presume to suggest the view is not distorted; I only hope to make those distortions interesting.

POST 2

I've been thinking about how certain hobbies seem to entail or at least encourage an interest in being an "early adopter." (I use the scare quotes because it's not like being among the first to see Sex and the City 2 puts you on the bleeding edge of consumer technology.) In high school and college, I was really into movies and restaurants--which, I now realize, are not hobbies so much as variations on consumerism--and I often felt this desperate panic, usually triggered by reading a review, to see a new movie or try a new restaurant as soon as possible. Like it killed me that other people in the world had been there/done that and I hadn't. I assume it's the same feeling Mac people get when a new iProduct comes out.

I don't get that feeling much anymore and I don't miss it at all. I stopped caring about movies sometime in the mid-aughts when even indie movies were starting to feel self-parodic, like late Seinfeld. I stopped caring about restaurants after living in Boston for a couple years and realizing most of them are bad here. (I could do a whole separate post on why the restaurant "scene" in Boston sucks. LMK, I take requests.) TV breeds a similar feeling, like you can't leave the house if your show is on that night, God forbid your coworkers see it before you, though I guess this is maybe less true in the DVR era. Giving up TV actually helped me stop caring so much about movies, since I never see the trailers anymore. Even music--I used to invest a lot more time (and money) into keeping up with new artists and albums. Again, there was a sort of fear (a variation on FOMO, Fear of Missing Out) that went along with being actively interested in music, a strong need to be able to hang with the other snobs. I still like music, duh, but I don't even try to keep up with what's cool, it's too much pressure.

I'm not sure if I've lost interest in those hobbies because they inspire that feeling or if it's just a coincidence. Maybe I'm just Old Enough to Know Better? A lot of perfume freaks go into conniptions every time one of the niche firms launches a new scent--maybe I'd be flipping out too if I'd gotten into perfume 10 years ago. But I have a lot more disposable income now than I did then, and I still can't afford $200 bottles of perfume. So why even smell them? Clearly you can enjoy music, food, perfume, and movies without even bothering with the Hot New Shit with Buzz, although you can go too far in the other direction and obsess about owning every classic jazz album or whatever.

Poetry seems sort of immune to all this desperate consumerism. Even when a book has "buzz," it's (almost) never enough that anyone I know is pissing their pants to pre-order it and be the first the review it. Maybe those people are out there, but it's certainly not the norm, as it seems to be among serious music/perfume/food nerds. Are there just not enough of us to cause that kind of mass hysteria? That's probably part of it, but I feel like writing, and even reading, aren't inherently about consumption. (I read way more books than I buy, via the library, borrowing, trading, review copies, etc.) I think focusing more of my energy on hobbies that are more private and personal (e.g., cooking instead of eating in restaurants) has made me happier, maybe, kind of. Less competitive.

I realize this sounds self-righteous. But look, I still buy wild amounts of shit I don't need on a weekly basis. Baby steps.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The best books I read this year

Jury's still out on whether this is the most wonderful time of the year (maybe it is; I just learned that, contrary to popular belief, suicide rates peak in spring and summer, not during the winter holidays). But it's certainly the listiest time of the year. Over at Open Letters, all the editors are planning to write about the best thing they read this year. I'm usually stymied by questions like this because I have trouble even remembering what I've read. Then I realized that the list of the best books I read in 2012 is almost identical to the list of the books that I finished in 2012. In other words, I rarely finish books that I don't really like. Further, if I'm excited about a book, I usually write about it, here or elsewhere. So I was able to scan my blog and figure out a list of the five best books that I read this year. And here they are, in the order that I read them:


1. The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers. I wrote about this for OLM's Summer Reading feature (for which I chose the theme "youth and malice"). I don't love Frankie quite as much as I love Mick, a similar character in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, but TMOTW has the benefit of being all about Frankie, whereas Mick has to share space with a lot of other main characters. Here's what I wrote about it in July:
This short novel is a fascinating portrait of an independent young mind trapped in the wrong town at the wrong time. Upon seeing her brother and his fiancée together – “the two prettiest people I ever saw” – and learning they plan to live in another town, 12-year-old tomboy Frankie is forced into a sudden realization of her self and its circumstances, similar to Emily [from A High Wind in Jamaica]. But for Frankie, this awakening is acutely painful, because she just as quickly realizes that her own lot is both undesirable and inescapable. Like that, her world changes, but she cannot change the world, because she is still just a girl.
2. Desperate Characters by Paula Fox. A funny novel about a middle-class couple living in Brooklyn in the late '60s. Very much of its time (dated, I guess you could say?) but very worthwhile nonetheless. I typed up an excerpt from it here.

3. Open City by Teju Cole, who(m), by the way, I had the pleasure of meeting the last time I visited New York. ***SPOILER ALERT*** This is a book about culpability – at least, that's what I decided after reading it, but it's too complex to reduce to a single abstract noun. What makes it great, I think, is that you get seduced into thinking it's just a picaresque(-esque) novel about a good man, a doctor and flâneur, who happens to meet a lot of interesting people. It seems anecdote-driven. But (guess what!) he's an unreliable narrator. A very well made book that is not overly tidy. (Excerpt here.)


4. The Mountain Lion by Jean Stafford. I bought this in Boulder one afternoon (or, more accurately, bade John to buy it for me) because I'm always a sucker for the aforementioned youth and malice angle, and it takes place in Colorado (my new home state!), and we collect those pretty NYRB volumes. I'm also very interested in brother-sister relationships. It's elegant, dry, beautifully observed, and quite gutting towards the end.

5. Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner. I just wrote a relatively lengthy post about this one, so I'll direct you there rather than repeating it all here. I'll just add: Ben Lerner is the same age as me and vastly more successful, but I'm not jealous at all because I truly believe he is successful for the right reasons: His writing is ambitious but not humorless, complex but not labored. He's found ways to write about big ideas without being a pretentious dick about it. (I mean, purely on the basis of his books; I don't know him personally.) I'm glad he's being published and read.

You'll notice these are all short to medium-sized novels. Well, I guess that's my favorite kind of book to read. There may have been others, but I can only think of one other book that I read cover to cover and did not put on this list: Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which I liked (a lot in parts), but a) found uneven and b) if you're the kind of person who would like that book, you probably either already read it or you plan to. I'm not usually that kind of person (a reader of memoir or "true life adventure"), but for some reason I found her story compelling. I especially liked the part where they had to shoot the horse.

So yeah, not counting poetry (which I read in short bursts, often most of a book in a single sitting, or just one poem several times in a row, or not at all) and countless articles both online and off-, my total number of books read isn't high. You could say that I read slowly, but I think it's more that I read selectively (pickily, if you prefer). If I pick up a book and it's not exactly what I feel like reading at that moment, it tends to languish on the end table for days or weeks at a time, while I do other things (like tweet and read "Martha's Month").

As for what poetry I liked most this year, I have to say I'm really having trouble remembering what all I read before autumn hit, but in the last few months I have especially loved Madame X by Darcie Dennigan and Nervous Device by Catherine Wagner (expect more on the latter in an upcoming issue of Lemon Hound).

What about y'all?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Found epistle

I decided this weekend to abandon the last novel I started, which I knew sucked from the first few pages, but which I read half of because I was on a plane. Since I'll be boarding a plane again within 10 days, I wanted something slim and paperback. I pulled The End of the Affair off the shelf, and flipping it open found a folded piece of paper, covered in handwriting, tucked inside. I opened it and found that it was a letter, and to avoid any breaches of privacy I quickly glanced at the signature to see if it was a private note to John. It was signed "Your daughter, [first name redacted]" -- and because John is not a father I knew it was not addressed to him. The vast majority of our books are bought used, so I assumed it was a found object, a relic from a stranger's past and safe to read. It was a touching letter, clearly written by a young woman expressing gratitude and indebtedness to her parents for supporting her (financially and otherwise) through a move to New York. As I read I formed a mental image of this lovely stranger. Then I came to a line toward the end that said "I suppose I've inherited a bit of the [last name redacted] difficulty with expressing emotion verbally." Putting the first name and last name together I realized I knew the person. The book must have come to us via a friend rather than a bookstore. It was a strange experience, a sort of slow-motion triple-take where I felt myself on the verge of violating someone's privacy, then safely at a distance, then suddenly and unexpectedly granted personal knowledge of the emotional life of someone I don't know very well. But of all the unsanctioned glimpses you could get into someone's past and personality, it was a rather flattering one. I don't suppose her parents ever saw the letter, unless it was a first draft that she later transferred to type or fancier stationery. Odd to think that I would get to read it instead of them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Not enough

Does anyone know of a poem that ends with a line something like, "but only a little, and not enough"? It's used in a wry way to refer to something like death or pain, I am pretty sure. I convinced myself it was from a Dream Song but I can't find it in Berryman's oeuvre. I thought, too, that either Kathy or John would know where it's from but they did not. No help from Twitter, either. It's driving me starkers.

As part of my search I found this old "remix" I did of Dream Song 118.

118 Remix
After John Berryman
He asked himself, Am I having fun? How would I
know? The dancing was tiring,
young alien bodies slamming & prodding
from every side. He felt if he were still himself
he'd find some dim alcove for two 
and perform out of self-love & -loathing
a glam murder-suicide, redundant
in action but not intention. This paisley loveseat's
the colors of blood & semen, and anyway
who would see him?—Aha, 
one hot girl hovered apart from the crowd
on the floor of the club, a superpowered girl,
caped in stealth, who turned everything she looked at
transparent, impossible to touch.
His hand went right thru himself.

Most peculiar. Anyway, on the topic of poems: Kathy & I have two collaborations in Hobart today: "Some Notes on Sex" and "Secrets to Achieving Intimacy." Also, I wrote a very brief piece against bananas for the food issue of The New Inquiry, but note that it's subscriber-only ($2 per issue).

Happy Hump Day.

UPDATE: Here is the poem I was talking about. It's by my friend Chad Reynolds. I knew it had to be either by someone famous or someone I know, because I had the feeling that I had read it many times. Turns out, I published it, though Issue 3 of Absent is apparently offline.

Victor at the Movies  
Images forcing themselves
on Victor, pressing against him 
is exactly what he came for,
this erasure of sense and self,  
suspension of disbelief—
it’s why he sinks lower  
into stadium seats: to be
buried in a cemetery of moving light,  
the coffin’s wall the screen….
Then the movie ends and there he is,  
walking back up the aisle
with empty bucket and cup—  
he’s died, but only a little,
and not enough.

As good as Berryman, I say.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On the radio

Thank you to Amy Fladeboe for inviting me to be a part of her weekly podcast series on KMSU in Minnesota. You can download the MP3 here. I read a few poems from The French Exit and talk about where the name came from, how we (me and Birds LLC) put the book together, what a "blogpoem" is, "the fecund other," etc. Possibly not interesting to anyone but my mom. Incidentally:

  • Grobstein informs me that another term for a French exit is "sketch bounce." 500 years from now, when Modern English becomes Olde English, they'll have to add a footnote.
  • Where did the phrase "the fecund other" come from? Is it even a phrase? I heard Kathleen Rooney say it years ago and I think of it often, but Google suggests it's pretty obscure.
  • People always say they hate the sound of their own voice in recordings. I once read that it's because when you talk, you're picking up on vibrations in your own jaw which make your voice sound deeper and more resonant than it really is. I don't hate the sound of my voice at all, but it definitely doesn't sound like me to me. I think I sound younger and sweeter than I really am. So how come everyone thinks I'm a bitch, HM? They're hearing THAT person.