Choose Your Self

In response to the first review on What the Flick  it’s been difficult to digest: Trainspotting 2 (see below)



(best read in Ewan McGregor’s accent)

Choose life.

Choose hair growth.

Choose going braless and running down hills.

Choose spending your hard-earned cash on learning, experience and travel.

Choose wearing your face just as it is.

Choose life’s wrinkles, blemishes and warrior scars.

Choose not to be a Topshop Princess.

Choose nature’s hanging breasts.

Choose to paint words, not lips.

 Choose soul extensions.

Choose rolls: sushi, spring and body.

Choose not to be a filter.

Choose looking in the mirror and not seeing the world behind you, gazing on.

Choose ideas, emotions and visionary thoughts.

Choose to be abstract in a world of concrete booty.

Choose pleasure.

Choose running through city streets under glorious spotlights through mysterious shadows.

 Choose kissing, hugging, clapping or back slapping.

 Choose personality.

Choose The Bechdel Test.

 Choose Isabelle Huppert and Mia Hansen-Love.

 Choose re-writing history, films, songs and books with the voices of women.

Choose Wollstonecraft’s vision and convoluted realism.

 Choose women’s rugby.

 Choose not to shrug.

Choose holding up the other half of the sky.

 Choose singing aloud everywhere.

 No, everywhere.

Choose moments.

Choose walking tall regardless of your heels, your skirt length or your job title.

Chose clothes that don’t shape you because you’re a multi-faceted organisation.

Choose platforms with a view.

 Choose your own perspective.

 Choose light.

 Choose no.

 Choose trying everything in a wild ferocious fashion.

 Choose self-knowledge and filling the void.

Choose not covering it up day after day with whatever’s thrown your way by idols chosen by people who imagine you in gilded cages.

Choose not to be consumed as you consume.

Choose production.

Choose your nature.

 Choose seeing everything and looking for nothing.

Choose to be.

Choose your Self.


The Accidental Child-Free Man

Declan Fitzsimons is my hero. His piece in The Guardian this Saturday was a fresh voice in the world of being child-free. It made it a male thing as well as a female thing; it countered the prevailing notion that men aren’t interested in children; that not having children when you inherently want them is not just a woman’s issue.

There is a prevailing notion in the world of being child-free that women are at a bigger disadvantage than men when it comes to the biological clock deadline. There’s no denying that, as Declan admits: he can still have children and he’s 52. However, as he rightly points out, that doesn’t prevent men from feeling a longing for something they haven’t got. Perhaps in some way it is more torturous to know you could have something that you don’t. To feel every day you’re failing to attain something achievable. And while the potential to have children remains, the possibility of meeting a woman who both wants and is able to have children becomes more slight with each passing day; the possibility of being an energetic father does too. There are still drawbacks post forty for men too. It’s not worse nor better. Just different. And it’s different as a result of our core biological distinctions: the ones that aren’t ever going away, no matter how equal we one day become, without some serious and scary scientific advances.

“What’s more, it was a bridge between men and women.”

What’s most refreshing about the post is the honest, raw emotion present within it. His appreciation of children’s curiosity ‘their cheeks the lustre of rose petals’; his intense regret over past mistakes ‘I can’t help but replay moments in my life that I wish could have turned out differently. These are so painful’; the way he conveys the joys of fatherhood ‘what a joy that would be, to see in our child’s face, our love; to bring into this world a beautiful child that was of us’; the constant sense of longing ‘just because theoretically I still could doesn’t mean I don’t feel the loss of all those could-have-beens’; and his self-awareness of his inherent desire ‘I feel I am made to be a father’. In a world where male suicide is a major concern; where emotions and feelings are shunned as been a sign of emasculation, it was really beautiful to read this. What’s more, it was a bridge between men and women. These emotions are not gender-specific: they’re just human.

When he said, ‘I am not a real member of society’, I felt a certain trepidation with this that borders with the continual childfree debate primarily being held amongst women. As we battle towards the idea of society accepting childfree adults as just another norm, it is easy to feel like you’re missing out on certain aspects of the life game. Just a year ago, I would have laughed at this idea because actually parents miss out on many aspects of society too. From my perspective, they weren’t real members either. However, as I’ve gotten older, as I’ve attended wedding after wedding and watched pregnancy after pregnancy in the people around me, I realise that this is part of the feeling of being childfree: you cannot experience or be a part of many aspects of life the majority are participating in. And it’s the word majority that’s key there. To experience that separation as a minority knowing you can’t have children must be exceedingly difficult. Even when you’ve chosen it, it is easy to second guess yourself and question what you’re missing out on.

For those who inherently don’t want children, this is simply something to contextualise occasionally. It’s something that can be made easier by forming a community of like-minded people. For those who do want children, it must be a constant struggle to manage the sense of longing and the feeling that you’re missing out on a huge part of who you are.

Declan surprises me most with his admission that without children, ‘in some ways I don’t feel fully like a man.’ To many men, being a father is not directly linked with masculinity. In fact, in many ways it’s quite the opposite. Our society’s connotations of masculinity do not often involve the image of a man swinging a child around, or changing a nappy, pushing a pram, or cleaning a face. But to Declan it is. His refreshing concept of being a man is entirely personal to him: he is not measuring his masculinity against society’s; he’s measuring it against his own parameters of what he wants. For him, being a man, is feeling complete within himself. This is something I believe we could all benefit from and how I’d like to measure my own version of femininity; my own perception of what a woman should be, based on my own desires and parameters. No-one else’s. The corporations and marketing folks at Maybelline won’t like it one bit.

Here’s to more men like Declan!  Let’s help make him the norm and not the exception!


Miss Anti-Domesticity: Scene 1

Scene 1: The Bites

“My cat is cheating on me with a younger, more attractive neighbour who offers him better food”

I am sat on the stairs combing fleas out of my cat’s ginger coat. They’re harder to spot here. On the whiter bits it’s much easier and therefore less satisfying. It’s ten o’clock at night and we’ve gotten into this reluctant routine where Alfie will meet me at various locations around the house around this time and sit patiently while I attempt to free him from the invasion with a fine-toothed comb, a bowl of water from Poundland (not the water part) and some toilet roll.

It’s a perfectly tuned operation now and I have learnt to steady the comb on its way to the water so as not to jolt the fleas into any awareness of their impending death by asphyxiation. I feel a little bad as I watch them drown; in my top ten worst deaths chart, drowning is at the top. Frantically they swim towards the edge or to the surface and, if they manage it, they’ll soon find an avalanche of toilet roll forcing them back under again. I’d find it intolerable if it wasn’t for the bite marks which currently range from my legs to my shoulders. The legs are the worst. It’d be nice to have my legs back. If I ever wrote a top ten body parts, my legs would definitely be in the top three. Those fleas have sunk them at most to a nine. So it’s actually in part quite satisfying. Plus there’s the suffering of poor Alfie, who now spends most his days licking himself furiously like he’s on acid.

When I’m not morbidly watching the little things drown, wishing they’d do it quicker, I am thinking about the next day, about the day I’ve had, remembering lines from Gilmore Girls (the current Netflix phenomena) thinking how tired I am or congratulating myself on getting such a good haul from the last comb through: four in one! This jubilation is soon destroyed by the stark realisation that it’s really not getting any better, despite my efforts. But one key thing I do get out of this time with Alfie, the thing that made me really start thinking about domesticity, is that all day I berate my cat, my own decision to get a cat, my cat’s tendency towards fleas, the possibility that my cat is cheating on me with a younger, more attractive neighbour who offers him better food; and I feel frustrated and het up and pretty remorseful about the whole thing.

And then. When we sit down together, say at the bottom of the stairs, and I am combing him through, it all disappears. I am happy to be doing this chore – it’s not even a chore- I am happy to be doing this wonderful altruistic act for my cat. Except I’m not sure it can be classed as altruistic when my legs stand to benefit so wonderfully from the deed. Still. And it doesn’t matter that I’m tired. It would be nice, I am terribly unfeminist to admit, to have a partner around to lighten the load. To sit with me while I comb him and at least be a witness to the ritual.  But you can’t have everything. And it doesn’t matter that I’ve been up all night working and I’m supposed to be resting in bed right now, reading or at least scanning through Tweets. I am happy to do my bit. It even feels rewarding.

Fancy that.

I’m surrounded on the stairs by clothes I should have sorted out weeks ago: giveaways from my sister than probably wouldn’t go to a bad home on freecycle. Then there’s my washing still in the machine and my plate from dinner still on the table. This of course I will sort out tomorrow. Without fail. It’s a certainty. I can’t feel bad about it right now because look at me spending time helping something that doesn’t involve the suffix self. Look at me doing something out of duty.

This, I figure, is the most domestic thing I have ever done. The scene is perfect: me in my mismatched pyjamas scratching my legs, bike in the hallway with a plant in the basket, clothes all over the bottom of the stairs, a towel which has fallen from the banister above, books perched on the steps above my head, an empty water bottle, my mobile occasionally twirping from watsapps that will most likely bore me, twigs which live perched between the banister and the wall, the cat, the Poundland bowl of water and the toilet roll. You can just call me Miss Stepford.

The Value of Time

“In her book ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway,’ Susan Jeffers promotes our lives being made up of 9 key factors: contribution, hobby, leisure, family, alone time, personal growth, work, relationship and friends.”

One of the things I love about the holidays, once Christmas is over, is the feeling of having enough time. To think. To just sit. To see what happens. To decide on the day. As a teacher, this rarely happens in term-time. There’s always something to be done. On Monday, I went to bed rejoicing over the wonderfulness of my day and I hope, despite all odds, that when I’m nearing the end of my life, these are the day I remember; though they appear to be nothing special.

Firstly, I woke up when I woke up. There was no alarm, or feeling of having to be awake. The builders next door weren’t sawing away because it was a bank holiday. There was just a peace as I opened my eyes. And a lovely feeling of control as I closed them again.

I had thought the night before that I might venture into the nearest city and go to the cinema. But when I finally got out of bed, fully rested, I was feeling highly productive, and decided instead to go to the nearest coffee shop and get some of my marking out of the way. En-route to that, I thought: nah! I don’t want to pay £7 for a Panini for breakfast. So I stopped off at Wetherspoons for a Eggs Royale instead. There, I ploughed through three hours of marking without complaint. Had it been a Sunday of term-time, I’d have been berating my life the entire time. Not as fun.

By about 1pm, I’d had enough of the seat, the view, the tea, and decided to head home, where I took a lovely, long luxurious shower, thoroughly enjoying every moment of looking after myself. Clean and proper, I set myself up in my living room, door closed, surrounded by huge cushions, and started to re-read all my Emma notes for my A-level class. On account of my being in love with her, studying Jane Austen is never work. However, trying to cram that into an evening after teaching five periods wouldn’t have felt so pleasant. Darkness descended around me and I didn’t care. I was thoroughly engaged and stimulated in uncovering Austen’s narrative techniques, and deciphering my own shorthand from 2009, which I clearly am no longer fluent in.

For a few hours at the close of afternoon, I completed a blog for a political movement I’m part of, and promoted a few things on Twitter. Writing is always a joy, especially when it’s promoting altruism. That felt a job well done!

To finish the day, I spent a few hours playing cards and quizzes with my family. For some of them, it was their last night of freedom before work, our most efficient thief of time, was released from its holiday prison. There was cheating, of course, a small row over Matchmakers and an intense discussion on the use of affect and effect. Most importantly, I was spending meaningful time with meaningful people.

When I got into bed, I left the lamp on while I just lay there for a while and counted my blessings. I love the nights when I can fall asleep with the light on, then wake up and sleepily turn it off knowing I still have infinity left until the morning.

Perhaps you think I am strange to place a day which was mostly spent working in such high-esteem. But I love my work. I just wish I could always have the time to enjoy it like I did that day.

In her book ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway,’ Susan Jeffers promotes our lives being made up of 9 key factors: contribution, hobby, leisure, family, alone time, personal growth, work, relationship and friends. That day, I ticked contribution and hobby with my political movement blog, family and leisure via the card games. Alone time in the shower, and before bed. There was work of course, and personal growth in the time I spent learning Austen, and reflecting at the end of it all. This, I believe, is what made it such a satisfying and meaningful day. It had the variety in it that I want in my wider life. Tomorrow, I go back to work, and my resolution is to keep this up: keep up the management of my time so that I can tick as many of those boxes I can every day. Wish me luck!

5 books I wish I’d read…during depression

When depression came for me, it came as a tsunami hitting a person in a deep valley in the middle of a land mass. Wholly unexpected. I considered myself to be so confident, so put together, that  I could handle anything. Yet suddenly I could handle nothing.

There are many books I read to help me battle the static eternal present during my depression. Perhaps most worthy of note is ‘Everything You Need You Have’ written by psychotherapist Gerard Kite, who offers both practical strategies and enlightening perspectives, helping me to reconnect with what I care about.

However, there are some books I wish I’d read much earlier. Books which helped me to form a bridge between the before and the after. Books which taught me I am not alone, or offered me insight into what I’d experienced. The first, and my main reason for writing this blog is –

  1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I cannot begin to explain how much it could have benefited me to read this a year ago. Never before have I written the word YES! so much in the margin of a book. My brain became so habituated to my internal exclamation it became a sub-conscious action. I sat in Costa coffee reading Estha’s description of the Fig Tree, a metaphor for all life’s choices which, as she remains paralysed with indecision, slowly wither and die, and I know that was me. I know, more importantly, that it isn’t just me.

The static air inside the Bell Jar: ‘I couldn’t feel a thing’. I wanted to package the line, brand it, and send it out to everyone who’d tried to help me.

The guilt I’d felt about not being able to conduct housework; the two-hour process of forcing myself to shower was presented back to me in a more understanding way: ‘I wanted to do everything once and for all and be through with it.’ In the wider context, it no longer seems lazy, pathetic or ridiculous. That Plath’s work blends fiction and non-fiction makes it all the more medicinal. Its reality mixed with a hint of poetic beauty made it, for me, the perfect friend to bridge the gap between then and now.

  1. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig (@matthaig1

Again, I could have read this a lot earlier than I did, but something stopped me. Part of me, I think, was keen to jump ahead. I didn’t want to read books about depression anymore; I wanted to read ‘normal books’. Books which would help me convince myself I am perfectly okay. When I went to a wedding in Malaysia last summer, my friend placed it down in front of me at the airport. Read this. I feel I learnt more from reading this book than I did from any of my doctors or counsellors.

Matt describes a traumatic journey to a corner shop ‘Being relieved about surviving a trip to the corner shop was another confirmation of sickness’ and I realised: this is why climbing out of it takes such a long time. When you’re alone in your bed, you’re protected. Relatively, the early stages of my depression were much easier. I didn’t have to do anything. I was allowed to sit under my bell jar and decay like Havisham. Once I started to come out of it, however, there was the constant realisation that I wasn’t okay: that there was still so far to go. A trip to the cinema goes badly and is then further crippling by the very knowledge that you’re so abnormal you can’t even go to the cinema.

I wished I could reverse the clock, read it the day before I started taking my pills, and then send a copy of it to everyone around me: especially the people who had no idea what to say or do. Matt made me feel like the symptoms I’d thought were my personal failures were simply universal responses. Above all else, he helped me to forgive myself for letting others down, my self down, and my life down.

  1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (@GilbertLiz)

‘If I am not actively creating something, then I am probably actively destroying something’.  That’s a good piece of insight right there. While Haig’s book was an overt lesson, ‘Big Magic’ snuck up on me from behind. I read it because I’d heard Liz speaking about it on Krista Tippet’s podcast ‘On Being’ and thought it was an interesting take on ideas and creativity. One day, I rode my bike over to a neighbouring town and stopped off at the Starbucks there. It was a glorious day so I sat outside and read about the benefits of following creative desires. ‘We all need an activity that is beyond the mundane and that takes us out of our established and limiting roles in society’. By the time I rode home, I felt glimmers of my old self returning, not necessarily because of anything I’d read, but because of how I’d responded to it. Even that I had responded to it. I wanted to create again!

Another reason this book makes the list is because it was the start of me building a network of women who I could trust; who I could turn to the work of and feel reassured that life is bigger than me, and us, and this present moment. I can’t remember how I found Krista Tippet’s superb podcast but through her I re-found Liz (I’d already read Eat, Pray, Love of course). Through Liz’s Facebook I found Glennon Doyle Melton ‘The only way to survive is…to get comfortable with discomfort’ and, on that sunny day outside Starbucks I found Joan Didion, ‘I don’t know what I think until I write about it’.

  1.  ‘Play it as it Lays’ by Joan Didion

When I read that line in ‘Big Magic’, I could have just nodded and carried on reading. But I didn’t. I stopped, picked up my phone and Googled this new woman: Joan Didion. Since then I have read four of her books and, during a particularly weak day, covered a wall memes of her quotations. ‘Play it as it Lays’ stands out, like ‘The Bell Jar’ as a book which makes depression, madness, a feeling of disconnect seem both normal and poetically real. ‘I know what nothing means, and I keep on playing’, the protagonist Maria says at the end of the book. And for the first time, I felt a strength from the journey I’d been on. Throughout the story, Didion puts a microscope under daily experiences, ‘thinking constantly about where her body stopped and the air began’, ‘Don’t forget my dark glasses’, ‘I haven’t wanted to see you because I don’t feel good’, ‘I am burdened by the particular’, ‘You are all making me sick’, ‘Everything Maria could think to do in the town she had already done.’ The world she captures is so mad and so very real, it’s a wonder any of us stay sane. Most importantly, she does all this without romanticising misery.

  1. ‘Brazzaville Beach’ by William Boyd

‘The unexamined life is not worth living’. Well, I considered after finishing this book, at least I can claim I’ve lived. William Boyd has always been someone who offers the bittersweet realities of life. ‘Any Human Heart’ made me acutely aware of the impact a time period can have on the twilight of your life. In ‘Brazzaville Beach’, Hope spends her time in Africa working with Chimpanzees in a plotline inspired by Jane Goodall’s work. I was fascinated by the animals, and the book spilled over into the rest of my life as I researched more about them. I was reminded that there are still many wonders of life I haven’t explored.

Boyd tells us ‘Life [is] all a matter of contrasts…you can’t enjoy anything without a contrast to it.’ Accepting this became my primary goal. ‘Hope, my dear,’ her professor tells her, ‘the tide is either coming in or going out’. And whichever one is best depends entirely on where you choose to stand.

Gilmore Girls: Undressing the World

“That a person much younger than her is running a website and rejecting her for a  job symbolises the last generation raised on substance being skipped over for one raised on style.”

Watching the new Gilmore Girls is like drinking coffee with a trustworthy friend who, after being away for ten years, presents to you some objective insight about how much your world has changed. 

This show may well be one of the last vestiges of true-values television. It celebrates simple things like laughing, saying hello to people, enjoying belonging, developing relationships: normal, simple things which corporations struggle to sell to you because they’re just so freely available. Not that it stops them from trying. Because of that, it’s easy to trust its take on this world we now find ourselves in. Kind of like if The Bible were updated to tell us how to handle social media. Kind of.

It’s most obviously clear when you compare the old atmosphere in Luke’s Diner back when Kirk was selling ‘Patty ate oatmeal’ t-shirts and the place was abuzz with hearty village gossip, and now: the ominous silence as everyone retreats robotically into their free Wifi, beneath a sign demanding no photographs of food. It’s clear Amy Sherman Palladino is anti-anti-socialism (in the non-political sense of the word) and, as a clear partaker in the coffee shop ‘scene’, I realise how much substance this has lost: the coffee shop is now nothing more than a place for workers, texters, stylists, Instagram opportunities and snapchat stories. 

A sense of isolation has been lost from Stars Hallow and it’s no surprise that it battles to maintain tourist numbers throughout the summer. Globalisation has hit the streets, and the show’s locations have widened into London and New York, both of which, via Rory’s jet-setting lifestyle, feel extremely unwelcome. I realise that I have enjoyed watching Gilmore Girls re-runs over the past few years because I could escape those pressures. In lovely Stars Hallow, success, materialism and the need to take on the world did not exist. But this time, Rory brought it flying home, not least during her admission that she has to tap dance to calm her over-anxious mind. 

As an audience we are used to admiring Rory’s brain and opportunities. Now, she’s just as messed up as the rest of us, battling to be noticed and safely successful. Point noted, ASP. We’re all chasing rainbows. She’s tried meditation and everything. The girl has three cell phones. At first I thought some of Rory’s storyline felt a little out of place for a 32 year old: surely someone who has sustained herself in a Brooklyn pad has managed to secure enough of a reputation and networking skills to get herself a full-time writing job on something? But again ASP presents to us a harsh reality of our world, hit home best when Paris highlights the many middle-achiever college graduates working in McDonald’s. The last generation set up young people to aspire for the world, which then promptly kept moving itself out of their reach. Austerity and the changing global markets, the freebies of the internet, all contributed to a world which couldn’t sustain what it had promised. That a person much younger than her is running a website and rejecting her for a  job symbolises Rory’s generation, the last generation raised on substance, being skipped over for one raised on style. But even Millennials are not winners: April’s breakdown was brief but fantastic in conveying the intense pressure placed upon young people to live and breathe a certain way. Times are a-changing.

Lorelai’s detachment from the world around her in the Winter episode also attested to this. She bemoans the pop-up chefs for making her feel uncool, and comments wistfully on Rory’s 32-year-old skin. There’s an undertone of the pains of being an aging woman in a society which is increasingly valuing youth, vitality and the capacity to learn 30 new tech words a minute. I wish the show had made more of this, but of course the prevailing force inside her had to be her grief over losing her father. On a first watch, again, I was disappointed in her storyline’s arc. The therapy sessions seemed pointless: what ground was made there? The mysterious letter had no resolution; there was no light-bulb moment. Even when she followed the guidance of a woman from her own generation (kudos) and went on Cheryl Strayd’s ‘Wild’ journey (something Strayd has paid tribute to on Instagram), there was still no real conversation between her and Luke about what she’d been through. They get married: but where was the actual process of letting him in? I found it frustrating, perhaps because we’ve been mollycoddled in the past decade with perfect resolutions and neatly-tied bows. Life simply doesn’t work that way; therefore neither does this show. I feel, on the whole, if I can accept this, I can really strive forward in my approach to life as a whole… Joan Didion said we live, ‘ by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images’. Gilmore Girls is not afraid to leave those images disparate. 

“Gilmore Girls reminds us that, like the seasons, life isn’t linear.”

But perhaps the musical was a step too far. At first I thought: wow, are they actually going to have Lorelai leave Stars Hallow? There was Michele’s dissatisfaction as a seed, and then a musical which only served to highlight how different Lorelai is from her fellow citizens. In the end, the pay-off is that Lorelai has a realisation that she needs to know herself: now or never. Cue Wild. So what was that ten-minute musical for, other than to give the actress from Bunheads some singing time? There were plenty of Easter eggs and indulgent moments without it. Maybe they just wanted to David Lynch it up even further: this was the same episode which paid explicit homage to his style in the wonderfully-orchestrated Life and Death Brigade jaunt. Stars Hallow became a ghostly-illuminated fun fair, and given that this was the life-changing night, it seems somewhat fitting that the new Gilmore generation be conceived amongst dancing colours and unconventional choreographed freedom. (For more discussion on links with Twin Peaks see here).

The only other option, because ASP does not spend 10 minutes on something for nothing, is that it was the journey taking place on the stage which played a bigger role in symbolising our characters’ bigger stories: i.e. their entire lives. The stage characters started with such high expectations to build the town from scratch, and then time brings them new, unforeseen challenges: they change and rap and become more morose. Such is life. Such is grief. 

The passage of friendship was also presented in the brief return of Sookie. Putting aside the fact that whenever McCarthy spoke, I could hear her character from Heat (has she forgotten her Sookie voice?!), the scene was a nice homage to the prevailing theme that life moves on regardless of how old you are, and that you have to work to keep the important friendships. There was  lovely nod to Sookie’s obsession with the perfect cake from season one. One of many nods: my favourite being Emily taking up Richard’s role in repeating to Lorelai ‘you need money’ in their last scene together.

The circle of life theme was very overt but hit home something I think it’s easy to forget in our current lifestyles. We are taught in the west that life moves upwards: you start at the bottom, and then you work hard and you move up the ladder. Literally it’s presented to us as a ladder. There is no foreseeable end to this ladder – perhaps heaven- and there are no rest stops. When we see life this way it becomes a tiring climb. Gilmore Girls reminds us that, like the seasons, life isn’t linear: it’s cyclical. Everyone takes part in the same path (not race), going in the same direction. And what makes our lives special are the times our circular paths overlap with other people’s circular paths and produce glorious Lynch-inspired-patterns.  

So while I would love more Gilmore Girls to see Rory the Mum and Rory and Jess, I feel in ten years’ time I will need more Gilmore Girls to take me off the ladder again.