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20 Meals You Can Get in Boston for $10 or Less

20 Meals You Can Get in Boston for $10 or Less

My last post, 7 Tips for Saving Money for Travel While Maintaining Your Sanity, offers my advice on cutting out some unnecessary spending so you can afford to travel. One of my pieces of advice is to cut out going to restaurants, as restaurant bills […]

7 Tips for Saving Money for Travel While Maintaining Your Sanity

7 Tips for Saving Money for Travel While Maintaining Your Sanity

Can’t afford to travel? Sorry, but that’s not a good excuse. So many millennials “can’t afford” to do certain things, like go on a life-changing trip or make their monthly payments on time, yet they’ll post a picture of their Starbucks venti macchiatos on Instagram […]

15 Binge-Worthy Netflix Shows You Need to Watch This Summer

15 Binge-Worthy Netflix Shows You Need to Watch This Summer

Summer is all about the outdoors, sitting in the sun and swimming in the ocean, right? Wrong. It’s about applying 4 layers of deodorant, wearing a T-shirt at the beach to avoid painful sunburns, and staying in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. I’ll be honest: I don’t love summer. I’d take the cold over the heat any day. I support staying home and watching Netflix on a hot day with the same gusto as most people have about going to the beach.

I plan on watching a lot of TV this summer. Even though Big Brother is on three times a week and The Bachelorette trumps everything else on Monday nights, there really aren’t many other shows I’m into on a regular basis in the summer. Meanwhile, Netflix has a ton of shows that have caught my attention. In my opinion, watching shows on Netflix is the best; the whole season is available for you and the Netflix original shows are fantastic.

Fellow couch potatoes, need a new Netflix show to get into? Do you need 15 of them? The following 15 TV shows on Netflix are addicting and entertaining. Much more exciting than sweating your ass off at the beach!

 

Funny-AF Shows:

Santa Clarita Diet

Fellow dark-humored individuals, you are going to be obsessed with this show. When this first came out, I barely heard any hype. The only reason I watched the trailer on Netflix was because Amy Schumer posted on Instagram about how she was addicted. It must be funny if she’s raving about it, I thought. A few people I know watched the whole series in one day, which seems like a pretty easy feat, since the episodes are so short and the quick-witted humor makes them speed by. (The only reason it took me about two weeks to watch it was because I watched it with my boyfriend and didn’t watch ahead. How loyal of us.)

The plot: Joel and Sheila are two normal real estate agents living in an affluent town in California. That is, until Sheila turns into a zombie and begins to crave the taste of human flesh.

Santa Clarita Diet Netflix TV shows binge watch

 

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

I just mentioned this show in a previous post, but I’m going to bring it up again. This musical-comedy show is upbeat, fun, campy, and light. Fortunately, there are 2 seasons on Netflix right now, which provides you with some solid viewing material. You’ll have the soundtrack’s catchy songs in your head all day long.

The plot: Rebecca moves from a high-pressure job in New York to the small city of West Covina, California to reunite with her ex-boyfriend, who is just not that into her… or so we think.

crazy ex girlfriend the cw netflix tv shows

 

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

Based on the movie of the same name, the Netflix adaptation follows the same characters as they get to camp for the first time. The best part: the cast is the same. Yep, that means the same people that played teenagers in the 2001 movie are still playing teens in 2015. Pretty awesome. The cast is super star-studded as well, with regular appearances from Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Jon Hamm, and Molly Shannon. If you want to get the full experience, you might want to watch the movie first. (Don’t worry, it’s also on Netflix!)

The plot: It’s one of those shows with so many small plots that are trivial and silly, like a show about nothing!

Wet Hot American Summer First Day of Camp Netflix Binge TV Shows

 

Master of None

This new show is pretty popular with millennials. Some of the themes of this show include being a minority in a white-dominated career field and country, dating in the 21st century, finding yourself in a hectic world, and so on. Honestly, I don’t think Aziz Ansari is a good actor (sorry!). But this show is different than a lot of other millennial-focused shows on TV right now. It’s simultaneously realistic and heightened, uplifting and sad, and serious and funny.

The plot: The series follows Dev Shah, a hopeless romantic living in New York City, through his romantic, professional, and personal pursuits.

Master of None Netflix TV Show Binge Watch

 

The Inbetweeners

If you’re American, you may not have heard of this. If you’re English, you’ve probably watched this series several times. I’ve watched this series 3 times, enjoying it just as much the second and third times. There are also 2 films based on the show, which I think are pretty decent as far as movie adaptations go.

The plot: Basically, if Superbad was a British TV show. In short, 4 teenage boys want to find love… or just get laid.

The Inbetweeners TV shows binge watch

 

Shows with a Cult Following:

Freaks and Geeks

This Judd Apatow series shockingly only aired for one season, yet continues to appear on multiple online lists compiling the greatest TV shows of all time. Apparently, the reasons for its cancellation were its tough time slot and disagreements that Apatow had with NBC executives. The show appeals to a broad range of viewers, ranging from modern-day high schoolers who might relate to the main characters to adults that went to high school in the early ’80s. It also features some pretty big stars in their younger years, including Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jason Segel, and Linda Cardellini.

The plot: The story follows Lindsay and her friends of “freaks” and her younger brother, Sam, and his group of “geeks.” The “period TV show” (set in 1980) is a sort of coming-of-age for Lindsay, who goes from dedicated student to rebel, and Sam, who’s just trying to fit in.

Freaks and Geeks Netflix TV shows binge watch

 

Cheers

If you want your parents or middle-aged coworkers to love you, talk to them about Cheers. Like Friends, this is a show that just makes you feel warm and fuzzy. Also, 11 seasons make for lots of viewing material!

The plot: Sam is a retired Boston Red Sox pitcher who owns a sports bar in Boston. The bar staff and regular customers are quirky, lovable individuals. What’s not to love about this show?

Cheers Netflix TV shows binge watch

 

Orange Is the New Black

If you’ve never heard of OITNB, you must live under a rock. This is one of the first Netflix original shows — House of Cards was the first, fun fact — and one of the most successful. I still need to watch season 5, but the first 4 seasons are all hilarious, suspenseful, and just addicting.

The plot: Piper Chapman, a privileged young adult, is sentenced to 15 months in prison for a crime she committed years ago. Season 1 follows Piper for the most part, but the rest of the show switches around, showing the back stories of different prisoners. If you didn’t love season 1, don’t give up; nobody’s favorite character is Piper.

Orange is the New Black Netflix binge watch

 

Gilmore Girls

I can’t believe I waited so long to get into this show! For people feeling like they need more “Bechdel Test” friendly shows, this is the one for you! And once you finish, you can check out Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, a Netflix original reboot of the show.

The plot: Lorelai Gilmore is a single mom balancing her professional life, love life, and family life. Rory, her daughter, is a driven bookworm dealing with some issues most high school girls struggle with: boys and grades.

Gilmore Girls Netflix binge watch

 

Stranger Things

One of the biggest series of 2016 is something you can binge this summer in preparation for season 2, which comes out in the fall. Whether you love sci-fi or don’t, you’ll find this show extremely entertaining… and very weird.

The plot: A young boy disappears in a small town in Indiana. Meanwhile, supernatural forces seem to be at work. Things become especially odd when a young girl with psychokinesis appears. There are lots of questions for these townspeople. And lots of questions to be solved for us viewers in season 2.

Stranger Things Netflix Binge Watch

 

Gritty Shows:

Bloodline

I’m still halfway through season 1 so far, but I’m enjoying it a lot. The episodes move pretty slowly, but the writing and acting are phenomenal. Maybe the slow pace is why this show didn’t get the views that other Netflix original shows got, which resulted in its cancellation after just 3 seasons. Also, the show takes place in humid Florida, so the costumes and atmosphere have got some serious summer vibes.

The plot: A dysfunctional family reunites, secrets are revealed, and… there’s death. That’s all I’ll say; even halfway through the first season, enough has happened to make me feel restrained while explaining the basic story.

Bloodline Netflix Binge Watch TV show

 

Black Mirror

This show is so damn good. What started as a somewhat successful British TV show turned into an international phenomenon when Netflix picked it up for a third season. The show is funny at times, creepy at times, and thought-provoking at all times. It’ll make you think about how lost we would be without technology in our present society.

The plot: Every episode takes on a new plot line and cast, so you don’t necessarily have to watch them in order. Think of a modern-day Twilight Zone with technology as its major point of criticism.

Black Mirror Netflix Binge Watch TV Show

 

13 Reasons Why

This is another one of those shows that almost everyone has seen or heard of. I liked it — didn’t love it — but it sure was addicting, even though I read the book and knew what was going to happen. Personally, I think it’s really stupid that they’re bringing it back for a second season — as I think it would have worked perfectly for a miniseries — but I’ll probably tune into the first episode to see how it goes.

The plot: After a girl commits suicide, she reveals whose actions “caused” her death. Sound controversial? It was.

13 Reasons Why Netflix Binge Watch Tv show

 

The Killing

I still haven’t seen this show, but I’ve heard that fans of crime shows — like BroadchurchHannibal, FargoLuther, etc. — love this one. My dad recommended it to me, so I moved it to the top of my to-watch list. The show aired on AMC for its first 3 seasons but was cancelled. Then Netflix picked it up for a forth and final season a few years ago. I love crime stories like this.

The plot: The series follows multiple murder investigations performed by 2 homicide detectives.

The Killing Netflix Binge Watch TV show

 

Riverdale

There’s only one season of Riverdale so far, but season 2 will be returning in October. I haven’t watched this show yet, but after hearing how well it was received, it’s moving its way to the top of my to-watch list.

The plot: Take some of the characters by Archie Comics and through them into a teen drama series, and that’s Riverdale.

Riverdale Netflix Binge Watch TV show

 

 

15 Binge-Worthy Netflix Shows to Watch this Summer

 

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My Favorites – Spring, 2017

My Favorites – Spring, 2017

I’m going to try something a little new this week! Originally, I considered doing month-by-month “favorites” lists. But then I realized 2 things: 1. I don’t buy things often enough to call for monthly favorites lists. and 2. I only post once a week anyway, […]

15 Free Things to Do in Boston

15 Free Things to Do in Boston

Boston has become a popular hub for millennials over the past several years. Sadly, the cost of living in Boston has risen as well. Actually, it’s the 4th priciest city in the United States, following New York, San Francisco, and San José. If you — […]

My 2017 Summer Reading List

My 2017 Summer Reading List

I’ve really been slacking on reading. You can check out my pitiful amount of books I’ve read so far this year here. My goal of reading 52 books this year — AKA, a book every week — isn’t going so well. For some reason, I’ve just wanted to sit back and relax on my commute. Although sometimes I need to shut my eyes in the morning or want to watch a downloaded episode of Bloodline on my phone, the tiny bit I’ve read over the last few months is not exemplary behavior of a writer and former English major! This summer, I plan on catching up. Especially with the weather changing from under-the-covers-in-bed-with-Netflix weather to on-the-beach-with-a-book-weather, I have no excuse!

This is a list of some of the books I want to read this summer. Some are new, some are old, some are borrowed, and some are blue.

 

1. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

into the water paula hawkins reading

You probably recognize the author’s name, as she is also the author of The Girl on the Train, a popular suspense novel from a few years ago and the book title from which I derived my blog name. In Into the Water, a crime finds multiple women dead on the bottom of a river in a small town. The story is told from the point of view of a 15-year-old girl whose mother and best friend were victims of the mysterious murders. Like The Girl on the Train, this novel is told from the perspectives of multiple characters, with each chapter from the point of view of a different person. Though this novel didn’t get quite as much positive feedback as her first novel, I’m still excited to dive into a thrilling beach read.

 

2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

big little lies liane moriarty hbo reading

I’ve heard fantastic things about the HBO series, so I want to read the book before I tune into the show. This story is told from the point of view of 3 women, a divorcee, an adult queen bee, and a young single mother. What seems like a calm little town is full of secrets, scandals, and even a murder. Apparently, Moriarty is great at writing characters and building their relationships. I can’t wait to see what all the hype’s about!

 

3. Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane

since we fell dennis lehane reading

My dad is the one that got me into Dennis Lehane. Though I haven’t read much of his stuff, I’ve loved what I’ve read. Mystic River in particular had me hooked. Lehane is just such a fantastic writer. In this, we have a female protagonist, which I’ve never seen from Lehane. In fact, the only problems I’ve ever had with his writing is that I don’t really buy the women he writes; this could be interesting. The main character, Rachel, is a former journalist who barely leaves the house after a breakdown on the air. Her marriage and life are relatively normal, but something causes that nice life to change. My dad said it’s not as great as his other books, but if Lehane wrote it, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

 

4. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard

let my people go surfing patagonia yvon chouinard reading

This will be the first book I read this summer, since I joined a book club at work in which this is the next book we’ll be discussing. The founder of Patagonia, Inc. wrote this memoir to tell his readers about his life of environmentalism, one of Patagonia’s biggest initiatives. I love nonfiction books and since this one is so short, I know it’ll be a breeze to get through.

 

5. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

the bad beginning lemony snicket a series of unfortunate events reading

I’m sure you’ve all heard of A Series of Unfortunate Events, the popular children’s series. In recent years, it’s been made into movies and a Netflix series. Since the last time I read this book was in sixth grade, I thought it would be a good thing to pick up. Not only did I never finish the series completely, I remember really enjoying the books as a middle schooler. Sometimes, reading children’s books as an adult can shed light on different themes and ideas I never would have seen at a young age.

 

6. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

eating animals safran foer reading

This was the book that was required reading of the class that graduated a year ahead of me at college. (Instead, we got stuck with a terrible book about the risks of the internet and how it’s making us stupid; meanwhile, all of our homework assignments and tests were online. But I digress.) Though I eat meat, I think knowing where our food comes from and the psychology and business aspects of factory farming are very important. Many people turn into vegetarians after reading this book, as it reveals the gruesome side of the meat industry that so many Americans turn a blind eye to.

 

7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

the handmaid's tale margaret atwood hulu reading

As an English major, how have I not read this book?! This is one of the most acclaimed feminist novels of the twentieth century. In addition, it’s one of the first highly popular dystopian works. Basically, this dystopian society has women playing the role of wife and mother… and nothing else. I look forward to reading this before tuning into the Hulu series, which I’ve heard is excellent as well.

 

8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

the girl with the dragon tattoo stieg larsson reading

I’m sure a lot of you have read this book or seen the movie. I have not experienced either and therefore want to get to something that’s been on my reading list for years. A journalist receives a task to investigate a disappearance that has remained unsolved for years with the help of a female investigator, the girl with the dragon tattoo. Everyone I know who’s read that has loved it. I also find it so interesting that the author died before finishing the last book in the series. Apparently it takes a while to get into it, but once you’re in, you’re hooked.

 

9. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel

are you my mother alison bechdel reading

I read Fun Home — which inspired the famous Broadway musical — last summer and really enjoyed it. Like Fun Home, this is in the form of a graphic novel, telling the story of her life and childhood. While the other focuses on her relationship with her father (a closeted gay male), this focuses on her relationship with her mother. You might recognize Alison Bechdel’s name, as she is a famous feminist and LGBTQ+ activist. She also developed the Bechdel Test, a famous test for books, movies, TV shows, etc. to see if they include dynamic female characters. Since it’s a graphic memoir, it’ll be a fast read; I think I read Fun Home in one afternoon and can surely do the same with this one.

 

10. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

small great things jodi picoult reading

I’ve read a few Jodi Picoult novels before and liked them, didn’t love them. After a friend recommended this one, I knew it would be a great read from the plot alone. A labor and delivery nurse finds out that a parent has requested her not to work with their child — and don’t even want her to touch the child — because they are white supremacists and the nurse is black. The next day, the baby goes into cardiac arrest while this nurse is the only one in the room but she hesitates, not sure if she should treat the child or follow the racist wishes of its parents. As a result, she is put on trial for murder to neglecting to help the child. The concept alone sounds intense, but in our present society, reading something about racial prejudice at such a high level could be really eyeopening.

 

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What’s in My Bag?

What’s in My Bag?

Nothing makes me feel more refreshed than organizing my items and space. Mid-spring is the perfect time to clean my closet, moving the heavily layered items to the back and the light, bright-colored ones to the front. In addition, cleaning out my bag — and even […]

Visiting the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami, Florida

Visiting the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami, Florida

On my recent trip my Miami, my friends and I spent a majority of our time relaxing and drinking adult beverages. However, one of the highlights of the trip was an unexpected good time: the historic Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. Before going, we researched this […]

17 Tips for the Best Vacation to Miami, Florida

17 Tips for the Best Vacation to Miami, Florida

My recent trip to Miami — which I also wrote a post about here — was exciting, fun, and very relaxing. That being said, I definitely could have done a little more research before the trip. With my birthday weekend right before the trip, I was pretty busy. I barely planned anything specific or looked up places or restaurants to see before leaving. Whether you’re planning a trip to Miami soon or just want to learn from my mistakes, I’ve created a list of tips that would have helped me a little before I took my first steps along Ocean Drive. Prepare yourself for some Miami (ad)Vice. (Okay… I’ll go home.)

 

Dining:

1. Hosts and hostesses outside of restaurants will beckon you to join them. Don’t feel obliged.

At first, I was taken aback by the upfront, somewhat aggressive approach that staff members of various Ocean Drive restaurants take. At first, I would reply to the hostesses, saying “no, thank you” as we walked by their sales pitches, but by the end of the trip, I realized that just ignoring them is fine enough. It definitely takes some getting used to.

2. Check to see if the service charge is included in your check.

Where I live, service charges are usually only added if groups are made up of 6 or more people. In Miami, many checks include a 15% service charge and others include a 20%. If the service is great, you might want to add a little extra, but if the service charge is already added into your total, don’t feel like you have to!

Miami ocean drive restaurant
Source: TipStripFlorida.com

3. Food is pretty expensive.

Of course you can find cheap places to eat, but a majority of the big restaurants are pretty pricey. Don’t allow this to inhibit you, but definitely be aware of the fact that it’s not a cheap city.

4. Go on Yelp.

While most of the restaurants in Miami are great, there are lots of duds out there. My friends and I made that mistake one morning, when we got an overpriced, crappy breakfast. If we had gone on Yelp and seen its 2-star rating, we probably would have avoided it. On the other hand, we wouldn’t have discovered some of the best places we went to without Yelp. Use it!

Nightlife:

5. People go out so late here, and they stay out super late too.

In Boston and in college, I’ve gotten used to starting pre-gaming around 9:00 PM, leaving to go out around 10:30 PM, and staying out until before 2:00 AM. That’s not how it is in Miami. People head out after midnight and oftentimes stay out until after 5:00 AM… Some of the most intense partiers stay out until 8:00 AM and spend all of the next morning and afternoon sleeping. The latest I was able to handle was 3:30 AM, but it was a solid effort.

club party liv miami nightclub story e11even
Source: @night.life.miami

6. You’re going to have to dress to impress. For real.

In Boston, going out in jeans and boots or flats is totally normal. Not in Miami! People really dress up to go to clubs; bouncers will turn away people that aren’t dressed well enough. Yes, that means heels for women. Since I didn’t do my research before going, I had to buy a cheap pair of heels during my visit. Bring some in your carry-on to save you the hassle!

7. If you’re a lady and you’re attractive, don’t pay for club entry.

PC? Not really. True? Very. Promoters walk the beaches, streets, and even club interiors looking for attractive girls to bring to their tables. The goal is to make the club look more desirable. I’m still not positive how I feel about this whole thing, but it worked okay for me. Apparently, some promoters can be brutal, turning girls away if they aren’t hot enough or cutting the least attractive girls from his/her table when there’s overcrowding. If this is the case, don’t take it personally; it’s just (clubbing) business.

Bonus tip: Posting a picture on Instagram with one or two friends with a popular Miami hashtag is a good way to get promoters to comment, follow, and DM you. Just check to make sure he or she is legit!

Miami
An example of Instagram comments my friend got after posting a bikini picture. Definitely worth changing your Insta settings to “Public” for the weekend.

8. Drinks are super pricey. Even water.

It’s no surprise that some of the more exclusive clubs serve up mixed drinks with top shelf liquor, making your vodka soda upwards of $20. What surprised me is how much these clubs charge for water. Rather than serving up tap water for free — as I’ve experienced in the Northeast and the U.K. — bartenders serve bottled water, oftentimes charging $8-10 for it. If you’re completely parched, you might have to splurge, but I’d hold off otherwise.

Weather:

9. Prepare for humidity.

I’m lucky that my hair doesn’t blow up or frizz in humidity — as I have naturally pin-straight hair — but this might be something to prepare for. Bring some hair product along to tame the mane.

10. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.

I actually didn’t get a terrible burn this time around, but my last trip to Florida had me looking like a straight-up lobster. Even if it’s a cloudy day, lather on the SPF!

Miami South Beach jetti

11. Have a backup plan in case of rain.

Have an option in mind if you do have a rainy day in Miami, whether it’s the World Erotic Art Museum or the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (the latter of which has its own blog post coming!). You can’t go to the beach every day.

12. Technically you’re not supposed to drink on the beach, but people do it anyway.

Same thing goes for the beach in my hometown. Just keep it low key and don’t get obnoxious.

Mystic River Dennis Lehane Corona Beer South Beach Miami

Etc.:

13. You might be a minority, fellow white people.

I grew up in a predominantly white town, attended a predominantly white college, and studied abroad in a predominantly white country. I’m used to being in the majority. However, in Miami, you might find yourself being the only white person in the room. This isn’t a tip necessarily, just an interesting fact that’s pretty cool about visiting Miami or any other culturally and racially diverse city.

14. Don’t feel like you have to look “Miami hot.”

“Miami hot” is a phrased I coined during my trip. Basically, women in Miami look way different than women from Boston, just as beautiful women from L.A. and Vermont look different, for instance. Beauty standards are different in each of these locations and you don’t have to assimilate. The ideal woman in Miami is curvy with a tiny waist, a body that’s near impossible to achieve without the help of plastic surgery. Don’t feel self-conscious; the beauty ideals where you’re from may be differ from the tanned, extreme hourglass ideal in Miami.

hot girl miami bathing suit
Source: @mybeautifulgiselle
hot girl miami
Source: @stephs_music

15. Ubers and Lyfts are… actually very cheap.

I was afraid that ride-sharing services would be super expensive down in Miami, mostly because everything else is pretty costly down there. However, getting an Uber or Lyft for my three friends and me was very reasonable, whether we were riding to a club or to the airport. Especially if you’re from Boston or New York, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

16. If you’re a light sleeper, bring earplugs.

Miami truly is a city that never sleeps. Every night, the sounds coming from the streets below us — of loud music, shouting, etc. — were noisy enough that I felt like they were partying in our room. On Friday and Saturday, it was at its worst. Fortunately, I was able to get to sleep, but it took a little extra effort on Saturday, when I didn’t have alcohol in my system to put me to sleep.

17. When it comes to your hotel… location, location, location!

Where your hotel or Airbnb is will determine where you go, whether you like it or not, so try to get a room in a prime location. My friends and I got a pretty good price on an Airbnb on Ocean Drive, and we loved the place and location. We could have paid a little less to be set off from the action a little bit, but paying a little extra was worth it for the convenience factor, in my opinion.

 

Miami is a fun, vibrant, culturally rich city. Although knowing some tips might help you out on your travels, don’t over-research. Be intuitive, adventurous, and spontaneous!

 

Miami South Beach sunset

 

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Ch-Ch-Changes: Life Update, May 2017

Ch-Ch-Changes: Life Update, May 2017

I wanted to post a quick update about two new and exciting things in my life. As of now, I’ve been working my current job since October and living in Boston since November. However, as a 23-year-old, my life is bound to go through some […]