Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Blog

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Awards and rewards

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024

“It’s an honor just to be nominated.”

That’s what someone I used to know would say during her Oscar party whenever the phone rang and she answered it. The joke being, of course, that that’s what nominees used to say in the press interviews when they’d lost:  “It’s an honor just to be nominated.”

I say “used to say” because I haven’t watched the Oscars since I stopped going to that party, and that was… about 30 years ago… so I don’t know if the losers still say this. I don’t have anything against the Oscars, but I don’t have anything for them either. I don’t see many movies, the show isn’t very entertaining, if there is something entertaining no doubt it’ll be shared a zillion times on social media where I’ll come across it regardless, and overall I figure that rich celebrities already get enough attention.

So when Greta Gerwig got snubbed, with no nomination for Best Director, I couldn’t get worked up about it. I didn’t instantly assume that it was part of a vast anti-feminist conspiracy led by Academy voters, as evidently everyone on social media immediately began to claim. I just figured that most of the people who vote for these nominations gave more votes to other directors.

For the record, I thought “Barbie” was an astounding achievement. (Hey — a movie that I saw. And in a movie theatre!) But if we’re going to talk about theoretically deserving artists who never got the award that they were theoretically entitled to, well, that list will be very long indeed. 

Among many other distinguished personages, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Sidney Lumet, Akira Kurosawa, and Stanley freaking Kubrick never won an Oscar for Best Director. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald never won a Pulitzer. Although Edward Albee did win the Pulitzer (three times), in 1963, the advisory jury nominated “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” but the board awarded the prize to… no one. (Maybe it’s not always an honor just to be nominated.)

The enormously influential Gertrude Stein never won the Nobel Prize for literature. (She did win the first-ever Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.) Franz Kafka never won a prize of any sort (although there’s now one named for him).

Five times, Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, without winning once. Meanwhile Henry Kissinger won the peace prize for murdering millions of people, and Barack Obama got one for doing nothing that merited it.

I could go on with lists of scientists, writers, painters, playwrights, business heroes both local and not, animal saviors, environmental champions, people of high talent or a do-gooding nature and on and on, who never got properly recognized, sometimes because people didn’t like their work, sometimes because they preferred other people’s work, sometimes because they just didn’t like these people, and sometimes because the decision was arbitrary.

Case in point:

One story goes that in 1969, the jury deciding the Nobel Prize for literature was evenly split between Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco, three-to-three, with much heated debate. It was finally resolved when, after lunch, one of the Ionesco supporters, who also liked Beckett’s work, simply changed his vote. Result: a Nobel Prize for Beckett (who called winning it “a catastrophe”) and none for Ionesco, whose plays are less widely recognized and less frequently produced.

What will be the result for Greta Gerwig of this terrible snub? Probably $20 million to direct “Barbie 2.” Not the worst outcome.

A good year (in many ways)

Saturday, December 30th, 2023

Every year, New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof shares the good news in what seems otherwise to have been a bad year. 

“[Even with Gaza, Darfur, Trump, and climate change], something else is also true: In some ways, 2023 may still have been the best year in the history of humanity.”

Two factors he lists: In 2023, global child mortality reached a record low, and extreme poverty also reached a record low (about 8% of people worldwide). 

It’s easy to overlook the positive, as Kristof notes:

“None of this eases the pain of those who have lost their children in 2023, nor is it a balm for those caught in war or climate catastrophes. Yet at year-end, it’s worth acknowledging this backdrop of progress — not to distract anyone from all that is going wrong, but to offer a reminder that when we try hard enough, we can accomplish amazing things. Right now, looking at the anguish worldwide, I’d say we’re not trying hard enough.”

In that spirit, and in recognition of the good luck I’ve been blessed with, and also with recognition that many people haven’t, both among my circle and elsewhere in the world, I have to acknowledge that I’ve had a good year. Maybe it also helps to be older, and wiser, and to recognize good happenings when they happen to you. 

Here are just some of the highlights.

Romance

Atlantic City, September 2023.

In May, I met and fell in love with my girlfriend. Instantly. I don’t understand how this happened, but when she showed up at the restaurant where we’d agreed to meet, I was struck by a thunderbolt that told me, “This is it. This is the woman.” I’d had many dates, and two previous actual girlfriends, over the course of two-and-a-half years, but this was instantly different, because she was and is instantly different. I’ve been in love before, and vividly recall how I felt when at age 20 I met my now ex-wife, but I don’t know if I ever before knew what romantic “butterflies in my stomach” meant. And every day since then, I ask myself what I can do to do even better, to keep this going, and if possible to keep it going for, oh, the next three decades. She tells me that she loves me too. I can’t believe my good fortune.

So, right there, that has made for a damn good seven months. Long may it last.

Music

2023 was a terrific year for music, with spectacular new albums from old-timers like Yo La Tengo, Peter Gabriel, Blur, John Cale, and Pere Ubu. Even the Rolling Stones put out a new album that I think is pretty good — and I don’t generally care for the Rolling Stones.

Lots of great concerts in 2023, too, most memorably Yo La Tengo (!!!) at the Teragram Ballroom, and Devo (even more exclamation marks) at the YouTube Theatre, at which I got so excited that my girlfriend caught me on video pogoing along to the music.

It was an honor to host two members of Pere Ubu at my house this summer (!), and for my sons and I to help the band load in and load out for their fine show here in Los Angeles. And I enjoyed meeting up with other longtime Pere Ubu fans for drinks after the show in New York, which I flew in to see.

Theatre

Let’s be honest:  It’s always a dice roll going to see a new play. Jukebox musicals may be idiot-proof (enlist some great singers to do classic songs you love against the backdrop of a thinly concocted narrative), but the successful production of a compelling new play is a true highwire act. Forty years of attendance has taught me that if you expect a 90% failure rate, you’ll never be disappointed. There were other plays I enjoyed, but these were the two standout productions this year:

“Heroes of the Fourth Turning” at Rogue Machine, an intellectually honest look at extreme-right-wing evangelicals and their worldview, brilliantly written, acted and directed, was a production I doubt I’ll ever forget. I don’t go to the theatre to be entertained, I go to delve; one way I can be sure I’m in the right place is if a few disgruntled fellow attendees leave mid-scene. In this particular case, success! Those of us who stayed were riveted.

“Kill Shelter” at Theatre of NOTE, about a struggling single mom who also has to daily euthanize dogs who have no future, was both heartbreaking and uplifting — and, somehow, occasionally comic. When each puppet-dog was put down, I cried, even though it was a thing of wire and felt; to someone who has spent 45 years in the theatre, that was epic suspension of disbelief. The play also offered an even-handed defense of kill shelters, a subject I’m sure most people would rather not hear about. Ashley Rose Wellman is a young playwright of talent. I wish I’d seen this earlier in the run, because I would have gone to see it again.

Life and Death

My mother died. That might not seem like a good thing, but it was. She was 98, she figured her time had come, so she lay down, slept for a few days, and passed away. Making her, right to the end, an inspiration. If you pray to a god, you should pray to that god that some day you’re so strong and wise as to be able to do the same. Almost none of us will get this kind of death. Will I miss her? Absolutely. My father died 31 years ago, and I still miss him. But they both left me a lifetime of instruction, so I’m grateful.

Family and friends

Playing Cosmic Encounter, of course: me, son Dietrich, John D., son Lex, and great-nephew Brody, November 2023.

I took my son to London for 10 days, my other son came to join us for Thanksgiving, those two plus my daughter and I were all together for my mother’s services, my great-nephew has come to stay with me twice, and I got to spend five days with my whole extended family back East both in September and earlier this month. It’s been a good year for family.

It’s also been a great year for friends, both new friends, and friends of 40 years. 

If you’re lucky, your romantic partner will have quality family and friends of her own, and mine sure does. We’ve been having dinner and playing cards with her sisters and her brother-in-law (and at some point, I will win). We’ve gone to lots of events with her circle of friends — what I’ve started calling her Legion of BFFs — and always had a great time, whether it was the Pops in the LA County Arboretum, the holiday light show, a country-club fundraiser, dinner and drinks, or seeing the Barbie movie. Good people attract other good people. 

As for my own friends, the level of caring some of them dropped on me when my mother died, as well as the heartfelt way they embraced my new love, said everything about their friendship. Friends I hadn’t seen in decades showed up at my mother’s viewing to pay their respects. Others called me more than once just to make sure I was doing okay. My friend Ski single-handedly cooked and catered an entire evening for all attendees at my sister’s house the night before my mother’s funeral service. True friends show up for you even when it isn’t fun.

2023 and 2024

At The Americana at Brand, November 2023.

If you haven’t had a good 2023, I’m sorry.

I’m sharing all these successes because I know I’ve been lucky. And because I know luck runs out. Not every year will have as many bright spots. More people will die, you will meet with misfortune, your health will fail, some despicable figure might make a comeback.

But when you have this much love dropped on you in a year, you must acknowledge it. Both to get through the bad times, and because you want to do right. Only a churl would let good times go unrecognized.

My best to you in the new year. Even when trouble befalls – and it will — pick up on the positive.

No-labor days

Monday, September 4th, 2023

Contrary to personal type, I did pretty much nothing all Labor Day weekend. Well, no work of any kind anyway. Didn’t even work on the play I’m writing (decided to do some submissions instead).

I did see the excellent production of the excellent play “Heroes of the Fourth Turning,” at Rogue Machine Theatre. It runs until October 2, and gets a “highly, highly, highly recommended” from me. A play that drops us into the deeply intellectual and passionately expressed arguments of conservative Catholic evangelicals during the Trump presidency, it’s brilliantly written and unnervingly well-acted. Yes, there will be walkouts (there were two behind me); go see it and don’t be one of them.

And I did things like go to the gym, cook a mean Irish lamb stew, read comic books, take my dogs for walks, pine after my girlfriend (still on a family vacation in Europe) and… watch several episodes of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.”

If you ever doubted the importance of William Shatner in helping to launch the Star Trek phenomenon, this current show will convince you. Say what you will about Shatner, he fills every moment with something unpredictable. The lead in the new show, Anson Mount, is no comparison. Granted, Mount is saddled with playing Captain Pike, an anodyne character without a hint of flavor or spice, so dull that he is referred to by his own crew as “The Boy Scout.” But one could argue that the episodes where Mount is freed from this charmless character do even more to reveal his limitations as an actor, as in a truly childish episode where the crew is magically transformed into characters in a fairytale setting; tasked with playing a cowering quisling, Mount dives right into the cliched. In other episodes, you’ll see the setup for a reaction that he never quite brings. When one can remember Captain Kirk’s derring-do, his bet-it-all gambits, watching Pike shrug and smile wanly just doesn’t carry the day. “Star Trek: Discovery” at least had one strong season before sliding into juvenile concerns. Nine episodes in, “Strange New Worlds” starts off dull, then gets duller. When you’re reduced to doing a show that weakly rips off the movie “Alien” 44 years later but with far less suspense, isn’t it past time to try something new?

If Quentin Tarantino isn’t going to be allowed to rescue this franchise, can we find some other audacious brat somewhere to do it?

In praise of plotlessness

Sunday, April 2nd, 2023

“Suspense is cheap,” my writing professor told me when I was an undergrad. But he was a poet who for some reason was teaching fiction writing to a fledgling playwright, so what did we know? If your literary sensibilities are informed by the short stories showing up every week in The New Yorker, then no, there’s no suspense, no plot, and probably no conflict, just theme. Most of those stories end with a tiny “ah-hah” moment, only slightly a twist, and only barely ironic.

(I say this as an admirer of many of those stories.)

Movies, most of them, operate differently of course. There, suspense is the principal factor: How will our hero Tom Cruise get out of it this time? The answer:  with CGI. Ditto comic books, which is where most movies now take their cue.

Theme without plot as we generally understand it is principally the province of literary work, either on the page or in the theatre, whereas plays that flow primarily from plot are old-fashioned. We now view plays that operate mostly from plot as melodramas; literary plays as exemplified by Harold Pinter and Caryl Churchill and Ionesco or Beckett may have some element of plot, but they mostly investigate and express themes. Audiences get less caught up in asking what’s going to happen than in trying to understand what they’re watching and what to make of it. The real whodunit is a whatisthis.

What brings this to mind is a weekend of seeing two of these thematic and ostensibly plotless pieces:  “Playtime,” the Jacques Tati film, and a dynamic production of “Love and Information” at the Antaeus Theatre.

“Playtime” presents a fascinating case. Its two-hour runtime is occupied mostly by the bumbling of our hero, Monsieur Hulot, as he is waylaid while trying to meet for a job interview, and later as he’s the unfortunate participant in the very bad opening of a new Parisian restaurant. Add in a young American tourist who wanders into and out of scenes and occasionally encounters him and you have just about the entirety of the story. But the story is beside the point. The point here is that the then-new age of 1964 presents a confusion of ill-conceived modern technology that alienates and flummoxes everyone who comes into contact with it. Useless gadgets fill our lives, and constant intrusions by the latest things and ideas drain our attention. While we’re all individuals, we may have one or two or three doppelgangers in any crowd, making us easily mistaken for someone else. The theme? The creators are at the mercy of the systems and services they’ve created. In an AI age, that’s compelling.

It should also be said that “Playtime” is riveting and funny. While bereft of plot, it’s full of action — and also tightly choreographed sight gags that fill every scene. What makes the movie so watchable is the fear it creates that one might miss something by looking the wrong way. Tati abjures closeups; the entire film is told through master shots, forcing us to choose where to look. Sometimes there’s too much to see, while other times potential distractions are stripped away to present us simply with a chair to be sat upon or a portfolio to be unzipped loudly.

That this abstract film lured more than 400 attendees out to see it and then resulted in raucous laughter and applause is a testament to its achievement. That it does it without much in the way of what we ordinarily consider a story puts paid the myth that Aristotle must be obeyed.

After seeing “Playtime” on Friday night, I caught “Love and Information” on Saturday night at the Antaeus in Glendale. I will go anywhere I can, any time I can, to see a play by Caryl Churchill, a brilliant playwright who tears off the shackles of conventional storytelling norms but nevertheless produces completely absorbing tales. In this particular play, 49 separate short scenes ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes set about immersing us in the reality of modern human life:  quests for information, conflicts and debates about misinformation, people coming together and breaking apart. 

Further credit where it’s due:  The script comes with no stage directions, no character names, not even any character descriptions, so every choice must be made by the production cast and crew. In this case, director Emily Chase and the cast have made decisions to situate each of the varied scenes in various places and to cast them as they saw appropriate. We may be watching what’s clearly staged as a couple, but listening to the text reveals that that has been designated by the production, not the playwright. Some scenes now take place on iPhone screens we see projected on the walls. The dominatrix in one scene isn’t referenced in the text; neither the raucous music behind the wall or the evident interrogation going on aren’t clearly demanded by the writer. But every choice made by the cast and the director pulls it all together with the text to result in something completely entertaining, and riveting, and astonishing. I only wish it were running longer so I could go see it again.

Almost everyone know how to tell a story. We all know the rudiments:  beginning, middle, and end. But there are other sorts of stories, stories that don’t have all those elements, and don’t have things like rising conflict, and opposition, and denouement, and more.  Plot is by nature mechanical; theme is emotional. The advantage the theatre presents us with is the presence of the actors and of each other — the sense that we are all of us in this room at this time for this one time and that we’re all going to share in a feeling larger than ourselves. 

You can engage in plot. But in the theatre, you must pursue theme.

My Oscars tradition

Sunday, March 12th, 2023

Yesterday, rooting around in the refrigerator after my playwriting workshop, I laid eyes on a wrapped offering purchased the night before from our local supermarket.

“Hey,” I said to my son. “Tomorrow night, we can cook this roast and eat it while we don’t watch the Oscars.”

“Sounds good,” he said. Then he added, “I don’t think I’ve ever watched the Oscars.”

He already knows I don’t watch them either.

So that’s our Oscars tradition: not watching the Oscars. It’s somewhat related to not seeing almost any of the nominated films. I did see “The Woman King,” and thought it was flat-out terrific, a great old-fashioned kind of heart-tugging action movie the sort of which Hollywood made regularly in its Golden Age. So of course it wasn’t nominated for anything.

While the Academy Awards are on tonight, we’ll probably play a game and then we’re definitely going to watching “The Last of Us.” .A few weeks ago was our not-Super-Bowl-Sunday. I think he played “League of Legends” while I did some writing and read a book.

If you enjoy the Oscars, or the Super Bowl, cheers to you. They seem like nice things to get into with friends; I’m just not into them. My rule of thumb: I don’t care about any awards that I’m not up for. Which, when you think about it, leaves me nearly unlimited time to celebrate not-celebrating.

Attestations

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023
  1. I can attest to this: The movie “Cocaine Bear” is loads of fun if you’re seeing it for cheap on a Tuesday night with a friend who is sitting next to you in the movie theatre howling with laughter. But I can’t imagine watching it at home alone, or as anything other than a goof — which it is 100% intended to be.
  2. It has been raining in Los Angeles pretty much every day since December. This being the eve of March, enough is enough. Whoever schedules these things needs to do a better job. On Sunday night, I went to see a concert and thought, “Wow! It isn’t raining!” But when I left the concert, it was pouring while I scurried off to my car, having left the umbrella in the car because, well, it hadn’t been raining. This morning when I woke up the day was bright and blue and the air crisp. Over the course of the day, the sky darkened and I thought, “Oh, fuck, it’s coming again.” And it did.
  3. Over the course of all this, I’ve had a team of roofers out to my house eight times. Eight times. At some point, either they’ll get it right, or maybe they’ll just outlast the rain.
  4. I had assumed that the excellent noisy indie band Yo La Tengo would tour with additional musicians, being a three-piece band with a dense and complicated sound, especially on their excellent new album, “This Stupid World.” Nope. Sunday’s show revealed that the three of them are multi-instrumentalists who sample some of their sounds live and then set them to repeat while they go off to play other things, and that they generally move into different stations of the stage throughout. Don’t be surprised if the drummer takes center stage to sing, and the bassist is now also playing keyboards, and the “drums” are being handled by the guitarist on what sounds like a Casio. My first thought, watching this: Hats off to them for saving all that money on adding a touring musician or two!
  5. By the way, structurally the hero of that cocaine-sniffing bear movie is the bear. I’m not kidding. In the late parts of the movie, it’s the bear that’s the protagonist.
  6. Eight months ago for my birthday, a friend gave me a $60 gift certificate to a used bookstore in Pasadena. My current lady agreed to accompany me even though I warned her what I could be like in bookstores: relentless. I was rewarded by learning how remarkably patient she can be. Something else I learned: Sixty bucks can get you a big whopping bag of books, including three novels by Thomas McGuane, a favorite of mine, that I’d never read, plus two business books, novels by Joyce Carol Oates and Kim Stanley Robinson I’d been meaning to get to for some time, and assorted other things, including a Marvel comics giant I had as a kid, and was now able to get in near mint condition 45 years later for the bold price of $4.50. I wasn’t in any danger of running out of books to read around the house, but now I’m even better armed.
  7. I’ve been thinking lately of two writers in particular, Harlan Ellison and Ray Bradbury. Because each of them wrote a science-fictional short story about rain that wouldn’t end. Right now, outside my window, I can hear Noah pounding nails into his big new boat. I like London enormously. I just never expected to be living there in Los Angeles.

Noted

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023

Like probably every writer ever, I make little notes on scraps of paper about things I’ve thought of, or thought about, or overheard, that I thought would be useful later.

Useful in a play. Or an essay. Or a blog post or even just a Tweet.

And then, again like probably almost every writer ever, I lose track of these notes. They wind up in my car, or on my nightstand, or if I’m lucky on my desk in the writing room, or if I’m unlucky in pants pockets that wind up in the washing machine.

Sometimes, it’s months or even years later when I find them. And then comes the real work: trying to figure out what they mean. The Egyptologist Champollion had an easier time figuring out hieroglyphics than I have with some of these.

One recent note reads, “Last time he got his line wet.” Now, see, with that one I’ve helpfully added “The last fishing trip” to remind me that this was a friend’s story of the last time an old fella got taken out on the ice for a final fishing trip. What I liked about it was that phrase, “it was the last time he got his line wet,” and I figured it would be useful in the play I’m writing.

Another note says, “Leonardo.” Not having anything to say about DiCaprio, I know that’s about da Vinci — but I don’t know what it’s supposed to prompt me to remember.

(OH, holy cow, I do now! I was floating my personal observation that the supposed polymath Leonardo was actually a genius in only one field — the arts — and a disaster in others, such as armaments. Which tied in with a discussion about Elon Musk, who hubristically decided that because he’d succeeded in one or two places he could succeed in all.)

“Publisher v. platform.” That one I know — it’s for a little commentary I made about Twitter’s difficulties, which might lead me to write about it.

Others say:

  • “circulator pump”
  • “a period of hard choices”
  • “not just returning to ‘the good old days’ where they were”
  • “black dress shoes”
  • “PREHISTORIC CREATURES with a vicious bite”
  • “Super Nice Hostility”
  • and so forth

Today, determined yet again to manage a cleaner desk and going through papers and sorting or trashing or shredding them, I came across a folded sheet of notepad paper with columns of numbers, and three letters across the top: “L,” “M,” and “D.”

Then I looked at the date: last September.

And I realized it was the score for a game of 500 Rummy with my son and my mother.

Looks like I won.

A death with dignity

Monday, January 2nd, 2023

Went to the gym today. Not as crowded as I’d feared / hoped. “Feared” because when it’s packed and you’re standing in line for equipment or weights, your workout can take twice as long. “Hoped” because I’m always rooting for the new people who arrive at the gym every January armed with determination. As for me, an hour at the gym put paid to a lower backache so profound it was cranking my hip around as well. 

When I got home I found out on the Internet that Cai Emmons, a novelist and playwright I’d met through Twitter a few years ago, had ended her life with dignity. After just under two years of fighting ALS, she’d announced in advance that today would be her last day. 

Here’s the email from her that some of us woke up to this morning:

Farewell

Dear Friends and Readers,

Happy New Year! I feel an unexpected optimism about what 2023 might bring. I’ve seen promising signs recently of the backlash of love against hate, and I think that backlash is likely to grow. No one can say for sure, but my fingers are crossed.

It is January 1st, 2023 and I am planning to depart from life as I’ve known it through death with dignity on January 2, 2023. I have had a rewarding life and I love everyone who has been a part of it. Remember me with joy.

My body has become so weak that I have lost agency over my life and need help for most activities. We all have a line we draw in the sand regarding how much helplessness we can take, and I have reached mine.

I do not dread death. In an unexpected way I have come to look forward to it. I have no idea what awaits me–my only regret is that I won’t be able to share it with you.

The timing of my demise is odd because my career is currently in an upswing. Since 2018 I have published five books, and I am completing a new one now. There is interest in turning my blog posts into a book; a Hollywood producer is interested in optioning three of my books; and a documentary film is being made about me. It is not a bad way to go out, though I regret that I won’t live to see these efforts fully realized.

I can also see from my perch on the cusp of death that no amount of worldly success matters in the end. It is such a cliché thing to say so, but the thing that means the most now is human connection, friendship, and love in all its manifestations. I have a feeling that I’ll be returning to haunt a number of people–in a good way. So be on the lookout for me!

I encourage you to keep reading my books and to look for a new book (as yet untitled)–or books–from me down the line. My blog will be active until my death, and it can be found on my website www.caiemmonsauthor.comMediumFacebook, and Twitter.

So, farewell all, and thank you for the various ways you have supported me. Whether I’ve met you in person or not, I feel entangled with you all.

Much love,
Cai

I want to acknowledge here the legislators in the state of Oregon who 25 years ago wrote Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act into law, which allows terminally ill people to end their lives sensibly. I wish it were federal law, but I’m glad it exists in at least some places.

I didn’t know her well — not at all really, just through exchanges on Twitter — but I also have to note the clarity that her terminal diagnosis seems to have given her, and the bravery with which she approached her final days. All those words written these past two years while dying! And all the warmth that flowed through her interviews and her postings.  

Seems like a good way to go.

Ah, that special feeling…

Sunday, November 27th, 2022

… that comes from two hours of work on your new play that result in exactly one new page of writing.

It was Dorothy Parker who said, “I hate writing. I love having written.”

Heat index

Monday, September 5th, 2022

Update: I’m outside working on my new play — outside because I’m having a cigar with it — and I just confirmed the temperature: It’s 1,000 degrees out here.

That’s according to my phone, and to the t-shirt shirt I’m wearing.