Empress of the Everyday

Welcome! Grab some coffee and put your feet up. My aim for this blog is to catalog everything that I find super-cool, or as my son likes to say, “AWESOME.”

GUEST POST: Surviving the Teen Years, by A.L. Waddington

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Blog, Contest, Fiction, Parenting | 3 comments

GUEST POST: Surviving the Teen Years, by A.L. Waddington

Hi, everyone!  My guest blogger today is A.L. Waddington, author of Essence, the first installment in the EVE series of books. The EVE series pulls threads from young adult fiction, time travel science fiction and romance, and weaves them all together into a unique tapestry. It’s fitting that the tag line for Essence (which will be released on January 16) is “Our minds often wander, but can our souls?” A.L. Waddington is not only an author, though, but a mom. She sent me this great post about what I have to look forward to (God help me).

Surviving the Teen Years

I look at parents of young children and smile when I hear them complain about their two-year-old or their five-year-old and the antics they manage to get into. All I can do is politely offer my empathy and think silently to myself, ‘they haven’t seen anything yet’. After raising three teens I’ve learned a couple things.

10.  Teach them to cook at least one meal from scratch. Regardless of whether you have a son or daughter, they should know how to fix at least one meal by their self so that they can honestly say, ‘yes, I know how to cook’ and maybe they will appreciate your effort a little more when dinner is served.

9.  Teach them how to thoroughly clean the house from top to bottom for the same aforementioned reasons.

8.  Trust them…that they will make the right decision when the time comes. Be it deciding their class schedule for the following year, the clothes they wear, who they choose to date or taking the car out for the evening. This one can be particularly difficult, especially if your child is anything like one of mine. But there comes a time when you have to hold your breath and pray that you raised them well enough to do the right thing. Who knows, they might even surprise you or in my case, shock the hell out of you!

7. Accept them for who they are, not who you want them to be. I know it is easy to have all these dreams for your child when they are young, that they will grow up to be the star quarterback, prom queen, or honor roll student who goes on to college to become a doctor, lawyer or some other six-figure profession. It’s natural. We all want the best for our children. However, there comes a time when dreams must give way to reality. Some children show an aptitude for science and math and others for English. Some do not like sports or enjoy 
hanging out with a big crowd and that’s fine. Allow them to cater to their own personalities and abilities to grow into who they want to be.

6. Let the punishment fit the crime and the child. A set standard set of household rules is not always best. For general rules, such as time of curfew, chores and such, this does work. But if your children are anything like mine, the bigger discipline issues are much trickier. I have one child that I could hang upside down by his toes, literally beat him senseless for whatever infraction and he would get down, flip me off and do it again just to show me he could. And then another child who would do something she’s not allowed to and all I would have 
to do is look sideways at her and raise my voice a mere octave and she would crumble under the knowledge that she had disappointed me. No other discipline would be warranted and she would never repeat the behavior. Every child has their own unique personality and temperament and what works on one child, even siblings, might not work so well on another. Every infraction should be tailored to that individual child. And no, I am not advocating beating a child senseless or hanging them by their toes…

5.  Try not to say anything bad about the teen your teen is ‘dating’.  As hard as that may be, the more you voice your disapproval, the harder they will fight to keep that person in their life. And just because they are ‘dating’ in high school does not mean they are going to marry that person. If their boyfriend/girlfriend is that ‘bad’ of a person, their friends are most likely already telling them so and they do not need you to confirm what they are already aware of. Did your parent’s always like the person you dated when you were sixteen?

4.  Listen without judgment or offering to ‘fix’ their problems.  Sometimes your teen just needs an ear to vent to just like we do without someone offering advice or solutions on how to make things better. You will be surprised how much you will learn about your children by keeping your stories to yourself and your mouth closed.

3.  As busy as life is, make dinner time a priority. I know it is not always easy with work schedules and extracurricular activities galore, but this is a must. Taking thirty minutes out of the evening to turn off cell phones, television and all other gadgets and sitting down at the table as a family and talking about the day’s events can keep the channels of communication open.

2.  Take a deep breath, relax and remember that you were once a teenager trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in in this world. They are doing the best they can, just like you were.

1.  Always keep your sense of Humor. This is critical in order to keep your sanity. Remember you were young once too!

Be sure to check out A.L. Waddington’s website, and enter her grand giveaway celebrating the launch of Essence! Details can be found here.

10 Faves of 2013: The Definitive List (cough cough)

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Blog, Fiction, Movies, Music, Television, Video | 1 comment

10 Faves of 2013: The Definitive List (cough cough)

Okay, here we are at the last 7 hours of 2103, and I feel relatively good that I will see or hear nothing else in those hours that will hit my top 10 list. However, were I to have written this list even two weeks earlier, two picks would not have been on. So this was one time where procrastinating worked for me. Hooray!

Anyway, I have to say that overall, 2013 was kind of a meh year in terms of books, movies, tv and pop culture that rocked my world. But I did come up with 10 things that I thought were really great. In no particular order, here they are:

10. Help for the Haunted, by John Searles. This was a fabulously creepy book that kept me wondering right up to the final pages. Beautiful character portraits of a likable but deeply dysfunctional family.

HBO's Getting On

HBO’s Getting On

9. Getting On. This HBO series about work in a geriatric rehab wing of a hospital perfectly balanced outlandish situations and characters with heart-wrenching moments of humanity.

8. John Oliver on The Daily Show. Now, I love me some Jon Stewart, so when he took off this summer to go be all director-y, I was a little nervous about how The Daily Show would hold up. I need not have worried. John Oliver was so perfectly English and hilarious in the role of host that I was almost disappointed when the other Jon returned. And Oliver’s final show had tears flowing from Oliver and Stewart, and me as well.

7. Orange is the New Black. This Netflix show was so absorbing and such good storytelling of a diverse set of women that it staggered me. I couldn’t even hate Pennsatucky because she became such a three-dimensional character.

6. Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes. This novel was ridiculously funny and sad all at the same time. One of the best protagonists I’ve read in a book in eons.

5. Game of Thrones, season 3. Scenes from this season just burn themselves into my head. Seriously, Daenerys uttering “Dracarys” after she tells the slaver that dragons are not slaves? Fist-pumping awesome! The Red Wedding? Defies description.

4. Patrick Stewart – 2013 saw Patrick Stewart emerge as my favorite internet persona. From his crazy funny Instagram friendship with Ian McKellan to his short sting as correspondent on The Daily Show to his tutorial on how to moo like a cow, he did it all this year with class and panache.

3. Lucius – My husband introduced me to this band, who sound like the love child of Amy Winehouse and Kate Bush. The songs from their album Wildewoman are utterly addicting.

2. The Returned. This French series that aired on Sundance was unlike anything I’ve seen. This series about a group of undead that show up in a French town left more questions unanswered than answered, but kept such a consistent still but creepy tone that I couldn’t stop watching. And their scene cuts! “It wasn’t an accident.” End scene. WHAT?????

her1. Her. This Spike Jonz movie was beautiful, funny and moving. I had MAJOR reservations about whether I would like this. The conceit of a man falling in love with his operating system could have gone 100 ways of wrong. But it was handled just right.

GUEST POST: Have Chair, Will Travel, by Kit Bakke

Posted by on Nov 30, 2013 in Blog, Rambly Musings | Comments Off on GUEST POST: Have Chair, Will Travel, by Kit Bakke

GUEST POST: Have Chair, Will Travel, by Kit Bakke

Hi, friends. As we close out this Thanksgiving week, I thought I’d give you one more post by another fantastic Booktrope writer, Kit Bakke. Kit is a girl-power history geek of the best sort; her book Dot to Dot is a young adult book about a teen and a quest and meetings with Jane Austen and Mary Shelley, and her book Miss Alcott’s E-Mail: Yours for Reforms of All Kinds, provides a unique glimpse into the past of Louisa May Alcott while imagining how she’d react to civil rights reforms of the present.  In today’s post, Kit armchair travels through Europe via quilt. You can get to know Kit better on her website KitBakke.com.

Have Chair, Will Travel

Thanksgiving and Chanukah happen on the same day this year, and they push practically into December—my prediction is that this will make the holiday season an even more intense and exhausting roller coaster ride than usual. I, for one, need a quiet zone to retreat to when all that hype and hoopla start to vibrate my spine like fingernails on the chalkboard. 

Sitting down is a good first step.

There’s so much to do, though, that I need an excuse to sit down and not feel guilty.  So I need something to do, preferably with my hands, and preferably not so absorbing that I can’t talk to people (“Honey, would you get the laundry out of the dryer?” “No, Jimmy, you can’t eat that now” “Would someone answer the door?”) all at the same time.

My choice this season is embroidering a quilted map of the world. It is SO cool! I love all maps, and this one I get to make with colored thread and a big embroidery hoop I got years ago when I made a small watercolor quilt for the Western Washington State Fair. I bought the stencil from Haptic Labs in Brooklyn www.hapticlab.com . They make stencils of city maps, the world, constellations—the  word “haptic” refers to the sense of touch. Perfect for handicrafts.

So far, I’ve stitched the borders of Europe and Africa. Just this first bit has sent me to Google several times to understand the definition of a continent (turns out there are several definitions, and there is not worldwide agreement on any one). The Suez Canal marks the boundary between Africa and Asia, making Egypt a country spanning two continents, at least since the 1967 war when Egypt took the Sinai Peninsula. I sailed through the Suez Canal a couple years ago—the African side is agriculturally rich, from Nile River irrigation; the Asian side is desert, spotted with burned out tanks from the war.


Photo by Kit Bakke

Even more borderly, if that’s a word, is Istanbul—the city itself is partly in Europe and partly in Asia. Istanbul is a city like my hometown Seattle—a city built on hills, cut across by water. It’s beautiful and busy, and the food is a divine mix of Turkish, Mediterranean and Greek.  I was there last spring, looking at Greek and Roman archaeological ruins (and some not so ruined!) and otherwise wandering around. This is my picture of the library at Ephesus, an ancient port city south and west of Istanbul.

So with every stitch, I am able to keep the holiday machine running smoothly, happily staying put in my chair, and letting my mind—and my fingers—do  the walking. Try it yourself!

Cheers to all.

I’d love to hear about your travels and about your handicraft projects.

See more on my website www.kitbakke.com

GUEST POST: Thankful, by February Grace

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Blog, Rambly Musings | Comments Off on GUEST POST: Thankful, by February Grace

GUEST POST: Thankful, by February Grace

Hi, everyone! One of my fellow Booktrope writers, February Grace, was kind enough to let me publish this essay of hers on being thankful. February is a phenomenal writer and has two books out, Of Stardust and Godspeed. You can get to know her better on her fabulously-named blog “Pitch-Slapped.”

Thankful, by February Grace

There was a time that I took something of a hiatus from writing.

It was before I’d ever written my first ‘serious’ attempt at a novel. A time when my daughter was young, and I was recovering from (what I didn’t know at the time was) a small stroke.

I needed something to try to get my lifeless left hand to move again—in some form or fashion—so I did something that I had wanted to do all my life (ever since I bought a Knit Magic toy second hand at someone’s garage sale.)

I taught myself to crochet.

With the help of a small ‘how to’ booklet from the craft store and a handful of online clips, I took to crochet like the proverbial duck to water, though I had to hold the yarn and hook differently than other people do, I managed to find my way.

I learned to decipher the second language that is a crochet pattern (my attempts to learn to knit were not as successful—I lack the dexterity needed to purl) and even wrote some patterns of my own, eventually.

For several years, you never saw me without my yarn and hook; always some project for one charity drive or another on my mind and in my hands.

Then I lost my eyesight.

I had been going blind, slowly, for years, only we didn’t realize it at the time. Then one day (due to a rare genetic condition) I woke up and had, overnight, lost most of the sight in my left eye. The sight on the right side was distorted and soon became just about as useless.

There is nothing glamorous about going blind.

I hated most having to try to navigate unfamiliar public restrooms without knowing where anything was.

I hated the fact that I was so stubborn about my new limitations that I actually set my sleeve on fire on the gas stove before I would admit that I had to stop cooking.

It all happened so quickly, it seemed, and no one was sure they could help me. I went through doctors at four different hospital systems before I was blessed to find my first wonderful U of M eye specialist, who then referred me to a surgeon specializing in research cases. Eventually, I would have two surgeons and a team of support specialists.

Besides not being able to see the faces of the people I loved (or even my own reflection in the mirror) the things I missed the most while blind was the ability to read, see colors, and the ability to crochet.

I had lost what had become a deep form of meditation for me: the yarn slipping through my fingers and over the hook, making a hat or a blanket for someone else to wear or find comfort in. I missed the ability to reach out to others through the work, and I didn’t think I would ever get the ability back, to any degree.

Between April 2009 and March of 2011 I had six eye surgeries. I was very blessed to have some of the finest surgeons in the country if not in the world; and despite setback after setback and complication upon complication they did what they at first thought was impossible: they gave me back some use of my vision.

There is, as with many things in life, a catch.

To regain any use of my sight I had to accept the fact that without special, heavy aphakia glasses, I will always be legally blind.

I am blind again, every time I have to take them off.

Without any lenses in my eyes of any kind (implants did not work for me) the moment I take off my glasses I am only able to see light, color, and motion; though I am grateful even for this because it is so much more than I had before they took a chance and agreed to try to help me.

With the special glasses, I am able to write and read for short periods of time before the eye strain sets in.

For a long time, I was still unable to crochet.

Truth is I longed to try again, but feared failure. I had to redefine what I considered success in the endeavor, and in the end I accepted that my crocheting intricate patterned blankets and tiny preemie hats is, sadly behind me (though some of the patterns I created for the latter purpose are still in circulation and being used to make hats, so that’s encouraging!)

One day I finally bought a skein of Caron Simply Soft and got one of my J hooks out and leafed through the remaining patterns I had on hand. (I gave most of my pattern books away when I went blind, knowing I would never use the complicated designs within again.) I discovered that I CAN still crochet; for short periods of time, and only if I am working a pattern where I am stitching in stitch spaces and not in the small stitches themselves.

I actually ended up making something for myself, for once: a simple poncho in neon green. Then, a hot pink shawl.

I am thankful that I am able to see the hook to hold it, and enjoy the color of the bright and cheerful yarn once again, even if only on a limited basis.

I am thankful to the doctors and surgeons at the University of Michigan who fought against all odds to do what everyone feared could not be done—give me back some useful vision.

I eventually returned to writing, and have even written two novels that have been published, along with poetry and even a few paintings! I never dreamed when I was fighting to feel my way around the house without falling that I would ever again see a sunset, a smiling face, or love in someone’s eyes.

I am grateful, as you can imagine, for all of these things. Just how grateful, I am not sure anyone can imagine.

Please don’t ever take a smiling face, or the love in someone’s eyes, or the ability to see as you stitch away with your needles and hooks, for granted. Each is a blessing, and one that is to be treasured every single day, just like every sunset.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with memorable sights, sounds, and laughter.

~February Grace

Taking Back Thanksgiving

Posted by on Nov 20, 2013 in Blog, Rambly Musings | 2 comments

Taking Back Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. Yet I am afraid for it. As it stands now, it seems to be a nationally-sanctioned day to eat yourself sick, watch parades and football, and make preparations to get up at 4 am the next morning to go spend money you don’t have on a new Xbox for Christmas. What could be more American, right?

If I’m sounding judgmental, forgive me. I don’t mean to be, because I’m as guilty of this as the next person. I scan Pinterest boards for Thanksgiving  recipes like a junkie looking for his next score. I watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade long after my kids have thrown their hands up in disgust that I won’t let them change the channel to something “less boring.” And every year, I promise myself that I won’t eat until it hurts, and yet, somehow, I do. So I get it.

But I’ve gotten some big lessons recently in the preciousness of life, so I’m wanting to make Thanksgiving a little more meaningful this year. And how do we do that? Simple. By looking to the name of the holiday.

I give thanks for my family, even when they drive me nuts.

I give thanks for my dog, who is perfect.

I give thanks to live where I do, where I can see mountains and God’s glory all around me every day.

I give thanks for the work I do, even though I complain about it a lot.

I give thanks for my health, because even though I often feel like I’m falling apart, I could be much worse off.

I give thanks for my friends and my church family, who support me in times good and bad.

Take back Thanksgiving. Give thanks.

Happy 1st Anniversary to Summer Melody! (with a Giveaway!!)

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Blatant self-promotion, Blog, Fiction, Rambly Musings | 5 comments

Happy 1st Anniversary to Summer Melody! (with a Giveaway!!)

It just hit me that one year ago this week, Summer Melody was launched! An entire year has passed–really quickly, I might add.

So I first want to thank anyone and everyone who’s supported me in this last year by reading, buying, or recommending Summer Melody; who’s given me space on their blog to do a guest post or podcast; who’s posted a review of the book on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, or GoodReads; or who’s generally wished me well. I also want to continue to thank Booktrope, who continues to come up with marketing ideas that get it out there to new readers. It’s crazy to me, but you all should be happy to know that the novel has gained traction in recent months and is selling better now than it was in the first few months it was released.

Here are the top 5 truths (as I see it) about being a published author:

5. The laundry still needs to be done at the same frequency as before the novel was published.

4. You do not get to quit your day job (or at least, I haven’t been able to…).

3. No matter how well your book is doing, you will know other writers who are doing better, and it will bring up all sorts of dark feelings that you thought you conquered after high school, even while you sincerely are thrilled with those writers’ successes.

2. It’s really really fun to hear your kids brag about you having published a book.

1. The thrill of having someone approach you and tell you that they enjoyed your book never EVER gets old.

As part of my gratitude to everyone who’s supported me in this journey, I want to give away a $20 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Summer Melody. You can enter by leaving a comment below; I’ll pick a name at random on November 1!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Shannon, who is the big giveaway winner! I’ll be emailing her with the details. Thanks to everyone who commented and visited my blog!! You guys are the best.


Eggplant and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes: Summer Forever

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Blog, Cooking | Comments Off on Eggplant and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes: Summer Forever

Eggplant and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes: Summer Forever

A friend of mine gave me a bag full of cherry tomatoes from her garden a couple weeks ago, with the most amazing tomato flavor ever. Almost fictional in its tomato-iness, you know? And I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get them all eaten before they went bad, so I did what any self-respecting locavore would do. I slow-roasted them, boosting that tomato flavor into a freakishly high yum-ness factor. But what to put it on? That’s when I got a little creative.

So this recipe is a totally weird one, because it takes a very long time to roast the tomatoes, but a very short time to prepare the eggplant. It’s the long and short of it, literally. But it’s a great way to either save tomatoes you’re afraid will go bad, OR a great way to make meh-tasting supermarket tomatoes taste presentable (after the tomato season is done, like now). And it’s brain dead simple. (No, you’re not allowed to add, “Just like the author” here. Even though it would be really funny).


Prep time: 15 min.

Total  time: 2 hr. 15 min. (2 hours of which is spend slow-roasting the tomatoes)


4-6 C Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise (amount is kind of irrelevant)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Herbes de Provence or 1/2 tsp basil and 1/2 tsp oregano

2 globe eggplants, cut lengthwise into 4 slices

2 Tbps pesto or 2 Tbsp olive tapenade

2 Tbsp shredded Parmesan

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine tomatoes, oil, and spices to coat the tomatoes. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Roast at 250 degrees for 2 hours.

Eggplant before it goes into the oven

Photo by Toddie Downs

When tomatoes are done, turn heat up on oven to “broil” setting and rearrange oven shelf to be at the highest level. Score eggplant slices in a cross-hatch pattern about 1/4″ deep, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread either the pesto or olive tapenade on top. Broil eggplant slices 8-10 minutes.

Take eggplant out of the oven, dish it up, then spoon the tomatoes over top. Top each slice with parmesan cheese.eggplantandtomatoes

Even my veggie-aversive children ate this dish with gusto. I rest my case. Summer forever!





Ten Reasons I Love My Small Town

Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 in Blog, Parenting, Rambly Musings | 2 comments

Ten Reasons I Love My Small Town

10. It doesn’t matter where or how my children misbehave; I WILL find out about it within half an hour of its occurrence.

9. I recognize all my fellow dog walkers and know them–as they also know me–by their dog’s name. “Hey look! It’s Rex and his owner!”

Disposable latte cup

Photo courtesy of Stock.XCHNG

8. All the baristas know my order.

7. The parades ROCK! There is something outrageously warm and fuzzy about seeing kids strut their stuff and showing off their tumbling/martial arts/gymnastics/cheer/unicycle moves down a small stretch of road.

6. There is such little need to wear makeup or dress up that people make surprised comments when I do.

5.  I don’t feel peer pressure to go to night-time events; prime-time TV and bedtime at 10:00 is totally okay.

4. I always run into someone I know at the grocery store.


Courtesy of Microsoft Office Clip Art

3. One screen movie theaters with free matinees during school breaks and popcorn costing less than $5 per bag.

2. Three words: Killer block parties

1. Community still means something. After my town of Snoqualmie’s epic flood in 2009, there were countless stories of tiny acts of heroism and compassion: a neighbor rowing to her elderly neighbor’s house to retrieve medicine; whole groups of people going door-to-door after the waters receded, offering to haul away debris.

Dulcet Tones and a Knitting Story

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Blatant self-promotion, Blog, Knitting, Rambly Musings | 1 comment

Dulcet Tones and a Knitting Story

Blatant self-promotion alert! I am on a PODCAST!!! Specifically, I am on Alana Dakos’ “Never Not Knitting” podcast reading my short knitting essay “The Tell-Tale Hat.” Check it out if you’re interested (my introduction begins at the 11:58 mark).

Elvis Ice Cream

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in Blog, Cooking | Comments Off on Elvis Ice Cream

Elvis Ice Cream

Because I’m just coming off a diet, I figure what better way to celebrate than by making ice cream. Right now, every health and weight counselor is rolling their eyes and tsk-tsk-ing at me. I know, I know. Actually, I didn’t intentionally set out to sabotage my good work, but the irony is not lost on me.

Anyway, back to the ice cream. I had some ripe frozen bananas that I wanted to use, so I decided to make some peanut butter ice cream to throw them into. But because Ben and Jerry never stop at one extra, neither would I. I also decided to add some mini-pretzels and mini chocolate chips. At this point, it had sufficient excess that I figured the King himself might have bypassed one of his fluffer-nutter sandwiches for this, so I dubbed it Elvis ice cream.

This is only my second batch of ice cream, and I am still shocked to find out how easy making ice cream is. I took my base recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home cookbook by Jeni Britton Bauer. Jeni’s, for you non-Ohioans, is a Columbus based ice cream wonder, literally swoon-worthy ice creams.

Ice cream base

Photo by Toddie Downsi

Step 1. The base. Heat milk, cream, sugar and honey to boiling in a large pot (I apparently did not use one that was large enough, since it boiled over and gave me a mammoth mess) and let it boil for several minutes. Then add a slurry of corn starch and milk to that and reheat it until it thickens just slightly.

Step 2. Add the hot liquid a little at a time to a bowl which has warmed cream cheese and peanut butter whisked together. (I’m intentionally leaving off amounts so as not to violate copyright on Jeni’s recipe. Most ice cream bases are pretty similar, though, so you should be able to find a base recipe and follow the process pretty easily.).

Step 3. Ladle the peanut butter base into a gallon zip-lock bag and set it in a large bowl filled with ice water to chill for 30 minutes.

Ice cream base

Photo by Toddie Downsi

Step 4. Pour the base into your ice cream maker and let it go. [Tangent: My first batch of ice cream I used a Sunbeam motorized ice cream maker and was so angry with it by the end of the process that I almost didn’t want the ice cream. Almost. This time, I used the ice cream attachment that goes with my Cuisinart mixer and my life was much much happier.]

Banana, pretzels and chocolate

Photo by Toddie Downs

Step 5. Fold in the extras. The ice cream at this stage is really soft, so it folds easily.

Step 6. Freeze for several hours. Seriously. Otherwise it’s just yummy mush.

I will say, this ice cream tastes fantastic. And since it has bananas in it, it really should qualify as a health food. Elvis thinks so too.