Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Might Be From Thailand

(Note: I love this picture.)

So last night I did what I hate doing: grocery shopping. I'm not sure why it's such a bitch because when I go to Whole Foods (which is seldom, if not ever) I love it. I mean, just this weekend I learned from my cousin that you can MAKE YOUR OWN PEANUT BUTTER at the Whole Foods in Memphis. I'm tempted to go back just for that experience and who cares if it costs $8?

Compare that to the Winn Dixie in Northport and my despair might be a bit more apparent.

This morning as I'm glancing around my freshly stocked kitchen I notice a pineapple, kiwi fruit, red onion, and for some reason, 4 cans of boiled peanuts.

This convinces me I am from Thailand.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Testing 1-2-3, Testing, 1, 2

STOTT PILATES® photography © Merrithew Corporation

OK, I did it. I took myself to the river. I dipped myself in the water.

And I'm glad I did. I passed the practical portion of my Level One Stott Pilates certification for matwork and reformer (covering the essential and intermediate repertoires for both) and feel pretty good about the written component as well. I won't know on the test for at least four weeks but if all goes well, I'll have achieved a big goal I set for myself last year and have been sort of fretting over since the first day I started training. It goes without saying the sense of relief is great.

As is often the case, fear of the unknown can a barrier. My hindsight observation is that I left my examination thinking, "Oooh, I could've taught her Hip Lifts and Hip Rolls because, let's face it, I love those exercises!" which told me I was properly prepared. I had really excellent instruction last year and earlier this year when I was trained, and have had the support of so many people - my family, my friends, my coworkers (whom I view as family and friends!), and especially my fellow pilates educators.

I also find it really interesting that I left my examination thinking, "Wow, this is just the beginning." I'm such an amoeba as an instructor and have so much to learn. My confidence level has been multiplied by at least 10, though, so I'm eager to continue on this path. There is so much available across this Method, and as part of certification, I'll be required to achieve CEU's each year, expanding my depth of knowledge. It's so exciting.

Cross your fingers that I didn't totally flub the written component. And thanks again to everyone for the support. I really couldn't have done it without many people in my corner, available for panicked phone calls ranging from questions like, "Why is the scapular stabilization so important again?" to "I am searching high-and-low through my flash cards and there is no card for a muscle called 'iliopsoas!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lifelong Learning


I feel like I've been positively pummeled by, like, the education fairy. Bruised and battered, I'm nothing if not surrendered and compliant - "mentally available" as my former horse trainer used to say - and desperate for affirmation.

Life takes really abrupt turns. In March, 2007, I began flirting with the idea I could become a pilates instructor. Not because I was driven to teach, but because someone acknowledged I might be good at it. This is Typical Robby. Give me attention, prop me up, and I'm yours forever.

Recognizing, however, this is not a good way to make a decision, I thought about it for six months. I see this as progress. Normally I'm already driving down the highway at 70 mph before I say, "Wow, it's the first time I've ever been to the UK and I've never driven on the opposite side of the road - what should I be doing?"

When I began my training in September, 2007, it was focused exclusively on teaching the essential and intermediate repertoire on the Reformer. Upon conclusion, and further reflection, I recognized the need to be trained on the matwork so as to have a different perspective, additional depth and range, and overall body of knowledge, so I pursued that training in February of 2008. It was fun. I went to Memphis and New Orleans twice and got to meet some really amazing people.

This is an advantage. This is what it's about. Right now I'm somewhat tortured by the burden of passing my certification exam this weekend, but I have to remind myself that even if the outcome isn't favorable I a.) can and will continue to study and take it again and b.) have added an additional chapter to my "content."

Opening a door, seeking an answer regardless of how simple the question seems, continues to reward me. Not in a financial sense of course, but in the sense that I've driven myself to a different place and I've learned from it. I'm learning the value of osmosis. I'm learning to pursue things (and people) not expecting to confirm my preconceived notions or perceptions, but to allow their actions to influence and shape the big picture.

I didn't go into pilates training expecting to be a student. I went in expecting to be a conqueror and achiever. The process hasn't deflated me at all, don't get me wrong, but it's really changed the way I view learning and for that I'm very, very grateful.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hey Jupiter

I love Tori Amos. I don't know why I woke up singing this song, but I did. So I YouTube'd it and, voila,! a version I've never heard and a video I've never seen. I remember being in Los Angeles in 1996, the year this album was released, and eating at that Denny's on Sunset (I think it's Sunset, it might be on Hollywood) and seeing an old El Camino parked in the lot with the words "Hey Jupiter" painted over the fender.

There's something really somber yet equally cleansing about this song. It has the same effect as the blues, just not as apparent on the front end.

And speaking of blues, guess who's going to Memphis this weekend? Yup, me! I'm taking my Stott Pilates certification exam (mat and reformer) and meeting up with my boys for a birthday party. I cannot wait. I'm ready to turn the page on this chapter of my life!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sucka MC

The very last thing I need to deal with this weekever is a wrecked vehicle.

Saturday night while MSJ and I, along with our cousins and an aunt, were eating sushi, someone backed down the side of Banzai in the parking lot, then proceeded to flee the scene. Fortunately someone witnessed it and he was apprehended, but now my door won't open, and I have to press charges and go to court.

So this morning, in addition to the myriad regularly-scheduled responsibilities, I'll have to go by my insurance agent, go by the assessment place, and figure out how the plan on how to proceed.

Yes, in case you're wondering, I'm now a proponent of public floggings.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Don't Mess With (East) Texas


I'm going to be purposely obtuse here as I don't talk about my job on my blog, but I must tell you this story, sent to me by a friend, did not surprise me.

Managing deer leases isn't for the faint of heart. My friend used to do it, and faced death threats over deer leases more than once.

You know what deer hunting needs, don't you?

Bon Qui Qui. That's right, she will CUT you!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Planning Planning Planning, Keep Those People Planning

Don't act all surprised when I mention 2009 will mark 20 years since I've graduated high school. The appropriate response is "20 years? My God, I'd have thought 10 but 20? Seriously? Wow, you look amazing." Rehearse it. Own it. Deliver it. I'm talking conviction, people. Because any old jokes and baby I'm a rooster in an igloo ... I'll cold-cock you!

It would appear I'm getting myself heavily involved in the planning process. Why? Why am I? My goal is to lighten my load, clear my plate, relax a little, do some more pilates, ride my big fabulous horse more. It's just so Robby-like, though. I mean, events are a common tactic in my profession, so I sort of owe it to my classmates to invest myself in that regard.

And modern technology is making it so much easier! I've started a group on Facebook, reached out to some awesome classmates to serve on a planning committee, developed an initial survey which has been posted on the group and will also propagate via email, and will let those responses guide the direction of the event.

As soon as my pilates certification test is over, and some initial results have been gathered, I'll write a more comprehensive plan to share with my fellow planners, then we'll identify committee needs, and solicit volunteers to perform the duties.

It's all so Tracy Flick "Election," right? Well, except for no hunky teacher to torture. Damn.

If you went to Baker High School ("Hornets, are super-bad super-bad super-bad ... hey!") in Mobile, Alabama, and graduated in 1989 - and you know you had some big hair and ripped Guess jeans - please email me. I'll share the survey links with you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes ...

I am, if anything, a rule follower. Shocking, I know. Because, out of the other side of my mouth, I'm also an envelope-pusher. Is it possible to be both? Yes, I'm living proof. I follow the rules even if I don't agree with them, but take full advantage of my First Amendment rights to bitch loudly!

And such was the case yesterday when I was informed period-space-space wasn't correct for publications. Say what? Sure, I'd seen a reference here and there over the past few years, and scanned just enough to know it had something to do with the innanetz vs. print publications. But to be called out on a style issue? It's like throwing water on the witch!

You see, academically I don't have a ton of things to be really proud of. B-student for the most part. Except for news editing, where my rules-i-ness was allowed to flourish. And where I ruled the rules. (That means I made a nearly perfect grade in college editing and layout class.) So I went trucking immediately over to www.apstylebook.com because, like Billboard's "It's not Number 1 until it's Number 1 on Billboard" tagline, I don't consider it an official adaptation mandate until the Associated Press tells me to.

And lo and behold, there it was. "One space after a period."

My informer asserted it had been style for at least 15 years and while I'm not proud of this in most regards, I must say 15 years ago I was a junior/senior in college, and guess what was happening during that time? Editing and layout class. 98 percent A. I am positive I'd have known the rule had it been AP Style then.

But, with that said, it's the rule now so I am all about adaptation. I did quite a bit of Googling, so of course the reasoning with modern true typeface makes perfect sense. Having never actually typeset anything, I did not know the double space wasn't part of the normal printing style.

In my Googling efforts, however, I could not find the actual date the AP added the rule. It appeared to be answered in their "Editor Q&A" section but wasn't searchable and I didn't have 3 hours to scroll down the volume of entries.

Old dog. New tricks. Embrace the change. Let's go!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why Cry When You Can Laugh?

Thanks Michael, for posting this on Facebook!
I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this right.....

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic, different.'

* Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, you're a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America 's.

* If your husband is nicknamed 'First Dude,' with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Just so no one thinks I've completely tipped off the liberal end and spiraled deep into anarchy, I give you Dolly Parton doing "Me and Bobby McGee" with Kris Kristofferson ca. 2005. How can you go wrong with Dolly? She's the ultimate olive branch, right? I LOVE her and would totally have her baby.

I spent the weekend recognizing what a hot mess I am when it comes to personal organization and responsibility. I am not even kidding you that I finally went through my stacks (I am terrible to start a stack and only neaten it without ever really addressing it) and Lord-have-mercy, I had mail from February. Doh! I mean, really. Most of it had been addressed via my electronic billing mechanisms, but there were a few surprises in there too. None of them bills, of course, but items which may've been important to've addressed when they were timely.

So, my new vow(s):
  1. Check mail daily.
  2. Open mail daily.
  3. Process requests/actions daily.
The good news is that my apartment is a lot cleaner and I feel much better because I've addressed the great big pile of uncertainty. Bring on the good life, baby!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Spike Lee

I love this Huffington Post report.

Mostly because I love how Spike Lee has always stayed true to his "angry black man" persona. "Motherfucking Driving Miss Daisy?" I laughed so hard I nearly peed the first time I read that.

I really think he has a point.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Examples Are?

And, yet again, no one seems to be able to point to anything specific. (Thanks for sharing, Jon!)

I would love to thank the individual who went to the trouble to organize this online. Please read it. Please watch it. It's priceless, and such a case of art imitating life imitating art. I don't regularly watch Family Guy, because I typically don't watch television, though when I do I find it hysterical and somewhat shockingly poignant. However, I did catch this episode a year or so ago and it made an impression.

We share the messages which impact us, because they give additional dimension and volume to the feelings and thoughts we sometimes struggle to communicate. After watching the Campbell Brown interview on YouTube I set about trying to find the Family Guy clip and, one quick Google search later, voila!, The Largest Minority has already done the work for me, in a much, much better format. Thanks Largest Minority!

It is not my nature to rigidly adhere to anything. I tend to form opinions based on the facts as I perceive and experience them. I am always willing to listen objectively to both sides of a story. (Thanks high school journalism and subsequent communications degree!)

I do have to say one thing - John McCain surely did recognize a windfall in terms of removing himself from a lot of public scrutiny. Sarah Palin is taking a beating for him.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I have a very special group of friends who are more than 'horse friends," more than "fun friends," and definitely more than "just friends." They're kindred spirits, and they're family.

We all live in various locations - the bulk of them are in the mid-Atlantic from Maryland to North Carolina, but we have some offshoot representation too (Tennessee in the house! Alabama in the house!).

Several times a year, if we're lucky, we gather collectively to rejoice in the spirit that exists amongst us. With this group I feel 100% comfortable sharing things I tend to censor with other friends and family. This might be surprising to some, since my life appears to be such an open book, and it's not as if the content is completely dark or sadistic - hello, it's me - but it's the things we often withhold when we fear we will be judged or ridiculed.

If I had to sum it up, I'd say the prominent tenet of our group is unfiltered, unadulterated honesty, which can sometimes be a big pill to swallow. It's a very special bond and as time progresses, it only strengthens. I feel like the range of emotions is enhanced when we're together. Observations are more astute, joy is overwhelming, tragedy is not crippling but cathartic.

We have suffered a loss this week. It is not our first, it is not our last. But right now it's the most significant.

Let's all honor the pony we knew as Eclipse, who gave his back to Jeanette and, in doing so, took her on a journey which led her to today. The pragmatic decision-making demonstrated in the face of sudden loss is nothing short of inspirational, and serves to remind me that when people are given the freedom to express themselves honestly, in environments devoid of fear of social scrutiny, they become stronger. They balance in the center of the emotional range unfaltered by the peaks and valleys inherent to human life.

photo credit: Allie Conrad

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Break Down Here

I have lived in Alabama: Round Two 2 years and 3 months. Lots has happened to me in that time. In fact, my life, since 2005, has changed quite radically. I've gone from owning a home and sort of being in control of everything - gardening and dinner parties, volunteering with community projects, and riding my horse ... oh Hell, let's just call it Junior League - to sort of being on not really a freefall, but definitely a freeway. It's difficult to describe.

What I recognize is that we should not expect to replace our history in our present, but realize its value as an archive which allows us to reference a safe place or a fond memory, reminding us there is hope and peace to be had. I always recognize the filters the mind places on our memory - seldom does the insignificant stick or make a lasting impression on the long-term. At least it doesn't for me. If it did, I'd rather just shoot myself now and get it over with.

There are times when my life in Arkansas seems like it was a dream. 10 years I lived there and sometimes I barely remember it. I know it's because I'm in this sort of vortex where I try to cram a million things into a day. Not very healthy, of course, but it's my reality. I'm not unraveling, I'm just constantly being challenged to define what's important to me. But when I reflect on Arkansas, all I remember are good things. Happy things. It's almost like watching a movie.

Yesterday I was overwhelmed with a sense of driving down Interstate 30 toward Dallas, somewhere in North Texas (probably around Sulphur Springs). It was Spring and everything was chartreuse, and grackles were flying all around. We were en route to a horse show in Weatherford and I was with my friend Kim. Maddie was not even a year old then but she was in the back seat being her unique little Jack Russell self (read: chewing things up). I don't know why I was flooded with the memory but it made me happy. It reminded me of a horse who is no longer with me, a friend who I don't speak with regularly but who I cared a great deal for, and a moment in my life that was, apparently, significant in its simplicity.

Monday, September 08, 2008


I can't stand it when artists put their shizz up on the internetz and then don't want people to share it. Why? Why even put it out there if you're going to be all possessive? Today is a day of information sharing, people. Hoarding your goods will get you nowhere, Kelly Rowland. You have to work hard to get out of Beyonce's shadow, and now Solange is beating up on your back door too. If I were your publicist, I'd be releasing some of that embedding code, stat! (Just sayin'.)

So this was a weekend of global underachievement. I got two shots on Friday afternoon for my lingering sinus infection. Saturday morning I had a massage, returned home and fell asleep on the sofa until noon, then somehow managed to go to the grocery store and clean my bathroom. Big accomplishments!

Yesterday morning I trekked over to Wilsonville to collect Ouisie and put her at a farm here in Ttown as we countdown to her moving permanently to a farm in Hale County. She's looking pretty good - though she's rocking a tight dreadlock in her mane and some great red mud on her gray coat. I'll have to go scrub her down this week and get her presentable! Because there have been some questions as to her reproductive health, I'd like to take her up to the vet school at Mississippi State to get a full-on diagnosis, so must figure out a time to make that happen. If you'd like to donate to the Ouisie Uterus Project, please feel free to send some $$$.

My funny story of that entire experience was relying on the GPS in my friends' VERY nice pickup truck. I was trying to be all short-cutty and when I reached a place where a sign said, "Pavement ends," I was like, "ruh-roh." I trudged along a mile or so more before I realized I wasn't in a vehicle for exploring and had to turn the horse trailer around at an intersection of pig trails. The GPS was screaming at me to go straight for .8 miles and turn right. The only barrier? Someone's private security gate at their driveway.

Who knew one could get so lost in Alabama?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Aimee Mann

Aimee Mann played the Bama Theater last night in Tuscaloosa. I will admit I haven't been the biggest follower of her music. Loved Til Tuesday back in the day, and was very fascinated by her transformation (and the music) when she resurfaced during the "Magnolia" film, but I don't own any albums or know any lyrics.

I went with my friend Marcia, who takes my pilates class, and was blown away at the freak-of-nature talent that is Aimee Mann. The set was simple but decadent, and her voice and delivery are powerful and emotional, yet really relaxed at the same time. It's sort of like taking a shower and being all fresh, then just sitting on your sofa and drinking a warm, velvety glass of Cabarnet Sauvingon.

There's not much I can say about Mann as a newly-converted fan that hasn't been written ad nauseum in critical reviews, so I'll just say check her out and listen to the song "Freeway," which I find infectious, and which she blew out of the roof last night.

Also check out her opening back, The Submarines. LOVED them too!

I'll be downloading music this weekend for sure.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

What's That? A Hum?

My cousin has seriously trumped me on the hummingbird thing. This is her deck in Mississippi. She's going through 10 pounds of sugar a week feeding these hungry little suckers!

Things are going well in my little hummingbird garden at my office here in Alabammer. I have about 6 regulars vying for my 3 feeders. There's been a real ruby-throated in residence the past few weeks. I love him. He's like, a mob boss. Everyone else cowtows to his presence at the feeder and he basks in his power, daring any of them to drink from his feeder.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Cape Fear

I am sure that Sarah Palin is probably a perfectly fine person. In fact, she reminds me of people I know. People I love. People I call family. I like the fact that despite all of the hoopla that is surfacing about her, she's chosen a track and made something happen for herself, and for her family. And let's face it, we're going to be hard pressed as we move forward to expect political candidates to be demi-gods. Sarah Palin is 44 years-old, for God's sake. If you think that hard core AC/DC, old-school Led Zeppelin WITH the beauty pageant coefficient factored in background isn't littered with some "Damn I was drunk last night" mornings- after and neon-dyed feathered roach clips - so Greater Gulf State Fair ca. 1982 - you're wrong, my friends!

She can bring home a bull elk, fry it up in a pan, and still manage to rock her seriously awesome jawline in this photograph that looks quite a bit like stock photography. It does, doesn't it? Like, it's the sort of photo you see in an ad for IBM's new CRM product "Touch My Body." And the copy might say something like, "I never knew touching my customers so often could feel so good."

But SP isn't just a model, y'all. She's a politician. And she's going places!

I have such a hard time comprehending political platforms based on the social/culture "war." The tactic is fear, and it amazes me how so many people can be whipped into this moblike frenzy over issues like gay marriage and abortion. Number 1, who the eff cares if two gay people get married? What harm does it do? It's harmful how? Oh, right, it really isn't. But it brings out the judgey judgey and fear in all of those who don't make an effort on educate themselves on the simple facts, doesn't it?

Same goes for abortion. I do not disagree that the exercise of having an unplanned baby is the ultimate demonstration of taking responsibility for a physical act that could've been prevented. You play the game, you pay the price. What I have a real problem with is imposing a difficult life on an innocent child, and perpetuating a vicious cycle.

Here's a little fact I've observed - fairy godmothers with magic wands seldom appear and make it all better. People model the behaviors that exist in them organically. A great example would be evangelical leader Ted Haggard, who tried to comply to an exalted social standard but, at his core, was very different indeed. His apocalypse was avoidable (it's a secret weapon I like to call "the truth," try it, you'll like it!) but it serves as a reminder that we are who we are, and no amount of denial, judgment, guilt-tripping, or shunning will change that.

I have yet to meet a woman who's had an abortion who did it flippantly, as a method of birth-control. It's a VERY serious event, and it's life-changing, and a lifelong decision. But I think if a woman knows in her heart that she isn't prepared to be a mother or provide a decent life for her baby, she should have the right to show mercy on her unborn child. To me there is no difference with terminating a pregnancy, or killing a child slowly by bringing them into a toxic environment.

TRANSLATION: where there's smoke, there's usually fire.

So, to end this Negative Nigel post, let me just say that if you get your political rocks off by the NRA, NASCAR, We Hate Everything That Ain't Right By God set, please don't tell me about it in the name of Jesus, with an "I just do" explanation. Step up with a reason - a tangible - that demonstrates why you believe what you believe. And if you cannot do that, then consider as an American your right to ask questions and demand more from the political process, and to be free in taking ownership of who you really are. We are not lambs being led to slaughter. Let's stop subscribing to that doctrine.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My, What A Strange Trip It's Been ...

The last time I blogged I was pretty sure I was going to avoid the mayhem that would certainly be hurricane evacuation and not go through with my plants to visit New Orleans for the weekend.

And then, of course, I woke up and was like, "I'm Robby Johnson so why the Hell am I making a smart, wise decision?" There was too much uncertainty and dammit, I just felt like I needed to be there in the event I had to slap a bitch, or go help my buddies who call New Orleans home. I have boarded up a window or two in my day, believe it or not.

I did opt out of the Amtrak trip since I knew the train was a major part of the NOLA evacuation strategy, and that the route to Jackson, MS, was NOT the route to Tuscaloosa and had I taken it, I'd have been stuck in the middle of Mississippi. No thanks! So I hopped in my trusted little Banzai and zipped down.

When the mandatory tourist evacuation was enforced at noon on Saturday, I was glad I had my car. Despite taking 1.5 hours to get from New Orleans to Slidell as we crept along I-10, we did, at least, creep along. On Sunday, during peak contra-flow, that same drive was taking 4.5 hours. (On a regular traffic day it takes about 25 minutes!) I was in a position to spring J-Dawg from certain travel Hell as he attempted to get back to Dallas by driving him to Mobile's airport where he caught a hassle-free flight. I then went to my parents' house where we got our hurricane on.

In truth, it all worked out the way it was supposed to. Not only did I selfishly get to visit New Orleans (because I deep-down thought it might be the last time) and see my friends, I also was able to meet my new second cousin from Houston, as well as see a beloved family member prior to his second military deployment. I struggled a few weeks ago as my family is very important to me, and I really wanted to see them even though my New Orleans plans wouldn't allow for the travel.

My drive home was somewhat skeery yesterday. Even though I left after the Tropical Storm Warning was lifted for Mobile County, there were still quite a few active feeder bands and sometimes the rain was overwhelming (I had to drive 40 mph at one point up Interstate 65).

I call this photograph "Calm Before The Storm." I shot it Saturday morning around 9 a.m. in the French Quarter.