Friday, January 30, 2009

Anti-Aging, an oxymoron

Yesterday, I saw this item about Suzanne Somers, Suzanne Somers' Daily Routine . . . on Huffington Post.

It describes Somers' appearance on Oprah where she talks about her daily routine of hormone replacement creams, 60 vitamin and nutrient supplements (40 in the morning, 20 at night), and vaginal injections of estriol. She does all of this in order to beat what she calls, "the Seven Dwarfs of Menopause: Itchy, Bitchy, Sleepy, Sweaty, Bloated, Forgetful and All Dried Up".

Call me crazy, but I'm thinking her cure is a bit of overkill. The cost alone, would be well out of reach for the average woman.

It made me curious.

So I decided to take a look at and see what she's been up to since her Chrissy Snow days on Three's Company and hawking the Thigh Master. It appears she's become quite the entrepreneur.

Here are a few things she sells nowadays:

  • The FaceMaster; a facial toning system
    "The revolutionary FaceMaster Facial Toning System comes complete with a 2 oz. bottle of the FaceMaster Conductive Solution, 100 FaceMaster Foam Caps, usage and general instructional manuals, FaceMaster Step-By-Step Instructional DVD and a 9 volt battery to get you started."

    And to go along with the zapper, you need:

  • FaceMaster Collagen Enhancing Serum with Peptides

  • Anti-Aging Skin Care products

  • Anti-Aging Serums and Creams

  • Cosmetics; including "Spray On Primer Perfecting Base"

  • Books; lots and lots of books (18) including these titles: Slim and Sexy Forever, Ageless, The Sexy Years, Get Skinny, Eat Great Lose Weight

  • Fitness Tools

  • Jewelry

  • Clothing

  • Diet foods

  • Cooking tools and dishes

So what is my point?

Ms Somers comes across as a very charming and likeable person and I'm sure she believes what she's saying. I have nothing against her entrepreneurship and making a living or encouraging a healthy lifestyle. I do, however, have difficulty listening and believing someone who spends so much time and effort promoting hormones, beauty products, staying skinny and who uses the buzzword, "anti-aging" with such abandon. Aging, after all, is a natural process. Anti-aging products seem like an oxymoron.

So, I guess my point is that we're all aging whether we like it or not and maybe we should think less about anti-aging and more about aging healthfully with some dignity. But, that's just me.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Photo Meme = old book list

Being unable to come up with anything original today, I've decided to try this Photo Meme I found at Imagine.

Instructions: Go to the file where you keep photos on your computer, open the fourth file, then choose the fourth photo in the file. Describe.

This is what I found:


It's a picture of my bedside table taken on January 21, 2006. I took it to post on a forum I frequent. I believe we were having a discussion about what we were reading that turned into what our reading piles actually looked like.

In other words this messy pile of books amounts to my "currently reading" list as of three years ago (where does the time go?). I almost always have more than one book on the read at any given time, but I must say the books here are a bit atypical in that I don't normally read so many non-fiction books at one time.

What's there and my thoughts (starting front, left):

  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood was a quick re-read for an upcoming discussion. The Blind Assassin is one of my favourite Atwoods.

  • The World Is Flat by Thomas L Friedman is about globalization and the consequences for individuals and the world economy. I only skimmed this as most of it wasn't new to me, but I plan on revisiting it at some time for a more thorough read.

  • Ideas: Brilliant Thinkers Speak Their Minds (Bernie Lucht, ed.) is a selection of twenty programs from CBC Radio's Ideas and include thoughts from the likes of Noam Chomsky, Northrop Frye, Hannah Arendt and Helen Caldicott. What can I say, except, brilliant and thought-provoking.

  • Shake Hands with the Devil by Romeo Daillaire is a scathing indictment of the non-action of the UN Security Council and the worldwide community for allowing the genocide in 1990s Rwanda. It also deals with Dailaire's own guilt about his inability to do anything to stop it.

  • The Danzig Trilogy by Gunther Grass: I have attempted to read this several times and have never gotten past the first one hundred pages or so. It is still languishing in my TBR pile.

  • The Peneliopad is another Atwood: not my favourite by a long shot, but an interesting take on the myth of Homer and Penelope in The Odyssey from Penelope's point of view.

  • Gods and Heroes was in reference to my reading of The Peneliopad

  • Collapse by Jared Diamond was a recent acquisition because I'd just read the same author's Guns, Germs and Steel;

  • The Island by Aldous Huxley was a re-read;

  • The Penguin History of the World is just a handy reference to have around

  • Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith is an old-fashioned spy thriller. It's set in Moscow of the 1980s(?), so reads as a bit dated.

There's also a crossword puzzle book and a couple of shopping catalogues (probably from Land's End).

Please feel free to do this meme. I'd love to see what you find.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Writing Space

I can't remember when I bookmarked Cafe Writing: Scribblings on a virtual napkin, but I rediscovered it today while tidying up my folder of bookmarks. It was saved under Ellen's Favourites -> Writing. I do remember thinking I it would be interesting to try some of their projects. Their projects have several options with a choice of different forms (poetry, fiction, essay, etc.) For some reason, I never returned until today. Better late than never.

So here is my first Cafe Writing Project for 2009. Since I'm a list person, I've chosen a list prompt to get started.

Option Six: Seven Things:

In a mood of faith and hope my work goes on. A ream of fresh paper lies on my desk waiting for the next book. I am a writer and I take up my pen to write..
~Pearl S. Buck

In improvisation, one of our exercises is a game called “Seven Things,” in which we go around in a circle giving each other the challenge, “Give me seven things that [whatever].” We are not going to go around in a circle here, but if you’re drawn to lists, this prompt is for you.

Give me seven things that inhabit or occupy your writing space. Interpret “writing space” any way you please. You’re not required to explain the items in your list, but it’s more fun for readers if you do.

My Writing Space
  1. Computer
    Where would I be without my computer; my link to the world, Wikipedia, online dictionaries, thesauri and Google?

  2. Family Picture
    Because of space limitations, I only have room for one. The current picture is one of me and my husband with our older son and his girlfriend taken when we were in Hawaii last year. It brings a lightness to my heart every time I look at the smiling faces.

  3. Paper and a jar full of pens
    I'm a note-taker and scribbler. I must have paper and pen readily at hand. Sometimes I jot down an idea, sometimes I scribble a reminder to do something. I've learned that I can't rely on memory anymore. If it's of any importance whatsoever, whatever pops into my head needs to be written down before it dissipates into the ether.

  4. Coffee Mug half-full
    - of coffee or tea ranging in temperature from cool to cold. It doesn't start out that way, of course. It's usually steaming hot when I begin, then gets cold as I forget about it while doing my thing on the computer. The mug has my name on it, lest I forget.

  5. Away from my computer:

  6. A Spiral-Bound Journal
    I've used all kinds of journals, but I prefer the spiral-bound ones (preferably black or purple) because they lay flat and when folded back are much more compact for writing on the go.

  7. Pen
    I'm pretty particular about my pens. I like the black gel ones in fine or extra-fine point that flow easily and don't skip. They're also good for sketching and doodling.

  8. Digital Camera
    My camera helps me hone into the details of my surroundings. I take lots of photos. Most are just so-so. Every so often, I take one that makes me stop and want to share in writing.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Myers-Briggs Re-visited

A few years ago, when just starting this blog, I wrote about my own Myers-Briggs personality type: INFJ. (It also appears to be when Joy, from Babble On first discovered my blog -- but I digress.)

Over the intervening years, I've noticed that the pomegranate tiger gets quite a few hits via Google searches through that particular page.

Today, having nothing better to do, I was looking at my site statistics and noticed yet another hit on that page. I tracked the link back through Google search and saw The Real Personality Types which states, "Now, there are many places which will tell you what this all means, but none of them are quite as...relevant to today's modern civilization as this one..." it then goes on to describe the various personality types, "made relevant" to the modern world. Hilarious.

Here's an updated description of my INFJ personality:

INFJ: The Conspiracy Theorist

Beneath the calm, collected exterior of the INFJ lies the horrible reality of someone who has seen The Truth. The INFJ knows what other people are too naive or too brainwasted to admit: the Conspiracy is real. Mistrustful and suspicious, the INFJ is not easily fooled, and does not take the word of the government-controlled medico-military-industrial complex for anything. Whether it's uncovering the plot by butter-eating Jews to clog the arteries of Christian folk with artificial margarine or discovering the secret laboratory in Tibet that's producing legions of Jimmy Carter clones that will be sent out to seize the manufacturing facilities in the Guangdong Province of China under the pretext of inspecting chickens for influenza, there is no lengths the INFJ won't go to in order to blow the lid off the whole thing.

INFJs can often be found holding down jobs as AM radio talk-show hosts. They can also be found driving taxis in the greater Washington, DC area. Other common jobs often held by INFJs include vagrant, loony, whacko, and writer/director/producer of the television show "Seinfeld." INFJs can also be found feeding that crucial bit of information to determined FBI agents just before they are brutally murdered.

RECREATION: INFJs often come home from a hard day's work exposing conspiracies about how the government is poisoning us with mind-control agents spread by passenger airliners and unwind by spending all night writing Web sites exposing conspiracies about how NASA faked the Bush election.

COMPATIBILITY: INFJs are usually happiest and most successful in relationships with Julia Roberts, though the relationships may not end happily.

Famous INFJs include...well, if I told you, I'd have to kill you.

I always knew there was something fishy about that moon landing . . .

My first award

Kay from Kay's Thinking Cap was kind enough to give me this Van Goh's Ear Award:

Van Gogh's Ear Award

I rather like the notion of Van Goh's Ear -- the whole slightly mad, creative artist thing. Although in my case, I think of the Madwoman of Chaillot.

According to the originator of the award at the Idaho Photo blog:

We are all artists in are own way be it art, photography, writing, philosophy, comedy, blogging and we all go a little crazy sometimes. But if you ever feel so crazy to cut off your ear and give it to a prostitute "Seek Help"!

So, many thanks to Kay, one of my two followers. :D

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Over 35 years ago

I've been in the long, slow process of scanning old photos and came across this black & white of me on my wedding day.


It was taken by a cousin who was into photography at the time. That's my father in the background just prior to putting on my headpiece/veil thingy and before leaving the house for the ceremony.

I can't remember what I was thinking at the time. I know I wasn't scared. It's hard to tell from this photo.

Sunday Scribblings #147

From Sunday Scribblings, the prompt, Phantoms and Shadows:
- things and people, times, places, events and how your memory has treated them. Are there people you try to remember more clearly, phantoms you'd like to reach back into the past and take a firm hold of? What do you remember of your early school years? College years? Your grandparents? First pets, first houses, first friends? Do you have a good or poor memory? If you could go back to any particular time/place to recall more vividly what it was like, what would that be?

I have few regrets in life, but recently, I've grown to regret my almost pathological detachment of people from the past. But, am I ready to do something about it?

I've lived most of my life like a one-way road trip. I make stops in towns along the way; take the occasional detour or side-trip; meet interesting people; connect with individuals for a short time; then move on to the next town and the next experience with only the obligatory we-should-keep-in-touch handshake. I seldom do – keep in touch, that is. I'm not quite sure why.

I've posited that my early childhood experiences have left me with a fear of abandonment, hence it's easier to let those who aren't in my immediate life drift into the shadows. Out of sight, out of mind. What you can't see, can't hurt you. I'm sure there's grist for years of psychoanalysis here.

If others get in touch with me, I'm more than happy to hear from them, talk to them, socialize. But, as for me taking the initiative to get in touch without a specific reason? Not likely. I have cousins I haven't spoken to since the last family funeral, friends I haven't spoken to since the last reunion – and these are just the ones that live nearby. As for people out of town, they may as well have been sucked through a wormhole into another universe.

I've operated under the assumption that it wouldn't make any difference whether I see these people again or not. On one level, it is true. I would continue living my life in my own sphere and they in theirs (that old out of sight, out of mind philosophy again). On another level, it could reconnect me with portions of my past and, perhaps, re-order my present. Who knows what gems would turn up; what shared memories or renewed friendships?

All this being said, I don't see myself jumping up to the nearest phone to call anyone from the past. Maybe I'm just not ready. Maybe I'm a coward. Maybe I really do need psychoanalysis. Maybe this is my form of therapy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Of Names and Passwords

There are so many interesting and useful places on the internet. There are online shopping sites and banking sites to pay your bills. There are blogs, discussion forums, online magazines, online newspapers, social networking sites, photo sites, writing sites, reading sites, school sites, you-name-it sites. Most of them are free. But there's often a catch. Before you can access the goodies on the site, you need to belong. They want you to become a member.

Now, I've never been much of a joiner and don't belong to any clubs; but for the sake of being able to read or use certain sites, I've become a member of various "communities".

That's where I have problems.

In order to become a member, you need to join, and in order to join, you need to sign in, and in order to sign in, you need to provide certain information. I don't mind the email info because I use a separate one for my internet browsing. I don't even mind providing a birth year because who's to know the difference (or truth) if I put in 1945 or 1985.

Where I begin having problems is when they ask for a user name. What, exactly, do they mean? Do they want your real name or a pseudonym? In some cases, it's easy to figure out – they provide a space for first and last names. Otherwise, anything goes as far as a pseudonym / screen name / user name. Over the years, I've come up with cutesy ones, serious, meaningful ones and ones using my real name. The latter got a bit ridiculous if, on signing up, Ellen was already in use. Then the site would suggest an alternative -- like Ellen1254b because, one would assume, someone else was already using Ellen1254a.

A few years ago, I decided to simplify things by using variations of my name and initials. Hence, ELL, ell, Ellee. This seems to be working pretty well. I've only had to addend it with a number once.

The next part of the sign-up process I have trouble with is the password. They always suggest using an alphanumeric password. Now, prior to my forays into cyberspace, I don't think I ever used the term alphanumeric nor did anyone around me use that term (although, if mentioned in conversation, I'm sure I'd have figured it out).

Okay, so they want a combination of letters and numbers. But what letters and numbers? They say it should be unique for their site. They say it shouldn't be something easily guessed. They say you should memorize it. They say you should NOT write it down anywhere. To complicate things, I've read that for security, passwords should be changed on a regular basis. After so many years and so many sites, I cannot keep that much information in my already stuffed and aging brain.

So what do I do? I write them down. On index cards. With my own coding system.

Now, in all fairness, most browsers try to help by asking if you want this information memorized on your computer. They ask if you want your user name or password "remembered". Sometimes, I say yes, sometimes no, depending on the site. At the back of my brain, I keep wondering if this is any more safe than my system of coded index cards.

And of course, there's the problem of using another computer -- say at an internet café -- which is what I did on our recent trip. Then, all those computer remembered names and passwords are useless.

Forgetting passwords must happen quite often because have you noticed there is always a little link under the password box that asks, "Forgot your password?" This usually leads to detailed and sometimes convoluted instructions about how to retrieve it or get a new one?

An online acquaintance suggested using one password for all sites (going against conventional wisdom). He suggested your mother's maiden name combined with the year you moved into your current home. Maybe I'll try that.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

R is for


Along with so many others, we (hubby and I) have been caught in the crash and burn of the world economy this past year. Being self-employed, we have no big company pension, no union-backed retirement plan; nothing but our own savings and investments. Like most others, our investment/retirement savings have dropped significantly. To say it's set back our retirement plans is an understatement. I joke to friends and family that we may retire by age ninety, if we're lucky.

We had great plans for retirement. Those of you who follow this blog know, we love to travel, dine out and help our sons out if and when necessary. I was going to spend more time reading, writing and pursuing other interests - perhaps a new language or two. We even had a tentative date set in 2010.

Given my family history of longevity, and if nothing untoward happens to my health, and I don’t get hit by a truck or go down in a plane brought down by a flock of birds, I may live well into my nineties; which gives me some thirty-odd years to go. A rather daunting thought.

Our savings investments have dropped by roughly a third. So, using my fuzzy math, that equates to approximately one-third (or ten years) of my expected remaining lifespan. Rethinking was definitely in order.

Our options:

  • Retire on schedule, do what we planned and live the final ten years destitute and on the dole;

  • Retire on schedule, penny-pinch and save (no travel or dining out) to stretch our funds out and hope they last;

  • Don't retire yet, save, save, save and save some more and hope things recover, hopefully, before age ninety

  • Don't retire yet, continue our combination of work, travel (albeit less); save, and retire before age ninety

The first two options are a definite no. The third is also a no. That leaves us with the last option – continue working, living our lives, and enjoying things when and while we are still able. Really, nothing wrong with that.

When I first came to the realization that there won’t be any sleeping in, indulging in new hobbies, endless days to read, write or do nothing, there was a great gnashing of teeth, moaning, groaning and a general feeling of doom and gloom.

Then, one day on our recent trip while driving through a less than picture postcard area of a Caribbean city, a switch flipped in my brain. I realized that my concerns are nothing - nada - wouldn't even show up as a blip on the radar screen of hardships - compared to what other folks endure on a daily basis. I told myself to get a grip and just carry on – because that's all any of us can do. So, I'm armed with this not so new perspective and intend to continue working, taking life as it comes and making the best of it.

Hopefully, I will retire by the age of ninety

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A bit of family history

So, my grandfather was a drug dealer. My sons think it's pretty funny that they can tell people this fact about great-grandpa. He ran a store in the late 1800s to early 1900s that manufactured and sold opium.

Opium was legal back then and the 1903 newspaper advertisement for the store stated they were "Importers and Exporters of Chinese and Japanese Fancy Goods" and "Rice and Opium Manufacturers". In all other respects, it was a regular general store.

It's all chronicled in the book, Yi Fao: Speaking Through Memory: A History Of New Westminster's Chinese Community 1858-1980. The book highlights four of the pioneering Chinese families in New Westminster.

The first I'd heard about this book was after my aunt died last year. It was mentioned in her obituary that she was one of the people interviewed by the author of Yi Fao. Unfortunately, she died before the book was published. I tried to get hold of a copy, but the Chapters/Indigo store I frequent said it was unavailable to order and an email to the publisher resulted in no response. I've been checking availability ever since and was finally rewarded a few weeks ago when I found it at the same Chapters store.

Reading the book has been an eye-opening experience. Not only did I see pictures of my aunts and uncles as children and young adults, but I saw pictures of my grandfather as a young man. It didn't take much effort to recognize my aunts, father and uncle in those early photos; but I never would have guessed the handsome young man standing on the deck of a ship was my grandfather.

I'd only known him as an old man from his late eighties to the age of ninety-three when he died of a heart attack. At ninety-plus, he was still alert, playful and loving. Grandpa, or yeh-yeh as I called him, still walked or bussed to the barber for his weekly haircut, swept the front porch every day whether it needed to be done or not, and supervised my Chinese calligraphy practice. He insisted that I learn to read and write my Chinese name because, he said, it might be the only way to show another person from the Middle Kingdom to which family I belonged. He'd perch me on his knee and read stories from his huge collection of Chinese books. Sometimes, if he hadn't shaved, he would rub his stubbly beard against my cheek and have a hearty laugh as I cringed.

He knew Latin, read both English and Chinese language newspapers and was endlessly curious about the world around him. His everyday conversation was often interspersed with quotations from Confucius. He reveled in telling and re-telling stories about the old days and he loved to laugh. I always remember him as a gentleman and a scholar.

Now, when I look at the picture of my grandfather at age twenty-one, I can see the same intelligence and humour in the eyes and smile. I wonder what it was like for him to strike out on a new life in a new country at such a young age. I wonder what family circumstances allowed him to be so well-educated for the times. I wonder how he chose (or had chosen for him) his two wives; the second of which was my grandmother. I wonder about his father (my great-grandfather). Questions. Questions.

So many unanswerable questions. My aunt was the last repository of that portion of our family history. What's left is supposition and hearsay.

I'm sharing this book with my sons and will pass on my own personal recollections of not only their great-grandfather, but of their grandfather whom they didn't know very well. Then, maybe they won't have quite as many unanswered questions.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I was a banana and I didn't know it. This realization came to me when I was about twelve or thirteen. I was blithely living my life full of the usual pre-teen angst, pre-pubescent teen-idol crushes and general fuzzy-headedness of that age.For the most part, I thought I was just like my friends. But I wasn't.

I wrote the above for a prompt at First 50 Words. It got me thinking about how long it took me to realize my own banana-ness.

Banana: An Asian person who acts like they are white. Yellow on the outside, white on the inside.

I had never heard banana used this way until I was in university where, thankfully, I was exposed to a much broader experience. I was raised in a WASP community. In my graduating class of approximately five hundred, fewer than a dozen were non-white. I can probably name them now: Ellen, Nirmal, Linda, Bob, Bev, Doug, Ed, Chuck, Sonny, and another Ellen.

I always knew something was off – the snickered racial slurs, the outright snubbing by certain people, the condescension, surprise at my non-mathematical mind. But I could never quite figure it out. I never heard other non-white students speak of similar experiences. Mostly, I thought it was a flaw in myself. I naively felt I was like everyone else. I liked the same music, the same movies; I had the same crushes on the same teen idols of the day; I even dressed the same.

What I didn't realize was that I was viewing myself from the inside out and everyone else was looking at me from the outside in. What they saw was a little Asian girl. And of course, that's what they reacted to first.

It was one of those defining aha! moments when I heard the word banana used to describe Asians. I didn't think of the negative connotation – i.e. that I was denying my Asian-ness and pretending or acting white. It was more about validation of why I felt the way I did and how others reacted to me.

Later on, I thought about the negative implications of the term and, at first, hated it, then realized it was yet another misinterpretation of the inner me. My grandparents had instilled in me a tremendous pride of my heritage that a slangy definer wasn't about to change.

Over the years, I've come to terms with the fact that others, both Asian and non-Asian, are often startled by what they discover if they bother to scratch the surface.

But this holds true for anybody. It's a case of the old saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover."


Sunday, January 04, 2009

For Richer or Poorer, Better Or Worse

(a Sunday Scribblings prompt and the continuing saga of Debra)

"Deb, it is you. What are you doing here?"

Charles took Debra's hand and yanked her to her feet. As she busied herself with brushing sand -- yet again -- off her clothes, Debra couldn't help but see Charles shaking his head in his annoying, can't believe she's done it again manner. She could feel herself bristling.


"Nothing. I just can't believe you're here."

Charles shuffled backwards and plopped himself onto the sand. He was dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, faded khakis and sandals. Very un-Charles-like.

The last time she'd seen him, he was pounding on her apartment door saying they could still "work things out" if she'd only talk to him. She couldn't be bothered. There was nothing to work out. She ignored his subsequent phone messages, emails, notes and letters. Eventually, they stopped. Their relationship had ended like all her relationships -- nowhere. Not that Charles was a bad guy. He just didn't get it.

He'd always been her cheerleader -- a you can do it, think positive kind of guy. He had wanted to get her out of the city and learn how to relax. She didn't see the point. He didn't understand her constant whining about the noise and pollution, her job, her boss, the twits around her, and yet her refusal to do anything about it. She knew it didn't matter where she was -- different people, but still twits; different job, but still annoying boss. Moving would only be a temporary fix. Once the initial glow of new wore off, it would be the same ol' same ol'.

He had been saving his money and wanted to quit his six-figure marketing job and pursue his passion for travel and writing. She thought he was nuts. Why give up a sure thing? Pursuing something as nebulous as "what I've always wanted to do" could only lead to disappointment.

After awhile, she couldn't stand his Pollyanna-isms anymore. What had been, at first, endearing became unbearable. Couldn't he just leave her alone? She was quite content to live her life in sombre misery with the occasional, fleeting ray of sunshine/happiness.

They started arguing about everything. Or rather, she argued about everything. Charles, would just shake his head and shrug. He seemed resigned to her constant nitpicking and complaining. Occasionally he'd suggest a trip to someplace warm and exotic - which she always declined. Then one day, he simply stated that she didn't want to be happy; that, in fact, she revelled in her unhappiness and that he wasn't sure if he could take it any more.

Of course he'd been right. Her unhappiness was a warm security blanket. It was a logical and realistic way to face life. Far better to expect nothing - anything good was a bonus. She couldn't get him to see it that way.

One day, when Charles was on a business trip, Debra had the apartment lock changed, quietly and efficiently packed his belongings in boxes and set them outside the door. She attached a short note saying good-bye and that things would never work out for them. That was five years ago.

And now? She was on a stupid beach, god-knows-where, sand in her shoes, sand down her shirt and sand stuck in her hair. She'd been dumped out of a hot air balloon at the feet of someone she'd dumped just as unceremoniously.

Hot air balloons, dead horses – now Charles? Better or worse, dream or no dream, she needed to figure this out.

"Where is HERE?" she demanded.