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May 09, 2008
don't cry for me, athens georgia
file under: leaving
I'll be happy to finally head home for good tomorrow, but I will miss some of the people here in Georgia terribly. This week has been one long drawn out goodbye, with more social engagements packed into these last few days than I probably attended all this last semester: supper with school chums, lunch with the Athens knitbloggers, supper with Hockey Mom and family, and more lunch with some of the same school chums just to drag the goodbye tears out a little more. It's excruciating. For three years I've thought of this part of my life as temporary and have craved my home so much, but it's going to be so strange on Monday morning to make my breakfast and carry it out to the porch (will it even be warm enough to eat breakfast on the porch yet? I doubt it) and watch the neighbour children get on the school bus knowing that I'll be doing that every school day for the rest of my life, not just grabbing time at home before heading back to Athens. There won't be any back to Athens. And yes, despite all of my bitching, that will make me sad. So, Georgia friends, consider this your open invitation: come to Windsor any time. We're good cooks, and we have a fold-out couch.
file under: durrow
I've received a lot (a lot a lot) of e-mails and ravelry messages since the demise of Magknits from people hoping to still have access to my Durrow pattern that was hosted there. I'm pleased to announce that Durrow is now available, still and always for free, over at Knotions Magazine. Thanks, everybody, for your continued interest in the pattern. And I promise that now that I'm done with the nuisance of grad school I'll soon have some brand new stuff for y'all.
May 02, 2008
may 1, 2008: last day of grad school
things I will miss about Athens, GA:
-the fact that it's warm right now while still cold back home (I know, shut UP, yes I bitch and complain that there are no seasons here and that the "winter" isn't cold enough. Whatever. Everybody's a hypocrite about something).
-the close proximity to Hockey Mom and all of the other fabulous internet people I got to meet and hang out with while here (not nearly often enough, especially in this last year)
-tofu fried in nutritional yeast. be still my heart.
-the north Georgia accent, which has grown on me these past three years (after initially driving me up the wall)
-Lamar Dodd School of Art people, some of whom are leaving Athens when I leave, some of whom are not
-red iron oxide coloured dirt
-pints of imported beer that are about half the price I'd pay for them back home
-walking through the woods to get to the studio
-all the crazy decorated cars, and old trucks that never die because the roads here aren't salted
-how every restaurant has mac 'n' cheese listed as a vegetable side. Still funny after all this time.
September 01, 2007
shop updates (go dawgs, or whatever)
Today was game day madness here in living-on-campus land, the first game day of the season. For some reason parking services didn't block access to the parking lot behind our studio like they usually do, so I got to wade through tailgate parties on our loading dock to get in and out of the building. After two years here I'm still rather baffled at the football culture; I don't give a rat's ass about football, and where I come from most others don't either. Here the stadium seats nine times the student population and they fill it, every time. From early morning the air is thick with the stench of lighter fluid, charcoal briquettes, and charred flesh. All day long red-flag-bedecked cars whip up and down the streets, hordes of drunken teenagers squeeze into and flop out of the backs of speeding pickup trucks, young women in red and black dresses hobble up and down the sidewalks in spiked heels, and there are people older than my parents out on the loading dock at nine o'clock in the morning setting up a television and satellite dish so that they can watch football-related programming all day long while they wait for the real game to start, and they are all wearing red, their tents are red, their folding chairs are red. And they are everywhere and they are in the way and they will follow you and try to force you to shout "go dawgs" at them and THEY ARE WATCHING SATELLITE TV OUTSIDE, PEOPLE. And drinking beer on campus. I want to take pictures of them but something always stops me. They're too easy to make fun of, maybe.
I've been working away on some new items for ye olde etsy shop, because y'all know I had almost enough saved up for that Lendrum wheel and then spent it on other things. Fabric and living expense-type things, but still.
There are five different style of wee notebooks, with more to come just as soon as I get the edges trimmed on the next stack:
Today I printed up a batch of brand-new shirts, crazy multicoloured ones using some of the motifs that show up so often in my sketchbooks. I'm hoping to photograph and upload the new line to the shop tomorrow night, and in the meantime have knocked a third off the few remaining of my older designs in order to clear up some space. Here's a sneak peek of some of the new shirts in progress:
These are some crazy-ass shirts. I will be wearing one tomorrow (isn't it a nice surprise when the one whose shoulder you blob ink all over is one that's your size?), so if you're so inclined you'll be able to see a picture of that over on my other blog.
May 06, 2007
do not cross
There is police tape all around the empty housing complex on Chase Street, but apparently somebody snuck in recently to have a maypole dance on the lawn. Nothing like the threat of asbestos poisoning to spice up your May day festivities.
April 23, 2007
asbestos was here
Disemboweled by workers in protective suits, the homes in this affordable housing complex in my neighourhood stand wide open now, a shortcut for birds and squirrels, spring breezes tickling all the spots where their poisonous guts used to be. I have no idea what happened to all of the people who used to live here.
April 03, 2007
Dear Milledge Avenue drivers
I know it pains you greatly to have to slow down, pay attention to driving and share the road with cyclists, and to have to unclamp the cell phone from your ear and steer the six inches to the left to go around me. I know you have important keggers and big box stores to get to and that having to concern yourself with my personal safely doesn't really fit with your self-centred lifestyle. But I have as much right to drive my vehicle on the road as you do yours, and the route I choose to take and whether or not I wear a helmet is none of your damned business. If you think that bicycles belong up on the sidewalk getting in the way of (and possibly endangering) pedestrians and joggers and people in wheelchairs and puppies on leashes and children in strollers, then I'll say the same thing to you that I said this afternoon to the woman who pulled over at a stop light to lecture me about hit-and-run statistics and to tell me I belong on the sidewalk: FUCK OFF. The sidewalk is for walking, a bicycle is a vehicle. And even if you do call me "sister" while delivering your lecture, you're still an asshole.
While we're on the topic, dear Milledge Avenue drivers, let's just clear up one other thing: Milledge is a party zone where people drive fast and goof off, and the side of the road is often strewn with the sorts of refuse that might send me headlong into traffic if my wheel hit them. So, for future reference, the things that I will not drive over on my bike in order to spare you the trouble of steering around me include, but are not limited to, the following:
-the windshield wiper from a tractor-trailer
-crushed beer cans
-dead snakes (yes, dead snakes plural)
-anything else dead
-joggers (do you pull over and tell them to get on the sidewalk? just wondering)
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
February 02, 2007
I just have to make fun of Athenians one more time and then I promise I'll try to stop.
On the front of the Red & Black today:
It's positively terrifying, isn't it?
February 01, 2007
I take it back. But only a little.
So half an hour after I called everyone at UGA a princess I left the house for the studio, and as it turns out there was a little bit of slush-like stuff here and there on the grass, and pooling on the windshields of parked cars. Still, there was nothing but regular old water on the roads, and this slush-stuff melted pretty quickly. It was nice to see a bit of white though. Thanks, Georgia!
Once upon a time, in a strange land far from home, there lived 34000 princesses. . .
Who were so afraid to go anywhere in the rain that their university was closed for the day.
People. There is no ice. No sleet, no freezing rain, certainly nothing resembling snow. It is cold, and it is raining, and rained all last night. And this morning, a message that the University of Georgia is closed for the day due to "weather". Due to RAIN. And of course, because of this crazy rain hysteria, I am afraid to ride my bike to the studio in the rain today (yes, the university is closed, but grad students don't really get days off and besides, we have an exhibition to install this afternoon) because one of those wacky ice-and-rain-fearing Athens drivers might plow into me on Milledge, and also I lost the red flashing light off the back of my bike the other day. So I'm being a princess too, and cadging a lift to studio. Those people on Milledge drive like they want to kill me on a normal day, so best to just avoid them today.
Yesterday morning was sunny but cold, and I biked past patches of ice in the road and on a few campus sidewalks. Like, several square feet of pavement and brick with a thin, patchy layer of ice on it. It's amazing we all survived it, and amazing that the governor didn't call out the national guard to rescue us from clearly life threatening conditions.
October 29, 2006
Shut my mouth
Peter and I went for a little drive in the countryside yesterday afternoon, taking our sweet time on a circuitous route to Hockey Mom's, stopping to browse at Reed's Odds & Ends (we got an old Risk game with all the pieces for 5 bucks!) and counting the Waffle Houses. I have been living in Georgia for nearly a year and a half now, and this was the first time I had ever seen a cotton field. I was pretty excited; Peter was willing to pull over to let me take pictures, but drew the line at allowing me to get out and pick some and look for boll-weevils.
North Georgia is nothing if not ugly. I tried to make it prettier by taking the photo through the windshield in order to give it that Japanese woodcut blue wash at the top, but still. Meh.
October 03, 2006
overheard recently on the north/south bus, university of georgia: they really ought to make those signs a little more explicit
exhibit "A", last week sometime:
silly girl: these seats, where it says "please reserve these seats for seniors and the disabled"? I used to think that meant, hey, like I'm a senior? And isn't it nice that the freshmen have to move to let me sit here? But, like, then I found out it means old people.
exhibit "B", yesterday:
first guy: up here where the sign says "office of the president", I thought that meant Jimmy Carter or you know, like, someone else famous. Not just, like, some president guy of a university.
other guy: .......
So, by "someone else famous", do you think he meant, oh I don't know, some other former president of the United States, maybe? Or just any random famous person, like Paris Hilton or Donny Osmond or some guy who won on a reality tv show? Because, I could so like totally understand why those people, or some dead former US president, would have an office on a university campus way before, like, some president guy of that university.
(is Donny Osmond even famous anymore, or am I just dating myself again like when I talked to my drawing students the other day about how even in black and white we always knew that Gilligan's shirt was red because of the intensity of the gray tone and the one mature student was the only one who didn't glaze over?)
September 29, 2006
crazed dawgs fans can kiss my ass.
rush hour traffic can kiss my ass.
bank employees who change my billing address in the bank's computer system but neglect to change my mailing address (so that not only do all of my statements get mailed to some place in orlando florida but dick blick won't fill my sumi ink order because the cheque card address can't be verified) can kiss my ass.
on a related note: seven dollars shipping on an eleven dollar item can kiss my ass.
people who unthinkingly say things like "when you are pregnant/have kids" as if they don't even consider a woman might choose not to be a baby factory can kiss my ass.
people in ontario who still vilify bob rae can kiss my ass; bob rae was an excellent premier and he will be an excellent prime minister and i can't fucking wait.
sorority girls wearing sunglasses so gigantic they don't even notice that they have seriously endangered my life and limb by cutting me off in their shiny little cars with the "uga princess" bumper stickers can kiss my ass.
migraines can kiss my ass.
people (especially bus drivers) who crank up the air conditioning can kiss my ass.
anybody who feels the need to mention the names tie domi or belinda stronach or any disgusting unholy connection between the two ever again can kiss my ass; please, stop talking about it! IT MAKES ME WANT TO VOMIT. So stop. globe and mail, I'm talking to you.
August 13, 2006
Here I am. We've been in Athens for a week, spending our afternoons at Little Kings and our nights at the 40 Watt taking in Athens Popfest, sleeping in and trying not to get sucked in to living on Athens time. I've been working too, knitting away on some summer tops for JCA while listening to some fantastic indie bands and also a few downright awful ones; my favourites that I hadn't heard before were How I Became The Bomb (I'm just holding out until payday to get my hands on their record, and y'all know what a total skinflint I am, so that says something) and Baby Calendar (who are a little bit twee, but in that totally awesome and pleasing way instead of that irritating way, and the people in the band are all really cute). Other than that, my favourite performances were two of the headliners, The Mountain Goats (goes without saying) and Apples in Stereo (they're incredibly tight and the music is full of those catchy hooks that suck you in; I wasn't nearly as impressed listening to their recorded work as I was seeing them live). There were lots of other great performances, but I'll let the music people talk about it, since I'm the sort of artsy-crafty-geek whose impression of the band is sometimes skewed by whether I like the shirts they're wearing or if they have a really snazzy looking guitar (for instance, I knew I was going to like How I Became The Bomb because they have such a cool name, and I knew that I was going to like that guy with the flags on his trousers and the baby blue dress shoes, just because. Baby. Blue. Shoes. And lo and behold, that was his band, and they freaking rocked). Had I been willing to haul the laptop down to the bar every night I would have blogged the whole damned festival for you, but I'm too fucking lazy. And also didn't think of it until halfway through the week.
Sorry I haven't been regaling you all with stories of late, but as Peter's leaving to go back home tomorrow I've been feeling somewhat stingy with my time. Rest assured that when I'm left all alone again more than a thousand kilometres from home, loneliness will get the verbal diarrhoea going once again.
For now, here's a fun game:
Who can think of a good collective noun for sorority girls?
May 02, 2006
Always take your camera with you everywhere
That way you won't have to turn around and walk all the way home to get it when you find a big pile of free skanky ho shoes all neatly lined up next to the dumpster behind your local lavanderia.
No, I didn't take any. For someone who's digging the faux-crocodile-mule-with-shiny-circular-buckle look, though, this will be an awesome find, because that lucky fashionista can have the choice of yellow, orange or black. Score!
On my way home to get the camera I passed three young ladies who were heading towards where the shoes were, and I thought for sure (making grossly unfair assumptions based on the way they were dressed) that they would be really, really into these shoes, and as I hurried back towards the dumpster with camera in hand I was worried that they would have already upset the lovely tidiness of the shoes and mess up my photo. They also looked like the sort of girls who might beat me up if they caught me taking pictures of them trying on shoes behind a dumpster. Sadly, such a blogworthy shot was not to be had, they either passed on the other side of the dumpster and didn't see the bounty, or they didn't need any new shoes today.
Other blogworthy shots that got away forever these last few days include an ample woman with a gigantic, rock-hard yellow beehive wearing pink camouflage sweatpants and matching pink camouflage jacket and fuzzy slippers, a long horse trailer with four horses all wagging their heads out the windows in the breeze, and a bluejay overextending its jaw in order to carry a beer bottle cap on edge in its beak.
March 11, 2006
Today I found outside my gate:
And out front, the irises are in full bloom. In March!
The irises are seriously freaking me out. Back home right now we'd only have crocuses (Pete, do we have crocuses yet?). The scilla won't even come up for another month. How soon do you think the irises will die back here? Should I be cutting the leaves back in May, for crying out loud? (hah, of course I will cut them in May, otherwise I won't be able to make paper with them before I go home for the summer).
I remember when I was a kid and the temperature would get up to 4 Celsius during March break, and I'd joyfully run outside in a t-shirt and bask in the cold sunshine and leap the crunchy piles of melting snow, feeling light and free, unfettered by all those heavy winter garments. I still consider the first day it goes up to 4 degrees to be the definitive sign of spring (which makes Pete mental, sorry, baby).
Today I wore these:
Flip flops on March break and I'm not even on vacation. Well, I never.
Okay. I'm still pissed that there's no winter here, but this early spring is pretty nice nonetheless. I'll really be whingeing a few weeks from now, though, when summer starts. Because, y'all, I hate the heat. I'd rather have 40 below than ever sit at a bus stop again watching the sweat come out of the backs of my knuckles and splash on the sidewalk. Ew!
Ceramic baby head also enjoys basking in the sunshine, much better than lying half-buried under the musty ivy where I found him.
December 04, 2005
Rats at the door
At least, they're too small to be wolves.
One of the closet doors in the Shack has these funny little footprints on it, from some kind of (very dirty) rodent. Yes, I've lived here for two months and haven't washed it off yet. I don't intend to wash it; I don't really care that much, actually, and also I think it's kind of neat. Peter and I were speculating that perhaps the rodent ran over the door while it way lying down somewhere, not attached to the closet, but I just now noticed that there are a few prints on the trim as well.
I know you're all dying for a rat-print close up, so here you go.
Obviously a rat didn't just climb up the door, but it doesn't seem all that likely that someone would hold a rat up there and let it scrabble its feet so many times. Also, who lets their pet rat get that dirty?
I suppose the marks could have been made by someone drawing on the door with a heated fork, but again, who would do that?
This happens to also be the closet I hang my clothes in, and I noticed this afternoon that when I open the door I can smell stale cigarette smoke from my wanker neighbour, who is a heavy, heavy smoker. So now all of my clothes are going to stink, and moving them to the only other closet won't help, since it's on the same wall (both on the other side of the wall from his living room) and stinks too. So I'm going to have to rig up some way to hang my clothes out in the room instead, which will be a splendid way to make this place seem even more temporary and grotty a living space. I'm fighting my passive aggressive desire to turn my music up just to punish Mr. Wanker for stinking up my closets, but he likely wouldn't make the connection anyway (never mind the fact that it would be CHILDISH! because, heh, I never act childish). Besides, I learned that this is an ineffective strategy back when we lived upstairs from Louie; no matter how loud I turned up my stereo, it never deterred him from stinking up our apartment by cooking pork all day, every day.
In tooth news, I can now eat crunchy things again (only chewing on the side opposite the gaping wound, of course). The hole is closing fast, and already it's just a weird deep divot instead of a huge gaping chasm. Today I didn't take any painkillers. Whee! Also, my TMJ (same side as the bad tooth) seems to suddenly be a lot less troublesome.
It's pouring rain outside, which just doesn't seem right for the fourth of December. This afternoon was so warm that I opened my kitchen window for a few hours to let in some air. Peter was pretty unhappy when he heard that; he thinks the weather is conspiring against him (because it's always beautiful here, except for when he visits) and of course, I'm rubbing it in. But really, I'm tired of this. I can't wait to get home to the snow (six more sleeps!). How much would you like to bet that the snow back home will all melt by the time my plane touches down in Detroit on Saturday evening? Because the weather, she conspires against ME.
There's a brand new Knitty out tonight, and it's freaking huge. On my must-knit list: the utterly adorable Kate; Mandy's gorgeous lacey scarf; the Tubey sweater (why do I always like the things that look good on the skinny girls when I know they will cling to my love handles like blubber to a seal? too bad, I'm making this anyway).
November 07, 2005
How to tell if somebody is an asshole (in case they aren't wearing a sign that says "asshole")
Overheard on the North/South bus this afternoon:
Guy #1: (shouts to guy #2 who is boarding the bus) Hey C___! Come here, I want to show you something. Look at that guy, the one with the headband (points to a guy on the sidewalk who is wearing a headband and a very sweaty t-shirt and is carrying a squash racquet).
Guy #2: (sits down and looks out the window) Why would anybody wear that?
Obviously to keep sweat out of one's eyes while playing squash is not a good enough reason.
Guy #1: That headband is like an asshole marker. When somebody wears something like that, you can tell right away they are an asshole. They don't even have to wear a sign or anything.
Guy #2: Yeah. Tell me about it.
So, what kind of marker is it when you sit on the bus and shit-talk someone for having the nerve to wear sports attire to play sports? Because I don't think these two guys were wearing any kind of signs.
November 06, 2005
This is the sort of fascinating conversation you can hear while standing around on UGA campus on a September afternoon. That's right, I overheard this conversation back in September and couldn't get arsed to tell y'all about it, but suddenly felt the need to tell it now. Clearly I need some kind of, you know, life. Or something.
So. Standing at the bus stop across from the student centre in the blasting heat, and two silly girls come and take up positions perilously close to my own personal space, on account of I'm standing in the only square foot of shade and it's a hundred and fifty degrees outside.
Silly Girl #1: It's soooo hot.
Silly Girl #2: Oh yeah, it's soooo sooooooo hot. And, there's no shade! (Silly Girl #2 is very observant)
SG #1: They should have left some big oak trees in when they built that bus stop.
SG #2: Oh, there used to be trees?
SG #1: I don't know. But if there were, they should have left some.
SG #2: Yeah! Or they should have put in a big fan or something.
Because if they were going to take out all the trees (which may or may not have been there) the least they could have done was put in a giant fan. Outside, blowing on the bus stop. I mean, come on. That's just so practical, after all.
SG #1 was trying to get downtown, and SG #2 advised her to get on the North/South bus. Fifteen minutes later the bus comes around again and off steps SG #1, walking back over to SG #2 and saying, "that bus doesn't go downtown!". Because it turns and doubles back a block from Broad Street, so to get downtown you would actually have to get off and walk a block. Instead, she stayed on the bus and came all the way back around. The saddest part is, the bus went near downtown, then came back past here in the other direction, but she stayed on for the whole circiut and went past us twice.
Then SG #1 says: All I want is to get a coffee! (giggle)
SG #2: There's a coffeeshop in the student centre.
SG #1: Yeah, but I want Starbucks!
People. The Starbucks is a FIVE MINUTE WALK from where we are standing. And she continued to stand there, waiting for a bus downtown.
October 02, 2005
I told you this little shack was funky
Inside, it's like the Tardis: huge. With hardwood floors and a fireplace. This fireplace was made to burn coal, though, so I don't know if I'll really be able to get a good hot fire going in this tiny grill with wood. My landlord said "I don't know where you'll find coal anymore. . . ", as if I would actually burn coal in my house even if I could find it. That would sort of cancel out the benefits of the almost non-toxic print shop I'm working in now. Also, that might explain why the walls in this room are so filthy. I am going to need a ladder to wash them.
The bathroom is a bit primitive, but not the worst bathroom I've ever had. There's a whole wall of built-ins that you can't see on the left, and an electric heater in the wall with a grille, just like in motels. And the tub is red, which makes me feel like I'm bathing in a whorehouse. All I need is to get a good whorehouse lamp with fringe, and it'll be perfect.
August 30, 2005
Learning the language?
Yesterday morning, NPR news said that there was a 100% chance of rain for Athens in the afternoon. Silly me, I thought that meant we would be getting some rain, so I brought my umbrella.
But apparently, "100% chance of rain" is just some crazy Southern-talk for "sunny and hot".
So today, when NPR news told me that Athens had a 70% chance of rain for the afternoon, I took my umbrella out of my satchel and left it at home.
Which turned out to be a pretty good call, because that seems to mean "hot, humid and windy".
So, what will they say when it's going to rain?
August 19, 2005
The first day of school is always the hardest
Okay, that's not really true. The first day of school was easy. I'm all moved into my studio, and I got to meet most of my colleagues in the print department and I think it's going to be a good group to work with. What's going to be hard is tomorrow, after Peter leaves to go back home without me. Luckily I've been too busy running around doing errands and getting to know Athens a little to dwell on it as much as I was before I left home, but tomorrow I'm not going to know what to do with myself. I think I'll probably go in to the studio and do some work, but maybe I'll just park my arse in front of Jenny's telly and feel sorry for myself. Haven't decided yet.
Some things I have learned about this town so far:
-Except for on campus, it's not terribly pedestrian-friendly. There aren't many sidewalks once you get out of downtown. If I wanted to walk home (I might want to, since the last bus to my neighbourhood leaves downtown at 5:45 pm, crazy-early) I would have to go down the Atlanta Highway at least part of the way, because there's a river that there is no other way to get across. And the Atlanta Highway has no sidewalks.
-I can buy tequila, Guinness in bottles (yay!) and a frightening variety of good wines in my local chain grocery store, but I can't get Arabic pita bread (only Greek), and they only have one kind of creamed honey.
-People drive like idiots here. I'm sure once I've experienced my first game day I'll realize that I never knew idiot-driving before, but still. We've sat behind a lot of drivers who go into the left turn lane so timidly that they'd rather sit and wait through another light than assert themselves and pull out. Ontario drivers are far more impatient.
-Athens is kind of like Windsor in that it looks bigger than it really is; on the map it looks like my apartment is way out on the edge of town, a hopeless distance from campus. When you drive it, though, it's not that far. Athens is a lot prettier than Windsor, though, and it smells better. Back home in the heat we've been having I'd be waking up with the stench of Detroit seeping into my bedroom. The campus, of course, is far more beautiful than homely Windsor, but of course Canadian universities don't have the billions of dollars that this school has.
I have a pretty good studio space, and got my hands on a couple of really excellent litho stones; since there seem to be only two of us who do stone litho, I can take what I want. I'm used to being in a place where stones are more scarce, especially good ones. And since Pete keeps telling me to accentuate the positive (every time I get pissy about the labyrinthine campus or not being able to find everything I need), I'll say this: at least the cockroach that was in my studio was dead, and it wasn't the biggest you can see here (although it was far bigger than the ones we get in Canada, like three times bigger). I wish I'd kept it to take a picture; my first enormous Southern roach. Gah.
The thrift stores are definitely better here than in Windsor, and I got some great chairs today that will look great in our old house. In the ongoing quest to replace my special tea mug that the fats so heartlessly broke, I bought this dorky Star Trek mug at the Sally Ann to use in the meantime.
I'm not even all that much into Star Trek, but I thought this was too cheesy to pass up. And look what happened when I put my tea in it:
Such fun, and for twenty-five cents.
This is the first big chunk of time I've been able to spend online since I got here, so if you're waiting for an e-mail from me I promise I'll get to it after Peter leaves, either tomorrow night or Sunday.