Monday, February 27, 2012

SPAM Can Lead To A Huge Change In Your Life!

I get SPAM all the time.  I seldom read it let alone respond to it...

This was a letter I received today:

This is the Most Effective And Safest Way To Enlarge Your Manhood
Get Incredible Gains Even While You SLEEP!
Gains Of 3-4 Inches Are Not Uncommonm, Try for yourself Risk Free 100% Guaranteed to Work


This is my response:

I tried your product as a goof.  I figured it’s RISK free so what could the downside be?  Nothing happened the first 2 days.  I was about to give up but tried it one last time before going to bed. 

I awoke to find an enormous girthy cock!  For a minute I felt like I was living in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”  In this version of the story, I was the Emperor and the new clothes were my huge manhood. 

I was all set to write you an email expressing my thanks when I realized I couldn’t get out of bed.  See, I’m an impatient man.  After the first day of trying your methods, I saw no results within the first 20 minutes.  So I upped the required “dosage” by 500%.  Then the next day I tripled that.  As stated above, I was about to give up on the third day when I decided to throw caution in the wind and increase the dosage another 10 times. 

Have you ever been in the woods and gotten tired?  So you decide to lie down and take a nap?  Then you wake up and find a tree has fallen on you across your body pinning you to the grown?  No one heard it fall, because no one was around. Except you.  But you were asleep.  And even if you weren’t, you’re walkman was blasting Lionel Richie so you wouldn’t have been able to hear it anyway.  That’s how I felt when I awoke, minus the wet leaves on my back. 

I now lie pinned to my bed by my new penile trunk wondering if I’ll ever find a woman who will appreciate my endowment. 

Do you sell a product that increases the size of a woman’s vagina to volcano opening proportions?  If so, please send a list of customers.  Love of Lionel Richie a plus.  No fatties!

Friday, February 24, 2012

WANDERLUST Review - AKA The Return of the Late Night Assaults

Today my body feels like it experienced a full on assault.  That's because last night I saw my first midnight movie of 2012 with my usual late night compatriot & “besties”, Anthony. 

We saw Wanderlust, it’s a sweet “fish out of water” story, but it never belabors all of the “fish out of water” gimmicks found in many other romantic comedies.  Written by The State alums Ken Marino & David Wain, it almost seemed out of place to see a modern adult comedy that doesn’t misconstrue joke telling with “gross out gags”.

Wain also directs Paul Rudd & Jennifer Aniston as a couple who find themselves unemployed in NYC with a living situation they can no longer afford.  They are forced to up heave their lives and move to Atlanta with Rudd’s brother played by Marino.  On the way, they end up at a hippie commune.

The cast also includes Justin Theroux (as the commune’s guru), Alan Alda (as the owner of the commune) and the woman I will eventually leave my wife for, Malin Akerman (you know her as the Silk Spectre in Watchmen, I know her as Dr. Valerie Flame from Children’s Hospital).  Other State members appearing include Kerri Kenney, the entire cast of Stella and Joe Lo Truglio & his cock (get it memebers?). 

Seriously, seeing this film, you must be prepared to have a lot of cock in your face.  Speaking of, it brings back some memories of yesteryear with other "face cockings". 

In 2011, Ant and I saw more than a few late night screenings:  Horrible Bosses (also with Aniston), Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and Cowboys vs Aliens among them.  Sometimes the theater is packed, and you find yourself sitting elbow to elbow with your fellow man.  Other times there isn't another soul in site.  But every time you see a late film, there’s the potential…to fall asleep.

Some times I even take precautions to try and jump start my body so I won’t fall asleep during a late screening.  For example, before Cowboys vs. Aliens, Ant and I ate a bunch of bean burritos from Taco Bell.  Our logic, "you can’t sleep if you’re constantly farting" (our wives may know otherwise).  But alas, the fart food didn’t work and Anthony had to recap the second act and most of the 3rd acts for me.  Also, I suspect he may have molested me.  Perhaps pay back for the little nocturnal cock in the face I gave him while he slept during The Pirates of the Caribbean?  Again, I can’t be certain, but on the ride home he laughed every time I opened my mouth wide to yawn.

Last night, in an attempt to fight off the potential snooze (and face cocking), I decided to amp myself up on Twinkies.  SUGAR!  What could possibly go wrong?  Did it work you ask?  Well I made it through Wanderlust without a wink.  Unfortunately I also lost a couple toes after going into diabetic shock.  When I awoke from surgery, I saw Bosco through my groggy eyes.  He was sitting by my bedside, laughing. 

I gotta hand it to him, that bastard never misses a chance to put a cock in your face.

See Wanderlust (2 and 1/2 out of 4 cocks to the face).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Public Vs Private

There are some things that are acceptable to do in public and some things you ONLY do in private.  We accept taking a crap or partaking in the basic actions needed to create a child are typically reserved for more private locales.  But who determines which goes in which list? 

Public = Blowing your nose                                          
Private = Blowing your boss

Public = Picking your Fantasy Baseball Team   
Private = Picking your underwear from your crack

Public = Applying lip balm                                           
Private = Applying for welfare

Public = Wiping sweat off your brow                           
Private = Wiping whip cream off your penis

Public = Quoting Mel Gibson movies                           
Private = Quoting Mel Gibson

Public = Singing your head off to Hair              
Private = Singeing off your pubic hair

Public = Tying your sneakers & shooting hoops
Private = Tying off & shooting up

Public = Drinking a coke listening to Fats Domino        
Private = Finishing a coke with Fatty Arbuckle

Public = Finger painting pictures of your cousin                                     
Private = Finger banging…I think you get the point

When in doubt ask yourself, “What would Gary Carter do?”  The answer?  NOTHING.  Because he died last week.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Old School Young Jeezy

Yesterday I decided to Google “Young Jeezy.”  I know little of the kid’s work, so I figured, let me “learn myself up” (that is not a Young Jeezy song lyric).

Turns out, Young Jeezy isn’t young at all.  He is only 2 years younger than me, making him merely Jeezy.  Further investigation (reading the first line of his Wikipedia entry) revealed his birth name isn’t even Jeezy, but instead is Jay Wayne Jenkins.  Not sure how the nom de plume came to be.  “J Dubs” would seem to make more sense.  However, J Dubs is a steel drum band from the islands, so that could have been awkward at certain soirĂ©es.  The Urban Dictionary lists “J Dubs” as being slang for a Jehovah Witness. 

My extensive research did not produce any results for a performer simply named “Jeezy” (that research consisted of typing “Jeezy” into my search engine and diligently looking at the first 3 entries).  Seeing as “Young” Jeezy was born in 1977, I think it’s time to retire the misleading adjective.  Here are some suggestions for replacement:

-Jay “Jeezy” Jenkins or J3 (sorry Trainor)
-Freezy Jeezy (this new branding should accompany an Icelandic tour)
-DJ Jeezy Jeff (I do not believe any part of this name is currently in use)
-Jeezy Underpants (those Capt Underpants books are popular with the kids.  Lure them in before they’re potty trained)
-Jeezy Tiki Tavi (I just like this one)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fattie Buys A Milkshake

I have been rocking a sweet cough for about three weeks now.  It comes and goes.  When it goes I do something like jump in the ocean and it comes right back.  You know, normal stuff. 

Yesterday was the first REALLY good day I’ve had in a while.  I felt good and hadn’t coughed at all!  So today, I went and celebrated with a Shamrock Shake.  Lots of dairy…so, of course now I’m coughing again. 

This coincides with Julie joining the YMCA and starting up yoga again this weekend.  Her Facebook update reveals that she’ll be taking a rowing class.  Here I am doing the exact opposite.  Where’s the ocean when you need it?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Entertainment After Death

As a society we tend to put people on a pedestal to make it easier to publically knock them off it.

Whitney Houston died on February 11th.  The media is now reporting on “pending subpoenas” which are to be issued to her doctors and the people who worked at the pharmacy she frequented. 

Some people not named in the subpoenas: 

1. The producers of her Bravo reality show that exploited her problems.  I hate reality television and look for every opportunity to bring it down.  You can argue that she was paid for her “services” on the program.  And you’d be right.  But weren’t the doctors & pharmacy employees also paid?  Let’s sue!

2. Bobby Brown.  This guy has been rhyming words with the same words for years.  That’s lazy.  And now, punishable by the court system.

3. You, the viewers.  You say you never watched the show?  Well perhaps that’s what killed her.  Shame on you.  I never watched the show either.  But I already pointed out my hatred for reality TV.

Luckily “the media”, who is nothing like the Edward R Murrows of the past, feel they haven’t squeezed enough “exploitainment” out of the 48 years that were Ms. Houston’s life.  Now they want the same three ringed circus that came out of the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial. 

Apparently this is what we do now.  We are bored.  So, we build people up.  Then we destroy them.  Seriously, we ALL need to get some fucking hobbies.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

3 Web Series + 3 Web Series = ????

In 2008 I produced a web series called The League. 

In 2010 I produced a web series called The Clink. 

In 2011 I produced a web series called The Cheap Seats.

In 2012, I am attempting to produce 3 new web series. 

Holy balls, why?!?

Monday, February 13, 2012


This is a bio I wrote, that was WAY too long for a one act I'm in.  My therapist (who I also made up) felt I should share it with people I come in contact with regularly.  That way they can prepare themselves for the worst:

Kevin is thrilled to be performing with City Theater again (It’s really me!  I am pretending I have an assistant who wrote this bio, making me seem more important than I actually am).  He’d like to thank his assistant for dedicating so much of her time & hard work (Well that’s rather selfish of her! ---- just kidding, still me.  And apparently my made up assistant is female.  Hope this doesn’t cause tension with my imaginary girlfriend, ha, ha!).  He couldn’t have done this without her…and only her! (All right, calm down!  I do have a real wife ya know).  In fact, if he’s not good in this play, it’s pretty much everyone’s fault EXCEPT his assistant (OK, now I’m scared.  I DON’T HAVE AN ASSISTANT).  Yes he does (NO HE DOESN’T…I mean NO I DON’T).  Then who gets you coffee? (What?  I don’t drink coffee).  You always tell people that, but I see you drink coffee more than just “when I am at weddings or some parties.” (OK, I have been drinking a bit more coffee lately.  But I still don’t “drink” coffee.  Like it doesn’t define me).  Well who gets you that coffee when you DO drink it? (I DO!)  And who created me?  (…me?) Therefore, I GET YOU COFFEE.  (First, that doesn’t make any sense.  Second, people reading this are going to think I am weird, and that I talk to myself).  You do talk to yourself (Don’t tell them that!)  Well what do you want me to say? (Thanks for coming I guess?  I don’t need you creeping them out.  Christ, this is only a one act.  If they’ve read this the whole time they have missed my entire fucking performance).  Do you know all of you lines? (What?  Why?  Most of them…).  Well then I’ve distracted them haven’t I?  (Was that your plan?)  You mean “your” plan?  (Right…right…my plan.  That was my plan all along.  So, now what should I do?)  Thank some people.  (Yes!)  Kevin would like to thank Jim, Jim and Jess for a lot of coffeeless fun! (Nice call back on the coffee bit) Thanks.  And he would also like to thank his loving wife for putting up with him (Perfect).  And his hot assistant (whatever).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

"It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a 7-10 Split"

On Sunday night, 111.3 million people tuned in to watch the Giants beat the Patriots 21 to 17 in the Superbowl.  9 people opted to go SUPERBOWLing instead.

What is SUPERBOWLing you ask?

Well it’s a combination of BOWLING…

And something SUPER…

Sometimes both at the same time

It’s a night for friends to hang out…

…and to wear capes.

It’s a night for friends to get “Photo Bombed”…

…and to wear capes.

It’s a night to hang out with Anne Hathaway…

…and to wear capes.

It’s a night to hang out with “Joe Trainor impersonators”…

…and to…wear capes?

It’s a night, where a group of friends can get gather to bowl, have a few drinks, stock up on weird Facebook profile photos and just have a good time together.  We started doing it last year when I stopped watching football because of my many issues I have with the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL in general.

We always welcome new comers, if you’re not a football fan or just have a hankering to wear rented shoes for the night. 

Just some quick numbers, last year 111 million people watched the Superbowl while only 4 people went SUPERBOWLing.  Which means the Superbowl experienced a less than 3% increase in popularity this year, but SUPERBOWLing more than doubled!

Did I mention we wear capes?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Polar Bear Club - The Video

This is a video of silly people doing silly things.  

Note when the video stops recording is the exact moment the Atlantic ocean made me its bitch!

“This has been the warmest winter on record.”

“This has been the warmest winter on record.” 

That has been pointed out to me by many people when I tell them I participated in the Polar Bear Club in Rehoboth Beach, DE on Sunday February 5th.  By “many people,” I mean, “many people who did not show up to participate in the Polar Bear Club in Rehoboth Beach, DE on Sunday February 5th.”

I love the beach however, over the past 3 years I have spent VERY little time there.  3 years ago I went for two days, one day trip in July & another one in August.  2 years ago I went for half a day to visit Joel & Sabrina and an over night in August at Mamas Elaine & Karen’s place.  Last year I did one day at the previously mentioned Mamas’ house (and boat). 

All together I spent about 5 out of 1092 days at the beach.  That’s .45% of my time spent at a place I adore.  Those numbers are a far cry from the kid whose parent’s owned a shore house throughout high school and much of college.

I swore 2012 would be different.  Julie and I already have a real vacation (our first since our honeymoon 10 years ago) planned for Aruba.  7 days of nothing BUT beach.  But that wasn’t enough.  I needed my fix now!

I had mentioned to Jim (which is always a terrible idea because you can be pretty damn certain he’ll make you do what you mention) that I thought it would be fun to jump in the freezing ocean.  He immediately set us up with the Polar Bear Club of Rehoboth Beach, DE.  He also forwarded me information which included “best practice tips.”

Some of those tips:

-don’t mention having an urge to your friend, for he’ll likely take you up and it, which will leave you with your pants down.

-wear loose/baggie clothes to make it easier to get back into them after your “plunge.”

-jam to some sweet tunes.

-wear a bathrobe ala The Dude in The Big Lebowski.  A white Russian might help keep you warm, but will likely constrict circulation.

-swim with a buddy…or two.  Also, make sure they are decent swimmers and have the potential to mutate into sewer trained ninjas if needed.

The drive took about 2 hours up and 2 hours back.  We stayed for lunch, another 40 minutes or so, because traffic getting out was so bad.  That said, the plunge was very quick.

Jim and I went out further than anyone else.  I hit record on my underwater camera and ran in.  After getting dried off I looked at the camera counter and realized I only recorded about 28 seconds.  I thought, “Dammit!  It didn’t record all of it.”  Yes it did.

Actually the video shuts off the second I get DESTROYED by a wave.  The same wave, that held me under for longer than I’d have liked, SLAMMED Jim hard into the ocean floor.  He cut his forearm up pretty good.  But other than that, we survived unharmed.

I'll upload the video later, and if you're interested let me know if you want to come with us next year.  Or better yet, let Jim know.  I promise he won’t forget!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ice Skating

Jeff Hanson: Eddie Shore?
 McGrath: Piss on Eddie Shore.
Steve Hanson: Old-time hockey?
McGrath: Piss on old-time hockey!

I love me some hockey!  But I’m getting old and have less opportunity to play.

Just last week I was talking to Julie about getting rid of all of my equipment.  Then I went ice skating.  I never played ice hockey, only roller hockey, but man do I love it!  Sure I miss my hair, but the thing I miss most about my youth was my “Wolverine-like” healing ability.  If I got out and played roller hockey now, it would take me about a week before I could walk again with out a limp.  I just don’t have that kind of time left!

Saturday, Julie, Kerry, Petra & I went ice skating. 

Jimmy was there too, but he just stood around giving everyone the finger. 

I love crashing the crease on the ice (where the net would be) as if I’m going to score a goal.  Sure I can’t stop on ice skates, but that’s part of the fun (I’d be like Andre “Moose” DuPont).  I’m sure I look like a fool when I skate in with my imaginary stick, but I can’t look any worse than Roger Sterling figure skating out there (I have no photo of that guy.  But check the security tapes, he was there).

Some people are a bit shaky like Gran-mama here.  Little kids knew it was wise to stay away from the pink haired woman with weapons on her feet. 

Some people try and nurture the little kids.

Unless they get too close, then they put them on their asses.

And of course some people feel trapped and look for any reason to get off the ice.

I had such a good time that I’ve decided to hold on to my hockey equipment for a little while longer.  I’m not sure if I’ll go out and play any time soon, but I can always pretend.  And isn’t it nicer to pretend with props?  I bet our Roger Sterling look alike would have preferred the real Joan Holloway on his arm rather than imagining her. 

Or perhaps he was more into Don Draper.   

Monday, February 6, 2012


“Banner Year!”  That was an expression Steve Berger and I used to proclaim when we’d make good use of our time.  Therefore we said it about 2 or 3 times.  We were lazy.

But this is already shaping up to be a “Banner Year!”

This weekend, I did a bit of “jet setting” (no jets were used in the setting).

Rented skates to rented shoes.  Falling to Guffawing.  Frozen water to freezing water. 

About a month ago I bought a GROUPON for ice skating at The Pond in Newark, DE.  It was $14 for 4 people (ice time & skate rental).  I thought I sent a mass invite over Facebook to help me spend this coupon, but I have since learned I did not.  Saturday, we still managed to get 5 people show up, 4 of which” skated.”

I’ll write more about the ice skating adventure tomorrow.  Until then, here’s a photo of two very chilly HOT Chicks.

Then Saturday night, I went and “made shit up” as one of my compatriots likes to say when referring to Improv.  I like to call it “inventing ha ha’s”.  I had a fun night of ComedySportz, but still don’t know a word that rhymes with “else.”

Sunday, as I previously wrote, Jim and I partook in the age old tradition of jumping in the ocean in the middle of fucking winter!  Sure the air was 42 and water 47, but you weren’t there, so let’s not mitigate the experience or judge me for crying as I joined The Polar Bear Club.

I’ll be blogging all about this, tears and all, later this week.  SPOILER:  Jim and I both survived, though there were some injuries incurred.

And finally, the Second Annual “SUPERBOWLing” took place Sunday night. 

The Giants won the SUPERBOWL, but we ALL won “SUPERBOWLing.”  Except the poor people working at Conchester Lanes who wished we’d just go home.  They were the *analogical Patriots.

Last year there were 4 of us, this year 9.  Next year can we break double digits?  Maybe.  If I actually remember to tell people about it a little but more than an hour before.

More about SUPERBOWLINGing later…

*Is analogical a word?

Friday, February 3, 2012

"What Is Said Vs. What I Thought Was Said" - Help Me Rhonda

Sometimes I hear what I want to. Most times I'm not sure I want to hear what I do.

Take The Beach Boy's song, "Help Me Rhonda" for instances. I have listen to this song probably about 200 times. The first cassette tape I got for my 6th birthday from my buddy Jim McCabe was The Beach Boy's Endless Summer. I would listen to it on my human-sized walkman (which took up the seat next to me on the bus) as I rode to and from school EVERYDAY for years.

Until recently, I never understood the lyrics.

So here is a comparison of "what is said vs. what I thought was said". Keep in mind, I didn't necessarily think this much about ejaculating when I was in the first grade, that didn't come until at least second grade (when I got an action figure of Teela from He-Man for my birthday).

(what is said):
Well since she put me down
I've been out doin' in my head

(what I thought was said):
Well since she won't go down (BJ reference)
I gotta do it in my hand (masturbation reference)

(what is said):
I come in late at night
And in the mornin' I just lay in bed

I'm comin' late at night (ejaculate reference)
And in the mornin' I just stay in bed (reference to another "beat" session about to begin)

(what is said):
Well, Rhonda you look so fine
And I know it wouldn't take much time
For you to help me Rhonda
Help me get her out of my heart

(what I thought was said):
*I actually thought all of the previous lyrics were said, but I think I interpreted differently.
Well, Rhonda you look so fine (making a WITHDRAWL from the "spank bank")
And I know it wouldn't take much time (He's got his technique down, he'll "finish" quickly - perhaps he has some choirs to do)
For you to help me Rhonda (as a visual aid)
Help me get her out of my heart (and into my hand or tissue anyway)

So the idea here, is this guy needs to forget a past chick by "wanking" to a new one.

I won't tell you what I think the song Good Vibrations is about...hint, there are ben wa balls involved!

(what I thought was said):

Help Me, Rhonda

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Hottensteins vs Hypothermia

OK.  This is sad, but I still laughed at many, many aspects of this story.

I am going to “take the lunge” in Sunday Feb 5th in Rehoboth, DE.  Along with my buddy Jim, and I’d imagine a shit load of other people, I’ll be jumping into the ocean as part of the Polar Bear Club.  So I looked up to find out if anyone ever died participating in this event.  The answer is…kinda?

Tracy Hottenstein, 35, of Conshohocken, PA, was found dead in Sea Isle City the morning of 2/15/09.  She was last seen leaving The Ocean Drive Bar, or OD as it’s called, at 2:15 am.  Her family however blames more than just alcohol for contributing to her death.  They blame everything from the Atlantic Ocean to the doctor who pronounced her dead.  Oh, and they are suing…EVERYONE!

Their law suit, which is still pending, names 19 defendants in the case.  Among them:  the Polar Bear organization, Sea Isle City, the owners of two bars that Tracey drank at that night, the couple who invited her to dinner at their home that evening, the hospital where she died, the doctor who pronounced her dead, the Sea Isle City Police Department, and certain individual officers.

Obviously this is a sad story because someone lost their life, but when you delve a little deeper, there really is no cause for a lawsuit, definitely not one with SO many defendants.

It’s important to note the victim “only attended the plunge, and didn't participate in the (Polar Bear) event” in 2009.  Her cause of death is listed as “accidentally from hypothermia and acute intoxication.”  One would assume you’d have to be PRETTY drunk to jump into water that cold.  Authorities believe Hottenstein “jumped in the water later that night” long after the event had ended. 

So she didn’t actually participate in the Polar Bear event, so they should be removed from the list.  But she was apparently stuck by a “seize the day” mentality.  So perhaps the poet Horace should be added as he is most associated with the phrase Carpe diem.  Or maybe Peter Weir, the director of Dead Poet Society which used the latin phrase as a mantra.  At the very least we can all agree the kid working at Blockbuster who rents the video to irresponsible day seizers is culpable.

Polar Bear Club

Many cities along the coastline host these less than impromptu swimming events.  Sea Isle City just happens to be unlucky enough to be the beach point that Hottenstein choose.  Can they really be blamed for such a random choosing?  Perhaps instead The Magic 8-Ball should be held responsible here for not dispensing the “outlook not so good” advice that was clearly required.

Sea Isle City

Never let it be said that this Irishman longs to live in a world where bar owners are subject to the laws of the common man.  Personally I think bar owners should be accorded the same rights as diplomats or Dali Lamas.

 Bar Owners Across America

The couple who invited her to dinner at their home that evening?  Are you serious?  So people invited you over for dinner and your family decides to sue them for your death?  Unless the plaintiff happens to be the parents of Hansel & Gretel, I think this is gratuitous.  Wait, what did they serve for dinner?  Because if they attempted to pass a DiGiorno off as pizza they ordered…fuck them!

Dinner Providers

Next up, the hospital where she died and the doctor who pronounced her dead.  Was she alive and they pronounced her dead?  Because otherwise, this guy can’t possibly be at fault and if he is, isn’t that the kind of “malpractice” you’d prefer? 

“You’re dead.”
“No I’m not.”
“Please don’t sue.”

I’m not sure what the hospital was supposed to do.  I haven’t seen all (or any really) of the files in this case, but I’m thinking they attempted to help her.  If not, than sure, you have a case.

Hospital & its employees

Finally, The Sea Isle City Police Department.  The corruption has been running rampant for years within this high profile organization.  I guess they are named because they allowed this girl to jump in the ocean sometime after 2:15 am.  They should have had vicious police dogs patrolling the beaches to keep drunken fools away from the “pretty water.”  It would seem the SICPD fell down on the job and its ranks should all be made to take an early retirement.  Might I recommend seeking employment at the lawless hospital down the street or maybe buying a bar where one never feels the burden of societal rules.

The real culprit here?  God.  He’s been killing people for decades.  Not because he created the oceans, not because he allows the fluctuations of temperature and not even because he endowed man to manufacture a poison called alcohol that many of us partake in regularly, but because he created man…and man are they stupid!

The real sin in this story is that a person named Hottenstein dies from hypothermia and acute intoxication.  The opposite of hot is cold and A LOT of alcohol fits in a stein.