Surprise Seasonal Dream Drama: New York State Of Mind

Hey everyone!

We have a special surprise treat today: a mini dream drama, thanks to (drrrrumroll please..).. j3ffc! 🥳

This is what happens when serendipity meets inspiration meets a burgeoning drama education.

Let me explain. 😁

The Background

Over the holidays, Trent posted a link to this New York Times article to one of our chat zones in Patreon, along with a summary of the story.

This is Trent’s summary:

“A tour group from SK (nine people plus driver) got stuck in their bus in the huge snowstorm in Buffalo, NY (on the way to NIagara Falls), and then spent a couple days with the couple whose house they were stuck outside of… who coincidentally were all stocked up on food, and like Korean food, too, so had all the ingredients to make Korean dishes.”

South China Morning Post also carried a version of the article, which you can check out here.

In response, j3ffc wrote an inspired, absolutely brilliant story, all drama-fied for our enjoyment.

I loved it so much that I couldn’t not share it, and j3ffc kindly agreed to find a cast for his drama, so that I could share it here with everyone.

Please enjoy.

KFG ❤️

New York State of Mind

~by j3ffc

Proposal for Drama

Working Title: New York State of Mind (6 episodes)

Style: Cinema verité, sort of like Blair Witch Project, but without witches and horror and stuff

Synopsis: Five young couples meet for the first time (or is it??) at Incheon Airport for a long-awaited trip to the eastern United States. They are:

1. Jun-ho and Mi-ran, early forties married couple, have spent time as architectural interns in NYC and are fluent in English. They are revisiting the States to recall their youth.

Suggested casting: Jo Jae-yoon and Ha Ji-won. Dude’s gotta rehabilitate himself, somehow, and I like him playing against (recent) type across from Ha Ji-won, who is here reprising her role from “House on Wheels” (where she played herself).

2. Soo-hyun and Young-ae, dating couple, 20s.

Soo-hyun is an aspiring filmmaker and generically nosy, so he is the one with the video cam recording everything we see on the show.

Suggested casting: Lee You-jin and Bae Da-bin. Nice Brahms reunion, plus he played a filmmaker in Be Melodramatic.

3. Shi-ra (goes by Rhonda) and Soo-ho, 20s, long-term couple, currently with their relationship on the rocks due to Soo-ho’s inability to commit.

Not sure if they’ve ever kissed each other or not. Rhonda is fluent in English.

Suggested casting: Bae Suzy and Yeo Jin-goo. The closest we get to an OTP in this piece.  I really wanted to go with Kim Seul-gi and Kim Woo-bin for this, but the height difference police flagged me down for that.

4. Jang-woo and Ki-joo, mid twenties.

They’re just friends and on a trip gifted by Ki-Joo to Jang-woo, who is gearing up for his military service as soon as they get back.

Ki-joo is independently wealthy thanks to her mom (mom has made a killing in dramas and is played by Choi Ji-woo in voice over only) while Jang-woo is definitely from the wrong side of the Han).

Suggested casting: Jung Chaeyeon and Key (from Drinking Solo).

5. Ha-neul and Hyo-jin, late-thirties/early-forties.

He’s an advertising executive on the way up – but very demanding and needy at home. She’s an aspiring chef who has had to hold back on her dreams to support hubby’s ambitions. Fluent English speakers.

 Suggested casting: Son Suk-ku and Gong Hyo-jin

Upon arrival in NYC, they board a minibus that was, to be honest, not up to anyone’s expectations, for a drive up to Niagara Falls (where Soo-hyun has been secretly thinking about popping the question to Young-ae).

Quick shots of big sights: Empire State, Rock Center, etc.

But as the trip goes on the weather gets worse and worse, but the driver Joe needs to score this one last gig to buy his son a Playstation for Christmas, so insists on continuing.

Suggesting casting: John D. Michaels from “Squid Game” and “Stove League” as Joe.

They barely make it to Buffalo when the snow becomes too much and the van get stuck outside the home of one Alex and Andie Charles, who realize that this is The Darth Vader of Storms (cue Vader’s march, if we can afford it; if not, we have “Stand By Your Man” as a backup) and that there is no way that they can leave these travelers to the storm.

An ex-minister with a big heart and secretly the world’s biggest fan of Winter Sonata, Alex invites the crew to stay at their home.

Andie, also a Hallyu fan (more of a CLOY woman, though) is delighted to have some company. The tourists call home, with Alex perking up a bit upon eves-dropping into Ki-joo’s phone call with her mom, then shaking his head just a bit.

“No way,” he says to himself.

The crowd settle in for a night of getting to know one another, the interactions lubricated by digging into the Charles’s six cases of soju (should be enough for a night or two).

The Charles’s immediately start grilling the group about life in Korea and the ending of Memories of the Alhambra, but it grows late and people drowsy.

Jang-woo and Ki-joo serenade the group with a rendition of Silent Night and the guests, exhausted, fall asleep.

The Charles’s note (to no one besides each other awake to listen) that they have always wanted to go to SK, but it’s never been in the cards.

Suggested casting: Ed Begley, Jr. and Catherine O’Hara. I’m going older here than the actual couple to ramp up the pathos aspect of this being a once in a lifetime encounter for them. Also, O’Hara is such a good comic actor but I think she’d be great in a sincere, non-ironic role like Andie.

There will be set pieces.

Hyo-jin, delighted by the Charles’s huge pantry of Asian staples and rice maker, astonishes everybody with her cooking skills.

Even Ha-neul takes notice, seeing Hyo-jin in an entirely different light, maybe realizing that when it comes to relationships, he has been more lucky then entitled.

In subsequent evenings, the younger couples – with only school English – naturally hang together and play complicated drinking games after the Charles’s have gone to bed (although Alex does peek around the corner and smile at the shenanigans).

Inspired by the Buffalo/Bills game, they all have a rousing football game in the snow, where everybody looks unnaturally attractive in their snow gear.

But something is bugging Soo-ho.

He’s been staring at Young-ae for the last couple of days trying to place her and – O!M!G! – she is his third-grade First Love, now all grown up into a kind young woman.

He thinks about acting on this, but since Ki-joo has had long-term amnesia from a go-kart accident as a young girl, she doesn’t remember him at all.

Meanwhile, Soo-ho also notices the loving relationship between the Charles couple, and recognizes the value in growing old together with someone you love.

And there is another story going on, a Friends-to-Lovers saga between Jang-woo and Ki-joo, for whom close proximity has solidified what Jang-woo has always known.

He is deeply in love with Ki-joo but considers her to be above his status and doesn’t think she would ever stoop to a guy like him.

But, for her part, Ki-joo is immune to the allure of class and has always had a soft spot in her heart for Jang-woo.

They eventually stay up all night talking and, Ki-joo admits that she hopes that Jang-woo will still remember her during his service.

Soo-ho (remember Soo-ho?) has been paying attention.

Not only watching with admiration how Rhonda has interacted with Andie (the two have bonded over spicy stir-fried pork), but has noticed how she is literally glowing when standing next to the Christmas tree.

He finally figures out that he is, in fact, incredibly lucky himself to have met her.

Meanwhile, Andie teaches Hyo-jin how to make Buffalo chicken wings, and she formulates a brilliant business idea of bringing them back to Korea for a new store. Even Ha-neul approves and offers to invest.

The Korean crew worry about imposing on Alex and Andie, but they’ll have none of that, giving us viewers a badly-needed lesson in how to achieve world-wide peace.

As the group finally is able to arrange a transport back to NYC, the group plans a going-away dinner together in Koreatown.

They invite Andie and Alex to join them, but they can’t make it due to the snow and their modest finances.

They all agree that they will have to reunite in Seoul sometime soon, but we all know that it’ll never happen.

Quick shot to Rhonda and Andie chatting by the tree.

As everyone gets ready to head out, Soo-hyun quietly captures Soo-ho on his phone, fingering a boxed piece of jewelry, and making arrangements for the two of them to stay in NYC through New Year’s.

Quick cut to nothing as Soo-hyun’s video-cam runs out of memory.

~ The End ~

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j3ffc
j3ffc
28 days ago

So, John D. Michaels was not the first choice for Joe. The idea was to keep with the theme of redemption and to choose one of the seemingly ubiquitous stock Evil American characters that populate K-drama. I had initially chosen another American actor from an internationally famous K-drama in part because there were a lot of photos for him in searches. But, just in time, I realized that there were a lot of hits because he’s, uh, not that great a guy. Figuring that it would not do to have a netizen revolt on our hands, I swapped him out for Michaels, who checked all of the right boxes as well. In so doing, I also realized that there was a missed opportunity in our story.

So, if one wanted to go Whole-Hog Hallyu Hallmark, we could add the following scene, right as Joe is putting his coat back on.

ALEX CHARLES: You’re welcome to stay of course! We have plenty of room. (Looks around a little unsure of this.)

JOE: Thanks, but no. I gotta see what I can do about that van. I’ll be fine.

JOE HEADS OUTSIDE AND GETS IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT OF THE VAN. AS HE SITS, HIS CELL PHONE CHIMES (RING TONE IS “OH, COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL”). 

JOE (on phone): Hi, Boss! (JOE LISTENS) I got ‘em all here, just fine. Now it’s up to them, I guess. (JOE LISTENS) Thank you! Merry Christmas to you, too!

JOE PUTS HIS PHONE AWAY AS THE TINIEST SMILE CROSSES HIS FACE. 

SCENE.

Leslie
Leslie
28 days ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Love! So nailing it. 😍

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
27 days ago
Reply to  j3ffc

– 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏💥

j3ffc
j3ffc
28 days ago

THANKS SO VERY MUCH to KFG for her generous encouragement and willingness to indulge this little activity (not to mention awesome formatting skillz). My dear thanks also to the Patreon crew for their kind words about the original version.

It is an understatement to say that being “published” in these pages is an incredible honor.

Happy 2023, all!

Deepa
Deepa
13 days ago

As everyone gets ready to head out, Soo-hyun quietly captures Soo-ho on his phone, fingering a boxed piece of jewelry, and making arrangements for the two of them to stay in NYC through New Year’s.

Q- these are both guys right? Why Soo-hyun wants to spend time with Soo-ho..?? Ohh we are leaning towards BL?

j3ffc
j3ffc
13 days ago
Reply to  Deepa

Deepa, thanks for reading! The intent here was that Soo-hyun, our nosy videographer, is surrepticiously filming Soo-ho making plans to extend his trip with Rhonda, without Soo-ho being aware that he is being filmed. I don’t think that Soo-hyun will be invited….😀

Deepa
Deepa
13 days ago

But something is bugging Soo-ho.

He’s been staring at Young-ae for the last couple of days trying to place her and – O!M!G! – she is his third-grade First Love, now all grown up into a kind young woman.

He thinks about acting on this, but since Ki-joo has had long-term amnesia from a go-kart accident as a young girl, she doesn’t remember him at all.

Q-Is there a typo above?? the second para and first have different names..I am confused..

j3ffc
j3ffc
13 days ago
Reply to  Deepa

Good catch! You are right to be confused. I switched the identify of the crush (and more importantly, the relative age of the crush) in revision, and I missed the second call out. This not being The Beauty Inside, it should not be Ki-joo but Young-ae in the second paragraph. Thanks very much – you have serious editing skills!!

Last edited 13 days ago by j3ffc
Deepa
Deepa
13 days ago

I wanna confront the members of height difference police! 😀

j3ffc
j3ffc
13 days ago
Reply to  Deepa

They are an ornery bunch.

JJ
JJ
25 days ago

– This is FANTASTIC!!!! YAY! And yes! I hope we have a Valentine’s Day follow up 🙂

I am crying with laughter 🤣🤣🤣

” The Darth Vader of Storms (cue Vader’s march, if we can afford it; if not, we have “Stand By Your Man” as a backup) ”

The first draft “if we can afford it” was hysterical, but then you go and add “Stand By Your Man” as a back up which is a nod to your first drama Something in the Rain, right?!?! If I hear that song one more time 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 https://thefangirlverdict.com/2022/12/24/patreon-year-end-awards-j3ffcs-year-in-dramas/

Catherine O’Hara is comic gold and a fine actor! Excellent choice. And who better to be there with her than Ed Begley, Jr! Excellent Pathos Ramp Up 🙂 Comedians never get their due!

The ending of Memories of Alhambra! Yes, we must know about THAT ending 😂

My favorite line though will always be – “The Korean crew worry about imposing on Alex and Andie, but they’ll have none of that, giving us viewers a badly-needed lesson in how to achieve world-wide peace.” ❤️

Well done, sir! Well, done. See you in the Hallowed Halls of KFG University !!! 🦄

j3ffc
j3ffc
24 days ago
Reply to  JJ

Thanks so much, @JJ! You deserve a medal for reading this twice (but failing that, you at least get my appreciation).

WRT SITR (or as I like to call it, PNWBMF), it wasn’t my first drama but it was pretty early on in my drama experience. But it was definitely the first drama that made me want to draw all over my computer screen with a Sharpie!! 😖

Last edited 24 days ago by j3ffc
JJ
JJ
23 days ago
Reply to  j3ffc

– In lieu of a medal, how about a Valentine’s Day follow up 😇

Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food! Ah ok, sorry I misread that one and thought it was your first drama. BTW – what was your first drama then?

LOL – “But it was definitely the first drama that made me want to draw all over my computer screen with a Sharpie!!” I think it was my first drama I was yelling at the screen….

j3ffc
j3ffc
22 days ago
Reply to  JJ

Ah, first show was “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” (that Buffy connection), followed quickly by “Oh My Ghostess”.

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  j3ffc

– Ohhhh thats right!!! Now, I am remember you talking about SWDBS!!! How could I forget especially with that Buffy connection!!!! I had fun with Oh My Ghost and became a huge fan of Kim Seul Gi!!!

Ele Nash
27 days ago

WOW!!! It has it all!!! I was chortling merrily until you killed me with: “He thinks about acting on this, but since Ki-joo has had long-term amnesia from a go-kart accident as a young girl, she doesn’t remember him at all.” 🤣😂 Of course, amnesia! I could have done with the addition of a long-lost family member presumed dead – Andie’s less wholesome twin, perhaps – but heigh-ho, maybe my taste for drama swerves too melo 😄 Thank you for writing and sharing this, j3ffc!! You are officially our kfangurl scriptwriter ⭐

j3ffc
j3ffc
26 days ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Thanks, Ele! You have Trent to thank for the amnesia, which I forgot to put in the first version. We certainly could have gone more melo – maybe you could come up with a Dream Drama scenario for, IDK, Valentine’s Day? Thanks so much for reading and I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It was def too much fun to write this. 😂

Ele Nash
23 days ago
Reply to  j3ffc

I’m scared I’d enjoy it way too much too 😊

MC
MC
27 days ago

I loved this so much the first time you put it on patreon and now again on a second read. You capture the essence of a kdrama! Were you a screenwriter in a previous life, perhaps… lol.

Im also sad that Kim Seul Gi didn’t get a spot but how could we disobey the height police? Lol you are hilarious!

j3ffc
j3ffc
26 days ago
Reply to  MC

Thanks so much for reading this … twice!! It was so much fun to do…and we can all hold out hope for Kim Seul-gi if (and when!) Suzy turns us down. Thanks again for your kind comments, @MC.

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
27 days ago

An inspired treatment, that at six episodes, means the budget might just be manageable, 3jffc. Speaking of which – who would the sponsors be and how would you weave in the product placement 😉

I can see Kim Seul Gi, in her role in Second to Last Love, as part of the writing team, dealing with the proposal raising her eyebrows, noting the reference in the footnotes to the height police and reasons as to why the original choice could not be used 😁

As for Jo Jae Yoon, he is an awesome comedic actor. He is certainly menacing as the bad guy and rocking it in AoS. However, I like to see him get back to his dorky best such as when he played the hapless talent manager in Fantastic.

That was very naughty of you mentioning Stand By Your Man as the backup to Vader’s March. I can hear the detractors of SITR going off as I write 😂🥲🤣

Of course, unbeknown to everyone is Hyo Jin’s darker side in Missing. Those buffalo wings won’t stand a chance 😱

As a great watcher of those Christmas movies, and we watched more than normal this Christmas, to which my wife begrudgingly said I had picked a couple that were better than usual, the extra scene with John D. Michaels seals the deal. He was awesome as the mercenary team leader coming up against Suzy in Vagabond. Times ticking…

Cue Billy Joel – 🤩🤩🤩

j3ffc
j3ffc
26 days ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Wow, didn’t think of product placement, Sean! Another missed oport unity!! (Although I guess in real life those are woven in during actual filming – always think of Be Melodramatic in this regard. To this day, I can’t understand how they actually film most dramas as they are being shown. Talk about a high wire act!)

I’ve never actually seen JJY in another role but see that he’s done plenty. Glad to hear that he has decent comedic chops. And have never seen Gong Hyo-Jin in a dark role….I’ll have to peek at Missing at some point.

Glad you liked the extra scene! Definitely inspired by about a thousand holiday movies…

Thanks so much for commenting!

j3ffc
j3ffc
26 days ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Oh, and I am sharing the KSG angst with everyone here. (I just really was tickled by the idea of Suzy playing a character named Rhonda…😅)

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
26 days ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Rhonda has a nice ring to it 😁😁😁 Here is the synopsis to Suzy’s next drama Du Na (I can even hear your voiceover in my head for this one):

“When Joon moves into his new apartment on his first day of college, he wasn’t expecting beautiful ex-celebrity Duna to be living downstairs. Joon tries to avoid her at first, but finds himself growing more and more curious about her mysterious life.”

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
26 days ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

🤣😂😅

j3ffc
j3ffc
25 days ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Duna, Duna, Duna!

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
25 days ago
Reply to  j3ffc

I’m up for this one 😉🤩😉

Martina Conte
Martina Conte
28 days ago

wow I’m stunned…! It’s not like these things are to be taken lightly as some sort of divertissement 😅. In fact, given how popular k-dramas are becoming around the world thanks to Netflix and Disney Channel and given the first tri-lingual (English, Korean, Japanese) international production Pachinko, I don’t exclude that we won’t see a similar story on our screens in the coming months…

j3ffc
j3ffc
26 days ago
Reply to  Martina Conte

Thanks very much, Martina. I wish I had your flair for language (or the ability to write dialog in Korean, for that matter) but hopefully you enjoyed the little story. I, too, wouldn’t be surprised if something like this would make it to actual production. I know I’d watch it!

Natalia
Natalia
28 days ago

J3ffc, how lovely that there are no love triangles after all and no evil minister plotting against the characters (for an instant I got scared with that “ex-minister”, so relieved that you probably meant minister of the faith, after all). Also, I join the others in appreciation of the casting of Mr Michaels,it was about time he got a not so horrible part!

j3ffc
j3ffc
28 days ago
Reply to  Natalia

LOL! Definitely did not mean the political kind of “minister”! I just wanted to swap out the real-life dentist for something more Hallmark-y. And I just added a little tidbit about how we ended up with Michaels (with an added scene). Thanks for reading, @Natalia!

Elaine
Elaine
28 days ago

BTW, I had to laugh at the John D Michaels casting. He has been in SO MANY K dramas. Of those I’ve seen him in (I’m Not a Robot and Love in Contract), he played a scuzzy white man blatantly exploiting the Koreans. Lol.

j3ffc
j3ffc
28 days ago
Reply to  Elaine

Oooh, @Elaine, I forgot about Robot. He was nasty in that! Since you brought it up, I’m going to expand on this a bit in a special JD Michaels comment later. Glad you got a kick out of him.

Leslie
Leslie
28 days ago

j3ffc – I loved this as much as the first time I read it. 😂 It feels so real, despite some good tongue-in-cheek, Korean style. And John D. Michaels is an inspired choice for Joe. 🤣 Thanks again, for sharing your vivid imagination.

j3ffc
j3ffc
28 days ago
Reply to  Leslie

Thanks so much, @Leslie, for reading this twice! 😃😀 Since you, and Elaine, and phl1rxd brought it up, I’m going to add a little more detail on the “casting” of JD Michaels (including an extra scene) later today.

Trent
28 days ago

j3ffc –Great stuff! How could I not love the addition of a wee bit o’ amnesia? Playing homage to the classics, as is right and proper.

Some excellent casting suggestions, for sure…can we afford all that talent? Hmmm, maybe they’ll do it pro bono in exchange for a vacation trip to NYC after the filming?

And I definitely started giggling at the appearance of the “height difference police,” although you are not wrong in that case (shame to lose out on Kim Seul-gi, though!).

Thanks for sharing, good fun!

j3ffc
j3ffc
28 days ago
Reply to  Trent

Thanks again, Trent! The amnesia got me out of a little plot trouble (I suspect real drama writers feel the same way) and you had noted it, so I just went with it. And although no Truck of Doom, I did manage to sneak in a go-kart of lower-case doom in there.

Glad you liked the casting. I spent waaaay more time on that than I thought it would take. I tried to not simply use all my favorite actors…’cuz if I had KSG would definitely be in there! Maybe a cameo as a smart aleck agent checking everyone into the plane flight to the States….🤔

I forgot about rewarding cast members with trips! Unfortunately, in our case, the budget won’t let us bring everyone to NYC, so we’re offering everyone a trip to Buffalo instead.

Last edited 28 days ago by j3ffc
phl1rxd
phl1rxd
28 days ago

Ah me j3ffc – there are so many little delightful gems sprinkled throughout: (goes by Rhonda), the height difference police, they board a minibus that was, to be honest, not up to anyone’s expectations, Suggesting casting: John D. Michaels are just a few of the many ‘lovelies’ in this.

Bravo j3ffc!

j3ffc
j3ffc
28 days ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Thanks so much, – this was officially too much fun! I’m pleased that casting JD Michaels has gone over well (also Elaine and Leslie have commented) and am going to post on that separately, if you’re interested. So glad you liked the piece.

Last edited 28 days ago by j3ffc
phl1rxd
phl1rxd
27 days ago
Reply to  j3ffc

j3ffc – your casting was perfection. Mr. Michaels – ah me! There are few more to add that “That” list but he is right up there at the top. 🤣😅😂 I just can’t with the beards! 🧔😅

So many insider tongue-in-cheek goodies! Who needs an umbrella with this much lovely shade? 🤣😅😂 I LOVED💖 it! and the follow up as well!

Last edited 27 days ago by phl1rxd
Elaine
Elaine
28 days ago

This is so heartwarming and fun, very much in the tradition of Hollywood Christmas movies with multiple loveliness, like Love Actually, but with hallyu flair! I see you managed to slip in the amnesia trope! Actually I’m intrigued by your storylines which have the theme of appreciating and loving the one you’re with, and how a trip like this could get you to see your partner in a new light. It’s such an important lesson. I always disapprove of partner switching in Hollywood rom coms eg The Family Stone ugh.

j3ffc
j3ffc
28 days ago
Reply to  Elaine

I’m glad you found it heartwarming, @Elaine; that was the mood I was in when thinking about it. And Love Actually was, uh, actually, part of the inspiration. I felt like I was the only one who liked that movie when it came out but it has sure turned out to have legs.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
28 days ago

No (snowplowing) Truck of doom! No terminal illness! No revenge! Just a cozy feel-good drama.

j3ffc
j3ffc
28 days ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

“Cozy” was def the mission. 😀

uyen
28 days ago

THIS IS AMAZING, j3ffc!! the casting and details (Choi Ji Woo’s voiceover! first love!) are *chef’s kiss*

Would’ve loved for Kim Seul Gi to make it, but no matter, I have faith she’ll be in your next casting. Catherine O’Hara is a good choice.

I laughed at some of your notes “cue Vader’s march, if we can afford it” 😂

Absolutely brilliant, hats off to you! Now where’s our production team to make this happen

Last edited 28 days ago by uyen
j3ffc
j3ffc
28 days ago
Reply to  uyen

Thanks so much, @uyen! I, too, was sad about KSG, but I don’t think this script would have taken advantage of her comedic talents! Hope to keep her on speed dial 😂! We’re still looking for backing however, maybe in the for next winter….

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
28 days ago

This is great!

j3ffc
j3ffc
28 days ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Thanks so much, @Show Flower. Glad you enjoyed it!