WebJournal - The blog will set you free
News of no interest whatsoever except to very close and patient friends and family members and maybe people with no life

Wednesday, March 31, 2004  

Past 5 AM

Mario is sleeping on the sofa. Nicolás left a short while ago. I had to finish a translation for a friend and they both pitched in. I fed them and gave them wine and limoncello before exploiting them like slaves.

Permission to kick my ass

Should I ever stop going to cardio/dance classes I am hereby allowing my fan base to kick me in the ass.

The class I took today was packed with the usual dancy classes misfits, fun, quirky people.
As required the pros were lined up at the front and the back rows were populated with two left feet people.

I positioned myself in the second row, then slipped to the third but give me a couple of classes and I too will be fighting for that damn spot right at the front of the class.

The pace was really fast. Lots of steps, lots of combinations. The teacher said it was simple but he was lying. I've taken bona fide dance classes in dance schools that were much simpler. I LOVED it. I was especially pleased that I could follow almost everything and that I did not have to stop to catch my breath. The music was great, very very loud and thumpy. People were smiling. Energy was flowing.

It was so much fun that for the first time since M.A. left I was able to pass by the Opal on my way home, hear the music, look at the people crowding the bar and not feel like jumping under a car.

Oops, it's 5.20 AM!!!!!! Gotta sleep, gotta sleep, gotta sleep!!!!

5:17 AM

Tuesday, March 30, 2004  


Looks like I am actually going to get my sorry ass over to a funk class. I am all dressed up and ready to go.
I am sure I will fell better afterwards. Nothing like endorphins to cheer up a girl.
Wish me luck. It's been a while.

6:44 PM

Anybody out there?

I need an art buddy.
I want to keep aside some time for my pseudo-artistic pursuits. I've been commissioned a few ugly birds and I have several ideas to play around with Sculpey.
But, being me, I need some company. Somebody to chat away while I work. Or somebody to just be there. I don't care if you don't have a clue 'cause I don't either. I just need to commit my time.
If I can't find somebody soon I might post an ad on Craig's list.
I could probably be creatively available on Sunday mornings, probably most Sunday afternoons. Some Saturday mornings. Definitely some boring weekday evening (like on Mondays - Thursdays and Fridays I really hope to have better options).

Wood melts

I had no idea. I forgot a wooden spoon next to the stove. It caught fire. It melted.
It's never too late to learn something new.

3:38 PM

Monday, March 29, 2004  

Everything sucks today

I haven't done half of the stuff I needed to do. I barely managed to take a shower. Other than that I almost did not sleep and the little sleep I got was constantly interrupted by nightmares and the kind of end of the world middle of the night thoughts.

The hosting-pp server is still down.
ATT Wireless can't get back my deleted voice messages.
I could go on and on on this particularly self-pitying day but Mario will be here in a short while, we'll open a bottle of wine and hopefully this gloom and doom mood will be lifted.

8:03 PM

I am working and keeping an eye on the most fascinating show on channel thirteen.

1:53 AM

Sunday, March 28, 2004  

Italian mood

The Italian vibes started on Friday. Then Monica called from Rome on Saturday. Told me her husband, and my friend since high-school, is coming to NYC in April for a couple of days. Then she told me she met a girl I was friends with back in the days. Her name is Paola A., she is into her third marriage but in high-school she was Virginio's girlfriend, and Virginio was one onf my closest friends. She and I were called "Virginio's blondes" by his mother. Oh, I really really really want to go to Italy ...

Coming and goings

Johanny and Pascale came over for dinner yesterday. I had not seen the two of them together alone for a while. It was great and they had fantastic news. They are getting married!!!! And I was the one who introduced them so I see it as a personal victory. They are the cutest couple ever.

Pam is arriving on Wednesday. She is coming to see her friend Nora from Australia who is in town with her husband.
We might leave together on Friday in time for Ellen's exhibition in D.C. or she might just stay in the city for the weekend.

In April Raoul (my friend from Rome) will be here. Then Lisa from Geneva will be staying with me for 3 or 4 days.

A stiff neck is not a good thing to have

I went to the office today. The place is surrounded by trucks and movie people. Nicole is filming. Too bad Tom is not around.

Too many hours on too many computers and I will probably work at home through the night so right now I am off to get a full body deep tissue massage. Heavenly.

8:31 PM

Saturday, March 27, 2004  

Lack of logic

I am still holding the phone in one hand ... my mother is off on a rant ... somehow she manages to get to point C without passing through A and B ... and then jump to Y ... it drives me up the walls.

Once in a while I'll get suck into a conversation and deeply regret it afterwards ...

1:35 PM

untitledMemory Lane

This evening bits and pieces of what I thought were long forgotten poems started suddenly popping into my mind.
Like Verràla morte e avrài tuoi occhi by Cesare Pavese, who used to be one of my favorite authors.

Cesare Pavese

Verràla morte e avrài tuoi occhi-
questa morte che ci accompagna
dal mattino alla sera, insonne,
sorda, come un vecchio rimorso
o un vizio assurdo. I tuoi occhi
saranno una vana parola,
un grido taciuto, un silenzio.
Cosìli vedi ogni mattina
quando su te sola ti pieghi
nello specchio. O cara speranza,
quel giorno sapremo anche noi
che sei la vita e sei il nulla

Per tutti la morte ha uno sguardo.
Verràla morte e avrài tuoi occhi.
Saràcome smettere un vizio,
come vedere nello specchio
riemergere un viso morto,
come ascoltare un labbro chiuso.
Scenderemo nel gorgo muti.

Found a couple of translations into Spanish. The second is far superior. I could not find a decent English translation on line.

Then I recalled the beginning of another poem:

Ho sceso, dandoti il braccio, almeno un milione di scale ed ora che non ci sei e il vuoto ad ogni gradino ...

A beautiful love poem by Eugenio Montale. Amazing how I still remember it.

And everything else came tumbling after:
Cronache di poveri amanti by Vasco Pratolini.
And Dacia Maraini.
And La Storia by Elsa Morante.

I even remembered most of La cavalla storna by Giovanni Pascoli: O cavallina, cavallina storna, che portavi colui che non ritorna ...

From poems to songs: ...

(F.De Andrè - Monti)

Quei giorni perduti a rincorrere il vento
a chiederci un bacio e volerne altri cento

un giorno qualunque li ricorderai
amore che fuggi da me tornerai
un giorno qualunque li ricorderai
amore che fuggi da me tornerai

E tu che con gli occhi di un altro colore
mi dici le stesse parole d'amore

fra un mese fra un anno scordate le avrai
amore che vieni da me fuggirai
fra un mese fra un anno scordate le avrai
amore che vieni da me fuggirai

Venuto dal sole o da spiagge gelate
perduto in novembre o col vento d'estate

io t'ho amato sempre, non t'ho amato mai
amore che vieni, amore che vai
io t'ho amato sempre, non t'ho amato mai
amore che vieni, amore che vai

And of course Buonanotte fiorellino by Francesco De Gregori.

I could hop on a plane right now.

2:12 AM

Friday, March 26, 2004  

My turn!

Finally, they split!

9:02 AM

Thursday, March 25, 2004  

I've just checked my domain and it's not pointing to my mac.com page any longer. Good. This means the new name servers are working. Tonight I'll install PHP-Nuke or some other content manager. It will be a busy evening.

1:24 PM

Wednesday, March 24, 2004  

Uploaded pictures from the awards and fixed the problem with the Montevideo album.

The new server should be up in 72 hours max.

JP left this morning. Was here for a record 1 day and a half.

9:54 PM

Tuesday, March 23, 2004  

I'll make you an offer you can refuse

About 36 hours after my dental surgery I look like Marlon Brando. Just what I always wanted.

6:31 PM

Monday, March 22, 2004  

Unpleasantness runs in the family

I am watching Larry King with different Martha Stewart's relatives. They are as unlikable as her. Either these folks are the least charming people ever or they are in dire need of non-verbal communication coaching. Her daughter, niece and sister are exactly the kind of people that, should I had the disgrace of meeting at a party, I would walk away from as fast as I could.

Saturday Melissa and I saw Dawn of the Dead. Great gore movie!

12:48 AM

Saturday, March 20, 2004  

The kids are asleep. I am surfing the net on somebody's unprotected network.

11:04 PM

Webcam off now. I am taking my iBook with me to Cecilia's so I can get some work done.

JP is not coming on Sunday. It's Monday now.

7:10 PM


Could I get feedback on my webcam? Is it working?

1:06 PM

untitledAllow me to brag

and please allow me to brag again

You are now reading the blog, the very head juice, straight from my brain to this webpage through my fingertips and a few technicalities, of an UN 21 awardee. What's the UN 21 Awards thingy? Tzk Tzk. Such ignorance on your part. You should be ashamed.

Introduced in 1996 by the Secretary-General, the UN 21 AWARDS were established as part of the management reform effort. The award provides recognition and special thanks to staff members for outstanding achievements in improving efficiency.

I am part of a technological advisory group that, when I joined, was basically comprised of six geeks meeting in the cafeteria. Now we are officially recognized and, should I add, globally admired and revered. One of us, an extraordinary guy with a mind that's always all over the place, came up with a great idea the details of which I will not disclose - first and foremost because geek stuff is pretty uninteresting to non geeks and then because I' d like to keep my job and the safest way to do so is not to blog about it. Anyway, as a team we all pitched in and again, as a team with fine emotional intelligence and a knack for milking an opportunity, we presented the project and well ... won. Got it? WON!!!!

Just a little more bragging

Our project was one of 78 submitted in 2003 from across the global Secretariat. It was selected as a winner in the category of "outstanding knowledge management initiative" and, mind you, was the only IT award designed and carried out by amateurs.

So yesterday was the award ceremony. With Kofi da' man himself. I was a little apprehensive and concerned that it might turn into one long self-congratulatory pompous affair. I was wrong. It was fast paced, unrehearsed and heartwarming. I especially appreciated all my coworkers crowding the seats of the auditorium and clapping like crazy. Kofi Annan could not ignore my celebrity status and when I got to shake his hand he commented on what a popular staff member I was. I answered something very humble like "Yes, of course" and beamed a few seconds on stage for the mandatory picture before the the lights went off on my brief 15 minutes of fame.

Back to planet earth now. Gotta hop to the pharmacy to get antibiotics in preparation of my dental implants surgery on Monday. Talk about a reality check.

In other headlines

JP will be arriving sometime tomorrow afternoon and departing sometime on Wednesday. I sure won't get a husband overdose anytime soon.

Today I shall take Melissa to the movies and then babysit Cecilia's kids in the evening. Tomorrow I will refuse to speak to anyone under 5 feet.

12:06 PM

Thursday, March 18, 2004  

Apologies to the fans: the blog was down most of the day. Some problem with a server on blogger.com. Now everything is back to normal.

Yesterday was St. Patrick's. And I finally had a great evening out! First I went and had my hair chopped off. It was quite long, for my standards, and it was getting to look very ladylike. Frankly, I detest ladylike. Of course they did not go without a fight and yesterday morning they looked better than they had in months, pleading for their life. I ignored the ruse and kept my appointment with the hairstylist ... hair dresser ... hairs sculptor ... hair artist ... whatever ... He has done Uma recently, does Julia's sister consistently and has even chopped Meg's hair back when it was very long. Notice how I am now on first name terms with all of them now that our butts have shared the same chair. Anyhow, my hair is now way shorter than planned, but probably the length I secretly wanted. It's also kinda shaggy, not ladylike at all. JP will kill me but it's too late now.

After the chopping session I went to Monse's and from her place, with her two visiting friends and Pamen, we went over to a nearby Irish pub. I've been there once with M.A. before but can't remember the name of the place. After a few beers there I proposed a stop at The Duplex and there we had a grand ol' time. The singing waiters and waitresses were great, as usual, and the whole atmosphere was so much fun. I sang like there's no tomorrow or, more like it, I hollered painfully. I didn't even mind standing in line to use the disgusting bathrooms. People are so friendly and it's always nice to strike a conversation about different peeing urgencies. A guy actually begged me to pee as fast as possible. I think it's called an intercultural exchange.

A lot of beer was consumed. I wasn't particularly damaged (then again, I am a functional alcoholic) but it seems one of the guys does not remember long stretches of the evening. After The Duplex we had dinner somewhere and I finally got home happy. Content. Satisfied. Appeased.

More later. I gotta rush to Delta Grill for dinner.

8:17 PM

Wednesday, March 17, 2004  

Yesterday we had a snow storm! While everybody was bitching about it I actually got to the office singing out loud. I love it and, for chrissake, it's probably the last snowfall of the season: let's enjoy it!

Cecilia told me about going to see the elephants but then we decided against it, thinking it they would probably not come out in the snow. We were wrong and we missed them!

So, snow and all, I was home very early yesterday and climbed into bed to play on the computer and do nothing else. End result: I woke up at 5 AM today. I am getting up now and having a decent breakfast.

A few shots taken with my Nokia on my way to the nail salon from the office:

6:15 AM

Monday, March 15, 2004  

Is it just me?

DailyCandy today assures me that on those rare occasions when you feel a bit less than perfect, I can count on this sexy lingerie, which is saucy as only the Brits can be, ... is it just me or do somebody else finds this on-line shop repulsive? The girl looks so young and, frankly, retarded, her body so undefined, her butt so sad. In some poses she looks like she had to pee, badly. Everything has an amateurish taste to it and the underwear itself made of silky nylon and soft mesh: yuk!

6:28 AM

Sunday, March 14, 2004  

Big socialist victory in Spain. M.A. called from Madrid in an explosion of happiness. Something tells me a lot of people are rejoicing today. I know for a fact my family is.
Can't wait to hear the comments tomorrow at work.
For now watching The Texas chainsaw massacre will have to do.

9:59 PM

I'll be back

rosariofernandez.com might be down for a couple of days while I am transferring name servers, so you'd better bookmark the URL to this blog instead of relying on the link on the main page.

A pleasant Saturday and an extremely unusual experience

Vivienne did not feel well yesterday so Nicolas and I ended up having vegetarian dim sum in Chinatown before slowly strolling over to the Apple Chapel were I had to resist the strong urge to buy an Epson printer that I will probably end up ordering on-line today. The beast's consumeristic appetite having not being assuaged and I having checked the new Swatch collection on-line just a few hours before I interpreted the unexpect appearance of a Swatch store as a sure sign from Heaven above and dived inside to get myself a nifty new Melting Spot .
We kept strolling towards Monse's and by the time we got there it was a little early but too cold to stand outside so we decided to shamelessly interrupt her siesta.
Her friends are very nice, one more so than the other. Not that one is not nice, just that I am naturally drawn to more open personalities and man who are clearly into anything female have a charm of their own.
We had several beers at the Beauty Bar - it was my first time there and though a little dingy at the beginning it quickly filled with all sort of East Villagers and the likes. Plenty of models or models wanna bees, plenty of strange looking girl in quirky outfits and a nice eclectic crowd all together.
Dinner was at some Ucranian place, not particularly good.

Something amazing happened yesterday: I was outchatted by this tiny young girl with a very sweet voice and a steady, unrelenting stream of yakety-yak coming out of her mouth. I was in awe. She actually shut me up. Wow.

One fourth of my fan base reading my blog at the Apple store in SoHo.

12:40 PM

Saturday, March 13, 2004  

A vague sense of sorrow

Yesterday I diligently printed out 50 copies of the black ribbon and went with a bunch of coworkers to the demonstration in front of the Cervantes Institute (También unas 800 personas se concentraron en silencio ante el Instituto Cervantes en el centro de Nueva York, convocados por las autoridades españolas en la ciudad -consulado, misión ante la ONU, Instituto Cervantes-. La manifestación, formada en su mayoría por españoles, estuvo llena de pancartas con crespones negros en señal de luto. Tras cinco minutos de silencio, el acto acabó con una ovación.).

I've been hopping from one newspaper site to the next with a vague sense of deja-vu.
For some reason the article I found the most disquieting is one I can't seem to find now. It was about a daycare center where 7 children waited in vain for their parents to pick them up. Something about the image of little kids waiting for mothers and fathers that will never come back is profoundly disturbing to me.

I spoke to my niece Jimena this morning. She lives by the Atocha train station and she was telling me of the eery silence in the city, reminiscent of what it was like in NYC after 9/11.

Yesterday evening I was supposed to go to Monse's to meet a couple of friends of hers who were arriving in town but my friend Daniel asked me to look after his kids for a few hours and by the time he came to pick them up I had fed them and myself and lost momentum.

Today I let it all out on the bouncer and I am now ready to meet Vivienne for brunch. I hope to squeeze the juice out of the day because chances are I will be working tomorrow.

Geek news

I've opened an account at Hosting-PP. I already have all the space I need on Lunarpages but I'd like to play with PHP-Nuke or some other content manager and they charge $1 a month for each extra SQL database (the one that comes with the basic account is taken with the photo gallery). At Hosting-PP I would have unlimited MySQL databases and tons of open sources solutions. Play time!

So this is what happened yesterday! I spent hours trying to get to my Hotmail account!

12:52 PM

Thursday, March 11, 2004  

untitledRude awakening

Got up today to a phone call from Cecilia telling me about the bombs in Madrid. I checked my AOL IM and saw my brother on line. He's a journalist in Madrid so seeing him on line reassured me about his safety. I chatted with him briefly and then started trying to call my in-laws. I tried several phone numbers, managed to get through to one but could hardly hear what they were saying, except that they were OK. I assumed the phone lines would be a mess today in Madrid, just as they were here on Sept. 11th. so I IM my brother again and asked him to check on M.A., who's OK too. Thank God. My niece Jimena just called me, she lives across from the Atocha train station and was awakened by the explosions. ETA has yet to claim responsibility for the attacks but if I remember correctly the police foiled a similar attack not long ago.

9:06 AM

Babysat Cecilia's kids tonight and got gummy butts from a sex store in exchange.
She also lent me a book. I like it so much I am asking my sister to buy me a copy in Spanish. Gotta read it now.

1:53 AM

Wednesday, March 10, 2004  

A knack for savings

What do you do when you have a full membership at three different health clubs (fortunately not at the $24,000 a year new Equinox)? Well, if you are me you work out at a friend's gym!
Tonight I finally dragged my sorry butt to Nicolas' and somehow managed to stay on the treadmill for all of 37 minutes of what maybe could qualify as a power walk with some light jogging here and there. Better than nothing, I guess.
After such strenuous workout I replenished fluids and regained strength with a beer and quite a few banana chips. Nothing like a balanced meal to make you proud of yourself. It feels good to do things right!

Illegal activities

OK, after coming back from the gym, we engaged in some ripping activities but I will not give more details. I am taking the Fifth.

1:22 AM

Tuesday, March 09, 2004  

untitledDifferent places, different people


Had lunch with Melissa at Angelica's Kitchen. Vastly overrated. The dessert was delicious but the food was really not very good. Melissa hardly touched hers.
As for the customers, why is it that vegetarians have to look sick and morose and eat in slow mo? I know careful chewing is supposed to be good for you but come on, is it really necessary to take micro bites out of your sandwich and take 45 minutes to munch on three green leaves? At places like this there's always somebody reading a particularly deep and abstruse book. Gee, and I thought eating and reading was a big no no. Aren't you supposed to be in the moment? To transform the act of feeding yourself into a mindful meditation?

So, as I said, Melissa basically fasted and I had to buy her a giant popcorn at the movies. We saw Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and we loved it. It's silly, it's girlie, it's funny.
While waiting in line I got to observe an assortment of NY moms and a couple of dads. Some of the moms were clearly of the single-woman-with-the-biological-clock-problem variety. Blonde, fair skinned not-so-young women with Asian kids whom they treat like the second coming of the Christ.

On my way back to drop Melissa home I stumbled upon a great new shop, Mogu, where I just HAD to buy a multicolored cushion.

In the evening I went out to a pub with Nicolas and then for dinner at a Japanese restaurants. Saint Patrick's is fast approaching and the Irish pubs are getting an older clientele and the mandatory folk bands.


Lunch with Pilar at a new place on 9th Avenue (I think). It's all white and it looks almost like a lab. It also has a very good mojito.
We then went to the movies at the Lincoln Center.
Here the crowd is much older and disheveled. Lots of those older ladies who seem to be waging a private war against the art of hair styling and are always eating out of plastic bags buried somewhere in their purses. Here too people read deep books while waiting for the movie to start. Unfortunately all this supposed sophistication does not exempt them from being grossly ill mannered. Today one guy was shouting "asshole" at another (I was already giddy with anticipation, I really thought they might hit each other, then I remembered where I was and had to let go of the excitement) and some shouting match one row before us when one woman arrived late and needed three of those ladies with no hair dos to to let her get to it. Not a whole lotta love lost there.

After the movies we crossed over to the new Time Warner mall and Fresh Fields. Here we were in hipland again. Butch looking lesbian couples, downtown kids, plenty of foreigners, The supermarket is spectacular though.

Even NYC is a small town

Yesterday, Monday, I had an appointment with a new dentist. As a matter of fact, with a new dentist that has just started working with my old dentist. This new guy (he is the last one on the right, in brown) is the one who will be doing my implants. Well, we knew each other. He lives in my building. His brother does too. Now, how many dentists are they in the city?????

8:47 AM

Saturday, March 06, 2004  

Had dinner yesterday at Cecilia's. Her brother was there, visiting on his way to France. I might have met him briefly years ago, in a car. For some reason that's all I remember. Anyways, the guy's a sweetie. I loved him. And I think he has dimples!

Vivienne just called. She's a block away. Gotta rush.

11:38 AM

Friday, March 05, 2004  

Breaking News! There'still justice in this vile ol' world! Martha Stewart has been found guilty on all four counts! Maybe I should throw a party! I can't stand that frigging c***!

4:32 PM

The power of veggies

Today I sat at my desk at 7:30 AM and worked all the way through 8:45 PM, no lunch break, no coffee break, no nothing. Just a hearty breakfast and lots of almonds. Yet this evening as I was walking back home listening to loud dancy music I could feel jolts of energy traversing me.
It's almost 1:30 AM now, I've been e-mailing, journalling (I've just discovered that the correct term is actually "journalizing"), doodling and now I am going to work some more and then read a little. Tomorrow I'll start drinking the marvelous green stuff again. I am not sure I buy the pseudo scientific babble behind it and I can't say I know how it works but I can guarantee it does. Instant vibrancy.

So Bush is launching the big hunt? Something is telling me that Bin Laden will be found just in time for the elections. How revolting.

1:24 AM

Thursday, March 04, 2004  

Finally! After sleeping only 3 hours on Tuesday night, yesterday I made a real effort and slip between the sheets at (gulp!) 9.30 PM! I did not fall asleep immediately and I did wake up at 3 AM but with another minor effort here I am, awake and alert at 6 AM!

I have become a fan of Mark Siegel's blog. He's bright incisive and funny. He's also cripple, as he puts it. So much for preconceived notions.

6:12 AM

Wednesday, March 03, 2004  

2:35 AM

The attack of the giant albino

On Friday I was peacefully sitting in my seat, waiting for the train to stop at Union Station in D.C. when this giant blond guy, your typical salesman in a black suit, loud and obnoxious, tried to get to the door and bumped into my luggage.
He shouted something at me to the effect that he was a pain in the ass. I smiled politely and replied I had not said that. He said he was reading my mind and then tried to get to the door again to the sound of several "Shit!" while he dropped his bag and could not open the door. He then came back, sat right across me and hollered something in my direction. I think he was asking me where I was going. D.C., I said, to visit with friends. He then shouted "What bars do you go to?". That took me by surprise. I really was not expecting such a direct question. I still can't believe my answer but I actually assured him I did not go to bars (I probably had liar written all over my face). I felt guilty for lying. He did not like the answer. He insisted. He asked why. He asked my age. I had to admit I do go to bars and felt obliged to explain that I usually do not go to bars in D.C. because I stay with friends. Why on Earth do I feel like I have to answer whatever questions anybody feels like asking? Sometimes I am afraid somebody will inquire about my bowel movements and I will not be able to shut up.
The giant albino also asked me the token "Where are you from?" question. I told him, although I knew he would think I was making it up and probably making up the name of the country too. He laughed me off with a "Oh, yeah, sure" or a "Get outta here". Guess he didn't believe me.
I think he then muttered something disparaging about his wife (how on Earth can somebody like that ever find a mate????). As soon as the train stopped at Union Station I ran full speed to the exit hoping he would not catch up with me at the taxi stand. He was one scary dude.

Should I want what everybody else wants?

I am finding myself in the absurd position of having to work my butt off for something I am not even sure I want. I am sort of enjoying the process and even the long hours. Still, the carrot at the end ain't much of a price.

[iTunes was playing "Harder to Breathe" by A. Levine & J. Carmichael, among others, while I was writing this.]

OK, I prepared the perfect Opal-like songlist for iTunes and my iPod. What better activity for the wee hours?

2:17 AM
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