Monday, May 19, 2014

Stop and smell the Lilacs

In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle—and from this bush in the dooryard,
With delicate-color’d blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig with its flower I break. - Walt Whitman
No matter how hectic your life gets, make sure you stop to enjoy the simple things in life. Spring always brings me a crazy schedule, full of moments when I want to break down and retreat from the world. During this time I make sure enjoy nature which is at its full glory. Nature reminds me of the importance of simplicity. Connecting with all the vibrant life blossoming all around is essential. I take a moment to stop and smell the lilacs, to soak in some sunlight, to go for a long walk outside, to wonder at the glory of the greenery that surrounds us and to watch a Robin hop along the grass looking for it's next treat. Don't ever let life disconnect you from nature. Always find a way back to it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jodi Arias - Travis Alexander Murder Trial - My Thoughts

Jodi Arias murdered Travis Alexander in June of 2008. She shot him twice in the head, stabbed him 27 times, slit his throat and left him for dead. She dragged him into the shower (where the attack first started), rinsed him off and left his body there. She didn’t do much cleaning of the crime scene. She did some laundry, deleted pictures from Travis’ camera and ran that camera through the wash. But there was blood everywhere. A few days later Travis’ friends, concerned that they hadn’t heard from him in a few days, went into his home and found the bloody crime scene. Jodi was mentioned in the 911 call made by Travis’ friend (not by name, just referred to as a “stalker”). From the very beginning she was a suspect and it wasn’t long until they found evidence against her. Shortly after the murder, she traveled to see another man and to have dates with him. This is astonishing!

I first heard of the story in September of 2008. I had read an article online about what happens to people’s social media profiles when they die. At the time MySpace and Facebook were the big ones, Twitter was only a little blip and Pinterest, Google+ and Instragram hadn’t been born yet. A popular site that chronicled the social media pages of the dead wrote an article about the case. (I won’t link the website here because it’s now known for infecting computers with malware). It proved to be the most popular article on their site because of the sheer brutality of the murder, the absurdity of the circumstances and Jodi Arias’ ridiculous stories.

Jodi Arias had three stories. First she said she wasn’t anywhere near Travis on the day he died. Investigators found this out to be a lie because they recovered her palm print as well as samples of her DNA from her own blood. When they presented this to Jodi, she changed her story. Her second story was that she was there and two intruders came to kill Travis. They supposedly knocked her out, killed Travis and after a few scuffles left her alive and Travis dead. The investigator didn’t believe her and frankly very few did. What was missing from her story was 1) why two intruders would want to hurt Travis and 2) why wasn’t she killed or hurt? The trial was delayed again and again. She fired lawyers and claimed she was going to defend herself. During that time Jodi came up with her third story which came in two different versions. Third story version 1 involved Travis being some sort of pedophile and Jodi killing him because of his rage. Jodi purpotedly came up with written evidence to that nature but the evidence was discounted because they were forgeries. Jodi acquiesced to having defense lawyers and third story version 2 was that Jodi killed Travis in self-defense.

I have been following this case for more than 4 years. A lot of information has been held from the public until Jodi Arias finally went to trial this January. Then there was a flood of detail. I watched/listened to about 20 hours/9 days worth of trials. I absolutely flat out refused to watch Nancy Grace or any other sensationalist reports. I watched the original and somewhat updated 48 hours reports but otherwise I stuck to the actual trials. I watched/listened to them via YouTube. I say watched/listened because it was so many hours that I found myself listening to the trial when I didn’t have time to watch.

The Jodi Arias – Travis Alexander story is one I have become emotionally and mentally invested in. And January has been quite overwhelming. The jury is currently at rest and it’s given me sometime to step back from the overload of information. Oh goodness and the pictures. Those horrific pictures. The blood, Travis’ body, their sexual rendezvous before the murder, they are all so incredibly graphic. These are pictures I was curious to see but never thought I would get a chance to.

What has surprised me about the case is that it’s not as clear cut to the Jury as it could have been. This is one of the few murder trials in which there are actual pictures of the murder as it’s happening. Pictures accidentally taken by the murderer! There is so much evidence. Time stamped photos, blood, hair, fibers, a body! Sometimes there is not even a body. Yet the question whether Jodi Arias should be found guilty for pre-meditated murder and get the death penalty or not guilty because of self-defense. I thought this was a clear cut case but there is a good chance that Jodi Arias might walk out of jail a free woman. I never thought this would happen!

The trial resumes on January 29th and there have been a lot of problems with this case so far. There are a lot of big questions that haven’t been answered. Jodi shot Travis with a .25 gun. One that she “stole” from her grandparents (she was living with her grandparents at the time). She claimed in the police interrogation that she never used a gun and that if she were to kill someone she would have used gloves. Where is the gun? Why did she carry the gun? Did anyone witness her carrying a gun? Can the prosecution demonstrate that she brought the gun with the purpose of killing Travis or can the defense demonstrate she brought it out of fear of being attacked? How did the get the knife that she used to stab him? Was it Travis’ knife from his kitchen? Neither the defense nor the prosecution have ever given a timeline of the actual murder. Plenty of the before and after but the story of what happened from the first gun shot to the final stab of the heart and slashing of the throat are missing. We just know that none of what Jodi Arias did was working to kill Travis until those two final cuts happened. At one point I heard in the trial that he was crawling away and she dragged him back (hence that incriminating palm print on the wall in the hallway). I think that Jodi thought the two gun shots would do it but was surprised to see that it wasn’t enough to kill him. Then she left for the kitchen or wherever (her car?) to grab a knife. In that time, Travis was alive but disoriented and tried to escape. She dragged him back (leaving the palm print) and proceeded to keep killing him until the job was done. To have killed someone she was so intimate with (she had a romantic and then purely sexual relationship with) she must have been in quite a rage. The defense remarked a bit about why Jodi might have gone into a rage. They said that Travis was sometimes sexually, physically and emotionally abusive. Also Jodi herself claimed on her 48 hours interview that Travis had shown her some abuse.

There are other questions too. Travis’ roommate was living with Travis’ body in another room for days. Was he involved somehow? Wouldn’t he notice the smell and Travis’ abandoned dog? I know the Jury had this question too (in Arizona, members of the Jury can ask questions) but it’s never been quite answered. The roommate claims he thought Travis was out of town. He ended up being one of the people who discovered Travis’ body when he helped two of Travis’ friends gain access to that part of the house. This seems all very fishy to me.

My thoughts have always been that Travis was stringing Jodi along, Jodi got fed up with it and when she found out Travis was going on a cruise with another woman (that woman was a witness during the trial) that she flew in a rage that killed him. A lot of stories muddle things but I still find myself going back to that. I feel bad for both Jodi and Travis. The modern day lynch mob that is following the trial want to see Jodi die for what she did. There are a few crazies that think she is innocent. I find myself in a gray area. I don’t think Jodi should have killed Travis. He didn’t deserve it. But maybe if Travis had not strung her along, going back to her for sex (which he wasn’t supposed to be having because of his Mormon beliefs), perhaps he would have still been alive today.

There is no intellectual debate or discussion about this case. It’s all sensationalism. If you want real perspective, stop going through ABC News, Nancy Grace, HLN or any of those sources that filter the news and give you sensationalism and not reality. Watch the actual trial on YouTube. Watch all of it. Don’t come to me with your Nancy Grace mindset and expect me to respect your opinion. Watching Nancy Grace for an hour is not akin to me following this case for four years. It’s just not.

I wonder what is going to happen to Jodi Arias. I really don’t know what the end result will be. I feel really terribly for Travis’ family and friends. They have all demonstrated undying love and respect for him and only had the most wonderful memories and thoughts to share about Travis. They weren’t clued into this other part of his life and maybe if they were they could have helped him before it was too late! He really didn’t deserve to die the way that he did.

I’m shutting off comments because I’m sure the only comments I would get are from the lynch mob who are out for Jodi’s head.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Beyonce Lipsyncs and I fake the National Anthem

(Picture from Jezebel/Gawker)

It came out today on various news sources (Huffington Post, Jezebel,Times of London, Washingtonian and more) that singer Beyonce lipsynced the our country's national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, at the 2013 Inauguration of President Obama. Now I don't know much about lipsyncing but I feel betrayed. I assumed the whole thing was real. I loved her performance so much that I watched the above YouTube clip several times and was moved to tears at each viewing.

Yesterday was a triumphant day for minorities. A black president's second term, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina to perform an oath of office, Richard Blanco, a gay Cuban-American poet, was one of the few poets ever to read a poem during a presidential inauguration, Rev. Luis Leon delivered the benediction and Beyonce sang the national anthem. I think this was one of the best inaugurations I ever witnessed (albeit from television).

Why did Beyonce lipsync? I've read several things. That it could be because of cold weather. That all performances are pre-recorded in case something happens. I also read that only once before, due to cold and wind, did musicians have to use pre-recorded music but other than that all performances are live. What gives Beyonce? We all loved your performance, how you tackled a difficult song with elegance, grace and talent but in the end you just pulled the wool over our eyes with your lipsyncing.

I know Beyonce is a talented singer and that she could have performed this live. While some people might think I'm over-reacting, I still feel betrayed. If she has the talent and the capabilities to sing this live, why wasn't it done? Why?

Then I started thinking of my one public performance of the national anthem. I'm a terrible singer now but I was a pretty decent when I was in elementary school. I was labeled something: Contralto? Alto? I'm not sure. But I was on the lower range.

In elementary school, during my fifth grade year, I signed up for chorus. I wasn't able to attend all the rehearsals and I missed a key one for practicing the national anthem. That rehearsal was for an upcoming performance in front of the school. I didn't get sheet music like I did for the other songs. I'm pretty sure the chorus teacher just expected us all to know the anthem by heart. I remember the recital. We were on standing bleachers and I chose the top left corner. BIG MISTAKE. A photographer from the local newspaper, The Milford Daily, was about to take pictures of us singing the National Anthem. The flag was hanging to my right and we all put our hands to our hearts and turned to face it. Because of this positioning, I was the closest to the flag so everyone's eyes and the photographer's lens were aimed straight at me.

My dilemma wasn't being shy, it was that I didn't know the words to the Star-Spangled Banner. I vaguely knew the beginning and I knew the last two lines but that was it. I was in big trouble.

It's partly my fault for missing the key rehearsal and not telling the teacher that I didn't know the lyrics ahead of time. In my defense, I was raised to be politically neutral and not patriotic. I, for the most part, sat out of the daily recital of Pledge of Allegiance. It was a religious thing encouraged by my mother. It wasn't a huge deal if I did recite the pledge because my mother wasn't very strict. Also, sometimes I faked it so the other kids wouldn't ask questions or think to make fun of me.

So there I was. A young girl, patriotically neutral, ignorant of the lyrics of the Star-Spangled Banner and with all eyes and one camera lens focused on me. I faked the anthem as best I could. I tried to mouth the words. My saving grace was that the photographer chose to take my picture at the moment when we all sang "home of the brave." I knew those words! I knew them. So I sang them confidently.

The picture that ran in the paper was of me and a couple of other students with our mouths wide open belting out that last word "brave". Or at least that's what it looked like. Phew!

I was just a little kid who tried to make the best of the situation. At least I didn't stand there and pick my nose or something. At least I had the sense to fake it so that I wouldn't look stupid. But I'm not a trained singer, a professional who was hired to perform publicly in front of millions of people. Thank goodness!

In the end, I'm not sure what to take away from the Beyonce situation. Should I forgive her because of my own personal experience, albeit a very minor one in comparison, or should I hold her accountable because she could have delivered but chose not to?

Here are the lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner. Maybe I'll finally learn them one day:

O say can you see by the dawn's early light, 
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, 
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, 
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? 
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, 
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there; 
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Quelle Quirks ~ Interest #1 Wolves

I have way too many interests. So many in fact that there are not enough hours in the days, weeks, months and years to devote sufficient time to each of them. Most folks know that I'm a classic film nut, that I love to cook and bake and I'm often found with nose stuck in a good book. But those are only my biggest passions. There are lots and lots of other things that fascinate me. And I mean lots.

I thought I'd share some of my quirky interests in a new series on this blog called Quelle Quirks. This is heavily inspired by fellow blogger Bev's Weird Admissions series in which she confessions different personality quirks. Her blog is private but you can check out her wonderful Etsy shop La Paperie & Cozy which is filled with excellent Handmade Leather Journals.



I simply adore wolves.They are by far my favorite animal. When I was a teenager, I didn't have posters of rock or film stars on my wall. My walls were covered in posters and artwork of wild animals, especially wolves. I had wolf posters, plush wolves, wolf t-shirts, wolf figurines, books on wolves, I even made a leather key-chain in school with a wolf pattern on it. At one point in my teen years, I had "adopted" a wolf and went to a captive wolf sanctuary in my state. My dream had always been to study wolves in the wild, but alas that was not meant to be. I had hoped desperately that when I went to Alberta to visit my aunt and uncle that I would see a wild wolf when we visited Jasper and Banff, two towns situated in the Rocky Mountains. I saw lots of wild animals on my trip there but no wolves.

Last night I saw a documentary on PBS called Radioactive Wolves. It was about the thriving wolf population (and wildlife population in general) in the abandoned Chernobyl Zone of the Ukraine and Belarus. You can watch one of the chapters of the documentary below or watch the whole thing on the PBS website. Seeing the documentary reminded me how much I loved this beautiful and often misunderstood animal.

Watch Radioactive Wolves on PBS. See more from Nature.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Not-So-Extravagant Wedding

My wedding is next year and while it's still several months away I am in full planning mode. One of the first things we did when Carlos and I got engaged was have an engagement photo shoot. The photographer iss a friend of his and she gave us a great deal. The pictures came out wonderful! I had signed up for David's Bridal's website and got a coupon for a free Photo Book from Shutterfly. I turned those engagement photos and iPhone pictures from the proposal into a Photo Book. It came out so well I got one for my parents. My mom loved it so much that she took it to work and showed all her co-workers. And then the problem began.

Her co-workers saw the fancy pictures in a printed hardcover book and immediately assumed that we shelled out a lot of money for it. They didn't know that we had gotten a discount from the photographer friend and that although I paid for the second Photo Book, I used two coupon codes which gave me free shipping and a 10% discount. All of a sudden all of my mom's co-workers are being super nice to her. Especially ones who had either ignored her or been rude to her in the past. She even got Employee of the Quarter which she hadn't received in almost 17 years (she's been at the company well over 20 years). Everyone wants to be invited to my wedding. The wedding they assume will be an extravagant and expensive affair. Not only that, my mother has been throwing out a random dollar amount for the whole wedding budget. Thanks Mom! Thanks for telling people how much you think my wedding will cost (FYI - I have not given her any numbers).

My wedding will not be extravagant. These are the 10 ways I'm pinching pennies.

1) No Bridesmaids, No Groomsmen, No Wedding Party - It's not traditional in Spanish-speaking countries to have these anyways. Also saves me money on having to give gifts, get flowers for the party, provide them with transportation, etc.
2) No flowers with a few exceptions - There will be no flowers with the exceptions of two bridal bouquets (one for me to hold and one for me to throw) and a few boutonnieres. And I'll be making the bouquets and boutonnieres myself to save money.
3) Ceremony and Reception are at the same place - I'm not having a church wedding. Both the ceremony and reception will be at the same location. We won't have to worry about paying for transportation to get people from one location to another or to pay two rental fees. Also, the location I chose is owned by my Alma Mater and I got an Alumni discount. Food/Catering is included in the price and they don't charge us a ceremony fee like other places do.
4) No Limousine - If the ceremony & reception are in the same place and I have no wedding party, why would I need it? It's a gross waste of money in my opinion.
5) No Rehearsal Dinner - Why would we need one if we have no wedding party?
6) No Engagement Party, Bridal Shower or Jack and Jill Party - I think our money was better spent on Engagement photos than a party. The wedding is the big party anyways. Also, while the Bridal Shower/Jack and Jill Parties would be organized by someone else and would be an opportunity for us to get presents, I think it's best to skip them to lessen the stress overall of wedding planning.
7) Hair and Makeup - I'm not 100% sure about this but I might be doing my own hair and makeup. It's expensive and if I pick a hair and makeup style early and practice it in advance of the wedding date, I can master it in time for the big day. However, two people have offered to gift me Hair & Makeup so I'm still deciding.
8) Decorations - No lights, no special tablecloths or napkins, no ice sculptures, etc. We may have some non-floral DIY & themed centerpieces but I'm not sure yet.
9) Dress and Accessories - Probably not going to have a veil. My ideal dress would be light enough to move and dance in. It will not be expensive because I'm only going to wear this once. Why would I want to break the bank buying it? I'm seriously considering ordering a handmade custom dress on Etsy however I just found out that my fiancee gets a 25% corporate discount at a well-known Bridal boutique chain.
10) Free help! - I have a wedding coordinator who is not charging us but is helping us out in return for experience. I'll be asking a few people to help out on the day (minor stuff). And I use for free wedding help and their organizational tools and Twitter for advice.

Things that are important for me to invest in include: save-the-date magnets, invitations, wedding cake, DJ, photographer, videographer, wedding favors, disposable cameras, honeymoon, travel for the ceremony officiant, wedding bands, marriage license, bachelorette party, etc.

So why am I being so cheap? I want a house desperately. And I also really want a honeymoon. I haven't traveled any significant distance for a proper vacation since 2003. I'm long overdue. I'd rather save money and keep costs down so I can have what I really want but still have a nice wedding.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bleach Makes Everything Bad Go Away

Bleach is so wonderful. It's the best cleaning product out there, bar none. My mom taught me so many ways to use bleach and it has been an essential weapon during my trials and tribulations of living at chez Carlos.

Before I moved into Carlos' condo, Carlos would never use a liner in his trash cans. This ongoing practice resulted in nasty trash buckets lined with a sludge that resulted from the decay of food material and other waste. Blech. There was no way I was going I was diving into his 13 gallon plastic kitchen trash can to clean it. No matter how many pieces of paper towel and how many bottles of all-purpose cleaner I had. No way. NO. JUST NO!

So what did I do? I took the empty (emphasis on empty) trash can and stood it in the bathtub. I then poured some bleach into it, just enough to cover the worst of the sludge, and let it sit there for about 15 minutes.Then I turned on the shower and let really hot water fill the trashcan. I made sure to open all the windows of the condo, including the bathroom one, because steam that results hot water and bleach is not something you want to be breathing in. In fact, I even went outside for a few minutes while the shower water was filling up the can just to get away from the fumes. Once it the trash can was full, I shut off the shower head and let the trash can sit there for a few hours while the hot water and bleach worked it's magic. I dumped the bleach water and got a sparkling clean trash can in return. No scrubbing, no spraying, no nothing. Thank you bleach!

Warning: Be careful when using bleach! Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards and be careful not to get any on your clothes. If need be, strip yourself of all clothing and wrap yourself in a large white towel or wear a white bathrobe.

Another way I use bleach is to unclog the bathroom sink and tub when it gets to filled with hair and other waste. Somewhat recently both the bathroom sink and tub were clogged and would fill up quickly and drain way too slowly. I don't know about you but I loathe standing water. It's a magnet for bacteria, bugs and the dreaded MOLD! I have little to no patience with standing water. What I used to do to treat clogs was add a couple glugs (yes that's a technical term I use) of bleach to help the water drain. It did help the drain go by faster but it didn't help the clog and the problem would continue. One day, completely by accident, I discovered the solution. After forgetting to help the sink drain with some bleach I went back and found the water had all drained. I looked inside the drain and saw hair, floss, string and other gunk inside. I poured enough bleach into the sink to create a pool reminiscent of what was leftover after I washed my hands. The bleach got to work and the drain burped a few times and the liquid went down. Ever since then, water drains quickly in the sink. I did the same for the tub and after a few belches it's been draining efficiently.

So why didn't I just buy some Draino? It doesn't work! I don't care how much research they've done and how it's advanced over the years. Draino, and similar products, are more money than their worth. After an incident with a tub clog back in my old apartment, I went through about 4 bottles of Draino only to have the tub still filled with standing water for hours upon hours after every shower. I called my mom in distress and her answer to me was Bleach and lots of it. I bought a small bottle of bleach (much cheaper than either of the 4 bottles of Draino I had purchased) and poured the whole thing in. The problem went away just like that!

So when in doubt, bleach! Bleach makes bad things go away. (Warning: Does not work on annoying people, only on annoying household grime and clogs and your laundry whites).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The War Against Mold and Mildew

I'll save you the distress of having to look at a picture of mold or mildew. You'll thank me later.

Mold and mildew. Oh how I hate you so. Before I moved in, Carlos' condo was a total mess. Standing water in the tub, a moth infestation, some light levels of hoarding, dust, hair and mold and mildew. And that's just a general overview! There were a lot more problems but those were the major ones. Carlos has asthma so how he lived in those conditions and survived is beyond my level of understanding.

I got rid of the moths by cleaning the kitchen and removing all of their egg deposits. I made sure that nothing dry (flour, rice, etc.) was exposed. Everything was in clean sealed bags or containers. I placed dry bay leaves in various cupboards to scare them away. The moths disappeared and haven't come back.Carlos had someone fix the drain in the bathtub and there was no more standing water. All the rooms were cleaned of hair, dust and clutter. It seemed like everything bad was fixed. But the mold and mildew still plague me to this day.

The problem with the condo is that it has poor air circulation, is in a shady corner of the complex so there isn't enough sunlight coming in and it is at ground level (mostly above ground). Because we are at ground level, it's not feasible to keep the windows open when we are not at home. It would be way too easy for a burglar to find his or her way in and make off with our valuable goods. So for most of the day the windows are closed.

Mold grows the most in the bathroom. Whoever tiled, caulked and painted the bathroom neglected to use anti-mold materials. You can buy anti-mold caulking and paint at any local hardware store. No one informed this person of that valuable fact. The shower is completely tiled and there is a window with a sill that's about a foot deep. The tile, including that flat surface of the sill which collects pools of water, is a magnet for black mold. Oh and how it loves to grow on that. The ceiling paint also has black mold. I have spent countless hours in that bathroom cleaning with hot water, bleach and mold remover. Alas, the mold always comes back with a vengeance sticking to anything it can.

So I developed a full battle plan against the mold (and the pink mildew which grows there too):

1. Open the window after every shower. Even if it's only for an hour or two. This daily practice helps bring in fresh air that will dry the tiles, tub, shower curtain and mat. Mold loves moist environments so the drier I can get the bathroom the better. There are no electrical outlets in our bathroom so a fan (my ideal solution for this problem) is not an option.

2. I invested in a anti-mold/anti-mildew bath mat. I've gone through a couple mats. The first one was a mold magnet and went from clear plastic to almost black. I threw that out. Then I got an anti-mold/anti-mildew bath mat which never collected mold but never dried. EVER! It was always cold, wet and squishy. Finally, I got a white rubber mat which was also anti-mold/anti-mildew. After every shower, we hang it up on the towel rod which is in the shower itself. Bad placement for towels, great for mats. The mat, suspended all day, dries thoroughly.

3. I also invested in an anti-mold/anti-mildew shower curtain liner. Pink mildew was a big problem on the last shower curtain I had. It would grow rampantly and I'd shiver at the thought of the curtain liner touching me. Ick! I switched to the new liner which works for the most part. However, if you scrunch the liner, the space in between the folds won't dry thorough and the pink mildew will grow. So we had to make a regular ritual of spreading open the curtain.

4. Weekly treatment of shower with an Anti-Mold/Mildew spray. Why don't I just do this every day? The spray has a heavy chemical smell and doesn't work on heavy mold growth. With steps 1-3, I keep the mold growth down and the Anti-Mold/Mildew helps remove what's left behind. It's also really good at getting that pink mildew off the curtain. I do this every Sunday and make sure the window is wide open to let some good air in.

Extra tip: I wash all used towels once a week with hot water and detergent and I dry them at the highest heat. After each use, they are spread out to dry on our new towel rack. Folding wet towels and not washing/drying them frequently enough will just be inviting more mold to grow.

I miss the days of having a super clean, always dry, mold-less bathroom. I lived on the 3rd floor of an apartment building and always kept the bathroom window open with no fear of a break in. Glorious! A dry bathroom is a happy one.