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kyyrandi: (Default)
Saturday, January 19th, 2013 07:56 pm
I may at times complain about our coach. I'm not exactly ecstatic about our goaltending. The power play could use some improving.

And yet, when they do something like winning two games in a row in as many days against a team that was just above them in standings, rising to number two, just four points behind the first place team in the process. Oh, how easy it is to forget everything but the love.

Plus, Salomäki scored on both nights, and our nineties line all together were just rocking it, and I can't even! 

(While on the subject of kids: Kasperi Kapanen, the son of Sami Kapanen scored his first SM-Liiga goal, and played on the same line as his dad. I feel old now.)

Kärpät better not only make the playoffs, but at the very least do a deep push, or I'm going to cry. Or who am I kidding, at this point, anything but the championship will lead to tears. And not the pretty kind either.

The only problem is since I'm a little high on the win, not to mention a very hyper, because of the caffeine I've drank so I'll be able to successfully pull and overnighter, so instead of patiently waiting for a couple more hours until puck drop, I feel like a five year old on sugar high, on christmas eve.

.. I thought about using this time in somewhat productively and writing, for about a half a minute, before deciding that I wouldn't be able to focus on it long enough to come up with anything printable anyway.
kyyrandi: (Default)
Sunday, January 13th, 2013 08:47 pm
.. Which I sometimes seem to forget.

First things first: I'm BAAAACK.  That is, I have a working computer again, and should once again be able to update at least somewhat regularly. And of course also, yey for NHL getting it's ass in the gear again. Still going to miss Demers though. Why oh why must he play for the Sharks?

Anyhoo, I can't wait to mess up my sleeping patterns by waking up at three am. / staying up until seven am. to watch games, right when I had managed to turn it around to something somewhat normal resembling. But more on the NHL some other day.

Because I went to watch my SM-Liiga team play on Thursday, and I have FEELINGS about the game and I need to get them out. But before I get to the game itself, here's watch been happening with them since I last updated. EVERYONE IS INJURED. That pretty much covers it. If I remember correctly, at the last count, we had I think six or seven forwards out, and as for our defense: since the start of this year we have been able to put six Ds in the roster in idek, one or two games? Rest of the time the whole has been plucked by playing one of our forwards, Joonas Komulainen, who isn't even 170cm in height, so yeah, really tiny, and also did I mention it a fucking FORWARD!

And then they're our goalies. As for them, the situation took a turn for the absurd right before christmas, when our backup got put on IR. Our starter had already been out for almost a month at that time. Meaning that the team didn't have a goalie, expect for a 17 year old junior, who has yet to play a single SM-Liiga game, and a third stringer on loan from the team at the bottom of the standings (who btw, could've gotten called back up by his team, since their start up goalie had been injured as well.)

So I guess you could say, that the last couple of weeks have been somewhat stressful. Luckily, the loaned goalie got to stay with us for as long as we needed him, and both of our own goalies returned to action this week. Still, the amount of bad luck this team has had is really getting out of hand.

But anyway, back to the game on Thursday. My boys won 3-0 after a game of not the worlds most skillful hockey ever. But then again, considering the amount of penalties as special situations in the game, (in total, the teams gathered 59 penalty minutes, 12 of which were for Kärpät.) Of the second period, just five minutes were five-on-five. Mostly the reason for it all being this situation:

Now, as a background, Ohtamaa, the Kärppä player who ends up getting pummeled to the ice, had hit Kantola, the Ilves player doing the pummeling, way back when in October and landed him on IR for more than a month, mostly because of bad luck. This was the first time the two players had met since.

At the time this incident happened the second period had been going on just over two minutes, and Kärpät were up by one. The result of if: Kantola earned himself 2+2+5+20 (hooking and tripping calls, if I remember correctly, a major for the fight, and automatic game misconduct because of it), meaning that his team had were killing off nine minutes of penalties, and were out their number one center. Who, btw, is currently on temporary suspension, while the disciplinary board makes their decision (meaning four or more games, any less and the league disciplinarian would've already ruled on it.) 

The level of stupidness: I'd say even trolls would be capable of more brain functions than Kantola at the time..

But somehow some people managed to be even more stupid.

Including yours truly, the truth be told, because I really should know better than to go anywhere near hockey message boards, when it comes to anything even remotely controversial happening on the ice.

But anyway, I did, and here's the problem I had with the tone of the conversation: a) What kind of crazy person thinks it's reasonable to be asking a person to get up and hit back when they are already down and someone keeps hitting them? Or that taking a defensive posture in that situation (which, btw, is as much about instincts as it anything else) is somehow cowardly?
b) Since when has it been a requirement for players to drop their gloves every single time someone asks them to? Kärpät were already playing with just five Ds, and had Ohtamaa taken Kantola up on the offer, they would've been down to four (and Komu, but let's not go there), since fighting means an automatic game misconduct in any situations in SM-Liiga. And seeing as how the game was 1-0, with 38 minutes left to play, why on earth would've Ohtamaa started fighting then? Or why should he have?

(Then there's the whole issue of how I much I despise the culture of feminizing players or actions that are viewed as non-desirable, and how that one of the biggest problems I have with hockey culture on general, but I'm trying to not get in to that any deeper right now, because if I did, this post would at least double in length.)

But any case, the rest of the game was enjoyable enough - mostly because yey, we won - but at the same time, it was once again a somewhat bittersweet reminder on how much it suck to cheer for a team when you only ever get to see them in away games. Which made me decide, that come playoff time, if Kärpät manage to make it, I'll be making a trip to Oulu to see them play at home, come hell or high water. Sure, it's over three hours in train, one way, and I'll have to spend close to a hundred euros, on just the travel alone, and also, I have no place to stay up there, but somehow, I'm going to make it work.

Also, for something completely different: the Doctor Who Christmas Special was damn near close to perfection and Clara has the potential of becoming the best Companion since Rose. More on that to follow, for now: Is it April yet?

Oh, and plus: I borrowed the Batman: Arkham City from a friend. So far I'm loving it.
kyyrandi: (Default)
Friday, December 21st, 2012 02:42 am
.. Because as much as I love my iPhone, writing anything longer than a textmessage on it, kind of a bitch.

Mostly I'm just popping by to say that I'm in fact still alive, and planning on re-joining the world of active bloggers one of these days. Is just that, in perfect sequance of events the bane of my existence, also known as The Cat ate through YET ANOTHER computer power chord, which is not as those don't cost almost hundred euros a piece and it's not as if I wasn't pretty screwed financially already, and then on top of that my phone broke down, effectively cutting me off the net completely.

So yeah, that sucked.

Especially since while I have koe managed to get a new phone, I sadly remain computerless, and will propably continue to do so at least until January. Meaning among other things that suck ass, that I don't have anything to watch the World Juniors on.

Somehow, I'm not feeling particularly warm and fuzzy towards my cat at the moment..

But anyway, I really do need to very briefly vent on a few hockey related issues:
-my teams goalie situation is starting to cause epic levels of anxiety. Just when our number one goalie was finally starting to seem play like he might actually be worth his salt, he went and got a groin injury about a month ago, and will be on IR at least until New Years (possibly longer; in a recent interview our coach said that it hasn't been improving as well as they were hoping). So you know, good times.
- Speaking of my team, I don't even know where to start on the whole business with Turris and the G&M interview. I'm somewhat equally pissed off about what he said initially as I'm about the way he backpedaled on his words, without ever owning up to them..
Idek. But here's the thing. Let's imagine for a while, that the situation were reversed, say Selänne retires, moves back to Finland and then opens up about how much he hated playing in Canada and Winnipeg especially is the worst hellhole ever. Can anyone claim that there would be any end to the kind of shitstrom that would create? So why would a Canadian doing the exact same thing be even remotly okay?
(Also, there's just so many things I'd like to say about some of the fan reactions to all of it, and what that speaks about Finnish peoples national identity, but it's late and I was trying to keep this post short. I will say this though; gotta love the fact that having a messed up self-esteem is such a sore subject to some, that defending against comments such as Turris made is a sign of said bad self-esteem, because obviously only someone with bad self-esteem would feel that anything he said could be taken as offensive.)
- Despite the fact that I most likely will be unable to watch at least a majority of the World Juniors, I'm pretty exited for them. For one, I feel surprisingly optimistic about Finland finally ending our medal drought, since our team has a lot of promise this year. Which, I have to say, is a somewhat foreign feeling, since I'm more used to being convinced that any international competition will bring nothing but doom and gloom with them. But any case, I'm most exited about seeing Barkov in action, the kid is going to be amazing.
- Speaking of Barkov, I'm thinking about doing a primer on him when I eventually have a working computer in my possession again. Mainly because more people need to know about how great he is. For one 28 points in 32 games is no small feat for a seventeen year old, playing against adults. Plus, he's pretty much the first Finnish player in the history of ever, with a legitimate change of being the first overall draft, pick, so there's that. Possibly the primer might include some other top Finnish prospect as well. (Mostly, because there's no way I'm not taking the oppertunity of gushing about Salomäki..)

I really was planning on making a quick, short post, honest. Oh well.

To end, hopefully everyone will have great holidays. I'll be travelling up north on saturday, to visit my dad until christmas day, and will be extreme unlikely to post anything then, so my best wishes for everyone now. :)
kyyrandi: (Default)
Sunday, November 18th, 2012 05:17 pm
Seems like I accidentally ended up taking a mini-hiatus from blogging. Mostly because life got kind of crazy  in a lot of ways. I had a mid to bad depression period and ended up missing school for a month, plus two weeks of sick leave, but now, thanks to some adjustments in my meds and also after re-structuring my life a bit, things are starting to look up a bit again.

I ended up not being able to change school, because the place I would've tried to get in didn't have any spots open, but I'm surprisingly fine with that. I talked things through in my current school, and we worked out a new class schedule for me, so my work load is much smaller until the christmas break, I have Wednesdays off completely and I'm also spending two days a week interning instead of going to school, which is something I've always preferred. Also, the internship place is really nice, it's a kitchen of a local old folks home, the staff is really great and since it's a pretty small place, it isn't super crazy busy all the time.

So assuming I can keep this up, I'd maybe be able to graduate sometime in the next fall, which while not ideal, as I originally it should've been next spring, is still better than what it seemed when things were at their worst. It also helps that I've really gotten a lot of my motivation back, the lack of which was a big factor in why I was struggling with school so much in the first place.

That said, I am planning on re-applying to schools in the spring also. I've already started prepping a little for the entrance exams for uni. I've wanted to study english and literature for so long, that at the very least I need to try and see if I have a shot at making it happen.

Finally, to the very best of things to have happened while I was busy not blogging: KÄRPÄT ARE NUMBER ONE IN SM-LIIGA STANDINGS!!! That hasn't happened since something like 2008! The team has completely transformed from the crap-fest that was the begging of the season to an actual contender. The goaltending has, as unlikely as that seemed just a few months ago, become top notch, and the team is just clicking. They have the least goals against, by a pretty nice margin at that, and are number two in goals scored! At this rate, we might even have a shot at a championship this spring!

And they've done this, even though the team keeps having injury problems. I think at this point, at least three or for players are or have been on IR because of concussions, plus a whole list of other injuries. Honestly, at this point it feels like trying to keep up with whose out with what is a wasted effort.

All of which leads to me continuing to feel conflicted about the lockout. Seeing as for all that I really want to see NHL being played sometime this season, just the thought of losing our lockout NHLers makes me sad. I actually have the confidence in the team, and I think they'd do just fine with out the NHLers, since a lot of other players have been stepping up and improving, and so losing them probably wouldn't lead to an immediate clusterfuck, but there's no denying that they make the team better.

Especially Demers, who I just can not gush enough about. He's just such a huge presence on our blue line, plays 25+ minutes night in, night out, is third in the team in points scored and second in plus/minus. He's arguably the best defenseman in the entire league right now. Not to mention that he seems to like being here, fits well with the team and all the other players always talk about how well liked he is in the locker room. He's even learning finnish!

Aand that's probably enough gushing for now. 
kyyrandi: (Default)
Thursday, October 18th, 2012 08:49 pm
Friend-of-a-friend friending meme of doom! // Right this way!

For starters, welcome to all my lovely new friends, and a warning: I ramble. A lot. Hopefully you'll bare with me. :)

So I may or may not have mentioned this this earlier, but about three years ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder. I'm much more prone to depression (which, I was diagnosed and hospitalized with for the first time when I was sixteen) and I've never really had a pure manic episodes in my life. Instead I've had quite a few hypomanic episodes, which are basically just a slightly more moderate version of the same. And even more than those, I've had a lot of mixed affective episodes, which is sort of like being manic and depressed at the same time.

Understandably this has caused problems in quite a few areas in my life, one of them being school. I mean when something as simple as getting out of the bed feels like an insurmountable obstacle, going to school day in, day out is sometimes completely impossible. Which has grown into a really huge problem this fall.

I'm on my last year in the school I'm currently at, and if I wanted to be able to graduate this spring, as I should, I not only couldn't miss so much as a one day in school, but I'd also have to work through every holiday break we get between here and then, plus quite a few weekends also.

All this has been piling up and adding to my stress levels, and so for the past month or so, I've been stuck in this ever worsening nightmare, where I'm not going to school because I'm having a depression episode and because I'm not going to school and constantly stressed about it, making my depression even worse.

And then this weekend, I was talking about schools with a friend of mine, and he mentioned the school he went to, and I realized that it's the perfect out of this hellish dead end I've ended up in. See, the school he went to, and to which I have a change of transferring to, is one, that specializes in helping people who have learning impairments for different reasons (for example, the friend who I spoke of it with, has ADHD).

So if I could get in, I could do the same degree I've been working on for two years now, instead of dropping out, or delaying, because I'm on a verge of needing a prolonged sick leave, if nothing changes soon, but do it in a manner and schedule, more suited to my current condition.

Also, if I got the transfer, I'd also get to move cities, a definite plus on so many levels. For one, I'd be moving to Tampere, where most of my friends, and one of my sisters, live and where I'm so much more comfortable than where I currently live. It's also the city where my trans process is happening, so moving would make that so much more easier as well, since I would have to sit in a train for two hours in one direction every time I have an appointment. Plus, I just don't like the city I live at the moment, and have wanted to move away from here for more than a year now, but haven't been able to, because of school.

And just like that, I feel like I'm slowly starting to claw my way back into health once again. Or as close to it as I'm ever going to get.

As for the other stuff mentioned; I'm trying to decide whether or not I should get tickets for the Karjala Tournament played in Turku in a couple of weeks. For those on my flist not familiar with European hockey, the Karjala Tournament is the first part of Euro Hockey Tour, played between Finland, Sweden, Russia and the Czech Republic during the regular season and leading up to the Worlds, which each country hosting a round-robin Tournament. No league games are played during the tournaments.

For the most part the EHT is consider as practice for the Worlds/Olympics, as well as a change for younger players to show the coaching staffs that they deserve a roster spot in their national teams. For one, there has already been some speculation about Barkov (the top Finnish prospect at the next years draft) maybe suiting up for our national men's team for the first time ever, which would be awesome to see.

All in all, it'd be a great change to see team Finland play live, and at a quarter of the cost that waiting for the Worlds in the spring would be. The only problem is that I'm currently pretty much broke, and even the 20 or so euros for the tickets, plus train rides there and back, might mean that I won't have any money for food next month. So.. Food, or hockey?

On the next chapter in my teams goalie situation, wherein everything is starting to get somewhat hilarious. Not only is does our "back-up" goalie have a better save percentage and goals against average (AND more shutouts, not that that's hard since Backlund is yet to record even one) than our "number one", he's also in the league top 3 in all of the previously mentioned categories, where as Backlund isn't even in the top 15 in save percentage, and is something like eight or night in GAA. And they are even in wins, with Karhunen having played in one less game.

So our back-up is better than our number one, but for some reason our couch won't face up to it, officially at least, although it's starting to feel like he does a coin toss or something, before each game to see which one will be playing, and all of it is just so very confusing.

On the plus side, Kärpät have finally started to slowly climb their way back up, after the disaster that was the start of the season, and are now third in the standings, so there's that at least.
Although I am somewhat afraid that should the lockout end, that they'll come crashing down again, since that'd mean losing Demers (who, btw, I've really come to like, but why oh why, is he a fraking Shark), who has been a real difference maker for us, especially on the PP, not to mention Turris, after which, with the current injury list a mile long, we'd be effectively without a first AND second line center. Fun times.

I'm all for NHL coming back, but oh do I ever wish that it wouldn't mean losing Demers. It's not that he's been a great player for us, but I've also really grown to like him and seeing him play with Kärpät.
kyyrandi: (Default)
Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 09:04 pm

Since apparently that's what all the cool kids are doing nowadays. ;)

Kärpät got their first win of the season on Wednesday, blowing out Ässät 6-0. Finally! Jokinen got a goal in his first game back, which was also the first powerplay goal for Kärpät this season. And it came in the third period of a game which were the ref was constantly giving out penalties like they were candy, so while there clearly has been some improvement with the PP, it's still not all that great. At least our penalty kill is working somewhat better, and Kärpät are currently third in the league in that.

The goalie situation continues to be a question mark. So far our official starter Backlund has played just one game of the four games played, with his backup, Karhunen, taking the grease for the rest of the time. So far the official word has been that Backlund has some back issues, which don't keep him from playing should there be the need for it, but because no one wants him to risk an actual injury, he's resting for now.
Thing is, based on the three games, Karhunen has really showed that he might be up to challenging Backlund for the starting position soon enough. And from the comments that our coach made after yesterday's game it sure sounded like that might be the case if Backlund doesn't get his ass in gear real soon. Which is somewhat interesting since up until now he has maintained that Backlund is his guy, for all that he has shown the tendency to crack under pressure when it matters the most.

Of course then yesterday's game was something of a two steps back, as Kärpät lost 1-3 against Tappara. I'm still trying to hand on to some optimism. If nothing else, the team didn't just fall apart in the third period, like they did in the season opener, and by all accounts they really made Tappara work for the win. There's a difference in losing because the other team simply was better this time, as opposed because you couldn't make anything about your own game work, so there is that at least.

Then there's also our kids, of whom I've really liked what I've seen so far. As a whole our team is a really young one this year and it at least feels like barely half the team has even reached 20 yet. I've really liked what I've seen of Miikka Salomäki so far. A nineteen year old, whose a winger on our second line, he was drafted by the Preds last year. He has had some problems in previous season with letting his temper get the better of him and making bad checks but at least so far it seems like he has maybe matured a bit, and getting a lot cleaner with his play.

Just because I like spreading highlight videos around:

Plus, he's a real charmer. (Could saying that make me feel any more like a creeper? lol)

Our number one defensive prospect Ville Pokka (drafted second round by the Islanders this summer) has been out of the line up, because of concussion he got during pre-season games, but he did play with our juniors yesterday and is should be back with the team on Tuesday, so really looking forward to that as well.

Now, if only there was someway we'd get Rinne to play with the team for the lockout.. (Which, a damn near impossibility as there's just no way the team could manage the insurance payment's Rinne's contract would require, but a guy can still dream.)

I usually listen to a local radio channel do pre/post game shows online, even when I have money enough to pay to watch them (the channel that airs all games is stupid and you have to pay 12€ for a single game pass on their site, and since free streams for SM-liiga are pretty non-existent, it's the only way, if one wants picture to go with the sound), because they have a lot more coverage and do better interviews, and it's making me weirdly nostalgic.
Like I said in a previous update, I don't live anywhere near Oulu, where Kärpät play. I used to live a lot closer though, before I moved away about five years ago because of school and work and because Northern Finland doesn't really have all that many options on either one. I don't miss living there all that much, it's nothing but dark and cold up there. It's just I haven't had this much exposure to the northern accents of Finnish in a long while, so hence the nostalgia. There's just sort of "these are my people and they speak my language" kind of feel to it, I guess.
It's weird, the things you find you are missing..

The good news of the week; a friend of mine just agreed to go with me to see Kärpät when they come to play Ilves in Tampere on the 4th, so I'm actually seeing them in just over a week! The lockout is just going to stay in place until then, I want to see Jokinen and Demers in action, dammit. :D
kyyrandi: (Default)
Monday, September 17th, 2012 10:31 pm
Not that I'm happy about lockout or anything, but thanks to it, I'm once again exited for the SM-Liiga season and have hopes for my team actually even winning some games.

Because on Saturday, it sure didn't look like it. At that point, we had lost two of our top defensemen, before the season even started. One to "mild" concussion, and the official word has been that he'll return next week, for two weeks now, so in other words, who the hell knows when. The other needed leg surgery, and will be gone for four to six months. And then at the season opener our first line center got slashed on the wrist and will likely need surgery too, so no word yet on how long he'll be gone.

And then there's of course our goaltending which can be described as not good at best, and our coaching blows, and there aren't many good words that can be said about our management. Oh and lest I forget, there's the absolute horror show that is our power play. The season opener started with a five minute major, during which Kärpät managed a grand total of THREE SHOTS ON GOAL (!!) none of which had even a change of going past an actual competent goalie. In the second game of the season total of 23 power play minutes resulted in not a single goal.

Which, is kind of where we get to the root of the problem. Because Kärpät don't score. And then they don't score some more. In the two games played so far (both of which they've lost) they've totaled for three goals. And when you add all those problems on the ice to the ever growing injury list and the fact that our coach prefers keeping his head in the sand pretending nothing's wrong and our guys are battling great, then well. It sure looked like this will be a really bleak year for Kärppä fans.

And then the lockout happened, and as much as I hate that it did, I will grab any positive side effect it has on SM-Liiga and especially my team and run with them. Because the first SM-Liiga related news about the NHL player exodus was that Jussi Jokinen was coming to play for Kärpät starting Wednesday. I might've squealed when I first heard about that. Top six forward, who can play center? Why yes, that was exactly what we were in a desperate need of. And then it was reported that Jason Demers might be coming over to play for us as well, and what you know, our injury plagued defense got bolstered as well.

And suddenly I'm exited for hockey again. Also, I should have a chance to see them play live in three weeks, meaning that I'm pretty much like a kid on the day before christmas. Living 500 kilometers away from the team you support really sucks.

As for other lockout side effects, there's been talk that Selänne might come to play for Jokerit, should the lockout become a long one. I'm some what pessimistic about this happening, and somewhat hoping that it doesn't mostly because the sooner the lockout ends the better. But the latest What We've Learned on Puck Daddy changed my mind somewhat.

Reading about Northern American hockey fans lamenting about maybe not getting to see him play for one more time, made me think about the other side of that particular coin. How many finnish hockey fans have grown up hearing about how Selänne is the greatest finnish hockey player ever born? And just for how many seeing him play live if only just once in their life would be the greatest thing ever? North America has had him for nineteen years, would it really be such a great tragedy to give him back for a month?

Besides, Getzlaf still has some hair left so Selänne will be able to use those as a voodoo sacrifice next spring, meaning that he'll be back for the 2013-14 season.
kyyrandi: (Default)
Saturday, August 18th, 2012 02:51 pm
So the great thing about being a european hockey fan (besides not having to be so completely and overly worried about a potential lockout) is that it's already almost time for season opener! Less than a month in fact! And the pre-season games have already started!

.. Expect I'm having hard time trying to feel exited about the upcoming season, since my team is continuing doing what they've done for a couple of years already, by which I mean sucking. So far, they've played three games, and lost all of them. Sure it's just the pre-season, but it still isn't very confidence inducing. I mean they had a total of minute and a half worth of 5 on 3 advantage in one game, and couldn't score a single goal in that time, what even! I don't care about how well you're dominating the game, you need to score some goals to win!

Also, their coach continues to be complete ass, who can't admit when the team needs to improve. It was infuriating when he was coaching our national team to not win, and it's infuriating now. I mean focusing on the positive is one thing, but staying stuff like "we had some great presence out there tonight and really gave it our all", when you've just lost 6-0, is just sticking your head in the sand.
And yet, he does so like to find faults in our national teams current head coaches performance, even when the team is winning. Remind me, which one of you was the one to coach the team to it's second ever world championships in his third year of coaching and which was the one you couldn't deliver the same in his five years as the bench boss? Wasn't you? Then shut the hell up.

Why was this guy hired in the first place? I mean it wasn't like he'd just gotten fired by another team, due to them being at the bottom of the standings, prior to coming to work for you? Oh he was.. Well, I guess they were having some financial issues then, that we they to literally scrape the bottom of the barrel. What was that? One of the richest teams in the league? So why the hell do they have such a suck-y coach then?!

Remember the time when we won the championship four times in five years? 'Cause I do. And I'd really, really like to go back to that, instead of maybe barely making it to the playoffs, never mind getting past the first round..

On other news, I'm thiiis close to finishing the Finnish Hockey Primer. Sorry it's been taking so long, my summer ended up being a lot busier than I had planned, and as such I haven't have all that much time to work on it. But I am hoping to send it of for beta reading by tomorrow night.