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Looking for Mr. Goodfrog
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Looking for Mr. Goodfrog

4.3 18
by Laurie Graff

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With new species discovered every day, it’s hard to find a rule to catch a good frog, except to say that when it comes to frogs there are no rules at all.

Karrie Kline had kissed her share of frogs. But when it came to finding her prince her pond was dry. With disappointments ranging from a Colorado bound Casonova to a lascivious lawyer she meets online, Karrie’s


With new species discovered every day, it’s hard to find a rule to catch a good frog, except to say that when it comes to frogs there are no rules at all.

Karrie Kline had kissed her share of frogs. But when it came to finding her prince her pond was dry. With disappointments ranging from a Colorado bound Casonova to a lascivious lawyer she meets online, Karrie’s frustration climbs so high even dreams of meeting her match on her own reality show become a nightmare. But she still has her tales.

An enterprising actress, Karrie turns her dating stories into a successful one-woman show. Has her quest to put her bad-date karma to good use turned her into a dating pariah? Her old frogs are hopping out of the woodwork. But offstage, Karrie journeys back to the beginning to figure out how she got here. From finding her very first tadpole on up to her biggest horniest toad, Karrie comes away with an even stronger sense of herself and relationships, passing on a prince for her own good frog.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
The New York dating scene comes in for another close look in Laurie Graff's funny and poignant novel, the sequel to her bestselling You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs.

Karrie Kline is still dating at 42, still a struggling actress, and, oh yeah, just a little tired of it all. She dreads attending her best friend's wedding alone and feels like a magnet for loser one-shots and three-month-long dating accidents. Online dating doesn't help; instead, she finds passive-aggressive men, buddies who want benefits, and guys who promise to call. She finally turns them all into material by writing and starring in a one-woman show about her dating disasters, Frogaphobia, which turns out to be a big hit. And then all the "frogs" start turning up again in real life, with something to say about their portrayal. Karrie's optimism and perseverance is engaging, and her search for love expands into something bigger -- a musing on the search for meaning and purpose, where every person and every event counts. Ginger Curwen

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Red Dress Ink
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Read an Excerpt


With such a wide variety of frogs, it’s safe to assume that out there, somewhere, is a frog with just about any pattern you could imagine.


It’s not that I’m a killjoy. I’m really not. Or that I can’t be happy for other people. I can. In fact, I am. I’m nice. Warm. And I truly understand that if you’re one of the other people, not me, but if you are another person, the one everyone is supposed to be happy for because you’re celebrating that thing; if you are that person, then you want to make sure that everyone you want to invite to celebrate that thing with you knows about it way, way in advance, so everyone is available to come and be happy and help celebrate your thing.

I understand this. What’s more, if I had a thing to celebrate, I would want this, too. But I don’t. I don’t ever have any of those things, so when I open my mail and the faces of a smiling couple slip out of the envelope on the front side of a magnet I’m to stick on my fridge, so every time I reach for the milk I remember to Save The Date for their thing, I have to admit that I don’t feel happy. I don’t feel excited. I don’t think, wow, I can’t wait to go this thing. What a blast it’ll be. I’ll dance the night away in a brand-new spaghetti-strapped Betsey Johnson. No. I just feel worried. Very, very worried that I have now been given a whole year to Save The Date, and when it finally arrives I don’t know if I will even have one to take me to the thing.

I wish I could say that did not happen. That last summer when the envelope arrived, and the picture of my friend Brooke and her then fiancé Mitch came tumbling out of the lavender lace-lined envelope, all I felt was sheer joy for their love. Sheer anticipation to celebrate their union. Complete happiness for my friends, without giving a second thought to myself. But I’m not one to lie.

Instead, I ran to the phone and called Brooke, because even though I don’t have anything to celebrate with my friends, they are my friends and I can tell them anything.

"It’s gorgeous!" I said, fingering the gauzy white lace that outlined the perimeter of the envelope. "This is probably the most beautiful and classiest Save-The-Date card I ever got."

"Thanks," said Brooke. "I think that’s what they’re showing now." Brooke has really good taste, but she always undercuts it by saying that she’s only following a trend. As this is America and when I last looked we still had freedom of choice, at least in stationery, I think she should take more credit for her tasteful selection. Let’s face it, a group e-mail might also be a trend but Brooke chose not to go that way.

"So . . ." I began.

"Of course," she answered, reading my mind.

"And what if I don’t?"

"Oh,Karrie.You’ll be fine, even if you don’t have a date. You know my family, we have people in common. I invited Jane and William. Fred, too, if he can fly in from L.A."

How many more years will I have to go through this?

"Okay. That’s good. Hey -- are you sure Mitch doesn’t have any friends?"

"No," she said apologetically. "I’m sorry. Wait." She paused. "Well, there is one, maybe, but we don’t really think he’s actually--"

"Thanks, Brooke. Never mind. I’m sorry. I don’t want to rain on your parade or anything. It’s just--"

"Just forget it. It’s a gorgeous day. Get outside. The wedding’s a year away. An entire year. You can call me the day before and bring someone. But I’m sure you’ll be with somebody next year at this time. Someone really great. A prince! God, Kar, you could be engaged by then."

Theoretically, I could have been. Theoretically, some day I still could. Theoretically, anything is possible. It’s just that I am out of theories how I have reached this point in my life without it ever happening. People my age are going around for the second time, while I have yet to sign off on
the first.

It was all I could think about when I woke up the day of Brooke and Mitch’s wedding. The thought pressed up hard against my temples. The invitation had arrived two months ago addressed to Ms. Karrie Kline and Guest. Guest. A nice word. Inviting. It conjured up images of hospitality, good food and good cheer. Karrie Kline and Guest was only meant to be kind. Optimistic and inclusive. It was not meant to throw me into a tailspin where I had to spend the months before the wedding reexamining my already dissected dating life.

But that’s what I did while I marked the days off the calendar and it came closer and closer to the wedding, and I still had no date. I still had no Guest. It doesn’t matter, said everyone to whom it really didn’t. Bring anyone. Bring a gay friend. For God’s sake, bring a girl! Don’t laugh. I once did.

Last spring I was invited to a Bat Mitzvah. In Connecticut. With Guest. Sounds lovely, but that was a particularly tricky situation. For this occasion I didn’t just need a Guest. A simple escort would not do. I needed someone who was willing to travel to Connecticut, spend two hours attending the service at the synagogue and an hour eating at the kiddush after. Someone who would then travel on to the restaurant and spend four hours at the party seated at a table of strangers with whom they’d be able to socialize, and willing to converse. I needed someone who would make a ten-hour commitment, and someone who had a car.

I wound up taking my friend Anne because a) she wanted to go, and b) she could borrow her sort-of-ex’s car. Her sort of-ex was Jewish and Anne was not, which had never been a problem between them, until one morning Carl woke up and decided to become religious. That decision was unlucky for Anne because it created a wedge in their relationship, but lucky for me because as a Sabbath observer, Chaim, as he now preferred to be called, no longer drove on the Sabbath making both Anne, and his car, available to me.

To be quite honest, Anne turned out to be a pretty fun date. Chaim had interested her in the culture and she knew how to dance the Hora, and since she is a social worker, Anne knew how to bring out the best in people. After the stilted "How do you know the Goldmans?" chat over the French onion soup and the arugula salad, the men cliqued off and talked sports. The four other women, originally suspicious of Anne and me, the unmarried, un-mom singles from the city, suddenly found themselves swept up in what turned into a woman’s study group at Table Ten. Anne spurred the women into raising their glass and their consciousness. By the end of the day, we were all fast friends, the other women only wishing they could lead cosmopolitan and cultured lives like Anne and me.

Okay. I confess. There is something to that. I did not envy their suburban carpools and soccer games. But wait until the first day one of them comes home to a mailbox filled with an invitation to traipse off alone to a Bat Mitzvah in Connecticut via the subway, Metro-North train, and local taxi cabs, knowing the travel time would be spent praying you wouldn’t feel awkward standing alone with no one to talk to during all the awkward moments you’d be standing alone with no one to talk to because that’s what happened when you went to one of those things dateless and alone.

Well, I bet in that moment they’d happily trade their MetroCard for Metro-North knowing all they had to do was look across the dining room table and say, "Honey, we have a thing on the twentieth, so don’t make any plans." At any rate, despite the success of the Connecticut Bat Mitzvah, Anne was unavailable to come with me to the wedding. Believe me, I asked.

So here it is. Already June. An entire year has passed since the arrival of the Save-The-Date card. Today’s the day. Brooke and Mitch’s wedding. Sadly, this gray, drizzly Sunday matches my mood. I lay in bed looking out the window and hoped everything would clear up. Soon.

Having locked myself in the bathroom stall just ten minutes into my arrival at the wedding, it became evident that while my location had changed my mood most definitely had not. I peered down the toilet as if I were Alice examining the rabbit hole before taking the plunge. That would not have been so bad, I thought, watching it automatically flush and wishing it could have taken me along.

The ceremony would not begin for at least twenty-five more minutes. Then cocktails, dinner, dancing and dessert. I didn’t know a soul. The bride, groom, and their families never socialize when they’re the guests of honor; they’re too busy running around.

Fred couldn’t fly in from L.A., and my cell phone rang on the M23 bus with terrible news from Jane telling me that she and William had to cancel last minute because little Eve had come down with croup. I knew the terrible part of the news was that this sweet little two-year-old girl was coughing her head off, achy and miserable, but I, too, was achy and miserable from my subway ride downtown and my fifteen-minute wait in the drizzly rain for the crosstown bus that would take me to the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers.

Perhaps as a young girl I was overly influenced by reruns of Doris Day movies, but I could not imagine any circumstance in which Doris would don a strapless dress, dab a drop of perfume at her neck and exit her boudoir to be greeted only by her dog before she dashed out on the town with just the MTA to whisk her away.

I made my way down the steps of the bus, closing my phone, opening my umbrella, and buttoning my pink trench coat as the rain uncooperatively came down harder. It had taken my entire wherewithal not to beg Jane to make William stay home alone with Eve, so she could come in from New Jersey and be for me at this thing what Anne had been at that other one.

I did not feel good about me in those moments. I did not feel gracious and kind and caring. But then again, so what. Had I wailed into the phone, "Jane! No! You have to come. I don’t care if Eve is sick, I don’t care about William. Who’s going to sit with me at the table when everyone else gets up to dance?"

Well, that might have been slightly inappropriate and maybe rendered me slightly insane. But, instead, I showed my concern, which in fact was genuine, and promised to go out to Ridgewood the following day. As an official grownup I only get to act that stuff out onstage or in my imagination, which thankfully remained highly overactive.

I crossed the parking lot and watched the valets usher couples out of their cars and into the Lighthouse. Mitch was my age, but Brooke was younger. Brooke had felt she was marrying late and Mitch was surprised he was marrying at all. To me, Brooke at thirty-nine, got in just under the wire. She’d turn forty next year and would not have to deal with the syndrome of being Forty and Still Single.

The people emerging from cars ranged in ages, but my eyes gravitated to a handful of couples in their late thirties to midforties that must have been cousins and college friends of both Brooke and Mitch. Well dressed and well-groomed, they stepped out of taxis, SUV’s and BMW’s. The women tucked their right hands into their men’s while their left hands casually swung, showing off diamond rings that sparkled as they caught the light of the day.

I observed the couples walking and noticed they did not speak, assuming it to be a silent ease between them. I assumed they were each privately replaying the happy memories of their happy day. But as my mother Millie always says, "You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors." In my all-consuming fear of entering solo, I found myself slightly comforted by the possibility that my happily-ever after fantasy of them may really be more hoppily-ever after.

That miniscule moment of comfort was instantly dispelled the second the front doors flung open. Before me stood more than a hundred people divided into clusters. Animated clusters. Tanned, well-dressed clusters dotted the entire front hall; laughing and kibbutzing, sipping champagne and smiling. The lights shone bright like the mood, violinists fiddled out cheerful, stringy tunes, and every variation on the white flower perched inside tall crystal vases that lined the small tables in and about the clusters.

"Can I take your coat?"

I removed last year’s GAP creation of the raincoat, and handed it over with my wet umbrella and my library copy of the The Between Boyfriends Book that I read on the way down.

"You look very beautiful," said the young man at the coat check. I smiled back at him while I stuck the coat-check number inside my pink-and-white beaded purse. Knowing that two seats at my table would now be empty I was tempted to ask him to be my date.

The mirror in the coat-check room was angled so that I caught a glimpse of my hair. The newly blond highlights were woven just right into my natural brown head, and the slight humidity of the day had given an interesting little bounce to my shoulder length do. I ran my hands down to smooth out my dress; the pale pink strapless cinched at the waist with a big white faux flower, and puffed out to my knee where two inches of a white, lacey crinoline peeked out.

As I stepped away from the coat check and into the huge hall, I felt the breeze of a waiter rushing past me on my left. I took a champagne flute off his tray, lifted it and sipped a silent "Cheers."

I stood holding the champagne flute while the clusters of people surrounded and encircled me like a Fellini movie. Men in tuxes, women in basic black, they were the black-and-white out-of-focus characters that went ’round and around me. Me. In the center, alone, pretty in pink. I got paler and pinker while they got bright and brighter, happy and happier. The noise level growing loud and louder, as the laughter grew bigger and bigger. Their faces swirled by in a blur, ever so vaguely familiar.

I had seen them before; the shower, the engagement party, the housewarming in Brooklyn Heights. So I stayed in the hall, in the room, in the middle of the room, holding the champagne flute like a prop with a purpose, trying to make some eye contact. Hoping one of the clusters would make a space, open up and invite me in. But no one did.

I didn’t know how I would make it through the day. The day stretched out ahead of me. It came up close and spun around me, making me feel dizzy. Off balance. Alone with no one to catch me. So I did what I always do when I’m going to fall. I went into the ladies’ room, steadying myself when I saw that it was still my face that stared back in the mirror. Locking myself in the bathroom stall, I sat down atop the toilet seat and contemplated.

"Who’s side? The bride or the groom?" I heard the sound of an elderly woman’s voice. I didn’t know how much time had elapsed when I heard the chatter from the sink outside the bathroom stall. I heard the water turn on and turn off. The delicate noises of lipsticks, combs and compacts clattered against the marble countertop.

"Groom," answered another voice in a flat New York accent. "Me and my husband know him from junior high. We all grew up in Flushing. This is a big day. We all took bets he’d never marry."

I pressed the black button to flush the toilet, again, so no one could hear me gulp. This was exactly what made me crazy! When I met men that no one thought would ever marry, they didn’t disappoint. They completely lived up to their expectations. But for other people, people like Brooke…

Brooke meets a guy like Mitch Weintraub and . . . Boing! How does that happen? I had to find out. I unlatched the door, somewhat calmer than when I had entered, smiled at the women at the sink and joined in.

"When I first met Mitch, I thought, boy -- if this guy were dating me it would be another hit-and-run. Another three month dating accident," I said, clicking open my purse to gloss my lips with a color called Flirt. "But with Brooke, it was IT from the start. How does that happen?"

The older woman stood back and watched. True, she had initiated the original question, but she was just being friendly. This much information she could live without.

The other one, my peer, looked at me and said, "Easy. Brooke is exotic. That Waspy look. A gorgeous, blond shiksa. Mitch never thought he’d get a girl like that growing up. How could he? Look who was in his class . . . me!" She pointed to herself in the mirror. Dark hair, a bump on her nose, a little plump. But she was attractive, and she looked like she felt that way.

"There’s got to be more to it than just looks," I said. "Though I know what you mean. I know the type. I grew up near all of you guys in Queens."

"Yeah, but you . . ." She surveyed me closely. "Could be weird for you, you know. You’re in the middle. For those guys you’re not like me, but you’re no shiksa goddess, either."

What People are Saying About This

Jan Douglas
Jan Douglas, Writers Unlimited Reviewer
Writing about frogs seems to be the thing for Laurie Graff. This book is the sequel to You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs. This funny dating journal is proof that there is life after the pond. No matter how many frogs are in your life, something good will come your way. It’s never too late! The dating misadventures of one woman will keep you entertained while you are Looking For Mr. Goodfrog.
Jami Gertz
Jami Gertz, actress
Navigating the cyber pond with Karrie Kline while Looking for Mr. Goodfrog leaves one laughing on the outside while your heart is breaking on the inside! I found it ribbiting.
Liz Tuccillo
This book's hilarious! I can so totally relate!
—Liz Tuccillo, writer He's Just Not That Into You and Sex and the City

Meet the Author

First-time novelist Laurie Graff is an actress whose credits include Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theater, national tours and commercials. Laurie has performed the story Shiksa Syndrome at the WorkShop Theater Company, where she is a member. Her one-act play, Charlie & Flo, received a PSNBC production, and two pieces are published in The Best Men's Stage Monologues of 1999 (Smith & Kraus).

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4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Isn't it always just the best fun reading about OTHER girl's bad dates?! Yep - could have been from my own diary - and that's why this is ribbiting. We can all relate! It's not great lit - but as chick lit - it works. I liked it better than her first one - which was too long.
Guest More than 1 year ago
...but be careful, you might get a sunburn because it's hard to put down! Whether you're sitting by the ocean or Karrie's enormous pond, you'll definitely enjoy the new adventures of actress-turned-dating-expert, Karrie Kline. What a perfect ending! BRAVO! And, it goes without saying, ENCORE!
Guest More than 1 year ago
...and heartily recommend it to all! Author Laurie Graff has a way of making lemonade out of lemons (or is it frogs' legs out of slimy green amphibians?) that is nothing short of comic genius. Her takes on cyber-dating and reality shows, for example, had me literally 'croaking' from laughter... Funny and readable as it is, the book truly transcends the chick-lit genre. Chronicling several years in the life of Karrie Klein, whose dating experiences were the subject of the equally enjoyable 'You've Got to Kiss a Lot of Frogs', Graff writes with a more mature style, paralleling the growth in her lead character. Karrie is a heroine, who, through experience, luck, the support of good friends, and hard work, realizes her own self worth and value, irrespective of her relationship status. Graff's promise that 'no frogs are harmed' in the book holds true, giving some depth (and understanding) even to the would-be princes who don't quite crawl out of the swamp. And the unusual 'happily ever after' ending of the book rings far more true than that of any fairy tale!...A thoroughly satisfying read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fun, illuminating, and sometimes quite touching book that delves not only into bad (and REALLY bad) dates but also the Prince who got away, the errant Dad, the kindly Stepdad, and MOM. (Oh yeah, and the cute dog!) It's episodic and would make a great summer read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Forty-six years old actress Karrie Kline has dated and kissed many frogs, but she remains single still LOOKING FOR MR. GOODFROG. She knows her quest for her pond mate means YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS, but this becomes increasingly depressing. Still her experiences with the dating scene has given her plenty of material for her one woman show, but no man seems right to escort her to the wedding of her best friend Brooke. Thus as the one year clock ticks away for her to find the perfect date, Karrie panics turning to the internet.----------------- Men seem to come out every nick, cranny, and frond as many respond to her simple inquiries. She finds herself visiting parts of New York City she never heard of on dates that in some cases are fun but he is not the one or just plain hell and he is definitely not anyone¿s one. Karrie ponders if she will be dancing with married men and single females at Brooke¿s nuptials.----------------- This is an anecdotal chick lit tale and readers will enjoy Karrie¿s perspective of her dates, especially her prejudicial insight to her date mates from that first glance, to a warm embracing dance, to the first kiss, and the post game analysis of thumbs up or down. Though somewhat defeated, Karrie keeps on seeking her Goodfrog by dumping those she considers as losers and desperately clinging to keep those she considers as possibilities. Readers will enjoy this amphibious sequel starring dating in the New York City pond.------- Harriet Klausner
risuena More than 1 year ago
I was hooked in the first chapter; what Karen was feeling being single while others were in couples was so true and real that I looked forward to reading more. But after several chapters, the thrill ended. It was countless misses, bad experiences, and I was getting depressed and frustrated. It seemed like she took the bad from her mishaps and didn't see the good or learn from them, at least not till the end. The author tried to weave each dating experience into the main course of Karen's act of finding happiness with herself. Her choices making her who she is and who she will become. Sometimes the book read more like a stand up comedy than a story though, maybe the transitions were not smooth enough. The ending is as happy as it could be, a more realistic outcome. But I was left hanging and unsatisfied because when you're rooting for someone throughout the book, you want that happy ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great follow-up to her previous book. It was hard to put down and I hope there will be a follow-up to this book to see if Karrie Kline ever does find her man.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great, fun read! Graff finds both the humor and heart of being a single, creative woman in NYC. Her sharp, smart writing engages you from beginning to end in Kari's journey. If you miss 'Sex and the City' as much as I do, you'll love this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
With humor and compassion author Laurie Graff takes us leap-frogging through the often swampy waters of the New York dating scene, where any man can turn into a prince or a frog, and where no woman is ever really safe. Karrie Kline is a very funny character. 'Looking for Mr. Goodfrog' is a funny book that also holds some deep truths.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a refreshing, funny story about dating and the frogs, masquerading as good catches, who populate the pool. I love Graff's Karrie Kline -- a strong, single, do-it-yourself woman -- who makes lemonade out of the lemons she's dated! The J-Date story is hysterical. Go, Karrie! I can't wait to read about your next adventures! Great summer reading!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Laurie Graff has surpassed herself with this sequel to her fabulous first novella, You Have To Kiss Alot Of Frogs. As hopelessly romantic and single heroine Karrie Kline ventures into the world of online dating in her quest for Mr. Right, the reader is amazed, amused and aghast at her dating experiences, but also uplifted by her ability to pull herself up and start all over , never saying 'never again' to the search for true love
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the first book and loved it. This new one is twice as good! Astute, concise and engagingly funny, Laurie Graff really knows her stuff and writes with a tongue-in-cheek style that is refreshing for this genre. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up on a whim and am very glad I did. A very entertaining read which details both the highlights (hope, optimism, a good first date) and lowlights (waiting for that phone call, crazy guy logic) of dating in New York. Numerous cringeworthy moments that all of us can relate to. I am especially impressed by the author's ability to make me laugh (and even at times laugh at herself) at unbelievable dating scenarios. As a guy, I also have a better idea of the mistakes NOT to make in dating going forward.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! How refreshing to read something that is so honest and unvarnished. Ms.Graff takes us on a funny, truthful ride through the new dating scene of New York City. But anyone who has ever dated will be able to relate. I couldn't put it down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Peeking into the life of Karrie Kline made me feel that I was actually peeking into my own life, years ago. I remembered those dates, fondly now, although surely not then! 'These experiences will help make you the person you are meant to be ' was echoed in my head and my constant response, 'Who needs this?!' Reading about it is certainly better than living it! I laughed, I cried, but most of all I remembered and found a smile on my face....How nice to smile...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Looking for Mr. Goodfrog offers no easy answers to the eternal quest for finding Mr. Right. Rather, Laurie Graff tells the heartbreakingly bittersweet story of one gal's search for love in the swampy muck they call The New York City Dating Scene. Graff's heroine, Karrie Kline is funny, sweet, smart, savvy and full of pluck. She's still out there dating, looking for love and the good news for her readers is--she won't be giving up anytime soon!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After spending her entire dating life kissing frogs and finding no princes, except for faux ones, Karrie Kline decides to make lemonade with the bushel of lemons she's been handed. Her woes become the basis for a comic act, and this book chronicles her journey to that point. .................. Unfortunately, her wry humor comes off as more a quiet cry of desperation than truly witty. The high point is reading her snarkier emails, and the rest is just rather blah.