Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Will Wait :: Heavy

If things remain as they are, I will still be resigning from the Church; however, I have the opportunity to discuss some of my concerns with someone whom I respect greatly. As I discuss things with this individual, I will postpone turning in my resignation.

Despite what some may believe, I will be discussing with the sincere desire to know if I am in the wrong in how I view Christ's Gospel. Indeed, when I say, "if things remain as they are" I include my current understanding -- which has every possibility of being corrected.

You see, I do not share the vain attitude fostered by so many Mormons, this attitude of "I am necessarily right; therefore, you must be wrong if you don't agree with me." And I truly despise it when Mormons project upon me this, their attitude, assuming that I believe what I believe just because I want to believe it and not because I have seen, with my own two eyes, actual evidence that what I believe has been bringing to past the greatest joy, happiness, and meaning when applied to one's life. (This that I have underlined is labeled by the ardent mormon "faulty logic.")

Unlike the ardent mormon, I allow my beliefs to be tested according to their works, and I will more than freely give up those beliefs that do not produce good works (without having to be told to give up such by some 'higher-up'). Quite frankly, this is why I am giving up the belief that the best possible life for a homosexual is a life as is prescribed by the Church now -- because, as I was looking upon the works being brought to pass through this belief, I saw desolation. (Again, I underlined my "faulty logic.")

Unlike the ardent mormon, I do not blame this desolation on the heart of the wounded -- because, being one of the wounded, I know the efforts are sincere and continuous; I know the desires and hopes are sincere that such would truly bring to pass the greatest joy.

I have witnessed, firsthand, how such sincerety does not bring forth good works. You see, I spent all of my energies in nourishing the word, this belief. Nevertheless, the word did not take root and it produced no fruit to recompense the energies spent in cultivating the belief.

This is not how gardening works. A gardener raises food not just to replenish the energies spent in raising up his garden, but to supply a season's worth of eneregy to sustain not only him but his family and friends as well.

And I am not a foolish gardener; I do not plant a seed and then intend not to cultivate it. To blame the gardener for a bad seed is foolishness. I repeat: TO BLAME THE GARDENER FOR A BAD SEED IS FOOLISHNESS. This is what is being done not just to me but to so many in my situation. It is horrible, and I will not rest until it is stopped.

The bad seed needs to be cast away. If the Church refuses to recognize and cast away this bad seed, I will, indeed, be turning in my resignation -- because it is contrary to what I believe Christ would have His Church do with such a seed -- as such is explicitly taught within the Book of Mormon. (Yes, I am demanding that the Church change -- but not just according to my beliefs; rather, according to the very own beliefs of the Church which beliefs explicitly state that seeds or beliefs that do not produce good fruits or works should be cast away. If the Church does not live up to her own standards, how can I trust her integrity to define for me the standards by which I should live my own life?)

Now, some may argue in their contentious manners, "How does that fit with what you stated at the beginning of your post?"

To put it simply: My current understanding is this, that the best life for me and many in my situation is one devoted, with complete fidelity, to a spouse, raising children to live lives in similitude of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is this understanding about which I could, very well, be wrong.

The best life could be... say... euthanasia (just put us out of our misery). The best life could be... say... sending us to poverty-stricken countries to build schools and spend the rest of our lives in service at such schools. I am open to any possibility.

The life prescribed now, however, my understanding of that seed... let me just reiterate that there are simply too many solid witnesses that testify that such need be cast away immediately and with disgust that I cannot deny the vulgarity of such a seed.

To paraphrase a quote that I adore, "If this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, then I am a mischevious person." ~Socrates

In fact, to paraphrase even more of the quote -- as I feel is fitting to what I am saying in regards to the Church: "I shall obey God rather than you. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, then I am a mischevious person." ~Socrates

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Give Me Words to Speak :: Heavy

Dear Bishop:

It is with a heavy heart and careful deliberation that I write this letter to resign from my position as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am fully aware of the implications and consequences of resigning; such understanding is why I am asking formally to be removed from the records of the Church.

These past few days I have been praying and desiring to know whether or not I should give, yet again, the Church's guidelines another sincere effort; in my meditation, I foresaw my suicide. Thrice I've tried with all the energies and sincerities of my soul to bear the yoke the Church would have be bear, and thrice I've been plowed under, each time more deeply, each time more scarring.

My faithful tenure as a Mormon has left me emotionally and financially desolate. I have been unable to hold a steady job despite my great talents and abilities; I have been unable to complete even one semester of school at a university level despite my great talents and abilities.

As a Mormon, I sought help from the Church, yet my intentions were demeaned, I was mocked, and the uncompassionate, merciless rhetoric spawned by church leaders (such as “You need to change your attitude” or “Your focus is off” or “You cannot make decisions based on desires for physical gratification” – which rhetoric has never, in any way, accurately represented my heart, attitudes, or actions) was smugly spat at me as I shrunk more closely to suicide.

Nevertheless, the Church refuses to see this actual damage done to so many in my situation; the Church silently encourages its members to heartlessly turn a blind eye to actual evidence of grief, pain, and desires of death unfolding even within their own homes; the Church refuses to place the blame where the blame belongs and is horribly content with placing this blame on already wounded hearts.

The Church refuses to see that their prescribed burden is simply too heavy and the yoke too difficult for the majority of homosexuals. A truly compassionate, honest, meek, and humble heart will testify that such is true and that such has not been for a lack of sincere effort and purity of heart.

I know the Church believes her harmful actions are rooted in love and compassion, but the love is tainted and the compassion false – if they were pure, the love would testify of the horrible, horrible damage being caused and the compassion would allow for the absolute best life possible for all of God's children. I sincerely and strongly believe that Christ atoned not just for the straight man to bear a light burden and easy yoke, but for the gay man as well. Once the Church can finally humble herself enough to see such, this that is most plain and simple (as the scriptures testify Christ bears witness), I will, with a rejoicing heart, reclaim what is rightfully mine, a membership in Christ's Church.

And it truly is not my desire to leave the membership of the Church now; nevertheless, there comes a time when one must humbly admit one can do no more and can take no more abuse, remove the heavy burden and difficult yoke, lay them at the feet of the Savior, and then take upon oneself a lighter burden and more manageable yoke in the hopes that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly compassionate and merciful and will look upon the intent of one’s heart. That time for me is now, and as the yoke that I am able to bear is unfortunately one towards which the Church can feel no compassion and mercy, and as I do not want to be made a liar who has agreed to one thing but then acts contrary to the agreement, I must ask to be released, effective immediately, from the contract I signed at baptism to follow the guidelines of the Church.

I feel impressed to reiterate that the motivations behind my actions are not rooted in any lust or desire or disposition to sin or justify sin; rather, my intentions are rooted in my sincere inability to progress successfully in life – if I am able to progress at all – under the counsel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Again, such is not for lack of sincerity and purity of heart, and any words that would have anyone believe otherwise are hateful and hurtful lies.

As I leave, I leave with the sincere hope that the heart of the Church will one day be softened and that she will finally be able to see what is truly the most compassionate, most merciful, most loving, most kind, most charitable and therefore most Christlike thing to be done with those in my situation who, despite our best efforts and most sincere and pure of hearts, are unable to sustain a truly healthy, happy, prosperous life as dictated by the LDS Church.


Andrew Martin Pankratz

Friday, March 21, 2008

Children Will Listen :: Heavy

Dear Family,

Mom, Dad, and I were able to finally sit down and talk most deeply about what we are feeling, and my heart is finally starting to heal.

I was also able to finally figure out how to express what I was feeling – which is basically this: I feel I have found – via sincere study and seeking out what the Lord would have me do in this life – a possibility of Good News, which news brings me great joy and peace and hope.

I was getting frustrated as I could not share this good news, even just the possibility of such, with those who matter most to me – because, based on what you already believe, what your years of experience told you, you cannot believe such will ever happen or be possible, and, therefore, the door is closed without any sincere effort.

And I became angry in my frustration as I saw a people who would hand a Book of Mormon to someone and say, “No matter what you believe, no matter what you think can / can’t / should / shouldn’t / will / won’t happen or be true, please just read this book with a sincere heart to know whether it is true or not” refuse to do the same with someone else’s message.

I was not angry because my message was not being believed or accepted. I was getting angry because my message was not at least given a sincere chance, no matter what you believe the Lord will or won’t say – it was not given the same chance LDS Missionaries hope an ardent evangelical minister would sincerely give the Book of Mormon (that, despite his 100% conviction that God does not need another Bible, that despite his 100% conviction being based on years of experience, study, and prayer, that he will just give the Book of Mormon a sincere chance, however small of a chance it may seem to him, that it is the word of God).

I have been seeing this ardent minister in the hearts of those whom I love absolutely, and this minister will not let anything different than what is already believed enter into his home – no matter how much the missionary would explain, “This does not negate what you believe about Christ and His godliness, but adds to it, gives it even more depth and fullness and brightness.”

And this is what I believe I have found – not a ‘necessarily so’ (I don’t have any authority to know a ‘necessarily so’) – but a possibility of a ‘necessarily so’ that gives me extreme hope and peace and comfort and joy, it lifts my head when low and carries the burden when I can no longer walk... and I have seen how this possibility does not change, as I have seen it, any doctrine, but adds to it, gives it even more depth and fullness and brightness.

Again, I was not hurt that this message was not being accepted, but that there has been no sincere effort to, as Alma advised, plant the message within our hearts with sincerity, to honestly and sincerely seek to know whether it is of God or not.

This sincere effort is all that I’m asking. And, if after planting the seed and nurturing the seed with all sincerity, you still do not believe, then I will have nothing but gratitude and joy, and I will not hurt – at all – because I will know that you sincerely sought to know, instead of knowing by default. I will know you did the work you (we) expect of any non-member we love and desire to know the Gospel.

I hope this analogy helps you understand the discouragement I have been feeling (especially those of you who have served missions). You know how frustrating it is for someone to reject the offer to merely read the Book of Mormon, something that has brought you great joy and peace and comfort, based solely on the premise of existing, permanently cemented beliefs that will not and must not change as it would insult God.

This is the discouragement I have been feeling.

Anyway, at the end of our discussion, Mom and Dad agreed to sincerely plant in their hearts the seed of this possibility I have found, to sit with me in study and prayer and meditation to seek, without prejudice, for themselves, if it could quite very well possibly be the word of God. And that is all I ever wanted of them. That is all I ever wanted of you.

I have also agreed to not pursue a relationship while we are working together on this, that I will retain my membership in the Church... and I couldn’t be happier with such an agreement...

Please forgive me if, in my frustration and discouragement, I have caused any ill feelings, any pain. I really do not intend to be the cause of any contention. I love you all dearly, and I would do anything to ensure and seek out your joy and happiness and peace, and I never want to infringe upon such. Again, forgive me if I have already done so.

You are all also more than welcome to join Mom and Dad in our seeking to understand. In fact, I would really hope you would. If it is so desired, I will compile my “discussions” and email them to you (though I will not do so without your explicit ‘go-ahead’) for you to ponder and pray about. All that I ask is that you approach what I have to share with the same spirit as you would want an investigator to approach the Book of Mormon.




I have never, before tonight, received such a hug from my father... my heart is healing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maybe You'll Be There :: Heavy

Dear Family,

You are all aware of my heavy heart, and you have all expressed your love for me. I am extremely grateful for your love... but I have to be completely honest: However great your love is for me, it does not repair the damage done by what you believe about me and those in my situation.

I will do my best to explain:

Boyd K. Packer once said, “However much other kinds of love may satisfy--the platonic, charitable, compassionate kinds of love--and however much one must enjoy a measure of love from his family, from his fellow men--a little love from many--to be really happy, and to find true joy, it is crucial that we have the complete, unshared, fully-expressed love of one.” (bolds and italics added)

It is believed not only by the Church but by most of you that this crucial need to find true joy is something I cannot have, something that I must live without in this life. You claim you love me and want me to be truly happy but that you cannot sustain me in seeking out that which even the Brethren have defined as the means to true joy. This stance seems extremely incongruent to me.

Now, I understand your desires are based on what you believe eternity holds. As Joseph F. Smith put it, “It has always been a cardinal teaching with the Latter-day Saints, that a religion which has not the power to save the people temporally and make them prosperous and happy here cannot be depended upon to save them spiritually, and exalt them in the life to come.”

To paraphrase: It doesn’t matter what the Church offers for and believes about the eternities. If she cannot offer me true happiness and prosperity here, her offers for and beliefs about my exaltation are not reliable.

By the Church’s very own standards of evaluation, her promises of eternal life to homosexuals are unreliable as she does not have the power to make us prosperous and happy here – again, by the Church’s very own standards of evaluation, “to be really happy, and to find true joy, it is crucial that we have the complete, unshared, fully-expressed love of one.”

If the Church could alter homosexuality now, then the promises made to homosexuals about what is believed concerning exaltation could then be reliable. Nevertheless, as even the Brethren, themselves, are finally starting to admit, these attractions do not change in this life.

If the Church could make mixed-orientation marriage work most of the time now, then the promises made to homosexuals about what is believed concerning exaltation could then be more reliable. Nevertheless, as even the Brethren, themselves, are finally starting to admit, mixed-orientation marriages are not appropriate for most.

Nevertheless, as I have decided to deter from unreliable promises, as I have decided to seek out true happiness now, I am condemned and my choices demeaned – not necessarily by mouth, but by belief.

I do not argue that you shouldn’t feel how you feel – you must believe what you believe. All I am saying is that it hurts me to think that those who proclaim love for me do not sincerely desire true happiness for me now. It hurts me to think that those who proclaim love for me do not believe that I am entitled to true happiness now, that I should not and cannot seize it, that I must live without it here on Earth.

It hurts me to think that those who proclaim love for me do not see this prejudice within their own hearts. It hurts me to think that those who proclaim love for me believe God shares this prejudice, and that they are, therefore, justified to treat me and those in my situation unequally.

And it hurts me most of all that those who proclaim love for me do not desire that which brings true happiness (“the complete, unshared, fully-expressed love of one”) to be eternal for me and those in my situation (meaning “the complete, unshared, fully-expressed love of one” whom I will find here, during this probationary time where everyone else is allowed and encouraged to find the same).

I understand that, through the Atonement, I could be changed. However, to be blunt, just as equally through the Atonement, I could also be sealed to someone I have found to love completely here and now without change. I do not understand why the latter is not vehemently hoped for me and those in my position, that it is not vehemently hoped that we can have this extreme joy of “the complete, unshared, fully-expressed love of one” here and now and that it can be eternal.

It absolutely troubles me that my ultimate joy is not hoped and prayed for. Christ is the Law; He has the power to make it happen! Why, why, why, why, why, why, why do you not hope for that? Why do you not pray for that? Why do you not want that for me? Why are you so satisfied that, in order for me to have such now, I have to be thrown out of the Church and have my eternal bonds (and perhaps even temporal bonds) to you stripped away?

For centuries, extremely worthy men and women have prayed for these attractions to go away, but the attractions do not change. This has caused indescribable suffering and agony. Why must this horrible pain continue? Please, I do not understand, why cannot we change our prayers?

For centuries, extremely worthy men and women have entered into incomplete marriages (meaning without the complete love a marriage need have as a foundation). This has caused indescribable suffering and agony. Why must this horrible pain continue? Please, I do not understand, why cannot we change our prayers?

It pains me to know that those who proclaim love for me are satisfied with how things are (and expect me and those in my situation to be thusly satisfied). It hurts beyond any hurt I could describe.

This is why my heart is heavy. This is why I am injured. This is why I cry.

Again, you are entitled to believe what you believe... but please know that this belief that I am not entitled to that which is crucial to true joy here, that such is not allotted me in this life, that it is not truly my right to pursue happiness here and now, that I must be content with such causes extreme pain. Please know that if you feel you must hold onto this belief, I will most likely have to walk away from the family – only because I must protect my mental health and the health of my future family from the pain caused by this prejudice.

And I will be pursuing a family, a male spouse and adopted children. I have found, by vast and undeniable example, such is the most meaningful, prosperous, and joyful of lives. I believe wholeheartedly I am entitled to the most meaningful, prosperous, and joyful of lives now – not just later. I am completely at peace before God with this decision, and I hope, one day, God will reveal that my future family can, indeed, be eternal. (And, honestly, what is the most loving and most merciful and most understanding thing to be done? Is that not what Christ would do if Christ is accurately represented within the Book of Mormon ?)

I hope, one day, you will sincerely want, hope, and pray this for me. I hope, one day, that my future family will sincerely be seen and treated just as any of your families. I hope, one day, you will be able to sincerely say to me, “I love you because of who you are and the choices you make” instead of “I love you no matter what you do.”

But that is up to you and your consciences.



Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One Last Hope

According to the various ideal weight calculators found all over the web, I only have 5-10 pounds to gain to reach my ideal weight, and I am determined to gain 10 lbs in 1.3 - 3 months. Not that I'm underweight or anything, but I'd like to be 'ideal' (after all, everything else about me is ideal, my weight should follow suit... right?).

All I have to do [in theory] is eat 4-5 meals of 525 calories every day, and I should be able to make it. My biggest problem is that my disease severely affects my appetite, making it difficult for me to want to eat. Nevertheless, I am -- as I mentioned before -- determined.

Yesterday, March 17th, was my first day, and I was able to eat 4 meals of at least 525 calories. Hopefully I'll be able to down five today.

Maybe I'll put up a 'widget' here on my blog later to track my progress.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I hate throwing up. I especially hate waking up, knowing I will soon vomit. I especially hate when being thusly ill prevents me from working with my old high school's current theatre students on their competition pieces.

I think I might enjoy being a high school theatre teacher... the pay sucks sewage, the hours suck eggshells... but I really don't care about all that rubbish anymore. All I care about now is making life a better place for those whom I can help, and I've seen how my high school theatre teacher has been such a positive influence in the lives of her students.

Plus, since teaching is yet another one of my greatest passions and joys, I can combine such with my other passions of choreographing, acting, directing, etc.

Hmm... I will have to ponder this...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Avoir envie de vivre :: Heavy

Disclaimer: This is a 'Heavy' post, meaning it deals with the not-so-lighthearted facets of my life. I won't be posting 'Heavy' posts regularly as I would like to keep my blog mostly lighthearted; nevertheless, there are times when I'm naught but 'Heavy.'

I have been preparing to be a father practically my entire life. My greatest desire out of all desires I could possibly desire is to be a father. In elementary school, whenever I was asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I would often think, "A dad."

To me, life, a true life, is parenthood, life completely devoted to a spouse and children, teaching the latter to love Christ and His children, to always desire to make this world a more peaceful and beautiful place... and I wish more than anything to live. I would give anything to live -- and, indeed, I must pay a heavy price for such a life.

Now, I will most likely pay this price (as I truly would give anything), but I am having a difficult time -- to say the least -- saying goodbye to things that are precious to me, the things I must sacrifice for the greatest, most service-concentrated life I can live here and now.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Il s'Appellera Moïse

Sometimes I write rather, shall I say, interesting things when I'm under the influence of sleeping medication. For example:
Sparks don't cry when there are flies.
I found this in my letter notebook (the notebook I use to write snail-mail letters -- for example, to missionary friends... the pages are tinted green, so my style -- I also use it to write notes and outlines for certain projects).

Also found on the same page as the above quote:
Quand je te manquerai, n'oublie pas que je te déteste...
Translation: When you miss me, don't forget that I hate you. (I think I may have the imperative verb incorrectly tensed.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

So Long, Farewell

Today I say goodbye to a good friend... my Wii.

Yes, yes, it is a horrible thing, I know, but I must sell it as I need the money more than I need a friend. Besides, lately, I just have not been showing it the kind of attention it deserves.

My nephew, of course, was devastated by the news, but I'm sure he'll muster through as we all will.

Wii, we'll miss you!

(As a side note: those of you who have the financial ability to give a home to a Wii, I would recommend it.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Don't Need Anymore Friends

One of my recent experiences summed up in an analogy:

(Recess. Jimmy is talking to Me as I swing.)

Jimmy: Come play soccer with me.

Me: No, I don't want to play soccer, I want to swing.

Jimmy: Come on, you'll have a lot of fun!

Me: I don't want to play soccer -- I want to swing.

Jimmy: You really want to play soccer, I just know it.

Me: That's stupid, you don't know what I really want... actually, you should, 'cause I told you: I want to swing.

Jimmy: Why are you being mean to me, I just want to be your friend. Why won't you be my friend?

Me: I just don't want to play soccer with you. We tried it last week, and you kept telling me I had to shoot the ball with my right foot, but I shoot the ball with my left foot.

Jimmy: You're supposed to shoot the ball with your right foot!

Me: Yeah... I'm going to swing.

Jimmy: You pretend you're so friendly, but here you are, turning down my friendship. I'm going to tell Teacher, and you're going to get in trouble. Besides, only girls swing, so you must be a girl. And, for the record, I was just trying to help you play soccer better, so forgive me for trying to be a good friend and encouraging you to be better.

Me: ... whatever...

Jimmy: You're such a hypocrite. I'm telling Teacher when we get back.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

What is This Feeling?

Being one who works with HTML/CSS, I have been getting more and more frustrated with how different browsers treat the same code differently. It's driving me crazy!

In other news, I just discovered that one of my favorite TV shows, ReBoot, is going to be revived in a trilogy of films! Oh happy day!

In yet more news -- this day, seriously, could not get any better -- I found out where I can get a hold of yet another of my absolutely favorite TV shows, Out of This World, on DVD. I have been searching and searching and searching for it, and I finally found it.

I don't have the money to buy it... and I shouldn't charge it... oops, too late...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

High Time

Yesterday, to my happy surprise, my shipment from Canada arrived -- 5 whole days before schedule! So, firstly, I must give high honors to for such outstanding service. Secondly, I must give my review of my shipment, namely the DVD of the French musical, Dracula: Entre l'Amour et la Mort.

To be blunt, I've never met any Dracula-themed work -- besides Bram Stoker's incredible book -- that is anything but corny. Such is the case with Dracula: Entre l'Amour et la Mort.

That being said, however, the actor's voices are fantastic, and I really enjoy most of the songs. I would recommend the soundtrack, but the DVD only if you, like I, are an avid comédie musicale en DVD collector.

I also would not be averse to seeing it live, but if I had to choose between Dracula: Entre l'Amour et la Mort and another comédie musicale, I would probably choose the other musicale (without any doubt if the other musicale were Don Juan).

Friday, March 7, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

This Can't Go On

Am I becoming... more liberal, politically speaking? Fundamentally, I don't like the idea of the government controlling how one should spend one's money and such; however, it is becoming more and more apparent to me that people who are in need really have only the government to turn to.

Say, for example, someone with a disability is unable to work. Say, for example this someone has family and/or friends with money who could help this someone, financially. Can this someone go to this someone's family/friends? Of course not, because then this someone would be labeled a lazy mooch, a sponge who just isn't fighting the disability hard enough. Where else, then, can this someone go? The government, really, is the only option.

So, I say tax the hell out of these tight-fisted misers, make them pay to help those in need, 'cause they aren't going to do it themselves. Although, again, fundamentally, I really don't like this idea of forcing people to do the right thing, but, right now, what else can be done?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Without You

I am majorly missing Ballroom right now. It's been more than a year since I've been on the dance floor, and I probably don't remember anything, but I'd really like to get out there and dance again.

I'm also missing acting . I'm actually considering signing up with a talent agent and trying to make it my career. I don't know, though; I have my trepidations about such.

I think I'm most passionate about performing, directing, and choreographing. In fact, I have an absolutely killer idea for the musical, Into the Woods. Seriously, I think it would be beyond incredible... and, come to think of it... I may have some connections I've been overlooking. It's perhaps a longshot, but it will not hurt to find out... I'll have to give my twin sister a call!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Nature Boy

Lately I've been considering running off to live in the mountains. Seriously, I want to completely embrace my inner hermit and seclude myself completely from all and any society.

I'm even willing to give up electronics -- which is saying a lot for those of you who know me best. Although, I don't know if I could give up French musicals...

Speaking of which, I was absolutely naughty, and I ordered a new French musical on DVD -- Dracula: Entre l'amour et la mort -- from Canada. It just shipped, even though the release date is March 4th -- it's not expected to arrive until March 12th, but I thought it stellar of them to ship it as soon as they possibly could!

("naughty" ... "stellar" ... honestly, my vocabulary is quite questionable at times...)