Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Unbelieveably, I'm Back

I made it back from Manila (barely). I was the last person on the plane in Shanghai and I was the last person on the plane in Chicago.

I knew it was going to be a bad 24 hours when I checked in at Manila and they said "You only have 1 hr 10 min in Shanghai? It takes at least 2 -3 hours to get through there." They tried to get me to reschedule (no, I am going home! My doggie needs me! Plus I can't face another death defying taxi ride). They asked with whom I booked. When I said expedia they replied, "don't use them they are terrible." Hello! Done deal!

The people at Philippines airline were very nice. They priority seated me so I could disembark quickly (row 5C) and priority stickered my bags which have to be retrieved in China. Once I arrived in China, I picked up my bags, cleared customs and tried to figure out where I needed to go. Turns out it was out the exit then to Terminal 1. I was hauling a**. It was 90+ in the airport (which is modern, new and huge). I walked/ran for probably 20 min. They I had to go thru security. It was ridiculous. I mean I'm glad they are through, but come on. My carry-on went through the machine 4x. They took everything out and check all of it. Sent the empty bag through. Loaded the bag back up and sent it through again. Repeat. And repeat. I had to throw out my appropriately bagged and sized hand sanitizer. Turns out it was a barrette causing the problem. It was in with my granola bars. Then they found another barrette that was in somewhere else. I had no idea what was in there. I've been gone 13 days. I was just throwing and stuffing things into my bags. I still had to clear the machine, too. Then attempt to put my shoes back on. Grab my 3 bags, my passport pouch and my sweatshirt. Check my bags and make it to my gate. I got waived through the last two check-type points. I had to run down an escalator and a hallway as well as the longest jet bridge ever. They closed the door on the plane as soon as I entered.

I had a decent seat though. I was on the aisle and the 2 seats next to me were empty. I was watching Flawless some movie with Demi Moore and Michael Caine. It was good. Of course, the customs/landing video came on during the last 10 min of the movie so I don't know how it ended.

The plane was a 777 so we had our own video screens where we could select movies, audio, tv shows or play games. I watched Monk and the office for the first time ever. They are both pretty funny. I also played concentration and solitaire (which i don't know how to play evidently).

When we arrived in Chicago at 4:20 pm on Monday (I left Shanghai at 4:10 pm on Monday). I had to clear immigration. There were 10 rows of the snake through back and forth kind to traverse. I got through that at 5:10. Then I had to get my luggage and clear customs. I was still waiting for my bags at 5:30. I was waiting in the customs line at 5:40 which was the boarding time for my last flight. Once you get thru customs in terminal M you have to take a train to Terminal G (you get off the train at K). Then because you live in podunk you have to go all the way to the end of G for your gate. I was walking/sprinting gasping for breath with unbuckled shoes trying to make my plane. I could almost see Gate 21 when i heard the final boarding call. They were starting to close the gate door when they heard/saw me coming (fat chick panting and sweating, looking desperate). If I hadn't made that flight I would have burst into tears. I was hot, smelly, exhausted, starving, thirsty and needing to go potty. I can't believe they waited for me.

It was a short 38 min flight home. Iowa is so pretty with the green patchwork fields. I see the corn is starting to tassle. My mom was there to get me. My bags appeared. All is well.

I got home, did some laundry, took a shower and collapsed on my comfy pillowtop mattress. Kurt has the same flights I did. He comes home on Wednesday. He's sick though. He has a virus, a sinus infection, or general crud. He was able to get some Mucinex like stuff at one of the pharmacies and says he's feeling somewhat better. I hope he can make it home.

I need to pick up our mail, buy some food, and go liberate my puppy. I hope he doesn't hate me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Corregidor Island

After only 4 hours sleep we got up to catch a taxi to the CCCP Complex to get the ferry to Corregidor Island. We totally got taken by the driver. He charged us 500 pesos each. It should have been more like 200 total (we later found out). I’d called the day before to reserve us spots on the ferry. Of course, they had no record of us.

The Philippines is all about bureaucracy. We had to fill out a form. Present i.d. Then wait. And wait. And wait. Kurt went to the window and asked a couple of times. We were told to wait until they called our names. Finally we heard “Kurt Ann H-----“. More paperwork followed then we got our stickers with our seat assignments. I’m so glad we got the 2 hours early. Ugh. We had great seats. We were on the lower deck in the front row so we had space to stretch out as well as a great view out the windows. Corregidor is 30 miles out in Manila Bay. The ferry was a catamaran so it was a very smooth ride. The AC in the boat worked very well. I was chilly. I had to put on my sweatshirt (I wasn’t sure if the ferry was open or enclosed). It was AWESOME!

On the way out there were natives fishing in canoes with little huts on them. Bataan Peninsula is very close to Corregidor. I had no idea it was so close. There were a total of 4 reinforced islands in the Bay during the war. Ironically, the Japanese built a lot of the reinforcements after the Spanish American war.

We toured the island by trolley. Our Filipino guide was an older gentleman. He was very well informed and has had the job for 14 years. The ruins of the barracks and other buildings are very impressive. There a shells of 3 story concrete structures. There was a giant staircase hanging almost vertical held in place by a single rod of rebar.

The biggest gun on the island had a range of 17 miles. The springs on these guns were huge! After the war the US reforested the island. It wasn’t as “jungle-y” as I expected. The guide assured us there were cobras and pythons in the brush. Many of the trees were labeled. There were mango, tamarind and other tropical fruits. I saw a bright yellow bird fly past. Kurt said he saw a blue one.

There is lighthouse on the topside of the island. The view from it was great. I was skeptical about climbing it (given my natural athletic ability and all) especially since two sets of the stairs were metal and steep enough that they had to be descending backward!

Lunch was included in our ticket price. It was a buffet at the Corregidor Inn. One can spend the night on the island if they wish. As the guide said every day the meal is different. One day is “pork and chicken next day is chicken and pork!”

We got a complimentary juice with our meal. It was a glass of “panadin” juice. It’s some kind of pine or pineapple juice. It was very light and refreshing. It was pink on the bottom and green on the top.

After lunch we were exhausted. We still had to visit the tail. Corregidor is tadpole shaped. The tail contains a recently discovered mass Japanese grave that is now the Japanese Peace Garden as well as the Filipino Heroes Memorial. No one was much interested in getting off the trolley at this point.

Before lunch we walked through the Malita Tunnel. The light and sound show was extra. I thought it was at night so we hadn’t purchased it. We decided to do it though. It consisted of narration, video, and tableaus in the side tunnels.

The only damage inside the tunnel was done when the US retook the island and poured in gasoline to try and force the Japanese out. The ensuing fires and explosions caused the damage. At one point a portion of the tunnel served as a hospital for over 1,000 wounded. Corregidor held out for 5 ½ months before surrendering. I can’t imagine living in the dark and damp for that long.

On the ride back to Manila almost everyone was asleep. As we approached the city, clouds were moving in. It was very pretty with the hi-rises set against the darkening sky. Once we landed we got a Starbucks (I think there are more here than at home) and walked along the quay. It is soooo smelly and polluted. Floating rubbish, shoes, plastic, bottles and all kinds of trash. I know the rivers in Manila have raw sewage in them so I’d assume the Bay does as well. People were squatting along the wall and fishing. I can’t imagine anything they caught was safe to eat. We got ripped off by the cabdriver that took us home as well, but we didn’t care. We were hot, hungry, and tired. We need to insist that they start the meter or we need to get into a different taxi. It’s just that even getting ripped off doesn’t cost us that much in American money. We ended up ordering Pizza Hut delivery for dinner. The number is 911-11-11. It was tiny but decent and cheap!

Saturday Night was made for....Singing?

We went to the pool in the afternoon. It's indoors but is open air. It is deep and very cool. I thought it was great! All of the sudden we could hear something. The sky opened up and it poured and poured! Rain was gushing off the rooftops. Lots of the roofs here are made of corregated tin so it was quite the racket. We got out of the pool and looked out through the grill work on the patio area. I could see a mother and little kid showering in the run off. They had soap and shampoo. It was very sad. So many here are so very very poor.

In the evening we went out with 18 work people. 17 Filipinos and 1 American who is here on a 2 yr assignment. The Company has a shuttle so we took that way across town (in a direction we hadn’t been) to a Dampa restaurant. For Dampa you select your meats and fish at an open air market (less icky that the other one it looked anyway) and then the restaurant prepares it for you.

We were supposed to meet at 7 pm. We finally got left around 830. We met some of the people at the restaurant/market. Once the sun goes down it’s not so bad here. It was in the 70’s with humidity about the same level. Wilfred, a guy from the other center, did all the ordering for everyone. We had a good selection of Pinoy food.

Adobo is a national way of cooking. We had pork & chicken adobo, a fish soup (with the carcass in it) flavored with vinegar, a plate with chopped mango, onion, tomato, and shrimp paste (I think that’s to mix with the rice), a BBQed/grilled Lampa fish, fried squid, green mussels with a tiny bit of cheese and garlic, grilled pork chunks, and grilled vegetables. We had plates and plate of food. There was barely enough room for everything. We had lots of leftovers. They sack the leftovers in plastic bags and just tie a knot to close it. Even the soup went into a bag.

Speaking of the soup. It was clearish broth with fish heads and long green beans in it. I commented about the green beans several times. No one really said anything. Perhaps no one was listening to me. I took a big bite and since it was hard to bit through I shoved the whole thing in. Tears came to my eyes. I must have hit a hot pepper flake. I was gasping for breath. Turns out it was a CHILI!! I’ve never had such fire in my mouth before. It was horrendous (but oddly yummy). Everyone had a good laugh at my expense. Everything was extremely tasty. We had a terrific time.

After dinner was over it was off to the second half of the evening. Asians LOVE karaoke. Here they have videoake. While singing strange videos play in the back ground. Videos of people dancing, doing aerobics, boating etc.

We went to Dance 21 club. It’s a 3 story videoake bar with private rooms. We did a 3 hour package for 10 people (so we got 2 pkgs). Each package included 24 San Miguel Light beer, ½ a roasted chicken, pizza, French fries, nachos, and Filipino mixed nuts. The mix seems to be peanuts and dried peas with garlic powder. I couldn’t imagine we could eat any more. But we did! Everything but one of the chickens was gone. Kurt and I brought it home and had it for breakfast on Sunday.

Kurt LOVES to karaoke. Filipinos really go for the sappy love songs. They had very little hard, really rocking songs in the books. Kurt did his usual – Livin’ La Vida Loca. He also did quite a few others. Like a Virgin was a big hit! They were taking lots and lots of pictures of “the Big Boss”. It was a surprisingly good time – I was not looking forward to it at all. The San Miguels were going down very easily. I really understood that when I stood up for the first time!
We got back to the hotel around 2:30 a.m. We needed to be in a taxi to go to Corregidor by 6 a.m. It was a very short night

Friday, July 18, 2008

Filipino Fun

I've found something funnier/cheesier than Mexican soap operas. I don't think you can beat Asian ones. One channel appears to be the all samurai soap opera channel. They are hilarious. From the first second you're on the channel you can tell. The sumo wrestling is pretty entertaining, too.

I don't know that our opposite schedules are going to work out real well here. Tonight I'm awake and Kurt's only half way through his shift. It's too late at night for me to go out. Plus I'm hungry. I bought some pudding packs and pretzel's at the grocery. Maybe I'll have some of those. The restaurant here closes at 11 pm so I've missed that by 2 hours.

Kurt won't have to work again until Monday night here. We're going to try and go to Corregidor on Sunday (I think). I don't know how long we are going out with the work people this morning. Maybe we'll go to Intramuros which is the old city. Most of it was bombed into oblivion during WWII.

The Manila American Military Cemetery opens at 6:30 am so that's something we can do one morning when Kurt gets off from work before he goes to sleep.

We want to try and go to Borcay to the beach next weekend. We'd have to fly there. I've seen 2 night pkg for $300, but with his schedule we can really only go for 1 night. If I had scheduled my flight home a day later it would have worked out better. I hate it when I don't plan things out correctly.

Saturday morning I walked down to the center and waited for Kurt to get off work. A lady named Alice asked where I was going. When I said "here" we got into a big conversation about where I was from, why I was there, what the company does, and what are the qualifications to work there. Then I had another person stop and ask me how much they pay. The Filipinos are very friendly.

I had a yummy breakfast, but I'm not so sure Kurt was as thrilled with his. I had a giant pile of bacon, a fried egg, and some sweet/sesame rolls. Kurt got the Fisherman's Platter. It had 5 or 6 grilled sardines (heads and tails included, of course), garlic rice, and a thing of chopped tomatoes and hard boiled eggs. Well, I think they were hard boiled. The yolk was very dark, like brownish. I wouldn't have eaten it.

After breakfast we walked through the Farmer's market so Kurt could see it. It was teaming with people getting there food for the day. This was around 745 am. I should have taken more pictures. There were guys with cleavers just whacking the hell out of giant pieces of meat. Kurt looked a little queasy. The smell is something else.

We grabbed a cab to the Manila old town, Intramuros. Manila is really a city of contrasts there is abject poverty and raw sewage in the river, but then there might be a multimillion dollar hi-rise going up. Of course it's being built by hand. We saw two guys breaking up concrete. One had a hammer hitting the piece of rebar the other one was holding with a pliers.

Intramuros is the old walled city from the time of the Spanish in the 1500's. It was heavily bombed during the Battle of Manila. Many things have been rebuilt such as the Manila Cathedral. As soon as we got out of the taxi we were besieged by beggars, people selling rosaries, hats, and everything else. We took a ride on a calesa which is a horse drawn cart. I felt really bad for the horse hauling our fat asses around in this heat. The driver gave us a tour and I translated (what i could hear and understand) for Kurt. We both nodded a lot.

We also toured the St Augustin church. It is filled with ecclesiastical relics and art. it was fascinating. There were beautiful statues/figurines of the various virgins and saints. They were carved out of ivory with incredible detail. Often they had human hair and eye lashes. There were also large carved altars that had been saved. The site is a UNESCO world heritage list. I can't imagine how those relics are surviving in the humidity. In Sala de la Capitulacion (where the Governor-General signed the terms of surrender to the US in 1898) there were beautiful objects of gold and silver decorated with semi precious stones. There were two pieces which are the thing that the Host goes in for the perpetual adoration that were gold with aquamarine, amethyst, emerald and diamonds. They were spectacular.

Kurt and I were dying of the heat and humidity so we skipped the second floor. On the way out we were able to stop in the main church. It was being prepared for a wedding. The sanctuary was gorgeous with huge chandeliers of crystal, blue stones, and pearls. The ceiling and walls were all frescoed. Some of it was carved, but the majority of it was trompe l'oeil painted to look like carvings. Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed and I was too hot to sneak one sans flash.

We sucked down some cokes from a roadside stand, fought off some more beggars, and got a cab back to the hotel.

We had a delicious lunch in front of the heavy duty air conditioning unit in the LAB restaurant at the hotel. Kurt had pad thai while I had cream dory fillets in oyster sauce with stir fried bok choy and basil crisps. It was one awesome fish! It's was very firm and creamy. It tasted lemony. I am happy to report that I even was a bit chilly at lunch! Thank you, Jesus!

Tonite at 7 we are going out with a group of 30 or so from work. We going to a market where we pick out our raw meat and then other things to go with it - it's dambass (sp) style. After dinner we're going to a video karaoke bar that has been reserved for us. should be interesting!

I've Arrived!

I arrived in Manila Thursday night around 1030 pm (930 am on Thurs IA time).

The flight was long long long. the food was bad bad bad. Tokyo was very unorganized and security was lax. From Tokyo to Manila i rode in the upstairs of the plane! that was kinda cool. Except my bag got jammed in the overheard compartment and i had to stand on the seat and have two little Asian guys hanging on the compartment to unjam it. There was no car for me at the airport so i took a cab. The hotel was about 45min from the airport. I showered, snacked, and collapsed. Kurt got here ok too. (on Tuesday).

Manila is hot and dirty, but pretty American. Kurt got home from work at 5 am. we went of for breakfast and then walked around the area. We're going out with his "team" Saturday morning. We're not sure what that means.

While Kurt slept, since he is staying on IA time. I went out for a few hours. I slathered on the sunscreen and headed to the farmer's market. Manila really reminds me of Mexico City. The heat. the pollution. the smells.

The farmer's market is open air, but covered. There was plucked poultry and raw meats hanging around. None of it is refrigerated, but I didn't see any flies. I haven't seen any bugs. Although I have seen 3 Filipino pee-pees as they just whip them out and pee where ever. I told Kurt and I think he thought I'd been skulking around in back alleys, but it was just here on the MAJOR road where we are staying. Back at the market, I hadn't had lunch so between the smells and the heat I thought I was going to lose it. I went back to the perimeter and continued my way around. Then I got to the seafood area. All kinds of clams, mussels, crabs and fish lying out. Again, not on any ice. Some of the fish may have been on ice. The other two corners of the market contained flowers and produce.

I took some pictures but I didn't bring the cable to transfer my pictures to the computer.

I also went to one of the many shopping center/galleria areas. Very American/modern. Lots of stores like Lacoste, Body shop, Guess, Levi etc. I went to Rustan's which is a grocery store and got some pretzels, chips, sodas, and bottled water.

It was hot; I was tired so I took a cab back to the hotel. It's probably only 4 or 5 blocks but my bags were heavy. It cost 40 pesos (just less than a dollar). I only had 500 peso notes (approx $11) and US 20's. I had a $5 though so I asked if that was ok. At first he wasn't sure, but then he realized what it was and got a huge, but brief smile, "yeah it will work".

i came back and napped with Kurt for a few hours. He got up around 6:15 pm. We had a few hours before he needed to go to work so we went for supper. Sunset is around 630 here. We ate at "the Seafood Place". We had a "boodle" which i think means a pile of food. They brought it to us on a giant table sized tray covered in banana leaves. It had a pile of white rice with a tray with chunks of fish (tilapia maybe) in coconut vinegar with a salad of onion, and red pepper. It was very good. Around the edges of the rice was a crab, grilled squid and octopus, a grilled fish, a baked chicken (adobo chicken), and we think fried fish head/skin. We didn't eat any of that. All of it was very tasty.

We came through a mall on the way back. I got a hanky (to wipe off the sweat more gracefully, and Kurt got 2 short sleeve Polo brand polo shirts to wear to work instead of long sleeve dress shirts. That was only around $22, too.

Kurt's back at work. I'm blogging and watching some weird (do they come any other way) Stanley Kubrick movie on TCM. I think it's getting around bedtime for this bozo. Oh, wait, that's Bonzo, right?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

He's Arrived

Kurt left for Manila yesterday at 9:20 am. He arrived there today at 9:10 am. There's a 13 hour time difference. I put a Manila clock over on the left of the blog. I just enabled layouts so now I might actually be able to put cool things on here! I do not understand or know anything about html code. I can't even paste it in correctly!

Japan Airlines had a cool Internet tracker thing so I could "see" where his plane was on its journey. He flew through Tokyo.

I'm just chilling. I watered plants. I'm trying to pay bills (now that we want them to arrive, they don't). I need to do some laundry and general clean up stuff. I'm also hauling what scrap stuff I can lift upstairs to the new room.

This afternoon I'm going to get the car serviced. Then Mom and I are going to a wake for my friend, Rick. He passed away on Sunday. He was only 39. He leaves behind 3 young children and his wife. Though we've mainly communicated via Christmas cards the last few years, we had a lot of fun times together. I photographed their wedding. He, too, was killed by cancer. It's ridiculous the amount of money being spent on this oil war when we could be trying to cure cancer!

Only 189 days of Bush left.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Brand New Look

We finally got the bedroom painted. All we have left to do is to change the outlets from beige to white.

I hate painting. I SWEAR I am NEVER painting again. EVER.

Here we have BEFORE:

and now we have AFTER:

We painted over the wall paper and we painted the woodwork white. Our color scheme is Blue Beyond and Twinkle. We are very happy! Now Kurt will have an office and I'll have a scrap/genealogy/study room!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Saturday night Kurt and I made quick and dirty trip to Madison. We didn't get left until after 10pm so it was well after 1 am when we got to the hotel. An IT guy from Green Bay was meeting us outside of Madison so Kurt could give him one of the servers they need to move out of the flood building. Meeting us cut the trip in half so that was great. My good friend, Korrena, moved to Madison a couple of years ago. It's hard to justify many trips up there with the price of gas (also with both of our packed schedules). Sunday afternoon we went out to their house. It's on a dead-end road in the country. They have have a great, shady yard with views of trees and open pasture. They see lots of wildlife like deer and wild turkeys. She and Jacob have 2 kids (and a third on the way). Sam is 5 and Alytha is 3. We decided to spend the afternoon hanging out at the zoo. Madison has a decent sized zoo which is completely free. They go there a lot. Enough that the kids know what order the animal enclosures are in.

I got some cotton candy. It was HUGE. Kurt said the guy making it and the guy next to him were having a contest to see who could make the biggest cone. My guy won. (The picture of it is out of order at the bottom).

Miss Alytha loving the sugar that her momma doesn't normally let her have.

Sticky and Sweet!

March of the Penguins

Two chimps - which one is out of it's cage?

The is the funny looking Tapir. That is a scientific description courtesy of Sam.

I bought the kids some goat food.

Korrena, me, and the winning cotton candy.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I finally got done weeding at my Mom's. She's been completely tied up trying to get my grandpa's estate settled. Between that, the monsoons, tornadoes, and humidity she hasn't been able to get to it.

She asked if there was anything I wanted.


"Is there anything that you want that I can afford?" My face must have lit up because she then qualified the question, "anything within reason?"

So I've been weeding for a new gas grill. I really think I've been at it for 3 weeks or so. I think I've gone over there 4 or 5 times. Earlier this week was way too humid. I pulled lots and lots of grass as well as some noxious vine with leaves that looked like morning glories.

We are going to trade some of my yellow Asiatic lillies for some of her pink ones. I also marked some hot pink hollyhock to take seeds from this fall.

Next week is going to be a big week. Kurt is leaving for Manila on Monday and then I'm following him on Wednesday. Before we leave we need to get the room upstairs finished. The ceiling still needs touched up and the woodwork needs a 2nd coat of paint.

Why does it seem that going on a trip always leads to the need for new clothes?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

It's A Dog's Life

At least around here it is. Kurt made this comment this morning as Francis was sleeping between us with all 4 in the air. He likes to be comfy. Our new pillow top mattress under the new ceiling fan is just fine.

He is spoiled. Worse than Lewis ever was. However, Francis is cuddle dog/lap dog where Lewis was not. Francis has doggie steps so he can get up on the bed. He got a new rope toy today as well as a car harness. He's gonna hate the harness, but it's just not safe with him sitting on my lap while I drive the monster truck.

Mom and I had lunch at the Chinese buffet today. It was good. The cashew chicken was especially good. Then I went to town for groceries. I had a tiny, tiny list. There was no meat on the list. I bought 2 things that weren't on the list - propel for 2.87 and Ben and Jerry's for $3. The bill was still $100.86. I only had 3 tote bags of stuff and 1 cheap lamp in a box. It's ridiculous. The food we have around here is going to change. They can eat apples instead of applesauce and peanut butter instead of sandwich meat and cheese. I've figured out what we are having for supper for the next 2 weeks. I won't have to cook lunch since I'm the only one here. That should help keep costs down, too.

I declined to buy a gorgeous purple butterfly bush. It was on sale for $9.98. If I bought a tote of .95 I could get 30% off of everything could fit in the tote. I may have to go back.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

We had a helluva a fireworks show here. My poor doggie is traumatized. The fireworks are shot off just a block away. When we got back in the house Kurt noticed one of our photographs had been knocked off the wall! The concussions were something else. Mom, Dad, and the Aunt came up to view with us.

We watched the parade this morning. It went on forever. (I hate parades). In years past Grandpa has always come to watch. So it was a little sad without him.

We went to the park and listened to the Community Band and then the Eastern Iowa Brass Band. They were really really good.

We painted all the woodwork this afternoon, then had supper and watched "A Capital Fourth".

Not too exciting around here.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I ordered some hostas online. I am addicted to hostas! They are on the Fed-Ex truck on their way to me as we speak (read)(write). I got them from direct source hostas. They are great because it's one shipping price no matter how much you order. I got Blue Umbrella, Great Expectations, and Pilgrim.

I invested my inheritance this morning. At least I can't spend it now. Whew!

I'm going to weed at my mom's house today. And finish mulching at Grandpa's. I got the woodwork washed in the room we are painting. The ceiling looks like crap and needs another coat. Plus there are some serious touch up (missed) spots on the walls. I'll do that when I get home.

I took a paid for practice test for the NHA last night. I passed two sections (and failed three). Yikes! Needs to be more studying, too.