Sunday, May 31, 2009

4 am looks horrible on me

I started yesterday at 6:30 am.

I ran a charity 5K. It was a big event that I corralled a ton of my coworkers into participating in, so I was pulling team captain duties, too. I was happy with my time (something in the 25:something minutes). I am not happy with how badly my quads still hurt.

The best part of the run is when the race route ran two lanes - one going north and one going south. The north lane had those still walking/running but going slower than those who already ran that route and were going south.

I was going south. And Mom and Grandma were going north. Somehow I heard them shouting for me. I stopped long enough to give them a big hug. "Way to go, Al!" Grandma yelled. "I'm proud of you," my mom called after me.

It was so good to hear. You feel so loved in that moment.

The day went a bit downhill from there.

At 7 pm, I reported to bridesmaid duty. Bridezilla's bachelorette party. A thrill? Not really. But, honestly, it could have been worse. She barely annoyed me, too. (More than I can say for one of the bridesmaids.) I think the nearness of the wedding has forced her to mellow the fuck out. Also the alcohol helped. Her and me.

We went to the weener bar. Not something I'd done. Not something that I'm really counting down the moments until I can do again. But I thought it could have been worse.

And we went dancing.

And I sucked it up and had a bit of fun.

As much fun as you can have when you're feeling self-conscious and homely.

I have a really hard time with just being. Why just dance if you can dance and simultaneously fret about your hair and your skin?

(Neither of which were on their best behavior. Both of which are what I view to be the biggest flaws of my appearance.)

I hate this part of my personality, by the way. The part that is so insecure that every little thing is a big thing. When I can't let myself have any fun because I am not perfect yet I perceive everyone around me as such.

I'm sure that a girl who looks like she'd rather be hiding is really attractive to the opposite sex. I'm sure that is why the guys are forever lining up for me.

This isn't anything new. It bothers me at work. At the gym. When I'm with my family.

It is something that I want to get over. I just don't quite know how to get past it.

Something to work on, I suppose.

There's always something.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ouch

Remember how Anna decided to move out - practically rightthisverysecond - because she wanted to move to NYC to be with her boyfriend?

He dumped her tonight.

I wouldn't be entirely shocked if they're back together by next Friday, when they're scheduled to fly home together for Emma's graduation party.

But it hasn't been three months.

That really sucks ass.

(Also - I was thinking of only blogging about the lives of my family members from now on. Clearly, their lives are more interesting than mine.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Because it is important to me



Sure, none of you are particularly interested in hockey.

But that doesn't mean that I'm not going to acknowledge my Detroit Red Wings. In the Stanley Cup Final again.

Meggie and I would like to take another cheesy prom picture with Lord Stanley's Cup, boys, so bring it home again.

Return of the Yogi

How do you forget - or dismiss - something that is so good for you?

I took yoga tonight. The last time I took a yoga class was in January. In the first quarter of this year, I couldn't do it. And I needed it more than I ever have.

Now I have the rest of the year, and well into the next, to undo what I've done to my body with this stress. With the lazy half-assed stretching after running. With my genetic predispositions.

I love yoga.

I love the dark room. It is safe. It is consistent. I can climb into my body and out of my mind. I leave better than I come.

I need it.

And I need to remember that.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Honored

"Speaking of..." Lucy trailed off. We'd been talking about Chet. "We have to file more paperwork to immigration. Can you believe it? It's been two years."

No. Absolutely not. I can't believe it.

Then Lucy asked me to write an affidavit of personal knowledge of their marriage. Stating how long I've known them. Stating that I believe that their marriage is legit.

It is just a formality, sure. But Lucy could have asked a hundred people to write it for them. Lucy and Chet are both extremely likable people. And their marriage? You couldn't witness them together and doubt that it is anything but The Real Thing.

But they asked me. And I think it is nice.

For them, I won't even complain about having to get the letter notarized.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Days of...my cousin Liz's life

Get this.

My cousin Liz moved in with her boyfriend. (The buddy of her ex-husband.)

Seriously? She hasn't been separated for a year.

It isn't that I am judging how quickly she should or should not move on. She's 27 and I think that she can figure that out herself.

It's just - holy shit. How do you find/commit to a guy who is worthy of living with in less than a year? Colin and I have been dunzo for longer than she's been separated from her husband and I haven't even found someone to date!

Are my standards too high?
Are hers too low?

Maybe she's lucky.
Maybe I'm not.

Will be lucky to see how this all turns out.

Quick recap for the new readers:
1. My cousin Liz was married three and a half years ago. I was a bridesmaid at the enormous and extravagant wedding.
2. Liz and her husband split last summer.
3. When we went to Chicago for New Years Eve, Liz was suddenly bringing a boy (a boy who was friends with her estranged husband) with her instead of the friend she was supposedly bringing along.
4. The trip to Chicago made it obvious that they're together.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Johnsons

My parents grew up together. Same junior high. Same high school. Both middle children in their respective families - large and fairly well known in the community (mom's for having smart kids, dad's for having top notch jocks).

The Johnson family wasn't much different than theirs. The Johnsons lived in the same neighborhood as my mom's family. Their middle son is still best friends with my dad. He lives two doors down from us.

The oldest Johnson son was best friends with my late Uncle Rich.

And my mom was best friends with their younger daughter.

On the exterior, it is very wholesome. These families, all so linked that we can barely determine where one ends and another begins.

When my Uncle Rich died, I remember that his best friend, Bill Johnson, drove to Cincinnati for the funeral. I remember thinking that it was especially nice. Bill, the oldest child of the Johnson family, had a spotty past. Drugs. Jail. Always troubled. But he managed to be there for my family when Uncle Rich died. I respected that.

Bill Johnson has a daughter my age.

And late last night, his daughter received a call that he had been found. Dead. Seven days after he had passed away.

She lives out of state. She arranged a flight home this morning. And when she got here, she called her cousin and asked him to pick her up at the airport. And then she gave everyone the news.

I can't imagine. I can't imagine my father dying. And being across the country. And being 26. I can't imagine learning about it from a coroner.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Long weekend

The best part about today was taking a nap with Meg.

(Sort of sounds creepy, eh?)

We were lounging in bed, watching TV and trying to balance out the productivity that we'd applied to the rest of the day. And then - bam! - asleep. Awesome sleep.

I want to take that nap on a date so that I can get to know it better.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New season, new beginning

Today feels like summer. Thank goodness. The sun was toasty. I slipped on my sunglasses for my drive into work. I tilted my face up to the sky each time I stepped outside. Finally, it is here.

My freedom is soaking in. I have control of my life again. Thank goodness. Spending my evening at the gym, cooking dinner and cleaning the bathroom? It it doesn't involve homework. And that is good.

I've been pretty disciplined with applying for jobs. Thank goodness. There just aren't a lot of jobs, that I'm qualified for, out there. I'm looking mainly in Michigan and Ohio, at this point. I'm considering adding California to the mix. I would do it because my cousin, Danielle, is there. Maybe that is a mistake.

I have a job interview in a few weeks. Thank goodness. It isn't a full-time position. I'll worry about that later.

Soccer season starts in just two weeks! Thank goodness.

Bridezilla has been quiet for days. Thank goodness.

We're at the cusp of summer. Things are looking up. Thank goodness.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In honor of the big night



Pictures of my aunt, and my cousin's ex-roommate. Who also happens to be a finalist on AI.



We heard him sing, when we were in LA last spring. She was blown away. (Well, I was, too, but I don't verbalize things like that.) I couldn't tell you how many times I heard her tell him "you should audition. You could win."

And tonight, he very well may.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rub down

Lucy was sweet enough to schedule massages for us as my graduation present.

(Before you ask, no, we did not do a couples massage. Although we considered it for a millisecond.)

Lucy scheduled the massages at an overpriced salon near where we grew up. Oh, how thrilled we were. Lucy (who is also in graduate school) and I spent the entire winter semester bitching about how perpetually tense and sore our shoulders were.

And so: massages!

The owner was happy to offer us the "togetherness rooms" as she handed us glasses of wine, but we politely declined. Then, she got all weird on us and asked if we would mind if we had a male therapist (neither of us cared) and continued with an awkward babbling about how "he just has the softest hands. My husband's hands aren't that soft -- my hands aren't that soft. I ask him all the time how he keeps his hands so soft!" Listen, lady. We said yes. Stop with the hard sell about the soft hands.

We were randomly assigned our therapists. I got Señor Soft Hands. A nice enough kid, I guess. I nearly peed myself when he tucked his chin to his chest, looked down at his shoes and asked "isthereanychanceyourepregnant?"

Ha.

I wish, buddy. Now on with the rubdown.

I have high expectations. He's a dude, soft hands or not, and fully capable of beating the shit out of the knots out of my shoulders.

Except he was all soft hands. All mushy and wimpy and, don't get me wrong - it was great, but it was not spectacular.

I hate that. I hate when massages aren't spectacular. Especially when Lucy spent so much money on it. Especially when I had a dude and a dude should be able to recognize the sad state of my shoulders and get that yuck out.

I've never had a massage therapist not comment on how pathetic they are. Was like Señor Soft Hands completely missed it.

I should have said something. But I was high on the experience.

Even a bad massage is pretty damn good.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Get away

Colin was in my dream last night.

While I cannot remember the dream in detail, I know that I wasn't with him. We weren't together. Our situation was not fixed, better, forgotten. He was still the asshole. I was still jaded.

How long do you hold onto this stuff?

When can I eradicate this kid from my subconscious?

I am sure it has something to do with soccer season starting. While last year I was bold enough to send him an email that went something like: DON'T YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT REFEREEING ONE OF MY GAMES, this year I'm leaving it up to chance.

Does he really need to know how much it would bother me if he reffed one of my games? Does he really need to have the slightest hint of how much the simple thought of him enrages me?

I don't really need that twit convincing himself that I'm still in love with him. I don't feel the need to boost his ego by acknowledging his existence.

And that fucker certainly doesn't need to know that he is still occasionally popping up in my dreams.

Sometimes, though. Sometimes I just want to call him. Say hi. Meet him for a drink.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekend Roundup

There was a split second today, when I was golfing, that I had no idea what day it was.

Saturday, right? It must still be Saturday.

Oh. No. It is Sunday.

Disappointing, of course. But certainly not as disappointing as it would have been a month ago.

It was a different weekend. Different in that I didn't do much of anything - but I was hardly at a computer to document as much. It wasn't intentional, actually, but I think it was good. I have a bad habit of using technology to burn hours - at work, in the evenings, on the weekends. As if I'm just zoning out as I bide my time. Waiting for the next big thing.

I need to work on that. Living in the moment. Even if the moment is a quiet, insignificant one. Everything can't be an activity.

Not that there wasn't activity. There's always activity! I did a bit of volunteering for the charity race I'm participating in later this month, I went out for appetizers and margaritas with my mom and my sister, I watched my cousin Liz's dog (and watched endless episodes of In Treatment in the process) and went makeup shopping with Emma.

And golfing with Dad and Meg. Oh, how golf has grown on me. This afternoon, Meg said to me, "maybe I'll just hang out here until I find a boyfriend."

Word, baby girl. I'll be sitting with you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Needed

Be a better person.
Show compassion.
More results.
Attempt to understand.
No hiding.
Stop wishing.
Less judgment.
Look beyond myself.
Less fantasy.
More fearlessness.
A voice off of paper.
Less pretend.
Less daydreaming.
More of the tangible.
Feel feelings.
Be present.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Work friend to friend friend

I a rare display of cynicism, my dad once told me that I would learn, one day, about work friends. You think that they're your friends. And then you stop working together. And stop staying in touch.

My mom chided him.

He warned me.

Still, I barely speak with Kevin -- who I interned with four years ago.

Nor do I do a good job of keeping in touch with the other Kevin -- who my former boss fired for no particular reason 2.5 years ago.

My dad was right and I hate that.

You spend every day with someone. In those 40 hours, there is a lot of time to get familiar. To become buddies. To develop a solid, legitimate relationship.

And then you don't see each other every day.

And then your weekly phone calls turn to monthly.

And, eventually, you're only friends on Facebook.

You don't think it can happen. You turn around and it has.

I'm scared it will happen with Ashley. Ashley, my sweet and awesome work friend. Who is too similar to me for her own good. Who calls me on my lame excuses. Who pushes me. Who cheers me on.

Ashley's last day is in just over a week.

I don't want to be only her Facebook friend.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Don’t quite know what to do with myself

Seeing as how it has been a year and a half since I’ve had free time that stretches out more than a week or two, I am feeling a little dumbfounded by this new and exciting chapter in my life.

This chapter, by the way, is titled: Should Spend Every Hour Looking for a Job.

While last week was my first official week of freedom, I was plenty occupied. It didn’t feel much different than a normal week. I rushed to Mom and Dad’s house after work on Monday. On Tuesday night, I rushed to Bridezilla’s to try on my bridesmaid dress. I worked late on Wednesday night. On Thursday, I worked late again, went to the grocery store and let Grey’s Anatomy rip my heart out. Friday was graduation insanity.

It felt like a normal week. Except that, instead of sitting in lecture or interning at the library, I was running around for other reasons. It was a good transition, really. You can’t go from 60 MPH to stopped.

This week, I am mostly stopped. Last night, I read, I went to the gym, and I read some more. Tonight, I’ll go to the gym and then watch Idol. Repeat for Wednesday.

Not exactly what I’m used to. Not exactly what I like.

I need some goals, I suppose. Maybe a big list – printed on an enormous sheet of paper. With checkboxes for me to mark off.

Research hotels for South Africa.
Knit a baby hat.
Teach myself a music editing software program
Clean out my damn car
Stop obsessing about filling every second of every day

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tomorrow could be interesting

My sister posted my graduation photos on Facebook.

Glorious, fun photos. That I didn't know were posted until 12 hours after she'd done so.

So that is lovely.

Minus the small handful of coworkers who were somewhat aware that I was in graduate school but definitely ignorant of the fact that I was graduating.

I'm just going to hope that none of them were on the Facebook between 11:30 pm Friday and noon on Saturday. (After which I restricted profile access to those 5 or 6 lucky folk.)

If they were. And saw the pictures. And decide to ask me about them. I hope that they do it out of earshot of my lovely boss.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Hurrah

Get. Over. It.

I can really annoy the shit out of myself.

Like today. I get on my program's website to download the second copy of Office '07 that we're entitled to. Except they have already turned off my account. Seriously. Seriously? I am shocked that the program is together enough to pull the plug with little to no lag.

And I should have downloaded it last weekend. But I was lazy. So now I'm annoyed at me.

Of all of the things that matter in this world, this is right up there. But I am still irritated. And I am irritated that I am irritated because I know it doesn't matter - I KNOW THIS - but I don't really.

Gah.

I need to stop drinking coffee. Coffee makes me anxious. And I was drinking coffee as I was being ROYALLY SHUT DOWN and it totally intensifies The Crazy.

Because I am. Totally insane. Office '07. Who the fuck cares?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Officially official

I'm so tired that I can't bring myself to get out of this chair and into my bed.

It was a really lovely day. It started with the sun streaming into my bedroom and it only went up from there. A gorgeous bracelet from my grandparents. A stellar celebratory dinner. So many little, perfect gestures that made this day special.

I don't know, exactly, what and where this degree will bring me.

Whatever it is, I hope it feels a lot like today.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Love Letters: The Graduation Edition

Dear Ashley,

I don't have the words to tell you how happy I am for you. As hard as it will be to not have that built in reason for talking to you every day, lets stay friends just like we are today. No drifting away just because we don't work together anymore, okay? I need your friendship.

Dear Grey's Anatomy,

Next time you're planning to kill of 1/2 of my favorite couple, if you could steer the heartbreaking episodes away from when I'm on my period and emotionally unstable, I would find it very beneficial to my mental health.

Dear graduation regalia,

I don't mean any offense, hiding you away in the closet. It's just that I can't quite bring myself to realize that this is really happening. I keep you hidden away just in case this is a joke. I'm a little afraid that the Graduation Police will find me tomorrow and pull me aside and take away my cap and gown. I can't already be done.

Dear apartment,

You're cute. You've grown on me. As hard as it was to move in, you feel like home. A home where I don't have to clean up after anyone but me. A home where my books are finally on my bookshelves and my shoes fill the floor of my closet.

Dear Lucy,

What did I ever do to deserve you as a friend? Appointments for massages on Saturday! Sometimes I think you know me better than I know myself.

Dear Twitter,

You're fun, but you're not blogging.

Dear Jobs I'm Qualified For,

If you could mate like bunnies - that would be great. And I hear Michigan is a great place to give birth.

Dear Life,

As of 5 pm tomorrow, you're done with school. No more excuses.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Being a blogger

An anonymous (they’re always anonymous, aren’t they?) comment left on my blog last night that left me questioning myself this morning.

The comment wasn’t vicious. It was honest and upfront and there wasn’t anything wrong with it. I was called out for being nasty to The Bride Formerly Known As Bridezilla.

And I was nasty. Nasty and frustrated and feeling used and venting on my mostly private blog.

I’m not going to delete the comment. I’m not going to delete what I wrote. As of Friday, I’ll be a full-fledged, graduated, professional, unemployed librarian. Librarians don’t believe in censorship.

I won’t censor.

It is my blog. I wrote it. And if there was ever a time where I needed to ‘fess up to what I wrote about The Bride Formerly Known As Bridezilla, or about my crazy family, or about my coworkers, I would.

In a situation like this, you can’t win.
Not blogging is not an option.
Blogging only happy, positive, cheerful things is akin to not blogging.

What do you do? Maintain your course, I suppose. Carry on. Do what you’ve been doing for the last 4+ years. Remember that, at some point, you might get called out. You might be the asshole. Be okay with that. Hold steady.

But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that, next time, I will think twice.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

3.96

My last grades were posted today.

As a result, my GPA on my transcript reads the following: 3.96.

I was a really, really average undergraduate student. I did what I had to do, but not much above and beyond that. I can’t remember many times when I put my all into actually studying for something. I always showed up to class. I always did my assignments – and always did them on time. But I wasn’t anything special. I finished with a GPA in the 3.3 range, which is fairly decent considering the school that I attended, the unspectacular nature of my work and how screwed up I was during my entire undergraduate career.

I don’t recall having any expectations for my performance in graduate school. I know that I didn’t go in thinking that I would come out with a 3.96 GPA. I didn’t think that there was any possibility that I would fail out, either.

To be honest, I’ve surprised myself a bit. I showed mettle that I didn’t have as an undergraduate student.

And to be doubly honest, my program wasn’t all that hard. I feel that the circumstances under which I finished – with my GPA, working full-time, taking up to three classes at once – makes this an accomplishment.

“It isn’t a real master’s,” I told my mom over the weekend.

I am not entirely convinced that the fact that I finished the degree is all that amazing. There were some pretty stupid people in my classes. They’ll graduate eventually, too. My program is a huge proponent of grade inflation, so I wouldn’t be all that surprised if some of them finish with GPAs close to mine, too.

Isn’t that ridiculous? Aren’t I ridiculous? Simultaneously thrilled that I’m finished and not that impressed with the accomplishment.

I don’t know where I got these foolishly high expectations from.

Monday, May 04, 2009

I thought we were in a recession

It started normally enough. I was slow getting ready. Good Morning America interested me more than going to work did.

An email from a close coworker, Liz, started it off. "Guess what I just did?" Put in her two weeks, of course. I was thrilled for her. After I took my promotion early last year, Liz had done both my job and hers. And then had her job cut to part time. It was ugly, the way she was kicked around.

And then a text from Ashley. "I got a job offer this morning." Again, I was thrilled. Ashley puts up with so much shit. She did the same job that I used to, but with more customers who were bigger assholes.

Another text, a few hours later, confirmed that she took the job.

When Ashley was telling me about this job, when she was interviewing for it, she said "my mom asked if you would be mad at me for taking a new job."

I was not entirely convinced that Ashley's mom was really the one asking the question, but I answered it anyway. "Are you kidding me? Please. I couldn't be anything but ecstatic if you got the hell out of here. Plus, I hope that I follow you out the door."

My two closest coworkers. Both leaving. And on the same day. What are the odds?

And the odds that my cousin, Emma, landed her summer job today, too?

What's in the air? And can I please catch it?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A weekend with no homework

I'll admit that I imagined my first post-graduate weekend would be a little more glamorous. More relief. More alcohol. Less time wearing mismatched pieces of athletic apparel.

Next weekend will be the real celebratory weekend, on account of my graduation and whatnot. My 'rents and grandparents will watch me walk (they actually call names at the graduation ceremony which is totally foreign to me) and we'll have dinner. Lucy has a mystery day planned for next Saturday. And Sunday is Mother's Day.

This weekend was more like Mother's Weekend. My dad was out of town on a golf trip and not so subtly asked me to hang with mom. "She says she hates coming home to an empty house."

On Friday night, it was Chinese food and some bumming around the house. I watched the Red Wings game. She read, looking up from her book to cheer on goals and big plays. After the game, we watched a creepy episode of 20/20, about some kid who plotted to have his entire family killed.

We took princess Blue on a walk on Saturday morning. We went to the grocery store so that I could buy the appropriate supplies for Kentucky Derby Pie. Mom helped talk me down while I was making the pie crust (I hate making pie crust. It is the devil.) I went to Lucy's Kentucky Derby party. Mom did whatever at home. And I got home in time to watch another creepy murder story on a news magazine.

We hung out and read the paper this morning. I skated. Meg came home and we did the typical: chilled out on the deck with Blue, reading materials and iced tea and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

I didn't get much accomplished this weekend. I entirely ignored my to do list.

But I got to have my mommy all to myself. That doesn't happen very often.

It wasn't flashy. I wouldn't label it exciting. But the weekend was memorable in its own way.

Friday, May 01, 2009

From the Bridezilla files

Email #1 - Dresses are In. Throw Confetti.

Hello Ladies,

Last night as of 9pm your dresses are in at the store. Yea!

I had cleared my calendar Tues and Thurs night this week to go pick them up but that didn't work out. The next time I can get to the store is Monday after work.

If you are able to go and pick your dress up that would help me out. When picking up your dress. Look it over to be sure everything is correct. (Bridesmaid Who Is A Surgical Resident In Ohio, I will get your dress from the store for you).

Their hours are:
Mon And Thurs 10-8,
Tues And Wed 10-7,
Fri 10-6,
Sat 10-5

All of the buttons to be added on the back of the dresses are in my possession so I will need to get those to you.

Also, we need to figure out where we want all of the hem lines to fall regardless of height. It would be helpful for me to see as many of you together at one time with the dresses on.

We can set up a time for that once the dresses are out of the store.

Have a good one,
Bridezilla


After I received this email, I replied back with a very polite: WTF? You're telling me that you want me to go to the seamstress twice? For real? (It was more along the lines of: "I don't want to bring my dress to the seamstress twice if we can avoid it [she's very busy at this time of year with other bridesmaid and prom dresses].")

I obviously knew what she had written in the email. But I was trying to point out the logistical shortcomings of her master plan.

Email #2 - No, This Will Not Be Done Logically

Hi,
Thank you all for your quick response to the dressing coming in. I know we have all been anxious for them to come.

There have been several questions about hem length and buttons.

Length.
Please hold off on hemming the dresses. I haven't been able to see you in your dresses to decide on a common length for everyone regardless of height.

I don't want to just pick a number out of the air without seeing how the A-line skirts flair and were they look the best and feel most comfortable on you (ie how much below the knee). Once the fabric is cut there is no going back.

Buttons.
The buttons are at home. I packaged them in bubble wrap (the button backs are plastic) and put them in zip lock bag labeled with your name on it. Each bag has one dozen buttons.

I haven't had access to a dress and buttons at the same time until now. This weekend I will lay out the buttons on the back of the dress and give you the spacing between the buttons for proper lay out so they look the same.

Let me know if there are any more questions.

Thanks.
--Bridezilla


This bitch actually thinks that I will be visiting my seamstress twice to get this dress wedding ready? And that I will willingly get together with the bridesmaids, once I have my original fitting done, so that she can see how we measure up and hem appropriately? Good fucking luck with that one, princess.

Am I the only one who has noticed that the wedding is a month away?

Not even touching the button issue.
 
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