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All posts for the month September, 2012

Childhood Musings

Published September 29, 2012 by sarcasmica

Things have seemingly gotten out of control with the technology accessibility and just plain access for ‘youth’ these days. I don’t care if this makes me sound like a bitter old woman, it must be said! The brood in my house has me reminiscing about how things were ‘back in my day’.

Oh, they don’t want to hear what i have to say, i’m looking at them and constantly in awe of how freakin’ lucky they are at all the luxuries that seem to come standard in every household.

First of all, i was the youngest of three. The third child and only girl behind two older and very rebellious brothers. I watched the grey hairs sprout on my parents heads and somewhere, somehow decided to go easy on them. .. well, at least my mom. My dad wasn’t around to torment, so my mom dealt with the brunt of it. So as the third kid of a single working mom, you ended up doing what you had to do to get anywhere. Whether it be home from school or practice, or to any of your friends’ houses. When i was still in elementary school, i remember vividly having to take a YMCA bus (the Dolphin bus) home. At the bus stop, i waited dutifully for my oldest brother to meet me and then give me a ride home on his bike. … on the handlebars, i think.

He never showed.

I waited and waited and waited… this bus stop is about a half mile from where my house was. (On Narbonne in front of that giant brick school for those of you familiar with the cartography of my story)

I honestly can’t remember how i got home that day. I don’t know if he finally showed up later, or if i got a ride from someone else. I just remember being left. I was familiar with this feeling because when i was 6 my parents took me on a visit to The Queen Mary. I have no clue why i was the only kid taken, and i’m sure the whole thing was my dad’s idea to see The Spruce Goose. My mom must have dragged him to the boat if she had to look at the plane. They had a very give and take relationship that way.

lol

Anyway, we are walking along and there’s a big hoopla at a display. I pull on my mom’s sleeve and say “I’m going over there.”

I get one of those, “Uh huh, ok” responses. I go. I look. There’s some mice running around the wax fruit in a display of some sort. I lost interest, turned around, and BAM. No parents.

i’m 6.

I panic a bit. I look around, no parents. I run up and down the hall. No parents.

A little old lady gets in my face to ask if i’m lost.

*sob* uh huh.

She leads me to a security guard and we are reunited after i tell him what my mom is wearing.

I got lucky. Or, should i say, my parents got lucky. I can’t imagine that fear now being a parent myself.

Starting in 4th grade i have to ride my bike home from school. At this point my parents are divorced ,my mom is the only bacon-bringer so she can’t leave her job in L.A. to come pick me up everyday. We took my bike in the morning and i rode home in the afternoon. I went to school out of district, though, because my mom only went down the flunky rollercoaster two times with the brothers before she would yank me out and put me in the next district over.

So my bike ride home every. single. day. rain or shine. was about 3 miles. .. through main streets and traffic and lights and intersections the whole way.

I survived. I made it. I hated it and procrastinated the ride, but there wasn’t an option unless i wanted to sleep under a desk at school.

Now i’m in jr high. in a catholic school. Usurping my mother’s plans to not allow me to flunk out of elementary school in our own district, she moved me to another as i said and i was still having issues. After 5th grade she put me in Catholic School. After a year i decide to try out for the cheerleading team. I made it. During one summer practice , i was waiting for my brother to pick me up. I was, again, sitting at a bus stop when a sports car pulls up. This tool in a Hawaiian shirt tells me to get in and he’ll give me a ride. I told him to take a hike. He tried weakly again and i told him to piss off.

I did not have a cell phone to call the police. I did not have an app to make sure predators were nowhere nearby. I had my own brain, my own common sense to think for myself… perhaps the two years i rode my bike through traffic and intersections taught me how to make decisions quickly ? I’m thankful for that.

On family vacations we didn’t have iPads and iPhones and ipods. We had the sliding red window ‘car Bingo’ game my brothers cheated at. If they actually played. Mostly they used them to hit me. We didn’t have DVD players, we had the car window. God help you if you rolled it down or up or in any way used it. Dad’s arm reached as far as it needed to.  HIS window could be down, but ours was off limits.

Now i get it. Up OR down. Not all at once all the time the whole time you’re in the car!

When I was a teenage mall rat, i didn’t have a cell phone to get a ride. I sure as hell wasn’t going to use the only change i had for calling my mom for a ride. My lunch was Chick-fil-a samples and any other freebies i could get.  So how did i get a hold of anyone? I used the directory phone. I figured out – or was probably shown by a fellow rat – how to tap the lever and manipulate it like a rotary phone. Do young’uns even know what rotary is ?!

One glaring example of terribly poor teen judgement was my 13th birthday party. It was a slumber party. We watched horror movies (April Fool’s Day) on the Beta we had. The machine would cut off randomly. (perhaps one of the reasons for the death of the BetaMax?) When this happened, the TV would snap to static. LOUD static. You can imagine the headache my mom and her friend (Petty 🙂 ) had after the screaming we all did during that movie… the longest movie ever. The next day we all wanted to go to the mall, of course. My mom said we couldn’t , but when does that stop a kid? So what did we do? The one “bad girl” of the bunch suggested we hitch. Why not, right? So we all walked in a clan down to the local gas station and got in a van with two guys smoking pot. They took us to the mall and dropped us off.

No biggie, right?

We ended up getting a ride home from said friend’s boyfriend. He had a classic mustang fastback. Whooooooo did we get busted big time for that. But i’m glad. I’m glad i got in trouble. I’m not sure what the punishment was because there was nothing to take away. No iphone or ipad or PlayStation or XBOX.

When i was a kid growing up, you had yourself to rely on. If you were lucky, a friend. But as i remember it, teens and tweens are pretty much always out for themselves. It was up to YOU how to get home or to a friend’s house. I walked to my friend’s houses. Walked. With my feet. How i was still a fat kid as much as i walked, i have no idea. I guess because whenever i got somewhere, i ate. We didn’t have much in the way of options at home … at least nothing that matched. We had ketsup, but not hot dogs. If we had hot dogs, we didn’t have buns. We had wonder  bread that stuck to the weiner… the generic weiner. We usually had jelly, but not always peanut butter. Nutella was something on a commercial. Hamburger helper was religion, and spaghetti was dreaded. Mostly because it was filled out with the ketsup.

When you’re in it, it sometimes seems really sucky and shitty. Now i can look on it and be thankful for how i grew up. It makes me appreciate what i’ve got because i know firsthand it’s not at all guaranteed.

So why the hell do i spoil my kids?! Perhaps the next time someone acts up, i start removing peanut butter and buns from the pantry …. shit’s about to get REAL up in here!

shopping, cont.

Published September 26, 2012 by sarcasmica

As a follow up to the make up shopping trip, i wanted to jot down my fantastic experience with my daughter! I almost forgot to do this.

So we finish supplying myself with my war paint, and move to the children’s clothing. My little 2 year old is growing rapidly and we could always use a cute new outfit. This is never a phase you grow out of as a girl! So we head up, and my little shopper in training makes mommy proud. She points out the one single Miss Piggy outfit we have ever seen.

“Do you want to get this?”

“Yes.”

nooooo problem!

We buy the outfit – which was on sale.

I really couldn’t be more proud

The cashier was beside herself with how cute my kid is … and i can’t blame her !

She puts the outfit in a bag, hands it to Gemma who quickly says “thank you!”  and my daughter….

*pause for emotion*

insists on carrying the bag out.

!!!

it was such a mom/daughter shopping moment… and i’m not sure everyone understands, and that’s ok. I wanted to write this down for my own sake later on, after bedtime saps all the good happy moments of the day out of my memory banks.

At first she wanted the bag in the stroller. She took half a step and said, “No. Carry bag.” She picked the bag up and proudly held it up the whole way. We also took the escalator down (another first) and she was holding that bag like a trophy.

She held her bag and walked next to me as i was pushing the empty stroller all the way to the van.

She said “Thank you, mommy” about three more times on the way to the car.

*MOMMY PRIDE*

it was such a fantastic birthday shopping experience with her, i cannot do it justice with these words.

It all ended quickly once we were in the car and she was belted in, but damn if i didn’t soak in that 30 minute experience and file it away in my brain.

Mommy Wants WHAT?

Published September 26, 2012 by sarcasmica

Yes, it’s a sad fact that i am turning 36 tomorrow. Sadder still is the fact that i’m now interested in make up. I am thinking i’m officially old now, and i have a super short haircut that shows off my  bags and wrinkles, so the least i can do for the general population is spend 5 minutes slathering on some concealer and a powder to even it all out. It only took me 36 years to try to figure it all out!

Redmond Washington, you are welcome. Viewers of any pics i might lose my mind and post of MYSELF and not just my kids, you are welcome also. … hopefully… i haven’t actually used any of it yet, but i’m assuming it’ll be a great improvement over the nekkid face.

So my husband asks me last weekend what i want for my birthday. In addition to the haircut, i asked for a gift card to Macy’s so i can pick out some makeup. Now i don’t normally frequent the goop counters, but i’ve passed by my fair share of times to know what’s required. Nothing more than a willingness to sit in an uncomfortable chair, and to let passersby judge whatever the makeup guru is slathering on your face trying to sell you. At this minimum requirement, you get to pick and choose what works or what you want.

I guess this confused my husband, god bless ‘im. He somehow made an appointment with what i’m told was a very confused employee so i could get a ‘consultation’.

I nixed that and just did what i planned in the beginning. So now i am armed with a box of four different  foundations for the same skin tone. Why the hell you need four different foundations for the same face i have no idea. The brush-wielding counter attendant assured me “the dvd will explain everything”

Is this going to be like when i was so excited to get the Uber baby sling, and after opening the box, the DVD fell out and my mind was made up right then and there that it was too complicated? Anything that requires and instructional video is automatically too intense and complicated for my 4 already overworked braincells.

I’m hoping this will be easy. I’m pretty much starting over as an adult. I chopped my hair off so i can easily style it. I’m going with a basic make up kit to learn from the beginning.

They say as you age, rolls reverse and frequently use the elderly in comparison to a teenager or toddler, even. Some elderly probably shouldn’t be driving, but they do because no one really wants to cart them to doctors appointments… much like a teenager pre-license. The worse off are in Depends and constantly argue over what is acceptable behavior or not. .. much like a toddler.

So is 36 where you begin to regress? Starting to wear ‘grown up makeup’ and using styling products on your hair on a daily.. .. or at least every other day frequency.

The trial concealer is burning my eyes, so this will be a short entry. My skin is rebelling at the thought of being denied oxygen after all this time flying free. Party’s over, pores!

 

No, I’m Not

Published September 25, 2012 by sarcasmica

My husband may possibly kill me for writing this, but i have to.
Ladies, ever have one of those months you are SURE you are pregnant? You are absolutely positive you are? I had one of those recently. I’m not. Let’s just start by making sure that’s all clear. I am not pregnant. You couldn’t tell this to my psyche last month, though. It was an interesting little rollercoaster. Care for a ticket and ride?
So my husband and I went away for a couple days last month. A beautiful secluded cabin in the mountains. Near a lake. With a jacuzzi outside in a little gazebo. It was a very much needed reconnection for us. We’ve had lots of changes in the past couple of months with a state move, a job change, two new additions to our family in the form of my mom and his oldest daughter. Things changed rapidly for us and unfortunately, this new job requires a pretty heavy traveling schedule… conveniently for him. This was a carved out 48 hours of no internet, no phone reception, no television and not even any movies.
When we got back home we were caught up in the flurry of ‘back to school’ madness and shopping and lunch making and planning.

We had been back about two weeks when i start realizing how tired i am. Also, there was an incident at a grocery store with some baby powder that temporarily scrambled my brains. I was also seemingly running to a bathroom quite often. Everything was explainable. The fatigue was surely a result of the new school schedule, and we have been trying to get our 2 year old to sleep in her ‘big girl bed’ and at night this has proven somewhat of a challenge. As far as the ‘loo marathons, i was drinking more coffee as a result of the challenging evenings. The baby powder was just unexplainable. Nothing was really affecting me until my cat decided to set up camp in my lap one random afternoon.

Then i freaked.

This is an antisocial cat who relishes her alone time on her cat tree. If you aren’t feeding her, she might gift you with a ‘mah’ as a clue, but there is usually no real bonding with her. She is the quintessential princess feline. The only time she’s ever been an attention whore is when i was pregnant with my daughter. I couldn’t keep her away from me. She wanted to be on my lap, on my shoulders, chew my hair. It was kind of unsettling. So when she started stalking me, i started to get worried. In turn, i worried my husband. Isn’t that what all good wives do?!

I wasn’t going to make a big deal of anything until I knew for sure, but sometimes i can’t keep my thoughts to myself. Especially when we were talking about taking down the crib, do we sell it, do we keep it, etc.

I started seeing pregnant women everywhere. Every. Where. And then i started seeing twins.

Paranoia much?!

It seemed everyone on TV was either pregnant, or just had a baby… now i know the cable was just stuck on E! and Keeping up With the Kardashians was replaying all the episodes leading up to Kourtney having her baby.

My husband and i decided whichever way it went we’d accept it, but we were sort of crossing our fingers it wasn’t going to happen… ‘but what if’ snuck in a lot. I even stopped indulging in the already rare vodka cocktail during game time.

I completely psyched myself out. I had this whole “There’s no way i can be …. but i totally am positive i am, omg!” mentality.

To the point where i had hard evidence that I wasn’t pregnant and i STILL doubted it. Thankful, but doubtful. It’s interesting the different places you can force your mind to go.

Anyway, this whole thing happened after my youngest turned 2, after she transitioned out of her crib, and right before i am turning 36. During our ‘date night’ over the weekend, my husband had to deal with my mini breakdown. I was a blubbering idiot at Red Robin while choking down my free birthday burger. He is a good guy, he was not ashamed, but we talked everything out. We are chalking it up to an early mid-life crisis. Except instead of a convertible, i have a mini van.

And i’m no longer seeing pregnant women and babies everywhere. Shocking! And the cat ? She’s back to being the Ice Queen …. wth ?! It was like living in an alternate reality that seemingly never ended for three long weeks!

Momma is gonna enjoy and savor her next vodka cocktail !!!

Needles and Diapers

Published September 14, 2012 by sarcasmica

My angel baby (toddler, actually) had her two year check up today. It didn’t start out as planned, of course. This is me, afterall. I got a call yesterday confirming the appointment. “Yes, we’ll be there.” I got a call this morning … a judgy call asking for proof of immunizations. Like, a record? big fat chuckles. Both kids have been shlepped around state to state, pediatrician to pediatrician. I cannot fathom where their inaccurate and out of date shot record book could possibly be. Isn’t that what doctor’s offices are for? Aren’t THEY supposed to keep records of that stuff?! When i told this assistant I didn’t have her records, but i did have the number to the last pediatrician, she took a couple beats before moving on with the conversation.

I refuse to believe i’m the only person in the whole area who would have the gall to not have her kid’s UP TO DATE record book. Gemma alone has had three different pediatricians. She’s only 2.  Gage has had at least 6. This is not ideal, this is just our life. I am not uber organized. I’m not even under organized, i’m just not organized.

So anyway, i finish up the judgy call, go check the computer for directions to the office and lo and behold, there are TWO offices for this particular pediatric group in our city. Shit. Which one did i make the appointment with? So i grab the number off my phone to compare it to the website, and nothing matches it. I call the number and get a general message with the information with ALL the offices.

Great.

This was all occurring 20 mins before our appointment, of course.

Times like this i see the wisdom of being organized, but there’s nothing i can do about it immediately.

So i take my chances and go to the nearest one.

This should have been my first clue things would go wrong. Of COURSE i choose the wrong path. However, the office ladies were super nice and they were able to squeeze me in. Perhaps it was my gigantic glowering face that scared them, or my huge frame and demeanor, which rarely comes in handy. I threw onto the counter that i was new to the area and actually tried to get the info. They immediately felt terrible for me and understood.

It was shocking.

So we get in to see the doctor. Gemma brought her Fozzy Bear and Kermit with her to cheer her on. She gets weighed … and it never gets old when i tell her this joy at the scale is short-lived. They measure her height for the first time standing up, and she was not on board with this new procedure. A giant disk is brought down the length of the ruler towards her head. Naturally, she freaked out and squatted down. I don’t have a stupid child. That couldn’t have been normal for her.

So we wait in the room, the doc eventually comes in and we chat for a bit. She was very nice and had the appropriate amount of awe at my brilliant child. She said she’s definitely advanced, developmentally. She’s talking off the charts (like her big brother, which proved to be a giant pain in the behind and not a blessing) and she’s understanding and answering, and interacting well above her age.

*parental beaming pride*

So she gets to her chart for her height/weight and notes that her weight is a really high percentile, but her height is mid-level. She gives me the healthy eating schpiel and says it’s not a big deal unless it goes into her 3rd and 4th year. I let her know, gently, that the height measurement was most likely not accurate due to the UFO dropping towards her head, she ducked and perhaps she should be re-measured.

Turns out she’s a-ok. 95th % for weight AND height.  woot!

Everything was going great until the front office got the info from the last doc and turns out she is, in fact, due for shots.

NooooOOOOOOOOoooooooo !!!!

And now, because she’s a ‘big girl’, she had to get them in her arms 😦    POOR KID

Nothing worse than holding your child down so some stranger can poke her with a needle … three times. And you can’t rub her arms to soothe her because she’s sore. She just kept rubbing her arm against her body “hurt hurt hurt!!”  I felt terrible. So i gave her m&ms. .. and drove through to get her a hamburger & fries.

Yes, i have created a mentality of comfort food for her, i suppose. My child loves fries. She earned them today. Halfway through her food, after getting her Tylenol, she said, “Nap.”

So we waddled in and she went right down. Crocodile tears still on her cheeks. Such a hard day to be a mommy, and harder still to be a 2 year old. Poor baby.

The Other Side

Published September 13, 2012 by sarcasmica

Sometimes i wonder what life looks like from my husband’s vantage point.

Like, seriously.

This is not a husband-bashing post, but wouldn’t it be interesting? I don’t want to switch places, per say, but i would love to get a small glimpse into his mind of what reality looks like from his side of the bed/fence/stairs/bathroom door. I bet it’s a lot more quiet. The kids don’t really run to him asking for anything unless i send them to do it.

Feeling sick or just generally ‘not well’ means you get to lay down and rest. You get to veg. You get to just do what you’ve got to do to make yourself feel better. That’s the end of the thought. There’s medicine to help you achieve this. Food .. somewhere. .. in the fridge maybe? Pantry, certainly, and I would mostly know where it all was unless my wife was home. Then i’d forget all of it. When i was feeling generous and thoughtful, i’d offer to help out with the kids. I’d of course have my phone in-hand in case something, anything, could distract me from actually paying attention to them, but my body would be in the room.

Manual labor would certainly be in the forefront of my mind. He does things like move furniture and keep the garage walkable. I am appreciative of the balance we have achieved in the areas we’ve actually achieved it.

But it must feel good to know that you will have clean underwear and socks when you pull open a drawer (most of the time) … or at the very least, and basket within arms reach full of all sorts of unsorted clean wrinkled clothes to choose from.

There is always soap and shampoo in the shower.

There’s always toilet paper, and if there’s not, who cares?

I imagine it would be nice not to care what was for dinner, and just be happy there’s food on a clean plate every night. I’m pretty sure he enjoys eating at the table as a family.

What’s it like to know that your kids are up to date on shots and doctor visits. It isn’t necessary to have a pediatrician entered into my phone because who needs it? You only need that for paperwork and documents…. how would that serve me as a husband?

I’d like to say that it would be nice to experience our life for one day from my husband’s point of view, but i know me too well. It would drive me absolutely bonkers to see that and still go forward. You can’t unsee that sort of thing. I’d never be able to unlearn certain things.

It would just give me more to nag him about, really. I do enough of that. Also, i’m sure i’d see a whole new side of how he views me and despite my warnings that if he’d do what i said things would be easier, i don’t want to see that, either.

Things that make you go ‘hmmm’

Silly Husband

Published September 13, 2012 by sarcasmica

Spiders are for boys.

I do NOT like spiders. I do not particularly like bugs or arachnids of any kind, actually. My son’s obsession with a show called Monster Bug Wars helped me a tad with my utter disgust for all things hairy and leggy and pincer-y and antennaed. Some genius thought it would be rrrrrreally cool to shoot bugs up close with an HD camera and show people what they look like when they devour each other.

It ain’t pretty. I’ll save you a DVR spot. It’s mostly green goop being oozed all over something eating it with pincers or mandibles. It’s gross. And to further drive the point home, and confuse all the young viewers, they overlay ridiculous sound effects. Like a jaguar roaring…. but it’s a close up of a centipede. An elephant trumpeting .. close up of a mob of ants eating a hercules beetle from the INSIDE OUT.

Did i mention it’s disgusting? My child thinks spiders and ants charge to a war cry now. “No honey, the music isn’t real. Bugs dont make noises.” Hopefully he wont go out on a jungle expedition someday and feel completely safe in the knowledge he will hear a tiger growl before the tarantula bites his toe.

So in the various places we’ve lived here in the old US of A, i’ve had a few run-ins that have solidified my hatred and loathing of creepy crawlies. The first few are from my childhood home in Lomita, CA. We didn’t live in a trailer park, per say, but the walls were pretty thin and the water bugs were a-plenty. Those things are particularly evil because they are black and love to scurry across the linoleum when they see bare kid feet. Every time my mom fumigated the house, if i was thirsty or had to pee that night, i held it. The only thing worse than a bug is the underside of a bug. And after fumigating, they feel pay back is having to look at their dead twitchy carcasses littered about the kitchen floor.

Another memory is my cat, Charlie (same house) stalking the living room rug one night. We noticed a big bump underneath that she was batting at. My mom, much wiser than my 10/12 ish years, knew right away what it was. She went outside, got a shovel, walked back in (all of this witnessed from my vantage point on top of the couch squealing “WHAT IS IT?! WHAT IS IT?! EEEEEEWWWEE!!!!”) She dramatically threw back the rug to reveal a potato bug waddling around.

WHACK!

Dead potato.

The rest of the night we walked around on furniture like lava had puddled through the front door.

In my little studio apartment in San Pedro i got to know the local wildlife up close and personal. A cockroach decided to room with me and not pay rent. The thing was the size of my thumb … and if you saw my thumbs, you would know that isn’t just a speck of a bug. Huge. Brown. Legs scurrying about. Deee-sgust-ing. I thought i was a warrior chasing that thing with my can of raid. I was independent woman. I was in MY apartment.  A bug-free zone, damnit. There was no mom and shovel to save me. It was him or me , and since i paid the rent, it would be him. I thought i was badass walking up to him – tiptoeing – thrusting out the Raid can – shakily pushing it towards his vicinity – and when that thing went vertical up the wall, i knew he knew i meant business. – it gave me even more distance from it.

I was Wonder Woman! … until i hit the ‘spray’ button. The spray hit that things hellish outter shell and then it decided to retaliate. It brought out it’s wings.

WINGS.

Yes, WINGS!!! That a-hole brought wings to a Raid party and i screamed like a 12 year old at a Justin Bieber concert. And i’m not ashamed to say i ran out of the room screaming and flapping my arms. I don’t know how i didn’t accidentally blind myself with the poison.

There have been a handful of other experiences, living in Arizona i got up close and personal with a few scorpions (dead, thank god) and wolf spiders. In Austin, TX i was the victim of a chigger attack. those effers are like ninjas. Terrible terrible experience. Felt like a walking lepper…. it’s hard to do that in Texas!

So arriving in Washington, i expected something … outside. Nothing INSIDE my safe home. ’til the last time my husband was away on business. A GIANT leggy spider challenged me one evening after the kids were in bed. I  was poorly prepared… in that i was not at all prepared. I grabbed the 409 from the kitchen. If you know me, it’s more shocking i had that than actual bug spray. I sprayed that thing, it laughed and did a front somersalt into my son’s craft box so that it could continue to terrify me at any given moment.

My husband, knowing my abhorrence of bugs, thought it would be funny to play a trick on me last night. I’m watching TV when he calls me on the phone from the basement. “Hey … can you come downstairs and bring a wad of paper towels with you?”

“Why?”

“No reason, just come down.”
“The paper towels ARE in the basement. Just grab a new roll.”

“Just come down here.”

So i’m thinking, Gee. What could possibly have happened? The kids are in bed. The animals were all upstairs. And it dawns on me.. .bug. I go down the stairs very slowly to find him at the base of the steps with his iphone (with flash) pointed at me. I know already what i’m gonna see, i just don’t know where it is. He points the phone down on the door frame and i see it. Big hairy eyeballs looking at me. I can see it’s fangs, too. Evil little fucker. (the spider, not necessarily my husband) I managed not to put on the show my husband was hoping for.

I can thank the Rolodex of pests from my previous encounters for giving me the common sense not to walk into the next YouTube hit or Ellen video.

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