just when i thought my life sucked.

i called my friend sara yesterday. sara, the friend i wasn't sure i wanted to make an effort with anymore. around 4:00, something told me to call her.

her fiance answered. she's not here, may i take a message? hey, pj, it's erika can you-- she's in the hospital. she broke her neck.

she'd felt dizzy that morning, fell and hit her head on the bathroom sink cabinet. pj took her in to the emergency care facility near their house, thinking maybe she had a concussion. they took an x-ray and promptly sent her to the hospital here in hampton. she hasn't been home since.

the doctor gave her two options: wear a halo for 3-4 months and then a neck brace for another 3-4, or have surgery. she chose the surgery, which was first thing this morning.

last night i called everyone i could think of: my mom, my roommate at work, hollywood in chicago, and i called the ladies who run the prayer chain at church. many people asked about her this morning.

i waited til about 1:00 this afternoon to call the hospital (her surgery was scheduled to be over at 10:00.) her grandaddy answered and put sara right on the phone. i talked to her, and told her i'd be by to see her tomorrow. she wanted me to come today.

when i walked into the hospital that smell hit me right in my face and i thought i was going to pass out. it took me a while to find her room (she had just been moved from the 3rd to the 5th floor and they hadn't yet changed it in the computer), but i was so grateful to sit down. she had family there, who'd been with her since before her surgery that morning. one by one they left, and her fiance went to get something to eat. i asked her how her feelings were, how her head was. i can't stand not being able to move, i just want to get up and do stuff.

her dinner came and i set up her tray for her. tomato soup, turkey sandwich and strawberries. i kept asking her if she wanted salt cause hospital food is bland. she started to cry. i'm sad, she said, this is bad. i held her hand.

i waited for pj to get back and a couple more friends to arrive. i told her i'd see her tomorrow, maybe in the hospital and maybe at home-- she may be released in the morning.

i don't know what told me to pick up the phone when i did yesterday afternoon-- i was watching laguna beach, one of my favorite trash-television shows. i wasn't sure i wanted to talk to her. but i called.

please pray to whatever god you believe in for my friend. please send many good thoughts her way.


i heart harry pocket.

from this morning's Writer's Almanac:

It's the birthday of the novelist J.K. (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling, born in Chipping Sodbury, England (1966). She's the creator of Harry Potter, who, in the first book about him, is an orphan forced to live with his aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley at Number Four, Privet Drive. He sleeps in a cupboard under the stairs. For the first ten years of his life, he's believed that his parents were killed in a car accident. But on his eleventh birthday, he learns that they were wizards and that they were murdered by a man named Lord Voldemort, who is trying to take over the world. The Harry Potter books follow Harry as he attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and learns how to use magic and tries to avenge his parents' death.

J.K. Rowling grew up in the suburbs of Bristol, England. She was telling stories when she was a little kid. She said, "The first story I ever wrote down was about a rabbit called Rabbit. He got the measles and was visited by his friends ... Ever since Rabbit, I have wanted to be a writer, although I rarely told anyone so."

She set out to be a secretary, learned French so she could get a job as a bilingual secretary, but she found that she hated office work. Instead of taking notes in meetings, she daydreamed and wrote possible names of fictional characters in the margins of her notebooks.

She was in her mid 20s when she took a four-hour trip by train across England, and the train stopped somewhere between Manchester and London. Rowling looked out at a field of cows and suddenly got the idea for a story about a boy who goes to a school for wizardry. She said, "Harry Potter just strolled into my head fully formed." She liked that it was a story about a boy who was powerless in the ordinary world but who gets to travel to a place where his power would be almost limitless. By the time the train trip was over, she had already invented most of the characters that would appear in the Harry Potter books.

She worked on the first one for about four years, during which time she got married, had a daughter, got divorced, and was living in Edinburgh as a single mother. She had to live on public assistance to finish the book. It came out in America in 1998, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and J.K. Rowling became one of the best-selling authors of all time.

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wine drunk is different than regular drunk.

i've always thought wine drunk was different. maybe a little more philosophical, a little more sophisticated. a lot more headache the next day, especially with the combination is red wine, white wine and champagne. i barely remember that night especially cause there was vodka and rum thrown in. aahh, college christmas parties. there may even have been beer.

thus i try to stick to one type of beverage a night. for the last year i've been all about 7&7s. in college, i drank a strange combination of vodka, orange, pineapple and a splash of grenadine-- now that's just too much of a pain to order. on a particularly good night, the one beverage rule does not work out for me.

in my earliest drinking days there was two-finger (white!) tequila and mad dog 20/20. i called the grape mad dog "communion wine." the very first time i was drunk was at senior skip weekend my sophomore year (just go with it) and it was off bacardi we stole from my friend talley's parents' liquor cabinet. i think she filled it up with water.

wine drunk is definitely different. choosing to be wine tipsy, at home, alone, when one could be out with fabulous friends at a bar? that may be a bit lame.


march of the penguins.

last night i went to see march of the penguins with my mom and dad.

first of all, how cool is the naro cinema? i hadn't been since we saw spellbound. for whatever reason, when you go to the naro, it feels like you're actually going to the movies-- it has a stage in front of the screen and a curtain. they showed a daffy duck cartoon before the movie. it reminds me of when we used to go to the 99 cent second-run movie theatre.

i don't know why i go see these nature movies! there are always dead baby animals and it always upsets me. yes, i know it's part of nature but last night i had to cover my eyes when i saw the leopard seal swimming around the penguins trying to feed.

in march of the penguins, though, i thought the filmmakers did a great job balancing the traumatizing parts with the endearing penguin chicks and other little funny moments. morgan freeman's narration was well-timed and, really, how can you beat narration by morgan freeman?

next up? mad hot ballroom, about kids who participate in ballroom dancing competitions.




at long last... here, finally, is a post devoted entirely to my cat. i KNOW-- you've been waiting!! so long!! let's face it, mine is the cutest cat ever. look at that face!!

lately, beatrice has been my co-worker. we are working together on the napping project. she gets very irritated when i interrupt her and acts like she's the boss. she has been doing it longer than i have but i'm the one who can open the cans of fancy feast.

she is not as picky as i am about where she naps. sometimes it's on my bathroom floor. sometimes it's between the bed and the wall.

she is also even more easily distracted than i am.

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life in bikini bottom.

the spongebob squarepants movie was my latest netflix (netflick?).

  • i'm a goofy goober, you're a goofy goober!
  • what the scallop??

but best of all, by FAR was when squidward said:

you can't fool me, i listen to public radio!!

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american idol or not-- the girl can sing.

hotcop and i went to see kelly clarkson last night. air force laughed at me "i just can't forget the whole american idol thing." yeah, whatever. she can sing.

i made a prediction about the concert demographics before we got there: some girls around our age, maybe some of their boyfriends/husbands and a few teenie boppers. boy, was i wrong. there were alot of mother/daughter combinations, with some of the daughters dressed so we went "how OLD is that girl and why is she wearing a hooters t-shirt??" or "is she REALLY old enough to buy that beer?" for the older girls.

all in all, though, good show. kelly sounded almost exactly like she does on the radio/cd, with enough improvisation thrown in so we knew she wasn't faking it. the whole sounding the same thing really can be a blessing or a curse: reference tori amos (who sounds BETTER in concert) and any random pop-rock band (who sound like crap in concert).

some thoughts:

  • hotcop and i are still those people who stand up and dance throughout the concert. although at the end we were like whew! the poor girl next to us asked if she could be our friend because the people she came with were like bumps on a log.
  • we are also those people who sing along. sue me. the average age of the audience was oh, 15, so they were singing along too.
  • when she started singing annie lennox's why we wondered if any of these kids had ever heard of annie lennox. sheesh.
  • kelly's got some junk in her trunk. and a bit of a muffin top. but it's refreshing. BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT REAL GIRLS ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE. whew.
  • some people thought it was club kelly, and dressed accordingly.
  • we got free schick intuition razors, cause that's who sponsored her tour. where was my free bud light when they sponsored tim mcgraw and faith hill?
  • the sevs (7-11) run on the way home reminded me of our crazy days dancing at bar norfolk and have a nice day cafe. sigh.
  • pop music is fun.

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kelly's today!

swallow me then spit me out

for hating you, i blame myself

seeing you it kills me now

no i don't cry on the outside


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check it.

when yall be wantin to find shiznit.

props to my sis. word.

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didja notice anything different??

my brand-new title bar comes to you courtesy of the askew aw-zee.

want him to make you one? too late, he's got a job now. buy him a beer.

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it only happens to us.

hotcop + erika= trouble. Trouble, that is.

hollywood and i are just back from taking hotcop up the street to the fire station. yes, that's right, to the paramedics.

tonight was a good night. hotcop came home and we got to work--the house was covered in cat hair and dust. she mopped the kitchen 3 times and i vaccuumed and swept. we grabbed a beer each early in the night-- makes the cleaning easier, we've found. after a quick stroll up to the post office to drop some mail, we were ready to eat.

hollywood came over. we ordered pizza and chicken wings. all was grand. hotcop drank a total of 2 beers, i drank 3 (hey, i wasn't going anywhere). we packed up the leftover pizza.

hollywood and i were sitting at the kitchen table talking and hotcop was on the phone when it all went down. all-of-a-sudden i hear a BAM!!! my lovely roommate hit her head on the inside of the fridge... and saw stars. she collapsed on the floor. holy shit that hurt!! i saw stars!! she said to her boyfriend the turkey.

eh, she hits her head all the time. the next 20-30 minutes passed uneventfully. then:
her: erika? can you come look at my eyes?
me: what? there's something in your eyes?
her: no! can you come look at my eyes?
me: right now? [i was on the internet, very important email to read].
her: yeah.

i go downstairs. is one of my pupils bigger than the other? cause if it is that means i have a concussion. oh yeah, one is most definitely bigger. but i can't tell if that's cause i was looking for it. time for a second opinion.

hollywood comes to look. look at her eyes, i say, do they look the same? well, i mean, your right eye is bigger than the left one but other than that... what about her pupils? yeah, one is bigger than the other.

i've already decided we're taking her to the hospital. hollywood is doubtful. "she just hit her head!" "do you want my friend to die??" i ask him.

no no, hotcop says, i'm not going to the hospital. just take me to the fire station up the street. but i've been drinking! the chief knows my dad!

keep this in mind:
1. we are of age to consume alcohol.
2. we have not been driving.
3. neither of us are drunk.
4. she is not on duty.

i've got to find some gum, she says.
we'll make hollywood drive us, i say.

hollywood just rolls his eyes. "that's my get-rich-quick scheme," he tells me, "i'll just start a weekly site about stuff that happens to you guys. and people will advertise on it."

we get gum. i make her practice what she's going to say to the firemen. i wonder if they are going to be hot. repeat after me i have had 2 beers.

we go out to the car and she decides she wants to walk. after all-- it is just up the street! yeah, that's what's best for a concussion, hollywood says (finally! something constructive!). we pile into the DISASTR. i even sit in the back seat.

at the fire station the firemen are settled in (well, as settled in as they can be) for the evening. there are 3, two married, one single. nothing to write home about. they've got ice cream. they've got popcorn. they've got star wars.

i should pause and say that firehouses are THE COOLEST PLACES EVER. EVER. we entered through the garage and it was almost surreal to see their boots in place and the doors to the fire truck open. made me think of school field trips to the firehouse.

so we walk in, and hotcop goes "hi, do you know me? i'm a cop here. i think i have a concussion." the firemen are all over it. she sits down and one of the married ones checks her pupils and head for a bump. "i've got a huge goose egg!" yeah, no you don't. turns out she's fine, and the firemen look at us like we're crazy. i'm sure they thought we were drunk.

is that jagermeister i smell? one of them asks.
no, i say, we drank michelob ultra. ask hollywood. and we have gum.
is that right, hollywood? the married one asks. i know you from somewhere.
well, he's trouble, i say. wherever there is trouble that's where he is.

now all hotcop can do is whine. my head hurts. blah blah blah. no concussion, though, just another adventure to add to our long list of "only us."

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be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

the best part of waking up at ass o'clock to take air force to the airport? remembering garrison keillor and his writer's almanac are on morning edition at 5:30 monday thru friday. (the best part of blogging about it? visiting the site to make a link and finding out i can get it by email every morning. i think it would lack a certain something without his Voice, though.)

in the w.a. keillor talks about significant authors who are (or would be) celebrating birthdays. and he reads excerpts, usually poetry.

here's an excerpt from this morning, but you should read the whole thing yourself:

"...And today is the birthday of Ernest Hemingway, born in Oak Park, Illinois (1899). He went off to fight in World War I when he was just 17. He had bad eyesight, so he volunteered as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross in Italy. He gave away chocolate and cigarettes to the Italian troops. And just about a month after he got to Italy, he was hit by shrapnel from an exploding shell. He spent weeks in the hospital and then came back home to his parents in Oak Park.

Hemingway liked to give the impression that he was a poor bohemian, but he actually had plenty of money.

He wrote in a letter to his father, "I'm trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across—not to just depict life—or criticize it—but to actually make it alive."



oh. i had forgotten.

i guess i forgot about the "we reject you" letters which were common in all my previous job searches. now i remember.

i wanted to write back and say i didn't want your stupid job anyway, dumbass! cause i didn't. but it still sucked to read they didn't even want to meet me to be sure. thanks, but no thanks.

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life is good.

i've got the chesapeake bay practically in my front yard.
i've got tons of fabulous people in my life (many cause of The Company.)
i've got a tummy full of burrito + queso.
i've got a brand new a/c in my house.
i've got a harry potter book to read.
i've got plans with air force tomorrow.

what more could a girl ask for?

(well, a job would be nice. but that's it.)

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to rent or not to rent.

it's great to be a renter because i don't have to pay for the brand new 2 ton air conditioning unit they are installing in my house tomorrow. meanwhile, though, most the house is a little cooler than boiling. i just saw on the news there is a heat advisory today.

my bedroom is like a refrigerator right now cause we have the temporary window unit cranked down to 65. too bad that's not where my computer (read: job searching tool) is.

i didn't have to pay for the new blower fan they put in when the heat broke this winter, either. it was cold that night so beatrice and i carried our asses over to my parents' house to spend the night. or rather, i carried both of them cause she doesn't really like to leave the house. my bedroom was like a fridge then, too.

thank goodness for hi-tech fans, cool compresses and krispy kremes.



not just plain old erika.

hollywood has a nickname for everyone-- kosmo, eagle eye, air force and even two scoop. not to mention breadhouse, ck, one time, big time, the juicer, the choice and many other random people.

it doesn’t take much. air force wore a shirt with the words “air force” on it. suddenly she had a nickname. breadhouse made the mistake of wearing his bakery hat. me, i just shouldn’t have told the story of one of my mother’s students thinking our last name sounded like spongebob. natural progression to squarepants.

my very first nickname was given to me by my sister. cristina must have been bored the random night she nicknamed all 3 of us.. anna became “nanna” and she became the oh-so-sophisticated “cris.” too cool for school! i naturally became kacky because what else can you do with a short first name like mine? when we got aol for the first time way back in the day, my screen name was kackie7103. kackie cause kacky wasn’t available. 7103 cause those are the numbers they gave me.

in high school i was just so fabulous and hardcore: i was the ka. our slum group would have ha’s (home alones) when anybody’s parents were out of town. chocolate, garcia vega and i were triple trouble. i now know better than to buy the kind of two-finger tequila which followed us from halloween/my birthday weekend ‘til senior SKIP weekend when the cops dumped it down the drain.

freshman year of college i was erika_the_peach cause i was a peach. please do not think there is anything remotely dirty about that, cause there wasn’t. drooly dave and the big dumb animal (bda) lived upstairs from me.

sophomore year i was buster, cause every other word out of my mouth was bust. as in: “she looks busted!” or “that is such a bust!” my favorite usage was just plain old “BUST!” instead of “darn!” the worm, baby mona and the troll lived in the writing house with me. i am a dork.

the summer between junior and senior years i worked at a local barbeque joint. one of the cooks, wyatt, loved to call me the viking bitch. i called him wy-wy just to annoy him. that’s where I got my phone number: 1-900-VIKING-BITCH.

i’ve already written about speaks without thinking.

senior year i was eres-- again, a product of my nickname un-friendly first name (thanks mom and dad). my roommates lynds, kare, sares and i had some drama that year. put too many girls with lots of strong ideas in a confined space and it’s bound to happen, i think. the worst was the night of the senior pub crawl when sares and i had a screaming fight on the streets of Gettysburg. i mean literally screaming. the residents told us to shut up.

i feel like i’ve forgotten some. that's probably best.



are you kidding? i would have told her, too.

if it had been me and hotcop, i would have told her in a second. been on the phone with her that night probably. but i also would have said yeah, i understand why you don't want her to know, but i'm gonna tell her anyway.

after all, i did talk freely. with the one person i wasn't going to talk to about it.

people make decisions in their lives. sometimes it's for their own good and sometimes it's for [what they think is] the good of others. there's just no good way for some things to happen. no way the bystander, the one who did nothing wrong, isn't going to get hurt.

if i could, i don't know what i'd do differently. probably nothing, because then i might not be where i am now.

but-- there's hurting someone and then there's just being plain old fucking mean.

i may be a bitch, but at least i'm an honest bitch.

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worth it.

and there ain't no way

i'm letting you go now

there ain't no way

and there ain't no how

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july 14th

today is my sister's 26th birthday. i told her she is no longer in her early 20s-- she has now progressed to her LATE 20s!! she's the one in the black shirt.

anna and i were the closest in age of the 3 of us. we never did really get along while we were living in the same house. she's the most like my dad of all of us; she can just tune out when the chaos gets too much for her.

she's patient. when cristina and i boss her around, she doesn't mind. or if she does mind, she just ignores us.

she probably has the best idea of any of us what she wants to do with her life. not saying she knows for sure, but has a good handle on it.

she ain't scared to do what she wants.

love you, sis, happy birthday!!

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on going the speed limit.

when the celery stick decided he didn't want me to be not his girlfriend anymore, hotcop said what's his license plate number? he better not speed in this city ever again.

my bitterness towards him is gone, but she still makes a face every time his name comes up. we talk very occasionally, and he always says "tell your roommate hello." i always tell her, but only cause i know her response: well, you can tell him... and then she flips him off.

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baby pandas are not cute. but the one who was just born, suggests the washington post, should be named bling-bling. after all, the previous set of pandas were hsing-hsing and ling-ling.


because twelve hours really would have been overkill.

i only slept 11 hours last night. i guess really it was slightly less because i did get up to feed beatrice (who would NOT STOP MEOWING, damn spoiled cat) at 7 this morning. so eleven hours minus 5-7 minutes.

i guess the long day of chipwich and turkey bacon eating really wore me out. and that mid-afternoon nap really takes a lot out of you.

some people's anxiety manifests in insomnia. me? hypersomnia.



they are watching me.

speaking of consuming, someone buy me this

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just a consumer.

i spent the weekend catching up with people i'd started to neglect, what with the job making me bitter and wanting to nap all the time. well-- i still want to nap all the time, but for a different reason. ;-)

it started with an hour long phone call wednesday with a friend i hadn't talked to in 3 months. she lives 10 minutes away and it's not long distance to call her. i'm going away for the weekend, i said, call me monday or something. or you can call me, too, she replied. i don't know if i will. does that make me a bad person?

it was off to arlington friday to see another friend and my sis and paul. i hadn't seen my friend since her wedding 3 months ago. i saw her new apartment and looked at tons of wedding photos. i've yet to have a real conversation with her new husband.

time with my sister and paul and their menagerie was great as usual. a lot more tour de france and nationals game watching than my weekend would have otherwise contained, but also more rib-eating and time with people i love. i swear, they have to explain the tour to me every year.

saturday night and sunday took me to richmond to see one of my very best girlfriends, who's spending her summer as an intern at a law firm. nora and i were both art history majors as undergraduates; now she's a law student. (art history really is very reputable-- just ask mr. smith). we visted the virginia museum of fine arts and saw capturing beauty: american impressionist and realist paintings from the mcglothlin collection. the building was nice, and the exhibit was good too, but we decided after multiple tripes to the louvre, the uffizi, the vatican, the centre pompidou and even the national gallery, we have high museum standards. i may be snooty.

nora asked me how i was. i'm fine, mostly.

i'm a stress-induced nail biter. before my unfortunate period of unemployment, my finger nails never had any white bits on them. now, i can almost see my thumbnails above the fingers. if hotcop has her way, i'll get a manicure in a couple weeks.

the last few days, though, i've felt like a leech on the ass of society. i'm just a consumer. i'm not contributing in any way, it seems. i don't provide a service, i don't produce anything, i just consume. buy stuff. pay for stuff. use stuff.




joe's list -----> UPDATED

  • helen keller
  • liquid paper
  • bean counter
  • MSG
  • hawker
  • weave
  • ginger snap
  • thyme
  • christy brinkley
  • wicker
  • wet nurse *NEW*
  • bunting *NEW*

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i love the sun, but does it love me?

thankfully, i'm not as burned as a certain nameless midwesterner but my shoulders are a bit pink. should fade to a tan in a couple days, but it means i must beg illness to my new occupation of Resident Buckroe Beach Bum. ah, shit happens.

some thoughts on the busy holiday weekend:

  • marlin: fish or bird?
  • 2.3 something is equal to something. is it pounds to kilos? can i get that in inches?
  • cats on leashes? hours of amusement.
  • if you're going to f.i.p., i'm going to watch you. i have a natural curiousity. a thirst for knowledge even.
  • corn on the cob on the grill? tasty. add about a pound of butter and i'm a happy girl.
  • despite the fact aaa rated our area one of the top 5 traffic bottlenecks for the weekend, i hardly noticed the damn tourists.
  • i miss laura scott. i got laura scott-ed.
  • i may try to cook any- and everything on the grill this summer. i may have help.
  • people are bitter to The Company.
  • i like tony's cajun spice. even in a burger.
  • vinegar. yum. cupcakes. tasty. i love food.
  • it may be wrong: but i just didn't care it was the fourth of july. are They watching me? it's hard to feel patriotic these days.

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spoiled dog.

there are several advantages to living near my parents. my mother still likes to take me grocery shopping, i have dinner at my parents' house often and leave with bags of leftovers, i can borrow their car when i need to, and my mom can (she doesn't, but she can) come take care of me when i'm sick.

but there are also certain responsibilities. the biggest pain in the ass: dogsitting. not because i don't like the dog. to be clear: berit is my dog. my dog as much as she is my dad's dog (if not more). i'm the one who gives her the scraps from the table, brushes her fur for hours and sneaks her extra doggy treats.

but this dog GETS UP AT 6 AM. so, that means... i have to be at my parents' house at 6:00 every morning of this lovely holiday weekend to walk the dog. eesh. ouch. especially since i'm such lazy, jobless bum now!! oy.

but she's cute and worth it. so excited to see me. so excited for her little walk around the neighborhood. before you ask, she's a norwegian elkhound. cutie, huh? not a whole lot of elk in virginia, but there are plenty of squirrels to chase. damn tree rats.

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