Category Archives: humanity

Lovers Gonna Love

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Can’t see the haters with my love glasses on.

Valentine’s Day has to be the most dissed holiday on the calendar!

The complaints of overpriced dinners are endless. The push or maybe shove from Hallmark to dazzle your lover with an expensive piece of paper have people bitching up a storm; and suddenly roses are the most hideous flowers, beating out a damn dandelion! Oh, haters gonna hate.

Do you really need to hire the writers at Hallmark to express how you feel? Paper, pens and personalization are priceless.

How about takeout, Netflix and daisies? If Love is already in the air this is all you need.

It doesn’t have to be difficult, just tweak your approach. Love should be spontaneous, simple and special.

Love also comes in all shapes and sizes. Some of my Fellow Bloggers Susannah & Susie shared wonderful examples of how simple gestures of kindness can keep the love going long after the 14th of February. Lovers gonna Love!

The world certainly has enough hate going on without throwing Cupid under the bus today. So get your creative juices flowing and do something to make someone else smile today. I would be beaming if someone else cleaned the bathroom, but that’s me. 

My daughter is smiling at college with her Panera gift card. My son is shocked by his extra gas money. The hubby is beaming with the site of a little chocolate cake with his morning joe and Peanut and Landon are on top of the world with their new toys. Knowing that these thoughtful gestures made the ones I love happy is all I need. (But if someone wants to clean the bathroom that would be great too)

Today isn’t just Valentine’s Day for me, it’s my Anniversary … which makes it extra special for us. Love squared!  We will be heading out to enjoy an overpriced dinner this evening, but more importantly each others company. Time to ourselves is priceless these days. 

All you need is Love to Enjoy the Ride …. It’s Easy!

Pet Power!

Immediate Smile

Immediate Smile

This morning as I was trolling on Facebook I noticed that one of my friends posted an adorable photo of her two puppies Cosmo and Emma, but this time it was different. She included a well wishes to someone named Anthony. Hmm … further investigation was necessary.

After a few clicks I found out that her photos were actually part of a wonderful event Photo Doggies for Anthony. Anthony is a 16-year-old boy who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

As I was reading his story I found out that Anthony is a firm believer in the power of pet therapy and animal healing. I know my Peanut has wonderful nursing skills, so I can’t argue with that thought. 

Therapy dogs are just not available every day for every patient, so some wonderful people in Anthony’s life came up with this incredible idea to have people send him pictures and videos of their dogs and some cats as well to cheer him up. Genius!

As I was scrolling through the photos, on this dreary Sunday morning, I found I was smiling. I’m not sure if it was from the photos of all the adorable doggies, the outpouring of love for this stranger or the confirmation that humanity is alive and well in this world, as long as you’re willing to recognize it.

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Please take a moment to join in on this event. It will only take a nano second to click on the link above to send Anthony some love by posting a picture of the pet in your life.

Oh, wait what you don’t have a pet? 

Poleze! You don’t have friends with pets? I’m sure you all have someone in your life willing to share their furry friend for a goo cause. That’s what I thought… umm hmm. 

What the heck are you waiting for? Anthony is ready to Enjoy the Ride! 

 

A Ride to Remember

51woxOQWgQLAs I was driving into work one morning, listening to one of my many favorite morning radio shows “The Preston & Steve Show” on 93.3 WMMR here in Philly. I say “many” because I am beyond a channel changer while driving. But this show certainly has a way of making my ride a little brighter as I head to the salt mines office every day.

This particular morning there was a discussion on a new book titled “Carsick” by John Waters. It’s a wonderful entertaining story about John’s decision to hitchhike across the country. As the DJ’s were discussing excerpts from the book, listeners were calling in to tell their personal stories about a time when they had no other choice but to hitch a ride. I found this all very intriguing.

Lucky for me John was making his rounds promoting his tale and I was able to catch an interview with him on the Bill Maher Show. I ordered the audio version right smack in the middle of the interview!

I must say I have never listened to a book before, because I am a traditional girl who enjoys her books written on paper, but since I have a 30-40 minute ride to the gym every day, I thought this would be a good way to pass the time and avoid my OCD channel changing … Mission accomplished John! 

And so the adventure begins….

And so the adventure begins….

Many of you may already know that the then 66 year-old Baltimore film director John Waters decided to hitchhike from his home in Baltimore Maryland to his home in San Francisco. Crazy or living life? 

Just the idea of such a journey in 2014, when the world seems so humanly disconnected, had me completely fascinated. I’m not sure why since I never had a wish to hitchhike … especially since most hitchhikers are usually portrayed as serial murders and frankly I’m a scardy cat. However, John did point out that most serial killers are looking for 20-year-old hookers and that did make me feel much safer.

The excitement as I put the first CD into the player was admittedly a tad over the top, but who cares … I just wanted to hear all the details of this journey … one CD at a time.

After listening to at least 2 CD’s I started to think …. “why haven’t I heard about any of this on the news?” 

Well, the answer to that million dollar question was found when I decided to read up on the details of the book. Something I usually do before I hit the “Add to cart” button. This is where I learned I that the first half of the book was John’s fictional version of his trip. Let me just say If anyone has some swamp land they want to get rid of … I’m your girl.

First up are the fictional good and bad rides; followed by the real rides that got him to San Francisco. 3 books for the price of 1!

If you’ve ever seen or read any of John’s past work you are well aware that his imagination reaches a level that most people cannot even fathom and he does not hold back in the fictional version of his journey. Some might think it was over the top, others (like myself) might think … hey, you never know. 

How could you not respond to this clever sign?

How could you not respond to this clever sign?

John wouldn’t be John without adding some exaggerated lewdness to the first half of the book. Hey, he isn’t known as the “Pope of Trash” for his portrayal of sunshine and butterflies. There were times when I think I might have blushed, cringed and laughed behind the wheel as I listened to him tell his fictional tale, but it didn’t stop me.

His words just confirmed that if anyone in this world was going to have sex with an Alien; be given a magical asshole for three hours that would fix a flat and sing duets with Connie Frances …  well, it would be John Waters.

After all the crazy antics of the fictional adventures, I heard the words 18s4bouiebbr9jpg“The Real Thing” and I found myself so engrossed that I was driving in circles just to finish a chapter. It was worth every ounce of fuel … even at $3.67 a gallon!

I couldn’t help but imagine myself as one of those dashboard hula girls eavesdropping on every ride.  Best seat in the house. 

Does all of this make me want to manicure my thumb and hit the highway? Not one bit.  It does however urge me to head into each day with my wit, optimism and belief that not every stranger is a serial killer … some are just out there to Enjoy the Ride  …  just like me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Busy Bee Takes A Breather

cec7bb842b872221a742b40c6e83177bGreetings! I thought I would take a moment on this beautiful Fall morning to give you all a shout out and a little explanation on what I’ve been doing lately that has kept me from writing as much as I would like. I’ll just assume you are all sitting on the edge of your seats right now. 

First, I’ve been working very hard trying desperately to get into shape. Something other than a rectangle. This has consisted of attending a high intensity Cross Fit class 3 or 4 times a week. In other words I’ve been a sweaty bruised pain stricken woman who feels surprisingly great. Attending this class with a great friend is a bonus, but being surrounded by a  group of people who just have a way of bringing out the best in us, well that is priceless. We have both come a long way over the past 8 weeks, physically & mentally. 

177329150_640I have also taken on a Paleo Challenge.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this term I will explain. Just imagine being a caveman or woman … without the cave and with a razor.

The key is to eat like a caveman. No grains. No sugar. No flour. Nothing from a box and brace yourself … no Alcohol. In other words, NONE of EVERYTHING I have come to LOVE. However, something tells me if there was a big fat piece of sugary cake in the cave the females would be fighting over it like a pack of wild dogs. There is no scientific proof to back up that statement, just the personal knowledge of female hormones.

So, I have been consuming meat, fish, chicken, fruits, veggies and nuts since September 23rd. Thank GOD for the likes of cocoa and coconut to satisfy my sweet teeth…yes, that was plural. I’ve been splitting my hunting & gathering between Whole Foods and Local Farmer’s Markets, which by the way can be equally as dangerous as a jungle, especially on the weekend. We can not even discuss how expensive it is to eat like a cavewoman, but then again so are visits to the doctor’s office…right? Looks like I’ll be working some over time at the quarry. 

Note: I spent $9.99 on a loaf of Paleo Bread after CRAVING some sort of grain. I have concluded that price in no way 6264128a70cb15243417de617a3d4e3ddetermines goodness…AT ALL!  I will painfully finish eating the entire loaf of dry wall bread due to the memory of my father’s voice saying “Are you out of your god damn mind?” I remember when he would complain over the increasing price of things like milk, bread & bridge tolls, so I’ll assume he is spinning in his grave right about now. Sorry dad…

This challenge is a learning tool to be used in making better future decisions. Honestly though the transition hasn’t been too hard and I do feel very good, but come November 4th you better believe I will be indulging in a Pumpkin Muffin … made from all natural ingredients of course. 

496d8006f5e83c27a87fe47cbba6a579One of the other things I was able to do this month was attend my 35th Grade School Reunion. That’s right, 35 glorious years ago I graduated from 8th grade and headed into the hell hallways of high school. Can you feel me shuddering?

One thing I know for sure after this evening is that women, at least the ones from my class, aged much better than the men. I was only able to recognize 4 on site, the rest … well, they needed to be reintroduced. Yikes! Also, the most asked questions of the night “are you still married?” and “how many times have you ben married?” All in all it was a wonderful evening filled with old friendships and laughs…lots of laughs.

Next on my list is the request to appear in Federal Court today for jury duty. Yea me…NOT!  I was all prepared to spend the 6dceebb3c3b5b0cb4c80b2b2e8bd985bnext (3) days waiting to find out if I’ve been chosen to serve on a federal jury. I had my David Sedaris book ready to go, just in case I needed some random outbursts of laughter to make me look a little cray cray.  I worked liked a dog to clear my desk, for the sake of my co-worker who will be holding down the fort. That is a post that has yet to be written. All these arrangements only to call the 800 number yesterday and hear the words “Report to your normal place of employment tomorrow.” “Do not report for jury duty.” This was equivalent to hearing All Public & Parochial Schools are Closed, after you already did your homework. Cross your fingers that I hear that message again today!

As if I weren’t busy enough, this weekend I will participating in 2, yes 2 fundraisers. One is being held this Saturday 10/26/20131379218_562393060482742_1940322726_n at the Cross Fit gym and it is appropriately called Barbells For Boobs. For every $80.00 raised a woman will be able to receive a Mammogram. My participation in this challenge will be on behalf of Susie over at Susie Lindau’s Wild RideShe knows first hand the importance of Mammograms and early detection!

2305.1251415141.customThe next event is a 5k walk for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. My family, including Pea-Wee (Peanut) will be walking on Sunday 10/27/2013 to support our neighbor Joey. He was diagnosed in February and this is his first attempt to raise some money to Stomp Out Juvenile Diabetes.  

This little boy is a wonderfully sweet, smart and creative kid. He has taken on his challenge with encouragement and hope that some day he will be the one known for stomping out the likes of this disease.

Live your life and Enjoy the Ride!

We, Us & Our

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I think it’s safe to say that democracy is a work in progress. So, as we celebrate the 4th of July, let’s really get this party started shall we.  A true celebration means recommitting ourselves to the work that needs doing if we want democracy to survive and thrive. This excludes just sitting in the house and “liking” a democracy page on Facebook. We have a responsibility to be accountable to everyone around us…The Common Good.

We spend so much of our time divided these days, defining ourselves by our “side” that we forget something very important and frankly it’s in grave danger: We’re all in this together! Sound familiar? That’s right, it’s because you’ve heard this many times before in a wonderful document that seems to be getting some attention these days … The Constitution. 

We the People  of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Everything after this sentence is just sugar on that big ole piece of pie.

So, today as we celebrate our Independence, let’s try to re-think how we start tomorrow. I’m suggesting an Interdependence way of thinking for the rest of the year. I love my freedom, but I’m also a big believer in collaboration. A small group of thoughtful people could change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead.

I know for me, in my personal life, I wouldn’t be where I am today without all those helping hands along the way who took the time to invest in my wellbeing. There were many times when energy and love were thrown onto my path to push me along.

Of course we would all love to take credit for our achievements, but let’s face it … it was a communal effort. We tend to forget that many of our opportunities came from the hard work of the generations before us who cared enough about our future to invest in the common good. Where would we be without it? 

Let’s celebrate our Independence and our Interdependence today by being free from our hatred, fears and differences. These are the real freedoms that lay out a strong foundation for our future. Now, I’m not going to lie, I will have to remember this when my beer induced, wanna be pyrotechnic neighbor starts setting off fireworks from his weather-beaten, one spark short of an inferno deck this evening. I NEVER SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY…nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re gathered around embracing your freedom with friends & family or just enjoying an extra day away from the salt mines work place, you can take a moment to focus on the similarities of your surroundings. Hey look we both breathe air Omg! we have so much in common. We have to start somewhere now…rightEnjoy the Ride! 

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It Takes A Village

40287e1f937375987a5fa49d71cce72eDaily Prompt: Helping Hand

Tell us about the most surprising helping hand you’ve ever received.

Helping hands have shown up in my life recently and just in the nick of time if I do say so myself.  That’s right humanity came strolling in, fashionably late of course, complete with party horns & confetti to join in on all the festivities. Was I “surprised”? Not really because that’s how humanity rolls.

Considering the level of activity around these parts over the past few months, it wasn’t  too shocking to anyone that my emotions decided to go into a full-blown tailspin, but the timing couldn’t have been worse. Now that was a big fat ssurprise!

Believe me when I tell you I admire the complexity of the human brain, but there are times when I really wish it had an “off” switch. Perhaps it could have been installed when I became a mother. God obviously missed the memo on “When Women Worry”, along with the follow-up memo When Mothers Worry … A Whole Other Story,” otherwise he would have included the switch. He was probably off creating a giraffe or something so I’ll let him slide, since giraffes are so badass.

I was at the point of going from mole hill to mountain in one second flat, which is what can happen when your creative juices 44dfffbc16181b21312f1da189ce787fdecide to collaborate with your fears. These 2 should never hook up … ever. Unfortunately for me they were in an on and off relationship since September, but decided to take it to another level in February and by the end of March they were nothing short of hot & heavy. Such sluts!

So, on that particular Thursday when I pulled into the parking lot at work, I could not believe what suddenly began to unfold. One minute I’m laughing along with the morning Dj’s and the next my heart is pounding out of my chest. My imagination and fears decided to get it on right there in the parking lot! 

Somehow I managed to get out of the car and right into my first set of helping hands. Lord knows I must have appeared completely crazy, but in the moment I was more concerned about dying and much less concerned about first impressions. This stranger walked me to my office, assured me I was “ok” and wrapped those helping hands around me with a supporting hug before closing the door. Suddenly I was alone with the dynamic duo again…this was not good.

Next set of helping hands to show up was my boss. Oh, yes you did read that correctly. By the time he arrived on the scene, not only was my heart pounding out of my chest, but the tears were uncontrollable. He assured me I was NOT having a heart attack, but what did he know? … he’s only a DOCTOR for god sakes!  My brain was already claiming victory over this battle!

8a855a94a51099881c9a3fc60a0e3f64Just as I was about to wave my white flag and let my brain wear the crown some helping hands joined forces. My friend/co-worker arrived and knew exactly what to do. Honestly, the only thing missing was her white horse. She held my hand and walked me down to the office of my family doctor while reinforcing the fact that I was NOT having a heart attack. Um, I still wasn’t believing it.

Her helping hands had a magnetic force that attracted more hands into my circle of need, while never loosening her grip on mine. The girls at the desk, the medical assistant and the nurse practitioner all worked together with my friend to ensure me that I would come from behind and start kicking some crazy ass very soon. It really does take a village people. 

By the time this all ended I was whipped! My brain is pretty freaking tough, but my spirit is much tougher thanks to all those helping hands. They helped me to get back on the road to Enjoy the Ride! 

The Sound of Silence

Daily Prompt: Cringe Worthy

Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm?

Noooooooooooo!

Noooooooooooo!

Oh, this prompt really hits a nerve with me, especially since I tend to internalize what I see and hear. I would consider myself highly sensitive to my surroundings, which is great when things are good, but look out when they’re not. Yikes!

Witnessing someone being embarrassed hits me at the core and usually leaves me with a pillow over my face as if I’m watching someone being slaughtered. This usually occurs during shows like American Idol or X Factor when people are convinced that they are talented. Oh my God I’m starting to sweat just thinking about it! 

During these shows the worst part of all is when the producers decide to do a little piece on how the particular person made it to the life changing moment we are about to witness. It usually entails some sort of sad sac story of homelessness, tragedy or overcoming some insane obstacle, yet here they are ready to make it big. I ALWAYS take this bait and immediately start chanting…please be good, please be good. 

Just as the person takes the stage I can feel my heart swelling in anticipation and there is nothing in the world I want more in that 6b24075a1d06e38b0d8361d58936c7bcmoment than for this complete stranger to bring down the house and leave us in awe. As soon as the music starts and the first note is released, I know if I’m going to be cheering or hiding behind my throw pillow for the loooonnnggessst 2 minutes in history. There have been many times that I found myself willing the power to go out to save this soul from further humiliation. 

Of course I’m not referring to the goofball who just wastes everyone’s time for their 15 minutes of fame, I’m talking about those who would swear on the lives of their children that they are talented. They are usually the ones with that surprised look on their face as the room fills with the sound of crickets. I just felt a pang in my stomach on that thought … jesus.

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Dear Lord…

As you can imagine my squirminess is not limited to talent shows. Oh no, I spent a long 8 years squirming during the Bush administration. For so many reasons, but that’s another story. It doesn’t matter if I agreed with his policies or not during his time in office. He was our President, so if he was giving a speech or holding a press conference I would tune in to see what was going on in our country. Needless to say by the second term I had to bring out the big guns and invest in a body pillow to hide behind. 

Even though we had our differences, I couldn’t help but feel bad as he stumbled over words or take a deep breath just was at a loss for words. I would shout through my pillow at the TV “Just say something…anything…NOW!” My face would be blushing for him as the room fell silent. I know it would be really very easy to wallow in moments like this, but I couldn’t. Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t laugh when SNL put a spotlight on the moment. 

So, when it comes to squirming I would have to say public humiliation does it to me in a big way, most likely because it’s always empathy_cartoonbeen one of my biggest fears. Let me explain. I’ve been publicly humiliated by loosing my skirt on the dance floor while wearing my mother’s granny panties and I’ve been shit on by a flock of pigeons on my lunch hour and survived. I just found these things funny, as did everyone else. Laughter is so much better than silence. 

What I’m talking about is the kind of humiliation that leaves the room with the roaring sound of crickets. I’ve always feared public speaking, not because of the speech, because of the reaction and even though I’ve faced my own fear, it still affects me when I witness happening to someone else. Got Empathy? Um, I sure do!

None of us will ever truly understand something until we actually experience it ourselves, so do something that makes you squirm and Enjoy the Ride! 

Keep It LOCAL

Daily Prompt: Think Global, Act Local

Thanks Daily Prompt for this wonderful subject line this morning. This prompt has provided me with the perfect opportunity to bring awareness to the growing concerns within our food sources, while dusting off my brag book to give props where they are due. Looks like a win, win to me. 

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” Antole France

538921_429445957108021_1063347368_nAs some of my more seasoned followers already know, my nephew Evan started a Food Truck a little over a year ago. The concept behind the MOO Food Truck was to provide his customers with classic American Food made with ingredients sourced from LOCAL family farmers. I am happy to report that shortly after his one year anniversary, Evan has expanded into the world of brick & mortar.

MOO’s latest venture is a sit-down eatery  at 4010 Durham Road in Ottsville, PA. This wonderful little spot features seating for 46 satisfied customers, along with the ability to call ahead and take-out. The menu includes some claim to fame favorites from the MOO Truck, including the ever popular MOO burger, MOINK (Moo w/bacon), seasonal salads and my guilty pleasure; his to die for hand-cut fries. As if that weren’t enough to get your  taste buds in a frenzy, he has added some additions to satisfy a broader array of followers. The MOO dog – chili on a hot dog, veggie burgers, chicken burgers, veggie chili, homemade soups like chicken soup and sweet potato and leek soup, grilled cheese, shakes, root beer floats, local soda, french press coffee and even a PB&J sandwich – local jam, homemade peanut butter, buttered and grilled. Sweet Jesus…

The coolest thing about his concept is the bond he creates for his customers with their food source….literally. Hanging on the walls395505_515634071792921_1685596026_n throughout this venue you can look into the eyes of the farmers who raised the animal or grew those veggies for this eatery. This is subtle way to introduce a new mindset that will enable customers to make better choices when it comes to sustainable & ethical eating.

This method of serving food certainly limits Evan’s quantity, by it raises the roof on the QUALITY of food he provides for his customers. He takes pride in serving the community, every customer and the earth one burger at a time. Enjoy the Ride!

 

Les Miserables and Social Injustice

This is a wonderful piece on Social Injustice. Take time to read it through, there is a very important message to be heard.

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My wife and I have long been fans of the musical Les Miserables, so yesterday we took two of our children to see the recently released movie with Hugh Jackman as the lead character of Jean Valjean. We were not disappointed and enjoyed the movie immensely. Of course, a few people have noted some of its imperfections, yet on the whole, it is a very moving experience and fills in a few details that the play could not.

As an aside, I also enjoyed the dramatic movie made a few years ago with Liam Neeson in the role of Valjean. As for the recent musical version, I would encourage you to see it , whether you have seen the play, early dramatic movie or not. If you have seen the play, you will be even more moved by Anne Hathaway’s Fantine singing how life has killed her dreams. The music is so wonderful, sometimes the everyday tragedy  of…

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True Colors

DAILY PROMPT: Shipwrecked!

Today’s daily prompt certainly has the ability to stir up a lot of debate on what is right or moral in the name of survival. The question posed is this:

Read the story of Richard Parker and Tom Dudley. Is what Dudley did defensible? What would you have done?

The Cliff Note version of the story is that 4 men were stranded at sea. One of the men, Richard Parker a 17-year-old cabin boy succumbed to illness and fell into a coma after drinking sea water. Dudley, the Captain, started making decisions about killing Parker in order for the other 3 to survive. His sales pitch included “Killing Parker before his natural death would better preserve his blood to drink.” I’m not stranded out at sea, but even if I was, I can’t imagine that being appealing to me. 

My first question would be “Excuse me Dudley, but isn’t it the Captain that goes down with the ship?”  We could argue that it was actually his duty as Captain to ensure the safety of the others or you could argue that’s exactly what he was doing when he presented the idea of a potential sacrifice. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

281123201709953744_Fs8hbEnT_cPersonally, for me it would have to come down to intention. “Dudley again raised the matter with Stephens pointing out that Parker was probably dying and that he and Stephens had wives and families.” This sales pitch would leave me to believe that some how their lives had more value because they had families. Was there any discussion on the fact that Parker was just a boy who hadn’t even had the opportunity to experience the riches of being a family man? Did anyone bring up the idea that maybe if one of them took their own lives, Parker could be nursed back to health with the remains. If not, selfishness seems to have entered the lifeboat.

What would you have done? I have no idea. I don’t think that question can truly be answered until after the fact and then it would be What did you do? When we are in a situation of survival, I believe it can either bring out the best in someone or the worst in a person. Either way the true colors always shine through.

Enjoy the Ride! Just make sure you’re traveling with the Rainbows of the world.

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