April 2006 archive

(29 entries)

April 27, 2006

Reality bites

View from the Austrian hostelIt's a little hard to see in a small version like this, but in the middle of this picture, there's a man with his chin resting on his hand, waiting for someone to come along and buy the clothing and whatever else he has on his table.

This picture is currently my desktop background at work, so I spend a lot of time looking at it. Yesterday I was having another one of those imaginary conversation episodes where I was trying to buy a scarf (I think it was the peach-colored one) from the man inside my computer screen. I don't speak any Arabic (yet!) or any Hebrew and he didn't speak any English. I was trying to point but I was too short and he couldn't tell what I was pointing at so I was trying to demonstrate that it was a scarf. I started by miming that I was wrapping the scarf around my neck, but then I realized that the normal way to wear such a scarf would be to put it over your head. So I abruptly stopped miming the neck-motions and switched to pretending I was putting a scarf over my head and wrapping it around over my shoulders.

Then I realized that I was having an imaginary conversation with my computer screen, but that I was so intent on communicating with the salesman despite our language gap that I was actually sitting at my desk and very intensely and exaggeratedly wrapping imaginary scarves all over myself over and over again to try to get my point across. I quickly stopped and got back to whatever I was supposed to be doing.

And I didn't even get an imaginary scarf out of the deal!

srah | 10:20 AM | TrackBack
Tags: imagination, scarves

April 26, 2006

'And if it comes back the very next day, then I'll understand'

I got 5 pieces of mail yesterday. None of them were for me and none of them had the same address as another. It is as though my mail carrier got to my mailbox and thought "I'm sick of delivering mail. This girl can have it all!" Strangely enough, one of the pieces is addressed to a church and another to the Kingdom Hall down the road. Do I look like a religious organization to you? Then why the heck am I paying taxes?

In regard to the title of this post, I hate hate hate that song even more than I hate hate hate a lot of other Elvis songs. Get a clue, Elvis. She doesn't want your stupid letter. Once it comes back a couple of times, you need to take the hint. Do not deliver it in person to test whether it comes back. You're a crazy stalker.

srah | 11:58 AM | TrackBack
Tags: mail, srahtown


M'boyfriend's in the CHI 2006 Student Design Competition Final Four and everybody's talking about it.

You guys are awesomely awesome! Go group! Someone give that man a job!

srah | 11:55 AM | TrackBack
Tags: apete, chi 2006


I dreamt last night that my sister and I were in the top 12 on American Idol. They had flown the top 12 to the Globe Theatre in London for a Very Special Top 12 Episode or something. We were all sitting around in the audience seats (which doesn't make any sense because the Globe doesn't have theatre seating) and waiting for things to get started. Sway and Gedeon were there too, but I don't remember seeing Taylor anywhere. We had to organize ourselves into pairs or groups of three (I don't think this was for singing purposes, as the top 12 don't usually sing in pairs or threes, but it might have been for roommates or for some behind-the-scenes practice or something), but my sister and I didn't want to be "the srahlastname sisters" so we were desperately looking for other partners. That's why I remember Sway and Gedeon being there - because we didn't want to saddle ourselves with either of them. I wanted that McPhee girl for some reason but I couldn't find her. I think I was actually considering pairing up with Pickler (ew). Then I looked in our program (I don't know why we had programs) and discovered that for this Very Special Top 12 Episode, they hadn't bothered to fly Ryan Seacrest out to London with us but instead our host was going to be Colin Firth. I pointed this out Alfie and she said "Squeeeeeeee!" At that point we didn't care what group we were in or if we even went on to the next round because we were going to meet Colin Firth and what were we going to say? I couldn't think of any movies I'd seen him in that didn't involve him jumping into a pond and was embarassed by this. I woke up before we got to meet him!

srah | 6:25 AM | TrackBack
Tags: alfie, american idol, american idol 5, colin firth, dream, tv

April 25, 2006

Hocus focus

My Get Out Of The Apartment Activity for the day was to go get a cup of tea at a local coffeehouse and finish my book. In getting out of the house, I managed to indulge in a little eavesdropping for once (Humbert doesn't talk much). The girls sitting behind me were graduate students in English but their whole conversation was about blogging. About their blogs, about the blogs they read, about blogs in general, the blogosphere, blog society, blog blog blog blog blog. If you have a blog, you probably know the ear-perking experience of hearing the word "blog" somewhere unexpected. I was trying to concentrate on their conversation and read my book at the same time when Ben Folds' "Zak and Sara" came on the coffeehouse's sound system. So I was now trying to read my book and eavesdrop on the conversation with my attention constantly being distracted by someone calling (or singing) my name. You don't get these kinds of exercises in consciousness when you're locked up in your apartment all evening, folks!

srah | 9:49 PM | TrackBack
Tags: activity, blogging, eavesdropping, sarah


Reasons why this Wes Anderson American Express commercial is better than Wes Anderson's movies:

1) I never fell asleep while watching the commercial.
2) I never got up to make myself a sandwich while watching this commercial then forgot (or "forgot") to come back.
3) Although longer than most commercials, this commercial is about eight hours shorter than any of Wes Anderson's movies.
4) Or maybe it just feels that way.
5) Bayonets.

Actually, to be honest, Rushmore (runtime: 93 minutes) was pretty good. "O.R. they?"

srah | 8:24 PM
Tags: movies, rushmore, wes anderson

U Can't Watch This

Stop! Cable Time!
HBO and Playboy, Showtime and MTV
I might like 'em more after my lobotomy
Now why did I ever pay for this junk?
I hooked up eighty channels and each one stunk
Just brainless blood and guts, and mindless T & A
It's awful, it's putrid, it's crummy, it's stupid, gonna throw my set away
- "Weird Al" Yankovic, "I Can't Watch This"

Ah, there's a Weird Al song for every situation, isn't there? How poetic. Or something. I am lame.

Someone stupidly scheduled TV Turnoff Week for this week, when there are new episodes of American Idol, House and The Office. Lost is a crappy clips show this week, but if it weren't a crappy clips show it would be a repeat so that doesn't even enter into discussion. Anyway, in case you haven't guessed, I'm not playing along. But what I'm going to try to do is to get out of the house in the evenings this week. Yesterday I went to a reception honoring our student workers. Tonight... I'll come up with something. Even if it means taking my book and reading somewhere outside of my apartment, I'll do something in the evenings besides going to the library or the grocery store or sitting around my apartment watching The Teevee and/or surfing the Internet.

Then when I am done with that, I will come home and watch The Teevee and/or surf the Internet.

srah | 5:14 PM | TrackBack
Tags: activity, lost, tv, tv turnoff week, weird al yankovic

A slight tetch of insulin-resistance denial

You know what I don't particularly like? Butterfingers.

You know what else I don't particularly like? Peanut butter.

You know what is totally awesomely awesome? Butterfingers "creme" eggs, made of a hollow chocolate egg filled with a mixture of peanut butter and little bitsy bits of Butterfingers. Quick! Go out and buy them if there are any left! They are probably on sale! Go now! Quickly! Someone will take your Butterfingers creme eggs and then you won't get any and then you'll be sorry but don't come crying to me because I told you to hurry, foo'!

Of course, this may be the sugar talking. The only way to tell is to wait and see if I drop on the desk in a few seconds from the sudden post-Egg blood sugar high then the extreme low after it. It's really a good thing I only had one, because I might have just gone ahead and had anothlksjcoanweoincoaiwnfwinwikslkzn

srah | 5:11 PM | TrackBack
Tags: candy, easter, food, insulin resistance

April 23, 2006

The most fearsome vehicular menace of all

Seen today in Town I Live In: A mime driving a car.

It reminded me of the Animaniacs "Good Idea/Bad Idea" sketches. Good idea: driving a car. Bad idea: driving a car full of man-eating badgers. Unfortunately, this mime didn't appear to be being eaten. Maybe next mime.

Update: Ooops. The host of "Good Idea/Bad Idea" was Skullhead Boneyhands, not the mime. What did the mime do?

srah | 8:04 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Tags: animaniacs, mimes, srahtown, strange sights

April 22, 2006

One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

Nick Lachey's Rolling Stone interview says that he graduated from a performing arts high school in Cincinnati then went on to major in Theater at USC. The article makes no mention of the fact that Nick later transferred to The University I Work At, where he was working toward a major in Sports Medicine when he left to join 98°.

The University I Work At's second most famous non-graduate¹ is interviewed in Rolling Stone and we don't even get a mention! I call shenanigans!

¹ First.

srah | 9:21 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Tags: nick lachey, the university i work at

Unconscious Mutterings

... and then some other stuff could happen and it could be like free associations.

srah | 8:56 PM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

A sign that I am getting less and less cool in my old age

I spent most of my early life listening to Oldies music. In order to prepare my track list for smg's CD swap, I went and got out my old mix tapes from high school and scouted out which tracks I also had in CD or mp3 form. A mix from 1994 includes "Turn, Turn, Turn" by The Byrds, "Bobby's Girl" by Marcy Blaine, "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" by Cher, "Downtown" by Petula Clark, "Oh Sweet Pea" by Tommy Roe and "Walk Away Renee" by the Left Banke as well as a smattering of showtunes and some more contemporary songs. I also went through a Big Band phase around 10th grade where my grandma and I would swap tapes and CDs back and forth. That's weird.

In late high school and college I did catch up a bit with what all "the kids" were listening to those days. Radio reception in Albion was pretty terrible so my access to music was mainly through my peers. But when I went to grad school, I went back to the Oldies stations - but expanded my listening repertoire to include Soft Rock/Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening. Yes, I am cool. My sister will tell you (and has told you) of the joyous times we spent in the car together when like (and yet unlike) those guys who pull up next to you at a light pumping rap music out of their expensive car speakers, I would roll down the windows, crank up the volume and blast "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" for all to hear.

Now that I've moved to Ohio, my radio tastes have changed again. I haven't found a music station I really like, so I usually just tune in to my local NPR station. And right now my car's heating and cooling system is on the fritz (fixing will hopefully come in the next pay period!), so that there are only two settings: Full-Blast or Off. Full-Blast With Airconditioning is overwhelmingly cold, so my normal modus operandi is to roll down the windows and turn the fan on and off as the interior temperature merits. When the fan is on, it is very very loud and the radio volume must be turned up to compensate.

So I found myself stopped at a light today with the windows rolled down, my car radio pumping out... an NPR story about a new production of the Threepenny Opera. It was very interesting and... I am an old lady.

srah | 7:10 PM | TrackBack
Tags: driving, high school, music, npr, oldies

April 19, 2006

Sugars be damned!

Next Tuesday is Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day! Thou shalt eat iced creams and thou shalt enjoy it. So let it be written, so let it be done.

srah | 1:13 PM | TrackBack
Tags: food, free stuff, ice cream

April 18, 2006

Suri with the strange on top

I'm glad that Suri Cruise went and done got borned after 11 months in the womb or whatever it was. Mostly I am glad because NOW all of the news and gossip sources in the whole world will finally stop using the word "placenta."

srah | 9:52 PM | TrackBack
Tags: placenta, suri cruise, words

April 16, 2006


I had a dream that I was on a bus tour, maybe in Israel again, and Simon Cowell and the Queen of England were on the tour with me. Simon kept bitching about how much he hated Ryan Seacrest and was trying to tell America that he was gay in order to ruin his life, and how it was top secret and I couldn't tell anyone, but he was going to leave the show next year. Since it was a dream, I think it's okay that I've been telling everyone I know.

srah | 10:10 PM | TrackBack
Tags: american idol, dream, simon cowell, tv

April 14, 2006

Not a good way to start the day

I got yogurt in my hair. :(

srah | 9:03 AM | TrackBack
Tags: yogurt

April 13, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings

Heyyyyyyyy, it's this week's Unconscious Mutterings. I'm only, like, 8 million days late. Oh well, the associations are as free as ever.

srah | 8:17 PM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

Six Weird Things About Me That I Think Haven't Landed on The Blog Yet but I'm Too Lazy to Dig Through the Archives to Be Sure

I've been tagged with this meme by ze Fraulein. It's hard to find weird things about me that I haven't blogged. Well, I think I haven't blogged about these...

  1. Every night when I get into bed, I think about arms reaching out to grab my legs. This never happened when I had the same bed at my parents' house. What's particularly stupid is that there is this huge plastic box under my bed to hold wrapping supplies and it takes up all the space where the leg-grabber would be and I can see the box sitting there even as I imagine the arms coming out and grabbing me and I know that no one is there because the box is there and two things can't be in the same place at the same time... yet I still have to jump into bed.
  2. When I got my first Cabbage Patch Kid, she came with the name Annette. I thought that was an ugly name, so I changed it to Amanda. When I got my second Cabbage Patch Kid several years later, I named her Annette.
  3. I told you that the doctor told me I should change my diet, but she also told me I should get more exercise. As in... some exercise. As in... any exercise at all, because I don't get any now. Doctors have been telling me this for years and I have been ignoring them, because I've never done any kind of exercise and I don't know how and I don't know where you go and I don't own any clothes in which to exercise and I don't know where to buy these clothes. My knowledge of exercise is zero. It is as if my doctors had been telling me for years that I needed to gleeble some marfnarfs. I do not speak your language. What is this exercise of which you speak? Can I buy it on Amazon? Because it would be really convenient if I didn't have to leave this couch, thanks.
  4. When I was in fourth grade, my friends and I managed to convince ourselves and our classmates that our school was haunted. We did this through sheer will and a complete lack of evidence. It wasn't that we found mysterious goings-on and then attributed them to haunting - it was that we'd read a lot of books about things being haunted and had semi-consciously decided we wanted something to be haunted too. It was stupid, to the point of 'A pencil! The school must be haunted!' and 'A stain on the ceiling! I think the ghosts are trying to communicate with us!' We had... um... a lot of imagination.
  5. I used to have a huge crush on Dmitri from the movie Anastasia. Some people have crushes on Disney characters but me - noooooooo, I have to have a crush on a Fox Animations character. Egad! Lesser cartoon companies! I might as well be in love with Fievel. Come to think of it, his little mousey ears are pretty cute...
  6. I often carry on conversations with people in my head. Sometimes it's repeating a conversation I had earlier, but it goes the way I wanted it to go (like I get to use the snappy comeback I thought up hours later). Sometimes it's in preparation for a conversation I'm going to have, practicing what I'm going to say. But usually it's just me talking to random people about random things that happen to be on my mind. This is fine, except when I get really into my imaginary conversation and start using facial expressions and gestures, which invariably carry over into the Real World. This is worst when I'm having an imaginary conversation in French, because my limited vocabulary in that language has always left me to resort to gestures and dramatic facial expressions in order to get my point across. Sometimes I walk down the street by myself and suddenly discover I'm rolling my eyes or sneering at strangers. Never mind! I'm just having conversations with the voices in my head! Nothing to see here!

You are all just going to latch onto #3 and tell me to exercise, aren't you? I hate you.

I hereby tag: apete, Alfie, J, Cheryl (get blogging again!), Bob, swirlspice and anyone else who'd like to do it.

srah | 8:11 PM | TrackBack
Tags: anastasia, boys, cabbage patch kids, exercise, ghosts, imagination, lists, memes, under the bed

April 6, 2006

Tales from tiny srah

When I was much younger and an avid reader of food packaging, I was always fond of diglycerides. Mostly this is because in my mind, "diglycerides" was pronounced "diggly-CER-uh-deez," which sounds like a totally awesome dinosaur. I still pronounce it that way in my head, although I've since learned the correct pronunciation and know better than to call them by their dinosaur name in public. Strangely enough, my brain has always pronounced "triglycerides" as "triglycerides" and has no desire to turn that ingredient into a three-horned version of the first dinosaur.

I got a kick out of the ingredients in Heinz ketchup, too, because they hyphenated the first ingredient and concluded it on the second line. There are toes in my ketchup! Toma- ones!

srah | 8:20 PM | TrackBack
Tags: childhood, food

O downtrodden minority!

It's Conservative Week at The University I Work At. Here, have a squirt gun to celebrate your right to bear arms. Yippee! In other news, it is Communist Party Week in China.

Wait, every week is Communist Party Week in--


srah | 6:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Tags: politics, second amendment, the university i work at

April 5, 2006

Spring comes to Town I Live In

Spring has arrived! There's still a chill in the air, but the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the students are cornholing.

srah | 5:32 PM | TrackBack
Tags: cornhole, spring, srahtown


I woke up this morning when my clock radio went off, as usual. Much to my dismay, however, I fell back asleep - or at least half asleep, to the point where the radio was integrated into my dream. For the next... half an hour or whatever it was that I overslept, I was in some kind of boarding school with people from my 2004 internship and from the Israel trip, all of whom kept nagging me about pledging money to my local NPR station.

srah | 5:30 PM | TrackBack
Tags: dream, israel, iust, npr, the abbey

Adventures in protein

Alright, you've convinced me - the point is not to avoid carbOHYDRATE-rich foods altogether, but to eat them in moderation. So I will buy myself almonds and convince myself to snack on those instead of all the lovely lovely candy in the candy bowl on my desk.

For the record, Blue Diamond Lime 'n Chili Almonds are awesome (I went out and bought some the last time I got on a protein kick). Sunkist Buttered Up Almond Munchies are not, but in their defense I should have read the package better. With a name like "Buttered Up" I thought they would be in some way butter-flavored, but instead they have some "natural and artificial butter flavor" and butter mixed in there with the majority sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, sucralose, molasses, honey, fructose and corn syrup. It's like someone set out to combine all of the sweetening agents known to man. Sucks to be you, aspartame! You can't play with us and our weird, sweet-ass almonds!

So, yeah. The cool thing about this lame-ass new diet is that it's forcing me to try new foods. The bad thing is that so far, most of the new foods suck.

srah | 5:27 PM | TrackBack
Tags: almonds, food, low-carb diet, reviews

April 4, 2006

So anyway, this all sucks

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday wherein I learned that I am, it would appear, a fat old woman trapped in a tiny young body. As she diagnosed me with PCOS and some glucose intolerance (both related to the diabetes that runs in my family), she kept telling me how unusual it was for me to have these problems because they're usually found in obese people who are older than me and "YOU'RE ONLY 25! AND YOU WEIGH 111 POUNDS¹!" Yeah, that doesn't really make me feel any better. I was told for years that the way to avoid diabetes-related problems was to keep my weight down. And I did. And I still got them. It's weird and unusual that I would have these things²... but I still have them.

So anyway, that sucks.

The point of telling you my medical history of late was that although I don't have to change to a strict diet regimen, the doctor recommended that I try to get more protein and fewer carbohydrates in my diet. Which means that I have become one of those people. Those people who whine about lo-carb alternatives and do lame-ass things like calling carbohydrates "carbs" and spelling "low" without a W. I hate those people! "Meh meh meh, I can't have a piece of bread because I'm watching my caaarbs." "Oh my god, do you know how many caaaaaaarbs are in that?"³ Now I'm trying to convince myself that I would rather eat nuts than candy (which I would if they were almonds and I could suck on them like the disgusting person that I am), but I'd really rather have M&Ms with almonds inside! It's like a compromise in a delicious candy shell! I predict that this effort to watch what I eat and alter my diet will last about two weeks, then I will go back to eating delicious chocolates and pastas at every opportunity. Perhaps together. In the meantime, you'll have to deal with One Of Those Carb People.

So anyway, that sucks.

The point of telling you all about my new high-protein, loW-carbOHYDRATE diet was to inform you that this stupid health thing and this stupid diet thing led me to buy this stupid $3 protein soy smoothie beverage thing today. Naked Juice Vanilla Chai smells like egg nog and tastes like Bed Bath & Beyond. Like the way Bed Bath & Beyond smells, that is - I've never had any desire to drink Bed Bath & Beyond and I have no desire to drink this foul thing. But it cost $3, so I may use the ol' egg nog trick of holding my nose and gulping. Under the teeth and over the gums, look out stomach, here the protein comes!

¹ Note to the Red Cross: I'm pretty sure the scale was off by a pound or two. Plus, I probably lost weight since then. Plus, I have no blood left because the doctors took it all. Plus, I bet I have malaria and tuberculosis and mad cow disease. Excuses? You want excuses? I got yer excuses right here. You can't have my blood; I'm using it.
² I dunno. They're not "diseases" per se. I guess. One of them's a syndrome. This sucks.
³ The student center food court's side dishes selections today were: 1) delicious delicious mashed potatoes and gravy, 2) delicious delicious sweet potato casserole, 3) delicious delicious french fries or 4) rolls. Apparently we don't believe in vegetables here. Where are we, the Midwest?

srah | 5:03 PM | TrackBack
Tags: doctor, health, insulin resistance, low-carb diet, polycystic ovary syndrome

April 3, 2006

Blinded by the toes! Revved up like a deuce, another runner up the nose!

Joining the ranks of Yoda and... I don't know, probably a lot of other cartoon characters and puppets, I bring you:

Satchel Pooch's Adorable Toes

(I don't understand the cartoon, but I was blinded by the toes so it doesn't matter.)

srah | 1:07 PM | TrackBack
Tags: cartoons, discovered, get fuzzy

Pull this thread as I walk away...

it's cd swap time everyone. get excited!

the theme this time is music that you loved and/or was popular when you were in high school.

frinstance: i was in high school from 1994-1998, so my cd would include things like pearl jam and bush and no doubt because they were popular at the time. it would also include u2, paul simon, and simon & garfunkel because i liked them when i was in high school. get it?

this will only be fun if more than 16 people sign up, so pass the word around.


Rules and sign-up information are here. Since this is undeniably the coolest CD swap theme ever, I highly suggest that you DO IT. (I was not at all cool in high school and have always been about 30 years out of date in my musical tastes, so mine will be an interesting mix of Old School Music and Really Old School Music.)

srah | 1:00 PM | TrackBack
Tags: cd swap, high school, music

April 2, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings

Yet again, I have put off the Unconscious Mutterings for so long that I have two sets to present at the same time. So I shall publish my free associations and then I shall be gone, for there is a tornado watch. So I will put away my computer and hide in the bathroom if I hear a siren. Such is the life of srah!

srah | 9:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

Baubles, bangles and beads

When we were in Jerusalem, one of our stops was to a diamond factory and wholesaler's. The generation divide in our group was most evident here, where all the 20- and 30-somethings browsed around and looked at the cases, got scared away by the overbearing salespeople who followed us around the room and went and sat down on the other side of the room to wait for everyone else to finish shopping and buying. None of us were particularly interested in buying diamonds or other jewelry and we certainly didn't have the budget. We weren't big jewelry people and I wonder if it's a difference between the Baby Boomers and Generation X or if it's something you grow into, no matter what generation you're in.

But anyway, before I got scared off by the overzealous salespeople, I browsed around to look at the different stones and settings they had for sale, all of which were probably cheaper than they'd be in the U.S. but were still way out of my price range¹. The worst disappointment for me was the case full of opal jewelry. I guess I've never seen an opal before, but they looked like the ugliest costume jewelry stones I've ever seen - full of splotches of fluorescent color.

In Anne of Green Gables, Anne says,

Long ago, before I had ever seen a diamond, I read about them and I tried to imagine what they would be like. I thought they would be lovely glimmering purple stones. When I saw a real diamond in a lady's ring one day I was so disappointed I cried. Of course, it was very lovely but it wasn't my idea of a diamond.

This is how I felt about opals. I had a mental image of opals and thought they'd be very pretty but now, after doing a little research, I think that my image of opals was more along the lines of mother-of-pearl. That's what I want an opal to look like!

¹ $10-20 at Target

srah | 6:18 PM | TrackBack
Tags: anne of green gables, generations, jewelry, opals

'Go Kelly! Go Kelly! The other team is smelly!'

Say what you will about The Cutting Edge: Going for the Gold, but it is my belief that I saw The Worst Movie Ever Made on the plane back from Israel. Yours, Mine and Ours seems to take the premise of the original 1968 version then "updates" it by including as many clichés, unbelievable plot points and terrible dialogue as possible. Not satisfied with "family" movies where the dad slips and falls all over the place and nearly rights himself, only to fall face-first into a pool of something sticky? Yours, Mine and Ours can top that - Dennis Quaid does it twice! I only hope they make a million sequels, so he can slip and fall even more!

(In my defense, I only watched it all the way through because I was trapped in an airplane and I was curious to see how much worse it could get.)

srah | 5:40 PM | TrackBack
Tags: bad movies, movies, yours mine and ours

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