Fun n’ Games


I went out yesterday to play what will almost certainly be my last round of golf before Spring. it was a beautiful day, and I was thrilled to be going out.

My enthusiasm did not, it turns out, cure me of my notorious klutziness. I got out of the car, collected my borrowed set of clubs, and started for the pro shop. in addition to the golf bag, I had my hands full; wallet, keys, sunglasses, and my inhaler which I managed to drop.

with the bag slung over my shoulder I knew that bending down was a suckers bet. I would lean forward, and all the clubs would tumble out onto the pavement. So, thinking I was very clever, I decided to squat down to retrieve it. Clearly, my conviction that physics are made up has lead me to believe they don’t apply to me: this turns out to be false. As I attempted to stand back up, the weight of the golf bag slung over my shoulder caused me to overbalance and fall. On my ass. On the pavement. And on top of some poor fellow who have committed no offense other than to be loading his clubs into the back of his car at just the wrong time and place.

He was very surprised, and gracious about me landing on him. At the time it felt like all I had bruised was my pride, but predictably this morning, my butt hurts. Ass usual.

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I shot a fairly terrible round. But it was still a good day. Here’s to more practice, and less falling down in the future.

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I get lost in my own world sometimes. Akin to those people who pick their nose in the car forgetting that the windows are, in fact, transparent, I will occasionally do silly things failing to appreciate my setting.

As when, this morning, at work dancing a flailing sidle down the hall.Unabashedly awkward, this dance with arms and legs splayed, booty-shaking, head wiggling, and lacking anything even approaching grace. The look of surprised amusement on the face of my coworker did awaken me to the fact that I am not, in fact, invisible when I act like an idiot. Probably for the best; not sure anyone would ever be able to spot me, else.


Having only one eye that functions as it should has a whole host of consequences. My sense of smell is quite a bit keener than average, my verbal capacities are very well-developed, and my intuitive reasoning manages to surprise even me sometimes. It also means I have no depth perception, my balance is seriously compromised, and my spatial reasoning suffers considerably.  Ah, the give and oh, the take.

Anyone who has spent any time around me knows that I am accident prone, I bruise easily, and I fall down. A lot. Not just a lot for an adult, a lot for a drunken toddler. I trip, I misstep, my feet disappear from beneath me and I topple. Usually this happens when I am in the midst of doing something fun. This is not meant to read as a euphemism for “when I am drinking” though it certainly has gone that way, it is simply to point out that somehow, when I am having the most fun, it is also the most likely moment for me to hurt myself. This has become so true that I now have a handy and glib little phrase to trot out when it happens: If I didn’t get hurt, how would I know if I had fun?

One Thanksgiving weekend, some years ago, I was having SO MUCH FUN! A group of the usual suspects had gone to Bend for the annual Deep Fried Turkey and Drinking Derby and we’d gotten a truly lovely house for the lot of us. This was open beam construction, grand kitchen, pool table having lovely. Double doors in the main entry and an apartment over the garage for those who needed extra privacy. Also in the garage was a ping pong table. The inevitable game of Beer Pong ensued, and though I did not play (see above re: lack of depth perception, spatial reasoning) I was enjoying the spectacle considerably. At this point, tipsy and giddy, I realized there was something in the house I wanted at that very moment. At present, I cannot recall what that was, but why I can’t may become clear quite soon. As I raced back toward the house, as fast as my bare feet would carry me, I rounded a corner and sped toward the open of the two double doors. Much to the chagrin of my face, which struck it first at full tilt,  it turned out not to be an open door so much as a plate glass window. My friend Jason, who witnessed this impact from the inside of the door, said as I hit the window and then slid slowly toward the floor it was like watching a cartoon in real life and that he was deeply conflicted between genuine concern and hysterical laughter. The former overwhelmed the latter, and he came outside and picked me up with considerable tenderness and very minimal audible laughter. This is evidence that despite all other facts about him, he is probably a saint.

I managed to give myself a concussion, and a nasty scar on the bridge of my nose where my glasses slammed into my face with all my weight and speed behind the impact. I had a monster headache, was nauseated, and cried for about 4 hours off and on; partly in pain, partly in humiliation, and partly in annoyance that in my concussed absence, some other girl was downstairs singing opera at the crowd and I was not fit to go down there and show her who was boss of that skill. (Hint: Not Her)

On fun occasions I have sustained injuries of smaller scope in both hilarity and severity:

Sunriver August ’08: Faulty sprinkler valve cover collapsed on me during a Frisbee game, sunk to my knee on the run. Scrapes.

Reno Roadtrip August ’08: Giant cinder landed on hand. Burn

Indian Head Beach October ’08: Bashed self in the face with a surfboard on errant wave: Fat lip.

Opal Creek July ’10: Slip and fall during descent to creek for kayaking trip. Broken hand

Clackamas River August ’10: Clotheslined by flotilla. Rope burn.

 

And I could go on, but there are too many to recount.

This last weekend I had more fun than I have had in recent memory, and so, naturally, I also hurt myself. I had, in fact, JUST gotten done telling my hiking companion

“Wow, it’s so great! I haven’t even fallen down!”

Which was clearly a cue for the Universe to Smite Me for my cheek, in this case on my cheek. Accordingly, I slipped as I was clambering over a rock and landed with all due force on my rear end. Hard. My hiking companion was compassionate and picked me up and brushed me off with great facility. He seemed distressed, but I knew that it was evidence of just how much fun I was having.

 

I admit to being an Octophile. Lots of things I love came from there. I am going to spend the next little while talking about some of them.

In this case: C-64

i am not likely to be elected spokesman for any video gaming company. i have terrible hand eye coordination and lack the obsessive devotion to repetitive tasks so necessary for video-game mastry. however, when i was a young thing, i was madly in love with the commodore 64. and i am willing to bet i would still have a kick ass time playing with it, if i had one.

a few games in particular stick out in memory as being extra-strength awesome. my absolute favorite was REALM OF IMPOSSIBILITYHells. Yeah. this game consisted of threading your way through various levels of mazes to obtain keys which would then allow you to access other levels of mazes. pretty sweet. you were hampered in your attempts to obtain these keys by pesky zombie dudes who were all up in your shit like the SECOND you came into the place. and your only recourse was to keep away from them. you could hide behind structures, but you had no weapons to speak of, you were only slightly faster, and if they touched you, it hurt til you died. your one means of protection was to drop behind you, as you ran away, a trail of little crosses which would impede the zombie progress for a while until they eventually disappeared and once again leave you vulnerable to zombie touching. it was best to play with a partner who could also participate in the cross dropping, but you had to be careful cause you couldn’t leave the screen area without your homey and if they died the mission was a fail. so, if you were, say, my older sister, who’s approach was to view her “partner” as nothing more than an expendable cross dropping pack mule of sorts, this was not necessarily the most effective strategy. i never actually managed to beat this game, as the final level, the Realm of Impossibility, was, well FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE. so.

another gem was RACING DESTRUCTION SET this one was neat primarily for the level of customizability built into game play. not only could you select your car, you could build a unique track out of a variety of surface materials like ice, dirt, mud, or asphalt in any configuration you chose AAAAAAND select the degree of GRAVITY you wanted your track to have. so you could pick moon gravity and be flying all AROUND the place, or pick jupiter gravity and stick to the track like glue. was fun stuff.

and then there was ARCHON which was like wizard’s chess.  your pieces would move across the table and attack each other in interesting ways based on what kind of mythical critter they were.i liked being the Dark Side since the snakes and nasties were way more entertaining in terms of the wickedness they would unleash.

Not to be forgotten: RUSH N ATTACK (get it?) this game had the worlds most annoying precussion sound track. i can still hear it in my head: dat dat da da da DAAT dat dat da da DAAAT. it played relentlessly overtop your rambo style recon mission of doom. there was a lot of running, and jumping, and leaping from the tops of tankers to the tops of bulidings and the occasional stabbing action. i do remember liking the bazooka and flame thrower quite a bit.

i also remember playing something i want to think was called DREAM HOUSE. it was like playing dress up, but with paint and furniture. i remember being excited BEYOND ALL REASON when i discovered you could ANIMATE the scene by hitting the correct sequence of keystrokes. this mean the kitty would swing its tail, the clock would tick, and the fire in the grate would flicker. awwww yeeah.

thinking about it, i’m pretty sure the reason video games dont appeal to me anymore is cause they are no longer so basic and limited by technology. for me, the more simpleminded the better. ahh for the old days…

sangintight jeans. exposed navel. giant… ego. yeah. i think i got it.

major life changes underway. they have affected my work schedule, and as such, we needed more hands on deck at the clinic. dr anne hired a young college grad in her waiting year before med school to come and run the front desk since i wont be around to do it all the time anymore.

we’ve been training since tuesday. within about 20 minutes, i knew this was someone i could work with. she’s sharp and funny, witty and laid back. ideal traits in a coworker, if i do say so. catherine is the bees knees, if you ask me.

so wednesday morning we get right back to training. we are elbow deep in learning how to schedule an appointment when a client comes through the front door…

“how much for the lenses?”

what i noticed first, was how unequivocally fucking CRANKY this guy was. obviously he had been hard done by (at least to his mind) and he was going to make someone pay for it. trying to communicate with someone who is angry in advance is never a treat, when you add to that the clear case of English not being a first language. well. it’s pretty much my favorite thing.

after sussing out that he wanted:

a) to bitch about Sears (and who doesn’t, really)

b) attempt to haggle with me over the cost of his lenses

c) have me reassure him that the hideously trendy bvulgari frames he had in hand were “hot”

i was willing to play along. one does this frequently in sales, as it turns out. and then. right in the midst of our haggling, bitching, reassuring session, he turns to catherine, gives her a long up & down look, and says huskily

“i like you.”

i am instantly defensive. i use my most scolding tone to say,

“yes, she’s lovely, isnt she?”i hope this will dissuade him from further comment. vainly.

he agrees with me, then goes yet further

“i like the boobies.” gesturing helpfully in case we missed his meaning amidst the morass that was his accent. he then turns to me. “what with your belly? why are you so skinny? do you take the skinny pills? my wife she takes the skinny pills. she’s still fat, but now she also fucking crazy. she get them from the tv.”

i am so taken aback by this turn of the conversation (not least because he didn’t say anything about MY boobies, which are in fact prodigious) that i rather fumblingly answer “no, i go to the gym 3 times a week” rather than a more customary response like “go fuck yourself you fat dickless assmonkey.”

this seems to be the extent of his need to sexually harass us for the moment, and so he returns to discussing the cost of “the lenses” suffering from a little social whiplash, but still attempting to focus on my job, i gamely finish making a quote. he then asserts that he has to go and get some money, but that he will be back shortly to pay for “the lenses”

after he clumps out catherine and i look at each other a little tiny bit in shock. what. the. fuck.

as we are discussing the bizarre sexual advances of the world’s crankiest walk-in, linda, our lead optician comes out and happens to overhear our conversation as do our other coworkers and dr bill.  after we relay the whole story linda firmly states that we are going to send him away when he returns. that we do not want his business and we never have to tolerate that kind of treatment from anyone. ever. dr bill heartily agrees.

flash forward 1/2 an hour. Catherine and i are once again focusing on training, when in walks grumpypants mchorndog. catherine and i become even MORE engrossed in our task while Linda comes forward to say to him with the most careful courtesy

“sir, i’m afraid we wont be able to help you fill your prescription, here are your frames.”

and this is when all hells break loose.

he immediately begins shouting at linda, lacey, catherine, and i in random, ill-formed bursts of insult and expletive.

“are you okay?” tapping his head “what the fuck is the problem? are you seriously okay?”

linda continues in a very calm voice to explain that we cannot make his glasses for him and we would appreciate if he left the clinic. he goes on shouting at her and everyone in the line of fire, until dr bill comes around the corner to intervene

“it is totally inappropriate for you to talk to my staff this way. we do not want your business. you need to leave the clinic”

this creates a whole new burst of incomprehensible invective.

“get the fuck out of my face! the fuck is wrong with you!? get the fuck off my face!” and then, mercifully, he leaves.

as we all sit there, vaguely stunned by the vehemence of his response, we are utterly dismayed to see that he has simply made a loop from his car and is coming back toward us. linda steps forward and throws the bolt on the door to keep him from coming back inside. he then proceeds to stand on the other side of the glass screaming and gesticulating for a full minute before he gives up and storms back to his car.

about a minute later the phone rings. i lift the receiver and identify myself only to hear the accented ranting commence all over again. i felt no compunction whatever hanging up with gusto.

lacey points out there seems to be some kind of second day curse. on her own second day a young miscreant attacked someone at the ATM 2 doors down from the clinic and snatched her purse. right before our plate glass windows we saw several bystanders grab the kid and proceed to deliver upon his ass a well-deserved beat down til the cops arrived. another employee of ours was jumped by an ex after her second day of work. the only thing that happened on my second day of work was that i turned 30. we all agree that sex trumps violence in terms of excitement, so catherine wins this particular horse race.

and so i turn to her and say,

“welcome to the clinic! way to go getting sexually harassed! what’s say we go to the strip club to celebrate?”

she readily agrees. i knew i liked this girl.

and so off we go to jiggles.

jiggles is, for many reasons, about my favorite strip club. it isn’t for everyone, i will happily concede, but for what i prefer in a club, it simply can’t be beat.

variety! i am a fickle beast. i like novelty in my life, and this is Jiggles’ strongest suit. every shape, size, color, and flavor of girl can be found in this place at some time or another. and if you sit still long enough, you’ll get to see them all. there are 3 stages, and the rotation is one song & gone. the last thing i want to do is have to stare at the same naked girl for more than 2 1/2 minutes at a time. if i like the look of someone, i know she’ll be back in a little bit to cover one of the other stages.

lap dance anyone? some clubs really don’t encourage this as the primary draw of their establishment. some places really want you to sit at the rack and tip, others want you to hang back and buy the dancers drinks. at jiggles, they provide all the means for the best lap dances i have ever had in this whole town. from the high backed and perchable chairs in which the dances are administered, to the floor to ceiling mirrors arrayed behind the dancers; all the details of the setting are perfect. as such, the girls who specialize in lap dancing tend to like to work there. frankly, it’s where the money is, and the women who work there have learned to hone their craft.

but, there’s no BOOZE!! this is true, but as everyone who knows anything already knows, the drinks you get at a typical strip club are overpriced and craptastic. i personally do not believe my well G&T should cost $8.50 and taste like gnawing on a juniper bush. i don’t really need to drink to have a good time, and even if i did, i know how to carry a fucking flask and so should you.

my hopes for a wednesday night were fairly modest. we got there at about 8:30 which is prime time to see the end of the early shift and then welcome the late shift at 9. plus also the cover jumps from $10 to $15 once 9pm rolls past.

i did see some ladies i was sort of stunned were up to the challenge. one dancer made me worry about what pole tricks would do to her arthritis. another that the lopsidedness of her breasts (at least they were real…) would induce some kind of limp if they were left unfettered too much longer.

then there was some speculation about who picked the songs for each dancer. it seemed a little too trite that the latina picked Santana, the black woman Barry White. but to amuse myself i decided we should try to guess what the dancer about to mount the stage was going to look like based on the song selection.

“ok… Gun’s n’ Roses. i’m voting for a buck toothed Liv Tyler type”

(dead on)

“Lifehouse? really?? um. methed out bleach blonde?”

(fail. fairly robust sandy brunette)

“Al Green. its the lopsided lady again.”

(yep)

then the late shift came on. after this there was less laughing, and more drooling. friend jason looked meaningfully across the table at catherine, who was a charmingly apparent newbie in the strip club scene and says

“do you need a lap dance?”

i turn to her and await her answer expectantly. she demurs and says she hasnt come prepared to spend the money on a dance. i assure her that if that is her only reticence, it is easily remedied.

“jason, you’ll sponsor catherine to have her very first lap dance, wont you?”

of course he will.

and she had a candidate even sooner than we could possibly have imagined. not necessarily someone she chose, so much as someone who chose her. this dancer was the most aggressive persistent piece of ass i have ever met. with leg warmers. usually a dancer will ask you if you would like a dance, take you at your word, maybe chat for just a bit, and then wander away. not this girl. no way.

leg warmers came by the table no less than a dozen times over the course of the 2 hours we were there. catherine had started looking around for someone to administer her lap dance and even had one sort of picked out, but she came back to say goodbye with her clothes on, so the search began again. meanwhile ms. persistent panties simply would not go away. she escalated her approach over the course of the evening to sneaking up behind catherine, once without her top on and rubbing up against her. she at one point asked if she could see catherine”s breasts (it was a good day, popularity wise, for her boobs) and finally, worn down, catherine agreed to get a dance from this eager and determined lass.

and holy mother of god, she got the works.

at one point i looked over to see the topless dancer rotating at the waist with her bare breasts pressed firmly against either side of catherine’s face. catherine is clearly a little overwhelmed by this experience, and is trying to politely avert her head from the treatment. to no result.

however, she came away from her experience in excellent humor. and there are not enough points to give for how many points this earned her. the boys were deeply impressed with her being so very game. and so was i.

frankly i think this should be the routine on EVERYONE’S second day on the job.

ineverwin

it’s true. i was. apparently it’s an inner ear thing which resulted in the wonky eye and many other peripheral inability to balance and control fine motor function. i am not, as far as i know, a fish though.

it was a good one this year!

i always like to see my birthday as the ultimate opportunity to indulge myself. as such, i went to some effort to have all of my favorite things. it became my twitterproject for the day…

birthdays are all about favorite things; 1st favorite, stumptown mocha!

favorite thing #2 bacon squash galette from grand central

favorite thing #3: LOTS AND LOTS OF ATTENTION. it may be the hat…

favorite thing #4 shopping! favorite thing #5 being sung to!!

favorite thing #6 singing “Favorite” by Neko Case

favorite thing #7 PRESENTS!! borders gift card, @lyzadanger w/ the LibraryThing subscription. pegged as a bookworm i guess 🙂

favorite thing #8 leaving work early!! only 2 hrs to go!

favorite thing #9 bacon & blue cheese potato salad. mmmm. lunch

favorite thing #10 surprise blue sky out my window!

favorite thing #11 wardrobe change!

favorite Thing #12 MORE PRESENTS: bottle of patron

for symmetry i would have liked 31 favorite things, but as the day wore on, i got a little distracted and couldn’t keep tweeting as they came up. long about 4pm i was talking to my Uncle Ed (who’s birthday it also was) and having a rousing discussion about politics and love. so, that was amusing at amusing at any rate. then it was off to seattle.

we ended up going to Freak Night at the WAMU theater. it was quite a spectacle. costumes everywhere. it was sort of amusing to see certain trends in the room; there were tons of pirates, many slutty versions of cartoon characters (although my favorite was seeing 1) standard Rainbow Brite 2) Slutty Rainbow Brite and 3) ULTRA Slutty Rainbow Brite all within like 5 minutes of each other) and a veritable SWARM of bumblebee costumes. i was jessica rabbit. looked faboo if i do say so. did not get photo on my own camera (doh!) so proof of such will have to wait.

the lineup was pretty wicked: we had Crystal Method, Moby, and Paul VanDyck. it was dancetastic. at some point i gave in and took off my beautiful but patently cruel high heels and started prancing around barefoot. good times.

slept over at my cousin Khava’s place. and i do not exaggerate when i say she has the MOST COMFORTABLE BED I HAVE EVER SLEPT IN. man ALIVE! we got in after 4am and were up by 9 and i still felt more well rested than i have in ages. i gotta bust ass over to costco and get me one of them mattress pads post haste. had breakky with Khavs and her boyfriend at Jax in West Seattle. potato pancakes. mmmm. little Pike Street market action wrapped up our time in Sea-town. i swear i never feel such a vital intrest in produce as i do when i am walking through that market. i got an avacado that i’m pretty sure is larger than the head of my child. i don’t even LIKE avacados. it was so shiny, and green, and alien-head-looking i simply could not resist. we also bought a giant red pear.

later that night it was time for all the silliness i didn’t get to on the birthday proper: $5 steaks at the Acropolis, lap dance, and karaoke.
i was sad to discover that Hollywood Bowl no longer has the kick-ass dive bar style lounge anymore, because it was my favorite place to go sing. alas, no more. they have re-modeled in a “Grand Central” style i like to call “drywall chic” which is wholly shabby and utterly disappointing.
i liked the laid back atmosphere and boy’s club quality of the old lounge. and just for the record, there was literally NOT ONE PERSON in there on a saturday night. might have been a tactical error folks. so, we were forced to go with karaoke plan #2: The Galaxy. i have no specific problem with this place, although i did have to step over vomit on my way out the door. i also enjoy that one of the waitresses looks EXACTLY like Caroline Jones. my singing was less than stellar due to slight cold and/onset of drunkness, but i had an enthusiastic audience in my cohorts, so it was grand nevertheless.

finally on sunday, it was time for the last event of the birthday-stravaganza-weekend. brunch at Meriwethers for Chicken & Waffle. oh, daddy. the general consensus around the table was that no one needed to eat again all day after that. we were a full and tipsy crowd after all was said and eaten. dee-lish.

it was lovely, i felt very loved. i’m glad it’s all over for another year. next, VEGAS!!

   

i like to think of myself as a pretty adventurous soul. i like to go, and do, and try stuff, so when my friend suggested we go surfing i was all for it. nevermind that it was early October and forecast was rainy and windy and 12ft seas…

i will admit, i felt pretty tough and cool with all that gear strapped to Klaus’ rack…

we made it down to indian beach on saturday and the place was de-sert-ed. there was only one other vehicle in the parking lot. at first i think to myself: “sweet! beach all to ourselves!” then i get out of the car and think: “clearly, we are insane…”

cause it was sideways rain, windy-as-hell, and chilly as all get out. i had never before used a wet suit, so i was still somewhat skeptical about its ability to keep me from losing a vital percentage of my overall body heat. and last time i checked, hypothermia is not hot. also, though equipped with what SHOULD work as chest-mounted-built-in flotation devices, i am not the world’s strongest swimmer. i was getting slightly nervous about how rough the ocean looked, plus, when we unstrapped the boards, the wind picked them up and tossed them off the top of the car and cruelly down to the pavement. i found myself looking at my companion and saying: “have i made it clear i don’t want to die like this?”

nevertheless, we hoofed it down to the water and gamely waded in. it was at this point i discovered what i can only describe as the most magical thing i have learned in years: if i wear a wetsuit i can go in the ocean in october, and it is totally comfortable. seriously, this is life-changing information.

so. after a brief introduction to surfing basics, i wrestled myself on top of the board i’d been handed and managed to ride a pretty nice wave back to the shore. i was on my belly the whole time, but i can see why people abandon real life to do this all the time. i have to liken it to the feeling i had the first time i was on skis; the feeling was one of body-engulfing ecstatic giddiness. this obsession? it has me.

bolstered by my initial success, i waded back out into the water and took hold of the wider board my friend offered me in the hopes that though more cumbersome, it might prove slightly more stable for me and thus easier to mount. trying to wrangle this board was definitely more challenging, and about 2 minutes after he handed it to me, i managed to set it parallel to the wave (just exactly like you aren’t supposed to) and when the swell caught the board it smashed me full in the face and knocked me under. the degree of distress this caused my compatriot was considerable; apparently there was lots of blood.

i was fairly equivocal about the whole thing. i am constantly hurting myself; twisting, spraining, bruising, burning, scraping, or otherwise mangling myself. i fall down frequently doing nothing more complicated than trying to sit in my chair at work, so this pretty much seemed like par for the course. i spat blood into the ocean for about 10 minutes, but other than that, it didn’t really slow me down. plus this way, i’d look EXTRA tough and cool!!

ultimately, it was a really great experience. almost as soon as we got in the water, the wind let up and the rain stopped. the water was rough, but not scary rough. i had a few people tell me it wasn’t really an ideal day to get started on, but even if that’s true, i’m hooked. as far as i can tell, that just means, it gets better!

there isn’t always a countdown. i’ve resisted the urge to do so the last few years, but for some reason, i am ALL ABOUT m embracing my customary (though admittedly ridiculous) amount of enthusiasm for all things birthday.

so, at T- 32 days, there is still much to be done:

  • find purple gloves and red wig for costume cause this year instead of only TALKING about being Jessica Rabbit i am actually going to DO IT. sheesh
  • obtain pumpkins, and carve them
  • take hodie down to the haunted trail and hope she does not repeat her larceny
  • call mother and request she make me a batch of The Best Carmel In The Known Universe and then hoard it
  • find ingenious new ways to subtly, but unmistakably indicate my desire for various birthday gift items
  • devise system wherein my closest friends & loved ones will not bludgeon me before my birthday just to get me to shut the hell up about my birthday.

that last one’s going to be tricky.

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