No Thanks, I Already Have a Penguin Just another Confusticate Blogs site Wed, 05 Mar 2008 13:09:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Death of a Legend Wed, 05 Mar 2008 13:09:35 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Gary Gygax died yesterday. I know most people don’t know, or care much, who he was. But it’s frightening for me to realize just how much of a difference he’s made in my life; someone I never even met. (Kevin did, though. Meet him, I mean. At a children’s fair, when he was about nine.) Now, admittedly, I never did much Role-playing in high school… my redneck town didn’t approve of ‘Satan’s Toys’ like AD&D or science fiction, or free thought, or reading, or being smart… (yes, I’m cynical, but I lived in the freaking buckle of the bible belt and got beaten with it rather frequently, so, you know, I’m bitter.) But when I got to college, it started to be a big thing of mine.

I met my best friend, Liz, through a class we had together: Introduction to Mythology. But I wouldn’t ever have talked to her if she hadn’t been reading a fantasy novel during breakfast one morning and I just sat down next to her and started being a pest. I didn’t start reading fantasy novels until after I read The Dragonlance Chronicles when I was 12. The Dragonlance Chronicles were released by TSR (Gygax’s company) as part of a novel and gaming supplement set. Even then, we might not have gotten to be close, except we started gaming together after that.
Through gaming, I got into the Sciffy club (Science Fiction and Fantasy Fan Club). From Sciffy… I met Kevin. I met Matt. I met Jeff. I met Greg. (of course, it’s not all good. I met my ex-husband through gaming. And my ex-boyfriend. But hey, we can’t all have ups, right?) I knew Colleen from other classes, but we mostly stayed friends because of gaming, and through her, I met all her boyfriends, including Jeremy, and then, through Jeremy, I met Elizabeth, who’s now one of my best friends.
I play World of Warcraft…. now if there’s anyone out there who thinks that Gary Gygax and his gaming system didn’t have a huge impact on MMORPGs, please raise your hand so I can shoot you. Through Warcraft, I’ve met a lot of incredibly wonderful people, many of whom have been supportive of me through bouts of depression.
Gary Gygax changed my life. And I’m very, very sorry to see him go.

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Oh, My Aching Ass… Wed, 12 Dec 2007 11:14:36 +0000 Continue reading ]]> So, we went over to Sara’s the other night for a ‘cookie baking’ party, which was more a ‘me baking and everyone else watching TV’ sort of thing…
and now my butt hurts. How fucked up is that?
I mean, I understand why… Sara doesn’t really have what you’d call ‘counter space’ so she set up the cookie area on a low coffee-table thing, and had little stools around it.
Well, because of my ankle and my knee problems (and let’s face it, I’m FAT) I had to sort of center myself over the stool and then drop onto it in order to sit. And most of the people at the party were not even remotely interested in helping, they were interested in watching Shrek III, so it was just me, and a bit of Sara, so I’m popping up and down every 7 minutes as cookies go into and out of the oven.
I have big HUGE black and blue marks over the lower part of my backside. About the width of my hand.
Fucking. Ow.

Haven’t I seen that shirt before? Mon, 03 Dec 2007 09:38:20 +0000 I saw Spider-Man 3 this weekend, finally.
It was terrible.

The worst thing about it appeared to be this…
Dude… robbing a bank is one thing, but seriously… you stole Steve’s SHIRT?

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Life Lessons Sat, 10 Nov 2007 20:17:54 +0000 Truism:
Do not grab a cat’s tail immediately after using one’s hands to eat pancakes with honey.

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Well, That Could Have Gone Better Wed, 07 Nov 2007 08:18:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Can I get a do-over for yesterday? Reset? Return to previous save point.
Loading. Please wait….

1 – Took Jess to the doctor. A few weeks ago, she got these glowie necklaces and she and her cousin Mike spent an afternoon playing with them. When we got home, she’d managed to break one of them open and get this glowie liquid in her eye. Jess was quite distressed, and apparently the stuff was quite painful. I flushed her eye out and she eventually went to bed.
I honestly don’t know if the two things are related, but about a week later, I noticed she had a little bit of a rise under her eye. I didn’t think much of it; one of the major disadvantages of having Stafford eyes (aside from the fact that we look a little bit like goldfish) is a tendency to get things in the eye. I’ve had styes on and off most of my life. But usually they go away in a week to two weeks, and here is it almost a month later, and she’s still complaining that her eye hurts…
So, we go to the doctor who tell me she’s got a Chalazion (which, sounds to me like a sort of fancy pizza or a pasta dish… or a small yellow flower…) Anyway, we have to put antibiotic ointment IN her eye twice a day, use compresses, and if it’s not better in a week, take her to a pediatric eye doctor for the possibility of surgical removal. Yeah, Jess is gonna love that. She’s already panicky about her eye since the LAST time she had to have medical treatment.
2 – The city changed our voting location. Like the library was so damn far away… and they weren’t really clear about notifying us. Our voter registration card didn’t have an address where the poll location was supposed to be… so we went to the library like normal and got redirected to Fairways instead. Fortunately, I knew where that was, as the surly lady at the library’s directions were revolting. (This is not a reflection on the library or the librarians, who have always been nice and helpful, this was a volunteer polls worker and was obviously peeved about all the people who’d come to the library by mistake. She was very sigh-y and huffy about explaining what had happened in the ‘I’ve done this 400,000 times today’ sort of way.)
Fairways is a church. And while I am given to understand that churches often use their rooms for other non-church sorts of purposes, I don’t feel that it’s a very neutral voting location. Certainly, in all the years that I’ve been voting, I’ve never before voted in a non-government building. Usually it’s the school or the library. There was a big old cross on the wall too. And the whole place smelled of incense, which I thought was rather pretty and made Kevin hack and wheeze. And we didn’t get a little “I voted” sticker. I don’t know why this bothers me, but it does.
Kevin suggests that it might have been the church rather than the elementary school next door because we have a registered sex offender in our neighborhood. (We do, you know. There was a big thing about it a few years ago and the newspaper came around and asked questions and stuff… ) Anyway, he’s not allowed to set foot on school property, and so they might have put the polls at the church to accommodate that particular law. I’m not sure how likely that is. It’s not like anyone pays attention to their rights.
3 – After we voted, we ran over to the nearby drugstore to get a 12-pack of soda (I drink entirely too much soda; despite several attempts to cut back, I never can seem to manage it for very long). Kevin and Jess stayed in the car and I ran inside. The area in front of the cashier’s counter was a little cluttered with display items that had just come in for Xmas and weren’t quite set up yet, so you had to do this awkward sort of shuffle to get up there, and as I got to the line, I noticed it was made worse by this… erm. Woman.
Now, I live in a Navy town, and I’ve lived in the area of military bases for quite a while. This would not be the first time I’ve seen a whore, but this was certainly the first time I’d been that close to one.
Her hair was piled on top of her head and held there by what might have been a whole can of hairspray. Her makeup was caked on so thick that it creased around her mouth when she talked – and she was talking the WHOLE time, holding one of those tabloid magazines in one hand and gesturing emphatically with the other. Her lipstick was unevenly applied to her mouth and she had a large bruise on the right side of her throat that was ill-concealed by makeup. She smelled… odd. Like clams and beer and sweat and some sort of cheap perfume.
She wore a skirt that didn’t quite conceal the bottom of her underwear, and purple tights with a few runs in them, and the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen. Plastic and leopard spots. Her shirt did this sort of scoop thing where her breasts were pushed together and out and the whole outfit was topped off with this black gauzy shawl that was falling off her shoulders.
She was complaining about some doctor’s divorce and closely questioning everyone who came into the line, leaning over them and gesticulating. When I got up in line, she ran one hand from my neck to my elbow, which made me flinch away from her so badly that I knocked over three of the Xmas displays. I got my soda and got out of there. When I got back to the car, I noticed that the beer and clams smell of her was clinging to my dress.
4 – Guild drama. The less said about this, the better. Like all guild drama, it is stupid, it is petty, and it is boring to anyone who’s not involved.
A week ago, we lost one of our better healers because he got a guild website email telling him he was stupid and useless for a post he made there about mana conservation during the curator fight. Which had been sent to him by an officer, although he wouldn’t tell the guild leader WHICH officer had sent it. The Guild Leader spent twenty minutes yelling at three of the officers that he suspected of doing it, while a fourth officer sat around and made snide remarks. Turns out, the fourth officer was the one who HAD done it, and he just SAT there and let them take blame and shit for it.
Yesterday, the guild leader quit the guild, after attempting to yell at Kevin and I for bringing a few of the officers over to a raid hosted by my friends at Fifth SOF (another guild). The raid leader there told me I could invite anyone that I personally vouched for. Knowing that their conduct and gear would be noted, I did not extend an invitation to either the guild leader OR the officer who’d written the nasty email. Go figure. I wanted to make a good impression on my friends from SOF so that we might be invited back. Keeping in mind these are raids that Wild Bunch is currently not going to have a prayer of getting to, so it’s not like we were in lockout from raiding with Wild Bunch, and it was on one of our non-raid nights, so we weren’t abandoning a guild raid to do it. It did not occur to me that I needed to INFORM our guild leader that we were doing it – especially since I didn’t want to tell him to his face that there’s no way I would have invited him. Apparently he felt differently…
Ah well…
He’s quit, and the note-writing idiot is likely to follow him. The question now comes up: do we want to stay with Wild Bunch and try to fix things, or do we want to just let the guild disband?
Ug… what a day.

Yawn! Mon, 05 Nov 2007 07:00:12 +0000 <Insert Standard Rant About Daylight Savings Time>
</end rant>

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The Other Shoe… Wed, 03 Oct 2007 15:16:11 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Well….
If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
And things were going so well. Kevin’s mostly happy with his job (despite not getting paid what he’s worth, and while it’s usually true that no one does, most people aren’t making 20% below the minimum of their pay grade EITHER, so Dendrite can fuck me – and frequently does.) But hey, at least he’s happy.
We’ve finally found out what was causing our nephew, Mike, to try to kill himself, and with a cause, they can actually work on fixing it, and he’s doing loads better. That’s good.
Kevin and I don’t currently owe money to anyone. We’re caught up on bills and we’re actually able to put a little money aside in savings.
I’m almost done with my dentist appointments. I have 2 in January to get my last two crowns fitted, and then I’ll be finally done with that. Huzzah.
And then….

My mother has breast cancer.
Why is there never anything helpful to say about these sorts of things. “Sorry you’re sick. Hope you don’t die.” “Hmmm, can I have all your stuff when you’re dead?” It sucks that I sit there on the phone, gaping and just having no idea what to say. Maybe they should teach a college course on “shit to say that doesn’t sound completely stupid in the face of a tragedy.” I know I should have signed up for it.
Yes, they caught it early. Yes, breast cancer is survivable. Yes, it’s still one of the leading killers of women in the United States. I know all this. I knew it even before she told me she had it.
And people keep asking me “If there’s anything I can do…” and there’s a bitter, nasty part of me that wants to scream at them… “What the FUCK do you think you can do? Because, really, if you’re sitting on the cure for cancer just so you can offer it to me at a convenient time, you’re a real jackass.” I don’t say that, though, because it’s rude. And I do know that people love me and care, and they wish there was something they could do. And I’m not even mad at them, I’m just mad at the situation. Still… “What the fuck, man, what the fuck. No, there’s nothing you can DO. There’s nothing I can do. We have to just hope that there’s something the goddamn doctor can do aside from sending my mom a BIG HUGE bill.”
Ditto, I’m mad at my mom. One of the first things she said to me was “Don’t tell your dad, ok?” Oh for fuck’s sake woman. Look, I know she’s vain and self-centered from time to time, but jesus h christ, get a stepladder and get the fuck over it already. She’s been divorced for fifteen YEARS. It’s about time that she stop giving a royal FUCK what he thinks. What does she think he’s gonna do, anyway? Gloat? My dad may not have been the most wonderful husband on the planet, but jesus, he’s not like that. And even if he used to be, he’s not anymore.
I feel sort of alone in this… my friends don’t really like my mom much. She’s sort of neurotic and immature. I don’t have any family support in this; I’ve disowned (and been disowned by) most of my aunts and cousins and the like. It might be nice to talk to someone else who actually cares about my mom, you know? My friends care about me, and believe me, I appreciate that. But they don’t generally care about my MOM. That’s ok, and I don’t blame them for it, but gods, I do wish I had someone to talk to who does care about her.
I can’t decide if the timing of the rest of my life is good, or bad. I have Jess’s birthday party this weekend, and Liz’s baby shower next weekend, and I still have a ton of stuff to do, so I’m staying really busy. But I’m also having a lot of trouble focusing on the tasks at hand. I stood there blankly at the bank the other day for like ten minutes with my mouth open, disconcerting the teller, while I tried to remember why I’d gone there in the first place. (To get quarters.)
I dunno. I hate feeling lost and useless like this.
And I don’t know what to do.

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Oops, I Made a Clean Spot Fri, 01 Jun 2007 23:48:05 +0000 Continue reading ]]> So, Kevin and I are having the proverbial fuckload of people over tomorrow…

What started as an idle “Oh, I want to make tacos” has exploded into a smallish horde descending upon my tiny little apartment. I think my thoughts went something like this…
Tacos are good.
Let’s make tacos.
Whenever I make tacos, there are always tons of leftovers, if I’m just making for Kevin and I.
Leftovers go bad in the fridge.
Let’s invite a few people over.
Um… ok, so I lose track of it after that, but there are somewhere around five (maybe six?) adults and one toddler headed to my apartment expecting food and social-stuff.
That’s fine. Except Kevin has this hissy-fit thing about the house being clean if we’re expecting more than one or two guests. Particularly if it’s someone who hasn’t been here before, or who doesn’t come over often. Which is fine, and the house needs a bit of a pick-up anyway.
We’re almost wrapped up with the cleaning (dishes, trash, sweep, mop, pickup clutter…) and Kevin’s dragging our old Kenmore out into the living room. This vacuum, you must understand, is as old as our marriage. I had a vacuum in college that burst into flames shortly before Matt and I broke up, and the one I bought to replace it burned out about four months before Kevin and I got married.
Kevin’s mom bought us one for our wedding present and tonight, at 10pm, gave up the ghost. So, Kevin meddled with it for a while, took out enough cat and human hair to make a large dog, and it still wouldn’t go.
So… 10:30 at night and I’m driving to the Wal-mart to buy a new vacuum. (Because you know, once you get half the room vacuumed, you need to do the rest of the job…) I end up standing next to this fretting grandmother, who’s son’s wife hates her guts and is bringing over the new 2 week old baby and has said that if there’s a speck – a SPECK, mind you – of dog hair on the sofa, she’s taking the baby away and not going over there again, because babies are so sensitive that way. (Poor Jesus, it’s a wonder he got to the Cross at all, being born in a barn, you know!) (Why is it that I always end up talking to the nutjobs at the store?) (Why did I feel the need to have four parentheticals in one sentence??)
So, now I have a new vacuum. And a really… really… REALLY clean floor. So people can come over and drop taco bits all over it.

Happy Mother’s Day Wed, 16 May 2007 09:04:54 +0000 Continue reading ]]> (I give unto thee kitchen supplies, a clean bathroom, a kid in the Emergency Room, and cold pancakes.)

So, the day started off well enough. Jess roused me around 8, as usual, and I went into the living room to peer blearily at my computer. Instead of my computer monitor, there was a big green box.
Kevin got me a nice sushi-making kit complete with condiments and all the stuff I’ll need to make sushi (except, you know, all the raw fish and vegetables.) I really like sushi. The big problem is that Kevin can’t eat it, since we never know exactly what’s in what pieces. This gives me a chance to make our own sushi so that I know Kevin’s not about to poison himself.
And then he got up about an hour later (9 am? On a Sunday? Wow!) and cleaned the bathroom and mopped the floors as part of my present. We ran some errands (the shower curtain finally decided to stop pretending that it was in one piece and like 4 of the ring hooks broke) and then got ready to go out to dinner.
My father was planning to treat us to dinner at Les Most Expensive Thing on the Menu Ristorante. A nice Italian place down near Va Beach, which actually has a dress code. We got dressed up and drove down, finding the place by only having to make one illegal u-turn. We were a little early. That’s typical, as if you don’t plan for at least 20 minutes of traffic, you get an hour. It’s nearly impossible to be ON TIME around here. You’re either late, or early.
We go in and first thing they’ve got the reservations wrong. I said on the phone that I needed a table for 5. They didn’t have one available, but were going to try and work that out. I took Jess to the potty while Kevin waited for my Dad and Denise. We were coming back from the bathroom and Jess ran ahead to see her Daddy…
To compensate for the lack of a table for five, the restaurant put a chair in the aisle and Kevin was sitting in it. Jess ran towards him and fell. She struck the chair with her head and lay still on the floor for a minute before letting out an unholy wail. I shoved a waiter out of the way to kneel on the floor. Jess flung herself into my arms, screaming. I held her for a minute, trying to calm her down, then pulled back a bit to look at her.
She was bleeding. My god. The blood. It painted her cheek and was in her hair, running out of a gaping cut on her face, just over her eye.
It didn’t take more than a minute or so to decide that we needed to take her to the Emergency Room. I tried to call my dad on the way out to the car, but he wasn’t answering his cellphone. Fortunately, the hospital wasn’t far away. They were unexpectedly not busy – I can’t remember the last time I was the ONLY person in an ER waiting room. Jess had mostly calmed down by the time they showed us into the back room, and while she wasn’t exuberant or anything, she was talking with us and smiling a little.
The lady across the hall from us had come in because her engagement ring was stuck. On her finger. She’d slid it on and couldn’t get it off. She’d cut her finger trying to get it off and the knuckle had swollen incredibly. A pulse-ox test showed that her circulation to that finger was completely cut off. Despite that, she argued with them for nearly forty minutes, trying to get them to NOT cut the ring off. Finally, the ER doctor looked at her and said “Ma’am, it’s the ring, or the finger. One of them is coming off in the next few days. If you’d like to have a finger to PUT a ring on, I suggest you let us cut the ring. The jeweler can fix it.”
Another doctor came in, looked briefly at Jess’s eye and said “Yep, she needs stitches.”
I winced. (Karen, go away for a few paragraphs, ok?)
He went off and got the suture tray and a papoose. This is a child’s backboard and they proceeded to strap Jess into it so she could barely move. Let me tell you, Jess did NOT like this. Not even a tiny bit. As soon as her ankles were locked down, she started struggling. By the time they’d wrapped her all the way up, she was whimpering at me “Body stuck! Mama! Stuck!”
The nurse held her face still while the doctor gave her several injections of numbing medication around her eye. Jess didn’t scream, she just struggled, barely breathing, trying to free herself. After he’d finished numbing her, the doctor started stitching the cut closed. Jess continued to struggle the entire time, turning completely purple in the face because she was so desperate to get out that she was barely breathing.
(Ok, Karen, we’re safe again)
I’m not very good about this sort of thing, but Jess was so scared, I didn’t want to leave the room and make things worse for her. On the other hand, as I almost passed out, I’m not sure I did her any good at all. After they were done with the stitches, I had to sit on the floor for a while.
My dad and Dee were out in the waiting room (still empty) when we were done. It was almost 10 o’clock by then. We decided to grab a quick bite to eat at the IHOP that I’d seen on the way to the ER. My dad and Dee had never been to an IHOP before, so it was a dining experience for them.
I barely touched my pancakes. The staff made much of Jess and brought her a free milkshake. She seemed mostly in a good mood until the numbing started to wear off, and then we went home. On the way home, Jess started picking at her stitches, and I didn’t see, so by the time we got to the apartment, Jess was all bloody again. We cleaned her up as best we could, gave her some Motrin and put her to bed.
Yeah. Not the best of days.

Camels. Straws. Thu, 10 May 2007 15:09:35 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Why is it always the little things in my life that get me down?
Why is all the big things my husband does and that I love him for get ground down by all the petty irritations?

  • Why is it that Kevin’s not capable of putting a damn roll of toilet paper on the roll when he uses the last bit, but can ALWAYS take the time to turn the roll around if I put it on with the free end hanging down the back?
  • What is is about the trash? Taking the trash out is supposed to be his job. And yet, the trash bags have to stack up three deep in the kitchen before he takes them out, and there’s still a litter bag in the bathroom? Not to mention the soda boxes he can’t be bothered to crush and throw out. Or pizza boxes. Or any other ‘large trash’ that doesn’t conveniently find itself put into bags, because why bother with a bag for a box? I mean, seriously, it takes up the whole damn bag.
  • Speaking of the trash, why does he always have to take the trash OUT and THEN bring the mail in? 90% of what we get in the mail is trash anyway, so all he does is half fill another bag.
  • Why does he have to wait until I’ve turned music ON to decide that he wants to watch television?
  • Why does he get huffy with me if I leave the room because he’s watching something I’m not remotely interested in (or actively dislike.) It’s nothing personal, I just can’t concentrate on anything if the brainsucker is on.
  • Why does the TiVo feel like a goddamn to-do list? You know, I was perfectly happy MISSING television shows and either catching them on reruns or buying the series on DVD. Now I feel guilty about everything that’s stacked up on the fucking TiVo. Just not quite guilty enough to watch it.
  • Jess is mostly going to the potty now. This is good. Sometimes she wants Kevin to take her, and sometimes she wants me to do it. Why is it that Kevin can’t be bothered to wipe the floor down if Jess misses her mark? Furthermore, what idiot designed a training potty with 500 million nooks and crannies for pee to get trapped in when a toddler misses the mark? I’m really, really tired of washing that thing out.
  • Why is is, you think, that dishes come in two batches – not quite enough to be worth running the dishwasher, and just too many to fit in the dishwasher?
  • Why can’t the rental office get their goddamn web site working. On time. With the correct rent amounts on it? Although I must admit, it’s amusing to find out that they forgot to turn on the monitor for our water this month, so we don’t have to pay it.
  • Further, why did maintenance have to leave the torn-down gutters in the walkway out of our apartment… haul the damn things away, or throw them in the trash, but they’re a goddamn hazard where they are.
  • My birthday this year pretty much sucked. SUCK. ED. Teh Suxzor. Uber sux. My present from Kevin? Two sticks of RAM. Guess what? They make my computer crash. For the first time in 35 years, I didn’t get a cake. At all. No cakes. Not even a cupcake. My father brings his goddamn broken computer over to our house on my birthday, wanting Kevin to fix it, so for my birthday I have an annoyed husband yelling “fucking stupid piece of shit machine” all evening instead of someone paying attention to me. My birthday present from my dad is a check. That I can use to pay for a little less than half of one of my crowns.
  • Every time I think I’m getting close to done with my dentist appointments, I keep getting another one tacked on to the end. I have at least 5 more appointments. And every time I have an appointment, I get a terrible headache. If you’d told me 18 months ago that it would have been this bad and time consuming, I think I’d have just said ‘fuck it.’
  • I hate insurance companies. My prescription coverage went WAAAAY down this year. Instead of $60 a month, my scripts are now costing about $100 a month. Which means between that and my crowns, we’re not going to have enough in flex spending to last for the rest of the year. Some lady and her two kids ‘accidentally’ got onto Kevin’s coverage. A bunch of our flex spending was used to cover some of their scripts. We still don’t know if we’ll ever get that money back.
  • Did I mention my birthday RAM doesn’t work? It’s now been sitting on my desk for almost a week. I don’t know where Kevin got it, or what their return policy is. Kevin’s supposed to be talking to them about returning it. This is me, not holding my breath. This is me also noticing that $170 is a lot of money to just be sitting around on my desk not working.
  • Kevin’s supposed to take the car in for inspection this year, since I’ve done it the last four or five years in a row. Who wants to bet I end up doing it again anyway…
  • My father called this morning and wanted to know if any of the data on his crashed hard drive was recoverable. This is the hard drive that they were warned by their computer was crashing, and they didn’t make backups then. I am so fucking tired of people using my husband as goddamn free tech support. I’m also fucking tired of him continuing to do it.
  • I’m also sick and tired of 5,000 bits and pieces of computer hanging around the house. Every time I say something about it, Kevin tells me he can’t ‘just throw it out.’ This does not keep Kevin from enforcing the stuffed animal ‘rule.’ Every time I get a new stuffed animal (for me, not for Jess), I have to throw one away. SIGH.
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