BOSTON STRONG: I LOVE THAT DIRTY WATER

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Posted on 15-04-2014 | Posted in Random Rage

Comments: 2

This is the post I wrote last year a day after the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon. In this past year, I have been in awe of the strength and courage the victims have shown. The outpouring of love and support from Boston and beyond has been tremendous, yet not surprising. Boston was shown unspeakable hate a year ago, and responded with something far more powerful: love. The message is clear. You don’t mess with Boston. I’m keeping the victims of that day in my heart, especially little Martin Richard, whose big, toothy grin, reminds me so much of my oldest son. God bless this town, and all who keep it safe.

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There is likely nothing I can say about the horror show at the Boston Marathon yesterday that hasn’t been said already.

I was born in Boston. I grew up not twenty miles outside Boston. Raised by two Bostonians, one of whom was a Boston police detective, who was the son of a Boston Police Captain. I lived in the city as an adult. And so it has been for my family, and for me, our home for generations, even though I have since moved some fifty miles north.

Like so many, I have dear friends who ran the race yesterday. Who worked tirelessly to train for what was supposed to be a joyous event. And who are thankfully alive and well, as are their families.

Like so many, I have children of my own.

And so somehow, this all feels very personal. As it should. We should all take it personally, that someone would assault and terrorize our friends, families, fellow citizens, beloved guests from America and abroad, in our city, state, and country.

I don’t know what will happen in a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, two years, five years, fifty years. And yes, that scares the hell out of me. But I do know this. You do not mess with a city like Boston. Boston is Paul Revere and a midnight ride. It’s six generations Brahmin. Four generation Irish. One generation Cape Verdean. And everything in between and back again. It’s Regina and Santarps– the best pizza in the world. (Sorry, New York.) It is cold tea in Chinatown at 2 AM. It’s college transplants who come, fall in love, and never leave. It’s doctors, cops, bartenders. It’s bad accents we love to hate and hate to love. And Dunkin’ Donuts. On ever corner. (Really.) It’s Filene’s Basement (RIP) and the Pru. Triple deckers and brownstones. Universities and hospitals. Boston is wicked smaht. Just asked Donnie Wahlberg.

Boston doesn’t bow to queens. Or crazies. And definitely not to terrorists.

Boston is grit and determination. Boston is courage. Boston is PRIDE.

Boston is the Marathon. It’s Uta Pippig. Bobby Orr. Larry Bird. Doug Flutie. “Manny Ortiz”. Ted Williams. Boston is The Garden. Fenway. The Red Sox.

It’s the ghosts of yesterday and the promise of today.

Boston was cursed once. It won’t be cursed twice.

That is one thing I do know.

I love that dirty water, don’t you?

 

PHOTO CREDIT: www.kimworld.com

 

LET’S CONNECT ON LINKEDIN… RANDOM MAN WHOSE CONDO I RENTED IN HILTON HEAD!

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Posted on 27-03-2014 | Posted in Awesomeness, OH &^%$!!, Uncategorized

Comments: 17

I knew I should have just stuck to shiny! pretty! sparkly! Pinterest. But I tried to play with the big kids and now, 600 people who have ever been linked even tangentially to me or my email account, have been invited by moi to “connect” on LinkedIn. One errant click of a button is all it took and now I am connected to law students, nurse managers, and police officers from here to Chicago and back! Every time I open my email I cringe, wondering which virtual stranger is my new LinkedIn bestie.

Within minutes, I received a polite email from the gentleman whose condo we are renting this summer in Hilton Head….”I’m sorry Janet, but I can’t connect with you on LinkedIn. I retired in 2010 and I’m not sure why LinkedIn hasn’t deleted my account.”

OHMAHGAWD. I hope the key code to get into the joint works once we haul ass all the way to South Carolina from New Hampshire! Don’t worry, sir, I won’t be hosting any soirees for strangers in your retirement nest egg with Dawn from Chicago and Bill from Ohio. You know how LinkedIn people bring THE PARTY. I wants my security deposit back!

Just got this email from the room mother from my middle’s class, “Hey Janet! I don’t do linked in but my hubby does. I’ll make sure he sees this. Thanks!”

No–cries inside–thank you for being so nice and not realizing what a cuckoo I am!!! I’m dying. DYING. And now I’m wondering if all the parents in oldest’s class are getting requests because I am the room mom! You send in that donation for the Family Fun Night or you WILL get more LinkedIn requests, people, okay? (I think this is an abuse of power! I am totally getting kicked out of the PTA!)

Frankly, I AM a little pissed HGTV rejected my request to connect. Ditto for you, Lumber Liquidators. Where’s the loyalty?

THE WORST PART IS I DID THIS STONE COLD SOBER. I SWEAR! I SWEAR ON MY LINKEDIN ACCOUNT!

THE WORST PART IS I DID THIS STONE COLD SOBER. I SWEAR! I SWEAR ON MY LINKEDIN ACCOUNT!

No really, the worst part? Is the people I sort of know like the room mommy. Little league coaches? A friend’s husband from town who I’ve met like 1.5 times? OHGODOHNO did my kids’ principal get one???? The parish priest?  The town hooker? (Ok, there is no town hooker, but if there was—oh yeah, I would have totally requested her!) Now I’m left to wonder—who is going to see me in frozen foods and think, “Why did you contact my husband/wife/great Aunt/stepcousin on LinkedIn, ya freakshow!?!”

My friend texted me about something right after LinkedInGate2014 so I had to fill her in and she texts back, “So funny—Adam just said to me, why does Janet want to be friends on LinkedIn—he wants to know did this go out to all your email friends or just him!” I replied, “Just him. #winkwink But wait, does he want to go shoe shopping tomorrow?”

She replies, “Ha ha ha! I love you!” and I’m like, “Yeah, so do 600 people on LinkedIn!”

When hubs got home from work, I felt compelled to confess my blunder–fully expecting him to be all, “What’s LinkedIn?” and shrug his shoulders. Instead he says a little too loudly for MY liking, “Oh, I know! I got like 5 requests from you–so annoying! You know, people make mistakes like that and get FIRED from their jobs!”

WHAT!

OH shit, husband, I am going to lose my huge ass job here at Casa de Muffin Top. Who will be in charge of arse wiping now? Please don’t report me to HR.

I might send him five more requests today. You will connect with me, husband! YOU WILL!!!

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MY LOSING ERMA BOMBECK ESSAY! OR, HOW A BEEFCAKE MIGHT KILL MY ARSE.

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Posted on 16-03-2014 | Posted in Uncategorized

Comments: 8

I’m officially 0 for 3 in the Erma Bombeck Humor Writers Essay contest. The contest takes place every other year. And every other year, I lose! No fame, no fortune, no moula!!! Just $45 smackers down the tubes that I could have used to save the children or buy two 30 packs and a bag of popcorn. Really. When will I learn???????? Now that we’re at a balmy 30 in mid-March, I really need to start DIY’ing again sniffing paint. I do think it’s a better use of my time. Until then? Enjoy (??) my loser entry!

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LET'S GET PHYSICAL. I'LL FALL OFF THE TREADMILL WHILE YOU CALL FOR A HOT PARAMEDIC. AND.....GO!

LET’S GET PHYSICAL. I’LL FALL OFF THE TREADMILL WHILE YOU CALL FOR A HOT PARAMEDIC. AND…..GO!

I gained 8500 pounds over Christmas, so I had to do something. Even my “yoga” pants were cutting off my circulation, and I figured it would humiliate my kids if I showed up to carpool in pajama jeans. Again.

I’d done the gym thing before. I was in no mood to put myself on display in front of buff twenty somethings or worse—dads I knew from town—huffing and puffing in my extra grande pants. No way. And have you ever tried to extricate yourself from a gym membership? It would be easier to face down Don Corleone. Forget about it. There’s no way out. No, this time I was doing it at home with the blinds shut—no little league coach or chipmunk was gonna see me sweat.  Two clicks is all it took—the reviews on Amazon from chubby strangers seemed promising and I could receive my workout DVD’s in only two days!

I felt smug with my game plan once I got past the instructor with the bulging biceps, shellacked hair, and blinding teeth—he reminded me of a stalker on a bad Lifetime movie, shouting, “Hurt me..ow, ow!” and “Oh yeah, that’s nice!”

You know what’s nice, stalker? Breathing. And restraining orders.

I gotta be honest, though. My goal at first was simply not to die. Not to leave my kids motherless. But, if the worst did occur, I hoped and prayed my husband would marry again. To a loving woman less attractive and fatter than I, with no sense of humor. As I considered which tight pants to slap on for my first workout, my mind wandered—I could almost hear my peers whispering at a PTA coffee:

“Oh that second wife is nice, but she’s no hilarious/cute/pleasantly plump gal like the first wife. It’s a shame that Lifetime beefcake killed her!”

“Shut up! He really was a stalker?”

“No! She dropped dead doing Pilates!”

Later, this seemed more plausible as I stood with my hands pressed to the floor, face down, arms shaking, screaming inside, promising that I would never touch a glass of wine again as I’m certain I felt my brain pressed against my skull.

Suddenly, I found myself surrounded—by an aggressive, pint sized wolf pack. Attacked from within!

“Mom! You’re doing it wrong!”

“Leg up, mom! Your arm is supposed to be over there!”

Just then, I felt a tug on my airborne ankle—and boom—I’m sacked by a five year old Vince Wilfork wannabe. But! My chub saved me from certain injury!

Oh, you had your chance, kids. I’m ordering more pajama jeans. In every, single color.

A VALENTINE’S DAY TRADITION—AN ODE TO THE HUBS!

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Posted on 14-02-2014 | Posted in Uncategorized

Comments: 3

Happy Valentine’s Day, Muffintoppers! It’s getting to be tradition here—time for my annual ode to the hubs. Cheers!
NO, NO, NO, NO, NOOOOOO. Just, NO!!!!!!

 

Roses are red.
Violets are not.
Bringing me flowers on V Day
Just ain’t that hot.
Lemme sleep in,
Take the kids at witching hour.
Bring me some gin.
But keep yo damn flower!
A sweater, a scarf, even a purse I can do.
Of course, you know me likie shoes, too.
And don’t spend 8 grand on some huge sappy card,
Just say I love you–don’t make it that hard.
Save your cashola to feed the muffin top.
Some seafood or steak?
But please , no lamb chops. (BAA!)
If you show with even one stinking rose,
I swear to God I’m gonna break your nose.
Oy, do you know the mark up on V Day?
And seriously, could it be any more cliche?
If you really want me to swoon?
                     
Bring me a 12 pack some random day in June!
The only “Buds” I wanna see from my man?
Come in a lovely glass bottle or can.
Oh, don’t be afraid–I’m not starting a fight.
You always *mostly* get it just right.
And if you can’t find that perfect gift for me?
I know of one that is perfectly free!
You can *for once* just replace the TP!                                                 
It’s already bought and wrapped in clear plastic!
It’s so super soft and perfectly round.
Under the sink is where it is found.
And when you need it, it sure is fantastic.
What? I’m not even being sarcastic!
I love you, dear.
I love you so much.
You’ve nothing to fear.
Your gifts, always clutch.
If my demands seem mean or even nasty,
You knew when we married
I’d be bringing some sassy!
I must confesss now, I don’t care what you do          
As long as you read this and still love me, too!
 
 
Well, ladies? What say you?
 

 

10 THINGS FOR MOM TO DO ON A SNOW DAY

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Posted on 13-02-2014 | Posted in Uncategorized

Comments: 6

1. Google hypothyroidism and hope you have it. I feel tired! I’ve gained weight! My face IS puffy! 

2. Shop online for swimsuits that you know will fit better once you get your thyroid in check and the three thousand feet of snow melts!

3. Open the hall closet and vow today will be the day you finally organize it. Walk away.

4. Go back to closet and hide with coffee and Oreos while a melee ensues in family room during Wii u.

5. Twist ankle in closet on weights you would be using if you didn’t have an obvious thyroid condition.

6. Limp to unload dishwasher and realize you forgot to run it last night. See! My hypothyroidism is making me forgetful! Or was it the vino? Wait.

7. Text your friends to see if they want to come over for a playdate happy hour.

8. Answer the door, invite your friends in, don’t hang their coats in the closet because it’s a mess covered in Oreo crumbs and coffee splatter, and explain to them over a random assortment of party snacks you had in the house that you have a thyroid problem.

9. Google hypothyroidism and show them your awesome WebMD’ing.

10. Drink more wine and call endocrinologist to see if they offer group discounts. Indignantly shout, “NO! This isn’t a joke!” when they challenge you, and tell them,  ”Then we’re happy to book with the place I saw on Groupon that comes with a free trip to Mexico!”

JUAREZ HERE WE COME!

JUAREZ HERE WE COME!

NO SEW UPHOLSTERY SPORTS CHAIR? DON’T MIND IF I DO!

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Posted on 05-02-2014 | Posted in MUFFINTOP DIY, Uncategorized

Comments: -

Last year I bought a very well loved (aka grungry) kick butt Ethan Allen French Country arm chair with ottoman. You can read the post here. For multiple before pics, please visit the original post.

Here is the after:

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WHAT CAN I SAY? IT WAS MID WINTER IN THE FROZEN TUNDRA AND I LIKE COLOR!

Here is the chair a year later, after I painted and rearranged the room:

SEE HOW DIFFERENT THE PALER BACKDROP MAKES THIS CHAIR SEEM, BTW?

SEE HOW DIFFERENT THE PALER BACKDROP MAKES THIS CHAIR SEEM, BTW?

And we are sidewards again! My point in posting the chair a year later is that every DIY project can look great when you finish, but you have to wonder how some of the “Pinterest” pins or blog post projects hold up? How do you know that shitz doesn’t all fall apart once the shot it taken?!! The chair has held up very well over the past year I think, considering that I flop in it every, single day with my unskinnay bod-aaay, it’s had kids jumping on it, off it, around it, and, because of the way I did it (as in, not at all correctly!), I cannot flip the cushions! OH MY. My small investment is crazy comfy and has served me well as I’ve slurped many a coffee and beer on it while I check Facebook or read a classic piece of literature People mag.

I had originally planned to get it professionally reupholstered and then…dun, dun, dun, our dishwasher kicked the bucket. Poverty (all right, I’m embellishing but you know what I mean!) breeds inspiration, and so I thought I’d take a stab at redoing it myself! Shazam!

Since then, I’ve gotten emboldened to try other upholstery projects. This fall the plan was to big boy up the bedroom my middle and youngest share. Enter the ugly ass $7 chair. Hubs woudn’t touch it. Deemed it “disgusting”. Made THE FACE. At me! ME! Prima. Donna.

IT ACTUALLY WAS PRETTY GROSS!

IT ACTUALLY WAS PRETTY GROSS!

The random, grungy corduroy, the dirty arms, and the flipping tacks that I had to take out one by one–owww! I can understand why someone would doubt my skillz. I only bled a little (hear me roar!), I washed the hell out of the wood with Murphy Oil soap, primed and painted it in a lovely Benjamin Moore red I had left over from my son’s desk project, and then, had the idea to reupholster it in Red Sox material. I found this awesome fleecy Red Sox fabric that I thought would be forgiving and soft–and it is. Bonus, it was only $11 bucks a yard! You can get this material in other Major League baseball teams but not sure why you’d want to!? (I’m waiting for Big Papi to call me with his order. Cue up Blondie, “Call meeeee! Call me any, any, any-timeeeeee! Call ME!!!”) Who needs PR people? I got this! (No.)

Here are some after shots:

OK, WORDPRESS IS TRYING TO RATTLE ME WITH ALL THESE SIDEWARD PICS. WON'T WORK, WP--KEEP TRYING!!!

OK, WORDPRESS IS TRYING TO RATTLE ME WITH ALL THESE SIDEWARD PICS. WON’T WORK, WP–KEEP TRYING!!!

 

WE'RE FRONTWARDS. #DANCESJIG

WE’RE FRONTWARDS. #DANCESJIG

For a total cost of less than $20, I’ll take it. It’s a perfect size for the corner of the room, and could easily transition to a rec room or family room if future plans change. It’s an awesome spot to read a book, or, if I’m being honest, drop a pile of folded laundry til I can put it away! I will say that reupholstering a chair is not difficult–this chair was 800 times easier than the French chair because of it’s size, in part, but mostly because there were no cushions that detach to contend with. I took the old fabric off carefully, used it to make a template and traced it onto the new fabric, and stapled—that is IT. It’s like putting a puzzle back together–after you see how it comes apart, you can see how it will all go back together again. Honestly. That is IT. If you had staples showing, and you don’t know how to sew upholstery welting, aka, piping, like moi, you can hot glue gimp like I did on the French chair–and you can see how I did that in that post–sew easy! (Sorry.)

Dare to think outside the chair–you can’t buy something like this at the store, and any chair that you can buy, is at least a few hundred bucks. 

After I did this chair, naturally oldest bro was all, “What about a chair for MY room!” Fair enough. He was over the blue gingham glider in his room. I took to my beloved Craigslist to find an appropriately sized chair and boom—$19 (I know, random price and now that I think of it I handed the woman $20 and she did not give me mah dollah–but I was in no mood for a tete a tete in her random garage in the sticks–know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em, people!).  $19 was a steal for this vintage, caned chair. It is SO COMFY. It was a pecan colored wood and slightly beat, with a 70′s gold velourish type material. AND THERE ARE NO BEFORE PICS THANKS TO TOILETTE IPHONEGATE OF 2013. I’M NOT BITTER, SON!

This chair took some brute strengh to take apart, and it was tufted so BUTTONS, ALL THE BUTTONS, dude. I was not gonna rebutton it. No way. I spray painted this chair in a high gloss red paint and primer combo—likey! I thought that woud be the best way to cover the caning and it didn’t disappoint. Love the gloss. Here are some after shots. To be different, I did this chair in similar fleecy material, but chose Patriot’s instead of The Sox to mix it up. (Brady? Call me. How perfect would it be to sit in this chair and read Jinxelle bed time stories in your Uggs. Check it! Ya think Manning has a cool chair like this, Brady? Um, no.)

I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY. SIDEWARDS!!!

I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY. SIDEWARDS!!!

 

SIDE VIEW

SIDE VIEW–THAT CANING. MUAH!

Here’s a brighter pic! ( I LOVE FOTOGRAFY–ha ha ha.)

I'm bright! I'm upright! Jazz hands! Woo!

I’m bright! I’m upright! Jazz hands! Woo!

Check out the curves and the legs–oh my! Flutter!

That’s it, peeps—I’m living the DIY dream!

From shizz to shine, all on a dime.

I gots to save mah money for fun shoes and wine! 

And remember, dare to think outside the chair! What do you have to lose? (Besides some blood and burnt skin. Wo-man up!)

 

 

 

 

 

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THE ONLY SECRETARY I’LL EVER HAVE—VIVA THE FLIP TOP DESK

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Posted on 29-01-2014 | Posted in MUFFINTOP DIY, Uncategorized

Comments: 5

Who wouldn’t love a secretary?

“I’m terribly sorry, Muffintopmommy cannot come to the phone right now, she is rather busy watching the Biebs burst into flames, whilst snacking on a Pop Tart. May I take a message and she will return your call when Real Housewives is over and the keg has runneth dry?”

Dreams are free people, come on! Come fly with me—-it’s one degree out and life is too short!

Ahem….if you can’t afford a real, live secretary…..tada! How about a flip top desk aka secretary? A year ago, the husband and I decided to paint our family room—when I looked at the gold I’d chosen years earlier, a French’s mustard nightmare is all I saw. What was I thinking? Add those walls to the list of personal and societal transgressions—pegged pants, banana clips, Caillou…need I go on??? This of course set off the inevitable chain of decorating and DIY events. One thing we despised about our family room were two indentations, roughly three feet wide, on either side of the fireplace. Total wasted, awkward space; they screamed for built ins. Finally, we decided to get a quote. And….nooooo. Moneymoneymoneymoneeeeee! Thanks for playing…..If only these pesky kids didn’t need to eat all the time.

Type B, Plan B. Craigslist ho’ing. I love the lines of the old secretary desks, and just like the sideboards, they are as sturdy and practical as they are beautiful. Dood! More drawers to hide stuff in style—I’m all in. I wanted one with a serpentine aka curvy front for added interest, and I held out until I found the right deal. Scored one for $75, solid cherry, Dovetail drawers, a little banged up but overall a solid piece. Due to the unfortunate 6 year old dumping my phone in the toilette incident of 2013, I do not have any before or during pics (but I do have eyewitnesses who saw me painting in the driveway!). This is a different one currently for sale on the CL, and is roughly what it looked like prior:

Behold...a facsimile!

Behold…a facsimile!

And…..after:

Cue up Stevie Wonder..."Isn't she loveeeely...."

Cue up Stevie Wonder…”Isn’t she loveeeely….”

Why are my pictures sidewards again???????? *puts down Pop Tart to investigate…..

Here you can see the indentation of which I speak and see how great the secretary fits in!

Here you can see the indentation of which I speak and see how great the secretary fits in!

*finishes Pop Tart….yeah, I still don’t know….*&^% Too bad I don’t have a secretary to ask! Damn!

Anyway, this is how the DIY went down….I painted the drawers and the outside of the piece in Annie Sloan chalk paint in old white, distressed it lightly, and added a coat of clear wax and a coat of dark wax, just like the demilune shaped sideboard in my last post. The biggest benefit to using Annie Sloan paint is that you don’t have to prime first. However, in this instance, because it was a reddish toned wood to start, I found with the old white it needed one more coat than usual—I did experience some reddish bleed through. Something to keep in mind if you’re doing a similar project.

Also, Annie Sloan paint dries to a flat finish, and that’s why you add the wax step after painting—the wax protects the piece, but it also adds a lovely silky feeling to the finish. As for distressing, that’s totally a personal preference. Some hate it, some love it. I like it but try to limit it to places on the piece that might have naturally worn away over time. On this piece I chose to keep the hardware because it’s classic and I really can’t imagine any other hardware on it. I painted right over the hardware and distressed that in places as well, and I do like how it turned out. You could always unscrew the hardware and spray paint it if you wanted a different look for a minimal price, as I did with the demilune.

Here is the finish up close...

Here is the finish up close…

I kept the inside of the secretary in the cherry finish because it was in decent shape and it cleaned up well with a coat of Restor-A-Finish. It could probably use another coat as it’s been several months. And check out the cool compartments inside the flip top! You invest in a piece like this and it can truly perform so many functions—it could be used as a writing desk, a lovely addition to a dining room to store dishes, or even a bedroom piece. If you had an old school bathroom, you could use it to store linens. I have a feeling my little secretary friend will serve me well for years, even if we wind up moving from the house with the awkward indentations some day!

Annnd....we're sidewards again. Have you been drinking?

Annnd….we’re sidewards again. Have you been drinking?

AGGH! For now, my little workhorse can house stuff like this…

It was no Trouble to finish this....I'm not Sorry I bought it...(I'll regret this like the French's mustard paint, won't I? Badum dum...)

It was no Trouble to finish this….I’m not Sorry I bought it…(I’ll regret this like the French’s mustard paint, won’t I? Badum dum…)

photo-41

I should really hide some top secret shiz in here….

I'm not gonna lie..I'm digging the two tone....

I’m not gonna lie..I’m digging the two tone….

As you can see, it is not perfect. And that’s okay— just like C is for cookie, it’s good enough for me! I’ve already found Lego’s and Beyblades bouncing around in there, so until the Queen of England comes to stay, we are good! (And even then? Pfft. What has she done for me lately?!!)

So that’s it—–if I can do it? You can too. Any questions before I go get my Bravo TV on?????

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