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Tossed Salad Friday

~~ The radio announcer said, “Additional charges cost extra.” When were they ever free?

~~ Who takes out a sticky lint brush in the waiting room of a hospital and starts rolling her clothes? She looks at no one in particular, shrugs, and says, “My cat sheds a lot.”

~~ I heard about an actor who died while performing on stage and another who passed while watching TV. These days, those departures from this mortal coil sound so civilized to me.

~~ On the subject of passings, I was very saddened by the announcement of the death of Beth Howland. She was adorable on the TV show Alice, but I adored her so in the original Company!

~~ If vegan food by definition can’t have a mouth, how is the chia pudding in the refrigerator calling my name?

~~ We all know shit happens, but for Pete’s sake, take those fetid diapers full of it outside.

~~ While we’re on the subject, here’s a tip: Should your washing machine smell foul, check for the presence of turd balls. Chances are good, if you live as I do, that you’ll find a few.

~~ The distance between my armpit and the shoulder of another who suddenly has to wash a paper plate while I’m cooking? About this much: < >.

~~ There’s nothing digestion enabling about eating dinner while someone repeatedly screams, “I’m gonna kill you… Don’t laugh, I mean it!” Unless you deem it preferable to the “Stupid. STUPID. STUUUUUUUUPID FACE!” chant that might accompany breakfast or lunch.

~~ This:

~~ Memorial Day is a somber recollection of those who sacrificed for all of us, including my husband’s Uncle Rudy. Let’s keep them all in mind on Monday, and whenever else freedom is in danger.

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Fair warning: in today’s anecdotes marine and land creatures die, suicide is implied, and my mortality is threatened. But there are some uplifting sentences, too.

~~ The lawn cutter left the backyard gate open, despite many pleas. Being too harried by half, I didn’t check before letting my dogs out. Sensing freedom, they bolted, and ran together blocks away. I discovered the open gate and ran screaming to seek them out. A driver passing by pointed me in one direction, and then another pinpointed the duo’s last known location. I’m screeching and bawling, begging for them to hear me and return. Blocks away, I find them corralled by a lovely woman. She’s keeping her kids away until I confirmed they were docile and preventing my dumbasses from getting hit by the buses and cars whizzing by. I didn’t catch her name amidst my wailing and anxiety, but rest assured I thanked her profusely.

~~ Look at these culprits — who would leave a home that makes them this comfortable, and a mom who roasts sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts just for them?

~~ Why was I too harried to check on the gate? Let me start from when I ate breakfast with poop hanging heavily in the air. Followed by returning a few hours later to be greeted by the stench of a river at very low tide. On the verge of retching, I follow my nose and quickly come upon heaps and heaps of crab frying up in my kitchen. [Insert semi-puking sounds here.] I won’t go into all the details, but know it took me three hours to reduce the marine odor to where I didn’t feel the urge to heave.

~~ At three hours plus five minutes, I heard the bang and clatter of my pots and pans emerging (new ones, as the others now filled the dishwasher). And a new stink emerged — this one of decaying animal parts cooking up in copious amounts of oil. Sausages by the carcass-load were in my non-stick pan, above a scorching high flame destined to both destroy the pan’s coating and hurl droplets of oil onto every available surface. Speaking of hurling…

There are now no more windows to be opened and no more air freshener within 25 miles, but as I saw the lawn guy pull up in front, I decided to let the dogs out fast while I inhaled some fresh air. I opened the back door and stepped out, and in a matter of seconds, I was falling backwards, narrowly avoiding striking my head on bricks. Was I that clumsy? Only if you define clumsy as slipping on an empty bottle of body wash and another of applesauce left on the back door mat by someone in the house who didn’t know where recyclables go. And thought that leaving them on the doorstep was better than asking.

~~ Was it coincidental that I soon searched online for a poem by Dorothy Parker that I’d tucked somewhere into my memory bank? I think not:
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

~~ There are good stories in the world. My friend Karen wanted me to include her story here about the honest and kind-hearted NYC cab driver named Moe who returned her money and bank cards. Way to be, Moe.

~~ I shared with some people that my son is turning 25. “Oh, to be 25 again!” one said. I chimed in that I’d like to be 25 again, but just for about a week or so. My parents were alive, I got to see my law school friends often, and gravity was a word that had no personal animus. Nevertheless, my kids didn’t exist then, and I knew so much less than I know now that I wouldn’t want to stay 25 for long. How about you?

~~ Sam is indeed 25. A smart, funny, kind man who has a lifetime of learning and loving ahead of him, and a person I’m privileged to know. Happy birthday, Sam!

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Did you know bagels were contagious? They are!

My friend Karen begged out of yoga on a Sunday, texting me that she was opting to enjoy a bagel instead. I couldn’t stop thinking about a bagel and so I had one after class. Turns out that Karen never had the bagel, but in recounting the story to Susan in another class, she said, “Oh, great, now I need to have a bagel!”

~~ I ordered the chickpea and avocado salad after confirming with the waiter that the dish was vegan. As I’m eating (and enjoying) it, I notice the lack of chickpeas. I inquire of the waiter, who goes into the kitchen and returns to announce, “When you said vegan, the kitchen confused chickpeas with chicken and so they left them off.”
~~ Seemingly regretful about the kitchen blunder, the waiter made no offer to bring me some chickpeas. Instead, he brought a brownie in a to-go tin (head-scratcher number one). The next day, when my husband opens the container to eat the brownie, he finds it swimming in what appears to be melted ice cream. That’s head scratcher number two — why not ask if I (the vegan) wanted ice cream and/or alert me to the fact that he made it à la mode so that I might refrigerate or freeze it if I wasn’t going to eat it in the car?

~~ A ultra conservative climate-change-denier (is that redundant?) on Twitter tried to ream me out for an article I published on rising seas. He got nowhere, but I did have occasion to look over some of his Twitter posts. Here’s a gem:

I was offended by Americans celebrating Cinco de Mayo but at least no one wished me “Happy holidays.”

~~ “My house is where all the boys conjugate,” she said quite clearly (and boastfully). I admit to being jealous of a home where teenage boys say, “I hang out, you hang out, he/she/it hangs out …I am hanging out, you are hanging out, he/she/it is hanging out …I was hanging out, you were hanging out, he/she/it was hanging out…”

~~ This week’s episodes from hell involved fire hazards, cesspool jeopardy, insect enticement, and more than one rousing song with lyrics such as, “Du duh duh, da dah dah dah dah IDIOT!” and “La, la, la, la, la GO TO JAIL!” I regret that I have no tales of alcohol, bigots, SWAT teams, and wallpaper peeling, but be sure to stay tuned.

~~ You didn’t think I’d ignore politics, did you?

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ As I am walking back to my car post-yoga, I spot a man exiting the liquor store carrying a bouquet of red roses and what looks like a bottle of champagne. Spontaneously (so not me) I say, “Enjoy your celebration!” He turns, says, “Wow!” then asks, “Are you a detective?” I laugh and say, “No, just psychic.”

~~ This:

~~ According to exit polling I’ve read, Trump voters don’t care who he alienates and insults, as long as he makes “good deals” and restores greatness. Interestingly, they don’t agree on when it was great before, with as many saying 2000 as 1950, but the majority agrees with Pat Buchanan, the original Ted Cruz, who seeks a return to a whiter, straighter, patriarchal USA.

~~ Buchanan, interviewed on NPR, also compared Trump favorably to Dwight Eisenhower. This has to be a giant punking of the country, right?

~~ You may think you’re relaxed, but you’ll never be Freddy on the stairs below my yoga bag relaxed:

~~ A good friend received a new knee and I’ve been trying to visit her. I came really close on Saturday, until the health aide announced, “I’m leaving.” And so she did.

~~ When it comes to aromas, I am hypersensitive. I can Princess & the Pea scents from quite a distance, but except for gasoline and other petroleum-based products, they don’t make me ill. A new aide arrived after Ms. Leaving left, and soon after, she commenced cooking an onion, tomato, meaty meal for herself. From three rooms away, I started to gag. My eyes burned and I am only slightly exaggerating when I write that the wallpaper was peeling. Tears were running down my face and I was short of breath.

I removed my contacts and doused my eyes with drops. Even after cleaning and disinfecting them overnight, the lenses singed my eyes the next morning. I had to toss them out — along with the money they cost me.

~~ In my refrigerator, there was a sealed carton of alcoholic root beer (called Not Your Father’s Root Beer). It belonged to my son and though I knew it existed, I never gave it a second thought once I moved it away from the shelves designated for the family member and the aide. Until I saw the aide chugging one while watching her patient. Shocked, I tell her that A) That’s alcohol, and B) That’s not yours to take. She replies, “It can’t be alcohol because I don’t feel buzzed.”

~~ I can’t even write about the tuna dumped on the cutting board with more onions or the incessant, atonal whistling. I just got writers’ block again.

~~ Before I go, I recommend reading this story of a middle school cast of Fiddler on the Roof who reunited many years later. It’s just a nice tale: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/25/nyregion/a-middle-school-cast-of-fiddler-on-the-roof-reunites-on-broadway.html?_r=0
Have a great weekend!


Tossed Salad Friday

~~ As this is going to get a bit lengthy, I’ll save my stories until the end and share some observations first.

~~ How is it that Spain has been without a government for five months? And why do I get blank looks when I say this to people in the U.S.?

~~ The New York Rangers broke my heart even though I saw this crash-and-burn coming miles away. I am the world’s biggest realist (with an enormous underbelly of pessimism), but when it comes to the teams I root for, I steadfastly and optimistically refuse to acknowledge the piles of excrement wearing jerseys until the bitter end.
In the case of the Rangers, the stench burned away the lining of my nose all last week, but still I tried to sniff out perfume even as it was obvious that they should reenact the Passover story and make a hasty exodus from the arena. However, if you think I learned any lesson at all, you’d be wrong.

~~ I’m laminating my woman’s card tonight in hopes it’ll get me even less than78 cents on the dollar in wages, more male politicians restricting my reproductive health, and as many women disliking me as they do Secretary Clinton.

~~ Donald Trump is either historically illiterate or tone deaf. He pontificated about “America First” as if he invented this isolationist policy, when in fact Charles Lindbergh — Nazi lover, Jew hater — espoused it in the 1930s and early 40s. Supporters who scoff at Jews bristling over Trump’s call for a banning of Muslims, certain that it will open the door to discrimination on more fronts, should refresh their knowledge of Lindbergh’s America First movement.

~~ OK, here we go with tales of just two days this week. First day: The agency calls my spouse to say the new aide won’t be coming to relieve the present aide because the new one is ill. A few hours later, a stranger is at my door. Who is she? The new aide! So I inquire if she’s sick, as the person she’s attending is elderly and frail. “What!” she yells. “You won’t let me in?” I respond that I will if she’ll just tell me whether she’s well or not. “I came from the Bronx and you won’t let me in!” she screams. Then she spots my dogs and shrieks, “You have to put them away! I’m allergic!”

I let her in and insist she stay in the kitchen until my husband shows (I called immediately). She whips out her phone and is bellowing into it. I’m shaking in frustration and a bit of fear. When my husband gets home, he has a semi-heated discussion in which the aide insists she’s not sick, despite the DayQuil he spots in her bag. That’s for allergies, she maintains, but not for dog allergies. The dogs must go, she trumpets. But she’s the one that goes.

~~ Second day: I return from morning yoga and my husband says a new aide’s come to replace the present one. She arrived a few minutes before he did, so the one aide let the other into the house. OK, cool. I’ll try to be positive in the face of so much upheaval. I bid my husband goodbye, make the acquaintance of the new aide, and sit down at the desk to work.

From my window, I see a mini school bus pull up and then three cop cars. Oh, no! I go outside, concerned. A cop approaches and I ask if all is OK. Does someone on the bus need help, and if so, whom do I call since he’s a cop?

While I question him, he stares at me, gesturing for me to move farther away from the door. He’s not answering my inquiries. Instead, he’s motioning me towards the street. Finally, he starts asking if I’m OK. What? “Are you OK?” he says for a third time. “Is there anyone inside threatening you?

What what what? By now, I am quite far from the door, and he tells me that one of my neighbors called the police to report “strange people breaking into [my] house.” Oh, now I get it! One black woman let another into my house and a white neighbor freaked.

Meanwhile, as I am reassuring the cop who’s engaging with me that there’s no one behind the door with a shotgun, my dogs run out. One promptly gets into a police car with an open door, and the other is yapping at a cop (there were four in total). A cop points at yappy Freddy and says, “That’s a giant guinea pig!”

I call and Mookie exits the car, Freddy returns to my side and the lead cop escorts me inside. Did I mention he’s so huge that his foot is longer than Mookie? I now have to state my name and date of birth (WTF? A neighbor’s a racist and I have to tell a stranger how old I am?) He asks again if I’m OK, and seemingly satisfied, he and his fellow cops depart. (Oh, yeah, about that bus. It was just turning around at the time of the SWAT team’s arrival.)

Shaking again for the second time this week — 10 times as hard as the day before — I return to my desk. Five minutes later, the massive cop returns, looking quite concerned. I go out, flabbergasted as he starts drawing me away again. “I called your neighbor to tell her what’s going on and she insists you’re still in peril.” He seems like a very nice man, so I don’t go all snotty on him. I do invite him to come in, do a thorough sweep in night vision goggles or whatever else it will take to reassure him that it’s just me, two dopey dogs, and two women who’ve done zip except commit the crime of existing while black.

He finally leaves and I make myself a cup of English Breakfast tea at two in the afternoon. Compounding that crime, I let the leaves steep an extra five minutes. Hey, bigot neighbor: call the tea police!

Have a good weekend. If you’re observing, Kalo Pascha!


Tossed Salad Friday

~~ I started writing this. I stopped writing and then started again. My nerves frayed. My days shredded. My candidate won, hallelujah! My team lost and then lost again.

~~ But I’m a writer, so I marshaled all my concentration. Well, I actually only gathered 98 percent of it — I figured I’ll just use the other two percent to check Twitter quickly before returning to my task. I saw that Prince died.

~~ The words I might have mustered up for you were consumed by a bonfire of sorrow. The ashes streamed away via the tears of a million doves.

So please have a Zissen Pesach and a good weekend. Go crazy.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ This was definitely a week for dumb things (I’m purposefully excluding Donald Trump and Ted Cruz for brevity’s sake). Like the company that wanted me to review their fashionable, slip-resistant shoes but required me to return them after I’d worn them. And the freelancer offered a continuation of her project who waited five days to respond, and then became perturbed that I’d turned elsewhere as my deadline loomed. How about the alumni president of an all-male Harvard club who defends its rule prohibiting women by boasting that it eliminates the risk of sexual misconduct? Maybe the worst is Lisa Ling’s husband, Paul Song, who called Hillary Clinton a “corporate whore” — though Ms. Ling is not responsible for her husband’s words any more than Ms. Clinton is for Bill Clinton’s actions in freeing Ms. Ling’s sister (Dr. Song’s sister-in-law) from North Korea. (By the way, dumb of you not to denounce that slur, Bernie Sanders, but instead thank the speaker.)

~~ Is this a positive book review?

~~ In the space of under five minutes, I closed an open cabinet door, cleaned an overflowing lint trap, turned off two lights, changed out a soaking wet towel, washed a filthy sponge, and mopped up a puddle. If I’d wanted to follow someone around and clean up, I’d have had more children of my own.

~~ Why would anyone, even a member of the force, want a tissue box with handcuffs? Am I missing something?

~~ “Are you married?” the man asked me. “Yes, why?” He responded that I was smiling so much I must be unencumbered. “Trust me, I rarely smile except at yoga,” I said. “But I’ve been happily married for almost 37 years.” He expressed surprise: “Wow. I didn’t make it even eight full years. But she was a real bitch.” OK, go away, please. You’re creepy and we’d all be bitches if we were married to you.

~~ One more dumb thing. I shared a kid’s story on the Boating Times’ Facebook page, and someone posted this in response:

~~ By the way, the April issue of the magazine has fun and interesting articles for non-boaters as well as boaters.

Enjoy! http://boatingtimesli.com/NY/

Have a great weekend! If you’re eligible to vote on Tuesday, please do so.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ “I’d make you some to try,” she said of a new recipe, “but it has salt in it and I didn’t know if that was vegan.” I said salt was always vegan unless the people who harvested it are killed in the process. To her credit, she laughed.

~~ I just used up the last title company freebie from my time in practice. I never understood salespeople who showed up with office supplies. Was I supposed to base the quality of my client’s home purchase and enjoyment of clean title on who gave me better paper clips?

~~ Kudos to NYC for banning smokeless tobacco at ballparks. They could dispense with legislation and enforcement and likely cure every chewer if they’d just hold up mirrors to show what they look like with the disgusting spittle and terrible teeth, but that’s my little old opinionated take.

~~ The other day, I put my legs over my shoulders like they were straps on a backpack, and then lifted up to semi-resemble a firefly. I’m not bragging about the physical achievement; I share because having the freedom to try a pose like this is why I love yoga. My brain did not dwell on stress and worry, and I was away from both the demands of others and my preconceived notion of gravity. When I’m on my yoga mat, all I have to focus on is my breathing for 75 glorious minutes.

~~ Hey Bernie Sanders, many women know what you mean when you say “not qualified.” We know that’s code for “woman” and we are sick and tired of gender (purportedly) conferring second-class status.

~~ A woman who seemed otherwise sane said she’s voting for Bernie because “he’s not a career politician like Hillary and needs a chance to get things done.” Whaaaat? He’s held elected office since 1971 and, near as I can figure, didn’t cause a progressive revolution in the past 45 years.

~~ A woman who is obviously inane is very excited about Donald Trump. She says, “He’s not one of them” and will fix what ails middle class people like her — which apparently is being 55 years old and divorced twice from husbands who didn’t pay child support. Yep, the guy who claimed to be broke when he’d divorce his wives and who thinks women her age are useless is going to make her life better. Though I wonder if it’s by withholding Western Union payments to Mexico from those in the US so he can fund his wall, or by creating an nuclear Japan, or just by kicking all Muslims (except “some good ones”) the hell out of the country.

~~ And this woman is hoping Trump will bring funerals back and stop all those flower-less cremations! https://www.facebook.com/TheYoungTurks/videos/10153552888554205/

~~ Did you see Ted Cruz at the matzah factory?

~~ For readers wondering how prison life is progressing for me, I thought I’d share a picture instead of 1,000 words:

~~ OK, also one story. I was thisclose to getting out the door to go to yoga when I’m tugged. “Come look at this. Come look at this.” It was something that could wait and nothing at all.

~~ OK, another one. Nah, I can’t. I started to type it and began to shake.

~~ Serenity now:

Have a great weekend!
GOing away soon, NY KNICKS, GO!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Yay, it’s April. To me, this day carries a lot more hope and inspiration than does January 1.

~~ My nominations for Best April Fool’s Day jokes all happened in March: Donald Trump, Susan Sarandon, and almost every GOP U.S. senator.

~~ The worst joke of all is losing Patty Duke.

~~ This week I locked into a battle of wills with my own immune system. It didn’t rally on my behalf as it should have, and as a result, the germs brought into my home took up residence in every one of my cells. I’ve been coughing, sneezing, aching, and dragging — it isn’t pretty and it certainly has not been productive.

~~ I knew I was really sick when I couldn’t find a book to read. They all seemed to have too many words.

~~ In my immune system’s defense, it’s been battered and pummeled mercilessly recently, so I can’t be all that surprised that it took a week off.

~~ Let’s see, since I last griped at you, what else is new? I know! There’s been an aide who left globs of split pea soup in my sink for unknown reasons and the one who yelled at me for not helping her though I had a contagious cold. I told her my spouse would be home in a few minutes, to which she sniped, “I want to be out of here by then!” despite it being 25 minutes before the scheduled end of her shift. Then there’s the one who arrived 110 minutes prior to her shift start and stared at me while I made breakfast. “May I get you anything?” I asked. “Oh, no,” she said. “I’m good.”

~~ You know how a watched pot is said to never boil?
Well, a washed smoothie maker takes a really long time to get clean if someone is watching you rinse it.

~~ Despite my whiny navel-gazing, I’ve been thinking a lot about the perspective of the elderly patient, drained of memories by dementia, who sees a new face caring for her every day. Who has no say in where she is, what she wears, or what she eats. I only pray that she isn’t too confused and isn’t scared by what’s happening to her mind and body.

~~ Then again, she is shielded from having to disinfect the backdoor key and doorknob after catching the aide using them while wearing the same feces-festooned gloves worn to change the diaper about to be tossed in the trash.

~~ Or hold a swaying ladder in 40+ mph winds so we could put back a part of the gutter that came loose before it tore off a section of the roof and/or broke windows. We were spectacularly unsuccessful — it did damage and may do more, but for once, the peril of the situation even worried my “No problem, I got this” spouse. He gave up and came down from the top of the tottering ladder and joined me back in the abyss.

~~ Which is just as well, because I was playing out the scenario in my mind where he flies off the ladder and I throw myself under him to cushion his landing. If one of us was going to get splattered, I’d be damned if it was going to be him taking the easy exit off this highway through hell.

~~ I really can’t wait for baseball’s regular season to commence Sunday night.
I need the pure joy that comes from millionaires playing a game in front of corporate moguls under the lights in frigid weather while continuously prying my eyes open to make it past the seventh inning. Woo-hoo!

Have a great weekend! If you’re not me, it’s practically guaranteed.
GO away already, NY KNICKS, GO!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Today there will be lots of griping about the narrow world of elder care. Skip to the part about politics towards the end if you had your fill of whining in last week’s blog (if you have no idea how my life has imploded, scroll down and read March 18’s entry).

~~ I have a great idea for a story and trot towards my computer. “Dear, do you have more body wash?” I run upstairs to get it. “Come, let me show you…” says the aide as she points out things I already know or don’t need to know. Twenty minutes later, I arrive at the computer and the idea has vanished. Poof! Just like my life and creativity.

~~ I really thought I enjoyed a broad range of music, but the Creole songs that are blasting as I write this are kind of whiny.

~~ The aide yells, “You have to wake her up earlier! She poo’ed all over herself.” Isn’t that what people do who wear diapers and need aides?

~~ Two out of the last three home health aides have been coughing and sneezing. Apparently, the health part of their title is optional.

~~ Actually, health isn’t a consideration at all. The majority of the aides are smokers, which means I am regressing to that child/teenage state where my mom and grandma both puffed away night and day and my stomach turned over and over. I can’t abide the smell, and though they seem to smoke only outside, the stench is pervasive inside.

~~ “You’re going to give her cold cuts for dinner?” one aide asked my husband quite archly. I was hoping he wouldn’t be mollified by her faux nutrition expertise; the aide ate a large bag of store-brand Doritos and drank a big bottle of Pepsi for lunch.

~~ The family member gives me that same cold glare I’ve been getting since Jimmy Carter was president. Since most of her recollection seems to have vanished, I may be ready to attribute it to a form of chronic resting bitch face.
~~ First-year psychiatry patients would probably have a field day with what I’ve shared today.

~~ A yoga-friend told me about her grandfather with dementia and PTSD dating back to WWII. Once he took all the shiny balls off the family Christmas tree and hurled them at the neighbor’s house, yelling “Die, Nazis!” and lots of profanities. “Be grateful your [family member] isn’t mobile,” she says.

~~ Do Trump voters actually think soulless cretins who indiscriminately murder people while blowing themselves up will crawl back into the motherless wombs from which they were hatched if Mr. Huuuuuge is elected? Their candidate scares the hell out of me, but I’d venture a guess he’d be nothing more than an ISIS recruiter if he won.

~~ A young Bernie Sanders voter tried to “educate” me about how he was a “better Democrat” than HRC. When I asked if he realized Bernie just recently became a Democrat and has never engaged in down-ticket fundraising for other Democrats, his retort was laughable but ignorant: “You’re wrong. He was always a Democrat, but he just didn’t want to waste his time going to party functions.”

~~ I couldn’t believe that Paul Ryan Is this the little girl I carried, is this the little boy at play? and that afterwards Charles Grassley I don't remember growing older, when did they? but it seems the Supreme Court Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the days…     Obviously, a request was made for the Fiddler on the Roof CD, and I cannot focus on anything because of the noise four rooms away. If I were a rich man…

Have a great weekend! If you’re celebrating Easter, have a blessed and peaceful holiday.



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