I have been ogled … Googled!

I wish someone was ogling me. What? It could happen. Actually, I did get ogled this past weekend … quite blatantly actually. I didn’t mind. I do my fair share of admiring the assets of the opposite sex.

“Flirting is a woman’s trait. One must keep in practice.” ~Becoming Jane, Film (2007)

Ogling aside: I have been Googled!!! No … I didn’t Google myself (although I do on a regular basis). Like many bloggers I take a peak at my statistics (the comings and goings on my blog) from time to time. I do not obsess over them, but I do look. It is advisable to do so. It was here, hidden in my page of statistics, where I discovered that some kind soul in Norman, OK hopped over to Google and typed, “‘Beth Taggard’ Poetry” in the search engine. This is the first time someone was directed to my scribblings by typing in my actual name instead of “Living a Quotable Life” or some other random search that somehow directs them to my site. I am pretty excited about it. I wonder if I know this person in Oklahoma. Hmmmm?

It is pretty interesting to see what type of searches lead to my page. Do the rest of you look at these statistics from time to time and wonder, “How the hell ….?”

Here is a random sampling of searches that have led to my blog:

“hello my my little chick a dee”
“living a life without mirrors”
“quotes on underestimating children”
“prince ramses solo naked”
“what celebrities live in arkansas”
“fat girl on a bike”
“author of waking & dreaming”
“quotes for playground swings”
“quotable puck shakespeare”
“ladies tea time scripture”
“where does ryunosuke satoro come from”
“greatest female sports movie”
“living life with capital letters”

Bizarre! Seriously!

My most popular blog entry (according to my trusty statistics) can be found here. Go figure it is about LOVE. Most of my hits come from a search that leads to this page … once I subtract my regular readers from the equation. I love you by the way. My regular readers. I really, really do love you.

Have you Googled yourself recently? No? You should!

“So what does Google have to say about you? If you don't know, you'd better find out. Those skeletons in your closet may not be as hidden as you think. Or worse yet, you may have someone else's skeletons!” ~David Teten, Donna Fisher & Scott Allen @ About.com


Why haven’t I done this before? I have lived in this state for … well, for far too long now … and I have never, ever, ever, ever attended Riverfest in Little Rock before. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. My experiences this weekend almost … ALMOST … make living here tolerable (nothing against Arkansas in particular, I tend to be discontent anywhere in the USA). I came to some realizations over the last three days as well: some serious, some shallow and some just plain silly. Lucky for you – I’m willing to share!!

  • Live performances from Huey Lewis & the News, Saving Abel, Better Than Ezra, One Republic, .38 Special and ZZ Top make for one hell of a fabulous weekend.
  • Shoes. Important they are. Before you spend an entire day walking to and fro throughout the festivities of such an event ... make sure your shoes really are comfortable. Thinking they will be comfortable doesn't cut it. You have to KNOW!
  • I have now affirmed that I will most willingly walk ANYWHERE barefoot ... even in downtown Little Rock, AR without care or shame.
  • There really are attractive, single, successful men in Arkansas. They exist!! Who knew? I just live in the wrong town. For that matter ... there is an unusually high percentage of super hot police officers in Little Rock. Seriously. Still ...
  • In a crowded room or a mob of 10,000 people (different night than the 25,000 people) I am still drawn to men that ... inevitably ... are not American. It is a gift. My friends think I have some internal aversion to men born & raised in this country. 'Tis possible. Let me take this moment to extend my gratitude to Lars from Norway who lives in Dallas. Dude! Thanks for boosting this girl's ego.

"After centuries of men looking at my tits instead of my eyes and pinching my ass instead of shaking my hand, I now have the divine right to stare at a man's backside with vulgar, cheap appreciation if I want to." ~P.S. I Love You, Film (2007)

  • My body CAN NOT remain still during great live music. It is physically impossible for me not to move!
  • I am still 100% capable of making a complete and unmitigated ass out of myself. Thankfully, those occasions are extremely rare.
  • Do you have any idea how difficult it is to send a text message or make a cell phone call when you are enveloped in a crowd of .... oh, I don't know ... 25,000 people or so and practically every single one of those individuals also has a cell phone and is trying to do the same thing you are trying to do .. simultaneously? Nigh impossible!
  • I have great friends. They are young .... "Huey Lewis who?" ... but they are great.
  • Driving back and forth from Arkadelphia to Little Rock three times in three days is bloody tedious. It is a distance of approximately an hour (75-ish miles) one way. Two hours round trip. People drive this commute for work every day. Idiots.
  • Deep Fried Oreos!!! Sound gross? Yeah? I thought so too. Yummy. Very yummy ... and I am not a big Oreo fan. Yummy!
  • I will never lose my gift for blatantly making fun of stupidly dressed people. Honestly, do these people look in the mirror before they leave the house? Who told them they looked good? I'm not a fashionista or anything, but dang it! Should I talk about the seriously overweight & sweaty behemoth of a woman in the sheer (as in see through) sundress with no bra and massive granny pannies? Did you get the visual? Good ... then I don't have to talk about her.
  • I have this snug t-shirt that I bought for a whopping $3 at Wal-Mart that has Jim Morrison on the front in psychedelic colors. People LOVE that shirt.
  • I really, really, really will talk to ANYBODY!
  • Bottled water is a hot commodity when stuck in aforementioned multitudes of people in 95ºF weather and 100% humidity.
  • I should take chances more often.

"What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?" ~Logan Pearsall Smith, American Writer

  • IHOP or Waffle House? One of life's great conundrums. It is now right up there with: Coke or Pepsi? Captain Kirk or Captain Picard? Chicken or Egg? Regular or Extra Crispy? Yeah - we were stopped in the street on Friday night by an intoxicated group of individuals who asked us to clear up that first question for them ... to assist them in making their collective decision. Ironic that we ended up with the same quandary on Sunday night ... or 1am Monday morning.
  • It is possible to navigate through the melee of vehicles in downtown traffic and avoid the inevitable task of sitting in lines for hours at a time if one only uses a little imagination and dodges the traditional exit paths taken by the rest of the madness ... like alleys.
  • Main Street Bridge over the Arkansas River is approximately 1/2 mile ... as is the walking bridge and the Broadway Street Bridge or any other bridge over said body of water. Needless, to say - I walked at least 4 miles JUST in crossing back and forth over bridges this weekend. That doesn't count the rest of the time my feet were moving.
  • Overheard conversation ...
    Woman: "That's the cleanest porta-potty I've ever been in!!!" (Loudly)
    Husband: "Dear, I wouldn't brag about that if I were you."
  • I still don't embarrass easily.

I have more. Wow! I could go on and on and on ... I won't, but I could. I hope everyone ... ya'll ... all ya'll (my attempt there at embracing where I live) ... had a good weekend as well.


How was my weekend? Thanks for asking! Let me tell you:

Friday Night
1. Pick up my dudes from school
2. Drive 30 minutes to Hot Springs (closest movie theater)
3. Catch last matinee of ‘Prince Caspian’
4. Impromptu dinner at IHOP (International House of Pancakes)
5. Drive 30 minutes back home
6. Watch ‘Moonlight’ with oldest child
7. Sleep

1. Nothing. Seriously. I was a total slug (minus the slime and aversion to salt).

1. Awaken much earlier then God intended for mankind
2. Drive 4 hours to Dallas, TX with youngest child and fellow futbol fanatic
3. Lunch at random Latin grill (name escapes me at moment)
4. Hanging out at Pizza Hut Park (FC Dallas home stadium) in 95ºF heat for an hour and a half people watching and taking pictures during team warm ups
5. Absolutely RELIGIOUS experience at MLS (Major League Soccer) match watching LA Galaxy thrash FC Dallas

"FRISCO, Texas -- Edson Buddle scored two goals in a four-goal burst in 15 minutes in the first half, then completed his hat trick with a late finale as the Los Angeles Galaxy routed FC Dallas 5-1 at Pizza Hut Park on Sunday afternoon." ~Steve Hunt, MLSnet.comStaff (Fully Story)

6. Drive 4 hours home with scorching sunburn vowing to throw out the sunscreen that obviously had no purpose
7. Crash … as in sleep

How was your weekend?

The One Ring

I know it is hard to believe, due to my penchant for English Literature and blatant worship of J.R.R. Tolkien, but the title of this particular post is not an homage to Middle Earth, Frodo, Gollum or Sauron. That would be The Lord of the Rings for all you people out there who do not read (for shame) or have been living under a rock in recent years and missed out on the movie. Yes, movie. It is one movie. Just as the books were originally written as one work and forced into three novels by the publisher … the film is one movie. It just has three installments. Oi! I digress.

No, I am more concerned with the one ring that all married men (traditionally in the U.S.) should wear. Notice I said “should” wear. There is a growing trend of married men in this country who simply never wear a ring and this does not include the scumbags who usually wear one and take it off when they are out trolling for new blood. Apparently a lot of husbands are simply opting out of this one tradition.

“It's a dangerous business going out your front door.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Riddle me this: How the hell are us single girls supposed to differentiate between the married and the unmarried if we do not have a tell tale sign … like the ring to help guide us along the way?

I don’t particularly want the first three words of every new conversation I have with a man to begin with, “Are you married?”

Have you seen the film 'P.S. I Love You'? No? Well, I'm about to turn into Lisa Kudrow's character (Denise) in that movie. Here is an example of how she handles the dating scene.

{Denise walks up to a man.}
Denise: Are you single?
Guy: Yes
Denise: Are you gay?
Guy: Yes
{Denise walks away.}
[A few frames later ...]
{Denise walks up to another man.}
Denise: Are you single?
Ted: Yes
Denise: Are you gay?
Ted: No
Denise: Are you working?
Ted: No
{Denise walks away.}

This sort of scene appears several times throughout the film. Yeah ... that's about to be me.

Fortune Follies

“Happiness is a Chinese meal; sorrow is a nourishment forever.” ~Carolyn Kizer

Chinese food. It is a favorite in this family. Both of my boys would rather dine on chicken and broccoli or egg drop soup than chicken nuggets or a hamburger. Me? Well, I am all for any type of cuisine considered ethnic: Indian, Ethiopian, Thai, Chinese, Mexican … food that has flavor. American food (with the exception of biscuits and gravy) bores me. Since Arkadelphia is sadly lacking in dining options, Chinese is the cuisine of choice when I give my little people the choice of eating in or going out. I do not mind. Although, I have yet to wrap my brain around the concept of the fortune cookie. What bored individual came to the conclusion that Americans need nasty, tasteless, pre-packaged cookie-type objects at the end of the meal? And yet – I still read mine. Who doesn’t? My children, in particular, love them. They eat the things too {{shudder}} and more often then not something interesting happens at the table because of the silly little things (the cookies ….. and my children).

It could possibly be some sort of curse to give birth to brilliant, funny, and quick-witted kids. Someday, somehow, I have got to learn to stop underestimating them. Seriously.

Take, for instance, my oldest child (Big K) and what I have come to call his ‘Fortune Follies’ because of the laughter and giggles that inevitably follow the opening of a fortune cookie.

Follie #1
We had just finished a decent meal and here came the check and, of course, the cookies. Little K (age 7) read his now forgettable fortune along with the ‘learn Chinese’ vocabulary and lucky numbers on the back. I gave up trying to stop my kids from reading everything on that tiny strip of paper a long time ago. Big K (age 12) also read his fortune and the lucky numbers and yadda, yadda, yadda. Then, inevitably, it was my turn and I was staring at two eager faces waiting …. waiting. I read my fortune aloud not anticipating what would happen next.

Me (in my most awe inspiring fortune cookie reading voice): “Winds of change are sure to blow your direction.”
Sarcastic 12-year old: *snort* “Is that fortune for you, mom, or Mary Poppins?”
My brain quietly to itself: “Did he just say that?”
Me: “NICE ONE!!!” (High fives across the table)
Clueless 7-year old: “Huh?”
Me and older child together: “Nevermind!”

Follie #2
Meal finished, check comes with cookies … blah, blah, blah. I read my fortune first this time simply because I am finished eating. Yes, I am raising boys and they can put away some serious food in their skinny little bodies. The 7-year old finishes and reads yet another forgettable fortune. Suddenly, the most amazing thing occurs.

Oldest child: He sits holding his fortune cookie in two hands staring down at it when all of a sudden he emits an enthusiastic and convincing karate-type “hiiiiiiii-yaaaaaa” and proceeds to crack (break open) his fortune cookie on his forehead as though he has just broken through five cinder blocks.

[At this point several things happen simultaneously.]

Restaurant Patrons: Yeah – pretty much every head turns to stare at our table because the oldest was anything but quiet and the reactions of both his little brother and I were not exactly low-key either.
Youngest Child: Immediately turns into a wet noodle and slithers out of the booth and onto the floor in total fits of raucous laughter.
Me: You know when several things happen in your mind all at once and in a split-second? The responsible parent I know is trapped in this body somewhere wanted to shush both children and try to salvage some shred of dining decorum but I, too, was racked with uncontrollable laughter. Completely uncontrollable … punctuated by the fact that the instigator (Oldest Child) sat there for a moment with a look on his face that mumbled, “What? What did I do?” before he allowed himself to laugh with us. Comic timing. The kid is a natural.

Utter brilliance, I tell you. Brilliance!

I truly wish these tales translated on paper in as humorous a manner as they originally occurred. I am thinking about taking them (my children) on the road … a tour of Chinese dining establishments so we can bring ‘Fortune Follies’ to the masses.

“We're comic. We're all comics. We live in a comic time. And the worse it gets the more comic we are.” ~William Gaddis

You think?

I walked into my office, cubicle, box, workspace (whatever) at one point this morning to find the following printout sitting on my desk ... placed there by a coworker. What do you think he was trying to say? I think I already confessed to this fact.

"I'm not so good with the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?" ~Chandler, Friends


It is 3:15am CST. I just finished watching Beowulf and as I predicted it was absolute, total, theatrical crap. The words "bad movie" do this no justice. I should have known better. I refused to spend the money to go see it in the theater because I was convinced it would suck ... so I had Netflix deliver it to my door and that is two hours of my life lost forever in which I could have been rereading Beowulf instead of watching that shit.

Robert Zemeckis (the director) is an idiot.

"Beowulf is a timeless, epic tale of heroism and triumph. Digital rendering will allow us to depict this incredible story in ways we would never have dared imagine." ~Robert Zemeckis

Well, he got the first part of that right ... the "timeless, epic tale" part. As for going digital: Bullcrap! I mean, it could have worked. IT DIDN'T!

"No matter how many obstacles are thrown in our path, there are ways to except them and live through them." ~Robert Zemeckis

Seriously? NO! You think? Oh ... and did you catch his somewhat clever play on words: "except" instead of "accept"? Well, dude, it would have been a benefit to you to listen to your own advice and accepted that this was one obstacle you should have taken exception to and not tried to tackle because you failed royally. Bloody stupid.

With A Little Help

I am quote hoarder. I know. There was no surprise in that sentence. The cool thing is that I am not the only one. Again, no surprise. Still, I visit a number of quoting bloggers from time to time just to see what I can find and occasionally I stumble across a jewel or even a life altering (to me) saying. This week I send out many thanks to Todd in Hell’s Kitchen for the following quote he posted on his “And I Quote Blog” on May 1, 2008. It is a quote that I have now read over and over … almost to the point of memorization. I have sent it to countless friends as I believe every woman of faith needs to hear these words. I, myself, have had to let it sit in … to absorb.

“When the mirror is no longer telling you what you thought you would like to hear and the culture is no longer telling you what you thought you would like to hear, sometimes that’s when you finally have ears for what God wants to say to you. That’s when you hear him say things sweeter than the mirror ever told you and sweeter than the culture ever told you. That’s when you finally realize that you are loved, and you finally realize you are enough... When you have really allowed that in, you emerge into a different place within yourself, and from that place … LIFE ROCKS!”
~Marianne Williamson, Beliefnet

[I did change it a little by putting “Life Rocks” in capital letters as I felt those two words needed as much emphasis as possible.]

Thank you, again, Todd! I would never have found this quote if you had not posted it first!

“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends …” ~The Beatles

Monday Madness

I think I have effectively established how utterly random I am on a rather regular basis. I think. If you are not convinced at my undulating randomness then allow me to provide further substantiation of such a claim. As I am having difficulty wrapping my warped mind around anything decidedly concrete this humdrum Monday, I will now present a myriad of thoughts that have left their footprints on the surface of my gray matter at some juncture today.

1. “Damn it!” My response to, “You look cute today!” from female coworker who sports a she-mullet and uses the phrase “Get ‘er done!” in daily conversation. Have I mentioned that I live and work in redneck hell? I know I have issues with accepting compliments but this is the type of individual who has absolutely no taste. What does a compliment from her mean about my appearance?

2. Am I the only person on the planet that did not see ‘Iron Man’ over the weekend? Many thanks to delayed movie opening nights in the rest of the world or I am sure I would be. Now, what night can I swing a movie this week?

3. I am really, really thrilled to learn that Amy Winehouse has
backed out of doing the latest Bond theme. Petty, I know.

4. “Whew!” My response to, “You look pretty today!” from absolutely adorable female coworker who, despite being a strapped-for-cash single mom living in redneck hell, always looks adorable and appears to have great taste thus alleviating all the baggage that came with attempting to accept the compliment from the fashion-challenged individual mentioned in point number one of this list.

5. “What about breakfast?”
“We've already had it.”
“We've had one, yes, but what about second breakfast?”

~LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring

6. I could really benefit from a second or third iPod. If I were so lucky then I could accommodate ALL of my music choices and organize them by iPod as opposed to individual playlists. That would be so rad! Yes, I just said “rad” … get over it.

7. I am seriously reconsidering my choice in lingerie today. Yes, it is pretty. Yes, I feel great (if a wee bit uncomfortable) in it. At this point I see no great benefit – considering nobody but me knows how hot it is. Maybe it is time to invest in plain, boring, cotton, granny panties. HA! I think not.

8. Gas prices are finally beginning to really mess with my life. My little truck has a gas tank the size of a small human bladder. When it costs me $40 USD to fill up then the world must certainly be coming to an end.

9. My dad is in Senegal right now. My best friend from high school is in Tanzania right now. A good friend/coworker from college is in Kenya right now. RIGHT NOW!!! I want Africa. I need Africa. Why am I here????

“Jealousy is all the fun you think they had!” ~Erica Jong, American Writer & Feminist

10. If I refuse to touch the inbox that resides on my desk and it begins to resemble Mount Kilimanjaro … will my boss notice? More importantly, will she care as long as it gets emptied by Friday afternoon?

11. Speaking of mountains – the dirty clothes in my apartment would put Mount Everest to shame. Unless it sprouts limbs and takes itself to the laundromat then I predict it will stay that way for another day or two.

12. Would it be dangerous for me to drink ten cups of coffee before lunch AND hook myself up to some sort of intravenous coffee machine?

13. Yep … this is right on up there with “Good Morning!”

14. We are going to the gym immediately after work, aren’t we precioussssss? No! Yes! NO! YES! Aw, hell.

15. Is the industrial strength stapler really that hard to use? Really? Honestly? Are you not strong enough? What is the problem? Do I have to do EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY around here?

“Though this be madness, yet there is method.”
~William Shakespeare


Mothers. What would we do without them?

I know I depend on my own mother. She helps me to put things in perspective and, to be honest; she helps me maintain my own sanity. Still, there comes a time when I don’t want to listen to my mom. She has this habit of responding to every need in my life with a passage of scripture or bringing Bible study books with her when she comes to visit in hopes that they will be applicable to my life. It is an admirable quality. She means well. The angel on my left shoulder appreciates her thoughtfulness. The devil on my right shoulder – not so much. I recently confessed to her that sometimes the material she gives me is absolutely spot on … but there are the times it has no immediate bearing on my life.

For those who read my scribbling on a regular basis it will come as no surprise that I absolutely abhor where I currently reside. I venture off on tangents regarding that subject on a fairly regular basis. My mother is aware of how I feel and, of course, she stumbled across some information she thought would be useful in helping me make peace with living in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. This time, however, she checked with me before sending me the following quote. As I had bluntly told her I was not always appreciative of the material she sends me - I didn’t blame her. I did tell her to email it to me. Why not? Like I said … sometimes she gets it right. This is what she sent:

“Let’s face it. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the places we've gotten our mail, but God intended to use every stop to equip us as servants. You have been assigned to your town or your city, and equally, it has been assigned to you. You may feel like an exile within its city limits, but just as God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, He wants to prosper you there.” ~Beth Moore, Inspirational Writer

Dang it! She hit the nail on the head with that one. I did not like it. I still do not like it. I have read that quote over and over again for the last week or two and digesting it is immensely difficult. You see, the author of this quote (Beth Moore) grew up in the town where I live. Arkadelphia, AR: “It’s A Great Place To Call Home!” Vomit.

I do not have a love-hate relationship with this town. I have a hate-hate relationship with it. The reasons are long and numerous. Among them is the fact that I went to college in this town and it was not the university I wanted to attend. At the time it seemed that, financially, I had no other choice. I met and married my ex-husband here and allowed him to suck me back into the Arkadelphia vortex after living away for eight years. I thought I was out for good. There are more reasons. Many more.

I do feel like an exile here. Then again, I do not know where (in this country) I wouldn’t feel like an exile. I might as well stay put … right? I don’t know. The only plus with being here is that my children get to be with their father and their mother on a regular basis because we live in the same town. Still …

Do I think this town has been assigned to me? Honestly? No, I do not.

Does God want me to prosper here? I have faith that He wants me to prosper, but I do not believe those opportunities are in Arkadelphia. I can’t. I know I will never prosper financially here. Those who do are a very select few. Small town, America: It’s dying. Will I prosper mentally or emotionally? Perhaps. I don’t see how, but I will not completely write off the idea. I guess, along with my faith, I need a twinkle of hope as well.

Here I am. It appears that here I will remain. Maybe, in due course, my God will reveal His purpose in stranding me here.

I pray. I wait. I listen.


Of course, it is highly possible that God (when He chooses to speak) will approach me through a rather reliable servant: Mom.

Kijabe One

I recently shared a shortened version of the following story on a Facebook thread (list of responses to a posted picture). I have decided that it is amusing enough for me to share in this forum as well. You are lucky though. Here, you get the expanded version.

Among the many improvements that have been made at Rift Valley Academy (RVA) since I graduated sixteen years ago is the ability to reach the outside world by telephone. The campus can now be reached by direct dial telephone and, of course, pretty much everyone carries a cell phone. They are SO spoiled. There was a time when one was required to go through the operator in order to place a call. You had to speak to the voice identified only as ‘Kijabe One’ or you weren’t calling anyone and the antiquated phones each had a hand crank that was utilized in order to notify the operator someone was desperate enough to try using the phones in order to reach an individual with whom they were certain needed their conversation at that moment.

Disclaimer: Allow me to mention that I, having grown up in Kenya, have never had difficulty communicating with any other Kenyan citizen in country or abroad in my life. The Kijabe One (K1) operator was the only exception and certainly a rare breed of individual to be sure.

An attempt to call the parental units from school ...

Beth: Cranks phone. Cranks phone again. Again. One more time. Nope, one more … and operator finally picks up (if lucky).

K1: "What city?" (This is the easy part.)
Beth: "Tigoni"

K1: "What number?" (Again, quite easy.)
Beth: Gives number which is now forgotten.

K1: "What name?" (This is where the fun begins.)
Beth: "Mr. Turner"

K1: "Eh?"
Beth: “Bwana Turner”

K1: “Eh?”
Beth: "Turner"
K1: "Eh?"

Beth: "TURNER!!!"
K1: "Sperr Preeeaase!"

Beth: "T-U-R-N-E-R"
K1: "Eh?"

Beth: “T”
K1: “T”

Beth: “U”
K1: “U”

Beth: “R”
K1: “Eh?”

Beth: “R”
K1: “R”

Beth: “N”
K1: “N”

Beth: “E”
K1: “E”

Beth: “R”
K1: “Eh?”

Beth: “R”
K1: “R”

Beth: “Bwana Turner”
K1: “Eh?”

Beth: “T-U-R-N-E-R”
K1: “Eh?”

Beth: "T-U-R ....!" (Oh hell!) "Tana ... as in TANA RIVER! You know Tana River? Unaelewa!?! TANA RIVER! Mr. Tana!”

K1: "Okay! No problem!"

[Tana River is the longest river in Kenya running 440 miles from the highlands to the Indian Ocean. “Unaelewa” is “you understand” – I think. I have already confessed how poor my Swahili is these days.]

“The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.” ~Mark Twain, American Writer


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