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Mel's Procrastination Palace
Saturday, February 26, 2005 Why they call it gray matter...

When I was about four, my mom moved my room to the far end of the house and dolled it all up Raggedy Ann style. My bed faced the door, and there was a dresser just to the left of the door. To this day I still remember sitting in bed and tossing one of those bright green little super-bouncy-balls (the ones you get outta the vending machines) at the back of the door to (cuz it would bounce back to me). Only one time it didn't. It hit the end of the bed and then rolled under the dresser. I watched it.

I got up the next morning and searched and searched and made mom move the dresser. No ball.
My mother insists I dreamed it all.

Other than some funky dream at age six where the moon fell, hit the earth and the impact caused me to fly from a hill at my uncle's house (where I was attending sheep... --he didn't have sheep!!). I landed in Russia and befriended three kids my age and stayed with them til my parents came and rescued me.... well, I don't recall any of those so-real-I-can't-believe-it-was-just-a-dream dreams.

Until about a year ago. Had a dream I went into a gas station with a person. I want to say I knew who this person was, but like alot of dreams, the features were...not clear. It was a male, friend only. Someone I respected and knew very well. We were on our way somewhere to meet up with other people. There was a whole dream lead up to this point about all that, but that doesn't matter. While were were in the gas station, a pair of men came in to rob it.
My friend took my hand.
I felt it.
Every sensation shocked my body as I felt that squeeze. Felt the heat. Felt the roughened texture of his larger bone structure and the callouses on his palms.
It wasn't a romantic type hand hold, it was a reassurance. An unspoken, I'm here and will protect you touch. (and I was definitely alone in bed at the time--dh had left for work an hour before I had to get up...)

That stayed with me for... weeks, even months. The memory had burned into my brain, yet I knew it was a dream (unlike that poor 4yr old who searched for days for that ball that didn't exist).

It happened again last night.
I imagined I was on vacation with the family and had rented a boat. Dh doesn't do water, but I insisted he'd be okay. We were in line at the park, I guess (this was all vague) a huge line of people. Maybe waiting for the beach to open? Anyway, I spotted a familiar face in the crowd--but he didn't see me. At this point, I'd have doubted he'd recognize me. (don't know why.. it's a damn dream!). But then I saw someone I thought I knew from school. I stared for a bit, trying to decide if it was her, so I could say Hi. When I glanced back, the guy I'd recognized had caught me staring and was waving.
He came over. He knew the family, ruffled goose's hair and egged the DH on about not wanting to ditch the boat and get jet skis instead. Then it was time to go get the boat. For some reason, this guy and I went to get the boat while DH stayed with Goose and our stuff. (a tube, life jackets, etc) (get to the point, Mel)
Anyway, instead of pushing down the sidewalk, which was way overcrowded, we decided to go down the hill and cut around to the marina. The hill was rough, very eroded with patches of grass and sand and lots of exposed roots. I nearly tripped.
He grabbed my hand to steady me.

I swear to GOD I sat up in bed, wide awake, staring at my hand. I felt it. The squeeze was tight, strong. Reassuring. My heart about jumped out of my chest. I had goosebumps.
I'll think about it for days now. Weird. Too real. Almost scary.

Clearly, my brain doesn't know there's a line between reality and fiction. Guess that's why it's called gray matter....

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:12 AM :: 3 comments

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005 A new TOY!

Yeah, yeah, it's not really a big deal or anything. It's not like it's one of those kind of toys... (sigh). I got a new keyboard. Not normally a big deal, but when one tends to find pounding out 70+thousand word stories a few times a year, a keyboard is an integral part of life.

So when DH took me to Office Max (A big enough thrill in itself. OMG is that like orgasm city there...) I was pretty stoked. (New word courtesy of Jeff Gordon, thank you)
But then I recalled that I said I needed ink. Okay, so someone has a better memory than I do.
(You had to know there was a reason I married him other than his devastating good looks)

So I get my ink, thrilled that I actually remembered to bring along my $10 off coupon. :)

Then he veers down an aisle.
Hmmmm.
"I tried to get Kyle to get you one through work," he says. (referring to the benefit of buying items through corporate account, thus at lower rate, and then having payment taken out of check...) "But," he continues, walking calmly down aisle with rows of mouses and keyboards. "He said they were discontinued."

Split keyboards were discontinued? What happened to ergonomics?
The plus? It's quiet. Not clickety clacking any more. Just thudding. It's kinda weird.

So... now I'm off to put this new piece of equipment to good use. :)
~Mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 7:32 PM :: 5 comments

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005 No posts?

Me? Neglecting my blog...?

I say not. I've popped in, just to see if anyone else has responded. (Just a whim thing, I s'pose) but I haven't posted cuz.... I'M WRITING!

If this confuses you, please reference the title of my blog. Got it?
I've not been to pogo, or to neopets to keep my daughters neglected cyberpets alive (God forbid), or to ebay (addictive place, that...). I've been offline, or barely online (Yahoo IM is a lifeline....) clattering away on laptop keyboard and making my vampire and his woman happy. Well, it's early in the book, they're relatively happy making whoopie, but I'll soon have to do the old rug pull and spill em on their arses so they can figure out how they can have their cake and eat it too. :P Hey, the cliche fit, it's early am... don't mess with me.

I'm dying for the weather to do something other than pretend its London over here. No, wait, I saw Anna's pictures. While she's miles North of London, it's muuuuch prettier over there than it has been here... I wanna go out with my camera, dangit!!!

Anyhoot, that's what's up with me. The only thing I'm procrastinating with this post is going to prepare for that wonderful day at work.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!
~mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:06 AM :: 3 comments

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Thursday, February 17, 2005 I think I'm gonna faint....


it's OUT~ Posted by Hello

Hot Rod Heaven hit the front page at Ellora's Cave yesterday. I don't think I'll ever get used to the rush of nerves that hit when I KNOW the public is now reading MY words. All those lovely insecurities that I stomp down seem to boing back up like those garden weeds I can't kill.

But I am excited. This book was a long time coming and has alot of elements that are near to me. My husband helped with car stuff, he helped me name the characters way back when (Luke came from Luke Skywalker... he was watching Star Wars at the time!)

My fingers are crossed that people like Bash as much as they've said they like his...ass*ets. :) I of course, fell in love with him, but that cover put into visual exactly the man I wrote about. Kudos to one heck of a brilliant cover artist, Syneca.

Okay... I'm gonna go see if I can't drown the butterflies with a liter of Pepsi. Then I'm off to start the process all over again.

~Mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:15 AM :: 4 comments

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005 A sign... from McDonalds?

For those who aren't aware... HOT ROD HEAVEN, my lastest Ellora's Cave book, releases today, Feb 16th. (Check out my website for more information)

Anyway, last night I get home from work, and DH who arrives home about a half hour before me, always gets the mail. So I ask, as our routine... "Any good mail?"
DH calls me over to the couch where he's acting as cushion for two of our cats. "It's a sign," he says.
"A sign?" Neon? Lightup? Cardboard? Whachootalkin'bout SIGN?
"Hot Rod comes out tomorrow right?"
I nod, and I'm sure my face was curled up into some freaky looking mixture of curiosity and fear while still trying to understand "sign".
"Here."
He hands me the brochure for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. This is an organization we've donated to in the past, mainly because they have a raffle to win some kicka$$ cars.
Seeing the broad black paint that covered the front of the brochure had my throat constricting. Oh. My. God.

It's the black corvette from HOT ROD HEAVEN!
Well, almost. I didn't include the red stinger on the hood (tho' I LOVE that) and I used a hard top, not a convertible, but I wasn't passing up the notion that this might really, honestly, truly be a sign. Of what, I don't know, that I'm going to give away my life savings to try to win this car? (and contribute to a good cause at the same time?)

Oh, how I love my hot rods.....

~Mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:20 AM :: 1 comments

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Monday, February 14, 2005 And this was a vacation day?

Oh, I'm not complaining... but I think I worked harder than if I had been at SDJ (and not goofed off for even one millisecond)...

Today, for the first time, I was "list mommy" at ellorascavechat yahoo group. WOW. I know the traffic wasn't like it sometimes is (Falls on my knees and thanks God) but after eight hour of dashing out only to pee, working two windows, C&Ping and making sure I wrote down post numbers for this contest and that contest and whoa... who'd I just say won the soap?

*sigh* I give total respect for these authors who do this over and over. The organization, the planning, the patience. The ....sanity!
Of course, unless I pull a Sunday or a few hours on a Sat afternoon, it won't be in my immediate future. That SDJ calling... eeek.

But it was fun. I got to know some people I hadn't chatted with before, and hopefully, people got to know me.

Anyway, it's quarter til 8 and my pillow is calling me. LOUDLY.
Nothing like a vacation to tire oneself out....

Til tomorrow...(or whenever I mosey back in this direction)
~Mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 7:40 PM :: 1 comments

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 Gummi Bear Butts and Lip Gloss

My daughter's home. (And yes, she brought my PDA back... loaded with pictures and doodles and hilarious to do notes.)

First, when my daughter hit puberty, she gained a sense of humor, not a sense of bitchiness. For this I bow to the powers that be and beg for mercy in my next life. Or perhaps I'll just enjoy every minute until she gets to hear "you're not leaving the house in THAT" and subsequently undergoes personality transformation....

She's hilarious.
My husband, bless his soul, has moments where I think he should be in comedy. He can come up with some hilarious stuff like that *snaps fingers*. One liners that send people to their knees. Stuff that is funny to everyone ( in case you think I'm biased)...

The daughter somehow inherited this ability, as well as the imagination gene. This makes her dangerous. She and her friends refer to one another as psycho. Boys not named Johnny Depp are boring and obnoxious. (Okay... JD is older than I am, she's 13... what's wrong with that picture?)

Anyway, she and I get together on these blessed weekends and it's like a slumber party. Tonight, the stomach hurting laughter was invoked by the theft of my lip balm. I visited the local pharmacy store tonight and was pleased to find lip balm at buy one, get one for a penny. Since my daughter doesn't have enough intelligence to remove her lip balm from her pants (and her mom doesn't check em, hmmm, interesting correlation) she's constantly without. So I grabbed a Chapstick Cherry for her and some ultra protection UV yadda yadda for me. But for some reason, she wants mine.

She picks it up off the desk with exaggerated interest. Pops the cap, sniffs, and looks way too far into nirvana for me. I see that dangerous glint in her eye and just know my UV protection will soon be coating the inside of my washing machine. Unless I intercept.

I reach for her hand. She jumps back. I fall forward, nearly out of my desk chair. Start of laughter. I reach again, hoping the dramatic look on my face will keep her paralyzed with that silent spasm long enough for me to retrieve the one cent lip lotion.

But she's good, real good in her old age. She spins, starting with the evil witch laugh and then promptly heads into actress mode with her out-of-reach diva-like application of MY lip balm to HER lips.

"Give it back."
"Mmmm, smells good. Wanna smell?" Balm is thrust into my face and nearly up my nostril. Oh yeah, smells decadent. Brat.
"I bought you some. That's mine."
"I like this one."
I wasn't buying it. I wouldn't take the bait. Really. Instead I open the packet of Haribo Gold bears and pop two in my mouth. She reaches and *Splat* hand smoooshed against desk. Kid:1, Mom:1

"Why don't you go watch TV with your dad," I tell her, knowing he'd rented a pay per view of some comedy (which I think is fuel for their brain.)
"Mmm. Mommy needs lip balm."
"Mommy does NOT."
"Oh yes, Mommy does." This is where I lament the fact that the child now outweighs me. She's just got a bigger and albeit getting-close-to-stronger frame. The three inches in height I have on her does me little good when I'm in my office chair. She grabs my hair and promptly applies way too much lip balm. By dabbing. No wait, the motion she used was more kin to a jackhammer than anything else.
So I'm half spitting the chunks of waxy substance stuck to my lip and she goes. "Wait. Hold on."
I think she's still got the lip balm.
It's worse.
She's got a gummi bear and now intends to force feed me.
I hold my lips as TIGHTLY as I could. Probably bad move.
She presses. I hold.
She releases.
The gummi bear sticks, butt first, to my lips.

That was the end of that.
Lip balm rolled out of her hand as she fell to her knees, pointing and wheezing at her dear mother, who of course, crossed her eyes to try to comprehend exactly what she'd done.
Neither of us need sit ups tonight. We'll have rock hard abs just spending a few hours a week with one another.

Oh, and then she did make me eat the lip balm coated gummi bear. Gross.
~Mel, who's abused by her child!

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:56 PM :: 1 comments

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Friday, February 11, 2005 PDA Panic

I'm visiting the tool man (Mac truck guy who's a wonderful man and a good friend of ours) and we were talking about something he wanted me to check into for him. So I reach into my purse to pull out my Clie PDA and.... it's not there.

Instead of panicking and flying into a state of hysteria, I go, "Oops, left the electronics on the desk, lemme grab some paper to jot this down." Cold sweat it trickling down my back, my hands are shaking and suddenly very little of what he's telling me is sinking into my head. Instead, my mind is racing. After all, I carry a small-ish purse and the PDA takes up ALOT of space. How did I not notice it was missing? When did it run away? Was it stolen? (Oh God, someone's going to read magic! I haven't edited that yet!)

Finally, I swear, it felt like hours, dh was ready to go. I check the truck THOROUGHLY wondering of my purse tipped and it slid out. No go. We get home. I go through car, especially back seat (no, no, not what you're thinking, but I did toss, literally, toss my purse back there on Sunday night, so therein lay the possibility it had slithered out then.) but again, came up empty handed.

Unwilling to admit defeat and that I'd lost the present my husband had gotten me for my birthday, a present he'd worked extra to make the money and surprise me, a present he was extraordinarily proud of .... I got in the car and drove to the office... ya know... SDJ. Thinking that DH needed a deposit slip for the bank, and I'd had to dig it out. Maybe I pulled said PDA out and put it on my desk. My desk at work is similar to my desk at home. Things can and will get eaten up by the mess-midgets.

So I go to work (I'm sure I'll have to explain to boss why I was at the office at 7:30 last night) and start moving everything around, desperately searching for the elusive black case.
Nada.

I'm just... sick. Sick. I couldn't look DH in the eye. He says.. call your daughter.
(Info: daughter stays with his parents thru week to get to go to a better school...) So ... I call up daughter. MIL (best pal o'mine) answers. I admit my clie is missing. She couldn't remember if I had it at the accountants office Tuesday. Damn. I was running out of potential places it could be recoverable. I say, put the kid on the phone, I wanna see if she remembers anything.

Goose (lovely nickname, eh? blame the dh) gets on the phone. I say, "you seen my clie?"
"Nope."
"You don't have it."
"Nope."
"Do you remember where you saw me have it last?"
"Nope."
Me, shaking, trying hard NOT to just burst into tears and beat my head against desk in frustration (not at her, at myself)... "Okay... do you remember if it was in my purse Sun night when I had to get my debit card out so I could get you lunch money from the atm?"
"I dunno."
Good thing she was 15 miles away.
"Wait," she says, before I can question what happened to her memory cells.
I wait.
"Maybe you had it upstairs." Upstairs is the embroidery room and Tues. after acct meeting, I had to run a few pieces of embroidery for my aunt. Goose had me help her with homework, too. A gleam of hope broke through the clouds.
"Well, look, dammit!"
"Hmmm, lookee here," she teases. "You took it out when you were getting a pen out."
That would make sense. Pens migrate to the bottom of my purse, under checkbook and cell phone and clie. "You have it?" I was so in doubt I didn't believe it.
"I have it in my precious little possession, doesn't that scare you?"
It scared me more than if some stranger was reading Magic.
"Put it in your backpack so I can get it from you tomorrow night."
"Maaaaybe."

Needless to say, I cleaned my purse. I took out 10 of the 15 (refuses to be shamed by this) pens I had in my purse and ditched about a half inch of useless receipts I'd shoved in my check registry. When clie comes back, I'm going to figure out a way to chain it to the side of my purse.

I don't wanna go there again.
~Mel, who's definitely scared that the 13yr old is walking around with her clie right now....

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:15 AM :: 2 comments

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Thursday, February 10, 2005 The old fashioned way

It sucks to sit at the computer and stare at it.
Not a blank screen, just a WIP that's missing it's next line.

And you *KNOW* what has to happen next, hell, you can probably see it Like a movie in your head, the characters play it out while you watch and yet....

you can't get your brain to tell your fingers what to type.
Or, if you do, you don't like it and delete it.

But then..... that lightbulb turned on.(And the laptop battery sputtered and coughed)
Hmm, where's my clipboard and paper, and one of those kickass new pens I bought?

Wahlah, quickern'at I had 3 pages and dying to write more, but it was official lights out time. Darn. At least I know... when all else fails, go for the paper. A cramp in the wrist is worth the frustration I saved staring at that computer screen. (And I didn't even have the internet to distract me!)

Mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:17 AM :: 1 comments

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Monday, February 07, 2005 *sigh*

I was bad. I needed inspiration for the vamp story I'm determined to get rolling (on rewrites) and I decided to visit a website I'd stayed away from for several months. Why? Because it's the kind that sucks in the fangirl in me and I stay there for hours, pretending to be a hormonal fifteen year old again.

No, I'm not gonna tell you where and embarrass myself. If you know me, you've got a clue what I was checking out. If not, I'm certainly not going admit THAT much on a public forum. Let my fetishes be fetishes. At least this one is inspiring. And when writing romance, one has to be inspired.

Anyway, I'd ordinarily not even talk about it, but I found a picture in my link clicking frenzy that absolutely and totally STOLE my breath. I mean, it hit my chest like a load of bricks. And I don't think it was the subject of the pictures as much as it was the characterization of it. If that makes any sense to you. I guess loving photography the way I do, I absolutely love to look at portraits or close up candids that tell you an entire story. The background, the color hue, the lighting and then the expression of the subject. Usually black and whites have that texture that makes one feel. This was in color, but it had such a gold hue, like either a rising or setting sun was full on, that it was monochromatic. There is such a strength, yet such a peace to that picture. To me it was embodied so many of the traits that I long to have. Self assurance, yet lack of ego, a certain inner knowledge. A sense of wisdom and understanding. I could go on and on, but I see glimpses of all of that in this picture. Others might see a person. I see way beyond that. Maybe just cuz I want to. Maybe I want to see those things. But does it matter, either way?

Is there a moral to this post? I dunno. Maybe to show you how easily entertained I am. Or how shallow I am. *peels the fangirl sticker off forehead and presses it under the desk* Or just to give Jaci something to tease me about.

Regardless, there's this permagrin plastered on my face, and now it's time for bed.
Oh, and yes, we have more pages of vampires.
For a Monday, it turned out pretty darn good.

~Mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:42 PM :: 3 comments

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Ice cream for dinner

Hey, I'm getting my dairy food :P

That's what I love about being an adult. I *can* and *will* eat what I want, when I want. Downside to being over 30 is that this chocolate extreme blizzard cake will show up as two inches on my hips and thighs.

Whaaaatever.


About a month ago, my daughter commented on how weird our family was. (Yes, I took it as a compliment.) I think we were having breakfast for dinner. And something strange or an odd combination. Hey, whatever. I was going for easy fixings and something everyone liked. She found it just bizarre.
This...from a 13yr old. I said, "huh? You of all people could never conform to a family that ate dinner precisely at 6 all seated around a table with complete order." Order? The only order in this family is the one we place to pizza delivery. Yum.

Anyway, for a blah Monday full of rain and frustration (stuff I won't bore you with), this is my highlight. This will make me smile, and hopefully make the muse think about vampires. :)

~Mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 6:14 PM :: 0 comments

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Sunday, February 06, 2005 Html is not my friend

I just wasted half a day toying with codes.
It's a bad trait, this stubborn-headed determination, but there's such a feel of victory when the cursable task is finally complete, or at least complete enough to let go.

I'm letting go.
For now. (evil laugh)
My eyes are crossed, my temper's shot to hell and I'm seeing everything in these wicked shades of blue. My husband has even cracked the whip a few times, saying that if I'm going to be locked in my room, I'd better be writing. How dare he say fist fighting with html, and ending up nearly a KO is equivalent to Rainy Day Spider Solitaire at Pogo? Hrmph.

What this has allowed me to do is rest the muse. It's kicked back in a hammock, imagining the guys from Mel's Place are having a volleyball game with the Cabana Boys from Paradise.
They're all tan from working in the hot sun, their muscles are strained from the construction work, after all, we did need a jacuzzi for 12, eh? We've got men of all color and build. My muse has got her eye on this tall, tanned Englishman with long, lean muscle and six pack abs. His hair's a little too long and keeps falling in those emerald green eyes. When he smiles, dimples appear, softening his chiseled face.

*sigh*

Okay, muse says I can write now. While the man in HER head doesn't resemble the hero in my book, I'll let her pretend. If it means words on the page, I'm good. :)

~Mel



Posted by Melani Blazer :: 2:39 PM :: 1 comments

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Wednesday, February 02, 2005 Busted!

I had to go to my in laws after work tonight, which meant DH would get home from school before I got home. I'd ordered him to cook the pork chops in the fridge and toss some instant taters in the microwave.

I walk in to what appeared to be an empty house.
Then I saw his keys.

I came around the corner to find my hubby sneaking out of my office. Not that it's a big deal, he uses 'puter, too... so I walk up to him and say, "You look guilty. You looking up porn on my 'puter again."

He nods like an excited little boy.

Great.

He goes, "Ya wanna see?"

"Whatever." I figure he's gonna show me some half nekkid girl draped over some out-
of-my-budget hot rod.

But then he opens my email, clicks on the file of final-line-edits for HOT ROD HEAVEN. He said he made it to chapter three.

*imagine crashing thud* that's me, hitting the floor. Once I regained use of my throat, my braincell and was sure I hadn't walked into the wrong house, I said, "What?"

Now let me insert something here. The cover of Hot Rod Heaven is the background of my laptop (so it's a constant reminder to him). It's got ONE hellaciously fine Sebastian ass, but it ALSO has a 55 Chev and a 67 Corvette 427 Stingray. (If you missed it, look again) I have to remember that a) my husband loves cars and b) he DID help me sound off ideas about this book and we talked about some "car" things... he even took me to a car show knowing I needed to get a good look at the backseat of a 55 Chevy to make sure what I needed to happen, could.

Also note: he read about three chapters of Legend of the Leopard and then snorted in disgust. This man is STILL trying to finish the DaVinci Code. He bought it for his birthday in November. He doesn't read much more than Hot Rod and Super Chevy. he definitely doesn't do romance.

So imagine my surprise when he said, "Well, I didn't know what it was so I opened it up and started reading. I got interested and kept going."
Do you all think this is suitable excuse for not having started dinner?

"How far'd ya get?" I wasn't so easily swayed.

He names something that shows he really did read the book. Even tells me that I had something wrong on the car in the book, a phrase, and went to it so I could fix it. He did say I needed less mush and more cars.

Evidence, finally, that my husband hadn't been abducted by romance loving aliens. Phew!

He did, however, hint that if I printed it off, he'd read it.
I'm not sure I'm ready for that.

~Mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:02 PM :: 3 comments

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