Posts Tagged With: Completed

300% Course Completion

I did not complete this challenge on time even by my “It’s still the same day until I go to bed, even if it’s after midnight” rule, but I was close, and I now have this screenshot:

Unfortunately, most of what I learned won’t be super helpful for my current social media management work, but I’m excited to have learned the information anyway, and can definitely see where it’d be useful for some of my future career ideas.

I’m going to give myself a challenge again because I actually have a to-do list that I would like to get through; I’m going to use the modicum of pressure provided by NFS, because telling myself “You really should be doing more with your time since officially you work a whole six hours a week” apparently isn’t proving to be motivation enough.

I have one week to find somewhere to volunteer on weekends and to reach out to them about doing so.

Stay tuned for more dry updates on my life progress, and hopefully some jazzier ones as well. ✌

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What the Bucket

Oh my ugh, this is a busy summer.

I received one challenge, from my grandmother, for my trip home with my sister:

I challenge you to go to the Casa Bonita restaurant in Denver on your return trip. See if it looks at all familiar!

The restaurant of Eric Cartman acclaim has been a semi-regular point of interest for my family on trips out west over the past four decades, and I hadn’t been there since I was about eleven. I think I found all the parts of the restaurant that I do remember, but there was a lot that apparently didn’t stick the first time for me. We were pretty underwhelmed with the food (fortunately a friend warned me that it’s “the worst food ever,” so I was prepared), but otherwise I could see it being pretty fun if you were there with kids. The sopaipillas did not disappoint, and no matter what, it would have been worth it for the joy that these two Google reviews bring me:

Screenshots copy

I  know it’s longish, but seriously, I encourage you to read this surreal nonsense

Holy crap. Such spectacular melodrama.

Anyway, I have about three thousand things on my to-do list this summer before I move to Boston. Even though “get rid of things” is patently on the list, I’ll be honest, I did not pick up the “get rid of things” challenge when I got home like I was supposed to-do, as per my promise in my last post.

What I did do is find the bucket list I organized and then lost a few months ago–I’ve been working on a lot of lists lately. I wanna post some of that one because I can get a little negative here sometimes, I like having hopes and dreams, and at least it’s content–I’ve even finito-ed some of the items 🙂 Maybe making it public will give me more accountability or something, too:

  • Learn to juggle
  • Get really good at building fires
  • Be a barista
  • Be a waitress
  • Hug a tiger >>> Hug an adult tiger
  • Live in Boston *pen hovers above item*
  • Learn what my vocal range/type/whatever is for singing
  • Get married
  • Have kids
  • Do a 5k
  • Write a short story >>> Finish a short story
  • Touch a London pigeon with my foot
  • Visit all 50 states
  • Learn to drive stick
  • Learn to drive a motorcycle
  • Get professional headshots
  • Pinup photoshoot
  • Kiss the Blarney Stone
  • See Stonehenge in the early morning
  • Learn a valuable zombie survival skill
  • Start a retirement fund
  • March in a televised parade
  • Own a “FRANKIE SAY RELAX” t-shirt (just learned that this was apparently a thing with Ross on Friends when I was looking up a picture to link to here; he was definitely not the inspiration for this item)
  • Drive from the right side of a car
  • Ride as a front-seat passenger on the left side of a car
  • See Breaking Benjamin in concert
  • Learn all the words to “One Week” and “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”
  • Eat poutine
  • Eat haggis
  • Make my own perfume
  • Blow glass
  • Go down and then back up the really scary huge dune they say not to go down right off of Lake Michigan at the Sleeping Bear Dune park
  • Be able to do the splits
  • Be able to hold a handstand
  • Bake a rhubarb custard pie
  • Bake perfect cookies
  • Bake rum cake with pie cherries
  • Go to a wine tasting
  • Drive someone else’s car because they got too drunk
  • Get stitches >>> Get stitches from an interesting injury
  • Have a pleasant reading/speaking voice
  • Do a backbend from a handstand
  • Make a quilt
  • Knit a blanket
  • Learn how to use a gun
  • Get waxed
  • Be able to identify specific penalties in hockey
  • Have a work husband
  • Meet a Pittsburgh Penguin
  • Read Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Read The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  • Go to a casino
  • Make sourdough bread like my mom’s
  • Bake with yeast successfully >>> Bake with yeast more successfully
  • Smash a light bulb
  • Weave a basket
  • Organize my license plate pictures
  • Skinny dip >>> Skinny dip in a river
  • Use a claw foot tub
  • Chug a Frappucino
  • See Mt. Fuji
  • Be in a movie or TV show
  • Wear fake eyelashes >>> Wear fake eyelashes sometime that isn’t Halloween
  • Take my youngest sister to see Chicago on Broadway

That’s not all of it, but I’ve literally filled out four notebook pages so far, I know there’s stuff I keep forgetting to add to it, and I suspect these goals are more interesting to me than to you 😛 I’ve got a to-do list to work on anyway, so I better go cross “New blog post” off of it.

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I have some bucket list work to do, too 😉

Leave me comments about your bucket list!

Categories: Challenges, Update | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sissy Trip

Completed my challenge! It wasn’t a particularly difficult one, but my challenger-sister and I just drove from North Carolina to California in four days, and I think I maybe made myself sick on one of them trying to make sure I finished reading on time.

My challenge was to read this book by today:

a-curse-dark-as-goldMelodramatic as that title is,  I enjoyed the novel pretty well. The story is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, so–as a fan of fairy tales and their various manifestations–I was excited for this challenge. It’s set in a fictional woolen mill inspired by the early Industrial Revolution and the cultural transition of values from superstition to “reason.”

The narrator is incredibly frustrating sometimes, and there are several characters in whom I was more interested, but the plot itself was strong enough that I didn’t have any issues sticking with it. It’s an easy read, I really like the writing, and I’m grateful for the pleasant resumption it provided for my challenges.

I discovered in the author’s note that she visited a functioning 19th century woolen mill in Missouri which is extraordinarily convenient to the sight-seeing trip that we’ll be taking back east next week. If I can convince my sister to read the book herself before we leave, I think it would all be pretty cute to check out the Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site as an interactive follow-up to this challenge.

This is the part when I should choose a new challenge from the suggestions I have. However, since I am on this grand cross-country adventure, I’d like to open the floor to travel-challenges for my sister and me in case anyone has any good ones that we can afford. My last post got 5 views, so I’m not overly expectant, but you can’t get what you don’t ask for. So! At risk of this being a particularly clumsy conclusion, I am requesting challenges relevant to a drive through northern CA, NV, UT, CO, KS, MO, KY, WV, VA, and NC. Thank you and good night.

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Minor success breeds minor self-contempt

I have completed my challenge to submit an application a day for seven days. I am trying to feel accomplished, but reminding myself every day for a week that I’m unemployed is about as uplifting as you can probably guess. Still, this challenge gave me the opportunity to fine-tune my resume and fix some formatting inconsistencies, so I do at least feel like my professional documents are stronger than they were. I didn’t notice some of those formatting inconsistencies until I’d already submitted screwed up resumes for five applications, but life goes on. I collected the digital evidence of my application submissions and arranged them in no particular order below.

Collage

I added that fancy Gryffindor-looking stock background to it all by myself

I am also pretty much over my fear of writing cover letters now.

For my next act, I am going to perform one of my earlier submitted challenges, put forth by my mother the first day that I started this challenges business:

I challenge you to choose at least one item per day, for thirty days, which no longer serves you and sell, donate or if unable to repurpose it, throw it away.

This one has a longer timeline than the challenges I’ve been doing so far, but since my last challenge contributed to me hopefully getting into a position where I can move out in the nearish future, I think it’s appropriate that I start dealing with a relevant thing on my challenge inspiration list–whittling down the amount of crap I own. I won’t say my situation is like an episode of Hoarders, but I will say that about twenty-seven seconds into the introductory video on my about page is still representative of many areas of my life right now, even though I made that video almost two years ago.

To wrap things up here, I’d like to give a shout-out to the people who responded to my request for inspirational people in my last blog post. I haven’t replied to those comments yet because I’ve been fairly busy this week, but I definitely read them and appreciate them and am excited to look more into some of those people you all told me about. Everyone reading this should also go read those comments because they made me smile and might learn you about someone cool.

Maybe I’ll come up with some catchy send-off for these things. Until then, thanks for reading 🙂

Categories: Challenges | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Still excited I’m done with 50 Shades, but in other news…

I finished my letter writing challenge! Now I just have to wait for that station wagon to come pick up the letter and start it on its way to L.A..

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I’m artsy

Since I finished this challenge with a day to spare, I’ll be taking tomorrow “off” and will start my next challenge on Monday, which is:

I challenge you to apply to a job every day for a week!

This is another one from Tori, and she said she’d do this challenge with me, so I get to have another challenge with a buddy!

Now that I’ve set that challenge up, I would like to go back to the challenge I just finished. The fact that I had so much trouble figuring out somebody not dead who inspires me concerns me a lot. I can think of lots of people I know personally who inspire me, but with 7 billion people in the world, that seems like a pretty closed system. I want, nay, need to know who I haven’t met that I could or should be looking to for inspiration.

This brings me to my request for all of you today: I would love it if everyone posted in the comments about somebody alive today who you find inspirational. I don’t care if the only thing you post is their name and nothing else; I’ll do the research later. If you want to give me reasons for why they inspire you, that would also be fantastic, but at least leave me a name, please. It’s possibly the easiest comment to leave in the world (as long as you aren’t me, apparently), and you would be helping to give that person exposure and credit for their awesome deeds 😉 Tell me who inspires you!

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I’m most productive at night

I fear I may have misunderstood my last challenge, which was:

Read 50 Shades 😉

I assumed that “50 Shades” was just a shortening of the first book’s title, 50 Shades of Grey, but apparently this story was written in its entirety first, and then literally split into thirds with almost zero regard for how thoughtfully composed books and stories are supposed to work (I say almost zero because they did at least bother to finish out the chapter as a stopping point). The ending of 50 Shades of Grey was absolutely ridiculous and lazy and I’ll leave the expression of my feelings for it at that.

Since 50 Shades of Grey is actually just a third of one larger book consisting of the entire 50 Shades “series,” I don’t really feel like I actually finished the book. Therefore, on my own time outside of my challenges, I feel like I have to read the other parts of the horribly-written, paradoxically dull and rage-inducing thing, 50 Shades Darker and 50 Shades Freed. I’ve begun 50 Shades Darker, and am even less happy than I expected to be.

I didn’t know that I had any actual triggers, but apparently the romanticization of emotional abuse causes a sharp downturn in my mood, ultimately making me depressed enough to want to cry. I became aware of this within the first 4% of 50 Shades Darker. To E.L. James’s credit, even though most of her writing is elementary-school simple at best and head-shakingly baffling/dreadful at worst, she does manage to depict the thought processes of an abuse victim shockingly accurately, at least compared to my own experiences.

Unfortunately for her, most of that credit will probably be cancelled out because although she is capable of making that part of her fiction startlingly realistic, as far as I can tell from the patterns in the story and foggy spoilers I’ve been exposed to since the books came out, I expect she does not offer a similarly realistic representation of her abused main character leaving their abuser and moving on to a healthy life. Instead, I expect James perpetuates the myth that the troubled, tortured man who lashes out to cope with the pain can be cured by the sheer staying-power of the one woman who suffers through it all until he finally realizes that she is worth changing for. That incredibly misinformed idea is why I spent five years in a relationship that should have lasted three or four months tops, and why I even have a trigger now in the first place.

I do still plan to produce the product I mentioned for this challenge. Even though the books have bummed me out enough that I don’t want to do anything silly regarding them, I think it will be therapeutic to undercut any credibility the books might have in whatever way I can. Therefore, I intend to fulfill that promise and will post it as soon as I can.

Moving on to happier things, I have a new challenge that began yesterday, put forth by my cousin Rachel:

You should write a letter to an inspirational person for you who is still alive and see if you get a response.

I beat her to the punch four years ago when I wrote a letter to J.K. Rowling–I got a response on her behalf as well as a small portrait of her, and I was so happy I cried.

They sent me a version of this portrait

This puts me at a disadvantage because it rules out the most obvious inspirational person for me who is still alive. Rachel also did not include a time frame for this challenge, so, again, I will update when I have it. I haven’t chosen who I will write a letter to yet, but obviously I will tell you once I have.

I am immensely appreciative of all of the support and feedback people have given me for these challenges, and I want you all to know that I am continuously offering my gratitude. I’m offering it this moment, and this one, and every other moment that will henceforth exist. Thank you all very much 🙂

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Experiments in different genres

My third challenge was submitted by the goddess Tori, who told me to:

NOW WATCH ANCHORMAN. Bonus points if you watch the sequel too ❤

I just finished Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and am going to start the sequel any minute now, once I take a break from the absolute silliness that is the Anchorman universe.

I’ll be honest, my relationship with Will Ferrell has been a bit love/hate. Sometimes he’s incredibly clever, and sometimes he’s just obnoxious. I personally don’t think desperate yelling is necessarily a one-way ticket to hilarious, but I get that that was supposed to be some weird character quirk for Burgundy, I guess. His conversations with Baxter were delightful, though, and I especially enjoyed that Baxter is the real life version of Seymour from Futurama.

Baxter_Anchorman2_imageSeymour

When I was in high school someone changed the screensaver on the computer in the band room to a crawl of the Anchorman quote about leather-bound books and his apartment smelling of rich mahogany. I remember that vivid imagery making a strong impression on me, and I’m not sure when I learned that the quote was actually from Anchorman, but I’ve been looking forward to it. I wasn’t disappointed with the delivery, either, which was pleasant because I was really afraid I would be.

Overall, I’m glad I finally watched it so I can be one link closer to the rest of my generation and hopefully understand certain things better. I’ve already been promised to have the movie frequently quoted at me by Tori, so I will, if nothing else, understand her better. I did genuinely enjoy it, for the most part, and it did reconfirm for me that I’m dating a taller, burlier version of Paul Rudd, so that’s pretty rad.

I know the Anchorman challenge isn’t really complete yet because I haven’t gotten the bonus points, but I’ll go ahead and set up the next challenge that I’ll start tomorrow.

My friend Nina and I apparently hate ourselves, because we are interested in the primary source material for 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James, so my next challenge, from her, is:

Read 50 Shades 😉

She and I had originally discussed doing dramatic readings of it together, so that’s how I’m opting to do that. I haven’t got a timeline yet for when, but I’ll update when I do.

In other news, I hate to be picky about my challenges, but the ones I have left after the 50 Shades one are relatively undoable right now because we’re remodeling the house. You would be my best friend if you broadened the pool a little bit for what I have to choose from 🙂 As before, here is the list of inspiration:

  • walking my dog
  • learning to play guitar
  • improving my abilities with media and multimedia projects
  • yoga, sort of
  • significantly reducing my possessions
  • letter-writing
  • watching iconic or important movies
  • reading more books

As a final note, I would just like to say thank you to everyone who’s been reading this and submitting challenges. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it ❤ Keep ’em coming!

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I’ll come up with a better titling system maybe

I have completed my second challenge! As a reminder, here is what it was:

Read The Slight Edge over the span of a week and report on how it can apply to your life…

I finished the book last night, so here is my report:

The “slight edge,” which author Jeff Olson refers to by name about six thousand times throughout the book, is “simple disciplines or simple errors in judgement, repeated consistently over time,” and actually fits incredibly nicely with this whole challenges project. His main point, repeated ad nauseam, is that those things compound to either wild success or your eminent doom, depending on which simple things you elect to do (or not do) every day.

Because of the time constraint on this challenge, I was forced to use the slight edge while reading The Slight Edge; I needed to read about three chapters a day in order to get through it the “slight edge” way, and in general that worked out pretty well for me. As far as how the slight edge can apply to my life, I actually came up with this challenges plan as a way to achieve that same goal of wild success that Olson says the slight edge can help me achieve, so in a way I’ve already started to apply it.

The book is divided into two parts: “How the Slight Edge Works” and “Living the Slight Edge.” He helpfully offers spaces for you to directly make plans in your own life during the second half, and wanted me to write in the book, but I didn’t, so I suppose filling it in here instead would be fair. First I was to write out five dreams, get specific about them, and give a timeline of by when I want them:

  1. I want to move out and support myself. I’m not sure where exactly yet, but I want a decent paying job and to move out within the next six to eight months.
  2. I want to live in Boston, and be settled there for at least a few years. I want to move there in the next one to three years.
  3. I want all of my possessions to a) be all in one place (rather than scattered across storage and my parents’ houses, etc.) and b) to all fit into one moving truck, within the next six months.
  4. I want to be ambidextrous. I want to do all things equally well with both hands. I want to achieve this within the next five years.
  5. I want to start saving for retirement and pay off my student loans. I want that taken care of in the next ten to fifteen years.

The other things I was supposed to write out were my slight edge habits that I would do to improve my health, happiness, relationships, personal development, finances, career, and my positive impact on the world. Those were to be outlined as:

My dream for (whatever area of my life)

Plan to start

One simple daily discipline

He said that the relationship one should probably stay private, so I will keep that one to myself, but here are the other six:

  1. Health
    1. I want my body to be able to do everything I ask it to without difficulty
    2. I plan to start this by eating more plants and walking my dog more
    3. Eat three servings of plants and walk my dog
  2. Happiness
    1. I want to be satisfied with and proud of my life
    2. I plan to start this by finishing some of my unfinished projects and finding more productive uses for my time
    3. Finish something, be it the dishes or detailing my car or writing a story or giving birth
  3. Personal Development
    1. I want to continuously develop my already possessed skills and acquire new ones
    2. I plan to start this by asking people to challenge me to do things at their discretion
    3. Read about those skills or about something with which I’m unfamiliar
  4. Finances
    1. I want to live comfortably, have a real budget, save money, and not buy as much useless crap
    2. I plan to start this by finding a job
    3. Save all of my loose change and ones
  5. Career
    1. I want a stimulating and rewarding position where I know I am valued and important
    2. I plan to start this by finding a job
    3. Research positions and put in applications
  6. My positive impact on the world
    1. I want to have concrete things left behind for people to remember and know me by, as well as bring out the best in people in ways that won’t necessarily be recorded
    2. I plan to start this by actually finishing, maintaining, and sharing my blog
    3. Write something down that is useful or positive

I think filling in those blanks pretty well completes the requirements for my challenge, so I’ll finish up this bit of the post. If you’re looking for some direction in your life, I’d recommend checking this book out. Olson’s done a great job of making sure you won’t have excuses for not reading his book, so if you want it as a physical book, or a digital book, or an audiobook, you can find whatever catches your fancy here.

In other news, during the time I was doing this challenge I actually checked off another thing I’d had on the list I’ve been posting with this; my friend Laura helped me make that capelet brainchild and I think it’s pretty cute considering we made it up.

Fluffy side

Fluffy side

Shiny side

Shiny side

I think I want to add some appliques to the shiny side because I intended for it to be reversible and so far wearing the purple side out just looks like I’m wearing it inside out to me, so technically this still isn’t finished, but the bulk of the work is done. I’m glad I went to Laura for help with it because if I’d done it myself it probably would have looked less like respectable clothes and more like the last thing I sewed, which was a pair of pajama pants ten years ago that had exposed elastic in the waist because I apparently couldn’t sew two pieces of fabric together with a machine specifically designed to do that. Anyway, go check out and like her Facebook page or follow her sewing instagram blog account thing (I don’t know how to Instagram or what to call things on it) because she’s made some really impressive and adorable pieces, and Laura is also just delightful.

I’ll post tomorrow about what my next challenge is going to be. Here’s that list again, revised again:

  • walking my dog
  • learning to play guitar
  • improving my abilities with media and multimedia projects
  • yoga, sort of
  • significantly reducing my possessions
  • letter-writing
  • watching iconic or important movies
  • reading more books

Feel free to post any challenges in the comments! 😀

Categories: Challenges | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Very important

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Yesterday I accepted my first challenge, issued by my good friend Jessica Davis:

Jerrika! You should use one of the challenges to write me a letter!

Jessica was very generous to offer this challenge to me because it both gently helped me get started and forced me to almost make my own envelope before I learned that we, against all normality here, had some envelopes already. I wrote the letter last night, and feel that I officially completed the challenge when I put it in the mailbox this afternoon, where it is waiting alone in the dark to be picked up tomorrow by the station wagon that takes and delivers our mail.

I know I only posted yesterday, but I think this milestone event warrants a timely acknowledgement, especially because it means I am ready to move on to a new challenge.

This brings us to Challenge the Second, which comes from family friend (who is actually just family) Mrs. Lissa:

Read The Slight Edge over the span of a week and report on how it can apply to your life…

I’m looking forward to this one because I don’t read books nearly enough anymore.

I’ve gotten good challenges from a handful of people already, and am very grateful to these pioneers for stepping up in giving me things to do. Virtual cupcakes for all of you. I realized too late that I left one other topic of especial interest off of my list of challenge inspiration in my first blog about this idea, so here it is again, abridged, with the addition:

  • walking my dog
  • learning to play guitar
  • improving my abilities with media and multimedia projects
  • yoga, sort of
  • significantly reducing my possessions
  • sewing a capelet I want
  • letter-writing
  • watching iconic or important movies, so people will quit making that face at me that they always do when I say I haven’t seen Braveheart/Scarface/The Godfather/Star Wars/Anchorman/Casablanca/The Jerk/Alien/Pretty Woman/Friday the 13th/Stand by Me/Iron Man/Green Mile/One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest/etc. etc. etc. etc.

As I said, some people have already submitted some great challenges, so keep it up and send me more in the comments! I can’t wait to see them.

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Long Overdue Update

I’ve finished a few things during the time that I haven’t finished the rest of the things I started for this project:

Back in July or August, I drew wombats, sheep, and a goat as a thank you for everyone who commented on this blog when I needed them to, and sent them out. I also wrote accompanying letters explaining why they were getting a gratitude animal three or four months after they’d earned them. I did them all with the quill and ink I got for my birthday, and ink splattered on a lot of them. I kind of got the hang of writing with it by the end of them.

One of the gratitude wombats

One of the gratitude wombats

I also graduated from university with a B.A. in English. Only took one extra semester, which isn’t too terrible considering I transferred twice and therefore kept having to retake courses for which I lost credit.

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My second-to-last selfie of my college career

I finished drawing my Christmas card this year from the sketch I drew up last year, printed them, stuffed and addressed envelopes, then lost the box that had most of them in it. I found the box and sent them out last week with a note explaining briefly what had happened.

Edit Again Again Again

Aforementioned Christmas card

On the night of the Beatles Tribute I successfully made chocolate chip cookies that passed my test of being soft after cooling off. I am still chuffed about them, even though I ate the last one a week ago and did end up burning the last eight I put in the oven.

Apparently the only visual evidence of those cookies

Apparently the only visual evidence of those cookies

I made a present for my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day, which consists of a short composition titled “On the Establishment of Relations with Dragons” written on a big piece of sketch paper, with a dragon and other aesthetic elements drawn around it.

Preliminary sketch of aforementioned present, because the real one is for Boyfriend, not for you

Preliminary sketch of aforementioned present, because the real one is for the Boy, not for you; many apologies

Related, I drew, for the first time, a relatively complex Celtic knot that actually consists of one line all the way through and weaves together perfectly. Most of it ends up being covered by the dragon, but I spent forever drawing it up proper anyway. The width of the lines are only slightly not uniform.

I made it myself

I made it myself

Hopefully I’ll have more obviously impressive accomplishments to offer in the near future.

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