Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This Post Will Be Like Half Baked Cake

I spent most of last week in Portland. I was getting stircrazy in Washington and thought that maybe a scenery jolt would be able to shake things up enough to set me back down on my feet in the right way. I know I've said this before, but the past month and a half haven't been so great, emotionally speaking. I've been an awkward flurry of grey clouds that won't pass on by, despite what the weatherman says.

I tend to do this. Things go amuck and I think that I need to do something to fix it. In this case, I was going to try and work things out without God. You would think that, by now, I would've learned my lesson - but I hadn't, so I tried.

It didn't work.

Portland is not a fix-all.

When I was in Portland, I broke out my old agenda and read what I had wrote last time I was in Portland. It was like reading a journal entry I had just written that day.

It's only been over the past few days that I've been sliding back to normallacy. It's an odd concept to try to convey - but there is a sort of state of mental well being where I feel "normal," or, at least steady. During these times, folks I don't even know come up to tell me they see a light in me and I see light as I meander the streets of the world.

I didn't know where that light went. Didn't know where I had gone.

Last night really helped. I'm currently going to this new church that really jives with me in a way that most churches don't. There's no real sermon, but the Word is spoken. I'm encouraged to dance but am also free to lay down (they provide pillows!) if I feel like it. Folks are painting and journaling as we sing out to the Lord, just soaking in His presence, so tangible.

It wasn't a fleeting moment. It was something I could rest and finally find peace in...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snip Snap

As has been discussed on this blog, I have a history of being cut off and cutting off others. I have what I would consider to be an unhealthy defense mechanism to isolate the discomfortable feeling or fear by ignoring it.

In the past week, I've emotionally disconnected from one human and altogether snapped off another.
Margaret! Why are you doing this? Why?
It's not ok.
And I know this.

So I've been thinking a lot.

I'm going to first conquer expressing what's been going on with the emotional disconnection.

The other human did nothing wrong, but their actions did trigger something in that strangely resembles fear so much that I'm pretty sure it must be that. I had them labeled in my mind as one of the safest folks I know and something happened (nothing crazy).

My mind started calculating and figuring things out and it decided that:
No human is safe and you ought not trust them that closely ever again -- ok? Keep yourself in a bubble and only engage on the surface with others.

I don't like that at all. One of my favourite things about this human was that I was able to let down my guard completely and feel safe around them. Now I tell myself that I ought not to have put them in that position and that I ought not to have put myself in that position.

But now, after a few days, the ideas and thoughts keep bouncing in my head and I start to get that desire I tend to have to have resolution, generally, but throwing things into the open and talking them out. I'll get back to that in a second. I'd first like to review the progression of things.

The day of that which happened (once again, nothing even worth noting and all understandable) my mind decided it would be a keen idea to pretty much ignore the human. So I did. If they sought out interaction, I would politely respond, but nothing much. No conversation.

On day two, I decided to try and reneutralize them to have the same status of someone I meet on the street. At one point they touched my shoulder (same way a librarian does) and a dozen alarms went off and I said, "Hush you alarms! I can guarantee you are safe right now."

I know we're supposed to pay attention to those red lights -- but I do genuinely know that they're not necessary in this situation.

And that's where I'm left. I can sort of be around this human and it's ok, but no more.
I have the desire to not see them or interact with them -- and that's not where I want to be.

Some people can just move on like nothing happened. I don't know how they do it, but I can't. I'm incapable of just pretending my brain didn't just do a few loops. So, I've decided I want to have resolution of some sort... but... here's what happens now.

Frequently, before cutting someone off, I do have things I want to say. But, this horrible voice in my head tells me this, "Talking to them about it to preserve this friendship is not worth it because, to them, you're not worth it. It makes no difference to them if you come or go. They could care less if you were present in your life or not."

I hate that lie.
I call it a lie, right here, because I know I should say it's a lie, but it's a lie I tend to firmly believe just as much as I believe that I will be able to find hemp milk at the market down the road.

My logic turns to this (logic.. meh):
1. In order to feel comfortable around them I need to communicate with them.
2. Communication takes their time.
3. Time is something they value and they need to value something in order to spend time on it.
4. I'm not worth someone's time.
5. Therefore, we can't communicate.
6. Therefore, I can't feel comfortable.
7. Therefore, it's better to cut them off which won't really make a difference to them anyways.

There's a couple of other factors in there but that's it all stripped down and simple.
Not sure what to do so, for now, I'm just hiding away in different corners of Portland.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

First Days in PDX

Maybe I've done this post five times already. I feel like I have nothing new to say even though my mind has been running on full. Currently, I'm writing from Portland, Oregon within the safe refuge of a friend's home.

I arrive on Friday. Since gum surgery, I haven't really felt the same. Ok, before surgery I was already in a semi-funk, but not too bad at all. Perhaps it was the coming of my third week in Washington that chased me away and decided, "I should go to Portland tomorrow."

My ride was an old Couchsurfing connection I met back on Lopez Island last year. He's a bagpiping medic, if that tells you anything. Seeing our exchange on Facebook, my cousin and second cousin, Kat and Kiera, asked if they could hitch a ride as well and he willingly let them join in on the three hour trip.

And that's what brought me to Another Castle - the home of folks like Dan, Princess Ryan, Brandon, Mindi, Yarrow, Davi, Laura, Adam, Adam, Monica, Brooke, Emma, Penny, Tinka, and Jae. I think that's all of them. Another Castle is like no other home I've witnessed or been welcomed to be a part of for a short while (contemplating a month). They live as a community. They eat together. They sleep together. They spend time together. And, in all of this, they welcome other humans to join them.

I felt honoured to witness their interactions. They talked pretty straight to each other, for the most part, keeping communication lines open in a world that seems to be getting worse at telling each other what we need from each other.

I think the community bed might be one of my favourite parts.
The people are vibrant and that's pretty swell.

One of my favourite days was Monday with Princess Ryan. They were heading out to do errands and I asked if I could join. They grabbed a tandem cycle (thanks, Brandon) and we headed out. It was the sort of sunny day that warms your guts and makes you chortle - which was exactly what I needed. I need to laugh and I needed the sort of laugh that came out without reason and stuck around for a while.

We first biked to the Oprah house where they bought tickets and then suggested we watch the bridge being built. After that, we cycled to the bouldering gym where they climbed and I went off to read int he sun and stroll about. On the way home they asked if they could get my lunch at the food carts and I was pretty delighted. I was already on a cheery-high that I'd been craving for a few weeks.

We meandered the food courts until I spotted one boasting Traditional Russian Cuisine. That sounded super good. The woman, Bella, was from Moscow and spoke Russian. I spoke a phrase of Russian to her from Soviet Winne-the-Pooh. "Are you Russian?" she asked. "Nope, American." I was able to then pull out a few more phrases I remembered.

We get piroshki and soup - I got borscht. It was jubilation in a meal. At the end, she came out of her cart to give us free cardamom tea which warmed my hands up in preparation to get on the tandem again. Satisfying conversation.

That afternoon was what I needed to jumpstart my feeling-like-meness. I don't know. Maybe I should learn to feel like me when I'm down, but I don't. There's a certain neutral pleasant that I prefer to be in and normally am in. When I feel like a Magi, I feel pretty free and... gah, I miss it. I'm being care to not mess up my expectations or boost them beyond what can be the norm.

Back at home, we cleaned the house. We scrubbed the kitchen and tidied up the living room. That felt good too. I was craving a way to contribute to the household.

That evening I hopped on a bus to Lucy's which is where I am now. With Lucy... sigh. I feel like I can just maybe, maybe connect with Lucy! She says things that make me clap and point and say, "YES! Crikey, YES! Exactly!" She's helped me also feel vibrant again in that connection. Grateful. Grateful.

Things might be coming together? I suspect?
Today I get to travel for an hour to Hillsboro to see my family figures.
I'm eager. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Conversation Misconnection - How-oh?

I must have it all wrong.
I must be wrong.
I must be delusional.

These past few weeks have been ups and downs. I'll normalize myself and then, bam, swing into the lull that prods me towards becoming a hermit. At least as a hermit, I couldn't do wrong.

It feels like an endless dose of miserable teenage angst that I thought would be over by now. I'm trying to figure out how to break the cycle. I've been sleeping, no dairy or sugar... so many odd sensations. I have no desire to really go out and find most of my peace in staying solo.

In conversations, as of late, I've had this record going on in my head that says, "I have nothing to say." When I meet new people, I struggle to think of questions to ask. It feels like the conversation is happening because it's supposed to happen and I don't have what it takes to make it happen. I have no desire to pretend like we have something to talk about.

There was a Russian man that I stayed with for a few nights up in the polar circle. One thing I liked about him is that he acknowledged, first thing, that he's not one for conversation and prefers things quiet. I felt so at peace no trying to search for topics.

I know there are things to talk about,
but so much of it seems like filler. It seems forced.
Sometimes I get a solid conversation, and I appreciate that, but that seems rough and rare.

Update: Few days after writing this I landed myself in the house of a human I could really crazy relate to in a lot of ways and it made me feel alive and human again and that is something I celebrate.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hidden Blog

A few days ago, I made it so only I can see my blog. I'm still not sure if people get the posts via email or not. Not sure at all. A handful of folks quickly realized that it was all closed up and asked why.

I'm closing up my blog lately because I've had some things I've wanted to blog about but haven't felt like I could. I know I'll write for the blog but when I have to censor, it doesn't happen.


It's just me.
And this blog.
Until I open it up again someday.

T Encore

T & I
One of the hardest parts of going back to Alaska, this past fall, was knowing that A was going to be there and that I would have to see him. Generally, he packs out of Haines each fall but, luck have it, he decided to stick around this time. In a town of around 1,700, you can't help but run into someone, frequently multiple times a day.

Over the few months I spent there, by nothing short of a miracle, I never saw him. Somehow I was spared going through that and I'm not entirely sure how, but I'm grateful. I had had the attitude that if I was supposed to see him, I would, and if it ought not be so, I wouldn't. I had peace with that.

So I left. No A.

I know A because I met him on the dance floor in 2011 and, the third time I met him, I went up to Alaska with him and his friend, T. T was very much so apart of my first few months in Alaska and in getting me up there. I've spent hours learning his songs, being in his presence, and rubbing his scalp. This is someone I knew well.

Then, when things went funky with A, T stepped away and he recently, in the past year, sent me a message saying that what I had done (such as cutting A off, since that hurt his feelings) was not reconcilable. I screwed up and can own that. I'd like to quote A here, though, from one of our last conversations, "Magi, I didn't do anything wrong."

Needless to say, T and I are not on good terms.

Last night I arrived in Portland - population 603,000. The chances of running into someone I know here are terrible slim. I was spending my night at a home that I had come to for the purpose of being safe (I've been really off, lately). I was satisfyingly smushed up on a couch between P.R., D, and B when the door opened.

And in walked T.

How do these things happen?

Of all of the houses of all the nights of all the times of all the places in the world?

Why the same one?

After months in a place where it was beyond probable, I never saw A
But at the time when I would never, never expect it - guards down - in comes T.

I ran into B's room. Had a panic attack. Fought it (grateful for counselling that taught me how back in '08). Felt safe again.

Thanks, Portland.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Baby Pearl will balance out the negativeness in this post.
"Useless. Worthless."

These are the words bouncing in my head - and I mean them. I believe them. And I want to them go away, but they don't. I keep hearing the phrase, "I am not a good person," in my head. That's me talking to me.

Why do I believe it? Why am I so down?
I've been crying so much lately and I'm pretty done with being down.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Opiates Are Confusing

"Be safe," the comoflauged man told me as he gave me a bear hug a few blocks from the bus stop we had just both gotten off. I shuffled down the sidewalk of Kenmore in a daze. I knew where I was going. I knew where I was. I looked at plates at the thrift shop and then walked back to the grocery store to meet up with my mom. I didn't feel like I was going to get to the home. When I saw her, I started to cry.

"I'm so sad," I told her as I continued to cry in confusion.

I feel so
very strange.

For my recent gum surgery, they gave me some stuff. Nik says they're "opiates" and they've been messing with me. My mind is not my own and sometimes it swims in waterfalls and I say, "Come back! I have a point to make," but it likes those waterfalls so I do my best.

Sometimes I think I have it together. I thought I did the other night when I went to Ian's house. But today we met up for coffee and he told me I was pretty strung out.

Today I didn't take the meds, I think, I don't remember. But I don't think I did. I thought I could go out as it's been three days since they worked on my mouth and I should be better by now. An hour before leaving, two hours after getting up, I was ever so sleepy.

I figured getting out of the house would wake me up. It did not. After the mile to the bus stop, I passed out on the bus (not passed out, I dozed off). I felt like someone pulled the energy plug on my middle toe and things came out that would move me.

The world looks like it's a TV and I'm on a couch and then I move through it.
I try to blend in by looking at a book and finding words and eating part of Ian's 5 day old apple fritter.
Usually, it works out well and I am just like a Steven.

But I don't get it. Why am I so tired? Why is the world not where it is supposed to be?
I am going to make little books.
I am tired.
Little truck. Little truck.

I love Sarah so much. She is a very good friend. I love Christian too. Ian is my brother.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Guns, Bear Spray, and Self Defense

Over the past year, since folks heard that I intend to live in my truck, they tend to go into protective mode and more than one has said, "Hey gurrrrl, you need a gun."

I currently do not have a gun. If I were to have a gun, I would not put it on the internet for the world to know.

This morning, yet another person pushed the issue and I decided to ask the world of Facebook what they thought.

"Hey - folks on Facebook. I want your opinions. A lot of people have been expressed to me pretty strongly that, "Short females living in automobiles in trucks should have a... gun." A gun?! I'm not going to expand on my opinions on this topic - but I do want to hear you guys. What do _you_ guys think? If possible, do not write all crazy-emotionally-angrily charged or spend any time attacking the other side (just don't). Trust that I can read and still get something out of it without you getting super-passionate.

I have done internet research. I have looked at both sides. At this point, I'm just trying to see what the opinion is of folks that, for the most part, know me and my situation well and might be able to shed new light into it.

In the end, I won't be one to tell you what I decided because I don't feel it would be on the wise-side to say, "Hey, I have a gun!" and will probably never tell a single person if I _did_ have one.

I'll also likely be deleting this entire thread in 12-24 hours after thoroughly reading it."

Amazingly, 58 responded on this controversial topic without bashing each other or getting emotionally riled up, which is good.

At first, I thought I'd keep my opinion in my head, but I decided to write out, logically, what I've been thinking and then, after that, post what knew thoughts people had put into my head.

I am not into the idea of me having a gun in my hands in my truck. The main reason is (and as many people pointed out), to have a gun, you need to be prepared to use it. While physically I could do it, I don't think I could actually use it. I don't think I could get myself to use it to protect myself.

I've spent time thinking, "If it came down to me and someone else and I had a gun, could I shoot them?" And, based on all I know of myself, I couldn't - and I don't want myself to. I would rather I die than someone else - it's as simple as that. Ok, I know it's not simple, but that's the conclusion I've come to. Right now, as I think in a sound, mental state, that is the choice I have made for myself. I do realize, though, that I've been blessed to never have had yet to make that choice and have never been in a situation in which I felt like I was in danger.

One other reason why I wasn't keen on having a gun is because I believe that that would be me adding a gun to an already bad situation. I'm not sure how to word this. But, let's say they didn't have a gun but I did -- that would be me adding a gun to the situation which could change a lot of things. If they got their hands on that gun, that would change things. I don't think I explained that well, but I basically don't want to be the one to introduce a gun into a situation. I also wouldn't use a knife.

Bear spray is iffy, for me, because if there's a wind going towards the entrance of the truck, it would just get in my face and do no good at all. I also have to open up my truck to use it. I will have it, but not as a means of thinking, "I'm safe! I have bear spray!"

I do think I need to consider self defense, though. Here are some thoughts I'd been having.

1. Get an air-horn. Most folks wouldn't ever be trying to break into Tobbit to get to me. First, I doubt folks would want to break in - but let's pretend they did. We can pretend someone was curious about what's inside. I doubt those folks are thinking, "I bet there's a red head in there I can can pain to." Most folks are chill. With the air horn, that can startle them enough to likely make them want to run away. By hearing that, they don't know that I'm just me - for all they know, I'm a huge rough dude. By doing something illegal (breaking in), their defenses would probably already be up (on edge) and I doubt they would try even harder to break in after being startled. It would probably be enough to deter anyone slightly curious.

2. Sophia the dog. She's protective and I could count on her to bark. Good dog, Sophia.

3. Take a self-defense course.

4. Don't put myself in isolated situations 'cept when camping. Be aware. Try and park in safe neighborhoods and find connections as I go along. I've never been in a situation where random folks haven't offered me a safe place to sleep. I remember one train ride when four different folks made sure I had a place to sleep that night and some gave me their phone numbers just in case my host for that night fell through.

5. Mayyyyyybe a tazer? Maybe? Something? Honestly, probably not.

6. Practice being in different situations and think through what I would do. I'll want to practice what I would do if someone did try to enter Tobbit at night. Role-play works really well with me as a way to practice how I will interact with the world.

For a short while, a few months ago I thought I wanted a gun because I thought I needed one to feel safe. But after thinking it through, I realized that I wouldn't feel safe having one and it wouldn't be realistic for me to think I could effectively use it in a bad situation. Other folks maybe could. I don't see myself wielding a gun and having it work out...

I've been in situations that are sketch and things have always worked out. I'm not trying to go out into the world with this naive view of the world and I promise I'm not oblivious - but I've been told a lot of situations are dangerous and I've been fine. I've not yet regretted travelling Russia solo or hitchhiking in British Columbia or sleeping in my tent on the roof. I've not regretted CouchSurfing or travelling to Alaska with strangers or Craigslisting it to California. I do keep myself aware. I have ways of usually making connections with folks that keep an eye on me.

In more than one situation, things have had the chance to go funky, but I had multiple people (strangers) watching me who came up afterwards to tell me that they were prepared to step in if needed. Luckily, I made the weirdos leave me alone - but had I not, there were a few back-up plans up my sleeve and those of others.

This is not polished and complete, however it hopefully lets folks know where I'm at, mentally.

So what did the folks on Facebook have to say?

Both sides were well represented and I was grateful that they all communicated the ideas in a non-aggressive way. New ideas were brought up (like one, that I'd have to keep track of a gun all the time) that helped me even better understand the situation and fresh perspectives were given. I'm grateful.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tucker and the Cacti

10 months ago I visited Tucker in Washington D.C.
He took me to see some cacti.

He is now in Washington.
I took him to see some cacti.

I love pictures of Tucker with cacti.

Tucker's an interesting brick in my life. Brick.
I meant that kindly.
I meant to imply that he's one of those steady figures whose woven their way into my life.

West Coast. East Coast.
Left Coast. Best Coast.

Back on the East coast, Tucker was gave me a fine tour of parts of his school, Georgetown University. Pretty fine school. Nice school.

Now, I got to give him a tour of my college - Shoreline Community College!
I love that school. I genuinely do. I'm grateful for the education I received there.

One of the finest parts of the campus is back behind the dog park, there's a fine view of Puget Sound and the Olympics.

I have thoughts to say but I'm currently kinda sort of drugged up after minor mouth surgery and the words are there. They have to do with him doing things and I do things and then we talk and eat pho.

View from my college, yo.

20 Miles Later

All of this is debatable but not worth debating - perhaps discussing after everything has been dissected.

One of the things that still keeps my mind frequently engaged is figuring out friendships as I move on from teens to early twenties. This is a major time of transition, it seems.

In this time, folks around my age are a few steps past the beginning process of forming their own independent identity. We're carving out a path and choosing which personas suit us best. In that, I'm trying to learn what different friendships and relationships look like over time.

I've had friends for years and I'm trying, trying to learn to loosen my grip on them and let them be what they need to be which is sometimes nothing. I'm crap at letting some friendships die, even when they should. I'm crap at moving on from someone I've grown to truly love and it seems that the ones I let myself get most connected to are the ones that have done the most damage and have left me perplexed and smashed for hours (J, A, K - for example).

Because of this, life's gotten strange, at times.
Sometimes I emotionally distance myself for the sake of self preservation (satisfying, eh?).
Sometimes I just assume that nothing's there without consulting the other person.

I'm growing. Trying to do my best not to hurt others.

I met Jesse back in 2006. It's a funky story involving an international internet lip-syncing community, mutual friends, and a library. Eventually, we met in a park and did homework together. The entire basis of our friendship was going for walks. I can't really imagine doing anything else with him.

And then I didn't see him for a couple of years.
I traveled. He started walking and biking and disappeared into the depths of Virginia in a giant sink of dishes.
Each time one of us came back to Seattle, the other was elsewhere.

I don't exactly want to write out what I had thought had happened to our friendship. Pretty much dubbed it dead. I did still (and still do) love hanging out with his family who, for some reason, will take me in at any hour and make me feel at home and loved.

But he's home now and we're both in the same town which promotes the possibility of getting to know each other again. We've both changed a bounty and morphed and grown and frolicked into new circles and back out again. As it turns out, though, we still get along.

First night we hung out was Christmas and somehow, the walk we said we were going to take turned into an eight mile stroll. Two days later we set out at 11 PM at night to get me home... but 11 miles later we were at my brother's home near the University District - arriving at 3 AM. The next day, we kept going on, around 8-9 miles, till we reached downtown Seattle.

I did that thing I tend to do called pushing limits. When I'm figuring out at what level a friend is a friend (does that make sense?), I tend to test boundaries to see if I can truly be me around them. Do they just accept a diluted version of me that I frequently offer folks or is Magi-in-the-raw ok? I act quirky and wait for the rejection to occur, for them to reach the end of the rope. I figure it'd be better if they disappeared now then after I decided to consider them a friend.

I need to stop these cognitive distortions and let people be.
I need to stop trying to mind read.
I need to be patient.

And, after 20 miles, we're still friends.

I'm grateful.

Hoh Hoh Hoh Rain Forest

Washington State has a few legendary locations which just about every native has hit up at some point in their life. One of those is the Hoh Rain Forest. The Hoh Rain Forest is over on the Olympic Penninsula which is sort of like the Neverland of Washington state. No matter how many times you wander there, you still get hit with wonder and delight that has a similar effect as to when someone says, "Hey, you can stick your hand in that giant box of gooey stuff," and you do.

The other day, Alex, Eric, and I headed over there. I've known Eric since Kindergarten and met Alex in junior high - although I didn't really know him until post-high school. Honestly, if you'd told Sophomore Mägi, "These will be some of the few folks from high school you'll actual still have in your life some 4-5 years after you graduate," I would've smirked... I take that back. I can't smirk. I would've just laughed and said, "Umm.. ok. That's snazzy." I was really into the word snazzy back then.

It was at 5 AM that they picked me up at my house in North Seattle. From there, it was still a five hour journey to the trail head. We made our way to Edmonds where we caught the ferry (the view ain't so great when all you see is darkness and fog, but still feels swell) to Kingston and drove on and on and on.

Perhaps one of the highlights of the day were the low-power radio stations we listened to for most of the way. They played eclectic mixes that were reminiscent of when I'd let a small child DJ with my iTunes library and they had no idea what they were playing so you'd get... actually, that sounds like when I choose the playlist. Anyways, we were fed songs like Evergreen with Barbara Streisand and Down at Papa Joe's by the Dixiebelles. I kept tabs of the music heard and later went on to buy all the songs on iTunes so I can listen to them over and over again (which I do).

Once the fog cleared and the sun came up, we were able to take in the majesty that surrounded us. There is no place on earth like Cascadia (SE Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon - depending on who you talk with). There's something in the colouring that isn't duplicated elsewhere. Each time I travel around and come home, I frequently wonder why I left. The beauty I desire is right here.

At the trailhead, I geared up for the pouring rain that was ready to welcome us in a typical Washington-way. I decided to go for Xtratuf boots (rainboots) over hiking boots, rain pants, rain coat, and gloves. This set-up kept me warm and dry for the entire hike.

The hike we were doing was pretty simple - which was good. Since my funky-ankle-re-twist, I'm still learning what it's capable of as I work towards restrengthening the muscles around it. We were doing a 10 mile hike with little elevation changes as we stayed pretty close to a river.

Describing the sights almost seems pointless when I can just flash a few photographs on here. Everything was rich and alive, vibrant and delicious. I can't do it justice.

Most of the hike, the world dripped down on us, slipping down from the overgrown moss the poured off of the branches. It was serene. It was peaceful. Damp and recharged.

If they had an engagement photograph, this could be it.
And then we had food. I ate two tacos.
And then Monica had a birthday party.

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