Posted by: lazilox | August 8, 2011

This Blog will be moved eventually.

I am realistically considering switching party affiliation. I don’t think I can realistically stay aligned with a party that actively gambled with our nation’s solvency. For what? For a meager handful of points in some opinion poll designed for a distant election, akin to effectively shopping for Christmas like this in March? To simply attack a president’s image since there are currently no viable candidates worth investing enough in? To reiterate, the republicans just purposely induced a recession out of thin air for a few points on an opinion poll. If they choose to blame this on the democrats, and worse: people believe them, I may lose faith in the system all together.

Granted, I wouldn’t become a democrat. They just acted like progressive parents who use timeouts in lieu of actually beating their kids. Great job. You allowed this to unfold.

Now, I get it. It’s all the entitlements, which a large part of both sides’ constituency depends on. The reason on paper that S&P downgraded us is because things are a little staggering and disappointing. What we didn’t need was Congress thrusting this issue into the limelight, and blaring it all over the world for 2 weeks.

What happened today was absurd, but not at all surprising. It is a little heartwarming to realize that the institutional investors sort of just ignored S&P. They realized that despite a plethora of thorough research, the US can always just print more money. Everything is tied to treasuries. The first thing you learn in FIN101 is that the US Treasury is the risk-free rate. S&P wanted to see what happened if they poked the bear with the stick. As Branderson put it, they wanted to see if they could “turn risk-free return into return-free risk”. Well, that didn’t work. Instead what they did was send an already nervous market into a steeper nose-dive. Europe just bailed-out a massive lump of fiscal mess that was Greece (presumably thanks to certain US banks back in ’00), and is now crossing it’s fingers it doesn’t have to pay more child support before the next paycheck comes. Thanks S&P.

If you really want to blame someone, blame Sarah Palin. I didn’t hear one word about “Tea-Partiers” until she traded her political future for what is essentially Flava Flav’s job: reality shows, showing up on other networks completely confused, and yelling unintelligible things into cameras.

The silver lining of today was that I got to watch it unfold. I had no personal vested interest in the matter due to a misplacement of some forms.  I work for a company that provides risk management solutions to the buy side – that is anyone with GOBS of cash that they need invested prudently. Success in my line of business is probably highly correlated with the VIXX. As long as the government keeps doing whatever it’s doing, the likelihood that the US will probably require some stricter bookkeeping legislation increases. That means more clients.

Posted by: malpants15 | February 18, 2010


Tiny is not really tiny. He is an older man of at least 40 new years, 15-20 of which I do not doubt began with hangovers of parties at which he felt obligated to entertain the amassed co-nerds with his poor taste in jokes and garish holiday tie. He is tall, the topmost part of his figure bare and shiny, reflecting the same unflattering light as his thick glasses. Tiny can be best described from the neck up as a combination of the uncle from Home Alone who calls Kevin a little jerk and Principal Rooney from Ferris Beuhler’s Day Off. He sounds just like another principal, that of the high school attended by both Beavis and his friend, Butthead, but this quality of his audio impact is of little consequence when considering his overall effect.

Tiny is the least self-aware person in our office. On average, he clears his throat, groans, moans, whines, sighs, or curses every 3.47 minutes. When he is not making non-word contributions to our noise pollution, he is narrating his workflow. Yes, I am sure you think I am exaggerating. No, I am not. The man audibly curses at himself, his keyboard, his monitor, his other monitor, his watch, whoever he is on the phone with and anything else within arms’ length. Tiny screams into the phone regardless of the conversation’s content, but is especially snippy to those I would assume to be relatives. He is a monster of air space.

His general lifestyle is equally unappealing. The man, a lumbering 6’3, drives a smart car. It would be more accurate to say that the man lives a smart car. His desk walls are decorated with photographs of sports cars. While you assuredly are picturing small vehicles, I must amend your mental image with additional descriptions. These sports cars are miniature. To be more specific, smart car sized. He has three pictures of smart car-sized sports cars adorning his workspace. There are also smart car pictures on his screen saver, but those are hardly the most offensive. There are also slides of an animated shot glass tipped over towards a salt shaker and jokes probably forwarded to Tiny from other nincompoops throughout the tristate area, or perhaps fellow brethren of whatever fraternity from his college had the lowest athletic score during greek week but kicked ass in chess. I take that back. I doubt this man has any redeeming mental qualities. I say this because I have been informed that Tiny repeatedly ignores the request of another coworker to avoid doing specific duties. He instead continues to do them, interrupting the coworker’s own work. For the amount of noise he makes, he apparently hears nothing. But I digress…

Tiny has one other notable quality that I may mention before becoming too nauseous. He has a habit, in the cozy afternoon comfort of his chair, surrounded by the low hum of copiers and emails received, to doze. Tiny slips into tiny cat naps resting his tiny brain (but huge dome) on his tiny sweaty palms. Mouth open, eyes shut he snoozes through obligations, ignoring all prior plans to catch up on contacting vendors to instead catch up on some z’s. This is lucky for everyone, because without his afternoon nap he might not be able to so completely disregard the common courtesies and decencies usually exercised in the workplace. The man is, as previously stated, completely un-self-aware.

A side note that, while not lending to any generalized personality traits, does give a real life example of those traits in action:

I walked to the bathroom down a narrow hallway, passing Tiny making a personal call. Upon exiting the facility, I looked up to smile as I passed him again. Instead of being greeted, or had I been lucky, ignored, I was met with something far less anticipated, though perhaps it should have been; Tiny had both his thumb and his middle finger inserted past their first knuckles into his left nostril. We made eye contact, which failed to deter him from the excavation. I fled, and we have not spoken of it since, though I doubt he has any recollection of such an incident as would normally occur in his day to day operations.

Posted by: Alice Inc. | November 9, 2009

A New Career Path

Simply Hired, an online career wiki-resource (much like Indeed) offers explanations, openings, and average salaries of jobs posted by people who a) want to bitch about how much money they make, b) want to brag about how much money they make,  or, apparently, c) wish to inform the expectations of future generations of trophy wives. It provides the intoxicating opportunity to “research potential careers” while getting your fix of wikipedia-like random, frenzied clicking. (You know the wiki-click syndrome –10 pm: I’m going to look up China’s population, 2 am: the Naval Act of 1974 is total bullshit.)

After I tucked in my vagina and pricemarked my soul to interview at my first ever big corporation, I went online to find out how much green I should expect in return for my individuality. I fought the urge to perform a ritualistic self sacrifice every time someone ended a sentence with a wink, a white-strip gleaming grin, a catch phrase, and a pair of smokin’ pistol-hands. Nothing turns you into a raging commy-sympathizing feminist quite like a corporate interview-day, and I just wanted Simply Hired to tell me that I’d earned something more than a few dozen business cards. Tell me, salary forecaster, that by the time I hit my mid-life crisis at 29, I’ll have made enough money to buy the american-made mid-sized sedan of my dreams.

Much to my dismay, a frenzied wiki-click session informed me that I’ve been barking up the wrong corporate ladder.

I began with my usual search:

entry level journalist: a graph of a black diamond ski slope and a measly (and overestimated) 30,000

position at corpo company: journalism x 2

click click boxer click click radio personality click click

To Sit and Look Pretty: $72000

What? What what? I’ve been so misinformed! Cornell’s career services totally left this out of the “Careers for Liberal Art Majors” handout. (Yes, all the potential jobs of LA majors fit onto a one-sided sheet of printer paper.) It seems this position has only two requirements:

Fail on Both Fronts

1) Sitting, perhaps for extensive periods of time: check. Some days it gets difficult, but I always resist the urge for mobility. I’ll have to tweak my resume to include what skills from my “lounging” experience could make me a more productive sitter.

2) Looking pretty. This is where I’ve been misguided. All that money spent on a bachelor’s degree could have easily been put towards furthering my qualifications in this department. Who cares about Psychology and studying the Koran!? I need a lifetime supply of self-tanner!

But, as with all career paths, the professional sitter-and-looker-of-pretty faces some threats in these dire times. For example:

1) This is a commodity position. When income drops and people must find ways to decrease their spending, your job is in peril.

2) Market saturation: It seems the farther west you go, the better girls are at a) looking pretty, b) sitting for much longer than I ever could, or c) the rare combination of both, but better, like a trophy-wife-2.0.

Almost there...

3) Unsure government plan: with divorce rates at 50/50, you have to be proactive about securing your future. So, say it with me ladies, “If you even say the word prenup, I’m telling your golf buddies that you cheated on your taxes – and then cried about it.”

Leg Spreading included in job description

Whew! Not as easy as it looks.

Posted by: Alice Inc. | October 29, 2009

A lesson in delirium

Where to begin? A chaotic pile of word vomit to fill in a two-month late life update should do the trick.

I survived nine hours with the woman who bore me in extremely close quarters, all the while questioning my decision to go with the eco-friendly coupe. After a slew of potential roomies backed out on my way to dc, I thanked Jesus, Obama, and whoever created the IPhone as I e mailed every potential Craigs List Killer on the web, looking for  a place to rest my head for the month while I looked for a permanent apartment. One night spent at the One Washington Circle Hotel and I was already driving to West Virginia to visit my perfectly seasoned mound of man meat. In 24 hours, I had signed a rent check for more than I’d make in the upcoming two months in the lovely white-washed squeaky clean neighborhood of Friendship Heights, where if you see a person of an alternative ethnicity walking the streets, you can bet that there’s an angry white lady BBMing her mani off about how long she’s been waiting for her coffee/laundry/bus/taco somewhere nearby. Oh, and be careful, the girl in front of Bloomies isn’t actually black, just slightly crispy from her in-home tanning bed that her daddy gave her for her sweet-13-and-a-half. Also in the previous 24 hours, I’d landed an internship (“Part time job,” for those of you trying to explain a similar situation to your parents, teachers, and friends from home who once believed in your employability) at Rosalind Wiseman, Inc. I work for an author, educator, and advocate who deals with teen social issues and injustice, and I do a hodgepodge of publicity and events planning. In fact, issues I confronted at work have spurred a new type of creativity for me, as I invented the world’s first letter folder . (It may look like a piece of cardboard cut to the ideal folded-letter size, but it is so, so much more. But wait! Order now and receive a complimentary envelope licker, which may look like a tube of water with a sponge at the end, but it is so, so much more…)

Brief hiatus from sarcasm: I actually really like the people I work with, and, though it’s conveniently funnier to say I only stuff envelopes, they actually include me in a lot of important marketing and event planning discussions, and I’ve learned a ton about publishing, online marketing, and how absolutely horrible young girls can be to each other… Oh, it looks like I failed to mention that the author I work for wrote the nonfiction book that was turned into Mean Girls because Tina Fey bought the rights to it before realizing that it was an instructional guide for parents… I’m so close to you Tina. Yes, that is my breath on your shoulder. No, I love you more.

After a month of living with three extras from Revenge of the Nerds 7: I Swear I Watch Monday Night Football Cuz I Like It, Not in Anticipation That Someone Might Strike Up a Conversation Tomorrow, I left the house in Friendship Heights — that, for some reason, was constantly filled with construction workers, particularly any time I showered — and moved into a group house located at the end of Crack Alley in Columbia Heights. I jest, it’s really not that bad. And it did give me cause to use the phrase, “Hey Emma, can you give me a ride home? I forgot my mace,” for the first time ever. Ah, silver lining.

Sarcasm Hiatus, 2: My roommates are actually fantastic beings. I live with Lauren, a recovered abstinence teen-leader and current press agent for her senator, Dan, a Cornell math graduate who, when he isn’t beatboxing, works at NIH doing something I can’t, and Adam, who does something with non profits and tells hilarious stories about classmates faking their own abduction. Each is decidedly quirky, interesting, and friendly, and I’m so happy Craigs List found them for me. They giggle maniacally about the weirdest things, dance around the house, and sing and whistle while they cook. I’d usually be annoyed by such outbursts of unbridled happiness, but I get off on their contentedness. I more and more hate the world around me, and yet these cooking whistlers have all the innocent joy of six of the seven dwarves.

I also know they think there’s something wrong with me. It’s probably on account of the fact that I start every sentence expecting that they’ve known me, my quirks, and my sense of humor for twenty years. For example, Dan, who has the most startling and endearing gaffaw I’ve heard to date, and I were discussing a girl he was interested in, when suddenly I went from nice lady to rain man.

“I hate when guys I don’t know well touch me.”

“Um… What?”

“I hate it. It’s like, don’t hug me, don’t put your hand on my waist, don’t touch both my shoulders at the same time. Don’t touch me.”

“I don’t get it.”

“The only boys I’ve ever dated are the ones who don’t touch me for the first couple days of me knowing them.”

“So, I shouldn’t touch you?”

“You can. You’re allowed. But not for a while.”

While watching Glee with Adam, I turned bright red and covered my face. “Oh, my god,” I said, “I can’t handle this, I’m freaking out. I can’t handle people dancing and singing in front of me. Stop it, you’re a regular person. Stop your dancing!” At the next commercial break, an advertisement for Target induced my word vomit: “Why the plaid? Everywhere I look I see plaid! Quit pushing the plaid!” Adam had already stopped watching the TV, and was staring only at me. “You have very strong convictions about the strangest things.”

When I describe my roomies to friends, I always say “they’re all so wonderfully odd.” I often wonder what they say about me, the giant redhead living in their basement, who can’t stand plaid, dancing, and immediate touching and snacks on frosting from a jar.

Though my roommates are lovely people, I have been going through a very rough time. I took this internship, committing to it through December, seriously concerned that I would have a job offer before my time was fully served. But I’m balancing literally four jobs — I work as a publicist, sell crabcakes at a farmers market, write for the DC Spotlight (unpaid start up WOOO!), and I’ll soon be working at Kaplan teaching the GREs to people who are dumb and rich enough to pay $1200 for me to tell them to practice math and make flashcards — and I’m still not making rent. I’ve applied to dozens of jobs and haven’t heard back from a single one. Today is my last day at the farmers market, which was making me $400 a month. I’m sad, desperate, and insecure — this is not me. This is not me.

I hit a low point last week, when, in the spirit of Halloween, my insecurities from being unemployed dressed up as insecurities about my relationship, and I went bat-shit crazy on my boyfriend. Then I got dressed up, got drunk, slipped booze into my diet coke at an upscale restaurant, danced like a madman with some hipsters near U Street, didn’t tip that cabbie on the way home, and passed out with no sheets. I woke up refreshed. Sometimes you need to hate the world as loud as you can.

I’m trying to change my outlook. I’m trying to look at the positive things, empower myself, keep my head up. I’m hanging out with friends and going to the gym more often. I’m making a positivity wall — essentially writing shit on my wall that will make me feel better.

A positivity wall. I must already be crazy.

Posted by: Alice Inc. | October 28, 2009

i think i’m unraveling.

e mail sent to boyfriend at 11:56 Pm after watching some filthy/gorgeous drag queens sprint down 17th st. in stilettos:

Subject: Ziggy Stardust


This is the bowie alter ego i thought you were going for:

I wouldve been behind it 100%, but you should probably stop eating.

Also, I’m reading on the road by Jack Kerouac. Let’s drive west, sometime. Lovely quote:

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awwww!”

Goodnight, I love you like cake.

I’ll make sense of this sometime

Posted by: Alice Inc. | August 24, 2009

Optimism, you are my bitch lover

Three days before I make the big move to DC, I’m still on my couch, applying to every position under God, under the sun, and under $35,000. In between copy and pasting “please x 1000,” and “just one chance” in my cover letters, I’m watching one of my top five unemployed post grad flicks, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. And the fact that Val Kilmer makes a brilliant snarky gay man is not the only realization dawning upon me at this exact moment.

At the beginning of the movie, Harry, played by the if-he-shat-on-my-rug-it’d-be-the-best-rug-shitting-performance-I’ve-seen-to-date Robert Downey Jr., discovers that the sultry wannabe actress Harmony, played by someone hungrier than I, is actually a childhood friend who fled the confines of their small Indiana town to seek fortune and fame in the big city of LA, carrying with her nothing but a dream, a smile, and, it seems, a nutrient-robbing tape worm.

Now, what could I possibly take from this relatively trite story of failed dream-following? Well, I’ll tell you.

In three days time, I’ll be packing up a car’s worth of my belongings — including pant suits, 50 hardcopies of various resumes and cover letters, and a sleeping bag — and driving down to a city in which I have no business living in, looking for housing I have no business renting, and applying for jobs I have no business aspiring to. And yet, I’m off to follow a dream of employment made fat from a diet of high calorie determination, meaty desperation, and oily naivity. I have no promised job and no promised housing. It’s simply me, my car, and whatever hope and optimism I’ve been able to coax out of hiding in the rundown ghetto of my soul.

It’s not that I haven’t put an ass-ton of thought into this move; I spent weeks considering its pros and cons: pro) DC has one of the only economies in the country still growing after the universal sucker-punch known as the economic downturn. Con) I watch CNN while I run at the gym. I’ve learned that DC people haven’t heard of “funny,” and I’m pretty sure they regurgitate humor-junkies like me to feed their young. Pro) Michael, the boyfriend, is nearish, along with tons of family and friends. Con) Like Harmony, my bank account has developed a tapeworm. Pro) I can finally reclaim the ability to make something happen for myself. I figure, if I’m there, they have to look me in the eye after witnessing my determination and firey spirit, and reading my stellar writing samples, and tell me they have no place for me. I figure, if I’m somewhere where there are plenty of opportunities, with my go-getter attitude and history of diligence, I’ll eventually bend one of those opportunities over and take advantage of it.

And finally, finally, finally. Con) what the hell am I talking about? What, in recent history, makes me think that potential employers won’t look me in the eye after witnessing my determination and firey spirit, after reading my stellar writing samples, and tell me they have no place for me? What makes me different from the thousands of wannabe actresses ebaying their doll collections to pay for their NetFlix and a bus ticket to LA? Where did I get the audacity to think that someone will hear me out, that someone will help me out? And when the hell did I start saying “go-getter attitude?”

So, is my pending move an act of optimism or stupidity? I know it’s what I want, but, I’ve been bitch slapped so many times by the job search, shouldn’t I have learned by now?

My whole life, I’ve been able to make things happen. Basketball, writing, school — it’s all taught me that hard work, intelligence, and talent trumps luck, fate, and probability. It’s the same reason I play blackjack instead of craps — regardless of the odds, I like to pretend I have a hand in my fate. So this move is my hand, bitch-slapping the job search and all logic in what could be one of the dumbest/most brilliant moves of my career.

It could be.

Posted by: malpants | August 24, 2009

WordPress let me return!

I’ve been MIA lately because wordpress decided it to would join the conspiracy against my motivation.  This piece is a bit overdue and equally as rusty but you know, read anyway.  Not like you have a job or anything important to do.

The most lucrative thing I have ever been a part of in the past, well, ever, has been my graduation party. I am not going to see that hourly rate for another ten years or so. Never before has my inebriation been so well received or my physical incapabilities so encouraged. In short, I cleaned up.

The morning after my party I surveyed the battleground over a cool-ish Coors light, praying that tapping the rockies would distract my stomach from vomiting. Red cups in trees, uncapped sharpies, Tim in the bushes. My checks piled high, I was feeling good considering the amount of relatives I close talked into getting me more ice cream cake. It was a good night, I had breakfast coming my way compliments of my mom, and the sky was agreeing with my beach plans. The weekend was mine, I in turn was the toilet bowl’s, and everyone was satisfied.

Monday. Few remnants of the celebration of my graduation remained. A list of thank you notes to be written stared back at me while my father lectured me about cracking down on the job hunt and alternate job paths. The drone of dulling hope and lowered expectations was nothing new, but something felt different. Worse, to be more accurate. I no longer had something to anticipate. There was no celebratory intentions behind plans; it was only looking back and groping forward. My bank account and recycling bin were the only things being put to better use, and even that is a stretch. I have no real conclusion for this piece, other than that I recommend avoiding graduation. Time to construct a post-graduation party plan beyond a CL and bacon.

Posted by: Alice Inc. | August 17, 2009

Say Yes to the Pants

Looks exhausting to me.

Looks exhausting to me.

Here at Idle Ivy, we put our pants on just like everybody else — as sparingly as possible. I have received countless e mails, ims, and — for those still mobile enough to venture from their parents’ couches — face-to-face reports from unemployed friends informing me of the increasing level of difficulty of undertaking the most taxing of idler activities — convincing themselves to put on pants in the morning.

According to Wikipedia and my own personal translation of the Hebrew Bible, the daily grind of pants wearing has unrelentingly pestered mankind since Adam fucked up, and the Metatron tried to give him verbal instruction on how to don some skinny jeans: “Ok, the right foot goes in the right… no, no… the other way. No. yes, turn them. Great, now they’re upside down. Whatever, just wear this leaf til you evolve.” Since then, both men and women have struggled with the demanding activity. Some cultures even become so frustrated with it that they attempted to rid themselves from their two-legged shackles. Thus freed from the constant concern of chafing-redness, these great minds were able to achieve Nirvana, serenity, and even a few Oscars.

Not bad for a belted miniskirt.

Not bad for a belted miniskirt.

Dali Pantsless

Dali Pantsless

However, after thorough investigation and a few bumps on the ol’ criminal record, I’ve discovered that pants-wearing, though detrimental to our mental and spiritual health, is actually crucial to our financial and professional development. Proof: if you have a lot of money, a great car, and a cool job, you also wear pants regularly.

Pants, Check

Pants, Check

probably not wearing pants.

Probably not wearing pants.

Cool pants, check

Cool pants, check

Unless you’re this guy. But you’re not, and, sadly, neither am I.

Although the task may seem daunting, this is proof putting on pants is the first step towards employment, and, with regular use, fortune and more fortune. Another bonus: regular pants usage actually increases the chance of removing them in the presence of someone else.

So, with my pending move to DC, Rob’s acceptance into grad school, and Mallory’s recent interviews, the spirit of pants wearing is at an all-time high here at the virtual space that is Idle Ivy. And in that productive spirit, I’ve decided to make the Ivy a little more constructive as well. The new, slacks-wearing Ivy will include reviews of job-search engines, best and worst employment advice, top-5 lists for the unemployed, and whatever else we damn well want to write. Of course, you can still look forward to our usual snark and cynicism, but now, we’ll balance it off with the semi-transparent go-getter attitude of a girl scout leader on day 5 of overnight camp.

So, step in, zip up, maybe make a mental note to find out if gym membership is more expensive than a bigger pair of jeans, and keep reading, fatass.

Not for interviews.

Not for interviews.

Posted by: lianaaa | August 5, 2009

Sad, Sad Kermit.

This is my response to the first ever Idle Ivy Challenge! Now get on it and show us yours!

Warning: This video contains Muppets and the following: drug use, nudity, sexual acts, tons of sadness.

That is Kermit the effing Frog. Lovable, green, just tryna make The Muppet Show happen, you know? And suddenly here he is, all ridin’ the H train and succumbing to Rolf’s… Eugh. It’s just not right.

Well you know what else just isn’t right? Going to school in the goddamned tundra for four years where the only thing keeping you going is a cheap sun lamp and Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs, thinking it’s all gonna freaking lead to something great, then reaching graduation and getting spit out into the worst economy since who knows when and STILL thinking “Good thing I went to an IVY!” and finally realizing that no, you overprivileged so-and-so, that wildly expensive education which you endured with one goal in mind is, in fact, completely unhelpful in this grueling, miserable job market.

THAT’S not right. You did me dirty, Cornell. You did me damn dirty.

Posted by: Alice Inc. | August 1, 2009

Idle Ivy Challenge

To My Dearest Idlers,

Because I know that the most time and attention consuming endeavor you’ve undertaken in the last 48 hours has been uncovering the intricacies of John Gosling’s lovelife with near surgical precision, I have decided to help salvage what’s left of your sharpness and wit by challenging you to to a challenge… put that in your redundancy pipe and smoke it by inhaling its smoke.

The “You Tube, You Lose Challenge” will test your creativity, lateral mobility, and quite possibly your BMI. It is not for the soft-hearted, hard-headed, or those lacking computer literacy. Should you win this challenge, employers worldwide who read blogs about the unemployed will know that you possess invaluable skills — the ability to use search engines, the ability to type, and the ability to think about yourself. In other words, the winner of this challenge will be GUARANTEED to have a chance to find A JOB!

Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to FIND a youtube video that describes your emotions about the future, unemployment, or your current situation — whatever that is. Then, describe how that video captures your struggles, stress, or, but probably not, triumphs.

For example, this is unacceptable: Ew, so much joy.

Good luck, God bless.

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