Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Day in Two Lives: Krispy and Alz!

Hope you enjoyed Asian/Pacific American Month here at the blog! We're wrapping up with our biggest A Day in the Life ever - two friends, one and a half lives. It's our favorite Krispy and Alz (Krispy you know as my co-host on Boba 4 Life) from A Nudge in the Right Direction, complete with Alz's famous sketches!

6:30am So originally a typical day in the life of Krispy would start at 7:25am when I would roll out of bed and stumble my way into the bathroom. However, over Memorial Day weekend, the Sister adopted a puppy and brought him home. So now my day starts at 6:30am...when I roll out of bed and stumble my way to the bathroom to get through my morning routine.
6:30am At this time Alz is without fail entirely absolutely unapologetically unconscious.

7:00am Before changing, I go let the puppy out of his sleeping crate and into his play area. Feed the puppers, play with him a little bit, set out his pee pad, give him his meds. Then while he’s eating, I clean out his sleeping crate and move his toys over.

7:30am Change for work, grab/make lunch, maybe eat some breakfast.

7:30am Still unconscious.

7:50am Out the door, check the puppy has enough water, and leave for work.

8:30am At work. I do a lot of paperwork, registering and calculating and mailing things. Also, a lot of email answering.

9:42am Wielding a star-metal sword forged in the fiery breath of black dragons, I ride my unicorn warsteed into battle against pirate zombies. After victory has been secured, I return to slumber in assurance of a job well done and a world once again safe from the menace of buccaneering undead.

11:15am Take my first break. Usually, I read my book. Sometimes, I write. Check twitter and blogs.

11:15am By this time, I am awake. Sometimes.

12:00pm At this point, so early in the day, my options are numerous and varied, but everything eventually boils down to this most vital of daily activities: INTERWEBS.

1:00pm I like taking a later lunch because the rest of the day doesn’t feel as long when I go back up. Also, there are less people in the lunch room and I can get in some more reading time.

2:00pm It’s jewelry time: sterling silver turtle pendant  with bezel-set fine silver granulation and transparent enamel. All Alz-made, from designing to making the teeny granulation balls and fusing them to the silver, wet-packing the enamel powder and kiln-firing multiple times (once for each color), measuring and soldering and shaping the bezels, soldering bezels to sheet, sawing out the turtle-shape, filing, sanding, and polishing the surfaces, bending and shaping the silver, and finally setting the enamel “stones” in the bezels. Mind you, this is the result of hours and hours of slave-labor with tweezers and torches, but when it comes together, it happens fast.

3:00pm I work for a food-related company, so sometimes at random times in the day, we get snacks. Vendors send us things or salesmen get food gifts or we get samples sent to us. These food items are usually shared with the office. So lots of snacking happens. Last Thursday, we got these delicious popsicles. Mine was coffee flavored. Mmm.

4:00pm Second break. More reading.

4:30pm Snack time, by which I mean a granola bar or a bottle of water depending on where I am and what’s on hand. And then it’s time to plot world domination.

5:00pm End of day! Shut down the computer and head home!

5:00pm World domination plot completed. Now it’s time to up the bodycount. I mean in writing, of course. Don’t look at me like that. What else could I have meant?

5:50pm Get home. My commute is not that bad for a SoCal / Los Angeles commute, but my route actually takes 25 minutes. In morning and evening rush hour traffic, it takes 45-55 minutes.

6:15pm After changing and checking some internets, I go feed the puppy and have play time with him.

6:30pm I read my current book, which is as often as not a library book from Krispy that I end up sorely regretting stealing from her because of how sordidly bad it is. If only I could sandpaper these YA literary travesties from my brain--but then I wouldn’t have any brain left by now.  I don't have any to spare as it is.

7:00pm Dinner at my grandma’s house. I play with and feed the stray cat she adopted while I’m there. I usually get in a good chunk of reading here too.

7:00pm I feed myself and also feed my masters my rats. I often work on secret projects at this time, like not-so-secret manatees or semi-secret half-assed needle embroidery that Krispy hasn’t and may never see because it basically looks like crappy crochet but took me way more time and effort to accomplish.

8:00pm Text Alz and see if she wants boba. More internet time. Writing time.

8:01pm Respond to Krispy’s text that of course I want boba. I then finish up whatever I’m doing, pack up necessities such as Fuzzy Manatee, a bag of potato chips, and the iPad, and head on over for boba and frolicsome adventures Chez Krispy.

8:45pm More play time with puppy to tire him out before bed.

9:15pm Move puppy into his sleeping crate and wait for him to get settled and sleepy.

9:30pm Hang out with Alz. We discuss books, writing, blogging, and random things that have happened during the day. I also nag Krispy to write more.  I make her watch a bunch of my TV shows with me. Including but not limited to: Criminal Minds, Law & Order: SVU, Spartacus, Grimm, Supernatural, Game of Thrones, Legend of Korra, Clone Wars, and Young Justice. Also random youtube videos. Including but not limited to: Tom Hiddleston interviews, Avengers cast interviews, clips of Tom Hiddleston dancing like a loon, commercials and trailers for upcoming movies that may or may not involve Tom Hiddleston, etc.

11:00pm Shower and get ready for bed.

11:00pm Ratty playtime.

11:45pm Sleepy time for Krispy!

12:00am Internet surfing and possibly random TV/anime-watching.

12:45am Time to write more, now that it’s dark out and quiet, with the hum of the refrigerator in the background and the squeaks and thumps of cagefighting rats in the other room, and it’s time to kill more people. In writing. Who may or may not deserve it and may or may not be magic ninjas in exile shacking up with a long-suffering knight who should have known better than to pick that guy up out of the gutter even if it was raining that night.

1:00am-2:30am At some point during this time something always strikes me unconscious. I believe it is called sleep.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Day in the Life: Suzie from I Adore Books and Film

Asian Pacific-Islander American Month resumes with A Day in the Life from our favorite Twilight-loving movie reviewer, Suzie.  The "P" in APA is sometimes subsumed so I'm super excited to introduce someone from the actual Pacific - Hawaii!

Aloha everybody in the blogosphere. I’m Suzie and I host a blog with my 14 year old daughter, Noe, called I Adore Books and Film. I also write movie reviews for a local magazine called InsideOut Hawaii. Basically, we both love being entertained and have an obsession with the obscure, in particular books that are peculiarly wonderful and movies that are strangely random. We sit drinking our lattes, while I push up the black rimmed glasses on the bridge of my nose. We laugh at the cynical and cry at the obvious. Bottom line, we love a really damn good story!!! Here’s a typical day in our life. Don’t judge.

6:30am I wake at the cry of our cat outside our bedroom door. No one will let her in because she is a thug kitten with one good eye that we adopted at the shelter and chooses to battle at odd hours of the night. Even our dogs are scared. Her name is Pumpkin the Huntress.

7:00am After being assaulted by my cat, I stumble through our home and walk out the back door to our secret plantation of Hawaiian Coffee. We’d tell you the location of our coffee crops, but then we’d have to kill you. Besides you wouldn't make it pass the trench that we dug, that is heavily patrolled by a pack of Great Danes. 

8:30am I shower and get dressed, while pondering my collection of underwear.

9:00am I consume a second cup of coffee because the first tasted so delicious and personally, I like delicious things to be consumed at all hours of the day.

10:30am I have an early brunch with my bestie, Alex O’Loughlin. He claims he has the perfect part on Hawaii Five-O for me but I politely decline. He then documents our conversation in a little black journal that he keeps in his right shirt pocket and mutters something about a biopic. He then gives me a lei and I excuse myself to meet Noe.

11:30am I get a text that she is at the beach and to come meet her. She has the perfect idea for a new film. I show up and Noe begins to describe the plot--Something about a girl who lives in Hawaii but has a fetish for French foreign films. The girl wears a black scarf in memory of the postcard that her Uncle, who has been arrested for importing counterfeit Louis Vuitton purses in Paris, was destroyed by her nemesis at school, Rachael Adams. I shake my head in agreement and add that there needs to be a death in the movie. Noe agrees and decides to start working on it.

12:48pm Noe adds a tragic accident to her film…. A pet duck named Roberto Rodriguez has been killed by a freak comet that hits the island. An outbreak of zombies. The girl mourns his death.

1:52pm I arrive early to a book club meeting. The book chosen for this month is called Universal Interconnectivity. The authors who wrote the book attend. They are existential detectives. I decide they are awesome. Internally, I wonder if this is coincidence that we are meeting.

3:00pm I get in some exercise and climb Koko Head crater. There are over a thousand steps up. I pretend that I have been captured by communist forces, made to ascend this hellish hike for punishment, while Aerosmith’s Back in the Saddle Again plays on my iPod. I get to step 30 and decide I am no war hero. I turn and go home.

4:30pm I change and get ready for a movie screening. Still contemplate underwear collection.

5:45pm Catch an early meal due to the later onslaught of an aromatic bouquet of stale popcorn, questionable hot dogs and other delicacies that are secretly brought in with Tupperware.

7:00pm Attend Advanced Movie Screening. Unashamedly answers trivia questions before film and takes out the little kid who tries to win the free t-shirt. Not on my watch.

8:30pm Turns during the film screening at the mother who allows the kid that I snaked the free t-shirt from behind, to exclaim “that is bullsh*@” when major character dies.

10:30pm Writes movie review while drinking Vodka because I’m vegan-and-that-totally-counts-as-vegetables and sends document over to editor.

11:15pm Squeezes the awkward fat that hangs on my black lab’s chest while wishing sweet dreams for my children. There are rumors outside of a small village in India that this totally works. I then fall asleep and start the day all over again.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Colors Like Memories Blog Tour (Guest Post): Meradeth Houston's Journey to Publication

We interrupt APA Month to bring debut author Meradeth Houston's guest post on her publication journey - giveaway included on the blog tour!

Thanks so much for hosting me today! I love Sophia’s blog, and am always happy when a new post from her pops up in my reader :) Also, before I forget, I have a contest running for my blog tour—all commenter’s are entered into a drawing for two copies of my book, and one person will win a $25 giftcard to Amazon or Barnes & Noble. There are more details on my home blog, if you want to check it out!

Okay, so, yeah, today I’m going to talk about my crazy road to publication. I’m one of those random people who has been writing since they were a kid. I never really thought about getting published until my last semester of college when I took Writing for Children and Teens taught by Ann Cannon (she writes under AE Cannon). Anyhow, she pushed us to send out a query letter as part of our final. That really freaked me out! But I did it, and though nothing ever came of it, it did get me thinking about what I should actually do with all the stories I’d written. Up until then, well, I don’t know what I’d thought: someday I’d magically get published, I guess. Ahh, to be that innocent again!

Anyhow, I took one of my novels and spent a lot of time revising it. I started querying publishers, mainly because I really didn’t understand the logic behind agents. (Yeah, I know, I was a newbie…) Anyhow, I got several bites, but nothing came of it. But I did get some good advice, and I also stumbled across Verla Kay’s Blue Boards, where I started learning about all the real publishing stuff. Also, I found some critique buddies, who have been totally invaluable.

Novel number two took a while in the making. I had a hard time giving up on that first book. But I finally wrote my time-travel book that I thought was good enough to query. I managed to get an agent with it, but without getting into all the nitty-gritty details, it didn’t work out. For the better, trust me! I queried that thing to death though, and finally shelved it. *Sigh* My pile of not-quite-good-enough manuscripts is pretty big.

I’d written Colors Like Memories somewhere in there. I decided it would be the next one to suffer my attention. When I started querying, it got a lot of attention from agents. I won several big contests, etc etc. But I couldn’t seal the deal! I even had a major revision request from one agent, which took the story from a college-setting to a high school one. But it didn’t work out with that agent (imagine lots of contact between my head and the wall). At this point, I was a little frustrated. I knew this book was good enough. Every agent who read the full said very nice things. But, (there’s always a ‘but’) there were a ton of angel-like books on the market. *Shakes fist at sky* Dang other angel books! And my characters aren’t even technically ‘angels’—but since they have wings…oh whatever. Anyhow, I had choice to make. Shelve the book or attempt to find a publisher for it myself. (This was over a year ago and self-publishing wasn’t totally as on-fire as it is today.)

I decided that I just couldn’t give up on this story. I’d read a lot about MuseItUp Publishing over on the Blue Boards, and thought I’d send them a query, after I’d looked into them a little. A couple of weeks after I emailed my materials, they were super happy to take on my book. Yay! I was sooo thrilled! Still am, too :) MuseItUp has been a great house to work with and I highly recommend them. And, a year later, Colors Like Memories is out in the world!

A bit about the Colors Like Memories:

Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of.

Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.

Release date: May 11th 2012 from MuseItUp Publishing.
Buy at:
Muse it Up

A bit about Meradeth Houston:

Meradeth’s never been a big fan of talking about herself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about her:
  • She’s a Northern California girl. This generally means she talks too fast and use "like" a lot.
  • When she’s not writing, she’s sequencing dead people’s DNA. For fun!
  • She’s been writing since she was 11 years old. It's her hobby, her passion, and she’s so happy to get to share her work!
  • If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.
Follow her here:!/MeradethHouston

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

APA Month Music/Film Collaboration: SubtleSkeptics and Kien Lam Photography

Remember the amazing Around the World in 5 Minutes video I premiered the new year with?  The music was composed by photographer Kien Lam's brother, one half of the music collaborative SubtleSkeptics.

The duo are amazing multi-instrumentalists who play covers in interesting places: like the Taylor Swift theme at the Hunger Games premiere below, shot by Kien Lam Photography.

My personal favorite is their renegade cover of fun.'s We Are Young, played at various music stores on high-priced instruments they can't afford until they get kicked out.  William Lam is the cute hipster harmonizing in the Hello Kitty shirt.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Day in the Life: Wistfully Linda

APA Month continues with Wistfully Linda, 20-something California girl sharing A Day in the Life from her current residence in Taipei, Taiwan.  I can feel the lush air already from her gorgeous pictures!


9:05ish - Crap, gonna be late. Roll out of bed, toiletries, change clothes as quickly as possible while still barely awake.

9:20ish - I used to take the MRT (Taiwan's metro rail system) but now I grab my breakfast and catch a ride to work on my friend's scooter.

When I first came to Taiwan I'd be so excited to get rides on scooters and motorcycles that I'd do a lot of laughing and screaming in exhilaration during the ride because it was SO AWESOME. And my taiwanese friends would shake their heads and mumble things about crazy Americans.

But now that i've been here a while, I'm as calm and cool as mango shaved ice. So much so, in fact, that my friend doesn't even notice when I almost lose my balance while leaning back to take photos of the back of his head.

 9:30ish - Ok, fine, I might have gotten in SLIGHTLY late, but only because I went to get a photo of the office building for you. The sacrifices I make!

I currently work at biotech startup. I was in R&D as a research assistant for more than a year (I majored in molecular and cell biology in college). But as of March I'm now the company's marketing specialist, which makes me officially the first (and currently only) employee in Business Development/Sales & Marketing -- aka our company's BDSM department. Yes, really. The worst thing is when I mentioned to this to my coworkers and they didn't know that BDSM is, and asked me to explain... in Chinese. SO. AWKWARD.

10ish - By this time I've finished my breakfast, checked email, plugged in my earphones, and am awake and lucid enough to write some fiction for my day job. At least that's what it feels like -- I write descriptions and web copy for products that don't yet exist and draft answers to fabricated FAQs (in English, thankfully).

11:40ish - My friends in R&D come out of the lab and ask if i want to go buy lunch with them. I'm shocked when I look at the clock; they're usually not free for lunch until 12:30 or 1. We walk to the parking lot around the corner where food trucks gather. There's a good variety of food to go for when we plan eat back at the office.

 12ish - I eat my pink guava at my desk, read blogs, and check Twitter.

1ish - One of my coworkers at the other lab texts me to say they're on their lunch break, inviting me to join them. I usually do, a few times a week, but since I already ate, I decline and say maybe tomorrow. Meanwhile, I switch gears and struggle through some QA documents that involve my department. What's worse than having to read a ton of dry, boring procedural documents? Attempting to do it in Chinese!

My reading skill is good enough for me to be able to get through the Chinese version of the hunger games comfortably (probably because I read it in English first, haha), but I can barely make it through a single sentence of this stuff. And not only do I have to read them, I probably have to rewrite them, in case the auditor decides to ask someone from sales and marketing (aka me, the only person in the department) about them. So yeah, Google translator is my new BFF even though its translation is awful. I found the Listen function pretty helpful, though.


6ish - Whoa, within 10 minutes I'm the only one left in the office. Lab people are still around, though.

7ish - Time to go! I say good bye to friends still working on experiments and head out.

7:30ish - I go to the library to check out some books. Sadly, the children's/YA section closes earlier than the rest of the library, so I won't be able to get those YA novels i wanted to read. Instead, I browse the regular English fiction section and pick up several books that look interesting.

8:15ish - Near the library there's an all-day breakfast store. I usually get a red bean pastry there after my visits to the library, but since I haven't eaten dinner, I also get some steamed xiaolongbao.

9:30ish - It's rainy and i'm tired, so I don't go for a run like I've done, oh, twice so far this year (which is already super impressive considering how much I hate running). I should get to work on my blogs or writing, but I'm feeling lazy (as usual) and decide to unwind first by poking around on the internet.

10ish - I occasionally do some productive things between less productive activities. "Productive" mostly this means sorting/processing/resizing photos, making outlines and notes for blog posts and my WIP, and occasionally fleshing out those notes and bullets. Time goes by ridiculously quickly when I have internet access, and I don't get as much done as I should have, but then what else is new?

12ish - I shower, blow my hair, and then check a few more things on my laptop.

1ish - SLEEP!!! Goodnight, Taipei!

 (And yes that's really the view from my balcony!)

Monday, May 14, 2012

APA Bachelor of the Month: Kevin Kim, Rock Star

Ladies, meet your future husband!

Eva Longoria is setting up the Plain White T's frontman for a new NBC dating show - I can do it too.  I've tapped a member of one of my favorite Asian-American bands in the world, The Nehemiah Band, and he's ready to devote himself to a lucky reader.  If you don't fall in love with his message to his future wife below, you have a heart of stone.

For inquires, hit the email button on the right and you've got yourself a date.

Name: Kevin Haneul Kim
Nickname: KEVINKIM! (oneword and exclamatory!)
Age: 26
Height: Five Ten... ok five nine and three quarters
Profession: Musician/Teacher/Bartender
Guys, girls, both, something in between?
Women are the most beautiful creatures ever created and someday one special one will be mine... I do enjoy flirting with guys though...everyone wants some attention - equal opportunity flirt!
Metro or no?
I prefer metro areas over suburban. Speaking of metro, the Los Angeles Metro system needs a lot of work especially compared to other metropolitan cities, but it's still great for specific destinations especially the fun ones that are hard to drive to and park by; we all know what a bitch it is to find parking parking in L.A. ...let's go on a Metro date ;)
Security blanket you sleep with at night: Navy body pillow decorated with faintly glow in the dark stars
Boxers or Briefs: Boxer briefs all the way...contents may appear sexier than they actually are
Immediate turn-on: chemisty, confidence, eyes
killing it with my his manpurse
Dealbreaker: Doesn't want to commit to me.
Karaoke song of choice: I Got You - James Brown
On a Friday night you'd prefer to: Play a show and kill it
Last Friday you actually: I brought a friend coffee and had a good long heart to heart =)...and then couldn't fall asleep because I rarely drink coffee...=(
Random Talents: I can sing and play guitar well enough to make people smile =) I'm also fun to dance with and a decent swimmer.
Level of cooking: Knife skills and cooking experience/jargon aren't stellar, but I can follow a recipe well. I tend to stick to simple few ingredient dishes.
Height restrictions: No restrictions, but would prefer between 5 and 6 feet tall.
Message to your future wife:
We will be madly in love. I will spend my life loving you like you've never been loved or will ever be. When it's grand and when sh!t hits the fan you'll have an "I've got your back no matter what!" kind of love.

Bonus question!
What song must be played at your wedding?
You Are The Best Thing - Ray Lamontagne, Let's Stay Together - Al Green

Monday, May 7, 2012

APA Month Charity Spotlight: Asian Pacific Women's Center

One of the most private things I've ever done is volunteer with children who have survived domestic violence.

The Asian Pacific Women's Center in Los Angeles, CA provides a transitional shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence.  I can't describe how important this is in the Asian, and particularly immigrant community.  Due to culture, language barriers, and lack of resources, Asian immigrant women often have few or no one they can reach out to when they're in a violent situation.

I keep this on my fridge
I ran a biweekly movement and expression class for the children living in the shelter, drawing on my background as a dancer and my graduate training in somatic therapy.  We used art, movement and story-telling to bond, exercise, and dream of the future.  Occasionally a mother would stop by.

Every session, I heard a little more about their backgrounds and little snippets of how they had lived.  I watched the way they interacted - a combination of childlike joy and abandon, with moments of heartbreaking sensitivity and emotional arrest.  Each time, I came home and cried.

I never told anyone I was doing this.  But today I want to tell you because the organization deserves to be recognized and they need support.

Their annual gala is coming up at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  If you are in the area, please consider attending.

If you can't go, please consider donating or volunteering even just a nominal amount of time per month.  The program director, Kristina Rim, gave me a message to share:

Household goods in good condition are always needed and any administrative or direct service volunteers are also needed. People can contact me,, with any questions
I'm going to make a drop-off of goods after APA month and if you live in the L.A. area, I'm happy to collect goods from you to bring to them as well.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Day in the Life: Kristy and Bryce Shen

APA Month kicks off with my sketchiest Day in the Life yet.  Presenting my favorite Asian couple, the Shens from Toronto, Canada, and their Notabat.
Hi everyone. We're Kristy and Bryce, and we're partially insane. Learn more at before the goddamned Feds shut us down.

So you want to know what a day is like for us, huh?


A day in the life. A day in the life. Well, to be completely honest with you, I have no idea what each new day is going to be like anymore. Life USED to be simple for us. Normal. Predictable. Uncomplicated. God, we miss those days.

And then this...THING started living with us.

Now? Now, every day is a new surprise. But never a good surprise. Oh Hell no. It's NEVER a good surprise.

Imagine that it's your birthday. Someone hands you a gift box, and eagerly you unwrap it to find SURPRISE, poisonous snakes. And the next day, someone hands you an envelope, and again, eagerly you open it to find SURPRISE, you now have Ebola. And the NEXT day, you find yourself standing underneath a festive, colorful pinata, swinging in a tree. It's moving, it's shrieking, there's smoke pouring out of it. You know that there is a 100% chance that whatever's inside is something you absolutely don't want to set loose. But yet someone hands you a bat and tells you that you have to break that sucker open.

Yeah, that's what our days are like now.

9:30 AM. Eat breakfast.

Ah, breakfast. Everyone loves breakfast. I mean, who doesn't enjoy a good breakfast?

We don't, that's who.

I mean, we used to. We used to eat eggs and cereal and french toast here. But now? Now breakfast only starts when IT gets full.

It never gets full.

We haven't eaten breakfast for days.

So hungry...

1:30 PM. Mow the lawn

Mowing the lawn actually gets done faster now, so yay, I guess?

7:30 PM. Watch cartoons.

This actually hasn't changed all that much. We still do this, and oddly enough that...thing seems to actually like watching them too. Its favorite seems to be My Little Pony. Although, considering how many ponies it eats on a regular basis, it might think it's some kind of cooking show or something.

11:55 PM. Go to bed.

Well this is where we would NORMALLY go to bed. And TECHNICALLY, we still do. But we just don't get any sleep anymore. I mean, if you had this thing staring at you all night, would you?

Anyone want to trade places?


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy APA Month!

It's Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month!

my nieces and nephew and your APA cute for the day
The blog turns yellow, brown, and proud for May.  I'm featuring Asian-American musicians, charities, an eligible bachelor, and an all-APA Day in the Life lineup - see what your neighborhood Asian American does all day long!

Coming up first is a very sketchy special Day in the Life from the Shens, the hilarious couple with a (NotA)bat problem...stay tuned!


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