All that matters is that we can do it

Contracts, computers, and coffee

Her: Of course I remember you. How are you?
Me: Less crazy. (pause) Slightly less crazy.
Her: (laughing)

I’m doing some wild things these days, alla which I may be able to tell you in due time. There are legal and personal reasons I can’t.

It’s a bit rough, not having anyone I can share these parts of my life with. I can’t tell anyone about them. I have no reeds.

All of these new people I’ve been meeting lately are a little too new to share the kinda stuff I do.

They’re not ready to see me without my mask.

I’ve also been chatting with a few people from my past like HEI and Lviv but I can’t share with them either because that’s not the role we play in each other’s lives.

So, I keep these secrets to my lonely. After all, secrets are lonely things.

In fact, there’s really only one person that will listen and won’t put me into jeopardy, legal or otherwise.

Me: …but I’m meeting them for dinner and we’ll decide what do next.
Him: Can I come?
Me: I think you’ll find it boring.
Him: I can play with my tablet and I’ll wear my headset.
Me: Why do you even want to come if it’s boring?
Him: Because you’re my papa!

Speaking of lonely things, the loneliest people in the world are the ones that can’t accept the truth of the world, they can only accept the world as they see it.

I’ve been teaching a friend of mine a particular skill I have but he’s realizing that education is expensive. Knowledge comes at a cost.

Me: You’ll have to hide what you’re able to do now. People will be jealous and try to tear you down for seeing the world as it really is. Or they’ll call you a liar and say none of it’s true.
Him: It’s already happening. I showed my buddy what we do and he got upset. So, I just stopped bringing it up.
Me: (nodding) It’s easier to hate people than to try and understand them. I keep things to myself so I’m not hated quite as much. Now you have to do the same. (shrugging) In the end, it doesn’t matter if people believe we can do what we can do. All that matters is that we can do it. The fewer people like us there are, the better it is for people like us.

I’m making some changes in my life, I think hope for the better.

Somena once told me that the hardest part of life is figuring out how much of your past to bring with you to your future.

She was right then and’s still right now.

Location: my current apartment, surrounded by contracts, computers, and coffee
Mood: exhausted
Music: take your chances as they come (Spotify)
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PSA: Talk to Someone

Mental Health Awareness Month 2021

May’s almost over, thank goodness, as it’s an awful month for me for reasons you probably already know.

Having said that, May’s also Mental Health Awareness Month and I wanted to get in this entry before the month was over.

This Thursday, I’m seeing a therapist again for the first time in over a decade-and-a-half. My buddy Miller’s been really supportive and encouraging for me to just talk to someone.

Should note that I’m actually not in a bad place right now, all things considered. But the insomnia’s  always just one poor food choice or one argument away. And that’s not a good thing, because my insomnia’s always a trigger to bigger problems.

With the kid and my age, I’ve gotta be extra vigilant to be ok.

That means brushing my teeth three times a day, exercising regularly, watching out for carbs, avoiding zombies, keeping up with the people important to me, and making sure that I’m on top of my mental health.

If you’re not making sure your health – mental and physical – is where it needs to be, you’re setting yourself up for a difficult time down the road.

Broken people become broken people over time.

After all, alla your life’s problems can be divided up into health, wealth, and relationships. So you should be spending a little bit of time on all three every day.

Being a gym rat, I meet tons of people that are also very attentive as to their physical health but I wonder if they’re equally watchful of their mental health.

The thing is, you gotta take care of your mental and physical health because when you’re not ok, it’s the people you love that pay the price.

Someone’s gotta pay for you to be alright, and it should be you and not them.

May’s almost over but attention as to your overall health never ends.

Him: Why do you go to the gym so much?
Me: So I can stay healthy and stay with you a long, long time.
Him: Will you go away?
Me: Someday. But not for a while.
Him: Not for a hundred thousand years?
Me: If I could stay with you until the end of the world, I would.
Him: That’s a long time!
Me: Not long enough, kiddo. When it comes to the people you love, there’s not enough time. There’s never enough time.

Location: Chinatown, eyeing the carbs
Mood: healthy
Music: It’s easy when you’re not around (Spotify)
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Being scared and being brave

Aren’t mutually exclusive

The boy’s not been feeling well so I had to cancel/rearrange a lotta my weekend plans.

Him: Are you mad?
Me: I’m not mad, I’m worried, there’s a difference.
Him: (apprehensive) Is this going to hurt?
Me: It’s gonna feel uncomfortable but, no, it won’t hurt.
Him: (begins to cry)
Me: No. Stop crying. I need you to be brave.
Him: But, I’m scared.
Me: Being scared and being brave aren’t mutually exclusive, kid. You have to be scared to be brave, otherwise, you’re just nuts. You’re not nuts are you? (he shakes head) Good. Be brave. You get points in life for being brave.

I think he’s ok. We’ll see.

Should note that I felt a lot more scared myself than I let on. A kid needs confidence that everything will be ok, even if you don’t necessarily feel that yourself.

Goddamn, being a parent is often…difficult. Being a single parent is that much worse.

On that note, I was scrambling to find coverage for him recently and I needed someone I could trust with him, especially since he wasn’t feeling well, so I reached out to Pez.

She was a doll and came by on on Monday to watch him so I could get some things done.

Chad swung by as well to make sure it was all handled; it’s nice knowing I have people that care.

Unfortunately, it appears that the boy hijacked Pez’s phone as evidenced by the above video grab…

All-in-all, I bailed on three women this past weekend but managed to see a blond banker for some Korean BBQ.

Decided that I’m only going to eat Korean BBQ when I go out from now on because it’s just so easy to stay keto/paleo without doing anything special. I’m a solid 153 right now, three pounds from my ideal weight.

Anywho, meeting up with people is just interesting to see what life out in the world is like.

After all, my regular friends all have some aspects that mirror me, whereas strangers provide glimpses into lives I know nothing about.

The blond banker told me that another guy asked her out and she had already agreed to meet him when he – without first having met her, just based on her looks alone – asked her to come move in with him and he would also cover all her bills.

Seriously, how shallow – and I say this as an alleged shallow, selfish, womanizing, narcissist – are people these days?

Her: It was kind of a cool offer but, meet a girl first, you know?
Me: Well, my son and I’ll take him up on his offer if he’s still looking.
Her: (laughing) You and your son want to live with him?
Me: If he’s paying all my bills and giving us free room and board, sure. Plus I cook. I don’t clean though.

Seriously, thank god for the average frustrated chump. They make grey men like me look amazeballs.

Her: (texting me later on that night and sending the below) Thanks for dinner! I think I was actually very nice to this guy.

Me: Please, for the love of god, please let me [share this].
Her: LOL! As long as you don’t [leave any identifying information], go for it.

Location: my blue bathroom, asking if he’s ok
Mood: so very entertained
Music: I would never break this promise (Spotify)
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Inchoate Manslaughter notwithstanding

That’s a no

My brother came to town for a visit. He’s helped so many people in the world that his schedule was jam-packed cause everyone wanted to see him.

But, he stayed by me for a little while and it was good spending time with him and the boy.

Me: Uncle wants Thai food.
Boy: (confused) It’s food that’s tied?
Me: (nodding) Yes.

One benefit of having people around is that they can hear the kid speak so they know I’m not making up his peculiar little mannerisms.

For example, he was sitting on my friend KT’s lap when this happened:

Me: Do you want corned beef and cabbage for dinner?
Him: That’s a no.
Me: (to KT) OMG, I’m so glad you heard that.

Because my brother was here, plus my foot was feeling much better, I decided to head to gym early Saturday morning. My buddy Sean picked me up and off we went.

While there, I tried to be as careful as possible. But, during one exchange, this younger, and pretty tough, guy ended up taking the top position.

On the bottom, I did something called head-scissors that’s one of those moves that are generally though of as low-percentage in terms of getting a win – although Mouse managed to get a legit tap on Chad with them once – but I was really just trying to use it to get this guy off of me.

On the plus side, it worked.

On the negative side, after I got him off me, he started convulsing and his lips were blue.

Me: Holy fuckballs!

Now, Sean’s an EMT, which is good because it turns out that I’m absolute rubbish in a crisis. For example, I sat this guy up, exactly what I shouldn’tve done.

Sean: I got this.
Me: Good, cause I definitely don’t.

I’ve never put anyone out before, although I’ve gone out maybe twice?

It was probably the scariest thing that’s happened to me since I thought I was going to die during COVID.

I honestly thought I killed, or at least horribly injured someone. But he came to and was actually in better spirits than me.

Chad: (to the guy) Are you ok?
Him: I think so.
Me: Jesus, I’m not.

Ended up trying to break people’s legs for the remainder of class, which – trust me – was a lot less scary.

As a bonus, saw two of my buddies – Iron Chef and Robinson – get promotions. All-in-all, it was great day at the gym, inchoate manslaughter, not withstanding.

When I got back, my brother and I headed out to see my mom. It was a bit convoluted because I didn’t have the boy’s booster seat nor his heavy jacket so I had to scramble to make due.

The three of us – me, the kid, and my brother – eventually took the train to see them.

It was the first time in over a year that I gave my mom a hug. That’s nuts.

Me: Come here, lemme give you another hug.
Her: We just hugged!
Me: I’ll take another.

I’ve been thinking a lot of where I was last year at this time. To say that it was lonely is a massive understatement: There was no one in my building besides me. My son was away. I had no one at all but myself.

I’ll admit, a year later, that I thought some seriously dark thoughts during this time.

In some way, getting COVID was a good thing for my mental state. When I honestly thought I was going to die, I realized that I didn’t want to.

I remember thinking, in my fevered dreams, of something I heard once from a fella named Charles Perrow: “It is normal for us to die, but we only do it once.“

And I decided that I didn’t wanna use my one chance right then and there. I wanted to see the boy again.

Which is good, cause life’s worth living just to hear this kid talk.

Me: What else can you do there?
Him: (thinking) I can see my girlfriend in Brightview.
Me: I didn’t realize you have a girlfriend in Brightview.
Him: (shrugging) I do.
Me: (laughing) Charmer like you? I believe it.

Location: midday, around Oceanic Boil
Mood: exhausted
Music: If you ask me how I’m doing, I say “I’m alright” (Spotify)
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Snyder’s Justice League is about family

You should watch it

I was never a true fan of Zack Snyder’s version of the Man of Steel but I did think he had his moments.

But, after the fanboy disappointment that was the theatrical release of The Justice League, I figured what Zack had in mind had to be better.

So, I’ve been quietly waiting all this time for the Snyder cut of the film and I saw it this past Friday.

It was amazing. The whole time I was watching it, I kept saying exactly that: This is amazing.

My brother was at my place while Chad and I watched it and this is essentially how we looked for four hours.

Him: This is amazing.
Me: (five minutes later) This is amazing.

It’s supposed to be 90% different than the theatrical release and I gotta say, that number is accurate: It’s a completely different film.

Snyder left the production after the suicide of his daughter Autumn, which is such a horrible thing to even contemplate that I wish I could just gloss that fact over and not think about it.

But that’s impossible. Her death, forced her parents – Snyder’s wife was heavily involved in the film as well – to just bail.

And I get it. When Alison died, nothing mattered. I had zero capacity to do anything beyond merely function, drink, and womanize.

Still, at some point, we either get on with living or we get on with dying.

I did the former and so did Snyder.

These pics are all from when I went to ComicCon back in 2017.

Interestingly, the film is as much about family as it is about superheroes.

      • The Flash is trying to save his father.
      • Cyborg is trying to forgive his father and deal with the loss of his mother.
      • Aquaman is trying to know his mother and see his father.
      • Wonder Woman is trying make up for leaving her mother.
      • Superman is trying to live up to the aspirations of both sets of parents, biological and adopted.
      • And Batman…well, he’s all about his parents.

For all the amazing special effects and the thrill of seeing my childhood heroes in a worthy live-action film, it had a far more heart than I was expecting.

Honestly, it’s worth four hours of your time if you haven’t seen it.

I saw it on the night that I normally go to kali but, because of the gout, I could only stay for half-an-hour.

It’s a shame, because my buddy Panda stopped by. He, and another buddy, Thor, both have gout and they told me the same thing: I needed to drink copious amounts of water.

So I did that, and the next day, felt markedly better.

So good, in fact, that I went to roll in Brooklyn, which ended up being both a good idea and a terrible idea, terrible because I thought I almost killed someone.

But that’s a story for tomorrow.

Location: earlier today, baking for the kid
Mood: thoughtful
Music: Sometimes I think this world’s too much, all the hurt, all the hate (Spotify)
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Adjusting to the world

Oh, and I have gout

Well, I’ve hit a new middle-aged milestone: I have gout.

Essentially, for almost every meal, I have cabbage, avocados, or spinach and beef, lamb, or sardines every single day.

In fact, I just made the ABFF and the kids some corned beef and cabbage for St. Patty’s this AM.

Never really thought much of this until I woke up in ridonk pain at 4PM the other day.

I needed to see a doc but I wasn’t comfortable bringing the kid to the medemerge – which I saw exactly a year earlier and got COVID.

Not knowing what else to do, I gave Chad a ring.

Him: I’m already on my way.

Now that’s a friend.

On that note, here he is breaking down Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

I hobbled to the doctor’s and, after a buncha questions, x-rays, and whatnot, gout was the conclusion.

Oddly, the reason for it may have more to do with my intermittent fasting per a video my buddy Aric sent me.

All in all, it was not a great day.

The few days before that weren’t any great shakes either.

Me: You did what?!
Son: Are you mad?
Me: I don’t think the word “mad” fully captures the range of emotions I’m feeling right now, boy.

Some people think I push the kid too hard; others, not hard enough. I figure that this means I’m probably doing ok. But we do have these types of convos:

Him: I don’t need to know how to do that, you’ll do it for me.
Me: For now. But you need to learn how to do it yourself.
Him: Why?
Me: People are valued for their skills; the more skills you have, the more valuable you are. The less skills you have, the less valuable the world considers you.

If being a parent has taught me anything, it’s a profound respect for my own parents.

I realize now, how difficult it must have been for them as two very young foreigners (20something and 30something) in a foreign land raising three children while being immigrant poor.

I have one kid and live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and I still feel like I’m struggling.

Yet it’s still some of the most interesting work I’ve ever done. It forces me to question whether or not I truly understand the world as it is.

Him: Why is fire hot?
Me: I never thought about it. Let’s look it up.

On a deeper level, what I see lacking the most in the world is critical thinking, which is analyzing a given set of facts and making sense of them.

The pitfalls are:

    • Poor data
    • Poor analysis
    • Poor conclusions
      • Poor actions based on the conclusion

I see people mess up at least one, sometimes all four, at least once a day.

And the biggest problem with people is that they think that the world adjusts to their level of skill, rather than the adjusting their level of skill to the world.

My parents wanted us to get accolades – A+s and Ivy Leagues – and I get that. But what I want for the boy is much more modest, I want him to have general life skills coupled with an ability to critically think.

The most unsuccessful, lonely people, are those that expect certain things of the world and are angry that the world doesn’t match their expectations.

I get that, more than most.

But, at the end of the day, the world doesn’t care what we want or hope, only how we respond to it.

Him: Why do I have to learn this?
Me: Because the world doesn’t adjust to your level of skill. So you have to do it the other way around. 

Location: earlier today, by the ABFF’s
Mood: discomforted
Music: I’m the same kid – so why’s the mirror say I’m not? (Spotify)
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A Lucky Gold Star

Things change

I met up with my SIL in Hoboken with the kid for dinner. I wanted to go to Benny Tudinos.

Her: Why do you want to go there? There are so many better options!
Me: I thought the kid might like it.

Alison brought me there years ago, after I told her about Koronet Pizza here in the UWS – a place known for having absurdly large pizza slices.

She then told me to meet her in Hoboken where she brought me to Benny’s, which has something similar.

Walking there was the longest time I spent in Alison’s part of Hoboken since she died.

It was surreal and sad, and I’ll leave it at that.

In any case, I told the kid that the pizza was bigger than him and he was (somewhat) impressed when he saw it.

Her: (to him) Is it good?
Me: It’s pizza, of course it’s good to him.
Boy: (nods enthusiastically while eating)

I ordered a pitcher of sangria for us but she could only have a glass because she was driving so I finished the rest.

Ended up crashing early that night because of all the alcohol while the boy stayed over with her.

Just as well; it got me ready for Daylight Savings.

The next night, the buddy that I told you about in this entry was in my nabe and stopped by for dinner.

Me: Do you remember the two of us meeting?
Him: (thinking) I’m sorry, I don’t.
Me: (laughing) That’s fine. Mouse remembered the other guy I was with when we met and not me. That’s kinda how I like it – to blend into the background and not be seen unless I wanna be seen.
Him: Well, you accomplished that with both of us then!

When I was a kid, the thing I wanted the most of all was a ColecoVision. Similarly, my sister wanted their other insanely popular toy, the Cabbage Patch Kid.

We didn’t have much money so we got neither – but that’s neither here nor there.

When I got older, I found out that they were called Coleco because they were once the Connecticut Leather Company.

In a similar vein, when I was working for a Fortune 500 company, my boss gave me two jewels to manage: Samsung and LG. At they time, they were big but not the behemoths they are now.

When I went to the meeting with LG, I called them Lucky Goldstar a few times because that was their original name and what I knew them as, as a kid.

That’s when one of them stopped me in mid-sales pitch to tell me:

Him: We’re just LG. We stopped being Lucky Goldstar years ago. Please stop calling us that.

I was…mortified.

Eventually, everything got smoothed out but that and the ColecoVision story stayed with me all these years decades because it reminds me that things and people are more complex than we think and that reinvention is a lot more common than we think as well.

My buddy lost some friends because he’s changing and they don’t like that but that’s what people and things do.

When I was Hoboken, I wasn’t sure what bothered me more: The things that didn’t change and were exactly like they was when Alison and I were there or the things that had changed so very much.

The boy’s growing up quickly. He’s outgrown most of the clothes that I feel I just got for him.

And while I was writing this entry, Gio hit me up; he’s selling his apartment and moving upstate for more space for his family.

I was his attorney for that purchase, which happened way back in 2013. Seems like yesterday.

Everything keep changing on me but I have to remember that it’s usually good for them that they change, even though I want some things to stay the same.

I wish so many things stayed the same. Then again, I wish for a lotta things.

Him: When will I be a teenager?
Me: I suppose when you’re thirteen. That’s eight years from now.
Him: That’s a long time from now.
Me: Tomorrow always comes a day too soon. For now, just stay my little boy, ok?
Him: Ok, papa. (thinking) Eight years…wow…

Location: freezing on West 70th today
Mood: nostalgic
Music: the winds are always changing, and the clouds are rearranging (Spotify)
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Another shooting weekend, Pt 2

…or More Naked Chad

By the time Mouse arrived on the first night to pick up Chad and me in her whip, everyone’s throats were sore because Chad was intent on making us break down laughing.

Unfortunately/fortunately, he succeeded.

Me: (wiping eyes) OMG, I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. How did you manage to keep a straight face for so long?
Chad: I was just focused on trying to make the rest of you break and also where I was going with everything.

Mouse dropped off Chad at his pad and then came back with me up the FDR Drive.

Her: You look exhausted, you should go to sleep.
Me: OK, but after we catch the last WandaVision.

Without giving away the ending, it involved the Paradox of the Ship of Thesus that I told you about almost a decade ago.

Had a pretty fitful sleep because I was still wired from shoot and the second day was most of my vids, but it didn’t matter, I was up early the very next day.

Me: Wait, did you clean up the entire apartment while I was sleeping?
Mouse: Mebe.
Me: Man, you are the best.

I picked up the car and drove while she navigated. We headed back to Chinatown where we met Chad at the exact same place and got more of the same, except three servings instead of two.

This pic was from the previous day – was too beat to remember to take new ones.

We didn’t eat there, though, and dashed off to the set so we could inhale everything and then just get right to work.

Above are just some of the really cool weapons I got to work with on the shoot.

Mouse only stayed long enough to eat a bit before leaving because she was off to a ski trip. It’s just as well…

Me: Again, why are you always naked, Chad?
Him: It’s what we do for Scenic Fights, Logan.

Despite not leaving until well after 7PM the night before and showing up early the second day, because we were laughing so much with many of the scenes, I had to call up the sitter to ask if I could stay a bit longer.

Her: It’s fine. I expected you to run late.
Me: Oh yeah, I forgot that your father was a film director.

This was a weirder shoot than normal. Which is saying a lot.

Chad and I just took the train home and we split up at 14th Street.

Like always, I was alone on the train but I didn’t care – I just wanted to see my kid.

Son: (hearing me enter) Papa’s home, papa’s home!
Me: I am but I gotta fix our internet, run out to get some milk, and fix someone’s toilet upstairs.
Him: (disappointed) Will I see you before I go to bed?
Me: You will, I promise. We’ll sit and watch Sesame Street together, ok?
Him: OK! See you soon!

Location: today, home, trying to figure out why I’m sore all over
Mood: sore all over
Music: half of the time it’s a gun fight; the other half, we’re taking off clothes (Spotify)
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Another shooting weekend, Pt 1

More Scenic Fights Nonsense

Spent the entire weekend shoot a whole bunch of Scenic Fight Fight Scene Breakdowns.

Me: Wait, Chad gets a new shirt? Why does Chad get a new shirt?
Director: (shaking head) You have the socks, Logan.
Me: *grumble*

Speaking of which, we just released a new episode yesterday.

As usual, Chad and I met downtown in Chinatown to carb up beforehand.

Me: I gotta say, I think I look forward to the carbing out more than anything.
Chad: That’s why I’m here.

Because of COVID, literally no one would let us in the first morning.

Me: OK, let’s go to a cafe and get some bakery stuff.
Him: Instead of or in addition to real food.
Me: In addition, of course.
Him: (relieved) I was worried for a sec.

We ended up downing four bakery buns at a bus stop because that was the only place we could sit.

Now, this would be enough to satisfy most people but we’re not most people. We eventually made it to the same place we went to last time and ordered, essentially, the same things.

Me: Can we sit inside?
Owner: (looking around) Well, if you don’t mind sitting by…
Me: (interrupting) We don’t mind.

After downing everything in less than 15 minutes, we were off to shoot for close to 11 hours because the boy had a sleepover with his sitter.

Part of the reason we shot for so long was because Chad was cracking everyone up so much. I would reprint them here but I suppose we’ll save them for the actual videos.

There’s more, but I’ll tell you tomorrow.

Location: today, home, trying to figure out why I’m sore all over
Mood: sore all over
Music: My friends are the reason that I’m never sober (Spotify)
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I forgot

Seeing around the world

Son: You’re not watching the news?
Me: The DVR didn’t record for some reason.
Him: No news?! How are we going to see around the world?

I forgot my anniversary the other day. We got married exactly a decade ago.

Put another way, it would have been our ten-year anniversary this week.

My son’s first sitter was in town so he spent the day with her while I worked on my taxes and some personal items. I just forgot.

I wonder what’s better: That I forgot and it was a productive day or that I remembered and drank myself into a stupor.

Logically, it’s what actually happened but that damn guilt again.

Survivor’s guilt is real and devastating. Every good moment I have with the boy, there’s some small part of me that feels that it should be Alison here seeing the kid laugh or say something brilliantly hilarious.

After all, nothing really compares to a mother’s love.

Even though I love the boy so, she woulda loved him more.

Me: I made you something to drink.
Him: Yes! Cold lemonade is soooo good on a hot sunny day.

In some ways, he’s lucky that he didn’t know her; he has no idea what he’s lost.

Realized that I forgot it tonight while taking and shower and my knees went weak.

I must have stayed in there a really long time because when I came out…

Him: What took you so long?
Me: I had to make sure I was clean.
Him: That long? You are super clean!
Me: (laughing) Yes, I’m super clean. (sighing)
Him: Oh. You were thinking of mommy.
Me: Yes, my smart little boy. I was.

Another anniversary without the person the anniversary was for.

And just like that, I’m back in the basement of my brain again.

Location: I just told you
Mood: guilty
Music: love never lasts (Spotify)
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