Posts Tagged ‘hula hooping’

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

January 26, 2014

It was.

It was.



I was up so early I sort of wanted to hit myself, but apparently this is what is happening.  My internal clock is up and going off at 7:30a.m. or 7:45 a.m. regardless that it’s the weekend and I can sleep in.

I am up.

The brain is what makes staying in bed tolerable or intolerable.

Is it a chatty Cathy?

Time to get up.

I can’t listen to it.

The talk, the voices, the thoughts, the should have done that should do that, shit, shut up, I don’t want to hear about it.

If I can’t get back to sleep pretty much right away, I am awake.

I used to be able to glide over those voices or entertain them, I guess is the better realization.  I would entertain them, I would lie around in bed and listen to them and converse with them and then, fuck away half the day on fantasy and supposition.

I don’t have it in me anymore to do that.

I get up.

I got up.

I did not even argue with the fact that it was before 8 a.m.

I just got up and got going.

By 9:30 a.m. I had a grip on the day and was already getting into a kind of isolation mood that made me jump at the offer to come upstairs and have coffee with my housemate and her daughter and boyfriend.

I finished my writing and went up.

Immediately feeling better for the company.

We sat about, I snuggled with her daughter, we sipped coffee, the cat lay by the fire, lucky lazy beast, we chatted about this, that, the other.

I was given some suggestions.

I made some calls.

I got out of my head.

Thank God.

Then outside, into the sunshine and an impromptu hang out with the family, the neighbors, another little boy, a family down the block, the bucket of chalk, four hula hoops, and spontaneous planting of wildflowers in the front square of dirt in front of the house.

I drew chalk hearts on the sidewalk.

Hula hooped.

Soaked up the sun.

And basically eased into my day.

So lovely.



Heck, I even pulled out my bicycle and washed all the dirt and road grime off the frame, polishing her glittery self all up.

I matched my bicycle today.

In addition to hooping and chalk art with the upstairs girl, she glittered me good when she was sitting on my lap this morning drawing out figures on some construction paper.

I was talking with her mom and the next thing you know glitter is being sprinkled in my hair.

I was bedazzled.

Stayed with me all day.

Even when I was teary, which is fine, tears happen, fears happen, you walk through them anyway.

Sometimes I make an ass out of myself, sometimes I forget to not wear eye liner on Saturdays, but there’s a person across the table to hand me a paper napkin and say, hey I do this too, even with all this time behind me, I do this too, don’t beat yourself up and don’t believe that you aren’t perfect exactly the way you are.

There is no improving to be done.

Man, though, do like that self-improvement.

It keeps me moving forward, pushing myself to do things, make things happen, go places, bigger, faster, more.


That’s the thing, there’s nothing more that I have to prove.

Y’all been telling me this for a while, but I forget.

I forget so easily.

As though I must improve upon myself every day, every damn day, thank you, or there’s something wrong.

Well, fuck.

Sometimes the only thing that is wrong is that I get a little tired from all of that.

I just need to be.

I was reminded of that, and some surrender.

And I surrendered to the unexpected time this afternoon, when not one, but both people I was going to meet with after my time at Tart to Tart had come to an end, cancelled on me.

What to do?

I looked at the traffic on Irving and went to the cross walk and walked my bicycle across the street.  I stood and waited for the traffic to clear, then got on my steed and edged slowly into the traffic.

Mid-afternoon Saturday shopping, parking, crazy driving melee that is Irving Street and just took it slow, drifting along, no longer on a schedule.

Back down toward the Outer Sunset.

Where I found the house had moved to the back yard and there was a new set of friends drawing chalk art in the back yard and blowing bubbles.

I slipped off my messenger bag, filled up the electric kettle, made a spot of tea, turned up my music, left the door to my studio open and went and settled into one of the big Adirondack chairs in the back yard.

The sun splayed soft about.

The girls ran around blowing bubbles.

The adults talked and nattered, harmless gossip about the neighborhood.

The ravens flew low overhead, the rustle of their oily wings sifting through the air.

I made more tea.




Serene and perfect, right in my back yard.

My beautiful neighborhood bustling with child energy and bubbles, like baubles thrown from the heavens just to secretly delight me.



“Have you seen my ticket,” the little three-year old said, her green Tinkerbell princess dress sliding off one brown shoulder.

“Is it in your ear?” I asked reaching into the pink cupped shell, poking a little strand of hair into it.

“No,” she giggled.

“Is it behind your knee?” I asked tickling her lightly behind the crease of skin.

“No!” She shrieked, dancing away and running around in a circle, poking at the bubbles falling out of the sky.

“I think I lost it,” she said, coming back into my orbit by the chair.

I pulled another from the thin air, brandishing it with a smile, “nope, there’s always another one, here you go.”

She clutched the imaginary ticket and ran off to the show.

Three years old and already running off.

It has only taken me 38 years to get back to the realization that I don’t have to run around in circles looking for that imaginary thing that will fix me.

I have it here, always have, I was just too busy running to see it.

I sat back in the chair, sun glazing my cheeks, sipped my tea and closed my eyes, listening to the love shimmering all around me.


Where my heart is.

Covered in pink chalk dust.

And love.



Night & Day

November 30, 2013

I was down at the beach not once today, but twice.

Both times a surprise.

Both times smitten with the air, the waves, the sky, the sun, or the last streaks of it heading into the night.

During the day I went down with my housemate and her boyfriend after a quick trip to Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club for an Americano.

They went running on the beach.

I stayed behind with my hula hoop.



I hooped.

I watched the waves.

Grand beasts they were.

Few surfers out, but there were some very experienced riders making it out past the break point.

I saw amazing technique and not a few times a surfer go flying over a trough of water, the board flipping up into the air with the force of the wave moving through.

Despite the sun and the lack of fog, it is winter weather and the waves are already so big I don’t foresee doing much more surfing at Ocean Beach.

Fingers crossed I will get in another few sessions, but I think I will be heading to Pacifica or possibly Santa Cruz for a better break point.

It looked like a gigantic washing machine of froth.

I would have been overwhelmed in minutes.

But it made for great watching as I set myself up on the beach.

The hooping was lovely, worked off the turkey pretty quick, not that I over indulged, but you know, and when the hooping had gotten my body warmed up I did some stance work–kung fu–mainly horse stance and some basic front position.

Ah, kung fu, it was nice to meet with you again.

I was really happy to go over my blocking sequence, it actually happened from holding my arms up in front position while I was hooping as my arms started to get tired from how I was holding them.

I naturally just fell into it, the muscle memory coming to me unbidden and strong.

Eight hard block, eight soft blocks, and the corresponding throws and elbows.

Then I added in some kicks–front ball kick, back kick, side thrust kick–left and right sides alternating with a few combinations worked in.

I was happy to see that my form with some of the strikes was still really on.

And as would be obvious, I was quite rusty as well.

But once I warmed up I was doing some nice side thrust kicks, getting myself in stance and really going through the blocks and the strikes until I moved an elbow just a little too aggressively and oh, yeah, take it easy lady.

You are not 29 anymore.

The age when I got my black belt.

You are 40.

41 next month.

Which reminds me I am supposed to make plans to do something.

I tossed about a few things with my friend as we walked upon the shore this early evening as the last bits of the sunset were melting into the ocean.

Repeating almost exactly the routine I had this morning.

Go to Trouble.

Get Americano.

Go down to the beach.

However, I did not do any kung fu or hula hooping.

Just some walking and talking.

And some photographs.











It was nice to go out for a stroll under the stars and chat about this and that and holidays and birthdays and my friend suggested I definitely make plans and he book marked my birthday and that was sweet.

I don’t always care for making birthday plans.

My birthday is so close to Christmas that it feels an imposition to do so, everyone has their holiday plans tied up so quickly.

However, I know that I will want to do something and I thought about what I really want to do.

I want to go horseback riding on the beach and I want to do a bonfire.

Now, I realize the horseback riding is a little on the pricey side, it runs $40 to go out to the stables that are by Fort Funston.

So it may not be the event to invite a bunch of my friends too, but I will probably put it out there that it’s what I am thinking about doing.

I am not 100% sure, but I like the idea of doing it and then a little dinner close to home or thereabouts.

The bonfire would be awesome, except, well, I just realized after getting excited about it that I will be house sitting that night in the Mission and do I want to haul between the two places.

Something to think about.

I may just see about getting a table at Samovar and having friends drop by for evening tea and do something simple and easy.

Things to ponder.

Not going to worry too much about it right now.

My thoughts drift toward the conversation that occurred after the walk.

“I am really attracted to you as a person,” he started.

“But not romantically, and I want you to know that so you can be free to pursue other options,” he finished.

And then there was that.

Small pang.

But not bad.

Thank God we are friends, and honest, and it was sweetly said.

I was startled to feel a little welling up of tears, but breathed turned my face and it drifted off.  No need to cry here, there was not a relationship happening, just some recent history being cleared up and a deepening understanding of our friendship veering solidly into friendship land and out of romance land.

Good to know.


Free to whore about the city.


Just kidding.

What I am grateful for is that stuff like this comes up and goes away so fast.

Clarity is lovely.

Oh, there is a little sadness there, I think it could have been fun, but you know, that’s my fantasy.

Reality stepped in and said, nope, just friends, but thanks for playing.

Heading into the holidays with no solid plans, birthday, romance, travel, or otherwise.

No anxiety either.

What I have discovered with this time off is that the things that need to happen, happen, the insights occur, the work coalesces, and I see where further work has to be delved into.

I see that I am capable of further intimacy and I was given some great information tonight.

I choose to take it, be grateful for it, accept it, forgive myself for being single, take care of myself in the meantime and when the morning comes I will be still with me.

In my cozy studio by the sea.

Building big castles way on high.

Or at least hula hooping in the sand.

At the edge of the ocean where everything is possible and I am complete.




God Save Me From Unstructured

November 18, 2013



I am so bad with not having my day chock a block full that inadvertently, though I have been trying to hold certain days free, I blocked out a seven-day work week next week.

Damn Gina.

What are you trying to do to yourself?

Of course it was pointed out to me by my dear friend who was asking after possible surfing dates.

“Next Sunday?” He asked, eyes twinkling.

“Yes! Wait, uh, no, fuck, I said I would help some one out at the SF Craftsman Fair.”

He smiled and shook his head at me, “I thought you were holding Sundays free?”

I was.

I was!

However, I shan’t be cancelling on my friend, I want to help her out and I realized that despite wanting very much to go surfing with my other friend, that I do need to have some income to cover that six days off around Thanksgiving.

And, I have six days off.

So far I have only put down a lunch date with a girlfriend, who being a doctor, actually has a crazier schedule than I do, that Tuesday.

Otherwise, yes, so help me God, I am holding space.

I am holding space for you, I promise.

Even when it is so challenging.

The sun was out, I had just meditated and for the second time this morning I found myself in tears.

I had absolutely no idea where they came from, what they signified, or what caused them, although I have a theory to be explored short with, they just were there.

Sliding down my face, wet, salty.

Unlike the water I thought might be falling down my face this Sunday–I had tentatively made plans to go surfing with some girls down in Pacifica, but what ended up happening, classic miscommunication, is they assumed I had a car.


This lady only gets round by bicycle, the occasional MUNI ride, the once in a while motorcycle lift, and the ultra decadent cab ride.

Which being out in the Outer Sunset is a decidedly wicked treat.

One which I doubt I will be pulling out again.

The girls left for Pacifica, told me where they would be and see you soon.




The possible swimming did not happen, but the solidification of a lunch date with the aforementioned doctor shall.




Oh hell, I have nothing to do today.

Not true, I was meeting my dearest Joan in the Mission and we had a late dinner planned at SunFlower on Valencia and 16th.

Which was fabulous.

Hot and Sour Soup with veggies.

Pot of tea.

Divine company.


I had nothing to do during the early afternoon and that left me  wide open to the emotions of the week, the month, the year, fuck, who knows, my entire god damn life.

I wrote my morning pages, cried.

I did some laundry.


I paced around the studio, the sunlight shafting in through the open door, the seductive shush of the sea just underpinning all my spinning about the studio, the Adirondack chair beckoned.


I give up.

I will sit in the sun and meditate.



Nip of breeze every once in a while biting at my fingers with a delicious sharp chill breaking the warm sun that fell on my face and chest and legs, reminding me to stay anchored in my body.

My mind rambled about for a bit.

I breathed and pushed further back into the wood slats of the chair, muscles relaxing and then, again, tears.


It seems that when I give myself enough time I am going to have feelings, whether or not I want them.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I want feelings, I just have a preponderance toward the good ones.

Yet, I know, intrinsically that the sad has to come out and that it eases.

I just want the relief.




I know what to do when this happens and I picked up my phone that was on the chair arm and started making phone calls.

I got what I needed.

Perspective and suggestions.

Suggestions I promptly engaged in and within a few minutes my mood had shifted and I asked myself what I wanted to do.

Kale salad!


Hula hoop!

Hoop time

Sunday Afternoon



Walk in the ocean with my pants rolled up around my knees.

The fact is, that despite wanting to very much get into the water, oh the longing watching the surfers from the shore, it was likely for the best that I did not go swimming today or go surfing in Pacifica.

I have to go see the doctor tomorrow about my shoulder and I can imagine that it would have been some physical strain to exert myself in and out of the water.

I was reassured by that small, intuitive voice in myself that the ocean was not going anywhere and that for today, at least, the best I could do was work it out with the hoop.

I picked a spot on the beach, breathed in the air, sucked it down really, and felt the sadness pool around me, but not engulf me.

I am just having some feelings.

I don’t have to know why.

I forget that quickly.

The thing about sadness, too, is that it is ephemeral and passes through me when I let it, quite quickly.

Though there was a certain melancholic tinge to the afternoon, it was more from the gray skies then from any grey interior feelings.

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach

The beach was lovely, the tide low, the sun shimmering beneath the clouds, the blue skies breaching behind me over Twin Peaks, the kites in the sky.

I hooped for a while then sat on the sand and ate my salad and the most glorious pear from Frog Hollow Orchard, courtesy of the BiRite, and my heart just opened and expanded and beat.

Not hard or painfully.

Just fully.



You are alive.

I felt vibrant.


And yes, still sweetly sad, but it was just the echoes of the earlier emotion and the salt of the tears that had fallen blended with the salt in the air and I felt washed out and clean and ready to move forward.

A train ride into the Castro.

A visit with my dear friend.

A conversation about surfing, schedules, and life, with another friend and my day bloomed open.

Funny that.

Hold those doors open, make that space, and love settles in.

Not pain.

Not self-pity.

The sadness washes clean the space for the love to settle in.

I walked back from the bowl of soup, called my other friend and let him know it was good to see him, and knew that I was blessed with my life.

I bought groceries and gratefully boarded the N-Judah back to the beach.

My house with its fresh made bed greeted me, my hula hoop–I even hooped a few more minutes while I waited for the kettle to boil–some music on the stereo, some candles lit perfuming the air, and just now, the words, the solace of my day, and the muffled roar of the ocean beaching onto the sand again and again.

Time for more unstructured time.


Pretty, Soft, &

November 10, 2013

Bitter sweet.

“Call me when you want to hang out,” he said to me as I gathered my bag and my little canvas sack of groceries with the pink Gerber Daisies hanging their fat, cheery, pink heads out of the top of the bag.

“I will, Mister,” I said, opened the door and got out.

I caught him leaning in to kiss me out the corner of my eye as I exited the car and my heart softly beat a moment’s pause, then settled back down as I quietly shut the door on the fantasy.

No kiss was had.

I was not expecting to get a ride home from him, it rather just happened.

I was hoping to see someone else tonight.

And that did not happen.

Although I did get a text late in the day explaining why.

And that felt nice.

Nice to be acknowledged, told that they would be getting back to me, and when.

You see, Mister, that’s how it works.

I have tried to tell you when I would like to hang out.

I even bought a new dress for it, but you, well, you had to work.

I was going to tell it to you like it is last Saturday and you dropped me off at my house with a fellow passenger in the car, negating said conversation and you drove off not telling me when I would hear back or if I would hear back, just that we would hang out soon.

A week of no contact.

I forgot rather what I was going to say.

I don’t need to have conversations in my head with imaginary partners.

See I realize, that you, Mister, were an imaginary affair, safe and sound and intimate because you don’t have it to offer me right now.

Your intentions always so sweet and I would fall for them every time, every fucking time.

I was Charlie Brown and you were Lucy, and I was going to run up to that football and kick it good and hard and score the winning goal and then you would want me and we would all live happily ever after going to museums and travelling and eating at nice restaurants.

And the sex?

Why that would be the bomb, it would be amazing, it would put my vibrator to shame.

Which is hard to do when you own a Hitachi Magic Wand.

Why, I would be throwing it out because the satisfaction would be so amazing.

Would, could, should.

Words that don’t work so well in my vocabulary.

“We should hang out.”

“We should go there.”

“We should go for a walk on the beach.”

I could probably write a few more, but they all come down to the same things, some sweet words, some kind kisses, and lots of empty actions, cancellations, and lack of connection.

You can be willing to say it to me and I can be willing to hear it, spin it out as fantasy and I then can spend my time in a safe little bubble where I don’t get hurt and you and I hang out in imaginary perfection land.

I wasn’t able to say anything.

I don’t know if it was restraint of pen and tongue or what.

There were just no words to say.

How do you break up when there was never really a relationship?

How to say that I am not interested in pursuing it.

I have stopped texting.

I have stopped expecting.

I am in with people who want to spend time with me.

“Let’s meet up and have dinner,” my darling Beth texted me.



I was on the way up to Noe Valley after a surprising interlude of hula hooping on the beach.

My housemate was headed out to the Ocean Beach with her daughter and her daughter’s friend from school, our new friend we met last week on the beach with her bright-colored hula hoops was also down the way and I happened to walk in at just the right moment to jump on the caravan.

“Come!” My house mate said with great enthusiasm.


That is what I want in my life, enthusiasm, followed by action.

I ran into my studio and tossed up a kale salad and quickly heated up a veggie burger, a persimmon in my bag, my camera, some water, and off to the beach.

Beach Bum

Lunch on the beach

There was a great big sand castle building tournament going on and the beach was packed.

Outlying elementary schools competing in sand castle building.

They were so sweet, utterly delicious, totally amateur, and astoundingly perfect.

The castles were built with glee and joy and the whelps of laughter as the tide rose in to rush the moats was a balm on my soul.

Our new hooping friend had a nephew who was competing.

I am not sure what the outcome was, they were all so utterly sweet and endearing, how could there be just one winner?

The crowds were big, but we found a nice patch of beach and pulled out the hoops.

My house mate gifted me one this morning.

I had all sorts of ideas about what I was going to do today and how I was going to do it and it was completely thrown into a loop when I wasn’t able to address the laundry I thought I needed to do.

I wanted perfection.

Instead I got a day at the beach, a hula hoop, and spending time with wonderful girlfriends–new ones, with hula hoops, “old” ones who I have known for almost nine years of my time in San Francisco, dear ones who mean so much to me and I need to spend more time with, little ones who were amazed that I hooped as long as I did.

I got to be around a gaggle of girls and it was awesome.

When I got the call from the man I was already in Noe Valley and I did not answer.

I don’t have anything to say.

You are sweet.

You are endearing.

You are handsome.

You are a fantasy I am tired of having.

I am interested in being alive.

I am interested in not just saying I want to do something, I want to hang out with you, but I have to go do some other stuff first, no, I want to be available for the life and the wonderful surprises it throws me, hula hoops, surfing.

I bumped into a woman tonight I know scantily from friends of friends and I discovered she surfs.

We are going to go to Pacifica next Sunday.

That’s what I am talking about.

Let’s not just talk about it.

Let’s do it.

What ever it is.

Let’s do it.

I may fall back into the fantasy mode, it is easy, it is safe, but I know that I have to surrender to being vulnerable, intimate, present to be alive.

So, here I am.

Present and accounted for.

Close To Home

November 4, 2013

I did not go do anything wild and crazy today.

Unless you consider hula hooping on the beach wild and crazy.

It was unexpected, but I would not go so far as to say wild and crazy.

I got up earlier than I expected, thanks Day Light Savings Time, and had a quick bite to eat before heading up to Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club to get a large coffee with my housemate and head to the beach to take a walk.

We talked about the guy and the me, and the me getting the fuck out-of-the-way.

I should have walked away from it a long time back.

I recalled, last night, as I was typing something a confidant had once told me, “stop banging your head on the closed-door and walk to the open one.”

Please, dear God.

My housemate suggested I write his name in the sand and let the tides take it.

The ocean does have a tendency to erase all the noise in my head.

I didn’t even get the first few letters out before a great wash of tide rolled in and splashed up on me and I shouted in surprise and no small joy.

I love being down at the beach.

I am enamored of it as said to a new friend I met today down by the shore, a neighbor out for a stroll with a large coffee in his hand, this one from Java Beach, my other favorite spot to kick it on a Sunday, when the sun is out and the patio is not too overrun, it is a great place to sit, watch some local flavor and read the Sunday paper.

Today, though, it was the beach that called.

That water washed all my worries away.

It was just sea and sand, salt and air.

God damn the way the air smells is so good.

So good.

I cannot wait to get back in and do some more surfing, although there was no surfing, that even had I a board and a companion to go out with, to be had today.

The water was not having it.

I did not see a single surfer out.

The waves were wild.

High, violent, aggressive.


Beautiful to watch though and I took a few photographs of the beach and the water and my friend and I strolled along talking about working out, how she could run me through a few things, I was adamant about not exercising today, I just want to walk on the beach, I said, to her when she suggested we do it briskly.

“You know, a brisk walk,” she said jogging up and down in her hot pink Nikes.

“Nope,” I said again, “I will go down to the beach and you can sprint ahead of me.”

Neither the stroll nor the sprint happened.

Instead we were captured by an elf on the shore with hula hoops.

A 49-year-old Chinese woman who turns out is a healer with a large business on Lombard Street where she teaches meditation and does healing work and acupuncture.

“That sure looks like fun,” my house mate said to the small sprite of a woman, in her blue jeggings and red yoga top.

The woman had a gold and pink hula hoop that she was putting through its paces.

I was rather amazed at how much she was doing and she was having a great time doing it.

Next thing you know my house mate and I are also hula hooping, meeting Kim our neighbor, and talking about meditation and the spiritual pulse points of the city, how they have moved, and yet, here, out here at the ocean, they have yet to be sullied.

We hooped and laughed and danced around in the sand.

The ravens and sea gulls waged war on each other, swooping and calling, chasing above the foam for the prize food capture one had snuck out from another.

Children waded in shallow pools where the outgoing tides had left large shallow dips of water reflecting diamond lights of brilliance.

“Exercise need to be fun,” Kim said, laughing.

I handed her back her hoop, she showed my housemate a trick and they both giggled, 40, 44, 49-year-old women, dancing on the beach with hoops, making friends where least expected.

I turned a cart-wheel.

I turned another.

I laughed out loud.

I did a third, getting dizzy, but joyfully so.

When was the last time that I had turned a cart-wheel?


I am sure of it.

We must have stayed and hooped with her for over an hour.

We drew an admirer who also happened to be a local and the surprise group stood hooping and jumping and stretching and listening to the ocean, talking about how we all got where we were and exchanging numbers and e-mails.

After a tender footed walk back to the house, I had left my flip-flops on by the entrance to the beach at the Great Highway cross walk and they were gone, my housemate and I separated for a quick hour to eat lunch and do a couple of chores.

I got my bedding washed and shot out a few e-mails.

Three o’clock rolls around and we head out to the store to get weighted hula hoops.

We are both converts.

Despite not having success, the stores were sold out, apparently we are not the only hoopers in the neighborhood, we did gleefully chat about ordering a bunch online and having some hooping going on.

Surfing, swimming, hooping, walks on the beach, cartwheels, what the heck is going on?

Beach life.

I am really getting into it.

It is really good for me.

My day aside from the beach was chill, made some soup, did a little shopping, hung out with my housemate and did some writing.


This blog here marks my third writing of the day.

Not too bad.

Not sure I am going to follow all the dictates of the write a novel in a month, but I am sitting down, have done so every day since the 1st of the month, and I am writing.

Already I am surprised by what is coming out.

Who knows where it is going, but I am going to be there to be a conduit for it.

That’s the best I can do.

That and be absurdly grateful that I am a conduit at all.

That somewhere, something, some divinity, muse, God, Universe, love, has words to share with me.

I am gifted.

Not because I have talent, that is debatable, but because I have been given a present.

I just need to not be so scared to use it.

Going to the beach help clear the cobwebs from my head.

From my heart.

From my eyes.

That and some unexpected exercise and new friends and neighbors converging to do what we humans do best, connect with each other with love and respect.

And play.

“Go on! Try! It’s fun,” she said to me.

I took the hoop.

And got some happy.

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