“With Every Job When It’s Complete There Is A Sense of Bittersweet”

‘Tis done.  Except for one more evening tomorrow starring as the cleanup/set-striking crew, Mary Poppins is in the past tense.  I’m feeling conflicted.  On the one hand, I’m grateful to not have to feel so hectic trying to fit everything into a day, and on the other hand, though I kicked and screamed and thought I wouldn’t do it over and over and over, it turned out to be a great experience for me.  I don’t step out of my comfort zone enough… I just don’t.  And the fact that I conquered my weird social anxieties (with plenty of awkwarding up the joint), my non-dancing skillz (let’s face it, Whitney loves to dance, but dancing has an aversion to Whitney and often makes her look like a seizing walrus cub), my extreme fear of ruining a production, and being fitted for and wearing a costume is like a monumental thing in my book of Whacky and Out Of This World Weird Issues and Aversions (Hitting shelves the 9th of Neverember).

I cannot say enough about the kindness and patience shown me by the lot of the cast and crew.  The directors, choreographers, and musical directors who took me under their wings and taught me about owning my actions, the wardrobe mistress who was so kind and non-judgmental, the cast who put up with my corny nervous frittery jokes and still accepted me anyway.  The leads, Sarah Huff and Tyler Whitesides who don’t own a mean bone in their entire bodies, extremely talented, gracious with their time and compliments, and absolutely ZERO egoes… which can also be said about every last one of the folks in charge of this beautiful musical… behind and in front of the scenes.  It is an experience I will never forget… and one that I will look back on with fondness.  My part in this production was so very miniscule, but I was always made to feel like we were all a part of this fabulous thing that had record-breaking audiences during all 8 shows.

I had a friend say to me who has seen nearly every broadway show known to man (we call her the “ticket lady” Hi Karen)… “The difference between this production and a professional broadway one is a feeling of love.”  She said there was so much love and warmth and feeling behind each of the characters on the stage, and she never gets that from the Broadway productions because they are in it for the money.  I’ve thought a lot about that since… and it’s true… everyone who worked on this production did it because they loved the work.  They loved acting and singing and dancing.  They loved creating sets and costumes and marketing advertisements.  They loved the behind the scenes stage crewing and making things run like an oiled machine.  It was a production full of a lot of heart and warmth and LOVE. Four Seasons Theatre Company is a gift, Cache Valley people.  I hope you all support future productions from these wonderful people.  They deserve all the accolades they get!

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I had so many wonderful family and friends who showed up.  I love and appreciate you all… every last one of you whacky wonderful wildabeasts.  I’d name you all individually, but I know I’d forget some and then the list wouldn’t be complete.  I also could have kicked myself that I didn’t think to take more pictures.  It’s always the after thought!  Here are a few of the ones people did take and send me…

My darling cuzzin’s kids, Baylee and Owen (Hi Mark and Jenalee)!

My other darling cuzzin’s, Makayla and Corbin (whatup, Angie and Ryan)!

My momma!

My sweet best bud since we were 10 and she whacked a soccer ball at my nose and broke my glasses (no hard feelings, obviously), who just so happened to win the award for furthest traveler to attend… Alena and her oldest daughter Kayla came from Wisconsin!!  They came for other things too, but the sweetness of this girl cannot be matched y’all!

I also met some fabulous new friends in this production, which I also didn’t get many pictures of!

The delightful Stephanie (aka Mrs. Lark) and her bag of peanut M&Ms.

The delightful Leann who was patient enough to teach me the ropes!  (sorry… I had to cut my face out of this one… I looked like the dude from The Goonies squinting into the camera… note to self… wear glasses).

The delightful Cece who put up with my sarcastic jabs and then jabbed right on back (she also never washes her face… obviously).

Some of the beautiful ladies (inside and out) from the “band room dressing room”, Tara, Leann, Amy, Rory, Rachel, some bird woman, and Stephanie.

Thank you all for making my experience that much better.  I am blessed to know some top notch, cream of the crop, non-whackadoodle people!  Keep on keeping on, friends!

PS – For remembering purposes, I meant to post about the snafu I had on closing night.  During 7 of the 8 productions and all 4 of the technical and dress rehearsals, I had absolutely no issues with my microphone.  NONE.  It just so happened that on the final night, my mic did not work when I started to sing.  I felt something was off when I started singing but couldn’t put a finger on it until I realized that there was no vocal projection.  Heck if I knew what to do, but the pro that is Sarah Huff (Mary Poppins) sprung into action, walked over to me and knelt a few inches from my face so that I could be picked up on her microphone.  Did I tell you, no ego on that girl?  We weren’t able to do any of our normal acting or blocking of the scene as we had to be so close together to share her mic, so I’m sure it looked a bit weird and awkward, but that she had the presence of mind to come over there and knew what to do was a neat experience.  Afterwards I heard talk that she said no one had to tell her to walk over… she felt she was prompted by the spirit to walk over and help me out, and she heeded that feeling.  Thank you for sacrificing your performance for mine, Sarah!  You are a gem of a person!

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The Fountain of Not Youth….

What’s the opposite of youth?  Not youth.  Write that down and then leave me the flim flam alone.  Most of you have heard the following story… some of you several times… and the people that have heard this story before are all going to be like, Whitney… shut your baklava hole… we are soooo over this story!  And then I’m going to be like… Stop it… I’m so not over this story so I’m going to yammer on about it until the cows come home.  Question… how often do the cows come home and is it more or less than once a millenium?

Back story… this past Thursday afternoon a handful of us from the Mary Poppins cast jetted on out to the Summerfest to sing some of the songs from the show for advertising purposes.  I jetted along with the handful to sing my bird number, and we all wore our matching show shirts pictured below.

In case you can’t see it very good it’s Mary Poppins holding an umbrella drawn with a bunch of the words from the production.  Anywho… so I was wearing that shirt.  My mom happened to jet on over during her lunch hour to listen to us and so when the singing was done, I was walking with her when we ran into this lady who commented on my shirt and asked how she could get tickets to the show.  I went on this 8-hour long (read: 2-minute) spiel about where she could get tickets, even going so far as to write down the web address and phone number she could use.  The following is our conversation in a nutshell.

Knit Whit:  So, go to fourseasonstheatre.org and you can buy tickets there.
Lady of Doom and Gloom:  What building is fourseasonstheatre.org in?
KW:  It’s not in a building, it’s on the internet.
LoDaG:  What building is the internet in?
KW:  The internet is not a building… it is on a computer.
LoDaG:  Oh… (at this point she turns to my mother next to me and asks ME) Is this your daughter?
KW:  ($#&$(W*$W)$U(U*($u($W) aka:  The thoughts running through my head.

So, basically, I arrived at the Summerfest at noon 36 years old and I left the Summerfest at 2:00 86 years old… give or take a year.  My mom has been gloating about it ever since but I might as well just shrivel up and stick my head in a vat of Crisco…  If I look 50 years older than I really am, I need to see a plastic surgeon… or walk around with a bag on my head.

By the by… the lady asked me where I lived 12 times in the space of a 10-minute conversation, so I’m thinking she might have other issues than just being technologically challenged and a poor guesser of age.  Either way, I’m guessing neither she nor her magical children will be coming to Mary Poppins any time soon.  What building is that in, dearie!?!?  MOVING ON!!

Opening weekend is in the record books.  It was nerve-wracking, fun, HOT, challenging, and a good way to jet out of my zone of comfort.  Here’s my 86-year-old self wearing the top half of my bird doo lady costume… as you can tell by the expression on my face… it is hot!!!!!

Yep… totally flattering… but all I can do is bow to the wardrobe mistress, Kim for making a costume to fit this body of doom and gloom.  She’s a magician, basically!

Dress rehearsal for one of my favorite scenes (Step In Time)… Only 5 more shows…

PS –  Thank you so much to all of my sweet family and friends who mosied on to the shows so far… even if all I basically do in it is turn the hall light switches on and off backstage.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (not as many times as I’ve already told the above story, though), I have some awesome people in my life… I’m very blessed you all put up with me and are so supportive.  THANK YOU ALL!

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Whirlwind Whitney…

That sounds like a very weather girl-ish name.  I may have missed my calling in life.  I can stand in front of a squiggly map and make up weather predictions that never come true all the live long day.  All’s you have to do is stick your hand out the window to know if it’s raining… unless cuzzin Bartholomew is playing a trick and spitting on you from the balcony.

This weekend was a whirlwind of EPIC proportions!  Friday, we all jaunted up to Rexburg, Idaho to attend my cute uncle’s wedding.  By we all, I mean me, madre, padre, Auntie Mel, and the walking baby-bearing fat police… aka Lindsay.  By fat police I mean, if I hear one more spiel about how she looks so fat (that will certainly melt off when she’s eating her post-baby Cinnabon) you can all call me Jenny Craig on a cracker.  My baby weight came on at about 1 year of age and I ain’t seen it go anywhere since… and it brought along approximately 85 billion of its friends.   Unfortunately, nothing worthwhile is shooting out of me in the next 9 months.  (TMI… I’m aware!)

It was nice to see the fam-damly… even if it was whirlwindy… I told JenJen I’d take pictures of actual people to send to her instead of clouds and nonsense… sorry Jen, I did not deliver very well… but I do have some fabulous cloud pictures… if you squint really hard you can pick out Uncle Phil on the one next to the sun.

Here is the cute couple when they first walked out of the temple.  I somehow feel foolish butting up in front of people with actual official-looking cameras whilst I pull out my paperweight cell phone.  Official photographer here… move out the way you people with lenses!  

Selfie!  Pictures in Rexburg are always accompanied with the “windy” look.  The wind blows 85 hours a day every day… today was no exception.  I did my hair once.  Didn’t need to.  Pictured, awesome cuzzin Jacque, the walking baby-bearing fat police, Knit-Whit, and half of Madre’s left eye.

Blessings and happiness to the new couple!  May your days always include pies… round pies!

We jaunted home Friday night because I had to work all weekend, had an 8-hour Mary Poppins practice on Saturday (aka I managed to ruin 85 costumes sewing on the eye and hook… 4-H winner y’all!!! Also, MP starts this Friday… eek!  Tickets:  www.fourseasonstheatre.org) and was also tasked with writing an entire 12-page paper on the farming techniques of the weasel due Sunday night.  I barely eeked it out between my other tasks, coughcough I may or may not have added some pictures and/or enlarged them to get me to 11 pages).  I feel tired… and accomplished… but mostly tired.  How do you all people with actual real lives do it!?!?!  :P

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This, That, and a Bowl Full of Goo…

I’m instruction-proof… aka I can’t process a set of instructions to murder me.  It’s like they go in one ear hole, swim around in the empty brain fluid called Whitney’s cranium and then exit through the esophagus.  The esophagus you say?  Because if I even look at a set of instructions I automatically gain 12 pounds.  Instructions ain’t calorie-free y’all!  And then I’m ADD, so as if I have time to sit and concentrate on what the words are saying when there are fabulous bunnies dressed as Cher impersonators whilst cavorting with iguanas dressed as Elvis to think about.  Long story really short… I’m a flim-flammed mess and a toad in a pear tree!

There was the assignment this past week where I swear to you in all things You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hound Dog, the instructions said for me to write an essay on chocolate and how it comes to be from the cocoa bean through the Twix bar in my tummy yummy… oops… gained another 15 pounds.  So I wrote about it… and it was glorious… and then I promptly inhaled 77 Twix bars because… anxiety… and subtlety in advertising.  I got my essay grade back with a score less than stellar and a note saying the assignment was to write about the history of farming in ancient times.  Uhhhh… I swear to you they changed the topic when I wasn’t looking.  No matter… Twix bars are much more interesting than anything that they ever ate in the ancient times.  Take that to the dinosaur bones, Caveman Glark.

There was the recipe I put in the crockpot this afternoon for a skinny version of chicken pot pie soup… skinny versions are definitely not as glorious as glutton gut versions, but I digress.  Anyway, the recipe said it would take 4 hours in the crockpot.  Easy.  I’ll start it at 5:00 p.m. and I’ll have my dinners for the week done by 9:00.  Done and done.  I put it in the crockpot and let it slave away whilst I drooled out my pie hole reading psychology textbooks as if I were Freud but with less ear hairs.  Fast forward to 3-1/2 hours later when I’m supposed to chunk up the chicken, add the frozen veggies, and then let it cook for another half hour, I realize the chicken is still pink, the potatoes hard as rocks, and I know to immediately re-read the instructions… cook on low for 8 hours… high for 4 hours.  I had it on low planning for 4 hours.  My soup was done at 1:00 a.m.  Who the Bobby Flay’s fanny pack cooks at 1:00 a.m.  I couldn’t deal with trying to store it in a bowl or some such nonsense, so I opened the frig, stacked all of the food 8 feet high, and shoved the whole crockpot into the refrigerator.  I’ll deal with it tomorrow…   Seeing as I still am not so much fond of chicken, I’ll probably take issue with eating it anyway.

Whomever writes instructions… aka technical writers… could y’all just come to my house and walk me through it step by step?  Either that or electroshock therapy amidst a herd of sheep impersonating Britney Spears will do.  Hit me up if you have an opening.

I’ve been waiting all dagnabbed spring to catch a rainbow… seeing as it’s rained every single day all dagnabbed spring you’d think we’d at least have had one by now.  The first rainbow I catch is a wimpy wimp one… a partial one.  The other side of it?  Even jokier!

What is that!?!?  It’s a spaceship.  I’m going to need a full brilliant triple rainbow with at least 3 pots of gold by the time fall hits or else I’m not going to be pleasant when it snows this winter.  You hear!?!?

P.S.  Mary Poppins is less than 2 weeks away… uhhh… if I read the instructions right, that is.  www.fourseasonstheatre.org

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The Magpie Massacre… aka My Life Has Gone To the Birds…

Birds… birds, birds, birds, birds… and more dagnabbed birds.  BIRDS!  My car out in the driveway always looks like several Magpies painted it with turd hoppers… the other half looks like a cross between a deer hunting camo and the last prize winner at the Demolition Derby.  Before I wax even more poetical about things no one cares about, allow me to get to the point.  It just so happens to be the time of the year where the young flocklings nest in Whitney’s window well, cause a ruckus and keep me awake for 12 years, and then eventually end up dead somewhere due to some predatory animal or George of the Feral Jungle Cat.  I refuse to think Lucy-Fur could ever be so cruel… Lucy-Fur!  Stop it!  The other night (aka really early morning), whilst I was trying to do some homework, I heard a thud against my window and then very near-by chirping noises.  I didn’t even have to turn the light on… I knew what it was.  This happens on a yearly basis just as the robin eggs hatch and the newly-winged robinettes (or owlettes or magpie-lettes, etc., etc.) learn to fly.  Kentucky and Fried showed up as if on cue…

Oh, Kentucky and Fried… I barely knew ye.  I learned from friend Audrey that friend Karen was a fan of the bird friends, so we texted Karen to see if she had any ideas on how to keep these precious suckers alive for more than 12 seconds.   You ought to know that Karen would pull off her right arm if you needed one, so of course she shows up on the doorstep at around 6:00 with the North Logan animal control officer.  They were like the magical team of bird refuge savers… except with less bird doo on their persons.  Nice Mr. Animal Control dude gently removed the little fellers from the window with a long net and set them near the tree that their parent birds were dive-bombing.

The National Society of Bird Refugeers From Random Window Wells of People Named Knit-Whit.  They certainly saved my future night’s of sleep and gave me a bit of peace of mind that the little fellers would still go on living.  Magpie DooDoo Central be durned!   Peace of mind, that is, until that very night/early morning when I once again heard that ever-familiar thud followed by incessant chirping noises…

This time only Fried returned… and what do you know, he still couldn’t manage to fly himself out of my window well.  Night 2 of sleeplessness.  This time I made my dad fish him out with a fishing net (who do I look like… someone who would risk getting the bird flu by getting them out myself!?!?!?  As if!)  And wouldn’t you know, he’d returned to the same danged window well the next evening.  I’m thinking Fried is some sort of Urkel of the bird population… except without suspenders and a snorting chirp.  THE HUMANITY!?!?!?  The charade went on until it was discovered on Saturday that there was a non-alive version of Fried sitting out on the lawn.  Let us all take a moment of silence to mourn for dear Kentucky and Fried.  When they say “Feed the Birds, tuppence a bag,” I really think they were talking about lunch for The Society of the Magpie Massacre-ists. Until next year, robinettes… in the meantime… I’m getting out of the bird business.  Anyone have a BB Gun I could borrow?  I have a Magpie Society Meeting to attend manana.

***

Because friends, Karen and Audrey are basically the sweetest, they also dropped off a gift for me…

I was verklempt… but in the best way possible.  What a thoughtful gift that I will look at with fondness for years to come.  Thank you, sweet ladies!  I sure am lucky to have such great people in my life!

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All Gave Some and Some Gave All…

Billy Cyrus from the 90s anyone?  The above song was actually one of his more tolerable (nee any song that isn’t Achy Breaky Heart… sorry I had to mention the title outloud… for research purposes you see).  And that was the detour way for me to get to the point… having just had Memorial Day, I wanted to add my thank you to all of those who have served our country in the past, present, and future… and especially for those families who lost a loved one in the service.  I don’t have the bravery (or frankly the skillz, temperament, cajones, clothing, mental fortitude, etc., etc., etc.)  to do what y’all did/do/will do, so thank you, thank you, thank you!!  And many more… if y’all ever need a piece of toast, I make a mean one.  (I’d offer other of my baked goods, but I don’t have the insurance policy to cover chipped teeth accidents).  Afghanistan ain’t got nothing on my chocolate chip lead cookies.

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I keep having this recurring nightmare.  I’m not sure why I’m having it of late as the incident happened way back when I was in the 8th grade attending North Trash Junior High (that wasn’t a typo… it was over 100 years old and crumbling to pieces when we attended).  We ate lunch out on a stairway that was basically a rubble field of cement pieces.  The incident in question?  The school being as old as it was had very narrow hallways in the basement.  Let’s face it… it was in Utah, children per capita is approximately 8800000 children to 1 adult (give or take 7999700).  Squish all them kids into one narrow hallway and let’s have a lawsuit on our hands!

There were rows of lockers lining both sides of said hallway stacked 2 deep, which made the hall even narrower when everyone was trying to get into their lockers whilst everyone else was trying to walk down the hall.  Needless to say it was a claustrophobic person’s hell on earth!  One particular morning before the first bell starting school had rung, the power went out in said hallway and being the hyped up, nerve-ridden, hormonal 14 year olds we were, everyone started freaking out.  We were packed in there like sardines anyway and now with no way to see 2 inches in front of us.  This led to some jerk football boys deciding it would be a good idea just to barrell through everyone like bulldozers.  I was kneeling on the ground getting into my lower locker when it happened, I was knocked over onto the ground and then was unable to get back up as a herd of buffalo trampled over the top of me.  I just covered my head with my arms and thought I was going to suffocate amidst it all.

After what seemed like 8 hours… (I’m sure it was nothing more than a few minutes), I was finally able to drag myself up off the floor into a sitting position, I was bleeding and I no longer had my gargantuan glasses on my face.  Since I was blind without my glasses and the hallway was still dark and extremely tight, there was no way I would be able to find my glasses.  I sat there bawling like a 2-year-old (oh the embarrassment) until the lights finally came back on and one of my friends realized I was hurt.  She searched for my gargantuan glasses only to discover they had been mutilated in the buffalo stampede, broke clear in half and the lenses popped out.  We took the broken pair into the orchestra room and tried to cobble them together with some masking tape… because I didn’t already look like Urkel on Steroids with just the neck crimping-sized glasses alone… no… let’s add tape to the look and then shatter the lenses.  I spent the rest of the day walking around with injuries and taped broken glasses.  Like my mom would have picked me up… the school was in Richmond, which is a good half hour drive from where she worked.   I just had to wait for the bus ride later that afternoon.

I woke up the other night flailing in my sleep as if I was trying to thwart the football buffalo stampede.  It’s funny the things that stick with you for forever and 12 days… I was 14 ages and ages ago said Grandma Olive… but in my vivid dreams it felt like it was happening now.  I’m pretty sure these days I could take on the whole herd with 2 arms tied behind my back.  Come at me, bros!   Mama needs a new pair of spectacles!

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In other news… for those who don’t have Facebook and have been asking how to get tickets to Mary Poppins, they just went on sale this weekend.  Go to http://www.fourseasonstheatre.org/ and click on the “Get Your Tickets Now” tab on the right hand side.  If you have a family you are bringing and want the family discount, call (435) 535-1432.  I believe the discount is buy 2 tickets at the regular price of $10 and then after that each ticket is just $5.  (NOTE:  To family who are insisting they are coming from far distances, you really don’t need to.  I’m in the thing for approximately 10 minutes total and it would be a long drive just to support that… There are no expectations and if I were you, I’d say to myself WWWD (what would whitney do)… uh… she’d totally skip the long drive too!)

So, I’m puzzled by this weird weather we’ve been having.  We live in a desert for a reason and it has rained every single day for the last month and a half… but the weird part of it is that there is usually some lovely blue sky in the area where I am not woggercizing.  I try to walk toward it, but this is all I see in my vicinity:

I’m like Eeyore, except less grey around the gills!  I really need to invest in an umbrella that actually covers my gargantuan head if this keeps up!  Stop the madness, Grucilla!

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Filed under Childhood, School

Twice The Money For Half the Brains…

There really is no rest for we wicked folks… summer semester started last Monday only a week after spring semester ended… so I got approximately 5 minutes of free time to stare at all the paint drying I could please!  It was a glorious 5 minutes, though!  I read an actual real book… that did not have any high-faluting, boring textbook speak in it.  I almost forgot that my brain actually likes to work sometimes… on things that are pleasant.

As for summer semester’s classes… it’s another case of Whitney did not pay attention whilst signing up for said classes and made a mistake.  Classes in summer semester vary… you have your shorter variety, where-in they cram 15 weeks of work into a few weeks and you have your longer variety… the regular 14- or 15-week course, homework at a more normal level of insanity.  I was sure I needed to pick two 14-week courses on account of the fact that trying to cram in more than that makes me irritable and bursitis-y and in need of a good ole-fashioned time-out session.  Plus, full-time working at my day job and Mary Poppins is in 1 month and the rehearsals and shows will be taking up more and more of my time.

I signed up for my classes, bought my books and waited for the semester to begin.  Monday, I logged on to read the syllabi, and discovered I’d signed up for a class that was a 7-week course instead of a 14-week one.  Meaning, twice the amount of work in half the time.  I kid you not… it’s been one week since classes started and I’ve already muddled my way through 12 assignments plus reading in that one class alone!  Add in the reading and assignments from the other very needy course and I’m already counting down until birthday numero 90!

The final week for the shorter course falls on the same exact week the MP show is… same exact week of Whitney having a smorgasboard of stress eating!  :P  Sue me… garlic bread.  Now that I’ve yammered on incessantly about mysterious classes, I guess I ought to mention what they are… said no one who cares to know this information… not even my own mother.  The longer course is a psychology class, specifically about child maltreatment (sad stuff), except the teacher is a rambler.  She has 8000000000 documents I’m supposed to read about how the class works.  I have no clue what I’m doing after reading all of the documents because they were like 15 pages each of incessant yammerizing (we may be related)… and I fell asleep approximately 12 times whilst reading them.  Fingers crossed she accepts flying by the seat of one’s pants work.

The shorter course is a class for my English minor… a literature class dealing with farming and agriculture.  I KNOW!?!?!?  Even after my 12 assignments and reading this week, I’m not exactly sure how they’re going to cram in more farming literature information, but we shall see.  In the meantime, I best get started on my final cumulative 14-page paper since it’s due like tomorrow… give or take 6 more weeks.  FYI:  I’m going to need all the no-doze I can get off the black market.

PS- Happy Birthday to Padre this past Fridee.  I bought him an apron he can wear with pride… it says: It took me 64 years to look this good!  Oh yeah… you best believe I find the quality gifts!  :P

Oh Spring… I delightest in thy beauty… said Whitney Shakespeare on ding dongs.

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