Friday, March 30, 2012

That reminds me of a funny story.

A few days ago, I blogged about one of my favorite skirts (here):

Anthropologie Lengthening Rays Skirt (4)

I neglected to mention a story I've been meaning to share with you for a few months, which I think will appeal to both Anthro lovers and haters alike.

I don't tell a lot of work stories on the blog, but I think this one is appropriate to share.

Our firm does a lot of pro bono legal work, which means we take on a number of cases for free in order to give back to the community. These cases often involve underserved populations who have difficulty getting legal services, like battered women, persons seeking political asylum, and transgendered people trying to change their names or other legal documentation to match their gender identity. It's wonderful that the firm does this work, and even better that we get equal credit for billing pro bono hours as client-billable (I.e., making money for the firm) matters. Some firms limit the number of hours you can spend on pro bono cases, but not ours. That's one of the reasons I like working here so much!

Anyway, like many firms, our firm does a bit of pro bono work with detainees in Guantanamo. Of course, we can disagree on the politics behind the detentions, but the fact of the matter is that many many people being held in Guantanamo have been there indefinitely without any charges ever being brought. This means that, theoretically, someone could be sitting in detention for years with no idea why they are there and no opportunity to even respond to the allegations against them. In short, it's certainly not an ideal situation.

In the course of representing prisoners at Guantanamo, our lawyers sometimes have to travel down to the facility. (Now, the travel part is a whole 'NOTHER story, but I will restrain myself from telling that one.) Dress code at the facility is conservative, because: a) it's a prison full of men; b) many of the prisoners are religiously conservative and are offended at the sight of female flesh. I don't believe pants are allowed for women, and all skirts must come down to your ankles. Also, your wrists and chest must be covered.

When one of my coworkers was dispatched to Guantanamo a few months ago, she came into my office and lamented the fact that she had nothing in her wardrobe to meet these requirements. I immediately thought of my Lengthening Rays Maxi Skirt and recommended she haul over to the Georgetown Anthro, where I had seen many still on the racks.

(Outfit from this post)

She ended up buying both the skirt and a Guantanamo-appropriate shirt at Anthro. Of course she gave the skirt two thumbs up for comfort, appropriateness, and breathability in the Cuban heat. (Is that three thumbs up?)

On top of her own approval, the Guantanamo guards commented that she was the most well-dressed attorney they'd ever seen at the detention center!

So, here's my question: is that a good thing for Anthro's image or a bad thing? "Anthropologie: styling you for exposure to religious conservatives since 1992."

What's the most bizarre compliment you've ever received? Someone recently told me that I dressed so cutely that it was annoying!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

OOTD: Throw a Black Blazer on it, part 1

I have probably mentioned my love for black blazers many times before on this blog. I can't help but be effusive---such an easy piece to find in a full range of prices, and such a staple for any woman who wants to look sharp. I'm of the opinion that you can throw a black blazer over pretty much anything and it will look appropriate.

I mean, sure, there are a few exceptions.

(In fairness to this girl, she did clarify that she didn't actually walk outside like this. But still the point remains: the black blazer does have its limitations)

While I continue to clear my backlog of outfits on my way to showing you all my new haircut, which will forever bust me in my effort to post pre-trial shots that have languished on my hard drive, I've got a few outfits that feature the fantastic work-appropriate-transformatory properties of a black blazer.

First, let's explore the ability of the black blazer to take a questionably tasteful outfit and make it seem put-together:

This See by Chloe mini sack dress, worn here as a top, is pretty hard for me to style.

(See a previous attempt here).

Something about the shapelessness, the short length, the pattern and the long sleeves combines into a perform storm of WTF. So basically everything about it is hard to wear.

On the other hand, pretty much everything about this maxi skirt is easy to wear. It has an elastic waistband, it's a neutral color, and it seems to work in all seasons. The two seem to make a natural team, right?

I would argue, however, that in the absence of a blazer, this whole look might be a little too...crunchy for the office.


But that blazer, man, works for The Man.

Ah, is there anything quite like that smug smile-inducing deployment of the black blazer?

in this outfit:
Silence + Noise black blazer (UO via Gabriel Brothers)
See by Chloe dress (thrifted)
Lengthening Rays Maxi Skirt (4 - size down)
BCBG shoes (outlet circa 2010)
Fake YSL artsy oval ring (here)
Anthropologie Punch Card Belt (M)
Kate Spade bow bangle
Kate Spade pen necklace
Amazon Crawford Boyfriend Watch in Rose Gold (here)
Earrings free with an etsy or eBay purchase at some point
Michael Kors harness satchel purse


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Runday: Zombies, Run! Review

Now that we've completed our initial fitness challenge races it's time to settle into a regular running schedule. Whenever I come off of a race, I find that I have a nice momentum that enables me to maintain a fitness regimen, even if I'd been struggling with my training beforehand.

In a fit of post-8k running love, I purchased an iPhone app called "Zombies, Run!" that promised to keep my legs moving by placing me in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse and forcing me to run from flesh-eating hordes of undead walkers.

You know, the yoosh.

Since we don't get a new episode of AMC's The Walking Dead this week, it seemed like a fitting time to finally post my initial thoughts about this game.

Background: The story is set in England after a zombie outbreak has occurred. Survivors have formed "townships" to pool resources and increase their odds of outlasting the "zoms." One of the jobs in each township is that of "runners," who are sent out on periodic missions to gather supplies and intelligence. You are cast as "Runner 5", one of the runners in Abel Township.

How it works: The game is essentially a quasi-interactive audio book, with each mission being a new chapter in the book. There seems to be something suspicious happening with your presence at Abel township and there may be a conspiracy involving the zombie apocalypse. On each run, you get another piece of the narrative as you complete each new mission.

There are several breaks in the narrative in which you simply need to run to or from something; during these breaks, one of your own songs plays (you select the playlist).

Periodically, the game will interject over your music that you have found supplies or that there's a zombie 10 meters behind you.

The game uses your GPS to gauge your speed and distance. As you run, you collect miscellaneous supplies which you then bring back to the township. These will help you upgrade your base facilities.

The missions last approximately 30 minutes, after which you are free to run with your music playing in the background (the game tells you that you are listening to the Abel Township radio station, and you receive periodic interjections and narrative from the station DJs). The game comes with 30 missions, equalling 40 runs of gameplay. The developer seems to release new missions with their game updates.


Zombie Chases: The aspect of this game that most appealed to me was the being motivated to run faster by hearing the wet growling sounds of hungry zombies gaining on me from behind. (The game developer calls this "interval training - with zombies." You can chose to enjoy this experience by enabling the Zombie Chase option in the game.

With a setup like this, you'd expect the zombie chases to be simultaneously scary and awesome, right?

Well, it's still unclear to me exactly what this option does. Every once in a while, you'll be told that there are zombies behind you and that you really need to run. However, there have been times when my pace did not increase despite the presence of zombies, and yet I was still informed that the zombies had fallen back. Perhaps if I'd come to a complete stop, the game would have yelled at me to get my ass in gear? Or perhaps "zombie chase" just means that you sometimes hear interjections about zombies while you run.

What I wanted was the ever-present and frightening sound of zombies IN MY EAR if I slowed down, but I didn't get this. Instead, one of the characters told me at the start that if I "keep above a slow shamble" I should be able to outrun the zombies.

Well gee, thanks for the motivation...



Pros: Ambitious idea, excellent production value, entertaining story that keeps you curious about where it's going.

Cons: GPS use drains battery life; zombies are not hard to outrun, limited number of missions means this would not last long for frequent runners; playlists are played in order and songs cannot be shuffled; expensive at $8.

Suggestions for improvement: Add a mechanism to gauge whether the player actually increases their speed during a zombie chase, and use a few standard interjections if speed does not increase; enable song shuffling; reduce the price.

Overall: For $8, I can't say I highly recommend this app unless you are SUPER into zombies or really want to try something new and different. I'd pay $5 for this, but given its limited interaction with your actual speed it doesn't seem to be worth much more than that.

Link: If you're still curious, you can check it out in the Apple App Store at this link. The reviews are largely very positive, so if you want to be enabled to make the purchase, I'm sure you'll find the motivation there!


Do you have any fitness apps on your smartphone? I'd love recommendations!

Friday, March 23, 2012

NYC Sale Haul

It's been a while since I had a real haul, as in my days of yore. The trial precluded much thought about anything unrelated to law, but more than that I reached somewhat of a saturation point with my closet. I feel as though I have enough stuff to get me through my world right now, and very little in Anthropologie or any of the other stores I like has felt indispensable to me lately.

However, it must be something about being in NYC the changing seasons having more spare time body fluctuations my personality that sends me back to the stores anyway. Not that that's a bad thing --- while leaving the Rock Center Anthro, I ran into SGJL reader Lois, who I amazingly ran into almost a year ago outside that same Anthro! Lois was the first reader ever to come up to me and introduce herself. It's always such a thrill to meet you all, and it was great to see Lois again and chat about our favorite subject.

So now, here are the purchases.

LOFT and Anthro:
NYC Sale Haul
Most of my money went to LOFT on this trip, thanks in large part to their immediate across-the-street proximity from my office along with the sales they've run over the last few days: 30% off sale, 50% off pants, and 50% off sweaters.

I'm unclear about whether I'll keep the Anthropologie items. Certainly there was some part of me that was incredulous that I was about to leave an Anthro with NOTHING, so perhaps that skewed my purchases. What do you think? On the one hand, I wear blazers several times per week, and I am in definite need of navy tops. On the other hand, that doesn't mean that these pieces are right for me. (In fact, I desperately want this navy top as soon as it hits sale...)

Anthropologie Sans Collar Blazer by Cartonnier, size M, $50. (No longer available, but check for popbacks here)

Anthropologie Tartlet Burst Top by Deletta, size M (up one size for looseness), $30. (here)

In addition to the stuff featured in the polyvore, I also snagged a few deeply discounted exercise clothes:

The fluorescent yellow top is perfect for nighttime exercising/bike commuting, as is the reflective red windbreaker. The shorts are my absolute favorite running shorts design, as they have undergarments built in. Super comfortable and very breathable.

A bunch of these purchases are relatively off-season, in that I'll soon be putting them away because the weather will get too hot. However, the prices for fall and winter clothes are great at this time of year, and I know that many of these warmer basics will come just as handy in Fall/Winter 2012 as they would have this year.

Also, a random blazer from H&M:
I know it looks crazy oversized, but i think it moves nicely.

And plus the only way I'm comfortable diving into the current florals trend for now...

J. Crew iPhone case ($25, not yet online. Similar here)

Sometimes, once I start shopping, I use less discretion for later purchases than earlier ones. That's where you guys come in! I would love your opinions on these items! Your opinion is very much valued.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

OOTD: Prowling the Town

I'm back from NYC today! I'll do my best to post a sale haul for you tomorrow. I know it's been a while... (for both of us).

Recently, I wore this outfit to go out on a date:

To where, I can no longer recall. It was probably awesome, though. I was probably even more charming than usual, if such a thing is possible.

This purse was a great choice for an active evening; it is small enough that it doesn't get in the way of moving/shaking, and the strap is long enough to wear the bag cross body if needed for security purposes. Disappointingly, though, the quality of the bag's outer lining is not quite up to snuff; it appears a bit wrinkled with use. Although it's adorable, I wouldn't recommend spending full price. (I bought it on sale here.)

My favorite date spots tend to involve some kind of activity. Despite the fact that it's no longer an unknown spot in the neighborhood, I still love DC's H Street Country Club, which features a DC-themed mini golf course, skee ball, and my favorite bar game of all Big Buck Hunter.

There's nothing like a little friendly competition to enhance those endorphins. Of course, none of that works when I lose and take it personally, but hey...that's why I win.

What is your favorite kind of spot for a date?

In This Outfit:
Anthro Shadowsleeve Cardigan (M)
Anthro Pinned Through Blouse (6)
J. Crew Minnie Pants in Nightfall Blue (6 tall - I like the length of the tall pants!) (here)
Pumps from Payless (circa 2007) (this pair was thrifted years after I destroyed my original pair - see here)
Kate Spade Fanfare Missy (here)
Coach earrings
J. Crew factory Crystallized Elastic Bracelet (here)
Kate Spade Doodles Pen Necklace


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Emergency OOTD and 911 Sale Haul

So, don't ask me how this happened, but at 9:15 this morning I found myself running into an Ann Taylor Loft with twenty minutes to dress myself.

(Covered in tags, I walked up to the register fully dressed in my purchases. Apparently, this wasn't even unusual for them).

...Okay, fine, you can ask me how it happened.

Remember yesterday when I told you that I am in New York taking care of some of my bar admission requirements? Well, I somehow got it into my head that those requirements were scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. I lived my life as though this were the truth, even abandoning a temporarily disabled boyfriend (more on that later) to make it to NYC in time for what I thought was a Monday morning interview.

You see where this is going, I'm sure.

I realized at 1:30 am that my interview was actually on TUESDAY, and DURRR, sometimes it amazes me that I'm good at my job when I manage to mess up something as simple as getting myself to physical location on the right date.

At least I got it wrong the right way, in that I undershot rather than overshot my interview. In the long run, spending an extra night in New York is far from a fate worse than death.

However, I did find myself in the difficult position of needing to have an extra outfit on hand for an unexpected full day in the New York office. Fortunately, there is an Ann Taylor Loft across the street from our New York office. Even more fortunately, Loft was running a 30% off sale goods promotion, plus a 50% off sale pants promotion today. But perhaps most fortunately of all is that I'm reasonably skilled at shopping in high-pressure situations.

Perfect, no. Better than what I otherwise would have worn, which was an amalgam of suit half + casual gingham top half, yes. Added bonus: I think I'll wear these pieces again!

In This Outfit:
Dolman Sleeve Shirt, Loft (S) ($27 plus 30% off)
Zebra Belt, Loft (S) ($25 + 30% off)
Marissa Pant, Loft, ($50 + 50% off)
Ring and watch, Thrifted in Omaha (99 cents each!)
Schuler and Sons snake pumps (8.5 via Anthro) (the "scales" are shedding off at the toe! Do not recommend)
J. Crew factory cluster earrings
Kate Spade pen necklace
Michael Kors Harness Satchel

Monday, March 19, 2012

The newest member of the family...

Hey there, folks!  I'm in New York for the next few days taking care of some of my bar admission requirements.  I love spending time in the city; it's wonderful to catch up with my friends, visit my old haunts, and check out new restaurants or attractions.  It's even better when my expenses are covered and I don't have to take the Chinatown bus. 

Regardless, here's what I would have engraved if not for the return policy:

Ah, Rounders.
Thanks to my friend Tony for that quote, even if I didn't use it.
I'd really been kicking myself all week because I failed to advance order my iPad the week before its release and then it swiftly sold out with new orders delayed by up to three weeks.  I'd been debating what to engrave on the back of my iPad to commemorate the fact that I won the money for the device at a poker game.  I ended up foregoing the engraving because I learned that the engraving would make the iPad nonrefundable, and while I was fairly certain I wanted to keep it, I still hate final sale items.  Final sale on a $900 device?  No thank you.
Fortunately, despite the fact that I expected early morning sell-outs and long lines of overnight campers, I was able to find an iPad in an Apple store on Friday with the specs I wanted (64gb, 4g Verizon). I opted for white and I'm totally loving the device.  I think this thing will end up replacing my laptop for almost all purposes except working remotely through Citrix and playing online poker.  I can watch movies, surf the web, word process, read magazines, manage my calendar, etc. I'm traveling with it now and so far it has met all of my needs. 

Flipboard. How I love thee, and thy ability to allow me to read beautiful versions of magazines to which I don't subscribe. 

I've only been using the New iPad for two days so it and I are most definitely in the honeymoon period.  I'm sure that I'll start seeing its flaws as I become more familiar with it.  For now, I'm incredibly annoyed at the number of my iPhone games that I need to repurchase so that they are optimized for iPad use.  It's frustrating to spend money on the exact content I already purchased because it's now "HD".  
However, this is largely balanced by the increased functionality I get from the device.  It hits a sweet spot between my iPhone and my laptop---a sweet spot I didn't even know existed.  It comes at a steep price, but for those who can do with less storage space and with wifi only, the price of the base model is about $500, half the price of the most jacked-up model.  The main features I wanted, the absence of which prevented me from getting an iPad 2, were an improved camera and a retina display.  The new iPad has both and that was pretty much the only thing I needed to hear!

That was all they needed to hear, too. 

Did any of you buy an iPad this weekend?  Do you plan to?  Do you think the craze is ridiculous?  One girl, who was four from the front of the line at an NYC store, received an offer of $1000+ for her spot in line!

It seems to be the general case with new Apple product releases that some kind of crazy flaw becomes known within the first weeks of the product's release. I haven't experienced any crazy problems yet, but I'm not ruling out the possibility!  At least there's a 14-day return policy. 

I feel as though time has completely slipped away from me this week.  I was placed on a very busy case last Friday, and I've spent the week dedicated to keeping all of my balls in the air.  

Given this crazy week, could the new iPad release have come at a better time?  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Turning Over a New Leaf (EBEW Green)

Top o' the not-quite-morning-anymore to ya! 

World's cutest leprochaun?

I am alive and well, despite running an 8K on Sunday without training for the past month (not the recommended course).  As you may remember, I was sent on a trial in Omaha for almost the entire month of February. I slept an average of three hours a night, and the first thing I cut out of my life was exercise.  (The second thing was healthy eating, but that's another story.)

(Oh, did I mention that we won our trial?  And did I also mention that we got a verdict in only two hours?  Yeah, because that totally happened.)

Despite my lack of fitness, I was committed to finishing the race.  I went on two or three runs the week before the race just to remind my body of how it feels to run.  However, I was certain that I would be unable to run the entire distance (just shy of 5 miles) and planned to start walking once I felt pain.

Amazingly, I managed to run the whole race without stopping, although my time is nothing to write home about (53:25, or a 10:45 pace).

How is it possible to look so un-like a thug while posing like a thug?

Even more amazingly, I was not in a whole lot of pain after the race, either.  I suspected I'd be nearly immobile on Monday, but I actually felt fine. 

Now that I know my body is capable of running this distance, I'm going to start running to work (about 4.5 miles) once or twice a week.  I've noticed that combining exercise with my commute encourages me to actually execute my workouts, so I'm going to (literally) run with that for a while. On the days when I don't run in, I'm trying to bike in. 

Every little bit helps; I'd like to regain my strength and heart health.  Shedding some of this trial weight would be nice, too...only half of my closet fits me right now and the situation is giving me the sads.

In this outfit:  Eva Franco Belted Violet Bloomtown Dress (8), H&M Cardigan, Kate Spade Earrings, Michael Kors watch, thrifted ring.

Of the items that do still fit me, this delightful Eva Franco dress was an irresistable choice today:  the high in D.C. is 79 degrees, the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, and there's not a cloud in the sky.  This dress looks a little ridiculous in any other kind of weather but on days like this it's absolutely perfect.  Even better, the skirt portion drapes in very bike-friendly fashion, if you know what I mean.

Alright, back to work (with intermittent googling of kettlebell DVDs). 

Did you join the fitness challenge and run in a race on Sunday?  If so, tell us how it went!  I know a few of you have races coming up this weekend, too.

Green | Everybody, Everywear

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Vintage Envy Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Vintage Envy Giveaway is...

(Yeah, five eligible entries.  Don't you wish you'd entered now??)

Congratulations, Danielle!  Email me to claim your prize.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A few things.

Happy Friday, folks!  Just a couple of things to put on your agenda this afternoon:

1.  Today is the last day to enter the Vintage Envy giveaway!

2.  Post-8k brunch is ON.  12:30 pm on Sunday.  Email me (click here) if you'd like to be added to the reservation.

3.  How funny is this list of possible responses to cookie-shilling Girl Scouts?  I also enjoy this oldie-but-goodie arguing that Girl Scout cookies are literally tools of the Devil (is it a coincidence that Girl Scouts sell their wares during Lent?):
Satan knows how hard it can be to give up sweets. Satan knows only too well. Girl Scout cookies are the litmus test for the hell-bound. It was Satan himself who first put Thin Mints in the freezer! It was Satan himself who crafted the Samoa to resemble a doughnut! It was Satan himself who assembled two cookies together with a cream center to become the Do-si-do!
4.  Here's a long-backlogged outfit.

In this Outfit:
Anthropologie Take Two Shirt (S)
J.Crew Royal Paisley Pencil Skirt (6) (and matching iPhone case!)
J.Crew Jackie Cardigan in Navy (M)
Lela Rowe for Payless Travis Colorblock Pumps (9)
Coach Bow Earrings
Geneva Crawford Rose Gold Boyfriend Watch (here)
Ann Taylor LOFT Cares Bow Bracelet
Anthropologie Childhood Secrets Necklace

Have a great weekend!  Anybody have any fun plans?

Edited to add:  I need some iPad3-related help.  If you were to inscribe your new iPad with something commemorating the fact that you won it playing poker, what would be your inscription?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kate Spade Sample Sale (Haul-ish)

By now you've probably heard about Kate Spade's glorious sample sale, which will continue until midnight tonight.  Have you checked out the goods?

I'll admit that online shopping lost a bit of its luster during the trial, but I couldn't resist indulging in a few cute items.

Untitled #57

I left plenty of fun stuff behind for you, though:

Mott Street Fisher, $345 $159

Flicker Scout, $368 $159

Portola Valley Blaine, $525 $239

Wellesley Neda, $198 $79

Gail Dress, $325 129

Did you pick anything up in the sale?  I think I'll need to save my funds for their summer/autumn sample sale, since Kate Spade's spring collection is making my heart go pitter-patter!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

OOTD: Dry Clean Only

Do you remember oh, like, a month ago, when I told you that I had a tragic story to share about my favorite pair of cropped pants?

Well, a few weeks before leaving for Omaha, I decided to experiment with machine washing my dry clean only items.  I bought myself some Woolite, tossed in my items on the gentle cycle, and interrupted the machine just as it started spinning.  I wrung my clothes out by wrapping them in a towel and then laid them flat to dry.

While my silk items came out just fine, my poor cropped pants did not fare so well:

Still wearable, yes, but slightly smaller, a bit more uncomfortable, and with a lining that now sticks out past the legs:

I KNOW.  BIGGEST TRAGEDY OF 2012, amiright?  Add to the pile of quasi-casualties my blue colloquium trousers, and perhaps (unconfirmed) my cropped tweed trousers.  Just the slightest shrinkage in these fabrics have made them relatively uncomfortable/unwearable.

Silver lining:  perhaps this will be good motivation to lose these pesky five ten pounds I've been meaning to leave behind.  Why hello, trusty Weight Watchers online tools.  It's been a while, points tracker, but I think you and I know how it's done.

In any case, this outfit is from over a month ago; I'm definitely not wearing this today.  Not only could I probably not fit into these pants at this moment, but also today is for sweatpants, Battlestar Gallactica, and cleaning my poor, neglected apartment.

So tell me, readers:  do you dry clean all of your dry clean only items, or do you have a method for home-cleaning some or all of those items?  As I mentioned, my silk products came out just fine.

PS:  Have you entered the Vintage Envy giveaway yet?  If not, hop to it!
In this Outfit:
Anthro Blazing Blouse by Esme and Esyllte (6, TTS)
Anthro Split Pea Trousers by Cartonnier (8) (whomp whomp)
Sam & Libby Elliance Pumps (9, TTS) (here for $25 in black or here for $55 in brown)
Kate Spade "It Takes All Sorts" Necklace (gifted)
J.Crew Bracelet
ASOS Hand Holding Pearl Ring (out of stock)
Anthro Pave Post Earrings (here)
Anthro Spotted Satchel by Holding Horses

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Runday: One Week to Go!

Welcome to Sunday Runday! This is a weekly series of posts relating to running and race training, all leading up to our group race day (see here).

This week's post:  Finish line inspiration!

Alright, gang, we're only a short week away from our St. Patrick's Day 8k!  I was hoping to finish this race in under 50 minutes, but at this point given my lack of training, I'd be thrilled to finish on two feet.  With that in mind, let's talk finish line inspiration.  What mental images are going to be driving you across that finish?

Here are just a few of the things I'm going to imagine are waiting for me just beyond the end to inspire me to run faster:

I fully recognize that some of these things may not coexist particularly well (e.g., nice abs + a stack of bacon).  But hey, it's my finish line dream and I can have whatever I want, okay?

So, now it's your turn.  In the comments, share the .jpg you'll have in mind while you're powering through your final miles.
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