Archive for March, 2008

My family thinks me evil, but I just feel done.  Zipcar is fun, and it’s useful, and it’s served us very well.  But yesterday, I had to set my alarm for 8 a.m. and call a cab to take me to the car that zipcar switched my reservation to.  It cost $10 to get there, and then tonight, at 9:15 p.m., another $10 to get me back home from the new reservation spot.  It is a reimbursable $20, but it takes time for me to 1) take a cab, 2) wait for cabs, and 3) submit receipts for reimbursement.  I don’t like it.  I am glad that the car I reserved wasn’t allowed to stay on the road with bad brakes, but I don’t know why they couldn’t move a working car into the spot I had made arrangements for – a spot that is 2 blocks from my house.

Also, the new house has 2 parking spots included in the rent.  At our current building, we would have to pay $170/mo for one parking spot.  It was so easy to smile at the fact that we didn’t need to pay extra for a spot.

Also (oh, my list is long), the new house is .4 miles from our current house – but it’s .4 miles further from the center of town, further from Trader Joe’s, further from Whole Foods, even further from Stop & Shop (ick).  The only useful businesses it is not further from is a) a CVS (pharmacy) that sucks and never has anything and that has employees that are so slow and so non-responsive so as to make every visit an exercise in patience, and b) an awesome liquor store that I likely shouldn’t live so close to.

Also, the girls want to play more and more sports.  Next year, both of them will be on soccer fields far away from home.  It’s nice that we have a great social network that allows for carpooling and ride sharing, but I think the older they get, the more they’re going to want to do, and I am not that comfortable with just relying on others to transport my kids – I have always pitched in, but people always feel weird about it when they know that I’m “renting a car” in order to drive.

Therefore, I’ve made the proclamation:  In 2009, I’m buying a car.

I know I can’t get away with (nor do I want) anything but a Hybrid.  But while I love the Prius, Beloved does not.  He doesn’t like the mirrors – or something.  I looked at the Hondas, but they both (accord and civic) had negatives that outweighed the positives.  The Car & Driver reviews spent the whole thing talking about why the Hondas weren’t as good as the Prius.

So Beloved said, “check out the Volt!  Let’s wait for the Volt!”

So I checked it out.



I think it may want to eat me.  I decided that considering that you can drive up to 40 miles a day without even touching a drip of gas, and considering that it’s really freaking cool and the beginning steps at non-gas driven vehicles, I could deal with the scary look of it, and be proud of my electric car.

But then my research showed that it isn’t expected to be for sale until 2010, and right now is looking like it could come out at around $45,000.  The more digging around I do, the more I see that we will certainly be dealing with a “waiting list” situation, and that it likely won’t be widely available for at least a year after that.

Hey!  I didn’t want to pay $45,000, and I didn’t want to wait until mid 2011.  Hell, I don’t want to wait until January of 2009 – I want a car NOW – but I’m not willing to screw up our finances while we’re looking forward to our move in July and hopefully a week in Maine in August and and and.

This is our new deal:  I get my Prius in 2009.


If Beloved really hates it that much, he’s welcome to keep using zipcar.  Then, in 2011 when the Volt comes out, he can have that.  Perhaps (she says after hearing the girls yell in disgust at the idea that we would have two cars), we will lease the Prius for 2 years, and then return it and buy a Volt in 2011.

The girls are pouting, Beloved is slightly scowling over the fact that I essentially made this decision on my own, but I am looking forward to being able to grab my own keys and walk 2 feet from my own door to hop in a car to run to Target or to the Apple store, rather than make arrangements a week ahead of time.  Heck, I could even decide last minute to go and visit my nephew!!

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I stole a meme

I took it from my idol.

In my life, I have ….

( ) smoked a cigarette
(x) crashed a car
(x) got drunk with a good friend
(x) stolen a car [it was my parents’ – i was pre-drivers license]
(x) been in love
( ) been dumped
(x) shoplifted

(x) been fired
( ) been in a fist fight
(xxx) snuck out of my parent’s house [1,000 times]
( ) been arrested
( ) gone on a blind date
(x) skipped school
( ) seen someone die
( ) been to Canada
( ) been to Mexico
(x) been on a plane
( ) purposely set a part of myself on fire [I don’t understand this, even]

(xxx) eaten Sushi
( ) been skiing [pretty pathetic, I think, for a New England girl]

( ) been moshing at a concert
(x) taken painkillers
(x) love someone or miss someone right now
(x) lay on my back and watched cloud shapes go by
(x) made a snow angel
(x) flown a kite
(x) built a sand castle
(x) gone puddle jumping
(x) played dress up
(x) jumped into a pile of leaves
(x) gone sledding
(x) cheated while playing a game
(x) been lonely
(x) fallen asleep at work/school
(  ) used a fake id
(x) watched the sun set
(x) felt an earthquake
(x) touched a snake
(x) slept beneath the stars
(x) been tickled
( ) been robbed
(x) been misunderstood
(x) pet a goat [he he – this is funny]
( ) won a contest
(x) run a red light
( ) been suspended from school
(x) been in a car crash [wasn’t this #2?]
(x) had braces
(x) eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night
(x) had deja vu
( ) danced in the moonlight
(x) liked the way I look
(x) witnessed a crime
(x) questioned my heart
(xx) been obsessed with post-it notes
(x) squished barefoot through the mud
(x) been lost
(x) been to the opposite side of the country
(x) swum in the ocean
(x) felt like dying
(x) cried myself to sleep
(x) played cops and robbers
(x) recently colored with crayons
(  ) sung karaoke
(x) paid for a meal with only coins
(x) done something I told myself I wouldn’t
(x) made prank phone calls
(  ) laughed until some kind of beverage came out of my nose
(x) caught a snowflake on my tongue
(x) danced in the rain
(x) written a letter to Santa Claus
(x) been kissed under a mistletoe
(x) watched the sun rise with someone I care about
(x) blown bubbles
(x) made a bonfire on the beach
( ) crashed a party
(x) gone roller-skating
(x) had a wish come true
(x) worn pearls
( ) jumped off a bridge
( ) ate dog/cat food
(x) told a complete stranger I loved them
(x) kissed a mirror
(  ) sung in the shower
(x) had a dream that I married someone
(x) glued my hand to something
(x) got my tongue stuck to a flag pole
( ) kissed a fish
(x) sat on a roof top
(x) screamed at the top of my lungs
( ) done a one-handed cartwheel
(x) talked on the phone for more than 6 hours
(x) stayed up all night
(x) didn’t take a shower for a week
(x) pick and ate an apple right off the tree
(x) climbed a tree
(  ) had a tree house
(x) been scared to watch scary movies alone
(x) believe in ghosts
(x) have more then 30 pairs of shoes
( ) worn a really ugly outfit to school just to see what others say
( ) gone streaking
( ) gone doorbell ditching
( ) played chicken
(x) jumped into a pool/hot tub/lake with all my clothes on
(x) been told I’m hot by a complete stranger
( ) broken a bone
(x) been easily amused
(x) caught a fish then ate it
(x) caught a butterfly
(x) laughed so hard I cried
(  ) cried so hard I laughed
(x) cheated on a test  (the class?  Evangelism 101 – seriously)
( ) owned a Britney Spears CD
(x) forgotten someone’s name
(x) French-braided someone’s hair
(x) gone skinny dipping in a pool
( ) been threatened to be kicked out of my house
( ) been kicked out my house
( ) had a fantasy over someone I love as a good friend
( ) sun-tanned naked
( ) ran naked in the rain

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Last year was our first year watching American Idol. I hadnt ‘realized how truly left out I was from popular culture until I showed up at a relatively prestigious summer job to find everyone – literally all the way up the ladder – talking about who was voted off the night before. What the HELL?

That probably was not enough to make me watch, but then E turned into a “budding tweener” (which she says with fluttering hand motions, passed on by her 6th grade home room teacher), and everyone at school was talking about American Idol. Before she was a “budding tweener” she was hanging out with boys – the boys who didn’t give two shits about American Idol. But then, come 5th grade, even the boys were watching so they had something to talk to the girls about.

And so we watched.

I had fun with it, but wasn’t blown away by anyone. I didn’t have the previous years to compare it to, and barely recognized the names of past winners.

I decided at one point that I would choose who I rooted for based on whose CD I would buy.

Uhhhhh. that left me Blake, and only Blake, and only sometimes Blake. I found myself rooting for people to leave more than for anyone to stay.


I think I would buy LOTS of these albums! I really do! These, in particular:

  • Brooke – I even liked last week. There’s something about her that speaks to my tastes. This commentator likened her to Natalie Merchant, who is an old college fave of mine, but I don’t think that’s 100% on point. Perhaps some mixture of Natalie Merchant and Carly Simon. Less alternative, more “easy listening” than the Ex-Maniac. Easy Listening being something I’m perfectly capable of listening to for at least 2 hours in a row.
  • David Cook — Holy crap!!! This is the second time he really blew me away – mostly because of his ability to take a song I know, and make me think “what song is this? The lyrics are familiar, but ….” I think he’s really good.
  • Cutie Dredlock Boy (I mean, Jason Castro). I don’t have much to say for his talent. I like the way he sits on a stool and looks sweet while singing just-okay. I like his eyes, and I don’t think he sounds horrible.
  • Carly – I LOVE the song she sang last night! I mean, LOVE that song! Once again, this article was pretty on point about my experience with the song as well … I must say again – as someone born in 1972 – I LOVE that song! now, I’m not sure how much it has to do with the fact that I was born in 1972, and how much it has to do with the fact that I heard it 1,000 times when it was being played and replayed on the radio at 2 in the morning when I was 11 and 12 years old, newly moved into my 1/2 underground bedroom on a different floor from the rest of the family scared to death that The Hand was going to crawl out of the fireplace and strangle me to death …. Whatever the true REASON, I now love the song. I also liked her singing Blackbird last week, and I don’t know why Simon doesn’t like her anymore.

I also really liked Michael Johns, but I am not sure I’d buy his album. J loves him. He’s her favorite.

I still want Kristy Lee Annoying to go away, or Ramiele, who I find annoying as a person, but think her singing voice has a lot of potential. I think Annoying Girl probably saved herself last night with her sap and annoyingness, which will appeal to all the annoying people in this annoying country who watch annoying shows like this annoying blogger.


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Long time no blog.

Things have been fine. We are all content in knowing that we found a perfect place to live. Work is going well – I had my first appearance in court yesterday. Where I actually spoke. To a judge. Thank god for pro bono opportunities!

Otherwise, I’ve been working a lot, but not too much. Still involved with the girls’ school play, and am taking two days off of work at the end of this week so I can be there in person to contribute even more.

There has been really only one aspect of my life that I haven’t been consistently able to fit into the new demands and routines: Exercise.

I lost approximately 30 pounds last spring, and this winter, I gained 10 of it back. Instead of losing 20 more, like I wanted to.

Starting with the holidays and the unfortunate coordination of that Eating Season with work demands increasing – while I didn’t continue holiday eating patterns after the holiday, I also wasn’t able to resume exercising on a regular basis. If I was, I likely could have zapped the 3-4 pounds that I was up at the time, and been perfectly fine. Instead, my metabolism went sluggish on me, and now I’m 10 pounds up.

Even though this is my daily diet:

  • Bfast: A latte with non-fat milk and no sugar/syrups with either yogurt or 2 hardboiled eggs. I have recently, in an attempt to introduce more fiber to my diet, switched to a small container of yogurt mixed up with grapenuts.

  • [literally, without fail – ZERO snacking. Not a single bite of anything.]

  • Lunch: Either a soup (no pasta or potato soups) or a salad. Today, though, I went to the firm cafeteria and had roasted fish with tomatoes and garlic, roasted beets, and a spinach side salad.

  • [again, LITERALLY NEVER a snack]

  • Dinner: A reasonable portion (although sometimes seconds) of what Beloved cooks – typically with him honoring my desire to keep pasta, bread and potatoes to once a week or less. An example: Sunday night we had beef/lamb greek burgers with a yogurt cucumber sauce; garbanzo bean salad and fresh tabbouli. Saturday (I cooked!) was roasted chicken with fresh green beans (and mashed potatoes). One night last week was spinach salad with roasted sweet potatoes and a warm fried egg on top (mmmmm!) I do often have wine with dinner.

Last night, I ate nothing after dinner. The night before, I had an easter reeses egg.

But still. I don’t think I’m being a pig. I don’t think it warrants the needle on the scale continuing to move UP.

I think my body sucks.

BUT – I went to the gym today. Finally. I spent 45 minutes on cardio machines, and 10-15 minutes with some strength training. I used to spend 2 hours total, THEN a shower. I can’t do that now. Pesky job. But if I do an hour of exercise, I should be okay work-wise. I chopped my hair off for the very purpose of having less post-shower prep. It takes 3 minutes to dry, now, instead of 12.

I hope I can continue to do this at least 3 days a week, preferably 4-5. Recently, I’ve been getting to work at 8 (waking up at 6, leaving the house at 7), and going to the gym at 11, as an “early lunch.” I am thinking of going back to my old 7 a.m. start time, and going to the gym at 10:30, instead. I also contemplated going first thing to avoid the risk that a meeting will be called or the phone will ring … but I can’t justify the logistics. Do I wake up, NOT shower, and get dressed for work? Do I wake up, NOT shower, get dressed for the gym, and carry a garment bag containing my suit on the 10 minute walk to the train, through the up to 15-minute wait for the train, the 30 minute ride on the train, and the 15 minute walk to the office? I don’t have a full closet in my office to hold my entire wardrobe. Do I get up, shower, get dressed for work, travel to work, go to the gym, and shower AGAIN?

I also don’t want to go first-thing because it’s crowded. If I come in at 7, work for 3.5 hours and go to the gym at 10:30/11 a.m., I’m almost alone. I never have to wait for a machine, never have to wait for a shower, never have to hear men grunting at their weight-lifting prowess.

I then have to be a bit more focused on the weekends. It is too easy for me to stay in bed (after getting 5 hours of sleep a night during the week) instead of getting up and going to the gym before it imposes on our day. And this weekend, for example, J and I are traveling to my parents’ house from Saturday-Sunday. This means I want to get on the road at 8, to put more distance between the ride there and the ride home (almost 3 hours each way). And there is no gym membership at my parents’ house. Sure, I could go outside and run in the morning. Shut up.

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Tomorrow a.m.

We sign the lease.


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I spoke with the other mom.  I was clear about my goals – I was careful not to spew accusations.

J sort of changed the landscape, because at school today – she got up the guts to say “I don’t want to be your BFF anymore.”

The reaction was tearful silence.

instead of calling the mom to say “your daughter is mean to my daughter” I had to call and say “I think my daughter hurt your daughter’s feelings.”

I tried to explain my hopes that our involvement – as loving and involved parents – can prevent our children from devolving into she-devils.

I think I’m optimistic.

I made it clear that if I am 100% wrong (I don’t think I am, and as of right now, either does the other mom) and my daughter is actually a meany-butt, I want to know, and I will deal with it.  I received similar promises in exchange.

I plan to organize a group outing for Saturday – several girls – including J and the ex-BFF – to go to the pool or to a movie or something.

I have to believe that kids are not evil, and that with a little support and encouragement, and a little bit of reinforcement that we are good people – we respect each other – they will follow suit.  They can watch their mothers talk, and they can watch us push aside our instincts – not our good instincts, but our mean-nasty-rip-her-throat-out-instincts — they can, too.  They can take deep breaths and realize that compromise and cooperation serve our interests more than do domination and castration.

Oh wait – we’re girls.

We can’t be castrated.

But whatever.

I want a KIND child.  I want a respectful child.

But a kind, respectful child who is no-one’s doormat.


(and certainly not the doormat of her nasty-ass politician husband – Jesus, Sue – did you have to be so damned inflammatory?)

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We had a nice morning.  I went to see the house (man, does that thing need to be ripped down and built from scratch), and then the bank, to move things around to cover our security deposit and first month’s rent, and then to both girls’ basketball games where I got my day’s fill of socializing.

But when we got home, J was instantly antsy.  She wanted to go somewhere with a friend.  But I am going out tonight, and didn’t want to go out morning afternoon and evening.  I’m not that kind of person.  But she was unhappy with me.  She was irritable, and quick to cry.  Which isn’t so typical.

I went to find out what was wrong, and the floodgates opened.

I have known that she’s been having trouble with her BFF this year.  It’s been pretty bad.  J shared in the past that feels like she “gets in trouble” when she plays with other friends, and that she spends most of her time this year worrying that BFF is mad at her, and not knowing what to expect when she walks through the door of the school.

Today she shared a lot more of mean behavior.  MEAN, I tell you.  BFF has been gathering troops against J and whenever J even looks at her in a way she doesn’t like, BFF instructs all the others not to speak to J for the rest of the day.  They often don’t listen, but J is afraid of the day they do.

She told me of several days where they go out to recess, and BFF ignores J, so J goes and plays with other kids.  At the end of recess, BFF will come up to J and say “you failed.”  And J says, “what do you mean?”  BFF answers, “You didn’t play with me, so you failed.”  J inquires further, and BFF says, “It was a test to see if you would come play with me, and you FAILED.”  And then spends the day ignoring J.

It’s really horrid, some of the stories.

I am at a wee bit of a loss as to how to counsel J.  Because when BFF ignores her, she tells everyone ELSE to ignore J, and they’re scared that if they don’t do what BFF says, she’ll be mean to them, too, so they all listen.

But just until BFF is out of earshot.  Then they run over to J and play.

So I am of course telling J she needs to stand up to this girl (who I have really always adored —  but yet, I always knew she had this in her.  I just never saw it happening).  But I know that at the same time, I’m telling J to deal with being on the outs for a little while.

We happen to have a parent/teacher conference on Tuesday, and I’m thinking of asking for some intervention.  They right now share a “desk cluster” with each other and 2 other girls.  J feels that she can’t address this when she’s sitting on top of the child every day.  I’m thinking of asking for her teacher to move her desk.

But first, I may talk to BFF’s mom.  Since we’re supposedly friends.  I am trying to think of the right tact to take.  I think it has to be about J’s feelings only – and not accusations about BFF’s behavior.  At least at first.

It all sucks.

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The landlord!!!

The numbers mentioned on the house were too high for the work required (which I am lowballing – couldn’t know how bad the damage is until we get it inspected, which we’re not doing for the price it’s offered at).

Beloved loved the apartment.  He hasn’t said that, but I know him.  He was grinning and nodding and his eyes were open wide.

We had our best laughs when I walked into the bathroom closet, and then around the corner.  The corner in the closet.  The bathroom closet.

We have yet to say “we’re sending a check tomorrow,” but he knows I’ve moved the money around, and he knows that I told the girls that while we won’t tell them it’s definite, the only remaining question is what room will function as what.

Unlike the house which is for sale, it is not touching the fence between it and the train tracks.  But yet, when I got off the T to meet Beloved at the apartment, it took me all of FOUR minutes to walk from the stop to the door step.  And in that four minutes, we said hello to representatives of three different families we know well.

And while we were on the balcony, deciding what kinds of chairs to put out there, we glanced across the street to see someone jumping up and down in their picture window, waving arms wildly.  Beloved said, “Is that [J’s friend]?” and I said, “No, I think it’s [J’s friend’s mom].”  Beloved said oh, and adult wouldn’t jump up and down like that.  I said oh yes she would! and then the jumper jumped straight out to her porch and said, “HI!!!  Move in!!  Move in!!  The neighbors are great!!!”  (It was the mom.  We volunteer together at the kids’ school.  I like her a lot.)

E keeps asking “Are we moving in?  Are we moving in?”  She’s annoying me.  But I don’t know why we aren’t just saying it out loud.  I guess because first I had to call the house person.  And then I had to turn on American Idol.

(Okay, we just told them – we’re dropping off the check tomorrow.)

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I was excited all day about bringing Beloved to see the apartment.  All day long.

At approximately 2:30, I received a call on my cell phone from the mortgage broker I had spoken with previously, “following up.”  It went like this:

  • I explained to her that I am afraid of being upside down, and that I don’t want to force myself into high payments considering that in this town, I will be squished into a small house in return.
  • She said the market isn’t as scary as the media makes it out to be.
  • I told her that I have been following my small and unique town’s market like a hawk since March of 2005, and that I do know that there’s a slow down (although nothing at ALL compared to the national picture), and that I’m very curious about this spring, b/c things are finally – after a dead dead winter – coming onto the market again, but turnovers have yet to be fast and prices are being lowered.
  • She said I clearly know waht I’m talking about, and that she’ll send me e-mails with “interesting products”
  • and I said thank you, I am interested in receiving them.

I got off the phone feeling okay.  I had made the decision to rent for another two years with some pain and discomfort.  But I have come around to accept it and be content.


Then my work phone rang.  I recognized the number and felt a little worried – J’s best friend’s mom.  Is J okay?  She shouldn’t be there, did something happen?  Are the girls in a fight?  What’s going on.

“Hey, Z, don’t freak out, everything’s okay, but I just heard from that woman across the street, and they’re ready to sell.  She wants you to call her.”


It’s an old house, having been owned for years and years by an old man.  He passed away last May, I think, and Beloved and I have been dreaming since.  The house is relatively small (1400 sf), and the kitchen is far from modern.  It has 3 bedrooms, but from the outside and the square footage listed with the assessor’s office, they’re very small bedrooms, and there is no space for an office/study.

But it has potential, and it is a single family (hard to come by in this town).  If we got it at a good price, we could fix it up in phases, and live there forever.

We’ve been waiting for this house to come on the market for 6 months.

And now, just as we decide to be renters for another 2 years — it comes on the market.

Or rather, not on the market.  But instead privately offered to US.

I’m calling the owner tonight.


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A place to live?

A place to live?

E and I went to view an apartment last night. The ad I responded to was pretty sparse. It was certainly the first time it had been listed (to say I’ve been obsessive in checking the listings is a disgusting understatement – there is a possibility I’m behind on my billable hours this month, because of the obsession), and it didn’t have much info. Three bedrooms, 1.5 baths. But all that mattered was that it listed a street, and it was a street that I know.

A street tucked in and off the main road, where two small, sleepy roads dead end into each other. Where I have brought J on several ocassions to play with a good friend, and every time thought, “wow, this is just the perfect street.” Where kids play soccer in the road and where everyone lives “just around the corner.” Where the most popular park in our larger neighborhood is through the backyard, and where no major streets need to be crossed to get to all the favorite friends’ houses. Where likely 90% of the people own, and I’m sure there are no college students throwing beer bottles off the back porch.

So the fact that it didn’t say it had a study, and didn’t say that my kitty cat could come live with us couldn’t keep me from at least LOOKING. And once I secured from the rental agent which house it was on the Dream Street, I e-mailed my friend (the same one whose house I’ve dropped J off at many a time) to ask if she knew anything about the house or the owner.

Ha. Yes, she did. So do I. The mom is a pillar/volunteer MACHINE in the kids’ school community. Of course I know her. Her son is in J’s grade. Her daughter is close in age as well. The kids have been on each other’s soccer teams.

The place does have a study, if not two. It has 3 bedrooms, if not 4. The kitchen feels like one you would find in a larger single-family house. There are some quirks, but I think they’re livable quirks. There are 4 fireplaces. The rent is very reasonable. The cat is okay as long as we don’t let him into the back stairway, which is carpeted and shared with the downstairs unit where people with allergies (i.e., the owner) live. But the front stairs are just ours and hardwood, and there’s a balcony, and so the cat is okay.

Tonight, I go back with Beloved. I think he’s thus far skeptical. Because of the quirks. But there’s also a chance that he gets a bedroom sized-study (unless we make it the living room, in wich case he gets the 1/2 size study instead), and he definitely gets a full sized kitchen replete with a massive (not apartment-sized) refrigerator and a gas stove and much to the delight of the person who (uh, sometimes) does the dishes, a window over the sink.

I’m hoping that he’ll see the good and not the bad, and that he’ll a-ok the deal.

If he does, we will put some money down now, and then live out the rest of the school year in our present abode, see the girls off to The Middle of the Country, and then start packing. July will be moving month.

And in the meantime, I can go back to working at work.

(or furniture shopping ….)

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