Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
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or Search by State

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Contact The Media
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Tuesday, January 12, 2010  
Ever have an experience that leaves you feeling very isolated and yet very much at one with the Universe? If you have you know exactly that of which I speak. If you haven't, you're thinking "Someone really needs to get this woman some professional help...it's just sick and wrong to watch someone slip into insanity and not help her."

Okay, so, I took the meeting about the job at the company I find personally degrading and offensive.

And...it wasn't so awful.

Respect was given to me and, more to my surprise, right from the get-go acknowledgment was made that I would be putting my career at risk by considering the job.

They know. They know even though my skills and experience and creative solutions are right for the job description the company and what they do is not right for me. They neither tried to placate me or cajole me. (I hate being cajoled, don't you?) It was one of the weirdest "interviews" I've ever had, but it was also one of the most straightforward, honest, professional interviews I've ever had. It wasn't really an interview. It was more of a discussion with someone at a party.

You know how sometimes you meet someone at a party/bar/train station/airplane cabin and a few polite questions later you hear yourself giving the most real, honest answers and dialog than you have with your closest family and friends?

I don't find that situation all that weird. I think it makes sense. Complete strangers ask the basic, simple questions that friends and family think they already know, or don't bother to ask. When was the last time you asked your sister, for instance, if she finds her job interesting? When was the last time you asked your best friend if they ever think about moving to another city? Have you ever asked your mother if she likes Elvis? See? These are basic, straightforward questions that come up in conversations with strangers because, well, they're strangers. You don't know anything about each other and it's not weird to ask these things out of the blue. Whereas with family and friends we assume we know the answers, if not because the topics have been discussed, then because we know these people and we presume we know the answers based what we think we know about them.

Case in point, over the holidays I was at a party with my sister. I was chatting with a woman I just met. Somehow the topic of Nirvana came up. She asked me how I felt about Kurt Cobain's death. I told her it still makes me sad, that it affected me deeply because Kurt was a rock and roll savior to me, and that strange as it sounds, I miss him - not in a crazed Elvis fan kind of way, but in a quiet, wistful kind of way you might think about an old schoolmate. I'd had a couple glasses of wine...it was the holidays...I had a little eye watery moment. Not streaming tears, but just that sad, nostalgic saltwater that pools up when the discussion over wine turns to something sad. My sister was shocked. She knows I like Nirvana, but, she never bothered to consider the fact that his death made me - makes me - sad. Of course she had to put her own spin on it, "Yeah, like John Lennon."

No, not like John Lennon. Like Kurt Cobain.

An argument over whose death is more tragic ensued and the woman slunk away leaving the sisters to argue over dead rock stars. (That says more about my sister and I than a three volume set could ever explain.) But a few days later one of my nieces told me that my sister was so surprised that I felt something for, about, Kurt Cobain that she'd been scouring the internet for information about Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. My nieces were obviously surprised to find their hippie Beatle-loving mother Googling Nirvana and Kurt Cobain and listening to Nirvana songs. My sister told them that she found out Aunt Trillian was sad about Kurt Cobain and wanted to know why. It was my nieces' turn to find out something they didn't know about someone they thought they knew: Their mother, my sister, actually cares about me and my feelings and what matters to me. (I've know it all along, this wasn't news to me.) That's just how it is...we don't ask what we think are obvious question of the people closest to us. My nieces never thought to ask my sister if she cares about what matters to me. They just assumed they knew, or, were too afraid of the answer to ask and risk hearing either a lie or the painful truth.

And that's what it comes down to in these conversations. We don't ask our friends and family questions that might result in uncomfortable dialog. We don't want to admit that we don't know the most basic facts about people who are close to us. (Thus risking our credibility as a friend or family member.) And we don't want to put them in a position of lying through polite smiles. Or touching a nerve that opens a floodgate of painful admission. And we don't want to be rude or embarrass the people we care about most.

A lot goes unsaid in close relationships. Which is too bad.

Because with complete strangers we're far more uninhibited than we are with friends and family. We don't "care" about their feelings, we have no idea if the innocent question we're asking is a touchstone for some deeply happy or painful feelings. We're just making polite conversation. We're not risking our credibility as a friend or family member by asking something we "should" already know, or be able to figure out, because we have no credibility with complete strangers! If we touch a nerve it wasn't out of rudeness or jerkiness but out of innocence. And in response, there's no need to lie through a polite smile or feel embarrassed about admitting to deep feelings over the subject.

That's the great thing about meeting new people: Total, reckless abandon of conversational inhibition. (Excluding date conversations, of course.) Too bad we rarely abandon conversation inhibition with our friends and family, especially when it comes to basic subjects. I, for one, am shocked to realize that I've never just come out and asked my mother if she likes Elvis. I think I know her feelings on the Elvis matter, but that's just assumption, not facts heard from her mouth. My mother's feelings about Elvis are insignificant, I think...or are they? If I never ask, I'll never know if, like me with Cobain and my sister with Lennon, my mother is harboring conflicted and sad feelings about Elvis. But it seems kinda weird to bring it up at this point, after all these years, I mean, I've known her all my life. It seems a little late to be asking that sort of thing.

See what I mean?

And so it was at that "interview." Two strangers asking questions and giving honest answers. Of course it helped that I didn't care about or want the job. I was uninhibited, not worried about making a good impression. What impressed me about my would-be manager was his seeming response in kind. He seemed to also be uninhibited in his responses to my questions. I like that. I respect that. Maybe he's just a really, really good liar or good at playing the game, but, he told me some things that show the company in a less than favorable light. He is obviously aware of their image, obviously knows for all the people who think they're great there are just as many who would love to see them go out of business.

Ultimately we both know I'm not right for the job. My heart wouldn't be in it. It would be merely a way to pay the mortgage. And really, of course, that's what most jobs are. The whole "find your passion, do what you love" mumbo jumbo is for the most part a load of hooey.

I know, that sounds so cynical and jaded. But c'mon, even the most eager and passionately employed person has days where it's just a job. Even Mick Jagger has a same old routine. "Eh, geeze, another world tour, put on the tight pants, strut, sing, pose, strut over to Keith, sing, sex, drugs, rock and roll blah blah blah." Sure, it's a good job, a job that provides a great salary, and most of us would love to find ourselves stuck in that same old routine, but, it is just a job. And honestly, has Mick been passionate about his job since, oh, I dunno, 1969?

Here's the thing about doing what you love and following your passion: I'm passionate about music and love going to concerts. But. Uh...no one's going to pay me to do that, or, even if I were to chase after one of the few coveted jobs that require a love of music and going to concerts, I'm not qualified for or even interested in those jobs. And I can vouch for the fact that most of those jobs pay low salaries. I have looked into it. People who have those jobs are in it for the perks and many have someone (parents, girlfriend, trustfund) bankrolling their rock and roll lifestyle while they pursue their passion of music and going to concerts. Maybe I'll be proved wrong, but, until someone like, oh, say the Pixies, comes knocking on my front door and offers me a job with a sustainable salary to go to their shows I stand firm in the "following your passion doesn't lead to professional success or happiness."

So yeah, I don't want the job and after the interview I'm pretty sure they don't want me.

I could have gone in there and sold myself. I'm as hungry for a job as it gets and I could have ridden that desperation-high into that office and sold myself like I've never sold myself. But. Doing so would also have meant selling my soul. And I decided that even homelessness isn't enough of a threat to make me cross that line.

And that's what had me feeling isolated...and yet part of the Universe. I gave up a potential opportunity for a job, a "good" job with a great salary because of my personal beliefs. Integrity, dignity and pride aren't going to keep me warm when I'm sleeping in a box under an overpass. Staying true to yourself sounds all well and good, from the outside everyone agrees that it matters, that self-respect is more important than selling out. But after a pat on the shoulder people walk away from their self-respecting friend and shake their head in disbelief that they let pride and dignity get in the way of a great opportunity.

But it wasn't an opportunity. It was a life preserver on a sinking ship in the middle of the ocean. Sure, it would keep me afloat, but it's not an ideal solution. It wouldn't protect me from sharks and it wouldn't save my life. What you really need when your ship is sinking in the middle of the ocean is a life boat, a sea faring vessel equipped with flares, a two-way radio, sunscreen, blankets, a first aid kit, fishing poles, a Hibachi and several lighters and dry matches. (I know how to pack a lifeboat.)

I would be miserable at that company. I'd be embarrassed to admit where I worked. But. Interestingly enough, in the course of the conversation I actually found myself "excited" about some of the design and branding potential - in the big picture, that is. But bringing me right back down to self-respect was the overriding issue that the design and branding would be for something I find repugnant. I like design and branding of anything, good or bad. Don't hate the game, hate the player. A lot of marketing strategy is really good - but because it's for a product or company we don't like we blame marketing. Living with that conflict on a daily basis would wear me down.

And I'm already worn down.

I know I'm not in a position to be picky. Or am I? That's the conventional wisdom and all-pervading attitude these days. Us unemployed people are in no position to be in any way particular about any aspect of employment. When you're unemployed you are automatically deemed unworthy of self-respect. You're not allowed any of the "niceties" employed people are allowed. Niceties like integrity, self-esteem, credibility and choice. We're supposed to claw and grab at any job we are remotely qualified to handle and be pleased as punch and brimming with gratitude if we get a job offer.

Hence the ridiculous rate of underemployment. Sure, sometimes it can lead to finding a new, more rewarding career path a la How Starbucks Saved My Life, but realistically being underemployed just leads a person further down the path of self-disrespect and lack of motivation. "This is the best job I can find, ergo, this is the value employers place on me, ergo I am only as worthy as the job I can find."

I'm sick up to here of the attitude employers and smugly employed people have toward unemployed people. Especially in creative fields. "You're a dime a dozen, there are plenty of people who can do what you do, you're unemployed...why should we pay you the going professional rate when there are so many of you willing to work for far less? Who do you think you are? I'll tell you who you are, you are an unemployed artsy fartsy necessary evil who's been overpaid to sit around making things look nice for far too long. My brother's kid can do it and he's 12." That is exactly what I was told by someone, a complete stranger, at a party. See what I mean about a lack of conversational inhibitions among strangers?

The thing is, that guy was voicing what a lot of people think. Several of my friends have framed the exact sentiment in a nicer format, politely, gingerly, suggesting that I consider a career change. "You know, Trill, if you were married, if you had a spouse with a steady paycheck and health insurance with dental you would be more free to have a creative job. But since it's just you keeping a roof over your head it might be a good time to retool yourself, find something in an industry that's more stable, more full-time long-term potential. You're smart, you can do anything! You're creative! You can apply that to anything! I heard about a medical transcription job at my husband's hospital, I'm sure you could do that, you might even discover you love it! Like that guy in the Starbucks book! He was in marketing, too, and now he loves working at Starbucks!"

I've had this conversation a lot lately. People have loads of ideas about what I should do for employment. I find it interesting that many of these people haven't held a job in over 10 years and are completely reliant on their spouses.

Yes. People who haven't worked a job in more than 10 years are giving me career advice.

True, many companies are going with part time, freelancers and consultants for creative staffing because they don't need to keep full-time creative people. That's a big employment hurdle for people in creative fields, and has been, for quite a while. We're not deemed worthy or necessary in the daily routine of the company.

I've heard this more than I can stomach: There are a lot of freelancers out there, you know creative people, who don't like to conform, lone wolfs, they're happier not working full-time jobs.

Huh.

I dunno. Most of the professional creatives I know like working full-time jobs. They even like paying rent/mortgages and eating three meals a day!!! I know, I know! Not what you'd expect! And get this, some of them even, gasp, are *dedicated* to their jobs and companies! Don't let that get out. You didn't hear it from me. We have an artsy fartsy image to uphold.

So. Anyway. There I was, going home from an interview for a job I didn't want and feeling very isolated. If most of my friends knew that I was even considering not clawing and fighting for that job they'd be mortified and even angry at me. They think being unemployed is bad for social reasons. Personal reasons be damned, when you're unemployed you're not allowed to have personal reasons. You take whatever job you can get and be happy about it. Again - this attitude comes from people who haven't worked a day in over 10 years.

The difference is that they don't have to earn a paycheck. I do. And therefore I need to claw and fight for any job I can get.

But I didn't.

The uninhibited conversation I had at that interview shot down every remote chance I had at being considered for the job. And even more impressive, to me, is that I didn't get all huffy and indignant or in any way imply judgment about the company or the person interviewing me. It was a very calm, respectful conversation. I left with my dignity in tact - in many respects. I didn't pretend to want the job. I didn't get up on my high horse about the company's, well, business. I treated the interviewer with professional respect. I was: Gracious. But I stood up for myself, too.

Here's the thing: I feel good about that. That's what makes me feel very part of the Universe. I did what was right. Not just for me but for the company.

I could have gone in there a faked enthusiasm and zeal for the job and company. I could have pretended to care and I could have pretended to want to work there. I could have done that. In "my situation" that's the conventionally accepted thing to do. These days "everyone" is faking enthusiasm for jobs and companies they despise. Jobs are too hard to find (and keep) to be honest about hating the job and/or the company. We don't have the luxury of disliking a job or company. Us unemployed people aren't even supposed to consider the fact that we would be miserable at the job or company.

Somewhere between the flawed "do what you love, follow your passion" attitude and the "take what you can get and be grateful" attitude is a healthy, professional mindset for employers and would-be employees.

And I did it. I didn't want to work for that company. I could have done a good job there, but I would have been miserable, I would have hated myself for selling my soul and every shred of personal integrity I had left. To say nothing of the professional credibility that I would have kissed good-bye. I've given up way too much of myself, swallowed way too much pride and lost too much self-esteem in the last few years to let the remaining bits of my professional integrity be flushed away.

I know. I know. I hope that keeps me warm when I'm homeless.

But. Even though I've just given up an opportunity to be considered for a "good" job, I haven't felt so at peace with my place in the Universe in years. I know who I am and I know how I am.

And yet I've never felt more isolated. Not too many people will understand or relate to what I just did. Not too many people would allow me pride or dignity considering that I'm unemployed.

That's when it occurred to me that this is the true meaning of being a lone wolf. There's a greater good angle to being a lone wolf that's rarely discussed. Lone wolfs leave the pack to hunt for themselves. Arrogance? Maybe sometimes. But they also die by themselves. If they can't find enough food to survive they die, alone, because they don't have the support of the other hunters in the pack to sustain them.

Some will say, "See? Teamwork is better. Arrogance is selfish and stupid." True enough. But, by leaving the pack, the lone wolf also eliminates a mouth to feed and they don't bring down the pack when they become too sick or elderly to hunt. In leaving the pack lone wolfs give more opportunities to the other wolfs in the pack. And they don't drag down and endanger the pack. There's a nobility to it that gets lost in the jokes and condemnation.

Being part of company, working on a team is good. I like it. I hope to do it again, soon. But. That job wasn't for me, it wasn't my team. But someone else now has an opportunity for that job. Someone else out there is either more desperate than I am or, honestly wants to work for that company. (Not judging...it just isn't right for me.) I'm not ashamed of myself for walking away from a potential job. If I had a job I would never in a million years even consider working for this company, so why should a pesky little thing like unemployment change that attitude? Especially since I'm sure there are other candidates who really want the job. The right thing for me to do is to remove myself from the pack of candidates.

I was thinking about all this, laughing at the lone wolf allegory, when I realized, oh crap, I am a freaking lone wolf! No wonder I'm suddenly compelled to defend lone wolfs.

Think about it: I quit dating, full stop, for self preservation and sanity reasons, but, in the bigger picture it's for the greater good. One less woman in the dating pool means better odds for the other girls. Sure, I'm lonely, but my loneliness means two other people are no longer lonely because I wasn't in the way of them meeting each other. I volunteered to take on projects and clients no one else wanted because I like the challenge, but in the bigger picture it was for the greater good of my former company. It meant late nights and weekends spent working on my own with very little support from my coworkers, but that extra work brought in some decent revenue for my company, sustained salaries for the rest of the work pack. And it took me out of the competition for some of the sexier clients which meant more opportunities for a few people in the work pack. I turned down an opportunity for a job because it wasn't right for me...thus creating an opportunity for someone else in the unemployment pack.

Lone wolfs leave the pack but in doing so make more opportunities for the pack. They're not antisocial, selfish and arrogant. They're helpful, selfless and pretty darned thoughtful. Sheesh, I am a lone wolf. I've never thought of myself that way. Sure, I'm independent and self reliant, but I'm, you know, social. I like being around other people and working on teams, I'm cooperative and enjoy meeting new people. But inside beats the heart of a lone wolf! Wow. That explains so much that it's disturbing to me that it's taken me this long to figure it out.

So. What do lone wolfs do for fun on Saturday nights?

There's no punchline coming. I'm honestly wondering. What do lone wolfs do for fun? Other than baying at the moon, that is. My condo association rules do not cover baying at the moon specifically, but I think it would fall generally under the noise disturbance policy. Do lone wolfs ever have sex? I mean, by definition I would think not. I would think sex would fall firmly outside the boundaries of the definition of lone wolf. How about housing, what's the lone wolf preferred living arrangement? I'm guessing multi-unit dwellings are off limits to lone wolfs, so, I suppose losing my condo is actually a good thing, more in keeping with the lone wolf credo. Is there a credo? Do they ever socialize with a pack, and if so, is it just one pack or do they hang out with lots of different packs? Is there a lone wolf rule book or field guide or something outlining behaviors and survival tactics?

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4:05 PM

 
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