Big News

5 Oct

I’ve got some news just in case you haven’t already heard. (And if we’re friends on Facebook, then you probably have.)

My novel is being published. Let me pinch myself and say it again. My book is being published.

I am not agented and it’s being published by a small independent publishing house, but did you hear me? I’ve got a book deal. My book is being published. Published!

People I’ve never met before said, “I love your book.”

I love your book.

I will admit that this is not the first time I’ve heard these words. But it was the first time I’ve heard these words from someone who didn’t love me. Who didn’t know me at all. Never read my blog. Didn’t follow me on Twitter. Hadn’t clicked “like” my lame Facebook fan page.

(Oh, BTW, feel free to follow me on Twitter here and “like” my lame Facebook fan page here!)

After all the rejections (not as many as Kathryn Stockett but plenty more than JK Rowling), someone finally said yes.

Someone finally said, “I love your book.”

It will be coming out on February 8, 2016 on Velvet Morning Press.


Oh, that’s just me, sitting in my messy kitchen, signing a book deal.

The name of my book is FROSTED COWBOY and if you missed the cover reveal and a sneak peak at the first few pages you can check it out here.

What’s it about? Here’s a little blurb:

Laney Delaney was living the dream. She had a fabulous fiancé and a career as a couture wedding dress designer. But after catching her (not-so-fabulous) fiancé cheating and being accused of upstaging one of her brides at a wedding, Laney finds herself with no boyfriend, no job and no plan. After some serious soul searching and a few intriguing encounters, Laney is determined to start over. But can she learn to trust again and believe in herself?

It’s a romantic comedy. Chick Lit. (With the emphasis on chick, rather than lit.) It’s just a bit of mindless fun that probably won’t make you think. But it will make you laugh.

I promise.



Gif credit: here


What Happens in Writers’ Group Gets Turned into a Blog Post

28 Sep

“I like your hair like that, Mom,” Marley said to me the morning after my last writers’ group.

I had it pulled to the side in a low ponytail with a piece hanging free in what I hoped was a oh-this-piece-just-won’t-stay-back messy curl, not a perfectly-curly-cued bridesmaidy curl.

“Are you making fun of me or do you really like it?” I asked. Marley can be sarcastic. And I wasn’t particularly feeling like my appearance was compliment-worthy.

“I really like it,” she said.

“Oh good. Thanks,” I answered.

I liked it, but I thought maybe I was trying to look too young. I wasn’t. I was just trying to look put together and semi-professional on a day I did not have time to fix my hair because of this:

wine bottles

Writers’ Group Math: bottles of wine(5) = snooze button(100)

This is what happens at writers’ group.

There are six of us in case you’re wondering. Though, to be fair two of the bottles were already open and already half-empty, so we really only drank four.

“So 3/4 of a bottle of wine each?” Dave pointed out to me.

“Uh, no. More like 2/3. What kind of lushes do you think we are?” I replied.


We meet once a month to discuss our goals, share our victories (and failures), support each other and give advice (like actual, useful, requested advice instead of buttinsky-who-asked-you-anyway advice). We also do a ten minute writing exercise each month chosen randomly from a writing prompt app. (Oh yes, there is an app for everything.)

Our writing prompt this month was “List 10 Reasons for not Showering for a Week” and we all laughed because Julie was coming late due to Back to School Night and would be missing the prompt portion of our meeting. And while I’m sure Julie has never gone a week without showering (probably), she doesn’t shower every day. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure none of us showers every day except for Laurel who sometimes showers twice a day (maybe to make up for our unshowering), but I’m only calling out Julie because she’d tell you herself. (Kim, Rina and Lexi might not want you to know their showering habits.)

The pieces were all funny and clever (because we are all funny and clever) and we had a good time with it.

Some of my reasons for not showering?

  • We are in a drought, people!
  • Ain’t nobody got time for that.
  • It saves electricity – no need to blow dry.
  • It saves gas. In fact, I read in the book Gorgeously Green that the number one energy killer in a house was using gas to heat water. Or something like that. I read that book a long time ago. But the foreward was written by Julia Roberts, who won an Oscar for playing Erin Brockvich so whatever I read about using a lot of gas to heat water must be true. (Yeah, not a lot of logic goes into my 10 minute writing prompts.)
  • If I run I have to shower. (It seems like the polite thing to do.) So no showering = no running. For a week! Yay!

Alright, I admit, perhaps my reasons for not showering for a week are not that funny and clever. I think I was the weak link on this writing prompt.

And while I would never go an entire week without showering (unless I was camping), I did find it a bit serendipitous that the day after a writing prompt about not showering I went to work without showering and got a compliment from my daughter about my hair.

I’ll have to add that reason to my list.


There is no reason for this picture, but seriously, how could I not post it?

My 2015 Snarky Emmy Awards Red Carpet Comments Because I’m So Qualified to Give Them

21 Sep

I have to admit, I feel like a bit of a fraud. I missed the Emmy’s Red Carpet shows yesterday. I know…

I know!

There was a snafu with our DVR that is just too convoluted to explain and when I sat down with my laptop ready to snark I found myself staring at the Kardashians. WTF?! It was like my worst nightmare come true. Thank god for freezer vodka!

Of course I watched the awards. But there is something about the red carpet – you can see the dresses so much better. Not everyone wins (obviously) or presents and it’s impossible to get a good look at a dress when someone’s sitting in a theater chair. Even if they have an aisle seat. Plus it was 90+ degrees yesterday. I was hoping to see if the celebrities were actually real people and, you know, sweat.

So I had to find all my red carpet looks online. I mean, sure I steal borrow the photos from online sources (thank you, but only after watching the red carpet show to see what looks work and what looks don’t. And remember, I’m qualified to know this because I wore the same dress as seven other girls at my prom. So that obviously means I have excellent taste.

So without further adieu, my snarky red carpet comments…

Heidi Klum. What is there to say except, Heidi, you always make it easy for me. The dress is credited to Vercase, but it looks more like a Project Runway design that was only half finished when the challenge time was up.


Pssst… Heidi, you’re still a 10, but that dress is a 0!


Anna Chlumsky. We all fell in love with Anna when she was eleven years old and stared in My Girl with Macaulay Culkin. It looks like she kept her same hairdresser from 1991. That over-the-head braid? Nope! Not sure how I feel about this dress. It’s interesting. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either.


Anna Chlumsky in a cute-ish dress ruined by a bad ‘do


Zoe Kazan. I did not see Olive Kitteridge (though it has been in my DVR queue for nine months – unless it’s been Kardashianed), and I’m sure she is a wonderful actress, but this dress makes my eyes hurt. It’s a good thing I don’t have epilepsy, it might have caused a seizure.




Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan. Ouch Zoe – you’re hurting my eyes!


Ellie Kemper. You’re adorable. This dress? Hmmm… if you cut it to cocktail length it would be super cute to wear to a wedding. Hell, if it was short I’d wear it to work if I was shorter and not sequiny. But to the Emmy’s? I have to say no.


Cute at a wedding, but not at the Emmy’s!


Alan Cumming. I love Alan Cumming, but WTF? It looks like he didn’t get to the tailor in time and had to wear pants straight off the rack that are about five inches too long for him (and about two sizes too big). This suit makes you wonder if he took a limo to the ceremony or a clown car.


Alan, you’re tailor is calling!

January Jones. When I first saw this photo I was confused. Is that a slit in her dress? Nope, it’s a pantsuit. (You see, this is where the television broadcast of the red carpet would have come in so handy.) I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m not opposed to pants. It’s not the Oscar’s after all. But… I just don’t know. I would be a super-cute outfit for a GNO. And her hair looks fab.


You look beautiful January, but did you steal that pantsuit from 1976?


Okay, I’m getting old, which makes me tired. Not sleepy tired, tired of being mean. I like to be nice. Plus Amy Schumer, who I love and adore and can do no wrong, called me out on live TV when she said, “people on the internet make fun of what you wear” when she was presenting with Amy Poehler. I mean, she had to be talking about me. Right? Well, Amy I think you looked fab. And that smokey eye was gorgeous!


Amy, you’re the bomb!


Allison Janney. I loved her dress. This is a 55-year old woman, people and she looks freaking awesome! How many hours a day does she work on that bod? And even more importantly, who is the hot dude she was with? Is that her boyfriend? You go, Allison! You go! And as always when she wins (which is often because she’s so awesome), she is just so gracious and lovely and full of love and respect for her fellow actors in her category. She is a true class act.


You go, girl!


Regina King. This is one of my favorite dresses of the night. What you can’t see in the photo (and what would have been nice to have seen on the red carpet) is the way it swings when she walks. It’s so feminine and flattering and very 1950’s. This is my favorite style of dress. I love it!


Classically beautiful

Aubrey Plaza. This is how you do sexy. A plunging neckline and high slit, yet still understated. Simply elegant. I love this dress.




Niecy Nash. I loved this dress as well. Gorgeous color and incredibly flattering. I think it’s gorgeous.




Kerry Washington. Jennifer Lopez needs to call Kerry Washington’s stylist. This is how to wear a see-through dress in a stylish and classy way. This dress is beautiful and sexy and just the right amount of va-va-voom!


Kerry Washington is sexy and stunning!


Ariel Winter and Sarah Hyland. I thought the Modern Family sisters looked beautiful. It’s so nice to see young women dressing classy instead of trashy. Oh crap, did I just say that? I am getting old. I think it’s time to stop.


These girls look lovely!


Except for…

Sofia Vergara. Sofia always looks so pretty at awards shows (and well, everywhere). But that arm candy she brought with her? Even stunninger! (Yes, I know that’s not a word – I said it was time for me to stop!)


Move over Brad and Angie, these two might just be the most beautiful people in the world!


And lastly, the Emmy’s are always kind of a bummer for me because as much as I love TV (and I do), there is no Bradley Cooper. This year Nikolaj Coster-Waldau made me feel better about that. A lot better.


Bradley who?


What did I miss? Who did you love (or hate) at the Emmy’s? I want to know!

*Photo credits: All photos from except for the photo of Allison Janney and hot boyfriend from

Lost in Virginia

27 Aug

I dropped Chandler off at college last weekend.

Chandler chose a liberal arts college in Washington DC, so by dropped off, I mean flew 2700 miles across the country, stayed five nights with a girlfriend in Virginia, and drove around picking up bedding and hangers and toothpaste (not to mention 5 Costco-sized boxes of granola bars and 6 pounds of protein powder) before depositing Chandler at his dorm where he almost didn’t let me stay and help him unpack. (Fortunately for him, he came to his senses.)

We flew out on Wednesday, did our errands on Thursday, went sightseeing on Friday and moved him in on Saturday. I stayed a couple extra days in case we forgot anything (which of course we did) and because it’s way cheaper to fly out on a Monday than a Sunday.

The roads in Virginia are confusing to me. In California we are on a grid. Virginia? Not so much.


See those lines? Those are roads. It may not be pretty, but it’s easy to find your way around.


I could find no rhyme or reason to how they planned their roads. Streets randomly change names, there are trees everywhere, which is lovely, but it means that there are no landmarks and everywhere looks the same. There are also no signs. I understand and appreciate sign laws, but they have seriously taken the whole “no sign” thing too far. Strip malls sit far back off the street (behind the trees) and there is no possible way to know what store is inside of a shopping center unless you drive into it (down a quarter mile long driveway). Can someone please explain to me how someone from out of town is supposed to know where a freaking Starbucks is if you can’t see them from the road?!

Loudoun County Map

This is so not a grid.


And to make matters worse the GPS on my phone was not cooperating so we had to use Chandler’s. Yes, the navigation lady on Chandler’s phone would tell us to In half a mile turn right, In 400 feet turn right, TURN RIGHT! I mean, yeah, she was a little bossy, but in this case it was comforting to be told exactly where to go.

The only thing my navigation lady said was GPS signal lost. (Bitch!)

When I left Chandler on Saturday my GPS lost its signal (again) but at least it happened after I downloaded the directions. Then the battery started to die. My portable charger was dead and the car charger would not work. “Really, universe?!” I screamed said out loud. “I just dropped my son off at college 2,700 miles away. He’s so excited to start life on his own, he wouldn’t even let me stay for dinner. And now you’re not going to let me find my way home?” They say if you put it out into the universe what you need you will get it and this time it actually worked – with a bit of effort (and a lot of jiggling) I was able to get the car charger to work(ish).

I made it back and had half price sushi with my very good lifelong friends who now live in Virginia. Fortunately I did not have to drive.

On Sunday I had to go to Walmart (light bulb for desk lamp, thumb tacks and dryer sheets) and Old Navy (flip flops for the shower that inexplicably Walmart did not have) in Virginia, then to Chandler’s school in DC, and then back to Virginia to a cool restaurant/wine tasting bar called The Wine Kitchen to meet my long-time blogger friend Abby Byrd IRL. (That’s In Real Life for all you non-bloggers out there.)

Easy-Peasy, right? I mean, I’m a full-time working suburban mom; my typical Sundays have three times the items on this list.

I got to Walmart and Old Navy just fine. But then my GPS decided to PMS and completely shut down on me in the Old Navy parking lot even though I had full bars. (I told you she was a bitch!)

And when you’re somewhere you’ve never been before, you’re feeling very emotional about just dropping off your firstborn at college (that did I mention is 2,700 miles away?) and lost, it kind of stresses you out.

I went back into Old Navy to get on their WiFi so I could pull up my navigation. And I was running late so I had to get in touch with Abby and ask her if we could meet an hour later. BUT, even though I connected to Old Navy’s WiFi I could not get my navigation to work. And to make matters worse I did not have Abby’s phone number and could only contact her via Facebook messenger, which was also not working.


I decided to go next door to Nordstrom Rack hoping their WiFi would be better, because, you know, it’s Nordstrom. Success! I was able to change the time with Abby and pull up directions. Of course the navigation signal was lost the minute I walked out of the store, but at least it was stored in my phone.

After saying goodbye to Chandler I punched in the address to The Wine Kitchen and surprise, surprise, my GPS had shut down again. I saw a university shuttle bus that takes students to the closest Metro stop so I followed it knowing there was a Starbucks at that stop and I could go inside and get onto my navigation system using their WiFi.

By this time I was running late, mentally exhausted, emotionally drained, frustrated and lacking confidence (though I have to admit it was pretty clever of me to follow that bus). My phone screen kept going black and I had to continually swipe my screen and re-pull up my directions. It was while doing this that I missed an exit on my way to the Wine Kitchen. As I drove past it I literally screamed, “NOOOOOOOO!!!!” at the top of my lungs as tears rolled down my face. I felt completely undone, as if this were some harbinger of what my life was going to be like without Chandler. Without me he was untethered and free. Without him I couldn’t find my way; I was lost.

Can I ask that you indulge me (yes even more) for a minute and let me tell once again how crazy the roads are in Virginia? You can’t just get off at the next exit and get back on in the opposite direction like you can in California.

As an example it was 22.6 miles from the Old Navy to Chandler’s school. This relatively “short” trip had 9 turns, 7 roads, 1 parkway, 1 state road, 3 highways and a traffic circle and is a 35 minute trip with no traffic. (Thank you Google maps.)

In comparison, from my house to UCLA it is 26.7 miles that has 5 turns, 6 streets and 2 freeways and is a 33 minute trip with no traffic. Okay, the fact that there is never no traffic between my house and UCLA, even at 4AM on Christmas is beside the point!

Thank you for your indulgence, back to the story…

I did pull off at the next exit (I was still a good 30 minutes away and was supposed to meet Abby in 10 minutes) and saw a Ritz Carlton. I parked in front a shuttle bus, walked up to a valet and said, “Hi. I’m incredibly lost. I’m 3,000 miles away from home, I have no idea where anything is, I’m late for an appointment and my GPS is not working.” I did my best to hold it together and not have crazy eyes or tears.

He kindly directed me to the concierge where the lovely man behind the desk agreed that Virginia roads are jacked up and printed me a map. Abby had arrived and texted me (I had given her my number) and I was able to let her know that I was going to be really (really) late.

I finally found my destination with Abby waiting graciously and patiently for me. The wine and conversation made me feel better (because wine and conversation makes everything better). Afterwards Abby helped me find my way back to my friend’s. (Which miraculously only had 3 roads and 2 turns!)

I’ve been home a few days now. I know where everything is, but I still can’t shake the feeling that I’m lost, still trying to find my way.






Rent at the Saban Theater (Go See It!)

24 Jul

I love a good musical – Les Miserables, A Chorus Line, Wicked, Spamalot. Hey, (dirty little secret) I even liked Starlight Express. (But I saw it in London where everything is awesome.)

But my all-time favorite musical is Rent. So when I saw that it was playing at the Saban Theater and Marley asked if we could go I had to say yes.

Rent at Saban Theater


I have to admit I was a little worried. Rent is a tough production and I’ve seen more than one play mangled by a regional cast. It turns out I didn’t need to worry at all – the cast was excellent. Everyone had a great voice and the acting was superb. Marley found Roger quite dreamy. (She’s not wrong.) Carmen Jackson from the ensemble who sings the solo in Seasons of Love was especially amazing. That girl needs to get herself on The Voice. The audience was cheering throughout the play and the cast received an enthusiastic standing ovation at the end.

Rent is playing at The Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, a beautiful Art Deco theater on Wilshire Boulevard that opened in 1930 as the Fox Theater. These days the Saban usually houses concerts, but it’s the perfect place to see a play. The theater is gorgeous, there is a large lobby area with a bar and the seats are comfortable with plenty of legroom. Seeing a play in a majestic old theater really adds to the performance and the production company (Plan-B Entertainment) did a great job with the set design.



Yeah, my cellphone photo not so great. Trust me the theater is beautiful and the stage looked great.

The only problem with the show is there are only a few performances left: Friday, July 24 at 8:00PM, Saturday, July 25 at 2:00PM, Saturday, July 25 at 8:00 PM, and Sunday, July 26 at 2:00PM. So if you are in Los Angeles and love Rent or have always wanted to see Rent or are just looking for something awesome to do this weekend I highly suggest you go see it. There are still tickets available. You can buy them here.

I’m going to go searching for my Rent CD now. I can’t get Glory out of my head. I know I’ll be singing it all day long.


*I was given a pair of complimentary tickets to facilitate this review. But trust me when I tell you this cast and production is fantastic. Get your tickets now! Seriously what are you waiting for?



Kindness Counts

2 Jul

Last night at dinner we were discussing the trip Dave and I will be taking to Washington D.C. this fall to visit Chandler in college during parent’s weekend.

“Remember that woman who helped us in the subway station,” Chandler said. “She didn’t have to do that. That was so nice.”

It’s not the first time our family has talked about how helpful this stranger was to us. A random act of kindness, I suppose you could call it.


Change the world!


Three years ago we traveled to Washington D.C. for a family vacation. We had an early morning flight that was delayed causing us to miss our connection. We eventually got to D.C. after a four hour layover and fourteen hour travel day. We landed sometime after 10PM and took the metro to our hotel. At the transfer station we encountered a huge mass of people. A Phillys/Nationals baseball game had just ended and the subway station was packed full.

Dave has lived in several big cities and I’ve traveled quite a bit, so we certainly know how to handle a crowded subway. But our kids? They’re Southern California suburbanites who’d only ever taken the LA subway (which can best be described as subway-lite) for fun day trips. As we stood at the edge of the line with our wheely bags, overtired, overwhelmed and completely out of our element, a woman approached us.

“Hi,” she said. “I can see that you guys are traveling. I’ve got an app on my phone and the next train is a short train. You’ll never make it on if you stand here. I know there are a lot of people, but try to move more towards the middle if you can. You’ll have to wait another twenty minutes if you miss this train.”

“Thank you,” we said as she and her friends moved up the line.

We mushed our way through the throngs of people and made our way toward the middle. She was right. The train wasn’t very long, but thanks to her we made it on.

It was such a simple thing she did, taking a few seconds to help a family she didn’t know and would never see again. She could have looked at us and thought, “Suckers.” Or just look through us and thought nothing at all. It wasn’t a grand gesture, but it certainly did save the day. It’s something we still talk about sometimes three years later.

In our day-to-day lives we’re met with rudeness or indifference all the time. The person who cuts you off or who doesn’t say thank you when you hold the door open for them. But those are not the people I remember.

I will always remember the man who helped me at the Chicago airport when I was traveling with toddler Chandler in a stroller and was faced with an escalator instead of an elevator. I remember the woman in Paris 29 years ago, who stopped to help us when she saw Rita and I standing on a street corner looking at a map (and probably looking very confused). I remember the two men in Ireland, on that same European trip, who helped us push (or rather pick up) our car out of the mud when we were stuck on a country road and then refused the ride we offered them once they got us out. (Okay, that’s hard to forget!)

What we do in our day-to-day lives matters. What we focus on matters. I choose to focus on the good, the beautiful, the inspiring and remember the kindnesses that are bestowed upon me, both big and small.

I’d love for you to tell me about an unexpected kindness that has been bestowed upon you.


Photo credit: Heath Brandon via Creative Commons



I’m 50

29 Jun

On Flag Day, I turned 50. (Did you hear?)

The first thing I thought when I woke up the morning of my birthday was, “I’m 50.” I wish, like Tim McGraw, I could say that it felt good on my lips, but it did not. Not that it felt bad, just weird. Like it did not belong to me.

I’m 50.

I had a lobster dinner the night before my birthday to celebrate my best friend, Dale’s 50th birthday. She’s two days older than me. We’ve been friends for 44 years, and she rubbed it in my face when we were kids –I’m two days older, I’m two days older! Funny, she doesn’t do that any more. (Pssst. Hey Dale, You’re two days older, you’re two days older!)


I ate every last bite!


It was so lovely being with Dale and her mom and three other friends of hers. She told us we the most important and influential in her life. Dale is one of the best people I know and I was honored and touched to counted among this group.

The day of my birthday I slept late. I probably should have gotten up early to run -that lobster made me gain three pounds (I’m not even exaggerating) but I didn’t feel like it. So I didn’t.

Dave brought me coffee and breakfast in bed. Then I went bikini shopping. (Because that’s what you want to do on your 50th birthday.) Fortunately it was for Marley and not for me. Or maybe it is unfortunately. I’m not sure what’s more unsettling – seeing my 50 year-old body in a bikini or her 15 year-old body in a bikini. We’ll call it a draw.

We went to my mom’s for dinner. The weather was beautiful and we ate outside. Barbecued tri tip, roasted asparagus, sauteed mushrooms and onions, salad, potatoes and garlic bread. I never eat garlic bread anymore. It was delicious.


A birthday dinner fit for a 50 year-old.


My mom gave me my grandmother’s candy dish. Inside was my grandmother’s heart diamond necklace. These are two items I have always hoped I’d get someday, but someday far, far away. So to say I was surprised would be an understatement. I was moved beyond words.

The day after my birthday I got some good news. Excellent really. I’m not ready to share it, but I will say that it just might be the best birthday present ever. (Well, next to the candy dish.)

A few nights after my birthday I went out for happy hour with my girlfriends from the gym. They pitched in and treated me to a gift card to Lululemon as I am one of three people at our gym who doesn’t own any Lulu. Or rather didn’t own any Lulu. It was a very generous gift and I am extremely grateful, but also a little resentful, because how can I go back to wearing my Old Navy leggings now?


The place where expensive habits are born.


The weekend after my birthday my friends threw me a surprise party at Ladyface Alehouse. My sneaky husband was a big help. Were you surprised? Were you surprised? everyone wanted to know. The answer is YES! What surprised me the most was how many different groups of people there were there – my family, friends from different walks of life. I felt so honored. So blessed. So loved.

Oh, and I had a lot of fun!


Yes, I am wearing the same Winnie & Kat shirt I was wearing at Dale’s birthday celebration. It’s my new favorite shirt. So?


Because, as you can probably tell, I really like to celebrate, two weeks after my birthday me and a few girlfriends snuck away for a girls’ weekend at my friend Lisa’s beach house. Lisa is so lovely and generous and truly the hostess with the mostest. It was a mellow weekend that consisted of long walks on the beach searching for sea glass, wonderful dinners cooked by the awesome Chef Lisa, quite a bit of vodka and wine (not mixed together), a harbor boat cruise, a couple of trips to the dive bar, my first attempt at karaoke (um, I’m really bad at it) and big breakfasts at Mrs. Olson’s that looked like this:

Mrs. Olson's Breakfast Oxnard

Breakfast heaven! (Why yes that is a Bloody Mary you see!)


So I was starting to think that 50 might actually be kind of fabulous.


I’m 50 and I’m Fabulous!


Then I got this in the mail:


WTF?! Wait… Free travel bag! Hmmm…..



Sigh… I might as well embrace it. As they say, it sure does beat the alternative.

I’m 50. It’s starting to feel good on my lips. And I’m going to make damned sure it’s fabulous.



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