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Personal blog entries now here. Blogger Boobie-Thon moved here.
Want a new view? You're not stuck with this design -- skin the site!

Is it March yet?
Two seven more submissions...it's still not too late to get yours in!

[bubbye Feb] [give it the finger] [never again]

[february 2003 sucked] [calendar cat toy] [owie zowie February] [kicking february to the curb]

And click here for jadeDblog's photo essay.
posted at 11:33 PM | link--it | mail it | (5) shout it

The best part of waking up...
Looks like more than just the coffee at Starbucks is going to be keeping eyes open soon... Too bad they aren't putting the call out for Starbucks addicts as well!
posted at 05:16 PM | link--it | mail it | (4) shout it

Up, up in the atmosphere
This is a link that Statia passed along earlier in the week. It's the only thing that kept me sane while Todd was flying to and from Minneapolis...

If you have anyone you love traveling across the country, visit FlyteComm. You can enter the airline and flight number, and they will take you to a real-time tracking system. It will show you just exactly where the plane is at on a map of the continental US, the altitude, flight speed, and time remaining for the flight. I had confirmation Todd's flights had landed a good 20 minutes before he was able to deplane and make the quick "I'm ok" call on the way to his next connection. Don't let them leave home without it!
posted at 03:08 PM | link--it | mail it | (7) shout it

Just say no March Madness
New "buh-bye February" submissions...there's always room for more!

[toilet humor] [virtual pistol whipping] [feb 03 sucked big] [officially shot]

UPDATE: Visit "anything but ordinary" to show your appreciation for March's arrival!
posted at 02:08 PM | link--it | mail it | (4) shout it

Name that tune

Sending music to our troops stationed overseas
posted at 04:18 AM | link--it | mail it | (0) shout it

Greed, for lack of a better word, is good?
Good for these schoolgirls who wrote actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, asking her to put her money where her big mouth is and donate to their charity drive! Zeta-Jones recently testified before a London court and boasted that $1.5 million [paid for their wedding photo rights] was peanuts to her and hubby Michael Douglas. "It is a lot of money maybe to a lot of people in this room, but it's not that much for us." Douglas, supporting his wife's statement, called the amount a "pittance"...

From UPI: But the Douglases [Michael and Catherine] are people who occasionally do go to work, on movie sets, where they're likely to notice some minimum-wage production assistants bringing them coffee. They presumably have a state-of-the-art entertainment center that does receive CNN. I presume they've occasionally been sent a script that has actual working-class people in it. In other words, they must know, at some level, that "some people in this room" who think $1.6 million is more than a pittance represent approximately 99.9 percent of the people in the world.

To put that $1.6 million in perspective: If you placed that money in the lowliest passbook savings account, the kind the Douglases will never have because it's for people who only have $500 to start with, and you get the lowest interest rate paid anywhere in the world -- currently around 1.8 percent -- you earn $28,800 a year, enough for some families to survive on.

The idea that 1.8 percent of what they call a pittance is a living wage somewhere, and that they don't realize it, is a testament to just how divided by class we've become.
(More also found at "The Daily Dish".)
I'm certainly not putting my money on her winning an Oscar now after reading this, and all of the above! Sounds like The Douglases are in very real danger of becoming The Gekkos.
posted at 03:56 AM | link--it | mail it | (4) shout it

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, February!
Here are the photo and graphic submissions thus far to "buh-bye February". You can find them all conveniently located at:


[cat pan liner] [chicken calendar]

[burn it all]     [bye feb]

[burn baby burn]

Thanks -- and keep 'em coming! -Robyn
posted at 01:27 AM | link--it | mail it | (9) shout it

28 days of hell
By george, I think I've got it! Everywhere you turn, all people are getting is bad news in February 2003. I don't remember a single month like this in my entire life. After reading "My So-Called Life" today, I think I'm onto something...

I propose a new meme. The theme? Oh a girl can dream. While eating ice cream. Whoa. Sorry about that.

Anyhoo, I'm going to be participating in my own idea -- and if you'd like to as well -- after February 28th has rolled off the page, send me a photo of "how did you destroy the February page(s) on your 2003 calendar". I'll post them all here in one place. It can be as simple as a big red "X" over the entire month -- perhaps even an artistic shot with you giving the page the bird. Or the proposed flaming and charred ruins I'm considering (as long as it's up to fire code). Thank heavens this was the shortest month of the year, and not a leap year. That's all I'm sayin'.
posted at 03:35 PM | link--it | mail it | (20) shout it

The feeling to know you're alive...

[mr. rogers] Further solidifying the fact this has been one of the worst months...ever...it's now being reported that Mr. Rogers has passed away of cancer at the age of 74. This kills me. I adored Mr. Rogers as a child. So much so, that my mom actually limited me to one airing of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood a day when I turned 5, because I planned my whole day around the show and the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. I don't even want to think of our kids growing up without him around. It just doesn't seem fair.

I'll be back when the day is new. And I'll have more ideas for you. And you'll have things you'll want to talk about. I. Will. Too.

posted at 04:49 AM | link--it | mail it | (14) shout it

Ice, ice (oh) baby!
[stars on ice]
Note to self... Rethink taking figure skating lessons.

And now -- your moment of zen!
posted at 01:40 AM | link--it | mail it | (12) shout it

Beep-beep uh uh beep-beep
I've blogged about the "Bad Girl's Guides" in the past (I adore them). Now the author Cameron Tuttle is featured in a new CNN article.
posted at 08:43 PM | link--it | mail it | (1) shout it

Well you knew it was coming...but damn! They've now invented software to circumvent the Telezapper and Privacy Caller ID (which we currently have). It "also includes a feature that lets salesmen transmit any phone number or text message to residents' caller ID displays". At one point I was getting over 10 telemarketing calls a day, and the "do not call lists" I asked to be put on were worthless requests. And people wonder why I never answer my phone anymore...
posted at 06:32 PM | link--it | mail it | (20) shout it

Chewy chewy chewy chewy


The cookies 'n' cream ones are laced with crack. Buyer beware!
posted at 02:23 PM | link--it | mail it | (7) shout it

It's party time, excellent...
This article will cause many of you to stop and ponder...did you go off to college a decade too soon... "These students are of legal age to fight and vote; why should they have to ask permission to receive oral sex on camera?" (Read more on this pseudo-blast from the past.)
posted at 03:45 AM | link--it | mail it | (5) shout it

Ross passed along the following link from Yahoo! News about songs that are stuck in your head. "New research shows that people most frequently plagued by this phenomenon are those with slightly neurotic tendencies, and people who enjoy and listen to music often." Since the article also mentions the Chili's baby back ribs jingle, I guess you can draw your own conclusions there...
posted at 02:22 PM | link--it | mail it | (15) shout it

Someone turned the lights out there in Memphis
I tried to let all of her Scientology brainwashing slide, because she is The King's daughter after all -- and she was smart enough to lose Nicolas Cage. As such, I had high-hopes for Lisa Marie's first single "Lights Out" -- but in my opinion, it sounds like just about every other pre-packaged soulful pop song out there on the market. Not even her pedigree can save her from this one, I'm 'fraid. She's getting good reviews, but I'm not buying 'em. What's your opinion? I'd rate it an 8, but you can't dance to it...
posted at 02:27 AM | link--it | mail it | (25) shout it

And since we've no place to go...

[Ponca City Snowfall]

When my family whines again that we should just leave sunny Florida and move back home, I'm pointing them right back towards the above photo and news story. Ponca City is the town I grew up in and graduated high school from. Snow like that CRIPPLES small Oklahoma towns. They aren't going anywhere for awhile. "The cold front that spilled across the state Sunday pushed wind chills well below zero and set a record low maximum Monday for Oklahoma City. Tulsa’s [snowfall] total so far has exceeded Chicago’s snowfall this year by more than 3 inches. Clouds, very cold temperatures and a chance for more snow are forecast across Oklahoma the next several days." There's no place like home...in the fall!
posted at 01:36 AM | link--it | mail it | (12) shout it

And that is all I have to say about that.
posted at 01:58 PM | link--it | mail it | (14) shout it

So I cynically, cynically say, the world is that way
Welcome to the new -- and perhaps for some of you -- improved tampatantrum.com. Things are going to drastically change around here as I move on to a new phase of my blogging life. I'd like to ask my family and close friends to please check their e-mail, and then head on over here. Yes, that site is passworded. And no, if you don't have it now -- you're not going to get it. Please don't ask. And please respect our need for privacy.

This blog will still be frequently updated. Anything impersonal -- entertainment commentary, FARK links, jokes, site tips and tricks, recommended blog reads, design updates, sports information, etc. -- well that will all still be here just like always. So don't lose me on your blogrolls. I'm not through here. I'm just taking the 'personal journal' section elsewhere. Thanks to everyone for their comments and e-mails this weekend!

People I know
Places I go
Make me feel tongue-tied
I can see how people look down
They're on the inside

Here's where the story ends

People I see
Weary of me
Showing my good side
I can see how people look down
I'm on the outside

Here's where the story ends
Ooh here's where the story ends

It's that little souvenir of a terrible year
Which makes my eyes feel sore.....

Ooh here's where the story ends.

And here's where book two begins!
posted at 09:03 PM | link--it | mail it | (65) shout it

You wouldn't have to be a great detective to
see the things you do to me are self-reflexive
I think I'm in real danger of becoming 'the song blog' this month...but this song just came on randomly in my rotation, and after some of the things I've seen / heard floating around out there about me this week, I found the timing especially fitting...

People love to watch you die
And wonderful to tell
People you have never met
Claim to know you well

People love to watch you die
Dig your dignity
One guy said '(S)he's better dead
Than how (s)he used to be'

They'll sell the souvenirs
And the relics of your tears
They build a little shrine, wait until it shines
They love to watch you die and you know why

People love to watch you die
It gets them sexually
And then they smoke a cigarette
And make a cup of tea

People love to watch you fry
They love to throw the switch
They'll either have you crucified
Or burn you as a witch
They send bouquets of flowers
And then stare at space for hours
They build a little shrine, wait until it shines
They love to watch you die and you know why

People love to watch you die
Then give your family hell
They call it grief but it's just a relief
And they know that full well

People love to watch you drown
The symbol's what they need
They'd rather not see you at all
Than watch your hair recede
And just to watch your pain
They'd bring you back to life again
They build a little shrine, sing you Auld Lang Syne
They love to watch you die and you know why...

Lyrics Credit: John Wesley Harding
posted at 10:16 PM | link--it | mail it | (25) shout it

Blame won't change the end result
If anyone thought I was actually making fun of the Rhode Island club victims and families yesterday, please read this blog entry. I can assure you, I was not. The only thing I can even equal it with in scope and gravity within my own community in my mind is the Oklahoma City bombing. I'm so very sorry, Crystal.
posted at 02:03 AM | link--it | mail it | (6) shout it

I've asked myself how much do you commit yourself?

[you snoozed you losed]

If I could buy my reasoning
I'd pay to lose
One half won't do...

...It's my life
Don't you forget
It's my life
It never ends

Funny how I blind myself
I never knew if I was
Sometimes played upon
Afraid to lose

I'd tell myself what good you do
Convince myself

It's my life
Don't you forget
It's my life
It never ends...

...It's my life
Don't you forget
Caught in the crowd
It never ends....

[Click here for song lyrics]
posted at 12:26 AM | link--it | mail it | (2) shout it

Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it
Ok, brain-dead fun very much needed.....head on over to MTV's website and help pick the "22 Greatest MCs the last 22 years". Vanilla Ice and Hammer are nowhere to be found on the list...what up wit'dat? It's criminal.
posted at 06:02 PM | link--it | mail it | (10) shout it

Once bitten, twice shy
Has there been any good news this month? Seriously?

Suddenly I'm very glad my clubbing days are pretty much over... First the, stampede Monday night in Chicago that killed 21. Then Thursday night, a fire (at least 10-20 dead, over 110 injured as of 4:30 a.m. EST) at a club in Rhode Island. I guess it's probably the wrong time to ponder the fact that 80s hair band Great White actually had 300 paying fans in 2003, huh?

Footnote: According to CNN, the worst nightclub fire in U.S. history occurred November 28, 1942. November 28, 1972, is my birthday. Eeep.
posted at 04:29 AM | link--it | mail it | (37) shout it

Move along...there's nothing to see here...
I've removed the content and the comments from this entry*.

Normally it is not my policy to remove all traces of anything of that nature. However, because I got upset at someone I perceived to be bringing in more grief and strife into my blog at a time I had more than enough of that in my personal life -- and then I publicly lashed out at them for doing so, telling them to take it elsewhere and lose my URL -- I only succeeded in getting myself called a whore and a stripper. I was given links to midol.com during a miscarriage. Comments were left in that individual's blog, after they decided they wanted a flame war and publicly begged for it (one I refused to play in), stating "karma for her is a mother fucker". That phrase referred to the loss of my two children, and hinted that somehow because I have banned commenters and deleted comments in the past, that the ends were justified by the means. Whatever.

Attack me all you want. I've been called worse than a whore and a tramp in my 30 years, I can assure you. I was a cheerleader in high school. I'm a natural blonde. Enough said. But you do not EVER go after my unborn children. Game over. My blog has been permanently changed.

Since the site owner and his little group can't be adult enough to move on once and for all (somehow I've warranted four entries since this all began) -- well, I am. This entry is gone. Links to that individual's site have been removed. Comments are closed on all of the entries I referred to in this original rant.

I am grieving regardless of what anyone may try to insinuate. And the thing that started it all was the fact I wanted an end to the bullshit I saw being slung around here again. And obviously I am not the only one who took that individual's comments the way I did. He was ripped a new asshole every time he tried to open his mouth here. The sentiment was nothing new. They may not see it that way at all. They may think their comments were completely justified and non-inflammatory. That's fine. But in my house, it's my rules. Public blog or not, I -- and I alone -- have the power of the delete key.

Unfortunately, that crowd decided to exercise a level of grace and control Anna Nicole Smith would be proud of and attempted to rip apart a woman at the weakest point of her life. I don't care if I had personally written FUCK YOU in red lipstick across the windshield of your brand new car and spit in your face, nothing -- and I do mean NOTHING I did -- warranted the response I got in return. Get pissed. Fine. Call me a bitch. Ok. I wear that title proudly. But leave my dead children OUT of it.

And speaking of karma, just remember folks...it's a two way street. Someone else is going to be waiting in the wings for the lowest points in your own lives. I just hope they have less self-restraint than I do when it finally happens. You deserve nothing less.

*I have them all saved in text file form, so if you think there's something sinister here and think you really need that file and everything in it to prove you have 'the whole story', then go here.
posted at 07:04 PM | link--it | mail it | (0) shout it

Popcorn love - just wait! They will see...
This is what we do to amuse ourselves when we should be working and just can't concentrate...boy band / bubblegum pop e-mail wars... It's kinda like a staring contest, but with really bad lyrics. Today I emerged victorious:

Her: Boy you know it's true...ooh, ooh, ooh...I love you!
Him: Tearin' up my heart....
Her: You got the right stuff...baby. You're the reason why I sing this song.
Him: You're the one that I want. Oooh oooh oooh.
Her: Oh boy I think I love ya -- always thinkin' of ya'. I want ya to know I do it all 4 love.
Him: Ooh I think I love you from head to toe.
Her: I must confess I still believe -- when I'm not with you I lose my mind. Give me a sign...
Him: Heh heh ... I'm out. :)
Her: Hey! I didn't even get to New Edition yet! Lah-oooo-ser.
Him: You are just too mighty for me. I couldn't think of any more songs. I bow to you. :)
Her: I take it. I reign supreme!
posted at 04:36 PM | link--it | mail it | (10) shout it

Listening to the teacher rap just ain't my bag
"So...I still pass the class...right? Jihads don't effect your grade on the final do they?"
posted at 02:33 PM | link--it | mail it | (9) shout it

Too Far Down
I feel like I'm back in high school again. My musical selections this week have reflected my mood -- and have largely consisted of The Cure, Squeeze, John Wesley Harding, Elvis Costello, Morrissey/The Smiths, (dark) Depeche Mode, the Lemonheads, and Hüsker Dü:

I'm down again
And I don't know how to tell you
But maybe this time I can't come back
Because I might be too far down

I wish for real
That I could turn it on and off
Like hot and cold and up and down
Because I'm down again

I'm too far down
I couldn't begin to smile
Because I can't even laugh or cry
Because I just can't do it

If it was so easy to be happy
Why am I so down?
All I can do is sit and wonder when it's going to end
Or if I should just go away forever

When I sit and think
I wish that I just could die
Or let someone else be happy
By setting my own self free

And you don't want the emotion
Because the taste it leaves is for real
But nothing's ever real until it's gone
And I might be too far down

And is this just another thrown away
Or is this the end of the whole stupid road
But you wouldn't want to know how I feel anyway
Because the darkest hole is at the end of the road

I'm down again
And I guess I'm not the only one who dreams
That there's not any way to tell you
Because I might be too far down

Lyrics Credit: Hüsker Dü

Still waiting for the day where I wake up feeling like "me" again...please be patient...
posted at 04:24 AM | link--it | mail it | (18) shout it

Right from the start, I gave you my
Obviously a few days late...but the February 2003 "Fifteen Minutes of Fame" is online. I just had to feature her dress one last time.
posted at 12:15 AM | link--it | mail it | (15) shout it

Step right up and get your ticket

Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.
Gil: Oh?
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
Gil: What a great story.....
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me feel so frightened, so sick, so excited, so scared, so safe, and so thrilled, altogether! Some didn't like it. They wanted to go on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.

Quote Credit: Parenthood

I was reminded of the above after reading this entry.
posted at 04:43 PM | link--it | mail it | (13) shout it

Beta (writer's) blocker
Just a quick heads-up -- Textpattern Beta 1 is now available for download. (This software was created by the same person who brought us the supah fly Textism referrer script.) This software is a content management system alternative to Movable Type (version 2.62. just released!), Greymatter, pMachine, etc. Check it out if you are so inclined.
posted at 04:12 PM | link--it | mail it | (1) shout it

The most sensational inspirational celebrational Muppetational
I recently bought Todd the Muppets Lab Playset with Beaker. Palisades Toys has the coolest Muppets desktops if you dig around the site a bit. Here are just a few (image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5, image 6, image 7, image 8)... Future sets include Pigs in Space, the Swedish Chef Kitchen, a Kermit and Miss Piggy wedding cake topper (next to impossible to find other than eBay), and finally Pepe. We might as well sign over any tax refunds now.
posted at 02:49 PM | link--it | mail it | (13) shout it

Only love.

[you snoozed you losed]

[Click to view the song lyrics]

"You never see the hard times in a photo album, but they're the ones that carry you from one happy snapshot to the next."

Quote Credit: Just Married
posted at 03:29 AM | link--it | mail it | (7) shout it

More than words is all you have to do to make it real
I know a lot of people are speechless right now. Please don't feel bad about that, if you just don't know what to say to us. To be perfectly honest, we're speechless, too. I don't know what to tell myself to make it all better, and I certainly don't expect you to have the words that will fix things either. There are always going to be "I think they meant well" comments in any circumstance like this. It's a part of life. And a part of grief. Sometimes the need to say something, anything quickly because you do care can leave you accidentally opening your mouth and the wrong words tumbling out...

I went and looked in Google for a list of things not to say during a miscarriage, and found several lists of them. Maybe this is something to file away for friends and family who might unfortunately go through the very same thing in the future. The following are not my own lists, or my own responses. I just put together several of (what I felt were) the best ones here in one place. And if you've said any of the following, please don't feel badly about it. I've probably mistakenly uttered some of the very same things myself. And these are not "one size fits all", as some of the sayings below have actually brought me comfort. Every couple hears, interprets and feels things differently based on circumstance.

But I think it's universally agreed...the very worst thing to say is nothing at all...or act like nothing has happened. I know I've never felt so alone or isolated in my life, and I have a great support network around me. Many thanks to those who have left comments and/or sent e-mails. I just can't say that enough.

    What not to say to a couple following a miscarriage*:

  1. "Well, nature takes care of her mistakes." The day before, oblivious to any problem they had been excitedly planning their baby's future. They loved it, anticipated it, were excited and thrilled. They imagined their baby, thought up names...looked forward to it. It was never a mistake to to them.

  2. "At least you didn't get to know the baby." That baby was carried inside it's mothers body. How can any relationship be any stronger or more intimate?

  3. "Now you have angel looking after you..." They didn't want an angel - they wanted their child.

  4. "It's for the best." How exactly? Isn't the best a successful, healthy pregnancy?

  5. "You are young you can have other children." This child was a person. It can not be replaced. You would not tell a grieving child, "Don't worry, your mom is young. She'll marry you a new dad." They don't want another baby. They wanted this baby. And you don't necessarily know for sure if they can have another child.

  6. "I know how you feel." If you have never lost a child, you do not know how they feel. Everyone feels their grief uniquely. (Edited by Robyn: I just wanted to say again that I did not write this list. And if you've had a miscarriage, stillbirth, or lost a child yourself, it most certainly does not apply to you. You have our deepest sympathies.)

  7. "You should be over it by now..." It doesn't matter how long it's been. You do not ever just get over it.

  8. "You should be happy it didn't suffer." Of course they didn't want their child to suffer. They wanted a completely healthy and happy child.

  9. "It's nature's way of getting rid of something that was deformed." The couple probably prefers to think of their child in memories as beautiful and perfect, not deformed. That perfect child is the one they are now grieving for in their hearts and minds.

  10. "At least it didn't live a few hours and then die, that would have hurt worse." Maybe they would have loved to have had the opportunity to hear their baby's cry, to see the color of their eyes and hair, and to tell them how much that they loved and wanted them face-to-face.

  11. "You're young, you'll get over it." What does age have to do with pain?

  12. "Good luck to you." The couple is feeling anything but lucky at this moment.

  13. "It could've been worse, it could've happened later." Things can ALWAYS be worse. And later term pregnancy losses are more traumatic in many instances. But this can make them feel as if the loss and sadness are totally dismissed. There's never a good or easy time to lose a child.

  14. "Have you ever thought of not having children?" Yes, they probably have. They realize that they may never be parents now more than ever.

  15. "It was Gods will...God wanted the child with him...God needed another flower in his garden...etc." Such comments can have the effect of making a parent very angry and bitter with God, which may block a possible source of comfort. Religion is very personal.

  16. "God never gives you more than you can bear." Well this seems pretty unbearable at the moment.

  17. "Count your blessings that you didn't have it." They may be finding it hard to find the blessings in anything right now.

  18. "What is God trying to tell you with this?" This implies God killed their baby to teach them a lesson. The couple believes God loved their child as much as He loved them.

  19. "You can try again soon." The furthest thing on most couple's minds right immediately after a miscarriage is the ability to try again. And trying again will not replace the child they lost.

  20. "At least you know you can get pregnant." Well, yes -- this time. But what about in the future? Do you know she will be able to get pregnant again for sure? Her doctors might not.

  21. * Not my own words. Complied via Google searches.

You do not know how I feel --
Please don't tell me that you do.

There's just one way to know --
Have you lost a child too?

"You'll have another child."
Must I hear this each day?

Can I get another mother, too,
If mine should pass a way?

Don't say it was "God's will" --
That is not the God I know.

Would God on purpose break my heart,
Then stand back and watch as my tears flow?

"You have an angel in Heaven --
A precious child above."
But, tell me, to whom here on earth
Shall I give this love?

"Aren't you better yet?"
Is that what I heard you say?
No! A part of my heart still aches --
And I'll always feel some pain.

You think silence is kind,
But it hurts me even more.
I want to talk about my child
Who has gone through death's door.

Don't say these things to me,
although you do mean well.
They don't take my pain away;
For I must go through the hell.

I will get better slow but sure
And it helps to have you near,
But a simple, "I'm sorry you lost your child."
Is all I need to hear.

-Author Unknown

posted at 06:46 PM | link--it | mail it | (75) shout it

How many fates turn around in the overtime
There's a line in a song by Hüsker Dü that goes:

Now I'm hardly getting over it
Hardly getting used to getting by

That's kind of how I feel today. Like I'm not ready to blog again, but it's such a part of my daily routine that I don't know what to do without it. Is that pathetic, or does that mean I'm trying to heal? Or maybe a little bit of both... This is the first day since we got the news that I've woken up without Todd by my side. I think that's the hardest part. Nothing seems "normal" anymore.

This whole thing was such a whirlwind. We didn't even get a full week to be happy about it. We found out the good news on a Wednesday evening, and found out the bad news on a Wednesday afternoon. It's amazing how much your life can turn upside down in the span of just seven short days.

I have a lot of anger over the situation. I've screamed at God for days on end. Why now? Why this way? We'd had just over 18 months to heal, following 18 months of failed surgeries and treatments. (We started "officially trying" in 1998 when we were both 25, but didn't have our first appointment with an infertility specialist until early 2000.) This pregnancy was my one documented case of ovulation in five years time, and I was monitored for it very closely during my 18 months of treatment. But we'd come to terms with the pain. We'd come to terms with the fact I'd never be able to get pregnant. We'd come to terms with the doctors we trusted saying adoption was our only answer. There were some very dark days in the beginning, but we were finally happy again. We'd moved on. Together.

People have taken swipes at me in blog comments recently about living a "charmed life" and always getting what I want. I always rolled my eyes when I read things like that, because people who haven't known me pre-blogging, and people who don't know me in real life, have no fucking idea what my life -- childhood and adulthood -- has been like. For starters, no couple faced with years of infertility would ever describe themselves as "charmed". Is the fact I've lost the two children they said I would never have finally enough for you to end your admitted jealousy of me once and for all? Because this is my life. This is how the story goes. The miracles for everyone else become my curses. Always been like that. Always will be. Yes, I bounce back. And I do it with vigor. I do my best to pick myself up, dust myself off, and smile through the darkness while seeing the glass as half-full -- because I refuse to play the role of the victim for long. Especially when I have my best friend standing right here beside me every day for the rest of our lives. With love like that, it isn't all bad. But just because you weren't around for the ride during the dark days doesn't mean they haven't been on the calendar. So welcome to wherever you are. I suggest helmets and shoulder-restraints. It might be bumpy around these parts for awhile...

The only light in all of this has been my husband, our families and our friends. I couldn't ask for better support. I can't imagine going through anything like this without them. And some of the stories I've read in e-mails and comments since Wednesday have broken my heart all over again. Our own pain pales in comparison to them. I know this. And as much as I'd like to think I didn't need another life lesson -- or more character -- maybe I did. I know the things that were important a couple of weeks ago mean absolutely nothing now. And the things I've taken for granted never will be again. My view of my self -- and my world -- has been permanently altered. I think that just may be a good thing. At least, I hope it is. I don't want to ever believe this much hurt and despair was all in vain.

Well I know we're dying
And there's no sign of a parachute
In this chapel little chapel of love
Can't we get a little grace
And some elegance
No, we scream in cathedrals
Why can't it be beautiful
Why does there gotta be a sacrifice?

-Tori Amos, penned after her miscarriage in '96
posted at 02:03 PM | link--it | mail it | (33) shout it

I know you'll be the sun in somebody else's sky
We lost our two beautiful little angels on Valentine's Day. I will never celebrate the holiday again.

Thanks so much to everyone who has written and posted notes of encouragement and comfort. I'm updating because I know several of you are worried. I will try to reply to as many as I can when I am emotionally -- and physically -- able to do so. Blogging, for now, is simply out of the question. Our thanks also go out to everyone for the thoughts and prayers, although I am finding it very hard to believe and trust in God right now -- and don't know if I ever will be able to do so again.

Please do not comment on this entry out of respect to us, and our loss. I want to keep it empty...just like our hearts...

Much love,
-Robyn (and Todd)
posted at 12:01 AM | link--it | mail it | (0) shout it

Hold On
Hold on
Hold on to yourself
For this is gonna hurt like hell

Hold on
Hold on to yourself
You know that only time can tell

What is it in me that refuses to believe
This isn't easier than the real thing

My love, you know that you're my best friend
You know that I'd do anything for you

And my love, let nothing come between us
My love for you is strong and true

Am I in heaven here or
Am I...
At the crossroads I am standing

So now you're sleeping peaceful
I lie awake and pray
That you'll be strong tomorrow
And will see another day
And we will praise it
And love the light that brings a smile
Across your face

Oh God,
If you're out there won't you hear me?
I know we're never talked before...

And oh God
The ones I love are leaving
Won't you take them when they come to your door?

Am I in heaven here or
Am I in hell?
At the crossroads I am standing

So now you're sleeping peaceful
I lie awake and pray
That you'll be strong tomorrow
And we will see another day
And we will praise it
And love the light that brings a smile
Across your face

Hold on
Hold on to yourself
For this is gonna hurt like hell...

-Sarah McLachlan

UPDATE: Please note that I upgraded to MT 2.6 and closed additional comments on this entry, as I never intended for it to have comments in the first place. Thank you for respecting that in the future. And thanks to everyone who took the time to dig around my site in order to leave the kind words that they did. We truly appreciate every single one of them.
posted at 01:45 AM | link--it | mail it | (12) shout it

To be continued...someday
A week ago today, we learned that regardless of what medical science had told us, I was pregnant. On Monday, I had an ultrasound -- and even though it had been a couple of years since we'd been through any kind of infertility treatment, we learned I was carrying twins. Today, more of my bloodwork came back -- and even though I've yet to develop the symptoms -- we were told it appears I will be miscarrying and there isn't much hope. I rarely ask for thoughts and prayers here, but right now we'll gladly take any that you have to offer. I'm honestly not sure when I will blog again. I need a break. Life has taken on a whole new meaning in the last week. And I need my husband. We will be ok. We've made it this far, and things like this only succeed in making us closer. I've never loved Todd more than I do right now. For those who have known and supported us privately, we thank you. It's meant more to us than you can possibly imagine. - Robyn and Todd

UPDATE: Please note that I upgraded to MT 2.6 and closed additional comments on this entry, as I never intended for it to have comments in the first place. Thank you for respecting that in the future. And thanks to everyone who took the time to dig around my site in order to leave the kind words that they did. We truly appreciate every single one of them.
posted at 08:48 PM | link--it | mail it | (70) shout it

Vacation...time to get away
In all the time I've been blogging, I've never really taken "a break". Right now I've got a million things swirling around on my plate, and...it's time. Don't worry! Things are fine here. Never been better. But there are a lot of people out there with better stuff to say, and more time to say it, this week. So let me catch my breath, and I'll be back in a few days.

Light's on. Beer's in the fridge. Make yourselves comfortable! And don't make me turn on the nanny-cam...
posted at 06:17 PM | link--it | mail it | (48) shout it

The further on the edge, the hotter the intensity
Y'know, I've spent a lot of time over the past few years complaining about the downfall of music with the emergence of bubble gum pop and boy bands, second wave. But something dawned on me earlier tonight. It's all been a big trade-off. Because we haven't really heard from Kenny Loggins in years. Now I gotta cut loose...
posted at 03:07 AM | link--it | mail it | (11) shout it

Don't go for second best, baby
Slant Magazine has counted down the 100 greatest music videos. Some, I can see...but five Madonna videos in the top twenty? C'mon. I'm living in a material world, and I am a material girl -- but even I will admit that's a bit much!
posted at 11:20 PM | link--it | mail it | (10) shout it

What do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?
So cheetahs can't quit rubbing on logs (heh, I said "rubbing on logs") at the Bronx Zoo that have been sprayed with Calvin Klein's Obsession for Men. I so know that feeling. I think I'd end up humping furniture that had been sprayed with Obsession for Men, if left alone for too long. (Did I just admit that outloud?) Obsession for Women and Poison drive Todd wild. Are there any scents that make you lose control?
posted at 06:25 PM | link--it | mail it | (27) shout it

I want my baby back, baby back, baby back...
After about 100 commercials yesterday, and more today, I finally turned to Todd and asked..."Why does Chili's only advertise their baby back ribs?" I mean, they have about 50 other menu items. They've been doing this campaign since I was in high school, it seems like. We all know they have baby back ribs by now. With bar-b-que sauce. Isn't it time to share the limelight with the other food items? The commercials are no longer unique, or even entertaining.

These are the things that keep me awake at night. Pretty sad, huh?
posted at 11:39 AM | link--it | mail it | (22) shout it

Weekend reading assignment
When angrywhitegirl.com asks you to link something -- you do it!
posted at 04:08 PM | link--it | mail it | (13) shout it

I fought the law and the law won
Whew -- glad my student loans have been paid off. Off to nag my husband about his... Kidding! But U.S. Marshals? Yipes!
posted at 03:11 PM | link--it | mail it | (6) shout it

It's Friday, I'm in love
Sitting at home bored on a Friday night? Head on over to Michele's and play a little game:

Band Sausages -- where you take two or more bands and combine their names together to make a whole new band. Example: The Beastie Boyz II Men, The Crystal Methods Of Mayhem, Grateful Dead or Alive. Get it? There's no real hardcore rules. Be creative. Squeeze as many bands as you can in, like this person did the last time I played this game: Shakespear's Sisters of Mercyful Fate's Warning.
To add your group-combo to the pile, just surf on over there...
posted at 09:07 PM | link--it | mail it | (12) shout it

Well I think that's a given...

[less sex - more strokes]

Yet another great headline courtesy of Yahoo! News. Shave and a haircut, two bits...
posted at 04:44 PM | link--it | mail it | (21) shout it

The color of the sky as far as I can see is coal grey
This is what our yard, and every other yard in our neighborhood, looks like right now. The yard we spent several hundred dollars reseeding last spring. I haven't seen grass this dead since we lived in Oklahoma. We've been here over six years. Half of the trees around have either lost their leaves, had them turn colors, or are already dead. The palm trees around here are all turning yellow. The remaining trees are tall pines. We had almost two full weeks of hard-freezes, and several weeks in the 30s or below. This is just not the eternal-spring in Florida that I'm used to. Our power bill was over three times the price this January compared to last. I know the groundhog saw his shadow, but please keep that stuff up north where it belongs. Pretty please with chocolate cocoa on top! I miss my open windows...
posted at 03:43 PM | link--it | mail it | (16) shout it

Tonight at ten I'll lay her again
Can you imagine what this mom would have thought about "Like a Virgin" or "I Want Your Sex" in the 80s? For more hillarity, check out The Smoking Gun's FBI files on the song "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen. Hoover had way too much free time! (Link courtesy of FARK.com.)
posted at 12:39 PM | link--it | mail it | (3) shout it

Heads-up to Canon G2 and G3 owners: The author of the "Short Courses" books has free, printable pocket guides online to the Canon PowerShot G3 and Canon PowerShot G2. There are also several other manuals available -- so check here for the full-listing to see if your camera brand and model are covered. And the new "Short Course in Canon PowerShot G3 Photography" book/CD is out as well now. (You can find the G2 version here.)
posted at 01:18 AM | link--it | mail it | (4) shout it

Nobody told me there'd be days like these
[wisdom for the ages]
posted at 12:38 AM | link--it | mail it | (4) shout it

Do not miss your chance to blow
Former OU QB Josh Heupel has been drafted by the NFL Europe Barcelona Dragons! Better yet, the Dragons do their spring training here in Tampa Bay! Oh yeah, so going to make a scrimmage or two if at all possible...

UPDATE: For those hitting my site searching for more information... James Hale of OUInsider.com is now reporting as of 3/9 that Josh Heupel has been cut from the Barcelona Dragons due to the lingering wrist injury (and as a result, not passing the team physical). He is reported to be back in Norman, Oklahoma now.
posted at 09:52 PM | link--it | mail it | (2) shout it

We are all made of stars
It's an entertainment edition of "not necessarily the news"...

  1. So what is it about Trista that sends all the booted bachelorette contestants straight to the local dealer?
  2. Like a Virgin...arrested for the very first time. Man, she looks like hell lately!
  3. What does it say about me that these headlines make me so incredibly happy? $2000 on flowers to make up? The boy needs help. But go Cris Judd!
  4. PETA has released a "worst-dressed list". Like we're supposed to care...
  5. Joe Millionaire is in talks to play "Superman"? Heaven help us...
That's all I've got. But don't worry. With the Baywatch Reunion movie, there's bound to be more where that came from soon!

UPDATE: And it appears "The Bachelor II" has called off the wedding. Shocking, no?
posted at 08:40 PM | link--it | mail it | (8) shout it

Energy in a bottle?
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
posted at 01:30 PM | link--it | mail it | (17) shout it

Now let's go back to that building-thingy where our beds and TV is
I know Michele had a "share your favorite Simpsons quote" thing a few weeks back. Well now Entertainment Weekly has a "best of" as well. D'oh.
posted at 03:44 AM | link--it | mail it | (4) shout it

Best. Car Dealer. Ever. I love it when humanity works the right way. Now I just hope karma kicks in...
posted at 01:56 AM | link--it | mail it | (7) shout it

If you court this disaster, I'll point you home
I'm listening to the Barenaked Ladies right now, and I'm wondering why no one ever pointed me towards this song back in college. (Yes, I know it was released 3 years after I graduated, but I digress.) If someone had played this line for me about 1993, I think my life choices would have been a hell of a lot easier to comprehend:

But I'm warning you, don't ever do those crazy, messed up things that you do. If you ever do, I promise you I'll be the first to crucify you. Now it's time to prove that you've come back here to rebuild...
Amazing what a really good therapist can accomplish, huh? At least I can admit I'm a great fianceé and wife, but was an absolutely dreadful girlfriend...
posted at 02:32 PM | link--it | mail it | (13) shout it

Man, it feels good to be a gansta
Well I just got off the phone with the husband, and whee! They laid off 80 people at his company today. That sounds like a lot, but they have 5,000 employees at just his campus alone. Thankfully only one got the axe in his department, and ironically that guy called in sick today. Even more ironic, Todd's had his vendors switched after all the hubbub and will be getting that guy's now. I joked and told him to wear a bullet proof vest to work tomorrow. I mean, anyone who's watched Office Space knows that you do your layoffs in the tech world on Friday, people.

I guess it speaks pretty highly of Todd that he was the one they trusted to pick up new vendors in the middle of all this mess. Breathing in. Breathing out. They haven't had a round of layoffs in quite a long time (the last set of cuts saw 5% of the company gone, and news crews there to document it). They promised this should be the last round this year. We shall see.

Todd's last vendor was pretty much a "no travel" kinda deal, which worked out great for me (and both of us) during all of the infertility medical treatments and me being a general invalid. I really needed him around all the time. I'm doing a bit better now and I'm not freaking out quite so bad that they're sending him to Minnesota at the end of the month. In fact, I'm laughing about it. Mr. Floridian, who doesn't own a real winter coat or ANY winter clothes, in Minnesota...in February. This should be entertaining. And I have no desire to go with him this time. (I went to Denver with him for his last business trip.)

Of course, I closed off our conversation with this:

"So ladies, if you wanna rob a bank but you don't want your cooter poked, head to beautiful Minnesota -- land of 10,000 lakes."
posted at 01:42 PM | link--it | mail it | (13) shout it

You can go with this - or you can go with that
Ok, boys and girls -- it's time to play "which is the most frightening" (courtesy of Yahoo! photos, click each image below for a larger version if you just can't make up your mind):

[Chuckles the Clown is missing his makeup]      [you should see her with an eel]
posted at 03:51 AM | link--it | mail it | (26) shout it

Me lose brain? Uh-oh.
I know there's got to be a doctor or two out there somewhere... Has there even an official documented case of a brain exploding or imploding after doing a routine, repetitive task over and over and over again? I'm just askin'.
posted at 01:23 AM | link--it | mail it | (10) shout it

Left is right - right is wrong
That old male-earring adage pretty much describes my political leanings. That's all you really need to know. I voted for Clinton. Twice. I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I could. I'm a liberal. I oppose the war with Iraq until the second it begins because I don't believe in it, and that's my right as an American -- but I'll be our military and Commander in Chief's biggest supporter in the event it starts, because I believe that's my duty as an American. Nothing I tell you is going to change your views on the matter. I could discuss my opinions 'til I'm blue in the face and link every news article and editorial I could find -- but all it would result in is half of my readers saying "hell yeah!", and the other half quoting stats and figures in disagreement that I don't -- or won't -- necessarily believe in. So I just don't "go there".

It doesn't mean I have my head in the sand or that I'm neglecting the current events going on around me. I just don't have the time, or the patience, for the comment and cross-blog wars that would result. My husband does, and more power to him. I do admire and respect people who are on both sides of these often heated discussions. But if you'll please excuse me...I'm happy, for now, right over here on the observation deck.
posted at 06:28 PM | link--it | mail it | (24) shout it

Spell chrysanthemum
Today's "Call For Help" had a good free-file download -- ieSpell.

Download and install ieSpell and you can check your Web work in three different ways:

1. Select a word and right-click.
2. Click on the IE button in the toolbar.
3. Choose tools and select ieSpell or ieSpell Options.

IeSpell is accurate, fast, and free. Only for Windows and Internet Explorer.
I'm getting ready to download and test it out myself.

From the official site: ieSpell is a free Internet Explorer browser extension that spell checks text input boxes on a webpage. It should come in particularly handy for users who do a lot of web-based text entry (e.g. web mails, forums, blogs, diaries). Even if your web application already includes spell checking functionality, you might still want to install this utility because it is definitely much faster than a server-side solution. Plus you get to store and use your personal word list across all your applications, instead of maintaining separate ones on each application.

The program installs as a new button in the IE toolbar (as well as a new menu item under "Tools") - after filling in a form, just hit the ieSpell button and it pops up a dialog, similar to the MS Word spell check.

ieSpell is not spyware or adware. Its free for personal and not-for-profit use. Commercial use requires a separate license. Write to us for more info.

UPDATE: It's all installed -- I've tried (and love) it! Two big snaps in a circle for this review.
posted at 05:01 PM | link--it | mail it | (20) shout it

I get knocked down, but I get up again
[they said hard]

I love it when headline writers' senses of humor are as warped as mine is.
posted at 04:48 PM | link--it | mail it | (3) shout it

Wacko Jacko, indeed.
I can't say it better than the FARK'ers already have...but what the fuck? Anyone else in this country would have been locked up long ago, and I would have gladly swallowed the key. Any parent that allows their child to visit this man's home should be shot on sight! "What’s wrong with sharing a love?" More federal, state and local statutes than you can count, bud...
posted at 04:26 AM | link--it | mail it | (22) shout it

My funny Valentine
Well it looks like it's that time of year again -- the Valentine's skins are starting to roll out. I don't have time to make one here right now, but I do have four pinup images up for grabs from my stash if you want to use one -or more- at your own sites!

[image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4]

Be careful opening those first two at work, mmmk?
posted at 03:31 AM | link--it | mail it | (12) shout it

Take a sniff, pull it out, the taste's gonna move you when you pop it in your mouth
Mikey blogged about Joe Millionaire gossip earlier so I went to see what I could find on Zora.

1. Zora Fever!
2. Tabloid says Zora marries 'Joe'

Apparently there's also a rumor one of the girls (not the winner) is pregnant with his baby. Anyone seen any more good dish lately?

And in other rumor mill findings...apparently Jen and Ben are going to have to put that wedding off just a little while longer. She wants a traditional Catholic wedding, and oops -- she failed to get the first one annulled. (Marriage number two was a private, civil ceremony.) First husband Ojani Noa is quoted as saying, "She screwed me out of a decent divorce settlement, then fired me as manager of her restaurant for no reason. I owe her nothing." What goes around, comes around... Maybe she should call the Kennedy family for pointers?
posted at 08:12 PM | link--it | mail it | (9) shout it

I'm about to ruin the image and the style that you're used to
[you snoozed you losed]

[Click to view the song lyrics]

A song with no thinking required...just how I likes 'em!
posted at 05:52 PM | link--it | mail it | (5) shout it

We were born, born to be wild
I found this on FARK and thought it would make for interesting debate. New Mexico state Senator Allen Hurt has introduced Senate Bill 239. It specifically states that:

A person operating a motorcycle without a helmet and who, as the result of an accident, is pronounced brain dead pursuant to Section 12-2-4 NMSA 1978 by a licensed physician shall become an organ donor regardless of whether the person made an anatomical gift by completing the organ donor statement…
I have a very big problem with this. Although I am personally for organ donation, I am quite against forced organ donation. I think the choice is very personal and private -- and the reasons for and against are plenty. Some religious. Some not.

Sean Maher, the director of the American Motorcyclist Association's state affairs has issued this public statement:

Organ donation is a noble cause that truly can represent the gift of life for people faced with some terminal illnesses. But making the commitment to become an organ donor must remain a private decision left to each person. Classifying an entire group of citizens as nothing more than organs to be harvested isn't just demeaning to motorcyclists, it's offensive to all Americans.
In my own case, I've amended my organ donation card to everything but my eyes and skin. I can't even rationally answer why -- but the thought of donating those two items really bothers me. And I'm allowed that choice. It's my body. If we're going to start taking rights away in this country based on disobeying traffic laws and/or stupidity.....

So how do you feel? Does this seem like a good law to you?
posted at 02:04 PM | link--it | mail it | (37) shout it

Final thoughts on Columbia
Chris has a beautiful tribute for the STS-107 crew up at his site. weezer.com has a nice mission tribute as well.

Some people may see the rest of us as "in a tizzy" over this. But I like to think the fact I can hurt, feel, empathize and sympathize in this situation makes me human. And also American*. (* please note: no foreigners were intentionally harmed in the making of this entry)

I have a close friend who's husband didn't make it home until several hours after he was supposed to be home this past week. The fear, and tears, in her voice as she couldn't reach him by cell phone are etched in our brains. If Todd is even 30 minutes late, my stomach is tied up in knots until he walks through the door. That momentary fear we all face now and again is a daily fear for the families of these astronauts and pilots. In the event of danger, the heavens and skies are much less forgiving than our local roads and Interstates -- no matter what the side-by-side accident rate comparison numbers may be. If you've ever feared for a loved one's return, just take a second to imagine what it would be like to be sitting in a public grandstand with all eyes -- and cameras -- on you, expecting a triumphant reunion. And just off to the side, a larger than life countdown clock ticking down every one-hundredth of a second until their arrival. And then that moment coming...and going...still ticking off every second they will never be home again.

Rather than make a large tribute to every astronaut on the mission, which has been done so eloquently elsewhere (better than I ever could), I'm going to take a second to honor Commander William C. McCool. He wasn't just a national hero. He was a husband. A dad. And a huge Weezer fan, just like me. He even took the Blue Album up with him on this mission. But for 11 years in age difference, I could have known him. I dated a Naval Academy graduate and pilot. I also dated another Naval pilot for two years during and briefly post-college. That was not the path I was to take in life. But putting myself, even for just a split-second, in the roles of the wives left waiting in the stands yesterday really made me stop and think about the directions our lives take. And because I can put a face, personality and "might have been" to this name -- well, tizzy it is.

I've been a fan of the Shuttle program since the very first launch. I would mail away for the mission packets and astronaut photos as a child. I tried in vain to watch Eileen Collins launch in Columbia and become the first female Shuttle commander in space. I wrote for VIP passes two years ahead of the launch hoping to watch that historic event in person. Unfortunately we were there for both scrub attempts (this one scrubbed just 6.5 seconds before liftoff), and my health took a nosedive before we could watch it launch in person the third, and final attempt. We did see Columbia on the launchpad twice for both scrub attempts, however. I had to settle for watching it go up from our apartment complex's parking lot. But we did get to use our second set of VIP passes for the launch of STS-92 on 10.11.2000, which also happened to be the 100th shuttle mission. It's one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. You may not realize that we can see the launches and landings from over here on the Gulf coast in Tampa Bay, but we can. However, NOTHING compares to being at the Cape just a mile away from the launch pad. It's something everyone should experience at least once in their lives.

And for the sake of the seventeen astronauts we've now lost in the line of duty, I hope for their sakes the program will come back stronger and better than ever before! I believe they all would want it that way.
posted at 02:11 AM | link--it | mail it | (16) shout it

Talkin' 'bout plans for a weddin'
I wrapped another design over the weekend (I'll link it when it goes live) and spent a bit of time on WM! during my down-time. The February 2003 Wedding Dress of the Month is online now.

Back in December I put out the call for assistance with WM!, and had a great response. Unfortunately, I'd been too busy to do much of anything with the help I'd received to date. D'oh. But this weekend I got the first series of freelance articles online. You can now find them linked on the main page (by the little computer monitor icon). Thanks to Geri, Amy, and Cheryl for stepping up to the plate. If you'd like to help, either as an editor or article writer, just drop me a line!

I'm crossing my fingers for a server move and redesign in the upcoming month, depending on my schedule. I'd love to have more fresh faces and perspectives with the change!
posted at 12:26 AM | link--it | mail it | (1) shout it

And prayers. And now that it's apparent all are lost, tears...

(The reason I followed this particular mission even more closely than usual.)

UPDATE: Out of respect to the astronauts and families, my blog will be silent the remainder of the weekend. If you're looking for frequent news updates and possible scientific explanations, please visit samizdata.net.
posted at 11:04 AM | link--it | mail it | (41) shout it

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