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Friday, August 29, 2003  
Have you read the September New Yorker yet? The essay on California politics (pg. 25) is pretty good. It’s a recap of all the California legislation since Prop. 13 that makes being a political figure in CA harder than anywhere else in the US. Yup; we are the state that capped property tax first. And then said we wanted to spend money on schools. And then, we said “we ALSO want to repeal snack taxes.” And gas tax? Why, that needs to go solely to transportation projects. It all made me laugh. But now? I just want to cry.

And it makes me also think.

Now, before the “energy crisis”, California had a surplus. And not just any old fiscal surplus, we are talking “hello, we could own half of Africa” surplus. I’m talking about 58 billion dollars. And that? Because of 4 years with Gray Davis “leading (wheeling and dealing)” in our state. Some may quibble and say “ah, that surplus was the result of 16 years of Republican leadership.” But I say, “hello, dumbass, 16 years, no surplus. 3 with a demo? And the Fourth year, we have banked billions.”

For emergencies. As I have pointed out before in other posts.

And it was used. For emergencies.

And yet, we the Dumbasses of California have now done ourselves some real damage (yes, I say we the Dumbasses, because I haven’t moved. Yet.) by way of the recall effort.

A recall: instigated by a multimillionaire who made his dough by selling car alarms and was actually charged with two counts of car theft (perhaps he was testing his wares).

The main gubernatorial candidates: One gang banged a black woman when he was 29 and had a nazi dad, the other one decided to say the N word in an address to the Black community of Oakland during Black History Month. Of the others? Eh. We are going to hell in a handbasket, aren't we.

~Amelie, who has a headache.


3:48 PM

 
This is pretty good. Lesbian Monkeys Rock. Via Dani girl.


10:47 AM

 
Hey Women, have you been looking for a truly light and airy, yet apple-y scented perfume that lingers but doesn't clog your throat up with stinky flower bleck? Try this perfume. I think it's my next one. I have been using my sample of it for a week now and I really love it. I use two perfumes/scents a year. Most of last year it was all about cinnamon-orange by L'Occitane (seriously, this is THE BEST smell), and cool nights required Coco Chanel. The year before? Anna Sui Dreams (I still have, it's very little girlish, I couldn't stand it after a few months) and Fendi.

So, I think Sibilla will be my new daytime scent. I'm digging the apple and "green" smell with slight floral hints. It's really subtle and pleasant.

In other news, I have been fighting a headache for 3 days now. It's one that is probably the twinge of a migraine, but is lodged behind my right eye. It definitely is not impressed with bright lights and the computer screen is really agitating it.

Therefore, I'll be brief. Bought PF and myself a pair of tickets to Alcatraz. I've NEVER been. Never ever. So, we are going Sunday. I drop my dog off at Kim's tonight. I get my haircut tomorrow. And then I catch a train to SF.

Happy Birthday To Me! Well, Tuesday is actually my birthday. But I have to work. At least it's a 3 day weekend, non?

~Amelie, elle est plus âgée que la saleté



9:38 AM

Thursday, August 28, 2003  
Excellent! This is most excellent. The Fart That Caused A 100,000 Dollar Stink.


3:39 PM

 
Today I was reading the SN&R, our local semi-independent rag, and there's a great article on Schwarzenegger and his meeting with Kenneth Lay (Enron ring a bell?) back in the day. Pre-recall. Anyway, it makes me irritated again at the recallers. Why oh why do people buy into the crap? THERE IS AN EVIL PRESENCE out there in the world, and it's George Bush II. He's been part of the nastiest campaign to kill California, BECAUSE HE'S CRAZY. Look at what has happened since he became president. 1) planes FLY INTO THE TWIN TOWERS AND THE PENTAGON. Do I blame him? I want to. 2) WE ATTACK THE AFGHANIS. And not because the Taliban tortures women. And then? We left Bin Ladin alone. And 3) WENT AFTER SADDAM. Only, we didn't kill him either. Left a big mess, and killed a lot of our guys and children huddled in vans trying to escape the war zone, but no Bin Ladin, no Saddam. 4) CALIFORNIA DIDN'T HAVE POWER. And he blew us off and didn't help us. Didn't help 35/250 (times 1 million) of his "people". 5) DEAD GUY IN THE UK. After he is blamed for causing the war in Iraq. 6) HALF THE EAST COAST LOSES POWER. Millions of dollars are lost. And GWBII? he says it's nobody's fault. Maybe it's more of a dereg issue again.

But lest we forget, NORTH KOREA hates our guts. So, we'll probably go to war there too. And not kill anyone important.

And now, the happy stuff:

Yesterday in the mail, I got three pairs of new panties. Because. I did that panty chain mail letter, sent off my pair to Abigail’s friend Danielle, and all 6 of my friends sent panties to Abigail. Who sent it to me.

Nice, non? I got full back coverage. One had a cat, one was lacey, and the one I’m wearing came from the girl who runs Blissen.com. Cool!

And I just got back from lunch. Lunch was good. What was my lunch? Why, Cucumber Chicken. What is cucumber chicken? Why, it is sooo good. I have been avoiding it all year as 8 months ago I went to lunch with my friend Melanie and bought the Cucumber Chicken and it came with diced PICKLES. Or Pee-kills as the Greek guy says. It’s supposed to come with grilled chicken (grilled breasts with rosemary, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and sumac), a warm pita, and some feta cheese with sliced cucumbers in a nice sesame-yogurt sauce. It comes with a side of potato salad. Last time? It came with salty soft chunks of pee-kill. And I was NOT happy.

But I’ve been craving it correctly made. So, I went in and said “I want cucumber chicken. No Pickles.” They guy looked so flabbergasted. He said “Peekills? Why did you get Peekills the last time?” I said “I ordered it as the regular cucumber and they changed it out for pickles and I haven’t been in since. But I’ve been craving it correctly made, so now I’m back.”

So, I guess I caused quite a stir. There was lots of loud Greek exchanges, and a supervised plate of Cucumber chicken piled high with feta and cucumber sauce and accompanied with hummus came my way. I was sooo excited. EVERYONE there asked me how it was. And they sat outside to watch me eat it. And then they gave me advice on how to order next time and told me they were so glad I came back in. I ate it all up. And then I came back to work, and someone’s partner had made very gooey chocolate brownies.

I’m in food heaven.

~Amelie, Cucumber Chicken Lover.






3:11 PM

Wednesday, August 27, 2003  
Do you live in Northern California? Are you annoyed by fundamentalist Christian interference on your radio? I can't even GET KDVS on my radio at home.

From Todd Urick:

KDVS, one of the only student-community stations in
the Sacramento needs your help. We need to get as many
people as we can that live in the Sacramento area, or
travel there, to write emails regarding a radio
station broadcasting over KDVS in the Citrus
Heights/Foothill Farms Area.

The Problem: A few years ago a station from Stockton,
California, known as "Your Christian Companion" (KYCC)
set up a translator in the eastern suburbs of
Sacramento. They licensed a translator on 90.1 FM
(translator number K211DF), and since then, the once
listenable signal of KDVS has been knocked off the
spectrum there. Since then, KCJH/KYCC, the station
that preaches God's word, has been expanding, setting
up stations to cause interference with other stations
like non-profit student stations similar to KDVS. In
the East Bay area near Livermore, you can hear KYCC on
2 to 4 different frequencies, covering up many Bay
Area college radio stations. The station is a
fundraising tool for itself, collecting money to go
toward buying new translators to feed their
programming via automated procedure via satellite.
This conservative entity is using non-commercial
educational frequencies as a loophole to rebroadcast
satellite programming in effort to gain more money for
their own causes.

Because of this, listeners in some parts of Sacramento
cannot tune into KDVS. You can help try to get the
FCC to move their translator from 90.1 FM to another
frequency by making your voice heard to the FCC.

Here's how you can help. Write an email stating you
listen to KDVS radio, the only college/student run
station in the area. State that KDVS 90.3FM is a
Sacramento area station at 9200 watts, but it cannot
be heard in some parts of Sacramento because 90.1 FM
interferes with it. The station used to be heard in
all of Sacramento, but since 90.1 FM came on the air,
it causes so much interference that it essentially
blocks the signal in some areas. (You may add other
comments).

Give Your First and Last Name
Your Address
Email Address

Email your statement to todd@kdvs with
"INTERFERENCE COMPLAINT" in the subject heading It
will then be compiled with other letters and sent to
the FCC jointly.

You may also reach the FCC at their web site:
www.fcc.gov. and make comments there.

You may forward this email to as many who you think
might care!

Thanks
Todd Urick
KDVS

KYCC's growing station list
90.1 Stockton
89.1 Livington
89.7 Antioch/Pittburg
90.5 Livermore
91.1 Chico
90.3 Dublin
93.5 Vacaville
87.7 Benicia
90.1 Sacramento
99.5 Elk Grove
91.3 Provo Utah
89.9 Alamogordo, NM
89.1 El Paso, Texas
88.3 Reno, NV


11:00 AM

Tuesday, August 26, 2003  
Oh yes, the Star Wars Kid. Yes, I laughed.

Yes, download. So worth it.

Can't Wait?
Adorably chubby 13 year old playing Darth Maul.


12:43 PM

Monday, August 25, 2003  
oh, sad. Wesley Willis died. I saw him at a community radio fundraiser. He was being exploited by hipsters, as the PF says.

Poor fella. RIP.

~Amelie


9:29 PM

 
Wacky. I don't get it. Why would you actively raise money for a campaign to end raising money? Now, I don't enjoy being approached. I never give money. I just don't. I support programs that provide food and shelter. I might give people my uneaten restaurant food. That's how I work. I say "No, I'm sorry sir." When they ask if I can spare change. I can't spare time to look for change. I can't spare the change, either. And while I feel for homeless folks and anyone else during these hard times (there but for the grace of god go I and all that), I don't feel okay about MY personal provision of money. It goes toward food, shelter, whatnot. But I'd rather have my taxes going toward those things. I don't want to pay taxes for the military, I'd rather my personal taxes go to making sure my cocitizens have basic medical care and nutrition, as well as access to shelter.

So. That's why I'm against panhandling. It's still funny that there's a group trying to raise money to end panhandling. I also think that when you ban people from panhandling without first making them accountable (as in, hello, they should register, get licensed to panhandle and pay taxes on their personal income), then you are not simply "ending annoying panhandling". You are crimininalizing poverty. And that? Ain't cool, San Fran.


SAN FRANCISCO - Backers of an anti-begging measure on the November city ballot will hold a fund-raiser next week to solicit cash from big spenders.

The breakfast event will feature mayoral hopeful Gavin Newsom, who put forth the measure. Homeless issues have served as the cornerstone of his campaign.

Proposition M would ban aggressive panhandling, defined as touching, following or threatening a person in the pursuit of spare change.

The measure would also ban panhandling near ATM machines parking lots, median strips and on highway ramps.

Ticket's for Thursday's Prop. M fund-raiser start at $250, though "sponsors" have been asked to raise $10,000.

"I find it incredibly ironic that they would be soliciting $10,000 donations to finance a campaign to make it illegal for poor people to solicit donations," said Paul Boden of the Coalition on Homelessness. His group is against the measure.

San Francisco already bans begging and aggressive soliciting in some public places, but court decisions have made it difficult to enforce the laws.


1:23 PM

 
Went to Fresno to see my republicousins. No, they did not try to make me a conservative. However, they did make me a little uncomfortable, as they always do, because they call me “Jeannie”. That’s my mom’s name. And here’s the thing, they say I look like her when she was HOT. So, that creeps my ass out. A) I do not want to be compared to my mom at any age and B) I don’t want to know that her nephews thought she was hot 30 years ago and C) It’s just creepy.

I did play with the babies and the littler cousins. This is pretty funny: My brother was rough housing with the boys, and suddenly screeched in pain and buckled over. Everyone stopped to look at him. When my cousin asked what happened, her son said “I dunno. I just put my foot on his penis and climbed up.”

We also decided to visit during a family feud. I don’t know all the details, but that family dynamic is TRES STRANGE. My uncle always reminded me of Godfather Corleone. And his sons were all smaller, more annoying, less scary versions of him. They all still live in Fresno, and they have canonized my aunt. To the point that 1) Disneyland was her favorite place in the whole wide world, so they go on family vacations EVERY YEAR to Disneyland. This year it was 2 weeks at Disneyworld. All 15 of them. Is that not odd? Don’t you, Oh, I dunno...wouldn’t you want to go to EUROPE at least once? I mean, most people only get the two weeks off....And my cousin? Married her husband on my aunt and uncle’s anniversary. And it was a Disney theme. We listened to Disney music sitting next to a melting Disney Castle Ice Scuplture that was bigger than my dad. Yeah. Scary? You betcha.

So, this family is seriously interwoven. One cousin lives with my uncle, another lives across the street, and the other two live less than a mile away. I won’t get into details because I don’t know them, but basically, I have one nutball cousin who probably has good reasons for being a nutball. So, we stayed with his twin. Needless to say, during that night, we were talking about how awkward and pushy my other cousins are, and how socially inept they can be. Just as I’m thinking “wow, this cousin and his wife are the only normal ones,” he busts out with “My wife’s brother just graduated from Kellogg with him MBA and he’s really cute!” So I say, “wow, fix him up with my sister”, who was just embarrassed as hell. Then he says “oh, I thought she lived with her “friend”. “ Now I’m confused. I say “What? She never lived with her “friend”.” Thinking, he must mean “ex boyfriend”. And then I whisper we are hoping the guy she is having coffee with next week doesn’t really look like your brother, like she told us.”

Now, my cousin looks confused. “I thought she was gay!” I am shocked. My sister says, “You thought I was a lesbian?” He says “Well, Yeah. You have all those photos of girls in your room.”

Okay, last time my cousin was in my sister’s room? We were in High School. We went to all girls catholic HIGH SCHOOL. There were no boys.

My poor sister was so shocked. She just left the room. Because A) it’s bad enough that you are not dating and your last boyfriend broke your heart but B) your cousin assumed you were gay because, well, he saw girl photos in your room 15 years ago and C) you are seriously wondering what is wrong with you because you now want to start dating again and nobody is taking the bait. So that was a big Ouch.

While it ain’t an insult to be thought of as gay, it’s pretty shocking. It’s as shocking as a flamboyantly gay person who is out out out being thought of as “straight” by some dumb family member who doesn't even really know you. But for my sister, it just hurt her feelings that night. There’s no consoling her. I said to him, “You know, I don’t think that your brothers are the only ones who are socially inept.”

The next day, I went to the State Fair. It wasn’t as good as last year, but it’s still fun.

I still love the Scrambler. And a baby cow sucked my hand until someone read the sign out loud to me "Don't Let The Calves Lick Your Hands." And Sarah fed a frog to the large mouth bass. Edit: And I forgot to add that it was Mexican Family Day. So, Dave and the PF were staring lecherously at cute 15 year old girls with bare midriff and tight pants. They have nicknamed such gals "Pepper Pots" and love to look. I was very embarrassed when they were seriously drooling over some scantily clad teenagers standing in a group, and I suddenly realized one was my best friend's husband's 18-year-old cousin, Rocky. She was looking like a r*ckSt*r and I am betting her mom has no idea she wore that to the fair. And that’s my weekend.

~Amelie, Gayer Than Her Sister.


10:29 AM

Friday, August 22, 2003  
Looky here! cool, non?

Borg Kitty is a boy, though.
Funny story.

I'm on the 6th floor of the State Capitol running around with an emergency urgent letter, and looked at the free press news outside the cafeteria.

The front cover of the SN&R has lincoln grabbing a cross dresser's boob. I said to a passerby who was rushing to leave the Capitol as it's Friday, and all the staffers are finally old enough to go to Happy Hour, "I wonder why the SN&R's are upside down."

She said "Oh, Assemblymember sonso is offended by anything explicitly sexual."

HELLO. My lands. Are we that stupid? Who elected that person?

~Amelie, who knows censorship when she sees it.


5:17 PM

 



So. It's late at night. And raining. And thundering. And lightningning. I got a ride home in the new Prius.



It will be out next year. It was okay. I'm not a fan of them yet. I prefer the basic Civic HX. And that, my dears is what I drive. I think my boss reads my blog because as he was leaving to test drive the new Prius, he said "walk with me". Which is weird. Because I was complaining about being ignored earlier. So, it was a very awkward ride in the elevator. I think my boss is great, but I also feel like a paean and don't know what to say to him. I basically told him a story about how my old boss called out another colleague in the parking lot of an AIDS Service Organization here in town. It was all very freaky at the time it happened, and I was trying to demonstrate that I have been present at hostile board meetings, but it came out all gossipy and dumb. Dumb, I say. I also found out that lo and behold, another subtenant on our floor whose mail I pick through graduated from the same graduate school as me. Of course, he's a prominent politician, and I pick through his mail, but then again, we fucking did the same coursework. And judging from his limited ability to a) organize his office and b) work his computer, I think I may have gotten better grades. Still. I open THE MAIL.

Some day I will get over this. I feel like a princess sequestered away for her own good. Like in some fairy tale. She is made to chop wood, cook beets, reroof the cottage...yet through it all, she keeps her good humor and blossoms and wins in the end.

Can you tell I read a LOT of fairy tales when I was a little kid? Sheesh.

I'm also agitated about the friendster article in SF Weekly. See, I very willingly flouted the rules and gave my dog an account. And. I'd do it again. Because Seamas Rocks. I was going to make one for Sparky, but now I'm worried it will be taken down. Why, oh WHY, can't someone write a fun little interactive site for weirdos? I would sooo join it. It could be called Weirdster. Oh, Please. Some genius! Do this for me! I want Sparky to have a profile. See, the site? developed by a fascist. He put a 1) FREE and 2) ADDICTIVE interactive site that could potentially be 3)REALLY GREAT, but he is freaking out that Sacramento has a profile. And that people put their dogs online.

And. That Jonathan Abrams? Has a Most Boring Profile. For someone who wants to meet women, he has to learn how to be interesting. I mean, really. If you go on a date with me Abrams, you have to do better than "I developed Friendster to meet YOU, Amelie!" Plus, if you didn't want a lot of fun people, you shouldn't have opened pandora's box.

~Amelie. Yes, I had two beers. Shut the hell up.


12:15 AM

Thursday, August 21, 2003  
It’s very funny/weird to be working here. I sit in the front, like a receptionist. And nobody notices me. Because basically, that is what I am. And people walk by me and don’t notice me at all. This is VERY different from my last job, where I was in a long dark hallway off to the side with my own little office far away from the crowds and I guess it was very mysterious. Because whenever I walked into a room for a meeting, people noticed and everyone exchanged glances because I could nearly always be counted on to say something interesting or thoughtful. I TRIED to be interesting and thoughtful, and usually it worked. Other times, it pissed people off. Or after meetings, people would follow me out to the parking lot still trying to talk to me. And I was annoyed by it. But now, I kind of wish people recognized me. Instead, I am getting hit on by schmoozy old-school lobbyist guys who don’t realize I’m older than their oldest daughters, and who have no idea that I was probably in graduate school sitting next to their snoring asses during lectures.

I know I’m only 3 weeks into my job. I know I am lucky to have finagled a high pay because of my non-receptionist background, and love the benefits. I know I’m doing something that most people would think was beneath me, but actually, I’m fairly impressed that running an entire office is not considered a high skill.

You should see “smart” executive directors of statewide and national groups trying to feed a fax machine, or fucking up the postage meter. Or losing a call after a transfer. Or not knowing what to do when their computer freezes. Or just plain freaking out over little things like “THE PHOTOCOPIER IS OFFLINE! Call the tech!” when all it requires is a slight touch to the “online” button. Sheesh.

And the people they hire to use computers to make appointments for them? Can barely figure out the calendar.

Most of the people seem to run around with their heads cut off, but sometimes they get things done. They use a lot of acronyms, so it’s just like working in healthcare.

One thing I do have. I have TONS of respect for receptionists now. I feel like I’m working on some book. The Reception Diaries.


~Amelie. Receiving.


10:23 AM

Wednesday, August 20, 2003  
well. My 32nd birthday is about 2 weeks away. September 2. And did I plan? Nope. So what am I doing? I am going to sit on my ass and cry. I didn't reserve camping space like I had wanted. And later, to comfort me, PF said "well, it would be so crowded!" Which is true, and actually, it is consoling to know that I won't be standing in line to attend to business in the Honey Pot composting toilet. I didn't get to camp with Ed and those kids. I have had NO CAMPING this summer. And it sucks ass. I nearly think those easterners were lucky to have no power. Instacamping.

See, I was thinking "Lost Coast" or "Goerstle Cove" or "Lava Tubes (again)". But I poked around on the reservation america site, and there's just nothing.

So.

I know I will be going to the State Fair next Sunday. I know I will eat a fried twinkie. I know I will likely end up at Sushi on my Bday. I know I am not going to call in sick on my bday or try to get it off because I AIN'T GOING anywhere. And what a waste, too. That could have been a 4 day weekend.


poop.

~Amelie. Who doesn't camp, apparently.


8:49 AM

Tuesday, August 19, 2003  
I decided. I am not a fan of Neil Hamburger. He’s resulutely unfunny. Not even schtick funny. Not even as funny as the people laughing at him, and most of them don't know what they are laughing at. They just know it's nerd-cool to enjoy the coughing, hacking, bad joked, Mr. Ham. Burger. And I know that he would be okay with that. I am just perfectly okay with him not being funny, because he's really trying not to be funny and it's supposed to be funny, and I am happy laughing at the PF who thinks it is very funny. But then, he likes bad jokes about junkies, dead babies and butts.

And that was my night last night.

Tonight I plan to make dinner for my best friend. She came to Sacramento to have her 3rd baby, and he was really cute and healthy, and tonight she leaves to go home to Las Vegas. Ugh. LAS VEGAS. That’s 9 hours away. That’s a lot of long distance phone calls. I’m barbecuing turkey tenderloin and steaming broccoli. Nice, non?

You love it.

~Amelie.


10:54 AM

Monday, August 18, 2003  
Hail Mary, Full Of Grease.

I did a lot this weekend.

A lot, I say.

Friday night I went to dinner with Maya and other friends, and shopping. I bought the best PeeYumas ever. AKA Pumas. But I like to say Pee Yuma because that’s funnier. I love them. They are bright blue with red/ochre trim. Yes. I know, sounds awful. But they are BEEEYOUTIFULL.
They may be my new favorites and now I can bear to toss out my converse low tops. I’ve definitely worn those out. They are 5 years old.

I also went to Summer’s birthday party for some acoustic Bananas. Of course, they said they were the Banans because they were missing a bass player. Kiss The Fist showed off as well. They are amazing. Stomp and clappapella sung by a bunch of smartiepants women. They are fabulous, of course. I highly recommend if they pop into your town on tour. So, Summer also made jello shots. They were potent, and very Martha stewartish. They were served in sliced orange peels, hollowed out, and filled with the turbo jello spiked with strong alcohol. So, I sat drunkenly on hay bales and babbled about whatnot and nonesuch.

Yes, I was so drunk, I ate porkrinds. And liked them. And Seamas liked them too.

And we danced drunkenly. And finally, when I was sober, I went home. Fabulous night, and Happy Birthday Summer Girl.

The next day, I got up early, and went to breakfast with Alicia. And then met up with Le Guph for some Turtlerama. I managed to buy a turtle sprinkler. It just happens to be the BEST SPRINKLER ever. It soaked my entire front yard with a steady stream. It’s also very cute. I am fairly worried that it will get stolen. I definitely want to build a small tortoise containment center in my yard so I can have a happy little friend someday. It will happen. I am slightly obsessed with the idea...

I also met up with my sister for Sushi and a movie. We watched Pecker. She didn’t like it, she left early. PF and I were laughing as per usual. It’s the only movie I like Martha Plimpton in. Heelarious. Full of grace. PF kept saying “full of grease”. He always thought they were saying Hail Mary, full of grease. Which makes it funnier if you watch it with him and he goes into a falsetto screech, but he’s obviously not catholic. And a good thing, too.

Next, we headed over to Old Ironsides to watch some bluegrass bands. Yes. We did. I grew up on Bluegrass music, you know. My dad is a big fan of the style. It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s dancy, it’s old timey. And the Alkali Flats played. I swear to god. If you want a CD, Email me, and I’ll forward it to them, and you can work it out. They are $5 plus shipping and handling, which comes to $1.20 in the US. And it’s soooo worth it. I’d make you a copy, but really, you want the cover. And some of it was recorded live in a ghost town. I HIGHLY recommend. So heartily. You’ll be very very happy. If you like old timey songs, especially. Band features Tim White, Chris Harvey. Summer, Mark, and Mike Farrell add on when necessary. Brilliant, I say. And I ain’t the only one.

Yesterday we took it easy. But we did see Open Range, and I LOVED IT. I loved it, I say. And I don’t much like Kevin Costner. But this? Was great. Great dialogue, and fabulous cinematography. A good story, too. Easy to follow, very western. Very black and white/good guys vs bad guys.

So, the Western Weekend is now over, and the state legislature is in session.

And I’m busy again.

~Amelie; j’ai un boulot encore! Superbe!


12:04 PM

Thursday, August 14, 2003  
So weird that this happened. The outtages. I mean, right now. I'm literally reading a book called Transforming Electricity, and in the VERY FIRST FEW pages, the author admonishes people to not take transmission of electricity for granted. He said, in fact, that it is NOT a right.

However, I bet those people stuck on the roller coaster felt like someone better get it fixed now.
Just found out from a coworker the outtages are due to lightning striking a Niagara Falls power plant.

Shockingly simple, and not at all trappings of the terrorist. Unless Al Quaeda can call down the wrath of heaven on us infidels.

~Amelie, the Most Infidel Of Them All


5:43 PM

Tuesday, August 12, 2003  
I do not think a civil union should be reserved for heteros. If'n you love someone, and want to be with them forever and buy houses, visit family, join partner-based groups and clubs and even want to make babies with them, you should be able to.

It's a 50/50 split though, nationally. I have no idea how they determine whether people vote more than once. But you scroll down this article to vote for what you think is right. Or left.


~Amelie La Gauche.


2:01 PM

Monday, August 11, 2003  
I asked the computer tech guy who was fixing my computer what he thought of the recall. Since all the newspapers are strewn across my desk. He said "Oh, I can't wait! I'm voting for Arnold. So I can see him at the Capitol." He also mentioned that he is not thrilled by the car registration tax. So I let him know it was the republicans blocking sales and personal income tax increases that forced a high registration fee. As high as it was back when Davis FIRST took office 5 years ago, and then he built a surplus for emergencies, and then he lowered the fees, and then he had to spend the surplus to pay Enron etc after the Pete Wilson-pushed deregulation policies (with no built in troubleshooting mechanisms) passed and started up 3 years ago. But that's what a surplus is FOR. It's for emergencies. The just in case. Now, I'm not saying he didn't screw up a little. But what I am saying is: NO ONE WOULDN'T HAVE. Not one person could have seen it coming, could have known what to do. And that's why, when you have a million advisers, you have to compromise their views so that you don't follow ONE person's advice and fuck it up even worse. And that's what happened. So, Arnold, Bill Simon, and Gary Coleman could have a) psychically seen it coming? b) telepathically control our state assembly and senate that both require a 2/3 vote to pass ANYTHING? c) managed to placate 35 Million people? d) regulated the deregulated?



More of the insanity. Sorry I'm posting about this stuff so much, but it's nuts. And if you live in ANY OTHER STATE, you should really wonder what would happen if recall occurred. It makes a mess. A big, fiscal, legal, horrid mess.

So, just vote WISELY the first time, or vote toward your conscience. Because lordy. If Gary Coleman wins? I'm STRANGLING Dave Smithy.

excerpts from the above article that will floor you:


Bustamante stressed Monday he was against the recall but said as lieutenant governor, he was an obvious choice to become governor if Davis is removed. "I think I'm in the perfect position ... to take over if there's any kind of problem," he told NBC.


"The big unknown is who will turn out to vote in this election," said John Pitney, government professor at Claremont McKenna College. "How many will vote on the recall question and then freeze when they see this list of over 100 names?"


For additional fairness, the listing of names on the ballot will be rotated across the state's 80 Assembly districts. The candidate at the top of the ballot in District 1 would go to the end of the ballot in District 2 so that every letter of the alphabet gets the top position somewhere in the state.


Davis will lose if he gets less than 50 percent (remember, this simply means you vote "no" on the recall.) With so many challengers, the eventual winner could need only a fraction of the vote to become governor.


According to a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll out Monday, 42 percent of registered voters said there's a good chance they would vote for Schwarzenegger. The poll of 801 registered voters was taken Aug. 7-10 and has an error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.


Twenty-two percent said there's a good chance they would vote for Bustamante; 64 percent said Davis should be removed, including 40 percent of Democrats.

Chaos, I tell ya, reigns.

~Amelie. Neck still hurts. I think it's stress.


12:36 PM

Sunday, August 10, 2003  
More clarifying info on the "recall" due to the fact that I date a boy with an encyclopedic mind.

Okay. 900,000 people signed the petition to recall. There are 35 Million people in California. Does that make sense that less than 1/35 get to hold a special recall election even our governor won last November despite all the people mad at him over the "energy crisis"?

PF (Pocket Fisherman) says that California put the recall option in place a long time ago; just in case a railroad magnate won the governorship back in the day and freaked out the population with their greediness. And it was never removed from the books, and it is archaic California law. Passed along with the referendum and initiative processes. This is why I like the PF, even when he's playing devil's advocate to rile me up, he knows the historical significance and order of things. There have been 31tries at getting governors recalled, this is the only one that might work.

Here's the thing: Gray Davis is not on the ballot. Why?
Because. It's a special election. Either you want to replace him or you don't. So you vote "Yes" to recall and then pick a candidate from the some 100 people who made it in by deadline. If you don't want him recalled, you vote "no". Though, now even if you vote "no", you can still replace him "just in case" and vote for another candidate at exactly the same time as voting no. That passed a couple of weeks ago. Prior to that protection, you only got to vote "no, I do not want a recall." Now, even if you lose your "no" vote, you can still help pick a replacement. Phew. And instead of 500, there are only about 100.

But then look at apathetic California. No one votes here. Oh, they might vote this time around, for sheer novelty, but they aren't savvy voters. This is not a savvy voting population! Young people, in general, do not vote. And most people who DO vote? Are not educated on all the issues. Oh, perhaps they have a favorite or two, but they often vote for people and things they recognize as opposed to people and initiatives they actually KNOW about. Which is why laws are often vague. You may think you just voted for an environmental protection, but really, you just cut down an old growth forest.

But as PF says, that's just another example of the humanity as we know it. Not much counts. Sadly.

Not much HAS to count, as it turns out: with over 100 candidates and enough yes votes split between them, you could potentially have an idiot like Gary Coleman as governor of the 5th largest economic power on the globe. Or an Arnold, because his name is very popular these days. Or a Cruz Bustamante who used the N word I believe while addressing a group of people at a Black History Month function in Oakland last year. I know he slipped it out, but why was it in his lexicon? This article asks the question target="blank""why can't we just use that word?". To me, it's just obvious. It's a negative, nasty, degrading word (my opinion, purely of course). It was meant that way, to degrade and separate. If it's co-opted and reinvented by a group of people, more power to them. They actively and purposely incorporated it into their lexicon and vocabulary. But to blurt it out as a non member of that group?? "on accident?" And not in solidarity? Why was it there in his head? I dunno. But he will likely win 8% of the Latino vote easily. And that might be enough. I still don't get why he wouldn't win by default, though. PF can't explain it to me. So, we could get a celebrity with no idea HOW BIG California's problems are (I mean, really. I don't even know. And I follow it pretty closely.) OR we get a powermonger. Or both. Yipes.

Or, we keep what we know. Gray Davis with his annoying hair, annoying voice, and sounder fiscal policies that aren't supported by Republicans.

Ugh.

messy.

I still don't want to vote. It's such bad governance. But at least I know the history of the recall idea. It was placed there as a threat on the books, but no one knew how it worked, because it's never gotten to this point yet, so there are no rules.

~Amelie, who personally cannot stand the M word. Yick.



5:13 PM

 
well, I don't know what I did to myself on Friday night. Went to a party dressed as Amelie La Bonne, who is apparently a very sexy alter-ego as my nunus were poked and commented on quite a few times, drank a few Bellini's and some wine, smoked a sherman or two, and came home after a few pints of water and a couple of hours. My lungs were ACHING when I pulled into the driveway, and it's all my fault. And then I woke up on Saturday, with one eye swollen shut, and my entire jawline shooting painfully and sublingually. My ear hurts as well. All the glands in my neck are swollen. I'm betting it's because I am an idiot and smoked a cigarette drunkenly that Friday.

But really, I did NOTHING bad last night at all. I took it EASY for pete's sake. I did not drive to the Yuba Gap and make my blog friend Ed miserable with my whininess. I was a good girl. But I am sorry, Ed. That was my plan. To eat tri-tip and drink beers with you over open flames. And show you guys all of Seamas' tricks. I did get out a little, but we didn't do anything crazy or naughty or requiring a drive.

So why are my glands still swollen? You'd think they would go down with a nice rest. Yes, it has crossed my mind that I now have throat cancer. Which I know is NOT the case. But I am a serious hypochondriac.

Also, my neck fucking hurts.

Today is hot. Hot and windy. Windy and hot. And I am indoors. With the AC on. And I don't want to go NOWHERE today. Except maybe to see Seabiscuit, where i can sit in the dark cool theater.

I spent all morning watching Animal Planet/Animal Precinct (I just adore Special Agent Lucas. She rocks ass.) and reading The Hacienda.

And my throat/neck/glands/ear hurts everytime I say something, smile, laugh, or cough. Dammit.

~Amelie. Tortured by Shermans and feeling like a tank.


4:39 PM

Friday, August 08, 2003  
Hydrogen BMW? Okay then.


3:41 PM

 
Mostly Monkeys. Need Flash. It's funny art, hard to exactly describe. Pretty fascinating. Good time waster. Takes a long time to load if you don't have a high speed connection. Dani found it. lalala.


12:47 PM

Thursday, August 07, 2003  
The Running Men. And Women.

Is there anything worse than a political crisis? Possibly. But right now, I am trying not to vomit from the idea that there are 500+ people on the ballot CURRENTLY. And most of them? Have nothing to lose from staying on.

And Gray Davis? Not only did he disappoint me in his press conference (eh, hello, do NOT give a thumbs down and then say in a dana carvey church lady voice "terminate the terminator" because he is the LEAST of your problems), but you still have to get on the ballot, dorkbot. Mein gott. There is nothing worse than knowing that I voted for him. Twice. And don't support the recall.

But it's so WEIRD. I mean, sure, you have your Cruz Bustamantes (current Lt. Governor, and I still don't understand why he wouldn't be an automatic shoo-in). You've got your March Fong Eus. You've got your Gary Colemans, Arnold Schwarzeneggers, Arianna Huffingtons, and Jack Grishams (of TSOL, how weird is that??? OC punk rock. weird. anyway.) You've got all the celebrities. You've got the 3rd party candidates who FINALLY might have a chance to win. And then you've got the crazies. You've got the people who have names that are SIMILAR to Cruz Bustamante.

And you've got a 14% Latino vote. And it's not like I don't TRUST the Latino vote, but I think it's weird that a candidate could walk away with a single block of votes totally 8% or less, and be considered winner. And it could happen for Bustamante. Or any other "hispanic" sounding name for that matter. Because, really, people. I often vote for liberal women candidates when I'm not familiar with the election. Because I keep up with the mainstreamers, but when there's a lib femme? I support her. And I ain't alone. It's TYPICAL of people to vote for things that make them comfortable. And now? We will have over 500+ to choose from. Doesn't that sound cozy?

And it just gets worse.

You've got a majority who voted for Davis in the first place. But while he's not on the ballot (so far), they will actually be able to vote. It passed last week. Phew. and here I was worried the 500+ candidates would have split votes between only percent of the population who voted for recall. Which was plenty, but I think they did it because they are not thinking clearly.

You've got Republicans hammering and yammering that it's "finally fair". Not sure what they mean, but I always think they are nuts. I mean, really. My cousins in Fresno? Brag about their cops shooting first and asking questions later (further questioning on my horrified part uncovered the truth, that they do NOT in fact shoot first, but my cousins thought that was fun to tell me. Because that's typical. Piss off the funny liberal and make her think she needs to call the ACLU. This recall? Typical of the Republican youth. Because they are argumentative, braggardly, and pretty much as bad as the Democratic youth.) Man, I am starting to become seriously embittered.

You've got the PFs and other Libertarians rolling in fits of laughter because it's a chaotic mess and they'd rather see governments spend money fucking themselves up than actually solving problems. Okay. Not REALLY. But boy would PF be happy with Davis gone. He keeps mumbling about "special interest groups." Like conservatives are not a special interest. Like he's the first governor to save shitloads of money up to run his campaigns because he's a career politician. I will never understand how that equates to "doesn't care" about California. Because how can anyone with even a MODICUM of intelligence NOT care about California? Without it, what would the US do? We provide food for MUCH of the world. We have finance, technology, agriculture, education, film industry, huge private companies, shitloads of small independent companies....dogs. Who in their right mind would WANT to intentionally fuck up California? Number 5, mind you in GNP. Gross. National. Product. California comes in 5th. In the WORLD, people. Shake a stick at it.

And all of this mess even though we rock ass? Because we have an 8 billion dollar (USD) deficit. And the 8 Bill? is left over from a good 50 billion that we fuckled up over the energy crisis.

An energy "crisis" mind you that happened because of deregulation theory, and California? Got gamed. That's right. Cheated, baby. And what did our governor do when that was happening? Not only was he paying away our education funding and social services towards 'fixing' the problem, he went and kowtowed to GWBII, BEGGING for federal aid or at least a finger stopper placed on Enron and other nasty grating little private entities and public utilities selling too high, and GWBII? BLEW HIM OFF. Blew him off, people.

Does it surprise you? GWBII did not win California. He LOVES our chaos. That, more than anything else, should kill the recall.

I tell you, he is the Anti Christ. Something will fall on his ugly monkey face and prove me right. he will survive, via a clone from cord blood from one of his icky daughters, and he will LIVE. And he will probably live 150 years. Are they not the satanic family?

Yeah, i watched The Omen on Fox Movies tonight.

Anyway, It's Bad. And no joke, it's Going To Cost Money. And ANYTHING that happens on October 7th? Will be challenged in court. For a long expensive time. No joke. And the only thing to save it? Massive lay-offs and cancelled big items paid for by the state and getting the money back. Or at least halting progress on the build (like the new CalPERS building going in on R street in Sacramento, or UC Merced, and then all the state employees. Oh wait. All of them? Got their pinks already. Silly me. So then, it's raising taxes, kiddos. I personally recommend sin taxes and an incremental increase in state income tax. We really don't pay very much here. And property taxes? Well, we fucked that up in the 1970s. I'm not even going to mention Prop 13. Whoopsies!)

And am I voting in the recall now that I can via the state supreme court last week?

Nope.

I refuse to be a party to this tomfoolery. I voted for Davis. And if he's not even on the ballot? The California doofs already invalidated my right to vote in the first place.

Why do I think I will probably be living here after the recall?

1) got a good job
2) have too many friends
3) California has the best fruit on the planet. I kid you not. The nectarines rock ass.
4) my parents would sue me for custody of my dog or at least visiting rights.

But it all still sucks.

And in a little weird way, I hope Schwarzenegger DOES win the Total Recall. Because California? You deserve it. Besides, he's probably the best candidate. Scary. And just today, he said "We will have a plan soon." Great. Because 152 people in our state assembly and senate? And all the people in the Governor's office currently? couldn't come up with one. So maybe Conan can muscle in on the jerkos and pound them into submission.

Carmina Burana will play at the inauguration if he's smart.

~Amelie, who rolls her eyes in sheer bafflement at the stupidity, and still wonders if Canada would make a little room for her someday... "all i want is a room somewhere...far away from the stupid people here...where robert's rules of order works and people actually care, oh WOULDN'T IT BE LOVELY...."


11:37 PM

Wednesday, August 06, 2003  
The pResident uses WHAT???!!!!


This is making it's way around the email lately. You can read the original here. It's pretty fascinating. It deals with use of language.


11:19 AM

 
So, I work with the woman who wrote this book. Tracking the Vanishing Frogs. Isn't that neato? I told her about Sparky and she wants me to bring him/her in. She's friends with the person who brought White's frogs into the country from Australia!

Sparky is so cute. Sparky loves giant crickets. I need to get a bigger tank I think because last night I put a big cricket in with him/her, and Sparky JUMPED so hard to grab it, he/she banged his/her head. Nearly a pyrrhic victory, I have to say. Glass is hard.

Poor Sparky!

I think he's a girl.

~Amelie, Frog Afficionada


10:36 AM

Tuesday, August 05, 2003  
Holey SMOKES!

I cannot believe that I didn't tell you. Baby is SOOOOOOOOO CUTE!

He was born yesterday at 3:05 PM, and he is a total lucky baby if ever there was one conceived in Las Vegas. 7lbs 11 oz, delivered in Rm. 13
19" long. Full head of black hair. Would *NOT* open his eyes for his auntie amelie no matter HOW many times I said "Baby, open your damn eyes." Has big puffy hematoma on side of his conehead as he decided to come out face up. And that kid did NOT want out. He was very happy making sure that Regina couldn't walk at all the last 3 days of her pregnancy.

I have nicknamed him Kicky-Pooh, as he looks like a Mexican Indian baby, made poop first off, and kicked his way out. Like a little soccer player.

Other fun notes on the delivery: Gina needed a blood patch as her dura mater was leaking brain fluid from her epidural. She did not need an episiotomy, but DID manage to crap all over the table as she was pushing. Her words, not mine "I THOUGHT I smelled the chocolate muffin I ate the night before. And then I noticed they were washing me a lot." She also bled too much, so she's still sitting on ice packed diapers as I write this. I will call her tonight.

I took her a big bouquet of flowers, and two fashion magazines to look through.

Kid is already nursing like a fiend. He was going for my nunus, but I threw him at his mom in time. Apparently, he also grabbed the measuring tape and would not let go. Funny kid.

He also sang along to "Happy Birthday Little Kicky Pooh" with little grunts as I danced around recovery.

Unfortunately, I missed the delivery. But I drove out there last night at 8 and stayed till 11. Poor Gina. Her head was KILLING her from her brain-juice loss.

~xo-a


5:03 PM

 
Guphy sent me an email. Apparently August is Make More Sock Monkey Month. Did you know this? I felt it necessary to forward the information to anyone who reads my ridiculous blog.

"links and info:
for directions on making a monkey:
http://lennytaylor.freeyellow.com/Monkey.htm

red heel work socks:
http://www.sockco.com/monkeysocks.html

my monkeys:
http://www.geocities.com/mysockmonkey/monkey1.html

my pal jen's sock monkey stuff:
http://www.monkeyshinesbeadery.com/sockmonkeys/

interesting ideas sock monkey stuff:
http://www.interestingideas.com/out/sock.htm

my suggestions for choosing socks:

try to find socks that have a good percentage (50% or more) of natural fiber, like cotton or wool. some acrylics work ok if they feel somewhat cottony, but others will RUN when they're cut, as will socks that are high in nylon and polyester content.

for a well-proportioned monkey, the leg portion of the sock should be as long or longer than the foot portion. knee socks make monkeys with VERY long limbs.

you can use whatever color or pattern of socks you wish. i tend to find good socks at target. they usually run around $3-4/pair, but you can find them on sale for less than $2!"

Oh, one last thing, there are good sock sales at Target right now."


12:35 PM

 
There are survivors of the California Eugenics Movement who are finally speaking out. Can you imagine?

I hate when people who don't like something about someone else say things like "They should all be sterilized."

Except that it's against the law.

I hope the last few people who were sterilized back in the 1950s SUE THE PANTS off California. If anyone deserves retribution, it's the State Government that allowed something like this to go unrecognized and unpunished for so long.
~Amelie, sickened and saddened.


10:37 AM

Monday, August 04, 2003  
Visualize World Jainists I just realized some people might not get LA Times. Basically, it's asking how vegan is enough. I ain't vegan, but I was always fascinated by the Jains who pick through their vegetables, carefully removing small creatures so that they don't eat them or hurt them in any way...very time consuming, cute, and sweet. If a little obsessive.

Life is good today.

I have a new pink skirt. I am happy. I am content to be at work. I slept late. I enjoyed cuddling with the dog during breakfast. my garden is slowly recuperating from the blasting heat last month. I need a haircut, and I have the money to go get one.

happiness is not a state of being, it is the little pleasures that hit you every once in awhile during the day.

~Amelie


12:26 PM

Sunday, August 03, 2003  
I spent nearly ALL afternoon yesterday drinking red wine and champagne. Till around Midnight. I left my friend D's house after giving her kid a bath, eating shitake-stuffed gnocchi with fig and shallot sauce, and generally babbling about all things till the late evening hours. One conversation stuck out, and if you have issues with toilets, don't read. I, however, am somewhat fascinated with toilets in general, and also with people's funny experiences with them.

So, D. Who is Hungarian. Related a story about visiting Hungary with her Hungarian grandma a few years ago. And they went to the lake region, where they were staying in a nice place, renting rooms in a giant home on the lake. But first, they had to take the train there. And the train toilet? Looked like it was from hell. It was black and red, and wobbled precariously over the tracks. D couldn't go. So, they get to the train station. And she thinks "Ah, a blessed poop. Thank you lord." Or whatever prayers of happiness she was thinking after her 12 hour train ride. And got into the potty, and there was a stall. With a hellish odor. And she could. not. do. it. So, she went into the next potty. And there was, I kid you not, a family camping out in the potty. She aimed for the stall anyway, and the lady stopped her. And MADE HER PAY for the privilege of crapping in a "public" toilet at the train station. She gave her 50 cents, and the lady gave her one square of toilet paper. D said "What the fuck? MORE!" and the lady made the international symbol for more dough. So, poor D, shifted her bags around and found her money, and shelled out approximately 4 more bucks for toilet paper.

And went in. And it was the most disgusting toilet ever. Think Trainspotting. Think HASN'T BEEN FLUSHED IN 50 YEARS. Think, the scent that killed Hades.

So, she bit her toungue, clenched her cramping bowels, and hobbled out of there as fast as she could. Thinking, "Once I get to the hotel, I'll be fine."

So, they arrive. And it's lovely, even if it's 105 degrees. She thinks, "Dump, and then lake swimming. Ah. Refreshing."

Lordy.

So, she goes into the happy little potty adjacent to their room. And does her business. And flushes. And the potty DOES NOT FLUSH. Poor D. Let's just say she'd let it rip. So, embarrassingly, she goes to her grandma, and says "I need you to tell the proprietor in Hungarian that the potty doesn't work."

Oh, hahaha. Says the proprietor after hearing the news "I FORGOT TO TELL YOU!" Basically, the potty didn't work. And she handed D a cup. No, not for future peeing, but to SCOOP THE TOILET!

Told you not to read.

Poor thing.

And she did it.

I would have cried, but all she said she thought about was how lovely the water was going to feel when she finally got in.

And her grandma was upset. And her cousin was ready to swim.

So she heads out to the water. And it's hot and there are weirdoes. But you know? It doesn't matter. Because once you've scooped your own poop in the mountains of Hungary, there's NOTHING BETTER than a good, hot, swim.

Poor thing. I think I laughed so hard I fell off my chair. But it could have been the champagne.

In other news, I have acquired a captive bred baby white's tree frog. It's a very cute little fella and he/she eats crickets. I'm thinking Sparky is a good name. Suggestions being taken, of course.

Also, saw Northfork and am still trying to decide if I liked it. Excellent cinematograhpy and interesting plot, but I don't know if I enjoyed myself. Mainly because the women in front of us moved to sit RIGHT NEXT to PF. And then proceeded to talk throughout the picture. WHO DOES THAT? And, not only were they talking, but they were talking about POPCORN ON THEIR FEET. Mein Gott. I wanted to stab them with the nearest straw. I Harrumphed loudly, and they sort of shut up. But still. I was very annoyed.

~Amelie, who is having a glass of the world's TASTIEST red wine blend. Topolos Cab-merlot reserva from Sonoma. And I must say, I'm tipsy.


7:09 PM

Friday, August 01, 2003  
Today is my baby brother's bday. Once on his 2nd birthday, when he was riding around on a push toy, I told him my mom put fudge in his diaper. "dis? Dis cacalit?" Yes. I am horrid. I was a ghastly, beastly, horrific child. You are all so lucky I was not your older sibling. He hates that story. He will probably read this and kill me. But you know? it's funny. And I'm also still doing penance for that act of evil when I was 8.

But for his birthday this year, my sister bought him hiking shoes and I'm going in on them. Because My Brother is going to Montana for his birthday. He apparently does not get enough schlepping at my parents house, and I guess he never noticed all the trees he cut down in our backyard that still need to be removed (4 months later), but he's going to Montana to be a ranch hand.

I think he thinks it will be fun. I hope it will be fun! I hope he tries to ride a bull or something hysterical, but not do anything mean, stupid, or get hurt in the process. I envision Montana as this vast, forested, hilly place. Hence the name "Montana", I suppose. I also get a visual of grassland. I should ask my pal Guphy. She's from there. Or Idaho. Or thereabouts. Hoot Wine!

Anyway, Happy Birthday Henry, My Hurricane Boy!

~Amelie, sister of Hurricane Howie. He is 26 today. Who'da'thunkit?


11:19 AM

 
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