Sunday, May 31, 2009

Learning how to kick butt

If you could have a super power, what would it be? I've always figured it would be cool to know some kung fu. However, I never got round to learning it. Someone once showed me how to do sticky rice (I think that's what it was called) where you circle someone with your wrist waiting for them to react so that you can use their energy against them. The more you push and resist, the more ammunition you're giving your opponent. Well,
I was so tense though when I tried this that the guy started laughing at me saying "you are pushing me" and I remember saying "no, I'm not!" but I didn't realise I was actually pushing against his wrist which meant I was wasting my own energy, sigh. Well, that was my first try ever...crouching Jojo, hidden dragon...not quite lol ;)

However, when it came time to shoot Hannah for Health Buzz, I thought it would be fun to do a few kicks. I'm so rusty though and the stretching was quite painful...but as always, it's a good kind of pain coz it releases a lot of tension in your muscles. When we sit badly or hunch over our computers, our shoulders get all knotted up. I didn't realise how much I was aching BEFORE this class, don't talk about afterwards *smile*

Hannah and I used to live together and it surprised me when she said she wanted to take up kickboxing of all things. I couldn't quite picture it at first (her on a catwalk, yes but violently punching something, uh no) but she was so dedicated as a student that now I just accept it as a part of her. It is empowering being able to defend yourself, especially if you're a woman. She really got into it, even representing Malaysia at the last World Kickboxing Championships.


Hannah sparring with her instructor Bathi at Extreme Martial Arts in Plaza Damas. Don't mess! ;)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When I was in boarding school *groan*


As a student, I always left everything to the last minute. I used to stay up most of the night cramming for exams. That’s fine when you’re living at home but when I was sent to a strict boarding school in Australia at 15 (I mean ultra strict), I had to adjust to their rules. Dinner was at 530pm. Study time ALONE in your room was from 6 to 9pm etc. Well, at 2am one night, I got caught for breaking the rules. All I was doing was studying late at night but lights out meant lights out at 10pm sharp *sigh* so I was put on detention and had to be Cinderella for the day vacuuming the whole boarding house.



This led to the bright idea (so I thought) of putting my jeans under the door to block out the light but my housemother caught me again! I had to think of something else. I bought a torch and was studying under the covers (as if I was on a secret mission) anticipating when she might walk in on me. Can you imagine how I felt when I left? *wink*



After 2 years of boarding school, I felt like a prisoner escapee drunk on this delicious cocktail I’d like to call “freedom”. I got my first car *yaaaay!!* and lived on campus at Curtin University in Perth for the first year of uni. I came and went as I pleased, partied if I felt like it and studied without being hassled by my boarding school Hogwarts like head mistress *thank goodness!*

If this was my first taste of adulthood, I was loving it already!! :) I worked hard and played hard trying to strike a balance between the social butterfly that I was and full-on study bug (got Asian genes what lol ;).

When I finished my business degree in Australia, I wanted to take another one. I returned to Singapore, did post-grad studies in Marketing and started off my second degree in psychology (I didn't finish it tho because I feel you should be totally dedicated and on campus for it. It's a SERIOUS amount of reading and paperwork but who knows? One day, I might return to it.

I need to say it. I know it's a cliche but true...as the saying goes "never say never" and "knowledge is power" so we never really stop. We go on learning forever. The exams may end when you're no longer a student but the "tests" in life don't :)



Hey, since we're on the topic, why do you reckon we're here? I know it's a BIG, age old question and everyone has a different answer but I'd love to hear what you think. Let me know kay?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ever got into a catfight?





Years ago, I went to an audition for Kopitiam, the sitcom. I thought it was to guest as someone's girlfriend. Turns out, they were looking for a bitchy lawyer to replace Lina Teoh's character on the main cast. I wasn't sure if I could pull it off. I had only done a movie in Singapore where I was pretty 'sweet' but i gave it my best shot.

Well, I didn't expect it but I got the part! In this particular scene, I get into a catfight with the shampoo girl ;) almost ripped her hairband off haha




click here to view it. (Just remember I was acting ok? *wink*)


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WRITING IS ART


When I was doing my business degree in Australia, the artistic side of me was starved so I was always running over to the communications block to take electives in psychology, film, theatre and creative writing. I remember my American poetry teacher. She was quite scary. She would give us some of the most difficult poems in the world to decode. They were post modernist (if you're not sure what style of writing that is, don't worry. That's you and me both) but we had to learn how to write in this way.

A girl in my class started one of her poems with "my soul is crying" and she canceled the line out completely! She said it was way too obvious and rarely do post modernist poems have "ing" at the end of any words. Deep down, I think we hated her coz she only accepted a specific style of poetry but none of us had written like this before. The poems she endorsed sometimes had two words in a line. Yup, just two. Look it would've been fine with me if they called the course, "Post Modernism 101" but they called it "Creative Writing 101" so I didn't know what I was in for. If you were in an art class and someone sketched the ocean with acrylic and the other in charcoal, how could either be wrong? It's all just art and individual expression isn't it?


But here's the thing. I started becoming grateful that I took this class (I saw it as a challenge) coz it was forcing me to express myself in a totally different way. It exposed me to different methods. I was looking at things from short, abrupt angles I'd never explored. My writing had never been so clipped and concise so I was developing more range. I figured doing the long flowing stuff was already second nature to me so why not try and do things this way? In my free time, I could write whatever I want anyway.


It took me a while to get the hang of "post modernism" but here's an excerp from something she gave me an "A" in toward the end of my Semester. It was about alcoholism and my concerns for a close friend I felt was going down the drain...


CHEERS

throw yourself to the dogs

bar counters they all are


sapping paper

Daddy has lots


Lose yourself

Waste it all


bloody zombies

no heads anymore

the nights have no meaning

your banks, no memory


you go down alone

fight the devil


you know where to find him

bedside mirror



My teacher's favourite line was the last because she knew I was trying to use the analogy of the devil linked with temptation and of course the hardest person to fight when we are tempted about something is always our own selves ;)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

OMG! No Way!


I absolutely can't believe it!! I've been blogging for more than 2 hours and when I was done and all the various photos properly downloaded and where I wanted them, I pressed "publish post" AS PER NORMAL but this time, I dunno why my friggin cursor started going round in circles and I've lost it! I've tried recovering what I've written but it's completely gone...aaargh!



Don't you hate it when this happens? I'm SURE it's happened to you. I'm so upset and this is way past my bedtime sigh so gonna hit the sack.

Can't help it. I'm going to bed pis*ed off. Computers, I tell you. Can't live with them, can't live without them!

nite nite.....groan

Saturday, May 16, 2009

At the spa...



A friend of mine got me a free trial for the Body Lifting treatment at Clarins. I wasn't sure whether I should be grateful or insulted. Gee, thanks but "you think I need a bit of a lift isssit?" lol "No la just TRY it ok? I know you're not fat but it's a different kind of massage. Really relaxing" Oh? did she say "massage?" ok, ok! It didn't take much else to convince me to go for this coz I love massages :)



While I was drinking my tea, I was wondering how this girl had to audition for this job.



It reminded me of a Levis casting I went to in Singapore. Sooo embarrassing! You would THINK being a brand like Levis that it would be for jeans right? Well, no. Not this time. As it turns out, they were doing a campaign for their T shirts and they wanted the Calvin Klein underwear "look" for the actual ad so I was given a T shirt to wear for my casting.



I entered the boardroom and a few men in suits were there, 2 women and the fashion photographer. It looked very formal. I handed over my book. They flipped through my portfolio, then said "Please remove your jeans. We need to take casting shots" Of course, it made perfect sense. They couldn't possibly hire a model for the actual job with a stomach not flat enough or legs that weren't the right shape BUT I have this thing about my bu*t being photographed. I was dreadfully uncomfortable but I stepped out of my jeans as though it was the most natural thing in the world to do in a boardroom full of people ;) Hey, I must've pulled it off (posing like I wasn't bothered) coz I got the job :-)



So there I was at Clarins wondering how this girl had to do it ;) I've been to some hilarious auditions. Once, Denise Keller was just before me in the line at an audition where they were looking for the right hip and thighs for a bus ad. You don't even see the girl's face but every single model who auditioned for it had to literally bend over so that the casting agents could get the right angle of your bu*t!



I didn't get that one but I did do a fashion spread in Taiwan for GQ magazine (above) and they gave me these denim shorts with no top but my hair was that long so at least it felt like I was wearing something! For me, it's important that the shot is about fashion and art (I can get my head round that) and it must be done tastefully. I have zero interest in being a playboy bunny, know what I mean?



Back to my spa session. Well, I didn't know what to expect coz I've never had a body lifting treatment before. She started out by placing her hands on different parts of my leg. She used sometimes intense or rhythmic movements. At one point, I thought she was drawing lines or patterns on my thigh haha but she was actually checking on hydration levels.

It was like a massage, yet not totally because this lifting product (which felt like a gel) is meant to isolate the fatty tissue while boosting your lymphatic circulation. Her movements were sometimes fast, sometimes slow but there was a 'method to the madness' lol and they really do make sure this solution gets massaged in from head to foot! I started to doze off because whatever she was doing was putting me to sleep. Lovely....zzz



(this isn't me la, I was 2 busy enjoying my massage hehe but u get the picture right?)

I finished off with a facial and interestingly, Clarins don't use any machines or beauty tools at all. Everything is ala naturale. This meant no extractions either. Everything they do, they do it with their hands and their products use a lot of botanical extracts. Suited me just fine...I wasn't looking forward to the extraction bit so when she told me she won't be doing any, I happily fell asleep again. The facial massage was fantastic. The tension in my neck started to melt away. I didn't want it to end... ;)



Of course you can wear make up after a facial but it's good to give your skin a break. I wasn't filming anything that day so I enjoyed not having to bother. I felt really refreshed. It was such a nice way to start the day :-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dancing in Dynas's Shop ;)

video

The most unexpected dinner date!








I lived on a busy street above the night market in Taiwan when I was modeling there. There was an internet cafe I used to check emails at once I was done with my shoots. It was a cool place, really chilled out. One night, it was so busy that I shared the long sofa with an American guy sitting next to me. We were busy typing away on our computers until he turned to me and asked me something in perfect Mandarin. I looked at him blankly saying "uhm, sorry I don't speak Chinese" He looked surprised but switched automatically back into English "oh, sorry. Was just asking you...do you mind if I smoke?" I was sitting in the smoking zone coz there were no other seats available so it was really polite of him to ask. He technically didn't have to.

I wanted to edit a poem I'd been working on but I couldn't seem to download the file. I asked the staff there to help me but they couldn't do it. The American guy I was sitting next to managed to solve the problem. It was nice being able to converse in English at a normal rate. When I was getting round Taiwan, I spoke slowly or had to show taxi drivers the address in Mandarin or they wouldn't understand me.

Turns out, this guy (let's just call him John) was a jack of all trades. Strange trades. I found out a whole bunch of random things about him and the pieces of the puzzle were coming together but not quite forming an entire picture. I started to wonder whether he was a spy or was previously with the CIA, who knows? Let me tell you why. We sat there for hours and his background was unique, incredibly diverse. For starters, he spoke quite a few languages including Russian. There was a mention of the military and being in service to the US govt but he didn't elaborate on it, surprise, surprise *wink*


He collects knives back home in the US (a shiver ran down my spine). I had to ask why knives? but it was surprisingly quite a hilarious story. When he was a youngster driving across the States, his car broke down and he got stranded in some middle of nowhere town. He didn't have enough money to fix his car so he had to get a part time job! The only entertainment in this sleepy town was a knife throwing competition, can you imagine? He decided to work there till his car got fixed. He ended up staying in that town for more than a month and he was throwing knives every day. He became really good at it.

He said some people do this as a hobby in the outdoors in big open spaces (like archery) and he kept training from that point onward in the art of knife throwing. I raised my eyebrows "what a strange hobby you have there. I mean, mine's tap dancing" He laughed good naturedly. OkaaaY.




That's not all. He's also trained in "tracking" in order to find a person, animal or dead body in a jungle or anywhere for that matter. One of the "exercises" he had to do in training was to track the sound of a drum in the snow. He was trained under some of the best trackers in the world. Hell, I never knew such jobs existed. This guy really came from another planet. As I sat there with my crazy make-up and greenish eyeshadow, I started to feel comforted that modeling was quite a safe job. Only time I've been blindfolded was for a fashion spread, know what I mean? And it had holes in it anyway lol ;)




OMG, can you imagine he was placed in the snow and had to find a beating drum using all the senses minus your eyesight. He said instinct has a part to play in tracking as well. I asked how far away the drum was and he said it took him 6 hours to find it! And they were not allowed to stop until they did because, sometimes, time is of the essence and people's lives could be on the line in certain conditions. This was crazy sh*t!



Anyway, when my poem appeared on screen, he asked if he could read it. I said "of course but I've never published anything. I just write poems when I feel like it. It's a mood thing" I couldn't think WHY he'd be interested to read my poem. I mean this was Mr Knife-throwing, we track dead bodies, hunter in the snow init?



As it turns out, he has published his own poems. Can you believe it?? He even asked me to come to a live poetry reading at a cafe in town so I could read mine out, huh? CIA or not, he was a sensitive fella under all that training. He shared with me which poets he liked and was referencing websites I had never even heard of. They were all poetry sites. I was shell-shocked. He really knew a lot about poetry. Who would think..?

We exchanged numbers but I only met up with him once for dinner before I left Taiwan. He said he presumed I was a world traveler and probably been on many dinner dates in my life (no, la not THAT many) but he could guarantee that I would never in a million years guess where he was taking me to dinner. Okay, I was curious. He said he hoped I wouldn't be offended and to please "dress casual"

On the way to dinner, he stopped by a car mechanics, "should I wait here?" I asked him thinking he was going to pick something up. He grinned, "no, we're eating here" He was serious??? Wtf? Was I gonna eat on a car bonnet or what? ;) A really friendly European man climbed out from under a car he was fixing to greet my friend. He shook my hand warmly and then said, "well, you must be here for dinner, it's right through there"

I was intrigued. After walking past the cars out front, we entered what looked like a homey kitchen out back. No way!!! The mechanic's wife actually ran the cutest, most charmingly unexpected "restaurant" at the back. She was even wearing an apron and fussing over us. The restaurant only had one wooden table and a long bench that could sit 6 people on each side tops.

I started wondering whether this really was a restaurant but she produced a simple laminated menu. OMG! I started cracking up. This was just too funny. He was right. I've certainly never been to dinner at a car mechanics before. A few guys and a blond girl arrived and we all sat together because there was only one long table haha. I guess they service their cars there coz you would never know about this place otherwise. The stories exchanged over dinner were a melting pot of all our different cultures. I enjoyed it. Such interesting conversations...




After dinner, by contrast, he took me to an elegant tea house in the mountains for a nightcap. It was an amazing view up there. This was such a change of scenery from the hustle and bustle of the city. I loved the cold, fresh air.

I didn't meet John after that night coz I never made it to that poetry reading he invited me to but I saw him briefly just before I left the country because he said he wanted to pass me something. He "tracked" me down at a nightclub (no la, I'm kidding. I told him where I was with my friends lol;) I was really surprised. He actually wrote a poem for me and he wanted me to have a COPY of it coz he was going to be sharing it anyway at his next poetry meet!




This is what I love about traveling. You meet all kinds of interesting people and you learn NOT to always judge a book by its cover. I wouldn't have picked out the 'poet' in John, that's for sure :) Well, I lost track of him completely (perhaps he intended for it to be this way in his line of work. Honestly, I've still no idea what he does) but wherever you are, hope you find me in cyberspace coz this entry was dedicated to you so here's your COPY I'm sharing with everyone ;)

Live the moment. Our life is but a collection of moments...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do it yourself

Have you ever bought something at IKEA and decided to assemble it on your own? Well, I did that once with a row of drawers and I wouldn't do it again. Took ages! And it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

Having said that, I've spent hours slogging away trying to replace dead grass in my garden. It's really hard work and you can't just lay it down. You need to make sure it fits round the edges so I had to cut exact shapes going round curves and filling in the gaps.

It's quite fun. I've never done this before. I wanted to give it a shot. I didn't realise I was at it the whole day so my whole body is now aching *groan* It takes a lot out of you.

My pugs were just curious spectators throughout the day looking confused (hang on, they ALWAYS look confused haha) probably wondering why I was uprooting the whole garden! Mummy was trying to make their home look better init ;)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Is someone in da house?



You know how people say dogs and cats can "see" things? Years ago, I had a really strange experience in Singapore with my dog, Jack.


One day, for no reason, he could run INTO the kitchen with no issues but he could not GET OUT of the kitchen. It was illogical. There was NO door. It was just a corridor with a half step (no more than an inch tall) but Jack couldn't pass the line that separated the kitchen from the living room. He kept barking whenever he was trapped in there with his eyes looking upwards at a specific spot but he was barking at thin air. What freaked me out was his eye line. He was looking up at something and he paced left and right ducking his head past the step, then looking up to bark at whatever "it" was standing in his way from getting out of the kitchen. I had to physically carry him out each time but this was never the case when I moved in. Out of the blue one day, this happened.

I even put his food bowl down in front of the kitchen area coz I couldn't believe this weird behavior. Jack always eats right over his food but when I placed his food bowl near the half step, he couldn't eat in that location. He walked over to get a pellet and ate AWAY from that area. And he ate this way pellet by pellet at a painfully slow pace. But when I moved the bowl AWAY from where "IT" was standing (look I don't know what IT was but there was something obviously there), he just ate normally with his head in the bowl.

I didn't know what to do. I asked people who lived in the building if they experienced anything unusual and to my surprise, a few stories popped up. For starters, there were CCTV cameras in the lifts and a woman saw 2 children in there. The doors closed and when they opened again, the kids weren't there! She asked the guards to check the tape but there was no one in the lift, even on the playback.

(courtesy of kiss kiss bang bang: flickr)

OkaaaaY. I was freaked. I was thinking to myself "why don't I just wait for the lease to expire and get the hell outta this place??" Yikes. But I needed to do something about the current situation.

A friend of mine recommended a feng shui man/medium who seemed to know the layout of my place even though he'd never been there, don't ask me how. He said I had an "altar like" object in my apartment that had brought this spirit into my house. Huh? I couldn't think of anything that fit this description. I asked him if the spirit was 2 kids? He shook his head, no. It was a man he said. "Oh that's just grrrreat! So there are 'kids' in my elevator and a 'man' standing in the doorway of my kitchen preventing my dog from getting out of it.

Could this whole building be like what? A Starbucks for ghosts?" The no nonsense feng shui man/medium gave me holy water from the Buddhist temple and said to sprinkle it everywhere, especially the bedroom which had a lot of shoes in it (how did he know that? There was an empty bedroom in the house and it only had shoes and a couple of boxes in it)

He said to tie a red string around the "altar like" object when I find it (how's a bunch of thread supposed to contain a spirit anyway? But I was too scared to ask anymore questions) I nodded and thanked him for his time. The last thing he said to me was "if the red string doesn't work, throw the entire object out. Get rid of it"

I went home and started looking at every tea light, object or ornament I had. Ah ha. Found it on a ledge. This MUST be it! My girlfriend Sharifah bought me a gold plated Borobudur temple which looked like 3 pyramids and many many steps as a souvenir from her holiday in Indonesia.

I tied a red string round all 3 pyramids, sprinkled holy water everywhere and gave it a few days. I put Jack in the kitchen (since he was the ghost detector) and the same thing happened. He was stuck in the kitchen unable to make it past the half step. Oh dear. He started barking at IT again blocking his way out of the kitchen.

There was no choice. I had to throw the temple souvenir out. I gave it a week keeping my fingers crossed.

Ok, here goes. I put Jack back into the kitchen and he ran right out, past that invisible line he previously couldn't pass like it NEVER happened. He was able to run in and out of the kitchen just like old times. Phew, I was so relieved! But I still moved out when the lease expired! ;)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I see the light

I rush around a lot during the day but when I'm in the car, it gives me time to think.

I'm not sure if you go through this as well. Sometimes, I have these random thoughts like why we're even here? What is all this for?

I couldn't tell you because it's probably different for everyone but I guess we're all here to EXPERIENCE.

I was staring out the window on a particularly stressful day and all of a sudden, I was just taking in the sunlight. It was one of those moments where time seemed suspended. I wasn't thinking of my next appointment. I was just kinda awed by what a beautiful day it was.

Sometimes, we need to just stop whatever we're doing and smell the roses. If we're always rushing around, caught up in our office dramas or daily stresses, we may miss the moment coz life may pass you by.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Why lie when you have NOTHING to hide?







I used to have a boyfriend who lied about so many things. For instance, we were walking on the street and I saw a girl standing at the traffic lights who I thought was his ex (same girl I'd seen in a photo with him)



I said to him "hey, isn't that your ex?" He looked a bit startled for a moment but then shrugged automatically saying "no, its not" but I knew it had to be because he had forgotten that we were holding hands until he saw her. I didn't see the point in him trying to lie about such a simple matter.




The sad thing is, he used to be with such a possessive woman to the point he'd started living by her rules thinking it was normal to live like that. He was under the "spell" of a control freak.

You know we can never really change anyone but ourselves. She had tried to mould him into the sort of man she wanted him to be.



It's amazing how much sh*t this guy put up with and her ridiculous demands without realising the only person who keeps changing is the "good guy" who of course becomes the "bad guy" and usually over nothing because they start to LIE.

Lies are their only form of peace from being yelled at. It is sad when a person feels they need to lie for someone else. Not even because they want to. If they don't, it's just too much of a headache trying to explain the truth, as innocent as it may be.



When girlfriends complain to me about their boyfriends lying to them, I ask them to be honest with themselves. "Would they be perfectly "ok" with the truth?

You can't DEMAND the truth if you can't HANDLE it (remember that famous speech from Jack Nicholson on the witness stand in that movie "A Few Good Men"?)



The more you tell someone NOT to do something, the more supressed they become and the more likely they are to do it. They end up doing things behind their partners backs coz it seems easier to lie than to tell the truth.

This also keeps happening if 2 people aren't on the same wavelength or they have different values. They never see eye to eye because they are both fighting a losing battle.

This guy had brought in all this self imposed "baggage" with him. He was so brainwashed that even when I gave him all the freedom and space in the world to do what he wanted as he pleased, he still lied because he'd been "programmed" that way.



Sad, but true and it happens to a lot of people with possessive partners. It starts affecting their self esteem (though it's actually their partners who are inflicting them with their own issues). It's a vicious circle. I found myself going out of my way to ALLOW him to just be himself. To just tell me whatever it was, wherever he was and that it was ok.

It didn't work. All his ex's rules were so ingrained. His whole nature had become one of avoidance and mistrust (because he was so used to being mistrusted!)



He usually gave me answers that would keep him safe. Answers that weren't him. Especially on the phone. A simple polite "where are you?" was such a no-brainer but he felt he needed to say he was 'home' but from the background sounds, he was clearly out somewhere. Yup, this guy was a pretty bad case ;)

It was too tiring. I wasn't interested in the person he thought I wanted him to be. I wasn't interested in the answers he thought I wanted to hear. I was interested in him. But I couldn't get to the real him. It was buried somewhere under a pile of lies that were so unnecessary.


What spun me out was how he let go of my hand because he was still terrified when he saw her across the street. Even though they were over. She still had control over him like a mindless robot. Even though he wasn't doing anything wrong. Quite pathetic. He just wasn't living his own life or being his own person, sigh.



Needless to say, we didn't last long at all. He couldn't get it into his head that I was fine with "the truth" whatever it was day to day but the lying had become second nature to him. Like a plane on automatic pilot.

Obviously, this went against the grain of what I essentially believed any good relationship should be about. TRUST. When there's trust, there's no struggle, no second guessing, no questioning. It's unspoken.

Well, maybe one day he'd be able to take a chill pill and sit back with confidence "take it or leave it, this is me"



I felt sorry that he wasn't a liar to begin with. He had BECOME one to accommodate his ex and her shadow still lurked about to haunt him so he couldn't break the pattern or let go of her confining rules. He was not his own person.

I walked away because I had to and I was fine. I didn't even blame him for the way he was. You can't help someone who doesn't even realise they have a problem. Wherever he is, for his sake, I hope he's not with yet another control freak.

Live The Moment. It's all we ever have...

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    I find blogging quite therapeutic. It gives me a chance to express my thoughts. I'm currently a TV host living in KL and the mother of 3 confused looking pugs! ;) If u have the time, my modelling shots, tap dancing clips, full biography and TV trailers are all on www.jojostruys.com :-)

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