Friday, June 28, 2013

Clearwater Beach, Shared with You Through Disney's Story App

This post is sponsored by Disney Story. To find out more about this brand-new story-creation app - and how it puts the power of storytelling in your hands - click here.

My kids and I went to Clearwater Beach yesterday. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day! There wasn't a cloud in the sky, the sun was hot, the breeze was cool, the water was warm and clear, and the seagulls only stole one cookie from Clay's hand. All in all, it was an awesome day! Not only did we have a terrific time at the beach, but we got to meet up with old friends from Chicagoland who moved to Florida about 5 years before we did. We lost contact at that point 7 years ago, but recently reconnected on Facebook. It was great to get together with them at a cute little beachside grill with live Buffet-type music and boat drinks. 

I used Disney's new Story app to create a little slideshow of our day at the beach. For those of you living in the north, feel free to pull this out come January and live vicariously through us. (I know I totally lived through my friends in the south while enduring Chicago winters!) I really love this app because it's so easy to use! Just take pics with your iPhone, open the app, arrange your photos and videos however you'd like, add captions, and click to share! Check it out! (If it doesn't show up properly on your screen, you can go HERE to view it.) You can click on individual pictures to see them more closely, and you can click captions to read the whole thing.


Download the Disney Story app from iTunes  – for FREE – right here!

Disney Story Twitter

Disney Story Facebook

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ace is the Place with the Helpful Hardware Man (Who Runs and Hides When I Walk in the Door)

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not very good at the whole 'home maintenance' thing. Most of my girlfriends can get by. Some are even amazing at this kind of stuff. My friend, Ginny nearly singlehandedly refinished her basement. If she didn't know how to do something, she searched Youtube until she found a video and taught herself. Electrical wiring, drywall, plumbing? No problem. She figured it out. 

My method is a little different. My method doesn't include searching Youtube. My method generally includes whining and complaining. It sometimes involves throwing things around and swearing. Usually, it ends with me giving up although sometimes it ends with me batting my eyelashes and trying to get some big, strong man to do it for me. What? I didn't say my method was perfect, or even effective. But it's the way I do things anyway.

When my sink was leaking, I placed a bucket underneath it. Voila! Fixed. When the bucket started filling too quickly, I got some tape and had Savannah tape the pipe. Ta-da! Good as new!

When my vacuum cleaner broke, I stopped cleaning my floors. No problem.

When the side mirror fell off my car, I duct-taped it back on. Piece of cake!

When my weed whacker/edger stopped working correctly and the string broke after I'd edged only a foot of my driveway, I stopped, took the spool out, rewound the string, inserted it, and picked up where I'd left off. After doing this 10 or 11 times, I went all McEnroe on it and whipped it into the street along with the refill spool of string. The spool rolled down the road and disappeared into the sewer drain with a plunk. I sat down and cried, tears streaking a line through the sweat and dirt already covering my face, and waited for a car to come run over the freaking thing.

Again, I know it's probably not the most effective method of fixing something, but I tend to act first and think later. Sometimes, much, much later.

For a couple weeks, I said, "Who cares about edging and weed whacking? It's a stupid waste of time. But my delightful Homeowner's Association has a different opinion about edging and they're happy to share that opinion with you in the form of a threatening letter. So, I snatched the empty spool from the weed whacker and headed off to Ace. I hate hardware stores because they smell yucky, they don't sell make-up, and they confuse me. But I do like the fact that when I walk in and just stand there all confused-like, half a dozen guys will come up and ask if I need help. They're probably more concerned that I'm having some sort of seizure in their store as I stand there staring across the aisles of guy stuff, than they're actually wanting to help me figure out what I need. But still, I can always count on someone coming to my rescue at Ace.

"Um, yeah, I need more string stuff for my weed whacker and if someone could show me how to wind it up the right way so I don't have to throw the thing in the street again, that would be really great."

The guy just kinda blinked at me. I guess normal people don't throw things around when they get mad.

He looked through the rolls of string on the wall, searching for the correct size for my tool. After a beat, he turned to me and asked, "You really threw it out in the street?" a smirk playing at the corners of his mouth.

Defensive, I blurted, "Well, the string kept breaking every foot or so! I don't know what I'm doing. I'm from Chicago. We don't have to edge our lawns every week because they don't grow a foot a day like down here!" I left out the part about how I'd once shoved my snow blower over when it kept dying. I probably would've thrown it in the street too, but snow blowers are heavy! He didn't really need to know that detail though.

He grabbed a refill pack of string from the wall, handed it to me, and quickly ushered me through the employee area, and out the back door. "Tell you what, go next door to the Stihl shop. I'll call over and let them know you're on your way. He can show you how to wind this correctly."

I'm pretty sure he was just trying to get me out of his store since he'd pegged me for some kind of loose cannon with anger issues. Yep, sending me into a store filled with chainsaws was definitely the way to go. He probably didn't care though. I was no longer his problem. The minute I stepped outside, I'm sure he got on the phone, called his buddy and said, "Sorry man, but I'm sending you a real psycho. See if you can help her. I owe ya, dude!"

So I walked next door and explained my ineptitude to the guy behind the counter. He kindly showed me how to wind the string the right way so it won't break every couple minutes. Turns out I was making it way too complicated. Go figure - a woman making something more complicated than it needs to be. When he was done, I thanked him profusely and walked back over to Ace so I could pay for the string. I looked around for the guy who had first helped me, but didn't see him anywhere. He was probably hiding until I left.

I think I'll bake some brownies for the guys. Then maybe when I come in the next time because my shower is broken and I'm tired of bathing in the sink, they'll offer to actually come over and fix it. Hey, a girl can dream.

Monday, June 24, 2013

In Too Deep

In Too Deep, my awesome, talented friend, Michelle's debut novel  is out now!

I read the entire book in a day. When I like a book, I don't put it down until it's finished. If I don't like a book, I never read past the first chapter. That's how I roll. With Michelle's book, I didn't put it down.

I have to admit that although I loved the book, the story, and Michelle's writing, I wanted to slap the main character, Gracie and say, "Wake up! The guy's an a$$! Run. Run fast!" But it's a lot easier to see an abusive relationship when you're outside looking in, rather than when you're in the middle of it, isn't it? If you haven't yet, you need to read In Too Deep. It's available in paperback and Kindle.

A blurb:
Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.

Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.

Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?

An excerpt:
The strong force of the wave pulled me under. I gasped for air just before my face disappeared below the surface. My body rolled over and over, my arms flailed, and my head pounded into the sea bed which felt like a concrete floor. The salty water stung my eyes. I forced myself to keep them open, fearing I would slip into unconsciousness from the blow I took to the head. I knew I had to hold it together long enough for the swell to pull me back up when the wave rolled. But something was pulling me deeper. I fought with all my might, kicking against the thick water swallowing me whole. I used my arms like underwater oars and sliced through the depths trying to reach what I needed most, but I was in too deep.

“Get out!” I could barely get the words out before I had to run to the bathroom and void my gut of its contents. Noah didn’t move.

I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and screamed, “I said, Get! Out!” I stumbled back into the room, grabbed the box of mementos I’d collected from the last year of our relationship, and dumped everything into the trashcan in the corner. Like a communal grave, there lay movie tickets, dried rose petals, a strip of photos from the boardwalk, all the beautiful letters he wrote last fall semester, an empty beer bottle, and all the rest of what was now just a reminder of the guy I thought I knew.

(One of my favorite pictures of Michelle - middle, me - right, and Mimi - left)

For my most awesome, loyal readers, Michelle has agreed to give away a signed copy of In Too Deep! Go like her Facebook page here Michelle Kemper Brownlow (where she has all sorts of bonus features like yummy pictures of Jake, Jake and Gracie's downloadable playlist, and information on upcoming projects). And leave a comment here to be entered into the drawing for the signed copy of In Too Deep! I'll choose a random winner on Friday, June 28. Good luck!

Monday, June 17, 2013

For Sale! One Slightly Used 14-Year-Old!

Let me start by saying that I actually do love my kids. All of them. Most of the time. Okay, all of the time. But some days . . . Well, some days, I don't really like them. Some days I want to place an ad that reads like this: 

For Sale! One Slightly Used 14-Year-Old!

Tired of having leftovers that go uneaten? You won't anymore with this amazing 14-year-old who can pack away food like a goat. Or an elephant. Or a garbage disposal.

He's Housebroken!

He's housebroken and he doesn't waste time in the bathroom by doing any frivolous things like changing the empty toilet paper roll.

Serious inquiries only please.

Interested parties, should inquire within.

No warranties, refunds, or exchanges.

Due to the many requests I’ve had regarding a trade: No thank you; I’m really not interested in trading my slightly used, attitude-riddled teen for one of your slightly used, attitude-riddled teens since that sort of defeats my purpose, but thank you anyway.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

From First Words to First Cars: The Scary Business of your Kids Growing Up

I remember when I had my first child. I was so excited for him to talk! I couldn't wait until he took his first step! I sat on the floor, coaxing him, waiting for him to take those first wobbly steps into my outstretched arms. There were so many fun, exciting firsts! The first time he smiled, the first time he rolled over, his first tooth, his first solid food, losing his first tooth, his first words, the first time he slept through the night, the first time he used the potty seat. Of course, by the time I got to my sixth child, I'd come to the realization that those first precious words just led to talking, talking, and more talking. Somehow, "Mom, can I have some money" isn't quite as fun as that first, "Mama". And by the time my sixth baby started standing up, instead of encouraging her to walk to me, I pushed her back down because, quite frankly, walking is highly overrated as it just leads to whole new worlds of mischief they can get into.

Somewhere along the line, those amazing firsts that made me giddy with happiness were replaced by scary firsts. The first date, the first girlfriend/boyfriend, the first job, the first graduation, the first time they got behind the wheel of the car, the first time they took out the neighbor’s mailbox in said car. (Man, that thing FLEW!)

Back home in Chicagoland, driver’s ed. was not only offered in high school, it was required to graduate. Down here in Florida, driver’s ed. isn’t even offered at my kids’ high school. Go figure. Florida, the number one state for running red lights. Florida, number one in hitting pedestrians. Florida, the state where my car insurance doubled when I moved here. Yeah, that state. Seems to me, Florida should be doubling efforts to keep their roads safe instead of cutting back on programs, but what do I know.

It’s a scary thing when your teens learn to drive. Images from headlines detailing traffic accidents flash through your mind. You wonder if you’ll be able to stress enough the importance of putting the phone away when they drive. You remember the bumpy ride you took back when that same teen was 5-years-old and “drove” around on the speedway at Disney World, banging back and forth against the metal guide rail. You consider buying them a horse to ride to school instead of letting them get a license.

Savannah was very eager to learn how to drive, badgering me to take her out every chance she got. Austin, on the other hand, although he’s older, had no desire to learn for a long time. I was just find and dandy with that! Because Savannah was so insistent, I taught her to drive. She caught on easily and did well right from the start (well, except for the mailbox incident.) Austin, I think, had a harder time learning from my subpar teaching efforts. Plus, because he wasn’t asking me to take him driving all the time like his sister did, he didn’t get nearly as much time behind the wheel. Now that he’s going to be starting college soon, we figured he’d better get some more experience and get his license. Because I was doing a sucky job teaching him (who knew that screaming STOOOOOPPPPP wasn’t a terribly effective way to teach driver’s ed?) I opted to sign him up for private driving lessons. The thing about lessons from a driving school is that the car they use has a brake on the passenger side. I’m pretty sure I could’ve done a better job teaching my kids if I’d had a brake on my side. Or those metal guide rails from Disney’s speedway.

According to Austin, the lessons were great. His instructor taught him things I never even thought to mention. It’s hard teaching someone how to do something that you yourself do automatically without thinking. It never occurred to me to tell him to check his mirrors, how to hold the steering wheel, or to make sure his feet were on the pedals correctly. After his last lesson today, he drove to the DMV with his instructor in the driving school’s car in order to take his test. I was supposed to meet them there. I wanted to be there for him when he got his license just like I was there for Savannah.

Before I could drive to the DMV however, I had to shower after my morning walk in the 10,000 degree Florida humidity. After standing in icy water for an abnormally long time, I got out and dried off. Then I realized I forgot to actually wash and shave. I’m blaming it on my near heat stroke. After my shower part two, I quickly got dressed, looked at the clock, and breathed a sigh of relief that I still had enough time to get to the DMV. I hopped in my van and drove a couple blocks when my check engine light came on. Oh crap,  I should probably check this since the whole ‘ignore it and it’ll go away’ strategy I’d been employing for the past two weeks wasn’t working. I briefly thought that this was probably another thing Austin’s driving instructor told him about – don’t ignore your gauges. I pulled into the gas station, only took 2 minutes to remember how to open the hood, checked my oil, and found it bone dry. Oops. I don’t neglect oil changes, I really don’t. But for some reason, my car burns oil like crazy. I can never seem to make it 3 months without adding oil. I ran into the store, bought 2 quarts, poured them in, and figured that had to be good enough. I looked at my dirt–smeared, oil-stained hands and cursed car maintenance and other manly jobs that I hate. Then I took off for the DMV.

I looked at the clock. Shoot, Austin’s going to be done before I get there, I worried. I took off, following the directions on my GPS until the GPS told me to take a road that doesn’t exist. Instead of pulling a Michael Scott and turning into a lake, I continued driving straight, knowing the GPS would soon admonish me with its ‘recalculating’. My GPS directed me to continue going straight, then it had me turn into a residential neighborhood. After driving around the streets there for a good mile, it instructed me to make a u-turn and retrace my steps back to the non-existent road. Whaaaa? I yelled obscenities at the stupid thing and continued driving past the invisible road. Eventually, the GPS rerouted me to an actual street and I was able to arrive at my destination. Austin had already taken and passed the test, he’d had his picture taken, he’d paid for the license, and he was outside waiting for me. My heart fell. I didn’t make it in time to witness this milestone.

As I thought about all the hours I’d spent at the DMV the 3 times I took Savannah there, I decided getting there late after Austin had already done the waiting and had taken care of business was kind of nice. I could still celebrate his accomplishment.

Although the milestones get a little scarier as your kids get older, and although you no longer look toward them with eager anticipation, but more a bittersweet combination of pride and a sense of sadness and loss, they’re still milestones. And they’re still worth celebrating. I mean, once you have a licensed driver in the house, you have someone to send out to the store on emergency chocolate runs. And that’s a good thing!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Are You Smarter Than a 19th Century 8th Grader?

I love old books and enjoy collecting them. I spend a lot of time at this cute little used book store in town, and get absolutely giddy when I find a new bunch of really old books there. I love the way people wrote back in the day. I especially love when I find a book that has someone’s handwriting inside the cover or notes in the margins. The penmanship of long ago is just so elegant and graceful. You don’t see that today. In fact, many schools no longer even teach cursive, favoring keyboarding classes in its place. Seeing a name penned inside a book makes me wonder about that person. Who were they? How did they die? When did they receive the book? To whom was it passed?

I enjoy reading biographies about people who lived in different times. I just finished one written by the nanny of the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret which was interesting. I loved that there were some pages of photographs in that book as well. I also enjoy looking at old school texts; I have a couple school books in my collection, including a fifth reader from 1896 and a book on words, their definitions, spellings, and applications from 1903.

I also have a copy of an 8th grade exam from 1895. I wonder how many 8th graders would pass it today. Heck, I wonder how many adults would pass it today. Working in a middle school, my first thought was that education has really gone downhill in the past 100+ years, as I’m certain that not one of my students would pass this. Although I still feel that education has slipped, I think that it’s changed more than gone completely downhill. For example, kids in 1895 didn’t know how to create a power point presentation; kids today do. Kids in 1895 didn’t know how complete a research paper online; kids today do.

Anyway, take this 8th grade test with your kids. Did they pass? Did you?

Continue reading here to take the 8th grade exam from 1895.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The (Online) Dating Game: Seinfeld Style

For a brief time I was hanging out, looking through the profiles of guys on I stopped doing that pretty quickly because I’m convinced everyone on there is either a serial killer, has some serious psychological defect, lives with his parents, has never been married for good reason, and/or is a depraved lunatic. I feel like I should be a character on Seinfeld. Not that I’m so funny or entertaining, but because like the characters on Seinfeld, I’m discovering I’m picky about possible matches. And by “picky”, I mean, I can find something wrong with pretty much everyone. Seinfeld had high talkers, low talkers, close talkers, man hands, double-dippers, mimbos, regifters, anti-dentites, toe thumbs, and none were sponge-worthy.

I find myself doing the same thing and coming up with all manner of reasons why men are not good enough for me. I’m not like this in real life, but when all you have are a few lines of text and a couple profile pictures, you find yourself judging others based on these few items. These are actual candidates I’ve encountered. Honest. Those of you who have ever tried online dating know I’m telling the truth and have probably seen some of these same guys

1. This guy’s teeth are crooked.
2. This guy has a photo of himself drinking from a keg – alcoholic.
3. This guy says he likes long walks – doesn’t own a car.
4. This guy says he’s an entrepreneur – unemployed.
5. This guy says he’s a taxidermist and has the pictures of dead animals to prove it.
6. This guy’s too short.
7. This guy’s too tall.
8. This guy has a comb-over. I don’t care about bald, but a few strands of hair shellacked into place with a can of hairspray? Uhhh no.
9. This guy robbed Charlie Sheen’s wardrobe.
10. This guy thinks “alot” is a word - illiterate.
11. This guy is too educated - pretentious.
12. This guy’s wearing camo. Or maybe he’s not. I can’t see him.
13. This guy has a dozen pictures of himself with his ex – can you say rebound?
14. This guy’s so pale he’s translucent – probably a vampire.
15. This guy has a spray tan that makes him look like an Oompaloompa.
16. This guy has a stained shirt – slob.
17. This guy has a picture of him kissing a kitty.
18. This guy has a picture of him holding a GOAT - Uhhh?
19. This guy says he likes writing poetry – gag.
20. This guy’s wearing a big, feather-adorned hat – Queen of England or pimp?
21. This guy has a tattoo of a Confederate flag that takes up his whole back.
22. This guy does triathlons – freak.
23. This guy has grandkids older than my kids!
24. This guy looks like Vincent Schiavelli.
25. This guy looks like Nigel Thornberry.
26. This guy looks like Betty White.
27. This guy looks like a combination of Vincent Schiavelli, Nigel Thornberry, and Betty White.
28. This guy says he’s not like anything you’ve ever seen before – he probably has 12 toes.
29. This guy says he’s a gentleman who wants his mate to get in touch with her inner femininity – I just threw up in mouth a little.
30. This guy says he can go from jeans and a t-shirt to a tux – I guess he just learned how to dress himself.

I could go on all night, but I’ll stop now before I depress any single women out there. At the age of 22, I married the first guy who came along despite all my friends’ and family’s warnings against it. So this time around I intend to be very picky. And if that means, I never find anyone with whom to share my life, then I’m cool with that. I would much rather be by myself than with someone who looks like Vincent Thornberry-White, wears a Queen of England wedding-going hat, and has pictures of dead animals with tattoos of the Confederate flag!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Jax's Surgery

Jackson had surgery to repair his hernia today. Before he was wheeled back to the operating room, he was given a shot of Versed. It made him loopy. He started singing about belly buttons. As the nurses took him back, they asked him how tall he is. He answered, "8'7" then started giggling as he realized what he said. It was pretty funny to watch.

A few weeks ago, Jackson went camping with his friend. Before they left, Jackson helped to load up the truck with heavy coolers and 4 wheelers. That weekend, he started complaining of pain in his groin area. I figured he probably had a hernia so I made an appointment with his pediatrician to get it checked out. She wasn’t sure what was wrong so she ordered an ultrasound of his abdomen and groin. The ultrasound showed nothing wrong. But he was still having pain which got worse when he moved around a lot or lifted anything. So she ordered a CT. It took several days to get approval from insurance. By the time we got the green light to schedule the CT, he was having more pain. He showed me his lower abdomen and asked, “Is this normal?”

I looked at the area that was bulging out and shrieked calmly said, “I think we need to schedule that CT now.”

I called the pediatrician and asked them to fax the order over to the radiology place and offhandedly mentioned, “I hope they can get him in right away because his abdomen is sticking out and looking all creepy now.”

The nurse informed me that we needed to go to the ER to get the scan right away instead of waiting to schedule it for later in the week. So we headed to the ER. The ER doctor poked and palpated the area and confidently stated that we didn’t need a CT because he was certain it was a hernia. “We don’t usually use ultrasounds or CTs to diagnose hernias. We can just tell by feeling the area.” Things that would’ve been nice to know before paying for an ultrasound and an ER visit!

So we got a referral for a surgeon, made an appointment and went to see him. “Yep, it’s a hernia, but it doesn’t feel like it’s in the usual place.”

“Well, funny you should mention that, but about a year and a half ago, Jackson was doing some ‘Hey look at me, I’m Tony Hawk’ thing and wiped out on his bike. The handlebars jabbed into his abdomen and gave him a huge hematoma. He was hospitalized overnight for that stunt.”

“Ahhh, I’ve heard of this happening before from handlebar injuries. That makes sense because this doesn’t feel like a normal hernia.”

Today, I brought Jackson to the hospital for his surgery. For a tough guy who is seemingly missing the mechanism in his brain that’s responsible for fear and for stopping one from doing stupid things, he is surprisingly scared of needles. The nurse had to stick the poor guy twice to start his IV. He was not happy.

After she got the IV started, she gave him a dose of Versed. Jackson instantly started giggling and said, “I can’t lick my lips.” He laughed and started singing about belly buttons. He glanced at the TV and doubled over laughing at Sponge Bob. When they came to wheel him into the operating room, a nurse asked him, “How tall are you?” Jackson answered, “8’7”, then realizing what he just said, started laughing once more. Being a good, responsible mom, I of course, recorded him acting all loopy and put it on my blog. 

Jackson is no stranger to the hospital. That’s what happens when you have a crazy boy who has no fear and likes to do stupid things worthy of America’s Funniest Home Videos. Maybe I’ve just become numb over the years because I’ve sat through a good 10 surgeries and more ER visits than I can count between my kids. I’m pretty good at remaining calm. For one thing, I don’t want to freak out my kid who is feeling nervous, and also because I have faith. I can’t control the situation, so freaking out does no good. I believe God is in control, so I can sit back and relax, knowing my child is in good hands. (And I can laugh at them when they’re drugged up and acting like goofballs.) I’m pretty sure this is in the parenting manual – keep calm and have faith. If not, it should be.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Say Cheese!

The head shots I've been using were taken in 2008. Seeing as it's 2013, I figured it was time for an update. The only problem was the fact that I hate getting my picture taken. I'm much more comfortable behind the camera. I'm super picky about the pictures I'm willing to let the world see.

I had Wendy Ackerman from Ackerman Photography take some new head shots this weekend. I'd seen a sampling of her work on her website and was impressed enough to give her a shot. I am so glad I did! She took about a thousand pictures of me in several outdoor locations near my home. She let me change clothes a couple times and arranged me in many different poses with different backgrounds. Not only that, but she was really fun and friendly, enabling me to relax and smile effortlessly.

I was super-pleased with the end result!

Check out her Facebook page and like it! And for all you local Florida folks, Wendy is offering a deal right now! If you book a session with her in June, you'll receive a FREE 16 X 20 canvas. Just mention my name when you book. In fact, I'm going to be booking another session with her for Savannah's senior portraits. I wasn't happy with Austin's senior portraits last year. I felt like the studio that the high school used for its yearbook just rushed us through with no individual attention. I know that Wendy will do a great job and will capture Savannah's personality in the shots just like she captured mine here...

Please take a minute to like her Facebook page and if you're local, book a session in June. She does babies, children, senior portraits, families, weddings, boudoir photos, and more. You won't be disappointed! 

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