Monday, June 26, 2006
I spent the day making calls to local businesses and hearing a lot more dial tone then last time. About 3 PM we called it a day and I headed to the movie theater. I remembered it as a cool refuge from the heat. It always was in Phoenix. Up here not so much. It was cooler then my apartment or outside for that matter. but it was not cold and I wanted cold. I had already paid for the movie so I figured I better watch it. That is why today I give you the review of NACHO LIBRE!!!!!
This movie was made by the same guy that made Napolean Dynamite. If you just cringed stop reading now. This is not your movie. Jack Black stars as Ignacio the man of the faith that just has to wrestle. I have felt that passion myself a time or too. I unfortunately do not want to subject the world to me in tights. For Jack Black this is not a problem. He spends almost the entire movie in clothes even a reasonably fit man should not wear. That is the curse of the Luchadores!
Everybody knows that wrestling, or rasslin', is great. Everybody knows the Hulkster and the Macho Man. These people pale in comparison to the famed Luchadores of Mexico. The Luchadores are typically much more agile then their US counterparts. They fly off the ropes and take wonderful dives on top of each other and genuinely put their bodies at risk. In this movie Ignacio has always wanted to be a Luchador. We see him as a young boy making his own costume and prancing around only to get punished and put to work in the kitchens of the orphanage. That is where we find him today making awful looking food for the orphans. A new person is introduced to his world and things seem to mean something again. The new person is a very cute nun. She is the reason for Ignacio to make something of himself and as he tries to entice her into an engaging night of toast munching and awkward conversation another brother comes by and sends him off on an errand. On the way back he does his errands to get the next day supply of chips for the orphans when he is accosted by Esqueleto and he loses the battle and the chips. On his ride of shame he notices a famous Luchador mobbed by fans. He turns away to see a sign that says Lucha Libre and it tells him amatuers can wrestle the next night. His chance has come. He unites with Esquelito and together they become the worst wrestling team ever! They get paid anyway since everyone shares the profits and for a while he lives high on the hog buying fancy shoes and new clothes. He soon finds out that he is a horrible wrestler and that what he really wants is to win and be admired. About this time fe discovers that his idols, including the number one Luchador are all self conceited jerks. After a heartbreaking night he vows to give up wrestling and refocus on his orphans. That day he is found out at the orphanage and pledges the next fight will see him victorious and that all the orphans will see the profits. He has found the reason to win. At his low point he realizes he has to do it for the orphans....
The movie is stupid. Lets put that out right now. The other thing to let you know is that stupid can be good. I liked this movie. I think that it had the same type of awkward social interaction that Napolean had plus it had the crazy antics of Jack Black. It's true I hated Jack in King Kong but I like him as the funny guy. His facial contortion work for this movie. That being said I have to tell you that every reviewer I have read absolutely hated this movie. I am not sure what they were expecting. It stars Jack Black in tights and a mask how dramatic could it be? It does not have a gangly teenager that needs chapstick so it is not Dynamite II and after all their is no llama named Tina. If you want to see a dramatic movie about a monk that wrestles to save the orphanage all the while trying to find forgiveness for his impure thoughts I recommend you get a camera and start filming that movie because this isn't it. This is camp and silliness at an absurd level. The wrestling matches were fun. The little munchkin wrestlers were great for laughs and Esquelito's shrieks of pain were dead on funny. I really liked Esquelito and the nun they were great. They did not get credit for their acting skills. Sometimes the best way to act with a person like Jack Black is to just look confused and these two did a great job of that. I love the looks of shock from the girl who plays the nun.
GO see this if you like Jack or if you like stupid movies. Otherwise don't go see it. If you read this all the way through and you hate stupid movies, I warned you in the beginning so don't come whining to me!
Sunday, June 25, 2006
So I was off at 8 which through my whole days plan into disarray because nothing opens until 10 AM. I had planned to go straight from work to sell some DVD's and CD's but I had 2 hours to kill. Which is pretty hard when you are broker then broke. I headed home and wrote today's first 2 entries. Then I emailed people that probably won't email back and a few that might. FInally it was 10, so I grabbed some books I had wanted to keep and I headed downtown. I parked in the $5 maximum parking and discovered in all my brilliance that I had left my card at home so I was hoping I made at least 5 so I could drive home I had no plan B. My luck held out and I was able to buy a full tank of gas, pay the garage fee and have a beer and a burger at Henry's Tavern. The beer and the burger were not my brightest idea as far as money was concerned but I have been selling things left and right trying to pay bills and it just felt like I should at least enjoy a moment this month. So I ordered a Brewery BBQ Burger and A Deschutes Buzzsaw Brown to wash it down. The books I grabbed at the last minute paid for this indulgence the cds paid for the gas and I had 9 dollars left for the next fill up. The Brewery BBQ Burger was really really good and it was huge. It had a slice of Tillamook Cheddar, ham, the burger (obviously), an onion bun, and a great BBQ sauce. I was thrilled with it. I was irritated by the beer selection. Not because it was a bad beer selection but because it ionly had 2 of the brewery's own beers on tap. I am not sure I mentioned this Henry's Tavern is Henry Weinhard's place. There were over a 100 beers listed and the list was great. It had imports, local and not so local small breweries beers, rare and hard to find beers and a beer for every palatte. That includes the uneducated swine that only drink a steady diet of Budweiser and Bud Light for their dieting days. The beer I chose was pretty good, probably one of the better beers I have tried from Deschutes so far. Deschutes is a beer brewed in Bend, OR and no I have not been to that brewery nor have I been to Bend. Just to paint a picture of the awesomeness of the beer list I want to tell you that they had a Hoegaarden White Beer that Kevin K turned me onto when I visited him before Maryann's wedding. I have not seen nor heard of that beer since and had I seen it before I ordered that would have been the beer I chose because I think it was on tap. That is always an adventure. The decor of the place was a little disheartening. The name may say Tavern but its aim is definately for high dollar eatery. They had huge windows and big thick window drapes. Everything was black including the waiters uniforms and it had the definate feel of swank. They need to rename it Henry's Fancy Schmancy House of Other People's Beers. I was pleased with my burger, my beer was good, and the service was great. Was it a unique must have experience? NO, it was just like every other brewery that is popping up. An overdressed place to drink a beer, next time someone calls ther place a tavern I want a darkened room and shady characters in it and I want the beer to flow like waterfalls of delightful thirst quenching goodness. Would I go back again? Yes I would, in fact I am fairly certain that when I do start making money I will go back and have another go at the ginormous beer list. If I happen to be brewery jumping (if a beer drinker ever comes my way this will be something we do) Henry's will be passed over since it isn't really a brew house.
From there I headed to the streetcar and hopped on for a ride around. I was inside fairless square which meant I didn't have to pay to ride and I knew no matter what my parking bill would still be $5 dollars so I decided to get a free tour of the Pearl District. I caught it going South so actually all I saw was the Downtown. I rode it to the end in the downtown area and hopped back on when it cruised back by to take us back North. When I got near Portland State University I hopped off and checked out the farmer's market. Then I hoofed it North past the detestable Art Museum that I just discovered is at least 2 buildings which explains how we got lost in it and how come we never saw the Egyptian items they kept talking about. I kept walking until I was near the area where the library was. I had never been to a library in Multnomah County and I had been meaning to check out the Central Library so I walked in and was marveling at the beauty of the place when I discovered an exhibit on the 3rd floor. It was the opening of an exhibit showcasing some books from the rare books room the library has. Some books were from the 1400's , one was an original Beatrix Potter book and they also had an excellent and beautiful copy of the Audobon book with the wonderfully colored illustrations. As luck would have it this was the opening day so I was treated to my dinner and a three part orchestra from the Oregon Baroque Orchestra. It was really neat to see the old books and munch on free food while being entertained by professional musicians. I found two books as the music was playing and I signed up for a library card and then performed a Waltz as I left the building and headed across the street to wait for the streetar to take me back to the Pearl district. As I waited I took in the beauty of the Library's surroundings. THe youth shelter behind me, the kids hanging around the door way until someone from the shelter told them to stop milling about. The half naked bums that kept talking to me about the weather, at least it wasn't about how much money I should spare for them. Might not be a bad idea to spare that dime next time and find out where a good spot is so when I get tossed out on my ear for paying rent late I would have a heads up. Hehe. Anyways it was strange to see that amazing division of people just by walking out of the library.
After all that excitement my feet were killing me and I decided to head home and relax.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Stupid neighbors' kids!
I am so not a big stupid baby head!
Sunday, June 11, 2006
The movie starts in depression era New York and Peter Jackson spends the entire opening credits making sure we get that. We are introduced to Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) an impoverished Vaudeville stage actress with big dreams and a reality that is about to go bust. The playhouse she performs in closes the doors and she is out of a job and hungry. Her old manager tells her to pursue her dreams of the big stage and she tries to but she is shut down by the talent scout and handed an address of a place that is hiring. He recommends she work there and then get out of this crummy town.... We head across town as Carl Denham (Jack Black) watches the film he has shot with the investors who of course hate it. When they decide to turn it into stock footage to get their money back he runs off with the film and decides to set sail that evening for 'Singapore'. At that point his naive assistant lets him know that his actress has dropped out and he sets off to find a new girl to fit her dresses. Ann shows up at the place she was sent to only to find that it is a burlesque show and with her dreams fading she takes off. Carl happens to see her before he is about to go into the burlesque show to search for his star. He somehow convinces her to go to 'Singapore' and they head to the boat. Where we have a reluctant captain that takes a check to set sail that night from a man he already knows is broke. He traps the reluctant author of his screenplay Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) on his boat so that he can get a completed screenplay. So Carl is a real winner a liar, cheat, con-artist and kidnapper. As they leave the docks the cops show up to late to arrest carl for stealing the footage he had shot, which makes him a fugitive as well. On the boat he reveals to Jack the real destination is Skull Island. The crew and captain freak out but this unlikable guy that Jack Black brings to life convinces them to follow his plan anyhow. Then the first mate and captain discover Carl is a wanted man and they are ordered to turn around just as a strange fog settles down and they crunch right into the big rock skull on Skull island.
At this point I was ready to call it a day. I was bored to tears and was afraid the movie would continue like this and that Mr. Jackson would totally 'Godzilla' this film. I had been reading the paper and doodling through the whole part and only stopped occasionally to wonder how Carl could convince people of his plans when no one seemed to like him. He was not all that compelling and his ambition was outright ugly to see. I know that there wouldn't be a movie if they didn't but what type of excuse is that? I like Jack Black but I did not like him in this movie and perhaps that was what he wanted to do with the character. Either way I had a hard time believing the crew of the ship wouldn't have knifed him a few times and dumped him overboard. The captain who seemed to deal in poaching and smuggling animals was a more likeable character. I almost stopped watching the movie when they were about to turn around because Carl was a fugitive. I couldn't buy that the entire crew had missed New York's finest send off at the beginning of the voyage. It almost derailed the film for me. It definitely made me stop and start doing other things. I washed dishes, made my bed, read email, went for a walk, bought groceries, talked to my grandfather, ate some grapefruit, cooked dinner, watched some tv, watched a made for tv movie, and took a nap. Then knowing that I had to finish it for the sake of the review at least I sat back down and started from where I paused it.
Skull Island. Carl steals a life boat and takes the film crew, the writer and the actor and actress to the island and they start filming on the 'deserted island'. It is really creepy and then all of a sudden the natives spring forth and start attacking leaving several in the party dead. The captain shows up and saves the day. Once again I was not real clear on why. They all go back to the boat and are getting ready to leave when Ann is taken off the boat by a pole vaulting native. The pole vaulting was rad by the way. Jack who has fallen in love with her by now realizes she was missing and sounds the bell as the captain is about to take off. The men, every one of them outstanding people that want to restore Ann to the boat for pure virtue, amass a rescue mission. They come in guns blazing only to miss the arrival of King Kong as he takes his snack back to his lair. Carl of course sees him and keeps it to himself and they all run out into the jungle to save her. Carl apparently figures that KK just wants to be a star and tags along with his camera. This is where it finally gets good. King Kong flings Ann around all over the place and you wonder how she would survive. I am betting she could have had a major whiplash case against KK had she pursued it. The boys run into a huge bunch of stampeding brontosaurus's for a spectacular scene where several men and brontosaurus's lose their lives as they run from what appears to be velociraptors. The remaining group of rescuers have a few people give up including the dashing actor who always plays the hero in his movies but is not so heroic in real life. The remaining group head further into the forest. Meanwhile Ann puts on a vaudeville act until KK gets a little rough and she is forced to put her foot down. KK has a major tantrum and when it doesn't work he runs away and so does Ann. She runs off through a jungle with the largest gorilla anyone has ever seen and does so with out thinking "Where the devil am I going?" King Kong terrorizes the rescuers as they are crossing a ravine and sends them all plummeting. Ann sees this and ends up running the other way. She of course gets in trouble with a few large lizards and then bigger trouble with a few large Tyrannosauruses. King Kong shows up from nowhere and takes on the T-Rexes. There are three of them in this version and this scene trumps the great brontosaurus scene. Flashback to the intrepid rescuers, a few survive the fall only to be assaulted by ginormous (pronounced like gigantic and enormous had a baby) bug and scorpion. They are saved by the actor and the captain and as they all decide she is dead Jack decided to continue searching on his own. Carl and the captain decide to hatch another money making scheme and try to capture KK as he follows Jack and Ann back to the boat. Jack rescues Ann, KK follows and somehow gets captured and then we are in New York.
It appears to be months later and Carl is promoting his show of the 8th wonder of the world. Jack is watching his play he wrote for Ann to star in be performed by another actress and Ann is elsewhere. Plug in the old story. KK sits chained in iron, Carl says he is harmless they have a show and camera flashes infuriate KK and he goes ballistic and starts smashing wintery New York. Trying to help out Jack shows his face to lead KK away from a trolley and KK remembering the jerk that took his special lady friend takes off after him. Ann arrives in time to save jack and to hang out with KK and just before they get married the army starts firing missiles at them. KK climbs up the empire state building to get away and once again just before the marriage the military spoils his fun. Airplanes shoot at him even though all he wants to do is smash up town and maybe eat a few people or so. She tries to save him but cant and he dies and falls off the Empire State building to make it complete.
Hope I didn't spoil the ending.... if I did do yourself a favor and see the original version too. I do recommend this movie just be ready for the stupidly long beginning. I enjoyed it even if it made me start thinking: How would the insurance companies respond to claims from large ape damage?
Oh yeah and: Do you think anyone was unlucky enough to have a 20 foot gorilla fall on them? Could you imagine telling that to your family? Hehe.
Friday, June 09, 2006
I was told by some guy on one of the many websites I visit that I needed to see Brown Bunny. Having Netflix I figured why not? If it is even half as good as that guy said it was it would be worth it..... So I requested it and watched it.... here is my review of The Brown Bunny.
Some of you may have heard of Vincent Gallo. He is a guy that seems to think of himself as a genius. He writes, directs, act, photographs, paints, races motorcycles professionally, musician, metal worker, sculptor, model, t-shirts salesman, and he even sells himself. Some people adore him and some people can't understand how he has gotten so damn rich. I am one of the latter group members. I think this guy is ridiculous. I have been told by fans that this is his whole point. He is mocking society with his jerk persona and his pointless movies. Whatever. The resume of his makes me wonder what scheme he is pulling over on us and every once in a while I watch something he mad and I regret it. The first time was the critically acclaimed Buffalo '66. I think I must have gotten a different copy then the critics did. That movie made me wish I had died it was so boring. Knowing all this why did I bother? Simple I forgot who this guy is. If I had watched a clip of this movie and seen him and equated him to Buffalo '66 I would have never requested this movie. You may remember that this is the movie that Mr. Ebert said was a horrible awful waste of time which inspired good ol' Vince to say that he hoped Ebert would get colon cancer and die. Yeah... maybe that might jog the memory. These are things I wish I had remembered YESTERDAY!
I'm Vincent Gallo and I'm scary, creepy and lame!
So here is the movie because no one should ever watch this movie ever. A motorcycle racer has a race, does he win? I have no friggin clue. He loads his bike into his black panel van and drives to a gas station. He begs the counter chick to go with him to California and she finally gives in. Then while he sends her into grab her stuff from home he leaves without her. Then we see him drive and look depressed. 30 minutes later he is still driving and looking depressed. An incredibly long time goes on with him driving, looking depressed and occasionally stopping. In one of his stops he talks to old people about some chick named 'Daisy'. In another stop he makes out with some random chick (Cheryl Tiegs) at a rest stop and then looks depressed and leaves her. Then he is in Las Vegas and he drives around stopping and talking to hookers and then driving on. One hooker he goes back for. He takes her to a McDonald's drive-thru and then starts looking depressed again. He stops the car, kicks her out, gives her money and drives off. Looking depressed and driving again. He has a flashback of 'Daisy' a couple of times and then he is in Los Angeles. He drives to a house which seems to belong to 'Daisy'. He knocks on the door for like ten minutes and then leaves a note. Then he goes to his hotel room and lays around looking depressed. Then 'Daisy' shows up. Daisy is played by Chloe Sevigny. They talk and he looks depressed. She does lots of drugs and they talk more. Then they make out and we have THE SCENE. Then we find out she is not realy there because she is dead and it's all his fault. They were at a party where she ends up getting raped while she was passed out and he did not stop it or help her. She choked on her own vomit. We then see him crying and then the next scene is Vince driving again and looking depressed. Then the movie is over.
I referred to THE SCENE earlier. If you do not know what I am referring to Google The Brown Bunny.... Or I could just tell you. Good ol' Vince receives 'Monica Lewinsky' for like ever from Chloe. Honest to goodness porn quality 'Monica Lewinsky' and still I would say there is no reason in the world to ever see this flick. The scene inspired a pretty funny shirt though.
I think what I am trying to say is don't watch this movie. Did that come across at all? If you want to watch Vincent look depressed for two hours and still have relations I guess this movie might be for you.
My bacon is almost done so I better stop writing. I just thought I would update now in case I don't feel like it tonight....
Do you ever run out of things to talk about? I seem to be having that problem today...
I will leave you with a random quote from the Simpsons....
"I'm a level 5 vegan. I don't eat anything that casts a shadow."
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
I can't wait! I am so looking forward to being at work at 5am!! Woohoo! I love making nothing per hour it's awesome!
I learned a lot in the classes I was in. Like, most of the people only do AFLAC. They don't have a part time job and they are making money that way. I think the fact that they have to make money is a huge part of it. I wish I could do that but I am in a monetary situation where I am focused on paying last weeks bills and can't even face opening the mail box without freaking out. I am not sure if these people have a working spouse or if they actually had some money saved up because I couldn't even fathom leaving work before I had a few sales in the can. I also think that I am allowing this part time job to trip me up. I think I allow it to be an excuse for why I am not getting it done. It is a challenge but it is something I need to learn to work around. I need something that is guaranteed to keep coming in as long as I keep showing up until I can get some money rolling in from the thing that will end up absorbing every ounce of free time. It's free time wasted anyway.
I have learned that I really need to dedicate my week day to Aflac from 8 until 5. I think what I really need to do is to stop working morning hours at the dead end callcenter job and request a schedule change from the 5 am to whenever to the 5pm to 10 or 6 to 10. I hate the idea but it really is only temporary. I have said that I viewed jobs as temporary before but this time I already have my next big thing sitting in my lap. I never had that before. I was always confused about the next move professing wishes to be a journalist, a teacher, a peace corp volunteer.... anything that seemed like I might have a future with or that might keep me interested past the faked interview excitement I have been on autopilot for years and it is scarier then hell to turn that autopilot off and actually commit to something.
I think I need to work weekends and evenings at my part time gig and I need to focus on insurance the rest of the time. I will be filling out the schedule change request forms tomorrow. I am a little worried that the callcenter job will not work with me on that. The company I work for is a staffing agency and as far as I can tell they just keep you on for 90 days and I am getting real close to that time frame. At 90 days you either get the axe or you get hired by the company they staff from what I've heard but that probably should be taken with a grain of salt considering the accuracy of office gossip. I am highly doubtful that I will stay employed if that is true. I guess that this is a problem I need to stop worrying about until it happens. I am just wasting brainspace. When I am put in that position I will just let Jason (my district coordinator and trainer) know that I need to make dough and I need to make it fast and then I will become like glue and he won't be able to have a bowl of raisin bran without me there. I need to focus on making what I have in front of me at this moment work. SO making my crap job schedule less of a hindrance is the goal. The company either will work with me or it won't and until either happens all I can do is ask.
I keep telling myself things will work out because they always do......
Things will work out they always do....
Friday, June 02, 2006
A Rambling Review of
X-Men: The Last Stand
It was May 2003 and I was walking out of a theater after seeing X2. I was ecstatic. I had just seen one of the best films made from a comic strip ever and they hinted at a grander sequel. They were going to tackle the infamous 'Dark Phoenix' saga, a tale that turns the loveable and amiable Jean Grey into a horrible and unstoppable mass murderer. I could not be happier or more excited. How long would I have to wait? I knew that it would take a while but after the second movie how could they mess up. The characters were dead on, just the right amount of cheekiness mixed in with real human emotion set in a world with mutants that had amazing power. As long as they took the time to tackle it they could have the best movie ever.
X-Men: The Last Stand. It finally came. The box they packaged it in sure was shiny. That should have been my first sign something was wrong. Never being one to pick up on signs I took no notice of these ones. Even when I learned that the director was somebody new I did not worry. I am too optimistic sometimes. The new director was Brett Ratner; he was the director of both Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2 and apparently the impending Rush Hour 3. Bryan Singer the director of the first two X-Men titles ran off to play with Superman and Brett took over the reins of the hugely ambitious storyline of X3. The fan boys (a cute pet name for the die hard comic book dorks that could tell you everything that has happened in the comic book world but can't tell you if they will ever date) were up in arms apparently. Brett Ratner knew that he had a huge story in his hands and it was his to destroy, so he did what any good director and non-comic enthusiast would do. He added characters and I mean a lot of them. There are so many characters in this film that it's ridiculous. They even had to get Frasier Crane to play one of them, that's how many characters there were! I mean Frasier Crane! All these characters and yet he forgot that he needed a character driven plot. Instead he focused on having Magneto leer and Wolverine slash. Everyone else stood around. They introduced one of the coolest X-men characters into the film, Angel. In the comic books he is a Greek god; amazingly powerful and graceful in flight. In the movie he looks like the blond dorky kid (Anthony Michael Hall) from Weird Science, Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles fame. Great casting.
So our little Dark Phoenix, aka, Famke Janssen, how was she? Well I could not tell if she read the script or not. She spent most of the time alternating between looking confused and looking apathetic. When she was supposed to be really upset about something she kind of looked like she suffered from constipation. So her acting consisted of her looking constipated while the special effects department tried to make something cool happen or a blank stare as people tried to interact with her. What about Wolverine, he was slash happy so that is good right? It should have been. Hugh Jackman had put in a decent Wolverine act in the previous movies so he had it down right? Not really a lot of the jokes he delivered were jokes you could have seen Wolvie say but the delivery wasn't quite right. He seemed happy go lucky and it just didn't feel right to me.
So I hated the movie... but I also enjoyed it. I made myself watch it for what it was. A light hearted romp through one of the best and most shockingly grim comic book tales ever layed out in the X-men comic books. I let myself enjoy the computer graphics. With no character story what else was there. I enjoyed seeing Magneto move the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz. I enjoyed the effect that the Phoenix had on the people as she some how turned them into ash and disbursed them into the swirling air. How she was like an atom bomb always about to go off or a girl that really needed ex-lax; that when you stop and think about it might be one and the same. I let go of the fact that what I like about comics is that these characters have lives that go on even during the fights. That they worry about never embracing their loved ones ever again as they try to crawl out of the rubble of a collapsed building. Or that they get a choice between saving that loved one from death or saving the world. I love that when it's all over and they win they still have to go home and face whatever they had left behind to save the city. Whether it is a painful separation, a loved ones death, increasingly unpayable bills or just the fact that they are so different and alienated from the world. I let myself forget and forgive Ratner for not telling the story right. For taking a great epic tale and turning it into a package of Pop Rocks, all fizz and pop and no relevance and no story. I even allowed myself to not feel robbed by the emotionless final scene on the battlefield as someone made a sacrifice that went against his heart and his own emotions. I allowed myself to enjoy a total failure but when I tried to review it all I can remember it as is a step backward. So that is what I will call it a step backward and a computer generated pile of poo. It lacked story and substance but wow did it look pretty. Well maybe not Famke's Dye job.
Was it a good movie? No. Would I see it again? Maybe. Could it have been better? Infintely. My rating: See it but don't expect to like it if you have ever enjoyed a comic book or one of the previous movies.
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