Leaving to spend more time with my baby-flavored doughnuts

Well, bah. This is hardly the sort of thing to devote a post to. It belongs in some second-tier WordPress tab labeled “Things Muttered by A Sarah In An Offhand Way While Looking At The Floor, Immediately Before She Offers Pastries In Her Compulsive Approval-Seeking Way.” Oh well. Here’s what I’ve realized, folks: I’m a happier and (therefore) better commenter than I am a blogger. Partly this is because I find it much easier to write responses to things other people have said than to find something to put down on a blank page. Partly (maybe relatedly) it’s because I have never, ever, ever felt especially comfortable in the spotlight as myself. As Dottie Otley in “Noises Off” or Sheila in “The Boys Next Door”? Yes. As myself, giving words to my own thoughts and trying to project my own voice to the back of the auditorium? Dear God, no. NO. Let me whisper secrets to a dear friend or pour my heart out in the therapist’s office or the confessional and I’m in my element… but please don’t make me give a speech or a sermon or presentation without providing me with a stiff drink and a three-hour nap immediately upon stepping down from the podium.

Were I so inclined I could probably deconstruct this, and probably find lots of bad reasons for my feeling this way. (Internalized sexism. Various disorders listed in the DSM. Insufficient bravado. And a heaping helping of Nice White Lady, wherein I am irrationally given to believing that my privately-imagined flaws, my moral failings, and my heroic efforts to be a Good Girl are really, really interesting and command the attention of a the rest of the whole dadgum disapproving world… as evidenced by, for example, this parenthetical aside which you are currently reading.) I know. And I do try to pay attention to those, and to keep challenging myself to act in ways I haven’t been scripted to act.

The confounding factor, though, is that my life has changed a lot in the last six months. Specifically, I started a new job — a job where I have to be the person at the front of the room, or the person in charge of the website for the online class. I have much less time to give to anything other than work and family needs… and when I do have spare time I want to spend it doing ANYTHING other than being before an audience or having a leadership role in a group. Unfortunately, my joining the SP masthead predated my new job by only a couple of months. The result being, of course, that as soon as I became one of the bloggers I pretty much clammed up.

Anyway, I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I was really honored to be asked, though, and… ah geez, is there ANYTHING that can go here that isn’t a cliche’? It was an honor. I learned a lot. Thank you, co-bloggers, for the opportunity, for making me a better writer and person, and best of all for your friendship. Worn-out expressions all, but all true. (And also, here’s a private aside to the Shapelings who aren’t one of the four SP bloggers: Snarky’s and SM and FJ and Kate will ABSOLUTELY TAKE THE PISS out of me if they hear me say this SO DON’T TELL THEM, but I can’t shake the feeling that I didn’t do right by you… that I should have moderated more and written more and been in better touch with the other bloggers over email. It’s possible this is actually true, and it’s also possible that this feeling is just me being compulsively fractious with myself again. I have no idea. If an apology is called for, though, believe me that it’s offered and heartfelt.)

Okay, so that’s that. On to more important topics! I’m excited because I just found a source for locally-milled whole wheat flour, and I’m having fun thinking about what to make with it. Has there yet been a whole-wheat baby-flavored doughnut? Can you make whole wheat doughnuts?

99 thoughts on “Leaving to spend more time with my baby-flavored doughnuts”

  1. I know your baby doughnuts will be really happy to have you all to themselves again.

    Just so everyone knows, as a Blogger Emeritus, A Sarah will of course have a standing invitation to post at any time. We love her writing, and we are so grateful for the hard work she has done here as a writer, a moderator, and a commenter. She kicks 100 sorts of ass.

  2. The older I get, the more I am convinced that my work as a human being is learning to take care of myself first.

    Brava for your bravery to step out and say, “This isn’t working.”

    And I’ll miss your religion-focused posts.

  3. Krispy Kreme actually has whole-wheat donuts, not that I’ve ever eaten one. I just stick with the tried and true baby-flavored variety.

    I enjoyed your writing, A Sarah. As someone who’s painfully aware of how much work can interfere with cool things you want to do, I totally symphathize with you.

  4. A Sarah, I wish you well and chocolate filled baby donuts in whatever form you like them. Balancing everything we do is a challenge (I am standing in my kitchen with wet hair, in dirty pjs, dishes in the sink, fresh puppy poop in the pen behind me that needs cleaning NOW, and I’m already late for work) and sometimes we just don’t get to do what we want to do because of the things we have to do. Thanks for the thought provoking posts and read you around.

  5. I could see making a pumpkin cake donut with whole-wheat flour.

    Oh: and I do understand wanting balance in your life. If your new job is requiring you to hop into a new role or place, then it totally makes sense you would want to do other things when you’re not at work. ;)

  6. I used to be a technical trainer, which I adored, but the last thing I felt like after a day of work was coming home and actually trying to communicate in more than vague sign language and grunts.

  7. Good luck A Sarah. I keep meaning to mention a book to you called “The Religion of Thinness”, which takes a theological approach to the whole diet/body obsession culture. It’s pretty interesting, if you haven’t taken a look at it, it’s worth it when you get a chance.

  8. The Dunkin in my college town lo those many years ago had a brief run with whole wheat donuts. They were the best donuts in the shop and I grieved when they went away.

  9. Two things I never thought I’d see in the same sentence: Krispy Kreme and whole wheat.

    Good luck with whatever you do, A Sarah. I’m looking forward to reading your comments.

  10. In the OLDEN DAYS (before 1800) EVERYTHING that was wheat was whole wheat! So YES, there are Whole Wheat Doughnuts. Warning: they are going to be much more FILLING and NUTRITIOUS, so cut the recipe in half.

  11. A Sarah, I always enjoy reading what you write as a blogger and as a commenter. Thanks for sharing with us, and good luck with getting some balance in your life.

    Mmmmm whole wheat donuts….

  12. Good for you for taking care of yourself (which, incidentally, conveniently runs against the grain of Nice White Ladies Who Should Always Put Others First, so good for you for rebelling). I hope you continue commenting!

  13. I have enjoyed your posts and look forward to reading them in future, even if only on-occasion rather than regularly-scheduled. Best of luck with the new job you mentioned.

  14. A.Sarah – Spiffing good luck to you and thanks for all your posts. I bet we can all relate to your reasons…it must be hard to keep on coming up with corking posts, and having to stand by them (shriek!)in public. Hell – if I didnt have my shroud of secrecy to hide behind while adding my pathetic little snivelling comments, I’d be a withered prune of perpetual discomfort laid bare for the world’s arse to absentmindedly sit on.
    Hope you enjoy things and have a lovely old time in your new job – I hope it involves you living in huge sunglasses and a silk robe and tottering around in satin mules fashioning ground breaking sculptures from locally-milled whole wheat flour. I do hope so. Very best wishes.

  15. OH NO! No more A Sarah? *SNIF* But I love when you entertain me and make me think for free! (Heh.)
    Thanks for all you’ve done. I’ve really appreciated your voice and your thoughts, and totally understand the burnout. Take care of yourself, and see you in the comments!

  16. Oh, yeah, and we make whole wheat donuts, sometimes; also, Elephant Ears/Beaver Tails, which are the flat bread version.

  17. This year has been me unsubscribing, saying no, and carrying a ton of guilt for every single time I took my time back. Your post confirmed for me that I was making the right decisions, and that in order for my creativity to be creative, it required me to be happy. Enjoy every minute, and don’t feel that you let us down. You didn’t! Good comments can be every bit as inspiring as a post.

  18. I came in on Shapely Prose a bit late for me to have seen very many of your posts, but I have seriously taken note of your comments and they are always fantastic. You’re very funny and though I’m sad that you’re leaving as a blogger as long as you continue commenting in the genuis way you do, well I guess we can all make do with that. :) Good luck being balanced.

  19. To A Sarah: as a fellow sufferer of Nice White Ladyness, I can assure you that one of the many symptoms is the belief that you must do everything perfectly, to everyone’s satisfaction but your own (I assume other ethnicities have similar martyrdoms?). So yeah, it’s fine not to be perfect, AKA to have to make adjustments based on real life. It will keep your head from exploding.

  20. Good luck with the new job! I’ll miss your posts here, but I hope we still see you around.

    Also, whole-wheat doughnuts sound totally sacrilegious.

  21. Passive aggressive in a polite apologetic way of course. Sorry to have bothered you with this extra comment.

  22. Good for you for making sanity and balance a priority. I will miss your posts–you are really fantastic. I hope you’ll still comment here as time allows.

  23. Of course I post this at the start of a very busy day, and now I don’t know what to do with all these nice words. Mrf. Sniffle. ::blows loud foghorn sound from nose into hankie and smiles abashedly::

    This feels so much better, though. I think I will be commenting and participating much more now (though not as much as I did when I was home with the kiddos and dissertating in my sweats) just because my anxiety is creeping slowly downward… from “Adrian Monk” level to, oh, let’s say… “Daniel Striped Tiger” level.

    @stacia — dude, THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME ABOUT THAT BOOK! I think (unless I’m remembering the title wrong, which I don’t think I am) that long ago a publicist for that book emailed me to let me know about it, and indeed, I’d wanted very much to order it. But then I got eaten by the internet, marital squabbles, and dirty dishes, and forgot.

    @paintmonkey — OMG, I think we’re the same person. I once got trapped in my car in the garage because the anti-theft device malfunctioned and the doors wouldn’t open nor would the car start. Nobody else was home, you couldn’t see me from the street, and the only form of communication I had was email from my laptop using the wireless signal from the house. So I email my colleagues for help, and how do I begin the email? “Dear Colleagues, I’m so sorry to bother you during the middle of what I know is a very busy time of the semester…”

  24. Oh, that’s really too bad… but sometimes you’ve just got to say no, even preemptively. It’s better to say no early when the iron is cold than to have to raise a white flag when everything is beyond stressful. As long as you’ll still be commenting and poking around…

    Another vote for whole wheat donuts. They are deceptively delicious.

  25. I’ll miss your posts, but I totally understand why you’re doing it. Besides, who wouldn’t spend as much time as possible with their baby-flavoured donuts?

    “Dear Colleagues, I’m so sorry to bother you during the middle of what I know is a very busy time of the semester…”

    :) You see, this is why I’m going to miss you so much. Hope you have a chance to comment.

  26. You’ll be missed as a co-blogger, but welcome back to the other side.
    And I love me some whole wheat donuts, especially if they’re made with honey and a honey glaze. Mmmmm.

  27. I’m just glad you’ll still be around. In fact, while I liked your posts, I kind of missed your frequent comments. So, really, I feel like I win either way.

    As for the whole wheat flour? Desem, baby!! It’s a flemish sourdough. I’m completely obsessed with micro-organism-processed foods at the moment. You capture the wild flora on the fresh flour into a whole wheat sourdough starter and use it to make some of the most delicious bread EVAH. I just baked my first desem loaf yesterday. It’s just whole wheat, water, and salt, but the starter gives it the most wonderful flavor. My desem is only a week old, so it’s not fully mature yet and the texture of the loaf isn’t what it ought to be, but the flavor is heavenly! As DJ Lance Rock says, “Try it, you’ll like it!”

  28. I’m sorry to see you step back because I’ve always enjoyed your postings, but I know how life changes can rearrange the priorities in your life. So I’m also glad that your life is taking you places where you need the energy and time for those new adventures.

    As for the whole wheat flour: pancakes. Donut pancakes: add some nutmeg and cinnamon to the batter and they taste a lot like donuts. Except then you smother them in butter and syrup so they’re even better. I have a ricotta pancake recipe that actually doesn’t call for much flour which is why I strongly prefer whole wheat or oat flour when I make it because it gives them all kinds of wonderful texture and nutty flavor.

  29. Like everyone else, I’ll miss your posts, but I’ll still look forward to your comments.

    I know how hard it can be to make the decision to give up something you (presumably) enjoy doing – I’ve just made the decision to defer my uni studies this semester, because I’m exhausted and simply don’t have the energy. But it still sucks and I kind of wish I wasn’t.

    And yes, this post is ALL ABOUT ME. Heh.

    What I really mean to say is that it sucks when other stuff gets in the way, but I think you’ve made the decision which is best for you, and that takes guts. Go A Sarah! I hope the new(ish) job works out wonderfully for you.

  30. Awww, sorry you’ve been all Monk anxious… that’s a horrible feeling.

    I just have one question… did your busy colleagues realize you were serious when you completed your sentence, stating that you had locked yourself IN your car (because that sounds like a dang blonde joke or sup’m!)

    Looking forward to your comments whenever you can :) Enjoy your donuts!

  31. A Sarah, I’ve enjoyed having your delightful presence here on the blog! I hope you’ll pop in and say hi when you can. :)

  32. Like some of the other commenters, I’ll also miss your posts with that special A Sarah theological bent.

    But it is so good that you know your limits and are setting boundaries and caring for yourself! Took me FO-EV-AH to do that even the smidge that I do now.

    Look forward to reading you, wherever that might be…

  33. Good luck to you, A Sarah, and more power to you for realizing when to say when. I’ve enjoyed your writing and hope to see you around the Fat-o-Sphere some other time!

  34. Damn–first you brought the theology to the fatosphere and now you’re bringing the whole wheat recipes just when I’ve inadvertently purchased 25 pounds of the stuff. You rule! Will be looking forward to your comments and any other wisdom you care to put out into the universe!

  35. A Sarah, thank you for your insights! I’ll miss your posts, but look forward to your comments as always!

  36. As long as your wit and wisdom is still around as a commenter rather than a blogger, I can live with that. I always enjoy reading your posts and comments.

    Now, I’m hungry for doughnuts and there are no doughnut shops around here open at this hour. Darn.

  37. And a heaping helping of Nice White Lady, wherein I am irrationally given to believing that my privately-imagined flaws, my moral failings, and my heroic efforts to be a Good Girl are really, really interesting and command the attention of a the rest of the whole dadgum disapproving world… as evidenced by, for example, this parenthetical aside which you are currently reading.

    WHOA. Talk about going out with a bang (and a spit-take, on my end).

    Godspeed, and good donuts.

  38. Realization: under “Categories” there is no link (tag? whatever they’re called) for “Religion.” Somebody fix please!

  39. A Sarah, I just discovered the idea of fat acceptance a few weeks ago, and Shapely Prose was the thing that led me to it. You were a big part of that. I’ve really enjoyed readying everything you’ve had to say and I look forward to seeing you in the comments some day!

  40. Ah, Nice White Lady Syndrome, I know it well.

    I also know the “OMG people are reading me!” feeling all too well. Several years back I started writing for an interesting little site under my real name. The operative word being “little”. Six months after I signed on, I wandered over to check our stats, only to discover that we’d grown three orders of magnitude, and that our “little” site had had 2 million unique hits that day – while one of my pieces was on the front page. I nearly choked to death on the spot, and it took me a month to write another sentence.

    I hope all your new circumstances treat you well – and that you continue to be cogent in comments, as I for one would miss you terribly if life took you that far away.


    i do, however, hope you’re happy and God is blessing you greatly.

    i enjoyed your posts and the one about the food analogy in heaven? MOVED ME.

    are you blogging anywhere else?

    and i so want a whole wheat donut now.
    it’s possible that it’s even more of a forbidden food than baby donuts.

  42. SARDINES! Best. Play. Ever.

    I think I will be commenting and participating much more now

    Then yaaaaay! I’d wondered if maybe you were feeling that way — I missed your awesome awesome comments and thought maybe mod-related anxiety was to blame (because that’s how I’d feel, and everyone feels the same as me, right?)

    I’m really glad you’re doing what seems right for you. Yay A Sarah!

  43. Thank you for your posts SOOOO much. I’m a quiet lurker, but I love your writing, and your posts on food and theology moved, provoked and helped me. Thank you.

    And I think it’s really brave and wise to know when to step down from something. Happy doughnuts, and happy posting.

  44. @A.Sarah – Oh do I hear you about being trapped in the car. I once got trapped in someone’s malfunctioning electric gates,they ripped a section off my car having half crushed it, and I actually limped back up to their house with a car part in my hand to say sorry for any damage my car might have done to the gates paintwork as they silently and expensively squashed my car into the world’s shittest origami.I even did that “OHMYGODIMSOSORRYHOWEMBARRASSINGYOUMUSTTHINKIMSOAWFUL.”

  45. I am glad you will have emeritus status, and hope you will guest-post from time to time. I have enjoyed your posts, and will be sorry to see you go. FWIW, I feel like you did fine by us.

  46. Reading your posts made me feel like you were a quiet, wise friend, even though we’ve never met. And you can make great whole wheat doughnuts with sour cream and a bit of nutmeg, shallow fried in oil and dipped in powdered sugar.

  47. Oh, and I also forgot to say a big WTL* at this: “I can’t shake the feeling that I didn’t do right by you… that I should have moderated more and written more and been in better touch with the other bloggers over email.” Dude – you don’t owe us anything. Your posts have been gifts, and we have been honoured by them. Please don’t feel guilty on this, you did us all wonderfully.

    *Where L = lemurs.

  48. “So yeah, it’s fine not to be perfect, AKA to have to make adjustments based on real life. It will keep your head from exploding.”

    FA/HAES principles at work!

  49. Agree with all of the above and would like to add for good measure: saying “why no, I CAN’T do everything in the world all at once” is a feminist act.

  50. I am so late to this party for various reasons, but A Sarah, you already know how I feel! Which is that you were a fantastic co-blogger and will be a fantastic Blogger Emeritus, and you’d better still have time in your life for endless e-mails about dresses and heist shows. Also, “Daniel Striped Tiger level” made me lol for real. Mmmmmmwah!

  51. Good luck to you, A Sarah, in all your endeavors, especially those involving baby flavored doughnuts! I look forward to reading your comments.

    I’m currently considering going back into academics (I was in industry for 13 years), albeit in a research context rather than as a faculty member and am still pondering the implications of having to be ‘on’ more of the time than I am now. I’d be in a research group as a senior scientist and would spend a substantial portion of my time mentoring and working with the grad students and postdocs. I’m very excited about it and think it’s a positive move overall, but I think there will be an adjustment period and am mentally preparing for it.

    All this talk of whole wheat doughnuts has got me wondering what buckwheat doughnuts would taste like. Preferably with a blueberry filling. om nom nom nom…. must go try to find a recipe and make some while I am still unemployed.

  52. Dude – you don’t owe us anything. Your posts have been gifts, and we have been honoured by them.


  53. TropicalChrome,
    OT, but could you please please please share the ricotta pancake recipe? My bf is diabetic and pancakes are his weak spot, so having a low-flour version (that tastes good with whole wheat flour!) would be wonderful.

  54. It’s awesome you have realized what makes you happiest and that you’re doing to go ahead and do it! And I’m glad we’ll keep seeing you around in the comments.

  55. I think it’s great that you are doing what makes you happy. I’m glad you will still be around in the comments section :)

  56. Selfishly, I’m kind of psyched to have A Sarah back in the commentariat with us. :) But I shall miss the posts.

    As far as the job goes, I’ve met very few academics who do not have some level of Imposter Syndrome (the “Holy crap what if someone realizes I can barely tie my shoes and I lose my job???” feeling). The ones I know have been at it a long time and some of them have turned into ragingly entitled asses, so I’m starting to think that creeping nervousness might not be an entirely bad thing.

    Wow, I really turned that into All About Me. *facepalm*


  57. Your posts will be missed, A Sarah, but yay for taking care of yourself.

    (My entire family once got trapped in a rental car in France. There was a specific security sequence with the trunk/doors/ignition that we never got the hang of. We had just checked out of the hotel we’d been in for 3-4 days when Dad got the sequence so wrong that the doors wouldn’t unlock [with us all inside] and the car wouldn’t start. Every time one of the hotel employees – who’d gotten to know us fairly well by this point – walked by, we’d stop futzing around and smile blandly so they wouldn’t suspect there was a problem.)

  58. The ones I know have been at it a long time and some of them have turned into ragingly entitled asses, so I’m starting to think that creeping nervousness might not be an entirely bad thing.

    Oh no. I don’t feel like I’ve ever really had Imposter Syndrome, but I really don’t want to be a ragingly entitled ass! But I’ve also only been at it a year and a half, so I guess I have to work up to that level.

  59. @Starling: here’s the recipe for the ricotta pancakes. I hope it squeaks in as on topic as A Sarah DID ask about whole wheat flour :).

    The basic batter:
    3 eggs
    1/4 cup whole wheat, oat, or all purpose flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    7.5 oz lb ricotta cheese (that’s half a 15 oz container)
    water or milk if necessary to thin

    Beat the eggs with the flour and the salt until well combined. Add the ricotta cheese and whisk in well. Let the batter sit for a couple of minutes for the flour to absorb the moisture. If it gets too thick, thin with a little water or milk to, well, pancake batter consistency.

    Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, grease lightly. Pour pancakes by a scant 1/4 cup, cook until the bubbles on top have popped/surface looks a little dry, flip, bake another minute or two more. Slather with your favorite toppings and enjoy. Makes about 8-9 pancakes.

    These pancakes are more fragile and creamier than traditional pancakes, but they have a wonderful taste and texture. The whole wheat or oat flour adds an amazing texture and nuttiness. The recipe can be doubled and leftovers freeze reasonably well.

    You can use skim, part skim, or regular ricotta. I use part skim because that’s what I grew up on. I never weigh it, I just eyeball about half the container and call it done. They’re very forgiving. If you don’t have or like ricotta, you can use cottage cheese that’s been pressed through a sieve, but that’s more work :).

    Donut pancakes: add 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg and 1/4 tsp cinnamon to the egg and flour mixture. Or add more. I’ve been meaning to get around to trying cardamom, too.

    Sometimes I also add a tbsp or two of the Torani SF vanilla or gingerbread syrups for more flavor.

  60. Dropping in for one of my infrequent comments to say you will be missed, masthead-wise, but hopefully not comments-wise. Though I have less time to weigh in on this stuff these days too … Anyway, vaya con dios.

  61. Well, I woke up this morning to find that my whole wheat starter is fermenting and bubbly… very auspicious! Sourdough ricotta whole wheat baby pancakes and doughnuts are in my future, I can feel it. Woo!

    (And also, I just keep not knowing how to put into words my gratitude for all this kindness. *blush*)

  62. Sooo, A Sarah, do you know how to start a starter? Or did you get it from someone else? I’m dying to try a whole-wheat sourdough as well, and I have no source.

  63. Starling, actually this one just took off on its own! Flour, tap water, bowl, countertop, occasional stirring, and time. I guess we have good wild yeasts in our new house, or maybe it rode in on the flour. I’m not usually this lucky! It’s got a great sour, yeasty, blue cheese-like smell. I’m thinking the first thing I make might be just a rustic sourdough freeform loaf with dried fruits and nuts. Work up to the doughnuts.

  64. A Sarah–
    Oooh, that sounds very nice. I am obviously going to have to try it. Also, you have to let me know how the fruit-and-nut bread works. I’ve recently gotten very into a dried-fruit-and-almond rice pilaf sort of thing, but I’ve never made a savory bread with the combo.

    Tropical Chrome–
    I had to fiddle with the flour some, since the leavening goes wonky at my altitude, but the pancakes were excellent. I am in your debt. Next time, I’m going to add blueberries and lemon zest.

  65. I don’t feel like I’ve ever really had Imposter Syndrome, but I really don’t want to be a ragingly entitled ass!

    volcanista – *ahem* that may have been my projecting after getting yelled at by a tenured faculty member today because I was parked in his parking space. Dude spent the entire morning going through our whole building looking for who it was rather than just calling security to report it. Imagine if he devoted that kind of energy to his actual job and students! Which he does not. (I was in his space because security was refusing to tow the student who had been illegally parked in *my* space for 9 days and the visitor’s area was full, so security told me “park as close as you can to your own space.” *sigh*)


  66. @ A Sarah and Starling – the yeast (and lactic acid bacteria) come in on the wheat, that’s why fresh flour is so important. So, yay! for fresh-ground wheat! But, (and forgive me if you know this already – I just get so excited about sourdough!) you want to let the flour rest for 7 days or so before baking with it. Fresh-ground is great for starter, but “green” flour can give you less-than-stellar results when you bake with it.

  67. You mean you’re putting yourself and your family above a bunch of total strangers whom you primarily know as a collection of bizarre monster icons? You’re making choices about how you want to spend your time? Weird. Enjoy the doughnuts!

  68. You’ve done good work, here. I’m so grateful to the ways in which you’ve gotten me thinking, alerted me to connections between my life at church and my FA. Glad to know you’ll still be hanging around: thank you very much for all of the writing you’ve done here already.

  69. I’ve really enjoyed your blog posts and commenting, especially on theological issues. Thank you, and very best wishes for this new phase of your working life.

  70. Coming in late, but just to say thanks for all your writing, and I hope you will continue to be around making comments!

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