I think therefore I am
Fashion, Food, Frills, and Fearless Views by a Nurse, Graduate School Student, Writer, Debater, Frustrated Photographer, Fashionista Wannabee, Outfit Repeater, Foodie, Full-time Nerd, Opinionated Citizen, Great Complainer, Grammar Nazi, Cynic, Professional Procrastinator, Philophobic, Nonconformist, Free Spirit

Summer Ain’t that Hot After All

Or not…

     I have to admit, I’ve been feeling quite ambivalent towards summers. At one point, I’m thrilled to have some time out from all the hullaballoo once in a while and the commute is much better, given that I don’t have to compete with students for public transportation. On the other hand, I’ve been dreading the extreme heat that summer brings with it, along with the sweaty, sticky feeling that comes with the heat.

     Nevertheless, I’d say that short respites from work overwhelm such heat. In fact, the outfit that I have in this post was worn in one of such escapades.

     Given the heat and the season per se, I opted to wear bright colors from my favorite cool tones. I was hesitant to wear this combo since I thought that a.) I might go overboard with the color, b.) the closeness of the shades might give it a more monochrome look, rather than a complimenting mix, and c.) layering with a polo may prove to be fatal in this heat. But then, again, what gives? I still pushed for it, apparently (Tiis gwapo! Lol). Now on to the outfit. The hues that I used are actually my favorite ones. I just balanced it out with grays from the Aztec print tank top and the boat shoes. Of course, I made sure that the shoes also had a hint of color to add on to the outfit’s “festivity”. I just topped the whole outfit off with some arm candy and a hat. Here goes…

straw fedora - Quiapo Ilalim

sea green polo - Chief Clothing

sky blue shorts - Flying Dutchman

boat shoes - Rolu

Aztec print tank top - Cotton On

aviators - Ray-Ban

assorted arm candies from SM Department Store and bazaars…

Hype the look here

Saturday, May 10, 2014

On Mantras… Quotable Quotes from a Bored and Wandering Mind

DISCLAIMER: This post will be quite different from my usual outfit posts, food reviews, and rants. Please bear with me on this one. This is the quasi-philosophical me talking. Lol.

mantra (n) - an often repeated expression or idea, often without thinking about it, that is associated with something

     So, I’m back after a very long hiatus. I have been extremely busy lately with work, graduate school, and battling the daily Manila traffic. However, the recent end of the semester and the instant long semestral break brought about by changes in the school calendar, coupled by a few opportunities to unwind and get out of the city, have all given me time to relax and ponder on things. You see, whenever we go for long drives to wherever, I’m always that person who sits on one corner, slips on his headphones, does not permit anyone to bother him, looks out to the blurring nothingness shown in the windows, and gets lost in his thoughts. Given this, I’ve had the opportunity to actually sift through things that life has taught me and I’d like to share these with you guys as I’ve adopted some to be my mantras (for the purpose of not being boring, I tried to be witty in presenting them to you guys):

  • Work hard, play hard, nap hardest.
  • Remember kids, if you’re parents are forcing you to eat vegetables, chalk-let (chocolate) comes from a plant.
  • There’s no such thing as regret, Shi*t happens and you just have to commit it to memories and lessons learned. It’s your own “Idiot’s Guide” to life.
  • If you spend your life thinking about what other people think and say about you, then I’d start calling you Kleenex, because you’ll be prone to spend your life kissing some major ass.
  • Bottled emotions = held farts
  • Do what you love to do and never step on anyone and you’re one step closer to happiness.
  • If you don’t push yourself to the limit, then you’d be like pasta without sauce - boring and useless.
  • Embracing your imperfections is a surefire way to find your beauty shot.
  • Narrow-minded people should not be taken seriously. Otherwise, you run the risk of being one of them. There’s no vaccine for that, you know.
  • Arguing with and proving a point to narrow- and/or close-minded people is like teaching an elephant to do ballet. - That’s right, it’s close to impossible.
  • If you think your so hot, you better think again. You may not even be warm.
  • The best way to say what you want is to say nothing at all. Just act out your play.
  • You are very welcome to define me in whatever way you want as long as you can perfectly justify how you judge me. Otherwise, you are very welcome to shut the hell up.
  • Swim against the current of you must, but make sure you take a bigger gulp of air when you dive in.

     So there goes. These are just random ramblings of what I believe in. Just sharing them to you if you find them worth reading.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Aztec Empire Strikes Back

Aztec prints. These are one of the few prints that I love to wear, since I am mainly fond of color-blocked, monochrome, or all-neutral outfits. I was in such a glee when I found this Aztec print button-down in one of the bazaars that I went to during the past holiday season, so I grabbed it immediately. Given that I was sick during the vacation season, it was only during this time that I got to wear it, and the weather did not disappoint as it was windy and not that sweltering, plus the fact that I’m still a bit feverish and under-the-weather. I took this chance to wear it as a friend just told me that Aztec print will be going out of trend by this year. I just hope she plays the “wrong-fortune-teller-role” here, though.

Anyway, let’s go on to the outfit. Given that the base print of the top was navy, I decided to stick to a cool color palette. Since the top was already resounding of large prints, I took other pieces to a minimum with hints of color by just putting on a cap (a quick remedy to my perpetually-bad hair days), a pair of skinny jeans, a pair of mint green sneakers and turquoise headphones that I recently got. In this way, I just let the loud print do the talking for the outfit, with some minute accents. 

 

Aztec print button down – bazaar

Skinny jeans – Human

Mint green sneakers – Vans

Headphones – Urbanears

Snapback cap – bazaar

Watch – Adidas

Hype the look here

By the way, I’m kinda noticing that my style is veering away from my usual preppy-ish vibe and going towards the more urban direction of things. I don’t know, I’m actually lost right now. I asked a friend to define what my style was and she told me that I was a “Tumbler-boy”. What was that supposed to mean? Am I a tall, grande, or venti? I don’t know, oh well. I’ve already digressed, so just don’t mind my ramblings here. Lol. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Big Yellow Taxi Boy

Lazy Sundays. I miss these. I know. I’ve been ranting about being busy lately. I swear this’ll be the last one. Well, anyway, since I was quite dead tired and a bit unmotivated to move about, I just threw on a simple ensemble and ended up looking like a trucker boy, or as one of my friends would put it, a New York taxi cab.

As usual, I really missed wearing my skinny jeans as I’m always in scrubs and I missed wearing my trusty combat boots all the more, so lo and behold, I wore them both at the same time like what I always loved to do most of the time. I just paired it with an oversized yellow polo to break the monotony of black and avoid looking so gloomy, despite it really being my mood today. Moreover, my hair was in its usual unruly state and/or I was too lazy to fix it, so I just put a cap on. The scruff would even attest my unwillingness to lift my back off my bed.

 

Short-sleeved button down – Flying Dutchman

Skinny jeans – Human

Combat boots – Forever 21 Men

Cap – bazaar

Sunglasses – Forever 21 Men

Hype the look here.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cool Aid

 

     As you may have noticed, I’ve gotten quite busy since I started working in the professional field. Hence, every opportunity to get out of scrubs during days off is a welcome respite from the monotony of wearing a uniform. You might want to forgive me if some of those days are spent on me wearing my favourite color, blue, albeit our uniform being blue as well. And yes, this outfit was worn on one of those days.

     I decided to play around my favourite color with differing shades. To break the monochromatic theme, I chose to wear a shirt that is not overly dosed with blue as long as sneakers with only blue accents. For some reason that I don’t know, I’ve also gotten quite fond of folding the sleeves of the shirts that I wear (the arms and shoulders are still a work in progress, though). As for the pants, this is my first foray into wearing colored jeans and of course, I wouldn’t let this pass without having them in blue, so forgive me once more for that. So, here goes…

 

Shirt: Tomato

Jeans: Aeropostale

Sneakers: Nike

iPad case: Human

Hype the look here.

P.S. This is also the first time that I’ll be posting an outfit post with my new nerdier frames. And yes, I’ve gotten to embrace my geeky self.

P.S. Once again, my apologies for the blurred photos. Jackson (my camera) was sick when these were taken, so we had to make do with what we had at that time.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Brgr Project

     So this is a first-time-long-time post. I haven’t been able to do anything with this blog for months as I have been very busy with a new job in the hospital, some research work that kept piling up on me, and of course, graduate school – not that I’m complaining, though. This time, I was able to sneak in a post amidst my heavy schedule and I hope to be able to do more posts in the coming days and months.

     Alright, so on to the post. I’ve actually tried eating in the Brgr Project branch at Maginhawa Street back when my home campus was in UP Diliman and I loved the unique experience of eating there and picking out what to stash in your burger. I was thrilled to hear that they had opened a branch near Taft Avenue months ago and I never got to try eating there until now. Their branch at the latter location was no different from their first branch, ambiance- and selection-wise. What makes every visit to this joint very unique is the fact that you can always have a different burger to construct because a.) there are a lot of ingredients to chose from, b.) you hated your last burger, and or c.) you loved your last burger, but you forgot what you put in there. As usual, the vibe of the place was a no-nonsense hang-out burger place, with chalkboards for menus and more blackboards on the ceilings on the mezzanine where people can just play around and doodle, with wooden stools and cramped interiors. Although the place was a bit dim and tight, I didn’t feel so claustrophobic or suffocated because the table arrangements were done so in a manner where each diner was given ample space to enjoy their masterpiece-slash-grub, or maybe I was just too hungry to care. Lol.

(This is how you customize your own grub…)

 

     Let’s start with the food shall we? A friend and I finally had the chance to visit this branch and we had the following menu items:

Buffalo Wings

     I’m a bit conflicted about what I feel with this entree. I loved their sauce – the perfect ratio of saltiness, spiciness, and tanginess, and I loved their blue cheese dip even more. However, as you can see in the photo, the serving’s just too small for its price. I was left wanting for more after eating it because a.) it tasted nice and b.) it was too miniscule. I even thought that they weren’t chicken wings as they looked more like hummingbird wings. Oh well…

Fries

     There’s nothing to elaborate here. They’re just deep fried or baked (I don’t actually know as I was too hungry to figure out how they cooked it) potato wedges. Although the consistency of the potatoes were crisp and not airy inside unlike some cheap fries that you can find in the supermarket, with the right amount of saltiness, it still lacked something – a special dip perhaps?

Blueberry Milkshake

     I was torn between the Oreo milkshake and the blueberry milkshake, but given that blueberry is my favourite-est fruit in the world, I chose the latter, and I would say it did not disappoint. It was very reminiscent of the now-defunct Blueberry Blizzard at Dairy Queen, but with a smoother and creamier texture. It was not overpoweringly sweet, nor were they stingy with the blueberries.

The Bitchero Burger

     I named my own crafted burger after a nickname that some of my friends have come to coin me with. It has sesame seed buns, a beef burger patty, bleu cheese, bacon, battered onion rings, an egg, lettuce, tomatoes, and marinara sauce. I was actually nervous on how this will turn out as I really got trigger-happy with choosing the ingredients and thought this may come out as a disaster. However, it actually tasted good – it was like breakfast with Italian tomato sauce and French bleu cheese slathered over it. It had good texture as the bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and the onion rings gave some crisp to the sandwich. The only criticism that I would give about this (or their burgers in general) is the fact that the lower bun was cut too thinly that it got soggy too quickly which may prompt the diner to just use utensils instead of enjoying the burger  using the sloppy method of hands and open jaw with sauce-slimed fingers. This burger, however, is best eaten with utensils as it obviously wouldn’t fit inside a human jaw if bitten as is, not unless you’re half t-rex.

The Boring Burger

     My friend devised this burger and found it to be boring as she ended up picking the simpler burger fixings: sesame seed bun, a beef patty, bacon, and sautéed mixed mushrooms. She found it good, but I myself found it boring as it lacked some kind of sauce. She also said that the mushrooms were too overpowering as compared to the rest of the ingredients she chose.

     I really enjoy this place every time I visit, and I’m definitely coming back for more. I love how simple yet tasty (depending on your choice, so choose wisely or be damned with a foul-tasting burger) their food is. So here’s to more burger concoctions in the future – to infinity and beyond! Lol.

P.S. My apologies for the blurred photos. They were taken hurriedly as I was already hypoglycaemic when I took them.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Black-and-blue, beat me til I’m numb

     I have to admit, I miss wearing boots and skinny jeans. Lately, scrub suits have replaced my wardrobe (not that I’m complaining, though) and I’ve been busy as hell with hospital work, graduate school stuff, and research studies all piling up on me and all of these have taken their toll on me, specially on my health and sanity, so having the time to go out and unwind a little, albeit littered with errands, was a welcome change. Of course, I wouldn’t pass up on that chance to dress up a little. 

     I have come to admit that Philippine weather would be as bipolar as hell, and I wouldn’t go out ready for it. I, of course, chose an easily convertible outfit: just a plain shirt-and-jeans combo for the sweltering hot part of the day, which can easily be covered by a blazer as soon as the clouds start their bout of diarrhea. And yes, I just had to wear my skinny jeans and boots, and my favorite color, blue (your eyes may have been rolling right now, as you’re already sick of blue in this blog). I’d like to apologize for the cap, as my hair will forever be uncooperative, and for the scrungy face as well, as I have not had the will, the time, nor the energy to shave as well. 

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blazer: bespoke

deep v-neck shirt: Topman

skinny jeans: Human

combat boots & sunglasses: Forever 21 Men

cap: bazaar

Hype the look here

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stacy’s: Dainty Dining

     For those following this blog, you may have noticed my sudden hiatus. This is because I’ve decided to jumpstart my professional career again as a nurse and to pursue a job in a hospital in the Fort. Nevertheless, I would still find the time to maintain and update this blog as this is one of the few things that keep me sane.

     Anyway, on to the blog post. Yesterday was the last day of our training in the operating room (my preferred field of practice) as we were evaluated and are now currently waiting for the results. We were quite busy during the day as we had exams and interviews and suffice to say, we did not have any time to eat and by the afternoon (the end of our shift) we were already experiencing migraines and hypoglycemia. Given that it was our last day, the group decided to eat out and I suggested for us to try out Stacy’s at the Fort, since I’ve been wanting to eat there since it opened, but never had the chance to do so.

     The place in itself was very dainty, quirky, and playful. Albeit being that, it still had that welcoming atmosphere and even though it had that “tea time at the doll house” appeal to me, it wasn’t all that girly which might make guys off-putted. Overall, it was homey, but it wasn’t that boring.

Random knick-knacks adorn the walls of the joint.

I’m loving the statements on these wall-pieces.

Each table is adorned with fresh flowers in these jars. Simple, yet adorable, if you ask me.

Each table is also served with this “Merry Mix” of flavored pretzels, marshmallows, and popcorn (Photo grabbed from their Facebook page. My shot got lost in the data transfer. Lol). We were quite happy campers as we were served with these while we waited for our food because we were such hungry beasts then. This is such a good way to perk diners’ appetites and to distract them from the time interval between ordering and serving the food.

     Now, on to the food. We ordered three entrees and a dessert. I would say that their food is actually quite good and the servings are quite adequate for the price. 

Potato Chip Fried Chicken


"Two pieces of potato chip crusted fried chicken made more delightful with a dash of buttery mushroom gravy. Served with a cup of steaming white rice and steak fries."


Said to be one of their best sellers, this truly did not disappoint. It was a new way of preparing fried chicken (although I’ve seen Rachel Ray do it in her show and I’ve actually tried doing it), and I have to admit, it was done well. It wasn’t littered with salt, the chips’ artificial flavoring, and oil, nor was it starchy and bland. It had crisp skin, while the meat was cooked all throughout and was also flavorful. The gravy was also good, we even had to ask for seconds. The fries were also a good compliment to the chicken even if there was already rice paired with it. It was just a bad thing that there were no second helpings of the fries, it would’ve been better if the servings of the fries, albeit being a siding, were bigger.

Layered Sausage and Potato Pie


"Casserole of ground beef and Hungarian Sausage bits crowned with cheesy smashed potatoes and served with herbed rice and good-for-you veggies."


I would assume that this is their take on the Shepherd’s Pie. However, this is way better than the aforementioned. The potatoes were not boring and too-overpoweringly-starchy and there was a right meat-to-potato ratio. The cheese in the potatoes added the right level of salt, along with the inherent saltiness of the sausages and meat.

Homebaked Chicken Parmesan


"Everyday food has never been this tasty! Baked chicken fillet in Italian herbs and chunky tomato sauce layered with oodles of Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese, topped on a bed of herbed rice pilaf."


I am really a sucker for Italian and Italian-inspired food, and I get giddy whenever I see Chicken Parmesan on the menu, and I eventually end up ordering it. This one, however, is comparable to most Chicken Parmesans that I’ve had. Like the others, the cheese was delightfully stringy and a bit salty, while the sauce was chunky with the right tinge of sourness. I really enjoyed this dish. As for the sidings, the veggies were cooked properly as they haven’t turned out to be baby food, and who doesn’t find that heart-shaped rice cute?

Choco Lava


One of their best-sellers in the dessert line-up, this meal-ender was a moist piece of chocolate cake, with more chocolate oozing as you cut into it, topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Among us, this dessert had mixed reviews: some found it overly sweet, while some, including myself, found it just alright. I enjoyed this because the cake was really moist and not grainy or lumpy, and for me, the chocolate was at the right sweetness and consistency, and I was left licking the leftovers on my spoon every after spoonful (I know, I’m disgusting, right?)

If you weren’t a fan enough of the complimentary Merry Mix you had at the start of the meal, then you might be happy that each meal is ended with complimentary butter balls. It brings you back to those nostalgic days when you use to buy these in your neighborhood store. However, we people from the medical field know better that this is also a good first aid for hypoglycemia, so we happily devoured them either out physiologic necessity and/or nostaligia. lol.

   Much has been said in this experience. The food has been great and the ambience was more than inviting. I would definitely come back here for more, especially when I start working (fingers-crossed) in that hospital.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Random Thought: My First Serious 5K Run - A Postscript

     Today was quite a pioneering day for me. As title implies, I had my first “serious” 5K run. I call it the first serious one because I actually do run the same distance however, for some reasons such as running with the dogs and having to stop often because of pooping, peeing, or having to run faster just because rabid dogs in our village are running after us and/or encountering someone I know while jogging or running and eventually having a small chat leading to me ultimately forgetting that I was running in the first place, I have not had the opportunity to have a decent run and to time myself.  Plus the fact still remains that I’m not really more on the technical runner side as I do not have the proper gear, I do not monitor my progress, and I do not do the requisite preparations before and after a run.  I am not making excuses here, by the way, I’m just stating how much of a slack I am when it comes to running and how stupid I was to actually subject myself to a 5K run albeit all of these factors. Ultimately, I ended up finishing the 5K course at a miserable 42:52 (ok, friends and haters, this is your cue to laugh and bash). Incidentally, I have realized a few things along the way.

a.) If you’re going to walk, walk at the sides and stay out of running people’s ways.

Believe it or not, I actually tried to run intently during the whole course (or not! lol). However, when I do so, I find myself losing momentum because there are so many people blocking my way and I eventually find myself wasting the spurts of energy that I have and the inertia (google that, if you’ve forgotten your physics class or if you’ve slept through it) that I possess because I have to decelerate to avoid bumping into people. Case and point here: if you’re going to walk or of you’re in the walking phase of the routine, steer clear out of the other runners’ ways or risk being bumped, pushed, shoved aside, or have the back of your shoe stepped on by a-hole runners like me. Also, if you’re a group, please don’t form a barricade of walkers and gossipers, we did not come here to stare at your butts nor listen to who’s husband cheated on whom.

b.) Get enough sleep.

     Just a kilometer into the race, I was already exhausted, and there, I found myself regretting why I only got 3 hours of sleep the night before the race. Was it because of the Serena-Sharapova French Open final that I stayed up late for? Or was it because of the gossip and rants that a friend and I had shared over a long phone conversation? I mean, I could’ve just googled the results or realized that replay was already invented in this day and age and me watching the live match wouldn’t have done anything to affect its outcome and as for the gossip, it could’ve waited (really now???). Seriously speaking, you have to get some rest prior to the race or you will find yourself lagging behind like a granny.

c.) Hydrate.

 

     Do not skip the hydration stations. The distance in between them are too far (in my not-so-expert-opinion). I actually learned this the hard way.  When I saw, the first hydration station, there was already a long line and I actually forewent going there because of two reasons: I thought that falling in line would cause me such great  delays hence affecting my finishing time, and I am a very impatient guy who hates long lines. Then lo and behold, just a few meters after the hydration station, I saw myself panting like a dog, eventually slowing down, thereby rendering my decision to skip the long line useless, and regretting why I didn’t just fall in line. It’s plain and simple, no matter what happens, don’t skip your fluids.

d.) Have yourself checked before running.

I witnessed to asthmatics who had their attacks during the race. Seriously, did your run to really run or was it your way of getting a free ambulance pass to the emergency room. The bottom line here is that you should make sure that you are fit to run or else you might run the risk of having other people see you in your ugliest hypoxic asthmatic state or someone would catch you sniffing White Flower ointment (the one that the oldies love to use and smell like) while running, both of which are awkward to look at.

e.) Oggle.

     At first, I left my eyeglasses in the car, opting for my trusty sunglasses. However, I ended up regretting it since there were many cute girls around and I still have to squint just to get an idea on how cute they were. So back to the car I went just minutes before gun shot to get my spectacles and to my satisfaction, I did make the right decision - they were indeed cute and I had to keep up with their pace just to oggle (no perv/stalker here, btw.)

f.) It’s okay to sing, but not have a concert.

 

When you’re running, it is really imperative that you get into the mood of it, and if you need music to do so, I would not take that against you as I myself have a playlist solely for that purpose. However, there’s this term that we call over-the-top, and that is applicable when you run and you sing your heart out at the same time. It all adds injury if your voice is not laudable. Again, it’s okay to sing, but keep it to yourself. The same shout-out goes to that guy with a Rocky Marciano face plastered on his facade as if he’s got “Eye of the Tiger” playing on his background and he’s ready punch someone -  take note, you’re just running.

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My first, and hopefully not my last, race bib…

     After all these running and realizations, I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe, running isn’t for me. Here I am, typing this blog post with a banged-up knee, blistered feet and aching body due to the fact that I dove into the deep part of the pool. Maybe, I’m really more of a racquet guy and I guess going back to tennis and badminton would do me more good as I’ve already gotten the hang of such sports. Or maybe, I should go back to the sport wherein I was part of the varsity team back in high school… scrabble. Yeah, scrabble… Scrabble would give me some abs! Lol.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer Bids Adieu

     Chill days are quite my favorite days - those days when you have nothing to do but to lounge around and let everything hang loose. Nowadays, these types of days have been rare commodities for me as I’ve been very busy setting my professional career (if there’s any. lol) forward as evidenced by the great decline in the number of posts here. Anyway, the reason why I love such relaxed days is the fact that you have nothing planned and you can wear anything you want without any restrictions or policies and norms to follow in terms of dressing up, and being the casual guy that I am, I always take it upon myself to not let these days pass. Being that it was my birthday yesterday, I blocked the day off to slack off and be the sloppy person that I am without caring about anything.

     Now on to the outfit. I’ve actually worn this ensemble a couple of times in similarly chill settings before posting it and I’ve actually had apprehensions on whether to post it or not, but after seeing how well it looked (according to my taste, that is), I decided to push through with posting it. Given that this summer heat is very unbearable (I wouldn’t want to talk about it anymore as I’ve already ranted about it in my previous posts), I’ve decided to wear an old shirt (one of my favorites) which I have turned into a tank top around the same time last year. I paired it up with my usual black skinnies which I mightily missed wearing after being subjected into weeks of corporate wear, and a pair of sneakers. Of course, I played around with my favorite color - blue in terms of minute accessories and color palette. As usual, my hair wasn’t cooperating (thank you for the nice timing, my dear hair), I just wore a similarly-hued beanie (one of the new items I’m becoming obsessed with wearing). Overall, this outfit is more laid-back - a perfect way to bid summer goodbye since we’re already starting to experience drizzles and thunderstorms (or is this the bipolar weather again???)

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beanie: bazaar

tank top: old shirt from Artwork

skinny jeans: Human

sneakers: Nike

sunglasses: Forever 21 Men

Hype the look here.

 
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