• mallorean
  • stiff"
  • pledged"
  • Buffy"

Friday, December 29, 2006



As you can see, we've had some changes around here. I am loving my new 3-column template. There are a few kinks that need to be ironed out, but I knew that if I messed with it anymore last night I would complete screw the rest up. HTML is amazing; one bad piece of code and the rest of the page goes to hell!

First I'd really like to figure out how I made the post titles the same size as the rest of the text. I didn't think I'd made any changes there, but please see the last sentence in the first paragraph of this post for a better explanation.

As much as I'd like to take complete credit, I would never have been able to do it without help from this website.

So, good luck & Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Conversations with Cat

on the woman in my header image [YES!]...
"i like to imagine she is me... looking out on my life deciding whether or not to scoot off into the water."

and, we're getting closer to that Letter from Santa I wanted [THANK GOD!]...
"You have a future in the helping professions."


That's some secret, Victoria...

One of the things my mom got me for Christmas was some (much needed) new underwear from Victoria's Secret.

The sales clerk told my mom that if I didn't like the ones she picked out I could always return them - even if I'd already worn them.

Just thought the public should be disturbed like I am!


Wednesday, December 27, 2006



Sadie, white coat
You carry me home
And bury this bone
And take this pine cone

Bury this bone
To gnaw on it later, gnawing on the telephone
And 'til then we pray and suspend
The notion that these lives do never end

And all day long we talk about mercy
Lead me to water, lord, I sure am thirsty
Down in the ditch where I nearly served you
Up in the clouds where he almost heard you

And all that we built
And all that we breathed
And all that we spilt
Or pulled up like weeds
Is piled up in back
And it burns irrevocably
And we spoke up in turns
'Til the silence crept over me

And bless you
And I deeply do
No longer resolute
Oh when I call to you

But the water
Got so cold
And you do lose
What you don't hold

This is an old song
These are old blues
And this is not my tune
But it's mine to use

And the seabirds
Where the fear once grew
Will flock with a fury
And they will bury
What'd come for you

And down where I darn with the milk-eyed mender
You and I and a love so tender
Stretched on a hoop where I stitch this adage
Bless our house and its heart so savage

And all that I want
And all that I need
And all that I've got
Is scattered like seed
And all that I knew
Is moving away from me
And all that I know
Is blowing like tumbleweed

And the mealy worms
In the brine will burn
In a salty pyre
Among the fauns and ferns

And the love we hold
And the love we spurn
Will never grow cold
Only taciturn

And i'll tell you tomorrow
Oh sadie, go on home, now
And bless those who've sickened below
And bless us who have chosen so

And all that I've got
And all that I need
I tie in a knot
And I lay at your feet
And I have not forgot
But a silence crept over me

So dig up your bone
Exhume your pinecone, sadie


Tuesday, December 26, 2006


The Veil

What can I say? This was the worst Christmas ever. Possibly/probably one of my worst weekends at home ever. I'm sorry, but no one can possibly understand. This isn't "oh, everyone's family is quirky and crazy." This isn't your Uncle Marty getting drunk and saying offensive things. This isn't your mother being a constant nag or silently disapproving of your lifestyle. It's not your sister's kids who eat bark and stick paint chips in their ears. This has nothing to do with law school, either. It's a sickness that's existed since before I was born, it's unspeakable, and it is something I can't discuss with the internet or friends.

I'm calling a therapist back tomorrow. I will still blog. It will not be every single day. I will learn to live this life, or I won't.

Hope you all had truly wonderful holidays. Thank you.

Friday, December 22, 2006


All I Want For Christmas...

Is the following letter from Santa:

"Dearest Seredne,

I know you've been struggling with this for some time, but I just had to say something... you would be an amazing [insert profession here].

With your unique skills and talents such as _____, _____, and _____, you would not only be able to meet challenges and exceed goals, but you would also be sure to experience many growth opportunities.  I'm sure that you would quickly rise through the ranks to become top
[insert profession here], and others would be inspired by and learn from your performance. 

And don't worry, being a
[insert profession here] would all leave plenty of time for your boyfriend, your hobbies, travel, and that adorable puppy you two have been hoping to buy.  And you won't have any trouble [finding a job/continuing your education] in whatever city your boyfriend needs to live in for what he's planning in another year. 


Hugs & Kisses,

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Family Feud

My dad sent me this yesterday. It will just be the four of us for Christmas... is he trying to tell me something??

7 Ways to Squelch Holiday Squabbles

Etiquette expert Peggy Post shares tips for a harmonious holiday season. WebMD Feature Reviewed By Louise Chang Do the holidays send you running for antacids, not because of too much food ... but because of too much family? This year, try replacing the Tums with a peacekeeping plan. According to Peggy Post, author of the 17th edition of Emily Post's Etiquette, would-be holiday peacekeepers should arm themselves with the fundamentals of etiquette, "consideration, respect, and honesty." Post shared the following tips for promoting harmony at family gatherings.

1. Be Realistic
Post tells WebMD the first step toward enjoying the festivities is to set aside idealized images of how things should go. "Be realistic," she says. "Don't think anything is going to be perfect." Psychologist Peter Wish, PhD, agrees that expectations are key. "Be prepared and know that people tend to get on each other's nerves and push buttons that can go all the way back to childhood," he tells WebMD. "People have these tapes in their head and tend to respond the way they did years ago. You don't need to respond the way you did before."

2. Anticipate Conflicts
"Plan ahead and try to be as calm as possible with other people," Post says. If you can anticipate the types of conflicts that are likely to come up, you can plan a response in advance. This can help avoid the knee-jerk reactions that tend to escalate tensions. For example, if you tend to have the same argument with Dad again and again, come up with a plan to break the cycle. One strategy is to signal your spouse to run interference. Once you have a plan to keep yourself in line, decide how you will handle bickering among other family members. Wish suggests separating "the combatants" and asking them to call a truce for the common good.
3. Share the Work
Eda Lang, a retired teacher, has hosted her extended family and friends for many holidays over the years. She says one of the biggest sources of tension is trying to prepare a feast solo when you're working full time. "You want to do right by Mom and Dad and all your loved ones, and you don't want any of them to be alone on Thanksgiving, so you invite them all. But you are stressed out from work and you have no one to help." Lang's solution is to ask relatives to help with the cooking instead of bringing gifts. "Then it does not fall on one person's shoulders economically or physically," she tells WebMD. "Get very specific when telling people what to bring." Post agrees that sharing the workload is a good way to avoid short fuses. This goes for serving and clearing, as well as cooking. "Hopefully no one is just sitting there being waited on," she says, adding that football does not excuse men from pitching in. "At Thanksgiving, many women like to watch the football games, too." She suggests assigning tasks ahead of time so everyone will know when and how they are supposed to help.

4. Define 'On Time' "Being on time is really respecting other people's time," Post says. "Communicate about what 'on time' means to you. It means different things to different people." Post also advises to call if you're running late and check with the host first if you plan to arrive early. If you are the host, let family members know what time you would like them to arrive, rather than what time you plan to start the meal. Don't assume people will come early to help unless you ask them directly.

5. Avoid Re-Gifting "You don't have to break the bank for a really nice gift," Post says. "The key is to find something the person will really like. Stay away from re-gifting, because people's feelings will be hurt" if the gift seems too generic (or if they recognize it from last year). Post says some families have reined in holiday spending while improving the quality of gifts by drawing names. "You focus on one family member each year and really get something special for that person." When receiving gifts, Post says to apply the principle of "benevolent honesty." If you don't like a present, find something nice to say about it without lying. "Always be appreciative and thank the person up front."

6. Avoid Awkward Surprises
It's a familiar dilemma for many families: What do you do if your parents (or in-laws or close friends) are divorced and don't get along, but you want to invite them both? "Sometimes you have to have separate celebrations for the sake of family harmony," Post says. But if you're set on having everyone together, run it by the ex-spouses first. "Take your cue from the one you're closest to," Post advises. "Say, 'I'd love to invite John, too. Is that OK with you?'" Whatever you decide, inform both parties ahead of time so they don't show up and feel surprised. A similar strategy can help in other awkward scenarios. For example, if your brother wants to bring his partner home for Christmas, and you're worried your grandparents will disapprove, give them advance notice. "Tell them to be on their best behavior and put aside their differences at holiday time," Wish says. "If they start to act up, pull them aside and tell them it's unacceptable."

7. Be Inclusive
If your family includes people of different religions or ethnicities, Post suggests including traditions that will make everyone feel welcome. "Some families have made it work out beautifully to celebrate all religions," she tells WebMD. This doesn't mean you must join in any rituals that make you uncomfortable. "If there is a prayer going on, you don't have to participate," she says. "You can just quietly sit there." Wish agrees that honoring your relatives' traditions can promote harmony at holiday gatherings. "Don't let people feel left out," he says. "Have something there that celebrates for everyone." Originally published Nov. 7, 2005


Wednesday, December 20, 2006



I finished White Teeth. I felt a little unclear about the end, so if anyone has read it or is planning on reading it, let me know your thoughts!

I thought this story I read on the Washington Post was also somewhat timely in relation to my reading White Teeth. The article is about a young woman who was born through artificial insemination. I don't think she holds anything against her mother, or at least not as much as she holds against her "father," but she's not pleased about the way she was brought into the world.

She describes that people aren't born in a vacuum, and sperm donors don't think that what they're doing actually creates people with thoughts and feelings. It creates people who will be affected by the genetics of their parents and who want to know the history of where they came from.

Zadie Smith also deals with history and getting to the root of things. Her characters I don't think ever quite make it there, although they want to. The girl in the article doesn't make it there, even though she found her father. For someone like me who also wants to get to the root, who searches for answers about the past, who can't tie up history in a neat bow (because if I did, I would just unwrap it, poke at it, rewrap it, and repeat the cycle), I think it would be very difficult for me not to have that key piece of information (father, family, who am I).

Not that I even know that much about my father now. He offers very little about his life or his family. I can see him, I can trace the lines of my face that are directly from him. It's not a whole picture, but I'd rather see than not see.

I hope everyone is having a good countdown to the holidays. It's hard getting through work this week, especially noticing how fewer and fewer people are on the train each day. I'm planning which Christmas cookies I'd like to make. My rather excessive list for a family of four consists of:

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Russian Teacakes
Magic Bars
Peanut Butter Blossoms

Keep the turkey/ham/bread pudding or whatever else you have; I adore Christmas cookies.

Happy "Hump Day"

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006



I'm almost done with White Teeth by Zadie Smith. It's been great, but I find that when I'm in the midst of reading a book I begin to see and feel like the author. Everything becomes ultra bright, visual and sensitive. I feel poetic about pigeons fighting over breadcrumbs or plastic bags caught in a gust of wind. I speak less and listen more; I pretentiously observe passersby or fellow train riders and imagine whatever broken home or loveless relationship that strikes my fancy.

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to observe a funny moment. I wasn't so lucky yesterday. And even if I wasn't busy writing the great American novel in my head as I drag myself through the city, I think it still would have bothered me a lot.

Waiting for the train at the end of the day sucks. You just want to be home. You don't want to wait, you don't want to hear that the train is having technical problems and will be 10 minutes late... you just want to call your spouse/significant other and play the "what's for dinner?" game. Last night the train was 6 minutes later than usual. When it arrived, everyone scrambled towards the door as usual. I took my spot just to the side of the door, but one brave (or stupid, or just not thinking) woman stood directly in front of the door with her briefcase on wheels stretched out behind her. That was the first mistake. The second mistake was that the second the train doors opened, this woman tried to dart in instead of waiting for everyone to exit first.

Well, the young woman waiting to get off the train wasn't having any of this. In my hypothetical novel I imagine that maybe her boss just took some serious shit out on her at work, but in reality I have no idea. Woman waiting to get off the train screams, "FUCK! Can't you just wait for me to get off the fucking train first?! JESUS CHRIST!" And simultaneously with the yelling of "Jesus Christ" came a swift and hard kick to the other woman's briefcase on wheels and she stormed off.

I think it's a combination of the author in me as well as my sensitivity to verbal violence which caused this incident to seriously upset me. On the ride home I sat diagonally from the woman who without a doubt, thank you law school, was victim to an assault and battery. She was younger than middle aged, maybe. She was South Asian. She was completely silent.

I don't know what it is about public transportation, or even private transportation, that enrages people so much that they explode. Maybe it's not the transportation, it's just the icing on the cake after a long day of being shit on. You wake up to shit transportation, spend 8 hours of shit job, and at the end of the day you've reached your breaking point. But everything we do has so many consequences spiraling out like purple veins.

I wish I could focus on the funny or absurb, but there's so much anger in this city hidden just beneath the surface.

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Monday, December 18, 2006


Overheard in Best Buy

This time of year means crazed shoppers and angry moms looking for ps3. If you're smart, you'll run like hell in the opposite direction of any mall.

But I found a little humor in it this weekend. While in line at Best Buy, holding NCAA Football '07 for my brother, a pregnant woman about five people ahead of me was inspecting the candy options hanging from the side of one of the registers. A little girl and her father were in line behind the woman, and the little girl bounced in front of her somewhat rudely.

The father sternly called the little girl back over to him and bent down on one knee, "now, this is something important you need to understand," he said, "never, ever get in between a pregnant woman and a bar of chocolate."

The little girl nodded like she had some comprehension of this statement and then bounded off in the opposite direction. I'm glad that I got to overhear a father departing such sage [ridiculous!] wisdom to his child.


Friday, December 15, 2006


I Survived the Booze and Beeps

I survived the holiday party. Obviously, I can't give too many details for fear of being fired. It was actually pretty tame compared to what I had envisioned. People were very drunk, don't get me wrong, but no one completely embarrassed themselves (although one person came close, thank God it wasn't me).

The food was amazing, though. There were all kinds of appetizers - beef Wellington truffles, chicken salad truffles, 'angry shrimp' (which was essentially spicy breaded shrimp), and some brie truffle with raspberry sauce). You had a choice between a few things for the rest - Caesar salad, tomatoes and onions, or lobster bisque; filet mignon, salmon, or lemon pepper chicken; chocolate cake or creme brulee. I went with lobster bisque, filet, and the chocolate cake. It was all heavenly, especially the lobster bisque.

I brought some of the filet home (about half) for boyfriend because it was too massive to eat in one sitting. When I went to pack my lunch this morning (he had already left), he'd already gangstered the entire thing! At least he didn't touch the rest of my chocolate cake...

We had a rough night. The alcohol (only two beers) and excessive amounts of food swirling in my stomach weren't having a good time together, and I was a little uncomfortable. And at 3:30am the smoke detector battery decided to die and kept beeping beeping beeping. I got up first and manhandled the battery out; it didn't work. Then I fussed at boyfriend to get up. He manhandled it a bit to much and wound up tossing it on the balcony. It kept beeping, but at least we couldnt hear it.

Tonight is his work holiday party. After asking him what the dress code is like, some girl finally told him, "jeans and a going out top." What is a going out top? If we're talking scandalous strappy shirts then I'm up the creek. This is altogether too much holiday fun for me, I'm already tired!

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Thursday, December 14, 2006


That Settles It

I may never come out of my office again.

I just went out to the fax machine, where I was met with, "look who's showing some leg! she's gonna be the entertainment tonight! yeah!"


The Little Black Dress and the Little Yellow Belly

Today I face one of my toughest challenges yet: the office holiday party.

It's right after work, no significant others or husbands/wives allowed, and at a fancy restaurant.   I've never been to one of these things before.  I know it's bad to have boobs all over the place in your bosses face, but it's also bad to look like I'm in some old rags that I pulled out of the neighbors trash can.  I decided on the black dress, can't go wrong with that?

I've worn the dress to my community service organization's 25th anniversary dinner and ceremony third year of college, my grandfather's funeral freshman year of college, and also junior year of high school when boyfriend and I were Interact Club homecoming prince and princess... yes, we sat on the top of a car and road around the football field.  So as you can see, the dress is versatile.

But, I haven't really worn a dress in about a year.  Especially one that hits just above my knee.  Standing on the metro with the DC workers in their dark and navy pants, pantsuits and trench coats, I felt like Julia Roberts in 'Pretty Woman' when she sits on the glass countertop in the fancy Beverly Hills hotel or walks down Rodeo drive...  or maybe even Gena Davis in 'A League of their Own' when she first puts on the tiny Georgia Peach baseball uniform and realizes that tall people have difficulty with short skirts.

It was an unpleasant feeling, but it was that or change in the bathroom at the end of the day and hide my work clothes in a giant bag at the restaurant.  Really, I felt naked.  I'm still not keen on the idea of getting up from my desk.  I'll feel better when it's dark and we get inside that restaurant.  I know knee length isn't that short, but I'm no fancy lady...

Monday, December 11, 2006


A Weekend to Remember

Friday night I was supposed to meet up with Jen, my friend from law school last year. After I got home from another fun 5pm meeting, I gave her a call. She was with another friend in the area, and that friend wanted to go get her nails done.

I felt a little dumped on. I thought it was my night to have Jen all to myself. And you know how I feel about getting nails done (or you can probably guess, based on my eyebrow rants). Two hours lately she was finally done watching her friend get her nails done, and the friend was now coming to dinner with us.

We met up at one of my favorite places for fun, Rock Bottom. Jen and I used to go to the one in Pittsburgh all the time, especially at key times such as during midterms or finals. We had some dinner, drinks and lots of laughs. But Jen's friend started losing her voice and getting sicker than apparently she had been the rest of the week. So they left; she didn't see my apt, and we didn't even get a picture or two together. I was bummed, and I was slightly intoxicated... not my favorite combination.

I know that she's living in South Carolina now and she doesn't get to see people often. She has to try to get in as many people as she can when she's around; that doesn't mean I have to like it. I had a great time with her. I forgot how easy she is to talk and joke with. I missed hearing her constant laugh. Any irritation at her friend is purely just jealously because I wanted more time.

Our friend Ray was supposed to come up for the weekend as well. He backed out because he said he had to finish working on his graduate level thesis. Boyfriend and I have a strong love and appreciation for academia, so of course we didn't balk when he started to waver. Also, I learned that I'm thanked on his acknowledgments page. That brings my number of thesis thank-yous to two graduate level theses and one undergraduate level thesis. I wouldn't hate being a professional muse, or at least a thesis muse... as long as it's nothing like Sharon Stone in that awful 1999 movie 'The Muse.' Turns out Ray just wanted to spend some quality time with his new girlfriend. Well, I guess that's forgivable too.

And it all worked out swimmingly, because I had one of the best weekends ever.

Saturday I convinced boyfriend to go to my favorite mall near us and finish up some Christmas shopping. Their holiday decorations were amazing, and I really enjoyed everything about being there. It was crowded, but not as bad as the mall we went to the weekend before. It was big, but not so big that it felt overwhelming.

Our friend Jeff happened to be in DC visiting some art shows he wanted to see. He metroed over to the mall and we all enjoyed a delicious Thai dinner. I got them to go to the Hallmark store outside with me, and I finally found the perfect gift for boyfriend's mother - A Very Merry Trio. It's a snowman and two penguins, and then dance to music and rattle bells.

Anyone remember Billy the Big-mouthed Bass? Most people bought him as a joke gift or for someone they really didn't like. My boyfriend's mother got it because she thought it was great. She also has singing stuffed dogs, a witch portrait that sticks out its tongue and makes fun of you when you walk buy, a talking/singing Frankenstein door knocker, and lots of other things I'm trying to forget. My only hope is that she doesn't buy A Very Merry Trio before I can give it to her.

Well if having my two favorite men as shopping buddies wasn't great enough, we also went to Cold Stone Creamery, watched my nudey neighbor for awhile, and played some XBOX. Truly a night to remember.

On Sunday we made a quick and decisive trip to the grocery store. Also, I got boyfriend to agree to take me to see 'The Holiday.' I was just in one of those romantic comedy moods. I didn't want anything that would shatter my world, just some mindless, fun entertainment at the theater. We race there to make it in time. The previews come on, the previews cut off. The previews come on, the previews cut off. Repeat cycle. Some guy comes in to pass out reimbursement tickets and assures us that the movie will begin shortly. Repeat previous cycle a few times. Forty-five minutes later another guy shrugs that the movie probably isn't going to work. "So, should we go?" we wonder. Who knows. It's a big mystery. We left, no movie.

That was a bummer. I was all hyped up to see a holiday romantic comedy. I went to the video store downstairs to try to satisfy my romantic comedy desires, and I rented 'The Break-up.' I know that I make other people sad when I crap all over things they like, but seriously, do you really like The Break-Up? A movie where two people scream for two hours and then don't even satisfy the classic cliche of reuniting in the end? This movie seriously pissed me off and didn't help my problem at all.

But, I decided to stop being lame, and I picked up a book I've been meaning to read that's been beckoning me from the bookshelf for a few weeks now - White Teeth. So far it's great, and I'm thrilled.

Other lovely news from the weekend is that I tried out the other trial pair of contacts I picked up since the O2 Optix weren't working out. These are Acuvue Oasys, worn by Olympic figure skater Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto! These contacts are really working out for me! I highly recommend them to anyone who spends long periods of time in front of the computer, gets frequent headaches or tired eyes, or works in any other environment that's not conducive to contacts. Also, I love Tanith & Ben... and figure skating... and the Olympics!

I could mention some crap about my Monday at work, but why tarnish such a great weekend? Hope you all had a good one as well! Don't let Monday get you down.

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Good morning, Monday

I had a very nice weekend, really! Unfortunately this whole posting in the mornings before work idea isn't going that well, I just never have a ton of time for it.

So I'm going to squeeze in some weekend story time at some point today; hopefully you had a good weekend too! And in the long term I will find a new posting time.

Saturday, December 09, 2006



So I recommended Joanna Newsome slightly, but I'm going to have to go
back and recommend it a lot more. My friend Jeff came up to DC today to check out some art shows going on. We met up with him for dinner, and he made me a CD of pretty much all of Joanna Newsome's stuff. He told me to start with the album, Ys. I've done this, and I'm astounded.

Boyfriend and I have been relaxing in our warm apt with this playing. It's magical. And I'm all about magic... Buffy, Angel, The Last Herald Mage, Julia Butterfly Hill, the service fraternity I belonged to in college, spring break road tripping to South Carolina and Georgia with 5 great friends, Europe with my boyfriend and a good friend, this is all magic. It's the magic that makes me stop and listen. Magic keeps me alive.


Thursday, December 07, 2006


More Like a Crawl

It's been a rough week. Not feeling well certainly does hamper the ability to be funny, fun-loving, or anything other than hating life, really.

I'm ecstatic that today is Thursday. We have a friend who may come into town this weekend (or may back out because of a paper). But I definitely have a friend coming in from out of town tomorrow night. We went to law school together last year and then both promptly left after exams. She moved away to SC, I moved to VA, and I haven't seen her since. She was the one person who kept me mildly sane while I was there. It will be great to see her again.

A friend shared this musician with me earlier in the week. The first time I listened I was sort of interested but sort of scared. I also thought it sounded too much like a Bjork copy. But now I'm very interested and I want to hear more. So now I'm recommending Joanna Newsom's Myspace page to sample some of her music!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006



Sorry gang, I've been sick.

Bad sinus headaches, and I'm hoping it will just drift by. Smart people would stay home from work, but I'm not smart.

Monday, December 04, 2006


How About the 'Angel' Gag Reels to Brighten Up a Monday?


Friday, December 01, 2006



Last night I dreamt that it was Christmas Eve. I was at work in my office. It was decorated and beautiful everywhere, but the street outside was mostly empty.

It got later and later. My boss kept us longer and longer... 9pm, 10pm. Finally someone left, but for some reason I wasn't allowed to leave yet. At 11pm I finally escaped. My boyfriend hadn't called, no one was in the street, and I couldn't figure out how to get home.

I'm a big dreamer... daydreams, nightdreams, don't mess with my dreams! This is where I draw the line! No way should I be having nightmares about working overtime until 11pm on Christmas Eve! It's horrible. I may have to leave at 5pm today like a normal person, just in protest of this awful dream.

Can anyone who has updated to Blogger Beta tell me if there's an option to make your blog three columns? Blogger beta says it offers all these ways to customize your blog. I've gotten as far as the templates page, which all look exactly the same as those in regular Blogger to me, but to go any further you have to risk losing all your current customizations. I would like to look before I leap off the blogosphere this time.

Happy Friday!
Happy Pay Day!
Good luck studying this weekend (for those who have exams coming up)!

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