Category Archives: romance

A very romantic love story, circa high school, for your Valentine’s Day pleasure

What? Oh, look, good, here, it’s Valentine’s Day, my favorite.

I have ONE cat, but still have apparently called it quits, thank you, skinny blonde lady with aggressively striped hair.

Here is my one and only Valentine’s Day story.

When I was fifteen, I was dating a very short boy who we will call David. We will call him that because it was his name and because I dislike him enough I don’t care if we use his real name.

Very Short David was my first boyfriend. So since it was the 90s, I of course listened to a lot of Debbie Gibson’s “Lost in Your Eyes” and thought about our future children. That second part wasn’t because it was the 90s, but because I used to be super-optimistic. And of COURSE you marry your first Very Short Boyfriend.

No, it wasn't this bad. But it had to be at least 5 inches difference. In high school, that's different enough, yo.

No, it wasn’t this bad. But it had to be at least 5 inches difference. In high school, that’s different enough, yo.

Very Short David also did not know how to kiss, and thought it just meant you put your mouth on the other person’s mouth and left it there without moving for very long stretches of time. VERY long stretches of time. Like, sometimes you peeked at your watch wondering what television shows you might be missing. Also, a thing that crossed your mind was, “people in movies and on TV shows seem to move their mouths more when they are kissing. I feel like we’re not doing this correctly.”

Very Short David and I started dating in October. So we totally got to date through my birthday, his birthday, and Christmas, which was VERY exciting and we got to give each other PRESENTS. If I remember correctly, I gave him thoughtful things like a baseball signed by some sort of important baseball person and he gave me a very pretty necklace so I was all “ZOMG VERY SHORT DAVID!” and he said, “Meh, my mom bought that and wrapped it and wrote your name on it, whatever” and I was all “VERY SHORT DAVID YOU ARE THE MOST ROMANTIC EVAH!”

As Valentine’s Day approached, I was very pleased. Because there was this foolish flower charity thingy that happened at school and I just KNEW that Very Short David would get me flowers and get them delivered to my homeroom and KA-CHOW I would finally be one of those girls. THE KIND THAT GOT FLOWERS ON VALENTINE’S DAY IN HOMEROOM. What kind of flowers? Poorly dyed carnations, of course, we were in high school, it’s not like we could afford hothouse blooms, sheesh.

I’m sure I bought Very Short David something but I don’t remember what it was. I’m very thoughtful, yo. Always was. Always will be.

So it was like two days before Valentine’s Day and I was SO EXCITED and also VERY ANTSY and all suffused with love and also the promise of ALL THE ROMANCE ALL OF IT.

And Very Short David ignored me all day at school, and I was all, “wha?” because that was not the way we rolled. We passed very romantic notes that said things like “TTYL” and “I like your jelly bracelets today.” (I made that last one up, I have no idea what our notes said. Also, I think I stopped wearing jelly bracelets in like 8th grade, don’t be foolish.)



So my friend who we will call Shari (that really isn’t her name, not because I care about her, but because last I knew she was super-mad at me for something that I don’t really understand and she seems sue-happy so I don’t think it’s in my best interest to use her real name, which is very distinctive) called him on the PAY PHONE in the LOBBY of the SCHOOL (because we were all about the technology back then, don’t even say we weren’t) and Very Short David said, “Oh, tell her I broke up with her, I’m in love with M. now.”

(M. gets the typical initial because she is still a friend of mine and I care about her a great deal.)

M. was my beautiful, outgoing, cheerleader friend. No, I don’t know why she was friends with young-Amy, either. (She’s still beautiful now. She also barely looks like she’s aged. She’s a miracle of genetics, that M. And I don’t even hate her. She’s lovely.)

“Um…what?” I said. Very Short David said goodbye to Shari and hung up. (In a surprising twist, Very Short David and Shari dated senior year. She was all, “will you hate me if I date him?” and I was like, “I honestly do not care what you do” and apparently this is not what you say to someone who thinks she is your best friend but who you didn’t really like all that much because you were kind of broken inside and didn’t really know how to have friendships.)

I cried and cried and went home and listened to a LOT of Debbie Gibson and cried and cried some MORE and then M. called and said, “I just want you to know that I’m totally not even INTERESTED in Very Short David, what is WRONG with him” so that helped a little (and she totally wasn’t, he asked her out the VERY NEXT DAY and she so laughed in his face and I will always love her for that.)

Needless to say, I never got those Valentine’s Day flowers. Also, Very Short David is on my shitlist. And remains there. (Also, Very Short David, after we broke up, told everyone who would listen that I “totally put out” and everyone knew I was a total dork who would not do that so he just got laughed at for attempting that charade. Therefore, he became Very Assholey David, and I still wish him ill. Yes. Still. Shut up, my insane loyalty has a flip side which is the inability to forgive if someone grievously wounds me.)

And yes, this is my one-and-only Valentine’s Day story, as never again was I dating anyone even ADJACENT to Valentine’s Day.

Do I hate a day that’s all dedicated to love and such? Aw. No. Of course not. Does it kind of make me equal parts sad and annoyed? Yes. Yes it does. Yet I am intelligent enough to realize that is stupid.

So happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. And if today is a sucktastic day for you, remember: tomorrow, the Valentine’s Day chocolate goes 50% off at the stores, yo.

50% off!!!!!

50% off!!!!!

Also, Very Short and Very Assholey David: I hope you are bitten by a bitey snake with sharp teeth. Or fall in a hole. Either way’s cool with me.

(Also, since this is the day of love: dear my loved ones, I love you so much it makes my whole heart ache with it. Thank you for…well, everything. I would be nowhere and nothing without you. You are better than all the poorly-dyed carnations delivered to me in homeroom in the whole world. I wouldn’t give you up for anything.)

Also, I found this on the interwebs; I think it is for me. Yay!

It's a little creepy, but we take what we can get, right? Right.

It’s a little creepy, but we take what we can get, right? Right.

Using your common sense and ignoring your heart: a how-to guide

Now that I am an expert on both the movie and the television show Catfish – meaning, I’ve watched the movie and all three of the episodes available to me on my cable’s On-Demand – I think we need to have a chat, people of the internet.

It seems that some of you are being very, very foolish about your hearts.

Now, I know. I KNOW. I’m not really the best one to talk. I’m a walking conundrum. I’m very guarded and very wary of people – all people, not just internet people – but once you win me over, I’m yours. And I’m rabidly loyal and I wear my heart on my sleeve with those few people that I allow myself to trust. Now, usually this works out just fine. Sometimes, as happens to everyone, these relationships implode. Then I am crushed, because, well, your sleeve is not the best place to wear your heart. It makes SUCH a mess on your best blouses, seriously. Blood just NEVER comes out.

I give everything my all. It’s both a curse and a blessing, sometimes. I know no other way.

That’s neither here nor there, though. From watching all the Catfish, I have learned the following about people, and it is horrifying.


OK, listen. I can totally, totally understand the power of words. It is very easy to get swoony feelings over someone who gives good email. It absolutely is. I’m not even making fun of you for that.

I get it. You get something like this, you'd be all twitterpated. Totally understandable.

I get it. You get something like this, you’d be all twitterpated. Totally understandable.

However, if you find yourself falling in mutual crush for someone you only know through email/Facebook/Twitter/some other text-based service, you owe it to yourself to do the following two things:

  • ask to speak to them on the phone;
  • ask to Skype with them.

If they refuse to do these things repeatedly, and give you excuses like “I don’t have a cell phone” or “I don’t own a computer that has Skype capabilities” THERE IS SOMETHING HINKY GOING ON.

You have to be wise about these things. I am completely emotional, and again, I am not the right person, probably, to be giving you this advice. I understand being all, “BUT I LOVE HIM HE DOES NOT HAVE TO PROVE HIMSELF FOR ME!” and I understand when your heart tells you things, it screams louder than your head, sometimes. I get that.

But you have to listen to your head. YOU HAVE TO.

If the person you’re internet-dating and telling all your secrets to and falling in love with and such says they don’t have a cell phone – well, think about this. They’re online a lot, I assume? If someone lives their life online, odds are very good they have a cell phone. And therefore, they are lying to you for some reason. Now, if they tell you they have a cell phone but limited minutes or something, maybe. I had that plan up until recently. But if that’s the case, they probably have a land line, and could talk to you on that. People in this day and age have phones. I’m sorry to break this to you. If they say they don’t, they are lying to you. And if they’re lying to you, they’re hiding something. (My mom, when I mentioned this to her, said, “NO! I don’t have a cell phone!” and I said, “Yes, Mom, but you aren’t exactly catfishing people online, now, are you?” and she said, “Most of the words in your sentence there were gibberish to me”  so she’s not a good example of people who don’t have a cell phone. Dad has a cell phone but it isn’t a smart phone and sometimes people text him on it and he refuses to text them back because, per Dad, “I have old fat fingers and I don’t know how to use that tiny little keyboard.”)

See? Everyone has a cell phone. EVERYONE.

See? Everyone has a cell phone. EVERYONE.

And, piggybacking on this, if you ask them to Skype (and you should, because listen, pretty words are awesome, and yes, you can fall in love with someone’s words, you absolutely can, but you don’t know you’re in love until you see the person; you can say you’re not materialistic until the cows come home, my darling dearests, but it’s not materialistic, it’s common sense. We are attracted to some people and we are not attracted to others. It’s just the way of the world. It doesn’t mean you’re an asshole. It just means you are human) and they say they can’t because they don’t have a computer, or don’t know how, or various other reasons, blah blah – well, again, most likely, that person is a liar. Now, I didn’t have a webcam for the first year or so I was blogging. So I couldn’t have Skyped. I suppose there are SOME valid reasons for not being able to do so. But I GOT a webcam. (I still haven’t really Skyped. I tried once. It was disastrous and I think I broke Skype, seriously. It froze a LOT. Why does it always seem to work so seamlessly on television?)

See? Look how much fun they're having. That seems unfair.

See? Look how much fun they’re having. That seems unfair.

Also, the Catfish-guy taught me a very smart thing (BAM, Mom, who SAYS the television won’t teach me things?): if you are friends with someone on Facebook and they only have a few friends, that’s a red flag. Also, if you take their photos and put them into Google image search, you can see if they ganked them from someone else’s profile and used them as their own photo. (I might be naive, but had no idea people were doing this shit until I saw the movie Catfish. It just seems like the shadiest thing alive. But it seems a LOT of people are doing this. THIS IS YET ANOTHER REASON TO LOCK YOUR SHIT DOWN, YO. If you put your Facebook profile to public, PEOPLE WILL STEAL YOUR PHOTOS AND USE THEM TO NEFARIOUSLY WOO LADIES AND/OR MENFOLKS!!!)

Listen, I’m going to tell you a secret. Probably it’s something you’ve heard before, but you need to pay more attention this time.

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

This cat is lying to you, yo. Also, it has crazy eyes.

This cat is lying to you, yo. Also, it has crazy eyes.

If you meet a super-hot person on the internet who says all the right things and seems super-into you, well, that’s awesome, sometimes things like this happen, I’m not telling you they never ever happen. But if they refuse to talk to you on the phone…and aren’t always where they say they’ll be…and won’t Skype with you because they have plenty of photos online, isn’t that enough for you?…well, listen.

There’s going to be a little voice inside your head telling you “something is wrong here, sunshine.”

And your stupid, stupid heart, which is probably a little lonely and broken like many of our hearts are, is going to shout back, “Shut up, head! He/she is perfect and wonderful! He/she loves me! He/she is perfect for me and the exact person I’ve been waiting for my entire life! Head, you are NOT going to screw this up for me, he/she has a perfectly good reason for not being able to do these perfectly normal things SHUT UP HEAD!!!”

I know. I KNOW. It’s not what you WANT to do? But you need to listen to your head.

Now, listen. If you’re just friends with the person, it doesn’t matter as much, really. I have internet friends I haven’t spoken to on the phone or Skyped with. I trust that they are who they say they are and not lying to me. But I’m also not in love with them. I *love* them, sure, but I’m not making plans to spend the rest of my life with them in a sexual way, you know? If I’m going to invite someone all up in my business I want to know they’re who they say they are. I’m kooky like that. I also have fairly good radar. Or, if not “good” radar, I’m very mistrusting. So since it takes me a super-long time to trust someone, and if they do even the SLIGHTEST thing that makes me think, “NO THIS SEEMS WEIRD” (even if really it probably isn’t) I don’t bother continuing on with the relationship, I’m usually not overly fooled by crazies and/or loonies. Hopefully. Maybe. Who knows, though, I could be getting catfished left and right and probably wouldn’t know it because according to this show THESE PEOPLE ARE VERY GOOD AT THIS. And there are SO MANY OF THEM ZOMG.

(Also, I object to the fact that the Catfish show makes it look like all of us who live on the internet are crazies who lie for a living. I’m only PARTIALLY crazy and I don’t get paid for lying, thank you, TV show, I do it for FREE. Dad said, “Of COURSE you’re all crazy. I love you, but I think you might be crazy.” But this post is already mondo-long so that’s a story for another day, now, isn’t it?)

I know. It all seems very exciting and very romantic to have a long-distance internet boyfriend or girlfriend. (I’m specifying long-distance here, because if they’re local? MEET UP WITH THEM, YO. It’s like Skype but BETTER. There can be HUGGING. And other things. That I will not go into. Ahem.) And I know quite a few people who have met their significant others through the interwebs and guess what? They weren’t even stabbed to death. I KNOW! SHOCKING REVELATIONS!

Just use your head. That’s what it’s there for. It’s amazing to me that you’re not doing this. Don’t sell yourself short just because you think it’s finally your turn to have a super-romantic time. That’s ridiculous and how you get either murdered or your identity stolen, or in the smaller-scale of things, you just feel like a total asshat when the person you fell in love with turns out to be a mentally-unstable teenage boy or a lonely gramma or something.

Also, people who are catfishing others, just stop it. I think you’re probably insane, so you don’t understand what you’re doing is wrong, but IT IS NOT FUNNY IT IS HORRIBLE. You don’t earn someone’s trust and piss all over it. You just don’t do this. Ever. If you do, you know what they say about karma, right? YOU ARE GOING TO BE EATEN BY KARMA’S SHARP SHARP TEETH YOU ASSHOLE.

Just be careful, ok, internettians? It’s wonderful to fall in love. It’s the best thing in the whole entire world, followed closely by really, really good chocolate. And also maybe delicious pudding. Shit, now I want some pudding. But if it seems weird…IT PROBABLY IS.

This is common sense. You all have it. Please use it. Thank you. I worry, you see.

If my life is ruled by these stars, I think I need some new stars.

Well, in your world it is Wednesday, but in my world it is MONDAY, and therefore BIRTHDAY. What’s nice about writing these in advance is that I can draaaaag out birthday weekend! Today I slept in like a dead person. Until TEN A.M.! That is very late and I felt extremely decadent. And a little lazy. Maybe the new sleeping pills have finally kicked in! That’s nice. Also I stayed up until almost 2 a.m. which is my own damn fault, I suppose. I was doing things! MANY THINGS!

So today has been lovely, with many many birthday greetings and wishes and such. That’s one of the nicest things about being on social media, the crap-ton of love you get on your birthday. I woke up to so, so many happy birthday wishes. I like that so much. THANK YOU PEOPLE! I am on happy overload. And then sj made me a birthday mix and sent me a birthday surprise, and Kate wrote me a birthday sonnet, and I am just the luckiest woman. So Dumbcat and I are hanging out and relaxing and watching the shiny new TV and it’s a beautiful fall day and all is right in the world. Yay for birthdays!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHINCHILLAS! At least I think these are chinchillas. Either that or super-chubby hamsters.

OK, so listen, I usually don’t pay attention to my horoscope because I think it’s silly and somewhat inaccurate and mostly just for entertainment value, but I like to read my birthday horoscope because it’s longer and more in-depth, and therefore has more opportunity for me to make fun of it, and also be hopeful. I get strangely hopeful about horoscopes, even though I think they’re mostly hokum.

So I’m a Libra. Libras are supposed to be balanced and love all the beautiful things in the world. I’m tippy and I like beautiful things, but also weird ugly things, so I don’t know that I really fit in the Libra mold completely. I do like things to be balanced, though. If things are out of whack I feel all confuzzled and I hate that.

Another website said Libras are “nice to everyone they meet” and I find that kind of the most wrong ever. I don’t like anyone, really.

So, according to my VERY SCIENTIFIC yearly horoscope on this website, here’s what’s ahead for one of the last years of my 30s. Let’s see what’s going to happen to your old friend Lucy’s Football!


You possess a highly creative mind. You are likely quite good with language and/or languages, and you have an unmistakably goofy sense of humor.

Oh, this is flattering. I like this a lot. And it’s TRUE. Win! WIN, horoscope website! I AM TOTALLY GOOFY! Also, I do love all the languages. I don’t know how GOOD at them I am, but I love them kind of the most.

You have a wonderful sense of judgment.

Nope. I make terrible judgment calls on a daily basis. Nothing wonderful about that. BAD CALL WEBSITE.

Although you will entertain some attraction to the mystical, you are largely logical.


You can be a charming conversationalist, making each person you talk to one-on-one feel very special.

Only in type. In person, I don’t think I’m as successful. I get loud. And random. You should specify “via social media,” astrology website.

Although you are capable of much hard work, leisure time is very important to you.

PRECIOUS HOURS OF LEISURE! This makes me laugh.

Who is this NOT applicable to? VAGUE.

You are more decisive than the typical Libra personality. You are creative, witty, and fair-minded.

Aw, I think you’re flirting with me. Are you flirting with me, astrology website?

Famous people born today: Chevy Chase, Matt Damon, Sigourney Weaver, Jesse Jackson, Paul Hogan.

And as you can SEE, we’re totally the same AGE. Give or take thirty-some years.

And as I was informed on Twitter today: R.L. Stine, of Goosebumps fame. Also, that weird kid from Two and a Half Men.


When a Quarter Moon occurs in your Return chart, as it does this year, you are at some sort of a turning point in your life, in terms of personal growth.

You need  to be more specific. When’s this going to happen? I’m going to need to know so I can prepare my outfits, astrologically.

Events that occur this year act as catalysts that get you in touch with some important issues in your emotional life. Your emotions run high, and mood swings or identity crises are possible. There may be some kind of conflict in your life arising from a great urge to do something different. The year ahead promises to be a busy, dynamic, and significant period in your life.

This sounds like I’m going to be bipolar this year. I don’t know if I like this. WORRISOME.

You are able to see your life in terms of the big picture this year, and thus you more easily manage stress and your enthusiasm is natural. Others tend to be helpful and supportive.

Well, that’s a good tendency of others. Thanks, others. I’m glad you tend in that direction. Also, my enthusiasm is ALWAYS natural. I haven’t had it cosmetically enhanced at ALL.

This is totally me at my laptop EVERY DAY. Except I’m usually wearing my pajamas and my hair’s a lot messier than this.

Some form of recognition for your work or for past good deeds may be forthcoming this year. Fortunate circumstances arise from a positive attitude as well as sincere self-expression. Your social life will likely increase and bring you in contact with more influential, powerful, or simply happy and helpful people.  Educational, publishing, freelance, and promotional efforts can thrive this year.

Oh, I do a lot of good deeds. Most of them, I don’t even mention to anyone, because then they’re not as good when people KNOW about them. This is exciting. I also like the publishing and freelance mention. That’s promising. You’re winning more than you’re losing, here, horoscope.

The opportunity to grow through your love and social connections this year is especially strong. You are seeking intensity in love, and are especially aware of the importance of healthy relating and intimacy.

Again, this could be anyone. Who’s NOT seeking “intensity in love?” Who ISN’T “aware of the importance of healthy relating and intimacy?” TOO VAGUE, INTERNET HOROSCOPE.

You could renew and deepen love commitments or social connections. Strong and stimulating–even motivating–attractions to others are likely.

I’m attracted to others all the time. It’s not that it’s LIKELY. It’s HAPPENING. Come on now.

Secret loves or attractions may develop and existing relationships tend to rise to a higher level of insight and understanding.

Ooh, SECRET LOVES! ZOMG, how much do I want a secret love! I will keep him under the couch and feed him gingersnaps and fruit punch.

SECRET love! In the FOREST! Wearing SWEATERS!

Romantic relationships and attractions have a fated quality to them this year.

Fated? Like in Wuthering Heights? Nice. I guess I’ll have to move to the moors.

FATE! Such a cruel mistress.

This could be a year when you fall in love, and this could be with a person, an activity, or a cause! Meeting someone who transforms your life, and more specifically your values and attitude towards love, is possible.

I just want to say for the record that every single year, my yearly horoscope tells me that THIS WILL BE THE YEAR I MEET MY FELLA and it NEVER EVER HAPPENS. So please don’t judge me if I’m taking this with a grain of salt. A big ol’ grain. Like sea salt sized. No one’s transforming my life. I’ve given up on the very idea. Just being honest, here.

All the grains of salt. Every last one of them.

Strong existing relationships are likely to grow and transform in rewarding ways, as you are more open than usual to intensity and passion. Your finances could also improve dramatically this year, generally due to your increased ability to strategize and cut out frivolous expenses.

Um. I just want to say, I haven’t frivolously expensed in months. I think if I were to cut out any further frivolousness I would be living in a cardboard box and eating baked beans cooked over a fire burning in an oil barrel.

I’d be a LADY-hobo. Dumbcat would be my loyal sidekick.

Your ability to concentrate and focus is enhanced this year with Mercury conjunct Saturn in the Solar Return chart. This sometimes suggests a need for solitude when you work, or a year in which you often retreat to work on specific tasks on your own. You might be required to travel for business purposes. It can also indicate that young people in your life are more mature or serious in their approach to life. Thinking in realistic and practical terms is your best bet, and the need for tangible results for your efforts is strong. You can successfully combine imagination and effort this year. A sense that your dreams are realizable is with you, and this stronger faith and acceptance can serve you well.

This entire paragraph is stupid and I’m ignoring it. I always work alone because I live alone, and unless I get a new job, there won’t be any traveling for work. I don’t have any young people in my life, unless you mean The Nephew, and he’s too little to be very serious.

Your social life is likely to bring benefits and opportunities into your life this year, so be especially open to new experiences. Your love life can bring profound discoveries and deep changes. Money improves with strategic planning. 

I think this is a recap. I am ALWAYS open to new experiences. I have no love life, so bring it on, horoscope, BRING IT ON. And shut up about money, I don’t want to talk about that.

2012 is a Number Five year for you. Ruled by Mercury. This is a year of exploration and freedom. It’s a time when exploration and reaching out to others brings opportunities. It’s a good time to advertise and sell. Surprises are in store, and the routine is broken. This is a year when exciting relationships can be formed, or, if you are already in a partnership, new life is breathed into the relationship. Advice – explore, look for adventure, keep your eyes open for opportunities, mingle.

The routine sure has been broken, jellybeans. Also, “a year of exploration and freedom” makes it sound like I’m on walkabout. THE WALKABOUT OF THE MIND.


2013 will be a Number Six year for you. Ruled by Venus. This is a year of relative contentment. It is a time when love is the easiest to attract, and partnerships formed under this vibration have a better chance for longevity. You are able to attract others, and material things as well, this year. This is a good year for establishing harmony in the family and in the home. Advice – develop existing relationships, be positive and receptive because these kinds of energies help you to attract what you desire.

I think I’m going to get LUCKY this year. Look out, I think I need to buy new underwear. Oh, wait, what’s that? These things are bunk? Yeah, that’s right. Well, just in case they’re not: magical 2013 dream-man, I look forward to meeting you next year. I’m pretty sure we will make an excellent team, and plus I promise I will make you laugh daily. I’m quite good at that, whether I mean to, or not. Inadvertent laughs are still good, right? Right. Awesome. Good. Looking forward to it, then.

Yep, this is exactly what my dream-man looks like. White space. Lots and lots of white space.

Happy day, everyone! Look out for your secret lovers and don’t spend money FRIVOLOUSLY!!!!!

“Truly, I am a marionette and he is a master puppeteer.”

Today we have to discuss something VERY SERIOUS. That affects ALL OF US. Are you ready? Are you ready for something very serious that affects all of us? 

What is it, Amy? What affects all of us? 

Bad porn, is what. 

Listen, I just finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey, and people who purchased this and are reading this and are all het up about this, we need to have a discussion about why this is a VERY BIG MISTAKE ON YOUR PART. 

I’m not giving you the Amazon link to this because I DO NOT THINK YOU SHOULD BUY OR READ THIS.

Now, I am not a porn connoisseur. I couldn’t honestly care less about porn. I know it exists. As long as it’s not being waggled in children’s faces or the cause of crime against women or whatever, porn, you keep on keeping on. Everything has its place. Even porn. I’m a firm (heh, firm) believer that everyone has their kink, as as long as no one gets hurt, you do your thing. 

However, there’s PORN, then there’s Fifty Shades of Grey. 

Oh, don’t even get all technical with me and say it’s erotica, or even literotica. What it is, my little cauliflower florets, is one of the worst books I’ve ever read in my entire life. And I have read a LOT of books. A LOT a lot. 

First, can I just explain, please, why I read this book. It was on the cover of Entertainment Weekly and I didn’t even read the article and I was like, huh, must be interesting or something, and I put it on reserve at the library. Then I heard it was getting banned all over and I thought, well, NOW we KNOW it must be interesting! If someone tells me I’m not ALLOWED to read something, then I REALLY want to read it. Then people started telling me what it was about, and I thought, huh. Well, who cares, I don’t mind erotica. I read all of those stupid Ann Rice Sleeping Beauty books. Those were pretty steamy. 

Oh, in case you live under a rock or maybe in the outback or something, Fifty Shades of Grey is about two people in a consensual BDSM relationship. Plus some other stuff. We’ll go more into that later. Also, do I have to tell you that a., there are going to be spoilers here, and b., WE’RE TALKING ABOUT SEX STUFF TODAY? So kids, go watch a Disney movie, or something, and people who want to remain unspoiled for the book (I think most anyone who wanted to read it have by now, though) you can go read my archives or something, I suppose. 

See? Nice. Go watch this, kiddos. Don’t keep reading, you’ll get a complex.

Moving on. I was not at all comfortable with the older women in my office who decided to have a conversation about it with me in the lunchroom before I’d even read it, though. I’m not friends with these people. I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT SEX WITH YOU.

OIder lady 1: Amy, you like to read. Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?
Me: Nope.
Older lady 1: You should. It’s about…(whispers) SEX.
Me: I’ve heard. I have it on reserve at the library. I’ll read it someday.
Older lady 1: All KINDS of sex. KINKY sex.
Me: Mmm-hmm. (Frantically reading book, eating sandwich, trying to look busy so the conversation would stop)
Older lady 1: SO MUCH SEX. I was wondering, where’s the plot? Because there was SO MUCH KINKY SEX. People were TYING PEOPLE UP!
Me: Oh? Huh. (Reading! Eating! READING!)
Older lady 2, walking in: Hey, ladies! What are we talking about?
Older lady 1: Fifty Shades of Grey! It’s a book about ALL THE SEX!
Older lady 2: Oh! Wow! (sits, settles in for a long discussion)
Me: I…um…have to get a thing from the place. (leaves in a hurry) 

(SIDE NOTE: I don’t MIND discussing sex, just not with women old enough to be my mom that I don’t know very well and don’t like all that much. And not in the work lunchroom. That seems unsanitary. That’s where the FOOD is.) 

OK. So. Fifty Shades of Grey. Why’s it so bad, Amy? Is it the sex? No. The sex is fine. Is it the subject matter? Nope, like I said, whatever, there’s a place for porn (or erotica, or literotica, whatever) and great, good, you go, book, you go. 

Here’s the problem. 


Here’s a quick rundown. Anastasia Steele, a very, very clumsy girl about to graduate college, is roped into interviewing Christian Grey, a very rich businessman. They dig each other. They get together. He’s into being a dominant! He wants her to be his submissive! He has ISSUES! In his own words, he is “fifty shades of fucked up!” Plus, his last name is GREY! HENCE THE TITLE YO! 

Will these two crazy kids make it work? Oh, will they? I CAN’T WAIT TO FIND OUT! Oh, wait, yes. Yes, I can. I can wait. I can SO WAIT. I can wait FOREVER. 

I assure you this single photo is a billion times sexier than the entire series. And I didn’t even read books two and three.

So I got the book from the library. I was a little worried it would be sticky. You don’t know what people do with library books that are NORMAL, I don’t want to know what they do with PORN. 

I read about thirty pages and was in tears of laughter about how badly it was written. I scared the cat. I was talking to the damn book. OUT LOUD. 

First, I was only a little way in before I said, “Huh. What’s going on here? Ana seems a lot like Bella from Twilight, with the self-doubt and the clumsiness. Is clumsiness the new black? If so, I am on the CUTTING EDGE OF COOL since I fall down ALL THE DAMN TIME. Where’s my knight in shining armor, I wonder?”

Oh my NOOO! Look at poor clumsy helpless BELLA! (Man, did I hope this truck was going to hit her. It didn’t. I had sadface.)

Then someone on Twitter pointed out that the book started as Twilight fan fiction, and the Twi-hards were all, “Um…naughty! But titillating!” so the author just changed the names and published it. 

Listen, had I known that, I would NOT have read this book. I hate Twilight. HATE. With the fire of a thousand suns HATE. 

Also, it says something that even Stephenie Meyer was all, “Um…yeah. No. No, this isn’t…good for her, but…no.” 

So even though it was the worst book ever, based on one of my least-favorite series ever, I kept reading. Why? To be honest, I wanted to blog about it. It’s the main reason I do anything hilariously awful lately. 

Here are some (and there are many) issues I have with this book. 


One of the only times that “argh” is permissible. Plus, it’s Joss, he can do whatever he wants.

At least twice that I counted, in the middle of some very “hot” sex (the sarcastic quotes are because there’s nothing hot about the sex Ana and Christian had, ever, except, I suppose, the temperature when they were having it in a bathtub) Ana made the noise “argh.” Now, I’m pretty sure if you make the noise “argh,” you are a., a pirate, b., tripped over an ottoman, c., foiled again, curses, d. doing the Mutant Enemy Joss Whedon credits and saying “grr, argh.” You’re not in the throes of passion. (She also made the noise “Aaaaah!” and “Aaaaagh.”) An easy fix? “Ana moaned.” See? See how much more sexy that is? NO ONE WOULD SAY ARGH DURING SEX. If I was having sex with a guy and he broke out the “argh” I would laugh so hard one of us would roll off the bed, I’m not even kidding. Oh, you want an example? HAPPY TO OBLIGE. Let’s take this. The Bloggess had her laptop stolen. So she wrote a post entitled Aaaaaaargh. THIS IS AN APPROPRIATE USE OF ARGH. Not during SEX. Not during something you’re ENJOYING. (Well, I guess unless you have a charley horse. Not that this has ever happened to me. OK FINE ONCE IN COLLEGE. And it was the WORST. Talk about something that took me by surprise. GOOD GRAVY.) I don’t take a bite of cereal in the morning and go “ARGH!” unless  the milk’s gone bad. Who does this? The answer is no one. No one does this.


Oh, I’m pretty sure this was utilized in the writing of this book.

I’m not saying I needed a clinical textbook or anything, but the only body part that was referred to by its proper name (I’m of course referring to our swimsuit area body parts, don’t be ridiculous, of course she said “arms and legs” or whatever) were breasts. Everything else was all “throbbing member” and “the juncture of my thighs” and “the place where he was both velvety and hard, what a titillating combo” and “my warm and wet place.” ZEE OH EMM GEE. Here, look what you can do in print without the world exploding, ready? Penis. Vagina. Clitoris. WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHAT WILL HAPPEN? Nothing, is what. I’m not saying porn would be hotter with “he then inserted his penis into my vagina” – that sounds a little too much like a sexual how-to pamphlet in hell – but it’s amazing to me that you can make it through an entire 514-page book riding on a boat made of euphemism. They’re just words. I mean, you had these people whipping and chaining and such, and you’re quailing at the use of “vagina?” Please. 


Yep, this about sums it up.

Ana made a big deal about being country mouse and never having left the continental United States. Christian was well-traveled, but grew up and lived (as did Ana) in Seattle. However, for some reason, the two of them said things – constantly – like “have a tidy-up” and “well-remembered, you” and “well played.” Hmm. Why would Seattle denizens speak thus? OH. BECAUSE THE AUTHOR IS BRITISH. I really got the feeling the closest she’d ever been to MERKA was to watch a couple episodes of Dallas one time. If that. Maybe.


No one thought: they pondered. No one was interested: they were titillated. No one was wordy: they were verbose. No one was moody: they were sullen. This woman never met a three-dollar word she didn’t just love, she rode until it was all up in a lather and then she, for good measure, beat it into the ground while cackling like a crazy. Oh, sorry, like a banshee. Or an utter lunatic. Or an institutionalized harpy. I KNOW BIG WORDS TOO. And I know there’s a time to use them. It’s not always in your bad porn. We still know it’s bad porn, lady. 

“inner goddess”/inner monologue 

Mine likes to wear pajamas and loaf. A lot of loafing.

Listen, Ana was annoying. The MOST annoying. The whole book, unfortunately, was from her point of view. We constantly had to listen to her inner monologue. And at least once on a page, you had to hear what her “inner goddess” was thinking. “My inner goddess was doing cartwheels.” “My inner goddess was hiding behind the couch.” “My inner goddess was doing a sultry samba.” WHO TALKS LIKE THIS. I don’t have an inner goddess. If I did, you’d get “Amy’s inner goddess is eating Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food out of the container on a couch covered in cat hair while watching Celebrity Rehab.” 

I think everyone was schizophrenic 

Yes, I realize Jack wasn’t a schizophrenic in this movie, but I love this picture so much. Let me have it. I just read a really awful book for you. Thanks.

I know. People are unpredictable and wild! That’s nice. It is. Thing is? People aren’t. Not really. Sure, people do things that are out of character. But these things usually point toward something being wrong with them. How many times has a friend of yours done something weird, and you’ve said to a mutual friend, “That’s unlike Frank/Francine. I hope everything’s ok with him/her.” Probably you have. I know I have. People are, for the most part, a predictable species. NOT IN THIS BOOK BUCKAROO. People say one thing and do another! People say they want to be beaten with a belt, then get mad at their boyfriend for actually going through with it! People say they don’t want a relationship and then two pages later say, “All I can think about is being in a relationship with you because I love you now!” I can’t take anything seriously when it’s this all over the board, I really can’t. 

Stilted writing of unnecessary scenes 

Pretty sure we’d find this in the author’s house. Only with glitter stickers on it. Of hearts and shit.

There were page-long descriptions of “I decided I might be hungry. But what might I be hungry for? Maybe an omelette. I don’t know. Was I in the mood for an omelette? My inner goddess wanted some fruit. I decided to make some pancakes. I didn’t know where the bowls were. I looked in the cabinets. I found the bowls. I put the bowls on the counter.” ZOMG IF I WANTED A BLOW-BY-BLOW I’D VIDEOTAPE ME MAKING DINNER. I don’t care. I don’t CARE! There’s an old rule of thumb – if it doesn’t further the story, you don’t need it. Apparently, E. L. James was too busy masturbating to thoughts of Edward Cullen to read any “how to write something that doesn’t suck” manuals. Sorry. Was that totally the grossest and all the TMI? Wait until I get to my next section. 

The sex isn’t at all sexy 

I’m fairly sure this isn’t the face I was supposed to be making when reading the sex scenes. Yet it was pretty much my reaction.

There’s a lot of sex. Don’t get me wrong. A LOT OF IT. Like, every few pages, someone’s getting a throbbing member thrust into a wet and warm place. But it’s not sexy. From the time Ana loses her virginity (the pain of which? “a slight pinch” – um, ok, good for you, darling, not how I remember it, but fine) to the most DISTURBING TAMPON SCENE YOU CAN EVEN IMAGINE (I’m not even going to go into it, but watch this totally amusing fake YouTube book trailer if you want a hint, a gross, gross hint) to the BDSM scenes, which I suppose would be sexy, if I didn’t hate both Ana and Christian so much I wanted him to accidentally choke her out, have to bury her in the backyard, and then get caught and locked up for life, you get all the non-sexy sex you could desire. With a lot of “my inner goddess swooned” interspersed. Oh, and she never has an orgasm. Instead, she “shatters into a million pieces and slowly puts herself back together.” EVERY DAMN TIME. That’s another word the author is afraid of. Orgasm. ORGASM IS A DIRTY WORD YOU GUYS. Nipple clamps and fisting are on the table (heh, on the table) but not orgasm. (I just checked, and yes, she does say it once and a while. I apologize. Not OFTEN, but apparently it’s not the naughty word that penis is. My fault. So sorry.) 

Also, there was a lot of “he pulled at my nipples until they elongated.” As in, more than once. In multiple sex scenes. Um. OUCH OUCH OUCH. THAT’S NOT WHAT THEY’RE FOR. They are not Silly Putty. You cannot transfer the comics onto them. THERE ARE NERVE ENDINGS IN THERE. 

I wanted to punch every single character in the neck three times a page 

Ana was a useless waste of space who went into the relationship expecting this guy to change even though he told her exactly what he was looking for (granted, he acted like a schizophrenic with the changing of his mind, so maybe that’s why she was fooled.) She also fell down a lot and ran into things and almost got hit by a bike. Christian was a control freak who was sexually abused as a teenager and most likely abused as a child (that was hinted at but not explained. YET.) Ana’s mom talked like a pre-teen. Ana’s friends were either controlling bitches or would-be rapists. And that’s pretty much everyone in the entire book. There’s no one to root for. NO ONE. 

No one talks like this, NO ONE 

…and here’s another reference book she used. Used WRONG.

People say things like “WHOO all this UST in the room!” and then I have to look up what “UST” is and it’s unresolved sexual tension. WHO THE HELL TALKS LIKE THIS NO ONE NO ONE. Or, how about Christian’s brother’s term of endearment and goodbye to his girlfriend, which Ana and Christian adopt as their own: “Laters, baby.” LATERS, BABY? Oh, no. Oh, my, no. Also, there’s a lot of “I bit my lip” and then Christian goes BATSHIT CRAZY all “Don’t DO that, you KNOW how that affects me, I WANT TO BE THE ONE BITING YOUR LIP.” What the actual hell? And the title? The title of this post? Direct quote from the book. THAT IS SOMETHING ANA SAYS TO HERSELF DURING SEX. You know, because when you’re in the middle of all the sex, you think of a sentence as clunky as that. Or, OR, when Ana and her overbearing roommate and BFF (why? who knows, Ana’s a douchenozzle) were talking about how Ana lost her flower to Christian: “Kate looks wistful. ‘Yeah, took almost a year to have my first orgasm through penetrative sex, and here you are…first time?’”If my BFF said “penetrative sex” to me, I think I would throw something at him, possibly the television remote, and then laugh until I had a choking fit. Who says “penetrative sex” in a casual conversation? That’s the kind of thing someone says in a safe-sex talk at the local Planned Parenthood, or something. Not two BFFs sitting around shooting the shit. I feel like this author was raised by wolves. Wolves with nothing to read but thesauruses. 


Why. Why. WHY.

The book ended on a CLIFFHANGER ZOMG (let’s be honest, I didn’t give a shit) and there are TWO MORE OF THEM. Fifty Shades of Greyer and Fifty Shades of Suck My Soul Out Through my Nose if I Have To Read Any More of This Shit. NO THOSE AREN’T THE REAL TITLES. Am I going to read them? No. No I’m not. Life’s too short. I assume, with no prior knowledge, that most likely Ana and Christian end up happily ever after, with her accepting his lifestyle as her own, with some modifications, or something like that. It’s not like this woman can write or come up with anything original. OOH! Maybe someone has a magic sparkle baby like in Twilight! That’d make me want to read more!* (*no it wouldn’t) 

Now, listen. I’m not completely against this book, for two reasons. Two. And only two. And to show you that I can be UNBIASED, I will share them with you. 

The power of viral marketing 

This woman published these with a tiny e-pub house in Australia, and with the power of viral marketing and word-of-mouth, they’re topping the bestseller lists. That makes me want to vomit until I’m sore, but that’s not the point. The point is, whoever’s marketing her books is doing one hell of a job. Or just people talking did this, I don’t know. Whoever it is, or a combination of both? Kudos. These terribly written pieces of trash are the it thing. Undeservedly so, but they are. And that’s impressive. Now let’s use our powers for good and get some GOOD books on the bestseller list, what do you say? 

Getting women to talk about sex more openly 

I know I was all ew ew ew earlier about the ladies in my lunchroom (and I’m still ew ew ew, that hasn’t changed) but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with women feeling like they can openly discuss sex. If this terrible book makes them feel like they can do that? Well, fine, then it has served one purpose, and now we can use it to prop up the short leg on the coffee table. Seriously, sex isn’t dirty. There’s a time and a place for it (and if you’re a stranger and you think we’re going to talk about it on Twitter, hit the road, I’M TALKING TO YOU DING DONG JOE) but sure, it’s not something women should be ashamed of talking about. Men talk about it all the time. Women should feel free to do so, as well. So, yeah. Just – there are better books, sexier books, that you can read. You know that, right? OK, good. Just checking. Go read those. Because I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to slip into a sexy frame of mind when the writing is so bad in a book it makes me laugh until I’m crying, you know? 

Goodreads really needs an option for .00001 stars, because giving this one star really didn’t give me the satisfaction I wanted. 

For additional awesome, please to visit this Tumblr, which has provided me with hours of entertainment.  

My inner goddess is hungry now and I think I need a sandwich or maybe some wasabi peas. Laters, baby.

We forgot our foil helmets. They’ll know our secret thoughts.

You know what we haven’t done in a while? Science time. I bet Andreas is totally sad about that. I mean, listen. I have this amazing Science Fellow, and I’m totally underutilizing him. This is a bad use of the world’s best Science Fellow.

If I want to keep my Science Fellow, I need to do some science around here once and a while.


So today, I found a whole new science site. It is called Science Daily. Science DAILY! Who doesn’t like a little science daily? Not me. Not this lady. No sirree. I like there to be science daily.

And Science Daily seems to actually be a real thing and not embarrassing! Well, that’s fun. I like real sciencey things. So I found three exciting articles for you. Let’s discuss them! Probably Andreas will want to talk to us about them, too. I would like that. THEN I have a FINAL article that’s not from Science Daily but needs to be addressed because I found it kind of fascinating.

So, I let Dumbcat pick, and Dumbcat says that we have to talk about dopamine first. I asked him if that’s because he’s a dope and then he sneezed. That’s a yes in Dumbcat-ese, I think.

So, according to this article, low dopamine makes you have rage-face.

WAIT AMY! You are saying. What is dopamine?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter. In simple terms, it sends signals in your brain between nerve cells. When you get a reward of any kind (food, sex, drugs, praise) your dopamine levels increase. Dopamine makes you feel gooooood. Which is why people get addicted to things. Also, extroverts are proven to have more dopamine. What about people that are bipolar in their extroversion like me? I guess I only have too much dopamine on alternate Tuesdays after Labor Day. Here’s more on dopamine, if you’re so inclined.

Dopamine is also one of the chemicals responsible for all those squishy-squishy feelings when you fall in love. So, there you go, then.

Anyway, so some scientists types were doing some dopamine experiments. Their assumption was that low levels of dopamine would lead to low aggression, while high levels would lead to high aggression. HOWEVER, as sometimes happens in science (as in life) you know what they say about assumptions. HELPER MULE OUT OF YOU AND ME. And scientists.

Do you really want to make an ass out of you and me? DO YOU? Well, this guy’s already an ass, but you know what I mean.

So the scientist types put the test subjects in a room and told them to play a video game where they would do tasks to receive “money.” They were also told that in the other room was another competitor, who could cheat and STEAL their money. The test subjects could do one of three things to combat the cheater-cheater-never-beaters: they could just keep playing and earning money to offset the losses; they could “defend” against the cheaters but, in doing so, sacrifice some of their winnings, or they could “punish” the cheater. The article doesn’t say how they could punish the cheater. I want to think with waterboarding. That seems likely.

Want to hear the secret of this test? There was no cheater. The cheater was imaginary. It was the computer program taking their money away, in order to get them upset so their dopamine levels could be tested. NEFARIOUS!

The scientists THOUGHT that people who defended or punished (was it paddling? Like with one of those paddles in a frat house? YOU CAN TELL ME, SCIENTISTS!) would have more dopamine and the ones who kept their heads down and just kept playing would have less. Nope. Other way around. The people who kept playing had more. Huh. Scientists were AMAZED! I like to think of scientists being amazed and scratching their little scientist-heads.


This article doesn’t really come up with any conclusions other than “more testing needs to be done, yo.” Huh. I think we might need more information. Perhaps on the punishments used. Was it temple torture? When I was little, my dad used to do that to me. It consisted of him standing over me and flicking my temples with his thumb and forefinger. When I asked him to stop, he’d say, “What? It’s just temple torture. YOU LOVE IT.” He still thinks that’s funny. And I’m old now.

NEXT! Dumbcat says let’s talk about the aliens in Pennsylvania because he’s worried about Jim.

This article says space rocks were found in Pennsylvania which you know means aliens are there because how else would space rocks get to Pennsylvania if not from aliens? So I’m pretty sure even though Jim’s been concentrating his energy on the zombie apocalypse, instead he should concentrate on aliens. OH SHIT. I just realized that Signs was set in Pennsylvania. JIM! THERE ARE ALL THE ALIENS IN YOUR STATE, YO!

Pretend Mel “Sugartits” Gibson isn’t in this photo, it’ll be better.

Oh, wait, I actually read the article instead of skimming and there weren’t any alien rocks at all. Just REGULAR rocks. That showed proof that a meteorite or a comet or something touched down almost 13,000 years ago. Well, THAT’S disappointing. I was  hoping for aliens. I know YOU were all hoping for aliens. That movie Signs PROMISED THERE WOULD BE ALIENS. What is going ON. People don’t follow through on their promises, it’s totally disheartening.

Well, Jim, I guess you can go back to planning for the zombies now. That must be a load off. You had a whole plan and everything. I don’t know how good you’d be at changing plans mid-stream, like a little lost salmon.

The one on the far right is Jim. How do I know? I JUST DO STOP BEING NOSY.

Now let’s talk about a study that LIES. Dumbcat hates lies, especially about cat treats. He needs them at 8pm every night or HE IS SO SAD.

This study is full of lies, because it says that if you’re neurotic (I am, duh), getting more money would not make you happier.


It says that neurotics view pay raises as a failure because they think that any pay raise is not as much as they deserve.

Well, listen. I’ve worked at my current job for 6 and a half years. My average annual pay raise has been from 5 to 10 cents an hour a year. FIVE to TEN CENTS. Think about that. Five to ten cents an hour. For a year of successful work. Would that make YOU neurotic? Yep. If you had half a brain in your head, it would.

I like to save these up and buy myself a nice ice cream cone, after a few months.

Alternately: my part-time job, where I work once a week for eight hours, gives me, on average, 25 to 50 cents in raises a year. And has for the past 7 years I’ve worked there.

If it makes me NEUROTIC because I think I deserve more than a NICKEL or a DIME then, yes, sure. But mostly, do you know what a regular pay raise would make me feel?

Grateful. Because then I could quit my part-time job; I wouldn’t have to watch my money as closely; I could maybe buy things I need and not put that off week after week after week.

Not neurotic, SCIENTISTS. Grateful. Not neurotic. If you’re getting a teeny pay raise, then OBVIOUSLY it’s not what you deserve. No one deserves a nickel. NO ONE.

I’m a neurotic and I don’t approve of this message.

Now, the article I read the other day that I thought was super-interesting. Dumbcat says we might as well talk about this now since it’s all that’s left. I was writing something, and researching the way the heart works, and the way the brain works, and how the brain processes emotions related to falling in love with someone. (Not something for here, something else. Something non-bloggy.) I came across this in my research.

Apparently, this scientist in New York did a study about what makes people fall in love. Check this out:

New York psychologist, Professor Arthur Arun, has been studying the dynamics of what happens when people fall in love. He has shown that the simple act of staring into each other’s eyes has a powerful impact.

He asked two complete strangers to reveal to each other intimate details about their lives. This carried on for an hour and a half. The two strangers were then made to stare into each others eyes without talking for four minutes. Afterwards many of his couples confessed to feeling deeply attracted to their opposite number and two of his subjects even married afterwards.

OK. Two complete strangers were forced to SIT CLOSE TOGETHER and TELL EACH OTHER SECRETS and then HAVE A STARING CONTEST FOR FOUR MINUTES. And instead of running from the room screaming, they fell in love?


(I’d like the statistic of how many of them were psycho-murdered by the other person, because they told them TOO MUCH PERSONAL INFORMATION. Dad’ll tell you. You DO NOT tell STRANGERS your PERSONAL INFORMATION. Even if a scientist tells you that’s the experiment. Dad wouldn’t trust the scientists, by the way. He’d say they were working for the government. He already thinks Andreas is a spy, I mean, come on.)

No, in all seriousness, this is interesting, right? Two of his people got MARRIED. Because of SCIENCE. I want to marry someone because of science.

OK, Andreas! Here you go! All the science for you! Aliens, dopamine, sexy staring contests and lying scientists. EXCITING! All for YOU, Andreas! Please stay my science fellow forever!

Happy Wednesday! If anyone tells me it’s Hump Day today I’m going to hump them right in the face with a box of copier paper.

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