Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Transformers! More Than Meets The Eye!!!

I'm sitting at my desk this morning chasing my tail as the stacks of filing slowly increase and threaten to topple down upon me and smother me. If I'm lucky they'll only cripple me and I can get workers comp.

Anyway, I'm sitting there entering timesheets for the entire month* in one sitting, and we hear a big BOOM! And the building shakes.

Since we had been listening to the repairmen of the Perpetually Broken Elevator drill to the center of the building (the elevators are never running right and we are probably single handedly keeping the elevator repair industry in business) I figured maybe they had dropped something.

A few minutes later, one of the associates sitting near me noticed some black smoke coming from the street.

A few minutes after that, the sireeens (yes, that's how Chatty Cathy would say the word "sirens") down below were deafening--moreso than usual.

Ends up that at 11:30 a.m. a transformer exploded and caught fire at the building just down the way from our building.

Three people were walking over the grate on the street where the transformer was when it caught fire. Frightening because if this had happened an hour later--yours truly could have been a walking BK Broiler herself.

Thankfully everyone was OK. Unfortunately everyone on the block but US lost power. I was a bit pissed about that.

Oh well, I got most of my timesheets input.

As I left the office, it started to storm and pour like a cow peeing on a flat rock.

When I got home, Dr. Mad Scientist brought this to my attention:

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Fan-frickin'-tastic.

I can tell you exactly why this happened.

1. The landlord needs to put a new roof on this place but can't afford to. We already have a spot in our closet that leaks just like this every time we get lots of rain (knock on soggy wood, it hasn't leaked this year).

2. We have effin' squirrels or some other vermin living up in the ceiling. I can hear them scratching around. Do you think he cares when I tell him this?? Nope.

I've even gone so far as to document it. Turn up your speakers--the middle of this short little clip you can REALLY hear the nasty ass thing scratching around up there.



Seriously? I understand that a roof is expensive. But so is losing $1200 a month from rental income when your tenants get sick of putting up with Sammy the Squirrel and his Leaky Roof.

But the day wasn't for naught.

I still came home to two dorky boys that were happy to see me.

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Seriously these goofballs are the only thing that keep me sane sometimes.



*Timesheets for the virgin who has never worked for, worked as, or had to pay an attorney is how they bill for their time. In a perfect world, after they complete each thing they do, they would write it down and the time they spent doing it.

"June 23: Phone conference with Client Schmoe regarding upcoming hearing in Schmoe v. Dillweed. .60 hours"

However, I find this is never the case.

They usually wait til the last week, or the last day of the month to write out their timesheets. So instead of entering 20 sheets one by one each day into the billing system--I usually have to do 20 on the last day of the month with the Billing Administrator breathing down my neck sending me threatening emails in all capital letters.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Moo!

Grab your glass of milk--it's Cookie of the Week (CoW) time!

Or hey, grab your stuffed piggie and come along with me!

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This week's cookie is the Lemon Snicker.

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Take your basic snickerdoodle recipe and substitute lemon extract for the vanilla extract and add 1/2 a teaspoon to the granulate sugar you roll the cookies around in before you bake them.

Mmm...so delish! I love the chewy semi-baked centers!

Even though I had to turn the oven on to make these, they're a very "summery" cookie.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sweet Sassy Molassy

I actually finished something!

It's the simple drop-stitch scarf out of the $25-marked-down-to-$5 silk ribbon yarn I bought with Chris when we went to go check out the Suckery Spinnery in Frenchtown. I shouldn't be so mean, it was an OK yarn store. Nothing I'd make the trip out to visit again though.

Since it was only 100 yards, it's not that long of a scarf.

More of a scarflette.

Or maybe an ascot of sorts.

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The stats:

Pattern: My "own" using stitch design 151 from The Book of Knitting and Crochet.

Yarn: The aforementioned mystery $5 silk ribbon.

Needles: US7

Notes: Meh, it's not my finest work. I somehow managed to add and then drop a few stitches in the middle. So it kind of bottlenecks a bit. The rose buttons--while I like them and think they add a nice touch repeating the crinkly-ness of the silk ribbon yarn, are a little too big for the drop stitch holes. But with a little work, they get on there.

I'm not much of a scarf person. This one might go to Mom.

But it was a nice mindless little knit while I figure out what I want to knit next.

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Oh yeah, it's so pretty it makes me burp!!!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hooray!

It's Farmers' Market Season!

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Me and the non-hairy boys hit the Montclair Farmers' Market this weekend. It was very crowded and Moochie wasn't too pleased being down in his stroller in the crowds.

I don't blame him.

I nearly had a throwdown with a yuppie couple that refused to yield half the sidewalk to us as we were leaving.

Apparently when you're busy yapping at your gently stubbled husband while standing at the helm of your SUV-esque jog stroller taking up the right side of the sidewalk while your other child, Scotty Snotnose, sits next to you on the left on his little perfect mini-bicycle, you don't have to bother trying to move or helping little Scotty Snotnose out of the way so others can pass.

I don't blame Scotty Snotnose, he looked barely old enough to be on a bike. But c'mon. Could you at least PRETEND to move out of the way? I had to push my stroller OFF the sidewalk into the grass to get around these clods.

I made sure to remark loudly to Chunky that I hoped he was courteous enough to know when to move out of the way when people needed to pass. Hee hee. I'm gonna get shot.

Bunch of savages in this town.

On the plus side, the tomatoes they had for sale were amazing!

And huge!

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Half-baby-head sized!

We also just got word that "Wednesdays In Washington Park," the park across the street from the office are back--another farmers' market! I'll have to check it out.

I'm willing to bet Newark sidewalk pedestrians are more courteous.

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Not sure how that picture ties in, but it was from the same shoot and cute.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CoW: Drape Yourself in Velvet

It's not "C" for Cookie this week (even though cookie, cookie, cookie starts with "c"!) it's Cake! Chocolate velvet cake to be exact.

First you grab two 9" round cakes.

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These are cake mix cakes. Sue me, it was a work-night.

You whip up 3 ozs. of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of cocoa, 2/3 of a cup of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk, and two cups of heavy whipping cream (cream the cheese, cocoa and milk together first and then gradually add the sugar and whipping cream).

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I could eat that stuff between two slices of bread--yum!

Next slice both your cakes in half horizontally.

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Then layer it baby, layer it!

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But when it's done it's going to seem kind of naked.

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Ah ha! Everything looks better with ganache!

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Mmm...slice, sit back and enjoy another year of life.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Weekend With The Beast

It was a grocery shopping weekend here this past weekend--we only go every other week. I would probably be dead of a stroke or in jail for murder if I had to do it ever week.

But as I was wrastling with my coupons on Saturday, I got fed up with shoving them into a pocket of my purse where they really didn't fit. They were a mess.

Off to the internets I went a'surfin.

I took a pattern for a checkbook cover and made this.

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I saved $39 in coupons this trip--WOAH! I haven't been that lucky since we left Kroger in Michigan!

I love it! I keep the coupons I'm not using in the top pocket and the current trip's coupons in the bottom pocket.

The button is one that Chunky found at school and brought home for me. Hee hee, I'm raising a scavenger!

It's not the best sewing job--as you can see the top stitching isn't that fabulous. But I dig it.

And the best part?

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It fits in my purse!!!

And before someone asks: the green and brown thing you see in there that looks handmade? It is. But it's a Mighty Mini Pouch. Love that thing!

The sewing doesn't end there.

On Sunday The Beast and I made what I'm calling the Single White Female Skirt.

See, Pocket Farmer had a really cool blog I used to love reading. But she dropped out of the blogosphere for entirely reasonable reasons. And now I can only follow what she's up to on Flickr.

I saw that she had sewn these really cool looking skirts and she listed the pattern number she used -- McCalls 2255 -- in the pictures of the skirts she made.

I located the pattern for cheap. Visited my local fabric store. Got busy with The Beast and voila!

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Oh purr!!!

I love this skirt!!!

Even though I'm calling it the Single White Female Skirt, I had been craving a non-black skirt and this inspiration (can you call it that when you're blatently copying someone??) came along at the best time.

The print is super funky ugly too. I love it!

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And although I was feeling too lazy to properly center the camera on me or change out of my disgusting-weekend-baby-spit-up t-shirt, it fits like a dream!

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I recycled the elastic that I saved from my skirt curtains for the waistband. I didn't have to worry about trying to find the right length of elastic--bonus!

I will definitely be making this one again!

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

D-Day!

Happy Father's Day!!

Shout out to my Old Man! And of course to my babies' daddy!

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(Don't mind the sour look on Chunky's face; the kid got the perfect attendance award this year--180 days of school--and the first week of vacation? He's coming down with some crud!)

I got Dr. Mad Scientist a digital photo frame keychain so when his AA buddies ask to see pictures of the kids--he can whip it out. Apparently he gets asked this a lot. And who the hell carries wallet pictures around anymore? Not this woman!

My present was upstaged by Chunky's card though.

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The inside reads:

"Dear Dad, You are a very good good Dad! Thanks for being a very good Dad for me and Moochie. I bet if Moochie knew it was Fathers day he would realy party. Love, Chunky"

Holy crap how cute is that?!

Ha ha!

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Like a Cement Watermelon

I had the camera in the car with me on the way home from work this week.

I took pictures of memorable places on my commute.

Here's one that I don't think I ever blogged about, and if I did, I'm sorry to repeat (I went back and looked...). Six months post-Moochie and I still don't get too much sleep.

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This is the intersection that I was stopped at on a November (maybe it was December) weekday as I was on my way to one of my final Moochie pregnancy appointments. While I was stopped there, a guy was making a righthand turn onto the road I was on (from the corner where you see the phone sign). What the dude turning didn't realize was that there was a pedestrian in the crosswalk.

He hit, and I watched the man get hit by that car.

Talk about frightening. It was a lot like when you see people get hit by cars on TV.

Except he didn't fly into the air too much. Probably because the car wasn't going
that fast. However, he rolled over the guys hood and smashed his head into the upper corner of the driver's side windshield.

And he smashed the glass with his head.

Like a cement watermelon.

His head left a dinner sized plate spiderweb of broken glass.

The pedestrian was actually walking--correction: limping--after he was hit. I felt bad driving away.

However, the driver didn't drive away and everyone else in the intersection stayed behind after the light turned green.

I've seen a lot of crazy ass things in my scant two years of New Jersey driving. I watched a motorcyclist hit a car and go flying over it. I saw this guy get hit by a car. And about two months ago I was driving home and a guy going in the opposite direction right before he passed me, had his tire fall off. Not the rubber fall off his tire--his whole TIRE fell off the axle. Luckily he too wasn't going too fast and I was able to swerve around his tire as it rolled into my lane.

Gotta love this state's roads!!!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Milestones

It's like just yesterday my Chunkalunk was starting first grade.

And yesterday was his last day of it.

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Like my crappy last day of school car shot?

You should see the stack of homework he's got to turn into his second grade teacher the first day of school. Holy shit. They might as well just make school year-round.

Today also marks Mr. Mooch's six month birthday.

What the hell?

What happened to my baby boys?!!?!?!?!

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

To Lee Fung With Love

Do you remember my jive o'rific knitting book find back in April?

And how the book had a large section missing--well more like there was a duplicate of a different section stuck in the wrong place where a different section should have been?

Well a week ago Dr. Mad Scientist was attending an AA meeting at a church in the uppity community that brought us such greats as a couple of the guitarists from Stone Temple Pilots and Tom "I'm a Nutbar" Cruise (actually he just graduated from high school in this town).

Apparently the church had had a book sale a few weeks ago and had some books in boxes heading for the trash. When he saw a knitting book--he nailed it for me (whatta guy!).

And now...

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...I have two.

Which I must say is totally cool--because now between the two books--I have a whole book!

The one Dr. Mad Scientist picked up for me HAS the missing section that the other one does not.

However, it is also effed up. There is a DOUBLE section appearing in here.

The book was printed in 1971 in Hong Kong by Lee Fung Printing Company. Thank you Lee Fung for an interesting scavenger hunt in getting a whole book.

I just can't get over the chance that I'd ever be able to see this book in its entirety. It's not one I see a lot at used bookstores. (Hell, I don't see many good knitting books at used bookstores period! I guess we all hang on to them!)

Dr. Mad Scientist also saw this pamphlet and snagged it for me.

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Best.husband.ever!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Got Nuthin...

It's been a quiet week around here.

Nothing much to post about.

Enjoy a Moochie video.



What you can't see is my finger tickling his armpit. And that side to side wiggling action? That's not me moving him--that's all him.

Enjoy!

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Great American

This week's cookie of the week is an old standby.

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The "Great American Peanut Butter Blossom." I've always just called the peanut butter blossoms or peanut butter kiss cookies, but the back of the Hershey Kiss bag has dubbed them "Great American."

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Artsy fartsy cookie shot.

I guess that's cool. I've heard other countries aren't really big into the peanut butter/chocolate flavor combination. Or maybe I misheard that. Or maybe they are, but they're all closet PB&C lovers...

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Believe it or Not

I do still knit.

Yesterday Chris and I met up to check out the Spinnery in Frenchtown. It was um, OK. Not as spinny or yarny as I would have liked. But now we can say we've been there and done that.

Chris spotted a really good deal though.

Balls of 100 yds of 100% silk for $5 marked down from $25.

She nailed a ball of black and a pretty green, and I grabbed this ball.

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I'm not really jazzed about anything I'm knitting right now now that the Canine Porcine Panda is done.

A scarf I'm designing for a friend isn't turning out the way I want it and I might just frog it and start fresh later.

And the Kate's Cardigan has been languishing. I need to just pick up and start back up on her, but I'm just not feeling the love for it right now.

This ball of $5 loveliness is the perfect palate cleanser.

I cast on a simple drop stitch scarf (Chris's idea for this yarn!)

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And knit away while I did laundry.

I think I'll name it the Exit 151 Scarf since the stitch is #151 from The Book of Knitting and Crochet and traffic on the Garden State Parkway on our way home was AWFUL. Getting to Exit 151 took for-ever! (Ok, maybe it was actually Exit 150 going the direction we were going...I can never keep 'em straight!)

Which wasn't good because Mr. Mooch was hungry and screaming the whole way home.

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Bad segue I know. But I'll leave you with a picture of both my boys.

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Sometimes I wonder how a chubby little boy can turn into the stringbean that is Chunky now. Believe it or not he was a LOT chubbier than Mr. Moochie is when he was that age. He didn't earn the name Chunky for nothin'.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

To the Toppermost of the Poppermost

I finished appliqueing all of Chunky's old Colorado State University t-shirt, sweatshirt, and onesie logos onto cotton blocks.

I think they call it blanket stitching. I'm not sure. But it went pretty fast.

And after hauling out The Beast (I mentally start designing my dream craft room in my head every time I have to haul The Beast out of the closet...) I am now the proud owner of my first quilt top.

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Ok, so it's not the best...there is a set of corners that don't line up perfectly, and working with the boxy directional fabric? Not the best idea on your first quilt. You can see where it looks crooked.

But hey, I'm very impressed with myself.

Usually my first attempts at anything new come out pretty half-assedly.

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Next up, basting it!

I've also decided I think I'll hand quilt it. You know that free form quilting where you just kinda doodle all over your quilt with a machine?

Yeah, not a big fan. It seems hurried and sloppy.

But what do I know? I'm just a beginner.

I've got lofty plans for this little wall hanging though!!!

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Inner Dessert

My sister T. has this theory about people.

She believes everyone has an "inner dessert." She has a mini-crusade at her office to bake everyone their "inner dessert" for their birthday.

One of my bosses (Boss #3 in the chain of command) is celebrating her birthday this weekend.

She doesn't like to publicize the fact she's a year older at the office. Which is fine--she shares her birthday with Flag Day. So I just tell people I bring treats in for "Flag Day."

This year I decided to do as the T. does and see if I could channel Boss #3's "inner dessert."

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Even though I know I've blogged about these before--I think I nailed Boss #3's "inner dessert."

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Boss #3 is always well put together. Even when she's getting 7:30 a.m. wake up calls from one of the partners asking her if she's at work after pulling an all nighter--she looks fabulous.

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She's one of those people that has that innate sense of style.

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Kind of like the Boston Cream Cupcake--it's sleek and stylish without really trying or being pretentious.

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I'm pretty sure my boss isn't full of vanilla pudding though.

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What's your inner dessert?

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Enabled

I blame knottygnome.

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And probably my mother for passing on the fabric genes.

At least she seems to be enjoying rehashing my adventures in not listening to your mother when playing with a rotary cutter in the comments section. Ha ha!

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Reveal Part 2

Ok, so remember this?

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It was also a baby gift for Val.

But I forgot to take a picture of the FULL finished project!

It's a little stuffed jingle-bellbelly shark knit from my handspun from the book World of Knitted Toys.

You can go on The Place That Shall Not Be Named and check out what other people have done with that pattern if you're really a.) bored and b.) really give that much of a crap to see what I've been knitting.

Now time for a partially related segue..

...remember these?

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They are for an attorney at work who is expecting a little girl in August. I couldn't just give him and his wife a simple pair of booties. I needed a little something else.

Enter the World of Knitted Toys!

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Yikes. Ok. So the panda looks a little weird there.

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Karen! North Jersey Peas!

The stats:

Pattern: Panda from World of Knitted Toys by Kath Dalmeny

Yarn: Red Heart Designer Sport in Ivory and Black

Needles: US 3

Notes: I didn't modify this pattern at all. I wish I had. His legs are a bit um, long. Next time around I think knitting a black stripe at the shoulder area would make him seem more panda-y.

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But all in all, I like him. He's cute.

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And my review of the book? I originally checked it out of the library when I learned it had a shark pattern. After seeing the panda pattern, and knitting it, I fell in love and ordered a used copy for $6.

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Hee hee!

Now here's the weird thing.

After I finished sewing these booties and as I was knitting the panda something occurred to me.

The attorney I'm giving these to is Chinese. Part of the reason I'm even giving him a present (He's a 6th floor attorney, I don't really know too many of the 6th floor attorneys very well--I'm a 5th floorer. We're very floor-centric!) is because I got to know him before we hired him. My Big Boss is the HR partner and we did a lot of the legwork to get this guy his working Visa.

This isn't like knitting a baseball and apple pie for an expecting American couple in China is it????

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I just thought pandas are cute!!!!

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