FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Why Can’t I Stop Playing Candy Crush?

Hi. How are you? It’s Friday, which means it’s time for a Friday Open Thread! This is actually my very first open thread, and I’m a little nervous but a lot excited. It has been a very long, sickness-filled week for me, and there’s nothing that sounds better to cap it off than an afternoon with you beautiful people. I’m sure you’re all anxious to hear this week’s theme, and I promise I’m going to share that momentarily. But first, I want to tell you all a story.

I was sitting on the train the other day, mindlessly flicking animated candies around my phone screen in order to avoid staring at the nearest stranger’s buttcrack, when I had a thought: I don’t think I like Candy Crush. I certainly enjoy being good at it (i.e. I feel powerful when I breeze through levels a four-year-old could probably pass) and I play it almost constantly. It’s a very good way to feed my ADD’s need to multitask with something that doesn’t take too much of my brain power away from the actual task at hand.

Divine! Another seven hours wasted!  Via Lovatics

I was gonna use a screenshot of my CC map but then I realized you guys would see what level I was on and the shame kicked in
via Lovatics <3/Google+

But as far as enjoyability goes, Candy Crush kind of sucks. The levels are either laughably easy or impossible to beat, which allows the game to constantly goad you to purchase in-game boosters that probably won’t actually help you beat the level anyway. The company has grown increasingly dependent on Facebook, so if you don’t have a wifi connection, you get screwed out of like half the game options. The actual game play isn’t awful, but the experience has suffered so much from its need to monetize, something thousands of grumpy old people have written about in App Store reviews. (Those are hilarious, by the way, and worth a read if you need a pick-me-up sometime.) It even requires you to ask your real-life friends (!!!) for help, so if you’re like me and totally ashamed of playing a game that even my mother has declared she is “so over,” you strategically send requests to Facebook friends you’ll never see in person and therefore never have to make eye contact with again.

Apparently the red angry face is the official Candy Crush user emoji

Apparently the red angry face is the official Candy Crush user emoji

Yet still, I play on. Because it’s my little guilty pleasure, my mind-numbing way to kill time or to watch Twin Peaks but have something else to pay attention to when I get too freaked out. It serves a very specific purpose, and it serves it well.

So this week, I’m wondering, what are your guilty pleasures? What do you do to pass the time, get you through boring meetings, keep yourself entertained or looking busy in the cafeteria so you don’t have to make small talk with your annoying coworker? What do you do on your phone when you can’t sleep on a weeknight but don’t want to get out of bed and wake your partner? What colorful games do you refuse to connect to Facebook for fear of your cool friends seeing you indulge? What do you do on your phone when no one is looking? Tell me, please, in the spirit of honesty and community that we have worked so hard to create here at Autostraddle. I’ll only tease you about it a little bit.

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Kaitlyn lives in New York, which is the simplest answer you're going to get if you ask her where she's from. She went to journalism school and is arguably making the most of her degree as a writer and copy editor. She utilizes her monthly cable bill by watching more competitive cooking shows than should be allowed.

Kaitlyn has written 69 articles for us.


  1. Kaitlyn, I also play Candy Crush to distract me from scary things! For me it’s mostly at the dentist, so I can think about things other than the tragic art installation of sutures, porcelain and pointy metal hardware slowly being constructed in my mouth.

  2. I LOVE to play Robot Unicorn Attack 2! There is really no point or ending to the game but you get to build sweet robot unicorns that shoot a rainbow out of it’s butt, what more can a girl ask for.

  3. Saw this while waiting for my next Candy Crush life hahaha. Not even a guilty pleasure because my night job has a decent amount of free time in the winter so I just crush candies while waiting for my shift to be over. The 500s have been slow but hopefully steady :/

    • Just saw your pic as I was scrolling through people’s comments. Watching the match tonight?! PINOE!

      • Haha helll yeah, I asked off work so I could watch the games. Hoping for a better match than Wednesday tho….

    • If I don’t know about it I can pretend it’s not happening so I’m not reading your article haHA
      Intentional denial strikes again!

    • I guess this is as good a time as any to admit that reading Cracked is another one of my guilty pleasures. I even put up with their crappy mobile app because it’s easier to read than their mobile site. That said, I think they’ve actually gotten a lot better with their social awareness and respecffulness and inclusivity!

  4. I don’t play Candy Crush, but I did find a jelly bean portrait of Laura Prepon as Alex Vause while I was showing my friends around Hollywood this past weekend.

  5. I tend to grow addicted to stuff and forego anything substantial, like sleep or food, so no Candy Crush (or games in general) for me.
    Guilty pleasure: Fanfiction. Tends to lead to the problem, as mentioned above, and Lady Couples/Kisses on TV. I used to know them all, in an encyclopedic knowledge kind of way (Pepsi forever!).
    Also, I used to watch a slew of bad Martial Arts movies, which were usually on late at night.
    Last year, I went to Comic Con, and a panel on kickass in movies had Cynthia Rothrock as a surprise guest, like even in a signing autographs and exchanging a few words way.
    I almost grabbed the unsuspecting guy who was sitting next to me and almost cried with excitement.

  6. Wait but I need more Android games to play while commuting that aren’t Candy Crush and 2048, anyone have suggestions? xoxo

    • Is Two Dots on Android? That’s another one I’ve been spending a lot of time on lately. I initially hated it after downloading because the first 20-30 levels are highly based on the luck of the randomized starting board, but I follow one of the game’s animators on Tumblr and she posts about it all the time, so I decided to try it again. Now that I’ve moved on to more strategy friendly levels, I’m starting to become addicted.

      • Apparently it’s “coming soon”! I used to play Dots a decent amount (and my gf loved it) so I’ll keep my eye out

    • Folt is such a good game! Not sure if it’s on Android, but if it is, you should definitely check it out!

  7. Unfortunately since I have a lot of time at work from lack of customers I get to play GT Racing 2 on my free time on my tablet pc. The graphics are pretty good for a mobile game, as is the controls. Plus, I also spend a lot of time on tumblr and autostraddle.

    I been fortunate to make queers friends who live very close(almost walking distance) to me so I am thankful for that as I’ve had enjoyable time with these lovely ladies.

    This week Halloween Rabbit is saying I’ve had enough of your bull, and I am going to make this world a safe place for all queers. Pronouns He, She, or they depending on the mood.

  8. I use to play Candy Crush all the time but I gave up since I am totally stuck on this level =/. Baking as of lake has been one of my guilty pleasures

    Also I have an interview for this awesome internship for the Democratic Party Of Colorado :). Picture will come soon

  9. I finally kicked my Candy Crush addiction– just straight up deleted it because I was sick of seeing little candy shapes behind my eyes as I tried to sleep…

    But then I downloaded Two Dots, which has similar elements (puzzles you solve by matching colors together and the option to pay to get help on difficult levels), but has less of a hold on me than Candy Crush did.

    So.. Win? I guess?

    • Yes! I downloaded Two Dots when it first came out and I actually hated it at first, but now I play it all the time. It’s got such pretty/cute animation, and I find it’s much more visually soothing than Candy Crush.

  10. Hello my lady loves! I have gone to bed many nights before my day off saying to myself, “well, at least all I have to do tomorrow is clear all the jelly.” It’s gotten bad. I was looking at a client yesterday, and I swear to god, her face resembled a blue candy, and I day dreamed that her head was the center of a five-candy line. I decided to put my phone down and start knitting on my days off. So, knitting. :D And also reading. I’ve been reading Eat, Pray, Love on and off but I’ve made a commitment to myself to finish it by next Thursday, when I meet with my group to discuss spirituality. I’ve had some experiences of late that have impassioned in me a new curiosity for the divine. I’m gaining a lot from this book. Also… what is Muffin Knight?

    And furthermore, have a funny picture:

    PS THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS EARLY OMFG!!! I was so overwhelmed by the number of posts and the time of night last time that I commented on people’s stuff, read replies, and passed out and got too anxious to return. This is amazeballs.

    • I think from now on the plan is to try to get them up earlier! I’m not an editor so things could change/they know things I don’t, but I got the impression that that was the case.

  11. Oh yeah, and I asked out a girl. Like, on a legit date. She asked me out before and I turned her down because I’m not ready to commit. I gave it some thought and realized that I was missing out on something that could be good for me. So, uh, Wednesday is D-Day. I haven’t been on a date in 8 years. I always just sleep with people and then we’re dating. Pressure!

    • Omg. This is so exciting. Congratulations/good luck! I bet you’re gonna rock it. Dating is so much fun once you get past the part where you want to stressvom from the nerves.

    • Thanks! It is exciting. To be fair, I have asked out tons of girls this year, with the intention to sleep with them. This is fucking nerve wracking because I like her, and – I hate this part – I can see myself being in a relationship with her that doesn’t end in catastrophe. Why is it not Wednesday yet???

      • That is terrifying but also EXCITING! Remember that while not everything goes right, not everything goes wrong, either! Let yourself get swept up a little bit :)

  12. I have this friend who is in love with the dude who plays Danny Castellano on The Mindy Project, so when I’m bored and without a book I go to the Instagram accounts of everyone on that show and I screenshot their most recent candids of him so I can send them to my friend and pretend I’ve been hanging out with him in real life.

    I will continue doing this until she no longer finds it hilarious, which will obviously be never.

  13. I quit Candy Crush months ago — but I started a new game immediately after. Adventure Town. Innocent enough little mobile game. Farm a little here, kill weird monsters there, customize your warriors… You’re probably supposed to stop playing a week or so in. But I’ve kept going and I’ll be damned if my heroes aren’t decked out in the best pixelated gear.

    Aside from Adventure Town, I recently started playing Skyrim for PS3. And wouldn’t you know, getting addicted to new games is really bad when you’re in your last year of grad school.

  14. I’ve been playing tiny tower some, and I play scramble with friends versus my parents – all my friends quit playing, so it’s just me and the parentals. whatevsss. I had a ridiculous subway surfers habit for a while there, but I hated it and finally convinced myself to delete it.

    I read sometimes, too, but I go in spurts. either I’m obsessed with a book and reading in every spare second or I’m not reading at all because lazy.

    so much cycling through tumblr, twitter, instagram, autostraddle on my phone. so much. embarrassing amounts.

    my family got a tiiiiny tiny rescue puppy (like a month old) that I’ll try to post a pic or so of later.

  15. There’s a reason I don’t tell people what I do on my phone when no one’s watching

    (Hint: the reason is because I’m looking at smut)

  16. Candy Crush is OK if I have a few minutes to kill at the bus stop or something, but gets irritating if I play for longer than a few minutes. I think my favourite iPod games are probably Doodle Jump and Cut the Rope, mostly because they involve cute green monster/alien things. I love puzzles, I need to find more puzzle-type games to entertain myself with.

  17. Oh and the best most addictive game I keep on my phone is Peggle.

    Every time Ive gotten a new phone over the last 6 years, the thing I look forward to the most is starting the game from scratch, getting through the normal levels in a week, killing most of the bonus levels in another couple weeks, and then spending the remaining 2 years of my contract crying about the remaining 5 or 6 bonus levels that are SO HARD YOU GUYS.

    • YES Peggle! I had it on my old-school ipod years ago and nearly had an emotional breakdown when i rediscovered it on my iphone this year! The best game ever!

  18. I do pretty much all the sorta guilty things when I need to pass the time for whatever reason. Oops. In no order:

    -Facebook stalking, of course. I should really stop neglecting the games on my phone, though: Words with Friends (excuse me, ~NEW~ words with friends) and Threes. Threes is definitely worth the $.99 or whatever it is.

    -Reading: I have about 284736 articles saved in my Pocket app, so I’m slowly getting through those. I also bought a complete collection of Sherlock Holmes stories for 12 cents (!) on my Kindle bc I miss the show that much. I don’t have a problem, you do. :P

    -Playing video games, very occasionally. Especially Scribblenauts Unlimited…I know it’s a kinda educational game, but I played it for a video games & learning class in college and never looked back.

    And, of course, eating. Lots of eating lots of very good (yet very bad) foods. What do you mean a chicken & waffles sandwich with aged cheddar doused in caramel sauce isn’t the healthiest option at brunch? :P

    • What do you think of the new words with friends? I like it a lot, but most of the people I’ve asked about it feel pretty indifferent…guess they don’t take their pointless iPhone games as seriously as I do.

      • What? That’s crazy. Lol. I like it a lot better than the first one, too. I haven’t used it yet, but I think I’ll really like the mode where you can play against the computer.

  19. I have avoided downloading Candy Crush because I think it would consume me. I like 7 Little Words because it makes me feel Smart when I finish a hard one.

    My true pleasure, however, is editing pictures for my Instagram. I recently got PicTapGo, which is so great that I actually paid for it, which is not something I do for apps! UIt’s got all sorts of filters, but you can vary the intensity and layer them. Yesssss. It’s the first one I’ve actually bought. So yeah. Editing photos with my phone. Also obsessively checking everything (email, fb, instagram) that would give me feedback, because I constantly seek validation whenever I’m on the internet. Woo! Also it means I can post pretty pretty pictures for you all to enjoy! And validate me by liking.

    But right now, my phone is for some reason refusing to connect to the internet? Or whatever the magical 4g internet cloud magic thing is? I can’t check anything. Thank goodness I have the work computer or I would be crawling out of my skin right now.

    So My week’s been pretty nice–a little hectic but just normal-hectic, not mental-breakdown-hectic. I got to hang out with Holly on monday AND tuesday, for good amounts of time instead of like an hour before we fall asleep and I have to leave early in the morning, which has unfortunately been The Usual lately. But carving out more substantial chunks of time is really rewarding and fun! On monday we went to Sprouts and went grocery shopping together, which doesn’t sound fun, but is totally fun. I made custom trail mix by getting three different kinds and mixing them together; it’s delicious and terrible for me. For dinner we went to Korean Barbecue, which I’ve never been to, and it was AMAZINGGG I didn’t even have any time to take a cutesy picture of Holly across the little table grill full of cooking meat. ~*~RoMaNcE~*~

    Also this week I did some-but-not-enough homework, didn’t finish cleaning the garage, and tried to buy a car (but it turned out to be really shady! I also caught up on Faking It, which was delightfully silly, and Once Upon a Time, which I only got through because I snapchatted my friend screenshots with dumb captions the whole time.

    And I figured out what I’m being for halloween!! I’ve decided on Medusa, and I started knitting little i-cord snakes that I’m going to put wires inside so they’re posable, and then tuck them into my hair somehow. Maybe I’ll attach them to a headband? Or pins? I haven’t decided quite yet but I’m pretty sure it’ll be cute!

    And, of course, here are some flower pictures because pretty:

    Some dying-but-gorgeous painted roses (their coloring is like that naturally! Crazy, right?)

    More Warratah! These are from a rad arrangement I did for a birthday party last weekend.

    Speaking of flowers, I’ve been developing this idea for a portrait series I would like to do. I love drawing flowers and I love drawing people, so I figured it’s time to finally combine those things!
    The idea is to take my subjects (one at a time, I think, so as to have a more intimate experience before the actual drawing happens) to the flower market, have them find/pick out a flower they really like/connect with/think is wicked awesome, and then do two drawings: One of my subject, actual size, and then a drawing of the flower they chose at the same size as the other drawing. So like, a regular sized person and a giant flower, which would then be hung together as a pair. They’d be nice and big, and probably follow the style of my other large scale drawings; ink on toned paper, maybe a bit of gold or silver leaf or a flat color for the background?

    This one’s on white paper, but here’s a progress shot of one of my other big drawings. I think I’d like to keep this series more simple, like this one before the color went in.

    Here’s the finished version of that drawing, for reference/showing off? It’s about 4×6 feet.

    So yeah, does this seem like a project you’d hypothetically be willing to sit for, if you were my friend and you got paid in flowers and lunch? It’d be pretty easy, I like to draw my subjects while they’re laying down, and you’d only be as naked as you were comfortable being. Also you’d get to run around the flower market, and take home the bouquet of flowers you picked out. THOUGHTS??? I need feedback I’m not in a studio class right now and I don’t know what to do with myself.

    And here’s a bonus cheese plate because 1. I love cheese and 2. I love making aesthetically pleasing cheese plates


    • JANE! You’re here!! I have to make dinner for a friend and I haven’t even washed, let alone put on, my pants, so I will need to read your fantastically megalithic post later, but I just wanted to say hi! Hi!

      • HI hi Hi! Go toss that hot bod in the shower and then put yer pants on and get some food on the stove and have a wonderful time with your friend and then cOME BACK AND TELL ME ALL ABOUT THIS GIRL AND YOUR WEDNESDAY DATE Eeeee!! What are you wearing? Where are you going? Where did you meet? Ah!

        • Sooooo it’s complicated. As these things always are. I sort of threw myself into her bed when my last mini relationship put on the screeching brakes at the sign of commitment, and we’ve been pretty convenient fuck buddies ever since. Until I went on a date with someone who turned out to be her ex, and she told me she was jealous, not because it was her ex, but because it was me. And I promptly ran away screaming. She asked me if I wanted to go for a relationship, and I said no. Gave it a week, and asked her on a date, scaling back on the good morning and what are you wearing texts. We haven’t slept together in a couple months, and we’re gonna give it a fresh go. So scary. It’s a first date, but it feels like we’re testing the waters for the rest of our next 2-3 years.

          We are total opposites. I’m barely home, super active, super social, super into volunteering and community. She is super into 420 and gaming (neither of which have ever interested me in the slightest). SO I’m taking her on a date to a vintage arcade that just opened in Ottawa, and the best Thai food in town. I am going to be wearing a chastity belt and possibly a ruck sack.

        • Ahh, quite complicated! But not horrible :) Just don’t psych yourself out too much hahaha
          Your date plans sound perfectly adorable (and delicious!), and you’re gonna rock that chastity sack so hard. But like responsibly hard. You got this!!

      • I get all of my ingredients from Trader Joe’s, because I am that kind of person.

        Pesto Gouda (delicious and pretty!)
        Brie (classic.)–if you are feeling fancy, try Saint-Andre which is like brie+butter+magic
        Red Leicester (which is such a beautiful color and a little spicy because it’s got pepper flakes in it)
        Manchego (kinda pricey but so worth it)
        Chevre in the middle, with fresh ground pepper on top! (because I am a genius)
        **not pictured but recommended: English Cheddar with Caramelized Onions (my all time most favorite cheese ever like WOAH)

        Not Cheeses:
        Dried apricots, dried figs, dates, dried cherries, and rosemary marcona almonds

        Other Stuff:
        fancy platter and little knives, I recommend fancy looking vintage silver because I am pretentious

        Lay the cheeses out in a fairly symmetrical but still visually interesting composition
        Add dried fruit, in order of largest to smallest
        Add almonds, be aware of ratio of light to dark
        Sprinkle the leftover salt/rosemary from the bottom of the bag of almonds on top of everything, like some sort of fragrant confetti
        Eat a revolting amount of cheese
        Die happy

    • I am in the other side of the car situation. I am trying to(reluctantly) sell my car, but all I keep getting is either fake buyers(usually pretending to be some known in the army), or people who want to buy it for half the price of it’s actual value.

    • That drawing is stunning! I was all ooh that’s cool at something else you wrote and then I saw the drawing and all other thoughts vanished. So having typed that and scrolled up it to remind myself it was: ooh ooh my friend was medusa last year and used fishnet stockings to mask off her skin so she could apply make up to make scales. Super awesome. Yey medusa.

    • Those snakes make me want to learn to knit like I’ve never ever wanted to learn how to knit before in my life. This is an ADORABLE idea!

      • I cannot recommend learning to knit enough.
        Once I knit a bunch of breakfast food to put on a hat, which I also knitted.

    • OMGoddessgraciousme!
      That idea! Those paintings!
      I was going to say that I would totally pose naked for you for ART and FLOWERS, but then worried that sounded weird from a stranger…but what the hell…your ARTWORK!!! YOUR FLOWERS!!! YESSS!!

    • Jane, your art / work is seriously beautiful. You’re so talented!

      I LOVE the portrait/flower idea. I think I’d be a rose or maybe a sweet pea? Something that’s reserved but when partnered with another flower, compliments it? Are there introverted and extroverted flowers?

      (I’d love to be on the list of participants, is what I’m really saying)

      • I totally think there are introverted and extroverted flowers, and loud flowers, quiet flowers, inquisitive flowers, sensitive flowers, friendly flowers, angry, open, secretive, happy, sad, passive aggressive. All sorts of flowers!! As many different kinds of flowers as there are people.

        I’d be a snow queen protea! Lots of internal dialogue going on with proteas, and I like the simultaneously open and closed petal structure; strong, woody stem; surprisingly soft, sturdy petals. I think I might cheat and also include a waratah in my self portrait flowers, because they have a very similar structure, but they’re that lovely complex red instead of creamy white, and the two together just sing to me!

        I would love to have you on my list of participants! I was actually thinking about that a little, about doing some of these long distance. I have a lot of far-away friends; maybe if you could get someone to take a picture of you in the right pose, and already knew what flower you’d want? It’s a thought! :)

    • I love so much about this post, but your art in particular is just really lovely!

    • Medusa! Oooh what’s the rest of your costume going to be like? Cute modern Medusa or cute neo-classical inspired Medusa? Cause I could totally tell you how to pin and drape several classic Hellenic chitons.

      • I was going to see how much I could get done of just the snakes, but I was thinking about doing modern Medusa. It depends on how much time I have! I would DEFINITELY love to know more about the pinning/draping–you’re totally making me want to do neo-classical :)

        • You could incorporate the draping on smaller scale maybe for a modern twist.
          Ooh like a Ionic chiton inspired top. The Ionic chiton is the one with the row of pins at the top and sides of the “dress” often sewn shut. It looks the it has sleeves.

          Not the best example but there are worse ones >_>
          It’s belted around the waist and then that X looking cord thing is added, but it can work without the X thing.
          You could make it a crop top, one of those loose ones.

          The Doric chiton is the the sleeveless looking one with the two pins and one piece of fabric.

          The “top” is just the fabric folded over which is the only hard part. I found if I used sewing pins for the fold-over before trying pin the shoulder it’s so much easier. With chitons both you belt the waist last.

          If you adjust an exomis a bit you could have a cute little one shouldered dress.

  20. oh! oh! oh bless you for this! this is where i can confess that i’ve been reading Jenny Trout’s 50 Shades of Grey recaps on my phone/kindle for the past few weeks and i’m dragging it out because i never want it to end. commenter raksha linked to it in a Lez Liberty Lit a couple of weeks ago after riese confessed she’d read the first book and we were both instantly obsessed with all things jenny trout.

    so that’s where i’m at. thanks raksha!!

    and thank you for creating this safe space for me kaitlyn.

    • Whoa, now I’m definitely going to be on my couch reading that entire thing this weekend.

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart. <3

    • <3 I’m always here for you, boo

      I’ve avoided reading anything 50 Shades-related, but maybe I’ll give in…the middle-aged divorcee I used to live with was reading it with her book club at the time, and she used to tell me about it when we drank wine coolers on her couch after work while her high school son did homework upstairs. It was a strange time in my life.

      • Oh, I feel like I need to clarify that I was living with her because she was my friend’s mom and she had a spare room available when I was interning in their town for a few months, not because we were romantically involved. If a person I was seeing wanted me to read some dirty books with them, I would do it immediately, no questions asked.

  21. My local store has pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! They are about the size of my whole hand and fluffy, I’m in love. Since the start of school I have been so busy I haven’t had much time for fun stuff. One great thing thats happened lately is every saturday night some friends come over and hang out. I’ve never had a routine hangout time for friends so this is really great for me. Tomorrow one of them is making spaetzle, a german pasta, for us all! :D

  22. I have a bingo app, you guys. A BINGO APP. I play every day without exception, and I do not really know why! There should be nothing satisfying about clicking on numbers.

    Also Candy Crush, but I’m not too ashamed of that one. I’m a high school teacher, and it has become a point of pride that I am beating all of my students in both Candy Crush and Subway Surfer. Gotta maintain the pecking order.

    • I love this. I’m a nanny, and one of the kids I watch likes to look over my shoulder when I’m playing games on the train to see if I’m doing any good. Tragically, he has also informed me that he is over Candy Crush. Kids are too cool sometimes.

  23. I really can’t be bothered to search for a good cell phone game to kill time so I just downloaded a book on my mobile and whenever I want to look busy I just read that. However, I got more engrossed in it than originally planned so I regret having started reading it now instead of another time when I’m not so busy with stuff. Plus, I want to read a book by Judith Butler (or something queer or feminist related) but I don’t have the time. I hate university sometimes.

  24. Guilty pleasures. Well. Um. Eating popcorn and watching the finale for the latest season of Downton Abbey wearing headphones from 2007 on a half-filled bus with my mother on our way to go camping, while thinking about a girl and all the times I should have kissed her, and daydreaming about us doing more than that.

  25. I know we’re supposed to be talking about our guilty pleasures here, but I mostly came here to participate in this open thread (my very first one!) to ask for girl advice. I have little to no queer friends in my life, & trying to navigate on my own has been tiresome.

    any takers?

    here’s a sneak-peek at what I’m dealing with in 140 characters or less (which I can expound on more later) : my gf dumped me because she relapsed, & I was heartbroken but tried to get over it, & now she’s trying to go-backsies. & we had sex.

    SOS (but only if you wanna).

    • Omg. I’m working from my phone right now because my computer hates every wifi network outside my apartment, but when I get home I am all over this. I have been in this situation and dealt with it a variety of ways and survived. It is never easy and rarely feels great, but it is possible. I promise. And welcome to the thread! It’s my first as well, and I love it so far.

    • If you want advice or even if you just want commiseration, this is the place for it!

      Give us your tired, your poor, your shit that’s making you insane


  26. My guilty pleasure app is Tinder. I’m not going to lie. The swiping…it’s so bad it’s good.

  27. BLENDOKU! you have to organize the colours, which i did not think i would be very good at. as it turns out, obsession matters more than natural talent. who knew?


    it takes up sooo much battery, but it’s glorious. glorious!

  28. Hello! Thanks for posting this so early!

    I’ve read through all of the comments here and I’m super surprised that no one has mentioned Pou – is it not a thing? It’s a cute little virtual pet in the form of a potato-blob, and you feed it and take care of it and play games to earn coins that you then use to pimp your Pou out … And yes, after a while, you even get used to saying “Pou” with a straight face! I play with my Pou to pass time on the train. (That is indeed a brilliant sentence …)

    This week has been alright, I suppose. Nothing momentous to report, except maybe having a day from hell at work on Monday because the CEO of the company decided to show up.

    NO WAIT THAT’S A LIE! I saw Andrea Gibson on Sunday! And I got to meet them and get a hug … It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. The atmosphere in the room while they performed was one of love and acceptance and just, goodness, and it was really beautiful to witness. If any of you ever have the chance to see Andrea perform, please do so.

    I am still having the same “can’t cope but somehow still coping” feelings as I was having last week, and the week before … I don’t know. I feel like I’m a really weird state, and it’s anyone’s guess whether I’m going to feel better or worse at this point.

    • I have been sitting down here in southern california just overwhelmed with envy for every person who lives within 3 hours of anywhere Andrea Gibson is performing

      • I feel you! I’ve been a fan of Andrea’s for about four years now, and I honestly thought that the only way I would ever see them perform would be if I flew to the states … Your time will come!

  29. I remember when I used to play Candy Crush. It was okay. I had to stop because I felt like it was taking over my life. Today my PC died. Its probably just its power supply. The button got weird. Le sigh.

    But how was everyones week? Our hair is still amazeballs! I saw The Rise of the Lanterns last night. Over 5000 hand carved pumpkins!! It was really good! I feel very inspired to carve next week. Lol.

    • Heres my metal earth for this week!!! Its the mars rover. I put it on Mars. LOL. Those are pumpkin dinosaurs!! They were pretty big. Lol.

    • My hair is, like, not so amazing today. I need to brush it. Also I’m sweaty because the air conditioning in the store is broken. sigh.

  30. Hi Guys,
    Hope you all had an awesome week!
    I could use some advise;
    I moved to the UK two weeks ago to do a research project. Until now everything is been as good as can be expect when moving to a new country and starting a new job, and everybody I have met is really nice and helpful.
    However I realized that I will have to come out all over again. I have told one of my housemates as it came up in a conversation, but I don’t know how to do approach the rest of the contacts I have/ will make. Tips/ suggestions?
    And yes, I am out to all my friends, colleagues and family back home, this is also why it feels a bit weird that no one here knows yet.
    Thanks a million and have a great weekend!

    • Hey! Whereabouts in the UK have you moved to?
      And about the coming out all over again thing, I’m still having this is my normal life now! My tactic is just to bring it up as naturally as possible during general conversation and then laugh awkwardly at people’s surprised faces when they tell me for the millionth time ‘i never would have guessed! you don’t look gay!’ …
      It’s not the best tactic i’ll admit, but it kind of works.

      • I moved to Stirling, Scotland. And your technique is probably the best, do people usually react oké? It is strange how stressful it feels, even though I went through this all before and it turned out great.

        • Yeah, I’m sorry that it’s stressing you out!
          I would hope that people here would react fine – I like to think we are fairly accepting, as countries go. Although I live at the opposite end of the UK, so I can’t really speak for Scotland.
          In my personal experience, the worst reactions I’ve ever had have been from other gay girls, but I think I was just unlucky. At work and with strangers, I haven’t really had any negativity.

          I’m sure it won’t be as bad as you’re worrying it will! I guess the only advice I have is just to take a deep breath and be honest about yourself. I think if you are being positive, it’s most people’s reaction to mirror the positivity? I hope so anyway!

    • Hi! I can’t speak for Stirling but I lived in Glasgow a few years back and yeah I eased it into conversation naturally at work, in the super macho environment of an extreme sports store. No one batted and eyelid. So Glasgow is kinda chill and has some good clubs/scene/activities. Hope it goes well for you up there.

      • Thanks, that is very encouraging :)
        Now I just have to find ways to ease it in the conversation in a non-awkward manner.

  31. Probably netflix, there’s too many shows to potentially watch! Kind of a love/hate thing (mostly love).
    Phone-wise I play Spider Solitaire and obsessively check instagram when I’m bored.

    • I remember when my mom was so addicted to spider solitaire. She finally had to stop because it was making her arthritis way worse.

  32. KC is mad at me. I think we are DONE. KC is transitioning to male. Being transmale seems to be a lot like being butch, just going a lot further. But when you take the damn T, it seems everyone DOES become MALE…..and male attitude and emotions are not what I want or love. So ….DONE. But we were a “thing” before. Sigh.

    • *biggianthugs*
      I’m sorry you’re having a tough time…I’m sure a lot is coming up right now. Take care of yourself.

    • “Transmale seems to be a lot like being butch, just going a lot further.”
      Um, no. No, it’s not. Maybe you should go HEAVILY educate yourself. Especially if you’re going to interact with trans guys or butch women ever again.
      “But when you take the damn T, it seems like everyone does become male.”
      If your partner is a trans guy, then he already is a male. Dear lord. This might be why you and the guy are having problems, because of your problematic thinking.

      • No thanks for your arrogant reply. Maybe you should do a little HEAVY studying about what gender is.

        • Nah, not arrogant, just calling out your bullshit. Like, you’re on a site that has a lot of butch women, and you’re saying that shit? Butch ≠ trans guy. Full stop. Easy peasy. Hell, being transmasculine ≠ trans guy all the time. Not any different than saying that trans women are just a step above super effeminate gay men. Both are wrong. The end.
          And “seems like he DOES become male”? Wtf? No, sorry, yo, you’re saying some super problematic bullshit about your SIGNIFICANT OTHER. That’s messed up. So yeah, again, no wonder there’s problems.
          My partner and I don’t subscribe to the butch/femme dynamic BUT my partner’s way more “masculine” in presentation than I am. Gets clocked as a dude all the time. Still not a trans guy, or close to it.
          Yeah, I think you need to do some reading on what butch means. Again, if you’re going to stick around a site that has a lot of butch women, you’re going to need to educate yourself.

        • I suggest you read some intellectual books on gender identity. Being male gender is about attitude and emotions….how one views the world, not about what is between your legs. It is not good or bad. Good bye.

        • Sarah! K’s not saying that being male is based on one’s body–that seems more like what /you/ are saying. T doesn’t make someone into a man; I’ve got elevated androgen levels from PCOS, does that make me a man? Of course not! I have no doubt that you know this, but you seem to have a tendency to paint all masculinity as the same, when female masculinity and male masculinity are quite different!

    • I did not say transmale=butch.
      And I was talking about the current theory of “gender” written about i Dr. Judith Butler, in which she believes we are born without gender. And she describes “gender” as performative, not dependent on which body parts you were born with.
      When I spoke about “seeming” to be a lot like butch, I was talking in about gender as performative, not physical.
      And KC and are still friends.
      Please read Dr. Butler’s thoughts…..and btw, she is a lesbian……To me her thoughts free us from the social constructs that are put on us at birth because of the sex we are born. We are free to be whatever gender WE choose.

  33. I am also still playing Candy Crush. I’m not even that ashamed.

    If anyone is looking for a new mobile game of the puzzle variety – I recommend Folt. It’s really simplistic and beautiful. The only downside is that I finally completed it, and now I have to wait for more levels to be made!

  34. So…I’ve been playing Simpson’s tapped out for years.


    Today I did a first session of a first aid course, the resuscitation dummies creep me out, and looked up sound proofing on the Google because my neighbours are having obnoxiously loud sex/music/conversations/everything…
    Following last week’s plea for Netflix shows that didn’t suck on British Netflix I found a show called Afterlife which is good.
    No further on with my MA symposium prep/essay/FMP… dayjob has been heavy this week.

  35. Never installed candy crush. Guess all those damn FB requests just really turned me off to bother.

    However, I do occasionally play a crossword game when I’m at the laundromat that limits my internet because t-mobile sucks. Hi, I’m old.

      • It’s this sort of family reunion sort of thing the Sicilian-American side of my family started after Katrina, which brought us all closer together then we were before the storm.

        What we do is get together and  make the Sicillian fig cookie, which is called cuccidati. This is over a weekend in October. Thus the name Cookie Weekend.

        One year I was given the job of counting all of the cookies. The number is burned into my memory for all time, 10436.

        Thankfully now we weigh the bags instead. It’s fairer as the cookies end up varying in size. 

        I’m going to try to give some of the allotment my immediate family gets to Sadie or any NOLA Straddlers I can get ahold of :3

        We get 3 bags which is way too many and what good are cookies if they cannot be shared?

  36. I still play minecraft. Yes I build things for endless hours at a time. Which is not really surprising because I have my Metal earth things. Im contemplating on getting the PC version which should be more flexible. Lol.

  37. I forgot to mention that I recently found this game on android called The Battle Cats. You basically use cats to battle your enemies and they ‘evolve’ when you get them to level 10. You kind of like take over the world because you go to different countries etc. Its sort of a steategy game. So fun. And I play wipeout.

  38. My nephews get mad at me because I never have any games on my phone. Ha. When I’m killing time I read books on my Kindle. Right now I’m reading Oryx and Crake and trying to read Bad Feminist.

    • enjoy oryx and crake! I’ve had madd addam (the third book) sitting unread on my shelf for waaay too long.

  39. Not about guilty pleasures but! I am on BART on the way to San Francisco to see Andrea Gibson! (!!!!!!) I’ve never seen them in person before and am so excited!

  40. I don’t have a smartphone so mostly I just sit there being kinda bored and looking through my old texts that I saved because they were funny! But if I’m on my computer I play 2048 a lot. Technology is funny. I think my parents are ready to embrace modern technology, I’m visiting home this weekend and I just found all their old CDs (Patsy Cline, Bonnie Raitt, Steely Dan), some home videos on VHS, and a bunch of photo albums all of my brother…? But this Friday was great because my parents made me steak and potatoes for dinner! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

  41. Ah.. good ol’ Candy Crush. I played that crap nonstop until I hit a level I just couldn’t beat. I don’t mean just one of those ‘impossible’ levels that rely entirely on chance, I mean an actual, ‘how the hell is this even supposed to be fun’ impossible level. Level 677, the bane of all CC players. Requires 10 stripe/stripe combos. Bombs with 9 moves. Licorice cages. Moving track. It’s a nightmare. I have boosters out the wingwang from the free spin and none of them do a lick of good. I still go back and take a stab at it every now and again, but honestly, I’ve lost interest. Guilty pleasures though? Gotta be Tumblr. I know I’m ‘too old’ (or whatever) for it. I don’t care. With the exception of telling people I that I “like their shoelaces” to test the waters, I never speak of it. Judgement. Judgement everywhere.

    • I spend so much time on Tumblr that I don’t even consider it a guilty pleasure. It’s more of a passion. I use it to get all my news and educate myself on issues and also keep track of my friends, both near and far! It’s the most true-to-life for me of any of the social networks I’ve tried. I’m obsessed.

      • Exactly. Exactly exactly. Yes.

        Also may I just say that you are doing a fine ass job of moderating!! :)

  42. I promised tiny puppy pictures earlier! apparently I managed like zero good quality pictures, but she’s super adorable either way.

    this is maisie:

    she really enjoyed showing that tiny stuffed lion who is boss. and then passing out asleep after some fearsome displays of pouncing and biting.

    • Oh my goooooooood Maisie. I love her. I’m so glad she has stuffed comfort creatures that are other non-human animals. I feel like those are gonna make for some more adorable photos when she’s a grown pup.

    • How to assess quality of puppy pictures:

      1) does it have a puppy in it?

      If yes, HIGH QUALITY
      If no, not a puppy picture why am I even looking at this burn it it is worthless to every society on earth**

      **unless it is a kitty picture

  43. I have something so incredible to to tell you, Autostraddle. After many various medical appointments, I’m close to getting my One Big Dream which is top surgery! BRB dancing with joy!

  44. I’ve had played candy crash for long hours when I discovered it until I reached level 70 I think then I just stopped the game first it’s getting hard hihi and second I feel like I wasted alot of time, so I’m trying to learn chess. Thank you for the post.

  45. I play Sudoku, chess, and 2048 a lot. And I listen to tons of audiobooks, especially while using public transport or at the gym. Also read Autostraddle, obvs <3

    Highlight of my Friday: my friend surprised me by giving me an AWESOME sweater-vest for no particular reason, other than that she remembered that I’d said a few months ago that I wanted one and she is the best. It fits perfectly and is a lovely blue color and is SO COMFY. In the country where I live, sweater vests are extremely popular among the over-60 male demographic, but I don’t even care. Old man style for life!

    Lowlight of my Friday: Being accosted in a crowded public area while I was walking home by a guy who started with “you look like a nice person.” (I should have just said “Well, I’m not.”) He was asking me what I do for work, etc, and I was giving very curt one-word answers while trying hard to shake him physically – walking very fast, dodging around people and benches, and even saying “Bye” at one point as I turned a corner. He didn’t take the hints and just kept trailing me, talking a mile a minute about absolutely nothing of interest or relevance. After several minutes, I was getting pretty damn scared and also angry, so the following conversation ensued:
    – Me: Are you following me?
    – Him: I, er, no, it’s just called having a conversation. [NB: it was not a conversation. It was a monologue.]
    – Me: You’re making me uncomfortable. I want you to stop.
    – Him: Hey, you don’t have to feel that way about it.
    – Me, starting to squawk: YOU DON’T GET TO TELL ME HOW I FEEL. NOW GO AWAY.
    I kept walking at top speed and he finally stopped tagging along, but he called out after me “It was nice to meet you!” I wish I’d had the presence of mind to yell back, “You didn’t ‘meet’ me, you followed me and creeped me out. It’s not the same thing.”

    So yeah, it seems kind of funny looking back on the whole thing, but it was scary at the time. You just never know how these kinds of encounters will turn out, you know?

    • Oh my gosh, people and their absolute lack of social graces and/or interest in being creepy.

      Great job with calling him out- I think it can feel weird doing something like that but it’s also good for just really highlighting people’s bullshit behaviour in ways that they can’t avoid. Good one!

      • Thanks! I do feel proud of myself for telling him, in no uncertain terms, to “go away.” Not something we are really socialized to do, but it’s sometimes very necessary.

        Also, if this guy was just clueless rather than actually ill-intentioned, maybe he learned something for next time. That would be nice.

    • Congratulations on handling a really uncomfortable and creepy-ass situation so well. I’m glad you’re safe, and no, it doesn’t sound remotely funny.
      It’s also ok to ask others for assistance in these situations and will often change the power dynamic instantaneously.

      • Thanks! Getting other people involved was going to be my next step – that’s why I started increasing the volume level. Fortunately it ended before it got to that point.

  46. Life update:

    -been asked to write a percussion piece for end-of-year assembly for 28 12-13 year old kids who mostly haven’t done music before. Exciting and scary, but we’re going to do an epic piece involving desks and pens and other ‘school objects’ and everyone’s going to love it.

    -have had a funny last little while. Felt really horrible recently; incredibly horrible. Just mounting, terrifying anxiety (and the accompanying ‘don’t want to be here’), more pointed than I’ve ever had. I wasn’t sure why. An acquaintance coworker killed himself about a month ago (because of finding he had the same disease that killed his dad and brother, I reckon); this didn’t help I think.

    I’ve realised though that part of it has tied into and/or can be managed by making sure I’m feeling a sense of progress and achievement with my life.

    Shortly after feeling so horrible, I helped run part of a youth-led campaign involving a bus of young people travelling across the country and talking to Australians (and eventually members of parliament in Canberra) about the policies affecting extreme poverty. It was a big week, and I spent a bunch of time sort of lending capacity, spontaneously leading and ‘filling in the gaps’ to do things that needed to be done (let’s be honest, I spent a lot of time yelling instructions to people).

    This experience was really positive overall! My role within it (when I wasn’t doing ‘fill in the gaps’ work :) ) officially actually involved facilitating/helping people reflect and get with their feels and inner selves, so I had some doubts about how this would go (my facilitation style is more upbeat and dorky and less *soothing voice* ‘now, let’s take a moment to enter the space and get in touch with ourselves’.).

    However accounts from people suggested that it went well- and during a big group session in Canberra, the opening speaker got all attendees/crew to essentially put their hands on the shoulder of people who had inspired them/’made’ this trip for them. A bunch of people did this to me, much to my surprise! So that was nice and helped me feel ‘tethered’ to others and realise the impact that I can have on others- something that I’d been feeling very disconnected from.

    I’m feeling much better/okay lately because I’ve been kicking a few goals and re-connecting with people, and also being honest about where I’m at. I’m still a bit fragile and apprehensive about the potential return of ‘monster anxiety from hell’ though, and I’m doing my best to not get too caught in my own head or feed it, and to instead focus on exciting and good things- and luckily there’s one just on the horizon!

    My epic Western themed 25th birthday party coming up next weekend :D :D I ordered a Scully shirt all the way from America and it’s beautiful. You guys certainly know how to make an excellent Western shirt!

    This party is the 21st party of mine that never really was; my twin and I were kind of lazy the first time around for the big 2 1 and thus never really had a large-scale party where we hired a space and our dad had a real chance to embarrass us, etc etc.

    THIS party will be complete with cap guns (my inner tomboy squee-d when this arrived; hate guns but looove capguns!), a live band, group partner dancing that forces my disparate groups of excellent friends to get to know each other (muahaha) and a quiz.

    Part of party planning has involved finding country covers of popular songs, which has actually been hilarious! Here’s a great/terrible specimen for your enjoyment:


    And that’s that for now. Generally feeling pretty okay, if a little fragile. Pretty keen for this hoedown next weekend- perhaps I’ll post some photos :)

    • Aaaand I didn’t even write about guilty pleasures!

      The Internet overall is number one. But I also am enjoying FINALLY watching 30 Rock, and occasionally dabble into video gaming although I’m terrible at finishing games, turns out. I started Batman: Arkham City last year and now I’m battling Joker after months of hiatus and have no other saved games so it’s like REMEMBER THE CONTROLS AND WIN, OR DIE DIE DIE. So THAT’S terrifying.

      Have also been playing the old Starcraft II lately against my sisters, which is fun except that I can’t seem to win, ever. For those literally playing at home, my younger sister is Protoss and I’m Terran so this is tricky to begin with – I can’t compete with that alien technology!

      Anyhow though, I’m struggling to win against AI too so I think I need to get better at this game. There’s a lot of keeping-tabs-of-multiple-things-at-once which I think my brain generally struggles with- but hey, maybe it will actively make me a multitasking superhuman by the time our time together is up ;).

      I also like SuperBetter, the app/game you can use to create allies and baddies and tasks that relate directly to your life. It likes to send me little reminders to ‘do a powerup!’ and whether or not I do it, I kind of enjoy this :). There’s a great talk about how the game came to be, initially as a self-treatment game for depression: check it!


    • Remember you matter! times get tough but there is always someone to talk to, IRL or right here we are all here to support you! Sounds like you’re 25th is gonna be a hoot :-) enjoy it!

      • Thankyou evergreen :). Generally I’m okay at the moment and generally I’m okay most of the time, it was just quite gross out of the blue a few weeks ago and I’m still a bit nervous about that. The party is certainly exciting and great distraction and I plan to look fantastic and have the best evening ever, so there’s that!

        I really do appreciate your kind words though. AS people are the best. Thankyou xx

  47. I quit Candy Crush awhile back, but I still love Triple Town and Monsters Ate My Condo something fierce.

    Also recently discovered Tiny Thief, which has amazingly cute graphics and puzzles~
    Always waiting for new levels~

    Current obsessions are Hello Hero on the smartphone and Dragon Age Origins (Origins gave a free download earlier in October)

    Also, Steam is allowing folks to try ten games for free this weekend! My friends just got notified they probably won’t be seeing much of me this weekend either.

  48. I’ve only commented once before (and everyone was absurdly helpful – thanks!) but I’m going out to a bunch of gay bars tonight with my gay male friend and a bunch of straight girls, and as someone who is super super femme, I still feel like I don’t belong there. I know it’s silly to pander to stereotypes, but I just wish I could wear a sign or something broadcasting that I’m gay so I don’t have to deal with feeling out of place. This is definitely not an end of the world magnitude problem – I just have very few lesbian friends (and none with whom I’m close) and felt like venting this to someone, and this site has been incredibly helpful to me in the past few months. I hope all of your weekends are going great!

  49. Evening/Afternoon/Morning straddlers.

    This week felt a lot busier than those of recent weeks. It started in a frustration argument with my mother, where I expelled a lot of feelings around being a carer/how fucked cancer is/trying to convey how much I love her, disguised as anger. We’re okay now, and I apologised, but it did cast a dark cloud over much of the week.

    What did make everything better was Cameron Esposito’s Same Sex Symbol. This album is sheer genius. It’s funny, honest and insightful. You should listen to it!

    Ironically, I have an iPad for work but I don’t play many games. When I am in the mood for it, my go to game is Chicktionary. Basically you get 7 chickens which are letters and you have to find all the words. I use it a lot with my students. I’d highly recommend it.

    I’ve also started on my Christmas presents because I don’t buy anything, but create stuff, which takes a lot of time. The Christmas cake for my brother is in the top of the wardrobe, maturing and I’ve just finished sewing a knitting bag, in funky IKEA fabrics, for my mother. I forsee a lot of time in the kitchen this week, bottling tasty things.

    My main guilty pleasure would be buying beautiful yarns to knit with. And while I won’t tell you the size of my stash, I could easily insulate at least two rooms of my house. My current project is a pair of mittens in Noro.

    • 1) Glad you made up with your mum! <3

      2) I have a borderline unhealthy love for Noro, and yarn in general, and you should most def post a picture of what you're knitting!

      3) What are you bottling? last year I made mustard for christmas presents and it was a total hit, so I'm wondering what I should do for this year! I was thinking of just doing a different kind of mustard? Is that lazy?

  50. I’ve never played Candy Crush (that’s a lie, I think I played it once for 10ish minutes and then immediately deleted it off my phone because I knew I’d never stop), but apparently my mom does. She finally revealed to us a few weeks ago that she’s been stuck on the same level for MONTHS because she’ll give up and won’t open it for a week or so and then will remember it’s there and try to dig back in. Thus, the vicious cycle repeats itself.

    Honestly, my guilty pleasure is probably Yik Yak right now. I hate it so much, but when I’m bored it’s kind of fun to go on and see what kind of bullshit people are talking about.

    Also, does anybody else somehow always miss the Friday Open Thread by DAYS? I think it’s because I work early early Saturday mornings so I go to bed hella early and spend the rest of my Saturday watching TV or sleeping. I never manage to see it until Sunday and then always feel like I’m going to be commenting too late, but here I go anyway.

    • I only replied on time this week because I worked at the store this friday. I work sundays, so that’s when I’ve been replying lately! So you’re definitely not alone in the thread :)

  51. Went to a local drag show (run by the local university’s LGBTQ org) and dear god. Lots of white drag queens performing Nicki and then halfway through they mentioned QPOC and intersectionality. Like, maybe they should start with the issue of white gay men appropriating and fetishizing WOC’s bodies and femininity? For realz.
    But, one queen (who was black) did an amazing performance to Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu’s Q.U.E.E.N and it was just the shit. So good.

  52. I finally have a photo of my dog, Badger to post……maybe.
    Trying to send from a photo attached to an email. Yikes.
    We’ll see how this goes….or not.

  53. I too play a lot of Candy Crush…but not as much as I play Farm Heroes Saga. The little fruits and veggies are just too cute. I also play a lot of solitaire. And just downloaded my 4th cocktail recipe app.

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