Me, Myself & Baby I

Out of the mouths of babes

Archive for the category “Shows”

It’s a Weekend of Whatever I Want But I’m Leaving My Heart in New York City

Life is all about firsts.  Even as a married woman with a child, I continue to have wonderful, unforgettable new experiences.  This weekend I am doing something I have never done before!  For the first time since I’ve gotten married, I am going away all by myself!

My best friend since childhood (second grade to be exact) is getting married!!!!  She flew in especially for my big day and I am beyond ecstatic to celebrate with her as she begins her new life!  I wouldn’t miss her wedding for anything and am so excited to be a bridesmaid.

My weekend in San Francisco is jam-packed and filled with lots of my all-time favorites–particularly pampering, good food and special friends!  Manis/pedis, rehearsal dinner, hair & make-up, bridal party photos, wedding ceremony & reception!  Although I will miss my boys like crazy, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m also kinda psyched about having a hotel room to myself!  When I land, I have the whole rest of the day all to myself to do whatever I want, go whereever I want, eat whatever I want, see whatever I want…. (you get the idea)

It’ll be good for Scott to spend a whole weekend with Ian.  And they’ll be visiting both grandmas.  Plus, they have a brand new episode of Ian’s favorite show to watch!

Yo Gabba Gabba! meets The Fresh Beat Band in the new epic musical adventure “Yo! Fresh Beats Go Gabba Gabba!” premieres Friday, June 8, 11:30/10:30c on NICK Jr.

Scott has strict orders he must wait for me to get back to watch the Mad Men finale airing on Sunday night.

I may be going to San Francisco, but I will be leaving my heart in New York.

Until next week!!!!  Maybe my boys will even appreciate me more when I get back!  I know I’ll be in need of tons of hugs and kisses from them upon my return home.

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It’s My Birthday & I’m Giving You Discounted Seats to Rapture,Blister, Burn

Birthdays are so different as an adult than as a kid.  While I try not to lose sleep over aging another year, (I did as a child because I was so giddy with excitement for my special day) I do embrace birthdays and think they are meant to be celebrated with family and friends.

My sister gave me a fantastic birthday present by baby-sitting for her nephew on Saturday night while my husband and I went to see Burn, Rapture, Bliss (the front row, center tickets were a birthday gift from the fabulous MamaDrama)  Ian is too young to take advantage of the childcare provided by  Playtime!  .

After grad school, Catherine (Amy Brenneman) and Gwen (Kellie Overbey) chose polar opposite paths. Catherine built a career as a rockstar academic, while Gwen built a home with her husband and children. Decades later, unfulfilled in polar opposite ways, each woman covets the other’s life, commencing a dangerous game of musical chairs – the prize being Gwen’s husband (Lee Tergesen).  With searing insight and trademark wit, Gina Gionfriddo’s comedy is an unflinching look at gender politics in the wake of 20th century feminist ideals.

The five actor ensemble was incredible.  Avery’s quick-wit and unexpected funny remarks made her my favorite character.  (“If I wind up in Mommy & Me classes after the thousands of dollars spent on my education, it will piss my parents off…”)  My husband was impressed with actress Beth Nixon who played Catherine’s senior citizen mother Alice.  I couldn’t believe that we were merely inches away from TV star Amy Brenneman who was often barefoot (I could actually see her toe nail polish which matched her well-manicured nails) and even stripped all the way down to her bra and panties in one scene.  Wait till I tell my mom who watched her on Judging Amy.

Some of the issues the play explores include:

  • Where do you go after being a housewife?
  • Can you hire someone to create a home for you?  Or is nesting something you can’t outsource?
  • Is an open door permission to steal?
  • Does the man have to lead and the female follow?  In a relationship, you can’t both go first.  How do you deal with 50/50 and compromise?
  • What happens when you romanticize economic dependence?  Can a family be happy without money?
  • Is it easier for a woman to be driven when she doesn’t have any attachments?
  • How do you make up for a life misspent?

While the grass is always greener, this play reaffirms that I don’t want to trade lives with anyone, including former roommates.

Hurry and get your tickets because the show closes on June 24, 2012.  Order at https://ticketcentral.com/Online/ by tomorrow, June 5 with code PLAYRBBlog and save $20 per ticket ($50 instead of $70)

I’m going to keep celebrating my birthday!!!!!  I have some more cake to eat.  Calories don’t count when it’s your birthday!

last year’s birthday cake at ABC Kitchen

Girl In Progress (Movie Review)

I attended an advanced screening of Girl In Progress on Friday, April 27 at Core Club.  I did not know anything about the film except that it starred Eva Mendes, a beautiful actress who I enjoy watching on the big screen.   After enjoying the movie, I looked up the movie and read the Official plot synopsis:

Grace (Eva Mendes) is a single mom. She is too busy juggling work, bills, and the very married Dr. Hartford (Matthew Modine), to give her daughter, Ansiedad (Cierra Ramirez) the attention she desperately needs. When Ansiedad’s English teacher, Ms. Armstrong (Patricia Arquette), introduces her students to classic coming-of-age stories, Ansiedad is inspired to skip adolescence and jump-start her life without mom. While Grace becomes preoccupied with the increasing affections of her co-worker (Eugenio Derbez), Ansiedad enlists the help of her loyal friend, Tavita (Raini Rodriguez), to plot her shortcut to “adulthood”. But as her misguided plan unravels, Ansiedad and Grace must learn that sometimes growing-up means acting your age.

In her English class, Ansiedad learns that a rites of passage consists of the unwanted necessary steps on the highway to adulthood.  She decides that “Being a kid is stupid and I’m moving on.”  She devises a plan where she will ultimately “hop on a bus to adultville and leave mom behind.”  She even goes as far as casting a sick dying Grandma (Maude).

Ansiedad tells her mom, “Using ‘I’m tired is a half-hearted excuse for not noticing.’….Leave me alone….that’s what you are good at.  Where were you last night?  Why aren’t you ever there?….Until the next guy, then I don’t exist anymore.”

The film explores many important topics regarding relationships and asks the following questions:

  • Responsibility
  • Forgiveness
  • Is growth limited to youth or are we constantly evolving?
  • Is life a series of succession of rites of passages and a long string of coming of age?

There’s always an epiphany (literary term for sudden realization) and a lesson in coming of age stories.

The Hispanic characters reminded me of ABC-TV’s hit show Ugly Betty (but I never watched the show)  Newcomer Cierra Ramirez is phenomenal onscreen and I look forward to seeing her in other movies.  The casting of Eva and Cierra as mother and daughter is dead-on.  They are both beautiful women and make a believable family.  As I watched the movie, I also found myself thinking about Alicia Silverstone in Clueless.  The stylist needs to be commended, especially for Cierra’s wardrobe choices.

I did find the plot involving Grace’s co-worker at Emile’s Crab Shack & Oyster Bar Mission (“Impossible”) predictable and trite.

Girl In Progress is a coming of age story which opens Mother’s Day weekend (Friday, May 11, 2012)  I highly recommend going to see it with your mom, daughter, sister or girlfriend.

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #girlinprogress

Running time: 90 Minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content including crude references, and drinking – all involving teens.

The 5 Year Engagement: To Have & To Hold (I DO?)

I still don’t know my husband, who is also the father of my son, for 5 full years yet. We started dating the summer of 2007, got engaged right after Memorial Day the following May and we successfully planned our wedding for October 5, 2008. 5 days after celebrating our one year anniversary, our son Ian (the namesake and inspiration of this blog) was born and changed our lives forever for the better.

Regardless of not having a long engagement myself, I was enthusiastic to see The Five Year Engagement starring Jason Segal and Emily Blunt

Beginning where most romantic comedies end, this movie is a look at what happens when an engaged couple, Violet and Tom, keeps getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle and the strain it puts on their relationship. As Violet explains, “We are almost perfect for each other.” Find out more about the movie and see the trailer at http://www.tomandviolet.com

Some of my favorite scenes include:
•A montage/slide show of Tom’s ex-girlfriends to the tune of “Violet Didn’t Start the Fire” (a parody of Billy Joel’s song)
•Both sets of families discussing wearing yarmulkes and taking communion at their interfaith wedding
•The breakfast scene with Tom and his parents
•The Elmo/Cookie Monster scene between Violet, her sister and her niece
•Violet’s childhood bedroom has Wham posters on the walls

This comedy cuts to what life is all about. Family, friends, relationships, career highs and failures, deaths/funerals, births, annual birthday calls. It also explores the complexity of relationships.

There are some fantastic lines in it including:
•”You need to be honest with this woman. She’s going to be your wife.”
•”I’m a man. Men and women are different. We don’t have to talk about our feelings.”
•”You will never get away from me, I am a hunter.”
•”Underneath polite bs, we’re all running on caveman instinct.
•”This is the love of your life. make it work no matter what.”
“You were with her for five f-cking years. What else is there to learn about her?”

Treat yourself and go see this movie this weekend. Either for date night, with a close friend or even by yourself.

If you enjoy movies and have any interest in attending a screening, I highly recommend you like Cinemet, an online community that connects YOU with advanced screenings and cinematic experiences. Become a Member Free: http://www.cinemit.com/join Follow Us: http://www.twitter.com/cinemit

Ever Regret Not Being in a Reality TV Show? If You’re a Pregzilla, Here’s Your Chance!

I came across this in my inbox and decided I had to post it just in case one of my own readers has even the slightest interest in getting their “15 minutes of fame” and happens to qualify.

I will admit that in my younger days I often thought it seemed cool to be on a reality TV show. Don’t worry, Scott, I promise I have lost all desire since meeting you! I am even guilty of submitting an application to The Bachelor for my gorgeous younger sister when they were casting for Jesse Palmer’s series.

DORON OFIR CASTING IS SEEKING PREGNANT WOMEN & THEIR PARTNERS TO STAR IN AN EPISODE OF PREGZILLAS

LOS ANGELES, CA (April 10, 2012) – Doron Ofir Casting and a Major Cable Network officially announce the nationwide search for pregnant women with big personalities to share their stories while they are expecting. The epic casting company behind Millionaire Matchmaker, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Drag U and Jersey Shore are looking for expectant mothers to take us on a journey through the sometimes irrational, decidedly demanding, high maintenance wonderment of pregnancy.

Now casting the humorous and crazy side of pregnancy!

For the first time ever, enthusiastic mothers-to-be and their significant others will get the opportunity to express themselves and everything that they go through when expecting in the ultimate video diary through these life changing moments.

“I think women are the most beautiful when pregnant, it’s with respect and curiosity I chose to explore the madness behind the glow” says Executive Casting Director Doron Ofir

Females and their partners who appear to be between the ages of 21-35 and want to take part in this brand new docu-series should apply online at http://www.pregzillascasting.com

If selected, the couple will receive an episodic stipend of $5000.00

Good luck and if anyone does happen to apply and pursue this further, you MUST, MUST, MUST let me know! Seriously!

I suspect my husband is breathing a sigh of relief that I don’t fit the qualifications! But that’s ok, I will be appearing on The Nate Berkus Show on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. Mar[ your calendars if you haven’t already!

MAD MEN Takes The Sting Out of Sunday Nights


Not that I want to rush the weekend away, but I am so psyched for Sunday night’s two hour long-overdue season 5 return of Mad Men. After a 17 month hiatus, I am more than ready to be reaquainted with the dapper Don Draper. I kinda feel bad for my husband —first Christian Grey and now Jon Hamm.

Then again, my husband enjoys the show as much, if not more, than I do. He is interested by the business aspect and it appeals to his love of history while I am fascinated with the Madison Avenue, martini-swilling lifestyle, fashion, characters and intrigued by the drama and juicy plotlines. It’s a win-win for both of us and a great way to end the weekends.

According to The Fiscal Times, “Mad Men has attracted a devoted audience because it delivers a hefty dose of American social and cultural realism through its depiction of people at work – and at play – at a time when sexism and racism were rampant. Because political correctness was not on the radar, smoking, drinking, sex on the job, and other taboo behaviors were common.”

It wasn’t until I read some press that I remembered that Season 4 ended with Don proposing to his beautiful secretary Megan Calvet (played by Jessica Pare).

To get everyone back up to speed, here’s some other events that happened when we last tuned into Mad Men on October 17, 2010:

*New agency Sterling, Cooper Draper Price has been established and Lucky Strikes is no longer a client
*Joan did not terminate the pregnancy that resulted from her night of passion with Roger (Joan Slattery)
*Lane Pryce was brained by his elderly father for falling in love with a black Playboy bunny

Newsday staff writer Verne Gay reported, “There’s no attempt at ‘catching up,’ no expository dialogue that attempts to fill in the gap, however slightly. It’s all sink-or-swim time-get on board immediately with these characters’ private lives…or don’t. That’s because real fans demand that. It’s a bit presumptuous, too, and there are a couple moments when the two-hour opener feels more like work or a memory test (what was that beef between Pete and Roger again?) than a pleasure.

But those moments are few and far between. Mad Men is back, in all the right ways – the humor, the writing, the period details and, best of all, the flawless attention to these characters and their cluttered interior worlds.”

And Scott, Honey, Grey and Drapper, don’t have a thing on you, Baby. There is absolutely no one else in the world I’d rather cuddle up with and watch Mad Men with. I always wanted a loving, successful, family man and not a distrustful, slippery womanizer.

Besides as Metro New York’s Amber Ray writes, “Don’s definition of ‘happy’ and ‘content’ have never lined up with the typical American dream.”

If You Have “NO PLACE TO GO”

If you have “NO PLACE TO GO” and are looking for something different to do between now and April 8th go see this musical ode to the unemployed.

I owe Erin and Holly of MamaDrama NY a tremendous thank you! They have managed to give me two dates with my husband in the course of one full week. And not only did I get to spend alone grown-up time with my husband, but we enjoyed the arts the city we live in his famous for but rarely get to personally take advantage of ourselves.

No Place to Go is currently being performed at Joe’s Pub, which is conveniently located practically steps away from Astor Place subway station.

Playwrighter Ethan Lipton is the star narrator and singer and accompanied by a three-piece band: Vito Dieterle on the saxophone, Ian M. Riggs on the bass and Eben Levy on the guitar. They are extremely likeable guys and you make you want them and the show to succeed.

The premise – “The company where he’s worked (part-time) for the past 10 years is moving to another planet, and playwright Ethan Lipton doesn’t want to go.” The show is touted as “Part love letter to his co-workers, part query to the universe, part protest to his company and country.”

In the program, Artistic Director Oskar Eutis writes, “Ethan is as modest and unassuming as he is accomplished. He combines qualities with ineffable ease. He is the very picture of a downtown artist, and yet he is also an American everyman. his work speaks precisely to our city, in this moment, yet he also invokes a century’s worth of references, performative and political…”

I checked out of the corporate world when I was pregnant and close friends know that I don’t really follow politics. My husband greatly appreciated the corporate humor and described the show as being “very original.”

When the show ended, the applause and cheering was loud and bosterous. Many audience members stood up.

Towards the end, Ethan explains, “I have to stay in this town, it’s the food carts that’s keeping me here….” I vehemently disagree about their “heavenly scent.”

Otherwise, Ethan is mostly right-on, especially “What does a 40 year old man with a sandwich in his backpack do at a time like this,” and “Do they still make men in Brooklyn.” (That’s where my dad was born and raised and there will never been another gentle giant like him)

For tickets for this three-week limited engagement, priced $30, visit Joe’s Pub. Joe’s Pub is located within the Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.

PASSOVER PALOOZA with Mama Doni at The Original Streit’s Matzo Factory

Thanks to Mommy’s Links: The Social Network for Tri-State / NY Metro Moms!, I have learned about this fun weekend event! Let’s face it, it’s super rare when there’s “preview parties” for a Jewish holiday! Oy vey, I’m so excited! I better go call my mom!

PASSOVER PALOOZA with Mama Doni at The Original Streit’s Matzo Factory THIS WEEKEND in NYC!
Free show! Streit’s Matzo Factory Tour! Book Fair! Giveaways!

LIVELY & UNLEAVENED! IT’S THE STREIT’S MATZO GIRL – MAMA DONI HITTING THE LOWER EAST SIDE ON MARCH 18 WITH HER ‘PASSOVER PALOOZA’ EVENT AT THE ORIGINAL STREIT’S MATZO FACTORY

Mama Doni – the Streit’s Matzo Girl – invites families to have some music with their matzos, when she brings her inimitable brand of “funky music with a Jewish twist” to the first-ever Mama Doni’s Passover Palooza, a family event for everyone who wants to get into the Passover spirit, at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 18 at the original Streit’s Matzo Factory, 148 – 154 Rivington St., NYC.

Passover Palooza will include a FREE Mama Doni concert, a tour of the Streit’s Matzo Factory where families can see Passover matzos being made, a Jewish book fair hosted by Behrman House Publishing, and giveaways galore.

Mama Doni recently entered into a cross-promotional alliance with the nationally recognized Streit’s brand, and her image will be on nearly 1,000,000 matzo boxes at grocery stores throughout the country this spring, offering a free “Music with your Matzo” download. The cross-promotional alliance is designed to celebrate Jewish culture with the young generation, a mission of both Mama Doni and Streit’s.

Doni Zasloff Thomas, a.k.a. Mama Doni, is the lead singer/songwriter of The Mama Doni Band, honored with a 2011 Parents’ Choice® Award for their recent release, Shabbat Shaboom, and winner of the Simcha Award for “Inspiring Joy Through Music” in competition with more than 100 bands from 15 different countries at the 2008 International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam. The band celebrates Jewish culture with irrepressible zest in its interactive family rock concerts filled with catchy pop songs that break the mold of traditional Jewish music. Quirky, offbeat, and unpredictable, The Mama Doni Band offers up a contagious and unexpected blend of reggae, rock, disco, Latin, klezmer and “Jewgrass” – all woven together with a hip Jewish sensibility.

At her Passover Palooza concert, Mama Doni will debut her brand new “Mission Immatzoble” song, perform “Rasta in Pasta” (a reggae tune about what can and can’t be eaten during Passover), and encourage kids and families to get their groove on with “Disco Dayeinu.” Rocking out for Passover, Mama Doni & The Mama Doni Band will also play such matzolicious songs as “Jewish Cowgirl,” “Mazel Tov,” and “Shabbat Shaboom.” Hip young kids and their even hipper parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles should come prepared to get up and dance at this spirited Jewish rock concert. Passover will never be the same!

Mama Doni promises plenty of surprises throughout her Passover Palooza event, highlighted by Passover Prize Breaks with fun Passover questions and an array of prizes for those with the correct answers, including boxes of Streit’s Matzos, samples of Streit’s Macaroons and Mama Doni’s famous Matzo Granola, made according to a recipe in her upcoming book, Music & Matzo Balls: A Jewish American Family Cookbook, Mama Doni CDs, posters, and t-shirts, as well as download cards for a free Mama Doni Passover song.

According to Carrie Stetler in The Star-Ledger, Doni Zasloff Thomas “is proud to have a schtick. And that schtick, she says, is to ‘Jewify’ all forms of music – from country to reggae to holiday songs.” The Miami Herald enthused, “Not since Woody Allen’s Radio Days has American Jewish youth culture been celebrated with such a sublime mix of silly and substantive.”

Mama Doni, a resident of Montclair, New Jersey, hopes that her music will add some Jewish flavor to the lives of people everywhere. She speaks with great passion about preserving the priceless Yiddish and Jewish spirit by imbuing it with a contemporary vibe that connects to life in our times.

Mama Doni’s recordings are available nationwide, as CDs and digital downloads, from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, FYE.com, iTunes, and select Costco locations. Projects currently in production include Music & Matzo Balls: A Jewish American Family Cookbook (Behrman House Publishing) which will be available in fall 2012, a new DVD, and a new CD. A TV pilot is also in the works!

PASSOVER PALOOZA WITH MAMA DONI & THE MAMA DONI BAND
FREE MAMA DONI FAMILY CONCERT, STREIT’S MATZO FACTORY TOUR, & BOOK FAIR

WHERE: Streit’s Matzo Factory, 148 – 154 Rivington St., New York, NY 10002

WHEN: Sunday, March 18.
1:00 p.m. FREE Family Concert
(geared toward kids ages 12 and under and their families)
2:00 p.m. Streit’s Matzo Factory Tour & Behrman House Publishing Jewish Book Fair

ADMISSION: FREE

INFO: 718-813-7170 http://www.mamadoni.com

Parent Service Announcement (PSA): Rated P is a Must-See

I am not a lover of the Great White Way and generally detest musicals.  However, as a mom of a two year old, I did jump at the chance when Erin Leigh Peck of MamaDrama, a new parent-marketing consulting agency, graciously extended me a pair of complimentary tickets to see Rated P.  The invitation even came with childcare while I enjoyed the show right near by at Playwrights Horizons but children need to be at least 4 years of age so I was not able to take advantage of PLAYTIME‘s incredibly wonderful service.

So now on to the show:

Rated P is for Parenthood.  And as I parent, I am of the authority to rate it Perfect, Pretty spot on, and Pleasantly Pleasing.

As soon as I sat down in the packed theater, I knew I was in for a treat.  Prior to the show starting, amusing family-oriented quotes and trivia is provided.  Throughout the performance, they show a couple’s texting back and forth (and sometimes even trying to sext).

I give you permission to skip the child-birth and/or lamaze classes (this coming from someone who endured natural delivery).  Instead, it should be a requirement for pregnant couples to see this show to get a sneak peek of what’s in store for them in the next 18 years.    While in today’s society so much focus and attention is given to fertility, conception and pregnancy, it’s after the baby is born when THE HARD PART STARTS.  The underlying message of the show is that letting go is what growing up and good parenting is all about.

Some of my favorite skits include when the baby is going to be left with the grandparents for the first time, two Dads at the playground looking to make a new buddy, the prestigious private school admisison interview, the first day of kindergarden, and Prom night.  As you can see, each stage of childhood is addressed.

I also got a chuckle out of the Parent Service Announcements (PSAs) including don’t fix-up the happy bachelor.

It’s only natural that a show about babies tackles the “birds and the bees.”  There is a funny scene on trying to explain to the older child how a baby gets in mommy’s tummy.  The dad sings about “getting some” after he drops his kids off at a sleep-away camp.  Mom is distraught after finding a condom in her teenage daughter’s jean pocket while during the laundry.  And how would you tell your innocent, sweet child what “69” means?

When the drop the child off at college, the mom explains, “A lifetime of memories are written on the face of my child.”

I was extremely happy that there was no intermission during the 70 minute performance (although pregnant women in the audience might disagree!)

I hope I’ve convinced you to go see Rated P is for Parenthood and I am excited to share this parenthood insider discount:  $49.50 ticket offer for performances through May 27, 2012 at BroadwayOffers.com or by calling 212.947.8844 (USE CODE:  RPTHX88)

“Rated P for Parenthood” is at the Westside Theater, 407 West 43rd Street.

A Cube of Sugar: The Secret World of Arietty

May I borrow a sugar cube? A tissue?  I doubt you’ll miss the straight pin I found on the floor.

It’s amazing how life goes full circle.  In college, I interned for a wonderful company which promoted box-office films and I would give up sleeping in on weekend mornings to staff children’s movies.  Fast forward, more than a decades later, this company is now extending invitations for me to bring my child to these screenings.

On Saturday morning, I left my sleeping husband and son in bed and slipped off to catch the advance showing of “The Secret World of Arrietty.”

Arrietty (Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper (Carol Burnett). Like all little people, Arrietty (AIR-ee-ett-ee) remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to “borrow” scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts. But when 12-year-old Shawn (David Henrie), a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty’s family from the home and straight into danger. — (C) Disney

“The Secret World of Arrietty” is a sweet and charming little film about little people which will make the largest impact on those with a longer attention span and an eye for beauty.  The animation is phenomenal and I marveled at the attention to detail.  Any girl would give their right arm for a doll house similar the one in the movie.

The movie opens in theaters on February 17, 2012.  Rated G.  Running time:  1 hr. 34 min.

Maybe I can find someone willing to lend me a copy of Mary Norton’s The Borrowers which the screenplay was loosely adapted from.

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