Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Shannon Brown Comes to the Irvine Spectrum

I'll never forget when Trevor Ariza attended Fashion Week at the Irvine Spectrum last year. And I wasn't there. One of the biggest regrets of my life. That and not becoming a painter. The next basketball season came, Trevor Ariza was let go for Ron Artest and my dreams of meeting one of my favorite Lakers were shattered. [ I still love you too Ron Ron - you're the funniest Laker I've had the pleasure of speaking with to this day. ] But rest assured readers, I won't be making that mistake again!

[ Two of my favorite Lakers (Shannon and Kobe), plotting their attack. ]

[ The Rebel Yell ]

This Saturday the Irvine Spectrum will play host to one of my other favorite Lakers! The heavens are shining down on me, giving me another shot at chasing my dreams! Go Go Gadget Legs, a.k.a. Shannon Brown, will be at the Verizon Wireless Spectrum store, signing autographs and meeting fans. It's so reminiscent of the Trevor Ariza situation to me since I've had two friends tell me that they heard through the grapevine (I realize how secondhand this info is, and therefore may not even be true) that the Lakers said there wasn't a spot for Shannon Brown on next season's Lakers roster. I replied with exclamations of disbelief and a gaping, mouth-wide-open look of wonderment. Shannon Brown is a play maker! Not a spot for him on the Lakers? How many times has he made a play that has changed the whole tenor of a game? Just like my precious Trevor Ariza? I was assured by these said friends that it wasn't that the Lakers don't understand he's a great player, but that it was purely about the money. And the fact that the Lakers didn't have any. I still refuse to believe that the NBA is all about money and not basketball. Maybe I'm in denial, but sometimes coping with the truth is just TOO much. Is anything sacred anymore? McChicken nuggets aren't made with real chicken; Britney Spears lip sings her concerts; and now the NBA is all about money instead of basketball?

[ Shannon Brown being a playmaker. Feb 16th, 2010 - Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors. ]

Well I know one thing that is left pure and undefiled, the athleticism, grace, and explosiveness of a Shannon Brown dunk. So don't miss seeing this amazing up and coming athlete. Lakers girls and Power 106 radio will be there to entertain, and there will even be chances to win Lakers tickets! Rub his tummy for good luck heading into the playoffs. The way they're playing, the Lakers could use all the help they can get. Here's the details, and I'll see you there!

P.S. A big congrats to Teemu Selanne of the Anaheim Ducks. He is only the 18th player in NHL history to have made 600 goals in their career. He's now keeping company with the likes of hockey greats Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. Orange County loves you Teemu, you handsome Nordic devil, you.

- Amy
On my iTunes: Charlie Mars' "Back of The Room"

Shannon Brown at Verizon Wireless Store
April 03, 2010
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless store near The Improv.
For more information, please call 949-450-1050 or visit

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Egg-cellent Easter Crafts!

Can you believe that April is only two days away? I still can't believe it's 2010, and here it is already April. With the approach of April comes a list of annual "expectables." I made that word up, but I don't care because I'm writing this post and therefore get to do what I want for a minute. Here are the April expectables I'm talking about:

1) April Showers. Even in Southern California; Just when we thought summer was suddenly here, gray skies greeted us on the morning commute today.
2) Tax Day. I'd like to see the statistics that show what percentage of people have their taxes finished before March even begins, and those who scramble the very last week. I'll just say: don't make the mistake I did last year and go to the post office to mail a birthday package on April 15th. Which leads me to the next point,
3) April Birthdays. I think about half the people I know have birthdays in April. I can name 7 people right now, and I know there's a whole slew more that I could find by checking Facebook, which has been giving me about 5 birthday notifications per day. A girl could go broke trying to be nice this month.
4) EASTER! There are more April events to list, but I'll stop here because it leads me to the point of this post: Easter crafting. Specifically, crafting with eggs. I love it; any other time of the year, people would think you're nutso if you start coloring and spiffing up hard-boiled eggs, but once a year, the planets align and the full moon rises and it's kosher to bedazzle a pre-poultry zygote.

I encourage you to take advantage of this by exploring what the world wide web has to offer in the way of unique egg decorating ideas. There are tons of sites and blogs out there waiting to inspire you. Take a look at just a couple ideas I found whilst browsing this morn:

Go Lazarus and turn an egg into a bird,

go territorial with names and initials,

 go Jackson Pollock and splatter away, 

 or stick with a glittery twist on the classic polka-dotted egg,

 The above four images are from a post by Reader's Digest- click here to go there and find directions for each.

In case none of those suited your fancy, here are a few more gems:


"Who says wreaths are Christmas-only decor?"

and, for the advanced decorator, 

"SuperEgg-man is here to save Easter!"

[the above three ideas courtesy of FamilyFun - instructions can be found by clicking here]

There you have it folks- seven jazzy ways to add pizazz to your Easter eggs. You're sure to be the new egg decorating egg-spert at your annual gatherings, the hero of children ages 3-9, and the envy of crafters over 20.*

Stay crafty, Orange County! 

*Statistics not guaranteed to reflect actual results. Ages of impressed folk are estimated based on the assumption that adolescents age 10-19 remain in a jaded, unimpressed state for approximately 9 years. 

on my blip: George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord"

Monday, March 29, 2010

April 2010 OC Gazette hits the stands

Extra! Extra! The April 2010 magazines are now available for your reading pleasure. This month features Lauren Conrad, the Newport Beach Film Festival, Led Zepagain, Mackey's Hot Rods, Acts Of Kindness, spring runway trends, and much more! Pick up a copy today! Or email us at to get added to our mailing list. And the best part: it's free!

- Sara (illustrations by Jen)
Listening to...and not ashamed to admit it...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wild Things, Hitchins, and Fashion

[Director Spike Jonze and Max Records on location in Australia filming Where The Wild Things Are. Photo by Sonny Geras.]

1. A few things on the agenda for todays blog. First of all, Where The Wild Things Are is playing at The Great Park for their "Movie on The Lawn" series. I heard about this great event from fellow blogger, The flick starts at 7:30 on Saturday March 27th, so dust off your beach chairs, pack some snacks and your snuggie, and head over to the Irvine Great Park. Just drive towards the great orange orb looming in the sky and it will lead you, as sure as the North Star led the three wise men, to cinematic salvation.

* A cool fact about Spike Jonze's Where The Wild Things Are: The Cinematographer, Sonny Gerasimowicz, is from Orange County! Check out our article on the film and the local artists who contributed to it here.

2. Second on the agenda - wedding season is upon us. People are tying on the old ball and chain faster than tickets sellout for a Hannah Montana show. It's like an epidemic!  Call it spring fever, call it what you will, but definitely call Starla Bork.  Who is Starla Bork?  The lovely owner of Enchanted Fine Florals, your florist for any event, including your hitchin'. I've known Starla for years as she worked at the flower shop next door to the coffee shop I worked at through high school and college. [Shout out to Kaylani Coffee! Franny - you're the best barista in Orange County now that I'm gone :)] I always requested Starla when I stopped by to pick up a bouquet or a center piece, because her ability to design the most unique and magical flower arrangements is simply amazing! With ten years of experience, it's no wonder. Not only is she an amazing florist, she is so professional and an absolute pleasure to work with. Enough of my ramblings - check out her work below. It speaks for itself!

You can get a hold of Starla the following ways:
Head over to her website.
Or give her a ring at (949) 412-4868.

3. The third thing on the agenda is another great website that we are currently loving at The OC Gazette HQ.

[The lovely Leslie Christen.] is a sight run by OC native, Leslie Christen. Let me give you a bulleted list of her services:

- Personal Shopping
- Fashion Stylist
- Home Organization
- Image Consulting
- Full Concierge Service
- Closet Clean Out
- Men, Women, Children

Quite a list isn't it?  Not only does she offer all of this, she keeps up the aforementioned blog with regular postings of tips, fashion advice, and great finds that will cause any fashionista to squeal with glee. We liked it so much we did an online special feature of some tips Leslie has for cleaning out that jungle of clothes you call a closet. The feature is written by Mona Shah, whose closets were the project for the feature, and includes before, during and after photos of the whole process. Go here to check it out.

That's all I've got for now.
Have a great weekend Orange County!

- Amy
On my account now: Tegan and Sara's cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark." 

Listen to my station here! Disclaimer: It is extremely ecclectic.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Are you out of the music loop?

Do you feel like you're losing touch with the current music scene? Like you're listening to the same old heard-it-a-million-times, mixed-taped-it-a-thousand-times songs that you were obsessed with in college? Like you're musical repertory stopped once you got roped into that 9-5 go-to-bed-early-and-rise-before-the-hens work schedule? It happens to seemingly helpless victims across our nation every day. But have no fear, your S.O.S taps, smoke signals and cries from the well have been heard!

Here are some solutions to your squaller in stagnant sound:

RCRDLBL.COM ||| RCRDLBL is a network of ad supported online record labels and blogs offering completely free music and multimedia content from artists you know and love as well as emerging artists you will soon love.* You can sign up for RCRDLBL's e-newsletter and have delivered to your email inbox all the updates on the latest free songs and even free albums that you can download. Oh yeah, and a great perk: it's legal. Theirs "is a site dedicated to legally discovering and sharing music."

Another easy way to keep track of all the new free music is to add them on facebook (see here) to get updates on latest free media downloads. It's awesome. Check out our live feed widget of's free downloads on the right side of our blog.

*The OC Gazette cannot guarantee you will love this music. But just keep an open mind alright?

TODAYS TOP TUNE ||| Today's Top Tune is a free song a day from KCRW's all Music Channel, a self-proclaimed eclectic mix of tons of great music genres. Tracks selected as "Today's Top Tune" are plucked from recent and upcoming releases as well as from among the live sessions hosted on the Morning Becomes Eclectic radio station.
Each song is available for download and podcast through a variety of means: (a) iTunes (b) podcast (c) or even delivered to your e-mail inbox (you can sign-up here). 

BLIP.FM ||| is an online forum where you can play desk jockey and channel your inner Carson Daly or Uncle Joe Benson (My personal fave was former radio station Indie 103.1's Steve Jones and Joe Escalante). The question is: do you trust your own taste? Well if you do, create a DJ username (preferably a funny derivative of your name: mine is the_good_hood. Don't judge me if you listen to my station. Some of it is hit or miss, but hey, it gets me through the day). Once you have a profile, you can search your favorite songs through the site and post songs with your own commentary. Once you start "blipping" (the act of playing music via, other online DJs who have similar tastes to yours will be recommended to you so that you can discover new music along your comfort lane.

OSCENE ||| Head on over to Laguna Museum of Art to check out some more localized musical selections. The participants and nominees from this years OC Music Awards (see our coverage here) are featured on a newfangled "listening booth" where you can sample their sounds.

If these all fail you, try the old fallback: patron a local bar that hosts local music nights. My personal haunt: The Gypsy Lounge

Cheers, friends.
On my iPod: The Roots's "The Seed"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Local Artist Spotlight: Stereofix

When I first put Stereofix on, my friend asked, “Is this U2?”  Yeah. That’s a pretty epic comparison to draw between one of the greatest rock bands in the world and an up and coming band from Fountain Valley, CA. But it’s not undeserved. Stereofix pumps out catchy vocals, effect-laden guitar lines and an all over tightly-polished sound reminiscent of 90’s radio rock. A musical cocktail of different sounds and musical eras, Stereofix is a mixture of The Killers, the whimsically grandiose instrumentation of Keane, and the polished arena rock of U2. Quite a cocktail isn’t it? That’s what happens when you mix four guys with their own impressive arsenal of music knowledge and experience.

[Photo by Sarah Buss]

All of the members of Stereofix have been playing music since they were teenagers, drawing on the greats like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Stones and U2 for inspiration. “We have a pretty diverse age group of fans, from 14-year-olds to ages 40 and up,” says Stereofix lead guitarist Kamren Alexander. “Each generation kind of perceives us differently. They’ll be like, ‘That riff you were doing was so Jimmy Page’ or, ‘Your vocals remind me of Bryan Ferry.’ It’s random, and it’s all different from generation to generation.”

[Left: Ray Alexander (lead vocals), Right: Mark Allan (bass). Photo by Carlos Roberto Sanchez]

Stereofix is comprised of brothers Ray (lead vocals) and Kamren Alexander (lead guitar/vocals), Mark Allan (bass guitar) and Anthony Hainswoth (drums). Ray started out in a band called The Spun. Not soon after, Rays’ brother Kamren joined the ranks of the group on lead guitar and the duo began its ascent to success, playing shows all over LA and Orange County. Soon Mark Allan was added on bass and the newly formed trio were holding auditions for a drummer. After a colorful showing of interviewees, Anthony Hainswoth came in, their knight in shining armor, to complete the group.  A name change and a new drummer later, Stereofix was born.

[Left: Kamren Alexander (lead guitar/vocals), Right: Anthony Hainswoth (drums). Photo by Carlos Roberto Sanchez]

When people are comparing you to U2 and the Killers, you’re bound to go places. Stereofix is doing just that. With the help of producers/engineers Mark Needham (The Killers and My Chemical Romance) and Joe Zook (Modest Mouse and One Republic), Stereofix put out their latest EP, “The Warning Sign.” Their songs have been featured on The Hills, The City, Real World, and more. They have opened for such bands as Everclear, Three6Mafia, and Rehab. They won Best Alternative at the 2010 Orange County Music Awards. And this is just the beginning. With a rigorous daily practice routine and a steady tour schedule, these guys have the work ethic, talent and charisma to make big things happen.

You’ve got plenty of chances to check out these local boys in the upcoming months. Besides a residency at one of my favorite local venues The Gypsy Lounge in March, Stereofix will be playing shows in Long Beach, Santa Ana, Universal City and more. Check out their upcoming dates below. Don’t forget to say hi to the guys. Not only are they great musicians, they’re fine fellows.

- Amy

On my iTunes: Stereofix’s “A Day Without You”

4/25/10 - The Galaxy Theater - (Santa Ana, CA)
4/17/10 - Dipiazza’s- (Long Beach, CA)
4/02/10 - The Yost Theatre Benefit Show for MS - (Santa Ana, CA)
3/27/10 - Universal City Walk - (Universal City, CA)
3/25/10 - The Gypsy Lounge - Residency Week 4 (Lake Forest, CA) 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Free Screening of "The Cove" Tonight in Newport

If you happen to find yourself in need of plans this evening, may I heartily suggest that you mosey on down to Cinema Sage Hill for a FREE screening of The Cove? The 2009 Academy Award winning documentary shines light on a deadly secret about the mass-slaughtering of dolphins in a cove of Taiji, Japan.

It's pretty rare that you can see a film for free in a theater these days, let alone last year's Academy Award winner for Best Documentary, so even if you do have plans already, you might want to consider forgoing those to take advantage of this rare opportunity.

For more info, click the bluish-gray flier above to enlarge it, or click here.

And make sure to let us know what your personal thoughts about the film are, after seeing it!

Happy Tuesday!


on my iTunes: Local Natives' "Sun Hands"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lake Forest Soroptimist - Bras For A Cause 2010

This past Saturday, The Gazette Creatives attended the big event: the annual Bras For A Cause fundraiser put on by Soroptimist International of Lake Forest. Basically, someone sponsors a bra and then crafts a dolled-up brassiere based on the this year's theme "Oldies But Goodies." We were commissioned by Candice Lopez, a Soroptimist member and our lovely Sales Manager, to whip one up. Using our entry as an example, the challenge is to choose a classic, fan-favorite song (who doesn't like Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire"?); fudge the title a bit to include a reference to female anatomy (insert extra "S" to now name it "Rings Of Fire"); use an actual bra as the shell for your masterpiece (after braving the aisles of Home Depot, we constructed our own out of ribbon and plastic tubing); include an element of surprise (such as legs and boots sticking out of a flaming bra cup); add a prop to enhance visual appeal (our choice: cowboy hat); and voila, your bra is ready and worthy of any storefront window display.

Here are a few snapshots from the evening. Enjoy!

Our entry, based on Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire" from the lyric: I fell into a burning ring of fire (and if you're wondering, yes, those are Johnny's legs!)

Jen & Amy with the evening's entertainment ringleader: The King

"Stairway To Heaven" - complete with a legit Jimmy Paige shredding by the stairs

"These Boobs Are Made For Walking" - the big winner of the evening made with real cowboy boots!

"Little Old Lady From Pasadena" - a lot of pink, a little saggy

"Blue Suede Boobs" - are you getting the hang of the name-plays by now?

Tabletop decor, because it's pretty

- Sara
Listening to Esquire's current list of "50 Songs Every Man Should Be Listening To" - the females in our office have invited ourselves to the party

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2 things duelling for coolest thing on earth.

Today's post addresses 2 Things that are dueling for position as {cue Movie Trailer voice-over here} "COOLEST THING ON EARTH."

Candidate #1: NCAA March Madness On Demand (MMOD) at
March Madness is here! But some of us have the daily inconvenience of work hindering us from keeping up on all the games. But wait, there is salvation! Think of NCAA March Madness on Demand as your Moses leading you out of the land of bondage (work) into the promised land (live sports all day from the comfort of your swivel chair behind your computer station). 
The web player features live streaming of every single NCAA Tourney game from first round to Championships, game highlights, archives, and highlights from other live games as you watch your team dominate (knock on wood).
Best part of the website? The BOSS BUTTON. Here's the scenario. You're at work. You should be working. But it's the Sweet 16 and [insert your college team here] is throwing down on [insert your nemesis college team here]. So of course you're watching March Madness on Demand instead of pushing papers. But wait...crisis...your boss emerges from his gilded office and begins to approach your desk. What do you do? Click the BOSS BUTTON located conveniently at the upper right corner of the MMOD player and it will open a screen with a faux workflow. The chart includes hilarious chart points that say things like "Use false hope and coffee to keep your internal organs from voluntarily failing." Your job is saved. Oh, and there's an MMOD iPhone app. [And the people rejoiced].  

Candidate #2: Our Bras For a Cause charity entry "The Rings of Fire." 
This year we are participating in the Bras For A Cause charity event again. The event, held by the Soroptimists of Lake Forest, raises funds for women and girls in the Orange County area. The event orbits around crafting bras based on a set theme. This year's theme is "Oldies But Goodies." So participants create themed bras like "Blue Suede Boobs" and "Blueberry Hills" to draw guests into a night of fabulous auctions, giveaways, and food provided by local restaurants like Outback Steakhouse of Foothill Ranch. The OC Gazette's bra is called "The Rings of Fire". And it's gonna win, people.
Come out to enjoy the festivities and amusing, abounding boob innuendoes. The event is this Saturday the 20th at 6pm at The Norman P. Murray Community Center in Mission Viejo. $35 for a ticket (includes food and drink galore!). Call Marion Duffy at 949-683-7874 for more info.
See our promotional poster for our entry below (click for full view). It's 11x17 poster-size should you want to print it at Kinkos and hang it next to your Rob Pattinson Teen Beat poster in your room.

On my iPod: Johnny Cash's "One Piece At A Time" 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Five Irish Drinking Songs

In honor of Saint Patrick's day I am posting five of my favorite Irish or Irish-inspired jigs. Enjoy lads and lasses.

- Amy

The Pogues: "Streams of Whiskey"

Flogging Molly: "What's Left of The Flag"

U2: "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

Them (Van Morisson's old act. Yeah, Van Morisson's Irish. Crazy, huh?): "Gloria"

Dropkick Murphys: "I'm Shipping Up To Boston"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

About Face at Hibbleton Gallery

Nestled in dowtown Fullerton is a quaint-yet-kicka** little ivy-covered corner building that houses Hibbleton Gallery. For two years now, Hibbleton has been bringing the community fresh, vibrant art from local artists young and old, and has also been known to exhibit the artwork of a few names from the limelight (from the likes of Richard Swift, Mark Mothersbaugh, and Matt Maust to name a few). With a mission statement that describes a dedication to "art that provokes thought and initiates discourse, whether it is considered subculture, pop, surrealist, outsider, graffiti, lowbrow, or street," Hibbleton consistently brings the heat (artistically speaking). This month, Hibbleton presents an art exhibit called “About Face,” featuring captivating contemporary portraits by Steve Westbrook and Joseph Chesmore.  

Here is how Hibbleton describes these artists:

Steve Westbrook is interested in the darkest of humor—the kind of jokes that make you hurt. Therefore, he paints portraits of sad men wearing funny hats, attempting to convey both the vulnerability and absurdity that accompany moments of breakdown.

Joseph Chesmore is a classical painter of modern life, bringing traditional methods to contemporary subject matter.  His portraits strive to capture the image of someone lost in thought and oblivious to the outside world around them. 

The opening reception was last Friday, March 12, but the show will run through March 28th. Be sure to check it out and tell us about your visit!

Questions? Ask our pal Jesse:

(714) 420-8524

Hibbleton Gallery is located at:
112 W. Wilshire Ave.
Fullerton 92832

Be sure to pick up a copy of the March issue of The Gazette Magazine and read our Art spotlight on Hibbleton Gallery! Or, read it online by clicking here.

On my iPod: Andrew Bird's "Oh No"

Monday, March 15, 2010

"In A Garden" at South Coast Repertory

"Before our grand adventure can begin, I need to know what we're talking about." This past Saturday, I was invited to see In A Garden, Howard Korder's new comedic play, at South Coast Repertory. I was accompanied by my dear friend and Gazette writer, the lovely Lisa Birle. After enjoying a fabulous, unforgettable, Cuban meal at Habana in Costa Mesa, we booked it over to SCR, arriving just moments before the much anticipated rising curtain.

The play begins in the early 90s, set in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Aqaat. The stage is occupied by a small (might I add, beautiful) table and two chairs, with a silver tea set, and an ashtray resting on the table's surface. Behind this central table, there is a distant view of the city and sky that tells the audience of the passing of time. A large, cold, concrete structure encloses the space where the two main characters, Andrew Hackett, an American architect, and Fawaz Othman, the Minister of Culture, will spend their time during the evening's performance. 

Mark Harelik and Matt Letscher in Howard Korder's In A Garden. Photo by Henry DiRocco/SCR.

In the story, Andrew Hackett (Matt Letscher) is commissioned to build a summerhouse, or gazebo as he prefers to call it, for Fawaz Othman (Mark Harelik), a mysterious man who is never quite clear about what he wants. Fawaz considers himself to be a patron instead of a client; valuing his own appreciation for architecture and his recollection of the past over Andrew's expertise and growing urgency to build. Fawaz hangs tightly to the solace he finds in the childhood memory of his father's garden, a place lined with lemon trees and buzzing with the flight of dragonflies. Andrew's only clear marching orders are to create something that is surprising and inventive - a secret, evocative structure that can stand still in the midst of a spinning, falling, dissenting Middle Eastern world. Throughout the show, the pair intriguingly look out at the audience as they envision the garden space where the summerhouse will be built.

Matt Letscher, Jarion Monroe and Mark Harelik in Howard Korder's In A Garden. Photo by Henry DiRocco/SCR.

With cultural and political differences in tow, the architect and the Minister of Culture offer witty banter and bickering, reminiscent of the conflict and humorous feuding between the two leading men in Neil Simon's The Odd Couple. There's male bonding; chain-smoking; yelling; confusion; a hilarious, heightened display of a certain finger; even a display of tears. Andrew's patience wanes as the years pass, frustrated with each overseas trip, and each new presentation of ideas that hits another wall of Fawaz's disapproval. Fawaz crowns himself with a mentoring role and tells his architect, "Without me, you are unfinished." He demands, "I want what the Tempietto is - even if it did not exist." Ain't no big thing, right? 

Matt Letscher and Mark Harelik in Howard Korder's In A Garden. Photo by Henry DiRocco/SCR.

"There's a great deal in the world that needs reinventing...better buildings make us better people." In this play a talented young man - an artist with a pen and a straightedge - yearns to be inspired by another man's interpretation of history, culture, and his own personal space. The stage casts an environment for truth and trust as we watch the developing rapport between two uniquely matched, hardheaded men; an unlikely pair that is bound to bring a smile to your face. This performance is entertaining and insightful - a big thumbs up in my book!

In A Garden is showing at SCR through March 28th, 2010. For ticket information visit South Coast Repertory online or call the box office (714) 708-5555.
- Sara
Listening to Vampire Weekend's "Giving Up The Gun"
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