Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘gay’

Happy 7th Anniversary KiltMan!

This year marks the 7th anniversary since I started this blog in 2011. In that time, I have written 283 blogs — with an average length of 700 words. That comes out to 198,100 words — WOW! For a shy guy like me, I have definitely had some things to say! Let’s re-visit some of the highlights from the last year:

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  • Current Events: Last June during Pride month, we had a Pride Protest in Los Angeles instead of the usual LGBT Pride Parade. I thought it was especially fitting in the age of Trump, plus it was the 1-year anniversary of the Pulse shooting. Unfortunately things have gotten worse for LGBT Americans in the past year, so we need to keep on marching and protesting. I also asked the question: What if Your Sexuality Didn’t Matter. I hope we all see the day when who you love doesn’t matter.
  • Concerts: As a live music fan, it was a banner year for going to shows. I was able to see some of my favorites for the first time — including Mary J. Blige and Sam Hunt. They were worth the wait. Also, it was fun to see one of my favorites: Katy Perry. So happy to see her success on American Idol.
  • Kilts: Since this blog is named “KiltMan in SoCal” it was about time I took on that topic. I had to ask the question — Are You a Kilt Guy? I took a stab at writing some fiction with my Kilt of Horrors story. It was thrilling to hear it read on a podcast. And I pondered which celebrities that I wanted to see in a kilt. It is one of my most popular and long-running topics on this blog.
  • Reality TV: I celebrated the return of American Idol. First, by offering my suggestions for the show. And then by predicting the winner for the current season. It is still the best singing competition on the air (Sorry, The Voice and The Four).

This blog has been such a great outlet for me. I have learned so much about myself by writing it. I look forward to many more years of it. Thanks for reading and kilt on!

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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What if Your Sexuality Didn’t Matter

With all the amazing advances in the LGBT movement the past couple of years, I was wondering what the future will look like. Do you think we will ever live in a world where your sexuality didn’t matter? It’s an interesting question to ponder.LGBT-Shirt

So when you are growing up and you went to the prom, you could show up with a guy or a girl as your date and no one would bat an eye or call you out for being different. And maybe your could win as favorite couple as guy-guy or girl-girl, and then have your pics in the school newspaper and be celebrated as a cool couple, not just the cool gay couple or the cute straight couple.

A world where your sexuality was no longer assumed to be straight. For myself, and other guys my age, we can attest to this one. I was at the gym a few years back, and one woman commented on my haircut — I had a mohawk at the time. She said something along the lines of “Bet the girls love you with that haircut.” I just agreed with her… when I felt like “How dare you assume that I am straight?” In this world I am describing the woman would instead say, “Bet your partners love you with that haircut.”

You hear more and more young LGBT people say they were never in the closet. That is fantastic. I hope that we come to live in a world where people can just be — be the amazing people they were destined to be without any preconceived notions about who they should or should not be dating/sleeping/living with.

To live in a world where you didn’t have to change pronouns for who you were dating — be it with your family, friends, coworkers, etc. I am lucky such that when I got married my husband, my friends from work threw me a big wedding shower. And at the ceremony I had family members and friends there.

I look forward to a world where your sexuality doesn’t matter. In this political climate, let’s keep fighting for that to happen.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

 

Are You a Kilt Guy?

As a kilt wearer for the last 12 years, I have come to realize that my life has been better since I wear kilts. I get to be me, and I don’t have to dress to impress anyone else or follow some trend. For those that are thinking about taking the leap — and getting a kilt — here are some reasons to give it a try.IMG_4347

  1. You’ll find hidden confidence.
    I thought that kilts looked cool. I had no idea, that I would take to them like I have. I know I rock it, and I prefer to wear them over my regular clothes.
  2. You will set yourself apart.
    For a long time in life, I wanted to fit in. I would pray to fit in, that I was one of the in-crowd. Now, I realize I was born to stand out and I honestly don’t care what people think of me.
  3. You will find people approaching you.
    For a shy guy like me, this is a new thing. People are intrigued by a kilt. They want to know you and ask you about your wardrobe.
  4. You will be seen as fashion forward.
    Even if people don’t remember my name, they know I love kilts. And when I don’t wear one, I am asked “Where’s the kilt?”.
  5. You find you’ll smile more.
    There is a sense of fun about a kilt. I says to other people I don’t take myself too seriously and I know how to have fun.
  6. You will assert your individuality and masculinity.
    Why be boring? A kilt says that you march to the beat of your own drum, and don’t care what other people think about you. Contrary to what some people may think, a kilt is one of the most masculine things you can wear.
  7. And lest we forget, easy access.
    Your partners will like this one! No fumbling with some cumbersome pants and underwear.

I urge all guys to give a kilt a try. You will love the comfort, and there are plenty of traditional and modern styles to choose from.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Are You a Speedo Guy?

It takes a real man to wear a pair of Speedos. For those that are thinking about taking the leap — and getting a Speedo — here are some reasons to give it a try.Red Speedo Jump

  1. Better sun coverage
    Because there is less fabric, you will be able to get a better tan. If I could count the times I have seen guys trying to roll up their board shorts to get a better tan, I would be a rich man.
  1. Less clothing to get in the way
    If you are a swimmer, you have less water resistance with Speedos than with board shorts. You will move easier through the water.
  1. You will assert your individuality
    Who wants to be one of the masses, when you can stand out? These suits are not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have the right attitude, even heavier guys can rock the Speedo and make themselves memorable.
  1. You will be seen as a risk taker.
    Who wants to be safe and boring? There are plenty of colors and cuts of racing style swimsuits, one to please most everyone. And if you are the only one wearing one at the water park… so be it.
  2. You will like the feeling of wearing so little.
    I get it — it feels good to be naked. But unfortunately, we can’t be naked in most of the world. But next to being naked, I would take a Speedo.

It’s time that men stand up and demand their right to be sexy and show off. Woman can’t have all the fun. So put a Speedo on, and I will see you at the gym, beach, pool party or water park!

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Speedos lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

 

Spamalot: Fun at the Bowl

Monty Python’s Spamalot
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Hollywood Bowl

Starring:
Kevin Chamberlin, Sir Bedevere / Dennis Galahad’s Mother / Concorde
Merle Dandridge, The Lady of the Lake
Warwick Davis, Patsy / Mayor / Guard 2
Tom Deckman, Not Dead Fred / Prince Herbert / Minstrel / French Guard
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sir Robin / Guard 1
Rick Holmes, Sir Lancelot / French Taunter / Knight of Ni / Tim the Enchanter
Eric Idle, the Historian
Craig Robinson, King Arthur
Christian Slater, Sir Galahad / Prince Herbert’s Father / The Black Knight

BT McNicholl, director
Todd Ellison, conductor
Casey Nicholaw, original choreography

Scott Taylor and Billy Sprague Jr., choreography adaptation and re-staging

Book & Lyrics by Eric Idle
Music by John Du Prez & Eric Idle

Songs performed:

Act I

Tuning, Overture, “Historian’s Introduction to Act I” – Historian; “Finland” / “Fisch Schlapping Dance” – Mayor and Company; “Monk’s Chant” – Company; “King Arthur’s Song” – King Arthur, Patsy; “I Am Not Dead Yet” – Not Dead Fred, Lance, Robin, and Bodies; “Come with Me” – King Arthur, Lady of the Lake, and Laker girls;

“Laker Girls Cheer” – Laker Girls; “The Song That Goes Like This” – Sir Galahad and Lady of the Lake; “All for One” – King Arthur, Patsy, Sir Robin, Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad and Sir Bedevere; “Knights of the Round Table” – Company; “The Song That Goes Like This” (Reprise) – Lady of the Lake; “Find Your Grail” – Lady Of The Lake and Company; “Run Away!” – Company; The Intermission

Act II

“Historian’s Introduction to Act II” – Historian; “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” – Patsy, King Arthur, Knights, and Knights of Ni; “Brave Sir Robin” – Sir Robin and Minstrels; “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway” – Sir Robin and Ensemble; “Whatever Happened to My Part?” – Lady Of The Lake; “Where Are You?” – Prince Herbert; “Here Are You” – Prince Herbert; “His Name is Lancelot” – Sir Lancelot, Prince Herbert, and Ensemble; “I’m All Alone” – King Arthur, Patsy, and Knights

“Twice in Every Show” – Lady Of The Lake and King Arthur; “Act II Finale: I Am Not Dead Yet (Reprise) / Find Your Grail (Reprise) / The Song That Goes Like This (Reprise II)” – Company; “Bows: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Reprise)” – Company and Audience

Comments:
The Tony Award-winning best musical “Monty Python’s Spamalot” was the Hollywood Bowl’s summer musical this year. It played for 3 nights, and featured a all-star cast featuring stars of stage, film and TV. It was based on the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and tells the story of King Arthur and the knights of the round table. This was my 2nd time seeing the show — I had previously seen a small production of the show 2 years before.

Hollywood Bowl - Spamalot  Photo by Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Hollywood Bowl – Spamalot
Photo by Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Knowing how fun this show was and how catchy the songs are, I knew I had to see this production. So you got to see Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine, This the the End), Christian Slater (Interview with the Vampire) and Jesse Tyler Furgeson (Modern Family) among others — singing and dancing for our enjoyment.

Every production I have seen before at the Bowl has been very memorable — I saw Rent and Hairspray previously at this venue. From this production, I got a better idea of what the Broadway version must have been like, because of the high production values. There were a lot more sets, costumes and dancers than the production I had seen previously. It was almost like it was another show. And add in the fact that the show lends itself to plenty of pop culture references… so those were updated from when I saw it too.

There was a big dance number with the King and his knights… with fake tap dancing sounds added to the mix. Then there was a gag added during the time in the forest that included the lyrics to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson. Plus with the gay wedding in Act 2, they added that it would still be controversial 1000 years later too. They even joked about the California drought during the part of the show where the knights had to find a shrubbery.

The outer rim of the Bowl was used as a backdrop for some great visuals that were projected onto it… to create a forest, a church, a Las-Vegas inspired Camelot and much more. The walkway near the pool section of the box seats was used several times during the night… with the knights walking across it, and the Lady of the Lake doing her big solo number in the 2nd act too.

It was cool to have one of the original Monty Python troupe in this production (Eric Idle) — since he is one of the writer’s of the show. Broadway veteran Merle Dandridge played the diva role of the Lady in the Lake like she was born into royalty.

I also loved the part where the knights went to the French castle and the guard taunted them… with his head bopping around the edges of the ups and downs of the castle top — that was pretty inspired.

Song and performance highlights for me were: “The Song That Goes Like This”, “Find Your Grail”, “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway” and the rousing finale “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

Thanks to the cast and crew for another fun show at the Bowl.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Birthday Time

I have always celebrated my birthday. This year I am turning 51 on May 5th. Last year I had a big party in the park with lots of friends and family. It was an amazing day. We played games, broke open a piñata, and had some yummy food. I will never forget that day, and all the love that was shown to me that day.Birthday Fun

This year is going to be a little bit quieter. My partner and I are going to a few shows: 1 play and 1 concert; and maybe a few more small things on the weekend, like the aquarium.

I continue to be so grateful and thankful to be alive. Every day is a gift. Sure, I get sad and depressed, what person doesn’t. But at the end of the day, I know that I have an endless gratitude list. And to think I wanted to end it all as a teen! Life did get better, and continues to be a wonderful adventure.

First off, I am so thankful for all the amazing people in my life: my life partner, my parents, siblings, extended family, friends, acquaintances, penpals, neighbors, coworkers. I walk to work and enjoy seeing the flowers along the way, and the cute dogs the neighbors walk.

I am happy with how I am aging and how I march to the beat of my own drum. Every day I come home, kiss my man, and get in my kilt. I get to play with my bird, and cook some amazing dishes that taste great and are good for you.

If I get scared or cold, I can cuddle up with my partner in bed. And then I can touch my stuffed animals (which remind me of fun times as a kid) near my bed, and fall back to sleep knowing I am blessed.

So Happy Birthday to Dan… AKA Kilt Man in So Cal. I know I will be having my cake, blowing out my candles and savoring every minute of it.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Religious Freedom? Or Just Scared of Something that’s Different?

So now that same-sex marriage has swept the country, we are seeing conservatives do anything and everything to reclaim what they see as an attack on their Christian values.shutterstock_135491960

I only have my perspective to write from — that of a gay man, raised Catholic and now more spiritual than religious.

New laws/bills keep being brought up in different states. They range from so-called religious freedom bills to the most outrageous one California’s own Soddomite Suppression Act (which calls for the execution of all LGBT people by everyday citizens).

What bugs me about all of these laws is that they are all about hate. You can’t stand that I can love and marry the person I want. And that is a person of the same sex. Big effing deal! Get over it!

I keep hearing about how oppressed Christians are now… and how threatened they are by what is going on in America. Excuse me, if I ignore you playing your tiny violin.

I was brought up to respect all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, disability and more. We are all children of God. I was taught to not judge, lest you be judged. Remember, let the man without sin cast the first stone? Ring any bells.

Every time I see or hear of something in the world that makes me upset or offends me, I pray about it. I don’t start calling my Congressman or making angry banners. This is what a true Christian would do in my opinion.

People think that gays couldn’t possibly believe in God, or call themselves people of faith. I am a person of faith. I know for a fact that God created me as I am. I prayed and prayed for many years for God to change me. I so wanted to be straight. But I wasn’t meant to be straight. I am a proud gay man who loves God. I know that God helped me through my tough times in my teen years, those times I wanted to kill myself.

Do these people that are making and pushing these laws even know a gay person? I seriously doubt it.

And people wonder why less and less people are going to church these days? Could it be that the churches are still preaching hate? When in reality people don’t care who you sleep with as long as you treat others with respect and dignity?

I know in a few years time, these states are going to feel ashamed/disgusted they ever put this laws into effect. How many more people do you have to hurt by your hateful actions?

In the meantime, I will be praying for you. I doubt you are doing the same.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Goodbye to Glee

Glee recently ended its run after 6 seasons on Fox. Though the show suffered the last few seasons in quality, there is a lot I am thankful for with it. Plus I know I will miss the great musical numbers and fun, loveable and relatable characters.glee-cast

When the show first premiered in 2009, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, the show was described as the anti-High School Musical. (And I am a fan of that Disney series of movies). I saw the first episode, and was impressed with the level of talent among the kids in the Glee Club. But I can’t say it won me over that first episode. But into the first season, I came to love the show and it’s stars.

There was Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), Rachel Barry (Lea Michele), Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer), Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman (Mark Salling), Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley), Tina Cohen Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz), Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron), and Artie Ambrams (Kevin McHale). Later seasons brought us Britney S. Pierce (Heather Morris), Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera), Sam Evans (Chord Overstreet) and Blaine Anderson (Darren Chris). These misfits all came together in song, and the world is a better place for it.

Like a lot of gay teens, I totally felt left out and different growing up. I was an outcast or misfit myself. I so wanted to be in the ‘”in crowd” and be popular. I guess plenty of other people could identify with this feeling and why we latched on to “Glee.” We became “Gleeks” — a person who marches to the beat of their own drum, and is not afraid to sing about it.

I love the fact that you had openly gay teenagers on the show. It was a big deal at the time, and the producers took a lot of heat for it. Today, with how things have progressed as far as gay rights, I’d like to think that “Glee” had something to do with it. I also enjoyed the relationship between Kurt and his father. This was also something you hadn’t seen before on TV, with a Dad (Mike O’Malley) being supportive of his gay son.

The musical numbers were always great, and gave us many memorable moments. I have around 10 of the “Glee” CDs and listen to them often. Their interpretations are often as good as or better than the originals. And who can forget their mash-ups, where they put 2-3 songs together in a medley to dazzling results. I also love how much joy those songs/performances brought to the world. It looked like the kids were having so much fun in those scenes. I would have loved to be in that club!

I love that the show had songs from all different genres: Broadway, pop, rock, R&B, folk and more. There were often times I heard a song on the show first, only to find out who the original artist was later.

It’s a shame that so far the stars of the show have not gone onto successful recording careers: Darren Chris, Amber Riley, Lea Michele and Naya Rivera all have great voices. Maybe the next stop is Broadway for some of them.

I also want to mention Cory Monteith. What a tragedy. He was fantastic in the role of Finn Hudson, and I cried when I heard that he died. He may be gone, but his songs and acting will live on. I loved the fact that they brought back the original performance of “Don’t Stop Believin” from the pilot episode, it had me all teary eyed.

So goodbye, “Glee” — it was great having you around for the last 6 years. I know that the show and songs will always have a special place in my heart. The quote on the plaque in the last shot said it all: See the world not as it is, but as it should be.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Madonna “Still a Rebel at Heart”

Everyone that knows me, knows that I am a huge Madonna fan. I have been loving this woman for over 32 years. It all started with “Holiday” and I have been with her every step of the way. I was going to originally just say a few words on the Winter Entertainment Wrapup… but I decided to write a whole blog about her new music.madonna-rebel-heart-album-cover-2014

“Rebel Heart” is Madonna’s 13th studio album. It is the follow-up to 2012’s “MDNA”. This is the album that was leaked on the internet at the end of last year. Madonna was forced to put out some of the tracks early, so she released 6 songs off of the album on Itunes, and gave her fans a release date and title for the new project.

Three more songs came out in February, with the rest of them out on March 10th. So what do I make of this 19-song album called “Rebel Heart”? This is easily her most diverse and eclectic album ever — we have dance, reggae, electronica, ballads, hip hop, folk and more. It would have easily been a double album back in the day.

The lead single “Living for Love” is her best first single since “Hung Up” from the “Confessions on the Dance Floor” CD. It has already reached #1 on the Billboard Dance chart. It is a fun dance song that recalls 90’s house music, and it features a gospel choir. Why it hasn’t gone anywhere on the Billboard Hot 100 is beyond me. Radio is totally freezing her out. She performed it on both the Grammy Awards and the Brit Awards too.

The album explores themes that Madonna has dealt with before: love, sex, religion, self esteem, and being a trailblazer. Producers on the album include: Kanye West, Diplo, Tony Gad, Ryan Tedder, Avicii and more. Special guests include: Nicki Minaj, Mike Tyson, Chance the Rapper and Nas. The 2nd single is going to be “Ghosttown” — one of my favorites from the album. It is a beautiful lush ballad.

This is the first time that Madonna has acknowledged her past in the songs. She has a bit of “Vogue” in “Holy Water” and some of “Justify my Love” in “Best Night.” She also built almost a whole song around references to her old songs in “Veni Vidi Vici” (I Came, I Saw, I Conquered).

There is only 1 real clunker for me, and that’s the song called “S.E.X.” Yes, we get it she likes sex, but the song itself is a bit ackward to me. And it doesn’t feel the least bit sexy either. Much better as far as sex appeal is “Best Night” (I like the world music vibes on this song). “Body Shop” is interesting with the car/sex references and the country guitars. “Holy Water” is interesting too musically, but the lyrics are about her vaginal juices being like ‘holy water’. Yeah, TMI! I do like the “Vogue” reference in the song.

Other highlights for me include: “Bitch, I’m Madonna” (one of her weirdest songs ever, but one that has grown on me, and sure to be fun in concert), “Joan of Arc” (showing some vulnerability), “Hold Tight” (another nice midtempo song), “Iconic” (about striving for excellence in your life), “Veni Vidi Vici”, “Inside Out” (another sexy love song), and the title track “Rebel Heart” too. In that song Madonna looks back on her life and career, the triumphs and missteps along the way. And she concludes that “Hell yeah, this is me, right where I am supposed to be.”

One thing for sure is that Madonna is never content to stay the same. And she challenges her fans with songs as diverse as this collection offers. She is always interesting and definitely has a unique and powerful perspective on life and love.

The album also comes in a 14-song version, as well as a super deluxe version with 4 more songs and 2 remixes. Of those extra songs, I like “Graffiti Heart” and “Beautfiul Scars” the best. Final grade: B-

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Mid Life Check In

OK, so I turned 50 this past May. Has my life changed since I have become a senior citizen? Not really. Was something big supposed to be happen? Was I supposed to have it all figured out about the meaning of life? Was my body and mind supposed to start failing me?DSCF1652

Fifty seemed old when you were kids. Now you find yourself at this age… and you think to yourself, heck I am still young! I still love to walk, dance, hike, swim, etc. I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches still, and I still love Madonna. Was I supposed to start eating prunes and loving “Matlock”?

And what’s with all the AARP mailings? So far, they are wasting their money on me. I looked at the benefits, and there was nothing that I would use! So I will put off on joining at this time. I have yet to find a place where I can get a discount for being 50. Most discounts are for being 60 or 65 that I see.

I am thankful for my health. Other than some occasional arthritis, and diminished vision, I am doing well. I am glad that I am similar weight to when I was in college. Yes, I have more gray hair, and it is thinning a little now too, but that’s all OK. I am going to enjoy being a sexy silver daddy when I’m at that point… but I am not there yet.

Career is going pretty good. I have a job that I like… and I am respected there. Am I where I thought I would be? No, absolutely not. But I am not in a bad place either.

It’s exciting to be planning my wedding at 50. My partner and I have waited a long time for this moment. For most of our life together, we couldn’t get married because we were gay. We could have had a commitment ceremony, but honestly I never thought too much about it. Then with Prop. 8 in California, and ultimately it’s turnover, marriage was back on the table. Yeah, we don’t have $20,000 to put towards it, but we do have years of love, and when it happens it is going to be beautiful.

I am grateful and thankful to God for all that he has blessed me with. I am happy that I have loving friends and family around me. I am thankful that I have a supportive spouse that I can enjoy my journey with. I look forward to aging gracefully, and rewriting the rules on what a senior looks and acts like.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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