Sunday, November 06, 2011

My Sookie kitty is super stylish *meow*

"Mommy's shoes smell good after a long day of work," says Sookie.

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Sookie is seriously the best cat, ever. Not only is she so loving and fun (when I come home from work or wherever she's always waiting at the door for me, and then when I walk in she starts pouncing me and running around, wanting to play.

She's kind of like a dog, but much smarter. And much more stylish. You know she would look smashing in those red heels (which I only wore to work for my Zombie Amy Winehouse costume on Halloween Monday) and carrying that vintage Dooney & Bourke bag. Chic kitty.

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Are your pets super stylish? Do they like to snuggle up in your shoes after a hard day's work?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Bloglovin and BILFs (bloggers I'd like to... forever enjoy)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Just joined Bloglovin after attending a Blogging Seminar hosted by Lorraine (my boss) of SF Indie Fashion. Another blogger at the conference uses it and recommends it, so I figured I'd try it out. Do you use Bloglovin? Do you like it? Are there any other networking sites for blogs that you use and love? Tell me about them!


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In other news, I just got a tweet from Q of Thank, Q For Common Sense informing me that I was chosen by him to receive a BILF award. His reasons for giving me the award are that I am "open-minded, intelligent, and comfortable in front of a camera. 'Nuff said."

*blushes* Geez, Q, thank you! I'm flattered, truly.

Now to pass this award on to five lovely and gorgeous bloggers. The following I have picked because I love their blogs, not because I want to do anything dirty with them (for the record). I have a boyfriend, so my recognition of these bloggers is strictly platonic:

- Ashley of Beyond Passing Time has a unique viewpoint and always has something intriguing to say, like in this satirical guest post about Julia Roberts.

- Claudia of Molto Fashion because she's got great style, takes amazing photographs, and is a total sweetheart.

- Hipstercrite is a hilarious blog and also totally relatable to all us self-aware twenty-somethings out there trying to find our place in the sun.

- Charles of In Review: Stuff and Things has a knack for writing and is an inspiration to me. I am humbled by his empathy and understanding.

- Donald of Up In The Clouds keeps me entertained on Twitter and has impeccable musical taste (and I'm not just saying that because we did a hip-hop related collabo-post before)-- check him out!

Hope you're all having an awesome weekend! Don't forget to pass this award on.

Friday, November 04, 2011

I want a job, I want a good job

"I want a job
I want a job
I want a good job
I want a job
I want a job that pays
I want a job
I want a job
I want a real job
One that satisfies my artistic needs"

- song from the movie, Sid & Nancy, one of my favorite movies when I was in high-school





I can't believe it's been over a year and I still haven't found full-time employment. Lord knows I've been looking. Right now I'm temping, which is something, but like the name implies it's only a temporary solution to my ongoing problem.

I had a three-part interview this week with a popular and growing social media company. I thought I made a really good impression and hoped that I would get a call back telling me that I got the job-- like what happened when I was hired to promote Monster.com's new app, BeKnown (I actually cried out with glee over the telephone upon receiving that news). Instead, I got an email this morning regretfully informing me that I had not been chosen for the position, but they will keep my resume on file in the case that another position opens up.

I started to feel hot tears forming in my eyes after I clicked out of the email, I had been so sure of myself. I emailed my parents and told them what happened. Then I called Ben and told him. Then I snapped myself out of it. It's just a job, I told myself, and there will be more opportunities. As a consolation, my friend who works at the company (and got me the interview) told me that I was well-liked and actually the number two choice. That made me feel a bit better. If it doesn't work out for number one maybe I'll get a call back?

My story is not unique. I know that there are many people like me who have been searching high and low for gainful employment, but that doesn't keep me from feeling a little sorry for myself when I get those rejection letters. Gosh, I really hope things turn around for the better soon, but in the meantime I'll just have to keep sending out resumes, keep networking, and try to keep my chin up.

My dad sent me this little pep talk after I told him the unfortunate news:

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"Bloodied but not bowed.

I'm sorry honey. The company that hires you will be getting a bargain... a hungry, smart, intelligent, savvy, industrious worker....

I am always in your corner, killer. Lace up those gloves and come out swinging."

I love my parents <3

Thursday, November 03, 2011

You Say You Want a Revolution [guest post by EmDottie] #ows

Hey, all! Today we have a special treat, a guest post by my blog-friend, EmDottie, on the Occupy Wall Street movement that's been sweeping the nation. You all know how I feel about #OWS (though I haven't said it all yet), so I am looking for others to share their thoughts and feelings about the Occupation. If you would also like to guest here on this topic, please don't be shy-- hit me up!

Allow me to reintroduce myself. It’s the ever so elusive EmDottie. I know y’all missed me.

The lovely Tsaritsa has let me guest blog to sound off about this movement/madness that is Occupy Wall Street.

Before I start, here’s a little bit of background info: I am an economics major. I study markets, money, fiscal and monetary policy for a living (pretty much), so I can actually look at this Occupy Wall Street movement objectively. I can explain it to you, but it would take more than a blog post.

I digress…
So. We’ve all seen (or even participated in) the Occupy Wall Street movement. Let’s be a little more specific, the Occupy Wall Street Banks movement. (It would make no sense to ‘occupy’ the New York Stock Exchange which is located in the same area.) Now, let’s see where your bank falls into the Wall Street category. 

We have Merrill Lynch (bought by Bank of America), JP Morgan Chase (who bought Bear Stearns and Chase), Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. Maybe (like me) you don’t bank with any of these banks and you take care of all your business at a credit union. If you don’t do business with any of these companies, perhaps you participate in the movement because you’re just tired of being taken advantage of. Well, whatever the reason, we can all empathize with the OWS movement. 

Let’s be real, unemployment is ridiculous, people can’t feed their families, can’t pay their bills, and are getting foreclosed on. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel for many of us. Meanwhile when banks can’t balance their damn books and don’t pay their bills they get saved by the government and/or the Fed. What type of shit is that?!

What I find disturbing about the whole thing is that nobody has uttered a word about occupying Washington or the Federal Reserve which is headquartered in New York City. Who votes to swoop in and save these jackasses with tax breaks? Congress. Who saved AIG? The Fed. Who are we too busy occupying? Wall Street. 

Now, because of this fancy little degree I’m paying about $37,000 a year for (racking up hella debt, but that’s neither here nor there), I can understand why the government and the Fed do what they do, but my question to you is: are you holding them accountable for their actions?

I dig OWS, don’t get me wrong, but let’s not forget the ones who want to play Captain Save-A-Bank. Make them do their job. Do some research! If you find out your Senator voted for tax breaks for the rich and an increase on taxes for the poor, fire their ass in the next election! Contact the Fed and let them know that they need to become stricter with their monetary policy if they’re going to continue to bail these fools out! Write your representatives and tell them they need to move their asses on this Jobs bill or propose something better. Tell them to get their petty differences out the way, and if they don’t WE THE PEOPLE will find someone who will! Plain and simple.

The moral of the story: the banks only act the way they do because they can. It’s up to us to hold EVERYBODY accountable. That includes holding ourselves accountable too.

[A quick note, if you want a safe place to put your money, put it in a credit union. I refuse to put any of my money in a BANK account. I have three separate credit unions I do business with, and two share branch. Do your research people. Move your money. Banks will pay attention when a large amount of accounts end up being closed.]

If you have any questions, comments, concerns or if you just want to have some friendly banter or an econ lesson, email me at emdottie@gmail.com

Thanks Tsar…

You're very welcome, Em! Thanks for guesting :) I appreciate your informed opinion on the matter.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Style Update (Halloween edition): Zombie Amy Winehouse

This is what I wore to work on Monday:

- shredded stockings
- Black widow sweater by Betsey Johnson
- floral print dress with a 1950s feel
- crapped-out red Ralph Lauren party shoes
- blacked-out eyes
- oh yeah, a big beehive wig

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I was the only one in my office who dressed up. I'm temping right now for an internet company and we had a party here on Monday, with cupcakes, balloons and Halloween candy. We were told we should dress up, so I did. Truth be told, I probably would have donned a costume even if we weren't told to. What? I love Halloween.

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I didn't want to do a repeat of my Courtney Love look, so I pulled my Winehouse wig from the depths of my closet, threw on some clothes the crooner could have worn, and slapped some dark makeup around my eyes. Costume!

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I got a lot of compliments from co-workers and people on the street, but it would have been more fun if more people had gotten into the Halloween spirit. Oh well. I'll never get tired of celebrating my favorite holiday.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

First day of NaNoWriMo-- time to pound some keyboards

Today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. I had heard about this annual event when I was still in college, living in England. Some people in the Poetry Society, of which I was a member, were participating and seemed really wrapped up in it.

The challenge?

To complete an entire novel (50,000 words!) during the month of November.

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So I signed up this year, which is a little crazy seeing as how I've never come close to writing anything of that length before, nor have I tried. I want to push myself, and I've had an idea for a story brewing in my head for quite some time, so I'm hoping I can crank it out. If I don't finish my "novel" in the allotted time, I'll at least have something to work with for later, and it's good practice now matter how you slice it.

My blog-friend, Emmy, is giving plenty of advice and helpful tips for NaNoWriMo on her blog, which I recommend you check out if you're also signed up this year.

I should probably start working on my "novel" now (it's in quotes because I can't take it too seriously yet), but I just had to blog first. I find that if I need to do something important it's better to blog first, so I'm not distracted by constructing a post when I should be doing something else.

All right, I'm going to start brainstorming in a minute. Let me finish my coffee first!

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Did you sign up this year? Maybe we can chat about our story ideas and the best way to tackle this beast of written words. Tweet me :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloweekend: Smells Like Teen Spirit!

This past weekend Ben and I were inspired by colorful musical figures from the 1990s for our Halloween costumes.

It wasn't a difficult look to put together, as we just wore our own clothes. The only extra accessory that we needed were wigs. Blonde wigs.

You know how much I love dressing up like a trainwreck-- there's just something really fun about pretending to be someone who is out of their mind, also I have an excuse if I happen to go a little nuts. Luckily, I took it easy and the only wackiness I got into was overindulging in the free snacks at an airbnb event late on Saturday night where my friend, DJ Lil Elle, was spinning.

Anyway, on to the costumes!

My inspiration:

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90s vintage dress (can I even say "vintage" if it's from the 90s? If 90s is vintage, what does that make me?!) that I bought a while ago but have never worn. It had the Courtney Love vibe going on, so I pulled it out of the closet for the occasion.

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The "Heiress" wig I picked up at a Halloween Spirit store for $12.99. Not too bad, though the quality was very poor. I knew I would have to cut it.

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Posing in a wig cap and holding the bleached-blonde wig. It was super long and gross and reminded me of a dime-store Rapunzel.

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After giving the wig a first cut, I took a photo and posted it on Tumblr and Facebook asking if it looked all right and if I should cut it more. I knew it needed to be shorter, but I didn't want to go too short and risk the synthetic hair falling out all over the place. It had already started to fall apart when I began trimming the length.

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After I felt satisfied with the styling of my wig (which I had a hard time stuffing all of my hair underneath), I threw on one of Ben's plaid shirts over the Valley Girl dress, added some torn stockings and boots, and voila!

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Doing a dazed face while waiting for pizza at Little Star, where we dined in costume and felt eyes darting over us as we relaxed and dined.

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Ben, with his grandpa sweater and Kurt Cobain wig:

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After a deep-dish pizza debacle (we mistakenly ordered Chicago style by not specifying when I wanted thin crust-- the only real pizza is thin crust pizza, IMHO, but we ate it anyway!) we stopped by Solstice and sat at the bar with Juv, dressed as a zombie Raggedy Anne, and her banana-friend:

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The happy couple:

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Getting photobombed by a Vendetta/Occupy dude while making my gangsta face:

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Saturday night was a lot of fun-- it was nice to get dressed up and go out, even though I was still trying to fight off this cold and wasn't feeling 100%. My nose looks super dry in the photos from all the tissues I've been going through since Tuesday (the same day I started my temp job, coincidentally), but I guess it adds to the Courtney Love look.

Did you have fun over the weekend? What did you dress as, and where did you go?

Also, do you think I look good as a blonde? LOL

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Costume Ideas, 2011

Still wondering what you're going to be for Halloween this year? Fret not, the Tsaritsa is here to help!

Last year, I predicted that the Lady Gaga meat dress and Christine O'Donnell "I'm not a witch" witch costume would be popular choices amongst the big-kid crowd. I actually did see a few meat dresses and some witches when I went out to celebrate, so hopefully my costume-picker is still on for this year!

- Canceled Playboy Bunnies. Throw on some lingere, bunny ears, and string a sign around your neck that says "canceled." Perfect!

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- Charlie Sheen and his goddesses. I've seen masks with his likeness in Halloween stores, and they're actually branded "Charlie Sheen." He's certainly not one to shy away from capitalizing on a meltdown.

- Zombie Amy Winehouse. Is it too soon? I still have my wig from two years ago, all I need is some zombie face paint and a raggedy dress. So, not that different from dressing as regular Amy Winehouse. [Sidenote: I actually like her music, and no disrespect is intended]

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- Bridesmaids, from the movie Bridesmaids. I'm picking this because I just watched the movie while Annie was visiting (and LOVED it). I've actually never been a bridesmaid, but I feel like everyone has one dress in their closet that is ugly enough for this costume! Add some Jello Pudding splatters if you feel like recreating the scene where the girls get sick from food poisoning while trying on dresses at a bridal boutique.

- Got a big blonde wig? Are you partial to making creepy facial expression using mostly your lips? You could be Courtney Stodden, the young girl who got married to some former child star, now in his fifties! Just print out this mask, courtesy of Pop Dust.

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- A "pretty girl," a la American Horror Story. Are you watching this show? Why not? It's kinda like The Shining, but with more murders and sexual situations. I love it.

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- Steve Jobs/Apple/iPhone related costumes. I will be surprised if I don't see any turtlenecks cruising around this year.

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- Boardwalk Empire characters. Because who doesn't love Art Deco glam, booze, and gangsters?

What are you going as this year? What do you think other people will be?

Friday, October 28, 2011

How Clothes Are Made: Garment Manufacturing in San Francisco

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Garment manufacturing is quietly thriving in San Francisco, thanks to a plethora of local designers producing handmade clothing here in small batches and independent companies like SJ Manufacturing.

“SJ” stands for Seymour Jaron, the president of SJ Manufacturing, whose 55+ years of experience in the garment industry have granted him living legend status in his field. We recently went inside the SJ headquarters, located in a South of Market warehouse full of local start-ups and sewing machines, to find out how clothes are made in San Francisco.

When most people think of America’s fashion epicenters, either New York City or Los Angeles comes to mind, but San Francisco is currently experiencing a mini-manufacturing renaissance that’s worth noticing. In many ways, the rise in local manufacturing makes sense: San Francisco has both design talent and a long history in the apparel industry forged by household names such as Levi’s, Dockers and Gap.

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It’s more expensive to produce clothing in S.F., especially in large batches, largely because the minimum wage is higher here than in New York or Los Angeles. It’s even cheaper to manufacture a clothing line in China (though usually impractical for small companies unless the quantities are in the thousands), but more and more designers are deciding to produce locally, for reasons ranging from quality control to civic pride. So the thinking goes: when you build a relationship with the people producing your garments and actually see them being made, the process becomes more personal.

For many start-up designers needing small batches, the San Francisco garment manufacturing scene is just the right fit. In recent years, SJ has worked with numerous emerging Bay Area apparel labels, including Chi Wear, Hip-T, and Janine Marie Handbags & Accessories.

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SJ specializes in sample making and small to medium runs, which range from as few 50 pieces and up to 1,000 pieces in a production. Hong Ning, SJ’s Production Manager, uses her over 40 years of experience to create the sample, as sample making requires a higher level of expertise to resolve any problems within the garment and find the best method for mass manufacturing.

Designers who are ready to manufacture come to SJ with sample garments and paper patterns (if they have them). Once the pattern is set, SJ will make a duplicate sample for approval.

With the approved sample, the pattern is then graded, or scaled into various sizes, and becomes ready for manufacturing.

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After the pattern has been graded, a process that involves software, and printed onto paper in different sizes, fabric is stacked on a cutting table and cut into the necessary shapes and sizes. At this point, some pieces of the unfinished garment may be sent out for embroidery or printing before assembly.

The assembly process requires various machines specific to each task at hand– there is a machine for bar tacking, a machine for sewing buttonholes, a machine for lock stitches, just to name a few. The finishing touch? The labels. In order for a garment to be produced and sold legally in the United States, the designer must provide a label describing the fabric composition and care instructions.

Next stop: a store near you and – many designers hope – ultimately your closet.

Photos and words by yours truly. Originally posted on SF Indie Fashion.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Karaoke Halloweenies!

Hey everyone. So sorry for the delay in this month's Karaoke Ring O'Death. I could create a list of reasons why we're a little late this month (or I could be low brow and insert a period joke here), but instead I'll just introduce the wonderful Katie of Struggling Single Twenty-Something, and direct you to view my KROD contribution on David's blog, The Fiction Factory, afterward. Enjoy, and HAPPY HALLOWEEK (yes, it's a week-long celebration)!


Hi everyone! I'm Katie from Struggling Single Twenty-Something. I recorded this video on Monday, which, believe it or not, was a fantastic day- I got a new job, got a new haircut, and then went home and recorded my video for KROD!

This year for Halloween I'm going to be Minnie Mouse, and I was all set to do the Mickey Mouse Club song for karaoke, since I figured all of the songs I associate with Halloween- "Monster Mash," "I'll Put a Spell on You," that song from The Nightmare Before Christmas- would be taken pretty quickly.

Then I stumbled upon the 90s classic "Sex and Candy" by Marcy Playground in my iTunes and thought, "Hey, that song works for Halloween!" And there we have it. Thanks, everyone, for keeping this ring going! And be sure to stop by my blog to see Jes from Jes Getting Started singing one seriously creepy song.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Taking it to the STREETS, participating in our democracy! #OCCUPYSF

Are people bored of hearing about the Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Everywhere Movement that has been going on for over a month now? I surely hope not, because I still have plenty to say about it.

If you're still confused as to what everyone is so jazzed-up about, please read my piece describing the message of the movement, or check out this eloquent letter reposted here from the Daily Kos, but really, all you have to do is read the signs people are holding (or read a newspaper) to understand why most of the country is voicing their troubles.


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Campaign finance reform and income equality are two of the hot-button issues.

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Average household income for the wealthiest in this country has gone way up, while most of us are left out in the cold.

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So many people gathered in support of the 99 percent.

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"When you get the money, you get the power..." a quotation from Scarface appropriated here.

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Masses outside the San Francisco Federal Reserve building.

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Overturn corporate personhood. Yes, please. A non-living entity is not a person! What's next, tax breaks for ghosts?

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Corporate oligarchy is not a product of freedom! Get off the couch and PARTICIPATE in your democracy! It's our country, too!

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Young and old, people from all backgrounds flocked to downtown SF to support the cause.

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"There Must Be a Strict Supervision of All Banking and Credits and Investments.There must be an end to speculation with other people's money..." Uh, yeah. FDR had it right the first time, in 1933. Why haven't we learned?

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"My bank went to bailout-land and all I got was this lousy recession." I got an account with the unemployment office as a souvenir! And yo, please give us our schools back. So many problems within this country could be solved easily with a better education system (but the people in power don't care because they send their kids to private school, anyway).

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Joining a credit union and taking my money out of the bank... I'm working on it.

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America seriously needs to wake up. I pray for the 85% who don't have a clue.

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Seems logical enough to me. Instead of bailing out big businesses (who clearly were making terrible decisions), why not bail out small businesses? Hmmm?

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We are the American people. There are too many of us to fail. We cannot fail.

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We're fighting for freedom, we're praying for peace.

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"Democracy, not just for the 1% anymore!!"

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Let's legislate without the prodding of private enterprise and lobbyists.

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LOL. What do you say to that, Rick Perry?

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The cutest sign of the day. It really is ruff out there.

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