Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

My book club chose The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin as its April selection. Bibliophile that I am, I absolutely loved this novel about a curmudgeonly proprietor of a bookstore located on a remote island in New England. A.J Fikry is a literary snob who doesn't really like people and he has a lot on his mind. His wife was recently killed in a tragic car accident, his bookstore has fewer and fewer customers every month, and his priceless first edition of Tamerlane by Edgar Allan Poe has been stolen. Books are the only consolation in his life despite the well-meaning intentions of his sister-in-law, the police chief, and an eccentric sales rep from a publishing house. Suddenly, Fikry's life is turned upside down when a young woman abandons her toddler in his bookstore (because she thinks it will be a safe place for the child to grow up). This novel is a funny and tender exploration of how life can change in an instant and how books can bring people together.  It spans a decade in A.J. Fikry's life and every chapter begins with a reference to one of his favorite short stories, such as "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl (which I teach to my sophomores), "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain, and "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe, among others. I think I must be as much of a literary snob as Fikry because I took great pleasure in the fact that I understood each of his references and the significance of each of them in his life.  Figuring out each reference is half the fun of the novel! Even though Fikry is as irascible as can be, he is such a sympathetic character.  I loved the fact that he judged people based on their favorite book and I loved that he organized book clubs for people (whether they like to read or not). This is a book for book lovers and I highly recommend it.

Note:  It is especially appropriate for book clubs!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hot Rods

Yesterday I spent the afternoon watching Sean play baseball.  It was a perfect day for baseball because the sun was shining but it wasn't too hot.  It felt so nice to be sitting outside on the bleachers watching my adorable nephew.  This year his team is called the Hot Rods and they played really well.  There has been a lot of improvement since last year.
Sean got a run!  It was so fun to watch him cross home plate!  He also got to play third base and was involved in a great play resulting in an out!  The Hot Rods ended up winning 9-5!
Apparently our cheering was too embarrassing so we got "the look."
I sure do love this kid!

Note:  I find little league baseball to be highly amusing!  The Dad of the opposing pitcher was sitting behind us and he kept up a steady barrage of instructions for his son.  I really wanted to turn around and tell him to just let the poor kid play!  I'm sure he would play much better without all of the pressure!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Water Diviner

When I was fourteen, my bedroom was in the basement just off the family room where the TV was located.  I have always had a difficult time going to sleep so I would often sneak into the family room late at night to watch movies on cable.  One night an obscure Australian film called Gallipoli was on HBO.  It stars a very young Mel Gibson just on the cusp of stardom and I was immediately enthralled by the story of two mates caught up in the excitement of running off to war only to find themselves in the middle of a futile battle with Turkey over the Gallipoli Peninsula during World War I.  In my opinion, it is director Peter Weir's masterpiece.  I watched it every time it was shown on HBO (usually late at night) and I eventually had a friend who worked at Blockbuster Video special order a copy for me.  Fourteen is a rather impressionable age, I grant you, but no movie has ever been able to equal the emotional impact that Gallipoli had on me then or continues to have on me today.  I have yet to watch it without crying in certain scenes nor can I listen to Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor (used in a pivotal scene) without tearing up.  When I saw a preview for The Water Diviner, I knew immediately that I would have to see it (which I did last night) because it deals with the same subject matter.  While Gallipoli culminates in a dramatic scene from the battle, The Water Diviner begins in the trenches and depicts the aftermath.  Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) is an Australian water diviner who to travels to Turkey four years after World War I to reclaim the bodies of his three sons who were killed at Gallipoli.  While in Turkey, he meets with much resistance from the British but is ultimately aided by a Turkish officer named Hasan (Yilmaz Erdogan).  Crowe, in his directorial debut, definitely takes great pains to emphasize that the Turks had just as many casualties as the ANZAC forces and the anti-war theme really resonated with me.  I found the battle scenes, shown as flashbacks, to be incredibly affecting.  However, I didn't particularly like Connor's romance with a Turkish woman (Olga Kurylenko) or his adventures through Istanbul with her son (Dylan Georgiades).  To me, this entirely superfluous storyline lessened the impact; a father looking for the bodies of his lost sons in a country still ravaged by war is compelling enough without adding familiar plot devices meant to appeal to a wider audience.  The Water Diviner is a good movie but it isn't great (although it could have been).  For true greatness, try to find a copy of Gallipoli.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ex Machina

Yesterday was cold, rainy, and gloomy.  I can think of no better way to occupy a day like that than by seeing an atmospheric science fiction film at the Broadway, my favorite art house theatre.  This film is outstanding.  Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), a computer programmer, is picked to spend a week with Nathan (Oscar Isaac), the reclusive CEO of the company Caleb works for, at his high-tech compound in the mountains (a key card is required to access various rooms in the facility).  Nathan wants him to administer a Turing test to Ava (Alicia Vikander), an alluring humanoid artificial intelligence which he created, to see if she has consciousness.  As Caleb interacts with Ava, he becomes more and more attached to her and fears for her ultimate fate.  There is an incredible amount of suspense and tension as these three characters move to a final resolution which is not what I was expecting. The script is incredibly intelligent without being too scientific.  To be sure, the big ideas involving the ramifications of artificial intelligence are explored (What does it mean to be alive?) but, ultimately, this movie is a thriller about three people, whose motives are all suspect, interacting in an enclosed space.  It is ominous, to say the least, with every scene leaving me more and more unsettled because I was never sure what would happen next and I was never sure who was manipulating whom.  The tension is heightened by the dramatic score by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow (from Portishead).  The juxtaposition between the expansive surrounding scenery (it was filmed in Norway) and the creepy interior of Nathan's hideaway highlights the claustrophobia.  All three actors give highly nuanced performances, especially Vikander as Ava.  Definitely see this smart and sophisticated psychological thriller.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Crumb and the Pirates

Yesterday Tashena performed at the Capitol Theatre with Children's Dance Theatre (CDT) in their production of Crumb and the Pirates.  I really love that Tashena performs on the same stage as prima ballerinas and Broadway stars!  My entire family went to support her (as we do every year).  While I really enjoy watching Tashena play sports, I especially love watching her perform on stage!  She is such a beautiful dancer and I think she expresses everything she feels through dance.  Tashena was on the CDT Dancers' Council this year so she got to perform in an extra dance called "Silver."  It was very beautiful with original music composed specifically for it by Wachira Waigwa-Stone.  Crumb and the Pirates tells the story of a fishing village in Napoli.  After being caught in a terrible storm, many fishermen from the village are presumed dead.  A young boy named Crumb thinks that his father, one of the missing fishermen, is still alive and decides to borrow a boat and look for him.  As he is fishing, he feels a tug on his pole so he reels in his line only to discover that he has brought a sunken pirate ship, with a group of prisoners in the hold, to the surface.  Captain Rafael the Red decides to follow Crumb back to Napoli and the pirates wreak havoc on the village.  When Rafael decides to marry his mother, Marie, Crumb comes up with a plan to banish the pirates back to the sea but not before discovering the mystery in the ship's hold!  I really enjoyed this story and all of the dances, especially the pirates, the prisoners, and the little girls who portrayed seagulls!  Tashena's dance was "Fog" which was very mysterious and atmospheric.  The dancers wore gray tunics and they moved in and out of actual fog on the stage.  The dancers seemed to disappear at times!  A lot of the choreography involved rolling and tumbling across the stage which I thought was very effective at simulating how fog moves.  Tashena was amazing!  I always get a tear in my eye watching her!
Crumb and the Pirates will be performed once again at the Sandy Amphitheater on June 23 (a free concert) and at the Utah Arts Festival on June 27.  Come see my beautiful and talented niece perform!

Note:  CDT is the performing arm of the Tanner Dance Program at the University of Utah.  Go here for more information.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Midtown Men

 Last night my family and I saw the Midtown Men in concert with the Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall.  It was an absolutely amazing concert!  The Midtown Men are Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, and J. Robert Spencer and all four of them were in the original Broadway cast of Jersey Boys.  When I saw the Broadway touring company production of Jersey Boys in SLC two years ago, I knew my Dad, who is a huge fan of the Four Seasons, would love the show so I immediately bought tickets for him and my Mom during intermission!  When I read about the upcoming Midtown Men concert, I knew, once again, that my Dad would love it so I decided to get tickets.  I am so glad I did because we all loved it!  My Dad was so excited he could hardly contain himself waiting for the concert to begin!  The Utah Symphony started the show with a medley of songs composed by Henry Mancini and then the Midtown Men came out and performed a variety of music from the 1960s including "Get Ready" by the Temptations, "Can't Buy Me Love" by the Beatles, "Happy Together" by the Turtles, "Dawn (Go Away)" by the Four Seasons, "Up on the Roof" by the Drifters, "Time of the Season" by the Zombies, "Cry for Me" from Jersey Boys, and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye.  They closed out the first half of the show with a medley of "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Sherry" by the Four Seasons which really got the crowd going!  After the intermission, the Utah Symphony performed a beautiful arrangement of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel that I really loved.  The Midtown Men continued with "River Deep Mountain High" by Ike & Tina Turner, "California Dreamin'" by the Mamas & the Papas, "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by the Four Seasons, and a fabulous medley of Motown hits (my favorite was "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5).  They ended the show with "Oh, What a Night (December,1963)" by the Four Seasons.  What a night, indeed!  They were incredible performers with elaborate choreography with each number and they kept up a charming banter with the audience all night.  I love the music of the 1960s, especially the Four Seasons, because my Dad played it so much during my childhood.  It was so fun to experience this concert with him because he is the reason I knew all of the words despite being one of the youngest in the audience!  If you are a fan of the music of the 60s you will definitely want to get a ticket to the show tonight (go here).

Friday, April 24, 2015

Discus Queen

Yesterday I got to see Tashena at one of her track meets and I really loved cheering for her (I may have been a tad boisterous).  She entered five events and placed in three of them.  I think she is absolutely amazing because she also dances with CDT and she had two performances yesterday before the meet!
Tashena's best event is the discus!  I may be just a little bit biased, but she is really good!  Her first throw was 88' (which would have won the event) and her second throw was a scratch.  She was extremely disappointed in these results and actually had tears in her eyes when her coach talked to her.  Even so, just about all of the coaches in the area had their teams watch her to get pointers.  Nobody was even close to her distance!  Her final throw was 102' 8" which was pretty close to her PR (she threw 120' in practice but it doesn't officially count).  I was so proud of her!
Her next best event is shot put.  There is a girl from Kaysville Jr. who is very good (she beat Tashena last week).  When Tashena had her final throw, her coach said that he hoped the Kaysville girl would beat her again because he thinks Tashena can throw a lot father and he wanted her to have some motivation!  Tashena ended up throwing 27' 7 1/4".  The Kaysville thrower beat her by 1/4".  I bet Tashena beats her at the next meet!
This year Tashena is also trying the long jump.  Last week was her first time at this event and she ended up jumping 13' 11" for second place.  She got second place again yesterday but she improved a little bit to 14'.  It is so fun to watch her!
After a long day she was pretty tired!

Note: She also ran the 100m and the hurdles but she didn't place in either event.  She was tired!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Over the River and Through the Woods

Last night I had the opportunity to see the play Over the River and Through the Woods at Hale Theatre.  It is a lovely story with a very warmhearted message about family (the little old ladies sitting next to me were crying).  It is also incredibly funny and I laughed out loud on numerous occasions.  Nick Christano (Alex King) is offered a big promotion at work which means that he will have to relocate from New York to Seattle. His overprotective Italian grandparents (Jared Dunn, Jayne Luke, Gary Pimentel, and Jane Merrell Huefner) in New Jersey don't want him to leave so they plot to give him a reason to stay. They decide that he needs a girlfriend which involves a painfully awkward set-up with Caitlin (Kylee Wood), the niece of his grandmother's canasta partner. Hilarity ensues. In addition to the humor, there are some tender moments as well because this play is a touching commentary on generational differences. Many of our grandparents worked hard their whole lives to provide more opportunities for their families, but in so doing, they paved the way for their children and grandchildren to leave them far behind.  A particularly memorable scene is when Nick's grandfather talks about coming to America for a better life and then realizes that Nick is also searching for a better life even though it is a different one from his.  I was lucky enough to have all four of my grandparents (and even a great-grandfather!) around until I was a young adult and I certainly recognized many of the situations portrayed.  One of my grandmas, who recently passed away, always wanted to feed everyone just like Nick's grandma. One of the funniest scenes in the play is when she tries to give him a ten pound pan of lasagna for the plane ride.  My grandma also sent me home with containers of food! The entire cast is very well-suited to their roles and I particularly enjoyed King's overwrought portrayal of Nick.  His facial expressions are hilarious, especially as he gets more and more exasperated with his grandparents' attempts to play Trivial Pursuit! As usual, I loved the set.  There were so many little details which were a lot of fun including the collections of spoons on the walls.   I definitely recommend this wonderful show.  Go here for tickets but do it soon because many performances are selling out.

Note:  If your grandparents are still alive, give them a call!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

True Story

Jonah Hill and James Franco were some of the biggest Hollywood celebrities to attend the Sundance Film Festival this year (aside from Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain promoting Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck).  While I'm not a fan of James Franco, the premise of their movie, True Story, intrigued me and I tried, unsuccessfully, to get a ticket to a screening.  The movie is now out in limited release so I went to see it last night.  Michael Finkel (Hill) is a reporter who has been fired from the New York Times for creating a composite character in a story about the child slave trade in West Africa.  Christian Longo (Franco) is a manipulative sociopath awaiting trial for killing his entire family.  Finkel, now in disgrace, learns that Longo impersonated him while on the run and arranges to meet him for a series of interviews in jail.  Finkel desperately needs a big story to revive his career and gets completely drawn in by the charm and charisma of the accused murderer despite the overwhelming evidence which points to his guilt.  It is an intense psychological analysis of two proven liars discussing their perceptions of the "truth" and I found it fascinating, albeit unsettling.  The film is at its best in the scenes depicting the intimate conversations between the two main characters.  It was strange to see Hill in such a serious role but he does a good job with the material and Franco made my skin crawl, especially during an upsetting courtroom exchange between Finkel and Longo.  The parts of the film that didn't work for me were the artistic flashbacks of Longo's wife and children playing and the completely superfluous character of Finkel's wife Jill, played by Felicity Jones.  Furthermore, the film concludes with a highly charged scene where Finkel confronts Longo about his lies to which Longo counters that Finkel got a lucrative book deal out of it so he shouldn't complain.  This scene had such a note of finality about it so it was disconcerting to see a slide in the end credits which said that Finkel and Longo still regularly correspond. In my opinion, the film, which already took artistic license with the "truth," would have been more powerful without that information.  Despite these flaws, it is a compelling story with great performances and I would recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Almost Tango

Last night I went to a thrilling performance of three ballets featuring the amazing dancers of Ballet West. The first ballet was Square Dance which I really enjoyed because I found it to be highly amusing. While the choreography, costumes, and music (various selections from Vivaldi) were very classical, all of the steps were prompted by a caller on stage, who just happened to be Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute!  He was absolutely hilarious because he made the traditional ballet steps sound as if they were being performed at a hoedown.  My very favorite phrase was, "Make your feet go whackety-whack!"  I also really liked, "Watch her twirl. Watch her whirl. My but she's a pretty girl." The solo performed by Rex Tilton was wonderful (he is very easy on the eyes, too). The next ballet was Almost Tango and it was my favorite of the three. The choreography was very innovative, the lighting was dramatic, and the performances were sensuous.  I absolutely loved all of the music in this piece but I also thought it was striking when there were interludes of dancing without music. One of the main soloists was Christiana Bennett. She has been one of my very favorite members of Ballet West for years and she is retiring after this season. I am really happy that I got to see her dance so beautifully one last time. The final ballet was In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.  The music in this piece was very industrial and rhythmic, sometimes even jarring, and I thought the choreography was incredibly athletic.  It almost seemed like a spontaneous dance-off in a club. The performances were outstanding, especially the featured soloists. If you don't already know this, let me tell you now that Christopher Ruud is amazing!  His performances are always riveting and whenever he is on the stage it is difficult for me to see any other dancer but him.  I thoroughly enjoyed all of these ballets and I recommend that you get a ticket to one of the few remaining performances (go here), especially if you want to see Christiana Bennett one last time!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Woman in Gold

I am very restless.  Sometimes I feel the walls closing in on me and I have to go somewhere and do something.  I am also a night owl.  Whenever this mood comes over me you can usually find me at a late movie at the Broadway, my favorite art house theatre.  Last night when I checked the Salt Lake Film Society website, I noticed that Woman in Gold was playing and I got very excited!  I've been looking forward to this film because it combines two things I enjoy: history and art!  Also, who can resist Helen Mirren?  It tells the true story of Maria Altmann (Mirren) and her attempt to reclaim a Gustav Klimt painting of her aunt, stolen from her family by the Nazis, from the Austrian government.  She is aided by Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), a young lawyer and family friend who is first motivated by money (the painting is worth hundreds of millions) but eventually must come to terms with what the Nazis did to his own family (he is the grandson of composer Arthur Schoenberg).  I thought it was a lovely film and I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Maria and Randy visit Vienna (one of my favorite cities) and must confront the demons of their past, including flashbacks of the young Maria (Tatiana Maslany) fleeing from the Nazis and a particularly affecting scene where Randy attends a concert featuring his grandfather's music.  Mirren can always be relied upon for a great performance, especially as an imperious but strangely lovable older woman, but I was quite impressed by Reynolds, who is usually hit or miss with me.  He more than held his own with Dame Helen Mirren, especially in the scene where he begs Maria to continue the fight.  I recommend this movie for an enjoyable evening out (or as an escape from the four walls that are closing in on you).

Note:  I guess this feeling comes over me a lot!  The attendant at the parking garage next to the theatre always recognizes me (usually after midnight) and asks me what film I've just seen!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Daphnis & Chloe

I always enjoy the Friday evenings I get to spend listening to the Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall but last night's concert was particularly amazing!  The orchestra began with Prelude a l'Apres-midi d'un faune (Prelude to an afternoon of a Faun) by Claude Debussy.  I had heard this piece several years ago at a performance by Ballet West but it is always easier to listen to the nuances in the music without the "distraction" of the dancing.  I really liked this piece because it was quite atmospheric, especially the themes played by the harp and flute (more about the flute later).  Next, the orchestra played Symphony in Three Movements by Igor Stravinsky.  This piece was incredibly dramatic (it was influenced by the events of World War II) and I really liked the timpani in the first movement and the harp in the second movement.  I also enjoyed the theme played by the clarinet.  I like to listen for the clarinet because I played it in school and I particularly enjoy watching Principal Clarinet Tad Calcara because he always looks like he is having so much fun.  After the intermission, we heard Daphnis et Chloe.  Maurice Ravel composed this piece for a ballet based on an ancient Greek story by Longus.  The ballet tells the love story of Daphnis, a young shepherd, and Chloe, the maiden he is pursuing and it is full of exciting action including innocent flirtation, jealousy, a duel for the prize of a kiss, temptation, an abduction by pirates, a desperate attempt at escape, the intervention of the god Pan involving a dramatic storm at sea, a daring rescue, and the glorious reunion of the lovers at sunrise.  There were supertitles describing the action in the ballet but it was amazing how the different instruments, including the voices of the Utah Symphony Chorus, were able to evoke the various scenes, especially the pirate battles, the storm, and the birds at sunrise.  My very favorite part was when Daphnis imitated Pan's flute so Chloe could dance for him.  Principal Flute Mercedes Smith was absolutely incredible during this section and it gave me goosebumps.  The entire piece was spectacular!  Do yourself a favor and go here to get tickets for tonight's performance!

Friday, April 10, 2015


Last night when I walked through the doors of Kingsbury Hall, I had absolutely no expectations about the musical Once.  I didn't know anything about it; it was just a part of Broadway in Utah's 2014-2015 season.  When I walked out those same doors several hours later, I literally had tears streaming down my face.  It is a beautiful and moving story about the impact one person can have on your life.  A Guy (Stuart Ward) is singing one of his songs when a Girl (Dani deWaal) overhears him and strikes up a conversation.  He tells her that he wants to give up on music because all of his songs are about a girl who left him to move to New York.  She loves his music and encourages him, eventually arranging for him to record a demo.  The most poignant moment in the story is when he tells her that he wrote all of his songs for one girl but now he is singing them for her.  She then says that her estranged husband wants to work things out and he needs to go to New York to be with the girl he really loves.  I think we have all had people come into our lives and impact us profoundly before inexplicably leaving.  I know that I have and I had an almost visceral reaction to the story, particularly when it becomes apparent how much she loves him.  The music is absolutely incredible!  I really loved "Falling Slowly" because it is one of the most beautiful love songs I've ever heard and Ward and deWaal performed it with such emotion and passion.  I also really loved "Gold" and "If You Want Me."  The action takes place in a Dublin bar (you could actually go on stage and buy a drink during intermission) with minimal props and all of the incidental characters played instruments.  It was so clever and the musicians were outstanding!  I cannot recommend this show enough!  There is quite a bit of profanity (they are Irish, after all) but if you can overlook it, the story is just so beautiful!  It plays at Kingsbury Hall until April 12.

Note:  I downloaded all of the music at intermission.  It is wonderful!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Newsies in Los Angeles

I have wanted to see the musical Newsies for such a long time and I finally had the opportunity to do so at the Pantages Theatre in L.A. over spring break!  Sometimes I can't believe all of the incredible things I get to do!  I was momentarily distracted from my anticipation of the show because the Pantages Theatre is absolutely beautiful.  There are opulent gold and silver decorations everywhere in the Art Deco style and I was especially fascinated by the ceiling!  The show was amazing!  As a huge fan of the movie, I had a tendency to want to compare the stage musical to the Disney classic but they were so different.  After a few songs I stopped thinking about the movie because, as my friend Josh said, "this is so much better!"  Jack Kelly (Dan DeLuca) and his fellow "newsies" gather every morning to buy newspapers to sell to New Yorkers.  When Joseph Pulitzer (Steve Blanchard) raises the price of the papers, the newsies decide to go on strike.  With a little bit of help from fledgling reporter Katherine Plummer (Stephanie Styles), the newsies print their own newspaper and get the attention of Gov. Theodore Roosevelt.  I really loved the song "The World Will Know."  It is incredibly powerful and the cast performed it with such passion!  I had goosebumps throughout the whole song and the reprise (I have goosebumps now just remembering it).  Another favorite, of course, was "Seize the Day" and "King of New York" was a lot of fun.  The choreography in this show blew me away, especially when all of the newsies danced in unison with all of the high energy leaps and spins.  The assembled crowd was very vocal in their appreciation of the dancing.  I was also very impressed with the set design.  The three metal towers, which could be moved around and reconfigured to depict New York apartment buildings and printing offices, were very innovative and highly effective at portraying the industrialization of the turn of the century.  I loved it when they were covered with scrims and newspaper type was projected on them.  So clever!  I really loved this show and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to see it!

Note:  Ironically, Broadway in Utah just announced the 2015-2016 season and Newsies will be coming to SLC in June of 2016!  I get to see it again!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Santa Monica Pier

I spent a day at the Santa Monica Pier over spring break and, although I am not a beach person, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The Santa Monica Pier is such an iconic landmark with lots to see and do!  There was a really fun vibe there!
I spent most of my time sitting on the beach.  I find the ocean to be absolutely mesmerizing!
When I mentioned to a friend that I would be going to the Santa Monica Pier, he told me that I had to eat at Pier Burger.  I took his advice and it was delicious!
A fun day in the sun!
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