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Large In Charge Magazine - Five Years on the Net!

 Issue #68 - November 2009

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.



Raqui's Spot -  with our Founder Raqui


Big Girls on the Red Carpet  ~ Cher Rue


From the Plus Side ~ Emily Smiltneck

Good 4 U Food  ~ Xander


DID YOU KNOW?  ~ Iolande Argent

National & International Plus Sized News


Hot & Heavy Entertainment ~ Stephanie Baham


The Big GB My Gastric Bypass Memoirs - Soyna Bennett


CONFESSIONS - Let It Go and Confess!

Fashion Furious - Fashion Finds with Plus Size style.

Product of the Month - Products for People of Size


LargeInChargeDating - Dating for the Large People who are going to be in Charge of their Love Lives!


LargeInCharge Friends - The Place for Big People to make Friends and maybe MUCH MORE!

Feature of the Month

Big Moves New York


Big Moves New York

From the: Big Moves Website

Considered by many to be the dance capital of the US, New York City may also be the capital of craziness about body. Fashion and advertising workers are packed in here along side the continuing culture of thin dance. Where better than to bring our message of size-accepting dance?

Big Moves New York City houses monthly workshops in beginning jazz and hip hop dance. Our NYC performers also regularly appear in the shows that tour to Canada and the East Coast.


Interview with Susan Tasca of Big Moves New York What is your name & performance name if it applies?

Susan Tasca is my legal name and my stage name is Suzi Tasca- I know, big change! Where are you originally from and where is your home now?

I am originally from Newark, Delaware (that's exit 104 on the turnpike!) and now live in the West Village in New York City. What is your occupation and what other things have you done?

My career is as a performer, and I have done a lot of acting, in local commercials, voice-overs, theatre and film. I have also done some musical theatre. Are you what most would consider a person of size?

Yes. I am a size 18 at 5'2". Have you always been a person of size, or did you grow with time?

I was regular weight until the middle of college. What is the name of the company you work with?

Big Moves New York Does the company have a motto is so what does it mean?

Because EveryBody Can Dance' It means that we take the position that every body type can dance in some capacity and everyone deserves the chance to dance and perform, regardless of body size. What is your position in the Big Moves company?

I am the Talent Coordinator, although we all do everything. What are your responsibilities to your chapter of Big Moves?

I am in charge up keeping our yahoo group updated (if anyone wants to join, please have them contact me!), recruiting and casting new talent, and scheduling. From what I understand Big Moves is a Multi city project am I correct?

Big Moves is a national organization, but Big Moves New York functions independently, and we are a dance and theater company, whereas the other chapters are solely dance companies. Where is Big Moves home base and other chapter cities?

The headquarters is in Boston and there is another chapter in San Francisco. Why was Big Moves created and what type of influence has it had?

Marina Ahmad, the founder, started it because she took a dance class, saw that there was no outlet for plus-sized dancers, so she started producing shows including them. After shows so many women came up to her expressing interest that she started a dance company. It has helped many women to dance in classes and in shows, as well as increasing their visibility in the media. How long have you head your chapter of Big Moves?

About a year ago Janie Martinez and I got together and decided we wanted to revive the New York chapter- we called together a meeting of about 8 people who were interested, and it's been going ever since. There was originally a New York group about 4 years ago, that was Janie, me and a few others, but it had fizzled out. What are your goals and what type of progress have you made?

Our mission is to increase size diversity in dance and theatre, and I think we have made some progress in that area-through doing shows, going to events, and we were holding classes for a while. What changes have you made since starting your Big Moves Chapter?

We started out with about 8 people and now we have 3, but we are hoping to increase that number at some point. We also are now functioning completely independently from the Boston chapter. Has your chapter performed yet?

Yes How long have you been performing?

Since April of this year. What or who inspired you to join with Big Moves?

The girls in the Boston troupe- they were so sassy and confident and I wanted that confidence. Tell us about your first performance and how it has grown since then?

Our first performance was in the Keigwin Kabaret, a variety show with Keigwin + Company, a modern dance company. It was at SymphonySpace on the Upper West Side. We had such a great time. Would you say Big Moves was a Big Hit?

Yes, everyone loved us- we got a great response. Please tell us about some of the details of your performance?

We performed a very sassy number from "Moulin Rouge" ; 'Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend'. We wore sexy lingerie. How many Dancers do you work with?

Right now there are 3 of us, but we would like to grow. What makes your performances different than others?

Our size makes us different, and I think our attitude of putting ourselves out there confidently does too. Tell us what is the response you get from your audience?

We get a great response. Audiences love us! How does your size and of your partner performers come into play?

Fortunately or unfortunately, I think it makes us unique. Do you collaborate with other acts?

Not yet- we would like to. Tell us about some of the press coverage you have been featured in?

For Keigwin Kabaret, we got mentioned in Vanity Fair and The Village Voice. How can people learn about you and possibly hire you?

To hire us, they should call or email me, Suzi Tasca (917) 697-3857 or To learn more about us they can check out our facebook page- just search on "Big Moves New York" Are you currently on tour or attending any major functions in the near future?

We are not currently on tour but are making some videos to post/spread around. Would you say this is a form of performance art?

I don't think so. I think of performance art as being sort of out there and bizarre and I don't think that would describe us. How can someone join your Big Moves chapter and are you accepting new performers?

We are looking for people to support and help us, like taking tickets at shows, behind-the-scenes work, and yes we are also looking for performers. Anyone who is interested can contact me. Do you have a good support system from family and friends?

I do personally, but we still need more people behind us for Big Moves New York, since we are just starting to get our name out there. What has been the response you have gotten others?

We have gotten an extremely positive response from everyone we have told about Big Moves New York. I think the timing is really right for a group like us to get national attention. Have you had any responses from the Plus Size Community?

We've also had positive responses from the Plus-size community. Nancy Goddess has been extremely supportive of us, as well as many others. What are your future goals for Big Moves?

I would like us to grow and be a sustainable group, to have lots more performances and get national attention, and to offer dance classes. Do you have a website, myspace page? How can the public find you or communicated with you online?

We have a facebook page- just search on 'Big Moves New York' , or you can email us at Give us one word that you can say best represents your act?

Sassy How much have you evolved as an Performer since those first days?

I have gained so much body confidence from when I started; it is amazing! I have also gotten more confident as a dancer. How can the readers at help support you?

We need more members for our group, and we need audience members for our shows, and help with promotions.



Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to


Cover Model of the Month


Greta Mae Reid-Young


Interview with our Cover Model of the Month What is your name?

Greta Mae Reid-Young Where are you from and what is your current Location?

I am originally from Purcellville, Virginia. I have lived in Snellville, Georgia since October 2007. Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?

I am a very recently remarried 40 year old mother of two beautiful daughters (age 17 and 20). I am African American, 5'4, and a size 22. Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?

Every since birth I have always been plus sized. My weight has see-sawed in the range of 140 - 320 from my teen years to now. (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?

I was ostracized frequent over my weight. Children can be very cruel. Even family can be unintentionally hurtful. What caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?

I would frequently lose massive amounts of weight. I lost 90-100 lbs 3 separate times on diets. Depression would take over and I always gained it back. I had gastric bypass in 2001 and lost 165 lbs. Along with the weight went my sanity. I could no longer use food as a comfort during my depression. It was a tough experience, but I would do it again. Although I gained 80 lbs back, my weight is now stable without the see-sawing of the past. What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?

It has been a long and taxing struggle, but I have finally accepted myself. I hope that my story can inspire others to reach the same peace of acceptance. Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?

It is definitely a hard journey. We live in a society where physical beauty is defined by the media. It's often hard to feel attractive when society forces their pencil thin model standards of beauty upon you. Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?

As an adult, my friends have been my greatest support system. They constantly uplift me with kind words and positive messages. Some family unfortunately served to foster my negative self image. As a little girl of about 5 or 6 years old, I wanted to be a ballerina. I'll never forget when a family member said, ?no one will be able to lift that fat fanny off the ground.? For this reason, I try to make sure that my daughters are secure in their self image. There is nothing a skinny person can do that we cannot! What would you say inspires you most in life?

One of the biggest inspirations in my life has been Monique. To see her confidence and beauty shine is always inspiring. Size is never an issue with her. I was brought to tears by her movie Phat Girls. I identified so much with the main character. What is your primary job?

I am a database administrator. How did you get into this line of work?

Much of what I know about computer programming is self taught. I have been at my current company for over 14 years and they learned that I could make a program do things that many said could not be done :o) Do you find acceptance in the work force?

We used to be a small company. During that time I felt very accepted. Once we were bought out, it seemed that image has outweighed ability. I see so much emphasis placed on how someone looks now. Granted there is no blatant size discrimination, you can definitely tell that model types who look great in a short skirt and heels get more opportunities regardless of their resume. What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?

It is a small thing, but to me it means a lot. It would be great if more attention would be paid to the comfort of large people. It is so embarrassing to have chairs that are so tiny that you can barely get one hip between the arms. One particularly embarrassing situation happened to me while on business travel before my gastric bypass. The seatbelt on the plane would not fasten because it was too small to reach. Thanks to the aid of a very kind and understanding stewardess, I was discreetly assisted with an extender. Even restrooms seem to only accommodate small sized individuals. Toilet stalls in offices are often so tiny that I have to turn sideways and squeeze by the door to enter and exit a stall. What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?

We are making great strides in this area. The unfortunately the prices for fashionable plus-size clothing is still out of budget for many. While there are lots of great shops out there (Ashley Stewart, Monique, Torrid, Fashion Bug, IGIGI, etc. It's still hard to find something different and innovative. As a fan of gothic wear, it is extremely hard for me to find pieces that I like. What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?

It would great to see more fashionable clothing for plus size children and pre-teens. I would also like to see more trendy pieces by designers who think outside of the box. What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?

I think this would help with the self image of a lot of plus sized people. It is nearly impossible to picture how an article of clothing will look on your size 30-32 body if the preferred models are always size 18-20. Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.

I make a lot of my own clothing or get items from second hand stores and re-model them. If I do buy new clothing I shop at Fashion Bug, Lane Bryant, Torrid and Debs. Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.

I don't wear make-up regularly. I'm a tom-boy and don't have the time for a lot of prissiness (LOL). The only time I wear make-up is for weddings or special photos. I don't use soap or other chemicals on my face - just plain water. Having dred's also keeps all those harmful chemical processes out of my hair. Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?

Hmm? I really don't know the answer to this! LOL I would guess be prepared for ANYTHING! My only limitations with props are no insects! :o) Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?

The big changes are in the admission that beauty can come in 42-38-42 package or larger. This is thanks (again) to people like Monique, Queen Latifah, Joy Nash, Nikki Blonsky, Gabrielle Reece, and Emme just to name a few. It is getting easier to walk into regular stores and find fashions sized for men and women size 3X and bigger. What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?

I feel the size acceptance wave will continue, however I feel we will see even more emphasis placed on maintaining health. Exercise and diet are not just tools to loose weight, they are tools to help us LIVE! I think we will see more emphasis placed on fitness for all sizes. Ads like those for Curves facilities that use real size women vs. personal trainer body types. Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.

I think just about every woman has a model tucked away in her somewhere. I really don?t have dreams of becoming a career model. I hope to retire from my computer job and follow my dreams of becoming a writer and animal rehabilitator. Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.

As I mentioned before, I have always loved dancing and had wanted to be a ballerina when I was younger. For the longest time I would never dance in public even when asked by a partner. I finally got over my fear of being ridiculed and let me music just take me. I remember at this one particular event dancing with a partner and afterwards hearing the comments on how beautiful the dance was and how graceful and smooth my moves were. For once I knew all eyes were on me for my talent not to ridicule my size. Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?

God. Next to him, my current husband and my daughters are the wind beneath my wings. I fight battles with depression and my husband has been there to pull me out of the depths and into the light when I thought there was no reason to keep going on. What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?

Go for it! If you can dream it, hard work will achieve it! What plus size figure do you admire?

Monique. I can't mention often enough how inspiring she is. Someday I hope to meet her. Describe yourself with one word.




Thanks for reading about our

Cover Model of the Month

Raqui's Spot

     Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge Magazine.  This spot is dedicated to her thoughts, vents, and observations of Plus Sized Life.  Raqui's  "Tell it like it is" style of writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to  There is so much behind the woman who has brought this magazine into existence.  Being Internationally known as a wrestler/squasher lead the way to modeling for companies and being featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the world.  She has made a career out of her size and personality. Born, Raised and Residing in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by storm.


     For the past 5 years Raqui officially moved into Size Acceptance and Empowerment.  With the creation of LargeInCharge she took what she said to individuals to a higher level and made it public to the internet world. She is a woman who doesn't let things get to her.  Knock her down for the moment but she will rise up stronger and better.  Being a speaker on behalf of many subjects and counseling Plus Sized people online her grace and style has made people love her.  Raqui continues to set an example of a powerful woman who will bend the world to fit her, her way.


     Raqui's appearances include, Uk Television, German TV, Japan, Europe, Sweden and the Spanish circuit.  Her many magazines appearances have been world wide.  She has hit American Television in 2006 with Good Morning American and since has appeared on The Cristina Show,  The Maury Show and The Tyra Banks Show.

To view her Online portfolio visit

Raqui feature on and Glamour Plus - go to Portfolio Section

Support These Fat Movers and Shakers

Written By: Raqui 


     There are two people who I support and there important efforts.  Please Read about there missions and Support them


Kira Nerusskaya

Fat knows no boundary—economic or professional status, race, age, ethnicity. We all know someone fat, or overweight. Yet, fat stigma, like obesity, is on the rise worldwide. How deep seated and how early we begin to stigmatize fat people in the USA is best illustrated in a research study revealing four year old children chose fat people as friends last among a varied group choice. In the media we hear from those losing weight, those who lost weight, or from those who “should” be losing weight. What about those who feel they are fine just the way they are? They never seem to have a voice, until now.

FAT GIRLS FLOAT is an independent documentary in which a 300lb. filmmaker Kira Nerusskaya (me!) takes the audience on a journey through international fat subculture, giving fat women from four counties an opportunity to have their say. Despite many glares, glances, and gloating from media, family members, medical communities and the public-at-large; fat women from four countries (England, France, Russia, and the United States) tell their tales of sorrow and success, wow and woe; discussing size discrimination, political activism (fat and size acceptance), and social networking communities. These fat women show how they need to rise above what the world thinks of them and point out their ability to overcome society’s condemnation through compassionate perseverance. In essence, fat girls float because they do not let their weight ‘weigh’ them down.

READ MORE: CLICK The Fat Girls Float Image


Yuliya Raquel of IGIGI


IGIGI's Mission is to Transform the World's View of Beauty.


We are committed to breaking down the barriers that inhibit people from realizing their own beauty. That is why we asked filmmaker Mark de Paola to create a short film that portrays a curvaceous size-16 woman as beautiful, sexy and powerful.

If you believe, as we do, that every woman should feel inspired by her image in the mirror, please share this film with your friends.



LargeInCharge Radio - Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues.  Friday's 7-9 pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.

Raqui's Cool Links  

Raqui's My Space Page

Raqui's Yahoo 360 Page

Thank you for Reading Raqui's Spot

Please send thoughts and comments to

Super Sized Sounds



     Super Sized Sounds will be a Music Column that will feature those who are in the industry or up and coming who are size positive. Giving rect width="560" height="340">on to the plus sized people who are out there and showcasing themselves.  Reviews, Interview, News and more from our new writer Super Sized Spanishfly Lynx.


      Lynx Garcia, also known as "SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY", is a Latina BBW from Queens NYC.  Lynx is an activist speaking out against size discrimination and began performing back in 1996 at social events for big beautiful women and big handsome males and their admirers. Her special mixture of sound held true as she sang, spat, danced and performed spoken word, soon she was in demand by Big and Beautiful parties nationwide.  Lynx taking her "look" and sound mainstream was rejected because of her size. She did not let this break her spirit, hurt her confidence or minimize her drive. Instead she rose up and started a public access show (LYNX' LAIR) aired in Queens on TIME WARNER QPTV . Combination of comedy and sexy style, she showcased underground artists of all walks of life. The response to her show was less than a year she has showcased many artist, some who moved to bigger and better things.


     Currently Lynx has caught the attention of Joey Mekkah of BLACK SOLARIS ENTERTAINMENT and found herself on the Grandmaster MELLE MEL's SOLO ALBUM "MUSCLES" featured on the hot latin hip-hop track called 'DIMELO", she is the only collaboration on the album. Lynx recently has started her own radio show on EXTRAVAGANGSTARADIO.COM  called Ladies Night. EXTRAVAGANGSTARADIO is #1 on the itunes network.





My people, mi gente...  Whoo I am stuffed from all the Halloween treats (love my vegan carrot cake!). The leaves are falling down all around us, is it a sign to let gold of dead weight? Hmmm, I got something for everyone this month begining with





Got your fix for a love thang right here...AMERIE Ft. FABOLOUS "MORE THAN LOVE"

     Download: HERE

And for those of you who like it THICKE...ROBIN THICKE that is ,here is his new sexxy joint

"Sex Therapy" I could use some right now!


And this is for anyone who has ever been left "STRANDED" from Your Boy MARIO


And this one right here, is for all of us who try to swear something or someone off, you tell yourself it's for "THE LAST TIME" by FABOLOUS Ft. TREY SONGZ

     Download: HERE


Come Out And Enjoy A Great Show And Say Hi For I will Be Supporting This Show, You Never Know Which Show I will Be At Hit Me Up and Let me know send me an email at SUPERSIZESPANISHFLY@GMAIL.COM

elaine del valle,brownsville bred,one woman show
This autobiographical show takes the audience through an "emotional rollercoaster" that is uplifting, heartbreaking and powerful as they witness Del Valle recreate life in the tough projects of 1980's Brownsville, Brooklyn NY. Amongst eight other characters, Del Valle narrates as herself from ages 11 to 17. Del Valle's loving father, another empathetic character, leaves the family of five as he falls from stature as a talented musician to a defeated heroine addict. Not unlike most impoverished families, Elaine's mother emerges as the loveable spirit that holds the family together and guides them to a hopeful future.
Crime, Drugs and Poverty mix with the Joys of Family, Hope, Salsa and the Birth of Rap, as Del Valle's innocence recounts a journey to womanhood, a neighborhoods crack & crime epidemic, Salsa rumbas, and her love of Run DMC, which often times help her verbalize a unique struggle and triumph that has audiences cheering and laughing through their tears while swaying to urban rhythms.
When: Every Monday in November 2009 (2, 9, 16, 23 & 30) @7:30pm
Where: Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 East 3rd Street
(between Avenues B & C)
New York, NY 10009
MTA: F train, 2nd Ave.
Phone: (212) 505-8183
Run Time: 70 Minutes.
1 ten minute Intermission.
Tickets: General Admission: $15. (on-line guaranteed seats)
Door Discounts: $10 for Students, Seniors and Flyer (1st come,1st serve)
Bar: Wine/Beer, No Drink Minimum
To Purchase tickets on line go to

Want to send in your Voice in for review? Are you a singer, rapper, or poet who performs spoken word?  Up and Coming, already established?  Contact Lynx through her Myspace page or email and all information will be forwarded to her (PUT "FOR LYNX" IN THE SUBJECT AREA) 

You must be a Size Positive Artist, or a Plus Sized Supporter.

Thanks for reading

Super Sized Sounds with Lynx


Lynx Cool Links

From the Plus Side


Emily Smiltneck

     From the Plus side will be column dedicated to short stories that deal with all aspects of Plus size Life.  Emily Smiltneck was chosen for this position because of her dedication, and realistic writing style. She captures the emotional and mental rollercoaster those who are Plus Sized go through.


     Emily Susanne Smiltneck lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (pretty much dead center in the middle of nowhere). She is a substitute teacher, and has recently started a tutoring business. Emily is currently working on several writing projects, including a historical fiction novel and several collections of poetry.

Emily Smiltneck receives recognition in Neighbors Daily Press - See article below


     It is a great joy when our fellow Plus Sized people receive recognition for their life's work.  Join me in this Joyous moment when one of our LargeInCharge writers is seen for her contribution and great dedication to her goals in life.  Click the images above to read the article about our dear Emily. When the page open click on the article to zoom in and read it.


The Adventures of Phatgurl

by Emily Suzanne Smiltneck  

The Adventures Of Phatgurl is a serial collection of stories about the adventures of Jany, a plus-sized young woman who, in desperation, places an ad on a personals website.  As she embarks on her dates, she meets many different kinds of men who expect many different things from her.  Some of her adventures are wildly amusing and others are more serious and even sad. 

If you have any ideas or experiences, funny or otherwise, that you would like to see depicted in a future Phatgurl story, please e-mail me at  I will do my very best to incorporate all reader ideas into future columns.  Thanks!


The Ad (Part 2)

SWSSBBW seeks SM who will not rape her, emotionally or otherwise.  The ability to both speak and write in complete sentences is a plus.  Must not inadvertently throw her down stairs or pretend that she is “Mama.”  Intelligent conversation, a little respect, and the lack of a current significant other will get you far.  And a well-developed sense of humor won’t hurt, either.  If you like smart chicks with jelly bellies and thunder thighs, reply to


Candidate 2.5: The Drag Queen



Subject: Well, Hello!


How’s it hangin’?  I came across your ad and figured you were worth a once over, since I noticed you could spell correctly and such.  You would not BELIEVE how many of the people who put ads on here are complete grammatical dunces!  Whenever I get bored with my life, I spice things up by meeting some new people and this is as good a place as any to meet them.  I like reading ads, guessing what people are lying about, and then meeting them in person to find out.  If ya wanna hang out together sometime, send me a note, m’kay?





Subject: Re: Well, Hello!


I would TOTALLY believe how many people are grammatical dunces.  Which is one of my pet peeves, too, so we may just get along.  I have to tell you, you barely told me anything about yourself, but you are somehow fascinating.  Maybe it’s the grammar thing.  Maybe it’s the insinuation that you get bored with your life often.  Maybe it’s your supposed ability to pick out liars based on personals profiles.  I don’t know.  Anyway, yeah, we should get together sometime.  Maybe.  Since you didn’t mention it, there’s always something I like to bring up.  Well, no—I don’t like to bring it up at all, but anyway… I’m fat.  That probably seems like a weird thing to say because either you already knew that from my ad or you think I’m nuts for saying so.  But it is what it is.  I hate having to worry about whether that will be a pleasant surprise to someone else or a humiliating one to me.  If you’re still into it, let’s make some plans.





Subject: What?!?  You’re FAT?!?  Never MIND!!!


I’m kidding, of course.  I hope you read past my subject line.  If not, I guess all I did was weed out someone who can’t roll with the punches, which isn’t a bad thing.  I know what a SSBBW is.  I’m not one of those fat fetish people or anything, but I’m down with you the way you are.  So no surprise.  As far as getting together, I have an idea.  If my subject line didn’t scare you off, this probably will, but let’s see if you can roll with the punches.  (And yes, that was a challenge.)  I go to one of the universities downtown (I don’t give identifying details to strangers—is Trent my real name?  Only time will tell…) and the drama department, which is near and dear to my heart if you hadn’t figured that out already, is doing Rocky Horror for Halloween.  Wanna cum?  :P




Subject: I Am A Good Churchgoing Christian And You Horrify Me!!!

 There.  Got you back with the whole subject line thing.  The churchgoing part and the horrify me part are lies, actually.  This is fun, BTW.  Most of the dudes I’ve met on here aren’t up for verbal sparring.  I have to admit, I had only a vague idea what Rocky Horror was all about until I did some quick research online so I wouldn’t look stupid.  And wow.  It sounds like fun.  Actually, it sounds like the kind of thing I’ve always wished I thought was fun, but that I’ve always been afraid of.  Does that make any sense?  Anyway, as part of a self improvement plan I am embarking on, called “Stop Being So Freakin’ Scared Of Anything That Isn’t Normal For Jany,” I would be happy to accept your invitation.  One question, though.  Is the dressing up thing a requirement?

            Jany walked into the gallery ten minutes late and found Mala standing behind the cash register staring at the phone with a grumpy look on her face.

            “Um—sorry I’m late?  Is that the problem?” Jany asked.  Mala turned her head in Jany’s direction and glared.

            “Yes.  Yes it is.  I have a lunch date and if you weren’t here, how was I supposed to go?”  Mala pouted dramatically.

            “Oh, whatever.  When have I not shown up?  But I really am sorry.  I overslept.  I was up late last night doing some research.”


            “Yeah.  I’m turning into you!  I got an invitation last night to go to a play with this guy.  I’m going to—”  Jany paused dramatically: “Rocky Horror!”  The anger left Mala’s face and was replaced with a sort of glowy, reminiscent delight.

            “Jany!  That’s wonderful!  I used to go see the movie every year on Halloween with a good friend of mine.  We always ended up in an orgy with half the audience afterwards.  Damn, I miss those days.”

            “I thought you might know what Rocky Horror was.  I didn’t, really—had to look it up.  None of that orgy stuff for me, though.  I’m just going to watch the play.”

            “We’ll see about that.  Crazy things happen to people who watch Rocky Horror.  You dressin’ up?”

            “Crazy things like that don’t happen to me.  And Trent, the guy I’m going with, said you don’t have to dress up, so I think I’ll pass for this year.”

            “Trent?  I knew a guy named Trent once.  He had the most amazing—”

            “Never mind, Mala.  Probably too much information.  And anyway, I’m here now.  Get to work!”

            “And you’re not gonna dress up?  You gotta!  It’s half the fun.  No, ninety percent of the fun.  I swear.  I’ll help you.”

            “You have work to do.  So you can get on with your lunch date.  Go!”  Sometimes Jany was glad that Mala was a little flighty.  It wasn’t all that hard to change the subject, really.

            At the end of the day, Mala dragged Jany out for dinner.

            “Don’t you have a date or something you need to get to?” Jany asked, in an attempt to escape.

            “Nope.  Not ‘til later.”

            “I can’t afford a fancy place like this!”

            “My treat.”

            “I can’t let you buy me dinner.  You’re my boss.  It’s just—weird.”

            “Perk of the job.  And anyway, it’s not free.  You have to make me a promise.”

            “A promise?”

            “Promise me that you’ll let me dress you up for Rocky Horror.  If you do that one thing, you can order anything you want to off the menu.  It’ll let me relive my younger days when I was footloose and fancy-free!”

            Jany reluctantly agreed.  It wasn’t often that she had a chance to eat fancy French food.  Most of her meals came in grease-spotted paper bags from places where a three-course meal meant you went back for two free drink refills.  And if the outfit Mala put together was too risqué, she’d just tone it down a notch or ten before she left the house on Halloween.

            On Saturday, Mala showed up at Jany’s house before noon.  Jany was reading a biography of Georgia O’Keefe and not expecting company—she was lying on her stomach on the couch absentmindedly eating dry Count Chocula cereal with one hand and turning pages with the other when the doorbell rang.  The sound frightened her into jumping off the couch and she dumped the cereal out of the bowl when she did, all in one fluid movement.  Heart pounding, she pushed the intercom button and asked who was there.

            “Your beloved boss.  Let me in.”  Within seconds, Mala was standing in Jany’s doorway.  She dropped an unbelievably large pile of bags and boxes on the floor at her feet. 

            “Hi,” Jany finally managed.

            “Let’s get to work, girl!” Mala sang out, then promptly dropped to her knees in the middle of the pile of bags and boxes.  “Here.  Try this on.”

            All Jany knew about the ensemble that Mala was gathering was that she had been interrupted at work a hundred times with things like, “How tall are you again?” and “Are you sure you need a 4x, or will a 3x work?  I think these are supposed to be a little tight.”  She had expected her boss to hand her a single bag on Friday after work and be done with it.  And when Jany had failed to receive such an offering, she assumed it would show up sometime the next evening, in time for her to slip into a dress and maybe put on some makeup before she had to leave to meet her date.  She had definitely not expected Mala to show up in the middle of Saturday morning with half the merchandise of every store in the city.

            Jany accepted the piece of black fabric that her boss handed her.  “What is this?” she had to ask.  “And what are you doing here already?”

            “Here.”  Mala took the item in question from Jany’s hands by the corners and shook it out.  It was a pair of shorts.  Or underwear, Jany couldn’t tell which.  “They’re hot pants.  Try them on.  And I’m here ‘cause we got work to do!”

            Jany cautiously took the shorts and headed into the bathroom.  When she pulled them on, they fit around her, but they were definitely not appropriate to wear in public.

            “Mala!” she wailed.  “They’re way too short.  They look like underwear!”

            “Supposed to.  But they fit?  Come out here!”

            Humiliated even in her own home, Jany walked slowly out of the bathroom.  Mala clapped her hands in glee.

            “Perfect!  Okay, these go under them.”  She handed Jany a pair of fishnet tights this time.

            “My god!  I didn’t even know you could get these in my size!  But I can’t wear this stuff, Mala.  My legs—well, look at them.  No, don’t!  My legs are terrible!  My thighs are all lumpy and puffy and pale so my calves look like they’re stuck out of half-roasted marshmallows at a weird angle.”

            “Shut up.  They’re fine, and no one will care anyway.  Rocky Horror is supposed to be over the top.  Now go put the damn tights on.  And try these boots on, too.”

            When Jany emerged from the bathroom, she was almost in tears.  The tights made the skin on her legs bulge out in a thousand little diamond shapes and the roundness of her belly hid the part of the shorts that should have showed on the fronts of her thighs.  She liked the boots—they were shiny and black and came up to her knees—but the heels were high and she felt like she might be pitched forward at any second.  Despite it all, Mala proclaimed her gorgeous.

            When she was finally fully dressed, Jany stood in front of the mirror and stared at herself in horror.  She was now also wearing a long-sleeved fishnet leotard that matched the tights, what amounted to a black bra, and a studded neckband.  Her hairstyle looked like it should only have been created by going out in a hurricane with wet hairspray, Mala had made Jany’s face so pale it was almost ghostly, and she was sporting blood red lipstick and at least a pound of black eyeliner.  As a finished touch, Mala tore holes in the fishnet in various places.

            “Mala, what are you doing?!”

            “You’ll fit right in, don’t worry.  I know my shit.”

            “If you say so.  But I can’t go out like this.  I’m sorry.  I’ll scare everyone away!  Besides, I’m not sure it’s even legal!”

            “Trust me, it’s fine.”

            “No, it’s not.  If someone with a body like yours went out like this, that’d be fine.  Good bodies can get away with indecent exposure.  But I don’t have a good body.”

            “No one at the play will say a word, trust me.  And I wasn’t going to make you hop on a bus looking like that!  Here.”  Mala reached into one last bag and pulled out a floor-length leather trench coat.  “Be careful, though.  This has to be returned.  ‘Borrowed’ it from a store where a friend of mine works.  He owed me a favor.”

            Jany pulled on the coat and tied the belt securely around her midsection. 

            “Are you sure it’s okay?” she asked, disappearing to look at herself in the mirror again.  “I wouldn’t want to get you in trouble.  But this coat is great!”

            “You rock, girl!  Stop worrying!  Won’t be me that gets in trouble, and if my buddy does, he kinda deserves it.  Now I gotta get my ass outta here so I can go get some ass!  You have fun tonight.”  And she was gone.

            Alone in her apartment, Jany shrugged the coat off and laid it across the back of the couch.  She went back to stand in front of the mirror.  She had never worn anything like this before, ever.  And she’d never had the desire to, either.  But now that she was, it almost seemed like fun.  It was hard not to feel confident in fishnet tights and knee-high boots, in the clothing of a woman who knew what she wanted and demanded that she get it.  After an hour and a half of alternately staring into the mirror and sitting on the edge of her bed deep in thought, Jany decided to go for it.  From everything she’d read online, Mala was right.  Rocky Horror was all about being over the top.  It was campy and vampy and dripping with sex and not at all meant to be taken seriously.  And Jany thought it might be silly to worry about her weight making her feel out of place when she was potentially going to be surrounded by men in women’s underwear.  Besides, if she chickened out, she could just kept the coat on.

            It was dark already when Jany walked to the bus stop; Trent had insisted that the midnight show was the one to go to.  She was slightly worried that her boots and fishnets might show through the gap in the front of the coat and give the impression that she was a whore or something, so she figured the darkness was good; it gave her something to hide behind.

            When the bus stopped in front of a rickety old theater, there was a man leaning against a signpost.  He swooped toward Jany as she stepped off.

            “You’re Jany, right?” he asked in a carefully spooky voice.

            “I am,” Jany replied.  She swallowed hard.  He was a very good-looking man.  Pale skin—Jany couldn’t tell if it was made up or natural in the dim moonlight—and dark, dark hair, long and slicked back, with eyes to match.  He was a good foot taller than Jany and probably a hundred pounds lighter, which wasn’t her usual type, but it worked for him.

            “Well, let’s go, m’dear.  Time’s a-wastin’.”  He led her through the door to the theater.  Jany noticed that he didn’t stop to hand over any tickets, and no one seemed to expect him to.  A man dressed in overalls and carrying a pitch fork just nodded him through the doorway and another man dressed in a silver mini-dress and spike heels asked him if Jany was his latest victim.

            “Of course she is.  Let’s show her a good time.”

            Jany remembered Mala’s talk of orgies.  She was already nervous, and Trent’s words gave her a little jolt.

            “I’m sure I’ll have a good time—no need to show me anything,” she said in a quiet voice, trying to smile as if she were kidding.  Trent and his friend laughed heartily.

            “I’m sure you will, darling,” the man in the silver dress said.  His tone was slightly ominous but friendly at the same time.  “Oh, by the way.  I assume you’re a virgin?”

            Jany was sure the blood that rushed to her face must be showing through all the makeup Mala had painted on.  An event like this sure took away the usual first-date jitters—there were more important things to worry about.  She was embarrassed to be asked such a question by a complete stranger, and in front of her date, no less, but she was also angry and humiliated that he assumed she was a virgin just because of her weight.  How dare he!  Never mind that he was pretty darn close to being right.  It just wasn’t a polite thing to say.  Jany stared at the floor in silence.  Trent laughed again, more softly this time.

            “Buck up, girl.  Don’t be so serious.”  And then to the other man: “Yeah, she’s a virgin.”

            “Has she at least seen the video?”

            Jany looked up in confusion.  Was he asking if she’d watched porn? 

            “I don’t think so.  Have you, Jane?”

            “Have—have I done what, exactly?”

            “Have you seen Rocky Horror?  The movie?”

            “That’s what this is all about?”  Jany laughed in relief.  “No.  No, I haven’t.”  She felt stupid for getting all worked up over something so stupid, but relief made her grin anyway.

            “I proclaim you a virgin!” the silver dress man said, and reached over without out notice to draw something on Jany’s forehead with red lipstick.  After he wandered away to find another unsuspecting victim, Jany glanced at Trent.  Before she could ask, he told her.

            “A V for virgin.  If you’d seen the movie, it woulda been two Vs.  For video virgin.”

            “I see.  Is there anything else you’d like to tell me?  Warn me about?  So I don’t have to look like an idiot again?”

            “You didn’t look like an idiot, I promise.  You looked innocent, and that’s a good thing here.  We’re always looking for innocents to corrupt.”

            “That’s encouraging.”

            “Come on, let’s go sit down.  I’ll fill ya in.  You look good, by the way.”

            ‘You’re just saying that ‘cause we look like twins,” Jany said, blushing again.  She still wasn’t good at accepting compliments.  Mala had definitely done a good job of dressing her, though.  Jany looked exactly like seventy-five percent of the people who were there.  Except bigger, but then, she was always bigger than anyone else around.  And it didn’t feel like it mattered so much here, where hardly anyone looked like the average person you passed on the street.

            “Okay, so here’s what’s gonna go on tonight.  There’s a costume contest.  There’s a seductive Twinkie eating contest.  There’s the play.  And there’s lots of men in women’s lingerie.  And women in women’s lingerie, too.  That’s basically it.  Oh, and we get to throw stuff.”

            “Okay, I don’t even know what to question first.  I should have read the book!”

            “This is something you have to experience.  I would never discourage someone from reading, I’m a book freak too, but some things you just have to jump right into.”

            “I see.  So—the costume contest.  Are the people in costumes backstage or something?”

            “No, they just go up from the audience.  They’re just hiding under their trench coats right now.  Like we are.”

            “Like we are?”

            Trent stood up and shrugged off his coat.  Underneath, he was dressed in thigh high fishnet stockings, torn just like Jany’s were, and a red thing that Jany really couldn’t identify.  Red satiny straps attached the tops of his stockings to red thong underwear, but they weren’t exactly underwear because they, in turn, seemed to be a part of the red bra he wore.  Jany’s breath caught, even at the odd sight.  His body was beautiful.  But she had only seconds to slide back into her old mindset and wonder what someone who looked like him was doing with someone who looked like her before it occurred to her that she was sitting inches away from a near-naked man and staring at his bra, of all things.  In public.  A case of the giggles took hold of her.

            “This is so ridiculous.  I am on a date with a man who is wearing women’s underwear, and only women’s underwear.  And you look better in it than I do!” 

            “Like I was saying, pretty soon you’ll see everyone’s costumes.  As soon as they warm up from being outside and get over being shy.”

            “Okay.”  Jany struggled to stop laughing, to breathe.  “And what’s up with the Twinkie thing?”

            “Volunteers go up on the stage and each is given a Twinkie.  The audience votes by applause on who eats it the most seductively.  The usual routine is lots of girls giving Twinkie blow jobs and one or two eating Twinkies out of each other’s cleavage.  It’s pretty hot.”

            “Um, yeah.  Okay.  So what exactly is this play about?  I thought I knew enough not to have to research it too much, but now I sort of wish I had.”

            “It’s basically just a parody of sci-fi and horror movies.  These newlyweds break down in the middle of nowhere, go to a castle for help, and find a bunch of transvestites from Transsexual, Transylvania.  But there’s all this seduction and sex and the creation of the perfect man for Frank, the main transvestite.  They’re all supposed to be aliens.”

            “Oh.  Yeah, of course.  That makes sense.”

            “I know.  No sense at all.  That’s the point.  Fun, though.  And we get to throw rice and hot dogs and toast.  Someone’ll be passing them out any time now.”

            Jany settled in to watch the audience, which she thought might be just as good as the show.  Coats started coming off and Jany could see more skin than she’d ever seen at one time before.  Jany felt funny looking at them, but she wanted to look at them.  It just felt a little dirty, staring at people in underwear.  Although, if they were wearing it, they obviously wanted to be looked at.  She settled on scanning the crowd and trying not to stop and stare at any one person for too long.

            As they waited for the show to start, Trent told Jany a little more about himself.  He was a grad student who already had a degree in creative writing and was working toward one in filmography.  He’d been published a few times, but nothing major.  Jany was impressed.

            “Wow.  A smart guy.  Usually I don’t attract any of those.”

            “I like you, Jany.  I don’t like girls who trash themselves, though.  Don’t go there.”

            Jany wondered how she always managed to screw things up.  Then she brought her thoughts to an abrupt halt.  He wasn’t angry, just wanted her to like herself.  It was the same thing Michael was always telling her.  Time to make another bold move and force the confidence to come back.  Jany stood up and quickly shed the leather coat.  When she sat back down, she placed the coat across her lap to hide her belly.  She couldn’t go all the way at once.  Michael said nothing and Jany was wondering if he was embarrassed, if she should put the coat back on, when he finally leaned over to whisper in her ear.

            “You were wrong.”

            “Wrong?  About what?” Jany whispered back, in case there was a reason they should be whispering.

            “I don’t look better in women’s underwear than you do.”

            Jany’s skin tingled all over from the compliment, which amplified her reaction a second later when a man dressed like Edward Scissorhands walked by, looked her in the eye, and raked the cardboard scissors that were attached to his arms over her cleavage,  “Hot,” he whispered slowly.  “Hot.”  And then he was gone.  Jany was electrified.  Emboldened, she scanned the audience more carefully.  Weird as the whole scene was, she was beginning to love it.  There was something deliciously naughty about this night, and it thrilled her.

            The costume contest, from the man wearing nothing but a thong and a huge, stuffed penis to the woman who had painted the top half of her body red and wore nothing else but jeans, was tacky and hilarious and wonderful all at once.  The Twinkie-eating contest was just as delightful, except it made Jany remember that she’d been too nervous to eat dinner.  And the play itself, complete with flying food and audience responses given in unison, was more entertaining than anything Jany had seen in a long time.

            She was sad when it was time to leave.  Dressed like a freak, among a room full of freaks, Jany felt sexy and powerful.  She didn’t want to leave that behind.  A tear rolled out of her left eye as Trent slid her coat over her shoulders.  He was another thing she didn’t want to leave.  Other than his explanation of the show and their brief discussion of jobs and schooling and other minor personal details, they’d hardly spoken, but he seemed like a normal guy—as normal as a guy dressed in women’s underwear could be—and Jany wanted to see more of him.  Even being dressed in nothing but underwear and a trench coat didn’t give her enough confidence to tell him that, though, so when he kissed her at the bus stop and told her they had a standing date for next Halloween, she grinned brilliantly. 

            On the bus, Jany breathed a sigh of relief.  Trent wanted to see her again, she hadn’t been dragged into an orgy like Mala had insisted, and she’d had a wonderful night.  Not to mention that a man she actually found attractive had kissed her.  Jany glanced around the bus, then grinned slyly.  Hardly any passengers, and if she wanted to be worldly and smooth like Mala some day, she had to practice.  She moved her leg to the edge of the seat and slid the tail of her coat over a few inches, so that a sliver of fishnet thigh showed above her boot.  This bad girl stuff could be addictive.


Thanks for reading

From the Plus Side with Emily Smiltneck


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Good 4 U Food

Recipes for Good... Healthy Food

By: Xander - The Food Dude


On 40

by Xander The Food Dude

It finally happened.  It one point in my life I was really convinced that it wasn’t likely that it would.  But, it did.  On October 1st, I turned 40 years old.  With such things, it requires a reassessment of life.  Realistically, there are now (statistically speaking) fewer years in front of me than the years that have passed.

In past articles, I’ve relates stories of changes in life due to various common changes in our lives.  I am officially middle aged now.  The next stop is senior citizen.  Wow, to know its out there waiting for me puts a spin on the whole imperative nature of life. 

I see kids in their twenties and think, “they have it made, and they don’t even know it”.

The world is their oyster and they don’t know it.   That’s ok, more for me.

One really great thing I’m looking forward to is having my mid-life crisis.  Hence, the source of this article will be on the hopeful anticipations of my mid-life crisis and when it occurs.

There seems to be a pretty common format described for a male in middle aged status.

The mid-life crisis is a rite of passage as many others in life like becoming a teenager, puberty, driving, losing your virginity, graduate high school and college, get married, having your own children, etc, etc, etc.  The emphasis in these cases is the at of moving forward.  The mid-life crisis, however, is an attempt to move back.  The mid-life crisis is the last desperate attempt to reclaim a youth that is now irrevocably gone.  I think that I should get the urge to have my crisis soon after I’ve turned 40.  I anticipate that it will come over me much like a flu infection..  The requirements inspire me as a male, new sports car, new cloths, dye the hair, new girlfriend (required to be at maximum half my age), toupe’ (if needed, hair implants preferred), new gym membership, so I can “kick it up a notch”, and finally, I need to find a book that expresses a vast array of opinions of how being middle aged (experienced) far surpasses youth (inexperience).  This last of course will be needed as my new 18 year girlfriend watches the young men  walk by us in a bar getting “their groove on”.  Yes,  I can see it now, I pick up in my oh so slinky 18 year old girlfriend, in my oh so cool sports car (with the tricked out sound system).  Days before I bought hip new cloths got an I-pod and I-phone (and anything else “I”) and kick with my “peeps” on a tweet, or facebook.  A mere month before I decide to have hair implants to discard my toupe’.  And lastly, to be able to keep up with the 18 year girlfriend, a steady supply of male enhancement medications (not that I need it, or so I will tell her).

Folks, life will be good when I have my mid-life crisis.  I can suggest one thing at whatever age you are … start your bucket list.  For those of you who are unaware of the bucket list, it is a list of things you want to do before you kick “the bucket”, i.e.  die, expire, purge yourself of the mortal coil, no need for oxygen, swim with the fishes, exist only as worm bait, or my personal favorite…. One cold, unmoving, unfeeling, unresponsive, SOB.

 TO aid you in your endeavor, I convey an article in which a woman talks about her husband turning 40.  I found it insightful.  I hope you do to.  Until next time…  Cheers….


About to Place the Big 4-0 on Your Birthday Cake? Before You Do, Read This

On August 15, 2007, my husband will turn 40. Lord willing.

“What things do you want to do before you turn 40?” I asked him. 
“Hmmm…I hadn’t really thought about it,” he said, much to my surprise. You see, I’m
only 37, and I’ve already created my wish list of stuff I’d like to cross off in the next three years.

If you too are staring down the nose at 40 (which is still the new 20, by the way), your virginity is probably long gone. But there are still plenty of other fields of passion to yet be plowed, so to speak. 

Use the following list to inspire you to get off your spreading arse and live:


1. Don’t die!
2. Write a book.
3. Learn a new language.
4. Visit a new country.
5. Pay off all your debts.
6. Sponsor a poor child.
7. Get back in shape.
8. Try out for a movie…
9. …sing horrible karaoke…
10. …or do anything to embarrass yourself!

11. Take one step toward your true passion.
12. Quit your dead-end job.
13. Stop smoking.
14. Rethink your least-favorite food. Taste buds change.
15. Go outside your comfort zone.
16. Move into the house of your dreams.
17. Meet a new friend…
18. …of a different race…
19. …and a different religion than you.
20. Forgive your mother. Hasn’t it been long enough?
21. Call your dad. Hasn’t it been too long?
22. Stop speeding…
23. …and kill your road rage.
24. Take up a new sport. Squash anyone?
25. Play around with a new computer software program.
26. Drive on Route 66.
27. Confess your affair to your spouse…
28. …or, at least to yourself. Then end it.
29. Take a cruise.
30. Host a fun dinner party.
31. Kick your all-day
caffeine habit.
32. Find out the major tenets of all major faiths. Pick one. We all need something to believe in.
33. Read the
lyrics of one classic rap song…
34. …one popular country ode…
35. …and one rock anthem.
36. Book that plastic surgery consultation you’ve been wanting since forever.
37. Set up your own website or blog.
38. Live and let live.
39. Live and let die.
40. Live and live and live some more!

Xander's Recipe of the Month


Apricot-Habanero Short Ribs

Habanero peppers and apricot preserves create a zesty sauce for these grilled beef short ribs.


3 pounds beef short ribs

1/4 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1/2 cup catsup

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 habanero or Scotch Bonnet pepper, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped

1 tablespoon bottled steak sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt



1. Trim fat from ribs. Place ribs in a 4- to 6-quart pot with enough water to cover ribs. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1-1/2 hours or until tender. Drain.

2. For sauce, in a small saucepan cook the onion and garlic, in hot oil until tender. Stir in the catsup, apricot preserves, vinegar, pepper, steak sauce, and chili powder. Bring just to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

3. Stir together the cumin and salt in a small mixing bowl. Sprinkle mixture evenly over both sides or fibs; rub into surface.  

4. Prepare grill for indirect grilling. Test for medium heat above the drip pan. Place ribs, meaty side up, on the lightly oiled grill rack over the drip pan. Cover and grill for 15 minutes or until the ribs are tender, brushing occasionally with the sauce. Heat the remaining sauce until bubbly; pass with the ribs. Makes 6 servings.

Test Kitchen Tip
Habanero peppers and their near-identical cousins, Scotch Bonnets, are some of the hottest peppers grown. More dainty palates may substitute jalapeno or sweet orange peppers. Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.


Thank you for Reading Good Food 4U

By Xander the Food Dude

Please send thoughts and comments to

Big Girls on the Red Carpet


Cher Rue is an actress, writer and producer. Starting out with writing "Dear Cher" she knew she loved helping other people. Being plus size all her life this was where she knew her calling was.

Cher was seen on "Dr.Phil, "Good Morning America", "Entertainment Tonight", "Russian, British, Japanese, and Viet Vietnamese Television". Also a documentary filmed at the Las Vegas Bash on the Travel channel, and Current TV, a online station, with numerous radio interviews talking about size acceptance.
You can also see a recurring show "Secret Lives of Women" seen on the We channel "Women's entertainment".

Cher was recently in a new movie "Forever Plaid" coming out soon.

Cher is now involved with mainstream "Hollywood" and charity events showing that beauty comes in all sizes
it is what is inside that counts.

Cher has always loved seeing others happy and helping others to find their inner self and beauty.
Ten years ago, she found the plus size community and she knew this is where she would focus on helping others who were like her and had some of her experiences and pain that she went through.

Mystical, Memorable and Magical Masquerade Ball @ Libertine on Sunset
with Jamie McCall - "A true sweetheart in the industry, and community!"
Article by: Cher Rue 

Los Angeles, CA - On October 28, 2009, Hollywood's Libertine on Sunset had it's the annual celebrity Masquerade Ball and charity event, produced by Jovy Janolo. It was hosted by former Naval officer turned actress, Jamie McCall. Jamie appeared in several popular television shows, including Grey's Anatomy, Pushing Daisies, and Private Practice. "There's no one better to host such a charity event benefiting typhoon relief programs for victims of the recent devastating typhoon Ondoy (a.k.a. Ketsana) and Pepeng (a.k.a. Parma) in the Philippines than an ex-officer who once served in the US Navy."
"The US Navy has had a longstanding forward presence in the Phillipines and a great relationship with the people of Manila. I felt, as a former US Naval Officer, it was my duty to support the charity & try to help them rebuild!", says Jamie. Together with Red Cross, UNICEF, and other humanitarian organizations, the US Navy continues to assist in reducing the suffering of typhoon victims, in the Philippines, by delivering tons goods, and most importantly, medicines.
Jamie McCall (Actress and Former Naval Officer).
Left photo by Ziv Lee Barzilay. 
Jamie McCall with event producer Jovy Janolo, Maital Guttman, and socialite Raj Joshi.
The event which started around 8 p.m. had quite a line up of activities. Patriotic photos of attractive men adorned by the U.S. flag taken by Philippine photographer Christian Del Rosario was on display early that evening. There was a silent auction that ended midnight with items donated by Marriott, Starbucks, O.N.E. Natural Drinks, Zenoba Hair Salon, Stilt World, Libertine on Sunset, Snuggy Bear TV Show, FOX TV, and many others. For the first two hours of the night, the bar served free Champagne with vodka, pumpkin vodka shots, and a special drink called 'Masqueritas' - a Halloween twist to a margarita by adding red coloring and chili. All the guests were quite entertained gauging from some photos below. But  wait! there's more...


Bottle service sponsored by Belvedere. Photo by Jeff Knight.
Donor Jairo Mazariegos, Vocalist Kel-B, and guest smile for the camera.Photo by Jeff Knight.

Photographer Trevor Gordon does

a wacky pose. Photo by Jeff Knight.


Interesting enough, stilt walker Darin Sanone graced the event and entertained the crowd with his amazing dancing moves on stilts wearing a freaky Wonder Woman costume. Honorable celebrity lawyer (appearing in "Celebrity Justice," "Inside Edition", "Geraldo at Large") turned magician, Paul Fegen, who arrived with his beautiful assistant in his fancy Rolls Royce, amused guests with his mind-boggling card tricks. West Hollywood's 'girlbar' DJ Beau spun the first part of the evening. Plus, CBS Amazing Race "Stand-Out Team", Kynt and Vyxsin, were present as judges for the costume contest.

Darin Sanone (Stilt World) in a freaky Wonder Woman costume.
Photo by Trevor Gordon.
Magician Paul Fegen amazingly shows the seven of hearts that is stuck on the heel of his shoe.
Photo by Jeff Knight.   
Kynt & Vyxsin is holding the latest issue of Gothic Beauty Magazine which they are featured in.
Photo by Ziv Lee Barzilay.

DJ Beau spinning the turn tables.
Photo by Ziv Lee Barzilay.

Close to midnight, solo artist Philly, who once opened for Lady Gaga in San Francisco last year, came on stage and performed his newest album that included his latest single "Addicted". Then followed by singer and Zrii enthusiast LK Avelar with featured vocalist Kel-B who performed their unreleased single, "Zrii: Freedom & Love" and "Recibe". DJ Nova Jade took the turn table and entertained the crowd up to the wee hours.

Darin Sanone (Stilt World) in a freaky Wonder Woman costume.
Photo by Trevor Gordon.
Magician Paul Fegen amazingly shows the seven of hearts that is stuck on the heel of his shoe.
Photo by Jeff Knight.   
Kynt & Vyxsin is holding the latest issue of Gothic Beauty Magazine which they are featured in.
Photo by Ziv Lee Barzilay.

DJ Beau spinning the turn tables.
Photo by Ziv Lee Barzilay.

Close to midnight, solo artist Philly, who once opened for Lady Gaga in San Francisco last year, came on stage and performed his newest album that included his latest single "Addicted". Then followed by singer and Zrii enthusiast LK Avelar with featured vocalist Kel-B who performed their unreleased single, "Zrii: Freedom & Love" and "Recibe". DJ Nova Jade took the turn table and entertained the crowd up to the wee hours.
Solo artist Philly. Photo by Jeff Knight. 
LK Avelar with Kel-B. Photo by Jeff Knight.

DJ Nova Jade getting ready to take over the turntables.


Spooky and sexy costumes were spotted everywhere... some will just freak you out but their are others that you just have to ask yourself, "why oh why?". Well, whatever they maybe... it's Halloween right?! Some of the  guests , and even photographers themselves, took the opportunity to have their Halloween photos taken for FREE by some of the best known photographers in Los Angeles. Just check out some of the photos below.

Photos were taken by red carpet photographer Jeff Knight. Visit        

The night was all about fun and excitement for everyone, but for many, it was a night to support a great cause. The event raised a significant amount of money from the silent auction and door donations to fund a couple of relief programs that currently assist victims of the recent typhoons in the Philippines. Please note that hundreds (and still counting) have been killed and millions are left homeless. To know more about the relief programs and information on how you can help, please visit the following websites:
Special thanks to all hosts, performers, photographers, videographer, volunteers, bartenders, servers, cook, and the following generous (w/ time, resources, and money) individuals: Scott Shives, Nephresha Singletary, Vicky Cerda and Jose, Felicia Villani, Lana Hyde, Crystal Mesina,  Prem Joshi, Jairo Mazariegos, Andrew Le, Lucas Fiamengo, David Shelton, and Amanda Abizaid.

For inquiries:
Jovy Janolo Productions: Tel. No. 818.392.8230.
Libertine on Sunset: 8210 West Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90046. Tel. No:323.656.3005
Photos by:
Jeff Knight: Tel. No. 213.568.3941 or 323.791.4081

Video by:

Thanks for reading Big Girls on the Red Carpet

Hot & Heavy Entertainment


     Stephanie Baham is a native of Los Angeles, CA and now resides in the San Francisco area. She's a 38 year old professional who has long enjoyed the craft of writing. Her other interests include film, theatre, yoga, dancing, literature and politics. Stephanie holds a Bachelor's degree from Cal State University, Long Beach in Theatre Arts. She is currently working towards her degree in Psychology.


Precious - The Movie

with Stephanie Baham


Precious is a movie whose leading actress is plus sized teenager Gabourey Sidibe. She plays the role of Precious, a pregnant teen with a very abusive mother.  The role of the mother, Mary, is played by Mo'nique. These 2 plus size women... along with the other members of the cast, give a powerful performance.

Precious is based on the novel Push, written by an African-American poet and writer known as Sapphire. Precious takes place in Harlem, 1987.  Precious is a 16 year old teen who is pregnant for a second time by her absentee father.  She seems destined to spend her life raising babies and waiting on her emotionally & physically abusive mother.  As the story unfolds, Precious advances into the 9th grade and must reveal she can neither read or write.  She takes an opportunity to go to an alternative school designed to help with her illiteracy.  There she meets friends and mentors who help lift her out of total darkness and into a new light.

This movie opens on November 6th.  But I wanted to write about it now so everyone will know of it's release.  I've watched many trailers for this film and I'm utterly intrigued.  I am delighted the star of this dramatic piece is not your usual thin, blond "it girl".  Precious is a big girl with big dreams and is truly a representative of someone with real beauty.  Beauty that comes from perseverance, compassion and never giving up.

I was also amazed at seeing Mo'nique transform herself from the divalicious Phat Girl into a character this intense. No... I think "scary" is a better word!  This movie also stars Paula Patton, Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey.  I believe Mariah, appearing with no make-up in a sincere role... just might redeem herself for that disaster of a flick, Glitter.


This movie, directed by Lee Daniels, scooped up awards from several film festivals including both the Sundance and the Toronto film festivals. It was also featured at the Cannes film festival.  It's the only movie to ever win audience awards at both Sundance & Toronto.

Speaking of the Cannes, here is an excerpt from the New York Times regarding Lee Daniels reaction to the audience after the screening:

At Cannes, the film received a 15-minute standing ovation. “They wouldn’t stop clapping,” Daniels told me as he gulped a vodka. “I’m a director — after six minutes, I’m saying, please sit down. But I’m also a producer, so I’m thinking, what’s the record? Can we break the record for the longest standing ovation at the festival?”

Films that win this many awards at prestigious film festivals, usually go on to grab Academy Award nominations. We saw it happen last year with Slumdog Millionaire.  Will this film, with 2 plus sized stars, take the Oscars?  I'm anxious to find out.

Below is the official trailer for the film.  The song you hear is called Destiny, sung by Mary J Blidge.

I think this movie is definitely worth a viewing.  Many reviewers & fans have found it powerful, poignant and inspirational. The director & cast are getting much praise for their work on this film.  Let's all go see Precious.

Stephanie Baham

You can find more information about the film online:

Link to interview with the actress who plays Precious, Gabourey Sidibe




Thanks for reading Hot & Heavy Entertainment

Stephaine's Links:


National and International Plus Size News


     I am a former plus-size model and stage performer. I have written articles that have appeared in local newspapers, college magazines and I was a sports editor for my school newspaper. Currently I have a book coming out in May 08, How to Make a Living Without a Job: the Guide to Professional Temping. It will be available online through Amazon and can be ordered through Barnes & Noble or Borders. I split my time between the Bay Area, CA and Houston, TX.


NAAFA Charges, "CDC Website Promotes Discrimination"
with Iolande Vitt Argent



Peggy Howell of NAAFA issued a press release that was a stunner. It addressed the CDC's introduction of an "Obesity Cost Calculator" on their LEAN Works! website, charging that it will undoubtedly increase workplace discrimination against employees of size and especially harm people of color due to differences in weight distribution and genetic predispositions to body size.

NAAFA, a civil rights organization working to improve the lives of people of size, urges the CDC to remove this tool, based on a flawed formula, from their website and instead encourage employers to promote wellness programs based on Health at Every Size principles.

NAAFA believes that good nutrition and enjoyable physical activity is good for everybody regardless of the size of that body and that the weight or BMI of an individual is not an indicator of one's health.

Employers collecting private data from employees to estimate the cost of said employee simply encourages that employer to "cut costs" by eliminating certain employees and refusing to hire new employees who may appear to have similar physical characteristics. This practice encourages discrimination against minority employees in particular who have prevalence toward higher weight and larger body sizes.

Recent studies indicate that people of higher weights are just as heart healthy on average as people in the "so called ideal weight range". Studies from the CDC itself indicate that people in the "overweight" BMI category actually live longer than those in the "ideal weight" range. These studies have been recently supported by studies from both Japan and Canada.

There is no scientific data to support the CDC claim that those who are larger use more healthcare services and it's impossible for the Obesity Cost Calculator to be accurate. Use of such a tool does a disservice to the business community by spreading misinformation, reinforcing prejudicial stereotypes and promoting further discrimination against an already marginalized group of people.

Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.

On the web:


Thanks for reading Did You Know

The Big GB

My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya L. Bennett, (also known as “Truthfulblkwoman”) is a 38 year old, black female, single with no children living in Detroit, Michigan.  She is the youngest of a set of fraternal female twins, with a older sister.  Sonya lives with being the larger twin, and discovered people always presumed that they would look alike in SOME way... Even though fraternal twins don't necessarily look alike.  Always being the heavier of the two, people (family, associates, friends) were quick to point it out. She grew to realize an outer appearance is what people judge you on initially.  As a college-educated freelance court stenographer, it never occurred to her that size would prohibit her from receiving work.  In the legal world, the “eye candy” usually didn’t fill UP the corner.

In 2007, Sonya was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes; a generational curse that she had prayed to avoid, but didn’t worry about while she piled butter pecan ice cream on her German Chocolate Cake.    Only a few months into this diagnosis, she woke up one morning unable to walk and in excruciating pain in her left foot.  Doctors finally diagnosed an acute tendonitis, exacerbated by uncontrolled diabetes.  That was the wake-up call, She had suffered for years with high cholesterol and sleep apnea; all associated with her weight,  it wasn’t until this happened (wheelchair bound for a month and on crutches following that) did she tell herself "I have to do something about my weight."  On April 17, 2008, Sonya had the gastric bypass medical weight loss procedure and it was the best decision that she made for herself.  In these upcoming writings, Sonya invites you to learn the ups and downs of gastric bypass: through the eyes of one who lives it every day.


The Baby Stage - Part II

with Sonya Bennett

As most post-operative people do – no matter what the operation --   I tried to press my limits and chew a small piece of turkey sausage until it’s almost liquefied (yuck) and my reward:  extreme nausea; dumping, as it is referred to.  My body rejects what it’s not ready for and that prolongs my desire to push that limit again!  So I continue on; slowly slurping chicken broth out of a cup the size of a carryout-salad dressing container and it takes me more than an hour to finish it.  I cannot eat it too quickly or I’ll have to contend with more gas in my stomach and Pepcid and Immodium are already my close companions!

After the turkey sausage incident, I personally decide to stretch the “Baby Stage” of liquids two, additional weeks.  Instead of the recommended two weeks, it will now be a month of liquids.  My first weight-in, two weeks after the surgery, I have lost 25 pounds!  I’ve been on a million diets in my lifetime:  know that initial losses are water weight; however, if I’m 25 pounds less water, that water can go and never return  My surgeon was impressed and told me to keep up the great work. 

My third week after surgery; I’m walking my dog every day and my blood glucoses levels have reduced from 200+ ever morning at a fasting level down to 96!  My family physician has reduced my medication from 500 mgs of Metformin and 100 mgs of Januvia to solely the 100 mgs of Januvia; a very mild, oral medication that helps to control blood sugar levels.  My cholesterol readings are slowly correcting, as well.  Even though I’m depressed, I have a little more energy and the painful gas is dissipating

The fourth week of my convalescence, I visit my sister and nieces in Orlando, Florida.  Four weeks out and I have now lost about 36 pounds.  Being long distance, they have not seen me since Thanksgiving time and are amazed at how my face has slimmed, my belly has reduced and have more energy than I have had in years.  This is a real test: being in a household of Southern family that love to cook, hasn’t seen my before, during and present struggle and two teenagers that love their aunt and want to take her to the places she’s always wanting to go during every visit:  Cheesecake Factory, Disney World’s Main Street with all its restaurants, not to mention grilling by the pool.  I’ve been four weeks: a month without solid food.  This trip is a limit-pusher for sure!


Join me next month as I have my first “solid food” experience: Chicken Noodle Soup…



Thanks for reading

The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya's Links:

Sonya Bennett on Facebook


Time to tell it like it is!


     This is an experiment in Confession, you can anonymously confess, or let everyone know something that you feel.  Every Month we will post all the confessions and you can come and view them and be inspired to make your own.


     You can send in a picture,  You can make a graphic,  You can just send in your written words.  You can do it anonymously and get something off your chest.  You can let everyone know who you are and liberate yourself.


     Hope you enjoy Confession!  Send in your own check the bottom of this page!





I hated myself all my life...  My parents told me if I didn't lose weight I will never have respect.

Now that they are dead and I am all alone I see things differently. The only ones who didn't respect me were them.





I am a liar. I hate my size. I don't know what to do. Am I supposed to be proud? Or am I supposed to be thin?





Before I said: She means everything to me and I cant figure out what is wrong with me. 

Why does her size make me stay away.  It wasn't her size it was me.





I am so tired of people talking about how great they are and that there size wont stop them. 

If you really believed it you wouldn't have to say it all the time.




Send in your own Confession,  Use the email to the Right and send in a your confession, weather it is a graphic you made (NO BIGGER THAN 5x7 92 DPI) or a picture you saw.  You can also just send in text words.  Your Confession can be Anonymous or you can tell everyone who you are.

Send in your Confession NOW!

Thanks for reading Confession

Send in your Confession to


Large In Charge Guest Spot

We want to hear and see your talents!


One of our favorite parts of the Magazine.  The Guest Spot is for our readers to submit there talents to be viewed.  We want to see all you wonderful supporters making moves of your own.  If you write poetry, short stories, commentaries, or just thoughts in general, please submit them to us.  If your a designer we want to see pictures of your clothing.   We would love to include your talents in our newsletter.  We hope you take an active part in the L.I.C. newsletter. Send in your article, poetry, comments to -

NOTE: The Opinion of the writer is not always the opinion of The Large in Charge Staff.  We support the Right to all views.  We do not Condemn or Approve writing based on our personal thoughts.  We approve writing based on if the subject is a concern for the BBW / SSBBW / BHM Community.  Thank you for your writing and please send in those articles!  - The Large in Charge Staff

Guest Writer


Written By: Darliene Howell

I used to have a great deal of respect for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), until PETA as an organization has chosen to stigmatize a large portion of our population through their "Lose the Blubber" billboard campaign in Jacksonville, Florida.

If a child in school were to do what PETA is doing, their behavior would be called bullying for acting in an overbearing and/or intimidating manner. When has being a bully EVER been acceptable? It is not. This behavior and this billboard is NOT acceptable. How is this ethical treatment of human beings?

PETA's automated response to people that have had the courage of their convictions to tell them how this campaign demoralizes and demeans them, was "We apologize for any offense we may have caused; that was not our intent." (Too late!) And that "...we think it would be cruel not to tell people about the health benefits of going vegetarian." Oh! So it's being done out of concern for our health and that gives them the right to humiliate us? Is this their brand of ETHICAL TREATMENT?

The message goes on to talk about vegetarian living and how we wouldn't be obese and unhealthy if we stopped eating meat. Interesting, since I was a Vegan for a couple of years during my younger years and did not find that I lost any weight as a result. Okay, so I was still obese but I MUST have been healthier, according to their assertion. Hmmmm... Sounds a little like we could be healthy and still be fat? Does that mean that PETA believes in Health at Every Size (HAES)? Doubtful!

After all of this, they have the audacity to ask for a donation!

In a press release from the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), they send a clear message that "Stigmatization does not work!" and that "This campaign's sole purpose is to bring PETA's animal rights agenda to the public discussion at the expense of an entire segment of the American population." I absolutely agree. They have received LOTS of media attention and letters of protest as a result of this campaign.

I'm very proud of all of the people that have stood up for themselves and others by writing to PETA in protest. If you would like to express your disappointment in their tactics and tell them that stigmatizing fat people is not acceptable, please send an email to

I've also had a number of friends who are animal lovers, that have supported PETA in the past, tell me they will no longer do so because of the way they have handled this advertising campaign. This may be the very best way to handle things. Hit them below the belt... the money belt, that is. There are many, many nonprofit organizations out there vying for our charitable-giving dollar. PETA will NOT be one of my choices.

For more information on Health at Every Size (HAES),


To read NAAFA's full press release,

"Message to PETA: Stigmatization Does Not Work!",

go to  or



Interested in applying for a writers position?


     Send in the information below along with a clear photograph of yourself and one complete article at least 300 words.  Please make sure your article is matching the position your applying for.  If you are a versatile writer and applying for more than one position send in one article for each position.


     Any submissions maybe be used in the magazine as a guest article or other wise if you do not receive a position.  If you are picked for a position it will be used as a back up for your column in case of emergency.


I want to Apply for a Writers Position:


My Name is:

My email address is:

My Phone Number is:

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I am allowing LargeInCharge to use my image and article as they see fit.  By typing my name and date I understand that I agree to the above.   NAME/DATE


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Thank you

Send in your Work to Appear in LargeInCharge

We love our guest writers, they help us to make LargeInCharge more personal and reader friendly place.  We bring the people words from there own peers.  If you always wanted to write but never knew what to do with your thoughts and opinions.  Send them in to us we love to feature you in our guest spot.


What type of entries do we accept?

  • Original Articles that have not been placed in publication.

  • Size Empowerment Stories

  • Discovery of Size Acceptance

  • Romance of Large Size

  • Poetry - at least 25 lines in length

  • Complaints about Society

  • Complaints about what is provided for Big People

  • Complaints about Health Care

  • Weight Loss Surgery Experiences

  • Dealing with Doctors

  • The Joy of being Big

  • Learning to Love yourself

  • etc.

How to Submit my Article for review?

  • Check your article for spelling and correct format, We do not edit articles.
  • Attach your article either in Word, Text Format, or in the Body of your email.
  • In your email send your Real Name, E-mail and Address (state, location).
  • Under your Name and Address include date, and the line. "I give and there owners, permission to use my written article. I am submitting it for there use at their discretion."
  • Include a picture if you so wish in .jpg or .gif format and a brief description of yourself.

Send in your stories, poems, etc. to


Large In Charge

Fashion Furious

BBW/BHM Fashion of the Month

     We all hate how the Fashion Industry is just scratching the surface when it comes to Large Sized Fashion.  But I have found out that many clothing stores and online companies are beginning to take up the slack.  Creative BBW, SSBBW and BHM's are making there own clothing or mix matching and finding basic everyday wear and night club wear. 

     Making it affordable is what can be hard so showcase your wonderful finds here.  If your a regular shopper, sew your own clothing or a designer showcase your clothing here by submitting a picture for Fashion Furious of the month.


Fashion Furious of the Month

How to send in your Fashion Find. Send a Clear Picture as an attachment

and use the Format Below to describe your Fashion Furious picture.

Email to Raqui:

Fashion Find by: Raqui

Fashion Type: Sale @ IGIGI

Why I Like this Item: WHO DOESN'T LOVE A SALE!!!







Send in your Fashion Furious Picture and Details to

Large In Charge

Product of the Month!

What is good for Big Sized Bodies


    A very important and necessary part of LargeInCharge.  Find out what is helpful for big bodies.  Keep your self straight with some of our tips and tricks. Find out what other Big Sized people use to keep themselves smelling, feeling, looking, and living a proper life.  What kind of products are allowed. Anything that deal with the body. From cleaning aids to soap, lotions, powder, healing aids etc.  anything that can help a big body!

NOTE: The Opinion of those who submit items are not professional.  They are everyday people who found something that worked for them.  We are not held responsible for there opinion - The Large in Charge Staff

Send your favorite Item to be Product of the Month - Follow format below, include a picture of product (most can be found online) and Send to

Product of the Month

About the Product

Recommender: Raqui

Name of Product: Grab Bar
Type of Product: Bathroom Grab Bars

Cost of Product: $19.99

Where Product can be found:


Wall grab bars provide a firm, steady grip

Mount a Grab Bar anywhere you need a sturdy, helping hand. Its textured, non-slip grip provides firm support when you need it. Installs vertically, horizontally or diagonally with included hardware in minutes. Heavy duty, chrome-plated steel. Rust-resistant.

Why I like this Product:
For a very affordable price
you can go wrong with a hand bar. Useful to anyone and necessary for those with mobility issues or need a little hand keeping steady.



Send in your Product recommendation to

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