Featured Mommypreneurs

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ANNOUNCEMENT

I have launched a series of blog posts called Featured Mommypreneurs in collaboration with mommypreneurs (i.e. mommies entrepreneurs). Let me know if you're interested to join me to feature your products / services. :)

 

 

Project 365 2011 - Photo #59

Sister's collection of semi-precious stones.

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #58

I saw this pair of cute earrings while spending my Saturday afternoon at the flea market at Amcorp Mall. Only RM3 per pair, so I bought it without second thoughts. :D

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #57


The month of February, the Valentine's Day month is coming to an end but Friendscino Bar & Restaurant still has colored paper hearts hanging all over its place.

In the second photo, the bigger, darker heart shape on the ceiling is the shadow of the big, red paper heart. Perhaps, this quote goes with it: Love casts a shadow in your heart.

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #56

Our new astromech droids. As of February 2011, we've 39 astromech droids. :)

More photos on my Facebook album.

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Movie: The Rite (2011)

You can only defeat it when you believe.

The Rite (2011) is a supernatural horror movie directed by Mikael Håfström.

Synopsis: A skeptical seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) reluctantly attends exorcism school at the Vatican. While in Rome, he meets an unorthodox priest, Father Lucas Travent (Anthony Hopkins) who introduces him to the darker side of his faith.

I watch this movie because of Anthony Hopkins. I still remember his chilling and excellent performance as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Hannibal (2001); and as Sir John Talbot in The Wolfman (2010).

In The Rite, Anthony Hopkins is Father Lucas Trevant, a simple character and yet, it's also another strong and creepy character that Hopkins played extremely well since his iconic role as Hannibal Lecter in years. In fact, it's a fair statement if I say, The Rite is worth watching for Anthony Hopkins alone. It's amazing seeing this distinguished actor in his seventies giving a performance so real and believable.

The younger actors are clearly overshadowed, e.g. Colin O'Donoghue. As Michael Kovak, he's actually the main character in this movie but his performance is not half as impressive.

About the storyline, heavy references to Christianity, demonology, and exorcism are portrayed. If you don't like this genre of movie, you might not be exactly comfortable watching most of the scenes.

Having said that, I'd still recommend this movie to all horror movie fans.
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Project 365 2011 - Photo #55


Last Christmas season, our Beary Fishy wore a red Christmas hat. Today, Beary Fishy wears a black one. ^_^

Here are the tales of our dear Beary Fishy.


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Movie: Burlesque (2010)

It takes a LEGEND... to make a STAR.

Burlesque (2010) is a musical movie starring Christina Aguilera and Cher.

Synopsis: Ali (Christina Aguilera) is a small-town girl with a big voice who escapes hardship and an uncertain future to follow her dreams to Los Angeles. After stumbling upon The Burlesque Lounge, a majestic but ailing theater that is home to an inspired musical revue, Ali lands a job as a cocktail waitress from Tess (Cher), the club's proprietor and headliner. Burlesque's outrageous costumes and bold choreography enrapture the young ingenue, who vows to perform there one day.

Burlesque (2010) is Aguilera's theatrical movie and musical debut as the lead character, Ali, a "small-town girl with a big voice," who finds work at a Los Angeles neo-burlesque club.

The paragraph below is quite sentimental, quoted from Wikipedia:

"Of course, me being me, I had to give her one tiny bit of advice. It was in the scene in which Tess says, "OK, I'm going to build the show around you." There was a close-up on Christina, and though she had a beautiful look on her face, I knew she had more to give. I went up to her and said, "Christina, this is the moment you've been waiting for all your life. Not your character's life, but yours. It's now or never." Moments later I watched her pull years of tears out of those baby blue eyes. Yeah! I know this beautiful child can go as far, and as deep, as she wants to go. I'm proud of her and I am proud to be in this film with her." Cher on scenes with Aguilera.

If you're a fan of musical movies and if you really like Christina Aguilera, you should watch this movie. Beautiful and powerful voice; gorgeous and sexy costumes; elaborate and daring dance choreography - that's all you need for a really enjoyable musical movie. And of course, Christina Aguilera. ;)
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Project 365 2011 - Photo #54

A colleague just came back from his trip to Seoul and gotten us some Korean facial masks. Cool stuff!

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Buna Kafe & Restoran @ Ground Floor, Kelana Mall

Buna Kafe & Restoran, located at Ground Floor, Kelana Mall specializes in Thai and Kelantanese dishes. I've had my lunch and dinner at this restaurant with colleagues and friends for countless times.

Note: Buna's Foursquare venue.

Apart from rice and noodles dishes, Buna also serves Thai sweet desserts with coconut milk as well as the well-known Thai salads - Songtum (Young Papaya Salad) & Kerabu Mangga (Mango Salad).

Take a look at some their delicious and recommended dishes.

Green Curry Beef and Stir-fried Mixed Vegetables

Ikan Tiga Rasa (Three Flavored Fish)

Sweet and Sour Fish

Kailan Ikan Masin (Stir-fried Kailan with Salted Fish)

White Tom Yum

Green Curry Chicken Laksa

Tom Yum Beehoon

Beef Kueh Teow Soup

Pad Wun Sen (Fried Vermicelli) and Nasi Dagang Ikan

I like this restaurant because I get good, delicious food at affordable prices. Prices range from RM5 for salads and stir-fry vegetables to RM9.90 (Tom Yum, noodles and rice dishes). Main meat dishes such as chicken, beef, fish, etc will be charged differently according to cooking style. 10% service charge will be added to your overall bill too.

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Here are some of their awesome and delicious desserts.

Water Chestnut and Jackfruit with Coconut Milk

Mango with Sticky Rice and Coconut Milk

Kuih Tako

There are many more great dishes. Do drop by soon. :)
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Project 365 2011 - Photo #53

Handy mini emergency lamp.

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #52


Gotten my lucky draw prize - Philips Micro System Music Cube with USB Direct Playback. Looks cool.


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Project 365 2011 - Photo #51

New earrings. 3 for RM10 from Fennel, Mid Valley Megamall.

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Late lunch @ Sushi Zanmai, The Gardens Mall

Thanks to MJ for offering me this RM20 Sushi Zanmai voucher. I chose the one valid on 20 February 2011. So, David and I went to Sushi Zanmai at The Gardens Mall for late lunch after gym.

I'm quite impressed with Sushi Zanmai's tagline: The genuine, conveyor-belt sushi restaurant. The original taste, a brand new experience.


Curry Rice
Needless to elaborate, Japanese curry with rice tastes awesome as always although its presentation is a bit bland and uninteresting. The small version is currently priced at RM8.80, exclusive of 10% service charge.

Oyako Don
Oyako Don is simmered chicken, egg, and mushroom with rice, garnished with spring onions and seaweed. The chicken chunks are tender and flavorful and the mushroom slices are tender and very aromatic. I particularly love the soft-boiled egg oozing among the rest of the ingredients. The small version is
currently priced at RM8.80, exclusive of 10% service charge.

Apart from these two rice dishes, we also have Tobikko (fish roe sushi), Tuna Salad sushi, and a bowl of Miso Shiru (soup).

Food quality is good. I'd love to visit this outlet again. :)
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Project 365 2011 - Photo #50

Beautiful moon, eerie clouds, serene night. *contented sigh* :)

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Weekend Movie: My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

Love is here to stay... so is her family.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) is a heartwarming romantic comedy movie.

Synopsis: Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) is 30 years old, single, Greek, lives with her parents, and works in the family restaurant, Dancing Zorba's. Her father, Gus (Michael Constantine) wants her to marry a Greek man and make Greek babies. But she's looking for more in life.

One day, she falls in love with a non-Greek man, school teacher Ian Miller (John Corbett). Gus couldn't accept the fact that Toula is dating a non-Greek. So, Toula and Ian have to work together to get Toula's family to accept him. Ian has to learn to accept Toula's huge family and Toula has to comes to terms with her heritage and cultural identity.

I love some of the interesting and catchy quotes from the movie:

1. Toula: Nice Greek girls who don't find a husband, work in the family restaurant. So here I am, day after day, year after year, thirty and way past my expiration date.

This reminds me of who I was when I was 30 years old, although I'm not a Greek and I don't work in a restaurant. ;)

2. Maria (Toula's mother): The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.

3. Nick (Toula's brother): Don't let your past dictate who you are, but let it be part of who you will become.

The entire cast is delightful to watch. Nia Vardalos as Toula is stunning and she captures the essence of love, family, and culture in a nutshell naturally and genuinely. Toula's parents, Gus and Maria's characters are totally credible and their Greek-y idiosyncrasies are so fun to watch!

It's a romantic comedy with a sweet ending. Oh yeah, I love the wedding scene too. :)
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Movie: Sanctum (2011)

The only way out is down.

Sanctum (2011) is an action-thriller-adventure movie produced by James Cameron and inspired by the movie's co-writer Andrew Wight's near-death experience of leading a diving expedition miles into a system of underwater caves, then having to find a way out after a freak storm collapsed the entrance. (Source: Wikipedia)

Synopsis: Master diver Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh) and his team has been conducting an underwater cave exploration in Papua New Guinea's Esa-ala cave site for months. Frank's 17-year-old son Josh (Rhys Wakefield), financier Carl (Ioan Gruffudd), and Carl's girlfriend Victoria (Alice Parkinson) join the team at one point.

However, when a cyclone starts flooding the cave, the team is forced to find the way out as soon as possible. The cave will be flooded in no time and their air and light supplies are dwindling rapidly. To escape, they must navigate their way out through the unexplored underwater caves system that leads to the sea. Will they survive?

The whole message from this movie is the timeless 'man-versus-nature' and 'nature-versus-man' theme; and of course, survival of the fittest.

In terms of action and suspense, you won't be disappointed. Most of the escape-to-survive and fall-to-death scenes will get your adrenaline pumping and give you that edgy feeling in your stomach. The mercy killing scenes will get your tear ducts active too. *sniff*

The acting is a bit melodramatic but I guess when you're trapped, panicking, and with slim chances of survival, you'll tend to shout at everyone around you. The ending is bittersweet, one that causes you to sigh in relief, and yet, you'll hope it'll happier.

Overall, this is a rather good movie.
It's also available in 3D for those who want a more cinematic experience. Let me know if you've watched the 3D version.
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Dinner @ Chelos Taman Desa

Chelos Taman Desa with the tagline "Authentic * Bistro * Lifestyle" is located at 9-0-12, Jalan 3/109F, Danau Business Centre, Taman Desa, Off Jalan Kelang Lama, KL. It's a corner lot, same row as Guardian.

Chelos "Mee Rebus Tulang"
This dish is not your normal Malay stalls-style mee rebus. Chelos "Mee Rebus Tulang" has a fusion twist added to it, whereby the chef substitutes mee kuning (yellow mee) with spaghetti.

On the menu, this dish is described as spaghetti and vegetables in thick tulang (beef bones) gravy. I'm pretty surprised and impressed with the portion of this dish, especially the three huge chunks of bones. The gravy is beefy, flavorful, thick, and fantastic! The chef also garnishes the dish with bean curd, chillies, and spring onions. Currently, it's priced at RM11.50 per bowl, exclusive of 10% service charge.

Chelos also sells pastries and cakes. I guess it's a good place for tea-time too. :)
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Chap Goh Meh Dinner @ Pho Hoa, Tropicana City Mall

Chap Goh Meh or Chinese Valentine's Day is the 15th and final day of the Lunar New Year. This Bunny Year, Chap Goh Meh falls on 17 February 2011.

My sister and I went to Pho Hoa at Tropicana City Mall, our favorite Vietnam restaurant for dinner. Take a look at one of our very first visits to this restaurant with the tagline "Health Conscious Choice".


Address: Lot L1-52, First Floor, Tropicana City Mall


Cha Trung Hap (Vietnamese Egg Cakes)
Quoting the menu, this dish is known as home-style steamed chicken and egg pie. It's a compact cake of minced chicken, mushroom, and vermicelli wrapped with a thin layer of omelet. It's served on a bed of fresh lettuce and garnished with carrot slices and chopped spring onions.

We love every bite of this firm, fragrant, and delicious cake. Currently, it's priced at RM5.90 for two chunks of cakes,
exclusive of 10% service charge.

The Adventurer's Choice
Quoting the menu, this category specially caters to those who want the most "unusual" and yet, the tastiest of meats. Why not be adventurous once and try what other choosy eaters have been enjoying?

There are three types of pho (Vietnamese noodles dish) for The Adventurer's Choice that comes with different choices of beef. First - steak, flank, tendon, and tripe. Second - brisket, flank, tendon, tripe. Third - steak, brisket, flank, tendon, tripe.

The two photos above show the third choice of pho. Currently, the regular version is priced at RM18.90 and the large version is priced at RM20.90, exclusive of 10% service charge.

Here's to good food and health! :D
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Project 365 2011 - Photo #49

One prosperous thought is more powerful than a thousand thoughts of failure. - Yogi Bhajan

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Revisit Chayo, Kelana Mall for paneer dishes

Chayo @ Kelana Mall, SS6/14, Kelana Jaya is famous for their Northern Indian vegetarian meals. Kelana Mall is located in the vicinity of LDP Giant and Universiti Tun Abdul Razak.

Check out the previous posts of my visits to Chayo.


Paneer Pasta
Paneer is a kind of cheese in the Indian cuisine. Paneer Pasta is an interesting dish of paneer cubes, Farfalle (butterflies pasta), spices, and garnished with chopped coriander leaves.


Paneer Fried Rice Indian Style
The combination of paneer cubes, chopped capsicum, long beans, carrot, and ginger slices with rice is interesting and delicious. Paneer Fried Rice is served with Chayo's special sambal, fresh cabbage, carrot and cucumber, and a piece of crunchy papadom.

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #48

Bought the "79% off The Royal Spa Treatment (2 hrs) incl body massage + body scrub + whitening mask + milk bath + mysterious gift worth RM65 @ Jari Spa, Solaris Dutamas for RM59 instead of RM280" coupon from OrangeDeal last week for our Valentine's treat. However, no slots are available in February till end of March. So, we booked our slot on 22 April 2011, evening.

I guess a belated Valentine's treat is better than none. :)

Update: The Royal Spa Treatment @ Jari Spa, Solaris Dutamas

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #47

A c(__) a day, I'm :D all the way!

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Valentine's Day Special (Part V) - Lunch: Euro Deli Delicatessen

 
Euro Deli Delicatessen is one of our dining choices during our early dates. So, David suggested to revisit this restaurant again for our Valentine's Day lunch. It's sweet that he remembers such details. :)

Address: No. 41, Jalan SS20/11, Damansara Kim, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.


 
Schweizer Kaese Hamburger (Cheese and Mushroom Burger) 

This monstrous looking burger is served with french fries, mushroom sauce, and coleslaw. We love the succulent pork patty and scrumptious gherkins and greens. Priced at RM22.50 at the moment, it's not one of the cheapest pork burger we've eaten, but I guess that's more or less the price you'll get for fine pork burgers. :)


 
Emmenthaler Wuerste (Emmenthaler Sausage) 

I'm really delighted with this dish. There are two pork sausages with cheese served with a dollop of mustard sauce, egg and potato salad, and my favorite sauerkraut. The combination of the creamy potatoes, sourish sauerkraut, and chewy sausages makes my Valentine's Day lunch a blissful experience. It's priced reasonably affordable at RM22.90 at the moment.

Overall, food quality is great. Coupled with a great companion, you shall find dining a bliss. :)


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Valentine's Day Special (Part IV) - Movie: The Green Hornet (2011)

The Green Hornet (2011) is an action-comedy movie based on the iconic radio serial, comic book, and television show of the same name in the 1930s.

Synopsis: Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) inherits the "The Daily Sentinel" in LA after the sudden death of his father, James Reid (Tom Wilkinson). Clueless and bored with his life, Britt assumes the personality of a crime-fighting masked hero at night known as "The Green Hornet" and teams up with his assistant/sidekick, Kato (Jay Chou).
With the help of his new secretary, Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz), Britt and Kato begin their crime-fighting "career" and get into real trouble when their existence begins to threaten Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz), LA's underground crime lord.

I don't like Seth Rogen and I find him childish, over-reacting, irritating, and annoying as "The Green Hornet". Perhaps that's his style but I don't buy it at all. Also, Jay Chou really needs to brush up his English or he should be given less lines to speak in the movie and stay mute as the super kick-ass sidekick. Another thing, I'm not sure what's the main contribution of Cameron Diaz's Lenore in the movie, perhaps just as a pretty tomboyish helper.

However, I think, one thing that saves this movie is the paranoid Chudnofsky. I love the way Christoph Waltz looks completely unassuming and benign and yet gives shivers down your spine when he starts to go crazy and kills people with his awesome double-barrel gun.

Not a very good movie but if you've read lots of good comments about it, just go ahead and watch.


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Project 365 2011 - Photo #46

The first three cars we used during our early dates. Love the way he mentioned about his girlfriend. :)

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #45


Belgian Chocolate & Macadamia Nut. Thanks Baby! :)

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Valentine's Day Special (Part III) - Finding lasting love?

Photo source

Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together.
- Barbara Cage

 
Original article: Crucial characteristics of lasting love

1. Physical appearance
- Physical appearance and attraction draw two people together at first.

2. Emotional maturity
- Is this person emotionally mature and centered or still lugging around some trunk-sized baggage?
- How does your sweetheart relate to family and friends?
- Is he or she emotionally supportive or have control issues?
- Is he or she aware of his or her own issues and interested in addressing them? 


3. Lifestyle choices
- Career and social lives, common interests, leisure time activities, and energy levels.

4. Financial compatibility
- Income levels, savings goals, and views on handling money.
- How do you each want to spend, save, and invest?
- Is one person a spender while the other saves? Is one person financially responsible while the other plays catch-up with child support and bills? 


5. Value structure
- The big values: honesty, integrity, loyalty, views on family and children, religion and spirituality, life goals, and the treatment and care for others.
- Does your mate follow through on promises made? Would you say this person is trustworthy? Will you always be there for each other in a pinch? 


6. Marriage and intimacy
- What do you and your mate expect from marriage? Is he or she looking for a soul mate?
- Do you both want close intimacy beyond the physical aspect, including with your friendships and in private communications with each other?


7. Intelligence
- Having similar education levels increases your chances of sharing matching school and social experiences, intellectual interests, and career goals.



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It's a wonderful journey, one that needs a key; and the key to happiness is excitement for the future.


 
Happy Valentine's Day.


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Valentine's Day Special (Part II) - Has Texting Killed Romance?

From original article: Has Texting Killed Romance?

Photo source

Ashton Kutcher asks, in an Internet era, are we losing our ability to really communicate?

I was shooting a scene in my new film, No Strings Attached, in which I say to Natalie Portman, "If you miss me... you can't text, you can't e-mail, you can't post it on my [Facebook] wall. If you really miss me, you come and see me." 


I began to think of all of the billions of intimate exchanges sent daily via fingers and screens, bouncing between satellites and servers. With all this texting, e-mailing, and social networking, I started wondering, are we all becoming so in touch with one another that we are in danger of losing touch?

It used to be that boy met girl and they exchanged phone numbers. Anticipation built. They imagined the entire relationship before a call ever happened. The phone rang. Hearts pounded. "Hello?" Followed by a conversation that lasted two hours but felt like two minutes and would be examined with friends for two weeks. If all went well, a date was arranged. That was then.

Now we exchange numbers but text instead of calling because it mitigates the risks of early failure and eliminates those deafening moments of silence. Now anticipation builds. Bdoop. "It was NICE meeting u." Both sides over-analyze every word. We talk to a friend, an impromptu Cyrano: "He wrote nice in all caps. What does that mean? What do I write back?" Then we write a response and delete it 10 times before sending a message that will appear 2 care, but not 2 much. If all goes well, a date will be arranged.

Whether you like it or not, the digital age has produced a new format for modern romance, and natural selection may be favoring the quick-thumbed quip peddler over the confident, ice-breaking alpha male. Or maybe we are hiding behind the cloak of digital text and spell-check to present superior versions of ourselves while using these less intimate forms of communication to accelerate the courting process. So what's it really good for?

There is some argument about who actually invented text messaging, but I think it's safe to say it was a man. Multiple studies have shown that the average man uses about half as many words per day as women, thus text messaging. It eliminates hellos and goodbyes and cuts right to the chase. Now, if that's not male behavior, I don't know what is. It's also great for passing notes. There is something fun about sharing secrets with your date while in the company of others. Think of texting as a modern whisper in your lover's ear.

Sending sweet nothings on Twitter or Facebook is also fun. In some ways, it's no different than sending flowers to the office: You are declaring your love for everyone to see. Who doesn't like to be publicly adored? Just remember that what you post is out there and there's some stuff you can't un-see.

But the reality is that we communicate with every part of our being, and there are times when we must use it all. When someone needs us, he or she needs all of us. There's no text that can replace a loving touch when someone we love is hurting.

We haven't lost romance in the digital age, but we may be neglecting it. In doing so, antiquated art forms are taking on new importance. The power of a handwritten letter is greater than ever. It's personal and deliberate and means more than an e-mail or text ever will. It has a unique scent. It requires deciphering. But, most important, it's flawed. There are errors in handwriting, punctuation, grammar, and spelling that show our vulnerability. And vulnerability is the essence of romance. It's the art of being un-calculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say, "This is me, and I'm interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more important, all that I am not."


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