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Archive for June, 2010

Last Tuesday, I had my first-honest-to-goodness Bar-prep breakdown.

I was working on three essays, working on keeping everything under three hours. On the third hour, I realized the essay was on Torts. I had worked on Torts in the first week of bar prep. I was able to spot all the issues, but for the life of me, I just couldn’t get anything coherent onto paper.

I burst into tears.

Yeeeeaahhh.

I thought about how I could have possibly spent so much time on torts and not have remembered anything. I was probably being melodramatic at one point and going, “Why, God, whyyyy???” Then I wallowed in the piteous thought of how I would wake up everyday only to start the day over. My eyes would open and I’d think, “Aw, fudge, I have to study?” I mean, how bad does it have to be that I actually look forward to something really mundane like going to the post office to mail a letter just because it wasn’t studying. Then I get sad thinking about all the repercussions and consequences of what would happen if I failed this bar exam. I mean, the sacrifices my family has made, the faith people have in me, my own self-esteem… I can’t fail!

I have to be like Yoda on this one. Do or do not. There is no try.

But Yoda never said anything about liking it. And so, bursts forth more tears. I actually have a box of tissues next to me now, in case I ever have another Tuesday breakdown.

Sigh.

I’m definitely not one to just breakdown and cry over work or stress. I’m a workaholic to the very core of that definition. When I was working professionally, if my bosses didn’t tell me to go home, I would have stayed in the office all night.  Most of the time, I didn’t really care that I was still at work. I do like working. It gives me purpose in life.

So…this whole crying over work was really weird for me. I kind of just looked around my big empty apartment and it just made me even more sad. I had an instructor on TV in the living room and I thought how utterly defeating it was that I would have a lecture on just so I can hear someone else talking to me.

Although, I would probably have to warn you that last Tuesday, I went to bed at 2 AM and woke up at 5 AM, drove all the way to the city of Taft in Kern County to take care of my speeding ticket. I had already driven for five hours that day, and was in the last hour of a three hour self-imposed practice exam. I pretty much already had a full eight hours under my belt

Probably not the wisest move on my part.

I was just exhausted and crashing so fast by mid-afternoon so that by the time I realized I didn’t know jack about products liability, I burst into tears.

I looked at the clock. Dear Lord, it was only 2:13 PM. I still had hours of studying ahead of me. And because I had gone to court in the morning, I had to allocate my work-out and dinner time towards that. I didn’t feel like I had a break in sight. I was feeling very sorry for myself at this point.

Pillows Don't Hug Back Either

So then, I hugged myself.

At which point, I cried even harder. I just wanted a hug and there was no one around to give me one! WAAAH!!!

I went over to my room, threw myself onto my bed and laid out all my pillows (I have a LOT of pillows…I’m kind of a pillow-whore) around me so I was cocooned in soft warm goodness. I felt better. It made me think of those autistic kids and the hug machines that they had. I think I should perhaps invest in one, at least for the duration of Bar Prep.

I think what scares me the most is that sometimes I need emotional support (I mean, who doesn’t?) when I feel like…well, when I feel like Tuesdays. I don’t mean I want to be coddled or be told things I already know. I don’t want blind faith in my ability to pass this exam, and I don’t want to hear how you understand that it’s horrible. Because really, I think it’s horrible for different people in different ways.  What I do need is a hug. I miss big bear hugs that just make you feel safe and sheltered from the big bad world out there. And I need laughter. Lots and lots of laughter.

If you know me at all, you know that I believe laughing is the best thing on earth. I will always gravitate towards the people who make me laugh (and who will laugh at my extremely lame jokes in return).

However, with Bar Prep, all of my best friends are kind of gone. We are all locked away in our individual ivory towers of solitude and studyhood. It’s almost impossible to find a moment of impromptu laughter. I miss that so bad.

So you know what I did? I got out of my cocoon of pillow hugs, grabbed my laptop, stuck my tongue out at my products liability essay, and went online.

Then I watched Modern Family.

If there was one tv show that could genuinely make me laugh out loud, it’s Modern Family. I mean, not to be disloyal to Big Bang Theory or anything (because Sheldon, I do love you), but ABC actually posts full episodes of MF, while CBS doesn’t post any full episodes of BBT (but the short clips still have me in stitches!)  But, I seriously suggest you check Modern Family out. It’s such a good stress reliever. After a half-hour of laughing, you really feel like you can conquer the world.  After that fix, I got back on to work.

Life was well. Sort of. I mean, I still had to study.

And um… on a final note:

Pretty Please?

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Electric Daisy Carnival Stage - (and wow, I'm impressed with my camera's "stage" setting, it's not even blurry!)

Last Friday, I went to my first ever (and probably last) RAVE. Yeah, crazy. To be as old as I am and still be doing things that people a decade younger are doing. But, let’s not dwell on that. Let’s all focus our attention on the absolute sensory assault that EDC epitomizes.

EDC – the Electric Daisy Carnival, is an annual electronic dance festival held on the last weekend of June in Southern California, but has also been held in Puerto Rico and Colorado. In 2009, the festival was expanded to a two day event, which brought in over 140,000 attendees, making it the biggest electronic dance festival outside Europe.

I figure, I need to at least go to one of these, because someday my kids are gonna want to go and I might as well know what happens. And from what I “heard” EDC is a really “happy” place. Everyone’s actually very nice to everyone else, and in a crowd of 150,000, it’s amazing that there are no fights.

I’ve also heard rumors of people bringing needles with HIV and heroin and poking people anonymously with them, though. BOO.

Luckily, no such thing happened to me that night. In fact, it was really, really fun. It was also really interesting watching people all night long.

EDC Ferris Wheel

EDC is also a carnival, so they had all the carnival rides. There were roller coasters and spinning rides, and of course, the ferris wheel.

I’m not a big fan of thrill rides (my theory is why pay to scare myself?), so we didn’t really ride any of them. We were there for the music, the dancing and the hugging.

However, my friends visiting from Whistler, Vancouver spent all of the daylight hours riding the rides. They said they were fun but that the rides kept breaking down. My other friends also reported that the “gatekeepers” to the rides were kind of paranoid and yelled at everyone to stay back.  In the words of Evee, “He was hella yelling at everyone for no reason, like going crazy. Like ‘if i smell you, if you touch me, if you sit on that gate, if you push, I’m throwing you out!”  So, I guess those attendants need to take a chill pill. I’m sure he wouldn’t have had a hard time finding one.

In any case, EDC is fairly overwhelming to the senses. There’s stuff that you see. Parts of people that you wish you could un-see. There’s shiny, glittery lights everywhere. There’s just flashes of extreme colors of people’s clothes walking around. It’s almost like a beautiful form of eyegasmic trauma.

Art Piece

They also had some pieces of artwork that were just made out of lights. It was really interesting at night. There was a canopy of millions of tiny little light bulbs and when you walked underneath them, you just felt kind of like engulfed in the universe. And no, I wasn’t even drunk when I had that thought. It almost made me want to have a wedding in there.

There was one that was like a maze of little alleys completely surrounded by lights. And still another one where a tree was decorated with disco balls and light bulbs. The light would just keep bouncing on and off these mirrored balls and it was so entertaining in of itself.

Then there’s the music which was one of the top three reasons I went to EDC. There are five different stages all throughout the LA Coliseum. They were called interesting new names like Kinetic Field for the Coliseum floor, Cosmic Meadows, Circuit Grounds, Neon Garden, and the Bass Pod. Each stage housed a different type of music within the genre. It was really cool.  And according to some people, it made it really hard to decide which stage to lay a stake on because they just wanted to run around.

Cosmic Meadow

A year ago, I would not have been able to tell you that I liked electronica/techno music.  But I’ve been going out with this group of people who have introduced me to the music. I think what really stands out for me is just the sheer energy of the type of crowd who listens to this music. These are definitely my type of people. The dance-till-you-drop and this-ain’t-about-posin’ kind of people.

The Crowd inside Kinetic Field

I mean, the music was simply consuming. I stood next to the bass and I could almost swear it changed the rhythm of my heart.  And when the crowd screams in unison…wow. Let me tell you, it makes your hair stand on end. You are basically just feeding off of everyone else’s energy. Evee asked me what my favorite moments were and my first thought was that moment right before “the drop.” Right when the music goes really low and the whole crowd stills in absolute anticipation before bursting into a frenzy. Can you say ecstatic?

But I guess, that’s one of the main points of a rave though. The ecstasy. It’s what I imagine Neuro Bliss times 100 would feel like: an impenetrable wall of euphoria 100 feet thick. I couldn’t do or say anything wrong to anyone ‘cuz everyone around me was so darned happy. I don’t really know what happens. Everyone’s got a goofy grin on. Everyone’s smiling. Everyone wants to know if you’re just as happy as they are.  Not to say that I wasn’t happy, but…I probably wasn’t as happy.

And there were a lot of nuances to the experience that I wasn’t and couldn’t have been privy to. I had six people ask me if I wanted a “light show.” The first guy was this Asian dude, bald, and he had these eyebrows that had these really sharp tilts that just made him look angry. I’m sure he was happy though. But he came up to me and started to put on these white gloves. He got in my face and asked, “Hey, do you want a light show?”

Light Show?

I took a half-step back, wondering if this was some weird way of hitting on a girl. I gave his white gloves a suspicious look and kind of just started to shake my head slowly side-to-side. I’m thinking, First of all, Buddy, who are you? Secondly, what the hell is a light show? And finally, what are you gonna do with those gloves on?

He tilted one of his already-extremely tilted eyebrows…maybe suspiciously. Luckily, Evee and Rosebud both throw their arms around me and go, “Oooh, a light show.”

These two girls are so, so, so pretty that hey, if they had said, “Oooh, poop,” any guy would have been entranced anyway. So, eyebrow guy kind of forgot about me as he focused on these two other girls.

And that’s when I found out what a light show was. It’s basically getting little colorful lights waved around in intricate little motions right in front of your face. It seems really interesting. It seems utterly engrossing. Watching my friends get on the ground and focus on these lights made me realize that all over the Coliseum field, there were hundreds of these going on.

I wanted to smack my hand into my forehead and go, “Oh! So that’s what that is!”

Can You FEEL that?! (another amazing image captured by this new camera. lovin' it!)

I was infinitely curious to be part of that. But I knew that I couldn’t. So, I kind of enjoyed it vicariously through them. In the course of the evening, I had a few more of these guys come up and ask me the same thing. Each time I just shook my head and sent them over to my friends.  A couple of people asked me if I was “rollin'” and it took me a couple of conversations to figure out what it was. And no, I wasn’t. Despite some very suggestive nudges from Tinman, haha! Not even you can convince me, sorry.

Evee asked me why I don’t. And I just shrugged and said, “I just don’t.” Not to say that it’s not as great as everyone says. I’m convinced that it is after EDC. After everyone’s euphoria surrounding me all night.  But, I just think I also don’t need it. I was outdoors with a cool breeze, I was dancing, I was with amazing friends, and the music was reverberating inside and outside of me. As far as I was concerned, I was happy, too.

In fact, besides the music and the prospect of dancing all night long, I really just wanted to spend some quality happy time with my friends.

EDC 2010

Smiles

Sweetness

with Tinman

Overall, it was an amazing experience. I danced for eight hours. Yes…with nothing to fuel me but two beers. I power myself by my own sheer will and enthusiasm, I guess. Haha!

I loved making new friends, and as always, making new memories with best friends. One of my other favorite moments of that night was me getting absolutely caught up in the music and jumping and dancing around. When there was a moment to take a breath, I looked over my shoulder to the left where I thought people I knew were, and realized that I may be lost in a crowd of a hundred thousand. I could not see a familiar face. I looked over my right shoulder, and I caught Pimco’s eye immediately even though he was few people deep into the crowd. He pointed to me and nodded, and it made me feel like I wasn’t lost after all. It’s a good feeling. Thanks for that.

Tinman promised me that “I won’t regret it,” and he was absolutely right. I don’t regret it at all. *winks.

I loved how everyone seemed concerned if I was okay all night. Let me take this moment once again, to assure everyone that I was exactly where I wanted to be. I was as happy as I could be, and I really had a ton of fun. I am so happy to have shared in this experience with you guys.

EDC really is all about love and music. Can’t ask for more.

What a study break. Take that CA Bar!

This video I took when I moved up to the Bleachers does NOT do it justice at all. Just a tiny, tiny glimpse of how incredible the experience was.

EDITED: THERE IS A DARK SIDE TO HAPPY: CHECK OUT THIS LINK OF THE INJURIES, DEATH(S) AND ARRESTS FROM EDC.

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Ever met anyone who overwhelmed you just by being? Yeah…when Evee and @Sigh asked me about him, the only word that really came into my mind was “overwhelming.”

Let’s call him McDreamy cuz even Eon agrees on that count. Haha.

Almost everything about him overwhelmed me. I mean, just looking into his eyes (“are they ‘dreamy’?” asks Eon) is overwhelming. What are you trying to do, dude? Steal my soul? Even @Sigh had to go with an “Oh, shit.” at the sight of his picture. Jared Leto much anyone?

Overwhelming, I tell you. But still dreamy.

And then, there’s his life resume. He’s been everywhere. He’s done things I’ve only ever wished I could. He’s actually helped people. No, scratch that. He has changed people’s lives. Katrina, he was there. Impoverished countries, he’s established foundations and gone to help. Homeless people, he is armed with nail and hammer with Habitat 4 Humanity.

He has traveled. He takes the kind of travel pictures I’ve only ever dreamed I had the vision for. He meets the locals, follows them into places that only locals would ever consider “normal” by any stretch of the word. He finds the beauty and the commonality in the foreign and different.

He dives into new endeavors with an enthusiasm and carelessness of a guy who can’t possibly fail. He’s going to start a band. Just ‘cuz. He rides a motorcycle in a tuxedo to go to a friend’s wedding. He’ll run after the guy who stole his shirt at knife point. He’s had short hair, and he’s had Jesus-hair. He’s had scruff, a full beard, and been clean-shaven. He’d show up dripping wet from a downpour just because he said he would. He doesn’t care about appearances at all. I wonder how you had to be raised to simply not care. To be so laid back and comfortable in your own skin that the possibility of looking like a drowned rat in front of new people doesn’t faze you.

His friends ask him two things: “What are you up to now?” and “Where in the world are you?”

But, I don’t really know if I’m impressed. I’m overwhelmed.

Part of me is more impressed with the guy who has the steady professional, slightly boring and possibly spiritually unfulfilling job. But then I’d know I can count on someone who will be there. I am more impressed with the guy who can make me feel safe instead of awed. I feel more comfortable with the one who I know is grounded instead of spirited. Is that bad? I think it’s just about safety.

But then…maybe I’m just jealous of the free-spirit of McDreamy. Maybe I wish I had more to tell about me than, “Oh, I’m studying for the bar.” I mean to a guy who spent nearly a decade in four different colleges (just because he could) simply for the fun of learning, that doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s the prospect of not knowing how I could contribute into his life in any meaningful way that really overwhelms me. Hmmm…

But as I always say with these things, “We’ll see.”

And he’s still so damn pretty.

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She reminds me that I can be better than what I’ve become or what I’m falling into. If she sees me this way, I can be who she believes in. Trust me, in my darkest moments, I have come back to this little memo and found a piece of me that I could make better.

Thanks, hun.

I owe you bazillions.

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Do you have some kind of emo(tional) ESP or something? Every time that I’m starting to move on you somehow pop back into my life making me stumble on my way. Just when I was starting to feel the tingles and the butterflies again. Just when I’m starting to feel like those text messages I get are welcome and wanted (instead of annoying and time-consuming), you send your own text that sends me on a loop.

I don’t want a loop.

I want to move forward.

What’s going on here? How do you always know?

Last time, I was starting over with someone else, thinking that I could really like this guy, that in the time we’re spending with each other, I could really fall for him. And then you come and bum rush that progress. It took me a couple months of soul-searching to finally reach this phase again.

At the very heels of me actually telling one of my good friends that I’m really excited about someone new…that I actually really like this guy…you come around. And it feels like someone just pulled the rug straight from under me.

Sigh.

What am I supposed to do?

I wish I had emo ESP.

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…again.

In yet another coffee shop, in another city, while still studying for the Bar, I get another random stranger offer me his phone number.

And yes, this guy’s older, too. Another Sugar-Daddy on the prowl. This time, he writes plays and composes music. He says he works in the industry. *coughs* He told me to “go ahead, you can Google me.”

I smiled and said, “Maybe later tonight. I actually don’t get the wireless signal here.” –> which was true…and the reason why I sometimes go to that cafe. It prevents me from hopping online in search of a worthy distraction.

He invited me to a jazz concert. I politely declined, telling him about how busy I was studying for the bar.

“I’m really good at what I do,” he says.

I smile. “I’m sure you are.” I said with grave platitude.

He grins. “You can tell I’m a little cocky, can’t you.”

I give him another bland look and shrug. “Let’s just call it confidence for now.”

He bursts out laughing and declares that he likes me.

After a good thirty minutes of talking to me from the other table, I get a text from a good friend, JJC, to go work out. I was slightly upset that those thirty minutes were robbed from my study schedule, but…this guy was kind of entertaining.

But nonetheless, those are thirty minutes of non-law-school-learning.  When he saw me packing up, he strolled over and took one of my notecards. (No, not a post-it note this time). “Here, darling, let me give you my number. You should really call me.”

I smile and nod. “It was nice meeting you.” I leave quickly, wondering the whole time why I can’t just allow myself to be Sugar Daddied.

It would certainly please the wallet so.

Oh well. Here’s another number to add to the stack of “iunno what to do with you.”

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I finally graduated from Law School on May 16, 2010.

Whew.

It was one of those days that none of my friends could really sufficiently look forward to because we were so so so stressed and swamped up to the last day leading to it because of Law School Finals. By the time the last final rolled away, we were way too tired and mentally drained to muster up the proper kind of excitement that graduating from Law School should have evoked.

On the other hand, we also knew that it wasn’t really over yet.

We still had the California Bar Exam to look forward to. So, there was no point in celebrating ourselves senseless when we were just going to hit the books again (even harder) anyway. If there was ever a buzz kill, it would be bar prep.

But I digress. Graduation wasn’t the point of this blog entry. It was the food I had after graduation.

Nomnomnom…

My best friends and I all brought our friends and families to 26Beach Restaurant in Venice.

The food was amazeballs.

Iwas actually pretty surprised since well, I didn’t actually research the place. @Sigh picked it and Melman, Evee and I just said yes because we all wanted to be together.Furthermore, it wasn’t like I didn’t try to research the place. Their website isn’t the most impressive. I honestly think they should just contact my friend YC and have her design a website which would load faster, had better graphics, and was more user-friendly. Plus, the section that said “History and Reviews” was “Under Construction”. It’s been months now, and it’s still under construction. So, who knows when we will actually get to find out how 26Beach came to be.

So, the general idea was that it was a good pasta, burger, pizza, sandwich place. I chalked it up to everyday American/Californian fare.

Which was true.

Just very good everyday American/Californian fare.

Below are some of the food we ordered at our late lunch/early dinner. Everything was so good. I would definitely go back.

Coctel de Ceviche – fresh red snapper marinated in lime juice w/ chopped tomatoes, red onion, jalapenos, black olives, avocado and cilantro

Red Chile Pork Chops – 2 frenched center cut pork chops, marinated with crushed red chile and herbs, giving this dish a delicious mild bite – served with rice & black beans

Striped Bass Vera Cruz – a whole roasted bass served with fresh salsa, rice & black beans – a real delicacy

Filet o’Sole Sandwich – lettuce, heirloom tomato, homemade tarter sauce on a fresh brioche bun

It was a little expensive with the main entrees averaging around $25. However, the portions were large and the food good, so I would say it was worth it. They also sat our entire group in the outside patio/heated garden. The decor was very eclectic: flowers and trees against exposed brick, there was antique furniture, mismatched wrought-iron chairs, and other random charming pieces.  The staff also seemed very helpful and friendly.

Overall, I was really pleasantly surprised by the place.

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@the Natural History Museum

I love how my girl friends each have such a unique sense of style.  I’ve learned so much from them.

It was First Fridays at the Natural History Museum. That meant being able to indulge in our geekifying love of Museum lore (dinosaurs, history, human evolution, animals, bones, precious stones! oh my!) and our love of going out and indulging in the amazing LA nightlife.

@Sigh always has a way of making the simplest pieces look unique and fashionable. She’s definitely one of my fashion idols. Becoming her roommate was one of the biggest learning experiences fashion-wise ever.  Here, she has a pair of black skinny jeans. First of all, she rarely ever wears pants. For her to be in pants only really means one thing: it’s cold outside. This was February last year, so still in the dead of winter.  She’s paired the black jeans with a loose sequined v-neck top with a drawstring waist.  It’s actually a cami.

I also love the black gladiator heels which I’m pretty sure she bought from F21 and could not have been more than $30. Finally, that amazing coat with the gold button accents just pulls the rest of the outfit together.

I’ll ask her later what/who she’s wearing. Haha. Because she’s good like that.

NHM Crew

I’m wearing a gray cowl neck sweater from F21. It was actually on sale, so it cost nothing more than $4.99. It’s tunic length and form-fitting, so I had to be conscious not to wear pants that were too tight around the waist…if you know what I mean. I had just come from work, so I had kept the top and just swapped my sensible black working skirt with a fun pair of faux leather leggings. I added on a black belt to accentuate the waist and break the length of the tunic. I didn’t want to look all torso and no legs, y’know? Then, I borrowed @Sigh’s black knee-length flat boots.

JJC is wearing a simple pair of jeans, black flat boots, a white top and a navy sweater. She pulls the entire outfit together with accessories, including the checkered scarf and Burberry earmuffs (pictured below).

Becca is also another one of my friends of whom I am always in fashion awe. She really puts together outfits that I can’t even begin to imagine, and makes them look damn good. Here, she’s got a short, short skirt with gray leggings, ballet flats and, of course, leg warmers. I also adore her black bomber leather jacket. It’s very tough ballerina.

Evee is all about the dramatic in this outfit. Haha. The trench, the patterned leggings, the boots, all beautifully topped off with the haircessory. As far as I can tell, I think it’s a little skull cap with a black flower. I don’t know how else to explain it. Maybe she can help me out later. I honestly cannot remember what she had on underneath the coat. But who cares? She makes wearing a coat so damn sexy.

Dino Lovin'

I really like what the guys are wearing, too. I just appreciate it when guys wear clothes that fit well. And for some reason, I really like the pair of gray jeans TheS is wearing. It’s unique. I also really like the Hugo Boss half-zip pullover sweater that TheS is wearing. It’s just the right length and fit for his frame.

Eon’s got his staple uniform. His lace-up white t-shirt and dark-wash boot-cut jeans (above).

I think I’m just completely over the baggy, washed out look. I think for guys our age, it’s time to dress well (better).

That night was surprisingly fashionable for a Night @ the Museum, but then again, we’re in LA, trick! I should really have figured we would come out en vogue anyway.

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When I looked at you, my life made sense. Even the bad things made sense. They were necessary to make you possible.
-Jonathan Safran Foer

I wonder if there really are people out there that come into your life and throw everything into complete disarray…and yet you accept the disarray because, well…because it made sense.  Maybe part of it is because you allowed everything to happen the way it did. You turned a blind eye, told yourself you’d deal with the consequences later on, or worse–you believed that it was okay that things were bad because it was just how they were. It was the only way to make that person a possibility in your life.

How does someone like that make sense?

Maybe if only to show us that it doesn’t.

A person’s life can’t all be made up of good things. It’s part of the theory of relativity. Each person is tested by their own fire. Each person has their own demons. Each one has that one person that only exists to remind them of how things can be so good…and how things can be so bad. Each one has their polarizing person. Or two. Or three. Who knows? Maybe as many as it takes to learn your lesson.

Maybe it stays painful for as long as it takes to learn what’s good for you.

You’ll keep seeing this person, keep feeling this person because…well, it just makes sense and still does.

I don’t get it, and I can’t possibly explain how I feel. Except that…the quote above reminded me of you. And maybe who you’re supposed to be in my life.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?

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