August Wrap Up

I had such an incredible reading month, y’all. I read a total of 34 books which has never happened before in all my years of blogging. When I set my reading goal at the beginning of the year, I set it to a very conservative 120 books. But at the end July, I realize that I’m only 200 some odd books away from 2000. So I decided to increase my goal. I’m happy to announce that at this rate, I might be able to pull it off. In fact, according to Goodreads, I’m 6 books ahead of my goal.

I certainly had my share of good and bad reads but August didn’t seem too bad at all. Although, I had one – one star read (Bad Influence by Stephanie London), the books I read were predominantly 4-star reads. But if I have to pick my favourite reads for the month, they would be:

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa | The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman | Save Me From Dangerous Men by S.A. Lelchuk

Here’s the complete list of the books I read in August:

  • The Test by Sylvain Neuvel | Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali
  • Consumed by JR Ward | A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff | New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan
  • The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez | It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
  • Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan | City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson
  • The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk | Literally by Lucy Keating
  • I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You by David Chariandy
  • She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper | Beginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborn
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abby Waxman | Outfox by Sandra Brown
  • The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
  • Save Me From Dangerous Men by S.A. Lelchuk | Bad Influence by S. London
  • Bad Reputation by Stephanie London | Arctic Heat by Annabeth Albert
  • The Day He Came Back by Penelope Ward | City of Girls by E Gilbert
  • Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane | The Stationery Shop by K Marjan
  • Kids of Appetite by David Arnold | Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas
  • How to Knit A Love Song & How to Knit a Heart Back by R Herron
  • On Earth, We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Voung
  • The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
  • A Boy at the Edge of the World by David Kingston Yeh
  • The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting

So that’s how my August went. I created a calendar of events for September so I’m hoping I will be able to keep up this momentum. Let me know how your August went. I really can’t say enough about the magic of audiobooks. It’s giving me life, y’all.

Happy reading!

xoxo

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Read in October


Homestretch!

October certainly has been one of my most productive month this year as far as reading goes. I’m making good use of my Libby app, and because I haven’t been buying an Audible books, I’m storing up some good credits on my account. Aside from that, I’ve started using my Kindle again and have been requesting books from Net Galley. I still have a long ways away from putting a dent on my TBR but I’ve resolved to read until I go blind…or die – whichever comes first. Lol.

I read 28 books, which is perhaps, the most books I’ve read in a single month this year or ever. I read a few romance novels during the last few days of the month due to the discovery of Audible’s Romance Package. I’m so stoked to find some awesome books in there! Needless to say, I’m freaking all over the place this month.

  • Dangerous Minds, Knight & Moon, 2 by Janet Evanovich 2/5 stars
  • Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson 5/5 Stars
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne 3/5 Stars
  • One Small Thing by Erin Watts 1/5 Stars
  • Parasite by Mira Grant 4/5 Stars
  • The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman 4/5 Stars
  • The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman 5/5 Stars
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones 3/5 Stars
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green 4/5 Stars
  • Shimmy Bang Sparkle by Nicola Rendell 4/5 Stars
  • The Husband Hour by Jaime Brenner 4/5 Stars
  • Better Not Pout by Annabeth Gilbert 4/5 Stars
  • Rend by Roan Parrish 4/5 Stars
  • Summoned to Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones 5/5 Stars
  • Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan 4/5 Stars
  • Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie 5/5 Stars
  • Fling Club by Tara Brown 1/5 Stars
  • Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram 5/5 Stars
  • What If It’s Us by Albertalli & Silvera 3/5 Stars
  • Circe by Madeline Miller 4/5 Stars
  • The Wild Heir by Karina Halle 3/5 Stars
  • Youth in Revolt by CD Payne 4/5 Stars
  • Spinning Out by Lexi Ryan 3/5 Stars
  • Throb by Vi Keeland 4/5 Stars
  • Pucked Love by Helena Hunting 4/5 Stars
  • Joy Ride by Lauren Blakely 4/5 Stars
  • Egomaniac by Vi Keeland 4/5 Stars
  • Mister O by Vi Keeland 4/5 Stars

Picking a favourite read this month is tough. It’s a toss up between Joseph Anton, Once We Were Brothers, and my perennial favourite series by Darynda Jones. My most disappointing read was an Erin Watt contemporary offering (One Small Thing). This book just made me furious. The bullying antics of practically every single person sickened me. Ugh.

If I have to recommend a read this month besides my favourites, I say make sure you check out Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram and The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman. Fair warning, The Italian Teacher is not a romantic book so you should get that notion of your head right now. Still, it was an outstanding masterpiece that tells the story about a father’s influence – good or bad to his son from boyhood to adulthood.

This month, I also managed to binge watch a few shows on Netflix while accomplishing my great reading feat. I got through 4 seasons of X-Files before Netflix Canada pulled it (Netflix Canada sucks balls). Also four seasons of Buffy, a couple of World War II movies, and all nine seasons of The Office. I’ve been busy.

So let me know how your month went, lovely people. And I hope your Halloween night will be filled with treats not tricks.

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Hello, October!


Hello!

I know, I know. I’ve gone and flounced on ya again. I’ve run out of excuses – not that I’m looking for any. I’m just…life, yanno?

Yesterday, I was thinking…You know, October sounds like the perfect month to get back on the horse again, so I figured, why not?

Let’s start off with how I’ve fared with my stacks of books, shall we? I’m happy to announce that I’ve met and surpassed my Goodreads goal for the year. I started off with 100 books, but I’m well on my way to reaching 150 before the year is out. All thanks to a recent discovery: the library audiobooks. I went ham on all the physical books that I had in my possession and borrowed their audio counterparts. I haven’t put a dent on my stacks, but I sure have made some progress.

I even managed to read and reread some favourites. I borrowed the entire Charley Davidson compilation; read and re-read The Love Quotient, started some series that I’ve always wanted to read (The Mercy Thompson series was a dud, btw. I flounced on the books), and finally, finally read the first book to the Harry Potter series (it was a’ight). Overall, the reading has been great even if my blogging and reviewing books has been dismal.

However, I wrote a few reviews even though I was on hiatus.

As far as September went, and based on the pic above, you would think it had been a great month. But I only read 11 as opposed to my usual average of 15-20 books. The ratings are as follows:

  1. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green – 1 star out of 5.
  2. The Royal We by Heather Cocks – 3 stars out of 5
  3. Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse – 2 stars out f 5
  4. Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton – 5/5
  5. Home After Dark by David Small – 4 stars out of 5
  6. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young – 4 stars out of 5
  7. Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks – 4 stars out of 5
  8. Ripper by Isabel Allende – 5 stars out of 5
  9. Inferno by Dan Brown – 4 stars out of 5
  10. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx – 4 stars out of 5
  11. Boomerang by Noelle August – 3 stars out of 5

My favourite read of the month was Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe. It was so incredibly real, full of heart and kindness but not in the most obvious way. I absolutely loved it.

My least favourite read was Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I just didn’t gel with the characters. If you’re familiar with John’s work, you should already know that his characters are way too intelligent to function most times. /sarcasm. They’re perfectly flawed, and inscrutibly hard to pin down. I had a hard time empathizing with Aza’s mental quirks/disorders. It got to a certain point where I found her annoying – which is unfortunate, because it makes me sound like a heartless bitch who can’t sympathize with someone who has her numerous mental issues. I’m probably not going to write a detailed review because I would most certainly end up ranting.

So, I apologize for the word vom. I wanted to keep this short but I had so much to talk about. I hope I’ll be on my best behaviour and keep this thing going, but you never know, yanno?

Thanks again for everything. For hanging in here with me.

Looking forward to visiting you guys!

 

 

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My Month in Books: April


Hey, everyone!

My first recap in forever! Lol. I know I’ve said this before but I’m so glad I’m back reading and blogging again. The whole time I was concentrating on fitness and health, there was always this part of me that was missing. I knew what it was but I just couldn’t find the time. I am slowly learning how to use my time wisely and have gone back to listening to audiobooks.

I was 12 books in the hole with my Goodreads Reading Challenge at the beginning of April. I’ve long since made up for this deficit and is now only about 5 books behind – all thanks to the 19 books I read this past month. It’s such an unbelievable feeling to finally gain some strides with blogging and reading!

5 Stars

Review

I absolutely loved Obsidio. I’m so sad it’s over but it was one of the few Sci-Fi series that I was able to follow. I’m not typically a fan of space odysseys just because I found that I can’t easily conjure what’s happening as I read but The Illuminae Files series is quite different. Not simplistic by any means, but it was just written in such a way that my brain found easy to digest.

These are all my 4 stars reads for April.

The only drawback to trying to read as many books as I can is that I’m incapable of writing the reviews as I finished the books. Also, because I’m trying to diversify content on my blog, I’m not able to post them consecutively. So it might be awhile until you see me posts reviews on these books.  Sadly, it’s the beginning of the wedding season for my family so our weekends are pretty much booked solid. I’m going to have to make use of my weeknights to get writing and blog-hopping.

The Rest of What I’ve Read this Month.

Bonfire review | The Thief was frustrating. I hated the beginning and was only mildly pacified with the ending. (Review to come). | Hooking Up was so unremarkable, I can barely recall what it was about now.

That’s it for my recap. I’m looking forward to everything that’s about to happen in May. I hope you’ll have a great month as well. Happy reading!

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Life Lately: A Very Slow Month


Oh, man. May has been insufferably slow here on the blog. This is what happens when you have an obsessive personality. You can only focus on one thing and one thing only. Sigh.

So I’m not sure if you’re following me on Instagram but I mentioned how I found my fitness motivation again a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been eating healthy, going to boot camps, and walking whenever I get the chance. I’ve been pretty active. But now, my reading has suffered. I seriously have not picked up anything of substance for a couple of weeks now. And even though I’ve read a few good books that I’ve not reviewed, writing chops have taken leave as well. Oh, the struggle.

But it is June! I’m trying to figure shit out. I’m trying to make use of my time properly. My workouts are scheduled and I figure, if I can do the meal preps for the week on weekends, I might have some time to read and blog after the gym. Let’s hope.

Sadly, I only read a few books in May.

  • Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel (Themis Files, #2)
  • A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands (Argeneau, #1)
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Ruby by Cynthia Bond
  • Exit West by Hamid Mohsin
  • Library Principle by Helena Hunting
  • Felony Ever After by Helena Hunting
  • Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Again, my apologies for being scarce everywhere. I do hope June will be better. Let me know what you got up in May, and thanks for your continued patronage!

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Life Lately


Hey, all!

Am I glad to be writing a post again! It’s been soooo long. I’m sorry for the disappearing act once again. The Spring cleaning that I’ve started a couple of weeks back turned into little projects that kept me away from my blogging duties. But I’m back now and hoping to sustain this little burst of momentum that will keep me on track for the next few months. Lol. At some point, I’ll try and share with you what I’ve been doing on my break. But for now, I have an April recap of sorts.

April By the Numbers

All in all, I read 18 books in April and a good amount of romance novels. I started the Dark Carpathia series by Christine Feehan but after the first book, I don’t know if I should continue. Maybe I’ll give it another go and then make my decision from there. I read the Wedding Belles series by Lauren Layne. And have only managed to read one non-fiction for the month (Alter Egos by Mark Landler). I finally read a book that’s been on my wishlist since the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, The Improbability of Love started out great and petered out into a huge disappointment. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett was ho-hum awesome. Easily my favourite read of the month. Here’s the rest of the list:

  • Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham 4/5 stars
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor 5/5 Stars
  • The Chosen by JR Ward 4/5 Stars
  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson 1/5 Stars
  • Geekerella by Ashley Poston 3/5 Stars
  • The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild 3/5 Stars
  • Alter Egos by Mark Landler 3/5 Stars
  • Mister Moneybags by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward 4/5 Stars
  • Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett 5/5 Stars
  • The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winaker 5 /5 Stars
  • Mr. President by Katy Evans 3/5 Stars
  • Commander in Chief by Katy Evans 3/5 Stars
  • Time Was by Nora Roberts 3/5 Stars
  • Times Change by Nora Roberts 3/5 Stars
  • To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne 3/5 Stars
  • Dark Prince by Christine Feehan 3/5 Stars
  • For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne 3/5 Stars
  • To Love and To Cherish by Lauren Layne 3/5 Stars

A barrage of 3-star-ratings, as you can see. I did have a couple of 5-star-reads, though, so that more than makes up for what would otherwise have been an unremarkable reading month.

That’s been my April. How was yours?

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March: When I Read all the Books


Hello.

I had such an incredible reading month, you guys. I was on fire! I read 22 books and most of them were pretty fantastic! I’ve been working my way through the books I have in my bedroom so I can free up some space on my shelves. I’m happy to say I’ve been pretty successful so far. On top of that, most of the books I’ve read this month has been 4 and 5-star reads, so bonus! I did DNF one book this month, sadly but I think, overall, it’s been a great streak.

READ THIS MONTH

  1. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff – 5 Stars
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – 5 Stars
  3. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta – 5 Stars
  4. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood – 5 Stars
  5. Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran – 4 Stars
  6. When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin – 5 Stars
  7. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen – 5 Stars
  8. Written in Red by Anne Bishop – 5 Stars (Reread)
  9. Scythe by Neal Shusterman – 5 Stars
  10. The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine – DNF
  11. At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson – 4 Stars
  12. This is Water by David Foster Wallace – 5 Stars
  13. Blood Vow by JR Ward – 4 Stars
  14. By Your Side by Kasie West – 2 Stars
  15. Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley – 5 Stars
  16. Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop – 4 Stars
  17. The Girl Before by JP Delaney – 5 Stars
  18. Ronit & Jamil by Pamela Laskin – 3 Stars
  19. I See You by Clare Macintosh – 4 Stars
  20. Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse – 3 Stars
  21. Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood – 4 Stars
  22. Act Like It by Lucy Parker – 4 Stars

FAVOURITE READS:

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin

DISAPPOINTING

By Your Side by Kasie West was a huge letdown.  Admittedly, I think this is where I part ways with her books. I don’t think I have the stomach for it anymore. This one, in particular, was a cheese smorgasbord at your favorite buffet restaurant.

SURPRISE, MOTHERCHUCKER.

Magical realism isn’t my cup of tea, so I was wholly surprised by how much I loved First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. Also, I read quite a few fantasy reads this month. That, in itself, is a surprise. Even more so when I quite enjoyed them! There’s hope for me yet. 😀

READ THIS, YO.

This is Water by David Foster Wallace.

I hope y’all had a blessed, wonderful month!

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January Rewind

Hey, lovely readers.

Well, the first month of 2017 is over – and thank the good Lord! I’m sure we all share the same sentiment for whatever reasons. One month less than the four years we all have to endure. Lol.

So how did my January go? Reading wise, I’m on pace with my Goodreads reading goal. Blogging-wise, I’m failing quite spectacularly. The good thing about this year so far is that I’m barely getting any books from the publishers nor have I been buying. I’m still struggling with my review copies, though. Honestly, the world is one big distraction right now so I can’t concentrate on any other books besides nonfiction.  I need to slap myself silly and just get going.

With everything that’s going on, I found myself gravitating towards reading some books about activism and politics. I just finished Cleve Jones’ When We Rise, a book about America’s slow acceptance of the LGBTQ community in California and, eventually, in the United States as a whole. Cleve Jones helped start the revolution from the 60s onwards. The AIDS pandemic of the 80s also made up the second half of the book. A heartbreaking, much-politicized disease that Jones’ movement fought hard to get federal funding for research and cure. The author himself was, at one point, afflicted with the disease so his first-hand account was very candid and from the heart. The Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of marriage equality brought tears to my eyes.

I also finally read The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama, which, in essence, is about his political beliefs, his rise from being a community organizer to a young Senator in Chicago, and his personal and family life. One thing that stood out to me is that very little has changed from his ideology. His passion never dimmed, and he wasn’t deterred by anything (not even an obstructionist Senate & Congress). This man is a prolific a writer as he is a great orator. I suggest buying the book in audio so you can listen to him whenever you want. 🙂

February is Black History Month

I’ve never done this before, but I figure this year is as good as any. For now, my focus will be on the following books: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson, and They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery

  

I’ll probably do another post about my February TBR sometime next week. I’ve been spending way too much time trolling the trolls on the social media (I’m not even sorry. LOL) so I’ve been neglecting my reading and blogging obligations.

I hope you’ll have a great February, y’all. Happy reading!

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Life Lately


A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong | Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakes | Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham


Hello, lovely readers!

Oh, dear. It’s the last day of 2016, folks! I can’t say I’m going to miss it. It’s been such a brutal stretch for everyone, to be honest so I’m sure you’ll forgive me when I say, good riddance. Besides the fact that the world is probably going to hell in a handbasket, the health scare that pops went through really tops the shit-flavoured cake I’ve been force-fed this past month. But I’m happy to announce that he’s doing well. He’s at home taking it easy and recuperating well. If I haven’t thanked you yet, please know that your kind words, prayers and well wishes are all very much appreciated.

I’ve decided to flounce out of blogging over the last couple of weeks because I figure y’all would be busy during the Holidays anyway. So I didn’t do much but read as much as I can. I reached my Goodreads reading goal way ahead of time and have managed to go over and above my target. However, I wasn’t able to beat the number I posted last year. But that’s okay. At least I made it! How did you do?

Books For Review (above)

Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin for sending me a copy of A Darkness Absolute. Last year’s City of the Lost was one of my favourites, so I was really happy when they sent me a copy of the sequel. I can’t wait to see what Casey and Sheriff Daulton get up to this time around.

I also got a couple of books from Simon & Schuster Canada which I’m so excited about. I’ve already read Close Enough to Touch (so good!), and looking forward to reading a new historical romance from Genevieve Graham. I have been eyeing her books for a while now but just haven’t gotten around to them. Thanks so much for sending me these books, dear publishers! These were sent to me at the beginning of the month which I haven’t shared until now.

Last Haul of the Year


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates | Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin | What I Told My Daughter by Nina Tassler | Blood Vow by J.R. Ward | Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer | Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge


I’ve already read Between the World and Me which I will talk about briefly on my Top Reads of 2016 post (going up tomorrow). I picked it up last week and have read it twice just because. I also picked up Another Day in the Death of America which, if you’ll remember was included in my Christmas wish list. Well, no one really gave me books for Christmas so I had to buy it myself. That’s okay. I posted the list late so none of my family members knew which books I wanted. That’s all on me.

December Reads

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m feeling low, I tend to seek out books that give me comfort. More often, that’s Sandra Brown. And since I’ve more or less polished off most of her backlist, this month, I sought Romance instead. So I gluttoned myself with Lauren Layne and Sawyer Bennett. And they did the trick. I read 17 books this month and most of them romance novels.

Thanks for the wonderful year, everyone! It’s been tough for all of us but amidst all our disagreements and dramas, I know we’ll stick to each other no matter what. I will make myself scarce in the social media (except Instagram) so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see my shadow on Twitter and Facebook.

Happy New Year and please be kind to one another most especially to yourself. <3

 

 

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Life Lately: November

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Hey, guys.

How’s it going? This month-end recap is coming to you early.

I had the worst stretch of book buying binges in the last couple of weeks, you guys. Book Outlet, as cheap as their books are, is not a very good place for people like me. One with no self-control whatsoever. As of this writing, three boxes have shown up on my doorstep. I was able to discreetly hide the first box that came from my husband, but not so much for the second box when our post man delivered it straight to his hands. Sigh. It’s out of control. I might have to do this thing they’re doing on YouTube where they cull their collection by donating or selling it online. I’ll show you what I got one day (maybe).

So. November. I had a slow reading month on account of November 8. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then, good for you. I envy you for being spared from knowing what went down. I read 10 books in total. Though I should say I read 11 because A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara clocked in at 800 pages which should really account for two books instead of one. But I digress. I tend to gravitate towards my comfort reads when I’m having a tough time so you can tell I struggled a lot this month since I read 4 Sandra Brown Books. On the night of the election, after I shut off social media and any coverage on TV, I went and re-read The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I knew I was going to need reinforcement and that novel, though, it didn’t completely alleviate the depression, at least helped for a bit. So thank you, Sally Thorne.

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(Sorry about the formatting. I have very little patience today. Lol.)

I was relatively absent from blogging this past month because: reasons. I barely wrote any reviews and barely did my rounds. December might be a slow month as well as we head into the Holiday season. But I’m looking forward to the small break during Christmas.

I used my Instagram picture for this post because I want to give you a fair warning that you might see a vlog post here once in a while. I shot my first video yesterday (3 times) but I think I’m going to re-shoot because I look like an awkward spazzing moron. Sigh. So, you know. Get ready.

Thanks for reading!

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