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Manicures have definitely grown into a serious addiction for me since last summer.
It'd started out as an occasional thing, a french set every couple of months, occasional pedicure, simple things.
Then it became a monthly ritual.
Now, I feel like getting a fix every 10 days. Call it a mild obsession.

I definitely love my manicurists.
There are 4 of them and they all work in a little workshop that's underground of a clothing store in wudaokou (aka my hood in Beijing).

I've been going to that shop for almost a year now and I've probably never bought a thing from the clothing store. The storekeepers always look at me in disdain as I flutter by and disappear, stomping down the metal staircase, past the room where they stock their shoes and embrace the ever so familiar smells of formaldehyde and nail polish remover.

The workshop is small but cheerful-the walls are painted bright yellow.
You first enter a narrow corridor with red sofas and racks of nail polish stacked on one side of the wall and a full length mirror on the other. They put their best stuff on this wall, the OPI series, some Korean stuff...

The little corridor leads to a tiny room where there are 4 red armchairs, a tv set, and a bigger floor-to-ceiling rack filled with the cheaper colors and their other supplies. There’s one more tiny room at a corner that they’ve now moved their counter to as well.

So there’s 4 of women, of different ages. I still don't know all their names (as they didn't either until I got debit account and had to give them my contact details) save for one, named Yue Yue. She is really cute and she does my nails 90% of the time and 90% of my favorite manicures have been done by her (so that tells you something). The rest of them are like 26-30 I think, but Yue Yue is the youngest, she was either born in 88/89. Almost all of them are from Dong Bei-as in North East China.

I usually call ahead for an appointment because the first time I’d gone without one they had had their hands full (literally).

It’s funny, unlike the rest of China, they are absolutely firm on using fixed prices.
They are slightly more expensive than other places too-I mean, not expensive like the other ones I’ve been to in Sanlitun, but above average. Despite this, they have an extremely high customer retention rate. I mean, I’ve tried to venture off to other places on a couple of occasions, but somehow I always go back to them.

It’s probably because of the service. (another thing that’s unlike the rest of Beijing)
They have an amazing talent of pampering you silly. No, I don’t mean offering you drinks or snacks or whatever, as some classier places might. You just get a nice warm feeling when you go there.

I love pouring over nail magazines with Yue Yue and discussing what designs might look good, what might be inconvenient to have (eg the big 3d flower that I wanted very badly might get stuck in my hair) and looking at all of their nails to get inspiration (they change their nails a lot as well, and they do them for each other).

I love it when she tsks at me for peeling at my cuticles or when I bite at them whenever I don’t have acrylics on for more than 3 or 4 days.

She’s also great for conversation, I mean she has tons and tons to talk about every time I’m there. Usually it’s movies or television series. They buy a lot of compressed pirated dvds (without really knowing what’s in them) and just play them all day long. It keeps customers (like me) entertained and not wriggle their fingers around and not feel bored while waiting for the nails to dry (which takes FOREVER!!!)I can watch 2-3 movies in a good, unhurried sit down.

That’s the best thing about going there really. It’s great for when you’re stressed out. The whole place is so mellow and you can just kind of zone out, watching some random show, or watching someone put all their attention on your tiny nail. And you can’t really move so you’re forced to relax. Plus you can’t eat because you’ve got your hands away from you. (the downside is you can’t pee either, till your nails are dry or you’ll mess them up)

Sometimes it’s nice just to listen to them talking amongst each other, poking fun or if you’re there at lunchtime/dinnertime listen to them argue about where to eat for the day…where you can forget your own dumb responsibilities and commitments and just smile and be happy that you’re a ridiculously vain girl.

Here are some of my favorite manicures this year ~~^^Collapse )
Current Music:
cada que-belanova
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I can read LJ again, omigod omigod!!!!!
Tags:
* * *
i am now at the amsterdam airport~
FINALLY! LIVEJOURNAL!!!
do you know what it feels like to not be able to access YOUR OWN BLOG??
no joke man, i think either tsinghua or mainland china has livejournal censored, or BANNED or whatever, i CANNOT get to the page...

at any rate, i'm waiting to transfer to Geneva...
KLM, the airlines i'm taking, was cheap, but honestly? the plane itself kind of sucked.
they kept feeding us though...

i hate it when you have to dedicate a whole day to travel. like the WHOLE entire day goes to sitting on a crappy plane and consuming plane food.
the good thing is, the person who sat next to me on the plane is actually going the same direction as me, and TO THE same MUN conference, which is like, a coincidence of COINCIDENCES, seeing as how the rest of our team members all left before us (he's from peking u)

anyway, i still haven't got it in my head that i'm paying in EUROS now
HOLY SHIT, i am paying 6 euros to use the bleeding internet here, 6EUROS is what?! 30 ringgit???!! oh my god!!! what have i done!!?? and i paid 5 EUROS for a tube of loccitaine hand cream which i have to carry around in a clear plastic bag like a moron and cannot break it's seal till i get to my designated country!
and 3 euros for the yogurt drink that didn't taste that good ( I KNEW i should have bought cheese instead)

there is so much cheese and chocolate here, and liquer, i think it will be inevitable that i buy some on the way back, i am tempted by the coffee liquer, i really am.

i think i've already gotten into the "europe"ness of it all. my past three meals have consisted of muffins, pastries and biscuits. i'm on a carb streak here, no joke...
whatever,apparently i need to put on weight, so screw that, i shall eat what i like..ha! (i'll gym it all off in the end anyway)
i think i've befuddled my stomach, or rather, the time difference has, it's supposed to be like midnight in beijing now, but it's barely 5pm here... i've eaten all my beijing-time meals for today, but i'm eating my amsterdam-time meals as well. to be honest i don't FEEL that good, i suspect i am stuffing myself just because i'm in a new place and everything looks good (and i haven't acknowledged the POWER OF THE GREAT EURO yet)

sigh...3 more hours till my flight... it's a good thing i brought a pretty good book with me, it's called looking for alaska...nice YA stuff...alaska just died though...so i'm quite sad...><

anyway, don't know if i'll be posting again...don't know if i'll see my blog again ToT
Current Location:
amsterdam
Current Music:
airport music
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you know i thought i'd never say this.
but sometimes,sometimes i just really want to die.

do you ever feel like you can't ever get anything right?
why are all my conversation with my own mother turning into fights?
do you ever feel like a dying cockrach? the kind that keeps wriggling it's little legs as it comes close to dying? and everyone who sees it just squishes it cruelly, again and again, mocking it's struggle.

sometimes i just really want to die.

* * *
i've been MIA for ages... there was no internet access in mugi's house or at my grandparents >< but i'm currently staying with my aunt so~
i don't know where to start... updates will take all night...i'm tired from chopping vegetables (and meat though i won't be eating that -_-) and hauling groceries around... my entire family ("entire" being realised after my big brother's plane lands tomorrow night) and most of my extended family are gathered here in taipei...so there's about 15++ people to feed for the next couple of days...

anyway, i thought i'd take it slow with blogging and fulfill certain duties first(i just noticed that jo has tagged me for some "thing")...here goes...

"Each player of this game starts out by giving 6 weird things about themselves. People who get tagged need to write in a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state the rules clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names."

six weird things about me:
1)i love recipes, but i don't like food
like i go on all the websites like allrecipes, recipezaar, kuali etc., i raid my aunt's cooking bookshelf, foodblogs etc., read EVERY single recipe, copy and paste the ones that look good on a Word doc. but chances are i'll never cook it because i won't eat it. i love recipes, i love cooking and baking, but i hate eating the stuff (i can hear a chorused yell of "that's because you're so fucking ano, Talia")
2)i don't eat watermelons
for no particular reason, i just don't like the taste. but when people hear about this they always seem aghast by it, like "HOW can you hate WATERMELONS, what is WRONG with you you sick non-watermelon head"-which if you ask me is really unfair, no one makes a fuss over people who don't like other fruits.
3) i discriminate against badly drawn cartoons
sometimes my mom or my aunts or whoever buys me clothes or items with nameless cartoon characters on them that they find, for some reason i am unable to sympathize with, cute. or with wrongly colored disney characters. i usually wear these things (as pyjamas or whatever) to be nice but really, it irks me.
4)sometimes i do things just to shut my conscience up
i don't know why, but i am a contradiction. i am a bitch with a killer conscience. when i think nasty thoughts about a person, i end up being damn good to the person just because i feel bad FOR ever thinking them. it makes me sick. i'm always scolding myself. i have so many voices in my head (all my own la) that i end up talking to myself alot.
5) it irritates me to hear things repeated many times
especially funny things. some people like to repeat things over and over after someone laughed at it the first time.
6) (i'm getting lazy) i'm really an early waker but i lie on the bed and go back to sleep even when i'm not sleepy anymore just because i don't see the point of getting up or because i want to skip a meal.

now that i have shared part of my pyschopathic self with everyone (yea there's probably more where that came from) i don't think i'll tag anyone la (because i tell you i don't know anyone else -_-)

i'll blog (NORMALLY) when the time is right (that sounds stupid) i really am sleepy...
happy CNY >
Current Music:
jukebox breakdown-saves the day
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* * *
If there was a cut on my skin
Each time the guilt creeps in
Each time i side step a subject
To not have to tell you about it
And the skin was peeled off
Each time the rage sets in
Each time I do tell you something
And you react exactly the way I knew you would

There’d be no skin left on me.

I hate that invisible line between us-
you might not even be aware of it-
because I’m getting better and better
at pretending,
at misleading,
at hiding.

But some things I’ll just never tell

So rest assured, our conversations will continue to be honeyed,
Like the artificial sweetener in the afternoon tea.

*this is badly written, I’m sorry, I’m having quite the fucky day…

Current Music:
there's a class for this-cute is what we aim for
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The past couple of days have been a little rough for me,
For one thing I was sick, breaking into chills half the time and into sweat the other half. That and I had a killer sore throat (phlyaryinitis I think, I can’t spell the word, mich would know) so I can’t eat any of my beloved cereal, or anything else for the matter since it hurts like a bitch to swallow >< mainly I had soup, and mugi took me for porridge =)
Anyway, I was reduced to staying in my room, and reading in bed -the good thing is I read my first book this year, a collection of short stories, strung together by haruki murakami called Birthday Stories, it was pretty good, good company anyway)
Being under the influence of nyquil for a couple of nights, I’ve started dreaming again-very weird dreams, one involved me, mugi and kim (of all people) in a car; in another one I was in high school math class with ngiam; yesterday I was at a family reunion with relatives from both sides, and I was attacked by cats and dogs and a lot of nudity ensued (I think the snapping dogs and nudity were influenced by jackass2, which I watched with mugi before going to bed -_- clearly nyquil and jackass does not mix well); on another occasion I dreamt I was with jo at “midvalley” except the mall was completely unfamiliar to me (preposterous! XD). All these messed up dreams are set back in KL though, one way or another. Oh GOD DAMN. I miss you people.

(I paced around my room repeating GOD DAMN for a while just now, with my pained throat)
I don’t want to take my final exam at all, it’s for a class called 古代汉语, a whole paper on ancient fucking chinese. DAMN!!!
And on top of everything I have my period.
I need some milk and cereal and raisins.
Sometimes I wonder if I would crack without mugi, I feel sincerely bad because I’m throwing more and more hissy fits this menstrual season,
Here’s a new resolution for the list:
Abstain from throwing further ano-bitch fits at people who are just looking out for me >
Current Music:
ordinary people-john legend
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I miss the sound of girls laughing hysterically together,
bitching together,
squealing together,
and recognizing my own voice
amidst that precious cacophony
Current Music:
without you-christina aguilera
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i have been living like a hermit crab(sorry jing, if this is still a sensitive topic for you, RIP hermie, RIP) for the past few days, thanks to the stupid history test that i had to take yesterday.
i swear, i just sat in my room and memorized stuff like a loser and ate cereal when i got hungry (6 consecutive meals, no joke).
this afternoon i wanted to cook for mugi so i did, except it turned out looking seriously gross, they were supposed to be potato-tofu patties (think vegetarian burgers) but no matter what i did, they wouldn't fucking STICK when i fried them. WHY patties? WHY wouldn't you stick?!?
in the end, we ended up eating mashed potatoes (PLANKTON-nyly!!!)and i fried some fish instead -_-
mugi was very nice about it though, but i'm really worried that he might puke cuz i think he has a weak stomach-he spent new years day hurling, freaked the hell outta me-
got a stupid test that i don't feel like taking in about an hour...will stop for now
* * *
1) (start with the usual) stop biting nails
2) resume writing
3) stop obsessing over my weight. It is just a bloody number, it does not represent who I am.
4) take my studies a TAD more seriously
5) be nicer and more considerate to people. This includes no snapping at people for no good reason.
6) be nicer to my parents, keep in mind that the reason they call me all the time because they miss me. (aha!i carried this out JUST now-thankyouverymuch-by calling my parents to wish them happy new year XD)
7) don’t discriminate against morons, have some sympathy
8) be more organized
9) STOP doing stupid things consciously (eg not dressing warmly enough and eating walnuts by the packets until I feel sick). Try to learn from your mistakes , GOSH!

(i originally wrote this in a comment to tammy's post, but i figured i'd add it to my post too ><)
to be honest,my new year's eve kinda sucked. the only good part of it was that i spent it with mugi.
we kinda missed the countdown (or at least i did ) we were at a cafe, and mugi was eating his dinner (at 12am, i tell you uni lifestyle is very messed up -_- i sleep at 4 and get up at 2,my rents will kill me during cny if i keep it up >0<) and me and some other friends were waiting to go singing. and i was blur. he clinked glasses with me, and i didn't realised it. and i kept getting bloody forwarded messages, and i didn't realise it.
and at about 12.15 am i realised that it was already new year, man!! what a way to begin the year -_-


friends, romans, wesps~XD
may you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten...
happy 07~XD you do realise you're all 20 now~ XDXD
Current Music:
save tonight-eagle eye cherry
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yesterday i had my first fight with mugi, which was triggered mainly by pms on my part
i went over to look for him at around 4 am and almost fell on my ass when i stepped out of my building,
i looked up at the sky, and behold, it was snowing!

i stood there, awestruck. (being the moron i am, i have never seen snow in my life,besides, it don't snow in malaysia) everything was really still and the streets were empty (since it was so late/early, whichever you prefer to think) and these tiny flakes were falling softly onto the ground, like white rain.
there was a very very thin layer of whiteness collecting at my feet.
it was really nice, quiet, and white-ish. i ignored the cold (i was wearing a adidas 3 on 3 sleeveless shirt with a jacket outside) and just stared for a moment.

when i woke up, everything outside was covered in snow.

(there should be photos here, but after waiting for photobucket to load for one hour, i have given up, i will post them when the internet is back to normal, perhaps next year -_- use your imagination ><)

on the way back to my dorm room, i bumped into two of my friends (they are probably the two of my closest friends here ><)
and was ambushed i say! AMBUSHED!!!!
luckily mugi came to my rescue~dadadadum dadum~

haha~snow is fun~i looked like shit cuz i just woke up >< ~
i think it was be soggy when everything melts though >
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what a week, I spent most of it throwing pms fits, of which mugi witnessed quite calmly and was very supportive throughout. ><
It’s almost the end of the term so there are papers to be written and tests to be studied for, I finished the first half of everything yesterday, so we went to watch the jay chou movie last night…the curse of the golden sweater or something~
The special effects were surprisingly good-you know me, I think paying to watch Chinese movies is just fucking stupid, but I tell you there is nothing else to watch here, the movies you guys are watching now will probably come out half year later or something-anyway, the movie was not bad.
It turns out jay chou’s character is damn ke-leh-fe for one thing. I kept bursting into laughing fits because everyone’s expressions were so exaggerated, and jay chou just looked like a blur moron in most scenes, and everyone in the movie is more or less a lunatic. And in the end everyone just dies. They’re all mad la.
Later on we watched The Pianist in his room, which is sad and everything, since it’s about the holocaust~except mugi seemed to think it was a good idea to try to make out during that movie-a movie about a poor jewish pianist dude going through all that shit, for crissakes!-sometimes I honestly don’t know how his brain works -_-

Anyway, here’s something you didn’t know (and neither did I till last week), i’m not going back to KL for winter break. Which means I will be going to hong kong in February after my conference here ends, and then I’ll be spending about a MONTH in Taipei with my grandparents. My family will come over for Chinese new year.
You know what that means.
NOT seeing my friends.
MORE Chinese tv. NO roti canai. NO hor fun. (there is a bright side to this though, Taiwan has a lot of guavas)
Hai…my brother, the sponsor of my airtickets to hongkong and Taipei says there’s no point going back since I have to go to Taipei for cny anyway.
My grandparents are looking forward to seeing me at any rate, I’ll go keep them company and go to 诚品bookstore to pass time or something (Very little English books here, very little time to read too, I haven’t read the books my mom sent me yet…but DO be thankful for kinokuniya and borders, you are very blessed -_-)
But I don’t know if the internet there works, I tell you, I can’t access hotmail or ANYTHING these days, thanks to the earthquake. The internet is horribly slow. I can’t read International Herald Tribune online, so I’m forced to read bloody Xinhua News because that’s a domestic website. Google barely works, so now I have to baidu. And out of my frustration with the slowness of gmail and yahoo, I got a sohu account.
Yep. I am slowly being forced to convert to china-ism I tell you.
Current Music:
hit the floor-linkin park
* * *
1)you get breathlessly excited when you spot some random malay person on the subway
2)your heart flutters when you see "made in petaling jaya" on a tin of baked beans
3)your reaction towards seeing an Actual Mango is comparable to that of UFO sighters
4)you find yourself wandering around in markets searching for guavas in vain
5)you start speaking manglish to yourself just to rememeber what it sounds like (and laugh like a maniac afterwards)
* * *
every wednesday afternoon, i fulfill my student government-dept of external relations duties by reporting to the student gov. headquarters at 1.30p.m. for my operator shifts.

lets get one thing straight: i am very inactive in student gov., but i almost always show up for my shift, unless it's too cold and i don't wanna walk all the way there, for one thing the HQ is underground and it's damn cold, and for another, it's quite far.

so anyway, yesterday i showed up, about 30 minutes late because i'd gone to a friend's house before that to have korean-style lunch (alot of kimchi involved, kimchi soup, kimchi pancakes, kimchi niangao...)

the other person who was supposed to have her shift with me was not coming.
when i got there, there was another guy, whom i'd never seen before, probably from another department making alot of phone calls (to my delight, i figured that if he kept the lines busy then people probably can't call through and i don't have to do anything)

my duties are like this: the phone rings (in a tune, not the usual ring ring, oh no, it is a horrid melodious tune that cuts through the nice underground silence, usually makes me jump), i stumble over, say the standard"你好,XX大学学生会" and try to help the sorry fool on the other end of the line -there are ALL kinds of asses la, some want to stick posters in your school ("yea, sure, rmb 5 per poster, thanks") or they want to sell things in your school ("nope, not allowed") or they might want to use your premises so you gotta tell them the prices. or maybe they want to send over free stuff or tickets, that sort of thing. i got a call that day from someone who wanted is to find 5 top scorers in our school to promote their elementary/high school textbooks -_- ("we don't do that-NEXT!")(just imagine me in 38 operator bitch mode -_-)

anyway, it really was a slow day, just me, and that weird guy, who kept stumbling and bustling around to my annoyance.

the HQ is like, extremely messy, seriously, it is disgraceful. the headquaters of the student government to the school housing the brightest minds in the mainland, is sad to say,comparable to a pig sty.

so i did what i usually do in my spare time~i wandered around (stumbled, it's too messy) and pried around the other departments tables -and seriously, there is nothing to see, no CSI-ish detective stuff anyway, just lots of garbage. (people leave their unfinished FOOD there, just disgraceful!!! XD)

anyway, i finally came across two cases of pads. yes, sanitary napkinsCollapse )   . some company probably sent them over, the department of girls are probably in charge of it.out of sheer boredom, i nicked a couple.

after that the phone rang so went to get it. the person was looking for mao-jye. this was not the first time someone called looking for that person (the first time i had asked the caller who the fuck mj was-and the person had told me bluntly that he was the student gov. president).
anyway, i told the caller that he wasn't around.

impossible! said the caller. because he just called me from this number.

and of course, it then sunk in that the weird guy,the guy in front of whom i had been nicking pads and loitering around, was in fact,
 the student government president.
 aka my boss.

damn! talk about revelation.
Current Music:
spongebob squarepants, yammering in chinese.
* * *
here's mugi's take on the subject~
life's like this: there's a divine plan for everyone and there are things that you're destined to get and things that you're destined not to.
you'll get what's meant for you if it's yours, and if it isn't, then you're just not going to get it.
so what you do is do your best, work hard to make the best of what's yours to take
and live right now =)
Current Music:
my love-justin timberlake feat. T.I.
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* * *
i feel like i've been letting myself ignore alot of things lately.

i don't want to think long-term, or big picture anymore. i don't want to think about what i want to do, or where i want to go. i just can't.

i feel like everything is beyond my control.
whenever i look into my future these days, i see blankness. i can't believe how uncertain i've become.

there was a time when i was sure, but maybe i was just pretending, maybe that was another way for me to not think about things too: come up with a standard answer, repeat it enough times and you can fool just about anybody.

i'm trying to just live in the moment, to have fun with friends, be happy with mugi, go out, play, keep moving, block out all thinking.
but lately i feel hollow, and a bit numb. because i'm starting to think again.
reality finds you, it always does.

i can't ignore the facts laid out before me :
~journalism is just not the major to do in china
~i just can't compete with local students academically
~my chinese writing is extremely imperfect 
~if i can't get serious then
~my grades are on the line
~which puts my chances of transferring to the states on the line.

transferring, another topic i've been avoiding up until today.
i need the grades for the transfer. i need the money and i need the support.
it would be so much easier to just stay here mindlessly, for four years,
my rents would be pleased with that, no more rifts, no more fights, we've finally reached a truce lately, 
it's just so much easier for everyone, myself included, for me to be content, to be a happy zombie,
and i wouldn't have to give a shit about my grades (and i currently don't anyway)
all that would matter would be to pass, and to graduate in one piece.

it's not like i'm not happy here, i am, i'm loving each day.
but i am not being productive.i dont feel passionate. i am not enjoying my classes one bit.and i don't see the use in any of them anyway.
and for what is everything? i'm not going to work here. there is no place for me here. i don't fit in their system and context that way.
and another thing, which is probably why i feel so empty, is that this wasn't something i wanted badly you know? when you want something badly, and you work for it, and you get it, it MEANS something to you, it has VALUE to you.
right now i feel as if i just don't care about anything.
i am letting myself have fun, have a good time, because nothing else is important to me.
i hate this feeling, this slump, like i can't feel anything.
i feel cold. i feel like i've let myself give up. i just don't want to work for anything, or expect anything anymore.
expectations lead to let downs.
plans lead to screw ups.
certainty ends in confusion
.

i feel so fucking lost.

i talked to my neighbour just now. he's going back to LA for good next month.
i'm going to miss him, it was nice having him around, he really is a nice neighbour.
we talked for a while (while stuffing our faces with chocolates and other junk) and that's when i realised that i didn't know what i was doing anymore.
Current Music:
drive-incubus
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do you ever miss who you used to be?Collapse )
Current Music:
papilon-rilo kiley
* * *
a piggyback ride
racing down an empty street
you and i laughing
Current Mood:
sleepy sleepy
Current Music:
水晶蜻蜓-南拳妈妈
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i also understand now that you can make yourself sick if you continually consume three packets of cold milk and a pound of granola........
oh~~my stomach~~
gas >o
Current Mood:
sick sick
* * *
at first i didn't think too much about it...

the half kilo i gained? i thought it was from all the friggin chocolate and ice cream i'm consuming these days.

the bloated stomach? i thought it was from gas (i ate too much nuts and granola)

it even took me half a minute to acknowledge the ever so familiar stain....

but

i am happy to announce to the world....

THAT MY PERIOD IS BACK OHMYGODITSSOFUCKINGAWESOME INEVERTHOUGHTIWOULDBESOHAPPYTOSEEBLOODDOWNTHEREAGAIN

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!
i have officially beaten anorexia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ohmygod ohmygod

i'm so fucking HAPPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!XD

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