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Life will be all right

Ishika Mohan/20th Century Fox

I’ve wanted to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel when the British film was still showing in cinemas around late June/early July. I remember reading reviews of it and thought: “This sounds like a heart-warming feel-good movie that should make us laugh and enjoy our two hours in the cinema.” Plus, I had watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen before that and absolutely loved it. The Brit irony and sarcastic wit was hilarious.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was nearly at the end of its run here though, which meant it had limited timings at certain cinemas only so finding the right person and the right day to watch it was critical. I remember asking someone if she wanted to watch it and the response I got was: “No, I don’t understand British accents.”

I was silent after that. It’s a movie. It has subtitles. Besides, you’re supposed to put your brain at the door and be entertained. How hard can it be to understand spoken English?

Anyway, we didn’t watch it together in the end. But I’m so glad I managed to finally watch the movie.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a 2012 British comedy-drama film that was based on the 2004 novel These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach. The two-hour long film features an ensemble cast including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith among a group of British pensioners moving to a newly opened retirement resort in Jaipur, India. However, upon their arrival, the seven financially distressed and retired Brit men and women discover the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is far from the luxurious retreat “for the elderly and beautiful” that its advertising claims. Despite not meeting their expectations, most of them take it in stride and begin to flourish in their new-found adventure, letting the trip change their lives forever.

Each of them has a sad story that forces or influences them to head for India (read brief sketches of them here.) Most of them can’t afford the high living expenses needed to retire in England. They miss home and their children, but they can’t go back. It made me realise I should save more money and worry about building my retirement nest, instead of splurging on materialistic items that would probably not last long enough as heirlooms.

There are pleasant surprises. One of them was Graham Dashwood, a retired High Court judge, who grew up in Jaipur and is returning for the first time since his youth. Turns out he is a middle-aged gay man who’s “more in theory than in practice nowadays”. Graham hopes to reconnect with his Indian lover, whose family was disgraced when their affair was discovered. He has loved him his whole life, thinking that he had lost the love of his life forever and wanting to make up to him if he could ever find him again. And he does find a happy ending, but not what you’d expect.

This is a feel-good film whose optimism and sentimentality gives me hope that it’s never too late to leave my comfort zone and explore new horizons, as long as I’m willing to go with the flow.

Evelyn: Nothing here has worked out quite as I expected.

Muriel: Most things don’t. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.

Evelyn: The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with the disappointment, as we all must.

Because in the end no matter what happens, whether it’s good or bad, life will still go on and you will be fine. Really.

Sonny: Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right, then it is not yet the end.

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One lovely blog award

I read something yesterday that totally made my day. It was unexpected and took me completely by surprise. When I finished reading it, I couldn’t stop grinning the rest of the day. And I really want to share my joy with you. So here you go:

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I don’t know Michelle and yet she took the time to nominate me in her blogpost and then left a comment on my blog about how she felt about a post I had written on July 11 (see “Perfect for each other” here). And guess what, I was nominated for this:

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Thank you very much, Michelle. It felt almost as if I had won the Nobel Prize for blogging. It’s an honour to know that there are people out in the world wide web who read my stuff and are willing to take a little time from their busy lives to show their appreciation by leaving comments or liking my posts. You guys make my day every day!

So after radiating a cheery glow the whole of yesterday and today from my swanky new award (I’m a winner, baby!), I dug around a bit for its origin and the rules.

The rules state:

1. I need to thank the person who nominated me.
2. List seven things about me that you still may not know.
3. Nominate 15 bloggers.
4. Notify the aforementioned bloggers you have done so.
5. Put the logo on your blog.

The seven things that you don’t know about me (and you’re going to wish you hadn’t read this list, haha!) are:

1. I made a goal to earn $20,000 a month in five years’ time.

2. I secretly fart in my seat at work or while walking in public spaces and hope that no one heard me.

3. I think about her all the time; wondering if she’s sleeping well, eating well and taking care of herself well.

4. Whenever I meet new people, I mentally evaluate them to see if they’d make good employees for me one day.

5. I badly want a slim oval face, instead of my broad square one (I like to think it’s chiselled but I got mocked at once) so I can look great in any hairstyle.

6. I want to travel to faraway places like Barcelona, Prague, Scotland, Borocay, New York, Tokyo and Brazil and many other cities with the love of my life. Well, if not, someone please give me the courage to do so alone (I’m really afraid of sleeping alone in the dark or in strange hotel rooms). Hehehe.

7. There’s a stack of new clothes and bottoms, and four pairs of new shoes that I haven’t worn because I can’t bear to. I don’t know why!

As for the list of 15 bloggers, I’d like to nominate all of you out there who aren’t afraid to share your deepest darkest thoughts, your buried feelings, your vast knowledge or even just your everyday experiences or the random funny things you see — with us on the Internet. You’re an inspiration. And it’s a pleasure just to be here.

So considered yourself officially notified. Now go forth as One Lovely Blog Award winners and continue blogging. 🙂

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Serendipity

When good things happen to awesome people like me. Oh yeah.

So it was the fourth of July two days ago and it was a big deal for the US. For me, it was just another long day at work and wanting to talk to someone badly. It didn’t happen.

Anyway I was really excited about July. The first day started with lots of laughter when we watched this really hilarious comedy skit that poked fun on everything from the government, politics, celebrity scandals, racial differences, medicine to being gay. It was good-natured and well acted out that we kept laughing and laughing. During intermission, we went to get beers. So I ended up watching the second half with this tingly alcoholic buzz that made everything even funnier. I’m so glad we decided to watch it!

On the second day (Monday), I remembered I had a horoscope forecast for this month, which got me even more excited. Here it is:

This July is a time to seriously apply yourself to your duties and responsibilities. Take charge in home, career and community affairs. Be patient and apply yourself to routine and details diligently. Organise your personal life and your career. Tie up loose ends. Start projects that will improve your living situation such as repairing the house or starting a garden.

Someone in your circle of friends and relatives needs help. Usually, this is a younger person who has not found stability or purpose in life.

This month may well bring an excellent opportunity in your own career. Focus on legal affairs. Discipline and effort are the key words for July. Romance takes a more serious turn. Expectations are expressed and commitments made.

It’s kinda true because I do have an excellent opportunity in my career now. But what really got me hot under the collar is that romance takes a more serious turn this month, with expectations expressed and commitments made. Woooooooooooooooo-hooooooooooo! Can’t wait.

I’ve always loved the word “serendipity” after watching the movie of the same name in 2001, starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. This is a romantic comedy about how two strangers met while shopping and felt mutual attraction for each other. They ended up having ice cream, going ice-skating, and talking about star constellations. At the end of the night, they decided to entrust their fate to destiny and left their phone numbers on a dollar note and in a book because the girl said if they were meant to be together, they will find their way back to each other somehow.

Then a few years passed and the two believed they’ve lost each other forever. Both were with other people now but they decided to find each other one last time. So both individuals traced back their steps that wonderful night separately and through a series of mishaps, they felt that maybe the chance is lost.Then things started changing, with them receiving the items they wrote their phone numbers in few years ago. So they set off looking for each other again and just when they thought they have lost hope, the first snowflake fell. And their eyes met at the park where they saw the stars. A year later, the happy couple celebrated their anniversary at the same spot where they first met.

I truly believe in that good fortune and good things do happen to you when you radiate positive energy and are not actively seeking them. And when they do, you feel so ridiculously happy because you didn’t expect them and you start feeling lucky. And when you feel lucky and happy, you just begin to feel even luckier and happier. And when you feel luckier and happier, even more good fortune and good things start happening to you. True?

Because life is that simple; find what it is that makes you happy and who it is that makes you happy and you’re set.

Hehe, I have a sudden urge to watch the movie again.

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Happily ever laughter

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What a wonderful weekend! In fact, what a wonderful week it has been! And I can’t wait for the week ahead, and the week after that and weeks ahead! Yes, I know I am ending every sentence with an exclamation mark. I can’t help it. I’m just too happy and excited and in love with my life. So I’ll add a few more exclamation marks for good measure. Whee!!!

I babysat Milo (my naughty but adorable dog) on Monday evening because my parents were out of town. Even though he destroyed the remote control and left a pile of poop in a corner of the house, I still feel a surge of love whenever he comes running and wagging his tail at us. We then went for a long run and came home happily filled with endorphins. I made him dinner, I ate my dinner and then settled back to read the papers while he snoozed next to me. It was so incredibly blissful that I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time.

Tuesday I came home to a wonderful feast of the King of the kings of fruits: Mao Shan Wang durian. Its flesh was so thick, so creamy and so bittersweet with just the right amount of firmness. Its seeds were tiny, meaning there was lots of durian flesh to enjoy. It was much better than a chocolate orgasm. Seriously. I felt so lucky and pampered that I had to remember to eat slowly so I could savour every single bite of the best durian ever.

Wednesday I attended my first ever baking class and it was enlightening. I never knew how much egg yolks, butter, cream and sugar we use to make desserts. Now that I know the truth, I can never un-know it. 😦

But it was fun learning to bake flour-less chocolate cake (it might be healthier to continue using flour if we had to use twice the amount of yolks and butter just to replace the flour), raspberry tart and creme brûlée. The class was also interesting as a learning ground for me. It made me realise I have absolutely NO passion in baking and standing around the chef while she gives us instructions. Perhaps it was my frighteningly short attention span but I knew then that I’m not a born baker; I much prefer to eat the chocolate chips than trying to melt them into sauce. So that’s another wonderful day of learning for me.

I met up with some friends on Thursday and we went shopping for our Saturday plans. Then we had a delicious Korean meal that I totally enjoyed and can’t wait to try it again. See, yet another great day and to make it even more awesome, it was Friday the next day! Win.

Friday. We’ve reached the promised land. Work was easy breezy and time flew by quickly. I went for a beauty product launch held at this mega-club that I have never gone to before so that was an eye-opener. Drinking refreshingly tasty Sangrias in the company of very well-dressed fashionistas was exciting. It made me felt like I was part of the cool crowd. HAHAHA!!!

I made some new friends there and they dragged me off to another party and I got to know more new people. I was on such a happy alcoholic buzz the whole night that I felt like a super cool kid. Oh, oh, and I received some expensive products (that I’ve been thinking of purchasing since last week) from the launch, which means I get to save money now. Seriously, how wonderful life is? Are you jealous yet? Are you? Are you?

But what made Friday night even sweeter was when I got home? I spent a few hours talking to someone I really adore. We ended up texting until we fell asleep. That was nice.

And Saturday was the local Mardi Gras party held in a big park. It was loud, it was brightly coloured, it was hot, it was crowded, it was humid, it was FUN. My friends and I brought our dogs along to celebrate the freedom to love (regardless of what gender you prefer) and everyone gave the dogs more attention than they gave us. I told my friends that we were just the owners with blurry faces in those people’s minds. Haha!

We then had a yummy ramen dinner al fresco style at a quaint neighbourhood while our dogs lounged around us. It was incredibly beautiful and tranquil. That was when I thought: “I wish you were here to share all my happiness with me tonight.” 🙂

After dinner, we took a stroll before parking ourselves at a stylish cafe for desserts. Sitting there, sipping tea and eating cakes while looking at the dogs exploring their surrounds and chatting and laughing with my friends just felt so amazing. You really feel that life was perfect and there’s nothing more you want in life than to do this every weekend. I perked up at one point during the conversation and said: “Tonight feels like a Sunday. But it’s not!”

My friend then quipped: “Which means we have another day to enjoy ourselves!”

And we all grinned at each other. Again, I wished you were here with us tonight. You’d have so much fun.

Sunday was just so fucking perfect. I never laughed so hard for two hours in my life. It was a great decision to watch a comedy matinee (pictured above). I have never been prouder of my nationality and my country. And you know what made it funnier? Having a beer during the intermission and getting a lovely buzz in the second half that made every line the comedians said thrice as funny. You’d have loved the play and enjoyed yourself today. I know I did.

This is such a long entry for what I really want to express. Hehe. What I really want to say is: I love this entire week. I love my friends. And I love my life.

And we all live happy ever laughter.

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Grow old with me

Grow old… and fat and rich along with me because we will always laugh together.

I first wrote half of this post on Oct 11, 2010 at 11.53pm after watching the episode Me and My Town in the season five of Desperate Housewives. It was the period when Gabrielle Solis was plump and frumpy from taking care of two daughters at home and Carlos was blind.

I thought I’d finish writing it tonight because I have been watching a few episodes from its eighth – and final – season recently. Plus, I have been laughing a lot these few days and feeling rather romantic.

In this episode I watched two years ago, Gabrielle goes to the hospital to visit Carlos and she is informed there’s a bone fragment impinging his optic nerve. But he could restore his vision in a month if it is removed. The couple are thrilled, but Gabrielle is nervous about how he will think she’s ugly when he can see.

She comically tries to argue against having the surgery so soon, but to no avail. With no time to get back into shape the old-fashioned way, she panics and confesses her fears to Carlos. She tells him to be prepared that she is no longer as beautiful as she was.

He replies that she will always be beautiful to him and he tells her a story about the first time he knew he was going to be with her forever. It was also the night he proposed to her. He had taken Gabby out for ribs, and from the way he describes it, it sounds like she did her best T-Rex impression at dinner.

Carlos: “I knew I was going to marry you the night we went to that restaurant on 3rd Street.”

Gabrielle: “I remember that place.”

Carlos: “You wore a white linen sundress and [chuckles] you ordered this giant plate of ribs. And you ate them with such gusto – up to your elbows in barbecue sauce, meat hanging from your teeth and grease in your hair. And when it was all over, I pointed out what a mess you were.

“You pulled out your mirror, took a look at yourself, and just let out this huge, happy, totally unrestrained laugh. The room was completely filled with it, and I thought to myself: ‘Now *that* is a sound I’d like to hear the rest of my life.’ That’s why I proposed to you. And it had nothing to do with your looks.”

Gabrielle: “You know when I decided I wanted to be with you forever?”

Carlos: “No. When?”

Gabrielle: “About 30 seconds ago. [kisses Carlos] Up until then, it was pretty touch and go.”

Heh, I went awwwww at that scene. It reminded me of how I enjoy listening to you laugh whenever we spend time together because knowing that I am the one making you happy makes me happy too.

You know how it feels when you know you want to hear the same laughter for the rest of your life? I do.

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Hot chicks

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After a fantastic dinner yesterday, my friends and I were lolling about, enjoying the restaurant’s extremely relaxed ambience. It was as though we had booked the entire place for our own pleasure. We were talking about everything and midway a story my friend was relating about her travels, a conversation I once had a long time ago popped into my head.

It was in 2010, sometime around 19-20 March. Whatsapp was new and exciting to us. We had just started chatting to each other not long ago and our conversations can last as long as the night and begin as early as the sunrise. We couldn’t get enough of each other. I would send her “good morning” messages when I wake up and she would text me when she flew back home or had wi-fi access. That night was no different.

I remember that night as though it was yesterday. I was at a popular club with my friends and we had jugs of vodka. The music was blasting and they were urging me to dance with them. But all I wanted to do was sit down in a quiet corner or go straight home so I could continue talking to her in peace. Every time a message from her popped up, I had to reload the app to retrieve it because the reception in the club was poor. But it didn’t matter. I had a silly grin on my face the entire night and it was hard to stop smiling.

3/19/10 PM 09:10:54: Her: Wei 11, ur turn at Words!!!
3/19/10 PM 11:58:39: Me: Honey!!! You’re back!!! 
3/20/10 AM 12:14:31: Her: lol! how did u noe i was gone? 
3/20/10 AM 01:01:52: Me: Coz I’m just awesome like that  You miss me innit 
3/20/10 AM 01:02:23: Her: i went to see koala bears & kangaroos!
3/20/10 AM 01:03:23: Me: Lol!! How are they? Furry and brown enough for you?
3/20/10 AM 01:03:53: Her: furry and funny hahahaha
3/20/10 AM 01:04:06: Me: Are they better than 
3/20/10 AM 01:04:17: Her: u r a mind reader
3/20/10 AM 01:05:10: Me: Only when it comes to you lol
3/20/10 AM 01:05:27: Her: 
3/20/10 AM 01:06:20: Me: Lol! What time is it over there
3/20/10 AM 01:06:59: Her: it is…. wanna guess?
3/20/10 AM 01:07:42: Me: Yes!!! Which part of ozzie land are you at? Oh btw can you stop thrashing me at words?!
3/20/10 AM 01:08:57: Her: sorry honey 
3/20/10 AM 01:09:04: Me: Perth? Mmm melbourne?
3/20/10 AM 01:09:05: Her: im jUz too li hai
3/20/10 AM 01:09:14: Me:  Li hai simi. And honey, I’ve been taking my honey regularly. Hope you’re taking redoxon too
3/20/10 AM 01:10:29: Her: omg yeah i was caught in a massive downpour dat day n i. had nowhere to hide n it was coooold
3/20/10 AM 01:10:50: Me: Lol!! When?! Maybe koala bears and kangaroos can give you warm. Lol!! Wear more clothes abd stop sleeping with just a bathrobe on!
3/20/10 AM 01:11:44: Her: they didnt  hahahahaa i didnt! the hotel doesnt provide bathrobes  n its hilton!
3/20/10 AM 01:12:16: Me: Aw… But they have cookie?
3/20/10 AM 01:12:57: Her: nope!!!!!!! 
3/20/10 AM 01:12:57: Me: I will give you cookie when you’re back la
3/20/10 AM 01:13:49: Her: really? big n warm n yummy type?
3/20/10 AM 01:14:01: Me: Lol!! Of course. xoxo honey
3/20/10 AM 01:15:35: Her: xoxo = hugs & kisses!

She would also send me the photos she had taken with her Nokia phone by downloading them to her iTouch. I would often send her random and pretty pictures I took with my iPhone while we would ask each other to send more photos so we could see the world and all the interesting stuff through each other’s eyes. That night she must have uploaded the photos before she texted me because she came well-prepared.

3/20/10 AM 01:21:05: Her: <media attached> can u tell wat dis is?
3/20/10 AM 01:26:45: Me: Lol!!! How did you blend three soaps together?! Show me more pics!! I’ve never seen a koala and kangaroo up close and personal
3/20/10 AM 01:27:35: Her: i didnt! my mum did! she’s crazy like dat! but i tot it looked super cute like a fake cake
3/20/10 AM 01:29:02: Me: Hahaha i did thought it was a cake
3/20/10 AM 01:31:21: Her: view from room <media attached>

And the moment when I knew she had me…

3/20/10 AM 01:31:45: Her: chicks
3/20/10 AM 01:31:52: Me: Where?! Hot?!
3/20/10 AM 01:32:02: Her: <see picture above> lol! yessss!!! ur fave!
3/20/10 AM 01:32:14: Me: Indeed
3/20/10 AM 01:32:33: Her: white black asian.. all there!
3/20/10 AM 01:33:56: Me: Oh man… They are too hairy for me 

Her laughter, even though I could only see it on the phone’s screen, was the most beautiful sound I heard that night.

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Hot chicks

20120409-235203.jpg

After a fantastic dinner yesterday, my friends and I were lolling about, enjoying the restaurant’s extremely relaxed ambience. It was as though we had booked the entire place for our own pleasure. We were talking about everything and midway a story my friend was relating about her travels, a conversation I once had a long time ago popped into my head.

It was in 2010, sometime around 19-20 March. Whatsapp was new and exciting to us. We had just started chatting to each other not long ago and our conversations can last as long as the night and begin as early as the sunrise. We couldn’t get enough of each other. I would send her “good morning” messages when I wake up and she would text me when she flew back home or had wi-fi access. That night was no different.

I remember that night as though it was yesterday. I was at a popular club with my friends and we had jugs of vodka. The music was blasting and they were urging me to dance with them. But all I wanted to do was sit down in a quiet corner or go straight home so I could continue talking to her in peace. Every time a message from her popped up, I had to reload the app to retrieve it because the reception in the club was poor. But it didn’t matter. I had a silly grin on my face the entire night and it was hard to stop smiling.

3/19/10 PM 09:10:54: Her: Wei 11, ur turn at Words!!!
3/19/10 PM 11:58:39: Me: Honey!!! You’re back!!! 
3/20/10 AM 12:14:31: Her: lol! how did u noe i was gone? 
3/20/10 AM 01:01:52: Me: Coz I’m just awesome like that  You miss me innit 
3/20/10 AM 01:02:23: Her: i went to see koala bears & kangaroos!
3/20/10 AM 01:03:23: Me: Lol!! How are they? Furry and brown enough for you?
3/20/10 AM 01:03:53: Her: furry and funny hahahaha
3/20/10 AM 01:04:06: Me: Are they better than 
3/20/10 AM 01:04:17: Her: u r a mind reader
3/20/10 AM 01:05:10: Me: Only when it comes to you lol
3/20/10 AM 01:05:27: Her: 
3/20/10 AM 01:06:20: Me: Lol! What time is it over there
3/20/10 AM 01:06:59: Her: it is…. wanna guess?
3/20/10 AM 01:07:42: Me: Yes!!! Which part of ozzie land are you at? Oh btw can you stop thrashing me at words?!
3/20/10 AM 01:08:57: Her: sorry honey 
3/20/10 AM 01:09:04: Me: Perth? Mmm melbourne?
3/20/10 AM 01:09:05: Her: im jUz too li hai
3/20/10 AM 01:09:14: Me:  Li hai simi. And honey, I’ve been taking my honey regularly. Hope you’re taking redoxon too
3/20/10 AM 01:10:29: Her: omg yeah i was caught in a massive downpour dat day n i. had nowhere to hide n it was coooold
3/20/10 AM 01:10:50: Me: Lol!! When?! Maybe koala bears and kangaroos can give you warm. Lol!! Wear more clothes abd stop sleeping with just a bathrobe on!
3/20/10 AM 01:11:44: Her: they didnt  hahahahaa i didnt! the hotel doesnt provide bathrobes  n its hilton!
3/20/10 AM 01:12:16: Me: Aw… But they have cookie?
3/20/10 AM 01:12:57: Her: nope!!!!!!! 
3/20/10 AM 01:12:57: Me: I will give you cookie when you’re back la
3/20/10 AM 01:13:49: Her: really? big n warm n yummy type?
3/20/10 AM 01:14:01: Me: Lol!! Of course. xoxo honey
3/20/10 AM 01:15:35: Her: xoxo = hugs & kisses!

She would also send me the photos she had taken with her Nokia phone by downloading them to her iTouch. I would often send her random and pretty pictures I took with my iPhone while we would ask each other to send more photos so we could see the world and all the interesting stuff through each other’s eyes. That night she must have uploaded the photos before she texted me because she came well-prepared.

3/20/10 AM 01:21:05: Her: <media attached> can u tell wat dis is?
3/20/10 AM 01:26:45: Me: Lol!!! How did you blend three soaps together?! Show me more pics!! I’ve never seen a koala and kangaroo up close and personal
3/20/10 AM 01:27:35: Her: i didnt! my mum did! she’s crazy like dat! but i tot it looked super cute like a fake cake
3/20/10 AM 01:29:02: Me: Hahaha i did thought it was a cake
3/20/10 AM 01:31:21: Her: view from room <media attached>

And the moment when I knew she had me…

3/20/10 AM 01:31:45: Her: chicks
3/20/10 AM 01:31:52: Me: Where?! Hot?!
3/20/10 AM 01:32:02: Her: <see picture above> lol! yessss!!! ur fave!
3/20/10 AM 01:32:14: Me: Indeed
3/20/10 AM 01:32:33: Her: white black asian.. all there!
3/20/10 AM 01:33:56: Me: Oh man… They are too hairy for me 

Her laughter, even though I could only see it on the phone’s screen, was the most beautiful sound I heard that night.