Monthly Archives: March 2011

*SQWACK*

I’ll admit that I’m slightly late on the uptake, but OMG I LOVE ANGRYBIRDS!!!!

It’s such an insanely addictive, frustrating and satisfaction-deriving game. I literally spend hours just launching the birds at the evil pigs, or as the just-released RIO version has, launching the birds to save other caged up birds.

for those who haven’t caught onto the trend, well you’re probably spending your time more productively. hahaha. It’s really quite insane what a simple iphone app has spawned.

So you can imagine my delight when I spotted one of the Angry Birds in my office when I went back to visit! I was slightly hyper and had fun making *SQWACK* sounds whilst throwing it around the office at my colleagues. We were giggly-insane.

I want my own Angry Birds plush toy now!! *gushes*

But being the fanatic that I am, I’d want the whole set, not just this red fella. hahaha.

lol they look so round and angry and cute.

It’s been really hot these past few days, so I’ve taken to going back to my old school uniform of a tee/camisole + shorts + added sunglasses to protect my eyes from the glaring sun. Eye protection is important! Especially if you don’t want your eyesight to deteriorate in your later  years.

I actually really miss dressing this way, and it’s also one of the things I treasured most about my university life – the freedom to wear whatever I wanted, to experiment with whatever clothes I liked every single day.

Certainly, it wasn’t like my university life was completely free of *omgfuck* moments when it came to my wardrobe, but it definitely was the place where I truly embraced my own style of dressing and learnt a lot about what suited me and what didn’t, thanks to the honest/teasing breakdowns from the friends I met all over school.

So for those who haven’t yet found a style that is quintessentially yours, don’t worry! You just need time and the courage to experiment with all sorts of combinations before finding out what looks best on you.

Polo tees these days come in all sorts of colours and fits, but I usually prefer light-coloured ones, as it’s generally known that light coloured clothings retain heat to a lesser degree than its darker counterparts. For fit, I find that Old Navy really fits me well, and they’re not too expensive either! During sales it can be as cheap as $5 USD a shirt, otherwise the regular price would be in the range of $10-$20 USD.

With polo shirts, I’ve found that fitted shorts work best – loose fit shorts tend to work better with tucked in camisoles or blouses rather than polo shirts.

Alrighty! I’m off to hunt for my angrybirds plushies!! hahaha.

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Vintage Thrifting

Vintage thrift shopping has been all the rage in the US and the UK but somehow, this hasn’t quite caught on here in Singapore. Aside from the Salvation Army and annual Flea Markets organized at Zouk, Scape, Tanglin Mall, Home Club and Expo, there hasn’t been much going on. At least in terms of variety, everything that is sold is pretty much the same and there isn’t much variety. Also, prices aren’t exactly that much cheaper. They usually range from $10-15 per piece and that’s not much of a steal especially when it comes to second hand clothes. You also can’t really find vintage bags or jewelry here that is of good condition at a reasonable price. As such, I usually only do thrift shopping overseas and most recently, that was on my trip to HK.

It was actually kinda random. I walked past one of those shops, you know the kind that you find in those HDB estate? Kind of like Song & Song? I actually saw a rack of clothes, all wrapped in plastic mind you and each item was going for HK$5! That’s like S$0.80 per top! And it gets even better. If you buy 5 items, the 6th item comes free! So my friends and I pulled together the items that we liked and I got 2 tops for like S$0.70! Unbelievable value. And the quality was quite good! All items came with tags that said it was made and designed in Japan (not sure how authentic that is, probably fake) and while they smelt a tad musty and old, they looked pretty new! The major draw for me? The vintage old-school look that these tops had. It was a flashback to the 60s in a good way (though my bf calls them grandmotherly. Oh what little foresight he has!)

With just alittle bit of styling, these old clothes can look brand new again! Behold!

The blue top is actually the same one in both pictures. It’s just that I reversed it and wore the buttons in front for the second picture. I think that’s what I love about it. The fact that one top can have two different looks. It all depends on how I wish to style it. Throwing on a casual necklace and bow pumps or to wear some dangly earrings and a skinny belt, the look and feel completely changes and yet both outfits are so quintessentially me.

This is the second top that I bought and it has a lovely all over flower print and it actually came with puff sleeves and shoulder pads but I removed them and chose to shorten the sleeves to make it look less frumpy. I’m actually looking forward to wearing the first look to school. Somehow the fullness of the swing skirt complements it very well and gives it that 60s school teacher vibe.

The second look was an experiment. Can’t say that it was entirely successful (still think it looks strange, maybe I should have swapped the shorts for a skirt) but I like the neutral colour palette and the fact that I could dress down the top and wear it on weekends as well. I especially love the crochet pullover shrug that makes it look slightly modern, yet still gives it a homespun, grandmotherly vibe.

Here’s a closeup of some of the accessories used to complete these looks.

Also, if you want to go thrift shopping, here are some helpful tips:

Before running to the cashier, make sure you check your item properly for broken zips, a tear, stains. If it is a small defect like say, a button is missing, maybe it would still be worth the purchase because things like that can be easily fixed. But if it is something major like a rip or tear, maybe you should let this one go.

Try to be flexible. If you like a particular print or pattern but you find that the style of the dress is unflattering, think of ways that you could fix it. Shorten the sleeves, remove shoulder pads, shorten the length. These things are real possibilities and you could transform a 60s dress to something way more modern. But of course you cannot be completely imaginative. Consider the price of tailoring and ask yourself whether it would be worth the revamp.

Remember, the trick to making a vintage piece work is to accessorize! Take out all your vintage looking jewelry pieces and layer them on! A beaded clutch bag, an old statement ring, these could be just the things you need to pull together an entire look.

Goth Rock

I painted my nails black, only to have my bf complain to me over msn that “eee so goth” but I didn’t want to take it off, so I just layered over with the first glitter polish my hand grabbed, only to be pleasantly surprised by the effect. I’m completely in love with this combination, I don’t know why I haven’t tried it before.

If you’re thinking that the pic on the right has such an uneven surface – well it’s because of the glitter, and after two coats of KISS topcoat, it’s all smooth and gorgeous!! I really love how this glitter brings out such depth in the black polish, and after this experiment, I highly doubt I’ll ever be wearing black polish the same way again. The most fabulous thing is that China Glaze’s Haiwaiian Blue is soo packed with glitter that it just took me 1 layer of polish to get this effect. & I never really noticed that its glitters were of different colours either! I spotted light blue, dark blue, teal and I dare say.. green! A gorgeous combination. I’m so tempted to get the rest of the set from this collection now, haha.

The full China Glaze “Fun in the Sun” collection

Since I already have so many pink polishes I might not get the pink glitter (Bad Kitty), but the green glitter (Sour Apple) and orange glitter (Dreamsicle) are looking totally droolworthy at the moment. temptation!! ah!! must. resist.

Well, since I was completely in love with my new polish combination, I couldn’t stop looking at it or thinking about ways to emphasize it! So I ended up doing inspiration boards on Polyvore to complete my obsession.

With black as a base, I felt that the nail polish combi really leaned towards gothic, but it wasn’t the emo-goth kinda look. It was goth with bling. Hence my choice of several blinged out stuff on this inspiration board. Also, since the glitter had hints of blue in it, I decided to go with some deep navy for this look. I really like the simple michael kors dress (worn by the model) as well as the structured jackets/blazers. The right outerwear can make anything and everything seem work appropriate.

Certainly, I won’t be changing my polish every day, and I won’t be wearing black everyday, so here’s my alternative take on it – a really soft look with shades of teal, green and blue.

Teal is probably one of my favourite go-to colours at the moment – it’s a pity I don’t have more of that colour in my closet. I love how blues and greens can instantly soften up any outfit without being overtly “girly” or “feminine”, which is just perfect for the vibe i’m aiming for. Chic with a touch of edginess :)

What’s your favourite nail polish combi at the moment? Do you match your polish to your clothes?

Purifying Clay

While I do enjoy my hydrating masks, I find that in Singapore’s weather, it’s hard not to get oily, clogged pores, blackheads and blemishes. The solution? Clay masks. I’ve tried three brands, namely St Ives Mineral Clay Firming Mask, Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque and most recently, Kiehls Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque.

After doing alittle bit of research, I found out that there are actually different types of clay and they are used for different purposes. St Ives’ clay mask is rich in kaolin clay which is whitish in colour and is supposedly the gentlest of all clays. As a result, it is very good for sensitive skin types. It is mildly drying and has some disinfectant properties that is effective in healing blemishes while preventing new ones from forming. Dry skin? No worries. Kaolin Clay does not stimulate your oil glands. Instead, it works through gentle exfoliation to increase blood circulation, gently removing dead skin cells so you have a clear, glowing complexion.

Kiehls and Queen Helene both contain a mixture of both kaolin and bentonite clays. Bentonite clay is actually derived from volcanic ash and it has the ability to deeply draw out impurities from your pores so it is a highly effective exfoliant that helps remove excess oil and sebum. Bentonite’s potency is the answer to acne-prone skin as it not only removes excess oil, but it also is effective in shrinking pores. Also, it’s anti-bacterial benefits can speed up the healing process of the skin.

Here’s how I normally go about using clay masks. I review my skin condition first. If I am having serious breakouts, then I would apply Queen Helene’s Mint Julep because it really does dry up pimples quickly and removes blackheads but I wouldn’t use this on normal days because it is rather potent and harsh and my skin tend to flake because it is so drying. But effective blemish healer? Yes I would say so. If I have one or two blemishes that are nearly clearing up, I would use St Ives because it is definitely more soothing yet my skin still feels clean and purified after washing it off and I do feel that it is effective is peeling off dead skin thereby speeding up the healing process. If my main concern would be to shrink pores, then Kiehl’s is my go-to. I’ve been reaching out for it more than the others recently cos my complexion has been rather good (after I changed up my skincare regime).

As you can see, the three clay masks, while of similar composition, actually come in different shades of green. I suspect that Kiehl’s formula has a greater percentage of kaolin clay because of it’s whiter hue whereas Queen Helene looks like it has a higher composition of bentonite clay.

There is also a difference in terms of texture and consistency. Kiehl’s is more runny and spreads thin. Also, because it comes in a tub, it’s very easy to get the last bits of the product out albeit the fact that it might not be as hygienic as a squeeze tube. Queen Helene’s is thick and viscous like a paste and as a result, rather difficult to squeeze out from the tube and you can’t really spread it across your face easily. I usually have to dilute it with abit of water. Lastly, St Ives has a consistency that is kind of in between. It is like a paste but you can spread it over your face without much difficulty.

In terms of value, Queen Helene wins hands down. 226.8g for only US$4.19 (S$6+). The tube was so big that Ruth and I bought one to share. Only drawback? We don’t have it readily available in Singapore so we have to get it from Drugstore and ship it here so you have to factor in shipping cost and time. Also, application is quite a pain because its so dry and pasty and somehow the formula is too bentonite-rich and as a result, dries up my skin. I probably won’t repurchase after I’m done with this tube. Great for oily complexions though.

St Ives is around S$8.90 for 134g which is rather reasonable and it’s available at every Watsons. So in terms of availability and quality, this is a rather good product especially for normal-oily skin types.

But if price is no issue and the final result is all that counts, then by all means, get Kiehl’s Rare Earth Clay Masque because for $34.50 for 142g, it really is quite a miracle worker. My skin has never been more blemish free and clear. This is a definite repurchase product for me. Especially gentle on sensitive skin types.

Hope the reviews have been useful! Remember though, besides a good skin care regime, healthy food, a good night’s rest and exercise are just as important in helping you achieve that wonderful glowy complexion! So don’t forget to eat well, rest well and exercise!

The “Adult” Phase

It’s become rather stressful these days… budgeting, rationing, thinking of investments, savings and my future. & even when it comes to clothes, I’m shopping for a first impression that counts. So it really touched me when my bf decided to gift me a celebratory “you’re all grown up” necklace.

Whilst browsing together (both of us generally don’t trust his choice of jewelery hahaha), I was quite attracted to all the heart pendants, which came in all sorts of variations, sizes and patterns. However, I felt that this wasn’t a “love” gift, but one that signified my new adulthood, so I decided to go for something more simple and elegant.

Needless to say, he wasn’t entirely pleased with the cost of my choice but I insisted because he just spent a bomb on our Lion King tickets (anniversary present!) and our Bali trip (birthday present!)… lol all the huge epic celebratory events of our relationship seem to congregate around the feb-march period, with the exception of his birthday.

Anyway, for those of you who have me on Facebook, you’d know that I recently won a $23 gift card from the Watsons Spin the Wheel game!

it was a long and tiring clicking battle, but i triumphed in the end :)

As some have woefully noted, they’ve been spinning for days with no luck. It took me about a few random clicks throughout one of the days in the office and I can’t believe I won one of the 160 $23 gift cards up for grabs! (though of course I would’ve preferred winning the $500 beauty product hamper haha).

so on Friday last week, I received the $23 gift card in the mail!

obviously they were re-using the excess christmas gift cards, but I didn’t really mind, it was quite a pretty design I thought. The card came with a foldable gift envelope should you want to send it to someone else as a gift. haha but given my addiction to purchasing skincare and beauty products, I couldn’t resist coming up with a list of things to buy almost immediately after receiving the card :)

Made in Dagenham

On my return flight from HK, I managed to catch Made in Dagenham, a British movie that is a dramatization of the 1968 women’s strike at the Ford plant for equal pay. I wanted to watch this movie a long time ago since seeing the trailer in Fourth Portrait but I’ve been waiting so long (way longer than Never Let Me Go) but it never screened in Singapore. I’m not even sure if it will in the near future.

Being a rather obscure film, I did not really know what to expect. Initially, I thought it would be alittle like Calendar Girls (especially since both films are directed by Nigel Cole) with women stripping nude to feature in calendars to show men that they are proud of their sex. But how wrong I was. This is a fictional re-imagining of a historical event that took place. Sounds contradictory? Well, let me break it down for you. Ford machinists did go on strike in 1968 (so it’s based on a ‘true story’), but the chief character of this film, Rita was made up by screen writers.

With a story line like that, the movie is obviously promoting women’s rights and can be said to be rather feministic. But it is promoting a rather egalitarian brand of feminism where the female characters want to be recognised and valued by men and to be placed on the same level as them. So in that sense, they are realistic, measured. They aren’t demanding to be superior than their male counterparts. And with the light, witty treatment of the script, it does help to make the message more palatable to the (male) audience.

I can’t say that the film was entirely successful though. Most of the characters weren’t memorable. Aside from the 60s fashion and the bob hairdos, I can’t quite remember the female characters very well. They were all a blur. Strangely enough, the person that I remembered most was not the lead, Rita, but Lisa, wife of a chauvinistic factory manager. My favorite scene was when she told Rita that she holds a Cambridge honors degree in history yet she is just a housewife that has to answer to the beck and call of her husband. She cannot express any kind of radical opinion and she feels like her life is so vastly different from the great people she studied in university. And so, she encouraged Rita to make history. To give women a voice. I thought that scene was well orchestrated. Sure, it’s right out of a formula book and probably not very original, but it worked.

While the movie wasn’t anything much stylistically, I definitely got me thinking. It made me appreciate how far we have come and to not take simple things like equal pay for granted. People actually fought for these so-called basic rights that we have today and how often do we even spare a thought for them? To give them credit for being brave enough in stand up for what is right? So all in all, a passable movie. A good one to watch with girlfriends to feel all empowered and invincible. It makes one believe that perhaps, today, I can triumph. I can do the impossible, make a difference, a change in my mundane everyday life.

Tim’s Restaurant: Cheap & Awesome Western

Western is one of my favourite cuisines, mostly because it’s really savoury and chock full of happiness-inducing carbs. That said, because it isn’t “local”, many restaurants do tend to overprice when it comes to western, either that or mass produce western food and serve it cold *thinks of the old western stall at the NUS arts canteen – which thankfully has now been replaced by a new and better western stall*. In the minds of many, western food doesn’t seem to demand much skill, unlike many of our revered local delights. However, it requires ingenuity! Pair a steak or ribs with the right sauce, and you’ll find it makes a hell of a difference :)

Located in the heartlands of Toa Payoh, Tim’s restaurant is one of the few places that offers great western food at really cheap prices. It recently underwent a renovation, which greatly improves its ambiance, and the staff there are always friendly and attentive, making it a really enjoyable dining experience.

As I was really hungry, I ordered the set, which includes garlic bread (2 slices) + the soup of the day + dessert + coffe/tea/milo, which was just a top up of $3 to my main course. As Tim’s Restaurant serves Nepalese cuisine as well, the soup of the day was Chicken Jumbo, which was pleasantly thick and reminded me of the lentil soups I’d tasted when I went to Turkey with my family a few years back.

Since I had been craving pasta the entire day, I opted for their Prawns Aglio e Olio ($9.00), whilst my bf picked the BBQ Ribs ($13.90). The serving of my aglio olio was really generous, with medium sized prawn bits spread all around. They included sundried tomatoes and capsicum, besides the usual garlic and red chilli flakes. The pasta was slightly softer than what I usually preferred, but it was good nevertheless! The ribs were drenched in this delicious mixture of BBQ + Black Pepper sauce, which had my bf raving about it throughout the meal. The fries were good as well, though the salad served alongside was somewhat wanting as it had alot of water at the bottom due to condensation by the end of the meal.

To complete my set, I was served a tiny carrot cake (much smaller than I had anticipated, but to my relief because I was sooo full by this time) and I picked milo because I already consumed too much caffeine in the day. The milo was awesome. they tarik-ed it, so it was really aerated and frothy. I suspect that popular bubble tea chain Gong Cha tariks their bubble tea too! That’s why it’s so light and silky smooth. Our total bill for the night came up to $25.50 – Tim’s doesn’t charge for GST or service charge :)

Tim’s Restaurant can be found at Blk 95 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, #01-52 and you can call 6250 5246 if you have any questions/wish to make reservations (though I’m unsure if they accept reservations at peak hours). It’s rated 97% on popular foodsite hungrygowhere.com.

AI Contestants wear JewelMint Jewelry

I’ve been known by many of my friends to be a reality TV junkie. Amazing Race, ANTM, Masterchef, Survivor… I’ve pretty much watched them all. But one of the longest running shows ever has got to be American Idol. Sure. Everyone’s sad that Simon has left. I mean, who’s going to dish out the catty remarks now? Someone has got to give these people a reality check.

But with the introduction of new judges like J. Lo and Steve Tyler, and after religiously watching the past few episodes, I see a change. We’ve moved on from being obsessed with perfection, you know, hitting all the right notes, being pitch perfect. AI is not so much looking for a diva or some vocally talented singer. It seems like they are looking for something more than that. They are looking for personality. For originality. For heart. And after listening to Chris Medina’s song “What Are Words” hit the radiowaves, I’m liking what I’m hearing. There is so much heart and soul in that song and while the lyrics might not be perfect, I was really touched when I heard it.

And that’s what music is all about. Moving the audience. And that’s what many of the contestants in this season of Idol have. They might not be as vocally talented as contestants in previous seasons but they sure have the ability to move people when they sing. My favs so far? Jacob, Naima and Casey because they always bring so much passion to the stage.

Another thing I’m liking about Idol this season is styling. It is amazing how alittle bit of styling and grooming can completely transform a person. I mean, just look at Haley’s transformation!

Absolutely amazing. I’m so glad she traded in those ripped denim jeans for that gorgeous blue gown. But as I always say, no outfit is complete without accessories and last week, AI contestants were spotted wearing JewelMint jewelry! If you don’t already know, JewelMint is a collaborative project between actress Kate Bosworth and stylist, Cher Coulter. Together they create one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry that is just to die for! You can read more about JewelMint and how to lay your hands on some of their beautiful pieces here.

Thia, Haley and Naima were seen decked out in JewelMint’s exclusive designs. Lookey here!

Teary-eyed Haley donning JewelMint’s Eros earrings. I love the tribal feel of this pair of earrings. You’ve heard of statement necklaces, maybe it’s time for statement earrings to come in vogue! And to match that pewter/silver detail of the earrings, Haley also wore the lovely Mumbai Bracelet.

I love the subtle gold sheen of the bracelet and how it fits so snugly on her wrist. It’s gorgeous yet understated. The perfect accessory for girls out there with dainty wrists that can’t do large chunky bangles. Haley’s not the only one decked out in perfection. Thia was also spotted wearing JewelMint’s Jagger Earrings which had a lovely Cleopatra feel to it. I love how it is slightly textured with specks of triangles. This truly made Thia stand out that night.

Last but not least, we have Naima who also wore earrings, this time it was the bejeweled pair of Krishna Diamond Earrings. Now that she is slowly breaking away from her flamboyant costumes and moving towards something more glamourous, I felt this pair of earrings really suited her very well. It definitely complemented her gown and made her look all the more special.

It’s hard not to be envious of these ladies after seeing the beautiful jewelry they get to wear (and hopefully keep!) But don’t fret. You too can own unique earrings, bracelet, rings and necklaces and these are handpicked for you according to your personal style, taste and preference. And you can get this exclusive service at JewelMint for only $29.99 per piece! That’s like a piece of jewelry plus style tips, all rolled into one! So what are you waiting for? Check out JewelMint today!

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge Review

Ruth and I aren’t really the kind who shop for branded cosmetics. We are more drugstore girls, you know, Maybelline, Loreal, Revlon. But I finally took the plunge (a deep plunge into my pocket for sure!) on my recent trip to HK just because it was cheaper than Singapore (no taxes and wider variety! YAY!) My lethal weapon of choice? Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Calypso Coral.

I know that brands like Stila and Benefit have long been famous for having one product that can be used for both cheeks and lips. Stila has its convertible colour, Benefit has Benetint and Posietint. Well, Bobbi Brown has also gotten in on the action (for quite a long time already in fact. Since 2008! That’s how backdated I am!) but I’ve been testing this product out for awhile now. Twice in Hong Kong’s cool and dry climate and thrice in Singapore’s humid and wet climate and I’ve gotta say that the product works pretty well! The colour is vibrant and quite long lasting and it is the perfect tinge of coral and peach that suits my fair, olive skin tone.

Here’s what it looks like:

It’s a peachy pinky coral that’s quite pigmented

Here’s a swatch

It’s not so frighteningly bright once you smudge it out and blend it on your cheeks. It’s actually quite lasting and budge proof as well as long as you pat on some finishing powder on top. I don’t think this is water proof though. I haven’t tried that out. Good news is that it doesn’t break me out. Usually I avoid cream blushes in Singapore’s weather cos it doesn’t last long and it clogs pores but so far so good! It gives that healthy peachy glow and with a good oil absorbing foundation and powder (I use Everyday Minerals), you can avoid shine for up to 5 hours (this might depend on your skin type. I have oily T-zone but my cheeks are usually dry).

Here’s the video that got me lemming for this pot rouge in the first place!

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

As I’m pretty free these days, I’ve spent loads of time catching up on movies, especially those that had me in a dilemma thinking whether they were worthy of the pricey $7.50 – $10 movie ticket or not. Scott Pilgrim vs the World was one of the first few real-life-meets-comic-book movies that came out, the later followings of Kickass and well, Sucker Punch are both unique in their own ways, but integrate comic book elements in their aesthetics and plotline. Kickass to me was a fun, albeit ridiculous comedy of an underdog turning himself into a superhero, whilst Sucker Punch (which I refuse to watch) just panders to the ridiculous fantasies of men. It makes me think that geeks are taking over the world.

Cheesy storyline aside, this movie is a treat for the eyes. More so than anything, I liked how the comic book-ness of it seemed fresh and well, interesting to watch, which just goes to show that there are tons of ways aside from the cliched hollywood moments to communicate and disseminate information. I wish film directors would experiment more and be unafraid to break out of that Hollywood mould.

Enter Scott Pilgrim, a relatively cool geek in geekdom. He’s got a band, a chinese highschool girlfriend from one of them convent schools, and well, he’s known as the “playboy” who gets all the coolest… geek chicks. So when he lays eyes on Ramona Flowers, he knows he has to have her. Problem is, Ramona Flowers has seven evil ex-es, some from short flings she had in grade school, who Scott Pilgrim has to battle first.

A number of semi-enjoyable indie music numbers can be heard throughout the film, mostly from Scott’s geek/indie band and one or two random competitors. I’ll freely admit that my appreciation for the music was mostly influenced by how much I liked the doodles and animations that were featured every now and then.

So was this movie friggin mind-blowingly awesome? I’m afraid not. But it’s an interesting and fun movie to watch. It certainly didn’t kill me in mindless boredom. I would recommend this to all comic-book geeks, anyone who’s into indie music and those who’re looking for an interesting teen film to watch.. or anyone who has followed the Scott Pilgrim comic book series :)

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