Posted in Business, Fashion, News

Final Day of Carson’s Clearance Center

Yet, another store near me has been shut down. Shame, cause I was really looking forward to getting another black velvet (or suede) dress for church too..

 

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20170109_142248At least I got this skirt for only $1.50.

Well, the only other two stores that I can go to are in Aurora and Morton Grove (If I’m correct). I’ll visit them one day, hopefully this summer.

Posted in Events, Friends, Photography, Travel

A Night Out In Chicago: Emporium Arcade Bar

A few weeks ago, I went to a Royal Rumble event with Touré and my other buddies at this place called Emporium Arcade Bar. Let’s just say that I had a blast, since this was my very first time going to a place that has not only a bar, but also an arcade.

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20170129_172919We were watching the Royal Rumble in this spot. Despite the buffering and disconnections, it was very good. The people were nice and friendly as well.

20170129_173450While Touré, my buddies, and I waited for pizza to arrive, and for the the PPV to start, we decided to go ahead and play some arcade games and pinball. They have mostly old school games, such as Dig Dug (Which I wanted to play soo bad, but couldn’t, cause the machine was out of order), Tetris, Punch Out!, and more!

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20170129_173853I was very stoked to see a Metallica pinball machine there! Even though I suck at pinball, it was fun to play, regardless.

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They also have a KISS pinball machine as well! Sadly that was out of order, so I couldn’t play it.

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Overall, the place was very nice! I’m looking to go there again in the near future.. this time, I will head to the other location (The one we went to that night is in Wicker Park. The other location is in Logan Square. That has a pool table and everything!). If you’re looking for a place to hang out on the North side of Chicago, then I recommend Emporium Arcade Bar. Be prepared though, as you will have to pay for parking. Luckily for us, we didn’t had to pay for parking, cause it was free until January 30th of this year. (We came there on the day before).

By the way, I want to mention that sadly, they don’t serve food there.. only drinks. You are more than welcome to bring your own food and drinks there. Also, if you want more information about the bar and what games and such do they have, here’s the link: http://emporiumchicago.com/

Posted in Family, Personal, Relationships

Feeling On The Verge of Failure

What do I have to do in order to overcome this mix of depression and anxiety? What else do I have to do to truly prove to two people that I can stand up for myself? I’m sick and tired of it all. Also, to top it all off…

My anxiety is emerging again. I’m already dealing with a lot of stress, doing my hardest to get my life on track, and to make a better life for Zozo and I. I’m only human, can’t they understand that?

Somedays I just want to move away from it all, and just start all over, and I’m on the verge of doing so… all because I feel like a failure, not only to myself, but to the love of my life. It may seem like I’m not, but it feels like I am.

To my babe, I’m sorry for putting you through this for the past two years. Just at least understand that even though I’ve been doing my hardest to stand up for myself, some people (Like a certain parent) just don’t want to listen. I’m tired of speaking my mind to them. If I have to once again, prove to you that I can stand up for myself (Even if it means cursing both you and the parent out just to get my point across), then so be it. Be warned: It will be the final time I will speak about this. I’m not holding back either.

To the parent, I love you, but this time, it’s my way or the highway. If I have to move out and move on with my babe, or alone… then so be it.

Posted in Holiday, Personal

New Year’s Resolution List: Time to Stick With It

  • “Getting out of debt.
  • Achieving my weight goal.
  • Moving to a new city/state/country.
  • Going back to school.
  • Getting my life back on track.
  • Moving out of my parents’ home”.

…and on, and on.

I’m more than likely sure that these are almost everyone’s goals (..and more) for 2017. Oh, and I know that I’m late, but happy New Year! I really hope everyone had a great new year! As for me, it was great.. went to church with my Mum and soul mate on New Year’s Eve, and went out to eat on New Year’s Day.

Yes, it’s also time (or been time, since I’m like…, 10 days late into the New Year to post this blog post) for the annual New Year’s Resolution list!

For starters, I just wanted to say I’m really hoping that 2017 will be the year that I will accomplish everything on my list. Last year… I kinda accomplished a few things, but most of them were put off, cause I procrastinated A LOT, and also due to situations that were out of my league. However, some of the things on my list will finally come to an end this year, and others… will be set in place and more than likely, accomplished, whether it be this, next, or the following year.

Anyway, I have a lot on my resolutions list, but I’ll talk about the top five that I want to start and/or accomplish this year. Feel free to talk about your top five (or more) in the comments section! 🙂

1. Getting out of debt (..and raising my credit score)

Almost everyone whose into some sort of debt has this goal. Like me, they want to become debt free, so they can have a happy, stress-free life for themselves and their family. I want to become debt free, so I can get my credit score up (That’s also number one on my resolution list) to buy a house (I know in the past I said that I wanted to move into an apartment, but I found out that it’s much more affordable to buy than to rent these days. Also, Touré and I were talking bout it months ago, and we agreed to go with a house instead of an apartment), and other things that would be necessary to buy or rent, that would require a good credit score.

For those who don’t know, or are new to credit scores and whatnot, a credit score of 700+ would be considered good enough to rent an apartment, buy a house, getting a car loan, ect. If your score is between say… 650-699 (I know it’s possibly incorrect, but I’m just going off of the top of my head. I forgot what score it is to be considered “decent” to lenders and whatnot), then you could possibly get away with it, but in some situations:

  • You’re more than likely gonna have to find a co-signer in order to even rent an apartment
  • Pay a higher interest on a credit card, loan, or a car if you’re leasing or paying a car note
  • ..or end up paying a higher percent on a fixed-rate, ARM (Adjustable rate mortgage), or even a jumbo mortgage (I’m still learning more about these types of mortgages and steps to becoming a homeowner, so I may or may not be correct about that).

It would not be a good idea to apply for mortgages, or try to look for an apartment, or even apply for most credit cards, loans, or even a car (New or used, probably) if your credit score is less than say.. 650. You could get a credit card, however, your credit limit won’t be as high as you would want. That said, if you’re starting out, and want to get a high credit score for when you say.. get your dream job (Yes, your credit score does affect you getting a good job), a house (Like me), an apartment, ect., then start out applying for a credit card and whatnot. Be sure to not apply for too many at once.. it will lower your credit score and you will get marks on it too.

…Okay, I’m getting off topic here. Back to my list.

2. Getting a full time job

With my current situation of working part time at a retail store (Yes, working part time can be good, but if you’re trying to earn more income, so you can start building your emergency savings, retirement, or getting out of debt, then it can be bad), the chances of having enough money to pay bills, getting debt down, and still have money leftover to possibly spend (That’s another one on my resolutions list, is to stop spending money on wants) are slim to none. That’s why I’m starting back my job hunt, so I can finally start working full time, and I can start paying off my debt, saving money to invest, put away in savings, and ultimately, so Touré and I can finally move into our first home. Which brings to:

3. Saving money to become a first-time homeowner

Once I get a full time job, I can start saving up for a new home. My ultimate goal is to move out by no later than the end of 2018, early 2019 (If we don’t have enough money to move into a new home by next year, then it’ll be the following year. I hope it’ll be next year, though). I did a lot of research on which locations that we could move to (Based on crime rate and housing), and so far, I found eight places that we could move to (It would’ve been 10, but two of them had tons of houses that were way above our price range, and we’re don’t want to move into a condo… “yet”):

  • South Holland
  • Lyons
  • Hometown
  • Homewood
  • Worth
  • Merrionette Park
  • Bolingbrook
  • …and finally, Oak Forest. Yes, these cities are considered to have low crime rates, based on Areavibes. You can check it out (..and also see where your city or neighborhood stands on the list) on www.areavibes.com

I really want to move close to Chicago (Like say… 15-30 minutes away, at the least. There are a few places that I mentioned above that are close to it), but we might have to stay close to family and friends. Who knows.. we have until the end of next year to really think about it.

4. Going back to school

Originally, I was supposed to go back to school next month, but I procrastinated on getting the paperwork and transcripts done (Also, I’m strongly considering going back by this fall, so I can start finding a full time job at the moment), and like I said before, there were certain situations that were out of my control. I’m gonna get it done as soon as I can.. and as soon as I have the money to get the transcripts.

..and yes, I will stop procrastinating as well this year. Last, but not least:

5. Start investing

Once I get number two out of the way, it’ll connect with my final important goal on my resolutions list, which is to start investing. If I can start before or by the end of this summer, then my goals will be falling into place sooner than expected.

It’s time to get 2017 started on the right track!

Posted in Events, Family, Fashion, Holiday

Christmas 2016

My Christmas was really wonderful this year. I got some presents from family members and my soulmate, like gift cards, this skirt that my Mum gave me:

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…Games, toys, and more!

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My family came by, and so did my aunt’s pups. In fact, I caught two pictures of Suki, the youngest pup:

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20161225_150949 Somehow when my aunt opened up her gift that my Mum gave her (Which were the slippers), Suki started to chew on them like it was one of her toys. It was funny, nonetheless.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas this year! Thank goodness 2016 is almost over. I wonder what 2017 will bring in store… hopefully something good.

P.S., R.I.P to all of those celebs who died this year, including Carrie Fisher and few others who died a few days ago.

Posted in Events, Holiday, Photography, Travel

Pre-Christmas Madness: Downtown Chicago Style

The following pictures were taken in Downtown Chicago, at night. Even though it’s still a bit too early to be putting up Christmas decorations at this time, it’s still pretty cool to walk around the city and just take a peek at what type of decorations they put this year.

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Also, since the Chicago Cubs won the world series, I decided to go ahead and take these photos as well:

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20161105_204830_001I already posted the Cubs celebration photos onto my photography page, so if you wanna check it out, here’s the link: https://photographyisahobby.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/chicago-cubs-celebration-the-aftermath/

P.S., Happy Veteran’s Day! Also, next Friday is the day I turn 27. In all seriousness…

I’m ready.

Posted in Events, Family, Food, Friends, Games, Photography, Relationships, Travel

YouTube Gaming Family Meetup

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Sunday, September 18th, 2016.. Brookfield, IL.. this is the day that I will never forget this moment.

Sunday was also the day where I started my very first play at my church: The White Throne Judgment. I was singing in the choir during both days (Saturday and Sunday).. it was really fun. I’m gonna be singing again tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

After the service was over, I decided to pick up my awesome friends, cause one of the YTG (YouTube Gaming) streamers was visiting his family during the week, so we all decide to meet up at this place called Galloping Ghost Arcade.

20160918_161449So many games… and yes, there are about 450 games in all, from the 80’s and early 90’s, and of course.. pinball and Japanese games!!

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20160918_161631There’s a Primal Rage shirt that I wanted so bad…, but it’s for display only.

20160918_162337A little Japanese game that I found

20160918_162342Two of the streamers, Chris Plays Games (The one with the propeller hat) and Kodzo (Playing the third pinball game to the left. Oh, and that’s actually my babe, by the way).

20160918_162736He was so focused on this game.

20160918_163151One of my favorite games: Gradius III: From Legend to Myth. Gradius IV is another fun game to play. They also have Gradius II: The Ambitions of Gofer (Or Gofer’s Ambitions. Either translation is fine).

20160918_163748Of my my brothers was playing DragonBall Z game, since DBZ is his favorite anime.

20160918_164729Afterwards, we went to this place called Tony’s Family Restaurant. They had great food there.

20160918_165834If you’re into retro and modern games, then check out Chris Plays Games! He’s another awesome streamer on YouTube and YTG!

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20160918_171952Food… and lots of it!

20160918_182811So afterwards, we went back to the arcade to play some more games, and did a live stream as well. Oh, and guess what I found.. Tempest!!

20160918_185524The awesome YTG family and my awesome soulmate: Me, (Chris Plays Games (Propeller hat), Narrcost (Star Wars shirt), Kodzo, Yuhi (Zelda hat. She’s 1/3 of the group Good Luck Gamers (GLG)), Son Goshaku (Giving the two thumbs up), Snake, Nicole, and Craig Plays (At the end with the hat. He’s part of the PG gaming family called the Bromingos). Be sure to check all of them out on YouTube and YTG!

20160918_195541Snake, Yuhi, Kodzo, and I were playing this game called F-Zero: AX. It was fun.

20160918_201354My babe and I. We all had a blast that day. 🙂 In fact, we decided to make this an annual event.

So yea, this was the absolute best day ever.. can’t wait to meet more streamers soon!

Posted in Events, Personal, Photography, Travel

Reliving Childhood Memories: Downey Park

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This week, while I was very busy working my butt off, I finally had a day off. So Tuesday, I decided to check out this old park that I used to go to as a a kid. That park is called Downey Park. A few of the photos that I posted from above is just a few of the several photos that I took that day.

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Before, there were all metal slides, a wobbly merry-go-round (Well, the last time that I was on it), and a tire swing. Now, some of the metal slides were replaced with plastic ones, and the tire swing and merry-go-round is gone. They replaced the tire swing with this:

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They also added a walkway for people who like to walk their dogs along the way and for those who like to walk for exercise. Plus, a few fitness equipment as well:

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Now, some spots haven’t changed a bit, like this:

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There is a baseball field straight ahead, along with some apartments. There is also a tennis and basketball court as soon as you enter the park.

20160524_110252A few of the metal slides still remain.

20160524_110319This part is new

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The swings still remain

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So are the baby swings.

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More small metal swings… Brings back memories.

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That’s where the merry-go-round used to be.., but they took it down.

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There’s the center that my friends and I always go to whenever we want to get some water after playing our butts off. There are two more fountain waters that are there, but one of em is broken. Sometimes the water was better to drink inside the center than outside.

Well…, that was one of the parks that I went to as a kid. It was so good to be back there. Maybe one day soon, I can head there and play there and try some of the fitness equipment there. Next week, I’m gonna head to another park that I went to as a kid, and where I spent my summer at for a few years.

Posted in News, Personal, Relationships, Work

When Life Knocks You Down, Get Back Up

Finally I get a chance to do a huge update on here, and boy… a heck of a lot has been going on since then.

First off, I just wanna say, happy Lunar New Year (Or Chinese New Year, however you wanna say it). It’s the year of the monkey! Also, happy Mardi Gras to you all! I hope 2016 is getting to a good start for all you readers and viewers!

My 2016 isn’t going so good for me so far, but I will say that I am hanging on here. I have been trying to overcome my anxiety issues (It’s slowly becoming obsolete, but I’ve been having a bit of a fall back several times, but I am starting to become stronger as an after effect). As far as Touré and I go, we are actually doing really well, despite all of the recent setbacks that have been occurring as of lately.

This Friday is Touré’s last day of work. The reason being is cause his job is moving to a new suburb, one that is too far for him to get to at this time (Cause he’s still in school, currently). Until he graduates out of college (Which won’t be until the next two years), he’ll be out of a job. It’s been kinda hard on us (Me, actually, cause this is the first that has happened to me.. having my significant other losing his job, cause of situations that are out of his control), but we are actually getting through it. The good news is that he is doing live streaming on YouTube, and he is making some money off of that (Slowly, but surely), so that’s helping him and I out. He is almost to 500 subscribers (He actually calls it his people to entertain), so that’s helping out a lot.

As for me, I’m actually considering transferring to a university and finishing my bachelor’s degree there. Originally, I was gonna become a nurse, but the more I think about it, the more it’s becoming clear to me. Why am I taking one step forward, but a bunch of steps back? I need to get my bachelor’s degree and go on for my MBA, so I can start my career and have a better life for Touré and I (Also, he’s doing the same thing, as well). To be honest, we would like to live in either downtown or the north side of Chicago, but because his job is now going to the Northwest suburbs (..and my job is more than likely gonna be in Chicago), we’re trying to meet in the middle and figure out a solution that will make us happy (Apartment-wise). For now, we’re gonna concentrate on the present, and focus on the important stuff, like ACEN (Ah, Amine Central.. the event that we hope to go to this May, if everything goes through), and to me, finding a full time job and getting back to school.

It has been a huge roller coaster for me this past month, but I am keeping my balance in life, and trying to stay focused on becoming a better and happier me. Less stress, less anxiety, and less crying over stuff that is out of my control. This year, I am gonna fully make that change. Not just for me, but for Touré. By the way, all of these tests and such are making us stronger, not only as a couple, but as individuals. I’m really proud to call him my true soul mate (Also the best boyfriend I ever had as well, and I truly mean it).

Speaking of which, we are actually celebrating our first Valentine’s Day this weekend. Saturday, we are going to Steak and Shake for our Pre-Valentine’s Day date. Sunday, we are going to the movie theater to see Deadpool. I gotta admit, I’m actually excited about Valentine’s Day. All of the other V-Days that I had with my exes.. some were decent, most were bad, but it wasn’t one that I could say that I had the best V-Day ever. I’m hoping that this year I can say that. I will get pictures when that day comes.

I finally took some pictures of when I went to Chicago on Lunar New Year’s Eve that I can post on my photography blog. I will get em posted this week. As far as my fashion and beauty blog.. I have a bit of photos to put on as well. Those will also be posted this week as well.

Anyway, sorry bout the long wait, but like I said before, a lot has been happening in my life as of lately, and it has put me into despair (..and also risen my anxiety levels as well), but now that I am finally feeling better and starting to feel a bit more optimistic about the present day life, I’m  gonna start writing more on this blog. I have a bit of topics that I want to go over as well, but those will be for next time.

Until then, have a great day/night (It is almost midnight, Central time where I live, so I have to head to bed, cause I have work in the evening, and lots of errands to do in the morning)!

Posted in Games, Personal, Relationships

Screw Today’s Society and Their “Rules”

I believe that I made a similar post to this last year, but I decided to talk about it again (If I haven’t already). I hope to make this a part of a vlog on my YouTube channel (I will have Touré be a part of it as well, cause the looks that people are giving us when they see us together.. oh boy, can’t freakin wait to talk bout it).

First off… what inspired me to make this post is due to that fact that Touré was live streaming one of his favorite games, Rocket League, and while he was doing so, he was telling his viewers about a little fact about him and I (The conversation started when I was telling one of my friends about how my ex gave me back my PS2 and such, and it actually went on from there) about our age (Yes, he’s 21 and I’m 26. Bet ya didn’t know that, eh?). Then what fueled the fire was the fact that he told his viewers about how we get looks from people everywhere we go when they see us together. It’s like, they 95% bash him for dating a ‘cute, adorable girl’ like me who looks younger than him, then when they find out about my age, that’s when the whole accusations stop. They’re finally cool with us dating, but still. Oh, and as far as I go, I get the ‘Why tf is she dating a guy like him, who looks like he could be from the streets’’?!’ looks from em.

All of the accusations and I guess you can say… oh, stereotypical thoughts finally subside when they find out the real truth about us:

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1. He’s 21, and I’m 26. Yea, I really don’t look like I’m 26, but hey… looking younger than your real age is a blessing and a curse.

2. We’re a gaming couple. We not only love video games, but we also listen to rock, heavy metal, jazz (Also nighttime jazz), and other types of music, such as from video games and international music.

..and…

3. We are way different than the ‘typical black people’ that most everyone sees now and days (The ones that like to do drugs, gang-bang, listen to today’s rap and hip-hop, those who like to ‘twerk’ and do the ‘whip’ and the ‘nae nae’ and such.. I could go on and on about that. Oh, and did I mention that we’re really intelligent and that one of our main life goals is to become financially stable? That’s something that today’s society doesn’t mention now and days, is the fact that there are black people who are actually intelligent, going to school and getting their education, cause they want to be successful in life. They don’t want to be part of the ‘norm’ that society sees us now and days). We’re not from the streets, nor do we want to be. I can continue on from it, but I’ll stop it right here.

The fact that people are bashing us and giving us negative looks for being different and for how we look is just disgusting beyond belief. I mean, sure I’m from the suburbs and he’s from the city, and he’s Ghanaian and I’m Black, White, Native American, and Asian, but that doesn’t give you the right to tell us that I need to date someone my age, or I need to date someone who’s within my skin color (I believe that’s like the number 2 reason why people look at us in disgust, is cause he’s a darker skin color than me, which freakin urks the crap out of me).

Here’s how the rules of today’s society works (This is just my understanding of it, but your views on it may vary):

1. People who are gay, lesbian, trans, bi, ect. doesn’t belong in this society.

2. If you’re black, you “have” to be part of the ‘norm’ in order to be considered popular, which means you have to smoke, drink, listen and dance to today’s rap and hip-hop, be part of a gang, ect. If you’re against it or if you are different, you are an outcast, and therefore, gonna be made fun of, and so on.

3. If you are light or dark-skinned, and are dating someone from a different race or who is lighter or darker than your complexion (Or if you’re white and are dating a black person, you will get frown upon and bashed.

4. If you are an older woman dating a younger man (Even if you are educated), you are considered a cougar.

5. If you’re black and listen to rock, heavy metal, jazz, international (Such as French, Chinese, Japanese, ect.), techno, ect., dress up like you’re a rocker, cosplay, or wear video games and band shirts, you will get looked at in disgust and talked about by the “normal crowd (Those who sag their pants, wear ridculous outfits that look like you’re from the hood, and listen to nothing but poisoning-induced today’s rap and hip hop)”.

Finally (I can go on and on about it, but I’m not):

6. If you are a man (Sometimes a black man who looks like he’s from the streets or a thug, who actually is just an intelligent, educated guy who’s either living in the suburbs or in a safe place from the the chaos in the state, I.E. someone living on the North side of Chicago, staying away from the South and West sides) and dating someone who looks younger than she really is and/or is cute (Who is also just as smart as you are, and perhaps a gamer girl, ect.), then you are also gonna get bashed on and stared at A LOT.

I think I made my point here today, but before I go, I really need to say this:

Dating someone who’s much younger (If you’re say, 25 and your bf/gf is 18, it’s okay, just as long as you’re not dating a minor) or older than you is okay!

If you’re black and your lover is white (Or vice versa), mixed (Or in this case, a darker or lighter shade of color than you), then that’s okay as well!

Basically put, don’t judge a person (or a couple) by their looks, skin color, or nationality, and also if he/she/they are poor, rich, or whatnot!

F**k today’s society and their “rules”. Also, f**k anyone who doesn’t like Touré and I dating due to our age and such, just cause it’s not “approved for today’s society”. They can look, but they don’t know a beautiful, handsome, mixed couple when they see it.

That’s all I gotta say. End of story.

P.S., A honorable mention go out to Kodzo’s (It’s just my baby’s YouTube name and also his middle name as well. Check out his videos and live stream, and also, subscribe to him as well, cause he does live streams and video of 1080p, 60fps for all of you gamers out there!) live stream of Rocket League: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwS4KSMT9EY (If you want to skip ahead to where he and I talk bout how people gives us looks in a negative way and such, go to 2:46:47). That’s where I got inspired to make this post. I really have to say this from the bottom of my heart: Thank you Touré Apawu for the inspiration and for everything that you have done to and for me!