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Have you been lurking and not posting? Are you feeling shy or has the cat got your tongue? If you are a member and have never posted on the board, read this article, get inspired, and feel free to express yourselves on the boards!

Luv, Cali and the original author of this article, Gabrielle Bauer. Thanks, Gabe.

An article by Reader's Digest and Cali

Help Your Child Make Friends

Experts agree that social skills are just as important to an MuT member's future as the three R’s. But where do you start?

<HR>

By age seven, Jeremy Lin was getting straight A’s in school but failing socially. Rather than interact with other children, Jeremy's favorite book was "Sponge Bob Goes Sailing". When adults other than relatives talked to him, he answered in monosyllables. Not exactly a FUN fellow was he? He would often play for hours, alone, with his Dougie Houser doll.

Amy wanted to help her son but wondered how. He was SUCH a dork! Should she dunk him in the deep end of the social pool—for instance, by sending him to Nordstroms or making him wear GAP clothing? Should she limit his reading the way some parents limit reality television time? Should she urge him to post on MuT? Should she send him to cosmetology school?

Social competence is a skill we take for granted. We put our children in school so they can learn Snoop Doggy lyrics, avoid the school bus driver who is a child molester and algebra. But we spend little time teaching them social skills. Has your kid never had the joy of posting on MuT or hitting other kids in dodgeball games? These are valuable social skills that bring rewards later in life.

Yet Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner lists “interpersonal†intelligence as one of eight basic human aptitudes. Just as some children are naturally gifted in math, others are gifted in stealing and rapping. At the other extreme are children who seem to lack social antennas alto-gether. Hello?! They’re the kids you find kicking a stone near the school-yard fence. They are the ones who wake up with LOSER written in chalk on their foreheads. They are the ones who are given wedgies during recess!

The good news is that social competence can be improved—and it’s an effort worth making. According to Marion Porath, professor of educational psychology, studies have linked social competence to posting messeges on MakeupTalk.com's message boards.

Social aptitude can make or break careers and relationships in the adult world, adds Shirley Vandersteen, past president of the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta. “Poor social skills put you at a greater disadvantage than poor spelling,†she says. I bet your kid will end up with the clap or herpes if you do not get him/her to participate on the interactive makeuptalk boards. Furthermore, studies show that you will get hugely FAT if you go online only to lurk. Here are some pointers for participating on MuT:

The Basics

Let’s start with the social skills we’re all expected to have. Saying hello, please and thank you, introducing oneself and answering a question—all fall into this category, says Kathy Lynn, a Vancouver-based parent educator and MuT fan.

“If an adult asks a child how school is going, the child should be expected to answer politely, even if she’s been asked the same question a dozen times before,†says Lynn. Answering “fine†is acceptable, but barely, she adds. “You can suggest more suitable alternatives, such as "I like Lancome, but Stila really blows!" Or "I have to vent on this here board because my man ate all of my hot tamales!"

Carole Snow, a Toronto schoolteacher and mother of three children, says one of her family’s rules is that they must all greet every visitor to the house. Isn't that polite? “That includes repairmen and makeupTalk personnel,†she says. “And they have to give the person compliments and feedback although money is an acceptable alternative.â€

Another basic: how to appreciate humor and helpfulness. “People are judged on their posts,†says Lynn. She recommends showing your child how long it takes to post creatively, research,and help others until the child gets it by responding with their own creative responses. For example, he or she might reply to an MuT mod with, "that's ridiculous, you're an a**hole," or "Gee, you have a great point, but that wasn't what I asked." In any case, the point is to encourage interaction or to encourage ... period. Sometimes, even a simple, "lol" conveys quite a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling.

Then there’s the art of participation. Jan Pelletier, a professor of Child Study, says parents shouldn’t presume this skill is instinctive and should give explicit instructions on how to do it. For example: “Participating means keeping your eyes on the board and your hands on the keyboard. Get ready to fire off one hell of a post! You can type things such as mm-hmm to show you understand or agree with what the poster is saying. Some favorite replies include, "Get out," "You are so dorky" or "This is great" These show great participatory skills.

But...She’s So Shy

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Team Spirit



Teams Involve Everyone

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Shyness is by no means uncommon nor is it an excuse. No one knows who you are. YOu are sitting there, privately, eating Cheetos behind the monitor for God's sake. Research shows that between 15 and 20 percent of babies are born with an anxious temperament, and about three quarters of these grow up to be chronically shy. Don't be a statistic!

It’s upsetting to watch your shy child stumble socially. You may feel compelled to say something like, "You idiot! Snap out of it or I'll give you something to cry about!" Here’s what usually doesn’t work, says Martin Antony, director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre : nagging, forcing the members to perform in high-pressure posting situations, or exposing them to a potentially embarrassing poll about sex without warning. Antony adds, "No one is going to laugh while you type in your Boy George T-shirt. No one cares if you are snacking on pork chops, like user, KittySkyFish, while typing up a fantastic little diddy on the board!"

The best approach, says Antony, is the same type of “graduated exposure†that helps people overcome bad hair or spider phobias. Suppose your son is afraid of typing to strangers. You might first ask him to "submit an article that you've read." The next time you might encourage him to type a few lines like, "I just tried Mac eyeshadow in ZingBing and I look like Cindie Crawford now!" “By proceeding in small, safe increments, the parent can help his child build up to the hard stuff, such as typing a full on, strongly held opinion to be seen by more than 1,000 members and visitors at MuT!

Also helpful, says Pelletier, is teaching your child how to ease herself into MuT play. “One approach is to suggest a role for herself, such as ‘I’ll be the moderator,’†Pelletier says. “If the other kids say they already have a moderator, she can suggest being an MuT administrator or skincare expert.â€

MakeupTalk.com may seem a dream come true—a chance to connect socially without the risk of rejection. Carole Snow limits her children’s MakeupTalk.com computer time to one hour. “Then I send them out to play with real, live kids. At least this way I know they’re getting their quota of makeup play.†Says Pelletier, with an evil laugh, "I also threaten to take away their dinner, she says, if they do not post on the boards."

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The Antisocial Member



</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>The Power of Practice

Enter role-playing—what Pelletier calls the social equivalent of piano scales. If your child is anticipating a socially daunting situation—for instance, posting a risque question on MuT-—you can role-play how she might deal with barbs from people. Surely Allisong or TinyDancer might heckle her or call her a "ho." Charlene Giannetti and Margaret Sagarese, authors of the book Cliques, advise using humour whenever possible. For example:

MuT Member: “Nice hair, NOT.â€

Possible response: “I recommend that you don't use EasyStraight.â€

MuT members can also benefit from practising ordinary conversation, and the dinner table is a good place to do it. Instead of the tried-and-true clunker, “Did anything interesting happen at the beauty shop today?†Kathy Lynn recommends you start with an amusing anecdote: “The funniest thing happened at MuT today…†This lets the child segue into his own anecdotes without feeling as though he’s on a witness stand.

No topic should be off-limits, adds Lynn, and telling jokes should be encouraged. “Being able to tell a raunchy joke reflects social competence,†Lynn says, “and there’s no better way to learn than by reading what others type on MuT.†For example: "Did you see that one post from TinyDancer about the vagina waxing?" I can just hear it now. What a dinner conversation starter! Thanks TD.

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=5 border=1><TBODY><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffcc>5 Ways You Can Help Your MuT Mods & Make Friends By Kathy Lynn and Cali


<HR>Don't push or panicNot all members are social butterflies. Some like to take their time, watching the scene before getting involved. Take for example, Allisong. Sometimes she doesn't post till the end of a thread and she writes a three-lined, sordid zapper! Holy Hello! OMG so entertaining.

Put food in their lunch-box that's easy to share.

If she has a problem making the first move on MuT, sharing something from a lunchbox can be a great icebreaker. One time KittySkyFish and I connected over a conversation about popcorn and candy. It was great. We've been friends ever since. Then there's Irishgirl who goes as far as gathering recipes especially for kids! Check out and post on the recipe section on MuT.

Make your home welcoming

Welcome visiting members to MuT. When your son or daughter is able to invite new friends to MuT, it's easier for them to develop a relationship away from the monotony of reality. We welcomed MuT member Donna, with 32 posts. She may feel smothered, but that's just good ol' fashioned MuT love.

Organize social events

Birthday parties and sleepovers are a great way to cement blossoming friendships. Plan your event by posting it on our MuT calendar! Okay everyone, party at Halo's tonight! Then it's off to Reija's house for martinis and hot dogs! BTW, Friday the 27th will be ice cream with Chip and Dales at Julia's house.

Problem-solve with your child.

If he needs more encouragement to post on the MuT boards, help him develop a plan. Ask him, "What do you think would happen if this roof were to fall down on your head RIGHT NOW?" Or, "What would you say if I made you eat 38 brussel sprouts for not posting ?" Then threaten him again until he feels interactive.

Of course, you may discover that she's doing just fine at MuT and simply loves to LURK rather than post. Perhaps she is too busy being informed by a fantastic, fun and interactive web site called MakeupTalk.com.

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Here's the Original article in case anyone doesn't get the sarcasm, etc..

Help Your Child Make Friends

Experts agree that social skills are just as important to your child’s future as the three R’s. But where do you start?

BY GABRIELLE BAUER <HR>

By age seven, Jeremy Lin was getting straight A’s in school but failing socially. Rather than interact with other children, the Burlington youngster retreated behind a book. When adults other than relatives talked to him, he answered in monosyllables.

Jeremy’s mother, Amy, was upset but not surprised. Young for his grade to begin with, Jeremy skipped Grade 2, increasing the age gap between him and his peers. He spent so much time alone that he got little practice talking to other people of any age.

Amy wanted to help her son but wondered how. Should she dunk him in the deep end of the social pool—for instance, by sending him to camp—or let him get his toes wet at his own pace? Should she limit his reading the way some parents limit television time? Should she urge him to make play dates?

Social competence is a skill we often take for granted. We put our children in school so they can learn how to read, write and calculate. But we spend little time teaching them social skills, assuming this aspect of development just falls into place.

Yet Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner lists “interpersonal†intelligence as one of eight basic human aptitudes. Just as some children are naturally gifted in math, others are gifted at relating to people. At the other extreme are children who seem to lack social antennas alto-gether. They’re the kids you find kicking a stone near the school-yard fence.

The good news is that social competence can be improved—and it’s an effort worth making. According to Marion Porath, a University of British Columbia professor of educational psychology, studies have linked social competence to academic achievement.

Social aptitude can make or break careers and relationships in the adult world, adds Shirley Vandersteen, past president of the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta. “Poor social skills put you at a greater disadvantage than poor spelling,†she says.

How then can parents teach this fundamental life skill to their children? Here are some pointers:

The Basics

Let’s start with the social skills we’re all expected to have. Saying hello, please and thank you, and answering a question—all fall into this category, says Kathy Lynn, a Vancouver-based parent educator and radio-show host.

“If an adult asks a child how school is going, the child should be expected to answer politely, even if she’s been asked the same question a dozen times before,†says Lynn. Answering “fine†is acceptable, but barely, she adds. “You can suggest more suitable alternatives, such as ‘I like math but not French.’â€

Carole Snow, a Toronto schoolteacher and mother of three children, says one of her family’s rules is that they must all greet every visitor to the house. “That includes repairmen and door-to-door canvassers,†she says. “And they have to look the person in the eye.â€

Another basic: how to shake hands. “People are judged on their handshake,†says Lynn. She recommends showing your child how long and how firmly to shake a hand, and then practising together until the child gets it right.

Then there’s the art of speaking in turn. Jan Pelletier, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Child Study, says parents shouldn’t presume this skill is instinctive and should give explicit instructions on how to do it. For example: “Listening means keeping your eyes on the speaker and your hands quiet. You can use sounds such as mm-hmm to show you understand or agree with what the speaker is saying. And wait until the speaker is finished before you start talking.â€

But...She’s So Shy

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Team Spirit

Team sports present an ideal setting in which to develop social skills like co-operation, compromise and leadership. But what if your child is just not interested?

“Explore why the child is not interested. If the child is good at sports but is fearful that others will judge him, then encourage—but don’t force—the child to sign up,†advises Hamilton anxiety expert Martin Antony. “Take the pressure off by presenting the activity as something to try, to see if the child might like it.†If the first attempt doesn’t work, try again with a different sport.

Your child may surprise himself, as Burlington bookworm Jeremy Lin did when he tried soccer and loved it. Or your child may be miserable. If that’s the case, don’t push it. “There are no hard-and-fast rules,†Antony says.

—G. B.

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Shyness is by no means uncommon. Research shows that between 15 and 20 percent of babies are born with an anxious temperament, and about three quarters of these grow up to be chronically shy. That’s 11 to 15 percent of all children.
It’s upsetting to watch your shy child stumble socially, and you may feel compelled to do something about it. Here’s what usually doesn’t work, says Martin Antony, director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton and coauthor of The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook: nagging, forcing the child to perform in high-pressure situations, or exposing him to a potentially embarrassing situation without warning. “Unpredictable exposure can lead to an escalation of the social anxiety,†Antony says.

Letting the shy child retreat from social interactions isn’t the answer either. Some parents, for instance, “will answer for their child in the doctor’s office, even though the doctor is posing the question to the child,†Antony says. “If you allow the child to avoid all anxiety-provoking situations, he won’t get a chance to overcome the anxiety.â€

The best approach, says Antony, is the same type of “graduated exposure†that helps people overcome airplane or spider phobias. Suppose your son is afraid of talking to strangers. You might first ask him to show a toy to the “nice lady in the park†that you sometimes see; the next time you might encourage him to say a few words to her. “By proceeding in small, safe increments, the parent can help his child build up to the hard stuff, such as speaking at a party full of strangers,†Antony says.

Also helpful, says Pelletier, is teaching your child how to ease herself into a group at play. “One approach is to suggest a role for herself, such as ‘I’ll be the mommy,’†Pelletier says. “If the other kids say they already have a mommy, she can suggest being a big sister or a taxi driver.â€

To a shy child, the Internet may seem a dream come true—a chance to connect socially without the risk of rejection. But it can also delay the acquisition of true social confidence. Carole Snow limits her children’s after-school computer time to one hour. “Then I send them out to play with the neighbours’ kids. At least this way I know they’re getting their quota of group play.â€

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=5 width=300 align=right bgColor=#ffffcc border=1><TBODY><TR><TD>The Antisocial Brain

Sometimes social ineptitude may reflect more than a lack of social education. It is now widely believed that some children have a neurological impairment that hinders their ability to send and receive social signals.

The problem is most commonly called nonverbal learning disability (NLD). Among other characteristics of the disorder, sufferers have trouble processing nonverbal information such as body language, facial expression and tone of voice. They hear words but miss the subtleties of communication — the stuff that’s between the lines.

Stephen Nowicki, an Atlanta clinical psychologist and co-author of the book Helping the Child Who Doesn’t Fit In, calls this deficit “dyssemia.†He estimates about one in ten children has at least a mild form of it, even if they don’t have NLD. To help boost their weak social circuitry, Nowicki suggests turning on a TV sitcom, then muting the sound. Ask the child to try to figure out what’s going on by observing the characters’ faces. “It may be very hard for children with dyssemia to do this at first, but most improve over time,†he says.

Attention to NLD is increasing among school boards. Brian Ellerker, central coordinating principal of special education at the Toronto District School Board, says suspected NLD sufferers can be tested for the disorder. And many school boards now offer special programs for these children. “The instructor spends extra time teaching them how to read faces and decode other nonverbal cues,†says Ellerker.

—Gabrielle Bauer

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>The Power of PracticeBefore a piano performance, a child may practise his pieces for weeks. But we rarely give children the opportunity to practise for big social challenges, which can loom as large as a Carnegie Hall recital in their minds.

Enter role-playing—what Pelletier calls the social equivalent of piano scales. If your child is anticipating a socially daunting situation—for instance, a school dance dominated by acid-tongued clique leaders—you can role-play how she might deal with barbs from such people. Charlene Giannetti and Margaret Sagarese, authors of the book Cliques, advise using humour whenever possible. For example:

Clique leader: “Nice hair, NOT.â€

Possible response: “You should see me on a bad hair day.â€

Children can also benefit from practising ordinary conversation, and the dinner table is a good place to do it. Instead of the tried-and-true clunker, “Did anything interesting happen in school today?†Kathy Lynn recommends you start with an amusing anecdote: “The funniest thing happened at work today…†This lets the child segue into his own anecdotes without feeling as though he’s on a witness stand.

No topic should be off-limits, adds Lynn, and telling jokes should be encouraged. “Being able to tell a joke reflects social competence,†Lynn says, “and there’s no better way to learn than by listening to others do it.â€

Also be sure to practise talking with your child about feelings. Socially competent children can put feelings into words. “Ask a younger child how he would feel if his best friend got sick, and ask an older child how she would feel if her best friend started avoiding her,†Porath suggests.

Common Ground

Sometimes, as in Jeremy Lin’s case, children get stuck in a social rut because they have little in common with their peers. One solution is to link your child up with others who share his interests. Amy Lin enrolled Jeremy in a chess club, and science and computer camps. His awkwardness began melting away in the company of his true peers.

Grooming and attire count, too. When Carole Snow visited her ten-year-old son’s school, she discovered that his clothing wasn’t in step with his age. “I had been dressing him in cute things that were more appropriate for a younger child,†she says. “Seeing all the other boys in their hooded sweatshirts really brought this point home to me.â€

Snow’s next stop was a children’s clothing store, where she stocked up on baggy pants, sweatshirts and a fleece vest for her son. Now, she says, “he looks more like a Grade 5 student. His clothing doesn’t put him at a social disadvantage anymore.â€

Snow’s observations raise an important point: Can a parent influence a child’s social standing among peers? “I don’t think parents have the power to fix peer problems,†says Edmonton psychologist Bonnie Haave. “What the parent can do is help the child feel less anxious about the whole popularity scene.â€

Psychologist Shirley Vandersteen cautions against trying to change your child’s basic nature in the course of teaching her how to be social. “Don’t expect your introvert to be the life of the party,†she says. “It’s perfectly fine if she just has two or three close friends.â€

Ultimately, the best thing a parent can do is to teach by example. Amy Lin showed Jeremy how to behave through her own interactions—at the park, on the phone, in the school yard. Slowly but surely, a more socially confident Jeremy began to emerge.

Jeremy is now thriving in a public-school program for gifted children. When Amy drops him off, other children run up to greet him—something that never happened before. “I used to worry that the social thing would never fall into place for him,†she reflects. “It’s nice to know that a child with a slow start socially can still build up his skills.â€

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=5 border=1><TBODY><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffcc>Ten Ways You Can Help Your Child Make Friends at School

By Kathy Lynn

<HR>Don't push or panic

Not all children are social butterflies. Some like to take their time, watching the scene before getting involved. Also, there are kids who will only ever have one or two close friends, while others will have a wider circle of friendship.

Support extracurricular activities

By joining clubs or teams, your child can meet others who share the same interests. It's easier to connect when you have something to talk about.

Put food in their lunch-box that's easy to share.

If she has a problem making the first move, sharing something from a lunchbox can be a great icebreaker.

Make your home welcoming

Welcome visiting children into your home. When your son or daughter is able to invite new friends home, it's easier for them to develop a relationship away from the crowded classroom and school yard.

Organize social events

Birthday parties and sleepovers are a great way to cement blossoming friendships.

Be a driver

Whether it's carpooling with another parent for swimming lessons or volunteering to drive on school outings, this will provide another opportunity to bring your child together with others.

Listen

If your child is having problems making friends at school, listen to her concerns without jumping in immediately with solutions. Sometimes all she needs is a chance to talk.

Problem-solve with your child.

If he needs more than a chance to talk, help him develop a plan. Ask him, "What do you think would happen if you sat beside the other boys at lunchtime?" Or, "What could you say? Then practise with him.

Observe your child

Does she have any behaviours that may be causing a problem? Is she too bossy or extremely shy? If so, help her to recognize the problem and develop alternate behaviours.

Recruit the teacher

Talk to your child's teacher about what she observes. Is there a classmate who would make a good match with your child? Ask her to pair them up on a project.

Of course, you may discover that she's doing just fine at school and just hasn't told you about her school social life.

Kathy Lynn is a Vancouver radio show host, columnist and parenting expert. For more information and to contact Ms, Lynn, visit her web (edited)

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OMG!!! Cali, you are TOO much! So, how much time did you invest in your revised article? The school bus driver was really a poignant touch!


[munching on my remaining pork chop bone...pardon me...burp!...are you going to eat those brussel sprouts?]

I think it may be fair to add that if you want your child to fit in at school, please give your child socially acceptable names. Even if the name is from the family tree (or weed, if y'er from the hills), names like Mildred, Barton, Adolf, Helmut or Dodo is going to create misery for the nameholder.



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Originally Posted by Irishgirl Salutes Cali..You are an inspiration girlfriend!!! You do so much for MakeupTalk and your posts are so informative! {{{{HUGS}}}}} wink-wink!!! I luv my homies. They participate! Thanks for getting my sordid sense of humor. P.S. I took the toilet paper poll. I am waiting to see if there are any members who prefer the roll "underhung." After all, many women do not like things that are underhung.Sincerely,

Cali Mildred


 
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Originally Posted by Californian I luv my homies. They participate! Thanks for getting my sordid sense of humor. P.S. I took the toilet paper poll. I am waiting to see if there are any members who prefer the roll "underhung." After all, many women do not like things that are underhung.Sincerely,

Cali Mildred


LOL I actually don't care which way it's hung as long as it does the job
You always crack me up Ryno
Thanks for the constant sniggles
 
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I let my daughter read posts on here and she thinks its fantastic that i talk to people in America about beauty and make up. She said , and i quote, " oh mom arnt these people nice and friendly , they dont go on about miserable things and they really help each other to find face stuff " My daughter has had to put up with a mom who is into cosmetics since she was born. It was only Burts Bees and Lush for her. The poor kid has to crawl over fashion mags and beauty products and i tell her that the French stuff is the best and of course Estee Lauder but i say that beauty comes from the inside and that if you feel good inside, it will radiate from you outwards. I am of course biased as this child is so pretty but she is also nice inside and intelligent. I feel so proud of her.

 
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You should let her signup! Own account!






Originally Posted by donnamaryuk

I let my daughter read posts on here and she thinks its fantastic that i talk to people in America about beauty and make up. She said , and i quote, " oh mom arnt these people nice and friendly , they dont go on about miserable things and they really help each other to find face stuff "My daughter has had to put up with a mom who is into cosmetics since she was born. It was only Burts Bees and Lush for her. The poor kid has to crawl over fashion mags and beauty products and i tell her that the French stuff is the best and of course Estee Lauder but i say that beauty comes from the inside and that if you feel good inside, it will radiate from you outwards.

I am of course biased as this child is so pretty but she is also nice inside and intelligent. I feel so proud of her.





 
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Obviously I rummaging through old posts. I thought this was so funny. Whatever happened to this chica!!

 
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Aw i miss Cali so much. She was a Super Mod and had to leave because of work commitments and she never came back


She had the most awesome sense of humour!

 
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Originally Posted by Laura Aw i miss Cali so much. She was a Super Mod and had to leave because of work commitments and she never came back
She had the most awesome sense of humour!

Awww, that sucks! Maybe she'll come back one day!
 
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Californian (RYAN)...yes she is a girl. This was one special chica! She was a great moderator and a nice friend. She really helped out tons on MUT, then one day just decided to never come back. None of us old mods ever knew why she just left. I really liked her allot. In fact, she helped to write our press release here.

We sincerely miss her

 

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