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I fly to Phoenix tomorrow! \0/

I'm going down for the Phoenix ComiCon.
It's full of awesome guests: http://www.phoenixcomicon.com/

Including my beloved James Marsters. And my Geek Crush Wil Wheaton. And my Geek Girl Crush Felicia Day.

I'll get to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] spellwight while I'm down there.

I've already got a VIP ticket for the James Marsters Concert on Saturday night. I've missed hearing him live. It's been 4 years!

Should be a great weekend!
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Holy cow! In less than 48 hours I'll be in Florida! My flight leaves at 7pm on Wednesday.
It seemed like it was forever away and now it's here!!
I just wish Rick was flying down with me. :( It's going to suck to be all by myself that first night.

I think I have everything I need packed. I've got a carryon packed w/my big lens, my camera body & a couple all purpose lenses, clothes for the next day, just in case, and my tripod head. All my other not as important camera stuff is tucked in with my clothes in the bag that's going to be checked.

I've never traveled with so much camera & electronic equipment. I hope it doesn't slow down security too much.

I've also gotten my hair cut & colored so I hopefully won't look too insane if I end up on tv.
I know for sure I'm going to be on NASA's UStream channel. From our itinerary:
NASA will use UStream to broadcast the 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. portion of the May 13 NASA Tweetup at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-television. Portions of the NASA Tweetup may be broadcast on NASA Television and online at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

Speaking of itinerary, we got our schedule for the Tweetup:

Thursday, May 13/L-1: Day 1
8-9 a.m. -- Registration at the Kennedy Space Center Press Accreditation Badging Building
9-10 a.m. -- Travel to the press site, set up, meet fellow participants
10 a.m. -- Welcome and introductions by @NASA team members John Yembrick and Stephanie Schierholz
10:10 a.m. -- Robert D. Braun, NASA chief technologist, NASA Headquarters
10:30 a.m. Jon Cowart (@Rocky_Sci), Orbiter Engineering manager, Space Shuttle Program, Kennedy Space Center
10:50 a.m. -- Stephanie Stilson, space shuttle Discovery processing director, Shuttle Processing Office, Kennedy Space Center
11:10 a.m. -- Astronaut Janice Voss
11:30 p.m.-12:15 p.m. -- Break for lunch
12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m. -- Demonstration of the Advanced Crew Escape Suit (ACES)
1:20 p.m. -- Instructions for launch day, board buses
1:30-6:30 p.m. -- Tour of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, including visits to the International Space Station Center and Apollo Saturn V Center. Your tour will drive by the Orbiter Processing Facility, Vehicle Assembly Building, Mobile Launcher Platforms and Crawler-Transporter. The last stop on the tour will be Launch Pad 39A to view retraction of the Rotating Service Structure, scheduled for 5:20 p.m. and space shuttle Atlantis. We will have a short break at the press site at about 4:30 p.m. If you need to leave, you may do so at that time. For the tour, you must wear long pants and closed, low-heeled shoes. Tank tops are not permitted.

Friday, May 14/Launch: Day 2
9:30 a.m. -- Arrive at Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 Press Site.
10 a.m. -- Group picture beside the countdown clock.
10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. -- Free time and visits from guest speakers, including
- Astronaut Dave Wolf
- Lt. Col. Patrick Barrett, weather officer with the Air Force's 45th Space Wing Weather Squadron
- Chris Meinert, STS-132 Closeout Crew member
- Madi Sengupta (@msengupta), Space Station Robotics instructor at NASA's Johnson Space Center
- Amiko Kauderer, @NASA_Johnson team member leading STS-132 mission Tweetup
2:20 p.m. -- Launch of space shuttle Atlantis on the STS-132 mission
~3:30 p.m. -- Post-launch news conference on NASA TV
Following the launch, you are free to depart on your own schedule. If you leave immediately, be prepared to sit in traffic for quite some time.

We get to watch them retract the Rotating Service Structure! Cool! Hopefully we'll be close enough that we can get some good pictures of her on the launch pad in her naked glory afterwards! (If you're not sure what retracting the Rotating Service Structure is, there's a good series of pictures that shows it HERE)

NASA - Space Shuttle
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Yeah, last week was quite the roller coaster, with extreme highs and extreme lows.

The low was, of course, losing Gabriel. But, out of this came a confirmation of something I already knew. I have the most awesome friends, both online and in real life. So many sweet & touching comments from y'all here, and over on Facebook, and on Twitter. We also got a half dozen cards and 3 bouquets of flowers. Our neighbor Tammy planted a hosta for Gabe back where we buried him.

It's been tough, but Monday really was the worst day. It's gotten better. The sadness hits at weird times though. Like when I put the carpet cleaner away under the sink. I started crying because I wouldn't be cleaning up cat barf a couple times a week. Not that I miss the barf, just the barfer.

Lump seems unfazed. We expected that.

And then the highs. I know I mentioned the NASA Tweetup that I got picked for. I don't think I posted anything since then though. I'm going! Although incredibly jealous, [livejournal.com profile] hellbob said that I shouldn't miss it because it's the opportunity of a lifetime. So I changed my plane ticket to fly down Wednesday and will be spending most of the day Thursday at Kennedy Space Center. The whole rest of the crew ([livejournal.com profile] hellbob, [livejournal.com profile] genevra, monkeys, etc) will be watching the launch from a river boat, and will also go on a bit of a nature cruise.

I've got my camera gear sorted out for the trip. My giant lens is going w/me in my carryon and I've got a carbon fiber tripod rental set up down in Orlando. I'm sort of nervous about going to meet such a huge group of people where I don't know anyone, but at least we can get to know each other on Twitter first. And of the 3 other people I've learned of that are going down from Minneapolis, one of them is actually on the same flight as me. I haven't met her yet so that could be good or bad! LOL. We're even going to give her a ride to the airport with us most likely. I just wish we could have brought a plus one so that I could have [livejournal.com profile] hellbob there with me for the launch. I'm going to miss getting to see it with him. :( Moose is awesome, but he's no Rick.
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Northwest Airlines can go fuck themselves and the goddamn horse they rode in on!!!

Nice long rant about NWA, and how I came to be at the airport all night instead of flying out at 1am. )

But, until then, I was having a totally awesome time!!
LJ & podcast peeps that I got to meet for the very first time in person: Brian Ibbott & his lovely wife Tina, Tabz (aka [livejournal.com profile] sl_podcast), [livejournal.com profile] spellwight, Evo Terra & his wife Sheila, Jack Mangan, Len Peralta, Philippa Ballentine, Tee Morris, and I know I'm forgetting people (Hey, it's 3:15 am. Of course I'm forgetting people!!!) And not meeting him for the first time, but also there was [livejournal.com profile] johnboze. I also hung out with [livejournal.com profile] scubagrrl the whole time, of course, and we hung out with [livejournal.com profile] cajones a lot. It was a weird surreal twist because unlike the way it usually is with him, this time he didn't know anyone except me, and I was the one who knew a ton of people and was introducing him!
Brian is super awesome in person.

And there was also much JoCo this weekend.
JoCo hug count: at least 5 6. I saw him here at the airport about an hour and change ago. I accused him of stalking me. :)
Beers JoCo bought me: 1.
Checks written to JoCo by me for merch: 1.
Checks written to JoCo by me that he ripped up: 1. Bought the PAX DVD and he wouldn't let me pay for it!

And the concert: Awesome!!! When we got in right as the doors opened, JoCo was kind of overwhelmed at his merch table getting it set up so I asked if I needed a merch minion. He was mostly hanging out so I just ran the credit cards while he signed things for people.
During the concert I took many many pictures. Fewer of Jonathan than all the others because I have so many with better lighting and cooler looking stage.
After the concert said goodbye. Didn't expect to see him again. But today after walking [livejournal.com profile] scubagrrl & [livejournal.com profile] cajones to catch their cab to the airport I was headed back to Quark's bar and saw him sitting at the Space Quest bar by himself. He waved so I joined him and we chatted a while. Then people started gathering by us, and he left for the Star Trek ride with Len. That's the last I saw of him. I assume he survived the Borg attack...

Arg. Very tired now. I'll write more about the NME & stuff tomorrow when I'm in the comfort of my own home!
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On August 6th this year [livejournal.com profile] hellbob & I will be celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary.

On August 7th he will go on vacation without me.

Then on August 14 I will go without him.

It wasn't really planned that way, it is just how things turned out.

I really wanted to go out to Vegas during the NME to meet all my online podcasting peeps and to go to the JoCo/Richard Cheese/Chance Coverville 500 concert. It just happens to be Microsoft's Patch Week, so my darling [livejournal.com profile] hellbob decided he shouldn't go.

Then last night as he was reading anything new on the internets about The Police he saw that their absolute final last concert together ever was going to be August 7th at Madison Square Garden in New York. And he started to hatch a plan.

So yes, [livejournal.com profile] hellbob will be getting two tickets for that concert tomorrow when they go on sale. He's going to go with [livejournal.com profile] kaldeth. They will fly out the day of the concert and fly back the next day.

Damn expensive concert, but how could I say no to him? He's put up with my James Marsters obsession, after all.

It just seems weird that after rarely flying for vacations in all our time together now we are both going to fly opposite directions without each other!

Of course, he will only get to gaze lovingly upon Sting, Andy and Stewart from afar. I, on the other hand, will most likely get to hug the adorable Mr. Jonathan Coulton. *grin*

I also have to admit to a bit of a twinge of jealousy, as I've already been to Vegas 3 other times (and Hellbob's been twice) but I've never been to New York City! Hardly seems fair seeing as how I'm the one that was born in New York state!
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The Las Vegas Pic Spam
Part 2
Moose Edition

Moose finds a friend in the Las Vegas airport.
The vacation doesn't start until we get a picture of Moose!

More Moosey goodness under here! )
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The Las Vegas Pic Spam
Part 1
Non--Moose Edition

The Bellagio fountain and Paris casino at night

More pictures under here )
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I was going t try to get my pictures from vacation ready to post but I'm tired so I'll do it tomorrow. Goodnight m y little minions!
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McCarran Int'l Airport has free wireless!!! W00t!
I'd be doing the dance of happiness if my feet didn't hurt so much!

So, I haven't read LJ since Thursday afternoon. Should we take bets on how far back I'll have to skip? :)

I saw a Cirque de Soleil show.
I won a little money, but I then lost a little more than I won.
I not only saw a Penn & Teller show, but I also got to meet both of them!
I took lots of pictures of Moose
I walked many many miles. It felt like hundreds.

I got to meet [livejournal.com profile] tx_cronopio in person, and I got to see [livejournal.com profile] caoilainn again. We never did get a chance to call [livejournal.com profile] felisblanco though because the time difference to Iceland always made it far too late/early her time to be calling. She might be getting some mail soon though...

So now I'm gonna go see how far back on the flist I have to go, and I'm gonna open stuff in tabs so I can read it while on the plane.
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Yes Hellbob, I will be trying to plot a way for me to go to this! I've got that 7 week paid vacation in July/August...

James Returns to the Stage

James Marsters will return to his roots and first love in the San Francisco production of the hit play "The Little Dog Laughed" fresh from its Broadway run. James will appear in the production in a limited engagement starting June 13, 2007 and running through September 9, 2007 (he will continue to appear at his previously announced convention appearances as well).  The production will take place at the Post Street Theatre in the heart of San Francisco.  Ticket details to follow shortly.

"The Little Dog Laughed" by Douglas Carter Beane is a witty, biting look at what could happen if one of Hollywood's hottest leading men decided to come out of the closet!  James will play the leading male character of 'Mitchell'.

James is incredibly excited about the opportunity to return to the stage. Joining him will be Julie White who originally created the role of 'Diane' both off-Broadway and on Broadway.  The production will be directed by Scott Ellis.


Mar. 14th, 2007 11:39 am
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Did you sense a great sadness in the force? Yes, the rumors are true and the HellPeeps have vacated the Windy City. We contemplated kidnapping the [livejournal.com profile] kniblet and bringing her home with us, but she wouldn't come without [livejournal.com profile] dibsy and he was at work.
We had a fantabulous time in Chicago and didn't really want to come back to the real world. At least I'm not working today so I'm going to just hang out at school and study for my test. Maybe wander down to Eli's in a bit for some lunch...
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We had an incredibly yummy breakfast of freshly baked croissants and hot chocolate to start the day yesterday. The croissants were baked by a member of the U.S. Baking Team, no less. Who knew there was such a thing?
That was followed by a walk down to Lake Michigan.

After getting back from the walk, [livejournal.com profile] kniblet dropped [livejournal.com profile] hellbob & I off at the theater for Blue Man Group. The show was a lot of fun. Moose loved it too.
After meeting one of the Blue Men:

Moose decided to join them:

After the show we went to Oz park and found the brick that the Nibley had bought:

It was in front of the Scarecrow statue. Here are [livejournal.com profile] hellbob & me by the statue:

That was followed by our first Chicago Deep Dish pizza experience. Yum!

Then back to the apartment to change into our pajamas, drink some wine, and watch more episodes of Black Books.

Another wonderful day.

On schedule for today: The Zooooooooooooooo!


Jan. 28th, 2007 11:03 pm
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Cool. I just went through and set up my excel sheet to track this year's vacation and I still have 47 hours that I haven't even scheduled yet. And I have the entire week before Labor Day off, so instead of a 3 day weekend, I get a 10 day weekend! :)
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Besides all the pretty stuff I got from Amazon, I also how have plans for

Attack of the Nibleys 3: The HellHouse Invades!

Hee hee. [livejournal.com profile] hellbob and I have set a date to go visit Chicago. We will be leaving Minneapolis as soon as I get out of work on Friday, March 9th and getting to Chicago sometime late that night. We will then spend 3 1/2 glorious days doing Stuff.
No, we don't know what kind of stuff yet, other than the Blue Man Group. And then we'll be heading back home on Tuesday afternoon.

Are any of the rest of you out there on my flist in the Chicago area?
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Well, [livejournal.com profile] hellbob & I have made it home safe and sound! The lovely [livejournal.com profile] camel0t picked us up and the airport and we caught a yummy dinner at El Loro with her.
Boy are the cats happy to see us! Near as we can tell there was only one puke incident which was probably Mr. Gabe eating too much and too fast.
Now I'm gonna relax and catch up on some of the Tivo stuff. I've got 2 Supernaturals, 1 House, and 2 Bones episodes to watch!
And I'll be working on vacation photos while I watch.


Apr. 12th, 2006 12:22 pm
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It's official. [livejournal.com profile] hellbob and I are finally getting back to California to visit [livejournal.com profile] scubagrrl and Mr. Scubagrrl again!

Our last trip to LA was four years ago! And the trip to Washington State was two years ago. Now that we're at a point in our lives where vacations are not just pipe dreams I start to get antsy when it's been over a year since a trip.

We are going to fly out there on Thurs, September 7th and fly home on Thurs, September 14th. We don't have to pay for plane tickets because we are exchanging timeshare points for the tickets, and we don't have to pay for hotel because we are staying with scubagrrl.

[livejournal.com profile] hellbob may not believe it, but I was planning that we should go out there this fall anyway. So, when www.jamesmarsters.com announced that his only convention this year would be in LA in September I figured that was perfect timing.

Unfortunately they didn't announce any further info until the time the tickets went on sale. We didn't know date, place, price, anything until then. I was expecting about $150 for gold tickets and $500 for premium. That's about what the Toronto tickets were in US$.

So I logged on when the ticket info went up.

Sept. 8-10th? Perfect! I already had from the 7th through the 17th off work.

On the Queen Mary? Cool! What a neat venue.

One of the other guests? Jane Espenson. Cool! She's written for a ton of shows I love and I've heard she's a fabulous con speaker.

Ticket cost? $300 for gold. What? Wow. ok. I've decided I'm going. That's spendy but if it's like Toronto it'll be worth it. Besides, I haven't done any concerts lately besides INXS. So I peeked at the premium expecting to see $750 plus for the price. They were $500. And limited to only 100 tickets. They included a formal reception w/dinner, drinks, acoustic concert.

I waffled a bit, but I just couldn't pass it up. Not when the price between the two was so close. It seems silly because $500 is the same either way, but I wouldn't have been willing to upgrade to that if the regular tickets were in the $100-200 range. Apparently other people felt the same way because the premium tickets were sold out within an hour. If we had to pay for plane tickets to get there I would have considered not even doing the $300 ticket and skipping the convention altogether (but I would have been bummed.)

I was going to be a lazy bum on Friday and relax because it's a holiday here at work, but now I'm going to come in to work instead. I'll get my holiday pay, but I'll also get paid time and a half for any hours I work. So every hour I work will be like 2.5 on the paycheck. Depending on how my week goes I may come in Saturday morning too for a few hours. It sucks putting in extra hours, but I want to at least make up the difference in the two ticket prices as well as then cover as much of the rest of the ticket as I can.

So, in September, WE'RE GOING TO CALIFORNIA!!! YAY! I just loved it there last time we went, even though I don't think I could live there. And the weekend we're there, I GET TO SEE JAMES AGAIN! Two concerts, two dinners (one is formal) and lots of other stuff. Not gonna get too excited yet though because it's still five months away.
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This weekend flew by...
Yesterday was the bridal shower for Dawn. We ended up spending a good portion of the day over there, but I bailed on going out for drinks. Maybe if I'd had my own car I would have gone for one or two, but I didn't so I would have had to make whoever drove take me home or call Rick to come and get me.

It was nice though. We got to see Dawn & [livejournal.com profile] genevra's high school friend Leigh who I hadn't seen in about 9 years. It was like a really weird flashback though because the basement at Dawn's hasn't changed much since the high school days of hanging out there.

Heck, that basement is the very first place I ever got drunk way back in June of '88. I believe I am the only person Mom & Dad Johnson ever let drink there who was under 18, and that was only after I got my parent's permission and I promised that I would not leave the house even if someone else was driving. I was about a month shy of 18 at that point.

Saturday night was just hanging out at home being a bum.

Today we met Mark for dinner at La Casita and I had a really yummy seafood enchilada. Then we were off to the theater to see Lucky Number Slevin.
I didn't really know anything about the movie going in except who was in it, but it was really good. Lots of fun. Some of the most f'ed up out there wallpaper you've ever seen. The story line was really confusing at the beginning, but it had all these bits that wove together so well by the end. And there were also lots of funny parts.

We'd been joined at the movie by [livejournal.com profile] lucky13charm & her brother Chad. Hey Lucky, I don't know why but I expected your brother to be taller. And he didn't have the beard in that family photo you'd had at work, did he? On Saturday night when I'd been watching tv with Rick I IM'd Lucky but it turned out that it was her brother online. Strange boy. Funny though. Just don't let him near your pet rabbits. :)

I am on vacation this fall from 4:30 pm September 6th thru 7:00 am September 18th. [livejournal.com profile] hellbob and I will be going out to Los Angeles on vacation for part of that time! Yay! A whole week leeching off of [livejournal.com profile] scubagrrl's hospitality. *grin* I have to see what's available for plane tickets from the timeshare since we can use our points to purchase tickets, but I'm thinking that we should fly out the 7th and then come back around the 14th or so. The event stuff wherein I will get to stalk James Marsters & touch him again would go from the evening of the 8th through late afternoon on the 10th. I'm sure [livejournal.com profile] scubagrrl can keep [livejournal.com profile] hellbob amused during that time.

We don't have any specific plans yet. I was thinking that it would be nice to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] anonymous_greg but when I GoogleMapped the city he lives in from Camarillo where we'll be staying I found that it's listed as a 6 hour drive. Uffda!

Also, [livejournal.com profile] scubagrrl, Oxnard is the airport it would be most convenient for you for us to fly into, right? I saw that some flights to Oxnard connect through LAX. Is it worth it to do that or at that point are we just better off flying into LAX and you pick us up there? Of course, if we rent a car the part about you picking us up is a moot point...
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I saw Black Garage Cat, a.k.a. Aleister, this weekend! He is BIG! And soft & fuzzy! He said to say "Hi" to you. :)

Remember when he was this tiny?

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[livejournal.com profile] hellbob & I are back home. Wisconsin was fun. Our room was fabulous, as we expected it to be. The weather was beautiful... on Friday. The rest of the weekend, not so much.

Friday, after checking in, [livejournal.com profile] hellbob & I hunted down some dinner as I bemoaned the lack of free wi-fi in the Dells. Then we returned to our room and watched the DVD of The Aristocrats that I had so brilliantly packed.

Rick wasn't expecting to like it, but [livejournal.com profile] stoney321 had raved about how wonderful it was when she saw it in the theater, so I knew it would probably be very funny, yet so very, very wrong. I was right.

Saturday we ventured out to find lunch. We ate at a Mexican place called Pedro's. It wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't bad (although Rick's system was apparently not fond of the super hot green sauce...).

As we were headed back to the resort [livejournal.com profile] raven_arani called to let us know that her & [livejournal.com profile] genpyris were just about to the Dells. We gave them the directions to the resort and headed back that way ourselves. They were just coming out of the office as we pulled up so they followed us back to our room.

We sat around chatting and getting to know each other for a bit and later headed out for dinner. We went to a place that was having an all-you-can-eat pizza & pasta bar. It was quite tasty. Then, after a stop at Super Wal-Mart for provisions (i.e. chips, crackers, beer) we settled in to the room for the night and we proceeded to teach them to play Killer Bunnies! After a couple games of that we just watched TV and decided that it was late & time for bed.

There was a couple more hours chatting the next morning and then [livejournal.com profile] raven_arani & [livejournal.com profile] genpyris headed back to Milwaukee as [livejournal.com profile] hellbob and I headed to Madison. We were very happy that [livejournal.com profile] raven_arani & [livejournal.com profile] genpyris were not scary at all, and we rather liked them. Hopefully they thought the same and weren't too bored by us. *grin*

We called [livejournal.com profile] bloodlossgirl to give her our ETA and she gave us directions to Nick-of-no-LJ's house. We met Nick-of-no-LJ and his calm, sedate, lethargic dog, Blix (sp?). Because this was the Weekend Of Eating A Lot, we headed out to kill us some lunch. We ended up at a restaurant called The Weary Traveller and I had a very delicious stuffed pork chop w/applesauce.

Then for dessert we travelled to a different restaurant that has good pie. We called [livejournal.com profile] bleaknimue, and the Janeness showed up for pie with [livejournal.com profile] suibhne_geilt, who we had never met before. We ate pie. It was yummy.

Then we convinced [livejournal.com profile] bleaknimue that we had to go to her apartment to meet the Root Things. You should go look at them. They are cool!

There was much chatting at [livejournal.com profile] bleaknimue's house, and then we headed back to Nick-of-no-LJ's house and sat chatting with the loverly BLG some more.

About the time we decided that supper might be called for we bundled back up and headed out to a truckstop for cheap filling truckstop food. It was relatively late by the time we got back to the Dells, but it was worth it.

Then today we woke up, packed, and drove home. :)

And yay! I have internets again!


Jan. 27th, 2006 01:57 pm
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...Just tell the boss I gotta leave
Be the best week of our lives as I can tell
We'll take our dream vacation in the Dells...

We're hittin' the road. I'll have Chiana but I don't know if I'll have internets. Have a great weekend y'all and try to stay out of trouble! :)
See ya Monday, if not before.


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