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#1 - Ready for your constant state of celebration

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For those not listening to the reports...Clay sang Emmanuel tonight. No Jacob in the second half. Hope he is ok.

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Latest news...there are reports that Jacob is gone...no further explanation.

People are also reporting that Angela was crying during Emmanuel and DSIAFCD.

eta: unconfirmed report from buses Jacob is sick.

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Geez, what a day to be off-line. I had enough time this morning to see the news that Jacob wasn't there for the second act, and then I had to leave the house without getting any other updates. And since I've come back, I see the only real news on the situation is that Clay's blog confirms that Jacob will no longer be with the tour due to a personal issue. Hummm... That must have been any interesting intermission. Anyway, I certainly wish Jacob well, and will miss his harmonies with Clay, Angela, and Quiana. I really enjoyed Jacob's dancing and wit during the JBT this summer.

I was interested in checking out how "Good News" sounded without Jacob. The harmonies were a little less rich, but Clay was positively otherworldly in that performance. The Hands....... I can't even think of the words to adequately describe the expressiveness.

_____________________________

On a lighter note: I saw your inquiry on the previous page, Skatejoy. Team bottlecap may be formulating a response to that. I'll keep you posted.

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YEs I didn;t think Jacob;s absence detracted at all from GN's beauty. I also should say I haven't stopped listening to Emmanuel...it is fantastic.

Sorry about JAcob. I will miss all four of them together...but really the only irreplacable one is Clay. Wonder if they will have a new backup or go on with just Quiana and Angela.

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So, if anyone has been wondering why bottlecap is so busy and occupied that she won't be making any of the JNT shows, I think I found the answer tonight.  Yes, I saw the preview for the movie Happy Feet.  Singing and dancing penguins!!!  All those comments about penguins having no knees and being hard to train were just to throw us off the scent.

How long did you think you could hide???

Busted! Man, you wouldn't believe how much work goes into shooting this film. The exotic foods, the groomer, the specialized wrangler... and that's just for Robin Williams! [rimshot]

Actually, I was visiting Pedro and his pals at the Toledo Zoo last week-end to do a little casting. I have included a link to a few photos below. And just because I enjoy thinking of Skatejoy rolled in a ball underneath her desk in the fetal position, I have included my one lone picture from the JBT. Single use camera RULE, baby! PFFFTTTT to your fancy smancy digitals!

Penguins

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Hee that is so cool bottlcap...thanks for sharing.... but I kept looking for penguins on the jukebox picture... :(

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I  kept looking for penguins on the jukebox picture... :(

Well, the penguins are very short, and that was a tall stage.... Actually, the penguin pool is about 1/4 mile due north of the ampitheater at the Toledo Zoo. The cheetah enclosure, on the other hand, is right next to the the stage. Convenient for disposing of the screamers.... ;)

Edited by bottlecap

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Clay talks about us in this article from the Courier-Journal in Louisville:

Q: Your fans aren't just enamored with you -- they really like you, and they admire your character….

A: Why? (laughs) They don't know me.

Q: They seem to think that they do, and they're not exactly subtle -- and I know this from personal experience -- when defending you to anyone who even appears to criticize you.

A: What did you do? C'mon, fess up. (laughs) … My fans, they get not only protective, but sometimes they get overly defensive, which is a good thing sometimes and not so good sometimes. I kind of have to take it as flattering that somebody is that interested and cares enough to do or say something like that. And they are very active. They're very active.

Q: When did you realize the Claymates were becoming such a powerful force?

A: I don't know when it happened. I guess when all of this kind of started for me it was so new and I was very sequestered and very closed away from the outside world. When I finally did get a chance to be released into the wild, it was a big surprise. Where did these people come from? I guess I always assumed it would go away. They'll be excited about me for a minute, and then they'll change their mind and move on to somebody else. Well, I guess maybe some part of me is still thinking that it's gonna happen, but it hasn't happened yet. It's all an enigma to me.

Q: Do you believe -- as author Terry Piper asserts in her book "The Invisible Revolution: Clay Aiken and the Fans Who Made Him a Star" -- that The Clay Nation is, in part, responsible for your success?

A: I think without a doubt. … Anybody would have to say they are where they are because of their fans. I think to a much greater extent for me because they're just that active.

Released into the wild. Hee.

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SkateJoy, I too saw that movie preview...and thought of bottlecap! I guess this means I've been hanging around this board too long. Pretty soon, I guess I'm going to be craving fish...

The Jacob situation sounds very sad to me, more than anything else. I really liked his harmonies with Clay -- especially on EOTR and DSIAFCD. So, I will miss Jacob, and hope he has a good life as best he can.

Having said that....it looks from the DSIAFCD from the KC show that the "family" is on its way to healing. What an emotional clip...laughter from all the introductions...to tears from the signed "Thank you"...to full body sobs when he starts grasping Quiana's and Angela's hands.

I'm watching a JBT DVD at the moment....and it's weird now watching Jacob in these clips. And I'm not a "family" member at all! So...I think the the cast will have to take their time processing what happened. I do believe that Clay's blog was a classy move, and the "confused" feeling at the moment says a great deal.

Edited by ldyjocelyn

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The start of another week, and the JNT05 continues to wend its way across the country - EEEEEEE! I hope the day off gave everyone in the cast and crew a chance to re-group and recharge. It must have been a very stressful week.

I am looking forward to getting more recaps from the attendees of the midwest concerts - ldyjocelyn aren't you going to Chicago? I would love to hear details from any lurkers out there too! I just have one request: Check out the socks if you can. I find the variety of stripes to be inordinately amusing, and I would love to see some more pictures of them.

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The start of another week, and the JNT05 continues to wend its way across the country - EEEEEEE!  I hope the day off gave everyone in the cast and crew a chance to re-group and recharge.  It must have been a very stressful week. 

I am looking forward to getting more recaps from the attendees of the midwest concerts - ldyjocelyn aren't you going to Chicago?  I would love to hear details from any lurkers out there too!  I just have one request:  Check out the socks if you can.  I find the variety of stripes to be inordinately amusing, and I would love to see some more pictures of them.

Hee...yes, I will be in Chicago tomorrow evening, and will post a recap here, if I a) remember; and B) have time, for I will be recovering from the trip on Thanksgiving Day, and then visiting my Mom for 3 days. Anyway, I will try my best to check out the socks...but since I'm sitting in the loge, and can't afford to upgrade...I hope my binoculars work well. *g*

If I had won a M&G (which I didn't, *sob*)...my planned present was going to be a pair of striped socks. I think he would have gotten a kick out of that!

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I think my mail man is a little pissed off. I came home to find three packages of pins (EEEE!), the latest edition of "American Idol The Magazine" and my two orders of JNT merchandise from Clique. For some reason, he decided to jam the package with the JNT program into my mailbox, instead of perching it on top with the other box. That sucker was wedged in there pretty tight, and I really had to work to get it out. So now I have a JNT program with seriously mangled edges. Boo! However, the program pictures are great (nice jeans!!), and I love the little JN logos scattered throughout. Clique seems to have gotten its act together, as I placed my orders on November 7th, and they were delivered today, November 21st. Much better than the JBT merchandise debacle.

I kind of forgot that I had subscribed to "American Idol The Magazine" - I think I did that when I was in the throes of my brief Bo Bice infatuation at the end of AI4. (Hey, it was during the Great Drought of '05, and I thought Clay and I were on a break...) Anyway, I paged through it pretty quickly, and I didn't notice any Clay content. There is a long article on Mezhgan, the make-up chick, in case you have any interest in reading about that particular shuttle passenger. <_<

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It's concert day, it's concert day, it's concert day, it's concert day, it's concert day, it's concert day....

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

So what am I doing here at work?

I hope my mail comes today before I leave for Chicago...for I'd love to wear that long sleeved Tshirt as my travel shirt today! Still planning to buy stuff at the show tonight, if I can. Hopefully, my husband won't be too ticked off about dropping $100 at the merchandise table. *g*

It's concert day, it's concert day, it's concert day, it's concert day, it's concert day, it's concert day....

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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From the OFC:

11/22/05 / Clay on “The Insider”

The Insider takes a behind-the-scenes look at a day-in-the-life of Clay Aiken on the Joyful Noise 05 tour which should air on Tuesday, Nov. 29. (Pending breaking news, it’s possible the story could get bumped back a day or two). If you think Clay just leisurely loafs around all day until it’s time to show up on stage and sing, you’ll be quite surprised to find out how busy he is before he hits the stage. On the day of his Chicago performance, he even served as a guest-hosted a segment on a behind-the-scenes look at that Clay Aiken guy on his Joyful Noise 2005 tour! The man never stops….if you don’t believe, just tune in! Posted by Team Clay

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING FCA!

I have so much to be thankful for, but for the purposes of this post, I'll just limit it to this:

I'm thankful to be part of this craz-, oops, enthusiastic fandom which continues to educate, surprise, and entertain me in ways I could have never imagined. How did that happen?

And I'm especially grateful for Clack, which is responsible for so many BWAHs and GAHs. Thank you!

:D

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!

Hope you have fun with your family...have a great meal and for those travelling, safe trip.

so ldyjocelyn...how was your concert?...*hint* ;)

eta: Awww...thanks couchie...I should thank you for sharing your baby the FCA with me...It gave me a great outlet for my creativity and need to follow everything Aiken. I couldn't have asked for a better "partner" on any project...Mwah.

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone. This is going to be the easiest thanksgiving for me in a long time. I usually cook everything but I guess my mom was bored and the turkey, stuffing and greens were already cooking when I got home from work yesterday. That works for me.

Enjoy your food and company. I hope your team wins and you wake up ready to blast through those Xmas sales.

Although work wise it has been an extremely difficult year I'm thankful for my family, and friends, including my internet buddies. I'm thankful for Ansa because she helped renew the fun in working on FCA. Special shout out to all my travel buddies this year and the reason for that travel.

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Just in time for Thanksgiving...two great articles about Clay and JNT2005:

Reading Eagle

Christmas Clay's way

Clay Aiken puts together a holiday showcase called “Joyful Noise” that is based on his own writing and features performers from his hometown. The end product is everything he'd wished for and more.

By Tracy Rasmussen

Reading Eagle Correspondent

As if singing, dancing and idol status weren't enough, Clay Aiken has added writing to his resume.

“I did a Christmas show last year and it was so much fun,” Aiken said. “I thought I'd love to continue to do it, but I wanted to do something different.”

That something different is his new “Joyful Noise” tour, which comes to the Sovereign Center in Reading on Wednesday (which happens to be Aiken's 27th birthday).

Aiken said he tried to come up with an idea that could join all the different songs he sings together, when he hit on the idea of having an older woman talk about her Christmases past with a young neighbor.

“Then I just sat in my pajamas and wrote it,” he said. “I thought, Golly, I can do this. I'm not Arthur Miller, but this story works.”

The story revolves around a little boy who is annoying his parents and they send him outside to get him out of their hair. He goes next door and meets one of his neighbors a woman who has recently lost her husband.

“She starts talking to him and telling him stories,” she said. “And there are dancers who sort of show the back story.”

Aiken sings in between and throughout the stories, pulling the show together.

“I'm sort of the guardian angel,” he said.

And staying in line with the guardian angel theme, he hired his choir teacher from high school, Alison Lawrence, to play the part of the elderly woman. And since his teaching certificate is up to date he hired Gregory Ellis, a child from his hometown, to play the child in the show.

“I figured I could teach him on the road,” Aiken said.

Still, he admitted to being a bit nervous about having so much input into the show.

“But it ended up being so much bigger and better than I thought,” he said. “You usually have a vision in your head about what something is supposed to be and then you hope for the best, but this is everything I hoped it would be.”

Although the subject matter is poignant, Aiken promises a Christmas ending.

“Everyone dies,” he deadpanned. “No, really, it's a Christmas show, of course it has a happy ending.”

Aiken said that for him this show portrays one of his own wishes.

“Sometimes I wish that life had a soundtrack,” he said. “That's what this show is.”

The show includes many of Aiken's songs from his Christmas album, “Merry Christmas With Love.”

If Aiken's life did, indeed, have a soundtrack, it would likely be solid gold.

He's perhaps America's best known runner-up, as he came in second to Rueben Studdard in the second season of “American Idol.”

Aiken used that notoriety to promote his first CD, “Measure of a Man,” which has sold more than 600,000 copies, and he's found himself playing to sold out venues and basking in the adoration of the “Claymates” who follow him from venue to venue.

He said he's particularly looking forward to the Reading show.

“This is the first time I've ever done a show on my birthday,” he said, laughing. “So I'll expect lots of presents.”

Aiken has used his own gifts to help others, too. His teaching degree allowed him to work in special education, including a part-time job as an aide to a child with autism. That child's mom, Diane Bubel, convinced Aiken to audition for “American Idol.” Together they now have a charity that supports children with autism.

Education is still important to him, and he keeps current with the field while traveling the country.

And he said he never imagined that his life could be as good as it is.

“Right now I'm at a friend's house in Vancouver,” he said. “She lives on a cliff overlooking the bay and all I can see is water and these majestic mountains. I'm never going to expect things like this to happen.”

He said that prior to “American Idol” he hadn't gone far from his Raleigh, N.C., home.

“Myrtle Beach is about as far as I had traveled,” he said. “But now I've been to places like Indonesia and Uganda (as a UNICEF Ambassador).”

He will be home for Christmas, though.

“We'll be in Raleigh with the tour around Christmas,” he said. “So I'll be home.”

E-mail correspondent Tracy Rasmussen at entertanment@readingeagle.com

The Cincinnati Post

Aiken here for Christmas show

By Rick Bird

Post staff reporter

Go ahead. Call Clay Aiken a nerd. He won't mind.

"I'm not trying to be cool, and I don't expect to be any time soon," Aiken says with a laugh that can only be described as, well, nerdy.

The issue came up in a recent interview with the "American Idol" star, because a newspaper headline this month dubbed him a "Pop Nerd."

"I've always wanted to just be myself. So it's not an insult at all," he said about the reference. "It's a label I carry proudly."

Aiken may be the most famous second place finisher of any competition. And his geekiness obviously helped drive his fame.

On "American Idol" he narrowly lost out to Ruben Studdard in 2003, but his boyish grin, lack of pretense and choirboy voice earned the Raleigh, N.C., native millions of teen fans who launched Web sites and gobbled up a few million copies of his debut album becoming part of "Clay Nation." It was the overnight success story for the boy next door.

Aiken, 26, likes to think his self-deprecating demeanor has been the secret to his success.

"I think that's a mistake a lot of people do whether it's performing on 'Idol,' or just life - try to be something they are not, try to fool the world and make people think they are not a nerd or a geek."

For the second year in a row Aiken is out with a Christmas tour that comes to Music Hall Saturday. Called "Joyful Noise," it is more than just a concert. There are actors, dancers and special effects in a loose holiday story.

Aiken wrote the show himself.

"It became a favorite (last year) and we wanted to do it again, but the issue was how do we make it different? How do we keep it from being just a bunch of holiday songs? I wanted to try to string all the songs together with some sort of connective tissue. I thought, let's get someone to write a story line. Then I sat down one day and said, 'Wait a minute. I can do this.'"

Aiken even hired his high school choir teacher to come out and perform in the production.

Aiken and the singers play guardian angels, sort of a Greek chorus, that comment on the story through holiday songs. Aiken says it's a reverent show with part of it set in a church.

But that raises another small problem for the "Idol" star. Girls often do scream through it.

"Of course on a regular tour that's what you kind of want. When they come to this show and scream I kind of get a little bothered by it. This is a theme, where we are in church. It's like, 'Please don't scream in church,'" Aiken said.

"But some nights when they don't scream I get upset, too."

Aiken may be the perfect post 9-11 star. He's non-threatening, a true family act that parents can enjoy and don't mind if their young daughters scream at. Aiken says he's the last person to ask to explain the phenomenon.

"I hope the public is growing tired of negativity and trashiness. I am," he said. I can't say why people like me. It's flattering, but I can't really comment on that question."

Aiken released his multi-platinum selling "Measure of a Man" months after the "Idol" competition and has been almost constantly touring ever since. He also cranked out a best-selling autobiography, hosted his own Christmas TV special last year and raises money for his Bubel/Aiken Foundation, which benefits children with disabilities.

He says he's taking his time working on a new CD, carefully selecting the right songs. He acknowledges the first album came out pretty fast.

"That's the nature of the beast. There is a lot of push to get it done quickly, to get product out after the show," he said. "But I don't think it was done poorly. Had we spent more time on it maybe we could have found (material) we were happier with."

Aiken doesn't buy the argument some make that the "Idol" pop stars are rushed onto the scene, winners of a contrived event who haven't paid their "dues" in the music business.

"I felt prepared to record," he said. "I would venture to say that those of us who have been through the beast, been through that machine, have paid plenty of dues. Different dues. It was quite a boot camp really."

Aiken says he's learned what his strength is and that is as a vocal stylist, not a songwriter.

"Again, it's go with what you got and don't try to be something that your not. There is a lot of motivation these days to try and be a songwriter because it may look good or you make a lot more money that way. To be honest there are a lot of artists out there today who have their name written on the song. And the truth is they've maybe written two or three words of it. I'm not going to say I wrote a song if I didn't."

Clay Aiken brings his "Joyful Noise 2005" tour to Music Hall at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets, $69.75, $62.75, $49.75, $29.75. Ticket-master.

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so ldyjocelyn...how was your concert?...*hint*  ;)

Concert? What concert? :D

Here's my Reader's Digest condensed version...

The show itself: One word – LOVE. I myself thought it was simply lovely…but there’s more to it than that. I also felt the love that Clay has for this show. There’s a joy that radiates around him during the entire production. He may not be the focus at all times, but his warmth and presence is felt. The word that keeps popping into my head in regards to Clay and this show is “luminous” – he simply glows.

Lrdjocelyn and I sat with Oldmoviegal and her husband. She and I had a wonderful time being fangirls, while I’m sure I could hear the men’s eyes rolling around in their sockets. We were seated in a box under the loge seating, just off of center – lower to the ground, but further from the stage. I found that I could focus on “the work,” which I found touching, sweet, and well done by all (except for the microphone technicians *g*), and also focus on the voice. When you’re seated that far away, it doesn’t matter if it’s a round box or a square one, or if he’s got rooster hair, or if you’re going to be seduced by the pretty, IMO. The music was what got me, hook line and sinker.

The songs I enjoyed most were the ones I hadn’t really spoiled myself with – Christmas Serenade being a prime example. That was simply exquisite. I thought he was vocally on top of his game. (BTW, I didn’t miss the growls on Celebrate Me Home at all. I think those who were not spoiled by this song, which would probably be half the crowd at least, didn’t miss them. OTOH, I was thoroughly charmed by the little laugh at the beginning of The Christmas Waltz…it seemed so spontaneous.) There was only one song where I missed Jacob’s contribution, and that was during MDYK. Clay’s voice sounds that much richer during the bridge with Jacob’s harmonies – it lacked oomph in Chicago.

Another thing about sitting that far back is watching Clay’s body language. This struck me most during DSIAFCD. When he’s ready to hit the glory note, he was standing there, one foot firmly planted on the ground – but the other foot was on its heel, toe straight up in the air. For some reason, this made me smile as much him hitting the glory note.

All in all, this show is a winner in my book. Every song transported me to another world, and I’m dying to see it again. Wish I could too.

The clack I got for this show is all distant. However, for those who are interested in the staging…this is the clack for you. Clay’s pretty “glowy,” but it does give a sense of what else is happening.

I had not told my husband much of anything about this show, except that Jacob went MIA a few nights ago during a performance. So, afterwards, we had this conversation:

Me: So what did you think?

Him: Well, it wasn't what I was expecting.

Me: What do you mean, exactly?

Him: I was expecting a concert. However, I liked that Clay put some thought into making the show different from last year.

Clay’s music, for the most part, is not my husband’s cup of coffee, but he recognizes the talent, and thus enjoyed the show. Then, as we were driving back, he mentioned that he noticed that Clay wasn’t always at the forefront of the show, more of a “director”…he thought that was cool. I think he kinda got it. *g*

Lrdjocelyn and I went to the Field Museum the next day, me proudly wearing my new Clay Aiken JNT2005 shirt. (I LOVE this shirt…it’s the one with the green printing, which is striking, and I think it has the CUTEST picture of Clay.) Three people commented on it, and all of them were staff at the Museum. The one lady asked if I had seen him the previous night, and if it was good. (I suppose you don’t need to guess what my answers were.) The other two were male employees at one of the gift shops, where they also asked if I had seen him. The one then mentioned the book signing from last year, and we talked about the people who camped out in the freezing cold (not me, unfortunately) for hours. The other guy then mentioned that this was pretty amateur in comparison to a story he just heard – a gentleman camping out for 11 hours in the cold to spend $400 for an Xbox console. This gentleman then took the game back to his car, pulled out a sledgehammer, and totally destroyed the Xbox! So, if anyone needs a story to complement us “craz…enthusiastic Clay fans” – that might be the one you need!

I had a wonderful time in Chicago with “the family.” Thank you Chicago and thank you Clay.

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EEEEEEEEEE

thanks for your recap...I am so happy you enjoyed yourself...your hubby is cute too!

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Clay said:

“Everyone dies,” he deadpanned. “No, really, it's a Christmas show, of course it has a happy ending.”

He’s too funny. You may find it hard to believe, but I kinda like that guy.

Ldyjocelyn, I enjoyed your recap and have downloaded some of your Chicago videos – thanks for the different perspective. I know it’s probably not the case, but I picture you in some sort of Renaissance garb with a pointy princess hat, and for some reason, lrdjocelyn looks like the Burger King, only without the creepy plastic head.

Hey, the JNT concerts are finally in my time zone! Awwwooo Hoooo!

Obligatory penguin content: Yesterday, after Thanksgiving dinner, my family sprawled out on various pieces of furniture in my mom’s living room and watched the “Madagascar” DVD. We had to watch the Penguins’ “Christmas Caper” short twice, because we were laughing so hard. KaBoom, indeed, Ricco.

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EEEEEEEEEEEE love madagascar penguins...gotta get the DVD to get that new penguin movie...

hey Clay likes penguins...

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I'm trying sooooo hard not to buy the Madagascar DVD before Christmas. The fact that the penguins have editorial comments is not helping my self restraint.

Topic? Holy Crap! In one week I'll be watching Clay Aiken live in the flesh!! Whoo hoo!

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Holy Crap! Why did I not drag my behind three hours down I-75 so I could see the Aiken in Cincinnati tonight? Oh yeah, because I'm a wuss about planning any winter travel. [Slaps self silly.] At least I'm in the same state as Clay for the next two days, so can I count that as a con.nect.tion? Awhoo Hooo!

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