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ldyjocelyn

# 64: A super smart, caring, determined, classy, easy-going, and genuinely good, likeable guy

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Good morning! I, of course, was asleep early last night, while my roommates were up for a while, I'm sure. And, of course, I'm now up drinking a Starbucks while the other two are asleep! Not sure what's on tap for today, other than the party tonight! Woohoo! Location: Elephant & Castle Pub, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave NW. Time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern. luckiest, let me know the number in your party and I'll try to save your group a party favor.

Bringing this over from the CH, using someone else's photobucket (as I'm too lazy at the moment to upload it to mine!), press picture from last night:

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y228/yeahyouregifted/2012/TyraB_FlawsomeBall05-12_1018.jpg

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This one IS in my photobucket, because it's just too FIERCE.

post-717-0-19312800-1350649184_zps66ddd0ec.jpg

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If you watch a silly ad for Big Fish games you get free wi-fi at IAH! Yay me!

I just saw the pic. Talk about attitude......love it! The suit is gorgeous but the guy in it is something else! Rawr!

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Hey from the Elephant And Crown! We are having a great time, eating and laughing. We miss you all who cannot be here. More later...

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Miss you all who are not here. It was a great party! Great food, great company.

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Hey from Walmart Hagerstown! Lol there are 4 of us, heading back to the hotel shortly to get some sleep. See y'all tomorrow!

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Good morning all! I took a few pictures from last night's party, and will probably post in our private thread. If someone doesn't want me to post a picture or them, please let me know. Today is going to be a free-for-all day before the Gala tonight. EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Oh. My. God.

It was awesome! The Gala honorees were inspiring, Arsenio Hall did a wonderful job as master of ceremonies, Ruben's voices was totally on point, and Clay. Good God Clay was great. For me, the highlight was the duet between Ruben and Clay, to Extreme's "More Than Words." That duet was phenomenal. We also got solo Clay with "Everything I Don't Need," "Because You Loved Me," "Invisible," and a heartfelt "The Real Me" at the end. And couchie is in heaven right now, as he sang...."To Love Somebody." OK, so he didn't know the words, but he sang the shiznit out of it.

He looked beautiful. Gray pants (kinda shiny), tuxedo jacket, white shirt, black skinny tie. Hair looked great, and the sideburns are back!

Very little in the way of auction. Dinner with Clay and 10 of your friends -- two people ended up winning, with bids of $22,000 each. And then, Arsenio said that he would have Clay on his new show the first week, and two people could bid on sitting in the "dawg pound" to see Clay up close. The bids were doing OK, and then Clay added that THEY could have dinner too. I think it went for $17,000. Lots of kids went to camp too with the reverse bidding.

It was a great night. More later after we find something to drink!

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Clay added a line at the end of The Real Me tonight. The way I heard it, it was "Beautiful, wonderful me, that's what you see". It just about killed me.

ETA: after a few hours sleep, I still am in overload mode. So much Clay last night that just caught me off guard! The first half went by without much of Clay...he and Diane finally came out to announce an award recipient, and then Clay sang Because You Loved Me to us as a thank you for our support. The auction portion was fun and crazy with Clay and Arsenio, but very brief. There was music from Ruben & Debbie. I really can't remember the order of things, but Ruben sang wonderfully and Debbie...well, she shook her booty in very little clothing while making the attempt to sing. And then, like sex with no foreplay....Clay took over and launched into Everything I Dont Need with the aim to kill us all! He teased us by NOT singing the "well well" or "well now" part at all, and then proceeded to growl and wail his way through an extended version of the song, making words up occasionally when he screwed up. It didn't matter, his intent to make us scream was quite clear.

When the first chord of Invisible sounded, I was transported back to concerts past, and was on my feet immediately, arms pumping. The suited gentlemen to my right were probably not sure what was going on. I missed last year's gala, so I was beside myself with excitement that he was going to give it to us again. Complete with every old nuance and shirt tug he could find a spot for. It was the stuff of dreams. Well, my dreams anyway, being a complete Invisible freak. It was like he was that young, make 'em scream 24 year old wide eyed kid, but now with a very knowing glint in this eye. Where did this killer attitude come from? This is the man who prefers ballads? Really?

Clay and Ruben dialed things down a bit with a duet to Extreme's "More Than Words". This is one of my all time favorite songs, so I sat there in total shock, straining to hear Clay's harmonies. Ruben sang the melody beautifully, but I would have happily donated a sizable amount of money to have had them switch parts. Still, it was something I never thought I'd get to hear, so I was thrilled.

Clay said something about feeling like he was back on Idol before launching into a full version of To Love Somebody. Did I mention he was in great voice? Omg!!! Lots of made up lyrics and laughter, but he went for all the high notes and nailed them. Completely amazing and fantastic performance. At one point in the show Debbie asked "does he ever miss a note?" to which we all giddily yelled "no!" Heh, it was true last night.

The duet with Debbie was pretty, but only because of Clay. He sang it very high, with such a sappy sweet smile for her. It was her song so I didn't know it. She plays a mean piano, I'll give her that much. She also spoke quite eloquently during the NIP awards. But she really can't sing...

Clay told us "2 more songs" before introducing Ruben again to sing his favorite song from Idol, Flying Without Wings. And then he said he always chooses a song each year to thank us with. He was very heartfelt and sincere. And then, after only 18 months of waiting, since we drove to Fort Wayne in the hopes of hearing it (but got fucking Misty instead), Clay made our dreams come true, and sang The Real Me. :). It's a special song for my daughter, since she has some of the lyrics tattooed on her leg. It's also Cindilu2's favorite song. You could have heard a pin drop throughout, and it was perfect. And as I already mentioned, the last line killed me all over again. Yes Clay, you are wonderful and beautiful in our eyes. <3

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Hello Long Lost Board Mates!

I was really happy to meet up with a few of you all at the Gala yesterday!

Due to a communication glitch I missed the Elephant and Castle - so sad!!

Next time I'll pay more attention. :)

Had a great time all in all - I hope Clay comes back here again next year!!

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Great to see you back Cha Cha!

Sounds like a great night, They were strict on the no-clack thing?

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Hello ausdon and cha cha! Good to see you yesterday, cha cha. Looks like the board is quiet today. We went to a few museums today. Saw the museum of African Art, which was fascinating, and went to my old favorite, the Freer/Sackler. Had a nap, and then went back to the Elephant and Castle for dinner. Good food!

Last night was amazing as always. I was really impressed with Loretta Claiborne and all that she has achieved, and the young lady with Down syndrome was so poised and such a good speaker. As always, the films are so interesting, and it is so impressive what the NIP has accomplished. Jerry's speech was great, and Diane Bubel has become very relaxed and entertaining as well as her usual brilliant, wonderful self. Arsenio was a good host and even better at stepping in when needed-- escorting honorees to the wings and back to the door to their seats, joking with the presenters, stepping in when the teleprompter went down on the one honoree. I do regret that we didn't get to hear his speech, as he seemed like a very interesting person.

Much has been posted round the boards about the entertainment.

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Crap-- on top again. I went up to fix a typo and couldn't get back down to the end. I'm on my iPad--missing those arrow keys. Anyway, Reuben sounded fantastic, the band was excellent, and Clay was phenomenal and looked yummy too! It was a wonderful evening!

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Hi guys. I just got home around 7:30 but had to eat and watch the Amazing Race. Rooting for the Fabulous Beekman Boys.

The party at the Elephant restaurant was great talked to people I hadn't seen in years. So nice to see the Houston posse again as well as couchy, jmh and ldyj. Also meeting again Evelyn and Olive , desertrose and Clayanne. Nice meeting kimye for the first time. Hopefully didn't forget anyone I'm a little pooped. I wish I had a chance to speak to everyone but I was beginning to fade after our drive from NC.

Saturday I opted for the Lets Play conference rather than sight seeing. Aron was terrific, as always, in explaining the teaching methods and objectives of the program. I always seem to learn something new every year. Sat next to two of the Gala award winners and had a very nice discussion with them : Bridgette Brown and her mom. They were very sweet.

Afterward waited in the lobby for my sister, playbiller. Meet up with luckiest, crimson ice and cindilu2 in the lobby. It as beginning to feel like old times again.

Around 5, we met on the lower level for the VIP reception. They served wine , sliders, veggies, cheese and fruit. There was a silent auction including a Toronto basket, DC basket, jewelry, handmade quilt and a few other items beyond my intended budgetery constrains. The platinum donors lined up for pictures with Clay and shortly afterwards the groups lined up. Clay was in the room when we got in there. It was a very tiny room and some were afraid the they wouldn't be in the picture. Clay stooped down because someone in our group was in a wheel chair. I could see the top of his head with the gorgeous and shiny gold streaked hair. After the picture Clay stopped to shake our hands and said a few words to us. He had to whisper as he was a little hoarse. We were concerned he wouldn't be able to sing but our fears quickly disappeared at the Gala.

At the gala concert I was in the second row in front of the podium. Great view of the goings on. I don't have much to say beyond what has been said but the speeches were inspirational, the teasing going on between everyone was funny and the singing of one Mr. Aikin was awesome. At the end I was hoping it was groundhog day and it would repeat again and again.

The audience was comprised of more men and more young women than than we usually see.

We left Sunday, a little poorer but much more content than when we arrived on Friday.

Hi to Cha Cha. So nice to see you again and to meet your charming husband. :friends:

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Read the recaps and it sounds like you all had a good time!! Just one thing.....where are the pictures?? :teehee1:

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Just stopping by to say hello after not posting for quite a while..... It was great to spend some time with Couchie in DC, to meet ldyjocelyn, and to see cha cha again! Loved the gala, of course. What's not to love?

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Hi all, we finally got home last night around 10 p.m. after almost 14 hours. It's about a 10 hour drive, and we stopped twice for sit down meals, plus there was a massive delay at the border, first on the US side with traffic being diverted to a different highway exit, and then going through the actual border crossing, with a huge back up of cars. I have slept very little this weekend, and as those I met know, I developed a pretty bad cold right before the gala, so I'm feeling pretty crappy today! I think I was running on adrenaline all weekend. Thank goodness I had the foresight to book today off as a holiday....I am not so sure I'll be seeing the inside of my office this week. I may have to work from home a couple of days, but on Thursday I am off to Windsor for Skate Canada. So I really need to rest and nip this thing in the bud.

It was so great to see so many familiar faces in D.C.! It was like a big high school reunion at the gala itself. Even just walking around to see the sights, we were running into people we knew or recognized everywhere. We stayed at the Harrington Hotel, and we saw Sean & Ben checking in. We passed Faye a few times, and Diane Bubel as well. It was just so much fun to be a part of it all. I am so glad we made the trek. I wish we could have stayed a few days to properly see the city, but as we were joking all weekend, who knows where Clay will send us next. :rainbowsmile:

So sorry we missed the FCA dinner, but glad to have caught up with couchie, ldyjocelyn, jmh123 & FearOfH20 for a little while at the Marriott. I won't even attempt to list everyone I spoke with for fear of missing names, but it was great to see you all! Looking forward to seeing more familiar faces on the Christmas tour. Now, everyone please cross their fingers for no major snowfall until after it ends!

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Woohoo for cha cha and ducky! It was sooooooooooo great to see you on Saturday. Please stay for a while, if you can.

My roommates are all gone; I was the first to arrive and am the last to leave. Parting is such sweet sorrow. I had a blast this weekend -- seeing the DC sights with friends, meeting up with new friends, getting to see a wonderful show, and supporting a wonderful cause.

I'm still giggling about Clay leaving out the "well, well/well, now" during EIDN. *g*

I truly believe that even though the man probably doesn't "understand" us, he loves us dearly. And it's the same with me "understanding" him as well. I have always been a "whatever you want to do Clay, it's your life -- and I'll support you" kind of person. I cannot comprehend everything he does with his life and career, but...he's Clay. What are you gonna do?

Thanks Clay. You've enriched my life in so many ways.

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Hi again to you too Fear!

shortyjill - there was a strict no clack policy, I didn't see anyone even raise a camera or cell phone!

BUT - there are a few pics on this ClayAikenNews page: http://claynewsnetwo...-wow-just-wow-2

I know of the clack policy, I meant of you all! Hehe.

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Read the recaps and it sounds like you all had a good time!! Just one thing.....where are the pictures?? :teehee1:

Well, I have been kind of busy lately. I will bring pictures over when I get home tonight....

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Thank you so much for the recaps. I was feeling sorry for myself on Saturday but I stayed up as long as possible to read some of the recaps as they came in. It did take some of the sting out for not being there. I can hope for a miracle next year that my ski patrol will not conflict. Have the money saved so if I can I will go. Just wish that the Gala and my ski patrol would somehow get off the same weekend. I look at it this way I never thought that I would be able to attend and yet last year my dream did come true, so it may again!!

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