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December 2003

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12.22.2003 - - - 5:20 PM
I spend a lot of time by myself these days, which means I get to do something I love: stare. Oh yes, staring is my favorite, haven't I told you? I am actually pretty sure I've talked about my starting problem in the past here. Well, I have mastered the art of staring, and now I have a new place to conquer. One of the best places to stare at people is on the bus. Because of where I live, I'm usually hopping on a bus at the beginning of its route, I get my pick of the seats. I usually sit in the back. The back is usually the last place people sit, for some reason. Prejudiced, I think. I love the back. First of all, it's prime staring location. Second, you can lean your head back and not have to worry about the person behind you. Sure, there are germs, but that's why you wear a hat.

This is my morning routine: Get on the bus, make my way to the back and sit, put in my sunglasses, turn on my headphones, and pull my hat down low. I have about 15 stops before I get to mine, or roughly 30-40 minutes. I have seen all kinds of people on the bus. It can be really funny to watch people do what I call "the bus dance." This is where a person walks onto the bus, and, having not seen a row that's free, has to quickly scan for an empty seat next to someone who appears to be normal. If that isn't possible, the person will either stand, rocking back and forth as the bus lurches around, or they will sit next to someone only to jump up THE SECOND someone else exits a seat. I've seen people fight over the single seats! It's awesome.

I amused myself today by counting how many people were falling asleep. It's amazing how the bus can lull you to sleep, even with all of the abrupt, jerky stops. And, of course, the smells. It doesn't always smell downy-fresh on the bus, especially on the older ones. Or who you're sitting next to. The bus makes you a mouth breather. Today, I counted 8 people nodding off. Two were next to each other, and while they weren't together, their heads kept falling onto each other's shoulders. Then, one would wake up and nudge the other off. After about three stops of that, the woman finally changed seats.

Sometimes, though, when the back of the bus is full, I sit in the middle of the bus where I can look out the window. There are some interesting things on my routes. Right away I noticed the weird signs. There are signs like, "No Standing" with arrows pointing in two directions. What, you can't stand on either side of the sign? And there are TONS of signs that say "No Honking." Well, not a lot of drivers listen to that. I hear honking horns all the live-long day. I noticed another sign today, one that is holiday-inspired. There is a bank out here called Fleet. I passed a Fleet today and, because I was stopped at a light, I looked at all the notices hanging in the window. The one that caught my eye was for a holiday toy drive. It said, "Make a deposit - and a world of difference. Fleet Holiday Toy Drive." Nothing wrong with that. But what really caught my eye was the graphic that went along with it.


I took one look at this picture and started cracking up! Can you just imagine the bear being all, "Help, this machine is eating me! HEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLP!" Ha ha! And, to top it off. There was someone dressed up like a green alien, and it was just chilling in front of the bank. I didn't stop laughing for at least 10 minutes.

The other thing I noticed today was the increased security. On the bus, I saw a lot more police activity than normal. All the stop lights were out and traffic was being directed. The subways had a lot more guards. It's weird being here during a heightened state of alert. I know that NY has been at level orange since Sept. 11th, but it really hits home when you hear about the nation-wide alert, and you hear that your city (cities, really, because I include LA) are being named in "terrorist chatter." I guess I never felt affected before. Then I hear about an earthquake in California. I'm flying home in two days. I can't wait.

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12.18.2003 - - - 3:55 PM
Back to my crazy days. After The Boyfriend left on Monday, I was obviously sad. My co-workers knew this, so, to cheer me up, one of them (Stace) invited me to go to the David Bowie concert at Madison Square Garden. Before the concert, we met up with Stace's friends for a drink and quick bite. When they found out that I had only moved to New York two weeks earlier, they made it their mission to show me a good time. They kept shoving drinks at me from that moment on, bought me food at the concert, and then took me out to a club after. The only thing I paid for all night was my cab ride home! Even my ticket was free! It was so much fun. David Bowie put on a great show. He is an amazing live performer, so into the music, and his backing band was tight. I had never been to Madison Square Garden before...I'd seen it on TV, though, and it always looked HUGE. But, in reality, it was no bigger than your typical indoor arena. Not to say that it wasn't nice, though. I was suitably impressed with the place. The club we went to after the concert was cool, very chill with lots of chairs. I wasn't prepared to stay out so late, though! Everything is open until 4 AM here, and I think everyone tries to make it until closing. I, however, am not programmed for that sort of thing, and was about ready to die at 2. Stace and I didn't leave until 3, though! I didn't get to bed until almost four in the morning.

So, as you can imagine, I was not feeling my best on Tuesday morning. I rolled into work around 10:45. Oh yeah! Hey, my boss is in California! He's still sleeping then! After about an hour and a half of work, it was time for our company Christmas lunch. Because of the lay-offs, The Powers That Be at the label thought it would be in poor taste to have a lavish affair like we've had in previous years. Everyone walked around the corner to a nice Italian place, where we had our choice from three entrees and there was PLENTY of wine. Two hours later, not many people were in the mood to go back to work. I was kidnapped by some of my friends in the Sale Department, and they took me to a couple bars; first at The Plaza, and then another one just down the street. They then finagled me an invitation to a party that a sister label was having later that night. Apparently they did not care if their party was in poor taste, because it was swank, baby! Open bar, waiters with food everywhere, and three levels of schmoozing and dancing. I had so much fun. I danced my metaphorical butt off...and danced my feet into oblivion. It was NOT fun to walk up the five flights of stairs to my apartment after the party. Oh, and I didn't get home THAT night until 3! Amazingly, though, I was fine when I woke up on Wednesday, albeit very tired.

Yesterday I didn't do much. Work flew by, but that was due mostly to my having to leave at 4 to make sure I was home to accept a package from UPS. It was their final attempt at delivery, and I couldn't have my package get sent to UPS Hell. I waited around for the delivery for almost two hours. I was going to do laundry, but after having sat on my couch for so long, I didn't have much desire to haul all of my stuff down five flights of stairs...to the laundry room...in the next building over...in the rain...up hill...you get the idea. So, instead, I fell asleep on my couch early, and today I am feeling quite refreshed. I think it was a good thing. The laundry, however, must be done tonight. I am out of stuff. Before I can do my laundry, though, I have to go to *GASP!* Macy's! I know, the crowds there are enough to take your breath away. However, I must get it done, because even thought he crowds of people in Herald Square will be bad, the crowds of people on Christmas Eve at any mall in California will be worse. I will bite the bullet! I will be strong! I will survive!

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12.17.2003 - - - 2:28 PM
I have had the busiest five days. But, they were great, so I'm not complaining. Well, maybe a bit about the lack of sleep. But that's it. It started on Friday, when I left work and met up with The Boyfriend as he explored Times Square. We walked around a bit, popping into some cool stores, then braved the MOBS to look at the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. I am not kidding when I say mob. It seemed like the entire population of Manhattan was jammed into the center to look at the damn tree. Donít get me wrong, it was very pretty - better than last year's, in my opinion - but PEOPLE! Oh, the shoving. The Boyfriend was laughing at me because I was cussing out all of the tourists. He was like, oh, you're here for two weeks and you are all against the tourists now. Well, yeah! My bus route doubles in length because of the tourists! I can't go to J Crew because of the tourists! And...other reasons. Tourists are rude. That applies to wherever you are. I used to get the RUDEST people in the bar when I was bartending, and it never failed, they were always tourists. But I digress. After the tree sighting, TB and I took the subway home, quickly changed, then went down to the West Village for dinner. I was proud, I found our way there with no problems, which, if you know how crazy the streets are in that area, is amazing. Dinner was really good. When I made the reservation I said that we would be celebrating a birthday, so our waitress gave us a glass of port and a free dessert. They were very attentive, I love that in a restaurant.

On Saturday, we dressed for the cold and took the bus to East Midtown so we could eat at Serendipity 3. The wait, however, was two to three hours! No way we were going to wait that long to eat. We put our name in, then walked around the area a bit. We were right by Bloomingdaleís, so of course there were tons of people around. I came across a restaurant that I'd eaten at with my mom a month ago, so we had brunch there. I love brunch. Then we went across the street to a place called Dylan's Candy Bar. It's basically a Toys R Us with candy instead of toys. TB and I were cracking up because all the songs on the loudspeaker were candy-themed. We walked in to "Tootsie Roll," then slipped into "I Want Candy," followed by "Candy Girl." We waited around to see what the fourth song would be, but it sounded suspiciously like "I Want Candy" again, so we quickly got the hell out of there. We went back to Serendipity, and sure enough, we were the next table for two! We had a great seat right over the door of the shop, so we could look at all the poor, poor people who weren't lucky enough to be drinking a Frozen Hot Chocolate like us. When we were done eating, we could have rolled out of there we were so fat. But satisfied! Yum.

Have I mentioned that The Boyfriend and I are sort of lazy? After we left Serendipity, we got on the subway for ONE stop. Yes, we could have walked the four blocks west, but why? We went to Central Park to take a carriage ride. We thought there would be an orderly line for a ride, sort of like Disneyland, but we were wrong. So wrong. People were all over the corner where you get picked up, and they were jockeying around trying to get the attention of the arriving drivers, waving their hands in the air and shrieking, "We've got four! We've got THREE!" It was nuts. TB and I looked at each other and we knew we had to be proactive. We stood so we were in view of the drivers, TB stuck his hand up in the air, and I took off my hat in an attempt to look "cute." It worked. We stood there for maybe 20 seconds when we were picked by a driver. The people around us were pissed! It was awesome. We ran down and hopped into the carriage, and that is when we were introduced to our driver. He hailed from Ireland, and was pleasant enough, pointing out different landmarks in the park. Then he turned and said, "Do you mind if I smoke?" Since we were outside and I'm a sucker for an accent, we said to go ahead. Shortly thereafter, I looked at The Boyfriend and mouthed, "Do you smell that?" I guess we were a little presumptuous to assume that when he said "smoke" he meant a cigarette. Yes, our carriage driver was smoking a doobie. I started shaking with repressed laughter. It affected the driver pretty quickly, because the next thing you knew, he was turned all the way around in his seat, chatting us up and giving me tips about living in the city. Ah, I love the stoners. They are my people. Oh, and the carriage ride was fun, even with a high driver. Once it was over, we walked around a bit more looking at the street vendors, then went home and changed for dinner. The Boyfriend took me to a really yummy restaurant near Lincoln Center. It had a huge appetizer bar, and the BEST pizza Iíve eaten since I got here. It had really thin crust...so good. I had a great night.

On Sunday, we woke up and it was snowing! The weather people freak out about snow here the same way Fritz wets himself over rain in LA, and they were all talking about THE SNOW! How it would TURN INTO SLEET! THEN RAIN! BEWARE OF FREEZING FOG! So, with the warnings of all that weather crap, we figured we didn't have too much time to play in the snow before it got washed away by rain. I made us some waffles in my trusty new waffle iron, then we headed to the little park on the corner of my street that overlooks FDR Highway and the East River. We threw snowballs at each other, played snow basketball, and, most importantly, made a snowman. Our snowman skills got us a snowman that was about a foot tall, but he was majestic, I tell you! Majestic. We were out there for about 45 minutes, then the snow started really coming down, along with a crazy wind, so we went back inside for the rest of the day. I made dinner, and we watched "Concert For George" and The Simpsons and the Survivor Finale, and every now and then one of us would look out the window and say, "Yeah. It's raining." It was nice to be warm and dry inside with TB. On Monday morning, we got ready quickly then went to breakfast. After that I had to return some furniture I'd bought that had a part missing, so The Boyfriend got to be my pack mule and help me carry it back to the shop. Then I had to say goodbye and go to work! I was so sad to leave him there, but I know I will see him soon. Just after Christmas!

Okay...I actually have a lot of work to do, so I will tell all of you about Monday and Tuesday tomorrow. I know, it's crazy! Me, working! It's raining here right now, and all I can think about is how much I wish McDonald's delivered because I am really jonesing for some french fries. McDonald's might be the only place in New York that doesn't deliver. Watch, though, I'll find out that they do. This place is nuts.

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12.12.03 - - - 4:36 PM
I have done nothing today. I got to work, read my websites and my email, took a short nap in an empty office, walked around the office harassing people...and that's about it. That's my kind of Friday, people. Nothing happens, yet I get paid. It's a beautiful system.

The Boyfriend got here last night! I am so happy to have him here. I didn't cry when I saw him, as I feared I might. I gave him his birthday presents, then we went out for dinner. I talked his ear off! That is one thing I've noticed that must be a product of living alone: I have tons to say and no one to say it to! The poor Boyfriend was my captive audience last night as I talked about everything from a puppy I saw in a window to our stupid office jokes. Good thing he had a margarita to get him through my blabbering.

Right now, The Boyfriend is walking around Times Square all by himself! My office is right by Times Square, so he's out exploring until I feel like I've been at work long enough to be able to leave! Then I'm going to meet up with him and take him over to Rockefeller Center to look at the Christmas Tree. I haven't done that yet. Then we'll take the subway home, change, and head out for his birthday dinner! I know he won't read this before we go to dinner, so I'll say that we are going here. I know he will like it, since his family is from Portugal. I'm so hungry, I can't wait to eat. The rest of the weekend will be lots of sight seeing and eating. The perfect weekend! Yay!

I will leave you with an actual conversation I had yesterday on the phone at work. I answered and a man said, with a kind of hip-hop accent, "Yeah, this A&R? Would you be interested in a song about Lezbos?" I paused, then said, "excuse me?" "You know, Lezbos. It's a song about Lezbos, from a man's perspective." "Lezbos?" I said back. "Yeah, Lezbos. You want it?" "Send it in, I'd be very interested to hear it," I told the man. Then I told all the guys in my office. Needless to say, they are very excited to hear the Lezbo Song. I hope it delivers what it promises.

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12.09.2003 - - - 4:01 PM
I have finally completed the most crucial step required of living in New York City: I took the subway. One of my co-workers was nice enough to walk me through the route I would take from my office to my apartment, and it was really easy. Iíll definitely start taking the subway home from work regularly. My bus route at night is very congested Ė it goes down the street with all the fancy shops, so there are lots of tourists around effing things up. The subway drops me off 5 blocks from my apartment, but I donít really mind walking those blocks when I think about how much time Iím saving by not taking the bus. In the morning, however, the bus is my savior. I barely make it on time to work, so I would really be late if I had to walk to the subway.

Today has flown by. I donít really know why, I havenít done anything particularly engrossing. But, Iím not complaining. I want it to be Thursday! Thatís when The Boyfriend gets here. So anything that makes my days go by faster Iím in favor of. But, of course, now that Iíve said that, the rest of today, tomorrow, and Thursday will drag on. I canít wait for him to get here. Luckily it is supposed to be warmer when heís here. If you can call 40-something degrees warmÖItís weird that suddenly I can. Anything is warmer than 21 degrees Ė it was 21 last Tuesday night, and I was sick and had to go out and I thought I would just DIE from the cold.

I bought a coat today. Thatís probably the most exciting thing Iíve done all day. Man, this is truly a boring entry. But it goes with the day. Tonight I have to go to a show for work. It never fails that when I have other stuff to do, there is something do to for work. It also never fails that I hear about these things at the last minute. I donít really feel like going to a show tonight, but I feel like I really ought to. There will be other people there from my office so I canít get away with not showing up. Damn! I hate that. I guess thatís the price I pay for being in an office with others. I lose my anonymity. Oh well. I think I can still get some stuff done before the show starts. I hope!

Happy Birthday to The Boyfriend! I love you!

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12.08.2003 - - - 3:48 PM
I didn't mean to go so long without posting. I also didn't mean to get sick as soon as I got here to NY and have to call in sick for two days, but what can you do? On Tuesday morning I woke up with a hellacious cough, congestion, and a nice fever. I spent the day lying on my blow-up bed wrestling with my blanket. I was so miserable. Thank God my parents were here to help me out. I would have been so unhappy in my first week having been sick if my parents hadn't been there to take care of me and my apartment. I am so grateful to them, for many reasons!

My apartment is coming together. I now have a proper bed, along with a loveseat, an entertainment center, coffee table, kitchen table with two stools, and a couple of random end tables and shelves. I have a microwave, toaster, coffee maker and blender, and a rug in my living room, kitchen, and bathroom. I am getting a dresser on Wednesday, and once I have that I can finally put my closet in order. Yet, there is still SO MUCH I need. I need another rug in my entryway. I need lots of organizational things. I need another chair near my couch. I need...stuff! I want a wine rack, and a baker's rack, and a coat rack. Wow, I want lots of racks. But unless I want to max out my credit card, I will have to be patient and get things a little bit at a time. This will be hard because I want everything to be perfect by Thursday, when The Boyfriend comes. Yeah, TB is coming! I can't wait! I miss him so much I can't even tell you.

So, besides getting really sick and missing work, it also snowed last week. I had just figured out how to take the bus to work on Friday morning, so I didn't know how jacked up public transportation gets on days with inclement weather. Needless to say, it gets REALLY jacked up. It took me over three hours to get home on Friday. Just because of the snow. Three hours. To go two miles. And yes, I could have gotten out and walked, but you have to understand that I was sick, and my wardrobe barely keeps me warm in my office let alone warm in a blizzard. But, when I finally got home, I was struck by how much it had snowed...I am talking inches and inches. I have never lived in snow before, and it's been a while since I've even SEEN snow, so I was impressed. By the time it stopped snowing, New York City had seen about 18 inches of snow. Insane. I have quickly learned that snow is annoying. The ground becomes incredibly slippery. The plows make piles of snow that are dirty and impossible to get around. It's cold! I can do without snow for a while. Or at least, not so much.

So, like I said, I figured out how to take the bus to work. I even took it to my friend's house yesterday. I'm all pro at figuring out these crazy buses! Today I am taking the subway home with a co-worker who lives near my apartment. That will be my first foray into the subways of NYC. It's not that I'm avoiding it, it's just that the bus stops are so much closer to my apartment, so the subway is inconvenient. I know I need to learn my route home, though, so it's good that I have someone to teach it to me. I've had enough of cabs for a while. Even though they're reasonably priced here, it's still expensive. I'll only be taking them late at night.

I finally got rid of all the crap that had been dumped in my office. It seems that before I got here, my area was vacant and it because the "catch-all" place for junk. I threw away stuff today from 1999! Unacceptable. Tomorrow I'll be trying to get my stuff up in some sort of decorative way. Oh, and I'll be looking for my space heater. I sent a box of stuff from my old office in Burbank and it hasn't arrived yet. Almost two weeks later. I fear that I will never get it, which sucks because not only does it have my space heater, it also has CDs in it - my best CDs from my office collection. I'll be wicked pissed if those don't make it here. I've got some meetings later on today, and I have to figure out how to use the mail room around here. I know that sounds weird, but I haven't had to figure out how to use things for over three and a half years. I have a lot of new stuff to learn.

Happy Birthday, Hardcore!!!

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12.01.2003 - - - 5:25 PM
Well, here I am in NYC. I canít believe Iím actually here Ė it still doesnít seem real. Yesterday I got up at 3:30 AM (itís been a long time since I remember seeing that hour) to quickly get ready and leave for the airport. My flight left LAX at 6:30 AM. Who knew that flights left that early? It was a fairly quick flight, thanks in part to a girlsí field hockey team that was seated around me. There were all about 15-16, so their conversations were cracking me up. I was sitting next to one of their chaperones, and I suddenly became the person you hope never sits by you: The Talker. I started asking her questions about where the team was from, what they were doing in LA, etc. At least I was The Talker Who Got The Hint, because after a few monosyllabic answers from the lady, I stopped asking her questions. When my flight landed in Washington, D.C., I had to take a tram over to another terminal in B.F.E. to catch my flight to JFK. I made it with about 10 minutes to spare, just enough time for me to realize that my plane was one of those TEENY TINY prop planes. Well...it was hella windy, and I think the planeís wheels needed an alignment, because I felt close to death Ė seriously. You know itís a bad flight when there is a pilot on your flight and he looks concerned and the plane is STILL ON THE RUNWAY. I said so many Hail Marys and Our Fathers. God was all, ďHow come you only talk to me when you think youíre going to die?Ē And I was all, ďJust do your job, God!Ē We get along well, God and me.

After a one-wheel at a time landing, I got on a Super Shuttle to the city. The traffic was pretty crappy, but once again I was entertained by the people around me. Two guys in front of me were pretty sketchy, but next to me and behind me was a British Family. The daughter was probably our age, and she was with her mom and aunt. I love British accents. Everything sounds so charming when they talk, like when the daughter said, ďOh look, in that ambulance in front of us theyíre giving that man CPR.Ē It was adorable. When I said to them in response, ďwelcome to New York,Ē they did that laugh that only British people do: you know, where they giggle and go, ďCheerio, cheerio, good show,Ē and all of that. I was The Talker in the shuttle, too, but luckily the Brits humored me. They are our allies, after all. After an hourís drive, I was finally at my hotel. I was too exhausted to go out, so I ordered room service from the Tex Mex place downstairs. I was starving, having only eaten my breakfast fruit and some pretzels on the plane. I should have kept that in mind when I ordered a margarita to be delivered. It was really strong, and even with my food, I was good to go after half of it. Donít worry, I drank all of it. I like to think of it as a sleep aid.

This morning, I got up at 6:30 (or 3:30 again, as far as my body clock was concerned), so I could be at my apartment building at 8 AM to pick up my keys. I hate waking up to that alarm clock beeping sound. I should have plugged in my nature sounds clock! It rules! Anywho, I also woke up to a stuffed up nose and a cough. Not so fun. After I got all my crap together and checked out of my hotel, I could tell it was going to be a long day. Luckily, I got a cab quickly and the drive across town only took about 10 minutes. My driver took me through the park, which was cool because Iíve never really been in Central Park before. I got my keys quickly as well, and then it was time for the biggest task of the trip: getting three pieces of luggage, a purse, a computer bag, and myself up to the fifth floor with no help. Keep in mind that one of my bags weighed 57 pounds, one weighed 45, and my carry one probably weighed about 15. Add to that my computer bag, and we are getting close to what I weigh. I have to say that it was one of the hardest physical things I have ever done. I may have wanted to cry, tears may have been in the corners of my eyes. But fear not! Although I am not freakishly strong like my friend Hardcore, I managed to get everything up to the fifth floor. By the time I had everything in my apartment, I was DRIPPING with sweat and my body already hurt. Not that my cold helped at all. I stripped off my sweater, boots, and jeans, opened a window, and laid down on my coat for 30 minutes waiting to cool off enough to go to work. Man, that sucked so hard.

Once my body temperature dropped into the low hundredís, I left my building and went across the street to get a bottle of water. I drank an entire liter of water before I even left the store. I grabbed another and some soup, then headed for my office. At 9:45, there was ONE person in the office. One. I donít know if itís because of the holiday weekend or what, but most people rolled in around 10:30 Ė 11. Iíll have to see if thatís the norm tomorrow. Not like it will make a difference to me, I like getting in early, leaving early. Some people stay here until 7 or 8! What a bunch of nutters (I learned that from my British friends). Today has been a somewhat easy day. Iíve had a lot of paperwork to fill out, and a couple of meetings, but mostly Iíve been walking around meeting everyone again. Iím not the best with the names, but I can at least remember when I supposed to know a personís name or not. Letís just say I have a lot of names to put to faces, but I did recognize a few people by their voices. Right now itís about 5:30 here, and I am thinking about taking off. I am feeling pretty poor Ė I would have left hours ago if I were still in LA. Thank goodness my blow-up bed arrived today, now I can go home and have something comfortable to lay on. My coat didnít really cut it earlier. My parents get in later tonight, so I will have to get the place ready for them. Ha ha, just kidding, there is nothing to get ready because I have NOTHING in my apartment! Good times. My TV and entertainment center arrive tomorrow, and like I always say, a house is not a home until you have a TV. Who needs a real bed or couch? Not me. I need to be able to watch the OC.

I think thatís about it for now. Tomorrow my computer arrives from Burbank, so I wonít have to suffer in the Intern Station anymore. I donít know about the interns at other companies, but there is some...questionable material on this computer. Stuff that would get this email rejected by dirty-word scanners. So, let your imaginations go crazy, because you wonít be far off.

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was very nice. Now Iím going to head back to my apartment and hope my cold goes away.

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