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Sunday, May 30th, 2010
11:54 pm - Shooting at Target
I was sitting during the intermission of The Color Purple (in the always fabulous DPAC) when my friend informed me of a shooting at the Beaver Creek Super Target.

While this situation is tragic and terrible whatever way you look at it, what really bothers me is that I was in said-Target at the EXACT same time yesterday. I had received a call that my glasses came in, and so I went into the Optical office (right by the cash registers) to pick them up.

If I hadn't forgone the finish line activities of the Doughman Race, where I had volunteered that morning, I probably would've gone today. Or if the lady calling me to tell me my glasses were in had called me yesterday, while I was gone -- instead of Friday -- I would've gone in today. I have no clue what I would've done in that situation, except to either flee to the exit or hide in the examining rooms whilst frantically calling 911. My parents were flying home from Colorado yesterday, so my hysteric call probably would've fell to the Professor. I can just see the whole thing playing out.

My heart goes out to the victim and her family/friends. I probably went through her line at some point. I probably asked how she was doing or made some comment about her having a nice day, too. My heart goes out to her fellow Target employees. My heart goes out to the witnesses, who may never feel safe wandering around a store again -- or at least for awhile.

It's just terrible. So terrible. Hits really close to home.

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Thursday, January 14th, 2010
10:07 pm - Trying to Make 2010 the BEST YEAR EVAH!
Although I was bummed to not be out and about partying like most lively 30 year olds, I actually enjoyed my New Years Eve. I was at a snowy cabin in the mountains celebrating with family members. We laughed. We played Bingo involving silly gifts from the Dollar General. I didn't work the following day. My mom announced, "This is going to be the best year ever!" That's stuck with me so far.

Exhibit A: Trips. Not only do I have a trip to Disney World coming up in T-43 days, but there's some other trips in the works. One might just be to Ireland, although we'll see. This is reliant upon funds as well as friends going over who I could meet in Dublin. I'm so overdue going back there.

Exhibit B: Ticketed events. My family and I are already DPAC season ticket holders. So we have Mamma Mia, Beauty and the Beast, and Wicked (which I will be seeing twice) coming up! Awesome! I also have a ticket to see David Gray, and my brother for Christmas got me a ticket to see a full orchestra/chorus play the entire soundtrack of Return of the King. That's September in DC -- so another trip.

Exhibit C: Dating. A friend has begun a blog about Match.com dating, called Imagidating in the Dark, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I've been posting often, because it's inspiring me to dive back in. For instance, I'll be seeing an Applicant tomorrow for lunch, which is interesting. I'm used to showing up at a bar under the cloak-of-darkness. I'm sort of excited about having an obvious "out," that being work. I do have to work, and hopefully my work-mindedness will distract me from being too nervous and sounding inane. Maybe I will post the results of this experiment.

Exhibit D: Work. My whole job transformed this week. People I managed before I no longer managed. I've only retained one person and taken on two new ones. I'm progressing with my fervor for all things online. I'll be in charge (eventually) of e-wires and posting things via WordPress like a pro. I'm also heading up the editorial shift to Internet goodness. AND I'm a daily twitter/facebook contributor. It's all experimental at this point and exciting!

Exhibit E: New YA novel idea. I've got the idea; I've got the characters; I've even got some of the funnier moments thought out. I've just got to think of the story. But it's inspired all the people I've told so far, so there will be some brainstorming as we go down to Florida. I've got a notebook of ideas next to me, so things are definitely stewing.

So yeah, I'm thinking things are going well so far, even if I'm major stressed this week. I also need to get back into walking/jogging. I've been using the cold weather, work stress, and the holidays as an excuse, but I want to have the stamina to enjoy Disney to its fullest.

But here's to an awesome 2010!

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Friday, August 21st, 2009
4:11 pm - Even More Novel Perfecting
Over my trip at Gettysburg, I did manage to revisit Ange's (the main character) portion of my book 1, Adamant: Enemy of Elsinaire. I restored earlier drafts to get back to the girly, innocent Ange and even wrote a few sections where she and Nellwyn spat like real sisters do. This has felt amazingly essntial to the book as a whole, because as much as I love Ange and build her up into a force to be reckoned with, I've never really had a good hold on her as idealistic Ange. Now I do! Believe me, after reading the ultra masculine The Blade Itself (by Joe Abercrombie), a little dose of the female feels like a refreshing change.

So, right, I did some revising. I would like to have a couple of new satellite readers take a gander at it -- hence my adventures with copy rates. I figure I have a lot of binders around me with old drafts in them. Why don't I just copy the draft I'm printing off now, punch holes in it, and file it myself? Well, the problem with writing a 125K book, is that is A LOT of pages. Even with some margin fiddling, I'm looking at a little over 295 pages each copy. Office Max and Kinkos are telling me 9 cents per copy, which would mean about $80 before taxes. The UPS store is a bit cheaper at 6 cents a copy, but that's still $50 before taxes. So I found Best Value Copy, where I can send my manuscript out and then have them ship me the copies at a very cool 2 cents per copy. YIPPEE! So that's what I'm planning on doing.

That has meant picking up my old N-I-P binders and removing those contents. Good grief but was I organized with that shiz. It's a little sad, though, taking out jeryk's comments and pages, for instance. But I'm supplanting them with the newest version!

Also, I'm hoping this will free up some shelf space for my overflow of books!

P.S. I'm considering writing a whole new final chapter from Melandor Ormonde's perspective. Not sure how that would resonate though, but I'm contemplating it. Might make a cool lead-in for Book 2!

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Sunday, July 5th, 2009
12:36 am - For Those It May Concern
I've been working on my novel again (finally) and posted another progress report here: http://adamanttofinishthisbook.blogspot.com/.

I'm also finished reading my latest book, so I may be moving on to Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself which feels very similar to my own scribblings. Hopefully I'll get inspiration!

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Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
9:33 pm - Books, books, books
Nothing has happened to my novel in years, if I'm being honest. Back in February, I had a new spiral-bound copy made at Office Depot, and I haven't cracked the thing yet, despite carting it to my parents' house, the cabin, Rhode Island, Florida, and so on. One of my summer goals this year is to query agencies again, even though I'm quite aware things aren't really great in the publishing world. I started a blog to honestly document my progress, and you can see my first post up here: http://adamanttofinishthisbook.blogspot.com/.

In other news, I'm in a summer reading frenzy. According to my weRead on Facebook, I've read the following novels since, mm, around March:
  • The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima (YA)
  • The Somnabulist by Jonathan Barnes (Fantasy)
  • A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (YA)
  • Dirt Music by Tim Winton (Fiction)
  • My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Fiction)

Currently I'm reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (YA, my first of his) and am LOVING it. I love when TV stops their regular shows, because I read so much more. I can't wait to finish this book and move on to the next one!

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Thursday, March 19th, 2009
11:07 am - Today's my birthday, thus time to post horoscopes!
March 19, 2009

You will have energy to spare over the coming 12 months and there are both positive and negative ways in which you can choose to use it. Sports and other competitive activities will not only bring physical benefits but emotional and mental advantages too.



TODAY'S BIRTHDAY (MARCH 19). You want to improve because you know it will help you to make a better contribution to the world. Personal glory isn't what you're going for, though you should accept the well-deserved accolades that come your way in the next 10 weeks. April is stellar for your love life. June brings a change of scenery. Libra and Sagittarius adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 50, 26, 36, 52 and 2.



My birthday horoscopeCollapse )



And more horoscopes ...Collapse )



PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Answer the call of the wild. You may need to lace up your track shoes to keep up with energetic friends and partners who are free to roam. You will make it to the finish line if you concentrate on teamwork.

IF MARCH 19 IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: You could be considered a beautiful dreamer during the first half of the year ahead. You are hopeful that people are as committed as you are, but often may misread or misinterpret the facts due to wishful thinking. With your Disneyland attitude, you will find that vacations will be extremely enjoyable between now and early September, but in October you had best keep the nose to the grindstone as authority figures aren't likely to tolerate the least infraction of the rules. You can make serious mistakes of judgment, so do not borrow money or sign contracts.

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Monday, January 12th, 2009
12:58 pm - Food and friends
On Friday, I made a disastrous soup. I excitedly pulled out my new stock pot, threw in the ingredients, and peeled 3 lbs. of sweet potatoes. Chopping them up took work, too! Then I added peanut butter. This recipe came from Bob Greene: The Best Life Diet Cookbook. So it was also supposed to be good for you. When Mom and Dad came over, Mom brought a blender to puree it, and what came out was the consistency of baby food. It tastes like peanut butter baby food. We all sat down to eat it, and while Dad ate it (and asked, "what's the next course?"), Mom and I didn't really delve into it. My only thought was, why did I make this? I don't care much for soup, except for veggie and tomato, so ... it's a mystery! It had probably had to do with wanting to use my stock pot, and seeing Kate from Jon and Kate Plus 8 make a bunch of soup for her family. Ah, well.

Making the disastrous soup meant I had cooking fatigue all weekend. That turned out to be fine, because my parents and I ran over to Beaver Creek so Dad could help me find frames for my new COBGC certification and my old CPC certification. I found some great matts, so they look professionally framed. Luckily Michael's was having 50-percent off! YAY! While we over there, we decided last minute to go to Kemp's Seafood House. I haven't been there since they changed the full service to a pick-up one. We all three ordered marinated shrimp, which was to die for. We had almost four yummy grilled shrimp on each of our plates, as well as good coleslaw and a bake potato. I love that place.

After we came back, I did (yet again) another brisk walk around the neighborhood. That was six days in a row of walking probably around a mile. I'm trying to get myself ready for impending trips, as well as weddings this year. I'm hoping to get to the point of jogging it! I'm determined actually.

Then my friend Pae came over to watch Tudors: Season 2. She wasn't feeling that great, so we paused in the beginning to do a Dairy Queen run. Then we started up the show and got through four episodes. Four out of ten isn't bad!

The next day I had brunch with my friend Nadia and her parents at Mimi's Cafe. She was in town from San Francisco. It was great to see her, but I'm also considering flying out to San Francisco in the fall, as a sort of solo trip. Never been there before! So, it was sort of an investment in my future in 2009. Nadia advised me to come in the Fall, which was what I was thinking anyway.

Then I cooked dinner for Justin while he watched the big NFL football game involving the Steelers. He tasted the disastrous soup out of sheer curiosity, but I made him my favorite shrimp/tomato/onion cous cous and roasted veggies. For dessert, I made brownies and did up some brownie sundaes, which ere awesome. After the football game finished, we watched Penelope and then caught the tail-end of the Golden Globes. He's very opinionated about dresses it seems! He may have, also, given us the key to Guitar Hero!

So a great weekend, filled with friends and (some not so good) food. Now it's back to the grindstone!

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Monday, January 5th, 2009
12:44 pm - Geektastic: Incoming DVDs
For my first post of the year, I've decided to write about something geektastic -- my impending arrival of Tudors: Season 2 and Battlestar Galacitca: Seasion 4.0. I should get both of them tomorrow. I've had them both pre-ordered since August of last year or thereabouts, so yeah, I'm excited!

Season 2 of Tudors was fantastic. I think Showtime hit their stride with that show, but it partially could've been my somewhat morbid glee to see Anne Boleyn's downfall -- and to know it would happen soon. In preparation, I've been getting cheap DVDs of Lady Jane, Anne of a Thousand Days, and Mary, Queen of Scots (which I watched last night). So I'm particularly steeped in that era as of late!

As for BSG, the new episodes begin January 16th, so I'm determined to get caught up by reviewing the latest episodes. This will be the final, final season. Exciting!

So yeah, this will probably be my TV life over the next two weeks.

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
8:41 pm - Adventures with Southwest
So I'm currently exhausted, and I still need to do some work tonight (typical).

This morning, I managed to shoot myself out of bed and into the shower, pack (and generally remember everything), have lunch, and then head for the airport. I breezed through the Southwest kiosk and metal detectors, no problem. The only snag was my flight was delayed 45 minutes.

When got to Orlando, I took a Mears Shuttlebus, and I have to say that I'm impressed with their service. Granted, I got there just in time for a shuttle to drive me out to the Disney Hilton. :-) But it took bout 45 minutes to get there, after dropping people off at various hotels.

I had dinner at that new T-Rex restaurant (which is done by the same people who do Rainforest Cafe). Loved it! My food wasn't all THAT good, but that's fine. After having some sustenance, I walked around the stores and did some ho ho ho'ing. I'm very excited about my neices presents, and I got myself a WALL*E stuffed animal, just like I wanted! YAY!

By the way, my flight attendant was hilarious today! He said:
  • "Fasten your seatbelt tight and below the hips, just like Beyonce wears her pants."
  • "If you smoke, you will have to pay a $2000 penalty. If you had that kinda money, you would've been flying Delta."
  • "If we lose cabin pressure, apply your face mask like so. Breathe normally ... RIGHT, breathe normally!"
  • "Put your own face mask on before assisting children or people who act like children. Ladies, that means put your husband's on his face second."
  • "Please look around for your valuables. If you leave any, you can look for them tomorrow on www.ebay.com."
  • "Welcome to Puerto Rico! .... Just kidding, we're in the Mouse's House: Orlando."

GAHHHH! Another reason why I love Southwest.

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Saturday, November 29th, 2008
1:28 am - The Thanksgiving summary
Thanksgiving was good. Not very stressful except for the "prior" bits. I know Mom was running around crazy while cooking, because I was bemoaning making my whopping 2 dishes in comparison with her 835843 ones, including the turkey and a ham. I'm glad I did though. I do like my new scalloped corn dish (pictures will be forthcoming) and everyone was excited that I made the yummy Pampered Chef stuffing.

It was nice to see Christopher and Stephanie. I haven't visited with them since last New Years, so it's definitely been awhile. Also, my brother fixed my wireless by ... well ... essentially turning things off and on. Grrrrreat. But I'm so glad it's working again!

Everyone got a phone today, which was exciting. Particularly exciting was Mom's phone, which can be configured for the hearing impaired. She was flabbergasted she was so overjoyed, and she didn't even really feel like getting a new phone to begin with. I went back to get mine (because they had to get another store's last purple phone), so I've been playing with it all evening.

We hit Bahama Breeze in Raleigh, which may be added to my list of favorite restaurants. Awesome food, great ambience, yumtastic!

On a grateful note, I went through my closet (finally) and purged things I don't need to wear anymore. Some I may give to family members, but I filled a yard waste bag chock full of clothes. Tonight I dropped it off at the GCF. After starting this week on a slightly down note, I felt really good about gathering this donation. I almost feel like making it a Thanksgiving tradition.

So overall, it was good! Several high notes, definitely. Now it's on to putting up Xmas decorations (at last) and feeling stressed about work. Orlando's next week!

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Wednesday, November 26th, 2008
9:45 pm - FREE holiday music!
Why not take advantage of a free music offer? Never mind the source.

Click here and download free holiday music!

But do it soon, as this will only be available for the next 48 hours or so.

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Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
9:39 pm - Woot, Dexter!
Dear Showtime's Dexter,

I have been a fan since I got hooked on the latter part of Season 1. Season 2 was fantastic, but it did beg the question -- where do you go from here?

Season 3, for me, has been somewhat awkward. I'm willing to follow along, because I have faith in your writers. But I didn't feel the thrill of this-is-an-awesome-show until the latest episode, "The Damage A Man Can Do." At the final few minutes, I literally gasped and am now looking forward to the next episode with a can't wait attitude!

Thank you for returning to intense story telling!

Sincerely,
Xanne

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12:00 am - Foodery!
Tonight, I made a rather elaborate dinner for my friend Justin, and while I admit I had some prepatory help from the Mom, I still feel like this was post-worthy. She and I were swerving around my kitchen, cutting this and that, dousing olive oil, greasing pans, and so on.

The result was spectacular. The chicken was the best, juiciest chicken I've ever had. Mmm! (Thank you, lemon and whole clove of garlic!) The veggies were scrumptious with the tiniest bit of crunch. Highly recommend this dinner!


The best chicken I've ever had! Yum! Roasted potatoes, onions, green beans



P.S. The Thanksgiving turkey is in my fridge. I offered to store it, but while Mom brought me the chicken (she had a double package), she meant to take the turkey home. Unfortunately she forgot the turkey! So right when they left, I walked into the kitchen and discovered the turkey sitting on the counter. I ran out, waving the thing in its plastic bag, yelling, "NOOO! WAIT!!!" It was a total slow mo moment. They drove off, however, and did not heed my cries. I just think it must've looked hilarious to any neighbors who might've seen me swinging around a turkey for no apparent reason.

I wonder if the turkey will be all the better for its whirl outdoors today. Hmm. :-)

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Saturday, November 22nd, 2008
9:38 pm - Umm ...

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Thursday, November 20th, 2008
11:56 am
My last post was about receiving WALL-E a whole day prior to its release date. Well, I also ordered Wives & Daughters on Monday -- and got it on Tuesday morning. Amazing! I'm not sure what to make of this speedy Amazon.com treatment, but I'm not complaining!

Today I'm trying to finish up my OCA issue, so I don't have to worry about it during the week of Thanksgiving or the following week, when I head out to the Orlando conference. I will be doing some work next week though, but hopefully it won't be too intense!

Tonight I'm going to see ECU's prouction of Imaginary Invalid, as my cousin ebonyroryrose is in it!

Tomorrow, I'm going to hang out with my friend Jason for lunch and then meet Erin for a matinee of Twilight (hopefully we'll avoid the main bulk of crowds). Afterwards is a likely trip to Danny's BBQ!

Then the parentals are going to have a weekend away staying at my house. Either Sunday or Monday, I'll be cooking for Justin! We'll see if I can pull out a masterpiece. I might also experiment on whatever Thanksgiving dish I'll add to my repertoire. We'll see!

So busy times coming up!

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Monday, November 17th, 2008
11:48 am - Another perk of Amazon Prime
So I pre-ordered WALL-E, the 3 disc Digital Copy.

And I got it this morning, which is confusing because the official DVD release date is November 18th ... tomorrow!

But this is awesome! I've got the WALL-E scoop. I'm watching a Special Feature about Sound Design. So interesting!!!

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Sunday, November 16th, 2008
10:46 pm - Whirlwind weekend!
WELL! What a crazy whirlwind weekend this has been!

On Friday, I met Erin at the movie theater. We saw Quantum of Solace (which was quite good) and chatted with my co-worker Torrey, who was waiting in line outside for the next showing. Then I picked up my printed Ob-gyn Specialty Credential Study Guide that I had printed, stopped by PetsMart, and then met Erin back at Longhorn for dinner.

On Saturday, I did my big grocery run for the week, which was slightly stressed because I needed to meet Erin at her house. She drove us over to Knightdale, so we could hang out with Jeff, Jeff's current squeeze, and Ory. Each of us brought something to grill, so naturally I brought my grill basket with cut up tomatoes, an onion, and some shrimp. All hail the grill basket! I was also in charge of dessert, so I picked up one of those ridiculous Hershey chocolate cakes.

Today, I had snowcrab at my parents' house. YAY! My offering to the table was that I made a Pear Pie, out of my Cooking Light magazine. This involved six pears, already prepared crust goodness, lemon juice, and various dry ingredients. I honestly can't remember if I've ever made a pie on my own, but I thought this attempt turned out gorgeous. Amazingly, pears taste like apples! Not that it's a bad thing, but I just find that curious.


Pretty gorgeous looking pear pie, in my book! Slice o' pear pie!



I've got so much to do this week, but if I get it done, I can clear the way for early December and be less stressed during Thanksgiving week. I want to study and start on the coding books that I'm being paid extra to do, so it's not like I'll be on vacation. But it will mean that I don't have to worry about sourcing and deadlines!

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Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
1:16 am - This cheers me up!
YES!

I LOVE HBO!!!

http://grrm.livejournal.com/58155.html

and

http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/print.php?id=62062

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
3:03 pm - Two interesting statistics ...
I can be gracious about the new President. I am pumped about an African Amercan president. That truly is amazing, and I congratulate him for that! My hope that he can heal race relations and the blaze of hatred coming from Europe, at least symbolically.

He's also an amazing orator and has one hell of a speech writer. I was moved by both McCain's concession speech and Obama's acceptance one (despite the gratuitous shots of Oprah and Jesse Jackson crying).

I really hope he can be what everyone wants him to be, and I hope that he can reach out to the people who didn't vote for him so that the political pendulum doesn't swing back around to the extreme, extreme right.

For instance, it bothers me that Prop 8 succeeded in California. I would've been against that, definitely. Hopefully the courts can overturn that ruling, but that's the sort of scary extreme, extreme right that I like about as much as the extreme, extreme left.

But here are few things that are interesting to me today.

Obama garnered 62,686,389 votes. George Bush in 2004 had 62,040,000. That is not a huge difference. Revolution? Hardly. 55 million people still rejected his politics. But I'm sure the media will spin this as the most amazing victory of all time. It certainly was the most expensive campaign of all time, and I have to wonder what exactly that means. Can a Presidency be bought?

Secondly, the percentage of poor voters showed a huge decrease in 2004 while the percentage of folks making over 200,000 doubled. Doubled. Here are the particulars:
-- In 2004 8% of the electorate earned 15% or less. That dropped to 6% in 2008. That's a 25% decline.
-- In 2004 15% made between 10 and $30,000. That dropped to 12%. That's a 20% decline.
-- In 2004 23% made $30,000 or less. That dropped to 18% in 2008, a 22% decline.
-- In 2004 11% made $100 to $150,000. That rose to 14%, a 27% increase.
-- In 2004 4% made $150,000 to $200,000. That rose 6%, a 50% increase.
-- In 2004 3% made over $200,000. That rose 6% this year, a 100% increase.
-- In 2004 18% of people who went out to vote made $100,000 or more. That rose 26% in 2008, in 44% increase.

Add it up. When you look at it from an income perspective, voters did pretty well over the last four years. You wouldn't think that, would you?

Nevertheless, I will stand behind my President, who I truly think is a decent man.

And now here's our new VP (doing his victory dance?):

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Sunday, November 2nd, 2008
9:45 pm - Halloween awesomeness!
And we're back from our Halloween weekend at the cabin. We had a blast! A highlight was certainly the "haunted" corn maze, where we broke into team A (Pae, Erin, and Ory) and team B (Jeff, Justin, and I). It was absolutely pitch dark, but lights and spooky fog lit the way throughout the maze. Team A went first, so we chilled out and listened to Pae and Erin screaming at the top of their lungs. Justin tried to time it, so we'd know when things would appear.

Then Team B trekked into the maze. Justin may have screamed more than the rest, but Jeff and Justin left me in the dust! I looked over my shoulder and Cap'n Jack Sparrow was trailing us. So I kept calling in terror, "Justin! Jusssstin!" And he kept walking. Hilarious.

Click on the picture to see more.


We pose at the corn maze!

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