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January 26th, 2008

I had the complimentary breakfast at the hotel. Today was the South Carolina Presidential Primary. They had CNN (I think it was) on the TV above the tables in the dining area, and I was interested in their interviewing African American women about their presidential candidate preferences at this point in the race.

Interestingly, their polls showed a 50-50% preference between Hillary and Barack. The women preferring Hillary said they had more "women's issues" plaguing them in their lives right now than they did "race issues." I just thought it was an interesting dichotomy to have to choose between race and gender for the first time in a presidential race. That alone, I suppose, shows "social progress."



I got to Jeanie's between 9:30 and 10:00, and we had a good three more hours of catching up.

They came for her for lunch just before 12:00, but she told them she was enjoying her company too much to go down to lunch. They said, "Well, we can bring your lunch here, and one for your visitor, too," which is what we ended up doing.

Neither of us ate the Brussels sprouts, and really, Jeanie didn't eat much of anything at all. She did a decent job on the mac & cheese, picked at her baked chicken breast, ate about one bite of her roll, and a couple of bites of the apple crisp dessert.

We said tearful goodbyes at the end of my visit. After thanking me profusely for visiting her and making it clear how much our time together meant to her, the last thing she said to me before I closed her door was, "Goodbye, John. And this won't be our last one."



I was planning to drive the 2.5-hour ride to Atlanta from Augusta to visit with my cousin, but I received word from her that, after all, this really wasn't a good weekend for a visit. So, I just headed home from there, which I was totally cool with.

I made it a leisurely drive and was glad I had nothing pressing to get home to. After about a half-hour of driving, I found myself dangerously nodding off—my eyelids were so heavy—so I exited at the next rest area, reclined my seat, put in my earbuds to Norah Jones music, and promptly fell asleep.

I woke up about an hour later, totally refreshed. I got back on the road, feeling wide awake, making me so glad I'd stopped.

I listened to a bunch more podcasts on the way, mostly Slate.com podcasts, including:

A Patient's Best Friend
An Economist Goes to a Bar
Bee Movie
Bill Clinton on Why Giving Matters
Death Nap
Help, My Prescription Pen is Running Out of Ink
Huckabee Fights Back
It's Way Too Easy Being Green
Paper or Plastic or Neither
Rationalizing Resolutions
Sex, Sin, and Streetlights
Sick Man
Six Months That Could Change Iraq
The Greening of Hype
The Holy Church of Food
Trial by Camera
What Are We Searching For


Somewhere along the way, I passed a billboard ad for a country and westernware store. I exited and went in to it to look for a t-shirt. To my absolute amazement this was playing on their radio:


I absolutely love this song by Beyoncé, and was floored hearing a country version of it by Sugarland. Of course, listening to it in the store, I had no idea it was from an awards show (the AMAs) performance. Thank god for youtube.com.



I met Joe at Flex, where it was "Dance Night." This wasn't "Country Dancing Early" night, like the 1st and 3rd Saturdays, but actually a DJ in the place, on the stage, playing real dance music. Uh, hello? People don't dance at Flex. And to who's surprise? No one did.

We chatted a little while with Chris (zinnian) and Patrick (from line-dancing), and Chris introduced me to Bottlecaps, which were in the urinal hanging on the wall that is filled with various "goodies" on and off. I'd never even heard of them, much less had one. They were pretty good—I liked the root beer flavored ones the best.

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