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~Friday~  Surprisingly, I woke up at about 8:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. I told mom and dad that I'd call them at the Ramada Inn at 10:00 to see when they'd be ready. I was torn between calling them a little earlier and letting them sleep, but if I know my dad, he was anxious to get on the road home to Jacksonville.

I called at about 9:20, and the room phone eventually went to the hotel's voice mail. Wondering if maybe I'd mis-remembered their room number from 1:00 in the morning, I called their cell phone, which mom answered.

"Did your room phone just ring?" I asked.

"Yes," she said. "I couldn't get to it fast enough with my nails," she replied. I interpreted that to mean that her nails were wet, as if she'd just done them, but my sense was that I woke them up and she just didn't want to tell me. Who does their nails while traveling? Plus, she's told me in the past that "those nice Vietnamese men" do her nails, to which I made some snarky remark about them probably being gay, to which she replied, "No, they're married."

Uh? Hello? Son? Married 16 years? Gay!  Whenever I ask if someone's gay, and the response is, "No s/he's married," my standard retort is, "I'm not impressed." But I have so digressed...

I picked them up at about 10:15, and as we were getting in the car, dad in the front passenger seat and mom in the rear seat behind him, dad pulled his door shut, which just happened to close right where mom's fingers were trying to balance herself as she got in the back seat. OMFG. I grabbed the door handle and yanked the door back open.

I had to bite my tongue when my dad said to my mom, "Why'd you have your fingers there?" I wanted to say, "The correct response would be, 'Are you okay?' and then, 'I'm sorry.'"



We had a nice, quick breakfast at nearby Pam's Farmhouse restaurant, where mom had a pancake as big as her head, dad had scrambled eggs, and I had a western omelet. Mom didn't want to use the sugar-free syrup, as though it was sugar-free, one of the ingredients was 11 grams of "sugar alcohol." Our server heard her comment on that, and said, "Would you like some applesauce to put on top of your pancake instead? A lot of people do that."

My parents pointed out this picture/poster, which they both loved, hanging on the wall in the place:


My mom said it reminds her of when my brother and I were that age. People always thought we were twins. Well, we are just 10 months and two weeks apart, and so for about 6 weeks every year, we're the same age.

After breakfast, I drove them back to my house in their car, jumped into mine, and led them out to I-40 to send them on their way. Three hours later, I checked in with them, and they'd made it safely. It's been a long four days for all three of us.



In the afternoon, I checked in with work, mostly just going through my backed up e-mail to see if anything urgent had come up. Looks like the place did just fine without me. Which in a way, is not all that comforting, but in another way, I'm grateful for it.

I've got some damage to undo from the last three days, eating-wise, and I "got right back to it" with a trip to the gym for an aggressive 60-minute cardio workout. I burned off 1158 calories, while listening to my "Retro Mix" soundtrack, which is upbeat remixes of many songs that I really like.

After a stop at the grocery store, where my most exciting purchase was a butternut squash all peeled and cut up—totally worth the $3.99 price tag, as opposed to $1.69 for one I'd have to peel and chop myself. I hate doing that, and I love butternut squash.

Once home, I made me a big ol' chef salad for dinner, including cheese, ham, and the whites of a hard-boiled egg. Delicious!



In spite of the predicted snow tonight, I just had to get out and see some gay people. As I tweeted, "There's nothing wrong with straight people. Some of my best friends are straight." But, really. Imagine you were exclusively with gay people for almost four days, wouldn't you be ready to see some hets? It's not personal. Really.

Although the last I'd heard the snow wasn't supposed to start until about 10:00, as I drove down Western Boulevard at about 8:30, it had already started. I parked at Flex, although I was pretty sure I wasn't going to end up back there, as Friday nights have been so dead lately, and I walked over to The Borough.

I was there for about three hours and it went from not that busy, to busy, to very busy as it got later. I had a little chat with "Shawn Daddy and Baby Girl," and spoke a little while with Santiago. Joe Judge was there with his boyfriend, and I said hello to them as well.

I had three bourbon and diets (207 calories, who's counting) and Baby Girl left me about half of one of his Grey Goose and Tonic as he and Shawn Daddy left for Dos Taquitos for a later dinner. Fortunately those four shots did not put me over my calorie limit for the day. Yay!

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