Friday, March 3

Lost Friday - 'Maternity Leave.'

Season 2 - Episode 15 - "Maternity Leave."

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After a week off, another Lost Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss.

Wow. This episode was huge. Maybe not huge in that it answered any serious questions, but huge in that it once again took the show to another level. You thought you knew what was up? Not anymore. So just sit down and shut your loser yap, because we're all tired of your attitude.

I think Lost prides itself on being the TV show with the most "What the f***!" moments per episode. "Maternity Leave" did not disappoint in this regard. I needed a shot of NyQuil with a Paint Thinner chaser just to get to sleep afterwards. When writing gives you a migraine, you know it's good, unless you're watching According to Jim or something like that.

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("Shhhh! According To Jim is on, and it's hard enough to keep up as is.")

When a show like Lost does something really well, and then somehow gets better at it, that's just insane. However, that's exactly what we saw on Wednesday. Whenever the writers pull back the curtain a bit to reveal some more answers (in this case, what happened to Claire when she was kidnapped by Ethan), they have this way of creating a ton of new questions. At this stage of the game, for Lost to come through with something even trippier and bizarre than anything we've seen so far, that's truly saying something amazing. You may not know it, but there were some things that went down in this episode that have massive ramifications. I'll tell you about those later.

Okay, enough ass-smooching. It's Skinny time, courtesy of Wikipedia.

'The Skinny'
Sponsored by Pepsi Free.

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Aaron is sick with a rash and fever, and Claire sets off in the night to find Jack for help. Locke intercedes and goes in her stead while she remains behind at camp. While Locke is gone, Rousseau appears and tells Claire that Aaron is "infected." Claire has a sudden flashback where she remembers being injected with a needle while still pregnant. Kate sends Rousseau away, but Claire is now convinced that something is seriously wrong with Aaron.

Jack assures Claire that Aaron is fine and the fever will soon break, but Claire is still unsure. She talks to Libby, who helps her recall memories from the two weeks when she had been captured by Ethan Rom. Claire remembers what resembles a doctor's office, and Ethan giving her injections. She also remembers Ethan talking to an older, clean-shaven man - the same man that led Walt's kidnapping and ended the hunting party to rescue Michael - only without the beard and wild hair. She enlists Kate to help her find Rousseau and find the vaccine she remembered from her memories, hoping it will help Aaron.

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(Fat slobs Claire and Libby work together to drop a few pounds.)

Rousseau takes Claire and Kate back into the jungle, to a place where Rousseau said she found Claire the night Claire returned to camp two weeks after her abduction. Claire wants Rousseau to take her to the room with the vaccine, but Rousseau pleads ignorance. Claire notices a stump in the jungle that triggers another memory: of Ethan Rom talking to her about leaving the baby with his group, while she returns to camp. Rom also mentions that Claire does have a choice in the matter.

Investigating further, the three women find a concealed bunker with the Dharma logo on it. Inside, the lights are out and the bunker appears to be abandoned. Claire finds rooms familiar to her memories, while Kate investigates another part of the bunker. Kate discovers a set of lockers with tattered clothes inside. There is also a box containing a makeup kit and a fake beard.

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("But I don't want to be in The Hills Have Eyes!")

Claire locates the refrigerator where she remembered the vaccine being stored: it is now empty. She has a flashback of a young teenaged girl who rescues her from the bunker, telling Claire that the other members of her group plan to take the baby and kill Claire. Rousseau tells Claire that she is not the only one who didn't find what she was looking for.

Back in the jungle Claire has one final flashback where she remembers that Rousseau aided her escape, and was not part of the group that kidnapped her. She asks Rousseau about the baby that the Others took from her sixteen years ago, and then describes the teenaged girl who rescued her. Rousseau warns Claire that if Aaron is infected, she knows what she'll have to do. Claire and Kate return to camp, where Aaron's fever has been broken.

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(Rousseau briefly considers killing Claire, just so she doesn't get rusty.)

Meanwhile, Jack and Locke are trying to decide what to do about their new prisoner, Henry Gale. Locke gives Henry a copy of the Fyodor Dostoevsky novel The Brothers Karamazov. He tells Jack that Ernest Hemingway always felt that he was in the shadow of Dostoevsky, who Hemingway thought was the greatest writer of all time.

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("Until the Dharma toilet paper guy shows up, this is all we got.")

Mr. Eko visits the bunker during this time and figures out what is going on. He asks Jack to let him visit with the prisoner, alone, and Jack agrees after Eko implies that he will tell the the rest of the camp otherwise. Eko tells Henry about the two men he killed when they tried to abduct him from his camp. Henry asks why Eko is telling him, and Eko replies that he had to tell someone. Eko then cuts two knots out of his beard and leaves.

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(For three seconds, Mr. Eko freaks the hell out of 35 million people.)

Locke brings dinner to Henry, who strikes up a conversation about Hemingway and Dostoevsky. Henry has heard the earlier talk about the authors through the thin walls. Henry asks Locke who he relates to more, but Locke doesn't have an answer. He then asks Locke why he lets Jack call the shots, but Locke insists that he and Jack make decisions together. Locke locks up Henry and returns to the bunker's kitchen, where he appears to lose his temper by sweeping dishes off the counter.

Henry is then shown in the safe with a smile on his face upon hearing Locke lose his temper.

Thanks, Wikipedia. You always know just what to say. Numbers, please!

'The Numbers'
Sponsored by Trapper Keeper.

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4- This instantly struck me as one of the most important parts of the episode. When Claire is in the nursery that Dharma created for Aaron, we see a mobile made up of miniature Oceanic planes. Not only that, but the song the mobile plays is "Catch A Falling Star," which is the song that Claire wanted the adopted parents to sing to Aaron.

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(I hope they hung on to the crib; they're so expensive nowadays.)

To me, this means several things, one of which is that Dharma was responsible for the plane crash. You may have speculated this the whole time, but this is pretty much proof positive.

It was all set up ahead of time. The psychic in Australia was in on it, convincing her to board flight 815. Dharma was aware that Aaron was special as soon as he was conceived, for God's sake. They wanted this baby so bad, and their power was so far-reaching, that they essentially did EVERYTHING up to this point for the sole purpose of getting this baby. The nursery was tailor-made for a baby boy; and what is it about Aaron that's so special?

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("I'm special!")

That's just eerie. Seriously, that's really messed up, considering they were going to cut Aaron out of Claire and leave her to die.

The flashback scenes were amazing, Aronofsky-style, fluorescent cuts that were so surreal as to not be actually happening. The Muzak that was playing in the exam room with Claire and Ethan was a sick, darkly funny touch, along with the fact that Claire's hair was perfectly curled and manicured. Ethan was keeping her sedated with whatever 'sour' liquid was in his Dharma-issued canteen, and was almost remorseful in the fact that Claire was about to be gutted like a trout.

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(No HMO? No problem!)

Speaking of Ethan's canteen, it contains the same logo as was seen on the shark in "Adrift." This symbol doesn't fit the pattern of Apollo-themed hatch logos, but could be a standard logo for supplies and the like. There's also online nerd talk of an underwater hatch, which would explain why we keep seeing Walt and the Others soaking wet. That's all speculation, however, so don't quote me.

It should also be noted that this was the first episode that contained no pre-crash flashbacks. "The Other 48 Days" started a few seconds before the crash, so don't correct me.

8- The costumes. Oh my, the costumes. We also found out tonight that the Others are nothing more than clean-cut scholars and scientists, nothing more or less. They would have the castaways believe that they are living off of the land, but we (the audience) have known this to be bunk for some time now. Shortly before Kate found Zeke's disguise, we got to see him in all of his smooth-cheeked glory, berating Ethan during Claire's exam.

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("You seen my pirate beanie?")

So, why are they Others doing that? The most believable theory is also the most logical. The Others can't conduct experiments wearing suits and ties without drawing some unwanted attention. They appear far more bloodthirsty and savage when they look as if they have been living hard, when in fact they are a fully-functional and stocked outfit. They keep their hatches hidden and their supplies a secret. They simply don't want their test subjects to know they are part of an experiment.

Another theory is that they are disguising themselves because they might be recognized by castaways as people they knew before the crash. Considering that the plane crash was set up, there might be Others that were relatively close to some of the castaways beforehand. People like Claire's psychic, for one(?). These people know how to set things up; this has been an experiment from the start.

Most importantly, why does Dharma manufacture their own theatrical glue?

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(Perhaps Dharma started out as an improv comedy troupe during WWII.)

15- When Claire, Kate and Rousseau go back to the medical hatch, they find it in shambles, when just a month ago it was in perfect shape. Lights are broken, things were ransacked and knocked over by people who obviously left in a big hurry. Hell, they even left their costumes behind!

Why? Well, one of two reasons, I suppose.

One, once they realized that Aaron was out of their reaches, they scrapped the experiment and moved onto something else. We saw Zeke wearing the costume just days ago, so they're all obviously still on the island. I don't believe this theory, as if Aaron was truly this important, they would have taken him back by now.

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(They're Desmond approved!)

Here's what I think happened. In the last episode, Locke enters the hatch numbers just before a (supposed) full-scale meltdown. We saw the symbols of 4 of the 5 other hatches, including the medical hatch. My theory is that even though Locke entered the numbers before the Swan hatch could get rocked, perhaps it sent out enough of an initial blast to scare the medical hatch occupants elsewhere. The medical hatch looks like an earthquake hit it, and the timing fits perfectly, so take from that what you will. I think that instance had everything to do with why that hatch was abandoned.

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(Can someone get this guy a new shirt? Anyone?)

16- Eko showed up again this episode, delighting us with a truly creepy scene. I especially like the look on Henry's face when Eko shows up to talk to him. I hope Dharma stocks boxer shorts in bulk.

So Eko, presuming this person to be an other, conducts a confessional of sorts, letting Henry know that he's sorry, and is on the path to righteousness. Symbolically and biblically, people grow beards to mourn, and Eko grew those two antennae-looking things as a reminder of the men he killed. Cutting them off was symbolic of being forgiven and moving on.

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("Hello, my name is Henry Soggypants.")

Personally, I thought he was going to slit his own throat, and I got really nervous. I also think he's building a church in the jungle. I'm also an idiot.

23- Henry's an Other. You know it, I know it, the American People know it. It was gut-wrenching watching him start to turn the screws in Locke's head, messing with his mind and causing more tension in the Jack/Locke power struggle. His grin in the armory after hearing Locke throw his tantrum was all I needed to see. This guy is bad-freaking-news. Expect to see him drive a wedge further between Jack and Locke, and work his psychological magic.

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(Nobody eats all the bundt cake before John gets a piece. Nobody.)

Will Rousseau be reunited with Alex? Sure.

42- When Ethan is talking to Zeke outside of the examination room, he says "Do you know what he'll do if he finds out?" Who is 'he?' Hanso? Beats me, but they're obviously taking orders from some important and frightening person.

'The Preview'
Sponsored by Hypercolor.

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Suckily enough, this is the last new Lost episode for at least two weeks, as they feel the need to take yet another break from the action. The first rerun will be "Whatever The Case May Be" on March 8, followed by "House Of The Rising Sun" on March 15.

We saw some hints of things to come in the previews, such as Sun asking Sawyer for a pregnancy test (Damn you, Jin! I should be playing that role, and you know it!), and Henry talking about locating his balloon. The Henry situation will probably come out into the open, causing a huge uproar and leading to some unforeseen surprise. I'd expect nothing less.

You know the drill by now. Here's the index of CDP Lost Fridays, ranked in increasing order of awesomeness. Tell your friends and trusted older relatives about us. Also, send me money for a new laptop. Send any donations or hatemail to, and please drop us a line in the comments section. If you have any rants or questions, they'll be answered and dissected there.



Thursday, March 2

Bolt Gun Politics.

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Most people aren't smart. We all know that. If you don't know that, then you're not smart.

Smart, smart, smart-ity smart-smart. Smarty, smarty smattie-smittie. Shimma-shamma whoppa-doo.

The following news story comes to us from Lexington, Kentucky:

A Letcher County woman suffered a horrible injury early Thursday when her arm was severed in a car crash on the Mountain Parkway in Clark County.

Jacqueline Dotson and her six-year-old daughter had to be cut out of their vehicle after the accident in which Dotson veered into the median and over-corrected, rolling her truck over the guardrail and landing upside down after flipping several times.

Several people stopped to help, and it turns out, the good samaritans may very well have saved Dotson's life. Sheila Vice, a nurse's aide, and an off-duty EMT from another county stopped to help, and put a tourniquet on Dotson's arm to stop the bleeding. Her arm was found near the accident still clutching a cell phone.

Both were flown to hospitals, and Dotson is listed in serious condition. Her daughter is not in the hospital, and sheriff's officials say they believe she's going to be fine.

Wow, Karma works. The innocent daughter is 100% fine, and the woman on the cell phone loses her fat, stupid American dialing arm. Hey, one more truck flip, and this could have been a Darwin Award. I know it's a bit harsh, but if something like this causes even one person to stop using cell phones while driving, then it's totally worth it...for me.

That's my moment of Zen for the day. What's yours? Sound off in the comments section, and wax poetic about the shallow end of the gene pool. Lost Friday returns tomorrow to cleanse you of your sins, and boy is it worth the wait.

But wait, there's more!

CDP poster Jessica is currently displaying an ad she's working on that bears a striking resemblence to yours truly. If you blow the photo up, the illusion sort of fades, so don't.

Tuesday, February 28

Breakfast Served Anytime.

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Wisconsin is for lovers. Lovers of cheese, scotch and fireworks mainly, but lovers of all kinds are welcome. Your money spends the same regardless, and our taxes are quite reasonable.


On Thursday morning, me and the Missus packed our bags and traveled 50 miles west of the Twin Cities to Annandale, Minnesota. The five hour drive is a wonderful trip through the scenic and lush countryside of western and northwestern Wisconsin. If you've never had the opportunity to do so, I suggest you devote a weekend to it sometime before you die. Unless, of course, you plan on dying soon. Then, you may want to consider spending your final precious hours in other ways. I recommend bowling or having your pet spayed.

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(The 356 mile killing spree has begun.)

If you remember from back in the day, me and the Missus got married at the very same Bed & Breakfast we were headed back to. It was the first time since the wedding that we got to spend some time there, and it was really quite overdue. We had reservations for Thursday and Friday nights, along with a 1-hour psychic reading on Thursday evening. Not to mention, this all came with the promise of some of the best food I have ever eaten. The woman who runs the place is a gourmet chef (along with being a psychic, seamstress, ghost hunter and caretaker), and she has yet to make something for me that wasn't amazing. I always forget to take pictures of my food, as I'm usually too busy sneaking large handfuls of it into the Missus' purse.

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("Room 201: Where the magic happens.")

We showed up and unloaded in 'The Renaissance Room,' which according to the summary on the page, contains:

A queen-sized bed, electric fireplace, an old-fashioned claw-footed soaking tub with shower and a pull-chain commode. This room can be busy with ghostly activity, however, if you choose not to have visitors, tell them and they respect that.


Our psychic reading wasn't until 8pm, so we headed out into downtown Annandale for some dinner. We found a nice place on the river that made a mean Alfredo and a strong daiquiri, so we were pretty much set for the night. We got back to the B&B just in time to watch American Idol, and eventually settled down for our reading.

This was the second time we got a reading here (the first was a year before we were married), and this one was decidedly more positive. This makes sense, because around the time of the first reading, we were in a rather negative place. Weather or not psychics exist or are the real deal doesn't mean that much to me, because this person in particular is incredibly logical and intuitive, and you'd probably learn something about yourself no matter what. For example, turns out I like socks a whole lot. Who knew?

Consider the following, however.

Me and the Missus have been talking almost every day about buying a house. Essentially, we've been going on about the logistics, finances and reality of owning a home by this summer. This has been the main topic of conversation between the two of us as of late, although we made no mention of it in the B&B. Our desire to move out of our apartment grows more urgent with every sleepless night spent listening to the neighbors canoodling like junkyard rabbits.

Before the reading, Sharon (the reader) will ask you to write down three questions each that you would like answered at some point during the reading. Me and the Missus wrote these questions down during dinner on the lake, stuck them in our pockets and didn't even mention them to each other beforehand. My number one question was if she could foresee us moving in the near future.

So, fast-forward to the reading. Me and the Missus gather into her office, and before we even sat down, she looked at me and said, "Thinking about buying a house, aren't you?"

Instead of instantly walking out like I wanted to, I slowly nodded and became damp in the pant area.

"It's coming up real quick for you, probably this summer."

Now, speaking logically and skeptically, it would make sense for her to think that we were looking to buy a home, considering that we have been married for almost two years and whatnot. However, it's still quite the impressive feat. Take from that what you will. As I said, the readings went quite well. What did we talk about? Not telling. Afterwards, we played a game of Scrabble (I owned the Missus) and went to bed.

A quick word on ghosts. This place is haunted. Really, truly haunted. The B&B has been featured in many books and TV shows concerning haunted places, which is why we found out about it in the first place. Most of the guests of our wedding claimed that one thing or another had happened to them during their stay. Some of these things I experienced firsthand, otherwise I wouldn't have believed them at all. The B&B is a renovated railway motel, and it's simply crawling with energy and overwhelming creepiness. Just off of the tracks, the trains blare through the town about every hour throughout the night, springing you out of bed and casting shadows across the walls. That all being said, it's pretty much the neatest place I could recommend to you, and the beds are nice and comfortable to stay up all night in, scared to death of closing your eyes for fear of being eaten.

The trick with the ghosts is that you have to invite them into your room if you want havoc to ensue. If you prefer not to poop the bed, it's best to let them know that you want them to stay out. Even though I'm a skeptic until I'm proven otherwise, I made it a point to properly exorcise my room before going to sleep. Neither of us experienced anything odd during this most recent stay, which was great, but kind of a bummer at the same time. Nonetheless, I brought a few spare pairs of pants and boxers just to stay on the safe side.


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(Sadie was the resident cat, and for $25, she'd spoon with you for the night.)

This is Sadie, one of the two cats that live at the B&B. You'll notice that she's on our bed, where she stayed for the duration of our stay. She rules like that. She's also a good 25 pounds.

At 9am sharp, we were showered and sharply-dressed, because you do not want to miss breakfast here. As we happened to be the only ones in the building on Friday morning, we had the entire dining area to ourselves for the most important meal of the day. On the menu was French toast with assorted fruits, lemon muffins and hand-dipped chocolate strawberries. It completely and totally kicked my ass. It's one of those meals where you almost don't want to eat anything for fear of messing up the expertly-designed creation. Then, once you start eating, you cannot stop until everything has been digested. It's a love/hate relationship; much like the one I have with Ryan Seacrest.

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("Wha-WHAT!? No guns! What kind of Orwellian dictatorship is this!")

With our stomachs bursting with food and drink, we headed east to the Mall of America in Bloomington. We had money to spend and an entire day to spend it. I also had my Mom's Express charge card burning a hole in my pocket. She gave it to me as a small gift for the vacation, and I honestly felt like a dirty trust fund baby charging things to it, but she rules for letting me do so. Besides, I bought some sexy clothes, so everyone wins. Thanks.

Here then, is the day in pictures. I appear in most of them, and for that, I apologize.

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(Here we see the CDP re-evaluating his hipster status.)

The Apple Store didn't have anything I could bring myself to buy; even a holder for my Shuffle was $35. It did, however, rekindle my interest in purchasing a laptop for writing on the fly. Maybe I'll get one for Christmas. Hell, if they would have sold laptops at Express, I could have just charged it to my Mom.

At Macy's, I found a wool Calvin Klein sweater marked down from $80 to $30. I couldn't afford not to buy it! As a side note, they don't have sales tax on clothing, so $30 means $30, and that's good news. I'd gladly pay sales tax in their state, though, if it meant that the endless construction would end. Wisconsin taxes are through the damn roof, but at least our roads are nice. The next time you get stuck in a traffic jam in Wisconsin, let me know and I'll send you a CDP t-shirt and a billion dollars, cuz' it ain't happening.

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("6 Jerks and a Jerk," a conceptual piece by: the CDP.)

Why are all the mannequins at stores headless nowadays? Is this how the retailers see consumers now? Nameless, faceless torsos? Beats me, but I bought one of everything.

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(How many times can I take this type of photo before it's not funny? Answer: Unlimited.)

Honestly now, what does this even represent? A stock boy not doing his job, that's what. In truth, I bought nothing at the Gap, because their pants suck and they never have anything nice in a small but t-shirts that I already own. They need an original idea, or at least do better at the one they've been milking all this time. I can't believe how gay I sound right now.

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(The women who work here smell like a sexy chemical explosion, and also look the part.)

The Missus disappeared in Sephora for a while, dragging her forearm across the shelves and catching everything that fell into her shopping bag. While she was satisfying her cosmetic needs, I was filling up on truffles at the Lindt store and trying not to look suspicious.

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(So many bunnies on the table. So many bunnies.)

40 truffles for $10? Are you kidding me? I'll take the entire south wall, and giftwrap it, please.

A Truffe store to me is much like what a porn store is to most other men. I walk around, looking shady and amazed at the new products and arrivals. "Wow, they've got them in Peanut Butter now? Can they do that?"

Not finished with my Japanese candy fix just yet, I had to stop at Suncoast to grab some Pocky for the road.

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(Proud sponsor of Fighting Seizure Robots!)

When you're eating the best candy in Japan, you're eating the best candy in the world. Pick up some Pocky today. I was not paid to say that, but it would have been a lot cooler if I was. I ate a box of them just writing this last paragraph.

As if I wasn't splurging enough today, I decided to do something very kind for myself and pick up a new watch. The one I've been wearing for the past year and a half has treated me well, but my left wrist was in the mood for a change in style. Besides, I bought my right wrist a DVD player for Christmas, and I didn't want them thinking I played favorites. The Fossil store had just what I wanted. Check it 'oot:

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("Women come from blockz-n-blockz, just to get a taste of my left wrist rocks.")

Diamonds and steel, baby. It's as close to being a pimp as I can get without the Missus making fun of me. I quietly put the giant belt buckle, 'crunk ice tray' and 'Thug Life' medallion back on the shelf, and stopped pressing my luck.

Finally, I reached Express and put the charge card to good use, picking out a nice outfit for those special occasions with my Mistress that the Missus doesn't know about, but eventually will run into at a socially crippling time, like a funeral or hospital visit.

Such a funny sentence.

I got a new pair of 'producer pants,' a new tie, belt and dress shirt. What do you think?

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(Daddy's home from the salt mines, and he wants a little sugar.)

That's right, you just became slightly more sexually attracted to me than you were when you saw me in the Gap store photo. I dig it, and I won't hold it against you in the future. Also, it may not show up well on the photo, but what I'm wearing isn't just all black and monochrome. You'd have to ask the Missus for material and design details, but she assures me that it looks good, so into the bag it went.

The total for the outfit? $220. Thanks, Mom. I won't even bother coming home for Christmas.

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(Tucci Benucch is Italian for "Curly Fries.")

Before we left the mall, we stopped at Tucci Benucch for the finest Italian cuisine you could get within 15 feet of Camp Snoopy. It was quite good, but I was actually still stuffed from breakfast, so most of my Spinach-Garlic Gnocchi ended up in the trash. Not cool, but still very tasty and memorable. Where else can you get a complimentary appetizer from the chef while watching someone cut up the Dance Dance Revolution machine?

We got back to the B&B, and I instantly called my Mom to apologize before she checked her statement online. We then played another game of Scrabble (the Missus destroyed me) and went to bed. It's amazing how good you can sleep when there aren't neighbors invading your every waking second. I was already thinking about how much I didn't want to go back home to them.


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("Hey, I'm Gabe. Did you miss me? I puked on the carpet again.")

Once again, we were awake and ready to go by 9am, as breakfast wouldn't wait for mere mortals like us. On the menu today was a quiche with assorted fruits in a yogurt sauce, complete with cajun spices and hand-dipped chocolate strawberries. Darn, that's all?

Shortly after breakfast, we loaded up the car, thanked Sharon profusely and headed back home to Wisconsin. We wanted to get back home before night, so we would have time to put everything away and clean the house up in preparation of a Sunday spent doing nothing.

Was that a run-on? I never know.

The five hour drive back home was peaceful and quiet. We chatted about the good time we had, listened to a few albums and made a point to stop in every backwoods rest stop on the Interstate for some reason. I set the cruise at 80, and we were home in record time.

It's good to be back. What did you do while I was away? Sound off in the comments section.