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#3186 – road trips

so anyway, i’m planning out these road trips: music midtown is in atlanta in a few days, and so i’m going to be driving on down with my coworker/pal gary for some fun fun fun. i’m still trying to figure out what bands and all i want to see – i saved a playlist in itunes full of the previews of all the bands i could find on the itunes music store that are going to be down in atlanta for the concert, so i can listen through a bunch of different samples and figure out which bands might be interesting to hear. plan is to leave early thursday morning, arrive down there thursday evening, and then come back on monday.

i also did some figuring for visiting with sk8bette in july down in new orleans – i think i’ve got the dates figured out that i need to take off of work (i was calculating earlier tonight how many days off i have now, how many days off i’d have in july, and how many days off i’d need). so, preliminary figurings say that i should request off from july 6 through july 18 – that way i only need vacation days for july 6/7 (days off for that week on 8/9), 10-14 (days off 15/16), and days off the following week on the 17/18 – so, i only need to use 7 vacation days, but i get off of work for 12 days total! this way i can combine both the trip down to visit new orleans and michelle and jen in florida together with comic-con from july 13/14-18.

i’m excited about that trip, not only just for meeting new people, but for the drive itself. i’d have to split the drive down to new orleans into two stages – pre-florida and post-florida – and the same for the way back, but i want to try driving on the tail of the dragon – it’s this section of road with 318 curves all within 11 miles of road! here’s a map of the area, or look at the one their site has where it says “dragon map with curve names”. there’s a meeting of mini cooper owners in that area once a year (the one this year was in early may and i wasn’t able to go), but they all congregate and drive around and generally have a fun time, hehehe… since i wasn’t able to go there myself this year, i figured that i’d try to drive it myself when i drive down in july (i’d go on it on the way to atlanta, except 318 curves within 11 miles isn’t something i’d want to subject a passenger to without carsick bags at the ready!). i want to see odd roadside attractions and tourist-traps and truck stops and stuff like that. i’d definitely be trying to take pictures of all that, too.

i was thinking of other places i wanted to visit, and they’d probably include chicago and boston. i’d been thinking recently about these old historic ballparks, and that i’d want to see at least one game in them before they disappear. besides, if i ever drove out west i’d definitely want to swing by chicago and look at a prison with well_yeah and have some zimwe piwo with coolerbythelake, or see what gaiadea‘s digs look like up north, hah… maybe i’ll plan for those for next year? hmm…

the trip down to atlanta is going to be fun, though. i’m very excited about it, since it’s going to be the longest car-trip i’ve taken the mini on, with the second-longest being the drive up to new york city and back a few weeks ago. i joked to gary that we should make a sign for the mini:

me: “i should make a sign for the car, lol”

me: “saying we’re going to atlanta”

gary: “yeah, i can bring the shoe polish to put on the window… it comes right off”

me: “haha awesome”

me: “‘atlanta or bust'”

me: “lol”

gary: “haha”

gary: “yeah, that’s a good one… or this… ‘going to atlanta… show us your tits'”

me: “LOL”

besides, i don’t know why, but even though ocarina isn’t down there anymore, atlanta (and music midtown by extension) has always appealed to me. i think saccarineayako is down there now with her fiancée, but her journal’s been silent for the past several months it seems.

i was reading up about similar music concerts around the country, and there’s one in wisconsin called “summerfest” that makes music midtown look like a junior-high mixer. that thing is something like 8 days long! i mentioned it to mom and she said that i had apparently been there before when i was a little kid, but i guess i don’t remember it at all, hah.

i felt grown up responsible the other day – i was setting up my 401(k) deductions, and organizing my retirement plan, and correcting my federal withholding amounts, and other boring financial tasks. we apparently get an employee discount on car insurance too, so i tried for a quote for that and it turned out to be $5 more per month than what i was currently paying with a different company and no discount – huh? i also arranged a dentist appointment for the morning after my birthday. yay. when i was doing all this responsibleness i also figured with my long-term incentive i have with work, i’m eligible for cashing it out at the end of march/early april of 2007. so that means if i want $1k+ of free money, i’ve got to stay employed with the company for at least that long. some of these long term incentive stuff is confusing, but today i finished getting it all figured out. it’s a long story, so i’m not going to bother you with the details.

today at the store was pretty much dead – we had just a few short rushes, but nothing big. same thing yesterday, which was rather surprising for a weekend. today we had josh as the store manager, and he’s really cool… he’s our ops manager, and he’s really laid back, much more than matt (the store manager), or troy (laid back, but not as much as josh). i thought that i was supposed to be in the store today at 8:30 am to open, but turned out we had to be in at 8 am (and i had woken up at 8:05) – when i showed up at 8:30 he said something to me about how he was glad i decided to join him today, and laughed and gave me the list of phones in order to do a daily inventory count. matt would have written me up as an occurance, and troy probably would have done the same.

since the store was so dead, when we didn’t have many customers or any customers at all we just stood around and talked. a few other employees said how they wanted out of the store – not because of how retail sucks or how customers can be pains in the ass, but because they don’t like matt as a manager they’d prefer to be working at another store. i’m glad i’m not the only one who feels that way – customers can be dicks and all, but i like fixing their issues; retail hours can suck, but it’s nice to have the flexibility of having such a wide range of hours to choose from when planning schedules.

i took a nap after i got home from work, so i haven’t been feeling sleepy. that is, until a short while ago. guess it’s time to go to bed, need to be at work at 1.

also, i ought to find some more of “thee michelle gun elephant”, this band is good. oh yeah! feisty_fitz called us and left a message on our answering machine today from belgium! wonder what it’s like out there?