Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

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Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

so I can go to Songfight Live!
Evil Grin bandcamp - Evil Grin spotify
T.C. Elliott bandcamp - T.C. Elliott spotify

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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

If you write a song and include lyrics then you can put them in the appropriate place for such things: viewtopic.php?t=12628
Evil Grin bandcamp - Evil Grin spotify
T.C. Elliott bandcamp - T.C. Elliott spotify

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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by BoffoYux »

''I Need A Vacation' - Song Fight Listening Party 4/22/24 at 9pm EST. Preshow a bit earlier.
Optional challenge: Include a catchphrase from a TV show


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gy1MW91POg
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by Aciniform Artifice »

Well. This one certainly seems more manageable (by about 8/9ths).

A few thoughts about vacation songs:

**

Add – feels like a throwback, WAY back, to the “genesis” of early 00s indie nerd-rock. I dig it, especially how its themes touch upon the universality of human misery and suffering.

Berkeley Social Scene – ride through the city's back sides, see the stars come out of the sky. This feels a little overcompressed in the way that low-bitrate MP3s often sound, although the bass frequencies seem to be present enough. I dig it.

Frankie Big Face – have you ever done a song from Hedwig? Listening to this one, it’s bringing up a strong connection to “The Origin of Love” from that musical (the quieter beginning part, not the harder-rocking later part), and I can’t tell if it’s a product of the melody or the tone or if it’s touching upon some other long-buried memory of something you had recorded once upon a time? Regardless, this one is beautifully written and performed. After a couple more listens, one other specific thing: although most of the song feels like the melancholy ballad from a musical, the interval of the chord changes from “I” to “need a” always feels slightly unexpected when it happens – for some reason it sounds like a fun thing Paul McCartney might have thrown into a song he wrote.

Idle Susan – this is very funny to me, because every time my wife has an especially stressful day at work (which is most days), she gets these lofty ideas of weekend getaways she wants to do, as something to look forward to after all the hours of drudgery. And between the planning, and the trying to fit in as much rest and relaxation during a couple brief days, and the packing stuff and preparing to leave the house, and the driving there and back and often not knowing our way around, and not knowing where to eat in the area – the struggle between being overly prepared by researching and trying to plan everything ahead of time versus deciding that didn’t work out last time so we’ll just get there and see what we find, and that not working out either – not to mention stressing over whether coworkers will be able to handle everything during our respective absences from work or how much extra we’ll get stuck with (doing what didn’t get done, or undoing what got done incorrectly) upon our respective returns – these can often turn out NOT being as relaxing or stress-relieving as one might hope. So whenever these suggestions come up, my response is often a skeptical “Maybe?” … oh, and PS: the song itself is cute. I like how the driving drumbeat near the beginning matches the angriness of the opening lyrics.

King 9 and the Blackwoods – getting early 70s-era Detroit proto-punk vibes. Like this would fit somewhere on a timeline between Alice Cooper and MC5 and Iggy Pop, with its classic rock influenced guitar leads.

Pigfarmer Jr – for the 1000th fight, self-referential songs or songs about Song Fight! were given a free pass. 1001th fight songs specifically referencing the songs of the 1000th Song Fight! fight: not so much. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

Ross Durand – virtually every word of this is totally relatable.

Sockpuppet – and this one is so relatable it’s kind of triggering. My out-of-office doesn’t direct people to a specific person, it’s more like “if you have any questions or inquiries relating to _____ please submit a Service Now ticket” while implying but leaving unsaid “LIKE YOU SHOULD BE DOING IN THE FIRST PLACE why are you emailing me directly anyway??” But the idea is the same. I only wish you had said, near the end, “the 17th or maybe the 18th or MAYBE NEVER.” It may have been slightly less realistic but at the same time may have been a somewhat more satisfying conclusion.

Spy Vs. Pie – it may have been a poor choice to try listening to these while I’m at work. This concept is pretty relatable as well, sort of tying back to what I mentioned earlier about a vacation sometimes (ironically) not turning out to be quite the stress-reliever we may have hoped for.

Starfinger – dance like there’s ass in your pants! That was pretty intense, but fun.

Zorznijor – the latter portion (“overworking only to underdeliver”) makes me think “They said there’ll be snow on Christmas, they said there’ll be peace on earth.” Anyway, fortunately here is one that I did NOT find particularly relatable, compared to so many of the previous songs. I guess because I swore off “drug-filled orgies” so long ago I can barely remember those days.
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by frankie big face »

Aciniform Artifice wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 8:25 am

Frankie Big Face – have you ever done a song from Hedwig? Listening to this one, it’s bringing up a strong connection to “The Origin of Love” from that musical (the quieter beginning part, not the harder-rocking later part), and I can’t tell if it’s a product of the melody or the tone or if it’s touching upon some other long-buried memory of something you had recorded once upon a time? Regardless, this one is beautifully written and performed. After a couple more listens, one other specific thing: although most of the song feels like the melancholy ballad from a musical, the interval of the chord changes from “I” to “need a” always feels slightly unexpected when it happens – for some reason it sounds like a fun thing Paul McCartney might have thrown into a song he wrote.
I have never performed anything from Hedwig. I don't think I've ever actually seen it, tbh. I'll check out that song. This song is modeled after Warren Zevon a bit. That F7 chord is a little jarring. I was happy when I discovered that little twist - it matches the lyric well and adds a little bluesy element to an otherwise gospel-ish song. That part of the song reminds me of something too but I'm not going to disclose that because, if I do, everyone will only think of that thing every time they hear it. Anyway, thank you for the kind words and the song review!
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by fluffy »

Aciniform Artifice wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 8:25 am
Sockpuppet – and this one is so relatable it’s kind of triggering. My out-of-office doesn’t direct people to a specific person, it’s more like “if you have any questions or inquiries relating to _____ please submit a Service Now ticket” while implying but leaving unsaid “LIKE YOU SHOULD BE DOING IN THE FIRST PLACE why are you emailing me directly anyway??” But the idea is the same. I only wish you had said, near the end, “the 17th or maybe the 18th or MAYBE NEVER.” It may have been slightly less realistic but at the same time may have been a somewhat more satisfying conclusion.
I had hoped the "maybe never" was implied by the rest of the song.

Back when I worked in tech (which feels so long ago, now, even though it's only two years ago that I decided to stop going through the motions after a decade of burnout) it was pretty common for people to go on medical leaves and then their autoresponder would start out with "I am on medical leave for the next week," then for that to slowly extend out until suddenly I'd just get a message like, "So-and-so has left the company, is there anything I can help you with?" long after whatever thing I was trying to contact them for had faded from relevance anyway.

Oh and that also seems to keep happening with doctors, too. I just had to change doctors again after like the third one in a row burned out and disappeared.

There's definitely a burnout epidemic going on right now in general though and I'm sorry that this one was so relatable.
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by fluffy »

In front page shuffle order, to avoid fatigue bias.

Spy Vs. Pie:
I'd love this a lot more if the vocals were a bit more clear and didn't sound like they were going through a kitchen strainer.

Add:
The singing synth that comes in about 50 seconds in reminds me of a goofy music production video I saw recently. This makes me think of Tom Waits collaborating with early-90s They Might Be Giants. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Also it turns out I accidentally had Ross Durand's entry playing over the last half of this one (thanks, unpredictable browser autoplay behavior) which actually helped the message a bit by making everything feel more cluttered and stressful.

Pigfarmer Jr:
Pretty straightforward song. Reasonably well-produced. Didn't leave much of an impression on me otherwise.

Frankie Big Face:
This feels like a lost Billy Joel song that would have played in heavy rotation and been put into every romance movie's soundtrack at some point until everyone gets so oversaturaed on it that the entire music industry rebels and then decides to wipe it from history and our collective consciousness, becoming a half-remembered snippet of something that makes everyone feel simultaneously nostalgic and annoyed but they can't remember why. Anyway I thought it was pretty okay.

Berkeley Social Scene:
This makes me think of The Who if they were contracted to do a song for the Office Space soundtrack. Getting away from the city often feels like a good idea to me too.

Sockpuppet:
I was inspired by a bunch of Ask A Manager articles about off-base out-of-office messages, like this one and this one and this one. Basically, people get really weird about oversharing in these things. Also, I don't entirely miss being employed full-time. Anyway I haven't done a meditation podcast in a while and I felt like proverbially dusting off some of my granular synthesis pads.

King 9 and the Blackwoods:
Oh man this is such a contrast from the last one. Haha. Angry punk rock always works for me, although the fake-sounding drums are making me cringe. Good solid track though.

Starfinger:
This is the kind of weird sound design I've come to expect from you and I am not disappointed. Song Fight! needs more weird synth sounds.

Idle Susan:
This is a nice listen, good clean recording and good production overall and a nice not-quite-ordinary arrangement. The vocals could use a little more balance between them (the male-sounding voice being a bit louder than the female-sounding voice) but that's just a nitpick. Also that's a lot of pop culture references/TV quotes that feel kind of out of the blue. Also with that little stinger at the end, it's not like you're required to use the words of the title in your song verbatim.

Zorznijor:
This sounds like the cast of Futurama doing a musical about workplace burnout. Well, the half that's voiced by Billy West, anyway. Anyway I dig it.

Ross Durand:
This sounds a lot better when it's not playing underneath the back half of ADD's entry, I tell you what.

I am voting for: Frankie Big Face, King 9, Starfinger, Zorznijor, and Ross Durand, as well as the concept of vacations in general. Being basically retired is kinda awesome, as it turns out.
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by starfinger »

Sockpuppet. I'm so glad I listened to this in headphones. It is very expansive and relaxing. Slightly distracted by what I assume are mouth noises (I'm not talking about the singing which I like!)
I loved it.

Spy vs pie: I like this a lot, but it feels like a song that happens to be playing in the other room. Like I'm too busy doing other things to really pay attention, even though I'm sitting here listening to it on headphones.

Starfinger: I got the optional challenge mixed up with last week's.

Pigfarmer Jr: I love the joke for being so obviously not intended for universal consumption. It is a pleasant song and it sounds good.

King 9 etc: this is great music for a montage in the middle of a comedy, I guess. Like a "saved by the bell" summer special or something. There should be some skateboarding in this montage.

Add: I like the Casio Leonard Cohen thing you got going here. I'm a total sucker for fake voice synth patches too. This is an excellent song run through some kind of extreme semantic quantization filter. I just love it.

Zornzijor: well this is epic and moves me in special ways. Just a stellar little arrangement. Kudos.

BSS: this is cool because it really sounds like the band needs a vacation. I mean stylistically. Consummate professionals needing to take a break. It makes me want to take a nap. It's also catchy. Sleepy and good.

Ross Durand: these are good lyrics and the song sounds great for the style, which is not one I generally gravitate to.

Frankie Big Face: this is a solid outro for an album. Solid progression and lyrics, but it is for landing the plane rather than taking off.

Idle Susan: thank you for the he-man reference. This is jaunty and weird. I like the guitar solo. The vocal parts felt a little too cutesie for me, but they are still pretty good. I'm conflicted about this song and may listen to it a second time.

I’m voting for sockpuppet, add and zornzijor.
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by Aciniform Artifice »

fluffy wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 1:53 pm
I had hoped the "maybe never" was implied by the rest of the song.
It was. I guess that's why I was expecting to hear it articulated. But it didn't detract at all, I understand your reasoning for making it implicit rather than explicit.

fluffy wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 1:53 pm
There's definitely a burnout epidemic going on right now in general though and I'm sorry that this one was so relatable.
No need to apologize, I enjoyed the song and voted for it. It's probably in poor taste to throw around a word like "triggering" which has an actual clinical meaning in terms of PTSD, when I really just meant, "Oof this sounds so real, it's almost painful to think about." I should work on that.

Without (I hope) going into too much detail or derailing this conversation about songs too much, my department consists of 3 FT employees plus our manager, but one of those was out on medical leave for several lengthy stretches of 2023, the latest one starting in November and still ongoing; at this point it's seeming increasingly unlikely that she'll ever return, which is terrible for her and obviously we all feel bad about it, but in the meantime we are now 2 FT employees, and our workload has not decreased these past 6+/- months. So the burnout and the needing-a-vacation are very real, but also the knowledge that if I take a day off that leaves 1 FT employee to perform tasks that are expected to be done by 3 people.
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by fluffy »

That’s a failure of management and they need to hire more people. Vacation days are meaningless if nobody is going to take them, and if your parts don’t get downtime for regular maintenance they’re going to break and need complete replacing.

Also any vacation you need to work extra hard to “make up for lost time” or whatever is not a vacation. Sounds like having 3 people would still be understaffed.
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by frankie big face »

fluffy wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 2:08 pm
Frankie Big Face:
This feels like a lost Billy Joel song that would have played in heavy rotation and been put into every romance movie's soundtrack at some point until everyone gets so oversaturaed on it that the entire music industry rebels and then decides to wipe it from history and our collective consciousness, becoming a half-remembered snippet of something that makes everyone feel simultaneously nostalgic and annoyed but they can't remember why. Anyway I thought it was pretty okay.
I would take those royalties any day of the week! :D

Speaking of which, is there anything better than a royalty check? Getting paid for some shit I wrote 10 years ago is the best. I even love that they're called royalties - it makes me feel regal. I just can't understand why, as a sovereign, I still have to pay taxes on them. Hmmm.... :?
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by thirdcatmusic »

Add - Interesting combination of gravelly vocals and cheap keyboard sounds. I particularly like the vocal patch sound. Overall I like it, possible vote.

BSS - I like the vocals and the overall vibe. It does remind me a little of The Who but also has a kind of '80s college rock sound. The atmospherics at the end were an interesting surprise. Overall one of the better BSS songs I've heard I think; I'm giving it a vote.

Frankie Big Face - This is really quite nice. Just vocals and piano but it keeps my interest throughout. Good lyrics. Vote.

Idle Susan - I kinda like the idea of this but it doesn't quite work for me. The vocals sound a bit wonky especially when they are layered. The instrumental outro is my favorite part of the song, that's really nice.

King 9 and the Blackwoods - Pretty well executed but not exactly my thing. Some really rockin' guitar playing. Sounds reasonably convincing as a full band recording although I'm pretty sure it's not?

Pigfarmer Jr - Yeah, I wasn't going to do reviews for that one. Decent song for a song about songfight. Maybe a bit long for the premise?

Ross Durand - I like this alright but a little too g&g-ish for my taste. Doesn't quite grab my interest.

Sockpuppet - Love the atmosphere you've created here. I do think the vocals could've been recorded a little cleaner as the little pops take me out of it a little bit. I like the idea of the lyrics although I think I would have liked less vocals/more space. Overall the cool stuff about this outweighs the stuff I'm not sure about. Vote.

Spy vs Spy - I dig the gnarly lo-fi vibes here. And there's some catchy hooks in there too. Yeah, I like this one. Vote.

Starfinger - Ambitious stuff. Excellent vocals they really take this to the next level. This is probably my favorite track of the fight. Definite vote.

Zorznijor - I had to play this one over again after it finished. What a tight arrangement. It sounds epic even though it's only 1 minute 49 seconds. I'm a big fan of keeping it short & sweet. I just said Starfinger's was my favorite of the fight, but it's got some competition with this one. Really dig this one. Another vote.

----

I did do a song for this one but I sent it in way too late. I do plan on putting it up on the streamers (with some more work I think).

---

didn't want to make a whole new post for it but thought I'd edit in here that my "Vacation" is up on the streamers now if anyone wants to take a listen:

Spotify:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=O ... WAgPBoW3xY
Last edited by thirdcatmusic on Fri May 10, 2024 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by frankie big face »

I enjoyed the unexpected melodic twists and turns in the Sockpuppet song and the unexpected harmonic/rhythmic twists and turns in the Zorznijor song. I think I voted for something else too, but I can’t remember!
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by Jefff »

3-listen reviews!

Pig Farmer Jr. -
1. Prosody is weird on "listening". Kudos on not wanting to sound like a fucking jerk. It's hard! Is there subtle auto-tune on the vocals?
2. I like the drum fills.
3. There are a lot of little spots where the vocal isn't quite on, timing-wise. Nice bass groove on the chorus.

Starfinger -
1. Oh wait, I'm in space. Disorienting. I have to google that very familiar line. Well, wherever it's from, I like the effect of wrenching it out of its normal context and cramming it into your song.
2. Paying attention to dynamics this time. Lots going on. I appreciate it never settling into a typical groove.
3. I hear a new part every time I listen. I can't seem to find another song with the line "you can do what you want to if you want to". Does google just suck now? Do I just suck at google?

Idle Susan -
1. Super pretty guitar. Oh, good sounding drums too. Hey, I like having all these different vocalists. Cool solo.
2. Loving that guitar again. Personally, would prefer super-understated vocals. I think that would kill, but that's me. If those harmonies were spot-on, that would also kill.
3. This song feels like a journey. Thematic.

Spy vs. Pie -
1. Vocals are quiet, but maybe that's fine? Maybe put some more reverb on the drums to make it feel more consistently roomy? I like ramshackle quality of the multiple vocals (while also being pretty tight pitchwise).
2. "I need a vacation from this vacation". That's a good line! A lot of good, left-field lyrics.
3. Nice feeling hearing that backbeat again. The reverb suggestion from listen 1 doesn't seem like a thing on this listen.

Zorznijor -
1. Immediately dig the chord changes and where the melody goes. I like the promises. "No more drug-filled orgies"! Short and sweet too.
2. Yeah, I dig this, especially that great high note at the end.
3. This could be the winner, and I'd be good with that result.

Frankie Big Face -
1. The recording is so good, I think I can hear your saliva? Not an important thing, but hey this is listen 1. I like that thing where you repeat the line with a lower melody.
2. I find myself wondering why you need a vacation from them. The tension is interesting, so I want to know more about it.
3. Great performance. Goes double if it was recorded live.

King 9 and the Blackwoods -
1. I think I want louder drums and quieter vocals. You're nailing this vocal style. The lead guitar is on-point.
2. Lyrics are serviceable. The "see your ass next year" is the one standout.
3. Listening to the lyrics again. An unexpected turn could make it more than a solid genre exercise.

Berkely Social Scene
1. I'm the passenger. Wait, nm. Cool drum pattern. I'd scoop a bit of the mud out of that lead vocal. I like the breakdown. I also like the Television-esque backup vox asking you questions.
2. I like the "...away". Nice touch. It's funny to follow the line about wanting to play your acoustic guitar with a fuzzy electric solo.
3. Getting better with each listen. Interesting outro. Reminds me of something, but I can put my finger on it.

Ross Durand
1. Not a lot to say this listen. I think you've done a tasteful job with what additional tracks there are. Judicious and impactful.
2. I'm craving a thematic turn in the lyrics. Maybe that's the "I just need you back". Maybe that line needs more focus from the arrangement.
3. Yeah, my favorite part is the "people keep saying ... just need you back", and by the third listen, I'm not sure it needs anything more to highlight it. Maybe it's confusing that the verses end with "I need a vacation", but eventually, it's clear that it won't help the real problem.

Sockpuppet
1. Oh I can hear your saliva too. Interesting. On first listen, this kind of drags as I wait for a twist. Oh but by the end, you've taken it somewhere else. Okay, I like this concept.
2. Maybe the sonic texture should evolve as the sentiment does -- as the singer becomes more desperate.
3. I like when I can hear movement in the room. Could use some more of that to put me in this space.
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by frankie big face »

Jefff, if you thought that could have been live, then I succeeded! It’s not a live performance, sadly. I can play it. And it sounds so much better on my baby grand in the piano room. But, a) I make occasional mistakes and would most assuredly get frustrated and throw a tantrum to the empty house; and b) I’m too lazy to move the recording equipment. I wasn’t too lazy to consider it! But alas, I used a stock Logic piano and recorded the vocals afterward.

Thanks for listening to my song three times. Makes me feel like a slacker. I’m going to try harder when reviewing Nevada.
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by fluffy »

Jefff wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2024 1:59 pm
3-listen reviews!

Sockpuppet
1. Oh I can hear your saliva too. Interesting. On first listen, this kind of drags as I wait for a twist. Oh but by the end, you've taken it somewhere else. Okay, I like this concept.
2. Maybe the sonic texture should evolve as the sentiment does -- as the singer becomes more desperate.
3. I like when I can hear movement in the room. Could use some more of that to put me in this space.
I did the vocals in just one take so it's possible that you've spent more time listening to my song than I spent working on it. The whole fundamental concept here is that a bit over a year ago I did a meditation podcast for a little while and I want to get back into that, and for this I was just like, what if we're hearing someone's inner thoughts that they're trying to meditate about (and failing miserably)?

The evolution of the sonic texture would have been a really good idea. I usually try to do that on the podcast (and also add in some basic binaural beats and noise masking) but for some reason it didn't occur to me to do it this time around.

I did use my desktop podcasting setup to record this which is probably why my mouth sounds were way too prominent in this. I have no idea why people have gotten this idea that "meditation podcast" = "ASMR" = "annoying mouth sounds" (none of these equivalences are even remotely true) but in any case I need to figure out a better way to record my voice in my office, or at least remember to drink water before I start. Especially since the hugely spacious reverbs that I use for this stuff tend to just amplify the fuck out of every little salivary crackle.
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Lunkhead
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Add adds another winner to his discography. Congrats!
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fluffy
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by fluffy »

Woo, three-way third-place tie, too.
Jefff
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Re: Need to save my pennies... (I Need A Vacation reviews)

Post by Jefff »

Did not expect that. Thanks y'all.
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