We started out the day with a trip to Cracker Barrel with Amanda’s mom, Karen Mercer. She paid and we took care of the tip. Good deal for us. As we usually do, we were all playing with the puzzle they have at Cracker Barrel. It’s the one in a triangle with golf tees in it, where you try to jump one over the other until you have as few left as possible. Last time we went, Amanda got it down to one. This time we both got it down to two, but I was able to get it down to one twice. The way I started out both times was to leave the bottom middle peg open then jump from the right corner into the hole. Can’t remember how the rest of it went.

After breakfast I stopped by Game Stop to see if they had any used Nintendo 64 games. They did have some, but they didn’t have the specific two I was looking for; MarioKart 64 and 007 Goldeneye. My brother, Adam Dotsey, gave me a Nintendo 64 he had when he left for San Diego, but he didn’t have any of those classic games. We played them all the time in college. My copies got stolen when my apartment got broken into for Christmas one year.

After we got home I spent some time setting up the Toshiba laptop Karen bought for my brother-in-law, Michael Mercer. Mostly I just got rid of all the crap they load onto computers when you first get them then loaded a few nice things onto it. I also made his screensaver say “I LOVE DUKE.” I wonder if he’s seen that yet.

We went back out to Circuit City a little later, mainly to return a USB cable Karen had gotten for the printer she bought since I had a spare one they could use. She also picked up a flash drive for him, and Amanda and I got a pack of ink, since our photo printer is low. I also picked up a copy of V for Vendetta. Amanda didn’t see I had it until it was being rung up, but the girl at the checkout came to my defense, saying I’d had it for a while. I liked her; she was an enabler. Amanda later said she’d been flirting with me.

Karen left shortly after we got back. Amanda showered while I took a short nap before we headed out to Dockside to meet up with Ben and Jessica Lambeth and Ben’s brother, Andrew, who was down visiting for the weekend. The whole time it looked like it was going to rain, which would have sucked because Dockside is all outside on the Intracoastal Waterway. The nice thing about it is that it wasn’t very hot though.

I liked Ben’s brother. He was pretty open and funny. It turned out that Ben knew our waitress from way back when. I had a burger, which was a very good one, while Amanda split some mahi mahi with Jessica. We paid for their dinner to cover the cost of the tickets they’d already picked up as well as for Ben’s birthday.

We ate then headed over to Mayfaire Cinemas to meet Rob Peterson and Kristen Barriner to see Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Amanda and I made a quick stop off at the grocery store on the way over to pick up some candy. Amanda found out once she was at the theatre that her Milk Duds had melted together. She was able to peel the box apart and eat some of the melted Milk Duds, but it was mostly a waste, because the paper was sticking to the mass of chocolate goodness. I guess it was karma for taking candy to the theatre.

I hadn’t realized the movie had been shot in or around Charlotte. Talladega Nights was funny, but it wasn’t as good as Anchorman. I said that to Kristen and she said she and Rob didn’t like Anchorman. She did admit that she’d fallen asleep in the first five minutes of it, and that Rob shut it off after that. They didn’t like that or Napoleon Dynamite, so we wonder about their sense of comedy in movies.

After the movie we walked out to a deluge. Fortunately Amanda had thought to take the umbrella in with us before the movie. I walked out to the car, which took a little while because we were parked in a side lot, and coming in we were able to walk across a little field. There was a lot of rain and the water on the ground was over an inch deep in some places and I didn’t want to walk through a bunch of mud to boot. Most of me was dry but my jeans soaked up enough water from the bottom cuffs to make them wet up to the knees.

We met at the Mayfaire Starbucks, all of us but Rob and Kristen, who opted for some ice cream at Coldstone. On any normal night, since the two shops are right across the street from each other, we’d have met up and hung out. Everyone else was absolutely soaked. Andrew had walked all the way across Mayfaire, from the theatre to the Starbucks. Ben and Jessica had walked to their car, although I’d offered to give them a ride.

We had planned to go fishing after the movie, but the weather prevented that. I haven’t been fishing in God only knows how long, so I was looking forward to it. Oh well.

When we got home we found Renee Sikes, our housemate, watching The Man in the Iron Mask and joined her. I actually liked it. I mean, I thought the acting was uneven despite having a lot of good actors in it, and nobody could decide what kind of accent they wanted to have in it. But it was a swashbuckling period piece, and I tend to overlook flaws in such movies. Hugh Laurie, who plays Dr. Gregory House in House, had a bit role in the movie. The only thing that bothered us is that we were watching it on We, and there was literally about 50 minutes of commercials. To make that worse, about 80% of the commercial breaks began with the same commercial for a show called Bride vs. Bride. It got realy old. But I enjoyed the movie.

Zach Dotsey