I meant to mention this a few days ago. The good news about the tax returns is that we’re getting money back from the state. The bad news is that we’re paying out more than we’re getting back to the federal. The nice thing about it is that we doubled, almost to the penny, what we made last year. The bad news is that not enough money was withheld from our paychecks because we didn’t know this. More bad news is that for the first time ever, to make sure it got done right and to maximize my return, I paid someone to do my taxes, so if having to pay the federal taxes was not a bad enough thing, I paid even more on top of that to find it out. In all fairness, if I’d come to the conclusion on my own that I owed taxes, I’d have hired someone to redo it for me, so I guess I’m not really out anything. Still, the bad beats out the good in this one. I have since adjusted my withholding accordingly. I’ve also renewed my resolve to look into the fair tax.

Elliot Clark and Melissa Nicholson came by to pick up their baby Maltese poodle, Bernie, today. He and Bruce had finally just started playing, too. I was messing with Bruce to where he’d crouch down and jump at me while growling, and Bernie joined in until they started jumping at each other. All in play of course. Bruce likes to run off and run back when he does that sometimes, and when he’d do that Bernie would press himself up against me, which I think got Bruce a little jealous. But they were obviously playing.

Michael Mercer, my live-in brother-in-law, left to go to Richlands this afternoon. I’m not totally sure why he went home, except that he’s helping his dad pick up in the yard or something.

When Amanda got home from work we went for a short walk with Bruce. It was a little chilly in the shade, so since we walked down to the cul-de-sac we picked up some jackets on the way back by the house. We stopped and talked to Dave Narron, from across the street. He’s working on something pretty big that I think I shouldn’t mention yet, just on the off chance that it shouldn’t be public knowledge yet.

My brother Adam called tonight to see when we’re leaving this weekend to go see Cirque du Soleil. Originally he and his girlfriend Renee Sikes were going to go stay with my parents tonight, but they realized that they’d end up having to go back to Rougemont after the show, from Raleigh, thereby backtracking about 45 minutes, to go pick up their coati mundi, Tsota. They can’t really leave her in their apartment alone all weekend. Since Amanda and I aren’t going all the way to the Rouge though, and Adam wants to go by a fish store in northern Durham, we’ll all be taking separate cars.

Other than that Amanda called her good old friend Amy Farmer (formerly Brower) to arrange to meet and spend some time with her on Sunday. I tried calling Chris Reeves to do the same, and I left a MySpace message for Autumn Belk to let her and John Pearson know that we’ll be in town.

After taking care of all those things, Amanda and I settled down to watch Almost Famous. I hadn’t seen it in forever and Amanda had never seen it. Great movie though. It’s one of those where you feel like you’re actually being pulled along into this alternate world along with the main character. The fact that it’s basically an autobiography for director Cameron Crowe just makes it that much more amazing. What a cool life he must have had. And still have, I guess, I mean he’s not dead or anything and he’s made some pretty big movies. But what a way to spend formative years.

Zach Dotsey