Work, as it has been lately, was very busy today. It was good too though. A few weeks ago I discussed a raise with my boss. He gave me a raise and told me a few things to work on, saying that if I did he’d give me a bit more of a raise. I’ve been working on it, and I felt like I’d made se progress, but not enough that I was going to bring or up yet. To my surprise Scott told me he was going to go aead and give it to me, which was great news to me! That will just about replace the help we were getting on the mortgage when Amanda’s brother Michael was living with us.

In semi-related news, we’ve got someone who will be taking a look at the company and consulting to see what we can streamline and do to make things better and more efficient. That person is an old friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in a number of years but I’ve kept up with. She and her husband just moved back to North Carolina from New Jersey where she had done a similar thing for her husband’s family’s business. It’ll be cool to see Julie again, but I wasn’t sure how comfortable Amanda would be about it when I talked to her she didn’t mind. Not that Amanda’s the jealous type or anything.

As busy as things were today, I had to make sure I got my check in the bank before 2:00 as a bunch of our bills went out this week and we’ve got some going out tomorrow and the rest early next week. So I went out to get my check and go to the bank. Scott had told me that he’d forgotten to add the extra money to my check (which, coincidentally, is how he told me he’d given me the raise). He said he could add it to my second check of the month or send me a personal check or whatever. It didn’t matter to me much either way, but when I got to the place where I get my check, Karen, the accountant, told me Scott had sent her the amount but she hadn’t been able to cut the check yet.  She said she could have it ready for me early next week though.  I stopped by the bank then returned home to work, and Scott told me that the check was ready.  Well, I was busy so I didn’t head out for a while.  I finally did get back there a little after 4:00, only to find that they closed at 3:00 on Fridays.  Oh well.

I had lots to do so I ended up working until about 7:00 and still hadn’t finished by that time.  Amanda and I were heading over to Michael’s apartment so I packed up the laptop and we left.  Amanda had forgotten to take Risk, which we were going to play, so she and Michael went back to our house while I did a little work.  They came back with both Risk and the Trivial Pursuit 90’s Edition.  I finally got tired of working so I stopped.

So we played a game of Risk.  Amanda didn’t even want to, but she ended up kicking our butts.  That’s three games I’ve lost in a row, after being undefeated for years, and two of those are at the hand of my own wife.  The problem started at the beginning.  Amanda went for Australia so Michael went for Africa and I went for North America.  Amanda blocked Michael in Africa after she got all of Australia so Michael started spreading up to Europe.  Amanda blocked me in North America then filled up South America.  By this time I was trying to build up my borders.  Michael and I put almost all of our guys in Scandinavia and Iceland.  I was trying to keep him from getting into North America and he was trying to get all of Europe.  Since he wasn’t backing off of there I wasn’t either, although I’d built up a bit of my southern border against Amanda.

So the game started.  Amanda got nine reinforcements her first turn, which was ridiculous in and of itself.  She took out my protective force in southern North America.  Michael went next and was able to beat me out of Iceland, although I did roll decently well against him. By the time I got to start I was the only person who only got three reinforcements and I didn’t have any areas left with more than one guy in it.

Long story short, Amanda spread through Asia and killed us both.  I think she took Michael out first though.  I’m not sure though as my Fantasy Football draft had started at 8:45.  I joined a league run by Josh Sawyer, my other brother-in-law.  Michael helped me out a bit with my picks.  Okay, Michael helped me out completely.  By that time we were just rolling defensively to get the game over with.  After that game, and after my draft, Amanda wanted to play Trivial Pursuit, so we started that.  At the same time we were watching The Forty Year-Old Virgin, so we weren’t totally paying attention to the game.  Amanda started out really well.  by the time Michael’s friend Chris Flowers got to the apartment Amanda had three pies to my two.

Chris was in town because he and Michael are going to see a show tomorrow night.  Chris got in around 10:30, having made good time from Charlotte through some rain.  We all packed into the Jetta and headed out to Wild Wing Cafe during a very impressive lightning show.  The lightning, I mean, was really cool.  There were sharp bright fingers of it jabbing clearly and largely from the sky all over the place.

Chris and his wife, Erica, had bought me and Amanda dinner when we went to Charlotte a few months ago for Andra’s graduation, so we took care of his dinner tonight.  It was actually not bad- we paid for everyone (Michael had left his wallet and paid us back after we got back to his place) and everyone had a drink too, and with tip it was only $41.  Amanda and I did split a meal, but it was still a good deal.  We all had a good time sitting out on the porch just talking and hanging out.  eventually the conversation turned to people and events from when they were all kids, which lost me a bit, but the same thing happens when I get together with my friends, so I didn’t mind so much.  You see, the Mercers and the Flowers used to do literally everything together, so they had all kinds of things to talk about.

There was a cover band playing inside.  I noticed that the guitar player was one of the guys who plays at Port City Community Church.

We got back to Michael and watched a little more fo The Forty year-Old Virgin.  I was getting really tired so Amanda and I headed on home.

Zach Dotsey