I was a bit irritable when I woke up this morning.  I wanted to sleep a few more minutes when the alarm went off, but she used the excuse (that she always does) that she has to get up earlier every other day of the week.  I told her to just set the alarm back a few minutes and we could both take showers at the same time, since we do have two bathrooms, but she said that when she sets the alarm back it still goes off every five minutes.  I grudgingly got up and got over it.

Bruce smells funny right now.  I can smell him under the blanket next to me on the couch.  He tends to like to rub in smelly things he finds in the yard.  I know for a fact that I’ve seen him rub himself on a dead frog before.  Maybe to other dogs it makes him sexier, but all it makes me think of is that I’ve got to make sure to give him a bath tomorrow.

Today at Port City Community Church (PC3) the lesson was about servitude, which of course was tied in to volunteerism.  All the volunteers were wearing blue shirts, I guess so people will see people to talk to about getting involved in the multitude of volunteer opportunities at PC3, but also, I think, to show how many volunteers it takes to run the church every week.

Afterwards Amanda and I went out to eat with Kyle and Lorin Van Zandt at Sweet and Savory.  We stayed there for a while after breakfast was done just talking about all sorts of things.  When we left, Amanda and I went to Sam’s Club to pick up some things for us and for next week’s Topsail Island Labor Day Weekend.

Speaking of that, Amanda and I (and Michael if he rides with us) will be the first to arrive at Topsail next week.  We’ll be picking up the keys for the houses Amanda’s extended maternal family will be staying in.

After Sam’s we went to Lowe’s, which was in the same parking lot, to look at some plumbing supplies.  The water in the upstairs sink has become so backed up that if you brush your teeth before you get in the shower it won’t have finished draining by the time you get out.  It was bad.  I called Josh Sawyer, my other brother-in-law, who actually is a plumber, to get some advice on the best way to clean it out.  He told me exactly what i didn’t want to hear, which was that I’d need to take apart the pipe under the sink and clean that out.  We picked up a little plastic thing with barbs on it designed to help clean out drains and then went to look at some chairs.

We’ve been thinking about getting new patio chairs to go with the new patio table for a while.  Amanda had seen some at Lowe’s that were the exact same as the ones used at Sweet and Savory.  She liked them and they happened to be 50% off since the summer season is coming to an end.  I suppose they’ll have Christmas decorations in there next week.  (Read that with a rolling of the eyes.)  Anyway, we came away with four chairs at $20 a pop.  They weren’t too large so we figured we’d be able to fit them into the trunk or backseat of the car, but of course that didn’t happen.  Amanda called Anna to see if they’d mind helping us out with that later on and Anna said she would.

We went home and unpacked the stuff from Sam’s.  I went upstairs and took the pipe apart beneath the sink, which wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it’d be.  There was some muck in it, and it was a bit nasty, but it wasn’t clogged up, so I proceeded to play with the drain cleaner thing we’d bought.  Now that did the trick.  The stopper make a cross inside the tube and I had a bit of a time getting it down each quarter, but I did eventually pull up a bunch of gunk and hair.  The drain works perfectly now.

I then turned my attention to the bathtub, with was also a little stopped up.  That was a bit nastier.  I got some really big globs of hair and gook then had to pull some of it out with a paper towel and eventually my fingers.  There was a little left in the crosshairs inside the drain when I turned on the water to wash some stuff off my hands and when I looked down the drain, the rest had slipped on down, so I guess I’d gotten enough out that it could slip on down the drain.  Not that I wanted to wash any of the rest of the gook down the drain, but it does work fine now.  I think.  I just let it run for a little bit, but the shower doesn’t usually back up right away like the sink did.

Having done my manly work for the day, I decided to take a short nap.  Amanda woke me up after a bit, around 3:00 I think, and we went out to the beach.  Amanda laid out a bit and I got in the water.  It was a bit cooler than yesterday, but still by no means cold.  The waves were pretty rough too.  I had a nice time swimming around a bit.  We didn’t stay out too long though; we were planning on heading in when we felt a few raindrops anyway.

Back at the Frazelle household we talked to Hannah and her boyfriend, Christian, whom we talked with a bit before we had gone out.  They and Anna and Barry were all about to head out.  The former to Barnes and Noble, the latter to pick up our chairs.  We were all going to meet up for dinner, but the young ‘uns decided they weren’t very hungry later on.

We got the chairs at Lowe’s and Anna went in to get the tool we had gotten for the drains.  Having two long-haired girls, their drains were a bit clogged as well.  Anna and Barry had also talked about getting some orange parking cones (for when they needed their parking space, as it’s a very popular place for friends and friends of friends to park) and I picked up some air vent filters.  My dad, when Amanda and I moved into the house, had advised me to pick up a pack of filters each time I went to Lowe’s or Home Depot.  I wish I had followed that advise, because we’ve been out of filters for a while now.  I’ll try to follow it from here on out.

We met back up with Anna and Barry at PT’s Grille then went out to our place to unload the chairs.  Barry mentioned listening to Wilco, so I told him he should give The Old 97’s another try if he liked that.  I’d made him a mixed CD a while back and included some of that on it, but he thought it was too country.  While I classify The Old 97’s as alt-country, they’re definitely not just country.

I changed the filters.  We’ll see if that makes a difference with the power bill.  It’s supposed to.  Actually, our power bill came in the other day, and it was noticeably lower than when Michael was here.  I mean, it’s not like he left lights on all the time or anything, but it seems that having one less person does make a difference.

Amanda played some computer chess while I watched an episode of Flight of the Conchords.  She watched about half of it and I think she was at least mildly amused.  She went to bed watching the Teen Choice Awards, which we both disparaged.  The problem we had was that some of the people nominated for awards were in there for movies that shouldn’t be eligible for the Teen Choice Awards.  I mean, Knocked Up?  Great movie, but it’s R-rated.  Most of the people in the audience at the Teen Choice Awards were obviously under 18, so what did they know about it?

Zach Dotsey