Amanda and I went to bed around 10:00 last night. At midnight Harvey was barking, so to make sure he wasn’t about to mess in his crate I went downstairs to let him out. He disappeared around the corner of the house for a minute but I never saw him actually pee or anything, so I decided to lie down on the couch while I gave him some time outside. I eventually let him in with the intent to let him out again, but I was tired and I fell asleep while keeping an eye on him to make sure he wouldn’t pee inside. I was on the long couch with Bruce curled up between my feet under a blanket while Harvey was on the love seat. Around 6:30 Harvey climbed onto the couch next to me and rolled around a bit until he was comfortable, which ended up with his forelegs around my neck so it looked like he was hugging me.

I got up after a bit and fed the animals and went back upstairs. Amanda and I snuggled with Bruce for a bit while Harvey was in his crate. We got up after a bit and left to get breakfast at Atlanta Bread. While there we came up with a list of people to buy Christmas presents for and tried to think of what to get them. Then we looked at a couple places for things to get a few people on our list and actually ended up getting things for everyone but Andra, Jackson and Amanda’s grandparents. All that and it came in pretty far under our expected budget, which was awesome. So yeah, we’re about done Christmas shopping already which means we’ll have more money come Christmastime.

I talked to my dad while we were out. He told me that Pap was back in the hospital. He’s been back and forth between the nursing home and the hospital a bit I think. Currently it’s some sort of infection in his ear that nobody can seem to figure out. I told my dad that every time I got a call from him a part of me was afraid that he was calling with some bad news. He intimated to me that he felt the same way whenever he gets a call from Aunt Terry (who, along with her husband Gypsy, is living with my grandparents right now). Then we talked a little about basketball.

I also talked to Aunt Robbie a little bit this morning and Andra a little later on. She put Jackson on the phone and he just talked and talked before abruptly telling me goodbye. As he was doing that I asked if he wanted to talk to Amanda, whom he’s still calling Mana (as opposed to his early version: Meena) so he talked to her for a minute too. I should say he talked at us, and we weren’t totally sure what he was saying the whole time, but I really liked listening to him.

We went home for a bit after that. We’d been thinking about going to see Across the Universe, a musical using all Beatles songs about some people in the 60s and 70s. We thought it was something Anna and Barry would be interested in seeing, but Barry wasn’t so we went to see it ourselves. (It was dreary and drizzly outside still today, so Amanda didn’t mind foregoing a beach trip for a matinée.) Hours later, I’m still not sure what I thought about it. Stylistic musicals are hard to really peg down, but I will say it was fun trying to pick up on all the different Beatles references throughout the movie. I mean, the obvious thing is that just about all the characters in the movie, major and minor, are named for people in Beatles songs. There are lots of other things, like the rooftop performance broken up by the police, the character Max holding a hammer and earlier being told he looked like he could have killed someone with a hammer (Maxwell’s Silver Hammer) and lots of other things.

We picked up some Smithfields BBQ for dinner then stopped by Michael’s apartment to feed Mooo!. Michael had gone back to Richlands for the rest of the weekend and his roommate wasn’t going to be around. After we got home we caught up on some more TV. While we were doing that I kept checking up on the Duke Blue-White scrimmage, which signifies the beginning of the season to me. It wasn’t on TV so the only way I could keep up with it was by checking the message board. From what I read the incoming freshmen, Taylor King, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler all contributed mightily. It sounds like Greg Paulus, whom I’ve always been behind even during his low points last year, may be challenged for the starting point guard position. As good as his shooting is though, maybe he can slide over to the two guard. The only thing is that Paulus, I think, is a proven floor general.

Speaking of sports-related things on the internet, I shuffled my fantasy football team, the Frenzied Fornicators, around a bit. My only kicker, Matt Stover, has a bye this week, and I was short a wide receiver due to byes and injuries, so I dropped a few guys and picked up a few more. I’ve been thinking about trying to trade for a better quarterback since McNabb has, with one exception, done a pretty mediocre job thus far.

Zach Dotsey