Being tired, Amanda and I went upstairs to go ahead and get in bed last night at about twenty or a quarter til midnight. We fell asleep about ten minutes later, woke up after the New Year ball had dropped, gave each other a kiss then went back to sleep.

I usually like to make the first word I speak in the year something of at least a little symbolic import. I was thinking this at 6:45 as I was letting Bruce and Harvey out to pee this morning. Bruce veered off track to go down the hallway instead of towards the back door while and I instinctively called his name to make sure he didn’t try to go to the back to pee on something. So my first word this year was a reprimanding “Bruce.” Oh well.

I played Mass Effect until Amanda got up.  She had plans for the stand her dad is going to build us for the new plasma TV.  We went over it a bit and refined it some before taking a shower and heading out to some Cracker Barrel breakfast and some light Wal-Mart shopping.

Before we left we did a home remedy tip Amanda had read about.  Our upstairs toilet has always had these nasty streaks going down the bowl, and Amanda read that you can soak paper towels in vinegar and place them in the bowl, let them sit for a while and when we remove them it will be cleaner.  We did that right before leaving the house and removed them a couple hours later when we got back, and the results were amazing.  I never thought that toilet could ever be so clean!  We also used some vinegar to wipe away some other spots on it and it now looks brand new.

Amanda’s parents were going to come by in the early afternoon to drop off the table Phil made for us.  Amanda did some light picking up and told me to go play Mass Effect, which was really nice of her.  I’ve really been itching to play the game for more than a few minutes at a time.  It’s a role-playing game on the Xbox 360, but it’s set in space.  It’s a very thought-out game world and after shifting away from the sci-fi paradigm, I realized that at its core it really is just like an other RPG (essentially), it’s just that other RPGs are usually fantasy-based so it’s like I had to look at it from a different angle to realize the similarities.  But it’s a good game.  I’m really digging it so far.

Karen and Phil got here with Paddy (heir Jack Russell) and the table I guess somewhere around 2:00.  Karen wanted to go to a pottery place, so she and Amanda went off to do that.  Amanda was a little reluctant to go, but she indulged her mother.  Phil and I, in the meantime, went out to jump my car, which, you may recall, wouldn’t start yesterday.  The crappy thin little jumper cables I’ve got weren’t doing anything, so I caught our neighbor, Bonnie Narron, as she was heading out and borrowed her cables.  At first nothing really happened, but whether it was because we moved the positive part to the actual terminal (as opposed to one sticking up out from under all the mess covering the battery, which is much easier to get to) or because we had the thicker cables on there for a few minutes, the engine finally turned.

Phil and I then went to the grocery store.  He picked up some beer while I unloaded all of the cardboard and plastic from the TV and surround sound system into the recycling bins.  On the way back I went up and down all but one of the streets in our neighborhood to make sure the car got enough charge.  As something to do while driving the car, I decided to count the number of houses in the neighborhood with the same design as ours.  There were seven, including ours, although I didn’t go down Knotty.  I don’t think any of the others had a front porch, but some had a bonus room off of what is our living room and some had chimneys.  It would be nice to have both of those, but if I had to pick out of those options, I like the porch.

When we got back to the house we watched some football and waited for the ladies to come home.  When they did Amanda made some of her white chili.  Michael got off work and came over to join us all for dinner.

I decided I’d go back to not drinking soda again as one of my 2008 New Year’s Resolutions.  My stipulation was that I’d not drink any more after the coke we got free with our pizza last night was done.  Well, Michael finished off the last of it, so I didn’t have to worry about it, which means I can just not have any all year (and hopefully beyond).  There was a span of a couple years where I didn’t drink any soda at all (with a few pick-me-up exceptions), so it will be nice to get back to that.

After everyone left Amanda caught up on her Days of Our Lives episodes while I played Mass Effect.  And that was our first day of 2008.

Zach Dotsey