Happy birthday, Amanda Mercer Dotsey!  My wife is now 28 years old.

Don's Room of Black Balloons by Billy Supplee | Zach Dotsey The thing Amanda stayed late to do yesterday was to help some people at work blow up several hundred black balloons for Don, the maintenance supervisor at her workplace.  Don’s an awesome guy and he shares Amanda’s birthday.  He turned 40 today, and last night they filled his office, literally half-full, with black balloons.  The balloons came up high on Amanda’s chest and, as the picture shows, almost covers Don while sitting in a chair.  (Thanks for the pictures, Billy!  I meant to suggest to Amanda that she take our camera to work today, but I fell back asleep before I could get it out this morning.)

Our economic stimulus package came in today.  This year everyone who filed a tax return and meets certain criteria (like not being a dependant) received money from the government.  As a married couple Amanda and I got a nice chunk of change.  Personally, I don’t know if it’s a good idea for the government to just throw money out to people.  I get the idea for it, but I don’t know if it’s enough to really get the economy back on track.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to have it and with it I might actually get my birthday present now (a 70-200 f2.4 lens for my camera), or Amanda and I might get the anniversary gift we wanted to get (a PlayStation3 for the Blu-Ray player capability), but a lot of people I know will use it to pay bills.

I did a little running around today and took Bruce along with me.  I shouldn’t have because it was hot outside and the AC in my car doesn’t seem to be working properly (use the money on that?) so he was panting before too long, but as I was walking out the door he really looked like he wanted to go with me, so I took him.

As I was turning on my car after going to the bank I heard a honk and saw that my very own brother-in-law had pulled up next to me.  He was cashing a check and was about to go get Amanda’s birthday present from Old Navy but he wasn’t 100% sure what she wanted so I went with him over there.  We were going to grab lunch at PT’s, but like I said, Bruce was panting a bunch and I wanted to get him on home.  I went ahead and picked up a cold cut combo from Subway (as opposed to the meatball sub I used to usually get) and still had to stop by the other bank to drop off the mortgage check.  I had to wait forever in there.  That reminds me, when we went to Old Navy we had to wait for a while in a line then when we were the next in line the girl told us that what she was doing (an exchange maybe?) was going to take a while and we’d probably want to get into another line, so we had to start all over in another line.  It was annoying that other people who hadn’t been waiting nearly as long saw and heard that but didn’t make any concession.  Anyhoo.

I went back home and worked.  Michael came by the house a little before 5:00 with his laundry and a bag for Amanda’s birthday including the hoodie shirt he got her (we almost got a white one but she called me and I asked, and she wanted a navy one) and the latest Gavin DeGraw CD.  After I finished working we played a little HORSE.  I won the first one HORSE to H and I think I won the second one (I think HORSE to HORS) but Michael won the last won right as Amanda was pulling up to the house.

We straightened up a little then waited for people to arrive.  David Sapp, who apparently read my thing about legal boobs yesterday and checked out the pictures from the beach from last weekend (I’m still amazed when people tell me they read this crap), was the first to arrive (second counting Michael), followed by Mike and Kaitlyn Boscaljon.  Justin and Lisa Hauenstein came by just a little later and Kyle and Lorin Van Zandt arrived stylishly late, although Dave told them that stylish was about fifteen minutes earlier.

Amanda Dotsey's 28th Birthday | Zach Dotsey Dave made some martinis for us all.  They tasted like coffee ice cream.  I don’t care for coffee but that’s mostly because of the aftertaste.  This didn’t have the aftertaste and was really good.  After we’d all had some drink we lit up the new fire pit and roasted some s’mores out back on the patio.  Dave came up with the idea to put some of the lacquer he was using for the martinis on the marshmallows which sort of caramelized them.  Then Lorin one-upped him and stuffed some chocolate up her marshmallow and roasted it that way.  I tried to do that but I’d split my marshmallow too much in doing it and it fell apart.

We all hung outside for a bit then went inside and played Blake’s Game.  As usual, the guys won.  To make the teams even we gave the girls Dave (I really am mentioning him a lot, aren’t I?) which is good for them because he seemed to get most of their points.

Everyone headed out after that and Amanda and I watched Lost before she ended the first day of her twenty-eighth year.

She had a good birthday, I think.  We had a nice little party, she had lunch with Anna and Hannah yesterday, she was taken to the Real Cafe for lunch and has some leftover cheesecake from Sweet & Savory in the fridge that Laura, her boss, got for her.  All in all, despite the terrible traffic she faced in getting home because of work being done on one of the bridges downtown, I think it was a nice one.

In the news, there were terrible storms across the state last night.  There was one death and a lot of destruction in the Triad, which is the area around Greensboro and Winston-Salem.  I meant to call Ben and Jessica Lambeth, who live in Lewisville, and Annie and Rick Titus, who live in Greensboro, to make sure everything was alright for them.