The title would have sounded more clever had I separated Outback into two words; then it would sound like there was an inception out back, like in the backyard.  But really I’m just describing the date night Amanda and I had.

I had asked Karen last night how long she was staying, thinking she might want to watch Milly while Amanda and I went out.  She was planning on going home this evening, but while she and Amanda were out she told Amanda out of the blue that she’d watch Milly so we could go out tonight.  That was mighty nice of her.

So we went out.  I finished working a little early and we caught the last matinée of Inception, which I’ve been dying to see because everyone and their brother has been talking about what an awesome movie it is on Twitter and Facebook.  And it was, naturally.  Afterwards Amanda and I went to have dinner at Outback.  I got what I’ve gotten every single time I go to Outback since high school, sans the cheese fries and Chocolate Thunder from Down Under.

We had a nice time, although we had some stress getting to each destination.  We left the house leaving only about ten minutes to get to the theater.  We actually would have beat the start of the trailers, but a guy pulled into the straight-and-turning lane right in front of us, preventing us from taking a very open right on red.  And then, driving through Mayfaire, people just didn’t seem to want to go.

After the movie we were originally going to eat at Olive Garden because Amanda had a gift card for it, but she couldn’t find it in her wallet.

Like I said, we had a nice time, even though we spent a big portion of our time during dinner discussing a vexing problem at work.  When we got home Milly was already in bed and Karen took off.  We watched Friday Night Lights and Whale Wars before heading upstairs.

In other news, I just finished reading my very first electronic book last night.  At Scott’s suggestion, I downloaded the iBook ap for my iPhone.  A lot of classic literature is available for free download on it, so I got a number of things, including Peter Pan.  I’ve always wanted to read Peter Pan, and I really enjoyed it.  It had some pretty dark and almost sinister parts to it, but it was also very whimsical and funny.

Anyway, I used to scoff at the idea of reading a book on a phone, but it had some definite perks.  You could take it anywhere and you could always pick up right where you left off without having to worry about losing your bookmark.  You can read in the dark, too, since the screen is backlit.  Every night when I got in bed I would turn the contrast way down low, so as to not possibly bother Amanda, and read until I was tired.

I’m not ready to give up on books yet, but the experience was definitely better than I thought it would be.  It’s kind of like my (and many people’s) thoughts on texting a while back: It’s a stupid fad; why bother typing messages to a person on a phone when you can call them just as easily?  Well, I text pretty regularly now, because it certainly has a place.

Anyway, I spent most of my day working while Amanda and Karen went out to Costco and then… hm, I can’t remember the main place they went the second time they went out.  They did stop by Toys R Us and Lowe’s though, to pick up a sandbox and 150 pounds of sand.

Wait a second, you might say.  Didn’t you say just a few days ago that your yard is basically sand?  And don’t you live near the beach anyway?  So what’s the point of a sandbox?

Well, Milly enjoys running her hands through it, we don’t get to go to the beach all the time and there aren’t (and hopefully won’t be, since there’s a cover) ants running all through the sandbox.

She got to play in it tonight when Karen was watching her.  Karen ended up putting the baby pool next to it so Milly could go back and forth, and she said Milly had a great fun time.

Here’s one thing that pleasantly surprised me today.  The sand came in 50 pound bags, and anytime someone mentions a 50 pound bag I immediately think of the feed store my parents used to own that I worked at for five years.  I used to haul all kinds of 50 pound bags around, whether it was animal feed or soil or whatever else.  I’d often throw two bags at a time on my shoulders if I needed to (which is why I actually had nice shoulders back in the day), so I thought I’d grab two bags of sand today, expecting them to be pretty heavy.  They actually felt much lighter than I expected them to be, which I thought was kinda cool.

The ladies put off painting the steps.  They read on the paint can that the windows and doors should be open while the paint is drying, so they figured it wouldn’t be good for Milly.  I think it’s being put off until the fall now.

In still other news, which I guess it’s okay to talk about now, Seth, Dana and Gavin Holloman are moving.  He got a new job in Raleigh and Dana got a temp job in Kansas.  They’ll be apart for a few months, but Seth said there’s no issue there; they’re both just being offered really good money.  I talked to Seth about it yesterday after Dana told Amanda via Facebook that she’d gotten her job in Kansas.  I told Seth that Gavin was Milly’s #1 boyfriend choice and that she’d be heartbroken.

In other news, which isn’t really news but more of an anecdote, I almost ran out of gas today.  I was in Karen’s van on my way to pick up my paycheck, driving that great white box because all the girls were going out while I was gone and it was better than having to remove, install, re-remove and re-install the car seat.  Anyway, last time I used the van, I think for just the same purpose and reason, the gas light had come on and when I called about it (because I couldn’t find a switch to open the gas tank cover; because there was none though it looked like there should be), Karen said she usually just went by the gas miles display.  Well, I was told this time that the van had 42 miles of gas left in it, so I didn’t worry about it.

So there I was, chugging along down Oleander, chatting with my buddy Jason on the phone and sipping on a McDonald’s wild berry smoothie (which I had just picked up for free with a coupon) and suddenly the gas pedal wasn’t doing anything, or at the most it was doing very little.  It seemed to go alright when I pumped it, but I definitely wasn’t going as fast as I should have been.

So I dropped my call with Jason, threw on the hazard lights and managed to make it to a gas station, where I put a little gas in the tank.  I thought for a moment I was going to be stranded (though I wouldn’t have had to walk all that far, which is good because Amanda had her phone in the diaper bag and couldn’t hear the ringing ) when I tried to call her.

Zach Dotsey