I had a plan for work today. I was going to start out doing a small update I’ve been wanting to do since Friday (it’s not needed until the end of the month, but still), then figure out a nagging issue for another client, then call everyone with seriously past due balances. Between several small updates that came in and a newsletter issue, I didn’t get the first item done until after I took a lunch, took care of a few other issues and phone calls then got around to the second around 4:30. Scott sent out late notices, which gave me a chance to put off the third item.

I talked to Andra today. She asked me to send her some pictures from her graduation, so I put them online later and sent her the link. In the course of our conversation she told me that Josh said Jackson’s favorite uncles are me and the brother of Josh’s who lives in Greensboro. He used to live there in Gastonia with them, so that’s okay. My little sister also told me that she recently asked Jackson if he wanted to go see somebody-or-other, and Jackson told her “No, I wanna go see Zach. I wanna go see Mana.” That’s Amanda, for those who couldn’t figure it out. She’s no longer Mina, which was a name I liked.

One of the many flowers Amanda has planted over the past few weeks | Zach DotseyOnce “Mina” got home she went to work in the yard and set me to it too. She and some of her co-workers had gone to Lowe’s on their lunch break and Amanda had bought some dirt. Loser. Spend your lunch buying dirt? Anyway, there were several plants Karen Mercer, Amanda’s mom, had brought with her this weekend that she said needed to be planted soon, so we planted all but a few. The rose bush and the hydrangea we planted yesterday are doing well.

We were planting one bush (forgot what kind now) in front of one of the backyard pine trees and when I started digging I hit a pretty heavy root system. Amanda, who was over by the other pine tree (the one in the middle of the yard) said we could always plant it somewhere else. As I walked across the yard towards the wooden shed to get the clippers, I asked Amanda what my most charming and consistent quality is and she said it was that I was stubborn. I told her she was correct, and on the way back I told her I thought it was sweet that she thought my most charming and persistent quality is my stubbornness. Shortly thereafter I tossed the largest root I was digging up in her direction in triumph.

We got inside and grabbed little bites to eat then set to watching last week’s Smallville season finale. I actually thought it was quite good. Decent action, lots of cliffhangers and a couple reveals. Maybe Chloe died, which would suck because she’s always had a thing for Clark and he should really go out with her (forget Jimmy Olsen!). Plus I think Alison Mack is cute in an ordinary sort of way. And Clark finally told Lana everything about himself, but then she seemingly got blown up. My guess is she faked it and jumped into the truck that was passing by, obscuring our vision.

By the time we finished the season final of Smallville, American Idol’s final sing-off of the season had been on for about fifteen minutes. The consensus was that Blake performed better, but Jordin outsang him. In all fairness, the third song they sang, one of the dopey hope-inspired American Idol finals fare (this year chosen by fans from a selection of lyrics submitted by ordinary people) was not at all something you’d ever normally hear Blake sing. Plus, in my opinion, the background singers didn’t sound right with him. Based on all that, my prediction is that Jordin will win. At seventeen years old, she’s already the youngest contestant to make it to the American Idol finals, and she’ll be the youngest to win it. Blake’s probably better off not winning anyway, since the kinds of songs the producers put out for the winners are much more suited to Jordin. Then again, Blake gets a contract too, I believe, so it’ll be interesting to see what they do with him.

After American Idol went off we watched The Lot, a reality show about aspiring filmmakers. I was intrigued as to how they’d pull off something like it. The first competition they had was for all the contestants to pitch the judges (Carrie Fisher, Brett Ratner and and Garry Marshall- all of whom, I just noticed, have letters repeating themselves in their first names, and so I’d never be invited to judge The Lot) based on a scenario the contestants were given. The second round, which they left off on, had directors in groups of three making a short film in 24 hours. As I predicted to Amanda, there was a lot of headbutting in the groups. Directors, especially those out to prove themselves, don’t generally work well with other directors.

Amanda went to bed after The Lot. Michael had gone out to see 28 Weeks Later, which I thought about going to see despite my friend Jason Revill’s terrible review. Michael quite liked it, and even liked it better than the first, but the reasons he liked it better are reasons Jason didn’t like it (and he and I really liked 28 Days Later).

While Amanda was in bed and Michael was out I worked on getting some achievements on Guitar Hero II. I got a couple, and was working on getting the one where you get a five-star rating on all the Easy level songs. The Primus song kicked my butt for a long time, so I figured, as it was getting late, that I could finish up later.

Zach Dotsey