I slept pretty well last night and actually ended up getting out of bed a few minutes before the alarm went off.   Bruce didn’t get up, and he’s usually ready to go right outside and pee at the slightest movement that early in the morning.  As it was, he decided to wait until I was about to walk out the door to do so.

When I got up I glanced at my e-mail and saw one from Terry, Amanda’s mom’s cousin. So based on that e-mail, I’d like to make an apology.  I reported a bit ago that her son, Ryan, is going to become a father.  I didn’t think much about the way I worded everything, so Terry was afraid of the light I cast the family in. My apologies to anyone who took things negatively. Also, I’d said that the due date was March 13th, it’s the 15th.  And Gregg, Terry’s brother, was going to be a grandfather before he, well, before that whole deal, so the next generation has already started. I didn’t know any of Gregg’s kids had had kids.  Amanda was the one who pointed out to me that we wouldn’t be the first on this side of the family either, but I guess she either didn’t know or didn’t think about that.

Anyway, this is my official apology to Terry, Ryan and his girlfriend and anybody in the family I might have offended. I’m not one to go back and change past things I’ve written, but I’ve taken off what I originally wrote until I can go back and write it up a bit better.

For the record, Terry didn’t come off as angry, rather she sounded concerned.

So, even though I didn’t have to help unload any trucks or carry equipment at church today, getting everything ready was a little stressful. We couldn’t find everything we needed at first and the rack we record the services to was at the church offices for the first service. The second went better, except that the whole thing wasn’t recorded- I assume I didn’t tell it to record long enough, but the third service went peachy.

Amanda went to the first service and sat with Kyle and Lorin Van Zandt. Lorin’s brother and his girlfriend were there, and he he and his family do the video production at Calvary in Winston-Salem, so he was curious about our setup and what equipment and programs we use. I was happy to show him around a little and introduce him to Evan.

While I was back in the dungeon, which is what some of us call the room where the switcher and audio equipment is set up (because it’s small and windowless and the lights are out while we’re working, or at least that’s how I like it) Mike Ashcraft, the preacher, came back to talk to us. He asked what we, that would be me and the sound guy, whom I’ve worked with before but I can’t remember his name right now, do for a living. We talked a bit and I came around to showing him my iPhone. I guess he hadn’t had much of a chance to play with one yet, because he was blown away with it. (Of course, it is an impressive piece of machinery.) His wife, Julie, said I was in trouble for showing it to him because he’s a phone junkie. Evan took a look at it during the 12:30 service too, and he was pretty impressed as well.

Oh, speaking of Mike, he did something else that I thought was really cool. When I direct I generally set up the studio cameras in the back. He apparently had tried to get started on them, and when he saw I was working on them he asked what he could do to help. I think that’s such a cool thing, that the preacher, who is busy with so many things on a Sunday morning, took the time to ask if he could help set up the cameras. I asked him if he’d set them up before and he said he hadn’t, so I smiled and told him not to worry about it- they don’t take too long anyway. He asked if I was sure and I told him he could go help someone who needed it more. I didn’t say it in a haughty or dismissive way, as that might have come across here, but either way I was impressed, as I have been before, by how much he puts into this church.

He apparently knows my name too. Well, not apparently. After church everything had to be taken apart, packed back up and loaded into the trucks. As I was leaving after that he called out, “Bye, Zach!” I mean, I’ve seen Mike a lot, in and out of church, but I didn’t know he knew my name. The negative side to that was that I hoped he didn’t think I was skipping out. All the stuff I knew anything to do with was packed and sitting in front of the truck to be loaded. There were a bunch of people loading the truck, so I thought I’d be in the way as much as anything else, so I decided to take off after saying bye to the other production people.

Speaking of other production people, Mike Paschal, who usually runs us production peons, was out of town on vacation in New York. I think the lack of smoothness had a bit to do with that, but Rachel really did a great job of holding things together. I complimented her several times on it because I think she was about to lose her head, but I felt she was doing a good job in a stressful situation. Evan was a very good producer, too.

Oh, another thing. The reason we had to pack up this week was that somebody had stolen something from the stuff that was left there at Roland-Grise Middle School where we hold our church. Another week and school would be back in session and we’d have to build up and tear down anyway, but it would have been nice to be able to skip doing that one more week.

I got home and laid on the floor while Amanda worked on the thing she’s been working on. She was working upstairs in the office and watching the movie Just Friends on HBO. The movie wasn’t anything special, but it held my attention. We made plans to go over to Adam and Renee’s, so we left after a bit. Adam had me get a PlayStation II Guitar Hero guitar for him from eBay and it came in this week, so I was taking it over there to him. On top of that, he and Renee had gotten a little black kitten and wanted to introduce it to Bruce, hopefully to socialize it and get him used to dogs. Renee was making pork chops too, so Amanda and I picked up a small cake from Lowe’s Food and went on over there.

Adam surprised me by turning on Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, an expansion that didn’t come out for the Xbox 360. He’d rented it from Blockbuster when he and Renee had gone out just a bit earlier. Since he now had two guitars (he’ll be returning his old one) we played some co-op, alternating who played lead and who played bass, then we played a duel versus mode, which was a lot of fun. Adam is definitely better than I am, even though I won one of the two duels we had. Actually, in the one I won he had a better percentage of the notes, but I had a higher score, probably due to my much better longest streak of notes.

The cat is cute. It’s all black and very small and skinny. They’re still deciding on a name for it. One of the lead names is T’Challa, which is the name of the comic book hero The Black Panther. Adam had called me and asked me his name the day they got the kitten, although he didn’t tell me the reason. Renee is also leading towards Mr. Meowface. It could end up being either one of those or neither.

I’d talked to Mom about going to the Bodies Exhibition next week at the Streets at Southpoint in Durham. At this point we’ve just about got enough people possibly going to qualify for a group discount. It’ll be me and Amanda, Amanda’s parents, my parents, Ben and Jessica Lambeth, Michael Mercer, possibly Adam Dotsey and Renee Sikes, plus maybe Andra, Josh and Jackson Sawyer. We’d just need two more people.

I was reminded of the Perseid Meteor Shower just a bit ago, which has been going on this weekend. I went outside to look up at the sky. It’s dark enough out here I think, but there are too many trees. I thought I saw one meteor, but I was starting to feel bugs on me in the dark, so Bruce and I came back inside. I think Barry said yesterday that there are supposed to be about fifty an hour.

It was announced tonight that Merv Griffin has died of prostate cancer at the age of 82. He’s probably best known for creating Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and his show; The Merv Griffin Show. I didn’t know this, but he was also the singer who sang I Have a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts.

Zach Dotsey