This was a present, a Christmas card they called it, from the Port City Community Church staff to the churchgoers that greeted us this morning. It’s amazing. It was all done in one continuous shot. Nick Warkentien (who appears screen left at 1:04 and towards the bottom right in the last big staff shot) told us it took several hours and eight takes. The guy at the beginning is Mike Ashcraft, our preacher.

As I hear it, it was conceived by the interns, two of whom, Joey Connelly and Parrish Stikeleather, can be seen at 1:13.  They’re the same guys who shot the short film Toast that I posted a while back.  They’re amazingly talented.

The whole service was good and I can’t wait until the Christmas Eve service.

Amanda and I sat next to Mike and Kaitlyn Boscaljon, who have decided they’re heading up to Raleigh on Tuesday instead of way early on Wednesday, for their trip back home.  Definitely can’t blame them.  I’d rather not have to leave for RDU at 4am too.

After church Amanda and I spent a bunch of time cleaning up the house.  My office, while still not perfect, looks much better now.  Amanda vacuumed and steam cleaned my old office, which is going to be the baby’s room.  Amy Warkentien came by to work on some more jewelry and I went to work on the upstairs bathtub.

You may recall that the upstairs bathtub was discovered to have a leak.  Well, it wasn’t actually a leak- a gasket was not properly where it should have been and when the shower was turned on water would back up out behind the shower wall, which lead to a leak in the kitchen ceiling.

I’ve tried a few times to fix it.  The biggest problem I’ve had is that it’s been nigh impossible to get the plastic part that holds the gasket back onto the copper tube coming out the shower wall.  If I could even get the plastic part on the gasket would get scrunched out of place.  Amanda’s grandfather, Earl Lemons, got it on at one point and had the shower on without a leak, but he told Amanda it was leaking too much out the bottom of the faucet and took it back off, much to our consternation.  I think I realized today that what he was saying was that once he put the bolt to hold it all together back in it would plug the hole the water was coming out of and continue to leak out the back.

Nick Warkentien got off work at church in time to lend me some moral support.  I was on the phone with Don Senick, who is the maintenance supervisor where Amanda works, and he advised sanding the copper tube down until it was shiny and coppery again, possibly sanding the edge of the tube and lathering it down with vaseling before putting the whole assembly back on again.

I could go on and on about what a pain it was and what frustration I went through, but I’ll just say that within a couple attempts of Don’s suggestions I finally got the damn thing working without a leak.  I was pretty excited, but in the way an ancient, stoic warrior would be excited after slaying the enemy’s champion at the end of a battle.  Yes, I was victorious and felt like I’d really given it to that accursed bathtub.  We ran the shower for several minutes (and did so again before Amanda went to bed) just to make sure there was no more leakage.  I even stuck my head up the hole in the kitchen ceiling to make sure.

Nick and I got sucked into watching The Net, which he hadn’t seen before.  I am Legend was coming on after that.  Amanda and I hadn’t seen it yet and Nick wanted to watch it, but we also wanted some food.  Amanda made egg and cheese sandwiches for her and Amy while Nick and I drove to Little Caesar’s to pick up a pizza and cheese sticks.  Nick also got a Pepsi and reminded me how good Pepsi is with pizza.  I figured since it’s so close to Christmas I’d indulge myself and have some too.

We came back, ate and watched I am Legend, although we had seen it was on HBO On Demand, so we watched it on that.  I thought it was a decent movie.  I mean, I don’t understand why he did what he did at the end, but whatever.  I also wish the zombie things hadn’t been CG.  That’s generally an annoyance to me.  They could easily have had actors in makeup for the closeups of the creatures then CG’ed in some of them when they had crowds of them.

The four of us hung out, chatted, watched something on the National Geographic Channel about twins then Amanda went to bed and Nick and Amy left.  They’re heading home (Michigan) on Tuesday, so we probably won’t see them again until they get back.  I hope they have a safe trip and a good time.

Same goes to Mike and Kaitlyn, of course.  Don’t want to leave them out.

Zach Dotsey