Sunday, December 02, 2007

A “Graphic Saga”

I have no idea why I put myself through this once a month. It seems the service NEVER goes without a glitch. I like to think I’m calm under pressure – and in some cases I am. But I prefer to be prepared than to practice “calm in the midst of a storm”.

Every Tuesday there’s a music, audio, and graphics rehearsal before the service. Not everyone on the graphics team chooses to go. But I do. Religiously. The words for the songs are notoriously never on the slides to match the sheet music and the way the Praise Band sings them. And there’s always some new “something” to be considered. Rehearsals save my butt – and make it easier to deal with all the other last minute “stuff” that pops up.

However, I have been unable to attend a single rehearsal this fall, because of class. Except the October rehearsal. And that was traumatic enough that I seriously thought about giving up being a part of the team.

First the wireless wasn’t working. When I got that up and running, I couldn’t get into the song catalogue because they hadn’t renewed the subscription yet. Of course, they decided to radically change the order of worship that week and the arrangement of the songs.

It . was . frustrating.

And I’m sure they were frustrated with me, because I am not the best sport when my world isn’t well ordered. I figure if I take time out of my schedule to do something … to make sure everything runs smoothly … and makes everyone else look good … then they should make sure it goes smoothly for me too.

This week, I purposely did not put off the graphics to the last minute (like 9:00 pm on Saturday night). So when my computer wouldn’t load the graphic software? I told myself I wasn’t going to panic until 7:00 pm. And even then, I knew there were still options available – to get the job done.

To quote the Praise Band Director (who's also in IT), "We love to watch you panic ... you are so fun, but you always come through in the end." I told him I thought I was the poster child for "World's Worst Christian Attitude" when I have to deal with stuff "on-the-fly" or "at-the-last-moment" at church. He just laughed.

I swear, I think he and God are sadists.

But I got the display problem that was preventing the program from loading worked out – and I was confident as I walked into the final rehearsal this morning.

I was still fine when the Minster decided to insert last minute video. No problem when the Music Director forgot to tell me there's a soloist for the communion song. I make a slide on the fly. Then as we look at the Advent Communion Slides, the minister decides to “edit them” for brevity, plus the font was too small. No problem. I turn on my laptop, fire up PowerPoint (2007 which I haven’t used yet), edit the slides, resize the font (which necessitates creating MORE slides), and then save it to my jump drive and get it inserted into the program on the church computer. I even manage to get the countdown video started EXACTLY five minutes before the service. I pat myself on the back. Everything is ready to go. Dare I say it? It was PERFECT.

Until the freeze.

What is a freeze? It is to stop suddenly and remain motionless; to halt.

Yep, the freakin' mouse FROZE. In the middle of the service. As in the blasted batteries in the mouse DIED, rendering the mouse impotent! And where does it all go haywire? At the beginning of the 3rd song. It takes the whole song and most of the scripture reading before we can find the batteries ... and where are they? Why of course! Up on the stage. 'Cause you know, that's a convenient location when the sound and video is at the BACK of the hall. *sigh*

I got them switched out in time to catch the last verse of the scripture. The video insert for the sermon started PERFECTLY on time … and there were no other problems.


Or did your mouse freeze when you were directing my life this morning? Let’s not let this episode repeat again, m’kay?

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