I spent the weekend at Ridgecrest producing one of Lifeway’s Festivals of Marriage. What follows is a running log of my weekend.
Thursday Oct. 9
4:00 pm: Pull out of the Lifeway parking lot. Nashville traffic. Awesome. But the car’s got an aux line in. Now if I only had an 1/8” cable…
4:30 pm: The ankle’s bothering me pretty bad. I don’t know what the deal is. I don’t recall doing anything to it. Pulling off around the Hermitage to get a new wrap, a cuppa and some drugs. And if I pass a Walmart? Perhaps a 1/8” cable…
5:30 pm: Who am I kidding. I got the other stuff 45 minutes ago. I NEED that cable. I’ve got “Growing Up Live” and “Studio 60” and a 6 hour drive ahead of me.
6:00 pm: Back on the road. Was the cable worth two hours? At least the traffic’s thinned out.
7:30 pm: In goes Peter Gabriel’s “Growing Up Live”
7:35 pm: Holy Crap Growing Up Live is brilliant.
7:45 pm: BRILLIANT!!
9:00 pm (eastern): Pulling off in Knoxville for some food. Talk to Shannon for a few minutes. Ankle feels worse. I tell her I might have to go to the doctor when I get back.
10:00ish pm: Have had a religious experience with “Growing Up Live.” Seriously, I found myself wishing we sang Peter Gabriel songs in church. In goes “Studio 60.”
Friday Oct 10
12:00 am: Pull into Ridgecrest. Check-in and see the “Watch out for Bears!” flyer, it makes me chuckle, even though my ankle feel like someone hit it with a sledgehammer. Decline the meal plan. I’m in Black Mountain baby!! My Father’s Pizza! The Madison Inn! The Dripolator! El Camino! Thai Basil! I’m a Black Mountain local!
12:10 am: Two FOM couples check in right after me. In their defense, the room numbering in the Mt. Laurel hotel is bizarre and has absolutely ahnothing to do with floors. But they take the elevator the conference level, where there are no rooms. I look at their room number and tell them where to go. They’ve got a cart so I let them take the elevator without me. Mainly I don’t want them to see me limp. One of them asks me if I’m a “famous christian singer.” I find this bizarre but merely say, “no ma’am, I just work for Lifeway.”
12:15 am: Of course my room is at the end of the hall. I start to laugh the pain is so bad. And perhaps I need to visit the ER in the morning…
12:30 am: I’m giggling like mad because I can’t get my act together as I keep leaving stuff on the opposite side of the room. Grit my teeth and go back down the hall to get some ice.
12:45 am: Icing my ankle doesn’t feel as good as it should. Spend some time writing to give the ice time to work.
2:00 am: Turn off the computer and take the ice off my ankle. Ice didn’t seem to help a bit, but if I can get to sleep it should be fine.
Unspecified time: Awakened by pain in ankle. Can’t find a comfortable position.
5:30 am: Can’t go back to sleep. Take the Gayle Cocktail (4 ibuprofen, 2 acetaminophen. To the makers of Advil & Tylenol (respectively), I’d be happy to give you credit if we can work out some sort of promotional consideration). Manage to drift off to sleep after awhile.
Unspecified time: OW! Cramp! Cramp! In the same calf! Sweet mother Cramp! I can’t stretch it out because I can’t flex my ankle! AHHHH!!
8:00 am: Alarm. There’s no way I’m getting up.
8:45 am: Up, can hardly stand to put weight on it. Hobble to the shower. Call Satterfield to tell him what’s what.
10:00 am: Compromise with Shannon by telling her we’ll find a doctor or nurse at FOM registration to look at it. If it’s bad enough I’ll go to the ER.
10:15 am: Into the Black Mountain Rite Aid to buy a cane. That’s right, I bought a cane while at Ridgecrest. How many people can say that?
10:29 am: The lady at McDonald’s tells me I was the cut-off car for breakfast. Ha HA!! I’m awesome. Suck on that car behind me, I’m gettin’ the last Sausage Mcmuffin!
11:15am: My computer tells me it’s going to take 10 hours to transfer 2 gig worth of Propresenter background files off the Lifeway server. That shouldn’t be a problem at all. (Event starts in approximately 8 hours).
5:30 pm: Haven’t left my chair, ankle one big continuous throb. Spent the last six hours entering songs into Propresenter the hard way. Seriously, this is why we have interns. The network kicks me off about two-thirds of the way through the transfer. I guess that’ll have to do!
6:00 pm: Hobble up to the booth. Putting the show together, finding backgrounds, actors still haven’t shown up, and Mark tells me they have tech cues. The two RCC house guys can’t get the speaker’s mics to work. House opens in thirty.
6:10 pm: Slamming announcement slides into Pro. The tech guys just unplugged the wireless receiver rack and are hoofing it downstairs. Mark is having a panic attack. House opens in twenty.
6:15 pm: I’m barely ready to run media for the night. Actors show up. Mics still not patched. Oh wait, the screens aren’t on.
6:20 pm: Pro freaks out, nothing on screens. I’m having a panic attack now. Mics still not patched. House opens in ten.
6:22 pm: Get the screens working. Sound is a crapshoot. Mark has clumps of hair in his hands.
6:25 pm: Restart my computer. Screens go black while this happens. Mark about loses it until I tell him that was supposed to happen. Mics still not patched. House opens in five.
6:30 pm: House opens. Slides and preshow music roll. Mark brings up the drama’s light cues. Mics patched (we hope).
7:00 pm: Go flight. Show starts, people laugh at the video.
7:04 pm: Mark’s mic doesn’t work.
7:07 pm: Here’s a dirty little secret, I’ve never run Propresenter, Media Shout, or Powerpoint for any show or worship service. This is a lot of pressure!! My backgrounds are haphazard, and I discover, too late, that some of them wash the words out! Plus I’ve never worked with this worship leader, and while his notes say what he’s going to do, he doesn’t always follow it. Wait, what’s wrong with those backgrounds? Why are they so glitchy???
7:25 pm: The guy running lights sees something goes wrong with the wireless rack downstairs, so he takes off to fix it right as the drama WITH LIGHT CUES starts. It’s chaos in the booth as the sound guy and I struggle to cover it.
9:00 pm: The carnage is over. Plan time with the techs on Saturday to make sure the sound issues are worked out well in advance. Apologize to Mark, promising it’ll be better then next night. Set an appointment with the speaker in the morning to work out the rest of his slides. Talk with seminar leaders for a bit.
9:45 pm: Say goodnight to Mark, head into Black Mountain for food. Talk with Shannon, who’s working a puzzle with Jacob. Don’t want to wait at My Father’s for pizza. Get some Taco Bell. Head back to RCC.
10:30 pm: In the room, take the Gayle cocktail, watch “Charlie Bartlet” which I think is pretty decent. Obviously draws from “Ferris Bueller” and “Rushmore” but I like Anton Yeltsin and RD Jr. always great.
Satuday Oct 11
12:45 am: Think about writing. Think better of it. Turn off the light.
7:00 am: Alarm. Ignore
7:45 am: Meeting in forty-five minutes with Speaker. Have to get up.
8:30 am: No time for breakfast. Ankle feels better today. Meet with speaker, get notes for slides.
9:00 am: Make slides, finish entering songs, build show for tonight. Find Sports bar in Asheville to watch football.
11:10 am: I’m late! I’m hungry! I’m getting a caffeine headache! Hobble up to Clouds for a RCC “Starbuck’s” cuppa.
11:30 am: Headed into Asheville for football and wings. This is the one thing I want to do for myself this weekend.
12:00 pm: Pull in to the place right as OU/Texas starts. I’m awesome. And LO! What’s this? .25 wings? .50 oysters? Yes!
12:30 pm: I’m a multitasker. Eat wings, reencode background vids so they’ll play right. Read through a play a friend has asked me to direct. Keep an eye on TX. The Michigan couple next to me is not having a good time.
3:40 pm: Game runs long, no time for a shower. But TX wins, So I’m okay with it.
4:30 pm: Meet the tech guys, who ASSURE me the mics are good to go. Finish reencoding vids. Preselect backgrounds to go with songs. I’m awes.
6:30 pm: Doors open. Mark is much calmer. I am much calmer.
7:00 pm: Service goes off mostly without a hitch. Mostly. Worship leader freestyles a little more tonight.
9:30 pm: Seminar leaders make me feel good by calling Mark out in front of me, asking why I’m not writing this year. Mark takes my cane.
10:00 pm: Tonight it’s Wendy’s. Pushed my lunch too far to go to My Father’s tonight. Of my daily $35 meal allowance I have spent $34.72. I’m awesome.
10:30 pm: Room. Gayle Cocktail. Watch “Redbelt.” Wendy’s forgot the spoon for my Frosty.
Sunday Oct 12
12:30 am: Holy cow. Mamet delivers the goods. Chiwetel Ejiofor rules. Amazing.
7:30 am: Alarm. Up. Shower. Pack. Ankle feels MUCH better today.
8:30 am: Head into Black Mountain for food. I AM GOING TO THE DRIPOLATOR. I CANNOT LEAVE BLACK MOUNTAIN WITHOUT EATING AT ONE OF THE LOCAL PLACES I LOVE.
8:35 am: Dripolator doesn’t take credit cards. Crap.
8:36 am: Turn around, I’ll pay for it out of my pocket.
8:37 am: I don’t have any cash. Crap. Crap. !!
8:38 am: Settle for the gas station. Boo.
8:40 am: A guy approaches me as I get out of the car and asks for change. I offer to take him inside and get him something to eat. He says the owner will call the cops if I do that. I have one dollar. I give it to him.
9:00 am: Back at RCC, finishing slides and backgrounds.
10:15 am: Mark starts the giveaways. A church brought 32 couples. That’s awesome.
11:10 am: Speakers do the “longest married/shortest married” thing. There’s a couple here who’s been married eight days. Wow. Later I find out that a couple has been coming off and on to the FOM for seven years. The guy finally accepted Jesus last night. Amazing.
12:00 pm: It’s all over. We pack it in.
1:30 pm: Texas Roadhouse. We get steaks bigger than our heads.
2:30 pm: Quick stop at the ‘Bux for a cuppa. On the road. Listen to the Mamet commentary track on “Redbelt.” That guy’s the deal. More Studio 60 after that.
7:00 pm (central): Nashville. Lifeway. Home.
2 months ago