Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Going Live, Birthdays, and Harry Potter

I'm all about seeing the little humors in life, but sometimes I think the big Man Upstairs is taking the joke a little too far - I missed the railcar by seconds again today. Prior to leaving the convent, however, I had vowed to maintain a "rise above it" attitude for the day. So, instead of being grumpy about the lack of transportation, I took the extra time to grab breakfast from Second Cup. One blueberry muffin and 5 minutes later, I was ready and waiting for the railcar and my day.

When I arrived to work, the office was busy with preparations for a live event scheduled for later in the morning. Today is the Feast of The Immaculate Conception, a day in which the Catholic Church celebrates our belief that Mary, the Mother of God, was conceived without original sin. This doctrine is so important to the Church that it's actual considered a national holiday in Europe. The live event we had scheduled was the coverage Rome would be streaming of Pope Benedict's prayer service commemorating the day.

The chapel was converted into a set where two of our correspondents would be seated to commentate on the event before it began, to translate the pope's address as he spoke in Italian, and to give closing comments after the event ended. I was able to observe the correspondents practice their dialogue and interactions before we prepared to go live and I couldn't help but feel nervous for them. A few minutes before we began feed, I slipped into the control room to watch the technical aspect of directing and coordinating everyone to get the final product up on the TV.

It was a stressful 40 minutes - I prayed everything would go well the entire time. Salt + Light doesn't do a lot of live specials on their network, so everyone seemed a bit on edge. Thankfully, their broadcast went smoothly. Another live event is also scheduled for tonight, when Quebec will be hosting...well, I'm actually not sure what their doing. Either way, one of the French correspondents will be covering that event live tonight on the network.

The set that was made in the chapel was also used for the filming of a "Happy Birthday" commercial S+L is making for one of our sister networks in France. I thought the commercial was really cute - Father Rosica said the entire message in French, and at the end of the commercial, the French team of the office came into frame and gathered around him, and then they all sang happy birthday in French.

After the commercial wrapped up, I busied myself with assembling DVDs. Again, the task is simple enough, but I like being busy and having something to do. The process included me assembling the jackets, or sleeves, for the DVD book, placing this into the cover and then putting the correct DVD in. I haven't seen any of the specials S+L has made, but after reading all of the descriptions on the cases, I really want to see them now. FYI - if anyone is looking for Catholic Christmas gifts - I am your connection.

The afternoon was kind of glum. The temperature dropped and everyone seemed like they would much prefer going home and going to sleep - including myself. Again, tea and me were B.F.F.s and somehow I made it through the afternoon.

After work, I went back to the convent to find an empty house. The nuns had gone out to celebrate one of the sister's birthdays and I was free to enjoy my solitude - and Harry Potter. The DVD of the latest Harry Potter movie came out today, and being the nerd that I am, I found a Blockbuster and pre-ordered the movie earlier in the week. When the nuns returned from dinner, I joined in on the celebration and went downstairs to eat some of the lemon meringue pie they had made - it was really good.

All in all, it was a quiet day. I think the excitement of the newness of everything is starting to wear off and "real work mode" is starting to set it. What is exciting is the fact it is supposed to snow tonight. Hopefully I'll wake up to a whiter, more beautiful world.

Sweet dreams,


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