Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm baaaaack!

I'm baaaaack! Didja miss me? I have a good excuse for not blogging for (gasp!) an entire week! OK, well maybe it's not a good excuse, but it is an excuse...

Lexi had her cheer showcase last Sunday at which point I took the last pictures and video tape for the cheer season. Then I began to work on putting all the pictures and video clips together to make a DVD of the girls' highlights. I needed to have the video done by the end-of-season banquet yesterday so I could give copies to all the girls on the squad and the two absolutely awesome high school coaches who donated their time and talent to teach our girls. Seriously, these coaches were so incredibly terrific that all the cheerleaders were crying as they said goodbye to the coaches at the banquet yesterday because they're going to miss them so much.


So, I was busy working on this video, editing pictures, cutting video segments, and choosing music for the video. I went through the collection of music on my iPod and picked out a couple songs to use in the video. I asked Savannah what she thought about my song choices. She quickly browsed my library of music and said, "Seriously, Mom? Seriously???" She rolled her eyes and said something along the lines of, "You don't have any non-old people music!" She took out her own iPod and played song after song for me, telling me which ones would be good for the cheer video. Thanks to her, I now have non-old people music on my iPod by such legends as Lady Gaga, Iyaz, Ke$ha, and Miley Cyrus (or is it Hannah Montana?) I don't even know how to pronounce these names! How exactly does one pronounce a dollar sign?

Although I've taught myself how to make a video with Windows Movie Maker and consider myself fairly savvy, I had no idea how to get music from my iTunes library over to WMM.

After messing around for hours, I finally figured out I could put the cheer songs into a playlist, burn a CD with them, then rip the CD and import into WMM. <---does that sound like Chinese to anyone else? There's gotta be an easier way to do that, but alas, I couldn't figure it out. In the end, I got my music, pictures, and videos organized and started arranging them. I worked on it for a couple more hours then saved the project and went to bed.

The next evening, when I tried to open the project to work on it, it was nowhere to be found. Argh! My computer geek friend (always good to have computer geek friends!) said he could probably retrieve it for me, but I knew I couldn't wait until I had time to have him look at my computer so I started all over again. I worked for another 6 hours or so and had the video about half finished. I made absolutely certain I saved it this time. All's great. I have a couple more days to work on it. I'm halfway there. No problems.

The next morning, I had the brilliant (and by "brilliant", I mean "completely "UNbrilliant"!) idea to clean out and organize all my picture folders. I have about a bazillion (give or take one or two) large-file photos on my computer and I think they're starting to slow things down, so I condensed them, organized them, and put some on CDs and deleted them. A little later, when I opened my video project to resume work on the movie, guess what I saw. Yep, a whole bunch of little red Xs where my photos used to be. My idea to rearrange my picture folders and put all the cheer pics into the same folder? Notsogood. Again, there was probably a way to save the whole mess, but I was so mad and frustrated at this point, I just deleted the whole darn thing and started all over again.

Meanwhile, my power cord which had broken and was a little touchy, stopped working altogether. The only way I could use my computer was to hold the power cord "just so" while typing and moving pictures around one-handed. Every time my right hand cramped up from holding the cord, the computer would stop charging and I'd have to spend a good 10 minutes wiggling the cord around until I got it to start charging again. This is the biggest reason I didn't blog last week. What a huge pain in the butt it was to finish the video this way. I just didn't have it in me to try to push the cord in enough so that I could check mail or blog with only my left hand.

Thanks to my computer geek friend (have I mentioned how important it is to have computer geek friends?), I was able to get a good deal on a new power cord and it was shipped super-quickly so I'm back in business now! Oh and I did finally finish the video. Of course, when I went to burn the copies, after taking half an hour or more per copy, they didn't work. Every DVD I burned had a glitch and would stop playing at some point during the movie. Thankfully, Austin stepped in, transferred everything to his computer and burned the copies lickety-split for me.


Sooo, all is well. My video is done. Cheer is done. My computer is working once more. And next year when I open my big mouth and say, "I can make DVDs for everyone!", for the love of God, someone slap me!

25 comments:

Robin said...

THAT sounds like a nightmare!! I'll be the first in line to slap you!! :) Glad you're back!!!

Eva said...

I know the pain! Used to happen to me few times! I don't even wanna go back into that frustration!
I enjoyed your post. I am new to your blog. I started blogging myself not so long ago. Maybe you could visit me and share your opinion? I would very very appreciate that. :)
Eva from randomresearchgirl.com/wordpress

Donna said...

Welcome Back !

I was really worried about you and thrilled when I saw this post.
I am not sure I could do all that you did making those CD's.
You are fantastic !!!

And Lexi.....wow....she sure has grown up. She is so cute !

olga said...

I hate windows movie maker. I made a movie of the kids at work last year and spent oh 35 to 40 hours on it, trying to get it just so. NEVER AGAIN (they havent asked me this year LOL)

Miss Vintage Vixen said...

Well...

... show us the video!

Jennifer in Wisconsin said...

All right. The computer is back and running, just in time for the holidays!!!!

Sandy in Illinois said...

WELCOME BACK! Cute Cheer pictures too.

Lynn said...

Yup! I missed you!

Pat's Addition said...

Oh Dawn...
Go to import audio /music
go to itunes (or where you have music) choose and click import.
When in doubt go to help and search the index.
Never change around the files on your computer mid-project as these edit programs (I work with Final Cut Pro and Adobe among others) ALL are so finicky about where things are stored. I try to keep everything in the same directory or on the same hard drive. Those off line "red X" marks are killers.
Also disks came in different qualities...pay the price for good ones. And if you can set auto save to every 5 minutes!! I learn new stuff every time I edit.

Cheryl said...

One question kept popping to mind. "Why, oh why is she not calling her computer geek friend now? Or now? Or now?" Little stubborn streak going there, Dawn?

Repeat after me, "I am NOT Superwoman. I WILL toss that cape. I CAN ask for help. I WILL ask for help."

The road to recovery is long, but you can do this. I have faith in you!

melech said...

Phooey! I'm NOT buying your excuse,Meehan! I'll have ya know I spent a horrid week..thinking of all the nasty things that might have befallen you. I even took my black suit(the one I got from Sears! ON SALE! Half Off..Pants don't quite match the jacket)to the dry clkeaners. I mean, WHO uses dry cleaners anymore these days.
To be truthful, I expected to read your name in the Chicago papers..something about doing yourself in..and Oprah.

Anyhooo..I am now visibly relieved at your GRAND RE-ENTRANCE! Welcome back..and don't EVER do that again.

Brian said...

Dawn! SHHHH!!!

You might want to re-write this post. The RIAA might come knocking on your door looking to sue you. You can't put copyrighted songs on DVD's and hand them out without written permission for each song.

Meg said...

Good to have you back! I was worried your personal life had hit another snag. Glad to hear it was just computer and software glitches. BTW, I totally mentally screamed, "NOOOOOO!" in that long drawn out way you hear in movies when the put the character in slo-mo as I read about the photo organization. Glad it all worked out!

Anonymous said...

OMG, You must be me reincarnated! My daughter was a cheerleader for many, many years. In fact, I'm known as "cheermom". But I digress! On year early on I made hair bows for the girls on my daughters squad, maybe 15 or so. Those bows were so cute EVERYONE wanted them. And then, the director approached me to make them for the traveling group, like 100 bows! But, seriously, thru cheer, she went on to coaching and also cheering at the high school level. I know you complain about sitting thru the games and I did to, at the time, but I seriously miss it now because the other moms (and some dads) were really a great group of people. Keep her in cheer and enjoy the fun!

Ruth said...

Well don't leave us hanging! Where's the finished project for us to see?? :)

Sarah said...

Yes, I did miss you and am glad that this was the reason (not some horrible domestic problems--I mean new ones--or something...yes, I am a worrier!!!)

These pics are great and I know all the parents GREATLY appreciated your efforts... you go, girl!

I hope that in the midst of the stress of family "issues", you will still be able to have a nice Thanksgiving. I will continue to pray for your family!

Carol from Iowa said...

Welcome back, Dawn. I missed you!

Cookie said...

ROFL! Glad Im not the only who does things like this! But my computer geek is my husband. He can't stand my whining about the computer so he can be quick to fix it :)

Anonymous said...

Yup, missed ya!

Lyuda said...

Yeah, I so agree with you- it IS important to have at least one computer geek friend. And if you have two or more, you are truly blessed. And you don't have to bother learning any of the geek language yourself, you can just pretend. Like if the geek computer friend tells you that the reason the computer is not working because it needs an intel processor and not AMD, which contains only 2.66 GHz capabilities, you just can nod very intelligently and say: "I was thinking that this might be it, too." See? You can appear smart and have your computer fixed for free!

(By the way, I totally made up the computer geeky sentence by stringing a few complicated words together. LOL)

Missi said...

I'm with the above poster, Cookie. My computer geek is my hubby. He also is my movie maker project geek too. He's promised to do a DVD movie for my Girl Scout troop at the end of our G.S. year (summer 2010). Just don't tell him that I called him a geek :)

Good to know it was only computer issues, although those aren't fun!

And where is the video for us to see?

Janie in Ga. said...

Whew! I thought some really dire things while you were off the "air". I even tried your twitter pages to see if you were still alive! Don't EVER do that to us again. Remember as a teen when your mom made you call if you were going to be late, and if you didn't call, poor mom thought the worst? Well so did I! Next time just a word or two to say you're ok and will be back soon, please.
Ok, enough scolding. The girls pics are great. Would love to see the video. And welcome back!

pattymerry said...

Glad it was nothing serious this time. I was really concerned for you!

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed. My husband made a DVD for all of my daughter's first-grade class. They take HOURS.

Veggiemomof2 said...

I'm wondering why you didn't hire Austin to do it for you in the 1st place ;)

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