Last Thursday, wickedwords and I were heading out around noon for VVC, and our flight got delayed for at least 45 minutes, so there was some frantic texting with astolat about dinner plans because we'd be coming in so late (I swear both of us actually thought the tickets she bought for us were for the 10 am flight), but then poor astolat ended up being delayed even longer than us due to the thunderstorms around everywhere. Turned out the restaurant closed at 9, which, what the hell, so it was Outback for us, but we got to hang and unwind a little, and catch up, and she saved my sanity by having extra earplugs, which I'd forgotten to pack. It was hilarious on the outbound flight, though: while we were waiting to board, we were just loud enough that jarrow heard us and came over to say hi, because he was on the same flight. Rache and I got seated, her in the middle seat, me in the aisle, and after a few minutes of people coming down the aisle I heard her guffaw and looked up to see jarrow there--he had the window seat next to us. We laughed and laughed--and it was great because he and I were both writing fic and that way you definitely don't have to worry about hiding your laptop with your slash on it.
Chicago was fucking hot--like, knock you back when you step out on the jetway from the plane hot. And I struggled almost the whole time with it, even when it was raining and the heat index dropped a little. We at least got to the store on Friday for some stuff, and I didn't feel like I was going to drop from heat stroke, but man, there were definitely days on this trip that I thought it might happen.
Someone had reblogged an old fic announcement post about Dream of Caramel, which had generated a little flurry of interest in the fic, and more reblogs, so that was an unexpected, rare little bit of pleasantness that made my weekend a lot brighter. Friday night was the premieres show this year, and I'd been more than a little surprised to see, when I got my reg stuff on Thursday, that the vid cesperanza and I made this year was listed first. OMG the pressure! It seemed to go over well, and I posted it that night when I was hanging out in destina's room, though I was a tiny bit tipsy and made a bunch of typos.
I did not expect the flurry of reblogs and comments and stuff! That doesn't usually happen for my vids so it was very cool but also kind of overwhelming and I spent Saturday in a bit of a haze (pleasant, don't get me wrong, but definitely a haze). Got dressed in my Bucky Barnes red henley and dark gray t-shirt, dark jeans, and shooting glove and baseball cap, for Club Vivid, and it was so funny watching people look at me and do a doubletake, thinking I wasn't in a costume and then realizing that I was, and who I was dressed as. I didn't dance as much as I wanted to, because of the aforementioned overheating--I just couldn't seem to get my feet under me half the time, between the Chicago steambath and the hot flashes and all that. My vid, Dangerous, was early on in the show, and for once, the entire dance floor didn't empty out when my vid came on! Yay! Plus it got the anxiety out of the way so I could enjoy the rest of the show. Absolutedestiny brought back some great old vids and it was really a wonderful show this year, I thought.
Sunday was more vid shows and panels and hanging out, and watching the number of notes climb on tumblr--it was all so fascinating. I didn't attend a lot of panels or shows over the weekend, preferring to hang with people I don't get to see much like destina and kassrachel and dorinda and par avion and talitha78, and it was really, really nice to spend time with people and just talk, especially when people were willing to indulge my desire to talk about Steve and Bucky or go get a cruller with me. :-D
Because of the Sebastian Stan fiasco, I was still planning to stay in Chicago for a few days, and I took an Uber into the city. I was planning to work on my Stucky Big Bang story and hang with devilpiglet and a couple other Chicago people--before I left, the artist who signed up for my fic sent me two additional sketches for my story and they are so amazing, it was so inspiring to see art come from my words, I just…it really made that push to get toward the end of the story so much easier, and I'm so excited to see the final drawings they do.
Monday night I spent with devilpiglet at a nice Thai place across from the hotel, and when I got back I had an email from cesperanza asking me about the YouTube file for our vid--she said there were some repeating clips and I thought, no, that must be some kind of browser issue, but nope, it was…completely, utterly borked, for the entire second half of the vid. It was SO bizarre--there were at least a dozen clips that basically cut off and then repeated, which in some cases cut the already tight editing down and made it look like I had flash frames in and that I was a terrible editor. I was sick to my stomach. There wasn't a thing I could do about it, though, except put a note on the YT file and the AO3 page and let people know they might want to wait till I was home to link or rec. I'd watched the vid at least twice a day from the moment I posted it, because I don't trust YT and I was using a different codec, but it was always fine, until, apparently, it wasn't.
I also checked Dangerous and the beginning of that one was messed up. I didn't sleep at all Monday night, I was ragged and exhausted with trying to figure out what had happened, and angsting over the whole thing. In the morning on Tuesday I checked Dangerous first, and it was…fine. But I noticed YT had removed the 1080p quality setting and now only allowed a max of 720p. I just had no idea what to make of anything, but I went out to Starbucks for breakfast and then I wanted to walk over to the Miracle Mile, because I'd never seen that when I've been in Chicago before.
When I got there I opened up tumblr, just to check how the vids were doing, and saw that I had a personal message from someone, and it turned out to be the person who's doing a new stucky fic recs site that is really well written and thoughtful. She said she'd been reading my stuff and liking it, and that made me just…forget all about the Sturm und Drang of the Spaceboy fiasco, but then she added that she'd written up a rec for I can't remember how this started (but I can tell you exactly how it ends), my Winter Soldier-goes Groundhog Day story, and I swear I nearly swooned right there in Starbucks. Like, I never expected in a million years that I, a no-name fan, would ever get a story recced there. It made me feel so much better. I got a handful of comments and kudos from it, which, combined with the comments on Spaceboy and Dangerous, left me feeling better enough to spend the day writing in my room instead of rending my garments and screaming at YT, with breaks for a swim and seeking out food. Then devilpiglet and I hit the hotel bar and had a light dinner and she introduced me to rumchata (in the form of milkshakes) and OMG where has that been all my life? I am buying a bottle of that next time I hit the store, for sure.
We'd planned to go to the Shedd aquarium on Wednesday, but I kind of hit a wall, so she took me to see the beach at the lake, another thing I've never really done, but…I totally crapped out on her. The anxiety about the vid had kind of done me in, and the heat was killing me. We did stop to eat at a cool '70s diner place, and walked through some beautiful neighborhoods with amazing houses, and went to this really neat architectural salvage place, and then she took me to the airport. We got there earlier than expected, but I was so glad we left when we did after she texted me later and told me about Obama's visit basically shutting down the expressway, so yay for that. Of course my flight was delayed, but I hung out for a while at this nice bar we discovered a few years ago in the L terminal, and the bartender admired my Bucky Barnes shirt. Needless to say I gave him a nice tip. After some more delays it was home again, home again, and I got home very late last night to an insanely loving kitty cat.
This morning I got up and started to work on exporting a new video file to upload to YT, start fixing things. One of the things I hate about YT is that you can't fix a video, you have to reupload to a whole new page, and that means all the links will break and whatnot. But I got a text just as I was opening up Final Cut, from cesperanza, saying that it seemed to be playing fine, so we talked about it on the phone while I watched it and yup, it was totally unborked. I have this once-bitten feeling, like I can't trust it's not going to happen again, but as she put it, it's a chance to reblog the announcement and whip up more interest, so that was today. I have no idea why it happened, I can only assume YT made some kind of code change like they're always doing (the timing on the vid even changed, and I notice it still only allows 720p), but I feel like they took about 6 years off my life and they owe me, the bastards. So right now it's fine, and if you were waiting to watch because of my notes on the AO3 page, go cast your eyeballs upon it and enjoy!
And now I'm very sleepy, still on Chicago time, but I think I will see how much writing I can do tonight, and hope to finish this damn story by tomorrow. Posting deadline is the 29th, but wow, do I have a lot of editing and rewrites to get through, and I don't want to wait till the last minute. I've had enough of bad things happening for a while, and I feel like that's courting fate.
It's been a wild rollercoaster of a week, full of drama and trauma and ongoing saga, and lots of people I love and really sweet things happening and vids and fic and just a flurry of Things That Don't Usually Happen to Me.