gwyn: (annie screaming grosserpepper)
I leave tomorrow for Vividcon, before dawn, and I'm just terrified about leaving Blues--we're under an excessive heat warning for the next few days, and even when it gets "cooler" it's still listed as being in the high 80s F and the 90s, and we mostly don't have AC in homes here. I dithered about getting one, because I not only can't lift one by myself, but they're crazy expensive, and now it's too late and Blues is probably going to get heat stroke and die. My house gets into the 90s when it's that hot, and the only way you can cool it off is by opening the front and back doors once the sun sets; there won't be anyone to do that and my cat sitter, who comes by during the day, will not be likely to open the doors for fear of Blues escaping. I'm very afraid for him. I'm really kicking myself for not just accepting defeat and buying the damn unit and trying to find some way to get it in the house. Plus the cat sitter will roast alive. I also can't leave windows open too much because it'd be so easy to just break right in.

People always tell me to sleep with my windows open but I can't, they have to be down in the opened-locked in the few rooms that allow that, which is only about three inches. My house is ground floor, easy access, and a few years back not too far from here a woman and her partner were brutally assaulted/murdered by a guy who just shimmied their windows open during a heat wave. When you're a woman alone, that's not the best option. Plus, it was weather just like this that made me lose Olive two years ago, she didn't want to get shut up in the broiler of a house.

All I can do is have the sitter pet him with wet brushes or cloths, and put ice cubes in his water, and run the fans when she's here. I'd have her leave the fans on, but I'm so paranoid about things overheating and catching fire; I've seen it too many times. And speaking of fires: the wildfires that are consuming BC are so bad that the smoke is hanging over Seattle. The past two days it's been so hazy you can't see across the water to the Seattle skyline; my eyes are stinging and it's very difficult to breathe at times. But of course, global warming is a myth.

I don't know how much of a good time I'm going to be able to have being this worried about the house and Blues. The way things feel right now, I can't bear the thought of anything happening to him. He's all I've got. But the vids are all queued up on YouTube, and the plane tickets are printed, and I guess it'll be what it'll be. As bad as that is.
gwyn: (spuffy band kathyh)
I had just started checking my flists the instant the Vividcon announcement was posted, and so for a while I was just sitting there in shock and sadness and of course no one was posting about it because it had just happened. I spent the rest of the day just being miserable and sad, finally checked back and there had been some reactions. Seems like a lot of people are "shrug, whatever" and fine with it, but I am not. When your life is pretty shitty, having something to look forward to, people you love and only get to see in one or two places a year, is important, and this means I'll never again see a lot of people who mean very much to me, after next year's con. This fannish thing is something I'm stuck with, I've always been one and I will always be one, and having places to participate with that is incredibly important to me. And yeah, okay, I understand what they're saying (although I can't help wondering if an every-other-year format wouldn't help, I don't know), but it still feels very much like I'm/we're losing Sandy and Zen and Abby all over again, and that really fucking hurts.

On the other hand, I had a laugh yesterday when I got a notification that one of the fic translations I'd mentioned in my last post actually was posted; I really had given up on all of these things because it had been soooo long. If you ever wanted to read Your 21st-Century Boy in Russian/Русский, this is now a thing you can do! It's really fascinating to me how fans translate fic, especially things that have cultural nuances and idioms that might not be easily translated, and it was fun talking to secretlytodream about the "takes a village" approach she used to make sure she was getting everything right.

These kinds of things, I guess, are why I will always be a fangirl, even when I'm not really into anything in particular.
gwyn: (buckaroo jidabug)
So…that was an…eventful week.

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.
gwyn: (bucky steve mouths)
It was totally an accident of fate that both my vids this year were Stucky vids, I swear. Sorry for the relentless tide of Steve/Bucky visuals.

I'll have download info when I return. On AO3 | on Tumblr

Thanks to destina for the beta. Feedback & reblogs are adored!
gwyn: (bucky & steve alley purple)
A couple years ago, cesperanza and I started talking about this vid, but we'd bring it up and then forget about it, until this year, with David Bowie's death, it seemed the time to do it. It was fun to collaborate with someone again, and I think the end result turned out pretty good.

Many thanks to killa for the song edit and the graphic.

On AO3 | on Tumblr

Feedback is adored!

When I return home I'll have the high-quality download available at my vids site.
gwyn: (bucky winter soldier)
Hair cut and color: check
Bags packed and bag-tag holder acquired: check
Bucky Barnes cosplay items packed: check
Vids uploaded to YouTube for the annual posting roundelay nightmare: check
Boarding pass printed: check
Horrifically overpriced ride to airport set up: check
Cat food/litter stocked up: check
iTunes playlists and Spotify offline playlists that had been mysteriously wiped off the new phone added: check

Vividcon five by five

I know I'm forgetting something, I always forget something (and no, making a list never helps, because I inevitably leave something off the list that I need for that specific venue), but at this point, I guess I've done the most important things. I'm waffling on bringing this small "free" tablet I got when I got the new phone--I'm not super fond of the Android interface, it makes no sense to me, and I was kind of pissed when I found out I was locked into a two-year phone data plan for it when I'd never asked for it in the first place, and didn't know that's what they were doing, but that way I wouldn't have to squint at the phone for fic, or put the laptop on my chest. I'm not really planning to read a lot because OMG the Stucky Big Bang deadline is fast approaching and I really, really have to get busy and finish this. I still have so much to write, so so much, and then editing, because I'm not one of those people who can write great first drafts, anything good I do comes in the editing passes.

I thought we were leaving two hours earlier than we are, so we're not getting in till pretty late, but I will see many of you on Friday, I'm sure.
gwyn: (sam wilson falcon)
I posted this at my Tumblr but then forgot to post it here:

Hey guys, if you’re going to Emerald City Comic Con next weekend, I’m going to be on a panel about fanfiction, Slash, Shipping, and Online Communities: Why Fanfiction Matters – you should come!

I confess I think this is kinda hilarious, since I’m not a BNF, hell, I’m not even what you could call popular and I sometimes think I couldn’t get people to read my fic if I threw $20 bills at them like a stripper in reverse. But the lovely Zoe and Ruby asked me to be on it, so I said yes, and there are other cool people on the panel like lettered and Astrid from AO3. It’s also funny because I’m not a wide reader – I tend to focus on a narrow range of fic, and kind of keep to my own little corner. But god knows, I’m never short on opinions.

The panel is on Saturday at the dinner hour, 5:30-6:30, so I have no idea what to expect, but if you’d like to come talk about fanfic, join us! We’ll also be doing a livestream, I guess, on Sunday morning, which terrifies me since I look even worse on camera than I do in real life, but I don’t know where that is on the schedule–I think it’s at 11:15 am PT and you may be able to watch it without attending?

I’m hoping to talk about one of my favorite topics, which is that fic allows us to delve into characters or relationships that would never be center stage, or even allowed to happen, in the source material (my personal fave: Bucky having friendships with characters like Pepper Potts or Clint Barton). But I’m sure there’ll be a lot of other fun stuff to discuss. I hope to see you there!
gwyn: (bucky steve mouths)
Kind of mired in the usual post-Vividcon sense of worthlessness and failure, watching the vids sink into the black holes like they usually do. I kinda thought this year I might have made a couple vids that more than a few people would like, but not so much. Though the auction vid was the one I worried over most at the beginning, because you always want that to be what the person who paid for it likes, and I was so lucky that killa loved the vid I made for her. And it's cool that some people were intrigued by the visuals and want to seek the movie out.

It was really, really hard to come home to the house without Olive here. She usually ran away from me as fast as she could, trying to avoid being squished and kissed, and get out of the house as I struggled with my luggage, and it made me pretty weepy to not have her here. But Blues was exceptionally lovey-dovey from being alone so long, and that was a bonus. He loves being visited when I'm gone, but no one's as big a deal as I am, apparently.

I did have a great time with the wonderful [personal profile] killabeez sightseeing in Chicago and staying at a super posh hotel, and meeting up with my darling [profile] devilpiglet for dinner and crying crystalline tears over Bucky and Steve. We took a river tour focused on architecture, and that so did not disappoint. We had awesome pancakes, too, at a place I can't remember the name of, and dinner at a swell place that seemed kind of like an old speakeasy or something. I really needed the mini-vacation and it helped keep my mind off Olive a bit.

There were a couple of really amazing things that happened while I was at the con, though, that made me feel better about the vid situation. The first was that I got a surprise notification that I was listed as a co-author for a podfic of one of my stories, that I kind of love but that has never had much readership at all, Opportunities in Freelance. It was only the second time I've ever had a podfuc of a work, and I squeed so hard I think I broke myself.

[podfic] Opportunities in Freelance (41 words) by gwyneth rhys, reena_jenkins

And then, a couple days later, I got a notice that reena had also podficced Your 21st-Century Boy. I am so thrilled that someone would want to do that, and if you are at all inclined toward podfic, give them a listen, they are both lots of fun and the cover art, especially for Opportunities in Freelance, is so delightful.

[podfic] Your 21st-Century Boy (47 words) by gwyneth rhys, reena_jenkins

And then the thing that knocked me over--a few weeks ago, [ profile] auslandischwasser (thanks! fixed!) made a fanmix for the playlist that Steve listens to while running, which Sam made for him, in Things We Lost in the War. She had written to me about the story back when I posted it, and we'd got to talking about what Sam might have put on that playlist, and so Sweatin' with the Oldies was just such a joy to see. I highly recommend it, I think it really captures Steve and Bucky and Steve's mindset in the beginning of the story! (And it's both our headcanons that Sam would be a Rihanna fan.) I'd never really inspired anyone to do anything, so having a fanmix inspired by a fic was just such a thrill.

I never expected that she'd make a second one inspired by the same fic. But I got the email when I was at the con and feeling pretty down, and it just. Flail. Major Kermit arms flail. I listened to all of it on the plane, and I was in tears after I'd finished. It's really truly Things We Lost in the War in musical form. I can't figure out how to link with the cover art, but you can find my reblog of the Sing Me to Sleep fanmix here and there's a note about the track listing--one of the songs isn't available on the Spotify version. If you love Steve and Bucky, give it a listen because it's just gorgeous and perfect and wonderful and I can't believe something I did inspired something so lovely.

So yeah, those things definitely helped with the negative VVC ions. I'm even signed up now for Spotify and 8tracks.
gwyn: (bucky steve mouths)
So, I got a lovely request to send a vid in for Connexions con, and after talking with the person who asked, we figured I should send one of my MCU vids. And I can't decide--if you were me, which vid would you send:

Shelter - this has the advantage of being a teamy Cap family vid with bonus slash hints, and there really aren't, sadly, a lot of team vids for CA: Winter Soldier.

Orange Crush - I'm kind of most inclined to send this, because I think it might play well in a con audience and it's never really showed at a con (I used it as an example to talk about pacing in a panel last year at VVC, but that's the only time it's been "live"), and it's kinda actiony, but it's not necessarily a slash vid per se.

Sorrow - this is definitely very slashy, but it's also sad, everyone says, and makes people's hearts hurt. Not that there's anything wrong with that in a con, but it is definitely a factor.

Anyway, I need to make a decision soon, so if you have an opinion (especially if you've ever been to Connexions), I'd love to hear it.

Over in her journal, Dorinda was talking about finishing the audio book to The Martian, which I just finished in ebook form last week. I was SO PROUD of myself--it was the second fiction book in a row I'd finished that wasn't work, wasn't a friend's, that I read just for pleasure, something I haven't done since 2007-8 or so. I lost my ability to focus on books that weren't work, and since most of the fiction I read for work is terrible, it's made it even harder to read anything that isn't fic or something I HAVE TO. And she says a lot of things about how I felt about The Martian, and the problems I had with it, and I commented with my opinion. Apparently I have very strong opinions about it! 

And weirdly coincidentally, I was talking with belmanoir about it last night, and about how I'd just watched Apollo 13 again and it pointed up one of the issues I had with The Martian and the XKCD cartoon about it. In the cartoon, he has one of his figures saying that The Martian was basically the book for people who thought the whole of Apollo 13 should have been about the scientists and engineers in mission control. And I laughed, because yeah, I suppose it is, but also that's one of its biggest flaws for me, that it's just a wall of sciencey stuff and Andy Weir is not a good enough writer to do anything resembling characterization--which, I mean, that's not necessarily what he wanted to do when writing the book, but you do have to try to bring people along on your story. It's a cracking good story idea, no doubt. 

But what I really wanted to say is that one of the things that makes all that engineer science stuff so fucking exhilirating and engaging is that it's done by great actors and a good director. Take, for instance, the scene where they think they've found a solution to how to power things back up, and they might be able to bring the Apollo 13 crew home. Ken Mattingly (played by Gary Sinise) and John Aaron (Loren Dean) are arguing about the amps they're using and throwing around all this jargon, and it's just such an intense and wonderful scene because they think they've found it, they think they have a solution, but Aaron points out, "You're telling me what you need, and I'm telling you what we have!" and they have to go back to the drawing board, feeling hopeless and miserable. They're exhausted and frayed. And we feel that, just like we've felt the fear all the engineers have had since the explosion, every step of the way, or we've felt Gene Kranz's determination and anger because Ed Harris is so amazing. 

So I'm really excited about the movie version of The Martian in a way I couldn't be about the book. Because what made that stuff so indelible in Apollo 13 that I don't think the XKCD guy got (since he's a science nerd) wasn't the recitation of facts and numbers, it was these actors bringing alive the facts, the director creating CHARACTERS we feel for and want to see succeed. I think a skilled writer could do that on the page, but Weir isn't that writer, and while the folks who loved all that were happy with the book, it's not what I read for. Seeing the trailer, though, and the little preview movie where Matt Damon as Mark Watney is making a little introductory movie, I can see that a skilled director working with amazing fucking actors is going to take that unfleshed-out part of the story and turn it into something as engaging as Apollo 13 was. I've watched those previews now quite a few times, while I was reading the book, and I'm super psyched about the movie. SO PSYCHED. And not just because Sebastian Stan plays Chris Beck! 

Ridley Scott's been disappointing or enraging me a lot lately (do not start me on Prometheus or his comments about white actors in Exodus), but this is the kind of movie that's so totally in his wheelhouse, and I'm hopeful that he's going to bring out all the good ideas about the book and the characters that I don't think were always successful on the page. (Also, the version I read was I guess the original self-published version, and jesus was that one of the worst, messiest things I've ever looked at. I don't know how much polish the publisher who picked it up gave it, but I hope it was a lot.) I liked Mark Watney and I liked many of the other characters, but they were never fully human for me, and I think Ridley will make them so much more so. When you've got actors like Matt Damon and Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jessica Chastain and Sean Bean (and my sweeties, Sebastian and Donald Glover), you're ahead of the game right there. 

Wow, apparently I really do have strong feelings about this. ;-)
gwyn: (beaten cap shield)
On Saturday I had a tea party with some friends, where I get to break out the Red Wing Pepe midcentury dishware pattern I started collecting a few years ago and my cool midcentury modern stuff and make tea and eat stuff I shouldn't. It's the only time you'll likely be at a tea party where you also get to talk about blood and guts and gore and sexual shenanigans while eating scones and drinking orange blossom oolong. Seriously, we were talking about this fanart I love where Steve gets deserumed and Hydra carves their logo on his chest and he's given to the Winter Soldier and then we were all laughing hysterically because yeah, that's not your typical tea party conversation. I love fans.

Anyway, I was lamenting my worries about the Vividcon auction, like ya do when you know people are going to spend money on you and you worry about whether you can do what they want, and without my realizing it for a while [personal profile] minim_calibre started bidding on me, and [personal profile] killabeez was plotting as well. After everyone had left--such a lovely time! Thank you all again for coming!--I went across the alley to see my old next door neighbor, who was visiting my other neighbor, and chatted and caught up, and then I came back home and the auction had ended. There was an email from Killa saying VICTORY IS MINE! and I knew, from being in a bidding cabal with her before, that she'd had trouble in past auctions getting the vidders she wanted, so she was very happy to make me her vidding slave.

So now I am owned by Killa and we're talking songs and fandoms and I am so excite! You always worry that you might not be sympatico with whoever buys you, just like there's always that tension before you get your fandom assignment for Festivids. It's great to be able to do a vid for someone you love. I've been so lucky in my vidding gift/auction vid assignments--for three years running in Festivids I've been assigned someone I like, and in the first VVC auction I got bought by kadymae/devilc, so I cannot complain about this. This is gonna be FUN.

OTOH I'm tortured by what I want to make for premieres, and I have a book coming in in a couple days with a ridic deadline and I really want to finish this goddam Steve/Bucky fic that's been torturing me for MONTHS now and makes me want to spork my eyes out and claw my face off. It's not worth the effort, I know it's not, and yet here I struggle.

The one bad thing about Saturday was that I found out Vimeo has removed all of my vids without any warning. It says I have zero vids, and I can't seem to log in even after requesting my password and stuff. I knew they were banhammering new vids, but I didn't think they were just flat-out deleting older ones, and I'm kind of sick about it. I just don't have the time or inclination to put those up on my YouTube channel but people don't seem to want to DL vids just to view them these days. Ugh. I hate it. Especially because one of them was the Flashpoint vid that Hugh Dillon tweeted about a couple years ago, and now it's just gone. Fuck you, Vimeo. God, I hate YouTube but that's really the only option now.
gwyn: (steve and bucky)
I'm leaving with [personal profile] black_bird_777 for San Diego on Wednesday, and we're down there till Friday, when we head up to LA for Escapade. I positively loathed the hotel last year, so I wanted to minimize my time there, which means I'll miss a fair amount of Friday but I kind of don't have a lot I'm excited about anyway, so it's mostly seeing people.

I'm bringing my laptop with me so I can write, though I'm having a lot of trouble overcoming both the difficulty I'm having with this story I had to stop in the middle of for Yuletide and overcoming the worthless, hopeless feeling of why bother writing, or creating anything, really. I thought about setting everything up for my premiering vid so I could just make it live after the show, but then I just thought what difference does it make if it's Sunday or Tuesday, it's not like anyone would give a shit. So it gives me a little more time to tweak it; I wasn't completely happy with the vid I submitted to the con so I'm messing a little bit with clips still (and still not happy).

I have also been really battling the depression that comes at this time of year for me--because the con is later this year, it comes at exactly the time sis_r was dying, and I had thought I was emotionally ready to go back to San Diego, but I had forgotten that it was the ten-year anniversary of her death this month. It seems like just yesterday to me, it's every bit as acute and my dreams and flashbacks are every bit as horrible as they were then. I can't really believe that it's been ten years since I lost her, and I still have no more idea how to live as a solo twin now as I did then. So I planned badly--being back in San Diego was maybe not a great idea, or who knows, maybe it will be cathartic. It's hard to imagine right now.

We're staying at a hotel right on Pacific Beach, which was a place I spent a lot of time with sis_r at. In fact the only time black_bird's been there was when she and I went down to have dinner on Pacific Beach with my sister. But that means there will be surfers and puppies and hot men and women wandering around, and that's yay.

Anyway, I do have a panel on Saturday at 11 a.m., and if you're into Captain America, you should come. I have no idea yet what I want to talk about, but I figure if all it is is me going, Let me tell you about my FEELS for Bucky Barnes to maybe one or two people and we just weep crystalline tears, that's okay. This is the panel description:

Let’s talk about the biggest fandom of 2014 and the riches it gave us--the epic and tragic nearly century-long love between Steve and Bucky, the introduction of Sam into Steve’s life, Steve’s developing relationship with Natasha, or anything else we love about Cap2 (and Cap1, of course!).

Please come talk with me so I don't sit there like a sad little robot.
gwyn: (music happiness)
I'm running a vidshow at VVC this year called Teamy Goodness. My blurb for it is:

The team power walk. The group of friends and their wacky shenanigans. The ragtag band who come together to accomplish something no one thought they could. Who doesn't love a great fannish ensemble? Let's watch some vids that celebrate teamy goodness. Smells like team spirit!

I'd love to get some suggestions of teamy vids you love! I'm really behind the pack right now because I wasn't able to start on this till after I finished the awful book, so I definitely need to catch up and watch some vids this weekend. I'd especially love some suggestions for older vids from the VCR or very early computer era, since I'm pretty much the only person anymore at VVC who puts these in shows outside of trelkez.

Tell me what you love! You can comment here with suggestions, or at the form on the VVC website.
gwyn: (mack daddy)
Got back from Escapade last night and just completely passed out -- operating on three hours of sleep a night for almost a week is not a very sustainable way to live. Myself, X art, and blackbird_777 went to Palm Springs a few days before the con, and thank god we did because that was the only sunshine we got all weekend. It was gorgeous there till Friday, when we had to drive back to LA in a hurricane.

I'm actually not joking about that -- I come from the land of rain, but I have never seen anything like that. It rained torrents most of the way there, and I saw things on the highway I haven't really seen before, like a semi-truck trailer where the cab was hanging off the overpass and the trailer was just balanced on the guard rail, and heavy rescue after heavy rescue. Then when we got into town, the streets were completely flooded, lights were out at intersections, and it was just wild. We saw a Mustang go through an intersection with water almost at its windows.

That definitely added to the feeling of being trapped in a really awful place. It seems like most of the people enjoyed the hotel a lot more than I did. Yeah, I missed being in Ventura, and I REALLY missed being on the beach, but that doesn't mean that's why I disliked the hotel. I'm really glad that by being in LA and at the airport, a lot of people could come who might not otherwise be able to, but the thing is, we were AT the airport. Right across the street from Budget car rental. I have to walk for my back, and there was nowhere to walk that wasn't full of huge trucks and rental car shuttles barreling down at you, trying to run you over in crosswalks, tons of cars everywhere, and the constant thundering roar of airplanes. It was horrible. Those streets are huge, too, so you have to really know where to cross them.

And our (extremely tiny) room smelled gross and the carpet was wet by the AC unit, and of course the con space is always, always freezing (this is something about cons I don't understand, why we can't just turn the fucking AC down in rooms -- I mean, people who run hot can wear tank tops and sandals, it just doesn't have to be that fucking cold), so it felt like there was no respite. I was really happy to have counter space in the bathroom, no lie, but I just really did not like that hotel (and you could only get to the pool by walking through the insanely busy lobby). It was huge, and people were separated in rooms by towers, so it was hard to run back and forth with people --plus the elevators were like some kind of fitness test, where you had to sprint for them as fast as you could because the doors closed so fast and the lights never lit up to tell you which door was opening. I felt like I was on Get Smart or something.

I liked having the con suite on the same floor, but I can't help feeling like we could stay in LA if we have to, yet still get a decent hotel somewhere, that's less horrendously busy and noisy, is in an area with actual places to go besides one Greek restaurant and the incredibly slooooow and pricey hotel restaurants, and isn't in a gross, scary, loud area permeated by diesel fumes and the airplane roar. If all I ever did was stay in the hotel space, I supposed I wouldn't have noticed it, but it was not my idea of a good time. I did like that there were fridges in the room, but there was no way to boil water (the coffeemaker reeks of coffee, so you couldn't really use that without your tea or oatmeal tasting like coffee), so it was half and half there for me. One of the good things about the VVC hotel and the place we stayed in Palm Springs was that they actually have real little kitcheny spaces -- a fridge, microwave, places to store food. Finding someplace like that in LA shouldn't be impossible.

Anyway, the con itself was OK -- we came in pretty late on Friday because of the rain issue, and so I didn't really do anything that day. I couldn't even work up enough energy to go to the party, but I heard it was fun. Raine let me co-mod the Pacific Rim panel with her on Saturday, which was a lot of fun, though I get a little excited talking about PR so I had a hard time shutting up. It was a lot better attended than I expected, so yay. And I enjoyed the clams panel (that was SO much fun), and the what do you do in a fandom when one of the primary characters/actors die? panel. The Loki panel was a little problematic for me because there were a couple people there I didn't recognize who basically kind of bullied most of the other people and were really snotty and superior about things, and when I realized I was supposed to get dinner with the vid show comm and had missed it, I had an excuse to bail on it, so I don't know if it got better. I hope so.

Mostly it was as it always was, a chance for me to spend time with a lot of people I really care about. Having X with me the whole weekend, to talk about and watch Pacific Rim together, helped a lot, and there were many people for whom the ease of access meant they could attend that I got to see outside of just VVC in August, and that was fab. I loved catching up with everyone, and it was so much fun as well to see some new people who had come for the day.

Sunday I went to vid review for the first time in years, and it was interesting, actually. I thought Jetpack Monkey and Astolat kept a really tight program, considering that the art show running long forced us to be really late, and we mostly focused on the premiering vids since we were time limited. Although I pray they don't repeat the idea of doing the art purchases in the same room -- everyone was so freaking noisy and I couldn't hear many of the vid review comments as we were in a ginormous room with super loud air conditioning. No matter how often we shushed people, they just get blabbing. I really enjoyed the vidshow this year, to my surprise as well. Most of the premiering vids were fun, and Jo did a good job of bringing in some excellent Festivids and others from different vid shows. I'm still desperately trying to get a workable smaller file copy of my damn PR vid. I hope to have one soon. It's been a rough day. The only other panel I went to was the one about celebs in fandom, and that was really interesting and very cool.

This year, Aral and Sinead kindly hosted Oscars party in their room so we could trash theirs instead of mine! It was fun, as always, to watch the show with other people. A lot more people showed up than might be normal, because so many people had to stay in LA due to Polar Vortex flight cancellations. I felt so sorry for them, to be trapped like that and on perpetual hold, trying to nail down new flights without knowing what would happen to affect those flights. The hotel seems to deal with a lot of flight crews, and sometimes you'd see them all sitting there looking so depressed and frustrated.

By the way, blackbird and I, on both flights, got to go through the Pre-Check line in security at the airports. I don't know how we did it, but man oh man, that is the way to go. I just despise security theatre, and this lets you go through without removing your jacket, scarf, shoes, and you don't have to take your toiletries bag out! I didn't have a laptop, so that I don't know about, but y'all, YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET UNDRESSED. In LA I got called for a random security check, and that freaked me out, but all they did was swab down my hands and run me through some kind of program, and then let me go (I assume they were looking for explosives residue and whether I had any arrests).

I fell in love with Palm Springs and we went driving around neighborhoods, photographing midcentury modern architecture, so now I want to move there and buy a cool mid-mod house and be warm all the time. But god, SoCal hates my hair and my skin. As soon as I got back to the land of perpetual moisture and artesian water, my skin looked better and my hair felt less like straw. I assume I'd acclimate, but boy does that place not agree with my outsides.

So all in all, a good time mostly, but I truly hope we can find a better hotel again, and that next year we're not stuck in the middle of a typhoon.
gwyn: (mad men sally rainbow)
I'm definitely not doing the patriotic thing for women's figure skating this year (I refuse to call it ladies' skating, because I mean, if it's men's figure skating, then by freaking god it should be women's, those sexist idiots at the IOC) after having seen Gracie Gold's racist tweets. I do like Polina Edmunds who's coming up right now as I type this, but I still want to see if Yuna Kim can pull it off again. There are a lot of other skaters that I like too, so it's easy to cheer for anyone other than Gold.

Oh wow, Kim just landed her first jumps perfectly. I hope this signals a better couple nights than the men's programs. I discovered this year that ice dancing isn't my jam. I mean I like it okay, but it kind of bores me a bit, and the music always feels so samey samey to me, the programs seem that way too. This year was pretty enjoyable in that everyone did so well, but of all the skating, that's the one I care least for.

I've been kind of down in the dumps lately. I had an MRI a couple weeks ago for my back, and went back to the spine doctor on Friday and it was just really bad news. Nothing I didn't expect, but I was hoping for more...hope, I guess. As we expected, I have two bulging disks at the bottom of my spine, and arthritis in my lower spine, and the disks are very compressed (which explains why I'm a half-inch shorter than I used to be). She pointed out how strong the muscle mass in my upper back was, but how weak it was in that area around the disks.

Mostly she seems to want to give me stuff for pain and for restless leg syndrome, which I'm not concerned about because I have bigger fish to fry. And I can't really understand a lot of what she's saying. I asked about cortisone shots, but she said it's just temporary, though she set one up for me so that I can have it before traveling -- except, of course, they couldn't get me in before my trip to Los Angeles next week, and it requires you to have someone you know give you a ride home, no cab or bus, and I have no one who can do that for me. So I didn't set up a shot, and I'll just power through.

Basically it comes down to going to physical therapy, doing my exercises, and pain relief, and I'm really feeling down about it, because I didn't really want to just throw pills at it like they did with my dad. I watched him become an invalid over the same problem, his spine crumbling away, and I still remember seeing the doctor with him and the doctor shrugging and saying, essentially, "sucks to be you."

I feel like this is a sentence. You know, like "You're just going to become an invalid." Some of the things in PT help a little, like the TENS device, but I mean, it's just treating pain, not making the inherent situation better. And I guess that's what feels so hopeless. And two and a half years of hardcore workouts and eating better than ever didn't help me lose an ounce of weight, so I just wonder how much doing the back exercises are going to help. I feel like it's going to make traveling not really much of an option for me.

Everything's affected by pain levels, too -- whether I can do social things, whether I can vid, how much work I can do at my desktop computer, if I can work in the garden. I just want to participate in my own life. I've seen what chronic pain has done to so many of my friends, too, so I know what kind of an effect that has on you.

Anyways, I'm off to Escapade next week. We're going down a bit early and going to Palm Springs/Joshua Tree for a few days before heading back to LA. I'm doing a panel with raine_wynd for Pacific Rim (come join us on Saturday afternoon!), and I just finished a tribute vid for Paul Walker for the vid show, which made me cry my eyes out working on it. I do not recommend making tribute vids for someone you loved when you're depressed, I'll tell you whut.
gwyn: (mack daddy)
Augh, behind again, but since it's almost the end of the prompts, I don't think it matters much.

[personal profile] chelletoo asked: what convention plans do you have for 2014?

I'm going to Escapade in February, as usual. These days it's more of a chance to see some people; I almost never go to panels anymore because there is never anything I'm interested in, and nothing I ever nominate gets voted for to be included, so it's more of a chance to socialize and be in southern California during one of the worst parts of the year up here in Seattle. We're going down early to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. Then in April it will be time for Bitchin' Party, aka Pacificon. I rarely go to panels there, either! But I do sit in on one or two. But I mean, it's a con, here in Seattle, and I can go to it! And it's put on by very fun people! You should come! And then in August it will be time for Vividcon. I wish I could go to Vidukon again, but I have a feeling that is either not in the near future, or just may not ever happen again. Who knows. And I wish I could try one of the east coast cons, but traveling for fun and traveling for the other cons always kind of bumps into each other.

[personal profile] barkley said: You start a kickstarter fund to cast Max Martini in the latest adaptation of _____. What is it and why is it great for him? Alternate question: Beaches or Mountains?

Oh, I love this one! I spent the whole damn month thinking about it, and I could not for the life of me decide on anything. I think partly because I have yet to see a reboot or new adaptation of something that is any good (oh, no, wait -- Dredd. So OK, the Karl Urban Dredd is light years better than the hideous version with Stallone. I stand corrected). I mean, I liked the Trek reboot at first, but over time that soured for me a lot and the second one actively pissed me off, and that was pretty much the only time I've ever liked a new version of something. And I don't even want to think of the adaptations and reboots of other things. And even when a new version of something starts out great, like the Chris Nolan version of Batman, which I liked so much better than Tim Burton's? They turn bad -- I do not even have the ability to talk about how much I hated The Dark Knight Rises. It turns me incomprehensible with rage.

But that said, when I saw that Max's name was on the shortlist for the new version of Batman, I might have squeed just a little. Partly it was cool to see him finally get some recognition for a change (because Batman! Might mean he wouldn't have to do cheesy Lifetime movies all the time! And play villains on CBS procedurals!), and partly it was because, ya know, he would have made an awesome Bats. A really really awesome one, and he wouldn't even have to do the Christian Bale Batman voice -- his voice is naturally low and sexy and gravelly anyway! But he's a great physical actor, and he never really gets to show his range because of the roles he gets, so yeah, it would have been cool to see him as Batman, back then in Batman Begins or in the new ones.

And right now he's too old for a lot of the things I'd love to see him as an adaptation of things that haven't been made before, like The Dreyfuss Affair. Although when 60-year-old Liam Neeson suddenly becomes an action hero, or Harrison Ford's playing action heros well into his 60s, maybe there is no such thing as too old anymore? I don't know.

But for some reason, that got me thinking about one of my all-time favorite movies. I would not really want to see a new adaptation of Escape from New York, because I'm just not sure that anything new could really capture what made that movie so much fun and so beloved. I see the trailers for the new Robocop, and it's just...devoid of any of the things that made the original so great. They've made crucial alterations that gut the premise of the story and I'm pretty sure it's going to be awful. So I have zero faith that a new version would be any good, but goddamn, Max would make an awesome Snake Plissken. Just so, so awesome. He's in perfect physical shape for it, he has the voice, he'd look smashing with an eye patch, he can fight and he's a fabulous gun actor, and he can do dry, sardonic humor really really well. (That was always one of my favorite things about Mack on The Unit -- he had the best lines, especially when he was griping, which he did so creatively.)

So yeah, if someone really good could adapt Escape from New York for the 21st century, and it wouldn't totally suck all the best qualities of the movie out of it, I would love to see him be Snake. (And bonus for him, because he seems to love to get tons of trashy tattoos, so he could get the cobra for realz.) Imagine the casting, too, you could do with that: Idris Elba could be the Duke of New York, so they could work together again; the president could be genderswapped and played by someone like Sigourney Weaver; Gina Torres could play Maggie; Brain could be Orlando Jones (no, seriously, wouldn't he make an awesome Brain?); and Hauk could be Robert Patrick. I know, dream on. Whatever.

And beaches or mountains? I cannot choose. Which is why I live in Seattle despite the cold and the damp -- I have both within miles of my house. And I can see both from my neighborhood when I walk. But if I could live somewhere that's warm all the time, like Hawaii or southern California, it'd pretty much have to be beaches. Because there's nothing like being able to walk out on that warm sand and go into warm water and snorkel around.
gwyn: (CJ past)
I have a wrap-up post to make about my trip, but for now I'm posting my premiering vid from VidUKon. I was so amazed that there were people at the con who knew the series, and that even some of the people who didn't grokked what the vid was doing.

Pick Up the Phone
Fandom: Awake
Artist: The Notwist
File: 39.9MB avi
"If you're telling me that the price of seeing them, feeling them...of having them in my life is my sanity, then that's a price I will happily pay."

Streaming at YouTube here, and embed below
gwyn: (vids)
I am trying to make my vid for Escapade, a team-y Avengers vid using all the Avengersverse movies. I have never been so mentally unhinged before, and that includes many years of VCR vidding. Everything is going wrong, just everything, and these different aspect ratios and the fact that my old computer can't handle the size of the files and just...everything, is making me cry.

Anyway. Speaking of vidding, I am considering going to [personal profile] vidukon this year. I haven't been to the UK since the last century! 1998 to be exact. And I'm a very different person now -- I don't have the friends there I had before to take me cool places, and I'm an old lady now. One of the things that worries me is that in the past six months, I've developed hot flashes, which seem to be triggered by having to pee. Like, if there's even a drop of pee in me that needs to come out, I'll have nasty hot flashes, and at night I'll have both the hot flashes and restless leg syndrome kicks into high gear. It's not a problem to get an en suite room, I can handle that financially, but I worry about the fact that now my bladder seems to constantly be bugging me. Sometimes it seems like I have to pee every five minutes.

I think I'll stay in London for a few days to get acclimatized (I tend to have very bad jet lag), then take the train to Cardiff for the con, and then come back to London and maybe do some day trips, or possibly head up to Scotland, I haven't decided yet. I won't be able to rent a car. I remember many small towns had public toilets and such, but I imagine things have changed quite a bit, and I don't remember enough of how easy it was in London to access the ladies'. For those of you in the know, do you think someone with a crazed bladder can easily survive the mean streets on a day of sightseeing? I know there are always cafes and things, but then I'm just drinking more liquid...

I hate that being old now means I have to plan around things like this. Bleh.

Windy city

Aug. 12th, 2012 10:00 pm
gwyn: (star trek rock band)
It's late and I should be going to bed, but I'm sitting here in my Chicago hotel room waiting for someone from maintenance to come up and try to get my toilet to a) flush and b) stop running. I'd flushed it when I left last, about four hours ago, and went down to [personal profile] flummery's room for our post-Vividcon hangout, and it was still running when I got back, and doesn't want to actually flush. My whole room's been fucked -- the refrigerator is warm and moist, which is creepy and gross. And the carpet has felt kind of damp all weekend, but it helped to run the AC on high for a while, even though I was an iceberg afterwards for quite some time. It's just WRONG when Chicago is colder than Seattle, but it has been all weekend.

Good con this year, with a few weird or bad spots, but mostly good. I never had time to upload my vids before I left, so that will have to wait till I get home, but no one's exactly champing at the bit to see them so I'm not too stressed. I really loved my vid show, Weird Science. But I have missed Sandy even more acutely this year than before. It just kills me, seeing the things she would have loved so much, like the "Thor" vid that closed the show and the Whip It vid in Club Vivid.

Anyways, more con notes once I get back. Time for some sleep. Heading home tomorrow afternoon, and I miss my kitties so much. I hope that when I get back, I'll get a new foster dog soon -- I've gone a whole summer without a dog, and it's a shame not to have one enjoying the back yard at the height of summer.
gwyn: (dean pelton)
I hate posting pics of myself (I hate taking them, so I rarely do), but I have to show off my cool new hair! I went for my pre-VVC cut and color and I couldn't decide what to do for my hair, but I knew I wanted something pretty dramatically different. I was thinking of either doing a ruby/burgundy red with something else, or what I was really leaning towards, a silvery grey/lilac like Kelly Osbourne's hair here. I'm probably one of the only people who likes her hair like that, but I do. ANYways, I ended up opting for a burgundy shade with flame red and violet sections, and I really like it! I think I would have liked the Kelly hair, too, though. Maybe next time. I have a feeling it will already be fading by con time, but here's what it looked like today -- each picture looks a little different because for some reason, the three separate colors only came out in different light (the ruby in sun, the flame in shade, and the violet in indirect sun). Go figure. Just ignore my fat ugly face.

Hair! )
And an extra pic of Mr. Baby, who had to check out the camera. Poor little guy, he's really wilting in the heat and so scared of the fan.


Something I've meant to say for a long time and I never remember/think to do: If anyone wants to do a podfic recording of any of my stories, you are more than welcome to. I'd love to know about it if you do, but this is blanket permission. Also, if you want to pick up after a story or continue something of mine, you're welcome to, I'd just love an acknowledgement. Snady worked on me about this for years, and I wish I'd had the chance to tell her I'd changed my tune about things.

I can hardly believe it's five days till VVC. Augh! Five days!!! WTF. How did that happen? I need to make some dvds and get my shit together. I do have a fabulous outfit for Club Vivid (and now fabulous hair), but I don't think I have a single other thing ready. Entirely unprepared. Gah. If all goes well (and it rarely does with O'Hare) I should be in the hotel by 3 or so.
gwyn: (dean pelton)
I hate posting pics of myself (I hate taking them, so I rarely do), but I have to show off my cool new hair! I went for my pre-VVC cut and color and I couldn't decide what to do for my hair, but I knew I wanted something pretty dramatically different. I was thinking of either doing a ruby/burgundy red with something else, or what I was really leaning towards, a silvery grey/lilac like Kelly Osbourne's hair here. I'm probably one of the only people who likes her hair like that, but I do. ANYways, I ended up opting for a burgundy shade with flame red and violet sections, and I really like it! I think I would have liked the Kelly hair, too, though. Maybe next time. I have a feeling it will already be fading by con time, but here's what it looked like today -- each picture looks a little different because for some reason, the three separate colors only came out in different light (the ruby in sun, the flame in shade, and the violet in indirect sun). Go figure. Just ignore my fat ugly face.

Hair! )
And an extra pic of Mr. Baby, who had to check out the camera. Poor little guy, he's really wilting in the heat and so scared of the fan.


Something I've meant to say for a long time and I never remember/think to do: If anyone wants to do a podfic recording of any of my stories, you are more than welcome to. I'd love to know about it if you do, but this is blanket permission. Also, if you want to pick up after a story or continue something of mine, you're welcome to, I'd just love an acknowledgement. Snady worked on me about this for years, and I wish I'd had the chance to tell her I'd changed my tune about things.

I can hardly believe it's five days till VVC. Augh! Five days!!! WTF. How did that happen? I need to make some dvds and get my shit together. I do have a fabulous outfit for Club Vivid (and now fabulous hair), but I don't think I have a single other thing ready. Entirely unprepared. Gah. If all goes well (and it rarely does with O'Hare) I should be in the hotel by 3 or so.

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