I missed two weeks, but it’s okay! It’s because I was in Austin having the most epic of epic weeks! IT WAS RTX TIME!
Okay I sort of lied. The first Monday I wasn’t technically in Texas yet, but I was flying out super duper early the next morning and was still packing like a crazy person, so my brain was in Austin.
I was there for a full week, Tuesday to Tuesday, and it was so awesome. Like super awesome. Super exhausting and draining, but so worth it. I got to meet so many awesome people, and had so many people recognize me from my work in the community. It was weird to have people walk up to me who I had never met before say “oh, you must be Zelda! It’s so great to meet you! You’re a huge inspiration to me!”
I spent the week as a Guardian, which is what they call the volunteers for the event. I was put on the PA team, which means I was responsible for keeping staff on schedule, fed, hydrated, and not-mobbed by groups of adoring fans. It was surprisingly busy, and I spent most of the convention up and moving (with a decent amount of straight up running). It was a lot of fun though. It was really cool to see the staff behind the characters they play in all their videos.
Probably the coolest part of the week was the final day of the convention after close. The Guardian team was working on clearing stuff out and we kept hearing a commotion out in the hall. When I finally left, I found out what it was: about 300 convention attendees had stayed behind and were cheering for all the volunteers as they exited the building. After spending the weekend literally having the job of crushing hopes and dreams when people wanted to meet staff while we were trying to get them somewhere, having that kind of reaction was phenomenal.
As exhausted and sore and totally drained as I was by the time I got home, I’m already super pumped to do it again next year. It sounds like I made a good enough impression that I will be invited back, so that’s exciting! It also sounds like the staff member I was assigned to really liked me, so I may luck out and get to revisit the same role. It’s a super competitive job, so the fact that I not only got to do it for my first year but may have secured it for the future is just amazing.
When I showed off my sewing projects, I mentioned I had two painting projects I was trying to cram in before RTX. I’m waiting on the last bit of supplies for one, but at this exact moment I’m actually as done as I can be with everything, and I’m pretty happy with how it’s turning out!
1) Mass Effect Shoes
Since I’m working RTX I have a specific shirt I have to wear that labels me as staff. This means no nerdy t-shirts for me. I still wanted to find a way to express my nerdiness, so I decided to try my hand at something I’ve seen a lot of other people do: paint canvas shoes, using the Mass Effect series as my inspiration. I picked up a pair of slip on canvas shoes for about $6, searched the bowels of the internet for images of my favorite characters that looked like I may be able to reasonably paint, bought some blue transfer paper, and essentially created my own paint by numbers scheme. Here’s what I used at my templates:
I picked a few other emblems that were relevant to the series to fill in some of the dead space, agonized over colors, and end up with this:
Not bad at all for someone who doesn’t really paint if I do say so myself!
2) Schedule Wristbands
I’m one of the personal assistant (PA) Guardians, meaning I am assigned to a particular staff member and am responsible for making sure they stay on schedule and don’t suffocate in a mob of fans. In the past, the PAs have just had to keep a version of the schedule folded up in their pocket or bag, and by the end of the weekend it could get hard to read. Someone suggested this year we get some of those wristbands that football quarter backs use, which was totally brilliant. Some of us decided we wanted to give it a shot, me being one of them. I made a comment that I’d probably paint something on mine, which then prompted almost everyone who was ordering a wristband to ask me to do the same for them. So now I have this:
I’m still waiting on 2 more wristbands to show up so I can paint those, but I’m done with all the ones I have!
And I leave in a week! Yay!!
Seriously, how did I fall off the regular posting bandwagon so hard? I’m going to guess it’s because nothing all that interesting has been happening, so I don’t get those “I can’t wait to share this!” moments anymore.
Figuring out how to record sewing tutorials in a way that works for me but also makes for a usable video is actually a lot more difficult than I anticipated. Luckily we got a GoPro for Christmas, and the attachments for that actually work really well for setting it up at weird angles. The bigger problem is setting it up so I don’t cast shadows on the parts I’m trying to point out, and keeping it zoomed in enough that you can actually see the small details I’m trying to talk about. Definitely a lot of trial and error going on here. More error than anything else.
The embroidery project took a weird turn. I finished the outline for the most difficult shape (a snowflake), and I actually think I like it just as an outline (though that opinion may be tainted by my experience trying to outline it and my fears about trying to fill it). For the time being I’m outlining the rest of the shapes, and then I’ll judge how I think it looks as just outlines. If it works, then I can wrap up this project in about 1/5 of the time I anticipated it’d take me, which would be awesome.
The job situation is still dismal. I have what I refer to as a perma-headache going on and can’t actually remember the last time I didn’t have some sort of headache going on. The lab position I’ve been kind of banking on at Geoff’s company that’s been in the works for ages has been essentially put on hold indefinitely. They’ve gone from saying they’re going to hire 3 people to maybe, maybe being able to hire 1 by the end of the year. So now I’m back to looking full force at all options, though now I’m having a new struggle: I’m having a really hard time identifying the happy medium between desperation to leave this job and risking setting my career track back by taking any old job I can get. I’ve found chemistry jobs, but they’re all 3rd shift tech spots that have low pay. I found regular hour well-paying spots, but they’re desk jobs and definitely not chemistry. I’ll admit, there’s a bit of an ego/pride struggle going on here as well.
I do have an application out to a brewery at the moment. They’re looking for a new cellar operator, and chemists are a surprisingly good fit for a spot like that. It’d at least be a cool way to stray from the lab, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed a bit on that one.
The YouTube channel is going pretty well. Last time I actually checked I had 70 some subscribers, which is pretty good for a new channel. I’m still trying to settle into a groove with it as far as what I want to put up there versus what other people have suggested I try. It’s also surprisingly hard to talk to yourself out loud. I figured since I talk to myself all the time in my head that the game play videos would be a piece of cake…apparently not.
On a partially related note, there’s a member of the Rooster Teeth community that has started producing “Epic Rap Battles of Rooster Teeth” similar to the “Epic Rap Battles of History”. He’s gotten other community member together to make music and record lyrics that he writes, and they’ve been pretty fantastic. This weekend I got to help out with one and voice what is probably my favorite female character of any series they’ve put out. It’s certainly not perfect (let’s face it, I’m not exactly a rap master), but I had a ton of fun doing it and the feedback on the video has been awesome. If you are so interested:
On another related note (can you tell I’ve been spending a lot of time with RT stuff?), I applied to be on the volunteer staff team at RTX this year (known as the Guardians). They had 1600 applicants and choose 400, although anyone who was previously a Guardian got preference so it was really like 1400 people applying for 200 spots. Notifications went out last week, and I get to join the team! I’m super pumped about it, despite the fact that I’ve essentially just volunteered to be the bad guy and exhaust myself beyond reason for 3 days straight. I’ll find out which sub-team I’m on in April. Woohoo!
Prior to RTX, I made a couple of friends through my backpack assembling adventure journal entries. Down at RTX, I got to meet some of them face to face. One such friend actually lives in Michigan too, just across town as it turns out. It was cool to meet someone down in Texas and have that transfer all the way up here. We got together this past week actually to have dinner and drinks.
And so I could return his super fantastic metal Halo 4 case that the entire RT crew signed.
Through a series of ridiculous events, I ended up one of the lucky ones who made it into one of the most popular signing lines on Sunday. While we were waiting around, my new MI friend and his crew found us to chat for a bit, before asking if I wouldn’t mind getting the case signed for him. He handed it over, and went about his business. By the time we exited the line, the convention center was shutting down and the MI posse had already left for the night. So what did we do? He said to just get it back to him sometime once we were back up here.
We had never met before, just talked a bit online, and suddenly for no real reason other than being a part of the same community, there was an inherent level of trust that said giving me this awesome item was no big deal, that there was no question I would return it.
He was in no rush to get it back, and it wasn’t until 2 weeks later that we were able to connect again. And that’s why I love the RT community. We can do that kind of thing. We can meet, and 72 hours later you feel comfortable enough with someone who was a stranger to just hand over something that is essentially irreplaceable with a simple “yeah I’ll get it from you later” before you wander off.
High five, Rooster Teeth community, high five.