(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:44
apiphile: (did it on purpose)
[personal profile] apiphile
Anyway what the shit: https://www.instagram.com/p/BW3Co6qFeJ8/ i look pretty good there i think

(Amy & I got banned from messaging each other on FB because we did it so much that FB thought we were spammers? Dude we were just talking about Spider-man. Leave us alone).

Today I have FINALLY MANAGED TO SLEEP, done some fucking unnecessary chores, carried entirely too many bottles, been to the goddamn gym, become obsessed with a Big Muscle Boy ™ who was buying JUST FROZEN CHICKEN BREASTS, BROCCOLI, AND SAVERS PORRIDGE OATS at the supermarket (he is COMMITTED), drank literally all the caffeine, found immediate problems with my outline, got melancholy about the Gordon Riots, and drawn the Tyburn Tree on my hand for some reason.

Pride II: The Transening.

Jul. 23rd, 2017 18:03
apiphile: (did it on purpose)
[personal profile] apiphile
So the weather definitely did not hold this time. At all. In any way at all.

Firstly, no matter how early I manage to leave the house, I still can't manage to get to Brighton in the Proper Morning because it takes an unearthly time to get from my house to Victoria, even when I get lucky with the trains, including the train to Brighton, which I actually did today (I even managed to squeeze in a coffee before running for the Brighton train; despite the stressed barista accidentally firing an entire hot coffee all over the man in front of me; he graciously declined both first aid and a refund and just sopped up the coffee with tissues while they got him another one).

Played "spot who's going to Trans Pride" on the way down the hill, stopped in various shops en route - one at Muffy's behest to get her a beach towel (Primark) and a couple at my own requirement and it is a very important matter of personal development that I didn't get fucking ID'd in Brighton AT ALL for once. Muffy and I went through the first bottle of wine and she showed me the bloodstains on her staircase from her neighbours having a knife fight ("That's FINE"), and the marks on her ceiling from where the roof tile had tried to come through the roof and her landlord hadn't bothered to tell her people would be coming into her room to fix it ("That's FINE, of course, nothing untoward or ACTIVELY ILLEGAL there"), I played "Radio Friendly Pop Song" by Matt Fishel for Muffy and in the process lost all my playlists because iTunes is a piece of shit, we went out for more wine and headed out into the Moderate Rain.

The Moderate Rain became Serious Rain just as we got to Brunswick Gardens (having missed the actual march) and I tried to coordinate Rory into a human location nearby and found he was still driving anyway; we got into the square and met up with Wen and their partner and some other people Muffy and Wen knew and who I didn't; departed for a circuit of the square and had made it about 1/3 of the way around (stopping for as many freebies as possible and also the cheapest ever scone/jam/scream secion of a cream tea) before the sky ripped in half and dumped out every single droplet of water that has ever existed.

We were attempting to deal with this when Thor (we assumed later it must have been the God of Thunder disapproving massively of Trans Pride because of his issues with his Canonically Genderfluid Brother) tried to lob a gazebo at us, and therefore teamed up with a couple of other people to be temporary tent pegs until the worst of the wind, rain, thunder, and lightning had passed ("Muffy, if it starts to lightning can you maybe let go of the TALL METAL POLE you are currently holding onto?") while on the inflatable stage the MCs gamely carried on with the programme of events ("IF RAIN WON'T STOP GLASTONBURY IT WON'T STOP US," they barked, "Maybe we'll be that big one day!"); during a lull in the rain we dashed across to the Mermaids tent (they're a UK charity supporting Trans minors, which was amusing last year because Trans Pride that time coincided with and was right next to the Mermaid Parade) and I got my face glittered in exchange for a very trifling donation.

Despite being repeatedly beaten up by the weather, we persisted, and were rewarded by some performance poetry which I shall not comment upon because the poet is an acquaintance of Muffy's, and also by someone in a tent shouting my name and then explaining that he didn't know me but recognised me from Lucian's tumblr, so we talked to him (James, I think?) until the rain stopped, ran into another of Muffy's friends, then decided to both eat and go and sit back in Muffy's flat in order to stop being soggy; at this point we'd given up on swimming.

So we got some food (there may have been a loud, if brief, argument about who was paying, which ended because Muffy TRICKED ME), went back to the flat, drank two bottles of wine waiting for Rory to explain where he was and what he was doing (also over the roof tops we caught bits of what I am now pretty sure was Octavian's band playing, since the square is only about three blocks over from Muffy's house), got the bus to the Marlborough because Muffy's Foot is the devil and made of pain and suffering and, primarily, lymph...

We briefly stopped in a supermarket for Muffy to buy cigarettes; a man came up to Muffy and said, "Excuse me, did you happen to draw a picture of me playing guitar once?" I said this sounded like the kind of thing she'd do, Muffy looked blank, but the man persisted. Eventually Muffy realised that yes, this had happened, the man's name was revealed; the portrait had occurred when both were at university. The man said he'd kept the picture and told Muffy there was someone he'd like her to meet, produced his very small child, who was running around the shop making aeroplane noises, and his partner, who was failing to keep up with her child, and explained to the smaller human that this was who had drawn that picture of Daddy. Muffy was, unsurprisingly and justifiably, very charmed by this experience as she draw the picture roughly a decade ago, and it's very flattering to know that a virtual stranger values your work so highly, I think!

Then sat in a pub receiving far, far more hugs than were necessary and also a bracelet which reads "CUNTPADRE" and befriending a friend of Rory's called Nat who had a "POINTLESSLY AGGRESSIVE" necklace and "CRUDE" bracelet, quoting what her MP called her when she asked him about his position on a recent case in which several MPs defended undercover police officers for having sexual relationships with women they were investigating while embedded in activist groups in the 80s, and pointed out to said MP that obtaining sex by deception was generally considered rape. [I have some mild issues with that because there is the Disclosure Law still on the statute books wherein if I bang someone and don't tell them they're trans & they somehow don't fucking notice before that then I Raped Them - EVEN, according to some marvelous case studies, in instances when cis people have sexually assaulted trans women this holds true? A M A Z I N G).

Rory decided he was hungry so we went to the Market Diner which in retrospect was Not A Good Plan; the food there always tastes fine (even if I had to get up and remind them about half of my order) but then inevitably makes me RATHER ILL; I don't remember much of the conversation apart from Rory informing me that "You're very good at refusing to acknowledge that you're actually kind of smart" and me pointing out that my one even vague area of ability lies in "making shit up" and "BASICALLY EVERYONE DOES THAT TO SOME DEGREE".

We all parted ways, I marched up to the station and onto the first and fastest train I could find and managed to keep myself awake to Victoria; via a less convenient route than usual I got to the RVT and just hung around politely dancing by myself at Duckie in between performances (one drag act lipsynching about racism in the gay community & specifically on dating apps to which I did slightly want to point out that however badly the artiste had it, his trans qpoc siblings will have it worse; one highly entertaining and disturbing cat-woman striptease involving eight tits, bone-based simulated masturbation, and fake ejaculate - definitely the right crowd for it though) and then gently sidling into one group so I had some people to dance AT before it became Acceptable to dance on the stage and no longer care about such things.

Music was Ungood for dancing to, however: the overall Load of songs I know and care about was spent between acts and after that very little grabbed me. In one trip to the bathroom a bearded man in a Spice Girls t-shirt appeared out of nowhere, said "You want to be careful, you know" and made me drink some of his water. "It's water. Just. Water." / "Wow, an actual human person who drinks water?" / "I do. Lots. You should too." I was also casually informed I was beautiful and shoved into the open toilet cubicle with a gesture somewhere between amusement and attraction so I am now Fully Validated for the remainder of the fortnight. Also, Children ™ (ie, people under 30) got very excited about my outfit (which by this horrifyingly sweaty point was mostly just trainers and dungaree shorts, a decision which elicited undue excitement from those nearby): "I can't find any of those anywhere that fit me" / "That's because you're tiny and the rest of us all got fat and now they make clothes for us instead".

I left around 1am because I was bored of not being able to dance to anything with much enthusiasm, and also increasingly bewildered by the existence of NormCore, but wasn't as hideously offended by this terrible failing as I could have been.

Today I crawled out of my pit around 10am, went to the Farmers' Market and bonded with a hungover dad about our general state of besmirched livers (he was in a worse state, describing himself as "fragile", and also "my head feels like I'm going to have a seizure"), got multiple breakfast items and some COFFEE ("Are you sure carbs are the right thing for a hangover?" asked the woman at the Danish goods store, "No but they're the right thing for breaking my favourite sunglasses."), and came out of the tube at Leicester Square to the merry pitter-patter of torrential rain?

Found Liza (having been banished to the gallery cafe for non-compliance on the "do not bring drinks into the gallery" rule), and began our march in search of Various Items We Needed to Replace (face goo, tick. Hoodie for Liza's plane journey, tick. Sunglasses: no luck for either of us. Coffee for Liza's brother: tick), also managed to get the t-shirt I was looking for (Liza: "I need to take a photo, Jason will want to see this"; also a short discussion with the guy at the till as I suggested to Liza that the reason I hadn't pointed out badges with "I NEED A POO" on them to her was that I was trying to get her out of the habit of talking about her poop; he said, "I LOVE TALKING ABOUT POO", and Liza vociferously agreed); went to St Paul's, ate our Middle Class Picnic largely while walking down Cheapside to Guildhall, and spent the afternoon or at least part of it exploring the gallery:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BW5ErofhJA_/?taken-by=derekdesanges (multiple image set)
https://www.instagram.com/p/BW5Ey0chTQp/?taken-by=derekdesanges (multiple image set)
https://www.instagram.com/p/BW5E6XkhohL/?taken-by=derekdesanges (see above)
https://www.instagram.com/p/BW5FByohgw3/?taken-by=derekdesanges (i did actually shriek in the gallery)
https://www.instagram.com/p/BW5FKEhBtGf/?taken-by=derekdesanges (i told her to "go in there, be a silhouette, get involved)
https://www.instagram.com/p/BW5Fas1h5_g/?taken-by=derekdesanges (i love a man in polygons)

being rained on while Liza was trying to knit, and therefore being forced to repair to a starbucks so she could finish making my socks (where once again i had my fucking food forgotten about by people); went looking for more sunglasses, was "Ma'amed" by a security guard who apologised profusely when I opened my mouth to answer his question and then justified his choice of gender by pointing out that I have bleached hair and "decorations" (i assume he meant the leftover glitter) because apparently The Gays don't exist in his world; Liza successfully sourced sunglasses, I still didn't and now I can't find my epoxy to fix my broken ones D: Topman no longer do this style either

we had a poke around Greyfriars and fucked off to our respective locations. Now. I was expecting that I would go to Morrisons and stock up on stuff for the work week, but what happened was more torrential downpour, delayed bus, Morrisons not obeying their own opening hours, Akdeniz doing the annoying Turkish thing of not trusting sugar-free anything and therefore not even providing me with One Emergency Can of the things I need, and also I cannot find my stupid Nexus 7... THEREFORE I am not making dinner, I am going to the PUB for dinner, I refuse to be forced to be responsible.

ETA: oh yes also Rory did me a special cake


(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:00
apiphile: (i hate that thing you love)
[personal profile] apiphile
Yesterday apparently was Trans Day or something (I mean technically it was The Start of Trans Pride); ended up dealing with a bunch of medical admin nonsense, "phone appointment" with the gender therapist (aka Excuse To Ramble About Nothing As A Smokescreen In General), buying yet more train tickets for fucking Exeter as I have two appointments there in a month and the tickets get more and more expensive every time I fucking blink.

Due to Sleep and also getting up at the crack of ass in order to get to the gym and back before the phone appointment (which went fine, turns out alternating exercise regimes is good for you or at least gives some of the muscles a chance to recover or something) I started to flag not long after the appointment. I'd spent the time between gym and phone call with this idea that I was going to "just relax in bed with tea and a book" and actually spent the time noodling things for the book because I don't know how to relax. I did have tea and I was in bed so I think it counts. However, by the time I'd got back from picking up my tickets from the station (and meeting one of my neighbours I hadn't met before in the process, because what better time to meet someone than when you're deliriously tired and dressed like a fucking stoner) I was biliously tired and the idea of going swimming sounded nonsensical and impossible - it had taken me nearly an hour to psych myself up for the 3 minute walk to the station...

So I took a disco nap, and naturally woke up more fucking tired and deeply, DEEPLY disoriented, which literally always happens when I have a nap and I have no idea how they're supposed to be refreshing or at all useful, their sole purpose is killing time and I really don't have a problem making time pass any more. Went back and forth on whether or not I was going out for about two hours, then went; I think this was the right decision? I did read a bit more of the incredibly pretentious book about night walking on the way down and also got to see a bit of the DLR I've never seen before (the Greenwich-Lewisham stretch; I've not been to Lewisham before, I don't think, and much like Watford it still gives the impression of being its own place, the town it once was/is despite holding pretensions towards also being London).

Had arrived early at Charlie's suggestion, and so spent a while sitting in the cafe at the leisure centre as more people from the swimming group arrived, entirely too tired for proper socialising and therefore just gently mocked Charlie for taking this Asking Out Girl He Likes (who has already accidentally referred to him as her boyfriend twice on Facebook, I think this is pretty much a foregone conclusion) thing far too seriously.

Last time I got in a swimming pool I made the cardinal error of doing so after work so had been awake for too long, not eaten enough, was cold (outdoor pool), had just cycled there (an extremely stressful experience in 7am traffic in London), had no goggles so had to keep my head out of the water, thus throwing my entire balance off, and the pool was too damn deep for confident swimming for someone who'd not fucking done any in over a decade. This time: warm water, fed body, no binder, goggles, company, not surrounded by OAPs zipping up and down the lanes in their morning-before-work-or-whatever frenetic attack on the water, generally went better.

I'm out of practice and have never been much good at proper swimming anyway, but I managed I think 22 lengths in total in between dicking around and attempted socialising (mostly I just drifted around with Charlie listening to bits of conversation he was having and then vanished again because doifhvauiodvbs I have nothing to contribute or was too tired to have a personality) and OH GOD was that knackering. I can only do the breast stroke and backstroke, and I also don't appear to be able to float properly. I mean, I had already noticed this in the sea last year; "heavy in the water", according to the One Other Trans Guy there who wasn't me or Charlie (he was shooting up and down doing lane swimming on his own & pretty much embodied exactly the Srs bznz Swimming OAP I mentioned up there). And I've forgotten most of the breathing stuff I knew so that was occasionally slightly traumatic.

Had my tattoos pointed out to me so often I started to feel self-conscious about them and toddled off with C a little before the end of the session (not much before though; by the time we left the changing rooms the pool had been covered). I kind of had intellectually remembered how tiring swimming is (and hungering; took an energy bar with me for precisely this "don't buy shit from the vending machines" reason) but not on any kind of visceral level. According to MFP, on which I felt compelled to refer to it as "leisurely" swimming despite it being nothing of the sort, simply because I physically cannot go very fast and so on, it was a whopping 85 calories worth, somewhat less than the usual amount I do on machines at the gym. I guess the tiring part is the remembering to breathe or the unusual muscle use.
apiphile: (not enough fart jokes)
[personal profile] apiphile
I mean not to be rude or anything, I do know Rent is strongly based on La Boheme (I mean the fucking song for one thing) but there's a certain distinct shall we say tonal and characterisation similarity which suggests to me a strong familiarity with Angels In America, now that I've actually seen it.

(I went to see an NT Live screening of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches with Ruthi last night as Part Deux of her now-very-belated birthday present, for clarity).

I spent the whole first act mostly hypnotised by the fact that Denise Gough in this production (but not in any of her official photos, it turns out) looks near-identical - if slightly blonder - to the way my mother did the year this is set, 1985. Mildly disturbing. Fortunately as no one in the play was a toddler, no one in it resembled me during that year. Or tbh any other year. One day I may develop the figure of Nathan Lane as Ron Cohn (oh hey I thought I recognised the character's name; it's the man who mentored Trump! GReaaettttaarrgk great)*, but I doubt I'm going to manage to look like anyone else.

Anyway, I now actually know the plot or rather selection of scenes that make up the first half of the play, I also now understand Marika's deep and abiding attachment to Miss Thang (Nathan Stewart Jarrett excelled in this role; I mean, the whole main cast excelled in its roles, and Russell Tovey gives good "conflicted innocent" thanks to Them Eyes and so on, but I am biased in favour of Nathan SJ because he is A BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL MAN); Andrew Garfield a tad too muscular to be dying of AIDS and specifically described as having a "weight problem", the angel impressively terrifying, and what old-time Theatre Studies Me would probably wax lyrical about in terms of the use of FX/LX is best forgotten about as technical boohooing. James McArdle, with whom I am not so familiar, keeps a good balance as Louis in terms of Actual Complexity (a fairly well-written character in general who treads the fine line between being loathesomely self-involved and cowardly and just genuinely and understandably terrified and filled with sorrow and pre-emptive loss, SparkNotes of course mentions the boring conclusion that Many Critics Think He Is A Stand-In For The Playwright because, you know, ALSO a Jewish Gay Man in New York. Staggering detective work there).

Documentary at the start with Tony Kushner had him ruefully pointing out that he would really LIKE the play not to be relevant any more, which unfortunately mirrors exactly what Martin Sherman said in the Q&A after Bent.

[It has been occurring to me as I work out this morning - btw eating a fucking chicken wrap at around midnight leads to a good work-out at like 7.30am; I assume it was the wrap because it certainly wasn't the four and a half hours of fitful sleep - the ways in which things could be played different in the script, in order to jerk audience sympathies in different directions while keeping the same dialogue; all the alternative versions of the same play kind of edging in on the solidified real choice, like little ghost plays].

"Do you have any Feelings about this play, Derek?" Well, aside from the tiresome repetitive feeling that always surfaces when someone vaguely identifiable is dying ("Shouldn't that be me?"), only the sense of humanity in physical comfort and how alien and occasionally wonderful it looks. There is a lot of touch in the play, more than is standard in male/male interactions in society where I live, and sometimes it looks a little bit like heaven. (Also on the subject of NSJ, d'you ever like, immediately have an internalised homophobia fit about finding someone attractive? Like: Oh great, now I have to hate myself some more).

* "Cohn is credited with introducing Trump and Murdoch in the mid-1970s, marking the beginning of what was to be a deep and pivotal association between them." Motherfucker could you not have got AIDS a little sooner

Mainly for diary reasons

Jul. 20th, 2017 17:22
apiphile: (henry scott tuke)
[personal profile] apiphile
Still can't fucking stay asleep because my girlfriend snores like the end of the world. Managed to have a fairly nice dream which then degenerated into falling over and constantly getting sheep shit in my mouth. Did get to pet a lot of bunnies and hang out with Andrew's friend Supriya. Who is a real person and not someone my dream invented, I should clarify. Got up at 7am and managed to shift my shit to the gym before 9, which is a miracle. Everywhere is full of schoolchildren and the weather is abominable (I gave myself a change at the gym so it feels like a rest and also my quads still hate me from all the GOBLIN SQUATS so)

Bullied Lindsay into bleaching my hair, dragged my ass to Owen's cafe in the cunting rain and FINALLY managed to asspull a very vague and probably unhelpful 30-day grid guideline with a couple of sub-plot pointers which I will have to go over at some point and expand upon. A good start, though.

Ingested lunch, went to the pub with Jess with the idea of maybe trying to write a test scene but only managed a little dialogue before getting sucked into drawing nonsense and arguing about YouTubers I neither know nor care about (also I still cannot draw); umphed off to the shops which, as an excursion, kept getting longer and longer until we ended up having coffee again somewhere and mumbling feebly about gentrification (but I did eventually get my milk so WIN TIMES).

Returned, joyously flung off my pants, wrote my pissy complaint email to the NHS and sent it, rewrote and formatted Jess's friend's CV for her, typed up my dialogue notes from the pub, and am now fervently trying to finish eighty bits of computer admin while I OUGHT to be putting my pants back on and leaving the house because I have an NT live screening to go to with Ruthi and I can't very well tell her to go on without me since she needs my phone to pick up the tickets. ALLEZ! Today has been busy somehow.
apiphile: (quite enjoying this)
[personal profile] apiphile
It was one of those parties that hadn't quite to managed to get off the ground. The same six people had shown up as always, two of them weren't speaking to each other, there was only half a bottle of vodka between six and one beer each, one of the controllers was broken and Sean had forgotten the DVD he was adamant he was going to bring.

"This is bullshit," Katy said, ten minutes after arriving.

"Shh," her boyfriend muttered. There was no chance they'd missed it; there was no sound beside the failed conversation droning gently out of Sean like air from a deflating balloon. The atmosphere was dire. Sean and Alison shouldn't have been in the same room together. In fact, in Alec's fairly invested opinion, the whole party shouldn't have happened at all. Deadlines were approaching, which explained why no one else was there, Katy hadn't done any work whatsoever, had cheated on him with her now former best friend's boyfriend and refused to acknowledge it had happened at all, bringing the total number up to four...

The overhead light, courtesy of Alison's cheapskate landlord, flickered and buzzed. The TV showed the title screen of and out-of-date racing game no one wanted to play. The smell of a cat which wasn't there any more still lingered in the air.

"Back in a minute," Katy said abruptly, getting up. Alec almost followed her, but by the time he'd made the decision she was back, the front door slamming open again, trailing a man twice her age and a white teenage girl, both of whom smelled strongly of weed. The teenager proffered a bottle of overproof rum, unopened, to the room in general. Katy snatched it out of her hands.

"I can't believe you don't know your neighbours," she said, addressing everyone, although the only people responsible for this state of affairs were Tanya and Alison. She held a note of triumph in her voice. "This is Ray, and his girlfriend – what was your name again? Zelda? Zeldaya?"

"Zelida," the girl said, twirling a pigtail; she was definitely no older than sixteen and she'd made a conscious effort to look younger. "You need mixers."

"I'm going to put some music on," Katy announced, leaping to her feet again with the rum firmly clasped in her hand. Sean caught Alec's eye and glared, half mouthing what the fuck at him.

Alec kind of understood: it was meant to be a quieter evening, although not quite this quiet, given the proximity of the submission dates for projects, but, well. A: if they'd wanted a quiet night for real they wouldn't have invited Katy, who was allergic to quiet, and B: well, Sean was one of the four even if he didn't know Alec knew, and he could fuck all the way off.

A loud howl of guitar distortion barked out over the sitting room and the older man – Ray, his dreads beginning to get lumpy and badly cared-for towards the ends like he'd given up on them at some point – politely offered around a joint. Alec had, to his father's disappointment, never much liked smoking it; he inclined his head and waited for Katy to come and pounce on it instead.

She didn't, only crammed onto the sofa between him and the arm of it, where there wasn't really enough room, and where Alec acted as a buffer between her and Alison. Maybe Alison knew. Katy immediately started talking nine to the dozen about a friend who'd been to Peru recently. Alec put his arm around her waist: the friend was fictitious, she'd been rehearsing the story at him for a week.

"I'm a boring person," she'd said, rinsing purple dye into the sink. "I have to have something to talk about."

"You could let someone else get a word in edgeways for once," he'd suggested, but she hadn't found it funny.

Now, with the curtain flapping against the window and Alison listening in despite herself, caught up in the lie, he felt an obscure kind of anger that the story hadn't ever been for his benefit. She'd interrupted enough of his life, phoning him or just showing up at his room, and the bullshit itself was again just to entertain some stranger.

He readjusted his arm until his inner elbow rested on her shoulder. Katy was shorter than she looked, shorter than he always thought she was, carrying herself like she was six feet tall and trying, usually, to start a six-footer's fights. "Of course," he said with a big, pleasant smile that had already been approached by a couple of modelling agencies, much to his disgust, once Katy had finally drawn breath, "there isn't actually any Edgar. She doesn't know anyone who's been to Peru. Or really anyone outside of this room barring, I think, a couple of guys from the Sports Science course--" he bit back on why she knew them, "--do you, Kate?"

He kissed her on the forehead and felt her tense like she was about to punch him in the ribs, not for the first time – as Alison snorted a small and victorious snort. Oh, she knew, alright.

"Of course," Katy said acidly, "with this for a boyfriend, you can see why I like to imagine I'm literally anywhere else."

"He's cute though," the teenager offered, sprawling on her back on the rug. Alec realised without caring that she was already drunk when she'd arrived; now her knickers were plainly visible, not that anyone was paying her much attention.

"You're welcome to him," Katy said, digging her fingernails deep into the back of Alec's hand.

Later, they had a screaming argument at the bus stop.

Katy left him there, waiting for the night bus, and vanished into the night. She didn't return for two days, and just as he was starting to wonder if maybe he should text her and think about apologising, she showed up at his window at 2am with a fresh tattoo on her tit, climbed into bed with him without mentioning the party or the fight or where she'd been, and distracted him, yet again, from his term project.

(no subject)

Jul. 19th, 2017 14:39
apiphile: (fuck your ideals)
[personal profile] apiphile
Didn't go to Cambridge because I can't afford two train fares in one week, especially since my reasons for going were "being not here". Went to Muswell Hill to do my writing instead.

Here's one piece:

"So," Ed said, when the ringing in his ears had died down,a nd the train had moved on again, "is this like a spirit quest … or a … some other kind of shamanic journey thing? … Do I have to take mushrooms? I don't get on with mushrooms. I'll hoarf."

Bodge regarded him for an uncomfortably lengthy minute, her ugly patchwork skin mottled by the stripes of fence shadows and unshaded orange sodium streetlight; someone down here hadn't had the memo about the LED bulbs in the other lampposts, or had a bee in their bonnet about them. She took a live rat out of her coat pocket.

"No," Ed said, looking at its brown and curious face. "Absolutely not."

Bodge shrugged and released the rat; it wandered off into the shadows with an air of insulting unconcern so unwarranted that Ed almost wanted to take it back.

"Stop expecting something fancy," Bodge suggested. "It's not the way I do shit." She held out her scarred, multi-tonal hand, palm up but mercifully rat-free, and said, "Take my hand."

Ed hesitated; she smelled of fox shit and had just had a rat on her hand and was probably crawling with germs even before that, but his bathroom was also probably worse on the germ front. He wasn't keen on skin contact with even the kind of people who washed their hands, regularly, with stuff that wasn't poo, but the alternatives all seemed to involve the threat of animal sacrifice, and he was even less keen on that.

He took her hand. She was very warm, and aside from the ridges in her palm, her skin was unexpectedly softy. Bodge closed her fingers over his and gave him an encouraging grin with mismatched teeth – he was sure one was a horse incisor. He was sure another was a fox canine. One of her eyes, the left one, was definitely not human. The other definitely was.

"Deep breath," Bodge suggested, gesturing to the manky railway arch in a general sweeping motion with her free hand. "It's about to get weird."

It was already weird, as far as Ed was aware, but he'd learnt of late that just because he thought he'd hit rock bottom didn't mean t the top couldn't just drift up further away. He read through the more legible graffiti around him and counted to ten; he'd got as far as seven and a silhouette of a gun firing out crows into a sunset, when Bodge yanked him off his feet and, without warning, straight out of sanity.

London boiled. The street belched and bubbled blood-red spheres from the knobbly cobbles beneath the bridge, swathed in the stink of slaughterhouses; he got the cold-veined feeling that ghosts were pressing their silvery, malleable forms into every millimetre of the air against his flesh, but refused to look.

The bubbles, red as the masque of death, contained worlds. Each world engulfed him in totality simultaneously, barraging him with potential Londons, the sticky sap of careless fabrications, rumours, tall tales and faith in the hundred personal variants of the vagrant City pouring like blood from wounds – slit animal throats glittering droplets of conviction in fiction – saliva dribbling down the chins of drunkards packed with 'knowledge' of shortcuts that didn't exist and now did – Asmodean strata as rooftops peeled away and the Devil on Two Sticks parted the secrets of the city like lips of a gash – the past and future circled into a Jormgundian ouroborous, a dog eating its own vomit, the endless branching roots – veins – roads – gangs and bombs and coins and mud and blood and fire, fire, fire, ashes and bread; plague-ridden corpses sauntering hand-in-hand with pantomime devils and impossibly poxy tarts – the Thames welling up around his legs, four-dimensional space, London passing through his cells not only now but always, from the second of its birth to the moment of his death -

Ed began to retch.

He felt the concept of urban divinity pass through the marrow of his ribcage like a physical object cheerfully thumbing its nose at the notion of mere universal laws. It hurt.

"Fuck right off--" Ed wheezed.

A bull, in a streak of temporal existence from zygote through to discarded pie fragments gnawed upon by rats, rubbed a shoulder against the arch. Both passed through each other. The bull unravelled into abattoir rejects hovering in vague spatio-temporal proximity to each other, became dogged and foxed-at; reassembled in the cacophony of a cattle-market as Ed's ears rang with auction cries, fox hunt calls, and gravedigger laughter.

Bricks exploded into the air and fell in hot, solid rain, the plink-plink of cooling metal; a brass band accompanied a hurdy-gurdy in the refrain of a Champagne Charlie classic scored by V2 bombers.

A cat screamed, and screamed, and screamed.

Blood rose up between the bricks---

Ed looked down at his trousers. "Fuck's sake."

Bodge patted him on the shoulder. "Well, that's done. Have fun being a genius locii. If I need you I'll find you."

"Wait--" Ed muttered, still preoccupied with the humiliating evidence of his own existential terror, clinging damply to his crotch. "--What do I --- why is the ground further away?"

(no subject)

Jul. 18th, 2017 19:57
apiphile: fuck you and fuck your fucking face (sire & dam)
[personal profile] apiphile
More dead people in London popping up to say hi: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-40641846

So anyway I *was* just going to go around the corner to do some writing ("some writing" = an attempted summary of my idiot book so far for the edification of [profile] wolfy_writes which I failed at btw)

but this outfit didn't seem appropriate for the yummy mummy cafe:


so i went to camden and did the first act outline in a Costa overlooking the canal with a massive frostino (americans: this is basically a frappucino but from a different company and the coffee is nicer and the ice is thicker), then walked along the canal which was both nice and A Mistake (there are an upsetting number of people sleeping in tent colonies by the canal; it did not used to be like this. I don't understand how people can think things haven't changed for the worse in that regard. There are so many people who don't have fucking houses. SO MANY), and did the second act of writing with an iced matcha latte in Yumchaa, which overlooks camden lock market:


(no evidence, at least nothing very big, of the large fire)

then i sort of ... accidentally kind of bought some extremely small denim dungaree shorts almost identical to the ones i used to wear 20 fucking years ago, except now they make me look like Slutty Gay Porn Boy as opposed to Wholesome Gingham Farm Girl. No photo yet. Wearing them this weekend to Brighton hopefully.

found this gem:


then went down to my favourite cafe in the BOWELS OF THE MARKET for a nice cheap tea and an attempt at writing act three, but my brain just fell apart and my "favourite" status has been slightly revoked due to the presence of a cockroach (I don't hold it against them, there's not much you can do in that old building & anyway I pretty much just go there for tea); after a while I concluded that part of the reason everything was Bad was that I was hangry, so I went home. This involved wedging myself into several extremely packed trains. :/


spotted that on the way though

And I've spent all evening typing up edit notes and trying to make sense of my summary. BOO.

apiphile: (wanted the opposite of this)
[personal profile] apiphile
The mission to hand-deliver my Pissy Letter to the clinic began at 4.40am in Canary Wharf. According to the bus route finder I should have been able to get two buses (the N550 and the N9), but there was a half-hour wait for the N550 so I decided to take the same route in smaller stages, and it went like this:

135 towards Old Street. Changed buses abruptly somewhere between Limehouse and Aldgate (Commercial Road?) by flinging myself off the 135's front doors and running onto the N15 directly in front, having observed through their back window that their destination was the same as the N550's would have been, ie, Trafalgar Square. Currently dark, dawnish light. A lot of very tired people on that bus, which had come in all the way from Romford. People starting their work day very early on Monday Morning. At least one barista on her way to City.

N15 to Somerset House; past Minories & Tower Hill, places I almost never go, as the sun begins slowly to climb towards our backs. Mind entirely taken up with what to do for someone experiencing an acid attack. Rehearsing the steps, what to say to emergency services.

At Somerset House there's a 15 minute wait for the N9. Get on the 6 towards Willsden having determined that it diverges routes at Green Park (and who knows, by the time I get to Green Park the tube might be running). At Green Park there's 11 minutes until the N9 but 22 until the tube; fanny around on free WiFi as the sun comes up and the postman next to me facetimes his family in a part of the world where the light suggests it's already late afternoon.

N9; sitting on the top front of the bus next to a boy of about 20, who fidgets so much that I think he wants to get up, so move out of his way; he beams and says he's not getting off yet, and spends the rest of the journey (to almost the same stop as me) smirking quietly. He is offensively pretty. The sun is up, the sky is clear; west London looks surprisingly beautiful, apart from the way every single stage of this journey has seen able-bodied, sober, "normal"-looking people sleeping in doorways, making me think of the 30s and mass unemployment and the way suddenly "having nothing" was a state reserved not for those in dire mental and physical situations who'd lost family support or the ability to live in homes at all (like Graham in my hometown who was effectively sleeping rough from "choice", in the sense that his PTSD was triggered by living indoors after a truly horrific childhood) but just something that was almost inevitable. Worried about winter.

At Hammersmith, 6.20am, walk from the bus station down to the clinic. With fewer people on the streets it doesn't seem as far at all. The sun is up although still low. Everything is green and gold even though the streets are still grey and brown as ever. Pass a cafe doing set breakfasts for £3.20, like something out of the distant past, but I'm not hungry. Deliver the letter.

Back at Hammersmith Station after a bus, grocery-shopping at Tesco at 6.30 am, inspecting individual carrots with a sense of cheerful dislocation from the world. Buy self a frappuccino on the grounds, somehow, that I've earned it.

Train with the rush hour commuters; edit a bit more of the short story, although it's now past the point in the narrative where I basically need to just cut the entire remainder and begin rewriting - somewhat annoyed/cautious about spending too much time on this when the book requires my attention more. Arrive home with the intention of going straight to the gym but spend too long in the bathroom and lose the will; decide to wait until after post-cinema nap, and spend the time before the cinema reading quite a large chunk of my dumb murder mystery, having decided that "dumb murder mystery" is all the mental energy I have left. Too tired to be angry with myself for not gymming or editing, which suggests my evaluation of that is correct.

Spider-man: Homecoming; probably one of the best Marvel films so far I think? no real spoilers but cut anyway )

My major complaints are: too much second-hand embarrassment for me to cope with and I was very tired so it felt like it was going on for too long.

Got home with the intention of taking a nap then going to the gym; what actually happened is that I was woken up around 9pm by Jess coming home from work, took another half an hour to get awake, decided I wasn't going anywhere, demanded pizza in celebration of Jess getting a promotion (but not a pay raise for three months because lol what is her fucking job even), ate that, and drugged myself back to sleep again.

But I went to the gym TODAY and have duly Mastered the GOBLIN SQUAT so whatever. And now I need to go do writing things.

Still looking for a proof-reader for Heavy though.

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 22:24
apiphile: (i hate that thing you love)
[personal profile] apiphile
Been off for Ethiopian food and coffee (A+) and accidentally walked in on an enthused lecture on an abstract painting that was also taking place in the restaurant; eavesdropped on a woman explaining her experiences on mushrooms and also overcomplicating some Straight Dude Behaviour from a guy she'd been on a date with (LADY HE'S JUST BEING DISORGANISED IT'S NOT DEEP); sulked about George Alec Effinger being dead.

Have been editing things on the train at shit o'clock in the morning; had a weird but hilarious dream:

Well in my dream it was a guy called Roy. There was already someone in the bathroom trying to fix his hair and he was not hugely thrilled by Roy barging in all I need to shit // Roy lowers himself onto the seat. Dude keeps fixing his hair and chatting while Roy is there naked from the waist down and straining with a can you believe this fucking guy face on // Eventually he can take it no longer. He's sitting side on. Lifts his ass. Strains. Fires a massive clear silicon dildo out of his ass. It rebounds off the wall and hits hair guy in the face knocking him clean out // Roy rolls on the floor face down and complaining about how much his ass hurts while you [Marika] and I shriek with laughter // I'm visiting from foreign lands. I start telling him about how in my country we have stuff to help with the ass pain. At first he's like fuck off leave me alone but he gets hopeful. I'm like Roy you can buy it anywhere, they sell it at train stations // So he cranes his head up like what what and I go IT'S CALLED LUBE ROY

Marika informs me that this is Highly Likely.

(I am assuming that my post about Bent disappeared into the aether.)

Also I need to go see Susanne it's been too long (and I left a thing at her place).

(no subject)

Jul. 15th, 2017 22:52
apiphile: (not enough fart jokes)
[personal profile] apiphile
So I'm editing something for submission atm and it has to be quite short which means I have to abandon such fantastic passages as:

"All working," Alana said, pinching her lower lip. "Camera three is slightly misaligned but I don't think that's such a big problem as all that. Have you got the Squeezy Thing?"
"It's a remote clasping facilitator," Euan corrected, looking around. "It costs half a million quid."
"Squeezy Thing," Alana repeated, her nose almost touching the monitors. "I want to test it while we're still in light."

and as I am enoying my readthrough I'm thinking I'm going to keep the original and then fucking finish it as the novella-length thing it was originally intended as, because by the time I actually finish it the statute of limitation or whatever the official term is (exclusive publishing rights I think) will probably have expired anyway even if it DOES get accepted.

A Short List Of Small Goals Which Are Hopefully Less Unreasonable Than My Usual Goal Lists

+ learn how to pratfall properly
+ relatedly, sort out whatever the fuck the problem is with my squats; Linds and I spent a while (ass naked because why not) trying to figure out where I'm going wrong and why I can't get my weight far enough forward not to lose my balance - his theory is that I subconsciously want to avoid any strain on my knees, which I reasonable because I don't really have kneecaps? - but I think the aim is to work on goblet squats (GOBLIN SQUATS OK, GOBLIN SOUNDS COOLER) since those will encourage me to lean forward
+ take an emergency-situation first aid course/learn how to deal with acid attacks so that I don't feel like I'm going to let people down in the event that this happens to them
+ take the Alexander technique for Dance class that City Academy are offering
+ dance taster classes (therefore I am only committing to a period of maximum three hours apiece)
+ go to Cambridge for breakfast at some point
+ catch up on Preacher S2
+ stop tactically-eating food just because it's free, or at least limit quantities instead of acting like i have to stockpile it. starting with sandwiches/bread-based products, even if i have to convince myself they'll make me ill (they're certainly not making me WELL)
+ finish The Grandmother Virus, one scene at a time. Increase the limit on the overall length since worrying about writing too much is, ironically, restricting me from writing anything at all.
+ actually talk through Tourist's Guide with someone who won't let me keep changing the subject.
+ learn how to stretch
apiphile: (poetry)
[personal profile] apiphile
C&Ping the Big News of the day in from an angry FB status:

In truly magnificent NHS admin style, Charing Cross just sent me a letter (today, post marked yesterday) telling me that I missed an appointment on the 8th of LAST MONTH which I wasn't told about (they haven't contacted me since last October), and that if I didn't reply in writing within 4 weeks to a letter it's taken them more than 4 weeks to mail that I would be discharged from the clinic; i.e., they're punishing me for not doing something they didn't tell me I was supposed to do (am I just supposed to show up every single day on spec in case there's an appointment they've not told me about?), and have made it literally impossible to conform to their conditions for non-punishment. As in, I physically cannot answer their letter in time because the time had already passed BEFORE THEY SENT IT OUT.

I forced myself to go to the gym largely to calm the fuck down and reroute my thoughts to generalised "wah I'm fat and bad at lifting" thoughts instead of firebombing murder; then I came back and wrote a somewhat pissy and pedantic letter featuring phrases like "I am at a loss as to how I am supposed to do this" and "would appreciate clarification" which is Middle Class for "FUCKING EAT MY ASS YOU SHITS" and have since had my mood lightened by a) Trans Mafia friend offering his services to Sort It, b) another friend offering to Stab Them, and c) a third friend offering her experience of a different clinic doing the same thing and then trying to give her an appointment for a date that had already fucking passed. Classic.

I therefore elected to go massively out of my way this evening to have a stupid coffee slushie drink, joined a colleague in raiding the work fridge for the Good Sandwiches before the QA team get here and nick them without sending out the There's Sandwiches email, and also treated myself to uninterrupted train reading of pretentious stupid 18th century Grub Street hacks.

A book arrived today - one I'd added to my list during the Queer Art exhibition at the Tate and which does not even tangentially relate to my writing, a bit like the Umberto Eco-referenced one about the intention to invent a philosophically perfect language something something language of the angels, and equally impenetrable - HOWEVER it is also heavily underlined with some biro observations about the text, which is perfect; it takes very little for me to get obsessed with marginalia as opposed to the text itself (How People Interact With A Text is of course of considerable interest to me) and now I'm all about why the person who owned the book before me thought those passages were important, what they were correcting in the text in some of their comments, their translation of a Greek epigram, and what they mean by the remark "making the body a temple to art". Also I like that their handwriting really is not Academic Scholarly. It's like mine and they're a messy writer, keener on getting the idea down than having it beautiful.

How long until I can get drunk?

(no subject)

Jul. 14th, 2017 00:40
apiphile: (quite enjoying this)
[personal profile] apiphile
so ASIDE from the general feeling of Everything Is Bad which is linked to my inability to put food in me in sane ways (stop eating things that make you ill?) and struggling on with a bit of book-related test writing & pretentious reading, a bit of gym, when I would rather be asleep:

"Controversial right-wing figure Milo Yiannopoulos has sold just 152 copies of his book “Dangerous” in the UK after many of his alt right supporters cut ties with him."

He's still sold more books than me. Do you consider that justice? Are you really my friends? Do you want to be able to say that you let MILO YIANNOPOULOS outsell one of your friends when the capacity was in your hands to see to it that I outsell a fucking frothing far-right attention-seeking pisschild?

Also: considering going to cambridge on a jolly next week?

(no subject)

Jul. 11th, 2017 19:43
apiphile: (not enough fart jokes)
[personal profile] apiphile
Been accepted into another anthology; as of now my immediate to do list is:

+ find someone to proof-read Heavy since no one will do a consistency read
+ character development for Tom o' Whitechapel
+ Rework & finish the existing merman story (which is currently already over 11k because boy did I meander when I had no set limit, and it needs to be maximum 7k and is nowhere near finished) for submission to the other anthology (have a bit more time than I did for the last one)
+ UNO roughly 4k short story dealing with some origin stuff/character voice testing for my main antagonist in Tourist's Guide.
+ DUO possibly also a short story of comparable length about Charity who needs to be fleshed out a bit more.

(I'm taking a break from wrestling with the plot outline because it hates me and I hate it)

gym today ... happened ... my body is still sore from it but also from everything else. I hate too spicily and in the process of wiping my nose damn near ripped out a piercing (always fun); was woken up by rain and now it is just raining steadily. I suspect most people are relieved but it is a bit of a bugger to go to work in.

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