Jul. 26th, 2017 07:22 pm
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Acting like a stereotypical depressed person today. Still in my pajamas, spent way too much time on twitter, only eaten pizza and chocolate today. Strangely, none of that's helped!

But in the last hour or so I walked the dog, did the smallest bit of tidying, talked to Andrew about some of the stuff that's bugging me. So this evening has been slightly better than today.

(I also found that gmail is a dick: a scary e-mail I thought I sent a whole week ago (saying "I cannot continue volunteering with this thing any more because it's too stressful I need to concentrate on looking for paid work" (well, they're both true...)) didn't fucking send so I've sent it now but have to stress again for a while about every new e-mail I get. Because yay, anxiety making me avoid confrontation.)

More about the World Cup final

Jul. 26th, 2017 01:05 pm
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[personal profile] miss_s_b shared this article yesterday and there's a lot in it I agree with.
So how come this win the game-changer, given this is actually the fourth time England have won the World Cup? I think for starters you have to look at the build-up towards the final. Sky Sports, in partnership with the ICC, provided full coverage of the tournament for the first time. By giving the games that platform it lent the series momentum and the opportunity for people to watch women’s sports who otherwise might not have. By promoting it in the same level as the men’s, it gave the impression that this is something sports fans should be watching.
This reminded me of one point in the afternoon where I heard Jennie's dad address whichever England batters were currently on the field with something like "come on, play as well as you did the last time I saw you two" and I asked him what he'd seen them in. "Oh, I don't remember, I've watched dozens of matches the past few weeks." Made me smile. This is what you want by the time you get to the World Cup final, some familiarity with the players and teams.

Of course it's a mixed blessing, with Andy also calling Sky" the greatest reducer of sporting audiences in the world." I was frustrated that as a TV-less, Sky-less person it wasn't easy to follow the games on the radio. One of my friends told me how Sri Lanka had done before we went to see them (the game where Athapaththu got 178 against Australia) but I would otherwise have to be a more internet/app-based follower of cricket to know these things, which I think is a shame. I wonder if we'll hear men's World Cup games that don't involve England on the radio in two years; I honestly don't know if this is something specific to the women's game or not. Still I'm glad the tournament got the attention it did, even if it had to be from Sky.
I heard one person exclaim “but the tickets were all bought by women”, as if that undermined the event?

In reality, 50% of ticket buyers were female. 50%. A gender diverse audience.
I first noticed this when I needed to pee. I don't think I'd ever had to wait in line at a cricket match before! Indeed one time, I think it was at Headingley but it might've been Old Trafford, when I asked a staff member where the loos were he could only direct me to the men's when the women's were off in another direction, indicating how rarely he was asked this question perhaps. This time, one woman sitting in our row came back late from the interval between innings, apologizing as she made us stand up, but defensively saying "Forty-five minute queue for the loos!" It wasn't that bad for me, but it was the first time I'd noticed how many women were really there.

I didn't hear any comments like "all the tickets were bought by women," thankfully but I do think this is interesting. There's that Geena Davis Institute statistic about a group of 17% women, men think is gender balanced and if it's 33% women, men think there are more women in the room than men.
with 31% of ticket buyers being under 16, and many more of the crowd full of children, it felt incredibly special to see girls and boys dressed in their team’s colours watching women ignite a packed-out stadium. For them, it will now be something they have grown up with, and will become normal to them, and that is something that excites them beyond belief. They will have female role models to look up to and inspire them. And how did they finish their day? Walking out with a bat and ball provided to them, ensuing that they have equipment to play with and as a souvenir to remember this day.
It was really great seeing how very many bats and balls I saw people carrying as we walked out and then waited at the tube station.

And I'm so glad they were given bats and balls, rather than anything else. When I was a kid I went to the Twins game where Kent Hrbek's number was retired, and all the kids were given replica jerseys. I adored him and I was so excited about this, but my mom put jersey away so it'd stay nice, never let me wear it and of course soon I'd have outgrown it anyway and the chance to really enjoy it was gone. It's probably still in a box at my parents' house somewhere, but I haven't seen it since the day I got it. Maybe some similarly well-meaning parents will squirrel away these too, but I'm really glad the kids have been given something so obviously useful and intended to be used. They have stuff they can actually play cricket with, and for people who love the game there's nothing better to guarantee a good future for it.

I am really envious of those kids, growing up thinking it's normal to watch women play cricket.
what also excited me was the members and groups of guys turning up to watch the cricket and enjoy the day, just like they would do any other game. There was no difference. No undermining the game, no undeserving criticism of the players, and it was beyond refreshing.
I noticed this too. I found myself bracing, early on, for some kind of sexism or misogyny in their comments, but I didn't hear a peep. I mean, I'm not saying they didn't happen anywhere in the ground, but I didn't expect any of us to be free of hearing them and I at least was.

The Blood is the Life for 26-07-2017

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:00 am
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We got Christmas plane tickets yesterday. Less than a grand, which is a lot less than we'd been fearing. But not much less than a grand, so still involves juggling money around and me being so stressed I not only make Andrew sort it out, I don't even want him to give me options or ask me questions unless it's absolutely necessary. It was a vague relief that it wasn't any more expensive than it needs to be.

I still haven't heard back one way or another about the job I interviewed for last Thursday. I told myself I'd email them today to ask but then didn't because just the thought of doing so made my also in prickly and my stomach clench. My anxiety is still on a hair trigger right now. They can tell me later why I didn't get the job, if they want, but I don't expect to get much useful feedback from these kinds of things so I won't mind if they don't.

Todsy I idly tweeted that I follow so many linguists that I'm starting to be jealous I'm not one. Andrew took this and ran with it, researching what kind of student loans/grants I could get and whether local universities have linguistics courses on clearing. He's even set me up a UCAS account, bless him. It's always bugged me that I never finished my degree, and that I was doing the wrong degree, and at the wrong time. But none of that has ever made me feel like I can do anything about it before, so I don't know what's feeling so different now. A little part of me is really loving the possibility, though.

(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2017 10:38 pm
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[personal profile] apiphile
Among other things (nah there are no other things I'm too fucking tired), I got my proof back from one of the proof-readers today (Ros, as opposed to Rose, yes, that is confusing) and now have to start thinking about finding a pig head to photograph. Also I have to deal with various writing-related things and editing-related things while my brain helpfully prances around flinging rose petals and screaming I FEEL LIKE A FRAUD in my ear?

New Doctor Who Post on Mindless Ones

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:51 am
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Posted by Andrew Hickey

After a couple of weeks of not being able to type much because of arthritis, here’s the final post in my look at Doctor Who season twenty-two, on Revelation of the Daleks. Patreon backers can also find an ebook of the whole series of posts (which I won’t be putting up for sale) here. I’ll be posting more stuff here this week now my hands are a little better.

(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:44 am
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[personal profile] apiphile
Anyway what the shit: 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.

Destroyer: Chapter 10

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:08 am
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Posted by Andrew Hickey

Section B5(B) of the Security Service had a very different remit from the rest of MI5. While most of the service was devoted to fairly routine espionage operations, Section B5(B) operated out of separate offices, and had little contact with the rest of the service. It had to keep secrets even from the rest of the organisation, because its job was to infiltrate subversive movements, and to report back on their activities. Only one man, known as “M”, knew everything that his section was up to, and he kept it to himself. Fleming and Turing had made arrangements to meet up with him, to make sure that their plans weren’t going to involve them treading on his toes.

Maxwell Knight was someone Fleming had known for some time, but had never really been able to understand. The man was a mystery wrapped inside an enigma wrapped inside a bully who could destroy an underling with a well-chosen expletive, and nobody Fleming knew had ever got close enough to him to understand what made him tick.

His office gave little indication of his importance. It was functional – a desk, filing cabinets, a telephone, and little else. There were windows, but they were kept closed and blinded at all times, and the light in the room came from a desk lamp. Like much about the Security Service, the office gave away little about what activities took place there, and even less about the character of the man who did the work.

While the rooms through which they had walked had been full of the noise of ringing telephones and clattering typewriters, Knight’s office was sufficiently insulated that the only sound in the room was of its occupant scratching away with his pen at the papers he was reviewing.

Fleming was always slightly intimidated when he entered Knight’s office, but Turing seemed utterly oblivious to the importance of the man they were visiting – either that, or his casual stance was the product of a better actor than Fleming thought him.

While Fleming was stood firmly erect, Turing was slouched over, scratching at his ear distractedly, and humming under his breath. Fleming nudged him with his elbow, and the noise stopped for approximately thirty seconds, then started again.

They waited for a while while Knight, apparently unaware of their presence, continued to work through the papers on his desk. Eventually, Fleming gave a slight cough and spoke.

“Major Knight.”

“Ian. And who’s this with you?”

“This is Alan Turing, one of the boffins we’re working with up at Bletchley. Quite a remarkable mind.”

“Really? Not got much time for the remarkable myself. It’s the normal we need. A remarkable spy would be no use, would he?”

“Indeed,” Turing replied, although Knight had not yet addressed him, “but not everyone is a spy. And while the normal people do have their part to play, so do the remarkable. The world needs all kinds of people, Sir Maxwell. It’s the Hitlers of this world who want everyone to be the same – it’s not a very British attitude, is it?”

Knight gave a slight “hmph”, and appeared to decide that Turing was a lost cause. He turned his attention back to Fleming.

“So, what are you after, man?”

“Well, Sir Maxwell, I’d like you to give me the latest on what’s been going on with Hess. I’ve been away for a couple of days, and I’m sure any information would be useful to Turing.”

“And what’s Turing doing, that he needs the information?”

“He’s the one who’s trying to decrypt the documents.”

“Ah. I see… and where exactly have you been, anyway?”

“It’s rather embarrassing, sir. I’m afraid it was a bit of a wild goose chase. I went to visit Aleister Crowley, in the mistaken belief that he might be of some use to us.”

“Aleister!” Knight’s eyebrows shot up, “Good God! How is the old rogue?”

“You know him, sir?”

“Oh, yes. I studied with him back in the thirties. Far, far cleverer man than you might think. Knows his stuff, all right.”

“So you know him well then?”

“Oh yes. Introduced him to your friend Wheatley, too. Wheatley only saw him a handful of times, though I believe they corresponded a little afterwards. For myself… well, the man’s definitely a cad, no question of that. But he’s a cad who knows what he’s about. Plays his cards close to his chest.”

“So you think there may be something to his Satan-worshipping?”

“Oh, he’s no Satanist. His beliefs are far more idiosyncratic than that. He has invented his own religion, with elements of every mad belief that has crossed his path and taken his fancy, but Satan isn’t a part of it.”


“Oh yes. What Crowley believes is that he is himself a god, but that anyone can attain that rank. `Every man and every woman is a star’, he says. The idea is that we’re in a new age, the aeon of Thelema as he calls it. He claims he was given a revelation by the Egyptian gods.”

“Surely no-one can believe in the Egyptian gods in this day and age? This is the twentieth century!”

“Indeed it is. But Crowley believes that those gods are still there, and that we are in the early days of a new religion – one of which he is the founder, prophet, and thus far only real believer.”

Turing interrupted “Sorry to butt in here, but is all this really relevant to the matter at hand?”

Knight grinned. “Ah, you’re one of that type, are you? Man who knows the value of everything and the price of nothing? Well, we’ll get down to business then, shall we?”

Fleming nodded. Knight was, despite his apparent impatience, clearly starting to respect Turing, as he had expected he would.

Knight continued, “There’s really not much news to give you. Hess has been transferred to the Tower, but he’s still not talking. But Ian, you might want to have a word with Tom Driberg. He may be able to help you…”

This is an excerpt from my novel, Destroyer. If you like this chapter, please buy the book. It can be bought in hardback from Lulu. The Kindle and paperback editions are available from Amazon (UK) and (US). For non-Kindle ebook versions This Books2Read Universal Link will give you links for your preferred ebook retailer.

Doctor Who Christmas trailer

Jul. 24th, 2017 08:16 am
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[personal profile] magister has just watched the new Doctor Who trailer next to me, and then I go look at my DW reading page and about three different people have shared it there too. Ha, I know good people here.

I was actually talking with James about this yesterday, I said I was mad it has Bill and this First Doctor-playing guy who's name I can't remember, and it has Capaldi, and maybe Missy? And this is great because I'd watch them all the time, but a shame because I feel like what's the point of the rengeration episode we just had, which didn't even have a regeneration in it? We could've had a lovely normal story instead of having to have two whole episodes full of doom about the Doctor dying.

It's been a generally pretty doomy season anyway, something I complained about all the way back in "Oxygen." Maybe I'm a big wuss (okay, I am a big wuss) but I do not want bleak right now. I don't want to watch people getting treated worse than they deserve or dealing with circumstances beyond their control. If I wanted that I could read the news or talk to a lot of my friends or indeed think about most of my goddam life.

I'm mad about what happened to Missy and Bill, and I hope though I'm not holding my breath that the Christmas episode will go some way to fixing that.

Pride II: The Transening.

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:03 pm
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[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: (multiple image set) (multiple image set) (see above) (i did actually shriek in the gallery) (i told her to "go in there, be a silhouette, get involved) (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

The Blood is the Life for 22-07-2017

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:00 am
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(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:00 am
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[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.

In which My Doctor is The Best Doctor

Jul. 21st, 2017 06:54 pm
miss_s_b: (Who: SixAppeal)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I am well known for the fact that Colin Baker is my favourite Doctor when it comes to Doctor Who; possibly I am well-known for it because it is somewhat unusual*. The Other Baker has the biggest cohort of fans from classic era, I suspect at least partly because he is the longest serving, and my least favourite of the new era Doctors remains inexplicably popular among youngsters, perhaps because he's conventionally pretty. Us Colin fans are a small yet hardy bunch, and quite a lot of the time the rest of fandom treats us like we are A Bit Strange.

However, I cleave to my belief that Colin Is Best, and I would like to present to you two very different little bits of evidence that have been added to my Colin Is Awesome pile:
  1. My friend Andrew has been doing reviews and analysis of Colin's first season on the show, and in this piece he explains, in quite some detail, why one of the worst Who stories ever showcases exactly how brilliant Colin is in the role.

  2. Colin's incredibly robust reactions to the casting of Jodie Whittaker, even to the extent of retooling his own iconic regeneration line and becoming mildly impolite to a fellow former Doctor, has been a joy for me to behold. Colin has always been a Who fanboy, as well as a Doctor, and this response from him was just magnificent.
I don't expect to convert many - any - of you here. I know you've all got your views, and some of them are quite fixed, just as mine are on this matter. Nevertheless, it would be nice if fandom in general could have a bit less casual disrespect for Colin, and his fans. He's a good actor, and a fab Doctor, and we should all cherish him.

* for various demographic reasons, the cohort for whom Colin is Our Doctor is smaller than that for almost any other Doctor. If you want more on the maths of this, Andrew goes into it here.
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
At first I was frustrated that the initial excitement about the new Doctor is so long before we'll see anything more of her. Still got my beloved Capaldi at Christmas, and then a year off...

But an internet friend has written a Thirteenth Doctor story, and he says "I wanted to write the Doctor as I wanted her to be rather than predict the one we'll see on TV." And I realized that I'm glad we have a year am a half to write her as we want her to be before all my reservations about the writing and directing of the TV show have to kick in. I know good writers, and no doubt there are many more, who I don't have to have such reservations about.

And now I'm glad of all that time.

The story is very good. It's called "Be Afraid" and you can read it here.

Roxy and other animals update

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:15 pm
miss_s_b: (Mood: Mad as a flibble)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Second course of antibiotics seems to have done the trick, so it appears the infection she had was a resistant strain, or at least resistant to the most common doggie antibiotic.

Now we have to sort out her teeth...

Daughter has been really excellent recently, alternately cajoling me into doing self care ("come on mummy, lets go to the gym, it's good for both of us" "Lets take the doggies for a walk, clear our heads") and baking cakes for me to eat. She's getting REALLY good at baking.

Pretty much everything else is still stressful or infuriating or depressing, but I'm not dead. And tomorrow we go to That London for a couple of days to see the wimmins krikkit world cup final, so hopefully running away for a bit will help.
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 05:22 pm
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.


Jul. 20th, 2017 03:36 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I told people I didn't have my heart set on the job I interviewed for today, but they ended up running a half hour late by the time I got asked on, and I spent that half hour in the café talking to the finance/admin person, who was basically there to open the door before the café opened and chat to people. We talked about our dogs (she has lurchers!) and bringing family over to visit (she's Dutch) and what this place is like to work for (friendly and relaxed, and it seemed lovely when I saw her interacting with co-workers). I saw the person I vaguely know which is how I found out about this job, and she chatted with me about the local Pride planning since that's how I know her, and she complimented the brooches on my waistcoat (well, neither brooches nor waistcoat are mine, [personal profile] mother_bones loaned it to me so I didn't have to wear a suit jacket in heat or humidity) and...

In one way it was really nice not to have to just sit and wind myself up while I waited. The bus timetable meant I got there about fifteen minutes early, too, because it was either that or be late, so I'd actually been sitting quite a while and it didn't seem like it at all with someone nice to talk to.

But it did mean I ended up really really hoping I get this. Which is really really inconvenient.

I had vague answers at some points where I think specific ones would be better. But the interviewers seemed more impressed with me than I would've been if I were them, so I dunno if I'm being too hard on myself or they're just really nice. Well, they are really nice, but I don't know how much that was masking their thoughts!

They said they hope to have an answer for us by the end of today or else tomorrow. So at least I don't have long to wait.

I woke up long enough before my alarm this morning thst I was both extra-bothered by needing a haircut and actually had time to do it. So I did, and I took picture after I got dressed (in my fancy clothes, not the grubby ones I walked the dog and went to the post office on first) and put it online and have had a lot of nice and supportive comments. I know selfies can boost self-esteem but I don't think I'd ever actually had it happen to me before! So that was fun.

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