helenic: (wall of water)

Gone are the days when if you're against the war you go and protest on the street. Protesting doesn't stop wars anymore. Going to your gay pride rally is nice -- it makes you feel good, but unfortunately we don't live in that era anymore. The only way you can create social change is to insert yourself into the machine.

That's Heather Cassils, the genderqueer body builder who kisses Lady Gaga in the Telephone video, talking about queer visibility and the mainstream. Also, if you weren't sold on Gaga yet, check this out:

The thing that was kind of interesting was that in between takes I was getting kind of annoyed because the camera guys were really kind of drooling and talking about "girl-on-girl action" and I said, "What about boy-on-girl action?" And she turned to me and said "Oh. Do you identify as male?" [Laughs] And I said, "Well, probably more than you do." And she said "I'll be sure to tell people that."

Have you seen the video for Telephone yet? Surely you have.



I am completely in love with it. The D/s interaction between Beyoncé and Gaga when she gets in the car would be enough, but they borrowed Tarantino's pussy wagon; there's an explicit riff on the rumour that Gaga has a penis - and the queer kiss with the drag king bodybuilder - and poisoning everyone in the restaurant and the candy-pink Poison TV popups, and the glitchy editing and oh god the OUTFITS. As [personal profile] starchy said, "I can't tell if I just watched a music video or the highest budget semiotics essay in history."

Be warned, though, the song is so freakily catchy it will stay in your head for a week.

helenic: (bowler hattedness)

Today has been one of those delicious wastes of a day. I slept my hangover off (last night we celebrated [livejournal.com profile] elise's 21st birthday, again), then sought out caffiene (tea) and salt (leftover Pringles) and curled up on the sofa in the dining room with a trashy Anne Rice book for a few hours. I've spent the afternoon at [livejournal.com profile] fellatiovilla catching up online using [livejournal.com profile] cantabulous's computer, and have just discovered that I've locked myself out of the flat and am therefore trapped here until [livejournal.com profile] strongtrousers gets home from work. It would be annoying if I wasn't so relaxed. Actually I'm revelling in having such a grand excuse not to do any painting yet.

The flat is blissful and I'm enormously content. We don't have a phoneline or internet yet, so I'm spending my time in the company of (shock!) Real People, and haven't yet had a chance to update with my Scandawegia photos or lengthy travel journal. I've been unpacking and tidying and organising the kitchen, and alphabetising books and CDs, and cooking extravagant salads. It's extraordinarily pleasant to live with two other accomplished cooks and we've been eating very well. I have a delightful en suite with a large bath, and I've arranged all my toiletries in there and decorated it with erotic photography. (All bathrooms should be decorated with erotic photography.) My housemates are wonderful and I love them to pieces. [livejournal.com profile] thelovelyoliver is practically an honorary housemate at the moment and it's great to see so much of him. I'm sorry to gush, but my life appears to have suddenly and magically worked out, and honestly, the last twenty one years have so been worth ending up here. [livejournal.com profile] romauld and I have reached an arrangement which is mutually pleasing and hopefully sustainable, and I'm thrilled to have finally figured out this whole Staying Friends With Exes thing. If anything, we're almost getting on better than before, or perhaps I've just grown up a bit. And being able to be truly relaxed, and enjoy spending time in a home that is mine, and beautiful, that I've been waiting for after years of living with my parents and in college and in-between places ... it's too good for words. I'm happy. I'm really happy. At the moment I'm emotionally and physically recovering from the excesses and excitement of the last six weeks and I'm tired and I'm happy.

I also have Shiny, Shiny New Things of Joy. My parents came up on Friday and with them they brought:
- a lorry FULL of old furniture they've been saving for me, all of it perfectly servicable and some of it in rather attractive dark woods. Including two bookcases, a desk, a chest of drawers, a wardrobe, two smaller chests of drawers for filing, and a folding English elm dining table, which we've put in the kitchen.
- several boxes of old folders, writing, notebooks, paperbacks, and assorted Stuff which it's been fascinating to sort through - discovering things I'd forgotten, beautiful things, painful things, arranging them all around me and thoroughly establishing myself in the place...
- £860 in twenty pound notes. It's the final balance of my trust fund and they gave it to me in cash just to see my face.
- a letter from Downing College containing a cheque for £229, refund for my last college bill and matriculation deposit
- a letter from the Classics Faculty entitling me to £550 towards travel to Greece or Rome in the next year, which I have to claim with a journey itinerary, and which I hadn't even applied for. I appear to be going to Greece for a while. Which is nice.

Then they took me shopping for 21st birthday and getting a First and graduation presents, and there was much much more Shinyness. Specifically, there was a portable CD and cassette player, a posh liquidiser for making smoothies and soups and houmous and things, two lovely sexy nighties and some slinky pyjamas, lots of very nice lacy knickers, TWO WHOLE TREES OF MY VERY OWN for the balcony (I've become incredibly attached to the trees. We've bonded. They are tall leafy shrubs in large terracotta pots and they're called Spider and Jerusalem), a VIOLIN, oh my god, an actual violin because I mentioned wanting to learn folk fiddle, and some wine, and a bodhran, and herb pots for the kitchen, and cushions, and a kingsized duvet and they're going to get me attractive bedding when I'm in Leicester because it's cheap there, and a laundry hamper, and and and. SHINY SHINY THINGS OF JOY. Mmmmm.

The shiny things are not the only reason I'm happy. Good friends and holiday and travelling, and good books (I don't include the Anne Rice in this category, but I've been reading Georgette Heyer and Stella Gibbons and Ursula le Guin) and good food and good wine, those things all contribute as well. Having a place of my own that's mine, when you all know by now how over-affected I am by environment, is most of it. I'm here. At last. And I'm loving it.

SHOWER DOOM

Jun. 3rd, 2005 05:56 pm
helenic: (dictionary eating)

I am officially a GIRL.[1] I was in the shower and suddenly there was a spider on the shower head, which is attached to the wall and therefore unmovable. When I first saw it I was terrified it would be somehow washed onto my head even though it was above the stream of water, but after a minute or two it seemed to be fairly stationary. I had to stand with my back to it if I wanted to do my hair but I kept glancing round and then suddenly oh my god it was MOVING. It ran around the showerhead a few times and then came right down so its legs were touching the water. At this point I leapt out of the shower in case it was washed onto me, despite the fact that I was in the middle of shampooing and there were suds everywhere. I half-closed the shower door, and tentatively leaned one arm into the shower and tried flicking water on it to make it move. Didn't work. There was no way I was getting back in there with a spider POISED ABOVE MY HEAD. I got a flannel and kept half-reaching to swat it but I just couldn't bring myself to get close enough to touch it. What if I accidentally flung it towards me or it ran down my ARM or something? Then it ran round to the other side of the shower head and lurked there, but when I got back in the shower and had a look it seemed to be half-hanging on a thread and half its legs were in midair and it did not look particularly stable there. I put my bathrobe on and knocked on my neighbour's door to see if she could help me move it, still covered in shampoo foam. She wasn't in. In the end I made a quick dive into the shower to retrieve my shower things and used the bathroom downstairs. SPIDERS EW. As if exams weren't enough, my god. Not what my nerves need right now.

In other news I actually started revising at 8am this morning, go me. I've had a few breaks inbetween but I'm now out of the shower and all set to go back into the library and do my thing. I can't seem to stop eating, but it's probably just anxiety and distraction-seeking and the fact I've run out of cigarettes. My head keeps offering me suggestive but basically unhelpful words, like satrap and kletic and archon and demythologise and heterogenous. They make me think I know lots of stuff but it's probably a lie and those words are actually all there is, like as soon as they hit my brain filter the sentences dissolve and the words can only go in one at a time in no coherent order. I have no idea how much of my revision is actually working, but I've timed it PERFECTLY to all make sense at 9am next Tuesday and not before, so if it seems like I don't know anything yet perhaps it's just all going to plan.


¹ Yes yes that's so gendered, it's IRONIC okay, whatever.

helenic: (polkadot!)

Theocritus Idyll 18:

The poet describes how he and his mates run through the meadows gathering garlands of flowers in honour of Helen, whom they all fancy. The hang the flowers and wreaths of lotus-vine on a plane-tree as a sort of public ritual to commemorate how much they fancy her, even though she's married already. The poet worships her, and yearns in particular for her breasts, "as a new-born lamb yearns for the teats of the mother-ewe" (Hellenistic lyric poets: Dodgy Similes R Us). He anoints the soil below the tree with oil in some sort of symbolic love act, and then graffitis the bark of the tree in Dorian letters, which read:

(line 48) "WORSHIP ME, I AM THE BUSH OF HELEN."

Oh my god, I want that line tattooed in Greek above my pubic hair so very, very much.

critters

May. 12th, 2005 03:11 pm
helenic: (polkadot!)

The summer months have apparently turned livejournal into some sort of virtual petting zoo. Thus far, innocently scrolling my friends page, in the last 24 hours I have been unexpectedly presented with the following:


[livejournal.com profile] evil_nick's mollusc baby octopus - cute, slimy, and strangely edible-looking.


[livejournal.com profile] _matt__'s kiiiiitten! small cat thing! so cuuuuuute! I love the way it hasn't quite worked out it needs to put all four paws on the ground. confused baby fuzzy creature! awwww!


[livejournal.com profile] edlwiess1's "camel cricket", apparently. What. The. Fuck. The carapace is quite pretty, but I totally wouldn't want to meet one in my bathroom.

Well, internets, what strange and wonderful creatures are you going to fling at me next? Which beasties will take to roaming the vast prairies of /~libellum/friends? If anyone's taking requests, I'd like more kittens, please, and golden lion tamarinds, and lesbians tigers, and penguins. And perhaps a pangolin, although they're slightly overrated (and nothing like Vestal Virgins).

helenic: (internal dialectic)

Surrealness! I just answered the door to a canvasser from our local MP. An attractive, young, blonde canvasser with good shoes. [livejournal.com profile] punkalou, in fact, whom I haven't seen for almost two years. Cue much squeaking of "ohmygod!" and bemused giggling. L, maybe we should meet up sometime and drink wiiiiiine?

I had an excellent weekend. On Friday evening [livejournal.com profile] elise, [livejournal.com profile] smhwpf, [livejournal.com profile] shreena and I saw Billy Bragg play at the Colston Hall in Bristol. We got there during the support band, whose name I didn't catch; they were a blues/electronica group with some fantastic rhythms and basslines and an excellent (and cute) tenor saxophonist, but the singer's voice really didn't blend with the rest of the sound, and their songs didn't seem to be about anything. Elise and I slipped out after a couple of songs and went to the bar. When we returned, Billy still wasn't on; we sat through an Indian guy speaking uninspiringly about Make Poverty History until, without any warning, Mark Steel came on stage. I've never heard his standup before and it was wonderful. Exactly what comedy should be. Hard-hitting, passionate, angry, absolutely fucking hilarious. Mainly he ranted about politics and religion, particularly New Labour and "all the bollocks about the Pope", and I was crying with laughter at the same time as applauding his sarcastically-expressed outrage. The evening would have been worth it just for that, but then Martyn Joseph and Steve Knightley were announced, also completely unexpectedly, which elicited a certain amount of squeaking from me. Apparently they've been touring together for the past three weeks. They mainly took it in turns to play their own songs while the other accompanied; I'd never heard MJ before, and he has an amazing voice. In the interval I bought the album they've recorded together. It was a shame not to see Phil Beer, but since I hadn't expected to see these guys at all I was more than happy.

Eventually Mr. Bragg came on at about 10pm, two and a half hours into the evening. His set only lasted 45 minutes but he was everything I knew he'd be. Forthright, rude, sincere, funny, heartbreaking. He played NPWA, Upfield, John Barleycorn, England Half English, I Keep Faith, All You Fascists, Power In A Union, World Turned Upside Down (which I was particularly happy about), Great Leap Forwards and A New England. For the encore he got Steve Knightley, Martyn Joseph, Mark Steel (who looked a bit uncertain about it all) and the blues singer onstage and did a group version of Redemption Song. Fucking amazing.

Two pieces of good news with which to start the week, both of which have made my insides twist with happiness and disbelief: Pakistan and India are at peace, and (is it wrong that I find this more exciting?) the Oxyrhynchus Papyri have begun to be decoded, making a potential addition of 20% to the current body of extant Greek and Roman literature. "The previously unknown texts, read for the first time last week, include parts of a long-lost tragedy - the Epigonoi ("Progeny") by the 5th-century BC Greek playwright Sophocles; part of a lost novel by the 2nd-century Greek writer Lucian; unknown material by Euripides; mythological poetry by the 1st-century BC Greek poet Parthenios; work by the 7th-century BC poet Hesiod; and an epic poem by Archilochos, a 7th-century successor of Homer, describing events leading up to the Trojan War." Well, that puts my dissertation into perspective.

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