raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
One more Welcome To Night Vale rec:

Second Date (2676 words) by dee
This may be the saddest thing I have read, not in Night Vale fandom, but in any fandom. But nevertheless perfectly executed, and sad in that perfectly-crafted way that makes you walk away feeling like they took a part out of you with sterilised tweezers.

(I should mention that I am drunk, also in that perfect way where they took out a part of your lucidity with sterilised tweezers - I am going to be probably-forever-whatever unemployed on Thursday so I went out with my soon-to-be-former colleagues tonight and got drunk with all of them at their most affectionate, and while I will miss them a lot I refuse to admit to that so I am continuing to drink, gently and slowly so I remain precisely on this particular peak and not trough of drunk, balanced on something between desperation and melancholy and actually too drunk to string a sentence together.)

(I don't know why any of you put up with me, I am awful.)

New Year

Jan. 1st, 2011 04:15 pm
raven: stock shot of a wall with "I love you" graffiti (stock - love)
Happy New Year, flist! It is the sort of fashionable thing to say at this point that of course you don't know what all the fuss is about, it's just a date in the calendar after all and it's always rather an anti-climax whatever happens and you might as well have a quiet night in, and I'm sorry to say I don't agree at all. New Year's Eve is my favourite public celebration by a factor too high to compute; there's music, there's dancing, there's fireworks and people having a good time, and it's secular and everyone's invited. I love it. And last night's was really perfect: Shim and I wandered Edinburgh all day, I bought a couple of things in the January sales and we got food from the carnival markets, and we planned to have dinner in a pub and then go to the Royal Mile to watch the fireworks.

In the event, [livejournal.com profile] deathbyshinies came to meet us in the pub and we sat there chatting and drinking wine and suddenly it was quarter to twelve and I was very, very very drunk. Laughably so. We ran outside and watched the fireworks bursting out above and I balanced on my heels and felt very much like I was going to fall over backwards but see nothing but stars on the way down.

(I didn't. It was a lovely evening.)

and the end of year meme )
raven: text: "There's a full and very reasonable explanation that mostly does not involve me being drunk" (sbp - me being drunk)
Hello, flist. So, I got drunk and gave my sorrows a proper good dunking. But, I got home safely, and I had a really good time, and for once, for once, I feel like I have friends here in Ithaca, friends who got drunk with me and sobered up with me and then tossed a coin to see who had to get me home, because it was a responsibility they had to discharge, because they are my friends. The South African Siren brought me home, kindly, with much amusement, and understanding of why I chose tonight of all nights to get rather drunk (I wailed on her and told her actually I am GAY, this is all a misunderstanding; she laughed at me and took me home). But, you know, the people on my course, though I am not bestest friends with many of them, have this in common: they are kind and welcoming and friendly, and there is a wee gang of cool kids and they are kind, welcoming and friendly too. I think it is an artefact of how we are all international students and a long way from home, but I like it, very much.

And I wore a corset and it looked awesome, so there. I mean, I really did. A corset, a wee skirt, tights and my favourite heels, and I wasn't dressed as anything in particular but I am a great believer in the influence of clothes on mood. I felt good in it, which makes me think I should go gothing more often - there are no goth clubs in Ithaca, apparently; at least I have not found anyone who dresses up on a regular basis - and also, also. There was a guy who I knew who dressed up tonight as a Red Indian, ohgod, why would you, why. And I said to someone, hey, I think that's kind of problematic. And they said, why. And I said, it's like, you wouldn't dress up in a sari and be an Indian for Hallowe'en, would you. And they said, er. Oh, that's kind of bad, isn't it. And everyone I said this to, even through my various glasses of wine, seemed to agree with me on this. And it made me happy. It really did. I mean I am just a stroppy brown girl most of the time. (Oh, I am so tired of being a stroppy brown girl. But.)

I am doing a lot better than I expected, really. Shim will be home soon. So will I.

Tomorrow, pumpkin pie! And work. But pie also.
raven: subway sign in black and white, text: "Times Square / 42 Street station" (stock - times square)
The Chancellor announced the Budget, yesterday; coincidentally, [livejournal.com profile] hathy_col and I found ourselves in a pub in the early evening and reached the not-unreasonable conclusion that really, we ought to take the opportunity to drink cider at the day's prices.

Which wouldn't have been so bad, had we not also got through most of two bottles of wine. Today mostly I have been having, inexplicably, the worst hangover of my life - I don't mean that it's inexplicable that I drank a lot of wine and cider and now I have a hangover, I mean I have behaved much worse in the past and not suffered with quite such inside-of-head toxicity - and am emerging into the cold blue daylight feeling rather delicate. It was worth it, though. We meant to watch Deep Space Nine and instead just sat up talking about life and work and dating Scottish boys and how much we love Kate Mulgrew. And watched this, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] tau_sigma and giggled a lot.

Amidst my delicacy, I am trying to sign up for Remix. and it's very difficult! Why do I write so much rubbish? )

Today has also been notable for a lot of interesting articles drifting by on the flist.

-Republican senators refuse to work late, citing obscure Senate procedural rule. I kind of love this. It's so transparently throwing their toys out of the pram (via [livejournal.com profile] speccygeekgrrl and [livejournal.com profile] gwynnega).

-A lack of class in the GOP. This is a really good article.

-The Tory party have done something that would be hilarious if it weren't so unhilarious.

-In better news, Constance McMillen has had the last laugh even if she doesn't get a prom.

And a quick handful of recs:

Thursday's Child by [livejournal.com profile] thistlerose
Star Trek, gen. Spock, McCoy and a baaaaaaaby. So adorable.

Force of Habit by [livejournal.com profile] taraljc.
Star Trek, gen. McCoy and his ex-wife, Jocelyn, and Joanna. Really nice, this, with good voices.

Relatives and Relativity, by [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63.
Doctor Who/Sense and Sensibility. Such fun. I haven't got anywhere near to finishing it yet, but such a great idea for a crossover, and so far really wonderfully executed.

That's it. Bedtime, then tomorrow the Grand Adventure Up North begins.

Sunday

Feb. 28th, 2010 06:23 pm
raven: stock shot of a wall with "I love you" graffiti (stock - love)
Happy Holi, dear flist. May your days be full of colour and light, regardless of whether you actually do go and dump paint on anybody. (Although I do recommend it, in socially acceptable situations.)

I have not dumped paint on anyone. I have a hangover. I deserve it. Yesterday morning I had my exam, which was... okay. I hope. The main flaw was that I was so tired - the usual problem, lack of sleep, nine am on a Saturday, etc. - and even so, not to begin with, but by the end of it, I was feeling like I'd fallen straight into that mouth-falling-open, too-much-energy-to-think stage, which is not good at any time but especially when you're doing an exam that involves lots of finicky detail and mental arithmetic.

(One thing that did amuse me. You can't leave the room in the first hour or last fifteen minutes of an exam, and I had weighed up the usual balancing act of caffeine-as-stimulant and caffeine-as-diuretic, and gone for the cup of coffee, yes; consequently at 10.31am I put my hand up, was attended by an invigilator and said as neutrally as possible, "Would a toilet break be a possibility?"

The invigilator looked embarrassed, and whispered, "There's a small condition."

I said I was perfectly willing to hand my papers in for two minutes, I understood that she would sign my current page and write "toilet break 10.31am" at the point I was up to, and nevertheless...

"It's not that," she said. "Would you absolutely hate to use the gents?"

Where no woman has gone before, etc. Apparently the other set of toilets is too far from the exam room as the crow flies to be safe from, I don't know, answer sheets falling out of the sky. Luckily there was no one else in there I might have given a fright; on the whole it was quite an anti-climactic experience.)

Anyway, so, I wrote long lists of numbers and hoped they would add up, and didn't cry into my calculator at any point, and eventually emerged into the dreary wet morning feeling rather like I'd been hit by a truck. When I got home my neighbour was playing Hit Me Baby One More Time on repeat, and I went back to bed.

This is not why I have a hangover. I have a hangover because I went to [livejournal.com profile] dr_biscuit's for dinner, and shall we say, for drinking, and had a truly lovely time, and ate a lot of cake, and played Werewolf, which I hadn't played before ([livejournal.com profile] shanith and I were the werewolves and killed everyone with a surprising degree of dispatch), and ate more cake, and watched literal music videos on YouTube, and ate yet more cake. Somehow or other it got to be three in the morning. It was a lot of fun. Shim and I delivered [livejournal.com profile] teh_elb tipsily home and wandered equally tipsily home ourselves.

Today I crawled out of bed at lunchtime, and ran a few errands, and tried to buy Shim a chocolate heart and entirely failed to do so, central Oxford being lacking in this particular commodity, who knew. I actually rather like having an anniversary of February 29th, but it does mean that keeping track of these things is more complicated than it might otherwise be; nevertheless, Shim and I have been together some integer quantity of years. I'm happy. It needs to be said for the record sometimes, doesn't it? I'm happy.

My exams are not over yet by any stretch of the imagination; I have them the next three Saturdays, and right now I am preparing for my advocacy on Wednesday, hurrah. Before I disappear, [livejournal.com profile] purimgifts is open(ing) for business: here are the stories for day 1, and here for day 2. I will do a proper reclist tomorrow, so I can rec complete stories where they're being issued by parts.

Back to work, I guess.

edited to add: I forgot! Lovely anonymous person who sent me the bunch of balloons, thank you very much! An especially nice Holi to you, yes.
raven: text: "There's a full and very reasonable explanation that mostly does not involve me being drunk" (sbp - me being drunk)
I woke up this yesterday morning with a hangover. Luckily I went back to sleep and woke up this afternoon feeling much better. (Apparently I was slightly too out of it to do anything other than stare at the update window.) Saturday was the Taruithorn Banquet and I remember it very well indeed, thank you very much. It's just a little... honey-tinted. This time I didn't really have the spoons to help set up ; I went up for about three, having spent an indecisive hour deciding what to wear, and when I got there the dancing was just beginning.

I have written about the banquet in these metaphorical pages before - it's a big shindig hosted and run by the Oxford Tolkien society, with about a hundred people drinking, eating, dancing, and cooking and washing-up (in gleefully chaotic shifts) and the decoration is epic, gorgeous and entirely done by hand. There were lovely canopies of leaves and fairy lights entwined, and hand-painted wineglasses (of which I have ended up with six, somehow), carefully calligraphed placeholders, and banners hanging from the ceiling. It was very pretty, especially against the grey background of the day. I was wearing a black dress, amazing thick stripy purple tights, amazing purple shoes with leather roses on them, and my very favourite necklace (silver and garnets - a gift from [livejournal.com profile] shimgray to mark an occasion that wasn't Valentine's Day.) I was ready to enjoy self, yes.

Which, I have to say, I did. I love the idea of Taruithorn despite the fact I have never yet made it through Lord of the Rings, let alone anything else, and I love all the events, but I do find the banquet in particular a little unsettling - the demographic reminds me that I'm brown, shall we say - and on the whole, I didn't mind this; the food and the company were far too much of a resounding compensation. I wandered in around three, met [livejournal.com profile] teh_elb and [livejournal.com profile] proskynesis both looking beautiful, and lots of nice things happened after that. In no particular order:

-FOOD. Okay, so, food. There were starters - salads, which Elb, Gemma and I served (that was our shift, and I made much less of an idiot of myself than I did last year, when I was responsible for pushing around the mulled wine trolley, I think we can all guess how well that went, aha), and Elb didn't want hers, so I said, womanfully, that I would eat it. And Shim doesn't like rocket, so I kind of ate most of his, too. And then there were tapas, and I kind of maybe ate quite a lot of those. And olives. And amazing herb and cheese stars. And chocolate. And the main course, right, was an astonishing chicken pie with apricot and Moroccan spices. And I ate some of Shim's lamb and all of Elb's carrots. Om-nom-nomivore, yes. (I said this at the time through a mouthful of carrots to great hilarity. I am the most predictable person I know.)

It all came kind of unstuck, though, when I said in a moment of great foolishness that I would eat as many puddings as [livejournal.com profile] exactlyhalf. (Last year he ate seven! This year I managed chocolate pecan pie, apricot meringue roulade, some mousse, two large bites of baklava and some cheesecake before conceding defeat.)

-Dancing! Lots of it, highly structured, with plenty of scope for twirling, laughing hysterically, and stepping heavily the wrong way onto your beloved's foot. In the end we had three circles of dancers inside each other, all going in different directions, fairly often at unscheduled times. Oh, but the light was dim and the music a little hypnotic, and you twirl and flail and see fairy-lights above your head like explosions of stars, and it was lovely, lovely.

-DRINK. Mead, and wine, and elderflower cordial with wine in it, and some whisky, and I think we all concluded the evening in a fine state of inebriation. Just the right state, though - the one where you decide doing somersaults over bars is a good idea, and laughing at nothing at all. I managed to make Shim dance with me this time, something of which I am justly proud. Also, drink may have been involved with [livejournal.com profile] dr_biscuit discovering a new talent: impromptu, scientifically accurate raps on a given clinical sign. I received a four minute rap on mitral incompetence and another on hypothermia. It was enormously impressive. She's like a one-woman teaching aid, only cooler.

-STAGGERING INCOMPETENTLY HOME. I was hideously tipsy, Elb kept wanting to commune with bus stops, Shim had that resigned face he always has when he has to make sure I don't decide to live in the gutter, [livejournal.com profile] dr_biscuit did the very smart thing and poured us all into taxis. We got home safely and I got purple eyeliner onto the pillows and it was all so worth it.

...okay, I totally deserved the hangover. Thank you, banquet organisers, fairies and hoopy froods - your efforts were as extraordinary as ever. Thank you, thank you.

Today, perhaps not surprisingly, I am out of spoons in a big way. That said, I did manage to go to class, do some food shopping and prepare a plea in mitigation, and tomorrow the revision starts in earnest.
raven: (girl!doctor - empires toppling)
Dear self: passion fruit daquiris are not a substitute for actual food. Also, you are lucky to have friends who find it endearning and not head-smashingly annoying when you get drunk and are VERY! EMPHATIC! ABOUT! EVERYTHING! (Why I do this, I don't know. Normally I do not have strong opinions about... well, anything.)

On Tuesday, [livejournal.com profile] shimgray and I went to London - mostly, he followed me around Oxford Street looking put-upon, but we did have a lovely lunch in a Mediterranean place which fed us spiced quail with peaches and calamari for the princely sum of £6.95 - and yesterday I ran around like a madwoman trying to make some impact in the to-do list, but mostly I cooed over [livejournal.com profile] sir_rosealot's cats and it all ended at the bottom of a Martini glass anyway. Today, I am wiped out, and not just because of yesterday evening's red-lipstick patent-heels tropical-cocktails extravaganza. Possibly I cannot quite manage nine-in-the-morning to ten-at-night days yet, thank you swine flu, but today I have mostly sat in bed, read a very little about civil procedure and listened to "Poseidon and the Bitter Bug", the Indigo Girls' latest. It is a Thursday dropped out of a weekend - wet, and grey, so the electric lights are too bright, but with something good in it, something peaceful.

A few incidents, all from the last week or so:

-On a very bright and sunny morning, Shim and I had an argument about the fungibility of toothbrushes. (The gentle reader is gently asked not to inquire into the provenance of said argument.) He said they weren't. I said they were. We reached an impasse. He said, they have an intangibile aspect to them, namely possession - that I cannot use your toothbrush, you cannot use mine, they are not fungible.

No, I said, that's not true. If I bought a toothbrush, and left it in a packet in a drawer, and you came to visit without one, I would give it to you without a murmur. It's not an intangibility - it's the verifiable attribute of whether or not the toothbrush has been in someone else's mouth.

So, we agreed, the set of unused toothbrushes are fungible between themselves, and pre-owned toothbrushes are not.

(I've since thought that you need to add another level of rigour to this - you have to define "toothbrush" as "plastic stick with bristles that may be used for cleaning teeth". For people who define tootbrush with other characteristics, e.g. "red", or "electric", or whatnot, fungibility mileage will vary.)

-This week I have been dipping into the collected journalism of Francis Wheen. For those who have not come across him, he is a genial and occasionally very caustic Guardian journalist who writes about all sorts of things, mostly political, and is otherwise remarkable for having accidentally admitted on national radio that he quite fancies Sarah Palin. (I love the News Quiz; for many episodes after they greeted everything he said with, "Yes, Francis, but you fancy Sarah Palin.)

Anyway, I was reading something he had written - caustically, naturally - in the late nineties about Rupert Murdoch. The column basically hoped that he would die on some suburban street somewhere, surrounded by the debris of satellite dishes, so he could be buried where he fell and have on his headstone "si monumentum requiris, circumspice".

It took me a minute to think about it, but I laughed eventually. I like Francis Wheen very much because of the easily difficult way he writes - he draws down allusions and draws out verbal trickery with a practiced disdain for his readers' comprehension level, which I find disingenuous on one level (because, as a self-confessed old-fashioned leftists writing his dispatches from the class war, etc., he nevertheless writes in a way accessible to people who have been elaborately, expensively educated) but satisfying like a crossword clue on another, the way he writes to a trick and then in retrospect you see how it was done.

-As part of the foundation course of the LPC, I had a couple of sessions of something impressively called "professional conduct", but which mostly consisted of doing the set reading and answering a few questions on it. Very schoolgirl, very formulaic. I did the reading and I answered the questions, and I went to class, where there was a quick group discussion on the prep.

One of the questions, paraphrased was as follows: you are acting for a client on a civil, non-contentious matter. In passing, he happens to tell you that some years before he arranged for the murder of a business rival. You know that the murder is still unsolved. What do you do?

I had done the reading. The reading in question is, precisely, rule 4.01 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct - you and your firm must keep the affairs of clients and former clients confidential, unless certain exceptions apply, and I checked them, and they didn't.

So I wrote "Nothing (see rule 4.01)" and left it at that.

But in the discussion, I was something of a lonely voice; it seemed to flow around what was right, and what was honest, and what duties a lawyer owes to public authorities, and what common sense and intuition dictate.

I didn't quite figure it out until later - why I apparently went for the question differently from everyone else, why I looked in the book and went no further. The answer, I think, is this. Because the code of conduct is complete in itself, it is how lawyers ought to behave; within the closed system of solicitors' practice, it is all there is. And I used to be good at philosophical thought - that was what I loved about it, how you could strip a question down from common sense and other passing inanities and say, here are the rules, here is how logic works, here is the answer. And it may not be "right", but given the premisses, here is our conclusion validly reached.

So my answer, while not common sense at all, was right. And that was why I reached it - because I furtively and guiltily love logic, and that's how I think, damn it, and it took three years to teach me to think like that, and I am proud of it.


...and here is the conclusion, validly reached: I have been intellectually stagnating, and something in the deep water of my brain has changed. I am willing to spend time and effort on arguments over breakfast about toothbrushes; I am finding joy in authors I tried to read in 2008 and put down as too difficult for me just then; I am the odd little girl in my classes. Another part of the LPC, strangely, is accounting and revenue calculation, and while I missed most of the work because of swine flu, the tutors who helped me catch up were kind, reassuring and told me I was smart and quick with figures and I shouldn't worry, I'd get it. I got it. It wasn't easy, but just hard enough for the answers that came out right to please me unduly.

I am doing something about it, on which more anon, perhaps. But I thought it was worth writing down: I have been somewhere else, and I'm ready to go home now.

In other news entirely, a quick-hit for something that needs attention: for [livejournal.com profile] yuletide, a challenge to make forays into Non-English, Non-Western, or Non-youknowwhadimean fandoms. For various reasons I'm not going to participate, but will selfishly bask in the warm glow of everyone else's participation. Quite apart from anything else, the linked posts are interesting reading: worth checking out.

Right. Now, perhaps to do some work.
raven: text: "There's a full and very reasonable explanation that mostly does not involve me being drunk" (sbp - me being drunk)
The Taruithorn banquet was yesterday. Well, it was today, accounding for a mid-morning many-hour nap. Having spent twelve hours drinking, dancing and dishwashing, sleeping until lunchtime didn't really seem like such a bad idea. [livejournal.com profile] shimgray, for reasons BEST KNOWN TO HIMSELF, decided that for the nth year running, he wished to spend a lot of time washing up, and I had decided to come and make merry and also to use the opportunity to wear a pink salwar kameez, and accordingly we set out yesterday morning for the wilds of North Oxford through what was probably the nicest day of the year so far, being all fresh and springlike and other such entirely unprecedented things.

(An explanatory note: Tauruithorn is the university's Tolkien society. I have been meaning to go to the annual banquet, which is a cheerfully chaotic self-catered affair, every year since 2006, and had been failing conspicuously on this point until yesterday. It is notable mostly for singing, dancing, food, so much food omg, a plethora of small children, and a long, slow, cheerful slide into somnolent corpulence by the end of the night.)

It was exactly half past twelve when we arrived (this part is important), and I got embroiled immediately in helping put up a canopy with the help of several bamboo poles, duct tape and string. I had never met [livejournal.com profile] teh_elb before, and I think I had met [livejournal.com profile] proskynesis once. For some reason this didn't seem to be an issue; they told me joyous things about the Aubrey and Maturin series ("You have debauched my sloth!") whilst we got into a rhythm with the duct tape and table cloths. The canopies nevertheless decided to collapse and had to be cut away with fabric scissors, and were got rid of in time for them to start bringing the food out.

I am now going to take a deep breath, pause, and talk about the food. There were seven courses. They were kind of amazing. Er. Highlights at this point included honeycomb toffee and candied orange dipped in chocolate, nuts burnt with chilli and brown sugar and flowing mead (which, because of the golden colour, did look like everyone was cheerfully knocking back enormous amounts of neat whisky). Later, there were tiny little amuses (avocado and tomato miniature sculptures) and starters involving feta-aubergine creations of amazing, sushi, more avocado, chicken, roast vegetables, more sushi, more feta, I may have gone to a happy food place. The main course was pie. There were five different types of pie: I had the pheasant and brie and had to go and take a little walk in case my body decided to never let me eat again. And there was dessert. There had been blowtorches involved in the construction of the desserts. Shim found God in the chocolate pudding. It was that sort of an experience.

Other things happened that did not include food in any way:

-[livejournal.com profile] osymandias dressing up as the Watcher in the Water, and touching everyone greatly with his noodly appendages;

-[livejournal.com profile] sir_rosealot deciding that she was entirely too drunk, at three o'clock in the afternoon, to dance; I thought I wasn't drunk enough. We decided that between us we cancelled out, and should get up and attempt to move in a rhythmic fashion. I actually didn't regret this at all; it turns out I like folk dancing, despite never having done it before.

(Also, there is something very lovely about being drunk in the middle of the afternoon, and being sober again by evening. It gives everything a kind of blue-sky surreal glaze. No one seemed to mind my being the far side of tipsy when helping out in the kitchen; it seemed almost approriate when I went round with the mulled-wine-flagon trolley.)

-[livejournal.com profile] sebastienne arriving, glorious in her helmet, in the mid-afternoon, and being immediately asked to sing. I explained, through my flagon of mulled wine, that she has an invisible sign on her head with "I can sing, ask me how!" on her head. She may not have believed me. There was nevertheless more singing.

(Much, much later, and after a lot more mulled wine, [livejournal.com profile] teh_elb, [livejournal.com profile] proskynesis and I got up to sing a composition of our own making, that I cannot really remember now but featured "Moooooooooooooria!" to the tune of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". There was applause. I may have repressed the rest of it.)

-A declaration, over aforememntioned dessert, from [livejournal.com profile] dr_biscuit, regarding an unexpected feature of a penis viewed in cross-section. "It looks like John Howard."

-More dancing, with violent twirling and flailing and getting it wrong and laughing, and finally, after twelve hours, getting Shim out of the kitchen long enough to dance with me, only for [livejournal.com profile] osymandias to come running out and shout, "Dishwasher! How do you switch the machine on?"

And off he went - but I got him back eventually, and there was quiet twirling around an almost-empty floor, and we went home eventually, on bikes without lights at one o'clock in the morning, but it was a lovely, lovely day. Real life continues somewhat suck, but it was a very lovely holiday.
raven: Amelie against a green background; text: "purdue" (amelie - perdue)
Okaaaay. So, I am somewhat tipsy at the moment. Rule one for what to do when your brain has been messy and angsty for days - don't drink, for heaven's sake. Certainly don't drink when you've had no sleep and have been crying and angsting and generally being crazy for what feels like an age. Clearly I am very bad at taking my own advice. Hurrah, red wine. Lots of it, too, and rather good. Hurrah for James, who patted me and was very good to me all evening. Mostly, there was wine and M*A*S*H. Also, we went to see Juno, which I loved, but more on when I am not drunk.

(Rule number two? When you are hallucinating death and carnage, don't tell people about it. Seriously.)

So, last night I cried down the phone at people and finally cracked. Sent a long email to my personal tutor with far too many run-on sentences, telling him that, basically, I cannot cope, help. If it were a weekday I would have thrown myself on the mercy of the college before nine in the morning. As it was, I sat the collection. I went in, I took the exam, I took deep breaths and tried not to let the scratching of other people's pens score grooves on the surface of my brain. It was hard. It was one of the hardest things I've done, not running out of the room at any point. I wrote three essays in three hours. (One of which I have already got back! I got a high 2:2 and three pages of annotations, which I suppose is very good marking, but I kind of wish he'd known I was a nutcase when I was writing the essay, rather than stupid, although the two are not mutually exclusive, far from it.)

Anyway. Yes. I did it. I was not crazy during it. Afterwards I went to Noodlebar, which wasn't actually part of the plan, but I went there last night with [livejournal.com profile] jacinthsong and [livejournal.com profile] sebastienne, and somehow, I don't know HOW, lost my wallet. Cue total, total, out-of-proportion insane panic when I discovered this some time later, trying to pay [livejournal.com profile] shimgray for a glorious amount of food he'd brought round. Noodlebar had, in fact, found it - someone had handed it in, and I was pathetically grateful. I went down this morning and got it back, and yes, yes, it was my own stupid fault for losing it, it's my favourite lovely red leather wallet and I love it and I was glad to have it back, and see again where it was my own stupid fault for losing it, but - all the money was gone. Of course, all the money was gone.

And, because my debit card was nicked last week, I was carrying cash when usually I never do. So, urgh, I now have no money at all, and my parents are still in Delhi. I am deliberately not thinking about it. Stomped back to college moping quite significantly, was caught by personal tutor, who had got email, was concerned about collection and my having taken thereof - which, yes, very very bad - and demanded I see appropriate college-ish people this afternoon.

So I did that. But before that I went home, sat in the kitchen, spent four hours reading entire Saturday Guardian. Maria knitted, James baked bread. We were listening to debates on creationism and evolution. [livejournal.com profile] lizziwig dropped in on her way to Torpids. I ate fruit, did the Guardian crossword, actually finished it. Profokiev came up on the iPod connected to the speakers, there were dramatic instrumentals. Someone said, "We may have to face facts. We're middle class."

Ouch. But it seemed like an inescapable conclusion.

In the end I went back to college, and reported to the Dean - who is also the Chaplain; he has a Southern-preacher drawl and is the actual nicest man in the world - that I'm in no immediate danger of total crazy. I really don't think I am. I'm fine as long as I'm around people. When I'm not, I end up crashing, because that's when everything feels weighty and heavy and like nothing will be good again.

(Did I mention the red wine? Lots of that, yes yes.)

Yes, being alone is not good. I'm having a mental-health weekend. In other words, I am not doing anything at all until Monday. Because, I don't know, everything is grey and faintly rotten and it seems like something I really ought to do. I cannot go on feeling like this, because I don't think people were designed to go on feeling like this - it's like tuning a piano wire or something, you can't twist it around too many times. Yes, mental health day, I hope it works, I really do. Also, why has my brain read so much pulp horror that I don't remember reading? Hallucinations = bad. Somewhat unwisely, I mentioned them when I was having my chat with the chaplain and he said, "Oh god," in a sort of horrified voice. Yes, yes, I am crazy.

I had some sort of conclusion I was coming to, maybe? Maybe not. Thank you all for your lovely comments - which I have not answered; I am fail, but I read them all and loved them all and was impossibly grateful for all of them - and your lovely things you've said and your lovely popping-up-on-Google-Talk and and your lovely coming-round-with-food when it's really, really needed. I love you. I do. I am incapable of expressing it because I keep seeing dead things out of the corner of my eye, but yes. I do.

Also I am drunk.

But. No more exams. And now bed. And then a day on which I will write fic and read fic and maybe fold my laundry and if I am really, really productive, do the Observer crossword. Love. Bed. Yes,
raven: text: "There's a full and very reasonable explanation that mostly does not involve me being drunk" (sbp - me being drunk)
There were pancakes, there was drinking, lots of that, oh, yes, I love politics, my head hurts a bit.

California yet to be declared, but they think it's going to Clinton. [livejournal.com profile] lizziwig and I danced around and danced around and were very drunk and very happy. She thanked her volunteers and that means me, yes it does yes it does. Oh dear.

Yes, yes, it is 5.36am, that means I have been drinking for ten hours, every time one of the Democrats talked about "change" or "divisiveness" or something I drank, [livejournal.com profile] shimgray gave me whisky - lots and lots of it, I don't even like it, how on earth did I get quite so totally and utterly hammered, I ask you - and now California hasn't been declared yet but it is well and truly Wednesday, I am not going to my ten o'clock lecture because will still be DRUNK, lalalalala, time for bed.

Actually, love everyone and everything, really really need to go to bed before I fall over.
raven: Anthony Rapp playing Mark in RENT, arms lifted, in black and white (rent - vive la vie boheme)
Okaaaay. I just clicked the submit button on three law school applications. Maria gave me a bag of Thornton's chocolate-covered caramel for Christmas and I have just munched my way through it all. These two facts are not unrelated. Argh argh argh argh argh I am crazy why am I crazy argh argh argh.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

There's a thunderstorm going on, but the thunder is so deep you can feel it, in your bones and in the stones of the house, rather than hear it. It's good to be home. I went down from Oxford yesterday afternoon in horrible weather and it didn't really let up all the way here, but it's very cosy, sitting inside with large quantities of chocolate and lots of books - many people gave me books this week - and so tired that I'm viewing everything through a sort of cotton-wool haze. My mum is on nights, and will get back in about half eleven - I just need to stay awake until then and then I am going to bed, in my lovely bed with its overabundance of pillows and pretty Rajasthani covers. I am looking forward to that a lot. A lot. The window is open a crack so I can hear the rain and the wind and the sea all mixed up together and howling through the pines. A whole damn lot.

Despite the cotton-wool tiredness, eighth week was actually lovely. It's all in my head now as a succession of sensory impressions, all bright, all vivid (possibly something to do with my having been somewhat tipsy since Tuesday), and all mixed up a bit. It was a good week. I was on a protest, in a pantomime, inebriated and happy and overworked, so it was probably a good term, too. In that spirit, a few brief sensory impressions:

Firstly, the protest. I've had enough of the politics of it, and enough of the discussion, but as many wise people seem to have said, decisions are made by those who show up. I showed up. That was it, really. I showed up, and my friends and I ended up on Redwatch.* Nice start to the week. But in all seriousness, what do I ever do but what seems right at the time? I do, and I did, and that's my final word on the subject.

Secondly, OULES. The panto - Aladdin - started on Tuesday, and I was a pirate. Well, no, I was Thief #8 and [livejournal.com profile] jacinthsong was Thief #7. ("But you're the first one to speak! What happened to Thieves 1 to 6?" / "Oh, they dropped out in third week.") But it's apparently a little-known axiom of formal logic that thieves and pirates are co-referential, so we ended up with bandana and a cutlass (and a Baileys bottle labelled "RUM") and followed Ali Baba about whilst singing the Thieves' Pointless Song ("This song is completely pointless / but it serves to fill a gap / This song is completely pointless / In fact, this song is crap...")

It wasn't quite as much fun as last term's, because nothing is as much fun as playing a corpse, but it was delightful fun nevertheless. Full of dreadful puns, a pantomime dame who looks better in a dress than I do, a wonderful wonderful evil sorcerer of evil (complete with song entitled "Squashing Fluffy Kittens On The Road"), bespectacled henchwomen, dancing skeletons and two large buckets of foam, it was fab. I sat backstage on Tuesday night and remarked on a very Oxford scene: the last week of term, backstage, dim light mid-performance, and six or seven people piled up against the wall frantically reading. (Organic chemistry, international law, maths, conflict in Israel.) I love OULES so very much.

The cast party was also lovely. I was drunk. I feel the need to point this out before anything else, or indeed before anyone else does, because it is true. It was still the nice sort of drunk, though; the I love everyone and everything sort of drunk. Last term, at the cast party on Port Meadow, I was ritually adopted and cocktailed and wiped the wine out of my eyes to find myself an official Oule. For some reason Maria wasn't cocktailed then, so she decided she needed a set of parents - me and [livejournal.com profile] foulds, which is delightfully incestuous, considering he's also my OULES dad - a bottle of vodka and about fifty people yelling "A cocktailing, a cocktailing, there's going to be a cocktailing!" I remember this so vividly - the night sky, the alcohol-made-melodic singing, the smudged eyeliner around the hundreds of eyes, even through the cotton-wool. Later on I was having a conversation with someone about something - the details of who and what have inexplicably slipped out of my memory - when [livejournal.com profile] foulds jumped up, also very vivid, grabbed me and somehow or other I was being twirled around the garden yelling "We did it!"

We did, though; next term we shall between us be directing the OULES version of the Aeneid, which is yet another reason I'm crazy. (Term before Finals. Directing a show. Yep.) But I actually can't find it within myself to be anything other than very, very excited about it.

I'm going to America at the end of this week, and I have a to-do list that once again has "sort out life" on it, but now I'm going to eat more caramel and watch the first season of Buffy.

(Law school! The Aeneid! Eeeee.)




*Link goes to Wikipedia, not the actual site, because of, er, referral stats.
raven: text: "There's a full and very reasonable explanation that mostly does not involve me being drunk" (sbp - me being drunk)
I woke up this morning with a feeling of impending doom. I find it very hard to articulate my feelings of impending doom; they tend to correlate with grey, thick, raw weather, the freezing-cold equivalent of humidity, the ones that hurt your head. And I was pretty sure that, as they say in the glorious suburbs of Liverpool, that something was about to kick off.

The funny thing was, I had the kind of night last night that involved my going to bed at five in the morning, and it was truly delightful. I got through everything on the dreadful to-do list save going to the lecure on the Cold War - I laugh at the Cold War! - and Maria's birthday dinner was just utterly lovely. Two weeks ago [livejournal.com profile] jacinthsong was cooking dinner whilst I read my email (yes, yes, we are co-dependent) and she happened to mention giantmicrobes.com, a company devoted to the production of fluffy plush micro-organisms ("1,000,000 times actual size!"). Best thing ever, I swear. I spent a very happy afternoon looking through the various scourges looking for something Maria would like, and eventually settled on Helicobacter pylori (which is incredibly fun to say), E. coli, and HIV. They arrived two days ago, and they are quite possibly the best things in the universe. E. coli has cute little flagellae, H. pylori is yellow and mutely appealing and people seem divided about whether HIV is cute or demonic. I personally plump for the former. But, yes, we went for Thai food and gave them to her afterwards, and Maria was very, very happy. I have never seen anyone so happy to be faced with giant prokaryotes. I love Maria a lot. We also got her a book about knitting, a book about philosophy and a book about murder, and a lot of wool. (I currently live in fear of waking up in the morning to find civilisation as we know it has ended, because Maria has knitted it into a nice scarf.)

And after that we went to Moya, which, as I have said before, is possibly the only Slovakian cocktail bar in the world outside of Slovakia (my personal favourite aspect of the place is the corridor that leads up to the loos is lined with posters encouraging you to visit Bratislava) where I drank a strawberry daquiri the size of my head and proceeded to consciously not fall off my chair and to talk about aesthetics and films and the forty-something base sounds of the Devanagari script and melon liqueur and pie. And [livejournal.com profile] sebastienne is made of greatness. I have a blurry memory of maybe possibly perhaps teaching her to say "hippopotamus fucker" in Hindi and still not falling off my chair. Following which, there was cake, and Angels In America, and because it was Maria's twenty-first birthday and we are all grown-ups, we filled condoms with water and threw them out the window. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

(Yes, I am quite drunk right now, why do you ask?)

So as for why I woke up this morning afternoon with a feeling of impending doom, I'm not exactly sure. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was the atmosphere in and around the flat, and indicators I could feel of one or another of my flatmates hauling off and killing another one. And walking around the city today did not help; this morning I realised I was out of toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo and indeed clean clothes, and whilst I could quite happily go to Boots and buy more of three of those things, it seemed a little unwise, because I'm pretty sure I was giving off the impression that I'd just today discovered the institution of cleanliness. Which is really, really not true. Really.

But oddly enough, my day improved greatly. I didn't want to have a party tonight, I really didn't. I didn't realise that my flatmates and I are amazing people who had cleaned the place and got in sweets and crisps and alcohol and done new playlists and basically done everything you need to do for a party except, y'know, inviting people. So, well, not a lot of people came. (I think a lot of people we might have invited were at Queer Bop, anyway.) And those who did come got drunk and ate lots and [livejournal.com profile] foulds and [livejournal.com profile] chiasmata and I sat in a corner and talked about knitting and giant microbes and various other things all night. Eventually [livejournal.com profile] jacinthsong appeared, post-Queer-Bop, wearing a rainbow flag and not a lot else, and I had ended up on Maria's bed sleepily drinking elderflower-flavoured-vodka, and there was knitting going on, so we sort of reached that sort of three-in-the-morning mellow place of joy and love.

Sigh. Yes, I am still filled with love. After I'd finished complaining about it always being three in the morning - it is always the small hours of the morning, nowadays - [livejournal.com profile] chiasmata jumped up and decided home was in order, so I went downstairs with her and nearly froze to death - it's below zero, and I was barefoot - but it was absolutely worth it, because somehow or other we got to have a discussion I wanted to have with someone, about why I am still racked with guilt about the way I am now, about being "other" (more about which in the morning, when I am not drunk and thus have a greater chance of being coherent) and it was fruitful and sensible and worth my feet freezing off. I got back to my room to find lovely people to warm my feet up and make me watch Doctor Who. Time Crash )

Oh, will you look at that, it's five in the morning. Huh. Maybe, possibly, it is time to go to bed. I do babble. Er. One thing my flatmates are perhaps not great at is doing washing-up. Neither am I, really. Cue lots of notes left to each other, stuck above the sink, saying things like "Do the washing-up! Like, now! Love, the Washing-Up Nazi", with swastikas. It is crude but effective.

Yesterday we cleared the back-log. The sink was empty, so was the draining-board. The cupboards were full of fresh, clean kitchenware. Cue this appearing, like magic, above the sink:

are you sensing a theme here? I'm sensing a theme )

It made me very happy.

And now the wind is howling, it took me five tries to get my password right, time for bed.
raven: text: "There's a full and very reasonable explanation that mostly does not involve me being drunk" (sbp - me being drunk)
Am ever so slightly drunk. Ever so slightly. [livejournal.com profile] foulds and [livejournal.com profile] darwinian_woman have adopted me. They made me lie down on Port Meadow at two in the morning in the weird livid firelight while they poured bottles into my mouth. It was a a very pretty view of the world, but there is wine in my eyes.

Am quite cheerful really. My feet are covered in mud and nettles. Everything is perfectly lovely. Have been being physically abused on stage for whole term now! Life is delightful.

Not that drunk honest. Except am lying about that and have forgotten how one uses commas. Perfectly perfectly lovely.

Am a real OULE now. Yaaaay.

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