x_los: (On A Ship)
Provided the visa thing works out okay, my parents may come visit me (a bit separate, a bit together, overlapping in the middle--it's as complex and awkward as their /yet again On, but this time 'Casual' (ahahahahahah yeah right mom)/ dating relationship) in March. Actually kind of excited about actually traveling for the first time in FOREVER (save Molly's wedding, which was in some ways more stress than vacation), and weirdly pleased to see my parents.

The overlap but alone time suggestion will mean that I'm not stuck dealing with it too long if they have weird spats, but neither am I subjected to the potential annoyances of the unrelieved presence of either, i.e. mom's capacity to be over-bearing as hell and dad's capacity to have no interests, spend an embarrassing amount of money (which leaves me physically nauseous), and not plan properly/actually want to do anything. Also it means dad won't try to bring Randima the Random Ho. Again. In any of her regenerations. None of whom are nice, interesting women with any conversation. Or my aunt, who still hasn't forgiven me over last August's truly trivial spat over hotel bookings. Predictably.

We thought London for a few days, and then a few days in maybe two more cities/close areas--so about a weak in total, maybe a day or two (three?) in various places. There's been some talk of France, Germany and Italy. Idk about France--I can understand soooome Italian (close enough to Spanish) and a pinch of German (ran through basic introductions, directions, numbers, and ordering of food in the shower the other night--shaky, but not unworkable), but no French, and it proved a problem in Paris last time. As did the erratic Louvre hours. And the hostel fees. and the sprinklers in the Tulleries, when we didn't want to pay the hostel fees. And the large rats in the subway, when we did then had to use a public bathroom at night (cat sized). And the man who catcalled at Molly in the subway and got pissed off when I was like 'noooo, don't ask what he's saying, he's saying 'I am a creeper', walk ooooon'. City of love. I am not going back without a Francophone.

Also I briefly and embarrassingly thought the Hotel de Ville place we were walking past was like, a hotel? ...I got a 5 in AP Euro. What was I smoking that morning. I blame the sprinklers/that rat.

But idk, are there parts of France that do not suck? Paris WAS pretty attractive, but a hard place to visit po. Suppose I wouldn't be, this time, b/c with parents.

There's an instinct to stick to Major Capitals because my parents have never been to Europe (only my mom's ever left the country, to go to Mexico), and I'd like them to see Big Things, esp. as they may not get back. But also they don't seem to particularly care where we go, and I've done Rome/Florence/Venice/Berlin. I could go back, but then, I'd also like to see some new places and things. I thought maybe I could do Vienna again, because I remember really liking Vienna, but there was not much interest. Where else in Germany and Italy and maybe France should I take them? Where's good?

...Mom had better not throw a weird 'you're trying to ruin my luff!!!' fit again. At any point. Because dumbest shit ever.

Also it has occurred to me they should probably meet Katy's mother for tea. *Eugh.*

***

An amazingly DEAD SERIOUS review of buildings in Star Wars by Architects' Journal.

POETRY FEUD!! Hat-tip to Katy.

Okay, weirdly? I think this is a GIANT relief. No longer do I have to have nightmares about plastic decomposition!!


Did you know football hooligans played a major role in the Egyptian uprising? NOR DID I!

Amazing-sounding doughnuts

The Math/Science Gender Gap roughly about as acculturated, bullshit as I always thought it was.

Former slave Epically Trolls his former master. Also trolling aside I like the weird hint of emotional complication and wildly ambivalent, complicated emotional relationships between these people (who you'd think of as having a pretty starkly uncomplicated interaction) in this period of strange upheaval, it makes you want to write about the period.

The History Boys called, it wants its critique of Oxbridge back. Actually it's a decent pointing-out of the ways 'meritocratic excellent' is preconditioned, but it could have pressed its conclusion point more thoroughly by being more searching in its body. It has a length issue in that it wants to realize its potential as a searching inditement of the American concept that people have an equal chance to succeed, thus those that do are justified by a sort of Calvanist pre-destination doctrine of success, and also it wants to talk about what that does to education and what that does to people--but it's two pages, so it waffles and gestures vaguely towards the things it wants to speak about before slinking off stage.

Paris sucks for people traveling with babies. Also if you don't speak French, or don't have a shit-ton of cash on you, I find...
x_los: (like Ace Rimmer)
Today was splendid. After finally getting some sleep after the IVs of speed, which made me feel better but also ludicrously, unbearably jittery, I woke up feeling actually almost normal. I got a Happy Valentine's Day text from my mom and another from Daddy. I beta'd the second of two fics for bagheera_san (behold the first, which is just lovely), and wrote another two thousand words of my first cliche!fic entry, including some indication of the scenes I still need to write. Dabbing in an outline of what I need to do always gives me a feeling of control and direction in the morass of an ambitious or plottier fic.

A few cups of tea later I had lunch with Haddas, who managed to annoy me by, on the day when I was sick and useless and getting IVs put in, having been off showing the Dutch ambassador around in her sweet IDF war office job. Way to make me feel extra pathetic, friend. But still, had some tea and surprisingly good cake at Member's Club, got juicy gossip from Kim, and we walked back home to bathe in the glut of delicious, warm sun with books. While Haddas embarrassed herself with Twilight I made inroads with High Fidelity. I hadn't picked it up since the train over from England, and I knocked a respectable hundred pages off of this afternoon.

I suggested we hike to Old Bar'am, the ruins of a village and synagoque dating to the third century C.E. This is, according to legend, the final resting place of Queen Esther, my favorite biblical character. Toni, Erik, Tamara, Joel, Haddas and I all went. We stopped en route to check out the Jewish and Christian cemetaries on the side of the road. There were children playing soccer in a wide lawn outside the old synagogue, smacking the ball hard up against the old walls, accidentally sending it knocking into the former Holy of Hollies and clambering over the half-crumbled walls to fetch it back as Haddas berated them for their carelessness in Hebrew. Interesting column capitals and engravings--nothing from the Western architectural canon, though the wide portico is atypical and might well have been Greek or Roman influenced.

The ruins are actually v. well-preserved and shockingly extensive, and though we arrived at sunset we still had time to traipse through the overgrown remnants of what appeared to have once been a relatively sizeable community. I'm unclear on the age of these ruins--Bar'am's the site of an ancient village, but was also the site of a village in 1948, when Jewish troops drove out Christian Arab settlers, who resettled in nearby Jish. Like most Israeli historical sites there's little moderation: no one telling the kids not to play soccer against the ancient synagogue, no ropes preventing touching or running around in the site, no plaques explaining the age and probable use of the buildings. This is frustrating for a history nerd or someone who thinks relics should be somewhat protected from ill-use the way Indiana Jones thinks 'this belongs in a museum,' but Israel's so chock-full o' relics, no wonder they're a bit cavalier about it all. The lack of information did lend a sort of otherworldly ('entering fairyland,' as Haddas so purpley put it) atmosphere to the labrynthine passages in the gloaming. 

We walked back a bit of the way, but I successfully hitched us a ride home (a trick I love pulling, and which makes me feel flush with competence). In roughly an hour and a quarter we're getting around to watching Slumdog Millionaire, about which I've heard good things, if not enthusiastically fabulous ones.

I'm happy to be recovered, largely, though I'm still on antibiotics and still going home to see a real doctor and rest in America at the month's end. All in all a very nice Valentine's day, even though my 'valentine' (lord, how twee) is currently off listening to Tom Stoppard instead of me. :p

Thanks SO MUCH friends who were worried about me when I was sick. It was really v. sweet of y'all, and much appreciated.

x_los: (like Ace Rimmer)
Today was splendid. After finally getting some sleep after the IVs of speed, which made me feel better but also ludicrously, unbearably jittery, I woke up feeling actually almost normal. I got a Happy Valentine's Day text from my mom and another from Daddy. I beta'd the second of two fics for bagheera_san (behold the first, which is just lovely), and wrote another two thousand words of my first cliche!fic entry, including some indication of the scenes I still need to write. Dabbing in an outline of what I need to do always gives me a feeling of control and direction in the morass of an ambitious or plottier fic.

A few cups of tea later I had lunch with Haddas, who managed to annoy me by, on the day when I was sick and useless and getting IVs put in, having been off showing the Dutch ambassador around in her sweet IDF war office job. Way to make me feel extra pathetic, friend. But still, had some tea and surprisingly good cake at Member's Club, got juicy gossip from Kim, and we walked back home to bathe in the glut of delicious, warm sun with books. While Haddas embarrassed herself with Twilight I made inroads with High Fidelity. I hadn't picked it up since the train over from England, and I knocked a respectable hundred pages off of this afternoon.

I suggested we hike to Old Bar'am, the ruins of a village and synagoque dating to the third century C.E. This is, according to legend, the final resting place of Queen Esther, my favorite biblical character. Toni, Erik, Tamara, Joel, Haddas and I all went. We stopped en route to check out the Jewish and Christian cemetaries on the side of the road. There were children playing soccer in a wide lawn outside the old synagogue, smacking the ball hard up against the old walls, accidentally sending it knocking into the former Holy of Hollies and clambering over the half-crumbled walls to fetch it back as Haddas berated them for their carelessness in Hebrew. Interesting column capitals and engravings--nothing from the Western architectural canon, though the wide portico is atypical and might well have been Greek or Roman influenced.

The ruins are actually v. well-preserved and shockingly extensive, and though we arrived at sunset we still had time to traipse through the overgrown remnants of what appeared to have once been a relatively sizeable community. I'm unclear on the age of these ruins--Bar'am's the site of an ancient village, but was also the site of a village in 1948, when Jewish troops drove out Christian Arab settlers, who resettled in nearby Jish. Like most Israeli historical sites there's little moderation: no one telling the kids not to play soccer against the ancient synagogue, no ropes preventing touching or running around in the site, no plaques explaining the age and probable use of the buildings. This is frustrating for a history nerd or someone who thinks relics should be somewhat protected from ill-use the way Indiana Jones thinks 'this belongs in a museum,' but Israel's so chock-full o' relics, no wonder they're a bit cavalier about it all. The lack of information did lend a sort of otherworldly ('entering fairyland,' as Haddas so purpley put it) atmosphere to the labrynthine passages in the gloaming. 

We walked back a bit of the way, but I successfully hitched us a ride home (a trick I love pulling, and which makes me feel flush with competence). In roughly an hour and a quarter we're getting around to watching Slumdog Millionaire, about which I've heard good things, if not enthusiastically fabulous ones.

I'm happy to be recovered, largely, though I'm still on antibiotics and still going home to see a real doctor and rest in America at the month's end. All in all a very nice Valentine's day, even though my 'valentine' (lord, how twee) is currently off listening to Tom Stoppard instead of me. :p

Thanks SO MUCH friends who were worried about me when I was sick. It was really v. sweet of y'all, and much appreciated.

x_los: (Spock Tires Of Your Bullshit.)
Having been sick for going on three weeks now (working, mind, but sick), I'm deciding to call it. It's not a short term cold/flu with a freaky comic tendency to erupt into deadly nausea when it feels life's gotten too dull, it's Something. And the kibbutz Doctor's not very useful as far as diagnosing my Something. Katy suggested that it might be a small issue aggravated by exhaustion, and I'm afraid she may be right. They were threatening to drag me to the hospital last night, so whatever it is isn't any nicer to look at than it is to experience. I'm afraid I may have mono or a similar serious complaint, and may be making myself worse trying to stay.

I've emailed my family and told them that I'm worried and want to come home. I've sent them a worksheet of the possible pricing options for different flight combos. I'm waiting for them to get back to me.

I'll see Jerusalem before I go if at all possible, and maybe Akko and the Dead Sea if I can swing it, but I'm a bit too sick/exhausted to really care about whether I'll later be annoyed that I didn't Experience whatever.

I'm annoyed with myself because I /said/ a year, but if I'm ill, what can I do? I'm more annoyed about the prospect of packing everything up than anything. I've been having long, extensively detailed dreams of being home, lately, which must say something about my readiness to leave Israel. And I am--and have been--blackly depressed of late, unable to write, sleeping constantly from some twined illness and bad mood, eating almost none of the unappetizing food here from nausea and lack of appetite. I may need mental help as well as physical, or just a change of scenery.
x_los: (Spock Tires Of Your Bullshit.)
Having been sick for going on three weeks now (working, mind, but sick), I'm deciding to call it. It's not a short term cold/flu with a freaky comic tendency to erupt into deadly nausea when it feels life's gotten too dull, it's Something. And the kibbutz Doctor's not very useful as far as diagnosing my Something. Katy suggested that it might be a small issue aggravated by exhaustion, and I'm afraid she may be right. They were threatening to drag me to the hospital last night, so whatever it is isn't any nicer to look at than it is to experience. I'm afraid I may have mono or a similar serious complaint, and may be making myself worse trying to stay.

I've emailed my family and told them that I'm worried and want to come home. I've sent them a worksheet of the possible pricing options for different flight combos. I'm waiting for them to get back to me.

I'll see Jerusalem before I go if at all possible, and maybe Akko and the Dead Sea if I can swing it, but I'm a bit too sick/exhausted to really care about whether I'll later be annoyed that I didn't Experience whatever.

I'm annoyed with myself because I /said/ a year, but if I'm ill, what can I do? I'm more annoyed about the prospect of packing everything up than anything. I've been having long, extensively detailed dreams of being home, lately, which must say something about my readiness to leave Israel. And I am--and have been--blackly depressed of late, unable to write, sleeping constantly from some twined illness and bad mood, eating almost none of the unappetizing food here from nausea and lack of appetite. I may need mental help as well as physical, or just a change of scenery.
x_los: (Make a Note.)
I've been sick since Monday, and Shimrit, Renit and Raviv (the kibbutzniks over me) are just being asinine about it. Their policy for how to call in sick changes with their whims, and I never manage it right because it's different every fucking time. They seem to think I've been ill as something of a lark. I sent two people to my regional-boss to say I was sick today, as per the rules? Despite expressly being told to do just this at the last Volunteer Meeting, this was apparently not enough, I should have called as well.

1) That's not what they said, and
2) I CAN'T SPEAK ABOVE A WHISPER.

I wish I could call, but my voice DNE right now (laryngitis maybe? I don't think I've ever had this before). Do they realy think they could've understood my English over the phone /when I can only whisper/? Because good fucking luck. Their English is piss poor on a good day.

I'm tired of the kibbutz doctor holding out on the drugs I need for no reason. He looked at my throat twice before I entirely lost my voice and dismissed my pain as imaginary. He sneers when I don't come up with a fever and my blood pressure is fine. Despite the fact that I can say 'me fever broke last night, I was convulsing, you can see my nose is raw from blowing, please, please give me an antibiotic or a decongestant. He won't give me anything useful and I have to scrounge off the meds he DOES give friends, apparently at random, because all he'll shove at me is Tylenol. I'm tired of the condescension or mild disbelief that seems to imply I must be enjoying myself or something. Tired of the big performative SICKNESS I feel compelled to display at all times in case they catch a flicker of my returning health and decide I was too well to stay home at any rate. I didn't eat for like four days, or go out. I've LIVED on hot tea I've been into their shitty, useless doctor every fucking day. He's like Student Health from hell if there weren't any recourse to real medical treatment.

I'm constantly afraid I'll be kicked off, and thus effectively be deported, for being ill. I've gone into work when I wasn't ready and made myself sicker for it, prolonging a debilitating, horrible, painful illness that, with proper medication and rest, might well not have made me feel like an alien for a week. I'm a good, hard worker when I'm well: that's not me making a deluded assessment because I feel entitled or something, people here have commented on it frequently. I deserve a rational system of volunteer governance that doesn't keep me paralyzed with fear that I'll be penalized unfairly for something that was none of my making.

And my dad is driving me NUTS:

keithwhorak: So are you getting enough material to write a book?
me: oh I don't know
keithwhorak: will you have enough material to write a book by September?
me: dad. I don't know.

...keithwhorak: so how much weight have you lost?
me: I'm not sure?
x_los: (Make a Note.)
I've been sick since Monday, and Shimrit, Renit and Raviv (the kibbutzniks over me) are just being asinine about it. Their policy for how to call in sick changes with their whims, and I never manage it right because it's different every fucking time. They seem to think I've been ill as something of a lark. I sent two people to my regional-boss to say I was sick today, as per the rules? Despite expressly being told to do just this at the last Volunteer Meeting, this was apparently not enough, I should have called as well.

1) That's not what they said, and
2) I CAN'T SPEAK ABOVE A WHISPER.

I wish I could call, but my voice DNE right now (laryngitis maybe? I don't think I've ever had this before). Do they realy think they could've understood my English over the phone /when I can only whisper/? Because good fucking luck. Their English is piss poor on a good day.

I'm tired of the kibbutz doctor holding out on the drugs I need for no reason. He looked at my throat twice before I entirely lost my voice and dismissed my pain as imaginary. He sneers when I don't come up with a fever and my blood pressure is fine. Despite the fact that I can say 'me fever broke last night, I was convulsing, you can see my nose is raw from blowing, please, please give me an antibiotic or a decongestant. He won't give me anything useful and I have to scrounge off the meds he DOES give friends, apparently at random, because all he'll shove at me is Tylenol. I'm tired of the condescension or mild disbelief that seems to imply I must be enjoying myself or something. Tired of the big performative SICKNESS I feel compelled to display at all times in case they catch a flicker of my returning health and decide I was too well to stay home at any rate. I didn't eat for like four days, or go out. I've LIVED on hot tea I've been into their shitty, useless doctor every fucking day. He's like Student Health from hell if there weren't any recourse to real medical treatment.

I'm constantly afraid I'll be kicked off, and thus effectively be deported, for being ill. I've gone into work when I wasn't ready and made myself sicker for it, prolonging a debilitating, horrible, painful illness that, with proper medication and rest, might well not have made me feel like an alien for a week. I'm a good, hard worker when I'm well: that's not me making a deluded assessment because I feel entitled or something, people here have commented on it frequently. I deserve a rational system of volunteer governance that doesn't keep me paralyzed with fear that I'll be penalized unfairly for something that was none of my making.

And my dad is driving me NUTS:

keithwhorak: So are you getting enough material to write a book?
me: oh I don't know
keithwhorak: will you have enough material to write a book by September?
me: dad. I don't know.

...keithwhorak: so how much weight have you lost?
me: I'm not sure?
x_los: (...what.)
me: DANNY. DANNY. DID I TELL YOU ABOUT THE GRUBS?!

Daniel: no

me: OH. MY. GOD.
SO--AND YES, I DO NEED ALLCAPS FOR THIS--SO I'M PLANTING DATE PALMS, RIGHT?
SOMETIMES, IN THE ROOT BALL, THERE ARE THESE /FATASS/ WHITE GRUBS, WITH BLACK SPOTS ALONG THE SIDE AND RED HEADS
LIKE, KNOW HOW BIG MY HANDS ARE?
THE SIZE OF THAT, MINUS FINGERS
THE PALM PORTION, AND JUST /HORRIBLE/--LIKE A WHO MONSTER, LIKE THE GRUBS IN GREEN DEATH
THE THAI GUYS* FROM THE MOUNTAINS? SWOOP IN AND COLLECT THESE, RIGHT? AS I'M BUSY GOING 'OH MY FUCKING GOD': BECAUSE, YOU SEE, THEY ARE GOING TO EAT THEM.
RACIST JOKE? NO.
FACT.
O_O
D: <--this is an artist's depiction of my face, for like, the hours after

Daniel: hahahahaha
did they cook them?

me: dude, not in front of me, but I assume
they took that shit home with them
these were still ALIVE
and SQUIRMING
fyi

*immigrant field workers: like Mexicans in America, but legal. Apparently the ones initially hailing from the mountainous regions of Thailand "will eat anything," because their home provides so little that's readily edible they've adjusted their diets to include GRUBTHULHU, THE ELDER GRUB
x_los: (...what.)
me: DANNY. DANNY. DID I TELL YOU ABOUT THE GRUBS?!

Daniel: no

me: OH. MY. GOD.
SO--AND YES, I DO NEED ALLCAPS FOR THIS--SO I'M PLANTING DATE PALMS, RIGHT?
SOMETIMES, IN THE ROOT BALL, THERE ARE THESE /FATASS/ WHITE GRUBS, WITH BLACK SPOTS ALONG THE SIDE AND RED HEADS
LIKE, KNOW HOW BIG MY HANDS ARE?
THE SIZE OF THAT, MINUS FINGERS
THE PALM PORTION, AND JUST /HORRIBLE/--LIKE A WHO MONSTER, LIKE THE GRUBS IN GREEN DEATH
THE THAI GUYS* FROM THE MOUNTAINS? SWOOP IN AND COLLECT THESE, RIGHT? AS I'M BUSY GOING 'OH MY FUCKING GOD': BECAUSE, YOU SEE, THEY ARE GOING TO EAT THEM.
RACIST JOKE? NO.
FACT.
O_O
D: <--this is an artist's depiction of my face, for like, the hours after

Daniel: hahahahaha
did they cook them?

me: dude, not in front of me, but I assume
they took that shit home with them
these were still ALIVE
and SQUIRMING
fyi

*immigrant field workers: like Mexicans in America, but legal. Apparently the ones initially hailing from the mountainous regions of Thailand "will eat anything," because their home provides so little that's readily edible they've adjusted their diets to include GRUBTHULHU, THE ELDER GRUB
x_los: (Default)
When you wake up too early on a mild English August morning that pretty much fails at evoking the whole 'summer' concept, you assume that it will get better by the afternoon. That it will 'warm up,' inevitably. You are deeply mistaken, and that cute halter top will turn out to be a horrible choice, rivaled only by the concept of Ugg Boots. Not only will the mist spittling out of the Trafalgar Square fountain (walking around it is like engaging in conversation with someone pretty and interesting who just can't help moistening you with saliva the whole time) make you rather chilly, no one else in the entire town will be wearing a halter. Not a native, not a tourist, /no one/. At first, perhaps you try to carry this off with confidence: sky blue halter serves them right, dowdy Londoners, whole town hasn't had sex since sometime in the mid Seventies. But the attempts of the man barking for the tour bus company to hit on you will make you feel cheap and whorish, and eventually, after sucking up the soupy remnants of your pride, you will make your own Long March back to Honslow, tired from jet lag and irked from the pitfalls of fashion miscalcuation, to have a bitter, fitful kip on the sofa before changing and charging out all over again to meet [livejournal.com profile] aralias at Leister Square at 6:15 to look at action figures in Forbidden Planet. Like the dork you so are.

So: National Gallery taken in, Westminster district walked, houses of parliament observed at close range, and Westminster Abbey viewed by not entered because 12 £. Also: £ key option discovered, courtesy of aforementioned Brit.

Parliament really is lovely close up--like the inside-out Gothic ribcage of some massive animal. Big Ben seems smaller close up, but then Notre Dame did as well--something about their importance implies a scale that's rarely easy for the dimensions of a real building to measure up to.

The amount of reading one can accomplish on the tube is phenomenal. The price of the tube, even with Oyster Card to ease the way, is less so, but it's clearly the most convenient option, so there we are, 8£ (yes, I'll overuse that key until I'm disenchanted with it, thanks) poorer and 105 pages of Season of Migration to the North richer.

I thought I remembered just where booksellers' row was from last time, but apparently no: though quite proud of own ability to navigate the tube without huge hassles. Apparently I've retained the barest traces of vestigial knowledge of the London's geography.

Yesterday, excepting a disquieting encounter with customs and enough queues to make me think I'd have a panic attack in the close, thick, recycled air of an Air India cabin just waaaaaiting for disembarkation after a session of taxi-ing so long I could well have watched the movie Taxi during it, was fabulous. [livejournal.com profile] aralias and I went rowing on the Thames in Richmond, and she got to show me up terribly in the process, though by the end I think I was doing a bit better with it that I was initially. Turns out proper rowing is nothing like canoing, though. I got real salt and vinegar crisps that don't taste of nothing, unlike their American cousins (and whatever happened to that play, after the assassination?), we got chips and ate them in a park--and though American fries are fine by me, these are kind of immeasurably better, I know not why. Warm and thick and salty.

Her flatmate and flatemate's manfriend and we all went out to get curry. Curry turns out to be quite different from the brief jabs at Indian food I've tried back home, and it was all really good, but thus far a little impenetrable to me. It's like listening to a genre of music you know nothing about: it all sounds too similar for your ear to distinguish between good or bad examples of those genres. I know I like the whole mode, but I still don't know what dishes I really enjoy, how to tell good curry from bad, etc.

And turns out I am a bizarre sad person who'd never seen When Harry Met Sally, which is a shame because it is 1] and classic and 2] deserves such a reputation, which I found out last night. A movie that aged well, and possibly the only time I've really found Meg Ryan charming. Carrie Fisher was particularly fun, and the entire thing was just totally sweet and enjoyable.

Also was exposed for the first time to QI, which is ring-led by Stephen Fry and asks pannelists to provide the most amusing or interesting responses to difficult, obscure questions, instead of obvious, commonly believed yet incorrect ones. Catfish taste with their whole bodies: they ARE a giant tongue. Ponder that one whilst I 'disco nap,' as Gay Daddy would have it.
x_los: (Default)
When you wake up too early on a mild English August morning that pretty much fails at evoking the whole 'summer' concept, you assume that it will get better by the afternoon. That it will 'warm up,' inevitably. You are deeply mistaken, and that cute halter top will turn out to be a horrible choice, rivaled only by the concept of Ugg Boots. Not only will the mist spittling out of the Trafalgar Square fountain (walking around it is like engaging in conversation with someone pretty and interesting who just can't help moistening you with saliva the whole time) make you rather chilly, no one else in the entire town will be wearing a halter. Not a native, not a tourist, /no one/. At first, perhaps you try to carry this off with confidence: sky blue halter serves them right, dowdy Londoners, whole town hasn't had sex since sometime in the mid Seventies. But the attempts of the man barking for the tour bus company to hit on you will make you feel cheap and whorish, and eventually, after sucking up the soupy remnants of your pride, you will make your own Long March back to Honslow, tired from jet lag and irked from the pitfalls of fashion miscalcuation, to have a bitter, fitful kip on the sofa before changing and charging out all over again to meet [livejournal.com profile] aralias at Leister Square at 6:15 to look at action figures in Forbidden Planet. Like the dork you so are.

So: National Gallery taken in, Westminster district walked, houses of parliament observed at close range, and Westminster Abbey viewed by not entered because 12 £. Also: £ key option discovered, courtesy of aforementioned Brit.

Parliament really is lovely close up--like the inside-out Gothic ribcage of some massive animal. Big Ben seems smaller close up, but then Notre Dame did as well--something about their importance implies a scale that's rarely easy for the dimensions of a real building to measure up to.

The amount of reading one can accomplish on the tube is phenomenal. The price of the tube, even with Oyster Card to ease the way, is less so, but it's clearly the most convenient option, so there we are, 8£ (yes, I'll overuse that key until I'm disenchanted with it, thanks) poorer and 105 pages of Season of Migration to the North richer.

I thought I remembered just where booksellers' row was from last time, but apparently no: though quite proud of own ability to navigate the tube without huge hassles. Apparently I've retained the barest traces of vestigial knowledge of the London's geography.

Yesterday, excepting a disquieting encounter with customs and enough queues to make me think I'd have a panic attack in the close, thick, recycled air of an Air India cabin just waaaaaiting for disembarkation after a session of taxi-ing so long I could well have watched the movie Taxi during it, was fabulous. [livejournal.com profile] aralias and I went rowing on the Thames in Richmond, and she got to show me up terribly in the process, though by the end I think I was doing a bit better with it that I was initially. Turns out proper rowing is nothing like canoing, though. I got real salt and vinegar crisps that don't taste of nothing, unlike their American cousins (and whatever happened to that play, after the assassination?), we got chips and ate them in a park--and though American fries are fine by me, these are kind of immeasurably better, I know not why. Warm and thick and salty.

Her flatmate and flatemate's manfriend and we all went out to get curry. Curry turns out to be quite different from the brief jabs at Indian food I've tried back home, and it was all really good, but thus far a little impenetrable to me. It's like listening to a genre of music you know nothing about: it all sounds too similar for your ear to distinguish between good or bad examples of those genres. I know I like the whole mode, but I still don't know what dishes I really enjoy, how to tell good curry from bad, etc.

And turns out I am a bizarre sad person who'd never seen When Harry Met Sally, which is a shame because it is 1] and classic and 2] deserves such a reputation, which I found out last night. A movie that aged well, and possibly the only time I've really found Meg Ryan charming. Carrie Fisher was particularly fun, and the entire thing was just totally sweet and enjoyable.

Also was exposed for the first time to QI, which is ring-led by Stephen Fry and asks pannelists to provide the most amusing or interesting responses to difficult, obscure questions, instead of obvious, commonly believed yet incorrect ones. Catfish taste with their whole bodies: they ARE a giant tongue. Ponder that one whilst I 'disco nap,' as Gay Daddy would have it.

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