fj: (USA)
Been a week since I got on a plane for a quick jaunt to DC.

I was too late to get the super special Premium Economy deal upgrade anymore. I realized I could have put it on the US AmEx card and used my travel points to get it for free. Instead I upgraded to emergency exit for £50. So worth it. Stretched out and everything. Good food, not as good video entertainment, though. Screens were washed out, channels were off.

Which means I sat across from cabin crew during take-off and landing. The one on the way to looked like a blond Victoria Beckham, prompting me to wonder what she would have been as a Virgin Atlantic stewardess. I asked her if the little water landing two days ago in New York unnerved her. Her first reaction made her so-far blank face light up and she said something along Heck no, I wish something would happen. Then she caught herself and said no, this didn't faze anyone at all. I confirmed she had actually done a live water evac during training.

I had to get used to people speaking to me again in the US. Super Shuttle personnel guiding us so that we would be inside and not stand in the cold while the van came, hotel staff showing interest, waiters introducing themselves and bantering, and just people in general ready to talk. I walked up to people and they did not have to adapt.

DC was hopeful and alive and I was so right to not do 2008 in the USA. I mean, when I entered Whole Foods and saw Obama's face on cheesecakes I was like um, euw, a whole year of that kind of national banter just through my flist was bad enough.

The disastrous and mean result in California overshadowed the news of the election for me, so it was like I was catching up with how it was. I was so giddy to hear that the night of November 4th blocks had to be cordonned off in DC for celebrations, that people on Penn Ave were chanting "Pack. Your. Bags! Pack. Your. Bags!"

I was doing a test here to see if I could fulfill the primary goal of being in Europe, seeing my family, while living on the East Coast. How bad would it be to dip into NL four times a year or so over a weekend if I lived in NYC? Then I remembered I already did this in 2001 when my mother was dying, and this last week reminds me I have not gotten any better at handling that jetlag.

"So where's home for you now?" asks the acquaintance on my right during dinner. My friends accross from me kinda sigh and grimace, they know how I am.
I waffle, I um, I hesitate. Finally I say: "The other side of this table."

When I went back, I upgraded again. For nothing, because the plane Monday night was practically empty. Everyone could get a middle row to stretch out in. I asked for any leftover desserts, after dinner service was over the nice lady brought me two.
fj: (smug)
ABC announced cancellations. Let the gnashing on my flist of whimsy-addicts begin. I am sure there will be web petitions in no time.

Fine Then

Nov. 16th, 2008 02:42 pm
fj: (Hector The Protector)

picture of laundry drying
Allright mofos, my laundry happened, ok?

fj: (Default)
James The Insane Movie Director was getting his short screened in a major museum in London, on a 16 foot screen on an endless loop in the evening as part of a late exhibit. Of course I'd be there, so I tucked the skinny dark green low-rise check pants nto leather Wellington boots, put on my Captain America T-shirt I feel I can now wear again in London, and the Miyake black suit jacket, and was ready to go. I was not repeating last week's mistake of looking bland. In fact, I didn't like any of my overcoats with it so I grabbed a fleece gray trow off the sofa and wrapped it around me for a Yamamoto Meets Jean Valjean look. These people do not know me, they don't know I am a meek nerd most of the time.

Of course, when they said 'late' the museum meant 10 PM, so I got to see all of two minutes of the film but I did get to see how busy it had been, and James introduced me some, and I mingled, after which we went to a local pub, where we talked and mingled more. One person congratulated me on my new president-elect, which I had to correct, but then we talked anyway, another one was appalled at the Porp 8 passing in California of all places! and I had to explain that 'Liberal Everything-Goes California' is a Hollywood / TV export snowjob just like the idea that 95% of the US does not have awful weather most of the time. Which it does, and much of California is very conservative, it's just that neither meme makes it on Lost and Scrubs much.

And it was all great fun because I met new people and it was just a great Friday night. After which James and I needed food and his partner and friends wanted to go home and smoke, so the five of us said goodbye to the rest and piled into a taxi to Seven Dials, and James and I had late night cheap noodles and beef in a gleaming white plastic joint I'd never have gone into alone and talked about self-worth when your deals fall through, and needing love, and just picking yourself up out of holes when you stupidly made yourself believe you were Golden but you were not, and making rent, and just find meaning and fuck, nobody is hiring but the sites and the shows still need to be made so we must be able to get in at some level.

And I go "Dude, get this: we're having noodles at 11:30 in fucking London after a night of watching your movie be screened in the fucking Tate and everyone came by to see it. That's pretty special. Not everyone gets lives like this, you know." Then we went to his house and joined the others, where I got to hear from a Social Worker about bizarre cases, we discuss having sex with USers, and the actor waxes on working with a major movie star in the movie he is now shooting, does random local accents, tells me Belfast and South African are the hardest ones to do, trades camp accents with Jonathan, James' partner, from different backgrounds so accurately it sounds like I walked into my gay gym, and does the Hamlet speech in one single breath as a party trick. I came home at 4.

These people now think I wear big shawls out when it is cold. Hey, maybe I just will.
fj: (USA)
Look, first of all, Palin has apologized for implying some citizens of the US are anti-American by saying specific parts are pro-American. To me, the whole flap is completely flawed trinary logic, of course: maybe the rest of the country that wasn't so pro-American was simpy neutral, a sort of ho-hum-American, instead of downright anti-American. But no, everything in US politics is a duality, so of course Palin was implying everyone and everything else was anti-American when she said she was happy to be in specific spots in the US that were pro-American.

So yes, on the fucked-upness that's just starters for me. Because for most people from countries in northern Europe (and probably many everywhere else too), the idea that being called anything but all bonkers and hoppingly excited about your own country is some kind of insult is kinda nuts. It reads as flat, uncritical, thoughtless, cheerleaderesque, and well, um, as they would say here, "so American". Unbridled default nationalism is so suspect here -- we kinda got a history with it.

For the last couple of years certain elements in Dutch politics have tried to create a certain sense of nationalism in the Netherlands, trying to base the existence of their parties on it. Fortuyn was big on nationalism, and some other people are trying to carry that legacy -- and, in the end, equally as haplessly as Fortuyn's party, which imploded once it got into government. It just doesn't fit the Netherlands right, the nationalism just never strikes the right chord. We are a swamp and you are supposed to stay vigilant and critical of it lest it get worse. In the UK the tory press tries to talk about British National Identity mostly as a pretense for whining about how Labour ruined, ruined it by doing things like pulling the House of Lords and the succession rules into the 20th century, but I think that if I asked anyone here "So you're pro-Britain, right?" they'd be wondering if some sporting event was on that they were missing. (And I say this a former Daily Mail reader.)

Well, still, the US is the culture my friends are in, and, if you buy the whole 'if you ain't pro you must be anti, and boy you must be pro' notion, the best comment on it comes from [ profile] danger_chick, who works in a national lab for military and other research plonked down in some godforsaken place in New Mexico:
I've been pissed about Palin's language since her part of the campaign started. I think the whole "pro-America" comments have become the proverbial straw on the camel's back. I live in a town that is split 50/50 on political lines but exists entirely to serve this country. To assume that the 50% that are not interested in voting for McCain are not "pro-America" shows a complete disregard our work. It's not like most of us are here for the great benefits package or to live in the middle of nowhere. We are here to be part of the lab, to be part of the lab's mission, to reduce global threats again this country, to help get the soldiers back home in one piece. I think I am actually angry enough that I am going to write the McCain campaign, assuming I can calm down enough to make sense.
You can link to it here.

Also, , courtesy of [ profile] fengi.


Oct. 9th, 2008 11:43 pm
fj: (bqw)
I would like to thank[ profile] bobaloo for all his tireless work on the "No on Proposition 8" campaign in California.

I am angry and heartsick at the prospects of yet another set of my friends' marriages being invalidated. I know some went in thinking it was "Mostly just a piece of paper", but having attended my number of weddings and having thought a lot about marriage, I know that actually standing up there is transformative, that getting that paperwork done and the changes that follow from it actually do make you think of your relationship in a new way, that it is, still, a hit to the brain of "wow, I never though in my closeted kid days we would get there. That this would happen. That we'd be just as real."

I can't stand the thought of that being taken away. Not there, not in the place I was so happy. I can't contemplate that so many people living among my friends would want to take it away from them.

I am not allowed to donate as a foreign national, as I found out, so I haven't. Oddly, it turns out that [ profile] pinkfish is donating more, and at the same time my share of the current bills for The Loft has gone up by the same amount; it is very strange how that works. Yeah, I am still unemployed, but I know I will work again and this money is necessary now. Donate.

If you too want to donate some time in the LA area, get in touch with Bob. He is overworked, and needs volunteers. You don't even need to call people, I believe.
fj: (phkl)
Utterly unrelated to thinking brunch would be an hour earlier than it was and the fact that my ex and biggest fan of my interiors was coming over, I found myself in the Oxford Circus area Saturday mornin at 9.30 shopping for some finishing furnishings. Hence the Tord Boontje Garland lampshade for the naked bulb in the hallway from my previous entry, and a real lampshade for upstairs, and a rug. It takes me three department stores to buy a simple chocolate floor rug, and it is not because I am looking for the most exclusive one, but because I am looking for the right one. Which in my case is usually the item that has the fewest detailing and the simplest shapes or colors, but without looking dowdy.

'Really simple and just nice' is actually a difficult combo to find, usually, but when you put that all together it works. My table and chairs are a set IKEA designed for outdoors and made in white plastic, but they were the smallest really simple and nice tables I could find. My teacups are round and stark white china. Yet when you put it all together I was happy with how the whole afternoon tea for 6 people ended up looking and being in the small flat. It was just nice. [ profile] zombietruckstop noticed at the actual brunch, at a place called Christopher's American Grill, hours before tea at my place was to happen, that I was wearing combat boots to brunch. Yeah well, it is the style these days, just look at any Uniqlo display, but also, getting the right rug is sheer combat. I won at John Lewis, by the way. The appartment is now looking pretty nice by day, but I still can't get the lighting right for night, which is mostly a problem of lightbulbs.

As far as brunch went, the company, setting, location, and food was lovely, but I couldn't escape the thought that Christopher's missed that little essential item about what sets American Breakfast and Brunch Food apart from all other cuisines: conspicuous abundance. It was totally delicous, lovingly presented, and perfectly portioned for the European upscale restaurant experience, but I felt like someone missed the point of what makes a specific cusine unique, you know. It would be like going to a Japanese restaurant and getting correctly-made sushi just haphazardly dumped on a bed of lettuce on an individual plate. You'd be all like wait, this is indeed sushi, but uh, you know, the Japanese are supposed to go for the whole esthetic thing?...

After brunch I ran off home with my purchases, cleaned, installed, and went to Tesco for the actual food to serve for tea. Tesco is basically the Walmart of the UK, but if you grab their 'Finest' store brand you really get good stuff. The strawberries were the best I have had in a while. I served them and other fruit with ramekins of Devon clotted cream (I thought the top layer had gone rancid when I opened the pot, but upon reading it turns out this "Golden Crust" is a feature. I am obviously lacking in my knowledge of creams, not something I ever expected of myself) and pre-made sandwiches cut down to quarters. It all ended up working well.

We walked through Kenington and Vauxhall because [ profile] pinkfish wanted to see how I ended up, and then I told them about how [ profile] mattycub and [ profile] zombietruckstop had told me at brunch about going to Eurobeat: The Musical About Eurovision and somehow, thanks to the insistence of an American with a aspirations of being a British Dizzy Queen, ten minutes and a credit card later Barry, Adam, [ profile] pinkfish, and I had tickets and had to be on our way for dinner to be in time for the show. After which we ended up in a tiny busy club in Soho dancing to 80s electro hits after having charmed our way in for free by telling the door Drag Queen about the theatre. It was kind of nice, all.

Now, after my Sunday roast at the corner pub, as I try to do every Sunday, I am looking back on a week on seeing many friends and making new local ones. Suddenly the anxiety that was building after 3 weeks of no interaction is gone, I may not need to resign myself to being a hermit. Now just the job thing.
fj: (Default)
Is there a topic you can't stop writing about in your journal? Why do you write about it so much?
Proving again that she can write, [ profile] mcbrennan answers this succinctly and completely with:
"I originally started this journal to write clever, detached, supersmart, superjaded things that would endear me to the public at large, leading to book deals and screenplay deals and tattoos and TV appearances and eventually changing my name to "Diablo". But when I got here I did what every other 15 year old girl does, I started whining about my life to all my friends. And totally ruined everything. And when I'm not comfortable writing about my life, I don't write about anything. And that is so lame. So yes. Self loathing. Jonas Brothers ruuuuulz!!1! Next question."
It's my LJ path in a nutshell. I know this because I have been backtagging since 2002 (I am at March 2006 now) and could see it happen. I seem to no longer write about war and politics and stuff.

And one of the reasons I admire [ profile] fengi so. If you like reading brain-engaged analyzes of USA politics and are not subscribing to [ profile] fengi, you are missing something
fj: (Default)
Out to an eritrean restaurant and a pub with Derek. 10000 experiences and i will have them all.

Posted with AutoPostBot

The Weather

Aug. 2nd, 2008 09:57 pm
fj: (Default)

The Weather
"The Weather", Nokia N73, London, 2008

The Weather

Aug. 2nd, 2008 09:57 pm
fj: (Default)

The Weather
"The Weather", Nokia N73, London, 2008

fj: (Default)

We Drove Closer
"We Drove Closer", Nokia N73, San Mateo Bridge, 2008

fj: (LA)
I haven't been able to blog because when I come home I am so tried from having been everywhere and seen people. I can barely keep up with just reading before I fall asleep at my desk.

It's like I never left, but condensed into a week. Everything is here and I can't fit it all in but I am having fun trying.

I left behind a lot when I left to London. A lot.
fj: (Default)

Paulina And Her Dogs
"Paulina And Her Dogs", Nokia N73, Los Angeles County, 2008

fj: (Default)

Paulina And Her Hat
"Paulina And Her Hat", Nokia N73, Los Angeles County, 2008

Les Chiens

Jul. 21st, 2008 07:56 pm
fj: (Default)

Les Chiens
"Les Chiens", Nokia N73, Los Angeles County, 2008

fj: (travel)
Y'all are reading [ profile] dr_memory's Illustrated Travelogue of Japan, right?

I am hooked n every word.
fj: (Default)
It's sales here in London. Which in Selfridges, the Big Store for Upscale Designer Everything, especially on a Friday, is just like Pride: gay men everywhere getting dressed up, trying to find the best they can, and hoping nobody from work sees them. I went with [ profile] iejw, which was really great because it is hard to find shopping buddies. Hard for me to shop for myself since 2/3s of my stuff is in transit so I am not sure what I need.

Then we went to my place where I stacked open whole-grain rolls with salmon or prosciutto, tomato, orange peppers, spinach, hard boiled eggs, and cheese and put them in the oven to melt. And then left for SoHo again to go to a birthday party in a bar. I like living just a 20 minute bus ride from the center.

And I got tons of socializing done before the weekend had even started, so I am all relaxed now. I have been pretty open and relaxed about life right now. I have the whole traveling to Germany down now, I have been finally paid and have more coming. I am a bit worried about where the next gig is coming from, about how my expenses are structurally too high while I am going to indulge myself with a trip, about how I probably should move to a cheaper area, about how I still haven't received an electric bill, but largely I am ok with this all.

Weather's been pretty nice everywhere. I sleep on the meadow in Vauxhall in the sun when I can.
fj: (talking)
  • Meeting a Cylon or two (can't elaborate, don't ask, all I can say is a friend has connections these days)
The second one has me seriously pissed.

(And no, having wedding cake by myself without an actual wedding is no fun.)
fj: (UK)
As said, I consider a weekened in a new city a success if I do one social thing. Two weekends ago on a Saturday I thought the weekend was a bust, and then by the end of it I had watched Eurovision with [ profile] iejw , met 3 new people, been to a landmark pub, saw a bunch of LJers of which two on their way to Africa, and had dinner with a former colleague and friend from LA and her boyfriend. Last weekend I ended up meeting a completely new person on Saturday, having brunch at the overpriced restaurant of an overpriced furniture shop with friends on Sunday, scones at the Tate Modern (sorry, jam really does go first), and then dinner with [ profile] spwebdesign at a cute new restaurant in the NW area where I ended up with new appreciation of the vocal technique of crying babies.

I am writing this to let myself know it is ok if I just putter around this weekend. I have scores of little things and paperwork to catch up on. It is ok. Maybe you should go outside, though, maybe to the grassy area behind the RVT, a short walk away, where all the hangover homos (some still tripping) hang out when the weather is nice. And have nothing to do and know no-one, but at least be outside.

But I really need to sign up for Direct Debit with British Gas and write some forms for the tax people up. It is ok. You're doing fine in this new city. Although I should walk up to the shopping center at Elephant & Castle (still needs to be bombed) to get a Big container so the mice stay out of my protein powder while I am gone the next two weeks (I am staying over at my father's next weekend). I really don't want to bread extra-muscular super mice.

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