Friday, 23 January 2015

What is the Word

*peeks out from behind the door*  Heyyyyyy, can I come in? I know I haven't been around for a while. I brought cupcakes. 


Been trying to minimise my wardrobe.
I bought two plain white t shirts and two pairs of black jeans.

I've always been a more is more person, my room is full of shit, I like layers. I'm 'the kind of girl' (ew) who wears a top hat to a lecture. 
Or at least I used to be. 
I dunno
Something's happened. 
I guess I'm feeling overwhelmed by studies and my impending graduation and inauguration into THE REAL WORLD.
and so doing things simply has felt liberating.
So now I'm trying to convince myself I am an ArtBaby and all I need is a book and a pen and a uniform.

I have a writing streak of more than 160 days and that matters to me more now than presenting myself as... I don't know.
I don't feel the NEED for everything I am to be visible immediately. 

That was my problem, and still is with social anxiety. I read somewhere that introverts (btw I'm not equating social anxiety with being introverted, they are just linked in my case) tend to dislike small talk. 
I FUCKING LOATHE SMALL TALK. It just feels like: we're all dying at different rates, there are so many horrible and amazing things in the world, let's talk about The X Files

Why are we talking about the w e a t h e r and how terrible the traffic was?? I dunno. It's a fear of being misunderstood. Small talk doesn't allow me to convince you or try to make you believe that I am worthy of your love and attention (which is what I want. give it to me please)

I guess this blog has changed. But that's because I've changed. Don't get me wrong. I still love clothes. No, I mean, I really still fucking love clothes... But yeah. 


Look at him. I simultaneously hate and admire him

Studying Samuel Beckett last semester changed my life, I not only realised I could have slightly sexual dreams of the most RANDOM people (I mean Samuel Beckett, tho?? Come on! Yet I can't quite delete this picture of him from my phone),  I learned that despite my intense anxiety, fear of failure and of being misunderstood, I would rather struggle with words, stutter (metaphorically, although sometimes physically) and splurt them out, than not speak at all.

Here's a poem for you:


Samuel Beckett

for Joe Chaikin

folly -
folly for to -
for to -
what is the word -
folly from this -
all this -
folly from all this -
given -
folly given all this -
seeing -
folly seeing all this -
this -
what is the word -
this this -
this this here -
all this this here -
folly given all this -
seeing -
folly seeing all this this here -
for to -
what is the word -
see -
glimpse -
seem to glimpse -
need to seem to glimpse -
folly for to need to seem to glimpse -
what -
what is the word -
and where -
folly for to need to seem to glimpse what where -
where -
what is the word -
there -
over there -
away over there -
afar -
afar away over there -
afaint -
afaint afar away over there what -
what -
what is the word -
seeing all this -
all this this -
all this this here -
folly for to see what -
glimpse -
seem to glimpse -
need to seem to glimpse -
afaint afar away over there what -
folly for to need to seem to glimpse afaint afar away over there what -
what -
what is the word -
what is the word

Copied from my essay on Beckett: 

In a letter to a friend Beckett wrote:
I am not ashamed to stutter like this with you who are used to my way of failing to say what I imagine I want to say and who understand that until the gag is chewed fit to swallow or spit out the mouth  must stutter or rest. And it needs a more stoical mind than mine to rest. (LSB: 134)[1]
I want to suggest that Beckett’s work represents the attempt to chew the gag ‘fit to swallow or spit out the mouth’ and that in What Where, with Bam’s monosyllabic ‘Make sense who may’ (476), there seems to not only be an acceptance of the failure of words, but a sense that it no longer matters.  What matters is the stuttering, of which Beckett creates an art form.

[1] Salisbury, Laura. Samuel Beckett: Laughing Matters, Comic Timing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pg 90

Please excuse the pretension, but this is what I need to do: make art through and an art of my inability to communicate. 

So here's to not knowing how to say what you think you want to say.  Cheers.

Sorry for no pic if you've forgotten what I look like in my absence.  I just don't have the bone structure or severe eyebrows to go with this kind of musing.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Blow up

© Callum Hayton 2013
*sneezes* Excuse me. I'm ill. It's three weeks till Christmas break and I thought I was going to make it without getting sick, dammit.

I am obsessed with Sheila Heti's From My Diaries. She catalogued lines and phrases from her diaries (2006-2010) in alphabetical order and it's beautiful. It's interesting to see what ideas and even exact phrases occur repeatedly. Maybe something to try just before Jan 1st 2015 with this year's journals. This year has been the first in my who life where I have consistently journalled and it would give a sense of closure to this year before beginning the next and also I could see what I whine about the most.

A couple of times a week I have run away after lectures to Waterstones bookshop to read books I can't afford. There are five floors of brilliance to peruse and every time I find myself scrunched up in a corner on a window seat for hours reading and looking down at the high-street below. It's not like there isn't a huge library on campus but there's something about the atmosphere of a bookshop which trumps that of an academic library. The first time I did this I felt bad about reading the books and not buying them until I read David Quantick's How to Write Everything and tweeted him saying I loved it and admitted that I had read it without buying it, and he replied telling me to take pictures of the pages. So nice.

I also read Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me , where she talked about how people would sit in Barnes and Noble for hours and copy out notes from scriptwriting books and one guy ordered pizza. I'm not brave enough to bring a pizza to a bookstore but I'd definitely put a scone in my pocket and maybe break bits of that into my mouth at intervals. Scones are so nice. Ugh. I kind of want one now.

I read Austin Kleon's Steal like an Artist and Show Your Work, both of which are incredibly inspiring. Austin first got known for his Newspaper Blackout poetry and now these two books.

In Steal Like An Artist Austin talks about:
-heroes and influences
-you don't have to know who you are before you create something
-originality is basically an illusion
-imposter syndrome
-cool people like John Waters, Conan O'Brien, David Hockney,

In Show Your Work
-energy vampires
-sharing your work and your inspiration
-not being human spam (only talking and not listening)
-being part of a 'scenius' - collaborators, great people making great stuff
-learning things in public
- cool people like Joni Mitchell, Kurt Vonnegut

This talk at ConFab came out about a week ago and focuses mainly on Show Your Work

Films watched a couple of weeks ago:

We Are The Best - A Swedish film about three punk girls who start a band (Images from Tumblr)

The Zero Theorem - Terry Gilliam's film which is absolutely stunning even though it's slightly depressing. It is a film that made me think; 'Where are the stories about non-male characters who have existential crises?' (If you know of any I'd really love to know) (Images from Tumblr)

There's David Thewlis in a tiger suit though and Tilda Swinton's Scottish accent is everything.

So, what's going on with you?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

I Jump Up And Let Her Know When I Can: This Is How I'm Gonna Do It

These pockets are way too high to put my hands in. That's a giant hula hoop behing me
I apologies for the amount of parentheses in this.

Reading the Wikipedias of successful people seriously gives me life. I just scroll through going 'yesssss, look at you!' and I will admit sometimes there's a little bit of 'omg i hate you, you fucking genius. why is this not my life???'. It can be a little... distressing, when I look at the wikipedias of people I admire and all I see is HARVARD, DARTMOUTH, OXFORD, CAMBRIDGE, MOTHER WAS A LAWYER, FATHER WAS A DOCTOR, PRESIDENT OF WHATEVER SOCIETY, GRADUATED WITH A DOUBLE FIRST and then in my head is the long resounding 'FUUUCKKKKK!'. I feel like I have no chance. And then I think, how self-pitying of me and buck myself up thinking that if I make my dreams come true it will be an even greater achievement, if you get what I mean.
I guess it was wrong to think of my slight panic attack as self-pitying. Look at me now as I justify myself haha as if I'm on trial or something for being slightly envious of successful people from privileged backgrounds while also being in awe of their work. 

 Some unrelated but kind of related images

On the 20th August this year, I set a reminder on the same date in 2015. I set myself a reminder to have a look at where I am on that day next year, and if I'm in a significantly 'better' place (healthwise, money wise or whatever) and if I'm significantly closer to my goals, I will, wherever I happen to be, blast out Drake's 'Started from the Bottom'.

Related to this, my fund for New York (the place I hope to be when that alarm goes off.) is rapidly depleting. I've got about £15 pounds in physical 'outside-the-bank' money in a plastic jar on a chest of drawers but that won't even get me on a train to Gatwick Airport. I keep dipping into the jar to buy curly fries and jaffa cakes and while I'm scraping the chocolate off the cake ( with my teeth and then eating it, I'm not discarding the chocolate, it's chocolate. Additionally, a jaffa cake is a cake and not a biscuit depsite it always being in the biscuit aisle!) I'm screaming internally 'Come the fuck on, Aida! Which do you want more: to see Stephen Colbert in New York or a temporary date with a high calorie chocolate snack??!'. Well, in an ideal world I would have chocolate and Colbert...

There's a comedian called Lauren Bancroft who runs the blog SNLbound. It's basically documenting her journey as she works her way up to being a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Through her blog we get to go along with her and I love the idea of documenting each step on the way. I have a little writing journal in which I'm doing the same and I also made a powerpoint which I have shown only to one other person, and the experience was thoroughly embarassing. Basically, it's a Powerpoint with pictures of my heroes e.g Tavi (of course!), Conan O'Brien, Jessica Williams, encouraging me to carry on writing and to not buy Dominos.

Things I am allowed to spend money on: books and music

I've had this blog for a year and a bit now and it has been a mish mash of fashion, personal style, and writing and will continue to be mostly the latter two but hopefully also a place where I can share what's going on with you lot and you with me and (squishy moment impending) can all lift and support each other and be like YESSSSSS FOUR FOR YOU.

So, I'm off to collate seminar notes on 17th century witchhunts.
What's going on with you?



Wednesday, 22 October 2014

She's got a Barbarella silver swimsuit

WELLLLLLL, I've been off the radar! Been ridiculously busy with final year of uni but finally found some time to blog. Outfit picture which is the first I've taken in a long while. New Doc Martens. New Year = New Docs. My battered old Kanken. Nearly four years now bby. And I wear a hat to lectures because I can't be bothered to brush my hair when I get up.

Quite a bit has happened. I finally finished my 'novel', which I will put in inverted brackets always. It's 50,000 words so call it a novella if you will but it was just nice to complete something. I haven't broken my streak so as of 20th October (I dunno when I'll publish this) I have written everyday for 70 days.

It's also the last week of The Second City comedy sketch writing course I've been taking. One of the best experiences of my adult life so far and it was only online. I definitely agree with what Sandy Honig wrote on Rookie and I'm saving money to do improv classes.

I made a zine for black history month (which is October in the UK). It's two Ghanaian folk stories told by my lovely mother and I'm giving the small proceeds to my aunt in Ghana who is fighting cancer. Please support/signal boost for me if you can,  <3

I look really grumpy in the picture but I'm just tired. Literally just walked in the door after getting back from a lecture, grabbed the camera and took the picture. Third year is hard. I'm doing a course on Samuel Beckett which is just two hours of anxiety every week.

What else?

Obsessed with journalling and other people's journals now. Bought a pack of disposable cameras too. Caitlin Hazell's work never ceases to amaze me. Watched The Double for the first time and loved it. Also noticed that when I watch films I get paranoid and open a powerpoint document and screenshot stuff  as if I couldn't just go on tumblr, search the movie and get a whole load of images and screen-caps there?? I used to do that with Doctor Who when I was about 10. I felt I HAD to write down what happened in each episode in a little book and keep it otherwise it would be 'lost'. But I guess you can't blame me. We had only recently got digital TV then and it didn't occur to me that it would be repeated often. haha.

Also, A silver swimsuit would be the greatest thing ever.

How you doing?