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?


Friday, 19 September 2014

Am I wrong cos I wanna get it on till I die?

Hey there. I've got weave

I arrived in Brighton last night, ready (sort of) to start university again on Monday. BTW I just want to say thank you to all the people who read and commented on my last post. I'm sorry I took so long to reply to your comments but I was really, really touched by them.  <3

Here's some stuff and stuff I've been listening to/feeling/doing/not doing

Tavi did a Reddit AMA yesterday and posted a link to this video. The whole thing is pretty great tbh. It's here

In the comments on my last post Kani linked me to this great image which I'm going to look at daily

Arabelle Sicardi's blog is amazing for pumping me up to Get Stuff Done. Bearing witness to her awesome rise gives me strength

As does my Kanye Playlist on my phone

Also, don't you feel like the world is simultaneously getting better and worse? I mean media is getting more diverse.  My sister and I have been commenting to each other when we watch tv about the amount of interracial couples in British adverts now.  Gay marriage is legal in the UK. People also get called out on their shit pretty quickly too now. But then Ferguson, ISIS/IS, right-wing extremism...

And after that this seems so petty and ridiculous but I'd like to say it anyway: I started a New York fund in a plastic jar. The amount in it so far is 12 pence haha. I'm dirt poor right now (COME ON STUDENT FINANCE!) but I would love to go to New York when I graduate or Chicago. To write.

Yeezy says: You have to crawl before you ball

I'm writing this on the 18th but it's gonna get published on the 19th but I've spent a very long time listening to every single song by The Strokes and remembering how much I love them.

There's a Zine Society at my uni now so looking forward to going to that.

And the 'novel' I'm writing is currently at 36,000 words.

Was reading Wayne Koestenbaum on his new glasses for Believer Mag and was thinking about my own glasses. They're large, brown and dappled with red, not designer, thick because I am very short sighted and have astigmatism.

And this is Sizzy Rocket - Morrissey and the chrorus is the chorus to There is a Light That Never Goes Out. Not gonna lie, I did think... Hmmm I wonder what Morrissey would say? But no, I can't stop listening to this hehe

[The video uploader thing isn't working anymore for me :(]

That's what I'm leaving you with. Till next time, lovelies <3


Friday, 29 August 2014

hometown heroes

Well... I haven't blogged in a while. A few reasons. One of the being anxiety. I don't know what it is but it leads to avoidance. I can't open emails or respond to comments for days, sometimes weeks on end. I had a few comments I needed to respond to on here and I just avoided the blog for ages. But I'm back again and catching up on your blogs. 

On the 12th of August I started what I hope will become the rest of my life. I woke up and wrote a thousand words and then decided I would write for an hour everyday for the rest of my life. I made a little calendar and stuck it above my bed and it's still there now. I put a big red cross through a day when I've written. I have not broken the streak yet and I hope I won't.  In the words of Fleetwood Mac: 'Never break the chain'. 

So much has been happening really. Not huge events but things like seeing old friends more frequently, reading my books for uni. This is what I have to read:

Ignore the last four books on the right hand side. They're just photobombing sort of. I'm also taking a writing course with Second City for 8 weeks which starts in two days. I love my mum. Thank you for helping me out so I could take this course <3

This is my word count so far. I don't know how but it seems like I'm writing a novel. It isn't one I ever ever intend to publish but just waking up everyday with a purpose and something to work towards is cool. Also, it's about my estate which is fun. An alternative version though. It is very heavily inspired by Exit 57, Strangers with Candy and the book Wigfield. Basically everything Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello have done together! It's also inspired by Night Vale and The X Files. I like weird characters, that's all. 

I feel like I have to enter a weird world every time I come to write or I have to feel a certain vibe so I've tried to make a moodboard and constantly surround myself with thing that create that creepy weird town vibe.  I went round my block to take a few pictures. I remember forever ago I said on this blog that I'd take pictures of where I live. 

1.welcome to night vale 2, 3 Todd Oldham (Wigfield) 3. Exit 57, 4. Brutalist estate 5. Exit 57 

Walking around where I lived just made me think of the hometown heroes. People who lived here too and still do. Here's a little thing. Did you know that Hackney was once voted the worst place to live in the UK? Now its a hipster hub, trendy, everybody wants to be hanging out there. its a place for creatives, i-d magazine is based here and all that jazz. Sometimes I think about the people who made it before Hackney was a place where there seemed to be opportunities, like it is now. That's why Marc Bolan's up there. He was born in Homerton, Hackney, where I was born, he went to school where I went to school, walked the streets I walk, played in the parks I played in. And is one of the greatest rock stars of all time.
There's Michael Caine, Freema Agyeman (the first black female Doctor Who companion), Paloma Faith, MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT.  I just have these thoughts as I get closer to graduation. I can do it toooo. And I will. I don't want to be famous. That's not it. I just want to do what I love as a career, that's the goal. 

Anyhoo, how you doin?

Aida x