silly_cleo: black and white image of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, text: an almost all greek thing (Default)
Just so we're clear, I don't actually think of it that way, but I was rather boggled yesterday and so that's how I referred to it. (I spent the afternoon at Cara and Cathryn's, basically boggling.) I think tattoos are gorgeous and as of yesterday, I HAVE ONE. O.o

I've put photos up on twitter, facebook and tumblr, so if you follow me on any of those, you'll have probably seen already. (Here is the Tumblr post, if you have not, and are so inclined.) (Also if you wish to follow me on other social media platforms, do feel free!)

The tattoo is on my left collarbone/breast, and it's of the raven from Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. This seems like the right place to say I got it for Alex, a dear friend of mine who, as some of you know, died of cancer 5 years ago. This is the tattoo she talked about getting, and I've felt for some time I'd like to get it for her, as something (else) to remember her by. As I turn 30 this year, which is incidentally how old she was when she died, it felt like the right time too.

It was not as painful as I expected at the time, but as a trade, the aftercare is grosser than I'd given thought to. (I've been describing it as feeling like the descriptions of 'I Must Not Tell Lies' from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Also, where I got it done it was less painful than threading my upper lip, but went on for longer, and I expect that would vary from person to person, and area to area. Also, I've had lots of waxing, threading, and laser hair removal done over the years, so that helped in terms of what to expect, pain-wise. I found looking at it made it seem more painful. The weirdest part was undoubtedly how much it felt like drawing. Like when the artist was filling it in they were literally drawing in circles the way you would to fill something in with a biro or pencil.)

I have ideas for a few more, but am in no rush to implement them, partly due to gross. (It's healing fine, I'm just a wuss.)

I already love it to bits though, it's slightly unreasonable how much. <3
silly_cleo: black and white image of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, text: an almost all greek thing (Default)
This is STILL a placeholder, however, dear author, if you are getting worried (and I don't blame you, please accept my apologies) please do take a look at my exchange letters tag as it's still all true. I've also loved everything I've ever received on the AO3.

I will still write this in the next couple of days but if you've started writing without it that's def my own fault and I'm sure I'll love whatever you're working on.
silly_cleo: A girl in a pink tutu dancing at her reflection in the mirror in a ballet studio (dancing! - tutu in mirror)
Hi hi!

I fail at DW really hard still, I'm sorry. I've had lots of adventures since I updated last, and maybe I will even write about them! (I suspect it would do me good.)

However, today I am here to request help. I'm VJ-ing a Spies vidshow for Vidukon and I would love some recs from you lovely people!

Obvious things I want to include:
- Alias (but no specific vid in mind so rec away and persuade me to yours! I'm tempted to include more than one but we'll see)
- The 1960s Avengers (but I lack a HQ video so again, help!)
- [personal profile] kuwdora's Julian Bashir from DS9 I Wish I Was James Bond vid (need permission)
- An actual James Bond vid, though if one about James Bond LADIES or Judi Dench M exists I'd take that in a heartbeat
- Does anyone know a good Natasha Romanoff vid that focuses on her spy-ness? I know Bullpen is the obvious choice and awesome but hoping to go beyond the obvious.
- My heart wants to sneak in Titanium cuz Lynda Carter WW was sort of a spy but my head says that seems like cheating. ;)
- Person of Interest could, I think, fit the bill, so if you agree and have recs, go ahead.

That's off the top of my head, I'm sure there's heaps I've forgotten and don't know about so yes, that's where you come in. Recs please! :D

Oh, also, witty suggestions for an alternate title gratefully accepted. ;)

Festivid!

Feb. 17th, 2015 09:11 pm
silly_cleo: black and white image of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, text: an almost all greek thing (Default)
So, as basically anyone reading this knows, I made my very first vid as a Festvid treat this year, for [personal profile] chaila! (Zero prizes for guessing the fandom. ;))

I'm so happy with how it turned out and the feedback it got, and now I feel like I can sign up to Festivids next year! Plus I have about 800 other vids I want to make between now and then. :D

I will try to learn subtitles for my next trick but it may take me a while, apologies. If you have a specific need, please don't hesitate to PM me or comment here and that'll be a good prod to get it done.

Song: A Hero Comes Home, Robin Wright, Beowulf (2007)
Fandom: Wonder Woman (2009)
Length: 01:12
Size: 40.78MB
Download: HERE
Summary: Diana, Hippolyta, and Themyscira.
Content notes: Physical triggers (e.g., epilepsy or migraine: strobe lights, bright lights, "stuttery" cuts between 2-3 stills)
Notes: Massive thanks to [personal profile] shinyjenni for letting me use her clips, and for an amazing beta. <3 Also thank you to [personal profile] cosmic_llin and [personal profile] carawj for beta-ing and cheerleading!

silly_cleo: Fred Burkle looking over her shoulder, text: princess. (angel - fred - princess)
I stared at my remaining topics and wasn't sure which I felt like talking about, and then I landed on this one because I finally picked a fandom to talk about. ;D I've been struggling with this one ever since [personal profile] carawj requested it because I'm pretty generous in what I define as an active fandom. Like thanks to Tumblr I consider say, Harry Potter, Buffy (ETA: turns out I lied and can't talk about Angel without Buffy), Xena, and Farscape to be fairly active fandoms for me because they come up on my dash a lot, I re-watch eps periodically, I watch vids, I ponder and read meta, so they were all out, and they're some of my oldest fandoms.

I also pondered and rejected Doctor Who because dear show, I feel like I already expend more energy on you and justifying our break-up than is good for me at the mo.

And I regularly re-read say, the Vorkosigan Saga and Robin Hobb, so they're also out.

I briefly considered 'Grey's Anatomy' cuz I had a really fun conversation with someone on twitter about it earlier this evening but maybe another time as this is SO LONG.

Shows I've come to in the last 5 years don't even count as nostalgic yet, so that rules out a LOT. ;)

But! As I mentioned in my entry earlier, I've fallen down a 'Person of Interest'-shaped rabbit-hole, which is ENTIRELY because of Amy Acker, for whom I have a huge thing. And I tend to forget this is the case until I actually see her moving and talking in something? Like stills and even gifsets don't really convey it? But anyway, this has sort of been simmering since [personal profile] purplefringe's beautiful Festivid last year, with which I am slightly obsessed, and then I saw [personal profile] isagel's fantastic character study from POI, and like months later, here we are. ;)

The problem here is that prolonged pondering about Amy Acker inevitably leads me back to Angel in the end, and for various reasons, I haven't hung on to Angel over the years the way I have Buffy. But, because of the Amy Acker thing, it has been on my mind lately more than usual.

(Btw, this entry is going to have massive spoilers for all of Buffy and Angel, so if you're in the process of watching those, or plan to watch them some day, look away.) Cut for length, but as yet, no spoilers. I'll let you know when I hit those. )

OK, here be spoilers. )

Like it would be ridiculous and untrue to say I'm not capable of the depth of feeling I had for Buffy and Angel but they're both wrapped around my me-ness and personality in ways it's harder for things to be as I get older, because my personality and sense of self are more formed.

As an aside, they're the first fandoms I shared with Alex. Like we met through mutual friends in Gargoyles fandom, but we were both done with Gargoyles by the time we started hanging out. She's hugely responsible for my Tara love, I didn't like her at first because I missed Oz. (I know, I know.) We used to hotly debate Buffy/Angel vs Cordelia/Angel. She was very sympathetic (and frequently mocking) over my Fred feelings. My LJ still has an Alex-only filter, and if I ever let another living human being on that filter, they would find hundreds of comments, because that's how we used to talk to each other, and lots of them are about our Buffy and Angel re-watches. We didn't simul-watch because time-zones can bite me but we used to watch more or less concurrently a lot.

Heh, she tried to get me to watch Justice League Unlimited because so many Jossverse alums voiced the characters, chiefly Amy Acker as Huntress.

I don't really know how to wrap this one up. I don't even know what it'll be like to read, it's very introspective (navel-gazey ;)) and rather sentimental. Thinking it over I don't think it's age or depth of feeling that's different about how I watch TV, it's critical thinking. When I watch TV or movies or read a book now I can't switch off pondering whether it has passed the Bechdel test yet, where are the queers, where are the PoC, hey, that woman just got put in a fridge*. Etc. And I wouldn't change that even if I could, even though it makes me a killjoy sometimes, but I'm also glad I got to watch Buffy and Angel BEFORE I learned to do that. (Also I think I worked through a lot of my feelings about relating to canons and problematic canons and how to be a fan of problematic things through Buffy and Angel. Like there was a point where it was important to me to like everything about every aspect of the show, so I worked hard to say, love freaking Spike and Riley, and it was freeing to work out that I didn't have to do that.)

Like I often talk about how much I've learnt about feminism and equality and intersectionality from fandom, and it's TRUE. I am not sure I even gave credit to how much that's true until I wrote all this down.

(My god, I am so sorry about how long this one is.)

*Not to say every type of media I consume is a paragon of representation or anything, VERY far from it, but part of the automatic process of watching that is critiquing it.
silly_cleo: black and white image of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, text: an almost all greek thing (Default)
I'm so behind with these. Shocker. IDK. I'm sorry. I finished work on the 19th, then I had to write my Yuletide, do last-minute Xmas stuff, and obviously actual Xmas (which was surprisingly OK). All of which was fine and great, but looking back on the last few days I really have just collapsed like a puppet whose strings have been cut. Er, I also fell down a 'Person of Interest' shaped rabbit-hole. Which I may write about at some point soon. 's been fun. ;D

Tbh, I think it's been good and I was due a break. I owe comments and December posts and a couple of drabbles and a podfic, and there's other stuff I feel moved to do, and I think I'll actually be able to move on to all that lot soon.

BUT ANYWAY. Enough of that. [personal profile] goodbyebird asked me to talk about all my Wonder Woman clothes and accessories! :D And I figured since it's her birthday it might be nice to get the right day for this one. Happy birthday, sweetie, hope you've had a lovely day and fun and gorgeous presents. <3

So it's no secret I have a) a massive Wonder Woman thing b) love clothes and dressing up and c) am a cosplayer and 'stealth' cosplayer. (Too lazy to link but last year I talked about this for one of my December memes!) This means a) I buy myself a lot of WW stuff and b) it's a great present avenue for OTHERS. I'm now, as requested, going to talk about all my WW stuff and also how I acquired it. ;D

I did consider taking a PHOTO of me wearing all my WW stuff but I realised I can't actually wear it all at once, plus I'm lazy. Sorry. Anyway. ;D

It started with one T-shirt from Primark, which I still have, and is much loved.

I don't remember the order perfectly, but I've cosplayed as WW for both Nine Worlds so far, so I have several red tops I use for that, that I count as WW stuff. I have a vest, a t-shirt, several jerseys. An increasingly worn blue skirt with white polka-dots on it. I've got some bracelets made of silver card that also double up for my Thor cosplay. I've got some beautiful bracelets [personal profile] shinyjenni *made for me*. I've got THREE tiaras, one I made from gold and red glittery card, one felt one [twitter.com profile] minihannah gacve me for my birthday (or Christmas? My memory stinks) last year, one that a coworker CROCHETED for me as a goodbye present. [personal profile] spiderwolves gave me some cute elasticated faux red boots with the white stripe. I've got scads of gold ribbon I use as lasso, lasso-as-hair-control, belt, W, as I see fit.

For Christmas (or my birthday??) last year, [personal profile] carawj got me a beautiful necklace that I wear almost every day. I need to learn to clean copper jewellery.

For my birthday this year, [personal profile] carawj and [twitter.com profile] Shiiuga BOTH got me Wonder Woman bags, one is a beautiful handbag I wear all the time, the other is a gorgeous tote from Red Bubble that's done like it's for Themyscira the sports (rollerderby LBR) team. As I use totes almost every day for the stuff I can't fit in my handbag (I know) sometimes I wear them both at the same time and it's the BEST.

[personal profile] shinyjenni also got me WW-themed stuff for my birthday this year. A gorgeous length of navy blue ribbon with stars and the W across it that I frequently wear in my hair, a little W necklace that sits perfectly on my chest to stealthily simulate the W on Diana's chest. And a little lego WW that lives on my bedside table.

This year [personal profile] cosmic_llin gave me a book on Amazons, no doubt in large part due to my WW thing, though obv Amazons are RTMI anyway and the Diana thing is a little bit because of that. I got given a Greg Rucka comic for my birthday last year. (Only like the best one, i.e., Eyes of the Gorgon. <3)

I bought myself a WW iPad case. Also at some point another Primark T-shirt. Also er, *coughs* two pairs of WW converse, though the high tops don't fit and I need to sell them. (*sob*)

For Christmas, my little sister gave me WW headphones. (She overheard me tell dad I wanted them and went to quite a lot of effort to find them as I hadn't mentioned where she could buy them. <3) I can't usually tolerate big over-ear headphones but for this pair and my little sister's effort, I'm gonna see if I can figure it out.

I think that might be all my WW stuff?? (All. *snort*)

ETA: Oh! Make-up! I used to have all the colours to do WW nails, but need to replace red and blue as I was sharing [twitter.com profile] minihannah's while we lived together. I also have colours to do WW eye-shadow. :D

Now I've written it all down, it's making me think of other stuff I'd like. I'd love more WW-themed make-up. I'd love WW tights or leggings. I'd also love a dress, or that jumper pattern that goes around Tumblr sometimes. There can never be too many necklaces. Hair clips maybe? There can also never be too many t-shirts and sweaters and stuff. Basically if you're ever stuck for a present to give me you'll be hard-pressed to go wrong with Wonder Woman clothes or accessories. And even if I already have it, you can bet I'm loving and wearing and using it to death and will be so grateful for a replacement. ;D <3
silly_cleo: A girl in a leotard stretching over a ballet bar. (dancing! - girl stretching)
So I was lying in bed the other night (bear with me ;)) and I was struggling to get to sleep, so I was thinking about my current book, which at the time was ‘The Stepsister Scheme’, and I sort of segued into thinking that I also struggle to pronounce the word scheme. This led me to ponder other words with that ‘sch’ noise that I can’t pronounce, and why that might be, which led me nicely onto the December topic [personal profile] raven asked me for, which is – languages! (And interesting cognates, and being bilingual, and all that cool stuff we sometimes talk about.)

But yes, ‘sch’! The other word I struggle to pronounce that starts with it is ‘schism’, and then I noticed that both these words are of course, Greek, scheme means shape (σχήμα - schema) (at least in Modern Greek, so you can see how that works, scheme/shape/plan all kind of share nebulous meaning. *waves hands vaguely*). Schism, in Modern Greek (σχίζω/σκίζω - schizo) I rip. I trust I don’t need to explain that one. I had one other but I forget what it is. Oh, schedule. (σχέδιο - schedio) Pattern, plan.

And you can see in the Greek word the ‘ch’ compound is trying to stand in for the Greek Χ, which doesn't sound like X (that’s Ξ) but rather more like H, but way further back in the throat. I took a term of Linguistics 101 at uni, and remember learning about all those noises we make in the back of the throat, how English doesn't go very far back (in the throat) at all, and how Greek goes a bit further but nowhere near as far as other languages.

I went off on two tangents at this point and one of them is shorter than the other so I’ll address it first. This was me thinking about words that have ‘sch’ in them that I CAN pronounce and the one I thought of first is ‘school’. Then I thought about how, to my eye, the word school comes from the same place across all the languages I know, which struck me as cool. (Disclaimer: I could be wrong about this, like I’m good at spotting patterns across languages and that’s why I’m good at them, but I’m by no means trained or always accurate.) But, to my eye:
School
Schule
Ecole
Escuela
Σχολείο(Scholio)

ETA: [personal profile] glinda informs me that in Gaelic/Welsh school is sgoil. From work I believe Welsh for school is ysgol? ([personal profile] cosmic_llin, [personal profile] beccatoria?)

So yes, that struck me as a fun cognate. The problem with cognates is as soon as you ASK me about them, my mind goes completely blank. (Brain very helpfully informs me potato is a cognate - πατάτα - patata)

Anyway! My other tangent brought on by the word ‘scheme’ was less about cognates, and more about pronunciation. Namely, that my English of same is sometimes dodgy. It’s the odd word, rather than an accent, no one ever really believes I’m not-from-an-English-speaking-country foreign (we could unpack some stuff THERE if we wanted and I may return to that), but I do trip regularly over Greek words when spoken in English. If you have ever heard me speak about Classics or Ancient Greece or Greek mythology (or as I like to think of it, mythology #brat ;)) at length, you’ll have heard this happen. I can’t immediately find the Anglicised pronunciation. Examples: Aegean, Odysseus, Achilles, Circe (I just can’t pronounce this one at all anymore), Theseus, Delos, Demeter, Persephone, Iphigeneia, Thessalonica, Thrace, Euripides. I can pronounce (and SPELL) most of these now, but it has taken me practice, I have to stop and think about it. I used to have a lot of feelings about Anglicised pronunciation (I thought it was stupid) so I would just switch to Greek for the words I needed, but that was difficult for others to understand, and also in hindsight, wanky. I now get very judgy of non-Greeks who use the Greek spelling and pronunciations of things unnecessarily. As is my right.

I'm also not very reliable about pronunciation in general, tbqh. When reading scifi and fantasy my guesses of made up names are very clearly drawing on a very different set of phonetic rules. ([personal profile] carawj and I had fun comparing our pronunciations of a lot of character/place names in Robin Hobb for example.)

I kind of alluded to this earlier, but I also thought I‘d talk about what languages I do actually speak, and to what level. English is now, and sort of always has been, my first language. I spoke English first, when I was small, given my mum and her friends were the people I saw most, and my parents spoke English at home. I learned Greek when I went to nursery. I have vague memories of being encouraged to speak Greek at nursery, even though all the kids were bilingual, everyone had Greek in common. (My mum found this ex-pats nursery, so the staff were v good about language stuff. Probably much better than if I’d gone to a straight-up Greek nursery.) I am told I refused to speak Greek until this nursery. Mum assumes this is because I associated Greek with loud, pushy relatives and old ladies in the street poking at my (weird, huge, white-blond and fluffy/spiky) hair. (I don’t know whether I remember this or have just constructed memories from mum’s stories.)

Once I learned Greek, I was definitely bilingual, and still am, though my Greek is rusty now. I dreamt and thought interchangeably in both languages, which is supposed to mean something. (I now dream and think in English. Excitingly if I go to Greece long enough I do sometimes start to think in Greek.) If anything, my written Greek was better than my written English for a long time. My mum arranged for extra English classes twice a week to address that, with another ex-pat friend of hers. (Ex-pats feature hugely in my life. ;D) This is where I picked up a) a life-long love for reading, we did a bookwork scheme and it REALLY worked ;) and b) a life-long confusion over American vs British English spelling and phrasing, with some NZ and South African confusion thrown in for funsies. I can’t tell you which is which, and I can’t pick one to use consistently. I was always running into difficulty over this once I moved here. (Is it a pavement? Is it a sidewalk? Is it the footpath? WHO KNOWS. I wrote the word ‘anglicised’ and then 'anglicized’ two sentences later and almost didn't catch myself doing it. My teachers eventually cracked and were like ‘just pick one and for god’s sake be consistent’. *hollow laughter*)

I loved being good at English when I was little, I was a little brat to the English teachers at school, my English was better than theirs and I was not nice about that. I remember a lot of school English classes spent at the back of the room with the (English) book of my choice.

I did a tiny bit of French and German for a while (another ex-pat gave a few of us lessons for a while ;)), but didn't really learn any new languages till I moved to the UK, where French and German were both mandatory at my secondary school. I took those to GCSE, and then to A-Level. I also started Spanish at A-Level. I would have been able to pick that up no problem if I’d actually done any work, but my 6th form college experience is largely characterised by doing no work whatsoever, so. Now I have A-Level French, German and Spanish, that I haven’t practiced in over 10 years. I think I could make something of all 3 if I spent some time in each country or some sort of immersion programme, probably most time for Spanish, then German, then French. My French is best.

I realised I loved languages when I moved to the UK, actually, and got the opportunity to learn French and German. Schooling and education is so much better over here. I had so many issues at secondary school, but a lot of the stuff I got to learn was not one of them. I also continued my Greek, by getting a GCSE and an A-Level in it, which has definitely helped my Greek.

(I have a lot of feelings about teaching and learning languages, and how interesting it’s been for me learning Greek and English taught as foreign languages and mother tongue, as I’ve had experience of both languages, both ways.)

I also have some Latin and Ancient Greek, picked up at university. I find that having Modern Greek has made learning lots of Romance languages easier for me, and adding Latin was like adding an extra link to that chain. Having Modern Greek is also a massive vocab cheat, naturally. I still occasionally stumble on words I would have no idea how to define without Greek.

I also know approx. 3 words of Maori. (Tena koe, kia ora, tahi-rua-toru.) I also have a lot of feelings about the relationship between Maori and Pakeha in New Zealand, but as a Pakeha who lives far away, I don’t really know enough about it to feel entitled to take up space with my words on that.

For my next trick, I’d love to learn a language that’s not even a little bit related to Greek, and see how I do. Preferably something with a totally different alphabet. (Russian is out, [personal profile] cosmic_llin and I have lots of fun with Russian and Greek cognates.)

This is now long, and a brief smattering overview of my thoughts on languages. I will start tweeting cognates as they occur to me, going forward. ;D

(Please note, I tried to post Greek alphabet, I have no idea how that will look once I hit sent, or indeed on other devices. o.o)
silly_cleo: black and white image of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, text: an almost all greek thing (Default)
So I'm obviously not even remotely on time with these. If you had a reason for the date you requested, sing out and I'll do my best to honour it, otherwise I'll get to them all fairly randomly. Topics surprise! ;D
silly_cleo: Close up of feet in satin pink ballet pointe shoes and pink tights, one foot pointed, the other flat on the ground. (dancing! - pointe shoes)
So [livejournal.com profile] livii asked me to talk a bit more about Irreverent Dance as my first December topic! :D (If you asked for a fic or podfic for donating to the Kickstarter, I will totally get to those this month! Er, unless your name begins with K in which case I’m working on it. Also it’s not too late to ask if you still want to!) (ALSO if you haven't asked me to talk about something, or you have and want me to talk about TWO things, I have LOTS of slots left! :D) (Also, sorry it's late, [livejournal.com profile] livii!)

No lie, I was hoping somebody would, so here we go.

I’d actually been aware of Irreverent Dance for just over a year (and they’ve been going now for close to two and a half I think) but what with one thing and another, didn’t actually make it to a class until August this year. I was a bit worried about it at first just because it had been ages since I’d danced regularly, and I was lighter and thinner then and have had a lot more issues with injuries since, so I had various expectations and concerns.

I DID find my body could not do things as well or as easily as I remembered, but I also found it didn’t much matter. One of the many things I think is amazing about ID is that when they say beginner/all levels, they actually mean it. So many other dance classes I’ve attended that say ‘beginner’ are actually either used as a warm up by advanced students (which is fine, as far as it goes) and thus cater to those students (NOT fine) or the ‘beginners’ there have been at that class for a long time and just not progressed, so they have a lot more familiarity than new students, and the class is still geared to them. Assuming everyone has a 101 understanding of anything is really alienating to beginners in any kind of class/teaching environment, and most dance classes, even ones geared at adult supposed beginners, have no understanding of that.

ID really does start from 0, no previous knowledge is assumed, but at the same time, as a relatively experienced dancer, I found going back to basics really useful. I can’t speak for any of the other teachers (yet! :D) but the founder, Amanda, is a really gifted teacher, I’m not the only student who’s found that her explanation of concepts has stuck in a way others’ haven’t. I also found that it didn’t matter that I couldn’t do things as well as I remembered, because the point was just being able to do it as well as *I* could. Working with the body I have, rather than against it, or being mad at it. I’m finding dancing again, specifically with ID, really helpful for the misc body issues I carry around.

And now it’s 3 and a bit months better and I’ve fallen in love with dance all over again! <3 The BEST bit about Irreverent Dance is it gives me all the things I ADORE about dancing, without all the negatives. It’s not a secret that the dance world and body issue and negativity go hand in hand, so to be somewhere where the fact I’m fat has nothing to do with how good or bad a dancer I am, or in fact, how good or bad a dancer I am has nothing to do with my worth inside the classroom, is wonderful. (I’m not happy with that sentence, but I am happy with its sentiment!)

I’m so excited we’ve got our own studio now!

And of course, the other thing I love about ID is that I said ‘we’ in that last sentence. It’s not just a dance studio, it’s a community. I’m lucky, I have a few close friends I adore, and several larger communities I’m lucky to be a part of and am also extremely fond of, but that is certainly not true for everyone, particularly queer folks. I’ve felt really welcomed by ID, and I can see how it’s an important social space for a lot of the members, and it’s lovely to be a part of that. Like I got a really warm, unclique-y welcome, and you can never know too many good people, really. <3

Like, class and rehearsals and the one performance I’ve done so far have just been such a FUN experience. When I was little, I used to get sent outside for giggling ALL THE TIME (actually, that just happened at school too, not just dance class. I’m sure you’re all stunned.) and obviously I get that from wee!Cleo’s teachers’ POV, but it’s so nice to learn in such a light, laughing environment. Like I said, Amanda is a great teacher, and she puts a lot of herself out there in her teaching, in making a connection with us so everyone feels fun and safe, and the result is a really nice camaraderie in the class. For example, all ballet moves tend to have their proper French name, and our own name. (E.g. ronde de jambe en l’air (spelling bad) is also known as tentacle legs. Or when we are reminded to keep our chests high, we are supposed to imagine we are Iron Man. Or we learned assembles, which are called that because your feet assemble in the air, LIKE THE AVENGERS. Second position is the shape your arms would make if you were hugging Totoro. Nobody likes the Polka. Everyone cheers everyone else when they achieve air time pictures of jumps.)

When they say they’re gender neutral and for all levels, they MEAN it. Everyone learns everything regardless of their gender, assigned at birth, chosen, perceived or otherwise. Pointe is open to everyone, allegro and adagio are open to everyone, everyone learns to lead and follow. There is a lot of emphasis on self-care, and letting the teacher know your injuries at the start of class, and only doing stuff that is comfortable, working with your body, not punishing it, while still stretching and pushing yourself, just safely.

I can’t wait to do many many more classes, I feel so supported by the space, the teachers, and the other students that I'm hoping to try lots more things I wouldn't have felt confident enough to do before.

I could probably go on a bit more, but I'm already a few days late with this, and you definitely get the gist! (If you have questions, please obviously ask away!) Plus, I'm sure ID will work its way into my next post, which is also dance-related. :D <3
silly_cleo: A woman in a red dress dancing, artistically blurry/in motion. (dancing! - girl in red dress)
OK, so, I'm making a vid. *coughs* (No, really!) (I mean, I have plans for several, but this one might actually have enough impetus to get made. ???)

Anyway.

It's a femslash vid, surprise! I want examples of reunions, making up, getting back together after a break. These can be canon (I'm thinking Imagine Me and You and its ilk, it's quite a genre with queer films), fix-its (it would be fairly easy to make a constructed reality version for HG and Myka from WH13 for example), other, and canon or subtext. Genderqueer and trans characters obv welcome, I quite like [community profile] femslashex's definition on that. I'd like it not to be blindingly white, and my media intake is not what it could be on that front, so recs appreciated.

No pairing is too obvious, I tend to get an amazing block when I think of these sorts of lists, so please just hit me with everything you can think of, and feel free to share around and send others my way.

I haven't decided whether to pick half a dozen and mirror/parallel them or just cram as much as I can in to the timeline, so I'd rather have a wide array to choose from.
silly_cleo: A girl in a leotard stretching over a ballet bar. (dancing! - girl stretching)
So apparently enough vidders I know are into 1989 enough to maybe make it our second vid album? (I'm too lazy to link but if you haven't already, go check out Aims, it's the sticky post on my journal!) Do any vidders on my f-list want to play this time? :D? We're not going to be posting till after Festivids this time so don't let that put you off! Feel free to send people my way. :D

(I know, I know, two posts in one day. :O)
silly_cleo: A woman in a red dress dancing, artistically blurry/in motion. (dancing! - girl in red dress)
So I failed out of this last year due to the death flu. I will say up-front that with #ITPE and Yuletide, I may well fail out again, especially as those deadlines approach. But, you never know! :D

Pick a date below and give me a topic, and I'll ramble on. It can be fandom-related or not. Pretty much anything you've ever seen me post about unlocked, or comment on in other venues, is fair game. If a topic is uncomfortable for me (too personal or potentially identifying) or simply something I know very little about (unfamiliar canon, say), I may ask you to make a second choice. If you want to request more than one topic feel free, but in the unlikely event that I get more than 25 or so requests I may pick and choose between them.

(Wording shamelessly poached from [personal profile] frayadjacent.)

December 1:
December 2:
December 3:
December 4: Irreverent Dance for [livejournal.com profile] livii
December 5:
December 6: BUNHEADS! for [personal profile] chaila
December 7:
December 8:
December 9:
December 10: Why Taylor Swift is great and you should think so too for [personal profile] glinda
December 11: An aspect of my involvement/relationship with dancing for [personal profile] umadoshi
December 12:
December 13: DS9, how so awesome? And/or, nitpicks, change if I were remaking it now for [personal profile] netgirl_y2k
December 14: Languages, interesting cognates and being bilingual for [personal profile] raven
December 15:
December 16:
December 17: Kira Nerys feelings and headcanons for [personal profile] shinyjenni
December 18:
December 19:
December 20:
December 21:
December 22:
December 23:
December 24:
December 25:
December 26:
December 27:
December 28: Wonder Woman clothes/accessories for [personal profile] goodbyebird//Nostalgia time! for [personal profile] carawj
December 29:
December 30:
December 31: Edinburgh - city, university or both for [personal profile] tasseomancy

ETA: Topics aren't really being done on the date I assign, but I think I'll get 'em all done OK this year? :D?
silly_cleo: black and white image of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, text: an almost all greek thing (Default)
So.

If you follow me on other sites (and if you don't and want to, you should! I'm silly_cleo on twitter and tumblr too) you may have noticed I've been promoting this Kickstarter rather heavily.

This is my dance studio. You can read more about what they're about here and if you are London-based and free on Sunday, you could come see me dance with them? :D

I only joined in August, but I already love the community so much. I love that they're founded on the premise that dance is for everyone, that they've created a lovely, loving queer community around dance, and that they're so focused on making that a safe space. They're trying to raise enough money to buy and fit out their own studio. The Kickstarter is doing really well, they've raised nearly 80% at time of writing and they have till Wednesday 12th November to raise the remaining ~£6,000.

I'd like to offer drabbles (min 100 words but as much as I can scrape together) and short podfics of the fic (or story) of your choice (say to a max of ~1200 words) in exchange for pledges. You can give as much or as little as you like, just come tell me you've done so and let me know what fandom and pairing or prompt or character(s) you'd like! (ETA: Would prefer fanfic but happy to do original work if you like!) (If you have already pledged, as I know at least 7/8 of you have, feel free to go ahead and ask for a drabble or podfic after the fact. :D) Please keep it to fandoms I know! I'll let you know if I can't write something and ask you to suggest alternatives if I need to. (I think this will be less of an issue for podfic but again, I'll let you know.)

I know the word counts are low, but I'm trying to be realistic about what I'll actually manage to give you in a timely fashion! Feel free to make low pledges in exchange, every little helps! :D

Also I always have mixed feelings about fanworks for money but I always feel a bit differently if it's fundraising. I've read a lot of good arguments making various different points. If you feel similarly you are of course welcome to donate without requesting a fanwork/story!
silly_cleo: black and white image of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, text: an almost all greek thing (Default)

All right, so anyone who has spent approximately more than 5 minutes with me, either in person or online, knows I talk about Taylor Swift a LOT. I have a lot of feelings about her. I completely unironically think she and her music are marvellous, and it delights me that she’s out there as a role model for young girls. I even spent a very productive day at work a few months ago making a spreadsheet categorizing her music. (I’ll be copy-pasting that below.)

I’ve had people ask me recently for recs of my favourite songs of hers and voila!

OBVIOUSLY you all know Long Live at this point (and if you don’t and have ever even entertained having a Star Trek feeling, go watch this vid. I’ll wait here.) I was totally enchanted by this one and felt the need to look up what she wrote it for – turns out she wrote it for her band. <3

Eyes Open and Safe & Sound – These are both from the Songs from District 12 album, which is actually awesome generally, it’s songs by various artists inspired by The Hunger Games. So this is basically Taylor’s transformative works contribution for The Hunger Games, they’re both great.

Treacherous and Sparks Fly – I group these two because they’re super-important to me for the same reason. I've loved Sparks Fly for AGES but Treacherous I didn't really bond with till she did it live. They’re both about desire, basically, but without any shaming at all for feeling same, which is something I am delighted is out there for people to listen to. As far as I’m aware a young woman singing about sexual desire like this without worrying about it being something she shouldn't be feeling or doing or whatever, is rare. Also, I was thinking about the lyrics and I’m p sure they’re gender neutral, which is also pretty awesome. (Ugh, now I’m thinking about how much I loved both of these live.)

Red – This is the eponymous track from her latest album and the beat/rhythm is just great, I love singing along to this one.

All Too Well – I can’t even talk about how much I love this one. Yes, it’s a break-up song, yes, she gets a lot of crap about that, but a) it’s SO GOOD b) break-ups are VERY EMOTIONAL, I think it’s cool she writes about that in a way so many people can relate to. Definition of art, etc, making your own unique lived experience universal. She performs this one live just accompanying herself on the piano and it’s amaaaaazing. Here is a video from when I saw her live. Here is another from the Grammy's. It gives me shivers. SHE ROCKS OUT ON THE PIANO. LOOK AT HER HAIR. AND HOW INTO IT SHE IS. (In fact, screw it, here is my favourite review of her live on stage, from Rolling freaking Stone.) Also, lyrically this is probably her most complex song yet, and if the new album is more of the same in terms of musical proficiency and complexity, I am EXCITE. I mean, not that I don’t love the break-up songs but I have reason to believe she’s moving away in a new direction with the new album which is part of why I love her so much, it’s really cool to watch her grow and develop through her music. TINY POP DAR WILLIAMS. BASICALLY.

Mine – Speaking of lyrical awesomeness, I love this song because I think it showcases her ability to tell a story using the traditional pop song format. Like it’s just a cute love story, whatever, but it’s also v well told.

Obviously I adore Love Story, this is another fact about me it’s hard to avoid if you spend more than 5 consecutive minutes in my presence, but did you know she wrote it in approx. 20 minutes because her parents wouldn’t let her do something or other boy-related? I mean, there’s def criticisms to level at this one but 20 minutes. 20 minutes!! P sure she was still in her teens too. Ludicrous.

Mean – This one just delights my heart. When we saw her live she sat on a stool, accompanied herself with a banjo, and the entirety of the O2 sang this along with her, it was GREAT. This is a funny one cuz she’s almost too huge to be able to play the sentiment straight, but it’s a really great song. (She wrote it as a response to a bad review.)

I nearly forgot Change! Change is about the struggle of being an activist, I am NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT KIDDING. It’s great.

I actually adore a lot of the break-up songs, a selection of my favourites (but I am too lazy to link to all of them): I Knew You Were Trouble, Come Back…Be Here, White Horse (my first Taylor Song, so this is actually all Grey’s Anatomy’s fault), The Way I Loved You, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Back To December, The Story of Us, Haunted (omg Haunted is hilariously OTT but also ANGSTY VIOLINS. I am a little embarrassed about how much I love Haunted, if I’m honest.)

Oh! 22! 22 is great, but surely we all know 22? (As Cathryn once said, the true tragedy of our generation is we will always be one milestone away from Taylor Swift’s music applying to stages of our lives as we’re living them. ;))

They’re not my favourites musically, but Girl at Home and The Lucky One are always my arguments for T-Swizzle having outgrown her bashing of other girls. (Additionally, she doesn’t really perform any of her other girl-bashing ones except You Belong With Me, which in live performance she’s retro-ified really awesomely, in a way that kind of takes the edge off some of the lyrics.)

Finally, my spreadsheet should be accessible here. It's not 100% comprehensive, just the songs I have.

There you go. Go forth, enjoy the awesomeness that is Taylor Swift. your lives have now been enriched. :D

(ETA: I NEARLY FORGOT FEARLESS.)
silly_cleo: black and white image of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, text: an almost all greek thing (Default)
Dear lovely Friendship fest author,

First of all, thank you! :D I am so sure I will love whatever you write me, but I know I find more rather than less info helpful, so please read on! :D

Details behind the cut. )

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silly_cleo: black and white image of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, text: an almost all greek thing (Default)
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