x_los: (The Books One)
In Hadestown, when being tempted to travel to the titular city where there's work and food to be had, and also, implicitly, to move beyond want via death, Persephone has the very sympathetic line "I want a nice, soft place to land/I want to lie down forever." Well, who doesn't?

There's a charm to the harsh wind buffeting the kitchen window. It rattles and moans, and I am tucked inside my house, surprisingly adult and safe. There's frisson in the sound. The strange, creaky pleasure of observing the sublime at a safe distance.

People on floors above and below me move in the windows across the span of gardens, perfect cut-paper silhouettes and glass-blurred shadow puppets. When they slip out of the window frame I wonder if I saw them at all. That feels very friendly--it's almost 2am, and I am alone and not alone. The lights are still on.

I finished filling out my 53 page visa application tonight. I need to hunt one more document, though it doesn't really matter if I find it. I need to type a cover letter, and a note of explanation to clarify the time-period encompassed by my bank statements, though these don't really matter much either. They're all just-in-case touches, evidence of my neurotic worrying the visa like a bit of string in my pocket. I'll hunt the last thing tomorrow morning, quickly type and print statements, re-check everything, tick off the document enclosure checklist, slide the pleasingly substantial pile of paper into an envelope, seal and address it, take it to the post office, pay for it, send it, and I will wait, armed with my pre-planned appeals to the few possible objections. And then, I hope, I can be safe in my house. The old row house I wanted since I read Magician's Nephew as a child, and certainly since I first visited the country. With Katy and the cat, and dinner made for tomorrow in advance, and a future, which I expect will arrive presently.
x_los: (Not My Real Dad)
In the next week I have to apply for an Post-Study Work Visa I don't actually need, just for permission to sit around until schools get back to me. It's EXPENSIVE, but not as bad as going home and/or being unable to work for however long UCL and Cambridge take. This time I've read the entire manual of reasons for refusal, researched all possible visa categories and circumstances that might apply to me, gone through the whole application and all associated materials, and consulted many legal aid people ahead of time, but I'm still irked that this works so stupidly. At least I may be able to study while on the Post-Study. :/ I'm still waiting to hear back from Unis and two other legal aid people, who will probably get back to me the third or forth. Potentially the immigration aid people could tell me a secret loop-hole for a sittuation like mine, if one exists.

If both the Unis could give me a time frame of 'letting me know inside the next week', I could just about properly apply for a student visa, narrowly squeaking in/flailing to obtain student loans and a CAS number in time. But I doubt they can do that, and it'd be HIGH PRESSURE for me to try and get everything done within those weeks, given that both components can be time-sensitive and tricky. I need to have the application in to the UKBA by the 6th, for my bank statements (which I have to include, which have to be from within the last month, and which have to show a certain magical balance held for 90 days--a balance I've now dropped below, so I can't just get new ones) to be applicable. I'll fill it out on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd and, if the other guys don't give me a better alternative before then, turn it in the fourth or fifth (just in case something goes wrong and I NEED that extra day or two).

Anyway. Enjoy a picture of our cat.



*

Barking

Dec. 16th, 2011 02:14 pm
x_los: (Four by Toulouse-Lautrec)
Man apparently making peppermint bark (tasty, impressive-looking, expensive in stores, Sir Not-Available in the UK) is the easiest shit ever--thanks Paula Deen (not just for butter anymore!)

This recipe is all about white chocolate and peppermint extract/bits, but you could easily layer or substitute dark chocolate: (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/peppermint-bark-recipe/reviews/index.html?pn=5)
x_los: (TARDIS)
Had a pretty good day out w/ Katy, after a rough start. Got woken up after little sleep at 8:30 by hungry/thirsty cat who'd consumed his foodstuffs (and, I suspect, was also just bored/lonely), never really got back to sleep despite trying for several hours.

Katy and I have two anniversaries due to differing opinions as to what marks the official beginning of going out, and this one, Hers, thus my gifts, is split into spending today together out doing fun stuff and then going for Japanese some other evening (since she had to record a Shalka read-through tonight). We began by visiting a Christmas Market at The Water Poet in Spitalfields (something of a fail as there were few merchants and Katy didn't really want to watch the free Christmas films, be bought food, or stick around for the caroling later on (I'd sort of banked on her wanting to do these, as they're Her Sort of Thing). Then we dodged disaster by going to Portabello Market, which, over-populated and over-popular though it is, was v. nice, with a lot of Christmas greenery vendors with actual boughs of holly (NOT IN A SONG! LEGIT-ASS BOUGHS OF HOLLY!!) and mistletoe (I SHIT YOU NOT!). Katy was not nearly as shocked/interested as I was. I mean I'd seen these things like, once. In sad little dry bunches, not in riotous profusion. My mom bought boughs of greenery some years, but like, that was just some fir-strands w/ pine-cones stuck in. And I liked that too! But this was cooler.

Also there were some nice pop-up shops, some decent vendors, and I successfully remembered/spotted... I think it was Lefton? anyway, some mid-century floral cat figurine of a sort that is sometimes valuable and which Katy rather likes. She suspected this particular one of being v. new, though (and thus worth bupkis), and also it lacked an intelligent/curious expression, and I suspected our cat could try to fuck or kill it, either resulting in the loss of a porcelain figurine potentially worth thousands. Needless to say we did not get Sasa a new 'friend.' Still, I'm happy to have remembered it from a conversation last Autumn in Edinburgh.

Some interesting walking around and looking at stuff and buying people presents and NOT buying an AMAZING fuzzy wolf-hat with connected paw-gloves (which Katy may deeply regret some day, I feel), and then we started back. I felt it'd been a nice date thing. Then I had to use the bathroom at McDonalds before we caught the bus. I got stuck behind a looooong queue, and, I eventually realized, specifically behind some clueless tourists who had no idea they were IN said queue, much less holding it up. Eventually bypassed them, after having been queue-jumped by half the known female bathroom-needing world, only for a McDonalds employee to ROAR IN shrieking 'this toilet is broken!!' and slamming the door in my face. Whatever was broken she fixed, and then in the same unfortunately URGENT poor English she demanded I go in and use the thing RIGHT NOW!! I did so, and not fifteen seconds had I been in before an old angry and pretty drunk homeless woman started banging on the door, cursing, saying she was 'about to fucking bust'again and again. So I had to finish as quickly as possible and stumble out still trying to pull up my layers of tights (it was nasty and cold today). I washed my hands veeeery quickly because said woman didn't see a need to close the door as she did her biz. Magical. I fucking hate tourist!London sometimes. Nothing was the speicifically poor homeless woman, the situationally-stupid tourists, or the harried employee's fault, but I felt incredibly frustrated.

Then we got on the bus an hour and 40 min before we HAD to be home (for a 40 min max ride), and due to the police cracking down and arresting a ton of protesters outside parliament (Londoners of African descent who were suggesting, with strongly worded signs and other WMDs, that perhaps it wasn't cool for the UK and associated governments to continue supporting a hideously oppressive, rape-happy and illegitimate regime because they thought said regime could get them a good deal on cheapo laptop components--so obviously people who needed arrested en masse, and violently too!), we were stuck in a traffic jam about 40 min. We got home like 15 min late.

Pretty much pretending the day ended riiiight before I went into McDonalds. Anyway, then Katy did her readthrough, and I made chorizo chicken with potatoes, did loads of laundry, put away dishes, entertained the cat so it didn't yowl much/audibly during the recording, etc. Also watched a chunk of "A Damsel in Distress" while doing this, because the BBC iPlayer almost always has a classic film on dock, and I like to watch them while doing chores so I feel less like I've missed out on an entire era of largely decent-to-excellent film-making (well, at least that's what's come down to me--there very probably were clunkers aplenty, as ever, now mercifully lost to time). Aired out the rooms, which smelled of cat. This necessitated chasing Sasa out of them, opening the windows, hoping no one came in to steal shit for an hour, shutting the door without letting him sneak back in, and putting anti-Sasa notices on all the doors. He sulked in the hall way, pissed at my effrontery. Literally, he did a number on his litter box. His rage!!!waste is prodigious, and fearful to behold. Did a veeeery little Shalka stuff, and talked to flatmate Kasia about Christmas plans.

I need to type up my to-do list for Kasia, who seemed to think I'd be making a few things, and she'd make a few things, and we'd muddle through--she's welcome to contribute anything she likes, but I have a full big ass menu planned out which I'm comfy cooking, and I don't want to be rude, but altering it to do less, when I've so carefully planned that, seems annoying--I'll try to be very out of the kitchen on the Eve and the Day, due to pre-prep, but I'm pretty ready to roll here. Also have to type this up so Katy's mom can do some things, which is both nice and a bit annoying, as I've pretty much spent a ton of time figuring out how to manage this, and well-intentioned offers of help may well throw off my carefully timing, budget and ingredients plans. Also I specifically asked if she wanted anything special, or to make anything at home or at ours, because I didn't want her to feel that her decision to come here meant me taking over or undermined her/striped her of agency/ruined her Christmas, and she said no, so I went with that? Idk.

I'm not good at delegation, but esp. not re: cooking. I know how to get a lot done myself, but not how to relinquish control over steps or whole processes, or how to share space and resources seamlessly. I think maybe I used to be better at that as a kid, but I haven't really had to share kitchen duties for a long time, and the freedom's made me snotty about it. It's a bad trait, but when I'm working I mostly want people who aren't people I specifically REALLY know how to work with, like Katy, to fuck off and stop watching me chop vegetables and remarking on the speed. (Re: that, It's a bit silly to say 'gosh, you're sooooo faaaaast' (a la the other day) when I know my knife-technique is juvenile. I was just pathetic at this in basic high-school culinary arts chef-training, and my dicing's never been sufficiently speedy or uniform, and the mince knife technique, sort of a swivel hand gesture? fanning the knife around VERY QUICKLY rather than lifting and chopping?, is just beyond my skill. I cringe whenever anything asks for minced garlic. I can't even keep the French terms straight. It's this huge, fundamental technical skill that marks an important distinction in the highly sexually segregated world of 'chefs' and 'cooks', and I just do. not. have. it.)

So yeah: maybe typing up the list and displaying it will sort of nicely tell Kasia that while she's welcome to also do stuff, this is the stuff I will be doing, and emailing it to Katy's mom with some nice indicators of thing she could helpfully prep at home and finish here, or make at home and heat here, or make here, time/space/logistics permitting, would be okay. I'm just eager not to insult anyone/ruin anyone's holiday, nervous about doing Christmas at my house/with my food (never done that before), and anxious to please gf and gay!in-laws.

Also I helped edit Mez's uni!personal statement and feel v. virtuous/proud of her.

Apparently Joy of Cooking's 'lowfat' gingerbread men cannot be trusted, as I suspected. Low-fat is the devil's recipe designation, second only to 'atkins/south-beach friendly' in its foul degradation.* Also that's weird b/c I typically trust Joy of Cooking with my life. Also I need to make their cranberry relish soon, having discovered it freezes well. And the chicken broth and lard too. AND SOME BLOODY CHRISTMAS CRAFTS THAT ARE CLASSY AND ATTRACTIVE AND CHEAP. Anyone know any? :/ May have to hunt Tumblr. Ew. Tumblr.

So, gingerbread:

May try this: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/gingerbread_man_cookies/ without pepper, b/c wtf, pepper?
or http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/9761/gingerbread+men#null , but the lack of molasses concerns me.

These: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/sugar_cookies/ may well be the antidote to the oddly thin, too-formal sugar cookies I produced in Batch 1. Think I'll try the first.

Hrm, Groupon. This accredited TEFL course for 49 pounds might not be too bad. Idk what that regularly costs, though. All I know is I could use sweet sweet tutoring/teaching monies... Will check it out.

* Speaking of, have you seen Morgana and Brax in 'look, I need to eat to live like everyone, okay?' Please view this trailer for "A Princess for Christmas." And laugh. Until you cry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0b8t6qXm0w

Buttle hard, Brax.
x_los: (Alice)
I think this article: http://www.cracked.com/article_19433_the-6-most-horrifying-lies-food-industry-feeding-you.html , hysterical and been-there-heard-that as it is, can be used to demonstrate a fundamental difference in cultural attitudes towards food that I keep running into in the UK. I get a bit horrified when UK people say things like 'the macaroni and cheese you made out of unprocessed cheese and raw ingredients is Very Unhealthy'. I mean there's cheese, but--it's not Kraft? Not whatever radioactive shit Easy Mac is?

To ME, probably because this is the American way of thinking about it, Unhealthy is the weird shit in heavily processed and pre-prepared food. Butter, cheese and such should form a limited part of your diet, but are a kind of necessary component, with some value. Occasional dishes that are heavy on them are not in and of themselves problematic. 'Problematic' is the additives and weirdness above, which I think Euro regulations may stream out to a degree--I don't know, still not buying any ready meals. I like the control over every step of the process, and think that's in many ways probably LESS fattening or whatever--sure there's a fair amount of butter in a cake I make, but I know that, I put it there. I have no idea how much is in a hostess snack, or what other, weirder shit is in there as well. People in the UK worry about too much cream, people in the US worry about zombie orange juice reanimated with perfumed flavor packets and transfats from Mars that will worm into your heart and NEVER LEAVE. I frequently find myself wrong-footed and annoyed here on this point, but I don't feel my alternate discourse is on 'the healthy' wrong. Cream over that shit any fucking day.

Also, have the saddest fb message in the world, from Littlest Cousin to Little Cousin:


"Andrew posted to Zack
I don't know if you've gotten my texts or calls, but, hey, I'm performing poetry on Friday. It'd mean a lot if you could come but if you can't, I understand. Text me back sometime."

D: I mean I hate a poetry slam too, but DAMN. Cold.

Flee House

Jul. 11th, 2011 01:40 am
x_los: (Alice)
I recently started work at a nice tea house I always enjoyed as a customer, and am finding the experience a let-down.

Jetlagged from flying in on Thursday, I worked 5 hours at a heavy shift Friday and nine today with only a 15 min break (in both shifts together, actually). Kind of exhausted/despise my boss. Friday night was REALLY busy, and she only had herself in the back and me on the floor, so one waitress for about 10 increasingly over-flowingly full interior tables to make all the tea, get the food out, take orders, serve everyone, do the dishwashing, explain the event that was going on, blah blah, because she's too cheap to properly staff? Also she had a teary panic attack in the back at the prospect of dealing with a lowish-key event her store does every month, and made me tell everyone some bullshit excuse as to why they couldn't order food because she hadn't *really* planned properly and so didn't have time/staff to make any.

She used to be in marketing, right? And so it was her Dreeeeeeam to own her own business-- but she's both the best and worst thing that's happened to the place. She's certainly driven and probably very good at marketing, but completely incapable of dealing with stress. Small, cramped, busy kitchens are no place for the delicate and histrionic. I've worked in a LOT of restaurants before, and it's never been like this, never been this bad.

She's just /stupidly/ illogical in terms of her basic practical logistics of the business and in terms of handling people, and can't be decently civil/professional/effective to save her damn life. Today we had an even-busier-than-Friday party in the afternoon, which resulted in Bosslasy a snapping left and right as rudely as possible (use your eyeeeeeees!!!!! ...in a busy, full to brimming kitchen to spot the small canister which is the proper home of the knife I will shortly need and be very angry at the misplacement of) to vent her incredible righteous anger (at... being a middle class white chick with occasional self-imposed career stress? idek.) that she could not even be SPOKEN to at the moment, such was her INCREDIBLE BUSYNESS!! This despite that there were quick questions that really needed answers, and she was going to bitch later if, due to lack of info, anything got done 'incorrectly.' And her correctness is so arbitrary--as my co-worker Arta pointed out, it absolutely defies logic, and is frequently contradictory, so nastily, constantly and bewilderingly delivered it reduces the employees to a state of jittery, bewildered incapacity. As Arta and I were doing dishes, with her washing and me drying, I finished a batch and moved on to collecting more dishes for Arta to wash. She was slotting some of them in a drying rack as I grabbed her a few more. Bosslady's Fiance strode in and told me to exclusively dry, so that I could stay on top of each and every dish. This despite the fact that if the dishes don't have even a moment to air-dry, you're just spreading the wet around, it takes MUCH longer to wash than to dry, and that if Arta runs out of stuff and has to stop and hunt more plates, we all have to grind to a halt. It's a small, stupid moment, but it's sort of exemplary.

Things that would and SHOULD be smooth and routine and not terribly stressful become horrible when she's in the shop. She has no understanding of how to train people (or even just /basic/ 'how to run a business effectively on the personnel end' shit) and is content to shout at her employees and imply that we're dumb for not knowing things they've /no reason/ to know about her business. I brought a cake order back to the kitchen--several of the cool cakes need heated up, served with the cream that's at her station, etc., and got a sneering 'are you JOKING? Go ask the people out front what you've done wrong!' for not knowing these particular ones were served as they were. Counting up the shifts, this is like, my third day. And I haven't really had any training, because she doesn't have people come to work unless it's HEAVING (two full weeks passed in which I couldn't catch ONE shift), and so there's never a quiet moment to go over things. I don't object to hard, complicated work, to long hours, to strenuous labor, to difficult tasks. I just object to poor treatment, unreasonable expectations and working within the confines of a sloppy, shitty, amateur-hour organization.

Having polished a plain teapot and set it in the bleach solution, someone, maybe me, maybe someone else, put another pot in the water tup full of pots, on top of it, and the first pot's spout cracked. Got hauled in back for a lecture about being more careful. Not sure this was me, or what the pots slipping against each other in a dish bucket and one breaking due to, most likely, a pre-existing hairline fracture exacerbated by water pressure or the slight contact with other china has to go with my carelessness, or why I still feel guilty and affected by this cunt's criticism emotionally when intellectually I know she's the stupidest thing on two legs since my dad's Girlfriend of the Month from the Slut Circular catalogue collection he appears to have ordered last Christmas. Still, as Bosslady whinnied that the shipping costs on Plain White Teapot had been $100 from the US, in addition to thinking 'they ABSOLUTELY were not, I know what things cost in *dollars*, you Northern fool,' 'really? what a terrible business decision you have made, to ship a single plain and completely unremarkable teapot /from a country that does not even really DO tea/ for, purportedly, $100, when you live in a country FUCKING FULL OF TEA MERCHANDISE,' and 'if you attempt to dock wages over this, I will fucking end you,' I also *felt chastened.* /What/? No, excuse me, no, like FUCK I will be your slavish feelings-monkey.

She's ridiculously competitive with employees who might rival her knowledge/afraid to devolve knowledge and power, badmouthing former staff left and right at the slightest provocation. I can't bear her bullshit and her pompous overbearing nasty uncivil attitude. I'm submitting resumes to other people and leaving asap--I didn't one one more goddamn thing to deal with right now, but she's just /mad/.

Also--the way she and her fiance who helps run the place act implies that I'm lazy? I'm a LOT of dubious things, but that's not one of them. This REALLY godawfully busy 9 hour shift had ONE thirty min break in it. She tells me to take it, then tells me to do 5 more things, and then when I get done says I've wasted 15 min of my break and now I can only have like, 15 min total off. And later, we're hosting a big party: I've poured final refills of black tea to people, and they don't want any more. There's some tea left in the pot, and we have a second, so I make a cup. Her fiance comes around and starts sniping about how I should really try to take tea closer to break, or I won't work sufficiently hard, you see.

Because I have so much fucking goddamn opportunity to take a break.

And because I don't NEED *any fucking liquid* to stand and work hard in a hot room for 9 hours without any interruption.

And because people in offices NEVER have a cup of tea/coffee and keep working.

What a total twat.

Also she doesn't pay for breaks (lunch, coffee, any, all), though preeeetty sure she's legally required to. Pretty. Sure. And Katy thinks she's required to GIVE more breaks than she does. :/ Whatever.

It's just a shame her epic cuntosity has ruined the place for me /as a customer/ I really *liked* it, though I think largely due to the almost universally nice and competent staff. Despite being herself of the Raging Bitch tribe, she's picked out weirdly pleasant useful people ...to insult and train poorly and rage at when she's failed to plan properly. And Bosslady's marketing skillz have resulted in decent schtick, with the tea timers, design, and menu--credit where it's due. (Though her attempts at macho Shylocky 'make the customers give us a pound of flesh, precious!!' comments are as nauseating, small, cheap, pathetic, small potatoes, just *funny* and lacking in decency as they are short-sighted in terms of creating successful long-term relationships with clients.) But she REALLY needs to be at one remove, 'working from home,' with a strong, sympathetic, reasonable and chilled out frontman interfacing with staff and clients on her behalf, taking her Brand!New!Procedural!Regime!! du jour and toning it down, allowing Bosslady to be her better self and do what she does well and avoid what she doesn't do well--interacting with humans/displaying basic common sense or character.

It's frustrating and I sort of blame myself, because this job's godawful, and the nannying job was a bit naff, and I'm having such a time with my uni profs that I can't help my think the linking element in these unsatisfying relationships is me. But I think it's just a terrible year, really. Independently considered, I feel I acted decently in the various circumstances, and that the people I have had conflicts with did not. The universal loathing of Bosslady--all three people I was working with, employees of long standing, shared their plans to quit (two had already given notice), the two girls debating whether this would serve as a wake up call to Bosslady or whether she's the sort of person who sleeps through alarms they'd rather not hear--makes me feel like I'm not actually myself a whiny crazy bitch. I guess I'm more jaded and self-protectively ready to condemn people based on how poorly the last work and school relationships have gone, and that negatively frames my interactions with the next batch of people I see in these capacities, but the wariness does feel earned, and if it weren't borne out I think I could happily adjust to that. I don't think it's a self-fulfilling prophecy yet, where people pick up on the fact that I expect them to be incompetent shits and defensively proceed to be hostile jobniks.

I just REALLY wish I didn't have to job hunt RIGHT now, on top of apartment shit, MA thesis stuff, PhD aps and visa worries. There's never a good time, but damn.
x_los: (OMG)
Too wordy, but I get WELL wordy when annoyed. Scarlett!icon represents my GRITS-umbrage atm.


"I'm an American student doing a year-long MA in London. I went into the Soho walk-in clinic with a swollen finger this morning, about an hour ago. I've had this before and know that it only requires a sterile, 10 min procedure and accompanying antibiotic. But after I'd filled out the info form, the nurses wouldn't believe me when I told them that because I'm in a year-long program I have NHS entitlement. They wanted a 50 pound fee plus an 8 pound charge for the medicine. That sum may not seem huge, but add 12 pounds and that's my weekly budget, so no thanks. I think they're wrong. I double-checked:

"Can I get medical treatment?

If you come from a country with a health-care agreement with the United Kingdom, or you are enrolled on a course for six months or more, you may be able to get medical treatment on the National Health Service (NHS)... You can get more information from the Department of Health."

(source: http://www.intstudy.com/visauk.htm)

and

"I'm going to be entering the UK in September for a year-long course of study; I know that because I'm on a student visa and will be in the UK for more than six months, I'm entitled to NHS coverage. I do, however, have some questions."

(source: http://ask.metafilter.com/67919/Help-This-American-Student-Navigate-the-NHS)

Metafilter may seem unofficial, but it's quite dependable, in a wikipedia-is-about-as-reliable-as-Britannica (http://news.cnet.com/Study-Wikipedia-as-accurate-as-Britannica/2100-1038_3-5997332.html) sort of way.

I might add that if the NHS more clearly publicized its policy regarding long-term American students on its website, neither the nurses nor I would be potentially confused as to who's in the right.

Barring a weird exception that's quite new and exclusive to US students, I am not wrong here. This scares me, frankly. What if I'd had a more serious problem? Either the Soho Clinic denied me basic care I believe I'm entitled to through ignorance of relatively straight-forward policy: not on, or my university lied to me as to whether I needed health insurance while here: likewise bad.

I need to know whether I'm covered in this country, as I was told by the ULondon system, or whether I need to get some insurance stat. And I need to know that when I go to a walk in clinic, they know too. But mostly? I need someone to look at my stupid finger for a sum less than fifty eight pounds.

Erin"
x_los: (Kermit/Piggy OTP)
I don't know whether you're familiar with the urban-American concept of the Cereal Restaurant, but if you can't go to one/don't wish to pay to do so, the kind-of-awesomeness can, of course, be replicated at home. From email to gf, who expressed bemusement at the concept:

"Have combed and combined the menus of the two biggest American cereal restaurant chains, Cereality and the Cereal Bar. Essentially your options are: cold cereal, hot oatmeal/porridge, or parfait. Here is a full list of their toppings, milks and cereals (sans nuts)--you could let me know what you don't want, or we could go shopping when you get home. I imagine most of the super-sweet options are too American for your palate, from cereal to toppings. There are special combo recipes on both companies' sites (http://www.thecerealbowl.com/) (http://www.cereality.com/main.php) that you might want to try.

Fruits:
Bananas, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, cinnamon apples,

Dried fruits:
Coconut, cranberries, mixed berries, raisins, cherries

Sweets:
Yoghurt, malt balls, chocolate syrup, Apple pie filling, caramel, chocolate chips, cinnamon, cookie crunch, grahm bites, gummy worms, honey, maple syrup, mini m&ms, marshmellow fluff, mini-marshmellows, sprinkles, vanilla wafers, chocolate cookie dough, granola, brown sugar

Milk:
Chocolate, regular

Cereals:
Oatmeal, Fruity pebbles, rice krispies, apple jacks, fruit loops, special k, frosted flakes, frosted miniwheats, reeses puffs, wheaties, trix, cherios, golden grams, captain crunch, lucky charms, cinnamon toast crunch, cookie crisp, grape nuts, cocoa puffs, honey nut cherios, raisin bran"

She pointed out the UK didn't have many of these cereals (imported, there are more, but importing is hideously expensive, and no way in hell will I ever pay 7 pounds for a box of lucky charms) (and she conceded that the candy-quality of some of the toppings and Recipe combinations weirded her out as a Brit, even if we /were/ going to be eating them at night, which mollified her slightly), but I figure we can just go through the cereal aisle and get a smallish selection of the bargain-bag cereals--they're going to be adulterated to the nines anyway, no need to buy brand-names. Also we could do other toppings--we're could add slices of oranges, mangoes and pineapples to a parfait or particularly daring tropical cereal blend.
x_los: (Andrae?)
My current flat has hell-landlords, who are impossible about repairs (-), and who would take my security deposit and run if I renewed my lease for another six months (-), is falling apart and gross (-), is ages from campus/my job (-), has a nicely central location (+), but has a lame immediate area (-) (despite decent transit connections (+)), and has roommates who squirrel away and hide in their rooms (-), causing me to do so as well, which is not Ideal. It IS decently priced (+), though they misled me about utility costs, which are actually much higher than I was told. It is also: a terrible environment for a cat (-), which ideally I'd quite like, though I in no way NEED.

The minuses outweigh the plusses by a large enough margin that I've decided to move--it's a terrible /time/ for it, but it's now or in six months when I'm desperately trying to wrap my MA Thesis. So: Must procure a new flat and move in by end of Feb somewhere in London--preferably either

1. Central-ish, or
2. Near New Cross/Goldsmiths. I'd take The General Southeast, for the right house/people.

...to be honest I'd put up with a lot in the way of location!inconvenience, and with a bit more expense, for the right house/people, as living in this flat has really REALLY taught me that I rely a /lot/ on my physical and social environment being decent to be happy. Which sounds simple, but you think you're intrepid and 'well-hard' and that you can deal with a shitty place so long as it's cheap and downtown. And then you get vile Steven and then vile Phillipe in his stead and bed, and the mold that /will not stop/, and the crushing quiet of being alone (I've never lived on my own, I find I hardly know how), and the roommates who, save one, barely speak English, and are older than you by a solid decade, and you decide that priding yourself on your ability to endure is not sufficient reason not to try for something better, kinda po' and stressed or no.

Turning into a big old slog though. SURELY SOME NICE NERDS WANT TO LIVE SOMEWHERE DECENT FOR A DECENT PRICE SOMEWHERE IN LONDON?!
x_los: (Cleopatra /Look/)
So I don't mean to always post mopey shit, but back in the UK, visa finally sorted, terrible 30 hour flight with lost baggage and vile customs official finally completed, and classes begun, yet more stupidity dogs your plucky heroine.

...yeah go with it.

I have had an enraging day of running around trying to get a bank account--yet /again/. This is like, time fifteen.

Each of the following places wants a Proof of Student Status from Goldsmiths written out /to them./ The wait for one of these from Goldsmiths is two days, accompanied by long queues to request and to pick up. It's a hassle.

Don't bother calling NatWest to set up an appointment, asking what documents you need and bringing those--the guy on the phone told you wrong, and you'll have to leave and come back all over again. NatWest doesn't want to take you unless your proof of student status has been sent through the mail, and has NOT been opened--they will open the envelope themselves!! And you can only apply at a branch near your house. So prepare to wait for that.

Barclays will take you, but they'll charge a fee because you're not English, and only SOME branches, not all, are prepared to deal with your Not Englishness. And it'll take an hour, so walk there and get told no because you waited here at Branch 1 too long, and it's the end of the day. No we can't make you an appointment. Also we only do international student accounts from 2-5. You have class tomorrow FROM 2-5? Well. Too bad.

On the phone with Co-Operative bank, person one assures me the bank will take you as a student. Person Two disagrees: No, only as a temporary account, because you haven't been here long enough. Person Three says 'No, not at all, only UK residents. Ever.' Thanks for being on the phone an hour (he does not say).

Hallifax will charge you even for this call. Hallifax wants utility bills--you have a top up meter and don't get billed? Well, go away. No your lease won't count as proof of residence. Only utility bills.

Santander--much the same.

Lloyds: you must either have been in the country three months to get a personal account or have that certificate made out to Lloyds. Further horrors probably await you then.

It'll be a BITCH to go back and get like, one for ANY bank that might want me. I think I'm stuck trying Barclays on Wednesday or waiting for NatWest's letter in the mail. It's just whenever I get there carrying ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING they told me over the phone they might need, and THEN some extra shit, something is wrong, and they want more. This is the fucking Kafka International Airport, the Beckett Play of bank accounts. I have a check for a thousand pounds from the US government that I CAN NOT sign over, cash, or deposit. It's just fucking ridiculous. I've wasted most of the day doing this instead of reading (and I have SO much reading), I'm really terrified, carrying all of this banking shit with me to all of these, that I'll loose something important. It's amazingly difficult to /give someone fucking money/ here. Like, I am that Prince in Much Ado played by Denzel, because they AMAZE me.
x_los: (like Ace Rimmer)
...did I mention I was in New York until Monday night before moving to London for the foreseeable future? No? How predictably careless of me. If you've anything to say to my face in either metropolis, do tell! We can do stuff--and [livejournal.com profile] yevermal, call me? Do you still have that number, perchance? Hasn't changed. I'll email it again in case no.
x_los: (like Ace Rimmer)
...did I mention I was in New York until Monday night before moving to London for the foreseeable future? No? How predictably careless of me. If you've anything to say to my face in either metropolis, do tell! We can do stuff--and [livejournal.com profile] yevermal, call me? Do you still have that number, perchance? Hasn't changed. I'll email it again in case no.

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