fj: (health)
I think one of my breakthroughs in handling my weight in what I consider the toxic US environment was when I realized I simply couldn't keep consoling myself with food just because I felt somewhat bad, like had a rough day or was upset by circumstances or felt under the weather*. My emotional set-point is low to begin with anyway, and it's not like annoying or mildly bad things were going to stop coming in my future, so either I stop or I might as well right now admit I had set up a never-ending stream of regular excuses to eat sweets of all kinds. The comfort-eating neuropeptide boost? I know it so well, I can feel it. It doesn't stick anyway, I ended up feeling double crap afterwards: I had a rough day and more coming and I just finished that pint of ice-cream. Same for 'earning' or 'celebrating'.

The other side of settling that was making a place in my life for my vice because it was simply not going away anyway, and a place for the balance on the other side required to deal with it. Now I go for cookies because I want to and I planned it, and eat ground turkey & beans and skim everything and Splenda because I know the cookies and Sunday brunch are coming, and I'd better be ready.

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

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

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

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

These people now think I wear big shawls out when it is cold. Hey, maybe I just will.
fj: (phkl)
Utterly unrelated to thinking brunch would be an hour earlier than it was and the fact that my ex and biggest fan of my interiors was coming over, I found myself in the Oxford Circus area Saturday mornin at 9.30 shopping for some finishing furnishings. Hence the Tord Boontje Garland lampshade for the naked bulb in the hallway from my previous entry, and a real lampshade for upstairs, and a rug. It takes me three department stores to buy a simple chocolate floor rug, and it is not because I am looking for the most exclusive one, but because I am looking for the right one. Which in my case is usually the item that has the fewest detailing and the simplest shapes or colors, but without looking dowdy.

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

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

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

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

Now, after my Sunday roast at the corner pub, as I try to do every Sunday, I am looking back on a week on seeing many friends and making new local ones. Suddenly the anxiety that was building after 3 weeks of no interaction is gone, I may not need to resign myself to being a hermit. Now just the job thing.
fj: (health)
Thick-ribbed whole grain baked "crisps" spread on aluminum foil in the oven pan, stacked many many small slices of mozarella, put under the broiler. Meanwhile quickly heat can of hormel vegetarian chilli, add pre-cooked pieces of chicken. Store half of mixture for tomorrow's lunch, pour the rest over the molten cheese on "crisps", back under broiler to heat up some more. Put both salsa and guacamole, at which Tesco makes a really credible and fresh attempt, and cottage cheese in ramekins, remove food from oven, transfer the whole mess by the aluminum foil to a plate, put on tray with ramekins to take to dinner table. Oh yes, I had nachos, after, like, 6 million years. And yes, with the way I eat salsa and guac, you'd never know I used cottage cheese instead of sour cream, I know myself. I can't even write down dessert. Now that's a good start of the weekend.

I am in a spate of dowloading classics to watch over BitTorrent. They come in in about an hour or two. Not eveyrthing is there, but the ones that are are seeded and hosted with great care over thick pipes. Brief Encounter -- man that guy was fresh and pushy -- Imitation Of Life (1953, Lana Turner version, no waffles), The Day The Earth Stood Still. This could be a fun habit, althought mininova tells me nobody is hosting either Mommy Dearest nor The Best Of Everything. Also, it's really weird to get to the end credit of a movie and not get Robert Osborne telling me some trivia. It's like the movie didn't finish properly. It's just not right, you know.

 By the way, I am taking suggestions for classic pulp 50s Sci-Fi. I am not sure I have seen them all.
fj: (Default)
Watching 'Intervention' anorexia episodes on YouTube makes me want to get Ben&Jerry's.

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fj: (Default)
Out to an eritrean restaurant and a pub with Derek. 10000 experiences and i will have them all.

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How It Was

Jul. 11th, 2008 03:55 pm
fj: (travel)
So, contradictions. Düsseldorf is an impossibly chic little city, but rents in the central area, not at all run down, are ridiculously cheap. Germany is going through a prolonged economic malaise due to reunification, but organic-ish vegetables and perfectly lovely store brand products in my local supermarket cost nothing. And this gig was in Germany and yet I was caught dead doing it1.

This gig for Vodafone was one that my agent has been trying to get me to take fo a while, but I never liked the terms: one had to be in Germany at least four days a week, which means that if you do not move outright for the whole thing, you end up in London only one full day, and I went to London 6 months ago to live there, not in Germany. But after not having worked for a month and a half after that single week with the consultancy, and my savings being equally unhappy after this move, I was more receptive. Then my agent called and said he had talked them down to three days at the office, which means two days of work and weekends at home, plus an unbelievable dayrate as long as I paid my own travel and lodgings, but that those could come off taxes, and I said ok. It's only a 55 minute flight after all.

Logistics-wise, the gig turned out to be better than I thought it would be. Of course the first week I overpayed for a hotel, not knowing what and where. The next week I didn't because I knew where the Hotel Ibis was, a Europe-wide brand of cheap business hotels near train stations. By the third week, my appartment had been arranged, and that made me the slow one in the office: the MZW agency can do that in a day, and had for most of my colleagues who flew in like me. €580,- a month for a big studio in the center of town. Almost every name on the letterboxes, stuck on with label-maker tape, was Indian. The landlord basically rents to all us temp workers. Only drawback of my lovely space: it's a 6th floor walk-up. Oh yeah. The city was rebuilt in the 50s after the war, and elevators were not a priority.

So, little cheap Bio supermarket on the same street. Streetcar stop on the corner which I could take to work. The Vodafone tower and adjacent buildings are pretty much on the Rhine, and modern and spacious and open. My co-workers were nice, and it was kind of fun to sit in the auxiliary room together with all the young designers from the contracting firms chattering away. The work was perfectly do-able and started out bringing me further along to mastering the bread-and-butter of mercenary UI designers (which I am still relatively recent at) but by the end had me back writing strategic documents about revenue opportunities in new media (which I can do in my sleep if you tell me the focus).

I looked at all the gyms online, visited a few from very middle-of-the-road to very expensive, and settled for a bodybuilder's gym that had a good 3-month rate and was in the city center. I walked a lot with my backpack with this heavy computer and gym clothes, I ended up never buying protein powder but just eating a lot of eggs and chicken and tuna and fromage frais (known as Quark in German).

I settled on a routine for flying in and out on Monday and Thursday evenings. This means Mondays were always chaotic as I had to get ready to leave, spend a lot of time actually traveling (bus from Oval to Paddington, Heathrow Express, Plane, Taxi), and still get a whole day of work in and exercise, while Fridays were a mess while I had to get a whole day of work in, do expenses paperwork and time sheets, and was just a general tired mess from flying in Thursday night. Every Friday night when I got in to bed having juggled and hurried and done everything and eaten and worked out at two gyms and not dropped any balls, I just collapsed, and then reminded myself I'd get to do it all over again in two days. Sometimes with having to go to the bank on Monday as well to travel with €1K in cash, as using my UK and US cards was either impossible or expensive for things like rent or food. Never used it for shopping, though, as I never had time by day. This last trip I was able to just walk the whole of the shopping street and see how for a small city, Ddorf is just really well supplied in high-end fashion, all in a really nice area. Balenciaga's black knitwear for this season is Teh Raumpatrouille Orion Sex2.

The constant planning got tedious. What clothes were where, what should I bring, do I have enough cash for the taxi, what was in what fridge (which is important if you often arrive after shops close), what did I need to bring to work, what would fit in what bag. When I came back in London from having stayed over a weekend to visit my family I learned that Tesco's Finest Orange Juice is not pasteurized: the bottle had bulged, opening it was a plopping adventure, and the OJ had been diligently fizzily carbonated by little entities. The only way to deal with all the planning was routines: everything had to have a place and time, from when I switched currencies, to when and where I would switch keys on my key chain, to when I would pull out my passport and when I would put it back to what I would buy and when I would leave. I couldn't keep track of it all at the same time, so I kept track of each thing as it happened and put it in a place that would be predictable for the next time this part of the routine had to happen. By the end it was actually all really relaxed trip-wise, I just ran through the steps, back and forth, with the only spanner in the works being the damn planes. I only got three outright cancellations in the whole period.

As for visiting my father, one of the reasons I took this gig, that didn't happen because it was really hard to schedule him. He was busy every weekend in May, and I only stayed over on the continent once to see him in June. I will this weekend, but the whole let's go to Rozendaal often just didn't pan out much. The work did, minus two weeks, and the weather was often very lovely. I'd do this again. But now, two days in Amsterdam, and then to Dad, and then Monday to London.

1Ancient Euro rivalry alert
2If you are into paying €1200,- for a sweater, that is.
fj: (Default)
One US thing I miss: backyard grilled hamburgers with all the fixings. Those were always the best. And ice cream afterward.

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fj: (talking)
  • Meeting a Cylon or two (can't elaborate, don't ask, all I can say is a friend has connections these days)
The second one has me seriously pissed.

(And no, having wedding cake by myself without an actual wedding is no fun.)
fj: (bqw)
I decided to take the 10.50 AM to London tomorrow. I think converting today´s and Monday´s trips into vouchers to use on later dates would be too much trouble.

Meanwhile, I am wondering if I am ready for wedding cake, and everything that comes with it, every month again for a year. Eh, I am too far this time. (But I am sure two people in Santa Monica are pulling corsets out of a closet right now. Again.)

I still beleive same-sex couples getting married is an inherently subversive act. I fully agree with conservative people´s fears it will change the insitution, and I rejoice because I so hope it does. And every one of you who steps forward together to declare your love in public, before and inside the fabric of the law, I wish you a long string of the most beautiful days of your lives.

And for gawds sakes, invest in some Damn Good Cake.
fj: (Default)

Yup, Back In Europe
"Yup, Back In Europe", Nokia N73, Düsseldorf, 2008

fj: (Default)
I need to stop buying custard. I am powerless in the face of it.

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fj: (UK)
I have stupid mobile phone shenanigans because I have called the US a number of times now without having my bundle of cheap US minutes in place, and I can't register my local bank card on the stupid website because it says I have reached my limit of cards I can add to my account, and it won't allow me to top up from my non-local bank card any more nor delete it from my account so I can register my local card. Thanks, T-Mobile. I'll have to top up tomorrow at a shop.

Well, I made progress then this week: at least I have a local bank card, but funding this account is taking time since all funds need to come from foreign places; the fastest one will probably be the small stash of money I had in an old Dutch giro account. The EER or EC seems to have international money transfers down now.

I will need to fill that bank account up. I have been pounding pavement again to see flats. I find studios and flats in the price ranges I am working with on or, but of course they are all gone when I call. What is left I see, and they are postage-stamp sized and drab. I know housing is out there for me, I just need to luck out. Of course, since I am new to town and thus have no references ("No, I do not have a landlord in the US, I owned"), am still unemployed, and no guarantor, the agents all tell me I will have to fund upfront the whole 6 months of the letting contract, 6 months being the minimum contract anyway. My head spins at the kind of money we end up talking about even for something with no light and so small my couch coming in a few months will never fit, costing about 200 pounds a week.

Still, if the estate agents would take AmEx for that balloon payment once I find my place, it would end up saving me a lot of transfer costs: AmEx is the only one not charging me fees for using my US card here, and I pay that card with my US bank account. I can stay in my new yet decrepit rented room here for a while, paying up every week. My top-up life: phone, travel card, room, all funds being added as necessary, in larger amounts than I want. For example: need to make 4 quick trips to see places all over zone 1 and 2, pay 4 pounds for the day. That's 8 dollars, btw. And the Tube system makes a point of telling you they are doing you a favor by capping your maximum spend if you use their special contactless travel card, Oyster. That daily maximum is 4.80 off-peak and 6 pounds on peak hours. Double to get the dollar amounts.

I am working out in the local gym, again expensive because I can't commit to an economical long-term plan seeing that I do not know where I will actually end up. I walk for hours a day, from agency to agency to supermarket. I know I am not supporting myself nutritionally enough, and will have to buy protein powder soon, instead of eating turkey breasts for dinner and lunch and pre-packaged chicken sandwiches after a work-out. Did get some EFA oils, though, healing dry patches on my skin again that came back after not having Omega 3 and 6 oils for two weeks. Still coughing up gunk, otherwise ok. Except for the chocolate binge last night, which I am not happy with since I think I may have been self-medicating.

One recruiter I have been working with for a while keeps finding me interviews. Did one over phone, that job will have a sucky commute. They wants me to do a presentation about how to improve the user experience in a specific area as part of the in-person job interview. They have yet to confirm which date on the week of the 25th. Seeing a handset division of a large company Monday, I should check my suit is ok, and iron it with the iron supplied in this room -- no board though. Meeting the head of a small UX agency Tuesday for lunch. Had some people calling based on monster resume (but I actually think it is the jobserve one they are seeing, because that is the one changed recently), but nothing interesting from those recruiters. At least they do not want me to move to Mountain View to write multi-media drivers in J2ME. It does mean I will not take the time out to do my own thing.

London looks nice in places. I've met up with people, as I wrote here, and will meet up with Nigel tomorrow.
But I am not having fun. I am just slogging through hoping I will get to a better point.
fj: (UK)
Portions are smaller here, but not significantly cheaper, if I look at the baked goods in a Starbucks. I suspect the ingredients are better quality. The bread here's nice, so are the packaged mueslis.

Bites from recruiters since my resume went up with a local number and address. We'll see. I really need to not jump at the first job, but hold the positions up against my wacky ideas for my ideal job. I came here for a better life, after all, I should not settle too quickly. It's not like the phone will stop ringing after a week. If I can't find something as I burn my cash reserves in the next months, I can always take the resume down and put it up filled with software engineering technology buzzwords and go back to that grind. That grind will always be there. For now I must hold out.

Found the other local gym that does allow for weekly passes. Frickin' expensive weekly passes, but since I do not know how long I am staying it is probably a good idea. The lack of equipment in the weightlifting area is going to require a lot of creativity. Boy was I weak today. I am really not healthy yet. But I walk a lot, for hours. My jeans are being held up by my hip bones and ass, but without enthusiasm. I could pull them off by just tugging forcefully, even with the belt in the last hole.

Lost out on an apartment, some leads on others. Would have not worked anyway, the landlord wanted quiet people, and I am moving in with an aspiring opera singer. This could be an issue in the search.
fj: (health)
Every morning for the last couple of days I have been waking up hoping to be healthy. Today yet again, I am disappointed. However, thanks to yesterday's foray, I can quantify how I am doing. 100 degrees Fahrenheit, 38.5 degrees Celsius. The pseudo-ephedrine keeps me able to breathe, but the tylenol is not controlling the fever as much as I'd like.

Still, I will go out today to get a bank account -- HSBC has a specific banking product for people without a permanent UK address -- so I can pay rent and have income deposited as soon as both those transactions become relevant. After a nap or something. Also, dinner with [ profile] spwebdesign to learn about his experiences. Since I cannot currently explore regions on my own -- going into confined public spaces like The Tube would be irresponsible right now -- I will have to get information 2nd hand so I can accelerate my search for housing next week. I worry no-one will rent to me since I do not have a job yet.

Fridge is also stocked for a few days. Being at supermarkets has been enlightening. My diet in the US consisted of lean protein sources, vegetables, and tons of fruit, fresh and frozen. Looking at what it would cost to continue that I am being strongly confronted with the fact that I now live on an island in winter. Christ. On the other hand, trans fats, hormones, and high-fructose corn syrup are totally easily avoided here. Still, I feel the UK public is being conned when it comes to fruit juices. Various manufacturers are selling mixes of juices touting specific super-nutritious fruits like cranberries or pomegranates. I am skeptical, of course, having always bought the pure juice versions of those that aren't blends: by themselves, blueberry, pomegranate, cranberry, acai, and many other super-fruit anti-oxidant juices are basically undrinkable, they have to be mixed. I know that if they are sold as part of blends or smoothies in a carton in the juice isle they have to be diluted with other fruits. Still, I get almost angry when reading the label: these blends with their red fruits on the box and big anti-oxidant push are almost always between 50 to 70% apple or grape juice. Those juices have close to no nutritional value over sugarwater, especially white grape juice. The healthy part of an apple comes from all the fiber action, which the juice does not have. Grape and apple juice are basically the cheapest juices in the food inventor's arsenal. And they're asking for tons of money for this shit of flavored fructose water with some blueberry and banana in it. No fucking way.

Read the labels people. Know what your are consuming, wherever you are, and get the least processed foods if possible. And if you want liquid anti-oxidants in Britain, just buy a box of green tea.
fj: (travel)
Instead of doing my first Christmas alone in a place where I would only be thinking about Christmas last year, I accepted an awards ticket and flew up to Seattle to stay at [ profile] qnetter and Mr. [ profile] qnetter's place, together with two bouncy dogs and two very beautiful cats.

About the planes, let's just say flying still sucks but I am learning to manage it better, except when I do not. The taxi from The Loft to the Union Station shuttlebus to LAX took forever, so I made an executive decision that I would not wait for it but drive myself to LAX and park in the long-term parking. Turned out to be a questionable decision since on the morning of the 24th of December, 5 long-term parking-lots, including the LAX one itself, were all full. One hour before my fligth was scheduled to take off I was driving frantic circles along Century Blvd and LA Cienaga, always turning in front of The Westin to manage going up and down these streets, thinking I would have to cancel everything, until in desperation during one of those turns, wondering where to go next witjout having a clue, I decided I would not throw away someone else's ticket and just park at The Westin itself and eat the hundreds of dollars in hourly fees. I drive into the covered garage to see the rates, resigning myself. "Park & Fly, $15,-, 3 nights minimum". Um, what? A price slightly above average for the other lots? The security line took half an hour to clear, but I made it on to the plane. I am getting tired of running through airports, though. On the way back, The [ profile] qnetter's dropped me off so of course I had plenty of time. They don't get lost in snags like I do.

Mr. [ profile] qnetter, LOMLFOML, comes from a long line of Indiana State Fair Baking Contest Blue Ribbon winners, so I asked for some baking. I ended up decorating cookies with him on Christmas Eve after he had come back from playing music at the services at his church. Now that's Christmas romance. As far as the more carbs went, on Christmas morning we were dicking around in the kitchen over what we could eat as breakfast, when LOMLFOML suddenly looked all dejected. He had turned on the oven to preheat it for baking the dinner and cinnamon rolls, but he had absentmindedly left the huge metal mixing bowl full of risen dough in the oven, so it had started baking. In the bowl. Before its final kneading. At too low a temperature. In the wrong shape.

He and [ profile] qnetter were looking at the bowl he had put on the counter, talking about how there was no time to make new dough and what to do, and what not and... I am standing there seeing a bowl of something edible, so, of course, I pick at it. I get a chunk of crust with baked dough inside. I eat it. I interrupt them: "This is delicous!" I grab more chunks. And more. [ profile] qnetter starts giggling. "No, shut up, really, this is delicious. Try it! You need to try to bake it. Maybe we can then tear it to cinnamon chunks or something." Mr. [ profile] qnetter ia not convinced but decides to give it a shot, after I finally let the bowl go. [ profile] qnetter and I go into the den to watch "Dick Tracy" on the new flat screen in HD. Twenty minutes later Mr [ profile] qnetter brings this mountaneous dome of baked dough on a wooden board in. "It won't cook in the middle. It is all gooey. We can't save this." The outside of the dome, however, is all crust from being baked against the metal of the bowl. I start picking. It is crunchy crust with moist baked carbolicious bread dough inside, still warm, steaming, fresh, fresh, fresh out of the oven. "I need butter, stat," is my answer to that defeat. The three of us eat chunks of bread, not an unrefined carb in sight, with molten butter and cinnamon-sugar dip. I think I had more 'bread' in that sitting than I have had in two years here in LA. Put together. [ profile] jeffla and [ profile] likethecandybar would have staged an intervention for me had they witnessed this. Or joined in. I'd have let them, without being territorial over the delicious carbs as I usually am: I think I ate an amount the size of my head of this baking, and it barely made a dent.

Then we went to [ profile] badfaggot where [ profile] philhasablog had brought a cake. And of course we had the cookies I helped with. And stew. But with cake. I think for the rest of the trip I managed to eat like, two fries or something, and it didn't exactly feel like deprivation.

The whole trip was just lovely, even if it did confront me that after twenty months in LA I have been completely wuzzified: everyone's outside in sweaters and light coats and I am walking around in an Eddie Bauer coat-shaped duvet with gloves and scarves and still freezing. I slept with socks on. This from a Dutchman by way of Boston. The shame. Rain didn't bother me at all, though. I walked a lot, I shopped for furniture, I had a design consult with [ profile] susandennis who truly knows how to find the essentials in life, I had a slumber party with [ profile] badfaggot talking about everything, I went to the Gold's on Capitol Hill, I walked from there to downtown to spend an afternoon with a friend, I got covered in fox-terrier licks every time I got home. I regret having been unable to make it to The Cuff to meet [ profile] badrobot68 and [ profile] alexjon, but it just did not work out. Besides that, my Christmas gifts not arriving (we need to start a tracking) and getting mail The Loft had flooded because of some carelesness upstairs, I had a wonderful trip.
fj: (Hector The Protector)
Like a ferret with ADD I got distracted while cleaning some spam out of my Yahoo! email by this ad for NutriSystem. I hadn't seen the site in a while, so I browsed my favorite section of every health and looks website, the Before & After shots. I like makeovers.

I browsed only the guys. Every Before & After shot has a little one line testimonial to the right of the picture.

"I look better than I did in my teens!"

"I am twice the fireman now than I used to be."

"NutriSystem was so easy!"

"Now with NutriSystem, chicks dig me."

"I tried 30 diets and NutriSystem is the only one that worked!"

And then this testimonial.popped up.

I think this guy has bigger problems than his weight.
fj: (LA)
Seen today at the gym: a guy doing weighted squats while on his cellphone. No, not a bluetooth headset, he's holding a cellphone to his ear and somehow keeping the bar on his back and squatting reps. Thank god it was in the Smith machine. I passed Bruce, [ profile] pinkfish's PT when [ profile] pinkfish was still in LA, on the way to a machine, and point him to this sight. I can't look away, it's like watching NASCAR for a crash. "Oh, [X]. He's probably pitching a new movie. Do we have any 'No Cellphone' signs up in this place?"


Dear Vendor At Farmer's Market

You know, if your Certified Organic Apples are just as expensive as the Certified Organic Apples at Ralph's (same variety), I really do not see the point.

fj: (travel)
I slept almost on schedule in Europe with chemical assistance, but obviously my brain was out of sync; twice a day I would get to a point where I just had to allow myself to sink into hypnagogia for ten minutes or so before I could function any further. Well, allow... there was really no stopping it, if it was that time of day and I was sitting down. To everyone it looked like I was sleeping in a chair very briefly. This included the first 3 days that I was on Pro Vigil by day.

Been back since Wednesday and all I got for sleep was two hours here and 5 hours there while I tried to get back in sync. Last night I finally got sleepy at midnight, a reasonable time. I woke up 20 minutes ago.

I can't remember ever having slept that long. You would not believe the siz of the smoothie I am sipping on.
fj: (Default)
I want to clear up the mistaken impression that all I do is sit on my ass and have kittens lick me. First of all, since I skipped the gym Friday I did manage to make up for it yesterday and today. Yesterday I also picked up [ profile] epilady from attending a student fashion show in Glendale, to spend the rest of the day with her and [ profile] chestertodd in Santa Monica. I over-braked only twice during the trip and she was quite graceful about it, Then we had Build Your Own burgers and spent time watching art being made on Pico Place, after which I promptly fell asleep on their couch. I think the week had gotten to me.

But this weekend, over two days, I also managed to do the most difficult and tricky of all the scheduled painting without dripping paint anywhere; the conduits for the new electrical work for the blinds and the chandelier now match the ceiling color, thus recede visually. All the big painting I can do myself is now done. In fact, I think all the minor projects I can do myself are now all done, so unless I want to start on ripping out the 'original' kitchen cabinet and shelves, this may be it for DIY now. Then again, I should rip them out and replace that mish-mash for something sleek. Oh sigh, I am so over this manual stuff. I think I will do the beach. Or confront my resume and job search first. I can't keep avoiding it. I bet all the good jobs at Disney have now been taken by my colleagues. I wonder if this was all a big subconcious ploy to avoid transitioning to another job inside Disney.

Tonight I settled down to finally watch a movie. I made my late-night protein shake with a drink mix of molten chocolate, which I bought as a treat for Sundays but never get around to actually using. I borrowed the kitten from next door, which I am watching this weekend since the owners are at a wedding. I stretched out on my couch which I have now configured to be an enormous movie-watching lounging pit. I queued up 28 Days Later, which I always wanted to see. 90 minutes afterwards my drink is gone, the kitten is still sucking my ear, and the lone survivors of the plague are about to enter the military compound and I know where this is going, and I don't want to be jostled anymore by a derivative story shot half-heartedly which at this point feels the need to go into the issue of the inhumanity of humankind, an overdone standard plot element of post-apocalyptic movies. I switch it off, look up the movie on Wikipedia, and confirm it would go where I thought it would and I had no desire to experience. Now I am wondering if I am withdrawing from media even more.

As mentioned in comments, it seems that indeed even without a cable box I still get basic cable from the cable outlet, something the TiVo seems able to deal with just fine. And infomercials seem to be part of basic cable. I may have something to watch after all.*

Also, I have deided to stop worrying about staying awake till 2 AM. Just means I'll wake up at 10. I can do that now. I should enjoy it. It need to keep reminding myself that this is the most free time I have had in 10 years or so, and I managed to fill it up with projects all the way. I need to take an actual frickin break.

* I may not have mentioned this recently, so new readers may not be aware of this trait of mine: I like watching infomercials. Not all of them, I have my preferences, but I do enjoy having them on. Mainly because life is beautiful and perfect on them, and when something gets you down and you think "There must be a better way!" it turns out there actually is. And that is wonderful.

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