fj: (Default)
  1. Since I have returned to innerspring mattresses, most of my back problems have gone. This started a year ago with the mattress at my temp lodgings. I do have back-pain right now, but that is because of a slight pull again, which is nearly gone.
  2. I am working a short contract right now, helping out a small UI consultancy that is contracted to Vodafone. I hope to piece together money through short contracts this way, from CSS wrangling ot high level strategic design and research, while looking for a permanent job.
  3. I like my small flat. I have had boiler issues in the last few weeks, but those were fixed by nice gas maintenance people coming by. I have re-upped to stay here until at least September.
  4. I do not travel to NL enough. This has to do with unstable money issues.
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: (Default)
Man, when you have one those blue toilet-cleaning bombs in your toilet tank, that first flush after having been away for two weeks is really, really b l u e.
fj: (UK)
Oh yeah, utilities. So E-on called me back one final time that day I was on the phone with them and we figured out my downstairs neighbors were registered to my electric meter. Obviously I had a manager, and he had thought it over, and cut through what to do:
"I just need to know one thing: did you move into this property on March 3d?"
-- "Yes."
"Then we're starting an account on your name."
--"What about my downstairs neighbors?"
"That's honestly a dispute between you and them."

So now my name will be on my electric bill. I warned my neighbors they need to calculate how much electricity money I owe them for the last 3 months, and we are both wondering who has been paying the other meter...
fj: (UK)
Just before I left, my DSL started acting up in the evenings. This saddened me, because O2 had been cheap, fast, and rock-solid up to now. I diagnosed as much as I could last night, because I really, really, really did not want to call some call center 6 time zones away and go through endless scripts of rebooting and checking my wireless. But it was unavoidable, the router was telling me the connection was going up and down like a yo-yo. I decided to eliminate as many variables as I could myself: attached the Mac laptop directly with a cable, switched off wireless, got all the settings, got ready, and called.

I chose O2 because they are not a reseller of BT, but they can go into the local switch themselves and set up their own equipment, which is why they can offer faster speeds than BT does, but also, they are responsible for the whole chain themselves. No passing the buck. I immediately got a rep on the line who took my info. Indeed, attaching the Mac with a cable made him skip most of his script, since they do not have special management software for the Mac, and yeah, wireless is not fault issue then. All I did have to do was a hard reset of the box to factory settings, but that didn't help and I was at Tier 2 within 10 minutes. Tier 2 first told me he could see I had dropped 90 times in the last 8 hours, and they didn't like that at all. (I was more wondering just how much they could see about my link... If tomorrow I get an intervention for checking ICHC, I will know.) He first had me switch filters -- I never knew a solid state filter could fail, but he said it happens, and he called me back on my mobile -- and when my link still kept dropping while I was still on the call with him, he decided to set the line tolerance for noise on my line to really low (which degrades speed but makes the connection very reliable) so he could push the latest firmware to my box. Once the new firmware was on, he reset the line back to normal tolerance, and then he told me to browse for two minutes. I told him I already had been doing so obsessively. It was working. Still, we both agreed it was too early to close the case, so we agreed the case number will remain open till mid-Saturday. It was really pleasant, good troubleshooting as if we were both software professionals, a willingness to exchange information so I could learn, and he wasn't intent on getting me off the line ASAP at all. Also, my box is faster than ever now.

As for Gas & Electricity, I really expected a bill by now, which I haven't gotten. I did, out of curioisity, open a bill from British Gas that keep coming for the previous tenant: You Are About To Be Disconnected This Week, And We Will Tack On £200 For Doing So. Um. Um. Eeeep! I called British Gas collections department and I said, look I do not have a customer number for me, but I do for the previous tenant and this ain't right. The collections woman said that this was no big deal and she would put me through to the moving department since I was a new move (Hello? I have called 3 times now?) but I said "No." Huh? "Before you do that, please tell me I won't get disconnected this week?" Oh, I won't get disconnected this week, seriously. The moving department was annoyed on my behalf as much as I was, and said he would stop the bill for the previous tenant now and start me on a whole new account and can I just have your last name again? Oh well, let's hope this one sticks. Also, if I want to they could also do electricity? I answered no, tell me who my current provider is now because I expect there's another screw-up there?

And indeed, calling E-on, I have hit the mother of all possible screw ups: my downstairs neighbors are paying my electricity bill. heck, if I were them I'd want to do that too since I am never home. You see, there are these two meters in the hallway, and they each have a serial number, and they are labeled which flat they are for, and when I mentioned my serial number the man said "Ok, we'll stop the bills for the previous tenant" and on a hunch I said, can you tell me who that is? He can't, that is confidential. "Look, if it the C*****, thos are my downstairs neighbours, and you can't just take them off the account" because hell if I am going to have my neighbors slammed. He called a super and we had to now test whose meter was whose, can I please switch on something that consumes a lot of energy, go look which meter is running fast, switch the devices off, and see if the mete goes slow? This is how you test a power meter from afar. I switched on the washer to tumble dry, and ran the food processor. And the test confirms what I expected: my downstairs neighbors are paying my power bill, and lord knows who is paying the other meter.

E-on is dumbfounded about what to do now. They'll call me back.
fj: (tech)
The repairman called to say that he had knocked on the door and my doorbell didn't work. In the last weeks at least 4, um, visitors seem to have found the doorbell working just fine. Anyway, he showed up again, attached an oscilloscope, and then left, that is when I snapped the pic. Got a call from him whether I could test for dialtone now, and I did and had it. When he came back to get his stuff I asked what was wrong. Wrong line had been hooked up at the switch. (In fact, I suspect the whole order had been done for the wrong address initially.)

I plugged in the extension cord I had laid down for the DSL modem, and switched it on. I had already configured it with my wireless settings, but wanted to confirm them now so it would be ready to be the wireless access point when O2 started my DSL. I attached my print server laptop with a cable, and started a browser to change settings when the Google search page showed up on the brower as a home page? Huh? This was not supposed to happen without a connection. Fast too. Seems O2 has indeed already provisioned my line with DSL but just not confirmed it to me.

I can YouTube again. And not abuse my mobile phone anymore, allowing it to charge properly. Using it continually as a 3G modem meant it would never charge fully. And now I can send updates to Twitter from my phone, and they will be updated on LJ since AutoPostBot, running on my print server, doesn't need my phone to be home for its connection anymore.

ThinkBroadBand's speed test reports 7.2 Upload / 1 Download Mbps. 15 pounds a month, and I may even get on a cheaper plan because that is supposed to be for higher than 8Mbps. Comcast couldn't give me this fast a connection for almost double the money. AT&T gave me less than a third for half.

Oh, Look

Apr. 5th, 2008 01:53 pm
fj: (tech)
Technician Dispatch Structure of British Telecom
Lead time to dispatch a tech Cost to me
New line connection 1 month 125.-
Repair fault on exisiting line 2 days 161.- if it was my equipment that was faulty
       99.- per hour to fix the resulting failure
0 otherwise (implied, unconfirmed)

Seems like a certain company is far more interested in sending people if they can charge me an arm and a leg than if I just want to pay a standard fee for service. Meanwhile, the reason I don't say "Fuck BT" and still insist on renting a line with them is because I want O2 broadband. I signed up for them when BT confirmed to me my line was connected. O2 sent me text confirmations every step of provisioning me, sent me their wireless router box overnight, and will have DSL patched at the local switch by Wednesday, all for 15 pounds a month for 16Mb, no download cap. It would be less if I was also a mobile customer of O2, but as a newbie to the UK I can't pass their credit check for a monthly plan, and they charge to much for data on their Pay As You Go Plan.

BTW, the previous tenant seems to have had cable VoIP / broadband from Virgin Media, and no BT at all. I can't fault her, but Virgin Media is expensive if you do not want Super Cable TV as well, so I want to wrangle BT a bit more first before I give up. They're coming by Monday afternoon, between 1 and 6 PM. Oddly enough, there's a BT repair van in front of my house right now. I overcame my aprehension to go off-script to strangers and took my cheap-ass landline all-cable phone to the Box and Storage shop across the street and asked them to plug it in, just to make sure that the handset worked lest I end up having to pay 161 pounds because it being broken and I having had service all along. Dialtone was emitted by its speaker.
fj: (tech)
British Telecom, as far as I can tell, has two major call-centers: one up north in the UK, and one on the Indian sub-continent. While it seems the Asian workers do indeed get some accent-reduction training, their supervisors have not gone all the way and tried to make them get, say, BBC accents or something in the same way it was fashionable to train these poor people to sound very American for clients based in North America when outsourced customer support in India really took off in the early millennium. The people on the phone do insist, upon seeing my account data, that my first name is 'Van' until corrected, and have all the same 'repeat everything and apologize every second word until the word sorry sounds meaningless' mannerisms as every other call-center in the region seems to have acquired.

I had to have a conversation with one of those chaps today, because at 13:45 no BT repairperson had rung my doorbell to hook up my line, which was due to happen today after a month's wait. I am a little anxious, yes, I would like some broadband now, please. I keep abusing my terms of service with T-Mobile's Pay As You Go mobile service by using my phone as a modem on their data network, while I am only supposed to use the data network on this plan for browsing with the phone itself and maybe checking some email. I can choose between rock-solid and very slow EDGE, or faster 3G that stops working every 5 minutes for 5 minutes. It costs me a pound a day maximum, which is actually the best data plan for a Pay As You Go mobile plan.

So, dialtone please, and no installer dude(tte) between 8AM and 1PM today. I even got up at 7.30 for it. The guy at the call center put me on hold for two minutes -- no problem since it is a free call, but oh wait, I am on my mobile so it is not -- and tells me that his system says that I have been hooked up, and some time tonight my line will start working. I wish someone would atually have done some quality control inside the house to check that everything was indeed installed correctly, because it is now 10.30 PM and guess what: no dialtone from any of the 3 jacks in the apartment.
fj: (Default)
I feel compelled to admit that Friday night, on the train to St. Albans to see Barry and Adam, I had a "Oh my god, I left the baby on the bus" moment. These are usually filled with dread and terror and deep loathing of having left someone horribly down, I am just using that slogan to denote them to get a little perspective out of them so I can deal. Indeed, I owed Bob a two-paragraph note for Fred's memorial service, and I hadn't written it yet and the service was the next day and this was the only stretch of time alone I would get to collect my thoughts. I wrote it out on the only writing system I had available: my phone. Yes, I T9ed a eulogy. I am going to some kind of special techno-geek hell, I think, although the departed would be charmed that I even tried to save the moment in any way I could at all, never that mind that with my history I ended up doing it on a a phone. (It's not the best memorial piece I have ever written, I am sure, but it is the best I ever typed out on a twelve-button keypad with predictive assist.

Friday is binge night, so I wanted starch. We ended up in one of the Italian joints in this tiny town right outside London, where I found a starter to match my needs: the bread sampler, served with dipping oil. Some of them were toasted. Incidentally, I still do not have a toaster, so for my Sunday morning scrambled eggs over smoked salmon I have started toasting the bread in a frying pan, very low heat, with a tiny bit of butter. The end result is very different from standard toast, but I like it much better.

I left St. Albans too late having ice-cream at their home after dessert after pizza, so the Northern Line wasn't running anymore, but bus 45 still was that took me right to Elephant & Castle -- no serious, that's the name of a Tube stop if not a whole neighborhood here -- and I walked home, feeling all secure that I am getting comfortable getting around. In fact, I have boticed this weekend, with what should be my last IKEA run and the last major DIY work having ended an hour ago -- I have now cleared everything away and am waiting for [ profile] spwebdesign to go to dinner in one the local restaurants -- that I am feeling so very stable and at peace. Like I am really mentally rested, something like that. Which is strange, because I have no stable source of income, something that would have sent me into anxiety three years ago. But instead I feel secure in my life and surroundings, like I must have a very deep feeling that things will just be ok. I will find another week here or there, I guess, it will just happen. I must be fundamentally trusting the universe to feel like this in my urrent circumstances.

Which is great, because it means I am comfortable to take risks, instead of fearfully staying in old patterns.
fj: (Default)

Later From My Kitchen Window
"Later From My Kitchen Window", Nokia N73, London, 2008

fj: (Default)

Through My Kitchen Window
"Through My Kitchen Window", Nokia N73, London, 2008


Mar. 8th, 2008 11:14 pm
fj: (UK)
Spent last night in the new place, uncovered some flaws, which I am able to live with. Like that the Tiki bar downstairs next door plays music on Fridays and Saturdays till 3 AM. No seriously, I live next door to a bar decorated in Tiki-motif, with a DJ who plays music like some nostalgia school disco for 80s kids. Not that loud, and I like living in urban spaces after all because I want to feel life around me.

Took the subway back to the crappy room near Belsize Park to empty it, and, after handing in my key and getting my deposit back, I processed the awful news of Fred Huntington's sudden death while waiting in front of the church on Belsize Square for Nigel.

He had offered to pick me and my luggage up so I wouldn't have to repeat the back-breaking travel with The Hippos, as Helen christened my rolling suitcase monstrosities. He was driving his classic huge black Citroen so it all fit. We drove from NW3 to SE11, delivered my suitcases upstairs, and then I said I wanted to take him out to lunch to say thank you. He started talking about value for money, I told him my father finally found a way to foist money on independent me, who always politely told my dad when he makes such an offer that whatever the reason was that he thought I needed money it was already taken care of, which it always was until this move when I carelessly blurted out on the phone I was starting from scratch and transferring money around accounts for that, so he got me because of course I couldn't say no because I really didn't have any cash liquid just that specific week -- a situation that would have been rectified in a couple of days -- for IKEA, and he saw his chance so damn the guy finally got me in a way I couldn't refuse, so Nigel shut up already and let's go spend the money I am embarrassed to have received on one of the things my father loves and Fred loved: good food. It's a moving expense, after all.

Lunch in the brasserie of the OXO tower, overlooking the Thames, was lovely. My brain kept reminding me of the happy fact that, holy shit, I live in London now. Getting out of that temporary rented room fliked a switch of permanence. I go to work in London, I take the tube and bus like Londoners do, I eat in London, I have lunch with friends in London, I am decorating my rented flat in London, and I have to rely on friends with cars like most people here*. God, I really do properly live here. The the next penny dropped that I actually could upgrade a little of this furnishing project now -- because he will ask what I spent it on in order to enjoy it with me -- so Nigel drove me to Canary Wharf so I could buy huge towels and a lovely tea set at John Lewis. Like people here do. Especially, by the looks of it, gay people.

*I could actually legally drive here for the next year on my US license, but since I can't really even safely cross the street, I don't think I will try. No. Not a good idea.
 Besides the whole transmission thing.
fj: (UK)
T-Mobile Pay As You Go is costing me an arm and a leg, because even when calling customer service lines, I get billed per minute at my standard rate, since it is not a land line.Since I also want broadband, and the best way to get that here is still over DSL, and I also want a POTS line to dial emergency numbers that will actually work when the electricity is out and doesn't overlpoad as quickly as the mobile towers, I am calling British Telecom for a landline. Cheapest plan, it is a 'line rental' and then free weekend calling: 11 pounds a month. Of course, since I only have my mobile to make the call to order this, those 15 minutes on the phone cost me ten pounds or so. There are four jacks in my new flat already, but no dialtone. BT confirms the line has been disconnected and they will need to send out a tech to reconnect it. 125 pounds. Great.

The first available appointment is on April 2nd.

No, serious. A full month away to dispatch someone to reconnect an existing line. The customer service rep, whose accent that I have a terrible time understanding over the phone I think is Scottish, suggest I call up from time to time to see if there has been a cancellation. No guarantees.

Ok, so broadband will wait. But I am switching to a month-to-month SIM Only mobile ontract with O2 ASAP.

A month. For phone. What the hell? This is one the most respected telecom brands in the world.

Day Two

Mar. 4th, 2008 11:23 pm
fj: (Default)
Not as productive a day as I wanted. Blew ten pounds in mobile minutes before I knew it chasing utility companies to find out who is supplying me with electricity now. Hwever, when I mentioned to the customer rep that I had just been warned I only had one minute left, she offered to call me back, and like in every civilized country, in the UK you do not get charged on icnoming calls. They now have an account for me, but I have to do the same chase for gas. Haven't gotten to water. Tried to sign up over the phone for council tax, but when the transcription of my last name sounded like it would take 4 hours, I asked if I could just use the email address and what it is they needed to know. We shall see if it took. Couldn't do phone or broadband, nor do a second round of IKEA, which is necessary. Technically I could live in the apartment now, but I'd like a table to eat from, ya know, and not just chairs.

We'll see if I can fit it in tomorrow morning. Plus I have a pre-work meeting later in the afternoon, plus seeing my friend Inge for dinner, plus get ready for work Thursday. Fortunately, and I did not know this, I live around the block of a Tesco. A huge one. Where I can buy a cheap microwave. Because, and here is a britishims for ya, all these flats use an enormous amount of kitchen space for a washer / dryer (even though there seems to be a laundry or dry cleaner every second block) but microwaves are not to be seen.

Alas, the Tesco did not have a non-mobile phone. I need a bog-standard plug-in-the-wall POTS phone, just to make sure the line works and make the odd call on a weekend for free. Not to be found anywhere, espeially not after 5 on a Tuesday when you find out you need one.
fj: (Default)
So, a month in the UK, and what do I have to show for it already? Well, a funded bank account. I have been to many areas of London. I got the keys to my flat in Kennington this morning, and got about half of what I need to make it into a home from IKEA this afternoon to be delivered tomorrow, and will get the rest over following trips. And it seems I will be freelancing at an excellent day rate for a mobile concepts and usability consultancy starting Thursday with people I am excited to work with.

So yes, I went from photographing dark tunnels with blinding light to walk through to, a few weeks ago when I knew I would get the flat and a huge load I didn't even know I was carrying just lifted off my shoulders, shooting fluffy happy clouds and sunsets. That latest tunnels was just me clearing the memory card, it is weeks old. But it is also easy to shoot beautiful images here in the Belsize area. The place is gorgeously developed and maintained since the Victorian age.

So, one month: house, solid chance on job, still sane. Now I need to finish moving in this week, and start having a fabulous social life already. After I get a coat rack for people visiting me to hang their coats.

Tomorrow I get to hang out at my new home waiting for the delivery person while wrangling utilities. I think I have settled on O2 for broadband, BT for a POTS line with minimal services over which that DSL will run, and that green energy plan I need to find bak. Call the council of Lambeth to let them know I moved in so I can pay Council Tax, and no clue what to do about water and sewage... have those been deregulated yet?
fj: (Default)

The Making Of A Very British Garden
"The Making Of A Very British Garden", Nokia N73, London, 2008

The jackhammer to take out the rocks, and the chainsaw to take down the tree, did not make very pleasant sounds for days on end. In fact, they drove me insane. But now the digging started, and it seems everything that could be done by machine has been done by machine, and the rest is handwork. These guys, young, white, many speaking an Eastern European language, spent the day shoveling mud and concrete and leveling it for whatever that structure will be.

In the rain. And it looks like there will be many days more of this.

Whatever these guys are getting paid, my bet is that it is actually not enough.
fj: (UK)
In the UK, you can actually select which power supplier you use for gas and electricity. Your stuff still comes off the grid normally, it is not like anyone needs to bury a new cable to your house; the consumer's choice is basically which company you give your money too and comes read the meters, while the companies pay the grid for transport and supply it with chunks of gas and electricity.

There's a gazillion plans, but fortunately allows for comparisons and filtering to find one. And of course the numbers it compares on are yearly, so they look big. And they allow you to select 'green' plans only, from companies who promise to offset carbon usage or use only renewable energy and all. So you can see how much that costs extra. Per year. Ulp.

You know, I will pay 50 cents more for some recycled item, but to then see that 130 pound sterling difference per year, while you still have no income coming in, does make you seriously wonder about your commitment...


Feb. 21st, 2008 01:00 pm
fj: (Default)
Authentic gritty Eastend area. Minutes walk from a tube stop. Next door to London's musclehead dinosaur gym. Tesco Metro across the road. 1 bedroom. Availalable now.

And I walked away from it. The space was all chopped up wrong. I kept walking in it thinking "I can make this work." And I could. I just didn't want to have to. It was just too slashed up small.

Took the 1 bedroom in Kennington instead, the one that felt like putting on a warm snug coat when I walked in. Agency will try to get it ready for me asap, but no later than mid-march, painted and unfurnished. I won't pass the reference and credit check, but I threw money at that problem: I will pay 6 months in advance.

All I wanted was a little light, a little space, and a little charm, close to a tube stop. This one has all 4.

Now I need income. And a gym.
fj: (Default)
After my lunch interview I explored a little of Islington and Kennington to check what it would be like to live there, with a dead phone battery from Google Maps overuse to make my appointment. I actually got lost and had to re-find my location without maps or electronics, which I did by just following a large road North until I hit a tube station (Lambert). Came home and collapsed for a nap. I am walking an awful lot. Then found I had voicemail I need to follow up on tomorrow.

The homework of defining my dream job has had overspill: I know better what I want in more areas of my life, and that I don't have to jump into the first half-way decent commitment that comes along in order to create stability. I can keep looking and get things right.
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.

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