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: (UK)
Prince Harry did a tour in Afghanistan as part of his military service, where he did military service things like trudge through hot sand and bond with his mates by using uncouth terms of endearment like 'Paki' for a guy from Pakistan and telling another guy who had tied some camo stuff around his head that he 'looked like a raghead'. Kinda minor for the military, you'd think, in the US military you kind of have to rape women systematically to get even noticed. Except he did it on video. Which, two years later, someone now sold to a Sunday tabloid.

His spokesperson apologized, the Prime Minister apologized, Members of Parliament thought it was all terribly unfortunate because it might undermine efforts to get minorities to serve, and the establishment went tut tut. The letters-to-the-editor, comments-on-the-website, however, have been not so tut tut: most of them saying that this was overblown, you know. To begin with 'Paki' was really not such a bad word, just an abbreviation like the word 'Brit'. Also, the Paki could just have called Harry 'Gingernut' and it would have been even, kindly ignoring the central point of systemic racism that, to put it in short, whatever you called Harry, even if it was the heinous and history laden word 'Gingernut' (whut?), it would still always just be a signifier for the term 'Gingernut of Wales', white boy 3d in line for the throne, and the Paki would still be a Paki.

Yes, in comment after comment the whiteness of the writer was coming through the written words like a ray from a Death Star, if Death Stars shot Clueless Rays, even before checking the name below was invariably Smith in Stratphorne-on-Clyde or the Lumleys in Belsize Park. It's only recently I have seen in Metro or London Lite people saying no, wait, Paki actually does get used as a perjorative, that's how it was said to us (and oh, btw, I'm Tamil so I noticed).

It gets worse. I can't decide who would have more of a field day with this, [livejournal.com profile] fengi or [livejournal.com profile] epilady.

While the father of the 'Paki' teammate of Prince Harry actually was offended at how his son got termed in the midst of a war in hostile territory by the ultimate member of the establishment, Charles of course apologized for his son. After which the news broke that the nickname for an Asian member at their poloclub -- this is where the rubber of the whole thing really starts hitting the road of general race relations in the UK, of course, when the news shifts to how members of a polo club act -- a nickname used by the Pirnce of Wales and both his sons for this member, to his face, was ' Sooty'.

Oh yes.

And everyone knows Charles doesn't have a racist bone in his body. He has advocated tirelessly for communities to live together, get together, share space, equal opportunity in all walks of life for all races. Surely a man of his record can't mean to be racist when he uses that as an affectionate term of endearment? Or actually be racist? Surely?

You'd think that if this were seriously where the level of discourse was at for the people in this class, it would be bad enough, but Dick Cheyney has set the playbook in stone of what need to happen when a powerful man shoots someone in the face: the shot man must apologize for having been in the way. The Asian man who has, himself or his ancestors, clawed in to the echelons of power as a minority and been let in by the majority, has been quoted as saying Charles has zero prejudice (as if that actually was the main problem of having the general nickname Sooty as a darker-skinned man in this society) and that he likes being called Sooty. It means you made it when you get a nickname in these circles, you know.

Sunday

Aug. 18th, 2008 03:15 pm
fj: (UK)
So Friday [livejournal.com profile] iejw tells me that I need to go to Soho Pride on Sunday.
--"So is that just another so desperately needed excuse for gay British men to stand around and drink," I said thinking about what Soho was like after London pride, "but now by day, required because they can only do that 7 nights a week?" Why yes it was.

So I took 45 minutes to choose which tanktop to wear -- I know what my assets are: furry shoulders -- and hopped on the bus that takes me to the center of town in 20 minutes. I did walk around in between all the London gays standing in tight clusters of friends with plastic family-sized cups of beer and checked out the scene. Met up with [livejournal.com profile] iejw in his kelly green cardigan and golden shoes and big ass camera around his neck, whose first words after hi was the subtle question, while pointing at my face, of "Is that a cold sore?", complete with making motions of going to touch it. (No, it was an ingrown hair near my lip gone horribly awry that was now healing) He was with his rugby friends who seemed as interested as always in talking to me, so when after some chat Ian left to greet other friends, I walked away to look at the festivities over a number of blocks. Soho Square itself, a street or so away from where I had started, is a small park surrounded by a big iron fence, and of the three stages on in the streets, the best music was in there. So was the line snaking around two sides of the square, which looked like it would take an hour to get in, just like it did a few weeks ago in the festivities after London Pride. I do not get street festivals, supposedly democratic shared celebrations, where the actual party part is made exclusive and regulated. Ok, so because of the iron fence that square has limited capacity, but you know, maybe that is a hint that it is not the best area for the dance stage then.

So I went back to Comptons and got myself a family-sized cup of diet coke, and stood in the street taking in all the people clumped in groups knowing each-other, not seeing the one guy I know who would be at this kind of thing and is always fun, and letting my mind wander about what kind of volunteering opportunities I want to join in the next few months. Obviously helplines, my forte, is out, with my US accent in this country where they kind of look down on that. Maybe something with animals. Doggies. And then I see this guy, red tanktop, some fur underneath, cup of Guinness, bright blue eyes, really kinda hot, who is just standing there like me, not speaking or knowing anyone. He looks at the gray sky and I'm tried of nothing happening and I step up to him and go "You think it's gonna rain?" Obviously the only way something would happen is if I did something.

And I then have the most fascinating conversation for the next 4 hours. He's South African. Jo'burgs gay life is socially about the size of a postage stamp. He is part of the bear scene there but wonders why he gets called 'otter' in other countries. --"I guess the rampant global obesity crisis has not hit South Africa yet? It's kinda skewed the norms of who is what animal" is my answer. He grew up in a nature reserve in Zimbabwe. He throws off Kinsey 6 musclebear visual and movement cues, but he's actually a Kinsey 3 who had a phone call last night the plus sign on the stick means he is going to be a daddy -- just as he is planning to sell his farm to live with his male partner in Australia. We actually have a lot of work overlap (usability vs industrial cultural consultant). His best mate got killed by a crocodile. It just went on and on, and it seemed that I was as interesting tot alk to to him as he was to me, and that only as the men around us progressively got drunker we made new connections. Then his mate, Brian, a former pro tennis player and now costume jewelry designer who lives outside London, joined us, and I started a running gag about eating pie which ended up with us exchanging numbers. Richard is off to Madrid and then back to South Africa, but I may have a pie-eating date with Brian when he has to be in London again for work.

This was kinda good.
fj: (UK)
This accent is what professional life is like in the UK. And it makes me feel like I am constantly on TV or something. It just doesn't sound normal. Like I am watching BBC America.
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: (Default)
I have a slight social anxiety disorder, which I have mentioned before, about talking to people who work in shops or over the phone for services. I can trace it to regularly having been confused for a girl in my very early teens, both in person and over the phone, and then later always having had problems explaining what I wanted. That stare of non-comprehension, that I am asking for something completely insane, it just got to me.

Then I moved to Britain, and I had to call tons of people at rental agencies and utilities and banks. Helen the lifecoach fully understood my anxiety, but pointed out having to extend myself to desensitize this blockage was probably a good idea. Yet there I was, having to psych myself to go into a a storefront office of 4 bored looking guys in suits and somehow I have to find the one that does rentals for my area, or find out through a thick plate glass window and thicker accents whether I can turn this piece of paper I signed into money in my account (YES IT IS IN DOLLARS SORRY!) . I spent so much time pacing in front of storefronts, until I had the gumption to walk in. Telling myself to consider myself being an actor, playing an improv part, breathe once breathe twice, phone in my hand, waiting to dial. All completely irrational, since I was the one trying to part with money here, not asking for it. My exchange basically went --"Hi, I'm helpless and stupid!" with the response "Thank you coming, and yes your are, but we'll see what we can do, you poor thing." Really made me feel good about myself, where 'good' means 'useless and stupid', until I got a handle on the scripts after doing them over and over, and knew the key sentences. I love shopping at IKEA because I do not need to talk to anyone, and usually I know the catalog better than the help anyway. But I was glad when the crush of it was all over and I was settled in. (I still am not getting electricity and gas bills to my name. It is up to them to get them to me then I say.)

Now I had to do it all over again. Call the recommended agency, call the agent I am assigned to, email the agent who doesn't answer the emails, calla gain, meet the landlord. Go into gyms and try them out and ask what the price plans are. Go into phone shops to get a SIM card for wireless internet.

In German.

Oh God. I have died a thousand deaths, rehearsing sentences over and over while pacing on the street, sentences I never ended up using anyway. I have everything done now, sitting here typing in my flat, but the gym; the three I have been into failed for various reasons. One more left. I can't wait until it is all squared away and I don't every have to talk to anyone about anything.
fj: (Default)
I need to stop buying custard. I am powerless in the face of it.

Posted with AutoPostBot
fj: (tech)
When I get on gay.com to chat with old buds in the US, some of them tell me which super-duper obnoxious gas prices I am missing. Like $3.50 per gallon in Hawaii, if not more.

Here's Google's answer to that, with the starting point being the current max price for gas in the Netherlands at pumps:

 

1.55900 (€ / liter) = 9.35262901 US$ / US gallon

  More about calculator.


And you know it is calculated with the latest currency prices. And you have to specify US gallon here, which is 3.9 liters, not just type 'gallon' because then you get a conversion into Imperial gallon which is 4.2 liters. Also, the number is not helped by the $ not being worth much these days, which sucks when you live in £ so much so that the glyph is visibly printed on your keyboard (Shift+3), but all your capital is in $ (Shift+4).

Pay Me

Mar. 12th, 2008 10:18 pm
fj: (tech)
Due to tax and employment laws, employers needing freelance or contracting work will not just hire someone, they will only work with other companies. This is why there is a blooming market in the UK for ready-made companies you can buy and install yourself as president and earn through dividends and such stuff -- basically buying an administrative product. For a few hundred quid more you can even have one made with the name you come up with. You need one extra person to be a board member, and stationary and business cards with the company name, and a yearly tax aountant. This looked all too complicated to me.

There are also body-shops here, companies that 'hire' freelancers in 'permanent' positions. Basically when you contract out, the company that gives you work to do contracts with the body-shop company for yourservices at the fee you negotiate, and you yourself do the work, fill in a time-sheet, submit it to the body-shop, they harge the client, take a small cut, and pass the rest on to you, also taking care of all taxes and accounting and doing the tax magic for your business expenses when you submit receipts. These body-shops are called 'Umbrella companies' here. The one I chose on recommendation of the headhunter I work with is called The Parasol Group. I expect that name for an Umbrella company took three weeks of intense brainstorming. (I also keep wondering whether Parasol only has above-ground labs to create monster zombie cats and viruses that turn you into the picture of health and where Milla Jovovich comes in every time I think about this.)

Why am I boring y'all with this? Because I wanted to mark the occasion of me submitting my first time sheet. Ever, I have really never contracted on a daily rate. In fact, it's been over a decade since I've freelanced, and that just-out-of-school gig was all set prices for end results. The work was at a small mobile research and interaction consultancy, where we decided to start me out contracting until we all knew how we felt about each-other. I am very positive and would like to work with them again, and the three directors with whom I spent the week in a small office said the same. I think my technical background with my very specific design skills an complement their available skill set very well. Unfortunately their actual client is being wishy-washy for the project I was on is being unsure, so I cannot do any more work until feedback comes back for what I have done now. Ok, we'll just continue with me being called in when they need me at my day rate.

I learned all kinds of lingo like 'strategic designer' for this field usability consulting, which should allow me to position myself and communicate to other people locally in this business even better. They also got an idea what it means to work with me in that, always professionally, I will voice my opinion and recommendations about what is going on about projects in the room. And that when you hire me, you get someone who has a constant stream of 5 or so RSS feeds open to follow tech trends and products in the mobile space. You want 3 paragraphs on Google's Android technical capabilities, or how it compares in the market to other SDKs? 45 minutes please, I just need to do 20 minutes of research to confirm what I already know and have proper sources at the end of the document.

But yeah, first week of nice salary, and now a few days off. I could get used to this.
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.
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: (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 fool.co.uk 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...

Earthquake

Feb. 27th, 2008 01:11 am
fj: (Default)
[01:09] [livejournal.com profile] fj: geezus, 18 months in LA and I felt nothing, 1 month in London and I wake up to the house violently shaking.
[01:09] [livejournal.com profile] jpeace: :3
[01:10] [livejournal.com profile] jpeace: god is telling you to farm wheat
[01:10] [livejournal.com profile] jpeace: in kazaksthan.
[01:10] [livejournal.com profile] jpeace: ktaahlzhzlt
[01:10] [livejournal.com profile] jpeace: SLOVENIA
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 propertyfinder.com or thinkproperty.co.uk, 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: (Default)
Bridge Burnt: called Disney benefits and stopped COBRA. It's the NHS for me from here on out.

Meanwhile, I no longer carry my Greencard with me in my wallet. My new Oyster card will go there instead, I think. Attempted to open the bank account with HSBC, they'll send paperwork to my contact address in a week or so with which I can pick up my debit card. No progress on real housing, but did get agreement I could extend my current easily. Cancelled an interview for tomorrow when I came home: only two hours out, one small conversation at a bank, and I was exhausted. I could not do a full day of discussions at a handset manufacturer by tomorrow.

Back in bed now.
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 [livejournal.com 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: (Default)

So How Sad Are Your Lodgings?
"So How Sad Are Your Lodgings?", Nokia N73, London, 2008

fj: (health)
After sleeping 16 hours, lying down gets old and the fridge is empty and I am tired of living on muesli and milk. I felt ok, though very woozy in the head, and walked to Finchley road. Had some eggs on toast (bland), watched the waitress knock over the stack of trays of eggs (each tray was 6 by 6 eggs, I suspect about 6 to 8 trays) of whih surprisingly few actually broke, walked on to the shopping mall-ette with cinemas, upscale burger joints, and a fitness centre, and stocked up at the Sainsbury's downstairs. By the time I was home I collapsed in bed and slept another 5 hours.

No chills anymore, though, my room's just cold when I turn the space heater off when I leave. Yestrday it was sometimes hard to distinguish between the two.

God I hope I am ok tomorrow, and fine Monday. I have a new life to start already.
fj: (Default)

So Not In LA
"So Not In LA", Nokia N73, London, 2008

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