Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hey, look at me!

I moved into my new home today! The move went very smoothly thanks to wonderful helpers (Alex, Patricia, and Lars). I must apologize to Alex for doubting that she was going to wake up and arrive in time, when in fact, she arrived 10 minutes early.

My new housemates are so cool. We had dinner together and sat and chatted for awhile. Part of me felt like this was completely natural and comfortable and normal, and another part of me had to keep reminding the first part that in fact, it's totally out of character for me. This isn't normal! This isn't something any of my family members would do (except Amy when she went to live in the dorms). But I feel good about it, and I hope that feeling lasts a long, long time.

I'm attempting to turn over a new, positive-thinking leaf. My new housemate asked if I had any food allergies or preferences for dinner tonight, and I wrote back that I don't eat any beans (except green beans) and that I'll eat fish, but no other kinds of seafood. But before I hit send, I thought, "She's not going to make seafood. Seafood is expensive." So I deleted that part of the sentence. You can imagine my horror when I sat down to dinner and saw shrimp mixed in with the pasta. Too late to object now, silly, you'll have to grin and eat it. So I did. And you know what? It was alright. Do you see? Do you see what I'm turning into? Some sort of adventurous, take-things-in-stride sort of girl! Living with strangers! Eating shrimp! What will I do next, get body piercings? Bungee jump? Goodness no. Oddly, though, a couple nights ago I think I accidentally agreed to have a lesbian threesome with Carina and her friend. Oops!

(Don't worry, Dad, I won't follow through!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And then God smiled on me...

...but it was a mean, malicious smile accompanied by a dastardly chuckle that said, "Let's see how she gets herself out of this one!"

Okay, I shouldn't be so mean to God. He is being pretty good to me.

You know how I was positive I wasn't going to get that flatshare? I was wrong. She emailed me Thursday lunch to say they liked me and wanted me to move in. Joy! Ecstasy! Relief! I responded that I was super happy, they were my first choice, I love you I love you I love you. And then Thursday night, Juliana texted me to say that her friend isn't taking her room, it's available to me after all...Oh joy. Oh ecstasy. Oh crap, I have a tough decision to make. I made a pros-cons list. I discussed with John, Alex, and Holly (Carina didn't answer my text message). Holly said that she thought I knew deep down what I wanted and she was right. In a perfect world, this girl lives alone. Or with a hot, intelligent, wonderful boyfriend, but you know what I mean.

So I woke up this morning and called Juliana's landlord to see what I needed to do to get her adorable Notting Hill studio. After some emails back and forth, he informed me that I had to have a UK landowner as a guarantor. Right, dealbreaker. I called Juliana. She told me I needed to upsell the fact that I'm still technically a student and that I have money from the American government. They are my guarantors! She talked to him and he seemed okay with it, so I called the flatshare girl and broke the bad news that I wasn't going to be living with them even though I'd already said I would. Then I went to the landlord's office to finalize the deal.

Forty-five minutes later, I walked out with nothing. It was like trying to buy a used car. "Well, my director won't like this," "My director won't like that." "You're a liability." I had agreed to pay three months up front, plus 10 weeks deposit (a heck of a lot of money, but I have it.) Could I get my parents or someone in America to guarantee me? Maybe, but I'm 27 years old and I shouldn't have to do that. Fine, we'll do. I start filling out an application. He goes to photocopy my passport. "Do you want me to photocopy your national insurance card as well?" I've never worked in the UK, so I don't yet have an NI number/card. "Ooh, 'fraid that's a dealbreaker. Also, that huge wad of money I've just asked you to pay? That's not gonna clear until Thursday at the earliest. When did you want to move in? Tuesday? Hm, too bad, here's your passport back."


I walked across the street to Hyde Park and sat down. Must get advice from someone. Carina's at a festival on the Isle of Wight. Alex is MIA. Tanya left for Guinea Bissau today. Family is only just waking up. I called Holly (not that she was my last choice) and she said to call the flatshare people back and beg them to let me come back. The worst they can do is say no, right? So I did, and she was lovely and said it was alright, I could still live with them. But I felt like a moron and a spaz and an unreliable git. I was sitting in the park feeling this way, wishing Alex was around or answering her phone (since I was in her neighborhood). I got up to go get some lunch and a runner a little ways off caught my eye. "Wow, that girl really looks like Alex." Granted, I was in her neighborhood and she does go running in Kensington Gardens, but what are the chances, in a city with so many people, that I would look up and see the one person I most wanted to talk to? She started jogging away from me, so I ran to catch up, not wearing running gear and carrying a purse and a bag, not to mention the fact that I was shaky from having waited too long to eat lunch. But she slowed to a walk and I huffed and puffed and finally caught up to her.

I told her the whole story and it felt good to talk about it. We spent the rest of the afternoon together and it was wonderful as usual. I love this girl. I'm sad I don't get to live a block away from her, but it's probably for the best because I'm sure she'd get sick of me always tagging along. She made a good point yesterday when I was agonizing over which one to pick. She said that if she had to do this year again, she'd live with other people instead of alone. Other people could motivate her to get out of bed before noon and go out and do fun stuff. And you have a wider circle of acquaintances. This is a new adventure for me, and I'm looking forward to it.

However, we were supposed to discuss details tonight but the girl isn't answering her phone. Now I'm nervous that my flip-flopping made her change her mind and think I'm unreliable. They are taking on a risk by letting me live with them, as I don't have a job yet and I'm not a student anymore. Then again, maybe I'm just being paranoid. Where things stand, though, it's not so bad. If I can't move in there on Tuesday, Kate has offered her studio to me while she's in Italy. And if it falls through entirely, Anita's houseshare has a double room available for really cheap. So I won't be homeless. God's still got my back.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Uggggghhhh...I went to see that flat. I loved it! It's wonderful and the two people living there are wonderful, but I have a sixth sense that they are not going to pick me. I just know it. Intuition or something. Poo. Pooooooooooooooo.

One of them holds a world record for organizing the biggest zombie crowd ever (or something like that). The king of the zombies was Noel Fielding. There is no way that the guy who holds the world record for biggest zombie get-together, which starred Noel Fielding, is going to want to live in the same house as me. Yes, it's true that they responded to my initial email because they were intrigued by my obsession with tuberculosis and me mentioning knitting as one of my hobbies didn't deter them either, but I'm just not cool enough to live with these people. And they won't let me know until Friday, but I'm supposed to respond to these other people tomorrow. What to do??? I don't want to settle for anything less than the best, but what if the best won't settle for me?

No, that's not the right attitude. I have never yet been forced to live in a place I didn't love. I can do this. I can find my sanctuary. It's out there somewhere.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Flat-searching SUX!

I've been super clingy lately. I get upset when my friends aren't online or when I can't hang out with them because they're doing other things. How dare they have lives of their own! I just want to tag along everywhere they go like a little puppy.

The apartment search is going so-so. I went to see one yesterday. The room was gorgeous, the neighborhood was awesome, but it would be living with a 40-something woman who owns the house and has it decorated her way. I get the impression that what she's looking for is a quiet student who will stay out of the way. I can be that, but I don't want to. I want to spread out in the place I'm living. I want to make it mine a little bit. Or a lot bit. Though the room was really nicely decorated, the contract she wants me to sign says that I won't put anything up on the walls. I know I'm being picky and I have limited time to find a place, but it's important to me to be happy where I'm living for the next year. I may be a nomad these days, but that doesn't mean I want to live as if I'm just waiting for next year, or the year after that. I want to live my life now.

Anyway, I'm viewing another flatshare tonight. The two people living there sound cucky (sp?) and fun, so we'll see. It's in the same area as yesterday's, which I really liked. The room isn't as charming, though, but I could make it charming. It's more of a blank slate. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

No job, no flat=loser

Sadness. Alex's friend with the wonderful room just told me that she's giving her apartment to her friend. Now I actually have to make an effort to find a place and, oh, guess what? I have to move by next Tuesday. How did that sneak up on me like that? So no wonderful flat, no wonderful job. Yet. I shan't give up hope just yet, right? Sad, though.

I'm a little bit panicked, but I have to keep reminding myself that I won't be homeless. I have friends with couches. Where I'll store my 10 boxes of stuff, I don't know, but I'll figure it out if worst comes to worst. Which it won't. I'm sure.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Yeah, so, I sort of have a master's degree

After a year of studying, three months of working on my master's dissertation project, and two weeks straight of sitting on my ass staring at my computer screen, I am officially done with my master's program. It is just about the most anticlimactic feeling ever. Both of our course directors decided to go out of town for this stressful and momentous time, so there was no official party plan or anything. It's just...over. We don't get our results until December and we don't officially graduate until March (don't ask why; these British are crazy).

I am no longer a master's degree student. However, I don't technically have a master's degree. But you can all still call me Master Kusems (or Mistress Kusems, if you prefer).

In other news, I completely blew my Anthropologie group interview. They sent me an email saying that my skills and experience were impressive, but they've decided to go with another candidate (several others, actually, including Alex). In other words, my skills and experience are impressive, but in person, I am not. I'm upset not so much because I wanted the job, but because I KNOW I could do the job really well yet I didn't show them that. I didn't make that clear. I didn't even realize it myself until after I flubbed the interview.

Oh well. Moving on. Moving on with everything. I'm in a scary place in my life right now, living off borrowed money with no job prospects and no clear idea of which way to turn. A more adventurous person would be thrilled by the freedom and promise of it all. I am not a more adventurous person, but I am trying to be. I'm trying to think on the bright side. The world is my oyster. I can go anywhere from here. Right? I have impressive skills and experience, though apparently not a very impressive personality.

I'm gonna go watch 30 Rock because it makes me laugh and forget my self-loathing for 24 or so minutes.