Monday, February 22, 2010


I feel an update is in order.

Things at the pub have been weird lately. In a process no one really understands but which everyone suspects had a lot to do with the head chef, the owners of the chain more or less forced our general manager to resign. This is sad, as everyone loved the GM. I basically only went back to work there in January because I enjoyed working for him (and also didn't have any other job lined up.) The owners have also been a bit harsh to the assistant managers, who are also well-loved. The GM has been replaced by a guy who, so far, seems okay but who has a bad reputation and the head chef, who seems to have been behind everything, has been acting drunk off power lately. He loses his temper even more quickly than he used to and makes no apology. The other day, he yelled and swore at two different sets of customers. He yelled at me the other day because he kept making stupid mistakes. I'm afraid to ask him for anything. So work hasn't been quite as fun lately, and I've been looking for a way out.

You know that store I really love? The one with the beautiful clothes and homewares? The one that I applied for a job for back in September? We'll call them Brand A. Well, knowing that they are opening their second UK store in March, I decided to reapply and guess what? I got a job! Woohoo! It'll only be 15 hours per week, which is not nearly enough to pay for groceries, better yet rent, so I'll probably have to stay on at the pub until they bump me up in hours, but I'm really excited! I had induction yesterday which was long and tiring, but the managers all seem really sweet. They were talking about the new store. Apparently, the building it's in is the prettiest Brand A building ever.

Last year, Carina lived with her brother in Chelsea, which is super duper posh. She lived on a random residential road off a main street. Tucked into the armpit where her street met the main road, there was a pub and a dilapidated old building advertising an antiques market. I always noticed the antiques market and wondered if it was still in operation and what it was like inside, but I never saw it open so never got to check it out. Well, Brand A leased that old antiques market and refurbished it, and I'll now be working there! They say it's full of light that comes through original stained-glass windows, including a massive glass dome in the fitting room. There's also reportedly a pond and some trees inside the store. I'm slightly worried that I'm not high-class enough for this place! We'll see, I guess.

I also have an interview for a job at The School next week. It's for a lab-based job doing molecular biology, which I don't really want to be doing anymore, but it pays well and has to do with infectious disease, so it's a good opportunity. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I really do have a life

13 Jan: rearranged my room...again

14 Jan: The streets are littered with rejected Christmas trees

16 Jan: Mojitos with James

19 Jan: Tea with Alex and Holly

20 Jan: Simon and James's Top Ten Places to Visit in England

24 Jan: City of London walk with James

28 Jan: Senate House

29 Jan: Rejoice, rejoice! Jesus has returned, everyone! And you can have tea with him, but only on Mondays at 2pm.

3 Feb: Holly and her hat

5 Feb: Izzi's berfday tiramisu

My one true beauty

Izzi complained the other day that I haven't mentioned her enough on my blog, even though I've been spending lots of time with her lately. I admitted that I've really only been writing when I'm upset about something, and she said that you were all going to get the wrong impression about my time in London. It's true. I'm still having a great time here, socializing a lot and making lots of merry. For example, last Friday was Izzi's birthday, and I had tons of fun with two-for-one cocktails and a really yummy Mexican dinner. They say that you shouldn't ever eat North American food in London, because Londoners just don't do it right, but I think they, whoever "they" are, are snobs. I've had tons of good Mexican here. La Perla, Benito's Hat, that Tex-Mex place in Notting Hill, and now Cafe Sol in Clapham. All delicioso.

I've been spending lots of time with Alex and with James as well (separately, though, which is odd because we're all friends with each other and we all keep hanging out separately in two's). I have an action-packed weekend, too. Thursday night is my flatmate's live music night (he organizes it and gets cool indy bands to come play), Friday is curry dinner and then Fabric (a popular London club that I've never been to before), and Saturday is a fancy-dress party. You're supposed to dress as your favorite decade, and since I have a beautiful new dress from Anthropologie that is sort of 1920s-esque, that's the decade I'm going for. I'm excited, but I have to work Friday am, Saturday am, and all day Sunday, so I can't go too crazy with the partying and staying out late. :-(

What I really want to talk about, though, is my new haircut. There's a salon in Camden that has a hair academy, and they give free haircuts to people willing to have their hair cut in front of a class. I decided to do this, as I've been wanting a change for a looooooooong time and figured these people would know what they were doing. I arrived on time and they left me waiting for about half an hour. Then a guy came up and talked to me about what I wanted, and decided he might do a long cut with more layers that would emphasize the natural texture of my hair. Then he left for seriously an hour. Then a different guy came out and said he would keep it long, but make it more edgy. He said my hair was a blank slate, and I realized that was exactly the problem. That's why I hated my hairstyle so much, because I felt like when people first saw me, they thought "blank slate, nothing much going on in there." When people actually start getting to know me, they often seem surprised to realize that I'm vibrant and engaging. So I was excited to have a hair style that would tell people that off the bat.

They washed my hair, then led me into the classroom. I was one of three models, and each of us had our own hairdresser demonstrating to the class what they were doing. My guy told the class, "her current style isn't doing much for her." I couldn't help laughing a bit. It felt good to see longs locks of my hair falling to the floor. I was so ready to shed my goody-two-shoes look. But I think that as he was cutting, he got a bit scissor-happy and decided to just keep going. He had said he was going to keep it long, but the end result is...well, kind of a mullet. The first thing I thought when I saw it was "Joan Jett." Alex gets Farrah Fawcett and I get Joan Jett. Great.

At first, I was pretty happy with it, but as the day went on, I started to get really self-conscious about it. The bangs look great and I LOVE them, but the long hair is just too thin. There isn't enough of it. Overall, though, people have been really complimentary of it. I expected to get ridiculed at work, but everyone seems to like it. Just not me. Oh well, I'll try out some different styles today and see if I can get it to where I like it.

I took some pictures, but they actually look better than the real thing! Which I suppose is good, as normally pictures of me look worse than the real thing. Anyway, here they are, in all their chestnut-y glory:

And the morning-after shot.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


I've totally failed on the photo-a-day thing. Totally. I'm sure no one is surprised, least of all me. Also, I'm failing on the positive thinking thing. Job hunting makes me crabby.

Life sucks. Adulthood sucks. I sent off my visa extension application today and was immediately filled with a sense of dread. I'm not sure if they'll accept my bank statements, which in the end I had to print off from my online summary of transactions. That's right. I waited 10 days for the bank to send them to me, and they never arrived.

Now I'm trying to finish my application for the Peace Corps, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that I'll be rejected. On their website, they give suggestions for how to be a more competitive applicant, and they say that you basically need 3-6 months of experience of working in the types of projects you'd want to do for the Peace Corps.

Okay, no. Positive thinking. I WILL be accepted. I AM a strong candidate. It will all be okay. Now I just need to repeat that until I start believing it...