jenepel: (HIMYM: Flight suit up!)
Ah, February. Thank God. The annoyance and horror and general miserableness that was January has finally passed. (I kid. It wasn't really *quite* that bad.) Anyway, now we have February: Valentines Day, my birthday, and two fabulous concerts! (Panic! At the Disco and My Chemical Romance) Plus B is going away for a week. Yay! And hopefully the weather will get better?

I hate to inflict on you all the general rant about me not using my journal anymore and how do I even catch up, etc, so I'm limiting it to this one sentence, but UGH ME. I suck. (Okay, two sentences!)

I can't even tell you what I did in January. Sat around in my room a lot I think? It was nice after the craziness of Nov/Dec to not have many plans, but it kind of made me a slug. I read a few books (the Hunger Games trilogy! OMG!) and watched almost three whole seasons of ABC Family's Greek. (When she first asked me a about it, [livejournal.com profile] silly_cleo thought it was about actual Greek people. Evidently "the Greek system" is not known as a phrase over here. Something I hadn't considered.) I also almost completely caught up on all of my other shows from this year, which is kind of amazing, since I was 9-10 episodes (ie the whole fall/winter half season) behind on some. So, yay TV watching?

Oh and also I went to lots of movies (8!) with [livejournal.com profile] silly_cleo and [livejournal.com profile] minihannah in a determined bid to make sure we're getting our money's worth on our Cineworld Unlimited Cards. The best of them had to be The King's Speech! If you haven't seen it you're crazy. Go see it. And also Morning Glory, which was ridiculously cute. Cleo and I shelled out real money to see Burlesque on Orange Wednesday b/c we missed it at Cineworld, and it was totally worth that £6. (Which means the full movie price was £12, since O_Wed means 2 for 1. London movies prices, seriously!) I said when we went in that I wanted the movie to be 80% dancing and 20% plot, and it totally did not disappoint. Loved it.

I'm also in the middle of trying to sort out various computer/organisational things out. I got a new macbookpro in December, which may or may not have been a smart move, moneywise. But it is shiny and pretty and has a 500g harddrive just waiting to be filled, so that part is awesome. But I'm kind of using that excuse to transfer and sort all my files, which is...taking a while. Also, I am moving my booklist to Goodreads, after a ridiculous method of site choosing whereby I finally took the Rory route and made some pro/con lists. But, amoung other things, it has an iphone app that reads book barcodes! It's awesome! You can find me here if you want to add me: Jenn. I'm still kind of sorting it all out, but should be up and running better soon.

Work is starting to get busy-ish, which is good. I was so BORED, and it wasn't good for my mood. The tax season, while stressful, is always a lot more fun then sitting around just scanning & filing things. (Or being told by B to go home b/c there isn't enough to do, and thus not getting paid.) Also, still kind of trying to figure out what I'm doing on my own, business wise. I really really need to work on a website, so that's kind of next on my list. I'm hoping this year to do a better job of weighting my holidays to the second half of the year, so that they get timed to the period where I have less work. That way I can feel less guilty about taking the time off! Or something.

This year I had no idea how the contract thing would affect me (ie how little hours B would let me work in Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec) and thus took too much time off early on and ended up losing money. I made less money this year then I have in 4-5 past, which is scary. But, on the bright side, I have just negotiated a 15% raise (going forward from Jan 1st), so hopefully I'll work a bit more in the front half of the year and also earn more, and it will improve. Plus - more of my own clients? We'll see. At the moment I'm trying to decide if I have enough of them to justify moving to the larger tax system that I covet. MUCH more expensive, but infinitely more flexible and accurate and easy to use. Plus, it's what we have at work, so I'm familiar with it. IDK. At the beginning of January/end of December I was miserable at work and saying I needed to quit and it was bad for me, etc. Now that we have work (and he's hired on another girl for secretarial, just for the season) I feel fine. So I don't really know what to do with that.

Anyway, if you know any Americans in London (or elsewhere!) who need their taxes done, send them my way. Tis the season.
jenepel: (Nanowrimo: "Keep Calm")
Possibly I'll never write a normal off the cuff entry again? Or is that too crazy to say? :) I have started this entry five billion times (it keeps giving me a "saved draft") so here, have some waffling!

A baffling mix of old and new! )
jenepel: (GoGi: Blair "alone")
I don't know why, but I'm all worried this week. There isn't even one particular reason or anything bad happening, I just seem to have this general feeling of unease. It's very strange. Partly it might be the upcoming US trip, which I am in no way ready for, and yet I leave in just over a week. I don't even know what I particularly need to do to be "ready" for it, other than the usual nonsense of packing and sorting out computer backups and such, but somehow it just seems to have snuck up on me. Maybe because it feels so soon after I got back from South Africa? IDK. I guess it is a bit up in the air in general b/c I am flying standby and still don't have the dates quite set, and also my friend Drew (who is giving me the AA pass) will not answer his freaking phone so that we can plan some more. Argh.

I've been worrying a little about money too, mostly because I seem to be spending a lot of it. I think it's just coming on the heels of the World Cup trip, and now planning my US one. Hopefully it won't be super expensive, but three weeks away (without pay) is just that, and you can't deny it. And then I've been looking at iphone plans (thinking about getting a business plan actually, since I'll be using it for that too, we'll see) and telling myself how it really is a complete and total luxury expense. Then there's the fact that I really want a new computer, but can't really justify that considering mine is only 3.5 years old and still works. Tom (current subletter) actually offered to buy it the other day. I don't even know how we started that conversation, but the possibility now will not leave my head. And I have shopped a bit lately (I NEVER SHOP) and got some new shoes for the wedding, and some other bits and pieces of things that I kind of needed but that still felt a bit decadent, b/c, IDK, spending money or whatever.

And then, on the subject of subletters, we have house type worries. Our lease is up in just seven weeks, which is really an outrageously short time, especially considering I won't be back until the last month of it. We have no idea what Amy is doing, thus we don't know if we need to fill one room (if she stays) or two (if she leaves), and whether one of those will be sublet for a while (if she stays to November) or filled completely. And there are other possibilities for people who might want to move in, but at the moment I kind of feel like none of them are actually going to happen, so we're gonna end up scrambling for strangers. Either way, we have at least one room to fill, and there is no way Claire and I (and Sarah) can cover rent if we don't get people in both of those rooms, so that NEEDS to be sorted soon so that we can put up ads or whatever else. In general the whole situation is FREAKING ME OUT. I am just so tired of continually having to worry about moving, or finding a new place, or finding new people to fill our current place, or whatever. I really just want to buy something and live there for ages. But again with the not so financially viable or sensible yet. Maybe in a year or so? (So yeah, anyone know someone looking for a room in London starting in Sept? It's an awesome house, really.)

Plus, on the incoming money side, B keeps cutting my hours at work since we're not too busy at the moment (off season), which is just really frustrating. I know it's essentially what I agreed to when I said I would be a contract employee (and there are other benefits), but I also remember at the time being worried about this exact thing and him reassuring me that it wouldn't be a problem because "there was always work to do". Yeah, so we see how that turned out. So mostly, working less hours but still coming in every day sucks, although it makes me feel a lot less guilty about extending the days of my US holiday even more. It also makes me feel bound and determined that I need to be set up SOON with a website and email and etc so that I can properly start advertising on my own. I'm just so sick of depending on B as my main job, I'm antsy to get more freelance. But then I start worrying about my EA exam, which I have not scheduled and am not doing a very diligent job of studying for, and I freak out again. It's a vicious, evil, and stupid cycle.

On top of that, I've just been feeling really alone. Mostly I just kind of float along, and to be honest I've been single for so long that I'm pretty independent and not so good at dealing with giving over control to anyone else. (This may have possibly tanked potential relationship in the past - I can be super stubborn.) But with all these worrying feelings, sometimes I just want someone else to kind of take over and tell me that it's okay and I'm being silly or whatever. Because in my head I know that there is nothing too bad going on in my life right now, but that doesn't really help on an emotional level. I just kind of wish I had someone to relax and let go with, and just snuggle and be calm. I have more specific feelings about it, but they just make me berate myself for being an idiot in various situations, and not knowing my own mind, so that's not helpful. I'm not sure all of this even makes sense? Maybe I just miss my mom (in the US) and [livejournal.com profile] lazyclaire (in France)? I certainly seem to have gotten pretty emo now that Claire isn't home to take care of me and give out her (really fantastic) hugs. :)

Wow this was a lot of whining. Sorry about that! How about some pictures to take our minds off it all? It's not my July 12 of 12 (coming, maybe?) or even the World Cup pics (still haven't gotten them onto FB), but instead a link to pics some other people kindly posted. :)

I spent last weekend in Devon at Beth's parents' house, at a kind of bonding/goodbye extravaganza for Nick and Julie. It was pretty wrenching for them to actually be leaving (back to the US) for good, but the weekend was, frankly, pretty idyllic. See for yourself...

Sorry these pics are kind of huge, but I'm linking from locked FB and can't figure out a way to resize. )
jenepel: (Office US: Karen "boom")
So I'm at the Mac store, and I just couldn't resist jumping online really quickly. (I had a real reason, I swear - I had to check my email for virtual season stuff!) It's annoying to be online here though, because there are all these people wandering around wanting to be the next person online, and they glare over your shoulder. What? The Mac store's main use isn't free internet? No one told ME that! (Whatever, all those wandering people want the free internet too.) My only sadness is that I didn't get on a MacBookAir - I didn't want to wait that long.

So yeah, I dropped off my dear sweet computer. The "genius" told me that it is a problem either with the inverter cable or the logic board. When I told him about a different problem that happens occasionally (red light in headphone jack and no sound) he said he thought it was definitely the logic board because it would cause that too. So, [livejournal.com profile] iamseb does that mean anything to you?!

Anyway they took it and I get it back in 7-10 days, or in my case 17 because that's the the Monday after I get back from holiday. PERFECT! They are guarding it for me while I'm gone! Couldn't ask for better than that.

Okay, this REALLY IS my last post. No more! See you in two weeks...
jenepel: (HP: Hermione "YAY")
So I’m at work, trying not to worry about all the things I should be doing other than being at work, unable to do them. I did manage to get all the web-based stuff done (except this which I’m doing right now) so that’s good. The thing is we are pretty slow right now (august!) and so it is too much of a temptation to do some of those things rather than the sorting out kind of stuff I could be working on. Riiiight.

I’m annoyed at myself because I didn’t do a reaction post right after Dr Horrible aired. Instead what I have is all these random notes I took, meaning to expand them into an actual post. So there are things I want to say, but now (two weeks after the fact and when I have tons of other stuff to do) I am loathe to bother. So instead, you’re gonna get a brief comment on the two main things I would have talked about had I had more time. And that’s just gonna have to make me happy.

cut for slight Dr Horrible spoilers )

Huh. So actually I meant to say less than even that – what a surprise, I was long-winded! It’s not the best, but it’s all I’ve got time for now.

I guess that’s all I have to say. In about half an hour I’m taking my computer to the Mac store, and I’m all sad about giving it up. It’s really insane how attached I am to it – even the one night that I’m going to be without has be frantically doing anything and everything computer-related that I can think of now, since I know I won’t get to later. On the plus side, I will be able to pack without being distracted by it, so that’s got to be a good thing! But really, is it healthy that when I got the dates for my friend’s wedding in Costa Rica I just happened to be working on the calendar for virtual season 9 and realised that is before the second hiatus, which immediately had me thinking “well, surely they’ll have wireless at the hotel? I can take my computer. Oh, well OF COURSE I’m taking my computer, whether they have wireless or not.” OMG addiction.

Um, yeah, so 14 days without my computer. I can totally survive. I’ve done it for much longer before! And really, I'm so excited about this trip. Plus, in like two days I'm gonna see [livejournal.com profile] basilm! WIN!

And on that note, I’m saying goodbye. This is me going silent until at least August 17th. See you all then…

It’s gonna be FABULOUS!
jenepel: (Conchords: Raining on my face)
My poor little macbookpro! I have no idea what's wrong with it, but the screen is completely messed up. It is doing this thing where it's all kind of pixelated and the colours are wrong. Or there are some colour bars missing or something - I'm not sure. It started doing this a few weeks ago, but it went away after an hour or so. Then it came back a few days later. Then it went away again. And then last Friday it came back, and now it seems to be permanent. I am NOT HAPPY.

I made an appointment at the Mac Store for Friday, but I was wondering if anyone had any experience with something like this. I did a few screenshots, but when I looked at them on my work computer they were completely clear. So it's definitely the screen itself and not the information being sent to it. So I got out my camera and took some pics.

Pics under the cut )

Scary huh? They had better not even TRY to say that it's my fault. It hasn't been dropped or stepped on or anything. And I have a very cosy case for it. Apple care had better cover this or heads will roll...

In other news, today I wrote a little bit more of my fic. Someday soon I might even finish it. And my boss got home today, very happy with how the office looks - as in, it's clean. (Little does he know how much crap Kiki and I threw away while he was gone since we knew he wouldn't miss it all.) Just b/c I'm proud of them, here are some of the boxes I did:



Of course there's a binder detailing where every different kind of file is in those, and where every specific client is too. That's pretty much more organised then he's ever had his back files, I can guarantee it.

Also, post about the weekend (perhaps with pics) coming soon. For now, I'm off to bed.
jenepel: (Buzzcocks: Simon with sign)
It's 2AM.  What am I doing?  I'm watching Never Mind the Buzzcocks on YouTube.  What should I be doing?  I don't know - one of the many millions of things I need to do before Cat and Jared get here Thursday and my life kicks into overdrive.  Oh Christmas, I do love you, but you make life insane.  Oh yes, I suppose (since I have to work tomorrow at 8:30) that technically what I should be doing is sleeping.  But I just got my computer back today, so actual work or sleep is difficult as I find it hard to tear myself away.  I've pretty much been on since I got home, including a two hour conversation with Trev.  (Never mind that he'll be here in 6 days.  I love Skype.)


Hmmm..what else?  Have I mentioned how much I HEART Never Mind the Buzzcocks?  It is the win.  I don't think I laugh at anything else quite as much as I do during that show.  (Not so much during the Mark Lamar years, but now that Simon is on.)  Also, Ryan Jarman from the Cribs came back and was a guest again a few weeks ago.  BEST GUEST EVER.  I don't even know why, but he has me in fits every time he opens his mouth.  At least my brother agrees with me on this point.

Oh yes, and MY BROTHER GETS HERE IN SIX DAYS!  Sorry for all the caps but it merits them.

Here's the plan:
Mon night (heh - now) - make bed, pack up presents, sleep
Tues - work, meet with new boss, pack for parents house, clear side floor
Wed - work, spend night with [profile] teaatsix (nearer airport)
Thur - pick up C&J at airport, half day work
Fri - work party (last one)
Sat - Choral service at Albert Hall
Sun - TREVOR ARRIVES!, Terracotta Warriers exhibit, go to my parents (evening)
Mon - Christmas Eve (start of week off)
jenepel: (AD: Lucille wink)
This is just a quick update post.  I have no computer.  It has been taken away from me.  The apple store has it - they are to clean the keys and also fix the DVD drive (I didn't say in here but it's messed up too).  But it could take like a week.  That's a really really long time without a computer.  I'm at [profile] basilm's place right now (thus this entry) but this will be the last nighttime computer for a while.  Hmmm....maybe I will actually get something done?

Also, I have many many more icons and it makes me very happy.  Now I just want to use them ALL!
jenepel: (Holiday: All I want for Christmas)
[NOTE: My H key only works if I press down hard and stop to actually notice it.  While typing fast I do not plan to do that, so please ignore any missing H's in the following message.]

I went to the Apple store on Regent street today.  I don't know wy I even bothered taking my computer since tey are always insanely busy and it's impossible to get an appointment.  Here's me: "treacle! on my keyboard!" *freaks out*.  Here's him: "we don't have appointments til Wed. *looks unconcerned*.  Riiight.  So I have an appointment at the "genius bar" (heh) on Wed night after work.  They better but fix it good.

I came home from work and napped, mostly because I pulled on all-nighter Sunday night due to the fact that my sleeping was off whack from my weekend.  This is the second week in a row I have done that.  It does not make Monday work fun.  And ten I woke up now (2:30AM) and decided to actually get a few things done instead of going straigt back to sleep.  I am oever, looking forward to the three hours of sleep before work that I am going to get as soon as I finish this entry.  Yay.

I had two strange dreams, both of which were ridiculously grounded in real life:

1.  I dreamed I had decided to go back to te US for graduate scool (someting I have considered at times, althoug not at the moment).  I must have just gotten there and I totally freaked out.  I was all "but I miss London!  I must go back to London!  That is where I belong!" and they wouldn't let me leave.  I had already signed a lease and they wouldn't give me all my tuition money back and everything was *permanent* and there was a whole bunch of sheer panic on my side.  So that's interesting.  I guess I want to stay here for now.  :)  Wow, subconscious, be a little *subtle* why don't you?

2.  Very weird and disjointed Christmas shopping dream where I wandered Oxford street and it just seemed to get longer and busier every second (not unlike the real thing).  There was lots of singing but I couldn't tell where it came from.  This is funny because literally EVERY DAY after work I do this:
*get out of work and walk to the edge of Oxford street*
Think: wow, I really need to buy a few gifts.  I have nothing ready.
*
stare at crazy crowds of people and scary glitzy window decor*
Think: maybe tomorrow?
*get on bus and go home instead*
Yeah, it's not getting any shopping done but it's my routine and I like it!

And on that note, I am off to bed!  I really wish I would upload my icons.  I have all these in mind that I plan to upload and am not getting to use yet.  Night all.

[EDIT:  CRAP!  Just realised I didn't get the confirm email about my appointment that I was supposed to get from te Mac store.  Now I'm gonna have to look into that and bug people tomorrow.]
jenepel: (Piz "I want to die")
So today I made ginger cookies (okay, not gingerbread b/c I still don't have a cutter or the right kind of vinegar, ANYWAY) and I used black treacle, which turned out to be the closest thing to molasses.  (As in, thick, black and sticky like tar.)  And while I was making said cookies I was using a recipe online and also talking to my brother on skype.  So that means my computer was in the kitchen.  Which, ok, stupid - but you know how it is with a laptop?  You just get used to lugging it everywhere, and it's not like you aren't concerned with its safety, but you kind of figure you are enough of an adult to deal with it and not mess it up.  Is this true of Jenn?  OH NO.  People, here we go:

I SPILLED BLACK TREACLE (OK MOLASSES) ON THE KEYBOARD OF MY MACBOOK PRO.  SERIOUSLY, I DID THIS TODAY.

I am an idiot.  Now, as you can see from the fact that I am doing this entry (and it's the only computer I own) said computer is still working.  I got a cloth with hot water and wiped it up immediately and most of the scary amount of treacle came away with the cloth.  But it went UNDER THE KEYS PEOPLE.  UNDER THE FRAKKING KEYS OF MY MACBOOK PRO.  (Okay, forgive the caps but I'm a little upset.  There is no one here to complain to except my brother who already got a full earful of cursing over skype.)  So right now the keyboard works, but the H key and the N key are very very tight and sticky.  The H key is the worst.  Every time I press it, it just kind of STAYS DOWN and then slowly slowly eases up.  This seriously freaks me out.  I'm taking it to the Mac store tomorrow.  Perhaps they have a way to pry the keys up and clean them?  I don't know, I didn't want to experiment.

Geez.  What a thing to happen.  I'm an idiot for sure.

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December 2011

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