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: (DLM: George "aw shit")
My brother just called me from the Emergency Room. They think he has appendicitis. He's getting a CT scan, and they will probably have to operate tonight.

He has no insurance. And yeah, that's stupid of him, and it's his own fault, yada yada. But, you know, he works in a restaurant, he earns like $15000 a year, and he's lived his entire life (bar the last three years) in a country where healthcare is free. He said he has looked into it, but he needed his health records from the UK and never kind of bothered to get them, and that it would be like $100 a month for the basic care, so he was putting it off. Stupid, yeah, but I get it. He's young, healthy, etc.

Fuck the fucking US health care system. He's looking at a $20000 bill for this operation, which means that my parents are looking at that bill (I guess) because it's not like he has the money. I can't even believe that you can go into a hospital and be sick through no fault of your own and have a necessary operation and it can freaking bankrupt you like that. It is so far out of my realm of experience that I will literally NEVER understand it.

I guess in a few years, if the new bill is good, he would have to get insurance, and it would be subsidised, because he must be low income. (And I think if I'm remembering right, that it starts at $40000 income and graduates down.)

BUT WHATEVER. Not like that helps him now. Hopefully he'll call back in a few hours and say the CT scan went alright (and cost him what, $2000 or so?) and that he doesn't need the operation. But it wasn't sounding good.

The ridiculous thing is that I should be thinking about how scary it is that he might be going in for an op like this, totally last minute, and all I can think of is the money. But $20000! That's terrifying. Fuck.
jenepel: (Random: Traveler)
I'm in Norway!! I know I wasn't supposed to be online this soon, but the crazy events of today mean that (a) I have wi-fi tonight and (b) I feel the need to at least get a base outline of today down since it was so completely draining and unexpected. And then bed!

So yes, instead of being nicely tucked in at my friends' hytta, I am in a hostel in central Bergen. How did that happen, you ask? (Well, in my mind you do...) Um, yeah. The events of today:

1) national rail replacement buses + victoria line suspended + my natural slowness + national express bus taking 30 mins longer than advertised due to traffic + ryanair and their MEGA long lines despite everyone having booked in ahead of time online = JENN MISSING HER FLIGHT

Serious suckage here. I was thinking back, and I can't think of another time in all my flying that I've actually missed a flight just for being late to it. I've come close plenty of times, but I think this is the first time it's actually happened. I've missed one due to airline screwups, missed connections, weather, etc but not through my own means. So that's a first.

2) Working against time (my computer's 20 min battery life + the 30 mins of wi-fi access I paid for) my mom and I (on the phone with her) concurrently searched any and every airline site we could think of to either get me out today or find a flight in the next few days that was reasonably priced. I thought I was going to have to call my boss and be all "hey, guess who's coming to work tomorrow!" but thankfully it was not to be. Instead we found a €100 flight on Norwegian air, out of Gatwick. Of course it was a night flight, since by now it was around noon, and flying into Bergen instead of Haugesund as planned, but those were small complications. I called Kathleen, and after much negotiation it was decided that I could find a hostel for tonight and that they would come into Bergen tomorrow. And so, flights were bought, hostels were booked, etc.

3) I hopped BACK on the national express bus to go to Gatwick (I was at Stansted for RyanAir). This is a three hour journey that costs frakking £30. Insane. NE are not my favourite company right now.

4) Got to Gatwick around 3:30 and killed 3 hours until I could check in. Checked in and got to lounge. Flight delayed. OMFG!

5) Finally flew out around 9:30 PM GMT, arrived 12ish CET. Wandered through the airport until I found a bus to the center of town, wandered around the center of town until I lucked upon my hostel. (This was really lucky actually - Bergen is really really deserted at night. There was literally NO ONE to ask and I didn't have a map.)

6) Hostel is quite cool actually since it's all automated - swipe your credit card, they give you a key card, every door opens with a code, etc. No people around at all. Also, I have a private room because that's all they had. Normally I wouldn't have sprung for it, but the way the day was going I was just happy to find one that had room and said it was very near the bus station. Also FREE WI-FI!

So yes, I am here, and the holiday can begin! I can't say when I left my house around 7AM this morning that I had any idea about all of this, but such is life. At least I only lost about half a day (OH AND LOTS OF MONEY) because of it.

Let us never speak of it again. :) BED..........
jenepel: (HIMYM: Flight suit up!)
Well I'm still at work but while I'm sitting at my computer I thought I better toss an entry off, seeing as I'm in the mood. I am woefully behind in anything approaching a real post. It has literally been almost a month - shocking! And I'm to the point where (to cheekily quote [livejournal.com profile] apotropaios: I have realised that the main reason I have not been updating is that it has been so long since my last proper update that I Do Not Have Enough Time Right Now To Update Properly. However, today of the 12th, which means I am taking pictures and should post tomorrow, and I can't stand doing that without some sort of actual entry in the way. Ah summer, see what you do to me?!

And so. Things from the last month (!!) that deserve a mention...

As per the title, inordinate amounts of money have been spent. I finally got two holidays sorted out - Norway and Serbia - and have paid for the flights, etc etc. Of course everything turned out to be more expensive than it was supposed to, due to procrastination, exchange rates, whatever. But now the money has been spent and all that remains is to go. So yay! I also made it to the opticians, which sorely needed doing, and of course was stratospherically expensive. My current glasses are almost two years old, and the prescription turned out to be scarily out of date (to the tune of -2 diopters more) so new glasses ahoy! After a scary conversation with one optician where he said the lenses alone would be £450, I was quite happy to come back the next week and speak to a less dramatic doctor, who talked it down to £300. Which is a lot, but sounded less in comparison - maybe they were playing good cop, bad cop? Anyway, evidently negative 13 diopters (GOOD LORD) is eyes that are just bad enough for special ordering to commence. So after picking the cheapest pair of "cool" frames I could find, I am now almost £400 lighter, but the proud owner of shiny new glasses that help me see wonderfully. Ah well. Needs must. New contacts were also ordered, but that is far less exciting.

Many fun social things have happened that are not worth going into in detail. The most notable probably being that we had our annual fantastic picnic on Hampsted Heath. I don't say annual in that we only plan to do it once, but rather that we managed to do it on near the exact same day as going last year. Weird. It's probably just the time of year that it starts to get warm. Anyway, many and varied people came, much yummy food was eaten, and we once again failed to fly the kite. Oh! And we also brought the croquet set - Phil's suggestion I believe - which was awesome. Croquet is always good. It's like Scottish dancing or karaoke - people aren't sure if they'll like it, they feel a bit silly about it, but once they get going everyone is all in.

Other miscellany? We had a whole bunch of visitors, including Claire and Amy's cat for a few days. We went to a party at C&A's house and were involved in ~much drama~. I reread Half Blood Prince in preparation for the movie and then promptly fell headfirst back into the world of Harry Potter fanfic (Draco/Harry if you must know - shut up). In TV news I watched seasons 1-3 of Weeds and am now working on 4. Seb and I saw Star Trek at the IMAX. I really want to see it again, so hopefully Rach and I are going to use an orange wednesday once I get back from holiday.

Yes! Holiday! I leave for Norway in ONE DAY!!!!! I am beyond excited. It's where my parents were living when they met (Oslo), and two of my best friends grew up there (Bergen) and yet I've never been. One of said friends (living in the UK now) has just bought a hitta there and is spending most of the summer there with her two little boys. So I'm off on a bit of a working holiday - painting, decorating and such - but also to just hang out and play with the kids and relax. I CANNOT WAIT.

Hmmm, yeah that seems good enough. :) I will endeavour to be better in June/July. (Two thirds of June will be gone once I get back.)
jenepel: (SN: Dan "subject of your mockery")
So evidently you can get the Sky Movie channels even if you have Virgin - it's only Sky One you can't get.  So I just called Virgin to ask how much that add-on would cost for a month.  It's £18!!  COME ON PEOPLE!  That's like $40.  Just so I can watch the Oscars.

And yet.

And yet.

I'm kinda considering it.

I'm crazy, I know.  I mean it's stupid - that's like two movie DVD's or one TV boxset, or like 4-5 books.  So spending that kind of money just to watch the Oscars (and have 10 movie channels for a month) is silly.  Although I would get those movie channels.  I wonder what the Sky channels are showing in the next month.  Maybe it's good stuff that's worth £18?

Oy vey.  Maybe I better sleep on this one?  

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December 2011

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