Travel

I need someone to brit-pick my damn blog!


October 21, 2013 :: 9:10 AM

The tube station is Tower HILL. TOWER HILL. Not Tower Bridge.

Dumbass.

Spent a good chunk of yesterday with a massive sinus headache. Couldn’t knit because of the hole in my finger, decided not to read fan fic because all it did was make me want to write more, couldn’t read an actual book because I couldn’t focus on the plot, couldn’t even really focus on the TV.

SO. FUCKING. BORED.

About the only useful thing I did was skim a London tour book I had looking for creepy spots to place bodies. I found quite a few.

It’s really a shame that we’re not going to London before NaNo, because I’d really like to check out the body dump sites for myself.

(HI, US GOVERNMENT! Now that you’re done being children and have time to get back to more important things, are you loving my google searches on writing gay sex, the differences between a .9MM handgun and a .38, blood spatter, knives, serial killers and best places to dump a body in London yet? You’ll notice, too, that I’ve been googling ways to leave the country. I’m sure you’ll put two and two together and get seven, but I wouldn’t expect any less of you morons.)

——

side note: tumblr claims ‘Merlin’ is more homoerotic than ‘Sherlock’. With lines like “You’re not going to put it in my mouth!” “I am, and you’re going to swallow!” I can see why.

——

Speaking of leaving the country… woke up this morning excited to continue my UK job search. I’m also going to look into UK colleges/universities and research MBA programs today.

I have a friend on FB (a guy I knew during my entire journey through the Manchester public school system, but that’s really as far as it went) who is fascinated by my expat-ing progress. (Yeah. I made a word. Deal with it.) I’ve been discussing it with him pretty in-depth and it’s kind of cool to be able to have those discussions with him.

But I don’t bring that up to talk about becoming an expat, because really, it’s all right there in the first sentence of this section. I bring it up because out of my 91 (92 once I add N’s wife) friends on FB, most of them are people I was - at best - acquaintances with. Now through the magic of the internet and bipolar meds, I’m able to form lasting relationships. REAL friendships. I keep my FB friends under 100 on purpose. If you make the cut, it means you’re really important to me. (Aaaaaawwwwww! Schmoop!)

I think it’s Facebook’s only real value to me right now because I’m losing interest in being on the site all day every day. (Proof that I’m ready to rejoin the living and get out of this depression?)

——

While we’re talking schmoop, I had some pretty intense Marlas dreams last night. Nothing but fluff… lots of fluff. Couch cuddles and top of head kisses. Bears polar and the seven dwarfs. Sitting around the portacabin making fun of Carolyn. Playing charades with Arthur (even though we all know that’s a TERRIBLE idea.) Just being cute.

Dog, I miss them. A lot.

I really had no idea how much I missed them until they were gone.

I don’t want to waste all that time I’ve spent doing the research for the casefic, but I’m really leaning towards doing the 30 Day OTP Challenge for NaNo.

Anything to spend more time with my boys…

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose


October 20, 2013 :: 9:44 AM

Tower Bridge

tower bridge on a rainy london night, 2008

I missed a good part of a 7-3 drubbing of the Wisconsin Badgers last night because I was too deep in my head to notice what was going on.

(Wow. Drubbing’s a weird word choice. Where did that come from?)

Anyhoo… three is a magic number, and right now I have three options:
1) Get a Tier 2 visa (employment sponsorship)
2) Become a German citizen
3) Go to grad school and get an MBA

I think German citizenship is the easiest since I can prove a “right” to citizenship through my mother. Grad school may be the second easiest, and of course, finding a damn job might just be downright impossible. Not that I’m going to stop looking for work, but I do worry that the fact that I don’t have a work visa / sponsorship yet is hurting me. I’m just going to stay positive and throw my CV at every position I fit the requirements for no matter where it is in the UK.

To quote Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

To quote myself, “This the year of flinging stuff and seeing what sticks.”

——

I discovered last night that I REALLY miss my versions Douglas and Martin. That’s probably why I couldn’t stop the trilogy at three episodes and kept pushing it out to four and almost five. I still can’t decide what I’m going to do for NaNo. There’s definitely the (getting more attractive) option of doing a 30 day OTP Challenge with those two. I could probably knock out 30 days of 2,000 word vignettes… they wouldn’t have to be related, so that’s nice. I wouldn’t use the leftover bits from the trilogy, but I do like some of the ideas I introduced and maybe I can expand on them or make them better.

Now I see why AtlinMerrick writes so many stories focused on her versions of Sherlock and John.

——

Speaking of Sherlock and John:

I’ve spent the past two days charting out/researching the Zodiac and trying to figure out how to move his copycat to London.

You know it’s bad when you spend an hour looking at a map of the city and wondering which lake or pond could best replicate Lake Berryessa. (I think I’m ultimately going to cheat and use the Thames or even the Tower Bridge tube station since that has always struck me as a good place to leave a body.)

You know it’s a bit not good when you start asking, out loud, which college is the best one to dump a body at.

You know it’s probably as bad as it’s going to get when you entertain the possibility of asking British friends where the best make out/parking points were when they were growing up. Even if they’re not in London proper.

The Zodiac bounced around three police jurisdictions which meant it was harder to find him. (I don’t know about law enforcement in England, but it’s well documented that our cops don’t like to work together. In their defence, half the time they didn’t know that an unsolved murder in their jurisdiction may match one in another unless they saw it in the news or something. Now, of course, technology has made it easier for them to all play nice through national fingerprint databases and all that shit…)

I’m pretty sure I’m going to break from the real Zodiac’s path towards the end of the case, too. John always seems to get kidnapped because he’s Sherlock’s weak point, and since there’s a lot of (circumstantial) evidence pointing at a (now dead) man, it seems right that Sherlock solves the unsolvable and delivers a living suspect to the Met.

Besides, if I’m going to fictionalize it, I might as well use the term “based on a true story” and take it from there.

There’s DEFINITELY 50K words there and I’m positive that I can get it done in the 30 days. Maybe sooner if I can get all the research and outline done before November 1st.

*sigh*

——

I have a meeting with a recruiter on Wednesday and then there’s one I used to work with that has a position that I might be a good fit for. I’m resending my resume to him and telling him that he needs to submit it…

——

Monday’s a new day and I’m starting to feel human again. I’m even going to fit in a much needed haircut and get my Cumberbatch on this week.

It’s going to be a good week… I can feel it.

I’ve got a golden ticket!


October 18, 2013 :: 5:54 PM

i never thought my life could be anything but catastrophe, but suddenly I begin to see a bit of good luck for me

The more expensive solicitor humoured me with a little back and forth regarding citizenship matters. (For free!!!!)

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but that lovely (really fragile) little piece of paper up there, written completely in German, and referencing a German city, may allow me to claim German citizenship.

If I can claim German citizenship, we might be able to bypass the Tier 2 sponsored employment bullshit.

I’ve written the German Consulate in Boston, and am going to push this as hard as I can. My mother was not a US Citizen until 1966 which means that for 20 years she was a citizen of… somewhere else. The country she was born in, perhaps? I think they moved to the states in 1949-ish, because (supposedly) she was three when they came here. I can’t find any proof of that and the last time I checked Ancestry.com, they couldn’t prove it either. (Even with the wicked expensive top tier membership.)

I’ve done as much research as I can, but the legalese starts getting ridiculous and then there’s the whole World War II / concentration camp / forced (railroad) workers issue that my grandparents had to deal with. I cannot figure out how that ties into citizenship, but I’ve seen it brought up once or twice.

We’ll see what the Consulate has to say.

In the meantime, I’ll be over here kicking myself for choosing French over German in school…

——

According to my father, the only thing my mother really did right by me was to encourage my love of writing, but right now, I think that’s a distant second to her being born in a European country.

The amount of love I can find for this woman in my shriveled little black heart is directly proportional to how successful my attempt at German citizenship is. I’m not going to lie. So, that said…

Dear universe, I’m sure you understand that she OWES me this.

Consider it an even trade for the cigarette burn scar between my eyes (not a chicken pox scar like I tell everyone).

Consider it an even trade for the other scars on my body.

Consider it an even trade for all the mental abuse (and let’s not forget the fucking bipolar).

I really don’t feel like I’m asking for too much - I just want to prove that I’m “German” even if I come from Ukrainian and Polish blood. 

——

In other news, one comment, eight kudos and six subscribers (and a partridge in a pear tree) for Hartford.

Fuck. Yeah.

Frustrated


October 18, 2013 :: 8:55 AM

how you delete basic facts about the solar system?

Two immigration solicitors out of the four I emailed responded. The news is not good.

One will charge us £200 ($325) for an initial consultation, with that being used as a “deposit” toward their fee if we engage their services. No idea what is included in the consultation, but I will send an email to ask. (I mean, I pretty much knew the answer before I emailed them, so what is there for them to consult me on?)

The other will charge us £750 ($1,215), payment due in full. This one basically told me I was S-O-L as dad would say, or shit out of luck if you don’t speak Charlie. I need to have exceptional talent, a relationship connection with UK/European nationals, or UK ancestry if I had a UK grandparent. I called N my “brother” once to use it as an excuse to get out of work for his wedding, but I don’t think being friends for 15-ish years creates a familial bond no matter how good a friend he is. My grandparents are American, Ukrainian and Polish, so again, I’m screwed.

I’m just going to keep applying to jobs in the UK. I probably don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell, but you never know.

*sigh*

(The only good thing out of all this? I can finally make Polish jokes and not feel bad! WOOO! This is a VERY good thing because our neighbours are partial to holding Polish yard sales.)

——

The first chapter of Hartford is live on AO3. Six kudos so far! I’ve been debating putting it on FFN because their RSS feeds for searches are still broken, but I think I might do that today.

I had a bad night last night - I was so antsy and restless and I couldn’t figure out why. Finally realised that it was because I didn’t need to obsess over the entire trilogy any more. Hartford is locked down and updates are scheduled, Paris is good, and the rewrite of Zurich’s ending surprised me with its awesomeness.

Now what?

I can’t start working on my NaNo outside of research and planning, so I think I’m going to go with the Case!Lock I’ve already started because researching it will keep me busy for the next few weeks. I reread the beginning and I think I’m going to delete it and start fresh. Besides, the idea is to start with nothing and go from there. (I may keep the Mystrade line, but I’m definitely not in love with the rest of it anymore. It starts too abruptly and I learned my lesson with Cabin Pressure - I cannot start in the middle and try to write around it. It doesn’t work for me.)

——

Working on the Christmas present for my trainer has been fun. The socks are knitting up fast because I’m not doing any sort of pattern. The yarn is self-striping and the stripes aren’t very thick, so I think I made the right choice to just let the yarn speak for itself.

I ended up getting a splinter because I’m working on bamboo knitting needles and my finger bled because I really had to dig it out. I’m not sure how I’m going to knit with a big hole in my push-the-needle-through-the-yarn-finger, but I’m going to have to think of something.

——

Figured out a way around my Netflix dilemma: look for movies online and then search for them on the TiVo. I found two acceptably crappy ones to watch yesterday, so life is back to being tolerable.

For now.

——

Guinness is back at the vet. We think he sprained his wrist. This is now the second time he’s injured his left front leg from playing too rough.

I swear, he’s going to put us in the looney bin… or the poorhouse.

Good Friday


October 08, 2013 :: 11:11 AM

in boston, we get signs on the mbta station ceilings that say ‘stay off the ceiling’...

On Friday, I did four states in one day.

Ah, running away from my shitty life never felt so good.

To start the day off on the right foot, I did lunch with a high school friend, only to learn that we are way more alike than I ever would have guessed. There’s very little, personality wise, that we differ on. It was actually quite scary. I’ve honestly never felt like I had anyone who understands me as well as she does. (Of course, instead of wanting to lean on her, it makes me want to stay away… Borderline personality at it’s finest?)

We talked, too, about the high school reunion that we both skipped. She skipped because she can see everyone she wanted to one-on-one. I skipped because I simply hated high school.

In a completely random moment that I’ve been replaying ever since, she said that she knew I hated high school. She said it was obvious.

Mind. Blown.

Then, while we were at lunch, I made the mistake of checking my email. (While she was in the bathroom! I’m not a complete asshole, but being in the middle of a job search I didn’t want to ignore my email.)

I didn’t get the job I really wanted and I was informed that I was no longer eligible for unemployment benefits.

Thankfully, after I dropped her off, I had time to call unemployment and find out what was going on… paperwork mistake on their side.

Too bad I didn’t get as lucky with the job…

After lunch, it was onwards to visit with my favorite little brother and my favorite kid.

The sweater fit L. IT FIT HIM.

Hot damn, I actually got in done in time. He looked adorable in it, too.

We built a rocket ship out of a box and scotch tape. I amazed myself by having a very good time with him. (Remember, I don’t like kids as a general rule… I’ve made a special effort to get over that for J because I know how important family is to him. If I want to continue calling him my little brother, I should act like a big sister… and that means accepting his wife and kid. Especially the kid. I like T - we got off to a rough start, but we’ve started to bond.)

It’s funny - I’ve been rearranging my trips to CT lately so I can spend time with them - and it’s never enough. Some days, I feel like I could move in with them and I still wouldn’t have enough time.

I’ve finally come to the realization that I need my family. (“Family don’t end with blood, boy” - name the show that came from for extra special bonus points!)

Yeah, it’s small, and a little dysfunctional, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Speaking of family, after I left J’s house, I headed to VT to see Black Mountain Symphony.

What a weird night.

It was like I was member #7:
First, they asked me to help with the sound check (walk around and make sure the mix was good) which completely cracked me up. You know I’ve been to too many shows when they can trust me to tell them if the sound is good.

(It reminded me of when Ben flipped out after an instrument show because I pulled a face during one of their songs. He insisted on knowing what went wrong. I think his exact words were something like, “No one knows us as well as you do, so tell me what the fuck happened.” Nothing happened. I didn’t remember making a face. I didn’t remember anything being out of the ordinary. He didn’t believe me…)

Then, Orion asked me to get him a beer… Normally, I’m not the beer bitch, but none of the girlfriends were there, so I guess it did fall to me.  (Taking advantage? Helping out? Six of one, half dozen of the other? I didn’t care - I needed the distraction of flirting with the bartender.)

One of Annie’s friends showed up, so I hung out with her and her girlfriend… The friend (J2) bought me a Coke because I don’t drink, but when she saw me with a beer in my hand, she gave me this LOOK. When I told her it was for Orion, she was OK. It amused me to no end.

These kids are out to corrupt me - between being told that I’d be more fun if I got high and filling my recycle bin with beer cans and booze bottles, it’s obvious they’re a terrible influence on me. *grin*

After the show, this woman climbed Bill like a tree (climbed up on a chair and everything) to give him a hug. It was hilarious. I’ve never seen anything like it.

J2 and I talked for a little bit about how they’ve become my family. After 4 years, they really have. I love them, and I’d do just about anything for any of them. (Except get high. I’m not sure they’d get the anticipated results. Plus, prescription drugs and illegal drugs generally don’t tend to mix well.)

There were a couple of odd moments throughout the entire day that I can’t/won’t blog about… but they certainly made my day. 

Every once in a while, I need those reminders that I’m important to more people than just the Hubby of Wonder.

Every once in a while, I need to be surrounded with people who really know me.

Every once in a while, I need to be surrounded by good music and good friends.

Every once in a while, I get it all in one day…

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