Wednesday, April 30, 2008

back and not jet-lagged!

we arrived back in the UK on monday night. we left my sister's house around 4 a.m. local time, and arrive back at our flat around 11 p.m. england time. was strange, leaving in the dark and arriving in the dark. but, i'm really happy we found a flight that left monday and arrived monday, as the overnight flights really toy with one's body clock. the flights were non-eventful, no jettisoned fuel, etc.

lots and lots of turbulence; in fact, on our flight to newark from cleveland the drinks service was canceled because the pilot feared the flight attendants would be injured trying to serve coffee. haha, i've never really experienced that level of shakiness, but it surprisingly wasn't that big of an issue, perhaps because the flight was only an hour long. we had equal amounts crossing the atlantic, but due to the near-emptiness of the flight, it didn't really matter. something about being able to stretch out across aisles of seats makes all air-related issues more tolerable, i'm learning.

the abta walk was a success and lots of fun. we raised more than $1000 for brain tumor research! was a cold day, and some of us opted to jog instead of walk. i think for an ex-cross country runner, 11 minute miles was very respectable, considering i haven't run a 5K in probably 10 years. i'm hoping next year i'll be in better shape.

my friend charlie was in london, on holiday from his teaching job in france, so richard and i met up with him, his friend jen and my friend sigga yesterday evening. after drinks in the nordic bar, we headed to brick lane for an impromptu curry as well. i like brick lane curry, but i wasn't blown away by last night's meal. we noticed a curry house across the street after we sat down that we'll try next time.

oh, and i have 2 more job interviews this week. tomorrow's is still being set up, and to be honest, i'm not that sure what the job entails exactly. i'd agreed to the recruiter sending my CV last friday, and i'm still waiting to receive the job specs. it's a proj management job with a marketing research company in london bridge, and that's all i know. the second interview is a 3-month contract. so, we'll see what happens.

we brought back insane amounts of cheap toiletries and american food that i still need to sort through. but ah, here are shots of our last american breakfast (if you don't count burger king at the airport--and really, is that food?). goat cheese and fig omelet, pancakes... mmm. this was from dali's cafe in downer's grove, illinois. i think most of the table concurred it was probably the best breakfast we'd ever eaten. er, the best breakfast we could remember in recent memory.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

british invasion

wait, can i say that? i guess i'm not really british.

we're off to the states tomorrow--ungodly early, and arriving at 11 p.m. GMT. but, i think we'll manage, only because i know we'll be consuming mas enchiladas y margaritas once we land--yes, mexican food, i can already smell the onions, cumin and cilantro (read: NOT coriander!).

it's a short trip, but it should be good. i mean, the mexican food will taste good. and my sister's manicotti, of course! and oh yeah, the brain tumo(u)r walk--saved the best for last. we're at $900 of our $1000 goal! i'm sure we'll reach it!

Monday, April 21, 2008

two favorite recent onion articles

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


richard and i are heading to the states in just over a week to participate with the family in the American Brain Tumor Association Path to Progress 5K in Chicago. whew. luckily, it's a 5K run/walk.

my mom and i participated in the event last year--had no idea or preconception as to what the event would be like. it was great, albeit emotional. i was very weepy and basically bawled for the first mile or so, if i remember correctly. but a good bawl. cathartic bawl.

the event is basically an effort to raise money for brain tumor research, and most teams raise money in memory of a loved one. we were blown away last year by the t-shirts and sizes of the teams. this year, i think we're hoping about 10 of us can make it. richard designed some pretty cool logos--and coupled with my sister's color-choosing skills, i think we have some rather stylin' threads.

you can check out our team blog, and the blog links to the fundraising site as well, if'n you want to join the team or donate some cash. i'm just hoping i'm in good enough shape to make it across the line, haha.

Friday, April 11, 2008

and then the interviews turn into downpours...

the interviews--the first one didn't go well. i got the impression right away that i didn't 'click' with her--and i'm not kidding--she rolled her eyes the WHOLE time. it was to the point where i thought she had something medically wrong, some kind of strange tick. really, she was just a cold bitch. we couldn't even find common chit-chat about her favorite american city--chicago--which sort or prepared me for what i was in for right off the bat. i got the impression she already had someone in mind and she was curious if i'd 'blow her away,' which she really gave me no chance to. she kept repeating that it was 'informal' but it was anything but.

it wasn't just her--i got REALLY nervous. but when someone is sitting there rolling their eyes at everything i say, i mean, it wasn't conducive to relaxing. i feel rotten about the whole thing; but, i stuck with it, was asking lots of questions, showed that i understood what the company does and that i'm interested, yadda yadda, but she totally didn't care. i talked to the recruiter after, and she said the interviewer could tell i knew my stuff and was articulate and well-presented but that i lacked confidence. ugh. yeah, i flopped, like a cartoon goldfish flopping around after escaping from a fish tank.

as bad as i felt, when i walked away, after asking her about a hundred questions as to what the role entailed, she couldn't answer them very well. in the end, i don't think it's what i would have wanted, and honestly, if i had to work with someone like her--haha. but i hate when i don't perform as well as i should. i let it get me down too much.

it did force me to reflect on exactly what is that i want to do (for work). which, i'm realizing, has the opposite to do with a company with a stupid name that creates reports punctuated with an abundance of exclamation points that are full of really obvious observations about customer habits in retail. i mean, seriously, do you need a report telling convenience stores that because customers like to buy milk, you should stock milk? seriously. i read that report. i guess i should be even more selective when job opportunities cross my path--really research the hell out of them. make sure their company name has no exclamation points! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! not that i'm bitter. hmph.

the second interview was cancelled about an hour beforehand. that was the job i REALLY worked hard to prep for--had about 10 pages of notes, had all my interests stacked up and aligned with their guiding principles. was so well up to speed--but i guess i just take that enthusiasm for the next one. sigh. it was cancelled because apparently, the company ALREADY MADE SOMEONE AN OFFER and they accepted yesterday. so, um, i guess i wasn't technically in the running from the get go?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

when it rains, it pours job interviews

i have another interview, this one via phone, on thursday afternoon. guess i'll be haulin' ass back to guildford so i don't have to interview on the train in the bathroom! this one is for a project manager position with a digital marketing agecny. better sounding company name than the first company i'm interviewing with. i hope i'm offered both jobs. would be lovely to go from no prospects to 2 in less than a week's time.

Monday, April 7, 2008

job interview!

i have a job interview on thursday, with a promising-sounding role as client executive in a 'research-based retail consultancy' company in london. yay! should i go in and sing this song, i wonder?

surrey snow!

we woke up yesterday to find snow! here are some shots; from the front window:

and the back garden:it snowed like crazy on our way to the train station, but by the time we got to london, it was melted. and of course, by the time we got back to guildford in the evening, the snow was melted. but it was fun to see proper snow! albeit in april.

i'll have the fish, too

i sort of feel like my nephew, sharing foods i've tried for the first time on my blog. i had haddock today, in fish-and-chips style, deep-fried with garden peas on the side. i must say, i wasn't that impressed. we went to the sea shell restaurant, a decidedly 'best of' fish and chips spot in the UK. but, according to the from-the-north husband, and even our american guests, it wasn't what they'd expected. it was good--buttery, flaky, non-fishy tasting... but i don't know. i just don't eat meat. i don't eat fish. i don't like the taste of either, or so i remember, and eating deep-fried haddock today didn't really change my mind. but i'm willing to give it another shot...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

they grow up fast these days

can you believe, my nephew is only a year old--look what he gets away with! we airbrushed out the cigarette...

kidding, of course! ah, photoshop...

Friday, April 4, 2008

ban ugg boots!

a woman was hit by a train and killed in Colchester when her ugg boot became trapped in a cattle grid while trying to cross railway tracks. so, besides the obvious--ugg boots are a hiddeously ugly--they also cause fatal accidents. burn them!

madonna still trying to find herself

this post from the onion blog 'the hater' made me laugh really hard. especially the semester abroad in costa rica advice, as that's exactly how it works in foreign lands.

the job front

well, perhaps my meeting with a recruiter last week is helping. and suddenly, my posting on monster from last november is working now, too. this a.m. i had 2 calls in 2 minutes, both from recruiters with prospective jobs! i'm still sorting out interviews and all that, but should know more by the end of today. both jobs actually look quite promising--both are in london, both in digital marketing/media, both traffic/project management related, etc. basically, both jobs i feel i can land. woo!