Monday, April 29, 2013

Hired!

So, we got the job.
We knew we would.
The only interview we've had that didn't produce a job in the last year and a half was for a temp agency, and we're sure we were just a required number on their books.

We start next Monday, after the background check, which will come back fine since the last seasonal job we had around Christmastime cleared just fine.

This one is (seasonal) for 6 months or so, but with a company that has room for advancement. We're hoping while we're in University (classes start the end of August) we can continue to keep coming back to this job in the spring-summer until we graduate and then move up.

The pay is great, the hours super flexible (three days a week, if we want), and it involves no customer/patron contact. It'll be perfect...hopefully.

It feels really good. We were starting to get stressed, since we're not eligible for unemployment benefits or anything, and our savings accounts were starting to get lower than we're comfortable with.

In other news, James' interview has been set with immigration; after the error they made, it was scheduled quickly, and so soon we'll be having a stressful interview to see if he gets to stay in the States. We're optimistic. He's nervous and keeping his expectations low. Hopefully it goes well. We have about two weeks to go before that happens.

This feels like it's going to be a good summer.
Or at least a good day. (because let's not get ahead of ourselves).


Thursday, April 25, 2013

State of Mind

So, it's Friday.
Oh, it's Thursday?
Never mind then.

What month is it?

And the year is?

That's pretty much our state of mind this week.

It'll get better.

P.S. we really felt we rocked our job interview today, but we won't know more for a few days. *fingers crossed*

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Little Bitty Irrelevant Update

Last Friday night we registered for our Fall courses for University*.

We're pretty excited to be going back and finishing this specific degree (Communications); and a bit nervous, but only because of the balancing of a Full Time class schedule (plus homework, a relationship, and housework), and hopefully Part Time work.

That's a lot of human interaction on a regular basis. And stress. (Welcome, anxiety).

Wait, so what can you do with a Communications Degree anyway? Sounds like a bullshit degree, right?
Turns out there's a lot, and a lot of them piqued our interest, so, fine, more decisions to make.
Here's a sample of a few things we can do once we fill in the gaps and finish our degree: Print Journalism, Media Relations, Broadcasting, Jobs in Social Media Management, Public Relations, Human Resources, Advertising/Marketing, Lobbying, Speech Writing, Graphic Arts/Visual Communications  Writer...the list literally goes on and on...

Anyway.

We have an interview on Thursday, a second one, a followup on a phone interview we had a couple of weeks ago when we went to Minneapolis with James. *fingers crossed*
The job is flexible, and seasonal (6 months) so it's pretty perfect right now.

That's it, just this little update while we work on other things, like painting, and some researched entries...and wasting time doing the other things we do.

------------------------------------------------
*The classes - we might try to add another, we're not sure yet:
- Meteorology I w/ Lab (to fulfill GER [General Education Requirements] science credits)
- Information, Technology and Social Change (required)
- Technology and Change (required)
- College Composition II (required)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dear Mainstream Media

You know what's more influential than movies, video games, music, or books?

Reality.

Maybe mainstream media wants to consider their serious hand in the glorification of terrorism and violence in America.

Image source
We just listened to, and then listened to again (and in the time we wrote this two more times) when they repeated it, an obvious deadly shootout of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the young men responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday.

All day main stream media has covered the chase of a terrorist.

For weeks, months, years, they have been immortalizing bad and violent people by granting them countless hours of news coverage. From school shootings, to terrorists, to murders, they shove it all down the throat of an American who watches news in order to stay informed.

For anybody with any sort of mental issue; whether it be mental health problems, extreme anger, feeling disenfranchised and helpless, feeling unloved and invisible...; there is no better way to feel vindicated and satisfied, than being immortalized for brutal attacks and deaths with relentless news coverage.

Dear Mainstream Media...look in a mirror.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Brains

Our brain works best when it's not around other brains.
Beautiful in it's solitude.
That is all.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Low-Carb Hell

We're attempting a variation of a low-card diet.
We're cutting our gluten as much as we can. We always feel unwell (lots of gas, burping, bloating, mental fog, and other things we will not discuss...) after eating it, and more than one physician has suggested we might have a sensitivity to it (we refused to do their "poo test", scared of the results). So why not try...again.

In youth we tested positive for allergies of wheat, rye, and most other grains/carbs involving gluten (not rice, or flax, or beans, or soy). That was before anybody had ever heard of wheat sensitivities, or celiacs (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/celiac-disease/DS00319). It's one of those things we've dealt with our whole life, that we probably don't need another doctor to analyze, and we should probably just face the facts.

It's not shocking really, the only time we've been successful at losing weight in our entire life was on Atkins when we lost 100 pounds (a carbohydrate purging diet regimen), and then when we got pretty mentally...unwell...during the end of 2010 (when we pretty much starved ourselves, except for wine). It just seems like a carb problem pattern for us, given that we're not generally inclined to stuff our face, or overeat - which would explain the weight we can't lose in the face of near daily exercise.

This time feels harder though, for some reason.
Some of us think we should just be happy with the "few" extra pounds (if we're being honest it's probably around 25-30 now, according to European standards) we've put on since we were at our lowest weight; Some of us think we should get back down to our lowest weight, which, while some people in our life thought was fine, others thought was sickly;
And then...we just want to eat what we want to eat, because we don't overeat...and *stomps foot* *whines* we love food.

All is not created equal when it comes to diet, exercise and food though, from person to person. We know that, both from a personal perspective, and a nutrition education perspective. If there were such a thing as equality in food and nutrition there wouldn't be lactose intolerance (which we also occasionally struggle with), or celiacs, or peanut allergies, or shellfish, or any other food sensitivities/intolerances/allergies.

Anyway, we're back on low-carb. Except for cutting out Gin (and coffee), of course, which aside for it being alcohol (and caffeine) is low-carb, it's not made with grains - it's made from juniper berries (and coffee berries). (Caffeine and alcohol spikes blood sugar/insulin/glucose levels which causes cravings)

We love carbs, despite them being bad for us.

So, if we get a little off-kilter...more than usual...or drop from existence for a bit...blame the lack of carbs.

But at least we get to eat all the eggs, bacon, and cheese we want, so score!

Thrilling, eh?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Random Movie Recommendation: 'Aaah! Zombies!!'

Who doesn't love cheesy zombie movies?

Okay, probably a lot of people...but not you, because you're cool.

'Aaah! Zombies!!' is interesting in plot and premise, and a good waste of 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon. The acting isn't as horrible as you would expect, and the cast isn't too bad, you might even recognize a few 'B' actors/actresses.

It's not at all scary, so if you don't like zombie films because you're a scaredy cat, this isn't that type of movie; some might say the same thing about it being funny. You just have to have, like, a really advanced sense of humor to enjoy it...you know?

Ha!

Anyway.



Official Website: http://www.aaahzombies.com/

Internet Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1027762/

On Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/276625
(you may need a Hulu account to watch this...)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Distraction


Of course it's going to rain every single day we're here in Minneapolis, and then it's supposed to snow the day we head home; which panic is already growing about in regards to interstate driving, inclement weather and semi-trucks. That's just how almost every single trip we've taken with James in the United States goes (never mind the nearly perpetual rainy weather of England when we were there last Spring). Almost our entire East Coast trip last May-June was rainy and cold. Impressive.

News is we're going to another barn dance Friday night. Not sure how we feel about that, after being away from home all week (we go back home Thursday evening) we'll probably want to just be home. We already want to just be home. Also, we're not feeling very...confident...this week. We'll see how it goes. The last one we went to was apparently really fun for us, so now there's expectations. We hate expectations, personal, or otherwise.

We're going to an art museum today, so that should be interesting. Or at least a nice distraction. Tomorrow night we're meeting @PuddingBoobs, who we met at last Mays Tweetup in Michigan, for dinner and drinks. We're excited, and anxious, about that, but it should be fun.

Onward and upward.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Perhaps, Ugly

We checked into the hotel this evening, and was only in the room a brief time before heading out to meet Baby Brother at a local Thai restaurant in downtown Minneapolis (Ginger Hop). We only had time to run a brush through our hair to fix our ponytail, but in those brief seconds we saw more of us, on the outside, than we have in months.

We don't own a full length mirror. When we lived at The Mother's for the last year we didn't have a full length mirror. She doesn't own one. We have two very small mirrors in the house; and a dresser mirror still waiting from it's year and a half in storage to be rejoined with its lower half.

Thinking very little about the feeling in the mirrors we left the hotel, returning hours later.

Standing in front of one of the mirrors we began to disrobe, and dread grew with each layer, while sadness and disgust began to shroud us.

Things we haven't seen in many months. Our naked body.

Despite attempts at losing the weight we have put on over the last year; the 4 to 5 days on the elliptical for 75 minutes at a time, burning an average of 850 calories a session; the cutting out bread almost completely for over a month; the reduction of calories in general...

Ugly. Standing in front of the mirror, ugly. Naked, all of our naked, body and mind. The battleground of our brain, screaming, ugly, from the inside out.

Perhaps it's impossible standards of self, set by having loved the thinness of our body at the most recent sickest part of our life. Perhaps, having gone so long only exposed to the bareness of our thoughts, baring our brain, naked for the world to read.

Luckily hours from now we may awake, and pull the towels and coverings from the mirrors placed there by James in an attempt to calm us, and we shall be someone else, someone who doesn't feel like dying; and stepping outside into the world, we'll pretend we are normal, hide our body beneath clothes, and the horrors of our mind behind our sealed lips. And be beautiful.

Perhaps.

E, C, C, I, F

Thursday, April 4, 2013

And Other Random Things

Some days are better than others, some days are the same.
Rather than always writing about every little emotional and/or messed up experience we have, we just don't. You can sift through over two years of our writing to get a good idea of what life is like.

We're going to Minneapolis, Minnesota next week for four days. We're pretty excited. We even found a decent hotel that'll let us bring the cats. Yes, we're that crazy cat lady.
Actually, we're just cheap. Thrifty? Hmmm...
Why pay $100 in boarding fees when you can just compromise on a hotel and bring the little beasts with. Should be exciting. Nice restaurants, a pool to swim in, museums. It'll be nice to get out of this cultural void we've been in lately.

We heard word about the whole immigration petition denied/paperwork mix-up. Apparently in October the agency that handles the letters forgot to send them, and thought they had, so there was a load of people who got that same letter James got. There was probably some panic around the United States last Saturday. Cruel that it was on a long-weekend too. All the panic and sweating waiting for law offices to open on Tuesday; at least it'll be cleared up, they re-opened his case, and now we wait for the interview date to be re-set.

Today we took a little drive to find the park where there's fishing areas, scouting for Spring fishing. Everything is still terribly slushy, snowy and dirty, it'll be at least another month before we can bring the poles to waters edge; it'll be about the same time we start preparing the garden spot in the backyard. Spring is near, and we could not be more excited to grow our first garden. Hopefully we don't kill it. We have whatever is opposite of a green-thumb.

And other random things...a picture from today, we found them in the park, some friendly deer...not sure why they are in a pen though...poor deers, poor dears. *slaps knee and laughs*


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Immigration Stand Still

We haven't written about it yet, mostly because we've been trying to ignore it, push it away, so we're not anxious about it...but it's just hanging there, waiting.

Saturday we went and picked up the mail from The Mother's house, we haven't changed the address on everything yet, it being merely a month since we moved out, and we actually don't have a mailbox - and the USPS, in some cases, doesn't actually recognize our house address as existing... something about town street name changes not being properly recorded with city hall or something. We'll get it fixed.

Anyway, we picked up them mail and low-and-behold James FINALLY had gotten a letter from immigration about his interview. Or so we thought...

The letter was in our name so we opened it excitedly, and before our eyes could reach the second sentence we saw the word...
"Denied"...hands shaking, we read it over and over. Turned the page over, read the second page. WHAT?! His petition was DENIED?! Tears welled up in our eyes. This means he has to go back to the UK. We just bought a house together, we share bank accounts, we own vehicles together, we have a life together, he's working (we are still applying for every reasonable paying job we can find) and they denied him?!

He was surprisingly calm as he took the papers from our hand. He scanned the letters flipping them back and forth in his hands, confused. We snatched one back from him and took a closer look, really paying attention to ALL the words this time...focusing.

He had allegedly missed his interview date in November. They said they had sent the letter out in October, and they were just now, the last days of March, telling him he had missed it.

He had just had a meeting with his lawyer the day before, who had figured they lost his paperwork, because she said his interview should have happened by now, and he had been checking the online status every other week since October, and it never indicated an upcoming meeting, or anything pending. So right away we knew something had went wrong.

He e-mailed his lawyer immediately, and we waited.

Yesterday she replied that she contacted them immediately because she was supposed to have gotten the letter about the interview too, and she hadn't. She had gotten the Petition Denial letter on Saturday  and copies of all the other correspondences since the applications had been submitted. She also said she had heard about this happening before, and that the case should be re-opened with no problem. There is a 30 day appeal deadline. So, there is still hope.

The biggest concern is if they try to charge us more money for their mistake. We've already spent nearly $6000.00 dollars in application fees and lawyer fees...and we really don't deserve to have to pay for something that is not our fault in the very least.

Anyway, immigration. It's not easy, it's full of loop-holes, and traps, and costs a lot of money. It's not really surprising that people try to get around it; but if you ever do it, the cost of the immigration lawyer is ABSOLUTELY worth it.

In the meantime, we wait...some more. July will be one year since he filed the paperwork. The biggest deal was that his dad was sick in December, and he would have loved to fly home to see him, and his brother got married this past weekend, and he would have loved to be there; but until his petition is approved he is not allowed to leave the country. After he gets approved he gets to stay for two years before another interview and is free to leave the country, but until then...he's at a standstill.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Straight-up Food Porn

Yesterday we celebrated Easter with our friend Wild Man's family. A very large and loud gathering of people. It was mostly okay. We'll see how we feel about attending future events, which we have already been invited to.

We brought a cheesecake, mostly because WM had raved to his parents about the one we made last week when we had him over for dinner, and had told them all about James and "my"cooking. His family loves food. Lots of food. So with all the activity yesterday, then coming home to make a cake for James' birthday, which is today, then making a great dinner for his birthday today, all we have for you tonight is food porn...no recipes, just straight-up food porn...cheesecake, birthday cake and birthday dinner...

The cheesecake we made for Easter:
This cheesecake was repeatedly referenced as "sin"...

 And then there was birthday dinner...

James requested Beef Wellington...
Before it got wrapped in puff pastry it was seared on all sides and topped with a duxelle (mushrooms, onions, garlic and thyme finely chopped and sauteed in butter and extra virgin olive oil)
After it was wrapped, brushed with egg wash and baked
Beef Wellington with a pan sauce, maple balsamic roasted carrots, garlic saute├ęd button mushrooms and mashed potatoes.







The birthday cake James requested - Black Forrest Cake...




Three layers filled with cream and from-scratch cherry filling