Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Quick Update

I bought my plane ticket, and have a ride to LAX. And I don't have to switch planes! It's just a straight shot to Heathrow from Los Angeles. I leave this Saturday... so just under a week!

I'm starting to get really ruthless with my packing and sorting. My room looks like a disaster area, but I know I'm getting close to being done. I've got two more boxes to ship next week (four have already been sent), and just a few more things to pick up before I leave (like a box of Count Chocula... because it's not Halloween without the Count).

I'm both excited and terrified. I know I'll be fine once I get on that plane, though, and even better once I arrive at my new home.

Thanks for all the congrats and the well wishes!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Visa approved! Yay!

I got notice on Monday around noon that my visa had been approved. It was like a giant weight had been lifted off my shoulders! The package with my documents should get here tomorrow, and then I can buy my plane ticket. I'll be leaving on the 3rd of October. So just over a week!

I immediately launched into work mode, and thus forgot to update my blog with the good news. I've already got one bag packed, two boxes of books mailed off, and four more that just need labels and customs forms. I sold my dresser this morning, leaving me with only my mammoth printer that no one wants and a table to sell. I've got my iBook mostly set up (on hold now about reactivating my copy of Studio MX 2004 as I forgot to transfer the license for it... may give up soon and try again tomorrow; it's been about 45 minutes already).

There's still a lot more to be done, but I have the time to do it. And soon I'll be there and I can relax for a bit, as has been ordered by Michael. After a while I'll nab a part time job a few days a week to bring in some extra money for us (the rest of the time I'll be working on comics and art and writing again, which I'm excited about)... maybe at Borders or the other large bookstore I can never remember the name of, if they'll hire me. I'd even be happy just stocking shelves or doing inventory. I find stuff like that to be a bit Zen.

That's all I have for now. My next entry probably won't be until just before I'm leaving, unless something exciting happens before then. Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Starting to Pack (not so) Early, and other things

I've held off on posting because I thought I might find out about my visa a bit early. I hired an expediter after the fact to see if they could pull my application and resubmit it, thus shaving of some waiting time and reducing my growing stress levels. Sadly, the consulate had already opened my application and had begun processing it, so expediting was a no go. I will get some of my money back, and it's nice to know something's being done, but I'm currently at the mercy of the consulate and however long they take to process things. I should hear by sometime next week with any luck, and by the end of the month at the latest. So I'm going to be flying out a bit later than planned.

I have started packing. The vast majority of the clothing I'm taking is currently sealed in those vacuum space bag things to help save space. I'm still sorting through my art work and art supplies, and I'm going to pick up some flat rate boxes from the post office on Monday to send off a chunk of my books in.

I've been really stressed out lately. I've cried a LOT. I don't like not being in control of things, and the whole situation with my visa had me almost tearing my hair out. I've also been doing a lot of stress eating, and I swear I've gained at least seven pounds in the last few weeks. (Probably exaggerating a bit on the number, but I have gained weight.) And even though I'm joining a gym when I move over and I'm going to eat better and really make a stab at taking control of my body and my weight, I felt really terrible because I'd been eating loads of junk lately. It was partially because I thought I might be leaving really soon and didn't want to buy groceries I wasn't going to eat.

But now I know I'm not leaving for at least another week or so. I made the decision to pick up a bunch of veggies and fruit and such. And even the simple act of buying that stuff and knowing it's in the fridge makes me feel better. I'll still have some junk (need to get in one last California burrito before I go), but obviously in moderation.

This has, in part, been brought on by getting into the Biggest Loser again. I forgot how much that show inspires me to work hard and do better by myself. I just finished rewatching the first season of the Biggest Loser Australia on YouTube (found it last year when I couldn't find full episodes of the American one). It was a great season, and I totally recommend watching it if you're into that sort of thing*. My plan is to have a weight loss update post once a month, with progress and a photograph. But that comes later, after this moving business is over.

Today was my roommate's** birthday, so we went out and did things! And stuff! We went to IHOP with a former roommate/friend (not so healthy but very yummy... I recommend the Harvest Grain and Nut pancakes), and followed that up with seeing Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (which was so much better than I expected). Go see it if you're in the mood for light-hearted and slightly nerdy fun. We came back home for a bit and then rounded off the evening by seeing our roommate/friend's improv group perform, which is always awesome***. This was preceded by a quick duck into the UK Corner Shoppe (which is right next door) for some treats from my future home. (Really, I've been dying for a Violet Crumble for the last month or so, and I figured a Cadbury Crunchie would satisfy that craving.)

So a lot has been going on. I'll continue to sort and pack tomorrow (and maybe watch season two of Biggest Loser Australia, which I haven't seen before). Now that I'm over the disappointment of not getting my visa as soon as I'd hoped, I can really push to get everything done so that I'm ready to go when I can leave.

I'm not sure what my next post will be about, or when, but here's hoping the gist of it is: WOOOOOO! MY VISA GOT APPROVED! YAAAAAAAY!

*You can find the first part to the first episode here.
**She's the sister I never had. I'm going to miss the crap out of her.
***If you're in San Diego and you want a fun night, check out National Comedy Theater. They're always a blast.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


The next post will be about starting to pack... I have started, mind you, but just barely. Mostly it's still been sorting and listing things on CraigsList.

Towards the end of last week, I realized that if I wanted my visa in a reasonable amount of time, I was going to have to hire an expediter. If the consulate hasn't opened my package yet, they should be able to pick it up and resubmit it for me, shaving off many torturous days from my wait. I won't lie, it's been killing me. I've had more than a few panic attacks about the whole thing.

Because the British consulate in Los Angeles is closed for the next couple of days due to an IT upgrade, the expediter won't be able to request my documents until Wednesday (again, provided they haven't been opened already). If all goes according to plan, they'll resubmit on Thursday, I'll get approved same day, and I should have passport with visa in hand by Friday or Saturday (depending on when the post goes out).

On top of that, Tuesday is my last day at work. I'll be tying up all loose ends over the next couple of days. And then I can throw myself fully into packing and getting rid of stuff.

I'm crossing my fingers that everything works out, and that I'll be in England come two weeks time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Interlude: I'm in the system! (and other things, too)

After a comedy of errors involving my husband having to ship back my passport because it was in the duffel bag of stuff I sent home with him, I finally had my biometrics (fingerprint scanning) appointment, and dropped my supporting documents off at FedEx to be sent to the British Consulate in Los Angeles. So yay for that!

It's been scorching this past week or so. My apartment has no air conditioning, so I've been relying on frequent cold showers, soaking shirts and bandanas in cold water, and two fans running constantly in my room. Which all only sort of work. I've also got a nasty sunburn from waiting for various busses and the trolley today. I'm not going to miss summers closer to the equator, that's for sure.

The heat has certainly been making it hard to find the motivation to do anything besides sit on my butt and poke around the internet while I try to cool off and not feel sick. But I have so much left to do before the move, and less than a month to do it in. My last day of work is just a week and a half away though, so that should help things some to. (Currently with my commute, I'm out of the house about 12 hours a day, which takes a lot out of me.)

One thing I HAVE accomplished this week is getting my laptop updated and sorted. I installed a new, much larger hard drive (which is no small task with an iBook G4... I ended up having to open it up about five times, but I got it working after some technological voodoo). I also put in a new keyboard (hooray for the O key not popping off randomly anymore), and put a pretty skin on it to cover up the scratches and dings from four years of near constant use.

This weekend is Labor Day weekend, so I have a paid holiday on Monday. That means I get a three day weekend in which to list and relist things on Craigslist (and maybe eBay), drop things off at the Salvation Army down the street, and start packing all my nonessential stuff.

I'm super excited and scared shitless at the same time! It's awesome! :D