Tuesday, February 05, 2013

No, Seriously, I Have A Real Excuse

OK, so I'm being a terrible blogger - I have a book review to finish by the end of this month and I haven't made a video since my birthday - but I do actually have a reason for once.

That reason is that my timetable for the life-rearranging I have been hinting at for months has been pushed up significantly, and I am scrambling to update my CV and also assemble paperwork and fill out applications for graduate programs with looming deadlines and write statements of varying lengths about how much I heart learning and why I specifically want to learn these particular things, and I can't devote my full attention to that and also make up new swears for you guys and expect to actually succeed at my ultimate goal, which I am happy to report, I can now state fairly openly (in as far as I don't think any of the people I haven't spoken to yet read this regularly, and if they do, hi, and sorry you're finding out this way), is to move to the UK.

That was an incredibly long sentence and is not indicative of the quality of sentences I am using in my position statements on any of these applications, I assure you.

Point being, my absence is legit for once, and that I haven't stopped writing; I'm just writing something else at the moment, and it is important. And also that I will return to normal very, very soon since I have to finish the book review by the end of February so I can give the stupid book back to its owner.

In the meantime, in an attempt to make this up to you, I took the liberty of googling "weird knitting projects" for you guys. The image search results are here. I am particularly impressed with the knitted turd about 9 rows down and this fucking insane corpse:

You're welcome.


Anonymous said...

Good luck. Having done the move to the UK last year, the best advice I can give you is that is takes longer to pack everything than you expect. :)

Becky said...

Wow that's amazing! Do you know when you'll be coming? As long as you don't mind uber rain (my phone just tried to autocorrect that to ubersexual rain....) and the stiff upper lip and tea then you'll be fine.

amberance said...

Good news! I am more or less packing my toothbrush and a change of underwear. Everything else I own is in the process of being liquidated or donated.

amberance said...

Target is July, rain is infinitely preferable to the weather extremes of Chicago, and I fucking LOVE tea ;)

Jen Summers said...

I live in England and I've had, like, five cups of tea in my entire life. Ever. I'm thirty. And that's only when people force it on me, like beverage rape. They say : "Have a cuppa." And I say: "Fuck off. Fuck you. Open the wine, you prick."

But yeah, England is amazeballs. You'll like it here. I can give you one invaluable piece of advice: Don't use the word 'fanny' to describe your butt, because here in England 'fanny' means 'vagina'.

Laura Mary said...

Ha ha ha!!! Jen that is possibly the BEST advice ever!!!! Very very true.
And while we're at it 'Pissed' doesn't mean 'angry' either!

Woo! Welcome to Blighty!

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

That knitted skull would make the most badass piece of winter-wear ever!

S said...

Oooh, which bit of our green and rainy land are you moving to? Us English love to complain and slate our country, but we enjoy telling other people about it. Word of warning - jobs are REALLY hard to get at the moment. Like, university graduates are fighting for jobs at MacDonalds. For real.

amberance said...

Good news, Jen and Laura Mary - I already speak fluent British! As a matter of fact, one of the things that is most irritating to me in the 50 Shits is that both the dialogue and Ana's internal monologue are entirely in British English rather than American English and ALL OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE AMERICAN. I haven't spoken to it much in the reviews because in talking to other Americans, very few of them have noticed this flaw - I suspect because the rest of her language is so florid that the fact it's entirely written in the wrong dialect won't get noticed by someone not fluent in both. But my cousin Simmy (who was born in the UK and whose parents still say GARage and not garAGE even though they've lived in America for over 30 years) noticed, and in the 8 chapters she managed to get through it was driving her insane. My notes are peppered with things like "Americans say yell, not shout", "they're just buttons" (instead of call buttons, though she does at least remember to change lift to elevator) and "WHAT THE FUCK STOP SAYING FAIR POINT. THE PHRASE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS GOOD POINT. GOOD. POINT." The one thing I didn't already know and had to ask about (suspecting that it must be a Britishism) was "throwing shapes", which she's said eleventy thousand times in the last three chapters and exactly zero actual Americans would have those words come out of their mouths at any point because we just go dancing.

So, language barriers having been sorted, my entire list of fears about moving to the UK are as follows:
1. How will I watch American Football and NHL ice hockey?
2. Where the hell am I going to get decent Mexican food prepared by real Mexicans, preferably at 2 in the morning?
3. What will I put in my eggs if the American specialty grocers don't carry Velveeta cheese?

Priorities, y'all.

amberance said...

S- Good (?) news on that front as well: I can't get a job anyway. I work in finance and as far as "careers that make you special enough to get a work visa in the UK", that particular one would get me laughed out of the embassy for even asking about it. I'm coming in on a student visa and attending graduate school, and a student visa limits your ability to work (depending on the type and length of your program of study) to somewhere between naught and 20 hours a week. Even if I AM eligible for some part time work, given the demands put on a full time grad student, I'd really only have time for a job at McDonald's anyway :)

amberance said...

Also, Jen - "beverage rape" is hilarious and you win the internet today.

Laura Mary said...

Ha ha ha! 'Throwing shapes'??? I think that must be more a testament to her age than her britishness! Can't say I've ever heard anyone under 40 use the phrase!
Unless ironically maybe?!?

Jen Summers said...

I'm with Laura on this. 'Pushing shapes' is not a thing anyone says, and I'd never heard it until That Fucking Book. 'Pushing shapes', what the actual fuck. It's like "Yeah, there's a drug dealer who sells those square, triangle and circle drugs. He's pushing shapes." SHUT UP, E.L JAMES.

As for your questions:

1) There's probably some kind of Sky TV package you can buy that includes the US sports. If you don't want to buy Sky TV you'll have to stick with terrestrial channels and switch your sports preference to snooker or golf. Because they're fucking riveting, or so channel 5 would have you believe by the frequency with which they're shown.

2) Switch Mexican food for Greek food, because you'll find a 24 hour kebab shop in even the smallest hamlets. It's depressing. Unless you're going to be living in London, in which case ignore everything I just said, because you can get anything there. Including herpes. Especially herpes.

3) Kraft cheese spread is apparently the same thing. I know because of my extensive research [Read: Professor Google]

Laura Mary said...

Jen I have tracked you down on twitter (and ya blog – another Merlin fan! Hoorah! I fear we are a dying breed!) Um… I'm not cyber stalking you, I swearz!

Let me know if you're planning to come to london or birmingham - looking forward to meeting you too!

PS I swear there are more dirty kebab shops than McD's in the UK! They are EVEREYWHERE!!!!!

amberance said...

COMMUNITY! I feel like we need a forum or something :)

Lauren Alergant said...

That's so exciting! You will learn to love our English ways, one tip is to never read the Daily Mail it will just make you irate!

amberance said...

To be fair, I'm practically halfway there already. I've been drinking tea nearly constantly from about five years old, I watch (real) football and cricket, I am obsessed with Top Gear, and Flake is far and away my favourite candy. Also, I've already got into the habit of adding extra u's to words when IMing with my English friends :)

Laura Mary said...

One of us, one of us, one of us...


HornGillian said...

One failed attempt at a long comment later... Eugh.
I figured I might as well introduce myself here. Hi. I'm Gillian. A friend recommended your blog to me, and clearly she did it because we're meant to be friends. It's the only possible explanation.
I'm another expat to the UK (from Australia) paying insane amounts of money to a university here for the privilege to study. If you need someone to rant at about the restrictiveness of UK visas or the dicketrons who run the Border Agency, I'm your woman. In my spare time I swear lots and write/act in comedy shows... Or rant and rage about whatever hot topic is bothering me at the time.
Anyway, I'm really hoping to get to the 50 Sighs meet next month. Until then I'll keep on reading. Thanks for making me smile on my way to work.

HornGillian said...

Cutting in here to say that I reckon here in Sheffield there's one curry house that has a monopoly on dirty food establishments. Especially since the Chinese buffet place with rats in the kitchens shut down. :P

HornGillian said...

Took me four years to get my minimum wage job, and I'm in constant fear of losing it. It's legitimately insane in this rainy kingdom, for sure.

amberance said...

Gillian! We are now friends :) Discussion on the meet ups is going on via email, we are thinking maybe the 10th for London?

Anonymous said...

I am now stalking you on twitter too yayz.
Happy the uk is gaining another excellent person.

ThePudnud :)

Anonymous said...

You should definitely finish the book and it's good to have a deadline, but I can say with certainty that the owner does not care if it gets returned by the end of this month...or ever. Think of it as a going away present. You can have the first two books as well.

HornGillian said...

Huzzah! Day = made.
10th for London, ey? I should be able to do that. If you could let me know details as they come that would be amazeballs.
Also, since it will have been my birthday bash the night before, I should have leftover cupcakes for everyone! :):)

amberance said...

That's perfect, someone else has a hen do the night before, she will need them :)

Anonymous said...

1. How will I watch American Football and NHL ice hockey?
The Internet, I think? I'm a US expat living in the UK, but I don't like those things, so I don't bother trying to watch them.

Also, I've been here for 7 years, and I still find words/phrases I don't know. Communicating is sometimes an adventure when you're an immigrant.

2. Where the hell am I going to get decent Mexican food prepared by real Mexicans, preferably at 2 in the morning?
Oh. You aren't. Ever. Just give up. Do not try the Mexican food here and hope to encounter anything good. That crap makes Anastasia whatserface look marginally less bland by comparison.

3. What will I put in my eggs if the American specialty grocers don't carry Velveeta cheese?
Real cheese? ;)

Good luck on the move!

Crystal Daze said...

I am an Australian living in Austria, but I used to live in LDN for two years when I was kicking it with the Beeb.

There is no good Mexican in London. However, we do have a killer restaurant here in Vienna called Las Mexikas and all the Americans here agree.

In London Indian is the best.

Also, there is a 24 hour bagel shop on Brick Lane that can support all cravings all times of the night.

I can also recommend the best food you will ever eat in your life... (as long as you are not vegetarian) called Patogh (near Marble Arch) and it will change your life.

Fun wise I can highly recommend the Zombie Boot Camp in Droitwich if you wish to be a SWAT officer during a zombie invasion. Prepared to be scared for your life and flight zombies for a few hours.

Shame I can not meet up with you all. My next trip to London is for Bowie at the V&A


Anonymous said...

If it is not too late, can you please put on your application that you have friends who are willing to sign a petition to swap you for EL James.