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“Who goes to the gym these days? Here are ten ways to lose weight, meet the opposite gender and maybe pick up some marketable skills (pole dancing, ladies?)”

This is one of the articles from http://www.spoonfed.co.uk about the top dance classes in London and the other night I went to the line dancing class to write a review. It was so much fun! (extra fun because I got in for free as press – sweet!) I won’t say any more as I’ll post the article I’ve written once it goes live on the site, but this is just a bit of the crazy, fun stuff I can do in London!

Oh, by the way, I realize I had the settings such that people who didn’t have a livejournal couldn’t post comments (I was wondering why so few of you were commenting on my entries!) and I’ve fixed that so you can *all* leave comments now. Hint hint.

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Alright, still homeless.  But… I have a job! I am [unofficially as the paperwork isn’t take care of yet but will be soon] employed!

I’ve been chatting for a while now with a guy named Alex Will who is the cofounder of a site called Spoonfed and playing around with the idea of me working with them and today we basically decided on it! They seem like such fun.  It’s a small internet startup created by these two LSE students while they were in school.  It gives London citizens the chance to view all upcoming events in tons of different genres, and get customized event suggestions based on their interests.  So… all of you people who thought I had gotten out of the event planning side of things, I just can’t escape!

I’m going to be doing marketing and PR for them and I’m basically the only person working on that full time (it’s a really small group, and Alex and his cofounder do a lot of it, but they need to deal with the business development side as well and the financial and executive stuff.  The rest of the group is mainly editorial staff to write the event articles).  Because I’m really working on it myself, I’ve got a ton of freedom to try out tons of different methods and since they’re small, any sort of work could be helpful.  It’ll be a fantastic learning experience and I hope I can be a valuable asset to them!  It seems like such a fun group.

Alright, it’s really time to find a place to live now.

Wow – it’s been another whirlwind 36 hours and although I don’t have internet access at the moment, I’m going to write this down so I don’t miss anything.

Yesterday mid-day I headed out for an interview with the publishing company Profile Books. They publish nonfiction but not like, text books or anything, mostly fun stuff and good reads (they did 48 Laws of Power, 33 Strategies of War, Art of Seduction and, just to mix things up, Eats, Shoots and Leaves) and they recently acquired another small publisher, Serpents Tail, which does mystery and crime novels. Anyway, it was a really good interview, and fun to meet the people there and see the offices. I think it went well and they definitely gave me the impression I was still in the running but there were a couple of problems. One, they clearly wanted someone who was 100% going to go on in publishing which I don’t think I could commit too. Second, it’s minimum wage which is way above average for internships in the industry but not really enough to live on in London. We’ll see how it goes, I think I’ll probably write them this weekend and say no thanks, but it sort of depends what else comes up.

Then, I went to view some flats and what a disaster that turned out to be. I had one viewing at 6pm, and I literally walked the area for 45 minutes, enlisted eight people to help me, and finally gave up that the street didn’t exist (this is odd because it appeared on my map and the guy claimed he lived there. Weird.) So I didn’t get to see that flat and my second viewing was in the same general area but not until 8:30pm. I called to see if I could meet earlier but no luck so I basically sat in shopping area above a tube stop for two hours waiting for my appointment. I headed over a bit early only to discover that the potential flat was in the sketchiest area of London I’d seen so far and was not at all the sort of place I wanted to be living. I texted him to call off the viewing but had now spent about five hours to not see two flats.

I headed back to the hotel pretty bummed because housing has been the biggest concern (job stuff seems to be moving forward, it’s hosing that’s hard) and I had wasted a lot of time. I decided that this weekend I want to head out to Oxford, about 45 min northwest, to see if I like the smaller city, and college city, a bit better. With that as the plan, I went to bed.

This morning, I got a chance to meet with Alex Will who I’ve been chatting with over email for a few weeks. He started a tech company that does online listings for London events (http://www.spoonfed.com) and his colleague Henry and it was so great to talk to them. Alex knew about Colby because although he grew up in London and went to the LSE, his mom’s from Cape Cod and he spent summers there and knew people who ended up at Colby. Anyway, we chatted about how I might work with them and it sounds like it would be a lot of fun, I’m just a bit worried I wouldn’t have much direction, I’d be just as “senior” as anyone else in the office. Not a problem but I’d have to be super diligent. It was especially nice to meet with him as he offered to make some calls on my behalf to people who might be looking for flatmates and offered himself as a resource if I have any trouble in the city. I made a friend!

After that, I went to view another flat – a single studio apartment which was, no joke, smaller than my college single. It was a converted broom closet – I’m not kidding. They managed to fit a bathroom, stove range, fridge and microwave but must have forgotten the bed as it was built into the wall over the bathroom. But, you know, they only wanted the equivalent of $2200 per month. It’s cool.

You know? I think I’ll pass.

I went back to the hotel and arranged to stay in a B&B in Oxford for the next three nights and I’m catching the bus there tomorrow afternoon. I’m so excited to see Oxford, I’ve heard so much about it from Debbi and Laura and fictionalized in The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and His Dark Materials (okay, so, maybe it won’t be quite like that) and I am actually surprisingly excited to get out of the city – I think I’m less of a city person than I generally give myself credit for. But since it’s my birthday on Saturday and I’ll be closer to sheep than big celebrations, I on a whim bought half price tickets to Wicked for tonight!! I got to see it in NYC with Sarah and have been listening to the music for ages and was SO excited to see it again! I loved it so much, it’s such a fantastic story and the actors were great.

Before the show, I went to grab dinner at this cute Spanish tapas restaurant and since I was there by myself, I pretended I was a restaurant critic and took notes on the meal. Who knows, I might actually write up the article J (I still have an open offer from a travel website to publish any articles I write – no pay, but a byline).

I’m sure I have more to say but this took a lot longer than I expected to write and I’m exhausted! Tomorrow, I head out to Oxford!!