Feb
05
2014

Sleeping In Seattle

 

Hello from Seattle, where it is currently really, really, really cold. No, I mean really cold. Like, think of the coldest thing you can think of right now—a milkshake with ice cubes in it, the Arctic tundra, Paris Hilton's heart—and multiply that by a hundred and four, and that is how cold it is here. I just walked seven blocks back from my office and by the time I pushed open the doors of the hotel lobby, I couldn't feel most of my extremities, and I was wearing gloves, a hat, and a coat that kept me pretty toasty in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In November. I mean, come on. 

On the upside, here is the view from my office, which could not possibly be more beautifully Seattle-ish.

Okay, wait, maybe it could be a tiny bit more beautifully Seattle-ish, but only if it had Frasier Crane somewhere in the left hand of the frame. Holding a cup of coffee. Next to McDreamy. 

(Is McDreamy still a thing? Do people still watch Grey's Anatomy? I remember the last time I visited Seattle, I was obsessed with the show and kept thinking I saw Meredith everywhere, but I must confess that I stopped watching several years ago and now I have no idea what the residents of Seattle Grace are up to anymore. Although presumably the same five people are still getting together and breaking up in various combinations.)

As well as not realizing that it was going to be this cold in Seattle—I mean, it's not like I have a weather app on my phone or anything; it's not like I could have looked it up (I could have looked it up)—I also did not realize that I was going to be arriving in the city on the day of a major parade. Why was there a major parade in Seattle today? Well, if you just asked yourself that question, you're in good company, because I did not know either. This is because the parade was to celebrate the winning of the Superbowl, but because the Superbowl is a sporting event and my brain shuts off at the phrase "sporting event" somewhere around "spor—", I kind of didn't really pay it any attention until the hotel check-in person said "wow, lot of people out there for the parade, huh?" and I said "oh, there's a parade today? For what?" and then I was actually asked to leave the United States of America immediately for unpatriotic conduct and also my husband texted me and asked for a divorce. 

(Whatever. Talk to me when there's a parade for the Oscars. Oh wait, there is! It's Live From the Red Carpet on E! and I have the time and date of it written down in my planner. Look, I'm sorry, we all have our passions. Yours might be football but mine is marveling at what a good job that boob tape is doing at holding everything in.) 

I am going to finish this now because I have one-quarter of The Goldfinch left to read—I have been dragging it out for an entire month because I never want to not be reading it—and also a pack of Skittles to get through. In bed. In this quiet room. Bolstered by the magnificent knowledge that when I turn off the light and drift into sleep tonight, no-one is going to wake me up three hours later and demand to eat. Small pleasures, friends. You can't even imagine. 

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Jan
13
2014

And In The End We All Survived

First of all, thank you so, so, so much for all your kind and compassionate and encouraging comments about my return to work. I read them over and over, and they helped me so much to feel better about it all. I worked from home last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday—the equivalent of inching body-part-by-body-part into the swimming pool, as opposed to just cannonballing in from the diving board; highly recommended if you can swing it—and then today I actually went back to the office for real.

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Jan
06
2014

These Days Are Numbered

I go back to work on Wednesday. Even writing that sentence, my heart simultaneously plummeted and soared, like when you get on an elevator that you think is going down but then the doors close and it starts going up. 

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Dec
31
2013

A Lot Of Words About 2013

Oh hey, remember me? Here I am on the very last day of 2013, squeezing in one last blog post so I can say that I updated eight times since mid-July instead of seven. I mean, I don't know who I think I'd be saying this to—the imaginary blogging police, I can only assume, who presumably monitor this kind of thing?but anyway, there you go.

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Nov
17
2013

I Wrote This Entire Thing Without Taking A Breath Can You Tell

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your wise and helpful comments on my last post. You know, sometimes I feel like I just can't be bothered with blogging anymore—all the sponsored this, Pinterest-fodder that—and I think "eh, I'll just show myself out quietly, there's nothing in this for me anymore," and then you, all you wonderful people, weigh in on a subject with your thoughts and your advice and your experiences and I realize that what I've always valued most of all about writing online

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Nov
11
2013

Party At My Crib

Look, let me just tell you once and for all that when it comes to babies and sleep, things are every bit as terrible as you would imagine. As in, once you have one, you probably won't be getting very much of it at all. 

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Nov
04
2013

There Is No Narrative Construct To This Blog Post But I Hit Publish So I'm Calling It A Victory

Hello! I just got back from a week in a cabin in Northern Michigan—actually, I kept calling it a cabin but it was really just a condo decorated very rusticly and located in a woodsy setting—with a small portion of my family. My parents got lots of grandkid time, my kid got lots of grandparent time, and I got lots of "sleeping til 10am because someone else is looking after the baby" time, so basically it was a win-win for all. 

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Oct
03
2013

You Are Doing Just Fine

One of the things that has surprised me so much about having a baby—and there is so much that does surprise you; leaves you reeling, in fact—is that almost everyone I've spoken to in the last eleven weeks since Hugo was born has asked me how I'm doing. How I'm doing. Once we've ascertained that the baby is thriving and well and sleeping just enough that Sean and I aren't contemplating driving him back to the hospital and asking about their return policy, their attention is turned to me.

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Aug
26
2013

Parents Of Twins, I Salute You

So having a baby is a little time-consuming, turns out. I know! Who'd have guessed! Despite the fact that Hugo has proven, so far, to have inherited his father's mellow, easygoing temperament—as opposed to his mother's, ahem, less mellow, less easygoing one—the basic job of keeping a tiny human being fed, happy, and not rolling around in his own poop all day has been surprisingly all-encompassing.

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Random Flashbacks

Nov
08
2005

Good Luck Exploring the Infinite Abyss

Whenever I have to turn my cell phone on---and this is often, because I'm forever forgetting to charge it and so it dies a slow death, complete with desperate mewing sounds, which I guess are actually warning beeps, and then I realize that no-one's called me for a whole day and start panicking that I have no friends and no-one likes me, before I realize that my phone has just shut itself off because the battery's dead and PLEASE, I need to stop being so neurotic---it has a message for me. (Which is not "stop writing insanely long sentences," surprisingly.)

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Nov
11
2009

Heaven Is A Place On Earth And That Place Is Vanuatu

Oh you guys, Vanuatu. How can I tell you about Vanuatu? It feels like a beautiful dream I had a long time ago, the sort of thing that's only hazily real. Often now, I catch myself thinking "Was there actually once a time where I did nothing but kayak lazily in the morning, sunbathe gratuitously all afternoon, read a novel a day, and fall asleep to the sound of the ocean lapping at the sand?"

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Sep
05
2010

And Here's To Many More

Today is our first wedding anniversary! This time last year, I was sitting on the living room floor in my parents' house, making my bouquet. Right now I'm sitting in bed, drinking a mimosa and eating a pain au chocolat. It seems insane that a year has gone by, not least because I still haven't made a wedding album, had my dress cleaned (whoops!), framed that rather kind note from our close buddies the Obamas, or done anything with the postcards we had people fill out for our guest book.

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Apr
26
2007

Had We But World Enough And Time

If I'm lucky, I get to see my parents three times a year---once at Christmas when I go to Singapore, once in the summer when they come to the States, and usually once in the spring, when one of them comes for a visit. I realize that most people my age would mean something very different by "if I'm lucky"---they'd mean they were lucky not to have to see their parents very often, that three times a year was the minimum effort they had to put in. When I say I'm lucky to see my parents three times a year, I do sincerely mean I'm lucky.

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Oct
08
2008

Obama Foam Fingers

DSC05558.JPG

I first saw these Obama foam fingers on Sweetney's site, in a post where her little girl was wearing one. I left a comment professing their awesomeness, and a few days later, the guy who makes them emailed me. "Long story short," he wrote, "I make those things. How they got to her, I have no idea, but I almost fell out of my chair with excitement."  

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Jul
31
2012

Pour Some Sugar Substitute On Me

I haven't had a Diet Coke in a couple of weeks. I wish I could say that I had an epiphany about the chemicals I was putting in my body and decided to drink only local organic mineral water collected in rainbarrels by Trappist monks, but really what happened is that we just ran out of Diet Coke and I never got around to buying any more. 

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Aug
21
2011

Surprise, We Think You're Awesome

This weekend, I threw my first surprise party. Turns out, throwing a surprise party is pretty much like throwing a regular party, with the main difference being that you feel like a real asshole for a few weeks beforehand when you're talking to the person you're throwing it for. What am I doing on Friday? Uh....nothing! But yeah, I'm afraid I can't hang out. Why? Um, no reason. I'm definitely not cutting out eleven templates of your head and gluing them onto popsicle sticks or anything!

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Aug
07
2011

This Is What's Wrong With The World Today

This afternoon, while painting my spare bedroom, I stepped backwards right into the can of navy blue paint. And because I had absolutely no idea what to do next, I immediately took a picture and texted it to Sean. So let's reiterate: my first priority, having accidentally smurfed myself, was to take a photograph. Before I'd even cleaned it up. And you don't even know how close I was to tweeting it.

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May
23
2010

Things That Are Important When Choosing A Mate

I think we can all agree that there are certain characteristics one looks for when choosing a partner, can we not? Some of those characteristics may come and go a little with age---for the latter half of the 1990s, my own personal list was amended to include "eyebrow piercing" and "knowledge of the oeuvre of Jim Morrison"---but the main things we look for in a mate rarely change, I think. I've always been drawn towards artsy boys, for instance, and in college I went through a short-lived phase of dating people whose last names began with H. (Although that was pretty much just coincidence, I think, and not a matter of me going up to men on the street and saying "You're nice-looking, but what's your last name? Smith, you say? Oh, forget it then, never mind.")

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