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

Jan
16
2007

They Don't Call Me Holly <i>Burns</i> For Nothing

So there I was, sitting at my desk, marveling that 89 people had something to say about grilled cheese, and scouring Craigslist for writing jobs that would allow me to feed the horrendous IKEA habit I seem to have developed in the last week, when I started to smell something funny. It was sort of a .... singed smell, sort of like Clean Linen had turned into Burnt Fleece. I looked down: both of the candles I'd been burning seemed fine.

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Aug
25
2010

How To Make A Large Graphic Sign For Your Wall

First of all, thank you so very much for all the lovely comments and compliments on our bedroom makeover. I read and relished every single one---even the one from the person who said it looked like a jail cell! Yes, even that one!---and it filled me with a particularly bubbly sort of glee that you were as delighted with the revamp as we were. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your enthusiasm. I'd invite you all over for a celebratory drink, but aside from the logistical difficulties---plus the offchance that one of you is actually a mass murderer---it would probably be rather awkward for you to have to ask for the time off work so you could fly across the country to clink glasses of champagne in the bedroom of an Internet person you've never met. I mean, right?

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Apr
09
2012

Play Ball

I have made a terrible trade. Back when we started driving to work together, Sean and I came to an agreement which—now that I think about it—we came to way too easily for him not to have plotted it sneakily in advance. The agreement was this: in the mornings, I would decide what we listened to on the stereo. In the evenings, it would be his choice. 

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Dec
12
2007

The Girl With The Golden Smile

Last night I had a few of my friends over for an evening we started calling Girls Night---and then immediately stopped calling Girls Night, because of the twee images it conjured of women sitting around in their pajamas, braiding each other's hair while half-watching Bridget Jones and talking about how to find a man. Our Girls Night featured none of those things, thank god, but it did feature gossip and bourbon.

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Dec
20
2006

I Think This Is What They Call Service Journalism

Do you know the trick about peeing so no-one can hear you? You do know this, right? Because I found out this afternoon that my sister had hung on and hung on for HOURS this morning, all because she didn't want to go pee in a bathroom that was next to a room with boys in it. That audible tinkle-tinkle-tinkle, after all, is not the most alluring.

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Aug
01
2006

Brother Knows Best

Hols,

Think you're leaving pretty soon, so just a few last minute things:

1. Don't take too many clothes! I honestly lived in two pairs of shorts and a couple of t-shirts. Things are going to get dirty, so deal with it. Perhaps it was poetic effect for your blog, but I'm seriously worried about your clothes list!!!! If I went again I wouldn't take anything, just pick stuff up as you go. Get some comfy fisherman trousers in Hong Kong and you have your kit for the entire journey.

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Mar
27
2008

Giving Spencer Pratt A Run For His Money

I can't remember how it came up, but I asked Sean recently if he used to watch Beavis and Butthead back when it was on in the early 90s, and---despite being its target demographic---he said didn't much because he didn't find it that funny, and I said "are you kidding me? It was hilarious! I used to stay up late to watch it because it came on at midnight in England! And if I couldn't stay up that late? Then I'd videotape it!"

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Feb
28
2010

Best Thing Ever: Dyson DC25 The Ball

Dyson DC25 The Ball

Look, I know it's a lot of money. And it's not just that it's a lot of money, it's that it's a lot of money for a vacuum. But Internet, I am not lying to you when I say that the Dyson we bought a few months ago has actually changed my life. I have become a person who---wait for it---CANNOT WAIT TO CLEAN THE HOUSE. I know! It's grotesque! What kind of weirdo am I? But somehow, cleaning the house with the Dyson is so extraordinarily satisfying---be gone, cat hair!

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