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

Aug
29
2010

How We Met, Reconstructed

One of the nice things about marrying a person you've known for six hundred bajillion years is that there's a pretty good chance his parents still live in the town where you met. My parents used to live there too, of course, which makes any visit back an exercise in fitful nostalgia. There's your old house, says Sean as we drive past it, and I crane my neck to peer into the kitchen. That's where my brother and sister used to wait for the school bus. There's the store where we bought our bread and our milk.

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May
11
2006

What I Will Miss About Work: A Photo Essay

When I first got the idea to post pictures of things I'd miss when I left work---and when I say "got the idea," I actually mean "stole it from Amalah"---I thought I'd be a real asshole about it, and photograph things I hated, like the perpetually empty roll of toilet paper in the women's bathroom, or my constantly overflowing trashcan, or the huge red wine stain on the cream carpet right by the desk in my office.

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Oct
25
2007

Oh, Canada! Oh, Portland!

We're thinking of going away the weekend after next, partly because the travel bug is up to its old tricks and IT ITCHES OH IT ITCHES, and partly because I have a (soon to expire) promotional code to use on a last-minute getaway, and since I always seem to leave things to the last minute anyway, it seems particularly fitting that I'm leaving it to the last minute to take a last-minute vacation. Isn't that irony or something? Alanis?

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Nov
16
2006

Respect To The Clarinets

For the last few days, my parents have been in India. My dad had a business trip there, and my mother's mission was to prove how much she loved me by buying me multiple pairs of sparkly bejeweled shoes. I drew around my foot on a piece of paper before she left and then cut around it, so that she'd be able to place my stand-in "foot" inside each pair of shoes to see if they were going to fit properly.

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May
01
2008

Come On Feel The Illinois(e), Part Two

(Part One of our Chicago adventure is here. Also, just as a warning, this post is LONG. Apparently I have a problem with brevity when recapping vacations, so I would advise you to grab some snacks now. And also maybe your cane and some Metamucil, in case you turn another year older while reading this.)

 

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Feb
04
2008

Timeline: Zero Through Six

1980: I am born in Epsom, a town in the south of England known predominantly for its horseracing tracks. (My mother never much thought she wanted children, she says, until she walked past a pram on the way to the post office one day, looked inside, and realized that actually, she really rather did.) My parents bring me back from the hospital in February, England gray and frozen, and my dad carries me---his first daughter, his first child---from room to room.

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Jul
08
2009

The Center Cannot Hold

Could just be that I've lived in San Francisco too long, but I've always believed that the body will express the feelings the mind often can't. Wow, did you read that sentence I just wrote? Sign me up for a chakra-centering workshop, stat! Bring me my patchouli! I've got crystals and mung beans and a tie-dyed Grateful Dead shirt from 1972 and I'm not afraid to use them! 

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Jan
08
2008

Placeholder

So I'm not dead. You know, in case you were wondering. I haven't been lying in a ditch on the side of the road (you were so worried! you were worried sick! couldn't I have called?) and I haven't even been, like, eaten by wolves or something cool like that. Or wildebeests, that would be even cooler.

(Wildebeests? Or wildebeest? Which is the plural? Help me out, my ratio of Hours I've Been Asleep to Hours I've Been Awake is hovering around the 1:10 mark.)

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Mar
01
2006

Secret Bachelor Tuesday: The End of the Affair

This is going to be a long one. I'd get a strong drink now, if I were you, and also perhaps some pita chips and some other sundry supplies to keep you going at your computer---like maybe a tent and a camping stove, since I'm not sure how long this is going to take. You might also need some flares. (The kind you have in your car for roadside emergencies, I mean, not the pants. You can bring the pants too, if you'd like, but be warned that we'll probably all make fun of you. Also, you should know that they're totally not flattering. Widens the hips, I think.)

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