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

May
21
2012

Cutting Loose

I got a wild hair this weekend—haha, see what I did there?—and chopped nine inches of tangles into a chin-length bob, which was sort of a ballsy move for me, considering I'd been growing my hair for the last two and a half years, but I got the idea into my head and I couldn't get it out, and so that's how it went. 

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Mar
06
2011

How To Make Scotch Eggs

Do you like eggs? Do you like sausage? Do you like things that are fried? If you like eggs and you like sausage and you like things that are fried, I think you would like Scotch Eggs, if you have not already tried them, because a Scotch Egg is a wondrous, wondrous thing indeed. It's an egg, wrapped in sausage, coated in bread crumbs, and fried to within an inch of its life. I am afraid that it is basically the Turducken of the British culinary world.

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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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Mar
10
2010

Well, Thank Goodness That's Over

About a month ago, Sean decided to grow a beard. I don't know why, exactly: maybe because it was winter and it seemed a manly thing to do---Man freezing! Man grow hair! Scarf for little girl, man say!---or perhaps it was a daring sociological expose into the general public's reaction to hirsuteness, who knows? Maybe he just got lazy and decided he was going to stop shaving. (More than likely that last one.)

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Apr
19
2006

The Big Reveal

So! Thank you all so much for not believing for a second that I would ever enter a professional hot dog eating competition. Obviously, if it had been a professional Tiramisu eating competition, it would have been a totally different story, and you all would have thought, of course, that number two was the lie (because CAN YOU BELIEVE that woman said that to me about the acne?

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Nov
01
2007

This One Is More Full-Fat Than "Lite," Sorry About That

So we haven't had a Bachelor post in a while, have we, and that's sort of because I pretty much forgot to Bring Out The Snark on last week's epsiode. Which is kind of a shame, actually, because there was plenty to snark about. One girl (Hillary, in case you care) had sort of a two year old's tantrum crossed with a low-grade panic attack at the end, all because Brad didn't offer her a rose.

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Oct
02
2006

Down And Out In Chiang Mai

I seem to have some sort of head cold. At least, let's all hope it's a head cold, because when you haven't got Dr. Google on 24-hour standby, you're apt to start flicking through the "Illnesses and Diseases" section of the Lonely Planet Southeast Asia instead and finding that why yes, you do have a sore throat, body aches, and small itchy spots on the inside of your elbow, so quite obviously you have Japenese Encephalitis. And malaria. And dengue fever. And SARS.

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Feb
03
2010

One Man's Groundhog Is Another Man's Burning Effigy

I think I could live in America for the rest of my life and I would still not really understand Groundhog Day. It catches me off guard every year. I'll be making polite small talk about the weather with someone in an elevator or a shop and all of a sudden they'll smile and say jovially "well, they say we've got six more weeks of winter left, of course!"

And I'll blink and look confused and think wait, did I miss something on the Weather Channel?

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Jul
18
2010

All About Barbados

It's been a while since we got back from Barbados and I haven't even told you anything about it. It was---as you would imagine a vacation in Barbados to be, particularly one taken after two weeks of packing and moving and painting---rather fantastic.

For a start, this was our balcony:

And this was the sunset view from that balcony:

And this was the pool where we spent our days:

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