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

Dec
09
2009

I Want To Give You A Free Teeny Tiny Computer

When I first got the email asking me if I’d like to review the Viliv X70EX I forwarded it straight to Sean. “This gadget looks cool,” I wrote. “But I have no idea what it is.” Sean wrote me back so fast that he must have got whiplash doing it. “THAT IS THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER,” he said.

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Jan
07
2009

It Is Time To Tidy Up Your Life

Not to get all English major on you, but do you know that poem It Is Time To Tidy Up Your Life? Don't worry, there's no reason you should; it was written by this random British poet in the 1970s whose name was Brian Patten and it's not a particularly spectacular poem or anything, but I've always loved the title. Often, when I'm embarking on some sort of project that involves improving or ameliorating myself in some shape or form, it pops into my head just like that.

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Feb
18
2009

This Post Would Have Been Longer But I Have To Address 65 Envelopes Now

Monday was sort of a bad day. No single terrible thing happened; it was more a series of small indignities and irritations that, cumulatively, had me very quickly wanting to punch a wall. You know the sort of thing: laddered tights, stubbed toes, malfunctioning computers, missed buses (yes, plural, and in a thunderstorm no less. BOTH TIMES.) When it got to the point where I finally realized that nothing was going to go right for me all day, I threw up my hands in frustration. I GET IT, UNIVERSE, I said. TODAY SUCKS. WHY DON'T YOU JUST GET IT ALL OVER WITH AT ONCE?

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Mar
10
2009

Oranges. Yep, Just Oranges.

709694_low_orange_fruit.jpg

I'm not trying to be cute or funny here, but seriously, are oranges the best thing ever or what? I've recently rediscovered them and now I can't get enough of them. So tasty! So healthy! So convenient, with their own neat and tidy packaging that you just throw into the trash can! (Or---if you live in San Francisco where your office has one---THE COMPOST BIN. And to think at my old office, we didn't even recycle the copier paper.)

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Aug
01
2010

A Brief and Excellent Trip to South America

On Saturday morning, I got back to San Francisco from Chile, via a brief two-hour detour in Peru, where I'd been delayed until 2:30am and had sent out a series of awkwardly desperate messages on Facebook Chat to various friends and family members I was trying to engage in conversation in the middle of the night.

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Oct
09
2011

Splendid Thing: Birchbox

Have you heard of Birchbox? Nobody is paying me any money to say this, swear to god—none of my Splendid Things are ever, ever sponsored or given to me for free, by the way; they're just things that I've bought with my own hard-earned cash and liked—but I have become sort of obsessed with Birchbox. Basically, for $10 a month, you get a box of high-end beauty products in the mail every four weeks. The catch? Well, they're sample-sized. Generously sample-sized, though, I might add.

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Feb
02
2007

Now Qualified To Answer All Questions About Bouquets

Alright, enough whining already---and by whining, I mean my whining. Is there anything more irritating than a person feeling sorry for herself? Yesterday, after the afternoon's allotment of self-pity was over, I did what I always do when I'm feeling a little down in the dumps in a strange city, and went and spent a large amount of money on British chocolate. What, you didn't know that sugar and fat and artificial flavorings aren't bad for you when they're manufactured across the pond?

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