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

Mar
13
2008

Come On, I Bet You Guys Were All In That Program For Gifted Kids When You Were Younger

I'm having trouble coming up with a tag line for the new design of my site. There's some lovely real estate up on the header just waiting to be filled with something witty and pithy and fun, but man, all I do at my regular job is think of lines that are witty and pithy and fun, and by the time it comes around to being creative OFF THE CLOCK, my head is as empty as Paris Hilton's....uh....head, I guess. I was trying to go for something a little cleverer there---Paris Hilton's bed? Nope, that won't work, certainly not---but exactly, there you go, you see what I mean?

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Nov
24
2008

Someone To (Bay)Watch Over Me

When I was in Orlando for work in May, I stayed at a hotel that was opposite Downtown Disney, and on my first night---tired, exhausted, and not in the mood for driving---I crossed the street and wandered around, looking for a place to have a quick dinner. After several minutes, I began to feel very, very conspicuous. The reason? I was the only person---and I mean the only person---without kids. In fact, I was the only person on my own. I decided then and there that was no sadder place to be alone than Downtown Disney.

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Oct
31
2010

Splendid Things: Sweet Junkie

sweetjunkie.jpg

I am not so much a chocolate person as I am a candy person. There's a difference, I think. I like gummy sweets and squishy sweets and big crunchy rocks of boiled sugar that a person could lose a filling on. When I was at school in England, nothing made me happier than whiling away an afternoon with a good book and a white paper bag of sweets from the newsagent up the road. I've written about this before, about my nostalgic obsession with traditional English candy.

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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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Apr
05
2006

My Name Is Earl. I Mean, Holly.

Is there anything I could have done today that would have made me feel more like a redneck than having a fight with someone in a Wal-Mart parking lot? Maybe if I'd been swigging from a 40, or wearing a Nascar t-shirt with Little Debbie snack cake stains on it, or maybe if Sean had been my cousin and his name had been Bubba and I'd been kissing him, but otherwise I'm guessing yelling at someone in a Wal-Mart parking lot is probably pretty high on the list of Redneck Activities, wouldn't you think?

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Sep
30
2008

Warning: If You Don't Give a Hoot About Dresses, You Won't Give a Hoot About This Post

Pretty much the main reason we're going to London next week is to see my friend Victoria get married. Victoria and I were at school together in England, and although we didn't become friendly until we were fifteen or sixteen, we've known each other since we were eleven. Which, holy smokes, means we've known each for seventeen years, although I guess that's just as well, actually; knowing someone for seventeen years seems like a pretty good reason to spend a month's rent on a plane ticket.

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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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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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