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
04
2008

Alligator By The National

alligator.jpg

We were at our friends Alison and Nathan's house on Friday night, playing Trivial Pursuit and drinking Kahlua and cream---hey, we know how to do the weekend up right---when this amazing sound suddenly started coming through the iPod speakers, the sort of sound that stops you in your tracks and makes you sit up a little bit straighter.

"What is this?" I asked, like a vegetarian who's just tasted bacon. Or a person who's just tasted Kahlua and cream.

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Nov
04
2008

Teetering On The Edge Of History And All I Can Think About Is Vanilla Frosting

So November's shaping up to be a pretty exciting month, I think. For a start, a TJ Maxx just opened in downtown San Francisco---a first! We have a Marshalls, yes, but you'll get your stuff stolen there---and I've been looking forward to this moment for two months, ever since Moose and I passed a sign on the freeway that said TJ MAXX COMING SOON.

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Jul
02
2007

Time Was Away And Somewhere Else

Shortly after September 11, 2001, I flew back to London to begin my final year at university. For three months, I slept on a futon in my friend Anna's spare room in a building with a doorman and a dishwasher, an apartment far nicer than I could have afforded on my meager student budget. Anna had finished with university already and had a real job and a boyfriend with a BMW, a boyfriend who only tolerated my presence in the apartment because Anna and I had known each other since we were seven.

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May
28
2008

If You See Something, Say Something

A friend once told me about a guy she knew who hated going to the bathroom anywhere but his own house. If he was out and found he suddenly had some, uh, business to attend to, he'd hightail it back to his own facilities rather than perch his buttocks on the rim of an unfamiliar porcelain throne.

Apparently, there is a guy living in my parents' apartment building who has the exact opposite problem.

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Feb
26
2013

The First Eighteen Weeks

Okay, we're about to look at ten pictures of my midsection, and I need to make sure that you're alright with that. You said you didn't mind if we talked about pregnancy-related stuff for a little while, so I thought I'd take you up on it and share with you my ever-expanding girth, which I have been photographing since week 9 like every other elated first-time mother-to-be with a camera and an internet connection. 

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Apr
07
2010

How To Fight Jetlag

I've decided that perhaps I would be super awesome at having a baby. Not because of any increasing maternal instincts or anything, but because the first thing people always tell you about having a baby is how sleep-deprived you're going to be, and I have become rather adept at handling sleep deprivation over the years that I've traveled.

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Nov
23
2009

Mr DeMille, I'm Not Ready For My Closeup

Today has been the shortest day ever. I don't mean, like, officially or anything: I just mean that I took off from San Francisco before the sun had risen and landed in New York after it had set. My entire day has been in darkness, which has given it a weird truncated sort of feel. Right now, it's 9:15pm and I'm sitting alone in a hotel room in Queens, where I have just finished a vending machine soda and a soggy sandwich that I bought at 7am in San Francisco with the misguided hope that it would, uh, travel well. Which, needless to say, it didn't.

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