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

Jun
29
2007

Say Hello To My Little Friends

Some days ago I attended a party for the launch of the American version of lastminute.com, at which pink cupcakes and pink lemonade were served (if you click on that link, you'll see why.) We were told that if we ourselves wore pink to the party, we would be entered in a drawing to win a vacation, and since I don't need to hear the words "win" or "vacation" twice, and since roughly 80% of my wardrobe is pink anyway, I obliged with a Pepto-Bismol-colored skirt I bought a few years ago in Singapore, and which has served me fairly well over the years for s

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Feb
22
2006

Today Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

For the last eight years, Sean has hated his job. I wish I could tell you I was exaggerating about the "eight years" part, but I'm really not. He's been very good at it, of course, and has garnered all sorts of accolades and promotions, but he's hated almost every second of it. I suppose that's just what happens when you're passionate about design and photography, and you end up working in nuclear power.

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Nov
30
2008

Sprite Zero

sprite_zero.jpg

Drinking Sprite reminds me of the time I caught some third world parasite in Burma and ended up feeling sicker than I've ever felt in my life. No, scratch that, drinking Sprite reminds me of recovering from that third world parasite---the glorious inching towards feeling slightly better, then slightly better than that, then slightly better than that---and that is why I love Sprite: I never drink it unless I can justify it as the only thing that'll make me feel better.

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Mar
13
2012

Splendid Thing: Draw Something

I had a whole different post lined up and written in my head—what, they don't count when you write them in your head?—but I have managed to spend the entire evening embroiled in one enormous, never-ending, multi-player game of Draw Something instead, and so that one's going to have to wait. 

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Nov
15
2007

How To Feel Less Stressed

Here is the cure: stay in a hotel where you are given a room with two bathrooms. TWO BATHROOMS. For just you! How are you supposed to decide which bathroom to use? Should you alternate? Will one of the bathrooms feel left out if you just use the other one exclusively?

And come to think of it, which TV should you watch? There are three, after all. And one of them is actually IN one of the bathrooms---in the mirror, no less!

I guess that settles which bathroom you should use. I mean, you'd hate to miss a moment of CNN while applying your mascara, right?

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Mar
27
2008

Giving Spencer Pratt A Run For His Money

I can't remember how it came up, but I asked Sean recently if he used to watch Beavis and Butthead back when it was on in the early 90s, and---despite being its target demographic---he said didn't much because he didn't find it that funny, and I said "are you kidding me? It was hilarious! I used to stay up late to watch it because it came on at midnight in England! And if I couldn't stay up that late? Then I'd videotape it!"

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Jul
14
2010

The N Is Near

My new commute, until now, has been pretty innocuous. We get on the train, we sit there and read for thirty minutes---I have rediscovered reading! I now have a time and a place to read!---and then we get off at the other end. We do this twice a day and it's fine. Sometimes I get my phone out and Yelp all the restaurants and bars we're passing because we move through entirely different neighborhoods now and it's always nice to know where you can get a decent falafel. Sometimes Sean and I chat, sometimes we don't.

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