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
07
2006

It's About Time

This morning I spent a good five minutes looking for the door to number six on my advent calendar, cursing Cadburys for their shoddy advent calendar-making and fuming about what exactly they had against the number six (was it something to do with 666, I pondered?) before realizing that ah! Of course! Silly me! I'd already opened door number six yesterday, and today was in fact December 7th.

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Sep
10
2006

An English Tourist Forsees Her Death

My mother taught me never to drive in a thunderstorm if it wasn't absolutely neccessary, never to put a plastic bag over my head, and never to get on the back of a strange man's motorbike. Or on the motorbike of any man who was going to drive me miles and miles through deserted streets in order to show me his really awesome record collection. Or, in this case, his really awesome sand dunes. And though I've known these rules for ages, yesterday I broke them on all three counts.

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Apr
25
2011

Ain't No Sound of Silence If Your Cell Phone's Still On

Some essential part of me has been forever shattered upon finding out, firsthand, that Paul Simon is only 5"2. He's teeny! He's tiny! You want to scoop him up and put him in your pocket! If I were to stand back to back with Paul Simon---let us briefly pause here and imagine a scenario where this would feasibly take place---I would, at five feet and six inches, tower over him. You do not want to tower over your beloved musical icons, I think. There's something really wrong about it.

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Apr
15
2012

How To Make A Hostess Gift That Anyone Will Like

This weekend, we were in the slightly unusual position of having two housewarming parties to attend (plus, oddly enough, a book launch and a two-year-old's birthday party. Is there something about the second weekend of April that makes everyone feel decidedly social? Parties, man. They're like buses. Wait for ages in the rain without an umbrella and then suddenly they all come at once.) 

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Jan
27
2013

And Now For Some More Germany

I must say one thing about Germany before I say anything else: they have got this whole sleeping thing figured out. They have a great many other things figured out better than the rest of us, of course—beer; knives; punctual public transit; gummybears—but it is in the area of beds that they really excel. To wit: did you know that when you stay in a German hotel with a double bed that it's not actually a double bed but two single beds pushed together? And that instead of getting one large duvet between the two of you, you each get your own single duvet?

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Jun
26
2012

Hug It Out

I've become slightly worried that my husband might be doing some inappropriate hugging. Who do I talk to about this? Is there an advice columnist to whom I can write, hands a-wringin'? (Hands A-Wringin' is my new country & western band. I just decided that. Except I'm going to try and find us a Scandinavian lead singer so we can go one better and be Hans A-Wringin'. What was I talking about again? It's late and I don't think I should have added those three packets of Splenda to my Diet Coke and then chugged it.)

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Apr
17
2007

We Left The House And This Is All I Have To Show For It

On Saturday night, Sean and I went to see The Essex Green playing live in some tiny bar in the Mission, and it was one of those concerts where you're standing about a foot from the band, and you could, quite literally, reach out and touch them if you wanted to. Personally, I did want to, but I made myself behave, because I figured I was already embarassing myself enough with the salivating and the OH MY GOD IT'S THEM THEY'RE LIVE. You remember what happens when I go to concerts, right?

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