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. 

Recent Posts

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
21
2006

Live & Unplugged

My dad taught me to drive, and to do Sudoku puzzles, and how to shade the iris of an eye in a life drawing to make it look real. He taught me to pack a suitcase properly, and how to ski better, and when I was 13 or 14, he taught me how to play the guitar. The first thing he showed me was a series of three very easy chords; the kind of thing everyone learns to play in the beginning.

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Apr
09
2012

Play Ball

I have made a terrible trade. Back when we started driving to work together, Sean and I came to an agreement which—now that I think about it—we came to way too easily for him not to have plotted it sneakily in advance. The agreement was this: in the mornings, I would decide what we listened to on the stereo. In the evenings, it would be his choice. 

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Jul
07
2008

Clean Sheets

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There's very little I like more in the world than slipping between clean sheets. They can't just be clean, though, they have to smell clean: you know, that perfect fresh-from-the-dryer smell that means all is right with the world. 

Right now I'm using Tide laundry detergent in Mountain Spring, and Bounce dryer sheets. This combination produces a pretty clean-smelling set of sheets, but I'm wondering if I can do better.

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May
05
2008

Peaks And Valleys

I don't know why it always takes me such a long time to realize it---or why it's such a huge surprise to me every single time---but when I'm going to the gym regularly, I just feel a whole lot better about things.  I sleep better, I work harder,  I worry less. My body morphs from something that frequently irritates and disappoints and surprises me into something strong and proud, something capable of speed and agility and momentum. My mind is clearer, my skin is clearer, and sure, it doesn't hurt that my pants fit a little better too. 

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Jun
20
2007

You Stay Classy, San Diego

We're off to San Diego on Friday morning, and I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to it so much, in fact, that yesterday I took down the large grey faux-Rubbermaid bin with HOLLY'S SUMMER CLOTHES scrawled on it in red Sharpie, and greeted each and every one of my tank tops and floaty skirts with a French kiss. There are many, many, many things I like about living in San Francisco, but wearing wool in June is not one of them.

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Jul
24
2006

What's Black And White And Read All Over?

Upon hearing that I was going traveling in Southeast Asia this summer, my brother Tom---who had done a similar route several years ago when he was eighteen, thus proving that even though he is three years younger than me, he is still The More Exciting One---immediately told me about the travelers' code for sharing books.

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Jun
22
2010

Suggestions For Making Moving More Bearable

Oh, snap! That was a bit of a misleading title, because as it turns out, I don't actually have any. Moving sucks, and we are right in the middle of the suckitude, and I mean smack bang right in the eye of it. And I know the next thing you're going to say is "well, wait until you do it with kids!" but here's the thing: I kind of am a kid when it comes to moving. I procrastinate and sigh heavily and throw bedsheets into boxes with cereal bowls and I'm constantly asking are we there yet? are we there yet?

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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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