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

Feb
20
2006

The Kindness of (Almost) Strangers

I don't often get homesick because, quite frankly, I'm not really sure where to call home. Technically, home at the moment is Charleston---which is where my apartment and my job and my boyfriend and, more importantly, my pink Kitchenaid mixer are---but my family lives 30,000 miles away in Singapore. Moreover, I spent my childhood all over the place---France, Holland, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Connecticut----which sort of confuses the matter.

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Apr
05
2006

It's Like I Think The Internet Is One Big Instruction Manual

Gentle readers, you know so many things. And I am stuck on the answers to several quandaries. Perhaps you can offer me some advice on the following matters, each of which has been plaguing me for the last couple of days. There is a beauty question, a technology question, and a food question, so all the bases are covered. Ah, we will solve the mysteries of the universe, you and I!

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Sep
03
2006

Dinner at Em's

The first day we arrived in Hoi An, we took a walk around the town to get our bearings. We've taken to doing this as soon as we set down our backpacks in a new place, because the bus will either drop us at an out-of-the-way hotel, hoping we'll choose to stay there so the busdriver gets his commission, or we'll become immediately disoriented by the vendors who jump on us as we arrive, trying to sell us all manner of things. Cigarettes? No thanks, we don't smoke. Fake photocopied books? No thanks, read 'em all. Two-for-one shots at Klub Krazy Apple?

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Dec
20
2006

I Think This Is What They Call Service Journalism

Do you know the trick about peeing so no-one can hear you? You do know this, right? Because I found out this afternoon that my sister had hung on and hung on for HOURS this morning, all because she didn't want to go pee in a bathroom that was next to a room with boys in it. That audible tinkle-tinkle-tinkle, after all, is not the most alluring.

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Jan
16
2007

They Don't Call Me Holly <i>Burns</i> For Nothing

So there I was, sitting at my desk, marveling that 89 people had something to say about grilled cheese, and scouring Craigslist for writing jobs that would allow me to feed the horrendous IKEA habit I seem to have developed in the last week, when I started to smell something funny. It was sort of a .... singed smell, sort of like Clean Linen had turned into Burnt Fleece. I looked down: both of the candles I'd been burning seemed fine.

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Mar
15
2012

Slow It Down, Go Easy On Me

I have been feeling unfailingly nostalgic recently. You might argue that I am always unfailingly nostalgic—and it's an argument you'd win; it does seem to be my default state—but I am feeling, I guess, particularly nostalgic as of late. I don't know why. Perhaps it's the wisteria, suddenly out in full force around the buildings at work, and how the scent of it takes me back, like a punch in the gut, to the wisteria that burst into life every spring at school, a riot of purple blooms climbing up the brick between the staff room and the ladies' toilets.

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Jun
11
2010

Notes From The Road

I cannot abide a seat kicker. Seat kickers should be strung up by their seatbelts and forced to watch Bride Wars repeatedly on a flickering screen the size of a postage stamp. Seat kickers should be force-fed six dollar "breakfast snack packs" until the bile rises in their throats after one too many slices of Hormel meat.

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