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

Jan
05
2010

Justin Bobby For President

I think we can all admit to a slightly embarrasing celebrity crush, can't we? Mine, for example, is Justin Bobby. Are you familiar with Justin Bobby? He's the resident "bad boy" on The Hills, and I put "bad boy" in quotes like that because pah! He rides a motorcycle! He often has a bit of stubble! Sometimes he forgets to show up at parties! He's not strangling kittens or handing out roofies, is what I'm saying: he basically just wears a leather jacket and chews gum. He's the best kind of bad boy: the fairly harmless kind who favors plaid.

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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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Jul
06
2010

OK Commuter

Today marked the very first time Sean and I made the commute on public transport from our new house to work. Don't get me wrong: we lived in it for three days last week before heading off to Barbados on vacation, and they were all days we could have tried to figure out the bus or the train, but we drove to work instead: mostly because our heads were packed and spinning at that point and one more new thing to understand would've driven us, I think, to the brink.

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Jun
05
2011

On The Upside, I'm Not Particularly Scared Of Spiders

I have a decent number of irrational fears---falling asleep and never waking up again; being pushed onto the train tracks by an uhinged stranger at the last second before the train comes; wooden spoons---but at the top of my list of Things That Scare Me, No Matter How Illogical is that I will one day get mixed up with a drug kingpin who wrongly thinks I owe him money.

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Oct
19
2010

Does This Train Make Me Look Pregnant

I think the time has come for me to eschew the empire-waisted dress. On this evening's MUNI ride home, a woman offered me her seat. Let me repeat that: a WOMAN. Offered me her SEAT. When does a woman offer another woman her seat on a crowded rush hour train? When she thinks she's pregnant, that's when.

Note: I am certainly not pregnant.

When I got home, I told Sean. "A woman offered me her seat on the train!" I said. "I think she thought I was pregnant!"

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Sep
20
2006

Enough About Me, Let's Talk About Coup*

So while you and I were busy discussing the color of mango flesh yesterday, some rather more important stuff was going on in Thailand. Sean and I awoke at 4:30 this morning in order to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat---which itself is another post, titled perhaps Ten Things I Hate About Tourists---and turned on the TV just in time to see the headline "Thailand in Crisis," accompanied by reports of tanks patrolling the streets of Bangkok.

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Nov
19
2007

The Day I Officially Became A Midwesterner

Along with the Henry Ford museum and the Heidelberg project, one of the things I really wanted to do in Detroit was try a real jello salad. You know the kind: "salad" is a total misnomer since they're 98 percent gelatin, and they make frequent appearances at family reunions, where nobody but the kids really eats them. If you're lucky, they're topped with whipped cream from the can.

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