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

May
14
2013

Nobody Needs A Wipe Warmer (And Other Things I Hope You'll Tell Me)

A few weekends ago, I sat down to make a baby registry. Wait, let me just rephrase that sentence: a few weekends ago, I sat down to make a baby registry and did not get up. For the entire 48 hours. Call it anxious first-timer nerves, call it "generally unable to purchase anything, eat anywhere, or make any other kind of decision for myself without first reading seven hundred reviews from other people," but I found the idea of making a baby registry more than a little daunting.

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Mar
04
2009

The Knot's Got Nothing On Me

So all of a sudden it's March and I'm freaking out. I do this every March, actually---find myself at a point where I can't possibly believe two months of the new year are gone already and I've done NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING with them---but this year the inherent panic of It Being March Oh My God is heightened by the fact that March is one month closer to September than February was, and September is when I'm getting married. 

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Nov
11
2012

No Alarms and No Surprises

Remember when I said there was nothing quite so scary as waking up to an email with the subject line "MUM IN HOSPITAL"? Well, it turns out there is. Here is the thing that is scarier than waking up to an email with the subject line "MUM IN HOSPITAL": it's getting an IM from your sister in the middle of a meeting that says "Can you call dad? Mum has collapsed and been taken to hospital in an ambulance." 

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Dec
09
2009

I Want To Give You A Free Teeny Tiny Computer

When I first got the email asking me if I’d like to review the Viliv X70EX I forwarded it straight to Sean. “This gadget looks cool,” I wrote. “But I have no idea what it is.” Sean wrote me back so fast that he must have got whiplash doing it. “THAT IS THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER,” he said.

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Jan
28
2010

With Love And Squalor

So there I was, with a blog post all written in my head already about my haaaaaiiiiiiiirrrrrrrr---you know, the sort of self-absorbed little nugget that some social media professor at a third-rate university would hold up as Exhibit A in a lecture entitled Why Bloggers Are Navel-Gazing Twerps Who Assume You Give A Crap About Their Bangs---when J.D. Salinger died on Thursday morning.

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May
26
2009

Wedding Planning Panic Alert: Downgraded To "Can Breathe Again, Cancel That Call To The Paramedics"

At any given time in America, I am willing to bet that there is a woman on a plane, with her laptop open in front of her, studying a wedding spreadsheet. There was one such woman on my plane this morning, in fact---it wasn't me, it was the girl in front of me, but what are the odds?---and a second woman, who was pacing the aisle with a fussy baby, happened to look over her shoulder. 

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May
09
2006

Things Fall Apart, It's Scientific

The other day, Sean and I interviewed a local chef for an article I was writing—well, I interviewed him and Sean photographed him, which really meant that we both got to leave work early and have someone feed us sauteed baby quail at four o'clock in the afternoon. (And I'm leaving this job again why?) On our way back to the car afterwards, we started talking about how there were so many restaurants in Charleston we hadn't yet been to in the three and a half years we've lived in the city, and Sean said "We could just stay here and eat.

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Oct
05
2008

Call Me Martha

I had a rather overzealous goal this weekend of painting the front hallway, and even though I knew it was a rather overzealous goal, I kept it on my to-do list anyway, just in case. "You're not going to do it," said Sean, and I said "I might! You never know!" and then I went to two different hardware stores to get paint samples in various shades of dark red.

And......yeah. That was as far as I got, incidentally, with the painting of the front hallway. Whoops. Better luck next time! Play again soon!

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