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

Nov
26
2010

Home And My Range: Part Two

Never underestimate the excitement of a new kitchen appliance. My 21-year-old self just cringed in horror when I wrote tha—oh, who am I kidding, my 21-year-old self was as nerdy as my 30-year-old self is now. My 21-year-old self, in fact, might even have been more excited than my 30-year-old about a new kitchen appliance because my 21-year-old self often had to choose between contact lens solution and shampoo, my pitiful student budget not stretching so far as to encompass both. A conclusion then: new kitchen appliances are exciting at any age.

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Feb
09
2008

How You Know You Have Good Friends

--We're picking you up in ten minutes.

--Are you wearing jeans?

--No, I'm wearing a black skirt. What are you going to wear?

--I don't know. Everything I try on looks awful. It's my birthday! I'm supposed to look smoking hot!

--Well...I can change into my jeans, if you like. They'll add a good five pounds to me. I'll look a lot worse.

--You'd do that for me?

--Oh sure, it's your birthday, I don't mind.

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Jun
09
2008

The Art Of Losing

I haven't been in Berlin an hour before I've moved us here, mentally picking up our lives in California and setting them down in some charming apartment with high ceilings and wide windows, a view onto a sidewalk cafe, the sound of church bells every morning. I'm fickle like this with new cities; it is, after all, how we ended up in San Francisco. I fall in love with a place easily, impetuously, often to the point of distraction. Perhaps because I've never really belonged anywhere for long, I always immediately see myself belonging.

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Oct
28
2012

I Don't Care If You're Sweating, We're Drinking This Apple Cider And We're Liking It

In an unsurprising display of immense unoriginality, I would like to announce that my favorite season is fall. Fall? Autumn? Which should I have said there? I realized yesterday that I've lived full-time in the states for exactly ten years—plus six part-time years before that—which means I probably shouldn't feel such a fraud saying "fall," and yet I do because it's not what I grew up saying. I mean, what if I'm turning into Madonna, except the opposite? Would somebody tell me if that was happening?

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Jul
12
2012

Hark, Is That The Sound Of A Morning Person?

Sean had an 8am meeting this morning, which meant we had to leave the house at 6:50am. I'm probably going to get laughed out of town by everyone with kids—"6:50am? You think 6:50am is early? 6:50am is a WEEK IN MAUI WITH GEORGE CLOONEY"—but considering it's an hour later than we normally leave, I thought 6:50am was fairly barbaric.

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Dec
08
2011

Like Pulling Teeth

I went to the dentist yesterday, for an appointment that I had made six months earlier. Does your dentist do this? Make you schedule another appointment the second you walk out of the last one? Probably this is kind of common and everyone's dentist does it, but to me it is newly surprising every time because I cannot think of any other area in my life that is so organized and well-regimented.

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Mar
17
2010

Things To Do Before Having A Baby

One of the things I wasn't expecting about marriage is how soon afterwards you start thinking about having kids. I'm sure it's not this way for everyone, of course---plenty of people have kids without being married, plenty of people get married and don't want kids---but for me, at least, it's been something of an eye-opener. And when I say it's been something of an eye-opener, I want you to imagine someone dropping a bucketful of ice down the back of my shirt just as I'm starting to fall asleep. That kind of eye opener.

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