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

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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

Dec
17
2007

Incapable Of Making A Decision

I have this problem. Well, let's call it a disorder. Wherever I sit in a restaurant, I always think I could be sitting somewhere better.

Does this happen to you as well? It doesn't matter whether the hostess shows me to the table or if I have to choose it myself---actually, sometimes it's worse if I have to choose it myself---but whichever table I end up at, I always find myself thinking "wait, this is way too close to the toilets" or "great, we're right next to the door, now we're going to feel a breeze."

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May
08
2008

Everything Changes, Everything Stays The Same

When I left Charleston to travel around Asia for six months and then move to San Francisco, I didn't think I'd be away long. I figured I'd hop a cheap flight back sometime soonish, see all my friends, hit up my old haunts. But now here we are just shy of two years later, and I haven't been back since Sean and I drove that big old U-Haul down our street on a blistering June morning, waved, wept, and were gone. 

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Jul
21
2006

The Youth In Asia

I was sitting out by the pool yesterday, working my way through a novel so trashy and horrible that I'm ashamed to tell you what it was---really, being unemployed in a tropical country is TERRIBLY taxing, now if I could just get Sean to polish each gummy bear to a high sheen before I put it in my mouth---when a couple of little Singaporean boys started splashing around in the shallow end next to me, forcing me to listen in on their conversation, which was mostly centered around weine

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May
01
2008

Come On Feel The Illinois(e), Part Two

(Part One of our Chicago adventure is here. Also, just as a warning, this post is LONG. Apparently I have a problem with brevity when recapping vacations, so I would advise you to grab some snacks now. And also maybe your cane and some Metamucil, in case you turn another year older while reading this.)

 

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Sep
28
2010

Splendid Things: Online Decorating Sources

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It may not have escaped your notice, but I'm deep into the process of trying to make my new house look lovely. The thing about moving into a new house, I've found, is that suddenly you need five billion new things: there's more space to fill, your couch is a weird shape for the room, you get seized with wild inspiration and decide to repaint everything turquoise. (Ahem. Or maybe a slightly different turquoise from the turquoise you painted everything the first time.) Anyway, you get it: when you move into a new house, you start needing different stuff.

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Sep
28
2008

Wishing You A Lifetime Of Wedgies, Whoever You May Be

I think we can all agree that witnessing a man taking a crap in public---right there on the street, a mere two blocks from your house---is likely to put a damper on anyone's afternoon. And yes, this is an entirely true story. However, when witnessing a man taking a crap in public is not the most disturbing thing that happens to you all day: well, then you've got a problem.

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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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