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

Mar
14
2006

The Great American (and Canadian and English and Singaporean) Dress Search: Mission Complete!

So although my sister is still dateless for The Most Important Social Event of the High School Season---although it's not until June, so maybe a handsome young transfer student will swoop in at the last minute, or wait, am I confusing her life with Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield's?---she has at least found a dress! Thank you all so much for your lovely links and suggestions, and thank you also for my credit card bill following that post because, what?

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Apr
30
2012

Let's Talk About My Vacation Part 6: The Train From Cape Town To Johannesburg

I am recapping, excruciatingly slowly, the two-week trip we took to South Africa last year.Here is part one, about our layover in Paris; here is part two, about Cape Town; here is part three, about Cape Point and the penguins of Boulders Beach; here is part four, about wine tasting and stroking a baby cheetah in Stellenbosch; and here is part five about shark-diving in Gansbaai. Expect me to be finished with this sometime in 2014.

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Dec
06
2008

Taking Tiny Baby Steps Towards Some Semblance Of Wedding Planning

I have my first appointment to try on wedding dresses later today and, get this, I'm nervous about it. Yes, nervous! Nervous to try on dresses! And this from a girl who has never met a dress or a dressing room she didn't like, a girl who considers shopping to be in her top five hobbies. (Oh, who are we kidding, top three hobbies. It's not like I actually have any real hobbies, anyway, like fencing or knitting or tae kwon do.) 

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May
11
2006

What I Will Miss About Work: A Photo Essay

When I first got the idea to post pictures of things I'd miss when I left work---and when I say "got the idea," I actually mean "stole it from Amalah"---I thought I'd be a real asshole about it, and photograph things I hated, like the perpetually empty roll of toilet paper in the women's bathroom, or my constantly overflowing trashcan, or the huge red wine stain on the cream carpet right by the desk in my office.

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Mar
22
2012

Let's Just Call It My British Reserve

One of the things I'm trying to work on getting over is my fear of changing in front of other people. Changing clothes, I should clarify. I mean, I'm sure you knew that's what I meant anyway, but now I'm getting a small kick out of the fact that one or two of you perhaps imagined, for a split second, that I was anxious about changing, say, my menu order or my hair color with others present, which sounds like a very severe and specific medical disorder that I most certainly do not have.

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Jan
07
2009

It Is Time To Tidy Up Your Life

Not to get all English major on you, but do you know that poem It Is Time To Tidy Up Your Life? Don't worry, there's no reason you should; it was written by this random British poet in the 1970s whose name was Brian Patten and it's not a particularly spectacular poem or anything, but I've always loved the title. Often, when I'm embarking on some sort of project that involves improving or ameliorating myself in some shape or form, it pops into my head just like that.

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Apr
05
2010

Putting It All Together: How Do You Give Back?

I have around a million things to tell you about England---which is where I still am, incidentally, stuffing myself with Easter chocolate---and about Paris too, and you will find that most of them involve food, which will probably not come as much of a surprise, but those things will have to wait, because today, as part of my second foray into Putting It All Together, we are going to talk about giving back.

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