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

Feb
03
2010

One Man's Groundhog Is Another Man's Burning Effigy

I think I could live in America for the rest of my life and I would still not really understand Groundhog Day. It catches me off guard every year. I'll be making polite small talk about the weather with someone in an elevator or a shop and all of a sudden they'll smile and say jovially "well, they say we've got six more weeks of winter left, of course!"

And I'll blink and look confused and think wait, did I miss something on the Weather Channel?

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Apr
03
2013

Five Things I Like Right Now

I feel like we've got to the point where a person can't write a post about the things she likes without someone wondering if it's a sponsored product review, so I just want to say before I begin that this is not sponsored, or a product review, or a sponsored product review. I'm not trying to sell you anything here, I just miss the days when you could read about something you liked on a blog and think "ooh, I think I'd like that thing too!" and maybe go out and buy it, and neither party would feel a little weird about it.

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Nov
14
2005

In Which I Attempt To Justify An Unnecessary Indulgence. And Also Talk About Sweat A Lot.

Here in Charleston, we're a little bit behind when it comes to the Swanky Fancy Gym Department. (And yes, that is its official name, though it's possible, of course, that you may also have heard it referred to as the Holy Crap, I'm Not Paying That Much Every Month Just To Have a Personal TV On My Treadmill Department, which is its alternate name in many parts of the country.) I suppose the thinking is that we Charlestonians will get our cardio by chasing each other through the cobblestoned streets or doing some vigorous bell-ringing in one of our eight million churches.

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Dec
27
2009

Party Of Five

Before I tell you about my Christmas, which was excellent, I am going to tell you about my day after Christmas, which---if we are being authentic---I would call Boxing Day, for this is what English people call the day after Christmas, did you know that? I could be responsible and look it up on Wikipedia for you but instead I'm just going tell you that I think it has something to do with boxing up all the food you didn't eat on Christmas Day and giving it to the poor people....or, hmm, something like that. Yeah, you'd better just look it up on Wikipedia, I'm probably wrong.

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Mar
03
2013

Hamish, Either Way

Before I got pregnant—before I even started trying to get pregnant—Sean and I would refer to our mythical future child as "Hamish." I can't remember exactly how this started, although I do remember telling Sean that I used to babysit a sweet little boy named Hamish, and Sean declaring it his favorite baby name ever, but we somehow fell into the habit of using "Hamish" as a synonym for "baby." Before too long, we'd have perfectly normal conversations with each other that contained sentences like "When we have a Hamish, we can..." a

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Feb
01
2006

No, I Won't Accept This Rose. Moreover, I Won't Accept Your Lime Green Sweatshirt And Your Pointy Chin.

When I was about 17, we read Ben Jonson's play Volpone in English class and I wasn't really into it. I was much more enamoured of the other two books we were studying---The Great Gatsby and Lyrical Ballads, I think---and every time Tuesday afternoon rolled around, I could hardly believe it was Volpone day again, because it seemed like we'd just had Volpone day and seriously, now we were having it again?

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