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

Oct
25
2006

How Not To Pick Me Up

Sit down next to me in an Internet cafe and start grunting intermittently, quietly but worryingly. Remain unaware of the fact that I can actually feel you staring at me and/or reading my email over my shoulder every three minutes, such is the intensity with which you are doing it. After some time has passed, tap me on the shoulder and say "how are your eyes? Could I just borrow them a minute?

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Jul
07
2009

Things I Swear, Under Pain of Death, I Will Never Say To An Engaged Person

"Well, finally. Took him long enough!"

"How's the planning going?"

"Wow, you're getting close, huh?"

"How's it all going? Getting stressed yet?"

"I can totally tell you've lost some weight. You look skinny now!"

"Only eight weeks to go! My god, how are you going to do it all?"

"So how's that planning going anyway?"

"Have you thought about your bouquet?"

"And your cake?"

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Aug
21
2008

Anger Management

A woman was rude to me last night and it made me so angry that I had to go into the shop next door and buy an expensive sea salt shower gel to make myself feel better. And I did feel better, for about five seconds, but then I kind of felt worse again, because what kind of person needs to buy an expensive sea salt shower gel to make themselves feel better? Hmm, me, I guess, that's who.

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Oct
05
2006

Permission To Join The Adrenaline Club

Today we finally roused ourselves from our cultural inertia long enough to decide that since we only had a few days left in Chiang Mai, we should probably Do Something. And I don’t know about you, but when I think about Doing Something, I usually think about going for an elephant ride. And then trekking barefoot through the jungle. And then white-water rafting. And then visiting several obscure hill tribes, who obviously aren’t that obscure, because even though they live in mud huts, they still have cable television—they do!

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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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Apr
26
2007

Had We But World Enough And Time

If I'm lucky, I get to see my parents three times a year---once at Christmas when I go to Singapore, once in the summer when they come to the States, and usually once in the spring, when one of them comes for a visit. I realize that most people my age would mean something very different by "if I'm lucky"---they'd mean they were lucky not to have to see their parents very often, that three times a year was the minimum effort they had to put in. When I say I'm lucky to see my parents three times a year, I do sincerely mean I'm lucky.

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