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

Aug
29
2010

How We Met, Reconstructed

One of the nice things about marrying a person you've known for six hundred bajillion years is that there's a pretty good chance his parents still live in the town where you met. My parents used to live there too, of course, which makes any visit back an exercise in fitful nostalgia. There's your old house, says Sean as we drive past it, and I crane my neck to peer into the kitchen. That's where my brother and sister used to wait for the school bus. There's the store where we bought our bread and our milk.

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Oct
04
2009

Fringe Benefits

So I got bangs this weekend, which is something I was saying I was going to do for the last couple of weeks, but which I was still only half-heartedly thinking about until I saw 500 Days of Summer a couple of days ago and realized what an annoying movie-goer I was being by repeatedly elbowing my companions in the ribs and whispering "That's the hair I want! That hair! Her hair! Right there!"

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Jul
20
2007

Shake, Rattle, And Roll

In the wee small hours of this morning, I woke up with a jolt. I don’t mean that figuratively, like I suddenly sat up in bed and said “sweet baby Moses, I forgot to feed the cats!” I mean it literally: I was jolted awake. Physically. It felt like an eight-wheeler had slammed into the bedroom wall. The bed shook for a few seconds, and I thought---in that detached sort of way you think things in the wee small hours of the morning, unaided yet by caffeine or clarity of thought---“whoa, weird, the bed is shaking.” And then I went back to sleep.

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Sep
19
2012

Let Me Name Your Babies

One of the things that never fails to crack me up is remembering a conversation my brother Luke once had with a customer service representative. When she asked him how he was doing, in that polite but rote way customer service representatives have of asking you things, he somehow got supremely flustered—in what I can only imagine was the sort of bumbling Englishman stereotype for which we have good old Hugh Grant to thank—and ended up conflating "not so bad" and "pretty well." 

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Jun
20
2007

You Stay Classy, San Diego

We're off to San Diego on Friday morning, and I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to it so much, in fact, that yesterday I took down the large grey faux-Rubbermaid bin with HOLLY'S SUMMER CLOTHES scrawled on it in red Sharpie, and greeted each and every one of my tank tops and floaty skirts with a French kiss. There are many, many, many things I like about living in San Francisco, but wearing wool in June is not one of them.

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Apr
05
2006

It's Like I Think The Internet Is One Big Instruction Manual

Gentle readers, you know so many things. And I am stuck on the answers to several quandaries. Perhaps you can offer me some advice on the following matters, each of which has been plaguing me for the last couple of days. There is a beauty question, a technology question, and a food question, so all the bases are covered. Ah, we will solve the mysteries of the universe, you and I!

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Jun
06
2010

Home Is Where The Billy Bookcase Is

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that one of the things I'm most looking forward to about moving into our first house---seriously, a house, with things like (gasp!) a staircase and an office, and yes, these things are such novelties that the italics are totally required---is all the redecorating we're going to get to do.

Did you ever see my living room in Charleston? It looked like this:

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