Monday, November 30, 2009

he said to only look up

I should have gone to bed ages ago, but I'm pretty congested and in no mood to lie in bed and swallow my own snot. I would refrain from discussing my illness (which so far appears to just be a nasty cold, knock on wood), but it's really the only thing going on right now. I did go into the office today because I had a meeting with the big boss that I didn't want to miss; but, I left shortly after three p.m., and came home and did v. little the rest of the evening. I decided to indulge my illness with some Chinese takeout, since you're supposed to feed a fever (although if it's a cold, I'm failing to starve it). I also watched the finale to "The Next Iron Chef" and was happy to see that Chef Garces beat out Chef Mehta at the end. Then, I watched an episode of Craig featuring Neil Patrick Harris, whom I adore; this led to some YouTubing of various great 'How I Met Your Mother' clips.

I also did some work that I absolutely had to get done; even if I stay home tomorrow, I will have to work most of the day to be ready for a meeting I have on Wednesday. I also inadvertently watched a video of my least favorite song (Guster's "All the Way up to Heaven") because I was excited to click on what appeared to be a wedding-related video sent to me and the boys by Chris (aka Boyd) -- bastard. But now that all the fun is over, I think I should probably get some sleep.

One final thing -- this is tremendously dorky, but I've started following Laura Ingalls Wilder on Twitter. She will only be funny to those of you who read the 'Little House' books as a child (television show viewers need not apply, since I thought the show was an abomination). Her twitter feed is here - http://twitter.com/HalfPintIngalls - and you don't need to be a twitter user in order to look at it. My favorite is that she created an Amazon wishlist for her Christmas; hysterical!

And on that note, goodnight!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

train this chaos, turn it into light

I was fabulously productive today, and it was all personal stuff -- work can wait until tomorrow. I feel the oncoming of a plague; when I woke up this morning with a sore throat, I hoped that it was merely the result of the dry airplane air...but in case it was an early symptom of something worse, I decided to get as much done as possible today so that I could hole up and nurse my ailment if necessary. It wasn't all work, though; I started off by going to Samovar (the one in the Castro, not my usual Yerba Buena one), where I had quiche and a masala chai while reading 'Roberts' Guide for Butlers and Other Household Staff', written by Robert Roberts (sadly unimaginative name)in 1827. It was almost too hot this morning; in direct sunlight outside the cafe, I had to take of my sweater, and in my sleeveless dress and leggings I was still overheating. I endured, however, hoping that copious sunshine would burn out my incipient virus.

I stopped by the grocery store on the way home and stocked up on the necessities, and then spent some time tidying up the apartment and swiffering where needed. I did a load of clothing, washed my sheets, flipped my mattress, remade my bed, and talked to my parents for half an hour (our Sunday phone call ritual must be maintained, even though I just saw them yesterday). Then, I started typing my notes from 'The Cambridge Companion to British Theatre 1730-1830', which pretty much consumed the rest of the night. I did take a break to make polenta; it was a recipe from the Italian vegetarian cookbook my parents gave me for my birthday, consisting of polenta and two types of cheese. It turned out pretty well, but as it happened I wasn't particularly hungry when it was ready, and so I have far too much left over.

I've discovered all sorts of fun facts about British theatre, and I'm loving my return to research; I just need to guard against the temptation to research for months, since I really need to start writing again. But now, I'm going to go to bed and hope that 8+ hours of sleep will stave off the plague. You had best hope that's the case too, since you know all too well that I get whiny when I'm sick, and whiny, octogenarian-style recounting of symptoms isn't fun for anyone. Goodnight!

i've been doing it since i was a young kid and i always come out grinning

I made it back to San Francisco, with only one mishap and a few minor annoyances. Most of the day was totally fine; I spent the late morning/early afternoon packing, talking to my mom, and eating 'lunch' (one last round of my favorite dip, plus a piece of pumpkin pie -- really not nutritious at all). We left for Des Moines a little after two pm, and when we got there, we had a very late lunch/very early dinner at Johnny's Italian Steakhouse on the south side. It's the restaurant that my parents have chosen to replace the now-dead Robin's Wood Oven and Grill, and it's pretty tasty; I made a mistake in my ordering, since I should have known better than to get the crab lasagna in the middle of the heartland (although in my defense, they 'upgraded' me to the dinner-style lasagna, which wasn't exactly what I wanted). But the calamari appetizer was delicious, and my mom's steak and garlic mashed potatoes were perfect.

We spent some quality time deciding what to do about each others' Christmas stockings, and we're abandoning tradition (in which we all pretend that Santa still exists, which means my mom has to fill all the stockings including hers, thus not having any stocking surprises on Christmas morning) to try a new method in which we all buy stuff for each others' stockings. We will see how it goes on Christmas, and whether it's a noble experiment or a recipe for disaster. Then, my family kicked me out on the curb so that they could go Christmas shopping (I encouraged them -- there was no sense in them waiting around the airport, although I was absurdly early considering that when I went up to security, there wasn't a single other passenger in line).

My flight to Denver landed early, and so I got on the standby list for an earlier SFO flight that would put me into San Francisco an hour earlier than planned. When they called my name, I asked the gate agent if I could pay to upgrade to economy plus (since I had seen some particularly nightmarish children in line and thought economy plus might be a buffer) -- and she said yes, but then said she was so busy that she would just let me have it. Score! So I got an exit row, which is obviously totally wasted on me, but I was pleased nonetheless. And, there was just enough room to stow both my carryons in the overhead bins. So, I thought I was rocking. I proceeded to read several more chapters of the 'Cambridge Companion to British Theatre 1730-1830' that I've been engrossed in, and I flagged about a hundred passages that I need to go back and take notes on.

The sad thing, though, is that since I didn't have a seat in front of me, there was no pocket in which to stow my journal and my pen. So I had my pen in my sweater pocket -- and when I needed it, I discovered that it had disappeared. It was my favorite pen, too; a beautiful icy-pink ballpoint that I got from Cross several seasons ago. I was somewhat heartsick, since the pen was a limited edition and long out of stock on Cross's website. So I crawled around during the flight, and couldn't see it. I tried to ask the people behind me if they could see it, but the most likely one to see it (the person sitting directly behind me) just gave me the sideeye. Admittedly, she was stuck in coach with a newborn while her husband and toddler sat in first, so she was probably not having a good night, but she didn't even feign interest in my plight. I waited for the rows behind me to disembark and searched thoroughly, but no luck. Either it rolled fifteen rows back during the flight (unlikely), or it dropped through the gap between my seat and the next into the woman's bag. I prefer to blame her, so that's what I shall do.

I made it home okay, despite the most full long-term parking shuttle I have ever seen, and some particularly frustrating incompetence by the parking lot staff (who had capitalized on the holiday by double parking a bunch of cars, including mine, and then taking their time unblocking me even though the bus driver radioed ahead to get my car unblocked). When I got home, I promptly went on ebay and found a new pen to replace the one I lost. I actually bought two; stupid, I know, but you don't know how much I adore this pen (and all pens, really), and so I want to have an extra one on hand just in case I didn't learn my lesson and someday fail to guard the pen with my life.

On that note of supreme dorkiness, I think I shall go to bed. I'm glad that I have tomorrow off; I need to do laundry and unpack and take care of a bunch of little things before going back to work on Monday. I hope that all y'all had a great Thanksgiving! December will pass by in a blur -- I'll be back in Iowa three weeks from today, so there is much to do before then. Goodnight!

Friday, November 27, 2009

can't do this to me baby

This is a four-minute post, if that. Today was for the most part completely uneventful; I dragged myself out of bed at a respectable hour, and then spent a couple of hours hanging around the kitchen with my parents (mostly my mother, since my father and brother spent the day working on my brother's house). I took a bath around 1pm, ate a turkey sandwich, and then my mom and I went into town to see my brother's house. Neither of them were there (sneaky), but I did drive around the outside, and progress has clearly been made. Then, I proceeded to waste the afternoon away trying to come up with a Christmas list -- I am becoming harder and harder to shop for, and the lack of space in my current apartment doesn't help matters.

We had Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner, and it was all close to as good as it was yesterday. Then, we engaged in some family bonding, playing two games of hearts; I won the first set, and Michael won the second, likely because our parents were virtually falling asleep over their cards. After we finished playing, I kept making my list, and I paid some bills and did other administrative things so that I won't have to do them on Sunday.

Now, I should go to bed -- my flight back to California is tomorrow night, so I don't want to sleep the whole day away. I should be on the ground on the west coast by this time tomorrow; it's gone way too fast! Luckily, I'll be back in three weeks, so I won't mourn too much. Goodnight!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

all i know is we're not getting paid tonight

I should have gone to bed hours ago; I tend to procrastinate and do nothing when I'm at home, and this break has been no exception. However, today was lovely; it was Thanksgiving, of course, which meant feasting. I was thrilled and honored that my mother trusted me enough to organize the relish tray, since such heavy responsibility implies that she approves of (or at least tolerates) my eye for organization, presentation and balance. I also mixed up the corn casserole before showering and getting dressed, but she did virtually everything else -- turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry salad, plus the corn casserole, the rolls I made earlier in the week, my sister's deviled eggs, and some wrapped pickles that I despise but that my brother and nieces at all of, and the pumpkin pie finale. Verily, it was a feast, and we have enough leftovers that I have a strong prediction of what we will eat tomorrow.

All in all, there were eleven people at dinner (and dinner was at 1pm in good midwestern style) -- my parents, me, my brother, grandmother, sister, brother-in-law, two nieces, one nephew, and one grand-niece. Gram left shortly after lunch, but my sister and her family stayed until after five. Sammi seemed to sleep through most of the afternoon, but I spent some quality time tying tinsel into Allie's hair, and Michael and I took turns playing with Jaicee. It was all v. nice, but it was also good to return to silence when everyone left; this allowed us to watch 'Survivor', 'CSI', and 'The Mentalist' in peace. I also spent some quality time with my laptop, continuing the quest to find a good database solution. But, I shall not bore you with the details -- instead, I should go to bed.

I hope that you all had lovely Thanksgivings and were able to spend it with someone special. Thanks for reading, and here's looking forward to another year of inane posts and senseless ramblings :) Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

let me joke (we do not like your jokes)

First, I almost never post YouTube videos, but since I'm on vacation and have some time on my hands, I actually watched one today! It's a keeper if you like the Muppets and/or Bohemian Rhapsody:



Second, today was great, albeit lazy; I decided to stay in bed rather than being a good little corporate martyr, and so I skipped the conference call that I might have dialed into in favor of another hour of sleep. Then, I putzed around upstairs, talked to my mom, and made another batch of rolls. During the two-hour dough rising time, I took a bubble bath (I put bubble baths on my to-do list for the week, so they're legit) and checked in on Twitter and other areas of the interweb. Then, I spent some long, tiring quality time shaping the rolls with my bare hands. My grandmother showed up at some point and refused to comment on whether my rolls looked okay; but, they still taste delicious, so whatever.

My mother made yet another excellent supper (tenderloins and homemade mac and cheese), and my brother and father told amusing stories of some town where the mayor, restaurant owner, and woman who lives in the old schoolhouse are all siblings. Say what you will, but small towns are v. v. interesting. After supper, I continued pretending to read while watching a devastating episode of 'Criminal Minds' and some 'CSI:New York'. Actually, I made it through the first four chapters of 'Cambridge Companion to British Theatre: 1730-1830'. So far, so good, even if my father asked me what I was reading and then said 'where do you get this shit?' I'm quite pleased with it so far, and now I just want to dive headfirst into historical research, when what I really need to do is skim the surface so that I have time to keep writing.

Along the lines of research, though, I spent some quality time tonight attempting to decide which database software to get for my Mac. I could have used OneNote, but it's a) not a database and b) not available for a Mac. I need something that will enable me to easily keep track of a wide variety of factoids, timelines, etc. One option might be to do a combo - download this timeline-creating software that I found to create a pretty visual timeline of every historical period that I'm interested in, and then download a OneNote knockoff to store freeform notes. A database has the advantage of being queryable, making it easy to run reports on different categories, dates, sources, etc.; but something like OneNote feels more organic, which may fit better into the writing process.

And on that dorky note, I shall take my technical conundrum and go to bed. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

unaware that i'm tearing you asunder

I slept in too late today, but other than that, things were totally lovely (and likely utterly uninteresting for my readers). The bulk of my productivity was devoted to attempting to recreate my grandmother's dinner rolls; this involved mixing up the dough, letting it rise for two hours, and then forming the rolls. Sounds easy, right? And it was easy -- but it was time-consuming, since the rolls are shaped like three-leaf clovers, which means that each roll requires you to make three small balls of dough and put them together into a muffin tin. Also, we quite disconcertingly discovered weevils in the brand-new flour; luckily, my father spotted them before I added any to the mix, so we were saved, but it was still quite odd. But, the verdict was that the rolls were delicious -- they didn't look quite like my grandmother's for reasons that I can't determine, but I'm going to make another batch tomorrow, so we'll see if I can improve the rolls' aesthetics without diminishing their taste.

At some point this afternoon, I took another bubble bath; I didn't fall asleep in this one, which is a sign that I might be more relaxed and well-rested than I was yesterday. I also got a delightful call from Katie; even though I know that she has my cellphone number programmed into her phone, she loves to call me on my home phone number (which she knows from back in the day when we all only had landlines and we used to call each other to dissect the latest episode of "Walker, Texas Ranger" even though we had just seen each other at school and work). My mom made an amazing supper; she made roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy, and I followed my brother's lead for once and put the meat, potatoes and gravy on top of a slice of Wonder bread. It was the first hot beef sandwich that I've had in years, and it was better than any other hot beef sandwich I've ever had. After that deliciousness, I watched "NCIS", "NCIS: Los Angeles", and "The Good Wife". I like "NCIS", although I don't regularly watch much tv, but the new LA version was also quite good (and was featured in a story by one of our local news reporters tonight, which is why the show's writers used Des Moines as the location of a previous killing). I was also v. intrigued by "The Good Wife" -- I like Chris Noth (even though my father took issue with that statement and said that he looks 'scummy'), and tonight's episode was great.

Now, though, even though it's before midnight in Iowa, I'm going to go to bed; I would like to read some of my book about British theatre tomorrow, and I'm going to make another batch of rolls, so sleep is a good idea. Goodnight!

Monday, November 23, 2009

if i only could be running up that hill

Today was almost entirely relaxing. I did about an hour of work, since I had to deliver a performance review that had slipped through the cracks over the past couple of weeks, but I was done by noon, and I spent the rest of the day doing v. little. My sister came over and brought my great-niece (grand-niece? either way, I'm too young to have one) -- luckily, Jaci is one happy baby and, at six months, starting to display personality and army-crawling with her super-chubby little arms and legs, so I had fun playing with her for an hour or so. After they left, I ate a bologna sandwich and had my favorite french onion sour cream dip; that meal is probably one of the worst choices one could make, but it brings back happy memories of my childhood. I finally decided to clean myself up, and so I took a long, relaxing bubble bath and almost fell asleep in the tub. I spent a couple of hours reading 'The Canterbury Tales', and then had a totally delicious supper; my parents made bratwurst, steak, gold potatoes that had been boiled and then fried, and corn. It's a far cry from the hummus and tomatoes I probably would have resorted to on my own, and it was exactly what I wanted. I spent the rest of the evening watching tv with my parents, although the last four hours don't count since they were asleep and I was playing with my laptop.

My to-do list for the rest of the week looks similarly laid-back; I want to read some books, think about my two-year plan, bond with my family, and take more bubble baths. And that's about it, which is just what the doctor ordered. The funny thing is that it's like a prelude to my Christmas vacation; even though I leave on Saturday for California, I will be back in three weeks, and I'm spending almost two full weeks here for Christmas. Yay - I was desperately in need of a vacation, and this is exactly what I wanted. Now, though, I should go to sleep; it's 1:30 in Iowa even if it's not all that late in California, and I should get out of bed before noon tomorrow. Goodnight!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

the universe is shaped exactly like the earth

I'm falling asleep over my keyboard, so it's probably a sign that I should go to bed. Luckily I don't have to commute this week, other than to walk upstairs for more tea or to play board games, and so I'm quite a happy camper.

Today was good, albeit exhausting; I successfully woke up at 4:15, showered, finished packing, went to the airport, and made it on my seven a.m. flight to Denver. I had a two-hour layover in Denver, which I filled with nachos and two margaritas -- I was in a v. happy place after the second margarita, but I slept it off on the flight to Des Moines. Upon arrival in Des Moines, there was much rejoicing by my parents and somewhat more subdued rejoicing from my brother. I heart siblings.

We went to Aunt Becky's after the airport for an early dinner, and it was quite surreal to see the scandalous fiance (now Uncle Brian) sitting around like he owned the place (which, apparently, he now might). Uncle Mark, Aunt Kathy and Andrew (aka Drewbaby) all came over as well, so Thanksgiving basically came a bit early this year. We had a delicious midwestern dinner (bbq beef sandwiches, homemade potato salad, and chocolate cake with 'lick-um', which is some weird cake topper that only our family talks about). Then, we spent some quality time tying tinsel into each other's hair; I know it costs an exorbitant $5 a strand at Stanford, but after my brother pointed out my approximate hourly wage, me doing some torturous contortions to be able to tie one painstaking tinsel after another is probably a financial loss. So Aunt B put some blue ones in, which look good, but I think I'll get some more stuff in time for the holidays. Now, though, I'm super tired, so it's time for bed!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

you don't wanna hurt me, but see how deep the bullet lies

This has to be quick, since I need to get up in about four and a half hours in order to make it to the airport for my flight back to ye olde Iowa. Today was generally excellent; I slept in, spent some quality time drinking tea with Adit in our pajamas, and then took care of stuff around the apartment. I cleaned out the fridge (ick), packed (eighteen hours early - new record!), showered (v. necessary), and then met up with Adit and Vidya at Coffee Bar. Adit had been there for a couple of hours already, and he abruptly left shortly after I got there, and so Vidya and I had a couple of hours of quality time. I had intended to work, but I didn't even pull out my laptop; instead, I finished the delicious sandwich that I had ordered at Coffee Bar, and then we walked over to Atlas Cafe because Vidya was craving the yam sandwich (and saying its name in a superhero-announcement voice, like the voice that announces the 'Priceline Negotiator' - bizarre). So, our time together was quite lovely, particularly since I won't see her for a whole week.

I parted ways with Vidya and drove to San Mateo to meet up with Terry, Natasha, and several other coworkers for wine + "New Moon". I was *thisclose* to bailing on the movie; while I wanted to see Terry and so was excited about the wine bar before the movie, I really hated the book, despise Bella, and generally was not looking forward to the movie. However, I decided to go anyway, particularly since Terry was expecting my bad behavior and seemed willing to allow me to make fun of the movie to my heart's content. And the movie offered me plenty of opportunity; we arrived an hour early, meeting Natasha (who got there twenty minutes before us), and we still had to split into two separate groups and sit in two different rows (albeit one was right in front of the other, so at least we could still talk for the half hour between the door opening and the start of the trailers). The kids were out in full force, and they squealed a *lot* over the shirtless seventeen-year-old Taylor Lautner (the werewolf); worse, some of their moms were squealing too. I, on the other hand, guffawed when he took off his shirt for the first time, and my behavior steadily worsened. I still hate Bella, but at least I was entertained. Luckily, the strangers to my right thought it was just as ridiculous as I did -- if I had been sitting next to a super-serious twelve year old, the girl probably would have killed me when I applauded one character's critique of Bella's appalling stupidity.

Now, though, I desperately need sleep -- morning (or something like it) will come all too soon. By this time tomorrow, I will be in Iowa!

Friday, November 20, 2009

your heart felt good, it was dripping pitch and made of wood

Today was mostly excellent; I was productive at work through sheer necessity, which seems to work well for me. I told Terry tonight that I struggle to get stuff done on the days when I don't have anything pressing to do, and I expressed how I need to fix this -- which she promptly pointed out was likely impossible, since my work style ever since she's known me is to work in crazy, overwhelming spurts followed by periods of sloth (or, to be kind, 'recharging'). She is probably right, but I shall continue to dream of the day when I am happily, moderately productive instead of unproductive or uber-productive with no speed in between.

Anyway, I slept until after seven, which was v. necessary, and then I worked from the couch for an hour or two before showering and speeding down to Mountain View for a meeting with the big boss. She gave me the traditional Friday firedrill, which resulted in me needing to cancel a lunch and a meeting so that I could get through the most critical things on my to-do list before five p.m. I succeeded, but just barely, and I will probably have to work for a couple of hours tomorrow so that I can get firmly wrapped up before I go home.

But, I got out of the office a little after five, and promptly drove to San Jose to pick up Terry. She's in town for the weekend to watch 'New Moon' with her various NorCal friends; I still count as one of those friends even though I haven't finished the 'Twilight' series and mock it relentlessly. So I picked her up, and we met up with Natasha and Chris in Sunnyvale for some delicious Indian food. I had my doubts at first, since the restaurant was cold and the service required ordering at the counter (and serving yourself your own drinks on the honor system) -- all of which reminded me of the infamous trip to Lucky Dhaba when I returned from India oh so many moons ago. But, the food was delicious, no one at the dinner tonight hated each other, the restaurant used real plates and cutlery, and no one spilled raita all over everything, so all in all it was much nicer. We had an excellent time discussing possible startups, movies, etc., and I wish that the four of us could get together more often.

Chris and Natasha left to see a movie, and so Terry and I spent an hour catching up at Coupa Cafe in Palo Alto. I then dropped her off at Stanford to pick up her sister's car, and then made the long, depressing trek back to the evil city. And now that I'm here, I should really go to bed; I have a lot of packing and chores to do tomorrow, particularly since I have to meet Terry etc. for dinner at five p.m. and then stand in line for seats to this movie, and so can't plan to do anything after I get home since my flight takes off at seven a.m. on Sunday. Wish me luck -- the heartland beckons!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

really not into coming up with a title

So, today was fine, but it really wasn't all that great; I wasn't nearly as productive as I should have been, probably because I had to get to the office for a 7:30am meeting and lost interest in everything after that. I did have lunch with Marci, which was nice, and I spent some time with Joy and Natasha, so it wasn't all bad. I also tried to go to this talk by Alton Brown (of Food Network fame), but thirty minutes before the talk was supposed to start, the biggest venue on campus had already filled up, so I abandoned the attempt.

I left work around five, stopped at Starbucks, and then called my dad to wish him a happy birthday (happy birthday, Daddy!) The drive home took an hour and a half, and then I proceeded to waste more time by sitting on the couch and watching whatever Adit happened to come across (in tonight's case, a Biography feature on Oasis, part of a feature on Amy Winehouse, twenty minutes of 'The Green Mile', and the beginning of 'The Predator'). Now, on that incredibly boring note, it's time for bed!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

wait a couple months then you gonna see, you'll never find nobody better than me

It is way past my bedtime; yes, it's only 10:40ish, but since I just got home twenty minutes ago and have to be back in Mountain View by 7:30am, sleep is imperative. However, overall today was a great day; we successfully concluded the three-day offsite that I had planned, and the feedback was generally positive, so that made me happy. Of course, I have a ton of work stemming from the discussions in these meetings, but c'est la vie.

Actually, I shouldn't use a French phrase; I planned a two-hour break this afternoon so that the Irish contingent at the offsite could go to a sports bar and watch the Ireland vs. France World Cup qualifier, and Ireland lost (and so missed out on a World Cup berth) on a bit of v. questionable referring in extra time. That's simplifying things as bit, as even if the French goal hadn't counted the teams would have been forced to do penalty kicks rather than Ireland winning outright, but the Irish guys came back v. sad. However, we bounced back, ended the day on a positive note, and had dinner at Reposado in downtown Palo Alto. I've never been there; it was tasty, but it was definitely overpriced, overgourmet Mexican food. It was delicious, of course, and since we expensed the dinner, I wasn't complaining. I especially wasn't complaining when I drove home and saw an Orkin car parked outside the Taco Bell in my neighborhood -- not exactly the relationship you want to see flourishing, even if it's a good thing that Taco Bell is taking care of whatever Orkin was there to do at 10:30pm.

That's all you get from me tonight -- goodnight!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

baby it would bury me if you were in the public eye, giving somebody else a try

This is a four-minute post. I just barely made it in time for the 8:30 start of my offsite today, but I succeeded in beating a couple of other people there, so my close call went unnoticed. Unfortunately, we're now starting at 8:15 tomorrow morning, and ending with dinner, which means it's going to be at least a twelve-hour day, which I why I want to wrap this up and go to bed.

Generally, things are going well with the offsite, although I have stuff that I will need to get done surreptitiously tomorrow while I should be paying attention and participating in the discussion. I am extremely eager to go on vacation next week; I'm leaving for Iowa early Sunday morning and will be there almost a full week, which is much needed at this point. However, it's not all work and no play; I made it back to San Francisco tonight in time to have dinner with Alaska Matt and his wife Kia (who should theoretically be Alaska Kia, but as she is the only Kia I know, there is no need for the distinction). We went to a Thai place near Fillmore that served up some delicious curry and pad seeuw, and it was fantastic to see both of them; they've been in Dublin for the past six months (where they successfully avoided the near-deportation that I endured while in Dublin), and so it was v. good to catch up. Now, though, I'm going to go to bed immediately, as I can't survive tomorrow if I don't get eight hours of sleep. Goodnight!

Monday, November 16, 2009

someone's gonna tell you lies, cut you down to size

This is a four-minute post. It's the end of day one of a three-day offsite that I planned for the big boss, and I'm v. tired; it's surprisingly exhausting to sit in a poorly-ventilated room with fourteen other people and talk strategy for eight hours. It's even more exhausting to think about doing it all again tomorrow and the next day. However, despite my desire to go to sleep and my inability to stop myself from eating snacks all afternoon, everything went really well today, so I'm pleased to see that my extreme procrastination and sloth and general bad behavior this weekend didn't adversely affect my preparation for the event.

After work today, I went to a party supply store to buy some ridiculous tings for the senior staff dinner on Wednesday, and then I had a burrito at Baja Fresh before driving back to the city of sin. I worked from 9ish until now, and luckily I'm done with everything that absolutely must get done tonight, so I get to go to bed at a reasonable hour. And that's all the content you're going to get from me tonight, so I hope you're satisfied. Goodnight!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

lay all your love on me

I'm going to be immediately, so hopefully this won't even qualify as a four-minute post. Today was generally great, but I am so ill-prepared for tomorrow that it's not even funny. I don't regret it, though; last night was wonderful, I wasn't that hungover this morning (although I did sleep until ten a.m.), and then I spent the day foolishly squandering my wealth. And by that I mean I went shopping, and while I didn't squander my wealth, I did do some celebratory damage at Max Studio and picked up a few 'essentials' at Nordstrom and Sephora. Then I came home, talked to my parents, did three loads of laundry, and watched '60 Minutes' and 'The Next Iron Chef' with Adit while working on a recommendation for someone who is applying to business school. It was only when I looked at the rest of the to-do list that I hadn't bothered to look at earlier that I realized that I'm screwed; but, since Adit needs to get up at 6:30, and I have stuff that requires my presence in the office somewhat early anyway, I'm going to just go to bed, get up at 5:30, and hope that two hours in the office before the start of my nine a.m. meeting will save me. At least I will look stylish while I fail -- wish me luck!

you can't start a fire sitting around crying over a broken heart

Today was totally awesome, and judging by the fact that I'm writing this post at 3:35am, it's clear that typing will be the ultimate challenge. I woke up around eight, refreshed by twelve hours of sleep (perhaps someday I will write the 'lost post' of what happened on Friday and why I didn't blog last night), and Adit and I watched "The Royal Tenenbaums" while drinking tea and trying to avoid confronting the day. Finally, we successfully confronted it, and went to brunch with Julie, who was in town from Seattle with her fiance and their friends. Brunch was totally delicious, although I paced myself by eating a piece of toast with cheese and fruit since I was leaving brunch to immediately go to lunch. It was good to see Julie; I don't think I had seen her in at least three years, but she appeared to be similar to her usual self, even if she is grappling with a different situation now.

I left brunch to meet up with Irish Matt for lunch. I took him to Tadich Grill, which claims to be the oldest restaurant in San Francisco; they have a ton of seafood dishes, as well as steak, and so I hoped that it would appeal to Irish Matt's tastes. It lived up to his desires, so we had a lovely lunch. Then, we walked around the Ferry Building before walking all the way back to Union Square, where we sat in the park and were inadvertently extras in some amateur film about a makeup artist (or something, it was really hard to tell).

I came home around five, and I ended up taking a nap, which was dangerous but I rallied sufficiently to hang out with and hopefully entertain Vidya when she came over around nine. I was supposed to have dinner with Alaska Matt and his wife, but they rescheduled, and so I was able to spend some quality time with Vidius Chandicus. She fell asleep while I changed my clothing and freshened up my makeup, so it was no surprise when she parted ways with me as we went in search of cabs.

I ended up rallying enough to meet up with the boys for Folkman's thirtieth birthday; they had been out to dinner (which I missed, thinking I had other plans), but I found Folkman, Adit, Jav, Oniel, Timmy Timer (real name: Peder), Lily, Caca (real name: Ed) and others at the Liberties. I proceeded to do all the drinking that I intended to do last night; not to make a big deal of it, but I got promoted last week, and I was in the mood to celebrate. After a shot of Fernet, a white peach cosmopolitan, a pomegranate mojito, and three watermelon mojitos, I was definitely in a celebratory mood, and we ended up walking over to a late-night taqueria after last call, where I had a carnitas super burrito and we peer pressured Folkman, Jav and Caca to do the worm breakdance move on the floor of the restaurant.

So, a good time was had by all, and I'm glad I abandoned my responsibilities for one night. Now, it's time for bed; I anticipate that I will feel miserable tomorrow, but there's no rest for the wicked. Goodnight!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

play that record baby

I don't know why I'm so tired all the time -- maybe I have mono? I got eight hours of sleep last night, and yet my energy level is equivalent to an irradiated sloth. Also, I'm worried that I'm going to get arthritis like my grandmother and end up with twisted, gnarled fingers; my joints are aching constantly when I type, which is quite frustrating.

On that bleak note about my impending old age and death, I shall transition into happier topics. Today was a relatively good day; I made it south in time for my nine a.m. meeting (but didn't get up until seven, which was awesome), got my allergy shots, and was productive all day. I wrapped up around five and spent half an hour reading thirty pages or so of a book for the book club that Vidya's starting; the club met tonight, and so I tried to cram some reading time in before going to the evil city. However, I miscalculated; there was a 49ers game at Candlestick tonight, rendering my commute a complete nightmare, and so I was 45mins late to the book club. As a result, I missed most of the discussion of the book, but did get to eat some tasty crackers with cheddar cheese and fig chutney. I also got to hang out with a bunch of Indians, which is my favorite thing to do; oddly, the only other white girl there was someone who had also lived in Ireland and also basically got deported from there, which is sufficiently hard to do for Americans that we bonded over our twinned fates.

So, that was fun; then I came home and spent the last hour doing the random hodgepodge of things that absolutely had to get done tonight. I have plenty of other things to keep me busy tomorrow, though, so I need to go to bed and try to raise my energy just a little bit. The weekend should be fun, although I need it to be productive too given the stuff going on with the day job + the desire to write my book. I'm going to Vidya's rehousewarming party tomorrow night (where we're conveniently finishing off the alcohol that I mistakenly left in her place), and then I have Saturday lunch plans with Irish Matt and dinner plans with Alaska Matt and his lovely wife Kia (although Alaska Matt has been in Ireland for the past six months, but I have to keep him as Alaska Matt or else things will be too confusing for everyone). I'm also super psyched to read this book that I just got from Amazon - "The Cambridge Companion to British Theatre, 1730-1830". Yes, I am a dork. Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

i'll be there 'til the stars don't shine, 'til the heavens burst

I'm exhausted, so I'm trying to go to bed as soon as I'm done with this. I had to write a review tonight that I absolutely couldn't put off, which was unfortunate; I took a nap when I got home because I was so exhausted, and I'm still exhausted. But, today was great overall; I got my shit done, and then Natasha and I went to a veterans' event on main campus to support Pete, Dan and some of the other veterans. I also talked to my dad on the way home, which was fun (and also served to keep me awake).

Now, though, I'm too exhausted to even think about a coherent blog post, so I'm going to sleep. Please accept my apologies and look for something slightly better tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

i'm on top of the world, the coolest kid in the neighborhood

The title line is a complete lie. I'm exhausted; I was at the office from 9 to 4:30, came home to beat traffic, made dinner, had a conference call at 7pm, and then worked straight from 7:30pm until now (11:45pm). Ugh ugh ugh. I mean, I feel a lot better about where I am with the day job and got enough done that tomorrow won't be a complete disaster for me (even if it could well be for some other people), but it still wasn't ideal. It particularly wasn't ideal because I have to be back down in Mountain View by 8am tomorrow, which means that I have to get up in about six hours.

That means it's time to go to bed. Apologies for this being such a lame post; this is just a generally lame week, so I'm sorry. Goodnight!

Monday, November 09, 2009

there's a story in my eyes...turn the pages of desire

This is a four-minute post. I was in a terrible mood at work for absolutely no good reason; the problem, I think, is that I am all aflame with ideas for my book, and sitting in the office directly stops all progress on the writing. Then again, it also keeps me fed and clothed and shod and all those other good things (shod is particularly important, given my love of shoes), so I should stop complaining. I should also stop procrastinating while I'm there; I was just so not looking forward to anything on my to-do list today that I found it exceedingly difficult to concentrate. I need to snap out of this fast; my new job is too demanding to do more than a couple of days' worth of procrastinating, and I hate to fail.

But, I succeeded in leaving at five (not exactly a rebellion, since I got there at eight). I promptly went to Starbucks near my old slummy apartment in Mountain View (the one of Walter fame, with the crazy landlord and the illegal car repair service run by our neighbors in the carports beneath their apartments). The apartment may have sucked, but the Starbucks was v. nice, and I sat there for an hour and wrote a blog post for the group blog I'm a part of with my fellow Golden Heart finalists. I would link to it from here, but the group blog posts trackbacks to any blog that links to it, and while I'm not particularly good at keeping my alter ego and my real-life persona completely separate, I don't want to explicitly link it there either. So, you'll just have to visit my romance website (linked above), click on 'latest posts', and link to it from there if you're curious.

I came home, ate some black bean soup that I stole from work and finished the cut tomatoes, cucumbers, pita and hummus from yesterday while I got the blog up and going. Then I did some desultory other work, sent a long email to my agent with more ideas about my upcoming manuscripts, etc. while listening to Survivor's "I Can't Hold Back" on endless repeat. Now, though, the four minutes are up, and I have to get up early if I'm going to accomplish stuff tomorrow. Goodnight!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

it always feels like somebody's watching me

I can't tell whether to be thrilled or annoyed with how much I accomplished today. All in all, I think I'm leaning towards the thrilled side; I finally took care of a lot of paperwork and organizational tasks that I had been putting off, so I can see the entirety of my desk surface (other than the parts covered by my permanent mementos) for the first time in weeks. I also windexed the glass top of the desk and file cabinet, swiffered the whole apartment, did dishes, and cooked for both lunch and dinner (although cooking is used loosely for lunch -- I toasted some pita and cut up half a cucumber and a tomato to eat with hummus). I had my usual hour-long call with my parents, who seemed to be doing well; I got the latest updates on the wildlife in the area (including a bull who escaped from someone a couple of miles away a week or two ago and has been hiding out in the back of our property), and I got to vent about my writing. I finally critiqued another writer's first twenty-five pages that she had sent me because she had won a critique from me on the romance blog that I'm a part of, and I sent an email back to my agent about my ideas for my next book. Then, I wrote a review for tomorrow, and now I'm going to go to bed.

So yes, it looks like I got a lot done. However, I haven't written in three days, and I think I'm changing my focus; rather than trying to make fast progress so that I can enter the Golden Heart again, I'm going to go back and rewrite the beginning, and make a bit slower progress so that I can feel better about the overall first draft. That doesn't make me feel entirely good about it, since I was rather enamored with the idea of finishing a book in twenty days, but I'm trying to focus on the long term.

Okay, it's bedtime!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

baby just say yes

I unintentionally gave myself the day off; I'll have hell to pay tomorrow, but it felt very good in the moment. I slept until 8:30, puttered around the apartment until 10, and then got a facial. The aesthetician convinced me to let her wax my eyebrows as well because she said they had "character", which would have been insulting if I didn't agree with her. She was originally from Lithuania, so we had a conversation about the former Soviet Union while she tortured my face. I left feeling happy and relaxed, and I spent an hour relaxing at home before going down over to Samovar at Yerba Buena Gardens. I sat there for a couple of hours and brainstormed in my journal (so maybe that's not time off, but it wasn't immediate productivity) while enjoying my traditional quiche, scone, and masala chai, followed by some moorish mint tea. The mint tea, while not as delightful as the chai, was still v. good, and I know from bitter previous experience that having two chais in a row would have made me felt like I was having a heart attack.

After Samovar, I walked over the Borders, where I browsed for an hour or so, but ultimately left without buying anything. Instead, I came home and read a book on my Kindle -- "To Seduce a Sinner" by Elizabeth Hoyt. I liked it quite a bit; her writing style is v. engaging, even if I wasn't able to completely stop analyzing and fully immerse myself in it. Adit came home from dinner when I was almost finished with the book, and we ended up watching the last 85% of "The Dark Knight." Theoretically a Batman movie shouldn't move me so much, but I was just as affected by it as I was when I saw it in the theatre. I still think Christian Bale is yummy despite his apparent insanity; I mean, who hasn't lost it and yelled at a cameraman at some point in their careers? And Aaron Eckhardt as Harvey Dent was extremely inspiring and ultimately tragic. Of course, the film belonged to Heath Ledger, and his performance is only more haunting because he died shortly thereafter; his Joker was truly chilling and difficult to watch.

Adit ended up making us a midnight snack from the groceries I bought earlier this week and failed to cook; we had English muffin pizzas, for which I had purchased absurdly good fresh mozzarella, and so the pizzas were to die for. Then we watched Saturday Night Live (which had a hilarious knock-off of "Twilight", which isn't online yet, but you should search for it tomorrow), and now I should go to bed. I need to be productive tomorrow; I'm more than 3000 words behind on NaNoWriMo thanks to my time off, and I need to get back on the wagon. It's just a struggle because I came up with a new idea and am trying to decide whether to keep writing flat out with the goal of entering the Golden Heart again at the end of the month, or whether to take a breath, revise what I have, and move forward at a slower pace. Perhaps the answer will come to me in my dreams; goodnight!

Friday, November 06, 2009

i'm a man on a mission, rhyme vigilante

I'm utterly exhausted, and so I'm going to take the lame route and go to bed as soon as I'm done typing this. I had a good day at work; I had a meeting in San Francisco at 11am, and then I drove down to Mountain View to finish out the day. That may have sounded stupid, but my good friend Heather (of Heather and Salim fame) was in town for one day only, and I wanted to have dinner with her.

We ate at Amarin Thai; it's not as good as her favorite place in the city, but the spicy eggplant dish and the yellow curry came pretty close. We continued to catch up over pearl milk tea at Verde, where Heather and anyone else in the entire cafe who could see the tv became completely enthralled with an episode of "America's Funniest Home Videos". Despite that, we had a great time; I'm crossing my fingers that she will move back out here, since that would be totally ideal.

Now, though, I think it's time for me to go to sleep. It's like my brain has shut down. Maybe it's because I didn't get enough sleep last night; or, I burned out a vital part of my creativity circuit and need to let it rest. I had an awesome idea on the way down this morning, so much so that I rather dangerously drove one-handed while I pulled my notebook out of my bag and jotted a few thoughts. I'm going to spend some significant time this weekend brainstorming; as I result, I didn't hit my NaNoWriMo goal for today (didn't even try), but I intend to get back on track tomorrow. Goodnight!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

i can't hold back, i'm on the edge

Today was entertaining, productive, ridiculous, and many other things; it was also longer than usual, as evidenced by the fact that I'm still up at 11:40pm when I usually go to bed at ten. I feel less pressure to go to bed because I don't have to get up early; my first meeting is in the San Francisco office at eleven, which is infinitely better than the Mountain View office at seven.

But the more embarrassing reason why I'm still awake is because I got so caught up in "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" that I didn't get enough work done. For whatever reason, the string of fine programs that Adit and I watched tonight included "60 Minutes", "Paul Blart: Mall Cop", and "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans". How embarrassing is that? I had actually been proud of myself for not going to see any of the "Underworld" movies in the theatres, thinking that that was a bridge too far; but now, I've broken the seal, and I'm sad and disgraced by the fact that I really want to see the others. Sigh.

In other news, I did manage to drag myself out of the office around 5:30, and I went to Cafe Borrone to write for a little over an hour. I was incredibly productive, writing 1897 words (two hundred more than the amount required to stay ahead of the game), which made me feel good about my progress even when I spilled my diet coke all over the counter and down my front when I got my free refill.

Upon further reflection, today was just a richness of embarrassments, given that I spilled all over everything and watched that stupid movie. I shall persevere, though; I wouldn't be myself if I didn't embarrass myself on a regular basis, so I shall survive. Now, though, I shall go to bed so that I can rejuvenate for a weekend of writing. Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

promote synergies

The time change is really wreaking havoc with my sleep schedule -- or perhaps I'm just feeling slightly overworked and so am tiring more easily. I suppose it's understandable that I'm ready to go to bed, since I made it down to Mountain View for a 7:30am meeting and then was really busy all day. I had a nice break around 4:30 for coffee with a few members of my old old team (Tolu, Vickie, and Erin), which was great; they were the team that I was on before I went on leave (almost two years ago, hard to believe). Then, I managed to take an hour or so out tonight to have a cafe au lait and write at Cafe Borrone, hitting approximately six pages and nearly meeting my NaNoWriMo goal for the day. I'm really proud of that; rather than throwing in the towel and going home like I wanted to, I forced myself to be as productive as possible with the writing for a concentrated burst of time, and it really paid of. NaNoWriMo is really helping to get me back on track with Madeleine and Ferguson -- hopefully I'll have a first draft by the end of the month!

But, when I came home, I worked for a couple of hours; the big boss is in Singapore/Indonesia, so I get requests from her at odd times, and I had some stuff that I had to deal with tonight. I have another handful of things that I should have done tonight as well, but I'm going to try going to bed and getting up early. It's always a dangerous approach since I have a nasty habit of hitting snooze for as long as possible, but hopefully I will remember all these pressing things when I wake up in the morning. Now, though, it's time for bed!

Oh, that reminds me -- Natasha suggested today that perhaps I should come up with a new tagline; I usually close with 'it's time for bed' because blogging is the last thing I do before I go to sleep, bu perhaps I need something snappier like "here's looking at you" or "that's the way it was" or "yippee-ai-oh, mini sirloin burgers". Suggestions?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

i want you to show me how mad is your love

This is a four-minute post. I can't decide whether today was good or not; it definitely ended perfect (more on that in a moment), but the day itself was kind of meh. I worked out of San Francisco today, which was great; the downside is that while my commute is better (fifteen minutes each way door to door via the train that stops half a block away from my apartment), I'm less productive when I'm sitting in a random visitor cube instead of my desk. I don't know why; my desk and office are covered in distractions. But I didn't get nearly enough done today, and so tomorrow and Thursday are going to be unpleasant. Tomorrow would be unpleasant regardless, since I have a 7:30am meeting, but my lack of productivity today will make it worse.

However, I did manage to write about five pages (~1300 words) for NaNoWriMo this morning before work, which was great. I also had lunch with Pete, whom I adore; he seems to be doing well, and had an awesome time on his honeymoon. But the best was definitely dinner -- Jenni, James and I amazed ourselves by actually following through on an alcohol-fueled plan within a month of the original discussion. When we went winetasting for Jenni's birthday, we had quite drunkenly agreed to go to Little Star sometime; but since little Star is one of my favorite restaurants, I had a vested interest in making it happen. So we went tonight; the advantage of going on a Tuesday is that we were seated immediately and didn't have to wait an hour and a half. We had a great time, and the pizza was perfect as always, so I'm quite full and contented.

I should be writing performance reviews, but I had two glasses of wine and need to get up at 5:45 tomorrow, so the performance reviews aren't going to happen. Instead, it's time for bed!

Monday, November 02, 2009

out here the bell don't ring

This is a four-minute post. Today was pretty uneventful at work; I was forty minutes late to my eight a.m. meeting due to traffic, which put me in a rather bad mood all morning. But, I was pretty productive during the day, and so was able to leave at 5:30 p.m. to go to Cafe Borrone and make progress on NaNoWriMo. I didn't hit the 1667 word goal, but I got to 1344, which is pretty good; with yesterday's surplus, I'm still ahead. I'm going to get up tomorrow morning and write from home for a couple of hours before going into the San Francisco office, so hopefully I'll stay on track. I have dinner plans tomorrow night that will hamper my ability to write in the evening (although dinner will be super fun, so that's fine), but I'm trying to be really diligent, and giving up on the third day would not be good.

After Cafe Borrone (where I had a delicious black bean and vegetable soup), I finally bought the groceries that I had tried and failed to buy all weekend, then drove back to the evil city. I should have worked tonight, but I couldn't bring myself to do it; instead, I'm going to go to bed so that I can keep slogging forward with the book. Goodnight!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

a unique talkshow host

I meant to be in bed half an hour ago, but I've been messing around with my laptop and taking an inordinate amount of time to get ready for bed, so this post will be quick. I'm quite pleased with my day; while I didn't get up quite as early as I intended, I still managed to pump out ~3500 words (about fifteen pages) for the first day of National Novel Writing Month (heretofore referred to as NaNoWriMo). That's about twice as many words as the daily word count needed to stay on track to hit 50,000 words by the end of November, and I feel pretty good about what I wrote today, so I need to keep up the momentum! I blocked off time on my work calendar on either mornings or evenings all week to write for a couple of hours each day, which should be enough to hit the necessary word counts and set myself up well for another marathon writing session next weekend.

I probably could have written longer, since I only really wrote from eleven to three, but I decided to go in search of groceries before my required Sunday afternoon phone call with my parents. However, the parking lots at both Whole Foods and Safeway were full; while I could have circled and parked on the street, I knew that I would not want to venture into either store if there were no parking spaces, since that implies that there were hoards of scavenging disasters inside, and I was in no mood to stand in line. Perhaps I'll go to the grocery store tomorrow after I've hit my word count for the day, but we shall see. So I came home emptyhanded, spent a few minutes finally completing the unpacking job from last week's trip to Dallas, and then called my parents. We had a v. good conversation, talking for almost an hour and a half before parting ways. Then, I ate a bowl of frosted flakes (one of my comfort foods, oddly enough) and watched a bit of a Craig Ferguson episode from last week. But then I talked to Vidya, and we decided to get a snacky snack before the movie we were going to see, so the frosted flakes were ultimately a waste for reasons which will become abundantly clear in a moment.

Vidya wanted to try this dive/hole in the wall Vietnamese place next to the movie theatre, and I was highly amenable to that suggestion. The place really was a hole in the wall, and small enough that we were practically sitting on top of the cook, giving us perhaps too much insight into how greasy the food was and the crazy process that goes into cooking it. For instance, she was keeping the egg rolls (which were called imperial rolls, likely because they were the size of four egg roles smushed together) warm by occasionally tossing them back into the fryer. I ordered a combo so that I could try several things at once; Vidya ordered the garlicky tofu since she's a vegetarian and they seem to be heavier on the meat side of the menu.

The verdict? it was delicious, and a ton of food for only $10 each (including my diet coke). My combination was one imperial roll, some 'shish kebab' (really flattened skirt-type steak or something cooked on a griddle), some shredded cabbage, and a whole ton of rice covered in 'meat sauce' (which was some sort of strangely pasta-sauce-like tomato-based sauce with pork in it, which was okay but didn't really go well with the shish kebab). I also tried a bite of Vidya's dish, and it was quite delicious as well. But the end result was that because they were packed and we didn't want to rush our food once we finally got it, we missed the movie. Instead, we ate leisurely, enjoyed ourselves, and continued our conversation over Turkish coffees at the restaurant around the corner from Vidya's place. So we ended up hanging out for exactly the amount of time it would have taken to see the movie, but it was a much more social event (even if I still know nothing about black people's hair, which was the topic of the movie we were supposed to see). We'll try to see it again later in the week, but I wasn't too disappointed, since this was still the perfect cap to a great weekend.

Now, though, I really must go to bed; I have an eight a.m. meeting, and then I need to slog diligently throughout the day so that I can get out of there at five p.m. to write. Wish me luck!

i had visions, i was in them, i was looking into the mirror

Today was, for the most part, a totally excellent day, filled with equal parts productivity and fun -- and only a few small annoyances in an otherwise delightful Saturday. I woke up around eight and spent an hour or so finishing a recommendation for a friend/coworker who is applying to school. Then, I quickly cleaned up around the apartment, showered, and packed my things for a day of writing. I mailed the recommendation, then settled in at Leland Tea -- the combination of tea, scones, adequate power supplies, and a hilarious owner (who unfortunately wasn't there today) makes it one of my favorite places to work.

I was highly productive for the first two or three hours that I was there, writing a full ten-page synopsis of my second book that I shall tweak tomorrow to send to my agent. But then, madness descended, since Vidya, Katrina, Omar, Adit and Priyanka all arrived within fifteen minutes of each other. Vidya and I had discussed working there when I had dinner with her on Thursday, and I mentioned to Adit that we were going there -- but that large of a group isn't really conducive to working, especially when most of them aren't really there to work, and so I wrote about ten lines in the second two hours that I was there. I finally gave up around four and went to Vidya's to retrieve my car from her garage, but went upstairs to say hi to her first since we hadn't gotten a chance to talk at Leland Tea. This was both a wise and stupid move; it was stupid because it eliminated my last chance at productivity for the day, but it was wise because I ended up having a totally fun evening as a result. We hung out in her apartment for a bit and chatted; as a result, I was still there when her friend Vidya (yes, I hung out with two Vidyas -- but only one of them is the Chandlord) showed up. I intended to part ways with them then since they had much catching up to do, but they convinced me to have a 'totally low-key' drink at my favorite wine bar a few blocks from Vidya's apartment. 'Low-key' is the key to getting me to do anything after six p.m., and in this they were successful; we each had wine (flight/small servings of three different wines for me and Chandlord and a glass for Vidya #2) and shared a cheese plate while having a generally good time discussing life, work, issues, etc.

After that, we were in the mood for some more light snacky snacks, so we made a quick stop at a Salvadorean restaurant on the way back to the apartment. It was quite entertaining watching people walk by the restaurant tonight; given that the restaurant is in the Tenderloin and a block from a tranny bar, there were plenty of people who merited a double-take to see whether they were wearing a Halloween costume or their normal get-up. The other restaurant patrons including a man dressed as Thor who kept making loud, Thor-like statements behind me (none of which I can remember now, but I was entertained). We also watched someone spend four minutes trying to parallel park his car (including one attempt at getting out of the car to verify before reparking -- which is understandable except when you, like him, are trying to park a standard sedan in two contiguous spaces that you could just drive straight into. And, VIdya #2's friend showed up since the snack made us run late; it was lovely to meet her as well, and a fun time was had by all! After that, we went back to Chandlord's to grab stuff, and then I dropped them off at their first party of the night before coming home.

Theoretically I should be out embracing the last remnants of my fleeting and tattered youth, but I'm over it. Actually, it's more that I want to use this weekend to get back on track with the book, and tomorrow (actually, now) is the start of November and thus the start of National Novel Writing Month. The entrance deadline for the Golden Heart is also at the beginning of December, so if I want to enter book two, I really need to get cracking. Not going out tonight will ensure that I'm well-rested enough in the morning to go forth and write the 3000 words or so that I will need to write in order to feel productive. And so, goodnight!