Friday, August 30, 2013

see the substance i abuse

I'm utterly wiped out. I took today off from the day job, but it wasn't really a day off - I forced myself to sit at my laptop and write and write and keep writing even when it hurt, and I ended up writing eighty-two hundred words words, which may be a personal best. That's approximately thirty-three pages, for those of you keeping score at home. I'm still not done, which is really a shame; I was hoping I would finish so that I could take the weekend off. But finishing would have been impossible, I think, since I don't know that I could have wrung much more out of me.

Or maybe I could; I'm going to see what I accomplish tomorrow. But I'm out of words and don't want to waste any on the blog, so goodnight!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

i'd never lie to you and that's a fact

No more words, must go to bed. Today was longer at the office than I would have wished, although the last hour was spent drinking bourbon in place of the celebratory champagne I would have had if the project I was working on had actually launched like it was supposed to. Instead, I was stuck with bourbon, and the champagne will (hopefully) happen next week. Then I had dinner with Heather (aka dear respected madam), which was delightful. Then I came home and thought I would write, but instead I worked for the last hour and a half since I'm taking tomorrow off and wanted to get some stuff done in advance.

And now, to sleep, and perchance to dream up the last few chapters of Alex and Prudence. Goodnight!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

maybe i'm going deaf, maybe i'm going blind

Bleh...no words. Work was fine, but I continue to be subjected to the whims of others (which I suppose is why it's work and not something else). So I left at five, checked my mail in Palo Alto, and had a dinner for one (replete with half a margarita) while working on Alex and Prudence. It was going pretty well until someone sat too close to me at the bar and I suddenly got uncomfortable typing about nipples and what Alex was or wasn't doing to them, so I came home. Then I talked to [censored], and then I was going to write, but instead I vegged out and read a v. long piece on Marissa Mayer's rise to power. Yes, useful.

Now I must sleep, since I don't have her ability to get by on four hours of sleep. Goodnight!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

always one foot on the ground

Today didn't quite go as planned. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it didn't go as planned at all. I did manage to write for an hour before work this morning, but I only got two pages, since the sex scene was still going slowly. Then I drove down to work, did some slogging, had lunch with Alaska Matt (okay, that was according to plan, and it was lovely), and then was supposed to finish a big project at work...

...but I couldn't finish it because I was waiting on someone else. For hours. Finally I said it wasn't happening today and caught the 6pm shuttle home, and I did some work on it until I was suddenly, nearly violently/uncontrollably carsick. Luckily I didn't vomit on anyone or anything, but it was close. So I recuperated by sitting on the couch when I got home, rather than writing. And I had a frozen enchilada (dinner of champions) and talked to Terry for a bit. I did manage to write another page tonight, but again, it's slow going. And since my work task for today got punted to tomorrow, tomorrow is shaping up to be a wreck as well. So that means I need to go to sleep immediately so that I can get up and write either before or on my way to work (or both). Goodnight!

Monday, August 26, 2013

bloodstains, ballgowns, trashing the hotel rooms

I was trying to get another three pages before bedtime, but I'm totally spent, so I think I'm going to go to bed and try to hit that shit tomorrow. Literally, I suppose, since I'm stalled on a sex scene (they always take three times as long to write as anything else, and I've skipped two of them, so I have to go back and fill them in at some point).

Today was spent almost entirely looking at laptops, with a couple of quick walks to control my annoyance at work tings + a break to eat huevos rancheros. I worked from home, but I was online at 8:15 to participate in some meetings, and then I had to take care of various tings all afternoon. But I put away the work laptop at six and walked down the street to my favorite French place, where they are completely used to my eccentricities, so didn't bat an eye at me eating a steak and drinking a glass and a half of wine and a pot of coffee while write ten pages or so. Good of them, right? And I'm glad I finished the scenes I finished, even if I'm getting closer to the point where the sex scenes are all I have left.

But now, I really should sleep; I have to go into the office tomorrow, but I want to write before I go, so that means getting up at some stupidly early hour. Goodnight!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

we're driving cadillacs in our dreams

This weekend has been quite rough, I've gotta say. I know, it doesn't sound rough to sit around drinking wine and writing sexytimes, but it's actually totally brutal. So today I was feeling a little bit burned out, and also feeling like if I didn't see a friend or two, I might get disowned. This led to some v. bad behavior, if by 'bad behavior' you mean that I didn't write for three or four hours this afternoon. Bad Sara, right?

I got up at a reasonably early hour (does 8:30 count as early?) and wrote for ninety minutes, then showered and met up with Katrina and Chandlord for lunch. Katrina's birthday was last week, but I hadn't had a chance to celebrate with her, so we went to Nopalito and ate fancy Mexicanish food and drank mimosas. She had this awesome coffee with tequila in it that I would have rather had, but I needed to work, so I abstained. But on my way home from our glorious outing, I got a call from John and Jess, who were on their way home from Chrissy Field...so they stopped at my place, and then I went to Roam with them and drank a glass of chardonnay while they ate.

It was v. good to see them all, of course, and I have no tangible regrets beyond the vague feeling that I should have squashed my extroverted tendencies and worked instead. But I got a few good hours in later this afternoon/evening while nursing a mug of chai, so that's great. Unfortunately, I blew the last two hours trying and failing to hook up a new wireless router while talking to Terry, which was super annoying. So now I need to decide between going to sleep immediately so that I can get up early tomorrow, or forcing myself to write another scene before bed. Decisions, decisions. Goodnight!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

the king has been overthrown

I have no words left with which to blog, but I eked out four thousand words today, which is something close to twenty pages. And I think they were mostly really good words, but it's hard to tell now, and I'm daunted by how much I have left to do. Or perhaps I'm daunted by how tired I am; I didn't sleep as well as I had planned to last night, which made me groggy this morning. And I had two glasses of wine at dinner, which never bodes well for late-evening productivity - but I was deep in the zone and working over dinner, so that was totally worth it. The guy at my favorite French place asked me why I was there 'early', since he usually sees me on Sundays instead of Saturdays (not every Sunday, but still) - so I suppose it's clear that I have an addiction to their steak frites and their cabernet blend.

The rest of the day is thoroughly uninteresting, I'm sure; I ate breakfast, procrastinated, wrote, read articles online, wrote, talked to my mother while sitting on the roof in the vain attempt to pretend that I'd gotten out of the house, wrote, and had dinner down the street. Then I came home, wrote for a bit longer, took a bath (in which I think I fell asleep), tried to write, and instead answered a few of the many business/personal emails that I've been neglecting for weeks.

And now, I must sleep if I'm going to get up early tomorrow and conquer the day as I intend to. Goodnight!

you forgave and i won't forget

Day one (or maybe day zero-point-five, since it was a weekday) of my writing weekend extravaganza went pretty well, which is almost surprising. I caught the 8:20 shuttle and managed to write a page or two on the way down to work, and then I slogged for a few hours and tried to get caught up from this week's madness (not possible). Then I cut out of work around three to drive back before traffic hit, which was mostly successful except for the last three miles, which took half an hour. But I got home, cleaned my room, cleaned the drain filter in the washing machine, folded clothes, cleaned the kitchen, etc....or, in other words, I procrastinated.

But I started writing around 7:30, and I ended up getting ten pages. That's awesome on a normal day, but I wish I could have gotten to twenty. However, I'm way too tired to keep going, and I'll be better tomorrow if I get some sleep tonight, so goodnight!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

the songs all sound the same

I'm way way tired, but the summit ended successfully, so that's great news (and a huge relief). And I celebrated by grabbing a glass of wine from one of the cafes, drinking it in the sun, and then taking a ride home with Chandlord. It was lovely to see her, but it would have been lovelier if it hadn't taken somewhere close to two hours to get home. Once I got here, I messed around on zee internet, ordered pizza, took a nap, ate the pizza when it arrived, and then skimmed through Prudence and Alex in an attempt to get back into the story so that I can hit it hard this weekend. It's due to my editor on Monday (as I believe I've told you ad nauseum), and I'm so far from done that it's almost frightening.

So, I'm going to try to sleep for nine hours, then go to the office and do only the most necessary things before I peace out and write all weekend. Goodnight!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

the public don't dwell on my transmission

Day Two of the summit was another success, so as long as we can pull off tomorrow without killing anyone or having a major tech meltdown, I think we'll be good. Which in some ways is a bad thing, since I never want to plan another summit again and would have been able to get out of doing it if I had engineered a catastrophe. C'est la vie...but the next team that asks me to plan a summit is going to get a swift stab in the face (probably followed by acquiescence, because that's how I roll).

Today was good, though, even if I didn't sleep enough. And it ended at Tied House in Mountain View, where I wish I could have continued drinking the v. decent free wine - but I had to drive back to campus to catch the shuttle to the city, so I had to refrain. Which is probably for the best, when I consider that I must be coherent tomorrow. Perhaps I shall have to be self-indulgent tomorrow night and come back to the city to relax/drink some wine in preparation for my long weekend of writing/slogging/hermitville (with perhaps one fun plan to keep me from going mad). Now, though, I should really sleep - goodnight!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

the sun will be no more

Day One of the summit went well, if I do say so myself; we were mostly on time, and there was only one potential disaster, which I managed to avert with no one being the wiser. However, after like a million hours of talking and not nearly enough hours (or minutes) of downtime, I desperately need to sleep.

However, one important note: HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATRINA!!!!!!! (it was yesterday, but in my stupid haze I forgot to say it on zee blog). Goodnight!

Monday, August 19, 2013

global concepts

Today was great, if you want me to return to my old workaholic ways. I'm way behind on my book, but I ignored it to work for the last three hours so that I could be caught up for tomorrow. This was probably the right choice, since I will be publicly embarrassed if I don't finish the stuff for the summit, while I will only be privately embarrassed if I send a shitty first draft to my editor. But still - I may go mad by this time next week, so let's hope I can keep my shit together.

sssanyway, that's all I have to say, since I worked all day and all night (with a break to drive home with Terry, during which I may have been just close enough to madness that a lesser mortal would have been v. scared). And now I must sleep, if I can relax sufficiently, so that I can be on top of my game tomorrow. Goodnight!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

leave all your love and your longing behind

I'm way way exhausted, and I didn't hit my page count goal for the day...boo. I also didn't do any work for the day job, which is either a yay or a boo depending on how you think tomorrow will go for me (I have low expectations). But it's all better than it could have been, I suppose. After all, I didn't get hit by a bus, so things could always be worse.

I was up and about by nine, which was harder than I expected (although the Jawbone bracelet I've been wearing for the past six weeks told me that I got very little deep sleep last night for some reason, so maybe that explains it). And I made it to my nail place by ten to get the gel removed from my fingernails - and I refrained from getting gel again, even though I love the look. Then I was supposed to go to a birthday party, but I bailed in the interest of writing. I drove to Morning Due, since I was starving and needed to work - and, fortuitously, Adit and Priyanka joined me there. Priyanka only stayed to eat, since she had to go to work, but Adit and I worked there for another three hours or so, which was v. productive.

But after writing ten pages or so, I was too tired to continue, so I came home and sat on the roof while talking to my parents. That wasn't enough to help me recover my brain energy, so I sat on the couch and did nothing (well, I did something - I changed the prices on all my books everywhere but Amazon so that I can change Amazon tomorrow). Then Terry and I made dinner - we were going to go out and have steak, but instead we stayed in and had steak fajitas, which was possibly better. And then I came upstairs with the intention of writing, but I messed around instead because I couldn't think of any new words.

And now I should go to bed - this week is going to be really brutal. Goodnight!

the dog days are over

I'm pretty happy with how much I got done today, even if I deeply, deeply regret that I have to go to work on Monday. I could really use a full week (or month) of writing to get this book done, but I'm not going to get it. Boo.

However, I made good progress today. I met up with my friend Kathia for a writing date, and I wrote for close to three hours before throwing in the towel and parting ways with her. Then I grabbed lunch and wrote for another couple of hours. However, I needed a bit of a break tonight, so Terry and I walked down to Chestnut so that I could buy overpriced hand soap and look at new laptops at the Apple store (I refrained from the laptop, but the soap was kind of a necessity). Then we picked up salads, came back, and watched the second episode of this season of "Project Runway", in which we realized that Millennials are taking over the reality tv space and that the world is going to really suck as they continue to take over more of the workforce. Two different youngish twenty-somethings made the most hideous dresses ever, but one of them was really proud to have not given up, and the other was super-confident that she was the best evening-wear designer ever until she saw her dress compared to the other dressed people put up, and then she sobbed so hard about how awful her dress was that they had to stop the runway show so that Tim could console her. I mean, really, wtf? Get your shit together and sew a damn dress or get off the show. Or get the kids off my damn lawn, as the case may be. Yes, I'm becoming a curmudgeon.

After that, I excused myself from the living room and came upstairs, where I successfully wrote for the last three hours or so. I got through the awkward first scene with Prudence's mom, which I'd been putting off for a couple of months, so that's good news. And maybe Alex and Prudence will have sex tomorrow! Isn't that exciting? In preparation for that awkwardness, I suppose I should sleep -- goodnight!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

this is my kingdom come

Today was more brutal than I expected; I overslept, so when I woke up at nine I had to start working immediately (without even getting dressed or making tea), and I worked for three hours before starvation forced me to close my laptop. So I showered, grabbed lunch, did a bit more work, and then cut out for a couple of hours to get my hair cut. Yes, so important. Then I bought groceries, came home, worked for another hour or two, and then made supper (steak and a baked potato, yum).

I was going to write for many hours tonight, but I only wrote for two - and it wasn't full-on first draft writing, but rather reworking some of the beginning. I also cleaned out my medicine cabinet, my makeup shelf in my linen closet, and the area under my sink - not that this was immediately necessary, but I tend to want to throw stuff away (or run away screaming) when I hit certain points in my manuscript, so I gave in to the urge to purge. And now, I must sleep; I have a writing date tomorrow morning, and I want to sleep a lovely amount before that happens. Goodnight!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

when i'm no longer young and beautiful

Today felt like a lazier day than I intended to have, probably because I actually took time to have lunch (shocker) instead of working during that hour. Not that I really slacked off; I started working as soon as I got on the shuttle at eight, and I did work-related activities until 4:15. But then I took the shuttle home, and I ended up falling asleep rather than working...which was probably for the best, since the shuttle took almost two hours and I would have been waaay carsick if I'd stayed awake. So I came home, ate some frozen enchiladas (dinner of champions), and then got a massage.

The massage felt self-indulgent but utterly necessary, since I've been stressed and everything hurts. And, in my deep deep relaxation, I figured out what's wrong with the first half of Alex and Prudence's book. Yes, that means I'm going to have to rewrite it, as per usual. But luckily I don't think I have to rewrite as much as I thought I would, and now that I've made the decision, I can just move forward and do it rather than continuing to dither over the rewrite.

So I guess that's good news, but I need to write tens of thousands of words this weekend (not an exaggeration, unfortunately) while somehow getting ready for next week's work tasks. That means I need to be massively productive tomorrow...wish me luck. Goodnight!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

in a tidal wave of mystery

I should have gone to bed ages ago...surprisingly, I was mostly functional at work despite not getting nearly enough sleep last night, but I should have tried to get more sleep tonight than I'm going to. However, today was mostly good despite some frustrations - I continue to be bemused about summit planning, but I shall survive (I think). But I had lunch with Ramsey, who I shared an apartment with in India many years ago (and who was not an inspiration for my penname, if you're curious). And I got enough work done between 9am and 6:45pm that I felt no need to work tonight, even if it might have been smart.

So I took the shuttle home, slept most of the way, and then was going to write...but I'm too tired and I needed to decompress, so I made some bacon and eggs and drank a glass of wine while talking to Terry. Then I came upstairs, straightened up my room, and played around with publishing-related stuff for the last couple of hours. And now I must sleep before the day job attempts to kill me tomorrow - goodnight!

don't make a scene, don't make a sound

Today was like a return to the bad old days of the day job, back when I slogged nonstop without ever feeling like I was making a dent in my to-do list. In retrospect, I shouldn't have bothered to go into the office - I had a couple of early meetings that I took from home, and then I was quite productive until about noon. But I thought I should put in some face time, so I went down to Mountain View, where I was promptly hideously unproductive and distracted. Then I left at 4:30 so I could go to the post office on an errand I'd been putting off for weeks, so at least that's done.

I was supposed to write tonight, and I did write two pages (over steak and a glass of wine, but it wasn't as magical as my steak and wine writing attempt on Sunday). But I had way too much day job stuff weighing on me to concentrate, so I came home to work. I got roped into planning this summit for my team, which is like a miniature version of the stuff I used to do for the big boss -- which, if you remember, I was quite good at, and yet I kind of sort of hated. So, it's like I'm having a mini-hatefest for a miniature version of my old life. Maybe this is the equivalent of that weird little fetus-like scrap of Voldemort's soul dying under a bench in Harry Potter's version of Kings Cross station - or maybe equating planning a small summit to the dying gasps of a fundamentally evil (and fictional) soul is a wee bit melodramatic.

sssanyway, I need to go to bed - the laptop battery is about to die from all the slogging I did in the past four hours, and I'm a sad camper as a result. Goodnight!

Monday, August 12, 2013

did i leave my life to chance or did i make you fucking dance

It's a shame that I have to go to sleep...I feel like I'm on a bit of a roll productivity-wise, and my body's need for sleep is going to kill that. C'est la vie, I suppose. I didn't write enough today - in fact, I wrote less than a page, which is just embarrassing. But in my defense, I was going to write on the shuttle this morning, but I'm approaching a sex scene, and I didn't want to write it with the bored bro-type sitting next to me. Then I spent the entire day slogging pretty effectively, with a lovely impromptu break to have lunch with Chandlord, who started a new job (!) at my place of employment (!!) today (!!!). I'm super psyched that she's there, even if she was one of the last holdouts among my friend group who had never worked there.

Some time in the sun was just what I needed, though; I think I've been a bit depressed the past couple of weeks, probably because I've been sitting in a fog-ridden wasteland. So walking around and eating in the sun was just what the doctor ordered, even if s/he would have rather that I walked around in sneakers instead of heeled boots. The rest of the day was mostly uneventful; I'm not caught up with life by any means, but the day job is starting to feel just the tiniest bit under control (which means it will no doubt blow up tomorrow). I took the shuttle home with grand plans to write, but instead I listened to music for a couple of hours, folded my clothes, did the dishes, and made myself an odd supper of eggs with andouille sausage, jack cheese, and sour cream. And then I did some stuff for a secret project, and now I must sleep before I make tomorrow too brutal for myself. Goodnight!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

it's a nice day to start again

I can't believe I have to go to the day job tomorrow...this is the peril of working all weekend. I think I'm going to take Labor Day weekend off and blow it on coke and hookers. And by 'coke and hookers' I mean 'sleep and books'.

But there's no rest until then...the day job is going to be busy the next couple of weeks, and I have about thirty thousand words to write in the next couple of weeks. This is theoretically possible but realistically impractical. However, I made a decent dent today - I wrote close to four thousand words, which is something like sixteen pages, which is way more than I thought I was going to achieve this morning. Prudence and Alex were killing me this weekend, and unfortunately I had the realization that the antagonist in the book may be hotter than Alex is -- but that could be because I currently want to stab Alex in the face with a steak knife, so I have a lot in common with the antagonist. Hmm.

However, I persevered and bled the pages out, first over food at Morning Due, then at my desk, then over an overpriced dinner for one at a French bistro down the street. But if the cost of writing the best words of the day was buying a steak and a glass of wine for myself, the cost was totally worth it. Then I came home, theoretically wrote some more (in practice I got less than a page), did a tiny bit of work for the day job, and then messed around with some epub formatting software until now. I want to update all the backmatter for my existing books to include some of the tips and tricks I learned in Atlanta (including buy links specific to each retailer rather than feeding through my site, updating the calls to action, etc)., but I've been putting it off because my old epub formatting software broke and I didn't want to face the learning curve of a new one (or buy a new laptop to regain compatibility with the latest upgrade of the old software). But I want to sell more books, and every little bit helps...so I suppose I should get on this.

Anyway, that's my super boring, super productive, super uninteresting, super repetitive day. And now I shall bid you adieu. Goodnight!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

what rhymes with hug me

I wrote today, but it was all hard-fought and alternated with a lot of napping (thanks to the past two weeks with v. little sleep and not enough downtime). And even though I wrote ten pages, it wasn't the thirty I was hoping for (although why I thought I should be able to write thirty pages is unclear even to me). So, I'm going to take my hermity self to bed and hope that I can get up early enough to be productive before noon, since that seems to be the key to writing a lot of words. Goodnight!

you turned out to be the best thing i never had

I would have liked to have been in bed three hours ago because I'm a curmudgeonly octogenarian-in-training, but instead I went out and had fun (quelle horreur). My work day was mostly good, and I managed to check a few things off my infinite to-do list while eating enough carbs and drinking enough masala chai to make myself feel well and truly sick. Then I rallied to spend a couple of hours at Fiesta, where I drank more tequila than someone my size should be able to drink without passing out. Thank you, liver, for your excellent service in the face of extreme peril.

The reason for my excessive margarita consumption was that I was going to a country concert, and I managed to drink so much at dinner that I forgot to finish my entree. Again, quelle horreur. But I hung out with Terry (at whose behest I was attending) and Lauren (aka Subz, aka the friend who was also tricked into seeing the concert). They were both in fine form, and we caught up at the restaurant before going over to the concert. The main act was Luke Bryan, who I am led to believe is quite famous, and is no relation to a man in my county named Clell who shares his last name. The concert was lovely, even if I didn't know any of the songs, and it was nice to bask in Terry's happiness while I gave the side-eye to the people around me who were 'booty popping' just as I was considering the lost art of the Regency waltz.

And now that I'm home and hiccupping in my rapid-onset sobriety, I should go to bed. Goodnight!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

we are never ever ever getting back together

I should have gone to bed the moment that I walked in the door, but I suppose I needed to decompress from a whole day of talking to people. I had to go down to the office for an 8:30 meeting, but luckily the person I was meeting with showed up, so I didn't have to kill anybody. Then I sat in meetings the rest of the day, with a very brief break, and then I had a v. long dinner with a bunch of people on my product's extended team.

So, that was all v. lovely, but that also means I have nothing worth sharing, since it was all internal conversations that are both uninteresting to you and prone to get me fired if I share anything. But I did do some excellent mental work on Prudence and Alex while I was driving to the office this morning; I couldn't think about them on the way home because I took two people back to the city with me, but hopefully I can sleep on the thoughts I had this morning, formulate them into something more concrete, and get ready to write a million words this weekend. And on that overly ambitious and destined-for-failure note, I'm going to bed - goodnight!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

i hate these blurred lines

The parents have returned to Iowa, leaving me bereft. Alternatively, they've left me with sleep deprivation and a mountainous pile of email and to-dos to sort through. Take your pick. Either way, though, their visit was v. lovely, and I'm glad that they came out! And it seems that last night's dinner was an utterly rousing success, even when viewed through the lens of my sober post-party survey of the dirty dishes in my kitchen. Luckily, cleanup was pretty easy since other people loaded the dishwasher last night (thanks, other people!), so I ran that load, then another load, and did a bit of handwashing of pots and pans. But everything's all clean and sparkly, and I had leftover tacos and a leftover glass of chardonnay for supper, which was exactly what I was in the mood for.

Anyway, this morning started off on an incredibly surly note when someone stood me up for an eight a.m. meeting - it was the second time this week, and I'm in a killing mood. I got some work done after that, then picked up my parents, had lunch with them, and hung out for a bit before taking them to the airport. Then I came home, did a couple of meetings, tried to work, and was too overwhelmed by everything I have to do to continue. So I ate supper, then read through all of Prudence and Alex's manuscript so far. The good news is that I like almost all of it (or can see how to make it better); the bad news is that I'm only halfway through and it's due in 2.5 weeks. Lololololol. This wouldn't be quite so bad if I didn't have two major projects at work culminating in the next three weeks. But if I survive to the end of August, I'm taking a mental health break in September, I swear. And I expect you to hold me to it.

After talking to Terry for a bit, I came upstairs with the intention of going to bed, but instead sent a bunch of emails so that I wouldn't hate myself quite so much in the morning. And now I'm going to go to bed, knowing that I'll probably hate myself anyway, since I have to get up at 6:30. Goodnight!

why don't you slide

Today was perfectly lovely, if I do say so myself. It was just the right combination of family, family time, old friends, even older friends, and general merrymaking. Of course, it started off brutally; I only got six hours of sleep, which is not enough for my octogenarian tendencies, and I had to roll out of bed and immediately clean my bathroom and go grocery shopping (my two least favorite things to do). But I was successful on all counts, and managed to pick my parents up in time for our 10:30am meeting with Vova, Oleg, and Daniel. Granted, I would have been late if I wasn't extremely aggressive in my maneuverings through the Tenderloin, but that's the way I roll.

So the six of us met up, and then we went down to the glorious south bay to tour my place of employment. It was a gorgeous day in Mountain View, so we had lunch outside, then saw my office (my minions, as one of them introduced himself, probably thought I was showing them off like zoo animals, so I hope that doesn't come back as feedback on my next review). Then we went to the onsite store, where my Ukrainian friends loaded up on gear (and I grew increasingly excited about the idea of rebranding Ukraine and having it be run by my current employer). After all that, we were supposed to go walk around Stanford, but everyone was tired, so we did a driving tour instead before coming back to the evil city.

At that point, it was time for me to switch from tour guide to chef. So we dropped them off at their hotel, swung by Philz to get coffee (I had to ask the barista which of their coffees was most similar to weak Folgers, which is not a request they get every day, but I think my mom liked their coffee better than Starbucks, so I suppose it was a success). Then we came home, and my parents hung out on the roof while I cooked. To be fair, my mom cut up all the strawberries (v. meticulously - it's clear where I get my perfectionist OCD tendencies). But I took my usual tack of making way too much food in way too many varieties -- really, it probably wasn't necessary to make steak, chicken, fish, fajita veggies, and tomato/potato/chard. But between my perfectionist tendencies and my friends' many and varied preferences and restrictions, this seemed like the best course of action.

Eventually, the party began - I had a bunch of my old friends over to meet my parents and Vova, and theoretically to talk to Daniel about US schools, although that didn't happen at all. Lauren and Nathan were the first to arrive (well, Terry was the first to arrive, but that shouldn't surprise you), and then Katrina showed up, followed up Adit and Priyanka and John and Jess. The Ukrainians also arrived relatively late, but they were just on time since the cheese and other appetizers were mostly gone but the real food was basically ready.

So we all sat around for a couple of hours telling stories, which provided some of the best laughs I've had in a v. long time. The ratio of ducks to hammer handles alone was a v. useful fact to learn. We also learned a lot about how to bribe (or not bribe) cops in Ukraine twenty years ago vs. now, the mating habits of small and large dogs (and people), the fact that Adit and I have nothing in common other than that we like to work, and other similarly important facts. My friends all disappeared by 10:30, but Vova, Daniel, and my parents stuck around for another hour talking. And then I packed them all into an Uber and sent them off into the night.

And now, I really really must sleep - I have some work to do in the morning, and then I need to take my parents to the airport before doing more work in the afternoon. Goodnight!

Monday, August 05, 2013

if you're ready come and get it

The first half of my day was incredibly annoying, mostly due to an eight a.m. meeting that no one showed up for but me. But the rest of the day slowly picked up steam, and by five p.m. I was getting some serious work done. Of course, by then it was time to quit and see my parents. So I threw in the towel, picked them up at their hotel, and took them around the city before deciding to eat supper at Chow (in my old neighborhood). We had a lovely meal, and just as we were finishing, our friend Vova (a Ukrainian) called to say that he had arrived in SF approximately an hour and a half before we had expected him. So we finished dinner, drove over to his hotel, and had another dinner with him, his son, and his friend Oleg. This resulted in a lot of talk about Ukraine, as you might expect, and about municipal water projects, which you might not expect.

And now, I'm wrecked and need to go to bed so that I can take tomorrow off to play tour guide. Goodnight!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

it's still rock and roll to me

Today was lovely, but I'm v. much looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. I woke up around 7:45 (late for when I told my parents I'd meet them, but early for my willpower) and was out the door of the hotel by 8:30 so that we could have breakfast before our first excursion of the day. We spent the morning at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, which were truly awesome -- I'm not a gardener by any means, but the flowers and plants and trees they had there were really breathtaking.

After that, it was time to say goodbye to Fort Bragg (and Fort Bragg's fog) and head back to the evil city. We were v. leisurely about the whole thing, since we stopped multiple times (including at the most amazingly adorable coffee shop in Cloverdale), but we made it back by ~5pm. I dropped the parents off at their hotel, came home, parked my car, changed clothes (only because I spilled toothpaste on my dress), and collected Terry so that we could walk back over to the parents' hotel and have dinner with them. We ended up at Aix, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite places, and which was conveniently located a block from their hotel. While there, I had two glasses of wine to make up for the fact that we did no wine tasting in Mendocino, and we generally had a delightful time.

And now, I must go to sleep; I am working tomorrow (shocking and unprecedented, I know), and I need to get up early if I'm going to get everything done that I need to finish. Goodnight!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

every second of the night i live another life

I had a v. wonderful day, but I'm now v. sleepy and would have gone to bed two hours ago if it had been ten p.m. instead of eight p.m. then. Instead, I forced myself to stay up, which was probably stupid since I wasn't productive at all and should have at least read a book instead of messing around on the internet while ignoring everything else I should be doing.

But the day was totally worth the exhaustion. I slept for almost ten hours last night, which means I kept my parents waiting even though I was ready to go at the totally civilized hour of 9:15. We had breakfast, then went to our first disappointment of the day: Sea Glass Beach, where there was absolutely no sea glass in evidence. It was also foggy and only fifty-five degrees, which my parents found a bit barbaric. But then the day began to look up. We went inland a few miles, where it was sunny and seventy-five, and walked around in a v. deserted redwood grove -- the sound of the trees was amazing, and something I'm v. unaccustomed to in the lives I live (part city, part open countryside).

Then we came back to the coast, descended into the fog, and walked out to Point Cabrillo lighthouse. It's one of the last six lighthouses remaining in California, and while the lighthouse itself was small, the walk out to it (on the nature-type pathway rather than the sidewalk/road we could have used if we'd known about it) was totally gorgeous. They've also restored the lighthouse keepers' houses -- you can rent a couple of them as vacation rentals, but one is a little museum with period furnishings, and I really enjoyed that (including a lighthouse keeper's version of a child's rocking horse: instead of a rocking horse, they had a rocking dolphin, which I will post a picture of once I upload my photos).

Post lighthouse, we went to a beach north of town, where we had been promised the opportunity to see lots of interesting sea creatures in the tidal pools left behind at low tide, but I think I saw one tiny crab and a bunch of sea lettuce. It's clear that some of the locals are overstating the glamour of their beaches. But with the fog and mist and pounding surf, it was still a gorgeous sight to behold. Then we went to a glass blower's shop, where I procured my souvenir for the trip; rather than getting a Starbucks mug, I returned to my preferred type of souvenir and bought something glass instead. In this case, it was a gorgeous paperweight with a purple jellyfish inside. Yes, collecting glass is a stupid endeavor for someone who lives in a major earthquake zone -- but perhaps I believe I will move away before the big one hits. Or perhaps I will be okay with everything I own being destroyed so that I can start over. The second idea is rather doubtful, but in any event, the paperweight is totally cool and will look great on my desk.

After that, we were hungry (since we were living like peasants on two meals a day), so we had a relatively early dinner at a place overlooking the harbor. The food was excellent, and my fish tacos were exactly what I was looking for. The glass of wine was also what I was looking for, and I think all three of us were delighted that this place lived up to the recommendation from our hotel dude (the same guy who suggested Sea Glass Beach and the tidal pools, so we had come to fear him). Then we came back to the hotel, parted ways, and you know the rest of my procrastinatory laziness.

And now, I must sleep. We are leaving tomorrow to drive back to San Francisco, and I have to stay awake for that + hang out when I get home + hopefully write something + do some day job stuff in anticipation for Monday. Goodnight!

Friday, August 02, 2013

all that's left to do is run

Today was totally lovely, but it involved a lot more driving than I bargained for. That was my own fault for taking the scenic route, and it was totally worth it, but I'm definitely more exhausted than I had expected to be. The parents and I had a v. leisurely morning; we ended up going out for breakfast around 10:30 or 11, and I introduced them to my favorite waitress at the cafe down the street, so that was fun. Then we went back to my place, packed up, and were out the door around 1:30. And I thought it would take us three hours to get to Mendocino...which turned out to be a wildly overoptimistic prediction.

Again, that was my fault; rather than taking 101 all the way up, I decided to cut across to the coast via Russian River, and then drive up Highway 1. That was way more breathtaking, but also way slower, since a lot of it was v. windy and so I could only go twenty miles an hour or so. Also, I was driving slower than I usually would to avoid getting anyone (including me) carsick. Also, my mother is even more deathly afraid of heights than I am, and so some of the cliffs were about enough to put her over the edge (figuratively, luckily; my driving wasn't actually going to kill her). Also, I came within a couple of miles of running out of gas at the end of the trip, and had to pay an extortionate $6.25/gal at the first gas station I saw for forty miles - but at least I didn't actually run out of gas, or my mother might have killed me.

However, despite all that, it was really totally lovely. The views of the ocean were consistently gorgeous, and the redwoods and forests and pastures were cool. We also saw a bobcat, which was awesome. And we had an early supper at a restaurant overlooking the water, which made me happy.

And now, even though it's only ten o'clock, I must go to bed - I'm either going to wake up early to have breakfast with my parents, or wake up even earlier to write before breakfast, so sleep is a necessity. Goodnight!

you'd still enjoy it with your foot on masada

Work again kicked my ass today, but I had the last laugh, since I abandoned it to take tomorrow off. Of course, it will probably have the last laugh when I feel the need to sneak in a few emails and tings over the weekend, but I'm going to try not to stress about stuff during my weekend away. And the weekend is much needed, after an endless series of meetings (I had fifteen minutes to grab a salad, which I ate in a v. annoyed manner during my next meeting), and after my commute home took two hours. These are the days when I hate the city.

But the weekend should be good -- my parents got in safely (and on time, although an 11:35pm arrival still feels late), and they're now ensconced in my bed while I've been booted to the shadows. So I suppose I should sleep, since they'll probably wake up at some ridiculously early hour and be starving for breakfast before I'm ready to drag myself out of bed. But hopefully we can have a leisurely breakfast in the neighborhood before heading north for the weekend...and hopefully they are not turned off by the Marina in its Friday breakfast glory. Which is obviously not Sunday breakfast glory, which is usually a shitshow.

Okay, I'm rambling, which means it's time for bed!