Thursday, October 31, 2013

sunday evening in your street

I continue to work nonstop - it's like it's 2006 again, except I spend three hours less per day working because I'm driving back and forth from San Francisco instead of Palo Alto. And some of my work is for myself, rather than the man. But still. Today was somewhat brutal; I woke up at 5:45, was out the door by 6:15, and made it to Palo Alto around seven to do some writing at Starbucks before seeing Alyssa. The traffic was so blissfully good that early in the morning that it's almost enough to tempt me to do that every day. But then I remember that I hate mornings with the fire of all the sunrises that I never want to see, so I doubt that will happen regularly. Still, I'm going to try to get up early tomorrow as well...wish me luck.

Anyway, I wrote for an hour, then trained with Alyssa, then tried to make myself look presentable (I was clothed, so that's good enough), then sat in meetings straight from ten to three with approximately ten minutes to grab lunch. Yay. I cleared out as soon as I was done with meetings, since I didn't want to deal with Halloween traffic, and when I got to the city I wrote for ninety minutes at Philz. Then I came home and Terry and I had dinner at Zushi Puzzle, which was tasty even though I think it gave me a headache. Or maybe my ulcer friend sent a headache for me as a present. Then we came home, and I abandoned her to do day job stuff for the past two hours. Alternating between writing and the day job is actually going surprisingly well right now, if you ignore the fact that I'm essentially working two full-time jobs and do not see any of my friends who don't live with me.

And on that bleak note, I'm going to go to bed and hope that my rage at the loud, drunk Marina kids doesn't keep me awake. Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

she's holding her tonic like a cross

I think my brain has melted. This is an unfortunate situation, since I must think during every active moment of the day for the next few weeks if I'm going to stay on top of my many games. Today was brutal, though; I met Kathia for a writing date at seven (okay, I showed up at 7:20), wrote until 8:30, and then caught a v. nausea-inducing bus to Mountain View, which deposited me at 10:15. Then I had a string of meetings and tasks all afternoon, which was quite painful, but I got out of there at 5:50 to catch another nausea-inducing bus back to the city. The commute is not my friend, and I am reminded that I'm happier when I drive even if I have theoretically less chance to work (although since I can't work anyway, it doesn't really matter).

So I got to the city at 7:15, and then met up with a girl who may do some marketing/promo stuff for me (or, rather, for my alter ego). She seemed really smart and cool, but I was a little braindead since I had just woken up from a nausea-avoiding nap and didn't really wake up until halfway into our meeting, at which point she probably already thought that I was a lost cause. But we're going to talk again next week, so hopefully this will work out. Then I went to Roam for a burger and ended up writing over truffle fries and a glass of wine for close to two hours, which means that I finished writing a new first chapter for Alex and Prudence. I have grand plans to get up at 5:30 tomorrow and read through it one more time before sending it off to my editor (and then training with Alyssa), but this grand plan already sounds like a bad idea.

But I'm too tired to edit it tonight, particularly after getting home and dealing with a day job issue, so I think I'll go to bed instead and hope for the best tomorrow. Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

no sugar tonight

You get another boring blog post because I had another boring day - actually, it was a heavily productive, interesting day, but none of it is of interest to you. I woke up early, wrote for a couple of hours, did some day job stuff, trained with Alyssa, and then was in the office from one to six-thirty. Then I grabbed some coffee with the intention of writing some more, but that was a failure. Then I came home and tried to write again, but it was still a failure, so I'm throwing in the towel. Tomorrow is another day, though - one that will start with a writing date at seven a.m., since I'm bound and determined to finish this book no matter how many friends I lose or how many people I leave dead and bloodied along the way [yes, that's a Zoolander quote]. And on that note, goodnight!

Monday, October 28, 2013

we are all just runaways

I had meant to write tonight, but I'm too tired, so I'm going to go to bed and hit it hard before work. I did the same this morning - I met Kathia at 7:15 and wrote until 9:30, when it was time to speed down to the office. This was actually a v. good plan, since I avoided all traffic, put in a full day of work, left at 6:30, ate some Chipotle, and avoided traffic on the way back as well. If I could get out of having morning meetings I would do this every day, but unfortunately it's not possible.

However, I'm going to try to write again tomorrow, so wish me luck. And that, sadly, is all I have to say - all work and no play, etc. Goodnight!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

maybe i'm a different breed

First, I must say that I wasn't drunk last night - I was typing on my tablet because I didn't feel like getting out of bed to get my laptop, and I didn't realize how many typos I'd created. Oops. sssanyway, today was another writing odyssey, or at least the morning was; I met up with Kathia in North Beach at 9:30 and wrote for a couple of hours, which was excellent. I'm feeling good about where I am, although I need to work all week when I'm not at the day job to meet my current goals. After that, I walked back to the Marina, had lunch (huevos) down the street, and didn't get shot in whatever shootout happened on Chestnut Street, since I luckily had decided not to go down there as I had previously considered.

I spent an hour or so procrastinating after that, then had a ninety-minute massage, which did wonders for me. Then I talked to my parents, who were in good form as usual. After that, Terry and I had dinner at Nettie's, since I was craving fish tacos - and we were v. sad to learn that they're going out of business at the end of the year, no doubt because having a restaurant in San Francisco is not a great proposition unless you're totally full every night. Then we came home and I worked on a variety of administrative tasks while watching "Project Runway".

But that's all boring. This tidbit isn't: I found out that the Russian version of HEIRESS is now available! I hadn't heard that it had been released, but I started getting the occasional hit for my name in Russian on zee romance blog, so I started searching. And I found this: http://www.labirint.ru/books/411681/. Isn't the cover gorgeous? I can't read Russian, but I can understand just enough to tell that the first chapter sample is indeed the first chapter of my book. They've retitled it something that translates to 'Forbidden Pleasures', but that's to be expected; Madeleine and Ferguson still have the same names (Мадлен and Фергюсон), so that's cool.

So that's my exciting news for the day. And now I must go to sleep since I have to get up for a writing date before going to work - goodnight!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

you're giving me such sweet nothing

The writing is going shockingly well - I keep waiting for it all to go sideways, but thus far I'm on track. I was, v uncharacteristically, out the door this morning before Terry was, since I had a writing date with Kathia at 8:30. I wrote very diligently for two hours, then abandoned Kathia and my laptop to go to a museum with Chandlord.

The museum was the deYoung, and the exhibit was a retrospective of Bulgari jewelry from the '60s to the'90s. Some of it was truly hideous, in keeping with the times, but there were some gorgeous trembnlant brooches in diamond and platinum that I would wear m if I had a) the occasion aand b) the funds. And I found myself in love with the emeralds in the collection, which makes it somewhat likely that someone in one of my boss will get some fabulous emeralds at some point.

After that, Chandlord and I found an ice cream truck with the usual artisanal soft serve (okay, only usual in San Francisco and probably Portland). Then I dropprd her off, took a nap, took a shoGoodnighhtet Kathia at a wine bar for another marathon writing session. I accomplished way more than I deserved since I was quite distracted by all the marina kids in their stupid must-get-drunk-at-5 kind of life. I eventually left, had dinner with Terry, read a magazine, and realized my body is now trying to sleep. And I shall let it - I have another writing date tomorrow and I want the end to be in sight before I go back to the editor. Goodnight!

Friday, October 25, 2013

i push the trigger and i pull the thread

Today was utterly lovely, as productive days that end in steak always are. I woke up, showered, put on yoga pants, and went to the office, where I claimed that my yoga pants and fingerless gloves were my Halloween costume and that I had dressed as a romance writer. Yes, I'm lazy. But I got a lot of random stuff done, which was good. Then I left around 2:00 to beat traffic (but not enough, since the approach to the city was a standstill), got home, checked email, did a bit more stuff, changed into a dress and redid my makeup, and then met up with Kathia at a cafe down the street. We wrote for some time before being joined by Terry, who is on probation until we determine whether her work style meshes with ours. Yes, this sounds harsh, but there are few people whom I can meet up with at a cafe and work with, and the need for productivity right now forsakes all bonds of fellowship (yes, that's a Lord of the Rings quote).

Anyway, we wrote at Rapha, then adjourned to the wine bar across the street and wrote some more. All told it was about three and a half hours, and I feel great about what I got done - I probably wrote ten or fifteen pages and edited another five or ten. Then Terry went to a party and Kathia and I had dinner, which consisted of prime rib and a whole vat of wine. Her husband joined us, which was lovely, and a great time was had by all.

But now I really must sleep, since I have grand plans to write in the morning - goodnight!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

heading for the open road

I meant to go to bed an hour ago, but I started messing around online and that was the end of me. Today was pretty good, despite my ridiculous headache; I trained with Alyssa, made it into the office by ten, had some really productive meetings, had lunch with Alaska Matt, and got down to <20 emails in my work inbox (my personal inboxes have abandoned all hope). And I spent some serious quality time talking to Heather (aka dear respected madam) in her car like the sketchy people we are; we were supposed to have dinner, but she canceled because her stomach hurt, but then she stopped by my building and we talked almost as long as we would have talked at a restaurant. The only downside was that I didn't get fed, so I had to survive a v. unexpectedly unpleasant shuttle ride home by eating some string cheese and taking a nap.

But now, I must sleep so that I can go to work, get done everything I need to get done, and leave so I can write a million words this weekend. Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

i've wasted my nights, you've turned out the lights

Today was somehow v. productive, v. social, and v. frustrating all at once - I think my head is about to explode from trying to manage it all. Or maybe my head is about to explode because I'm on the knife-edge of getting sick - nothing feels quite right, and I keep losing my train of thought in a most uncharacteristic way. But I'm hoping that I can be in bed in ten minutes and get eight hours of sleep (the math doesn't add up, unfortunately).

sssanyway, I got up at 6:15, caught the 7:15 shuttle, and regretted that I had taken the time to dry my hair since that shuttle took an hour and forty minutes to get to the office. Ugh, nightmare. I had meetings almost straight through all day, and the bits of time that had originally been free got filled with impromptu conversations with people. So that was all good, although I didn't answer any email or do anything else worth noting.

But I held true to my goal of leaving at four so that I could get back to the city for a writing date. And I happened to run into Chandlord at the shuttle stop, so we sat together and talked all the way back, which probably means that someone is going to find a way to get us fired, since talking on the shuttle is the biggest faux pas known to man. She made some excellent jhokes, though, including one with a guidebook that cannot be recreated in a way that will give you satisfaction - so if I get fired, it was worth it. I made it to the city at 5:30, and I got off at the stop after my own so that I could meet up with Kathia for a writing date. On my way to the date, I stopped in at Benefit and got them to put mascara on me, since I somehow forgot to put mascara on this morning - total amateur move that left me ashamed all day.

But the ladies at Benefit rectified my tragic situation, and so I was able to walk into the cocktail bar with my head held high. Kathia and I wrote for almost two hours, which was v. necessary; I rewrote most of a scene and I think I'm happy with the results. Then we parted company and I met up with Terry and Lauren (aka Subz) at A16 to have a v. v. belated birthday celebration for Lauren. Her birthday was in August, but we hadn't formally recognized it, so the three of us had dinner and a much-needed catchup (since I hadn't seen Lauren since our infamous drink-fest to celebrate Terry's birthday six weeks ago).

And now, I'm falling asleep and must get up early to train with Alyssa at eight a.m. Ugh. Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

i hope you fall in love and it hurts so bad

I'm wiped out tonight - I think I've avoided the cold that I was in the midst of getting, but I'm not sure I'm totally out of the woods. It doesn't help that everyone on my team is sick - the odds aren't good. Yes, I'm a hypochondriac.

But I may also be wiped out because I got up at 6:15 and wrote for an hour before my 8am meeting - a very strange and surreal development, since I dislike mornings, but it was really great to feel like I'd already done some writing for the day before the sun even came up. Then I worked from home for two hours, went to Palo Alto and trained with Alyssa, showered, and got to work in time for lunch. Then I worked the rest of the afternoon in a somewhat desultory fashion, since it was mostly meetings and catching up with teammates, none of which was particularly taxing.

I left the office at 6:15 with grand plans to write, but I was starving, so I went to Palo Alto first and had a salad at Sprout. While there, I made the horrific discovery that Miyake Sushi is no more - that favorite disgusting sushi haunt of Stanford students has been replaced by an upscale steakhouse. Palo Alto really has gone to the venture capital dogs. After eating salad, I walked to Philz with the intention of writing there, but the tables were all taken and I was suddenly exhausted. So I got a coffee, drove home, talked to Terry for a few moments, took care of a couple of tings, and am now going to go to bed so I can repeat this all tomorrow. Goodnight!

Monday, October 21, 2013

some nights

I stayed home from work today. I was probably more productive than I would have been if I had gone into the office, but it still wasn't great; I'm tired and achey, and I had a raging headache. But my cough is still subtle and I only sneezed a few times, so I'm hoping that I've staved off the worst of whatever this is. We shall see, we shall see.

But since I was a total hermit and nothing exciting happened, I have nothing to report. Goodnight!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

how can we be lovers if we can't be friends

I'm on the very knife-edge of a cold. I can feel it beginning behind my eyes, and also nestling somewhere in the vicinity of my tonsils. I was so fucking close to reentering my regular life after a glorious trip abroad without coming down with a cold, but if this progresses, I will have failed just as it seemed that victory was within my grasp. I suppose that's suitably French of me, but I would have preferred to stay healthy.

So, today wasn't nearly as productive as I had hoped; I worked pretty steadily this morning, at least after I got out of bed and showered (which could have happened much earlier, since I woke up at five and should have just gotten up rather than lazing around in bed until seven or eight). I also talked to Terry, whom I hadn't spoken to in any detail since getting back from Paris, so that was nice. But sometime after noon I started to take a turn for the worse, and by three I really wasn't feeling well. So I cuddled up in bed, talked to my mom, looked for soup recipes, and then schlepped myself a few blocks down the street to pick up the ingredients for said soup.

The soup turned out to be quite lovely, and will probably be even better tomorrow - it's a roasted garlic soup with chicken and cream, and it was delish. Also, the whole house and my whole body probably smell like garlic - it called for roasting twenty cloves of garlic, and then adding another ten cloves of fresh garlic to the soup along with the roasted stuff. But it was warm and soothing and gluten-free, which was exactly what I wanted. So I ate the soup while watching some football with Terry, and now I'm going to go to bed even though it's not quite 9:30 so that I can sleep for a million hours and then make a gametime decision about whether to go to the office or whether to stay home and nurse my sadness. Goodnight!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

did I play my song too loud

I am suddenly way too tired to blog or do anything else - I'm in the midst of edits, and I'm still jetlagged, so my mind is quickly turning to mush. I need to conserve words if I'm going to be at all useful tomorrow, so this is all you're getting from me- goodnight!

Friday, October 18, 2013

kiss me like it's do or die

I had grand plans to write tonight, but I'm so jetlagged and tired that I'm going to go to bed instead. Today was utterly uneventful; I took the shuttle (and read on it, which worked really well) to the airport, and then I slogged all morning until it was time to have lunch with Gyre (whom I haven't seen since April) and Lizzie (who quit years ago and is now studying up in Seattle). It was great to see them, even if I was reminded that Gyre and I have done a terrible job staying in touch for meals and things. C'est la vie, I suppose.

I eventually left the office and sat in traffic forever, then got my bangs trimmed and my eyebrows waxed. I also picked up groceries, although I was too wiped out to make anything tonight. And now, I'm going to go to bed before I type anything truly embarrassing, and I shall hope that I remember all my great ideas tomorrow. Goodnight!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

the lion sleeps tonight

Apologies for not blogging last night - I had a v. long, v. uneventful flight back to SFO after a couple of miserably inefficient hours at Charles de Gaulle, and I thought I was doing great until I suddenly, irrevocably crashed. So I went to bed at 7:30pm and didn't wake up until six (with one brief five-minute awakening around one). That amount of sleep was apparently v. necessary, and I'm hoping it helps to stave off the cold I'll probably pick up now that I'm back in the petrie dish that is my office.

But today was a weird, soft reentry into work; I got up at six, went down to the south bay to train with Alyssa at eight, and then made it to the office just in time to leave again. My team had an offsite planned at the Monterrey Aquarium, so we took a bus down there, ate lunch overlooking the water, and then wandered around the aquarium. We left down there at 2:30, and I then spent 3.5 hours on a bus - first to get back to Mountain View, then to get to the city. Bleh. All told I spent about six hours either on a bus or in my car today, which wasn't really pleasant. But the aquarium was nice and it was great to have a day of official work that didn't involve me opening my laptop.

And now I desperately need to sleep - someone was coughing all the way home on the shuttle, and I'm convinced I'll get pneumonia if I don't sleep it off. Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

it's either sadness or euphoria

I am ready to go home, I suppose, but only because I feel like I have to be. I had a brief, vivid moment this afternoon where I had a visceral urge to throw my cellphone into the Seine and run away forever, but I have somehow survived.

In short, today was dreamy in its perfection. I slept in a bit, choosing to skip Kathia and Terry's rendezvous at the Musee d'Orsay, and then wandered down toward the Tuileries and the Louvre with no intention of going into the museum and every intention of taking pictures of whatever outdoor features struck my fancy. Then I rendezvoused with my friends, and we made a v. fortuitous decision to go stand in the lunch line for Le Comptoir, which we had been trying to get into throughout our entire time in Paris. I was fueled by the desire to sit outside with the blankets draped over all the seats that were embroidered with the figure of a pig, and Kathia and Terry were motivated by the food - and we all won.

I've had some fabulous meals on this trip, and I think that the Basque pig dish at Glou on Sunday is still the winner for best dish - but for best meal overall, Le Comptoir may have beat it. We started with a charcuterie plate, a cheese plate, and a dish of mushrooms with foie gras - omg, delicious. The ham on the charcuterie plate was the best thing ever - except for the fried pig skins, which were also the best thing ever. But then they were topped by the entrees - we had a beef (bouef) dish that would have been the winner in any other setting, but it was blown out of the water by this pork dish that I can't describe but was truly orgasmic. I was apparently flushed and clearly aroused throughout this meal, and the waiters got the point when Kathia and I both snapped at them at any attempt to clear our plates. But the waiter was oddly charmed when I draped the blanket over my chest like a shawl and declared myself queen of Le Comptoir, so I think we made some friends. We ended it with a perfect chocolate pot de creme and some coffee, and I wanted to die from happiness.

After that, we were going to go write, but when we got to the place we were going to, Kathia and I had both hit the wall so hard from the dying breaths of our aroused adrenaline rush that we said goodbye to Terry and came back to the hotel to take naps. I didn't sleep as much as Kathia did since I had a romance writer task to take care of, which was super annoying - but I did get a nap, which was super necessary. Then we met up with Terry at a cute little wine/bookstore, where we had three different pichets of wine across the three of us and generally admired everything about Paris. Then we went back to Glou on a whim and had charcuterie, beef, cheese, and dessert - it wasn't as perfect as Sunday, but it was the perfect denoument. We finished with a walk along the Seine, and now I should sleep - our flight is at ten tomorrow, which means I must get up far earlier than I would like. The real world awaits, but for now, I can wish you bonsoir!

Monday, October 14, 2013

you want to party in france?

I continue to be in miraculously perfect health, and so today was yet another delight. Kathia and I woke up sometime before eight and proceeded to the Cafe du St Denis on Ile-de-St-Louis, where I had an omelette du fromage (cheese and more cheese) and we both attempted to write. The attempt was mostly successful, although I still hate Prudence (although Kathia told me I need to adjust my attitude, which is probably correct). We ordered some morning champagne to try to help things along, which I suppose was a good idea, although I think I should probably drink some water at some point while on French soil. Terry met up with us there, and we adjourned to do some much-deserved (not-at-all-deserved) shopping in the Marais.

And thus began my pretty-much-perfect day. Kathia has even more of a weakness for lingerie than I do, and we stumbled upon a great lingerie store where we all spent far too much money on unmentionables. This was en route to the street that I had read about where three or four amazing stationery stores lived - and when I got there, I was so overwhelmed by the window displays that I didn't want to go into any of them. We went into one and I bought a new journal, but I held off on buying more because the other amazing one didn't open until two. So we adjourned to a nearby cafe and had steak and red wine, which was amazing. Then we went back to the stationery stores, I explored the other store, and then went back to the original store and bought three more notebooks.

My heaven should have been complete at that point, but there was more in store; we went to St. Germain and had tea at Mariages Freres, which is a grand French tea establishment founded in 1854 that has six hundred varieties of tea available. The tea list is on a placard, but each tea is explained in more detail in a novel-sized paperback book that comes with the menu. We got three teas, each better than the last, and a tea-infused creme brulee that was tastier than anything should rightfully be. Kathia and Terry also got scones, but I turned my nose up at the flour and instead just had a bite of butter and jam (which is the whole point of scones anyway). Kathia and I wrote a bit more there, but then we adjourned to the hotel so that I could take a nap - at that point I was like an overstimulated toddler at Disneyland whose every childish dream has come true, and I needed to sleep before I had a meltdown.

But I was properly revived by 6:45, so I put on a party dress and we went out to meet a couple of my coworkers who also chose to come to Paris after last week's book fair. We had a v. lovely dinner at Le Petit Chatelet, which is next to Shakespeare and Company (the famous English-language bookstore). I didn't have high hopes since it looked touristy from the outside, but our appetizers were delicious (and I gorged on foie gras, which is illegal in California, much to the shock and horror of our waiter) and the entrees were all delectable. It may shock you to know that I ordered chicken, but the chicken was awesome and I have no regrets.

We all parted ways at eleven, and then Kathia, Terry and I had a nightcap in the hotel lobby. And now I must go to bed. Paris has thus far been pretty much perfect, so I don't know whether to look forward to my last full day tomorrow with anticipation or dread - it doesn't seem like it can get better, and yet it doesn't seem likely that it will be worse. Either way, I will blog tomorrow unless my heart explodes tonight from happiness. Bonne nuit!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

when the last king of hollywood shatters his glass on the floor

I had the very best day today - Paris is truly a moveable feast, particularly when you a) don't have pneumonia and b) know that you can't eat gluten, which means c) I felt vibrant and alive rather than deathly ill like on my previous trips. It was brisk and chilly most of the day, but the sun was out and everything was tres chic. Kathia and I met Terry at the cafe across from the hotel, where we had a perfectly acceptable omelette to keep me from gnawing off my own flesh as I would have done if they had gone out for croissants. Then we wandered through the streets and alleys of Paris and did some window shopping - it could have quite easily turned into real shopping, but the shops we admired were all closed. We stopped for Champagne at Les Deux Magots in St. Germain, which is famous for being the cafe where Hemingway, Beauvoir, Sartre, Camus and others used to hang out. The old man next to us was busy telling his companion that it was rude to order Champagne as we ordered our bubbly, and he likely thought it was even ruder that we were taking photos and tweeting, but c'est la vie.

We then continued our peregrinations to the Jardin du Luxembourg, a v. lovely park with all sorts of trees and flowers. I was on the hunt for great statues to take pictures of, since I'm still researching the not-so-secret non-gargoyle young adult book - and today was awesome for inspiration, to the point that I want to promptly go off the grid and write both this book and the next romance at the same time. It won't happen, but I can dream. After the jardin, we were feeling a bit parched since we hadn't had a drink in an hour - so we stopped at some cafe that looked so-so from the outside but was incredible on the inside. It had four floors of extravagant tables and decorations and carpets and the like, and we had red wine and v. delicious steak frites.

Thus properly nourished, we parted ways; Kathia and I went back to the hotel to take naps, while Terry went for a run (foolish choice). I only slept for forty minutes, and then went down to the hotel bar and drank tea and wrote for an hour, which was v. necessary. Then Terry came back, and she and I brainstormed Prudence for a bit before I retrieved Kathia. We wandered around the Marais, stopping at some charming but odd little bar for wine and charcuterie/fromage (the meat and cheese were fine, but not as good as last night, but the wine was quite tasty). Then we window shopped some more before stumbling across a restaurant called Glou, which we decided we had to eat at based solely on the fact that the inside smelled v. deliciously of truffles. So we sat outside drinking some gorgeous red wine from Languedoc and playing with an overly enthusiastic dog until our table was ready.

And it was all simply fantastic. I had a dish that I can't describe and will never have again, which gave me a profound, ineffable sense of sadness because it was one of the most delicious things I've ever had. The name was 'boudin du pays Basque', and it was essentially some sort of chopped/reconstructed sausage patty, cooked to a delectably caramelized char on the outside and perfectly seasoned internally. It looked horrible, so I didn't take a picture, but it gave me the happiest sense of wonder I've had over food in a long time. And the mashed potatoes with it were nearly as good, if more pedestrian. Combined with the wine (and the good company, of course, although I kind of forgot about them), it was a meal I hope I never forget. In fact, I hope that if I have dementia someday, my grandkids get sick of hearing me say 'Sausage? Did I tell you about the time I had this most amazing sausage in Paris?' Yes, that's a buzzkill.

After dinner, we sat around and drank coffee and talked some more, then wandered back to our hotel, saying goodbye to Terry along the way. And now I shall go to bed - Kathia and I have grand plans to write in the morning before we pursue other Parisian adventures, and I want to accomplish many tings. Bonsoir!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

i hope that you don't suffer

Hello, Paris! As much fun as I had in Frankfurt, I'm v. glad to be on vacation, and even gladder to be in Paris. I managed to escape the book fair without picking up a cold, so I guess my suitcase full of holistic medicines protected me - I'm sure I'll get sick as soon as I get home, but as long as I'm able to enjoy Paris, I don't care. This morning was uneventful; I woke up, showered, finished packing, had one final amazing omelette, and got to the train station embarrassingly early for my trip to Paris. The train ride was uneventful, and I managed to do just a bit of writing when I wasn't inadvertently napping or staring out the window at the gorgeous countryside.

Upon arrival in Paris, I took a cab to my hotel, where I rendezvoused with Kathia, who had arrived yesterday. She was about to use the sauna, which I had no interest in, so I went out for a belated lunch of steak and red wine (lunch (and breakfast, and dinner) of champions) and did some totally awesome people watching. Then I came back to the hotel, found Kathia again, and then met up with Terry, who arrived from London this afternoon. The three of us wandered around for a few hours, including some time taking pictures of Notre Dame (yes, I'm researching the secret non-gargoyle young adult book), and more importantly including some time at a cute little wine bar, where we had red wine and charcuterie/cheese. Then we went for dinner at a restaurant we'd seen earlier, and it totally surprised us - the outside had purple patio furniture, leading me to believe the inside would be tres chic, but instead it was a throwback to a gothic mansion, with a lot of heavy wood furniture and crypt-like walls. This was topped off by a waiter who hummed to himself the entire night and a preternaturally young-looking couple in the corner who may have been vampires. Needless to say, I was in alt (which, perhaps is needful to say, is a Regency phrase for something along the lines of high-flyingly-ecstatic to the point of unseemly excitement).

After dinner, Terry went off to find her airbnb, and Kathia and I had cocktails and talked writing shop in the hotel bar. And now I'm all cozy and eager for bed - bonsoir!

Friday, October 11, 2013

but you never really had a doubt

I meant to go to bed a million hours ago, but I have no regrets. Unless, of course, I wake up with pneumonia in the morning, in which case I will hate myself. But I had a totally lovely day - I slept well, had a ridiculously nice breakfast, went to the book fair, accomplished some great tings, hung out with coworkers, and explored the little shops set up in one of the many vast courtyards, where someone convinced me to buy earrings as a souvenir of Frankfurt. I was back at the hotel by five, and I succeeded in packing everything up, leaving me just enough time to walk twenty minutes each way to the nearest Starbucks so that I could find a Frankfurt mug (I succeeded).

When I got back to the hotel, I thought I was going to have a quiet dinner with one of my coworkers at the hotel, but we ran into all the people who were meeting up to go out, and we got dragged along with them. It turned out to be quite lovely; I talked to some people I hadn't had a chance to catch up with yet, and I had a delicious steak and some great red wine, so that was all nice. Then I got dragged even further into the night and ended up at Spritzerhaus, some really divey bar where there was a live band covering American/British rock (and smoking while they sang/drummed, which was v. unexpected). I lasted for about five songs, but then another girl and I bailed since we both have early travel plans tomorrow.

And that means I should really sleep - I'm only going to get six hours now, which is better than nothing but not really enough. Still, my time in Germany has been incredible, and I'm sad that it's over. But I can't really be sad when I'm off to Paris in the morning - yes, life is hard. Goodnight!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

got emotions that'll make it last

I don't want this book fair to ever end, but I also don't want to wait any longer to go to Paris...conundrum. Tomorrow is my last day in Frankfurt, and today was pretty smashing even if my wristband says I walked almost nine miles - I think I believe it. I had to be at my company's booth by nine a.m., which was pretty wretched, but my morning was mostly fun and not at all taxing, so it was kind of nice to hang out with coworkers and chat up the passers-by. I had lunch at the fair, which was a mistake since the only thing I could eat was pretty terrible. But I think I could find something else tomorrow - you would not believe the size of this convention center. Apparently the Frankfurt Book Fair attracts 280,000 people a year, and it's spread out in a convention center that has ten different halls that could each hold a very respectably-sized convention in their own right. And [censored] would be [censored] to know that Placebo is playing somewhere in that complex later this year - ah, memories.

After lunch, I wandered around a bunch of booths and had the supreme thrill of finding my books sitting on the shelf of the agent who is working to sell my foreign translation rights; she was in a meeting, so I didn't bug her, but I took a surreptitious photo and may try to say hi tomorrow. And I saw a lot of the stuff in the hall where my company is located; I somehow doubt that I'm going to get through the other nine tomorrow, but we shall see.

I took a break in the afternoon, since my feet were killing me; my hotel is right across the street from the convention center, but it's a fifteen minute walk to get from our hall at the other end of the complex to my hotel. But I schlepped myself home, took a nap, and did some work for the day job for an hour or so. Then I went back to the conference for a meeting with some other people at six p.m. Then we left, grabbed a bus back to the hotel, saw the line for taxis to take us to dinner, and were dismayed. Ravi and I decided to walk to dinner, even though it was 2.5miles (would have been shorter, but the bridge we planned to take was closed), and we still beat some of the people who were waiting for cabs when we left. But dinner was delicious - Greek food and copious amounts of wine, which is all good enough for me.

But in an utterly shocking turn of events, I managed to leave and go home after dinner (at 10:30pm) rather than continuing to some string of afterparties. My inner peer-pressure-succumbing social butterfly is sad, but my rational doesn't-want-to-get-sick-before-Paris side is thrilled at my unusual display of fortitude and common sense. I'm sure I'll throw it all out the window tomorrow. But now, it's time for bed!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

you want a maserati?

I need to go to bed immediately, right now, at once - I meant to come home three hours ago, but I knew that was never going to happen. Today was totally awesome; I slept later than I should have, ate another delicious German omelette, and then went over to the exhibition hall, where I hung out with coworkers, walked around others' booths, and manned my company's booth for a couple of hours. I was done with all my scheduled stuff by three p.m., and I tried to wander around, but I ran out of energy (the conference area is a million square miles, equivalent to the square footage of Kazahstan) and my feet were destroyed. So I came back to the hotel at four, ordered room service to make up for the fact that I couldn't eat any of the conference food, and then took a nap.

Thus restored, I went out for dinner with the broader team, which was totally awesome; we ate at a v. fancy French place, where the wine kept coming (in magnums, not regular bottles, which felt particularly extravagant). I sat with some people I didn't know all that well before, but it was super fun and an excellent chance to meet people. Then I was going to make it back to the hotel and was on the verge of getting into a cab that would have carried me to safety when I was coerced into going to another bar for one more drink. There, I talked to a lovely Frenchman/coworker about life and fate and whether one should move to new countries every year (clearly the answer is yes), and escaped after a glass of wine (boo) but before the jagermeister shot (thank you, Jesus).

And now, I must sleep, since I must be up in six hours. Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

open the door, i'm gonna make you love me

I had intended to go to bed an hour ago, but if I go to bed a little after midnight at a conference, I consider that a success. Today was pretty awesome, all in all - I actually slept nine full hours last night and only woke up once, which is unheard of for the first day of jetlag. I credit the veritable pharmacy of over-the-counter holistic medicines I brought with me to try to stave off my inevitable cold/bronchitis - I took melatonin last night, which I've heard is a wonder drug, and it seemed to work (and is about to knock me out again). And this morning I loaded up on echinacea, zinc, and a whole emergen-C packet, which will probably do nothing, but I have my fingers crossed and my shank prepared to kill anyone who coughs within twenty feet of me.

So I woke up around ten, ordered room service (what turned out to be one of the best hotel omelettes I've ever had), showered, worked, and went downstairs for a meeting with other people from my company this afternoon. It was pretty good, despite the fact that I could eat none of the snacks (zee Germans apparently haven't heard of gluten-free, although it's still easier for me than it is for the vegetarians). We ended at five, I came upstairs and did some more work, and then we all went out for dinner at a German beer house. That means I had bratwurst, of course - they brought three bratwurst, which seemed excessive, but without buns (which would never occur to them to use anyway), I ate every single damn bite. Yum. I also had a lot of riesling and most of a large shot of schnapps, most of which was a mistake, even if it was over enough of a time frame that I didn't get anywhere close to messy. After dinner, many of us adjourned to another hotel's bar, where we hung out for awhile, but I left after an hour when I realized that the party was probably not quite my scene (mostly because I was too tired to enjoy the thought of being hungover tomorrow).

I walked back to my hotel with another girl, where we promptly bought water and went to our respective rooms. And now I must sleep if I have any hope of being useful tomorrow - goodnight!

Monday, October 07, 2013

no more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars

I need to go to bed immediately if I'm going to try to get on German time, but it's so tempting to stay up and work when I feel conscious instead of groggy. My flight last night was totally uneventful, albeit a bit uncomfortable; thank goodness I was in economy plus, since I would have felt truly claustrophobic if the seat in front of me had been closer and the guy next to me encroached on my space as much as this one did. He seemed nice enough, but he was a big guy and there was a big guy on the other side of him as well, so I was sort of crowded into the aisle. C'est la vie. United tried their hardest to bring me gluten-free meals (which I'd requested), but the gluten free breakfast was a single rice cake and a cup of applesauce, which was weird since the regular breakfast had fresh melons. Luckily I had carnitas tacos last night for supper and had snacks in my bag, so I was far from dying.

I really have nothing else of interest to report; a coworker and I took a taxi to the hotel together, then adjourned so that she could work and I could theoretically work. Instead, I unpacked in a valiant attempt to stay awake, then gave in to temptation and took a forty-five minute nap. Then I had dinner with the coworker, which was a v. leisurely affair and involved eating ribeyes and drinking wine, which are two of my favorite things. So, needless to say, I'm quite happy. We'll see if this mood continues when I have to start doing work stuff tomorrow, but fingers crossed. Goodnight!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

we'll be counting stars

I'm at the airport, getting ready to go to Germany for my business trip. And I realized that this is the first overseas trip I've made without Chandlord in three years - it somehow doesn't feel right to be eating airport Mexican food without her. I shall persevere, however.

Today was a hermity myriad of preparatory activities, including packing, cleaning, deciding which tech gadgets to take and preparing them for travel, etc. I also got a pedicure, which was necessary for my vanity and unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. And now, I have 45 minutes to kill before boarding - I suppose I should spend it engaged in productive efforts, but I may people watch instead. Goodnight!

gone, gone, gone

I'm tired and vaguely surly; I didn't get enough sleep last night, and I should have gone to bed an hour ago, but I made the mistake of logging into my work laptop to find something and then ended up answering email for an hour. Stupid. I am leaving for the airport in sixteen hours and I haven't packed yet, nor have I finished entering my paper edits of Alex and Prudence into my laptop so that I don't have to lug around the paper copy in addition to two laptops, a tablet, an ereader, two phones, and all the other stuff I'm taking with me.

But today was fine, albeit mildly annoying; I woke up in time to meet Kathia for an 8:45am writing date (it was supposed to be 8:30, but I was late), and I worked for a couple of hours before abandoning her. Then I grabbed a late breakfast and did some shopping on Union Street (rather unnecessarily, but I got a couple of cute dresses and some new yoga pants, all of which I look forward to wearing in Europe until I realize that even my most chic attire isn't tres chic like the Parisians). I also got a massage, which I had booked a couple of weeks ago, knowing then that I would both really need a massage today and really regret the time I needed to take to get it. My knack for finding odd massage therapists continues; this one is really good and I felt awesome after, but she did take the liberty of crawling up onto the table again and kneeling on my thighs while kneading my back. It felt good last time and it felt good this time, but today got a little weirder when she shifted forward and knelt on my ass for awhile, then later said, 'doesn't it feel good to have an open butt?' Umm. No comment?

sssanyway, beyond that little oddity, the massage was great and exactly what I needed. Then I came home, vegged out for a bit and kind of took a half-nap, then talked to [censored]. I debated for too long what to do for dinner, but I ended up running to the store and getting stuff to make chili with, which may have been a mistake since today was super hot. But I ate supper, watched some of the Stanford/Washington game, got through a bunch of stuff on my to-do list, and organized my stuff so that I can pack it tomorrow.

And now, I must sleep - perhaps I'll blog from the airport tomorrow, but if not, I'll check in when I get to Frankfurt. Goodnight!

Saturday, October 05, 2013

make that money, watch it burn

I probably should have gone to bed when I felt like doing so three hours ago, but I had tings to do, so I made myself a mug of tea and slogged on. Today was hectic; I got up late since I had stayed up late last night, but I decided to run for the 8:20 shuttle without drying my hair, since I wanted to make it to work in time for breakfast. But when I got to the shuttle stop, after nearly running, I pulled out my phone and discovered that the shuttle wasn't coming and I had to wait twenty minutes. Which, obvi, would have been enough time to dry my hair. Curses. I maybe should have just skipped that one too and had breakfast before going south, since not having breakfast threw off my whole day, but I stuck it out and got to the office at ten. And I had the rather hideous realization that the amount of time I've spent commuting this week is nearly equal to the amount of time I will spend on planes to/from Europe next week, which is a really fucking sobering thought. Traffic has been awful this week and I've spent three or four hours a day on the bus or in my car, so I'm looking forward to twelve glorious days of not commuting.

I slogged v. hard all day, but I snuck out in the afternoon for a doctor's appointment with my new primary care doctor, whom I really liked. Then, I was going to go shopping at Stanford mall since I was right next door, but I checked my work email and discovered that my business cards had come in just in time (I never use them in my real life, so I'd forgotten to ever order them), so I drove back to campus to pick them up. Then I went to Nordstrom Rack and did less damage than I wanted to but more than I should have. Then I ate a snack bar that I found in my purse and just barely survived the drive back into the city without going into some epic hunger-induced road rage. Once here, I was too tired to go out and too tired to cook, so I ate some frozen enchiladas and worked until now.

And now, I really should sleep; I have a writing date in the morning and tons of stuff I have to do to get ready for my trip. Goodnight!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

you're still written in the scars on my heart

Today was mildly brutal, mostly because I only got five and a half hours of sleep last night. But I was out the door before seven this morning and made it to my eight a.m. training session with Alyssa (just barely), which helped to restore my mood. Then I showered, went to work, and slogged relentlessly all day; my only real break was to get a flu shot, which doesn't really seem like much of a break. But I ran into Chandlord as I was grabbing food from one of the cafes, so that was a pleasant and sparkly surprise. And I got through all of my meetings unscathed and was productive on the most urgent things on my to-do list, so I suppose that's something.

I will admit, though, that I cut out at 4:30 to have a v. early dinner with Jenni. We were planning to have dinner up in the city, but since we were both in MTV and since I had my car, we decided to eat in the south bay to avoid sitting on the bus for two hours before dinner. We ended up going to Vive Sol, which was both bad for my general wellness (since apparently margaritas aren't really all that good for you - who knew?) and bad for my guilty conscience (since I had told Terry I couldn't have a margarita with her, and then promptly went out for a margarita). Oops. But it was great to see Jenni, since we hadn't caught up in quite some time. And our plan worked beautifully; we caught a shuttle around seven p.m. (the only snafu was that the shuttle was twenty minutes late picking us up), and traffic was decent enough that I got home around eight. Or I assume traffic was decent; I slept the whole way home.

That, sadly, gave me the energy to slog for the last three hours to get through some more dayjob stuff. This isn't a real relapse; the start of the quarter is always hectic, made moreso because I'm going to be out of the office for most of the next two weeks. And perhaps I'm avoiding thinking about Alex and Prudence because I know I'm going to have to edit the crap out of them, which is still not filling me with a ton of joy. But I think I'm getting to the point where I'm excited to tackle them again, so hopefully I can get some writing done this weekend in the midst of my mad travel preparations.

Now, though, I need to sleep if I have any hope of getting things done tomorrow - goodnight!

the dream maker's gonna make you mad

I had way too long of a day today, even if a lot of it was positive. I woke up early and made it to my writing date by 7:15, and I wrote for an hour before heading off to catch the bus. Sadly, the bus was nearly twenty minutes late, which was twenty minutes that I could have spent writing, and then it took over an hour and a half to get to work, so all in from the moment I left the cafe to the moment I got to my desk was around two hours. This is getting really old really fast.

So I had to reschedule my morning to accommodate my v. tardy arrival, but that all seemed to go okay, even if it meant my lunch had to be crunched into ten minutes at my desk while doing ten other things. I slogged incessantly until 6:30pm, and then I went to Niamh and Francois's house for dinner (yes, those names are unpronounceable, sorry. Really, though, 'Niamh' is Irish and is pronounced 'Neve', so hopefully that is a good lesson for you today). Niamh did the training that I took on managing your energy a couple of weeks ago, but I knew her in Dublin and it was good to reconnect with her. And her husband is a writer who is about to leave his job, so we obviously had a lot to discuss there.

But before I knew it, it was almost ten p.m., and I still had to drive home. So I sped up to the city, took out my contacts and washed my face, and then slogged for the last hour and a half - some on day job stuff, some on a guest blog post that I had to write and turn in today. And now that my dual personalities have battled themselves for supremacy all day and come to an exhausted draw, I shall go to bed. Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

high heels off, i'm feeling alive

Today was lovely, although I didn't get nearly enough done at the day job and I'm realizing that I may be screwed tomorrow as a result. But that's okay; I will persevere, as I always do. I drove down to the office and arrive almost in time for my eight a.m. meeting, and then slogged until midday, when I took a break to train with Alyssa over lunch. Then I went back to the office and slogged all afternoon - but since it was meetings, and since I like all the people I met with, this wasn't much of a hardship. I took the shuttle home and intended to work on it, but the traffic was kind of bad, so I slept instead in an effort to avoid carsickness. Then, when I got home, I abandoned the day job laptop and instead took my personal laptop to my favorite French place, where I consoled myself with steak and wine while reading my editor's comments on Prudence and Alex's manuscript.

The verdict is that the changes are not so difficult as to be impossible (and there's a chance her plot suggestions were fueled by too much watching of 'Breaking Bad') - I'm mostly on board with them, although I need to mourn the loss of my belief that I was almost done. But this is a challenge for another day; I'm going to go to sleep, get up super early for a writing date with Kathia (if she shows up), and then slog all day in an attempt to catch up. Goodnight!