Friday, January 31, 2014

the rubble or our sins

I'm super sleepy and intended to go to bed close to two hours ago, but folding clothes and messing around on the internet stymied me. I'm sad that I'm so tired; I was equally tired last night and slept for nine hours, so I thought I'd be in better shape tonight, but even with a nap at five p.m. I'm still a mess.

However, today was fine; I went to the office, slogged, went to the gym and trained with Alyssa, slogged some more, and came home around five. I took my aforementioned nap, then walked to Pac Heights and had dinner at the bar at Tortilla Heights. Brainstorming Thorington was going swimmingly, and I had a pretty good breakthrough, but the bar was suddenly and unexpectedly swarmed by people doing shots, so I vacated and walked home. And perhaps that's why I'm sleepy - tacos + margaritas + a three-mile round trip walk over a steep hill was probably not the most energizing combination.

But now I must sleep so that I can be more interesting and more productive tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

i need to know now, can you love me again

I've been falling asleep on my feet for the last six hours, which was problematic since I had to work, drive home, and try to stay up to avoid succumbing to jetlag. Today was rather long, as it turned out; I got up ridiculously early so that I could leave the house by 6:50, since I wanted to allow myself two hours to get to work for my nine a.m. meeting. But traffic was better than expected, so it only took me an hour and twenty minutes (still a nightmare, but it seems so pleasant in comparison to the greater horrors I've come to expect). So I ate breakfast, went to my meeting, went to my building, sat at my desk for a few blessed minutes, and then spent almost the entirety of the rest of the day in meetings. This is my life, so it's not a surprise, but it's unfortunate since I have a lot of work I should be doing instead of sitting in conference rooms talking about tings.

But I made it home in one piece by around 7:30. Then I seriously considering eating some frozen enchiladas and going to bed, but I rallied and went to Des Amis, where some wine and steak helped fuel some v. important brainstorming for Thorington's book. I read most of a book about the naval battles of the War of 1812 when I was on the plane yesterday (as one does), and it triggered an idea for a privateering subplot that I'm eager to explore. So I brainstormed over several pages of handwritten notes while eating, drinking, and occasionally talking to the staff, most of whom know me and are quite friendly at this point.

But now I'm really desperate for sleep, no matter how much my heart would rather read more about naval history. Yes, I am strange, but you already knew this. Goodnight!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

baby i'm a little confused

I need to go to bed right now, stat, if I'm going to hope to get even seven hours of sleep tonight...my flight from JFK was over an hour late leaving due to weather in SFO, which did nothing to endear me to this erstwhile city I love to hate. But I made it to San Francisco safely, walked into my apartment shortly after ten, and spent the last forty-five minutes prepping for tomorrow and acclimating myself to my own room.

But now I must sleep, since it's raining here, which means traffic tomorrow will be a nightmare, and I can't be late for my nine a.m., so I think I'll leave at 6:30. Yes, my life is dumb. Goodnight!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

you catholic girls start much too late

New York has been pretty much awesome... so awesome that I would be v tempted to move here if it didn't contradict all my life goals. But since I seem to make decisions based solely on how ridiculous they are, maybe a life in NYC is in the cards for me.

Today was particularly good, despite being frigid. I got to the office early and had breakfast while working on slides. Then I had this all day meeting thing, which was tres interessant. Sadly I had to work on slides during some of it, but that was fine. The thing ended at five, but we had drinks in the office until seven, then a drink in the hotel bar, then dinner at Spice Market. It was incredibly delish, although I'm pretty sure I had a bit of gluten... but I'll take the headache tomorrow without complaints.

And now I must sleep so I can get up, check out, and work for a few hours before going to the airport. Goodnight!

Monday, January 27, 2014

they say a handful still survive

Internet isn't working in my hotel, which means I have to get up at an ungodly hour and go to the office to work, so you'll just have to trust me when I say that I had an awesome day at the office, followed by a frigid walk, followed by an amazing tapas dinner with Vivi (aka Sarah), followed by an even more frigid walk, and now to be followed by bed. Goodnight!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

all your friends were so knocked out

Today was utterly lovely, and I shan't let myself freak out over the fact that I should have worked for fifteen hours on either the day job or the writing job. Instead, I took the day off (which, I must remind myself, is part of the plan, since I'm trying not to work one day a week) and hung out with Claudia, which was totally perfect. She let me sleep until ten, since she didn't get into the city until almost one, which gave me time to sleep and pack and shower and get ready without stress. I checked out of my room (I had to pay for the last two nights, so I stayed somewhere cheaper than the posh and ridiculous hotel I'm in for the next three nights) and met Claude at Grand Central, where we convened briefly to decide where to go before getting in a cab and heading for Chelsea. I had done some Yelp research and it didn't let us down - we ended up at Cookshop, where the wait was ~30mins (which we accomplished in a lean-to like structure that surrounded the front door, but lean-to makes it sound like Little House on the Prairie, and unless Pa was into hollandaise sauce and exotic bloody marys, this wasn't his kind of deal. Although if the graffiti on the Little House in the Big Woods was accurate, there may have been some bloody marys in his life...but I will send that memory back to the pit where it usually lurks to haunt me).

sssanyway. Cookshop was v. v. delicious, albeit somewhat overpriced. We each had the poached eggs with spinach, and we split sides of potatoes, grits, and bacon, so I was splendidly full after. We also had bloody marys, which I regret; I didn't think I was a fan of them, but I tried again, and I made the mistake of ordering one with mescal, so the smoky tequila-ish vibe was a little overwhelming on a then-empty stomach. But it was entertaining, as all my favorite drinks are.

So Claudia and I caught up for a couple of hours there. Then we walked outside, quickly froze, and so ducked into Chelsea Market to window shop at all the eateries that we were too stuffed to enjoy. But we bought some fancy Belgian chocolates for later and explored a bookstore that I may need to go back to, so that was nice. Then we wandered a few more blocks and stopped for caffeine and cocktails at a fun/weird mix between a bar/industrial space/downhome ice cream parlor/indeterminate theme. Whatever. The coffee was good and my cocktail didn't have mescal in it, so that was a plus.

Sometime around 5:30 we decided we should mosey, so we walked outside again. The cocktails may have cured our fear of frostbite, so we walked the thirty minutes or so that it took to get from the west side to the east side of Manhattan. We arrived at Mermaid Inn, which is my favorite place in New York, mostly because I have v. fond memories of Claudia, Ritu, and all the delicious oysters that have been slaughtered to satisfy our wicked appetites. We got there in time for happy hour, so we had a couple of glasses of wine and split twenty-four oysters (of both the east and west coast varieties), a couple of awesome crispy fish tacos and some french fries. I also looked the other way while Claude at some kale. They brought us little chocolate pots du creme for dessert, which was a perfect (albeit too filling) topper.

It was fantastic to see Claudia, and I have high hopes that she'll graduate someday (preferably this spring, since that's what she's aiming for) and will not be in New Haven anymore so that I can visit her someplace more exciting. But NYC will suffice as long as she's around here - in fact, I was joking with her today that I am probably destined to move here, since I'm feeling that passionate hate/love that I tend to feel whenever I'm on the brink of converting from 'I will never do that' to 'omg I must do that'. I last felt this way when I decided to start wearing leggings as pants, and I think it's time for a new passion.

But that's all neither here nor there. I dropped Claudia off at Grand Central so she could go back to her prison, then picked up my bags and checked into my new hotel, which is totally ridic. And now I must sleep since I need to get up early tomorrow and do a bunch of work before California wakes up - goodnight!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

i watched the mighty skyline fall

I had intended to be in bed hours ago, but I actually went out tonight (shocker), so my plan to get adjusted to east coast time is not destined for success. But today was great, albeit frigid. I slept until 9ish, took my time getting ready, and then decided to walk from my hotel to the place where I was supposed to meet Parisa for brunch. This was good for my plan to walk a lot while in NYC, but bad for my body temperature, since the walk was at least two and a half miles and I was freezing the entire time. But it was a good excuse to stop in at Nordstrom Rack and get an awesome cashmere scarf for 60% off, so I'll take it.

Brunch was worth it, though; Parisa and I went to Northern Spy, which I'd been to with Ritu once before, and the food was delish. I had a chicken sandwich (sans the bread) with green salsa and a poached egg on top, along with some tasty homefries and a grapefruit ginger mimosa. And Parisa was in fine form; she had just gotten back from the same trip that Kathia was on for the past couple of weeks, so she was v. tan and generally entertaining. After brunch, we worked together for awhile at a cafe down the street, where I kept trying to make progress on Thorington, but it was slow going.

So I came back to the hotel, sat around when I should have been napping, and talked to my parents in lieu of our usual conversation tomorrow. I learned more than I want to know about scours, if that tells you anything (which it probably doesn't, if you're not familiar with the digestive systems of cattle). Then I rallied and went to a French bistro for dinner, where I felt like I was cheating on Des Amis with a lowrent but convenient whore. I mean, it wasn't exactly cheap, but it wasn't Des Amis either. Still, the atmosphere was nice (although they did play "I'm Too Sexy" at some point, which I found odd), and I had escargots and a steak, and I had two glasses of wine, and I wrote about five pages of Thorington. So that was all v. lovely and totally perfect.

I really just wanted to go to bed at that point, since it was nine p.m. But I had told my friend Vivi (aka Sarah) that I was in town, since she recently moved here from Alaska, and she had invited me to a houseparty she and her roommates were having in Harlem. And I felt like I should go since I really wanted to see her, even though I had less than zero desire to go that far from my hotel. But I rallied again, took the subway up to her place (which was really pretty convenient, even though it took more time than I wanted to devote to this task), and spent an hour at her party. And by 'party' I mean that we sat in her room and talked while the party continued in the rest of the house. But around midnight I let her go back to her other guests, and I made it back to my hotel without losing an appendage to frostbite or my purse to a mugger, so it was all great.

And now I must sleep if I'm to have more fun tomorrow - goodnight!

Friday, January 24, 2014

but it's sad and it's sweet and i knew it complete when i wore a younger man's clothes

It's not quite ten p.m. at home, but it's almost one a.m. in my current undisclosed location (okay, you twisted my arm - it's New York), so I'm going to try to go to bed so that I can start adjusting to east coast time. I had to come to NYC for a work trip next week, and I decided to come a couple of days early so that I wouldn't waste a weekend day on a plane. I think this was a good decision; I did some day job stuff on the plane, but I also worked on Thorington, and I had a critical breakthrough that may help me to get over my current block. The morning was a little stressful, since I didn't get out of bed until eight, I hadn't packed or folded laundry or done any of the other million things on my to-do list, and I needed to leave home by 10:30. But I managed to make it, and I don't think I forgot anything serious, so it was all good.

I got into Newark around nine p.m. EST, and then I took a town car (thanks, employer) to my hotel in Manhattan. Once here, I realized I was hungry and also realized I would freeze to death if I went outside, so I had a slightly overpriced hamburger at the hotel restaurant and worked on Thorington for another hour or two. And now, I'm going to sleep - the weekend promises to be a lot of fun, since I have grand plans to write a million words and hang out with Claudia (aka Santy Claude - don't tell her I said that), so I want to get some sleep in preparation for the shenanigans. Goodnight!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

i love her eyes and her wild wild hair

Sorry I've been a little incommunicado the past couple of days - I swear my body is trying to succumb to swine flu, so I'm tumbling into bed as soon as I have the opportunity every night in order to stave it off. Also, I'm working like twelve hours a day to get ready for my trip. And by that I mean I worked a lot on Tuesday and Wednesday, in contrast to not working at all this weekend and working about seven hours today, so really, this is not that much of a hardship.

But yesterday and today were mostly good. Last night I got home so brain dead from working so long that I couldn't bear the thought of opening my laptop, so I ordered thai and watched the Kennedy Center Honors that I had tivo'd a few weeks ago. I always love watching artists being recognized for their achievements, and the Kennedy Center Honors do a particularly fine job of it. This year's show was fun, since they recognized Carlos Santana and Billy Joel, and they also brought in Snoop Dogg to perform in honor of Herbie Hancock, which was tres interessant. Billy Joel's segment was even better than I had anticipated, and I finished the show feeling as many feelings as I was capable of feeling (which was more than I had thought I was capable of, so I suppose that's good).

But I had to get up early this morning to train with Alyssa, which was brutal since I woke up at 5:45 yesterday morning to go to the office early to avoid traffic (successful, but also horrible since I hate getting out of bed). Alyssa was good, though, even if she continues to push her nefarious kettlebell swing agenda. Then I went to work, slogged a lot, peaced out at four, came home, and then had a v. extended wine/dinner date with Kathia, who is back from her trip just as I'm about to leave. So we caught up on life and career and all that stuff over steak and wine, which was great for my soul even if it was probably bad for my immune system.

And now I desperately need to sleep - goodnight!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

oye como va

No time to blog - if I don't go to sleep now, I won't get eight hours, and eight hours is crucial since I'm worried I'm getting sick. I know. This is the best blog post ever. You're welcome. Goodnight!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

while I can't eat I bet you sleep with someone's heat against your bones

tonight I'm trying to write my blog with voicerecognition software. It's pretty slow going because it seems so awkward. But if this can get me off of my tablet and into bed sooner, it's for the best.

fuck it, this is too awkward. There's a reason I don't write my books with voice recognition, and it's because I feel all stilted and like I should be talking in a British accent like some strange, sinister narrator. Sssanyway, today was long, productive, infuriating, and probably worthwhile. I worked from home, then trained with Alyssa, then slogged mostly nonstop from noon to eight p.m. I did take a break at five to eat a v early supper, and I made some tea in the afternoon when I was too frustrated to do anything else. But other than that, I worked excessively. Which is probably good, since my work to do list is way out of control and I only have two more days in the office this week.

But now I must sleep immediately so I can do it all again tomorrow - goodnight!

Monday, January 20, 2014

foghorn leghorn

I did nothing today, for serious. I slept until after nine, laid in bed until after ten, got up, reheated leftover tacos for lunch, talked to my mom on the phone, and lazed around. Then I got a mani/pedi, which was v. welcome if not exactly necessary. Then I came home and talked to my dad. Around six I decided that I would go to write at my favorite French place, but the words weren't coming. I wrote in my journal for quite awhile, which was good, but Thorington continues to elude me. Then I came home and watched and episode of Craig while theoretically answering (but mostly ignoring) email.

But I think I'm done with break time; I have a lot of work to do tomorrow for the day job, and I may be just restless enough to actually do it. So I'm going to go to bed early and hope for the best - goodnight!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

and we're gonna let it burn

It's only a little after ten, but I'm too tired to blog, so you don't get the full rundown of my uneventful day. I will share that I made steak and eggs for breakfast, then showered, then held true to last week's resolution to take one day off a week by not doing any work at all. Shocking, I know. Instead, Terry and I went over to Chestnut and watched both of the division championship games with a couple of friends. I was pleased that the broncos won despite having a quarterback who is quite literally risking his neck for them. I was sad that the niners lost, since that was the whole reason we went out. But we watched the second half of the niners game from Tortilla Heights, so at last the margaritas and tacos offered some small bit of solace.

But now I must sleep, since I have grand plans to work on Thorington tomorrow- goodnight!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

and it starts sometime around midnight

Hello, friends. Today involved entirely too much time staring at my laptop, but I suppose that was destined to happen as soon as I pulled myself out of my funk and remembered that I have a shit-ton (yes, that's the official measurement) of stuff to do. I slept in, though, so that was nice, and I showered and made steak and eggs and generally lazed about until noonish.

But then it was time for the productivity to start. And I'm pretty happy with the outcome; I got through one of my many email inboxes, did a bunch of small tasks, and spent a couple of critical hours playing around with color swatches and cover descriptions to send to my graphic designer so that she can make the covers for my next three books. I already have the photos for all three, but I needed to come up with potential color schemes and describe the main characters, which was a little tough since I don't even know the names of 5/6 of them, let alone what they've been up to and how they live. But I finished it and sent it over, so hopefully I'll have covers in the next month or two.

Around five, though, I was desperate for a break, so Terry and I took a walk down the street and ended up having a drink at Des Amis. The drink turned into two drinks and a pseudo-supper, since we split an order of fries and then a substantial grilled chicken salad. The fact that I was sitting at the bar, drinking a cocktail, and eating chicken blew one of the waiter's minds, but I think they'll allow me to come back.

We came back around seven, though, and I guess I spent the last four hours working on various tings. I still have a million emails to answer and a lot of tings on my to-do list, but I'm going to take most of tomorrow off to watch football (yes, shocking, I know) and try to pretend that I have a life before returning to the grind. Goodnight!

maybe i pulled the panic cord

I have nothing of interest to share with you tonight, as per usual. I worked from home today, which meant that I was able to sleep straight from eleven p.m. to eight a.m. Sadly, this wasn't quite enough to feel totally on top of my game; I keep thinking I'm about to get sick, and I keep managing to fight it off, but I'm not sure how much longer that's going to last.

But I slogged until 4:30, which was respectable enough, and while I didn't get everything done that I probably should have, it was good enough for the time being. Then I went downtown to get my bangs trimmed; they're shorter than I would have preferred because my usual lady is out with the swine flu and they gave me someone else who's unfamiliar with my hair, but I suppose I'll survive. Then I bought groceries, came home, arranged the flowers that I bought for my desk, put a potato in the oven, and sat around until it was time to finish cooking supper. Terry showed up at some point, so we opened a bottle of wine, and then I cooked half a ribeye to go with the potato. I'm getting pretty good at cooking steak in a skillet, despite it being a non-ideal way to cook steak. And tonight I deglazed the pan with red wine and added some butter to it, which made for a delish sauce to return some of the juices to the steak. Yummy in my tummy.

Then I spent the rest of the evening being lazy; tomorrow is all about Thorington, but I wasn't in the mood to force it tonight. But that means I should probably sleep if I'm going to get anything done in the morning - goodnight!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

i miss him like a hole in the head

Today was way too frustrating, but I think I managed to talk myself off the ledge. The commute didn't help; I left home at 6:45am intending to make it to the office for an 8am meeting, but the drive ended up taking an hour and forty minutes, so I missed the 8am meeting entirely. Damn. Then I worked, trained with Alyssa, went back to the office, and had meetings straight from 12 to 4:30pm (luckily they were all good). Then I met up with a coworker for a glass of wine and the intention of catching up for an hour before going to a cafe to write, but we ended up talking until almost eight p.m. Oops.

But that meant that there was no traffic on the way home, so I made it back in forty-five minutes. Then, I feasted on peanut butter, talked to Terry, played with my tablet (no, that's not a euphemism for something), and now I must sleep. I have a lot to do tomorrow for the day job, but as soon as I'm done with the day, I intend to spend the next three days avoiding the laptop as much as possible and making some good progress on Thorington's book. In other words, I intend to be a hermit. Get excited for all the boring content I'll provide you this weekend! Goodnight!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

she's morphine, queen of my vaccine

I was v. busy today, and yet I didn't feel like I accomplished much (as per usual). I slept in rather than getting up to write, although I did force myself to write about two paragraphs, which is two more than I would have had, so I guess that's something. Then I drove to the office, which was brutally slow, but I made it with enough time to grab a drink and refresh myself before meeting with my boss's boss (I can't call her the big boss, since that name is forever reserved for my favorite big boss - so boss's boss will have to survive). That meeting turned out to be delightful, since we get along quite well (she reminds me of the big boss, actually), so I spent the rest of the day feeling better about life in general and the battles ahead in particular.

After that, I had a meeting with my own boss, then ate lunch at my desk during my only blessed forty-five minutes of quiet, and then I had meetings straight from 12:30 to 3:30. It would have been straight until five, but the last 90mins of meetings got canceled, which was like manna from heaven. So I pinged Chandlord and offered her a ride home, which she accepted, and so I caught up with her while stuck in the wasteland that is 101N during rush hour.

I dropped Chandlord off like a hot potato (and she is hot! and eats potatoes!), came home, and promptly left again, knowing I would get nothing done if I stayed home. I stopped first at my favorite store on Union Street to look for a dress to wear to my Olympics party; I was looking for something Oksana Baiul-ish, but apparently Ukrainian swan costumes aren't currently in fashion, so I'm going to have to improvise something else. Then I went to Des Amis (por supuesto) and had steak while forcing myself to write three pages of Thorington's book. It's really, really slow going, but I just have to keep reminding myself that the beginning is always slow and a book will show up eventually.

And now I must sleep, since tomorrow is going to be brutal - goodnight!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

hold her down with soggy clothes and breezeblocks

I meant to go to bed twenty minutes ago, so this must needs be brief. Today was more of the same, although I have begun to reconcile myself with some of the stress I was feeling last week, and so I was mostly productive and mostly not angry today. I got up early and made it into the office by eight(ish), which was a minor miracle, and I worked and had meetings until it was time to go to Palo Alto to train with Alyssa. Training was made interesting by my half-busted foot, but it was still mostly worthwhile. Then I showered and dashed back to the office, where I slogged until almost six. My boss was back today for the first time in ages after some rather tragic personal issues, so we had an hour together to start to catch up on what he missed and what I'm working on and all that.

So I worked on stuff after that, but I left at six to have a friendship renewal dinner at Shana Thai with Joann, Tolu and Jane. They were all in good form, the food was tasty, and I avoided all traffic by not leaving there until eight, so that was all perfect. But when I got home I needed to send a couple of work emails, which took longer than intended, and now I'm going to be hard pressed to get eight hours of sleep and also get up early to write before work. Wish me luck with that - Thorington won't be denied much longer. Goodnight!

Monday, January 13, 2014

karma police, i've given all i can

It's way too late (okay, it's only ten) and I have to be up way too early, so this is not going to be particularly titillating tonight. I worked from home today, with a break to grab lunch down the street, and it was by turns productive and v. frustrating. Then I stopped working at five and tried to write, which turned into two paragraphs of text and a half-nap while lying on the couch with a heating pad on my half-busted ankle. Then Terry came home and we had dinner at Delarosa, where I ate a lot of tasty meatballs and some delish burrata. And now, I must go to bed since I have grand plans to go into the office tomorrow (I know, I'm a model employee) - goodnight!

you gave me magical, i gave you wonderful

I meant to be in bed two hours ago, which means that the likelihood that I'll go into the office early is vanishingly small. But I continued my 'vacation' by doing some mindless internet tasks (pricing and book metadata updates) while watching the Golden Globes, which was lovely...until I remembered at 9:30pm that I needed to write a guest post for a historical blog for tomorrow morning. Ugh. So I spent the last two hours whipping up a post about the East India Company's tea trade, since that was a subject I knew quite a bit about and didn't have to do any fresh research for (although finding notes and photos when not everything has been transferred to my new laptop made that a bit more challenging than it should have been).

But today was a good day nonetheless; I slept until 8:30ish, laid in bed for another hourish, ate the breakfast the hotel had brought me (hard boiled eggs, yogurt, and fruit - the best!), showered, packed, etc., and left Carmel just before noon. I twisted my ankle in a not so pleasant way on the way to the car and it kind of hurt for the whole drive back, but I can walk on it okay enough, so I suppose I'll have to man up and not get it amputated. I stopped in Palo Alto for lunch at Joanie's (my fave), where several of the servers stopped by to ask how I was doing since I haven't been in nearly as much in the last few months - I told them that I live in San Francisco now, but refrained from telling them that Des Amis has become the new, more spendy version of them in my weekly routine. Then I drove home, then talked to the family for a v. long period of time (and got a pep talk from my dad that wasn't a pep talk so much as it was a reminder that I'm pretty much fucked, since I'm too ambitious to ever really relax - but he did give me a definition of stress that is entirely appropriate for the road ahead, so that was good).

And then I spent the rest of the night trying to be mindful while also trying to be mindless, and I guess it kind of worked. But now I desperately need to sleep - goodnight!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

i came in like a wrecking ball

I probably should have gone to bed ages ago, but I continued my little mini vacation and read a book instead. And for once I actually enjoyed it, even if the end was v frustrating. My day was lovely, though; I had breakfast, dallied, showered, walked to the ocean, had lunch, bought a fountain pen from an amazing German, got a massage, dallied some more, had a ribeye for dinner, and then read until now. Doesn't that sounds perfect for an octogenarian like me? And now I must sleep so I can go back to sf at a reasonable hour tomorrow - goodnight!

Friday, January 10, 2014

she's a little runaway

I am, quite unexpectedly, in an undisclosed location (aka Carmel) for a weekend of writing/solitude. This is entirely due to Terry's good graces, since she astutely perceived my incipient meltdown and made a reservation for me to go to my favorite Carmel bed and breakfast so that I could unwind before all hell broke loose. Clever girl (mostly kind, but clever as well).

So I went to work today and slogged rather brutally for sevenish hours before realizing I needed to leave immediately or I would never escape Friday traffic. But I got to Carmel around five and checked in (to the same place I stayed when I was here last year, which I loved). And Randall was kind enough to upgrade my room (this is one of the deadest weeks of the year in Carmel) and tell me where to eat and what to avoid while plying me with complimentary wine, so obviously I got things off to a good start. Then I sat around, played with my tablet, and napped before venturing out for dinner. The food was awesome (pork osso bucco with mashed potatoes, then creme brulee), and the wine pours were generous, so it was perfect for sitting and noodling in my journal for a couple of hours.

But now I'm going to go to bed - I have grand plans to sleep nine hours and then do whatever my heart desires tomorrow, so wish me luck with that. Goodnight!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

but we carry on

Today was a better day than yesterday, but that's probably because I worked nonstop and didn't dwell on anything I've been dwelling on. I also trained with Alyssa, took a break to have lunch with some coworkers, got my oil changed, and finished up a massively manual data entry project so that I can analyze some stuff. None of this is interesting to you, nor is it particularly interesting to me. But I can't give you any more words to fluff this up, since I'm already going to bed later than intended - goodnight!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

you only know you love her when you let her go

Today was better than yesterday, if only because I gave into my instincts over my sense of duty and chose to work from home. I had no good reason to work from home, other than that I didn't feel like going into the office - but I also didn't feel like going into the office because I get very little done there, and since I only had an hour of meetings today, it was like a glorious opportunity to actually get some shit done if I could stay free of distractions. So I did the things that I needed to get done today, plus some other things, and I didn't have to stress about dogs or the commute or any other office-related stuff.

And that was all enough to kind of, half-heartedly, get myself back in the game. Or at least it was enough to stop freaking out long enough to send some emails. I put my laptop aside at five and walked to the grocery store to get some milk, and then walked to a florist to buy some flowers for my desk. Then I came home, arranged said flowers, and chilled on the couch until Lauren (aka Subz) came over for dinner. Neither Terry nor I felt like cooking, so we ordered Thai food and opened a bottle of wine, and it was all perfectly lovely.

However, ironically enough, we had previously agreed to have this dinner to discuss new year's resolutions, and the very last thing I wanted to think about tonight was goals and commitments and making decisions about what I'm going to accomplish. As it turns out, I think that the crux of my recent freak-out is that I'm thrilled with what I did last year...and yet I'm totally daunted and discouraged by the idea of girding my loins and doing it all again (and with even more intensity, since I want to write three books instead of 1.5, and take on more responsibility at work, and spend more time working out, and maybe go on dates a bit more often, and and and...). So the very idea of setting goals is making my head explode.

But the conversation was still great, and Subz and Terry obviously have some rather keen insights into my psyche at this point, so it was useful even if there are currently no quick answers. And now I must sleep if I'm going to make it to my session with Alyssa tomorrow - goodnight!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

all my tears have been used up on another love

When it comes to the reentry to real life (the city, the job, the writing, etc), my heart is not having it. I never use italics on the blog, so the fact that I've used them twice in the past two days should be taken with the utmost gravity and seriousness. I'm usually snapped back in to my routine by now, but today was a rather brutal reminder that I'm neither snapped in nor particularly enthusiastic about forcing myself to snap in. My Puritan ancestors would be v. disappointed in me, I'm sure. But then, they were disappointed in me long ago, when I started wearing fuchsia and decided not to have a baby at seventeen. Oops.

Sooo...I don't know what else to say. I worked from home this morning, which was fine, and then I went to Palo Alto to train with Alyssa. Her sympathetic ear was the start of my meltdown, actually; I had done a good job the past few days of spackling over my discontent, but our conversation (and a lot of kettlebell swings) washed all of that away and dumped me back at square one. It would all be so much easier if I weren't an overachieving perfectionist who felt the need to write a million books while also having a kickass career while also having deep and meaningful relationships while also eating healthily while also trying to sleep eight hours a night. But if I weren't so driven, I wouldn't be where I am, and I've been more satisfied this past year than I've ever been, despite my occasional bellyaching (that's a Regency romance word for 'complaining', sorry).

So, conundrum. I left training feeling like I'd hit myself over the head (hard to do with a kettlebell), so I took an inordinate amount of time showering and getting ready to go to the office. Once there, I did some work, but not a million things, and I left at five so that I could get home at a somewhat reasonable hour. I'm under strict orders from Alyssa to chill the fuck out (my words, not hers), but I don't know how to do that. So I went to Des Amis, where I feel safe and loved, and I wrote in my journal and read a book and drank wine for something close to three hours. Maybe it helped...and maybe it didn't. But it wasn't work, so I suppose it's a victory.

And now, I'm going to go to sleep and pray that all of this passes and that I wake up in the morning either a) able to see a way that I could take several days off off from everything or b) recovered from this nightmare in which I'm even contemplating taking time off or c) have forgotten that any of this ever happened. It will all come out all right in the end, of course, and I really am mostly happy with what I've accomplished...but then I get into accomplishment again, when I think I would be better off talking about happiness. Stupid Puritan DNA. I must sleep and dream of this (and hopefully I do dream of this, since last night I was dreaming of blood and broken glass) - goodnight!

Monday, January 06, 2014

and the walls came tumbling down in the city that we loved

I should have gone to bed forty-five minutes ago, but I got engrossed in an absolutely thrilling account of some naval battles at the start of the War of 1812. Oops. Today was a really rough reentry to the world of work; I set my alarm for 6:20 and actually got out of bed and turned the shower on, but after I brushed my teeth, I said "fuck it" and went back to bed for another hour. Then I tried again and managed to shower/dry my hair/put on a dress in time to take an 8:30 meeting from my house. Yes, I'm a model employee.

After that, I caught a shuttle to work, and then I made a valiant attempt to slog all day. But by four p.m. I was done, and I felt that I had done all that I absolutely needed to do (perhaps false). So I caught a shuttle home, which miraculously made it here in an hour and fifteen minutes. If my commute was always as great as it was today, this wouldn't be hard at all. So when I got home, I did a couple of tings around the house, and then made myself a cheeseburger and some waffle fries (a poor man's Des Amis). The waffle fries ended up way too crispy since I should have cooked them for less time than instructed, but it was all quite satisfying. Then, Terry and I hauled the Christmas tree down to its concrete grave (aka the curb). Then I considered writing, but instead took care of some other business-type tings. And then I read some thrilling naval history until I realized that it's past my bedtime. But tomorrow is another day for both writing and for dayjob productivity, so wish me luck - goodnight!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

and if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like you've been here before

Today was a v. Des Amis kind of day. And by that I mean that I went there twice. Yes, I'm an addict. I regret nothing.

So the morning started off too early for my tastes, which means I had to get out of bed at nine...which, you can guess, is going to make tomorrow (when I have to wake up at six) super brutal. But I had brunch plans with Terry, Fred, and Jamie, and we had previously agreed to rendezvous at Des Amis since they are all v. well aware how in love I am with that place. We had a tremendously lovely brunch, although my go-to brunch there (the omelette forestiere) is way fewer calories than my peasant's thighs are able to sustain themselves upon. This is particularly true because it comes with 'roasted potatoes', which in actuality is one smallish potato and one mushroom, which I always forget until I start slicing into the second 'potato' and discover its fungal roots. Boo. But the conversation was filling, so it was still a lovely way to start the day.

After brunch, I bought a rollerball pen at Itoya (apparently I forgot that I'm not supposed to buy any new things this year, but I'm going to count a pen as a consumable, even though the two refills I bought with it are probably going to outlive me) and then came home to write. But then I spent four hours 'cleaning my room'. Some of it was necessary (I needed to declutter my bedside tables). Some of it was questionable (I covered a shoebox in pretty paper so that I could put my sunglasses in it). But it was when I started ripping CDs from a decade ago that I knew that I was just avoiding Thorington - I'm pretty sure that I had forgotten that Armin van Buuren exists, nor do I need any other techno since I can listen to it on Pandora or Google Music or Spotify or anything else.

So I stopped cleaning, but I did take time to call my parents. They were lovely as always, provided that they and their animal minions do not turn into popsicles over the next couple of days (although I'm sure my dad would be pleased to see a few coons meet an icy demise). Then I messed around on the internet and procrastinated and generally stalled, until I finally knew that only one thing could save me.

And that thing was a steak and a glass of wine. So I went to Des Amis, addiction be damned. And it was worth it - I officially started writing Thorington's book, and I actually wrote fiveish pages, which is excellent for a first outing. Thus smug with my accomplishments, I came home, folded clothes, dallied a bit, etc. And now I need to sleep - I'm torn between getting up early to write and getting up early to go to the office. Writing is a good idea, but the office is also good since my boss is out this week and I have a lot to do before he gets back. Soooo...we shall see, we shall see. But now, I must sleep - goodnight!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

when i see you a blanket of stars covers me in my bed

No blog tonight...I worked allllll day long, with a break to have a drink with Chandlord and Katrina, and another to have dinner with Terry. But now I'm falling asleep on my keyboard, which means I can't brag about how well the plotting is going - which is probably for the best, because there's a good chance it will all turn to shit tomorrow. But that's a problem for another day (aka tomorrow) - goodnight!

i am an idiot walking a tightrope of fortune and fame

I was in a truly foul mood for most of the day, which was unfortunate; somewhere in the tangle of what I desire and what I demand of myself and what I can realistically achieve and what I actually achieve, there lurks a monster that occasionally tries to eat me. Sadly, the monster is not a raccoon, although I admit that I don't particularly want to be gnawed on by one of those either. And I know that my staggering ambition is one of my biggest strengths and one of my most fatal flaws - I would probably be a warlord if I enjoyed riding ponies across Asia, or a serial killer if I liked to collect ears. But since I'm less bloodthirsty than that, I'll have to settle for wanting to write a lot of kickass books and occasionally having dark, despairing days when it seems that the words will never come and I can't get anything done in any area of my life, save for making tea and putting on pants (towering achievements).

C'est la vie. Today got better in the end; I spent most of the day despairing and moping and trying (and failing) to get stuff done for the day job. But sometime around six, I flipped over the 15-minute timer on my desk (I just bought it at CB2 because they finally had a color other than lime green for the first time in years, and I'm in love), and I forced myself to write in my journal for the fifteen minutes that it took the sand to fall through. And I actually came to some pretty calming realizations that enabled me to pull out the cards for Thorington's book and work quietly and calmly for another hour. Then I talked to Terry, ate some peanut butter, I read all of a pretty terrible young adult fantasy novel straight through - it was probably a waste of five or six hours, since it really wasn't very good, but it did help to clear my head.

And now I'm going to go to bed to the sound of the foghorns, and hopefully wake up tomorrow with a clearer heart and the drive necessary to walk out and seek the story at a cafe or on the water. Goodnight!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

i've never seen a diamond in the flesh

I was much more useless than I should have been today, but I suppose I'll take it as par for the course when trying to get back into the dayjob groove for the first time in a couple of weeks. I did managed to get up at 6:30 and meet Kathia for a writing date from seven to nine, which was the perfect way to start off my day; I spent the writing session plotting out Thorington's story on notecards rather than actually writing, but I have high hopes for writing real stuff this weekend, if not tomorrow. But the place where we were was way too cold, and I had work for the dayjob to do anyway, so I came home. And then I tried to work, with varying degrees of success, for the next nine hours, with a break to take a shower and another couple of breaks to make lunch and have snacks. I didn't get as much done as I wanted to, but tomorrow is another day, and I'm feeling in it to win it.

But around six I was ready to be totally done with my laptop, so I walked over to Nectar with my notecards in hand and worked with a glass of wine, a glass of champagne, and Kathia's effervescent company for a couple of hours. We later adjourned (with Terry in tow) to Izzy's, where we had prime rib and I cackled gleefully over Alabama's loss to Oklahoma. And then we came home, I did just a tiny bit of work here, and now I'm contemplating the warm comfort of my bed. Hopefully tomorrow is the day when I break ground on Thorington in earnest, but we shall see. Goodnight!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

i want to be with you be with you night and day

Happy new year again! I feel like I should do one of those ruminating posts about last year and the year to come and how I feel and what I think, etc., but I don't have the words left with which to do that. Nor should you expect anything of meaning here; I passed the 3000-post mark a month or two ago, so if you've been along for that whole ride, you know that this is an ungodly mishmash of #firstworldproblems and hermitville and blameitonthealcohol, with the occasional flash of humor tossed in among all the discussions of how many words I need to write, actually wrote, or failed to write every day. You're welcome.

sssanyway, 2013 was just about as good as I could have expected it to be, or at least good enough to leave me excited and wanting more for 2014. So I spent today as I mean to go on - I got some sleep, made myself some coffee, cleaned up my desk and set up the notebook I'm using for the rough draft of Thorington's book, and then made brunch for me and Terry (eggnog french toast and bacon are the best things ever). I did some more work in the afternoon, took a bath/nap, dolled myself up, and then met Kathia and brainstormed in my notebook for a couple of hours. After, we had drinks and dinner at Des Amis, where she showed me her method of plotting that involves index cards (which I think will be good for me if I can force myself to answer all the questions now rather than doing my usual method of writing a hundred pages, realizing it's all wrong, and starting over). It was lovely to spend some quality writing time with her, and I think I can get the book plotted in the next few days, which is critical if I want to get it out at the end of March as planned (yes, I know, that's totally crazysauce).

And now I'm going to continue leaving you in suspense about the party I threw on Monday - at this rate, it may be lost to the mists of time, even though it doesn't deserve to be (eggnog! lightup rum punch fountain! fake baby! Adit sketching in the corner for some unknown reason!). But I must sleep if I'm going to get up and write before work, so goodnight!

sipping from your cup til it runneth over

Happy New Year! I was out at a party, but I bailed at 11:20 and came home (thus fulfilling my desire to spend more time tuning into my instincts and ensuring that I get enough sleep/solitude/socializing in all the right quantities). Now the sirens are going nonstop, so I'm guessing the cops/paramedics/firefighters are in for a long night.

But I'm super psyched for 2014, and 2013 ended with a bang (if yesterday was the bang). Terry and I threw a small new year's eve eve party last night, which was a bit crazy since I had less than twelve hours in the apartment to pull everything together, buy groceries, cook, etc....

...and I want to recount all of it because it was hilarious and awesome, but I just fell asleep with my laptop on my lap, so I think that means I need to go to bed for reals. Hope you all had a lovely New Year's Eve!