Saturday, May 31, 2014

and the ones who deserve it will never understand it

I'm typing this on my phone, so I shall be - but I have safely arrived in New York! I'm only in the city for a few hours before driving out to Montauk in the morning for my writing retreat, which I'm so freaking excited about (even though I'm totally panicking about finishing this book). But my friend Grace and I made to the city, stowed our stuff, had dinner, and walked around until eleven, when we met up with Tina and talked for the last hour.

And now I must sleep - goodnight!

Friday, May 30, 2014

and the ones that i made pay were never the ones who deserved it

I'm way exhausted and didn't get through all the day job stuff that I intended to do, which means there's a good (100%) chance I'll have to work tomorrow on the plane or Monday on my retreat. Damn. It wasn't for lack of trying; I got up early and started working on day job stuff by seven a.m., and I continued to slog virtually without pause (except for 45mins to grab a late breakfast and pick up my dry cleaning) until 4:30. Then I abandoned my efforts, got some coffee to try to stave off impending death, and went downtown to get my bangs trimmed. And then I spent the last three hours packing, attempting to make some order out of the chaos around me, and contemplating whether I'm just exhausted or am actually finally succumbing to the cold that has kept trying to take me down for the past two weeks.

But in twelve hours I'll be on a plane to New York, where I will have a whole glorious week to write in focused solitude with some other writers. I have v. high aspirations for what I can do with Thorington's story in a week, so I'm going to try to be a good little soldier and get my work done on the plane tomorrow so I don't have to check my work stuff again. We shall see, we shall see. Goodnight!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

you're gonna wish you could go back and fold

I should have gone to bed an hour ago, but I'm still coming down off my workaholic buzz. I woke up around six this morning and made it to the shuttle so early that I was on campus by eight a.m., which should be criminal. Once there, I ate a v. strange breakfast and slogged from eight to four (plus the hour I slogged on the bus, so that was totally respectable). Oh, and I took a break to have an Indian lunch with my coworkers, which was fun (even if some people crashed and threw our table reservation off) and boss-approved (he had told me yesterday to focus all my efforts on something, then spent today trying to convince me to go bowling after lunch, so I am tres confused).

sssanyway, I got a lot of work done, although it's never enough, and I felt perfectly happy leaving at 4:15 to drive back to the city. As soon as I got here, I dropped my stuff in my room, changed my clothes, and walked out into the late afternoon sun to meet Kathia for a writing date. We probably had about as much wine as we had words, but that was fine; she's on deadline and I'm trying to be, so we were both pretty good, but we're both clearly over the whole deadline thing. Then I came home, talked briefly to Terry, came upstairs, and did day job stuff for the last hour.

And now I must sleep; tomorrow I must make a massive push for the day job, then pack so that I can go to New York on Saturday for a week-long writing retreat, during which I must write a book. Hahahahaha. Stab me now. Goodnight!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

jilted lovers and broken hearts

I need to sleep immediately; I should have gone to bed forty minutes ago, but I made the mistake of checking work email, which is always dumb. However, today was mostly good; I went to work at an absurdly early hour and wrote over coffee for an hourish, netting myself four pages and a day-long desire to take a nap. Then I left the office at five and took some people on my team out for drinks/food at Fiesta in celebration of hitting the Amazon/B&N/Apple top 100 lists last week. Then I took the shuttle home (see: two pitchers of margaritas), and now I must sleep so that I can do it all again tomorrow. Goodnight!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

with my feet on the ground

Too tired to blog...I worked from home today, which ought to have rejuvenated me, but I spent the whole day thinking and writing emails and taking care of annoying tasks, compounded by not eating enough and not drinking enough water since I'm apparently incapable of taking care of myself when I'm not surrounded by the endless bounty of my place of work. But I slacked off at five and met up with someone I might hire to do some marketing/general business development stuff for my writing life, and I really liked her, so that was exciting. And then I came home and ate a chicken breast like it was going out of style, and now I must sleep so that I can repeat this whole saga tomorrow. Goodnight!

Monday, May 26, 2014

stella luna

I have returned to San Francisco, where I shall luxuriate in work (since that's all I have) for the next four days before leaving for NYC on Saturday. But seeing Katie was just what the doctor ordered; I had a lot of fun in Denver, even if I am suspicious of the chances that I will pick up some awful illness from either Katie's toddler or the people on the plane. We woke up pretty early today and had breakfast at a v. hipster-ish cafe, which made me feel like I was back in San Francisco even if the entrees were probably 15-20% cheaper than they would have been here. Also, I got to have grits, which made me happy. Then we drove around for an hour or so and saw a bit of scenery - I tend to forget that Denver has scenery when I go there, since I spend most of my time in Katie's house or at a bar or restaurant, but it turns out that Denver has mountains! Who knew?

However, all too soon it was time for me to pack up, kiss the toddler on the nose (although I couldn't find a buyer for her, unlike the Ox Cart Man), and go to the airport. Parting was such sweet sorrow since I'll probably never see Katie again (that's a dramatic way of saying it will probably be 6-12 months). But I made it into the airport and through security in time to eat lunch before boarding my flight. Once on board, I got some writing done, but I kept falling asleep thanks to a judicious application of Dramamine. Then I came home, did some work, went to eat something while writing a bit, and then spent the last three hours doing financial stuff in preparation for my quarterly tax estimates. The fact that I've gone on several big writing events and have a ton of receipts this quarter doesn't make me a happy camper, even if the fact that I'm selling books makes it all worth it.

But now I must sleep, as I must return to the man tomorrow and get some hardcore slogging done for the day job - goodnight!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

she wears high heels when she exercises

I'm really sleepy, but that may be the gin and altitude talking. Today was really lovely; I woke up refreshed, hung out in the living room, and then had delish breakfast tacos (care of James, who seems to be the perfect husband, since he does everything while Katie lolls about eating bonbons). We lazed about some more before deciding to pack up the toddler and go to the mall, which was a v. entertaining, v. ridiculous experience. She ran around exhausting us all, and I bought a couple of things at J Crew, so yay for that. Then we came home and ate steak, and I talked to my parents.

And then it looked like it was going to be a quiet night, but instead James shoved me and Katie out the door and into the night, where we found a fancy hipsterish bar and talked about life for a couple of glorious hours. I had three cocktails (all delish) and Katie had two mocktails (v. fancy mocktails, as hipsters are wont to do), and I will probably regret the gin that has replaced the blood in my veins, but it was all worth it.

But now I must sleep - we must have breakfast whenever Katie's toddler overlord awakens, and then I need to shower/pack/get ready to go back to Iowa. Goodnight!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

hey now, you're an all-star

After getting less than six hours of sleep last night and drinking at altitude today, I'm utterly wiped out. However, I'm having an awesome time in Denver, even if our only meals were breakfast and supper like we're medieval peasants. But if medieval peasants had survived on mimosas and Mexican food, they probably would've been a lot happier and less prone to lynching witches.

sssanyway, I was awoken this morning by infernal screeches - coming from Katie and James's cat Chewy, not from their sweet and precious daughter. Chewy and I have long-standing animosity, although he has yet to bite me on this trip; he did commandeer my lap for half an hour or so while I was watching 'House Hunters' and Katie and James were putting their child to bed, but I consider that a brief truce in our take-no-prisoners war. So I rolled out of bed and hung out in the living room for a couple of hours, at which point we all realized we were starving. So we had brunch at a cute and tasty restaurant down the street; my omelette was good, albeit not filling enough to soak up my mimosas, but Katie's pork hash was the winner. Then we came home, Katie and I took her daughter for a walk (and got a much-needed iced latte for me from some hipsters down the street, since I'm in hipster withdrawal), and then we came back, where I said I was going to shower but instead snuck a twenty-minute nap. Yes, I'm a wreck.

But I eventually pulled myself together, and we spent some quality time out on the patio listening to nineties classics while the toddler napped (marginally successfully). Then we had a v. early dinner (5pm hour of power!) at a v. delicious Mexican place; my barbacoa beef enchiladas were perfect, and the margaritas were large and in charge. Katie drove me, James, and the toddler around in an attempt to lull us all to sleep as retribution for making her the designated driver - or maybe she was trying to convince me to move here, since Denver is awesome. Then we spent the rest of the night relaxing over some fine home-buying tv shows, alternately laughing at and mourning the stupidity of humanity.

And now I must sleep if I am to be a good houseguest tomorrow and not kill the cat as soon as it starts screeching - goodnight!

Friday, May 23, 2014

rocky mountain high

Sadly this must needs be brief; I'm typing on my phone and am also sleepy, and my hosts have promised that their child will wake me up. Luckily she is adorable, and so I may not have to murder her.

But I made it to Denver in one piece, although the turbulence on the way in tried to kill me (or at least my bladder). That was after slogging excessively all day, including meetings with two different directors, followed by a coworker actually following me into the bathroom, then downstairs, then into the parking lot, continuing to talk as I said I needed to leave immediately for the airport. Tanks. Traffic sucked, but I made it just in time to eat something before boarding.

And now, after a delightful late night of conversation with Katie and James that may not feel delightful in the morning, I must sleep - goodnight!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

you make me feel so alive

I meant to go to bed an hour ago, but I had a lot to do before going to be - mostly packing for the impromptu trip I'm taking to Denver tomorrow, as well as doing some work for the day job and eating some pad thai at ten p.m. when I realized I hadn't really had dinner. Oops. But I probably should have slept; while my cold isn't as bad as it was yesterday, that's because I stayed home today and got nine hours of sleep last night, while tonight I will only get seven-ish and must go in early to do the stuff I didn't finish today. Damn.

But today was good despite my illness; I ran an ad for the promotion of SCOTSMEN at $0.99 today and the book is now at #32 on Amazon, #9 on B&N, and #39 on Apple. YAY. The rankings will tail off quickly, of course, but hopefully the thousands of people who bought it today will go on to read the next books. A girl can dream. And now I must sleep - goodnight!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

fall in love every time

No blog tonight - I'm desperate for sleep and have to type this on my phone since my internet is messed up, and there's nothing important enough to merit typing on my phone. Perhaps tomorrow I shall be more interesting, but until then I bid you goodnight!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

faithfully

I probably should have gone to bed an hour ago, but I was enjoying a somewhat-deserved night off and didn't want to cut it short by sleeping. I woke up somewhat early this morning, wrote for an hour, and then worked from home until ten, when I drove down to the glorious south bay to see Alyssa. She wasn't as brutal as she could have been, but I haven't been feeling particularly well (I have a headache that just won't die), so I appreciated her restraint. Then I showered, grabbed some food, grabbed some more food (yay multiple cafes), and had meetings most of the afternoon. When I wasn't in meetings, I was dealing with frustrating interpersonal issues between coworkers, which drains my energy like no other. Of course, maybe it's my towering rage at some interpersonal issues that saps my energy - the poor woman who had the misfortune of having her one-on-one with me after a particularly frustrating event had the pleasure of watching me rip all the nail polish off my nails in an effort to do something with my hands and try to get my rage under control. Heh.

But that all sounds horribly dramatic when it's really just an tempest in the teapot (albeit a tempest that appears to have the staying power of a thunderstorm on Jupiter). Still, I was done done by fiveish, and so I left the office, spent altogether too much time in traffic, and got home starving and not particularly calm. So I ordered delivery and read a book for a couple of hours. The book isn't completely up my alley, but I'm enjoying it well enough, and it was better than doing email. Then my friend Grace called to ask some questions about Scottish aristocrats (as one does), and we ended up catching up about our last days in New Orleans, which was hilarious. And now I must sleep so that I can attempt to be a better person tomorrow - goodnight!

Monday, May 19, 2014

she's morphine, queen of my vaccine

First, happy birthday to Uncle Mark!

Second, nothing at all of note happened today; I went to work and promptly regretted it, since I probably would have been better off sleeping later and working from home. But I slogged from 8:30 to 3:30, then drove back to the city, ran a couple of errands, and worked over a long dinner at Des Amis. I successfully updated the back matter in HEIRESS, so that was a big win, and I think I'm ready for the promotional efforts I've got going on later this week.

But now I must go to bed so that I can recover a bit and also get up early to write - goodnight!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

the piano's a melancholy soundtrack to her smile

I must go to bed immediately - I had a v. uneventful trip home, but I spent the entire plane ride + the last two hours working (on my own stuff), and I really desperately need to sleep if I'm going to make it into the day job in the morning. Today was good, though; I woke up ridiculously early and had [censored] with [censored], then went back to my hotel and slept for another hour and a half. Thus rejuvenated, I got up again, showered, packed, checked out of the hotel, and stowed my bags so I could get some lunch. I successfully procured the peanut butter bacon burger at Yo Mama's, which had been on my list of things to try - it was actually really really good, all appearances aside. Then I bought a pair of shoes and a necklace that I'd had my eye on all week at a couple of the shops near the hotel, retrieved my bags, went to the airport, called my parents, and boarded my flight.

And now I'm back in California for at least five nights - ooh la la! Goodnight!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

the party's over

I'm beyond exhausted - today was a v. long day, since I left my room at 9:30am and didn't come back until after 11pm. The first half of the day was mostly an exercise in frustration; I met a friend for coffee, but then had to do the signing from 11 to 2, and it was kind of a joke. The lines were way too long and my area of the signing didn't get a lot of foot traffic. I actually didn't mind this, since I sold a couple of books and had quite a few other people come by and say they'd read all my stuff and wanted a signed postcard or something. So that was all lovely. But the two people on either side of me bitched incessantly about the lack of traffic, which was kind of wearing on my nerves.

So at two p.m., I didn't even try to take my stuff back to my room - I went down to the lobby, checked two grocery bags full of stuff with the bell desk, and immediately left the hotel for some restorative ginger juleps with some historical romance writers. I only knew them vaguely from Twitter but I took them up on their public mention of going to get drinks, and I'm so so glad I did. My friend Grace came too, but there were a couple of ladies there whom I've chatted up a lot on Twitter and had hoped to spend quality time with at this conference. And I also met another historical writer who's basically exactly my age, with my height and haircut, and we really hit it off (even if she's into Soulcycle, which I still maintain is a cult). So I had two drinks there, then got on a streetcar with two of the ladies and rode it all the way down St. Charles and back. It was great to get out of the hotel and out of the French Quarter, and I had a really great time talking to them.

But as soon as I got back to the lobby, I immediately had to go out to dinner - I had invited three people to go with me (a reader I have befriended over several different conferences + two bloggers/writers I've also befriended), but one of the bloggers showed up with an extra six people, and it was going to be impossible to get a table for ten anywhere nearby during the weekend of Tulane's graduation. So I did a v. hard thing and told them that we were abandoning them, so the three of us who were left walked down to Jackson Square and ended up having a really awesome dinner at this place called Muriel's - the wait for the dining room was two hours, but we went into the bar and I used my mad swooping skills to score a table in the patio area within fifteen minutes. I had this really perfect pork chop, and the cocktails were great, and it was all perfectly lovely.

Then I came back to the hotel and immediately left it again to have a drink with my friend Vivi. And now I'm totally wiped out and must get up at 6:30 so that I can have [censored] with [censored], so I should sleep - goodnight!

Friday, May 16, 2014

i won't fall asleep

Today was a v. long but ultimately pretty fulfilling day. I woke up at some reasonably respectable hour (not really), had breakfast, and did day job stuff until close to noon. Then I went down to the lobby and gave away a couple of books and tried to write (but failed). However, the afternoon got much better; I was part of a workshop involving a burlesque dance instructor, which was super fun, and then I went straight to another workshop on building a sticky readership (not sticky like burlesque - sticky like willing to buy your next book). I may have looked a little ridic since I was still wearing my short black dress and red feather boa, but it was all good.

But after that, I stowed my stuff in my room, switched into something a little more comfortable, and walked across the street to pick up [censored], who is in town for [censored]. It just so happens to be his [censored], so we went out for a celebratory sibling dinner - celebratory partially because it's the first time we've been together for one of our [censored]s in I don't know how long. We had dinner at Dickie Brennan's, which was super delicious - my ribeye was awesome, as were the side potatoes, and [censored]'s prime rib was to die for. I also had a Sazerac, mostly because I felt like I should. Then we walked around the French Quarter, admired the talents of some drummers, walked along the Mississippi, and ended up at Cafe du Monde, where I made [censored] eat [censored] while I drank cafe au lait and dreamed of days of past gluten glory.

However, we packed it in early since [censored] [censored] and I wanted to go to bed. But instead of going to bed, I spent the last five or six hours messing around with the epub for my second book; I'm doing a price promotion thing next week and wanted to update the files so that they have better links to my other books, and I can't really put it off much longer. I got them done and uploaded to the big three vendors, but I'm going to wait on the other two so I don't screw something up in my exhaustion. And I really need to sleep since I have to get up and sign books and do all sorts of other fun things tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

i been losing sleep

So I woke up today convinced that I was getting sick - and it's possible that I'm still getting sick. But I dug out my emergency supply of echinacea, had a gigantic glass of orange juice for breakfast, and took a couple of naps, so I'm hoping that I staved it off. Of course, it all went sideways when I went to Bourbon Street...

But I digress. I spent the morning considering Thorington, which was probably a lost cause and I should have just gone to some workshops instead. But I had a v. tasty breakfast while I did so (oyster benedict, hold the muffin - they said the oysters were dusted in cornmeal, but upon receiving them I think it's likely they had some flour as well, so unfortunately I will probably die). Then I came back to the hotel, grabbed some coffee, went to a workshop on how to approach bloggers for reviews (something I need to get much better at), and spent some quality time having a snack in the bar and meeting another writer whom I hadn't met before. Then I went to Cafe du Monde to work out my plot issues with Thorington over a cafe au lait, but that was probably a mistake since I finally, fully succumbed to the siren's call of beignets and had a whole order of them, which, as you may know, is really not good for me.

But the coffee revived me, and the plot is getting better every time I work on it, so that's good. Then I came back, had a drink with Amber and Allyn, took an eight-minute nap, put on a dress and slathered on some fresh foundation, and met my friend Grace and her sister for the conference pub crawl. We were supposed to go to ten different bars on Bourbon Street, but instead we went straight to the one our friend Tina was hosting at, and we holed ourselves up in the corner of the bar and nursed frozen margaritas (dangerous) while gossiping and catching up.

So that was pretty much perfect, but the fun continued when I crashed their after-pubcrawl dinner at a fish place nearby, where I had yet another awesomely delicious meal. The appetizers were great (particularly the pork belly), and my entree was some sort of scallop/fish thing (they called it a 'scalibut') on top of lobster risotto. It was so rich and so crazy that I couldn't finish it, but it was tasty nonetheless, especially with a glass of wine.

Sadly, though, I must sign off; I'm going to die if I don't get some sleep, and I need to stave off both illness and hangover (a losing combination). Goodnight!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

you look like you've seen a ghost

Today was great, although I think I hit my wall with socializing and so had to take a time out tonight. I woke up this morning and blew off breakfast (it was with the same people I'd hung out with last night, so I didn't feel the pressure to see them again immediately even though I love them) so that I could do a couple of hours of work for the day job while getting ready and eating room service. Then I met up with Courtney and snuck away to Cafe Du Monde for the second day in a row. This time I succumbed to the temptation of a beignet to go along with my delicious coffee, but I only ate one and it was totally survivable.

So we talked over coffee for an hour or so, and then walked back to the hotel in time for the workshop we were both on, which involved making covers for fake books while the photographer who does my covers did a photo shoot with the model she'd brought along with her. It was disorganized and made worse by the fact that the hotel didn't provide the right equipment, but it was still really fun, so hopefully the readers who attended had a good time. After that, I wandered around the hotel for a bit, wandered into the French Quarter, got a juice and flirted with the guy at the cafe (he suggested that I write a romance about a girl who falls in love with a guy at a juice place), and then went on my secret mission - which was to get a custom perfume made at a perfume shop in the Quarter. This seems like a v. Regency thing to do, no?

It turned out to be really fun, if a bit overwhelming. The scent lady discussed my favorite scents with me, tried some things on my arm, and then started mixing up different alternatives for me. She made five different perfumes in total, and they were all really interesting. But it became clear to me that I have no idea how to describe scents in any way, and so I don't know if I was actually very effective at guiding her...and that many perfumes at once was a little overwhelming. I like what I walked away with, and the cool thing is that she gave me all five samples, so if I end up liking a different one better, I can order it. They keep records of all of these until the end of time, so if I ever want to reorder (or get lotion or soap or something with the same scent), I can just call them up and they'll send it to me. How lovely, right? And if nothing else, I got some good ideas for a romance novel, which is more than worth the cost of the perfume.

So after that, I came back to the hotel and furiously scrubbed my arms so that I would stop smelling like a whore. Then I worked for a couple of hours before having dinner with my friend Amber (the writer who is also a priest) and two of her friends. We went to Sylvain, which I had originally intended to go to on Friday; I'm really glad I went there, but also really glad that I had already switched my Friday plans. I had a gulf shrimp and rice dish that was totally outstanding, but it was probably too close to risotto for my family's tastes. I also had a rum-based cocktail (any long-term or short-term reader knows my weakness for rum-based cocktails), but I limited myself to one. Then I came back, intended to write, and instead procrastinated and sent some emails.

But now I'm going to go to sleep, wake up earlyish, and write before the madness starts again - goodnight!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

when the saints go marching in

Why haven't I moved to New Orleans? It probably has something to do with the heat, lack of tech jobs, general post-Katrina issues, the fact that everything has flour in it...but when I allow myself to dream, as I did over a cocktail this afternoon, the idea of living here seems glorious.

Today was v. nice, albeit v. lazy. I slept until nine (not that great, since I went to bed after one), showered, put on a dress, ate a snack, and met a couple of people to go to Cafe du Monde, where I exercised extreme restraint and ignored the beignets (which looked so fucking delicious). At least I could have the coffee, which I proceeded to drink like a teetotaler trying to avoid temptation. After I was done with the people I met up with (who were lovely, but it was for day job stuff, not writing stuff), I wandered around the French Quarter before eventually having a late lunch at a restaurant overlooking Jackson Square. I sat on the second-floor balcony and enjoyed a tasty cocktail, some absolutely delicious sausage and duck gumbo, and a salad (I'm trying to be good(ish)). At that point I thought I was done, but I got upsold on the creme brulee by a fabulously personable waitress - and it was worth it, since it was the first time I've ever seen creme brulee served on a plate, which meant that there was an extreme amount of caramelized surface area. I only ate half of it, but it was worth every bite.

Then I came back to the hotel, wished I could take a nap, and instead picked up my conference registration, checked in my books for Saturday's signing, and spent an hour on a conference call for the day job. Then I met up with some of the Rubies (the '09 GH finalists) to drink wine and stuff gift bags for the workshop we're giving on Friday. That wrapped up around eight, and then four of us (me, Vivi, Tammy, and Anne Marie) had supper at a cafe down the street. I had the pork shank, which really could shank someone if the bones were chewed clean and sharpened, and it fulfilled my need for protein even if I was eyeing Vivi's gumbo like a fucking addict.

But now I must sleep so I can do this all again tomorrow - I have a breakfast date, a lunch date + a dinner date, and I'm giving a workshop, and I have an appointment for an adventure that I shall tell you about in due time. Goodnight!

Monday, May 12, 2014

laissez les bon temps rouler

I'm thoroughly exhausted, but I'm delighted to be in New Orleans. Why have I waited ten years to come back?

That could probably be the end of this blog post - and probably should be, since I had considered going to bed an hour and a half ago. But I will continue writing. I woke up at 4:30am, showered, dried my hair, and was out the door exactly on time to meet my 5:15am ride to the airport. All of my travel today was completely smooth, which was v. much appreciated. I also wrote a bit and figured out some crucial stuff with Thorington's book, so now it's all a matter of executing it. And, I happened to be in first class on the way from LAX to New Orleans, and I happened to sit across the aisle from Craig T. Nelson (aka Coach), which was a fairly exciting celebrity sighting. Clearly flying first class out of LAX yields much better results than all the douchebags one might see out of SFO.

Sooo...(no comment on the fact that I fly out of SFO), eventually we arrived in New Orleans. I happened to be on the same flight as Tessa Dare, and so we shared a cab to the hotel and caught up on the way, which was v. nice. Then I took an hour or so to unpack, hang up my clothes, etc., before it was time for dinner with some people I know from twitter. Yes, this is the kind of conference where one gets super excited to go out with people one has never actually seen in person. But I'm really glad we went out; we took a streetcar to the Garden District (the hotel is on the edge of the French Quarter, right on the river) and had a sumptuous feast at Commander's Palace. It's located in an old plantation-style mansion, and the service is super old-school - they have multiple waiters so they can serve all the food at the table at exactly the same time, they swapped out our water glasses halfway through when the ice started to melt, and they brought the girl with a black dress a black napkin instead of a white one so that she wouldn't get lint on her dress. Classy. So classy that I almost felt bad taking photos of all my food for Alyssa, but I did it anyway.

And she may not like what she sees, although I thought it was to die for. I started with a pisco sour (drink of champions, particularly if you like egg whites), had the pork belly appetizer (my favorite thing there, and perhaps my favorite thing this year), their special gumbo for soup (only ate half of it because it was so filling, but it was pork belly + andouille + some other pork product and it was stellar), the shrimp and grits (yummy and gluten free), and a praline parfait of which I could only have a few bites, but it was also amazing. And I switched over and had a v. good glass of zinfandel with my entree, so that was great. All in all, I was super impressed - it was a really fun introduction to New Orleans, and I'm v. much looking forward to eating my way through the city over the next week.

But now I'm going to indulge my jetlag and whatever flour may or may not have been in the gumbo and go to bed so that I can hit it hard tomorrow - goodnight!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

she's holding her tonic like a cross

I spent most of today aggressively working toward the goal of getting on a plane to New Orleans tomorrow without leaving anything behind, and also while looking like a semi-polished semi-professional. I think I mostly succeeded; I got up at seven (since when did I start getting up at seven on weekends? especially after cocktails?) and took care of a variety of tings around the house (mostly folding clothes - I think I need a wardrobe mistress someday). Then I packed two suitcases full of stuff; my actual clothing would come close to fitting in a carry-on, but with the 25 or 30 books I have to take + other types of swag and giveaways, my bags are overloaded with stuff.

But that's all boring and you're skimming now, so allow me to move on. I grabbed a late brunch and chatted up the owner of my favorite breakfast place, who is v. entertaining. Then I got a mani/pedi; I had told myself repeatedly to just get a regular manicure, but I succumbed to the siren's call of gel, which will last for at least two weeks and make me lovely even as my hands turn wizened and my cancer risk increases. But since hermits don't go outside enough to get UV-based skin cancer, I think this is probably an acceptable risk. Then I came home, called my parents (happy mother's day to the woman from whom I get my inability to take compliments!), finished packing, and crossed a whole bunch more stuff off my to-do list.

I did take a break, though; it's Sunday and we were overdue for family dinner, so we made it happen. John had originally suggested Nopalito, but I called later than I should have (they don't take reservations but they allow calling ahead to be put on the waitlist) and the wait was two and a half hours for a party of seven. Stupid. So we sat around Katrina's place trying to make a decision, ultimately walked to Nopalito anyway and probably annoyed/confused the greeter, and then gave up our place on the waitlist and went to Little Chihuahua instead. This was all as ridiculous as you might expect from a family dinner, particularly one with good turnout (John, Jess, Adit, Priyanka, Katrina, and Katrina's guest Chris, who was only hanging out with us because it wasn't time for 'Game of Thrones' yet). But I'm glad we made it happen, particularly since John and Jess are going to Europe shortly after I come back from NOLA and so I probably won't see them until August. Sadness.

And now I must sleep, since I'm likely to only get six hours before I have to wake up and go to the airport - wish me luck! I'll be in Sara Ramsey mode all week, so prepare yourself. Goodnight!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

forget about what i said

I had a great day, even though I need approximately fifty hours of work time to catch up on the tasks I need to do, not even counting finishing the book. But I got some sleep, ate some breakfast, did some general administrative work, and then ran a few errands in the neighborhood (mostly mailing a package and buying lunch). Lunch turned out to be dangerous since I discovered that the deli where I usually get chicken and sweet potatoes also has a gluten free focaccia and other breads for gluten free sandwiches. You may not remember this about me, but I love sandwiches. So I got a sandwich with chicken, pepperjack, some sort of spicy chipotle spread, etc., and it was incredible.

Or maybe I would have thought anything was incredible in my burned-out state. So I threw in the towel and went to get a massage at the place that Kathia goes to. We were supposed to meet there and enjoy some relaxation first, but the directions from their website were confusing and I ended up trapped into getting on the approach to the Golden Gate Bridge (luckily, I was able to get off at the last SF exit, but still). So instead of having twenty minutes before my appointment, I had four. But the spa is probably the best one I've ever been to, so it was worth the stress of getting there.

After relaxing, I came home, took a shower, did my makeup, tried on a whole bunch of clothes for my upcoming trip, etc. Then I met Kathia again for a birthday celebration; her husband had made other plans even though her birthday was today, so I got her all to myself. We went to Comstock with the intention of writing but instead talked for two hours over gin (me) and templeton (her). Then we went to our dinner reservation at 5a5, which was super fancy and delicious.

But now I really desperately need to sleep if I'm going to get everything done tomorrow that I need to get done before going to New Orleans - goodnight!

baby when i'm yelling at you it's not your fault

If you've been tracking my blog over the past couple of weeks, a) I'm sorry and b) you can guess that I worked excessively today. Luckily I worked from home, so at least I didn't have to drive to Mountain View. But I was really unfortunately busy from 8:30 to 4:30, at which point I slacked off and went downtown to get my haircut and get my eyebrows waxed. But my fabulous blowout was wasted on the empty shell of my apartment, to which I returned after the haircut so that I could work some more. And I pretty much worked on writing stuff for the last five hours, with a break to eat a frozen enchilada (dinner of champions).

But I'm happy with what I accomplished, even if I stayed up too late and probably burned out my brain for tomorrow's tasks. Wish me luck - I need to write, but I also need to pack and organize for New Orleans and take care of a million other things on my to-do list. Goodnight!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

nothing's unconditional

I'm super sleepy, as I have been all week. I'm pretty sure Alyssa is trying to murder me, if the last two workouts have been any indication. But I survived again today, and I managed to shower and get a juice at work before beginning the perpetual slog. It wasn't all awful, though; I had lunch with a coworker who was visiting from NYC, and I got in a ten minute walk in the sun on either side of it, so that was nice. Also, I got promoted (yes, I'm buring the lede) -- I knew about the promo last week, but it wasn't announced until this week. So I must be doing something right. It almost makes up for the fact that I'm a workaholic with no significant social life.

After my last meeting ended at four, I slacked off and met Heather (aka dear respected madam) for 'tea', which turned into us drinking water while sitting in some rocking chairs and staring at the new meditation garden. Our conversation wasn't particularly meditative, especially when we discussed werewolf erotica, but it was wonderful to see her. We parted ways around 5:30 and I went into a building to eat some cereal before making the long trek home (made potentially longer because Obama was in the area and so a bunch of roads were closed). And then Heather showed up there with Salim in tow, since he'd come to pick her up, and so we hung out for another 45mins or so.

But finally it was time to come back to the city of sin, and I miraculously made it home in an hour, which is good for a Thursday and great for the carpocalypse that Obama's visits cause. When I got here, Terry and I attempted to go to Tortilla Heights, only to find that it's permanently closed (disaster!). So we went to Mezes instead and had delicious greek food, which was probably more Alyssa-approved even if I did order a Coke.

And now I must sleep so I can recommence the slog tomorrow - goodnight!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

she's got a boyfriend anyway

There is nothing that I can blog about tonight; it's all either boring (isn't it always?) or strange interpersonal stuff that I don't blog about since I'm no longer 21 and stupid (my blog would probably be much more interesting if I didn't censor this stuff, but you're out of luck). I spent the day slogging, then had champagne at work (not as glamorous as it sounds), then came home and ate a frozen tamale (exactly as glamorous as it sounds, particularly when you drop some of it into your cleavage).

And now I must go to bed and repeat it all tomorrow, although I sincerely hope I get out of there earlier and also get some actual non-meeting work done and also get some writing done. Dream the impossible dream, Sara. Goodnight!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

i woke up like this

Another brutal slog...I managed to get nine hours of sleep last night, and then I squandered it by working excessively today. I woke up at 6:30, put on some workout clothes, made some tea, and wrote for an hour before starting the day job. Then I took two hours of meetings from home, dashed down to the south bay, and trained with Alyssa. I don't know what I did to earn her enmity, but I swear she tried to kill me today. I survived her machinations, although I'll likely be sore tomorrow. Then I showered, grabbed a salad and some juice, and slogged for the day job until six.

At that point I was beyond done, so I drove home. But the drive gave me an odd sort of second wind (or at least a renewed desire to write), so I went to Des Amis and wrote for an hour over steak (and a coke, since I had promised Alyssa to only drink once this week - stupid). All told, I got six pages today, which is pretty good for a school night. But now I'm totally wiped out. So I came home, stared at the wall, folded my laundry, washed my face, picked out an outfit for tomorrow since I'm going to be too wrecked when I get up at six a.m. to contemplate clothing, and wrote this blog post. And now I must sleep - goodnight!

Monday, May 05, 2014

perfect blue buildings

All work and no play is making me incredibly dull, so I wore the shiniest dress in my closet today in an effort to spice up my nonexistent life. It mostly worked, although the morning didn't go quite as planned; as I did last week, I tried to get up at 5:30 to write, and instead messed around and didn't get out of the house until 6:50. Oops. But I made it to work a little before eight with the intention of writing for an hour, but instead I went to my favorite breakfast cafe and got an omelette and kind of messed around with the manuscript without accomplishing anything of substance. Double oops.

But by the time I felt like rectifying that, it was time for my meetings to start, and I basically had meetings straight until five p.m. Then I should have worked or written, but instead I came home and had dinner with Terry, whom I hadn't seen for a week. It was a v. lowkey affair at Roam, which was lowkey until some crazy guy came in, which was all v. bizarre. Then we came home, I thought about writing and instead took care of some writing business stuff (aka ordered some gift bags and read up on the Met gala on tumblr), and now I'm going to try to get nine hours of sleep so that I feel slightly more human tomorrow. Goodnight!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

and the walls come tumbling down in the city that we love

I had a v. v. hermity weekend - probably the most hermity weekend I've had this year (or at least this month). I did leave the house to go to Philz Coffee this morning, which was exciting, but I came back at eleven and spent the rest of the day subsisting on peanut butter and leftover chicken while attempting to get some work done. What I wrote turned out pretty well, but my mind kept wandering (likely because I got < 6hrs of sleep thanks to my inadvertent Civilization marathon last night - and like an addict I'm getting the shakes to turn it on again, but that way lies ruin). So I only wrote 6-8 pages, which doesn't feel like enough given how long I slogged.

But I know that's how it goes, particularly when I'm writing rough draft. I did take a quick nap, and I talked to my parents, who were even more entertaining than usual. And I cleaned the kitchen and tidied up downstairs, and took care of the disaster that was my makeup bag - in case you were curious, spilling half a bottle of hair smoothing liquid in it does not do good things for it, so I had quite the mess on my hands (which is why I went to Sephora yesterday, since my eyeshadow brush and makeup bag were both beyond salvation).

And now, I'm going to bed at the absurdly early hour of 9:30 so that I can get up at 5:30 and write before work - goodnight!

top down ac with the cooling system

So, today got off to a decent start, and I got quite a bit of writing done. But then I got a massage (which was necessary), went to Sephora (necessary only in the loosest sense of the word), procrastinated, and made the mistake of starting a game of Civilization, which I somehow just played without moving for the last five hours. I had no idea it was two a.m.; I thought it was perhaps 12:30. Damn. So now I must go to bed immediately, get up whenever I wake up in the morning, and try to make up for lost time. Goodnight!

Friday, May 02, 2014

until the dust settles around us

Today was a long and brutal slog; so long and brutal that I didn't shower, which is somewhat rare for me (although perhaps not as rare as it should be). I woke up early and wrote for an hour, then immediately started day job stuff - while the downside of working from home is that I have limited food supplies compared to the veritable cornucopia at the office, at least I can transition from writing to working without an hour and a half of sitting in the car in between those tasks.

And so I slogged quite aggressively until around five p.m., when it became clear that no one else was online and it was time to call it quits. Then I switched out of yoga pants and into a dress and went to my favorite French place, where I had two (ish - they brought me an extra bit at the end) glasses of wine, a steak, some quality time with my favorite manager, and a bit of rereading of Amelia and Malcolm's story. It's going up for an advertisement in a few weeks and I decided that it was time to reproofread it now that two years (!) have gone by and I'm more likely to catch stuff. It's a bit painful since there's stuff I would definitely change now, but the proofing itself is fine and there are some things I still love about that story, so that's good.

But now I really must sleep if I'm going to make progress on Thorington tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, May 01, 2014

glycerine

No blog tonight, too much work has fried my wits and rendered me completely incapable of coming up with anything interesting (unlike all those other nights, when I'm soooo fascinating). Better luck getting something from me tomorrow - goodnight!