Saturday, February 28, 2015

so let's set the world on fire

I'm falling asleep already without having written a complete sentence of this yet, so I have to go to bed now before typing becomes any more dangerous than it already is. But suffice it to say that Jaipur is indeed a lovely, fascinating city, and I had a great day exploring it.

And now I have to sleep - I'm getting a massage in the morning before spending five hours in the car back to Delhi and then flying to Tokyo - so wish me luck with that. Goodnight!

Friday, February 27, 2015

no doubt in my mind where you belong

India continues to delight and overwhelm. I had several hours of meetings this morning, but I was done with work by 1:30, and so Lillian and I said our farewells to Sriram and the rest of the group we were visiting here and got in a car to Jaipur. The trip from Gurgaon to Jaipur took 5+ hours, and I spent the vast majority of it staring out the window while listening to my music, which made for a lot of strange cultural dissonance as I watched people parading toward a Krishna celebration while listening to Lady Antebellum. But it was pretty relaxing to listen to my music, which drowned out just enough of the chaos around me to make for a peaceful ride.

And then we arrived in Jaipur, the Pink City, just as the sun was setting. We didn't explore tonight, since we were both wrecked from several days of work, but we had dinner at the hotel restaurant, which was pretty tasty. I also reunited with the Old Monk, my favorite rum from my Hyderabad days - it's by no means good, but it's always up for a good time. I got the bartender to put a shot of it into one of the mocktails, since the mocktails looked way better than the cocktails; they seemed nonplussed, but they did it, and I savored the sweet taste of victory along with the headache Old Crow is likely to visit upon me tomorrow.

But now I really need to sleep...I shouldn't be this tired, but I think I'm a) still the tiniest bit sick from my cold, b) still the tiniest bit behind on my sleep deficit from my flight here, and c) more than the tiniest bit in need of a break from people so that my introverted heart can regain its equilibrium, and I'm not likely to get alone time for awhile. So I'm going to enjoy my current alone time by going to bed - goodnight!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

change it all but can't change what we've been

Apologies for falling asleep while finishing last night's blog post. These are the perils of blogging at the very end of the day - occasionally I make even less sense than usual. However, you're still getting your money's worth on this entertainment, so you're welcome!

Today was a long but mildly enjoyable slog...it started with breakfast downstairs, where I had an omelette and two eggs over easy to make up for the fact that the original omelette was fairly small/anemic and I need far more protein (and, more importantly, far fewer carbs) than I'm currently getting here. Then we went to the office, where I had to be social all day (and sound smart (not a problem) and cooperative (often a problem, especially when tired/hangry)). We had lunch with some of the local team at an Italian place in CyberHub (the area where we had dinner last night), and then we had many more meetings the rest of the day.

By six p.m. I was exhausted both physically and mentally (it's hard to keep murderous thoughts at bay when fatigued, and the effort just adds more fatigue to an already stresses system), so I skipped out on a potential shopping trip and had a final dinner with Eugene before he got on his flight to go home (lucky devil). And then I did some work...and now it feels like I'm about to fall asleep again while typing, which is a really dangerous mood. Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

hoping one day you'll make a dream last

Today was lovely in Delhi, particularly if you like weather forecasts that call for 'smoke' - the smog is so bad that smoke is the standard weather condition right now (until the heat comes, at which point the smoke will be replaced by dust storms from the deserts of Rajasthan). But even though it feels like I haven't seen the sun in days and am living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, today was excellent. I got a decent amount of sleep last night, and I had a great shower before meeting Sriram, Eugene and Lillian for breakfast.

And then we went to the office, surviving a crazy traffic jam along the way. The teams we worked with were very nice, and it was more valuable than I expected to see them all in person (although I'm still not totally convinced that this trip to India/Japan was the best use of my time at the moment - but I'm looking forward to Jaipur this weekend, i guess).

But we eventually slacked off around six and went to CyberHub, which is sort of an outdoor food court / mall near a bunch of the major tech buildings. It's so incredibly different than when I was living in Hyderabad - they have a ton of American chain restaurants, but I'm always willing and eager to go for the biryani before it's time for me to get along...

But screw him - I need to sleep right now if I'm going to survive tomorrow. Goodnight!

[editor's note from the following morning: I was falling asleep as I wrote this and have no idea what the last couple of lines were supposed to mean. Chaz!]

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

take a note for the lump that sits inside your throat

Jet lag is hitting hard, but I think I really hit the wall because I've been with people and/or noise for almost the entirety of the last seventy-two hours, and my hermity country-raised soul is in fight-or-flight mode now. India is a truly awesome place, but it is not the quietest place in the world, and I didn't realize how accustomed I'd become to relative silence until I sat in the car this afternoon and prayed for death to take me so I wouldn't have to hear another car horn or ignore another beggar scratching at my window.

Okay, maybe that's melodramatic. Today was pretty good, all things considered. I met Lillian at seven so that Vinay could take us to Agra Fort - this is earlier than I ever go to anything touristy, but I'm glad we did, because it was amazing to see as the sun rose, and it was also almost totally empty of crowds. This is a rare, unprecedented phenomenon in India - I didn't think it was possible to go anywhere in this country without being surrounded by the hordes, and it was great to get some pictures there before anyone else arrived for the day.

But all things must come to an end, so we drove back to Gurgaon (on the old road this time, which contributed to my bleeding ears since the traffic is way more chaotic) with a stop to see Akbar's Tomb (Akbar was the grandfather of Shah Jahan; Shah Jahan is the one who built the Taj Mahal). We also stopped to eat lunch along the road, which may kill me tonight. Then we got to Gurgaon, checked into our hotel, messed around for a bit, and then had a v. long, interesting dinner with Sriram (the little boss) and Eugene (I'm trying very hard to befriend him, but he said he made a couple of friends in kindergarten and that's all he needs...probably not, but it doesn't bode well for my mission).

And now I must sleep before I start blogging nonsense - goodnight!

Monday, February 23, 2015

shake me down

The melatonin I took to jumpstart my jetlag recovery is already kicking in, so I'm going to keep this brief and hope that I don't start typing nonsense as I usually do when I blog while actively falling asleep. There wasn't nearly enough sleep last night (or in the last two days, or two weeks) to keep me going today - but since most of today's activity involved riding in a car, where I got to nap, I somehow found a way to survive.

Lillian and I rendezvoused for breakfast, and then we met the driver who was taking us to Agra. He helped us run vital errands first (sim cards and atms so that we can feel like members of human society again), and then drove us to Agra, with a stop at some restaurant/highway rest stop called 'Highway Masala' so that we could eat/stretch our legs/get some much-needed caffeine (okay, maybe I was the only one who needed caffeine). The Indian government opened a new express highway from Delhi to Agra a couple of years ago, so so while getting out of Gurgaon/Delhi was just as nightmare-inducing as always, the highway itself was quite lovely. And Highway Masala was decent enough; amusingly, the bottled Starbucks mocha frappuccino that I bought on a whim (I haven't had one of those in at least a year, I'd guess) was like $7, which was more than me and Lillian's entire lunch. So, way to make me feel like an awful imperialist, Starbucks!

We finally reached Agra around 4:30, and we were promptly greeted by Vinay (the guy I used when my dad and I came to Agra in 2010, who is friends with my friend Chris (of Chris and Natasha, whom you haven't heard much about here for awhile since they moved to Colorado and so are out of my daily picture for now)). He whisked us away to the Taj Mahal, and we got there just in time to do the full tour while the sun was setting. I hadn't been at sunset before, and it was pretty awesome - there were fewer crowds than during my last two visits, and it's true that the differing light throughout the day creates a totally different experience. You can see a photo on my instagram if you're so inclined...

...and then we went to some marble craftsmen workshop, where they demonstrated the techniques used to construct the Taj. This is the same marble workshop my dad and I went to in 2010, and they showed us how they cut the various semiprecious gems, etc., and inlay it into marble. We sat around for a long time after as they tried to sell us stuff, and I quite enjoyed joking around with the guy who gave us the main spiel (enough that I bought myself a small marble elephant, because I clearly need more Indian stuff). But eventually we made our escape (after telling the pashmina guy upstairs that we had absolutely no interest in his wares), came back to the hotel to take a quick breather, and then had dinner with Vinay and his brother Vishal. It was my second butter chicken of the day, which was probably too much - but I tried to order tandoori chicken with rice, and the server was so appalled at me ordering rice with dry chicken (which should be eaten with naan, which I can't eat) that I switched to butter chicken to soothe his frayed nerves. Lol.

Anyway, Vinay and Vishal were good, but luckily dinner was pretty short - I'm tired, both physically (understandable) and mentally/socially, since I feel like I've been traveling for days (spoiler: I have been) and I haven't had that much time to myself. And it takes energy to parse accents and languages I don't understand and weird radio stations and constant car honking...so the drive wasn't exactly relaxing, even if it was leagues better than taking a train.

So I'm going to take my exhausted self to bed, hope I sleep for eight hours, and also hope that my social equilibrium returns...goodnight!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

i would come back 1000 times

I'm posting v. briefly just to say that I have arrived safely in my hotel in India after another interminable flight made bearable by being in business class. But it's 3:30am here and I'm supposed to eat breakfast in 6.5 hours, so I think sleep is more important than saying anything about how I feel to be back in India (surreal) - I'll check in tomorrow post-Taj Mahal. Goodnight!

winter of our discontent

I'm sitting in Frankfurt, waiting for my plane to India...and it feels like I've been here forever, but that's probably residual PTSD from my last voyage(s) through the Frankfurt airport. However, I have been up for most of the past twenty-four hours...it was exactly twenty-four hours ago that I woke up to start this journey, and I still have another eight or nine hours to go.

I must say, though, that business class has spoiled me for ever flying economy overseas again. Not that I can hold myself to that, since business class is expensive...but it was worth flying through Frankfurt for. I was in domestic first class from SFO to Chicago, which was like sitting in a stagecoach compared to the bliss that was the lie-flat bed and the private entertainment system and the copious amounts of surprisingly good red wine that I was served in international business class from Chicago to Frankfurt. It was even worth sitting on the tarmac in Chicago for two hours for - some baggage handler probably lost his job when he drove a container into one of the cargo doors and broke something important, so we sat there while it was being fixed. But we made it over the ocean without dying, so that was great!

And then we (we = me + Lillian) were in Frankfurt airport, which I continue to despise. I'd been looking forward to taking a shower here, but after forty-five minutes of wandering, we got to the business class lounge in our terminal and discovered that only the lounges in the terminal we'd arrived in have showers. Hahahaha. That's par for the course for Frankfurt, and I look forward to seeing how else it can screw me over before the end.

But now I must pack up and get ready to board - India is next. Goodnight(??)!

Friday, February 20, 2015

highway of endless dreams

I need to wake up in five hours so that I can go to the airport, so I must needs keep this brief. But today was a pretty decent day of wrapping things up in the city of sin - the weather was gorgeous, I worked out of the SF office (thus avoiding my commute while also getting free breakfast and lunch), and I managed to pack for India and Tokyo in a carry-on, so that's exciting. I had three hours of meetings this morning, but they were relatively social, and breakfast before and lunch after were lovely interludes. Then I came home (with a stop at the pharmacy to buy stuff and a stop at Philz to get some coffee to carry me through the afternoon), packed, did a bit more work, packed some more, saw my aesthetician, and then finished packing.

And then I spent the rest of the night finishing my tax situation, with a break to have dinner at my fave Greek place with Terry. I just wrapped up the last of the tax stuff ten minutes ago; I haven't sent it to my CPA, but since everything is in the cloud, I can do that while I'm traveling. So now I'm going to go to bed and hope I don't sleep through my flight. When next I blog, I will be somewhere between here and India (likely Germany, home of all my woes) - goodnight!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

i wanna get better

I continue to be exhausted, and I'm nowhere near ready for my trip...but I'm pleased to say that I'm suddenly, maybe, just a little bit excited to be in India again. I had dinner with Kathia tonight, and she mentioned aloo paratha, and while I can't eat paratha anymore, suddenly I was all in.

Of course, I have to get there first. Today was an attempt at getting done all the things I need to get done before I leave, and I wasn't particularly successful. Granted, I wrote before work, and I made it down to ten emails in my work inbox, so it could have been worse. And I left at 3:15, so that was even better. Then I spent a couple of hours working on my tax situation when I got home (I'm so close) before meeting Kathia for dinner at Seven Hills. It's an Italian place in Russian Hill, and it turns out that it's super tasty - they make a good gluten free pasta, and so I was able to have a redo of my gluten free pasta experience on Monday and order the spicy tomato sauce I'd been craving rather than the other sauce I impetuously ordered at Locanda. Kathia and I had a great time catching up, even if it just made me want to run away and write all the time...

...but I can't run away now because I have to get some sleep so that I can do all the things tomorrow. Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

because the love the love the love the love the love i gave was wasted on a nice face

I don't think I can continue being this exhausted at nine p.m. every night as though I've put in a whole day in the mines instead of at my desk...particularly since a 'whole day' at my desk is neither a whole day nor a particularly onerous endeavor. Today was another slog with ample swathes of social time...I drove to Palo Alto and trained with Alyssa, and then I went to the office, showered, ate some bacon, had a couple of meetings, and continued my meat consumption over a team lunch at In-n-Out. The lunch was intended to up my beef intake before leaving for India, which was v. helpful; sitting out in the sun and grabbing a latte after was even more helpful.

The afternoon tapered into oblivion; more meetings, more ridiculousness, more fatigue, followed by a drive home that nearly put me to sleep. But I got my bangs trimmed so that I don't look too stylish/ridiculous/blind in India, and then I was home for all of ten minutes before Terry and I ventured into the Marina to have dinner with Lauren (aka Subz) at Aix. Lauren was in fine form, and I'm super glad I got to see her (and Terry, of course) before I venture off on my Asian adventure.

Now, though, sleep is key - I have to get through two more days of work, more social activities, a whole ton of personal errands and tasks, and my general disdain for my upcoming trip so that I can get on the plane on Saturday without feeling like I left everything undone, and I'm going to need to be well-rested tomorrow if I hope to accomplish any of that. Goodnight!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

so i put a bullet where i shoulda put a helmet

I have less than 3.5 days before I get on a plane to India, and I have never been less excited for an international trip. I'll probably be excited enough once I get there...but at the moment, all I can think is how I'm already so tired from commuting/working today, and I'll be even more tired when I have to spend twenty-six hours traveling so I can be deposited into the exact opposite timezone, where I will be jetlagged until it's time for me to reverse the experience and be jetlagged all over again. Bleh.

Whatever. Today was fine, albeit not productive enough; I should have gone to bed an hour ago, but when I typed that sentence I suddenly switched over to my financial records and spent the last hour working on them instead. But I got to campus this morning in time to write for an hour, and then I spent the rest of the day in varying states of disarray. I had a v. tasty chicken lunch, some more meetings, some more coffee, and some not-at-all-subtle sneaking out at 4:30 so that I could come home. Once here, I ate some salmon at my favorite Greek place while contemplating wine (and procrastinating on my taxes).

And that, my friends, is all. Goodnight!

Monday, February 16, 2015

I didn't know I was broken til I wanted to change

My laptop is having trouble connecting to the internet, so I'm typing this on my phone...which means you're not going to get anything good out of me. Also, I need to go to bed immediately if I'm going to make it to work tomorrow. So suffice it to say that I spent the day training with Alyssa, eating brunch with her, running errands, napping, working, and having dinner in the mission...all of which was very necessary, if not entirely pleasant. But hopefully I'm set up for a successful few days before I leave for India on Saturday - but getting sleep before going back to work is vital if I'm going to survive. Goodnight!

i didn't know i was lonely til i saw your face

Awesome. Today was awesome. I should leave you in suspense and close out now (or, I should close out now because I have to get up in seven hours so I can go down to Palo Alto and train with Alyssa), but I guess I'll record for posterity.

[begin boring part]

I spent some quality time lazing in bed, which was key since I was still recovering from the debauchery earlier in the weekend (and knew I would have more debauchery in the rest of the weekend). But I eventually dragged myself out of bed, had breakfast at the cafe down the street, and then went to BevMo to buy a lot of wine and to Whole Foods to buy a lot of groceries. Then I came home, was v. relaxed about taking a shower and getting ready, etc., and then called my parents. They were the usual - they told me stories about strange deaths, normal deaths, meetings with governors, the weather, etc., which is all pretty par for the course for them. But I talked to them while enjoying the sun on the roof, which made for a surreal juxtaposition of their #smalltownlife and my #firstworldproblems.

After I finished talking to them, I commenced preparation for tonight's family time dinner, which I volunteered to cook for since I hadn't cooked anything more difficult than tuna salad in ages. I made chicken bouillabaisse, which was divine; I also made truffle butter pasta, which I couldn't eat, but it seems to have been a hit.

[end boring part, begin ridiculous part]

Claudia showed up early, so we had plenty of time to catch up sans other people (and she also chopped the potatoes for the bouillabaisse for me while I finished getting ready, which was a real champion move). The rest of the family rolled in later, as is typical for this particular group at my particular dinner parties. It was all the usual suspects (Chandlord, Katrina, Claude, Terry, John, Jess, Adit, and Priyanka), + this guy named Hugo who is friends with Chandlord and Katrina. I think most of us thought that Katrina's email saying that she/Vidya/Hugo would be in attendance was a joke, given the questions we asked Hugo (namely, 'are you human?'), but it turned out that the guy was a winner...

...and this was confirmed when we did a reverse candle ceremony to welcome Claudia (aka Santy Claude) back to the bay area, and Hugo managed to hold his own. The candle ceremony is typically done when someone moves away; as you'll recall, each person holds a candle, says something about the person leaving, and blows it out. The last candle ceremony was a switch on that format, since it was my thirty-second birthday and everyone blew out one of my birthday candles (which were stuck in a ham sandwich). But in this one, each person said something about Claudia and how they felt about her coming back, something about their last week, and then everyone else in the circle had an opportunity to ask that person a follow-up question.

With nine people, this took awhile, but we all learned a lot about each other and ourselves. Also, before the candle ceremony, it was determined that they would read the second sex scene from Thorington's book, which was just as horribly awkward and ridiculous as it usually is. But we all survived (nay, accepted) the emotional trauma, and I think we're all better off for it (even if we now all know that Adit = Gavin (jhokes)).

[end ridiculous part, begin filler part]

But all good things must end, and so everyone left and I spent some time taming the kitchen. And now I must sleep if I have any hope of surviving Alyssa tomorrow + pursuing my other social activities - goodnight!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

it always comes as a surprise when i feel my withered roots begin to grow

As I predicted last night, today was a bit brutal - but the brutality was entirely self-inflicted, so I can't complain. I woke up sometime around seven (although I'd originally woken up at 4:30, which has been happening a lot), and I lazed in bed for awhile before giving it up as a lost cause. Luckily the room wasn't spinning and I didn't feel like vomiting, so last night's bourbon was kinder to me than I thought it had been. Sweet!

So I showered, then went down the street to have some v. restorative huevos rancheros before my body succumbed to alcohol poisoning. Thus feeling refreshed, I came home and spent most of the afternoon messing around with tax and financial stuff. It wasn't as much time as I should have spent on it, but as you can imagine, it's not the most fun task in the world. I eventually took a nap, though, and then I decided to revive myself for an evening slog + take some time to enjoy the gorgeous weather by walking the mile and a half to Philz Coffee for one of their iced mint mojitos.

I told Chandlord that I was going there, so she showed up with one of her roommates in tow...and all productivity plans evaporated. We walked around Hayes Valley for a bit, did some awesome people watching, and ended up having dinner outside at Lers Ros (a thai place) on Hayes. The food was delish, albeit not Alyssa-approved, and the weather continued to be gorgeous enough to enjoy the outdoors even without heat lamps.

But all good things must end, so I came home with the intention of working on my taxes...but after walking four miles or so and eating a bunch of thai food, as well as not getting enough sleep last night, I was too tired to do anything substantive. So I'm going to go to bed and hope that I can hit it hard tomorrow - goodnight!

you're toxic i'm slipping under

Tomorrow is going to be miserable, but today was worth it. I didn't get enough sleep this morning, but I made it to Palo Alto in time to train with Alyssa, who had me swing a 20kg kettlebell far more times than I would have liked (but not as many times as would make me die, so that's good). Then I went to work, where I took a few hours of meetings, grabbed lunch, took care of some tings, and peaced out by two p.m. so that I could beat Obama back to SF (he's in town, which is bound to mess up all traffic ever).

So I successfully made it home, where I did a teensy bit more work before adjourning for the afternoon. I met a couple of coworkers for a drink after work, which I'm pretty sure turned into four drinks - they were both working out of SF today, and so I met them at Novela, where I had two tasty rum-based cocktails with egg white in them (does egg white make them Alyssa approved? almost certainly not).

After that, I should have parted ways, but it wasn't time for my dinner plans yet, so I encouraged them to come with me (aka drive me) to Nob Hill, where the fun continued at Upcider. We had a couple of bottles of cider, a glass of white wine, and some snacks, and the conversation turned ridic, which meant that I lost track of time and continued to drink until it was well past the point when I should have left. Oops.

So I rolled in Chandlord's dinner party an hour late and four drinks in, which is how people often show up to my dinner parties, but apparently I misjudged the punctuality of this crowd because they'd all been there for awhile. They poured me a massive amount of bourbon as punishment, which I'm sure I'll continue to feel tomorrow. But we proceeded to eat some delish food, play spoons, and then play a game of Uno that may well have been unwinnable given the card combos people had + the limited number of cards left in the discard pile. We also sang a ton, which was super entertaining.

But by one a.m., I was suddenly feeling like I was going to have to stab my own ears out if I interacted with people any more - I had eight straight hours of social time, not including the time I spent with people at work, and that's more social time than my brain can process effectively. So I left Chandlord abruptly, came home, and recorded our mess for posterity. And now I must sleep (or at least attempt to recover from what will surely be a fun hangover) - goodnight!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

but maybe you're hoping for a fairy tale too

By Thursdays, I'm consistently pretty exhausted, and today was no exception. It didn't help that I woke up around four a.m. and didn't really fall back asleep after; I even debated staying in bed and trying to sleep/go in late, but at six I decided to get out of bed and go to work anyway. But that was a tactical error, since it took an hour and twenty minutes to get to work since I left at 6:45 instead of 6:25 - every minute in the morning is crucial.

However, I survived, and I got to work in time to do a bit of work on Rafe and Octavia (although I was too tired to really focus). Then I slogged until four p.m., although I took a break to get another latte, and I spent more time than I should have chatting up coworkers to alleviate my boredom. Then I peaced out as soon as my last meeting was over; Obama is in town today and tomorrow, and he was arriving at the airport at 5:30pm, which meant it was imperative that I get past the airport before he arrived and they shut down the freeway for his motorcade.

I succeeded in my mission, happily - and then I went to my favorite Greek place, where I made small talk with the bartender and also came up with some excellent insights for Rafe. But again, I was too tired to really think, so I'm going to go to bed and hope that I survive my last day of the work week unscathed. Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

i think with my heart and i move with my head

I've survived the first sixty percent of the work week, which is a v. happy realization, particularly since next week is only a four-day week before I leave for India. Today feels like it was a long and brutal slog, but in reality I got approximately ninety minutes of work done. I woke up early and spent an hour writing before work, which went well, and then I had an hour of meetings. But I left the office at 10:15 to pick up cupcakes for a team birthday, then go to the gym and train with Alyssa, then shower. After that, I was going to eat a quick lunch at my desk, but I was lured into walking to another cafe to grab food, which was a good (if entirely undeserved) break.

Theoretically I could have worked after that, but instead I went to the onsite clinic to discuss my upcoming trip to India and see if I need any more vaccinations. The only one I needed was typhoid, so they gave me the shot and sent me on my way. After that, I went back to my desk and immediately celebrated a coworker's birthday (three in two days is a bit too much, although at least this time I was able to eat the dessert since I bought myself a gluten-free cupcake along with the other cupcakes I picked up).

Theoretically I could have worked after that as well, and I did do some stuff...but I cut out at 4:45 and drove home instead. Traffic was fairly challenging tonight, but I gave a coworker a ride back to the city, so for once I had someone to talk to rather than just forcing myself to zone out. I wanted to drown my day in a whole vat of wine when I got home (even great days deserve death by drowning when it takes an hour and forty minutes to get home), but instead I ate a salad, drank some water, and got over my commute enough to remember that the rest of the day was lovely.

But tomorrow and Friday are going to be more of the same...apparently Obama is going to be in town at some point, which always causes carmageddon, and so I expect that my commutes will be murderous. Wish me luck in surviving the road wars - goodnight!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

a spoonful of sugar

I should probably pretend that today was all grind / no fun, as befits my status as a productive member of corporate America...but that would be a lie. Granted, I got up at 5:40ish, but I laid in bed too long (because I *love* my new bed), and so I didn't get out the door until 6:40, which was late enough that I didn't arrive on campus until eight. Ugh. But once I got there, I grabbed a latte and grabbed a seat next to one of my coworkers so that it felt like I was working in a cafe with Kathia (when really I was clearly the only person in the whole establishment who was considering the merits of making a main character into a courtesan...everyone else appeared to be working on tech-related stuff, as per usual), and I proceeded to mess around with Rafe and Octavia for almost an hour. It's still early days, but I think I'm going to love them...

...but I had to stop loving them so I could get on with my day. I had a meeting, then walked across campus to take two more meetings before grabbing lunch there and walking back to my building. After eating lunch, I collected Dave and Tomas and walked to another building to celebrate someone's birthday...but the birthday girl wasn't there when we arrived, and I had a meeting I couldn't duck out of, so I sullenly sat in the conference room while hearing the party outside. But Dave and Lillian (the other member of our Frankfurt trip of fun, with whom I'm going to India in ten days) both independently brought me champagne, since a) I couldn't eat the cake and b) clearly I have a known weakness for champagne.

After all that, I walked back to my building again, where I promptly had to celebrate another birthday - my life is hard. And then I had meetings, but I got out by 4:45, was home by six, and was able to spend a glorious half-hour lying in my new bed and reading about the development of rural France, as one is wont to do. I had to abandon my leisure to have dinner with Terry, who recapped her trip to NYC over burgers at Roam, and it was all v. lovely (until she decided that I may, in face, be exactly like Mary Poppins, which was a surprising revelation).

And now I must sleep so that I can do it all again tomorrow (well, the writing part, and the celebration of at least one birthday but probably not two)...goodnight!

Monday, February 09, 2015

when you look into my eyes and you see the crazy gypsy in my soul

My new bed is amazing and my foot isn't broken, so I'd say that today was, all in all, about ten billion times better than yesterday. I worked from home today, which meant I was able to laze in bed until eightish, which was the most wonderful thing ever. And when I got out of bed, I found that my foot doesn't hurt to walk on (although it's still a bit bruised on top), so that was totally awesome.

The day progressed pretty unhurriedly; I had 1.5hrs of meetings, which meant I was able to get some serious work done and also take a break to have breakfast/lunch down the street, where Tony was happy to feed me for a second day. I was also able to slack off by five and meet Kathia for coffee and writing...I'm v. v. antsy to start cracking seriously on Rafe and Octavia's story, and I made decent progress tonight. When we parted ways, I came home, grabbed a book on character development that I've read before but wanted to refresh myself on, and went to Mezes, where I drank wine, ate chicken skewers, talked to the bartender, and read the chapters that I wanted to reread.

But now I need to go to sleep - I'm excited to make some progress on Rafe and Octavia before work tomorrow morning, but that requires that I get up incredibly early if I'm going to make it into the office in time to write before my meetings start. Goodnight!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

this ain't love, it's clear to see

I'm just going to come out and say it...today was not a great day. I had grand plans to do a million things, but the rain conspired against me and I wasn't feeling it. It all seemed to start off okay, since I went down the street for breakfast and had a v. entertaining chat with Tony. And then I went bed shopping, and I successfully picked up a mattress and adjustable foundation to better support writing in bed...

...but then things went sideways. I had to prep my room for the arrival of the new bed, and so I cleaned out all the stuff under my bed. I also decided to vacuum under the bed, and I was punished for my desire for cleanliness when I accidentally dropped the box spring on my bare foot. It turns out that this hurts like a motherfucker. In fact, it hurt almost as much as the shelf I dropped on my toe (same foot) back in June...and, in a bitter twist, that toe had finally fully healed last night, when the last of the old nail fell off and I cleaned months-old dried blood off the new nail like it ain't no thang. So now I have two abrasions on the top of my foot, along with a lot of bruising, and I'm hoping that I didn't break anything because I really don't want to deal with it.

So that kind of ruined the rest of my day, since I didn't want to walk and run errands, and I didn't feel like doing my taxes. But I talked to my parents, who were in fine form. And my bed was delivered with little incident, and I love it, so that's good. I tried to make tuna salad for supper, which is my go-to when there's no food in the house, but after I mixed it up, I found what seemed to be plastic or glass in the mix, so I threw the whole bowl away because I didn't know where it had come from. Then I crawled even lower down the food spectrum and ate peanut butter while watching some of the Grammys. But I finally abandoned the tv for the comfort of my new bed, where I finished the book I was reading last night and iced my foot and tried not to think dark thoughts about it.

And now I'm going to sleep and hope that I wake up tomorrow to something that is clearly just bruised and not totally mangled - goodnight!

Saturday, February 07, 2015

i want to be the sand inside that hourglass

I was feeling quite hermity today, so I indulged myself - I woke up around seven, worked on financial stuff for an hour or so, and then showered and made myself presentable so I could meet Chandlord and Santy Claude for breakfast downtown. I was far more presentable than the neighborhood usually deserves, but breakfast was lovely - we tried to go to the new Market on Market (an upscale grocery/set of eateries similar to Eataly in NYC, for those of you who are familiar), but nothing in there was serving breakfast at ten a.m. So we went across the street (without finding any suitcases full of body parts) and had breakfast at Little Griddle. I've never been there before, but the food was quite good - I liked my scramble and hashbrowns, and the ambiance was entertaining without being too grungy (like some places in that area) or too pretentious (like Market on Market). And the company was good too, particularly since I was able to sneak in a couple of hugs on Chandlord when she wasn't expecting them.

After breakfast, we went back to Market so that I could buy some lotion from one of the shops that had opened in our absence. Then we parted ways, and I proceeded to run a bunch of errands (okay, I bought shoes) before getting my hair cut and my brows waxed. She went shorter with the layers than I had totally intended, but overall it looks divine (Chandlord, you're welcome for the adjective!).

Post-haircut, I came home, took a nap, and then spent the evening reading a couple of books for a contest I have to judge (some reading over sushi down the street, some reading in my bed). The first book was a total bust, but the second book surprised me by how much I'm enjoying it even though it's not up my usual alley, so I'm going to take my time and finish it tomorrow. But now I must sleep so that I can run more errands tomorrow + buy a mattress + do some writing + talk to my parents + maybe work out + work on my taxes + probably procrastinate. Goodnight!

Friday, February 06, 2015

i can beat the night, i'm not afraid of thunder

I'm still not feeling a hundred percent...my throat still kind of hurts from weeks ago, and I'm pretty sure that getting three hours of sleep Monday night wrecked the rest of my week. I managed to crawl out of bed in time (or, mostly on time) to see Alyssa this morning, and I expect that my back will remind me of her tomorrow since we did some pretty heavy deadlifts (which I, oddly enough, enjoy). Then I went to work, where I had a few meetings, but I got out of there a little after 1pm to avoid traffic since there's a storm in the Bay Area this weekend and I didn't want to spend ten hours trying to drive home tonight.

Once here, I should have done more work, but instead I checked my email and then took a nap (I know, I'm a model employee). And then I spent my evening in true hermit fashion, going through all my unfiled papers and organizing them so that I can get cracking on my taxes. I took a break to have dinner and wine and do a bit of writing at my favorite Greek place, which I went to despite the rain, and then I came home and scanned more stuff until I decided that bedtime was imminent.

And now, even though it's 10:30pm and I'm still theoretically young, I'm going to abandon my youth and try to sleep for nine hours instead. Goodnight!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

your mess is mine

I had a pretty great day, considering I had to work. I did some writing in the morning and feel good about where I'm headed. Then I had some meetings, saw Chandlord and signed a lease to make her my real Chandlord again, had a decent lunch followed by more meetings and emails, and I skipped out around four for a very early start to dinner with Heather (aka dear respected madam). We hung out for three hours or so, which was awesome and overdue. But I'm so tired that I feel like I could cry from exhaustion, so I'm going to indulge my inner octogenarian and go to bed immediately. Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

these zombies in the park they're looking for my heart

In a perfect world I would have gone to bed an hour ago...but then the world wouldn't be perfect, because I wouldn't have seen Lauren (aka Subz) and Nathan and Terry tonight, so that's a conundrum.

But at least I got eight solid hours of sleep last night, so perhaps I'll survive tomorrow even if I only get seven. I made it into work in time to write at the coffee shop for an hour, and I may have actually come up with an interesting idea for Octavia, which was such a shocker that it totally made my morning. Also, the cafe I grabbed breakfast at after had shrimp and grits with poached eggs, which was amazing. Also, several of my meetings got canceled, so I actually had a couple of hours in the middle of the day in which to do actual work, which is always a pleasant surprise.

I had to be at the office until five, but I got out as soon as I was able and drove home (and managed to stay awake for the whole drive). Terry and I had impromptu plans to have dinner at Lauren and Nathan's house, and it was a totally lovely, lowkey way to celebrate reaching the middle of the week. And nights like this are why I'm going to have to suck it up and make the writing pay for my fancy San Francisco lifestyle rather than moving someplace more affordable...

...but that's all moot unless I can get some sleep so I can get up tomorrow and develop more about Octavia's background before beginning the slog again. Goodnight!

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

instead of stressed i lie here charmed

Today was brutal, but only because I barely slept last night. As it turns out, my predictions of 5-6hrs were wildly optimistic - I slept from 1am to 4am, but then woke up and couldn't fall back asleep. So at six I got out of bed and hied myself down to the office, where I had a couple of hours of meetings before going to train with Alyssa. My training session was pretty sad, given that I was too tired to really get through a full workout, but at least I stretched, so that was great.

Then I went back to the office, ate lunch, did an hour of meetings, drove home, and took a couple more meetings from here. There was a lot of other work I totally should have done, but given how little I slept last night, I mostly spent the day ignoring all real issues in favor of taking care of minor/inconsequential tasks. However, my day ended on a high note - I had a two-hour video date with Ritu, which was awesome and very long overdue. I was supposed to see her in Boston in a couple of weeks, but since I canceled that trip I wanted to catch up with her through other methods, and this worked perfectly. We discussed tons of stuff about work and life, and it almost felt like hanging out in person (almost - I wasn't able to pet her oddly-shaped skull, which was too bad, but the convo was good).

And now I'm going to go to bed early and hope that I make up for some lost sleep so that I can actually function tomorrow - goodnight!

so it's gonna be forever, or it's gonna go down in flames

Today was a day straight out of bizarro-land. I stayed home from work, which was a true bonus, and so I didn't have to get out of bed until after seven, which was a minor miracle. I had one meeting this morning, and then I had to go to the consulate to get a visa for my upcoming Delhi/Tokyo trip...but luckily I learned from a coworker's mistakes, and so the trip that took her 3+ hours ended up taking me a grand total of 15mins (not including driving there/back). Not one to leave an opportunity untaken, I looked at my completely empty calendar (which I had cleared for the visa situation) and promptly booked an impromptu 75min massage in an attempt to deal with my sore neck (success!).

After that, I came home, took a couple of meetings, did some more bits of nothing, and threw in the towel a little before six so that I could rinse off the massage oil before going to dinner. I met up with John at his house to drop off some lemons that were entrusted to me yesterday, and then we walked to Mission Beach Cafe, where we rendezvoused with Jess for a v. long overdue dinner (I hadn't seen them alone in months and months). It was quite lovely to see them; while I'd seen them both briefly at Jess's performance last weekend, it wasn't really the right environment for a proper catch-up, so having dinner together was a v. welcome excursion.

After dinner, the "fun" continued at ABV, which is a bar I've been to a couple of times (most notably with Ritu and Bill on the night when Bill was v. prone to screaming at everything). The same waitress who served us that night also served us tonight, and she was just as entertaining and understanding as always, which was helpful since I kept the champagne flowing (I think I had three glasses?). But in my defense, I was there almost four hours, so three glasses of champagne is almost like drinking water. However, this was all an incredibly bad idea, since I have to go to work tomorrow, and if I go in for my early meetings, I have to get up in five hours. If I take the early meetings from home, I have to get up in sixish hours...so I'm setting my alarm for six hours from now, but if I wake up at 5:30 like I always do now, maybe I'll go in early. We shall see, we shall see. Goodnight!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

magic madness heaven sin

Today was pretty lovely, all things considered. I woke up relatively early, did a bit of work, and then made the odd choice of making some tea and calling my parents at 8:30am, which is earlier than I ever call them. But I knew my fun would interfere with talking this afternoon, and I also knew that they were getting a million inches of snow and so wouldn't be outside anyway, so drinking tea in bed while talking to them was the perfect start to the day.

And then I pretty much did nothing the rest of the day...I tried to write a bit in the morning, but I had trouble getting into it, so I took a walk instead. I grabbed a latte on the way home and sat in a park for awhile, which was lovely; I felt like I missed the best of the sun yesterday because I was working, so I tried to make up for it this afternoon. Then I came home, did some more work, finished the soup that I started making last night, and opened champagne with Terry in time for the start of the Super Bowl.

None of us cared at all about the game, since I despise the Seahawks and feel mostly ambivalent about the Patriots, but Terry and I had invited Lauren (aka Subz) and Nathan over when we saw Lauren on Thursday, and I invited Claude over as well, so we had a nice, intimate gathering. I perhaps should have expanded it to more people, but this group had similar eating preferences and I didn't feel like making something veg, so too bad. But it was a very fun time, despite the depressing commercials and the utterly noninteresting matchup.

And now I must sleep - I have to go to the consulate tomorrow for my visa, which is likely to be a total shitshow, so getting sleep in advance is crucial for maintaining my moment of zen. Goodnight!