Saturday, October 31, 2015

waterloo...i was defeated, you won the war

I think I barely slept last night; I went to bed around 2:30, and then I woke up at 5:30 because the almost-full moon was directly above the skylights over my bed, and it was too bright to sleep. Tonight I shall rectify this by having my travel eye mask at the ready...and also by going to bed at 10:30 like I'm supposed to instead of 2:30 like I'm holding on to the last gasp of my youth.

sssanyway. Despite not sleeping much, I stayed in bed until nine and attempted to doze (with occasional success). Then I ate a snack, checked email, took care of various tings, cleaned myself up, and walked down to Samovar, where I wrote in my notebook for three hours and got approximately ten pages. This was a delightful way to spend the afternoon - I was holed up in a corner with no one near me, and I had poached eggs and bacon and gluten free toast, and a masala chai, and some mint tea after, and it was all enough to keep me fortified.

So. That was good. Then I went to Anthropologie, where I returned a top and bought a pair of pants instead, and then I walked home. I got here around 4:30, and I was suddenly exhausted and hungry (see: not sleeping last night; also see: only had poached eggs and toast and bacon without having another meal in there somewhere). So I ordered takeout, ate the takeout, messed around in my notebook some more, and was valiantly trying to make it to ten p.m. without sleeping - but I failed and had to take a nap. However, I woke up after thirty minutes and then read for the last couple of hours.

This was all the sort of introspective, hermity day that I needed to recover from the last few, and while there were probably other things I should have done (grocery shopping springs to mind), I'll take it. And now I'm going to see if I can stay up for another little bit (doubtful), and then go to bed and hope that the time change treats me right. Goodnight!

how deep is your love

Tonight took a strange left turn, as nights involving Adit usually do. But first, to recap the day....I woke up this morning, showered, made coffee, sat down to write, and completely failed at that endeavor. It wasn't a total loss; I did some editing to the scene I've been working on, and I had some good ideas for what to do next, so it's not like I accomplished nothing. But it certainly wasn't the eight pages I was striving for...

...but instead of continuing to strive, I embarked on a very stereotypically Marina (the neighborhood, not my friend, although that's coming later) afternoon. First I saw my aesthetician, which is super-marina-white-girl of me, and then I had brunch at my favorite cafe, where Tony and I commiserated over how Halloween will be a total shitshow in that neighborhood. After that, I went to the gym, where I wrote for an hour in the spacious, gorgeous lobby, and then I worked out for the first time in a month. I will likely be totally sore tomorrow, and I reactivated the calluses on my hands, but it felt good. And I must not have lost my form too badly, since one of the trainers commented on the fact that I'd brought my own chalk, said it was nice to see someone who knew what they were doing with kettlebells, and asked if I'm certified. So I guess Alyssa must have taught me right!

sssanyway, after my workout, I walked home and sat on the couch, which turned into an inadvertent nap. Then I showered, ate a couple of snacks, considered writing, and was on the verge of going out to write at a wine bar (in fact, I was in the hallway on the way to the elevator) when Adit texted and asked if I wanted to have dinner and a movie (note: as any longterm readers of the blog can guess, this is not the 'netflix and chill' of modern parlance, but rather the entirely-platonic 'dinner and a movie' of the olden days).

So I ended up meeting Adit, Priyanka, and Marina at Shizen for dinner. Shizen is vegan sushi, which in some ways feels like an abomination, but it's truly excellent vegan sushi, and most of their menu is also gluten free (and it's all v. clearly labeled). So the four of us had a delightful dinner (after standing in line for awhile), even if Marina unluckily got the spicy piece in the 'surprise ending' roll, which was bad since she was probably the one of us who was least able to tolerate spice. But the rolls were all tasty and the ramen was truly excellent, so I left feeling happy.

Then, we walked Marina to the 16th and Mission BART station (which reminds me why I don't live near there, since we walked through a veritable forest of needles and bodily fluids), and then Adit, Priyanka and I caught an uber to the Kabuki, where we saw 'The Martian'. I happened to love it; I adore Matt Damon, as always, and the movie gave me fond memories of when I wanted to be an astronaut (a dream I perhaps should have pursued, since I loved the space engineering camp I went to in high school....but life took many strange twists and turns, and instead I became a middle manager before becoming a romance novelist, none of which require me to live at zero gravity or recycle my own urine).

What I didn't adore was that between seeing the movie at one of the more expensive theatres in the city (reserved seating is awesome, though!), in 3-D, and also buying wine for me and Adit (and deciding we would be good and limit ourselves to glasses, but then ordering the big glass each, which we didn't realize is supposedly half a bottle per glass, which means we should have just split a bottle of the cheaper stuff rather than each ordering a 'glass' of the good stuff), and also buying a bottle of water (which turned out to be Voss water, which is absurd).....the grand total for such an outing was ~$120 for three people. It may not be apparent in the rest of America yet, but we are living in the fall of Rome. There will come a point where it is unsustainable for some people to pay $20 for a movie ticket and $30 for a glass of wine and some water, while others are living on sidewalks and shitting everywhere. And I'm guessing San Francisco is going to reach that point in the foreseeable future, since it's starting to feel like the have/have not divide is reaching a crisis point...and also that the expenses even for the 'haves' are reaching absurd levels of profligacy, and that paying $50 to go to the movies is fucking stupid.

sssanyway. Maybe that's my $30 glass of wine talking. The movie was good, though, and I'm glad I saw it in 3D - the technology has definitely gotten better, and I enjoyed it without getting a headache, so that was great. And I enjoyed the inside joke about 'The Lord of the Rings', since Sean Bean was in the movie (I would say more, but then there would be spoilers). And Adit and Priyanka are as entertaining as always, and I can't wait to meet their baby (due any day now). And now, on all those notes, it's time for bed - goodnight!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

caught up in the game

I'm bizarrely tired tonight, despite pumping myself full of caffeine, so I'm going to keep this brief. Today was shaping up to be pretty hermity - I stayed in this morning to attempt to get some work done (mixed results), and ended up doing laundry (much better results, since I needed to do five loads) and ordering a salad for lunch (I've been craving salad for a week and finally decided I needed to make it happen). Then I did some more laundry/slogging this afternoon, with a break to talk to my dad (yay). I should have also taken a break to take a nap, as it turns out, but I was trying to push through like an adult instead of the nap-demanding toddler I've become.

Eventually, though, I had to abandon the serenity of my house and venture out into the awful wilds of SF so that I could get my brows waxed. Traffic was fairly terrible, but I made it to the salon and took care of business. While I was there, I got a text from Priyanka, and even though we were both exhausted (she has a better excuse than I do), we agreed to go to this art thing that we were both invited to - clearly both of us were on the verge of bailing and going to bed, but I'm proud of us for sticking with it.

Since there was no way I would go if I had to drive home and then back, I went straight to the Mission and wrote in my notebook for an hour while drinking a latte. Then I met up with Priyanka at Lers Ros for some tasty thai food before going to the art thing - our friend Marina was exhibiting at this show, so we said hi to her and looked at her art (some interesting work using found pieces, both cloth and wood, and modifying them in small but sometimes complex ways). I'm glad we went, even if we only had it in us to stay for twenty minutes.

Then I dropped Priyanka off at home, came back to my place, messed around in my notebook some more, and realized I need to go to bed immediately - goodnight!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now

I have nothing at all of interest to report today, so maybe I could leave it at that...I spent the morning staring at my laptop, and then I walked for an hour to the Mission to get my bangs trimmed (success, although between now and when I get my eyebrows waxed tomorrow, I would prefer to hide my face from the world). Then I hung out at Ritual for a couple of hours and scribbled in my notebook - I'm probably at the point where I just need to write the rest of this fucking book longhand, since I seem to do better on paper than I do on my laptop.

Then I walked home, with a stop at Flax to buy another journal + some gorgeous purple fountain pen ink. Once here, I messed around on the internet, ate supper, took a bath (so indulgent, I know - sorry drought), and took care of some tings until now.

And that's the end of my boring recap - I will endeavor to be more interesting tomorrow, but I make no promises. Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

bangs for days

Hello. Is it me you're looking for?

Nevermind, I was trying to switch things up, and it's clear that it didn't work :(

sssanyway. Today was mostly lovely, all things considered. I slept later than I should have, probably because I'm old and was still recovering from Saturday night. But I spent the morning getting some work done, and then I went to Mangosteen to eat pho because it was cold outside (and by cold I mean it was cloudy) and I wanted something warm and brothy and spicy. And then I spent the afternoon napping, showering, listening to a couple of songs from 'Hamilton', and writing some more (yes, this is all v. exciting).

But I left the house again (shocking, I know) because I had to meet up with some old coworkers for drinks. Lisa, who used to report to me (long ago - she's in her second year of business school, so she left last year, well before I did), is in town, and she had asked some of us to get together for drinks in the evil city tonight. Since that was in the cards, I had dinner with Dave beforehand - we went to Hopwater, which I hadn't been to before, but was conveniently close to the bar (and to my house, although Dave gave me a ride there so I wouldn't get raped/murdered). Hopwater is mostly a beer place, but the wine was sufficient enough, and the cider that Dave got seemed tasty. We split some dungeness crab tater tots (these weren't tots at all...they seemed more like croquettes, although they were good), some deviled eggs (mine are better), and some beef sliders (tasty) while catching up on life, so that was all good.

Then we went to the bar, and I'm glad we went together since we were the first people there and it would have been bad to show up by myself. We were shortly joined by Tom (who is in the throes of wedding planning, and blanched when I mentioned that I'll be in Hawaii for his wedding (which I'm not invited to - I'm actually going for a conference)), and Lisa (the party host) eventually showed up, as did Manuela (who also used to report to me). This was all lovely, of course, and I would rather see these people over drinks than over free lunch in Mountain View, even if Dave did mention later that the wine made me snippier (someone I didn't know was talking about her current job at a startup + hedge funds, and I said, 'keep saying words', which maybe didn't go over so well, oops).

sssanyway again. I only stayed at drinks for an hour, and then I availed myself of the opportunity to get a ride home (see: risk of getting raped/murdered). And now I'm going to go to bed, hope that tonight's wine (moderate, really) didn't undo my recovery from Saturday, and get excited about writing + personal grooming tasks tomorrow - goodnight!

Monday, October 26, 2015

come on hide your lovers underneath the covers

I think I'm still recovering from Saturday night's bender, and it's possible that I still looked hungover today (but I was wearing a v. hipster number, with skinny jeans and a plaid shirt over a too-lowcut tank top, and adding dark sunglasses to them didn't help to make me look sober)...but today was certainly better than yesterday in terms of energy/mood. Still, I didn't get up early enough to accomplish any writing - sleep was more important, so I stayed in bed as long as I could and am looking forward to returning there posthaste.

But I got up eventually, showered, put together my hipster ensemble, and then drove my sad car over to the body shop, where they will hopefully make it less sad. They're going to keep it for a week or so, and in the meantime I have a sweet rental (not really all that sweet - it's weird driving a car when I'm used to driving my crossover SUV, which is basically a car, but it's a few inches higher up and has much better trim than the rental car).

So I dropped the car off, took a lyft to the rental place, got the car, and then drove to the glorious south bay. I had dinner plans in MTV tonight, and I didn't want to get stuck in traffic later, so I went early so I could write at Stanford. I fortified myself for the task ahead by having lunch (mostly froyo), and then I holed myself up in Green Library for a few hours. This wasn't as productive as I had hoped, mostly because I was so tired (I laid my head down on the desk and took a nap for half an hour) and because Green Library now has wireless for guest visitors (if there had been Facebook/Twitter/laptops/wifi when I was in college, I probably wouldn't have graduated). But I got some decent work done, and I took a break to drink a tiger spice chai from Coupa in the sun outside of the library, so all in all, it was a gorgeous afternoon.

Eventually, though, I threw in the towel and drove to downtown Mountain View, where I had a spinster dinner with Joann at Shell Shock. That's where we planned our spinster honeymoon oh so many months ago, and we had a delightful time catching up on not-so-delightful topics of conversation. The miso glazed sea bass continues to be the very best thing on the menu, but my fish tacos were pretty tasty even if I couldn't finish them. And then I sped home and did an assignment for a Stanford writing class that just started today (it's only five weeks, and it's online, and I signed up for it in August when I thought I'd be done with the book by now, and I'm not sure whether I'm going to stay in it - I'll report more on it if I don't drop it this week). And now I'm going to go to bed, hope that another solid night of sleep fixes what ails me, and hit it hard tomorrow - goodnight!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

that would be enough

As you might have guessed if you read last night's post, today was pretty rough. I don't think I was particularly hungover; the real issue is that I only got two hours of sleep, plus another hourish of dozing, and that wasn't nearly enough to refresh me. I woke up at 6:30am, laid around in bed until 8:30 (with a bit of dozing, a bit of talking to Ritu, and a bit of lying under the covers questioning my life decisions), and then got up, put on pants, and dragged myself down to the marina to have breakfast with Terry.

Terry was leaving today, so I felt the urge to get together one more time, and we caught up over huevos at Caffe Union. Unfortunately, since I'd had food at three a.m., I wasn't actually that hungry at 9:30, and I was probably too tired to be a sparkling conversationalist. But I'm glad we got to hang out a bit more before saying goodbye, so I think it was worth it.

Then I came home and spent thirty minutes talking to Ritu while she gathered her things so that she could go back to the east coast (beast coast). She left my place a little after eleven, which made me sad, since I love her and don't see her often enough. But as soon as she was gone, I switched back into pajamas, messed around on the internet for awhile, and then took a nap for an hour and a half or so.

That still wasn't enough to refresh me, but I felt slightly more human after that. Eventually, I called my parents for our regular Sunday call; again, I probably wasn't a great conversationalist, but I was much improved upon this morning's performance. Then I showered and walked down to the Mission for what was supposed to be a six p.m. dinner, but due to some extreme miscommunications, dinner wasn't actually until seven. So I met Adit at Ritual and we attempted to do work on our phones for forty-five minutes while waiting for our plans to materialize...

...but the plan eventually came together, and we had dinner with Priyanka (who met us at Ritual) and Marina at Myriad. Marina is in town (also not for homecoming - all these friends showed up this weekend, independently of each other, and ignoring the fact that Stanford had homecoming festivities all weekend) from Cyprus for an art show, and so the four of us had dinner to catch up. Again, to repeat myself, I was not a sparkling conversationalist. But we discussed the infamous Loro Top 8 list, which is always a good time and continues to cause controversy fifteen years later. And the food at Myriad was unexpectedly lovely, so that was even better.

But now that I'm home, I'm going to go to bed absurdly early and hope that I can be in it to win it tomorrow - goodnight!

and i am a material girl

I haven't stayed up until four a.m. in a v. v. long time....and the savviest of readers (aka my dad) could probably guess that Adit was involved. I also achieved peak karaoke by going to Yamasho twice in one night...but I get ahead of myself. The day started off v. quietly, with some attempt at writing in bed (not particularly successfully). I was interrupted by a call from my landlord (aka Chandlord), who demanded that I have a milkshake with her, and I was so afraid of being evicted that I acquiesced. So I met Chandlord at Mel's, where I had chilequiles instead of a milkshake, and we caught up on many and varied things while eating our diner food.

Then I came home and spent the afternoon cleaning, tidying, procrastinating, bathing, etc. I was sinking into a local minima, for no particularly good reason, but sometimes local minima don't have a good reason for existing. However, I promptly pulled myself out of it - Ritu and Bill showed up, since Ritu is staying with me tonight while Bill flies to Brazil, and we drank some wine while they repacked their suitcases, etc.

Then we met up with Adit and Priyanka for dinner at Rove, which is a surprisingly delicious, extremely tiny newish restaurant a few blocks from me. It took awhile to get seated, but the food was awesome despite the simple/limited menu, and we had a couple of bottles of pinot noir to keep us going. When we were done, Bill went to the airport, Priyanka went home, Adit went to a birthday party, and Ritu and I went to Yamasho (round one) to hang out with Ritu, John, Ravij, etc. [editor's note: when I typed this, I should have said 'Vidya, John, Rajiv, etc.' Apologies!]

We were only there for twenty minutes or so, which was fine with me. Then we adjourned to a nearby pizza place, where I was drunk enough and hungry enough (the restaurant's burger was awesome, but without a bun or french fries or any other included sides, it wasn't enough to make up for the fact that I'd barely had protein all day) to actually eat a slice of pizza. Stupid Sara...but it was ridiculously tasty.

Ritu and I adjourned from the group and met up with Adit at Noir Lounge in Hayes Valley. He was at a birthday party, which didn't seem to mind crashers; in fact, they all cleared out shortly after we arrived, and Adit/Ritu/Adit's friend Layla/I spent much of our evening drinking rosé champagne and gossiping incessantly. After last call, we left Noir and went to Grubstake [editor's note: when I typed this, I was so tired that I somehow skipped that we went to Yamasho in between Noir and Grubstake, where we squeezed in forty-five minutes of v. efficient karaoke while v. efficiently drinking most of two bottles of sake], where I managed to befriend every person in line (okay, maybe the guy who told me his name was 'Pedro Pablo' was lying) before we ate potato skins and scrambled eggs to recover our lost youth.

But now I must sleep if I have any hope of functioning tomorrow - goodnight!

Friday, October 23, 2015

be more straightforward

Today was pretty wonderful, all in all. I should have gotten up and around faster than I did this morning, but I was feeling lazy (in terms of getting out of bed) and in need of some productive time (in terms of writing/grooming/household stuff), so I stayed at home longer than I should have to take care of tings. But eventually I put away the laptop and rendezvoused with Terry for our day of fun. We went up to Sonoma for the afternoon/evening, and it was gorgeous up there - the weather was perfect, and since it was a Friday (which I kept forgetting), it wasn't too busy.

Our first stop was Gloria Ferrer, which is my favorite place ever - their blanc de noirs is my go-to sparkling wine, and their patio overlooking the vineyards and hills of Sonoma is gorgeous (even my mother would agree, and she isn't a big fan of California). In a first, I actually signed up for a wine club, which meant we got our tastings and snacky snacks for free; if I were to ever sign up for a wine club, this seemed to be the one to go for, since I like going to the winery itself and I am always happy to buy their wines. Also, I may have bought six half-bottles of blanc de noirs, which I didn't even know they made - but half-bottles can justifiably be opened when I need champagne to fuel (or celebrate) the writing (which isn't often, but when it's necessary, it's v. necessary).

After we spent a couple of hours at Gloria Ferrer, we drove north all the way to Grgich Hills, since Terry was already a member there. They make pretty fancy wines, which I usually don't drink, but the tasting there was also fantastic (and also leisurely, and also outside). Then, we drove through the v. windy backroads between Sonoma and Napa while listening to the first part of the soundtrack from the 'Hamilton' musical, which was awesome...

...but even more awesome was meeting up with Ritu and Bill, who are in town looking at wedding venues. We had dinner at The Girl and the Fig, which is where I had lunch with Kathia a few months ago; it turns out that dinner is also delightful. We split a bottle of a wine that I picked solely because I realized it was French for 'fountain of the wolf', and then we split most of a bottle of something called 'Juicy Rebound', which just sounds wrong. But despite those names (or perhaps because of them), the place was perfect. And Ritu and Bill were just as wonderful and ridiculous as always, and it was fun to hang out with them and Terry on the west coast (best coast) and catch up for a few hours.

Sadly, though, all things must end, and so they went to their hotel and Terry and I drove back to SF while listening to more 'Hamilton'. The fog has taken over the city in earnest, and the drive over the Golden Gate was a little surreal, but I'm glad to be home - it's a little weird to process that I was just in Tahoe, and that I've got friends in town this weekend, but I'm gearing up for some serious hermitville to finish this book, so hopefully the rest of this weekend will be delightful in preparation. Goodnight!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

so fresh so clean

I wanted to go to bed at eight p.m., so the fact that I made it to almost ten (will make it to ten by the time I get ready for bed) is a sign that I still have my youth. I think I'm still a little wiped out from my retreat, but I woke up this morning and worked in bed with tea and my laptop for a few hours, which was great. Things continue to come together, etc., etc.

But I had to stop working to shower, run a couple of errands, and drive to the south bay to see Alyssa. I haven't seen her since we abruptly stopped training together, but I wanted to catch up with her, so we had a delightful lunch at Joanie's Cafe. It was great to see her, of course, and we'll probably catch up again in a couple of months. In the meantime, I need to start reincorporating weights in my routine; I get quite a bit of cardio in during the week, but I haven't swung a kettlebell in over a month, and I don't want to lose the progress I've made...

...but that's a challenge for another day/week. After I finished with her, I sped home, messed around on the internet, and unpacked/cleaned up around the house (it's not clean clean, but it's respectable again). Then I took care of another errand before walking down to the Marina to have an early dinner with Terry (remember her?) at Aix. Terry got into town today, and originally I had plans tonight and couldn't see her - but my schedule rearranged itself, as did hers, and so getting together tonight made sense. We started our catching up over steak and wine, which was perfect, and we'll continue it tomorrow - I think we're going to go to Sonoma, which should be fun.

But if that's going to happen, I need to get some serious sleep tonight - goodnight!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

when all is said and done and dead

I accomplished virtually nothing today...but I suppose that's to be expected when I had to drive back from Tahoe (okay, that's an accomplishment), get high on the sudden return of sea-level oxygen levels, and recuperate from five days of uninterrupted people-time. Grace and I left Tahoe at 9:30 and talked all the way home, including a stop for a snack at the nicest Starbucks I've ever seen in my entire life (in Dixon, CA, for those of you who are curious). I dropped her off at her place around 1:30pm, was home by 2pm, and then messed around on the internet, took a nap, took a shower, and got my nails done because I'm a princess.

After being a princess, I walked down to my old neighborhood and had sushi (which I was in the mood for after a ridiculous conversation about abalone earlier in the day), and also more wine than I needed (thanks to having befriended the owner, as I usually do), while contemplating my goals for the next few weeks. That wasn't the most productive thing I could have done, but I was too tired to really think, so I'll take it. And now I'm going to sleep and then write all the words tomorrow morning before being forced to socialize for another few days in a row with all the friends I have visiting this weekend...more on that as it materializes. Goodnight!

lie down in darkness

This is the end of my writing retreat, and while I don't feel like I got enough done, I'm still pretty satisfied with what I've accomplished and where I'm headed. Granted, a lot of what I accomplished was psychological (figuring out the story, still....and more importantly, figuring out how to accept that I'm not done and to hopefully stop beating myself up so badly for struggling so much with this book).

Amusingly enough, in one of those weird little serendipitous moments, I searched my blog to see if I've used 'lie down in darkness' as a title before (it's a Moby song that's on an album I often listen to when I'm trying to get into the story), and I found that I used it on September 17, 2011....on a night when I had similarly struggled, and had managed to write four pages by lying facedown on the bed and typing with my eyes closed to keep my internal editor from being such an evil bitch. So I'm keeping this title as-is, and hopefully taking the memory of a similar night four years ago to remind myself that I've managed to publish five books since then, so all is not lost despite my current despair over this one.

sssanyway, I'm starting to bore myself with how much I'm overthinking all of this, so I'll spare you more details (and actually, I think I've turned the corner and am coming out of the local minima, so I'm excited to keep making progress). The rest of my day was fine - I did some work this morning, talked to my parents, had some lunch/brainstorming with the group, procrastinated this afternoon (with a bit of writing/rereading thrown in, but not as much as I should have had), and then had dinner with the group at an awesome pub with an even more awesome cottage pie (gluten free, like a beef stew with mashed potatoes on top). And then we came back and discussed all manner of ridiculous things, and I continue to educate the group on v. dirty things, which is my role in life, I guess.

And now I must sleep, since we're leaving relatively early tomorrow morning...and then I shall get back into my regularly scheduled life (except for the fact that there are some special guests coming up on the blog this weekend - get excited). Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

all you had to do was stay

I have nothing new of note to report tonight....the retreat continues to go well, although I was stuck in my head for too much of today. I think I just need to finish this damn book, publish it, and move on with my life even if it's terrible, because there are so many other stories I want to tell, and this one is blocking me.

sssanyway. It wasn't as bleak as that last sentence sounds - I did get some good work done today, and I also learned a couple of super useful things on the business side, so that was all great. And we went out for a fabulous dinner at the same restaurant we went to last time we were up here - while it's nice to sit around the house and cook for each other, it was definitely v. nice to get out of the house. And I had steak for the first time in many days, and the red meat was probably exactly what I needed.

When dinner was over, we came back to the house and Anne made gluten free chocolate chip cookies, which were delightful. And then we talked and gossiped until it was beyond time to go to bed. And now I'm going to sleep and attempt to get up early in the morning to write, since morning is the best time for me and I haven't been getting much morning writing in while I've been here. Goodnight!

Monday, October 19, 2015

broke your heart, i'll put it back together

Today was very good, all things considered....although, again, I didn't write a million words. But I spent some quality time this morning talking to Anne about website/social media stuff, which was super fun and informative (I think for both of us). Then I wrote for a couple of hours, took a nap, called my parents, and wrote again before dinner.

We all got pizza delivered for dinner, and we all took a break to eat and color, but I think we were all feeling the need to be productive, so I did a couple of hours of administrative work tonight. Then, I was going to sleep, but instead got caught up in a super long conversation with Anne and Grace about publishing, followed by a super long brainstorming session for my book....which mostly just proved that I've been overthinking this stupid thing for months, which I already knew, but still. Now it's just a matter of writing the fucking thing, which I will continue to tackle tomorrow.

But tackling it tomorrow means sleeping tonight, which I'm going to do immediately - goodnight!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

that's how you get the girl

The real first day of the writing retreat went pretty well, all in all. I don't do particularly well at altitude (probably the biggest reason, beyond laziness + liking my San Francisco friends, that I haven't picked up and moved to Denver), so today was kind of an adjustment, and I had a headache all day as a result. But I spent a glorious morning replotting my whole book - I realize that replotting may not seem like a glorious thing to do, considering it means vast swathes of revisions, but that's the way it is.

I got distracted after lunch by my fellow writers - several people needed plotting help, and so we all brainstormed their books, which was really fun. Then I took a nap, ran across the street to Safeway to get a couple of things (and get a tiny bit of fresh air), and then wrote the rest of the afternoon. I got the first part of the new first chapter, which was good, and I'm hoping I can keep the momentum going tomorrow.

But the evening was destined to be relaxing - Grace made dinner, and then the five of us sat around talking about all sorts of things until almost midnight (while coloring in our coloring books - #sorrynotsorry). And now I must sleep so I can write in the morning during my best hours - goodnight!

Friday, October 16, 2015

loose lips sink ships all the damn time

I have safely arrived in Tahoe, where I'm v. eager to get a lot done. But today was not about accomplishing things - today was about getting up here and reconnecting with my writer friends, and all of that was done v. successfully. I left my place later than I should have this morning - my internet was finally working again, and so I had to take care of stuff that I should have done last night, which was not how I had intended to spend my morning. But I eventually got myself loaded up and drove to Mill Valley to pick up Grace. I somehow hadn't seen her since our last trip to Tahoe in April, so we had a lot to catch up on, and we did so throughout the drive up to South Lake Tahoe (including a stop at In-n-Out in Placerville, which was as awesome as In-n-Out always is).

We got here around 2:45, which was pretty good timing (four hours including the stop, and our stop was fairly leisurely). Barbara, Anne, and Christie had all arrived before us, but as soon as we got here, we went grocery shopping and loaded up on stuff for tonight (mostly pasta and wine, so I got super carb overload + drinking at altitude overload). Then we came back to the house and spend the entire rest of the afternoon/evening snacking, eating, gossiping, talking about publishing (aka gossiping), catching up on each others' lives (aka gossiping), and coloring (adult coloring books are all the rage right now, as I believe I mentioned - so while I brought mine, I wasn't surprised to see that Barbara had brought several + tons of colored pencils and markers with which to amuse ourselves during our writing breaks).

So, this was an excellent start to the trip, and I always learn a lot on these outings...but I need to go to bed so that I can buckle down in the morning and get stuff done before I get distracted by hanging out with some of my favorite people. Goodnight!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

they are the hunters, we are the foxes

My internet is v inconveniently down on a night when I need to get a lot of stuff done, so I'm typing this on my ipad and hoping the internet comes back in the morning before I need to leave for Tahoe. But today was good - I got my car checked out by the repair shop and decided to keep it until next Friday, so I'm driving it to Tahoe. Then I came home and walked to the Embarcadero to have lunch with Gyre. I hadn't seen him in a couple of months, and we made the unusual step of paying for lunch at an awesome sushi place rather than eating free food (which was totally fine with me).

So, we caught up for a couple of hours, and then he went back to the office and I went to the Ferry Building, where I had a glass of wine while brainstorming. Then I came home, took a nap, and spent the evening doing stuff to get ready for my trip.

And now I need to sleep - I'm excited about my writing retreat, and I have grand plans for it. Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

i don't want to fall another moment into your gravity

My journal is probably the better place for recapping today than the blog is, but for public posterity....some of today sucked, but most of today was awesome. Not that the day *actually* sucked - like I said yesterday, from an outside perspective watching it unfold, it looked superficially similar to yesterday. But I had some moments of doubt this morning that bled into my mood, and it was probably all compounded by the annoying fact that my water was shut off for most of the day, which meant I had to vacate when I really didn't want to leave the house.

But I eventually went to Goody and worked for a couple of hours, so that was good. And I took a long walk along the water, which was even better. Then I came home, took a nap, contemplated my fear spirals, contemplated the story, and finally (when the water was on) took a shower and got ready for the (much, much) better part of my day....

And the better part of my day was fucking awesome. I met up with Jess for an early dinner at Mangosteen, which was super tasty, super cheap, and super close to my house (if you don't mind walking through some rather wretched blocks of the Tenderloin). We had many things to catch up on, since I hadn't seen her since my birthday, but we compressed as many topics as possible into a very short dinner, so that was successful.

Then we caught a lyft to the main event: we saw Sara Bareilles at the JCCSF. It was a combo speaking/singing engagement - she's promoting her first book (a memoir, out this week), and so the first portion was an interview/conversation with her about the memoir, and the subjects that it touches on (mainly her artistic/songwriting process). This was super fascinating and inspiring to me, since songwriting and book writing aren't so very different. Then, she performed a few songs, and her voice in that space was absolutely incredible.

So, that was totally fantastic - if you ever get the chance to see her live, definitely do it. She was really funny and insightful as a speaker, too. I'm glad Jess and I went, and I need to find other opportunities to hear other artists (especially non-book-writers) speak, since I always learn something or am triggered to think about things from a new angle.

Now I'm going to go to bed and dream about songs and stories - goodnight!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

holiday in spain

Today was truly excellent. Weirdly, I just realized that on the surface, to an outside observer of my life (I guess that might be you!), today looked like a lot of other days I've had since leaving the day job - but the excellence vs. abject misery tends to be internal and almost entirely related to zee romance novel and how I'm feeling about it. This is a lesson I shall ponder later.....

But for now, the details. I woke up earlyish but less early than I wanted, and I spent the morning mostly dealing with business/insurance stuff. Happily, after talking to the other driver's insurance company, they immediately accepted full responsibility (I know, I'm shocked...not shocked that I wasn't at fault, but that they agreed to pay so quickly). So I talked to my insurance company again, and then talked to an auto body shop, and I'm taking my car in on Thursday to get the estimate and schedule the repairs. I'm hoping I can leave it there over the weekend and take a rental car to Tahoe, but we shall see.

So that was all good, or as good as it can be considering that I would rather not have to deal with this. I also talked to my dad for quite awhile; this started as a discussion about insurance and car repair, but turned into a much-needed pep talk about the book and my instincts to blow it all up and rewrite vast swathes of it. Then I took care of some stuff online, made a vague attempt at looking presentable, and abandoned my work to have lunch with Lauren (aka Subz).

Lauren was in fine form, and her baby has put on like a pound and a half in the last week, which, given his age, makes him look visibly bigger, which is crazy. Lunch was fairly perfectly timed with his sleeping; we walked over to Laurel Village and grabbed food and caught up for an hour, and then walked back to her place just as he was waking up and starting to realize that he wanted to eat. It was great to see Lauren, of course, and hopefully we don't have to let as much time go by between catchups as we did in the first month after delivery, when she and Finley weren't ready for company and I was out of town anyway.

I left before the crying started in earnest, came home to grab my laptop, and went to Fort Mason to work for the afternoon. I spent my time there scribbling notes (it turns out the laptop wasn't necessary, but my perfect notebook and my overly expensive pen were) on the new idea for Rafe and Octavia, and I'm really excited about it. Perhaps that excitement will vanish....but it's this weird feeling, that I can't describe, of an idea that feels alive rather than dead, which translates into a feeling of almost physical heat, like my brain and heart are on fire. Perhaps I shouldn't have even tried to describe it, since reading that sentence makes me realize that I sound crazy.

Whatevs. You've been reading this long...you know I'm not the most normal person in your acquaintance. So I scribbled until Goody closed and my parking ran out, and then I came home and mulled over the idea some more while spending some quality time on the treadmill in the building's gym. I was going to read a book on the Peninsular Wars while working out, but the Democratic debate was on the tv in the gym, so I watched that, and then watched most of the rest of it while eating leftover soup on my couch. I would say Chafee and Webb might as well pack it in (especially Chafee, who made my day because a NYTimes article I read earlier today ended with 'In an earlier version of this story, we misspelled Chafee as 'Chaffee' - if a political correspondent covering a presidential election can't spell your name, you might be done) (but also especially Webb, who bizarrely seemed to use the 'I'm friends with black people' rationale, which I would imagine will not go over well with the likely voters in the Democratic primary). And now I shall go back to ignoring politics as much as possible until we get closer to a vote...although I will say I hope the Republican field starts narrowing itself more aggressively, since there could be a lot more substance in a debate if there weren't so many fucking people standing on the stage trying to talk.

After that hot mess, I took a bath in deference to my muscles (which don't appear to be too achey, yay), and then worked on the new idea for Rafe and Octavia until now. I'm hoping tomorrow will be equally productive, although I'll need to vacate at some point because they're shutting off the building's water for most of the day and I can't write when I'm dehydrated and/or need to pee. We shall see...but today was a day I would like to replicate sometime. Goodnight!

Monday, October 12, 2015

now there's no looking forward, now there's no turning back

Today was pretty productive, all things considered....but it ended with having a flash of inspiration for Rafe and Octavia that is so good that I want to pursue it, but would require substantial (substantial!) rewrites, and I just don't know. So I'm going to sleep on it and play around with the structure tomorrow and see what I think.

But today could have been a lot worse. I got up at 6:45 and was pleased to find that, while I was a little sore, I wasn't nearly as sore as might have been expected from the accident yesterday. So I took a shower and took my car to the Toyota dealer for the pre-planned service appointment; they ended up saying that it's totally drivable and had no fluid leaks or anything (despite the wretched appearance), so it's good to know that I don't have to get it fixed before driving it around.

While I was waiting for them to do the maintenance, I went to Another Cafe to write for a couple of hours (success!), and then went to MyMy to eat breakfast/lunch since I didn't feel like cooking this morning. Then I came home, took a nap, did some more work, did some laundry, picked up my car, talked to the insurance guy, walked to the grocery store, finished my laundry, folded laundry, and made chicken tortilla soup. I know, I'm so virtuous.

And then the evening was spent waiting for the soup to cook and thinking about the new Rafe idea and falling down many wikipedia holes while considering it. And now I need to sleep before the hours I've spent slouched on the couch undo my tenuous muscle recovery - goodnight!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

to give you up that easy to the doubts that complicate your mind

Sooooo....I was in a car accident today (my first ever! woot!).

(well, except for the time my sister hit the guy on a moped and I thought we were going over railroad tracks and got excited and asked her to do it again, but in my defense, I was three during that episode and so wasn't driving. Oh, and the time we got rear-ended in India, but I wasn't driving then, either).

The day started off in a lovely fashion, with some early-morning writing, followed by a delish and fun brunch, followed by a delightful walk around Golden Gate Park. So that was all great. But then, on my way home, someone merged directly into my driver's side door. Luckily, we were both going pretty slowly, but obviously it was still jarring. So my door is totally messed up, since the main impact seemed to be right where it hinges, and so now it sounds like a creepy coffin opening up (which I guess means I'm the vampire getting in and out of it, but I can go with that). And I felt fine after, but now I'm all achey and headachey, so I'm blogging early so I can pop some ibuprofen, maybe take a bath, and go to bed.

But it will all be okay; I was already going to get my car serviced tomorrow, so I'll find out if it's totally drivable then (which I hope it is, since I'm supposed to drive it to Tahoe on Friday). And I filed the claim and am seeing an adjustor on Wednesday, so we'll find out then what this all means.

So that was a total downer. After I got home, I filed the claim (the other driver was sweet, and has insurance, so it could be way worse), called my parents (usually Sunday call with added drama), sat around feeling sorry for myself, realized there was no way I was going to write tonight like I planned, and so made a sandwich and watched 'Pitch Perfect 2' in an effort to zone out (success!). And now I'm going to pursue my bath/ibuprofen/sleep plan - goodnight!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

i'm losing you and it's effortless

I went deep on the story front today, which felt good...I think. I read through everything that I have so far, in a couple of spurts (one session at Samovar, where I was distracted by the people next to me talking about baby stuff for an hour; the second session at home, after taking a nap), and it's pretty much in the shape that it usually is at this stage - some of it was awesome/lovely/desirable, and some of it is total nonsense. I have a ton of work to do to get it to be something that I actually want other people to read, but it's perhaps possible that I'll finish it someday.....

...but it won't be today. As I mentioned, I went to Samovar this morning, where I read for awhile. Then I went to the mall - I needed to return a whole bunch of stuff to Nordstrom that I had slowly accumulated over the course of the spring/summer (there were a couple of swimsuits that I'd ordered for the #spinsterhoneymoon, if that tells you anything), and I'd been avoiding the mall because I've been avoiding buying stuff. But I returned all that stuff in five minutes or so, and then I spent a glorious hour browsing and daydreaming about fashion. I did buy a couple of things, including the perfect army green coat (I've been looking for one for ages), but since this was still several hundred dollars less than the cost of the goods I returned, it was practically free, right?

sssanyway, then I came home through interminable traffic - Obama was in town, and the Blue Angels are flying around, so traffic was truly abysmal. But I made it, took a nap, and read the rest of the book. Then I grabbed sushi from my favorite place (they were v. happy to see me) and made a whole bunch of notes/brainstorms on what to do next. And then I crawled into bed with a book that I didn't write and read for an hour, since I needed a break from my own words and my own head.

And now that that has all been duly accomplished, I'm going to sleep and hopefully get some work done tomorrow before my social plans begin - goodnight!

Friday, October 09, 2015

i found someone to carry me home tonight

I'm too tired to blog...after last night's late night, I didn't get enough sleep, and I spent the day contemplating the story (which isn't restful at all). Then I had dinner with Claudia (aka Santy Claude) at Lers Ros, followed by some deliciously unique/intriguing wine at Resolute, where we caught up on all manner of things (in an easier-to-hear environment than Lers Ros, which was plagued by musicians playing traditional thai music). And now, even though you, my loyal reader, deserve far better than this, I'm going to selfishly withhold any further observations and go to bed instead - goodnight!

skin to skin

I have returned to the safety of my studio in the sky after a late night out....but I get ahead of myself. Today started off pretty productively, and I worked in bed from seven to nine, but then I began to despair, and the fear spirals about the book took over, and I had no idea what to do. So eventually I took a shower, which usually helps. And while I was in the shower, I had an epiphany...the reason I'm having so much trouble writing this book, and why I often seem to feel blank and dead inside when I stare at the empty screen, may be because the book is terminally, totally boring.

This may seem like a terrible realization after months of stewing, and I certainly wish I would have realized it sooner. But while I couldn't fix my nameless dread, I can definitely fix boring. So that left me almost giddy with glee over finally feeling like I know what's wrong...not that that gets me off the hook, since I have a ton of work to do to fix it. But this is better than where I was.

So I celebrated by taking my notebook and walking to Caffe Union so that I could brainstorm less-boring stuff while drinking a mimosa. It was unusually slow there at lunch, so Tony came out (and brought me another mimosa on the house), and we discussed more of his dad's wartime experiences (his dad was a small child in Italy during WWII and saw Hitler and Mussolini at a train station, then came to the US and ended up being drafted during Korea, although he did his service in Europe). This was a delightful way to spend an hour, and I was happily buzzed after.

I took my buzz to Rapha, which I hadn't been to in awhile, and slowly replaced the alcohol in my blood with caffeine while I scribbled in my idea notebook. Then I walked home, took a nap to the sound of the Blue Angels practicing over my head, messed around on the internet, ate a snack, and then brainstormed for another hour or two. Tomorrow will be more of this, but hopefully I continue feeling good about possible solutions to my issue.

But I had v. unusual plans for tonight; usually I would have gone to bed three hours ago, but instead I refreshed my makeup (probably too much, but I was bored), put on a silk dress, and walked over to Octavia to meet up with Adit/Priyanka/Chandlord for a v. impromptu birthday dinner for Adit. The reservation was for 10pm, which was absurdly late, but since Priyanka had to work tonight and this plan all came together in the last twenty-four hours, it was the best we could do.

As it turns out, Octavia was incredible (also incredible: Octavia, as you may remember, is the heroine of my current book). Every single dish was awesome, from the soft-yolked deviled eggs to the perfect salad, to the curried squash soup (amazeballs), to the porkchop (which no one else could eat but me, but I was selfishly glad because it was the best porkchop I've had in my entire life, no jhoke), to the dessert at the end (I couldn't have the angel food cake, but the Eton Mess, which involved ice cream/meringue/huckleberry/fruit/etc., was incredible). Every dish was pretty much perfect, and the restaurant itself was really lowkey and lovely. I would definitely go back, perhaps to celebrate when this book is finally over.....

But that isn't now. I'm glad we forced Adit to celebrate his birthday and look at the man in the mirror...even though he didn't really want to, and even if it perhaps would have been more appropriate to kidnap him and take him to the Olive Garden in Stonestown Galleria instead. But it was good to have some family time in the middle of the week, even if it was also in the middle of the night and missing some of the usual family suspects.

Now that I'm home, though, and starting to wind down from a lovely evening, I should go to bed so tomorrow isn't any more brutal than it has to be. Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

i want your leather studded kiss in the sand

I was lazier than I should have been today, but I'm feeling good about life, so whatever. I took care of some business stuff and wrote this morning; I'm beginning to love quiet mornings in my apartment, drinking caffeine while everything is relatively quiet outside, and this morning was pretty much perfect.

Unusually, though, I vacated the apartment and met up for lunch with Chandlord at Lers Ros; she was working from home and looking for a partner in crime, and I was looking for the opportunity to eat something other than scrambled eggs or leftover chicken, so we accommodated each other quite nicely. She came back here to check out something that was broken (she is, after all, the Chandlord), and then she pulled out her laptop and worked on my couch for awhile. I tried writing, but it was my naptime, and I felt no compunction about taking said nap in front of her. When I woke up, she left, and I did a tiny bit of work before going to Philz and getting coffee to fortify myself.

Then I spent the afternoon messing around with the story + procrastinating, and so tonight I decided to throw in the towel. I drank some wine while writing in my journal, and then I drank some more wine while watching a movie ("What We Do in the Shadows", which is a mockumentary about some New Zealand vampires done by one of the guys from Flight of the Conchords, which Riturani recommended to me when I saw her in Boston). This was the perfect way to unwind, and I'm glad I actually watched a movie rather than messing around on my laptop like I usually do.

But now I need to sleep so that I can get up early and hit the book hard tomorrow - goodnight!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

you are my sunshine

Today got off to a fine start from a productivity standpoint, and it ended on a fine note from a friendship standpoint, but I probably went too deep on friends and too light on words produced. Given that I've been pretty hermity recently, though, I think this was a great tradeoff. I spent the morning writing/working, which went pretty well. Then I took a break to make lunch (tasty salad), and then I decided to walk to Fort Mason to work at the cafe there. I figured this would kill two birds with one stone, since it's two miles in each direction (which felt like a good bit of exercise) and also a great place to be productive.

However, when I got there, it was jampacked with people who were at Fort Mason for some conference. The owner commiserated with me over the fact that I wasn't going to be able to write there, although I thought if I lingered long enough I might get a table. But just as my latte was ready, Katie called, and so I drank my latte while sitting on a bench outside watching the boats and talking to Katie for an hour. It was great to catch up with her, as per usual, and it made me deeply wish that we lived closer to each other so that we could accomplish such a catch-up over alcohol instead of over broken phonewaves. Hopefully I can make it to Denver to see her sometime soon, but at least we were able to talk despite the distance between us.

After that, I swung back through the cafe and found that it was still full, so I walked home again (and regretted that I had carried my laptop for four miles without ever getting it out of the backpack). Once here, I briefly opened the laptop, but instead took a nap. Then, I drove over the Lauren's (aka Subz's) to catch up with her - I hadn't seen her since the end of August, and she had a baby (Finley, aka Son of Subz) in the intervening time, so we had a ton to discuss. He's super adorable, of course, and it was fun to hold him (albeit briefly). And Lauren, Nathan and I talked for an extended period of time over wine, and then Lauren and I caught up on our own while Nathan took Finley and the dogs for a walk. Then, I pulled a total asshole move and ate their supper - granted, it was chili, and it was already cooking in the slow cooker, so maybe this wasn't an imposition and they were glad to have me, but it felt a little wrong to eat food that could have kept them going later. Oops.

But it was totally wonderful to see them, and totally wonderful to hear how everything is going in their strange and glorious new life. And then I came home, and now I'm going to go to bed early, and thank the universe that it's unlikely that a screaming parasite will wake up to feed off my body multiple times tonight (it's possibly I'm not ready to have a baby yet). Goodnight!

Monday, October 05, 2015

rebels and mutineers

So all the planning I did yesterday was certainly helpful today, but I didn't achieve peak productivity. However, that's possibly because I went to bed later than I should have, needed to make up my sleep deficit from the previous night, and so stayed in bed far later than I usually do - I didn't open my laptop until almost ten a.m., and I've previously been getting up around seven. That scotched my peak writing time, which was unfortunate, and I'm going to try to rectify that tomorrow.

But then, I probably wouldn't have concentrated all that well anyway; I had a promo scheduled for one of my earlier books and was distracted by tracking the rankings. But the promo went as well as I could have hoped; the book hit #6 on the free list at Amazon and #6 on the free list at Apple, which is the highest I've ever gotten with a free book. Hopefully this translates into more sales of the other books in the series, but we shall see.

sssanyway, so I worked a bit this morning, ate some breakfast, and then walked to Alta Plaza Park to get some fresh air + some exercise + some writing out in the sun. The walk was perfect, and I climbed the stairs all the way to the top of the park, where I happily ensconced myself on the perfect bench and wrote a page and a half before suddenly being surrounded by a mob of children who were apparently in the park for some sort of recess/field trip/whatever. Ugh. I tried to tough it out, but they were settling in for what appeared to be the long haul, so I vacated my bench and came home. Then I ate a late lunch, took a nap, showered, procrastinated, and then wrote for another couple of hours.\

My final task of the evening was to talk to Kathia; we hadn't caught up properly in a v. long time, and we had a FaceTime call so we could actually see each other while doing this. It was good to catch up, even if it's vastly inferior to going to a coffee shop together, and we talked until her battery was about to die. Then I procrastinated some more (online shopping, but since I used a credit I had on ThredUp, I only spent $2), and totally neglected to remember that I was supposed to read a book or watch a movie tonight instead of wasting time on my laptop. Stupid.

Tomorrow's another day, though, and I have grand plans to write much earlier in the morning + be vaguely, possibly social in the evening (although my hermit week is actually kind of lovely, so we'll see). Goodnight!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

i think that i found myself a cheerleader

I felt highly productive today, but I didn't write a single word of Rafe and Octavia's story...c'est la vie. I didn't sleep well last night, and I had to get up at 7:30, so the fact that I made it through today without taking a nap feels extremely virtuous. I know, I'm amazing.

sssanyway, I woke up early to loan my car to Chandlord, which was accomplished in a very efficient manner. Then I messed around online (but I wasn't ready to stare at my laptop, so I mostly messed around on my phone) before tackling the chore of cleaning my kitchen from last night's dinner party. It wasn't as dire as I had remembered, so that was a relief. And I had steak and eggs for late breakfast/early lunch, since I rediscovered the piece of steak I'd brought home from Mezes the other night...so that went a long way toward curing whatever remaining headache I had from last night's wine/staying up too late.

After that, I walked to Philz to get coffee, and then I came home and worked for a few hours (with a break to retrieve my car from Chandlord). I didn't write, but I went really deep into planning my week/month - I want to get more focused on the business side of the writing world, and I'm slowly realizing that I need to schedule/plan more in advance to do those things since, in the moment, I tend to short-circuit my brain and think that I need to stare at the manuscript rather than taking time for other types of productivity. That short-circuiting is why I haven't even really taken time to plan recently, and I'm trying to reset my expectations and build in more business-time in addition to the writing-time that I need to hold myself to.

So I messed around with my planner and made lists, etc., which was kind of fun. Then I went to the grocery store and bought a chicken, which I proceeded to devour/debone (I devoured the skin like a crazed carnivore; the meat got shredded for later use over the next couple of days; the bones went into the freezer for making stock later). And then I called my parents; since I was just in Iowa five days ago (hard to believe), there weren't a lot of new developments to catch up on, but it was good to continue the ritual.

After that, I had a hangout with Terry, and then I made supper (gluten free spaghetti with some of the sauce leftover from last night mixed with some of the chicken I bought today, topped with shredded ricotta - sad that this was way more satisfying than last night's dish). And then I worked pretty steadily for another couple of hours before throwing in the towel and coloring in my coloring book like a child. So maybe that part wasn't productive, but it was a good break.

And now I'm ready for bed, and to see whether planning my week ahead of time works well for me...goodnight!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

seconds ticking killed us all a million years before the fall

I didn't write today, but I'm okay with that...way back in the day, when I quit my job and thought I had everything figured out and knew how to plan for my writing life (lolololol, sigh), I had told myself that I should take at least one weekend day completely off from writing. And I think I was right about that, which makes me wonder what other things I had said to myself then (see movies! go to museums! read books! drink with strangers!) that I haven't actually been doing, and which I need to revisit and actually follow through on. Considering that the two nights I drank with strangers since leaving the day job (Joe and the thirty-five dollar shot of gin; the tattoo artist and copious amounts of whiskey) were two of the most perfectly serendipitous nights of my summer, and considering that I haven't been to a movie or museum in months....maybe Past Sara was onto something in terms of what I should be doing with my free time (i.e. things that aren't mindlessly surfing the internet to avoid thinking about the book)....

sssanyway. As I said, I didn't write - but I woke up this morning full of intention, and full of the desire to focus on what's in my control and let go of what's not. So I made some iced coffee and sat at my 'desk' (dining table) and made a bunch of lists, and contemplated my calendar, and sent some emails, and generally figured out where I need to focus. Then I did some menu planning, ate some breakfast, and eventually vacated the apartment to go grocery shopping.

The grocery shopping and menu planning, and later house cleaning, were for a dinner party I hosted tonight. It was the first time I'd cooked anything substantial for people in my new place, and it was a little hit-or-miss - I'm definitely not as comfortable in my kitchen as I was in my old place, probably because I have less counter space and almost infinitely fewer drawers. I also chose to make a new recipe that I'd never tried before, which was probably a mistake - Mario Batali fucking lied to me, and the tomato sauce that was supposed to cook down in thirty minutes eventually, after nearly an hour, needed an immersion blender taken to it to make it into a sauce. But I think I was unhappy with the outcome because I used gluten free pasta and it just wasn't as good...or maybe the pasta was okay, but the gf bread crumb substitute was too weird. I don't know...all I know is that the baked pasta with eggplant and cheese was edible, and okay enough, but not something I would ever make again.

sssanyway again. I didn't know that before the dinner party - I was just trying to get ready for it. So I spent the afternoon arranging flowers like a boss, cleaning, cooking, napping, etc. The dinner party was smaller than what I usually cook for, and also a v. different group - Adit and Priyanka comprised the 'college friends' half, and Anne and Matt comprised the 'writer friend' half. Actually, Anne is the only writer in that half (I've gone to Montauk and Tahoe with her, and am about to go to Tahoe again), but her husband worked with Adit years ago, which is why it seemed like this dinner party needed to happen.

As it turns out, the company was delightful, even if I wasn't pleased with the pasta. We sat around nibbling on cheese and meat while waiting for the pasta to bake, and we had ice cream after, which was delish. Adit gave them the choice of 'candle ceremony' or 'dramatic reading' to end the evening, and they chose candle ceremony, which was probably the right call - I'm not sure how a dramatic reading of a sex scene would have played out with another writer in the room (although there was a threat of doing a dramatic reading from my journals instead of my books, which would have been a next-level disaster). So we went around and answered questions and blew out candles, which was an appropriately bizarre end to the evening.

Anne and Matt had to leave at ten to rescue their babysitter (or rescue their son...jury's still out), but Adit and Priyanka stayed to help clean up, and then Priyanka and I discussed baby names while Adit napped on my bed. Eventually, they left me to my own devices, so I came promptly to blog about the experience since blogging is sooooo hip and modern.

And now I need to sleep, since I intend to write tomorrow - goodnight!

Friday, October 02, 2015

wanna argue all day, make love all night

I wasn't really in a great place from a productivity standpoint today...I was definitely procrastinating, probably because I was definitely stressing/overthinking this stupid book, as I have been doing for months, which is getting really old and frustrating, but that frustration is digging deep ruts into my subconscious that I'm finding it difficult to escape from.

sssanyway. None of that is interesting, nor is it fruitful to say it out loud right now. I sat in bed and attempted to write this morning, but where it worked perfectly yesterday, it didn't work at all today. Then I took a nap (bizarre timing for a nap), took a shower, and eventually decided to try changing my scene, so I walked to Fillmore with the intention of working at Peets - but it was jampacked with people who were 'working from home' on Friday, so there was no place for me. I drowned my sorrows in ice cream from Smitten instead, which is v. unlike me (I almost never crave ice cream, and I had froyo yesterday, which usually gets me through at least a month before I want it again).

Then I came home, with a stop at Walgreens to pick up some photos I'd ordered - I finally picked the photos to put on my photo wall, and while I may want to swap some of them out later, it looks good for now. So I spent some quality time this afternoon framing the photos, which was at least something worth doing. Then I did a bit of work, took another nap (two naps in one day is probably the definition of a local minima), and forced myself to leave the house for my one social excursion of the day.

The excursion was dinner and drinks with a romance writer friend (Amber, who is also an Episcopal priest, which I find fascinating) and a couple of her friends. This all came about somewhat last minute (and by that I mean yesterday); I was supposed to have happy hour with Dave/Tomas/Eugene tonight (the triumvirate of...I'm having trouble coming up with an appropriate adjective), but over the course of yesterday afternoon it was decided that Tomas wanted to ditch, and then Dave decided to stay in the city, so I quite happily canceled happy hour and had dinner with Amber instead. We met at Udupi Palace, which is an Indian vegetarian place in the Mission; in some ways I could have done without having Indian for the second day in a row, since yesterday's lunch satisfied all my cravings, but c'est la vie. Then we went to ABV, where I had a cocktail with them (The Jackel, my favorite!) before parting ways.

It was great to see Amber; I haven't seen her in at least a year, probably, but I really like her and always enjoy talking to her about writing/life. Hopefully I'll see her again sooner than that; she lives in San Mateo, which isn't my favorite place in the whole world, but it's easy enough to get to for a visit. So at least my evening ended on a somewhat higher note, even if the panic about the book is still simmering beneath the surface...

...but that's a problem for tomorrow - right now, I desperately need to sleep so I can write and take care of household tasks tomorrow. Goodnight!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

give me a second, i need to get my story straight

Today was lovely...not the height of productive perfection, but then, I always say that. I wrote in bed for a couple of hours this morning while sipping tea (and trying not to spill said tea all over myself), which was the perfect way to start the day (even if I'm still sniffling from the remnants of my cold). Eventually, I showered, put on real person clothes, and went out in search of coffee + lunch. Both were duly acquired, and lunch satisfied my cravings (Indian food, which I rarely crave, but maybe Iowa did that to me), and the caffeine was strong enough to keep me going...

...so I went to Fort Mason and spent a couple of hours working at Goody. This morning had looked bleak and miserable, but the sun was out by the afternoon, and it was a perfect time to spend near the water (even if I spent it staring at my screen inside rather than staring at the water outside). Once my writing was accomplished, I came home, ate a snack, took a nap, considered writing some more...

...and instead walked back to my old neighborhood and had dinner at Mezes, where I reconnected with my favorite bartender and scribbled in my journal for awhile. I also walked home, which made for a four mile round trip - maybe more time than I should have spent on such an endeavor tonight, but it felt good to get out and walk around the city (which is pretty much the opposite of my Iowa experience).

So, with all of that accomplished, and with my body and my word processing centers totally exhausted, I need to sleep before I collapse in a heap on the floor - goodnight!