Monday, November 30, 2015

kept him warm in the winter, left him frozen in the spring

Today was super boring in terms of what to share with you, but I powered through and am ready to leave for New York tomorrow, so that's good. I woke up lateish (since I went to bed over an hour later than I told you I was going to last night...oops), messed around the apartment, and then went to Philz, where I wrote for a couple of hours. Then I got my nails done, since I would like to look like a princess rather than a troll while I'm in New York.

Once that was all done, I came home, did some laundry, took care of some administrative tasks, ate leftover pasta (yum - too bad I can't finish it before I go), drank some leftover champagne (also yum, thanks to my champagne stopper), and packed my suitcase. And now, after that highly boring post, I'm going to go to bed (I swear! early!) so I can get up early and get to the airport in time to have a proper breakfast - goodnight!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

i'm so sick of that same old love

As expected, this morning was kind of fucked since I stayed up way too late last night. I ended up waking up at seven unable to sleep, so I messed around on my laptop and kind of half-assed made an attempt at writing for a couple of hours, and then I dozed for another hour (truly, lazing about in bed is the best thing, although maybe it's not good for productivity). But eventually I dragged myself out of bed and into some clothes, and I walked to the marina and had brunch at my favorite cafe. I also talked to Tony for a little bit (back in the kitchen, since he didn't have time to hang out in the front), which was lovely. Then I walked down Union Street and bought a couple of pairs of workout tights, since they were on massive sale.

At that point I should have gone to the gym, or gone to a cafe to write (I had schlepped my backpack with both my laptop and my kettlebell chalk), but I simply wasn't feeling it, so I walked home and decided to count the fact that I'd carried my backpack for 2.5 miles as good enough (spoiler: it's not enough, but whatever). I messed around online some more, and then I called my parents, who seemed to be good (well, except for the weather, and a brief discussion about how humanity is totally fucked in terms of antibiotics going forward, and my dad's hammered finger (which sounds horrendous)).

But once I was off the phone, I decided to get off my ass and get something done. Luckily, I had changed the kitchen lightbulb earlier in the day (it burned out a few days ago, oddly, since I changed it a few months ago, so I ordered a better version of the lightbulb from Amazon to see if a higher quality bulb would last longer), so I was able to actually do the stuff in the kitchen that I've been wanting/needing to do.

That involved both cooking and cleaning. I had bought groceries on Tuesday to make something new, but I had gotten sidetracked and didn't have a kitchen light, so I didn't get around to cooking until tonight. I made pasta all' amatriciana from a Mario Batali recipe, and it turned out to be awesome (way more pleasurable than the questionable gluten free baked dish I made from his cookbook a few weeks ago). It took quite a bit of time, though - not a lot of active time, but I first had to make his basic tomato sauce, which takes well over an hour to simmer down (and even then, I have to immersion blend it to break up the whole tomatoes). Then I used some of that sauce in the amatriciana - but the main point of amatriciana is the 12oz of bacon and the onion and the garlic and the red pepper flakes, all of which were cooked together before adding the sauce.

While all of that was cooking, I cleaned out the fridge, took out the recycling and compost and trash (the compost had some v. impressive mold), and generally tidied up, which made me feel better about leaving my apartment this coming week. Then, I finished up the pasta dish by making some gluten free spaghetti, mixing in the sauce, and topping it with grated pecorino romano. I also opened a mini bottle of champagne because that's how I roll. You can see the finished product (before I devoured it) on my instagram, if you're so curious; the recipe is here (although I have the whole cookbook).

That all made me feel v. self-satisfied, and I have leftovers for tomorrow (too many leftovers! but maybe I'll eat it twice!). I also had four cups of the basic tomato sauce left, which I threw into two bags in the freezer, so I can use them to make other sauces without having to go through the initial basic sauce construction step. Side note: the web recipe says to crush the tomatoes by hand before putting into the sauce, which explains why they never cook down and I have to immersion blend. So I'm not sure why he doesn't just call for crushed tomatoes to begin with, but whatever.

So after all my kitchen adventures, I was still feeling productive, so I answered email and made a Christmas list and did a variety of other necessary tasks. And now I desperately need to sleep and regain some of what I lost last night - goodnight!

balkanized

I just stayed up way later than I planned, which means I'm going to get up later than planned, which will throw my morning plan of writing/gym/brunch (in some yet-to-be-determined order) into chaos. However, today was okay, and tonight was great, so I have no regrets. I spent the day hermiting out, although I left the apartment to write for a couple of hours at Philz. I also grabbed pho at Mangosteen, which was tasty, but my walk home through the Tenderloin left me despairing about the human condition.

So when I got home, I canceled my plan of walking to the Mission (I couldn't handle the idea of more filth), took a brief nap, and then drove to the Mission instead. On the way, I picked up Katrina, who was the instigator of tonight's fun times. We found parking immediately upon arrival at our destination (Thanksgiving weekend, with everyone out of town, is magical), and we had a drink at Zoe's (I misordered, since I should have had the rum drink of my heart rather than going for the more 'respectable' gin and egg white concoction....but my drink was called 'Trouble and Strife', which was appropriate, and it tasted good enough). We caught up on life while hanging out at the bar, which was lovely...

...but we weren't there to see each other. We were there to walk down the street to Red Poppy Art House, which would better be called a room, since it is a single room. We got one of the last good spaces upon arrival (there were no chairs left, but I grabbed a barstool and Katrina grabbed a pillar to lean against, and we could see over the chairs in front of us, so it wasn't that bad), and the venue kept packing people in to the point that I started daydreaming about all the fire code violations.

But there was no fire, only music (and dancing). The performer was Istanbul Connection, which is some strange Balkan/Latin music collaboration between members of a bunch of different bands (including Inspector Gadje, whom Katrina adores). They started off playing rather Balkan-sounding stuff, which I really enjoyed a lot. But the second half of the set was a little too dominated by Latin music for my tastes - I would have rather kept with the Eastern European theme.

However, the woman who danced for some of the songs was excellent, and there were some really excellent musicians (I love drummers, and the clarinet and sax players were both quite good). There was one strange moment where an audience member got up and danced in front of everyone, but that just added to the surreal experience (and my sudden, crushing desire to run away and have an 'Eat Pray Love' moment and eventually write a memoir).

So the concert was great, and a perfect mellow way to spend a Saturday evening. Once it was over, I dropped Katrina off at home, and then came home and have been messing around on my computer since then.

And now I must sleep - goodnight!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

better make it worth the fall

Hello. My morning/midday was v. quiet; I wasn't feeling the screen, but I scribbled in my notebook for quite awhile, so I'll take it. Then I walked over to Fillmore to buy some extraneous face/hair products with the black Friday discount at Kiehls (I don't know if it counts as Christmas shopping if it was all for myself?). And I stopped at Starbucks and got some iced tea, and I took out some recycling, and I folded some laundry, so I wasn't a total sloth...

...but I was mostly a sloth. However, I rallied and went to Adit and Priyanka's to see them and their baby. Vihaan continues to gain weight thanks to Priyanka feeding him 24-7 (seriously, I've been there twice and all I've seen is feeding activity); Vihaan also continues to produce feces (which Adit insisted on showing me, because we frequently discuss fecal matter and clearly I must verify that his son is capable of producing it (spoiler: Vihaan *definitely* produces feces)). So I spent a delightful hour and a half visiting their new family, and exchanging insults with Adit (okay, I didn't insult him, but he said that my life is not interesting enough for a memoir - he's probably right, but I shall take umbrage because taking umbrage is what one does with an almost-sibling). They all seemed to be surviving thus far, though, so that was nice to see.

Then I came home, messed around online, and decided I had to get out of the house before I went mad. So I walked to the Marina with the intention of going to my favorite Greek place - but it was so quiet down there on the day after Thanksgiving that I ended up going to Aix instead, which was a) closer, b) has a better wine selection, and c) meant that I could eat risotto rather than being good and having chicken skewers. So I had a delightful time there, and I wrote in my journal (and was asked how my manifesto was coming along, but I tipped the bartender despite that delicate question), and I had three glasses of wine since they gave me a third glass gratis.

When I was done, I was going to come home, but I was right next door to Nectar and I saw Chris through the window even though Nectar was closed...so I boldly walked in, and ended up talking to Chris and Leah (the owners) for almost two hours. We hadn't caught up in forever and we had much to discuss, so they poured me a glass of wine and I hung out while they cleaned up. It was great to see them, and I am reminded of how much I miss my old neighborhood...

...but that's a story for another night. Tonight, though, I must sleep if I have any hope of getting stuff done - goodnight!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

it's the wrongs that make the words come to life

Happy Thanksgiving! My day was pretty lovely, but I'm totally wiped out and need to go to bed. I got some sleep last night - enough that today should have been easy, but not enough to fix the sleeplessness of the night before. Then I messed around the apartment and ate some oatmeal before going over to Lauren and Nathan's to help with the turkey. Since I had left my car there last night, I ended up walking over (with a stop at Whole Foods to buy whipped cream, which we ended up absolutely not needing), so at least I got some exercise before the feasting began.

But the feasting couldn't begin until the turkey was done anyway. Nathan and I made stuffing, prepped the bird, etc. (okay, I did most of the bird, since I have a lot more experience with poultry death than most of my friends), and got it into the oven on schedule. Then I drove home, talked to my real family (Iowa sounds cold and gloomy today), took a shower, ate a snack, and went back to Lauren's for the dinner festivities.

Everything turned out wonderfully; the turkey was done earlier than we expected, but it was perfect, and the food that everyone else brought was delicious too. Lauren's grandmother (who goes by Beauty) made an awesome gravy with the giblets we'd saved from the turkey, and so I ate my heart's content in turkey/potatoes/gravy, with a bit of brussels sprouts and beets on the side to add respectability. I also drank a significant quantity of white wine / red wine / champagne, all of which added to my good cheer (until now, when I just want to crawl into bed).

Anyway, I had a great time; I like Lauren's family a lot and know them pretty well since I have spent time with them at the events leading up to her wedding + the baby shower this summer, so it was good to see them all. But I'm also happy to be back in the peacefulness of my apartment, and I'm hoping for a mildly hermity day tomorrow so I can get some writing done (remember that book I'm supposed to be working on? I don't!).

So, it's time for bed - happy thanksgiving, and I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

tell me now can you make it past your caspers

I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night, which meant that today felt a little wasted - but considering how low my sleep was, I'm surprised at how well I felt today. The issue is the full moon, which is shining directly into my skylights, which means I woke up around 12:30am and ended up messing around on my phone until almost three a.m. Stupid, I know.

But I eventually went back to sleep and dozed for a few hours...not soundly enough to be fully rested, but enough that I didn't want to die today. Eventually I dragged myself out of bed, showered, drank some coffee, etc. And then I went downtown to see my eyebrow waxer, who did a great job with my brows (although I forgot to take a holiday card to her since I'm so scatterbrained today - but I think she'll forgive me).

Once I was done with that, I grabbed sushi at the Whole Foods across the street, came home, and took a much-needed nap. Then I wrote for an hour (it probably won't survive edits, but it felt like the right path to take at the time). Then I needed to get out of the house and out of my head, so I walked down to the Marina, bought a ring I'd seen there two days ago (the ring I always wear on my right hand is way too delicate and I'm on my third iteration of it, so I'm trying something new that I hopefully won't smash quite as badly with my hulk hands when I'm drinking with Adit at 4am - although I guess the addition of his new baby friend to his life may spare my liver as well for awhile), and then I immediately walked home.

I messed around here for awhile, but I eventually went to Lauren (aka Subz) and Nathan's house to help with their turkey preparations for tomorrow. Nathan wanted to brine it, but Lauren is rather squeamish about flesh (I am probably on the exact opposite end of the spectrum in terms of squeamishness), so she said hi to me briefly, then hid out upstairs with their baby while Nathan and I spent three hours drinking a v. nice bottle of wine, making brine, and prepping the turkey. We'll see how it turns out - I left my car there (see: the bottle of nice wine), so I'm going to go back around noon to help him get the turkey out of the brine, stuffed, oiled, and in the oven (Lauren would not like any of this), and then I'll come home and get dolled up before going back for the main event.

So that was all fun, and the wine was delicious, and I am completely blase about sticking my arm into a turkey cavity, so at least my evening was good even though my day was a little frustrating and lackluster. And now I must sleep (and hope the moon or my racing thoughts don't keep me awake) - goodnight!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

turn out the light

No blog for you tonight - today was pretty productive, including both writing and a lot of house stuff (laundry, grocery shopping, unpacking, etc.). But I've been staring at a screen for way too long, and the rain coming down outside makes me want to curl up in bed again and dream the night away. Perhaps tomorrow I shall be more eloquent...but as tomorrow involved getting eyebrows ripped off my face, as well as some pre-Thanksgiving feast preparation, we shall see what I can churn out for you. Goodnight!

Monday, November 23, 2015

when we're done sleeping, we'll stay busy dreaming

I gave myself a slow and quiet day to make up for my 'vacation', which was probably exactly what I needed. The sun woke me up way too early, but I pulled on my eyemask and attempted to sleep some more (fitfully, but it was better than nothing). Then I spent some very useful quality time with my day planner and my laptop, sorting out what I need to get done by the end of the month, recapping what I've done so far, and making notes.

I've been spending more time with my planner than is probably strictly necessary, but I've started tracking what I do throughout the day and color coding it so I have a very visual way of telling where I'm spending my time and whether I need to make adjustments. I think I have enough data to start making some changes...but I'm starting to see that the things I wanted to prioritize more when I left the day job (friends/family, working out, journalling/observing, refilling my creative well, etc.) are actually happening, which is great. The writing/business side is not happening as forcefully/productively as I thought it would - so now that I've achieved some balance in other areas of my life and am starting to feel pretty happy/relaxed/excited/[insert positive adjective I hadn't felt in many months here] about the big picture, I think I can start tweaking things to get more writing done and focus more aggressively on marketing.

So that's on tap for the next few months, but it's good to feel like I'm starting to finally make some progress (and recognize the progress I've already made). After I did all that (while eating scrambled eggs and drinking coffee, which I'd made for myself like a peasant), I took a walk down to the Marina to run some errands - I probably didn't need to go all the way down there, but I did absolutely no walking/working out of any kind while I was in Denver, and I wanted to get out of the house today since it's going to rain tomorrow. So I ran my errands, came home, thought about showering or napping, and instead did absolutely nothing.

But then I eventually rallied and went to the Inner Richmond to meet up with Claudia (aka Santy Claude) at My Tofu House. I was in the mood for something warm and spicy, and we had previously planned to have dinner tonight without setting a location, so I conned her into meeting me there. We had our usual lowkey catch-up session over soft tofu soup, and we escaped with our lives after a dicey moment outside our parked cars (okay, nothing actually happened, but there was definitely an almost-naked homeless guy screaming at the top of his lungs while sitting in the entryway of the building we'd both parked next to, so our goodbye hug was extremely abbreviated).

Then I came home, really wanted to go to bed at eight p.m., and instead forced myself to take vitamins and drink an emergen-c and do some online stuff and color in my coloring book so that I could make it to ten p.m. But now I've succeeded in that noble goal, and bedtime is my reward - goodnight!

got my mind on your body and your body on my mind

I have returned to the city by the bay, the city that rocks, the city that neeeeevvver sleeps...but I need to go to sleep immediately so that I can return to my regularly schedule malaise about Rafe and Octavia (although I'm not feeling malaise right now...it's possible I'm vaguely excited, which is rare and hopeful and so precious that I don't want to kill it by holding on to the feeling too tightly).

Today was a good final day in Denver, although it's probably for the best that I came home when I did - my skin is starting to dessicate and my nasal passages are filling with blood, and while I have thus far seemed to escape Katie's child army without contracting some vicious child-incubated cold, I'm sure something lurks within me. But I enjoyed myself today despite my hypochondriac woes. I woke up this morning feeling much better than I deserved (and waaaaay better than Katie and James, who had to deal with their children throughout the night), and I hung out with them for awhile before stealing Katie's car and leaving them to endure their prison on their own.

My destination was another part of Denver, where I met up with Aunt Becky and Uncle Brian (aka the scandalous pirate husband) for brunch. They've got a house in Denver, and they're in town for the week, so we got together for a few hours. This included both food and errands; we ended up going to Lowes, and then we went to a furniture store, where I learned a lot about the potential furnishings for a house that I have yet to see (there wasn't time for me to drive there after, since I needed to see the child army again before going to the airport).

Once Aunt B and I parted ways, I drove back to Katie's, and I spent the afternoon/early evening getting in some last bits of quality time. Katie and James were hiding in the basement when I arrived, watching SNL and hoping that their children would continue to nap, but Anne thwarted us fairly quickly and thoroughly. Anne ended up 'helping' me to pack (#protip: toddlers are not all that good at packing, although you learn some interesting things about what they think about bras), and then I hung out in the kitchen while Katie made supper.

Eventually, though, all things must end, and so after we ate, Katie took me to the airport and we had one last, quick gossip session before she kicked me to the curb. I was absurdly early, especially since I have TSA Precheck and so made it through security in less than five minutes (unheard of in Denver)...but that gave me time to make my belated Sunday call to my parents. Then I had a glass of wine and a plate of mozzarella/tomatoes/basil and reveled in my escape from toddler prison. I would say that I poured one out for Katie and James while I was there, but I needed every last drop of sauvignon blanc to take the edge off.

Just kidding, actually...the kids were really fun, despite their screams, and it was awesome to see Katie and James. I would move to Denver if I had more friends there, and also if I didn't enjoy the feeling of Karl the Fog's moist caress (that's so gross, now that I've typed it - it's an homage to San Francisco's humidity, for what it's worth).

So, my flight was totally uneventful, and I got back to my car and drove home without incident. And now I shall sleep (with the noises of the city rather than the pitter patter of little feet to lull me into slumber) - goodnight!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

i'm never going back, the past is in the past

I continue to lead Katie and James astray, and it's quite possible that they will have a brutal morning tomorrow as a result - I, however, will put my earplugs firmly in place as soon as the screams begin, and I will stay asleep until Anne opens my door and attempts to observe me sleeping (which would not, after all, be the only grooming/bodily function she has observed this weekend - turns out toddlers are not helpful when showering or doing makeup).

However, today was a delight. I ignored the screams and slept until eight, and then I hung out with the family until nine, when a photographer arrived to take family pictures (mostly of the girls). I chose to shower during this, and was able to get ready in relative peace while the pictures were being done. Then, James graciously took care of the girls while Katie and I ran out and grabbed breakfast (relatively lackluster food, but wonderful conversation, as per usual). We also bought groceries and picked up breakfast for James, and then we came home and attempted to give him a break (although he stayed home, but he at least got twenty minutes to himself outside, so I guess that was cool).

And then I discovered the delight which is their Saturday afternoon routine, which they call 'nap prison'. Nap prison is actually the best-possible scenario; it happens if both girls fall asleep from one to three, which means they can't leave the house but can at least watch a movie or do something around the house. However, today turned into 'prison prison', because Anne refused to sleep, and so we ultimately ate popcorn and watched 'Frozen' (which was actually a decent way to spend the afternoon, all things considered).

Then the nanny showed up to babysit, and Katie/James/I busted out of prison and were adults for a few hours. We started at Old Major, which is a bar Katie and I had gone to when I was in town while she was pregnant with Julia; we had a couple of drinks there (and they claimed they were impressed that I ordered a cocktail by just asking for a specific flavor profile and requesting that the bartender make whatever he felt like making in that category, but I think they actually thought I was a terribly obnoxious hipster who should be put down before infecting others with my insufferability). We also had charcuterie and cheese, which was totally delish, and spent too much time talking about inappropriate things (like shooting lions in the heart, which turned into something vaguely sexual, etc).

Then we went a few blocks away to this French place, which was a total delight - I had some baked dish with cheese/bacon/potatoes that I'd never had before, and a couple of French 75s, and coffee, and we split creme brulee and chocolate pot du creme, and it was all delicious. The conversation continued to be wonderful, but eventually we had to leave to relieve the babysitter. Sadly, she wasn't able to get both girls to fall asleep before we got home, but Katie and James eventually succeeded, and then we watched 'Zoolander' to relive our youths.

And now I must sleep, because the screams will start all too soon - goodnight!

Friday, November 20, 2015

your slaps don't stick, your kicks don't hit

I need to go to bed immediately, since the toddler army will arise all too soon...but today was a wonderful day in Denver. Katie and I hung out at home until the nanny arrived, and then we went to a lovely coffee shop, where we spent the morning working (and talking, por supuesto). Around noon we returned to her house, and I showered while she and the nanny fed the kids.

But we escaped for a few more hours to have adult beverages and conversations, and it was terrific to spend some quality time alone with her. Our first stop was Avanti, which is a two-level establishment with seven individual food vendors inside, along with a couple of bars. I had an arepa (which is basically a Venezuelan flatbread sandwich, but the 'bread' is made from corn, so it's all gluten free) - and the arepa was the best fucking thing I've eaten in a long time. Mine had chicken, avocado, and fried plantains, and it was so good that now I'm hungry thinking about it even though it made me really full. Katie had a delish (and prob healthier) salad from the stall next to the arepas place, and we ate our food while having a couple of leisurely drinks at the bar with views of downtown (views that were eventually obscured by clouds and snow flurries, which made me quite smug about my new coat).

After we had our fill of Avanti, we went to Postino, which is a wine bar set in an old book bindery (all of these words are my favorite words). We had dessert there (the only downside of Avanti was that there were no desserts - they should have had an ice cream vendor or something), and french press coffee, and then I had another glass of wine so we could linger for another hour. All told, we spent four glorious hours catching up on our respective lives, which is never enough but certainly goes a long way toward refilling my Katie well until the next time we're in the same city.

Then we came home, played with the kids, peeled potatoes, and Katie made meatloaf for supper. I stayed downstairs tonight while Katie and James put the kids to bed, since I don't think my presence helped last night, but when they were done the three of us sat around and talked until 11:30 (which was prob way too late, but not as late as last night).

And now I simply must sleep, since I'm not getting the nine hours I'm accustomed to (this is where Katie, when she reads this post, will roll her eyes in disgust and comment on how spoiled my life is compared to hers...c'est la vie). Goodnight!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

rocky mountain high

No, I'm not high - unless I am capable of entering an altered mental state simply by being around toddlers, in which case I'm as high as a fucking kite!

sssanyway. Today was an excellent start to my long weekend in Denver, and I'm v. happy to be here - seeing Katie (and James, her consort/lover/babydaddy/whatever you want to call him (I suppose some would call him a husband)) is always exactly what I need. But first I had to get here. That was all totally uneventful - I woke up, showered, finished packing, took care of some last-minute work, and eventually drove to the airport. I was through security in less than five minutes, so I was able to eat lunch (although I chose breakfast foods) and grab a latte before getting on my flight (after standing in line behind a woman and her two sons who had been in line for twenty minutes and got all the way to the gate agent, who then told them they were in line for the wrong flight. lol.).

The flight was completely on time (actually, fifteen minutes early), and completely uneventful (I journaled, wrote a bit of Rafe and Octavia, and reread part of 'Mockingjay' over the shoulder of the person next to me). I got out of the airport in record time, and James picked me up, so we caught up during the interminable traffic on the way back to the house.

Then I arrived, and was surprised to find that Anne (the three-year-old), at least, was v. v. excited to see me. I was expecting her to be shy, but she was super psyched (which is how I'm usually greeted, since I am amazing, but sometimes toddlers don't realize this)...and I think Julia warmed up to me as well. Katie also seemed psyched to see me, but we'll see if that continues as I sometimes slip up and mention things like 'freedom' and 'sleeping in' and don't know that a 'pack n play' is a playpen. #sorrynotsorry.

sssanyway again, we ate Thai food and hung out with the children until it was time to put them to bed (which all seemed to go pretty smoothly, although Katie proved that she excels at confiscating one's balls at the least provocation). Then Katie, James and I sat around the dining room table and drained some rosé and part of a bottle of white wine while discussing myriad topics, none of which I can share with you.

But now, I must sleep before the children awaken us all with their hideous shrieks of the damned.

But before I sleep, I must also say happy birthday to my father (you may know him as Papa Wamp) - happy birthday, Daddy! Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

bang bang bang this time i win

I seem to slowly be resetting my body clock toward sleeping later and getting up later...just in time to go to Denver, where I'm sure Katie's children have no intention of letting anyone sleep in. Yay.

sssanyway, it's almost midnight and I should really go to bed, but first...today was good, and I accomplished most of the things on my to-do list, so I'm quite pleased about that. I spent the morning doing stuff to get ready to vacate my normal life for a couple of days while drinking iced coffee, which made for a nice start to the day. Then I drove to San Mateo and worked out at Equinox; it will be interesting to see if I'm sore tomorrow (and therefore whether I'm pushing myself enough when creating my own workouts). I probably need to do some research into preprogrammed circuits - so far I've just been doing whatever I felt like doing based on what I learned from Alyssa, but that means I might not be totally balanced in terms of which muscle groups I'm building, etc. Or I should explore classes, yoga, etc., since I could do those things at Equinox if I so desired. But as long as I maintain where I was with her through the holidays, until I have time to figure out what to do next, I'll take it.

The workout felt hard enough that I was starving after I showered, so I ate at the cafe there (they have some pretty delish prepackaged meals, I must say). Then I went to the Starbucks down the road to meet Anne and Barbara for a writing date. As usual, we talked perhaps more than was strictly necessary (although I like talking to them, and I certainly like talking to them better than I like writing rough draft misery, so that's not a bad thing)...but I still wrote almost four pages, which I was happy with.

Then I came home in rush hour traffic, which I was *not* happy with - but I suppose driving in rush hour is always a good motivator, since I am reminded that I do not want to have to get a day job again and so should finish this fucking book. Once I got here, I lazed about, took a nap (maybe my sleep schedule is just screwed up rather than fully reset), ate supper, and then packed for my trip. I'm done with everything except my toiletries, which I have to use tomorrow, so that's all good.

And now, I believe I shall go to bed - I have a few things to do in the morning before leaving for the airport, so I can't laze about in bed and daydream and plot and scheme like I usually do. Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

cool for the summer

Today was pretty mellow, with some lovely interludes. I spent the morning enjoying my coffee and messing around online (and actually posting to my author facebook page for the first time in three months - if I do one thing beyond finishing the book in the next month or two, it needs to be to get more consistent on facebook even though I hate it). Then I walked two miles to the San Francisco office - the weather was better than it has been, but the city hasn't fully recovered its urine coating after the rains the other night, so it was about as pleasant as it gets to walk through the 'loin to the financial district/soma.

But my destination was even more pleasant - I had a long lunch with Gyre, which was delightful. Granted, he continues to harangue me about my poor life choices, and perhaps he has some authority or wisdom here since he has a steady job and a house and four kids under the age of eight....but then again, I don't think I want any of those things (well, maybe a house, but not a house in the doldrums of the east bay), so perhaps his advice, while sound and insightful, isn't entirely for me. That said, our conversation was fun and frolicky, and I'm really glad we have an every-three-weeks lunch on calendar again; it had, weirdly, been hard for us to get together regularly when I was working there since I rarely went to the SF office, but now we can reconnect like old times.

When we were done with lunch, I v. illicitly and v. against the rules hung out surreptitiously in the coffee bar area for a couple of hours and wrote from a chair in the corner; it wasn't all that bad, since I didn't have access to any sensitive info or areas of the office, but it wasn't exactly kosher. But I had serendipitous conversations with a couple of people from my past, neither of whom turned me into security (in fact, one of them asked me to watch her stuff), and I was certainly more productive there than I would have been at a dirty dirty soma Starbucks, so I have no regrets.

The reason I stuck around was because I had a meeting/catch-up with my old boss's boss - I always really liked her, and we hadn't really gotten a chance to say goodbye, and I tend to think it's a good idea to keep my network up. But don't worry, I didn't ask for my job back. Still, it was good to see her, and I'm glad I actually reached out and set it up rather than indulging my current spate of laziness.

Then I walked home, messed around, ate leftover soup, and unexpectedly took a nap (I think the four miles of walking and the two days of extremely social activity did me in). Then I made some tea to revive myself and wrote for an hour, along with some emailing and other procrastinatory activities. And now I need to sleep - I have a writing date tomorrow, and I want to go to the gym, and I have to pack for Denver, so sleep is a good idea. Goodnight!

Monday, November 16, 2015

can't lie, it's a sweet life

Today was mostly awesome, despite my (totally predicted, totally forgiven) lack of productivity. Perhaps I could have gotten up early and tried to write, but as I've been testing whether that's actually my style, I didn't force it. Instead, I got sufficient sleep, then showered, got dressed up (in a dress! shocker!), ate breakfast, did my hair and makeup, and then ran out the door when I realized I was on the verge of being late. Then I drove to Palo Alto, where I saw my lady doctor (literally a lady, and also euphemistically a lady doctor, which I guess if I am explaining that to you means I might as well tell you she's my gynecologist). It was good to see her, as always (the conversation part, anyway, since I like her - the rest of it isn't my preferred way to spend a Monday, but it was totally painless, so whatever). And now I shall draw a veil over that experience and move on...

...but perhaps I should have stayed there, because next was catching up with some people from my old job, and I should probably stop going back there and just focus on the future (remind me of this sentence tomorrow, since I've got plans to see more coworkers then). I had lunch with my old boss, and he shared some innocuous gossip about Frankfurt, which made me sad I wasn't there and also very glad I wasn't there. Then I had coffee with Lillian (observant readers may remember her as the woman I went to Agra/Jaipur with while in India earlier this year)...and she also simultaneously made me miss some things and rejoice in no longer having to deal with others.

After all that, I grabbed a latte (and said hi to the baristas, who seemed delighted to see me), and then I drove back to the city before traffic got awful (although I took 280 to play it safe). Once here, I messed around online, took a v. brief nap, and then met up with Lauren (aka Subz) for a v. early (5:15pm) dinner at Octavia. This was ostensibly a v. belated joint celebration of our birthdays, since we hadn't gotten to grill each other about lives/futures/hopes/fears/dreams earlier due to Lauren's son's birth (he's ten weeks old already!). So we accomplished all that and more over a truly delightful meal - it's the second time I've been to Octavia, and it's absurdly delicious.

Anyway, the conversation got deep (as it often does with us), and we had almost three hours to catch up, which was wonderful. Then I came home, considered writing, and wrote it off as a fool's errand. But I sobered up from dinner (mostly) before Chandlord showed up for a few minutes - I was supposed to see her last night and had shamefully bailed, but she came over tonight and we talked briefly before she realized she was falling asleep and needed to leave immediately.

And now, I must sleep as well - I have some social plans tomorrow, but not the social death march I had today, and I am v. v. determined to write, so wish me luck with that. Goodnight!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

shorty is an eeney meeney miney mo lover

I awoke at three a.m. to the unusual sound of heavy rain pelting against my skylights...if we're in for a Godzilla El Niño, I'm in for a lot of disrupted sleep. But after I grew acclimated to the weird notion of precipitation falling from the sky, I was lured back into sleep (and some v. strange dreams that I no longer remember, although I don't think they were as bad as the previous night's dreams, when some Nazis fed me into a wood chipper).

Eventually I woke up, showered, pulled myself together, and wrote for forty minutes or so while drinking iced coffee and enjoying the way the sun broke through the clouds outside my box of windows in the sky. And I actually had a brilliant idea for Rafe that solved a *lot* of problems in one fell swoop, so I felt pretty delighted by that.

But I had to put the laptop away and drive to the south bay so that I could have brunch with Heather (aka dear respected madam). I hadn't seen her since a couple of days before my unexpected trip to Iowa at the end of September, so we were v. overdue for a catchup. We went to Joanie's, which was more of a cluster than I expected because I had totally forgotten about Sunday farmers' markets on California Ave...and I was doubly surprised to see it going, given the weather. But I wasn't as surprised as the vendor whose tentpoles seemed to be flapping about and threatening to impale people. I escaped the tent scene, though, and we only waited 20-30 minutes for a table - and Joanie's is totally worth that kind of wait.

So is Heather, of course, particularly since we had a lot to catch up on. She also gave me a gorgeous little bowl that she had made; she's taken up pottery in the last few months, and it seems to be a ton of fun (and she's actually good at it, which probably makes it more fun). We talked for a couple of hours, and it was all delightful. But eventually I needed to get back to the evil city, so we parted ways, and I grabbed a Philz coffee and some gasoline to fuel the drive in multiple ways.

Once I got here, I called my parents (who I would like to say are in fine form, but it would help if my dad didn't have a propensity toward bleeding at any given opportunity - I felt vaguely nauseated hearing about his latest exploits and I didn't even have to see any of the outcome). Then, I should have gone out with Chandlord, but I was feeling the need to detox and I didn't really want to drink, and I wanted to get some work done. I think this is a sign that I'm recovering nicely from my initial post-job 'must see anyone at all costs' extroverted panic - while I still like to have a social plan every day when I can, it's no longer quite the imperative that it was this summer (although I'm sad I didn't see Vidya!).

So I canceled on fun and stayed in and worked, which was exactly what I needed - I took care of some tings (tings = making use of my 20% off everything coupon on Sephora's site), did a bit more writing brainstorming (and also had an interesting idea for the gargoyles story, although I'm not working on them right now), and then spent the last hour plotting out my tasks and activities and goals for the week. And now I'm going to sleep - tomorrow has was too many things on the list, including a doctor's appointment in Palo Alto at ten a.m., which means I really do have to get up early so that I can sit in traffic (ugh). Goodnight!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

you're getting me getting me through the night

This post is skippable because my day was super boring - you've been warned.

Despite the boring nature of my day, though, it was pretty good. I pursued my new strategy of lazing about in the morning, which was quite enjoyable, but I eventually showered, tidied things up, dropped my dry cleaning off at the cleaners, and then walked downtown to do some writing at Samovar. This involved more rehashing of old ideas than I had expected; I reread a bunch of notes I'd made weeks/months ago, which helped me to pick up some plot threads that I was in danger of losing.

But this was all good, and it was accomplished over poached eggs and bacon and gluten free toast, which was even better. Then I went to the mall - I had a brief moment of wondering whether I wanted to be in a crowded location, but then I decided not to let the terrorists get in the way of me unnecessarily spending money. Not that I spent much - I bought a single sweater, in deference to all the upcoming cold weather travel I've got going on (but grandly stating that I only bought one thing ignores the fact that I have several packages of coats/leggings/socks coming, although I assume I'll return some of it).

Then, I walked home and was desperately tired, but for some stupid reason I didn't take a nap or drink caffeine - I just stared at my laptop and thought about writing, which was dumb. Then I ran to the grocery store, came home, made chicken tortilla soup, and stupidly (very stupidly) watched the Stanford game. I could have gone to the game, since Anne asked me if I wanted to go, but that would have required driving down and back by myself, and I decided I was too lazy. But the loss was pretty sad, and scotched any productivity I might have attempted tonight.

So now I'm going to go to sleep, with grand plans to be less of a hermit tomorrow - goodnight!

Friday, November 13, 2015

you see her when you close your eyes

I'm suddenly falling asleep, so I'll keep this brief. I slept in this morning (per my realization last night that I'm not a morning person), and then I did some business-type stuff (successfully!). And then I drove to San Mateo, where I worked out at the Equinox there before showering, eating something that was dangerously healthy, and going to Starbucks to meet Anne and Barbara.

It's too early to tell if my 'write in the afternoon' plan is going to work, because I didn't really get anything done this afternoon - but I kind of expected that, because I hadn't seen Anne or Barbara since Tahoe and I had too much to catch up with them about. I did a bit of brainstorming and wrote a tiny bit, but given that I was mostly there for the company, I'll take it. However, I think aiming for once a week of working out in San Mateo and meeting them after is actually a good thing - when I'm seeing them regularly, I'm less easily distracted than when we haven't caught up in a few weeks.

Anyway, I eventually left, drove back to the city (traffic was only moderately awful), and went to Adit and Priyanka's place to meet their baby. He is less than two weeks old and so is v. tiny, v. sleepy, and occasionally v. hungry. But he's also v. adorable, so there's that. Priyanka seemed to be doing really well with the whole thing; I'm less clear on how Adit's doing since I only saw him briefly, but so far so good!

Then I came home, messed around, ate some leftover jambalaya, and colored in my coloring book while thinking about the next plot twist for Rafe and Octavia (with some success, even if coloring on a Friday night is a total spinster move...but then again, I'm too focused on the book right now to care about my social life anyway). And now I'm going to go to sleep so I can conquer tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

change my pitch up, smack my bitch up

Today was kind of a reversion to unproductive-land. However, I'm starting to wonder if all this stuff I've been spouting about how I need to write earlier in the day is real, or if I've just been saying what seemed to work when I was a) employed and had to get up early, and b) is repeated in a lot of writing/productivity blogs. I've always been a night owl, and while my commute enforced an early wake-up time for almost two years, I often wasn't that productive when I got to the office early (and even then, I'd had almost two hours to wake up and ruminate between getting ready and driving down). I was often far more productive writing at night over steak and wine than I was writing over lattes in the early morning hours, even though it was harder to motivate at night because I wanted to crawl into bed.

So for the next few days, I think I'm going to actively try doing other things in the mornings (social media, emails, reading, whatever), and write in the afternoon/late night (with some breaks in between). This seems like a better strategy, potentially, than trying to force myself out of bed and into a coffeeshop where I then am too sedated to write until I've had a lot of caffeine and plenty of time to wake up.

sssanyway. You can probably guess from that that I got up this morning and forced myself to go to Another Cafe, where I was supremely unproductive and started to hate myself for it. But I pulled myself out of my hate spiral, came home, ate lunch, did three loads of laundry, and vacuumed my apartment. I also showered in deference to the social plans I was supposed to have tonight, but they were canceled at the last minute (well - second-to-last-minute, since I hadn't left the house yet). So I went to my favorite sushi place and ate/drank there while scribbling notes to myself in my day planner - there's so much that I want to do in the weeks/months ahead, and the key is to just start making progress someplace without getting overwhelmed at the road ahead.

There are probably things I need to let go of as part of that. My day job may be one of them; while you could rightly say that I quit six months ago, I still go back way too much, and I'm still too tied to the people there, which makes it easy to imagine how easy my life would be if I still worked there. The city may be another; I can't really imagine leaving since most of my network is here, but I'm getting tired of the noise and the filth and the intractable social problems and the extremely high cost of living. And the more I can cut out the toxic, unhappy-making things in my life, the easier it would be to focus on the writing.

But that's all a task for another day. Right now I'm going to go to bed with grand plans to laze about in it tomorrow morning and write in the afternoon instead - wish me luck with that. Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

the city shimmers, our life the low hum

Today wasn't *quite* as good as I had hoped, but I'm satisfied enough with what I got done, so I'm going to chalk it up as a win. But I do need to start going to bed earlier and getting up earlier - or, perhaps, the issue is getting out of bed once I do get up, since I have a bad habit of staying under the covers and daydreaming / catching up on world events on my phone rather than getting out of bed and starting something more productive.

This morning was worse than usual for that, but that was probably because I was cold...so I finally broke down and turned the heater on for an hour or two tonight. My Iowa roots are ashamed, but my California graft nearly wept from happiness as the chill disappeared from my apartment. sssanyway, when I finally got up, I showered, took care of some tings, made a delicious breakfast (my usual scrambled eggs, but with cheese, salsa, and sour cream to liven them up), and then messed around with some stuff online.

But eventually I had to be productive or go mad, so I walked to the Mission and wrote for an hour at Ritual. Then I got my bangs trimmed (yes, I got them trimmed two weeks ago, but she didn't trim them enough, so they looked super stylish but there was no way I could go another week). And then I walked back to my neighborhood, with a stop at Flax to buy some more paper/colored pencils, and an hour and a half or so at Arlequin, where I wrote while eating fries and drinking chardonnay like the boss I am.

Once I got home, I played homemaker and finished the covering for my closet skylight - the stop at Flax, in addition to the paper/pencils, was intended to find a neutral color of duct tape, which I succeeded at, so I went the duct tape route for finishing the cover. So far it looks great, but I moved anything breakable out of its path in case it falls down in the next few days. If it survives a week, I think I'll make the same covers for the skylights above my bed so that I will no longer be awoken by the sun/moon quite so easily, but we'll see.

After that, I was still feeling industrious, so I cleaned my bathroom, but I suddenly ran out of steam when I thought that perhaps I should vacuum (vacuuming is for suckers, tee hee). So instead I messed around with my new colored pencils and contemplated my plans/goals for the rest of the week, and ate some leftover jambalaya when I realized that the fries I ate at four p.m. weren't going to get me through the night.

And now, I shall leave you - if I'm going to start writing by eight tomorrow, as is my goal, I should sleep immediately. Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

i've got something inside me to drive a princess blind

Two decent days in a row....can I go for three, or will the streak die on the vine? Today probably would have been even better if I'd gone to bed at a decent time last night so that I could have dragged myself out of bed before 8:30 or 9, so I'm going to try to rectify that tonight, but overall things were good.

The morning wasn't the usual attempt at writing (see: getting up late), but I took care of a couple of business things, showered, ate a snack and drank some coffee, and then took a lyft to the auto body shop to pick up my car. It looks perfect - they did a great job, both on the damage caused by the accident and on the scrape I caused on my own seven years ago and never bothered to fix. I was super nervous driving it home because I kept picturing buses, cars, motorcycles, and crackheads running into it, but I made it into the garage unscathed, and I may just have to leave it there forever. The accident was a month ago, so I'm glad this is finally resolved; as soon as I submit the reimbursement for my car rental, I can put this all behind me and stop dealing with car situations for awhile.

Anyway, I got home, ate some lunch, and then had a long facetime chat with Kathia (remember her?). We hadn't talked in a few weeks, so we had a lot to catch up on, and it was good to see her face. I just bought tickets to go to NYC for a few days in early December, so I'll get to catch up with her (and Terry, and whomever else I can find) in person then, but today's chat was a good start.

Then, I desperately wanted to nap, but instead I went to Whole Foods and bought a lot of groceries. After I put the groceries away, I went to Jane on Larkin and wrote for a couple of hours; I almost hit my word goal, but it's close enough that I'm satisfied. When I got home, I started a home project (making a blind to cover the skylight in my closet so my clothes and books don't fade), but while I had the right tension rods and fabric, I realized that my original plan (fabric glue to hold the fabric on the rods) wasn't going to work because the 'fabric' is more of a plastic intended to block UV rays. So I either need some kind of cable ties or heavy thread/cord to hold it in place...or I may go the very ghetto route and duct tape it, since the duct taped side will be facing the window instead of the closet and I don't care anyway since it's a closet. We shall see, we shall see.

After that abortive effort, I then made supper - I tried a new recipe for shrimp and andouille sausage jambalaya, and it turned out to be delicious. I maybe would have rather had gumbo instead of jambalaya, but this was a great dish for a cold San Francisco night. While I ate, I watched some of last Sunday's '60 Minutes' - they had a piece about the musical 'Hamilton', and I was super inspired by the interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda (the writer who also plays Hamilton).

And then I lazed about, and now I need to sleep so I can get up moderately earlier tomorrow and get something accomplished before the day gets away from me - goodnight!

against the light, too strong, blow a fuse now

I had intended to go to bed two hours ago, but I was lured into the throes of a book, so I guess I won't get up as early tomorrow as I thought I would. But today went surprisingly well, even though I woke up to discover that it had immediately gone off course. I was supposed to go to the south bay today to have lunch with my old boss, and I had planned to see a couple of other people - but the old boss canceled overnight, and when I awoke to steady rain I knew I didn't have any desire to drive down to the south bay anyway.

So I rescheduled Lillian and Eugene, and then I returned my rental car to the rental place. My car was supposed to be done around noon, but it ended up not being done until closer to four, so I decided to pick it up tomorrow, but there was no need to keep the rental another day anyway. After I returned the car, I went to Philz and reread a bunch of stuff and tried to get back into Rafe and Octavia and wrote for a couple of hours, and then I went to Mangosteen and warmed myself up with some chicken curry noodles. And then I came home and took a nap, because that's how I roll.

But for once I decided I wanted to make another stab at the book, so I walked over to Fillmore, holed up at Peets with a large earl grey tea, and wrote for another couple of hours. I ended up actually hitting my word goal for today, which was the first time I've done that in at least a couple of weeks - so that felt really good. It's too soon to proclaim that I've turned a corner and have solved all my blocking issues, but it's possible that I'm getting there.

By the time I was done, it was after five p.m. and almost dark, so I walked home. I had intended to buy groceries and cook something real tonight, but I felt that vague feeling that I'm getting sick (maybe it's in my head, but the rain/cold didn't help), so instead I downed an emergen-c, drank some water, and ate a sandwich. And then, even though I was kind of itching to write some more, I took a break instead and started reading THE CRIMSON CAMPAIGN, which is a fantasy novel that has been sitting on my ipad for months. It's the second book in a trilogy, and I had loved the first book when I read it (A PROMISE OF BLOOD, which I read last December, according to zee blog), but for some reason I hadn't gotten around to this one. The plotting is pretty intricate, in that there are multiple storylines/POVs going on at once, and I made it halfway through the book before realizing that I need to go to sleep (or at least take my contacts out) before my eyes fall out.

And now I must sleep, since I plan to repeat some of these epic feats tomorrow (although hopefully with less need to reread, and hopefully some cooking, and hopefully with a fully-functioning car returned to me by the end of it). Goodnight!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

in a little while i won't be blown by every breeze

I was pretty much a total sloth today, so hopefully I've burned out my sloth instincts and am ready to hit it hard tomorrow. Actually, tomorrow may not get hit quite so hard as I'd like since I have activities planned, but it will get hit to some capacity...

But today, as I said, was sloth-filled. I woke up later than I ever do, thanks to going to bed late last night, and I mostly messed around before getting ready, making some coffee, and abandoning the apartment around 11:45 to drive to the south bay. It turns out I should have left about fifteen minutes earlier than I did because traffic was not particularly good (it was raining off and on, and there was a Niners game approximately ten minutes from where I was going), but I made it to Milpitas in time for a Filipino feast to celebrate Joann's birthday.

Joann (of spinster honeymoon fame) made a delicious spread to celebrate her birthday. I've never had a full-blown Filipino feast before, but this one seemed to be the real deal. She had spread banana leaves over the entire table, and then covered the middle of the table with an assortment of foods (rice, noodles, chicken adobo, barbecued chicken, pork, pork belly, whole shrimp, whole fried tilapia, green beans, tomato and salted egg salad, lumpia (so much lumpia), etc., etc.). We ate this extravagant feast the old-fashioned way (with our hands), which meant I basically kept eating until I was stuffed, and then immediately washed my hands so I wouldn't be tempted to go back for more.

Everything was super tasty, and it was fun to go to the south bay (weirdly, I actually mean that). It was also a pseudo-friendship-renewal; there were fifteen people there or so, which included a lot of non-friendship-renewal people, but Jen and Lizzie were there, so I think that counts as quorum. Jen and I sat together and caught up on life while devouring a lot of protein, so it was all delightful.

But sadly, I left earlyish to beat the traffic leaving the game, and I made it home in time to call my parents (later than usual, but early enough that I didn't detect any signs that they were falling asleep on me). Then I answered some emails, did a couple of tings, ate some peanut butter (I couldn't bear to eat more than that, but knew I had to eat something or I would wake up later and be starving and hangry), and then curled up in bed with a novel for the last couple of hours. And now, I shall sleep, hope that the rain tonight lulls me into continued slumber rather than waking me up, and attempt to dream about Rafe and Octavia so that those bitches can stop thwarting me. Goodnight!

if you told me you were drowning i would not lend a hand

Today was long and I've already fallen asleep twice, but I shall get through the blog so I can go to bed (note to self: if only I were so disciplined about writing words that actually go into books....). The morning was decent enough; I made some eggs, did some business stuff, and contemplated Rafe and Octavia for awhile (so much for taking a break from them...but maybe I should still do that, since it wasn't going all that well this morning).

But eventually I stopped pretending that I was working and met up with Katrina for a long, relaxed afternoon catch-up session. It had been too long since we'd properly caught up (I don't think I saw her at all in October, and perhaps only once or twice in September), but we accomplished this feat over a bottle of white wine (a vermintino/grenache blanc blend that we were both only so-so about, I think, although it was good enough to finish without complaint) on the patio behind Arlequin. She happened to be in my neighborhood before drinks, so we walked down to Hayes Valley together, and then we sat on the patio for a couple of hours and talked about all sorts of things (local politics, aestheticians + my beauty regimen, book deals and whether they are deserved, boys, babies, work, etc., etc.). And in a v. v. odd turn of events, we ran into Javier and his girlfriend; I hadn't seen Jav in years (blog would indicate that I last saw him two years ago at Adit's belated birthday party, but before that I hadn't seen him since a flurry of activity in 2010). It was good to see him and to hear about their adventures at the Tenderloin Museum this afternoon, and also good to verify that he seems to be hitting peak hipster (he was wearing some v. v. stylish sweats, if you're into that).

So, that was a great way to spend an afternoon. Once Katrina and I were done with our wine and talking, we dropped by Warby Parker for three seconds to try on sunglasses, and then we parted ways. I walked home, checked the internet (still there! still way too much useless stuff to read!), and then took a v. v. quick nap. But I had to rally because Claudia (aka Santy Claude) came over to hang out; I hadn't seen her in a few weeks since I went to Tahoe and then she went for an extended work/vacation trip to the east coast, so she brought over a bottle of wine and we ordered pizza and caught up in a v. lowkey way. She ended up staying for about three and a half hours, at which point it was probably clear that I was about to fall asleep and at which point she still felt like going out after, so she left to see another friend and I immediately fell asleep on the couch without even starting to type this.

But I woke up twenty minutes later, washed my face, and wrote this, thus meeting my duty to all of you. And now I must sleep and detox so I can make tomorrow happen - goodnight!

Friday, November 06, 2015

i'll find strength in pain, and i will change my ways

Today was pretty good, all things considered. I woke up relatively on time and made it to the cafe by nine, where I proceeded to work (administrative stuff that I've been putting off + continuing to write longhand in my notebook since that's the only thing that's working right now) for about three hours. Then I walked to my old neighborhood and had lunch at my favorite cafe; Tony sat with me for awhile while I was eating, which was as delightful as always (even if he always seems to assume that I'm having much more sex than I'm currently having, and is always adorably appalled when I disabuse him of his assumptions).

Then I went to the gym, where I did another hour and a half of administrative work while sitting in the very posh lobby area (decorated like an old gentlemen's club or library or something, with leather chairs and nice lamps and tables). And then I swung some kettlebells to get all my aggression out (impossible task...there's always more aggression to be found somewhere within me). After that, I was too tired to walk the 1.5miles home, especially with my backpack full of notebooks and laptop, so I called a lyft and had a lovely conversation about hoarders with the driver, since he runs a hauling business that clears out estates and has dealt with many hoarders behind the perfect facades of San Francisco's houses.

Once I got home, I lazed about on the couch (deservedly so, I think), then did a bit more work, then unpacked from Carmel and tidied things up. Then I took a shower, ate a sandwich, and finished the book I'd started reading in Carmel, which I really enjoyed (THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS by Sherry Thomas - I love her and we say inappropriate things to each other whenever we get the chance, but more importantly I love this series, so if you like YA magic trilogies, this is a good one to try (but start with THE BURNING SKY, since the book I read was the end of the series rather than the beginning).

So, this feels like a weirdly balanced day (I wrote AND read AND worked out AND took a walk AND ate properly AND took my vitamins...basically everything I need to do in a day to feel good, although seeing a friend might have been a good addition (but I talked to Katie and texted with several other people, so I wasn't totally disconnected)). And I'm hoping it sets me up for a lovely sleep, which I'm going to pursue immediately. Goodnight!

Thursday, November 05, 2015

in my head you tell me things you've never said

I'm back in the city of sin after a relatively uneventful day, and I am looking forward to being productive tomorrow, so I need to go to bed. I slept pretty decently last night, and then got up, showered, packed, had breakfast, and got myself out of the hotel by 9:45 so that I wouldn't be caught in traffic later. That was a good call, as it turned out; traffic was impeccable the whole way, so I didn't feel any anxiety about stopping to grab a salad and some coffee on the way home rather than taking my chances that I would find something to eat in my fridge. Also, I needed caffeine and vegetables (possibly not in that order). Also, I was procrastinating because I knew I should write/take care of stuff when I got home, and I didn't want to.

But since I didn't want to be productive, I wasn't productive...I got home, messed around online for an hour, and then got an impromptu mani/pedi (mostly to remove the gel polish that I got two weeks ago, but my toes needed cleaned up as well). Then I came home, sat around, procrastinated, and finally dragged myself down to the Marina to revive myself with a steak and some wine. This was mostly successful, and I was able to write for an hour or so while I sat there, so that was good.

And now, alas, I'm done with my report for the day. But while I was looking for something on zee blog a little bit ago, I stumbled across this post from 2007 in which I said that I had no fashion sense and didn't know how to correct it, and also said that I'm not the type of person who spends $80 on dinner. Hahahahaha. If I ever need a reminder that a lot can change in a few years, that's as good a reminder as any.

And now I must go to bed before I fall asleep on the couch with my contacts in - goodnight!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

slow down my beating heart

Today went pretty much according to plan, and I'm pretty much out of words as a result. I had breakfast (included, and rather delicious for an included breakfast) at my hotel, and lingered over my coffee before walking down the street and ensconcing myself in a coffeeshop to write for awhile. I did that for three hours or so over two servings of earl grey tea. Then, I had lunch, where I scribbled some more. And then, since I had written so much, I was suddenly deathly tired despite having slept pretty well last night, so I came back to my room and took a v. restorative twenty-minute nap.

But I roused myself and walked down to the ocean, mostly so I could say I saw the ocean on this trip. After looking at the ocean for five minutes or so, I walked back into town and went to a different coffeeshop, where I wrote for another hour. Then I windowshopped for a bit, returned to my room, changed, and went out in search of dinner. The place I wanted to go had a thirty-minute wait, so I grabbed a glass of wine across the street and scribbled some more, and then had dinner (a v. tasty gluten-free pizza) while continuing to scribble. By that point, I was totally done trying to produce words, so I came back to the room, curled up in bed, and read for the last couple of hours.

Basically, today was great if you're a hermity writer, which I am. I came up with lots of great ideas for lots of stories, and while I didn't write much on any single one of them, I gave myself a lot to ponder and work with, which was the whole point. And now I need to sleep so that I can get up and go back to the evil city, where I shall resume my usual life. Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

no time to quit now, just time to get it now

Today was decent from a general productivity/balance standpoint, although I'm a little worried that I might be getting a cold, so I'm going to go to bed early (like everyone else in the undisclosed location in which I'm staying...more on that in a moment). I woke up this morning, packed up my stuff, ate some eggs, and then went down the street to vote. It was a v. stereotypical San Francisco experience, since some dude was shooting up outside the polling place (drugs, not guns, for those of you who aren't hip with the lingo), but I successfully completed my civic duty and escaped without stepping on any needles, so this was all good.

Then I drove to Palo Alto, where I worked out at Equinox (after seeing an accident that looked pretty horrific on Page Mill; there was no body, but I guessed someone died since I saw a mangled bicycle and a car with the windshield smashed out, and that guess was confirmed when I looked it up online later and saw that a motorist killed the bicyclist) - I probably should have gone straight to the undisclosed location, but I'm trying to get back into working out twice a week sans Alyssa, so I needed to make it happen today if I am going to meet the goal this week. I swung some kettlebells and talked to one of the old trainers whom I knew there (who was also impressed by my kettlebell skillz, so again, Alyssa must have trained me better than I realized), and then I showered and made myself look presentable again. Then I grabbed my favorite salad at Joanie's and my favorite coffee at Philz, and was thus fortified for the rest of the drive.

By now you can probably guess that I went south, and so I'll just tell you the rest - I'm in Carmel. Tonight turned out to be more of a business-type retreat than a writing-type retreat - when I got here, I took a nap, and then I went to a restaurant down the street, where I ate some gluten free pasta, drank a glass of wine and a pot of tea, and lingered over my notebook while writing up plans for world domination. I think part of the block recently has been that I know I don't want to be 'just' a writer - I have grand ambitions (as any of you who know me could probably guess), and I need to figure out how to make progress toward them. That likely involved buckling down and writing as much as possible for a few years first, but I want more of a plan and more rigor in what I'm doing beyond the writing so that I can be as successful as I hope to be.

So, I made a lot of notes and had some good ideas, and I intend to keep mulling over those ideas, but I want to spend tomorrow writing instead. Then I took a walk around the town (it's the same as always - very white, very quiet, very 'quaint' (where quaint = expensive)), and then I came back to my room and popped a lot of vitamins and minerals to stave off this cold. Or maybe it's not a cold - maybe it's an allergic reaction to the fact that my room is basically on top of a Lush store, which means it's on top of a whole bunch of perfumed bath/body products. We shall see, we shall see. Goodnight!

Monday, November 02, 2015

change the locks, change the scene

I was super hermity today, so I have nothing of interest to report. Thanks to the time change, I actually made it out of bed and over to Another Cafe by 8:30 (they were surprised to see me; I haven't been going there much recently, since I've been lazy and also enjoying the serenity of my apartment in the morning), and I scribbled in my notebook for a couple of hours. Then I had breakfast at Sweet Woodruff - I'd never been there before, but it may have to become a new weekday staple, since the breakfast tacos were exactly the right portion/price to make me happy.

Then I came home, took a nap, scribbled some more, got groceries, cleaned the kitchen, did a load of laundry, etc. I also researched the stupid San Francisco ballot measures so that I know how to vote tomorrow (answer: there are so many crazy people in this city, I can't even). And then I did some planning for the rest of the week, and now I'm writing this so that you know I lived through another day.

Tomorrow, though, as soon as I'm done voting I shall depart for an undisclosed location for a couple of days so that I can refocus on my writing. Theoretically I should have done this in Tahoe, but Tahoe wasn't the refocuser I was hoping for for a variety of reasons. And I think the single biggest reason is that I'm so fundamentally blocked on Rafe and Octavia that I can't see a way through it - and rather than beating my head against it, and wasting November as badly as I feel like I wasted October, I think I need to take a break from them. It probably won't be a permanent hiatus...I need to write that book so I can sell it, and also so I can write the next books in the series, which I am actually excited about.

But for today, I think taking a break from them makes sense. So I thought a little bit about what else I might work on this week - it will either be the gargoyles (and I had a killer idea for them while standing in my elevator looking at my thumb and considering a tattoo that I might put there...don't worry, I'm not getting a tattoo), or it will be something entirely new and fresh and different as a pure exercise in writing that might turn into nothing, or might turn into something. Basically, I'm giving myself permission to write whatever I want this month, and if it turns out to be sellable, great...but it's more important to write something and start feeling excited about a story again than it is to force my way through a book that isn't working.

sssanyway. The creative process is bizarre. So I'm going out of town tomorrow and will be back Thursday, and hope to come up with some new and interesting ideas in the meantime. But now I should sleep so that I can vote/drive tomorrow - goodnight!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

even if it's just pretend

I despise the time change - I would much prefer to have the sunset occur later in the day than it will for the next few months (not that it mattered much today, since the fog rolled in before sunset and made it all gloomy anyway). But despite the time change, my day was pretty lovely.

For starters, I had breakfast (not brunch, never brunch) with John and Jess in Berkeley. We met at nine a.m., which was apparently the time everyone else decided to meet (since that would have been ten a.m. yesterday, which is a very brunch-y hour), and we went to Saul's Deli, which Jess had wanted to go to for awhile. It turns out that this was a great decision - parking was easy, the wait was short (despite how it looked when we arrived), and the food was fabulous. We split some latkes to start, and then I had their corned beef hash with poached eggs. It was possibly the best corned beef hash I've ever had, and I would definitely order it again (in fact, I may already be dreaming about it).

Of course, the company would have been good even if the food sucked, but luckily I got to enjoy everything about the morning. John and Jess seemed to be in good form, and we spent another quality hour or so together at their house after breakfast. I hadn't seen it since the night after they moved in, and it's amazing what furniture will do in terms of pulling a room together. It gave me fond memories of my cabin in the woods in Palo Alto, which I wish I could live in again (if I only had any friends there). The three of us talked about life, and I vented about my writing, and it was all great.

But I eventually needed to come back to my side of the bay, so I bid them a fond farewell and came home. Once here, I messed around on the internet, took a brief nap, and then walked to Philz, where I had coffee and scribbled in my notebook for an hour or so quite contentedly. Then I came home, talked to my parents, messed around some more, ate a sandwich, scribbled some more, etc. Basically, the first part of my day was v. fun, and the second part of my day was v. hermity, and together they made my usual recipe for a perfect day (except for the fact that I'm still stuck on the book, but whatevs).

And now I'm going to go to bed and hope that the time change does the only thing that it might be good for, which is to encourage me to get up earlier again so that I can write in the morning. I haven't been doing the morning thing very well over the past couple of weeks (I blame Adit and two weekends in a row of late nights/minimal sleep), and I want to get back into it...and tomorrow morning may be a good time to start. Goodnight!