Saturday, December 31, 2016

make new friends but keep the old

Happy New Year! Let's do a bit of year in review, shall we?

- books written: 1.5 (although Rafe and Octavia's book really took approximately 50k more words than I ended up using, which was a bummer)

- weddings attended: 2. Steffers put on an amazing bash in SLO. I mostly remember bourbon and karaoke from Riturani's wedding weekend, but I think she also got married?? Unclear.

- writing retreats: 2 solo, 3 group. The Sonoma Fairmont is perhaps entirely too #fancy for a solo writing retreat, but it got the job done. Provincetown was fun, mostly because I met lesbians who tried to get me to switch teams, gays who didn't care what team I was on as long as I kept drinking, and an erotica writer who wouldn't tell me what she writes because she thought I would be too shocked (how quaint). And my Tahoe writing retreats were as fun as they always are - if going into the trenches and hoping for victory but suspecting that you're just going to end up with lice is considered fun? But it's good to have partners in misery, I suppose.

- [censored] [censored] bought: [x]. [censored] wants to buy [censored] so he can make [censored], but I am worried about [censored] and keep joking about high fives. [censored]!

- bottles of cachaça available at my Olympics party: 2.

- bottles of cachaça consumed at my Olympics party: 0.2. Cachaça is an abomination. #sorrynotsorry for the dose of truth, Brazil.

- flights taken: 36 legs. 12 trips. 5 writing trips: Honolulu, Milwaukee (with a special surprise gift of food poisoning from sushi in Chicago), Provincetown (with a stopoff to see Ritu and Terry), San Diego, and Salem. 5 trips to Iowa. 1 trip to be terrorized by the toddler army at the top of Pikes Peak. 1 bachelorette party in New Orleans. 2 trips interrupted when I was stranded overnight.

- Olympics coverage watched: not fucking enough because of Ritu's stupid wedding. Or rather, love always wins.

- amount spent at Starbucks: at least a couple of hundred dollars. Whatever it was, triple it and you might get close to the amount I spent on coffee this year, since Philz is a lethal addiction (and since I bought some v. v. fancy Kona coffee in Hawaii that I still dream about).

- friends made/lost: I'm going to call this a wash, although I felt v. happy with the quality of (most of) my interactions. And I'll put Sheila and Rajiv in this bucket to tip the scales in the favor of friends made.

I'm sure there's so much more I could cover, but I'm falling asleep (way to kick off 2017 right), and I don't want to prolong my bedtime. But today was delightful, all things considered - I got up late, hung out, answered a few emails (but not enough), ate supper (bratwurst, my favorite), opened a bottle of sparkling rosé, and played two games of Ticket to Ride. That may be the most wholesome New Year's ever, but I'll take it.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday and are on track for an amazing year! Goodnight!

Friday, December 30, 2016

cherry blossom girl

I was way more productive today than I was yesterday, at least in terms of getting my life in order. This mostly meant going to the courthouse to get passport photos taken so that I can get an international driver's license next week - one advantage of a small town is that even though I unwittingly showed up after the time window when they say they'll do passport photos, they'll kindly do it anyway. It probably helps that they know my whole family, given how often they have courthouse business (property/vehicle/political stuff, not criminal stuff) - but still, it was way more efficient than any other government transactions I've taken place in recently.

I also spent several hours trying to organize my room - fitting the layers of my adult life on top of the layers of my youth is a challenge, especially when I know that I'm unpacking only so that I can repack in a week. I'm making progress, although I'm by no means done - but hopefully by early next week, it will be in a state where I would feel happy/able to get some writing done in my room during my visits.

Of course, that doesn't mean I was entirely virtuous today - I slept way too late, and I lazed about for several hours while drinking coffee and talking to my parents and enjoying another hot ham and cheese sandwich. And I ate dinner, of course, which included one of the best ribeyes my dad has ever grilled - and everyone was in a good mood because Iowa State came back from behind in their first Big-12 game of the season, so that was delightful.

But now I need to sleep - I want to keep organizing tomorrow, but I also want to play games and drink champagne and contemplate the new year. Goodnight!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

be good or be gone

I spent way too much time on my computer today, and didn't get nearly enough done to show for it (expect for some online shopping, of course, because #priorities). Also, I slept way too late and then spent way too much time reading twitter, which didn't help my productivity. But I sent some critical emails and checked off some critical tings, and I spent the last three hours researching possible website names for my travel blog (more on that tbd).

I also took a break somewhere in there today - I started the day with a fucking delicious hot ham and cheese sandwich, and I ended it with ham and bean soup and cornbread (yes, we are drowning in ham and I have #noregrets). And I watched 'Life in Pieces', which I've already said I adore; I am also strangely fond of 'The Great Indoors' with Joel McHale, which I wasn't expecting to like since millennial jokes aren't always funny, but this one somehow works.

But now that I'm updated you, it's time to go to bed - goodnight!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

it's so cold out here in your wilderness

My contacts are starting to stick to my eyeballs, so I suppose I should go to bed. But today was good, all in all - I slept in, then spent the late morning/early afternoon taking care of business and evaluating my life decisions (that sounds more dramatic than it was).

But eventually I left the house and drove to the next town over to a) buy some stuff at Walmart so that I can organize the massive amount of stuff that I brought here and need to cram into my bedroom, and b) have dinner with my friend Hannah. She's also my cousin, if that matters, although distant enough that we didn't attend the same family reunions. We went to George and Nick's (which my parents call the Greeks), where I had a steak and she had a tenderloin, and we caught up on all sorts of life events. I also got her feelings on Harambe, which was interesting since she is a zookeeper by training (although she now works as a naturalist at a nearby park/resort).

Harambe was perhaps not the most interesting thing we discussed, but since you don't know any of the people or events that we *did* discuss, that's all I'll share. We hung out for about three hours, and then I drove home (and managed not to hit any of the ten or so deer I saw along the way) and spent the last hour lost in a rabbit hole of online shopping (I'm trying to figure out whether I need any new clothes for Bali, and if so, what those clothes might be). But now I should sleep and not buy anything until I start sorting through my clothes tomorrow - goodnight!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

i've touched this place before somewhere in another time

Maybe my toe isn't broken...it hurts in odd ways depending on how (and how long) I've been standing, and it aches a bit, but it's nowhere near as bad as the last time I broke it. This is a huge relief, since I wasn't looking forward to navigating multiple airports and new cities with a broken toe.

To celebrate, I spent the day taking care of business...I answered a bunch of email that I've been neglecting (but not all of it), dealt with some financial/residency business (but not all of it), and generally tried to be productive. But I took a break for supper and continued to break for the rest of the evening - we had leftovers, which were still yummy, and I drank some Decoy pinot noir that I'd brought back with me, mostly because my dad had given me a wineglass that said 'Shit's about to get fancy' and I wanted to use it (and instagram it, because that's how I roll).

We also played two rounds of 'Ticket to Ride', since we're apparently total fucking addicts; I won the first round and my mom won the second, so that was fun. We're so addicted that we skipped the Kennedy Center Honors for the first time that I can remember, but hopefully we'll watch it another night. And now I must sleep so I can continue the productivity tomorrow - goodnight!

Monday, December 26, 2016

before this river becomes an ocean

I had a great day if you ignore the fact that I may have rebroken the toe that I broke a couple of years ago...but I've been applying ice and elevating it, and I hope that it just hurts and isn't actually broken. However, if it's broken, at least I'm about to take off for a place where I can wear sandals through most of the recovery period...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I slept in this morning, since we had no pressing family issues. But I eventually got up, showered, made some coffee, and generally pulled myself together so that we could play games today. Usually we would play our usual standby (Rail Baron, for those of you who don't read the blog religiously and remember every detail of my life). However, [censored] bought Ticket to Ride, and we decided to try that instead - it only takes a couple of hours, while Rail Baron takes six to eight, so I naively thought that maybe we'd play a round or two and then I would answer some of the email I've been neglecting.

Of course, that was a silly assumption - we ended up loving it and playing four rounds (I won twice), which meant we played for as long or longer than what Rail Baron would have entailed. But it was faster paced than Rail Baron, and while it sucks to lose anytime, it's way less sucky to lose when you have the chance to play again (or only spend 30-60mins knowing you're going to lose) rather than knowing you're going to lose and still having to play for four more hours.

At some point in there, I got up to put my lunch plate away and stubbed the hell out of my toe on a chair that wasn't in its usual position. It feels like it may be broken, but I'm hoping I'm wrong (and also hoping that, if it is, I did a better job of not damaging it further this time...last time I ignored it and went to a concert and stood on it for six hours, which was not ideal). We also took breaks to eat supper, and to analyze our previous games, as we usually do. And I came downstairs at 11:30 with the intention of going to bed, but instead messed around with some online shopping (without success) until now.

And now I need to sleep - tomorrow I definitely want to get some work done, so cross your fingers for that. Goodnight!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

time to pick my heart up off the floor

Merry Christmas, everyone! I had a great day in ye olde Iowa, and as usual, I'm sad it's over. But this morning was one of those perfectly tranquil Christmas mornings...I woke up without being forced at 7:30, which is earlier than usual for me, but it gave me time to make some coffee (and have both my father and [censored] make jokes about the Folgers coffee commercial where the kid comes home from the army and makes coffee for his mom to wake her up, since my coffee grinder would have awoken the dead before the smell of brewing coffee could do the job). Then we spent a leisurely couple of hours opening gifts...so leisurely, in fact, that we had to stop for a break in the middle and eat breakfast.

But the gifts were great - I was pretty happy with what I'd chosen to give the family (despite feeling a little panicked a couple of days ago because the move had me so discombobulated that I'd forgotten what I'd ordered/bought in some cases), and I enjoyed giving the various tings to the various people. I was also happy with what I received - mostly things to prepare me for my travels + things to support my writing/fountain pen addictions, along with a couple of random objects I've coveted (a bracelet, a bed tray, a pair of Tom's shoes that were wrapped in two different boxes). And Dad surprised us all at the end with gifts we weren't expecting - in [censored]'s case, it was [censored] with a couple of [censored] that he can use for practicing [censored] if he can figure out how to [censored]; in Mom's case, it was an eighty-pound rock carved with something for her garden (which was a bitch to haul into the house when wrapped in a box); and in my case, it was a pair of diamond earrings, which I will v. happily wear all the time (and is much more convenient than either a rock or a [censored], so I would say I lucked out).

So, that was all great. We spent a couple of hours hanging out and messing around, but eventually we all had to get ready for the next event. My sister came over with her husband and three kids (and the girls brought boyfriends, and also my great-niece Jaicee was here). We had supper, and Jaicee destroyed me several times at Jenga - despite the fact that she's seven, she's a beast when it comes to Jenga. Then we exchanged gifts, and Sammi took Jaicee to her dad's before coming back, and some of us played some Cards Against Humanity until it was time to part ways (#protip: play with someone who works for the Amish to maximize shock value - one of the boyfriends works for an Amish guy and he seemed shocked by many of the concepts, although I think he was feigning innocence).

Then they all left, and I hung out upstairs for awhile, and then I came down and messed around in my journal and perused Anthropologie's sale, as one does. And now I am desperate for sleep - goodnight!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

i want a yacht and really that's not a lot

Today was our annual Wampler Family Christmas (tm), and we celebrated in our usual delightful manner. Uncle Mark, Aunt Kathy, and Andrew (you may know him as Drewbaby) arrived a little after ten, and Aunt Becky and Uncle Brian (you may know him as the scandalous pirate boyfriend, although they've been married for years) arrived a bit later. Andrew went into town to pick up Gram - she was rather confused throughout, but that's the way she rolls, so #yolo (which is another way to say that her dementia is terrible and heartwrenching and I don't want to acknowledge it, so I will make a joke instead).

We had lunch shortly thereafter - Mom made turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, corn casserole (with gluten free cornbread mix, and it was perfect), relishes, and deviled eggs, and Aunt Kathy brought broccoli salad (which is basically bacon salad) and pumpkin pie, and Aunt B brought rolls (which I couldn't eat, but which smelled delish). The food was all delicious, and I would have happily gone into a food coma after that - but we had a white elephant gift exchange and I needed all my wits about me. I also needed wine, which Kathy encouraged me to open, so I blame her for having a couple of glasses of sauvignon blanc.

Our white elephant was a first attempt, and I would say that it was successful. There were clearly some people who pursued the strategy of getting rid of things they no longer wanted (which is how I ended up with a Ukrainian teapot). For some people, this backfired, since Aunt Kathy tried to get rid of a piggy bank, and Uncle Mark picked it not realizing that it was the gift she'd brought. It also backfired for [censored], who ended up giving his childhood [censored] to my dad, who will likely get far too much enjoyment out of it. But a good time was had by all (even Gram, who was appalled when someone stole someone else's present), so we'll do it again next year. And Becky brought a saran wrap ball of goodies that we had to take turns unwrapping, which added some ridiculousness.

After that, we mostly hung out, and some of us tried a game that Mark brought (Skiwampus, bought solely for the name, but it's pretty good). Everyone left by 5 or 5:30, and I spent the evening trying to regain my energy, eating leftovers, talking to [censored], and finishing the wrapping job.

And now I need to sleep - Christmas morning is coming all too soon. Goodnight!

Friday, December 23, 2016

you're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea

I spent most of today getting ready for Christmas, which was both good (since I really needed to) and bad (since I would rather be writing or unpacking or repacking or doing the million things that have to get done before I can go to Bali). But I managed to get nine hours of sleep, and then I made some coffee and talked to the family and ate breakfast, and then I (mostly) finished unloading my car.

I wasn't ready to get behind the driver's seat again, but I had to go in to town to finish some Christmas stuff. Once my errands were accomplished, I came home and messed around and watched some [censored] with [censored] (Animal is possibly my favorite [censored], although the [censored] are cantankerous and give Animal a run for his money). We all had supper in Seymour, and then we saw some Christmas lights, and then we came home and I wrapped presents for awhile.

And now that you're all caught up on my glamorous life, I need to sleep - I have Christmas plans for most of tomorrow, and I will survive them better if I'm well-rested. Goodnight!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

my body's made of crushed little stars

Today was my first full day back in Iowa, and I celebrated by not leaving the house and therefore not having to get behind the wheel of a car. I did touch my car, since I unloaded half of it, but I didn't drive it (even to get it out of my mom's parking spot in the garage - how long will it take for her to notice that I've conned her out of an indoor space?).

I also celebrated by getting eight hours of sleep, which was great. Then I lazed about for two hours and caught up on online life, which I've mostly ignored for the last two weeks, and I think I should go back to ignoring it stat. Then I went upstairs, went straight to the car to unpack my burr grinder and my Philz beans and my Aeropress (I have priorities), and made coffee and talked to my parents for quite some time. I also made myself bacon and eggs, since I'd missed breakfast hours earlier, but I regret nothing.

By 2pm I was beginning to feel like maybe I should accomplish something, so I took a long shower. Then I unpacked half my car in a rather desultory fashion. [censored] eventually showed up, and we watched too many clips of [censored], as we usually do. We also had supper - it was warm outside (like a balmy 35!), so my dad grilled bratwurst, which is one of my favorite things, and my mom made baked beans and fried potatoes, which are two more of my favorite things. Then I was going to be productive, but instead I got sucked into some fine CBS programming - I really like 'Life in Pieces' a lot, and they showed three episodes tonight, and I watched them all.

But rather than stay up way too late pretending that I'm going to get something done, I'm going to go to bed shockingly early, hope for nine hours of sleep, and get up in time to finish unloading my car and taking care of Christmas shopping and wrapping and email and all the other million things I've been neglecting. Goodnight!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

i love this record baby but i can't see straight anymore

I made it back to my ancestral home tonight, after a v. brutal drive - I drove 696 miles today, which is marginally shorter than the 737 miles I drove from SF to Salt Lake, but the last three hours of the drive were on two-lane highways through the rural parts of Iowa, where I had to be ever-vigilant for deer, which was a far cry from the easy 80mph cruising through Nevada and Utah. Also, Nebraska is incredibly, insanely boring, unlike the more scenic areas of Nevada and Wyoming. So, I'm v. v. v. glad to be out of my car and done with my move - I have to unload my car tomorrow, but then I can stop schlepping things around for awhile and focus on taking care of business and enjoying my family before my upcoming adventure.

So, that's all - I said my fond farewells to Katie and her daughters this morning (Julia was surprisingly distraught that I was leaving, but Anne was quite okay with it), and then drove alllll day. Lunch was leftover pizza from last night, as well as a couple of hashbrowns at some point; dinner was a bologna sandwich made with gf bread from my cooler and bologna I bought at a truckstop when I was craving the comfort foods of my youth (I haven't had bologna in years). And I spent most of Nebraska listening to the steady, entertaining, soothing voice of Rob Lowe narrating the rest of his autobiography, which was great.

But now I'm desperate for sleep, and I'm not setting my alarm, so no one should expect anything out of me for many hours. And finally, happy birthday to Jess! Goodnight!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

when i dream, i dream of your lips

I made my escape from Rawlins today, and I successfully traversed the windswept plains of I-80 through Wyoming. There's something gorgeously desolate about that stretch of Wyoming - scrub and rocks leading to hills and mountains in the distance, with increasingly interesting, weathered, ancient rock formations that my grandfather would have loved. It was all lightly dusted with snow, and the wind whistling around my car added to the splendor.

Of course, the twenty+ truck drivers whose semis had been blown off the interstate weren't having such a splendid day; there's something shocking about seeing a semi on its side, even in conditions like these that are ripe for it. But I made it through without any issues, turning south at Laramie to head toward Colorado and my rendezvous with destiny (aka Katie).

I arrived in Denver around 1:30, and she and I made our escape and had a late lunch at Postino - it's a wine bar she'd taken me to once before, and I deeply enjoyed the bruschetta we got (I rarely get to have bruschetta, but they had an excellent gluten free bread, and so we ordered like eight of them). Then we got pedicures, which is way more brutal when one has to walk out of the salon in their free disposable flipflops into a slushy snowbank instead of into the 'cold' of San Francisco. Then we came home, hung out with the girls, welcomed James home, and eventually ordered dinner - I successfully replicated an evening in SF, since Patxi's (my favorite pizza place) has expanded from SF to Denver, and I was able to use Postmates to order it.

After the girls were in bed, we continued to talk about the wide variety of topics we'd covered throughout the day (family, politics, health issues, watches, instagram, homelessness, nomadic wanderings, small town life, etc.)...but now I'm desperate to sleep because I need to drive in the morning, and they're desperate to sleep because their small humans will likely wake them up early. Goodnight!

Monday, December 19, 2016

but when they cut me open, i guess that changed my mind

tl;dr: drowsiness is red alert.

Today was markedly less smooth than yesterday. I think driving 700+ miles yesterday after all the stress and sleepless nights of packing tapped into the very last of my reserves, and I felt groggy and out of it all day. It probably doesn't help that I'm mostly at altitude (I crossed the continental divide and am in Rawlins, Wyoming, which is apparently 6800' - a full 1500' above Denver), or that the eight hours of sleep I got last night isn't nearly enough to compensate for the nights of deprivation.

So I got up around 8:30, threw on some clothes, and went to the complimentary breakfast because it closed at nine (it was not very good, but was free). Then I walked around the block to buy a couple of things at a drugstore, came back to the hotel, showered, and repacked my car. Unpacking and repacking my car is taking quite a bit of time, since I'm worried about things freezing...but I finally got out of Salt Lake around 11:30. I intended to get to Denver tonight...

...but I was beyond tired, and I kept stopping to try to reenergize myself through a combination of freezing temperatures, coffee, snacks, and a v. brief nap in the parking lot of a McDonalds. By the time I reached Rawlins, it was dark (after a gorgeous sunset that I could only view in my rearview mirror) - and I saw a sign saying that I-80 was closed to high-profile light vehicles between here and Laramie (which is where I would have turned off to go south toward Denver) because of extreme winds.

I don't totally qualify as a high profile vehicle - but driving a hundred miles in 60mph winds, in the dark, with blowing snow from what's scattered around the roads from previous storms, sounded like it was not going to be fun at all. Add to that that I'm exhausted, and I decided to throw in the towel and stay in Rawlins.

So, I'm at a hotel that is so new that the building isn't actually on Google Maps (the address is, but the building outline isn't there), and it's quite nice (and cheap - $75/night, with free breakfast and internet and parking, which isn't at all what I'm used to paying). I checked in and shlepped all my stuff upstairs, and then I did a bit of work (I need to do so much writing stuff and haven't had a chance to do anything for two weeks). Then I thought about eating boiled eggs and potato chips from my snack stash, but I decided to go out for dinner - and had a guacamole bacon burger at a place called Buck's, which was really good and made me feel way better. And it turns out that Rawlins is kind of cute when you aren't just passing through on the interstate.

However, it's not cute enough for me to want to stay here tomorrow - so I'm going to sleep, hope to get nine hours, and hope that I can make it out of here at a time in the morning when the winds aren't too bad. Goodnight!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

we use our bodies to make our own videos

tl;dr: 737 miles down!

I'm so exhausted that I can barely think...I got to Salt Lake an hour and a half ago, but then I had to unload my car and figure out my room situation and unpack my cooler, etc., etc., etc. Today went as smoothly as it could have, which helped to make up for the debacle that was yesterday - but rather than my intended leisurely two-day trip to Salt Lake, I did it all in one. That means I got up at 6:20am, showered, dried myself off with yesterday's tshirt (since I threw away my towel as I was leaving last night, thinking that I wouldn't need it), repacked my car, and said goodbye to the city of sin. I left a little before eight, and the drive was beautiful - if the traffic situation was always as good as it is on Sundays at 8am, the Bay Area would be vastly more liveable.

So, I drove and drove and drove, with a quick stop in Auburn for coffee, followed by a longer stop in Reno for lunch at Chipotle. Then I put the hammer down in Nevada - I set the cruise at 82, turned on Rob Lowe's "Stories I Tell My Friends" audiobook autobiography, and rocked down the highway. The sun set on me while I was still in Nevada, and it was all a surreal fugue state narrated by Rob that I remember very little of (but I've driven across Nevada multiple times and it doesn't get better with age).

However, I stopped in Winnemucca for a bathroom/coffee break, and in Carlin for gas, and in Wells for more bathroom/coffee, and in Wendover for more gas (I probably didn't need the second gas stop, but there's 60+ miles in western Utah without gas stations, and I didn't want to risk it). I got to Salt Lake at ~10pm Mountain time, unloaded the car, and you know the rest.

And now I desperately need to sleep, and hopefully have a shorter day tomorrow. Happy birthday to my mother and to Vidya (aka my former Chandlord) - goodnight!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

now my mascara running, red lipstick smudged

tl;dr: San Francisco, I wish I knew how to quit you.

Surprisingly I wasn't hungover this morning, despite my attempt to drink all the bubbles at Nectar last night... But today still didn't go smoothly. In fact, it went so not smoothly that instead of writing this in Reno after a leisurely drive, I'm writing on my phone in San Francisco. It took sooooo much longer than planned to get everything to my storage unit and then to load my car for my trip - each thing that I had to take to my car took at least six minutes because it takes forever to call the elevator, go down eighteen or so flights, walk to the car, and then reverse the process.

So basically I spent all day going up and down the elevator. I also had some pizza and also saw Vidya, who came over on official Chandlord business this afternoon. And I was all loaded up and literally halfway out of the garage at 8:30pm when I realized I was far too tired to have any real shot at successfully making it to Reno (especially since the hardest part of the drive is the last hour). So I made two more elevator trips to bring my suitcase and cooler and comforter back upstairs, and I'm going to sleep right now and aim to be on the road by seven so I can still make salt lake tomorrow. And hopefully tomorrow will be smoother - goodnight!

are you with me? are you with me...

Tomorrow night, I will be in Nevada, which is surreal and not totally comprehensible at the moment (but that may be the champagne talking). Today was my last full day in the city of sin (with the exception of a v. brief 48-hour layover in January), and it was a lot of work and a lot of stress and a lot of fun and a lot of weird emotional upheaval and a lot of joy.

The work came first, of course - I got less than five hours of sleep, and then woke up and kept packing. I don't remember my last move being this bad, despite having a much bigger space - but maybe I blocked the trauma out of my memories. But it all wasn't helped by losing access to my car for several hours - I dropped it off at Toyota to get them to change the coolant and add antifreeze to my windshield fluid, and they checked the tires and verified that everything was good, and they also installed the new wiper blades that I'd bought and not had a chance to install. However, that meant that I couldn't take things to storage today...

...which was for the best, since the cleaners I hired were an hour late and also took an hour longer than I'd estimated to do the job. But the apartment is cleaner than I've ever seen it (except for all the stuff that needs to go to storage/Iowa), and so when they were gone, I picked up my car, and then I ordered takeout from Dosa and took a brief nap on the couch while watching the sun through the amazingly clear windows.

Then I rallied and took a shower and made myself up, and then I got a manicure to repair the ravages of the move. Then, I met up with Vidya - we walked down to the Marina together, where we had a delightful early dinner with Claudia (aka Santy Claude - 'tis the Season!) at Bistro Aix (one of my favorites), where I ordered a bottle of Ridge to punish Vidya for something that I don't even remember right now.

Then we proceeded to Nectar, where I'd arranged for a semi-private party for the evening. Claudia and Vidya and I had wine there until Vidya left, but then the party picked up quickly - a bunch of people rolled in at once, including Katrina, Anthony and Dormain, Jen, Joann, Jane, Peder (aka Timmy Timer), Suzy, and Carolyn. They were followed by Lauren (my old boss from ten years ago), Jenni, and Jesse; Tom, Julie, and Deano; Raja Shah; Justin; Lauren (aka Subz); Sam (Claudia's boyfriend); Rajiv and Sheila; and Oniel (who came despite having to drive over from Castro Valley, which is a real feat).

So that was all totally delightful. I can't recount all the conversations here...I talked a lot about Spinster Honeymoon, and a little bit about Rilla of Ingleside (with Sheila, whom Katie and I would consider to be the race of Joseph), and nearly got lured into an argument between Tom and Julie about generalizations, and made an aborted attempt at a candle ceremony, and tried to convince as many people as possible to come to Bali with me.

But now, I'm desperate for sleep...there's no way that I'll get out of here in time to avoid driving in the dark, which is almost better since I can't see the cliffs if it's dark. So I'm going to get as much sleep as possible so that I'm fresh for the drive - goodnight!

Friday, December 16, 2016

i got stamina

I just hit the wall, so I'm going to sleep and try to finish this fucking move tomorrow. I continue to be thrown off course by the sheer amount of socializing I want to do...while I did many hours of move-related stuff today, I also had lunch (in San Mateo, which sucked up a lot of driving time given the rain) with Anne, Barbara, and Carol to celebrate Anne's birthday and my departure. Lunch was delightful, but it feels like forever ago - some of it is hazy because I didn't have breakfast and was starving and couldn't eat the bread that tided the rest of them over while we waited an hour for our entrees. Bleh. But I'm glad I saw them, so it was #worthit.

Then I came home, with a stop at my storage unit, and traffic was abysmal. Once I got here, I packed for an hour, and then I went down to the Marina to see Chris and Leah at Nectar. I hadn't seen them in forever forever, and also Leah was collecting donations for a women's shelter, so I took some stuff that I needed to get rid of ([censored]: nothing exciting, don't worry). I had a glass of wine while talking to them, and while I probably should have been packing during that time, I'm glad I caught up with them.

Then I came home again for just long enough to grab some more stuff, and then I went over to Lauren's (aka Subz's) for girls' night in. She's storing a case of wine for me, and she laughed when I showed up, because I had the case of wine on my portable hand cart (the best investment ever) while holding my umbrella, and I declared myself the Mary Poppins of wine. You probably had to be there. We caught up and ate takeout Indian and drank some excellent merlot (Grgich Hills for the win), and she told me not to fall in love in Bali, and I'm going to miss her tremendously.

Then I came home yet again, and I packed for four hours straight. My kitchen is done (except for the fridge), and I am making progress on my clothes. I probably wouldn't be quite so stressed, but I have cleaners coming at 9am, and I have to drop my car off at my dealership to get it checked out for my trip at 8am, and that's six hours from now, and I want to have a lot more tidied up before the cleaners get here so I can take advantage of their expertise. So I'm going to get four hours of sleep, hit it hard in the morning, and then hopefully take a nap in the afternoon. This plan sounds terrible even as I say it, but it will all be over soon...so wish me luck with that. Goodnight!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

baby baby baby, light my way

I should probably try to keep working tonight, but I think I've hit a moving wall...and since tomorrow morning is the only morning that I can sleep in (sans hangover), I think I'm going to go to bed and try to get as much sleep as possible. Today wasn't as productive as I'd intended for it to be, probably because I was so tired from yesterday. But I got up in time to take my car in to get the windshield chips fixed, and I had breakfast at a nearby cafe while they did that, so that was time well spent.

Then I ran to BevMo to steal some wine boxes (and, of course, bought some wine, because I'm an idiot - it will be slightly annoying carrying those bottles into hotels every night on my drive, but it will give me something to present to my hosts in Denver, and will give me something to enjoy for Christmas in Iowa). Then I came home and took a nap, because I couldn't anymore. And then I went to get my bangs trimmed - I finally had to tell my stylist that I'm leaving, and she didn't take it well. But I told her that I've booked her for a haircut when I'm back for forty-eight hours in January, and I think by the end she was on the road to forgiveness. We'll see, though - if she chops it all off in a grand gesture of revenge in January, I'll know that she didn't get over it as well as I'd hoped.

Then I went to my storage unit, dropped some stuff off, and picked up a rocking chair and an elephant lamp (everyone should have these things, right?). When I got home, I kept taking care of business until Vidya arrived - she took her work bus here, and then she plundered my canned goods and walked away with some bounty. She also discovered that the bottle of gold-filled champagne that she gave me for my birthday has a light at the bottom, which made it even more wonderful - now we both really want to drink it, but it will have to sit in an undisclosed location until I get back.

I drove her home, and we hauled the rocking chair and the elephant lamp inside, and then I said my adieus. When I got home, I meant to work as hard as possible, but I just don't have the energy tonight. So I did all the things that require my stepladder so I can put it in storage (although I just realized I was wrong about that - I need it for something I'm doing at the very end), and packed all my wine, etc., etc., but I still have a lot to do before the end.

But in forty-eight hours I'll be high on wine and life at my going-away party, and in seventy-two hours I'll (hopefully) be in Reno without too much of a hangover. Goodnight!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

i'll do anything you ever dreamed to be complete

Okay, I'm beyond tired (beyond beyond) - today was pretty brutal, especially since I only got ~4hrs of sleep last night. When I woke up, I was full of panic and adrenaline over everything I had to do - so I took a quick shower, made some coffee, and immediately started packing. And I basically packed for four hours straight. The movers showed up at 9:30, and the lead guy was the same guy who moved me last time, which was great since I really liked him. He was having PTSD flashbacks to the three flights of stairs at the old place, and was v. v. relieved when I told him he wouldn't have to take apart my patio table (which had clearly traumatized him - the blinds were closed and you never could guess that there's a terrace there, but he asked me of his own volition whether the patio table needed to be taken apart, which is an amazing or traumatic memory to survive for almost two years).

So. When they showed up I was nowhere close to done, although I was closer than I had been when I stumbled out of bed. So I kept packing while they moved things out, and kept handing them boxes. I got farther than I thought I would, but I'll still have to take a few things over myself- but that's better than it could have been.

When they were done here, I scarfed down two slices of leftover pizza (I hadn't had breakfast and was about to faint) and met them at my storage unit. They loaded it like the pros they are, and it was v. impressive (and fast). I also talked to the storage unit manager, whom I'd befriended on Friday, and gave him a copy of one of my books, and he took a selfie with me. Lol.

After that, I came home and took a v. brief (way too brief) nap, loaded my car with stuff for Goodwill, and drove down to San Bruno. Grace was coming down for an appointment, and we never see her on our writing dates, so I really wanted to see her before I leave. Anne and Barbara were there as well, and I basically kept them all from getting any work done during the last hour of their writing date (#worthit).

Then, I dropped stuff off at Goodwill, and then I met the Shedletskys in San Mateo for dinner. We went to Kingfish, where fish was v. likely the right thing to order (my salmon was perfect and exactly what I needed after living off takeout for the last few days). They were in fine form, and we discussed all the trips we'd like to take, and how it would be great to meet up with each other someplace next year, and they may have invited themselves to my family reunion in Texas (they are in for a surprise if they actually show up). We also discussed Spinster Honeymoon, and I clearly need to write this thing asap since I've talked it up to everyone now.

Then I drove home, spent an hour researching things I need to buy asap (like tire chains for my impending disaster of a drive, and drywall anchors to reinstall the closet organizer that I uninstalled when I moved in here), and spent another hour planning parties and also canceling things. And now I desperately need to sleep, and hope that I'll get nine hours to start making up for my deficit (not going to happen). Goodnight!

when he come up in the club he be blazing up

I had intended to leave packing for the last minute so as not to overwhelm my apartment until it was necessary - but it appears that I miscalculated by about ten hours, given that I have so very much left to pack (as in, most of my kitchen) and so very little time (eight hours before the movers show up, and I'm too tired to pull an all-nighter).

However, I packed my eleven boxes of books, which is the most important thing anyway. And everything is pretty organized thus far - I probably have more stuff that I intend to take to Iowa than will fit comfortably in my car, but that's a problem for another day (i.e. Wednesday). Right now I need to go to bed and eke out five hours of sleep and then get as much done as possible before the movers show up. Wheeeeeeeeee.

Oh, but one fun thing happened - I had lunch with Gyre today, where we said our fond farewells (although I've done this to him before, and we continue to be friends, so hopefully I'll see him when I'm back in May). Of course, that was time I could have spent packing, but it was #worthit. Goodnight!

Monday, December 12, 2016

you got an ache in your mind and that's a bad way to start

I think accomplishing the rest of my packing tomorrow is *theoretically* possible - but when I put time estimates against everything I have to do tomorrow, I hit sixteen hours, which seems a tad unrealistic. However, I added some breaks in there, and a shower (how luxe!), so maybe it's doable. We shall see, we shall see.

So today was mostly spent in drudgery. I got up around eight and packed until ten, when Chandlord came over (in her official capacity as my landlord, not her ceremonial capacity as my friend) and we showed the place to someone who may rent it. I hope that works out, since it would make my life a lot easier (in that she wants some of my furniture)...but I hope she tells us at some point tonight, because I need to know. She was super nice, and it was all good - but as soon as they all left, I started packing again in earnest.

I'd been putting off the box-buying trip (you can tell I'm behind if I didn't buy boxes until today...but in my defense I had plastic stuff from Container Store, and spent time doing the main paper stuff first), but I finally ventured out for boxes, which was the usual shitshow - the first Uhaul store was somehow out (even though I'd ordered online for pickup), so I had to go to another one, which looked even sketchier than the first one. But I procured my boxes and my car wasn't broken into in the five minutes I was inside, so I take that as a win. Then I came home, talked to my parents, and canceled dinner with Vidya and Claudia - I wanted to see them, but I'm running out of time.

So instead of having fun, I packed from five until midnight, with a break to rant about Instacart (whom I've grown to despise over the past six months; I thought that there was no way they could screw up five items from Target even though they usually screw up something with my groceries, but instead they screwed up two of the five - they replaced my quart ziplocs with sandwich bags, and replaced my 68 gallon ziplocs with 15 2.5gal ziplocs. Stupid). And now I really need to sleep if I'm going to get through tomorrow - goodnight!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

lenny bruce is not afraid

My move is coming all too quickly, but I spent most of today spending time with important people rather than packing - which was the right decision for my heart responsibilities, and the wrong decision for my more prosaic move-related responsibilities. #noregrets

This morning I had to scurry around like mad and get out of the house early (but not early enough - I was half an hour late). I went over to Berkeley to see John and Jess - I wanted to make sure we got some quality time before I left. We were originally planning to go to Saul's for our usual breakfast, but they suggested that I come over to their house instead - which was perfect, since we were able to hang out for three hours, and they could let Ian sleep for most of it instead of going out into the rain.

So, it was great to see them; they made me a delicious breakfast (that looked suspicious like brunch, since we ate at 10:30 and John and I had mimosas, but Jess doesn't like eating brunch, so let's call it breakfast). John made homemade tortillas, and Jess poached some eggs, and there were delicious black beans and cheese and salsa and avocado, and some v. strong coffee to wake me up. Ian woke up about an hour before I needed to leave, so we kept talking while playing with him - he's possibly one of the cutest babies ever (no joke), so I enjoyed making silly faces at him while Jess kept telling him that my name is 'Auntie Wamp'.

But I had to leave there around 12:45 to make my next stop in my grand tour of the bay - this time, I had to go to Los Altos to have high tea with Jen and Joann (of spinster honeymoon fame). It was delightful to see them as well - tea was v. necessary given the weather, although I think that more of the food there was prepackaged than I would have preferred (but I've been snobby about food recently since I've been watching Top Chef). But we had a delightful conversation as well, so it was worth driving down for.

Then I came home, and traffic actually wasn't that bad all the way up to the city, until I made a critical error and turned onto a street that was closed a block up, and the only choice was to take a detour that cost me twenty minutes to go a mile. I was feeling nostalgic and bittersweet after spending the day with my friends, but that little interlude trying to get home erased all sweetness and reminded me that I need to get the fuck out of the city. So I came home, ordered thai food, watched an episode of Top Chef, talked to my doorman about guns for awhile, and cleared out my bathroom closet and packed up some of my clothes. There's still tons to do, of course, but I'm making progress.

But now I desperately need to take advantage of my bed while I still have it - goodnight!

tonight we're drinking from the bottle

I have absolutely nothing of interest to report - I'm feeling some urgency about the move, which is all I've done today. I had to go to my storage unit and clear out my old (small, with just some stuff I should have donated awhile ago + some things I wanted to keep and didn't have room for here) and sign the paperwork for my new (much larger) storage unit. That took four hours, between the move/setup and the horrendous traffic getting back (3 miles in 35 minutes does not make me a happy camper). And I spent the last five hours digging through paperwork and sorting stuff and making sure that the things that are vital for either my trip or my financial records are all together and won't get lost in the move.

But I also had a delightful conversation with Katie this morning, and another delightful conversation with [censored] tonight, so it wasn't all drudgery. And I made myself a great omelette this morning (bacon, shallots, spinach, and pesto), and I had zucchini lasagna tonight that I'd frozen a month ago, so it also wasn't like I was suffering.

But I will be suffering tomorrow if I don't get some sleep - I have a lot to do, both socially and industriously, so I should get some rest. Goodnight!

Friday, December 09, 2016

i'm better, so much better now

So much to do, so little time. So of course I procrastinated more than I should have today - I got a lot of stuff done, but I procrastinated on leaving the house to take care of the outside errands because of the rain. But I did everything I absolutely had to do, and I sorted through all the clothes in my closet, which was a big task. That still leaves books, and shoes, and handbags, and kitchen supplies, and bathroom supplies, and a variety of other things for me to purge, but at least clothes are a start.

But I took a break at nine p.m. because Chandlord came over to discuss her recent trip to Myanmar + my upcoming move (in both a personal way and a landlord way). She drank sparkling water and I had a boulevardier, and it was great to hear about her trip. It made me both a) eager to get going and have fun in Bali and b) sad that I'm not going to see her for a few months. But it was great to see her despite my mixed emotions!

Then she left, and I took care of some tings, and now I need to sleep so I can ramp up my move situation tomorrow. Goodnight!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

shut up and put your money where your mouth is

It's a cold, rainy night in San Francisco, and I'm leaving in ten days. So did I spend the day getting stuff done? Kind of. But mostly I spent it seeing people and running random errands. I went down to Palo Alto to have an early lunch with Alyssa (which also gave me a chance to say goodbye to Joanie's, which I adore). Then I went to the post office and had a highly frustrating time closing my post office box (in their defense, the internet was down and they basically couldn't do anything that anyone was in line for, so I wasn't as annoyed as I might have been). Then I went to Container Store and ogled everything and bought some containers, as one does.

When I got home, I took a nap, and then I started sorting through papers and deciding what to shred and recycle and keep. I also watched some Top Chef, which I'm powering through - this is why I don't usually watch tv, since I'm bingeing like nobody's business. But I took a break to go to Gardenias and have dinner with Jenni - I hadn't seen her since the end of August, so we had a lot to catch up on. It was super fun, and hopefully I'll see her again before I go.

Then I came home and sorted more papers and watched more Top Chef - and now I should sleep so I can do some real work tomorrow. Goodnight!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

hey i heard you were a wild one

There's not much to report about my day...I had a lot to get done, and I accomplished most of it. I also went to San Bruno and worked with Anne, Barbara, and Deborah for a few hours, which was a good way to get away from my moving situation. And then I came home, did six loads of laundry, and watched a bunch of Top Chef.

And yes, that's all entirely boring, but I need to sleep - goodnight!

Monday, December 05, 2016

bad medicine is what i need

It's quite possible that I'm starting to panic over all the stuff I have to do in the next week. Things started to get real this morning...I had an appointment with a travel clinic to check in on my vaccinations, since I'm pretty serious about making sure I'm not going to get preventable tropical diseases (although many of them are unpreventable, unless you cover yourself in DEET all the time). My vaccines are mostly up to date, since I've been to India multiple times and my old employer was pretty serious about prepping me for that - but I got a flu shot, and I also got another round of typhoid vaccine (this time I'm doing the live doses that last for five years, rather than the shot that lasts for two). And she warned me about rabies and monkeys, which is not a reminder I needed, since I think monkeys are fucking creepy.

sssanyway. After that, I went to Philz and worked for awhile. Then I went to Mangosteen and had pho, and then I came home and wasn't feeling totally well, so I took a long nap instead of working. Then I called [censored] to talk about [censored]. Then I messed around and answered emails and took care of things around the house while watching 'Project Runway.'

But now I need to stop being overwhelmed by my to-do list and go to bed so that I can actually accomplish something tomorrow - goodnight!

Sunday, December 04, 2016

today we escape, we escape

I had a lovely day, thanks for asking! I spent the morning drinking iced coffee and reading/writing/answering emails in bed, which was exactly what I needed. Then I ate some lunch, showered, and met up with Tom for a writing date at Another Cafe - I hadn't seen him since before I went to Tahoe, and I hadn't been to Another Cafe in months, so these were both v. overdue. I was supposed to write, but we spent the first 90mins talking (as always happens at a writing date). Then, I worked for half an hour, and was just getting into it again, when it was time to call my parents.

So I said goodbye to Tom, and I called my parents while I walked to the marina. They were in fine form, and I got a long walk in without really realizing how far I'd walked, so that was good. When I got off the phone with them, I went to Nectar, my fave wine bar ever - the owners weren't there, but their bartender (Jack) was, and so I sat there and intended to have one glass of wine while writing, but instead had a lot of wine while talking to Jack. He kept pouring, and he gave me some tastes of stuff, and I was reminded why I loved that place, and suddenly all was right with the world.

Katrina came over at some point, and she had a taste of something as well before we settled up and went down the street to our dinner reservation. We went to Mezes, my old favorite Greek place, where it turns out my favorite bartender there is no longer working - but we met up with Lauren (aka Subz) and had a delightful girls' night out. So delightful, in fact, that I had a twinge of regret over the fact that I'm going to Bali...but I will still be friends with them when I get back, unless they ditch me for each other, which is always possible.

When we were done, Katrina dropped us both off, and now I need to sleep because I have lots of things to do tomorrow. Goodnight!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

so what, i'm still a rockstar

I just fell asleep reading a book at the grand old hour of 10:15pm on a Saturday, so I think it's time to go to bed for real. I spent most of the day taking care of tings and debating whether I wanted to venture out into SF (answer: no, and this is why I need to take a break from the city). But I eventually got in my car and fled for the peninsula, where I sat at Peet's and wrote for a little bit before meeting Heather (aka dear respected madam) for a v. early dinner. 5pm is exactly when I like to eat sometimes, though, and tonight it was perfect.

We went to Town in San Carlos, which I've been to before with the Shedletskys; it's a steakhouse, and we each had two great glasses of wine, and we had an amazing fried cauliflower appetizer that was beyond delicious (it had this nice spicy sauce and some goat cheese, and all together it was perfect). We also split the special, which was a perfectly aged, perfectly cooked porterhouse steak. The porterhouse, for those of you not in the know, is basically a T-bone - meat on one side of the bone is typically cut into a New York strip, and meat on the other side is the tenderloin. The porterhouse was so fucking delicious, and it was perfect for the two of us - and I brought home just a little bit that was left over, and I'm already happily contemplating leftover steak and eggs for the morning. Now the only question is whether to reheat the steak and make eggs over easy, or whether to chop the steak up and make a scramble with steak, onion, jack cheese, and salsa. Decisions, decisions....

sssanyway, we had one of our usual long, rambling, delightful conversations, and we continued it by going back to Peet's and having tea until they kicked us out at nine. Then we parted ways, and I came home and started reading a book, but had to 'rest my eyes' because I'm becoming an octogenarian, and I only woke up to take my contacts out because I'd left the lights blazing and realized I should probably take care of my toilette before sleeping through the night.

But now I've taken care of everything I need to take care of, and this blog post will have to be enough for the night - goodnight!

Friday, December 02, 2016

dj blow my speakers up

I've been staring at my screen for far too long tonight - today was a pretty decent day, all in all, and I did some excellent work on the book. I also got a mani/pedi, which was not strictly necessary, but was certainly v. appreciated.

But that's all I've got for you - I need to rest my eyes so I can write in the morning. Goodnight!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

someone call a doctor, got a case of a love bipolar

Today was extraordinarily better than yesterday. I woke up later than I should have and was scrambling this morning to get stuff done, but I checked some things off my to-do list and generally felt productive, so I'll take it. After eating an odd lunch (leftover sushi that I'd picked up at Whole Foods last night + a slice of peanut butter toast when the sushi wasn't enough), I drove down to San Mateo for a writing date with Anne. It was just the two of us since Barbara was sick, and we spent a lot of time talking about life and crafting (she's running her son's school's craft fair tomorrow, where the kids all make crafts, and it sounds like a nightmare since she's given herself RSI from punching thousands of paper products (she said that last year she punched 13,000 items and had to wear a wrist brace until the end of January as a result) - but she claims it's not a nightmare because she's a better person than I am). But I also got some decent writing done, which made me happy.

I had to leave earlier than usual, though, because I had coffee plans at my old office with my old boss (Sriram). He must have heard that I was on campus on Monday to see Tomas, because he emailed me the next day to see if I wanted to get together - and thanks to the vagaries of our schedules (which is why we haven't seen each other in six months), the only possible way to make it happen was if I went down late this afternoon before my dinner plans. So we had 45mins to catch up, and it was great to see him - it's always fun to catch up, even if this time I only got string cheese and a banana out of the deal (which, to be fair, is exactly what I wanted - and I stole a Mountain Dew and an iced tea on the way out).

Then, I went to a different Starbucks and wrote for another forty minutes, which was good. And then I went to Vive Sol, where I had girls' night out with Joann and Jen. This was all rather impromptu, but v. appreciated, and we caught up over margarita (singular - I was the only one who had one) and enchiladas (v. v. non-singular). It wasn't the same as our old get-togethers at Fiesta del Mar, which has gone out of business and is being replaced by some slick new real estate development, but it was quite tasty, and the company was obviously wonderful. And they should have been happy to see me, if for no other reason than that we used my membership with SHN to buy them a pair of Hamilton tickets before they go on sale to the public (sorry to the rest of you - I could only buy two).

After we caught up on the most pressing issues of the day, we also discussed travel plans...which partially embarrassed me because my packing job for Bora Bora/Easter Island/Chile was possibly the worst packing job I've ever done (and Joann is a packing master, so I felt woefully underprepared the entire time), and partially got me super excited for all the places I want to go. And we caught up on work, life, etc. We'll have some more time together before I leave the state, but that's only two weeks away...

...and I have a million things to do before then, so I should get some sleep now so I can hit it hard tomorrow. Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

falling out of love with molly

I feel like I should just draw a veil over today and try again tomorrow. But I at least got a bit of work done, and took a walk, and bought groceries, and set up my new phone (I'm back to Android after a sojourn in iPhone-land - thanks to my desire for the new Pixel and my more practical desire to switch to Google Fi, which will make for cheap/easy data worldwide + the ability to get better service at my parents' house). I also binged some of last season's Top Chef, which was not strictly necessary but was better than aimlessly browsing through twitter.

But tomorrow's another day, and I intend to seize it - goodnight!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

faking the books

Today was genuinely pretty delightful. Blocking the internet in the morning continues to help me focus (although I still have enough internet that I can answer email and take care of basic tasks - I just can't go down an endless rabbit hole of political coverage). I got off to a late start since I went to bed so late last night, but I spent the morning/early afternoon hours taking care of a wide variety of necessary activities to move me closer toward my goals of writing a book + moving out of my apartment (spoiler alert if you didn't know: I'm moving out of my apartment in less than three weeks, and it seems like as good a time as any to mention that here).

So yeah - did I tell you that I'm moving out of SF? And that I'm going on a grand world adventure? It starts with driving my car to Iowa in mid-December (always a dicey proposition), followed by three weeks in Iowa for the holidays. And then I go to Bali for six weeks, followed by London for six weeks, followed by Venice for a week, followed by Milwaukee (because Milwaukee is a natural way to end such an adventure).

I'll be blogging a lot more about this in the future (especially when I'm in these places, obvi), but I'm pretty excited for this next adventure. I've been feeling the travel itch for a long time, and have also been traveling a lot already anyway, and it just felt like now's the right time for me to go someplace and have some adventures and hopefully write SPINSTER HONEYMOON (especially in a place that could add some additional fodder for the story).

sssanyway. the next few weeks will be insane as a result - moving and also finishing a book should not happen at the same time. So of course, I took a couple of hours off this afternoon despite that. I walked down to Hayes Valley, where I had a v. late lunch in a pop-up type place that serves lunch inside Noir Lounge when Noir is closed during the day - my salad was exactly what I needed. Then, I went to Warby Parker and got new glasses (highly recommend them!), and then I went to Philz and caffeinated and wrote for a couple of hours.

Then I came home, took care of household chores (including cleaning my bathroom, which is a joyless, thankless task), and then spend the evening hanging out with Claudia. I hadn't seen her since before I went to Salem, so she came over and I ordered Thai and we opened a bottle of wine and had a proper catch-up. And I realized that I'm not feeling all that many emotions over going to Bali because I'm gone all the time anyway - so right now it just feels like a bit of a longer trip than usual. Also, if I spent six weeks in Bali, that will be the longest stretch of time I've spent in the same bed in at least two years - so it's no wonder that this kind of travel feels approximately as stable as anything else I've done recently.

But now I'm falling asleep on my couch and it's time to rectify that and go to bed - goodnight!

Monday, November 28, 2016

wrap her up in a package of lies, send her off to a coconut island

Today was rather shockingly productive, considering I was not feeling #inittowinit for awhile (especially after I had some bourbon, but I'm getting ahead of myself here). I woke up this morning and forced myself to sit down and write for twenty minutes before I did virtually anything else, and that seemed to help get me into story mode even though I didn't have time to keep going. Instead, I showered, ate a snack, and drove down to Mountain View, where I had lunch with my old coworker friend Tomas. I hadn't been to campus at all since April, I think, and I've been v. removed from the gossip as a result. So, we caught up over one of those lunches that maybe would have wowed me ten years ago, but now doesn't feel totally worth driving down for (yes, I'm still spoiled even though I haven't worked there in a year and a half).

Then, I drove to San Bruno, where I had a writing date with Anne, Barbara, and Deborah. I often don't get much writing done with them, especially when we haven't seen each other recently - Barbara spent last week in Hawaii and Deborah and I have had alternating travels for several weeks, so I wasn't expecting much in the way of productivity. But I eventually settled down and got four pages, which I'll totally take. This was even with the distraction of email and texting and scheduling social activities for the week - so that was good.

Then, I sat in my car and called my mom, and then I drove home and quickly ate a frozen enchilada and made myself a boulevardier and called my friend Maya. She and I have been trying for weeks to get time together to talk about writing stuff - she lives in NYC, which makes the scheduling tricky. But we finally talked tonight, and it was great - we both want to make similar career switches over the next year (she also writes historical romance and wants to write something closer to YA or women's fiction), and we're going to start talking monthly and sending chapters to each other, and I'm excited about that.

I was also excited to discover that I make a mean boulevardier - I probably could have happily had five of them tonight. But since it's pure alcohol (bourbon, campari, and sweet vermouth), five of them would have put me under, and I need to work tomorrow and not spend the day recovering from a hangover. So, I limited myself to one (heroic, I know). Then, I turned on the tv and played a couple of episodes of the last season of 'Top Chef' so that I had some background noise while I was working. I've been meaning to finish reformatting the paperback for LORD OF DECEIT forever, and I really need to get it done - and some cooking in the background was the perfect complement to my eye-straining endeavor of redoing the InDesign file so that the book size can be 5"x8" instead of 6"x9".

So, I finally finished that - I still need to redo the cover to fit the new trim size (smaller overall size, but wider spine because there are more pages in the smaller book), but I'm going to attempt that tomorrow. For now, it's time to sleep and hopefully dream of something like Bali instead of something like running from Nazis (in other words, I'd prefer sweet dreams instead of my usual nightmares). Goodnight!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

a different line every night guaranteed to blow your mind

Today was lovely, and I'm on a roll (belatedly) with the writing, but I'm going to stop while I'm ahead and get some sleep so that tomorrow won't start as late as today did. I got up around 9:30 (note: I didn't go to bed when I said I was going to last night), showered, ate some eggs, and met Katrina at Cafe du Soleil for what was intended to be a writing date. Instead, we had a delightful lunch and a couple of coffees each (plus some orange juice for me to improve my vitamin content), and we ended up talking about writing and work and life and Bali for five hours. This was exactly what I needed, since I hadn't had some bona fide friend time in awhile - I've been kind of hermity lately, and while I was out of the house for Thanksgiving, that wasn't the kind of 1:1 bonding that I was in the mood for today.

So, we had a lovely conversation, and then I came home and continued exercising my vocal chords by calling my parents. Then, I took care of some tings, ate some supper, played some sudoku, and eventually forced myself to write four pages, which I will totally take. Ideally I will get triple that tomorrow, but for tonight, that's good enough to get back into the story. Goodnight!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

these seconds when i'm shaking leave me shuddering for days

Today was super quiet - I spent the morning working in bed while the rain fell, and then I needed to get out of the apartment and take a walk before I went mad. So I walked to Japantown and went to my favorite stationery store and stocked up on cards, and I bought some Mountain Dew on the way back because I've hit that part of the writing process, apparently.

Then I came home and alternated between procrastinating and working and watching tv - I'm slowly getting back into the book, which is slower than I would like but I'm trying not to stress yet. But I just hit a wall in terms of staring at screens, and I need to go to sleep immediately if I want to be productive tomorrow - goodnight!

baby we were born to run

I awoke in Pescadero this morning...actually, I awoke several times, thanks to the toddler army (Lauren's son is almost fifteen months, and her sister's two kids are four and two, and they were all quite expressive this morning). But after I mainlined some coffee (and stopped in at a cute coffee shop for more, where they were selling vintage stuff - including a Charlie's Angels thermos that looks like something I saw in my youth for $80. Note to interested parties: if you're in possession of that thermos, you should sell it), I drove back up the coast. I took Highway 1 all the way up, and it was simply, perfectly gorgeous. So simply, perfectly gorgeous that I was rather loath to come back to the city...

...but I had to, so I did. I did some work when I got here, but I was way too tired, and I ended up sleeping for an hour. I was also thinking about cooking, but instead I indulged in takeout Indian food, which was exactly what I really wanted. And then I wasted the evening on a combo of general procrastination + Project Runway - but I prefer to believe that I was stockpiling strength so I can hit it hard tomorrow.

And now it's time for bed - goodnight!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

i've had my fun and now it's time to serve your conscience overseas

Happy thanksgiving, everyone! I'm in Pescadero, where I had too much wine while celebrating with Lauren (aka Subz)'s family, and the wine plus the fact that I blocked myself in while helping to move a camper van into prime position (long story) has conspired to keep me here overnight. But today was lovely - I worked all morning, and I did some laundry, and I made some gravy as my contribution to dinner. Then I drove down to Pescadero, which meant I had an idyllic drive along the coast, which filled my soul with joy. And Lauren's family isn't the same as my family, but I've had a lot of events with them at this point, so I was quite happy to share the day with them.

But I'm typing this on my phone, and I should take advantage of the opportunity to sleep before the toddler army wakes up at five a.m. - goodnight!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

find my sun in the dark side of my shadow

Today was one of those rough mornings where I thought I should tackle the manuscript head-on and instead sat around and avoided it, which always leads straight into a death spiral of doubt. This was despite getting up and making a frittata and some coffee and taking a shower early, all of which usually help to jumpstart me.

But, unlike usually, I actually remembered this afternoon (in the middle of a writing date at Starbucks with Anne) that this particular type of block is almost always because something's wrong with the story and not because I'm a lazy disaster - I wish I would have remembered this yesterday, but remembering it today is about three days earlier than I usually remember it, so I guess that's progress? Anne and I had spent the first portion of our writing date talking about all and sundry, but then after I realized the problem, she and I talked through that instead, and I think I have a better plan for how to tackle the next few scenes. Of course, that meant I didn't get that many words on the page this afternoon, but it's all good.

When we were done writing, I grabbed a few things from the grocery store next to the Starbucks (the lines were surprisingly short, thankfully), came home, and did some stuff around the house. I should have written or worked tonight, but I was feeling strangely tired, and I accidentally fell asleep at nine. So I'm going to indulge my sleepiness and go to bed, and hopefully get some decent writing done in the morning before pursuing my Thanksgiving plans. Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

something about you makes me feel like a dangerous woman

I'm falling asleep on the couch (again...I already did that once tonight), so I'm going to muddle through this as best I can and go to bed asap. Today was a great way to refocus and adjust, though. I slept late, had some coffee and made myself a v. tasty omelette with ham and cheddar (thanks, past self, for buying some breakfast food before I left for ye olde Iowa), and then spent the rest of the morning and much of the afternoon doing a comprehensive sweep of my to-do list (and doing some of the things that have lingered on it).

In general, I think that some of my planning is an exercise in procrastination-masking-as-productivity. However, I'm glad that I took the time to really outline things today - between finishing my book and getting ready for some crazy travel, I basically have more stuff than I can possibly do in a month. Or, at least, it felt like that. But by making eight pages of notes on what I need to do, and then assigning orders and due dates to all of them, and mapping out the next two weeks' worth of tasks, I'm feeling more hope than I did that maybe I'll accomplish everything I need to do.

But by 3:45p.m. I needed to stop and move on to my next task. So I took a shower, and then I walked down to SoMa for an early dinner at Tsunami Sushi with my friend Durand. I haven't seen him in forever, and it was so good to catch up - he now works for my old boss Claire (the big boss), and we have mutual friends (he was in India after I was and we went to South Africa together), so we had a lot to discuss. So much that we were there for 3.5 hours, which flew by like nothing.

Then I came home, and now I've fallen asleep twice while writing this - helped along by a much stronger rainstorm than I was expecting tonight. Goodnight!

Monday, November 21, 2016

maybe tomorrow the good lord will take you away

I'm back in San Francisco after my whirlwind surprise trip to Iowa - it was #worthit, but now I need to get some sleep and get cracking on finishing Lucy and Max's book. I have approximately eleventy billion things to do in the next month, which is less of an exaggeration than I would like for it to be. Also, tonight I bought a plane ticket to Bali for January, so I need to wrap up a whole lot of stuff before that happens.

But today went as smoothly as it could have gone. I got up at eight and had breakfast with my parents, and we talked until 9:30, at which point I was perilously close to being late for my flight. So I showered v. quickly, packed even more quickly, said goodbye to the parents, and drove to Des Moines. Luckily, the Des Moines airport was as efficient as it always it - it probably took me no more than five minutes from the time I pulled my rental car into the rental car return line to the point when I was through security (maybe it took me seven minutes...but that's pretty good for dropping off a car and going through the airport and up the escalator and through security). So, even though I was later than planned, I still had time to grab a salad and a subpar coffee before boarding my flight.

The flight to Dallas was on time and uneventful. I sat next to a v. nice lady who was on her way to Austin to visit her grandkids, so we chatted off and on, but I also wrote for an hour, which was great. In Dallas I got some more coffee, then boarded my flight to SFO. It was also on time, and I had time for a nap, some solid writing, and a bit of hypochondria over the fact that they guy next to me sounded like he was Patient Zero in a Michael Crichton novel about ape-borne pneumonia.

So when I got to SFO, everything was good - but I didn't want to ruin my happy buzz by sitting in traffic and getting home and having nothing to eat. So, I hung out at a wine bar and ate meat and cheese and drank some pinot noir and wrote some more. When I'd written all I could write, I turned my attention to other tasks (see: ticket to Bali), and I worked pretty steadily for a couple of hours. Maybe it was silly to sit at the airport after my flight landed - but the people watching is great, and they're used to weird people hanging out, and the drive home was only twenty minutes since I waited traffic out, so I'll take it.

But now, I need to sleep - again, I have to do eleventy billion things in the next month, and that requires doing stuff tomorrow. Goodnight!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

he said the leaves are falling down, such a beautiful sound

I meant to go to bed an hour ago, but I fell down a rabbit hole of researching travel gear (one of my favorite obsessions!), and now I desperately need to sleep so that I can do some actual travel in the morning. I had a great short trip home, but it's time to turn around and head back to SF for a few weeks....

Today, though, was nice, and entirely uneventful. I slept in, and then I went upstairs and had breakfast with my parents. I mostly hung around the kitchen for the rest of the day - at some point, [censored] left to go back to [censored], and so he missed out on the excellent cheeseburgers that my mom made for supper. I also watched some fine CBS programming (NCIS: LA, Madam Secretary, and Elementary - a v. good night of tv, in my opinion). And I shared the second half of a bottle of pinot noir with my dad - I'd opened it last night, and it was still delicious tonight. It was from some vineyard called Illahe from the Willamette Valley, and I'd bought it in Iowa a few months ago - I hadn't seen it elsewhere, but I may need to track some more down sometime.

But now, I shall sleep, and hope that my travels tomorrow are uneventful and that I can reimmerse myself in my book. Goodnight!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

i got you baby

I stayed up way too late and so I'm suddenly too tired to blog...but suffice it to say that today was my dad's birthday (happy birthday!), and it was a lovely, quiet day in southern Iowa. But I'm falling asleep as I'm typing this, so nothing would be served by trying to write anything longer...goodnight!

Friday, November 18, 2016

we ain't never getting older

Surprise! I am in Iowa!

I will only be here for a couple of days, since I came to surprise my dad for his sixtieth birthday, but I think the trip was worth it. It was even worth getting up at 3:30am so that I could catch my 6am flight. That was all slightly more stressful than usual - I flew American, which I haven't flown in perhaps half a decade, because I had miles on American that I realized I should use on something like this (a last minute trip, which I booked on Sunday). Surprisingly, I was able to find a ticket flying in today and back Monday, and it was all smooth (other than the fact that I'm not at all familiar with the American terminal at SFO and also have never flown through Phoenix, and so my usual SFO->DEN->DSM routine was totally thrown off and I was hungry all day as a result of my poor planning and lack of obvious gluten free options).

So I slept on the plane from SFO to PHX, and then I wrote on the plane from PHX to DSM (good stuff, albeit not enough for my tastes). When I got to DSM, I picked up my rental car, drove home, and rendezvoused with [censored] in our hometown. [censored] was the only person in Iowa who knew I was coming, and I had been texting him off and on all day, but apparently I am not destined to be an expert spymaster (although [censored] was able to translate my Mongolian at some point, so not all is lost). We met up so that he could drive me to our house without ruining the surprise by having a strange car show up in the driveway - and we succeeded rather well, I think. My parents were definitely totally surprised, and if they weren't happy to see me, they are excellent actors.

We hung out around home for awhile, and we eventually went to supper in Seymour, where I had a ribeye and a baked potato to make everything better after a day of limited foodstuffs. My dad has a special relationship with them and they'll make him eggs to go with his steak even though they'll make eggs for no one else at night - he uses his talents for eggs, and I use mine for free wine at bars, but it's all in the same vein. So we ate supper and told jokes and I finally warmed up from the frigid temperatures just in time to go back outside again.

Then we came home, I watched some tv, and now I should sleep - I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night, and I should maximize my time here (although I'll be back in a month, so it's not like I won't have plenty of time then, but still). Goodnight!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

we're not gonna pay last year's rent

I really want to go to bed - today wasn't the optimal productivity day that I was hoping for, but it was still great, so I'll take it. I spent the morning messing around at home, although I got a little work done - I finished putting in the edits from my editor, which is a boring, thankless task, but I finally finished in time to go to my writing date.

My writing date was with Veronica at the Legion of Honor - we're continuing our museum writing date habit. I wasn't as productive today as last time, which was a little disappointing - but I really like Veronica a lot, and it was good to get some quality time with her. We chatted, then worked, then ate lunch (I had a curry that was surprisingly satisfying), then worked some more. And then we saw the special exhibit on the Brothers LeNain - they're a group of three French brothers who painted in the 1600s, and they're a little bizarre in that they seemingly purposefully obscured who produced what, which has led to some mysteries for modern curators. I enjoyed the exhibit immensely, particularly since they painted some children who looked incredibly dim-witted (like the Zoolander of the French peasantry), and they used the same models over and over, which made me laugh. Yes, I am not sophisticated enough for art.

We parted ways after four hours together, and I took a few moments to admire how gorgeous everything was outside Legion of Honor before heading home. Legion of Honor is v. close to the ocean, with a view of the Golden Gate from the west (as opposed to from the east/south, like most of the city), and it's tranquil and gorgeous out there - much moreso than my neighborhood, where I went to CVS and noticed a guy definitely stealing stuff. Thanks for the reminder that I hate the city, thief dude!

sssanyway. After I got home, I took care of a variety of tings (and by that I mean I procrastinated for ninety minutes before running my CVS errand, coming home, and eating dinner). I also scribbled in my notebook while watching a Project Runway episode from two weeks ago - I'm a little behind and I need to catch up.

But now, I'm desperate for sleep - I am way behind on my to-do list, and I am hoping to catch up on all the things tomorrow. Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

no reservations

I've stayed up past my bedtime, but today was worth it. I got quite a bit done this morning, thanks to turning off the internet before waking up - it's a tactic that I'm probably just going to have to continue. So if there's major news, call or text me rather than expecting that I'll see an email or social post...I feel a lot happier when I can bury my head in my work for a few hours before reality comes knocking again.

But I had to stop working before I was ready to this morning - I had lunch plans with some of my writer friends, since we're all ladies who can do such things. My friend Tina was supposed to go to Tahoe with us, but she was too sick to join, so we had lunch with her to catch her up on what she missed. Grace, Anne, Barbara, Tina and I met at the Cliff House, where we had possibly the most perfect table with an amazing view of the ocean (made even more amazing by the fact that it was actually sunny). I never go out to the ocean, but every time I do, I'm reminded of how incredible it is...but driving twenty minutes across town to get there is just not something I do all that often.

Lunch was great - I had a glass of champagne so that Tina could have the experience she missed of watching me drink (Tina doesn't really drink, but if you know me at all, you know champagne is my weakness - and they had Gloria Ferrer by the glass, so I couldn't resist). I also had a great steak frites with perfect truffle fries, so that was blissful. And we had a great time chatting and catching up and filling Tina in on everything - hopefully we can go there again sometime, since it was great and relatively convenient for all parties.

Then I came home, procrastinated, did some stuff around the house, and hung out with Vidya, who came over to do Chandlord-y stuff. I plied her with salad and heard about her upcoming trip to Burma (Myanmar?), and that was all great.

But she had to go pack, and I had to go the opera house to see Anthony Bourdain speak. It was a bit of a strange experience - the bro behind me was waaaaaay too excited about Bourdain (his girlfriend kept shushing him), and a protestor got up early on and started yelling at Bourdain about puppies and animals and vegetarianism (he humored her for awhile, but then threatened to go out and shoot a puppy in the head if she didn't stop talking, and eventually security took her out). The rest of the talk was funny and uneventful - it was almost like watching a standup routine by a guy who isn't a comedian, but who still have interesting and often funny things to say.

Then I came home, did some internet stuff, and accidentally fell asleep in the middle of writing this, so I think it's time for bed. Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

i will never be satisfied

I had a pretty good day, productivity-wise - I set up aggressive internet blocks last night before I went to bed, so I wasn't able to check fb or twitter or instagram or the news or any of the other million things that have been distracting me. While this didn't lead to me writing a million words, I was certainly happier and more focused this morning - so I'm going to do it again tomorrow. I also did laundry, took care of some business stuff, and did some solid editing, so that was all great.

This afternoon, I had a writing date in San Bruno - as is typical, I didn't get a lot done with them, but it's always good to see Anne, Barbara, and Veronica. Then I came home, made chicken and greek salad for dinner, and started wondering again about tomatoes/nightshades because my hands started hurting tonight for the first time in awhile. And then I procrastinated rather than working, but I think that's acceptable...

And now I'm going to go to bed early and hope that I get a lot done in the morning, since I have many other plans for the rest of the day - goodnight!

Monday, November 14, 2016

i'm a little unsteady

Long day with quite a bit of progress...I woke up at six, which is extremely unusual for me, and actually got out of bed (even more unusual), which meant that I had several extra hours at the beginning of my day. I used that time to unpack, organize, take care of some lingering things on my to-do list, and get down to inbox zero in both of my main email accounts (that never happens). I also went to the grocery store, came home, and made a perfect sandwich (it's the little things, apparently).

But then things went a little sideways into slothville, mostly because my twenty-minute nap went well over an hour, which left me groggy. But I made some coffee and then was diligent with the writing for awhile - I got notes back from my editor, and they were spot on, so I spent some quality time with the manuscript and my thoughts.

But I can tell that I'm not going to get anything else done tonight, and I'd rather sleep than try to force it - goodnight!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

and this is how it starts

I'm clearly still on east coast time, since I really wanted to go to bed two hours ago. But that made for a productive morning today - I got up, made some scrambled eggs (which was all I could scrounge together) and some iced coffee (instant, not cold brew), and then answered email for a couple of hours to get caught up on everything I missed while I was out of town. Then I showered, made some mayonnaise, and then made some tuna salad, which was the only other thing I could scrounge up (my grocery situation is dire).

I should have probably rectified the grocery situation, but instead I went to a cafe and had a writing date with myself for a couple of hours. Then I came home and talked to my parents for like 2.5 hours, while I slowly risked succumbing to starvation while waiting for my food delivery to arrive. But I eventually got fed, and I did some more work tonight, so I'm feeling organized(ish) for the week ahead.

But the week ahead requires a *ton* of writing, and also some groceries and attempts to feed myself, and also laundry and general cleanliness, so I should go to bed. Goodnight!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

fragile to the waves, vicissitudes of days

I'm sleepy and jetlagged, but I'm about to enjoy my own bed (after already accidentally enjoying a nap on my own couch), so this shall be v. brief. But I woke up in Salem this morning, showered, packed, checked out of the hotel, and had brunch with Barbara before saying our sad farewells. I was ready to come home, but I also don't have any idea when I'll see her again, so that made our leave-taking a little sad since we've had some great times together this month.

But all things end, even the fun things, and I'm sure I'll find some quality time with her next year. I went to the airport, had a glass of wine and ordered a salad to go, and got some iced coffee to take on the flight. Happily, my flight was only half full, and the seat between me and the person in the window seat was empty, which made for a way more comfortable five hour flight than I usually have. I had intended to spend it working, but I did v. little work (other than half an hour of journalling) - instead, I finished A PROMISE OF FIRE (which I'd started last night). I had a little trouble getting into it, and the heroine was a little too whiny about being kidnapped (doesn't she know that she's the heroine in a fantasy world and that getting kidnapped and falling in love with your captor is part of the gig?!). But by the end I was hooked, and it ended on a cliffhanger-ish, and now I am eagerly awaiting the sequel in January.

After that, I didn't really want to start working (see: having half a bottle of wine over the first half of the flight, then sharing a second bottle with the woman next to me), so I also finished reading ALLOY OF LAW, which I'd started a couple of months ago and set aside. I ended up liking it better than I thought I would, so when I got home, I started reading the sequel. But I'm too wrecked to keep reading, and I really do need to work tomorrow and try to get my life in order, so it's time for bed. Goodnight!

Friday, November 11, 2016

listen to your heart bleed

I'm flying home tomorrow, and I'm ready for some time in my own bed. However, today was a good end to the conference - I made it downstairs in time for the morning workshop, where I had a few great realizations about my current story (which I need to work on like a fucking madwoman for the next couple of weeks). Then I went across the street for lunch - it was so amazingly windy, sweeping leaves through the cobbled streets, and I didn't feel like venturing any farther than I had to for a salad and some alone time.

Then I came back for the afternoon session, although I was fairly distracted - I'm really not into Lucy's book as much as I'd like to be because my head and my heart are dreaming of other projects and other, bigger plans. So I need to get refocused on the task at hand this week. But all in all, the conference was great - I met some cool new people, and I really really enjoyed all the time I got to spend with Barbara, and I had some good story realizations even if I didn't come up with a whole plot for my 'spinster honeymoon' idea out of the ether.

I grabbed a drink with Heather before the last session, and then I sat through the last session, and then I had a drink and some nachos with Barbara and Heather before they went out for a dinner for the session leaders. While they were at dinner, I came upstairs, took a nap, and then burrowed under the covers and started to read a book - so it was almost a miracle that Barbara convinced me to go downstairs and have a drink at the final party, since I'd taken off my pants and my bra and was happily deep in the book. But I went to the party and had a final glass of wine, and then she and I came upstairs and had yet another great conversation that I think left us both with big dreams and lots of chills (I have lots of big ideas for the year ahead - now it's just about organizing and implementing them).

And now, I shall sleep, and dream of everything I want to do, and get cracking on some of it tomorrow. Goodnight!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

the other night i dreamt a nice continental drift divide

I have to say that I adore Salem. It's a town that has made its whole economy off the fact that it killed a bunch of women in the 1600s, which is highly problematic, and the Beyonce part of my soul wants to #slayallday and leave this place. But the part of me that is more interested in history and tragedy and chaos and lovely architecture has really enjoyed the days of wandering around Salem and immersing myself in stories.

Today I was much more focused than yesterday; I slept last night, and didn't have to get up early, and so was #inittowinit. I made it to my friend Barbara's workshop at nine (real sacrifice, I know) at the House of the Seven Gables (yes, that one), and I got some really good stuff out of it - it was all about voice, and short writing prompts, and I adore that kind of stuff. She talked about how your voice is what is is, but your genre/style is like clothing that you put on top of your voice/body, and some clothes fit great and some clothes look terrible. And that, to be honest, fit in with all the signs I'm getting in my life that maybe my voice is better suited for something other than historical romance...I love it, but it's not a natural fit, and my snarkiness/cynicism/outlook on life would probably fit better with YA or contemporary fiction than it does with historical, and I need to listen to that calling....

But I'll listen to that calling tomorrow. After Barbara's class, I went to another workshop (also great), and then Barbara and I had lunch at a v. tasty diner (Ugly Mug, I think) a few blocks away, where I had salmon and perfectly poached eggs and hollandaise, and we talked about story and life, and it was all wonderfully satisfying. Then, I walked her to the cemetery and we parted ways, and I went to a coffeeshop and people-watched and wrote and daydreamed to my heart's desire.

Eventually, I came home and took a nap, and then Barbara and I had drinks in the hotel (with a truly insufferable mansplainer who tried to tell his wife that Hillary is still a sitting senator and so can still go back to the senate, and the wife clearly wasn't having it, but he was convinced, so c'est la vie). Then we went across the street and had dinner and more wine, and then we came back to the hotel, and we agreed that we are besties and are so so glad to have met each other, and we have committed that we're doing a train trip in India in 2018 (yessssss, since there are other places in India I want to go and she's someone I can always travel with).

And now I need to sleep - I have several hours of workshops tomorrow and need to metabolize a lot of wine before that can happen. Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

world serves its own needs, don't misserve your own needs

I'm tempted to just direct you to [censored]'s attempt at writing a blog post for me (see last night's comments) and call it a night, since he #nailedit. But I suppose I should tell you that I'm still alive, although I'm brutally tired - I was up until after one a.m. last night, and didn't sleep well (thanks to almost five glasses of wine), and I woke up at seven feeling like death (mostly due to lack of sleep, not a hangover, which I miraculously avoided as the only gift of today).

It was rather interesting experiencing the aftermath of the election with a bunch of writers - writers are strange beasts anyway, and tend to be highly emotional (or at least sensitive to drama), and often very opinionated. And it was clear that the energy throughout the hotel was awful - there were a lot of tears and red eyes, and a lot of fear.

So I tried to put it all out of my head and focus on the work of learning how to tell better stories, but the morning workshop opened with a rather long diatribe about the election, and it totally distracted me. I took a couple of great things away from that workshop, but I was really exhausted and really unable to focus, so I ended up skipping all the afternoon stuff so that I could relax in my room, then go out and seek a late lunch by myself (salad and a glass of wine at a bar where the locals were also devastated), and then wander around Salem for a little bit. Salem's a really pretty town, and I wish I had more time here - but I think I'll be ready to go home when the time comes.

Then I came back to the hotel and hung out in the bar with my new friend Heather, who is awesome. She and Barbara were signing books at seven because they're workshop presenters and all the presenters did a signing, so I picked up a couple of books and then hid in my room for another hour. But then we all had a late dinner at Bit Bar, which was charming - it had a video game theme, with lots of old gaming machines, and Barbara had tater tots shaped like Tetris pieces, and it was delightful.

But now I'm desperate for sleep and hoping that I can refocus tomorrow since there are some workshops that I really want to get something out of - goodnight!