Saturday, April 30, 2016

the cold remains of what began with a passionate start

So, after last night's vomitous escapade, I didn't have super high hopes for today - but apparently the food poisoning was fast-acting, since I didn't throw up again overnight and felt mostly fine this morning. This was a v. good thing, since I had to be on all day and couldn't have done it if I was still feeling like vomiting every ten minutes. I still skipped breakfast and chose to drink Sprite instead, and I kept lunch super light, but I survived it all...

...and it was all quite lovely, I have to say. I was reminded that I have actual fans (weird) who are extremely annoyed that Rafe and Octavia's book isn't out yet (one of them sat next to me at lunch and now plans to email me every week until it comes out). This whole 'having fans' thing is still bizarre to me, and I wonder at what point it will stop being bizarre - and whether I will automatically be insufferable when it stops being bizarre.

Anyway, the people at my lunch table were all really lovely, and I had a great time hanging out with them. Then, I survived the book signing - luckily we were in alphabetical order by first name, which meant I got to sit next to Shawntelle, whom I've met several times before - she lives in St Louis but grew up in Iowa, so we had a great time chatting during lulls in the book signing. But I sold most of the books at my table, and I had multiple people come up to say that they loved 'x' book of mine (again, bizarre). It's still baby steps toward the level of success I want to have (my table was next to Eloisa James, for non-alphabetical reasons, and she had a line the whole time, which would be nice (albeit super exhausting)), but it was pretty fun.

After the signing, I took fifteen minutes to myself to change and sit in silence. Then I went downstairs and was going to grab dinner in the restaurant rather than going to the pizza party, but it turns out they had gluten free pizza in the corner, and I gorged on it despite the perhaps unwise move of eating so much after food poisoning - but since I threw up yesterday's lunch and didn't have dinner last night or breakfast or much lunch this morning, maybe it makes sense. I instead sacrificed alcohol and didn't use my drink tickets, which was probably the right call.

However, alcohol might have made some of the evening activities easier. I was having a great time hanging out with some readers, but then we got dragged into playing games - nothing as horrifically disgusting as the games that Katie and I were forced to play at a conference in Denver a few years ago, but still. The mad libs were pretty fun, though, and some of the charades were fun to watch, so I guess it was all good.

But now I'm at my introvert wall, and I need to sleep and continue to recover so I can make it through breakfast in the morning. Then I may grab a snack or drink or something with a reader whom I didn't get a chance to spend much time with, and then I need to hole up and write the rest of the day, so wish me luck with that. Goodnight!

Friday, April 29, 2016

we need to fetch back the time they have stolen from us

Chicago O'Hare strikes again as my least favorite airport ever...but for a brand new reason that I didn't expect today, and it totally derailed my evening plans with tons of vomit. But we'll get to that in a sec.

I woke up at 5:40, but I slept terribly last night for the first time in ages, and my stomach felt sour when I woke up (again for the first time in ages), so I wasn't super thrilled to have to go the airport. But the morning was all smooth - I got to the airport, checked my bags, sailed through security, and was upgraded on my flight (and the plane usually flies international, so the upgraded seat was lie-flat and delightful). That flight was delayed by thirty minutes for prep issues, but I was supposed to have 2+ hours in Chicago, so I didn't really care. And I spent that flight quite productively - I did some writing and also worked on the back cover copy for Rafe and Octavia's book, so that was all great.

Then I got to Chicago, switched terminals, and made the mistake of eating sushi at a restaurant that said it had been chosen as one of the top ten airport restaurants in America. Maybe top ten for food poisoning! One of the rolls was great, and one was a little off, but I assumed it was the fact that I was eating airport sushi and it just wasn't going to be wonderful...

So I flew to Milwaukee, which was super easy - we were in the air less than 15mins. And everything was smooth when I arrived - my bags were first off the plane, the hotel shuttle was outside when I got there, and the ride to the hotel took three minutes. I checked in, ran down and grabbed my conference badge, ran back up and freshened up, and then went down just in time for the author Q&A to start (which I obviously was supposed to be at).

But within ten minutes I was feeling distinctly unwell. I went to the bathroom, and barely made it into the stall before I projectile vomited - luckily into the toilet, although I hit my badge (which washed off). Projectile vomiting sushi is not fun, especially when you can see everything that was in it - I probably won't be eating sushi for awhile, which is too bad since I love sushi. I felt better after I threw up, so I went back to the ballroom - but I lasted approximately five minutes before realizing that I wasn't going to make it. So I told the people I was sitting next to that I had to go (hopefully they made my excuses when my name was called later), and then threw up in the bathroom again. Then I came to my room and threw up for another three hours. Fun!

But between throwing up and napping, I'm feeling better - better enough that I haven't thrown up in a couple of hours, and was able to watch 'Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives' (the second time I left the ballroom was when someone started talking about their favorite foods and I realized I couldn't even listen to it). And I was able to drink a can of Sierra Mist and some water, so that's something.

Needless to say, I'm super annoyed about all of this, but I'm hoping that I'm over the worst of it and won't have any issues tomorrow, since I have to be on (I ran into some people in the lobby, two of whom are sitting at my table tomorrow - I mean, people bought tickets specifically to sit with me, which is wild and bizarre and wonderful, and I can't flake out). Soooo...I'm going to sleep for seven hours and hope that I make it. This is only my second-worst food poisoning extravaganza (top place goes to my iced tea in Bombay, where I was worried I was going to end up having to throw up in the bathtub while having diarrhea, all while sharing a room with Irish Matt and Alaska Matt - utter misery). And this is only vomit, so really, it ain't no thang. Goodnight!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

darling all i know are sad songs, sad songs

I just realized I should have gone to bed an hour ago...but there were a lot of things that I should have done tonight, and instead I got sucked into the internet. But that wasn't all bad. I got up at a reasonable hour this morning and went to Philz, where I wrote for three hours, so at least I got that done. And then I came home, made a sandwich, and spent most of the afternoon packing.

And the reason I was packing, if I didn't mention it already (I can never remember what I've already said here) is that I'm going to Milwaukee tomorrow for a reader event - it's a weekend-long thing, and I had to pack rather strategically because I had all sorts of gift-type things to take with me, which means I packed almost nothing in the way of clothes and a lot in the way of books and tea and gift bags. The event should be fun, once I get there, but I've been dreading it just a little bit - probably because I don't really feel like going to Milwaukee right now, and it's a whole weekend of social push when I really want to be writing.

But social push is probably good for me - especially since those readers will likely light a fire under me for still not having my next book out. And hey, now that I've said that, maybe that's why I'm not looking forward to it?

sssanyway. I got all packed up, and then I did some stuff (necessary stuff) on my computer, and then I messed around with very unnecessary stuff and possibly just made myself frustrated via procrastination. But c'est la vie...tomorrow is another day, most of which I will spend on a plane without internet, which means ample time for writing and no time for browsing. Goodnight!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

go call the police, go call the governor

It should not surprise you to know that I did not get much done this morning after last night's epic reading binge. That's not entirely true - I was up by 8:30ish (shocking, given I went to bed at 2:30), and I was at my 'desk' by 9:30, and I spent most of the morning doing some random admin stuff that needed to get done, like booking flights and prepping for my weekend travel, etc. And I even wrote from home for a little bit, although that eventually devolved into a nap.

However, I rallied myself, showered, and went down to San Mateo, where I met Anne and Barbara for a writing date. I wasn't entirely productive, but I got a couple of hours of solid writing in, and I also had some excellent strategy discussions with them about some upcoming promo opportunities. And the writing even happened while I was distracted by the apparently-mentally-ill man sitting a couple of tables away from us and signing/talking to his ipod and rocking back and forth, so I think that's progress.

Eventually, I abandoned them and drove to San Carlos, where I had a drink with Shedletsky (different John than others mentioned here!), and then he and met het his wife for dinner. We all all sorts of ridiculous conversations, none of which can be repeated here. And then I came home, wanted to go to bed, and instead spent the last hour and a half doing publishing-related tasks.

But there's time for writing and other things tomorrow (but not a lot of time, since I have to pack and write and get ready for my trip). Goodnight!

if you live like that, you live with ghosts

I just stayed up way, way later than intended - I was being so good about going to bed at a reasonable hour so that I could get up and write, but that plan went out the window today. Actually, most of today's plans went out the window - and yet I feel good about it.

I went to Philz this morning to write, and the writing went okay enough - or at least okay enough to spend three hours there, which is kind of my max in the mornings. Then, somewhat on a whim, I rewarded myself with lunch at Lers Ros (my fave thai place), where I intended to read a couple of chapters of MISTBORN before coming home to write again.

The eating plan was great - stopping in there was tasty, and lunch is relatively cheap. And the taking a break to read plan was great, too - way better than wasting time on the internet for an hour. But unfortunately, MISTBORN is way way too good - and so when I got home, I read until 4:30 and finished the first book in the trilogy. Oops.

Then, dreaming of the story, and dreaming of my own story, I clearly still felt like clearing my head - so I channeled all of that energy into my living space, which means I vacuumed for the first time in months. This was growing increasingly urgent - while wampdevils, as Adit used to call my clumps of hair, don't swirl around on carpet the way they did on hardwood, my carpet was probably perilously close to become more hair than fiber. But I hate vacuuming, and so had put it off - but it's done now, and the place looks better for it.

Then I did three loads of laundry to prep for my upcoming trip, and while everything was in the dryer, I made spaghetti carbonara because it's super easy and I had the ingredients on hand and didn't feel like doing all the prep work necessary to make cobb salads (although they would have been healthier). And then, when all of that was done, I sat down to work again - and I looked at the story, and contemplated the next scene, and told myself I would just read a couple of chapters of the second MISTBORN book first...

...and the next thing I knew, it was 1:30am and I was halfway into the next book. Oops again. This feeling isn't quite so pleasurable, since I basically binged on reading and got to the point where I had a headache and knew I should have stopped ages ago, but c'est la vie. Now I need to go to bed and not let myself read until I hit my wordcount tomorrow - goodnight!

Monday, April 25, 2016

a kick in the teeth is good for some

I have a ridiculous headache, so even though I should be writing like mad to hit my next deadline, I'm going to curl up and go to bed instead - after my laundry guy eventually shows up, since I need to get dry cleaning done and decided to avail myself of the coupon Rinse sent me to try to win me back.

But today wasn't all bad, despite my aching head - I spent the morning getting some work done, and then I showered and drove to Burlingame, where I spent 3.5 hours at Barbara's house, where she and Anne and I discussed ad strategies. We all want to get awesome at ads in slightly different ways, but it's helpful to have the forcing mechanism of talking to each other about them. This could be why I have a headache - both because there is so so so much that I want to do (and have been having trouble doing), and also because Barbara has cats, which I forgot about, and the room where we holed up so that we could use the chromecast is where their litter box is, and so my allergies were a bit unhappy.

However, this was all a great first convo, and we have plans to learn more and discuss more, etc., so I'm excited about that. Then I went to downtown Burlingame and had a salad while researching some fonts for a possible redesign of my name (although I think I probably need to pay someone if I really want it to look great). And then I drove home, and I should have worked...or if I wasn't going to work, I should have read a book rather than staring at my screen.

But these are problems that are easily rectified by putting the laptop away and crawling into bed so that my headache dissipates and I can tackle everything fresh tomorrow. Goodnight!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

wake up, flawless, post up, flawless

Today was a bit of a lost cause with a lot of fun at the end of it. I woke up around eight but didn't feel like getting out of bed, so I read some more "Mistborn" until 9:30, which it was suddenly cutting it way too close to one of my only plans for the day. So I got out of bed, hurriedly showered, made some iced coffee, and called Connie and Vidya to discuss planning for one of Ritu's bridal events. We really just need to nail down the location and the rest of it will come together pretty easily, but the call was good enough.

Then I spent the rest of the morning going down an OpenTable rabbithole looking for an appropriately fancy restaurant for my semi-regular 'dinner with fancy ladies' (aka Joann and Jen). It's still almost a month out, but booking a fancy restaurant on a Saturday is a fool's errand. But I came up with a few options, and hopefully some of them are good enough - otherwise, we're going to be ordering Patxi's and eating it at my house like very not-fancy ladies (but I don't think it will come to that).

I spent the afternoon doing a variety of unimportant tasks, taking a nap, and eventually meditating (which I should have done in the morning, but c'est la vie). Then, I called my parents - none of us had anything truly momentous to discuss, although I suppose any day that I talk to my parents when they weren't sprayed by the skunk living in their garden is a good day.

After that, I did a bit more work, and then I walked down to the Marina to have dinner with Lauren (aka Subz). She was in fine form and seems to be pretty well settled into the routines of working motherhood. So we discussed all manner of things (careers (both our own and others'), life, babies, boys, etc., etc.

But now I'm falling asleep while writing this, which is always dangerous, so I need to go to bed before I start typing nonsense. Goodnight!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

ten times out of nine i know you're lying, but nine times out of ten i know you're trying

I'll skip the usual recap of my morning and how I worked but not enough, etc., etc., and get straight to the good stuff. And really, the only good stuff today was that I went to Contraband this afternoon and wrote for a bit, and then I abandoned all pretenses of productivity and had a drink with Tom (aka Tom Foolery, although he's not nineteen anymore, so maybe that nickname should be retired). This, it should not surprise you, turned into three drinks - we hadn't seen each other in forever, but we reconnected at Chandlord's dance event a few weeks ago and actually followed through on our plan to get drinks at talk about writing.

This, of course, should have happened forever ago; we hadn't gotten together to talk shop in a million years, partially because I went through a period of sucking at making plans and partially because he has a fairly high-powered career beyond writing, so neither of us were putting in much effort. But luckily, when we get together it immediately feels like old times. So we met up at Cabin, and we spent a solid 3.5hrs talking about writing, books, dating, life, happiness, heartbreak, corporate america, and much more stuff about storytelling in general. So that was all great for the soul, even if drinking on a somewhat empty stomach was less good for the liver and no good for any hope of productivity tonight.

But I knew how that was going to go down. We eventually parted ways with promises to get together again sooner rather than later (which I intend to make happen). And then, since I was already halfway to my old 'hood, I went to my favorite sushi place, where I gorged on raw fish and happiness.

Then, still slightly too buzzed to get anything done, I took a lyft home, and I spent the rest of the night reading the first section of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy (the first section of the first book, so I still have a long way to go) - it had been recommended to me many times, but Tom was effusive about it today and pushed me over the edge into reading it immediately. It actually reminds me a bit of 'Promise of Blood', which is the first book in that gunpowder mage series I read ages ago - and now I feel like I need to go back and finish that series as well, but reading this book is probably enough for tonight.

But even though my old instincts say to stay up all night and keep reading, I know that I need to get some sleep so I can write tomorrow - wish me luck with that. Goodnight!

Friday, April 22, 2016

i took a pill in ibiza

Today got off to a bit of a weird start when I thought there was an earthquake, but it seems that it was some bizarre sensory combo of intense rain on the skylights above my bed + somehow rocking myself in my sleep. Yeah, I don't know what to make of that either.

But I went back to sleep after realizing that I was alive and not about to be buried under the apartment above me, so that was all good. And when I woke up, I had a fairly decent morning - I made some avocado toast, drank some iced coffee, did some writing, and had a great realization about the next scene I need to work on, so that was all delightful.

By 1:15 it was time for me to slack off for the day, so I went to my favorite nail place and got the old gel polish removed and new gel polish put on. Then I met up with Chandlord for a late afternoon drink and snack, which is a delightful way to spend Friday afternoon (as I discovered last week). We ended up going to Belga, which used to be my oh-so-beloved Des Amis - I hadn't been in there since it opened, since I couldn't quite get over my Des Amis grief, but it has been over a year, so I suppose it was time. On most evenings it looks way too bro-ish for my tastes (although I think Chandlord would assume that bros are my thing, since I am white), but in the afternoon it was quiet and lovely, and so a glass or two of rosé and some fries to share was a perfect interlude. Vidya totally lost interest in my detailed observations of everything that had changed between Des Amis and Belga (they kept most of the layout, but restained the wood to make the place lighter, switched some of the table layout in the bar area, etc...but you don't care either). But on the whole, we had a good conversation, so it was worth it.

Then I walked her to Blue Fog so she could grab a bottle of wine for the thing she was going to, and then I decided to stay in the Marina (my old 'hood) and have dinner rather than sharing a lyft with her. I was going to stop in at Nectar to say hi to the owners, but they were having a private event tonight, so I v. briefly said hello to Chris and then continued on my way. I ended up at Mezes, which I hadn't been to in forever, and it was quiet early on, which gave me ample opportunity to catch up with Marco about all the things we've been up to + the trip he's about to take to Brazil (I voted for him to spend his money on an economy plus upgrade rather than a yellow fever vaccine, but I warned him repeatedly that I'm not a doctor, so his mileage my vary).

And now that I've had a v. Marina afternoon and evening, I think I want to sleep and aim for some solid wordcount tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

twelve souls from now you and me will still be here

Today was not ideal from a productivity standpoint...I woke up fairly early and then decided to change my sheets and wash my duvet cover, which is always a sign I'm procrastinating (I change my sheets regularly, but the duvet doesn't get washed as often as it should). I did some writing in the morning as well, but I mostly frittered away the afternoon by reading about Prince and going down internet rabbit-holes and texting various friends and family. Oops.

But I buckled down later in the afternoon and got some decent work done, so whatever. And then I walked down to Hayes Valley to have drinks at Fig and Thistle with someone I used to work with - she and I knew each other a lifetime ago, but she recently joined the team I used to manage, and so we'd set this up a couple of weeks ago so that I could share some industry knowledge with her and generally catch up. But this turned into a gossip session extraordinaire since we know a lot of the same people, which means we didn't actually talk industry knowledge or share anything in our personal lives at all. Lolololol. Still, although my mind is blown, and I think I blew her mind as well, it was a delightful way to spend three hours (even if I should have eaten way more than I did tonight...c'est la vie).

And then I came home, and now I'm going to crawl into my freshly-made bed and sleep and dream of purple rain. Goodnight!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

you don't wanna ride the bus like this, never knowing who to trust like this

I'm typing this up early so that I can put all the screens away and read a book or color or something before bed (although I may just go to sleep - we'll see). Today was super hermity, initially super sloth-filled, and ultimately super-productive. The morning was kind of a mess - I woke up later than intended, and I had to stay home because I was waiting for a grocery delivery (yes, I'm so spoiled, but I'm going to take advantage of the convenience economy until all these stupid startups go broke by offering immediate delivery of lettuce). But I wrote a bit in my journal, and I meditated (I'm back on the Headspace bandwagon, although I'm only up to lesson five, so we'll see if this continues)...so that got my morning off to a better start.

However, I procrastinated some by planning my next adventure - I'm sticking around SF (mostly) until the end of May, with the exception of a quick trip to Milwaukee next weekend for a reader event. And I expect that my SF time will be mostly hermity given the book situation, but I still intend to go out and have some adventures. But starting Memorial Day weekend, shit gets real and I'll be back to my usual 'travel half the time' schedule through most of the summer. I'm planning to go to Boston for Memorial Day weekend to crash Ritu and Bill's romantic weekend at a music festival, which should be super fun. And then today, I booked an airbnb on Cape Cod for the week after that, which I shall use for fun writing times (either the final touches on Rafe's book, if I'm not done yet, or major brainstorming on the third book in the series and/or spinster honeymoon). The place I booked looks perfect for writing, and it's in the heart of Provincetown, which means I can take a ferry there from Boston and not have to rent a car, which seems ideal.

So the airbnb and the ferry tickets are booked, even though I have nothing else sorted out - I'm waiting to see whether I want to go to NYC for a week after that, and while I'm leaning toward 'hell yes', I need to do some planning before I commit. But I'm excited to get some adventures on the books - I start getting antsy when I've got no travel coming up. But after the east coast, I've got Iowa, San Diego (conference), New Orleans, and Ritu's wedding in Russian River (and the Olympics are somewhere in there), so June-August are shaping up to be hectic.

sssanyway. After I had procrastinated as much as I was able by booking trips and answering emails, I tried to buckle down...and ended up going to Jane for an hour and writing there, which helped to jumpstart everything. Then I came home, ate some leftover thai food, and ended up writing most of the evening - I'm trying to be more stern about my deadlines and daily goals, and I'd say I succeeded today, since I finished the scene I needed to write.

But I'm totally burned out on staring at the laptop, and I need to get off the couch and do something else, so I think I'll crawl into bed and read a physical book or something. Goodnight!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

working hard to get my fill, everybody wants a thrill

I was pretty productive today, all in all, although I need to go to bed asap if I'm going to get out of bed by seven a.m. like I've been aiming for. And granted, today I got up at seven but then messed around for two hours. But I went to Philz by 9:30ish and spent a solid three hours working, which was v. necessary. At the end of it, I had a delightful, albeit brief, conversation with Ken, who is a karaoke master whom I met through Chandlord. In his daytime hours is a lawyer who works near Philz, and so I've now seen him there a couple of times - but today we tragically mistimed it by 15secs, since I vacated my table just as he was approaching and someone else swooped in to grab it before he could claim it. Sadness. But we caught up briefly, and I was somewhat able to verbalize key concepts (difficult, when I've been writing for three hours), and I tried to hook him on brain.fm - so we'll see if he's still human when I see him again or whether brain.fm has destroyed his brain like it has destroyed mine.

After that, I came home, procrastinated briefly, and then made myself a totally divine tuna melt - gluten free bread, fancy cheddar, and tuna packed in olive oil (mixed with mayonnaise, of course), with butter on the outside of the bread slices so that I could essentially make a grilled cheese with tuna in it. It was about as perfect as it could have been with gluten free bread, and I am salivating already thinking about how I can have it again tomorrow. Then I took a nap, because life is hard.

But I forced myself to write for another couple of hours in the afternoon, so that was good. Shit is getting real up in here, and by that I mean I need to be a productivity machine for the next couple of weeks. And so perhaps I shouldn't have gone out tonight - but I already had plans, and it was nice out, and so I kept my commitments.

And that meant walking down to AT&T Park and going to Cal night at the San Francisco Giants. I am obviously *not* a Cal supporter (although I'm not militant about it, like the people who spell it Kal as an insult), but several people in my extended friend group are, and so I went. John was there, as was Chandlord and Rajiv and Sheila, and I renewed my acquaintance with Charlotte (whom I met at Rajiv's birthday - we talked publishing through most of the eighth inning, which was totally fine by me). I hadn't been to a ballgame in forever (in fact, one of the only two times I can find via the blog was in 2004, in which I wrote a quaint post about how I was twenty-three and had thought I would have met the love of my life by then, but that it wasn't quite panic time yet, hahahahahahaha). So it was fun to see AT&T Park again, even if the game kind of sucked and the seats were fairly terrible and we lost 3-0. John and I walked around for a bit so I could see more of the ballpark than just our seats, so I saw the World Series trophies, but I mostly subsisted on garlic fries and wine (which is really all one needs in life, right?).

But I was done with sportsball by 10pm, so I left with Rajiv and Sheila and walked a few blocks with them. When we parted ways, I grabbed a lyft home - and now I need to sleep so that I can be productive tomorrow. Goodnight!

Monday, April 18, 2016

take time and erase you

I got a lot done today despite my mind's best efforts to derail me. I was out of bed by seven (shocking, but that's the schedule I'm trying to reset myself on), but then I didn't get straight to work, and so I didn't really start writing until 9:30 or so. But that was better than nothing, and the 3ish hours of work I got done were great, I think.

Then I took a quick shower and drove down to San Mateo for a writing date with Anne and Barbara. I could only stay an hour and twenty minutes, and I knew that that would basically mean I would get no writing done since I hadn't seen either of them in quite awhile - but I wanted to hear Barbara's recap of the conference she went to in Vegas last week, and I figured that I would have to take the hit of an hour spent gossiping at some point this week, and so it might as well be today. So I got the details on that, and I think we're going to set up a mini study group on Facebook and Google ads, which should be fun.

But I had to leave there around 3:20 (after doing no writing, but sharing in the customary rice krispie treat despite having not been productive at all) and drive to Mountain View, where I saw my eye doctor. The verdict is that my eyes got worse for the first time in forever, thanks to my soft contacts rather than the hard ones I used to wear...but he thinks this is just a natural reaction from my eyes returning to their natural curvature rather than being flattened/trained by the hard contacts. So I'm going soft for another year and we'll see what happens - if blindness continues to ensue, I'll have to switch back, but I hope that doesn't happen.

Yes, this blog post is the most interesting one I've written in awhile!

Then I went to Shana Thai, where I had a three-hour dinner with Heather (aka dear respected madam). I hadn't seen her since January, so we had a ton to catch up on, and thai food was a very nice way to cover a lot of verbal ground while also eating some deliciousness. We already have our next rendezvous on the books - our favorite eyebrow waxer moved to Walnut Creek (ugh, so far away), so we're going to go there and check out her space (although the chances that I'll drive to Walnut Creek once a month just to get my brows waxed are slim...but I would potentially drive there for a facial when she's set up for that, so we'll see).

And then I came home, and then I inadvertently fell asleep on the couch, and I probably should have stayed asleep because this post is boring as hell. But now that I've fulfilled my obligation and written this, I'm going to go to bed - goodnight!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

some love is just a lie of the heart

Today was the first day this year in which I didn't leave my apartment building at all (this is a true statement: I verified with a combo of my calendar + my blog). So my reputation as a hermit may be of long standing, given that in the past I have been a hermit - but clearly I am failing in my hermity ways at the moment.

However, even though I didn't leave my apartment building, I did spend most of the day outside, and it was *glorious*. It was gorgeous in SF - one of those rare warm, sunny days with minimal wind, when living in a building with a pool is actually useful. So I woke up, messed around, ate some breakfast, put on a swimsuit and sunscreen, and then laid out by the pool from eleven to three. I spent the first hour plotting and scheming, and then I took a brief nap. Then I ran back into my apartment to make some iced coffee, and then I spent a couple of hours rereading part of a book called 'Courtesans: Money, Sex, and Fame in the Nineteenth Century'. I read it several years ago when I was researching Ellie and Nick's story, even though Ellie wasn't really a courtesan (she was a widow, which is a totally different ballgame). But Octavia technically is a courtesan, and I was in the mood to reread parts of it to get into the proper frame of mind. The history of all of that stuff is fascinating...but I shall spare you the details, since you don't care and I need to go to bed anyway.

By 3pm, the sun had disappeared from my side of the pool, so I came upstairs, took care of a couple of things, and then sat on my terrace and soaked up some more sun while talking to my parents. They were their usual selves, but my dad's one attempt at an inappropriate joke was blocked out by a fortuitous signal loss, so that was great.

Then, I probably should have written Rafe and Octavia....but the sun was still so lovely, in a way that I probably won't get again for awhile, and I was feeling contemplative about my spinster honeymoon project. So I poured a glass of rosé and sat on the terrace until sometime after six, and I wrote three pages of notes for that project. It's weird to be contemplating something new - I have no idea who the characters are, or how to structure it, or what the story is. But I have a lot of snippets of dialogue and scene and feeling, and I'll have to trust, at some point, that there will be a book there.

At that point, I really should have written Rafe and Octavia...but I decided to give in fully to my spinster honeymoon desires instead. So I ate the last bits of my leftover pasta, poured another glass of rosé, and watched 'Trainwreck' instead. It is definitely research for Spinster Honeymoon (and I shall write it off on my taxes, I assure you) - I thought the pacing was just a bit uneven, and there was way more LeBron James than I had realized there would be. But it was funny and heartfelt and an interesting play on some familiar tropes, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

But my day in the sun + my day as a hermit has come to an end, and I must go to bed so that I can pursue my plan of getting up early and attempting to reform my habits starting tomorrow morning. I only have a few hours to write before I must go to the south bay for other activities, so I need to make it happen. Goodnight!

wear my fist on my sleeve

Today was pretty great, all in all...but I'm worried that I'll fall asleep in the middle of writing this, so bear with me. I woke up this morning too late to get any writing done, but early enough to shower and make some iced coffee before leaving the apartment and picking up Chandlord for our east bay adventure. We went to Berkeley to meet John and Jess's baby, whose name is Ian - and he's suuuuuper cute. He's also something like eleven days old, so he's super small. I held him for a significant amount of time, and he slept right through one of the more ridiculous stories that I could tell John and Jess at the moment, so I think he and Auntie Wamp are going to get along just fine.

[note: I do not typically refer to myself as Auntie Wamp, but that's how Jess introduced me to him, so we'll see if it sticks]

So, we spent a delightful hour and a half catching up, and it was great to see that they all made it through the initial local minima of no sleep + starting to breastfeed and seem to be in good spirits. I'll have to go back on a weekday sometime, although I'll admittedly be more eager to visit when Ian is old enough to go to Saul's Deli for corned beef hash. But that's still a ways away, so I think I can be convinced to visit at other points in the meantime.

After saying our fond farewells to John and Jess and Ian, and after letting John get my car out of their impossibly steep/angled driveway for me, Chandlord and I drove back to the city of sin, where we immediately parted ways. Then I came home, ate some leftover pasta, and took a nap, because clearly I did a ton of work by holding a sleeping baby. And then I did some actual work - I alternated between sitting out on my terrace (because it was a gorgeous day) and sitting inside (because it's hard to actually work outside), and I wrote a bunch (or at least enough to not hate myself today, so that's a win).

But eventually I needed another break, so I ended up meeting John (different John) and Sheila at Little Star. I hadn't been there in forever - probably since I gave up gluten. But they have a gluten free crust now, and I think it would have been good if I had ordered better toppings (the pesto chicken was too dry for the gluten free crust, which was also dry). Also, Sheila brought a bottle of rosé, which was much appreciated. Also, I had a brief and delightful encounter with Raja, who is often a surprise special guest at family dinner, and it was nice to run into him in the wild.

So we ate our pizza, and then Sheila and I were both feeling like going to bed, but it was the bottom of the eighth in a close Giants/Dodgers game, so we indulged John's desire to watch the rest of it and went to Giordano Bros to have another drink and finish the game. The wine I ordered was beyond bad (it tasted like it had been open for at least five days and might actually poison me), so I made the unusual (for me) move of sending it back and getting a cocktail instead. But while the drink situation was non ideal (it would have been more ideal if I could drink beer, since their beer list looked great and their wines were clearly an afterthought), the conversation was entertaining and it was all a fun evening.

But then I was super sleepy and had no desire to go to a potential late-night karaoke excursion, so I called a lyft and hopped into it immediately. And now I need to sleep - tomorrow's schedule is cleared for more writing, and I need to make it happen. Goodnight!

Friday, April 15, 2016

now i'm gonna reap what i sow, i'm left seeing red on my own

I wonder how much of my current laziness has been bred into me by my stints at my former employer...because by 1pm today, it was gorgeous outside and I was feeling like slacking off and doing some day drinking (like any good San Franciscan does when the sun is visible through the fog), and so I called up someone who also works there because I knew they would most likely be free. Yes, we're all super spoiled.

But first, the beginning of my day. I didn't wake up early enough, and I've hit the point where I think I need to change that - if I don't get my writing done before noon, it mostly doesn't happen, and I need to start planning for that more aggressively. But I got three or so solid hours of work in, and was happy with what I did even though I discovered a massive continuity error in Thorington's book (which has, if you recall, been out for almost a year and a half) - in one critical flashback I said he was nineteen, which would make Rafe seventeen...but the only way the rest of the ages work through the rest of the book is if they were actually sixteen and fourteen, and then spent eight years living in poverty instead of five. Goddammit. So now I need to decide whether to fix the text for future versions, or whether to assume that no one will notice since it's sold thousands of copies and no one has ever contacted me about it. Decisions, decisions.

sssanyway. Eventually I threw in the towel, showered, ate some leftover pasta from last night, and then walked down to the Marina to see my waxer chick, whom I hadn't seen in longer than usual (I've been traveling, and also she no-showed on an appointment that she claimed she had texted me about, so I was debating finding someone else). But she's highly entertaining to talk to and also good at her job, so I'll probably keep going back.

Then I probably should have gone home and worked, but as I mentioned above, it was gorgeous. So I took a lyft to Chandlord's, and we drank a whole bottle of wine (which she had bottled! and it was really good!) while catching up on our lives. She was apparently worried that I was having some sort of crisis (spoiler: the crisis was that I wanted to drink in the daylight with an awesome friend), so she made time for me, and now I'm like the boy who cried wolf and will be thrilled with the power of my demands until she eventually abandons me. But the rest of her friends suck, so I like my odds in terms of being able to keep her.

sssanyway again. We drank the bottle, and then went to Benjamin Cooper, where we had cocktails with her friend Juelle (whom I had never met - she's visiting from Boston). And then Vidya and I shamelessly crashed Juelle's dinner plans at Mela, which means I got to see Hema again (a friend of Vidya's whom I've me before), and also got to meet a couple of other cool people, and also got to make surreptitious fun of the 'kids' table', since Juelle's fiance is 26 and has a bunch of v. young, happy-looking friends.

But now I'm totally stuffed, and remembering the article I read the other day about how childhood poverty impacts eating habits in adulthood, and while I wouldn't say that I was hungry as a kid, I was definitely regularly hungry while we were in Ukraine and we rationed food to make sure it was all perfectly even and that we all got our share - which could be why I had a visceral need to finish the chicken dish on the table even though they had already taken my plate away. But that's a contemplation for another day. After dinner, Hema and her husband dropped me off at home, and now I'm falling asleep on the couch and debating the merits of getting up and taking my contacts out and going to bed like a real person. Goodnight!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

if you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain

I continue to be reminded that having midday plans is bad for productivity...but (spoiler) today's midday plans were worth it. I spent the morning doing administrative stuff that had to get done - mostly sending cover art files to Audible for the books they bought (uh, did I mention that I sold audiobook rights to the first four books? the contract is signed, so it's safe to announce it - the deal had been in the works for awhile, but the audiobooks won't be out for another few months, so don't get too excited yet). I also took care of some more swag-related activities for the thing I'm going to in Milwaukee at the end of the month, which was unusual for me since it means I didn't have to pay rush shipping for the stuff I ordered (I'm so on top of it!).

But I had to stop working and drive down to the Mission for lunch, which I was totally late for because parking was way worse than I expected (probably because half the streets had street sweeping from 12-2pm today, so all those spots were temporarily unavailable). Since I couldn't park, I picked up my friend instead, and we went over to Valencia and had salads at Grub. The friend, whom longtime readers have all heard of, was Gyre - he had been at my former place of employment for thirteen years (shocking), but he left recently to take a way more exciting and intriguing job at Lyft. This was the first time I'd seen him since January, and when I saw him in January he made no mention of quitting - but he seemed vaguely dissatisfied. But it had still come as a shock when he emailed me a couple of weeks later to say he had quit. And today he told me it was all my fault - although I don't really believe that, since he left to make more money in a better job rather than to write romance novels, but I'll take credit if he'll let me.

sssanyway, it was awesome to catch up, and great to see that he found such an awesome role for him. It also gave me hope that I could eventually find gainful employment again if this writing thing doesn't work out (which it totally will, I'm just being dramatic), since our network is incredible. So hopefully now that he's settled into his new role, we'll go back to having more regular lunches again - but today was a good start.

After that, I was itching to write, so I went to Coffee Bar, which I hadn't been to in ages, and was wildly productive for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, I had to leave when my parking was up, and I wanted to get back to my neighborhood before traffic got bad - so I came home and proceeded to fuck around most of the evening, which means I should have gone out instead, but I didn't. However, I bought groceries and made a semi-elaborate dinner for one (spaghetti carbonara, with an egg yolk cracked into the middle when I served it, along with a glass of rosé because Ritu had texted me about rosé earlier and I was missing her and our boozy east coast escapades). I always feel like cooking more when I'm coming unblocked on a book, so I'm hoping this is a good sign.

But then I blocked myself - I really should just not plan to write at night, I think. But that's a lesson to learn again another night - right now I'm going to go to bed and try to rouse myself out of it earlier than nine a.m. tomorrow. Goodnight!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

you should go and love yourself

Today wasn't as productive as I had hoped - the morning was good, but then I had errands to run in the afternoon, and I'm usually not all that great about self-motivating by the time dusk rolls around. However, it wasn't all bad. I woke up this morning later than intended, but early enough to get 2.5hrs of solid work in (not counting the 30mins I spent talking to Katie, which is always a delight).

By the time I finished that segment of work, I was starving since I hadn't eaten anything, and also dirty since I hadn't showered, and also totally off my original plan (which was to walk down to the Mission in time to have a healthy salad for lunch before my hair appointment). So I ate some smoked salmon, took a quick shower, walked to the Mission, grabbed some chai from Samovar to go, and then sat on a bench for fifteen minutes and contemplate Rafe and Octavia, since I was too early for my appointment and too late to eat lunch.

But then I got my bangs trimmed, which means I shall be stylish again. And then I went to the place where I had intended to have a salad, but since it was 2:30pm and I was super super hungry, I caved and had corned beef hash instead. The hash itself was really tasty, but the poached eggs that I ordered to go with it were awful - not runny enough inside, and gummy and gross on the outside. Bizarre. Still, the food went a long way toward fortifying me - but it also made me sleepy, which didn't help the rest of the day.

So I lyfted home, and then went to my nail salon to beg them to fix my thumbnail, which had started chipping far earlier than it should have. With that errand duly accomplished, I came home, procrastinated for a bit, and then put in another hour and a half of work. At that point I probably should have just given up and read a book - four hours in a day is actually pretty decent for this stage in the writing process, when I'm back to rough draft mode for the new scenes, and I should have cut myself some slack. Instead, I kept meaning to write, and kept procrastinating by reading about the Warriors' record + Kobe's final game, none of which I have ever cared about before, nor will I ever care about again. When I'm reading about the NBA, I know I've hit a procrastinatory nadir. But Kobe's game was quite the way to go out...but I'll say no more.

And now that I've read the entire internet, and also washed my face and brushed my teeth and done everything else I can possibly do to stave off the inevitable, I should go to bed - writing needs to happen tomorrow, obviously, and I also have lunch plans, which means my morning needs to be productive since my afternoon will probably be a wasted writing endeavor. Goodnight!

so make sure the stars is what you aim for, make mistakes though

I'm falling asleep on my couch, which doesn't bode well for my coherency, nor does it bode well for tomorrow's writing session - but I'm going to try to recover. Today was a great combo of chill/relaxing + work + catching up with people, but I'm hoping I get some sleep tonight so I can hit it hard tomorrow.

Since I was up so late last night, I didn't get out of bed until nine this morning...and then I had an hour to eat, make coffee, do some work, etc., before calling my editor. We talked through some of the remaining stumbling blocks, and I feel like I have a solid plan, but we'll see whether that's true. Then I should have written a million words, but progress stalled because I did four loads of laundry and had to take care of that stuff instead.

But it's all good. When I was done for the day, I went to Contraband, where I met up with Lisa (who used to report to me) for coffee. She was in town for a couple of days and messaged me last night to see if I wanted to get together, which I did. So we talked about life and tech and careers, etc., and it was all great (albeit a reminder of the life I have, to some extent, given up).

Then I walked downtown and met Katrina for the more ridiculous part of the night - we went to Sephora and bought makeup with my 15% off card, which meant trying a lot of makeup (and me preaching the gospel of tinted moisturizer). Then we went to Kin Khao, where we had fancy Thai food (the mushroom terrine with rice cakes was really interesting and delicious; the calamari were delicious but a little too spicy for me; and the veg stir fry noodles were just right). I also had two glasses of rose, and we caught up on all the life events we've missed (which were a lot, since she went to Istanbul right before I went to Iowa and neither of us have gotten debriefed on any of it).

So that was all duly accomplished in style, and I had a great time hanging out. We finally parted ways and headed home, and I've been trying to write this blog post for half an hour and failing completely, so you'll have to take what I give you tonight. Goodnight!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

that's the name of the game

I should go to bed immediately, since I need to write and call my editor in the morning...so much for my self-proclaimed goal of going to bed by 10:30 every night this week. Today was pretty productive, though - I spent the whole day working from home, with a break in the middle to shower/procrastinate/eat a grilled cheese sandwich (which was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself), and a break around five to go to Philz and get a coffee + coffee beans for future homemade coffee rounds.

The writing was going pretty well today, I would say - I'm replotting the first part and doing the necessary edits to make it all flow, and I wrote five pages of a new opening scene, so that was all good. But I couldn't work all night...John came over to grab the stuff he left here Saturday evening after the Lodi excursion/before the tapas excursion, so I ended up feeding him the rest of my spaghetti amatriciana.

Then I was going to make him watch 'Sahara', since he's never seen it and his cultural education is sorely lacking, but he appears to want to stay ignorant, so we watched 'Tropic Thunder' instead. I hadn't seen that since seeing it in the theatre (on September 4, 2008, with Adit and Oniel), so it was almost like seeing it from scratch again, and I thought it was super funny this time as well. After that, we watched a lot of YouTube videos and trailers, which is apparently what the kids do these days. And then he went home, and I cleaned up the kitchen and took care of various and sundry tasks.

And now I must sleep so I can write all the words tomorrow - goodnight!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

and you have the audacity to even come and step to me

I spent most of today recovering from most of yesterday. The only real issue is that I was super tired physically, and also close to my introvert wall emotionally - which is not to say that I never want to see people again, but if I had been left to my own devices today I might have hermitted the fuck out.

However, I was not left to my own devices - I had made plans to have dim sum with Ritu, Bill, and Claudia before Ritu and Bill left town, and dim sum is too important to skip. Err, I mean, Ritu and Bill's departure was too important to skip. Unfortunately, due to some planning debacles + some irrational optimism on my part, I stupidly didn't eat breakfast this morning - and so by the time we actually ate, I was hitting peak levels of hangry.

But the dim sum was the best dim sum I've had in a long time (possibly ever - it even beat my beloved Hong Kong Flower Lounge). I picked up Ritu and Bill and we met Claudia at Koi Palace in Daly City. She put our name in at 1:15, which was a good thing, since we ended up not getting seated until 2:15. Again, I was super hangry at this point (although I was still having a v. good time), and we ordered a ton of food, but it was all so good that I probably could have kept eating even though everyone else was stuffed by the end. Their taro meat dumpling was particularly excellent, as were their rice noodles, and the dumplings were also really great. A couple of things never materialized, but this may have been for the best (although, as I said, I probably would have kept eating anyway).

This was all a great sendoff for Ritu and Bill - I wish they lived here, or that I lived there, or that I could have all of my friends within a twenty-minute drive in some magical place with beaches and mountains and hipster bars and dim sum restaurants and houses that cost <$200k to buy. But I would settle for seeing Ritu and Bill a bit more often. I know I've got more fun times coming up with them this year, thanks to wedding shenanigans, but I will have to make some pilgrimages to the east coast at some point in the not-so-distant future.

Eventually, we parted ways, and I dropped them off at Vidya's before coming home. I wanted to pass out immediately, but I called my parents instead - they were in fine form, with not much to report since I parted ways with them last week. Then I sat around and vegged for a couple of hours, but eventually I dragged myself to my desk (aka my table), reevaluated my plans for last week and created my plans for this week, sent some emails, wrote some checks, and took care of various and sundry tasks. My brain was too fried to write tonight, but I got through the random little things that could have tripped me up tomorrow.

And now I'm going to go to bed tres early, hope for eight solid hours of sleep before the sun wakes me up, and then spend tomorrow engrossed in the story. Goodnight!

you're just like a dream

[new editor's note from the following morning - ignore last night's editor's 'neditorism': contrary to how the post below might appear, I wasn't actually drunk last night....but I wrote it while falling asleep on my couch after staying out until two a.m., and falling-asleep posts are always a disaster. Usually I recover in time, but this one was a total failure.

But yesterday was fun - as I said, I wrote for a couple of hours in the morning. Then, I spent many hours driving, which is prob why I was so tired - a bunch of us went to Lodi to some winery that John's dad's band was playing at, and even though it was raining, it was a beautiful excursion (except for the sheer amount of time spent in the car navigating through rain/traffic).

We got back just in time for me and John to have dinner with Ritu, Bill, Claudia, and Sam at Bask (the tapas place I went to a couple of months ago in North Beach) - the food was delicious, and I learned that baby eels are amazing. Ritu, Bill and I attempted to convince everyone that Iowa is the best state ever, but I'm not sure they appreciated our efforts. Then, John went home, and the rest of us continued on to 15 Romolo, where we had a tasty cocktail and hung out until the wee hours.

And then I came home, attempted to write the mess below, fell asleep in the middle of it, woke up and added the oh-so-helpful editor's note, fell asleep again, and finally woke up on the couch at 4am and dragged myself to bed. And now that I've filled you in, it's time to go about my day - au revoir!)]

---------> original post below

I spent far too much time outside the house today....which is a sign that my book writing urgency is ramping up, since really, taking a Saturday off shouldn't fill me with so much angst. But I'm not going to write all of that now - instead, I'll just say that I got up, bought some groceries, did a couple of hours of real work, and then spent they day we just wanted to.

However, that involved driving out to farms beyond the east bay to the .....

[editor's neditorism: I'm way too form to write anything at all, but I had a lovely time alterating between Rtu's delious seem tehara. Goodnight!

Friday, April 08, 2016

when the last king of hollywood shatters his glass on the floor

I had a highly hermity day today, so it will not interest you at all to know what I did. Since Ritu, Bill and I miraculously confined ourselves to one bottle of wine last night (shared amongst the three of us! not even a bottle of wine each!), I woke up this morning feeling as right as the rain currently streaming down my skylights. That was a good thing, since I had many tings to accomplish today...

...and of course I didn't really start working until after noon. But that's fine with me - I needed some introverted veg time after many hours of extreme socializing this week. I fueled myself up with some avocado toast - I've never succumbed to the trend because most places that serve avocado toast don't have gluten free bread. But I have gluten free bread, and I had an avocado at perfect ripeness, and I even had a lemon - so I toasted two slices of bread, mashed up half an avocado, spread it all over the toast, drizzled it with lemon and the fanciest olive oil in my cupboard, and sprinkled on some sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Note: this was not my combo idea, but rather something from Smitten Kitchen. But together, it was fantastically delicious and makes me think I should keep avocados and lemons in my kitchen at all times.

Then, I worked most of the afternoon - I'm contemplating the proposed edits from my editor for Rafe and Octavia's story, which will be a lot of work, but will also make the story a lot better, but will also be a lot of fucking work. So I organized my thoughts and did some journalling about some of the issues she raised, and did some desultory research into parliamentary issues in nineteenth century Britain, as any well-adjusted thirtysomething does on a Friday afternoon.

I ended up taking a break around five to run to the grocery store, deal with some packages, take out recycling, etc. And then I made spaghetti all' amatriciana, which, as you may know, has become my go-to pasta dish. Cutting up the bacon and onions and garlic was done in a flash, and it's basically a thirty-minute meal if you already have the tomato sauce ready to go (which I did, since I had some in the freezer from the last time I made tomato sauce). So that was all extremely tasty, if I do say so myself.

Then I spent the evening working, although I took a nap around nine p.m. (the pasta + the extreme brain activity required to dream up other peoples' lives made me sleepy). It was all great progress, but I want to sleep and dream through some of it some more, and then hopefully get up earlyish and get some work done before having fun tomorrow. Yes, get excited - I'm leaving the house again, so tomorrow's post won't be as boring as today's. Goodnight!

keep my glass full until morning light, 'cause i'm just holding on for tonight

As you may have guessed from the fact that last night's post detailed an epically fun disaster of a night (and wasn't actually posted until this morning), today was a bit of an exercise in paying the wages of my sins.

Surprisingly, I didn't have that many wages to pay - the biggest problem was that I didn't get nearly enough sleep. My hangover was far better than I deserved given the wine, three cocktails (of varying alcohols), port, and cheap champagne that I consumed last night - but thanks to my karaoke voice, I may have sounded on the verge of death this morning when Katie called me to find out if I was still alive since I hadn't posted last night. But I drank my emergency Mountain Dew while talking to her, and then I showered, and then I was pretty much as right as rain.

I should have written this morning, but since I got up at 9:15 and was a bit too spinny to focus, that didn't happen. Also, I met Ritu for brunch at MyMy - we both needed something restorative. The weather was perfect - not as warm as yesterday, but warm enough that we were able to sit outside and pretend we were in Europe rather than the pre-postapocalyptic wasteland that is the northernmost edge of the Tenderloin. My corned beef hash and poached eggs and three cups of coffee went a long way toward making me feel alive again, and Ritu got a salmon and egg dish that looked amazing as well.

So we spent brunch mostly congratulating ourselves and each other for being so fucking awesome, which is perhaps not particularly modest of us (also, we're totally modest and humble). Then we went to my favorite nail place to get mani/pedis - I took a bottle of champagne that they let us open, so we drank the whole bottle while getting our nails done (and then sitting for another hour+ to let our pedicures dry while finishing the champagne - I guess I'm enough of a regular that they didn't feel like making us move). Ritu continues to be v. bad for my liver and v. good for my heart and soul, so #sorrynotsorry to drinking champagne all afternoon instead of getting shit done.

Then I walked with Ritu to Vidya's apartment (not the one she rents to me), where Chandlord and I watched Ritu try on dresses for her engagement photos. I hit an introvert wall (or at least a fatigue wall) and went home for a bit after that, where I took the briefest of naps and got some stuff done. But I couldn't stay an introvert - instead, after Bill arrived, the three of us went down to the Marina and had dinner at Aix. We had a v. cozy night there - we split a bottle of wine (but only one! so civilized!) and some burrata and salad, and the steak finished whatever job the corned beef couldn't take care of this morning.

And now, after falling asleep on the couch with my laptop on my lap and every paragraph but this one written, I should go to bed so that I can seize tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

i'm not turned on to love until it's cheap

[editor's note: wrote this last night, but it somehow didn't post, probably because I was drunk. Also the paragraph about Noir Lounge makes no sense because Adit didn't talk about turkeys, to my knowledge, but I'm leaving it for posterity. Also, the dance recital turned into a bit of a Loro reunion, which was hysterical. But I should say that Adit, Ritu, Claude and I ended up splitting a bottle of rosé, had three rounds of cocktails, and then split a bottle of port with some other people at the table....and port nights are always epically fun disasters. Then we went to Yamasho with Chandlord and another friend of hers; Adit bailed, but the rest of us drank an ill-advised bottle of champagne. and then I came home, wrote this, failed to post it, and fell asleep. Now you're all caught up - go out and seize the day, friends!]


Tonight turned into a port night, which is v. v. rare because, despite what you might have guessed, I actually value my liver. I know, I'm shocked too.

I'm not even sure that I can type for long enough to recount the day I had, but I'm going to try. I spent the morning alternating between writing and dealing with shipments for an event I'm going to at the end of the month, so that was all good (although my editor seems to indicate that I need to rewrite everything - I'll consider that problem tomorrow). Then I had lunch at Mission Beach Cafe with another writer - she was delightful, but I have to admit that the real highlight may have been their take on chilequiles, with tortilla strips, poached eggs, and pulled pork.

After that, I really wanted to write, but instead I dealt with sangria shenanigans with Ritu before Chadlord's dance recital. We had a great time, and I saw a whole bunch of people whom I hadn't seen in forever (particularly Tom and Julie, although there were some other ridiculous moments0. Chandlord's dance recital sold out, and so it raised a lot of money for a v. good cause, which is all great.

After, we adjourned to Noir Lounge, which we eventually closed down (apparently they don't like making money, nor do they like Adit - but that's probably fair, since the story he told a couple of years later was how my dad murdered turkeys on my swingset, which might be objectionable until you learn how dumb and aggressive and useless they are.

sssanyway. Then some of us went to Yamasho, where we did karaoke until 2am. And now I have to sleep or I shall persish - goodnight!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

you've been chasing new things, falling out of love with molly

Today took some unexpected twists and turns, and I should have gone to bed two hours ago, but I think I shall survive. I woke up this morning feeling strangely apathetic and uninterested in my writing, despite having set up my internet blocks to try to enforce productivity, so I quite frankly wasted the morning (I didn't even make coffee - and I don't know if that's a sign of how bad my morning was, or if that's the reason my morning was bad). But I think it was really because I hadn't heard back from my editor yet, which made it difficult to focus.

However, I did do some admin-type stuff, so that's all good. And I eventually forced myself to write several pages in the afternoon, and I'll totally take them. I ended up hearing back from my editor around seven tonight, but I haven't read the feedback yet - but I think that's what I'll be doing in the morning before I get roped in to helping friends with a variety of activities.

I probably should have kept working tonight, but instead I took a shower (bold move, I know) and walked down to Civic Center Plaza, where there was an outdoor event in honor of some temporary installation of giant inflatable rabbits. It was a classic San Francisco scene - food trucks with absurdly long lines, a mix of people in festival clothes / people in just-got-off-work clothes (which further subdivides into the messy fashion fails of most tech workers, the cuter clothes of some upscale city dwellers, and the more formal stuff worn by the denizens of the government office buildings around Civic Center). There were also some people dressed as rabbits or rabbit-adjacent costumes (magicians, carrots). So the people watching was great, and sitting in the sun (until the sun went away) was lovely.

I met John there, who was with his friend Leslie, and we hung out for awhile before deciding to get food. A series of strategic errors were then made, which meant I held down a table alone for twenty minutes, then had drinks with Leslie (whom I had just met) for an hour while waiting for John to get through the food line. He chose MeSoHungry, which had a shorter line than some of the other trucks, but their service was super slow. However, the sliders and fries were super tasty, and I liked Leslie, so it was all good.

At some point more people arrive, whom I knew equally (which is to say that I didn't know them). One girl told some crazy stories, particularly when I found out that she had lived in Russia/Ukraine as a child, so perhaps I'll hang out with her again. Everyone else seemed nice enough...but I'll admit I had a flash of feeling like I shouldn't be hanging out and should be working instead.

But I didn't listen to that flash - when the music was done and they were packing up the chairs, John and I went down the street to Beer Hall, where we had another drink and I continued to tell him about all the animal deaths I witnessed in my youth (I may have told him about the Swingset of Death (tm) tonight, which is usually a good test of future friendship). Then we parted ways after last call, and I took a taxi home (because it was right there and I didn't feel like waiting in a super sketchy area for a Lyft).

And now I must sleep immediately if I have any hope of getting up and putting my own oxygen mask on before assisting others (and that, obviously, if you want me to spell it out, means that I should write in the morning before doing anything for anyone else). Goodnight!

Monday, April 04, 2016

came to my senses and i chilled for a bit

All in all, today was a decent reintroduction to the city of sin. The morning would have gone more smoothly if I had any food in the house (or at least milk or cream for tea or coffee), but since I did not, I took a shower, put on real clothes (unusual for me in the morning), and grabbed brunch at MyMy. Then, I went to Whole Foods and stocked up on necessities - which in my world means mostly dairy products, which is why I'm glad I'm gluten-intolerant and not lactose-intolerant. So now I have milk, cream, yogurt, string cheese, pepperjack cheese, and monterey jack cheese, in addition to some eggs and smoked salmon and avocados and bananas, so I think I might make it through the week (or at least tomorrow).

Then I came home, put away my groceries, and dealt with business-type stuff. But I couldn't hang out on my couch all afternoon - instead, I drove down to San Mateo to write with Barbara. I hadn't seen her in almost a month, so we spent way more time talking than writing - but I had expected that, and I wanted to catch up, so this was all good. And I did end up writing four pages, which is more than I would have gotten if I'd napped all afternoon, so #noregrets.

When I got home, I really wanted to curl up on my couch and sleep, but instead I ate a quick sandwich and drove down to Hayes Valley(ish) to view the dress rehearsal for the show Chandlord is doing on Wednesday. I am not an expert on Indian dance, but I was a warm body to keep an eye on whether their lines were straight and then clap approvingly at the end, so I think I served my purpose. The show should be really good - I'm guessing that anyone who reads this blog and lives in SF is also friends with Vidya and so already knows about it, but if you don't, you can buy tickets here.

After that was done, we went to Bernal Heights to pick up some alcohol from some dude (less sketchy than it sounds), and then we went to Lers Ros for a late dinner (more sketchy than it sounds, given that walking through the Tenderloin at night on my first day back reminds me why I sometimes hate living here - but the food reminds me why I sometimes love living here, so tonight was a wash). It was great to catch up, and hopefully her performance goes well (which it will!).

And now I need to sleep - I have grand writing plans tomorrow, and maybe some social plans, so sleep is imperative. Goodnight!

Sunday, April 03, 2016

a little voice inside my head said don't look back, you can never look back

I should have gone to bed ages ago, particularly since it's my own bed...but when I got home I decided to take care of tings, and I didn't really take a break until I sat down with my computer an hour ago and immediately got lost in mindless internet activities.

However, today was all smooth sailing. I woke up around 7:45 (the earliest I got up during my time home), showered, and then ate breakfast with the family. We had a surprise special guest, since Aunt Becky came down to do some work on the property adjacent to my parents' land - so she ate breakfast with us, and I'm glad I got to see her before returning to the city of sin.

Then, I threw the last bits of stuff into my suitcase, bid a fond farewell to [censored], and went to the airport. My parents took me, as usual, and we said goodbye outside. I made it through security in less than five minutes, so I had time to grab some water and lounge about before boarding. I was surprisingly upgraded just as boarding began, so I was quite comfy on the flight...

...which resulted in me drinking two glasses of wine and reading the rest of JANE STEELE, which I *adored*. I hadn't quite finished when we landed, so I went immediately to the wine lounge and drank another glass of wine while finishing it. The book was truly excellent and quite satisfying overall, so if you're looking for a dark/fun Victorian mystery/romance, I recommend.

After that, everything seemed lackluster by comparison, including my own work, so I accidentally got a bit tipsy (I blame the altitude). Then I grabbed dinner at Cantina Grill, grabbed some coffee for the plane, and got to my gate just as they started boarding. I didn't get upgraded on that flight, but I alternated between drinking coffee/napping/reading (although I tried starting two different books and neither could hold a candle to the one I'd just finished, so that was a bummer) until we arrived.

Then I took a taxi home, made it here by 8pm, and so did my laundry, put away my suitcase, opened all my mail, etc., etc. If I only had some groceries, my place would be livable. But that's a struggle for another day - right now I need to sleep and hope that tomorrow is kind to me. Goodnight!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

i'd pull the sun out from the sky to light your darkest night

Today was my slothiest day so far - so it's probably time for me to go back to California and get some work done. Not that I get much done there, either, but I am intending to change that (at least temporarily). I spent the day doing a whole lot of nothing - some of it was useful (emails, tax stuff, etc.), and some of it wasn't. But I also did some serious consideration about where to live and what to do this summer (despite my post from March 29 in which I told you to tell me to stop procrastinating if I made any decisions before May). I'm back to thinking that staying put in San Francisco for awhile would be good for my productivity....but we'll see if I feel that way after a few days of the heat wave we're about to have in SF, which will make the feces situation way more pungent than it has been.

sssanyway. I took a break from all of this to watch the Oklahoma game, which turned into a depressing bloodbath. Then I had supper with my parents (during the second half of the game, which I wouldn't have expected if you'd asked me earlier in the day, but my mom had already given up at that point), and then I messed around online while watching '48 Hours: Mystery', which is one of my least favorite CBS programs.

And then I packed, and now I need to sleep - I should have time for breakfast at home before going to Des Moines for my flight. No offense to Denver, but hopefully I'm not there for a minute more than is necessary tomorrow...San Francisco and a whole lot of writing (and some socializing, of course) await. Goodnight!

Friday, April 01, 2016

i've willed, i've walked, i've read, i've talked, i know, i know...i've been here before

Second to last full day in Iowa, and it was all rather delightful. I was a good girl last night and set up internet blocks for my laptop and phone for 8:30-10:30 today so that I would be able to write - and then I thwarted all of my earlier plans by sleeping until ten. Ha.

But then I spent the morning drinking coffee and messing around with business stuff and story stuff, and doing a math problem with my family (related to circles and angles and radii, as applied to pipes). I also listened to some extreme tales of woe from [censored], who ventured to [censored] while wearing a [censored] and carrying a [censored] strapped to his belt, and while he wasn't able to go any farther than [censored] thanks to the corpse of [censored] dangling from [censored], he at least emerged unscathed. Yes, this is a far more cruel and interesting [censored] than usual, but you're going to have to be satisfied with this, since [censored] does not like for [censored] to be discussed publicly.

sssanyway. I then spent the afternoon packing up some stuff to take to the secondhand store in town, which has become one of the only viable businesses. I had actually chosen all the stuff to donate in December and left it piled in the living room downstairs, and my mom had theoretically agreed to donate it for me, but since my parents never spend time in the downstairs living room, it was easy to ignore it for another day (week, month) while she focused on feeling better instead (and/or watching basketball, which is now over). So I packed it all up, and then [censored] and I took it into town. The new secondhand store is really quite nice, or at least well-organized, so hopefully the stuff I donated finds a good home there.

Then, [censored] and I went for a drive and ended up at [censored], where he owns [censored]. It's all wooded, and what roads existed have mostly subsided into dirt, but it's quite beautiful in a haunted, empty sort of way. Not that it's actually haunted, I don't think. And it would be a great place for a house, even if the tennis courts that were intended to be there are covered in too many trees for effective gameplay.

After that, we came home, rendezvoused with our parents, and went to Seymour for supper. On the way, we detoured to see a house the Amish are building - the crazy thing about this house is that they actually moved a house out to the building site from town, which is miles and miles away. And then, when it arrived, rather than putting it on a foundation, they jacked it up and built an entirely new first story underneath it, turning the old first floor into the second floor, which meant the porch is now sort of a second-floor deck or something. Super bizarre, especially since we all recognize the original house and it's strange to see it pushed up a level in a totally different part of the county (and by people who will live it in without electricity or phones, but somehow have no problem moving a whole house).

So, supper was tasty, and then we came home and debated watching a movie, but I was too tired for such endeavors (and also needed some me-time). So I picked up a book...and the next thing I knew, it was one a.m. Lol. I'm reading JANE STEELE, which is a retelling of Jane Eyre that basically opens with 'Reader, I murdered him' - so you can tell this is right up my alley. The heroine is a totally badass murderess and yet entirely sympathetic, and I'm halfway through and I love it. We'll see if the love holds - but for now, I need to sleep if I have any hope of getting anything productive done tomorrow. Goodnight!

[and one last thing - happy birthday to Ritu, the master of disaster!]