Sunday, October 30, 2016

we are explorers

As you may have guessed from the brevity and content of last night's post, today was all about paying the wages of my sins. Yesterday was worth it, though. Lauren, Terry and I went up to Calistoga, and we made it to town by 11am - just in time to rendezvous with the driver we'd hired to take us around the wineries, since none of us particularly wanted to stay sober. We stopped at a grocery store to buy sandwiches first (I had a v. yummy gluten free one that made me long for the days when I could have sandwiches anywhere and anytime I wanted), and then we went to Duckhorn for our first tasting.

Duckhorn has a variety of wines, and they make the Decoy line that is my go-to for home drinking. However, the tasting room primarily serves from the actual Duckhorn line - and that, as it turns out, was delicious. Our server perhaps recognized an easy mark when he saw one, because he poured almost twice as many wines as were technically included in the tasting - including a pinot noir that I really liked, and a fantastic red blend called 'The Discussion' (the only discussion was how much I wanted to drink more of it). He also slipped an extra bottle of that one into Terry's box when she bought some of the wines, so that was pretty delightful. But even if the wines had sucked (which they didn't), the setting was perfect - it was very autumnal in Calistoga, and I was in love with the rain and mist and falling leaves.

After Duckhorn, we went to Grgich Hills, where their lack of vowels in no way indicates their ability to make a tasty wine. Because of the rain there weren't any tasting on the patio, which meant the tasting room was crowded - but when we finally got a space, the heavens opened and all the wine appeared, and it was glorious. Not only did all the wine appear, but the original Mr. Grgich himself made an appearance - he sat in a chair and signed bottles of wine for people, including one woman who was rather shockingly amorous (and it was unclear whether Mr. Grgich liked it or if he just didn't have the mobility necessary to get away - he needs a panic button or something, since it took a few minutes for the staff to discreetly peel her off of him).

sssanyway. We tasted many wines there, and we purchased a whole bunch of them - between the three of us, I think we walked away with two cases. Then we went to Lava Vine, which was decidedly not as great as Grgich or Duckhorn from a wine standpoint - but they're newer, and the vibe was cool and we were able to sit outside on a picnic table and talk, so it was a great way to wind down.

Then our driver dropped us off, we checked into our hotel (we got a cute cottage that was perfect for the three of us), and we walked to Solage, which is way way fancier than our hotel. We were able to sit at the bar and have dinner there, and the food was as incredible as I'd heard it was - my steak was totally perfect, and the fries and oysters we had to start may have saved my life. What didn't save my life was the cocktail (delicious, totally not a good idea) and the glass of wine (and also Terry's wine, which she barely started before giving to me), and the Irish coffee....but c'est la vie.

So when we got back to the hotel sometime after ten p.m., we sat around and watched SNL just because we couldn't quite go to bed yet, and I think we all were subconsciously dreading how we would feel this morning and so weren't ready for the night to end....

...and that was the right call, because I felt like death this morning. It wasn't the worst ever and I feel okay now, but I only got four good hours of sleep (the other four were in a half-awake fugue state), and I didn't have enough water or caffeine yesterday to combat the overwhelming wine experience (you would think I'm an amateur at this). Lauren, of course, made it clear that she is a far superior human being, because she got up at 7:30 and took my car to her favorite trail in Calistoga and ran for 6-7 miles in the middle of a rainstorm (it started raining five minutes after she left - I'm not sure she would have done it if it had been raining when she woke up, but she might have because she's amazing). Then we had breakfast at the hotel, drove back to SF (with a stop at McDonald's for hash browns, which is a clear sign of how hungover we all were), and parted ways. Terry's on her way back to NYC, but hopefully the three of us will all see each other again around Thanksgiving.

When I got home, I was totally wiped out, so I slept for two hours, which was v. restorative. Then I messed around, ordered some groceries, unpacked, and called my parents. I spent the evening taking care of business stuff, none of which is interesting to you...and now I need to sleep so I can write a million words tomorrow, since this weekend was not good for the wordcount. Goodnight!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

me and my whoadies 'bout to stroll up

I've had way too much fun and way too much wine, but I think I'll make it through the night. I'm in Calistoga, where I spent the day with Lauren (you may know her as Subz) and Terry, and we went to many wineries and had a fabulous over the top dinner.

But that's all you're getting because typing is hard and wine is great and my head hurts and my heart is full of happiness - goodnight!

Friday, October 28, 2016

and it starts sometime around midnight

I'm so tired - considering that I got enough sleep last night, I think it's because of my introvert wall. Or it's because I spent 4+ hours driving home in rather treacherous conditions - it rained most of the way through the mountains and in the most traffic-y areas of the flatlands, which took more focus than your run-of-the-mill roadtrip. Or it's because I'm an octogenarian at heart, but I'm choosing not to believe that.

However, despite my incredible exhaustion, the trip was a success. I woke up this morning and showered and packed and helped clean out the house, and it all went quite smoothly. Grace and I were going to leave by ten, but we ended up hanging out with Anne and Barbara F until their ride showed up at 10:45, so we were later getting on the road than intended. But we had our usual highly entertaining car ride together - we talked about the unique vagaries of the historical romance publishing world, and we overanalyzed my relationships (all of my romance writer friends are married, and I think they find the modern dating world fascinating - or, as Grace called it, 'a special kind of hell' - and she's a trained psychologist, so I trust her judgment on this one). We also stopped at Starbucks for lunch and still made it to her place before three, so that was great.

I dropped her off and drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, which was as gorgeous as it ever is - unusually, it was raining in Marin and relatively clear in SF, so it felt like the skies opened up and welcomed me home on my way into the city (unlike my drive to Grace's last week, when the bridge was completely fogged over and everything else was clear). Then I came home and promptly lost all motivation and ability to function - as soon as I had the car in the garage, I was ready to pass out. However, I forced myself to stay up (although I ordered thai food instead of going to the grocery store and making an elaborate dinner like I'd fantasized about on the drive over the Golden Gate). And I watched two episodes of "Project Runway", which is about as much as I was capable of accomplishing. But now, even though it's not even ten, I'm going to go to bed - I have to get up early and pack some stuff and go off on another adventure, so sleep is more important than anything else. Goodnight!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

endless island

There is finally internet, but it's my last night in Tahoe and so I'm too tired to do this blog justice anyway. All in all, it was a very productive week - I wrote almost forty pages, and I spent a lot of glorious time talking about writing and business and life with some of my favorite writer friends. It still fascinates me that this group can come together in virtually any permutation (duos, triads, quads, whole group, whatever) and have a great conversation in which everyone is engaged and no one hates each other. It's hard to find that kind of cohesion in a group of eight (although we were only seven this time), and since we've now had several successful weeks together, I'm hopeful that this will continue for a long time to come.

Still, despite the cohesion and general feel-good vibes, my introvert soul is close to being ready to get the fuck out. I'll miss it once I'm gone, and I actually could stay here quite happily for another few days - but I need to get some writing done and recharge my introvert batteries for the much harder task of going to a writing conference where I know almost no one (and am sharing a room with Barbara S, which will be delightful because I love her, but also exhausting because room-sharing means less downtime).

So, today was all about trying to get stuff done - unfortunately, the internet was down most of the morning, and I squandered that quiet time by freaking out over the fact that the internet was down. But I did what I could do, and I ate lunch, and then I dragged Anne and Bella to Nevada, where we had a v. productive writing session in the Starbucks in Harrah's. Then we came home, had a bit of downtime, and then went out for dinner - we sacrificed our usual Riva Grill for a new spot (Azul, which was Mexican fusion), which was really delicious and encouraged me to eat way too much.

Then we came home again, and I sat around in the other house, but the introvert wall hit hard and I realized it was time to come back to my room. And now I need to sleep rather desperately - I need to get up and pack and clean out the house so we can leave by ten, which means sleep now is imperative. Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

cold tenderness

Again, the Internet has conspired to keep me from writing a real blog post. Today was one of those days where nothing with the story felt quite right - I got four pages, but it was all boring. But I spent some quality time with the group, drinking wine and eating Christie's delicious fettuccine alfredo (with gluten free pasta for my share) and getting them to help me brainstorm a possible lifestyle blog (because I need another blog). And Anne and I took a late night walk in the cold to catch Pokémon, which was as ridiculous as it sounds.

And now I need to sleep so I can do great things with my last day here - goodnight!

she left a little letter said she's gonna make a stop in nevada

The internet is once again not working, and I'm once again going to bed late, so I'm going to make a brief post from my phone and go to bed. But today was more of the glorious same...I did business stuff in the morning, ate some leftover soup, and then absconded with Anne and Bella to Starbucks for a writing-date-within-a-writing-retreat. The first Starbucks wasn't conducive to writing, so we drove to Nevada (0.4mi away) and went to the Starbucks in Harrahs casino, which was surprisingly productive.

Then we came home, Grace made dinner, and we sat around the table (in me and Grace and Bella's house rather than the other house - it's identical, but we always hang out in the other one, and so this felt like weird bizarre world because they're mirror images of each other), and we somehow had an amazing conversation even though this was our fifth night together. Anne, Bella and I closed it down, and I accidentally scared the crap out of Bella and Grace by claiming Grace was a clown (you had to be there, obvi).

And now it's time for bed - goodnight!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

rattling cages

Well, today was something. Luckily, that something was highly enjoyable - but it's almost 12:30am and I had intended to have a quiet night, and instead I drank my share of most of two bottles (it only wasn't two bottles because I refrained from the last glass I wanted to have and Barbara S switched to beer).

But, y'know, c'est la vie. I spent the morning getting some work done (quite decently), and then I took a break for lunch. I didn't let myself break for long, but then Grace and I escaped our compound and ran a quick errand - I wanted a long-sleeved shirt because I packed super badly (and by that I mean I packed almost perfectly but forgot to bring a hoodie), and so I bought a cheap Tahoe souvenir shirt, and then we grabbed coffee at Starbucks before heading home. And then I worked for another solid two hours, which was v. necessary.

But I had to break earlier than I wanted because it was my turn to make supper, so I ran across the street for some groceries, and then went to the other house and cooked. I made my now-famous chicken tortilla soup, which is a group favorite, and it turned out v. v. well, if I do say so myself. But it always takes awhile to cook, so I had a glass of wine with Barbara S. (and Christie, who drinks white, and Anne, who drinks beer) while it cooked, and then we all sat around the table and talked and laughed for far too long. Bella came up tonight since she wasn't able to make it up over the weekend, so that was a fun addition to the group; unfortunately, Tina was supposed to come up with her as well and wasn't able to because she's sick, so we're capped out at seven instead of eight. But it was all v. delightful, and as usual I enjoyed myself immensely (especially when I started joking about becoming Christie's stepmother, which was awesome, although you would have to be there).

Eventually, most people went to bed, and I had a highly enjoyable (in a very different way) convo about writing with Barbara S and Anne. Then, Barbara went to bed and Anne and I talked about life and travel, but we were interrupted by Grace, who needed to run to Safeway for something, and we convinced her to drive my car and take us with her so that she wasn't walking to Safeway in the rain at midnight. And then we came home, and now I believe I should sleep - the wine won't help with that, but I'm going to have to persevere anyway. Yes, life is hard. Goodnight!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

i wanna breathe that fire again

blogging is difficult again tonight - this time it's not because I'm drunk or exhausted, but because the Internet is down again and I don't feel like writing a lot on my phone. Also, today felt kind of wasted - thanks to last night's politics + my share of two bottles of wine, I was not in it to win it this morning. And I think I was stuck in this scene because I didn't really have the right idea of what I was trying to accomplish, so the words felt like a meandering mess all day.

But I got some writing done, and I called my parents, and I went to dinner with the group at MacDuff's Pub, which is home to some totally delish cottage pie. And I limited myself to one glass of wine, so even though I spent the time after dinner sitting in the main house and having an increasingly ridiculous conversation with everyone, I was at least able to pry myself away at ten and start winding down.

So tomorrow is another day and I'm going to seize it. Also, today wasn't actually bad - my writer friends are delightful, and now I'm daydreaming of walking across England on the coast to coast trail with Barbara S. Or, I'm just daydreaming of conning Anne into making me some more gluten free cookies...either way sounds good to me. Goodnight!

internet friends

no blog tonight - I'm typing from my phone because the internet is down, and I need to sleep immediately. But I got some great words in today, and I ate some delicious fajitas made my Barbara S, and Barbara S and I split two bottles of wine (I was only going to have a glass, but we went deep into politics and I should've had someone hold my earrings while I went hardcore on the plight of middle America...), and I stayed up late with Anne and Christie, and it was all delightful.

But now I need to sleep - I want to write more words tomorrow, and I also committed to making dinner, so I should try to recover from the wine so I can be productive in the morning. Goodnight!

Friday, October 21, 2016

can you read my mind

I'm thoroughly exhausted after getting approximately five hours of sleep last night and driving to Tahoe today - but despite my exhaustion levels (and the fact that I'm trying to go to bed by ten p.m., which is unheard of), today was still lovely. I woke up and scurried around like a madwoman trying to get my apartment in order and get myself packed up to go to Tahoe, which resulted in me leaving 45mins later than planned - but as there was no real set schedule for the day, that was fine, I guess. Also, I ate chicken and sweet potatoes for breakfast because I didn't want to cook anything and still had some left over - you do not care about this, but I'm writing it as a note to myself that chicken and sweet potatoes for breakfast are actually really good.

Then, I drove to Mill Valley and picked up Grace - we rode up to Tahoe together, and I was thrilled to have her to myself for a few hours. Somehow, the trips always work out so that we have at least one long drive together, and this one was perfect. We had tons to catch up on and we talked all the way to Tahoe, with a stop in Placerville to enjoy our traditional In-n-Out lunch. We got up here around 2:45; Anne and Barbara were already here, so we hung out with them and waited for the other Barbara and Christie to show up (in an uber from the Reno airport, since they had to fly in). Then we settled our room assignments (I'm in the second house, but I have the master bedroom, which is possibly bigger than my apartment...and now that I've said that, I'm actually super depressed), and we went to the grocery store and stocked up on some stuff.

We then spent the evening talking goals and publishing and life, and eating takeout pizza, and it was all as wonderful as it always is. But now I'm so tired that I'm taking the extremely unusual step of going to bed early - I'm determined to write tons on this trip, and that means resting now so I can hit the grind hard tomorrow. Goodnight!

you're gonna wish you could go back and fold

I need to go to bed RIGHT NOW. Actually, I needed to go to bed two hours ago. But today was a long slog involving writing and tons of research black holes, along with some laundry and packing...and then I had a v. long, v. sparsely attended Loro mini-reunion. That involved dinner with Walter and Tommy, and then Walter and I had a drink for an hour before hanging out with Tom, Greg, Julie, and Rat. Of the six people who showed up (other than me), I saw three of them in the last week, so not all of it was a blast from the past. However, I was really happy to see the people who were able to make it, so #noregrets.

But I have to get up in six hours to finish packing and drive to Tahoe, so no more blogging - goodnight!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

arrival to an empty room

Today was full of writing and errands and despairing about the writing, and now I'm longing for my bed. I got up later than I wanted (but also earlier than I wanted, since I didn't go to bed until 1am last night), and had to scurry quickly so that I could walk down to Union Street to see my aesthetician. After that, I went to Caffe Union, where I had the bar to myself, so I was able to enjoy my poached eggs and salmon and hollandaise while talking to Tony -- apparently he had begun to wonder where I was, so it's good that I went in while I had the chance.

After that, I stayed on Union Street - I went to the Illy coffee place and spent too much time on twitter, but then I managed to get some decent writing done. Then I walked home (with a stop at Lululemon to buy a sports bra, and a stop at Blick to buy more colored pencils than are strictly necessary, but I'm saying it's vital to my process).

When I got home, I was really not in it to win it, so I messed around online and took a nap. But then I rallied and put some chicken and sweet potatoes in the oven; while that was cooking, I cleaned up the kitchen and also packaged some stuff to take to Tahoe on Friday (we all travel with our own idiosyncratic needs, since each writer has those things that she thinks are vital to getting work done - in my case, it's an oversized mug, a couple of flavors of tea bags, coffee so I can make cold brew, and some pre-measured spices so I can make chicken tortilla soup for the group without having to buy jars of spices in Tahoe).

In case you couldn't tell from that timeline, I didn't watch the debate; I wasn't in the mood to have my mood further ruined, and I wanted to get some more work done tonight. Happily, I did manage to write another few pages after I ate, so that's good.

And now, I'm desperate for sleep and eager to get stuff done tomorrow - goodnight!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

gotta gotta be down because i want it all

I feel pretty good about today, despite not throwing enough words into the trenches - I keep trying to remind myself that this stage of the draft is like shoveling sand into a sandbox so that I can later make a sandcastle, and that the sand-shoveling process ain't pretty. But I wrote, and that's something. I also spent the morning taking care of some tasks, going to the grocery store, and feeding myself, all of which were worthy endeavors.

Then I sped to the south bay and had a writing date with Anne and Barbara in San Mateo. The downside of these dates is that I don't usually get enough words to justify the time investment, but the upside is that they keep me sane, so.....I guess I'll keep doing them. But not tomorrow or Thursday - I need to be wildly productive at home, and also prepare to leave for Tahoe (with Anne and Barbara, among other people) on Friday.

However, despite the fact that I wrote for a grand total of 50mins in the three hours I was with them, it was still a delightful afternoon. Then I drove even deeper into the bowels of the south bay to have a friendship renewal dinner at Shana Thai in Mountain View. I hadn't been to Shana Thai in months (I think the last time was with Heather), and I hadn't had a friendship renewal dinner in even longer - while Jen Lui was working in SF, we kind of splintered off and did our own fancy ladies' dinners rather than schlepping ourselves south. And I've seen Joann a few times in the last few months as well. But tonight was the full complement - Tolu, Jane, and Lizzie were there as well as Joann and Jen, so we had a lot to catch up on.

Thanks to the ever-shifting employment dynamics, all five of them are now working for my former employer; we all started together in 2003, and then four of the six of us left, and then the people who left went back (and in my case left again). Jen was the last holdout on returning, but she went through new hire orientation this week, so it looks like she's been recaptured. I was the only one who isn't currently employed there, but they still seem to enjoy my company, so I'm going to enjoy the friend ride while it lasts.

When we were done, I drove home and watched an episode of Project Runway before doing a bit more work. And now I need to sleep - goodnight!

Monday, October 17, 2016

pick up the receiver i'll make you a believer

I'm super sleepy...today was a good day, but it required more effort than I would have wanted to expend. I spent the morning sleeping later than I should have (mostly because I was wiped out from the weekend), but I rallied and dragged myself out of bed and made some eggs and worked for a couple of hours. Then I hurriedly showered and ate some lunch (bolognese sauce with lots of cheese and no noodles at all, which satisfied my desire to avoid grains even if it was weird to eat sauce by itself - but it was so meaty that it was almost like eating chili or maidrites or something, and it was totally fucking delicious). And then I drove down to San Bruno for a writing date.

As usual, the writing date wasn't as productive as it could have been - I find that I get good industry stuff + good socializing out of meeting with this group, but I'm not quite as wordcount-happy as I could be. However, I still got four pages, which wasn't bad. Then, I drove to San Mateo and worked for another hour at the Philz, where a jackhammer next door seriously harshed my mellow - but I scribbled in my notebook and realized what's currently blocking me, so that was great.

And then, when it was finally time, I went next door and had dinner with my friend Amber at Curry Up Now. I've mentioned Amber before, I think; she's a romance novelist who is also an Episcopal priest, and we typically have great conversations. Tonight was no different - we did tons of catching up and talking about the state of romance fiction, fueled in no small part by delish food + tasty cocktails (I was drinking the 'bandit queen', which I would have picked for the name alone - it was basically whisky with some bitters, and it was dangerously good).

Eventually, though, I came home, and now I am contemplating my bed + all the things I have to do this week. Goodnight!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

only way to go is up

I'm exhausted, and I've been exhausted all day...which is mostly my own fault, since I didn't go to bed early enough, and also was sleeping in an unfamiliar bed, and also had my full share of two bottles of wine last night, and also am still somewhat recovering from being sick. This resulted in me mostly bailing on all my plans today, which was kind of a bummer...but more on that in a sec.

I had a v. lazy morning in San Jose - thanks to my aforementioned issues, I didn't really get out of bed until ten, which was about two hours later than I had planned for. When I rolled downstairs, Salim was just starting to make breakfast, so I drank some coffee and sat at the counter and talked to him while he cooked. Heather (aka dear respected madam) eventually came down as well, and we had a leisurely breakfast (eggs and bacon for me, pancakes and bacon for them), and I begged Salim for more coffee because I wasn't sure I could survive without it.

Even before breakfast was served, I texted people to cancel plans. The main plan was with Katrina - I was supposed to do a tour of Victorian homes with her and a couple of her friends, but knew I was going to be pushing it (even in the best case) to get back to the city in time). I was also supposed to get together with Tom and write, but that didn't happen either. So, I ate, and I drank a lot of coffee, and I talked to Heather, and I was v. loath to leave...

...but I had to leave eventually. So I said my farewells, and I drove home, and it took longer than I wanted (it was raining, which made for a stressful drive). When I got here, I was so tired that I laid down on the couch, and during my nap I slept through my nap alarm (that never happens), which means I got an hour of sleep but definitely couldn't make any afternoon plans happen. Then I called my parents, who were delightful. And then I thought about working, but instead wasted time on the internet....

...and then my plans with Tom rekindled themselves, since our original plan had been to write and then have dinner with Julie, and he held me to the dinner plan even though the writing plan hadn't worked out. So I threw on some pants again and took a lyft to Julie and Deano's place. We drank the bottle of champagne I took over, and we ate some v. delicious fish with potatoes/mushrooms and also some of the best brussels sprouts I've ever had at someone's house (Tom made them even though he doesn't live there, and they were perfect). Our conversation was super fun, and then took a sideways turn into a big argument about the Komen Foundation, which was quite entertaining (I've spent so much time arguing recently that it's making me revive my old dream of going into journalism/media....).

But then I came home, and now I really should sleep - I need to get back into some healthy sleep patterns so I can be more productive in the morning. Goodnight!

lay a whisper on my pillow

I'm in an undisclosed location - and by that I mean I'm in Heather's guest room in San Jose, thanks to a sleepover that we arranged months ago. I haven't had a sleepover with her in over two years, I think, and it's been way too long. I got here a little before six, and we talked and talked and gossiped, and Salim made us dinner (apparently steak and baked potatoes served at home makes me instinctively feel like we have to say grace, since that meal is so Midwestern). Then we talked a lot more, and finished the first bottle of wine and opened a second, and we watched a bunch of tv (the end of Pretty Woman, most of Divergent (and I spoiled the end of the series for heather, since she saw the most recent movie and thought it was the end, which doesn't bode well for how they split up the third book into two movies), and all of SNL (the first time I've watched it all live in more than a decade, I think). I also had a v close encounter with their dog (Peaches, a five year old bulldog), and we told a lot of stories, and it was delightful.

The rest of my day was good as well - I woke up too late bc I went to bed at 1:30 last night (which I'm about to do again), and so I didn't get much done before leaving the house. I went to Cupertino at 1:15 and met Walter and Carson and their baby for lunch l, and we spent a couple of hours having a grand old time. Then I wrote at a coffee shop for an hour, and got four pages, which was better than might have been expected with my socializing.

And now I desperately need to sleep - I have plans all day tomorrow, and they're all looking slightly or wildly unlikely given my current state of exhaustion + distance from the city + my need to write + the rain, but we'll see. Goodnight!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

i was too strong, you were trembling

Today was fantastic, despite the rain. I woke up, showered, ate some eggs, took care of some business-y things, and then ran out the door to drive west, and west some more, until I came to the end of the city (and the continent) and reached the Legion of Honor. Okay, it's not quite on the ocean, but it's close. My friend Veronica and I met there for another writing/museum date, and it was just as fabulous as the one we had at the de Young a few weeks ago. My membership gets two people in for free to either de Young or Legion of Honor whenever I want, and this is turning out to be an excellent writing date strategy.

I vaguely prefer the cafe at the de Young...but Legion of Honor has all the old European art, which is my jam. Also, the sandwich I had there (warm chicken, brie, and pears on gluten free bread) was one of the most delicious things I've had in forever. And, best of all, I had some entertaining convos with Veronica, and saw some art, and wrote ten pages (including some lines with some guy named Titus, who just kinda showed up and stole the show), so that was pretty awesome.

We parted ways around three, and I came home, took care of some tings, and then got a mani/pedi. I haven't had a mani/pedi since August, so my hands and feet were feeling pretty gnarly, but the good ladies at Silk cleaned them up for me (and my manicurist told me a v. entertaining story about the only time she ever got drunk and how she thought she was going to die; she asked me how many times I've gotten drunk, and I was so taken aback that I only said 'more than once').

Then, I was planning to have a low-key night at home (mostly because I was so sick this last week that I didn't make any new plans; the only things on the docket for this weekend are things I've been planning for awhile). But Claudia texted me while I was getting my nails done, so she ended up coming over (and bringing an awesome bottle of wine), and I fed her the bolognese sauce I made last night (it was incredibly delicious today - definitely something that benefits from sitting and melding for awhile). We had a lot to catch up on, since we've both been traveling and I haven't seen her since my birthday.

So we had a v. lowkey catchup and drank the bottle of wine and sat around until almost 11:30. And then I was going to go to bed immediately, but instead I wasted time online - which I'm way too prone to do anyway, but it feels even stupider at one in the morning. So now I need to sleep so that I can write before pursuing my social plans tomorrow - goodnight!

Friday, October 14, 2016

i love cheap thrills

I caught up on a lot of things that were necessary to feel human again - three loads of laundry, for example, which I'd been putting off since getting back from Iowa thanks to my stupid cold. I also did some things that were unnecessary, but good for my sanity - I tried a new recipe for bolognese sauce, which took several hours, but the sauce was to die for (it would be great in lasagna; the gluten free penne I put it on wasn't quite as delightful, but c'est la vie). And I talked to Katie, who always delights me (especially when she teaches me a fabulously dirty word - not that she would do that, since she's an upstanding citizen, but even upstanding citizens say things like 'Poonghazi' in the current election cycle).

sssanyway. I did not, however, write as much as I had intended to, because I'm apparently a lazy wench. A lazy wench who is running very behind on her deadline...which means I should probably sleep so that I can try again tomorrow. Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

rushing through her veins like it's ecstasy

My illness is still slowly working its way out of my system - I didn't wake up coughing last night, but I did sleep for almost ten hours, so hopefully that's progress. Of course, that meant I didn't make as much progress as I'd hoped on the book...but between my morning session at home and an afternoon session in Burlingame with Anne, Barbara, and Veronica, I came very close to my time goal for the day (even if I was feeling stuck on some key points and so was writing slower than usual).

But all of that was good, so I'll take it. Then I drove home, took care of some tings (but not enough tings), and met Lauren (aka Subz) for dinner at Troya. We had a delightful conversation and I jealously admired her hair (so much so that it might finally be time for me to cut mine off...we'll see), so that made for a great couple of hours.

And now, after giving you absolutely nothing of note, I need to indulge my lungs and go to bed - goodnight!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

cut your teeth

Yesterday was great for writing, and today wasn't. I woke up with grand plans (despite too much coughing), but I got sidetracked by some administrative stuff, and then I couldn't get in the zone. Finally, I walked over to Fillmore and tried writing at Starbucks - but I sat next to the wrong person (a slightly batty old woman who might have been in the early stages of dementia, or maybe just doesn't have any social skills), and she kept trying to talk to me. I still got two pages, but that was a far cry from yesterday's productivity.

Then I stopped at Whole Foods on the way home, which took too long since it was peak time. Then I made soup, which also took way longer than anticipated - the recipe claimed 45mins, but it took more like 80. The soup was an attempt to rid myself of this cold once and for all - I can't have chicken noodle soup, and I'm avoiding corn, so chicken tortilla soup was also out. But I made some paleo-type chicken soup with carrots, celery, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cauliflower, and other herbs, and it turned out pretty well. I thought it cooked down a little too much, so I added some extra liquid before storing it - but otherwise, it was what I wanted.

As I was getting ready to eat it, Chandlord showed up unexpectedly, so we caught up for awhile. After she left, I was going to write - but it still didn't happen, and now I'm tired. Tomorrow's another day, though - so I'm going to take my cough and my surliness and go to bed. Goodnight!

Monday, October 10, 2016

the island of deceased ships

I'm finally getting back into the grind, although I'm still not 100% healthwise - but if I waited to write until I felt totally perfect, I would probably never finish another book. I spent the morning at Philz, where I wrote and drank coffee; then I came home and ate some leftover thai (I had wanted pho to promote continued healing of my body, but after walking through some horrific blocks of Tenderloin madness, I discovered that Mangosteen was closed for Columbus Day - so if I had been stabbed, it would have been for naught). Then I slept for an hour, which was v. necessary.

But then I forced myself off the couch, took a shower, and wrote some more in the afternoon/evening. All in, I got twelve pages, which is the best I've done in forever, so I'm pleased with that. And then I spent the evening watching Project Runway and taking care of administrative tasks - so all in all, it was a pretty good day.

However, I'm still mildly sick and majorly sleepy, so it's time for bed - goodnight!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

wanna put my tender heart in a blender

Today started off rather delightfully, mostly because I slept through the night without waking up to cough for an hour in the middle of it. So, I took the opportunity to indulge by sleeping for nine hours, which I probably really needed. Then I got up, messed around online, took a shower, and made breakfast (sweet potato hash, which I'd frozen v. thoughtfully for myself a month ago, and two fried eggs) before walking down to Hayes Valley to meet up with Katrina.

We had a 'writing date' at Arlequin, which meant we caught up for a couple of hours about a variety of topics, and I simultaneously missed my old job and realized that I need to write so I never have to work for a corporation again. Then, we actually did write, and I got a few pages, so I was v. pleased with that.

Then I walked home and sat on my patio for an hour and basked in the sunshine while talking to my parents. And then I drank half a bottle of wine and watched the debate, which I did with my shirt pulled over my face for much of it, which is a very Terry-like move (she would watch with her eyes covered whenever something was awkward) - I wonder what it would have been like watching with her. But I prefer my debate watching to happen in silence, alone, while writhing in discomfort over where everything is headed and how fucked we are with our current media and our current political system.

But at least I blogged - I told my dad that if I didn't blog tonight, it was because I was sad, not dead, and so not to assume the worst, but I recovered enough to type this. And now I'm going to get offline and scribble in my notebook or watch tv or daydream about the apocalypse - goodnight!

Saturday, October 08, 2016

don't let me down down down

I'm not in the mood to blog tonight - today was fine, but nothing of interest happened. I woke up coughing, spent the morning tackling stuff around the house, spent too much time in the afternoon reading social media (everything is imploding and I can't look away), and eventually did a couple of hours of writing, so I guess that's good. And I watched an episode of 'Project Runway', which didn't help in terms of getting me to look away from screens, but at least it wasn't my laptop.

But that's all boring, and I have nothing else to share, so this is all you're getting. Goodnight!

Friday, October 07, 2016

i tell my love to wreck it all

I'm still not feeling well, which is getting to be a real drag. So, today was kind of a wash - I slept better last night, thanks to my octogenarian-style bed that enabled me to sleep at an incline, but I was not feeling in it to win it this morning. So I sat around and did some mindless research, and then showered and went to Lers Ros to grab lunch.

The walk there and back reminded me that I live in an apocalyptic wasteland - it's getting a little too depressing to see the same extreme scenes of poverty and prostitution and drug use in the middle of the day in the middle of one of the richest cities in the world. And I don't know what the solution is...but I'm finding nothing charming about any of it at the moment.

Or maybe that's my illness talking - the walk to Lers Ros took a lot out of me, which was compounded by the fact that I hadn't had any caffeine all day because I didn't have any milk/cream. So I grabbed an iced coffee at Peets, came home, grabbed my car, and drove to the Mission, where I got my bangs trimmed. Then I came home and napped for an hour as the Blue Angels roared through the skies overhead, because I couldn't bear to do anything else.

By that point the day had mostly slipped away from me. However, I forced myself to write for twenty minutes, and I got a page and a half - I'm testing out a new method of writing in twenty-minute increments, and the rule is that I have to write at least one twenty-minute increment every day. If there's a day when I'm not feeling it beyond that, fine - but I have to at least do one. I think this will be good in the long run; tonight, I probably would have kept going if I'd had time, after I finally forced myself to do it.

But I didn't have time - I had to meet Julie for a drink at Home Rules. I hadn't seen her in awhile, and so I didn't want to cancel despite not feeling all that great. And it was worth it, since it was good to see her - we sat outside (the weather, at least, was gorgeous today, even if the city isn't) and had a cocktail and split some nachos. Then, we went to her place briefly, where I said hi to Deano (her husband) and Tom and their friend Aron, whom I hadn't seen in forever.

But I was feeling tapped out, so I came home. I then read a book - Tessa Dare's latest, which is "Do You Want to Start a Scandal". I haven't read a historical romance other than my own in at least a year, and I'm thinking I need to see if there are trends in the market that I'm missing. And, I really needed something light and fluffy given my physical state. This fit the bill - I must have skimmed quite a bit, because I finished it in two hours, and I don't think it was that short. But the dialogue was charming and the story was fun, so at least I enjoyed that, even if I didn't end up feeling super connected to the characters.

And now I need to sleep and hope that I'll keep getting better - goodnight!

Thursday, October 06, 2016

but i swear in the days still left we'll walk in fields of gold

I'm back in San Francisco, at least for the moment. Today started off with some mild exhaustion - I coughed for an hour at some point last night, and then I woke up at 6:45 so that I could say goodbye to my dad. He couldn't go to the airport today because he had another commitment, so we said goodbye in the kitchen, which was super weird - I think this is the first time in the 15+ years that I've been going places that my mom and I went to the airport by ourselves.

After my dad left, I went back to bed for 45mins, and then I got up, ate some breakfast with my mom, packed, showered, and loaded my stuff up in the car. Then my mom and I drove to Des Moines - it was an entirely uneventful drive through mist and clouds, and I am reminded how nice it is that the timings there are always guessable (the 75mi to the airport are consistently an hour and a half no matter what, unlike the hellhole that is SF...but more on that in a moment). Then we said our goodbyes outside the airport, and I went through security and got a snack and boarded my flight.

Des Moines to Denver was uneventful, and I napped most of the way. In Denver, I grabbed a late lunch at Cantina Grill. The Denver to SFO flight was packed, and the guy next to me was a little too into manspreading, but I managed another nap and some writing, so I guess that's good.

But when I landed in SF, traffic looked atrocious - it was going to take over an hour to get home, and I was feeling too ill and too cranky to deal with sitting in some lyft for that long. So I went to a wine bar and sat there and nursed a pinot noir and wrote and ate charcuterie for three hours. That resulted in me writing ten pages, which was v. much needed to jumpstart my productivity again. And when I finally left the airport, it only took thirty minutes to get home, so that was a plus.

And now I'm going to watch some 'Project Runway' to decompress, and then I'm going to bed. Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

i'm your little butterfly

Today was my last full day in Iowa, and I spent it doing very Iowish things. First, though, I got up in time to shower and take a business-y call, and then my parents and I went to Seymour, where we had lunch with my Aunt Judy. She's actually my dad's aunt, and she lives in Missouri, but she drove up to have lunch with us. It was all quite entertaining, and the deer heads on the wall were silent witnesses to our conversation.

Then we came home (with a brief stop at a cemetery), and I spent the afternoon hanging out on the back porch with my parents. It was a gorgeous day, and I probably should have been writing, but parent time was a v. worthy endeavor. Eventually, we had supper (steak, hot dogs, potatoes, veggies) while watching 'Survivor' - and then, because 'Criminal Minds' was coming on and we all hate it, we switched over to PBS and watched a two-hour documentary which appears to be part of a mini-series called 'The Great Human Odyssey'. It was really interesting, and made me wish that I had been an archaeologist (but not really, because I think they spend 99.9% of their time brushing sand off stuff and being bored). But let me tell you, after watching how our ancestors survived and spread out over the whole world, 'Survivor: Gen-X vs Millennials' seems a whole hell of a lot less dramatic.

And then I did a bit of work, and now I need to sleep - I have to get up in ~7 hours, and since each of the last few nights have involved waking up in the middle of the night and coughing for an hour, it's probably in my best interests to sleep. Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

born in the usa

I'm still not feeling great, but I'm feeling maybe slightly better than yesterday, so signs are pointing toward my eventual recovery. I spent most of the afternoon talking to my mom, which was lovely - it was too windy for her to work in the garden, and I will be spending the next month writing frantically, so I might as well enjoy my time here, right?

But I did do a little work this afternoon, and I also took a nap, so that was all good. Then we ate supper - cheeseburgers and homemade french fries (fried in beef tallow) made for a delightful dinner. After that, I debated opening a bottle of wine (see: debate), and I was v. v. tempted - but I decided that wine probably wasn't the best chaser for all the sudafed I've been taking, so I made tea instead.

The debate was mildly frustrating, but I didn't need wine to get through it, so I guess that's good. Again, I shall refrain from political discourse, other than to say that I suspect that if the Republicans had picked almost anyone other than Trump (except for the Zodiac Killer), they likely would have won. There's still a lot of time to go before the election, and I want to spend as little of it online as possible - I've got a book to write, and life's too short to be this angry about things.

And now, I'm going to prepare myself for another night of attempting to sleep while coughing - goodnight!

Monday, October 03, 2016

i shake a little

Regrettably, I am still sick, which is starting to get old. After spending far too much time last night coughing and not sleeping, I spent the morning dealing with that - I ended up seeing a doctor online (via my health insurance's patient portal), who was friendly and efficient and sent a prescription for an albuterol inhaler to my local pharmacy, and gave me some tips for surviving my plane trip later this week.

So, I spent the rest of the morning messing around, and then my mom and I went into town to run errands. I picked up my prescription, and then we dropped groceries off at home before going to the round barn site so she could show me the curtains that they put up in the house on the property. It's all looking quite lovely, so much so that it made me wish that I lived in an old Victorian house (although I would prefer to live in a house without flies, which isn't possible in old houses in rural areas).

Then we came home, and I took a nap, and then we ate supper (pork loin, sweet potatoes, and baked apples - yum). I was going to theoretically write then, but the two hour season premiere of 'Scorpion' was on, and I like that show. So I watched tv, then watched the news, and then came downstairs and procrastinated and then wrote for half an hour (not enough, but at least I'm back in the story to some extent).

And now I need to sleep and hope that the inhaler keeps my airways open long enough for me to get some rest - goodnight!

Sunday, October 02, 2016

forget regret or life is yours to miss

Still sick, so nothing to report. I barely slept last night because I was up until after 1:30 (staying up late talking to [censored] was good for familial relations, but possibly not good for either of our sleep schedules) and then had several hour-long coughing fits, which made sleep rather tricky. But I rolled out of bed by nine because staying in bed only made my lungs unhappy, and I spent the day attempting to be a participating member of the family even if I didn't feel like being a productive one.

As we were eating breakfast, Aunt Becky arrived - she'd come down to see Gram, and then she came out to visit us. It was great to see her, as usual, and we all had a nice visit, even if there are conversational landmines sitting around waiting to be stepped on. After she left, I went outside and attempted to get some work done, but my fatigue wasn't feeling it, so I was going to take a nap - but then my mom took a break from gardening, and so we sat on the porch and talked about the state of the nation instead. My dad showed up at some point, and we talked as well, and it was almost like my usual Sunday afternoon phone calls, except we did it in person and no one could be secretly watching tv or reading the internet while pretending to pay attention to the phone call (not that that ever happens, of course).

Then [censored] left to go back to [censored], and I tried and mostly failed to take a nap. My parents and I ate supper shortly thereafter (leftover awesomeness from last night + fried potatoes and green beans, which are always delish), and then I watched three hours of fine CBS programming - NCIS:LA, Madam Secretary, and Elementary. Those are three of my favorite CBS shows, so all in all, it wasn't a bad way to spend my miserable coughing evening.

And now I need to sleep - goodnight!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

every rose has its thorn

Still in Iowa, still sick. Today was pretty uneventful - I had breakfast, talked to the parents, messed around with my planner, showered, and then spent the afternoon hanging out with family. It was a grey, gloomy day in Iowa, but it was still warm enough to sit out on the back porch while talking to the parents (my mom was gardening and my dad was smoking a five-pound chunk of New York strip, which turned out to be super delicious). Also, Uncle Mark came down, so we spent some quality time with him.

Eventually, it was time for supper - which, as I mentioned, was delish. The smoked meat was perfect, and we had baked potatoes (which are always perfect), and my mom made baked apples for dessert (basically just like apple crisp, but without the crisp - all the taste, none of the gluten). Then, I watched "Scorpion", took a bit of a nap, watched the end of a "48 Hours: Mystery" (I hate that show), and then came downstairs. I was kind of planning to read and go to bed then, but instead I spent the last four hours talking to [censored] about a variety of [censored] topics.

Now, though, I really must sleep - goodnight!