Friday, October 31, 2014

my discotheque juliet teenage dream

Today was actually mostly lovely despite the ongoing shitshow that is my job. I know, I'm as shocked as you are. I got up at 5:30 (pain), showered, and took more time than usual with my hair and makeup since I decided to dress up for Halloween. I recreated my prom queen costume from college (different dress, same tiara), with some awesome eye makeup and an appearance by Prom King (my fake newborn baby). All in all, I would say it was a success, but I felt a bit out of place since no one else on my team dressed up (beyond a sailor hat worn by one of the guys). Luckily, I rocked it, including in a meeting with a bunch of directors, none of whom were dressed up either. Heh.

But that was all good. I was in the office by 8:15, which gave me time to get coffee at coffee lab and breakfast next door (a recreation of yesterday, down to the poached eggs and the company) before my meetings began for the day. And if I'm honest, the day was not particularly onerous - yes, what I'm working on currently is highly annoying, but I took a two-hour break in the middle of the day to go to the indian restaurant on campus and then do some impromptu bowling with some of the team. Bowling in a short cocktail dress and tiara seemed to work for me, since I scored 100 - not a hugely impressive score, but respectable enough and totally worth whatever foot fungus I'll get from wearing bowling shoes without socks. I know.

Then I went back to the office and slogged for another four hours, mostly successfully. After that, I had grand plans to meet up with Jess, who works in the Seattle office but was in town for the week. Dave came too, and the three of us had an awesome dinner at Vive Sol. After that I was thinking I should go home, but Jess wasn't ready to go back to her sad corporate apartment yet, so we had a drink at Steins and continued the fun.

I dropped her off at 8:40ish, took Dave back to campus, and then spent ten minutes with him tearing apart the front half of my car - he spilled to me earlier that someone else in our group had planted a device in my car, which explains why I've been hearing an occasional, very brief, but very annoying high-pitched whine every 4-5 minutes for the last couple of weeks. I had just been thinking that I should probably not leave my keys on my desk as I usually do, and it turns out I'm right - at some point recently, when I went to a meeting, someone grabbed my keys and took care of business. Unfortunately, we couldn't find it despite digging through the center console, the glove compartment, and every other thing we could think of, so I got to listen to it on the way home and plot my revenge.

But now I am super tired and need to sleep if I'm going to survive work tomorrow - at least I can work from home, which is the only thing that may save me. Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

take aim and reload

My midwestern soul is feeling a bit like I betrayed the cause, but I was all in on the Giants today. I got up super early, was out the door by 6:40, and then ended up stuck behind an accident, so it took me an hour and twenty minutes to get to work. Ugh. But I wrote Thorington for an hour and totally loved what I got done, so that was great. Then I had breakfast with Dave, who happened to run across me at Coffee Lab - I may have voluntarily eaten quinoa for breakfast, but in my defense it came with some delicious poached eggs and sausage, so I'll take it. Also, it was free, which I have clearly forgotten is an incredible luxury.

Then I went to my building and slogged excessively all day. It was mostly meetings, but they were mostly good, so at least there's that. I left the meetings at five and went to the gym (I KNOW), mostly because it was one of the only places with tvs on campus, and I wanted to watch the game but didn't want to suffer through another two-hour commute. So I spent 75 minutes on the treadmill, watching the game, talking to the coworker I met there, and generally sweating more than I should have since I was being an all-star roommate and wearing the sweater that Terry had insisted I wear again today.

But it seems to have worked! I gave up on the treadmill at 6:30ish, gave up on the idea of dinner when I saw the lines, ate some cereal, left at seven, and was home by eight, so clearly leaving later was way better. I got back during the eighth inning, which meant I got to enjoy the last bit of the game with Terry, and it was all totally lovely. Now I'm hatching plans (or rather, going along with plans) to move some of my Friday meetings up to SF so we can go to the parade - sounds like a good idea, right?

Now, though, I desperately need sleep, particularly if I want to follow through with my plan of dressing up for work halloween tomorrow (which may or may not happen - I'm not feeling it right now, but maybe I'll change my mind in the morning). Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

come on hide your lovers underneath the covers

Another brutal day - this refrain is likely getting as old for you as it is for me. I woke up at six, wrote until eight (successfully!), worked until ten, trained with Alyssa, and then slogged relentlessly until 4:30 (okay, not so relentless - I did take a break for coffee, but I consider that a requirement these days). Then I endured an almost two-hour commute, since clearly everyone wanted to come home and watch the Giants/Royals game. And as it turned out, everyone was wrong in trying to get home to watch it, since it was a bloodbath.

But I got home eventually (and was even not that stabby when I finally made it here), and I went to Des Amis for the third night in a row, where I wrote again. I'm happy with how this scene finally turned out, and there's only one scene left to fix/rewrite, so I'm hoping that maybe, just maybe, I can get through it tomorrow. But either way, this fucker may actually come out sooner rather than later - we can all hope that's the case, since clearly I'm going to go crazy if I don't get done with Thorington soon.

Now, though, after doing an hour of work for the day job to wrap up my day of brutality, I must sleep so I can do it all again tomorrow. Goodnight!

Monday, October 27, 2014

until the love runs out

I wanted to go to bed forty-five minutes ago (yes, at nine p.m., I'm old), but I made the mistake of checking my work email, and so I got sucked in until now. Today was decent, but I find it impossible to believe that it's only Monday - surely it must be Wednesday, given how much I've done already? I woke up at 5:45, was a bit sluggish getting ready, and so didn't get out the door until 6:40ish - which would have been fine except I forgot that I was out of gas. So by the time I filled up and made it out of the city, my commute took an hour and a half. Sucks.

But I slogged incessantly from 8:20 to 4:15ish, with nary a break in sight (although I did get coffee, but those of us who got coffee talked about work the whole time, so it doesn't count). Then I drove home, took care of house chores, and went to Des Amis, where I finally got the breakthrough I was looking for in terms of writing productivity and finished one of the scenes that was blocking me. YES.

And now I'm going to go to bed, get up super early, and write before taking meetings from home and then going to the gym - wish me luck. Goodnight!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

the fakers gonna fake fake fake fake fake

I meant to go to bed an hour ago, but watching the game and doing laundry meant a lack of proper bedtime. Today wasn't the glorious slog I expected - I was too distracted and stressed by life, and the writing was like pulling teeth. I probably should have just taken the day off, but I of course put way too much pressure on myself like I usually do.

But I made a lot of notes on what to do next, and I made some key edits to earlier stuff to support those changes, so that's good. I also took a long walk and talked to my parents, bought a ridiculously large pair of dark sunglasses to make myself feel better, and ate steak at Des Amis to complete my cure. And i watched the game - I was under orders to wear yesterday's sweater again, and I also had to drink Bailey's again (such a chore), but we won again, so I guess you can guess what I'll be wearing/drinking Tuesday. Of course, my Iowa heart feels a little guilty, but since I live with someone who will murder me in my sleep if I cheer against the giants, I'll continue to be a traitor to the Midwest.

And now I must sleep - goodnight!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

i knew you were trouble when you walked in

I think I finally figured out what's wrong with the end of my book - like, for real figured it out, not the false realizations I had over the past few days. Unfortunately, that means I have to scrap some of what I'd already written, but not much - and I'm hopeful that a long and brutal slog tomorrow can get me to the end of it. And to that end, I'm going to go to bed early so that I can hopefully wake up fresh and clear tomorrow...

...because today was neither fresh nor clear. I woke up at seven, eventually made myself some tea, but was distracted from coming back to the writing because there were two people sleeping in my living room (Lisa and Ginger, who were Terry's friends in college). I'm friends with them as well, although I'm closer to Lisa, and she came into the kitchen while I was making tea, so I shared my tea with her. It was great to catch up with her, even if we were whispering while doing so. Then I came upstairs, contemplated Thorington, eventually took a shower, ate some breakfast, and went to Rapha, where I spent another two hours contemplating. And the trouble all became apparent when I finally forced a character to show up and then realized that he shouldn't be there at all. Ugh.

So I bought myself flowers and went home. Then I had a late lunch at Delarosa; the food was excellent, as per usual, and we didn't have to wait for a table, which is nearly unheard of (this is the advantage of eating lunch at 1:30pm, I guess). I also quite enjoyed my sparkling rosé, although I probably shouldn't have had it since I came home at three and immediately needed a nap. Oops.

And then I was completely unproductive the rest of the day. I went downstairs to make some tea at fourish, just as Terry and Ginger came back (it's their reunion weekend, hence the guests in the living room), and so I talked to them for awhile. Then Ginger went on a run and Terry and I continued to catch up, since we really haven't seen each other alone since before I went to Germany. Then I made chili for supper, and we ended up watching the second half of the Giants game (we skipped the first half because Terry couldn't bear to watch). And now that we won, Terry has ordered me to continue wearing the spiffy Giants sweater I was wearing for every remaining game of the series. Heh. Luckily, I happen to like that sweater, and it's super comfy, so this is not as onerous as it might sound (as long as it doesn't get any warmer, since I might overheat otherwise).

But one of the things Terry and I talked through was the end of Thorington, and so I'm feeling more hope about tomorrow than I've felt in a v. long time. And that means that sleeping now is an excellent idea. Goodnight!

we'll never be royals

Today was a very long day that went about as opposite as I could have planned for it. If there's any benefit to the work situation I was dealing with last night, it's that it may have gotten me back onto my normal schedule - I went to bed later, and so I didn't get out of bed until a little after seven this morning. Shocking, I know. But as soon as I got out of bed, I spent the entire day until approximately five p.m. dealing with work stuff. The only two breaks I took (a shower + walking down the street to get coffee; eating leftover pizza and making tea don't seem to count) were both interrupted by phone calls, and I spent the rest of the time staring mindlessly at my laptop.

This was all v. annoying, because I had grand plans to write for a couple of hours before work and then take care of a bunch of stuff that I've been putting off at work. Ugh. But I did finally stop working at five, and I went to Sabrosa and ate tacos and read through what I wrote over the past couple of days. But I wasn't feeling looking at a small screen, so I instead looked at a large screen and watched most of the baseball game. Then I came home, still didn't want to look at a screen, and so reread one of my favorite comfort books (a Robin McKinley fantasy) to try to clear my head of work so that I can slog all weekend and hopefully (fingers crossed) get Thorington out into the world.

But to do that, I need sleep - goodnight!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

don't you dare look back, just keep your eyes on me

Today was entirely annoying, with the exception of one glorious hour of writing I accomplished at the office before work. I woke up at 5:40ish, was out the door by 6:25, and so had time at the office to think about my own stuff before the slog began.

But when the slog finally did begin, it was mostly brutal. I did have a break for a team lunch, and I snuck away to have coffee by myself later while doing some annoying tasks (although someone crashed my coffee party, but I guess I'll survive). Then I had a team meeting, and I got out of there at 4:25 with the intention of enjoying the city...

...but instead, my commute took ninety minutes, and I arrived to a missed call from my boss + texts from multiple people in regards to some fairly annoying task that suddenly blew up. No big deal, but it meant I worked from six to ten, with a v. brief break for a waxing appointment. This was a real bummer, since I had planned to go out and eat and drink and be merry (or at least write), and instead I ordered a pizza and grew gradually more stabby as the evening progressed.

But whatever - they pay me for my expertise at making order out of chaos, and there hadn't been any chaos in awhile, so I was probably overdue. And now I'm going to go to bed and hope they don't blow up more overnight, since I'd like to write in the morning before working. Wish me luck with that - goodnight!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

i've gotta stay high all the time to get you off my mind

Today was somewhat of a rinse and repeat of yesterday - I got up too early, laid in bed thinking I might fall asleep again, failed to fall asleep, and so went to the office. Unfortunately, traffic already sucked at 6:45, so it took an hour and fifteen minutes to get to work. But that still gave me an hour to work on zee romance novel when I got there, which was v. much appreciated...

...but it was all downhill from there. I had some meetings, did some work, had lunch with a few coworkers, met with some more people, had some coffee (the caffeine situation in my veins is getting dire), did more meetings, and then adjourned to Wine Wednesday. Sadly, I wasn't really feeling the wine and my partner in crime wasn't really feeling life, so I made my escape, went to another cafe on campus, put on some sweats, and tried to write some more. But that was an exercise in total futility, so I came home. And now I'm going to continue to wreck my sleep schedule by going to bed early - goodnight!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

but i keep moving, can't stop, won't stop cruising

I woke up this morning hoping to accomplish two hours of writing, but I really on succeeded for forty minutes or so. The key to breaking through the block turned out to be to skip the chapter I was writing/rewriting and just go straight to the last chapter that I haven't written - as soon as I started that one, I almost immediately wrote three pages. Ha. So clearly there's something wrong with the structure/tone/whatever of the chapter preceding it that I can't see yet, but I'm hoping that writing the last chapter will enable me to figure out how to fix the previous one.

Sorry, that's boring. By eight a.m. I was really getting into the groove, and that's when I had to abandon my writing life to take a couple of hours of meetings from home. Once I accomplished that, I drove to the glorious south bay and trained with Alyssa - she continues to push her nefarious kettlebell agenda, so now I'm swinging 20kg bells, which I oddly find kind of fun. What is wrong with me?!

So, the workout was great, but I was pretty tired the rest of the day - I don't think the salad I had for lunch really cut it, but I didn't have time to find something else. I had meetings straight from 1pm to 4pm, then did a bit of work for another thirty minutes, then cut out early to avoid traffic. That wasn't a success, since it took me ninety minutes to get home, but at least I got here in time to take care of some tings, change my clothes, and relax just a little bit before going out for dinner. Terry, Subz and I went to Presidio Social Club (which continues to leave me bemused - the food is good and the location is great, but the service is always, always questionable), where we caught up for a couple of hours while Terry was mildly distracted by the Giants/Royals game. I hadn't seen Terry since before I went to Germany, since she left for NYC the day I got back, so we had a lot to discuss. And it was great, as usual, to see Lauren, since she's awesome.

But now I must sleep - I have grand plans to continue going to bed early and getting up early, with even grander plans to work on the last chapter tomorrow morning before work. Goodnight!

Monday, October 20, 2014

can't go home alone again, need someone to numb the pain

I was, shockingly, productive at work. I KNOW. Unfortunately, between the hour and twenty minutes I spent getting there, the hour I spent getting back, and my general exhaustion from not having slept well last night, I wasn't very well-equipped to write tonight. I got home at five with the intention of writing like a madwoman - but instead I spent a couple of hours texting, chatting, calling, and generally reconnecting with real people rather than reconnecting with Thorington. Oops.

But tomorrow is another day, and since I can work from home in the morning, I'm going to indulge in my desire to go to bed too early so that I can get up too early and write before work, when everything is fresh and lovely and not distracting. Goodnight!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

most nights i don't know

Today was good for my psyche, but bad for my writing - but I need to stop saying that if I have any hope of being nicer to myself and not making so much ride on my productivity. And anyway, I did write; I may not have finished the book today, but I got a few hours of good productivity in this morning early (6:45am to ~10am) before hitting the wall. Then I showered, ate some peanut butter, procrastinated, and met up with Lauren (aka Subz) for manis/pedis + lunch at Roam. I don't think I'd seen her since Terry's birthday dinner (which was three days after my birthday dinner), and it was awesome to catch up with her in a v. relaxed, cozy sort of way.

After we parted ways, I considered the book again for awhile before throwing in the towel. Then I took a walk and talked to my parents; I'm trying to keep up the walking that I did in Europe (sans the drinking that I did in Europe), and walking down to the water while discussing life with them seemed like a great way to do so. I also talked to [censored] on the way home, which was good since it had been ages since we'd caught up. Then I grabbed an iced latte, worked for thirty minutes or so, and went out for family dinner with Chandlord, Katrina, John, Jess, and Maya at Chow. They were all in fine form, as always, although several people seemed quite tired - but I think Katrina's obsession with bike messengers more than made up for it.

And now, since I'm one of the people who was quite tired by the end, I'm going to go to bed so that I can get up and write before work - goodnight!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

blow me one last kiss

I know it's a mistake to go to bed now if I have any hope of getting over the jet lag, but I'm beyond exhausted - I got up at 5:30 and spent most of the day struggling with Thorington, who gave me little joy. Luckily I had some afternoon wine with Chandlord, which helped tremendously. But I'm tired of fighting the book, and I seem to do better in the mornings anyway, so screw common sense - I'm going to bed. Goodnight!

Friday, October 17, 2014

some nights i wish they'd just fall off

The jetlag was brutal today, repaying me for how easy the jetlag was when I went to Germany - but I suppose it's easier to overcome jetlag when one is hanging out and drinking and laughing rather than sitting at a desk and longing for the sweet release of death. I woke up sometime around 3:15am, and while my jawbone wristband says that I slept again after that, I mostly tossed and turned and dozed and had vivid dreams until six. So, needless to say, I was beyond tired when I finally dragged myself out of bed.

The first stop was Alyssa, whom I hadn't seen in over two weeks; she did not take it easy on me, but since I walked so much in Europe and generally ate pretty well (other than consuming my body weight in champagne), it all went okay. It was great to see her, as usual, even if I'll remember her all weekend because my legs feel like dead weights. Then I went to the office, showered, and stared at my screen in an attempt to figure out how to do some work.

That was mostly a lost cause. But I pulled myself together, made a latte, and had a walking 1:1 with my boss. The caffeine and the fact that I had to stay on my feet and not fall flat on my face meant that I was able to stay awake and mostly coherent through our meeting, which was better than I expected to do. Then I had a meeting with someone on my team, and I think I pulled it off as well. After that, I had lunch with a coworker (outside, since clearly sunshine was the only thing that could save me), spent an hour doing my expense report for my trip, and then walked over to the coffee lab to grab coffee. I had almost left before that in an effort to get back to the city, but as it turns out the walk + conversation + delish New Orleans iced coffee they were serving there may have been the only things that made me capable of driving. So, yay to that.

But I left the office around 2:40, got home within an hour (thank you, Jesus), and promptly put my pajamas on and crawled into bed for two hours. I think I only slept for thirty minutes of that, but it was so nice to just do nothing. Then I grabbed dinner at Sabrosa, came home and folded all my laundry, and am now going to try to read for a few minutes so I can make it to the more respectable hour of 9:30pm before crashing.

This weekend is all about finishing Thorington, so expect this to get even more boring before the end - sorry. Goodnight!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

some nights i wish that my lips could build a castle

I managed to get through today without hitting the jetlag wall too hard, which is kind of a miracle since I went to bed at nine last night and woke up at 4:30am this morning. I laid in bed for forty minutes or so trying to sleep, and I may have dozed just a bit, but by 5:15ish I threw in the towel and got up, showered, put on a cute dress, did my hair, etc. Getting out the door at 6:20 proved to be amazing, since the drive took less than an hour - but despite how amazing it was, this isn't a feat I particularly care to reaccomplish anytime soon.

But even though I got up so early, I made it through work in surprisingly fine form. I worked on Thorington for an hour over breakfast and then had meetings most of the day, but I took a nice lunch break to grab food with some coworkers, followed by coffee (iced latte with an extra shot) to try to keep myself caffeinated. I wasn't particularly productive beyond my meetings, but that was to be expected, I think.

And I knew I had to conserve my energy for dinner with my team - we went to Cascal, where we ate a lot of tapas-type things. The conversation was generally v. entertaining and we got to enjoy the outdoor patio, so it was all quite lovely. Then I drove Andrew back to the city with me, and we reached city just in time to see the fireworks they shot off to celebrate the Giants' victory, so that was cool.

Now, though, I'm desperate to sleep, and I hope I get eight or nine hours without waking up in the middle of the night...but it seems unlikely. Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

tearing at my brains again

I made it home! But I'm too tired to blog and am trying to limit my screen time so I can be coherent tomorrow. Wish me luck with that - goodnight!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

shut up and dance

Today was another long day of working, but I was mostly successful in my slogging. I also left the office at a reasonable hour so that I could walk into the city center while it was still almost light out (okay, maybe not, since it started raining on my walk). I had an earlyish supper at an Italian place with gluten-free pasta, then walked back to my hotel, did a bit more stuff online, and packed all my stuff for tomorrow's flight. I have to get up at 5:30ish so that I can go to the airport, which is likely going to suck, but my reward for getting up is going home, so I think I can do it.

By this time tomorrow, I should be three-ish hours from landing in San Francisco - fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly, since I would like to make it home without serious drama. Europe has been very fun, but I'm very ready to get back to my regularly scheduled like (and hopefully get Thorington's book out this weekend so that I can fully move on to better and more interesting things). Goodnight!

Monday, October 13, 2014

i can shake it shake it like i'm supposed to

I have absolutely nothing of interest to report because I slogged hard and fast all day to start trying to make a dent in the work I should have done over the last two weeks. I'm trying to get caught up so that I can write/sleep on the plane and set myself up for success when I get home, but we'll see if that plan works out for me (seems doubtful). But today was mostly meetings - since I'm in Dublin to meet with the team here, it would make sense that I would be talking to people rather than holed up with my laptop by myself.

But my meetings were all grand, as they say here. I also had lunch with some of the team, and the cafe proved that things are way, way better in Dublin than they were when I lived here - the office has expanded dramatically (they even added a skywalk between three buildings, which is cray cray since they only had one building when I was here), and the food choices are way better. And I skipped out for an hour in the afternoon because I wanted to take a walk and get some air while it was still light out - so I walked down to Grafton Street, which was home to many of the shopping excursions I took when I lived here (as evidenced by the fact that I didn't remember a lot of stuff, but I remembered what seemed like every store on Grafton Street).

After work, I came back to the hotel, ate supper, and slogged until now. And now I must sleep so that I can engage in a similar death march tomorrow before heading back home on Wednesday (not a moment too soon - I'm half sick of travel). Goodnight!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

every heart is a package tangled up in knots someone else tied

Hello, Dublin! I haven't been here since 2010, during the epic trip I took from Koolwal's wedding -> several days stranded in DC by the Icelandic volcano -> London -> Paris (where I seemed to have some form of whooping cough) -> Dublin. So far I haven't noticed many changes, but that could be because the cabbie smelled more like a pig farm than anything I've smelled since a pig farm, which made for a rather awful ride. Or maybe I'm the one who smells, since I still seem to smell it, but that could be because I'm tired and hallucinating. Or it's possible I'm getting sick - everything feels vaguely fuzzy, which doesn't bode well...

...but today was a good day despite it. I got nineish hours of sleep, did an hour of work for the day job, showered, had breakfast (a worse choice than yesterday - scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, since I was trying to be healthier than french toast, but the salmon was too oily for my tastes; hopefully it's not food poisoning that's making me feel woozy), and packed everything so I could check out by noon. Then I spent a delightful, wonderful, awesome three hours at the V&A Museum - I adore that place more than possibly any other museum in the world, since they have a lot of cool information about how furnishings, textiles, ceramics, etc. are made, all of which is v. inspiring to my writing. So I took a ton of pictures, read a ton of placards, bought an awesome necklace to commemorate my trip, and had a quick lunch in their cafe to keep myself from fainting. All in all, it was great!

Then I went back to the hotel, had a quick pot of tea and a bit of chocolate while scribbling in my journal, and then took a taxi to the airport. The taxi was supposed to obviate the need to walk a lot since I wasn't feeling well (otherwise I would have taken the substantially cheaper Underground, but that would have involved walking two blocks + carrying my suitcase up and down a bunch of stairs). And the taxi driver was nice - but then he dropped me off at Terminal 5, and I didn't realize it until I was already inside. This was annoying, since I needed to be in Terminal 2 (and had told him that twice). So I ended up on the Underground after all, since that was the best way between terminals. Ha.

But I was still early enough that when I checked in, they bumped me to a flight that left an hour earlier. That was all entirely uneventful, and I didn't get threatened with deportation in Ireland, so that was a plus. I got to my hotel without incident (and after having burned out my sense of smell), checked in, and discovered that it's more quaint than any hotel I've ever stayed in (well, maybe not, but considering I feel that way after staying in a castle last week, you can guess that it's pretty fucking quaint). I grabbed dinner in the restaurant downstairs, which was one of my old favorites when I lived here, but they appear to have remodeled and it doesn't feel the same (although it may perhaps be better).

And now I should sleep - I have to go to the office in the morning and try to remember how to be a contributing, functioning member of the team after what was essentially a ten-day non-working junket of fun and regret. Goodnight!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

somewhere along the way my bitterness turned to anger

It feels a little lame to go to bed at 10:30pm on a Saturday in a foreign city, but since my main goals are to write and recover from a weeklong bender, this is exactly what I need to do. Today was lovely, though - I got nine hours of sleep, lazed around for a bit, showered, and had breakfast in the hotel restaurant (which is way nicer than most hotel restaurants - it's apparently a destination in its own right). I had their gluten-free french toast with bacon and banana, and it was totally scrumptious. I also wrote in my journal for a bit while I lingered over my tea, until the breakfast crowd turned into the brunch crowd and some obnoxiously loud men turned up, at which point I was done.

Then I adjourned to the tea room and worked on zee book for a couple of hours. But then I realized that I should probably go out and walk/explore since I'm in London and not SF, and so I went to Tower Hill to see the poppies that they're installing for the WWI memorial. They're putting in ~880k ceramic poppies in honor of all the Commonwealth casualties in WWI, and it was really gorgeous (although there were too many people there). Then I took the Underground part of the way back, got out at Westminster, looked briefly at the outside of Westminster Palace + Westminster Abbey, and then continued my peregrinations. I walked through St. James's Park, strolled past Buckingham Palace, walked to Hyde Park Corner and admired the Marble Arch, and then walked through Kensington to my hotel. It was all very civilized and lovely, and I'm feeling somewhat inspired (I think).

When I got here, I dumped my stuff and promptly grabbed a very early supper since I was starving - there's an Italian place down the street that does a great gluten-free pasta, which I enjoyed while working on the back cover copy for Thorington. Then I took a twenty-minute nap, put on something cute, and ventured back out to Piccadilly to meet up with Jess (a girl from work) and her friend for a drink at Bob Bob Ricard. It's a super posh, swanky restaurant/bar, where the cocktails are like $30 each (which is expensive even for my outrageous tastes), but the decor was awesome and it was great to see Jess in a non-work environment. After, I came back here, contemplated writing, and realized that I'd rather sleep and get up early tomorrow to write (or get up late tomorrow after sleeping for another nine hours, which sounds amazing). Goodnight!

Friday, October 10, 2014

everything you touch surely dies

My first full day in London was gorgeous - well, gorgeous if you're a hermit who likes Regency-type activities like walking and writing. I got almost ten hours of sleep last night, which was v. v. necessary, and awoke feeling refreshed and in a much better mood than the one I was in when I left Germany (I would spit here, but you wouldn't see it and I would have to clean it up, and besides, I'm not good at spitting). Then I took a v. nice shower and abandoned my posh hotel to wander around London for awhile.

My first stop was breakfast(ish) at Le Pain Quotidien, which appears to be London's version of SF's La Boulange, but with table service. My eggs and prosciutto were delicious, my coffee slightly less so, but it was a good place to write in my journal for an hour and try to meditate my way out of my own head and back into Thorington's (is that creepy to say?). Then I walked for approximately two and a half hours straight without any real goal in mind other than to wander around and get inspired. I strolled through Hyde Park, walked along the Serpentine and cursed the geese, delighted in seeing random British things like overblown gold-encrusted fountains and unexpected horsemen, and ended up in Mayfair. There I wandered with even less direction, admiring the very lovely doors on the ultraposh townhouses. I also did some window shopping at some of the most ridiculous fashion stores around - the only one I was tempted to go into was Marc by Marc Jacobs, which begins to look like a bargain basement compared to Louboutin, Celine, Jenny Packham, and the like, but I spared my wallet and stayed outside looking in like an urchin.

After that, I returned to my hotel in South Kensington, ready to stop walking and start writing. But first I took a nap. And then I went downstairs and had afternoon tea while starting my reread of Thorington - afternoon tea is a much healthier endeavor when one is avoiding gluten and so can only have the grilled chicken + salad. But the tea was great and the room was gorgeous (with the exception of the toddler who screamed most of the time I was there with relatively little effort made by his parents to tame him). And between that + working in my room most of the evening, I'm almost done with my readthrough. It was slower going than it should have been because I kept letting myself get distracted by technology, but c'est la vie.

And now I'm going to sleep even though I'd wanted to finish the read-through tonight - I'd rather keep resting up so I can survive the next push. All in all I'm really happy with where the story is, though - I need to make some tweaks, but nothing major, and I have high hopes that I'm very close to done (with the exception of a final scene that I still haven't written, ugh). Goodnight!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

the worst part of a good day is the one thing you don't say

I have arrived in London, which I would be more excited about if there wasn't a large part of me that really just wanted to go home today. Not that I really want to go home - if I was just hanging out in London for the next few days, that would probably still be great. But I have to do some day job work, and I need to work on the book, and I have to go to Dublin Sunday night to continue my work activities, so that's all kind of weighing on me. Add that I slept really badly last night and woke up this morning feeling like all the hangovers I didn't have this week hit me all at once, and that all of my travel companions are gone and I suddenly have to do everything myself (an unusual thing to regret, since I'm used to doing things myself), and today was just kind of miserable.

It didn't help that Frankfurt continued to be a bitch to me - my omelette was good at first but then made me feel sick to my stomach, I had to walk like ten thousand miles to deliver something to someone at the book fair, and then I got to the airport, sat in a miserable haze with a latte, went through security, and discovered that my flight was delayed for two-ish hours because of weather in London. Stupid. I was way too exhausted to do anything meaningful during that time, which is kind of embarrassing - I basically just stared off into space.

But I slept on the plane, which was v. restorative, and so I arrived in a slightly better mood. Then I got through immigration, dragged my bag for miles to the Heathrow Express train station, took the train to Paddington, and got a taxi to bring me the rest of the way to my (v. posh) hotel. But there was a bus accident that seriously snarled traffic, so I walked the last two blocks in pouring rain, which made me feel v. not posh upon arrival.

However, the hotel immediately and immeasurably made everything better - my room is gorgeous, I was able to get a great steak from room service within fifteen minutes of calling for it (although I forgot to wash my hands before eating and after going through customs/bag claim/train/taxi/etc., which means I'll probably get twenty different kinds of diseases), my bed is super comfy, and the room includes all the tea I can make (with milk in the fridge!). It's also very close to everything I care about Regency-wise - Hyde Park, the Serpentine, Kensington, Mayfair, the V&A Museum, etc.

So I'm going to go to bed now, sleep as long as I can, and then hopefully spend the morning walking around and getting inspired, and maybe the afternoon reading Thorington straight through while drinking tea in the super posh library area of the hotel. Hopefully the week off I've had from writing will be helpful and not harmful. Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

i've been here before and i deserve a little more

I should have gone to bed three hours ago, but it's my last night in Frankfurt and I had tings to take care of. Germany continues to be the usual bastard it is to me, but I love it in spite of itself. Today was good but also v. long - I woke up earlier than I wanted to and got ready in time to meet Dave for breakfast before heading to the book fair. I had meetings there and did some general walking around until two or three, before adjourning with a couple of coworkers to have a nice, leisurely, late lunch at my hotel. Then I tried to nap for an hour and a half, but it turned out to only last for thirty minutes.

At that point, I should have gotten ready to go to dinner with the team - but as it has probably become clear, my introverted soul is burned out on people. So I did a bit of work, then threw on some non-dressy clothes and walked toward the train station to rendezvous with Dave so that we could sneak away and be introverts together over food and wine at an amazing Italian place (which is the restaurant we could have gone to yesterday if we hadn't ditched the team dinner to hang out with a smaller group of coworkers instead). We had a hilarious conversation about Argentina that I hope to never forget, and it was all generally lovely.

But all things must end, and so I said goodbye, came back to my hotel, and worked/emailed/contemplated London until now. And now I'm going to sleep - I was planning to go to the book fair again in the morning, but given that I have to leave for the airport around 12:30, and given that it's currently 2:15am, it seems likely that I will instead sleep, have breakfast, pack, and not go there instead. We shall see whether my good corporate citizen mind will override my body's desire to get more than five hours of sleep for once. Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

all my tears have been used up on another love

So, today started off really rough...and it doesn't take a genius to figure out why, since I got less than five hours of sleep after drinking for more than five hours (eight, to be precise, although I suppose I didn't have anything in the last hour before I went to bed). Needless to say, everything was spinning and I was really unhappy, particularly since I'm a closet hermit and have just about reached the end of my psychological rope when it comes to hanging out with people. But I managed to get dressed and pack my bags, and then I had breakfast, where I discovered that I'd somehow missed the memo about today's start time and so had gotten up half an hour earlier than necessary. Ugh.

But the morning sessions were all good, and I even participated very robustly and (according to people who told me later) mostly articulately in a ninety-minute discussion that's fairly relevant to my job, so I suppose that's all good. Then I had lunch and shot some more arrows (but not many arrows, because I somehow bruised the hell out of my hands last night - I think it was from foosball, but both my pointer fingers are seriously bruised, which is rather uncomfortable). Then we wrapped up, and it was time for the real fun to begin again...

...which meant getting back in the car with my lovely travel companions and abandoning the other people at the offsite. We detoured to a nearby church thing to tour it, which was gorgeous (high up on a hill, surrounded by vineyards, overlooking a river valley). And then we drove back to Frankfurt and didn't die, mostly because Dave rarely had a chance to get up to full speed. We checked into my hotel and met up with someone on my team for a drink, which turned into ditching the offsite dinner and going out for German food and more drinks. This was all probably incredibly ill-advised, but we survived it. And I somehow continue to drink my weight in champagne every night, but tonight I paced myself and I still feel like a coherent human, which is a lovely surprise.

And now I shall sleep - I have one more full day in Frankfurt tomorrow, and I have hopes that it will be memorable. Goodnight!

Monday, October 06, 2014

some are born to sing the blues

I continue to hate Germany, but I am probably not well-equipped to judge it given that I've been drinking wine for the last eight hours (really? yes.). I woke up this morning after too little sleep, put on a hot new dress (silk! marc by marc! from thredup, so it wasn't so outrageously expensive!), and had breakfast with the crew before continuing to the offsite, where I sat in a small room all day and had to pretend to care. Ugh. I did participate in the conversation like a good little corporate whore, but I wasn't really having it, particularly after a v. fun lunch turned into a v. long afternoon session with v. few breaks.

But I'll survive - particularly if I get five hours of sleep tonight, which is all I'm destined for. I made it down to cocktail hour with my own mini bottle of champagne in hand (so classy), just in time to grab some sausage (that's not a double entendre) before going to dinner. Dinner was preceded by a speech by one of my least favorite people in the history of the world, but my fellow teammates made up for it with one of the most inappropriate group chats I've ever had (and I drank at least half a bottle of wine to keep myself quiet), so that was all fun. Then we ate dinner, had a lot more wine, and adjourned to a poker table where we had even more wine (and I proclaimed the tallest man at the offsite my spirit animal, as is my wont). After, Dave, Tomas and I went to Dave/Tomas's room, where we watched some 'Walking Dead' and they humored me while I ranted about the evening. This is what friends are for.

And now I must sleep *immediately* if I have any hope of surviving the morning - goodnight!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

the cold never bothered me anyway

I really need to sleep immediately, but I shall take time to record today for posterity, particularly since I may have burned out my short-term memory with a combination of jetlag and alcohol, so recording it is as much of a service for me as it is for you. I awoke in Heidelberg (good thing, since I fell asleep there) after 8+ hours of sleep, which is totally unheard of for my second day in a foreign country (although I did wake up several times as we approached seven a.m., but that was to be expected). I hung out in the kitchen for a bit and caught up on sports scores, then laid in bed again for thirty minutes, and then put on slightly more respectable pants to join my fellow travelers for breakfast (I had as much meat as possible, which should surprise none of you). Then we went back to the apartment, got ready, and loaded up the car...

...and proceeded to have a totally ridiculous drive to a town between Heidelberg and our offsite, which involved a lot of 'karaoke' (singing along to songs) while videotaping the whole thing. This was all v. ill-advised. Also, the drive was amazingly lovely. And the tow we stopped in had a beer tent (presumably for Oktoberfest), where we drank beer (well, I had wine and apfelwein), ate sausages, and listened to a traditional German orchestra. After a couple of hours of awesomeness, we loaded up in the car again and drove to the offsite...

...which may be the most ridiculous thing I've ever attended. Suffice it to say that we rolled in slightly drunk and immediately shot arrows at an archery station, which is extremely ill-advised. Then we kept the buzz going since the place we're at (a castle!!) has an open bar with no bartender, so you can just pour yourself wine. Or you can drink the drink someone made me, which he called a 'Low Anxiety' (no idea what was in it, but I'm sooo calm). Or you can drink the margarita Dave made me, which was highly alcoholic. Or you can drink the Jager shots I did with Dave and Tomas. Or you can keep drinking wine, with some attempt at water. Whatever floats your boat, really.

So suffice it to say that I had a fabulous afternoon/evening; other people arrived throughout that time, and the dinner was gorgeously over the top, and then we all had drinks and karaoke and pool and whatever. And now I must sleep before I die, since I must get up early tomorrow and maybe, theoretically, do some work - goodnight!

Saturday, October 04, 2014

undo what heredity's done to you

Hello Germany! I continue to hate you as much as I always have, but today was admittedly fun. I somehow, miraculously, got seven+ hours of sleep last night, and other than a single moment of falling asleep at a bar tonight, I seem to have done better with jetlag then I ever have. But I managed to drag myself out of bed, into the shower, and downstairs in time to meet Dave so that we could go to the airport to pick up Tomas and Lillian.

That turned out to be mostly a shitshow - since we had given them a very non ideal place to meet, we spent an hour walking around + waiting for them. This got on my last nerve, since I'd already spent more time than I wanted to at Frankfurt airport the day before. But we eventually rendezvoused, then drove to Heidelberg, which was magical.

And by that I mean we walked around and drank. We had a late lunch at a delicious Indian place, then went to the castle. I'd already seen it with Chandlord, but it was worth going again. We had a bottle of wine at the castle, which was v delightful, and we had fun trying to take new author photos for me, which was ridiculous.

Then we went to old town Heidelberg and had a sausage feast (like, many many sausages on top of a bed of fried potatoes), followed by more wine, followed by gelato, followed by another bottle of wine (at which point I fell asleep briefly, but I rallied). And now I must sleep before I die - goodnight!

Friday, October 03, 2014

an open tab when your judgment's on the brink

I am in Frankfurt, and it is as strange and lovely as I expected. My flight was perfectly on time, but there was a major confusion over the rental car, which resulted in walking around in slowly increasing circles until we found the place (P29, which wasn't on any map) that was supposed to solve all our woes. But it didn't, so we took a taxi that nearly ended in our abandonment and certain death - until we were plucked at the last moment from ruin and given a Mercedes. Yay.

Then we checked into the hotel, and Dave and I promptly rallied and walked to Starbucks, then across the river to grab lunch (and wine). Then we both took naps before rendezvousing in the lobby so that we could go out for dinner. We went to a Greek place I went to last year, which was awesome until they brought us ouzo shots at the end, which Dave poured into a tree for me. Then we went to a dive bar, followed by a German bar, followed by an Irish bar, and I continued my white wine/prosecco consumption at each.

And now, after a v lovely evening and a promise of more fun to come tomorrow, I must sleep - goodnight!

he always in the air but he never fly coach

Sadly, I'm flying coach - I'm still on the plane to Germany. But I thought I would blog now while I have a moment (one of an endless series of moments that I've spent in this seat over the last ten hours or so). I predict that my day in Frankfurt will be both brutal and lovely - brutal because I'm not sure I pieced together more than three hours of sleep on the plane, lovely because it's the first day in recent memory when I plan to do no work for the day job and no work for the writing job. My head may explode from confusion.

But today was good - I woke up, sent some somewhat inflammatory emails to day job people and then promptly stopped working so that I could shower and go to the airport. Terry was kind enough to drop me off, and I got there absurdly early because I had to do a Facebook chat thing for some romance writing group and I wanted to do it there so I wouldn't have to rush to the airport after. So I accomplished that mission while drinking some coffee, and then I messed around on the internet while drinking a margarita. Then the coworker I'm traveling with (Dave) showed up, and we had lunch and more margaritas before getting on zee plane.

That meant I was able to nap early, but then I was wide awake, so I read some filthy erotica (my seat mate seems to only speak German, so my secret was safe with him + all of you). But I had to stop reading it because it was making me cry (she's the only erotica writer I consistently read, and it's because she's amazing at emotion, not for the sexytimes, although those are certainly inventive), and I didn't want to have to explain to my coworker why I looked like I had been sobbing for four hours. Ha. I seem to have gotten myself under control when we congregated in the galley (so risky!) for a drink halfway into the flight, so at least there's that.

And then I tried to sleep for a few hours, but it was mostly fits and starts. And now I'm going to put this away and try to pretend that it's time to get up rather than time to go to bed. Guten Tag!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

i've got some secrets i forgot to mention

I'm going to Germany tomorrow! Yay!! It's amusing to me that I'm so excited about Germany given that I have v. hit or miss memories of that place (ulcers, love parades, concentration camps vs. weddings, love parades, castles). So, we'll see whether this German trip holds happiness or heartbreak...I'm predicting a mix of both, as it always is, but overlaid and undercut by a steady diet of wurst and alcohol. Yum.

Seriously, though, I'm v. excited, and looking forward to this trip is all that's gotten me through the last few weeks. The group I'm going early with is super fun, and the event I'm going to after is kind of a boondoggle, so that's all going to be awesome. But today was more of the same, although I worked from home so that I didn't have to deal with the commute. I worked on day job stuff very diligently until fiveish (with a break to buy a sandwich and an iced latte like a real person rather than someone who is fed for free all the time), and then I spent the evening packing, with a break to have dinner with Terry. And now I shall sleep...goodnight!

brighter than the sun

I continue to drain myself down to the dregs. Today was brutality piled on top of more brutality, with a thin veneer of fun. I woke up earlyish but was really dragging, and traffic was not ideal, so I didn't get to work until 8:15, which didn't give me time to write before starting my meetings. But I did my meetings, did a bit of work, had lunch with a coworker, did some more meetings, and then slacked off early to get drinks with several coworkers (somewhat to welcome our new teammate, somewhat to socialize). Then I drove to Stanford and worked at Stanford library for a couple of hours - I've written at least part of every book there, and I hadn't done anything for Thorington there yet, so it seemed symbolic to work on the ending there.

And it was great for my productivity - I can practically smell the end, and the whole thing has come together in a way I'm pretty happy with. But I was so tired that I left at ten even though I wanted to keep going because I was afraid that I would kill myself if I waited any later to drive home. So I got home, washed my face, and wrote for the last half hour. But I've hit the very hardest part of the wall, and I have to work tomorrow (although I'm going to do it from home), and I also have to pack, and so I think sleep would serve me better than anything right now.

Wish me luck that I can finish my edits tomorrow! If I do, I think I'll see how I'm feeling about it, and then either a) proofread on the plane, or b) what's looking more likely is relax on the plane, then relax all weekend, then proofread in the wee jetlag hours around my offsite next week. Doesn't that sound like fun? Goodnight!