Wednesday, April 29, 2015

tell me when it kicks in

Eight work days left, and there's so much to do before the end. I'm actually trying to get most of my work done by Wednesday(ish) so I can enjoy the last couple of days without any real responsibilities, but we'll see whether I succeed at that noble goal. Today was a valiant attempt, though; I got to work by 7:30 and worked for about an hour before grabbing breakfast (first stop: juice bar; second stop: breakfast tacos and a v. nice corned beef hash; third stop: coffee kiosk...clearly I am taking advantage of the freeness before I leave).

Then I slogged all morning and had a couple of meetings with people who are mad/sad/denying that I'm leaving, which are always fun conversations. But I took a break from work to have lunch with my boss and most of his direct reports at Tech Corners. We were checking out one of the new cafes there, and it's clear that we're all super entitled because we were disappointed with the service and felt that they needed to do some more work on the concept. But we grabbed ice cream after and sat out in the sun for a bit, and the free salted caramel ice cream went a long way to make up for my lackluster free lunch.

Post lunch, I had several meetings and several hours of slogging, but I got through a lot of important stuff on my to-do list, so that's good. Unfortunately, there's still a lot more - I have to give three presentations in the next week, which means I have to be a slide monkey for a few more days. But by five p.m. I was beyond done, so I gave Dave a ride back to the city, which was mostly smooth despite leaving at a suboptimal time. Then I came home, ate some soup, unpacked a box, retrieved some packages from the doorman, etc., etc.

But this is where I must leave you - tomorrow requires a lot of focus on slides, but I also have Alyssa in the morning and social activities in the evening, so I need to get some sleep. Goodnight!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

before you came into my life i missed you so bad

The countdown feels like it's speeding up...or maybe that's because I took some time this morning to write out my to-do list on paper, and it's rather intense. So today was necessarily more productive than yesterday, which was a good thing. I got to campus by 7:20am and worked on day job stuff until 8:30ish, at which point I grabbed breakfast with Dave (and was v. confused by some unexpected changes to the condiments lineup, which resulted in strawberry jam instead of salsa with my breakfast potatoes). Then I did some more work, had a bunch of meetings, grabbed salad for lunch (and saw several of my favorite people having lunch without me...bitches have moved on), and then slogged all afternoon.

But the slogging had to stop around four so that I could take my car to Mountain View for a smog test (which I luckily noticed was required before I decided to leave the country and just pay the registration online the last day). It seems like a scam, since it took the guy three minutes, but whatever. Then I browsed Books Inc for a little bit before seeing my eye doctor and settling on ordering soft contacts for the year. And then I drove home, thought about hooking up my tv but gave up on that immediately, ate some leftover soup, and generally lazed about until now.

And now I must sleep; I need to be equally productive tomorrow, if not moreso, but I have meetings that won't be denied. Goodnight!

Monday, April 27, 2015

baby your smile's forever in my mind and memory

I was, admittedly, only minimally productive today. My last day is two weeks from today, and while I've been handling the bittersweetness of this pretty well, I was oddly stressed about it today. Not for any good reason - I'm confident that I'm doing the right thing by focusing on my writing. But the golden handcuffs of my job there are so very, very comfortable...

But today was fine despite the lack of productivity. I got to the office around 7:20 and did some work until 8:40ish, and then had breakfast tacos before going to my only two meetings of the day. Then I did a bit of work, snuck out and trained with Alyssa (kettlebells and more kettlebells), went back to work, showered, ate a salad (no bacon today - good thing I'm leaving since it's clearly going downhill), did another bit of work, and grabbed coffee with Dave. Then I left absurdly early since I wasn't getting anything done anyway, came home, messed around on the internet, bought groceries, and made chicken tortilla soup.

The soup was perhaps more effort than I actually wanted to make tonight, but the good thing was that I chopped double the vegetables and double the chicken and froze the second half, so I can make it again sometime with very minimal effort. And cooking + listening to music helped me to get over whatever weird stress moment I was having, so that was excellent. Then I researched rental cars on Easter Island for my upcoming adventure (apparently you can't get car insurance on Easter Island, which makes me even more psyched to drive there), and now I'm going to bed so that I can get to work absurdly early and actually get things done tomorrow. Goodnight!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

you got an attitude of everything i ever wanted

I was far less productive today than I had was one of those mornings when I didn't quite want to get out of bed or face humanity, even though I was theoretically excited about getting things done, and so I laid around and indulged my desire to ignore everything for a bit longer. But eventually I was too hungry to stay put, so I threw on some clothes and went to Moulin for breakfast. It wasn't exactly my regular place when I lived here before, and it's unlikely to become my regular place's just slightly too unhealthy, and slightly too dark inside, and anyway I'm planning to cook more, and breakfast is one of my favorite things to make. But it served its purpose today - I soaked up some caffeine, ate some eggs and potatoes, and contemplated my horrific to-do list in peace.

So after that, I came home with grand intentions of knocking off everything on my to-do list. And really, I got a respectable amount done - I did four loads of laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, cleaned my shower, and hung up a new plastic liner + the white waffle-weave shower curtain I'd had in the cabin, which sat in a box for four years waiting for this moment. I also took care of a variety of bills and paperwork, scribbled in my journal, and did a tiny bit of checking up on the day job (only eleven days left!). And then I talked to my parents, as per usual; they were in fine form, although I'm sad that I can't drop everything and fly back to Iowa this week. One of my mother's aunts passed away, and some of that side of the family is gathering for the funeral this week. It would be nice to see them all, and under normal circumstances I would go, but with the quitting of the day job + the trip I have coming up, it's just not possible. Boo.

Anyway, after I talked to my parents, I showered in my freshly cleaned shower (this is not as exciting when you're the one who cleaned it instead of when you've paid someone to clean it...not having a cleaning person is going to take some getting used to), and then met John and Jess for dinner at Thep Phanom (a Thai place near them + where Adit and I used to live). I hadn't seen them in well over a month, so we had much to catch up on - we're all becoming adults and having to make adult-like decisions, which is surreal and strange and stressful and (somewhat) wonderful. So we spent two hours discussing all manner of things, and we made tentative plans to see each other again before I go on my spinster honeymoon.

But before I go on my honeymoon, I must finish the day job - and that requires getting up early tomorrow so that I can write before commencing the day. Goodnight!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

tomorrow is a latter day

I think it's time for me to was mostly great, but then I hit a wall with talking to strangers at the end of the night (more on that shortly), and so I'm feeling cranky and ready for bed. But the rest of the day was great. I got sufficient sleep last night, puttered around the house this morning, and then walked to Philz at Golden Gate Ave, which I'd never been to before - and I just happened to run into Chandlord, who was there doing something other than writing romance novels. It's not entirely unexpected that we'd both end up there, since we were meeting for brunch two blocks away an hour later, but still.

So I wrote for an hour while drinking coffee and sitting next to her, and I got the full debrief on her trip to NYC. Then we left the coffee place to have brunch with Dave and Claudia (aka Santy Claude) - this is a rather strange group of people, obvi, since Chandlord and Claude are part of the family and Dave is a coworker, but that's the way the plans shaped up. Terry (remember her?) and I had bought tickets to 'Book of Mormon' six months ago, but Terry is now in NYC, and so I had both her pair and my pair to dispose of. So Dave/Chandlord/Claudia were the lucky winners of the 'who gets to go to the Book of Mormon' discussions I had in an effort to get rid of the tickets.

We started with brunch at Elmira, where the food was pretty tasty (the home fries were excellent, and I liked the truffle hollandaise sauce on my eggs even if the poached eggs were just slightly watery). Then we had a glass of wine at The Market; my Honig sauvignon blanc was tasty, although I wished I could have had the chocolate cookie that Dave and Vidya split. Then we went across the street to the theatre, where we had decent enough seats for 'Book of Mormon'.

As it turns out, the musical was delightful - I liked the choreography a lot, and the performance was generally excellent. It's by the 'South Park' writers, if you didn't know, so it's quite irreverent, but the songs were great. And it was great to do something 'culture'-ish, something completely different from what I normally do, after a month of stressing about the day job / moving / writing / being hermity.

Anyway, after the performance Dave dropped me off at my place, and I packed up my stuff and took a forty-five minute walk down to the Marina to go to my favorite Greek place before they forgot about me. I intended to write there, and it was all going swimmingly...until some dude sat down next to me, and I was too polite initially, and then he proceeded to keep trying to talk to me for the next two hours even though it was clear that I was working. Grr. I don't want to be a bitch in those situations, but also, people should take a fucking hint.

But I wrote a few pages, and I had chicken skewers, and it was lovely to see the staff even if the clientele left a lot to be desired. And now I must sleep so that I can get some writing done tomorrow (and also possibly unpack my last two boxes) - goodnight!

rain king

It's raining in San Francisco tonight, which has become an unusual experience over the past couple of years (December's stormaggeddon aside). I spent the evening indulging my hermit side after a v. exhausting, v. people-filled week, which was awesome (if you like being hermity). But my day was good, even if I started it tired and proceeded to get more tired as the day went on. I trained with Alyssa this morning (I think we did enough kettlebells that I'm going to be sore tomorrow), then rushed to the office and rushed through my shower so I could get to my first meeting of the day. But then some subsequent meetings were (regretfully, for once) canceled, so I was able to get some stuff done in the morning before mostly slacking off in the afternoon.

Slacking off involved lunch with Yune, Viviana, and Dave; Yune and Viviana have perhaps not forgiven me yet for deciding to leave, but they were willing to eat free salad with me, so I think that means we're making progress. Then I had a quick meeting before celebrating Tomas's birthday - I brought in a bottle of champagne, and a couple of us had stocked a pinata for him, which we made him break open out on the patio. The pinata included candy + several mini bottles of alcohol (all bad alcohol, since all the good mini alcohol comes in glass instead of plastic, which seemed exceedingly unsafe), so some people were coerced into doing shots, which I think took them all by surprise.

But I escaped the bad alcohol, had another couple of meetings, and then left work around four. Dave rode back to the city with me, and unlike last night his presence was v. v. useful since the carpool lane at 4pm on a Friday is absolutely critical. So I dropped him off, came home, took a nap, considered whether to buy groceries so I could make chili, put it off until I was too hungry to wait that long, and so made scrambled eggs and toast instead. And then I cleaned my bathroom and organized all the shelves/drawers that I hadn't organized yet, so that was a v. worthy endeavor.

And now, after staying up later than I intended, I'm going to sleep; I want to write in the morning before pursuing more entertaining plans, but I hope to get eight or nine hours of sleep before that. Goodnight!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

world serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed

I must needs keep this brief, since I have to get up and train with Alyssa tomorrow before having a series of unfortunate events (aka meetings)....but there's no time like the present to tell you that a resigned yesterday. This is the second time I've done so, and I'm becoming exceedingly efficient at it.

In truth, it's been in the works for longer than that, but it took some time to convince my boss that I was serious (although he's been v. good about it). I told my team yesterday, and now it's going to move fast - I didn't want to sit around like a lame duck, so my last day is going to be May 11. That gives me a little more than two weeks to transition stuff and generally enjoy a few more days of delicious free food before commencing the writing slog again.

And that's the plan...I'm excited to write full-time again, and it really does feel like it's a job rather than something I kind of do on the side. But I've had a lot of emotions this week, and I'll continue to have a lot of emotions...I love a lot of the people I work with, and I like my job more than I like most jobs, so leaving is hard. But I'm excited, so it's all kind of bittersweet.

Today was full of bittersweetness; I got to work early, did some day job stuff rather than writing stuff, then slacked off to have breakfast before commencing meetings. The meetings went straight from nine to one, but then I had lunch with several people at the Indian place on campus. After that, I had more meetings, more conversations, etc., before going to the bowling alley with Dave, Tomas, Eugene, and Jen, where we made a half-assed attempt at bowling while drinking cider/beer and gossiping about work.

Post-bowling, Dave and I went to In-n-Out with this guy he knows who's visiting from the Seattle office, so the protein-style double-double went a long way toward curing my Indian-food-induced protein deficiency. Then Dave conned me into giving him a ride home (less valuable to me than usual since the carpool lane wasn't necessary, but c'est la vie), and then I came home and worked for the last ninety minutes or so.

Happily, my life of having two jobs is going to come to an end soon. But I'll miss a lot....but I'll say no more tonight. Prepare for some wildly oscillating emotions over the next two weeks, but I'm confident in my decision and excited for what's that's all good. Goodnight!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

my sign is vital, my hands are cold

Many things happened today, none of which I can do justice to tonight...I am completely wiped out, partially due to last night's jackhammer situation (which continued off and on until five a.m. and looks to be continuing again tonight, albeit a block farther away), and partially due to many varied and ridiculous tings at work. So I'm going to go to bed immediately and leave you in suspense for the night - goodnight!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

there's nothing to be afraid of even when the night changes

Today was a bit of a rollercoaster, and I didn't have time to really deal with feelings and things - I had a million meetings, and I have approximately 1200 unread emails in my inbox since I still haven't really caught up from vacation or the brutality of the last couple of weeks. But I got up despite a total lack of desire to get out of bed, made it to campus by 7:30, and wrote three pages before starting the day - so at least there's that.

Then I had meetings and more meetings, and I stood in line for fifteen minutes for a salad mostly so that I could have some time to myself without any conversation (and so I could have a salad, of course). And then, you can guess what I did next...more meetings. But I took a break in the mid-afternoon to grab coffee with Dave, and I had tea at the end of the day with Dave and Tomas, so I was fully caffeinated and also moderately well-socialized despite all the meetings.

I wanted to go home at that point, but I stayed in Mountain View to see my eye doctor at 6pm; I'm trying to switch to soft lenses because the hard ones have really been bothering me, so we'll see how that goes. The only good thing about seeing the eye doctor at six p.m. was that the traffic was dead by the time I left; the major bad thing was that he dilated my eyes, so everything's all weird and headachy. And it may be more headachy; for some reason they're jackhammering outside my building even though it's 9:30p.m., and there are floodlights and trucks with backing-up beeps and all sorts of other incredibly negative things, so we'll see how my sleep goes tonight...

But I must try to sleep if I have any hope of surviving the craziness that is tomorrow - goodnight!

Monday, April 20, 2015

the weight of love

I have nothing to say tonight...I got up super early (too early), wrote three pages before work, and then slogged all day with a quick break for salads with the people in my cube. I also grabbed a triple shot iced latte at some point in an attempt to keep me awake for the drive home...but as it turned out, Dave was leaving at the same time I was, so I gave him a ride back to the city, thus saving me from falling asleep.

And when I got home, I had grand plans to do a lot of stuff - but instead, I ate some leftover thai food, did a little bit of work for the day job, and vegged/browsed the internet/played with my new phone/did nothing until now. I haven't relaxed much in the past few weeks, what with the move and the desire to write and everything going on with the day job, so I basically took tonight off. I'm ready to hit it hard again tomorrow, but relaxing tonight was v. necessary.

Now, though, I should sleep so that I can slog tomorrow - goodnight!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

the public don't dwell on my transmission

It's a foggy night in San Francisco (not an unusual statement to make), and I'm enjoying it while sitting on my couch in an apartment that's almost (but not totally) unpacked. I finally felt like I saw the light at the end of the tunnel today, and I'm getting very close - there's still a couple of boxes to unpack (mostly decorative stuff that I couldn't get out until I'd decided what else needed to go on shelves), and at some point I need to get someone to help me rearrange the library cabinet/bookshelf/dining table situation since the current setup is extremely suboptimal compared to how I should have set it up.

But the place is almost livable, if not at the point where I'd have a party. And this is a good thing, since I'm going to have a brutally hectic week, and I want to keep making progress on Rafe and Octavia. So I'm probably going to force myself to take a break on some of the apartment stuff for the next few days in favor of focusing on bigger priorities.

Still, today was nearly perfect in its loveliness. I didn't sleep well last night (blame it on the caffeine and alcohol I had with Claude - I slept great until 5am, and then I didn't sleep well at all), but I rallied and got up/showered/dressed/etc in time to walk to Rapha to meet Kathia for a writing date. I'm now a 30-minute walk from Rapha instead of a ten-minute walk, but it was nice to go there and even better to meet up with Kathia. We didn't talk much, since we were both in work mode, but I wrote three pages or so, which was perfect for making me feel like I'd done something worthwhile with my day.

Eventually, though, I abandoned Kathia to have brunch at Blackwood. I'd never been there in the four years that I lived in the Marina, and after going there today, I don't really regret not having been there before. The food was aight, and my mimosa was fine, but I wouldn't walk forty minutes for it again. Still, I had a good time catching up with Dave, and he gave me a ride home, so it was a nice interlude - even if he did come up with the Gollum scale for assessing whether I've gone off the deep end while writing (it involves not wearing shoes, and possibly eating a live fish - while I can live without shoes, I hope the fish thing doesn't happen). I also started lusting after the new MacBook Air, since we stopped by the Apple store to check it out - but I don't need a new laptop, and I just bought a phone, so I'm reminding myself that my lust doesn't have to be acted upon.

So I accomplished writing and brunch early enough that I was home by noon, and I spent the rest of the afternoon organizing and arranging and rearranging, etc. I took a break at four to call my parents, who were in fine form. And then I did a bit more stuff until 6:15, at which point I walked to Fillmore and met Lauren (aka Subz) and Nathan for dinner at Troya. While I'd seen Lauren just about as recently as I've seen anyone, given the fact that I was in Tahoe and also moving, it still felt like it had been way too long - so it was great to catch up with them. Nathan heavily advocated for beginning to write fictional stories on my blog, preferably about zombie apocalypses, but we'll see whether that happens.

And now, I must sleep; morning is going to come far too early, and I want to write before work (even though I'd be better off resting - I have meetings straight from 9 to 4, with a 30min break for lunch, which is not going to be enough to keep me sane. Goodnight!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

control yourself take only what you need from it

I accomplished a lot today, but none of it was writing - so I'm going to have to spend some quality time with Rafe and Octavia in the morning to make up for it. But I have no regrets. I slept nine hours last night, lazed about in bed this morning, and eventually made tea / ate a snack / showered before walking twenty minutes to my old neighborhood to run errands. I had brunch at my favorite brunch place, where Tony was happy to see me, and where I met another regular (whom I've seen many times before but never talked to) who is a Stanford '57 alum (who makes it to far more football games than I do, which is mildly embarrassing). Then I stopped at Sephora to make good use of my 15% off coupon (and I didn't buy anything that wasn't on my list! amazing!) before going to the AT&T store and getting an iPhone. Yes, I've abandoned Android to go back to the iPhone, which I haven't been on since fall of 2009. But my motox was getting pretty janky, and a couple of people at work switched to the iPhone and are happy with apparently my loyalty is dead. Heh.

But it's a really nice phone, and I was well overdue for an upgrade. They got me set up pretty quickly, and I messed around with it while drinking a latte at Rapha. Then I went to the hardware/general store and bought a bunch of stuff for the apartment (shower liner, stove burner pans, silverware drawer know, the usual), came home, messed around with the phone, and unpacked some more.

Luckily, Claude rescued me from my drudgery at some point, and we had a very long dinner at Wayo Sushi (long because there is only one chef, so it takes a minimum of 45mins to receive any food - but he's well worth it) - we split a bottle of wine from the BevMo down the street and proceeded to catch up in lovely fashion. Claude came back here for a bit after, and I gave her some random stuff to send her on her way.

And now, alas, I must sleep. The apartment looks like a worse disaster than before, but it's the last bit of storm, I think - I might be able to get done tomorrow, depending on how much writing I want to get done and how much my social plans (writing with Kathia + brunch plans + dinner plans) interfere with my hermity plans. Goodnight!

Friday, April 17, 2015

i just want to show you what i know and catch you when the current lets you go

As expected, getting up this morning was fairly brutal - I didn't have it as bad as Chandlord, who had to catch a flight this morning, but the drive to Mountain View wasn't particularly pleasant even though I didn't get up until sevenish. Luckily, there was no traffic, so I made it to work in time to grab breakfast before commencing several hours of meetings. But my meetings were done at noon, and I was able to grab salad with four of the other people who deigned to show up today. There may have been more joking about prison showers than is theoretically encouraged in a corporate environment, but I have no regrets.

After lunch, I promptly fled the south bay, drove back to the city, grabbed coffee at Philz (the denizens of the Tenderloin were looking particularly zombie-ish this afternoon; I saw a couple of people who legitimately kind of freaked me out and made me think of the beginning of 'Shaun of the Dead' when Shaun doesn't realize that all the people around him have become zombies), and came home. I slogged for another couple of hours since I have a massive amount of work to do, but I called it quits after my final meeting (who schedules meetings at 4pm on a Friday?) and promptly began to work on my apartment situation.

And I'm happy to say that I think I've turned a corner - it's starting to feel like it's actually coming together, and I think I'll be able to get a lot done this weekend to take it from 'habitable' to 'pleasant' (although I'd like to get beyond pleasant at some point as well). I did stuff straight from five to seven, at which point I ate some takeout thai food and took a break to mess around on the internet. By 7:30 I just wanted to go to bed, but that way lies madness, so I forced myself to putter around the apartment for another couple of hours.

But I don't have the energy for any more stuff tonight, and I want to write in the early morning before commencing more errands, so this will all have to do for now. Goodnight!

give my regards to soul and romance

I never stay up this late on a school night, but my evening's activities were a cathartic end to a somewhat ridiculous day at work. I got up early (for my desires) but late (for my recent trend - 6:20 instead of 5:30) and drove to Palo Alto to train with Alyssa. As I was leaving the gym, I saw a work email that threw my entire day into disarray; rather than having some desultory time to knock things off my to-do list, I spent the morning putting out a fire (figurative, not literal, although I considered burning things myself).

The fire was extinguished around noon, which gave me a few minutes to eat some chicken tortilla soup and grab a salad before meeting with my boss. Then I had another meeting, took a break to grab coffee and mess around on my laptop alone, went to my team meeting (always entertaining), and promptly left the office at four so that I could get back to the city.

That took ninety minutes, but I got back in time to get a manicure and a pedicure - I never do this during the week, but after today I wanted to feel human again. Then I grabbed dinner at Spinnerie, came home, took a twenty-minute nap, dolled myself up, and met Chandlord at Rickshaw Stop for a highly unusual foray into the concert scene. I scored some free tickets to a small Brandon Flowers show (lead singer of The Killers), and I took Chandlord with me. We started with a sandwich (for her) and chips (for me) at Subway, which was super bizarre, but we got back to the venue in time for the set. I thought he was really good - his jacket was sparkly and his voice was great, and he played a few of my fave Killers songs in addition to some of the stuff from his solo albums, so I enjoyed myself. We also managed to stand along the railing on the second floor, so I was actually able to see him, which is an extreme rarity in concert settings given my height.

So the concert was fun, and I'm glad I went, but now I must go to bed if I have any hope of surviving tomorrow. I have to go to Mountain View in the morning, which feels so tragic, but hopefully I can sneak out early and get back before my 4pm meeting so I don't get stuck down there forever. Goodnight!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

speak aloud what until now i've only sung

I'm completely ready for the weekend, even though I have two more days of slogging to survive before I hit it - but still feeling unsettled in my apartment is probably contributing to that. I unpacked for a couple of hours when I got home tonight (and made eggs and toast, which were delightful), but there's still stuff left to do, etc., etc.

But today wasn't all bad; I got up super early and was on campus by 7:25am so that I could write for an hourish before my 8:30 meeting. I didn't get a lot of words, but I'll take what I did get. Then I had meetings most of the morning, but I was able to take an hour to grab salads and coffee with Dave before our next meeting, which gave us a chance to catch up on the fifty million joint tasks we have on our to-do lists (yes, so much fun). Then I had meetings from 1ish to 5ish, which made me supremely unhappy (even if the meetings were fine).

But at least I got in some writing, and some lunch, and a walk in the sun, before commencing my killer commute + my unpacking routine. And now I'm going to sleep and hope I get eight hours before seeing Alyssa tomorrow morning - goodnight!

we were caught up in the middle of a worn out dream

[editor's note: I wrote this last night, but for some reason it didn't post. sadness!]

I need to go to bed immediately (I know, I always say that) - today was brutally long, but also brutally productive. I was out the door by 6:25am, on campus by 7:30, and yet that only gave me thirty minutes to write before my first meeting. But I got two pages (partially because the barista made my latte as soon as I walked in, so I didn't even have to wait), so I'll take it.

Then I had meetings basically all day. I did get a break to have lunch with Eugene (I think I tricked the guy into being friends with me, which is awesome), and I wandered across campus to get another latte in the afternoon when I was about to die from lack of energy. Then I slogged until 5:30, drove home for ninety minutes, and spent the evening unpacking more stuff. The dishes and tings I ordered while I was in Tahoe arrived over the last few days, and I finally picked them up - which added like eight boxes to the pile of stuff I still haven't put away. The dishes are awesome, but the explosion of boxes was not. So I unpacked some of it even though I really didn't have time...but it will all be worth it in the end.

Then I did an hour of day job work, and now I must sleep so I can do it all again tomorrow - goodnight!

Monday, April 13, 2015

we did everything right, now i'm on the outside

As expected, I was supremely unenthused to go back to work today. I managed to get in early enough to write a couple of pages of Rafe and Octavia, but it wasn't quite as much as I wanted to get done...but I was distracted by thoughts of all the work waiting for me, so I called it a morning early and went to my office to start the day.

And really, it wasn't that bad, but that's mostly because I gave up on trying to catch up and just tried to survive my meetings. My boss was a no-show today, so I had a reprieve from the full brunt of catching up; instead, I did my meetings, trained with Alyssa, grabbed lunch (plus an extra salad for dinner) with Jen (Canadian, but I like her anyway), had meetings and dealt with emails all afternoon, and then snuck out for a swimming lesson with Joann. Today's lesson was kind of hard, and it was on top of doing a lot of deadlifts this morning, so I'm completely exhausted.

But there's no rest for the wicked...I have to go down tomorrow to continue the attempt to get back on track, and I want to get home in time to make a serious dent in the remaining unpacking, so we'll see how that goes. Goodnight!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

ain't nobody else to impress

I made progress on multiple fronts today, so I'll take it. I woke up early and unpacked/arranged stuff/showered/etc for a couple of hours before leaving my mess behind and meeting Kathia for a writing date + brunch. The writing date portion was excellent; I wrote four pages, which keeps me on track toward writing as many days as possible (and I have grand plans for tomorrow morning as well). We wrote in a cafe I hadn't been to before (Nook, approximately ten blocks from my place), and I enjoyed everything about it - but it's easier to enjoy things when I feel like I'm starting to feel my way into the story.

After we were done writing, we proceeded to brunch at Belcampo. Belcampo is a butcher shop, but they also have thirty or so seats for a restaurant, and the food was awesome. Granted, it was pretty basic for me; I got eggs over easy with bacon and home fries, but all of those things were really tasty. Kathia got the ricotta pancakes, which looked like pancakes I might have actually ordered and enjoyed back in the day. And we caught up on life, which has been eventful for both of us; hopefully I'll see her again next week, since after that we're destined to never see each other again due to our travel schedules (okay, we'll see each other in June, but that's a long time from now).

Post-Kathia, I came home, checked work email for the first time in over a week to see if there was anything I needed to know for tomorrow (answer: no), and then unpacked some more while waiting for the effects of my brunch champagne to disappear. Eventually, I grabbed coffee to reenergize, then called my parents; it appears that spring has finally sprung in Iowa, which generally makes them more enthused about life (as it would for me, since I can no longer handle winter at all).

Family phone time eventually gave way to SF family time; I had family dinner with Chandlord, Claude, Adit, and Priyanka at Enjoy Veg, which was lowkey and delightful. Claude is perhaps slowly starting to piece together that most of our family interactions involve taking offense at perceived slights and insults (which is why it's family time, since most families are like that), and tonight I was the one who had delivered the perceived slight/insult (over invitations to see Book of Mormon in a couple of weeks, since I had only two extra tickets (originally belonging to Terry) and so couldn't invite everyone - but the order in which I extended invitations became a topic of much consternation). I'm so lucky to have such wonderfully understanding friends!

And now, after a lovely day, I must sleep and attempt to get enthused about going to the office tomorrow (spoiler: I'm not enthused). Goodnight!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

love me like you do

Today was a cross between totally productive and completely miserable. I woke up before seven, laid in bed until eight, started unpacking stuff...and pretty much unpacked straight until now. I'm really thoroughly sick of the whole moving process; taking a week off in between starting the move and finishing it pretty much killed my desire to keep going, but I have to if I'm ever to emerge from boxland and be able to eat, sit someplace other than the one corner of my loveseat that I've uncovered, etc.

So I unpacked from 8 to 10:45, dashed downtown to get my bangs trimmed and my brows waxed, came home and unpacked some more, took a break to eat pupusas (my food options here are v. v. v. v. different than what I had in the marina, which I'm kind of excited about), and then slogged all afternoon/evening. At some point I made scrambled eggs and toast, since that was close to my only food option unless I wanted to go out...but I've had worse meals, and the eggs fortified me to do stuff for another hour.

Anyway, things are coming together despite my surliness; I'm just trying to optimize for maximum utility while also maximizing available space, which has meant a lot of rearranging/making decisions. And making decisions, as I've discovered throughout my writing process, is exhausting. So even though it's only ten p.m., I'm going to go to bed; I've got a writing date with Kathia in the morning and I want to do some more stuff before then.

Last but not least, though, happy birthday to Aunt Becky - even though I called late, I managed to beat the other members of my generation, so I think I've bought myself more time on the good list. Goodnight!

i find it hard to tell you, i find it hard to take

I have returned to the city of sin, to an apartment full of boxes, and I need to spend the weekend getting my apartment into some semblance of order before I go crazy in it. I had thought I was going to have more time at home this afternoon than I did; we left Tahoe around 9:30, so I should have been back in the city by 1ish (especially since Grace let me drive all the way). But the Richmond bridge was closed all day due to an accident/fire involving a UPS tractor-trailer, which meant a lot of the traffic in the north bay (where we had to go to drop of Grace and pick up my car) was diverted onto the same two-lane highway that we wanted to that added at least an hour to the trip. Grr.

Still, that gave me and Grace plenty of time to catch up, since it was just the two of us on the way back. I had a great retreat, but it's good to be home (despite the boxes) - I'm ready to make progress on all fronts, not just the writing front, and hopefully I can accomplish a lot in the next few weeks before my trip to Bora Bora (which it's ridiculous that I'm even going on, but c'est la vie).

Anyway, I got home a little after two, took care of a couple of tings, and then had a very late lunch at Spinnerie (the tri tip was great and the beet salad made me glad that I'm an adult who likes beets). Then I took a nap and unpacked for an hour before being lured over to Chandlord's to drink wine on her patio. That was super lovely; we had time to catch up on her own, and then Claudia arrived, so I got two friends for the price of one. At some point Minnie showed up as well, whom I hadn't seen in ages, and so the four of us caught up for a bit while finishing the bottle of wine.

But my fun plans shifted at that point, and I ended up going down to the Embarcadero to have wine (and chili, oddly) at Hi Dive. My plans for the day were originally supposed to include lunch with Chandlord, Dave, and Dave's friend Bart, who runs the charity whose gala I went to a few weeks ago - my plan was to introduce Chandlord and Bart, since Chandlord is a charitable sort. I obviously missed lunch due to the Richmond bridge debacle, but they all had lunch without me...and so since I'd already caught up with Chandlord at one happy hour, it only seemed fair to catch up with Dave and Bart (and a couple of other people) at a second happy hour. This was supremely low key, but quite lovely next to the water, and it was nice to get out of the house (and out of crazy writer land) for a few hours before embarking on my frenetic weekend of unpacking.

Now, though, I must sleep if I'm to be productive tomorrow...and I'm really looking forward to sleeping at sea level, since the altitude was not kind to me. Goodnight!

Friday, April 10, 2015

something in the night is dangerous

I'm so sad to be leaving the writing retreat, even though it's for the best - altitude does not do good things for my skin, and I'm feeling rather crypt-keeperish since everything's desiccated and awful. But beyond that, I've had a fabulous time, and I feel like I'm getting into Rafe and Octavia's story in a way that wouldn't have been possible if I were still doing the daily grind this past week. I've also deepened my friendships with the women who were here, which is awesome; since I'm rather hermity, making new friends is sometimes challenging (who knew that new people don't just show up in your hermit cave when you need them??), but while I am quite blissfully content with the friends I have, the new friends I've made in this group are utterly awesome.

Yes, I'm using a lot of superlatives. Yes, I had some wine. But the point is, while I get basically everything I need from the wonderfully close friends I've had since college (plus Katie, Subz, Heather, and a couple of other randoms whom I've somehow tricked into being friends), it's really nice to have writer friends as well. And these writer friends are particularly lovely, since they're excellent people who are also excellent writers who are also excellent businesspeople. And that hits my trifecta of awesome.

Okay, enough gushing. Today was fineish; I continued to dehydrate, and I continued to procrastinate, but I hit my daily goal and made ~1400 words, which I was totally satisfied with. I also had some delightful afternoon conversations with Bella while we were both supposed to be writing, which I'll take. And we had a delicious last supper (enchiladas that I really want the recipe for), and I split a final bottle of my favorite wine with one of the Barbaras, and I stayed up late(ish) talking to Anne.

But all things end, and I need to sleep so I can get up and pack tomorrow. I'm actually eager to get home, even if I'm not eager to get into my routine; I want to finish unpacking my new apartment this weekend, and while I'm not looking forward to going home to a total mess, I'm looking forward to making significant progress toward being settled. But I also want to maintain the writing focus I've been redeveloping on this retreat, and so I hope that I can devote some quality time to the writing despite whatever shenanigans I may get up to over the course of the weekend.

Those are all goals for the weekend, though; for now, I must sleep. Goodnight!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

you got me running all the lights

My writing retreat is suddenly, sadly, rapidly drawing to a close. I still have all day tomorrow to be productive and hang out with other writers, but we're leaving early Friday morning to return to reality, so I'm hoping I can make tomorrow count.

Today was lovely, however, despite the fact that yesterday's word count wasn't achieved again today - but it turns out that most people weren't nearly as productive today as yesterday. My guess is that yesterday's snow kept everyone quiet, but everyone was eager to get out today - and so around 1:30, I went with Bella, Anne, and one of the Barbaras to Heavenly (five minutes away), where Anne and Barbara rode the gondola up to the top of the mountain while Bella and I wrote at Starbucks. As it turns out, that hour and a half at Starbucks was the only truly productive time in my day. I passed the 1000-word goal I set for every day of this retreat (which I've succeeded at meeting every day except the first two, when I was still brainstorming), but by the time Anne and Barbara came back down, I was done. So we did a bit of shopping - it's become de rigueur for us to buy shirts or something from the towns where we do our retreats and then take a photo in them, so I had to buy something Tahoe-ish for tonight's photo. My choice was sweatpants, which are super cute but perhaps also slightly too tight across the derriere for social media...or maybe they're perfect. Either way, that's where I went, and the photo was cute enough, I think.

sssanyway, we came home, I pretended to work for awhile longer, but I mostly just messed around. Then we walked back down toward Heavenly for dinner at a v. fancy, v. delish restaurant - it was the first time we ate out as a group while we were here, and it was sort of a day-early celebration of a successful retreat, since Tina is leaving a day before the rest of us. I had some v. tasty scallops, but the crab chile relleno was perhaps the best thing I've had in a long time. And the company continued to be delightful; this really is an unusual writing retreat group in that the eight of us never seem to run out of things to say, but also never seem to tire of each other, and so that's all lovely.

But now, after a lot of talk about the Donner Party on the way home with Bella and Grace, I need to sleep so that I can be maximally productive on my last day here...goodnight!

so will someone come and carry me home tonight

The writing went really well today, and I feel like I snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. I woke up not really feeling it at all, and I admittedly procrastinated most of the morning. But I eventually decided to channel my procrastination into reading a book Anne had recommended to me ("Write Better, Faster"), looking for some tips on getting started with my book. And so after I ate lunch, went with Barbara to the store to get more wine + a latte (through a lovely bit of falling snow), and settled back into my writing nook (I've claimed the media room in my house, which has closing doors, a desk, and a couch), I stared down the blank page...and I ended up writing almost fifteen pages. *Yay*.

What was more shocking about this feat is that I did it in 90mins (with 90mins of breaks, so really in three hours). The book advocates tracking every minute detail about your writing process for a few weeks to understand when you're productive, what gets you more words per hour, etc. Granted, what I wrote wasn't fully polished prose; I fast drafted the first four chapters of the book, which is sort of like telling the story to myself (where they are, what they're doing, how they're feeling, maybe snippets of what they're saying) without including all the perfect witticisms and other things that take a lot of time to develop. But the idea (which I kind of used on the beginning of the last book) is to write enough to be sure that the plot is solid before investing time in the witticisms and descriptions, and I think it's the right approach even if I always seem to rebel against it by the midpoint.

So, I was supremely pleased by this, even if I was only able to keep going by fueling myself with m&ms and popcorn like every stereotypical writer out there. But I called it quits at six, took a quick nap, and then spent the evening eating pizza and drinking wine with my writer friends. And now I'm going to sleep and attempt similar feats of strength tomorrow - goodnight!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

cold to the touch but she's warm as a devil

I'm feeling as smug about today as I was about yesterday, which may make me totally insufferable - so, apologies in advance. But I slept for a million hours last night, which gave me tons of energy when I woke up this morning. So I showered, ate some breakfast, and slogged for a few hours until lunchtime - and I was v. happy about what I got, since I think I basically know enough of the storyline now that I can start writing in earnest without feeling like I'm missing major chunks of the plot. Rafe and Ava have been really difficult to get into, mostly because I've been so distracted by the day job that I haven't had time to really understand them...but I think I'm there, which is a great feeling.

So I worked until lunch, ate lunch at the other house with some of the writers (yay), and came back to my house (they are next door to each other, which is actually perfect - we all have enough space to be quiet while still being able to see each other, and so everyone seems to be having a more productive trip than what we had in Montauk). I continued to be distracted with text messaging after lunch (you know I'm procrastinating when I answer immediately), but I eventually got a latte, buckled down, and worked for another couple of hours.

Still, by five p.m., I was totally done, which was fine with me. I spent the rest of the night hanging out and sharing a couple of bottles of wine with one of the Barbaras (we drink reds together; Christie drinks white; Anne drinks beer; and everyone else watches us like crazy people). Our conversation tonight went in truly wonderful and ridiculous directions, and I didn't want it to end...but all things die, at it turns out, and I need sleep more than I need socializing. Hopefully tomorrow is just as productive, but we shall see. Goodnight!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

turn down for what

I had a glorious day! Granted, I'm a hermity individual who finds comfort in listening to the same song on repeat, scribbling in a notebook, walking in the snow, and later drinking wine with friends, so it's perhaps easy for me to have glorious days. But today was truly excellent. I woke up sometime before eight, caught up on tings, got dressed, ate breakfast, grabbed a latte across the street, and then settled in for some productivity. I brainstormed, read some stuff about the English parliamentary system, and wrote approximately seven pages - all of which felt so good, and I'm so excited for this book now (even though I still don't totally know what I'm doing with it...but I'm remembering that that's normal for me).

At some point in there, I took a break and ate lunch and talked to other writers, so that was lovely. Then I worked for a bit, took a nap, went across the street to buy a few things for dinner, and came back to talk to my parents. They were in fine form despite having spent several hours not smoking in a car with my grandmother (who is/was/is a lovely woman, but even I sometimes want a cigarette after two hours with her...or maybe I shouldn't say that here, but I'm leaving it). As is usual, I was the only family member who missed Easter dinner at Uncle Mark's, which made me sad...but not so sad that I would have sacrificed my writing retreat for it, which probably makes me even more of a horrible person than the comment about my grandmother.

sssanyway. I talked to my parents, and then I went over to the other house and made chicken tortilla soup for all of us for dinner. It turned out fantastically well, and I enjoyed the process of cooking + all the amazing talking and stories we exchanged over soup and wine as the snow fell outside. Writers are generally a strange bunch, and this group (myself included) is no different...but I feel really lucky to be here, and I'm excited to dig into the story during the days and keep building friendships at night.

And on that unusually sappy (for me) note, I'm going to bed. Goodnight!

Saturday, April 04, 2015

this light is contagious

The first full day of the writing retreat was, on the whole, quite successful. I didn't write a new scene, but I did a lot of high-quality brainstorming, and I may have figured out what was bugging me about Rafe's motivation. I also documented the timeline from Thorington's book so that I know exactly which days/nights are already locked in regarding where Rafe and Octavia are (or aren't) throughout this book, since the books overlap slightly (protip: never write overlapping books). And I made a fancy tracking spreadsheet, which was admittedly a totally procrastinatory move.

But I'll take it all. I also got a lot of sleep (eight hours last night + a nap this evening), enjoyed some brief social time with people throughout the day, went across the street to get caffeine twice, and then slacked off around 5pm and had wine and dinner with everyone. I quite like that we make dinner in the houses and sit around and talk for a couple of hours after; the table is just the right size for all eight of us, and I hear such fascinating things about the industry (and laugh a lot) while this is going down.

But now I need to sleep; while I was satisfied with today's progress, I have higher hopes for tomorrow's wordcount. Goodnight!

Friday, April 03, 2015

how's it gonna be when you don't know me

I'm in Tahoe, and I successfully stayed up until 10:30pm even though I really wanted to go to bed at 7pm like a crazy person. This morning was, as predicted, a mad scramble to get out the door - I woke up at 6:15, worked on day job stuff until 7:45, showered, packed, ran out the door at 8:30, and grabbed breakfast at Caffe Union (yes, I drove there - early enough that I didn't have to pay for the meter, and yes, I demanded food as soon as I walked in because I didn't have time for dallying - luckily, Tony tolerates me quite nicely). Then I found the UPS store on Fillmore and returned the cable modem from the old apartment so that Comcast won't fine Terry a million dollars.

That errand went better than expected, so I grabbed a couple of snacks for the road, went home, and had time to finish drying my hair before Anne, Barbara, and Tina showed up in my lobby so that we could carpool to Grace's house in the north bay. I drove us across the bridge and left my car at Grace's; we took her minivan to Tahoe, since it's more roomy (albeit less sporty, if a rav4 can be considered sporty). We made three stops, which was a little ridic, but we had to pick up sourdough for the person flying in from Colorado, and we had to get gas, and we stopped at Starbucks in Placerville to caffeinate and to switch drivers since Grace wasn't comfortable driving in the mountains. I immediately volunteered, and while I don't think I'm a super aggressive driver, I was apparently aggressive enough that Grace asked whether I often drive minivans, since I seemed way more comfortable than she was with it. Heh.

Anyway, we got to Tahoe around two, and the other Barbara and Christie (who had both flown into Reno) showed up shortly thereafter. We hung out most of the afternoon; the houses are side by side (Barbara #1 owns a share of one of them, and we're renting the other), and they're creepily identical. But they're also v. luxe, and they're right on the lake, and we each have our own bed/bath, which is a huge upgrade from the house we rented in Montauk last year.

We eventually ventured to Safeway (conveniently within walking distance), stocked up on snacks, came home, and ordered pizza (with a decent gluten free option for me). And then we talked about a wide variety of topics over wine and snacks, even though most of us were falling asleep. And then, in an effort to keep myself from falling asleep after I adjourned to my room, I ordered new silverware from Crate and Barrel + a couple of pans from Sur la Table, since both sites were having good sales on things I've been meaning to replace forever.

Now, though, I shall sleep - I'm really excited to get deep into Rafe and Octavia's story this week, and even though I'm still scared that I don't know what I'm doing with them, I'm feeling so much optimism that I'll be able to figure it out. And if I don't, at least I'll learn a lot from the people I'm here with (or laugh a lot and drink at altitude, which is also winning). Goodnight!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

i've got some edges that scratch

I have more work to do tonight, but I'm too tired and am going to go to bed instead. Since I'm leaving for Tahoe tomorrow morning, haven't packed, and also want to leave my laptop and work phone at home to avoid distractions, I'm kind of screwed...but at this point, sleep is more important than the remaining stuff on my list (but then, I would say that, since I'm exhausted).

But today wasn't all bad...just a lot of talking with a lot of people, which drained me to the dregs. I did an orientation for my new apartment building at eight, drove to MTV, grabbed breakfast, had meetings straight from ten to three, and then had a team event at a bar in MTV from 3-6:30. The team event was super fun - but between the event and having to spend an hour and a half driving people home after, I'm wrecked on the people side...

But it's all fine, since I'm leaving it all behind tomorrow so that I can spend seven days writing. Wish me luck with that - goodnight!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

we're collecting dust but our love's enough

I have a ton of day job work to do, but I'm too tired to keep going tonight. The day started with Alyssa, who gave me a good workout, but it became clear that my body has been affected in weird ways by the move...I was actually pretty pleased yesterday when I realized that I wasn't sore at all from hauling trash and recycling and tings around for a couple of hours on Monday, which proves that I'm getting stronger (if my 185lb deadlifts weren't proof enough). But I'm covered in bruises, and apparently my hands are sore since I lost my grip on the kettlebell during swings for the first time ever. I shall assume this is because I was gripping bags of trash, and not that I have the catastrophic arthritis my inner hypochondriac is concerned about.

sssanyway, after training, I went to work, showered, had two hours of meetings, and then skipped out of work to go to Costco with Dave so we could buy a cake for a team thing this afternoon. Then we got salads, and then I decided that I was so far behind on my work that I couldn't possibly catch up, so I threw in the towel for an hour, grabbed Dave/Manuela/Andrew, and went to another building on campus to watch a concert put on by Guster, of all people. Guster was heavy in my consciousness before this blog existed (not that anyone remembers what my life was like before the blog), since they were v. popular in my freshman dorm (and with my obnoxious neighbors, aka Adit/Chris/John, in particular).

So when I heard that they were putting on a concert, I had to go. Dave's the same age as me, so he had a similar memory of them; Andrew is seven years younger and knew very little about them; Manuela is older and grew up in Argentina, so she had no idea who they were. Also, they started 30-40mins late. Also, I forgot that they'd put out new material in the last twelve years that I've never heard, and I kind of didn't realize that they would *of course* play that rather than the songs from my youth. We all had meetings after, so we listened to three or four songs, grabbed coffee, and went back to work

Not that this was onerous, since we'd had wine while standing around waiting. But I had another several hours of meetings, which nearly killed me. Then I came home, unpacked a few boxes (until I was thoroughly sick of unpacking), cleaned out my trunk, etc.

And now I shall sleep...I have to get up early tomorrow so I can get some work done before an 8am appointment in the city, and then I have to drive down and slog relentlessly so that I can have fun at a team event tomorrow night (but not too much fun, since I have to drive four people back). Goodnight!