Wednesday, September 30, 2015

steady as she goes

I'm out of words, so you don't get much tonight...I spent the day in super hermitville, with a couple of breaks to take care of some personal grooming tasks (including getting a haircut so that my bangs are once again stylish without blinding me while I'm typing), take a long walk, get groceries, and do laundry. The writing wasn't quite as successful as I'd hoped, but progress continues...and I'm not going to be satisfied until this fucking book is done anyway, so I'm trying not to beat myself up over the fact that I didn't write twenty pages today like I'd hoped.

But right now my eyes are tired and my head hurts and I want to crawl into bed and indulge my inner octogenarian so that I can repeat (and hopefully improve upon) the slog tomorrow - goodnight!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

it's okay if it's gone...the thoughts that you had that it was the one

I made it back to San Francisco without incident, but now I'm desperately tired and want to sleep immediately (even though it's 8:30pm here)...and I think I'm going to indulge that desire pretty soon, since I want to get tons of sleep to encourage my continued recovery from my cold. But today went about as well as it could have gone. I woke up at 7:15ish and packed my stuff before having breakfast with my parents, who were sad to see me go because I'm so awesome (and modest). Then I showered, made my bed and put my stuff away until next time, said goodbye to the parents, and left on schedule to go to the airport.

The drive was completely quiet and boring, with the usual frustrations of getting stuck behind slow trucks on two-lane country highways, but it was nice to admire the fall colors in Iowa before getting to Des Moines. Once there, I returned the rental car, checked my bag (not really necessary, but I was on a very small plane out of DSM with a very tight connection in Denver and didn't want to risk having to wait for my bag in Denver), and made it through security in approximately two minutes, which left time for me to grab a somewhat lackluster lunch at the airport before saying goodbye to Iowa and getting on my flight.

As I said, the plane was tiny; my seatmate was not tiny, but I survived by sleeping almost the entire way. In Denver, I had just enough time to grab an iced coffee before boarding my second flight (and spending most of the time on the tarmac talking to that seatmate, who had recently had open heart surgery to repair a blown aorta, which was initially interesting and then eventually far less interesting...but he was a nice guy and I'm glad he's alive, I guess). The second flight was also uneventful, but I forced myself to write five pages of Rafe and Octavia, which was a good start to what I expect to be a week of hellish slogging.

When I got to SFO, I collected my bag, retrieved my car, and grabbed food. Then I took care of the most pressing things around the house - buying milk for tea, unpacking my suitcase, and grabbing my packages and mail from downstairs before holing up on my couch and debating whether to stay awake and write or whether to go to sleep and make Future Sara write instead. My guess is that the latter desire is going to win and that Future Sara is going to hate me, but that's okay - sleep is pretty imperative at this point. But the hardcore writing slog commences tomorrow, so get ready for some insanely boring posts (other than the couple of social activities I have planned that I can't reschedule...hopefully those people are excited to see me in subverbal crazy mode). Goodnight!

Monday, September 28, 2015

nothing lasts forever...but this is getting good now

I should probably go to bed; my sojourn in Iowa ends tomorrow, and I need to get up and finish packing and eat breakfast and shower before driving to the airport and catching my flight back to the city of sin. Today was a v. lovely, lowkey end to my trip, though - I got up late enough to encourage cold recovery but early enough to eat breakfast with my parents. Then, I spent some quality time sitting on the back patio with my dad; it was a gorgeous day, in the way that perfect fall days can be, and I spent a lot of it doing nothing while admiring the sun and the water and the rolling fields.

That was the theme of most of the afternoon as well; I did some work, and I made some attempt at writing, but I mostly indulged in hanging out with my parents. And we capped it off with supper (steak and more sweet corn), along with some fine CBS programming, which I will miss when I go back to California and resume my non-tv-watching ways.

But that's all I've got for you tonight - I'm not exactly eager to leave tomorrow, but I am eager to enter my writing cave and get all sorts of shit done in the next few weeks, so it's time to buckle down (which hopefully starts on the plane tomorrow, but we'll see). Goodnight!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

don't come around tonight, well it's bound to take your life

Today was quintessential #smalltownlife. In fact, it's so #smalltownlife -- and so far away from my San Francisco life -- that I'm not sure I can adequately capture it. But then, nothing can really be adequately captured, and all of this is always only a glimpse at what I see (and what I later remember when I reread something months or years later and vividly recreate, or can only merely guess at, the memory evoked by the words).

But maybe today will be a day that I can remember vividly someday. I still feel like total hell, so it's possible cold medicine is influencing all of this. But the day progressed as follows: I woke up in time for breakfast for the first time on this trip, which I enjoyed with my parents (bacon and eggs, along with some home fries, and I didn't feel guilty for eating some of the small quantity of potatoes because they failed to feed me yesterday while I was getting pneumonia from my niece, so screw them).

Shortly thereafter, my brother's best friend from high school showed up to look at some stuff my dad was interested in getting rid of; the best friend brought his baby girl, who is eight months old and who was quite content to sleep in her car seat while farm supplies were examined and discussed. She eventually woke up, and while I refrained from holding her because I didn't want to give her pneumonia, I enjoyed making faces at her while hanging out outside.

I also took a brief excursion to examine my dad's peacocks, but they have fallen on hard times; slowly, one by one, they have succumbed to a disease in which their throat swells up and they die. That's sad and depressing, so I'll end this paragraph early and move on.

sssanyway, I took care of some personal business (mostly related to sales prices for my books), and then I took [censored] to my grandma's farm to take care of some stuff down there. I hadn't thought I would see it again, since it's being sold in a few weeks and I hadn't intended to be here this weekend, but I took another trip through the house and also spent some quality time examining the barn (which looked and sounded like it could fall on our heads at any moment). This was the barn in which some of my earliest memories were formed (namely, helping with sheep shearing, which was a grimy task, and also bottle feeding lambs...and also digging for fishing worms under the planks outside the barn), and it's making a quite dramatic descent back into the earth. I got some cool pictures, though, so the iPhone that has replaced my heart is satisfied.

After that, I came home (along with my dad, who was eating pears in the backyard of the house when we arrived) to meet up with Aunt Becky and Uncle Brian (aka the scandalous pirate husband). They were down from Des Moines on a mission to retrieve the 'pecker rock', which was a large rock that had formerly belonged to my grandfather (who collected multitudes of rocks) that was shaped like...well, the name should tell you. Dad was able to use his skid loader + a strap wrapped around the base of the head of the pecker rock to swing it into their trailer, which was a pretty entertaining process to watch.

Then, we trekked over to Aunt B's property to grab some more rocks. I drove Becky and Brian over to the entrance, and they walked back to the pond, but I rode back with my dad in his backhoe - which was a rather surreal experience, since I hadn't ridden with him in the cab of a tractor-like vehicle since I was a little girl, most likely. But I used to ride around with him and my granddad all the time, and I could still stand up in the cab, so it was all pretty lovely. Of course, I was a little worried I'd bash my head on the roof when we'd unexpectedly hit a massive anthill, but I survived. And we retrieved some more rocks (but by no means all of them) with the scent of crushed cedar wafting up around us, since Becky's got a bunch of volunteer cedar trees coming up in the middle of her field that definitely shouldn't be coming up there...but nature tends to take over immediately, as I've seen again and again in every corner of my hometown.

After the rocks were taken care of, I ate a snack, picked up [censored], and eventually went to town with my dad to see my grandmother (who is also returning to nature, slowly). Then we came home, I popped some ibuprofen and some antacid to try to deal with my suddenly crushing headache/stomachache combo, and watched '60 Minutes' with Putin and Trump (I'll say no more). Then we ate supper (hamburgers and the last sweet corn of the year) and watched the 'CSI' finale while keeping an eye on the super blood moon.

As it turns out, I'm glad I was here for the eclipse - the sky was perfectly clear tonight, and so while I sat outside in the dark and hoped I wouldn't get sprayed by a skunk or eaten by a coyote, I was able to see the eclipse along with millions of stars. Even if Karl the Fog had let me see the eclipse in SF, the stars would have been lost to the haze and light of the city of sin. So, the super blood moon and myriad of stars was a perfect cap to a lovely, bizarre day.

And now I must sleep and hope to continue my recovery so I can write tomorrow and prepare to head back to the evil city on Tuesday - goodnight!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

baby, kiss me before they turn the lights out

I don't know what to say about today - parts of it were hard, parts of it were lovely, and all of it is worth remembering in some capacity. I failed to write this morning as planned, since I'm still not feeling well and so allowed myself to sleep in. But I got up, showered, got dressed, and then ended up seeing my niece (Sammi) and her daughter (Jaicee), who came over to visit for an hour or two. Jaicee is six, and while she is super cute, she was also super squirmy and demanding, possibly because she recently had pneumonia (which she is still recovering from) and so was banned from a lot of fun times over the last week or two. I'm somewhat convinced that she has given me whatever she had, since she wanted me to hold her/play with her the whole time. At some point, I asked her to stop smearing her hands all over my face because she was going to give me pneumonia, and she said, "Pneumonia isn't that bad." Lol. #themoreyouknow, I guess.

sssanyway, Sammi and Jaicee eventually left, and I ate a forlorn leftover lunch, then did a tiny bit of work, and then took a nap. Then I talked to [censored], and then I talked to my dad, and then I got ready and went into town for Katie's dad's wake. They are having the funeral in Illinois, but they did a visitation here for the people who knew him in our community (which is where he lived for almost forty years, but in rural areas that's just past 'newcomer' status, I guess). I can't remember the last time I saw Katie's dad, but I can still hear his voice, and it was very bittersweet to see all the photos of him and Katie's mom and their family.

The wake lasted a couple of hours, and I mostly spent it catching up with Hannah and Elaina (Katie, Hannah, Elaina and I were mostly inseparable, in varying configurations, through high school). I also spent some quality time with James's husband and her daughters (mostly Julia, who was too young to run away, which sounds creepier than it is), and I talked to Katie's siblings, and it was good to see all of them despite the circumstances. Even though in many ways it feels like I haven't changed and things haven't changed, moments like these remind me of how much things *have* changed...especially when I start to think that, for Katie, there's not much reason to come back here after this, and perhaps that will be true for me someday as well (although I still have siblings here, and she doesn't).

But those are ruminations better saved for my journal. After the wake was over, Elaina and Hannah and I dropped a bunch of food and stuff off at the motel for Katie's family, and then we went with [censored] to Ludlow's, which is the main dining opportunity in town. We spent a couple of hours there, laughing to a perhaps unseemly degree over a lot of slightly inappropriate things (as often happens when [censored] is involved...unlike me, since I am so pure and unlikely to say anything inappropriate). We were also continually judged by a pair of toddler twins who stared at us with the most condemning looks ever. And, in an odd twist, one of my favorite high school teachers (social studies with a side of inappropriate humor) happened to be eating there; he came over and said hi, and it was all as ridiculous as one might have hoped. And it was really nice to see Hannah and Elaina - I tend to be terrible at seeing anyone here since I tend to join my mother in hermitville whenever I come home, but I'm glad we hung out, and hopefully it won't take another funeral to see them again.

So, after a really strange series of highs ands lows today, and the ebb and flow of memory, and the odd mix of grief and relief and nostalgia and bittersweet goodbyes, it's time to go to bed. Goodnight!

Friday, September 25, 2015

you know i really got a thing for american guys

I accomplished basically nothing today, but I think I got enough rest to kickstart my recovery on this cold, so I'll chalk that up as a success. I slept for ten hours last night, then eventually meandered into the kitchen and ate leftover meat for breakfast, which set me up right(ish) for the day. And then I spent the afternoon talking to various family members, running into town to grab a couple of things from the grocery store, writing (temporarily, until I got too cold) on the back patio, and then napping for an hour in the afternoon.

And then, this evening, I was v. v. sloth-filled - I watched some fine CBS programming (Hawaii 5-O delights, if only because the lead is still hot), ate supper with the parents and [censored], and continued messing around online. But now I'm going to go to bed, set my alarm, and try to get up early to write in the morning before doing anything else, since morning productivity is the only thing that helps me. Goodnight!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

you fit me better than my favorite sweater

I'm sick, exhausted, and vaguely cranky (but I think only because I'm sick)...but I made it to Iowa after a very smooth and uneventful trip. This morning wasn't totally smooth - I took longer getting ready than I should have, and so while I was at the airport early enough to have no stress about boarding my flight, I wasn't there early enough to have the leisurely breakfast of my dreams. Instead, I scarfed down some eggs with bacon and a lot of mexicanish toppings from Urban Tortilla, which was sufficient to get me through the day but not sufficient to satisfy my desires. But I made it on that flight, and then I had a leisurely hour in Denver (with time to get coffee, which was all that kept me going), and then the flight to Des Moines was slightly rough but otherwise uneventful.

When I arrived in Iowa, I made the unusual move of renting a car rather than getting picked up by my parents - I'm only here for a few days and I thought I might want the advantage of my own wheels whilst here. So I picked up the car, grabbed more coffee, and drove home in the vanishing twilight, which is probably the worst time to drive in terms of deer concerns. I only had two come out in front of me (at the same time, and I was in no serious danger of hitting them); the only others I saw were an entire herd in the front yard when I got home, but they weren't in the driveway, so they posed no threat.

And now I'm holed up in my bedroom, after a brief chat with my parents, a longer chat with [censored] while I ate their leftover supper, and a bit of time spent unpacking my few possessions. I'm hopeful that I can get a lot of sleep tonight and start to kick this cold before I give it to anyone else in my family, but we shall see. Goodnight!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

blessed unrest

I have nothing interesting to share with you - the cold I suspected I was getting last night came on strong, which kept waking me up, and I feel like a total mess. This put a serious damper on my day - I didn't have the energy to do anything at all, and between the illness and the fact that I had to get ready to go to Iowa, I got no writing done. But I'm deep enough into it now that my mind continually suggests things I might want to consider/weave in/rewrite even while I'm cleaning/napping/doing other chores, which is giving me just the tiniest bit more confidence that this book might actually come together.

Anyway, I stayed in bed as long as I could, and then I took care of a couple of things before going to MyMy for breakfast. I had intended to buy groceries yesterday, but a) I was dealing with the move situation all day and b) I'm leaving tomorrow, so I had no suitable breakfast food. MyMy took care of me, though, and then I stopped at the pharmacy to stock up on cold medicines before coming home and packing/organizing/cleaning/etc/etc.

And that's pretty much all I have to say - I ended up ordering Thai for supper, which temporarily revived me, but I see no reason to continue staying awake when sleep would probably serve me better. So I'm going to go to bed and hope that my flights tomorrow are uneventful - goodnight!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

a kiss with a fist is better than none

Today was, quite frankly, without exaggeration, one of the worst days I've had in months.

Most of this isn't my own personal tragedy, so I want to preface all of this by saying that.

But first and worst, my best friend lost her father today. He was a wonderful of the best. There are no words to say beyond that.

So I bought a ticket to go back to Iowa, leaving Thursday, coming back Tuesday. This wasn't in my plan for the weekend, but I'm so lucky that I have the flexibility to do this (this would be a perfect place to say #blessed, but I'm a cynical bitch and that's not really my style). So you're all about to get a bonus round of #smalltownlife, but it's going to be a rather somber version (#sorrynotsorry).

The rest of my day pales in comparison to that, but it's easier to be angry about less consequential things, so I'm going to focus my rage on other annoyances and ignore my grief for now. Even if that hadn't happened, today would have been awful enough on its own. I woke up early, but was stressed about what I had to do today, and so I got nothing done this morning despite staring at the screen and pretending to write.

I won't go into detail about what I had to do today, since a lot of it isn't my story to tell, but suffice it to say that it involved supervising movers who were packing up the things of a friend who is in the middle of getting divorced, which also involved dealing with her ex. The tattoo artist from my epic adventure in July was there to provide masculine backup (although he mostly just drank whisky); another acquaintance was there to assist (but we left to grab coffee and then she went home after); and because the movers were way behind schedule and we were way ahead of schedule in arriving, this ended up taking seven fucking hours. Seven...fucking...hours. My own move didn't take that long, and it didn't involve listening to the ex while also texting the friend, while also taking a break to find out that one of the best men from your childhood had just passed away.

Sooooooo. This was all way too dramatic and way too sad and way too annoying and way too awful. When the movers were finally done, I made it all of half a block before stopping in at the first fancy place where I could eat a fancy cheeseburger and drink two glasses of wine - I usually try not to self-medicate, but I gave myself a pass tonight. Then I walked home, and now I'm pretty sure I'm coming down with a cold. So I'm going to take my frustrated, self-pitying, slightly-drunk self to bed and hope that I can sleep for nine hours and stave off this cold before waking up tomorrow and writing/cleaning/packing/not-crying in preparation for my flight.

Tanks for listening, internet're the best. Goodnight!

Monday, September 21, 2015

blood sticks, sweat drips, break the lock if it don't fit

My morning went almost exactly as intended...I woke up pretty early, made tea, and worked for a solid 2-2.5 hours before going down to the south bay to see Alyssa. The sun was coming up as I dove into the story, and I finally have my workspace situated to make me comfortable (even if I'm mildly embarrassed that I turned thirty-four and bought what is effectively a cushion for old people with coccyx injuries...but the cushion raised me up three inches, which is enough to get me at the right ergonomic position, so I'm going to have to live with the shame). So I sipped tea, wrote some pages, and then lost myself in a rabbit hole of research into Palladian architecture so I could figure out what rooms Rafe and Octavia might be getting up to some shenanigans in during the coming chapters.

However, I had to throw in the towel earlier than I wanted so that I could go to the south bay. I've been ruminating over my schedule for awhile, and as it has become clear that mornings are my best writing time, I've become increasingly loath to schedule anything before 1pm...which has made balancing my desire to see Alyssa against my desire to write a fucking book (and then many more books after this one) tres difficile. Sooooo....

Alyssa and I are taking a break. My personal intention is that we'll still do some form of coaching, more remotely, with fewer days required for me to drive to the south bay...I definitely don't want to stop working out or doing things that make me feel healthy, etc. But where it made sense to pay a trainer to force me to work out when I had two jobs (and would realistically not have made time for the gym on top of everything else when I was so focused on writing before work), it seems to me that I don't need the forcing mechanism...and if I can't motivate myself to go to the gym with my current schedule, I'm kind of wasting my time/money by paying a trainer. I might have felt differently if she were in the city, but it's hard to waste three or four (or more) of the best hours of my day twice a week when I really need to be focused on the books.

So, we had a long talk about all of this, and discussed taking a break so I could reflect on what I want from our next steps + she can figure out what she thinks she can offer me. That resulted in a very abbreviated workout at the end of the session, and an intent to go back on Wednesday to talk some more and do another workout before taking a three-week (or so) break. That's probably good timing since I need to finish this book, etc., but still...I love Alyssa, and I'm sad to pause things even though I think it's the right decision.

Anyway, after that I showered and went to my former place of employment, where I had a v. long, leisurely lunch with Heather (aka dear respected madam). We caught up on all sorts of ridiculous things while eating a relatively tasty lunch, and it was good to see her even if I've gone back to campus / talked to former coworkers an embarrassing number of times in the last couple of weeks. However, Heather was a coworker so long ago that I don't think it counts anymore, so I'm not going to sweat it.

I left her in time to beat the worst of the traffic home, but when I got here I was sleepy and vaguely hangry, so I ordered an early dinner and took a nap like the coccyx-cushion-using octogenarian that I am. And then I spent most of the evening working - no new words, but a lot of stuff for business-related activities + some continued research into British architecture. I know, my life is glamorous.

And now I must sleep so I can get up early and repeat the morning feat before getting embroiled in some ridiculousness tomorrow afternoon...goodnight!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

you don't know anything about the solstices

My day started off productively and then slid slowly into sheer ridiculousness, as so many of them do. I got up earlyish and went to Another Cafe, where I was quite productive for a couple of hours (although I should have worked for another four hours today and didn't). Then I came home, ate some delish eggs and toast, messed around on the internet, and then got my nails done - a necessary task, since I'd gotten gel for my birthday and had to have it removed. It's possibly that 'necessary' is an overstatement, but I'm going to roll with it.

Then I came home and talked to my parents, who were their usual selves. Then I messed around some more, made a snack, and talked to Terry (remember her?) for awhile. And then my day fell off the normal cliff into weirdland....although it's not weird, since it's so common for me to have family dinner on Sunday nights. Omar is in town again, and so he had invited a strange assortment of individuals to My Tofu House. He also claimed that he had never been to My Tofu House, which was immediately and flatly disproven by my blog (he was there in October 2009 to celebrate Adit's birthday).

But despite that early kerfuffle, it was all good - we were seated surprisingly quickly (probably because it was a rare 90 degrees in SF and so a little too warm for hot/spicy tofu soup), and the group spent most of the evening saying everything we had done since midnight last night (which took others way more time than it took me, since I did nothing but write/get my nails done today). This all took close to three hours, which was a delightful (albeit absurd) end to the weekend.

And now I shall per usual, I want to write in the morning before training with Alyssa, so getting up early is the only way to accomplish that. Goodnight!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

trying to catch the beat make up your heart

I probably should have taken today off, but I attempted to write and it was not particularly successful. I blame the fact that I couldn't write this morning - instead, I slept too late (eight did I get so old that sleeping until eight is late?), and then took my car to get a couple of chips in my windshield fixed. They did that while I ate breakfast at a surprisingly decent cafe on one of the most uninspiring blocks in the city, and I wrote in my journal and contemplated Rafe and Octavia and thought I was ready to hit it...

...and then I got home and was not ready to hit it. I figured out some timeline stuff and plotted the next scene, etc., but none of that resulted in the number of pages I wanted to write today. I did send a couple of business emails and do some planning for the week, so it wasn't all sloth. But I'm going to go to bed as soon as I write this post, set my teamaker to make early morning tea, and seize tomorrow in the way I failed to seize today.

Because I was banging my head against the story, I skipped most social possibilities today, but I eventually rallied (and by that I mean showered), picked up Adit (some people call him Rosé) and Priyanka, and went to Claudia's (you may know her as Santy Claude or Claud the Fraud). Claudia hosted a party that was intended to be a flan-off, since she and her Portuguese lab mate both made flan of differing types, but really it just involved eating many delicious things - Claudia's brother Marco (whom I hadn't seen in ages) made ceviche, and Jim and Jill made guacamole, and Claudia made two kinds of enchiladas that were totally delish.

This was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours; Claudia's backyard has an awesome view of other parts of the city, and I liked her coworkers. It was also great to see Marco after many years apart; I can't find a mention of him on zee blog after 2008, but that doesn't mean I haven't seen him since then...but it has certainly been years. And Adit and Priyanka were as ridiculous as always, so that was a nice way to life my writerly spirits before hitting the slog again tomorrow.

Eventually, though, it was time to get out of there, so I dropped Adit and Priyanka off and came home so that I can sleep and then write all the words tomorrow. Goodnight!

and his voice is a familiar sound

Today felt shockingly productive, but I didn't actually get all that much writing done now that I think about it, which is really too bad. However, I'm happy with what I did - I got up and went to Another Cafe, where I wrote for threeish hours, and I'm still feeling like the story is coming together, so hopefully this isn't all a fluke. Then I came home and ate lunch, intending to go to the glass repair shop after to deal with my windshield - but a v. nice British-sounding man (maybe 'nice' modifies the sound of his voice in that phrase, rather than his actual status) pushed my appointment to tomorrow, which was fine by me.

Then I spent the afternoon doing five loads of laundry while writing a letter of rec for a former coworker, taking care of tings around the house, etc. And then I went out and ran errands (buying markers, which are super necessary, and a new wireless keyboard and trackpad for my laptop, which are even more necessary), and had an earlyish dinner at the bar at Aix, since I needed steak to make everything right after a few days of subsisting, like a peasant, on chicken.

But as I was starting the long walk home, I was contacted by the usual suspects (Adit and Priyanka), and so I went to the Mission to watch them eat while partaking of my own second dinner. We ended up at Delfina, where I had a(nother) glass of wine and a v. v. tasty heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad. I will likely see Adit and Priyanka later this weekend, but it was nice to catch up with them in a more lowkey environment, where I could occasionally mutter 'you're having a baby!' and no one looked askance at me.

But all good things must end, and I lyfted home with a guy who gave me self-defense tips of dubious quality, which was entertaining. And now I'm going to sleep so I can do all the things tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

where are ü now

You are going to find today supremely uninteresting as well, but at least I a) left the house, b) went places I normally don't go, and c) saw people. I woke up in time to do a bit of work this morning, but I was distracted by an hour-long call with a former direct report who is searching for jobs (she's in business school) and wanted to use me as a reference. It was great to catch up with her, even if it didn't result in more pages written.

After that, I ate lunch, cleaned out my trunk (kind of), and took a nap. Then, the sun suddenly appeared, so I drove down to the Marina and spent a couple of hours writing at Goody Cafe. I hadn't been there in months...possibly since I moved out of the Marina, since it's at Fort Mason, which is just far enough away that I'm unlikely to walk there from here even though I walk to other parts of the Marina fairly regularly. They were v. happy to see me, and I was v. happy to see them...and the writing was actually going well enough that I was legitimately not happy that I had to stop writing so I could move my car when my two-hour free spot was about to expire.

But I moved my car down the block, and I celebrated the fact that the story is finally coming together by taking a long walk along the water. It was a gorgeous day in San Francisco after several days of fog/rain and several days of too much heat, so I took advantage of it. Then I came home, messed around online, showered, and sped to Potrero Hill (where I also never ever go) to have dinner with Claudia and one of her friends at Goat Hill Pizza. They make a gluten free crust that was pretty decent, and so we ate pizza while catching up on all sorts of weird and wonderful things.

But I refused all possible overtures toward doing more fun things and came home so that I can go to bed and pursue more writing tomorrow - wish me luck. Goodnight!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

if you love like that, blood runs cold

This post, like yesterday's, will also bore you. I woke up around 6:45 this morning, which probably wasn't early enough, and did some work as planned...but then I texted Katie and ended up having a very long, very necessary phone catch-up session with her. We haven't talked much over the past few months (or year...pretty much since she had her second child and was lost to the demands of parenthood + all the other awful stuff going on with her dad's health), so spending the morning hours drinking iced coffee and catching up on life was pretty much the best thing I could have done with my time.

After we got off the phone, I ate a quick breakfast and went to the south bay to train with Alyssa. We were still taking it easy in deference to my neck (which is much much better, but not 100%), but it was good to see her. I grabbed a smoothie and came home without showering, and when I got here I took a nap before going to Another Cafe and writing for a couple of hours. There was a major accident scene right outside, which appears to be what I guessed it was based on what I saw - news reports are saying that a car killed a pedestrian. I was there a couple of hours after it happened, when there was crime scene tape up and police measuring and taking photos of things. There was no body, but since there was a single car in the middle of the street and no signs of other cars/car parts, I was guessing it was pedestrian related. So, that's all bleak and sad....personally, my guess based solely on the position of the car is that the car was turning left on Pine from Leavenworth and that the pedestrian wasn't in the crosswalk but a bit further down the hill, which is a dangerous proposition in an area like Pine/Leavenworth where drivers are going too fast to hit/beat the timed lights. But regardless, it wasn't a fun thing to be around, obviously.

sssanyway, eventually I was tired of staring at my screen, so I stopped at the hardware store, bought another lightbulb, came home, and successfully replaced the kitchen light so it works again. Then I took a shower, messed around on the internet, contemplated my story again to little avail, ate some leftover soup, contemplated the story again to even littler avail, and then researched glass repair shops since I now have two chips in my windshield and should probably fix them before the windshield breaks in half. Fun times, right?

And now, after that horrifically boring post, I'm going to sleep and dream of Rafe/Ava - goodnight!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

stockings ripped all up the sides

Fair warning: this post is going to be incredibly boring because my day was incredibly boring to anyone but me. Feel free to skip it - you won't hurt my feelings.

I woke up this morning and started writing earlyish, but I eventually got distracted because I had to shower earlier than usual because the building was going to shut off the hot water for some reason for most of the day. Then I had a videoconference with a former coworker to clarify some stuff I had done many months ago, which oddly felt like I was back at work...but hopefully after yesterday's social extravaganza and today's videoconference (and Thursday's phone call with another former direct report about something else), I can get back into being my writerly self. If nothing else, though, this is all a good reminder that I want to make the writing thing work so I can run my own business rather than going back to being a middle manager someplace, so hopefully that serves as inspiration for the next few weeks/months/whatever.

After that, I messed around in the kitchen and finally changed the lightbulb that burned out two weeks ago - but either the lightbulb I put in is also dead, or something else is wrong, because that lightbulb burned out the second time I turned it on. Grr. Then I took a walk, mailed my taxes (another grr), talked to my dad, and bought groceries. I ended up doing a lot of food prep tonight - I bought two roasted chickens and shredded them for soup/salads/etc., and then I made chicken tortilla soup for dinner. While that was cooking, I prepped the fixings for several more batches of soup so I could freeze the veggies precut to save time for future cooking endeavors, and I also cleaned out the fridge and took out my compost.

And then I spent the evening plotting and scheming, sending some business emails, scheduling my activities for the next couple of weeks, etc. And then I tossed aside all attempts at productivity and watched most of an episode of Colbert's new late night show; Amy Schumer and Stephen King were both on the other night, which seemed like a good episode to try. I'm not sure I'm feeling his new schtick yet, but Stephen King is always interesting (even if his books are too scary for me - I still think far more often than one might expect about 'The Eyes of the Dragon', which I read in high school, and which wasn't even a horror novel - it was closer to classic fantasy; I also read and was deeply terrified by 'Misery', but maybe that is scary because it's about an author, which may strike too close to home).

sssanyway, now I'm going to sleep and pursue my plan of getting up super early tomorrow; the words seem to be coming best in the early morning hours, and I may just have to give in to that knowledge and embrace it rather than seeking out my formerly night-owl self. Goodnight!

Monday, September 14, 2015

think you're overthinking, use your lips instead

I probably socialized more than I should have allowed myself to socialize today, but since these were my last firm plans until Saturday and I'm going into hardcore hermit writer mode, I allowed myself to indulge and say goodbye to my humanity. But luckily I woke up to a less-sore neck - it still wasn't great, but it didn't totally wreck my morning, and I was able to eat breakfast, tidy up the house, pack my gym bag, and write four pages before going to the south bay to train with Alyssa.

Of course, since my neck was hurting, our workout wasn't the usual kettlebell extravaganza; we mostly focused on trying to open up my movements and fix my neck, so we'll see how I feel tomorrow. After we finished, I showered, put on real people clothing (I mean, I always get dressed, but sometimes I wear clothing that makes it clear I'm not a corporate drone...but today I wanted to fit in with my surroundings, so real people clothing was required), and drove to my old place of employment for some afternoon fun time.

First up was lunch with Sriram, my old boss. It has been four months since I left the day job, so this was our fourth monthly lunch (although we missed one already, and will miss next time since he's going to Frankfurt...perhaps the only thing I'm jealous of/wish I weren't missing is the Frankfurt trip, since it was ridiculous and ridiculously fun both times I went). We caught up over marginally decent food (how quickly I already start complaining about the quality of free food when I go back...), and then grabbed juice from the juice bar, but I was annoyed that they had switched the menu and don't make my favorite juice anymore (again, see how quickly I complain).

But it was good to see Sriram and catch up on how he's doing, even if between seeing him + seeing coworkers last night + seeing Eugene after, I'm pretty much gossipped out for a few weeks. After Sriram and I parted ways, I met up with Eugene to continue the gossip-fest. But first up was a quick, lovely free concert in one of the lobbies; a country music artist was on campus and sang three songs in one of the buildings I used to have a lot of meetings in, so I checked that out (verdict: good, impressive that she was able to talk coherently while fixing a guitar string after it broke during her first song, but as with most country music some of the songs about death, lost loves, etc., hit a little too close to home for comfort). Then Eugene and I drove over to coffee lab, where I enjoyed a free latte and the strains of Eugene's voice, which I never would have guessed a year ago since he never talked to anyone in his first few quarters on the team. But I always enjoy hanging out with him, and he enjoys the fact that he took my job and got so much from my departure, so I think we're good.

After Eugene, I drove home, and thanks to a judicious application of 280 it only took an hour and fifteen minutes. Then I talked to my mother for awhile, since I missed our call yesterday due to a combo of Half Moon Bay and My Tofu House (neither of which we have in Iowa). Then I ate leftover thai takeout, which was a huge mistake since it made me super sleepy and kept me from writing.

But all in all, today was almost close to perfect. So now I'm going to sleep, hope that my neck continues to heal itself, and go into super hermit mode tomorrow.

But before I say goodnight...happiest of happy birthdays to Terry! You may remember her as my former roommate, and thus the star of many blog posts over the past few years. I hope the day was a great one!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

i won't let it go down till we torch it ourselves

Today was almost entirely spent socializing, along with some massive pain because my thirty-four-year-old body is suddenly old and decrepit. I woke up and my neck still hurt, which put a serious cramp (lol) in my plan to write before socializing - instead, I sat at my table and researched/ordered a cushion for my preferred writing chair, since I think part of the problem is that my dining table is slightly too high to be a desk for my short frame.

But eventually, despite the pain, I rallied and drove to Half Moon Bay to pursue my fun activities. Driving was probably ill-advised, since I have trouble looking to the right (which is kind of critical for merging), but I had fun plans and didn't want to cancel them. The plan was to have tea with ladies - and by ladies I mean Joann and Jen, since there were several things for the three of us to celebrate over the past couple of months and we were never able to get together for them.

We went to the Ritz, since I love that place, although it's obviously absurdly overpriced. But we sat in the conservatory and split a bottle of prosecco, some cheese and charcuterie, some delish fries, and some oysters, which are pretty much all my favorite things. And then we took a desultory walk along the coastal trail, through the mist and fog that obscured most of the ocean view - San Francisco and Half Moon Bay have returned to their usual foggy situations, and it's misting in the city tonight, which is both an awesome and terrible return to form after last week's epic heat. Despite the fog, I always love Half Moon Bay, and it was nice to get some quality time with Joann and Jen that didn't involve some or all of us having to get off work and speed to some other part of the bay area for a rushed dinner on a Tuesday or something.

Finally, though, it was time to part ways...just in time, since my ibuprofen had worn off ages earlier and my head was starting to hurt just as badly as my neck, so I stopped at Rite Aid and bought some Aleve and a bottle of water to try to make it through the drive home. When I got here, I crawled into bed with my heating pad wrapped around my neck (I don't think you're supposed to do that) and slept for an hour; that, plus the Aleve, plus more ibuprofen, made it possible for me to rally for dinner, even though I'm probably shredding my stomach lining in an attempt to get through this. Yes, poor me.

But I got out of bed, put on clothes again, and pursued the second plan of the night...dinner with Andrew and Dave, my former coworkers from a lifetime ago. Dave and I both left our team while Andrew was in Paris, and in our joint goodbye conference call we'd committed to having dinner or drinks or something to say goodbye (since Andrew missed my epic going away party where I consumed far too many shots of tequila). Andrew got back in July, just as I was leaving for it has taken two months to get the plan to actually come together, since multiple people canceled multiple times.

But with My Tofu House (which Andrew and I both, apparently, independently adore) as the lure, especially on a foggy night, we didn't cancel this time. So we caught up on all sorts of shenanigans while eating soft tofu soup, which was vastly entertaining and a) made me really miss my coworkers while b) being extremely glad that I no longer have coworkers. Given our respective schedules and the fact that Andrew moved to the Haight rather than living two blocks from me, I don't know if this is destined to happen again anytime soon...but it was certainly a ridiculous way to end the weekend.

And now I'm going to pop all the painkillers, go to bed, and hope that my neck pain subsides enough that I can put in some solid work before training with Alyssa tomorrow. Goodnight!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

no more talk of darkness, forget these wide-eyed fears

I didn't have the most auspicious start to my new year...I tweaked my neck pretty badly while sleeping last night, and my legs were sore from my workout, so I couldn't get comfortable and couldn't really think most of the day despite popping ibuprofen like it was candy. I tried taking a nap with my heating pad on my neck, and I tried walking around outside, and I tried coffee at Philz (although craning my head constantly to determine whether the crazy people in the coffee shop were going to kill me or were just being their normal crazy selves probably wasn't conducive to feeling better).

So, really, there's nothing else to say - I'm blogging early because I want to stop looking at my screen after writing half-heartedly most of the afternoon, and I think I'm going to curl up in bed with my heating pad and a book and hope that many hours of sleep will cure me so I can enjoy tomorrow (and get some work done). Goodnight!

never forget

Once upon a time, I was thirty-three. And it was a good age, but it wasn't meant to last. And so now I am thirty-four, and embarking on yet another year of blogging (this blog has been going for 11+ years, although the first couple of years weren't blog-every-night types). Hopefully there are other things I will accomplish this year besides regular blogging, but we shall see!

Anyway, today was perfect. I woke up in time to drive to Palo Alto and train with Alyssa...we hadn't seen each other since before I went to Iowa, since she was in Colorado when I got back and I didn't have time to drive down earlier this week. Then I showered quickly and sped back to the city, where I grabbed lunch and coffee before coming home and settling into my afternoon. I didn't write, as perhaps was to be expected - instead, I talked to my parents, exchanged texts and emails with all the delightful people who wished me a happy birthday, and took a stab at cleaning my apartment so that I can enjoy it while working incessantly for the next few days.

Eventually, though, it was time to have fun with people again...and first up was [censored], who came over to see my place before our evening activities. [censored] pointed out that my place is quite small (true) and that I could easily get far more space for the same amount of money in Iowa (also true), but I won't be dissuaded from my city of preference. Then we caught a lyft to the Missions, where we had drinks at ABV. I told the waitress (whom I've had there several times before, on all my most ridiculous excursions there, including when Bill screamed in my face) that [censored] prefers [censored], so they brought him a v. strong concoction of rye and ginger ale, which seemed to do the trick. At some point Claudia (aka Santy Claude) showed up, and the three of us had a delightful time drinking and talking until it was time for dinner.

Dinner was accomplished at Locanda, where I have also had several ridiculous activities. We met up with John and Jess (Jess = nicest person ever), and the five of us had a perfectly isolated table in the window, which should have pleased the other patrons since they weren't subjected to our family time reminisces / secrets / inappropriate jokes about 9/11. I inadvertently got John in trouble for mentioning that he had come to my graduation lunch twelve years ago (my apologies!), but it's clear that Jess is still the nicest person ever. It's also clear that Claudia is not the nicest person ever, but since she has no desire to make my skin into a cloak, I accept that. And we all discussed Adit enough that I'm going to give this the family time tag whether that's appropriate or not - #sorrynotsorry.

Anyway, this was a totally perfect birthday dinner, and the entire day made me feel v. loved. And now I'm going to go to bed, sleep the sleep of the #blessed, and spend tomorrow writing with all the madness in my soul. Goodnight!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

past the point of no return

I shall be thirty-four tomorrow, and while I don't think the flags will be flying at half-mast for me, you never know! (too soon?)

In honor of that, I'm planning an internet hiatus...I hate social media and the news around my birthday anyway, for reasons that have nothing to do with me and everything to do with nationwide mourning, so it seems like a good time to do it. And while the book is going better than it was, I still find that I'm way too easily distracted - I'll write for twenty minutes, and then read twitter/news/whatever for an hour, which is a v. bad ratio. Part of that is probably because there's still something that feels off about the story, and so I'm having trouble sinking into it and remaining focused...but eliminating some distractions seems like a good idea.

However, today was decent enough; I slept in after last night's late night, and then made breakfast and did some work at home before going over to Fillmore and trying a new coffee location. I had intended to go to Jane, but every table was taken and it seemed super hot in there, so I went half a block farther up and camped out at Peet's. Yes, it's a chain, but it had air conditioning and a perfect seat with a great view of the shenanigans on Fillmore, so I predict that I'll go there occasionally when my usual haunts are boring me.

After I wrote there (slash procrastinated there) for a couple of hours, I ran a couple of errands, came home, and generally was unproductive the rest of the day. But I read part of a new book, which I'm enjoying so far (A CURIOUS BEGINNING by Deanna Raybourn, whom I adore as one of my favorite writers of Victorian mysteries (or perhaps of anything at all) and as a hilarious person). And I said goodbye to thirty-three by writing some earth-shattering insights in my journal, none of which I shall share with you tonight, but all of which have to do with embracing my ambition and my storytelling talent rather than being afraid of it.

So, I'm looking forward to whatever thirty-four has to offer, and I'm ready for it to begin. And now I'm going to sleep so that I can wake up to my new age -- goodnight!

open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind

I'm once again losing track of what day it is, but it seems that today was a good one. My morning deviated from its usual course because I took care of vanity-related activities - I wanted to get a facial, and I needed to get my bangs trimmed and my eyebrows waxed, but since my aesthetician is about to get married and so will be out for 3.5wks, she's been v. difficult to schedule with. So I went to the salon at 8am for the facial...which was actually great, since I just rolled out of bed and went over.

So the facial was great, and then I went to Samovar in Yerba Buena, which is one of my favorite places ever. I didn't know that they open at nine, but now that I know, I might have to go there more often - it was really quiet at 9am, so I was able to write in my notebook for awhile, and the gf toast with poached eggs and bacon was delightful. So I hung out there for a couple of hours, enjoying the beginnings of today's heat while looking out over the gardens.

After that, I went back to the salon and worked for an hour in the Peet's under the salon before finishing my pampering by getting by brows and bangs done. Then I bought a bunch of groceries to stock up my fridge, since I'm not going anywhere for at least a month and should really cook more and go out less (at least for breakfast/lunch). And then I came home and took a nap directly in front of my fan in an attempt not to die of heat exhaustion (I know, 88 degrees isn't that hot, but in SF it's like the apocalypse). And then, sadly, I spent the rest of the afternoon doing business stuff since I needed to figure out earnings for tax payments, etc.

But the day took a dramatic upswing after that...I met [censored] at Lers Ros in Hayes Valley so that we could eat before [censored]. [censored]'s conference is going well, but [censored] snuck away so that we could go to Phantom of the Opera together. So we ate Thai food at Lers Ros, which was extremely delicious (although I was somewhat uncomfortably full after), and then we walked to the Orpheum. I don't think [censored] was impressed with the [censored] along Market Street, but we made it to the Orpheum without anyone getting [censored], so it was all good.

And it probably goes without saying that the musical was awesome. Of course, a really tall girl sat in front of me, so I spent the first half leaning precariously to one side...but, oddly, our entire row was empty, and so we switched seats for the second half (as did a bunch of other people). But it was really good to see Phantom again - I hadn't seen it since Des Moines in 2008ish (actually, February 16, 2007, when it was apparently -4 degrees in Des Moines, which is the opposite of today), which was a v. different experience. I liked the set design quite a bit, and the music was, as always, delightful.

When the show was over, [censored] and I shared a cab, and I dropped [censored] off at [censored] before coming home. And now I need to sleep - tomorrow *must* be productive, since I've got plans off and on most of this weekend...and if a crazy psychopath in an underground, water-filled dungeon can manage to be productive and write an entire fucking opera, I can surely write a book. Yes, I realize this is spurious logic and that the Phantom is entirely fictional, shut up. Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

see, our world is slowly dying, i'm not wasting no more time

I was v. hermity today, which made for some productivity, but does not make for a v. interesting blog post. I woke up at 4:30am to a stomachache, compounded by the heat, and so while I had intended to get out of bed at 6:15am to pursue a new productivity regimen, I instead turned my alarm off before I fell back asleep at six so that I could get a bit more rest. I know, you really wanted to know my sleep habits.

But I made it to the cafe by 8:30ish, and I worked there for three hours. Then I came home, ate a snack, took care of some household stuff, and then sped over to my favorite nail place down the street to get a manicure (hey, it's my birthday week...I need to have *some* fun and feel like a lady instead of a robot typist). After the manicure, it was so fucking hot (90+ degrees in SF, which is like a million degrees in a city where no one has air conditioning) that I mostly sat in front of the fan and drank water and thought suicidal thoughts, but it was too hot to act against myself, so I survived.

Eventually, though, I left the apartment, walked down to the Marina, and wrote for a couple of hours (by hand) while drinking wine and eating steak at Aix. This wasn't the plan I'd originally intended to pursue tonight (dinner with a guy who used to report to me, which has been pushed back more than once at this point), but it was probably better for my productivity even if it was worse for my hermitville. And then I walked back, sans sweatshirt, which is a sign of how hot it is here that I was able to walk back at 8:30pm in short sleeves without getting cold at all.

And now, after that incredibly interesting and thought-provoking blog post, I'm going to read or color or something and then go to bed. Goodnight!

Monday, September 07, 2015

see our love turn to rust

I didn't do nearly enough laboring on Labor Day, which is pretty much all you need to know. However, I feel that I should record the rest of the day's events for posterity. I woke up, lazed about in bed like a total wench, and finally showered and ate a snack while mulling over the next scene in my, really, that's like every morning.

Eventually, though, I had to leave the apartment and venture into the million-degree heat to meet up with Katrina, Chandlord and Priyanka. We had a v. ladylike excursion to Crown and Crumpet, which is a tea place in Japantown, conveniently located only five blocks or so from my apartment. Despite its proximity and the fact that it's everything I adore, I had never been there before, so I'm glad that Katrina organized the activity for us.

The place was super cute and v. much an attempt at being British (although I'm not sure the Brits use quite so much pink), which is a bit odd given that everything else around it/above it/below it is v. Japanese. But they had the traditional multi-tiered tea services and the individual pots of tea for each person, which I always love. Even better, they have a v. good gluten-free tea service, with gf bread for the sandwiches, gf scones, and other gluten free delicacies. So Katrina and I each had the gluten free service, and Vidya and Priyanka each got veg stuff, and we succeeded in meeting all of our dietary restrictions with minimal eyerolling from the waitstaff.

But despite the heat being a little too much for tea, we had a great time - it was a nice place to catch up, which was key since I hadn't seen Katrina in ages, and the food was v. filling. So we hung out there for a couple of hours, and it was a nice way to end the long weekend (not that things like 'weekends' matter all that much to me anymore).

After tea, I came home and took a nap and lazed about directly in front of the fan, since it was all I had energy for. I also called my parents; I usually call on Sundays, but [censored] had stopped that from happening yesterday, and I didn't really have much to discuss since I just saw them on Wednesday. Still, it was good to talk to them despite the lack of any substantive updates. I perhaps should have gone out tonight, but instead I indulged my inner hermit (not that my inner hermit is all that secretive about her existence, since everyone knows of my hermit side), ate whatever I could scrounge up in my fridge, drank iced coffee to keep myself going, and alternated between writing / journalling / coloring (yes, coloring, more on that another time perhaps) / procrastinating / bemoaning the heat.

So that was a nice, quiet evening, and I'm feeling good about the week ahead (if I can buckle down on Rafe and Octavia, which I think I can). The only thing I'm not feeling good about is the vaguely scratchy feeling in my throat and the vague press of a headache behind my eyeballs, which I hope stays vague/nonexistent and doesn't turn into a summer cold to remind me that I'm turning 34 and will soon be old and decrepit. So I'm going to sleep and hope the stave off whatever might be brewing...goodnight!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

this magic, this drunken semaphore

I am quite happy to be sitting on my couch rather than in a moving vehicle, especially since it feels like I'm still moving even though I got home half an hour ago. But today was lovely despite the incessant driving. I didn't get up all that early this morning, but I got up early enough to do some work and drink some iced coffee before pursuing my plans for the day.

And those plans involved picking up [censored] at the airport, who is in town for [censored]. [censored] got in around 9:45am, so we had brunch at Peter's Cafe, which is a fond memory from the days of my youth, when it used to be open all night so that those of us who played 'shrimp or feet' at the Hong Kong Flower Lounge across the street could fortify ourselves there in the wee hours before meeting our 'shrimp or feet' fate. It's no longer open all night, but the food was still tasty, so [censored] and I caught up over some good downhome cooking before continuing our peregrinations.

The plan for today was to go to the Monterey Aquarium. We accomplished this, but it was not without its downsides. The main downside was that it took nearly four hours to get there, which was significantly longer than the hour and forty-five minutes originally promised to us by Waze (if I'd know it would take four hours, I might have suggested doing something else, like dousing ourselves in kerosene and immolating ourselves in the nearest fire). And once we were there, we discovered that the aquarium was full of screaming children, which is all the birth control I need for awhile. However, the aquarium is still awesome even after driving that far, and even with the kids, so we spent a delightful couple of hours exploring it.

After that, we had an early dinner on Cannery Row, at a place where we could overlook the water (although I gave [censored] the better view). Then we drove back to the evil city, and traffic was actually really smooth, but it still took 2.5hrs to get back. This wasn't terrible, and it gave time for me and [censored] to catch up and talk all about [censored], which was vastly [censored].

But eventually, I dropped [censored] off at [censored], and then came home, where I intend to sleep the sleep of the dead. Goodnight!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

grab somebody sexy, tell 'em hey

In my self-employed state, I have once again lost track of what day it is...but whatever day today was, it was mostly good. I woke up early, played around with my meditation app, ate breakfast, sat down to write, and was then somewhat distracted by the Stanford/Northwestern game (on twitter, not my tv, because I don't care that much), which Stanford seems to have lost in truly appalling fashion. I guess we'll just have to fall back on the fact that we're an academic powerhouse and let our dreams of gridiron glory fade away...or fire the coach, which seems like a better solution.

sssanyway, I stopped following twitter sometime in the fourth quarter and went out to buy colored pencils, which was of course super necessary. Then I went to my favorite cafe, downed and iced coffee, and worked/procrastinated for three hours. The ideas are starting to feel like they're maybe, kind of, perhaps coalescing, and I need to put more time into it, more rigorously, and more joyously, to get to where I want to be. But for today, it was all good.

Then I came home, showered, and messed around on the internet and ate snacks and generally sucked at productivity. But I went to Fillmore and wrote in my journal for a little bit, so hopefully I'm on track again for tomorrow.

And then, I had my one fun plan of the day - Priyanka and I had a girls' night out, since Adit is at a wedding on the east coast. When we had arranged this earlier, we had tentatively agreed to go to Roam (a relatively lowkey, still tasty burger place, with spots in my old neighborhood + on Fillmore), but then Priyanka baited and switched me, and we ended up at SPQR, which is pretty much the opposite of Roam. They were, oddly, able to seat us immediately at the bar, which felt super serendipitous. Also serendipitous was that even though the pastas aren't gluten free, they had a special risotto on the menu tonight that was, and was also covered in freshly shaved truffles, which were (obvi) extremely delicious.

So Priyanka and I enjoyed the simple, wildly expensive (see: freshly shaved truffles on both our dishes) food, along with each other's company, while only being moderately obnoxious to each other (since I had wine that she couldn't have, while she ate bread that I couldn't have). We also discussed our secret (not-so-secret) obsessions with fashion and the British royal family, which we can't indulge in quite so dramatically when we're having dinner with the rest of the family. And now I'm wondering how to label this post, since it's technically not #familytime without Adit....but since he put a baby in her (I love saying that, it sounds so graphic and terrible), maybe I'll make an exception tonight.

And now that I've walked home and am full and happy and content, I think I shall sleep so I can write early tomorrow before my plans kick into high gear...goodnight!

if you live like that, you live with ghosts

I did not approach the page quite as joyfully as I had hoped today, but at least I approached it. I woke up this morning, laid in bed for awhile, and then tried a meditation app that I downloaded yesterday (Headspace) - I'm messing around with different approaches to getting into the right frame of mind for writing, and I'm curious to see whether meditation will help. It certainly can't hurt, and the app was actually quite nice, so I'm going to keep going with the initial ten-day program and see what else it has in store.

After that, I showered, put away some clothes, made some iced coffee, and sat down to write, but I mostly stared at the screen and then wrote a couple of emails (so if the meditation didn't hurt this morning, it didn't exactly work as intended). But then I walked down to my old neighborhood to see my aesthetician, and then I had lunch at my favorite cafe, where Tony and I had a delightful conversation and agreed that we get along so well because we are terrible people. I also went to the Japanese stationery store next door and bought my birthday present from my parents - a gorgeous pen with a semi-translucent red/strawberry-colored barrel, which I totally adore. Not that they probably intended for me to buy a pen...and not that I intended to buy a pen...but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Then I walked home, took a nap, and spent the afternoon contemplating Rafe and Octavia. I only got a couple of pages, but then I sat down with my notebook and my new pen and came up with some halfway-decent ideas for the next few chapters, so I'll take it. Thank you, new pen!

Eventually, though, I pursued my one social plan of the day - I met up with Heather (aka dear respected madam) and Salim at Regent Thai. Salim was v. offended at the kissy faces I made at him, but he mostly took everything in stride. And it was great to see them, of course - it's so hard to believe that we were in India together ten years ago this summer, and how much our friendship has grown and evolved since then.

We didn't catch up on all things ever, of course, since we only had a couple of hours, but it was super nice to hang out. I came home around ten, nearly fell asleep on the couch, and now need to go to bed for realz so that I can write tomorrow (you've heard that before) - goodnight!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

throw your soul through every open door

I was super hermity today, and not as productive as I would have liked, but it wasn't all bad. I went to my favorite cafe this morning, where they were very happy to see me, and I did a few hours of work there (not enough words on the page, but a lot of figuring out the timeline for the next few scenes and making sure it matches what I committed to in the last book - note to self, never write overlapping books again). Then I grabbed lunch at MyMy, since I had no food in the house.

I took a nap after that, since clearly my exertions had worn me out. And then I spent some more time writing this afternoon - again, not enough words on the page, and way too much procrastination, but whatever. Eventually, knowing I wasn't getting anything done, I put on workout clothes and went for a run/walk - more walking than running since my knee started hurting, which was probably because I spent the last week in a state of total physical sloth, but I went two miles and stopped for groceries at the end, so I'll take it as a warmup for getting back into my city life.

After I got home, I ate some fruit, contemplated Rafe and Octavia some more, made dinner, and then wrote in my journal. And now that I've hermitted myself out for the day, I'm going to go to bed and attempt to put all these thoughts about the manuscript to good use with lots of productivity tomorrow (followed by social plans in the evening so that my hermitville doesn't get too serious). Goodnight!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

ghost town and haunted love

I have returned to San Francisco, where productivity commences immediately upon awakening tomorrow (okay, maybe I'll put on some pants first). Today's travel was as uneventful as it possibly could have been. My parents took me to Des Moines, and we got there in time to have lunch before they dropped me off at the airport and we said our sad farewells. I'm going home at Christmas and possibly at Thanksgiving, so it won't be as long in between trips as this last spell was...but I am reminded, again, that I seem to spend more weeks there when the weather sucks than I do when it's gorgeous (as it was this week).

Anyway, I was through security in less than three minutes, and I grabbed an iced coffee to enjoy while sitting around. Then I flew to Denver, napping most of the way, and landed early. That gave me time to make my leisurely way to my San Francisco gate, and that flight arrived early as well. Then, since I was starving and had no food at home, I grabbed a quick dinner at Andale before taking a cab into the city of sin.

I forced myself to unpack and do laundry tonight, which is v. unusual - but as I mentioned above, I'm in it to win it on the productivity front, and getting the laundry out of the way means I have no excuses tomorrow. Not that today was a lost cause; I wrote five pages on the flight from Denver to SF, which was pretty good.

And now, after a thoroughly boring blog post, I must sleep so that I can entertain you more easily tomorrow - goodnight!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

or he'll say he's just not the same

It's my last night in Iowa - for this trip, at least. All told, I had a lovely visit; it's too bad the weather isn't always this perfect when I come home, and that I tend to spend more time here when it's cold and miserable outside than I do when it's 80+ degrees and sunny. But it has been good to see the parents, and I managed to get some writing done, so all in all I think it was a success.

Today was somewhat slothful; I slept later than planned, but I got up in time to have breakfast with my parents. Then I took care of some emails, showered, messed around online for a bit, and then went for a drive with my mom. We went down to the round barn to check it out, and she showed me the progress they've made on restoring the old Victorian house they've got on the property, which is looking quite beautiful inside. Then we drove out to the lake - it's been decades since Katie and I used to spend lazy summer afternoons rowing around out there, but it's still gorgeous.

After that, we came home and I spent a couple of hours writing on the patio - I got four pages, which was less than I wanted but definitely worth doing. Then my dad came out and grilled our supper, which we ate inside to avoid the mosquitoes. And then I did some packing, watched some fine CBS programming, and messed around online some more.

And now you know it all - and I need to go to bed so I can get up and go back to California tomorrow. Goodnight!