Thursday, September 29, 2016

you know i could stay here all night

All in all, it was a quiet day in Iowa, but I'm still waaaay ready for bed. I spent the morning procrastinating, although I ate some tasty potatoes and bacon and eggs while talking to my mom. Eventually, I posted up outside to get some sun while I wrote - it was a lovely day, but too cold to work on my usual spot on the back porch since it's shaded and the wind was blowing straight onto it. So I dragged two lawn chairs out to the front lawn and sat there instead, and was quite comfy with my feet up and my tea mug to keep me and my laptop company.

But I took a break when my mom took a break from gardening, and then I mostly didn't work the rest of the afternoon. We had a fine supper of the last sweet corn of the season (my parents literally bought the last twenty ears from the main sweet corn supplier in central Iowa - the supplier has roadside stands throughout the area, but by this point in the season they were only selling from their main location in Grimes, and my parents went there before picking me up from the airport. And the woman who sold them their corn said it was the very last ears of the year, and they closed up shop when my parents were done transacting the business), along with cheeseburgers, and it was all delightful.

Then I watched some fine CBS programming, and then I relocated to the kitchen, where I drank tea and sat at the bar and wrote for another couple of hours. And now I'm going to sleep - I'm pretty sure I'm coming down with a cold, which is v. unwelcome, and I'm hoping some sleep will stave it off. Goodnight!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

hey little sister who's your superman

I want to go to bed so that I can get some work done in the morning, but I suppose I'll recap today first. I had a pretty standard day in #smalltown life - I woke up at 9:30, went upstairs, and conned my dad into making me breakfast (okay, he offered and I tried to politely decline, then hungrily accepted). My bacon and eggs fueled me for the day ahead, and we talked a little and I tried not to feel guilty about having kept him up until midnight last night (#sorrynotsorry, although he should get more sleep). I also had a brief convo with Katie, who took the opportunity to call the house phone like she always did when we were teenagers - and it was a delight to talk to her, even though I probably depressed the hell out of her by talking about the recent passing of the local librarian (whom my parents were friends with, and who shared a birthday with me, and whose daughter's first wedding I was a flower girl/junior bridesmaid in), among other local gossip.

Then, I did a bit of work, but I didn't get nearly enough done before my sister and Allie showed up for a visit. It was good to see them, even though the timing was slightly non-ideal given other plans in the day. But I preached the gluten-free gospel to them, and talked about the Vegas trip they're planning next year, so that was all good.

When they left, I ate a snack, and then I took my mom into town for the first half of a meeting that I was going to join her at later. Then I came home, showered, ate another snack, and went back into town to pick up my grandmother from her assisted living facility. My dad ended up following me in to make sure that she got into the car okay (it's tricky loading her and her walker into my old Sunfire, but even trickier to throw her up into my dad's truck, so the Sunfire is the only option).

Our destination was a meeting of the philanthropic group that the ladies in my family are part of (my mom, grandma, and Aunt Becky are in it, although Becky doesn't go to meetings because she lives in DSM). My mom had gone early for some business stuff, but we joined with the rest of the group for an early supper, followed by the meeting. Gram is very noticeably struggling to remember things and track what's going on around her, which is sad and depressing - but she remembered the things the group recites (I had to refer to my book, since I go to a meeting every two years), so at least there's that.

But despite the challenge of keeping Gram steady (and not loudly asking about who had died), it was really good to go to the meeting - I saw a bunch of ladies whom I really like, and having supper beforehand and some visiting time after gave me more of a chance to catch up than usual. This group has some substantial overlap with my mom's garden club, but there were some women there whom I hadn't seen in ages, so it was good to talk to them (even if health issues are coming to the forefront, including someone whose operation for cancer a few months ago accidentally took out part of her pancreas instead of the tumor, which seems like a really big fucking deal). And it was at the Methodist church, where I have many memories (we didn't go to the Methodist church, but it has some of the biggest meeting areas in the town, so I had 4-H stuff there, and Girl Scouts, and my brother's pinewood derby races, and preschool, and my sister's first wedding, and Gram Holder's birthday party, and Katie's wedding, and too many funerals). So there were ghosts and memories swirling through the background, but for the most part, it was happy.

sssanyway. Then we came home, and I messed around and procrastinated when I should have worked, and now I'm going to bed. Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

i wanna dance by water beneath the mexican sky

I am in ye olde Iowa, after an entirely uneventful trip that yielded some decent writing despite my desire to sleep the whole way. I woke up this morning and was not feeling the whole getting-up thing, and so I was later than usual getting to the airport - I left fifteen minutes later than planned, and traffic was worse than usual, so while I wasn't in any risk of missing my flight, I only had time to grab a coffee and a snack to take on board rather than having the leisurely full breakfast that I prefer to have before flying.

But I was upgraded on my SFO->DEN leg, and I took full advantage of the extra space by working for most of the flight. When I got to Denver, I grabbed a v. subpar lunch at the worst of the Mexican restaurants in the B Concourse (I didn't go to the beloved Cantina Grill or the even more beloved 5280 Lounge wine bar because they're both upstairs in the center of the concourse, and my arrival/departure gates weren't right there), and grabbed another coffee before boarding for DSM.

Sadly, I was not upgraded to DSM, and in fact felt extremely downgraded - the guy sitting next to me had rather extreme body odor, and there were flies in the plane (possibly attracted to the smell of death emanating from the guy next to me), and it was a small enough plane that all roll-aboards had to be gate checked, and I needed to pee for most of the flight (see: lots of coffee + all the water and juice I drank on the first flight) and couldn't because the drink cart was blocking the aisle to the only bathroom on the plane. However, I still managed to do another thirty minutes of work, so I'll totally take it.

When I got to Des Moines, my parents were waiting at the airport, and we went straight to Johnny's (our favorite pre- and post-airport restaurant), where we were served by my parents' favorite waiter, and a steak and a baked potato went a long way toward overcoming the horror of Stinky Man. We eventually drove home, and when we got here I contemplated working all evening - but instead I sat in the kitchen and talked to my dad for four hours, covering a variety of topics (earthquakes, supervolcanoes, politics, water wells, decapitations, suicides, environmental illnesses, iced coffee, and the history of our school district, to name a few).

But by 11:30 it was time to sleep even though I could have kept talking, so I came downstairs, unpacked my suitcase, washed my face, and am now ready to sleep. I want to write a lot tomorrow, but we'll see what happens when that desire meets my desire to sit on the back porch (luckily, both those things can happen simultaneously!). Goodnight!

Monday, September 26, 2016

there's gonna be an accident

Welp, today was something. I spent most of it trying to work and also trying to get ready for Iowa. That means I woke up, showered, checked in for my flight, and then walked down to Philz, where I worked for 3+ hours. It was a two-coffee kind of day, which was probably overkill, but I wasn't ready to leave when I was done with my first coffee, so I grabbed a second and kept going. I think Lucy's book is going to be good, which probably means it's going to be horrible...but those are doubts for another day.

Then I came home, took care of some stuff, took a nap, and ate a late lunch. Then I ran a couple of errands, came home again, and packed - packing for Iowa is pretty easy, since no one particularly cares what I wear there (my stylish stuff elicits jhokes and my non-stylish stuff is easily washed and reworn while I'm there, so it's easy to go for ten days in a carry-on). Still, I needed to make sure I had enough clothing, but more importantly enough pens/washi tape/notebooks/books/electronic gadgets/etc.

By the time I was done with that, it was time to watch the debate. One of my errands had included, as an incidental side benefit, buying a half-bottle of sauvignon blanc since I figured I'd want a drink during the debate but also knew I couldn't drink a full bottle of wine, and it turns out that this was probably a good decision (although I really only wanted a glass, and then really only out of principle).

I watched the debate by myself because a) I wanted to be able to hear all of it, without loud commentary from people at a bar (I was invited to a bar, but didn't feel like it was the scene I wanted), so that b) I could form my own conclusions. I also watched it without checking twitter or facebook or other media sources at all - again, I wanted my conclusions to be my own. And I don't typically talk politics here because it makes no one I know happy, since my views tend to be straight down a middle that seems to be slipping away more and more every day.

[editor's note: I then went on to write a 1200 word rant about the debate, and to publish it - but then I thought better of it and redacted it all, since it would have made no one on any side happy. And, more importantly, I think the issues facing our country require discussion and debate and thoughtful consideration of a multitude of viewpoints, not carefully-distilled blog posts thrown into the ether. If you would like to be made unhappy - and, better, if you would like to have a bona fide discussion about the debate rather than talking about memes and soundbites and preexisting personal biases - let me know and I'll send it to you offline!]

So you're all going to vote for whoever you're going to vote for. And I'm going to drink a lot of wine and go to bed, and then watch political ads for the next two weeks until I need to switch out the wine for bourbon instead. But at least I wrote this for me, since writing always helps me to clarify my own heart. And you can all unfriend me at your leisure. Goodnight!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

i traveled the world and the seven seas

Today was a slow, lazy Sunday, with an adrenaline spike in the middle of the afternoon that left me drained for the rest of it. Thanks to last night's adventure with bourbon and nostalgia ('bourbon and nostalgia' is usually the best way to describe these occasional nights with Adit and Vidya), I stayed in bed until noon, which was not my original plan for the day, but c'est la vie.

Eventually, I dragged myself out of bed, took a shower, made some iced coffee, and settled in with my laptop to get some work done. But I got an email from a reader, which I almost didn't read right away because I assumed it was a standard fan note (either praise or disdain). Luckily, I opened it - and discovered that when I did all that work last week to reformat all of my existing books, redo all the links, etc., etc., I had a made a single, rather serious mistake. Somehow, when I replaced the second book on iBooks, I accidentally uploaded the interior file for the fourth book instead. That means that whoever bought the second book on iBooks this weekend opened it up and got Prudence's story instead of Amelia's.

Boooooo. Needless to say, I was pretty appalled. These things happen; I've heard of author friends with traditional Big 5 publishers whose releases were totally screwed up because the wrong file was uploaded, or was missing chapters, or was formatted so badly as to be unreadable. But I don't like making mistakes.

Luckily, it appears this was the only mistake I made. Also, <50 affected="" afternoon="" an="" and="" annoyed.="" but="" can="" contacting="" directly="" file="" get="" got="" have="" hours="" i="" it="" no="" now.="" of="" p="" people="" processed="" really="" right="" so="" still="" the="" them="" think="" this="" three="" updated="" uploaded="" was="" way="" were="" whoever="" within="" wrong="">
So that took a lot of time that I'd intended to spend writing. Then I put on sunscreen, sat on my terrace (it was a gorgeous day today and I wanted to soak up some sun), and called my parents. I'll be seeing them on Tuesday (!), but we had our usual catch-up anyway. Then I came inside, cooked some bacon and chicken and boiled a couple of eggs, and made a cobb salad for tonight + enough for another one tomorrow.

The rest of the night was fairly slothful, although I wrote a bunch of emails and took care of some other tasks. And now I need to sleep so I can get through my massive to-do list before leaving for Iowa - goodnight!

i've done did a lot of shit just to live this here lifestyle

Tonight was one of those nights where I went out but kinda secretly hoped to be back by ten p.m.....and instead it's a quarter til four, and Adit and Vidya and a lot of small decisions yielded a big night out. Granted, I actually got home at 2:45ish, but that's a far cry from spending the evening looking at pics of the royal tour in Canada and possibly reading something....

But it was all worth it. I spent the day working (or pretending to work, more like it), but eventually I showered and made myself pretty for an early dinner with Chandlord, Adit, and Minnie and Ambar (Minnie was a college friend; Ambar was Priyanka's friend in business school; Priyanka introduced them and they got married a month ago). We went to Dos Pistos over in North Beach - I never go to North Beach and have never been to Dos Pistos, but I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty my carnitas tacos were. At that point, I was still feeling like calling it a night early....

But then we went to the main plan for the night, which was a comedy show at Cobb's Comedy Club. The main act was Hari Kondabalu, who was extremely funny; the previous acts were all great as well, although I particularly enjoyed the guy who pretended to be his Cuban immigrant father talking about how his son (the comedian) is a total fuck-up, and who also 'translated' the song 'La Bamba' into English. But Hari Kondabalu was worth seeing - I thought his act was quite strong, and it was fun to see comedy live since it's been quite awhile since I've done that.

There was a two drink minimum at the comedy club, so Adit and I both drank boulevardiers, and Chandlord had irish coffee to keep herself going. This ended up amping us up, so the five of us walked back into the heart of North Beach to grab another drink. The cocktails at this place were tasty, and I enjoyed my bourbon continuation there. But then as I was going to order another round, I somehow inadvertently made friends with someone behind the bar, who completely unexpectedly comped me a shot of vodka (#protip: make friends with the bartender). Then, Chandlord stopped me from ordering another round because they'd decided to go I thanked the bar dude and went off on my merry way (with more vodka in my belly than I had intended to have tonight).

Adit, Chandlord and I split off from Ambar (who at this point had sent Minnie home and found his friend Sriram instead) and took a lyft to Geary Club, since at this point the night had descended to full-blown nostalgia. Geary Club used to be a dive, and it still technically is (they were playing SNL on the tv and the bartender is a good thirty-forty years older than us, and we got three drinks for $14, which is noteworthy), but it feels more brightly lit and way less divey now that you can't smoke inside.

Eventually, Ambar and Sriram reconnected with us, and we went down the street and smoked hookah (extremely unusual for me, but I liked it, even after someone accidentally knocked one over and nearly set my dress on fire) Then, we went to Grubstake and had cheesy potatoes, because that's what we have to do.

And now, I need to sleep - the sun is going to rise all too soon, and I'll have to start paying the wages of my sins while also getting something done. Goodnight!

Friday, September 23, 2016

i just want to see some palm trees, i will try and shake away this disease

Today was great, but my wrist is aching and I don't want to waste my precious typing capacity on zee blog. So, I shall give a v. brief recap - I woke up too late to get anything serious done, but early enough to shower and make a frittata, so I had a delicious breakfast this morning + leftovers for all the breakfasts between now and Iowa.

Then, I went to the de Young museum, where I had a glorious writing date with Veronica. I've known her for awhile, and she is also friends with Kathia (in fact, she was the other person who helped move Kathia's stuff last year, which bonded us irrevocably) - but she's also friends with Barbara and Anne and that whole crew, so our paths have been crossing more and more. She lives in the city, and now that her kids are back in school and she's better able to have writing dates, we're trying to get together more.

Today's date was pretty much perfect - we met in the cafe at the de Young, which is spacious and well-lit and not too crowded on a weekday. We chatted for a little bit, and then wrote, and I got five pages, which I was happy(ish) with. Then we took a break and saw the special exhibit on Ed Ruscha - it was the perfect interlude in the midst of writing, since seeing other art can be quite inspirational. I thought it was interesting that he keeps returning to the same themes throughout his career (to the point that pieces that were made thirty years apart sometimes looked like they belonged in the same show) - but some of his pieces are decayed/dying riffs on things he may have done in the 60s, which is rather fascinating in terms of how artists grow/progress/deal with the changing world and their own mortality.

Then, we went back to the cafe, had a late lunch (my salmon salad was delicious), and wrote a tiny bit more before parting ways. I think we're going to do the same date again when I'm back from Iowa - I have a membership to the de Young, which means I can go in free whenever I want and also take a guest in with me. So, while the cafe is open to the public (and there's free four-hour parking on nearby streets, which is a big bonus), it's so nice to stroll through a gallery when we feel like taking a break.

sssanyway. After I left, it was so gorgeous that I took an impromptu drive out to the ocean, where I watched the waves and the passersby for a little bit. Then I came home and spent the evening doing business stuff and daydreaming - I had a BookBub ad today, which seems to have done quite well, so I was tracking sales and messing around with spreadsheets and doing other things that look like productivity but are actually procrastination.

And now that I've typed just as much as usual and way more than I should have, it's time for bed - goodnight!

six inch heels

I need to stop looking at the computer - it's been a v. long, v. slog-filled day. Okay, so like three hours of that computer time involved drinking rosé and having an intense catch-up with Ritu. And I didn't really get started until 10:30. But the rest of it was mostly work, with a brief break to do some more laundry (verdict: bleach wasn't enough to un-dye my white towels after their unfortunate encounter with a pink washcloth) and to walk down to Philz for an iced coffee (which was more of an excuse to get out of the house than anything, since I have perfectly good iced coffee here).

But I'm happy with what I got done today, although it would require many more slogs like this to begin to feel caught up. And I'm happy that I spent so long talking to Ritu - it's nice to know that we can still be friends and still find stuff to talk about even now that her wedding is over!

However, that's all you're getting from me - I'm tired and it's time to take care of my eyes by letting them dream instead of making them stare at pixels. Goodnight!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

and catch you when the current lets you go

I'm falling asleep at the keys, which never bodes well for the blogging - but today was a long, fairly productive day, with some fun and some tragedy mixed in for good measure. I woke up earlyish and intended to go to Philz, but instead I got sidetracked and decided to work from home with eggs and coffee (not a bad decision, all in all). I spent the morning alternating between writing and daydreaming about trips for next year (note to self: daydreaming about trips is not the same as writing).

As I was packing up my bags to head out for the afternoon, I got a call from my mother - and I have to say that when I saw her name pop up on my screen, I assumed someone was dead (because a) my mother never uses her cellphone and rarely has it on, and b) because if my parents call sometime other than Sunday, it's usually because something terrible or wonderful has happened, but it's rarely just to say hi). Sadly, my assumption was accurate - her best friend from when I was a child passed away last night. I hadn't seen the woman or her family much in the last couple of decades because the woman had moved away while I was still in school, but I have fond memories of her (and of the Fisher Price castle they had in their house, and of all the gloriously smutty romances she stocked when she was the town librarian, most of which died in the purge after she left and the Baptist minister's wife took over).

So that was sad, even though it was somewhat expected in the next few months given her cancer situation and prognosis. But it's probably not as sad as the fact that one of my former residents from Loro has a brain tumor with a very iffy prognosis. But this is probably not a good time to get into a comparison of who has had it we'll move on.

When I got to San Bruno, I ate the Speciality's salad that I picked up on the way, and I talked to Barbara and Veronica for almost an hour. This was an hour too long for my general productivity, but it was probably better for my writing - the writing went better than usual, so I'll take it. When we parted ways, I drove to San Carlos, holed up in a Peets for another hour, and tried to get some stuff done.

But eventually it was time for the social event of the evening (possibly century) - I had a drink with Shedletsky at Cask, followed by dinner (steak three ways!) with he and his wife, and it was all lovely. But I'm legit falling sleep while I'm trying to type this and have to keep deleting the nonsensical one, and I would rather go to bed than do that. Goodnight - maybe you'll learn more about the Shedletskys in the morning!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

i've got a line on the new frontier

Today was one of those gloriously empty days in which I could have theoretically done everything, and instead I did virtually nothing. But I did reset my planner, and contemplate Lucy, and do three loads of laundry, and go grocery shopping, and make this insanely delicious slow cooker broccoli beef (paleo approved!), so I guess it wasn't a bad day, all things considered.

But I need to hit it harder tomorrow, and I have social plans, so I think I'll go to bed early so that I can reset in the morning. Goodnight!

drink my worries down the drain and fly away to somewhere new

I'm feeling under the gun, and so I definitely didn't get enough done today for my tastes. Saturday night's adventure required a lot of sleep to help me make up for it, and I didn't get enough, but I made a valiant effort. I spent the morning doing monkey work - I'm hitting up against the wall for when I can reasonably expect some changes to go through to books currently for sale before a promo that I'm running this weekend, and so I spent the morning dealing with some of (but not enough of) that.

Then I showered, ate some leftover steak, and dashed down to San Bruno for a writing date. I probably should have stayed home and worked, but the idea of seeing Barbara and Veronica lured me in to leaving the house. I wrote five or six pages there, which is less than I need but pretty good for me, and the catch-up time was good. Then I came home, worked, and inadvertently took a nap, because that's apparently what I needed.

And then I slipped on a dress and some heels and walked over to Octavia, where I had a fancy dinner with Jen. She's leaving her job in the city and going back to our former employer in October - she had left our employer nearly ten years ago, and after a stint in business school and several other employers, she's finally getting lured back in. So we celebrated by going to Octavia, which I adore. The food was delightful, as always; some of the things weren't quite as much of a standout as I remember from other trips (mostly I am saying this because we ordered the kale salad and it was way too kale-y for my tastes, which is my fault and not Octavia's). But the deviled egg was good, as always, and the burrata was excellent, and the fried green tomatoes were outstanding (I should be avoiding tomatoes, but tomorrow is soon enough to get back on the #whole30ish train). We also split the strawberry soda ice cream float at the end, which was really winning. And I had three glasses of wine (Forlorn Hope's 'Que Saudade', which is a Verdehlo (white), and was tasty and smooth enough that three glasses seemed like the right call even though Jen was drinking hot water with honey for a sore throat).

So that was all lovely. But then I came home and worked until now. And now I need to sleep so I can work more diligently tomorrow - goodnight!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

what the hell is on joey's head?

I'm taking the highly unusual step of going to bed before ten p.m. - last night was super fun, but I got five hours of sleep (on Joann's couch, while my liver was still working through the champagne bubbles (and by bubbles I mean toxins)), and so my body was not in it to win it today. I woke up at 7:30, and I threw on some clothes and packed my stuff and was out of Joann's by eight (I left when Jen did, or else I might have lazed about there for awhile). I drove home without incident, and when I got here I was tempted to sleep all morning...but instead I exchanged texts with Katrina and made a meet-up plan, which rescued me from my sloth.

So, I showered and ate and went to Cafe du Soleil, where we spent several glorious hours being denizens of the cafe scene. Cafe du Soleil is a couple of blocks from where Adit and I used to live many years ago, and is also a couple of blocks from where John and Jess used to live, so it has been part of my life off and on for the last decade - and it should probably be a bigger part of my life, since it's a delightful place to work. Katrina and I mostly caught up for the first hour or two - I'd seen her at my birthday party, obviously, and also at my Olympics party, but it had been months, I believe, since we'd had a proper one-on-one discussion.

Eventually, we shifted into work mode, and we each got some stuff done - I was too fatigued to write, but I did some admin work that I desperately need to finish, so that was great. Also, I saw Josh, who used to be the head of RA training at Stanford for many years - he had been sitting outside, and I had wondered if that was him I had spied through the window (but hadn't done anything about it), and then he came in and said hi. He seems to be doing well and is now a CPA (which I knew from Facebook), which is so far from the days of yesteryear that it seems hard to believe....

But I'm too tired to succumb to nostalgia, so I'll move on. Katrina and I worked/talk/ate until 2:45 or so (note to self: the nicoise salad she got looked so delicious), and then I came home and had a hangout with Terry (remember her?). Then, I called my parents - they were about to eat dinner, so I talked to them for awhile, then let them take a break, during which time I tried to take a nap. Then, as I was finishing the second part of my call with them, I fielded some texts with Adit - he had blown me off for dinner tonight, which we'd arranged last week when he had missed my birthday, and so I was happily planning to eat leftover steak and do work all night. But he was suddenly free and seeking sunshine funtime.

So, I suggested Sessions at the Presidio, mostly because they have a big patio and ample parking. There was no direct sun because it was 6:30pm by the time we got there and the building shaded the patio, but it was still nice outside all evening - and the food was quite delicious. It's not great for the gluten frees because many of the things have beer or malt in them (they have an extensive beer list to drink), but it was surprisingly good for the vegetarians - everything they got looked incredible. Vidya ended up coming as well - we also nearly ended up with Jesse and Maya (Vidya was supposed to hang out with them and was trying to manage the schedule), but they managed to pull a double snafu in which I got annoyed that they were coming and then got equally annoyed that they weren't coming, so that was special!

The three of us had our usual ridiculous conversation, and we drank the cheapest but finest wine, and it was mostly delightful. Then they dropped me off at home (we reflected on Nickelback on the way), and I nearly fell asleep on the couch, and now I'm going to go to bed and sleep nine hours and hopefully get up in time to work for ten hours tomorrow - I need it. Goodnight!

sucker love is heaven sent

im blogging from my phone in an undisclosed location (and by that I mean my friend Joann's couch in milpitas), so I'm gonna make this brief. Today was great - I got up, cleaned up, got my bangs trimmed so I could see again, and then drove to palo alto so I could enjoy wearing a dress and getting some sun/warmth. I had a salad at my fave salad place on university, and then I went to Philz and spent three hours writing on the patio, which was excellent.

Then I met up with heather (aka dear respected madam) for tea and sympathy. We spent 2.5hrs catching up, and I also talked through the plot of Lucy's book with her, which was supremely helpful. Then I came to joann's for girls' night - she and Jen and I spent the last seven hours gossiping, drinking three bottles of rose/sparkling wine, watching tv (we went deep on Catfish, which reminded us how bad people are), using fancy Asian face masks that make you look like a cat while doing a deep infusion of collagen/moisture, playing cards against humanity and also playing some babysitters club trivia (those things don't belong at the same party), etc., etc.

So that was all super fun and I'm not ready for it to end, but I need to sleep so badly - and I need to get up and go home and do a ton of work tomorrow, so sleep is imperative. Goodnight!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

hello from the other side

I had a delightful day, full of friends and sunshine and quite a bit of writerly brainstorming. I woke up fully intending to go to a coffeeshop, but instead realized that I felt like working from home (with some cold brew coffee that Katrina had given me to fuel my creativity) - so I spent a couple of hours writing at my kitchen table, which all went pretty well. But I came out of my creativity haze at 11:10 and realized that I was going to be late for my 11:30 coffee I scrambled to throw my stuff in my purse and rush out the door.....

...and I met my friend Amber at Grace Cathedral, which made for a gorgeous hour of social time. She's an Episcopal priest who is also a romance novelist, and she was in the city for a church meeting (she lives south of the city), but she gave me a heads up yesterday that she would be around, so we met at the cathedral to catch up. I now wish that I had discovered the cathedral ages ago - for one, if I were to go to a church, it would be Episcopal. For another, the cathedral is gorgeous. For a third, it's next to a park at the top of Nob Hill, which means the surroundings are gorgeous as well. And for a fourth, there's a Peets Coffee in the basement, with lots of sunlight flooding through the windows from street level, and several tables that were totally empty. So perhaps there will be some cathedral writing time in my future....

But today was all about socializing. Amber and I sat in the sun and caught up over coffee, and I wasn't ready to say goodbye when she went to her meeting. Then I spent twenty minutes enjoying more sun while walking the outdoor labyrinth. It's a recreation of the labyrinth at Chartres, and I find labyrinths to be an interesting and unique spiritual experience; there is something about the idea of life and thought being a pattern and a winding circular path that appeals to me, rather than the thought that life is an immutable forward-moving deathmarch. So I followed the labyrinth all the way in to the center and stayed there for a bit...but I walked straight out rather than retracing my steps, because my feet hurt from wearing the wrong shoes, and I'm apparently a princess about such things. C'est la vie, I guess.

Then I came home and spent a glorious hour talking to Kathia, whom I hadn't caught up with in forever. And then, starving, I made a frittata; I changed up the last experiment and went with bacon, leeks, and hashed browns topped with eggs and shredded gruyere (instead of fromage blanc). It was a tasty endeavor, and now I have great leftovers for breakfast, so I'll take it. And then I spent the rest of the afternoon working, napping, and falling down internet rabbit holes, as I do.

The evening took a social turn again - I went over to Lauren's house, where I had time to watch Finley's bath and say goodnight to him before Lauren put him down. I also saw Nathan for a bit, and the three of us talked over wine after Finley was asleep. Then, Lauren and I pursued girls' night out - we went to Garibaldi's, which is very close to Lauren's house, and was also v. good. We sat at the bar and chatted up the bartender, and my wine and steak were great, and the conversation was delightful as well (although the bartender, Martin, probably thinks I'm a heinous bitch because I dominated the conversation and was always still working on my dish when Lauren was totally done with hers).

But seeing Lauren was great for my soul, as always, and our catch-up was deep and thoughtful and inspiring. And now I need to sleep so I can write and hang out tomorrow - goodnight!

Friday, September 16, 2016

running through my veins an american masquerade

I'm falling asleep on my couch after falling down an interminable wikipedia rabbit hole, so I think it's time for bed. I had a lovely day, though - I had an earlyish lunch with Alyssa (remember her?) at Joanie's in Palo Alto, where we had a lateish celebration of my birthday. Then I ran some errands in Mountain View before driving up to San Mateo to write with Barbara. Three hours of work really boiled down to ninety minutes of work, since we were both distracted/talking, but I'll take it.

Unfortunately, the drive home took over an hour, which was v. unwelcome. Then I ate supper (I begin to wonder if tomatoes are the cause of some of my woes, but now's not the time to go into that), sat down to work, and spent the last four hours in some form of either work, wikipedia research, or daydreaming. So now it's time for bed, and I shall hit it again in the morning - goodnight!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

the words that i sent to you, never got into you

Today was another slog, and I need to trek to Mountain View and pick up my new glasses tomorrow, because I think my eyes will be happier if I stop subjecting them to contact lenses and computer screens for sixteen hours a day. But I'm really happy with what I got done - I finalized the cover and title for Lucy's book (which will be announced on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter tomorrow, although the preorder is already live on iBooks because I set it up tonight). That took me a ton of time because I made the cover myself - this is not typically advised in publishing circles, but I decided to abandon the cover that I'd paid for a year and a half ago because I realized the guy was too ugly to salvage, and I couldn't wait the 2-3mos to get on my cover designer's waitlist. So I decided to try doing it myself, learning more about photoshop as I went - and I think it turned out pretty well. Well enough that it looks professional and pretty, at least. And now I'm itching to redesign all my covers...but that's definitely not necessary at this particular moment.

So anyway, I played with photoshop until almost two, when I realized I was incredibly hungry (two scrambled eggs and some iced coffee before that weren't enough to last all day). So I made some fancy tuna (which is just tuna, but with celery and shallot and parsley and s/p/cayenne and lemon juice, along with homemade mayo, because I had all those things on hand and fancy tuna salad in a bowl with no bread feels marginally less sad than regular tuna salad). Then I went to the grocery store, came home, and made dinner....

...which took four hours because I used a slow cooker, which was about four hours longer than I wanted to wait, but I really wanted to try this recipe. I made slow cooker chicken tikka masala, which turned out superbly - it was really tasty and the spices were balanced, and it was really easy to make (and would be even better if I set it up in the morning to cook all day, rather than impatiently waiting for it to cook in the late afternoon). I also tried a new technique for cauliflower rice and thought it was great - rather than sauteeing it (which takes work), I microwaved it (per this technique from epicurious), and it was perfect.

So, my dinner, at least, was a success. And the rest of the night wasn't bad either - I did some more work, made some lists, took care of some admin stuff, and quietly contemplated Lucy's story while all that other busy-work was going on in the foreground. But now I really need to sleep so I can slog all over again tomorrow - goodnight!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

don't wanna fall in love (with you)

No time to blog - my eyes want to run away from my head, and my body is going to rebel if I spend any more time curled up on the couch with my laptop. But today was v. productive - I got up in time to meet Chandlord at a coffee shop and work for a couple of hours, and then I came home to grab my car and sped down to Burlingame, where my writer friends took me out for a birthday lunch at Rangoon Ruby. We talked shop and also talked life, and that was a wonderful break.

Then, Veronica and Carol left, and Anne, Barbara and I went to the library, where we secured a study room (so we could talk) and wrote for a couple of hours. Then I came home, took a nap (so much for thinking that the Philz coffee I grabbed as I was leaving Burlingame would keep me awake - nope), and then worked from approximately 6:30pm to 12:30am, with a brief break to eat some salami and cheese and olives and almonds (it feels nicer to say that I had a mediterranean platter, rather than that I didn't feel like cooking and so ate whatever snacks I could scrounge up).

So now I need to sleep so I can hit the work hard again tomorrow - goodnight!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

sun goes down

According to some measurements provided by Blogger, this is my 4000th post. *throws confetti* That's...almost dumb. However, thank you for joining me whenever you feel like escaping the minutiae of your day by reading the minutiae of mine! It's been a good twelve years, and while I can't guess whether Blogger will still be around for the next twelve, I hope you'll stick around for as long as it does.

Of course, today didn't give me a lot of exciting things to share on my 4000th post, but that's how things go. I woke up this morning and dealt with the residual mess in my kitchen - I emptied the dishwasher from last night and added the last things that could go in there, and I put some stuff away, and all in all the cleanup was pretty easy. Last night was fun, of course, although I was too tired to do it justice in the post - I had a lowkey group of people over (John, Jess, Ian, Vidya, Katrina, Lauren, and Priyanka, in order of arrival), and we all managed to fit around my table (mostly because Priyanka was quite late after getting off work at the hospital, and John and Jess were taking turns hiding in my closet and trying to soothe Ian, who apparently wasn't that excited about a Wampface-style birthday party). But we drank some Dom Perignon, and we ate some tasty food, and Lauren asked the usual questions about reflecting on my past year and saying what I want for this year, and it was all generally wonderful.

Today, though, it was time to get back to work. After I cleaned up, I went to Samovar to have brunch with a writer friend - his name is Curtis, and he used to work at the same place I worked years ago, and now he and his wife live in Portland and he writes scifi. He was in town for an event (which I missed Saturday because of my delayed dinner + my inability to rally), but we grabbed lunch and talked writing shop, which was delightful. It also made me consider, again, how much sense it would make to move someplace with better rents and vibrant artistic communities....

Then I stopped at Target to buy bleach, and then I came home and took a nap. My nap was hardcore, and I startled myself awake an hour later - apparently this is what it's like to be old. Then I needed to do some work, but I was having trouble motivating, and so I talked to [censored] for quite awhile - he'd texted me for my birthday, of course, but we hadn't talked in awhile, so we had a long, meandering catch-up.

After that, though, work was really calling, so I spent the last eight hours curled up on the couch (with a glass of wine (two glasses) and a break for pot de creme) and did a whole bunch of monkey work. This included some web stuff, reformatting a couple of epubs, messing around with a cover, etc., etc. In fact, I went back to working on stuff after I made that list...but as I was starting to feel sleepy while playing around with photoshop, I felt an earthquake jolt that woke me right up (and reminded me that restocking my food and first aid supplies is on my to-do list).

But despite that jolt, I think it's time for bed - goodnight!

Monday, September 12, 2016

welcome back to the age of jive

I'm thirty-five, which seems impossible. Also, I'm exhausted and need to go to bed immediately...I tried typing something before this and started to fall asleep as I was typing, which makes for fun (but sometimes worriying-incoherent) posts.

Anyway, I had a lovely day - I slept in a bit, watched Project Runway while doing work stuff, and then showered and went to Whole Foods to grab food for tonight. Then I got home, cleaned, call my parents, and started working on tonight's feast. I made roasted eggplant for a soup, and I made pot de creme (basically chocolate pudding, which I'll totally take). And I made roasted chicken, which came out perfectly.

I want to wax poetically about the people who attended and how much I love them, and how delighted I was with my night. But I really am falling asleep, and my bed is calling - so maybe that's a story you'll get tomorrow. Goodnight!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

panda panda panda panda panda panda panda

My last day as a thirty-four-year-old was a good mix of productivity and socializing, with some wine and annoyance to spice things up. I woke up and spent the morning cleaning - I still have some stuff to take care of tomorrow, but this was good enough for now. Then I realized I was going to be late for brunch, so I threw on some clothes and dashed down to the marina (okay, I walked slowly down to the marina - my squats/lunges/kettlebells on Thursday turned my legs to stone, and I feel like I can barely move) to have brunch with Kristen at Caffe Union.

As you all know by now, that's my favorite brunch spot - so after we were done with brunch, I spent some time hanging over the dutch door to the kitchen and catching up with Tony. But brunch with Kristen was great - I know her in multiple contexts, since she works for one of the ebook retailers (not the one I used to work for), and is also Barbara's daughter (the Barbara I went to Tahoe with and see 1-2x/week when I'm in town). Kristen and I didn't talk business at all, and it was totally delightful, and she shares a birthday with my sister and my granddad, so I'll have to go out with her again soon.

After that, I came home, grabbed my laptop, put Project Runway on in the background, and messed around with cover design and stock imagery for four hours. I probably should have been doing anything else, but I'm a little anal about covers, so I went way too deep (but I think the end result will be good). Also, having Project Runway on in the background is a good motivator, since I need Tim Gunn to tell me to make it work as many times as possible.

But I had to put my laptop away and go down to the mission for dinner. My lyft driver was friendly and interesting, and we had a good conversation about the tech world. And when I got to Locanda (my dinner spot for the evening), I ran into Javier, whom I hadn't seen in forever, so that was entertaining. But I was there to meet Claudia, and she ended up being forty-five minutes late, which meant that I was slightly infuriated and drank far too much wine (and ate a bit of eggplant) while waiting for her. Luckily the staff was cool about it, and again, I had a lot of wine, so that dulled the edge of my annoyance When she finally got there, I stayed mad for another fifteen seconds, but then I forgave her and we had a delightful catch-up session over gluten free pasta, so all is good.

When we were done, I came home and spend the last four hours doing more photoshop/cover stuff while watching more Project Runway. And now I'm desperate for sleep - I need to write tomorrow and also do birthday stuff, so recouping some energy (and sobering up) would be a good idea. Goodnight!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

all you ladies listen up

Today didn't really go all that well, but I think I salvaged it. I didn't get enough writing done this morning, but I took a break to do laundry and somehow basically ruined a load of towels (a pink washcloth I've had for almost a decade and thought was colorsafe ended up turning all my white towels/washcloths/bath mats pink). I'm going to buy bleach this weekend and hope that I can rewhiten the whites, but we'll see...

So needless to say, that made me cranky. I then took another break to see my aesthetician, who was in fine form, and the walk to and from the Marina helped my mood a lot (even though I'm sore, as predicted, from kettlebells and my legs feel like an octogenarian's). I also grabbed a drink, but that was pretty much a useless exercise (even if it was good to try a new bar) - I didn't really feel like drinking, and would have been better served working (or bleaching my eyeballs) than going out tonight.

So I came home, made an omelette, and worked for the last four hours - I was doing photoshop stuff, which always takes more time than I think it will because I'm not very good at it (although I think I could make my own covers if I spent just a little bit of time learning photoshop - but that's probably a dumb thing to prioritize). So now I need to go to sleep immediately if I'm going to accomplish anything tomorrow - goodnight!

Friday, September 09, 2016

my name is no, my sign is no, my number is no

Today was almost fully productive, which made me happy. I still got up later than planned (I am such a sloth in the mornings when I don't have to be anywhere), but I was at my desk by nine, and I wrote steadily until almost noon. I also came up with an excellent idea to tie some stuff together that was bothering me about the plot, so I felt pretty smug about that.

Then I left the house and sped down to San Mateo, where I went to the gym and worked out for the first time in months. It was embarrassing how long it's been - long enough that my kettlebell calluses are mostly gone and I'm going to have to earn them back. Also, doing swings kind of made me want to throw up. But I did a version of a workout I would have done three months ago (although I dropped the weight on the swings/snatches so that I wouldn't accidentally hurt myself), and it felt really good to go back. I'm going to try to be more disciplined about going to the gym whenever I meet up for writing dates with Anne and Barbara - adding a 45min workout in my day really isn't stopping me from writing enough, and it's good for me (and it's way better than wasting those 45mins on twitter).

However, I'm sure I'll be sore tomorrow and will regret whatever blithe assertions I've made about how often I'm going to work out going forward. But that's a problem for tomorrow. The rest of my day was lovely - I showered at the gym and ate one of their paleo to-go lunches (one thing that would be hard if I left the bay area is that I've gotten used to all my gluten-free/paleo-ish whims being catered to, which isn't true everywhere). Then I met up with Anne and Barbara. We spent three hours at Starbucks, and while we talked the first hour, I definitely got more stuff done during the next two hours - I wrote a few pages in which my hero's family sprung up from nowhere, so that was kind of fun (the writing process is weird and inexplicable).

But by 5pm I was done. The drive home took an hour, which was very displeasing. But when I got here, I messed around for a little bit, and then I ate an apple because I was starving, and then I made dinner - roasted chicken thighs and sweet potatoes and shallots. This may sound kind of boring, but a) it was all roasted in the same dish, which made it super easy, and b) it was covered in garlic and a vinaigrette of olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon, italian seasoning, so it was actually really delicious. I found the recipe here; I skipped the tarragon, but otherwise thought it turned out really well. And that vinaigrette would probably be good on roasted fish too (although the potatoes would have to be cooked separate in that case) - I'll have to try it sometime.

While the chicken was cooking, I spent some quality time cleaning out my bathroom - I have way more cosmetics/beauty products than anyone needs, and things were getting messy enough that it was starting to stress me out (because that's the kind of person I am - the kind who gets stressed by messes hiding in closed drawers). Order has now been restored, which means I can move on with my life (or, more likely, start stressing about my closet instead).

After I'd finished with the bathroom and eaten my chicken, I watched an episode of 'Project Runway' and sent/answered emails until I was tired of that activity. And now I need to sleep - I have grand plans to get a lot done tomorrow, especially since my weekend is shaping up to be v. social. Goodnight!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

best laid plans

Today was entirely too sloth-filled, despite some attempts at productivity. I woke up at nine, since I was clearly wiped out from my trip, and I spent the morning powering through some of my to-do list (thanks to some techno music, which always helps). But then I had to take a break even though I was on a roll - I had lunch plans with Gyre, so I had to shower and take a lyft to his office (which is Lyft, so it's good that I'm a loyal Lyft user so that he'll still talk to me).

Gyre and I had a lot to catch up on, so we spent an hour and a half on lunch - and I'm v. grateful, since he's become a v. important person. After we were done, I took a lyft home, where I intended to be super productive - but instead, I was mostly not productive. However, I did clean my kitchen and make mayonnaise, and I ate a snack and dinner, and then I spent a couple of hours messing around with my planner (prime procrastination masquerading as productivity), and another hour answering email. So I guess that wasn't all bad...but I need to get serious about Lucy's book, and today didn't cut it.

However, tomorrow is another day, and I've set up my internet blocks for the morning, and I have a writing date with Anne and Barbara in the afternoon, so there is hope. But that hope won't be realized unless I get some sleep - so goodnight!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

make it work

I stayed up way later than I intended - but I'm back in SF, after a very uneventful flight, and I took a nap and bought groceries and made dinner (a frittata that will be great leftovers for breakfast this week), and I watched some Project Runway while messing around with my planner. But now I'm exhausted - so I'll leave you be and come back with more stories tomorrow. Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

i gotta stay high all the time to forget i'm missing you

Allow me to start by saying that Katie is the oldest of best friends and the best of old friends, and that I shall love her until the bitter end. She is also a wonderful person with a hugely generous heart, and I enjoy watching how she is passing that on to her daughters. No matter how many miles separate us, I look forward to many future visits, and I hope that we grow to a fabulous old age together -- one in which we can still compare fashion notes, ogle firefighters, and reminisce about how awful junior high was, preferably while drinking delightful cocktails and wearing dark glasses and telling kids to get off our lawn. I've loved spending time with her this weekend, and I can't wait to come back.

That said, toddlers are fucking monsters sometimes.

I woke up at five a.m. to shower so that I could assist in the get-out-the-door process (where my assistance was mostly limited to eating the scrambled eggs that James made, and making myself some iced coffee to survive the trip). We were headed to Pikes Peak and had tickets for the 8am train to the top, and we couldn't be late. The drive down was almost lovely - the sun was coming up, and there was no traffic, and there was the possibility of a great day ahead.

But then Julia threw up approximately ten minutes before we reached our destination (car sickness is no fun, as I know), which set things off on a swift decline. We made it onto the train (after some cleaning occurred), but I'm sure Julia wasn't feeling all that chipper, which was a bummer. The train ride up was really pretty - the scenery is gorgeous, with lots of waterfalls and rock formations and aspen, etc.

Pikes Peak itself, though, was a frozen hellscape. They had closed the highway up because of wind, if that's any indication...apparently the winds were gusting to fifty miles per hour (I believe it), and the windchill factor was 17 degrees. This was way too fucking cold. Also, at 12,000 feet, altitude issues kick in pretty fast, and I was feeling somewhat woozy and lightheaded by the end of our forty minutes at the top. The girls didn't wander outside at all, and we mostly spent the time huddled in the snackbar at the top, where James bought $11 lollipops out of pure desperation, and the temperature of my ovaries quickly dropped to match the temperature outside.

So then we took the train down, which was still lovely, and it was gorgeous in Manitou Springs by the time the train pulled into the depot. I was still feeling pretty delighted at this point, and we went to a brewery in town for lunch - the food itself was average, but I had a glass of wine and we sat on the patio and enjoyed the sun/shade, and that was all great...

...until we got back in the car and it was going to take almost twice as long to get home as it took to get there, and Julia threw up approximately ten minutes into the drive, and we all began to melt down. I shall draw a veil over the rest of it, because it's a memory best left behind, but suffice it to say that we got back to Katie and James's a little before four and promptly fell apart (and by that I mean the adults were all wandering around like soulless zombies and the children were refusing to acknowledge that they were tired).

At some point I realized I really needed to get out of the house or I was going to go mad (I'm not used to not walking, and also I had recklessly eaten a Kind bar and had part of a Sprite and ordered corn tortilla tacos for lunch, so I think my body was flipping out over corn/sugar). I thought about seeking out a wine store so I could take the edge off (recommended dose: two bottles), but thought better of it and went to Black Eye, where I restored my equilibrium with a dose of hipster life by sipping a cold brew iced coffee in an uncomfortable rocking chair (mission accomplished). James and the girls went on a walk and joined me for a bit, and then they left, and eventually I returned to the house and the remainder of my visit.

Katie was going to cook dinner, but I convinced her to order takeout instead, which I think was the right call. The girls stayed up relatively late since they weren't tired after the naps they took this afternoon, but eventually they went to bed and order was restored. Katie and I then retreated to the basement, where we watched the first half of the remake of 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E." However, we couldn't finish it since we're beyond tired, so I'll have to watch the rest of it myself.

And so ends my visit - it really was lovely, and I had a delightful time. Tomorrow it's back to the grind - and while my life hasn't seemed like a grind the last couple of months, summer is over and playtime is over, too.  San Francisco and a lot of writing await - goodnight!

Sunday, September 04, 2016

icarus is flying too close to the sun

Today was another day in the land of toddlers...and we had a lovely time, although it was more lowkey than yesterday because a) we were recovering from yesterday, and b) we have to get up at five a.m. tomorrow for an excursion to Pikes Peak. So this is going to be v. short, because I need to go to bed immediately if I'm going to be chipper (or at least feign a smile) tomorrow morning.

But despite the slight headache brought on by last night's gin (compounded by restless sleep that was interrupted by some raccoons having a party outside my window), I enjoyed myself today. We cooked breakfast here, and Katie conned me into making sweet potato and zucchini latkes (the downside of blogging about my boring minutiae is that people know what I cook and that I could theoretically feed them if asked), which went delightfully well with the sausages that James grilled up for us. Then we were going to go to a park, but we missed our window and had to deal with Julia taking a nap.

However, the look on my face must have demanded coffee at some point, because Katie loaded me and Anne up, and we ran over to a coffee shop to grab coffee, which I took to the park. I then sat on a bench and watched Anne play (and watched Katie chase Anne around), because I was being lazy and enjoying my coffee rather than getting involved in the playground shenanigans. James brought Julia after she woke up, and so we hung out for awhile, and then James took the girls for ice cream while Katie and I came home and ate salami and watched "House Hunters International" and marveled at how dumb humans can be.

Then the evening progressed quickly - I called my parents, as per usual, and enjoyed a convo with them while sitting in the fading sun of the front porch. I ate dinner when everyone else was basically done with theirs, and then we cleaned up and got ready tomorrow's excursion, and I told Katie as many depressing stories as possible. And now I need to sleep - goodnight!

shake it up just like bad medicine

I had an awesome day in Denver and would move here immediately if it weren't for how daunting packing and finding a new apartment is (and also all my friends in San Francisco, por supuesto). This awesomeness was in no way harmed (and, in many ways, was enhanced) by Katie's toddler army - Anne and Julia are now four and two, which means Anne is mostly more reasonable than she used to be and also doesn't need a nap, and Julia is super sweet and funny, so they are fun and entertaining. Also, they didn't get up until nine this morning, which was v. v. much appreciated.

So, we all had a lazy morning, which eventually led to James making us bacon and eggs and hashbrowns (breakfast of champions!). Then we went to City Park, which is next to the Museum of Nature and Science -- we hung out in the shade for a bit, and then we fed/chased some geese, and I caught some pokemon that I've never seen before, so that was all delightful.

James eventually absconded with Julia to try to make her nap (failure), while Katie and I took Anne into the museum to see some dinosaurs. She decided she'd rather see the space stuff instead, which mostly meant that she played with a bunch of sand that mimics water erosion for half an hour while Katie and I sat on a bench and talked. That was totally fine by me, but it made me miss the days when I used to plan to be an astronaut...I always really loved natural sciences, and in a different life I might have gone the astronaut or geologist route. C'est la vie, I guess.

Suddenly we were all v. hungry, so we had a girls' outing to Avanti, which Katie and I went to last time I was here - they have a bunch of food stalls and bars, so we grabbed some arepas and enjoyed a leisurely late lunch. Arepas are highly recommended, especially for gluten-free people (meat and plantains and avocado and cheese stuffed into a pocket made of cornmeal) - but they failed the no-grains part of my #whole30ish plan, and so I should probably remember how I felt an hour later, when I came home and promptly fell asleep on the couch (Katie was reading to the girls in an effort to get them to nap, and that trick only worked on me).

But I rallied, and we hung out and fed the girls dinner, and then James v. kindly volunteered to put the toddler army to bed while Katie and I went out and made some memories. So she and I went to Root Down, which is so fucking delicious - we sat on the patio with a view of the Denver skyline, and Katie had soup and I had beet salad, and we shared some burrata with heirloom tomatoes and some tuna crudo, and we had cocktails (hello, gin, my old friend - and I'm glad to see you brought some jalapeños with you for the party), and it was all perfect. Katie thought it was a bit chilly on the patio, but I was so thrilled to have a summer evening (even if summer is dying) where I could sit outside past ten p.m. that I didn't feel any chill. Again, I would move to Denver immediately if moving weren't such a pain in the ass.

But after we had finished being ladies about town, and after she had told me that she's a parallel parking goddess, it was time to come home. So we got here and talked to James, and I gave them a monologue about creativity, and we talked about mind-altering experiences, and then we realized we were about to have a mind-altering experience from sheer fatigue if we didn't go to bed immediately. So it's time for me to turn in so I can have more delightful times tomorrow - Katie is good for my soul, and I intend to suck every last bit of friendship out of her this weekend. Goodnight!

Saturday, September 03, 2016

everything that kills me makes me feel alive

I'm in Denver, enjoying the hospitality of Katie's guest room (which apparently comes with a free wakeup call tomorrow, since Anne, her four-year-old, has already proclaimed that she wants to be the one to wake Aunt Sara up in the morning). My trip was mostly smooth, albeit more eventful than I had hoped - I got to the airport early to have breakfast and get some leisurely coffee, which turned into very leisurely coffee when I found out that my flight was delayed by two hours. After talking to the gate agent, who told me that she had no idea that the flight was even delayed, and then suddenly said "I"m late!" and literally ran away from the gate like she was the fucking White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, I was not feeling very good about my chances of getting out of SF today.

So, like a good road warrior, I used my phone app to secure a seat on a different flight before most people on my flight even knew it had been delayed. The new flight ended up leaving almost an hour before my old flight ended up taking off (the two hour delay stretched out another thirty minutes beyond that), so I felt pretty smug. I pampered that smugness by having a glass of sparkling rosé (I think I may be able to have rosé again - I was off it for awhile after having half of five bottles during my epic rosé bender on a memorable day in July), and then I got on the plane, where I slept for the first half and spent the second half hate-listening to the conversation next to me while working on formatting stuff for some book work I need to get done.

When I got to Denver, I took the new train from the airport to Union Station, and it was super convenient - and Union Station is really cute. Then I took a ten-minute Lyft from the train station to Katie's house - so the $9 train ticket + the $7 lyft ride for a total of an hour in transit (37mins train + 5mins waiting for lyft + 10min lyft ride) was way way way better than spending $50+ (or, if it's a blizzard, $300+) to sit in traffic for 45mins.

Katie was getting ready to go to a party when I got here - her nanny is getting married tomorrow, and they were going to go to the rehearsal dinner party tonight. I ended up crashing it with them, which I think was okay (I've met the nanny, whose name is also Katie, and she's the most adorably wonderful woman) - and if it wasn't okay, I still ate a million bacon-wrapped dates like it was my job to do so. The girls were of course super excited to see their nanny all dressed up and ready to get married, and it was really lovely to spend an evening in a backyard that isn't decimated by the cold, unforgiving ravages of #karlthefog. I've almost forgotten what it feels like to wear a sundress during the day that can transition to evening without the addition of tights/boots/cardigan/down jacket....

We stayed just long enough for them to cut some cake (which the grandma had baked last minute yesterday because she has some cake toppers that were used on her own parents' cake way back in the day and have been used in every other family wedding since, and she insisted on baking a cake for them - the cake was apparently fucking delicious, according to Katie and James), and then we came home and they put the girls to bed. Then Katie and I sat up and drank a bottle of wine and started our inevitable highly-detailed gossip about our birth county, which I'm sure James really appreciates (he mostly ignored us, with good reason).

But now I really need to sleep if I'm going to survive the sounds of reveille as played by the shrieking voices of Anne and Julia -- goodnight!

Friday, September 02, 2016

let my body do the work

Today was a mad scramble to get stuff done before going to Denver tomorrow. I took care of stuff around the house this morning, ate some eggs because that's all I have left, and talked to Katie briefly about logistics (verdict: the toddler army will likely overcome all our schemes, but we're planning mischief). Then I dashed down to Redwood City to go to the DMV - I had made the appointment five weeks ago, when I got the notice that my driver's license is expiring on my birthday and I had to come in for a new photo/thumbprint rather than renewing by mail. Since my picture was taken in 2004, this was probably reasonable, but I still wasn't looking forward to the errand.

However, while I had complained at the time about the fact that it took five weeks to get an appointment, I'm glad I did it - I was in and out (including checking in) in less than ten minutes, even though there were probably 80+ people there. We'll see if my photo looks like the cryptkeeper, but otherwise, success!

Since I had unexpected time to kill, I went to REI, where I bought a couple of things on clearance (new hiking pants, a cute dress) and upsold myself on a new down jacket since my old down jacket is looking pretty shabby. Theoretically one doesn't need a down jacket in San Francisco since it rarely gets below fifty degrees, but my blood has thinned considerably since I moved here, so I wear it all the damn time (last time it was worn: Wednesday night. Yes, it was August - but it was our coldest August in 74 years, so whatever). Then I grabbed a salad at Specialtys, which was delish.

After that, I met up with Anne, Barbara, and Deborah for a writing date in San Bruno. They gave the thumbs up to my new Lucy idea, although we brainstormed it a bit more and I tweaked it some more. And now I think I'm really, truly ready to start writing as fast as possible - the idea seems solid for all parties, and lends itself to high drama, so I'm less worried about running out of story halfway through than I was when I was playing with some of my other ideas.

So I wrote a few pages, and Anne and I caught some pokemon, and we heard about Deborah's trip to Hong Kong (I'm mildly jealous, but only mildly), and it was all good. But by the time I was done there and survived the drive home, I was starving starving, so I ordered a pizza. This was the first time I'd gone all-in on grains in two weeks, and I felt fairly disgusting almost immediately...but takeout options on my whole30ish plan are rather limited, and I am completely out of groceries, so c'est la vie.

Then I spent the rest of the night packing, taking care of business, taking care of house stuff, etc., etc. And now I really should go to bed - my flight isn't particularly early tomorrow, but I want to get to the airport in time for breakfast. Goodnight!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

now you're looking pretty in a hotel bar

I didn't do enough today. Full stop. I mean, I did laundry, and I scribbled in my notebook about Lucy and the amazeballs idea that Heather and I came up with yesterday (I think I'm going for it), but I should have done a lot of work and I really didn't do all that much. It's time to buckle down...but I only have tomorrow to buckle down before I go to Denver.

But the afternoon was busy - I had to get my bangs trimmed, so that took some time since I had to drive to the Mission and back. Then I went to Peets and drank coffee and wrote (pretty successfully). Then I got a massage, which I'd booked while I was in Tahoe - I've been having quite a bit of neck/shoulder/jaw pain, so I found a massage therapist who specializes in such issues, and I think it was totally worth it. She worked on me for ninety minutes, and I feel better than I did when I walked in, so I have no regrets about taking the time to go.

Then I came home, messed around online, showered, made myself look pretty, and went back to the Mission to have drinks with Sheila at ABV (one of my favorite bars in the city). This turned out to be one drink (I had my usual Jackel) and a snack (I had salami and some cauliflower in deference to my gluten issues + my other sensitivities), and we spent a glorious hour and a half recapping the Olympics and talking about a variety of ridiculous topics.

I walked her back to her apartment when we were done, and then she waited outside with me while I called a lyft. I went to Chandlord's after to say hi to her, but I beat Chandlord there, so I grabbed some green tea at Another Cafe (which I haven't been to in at least six months) until she got home. We chatted for an hour, and she was theoretically going to give me wine while she cleaned her place, but neither of those things happened (which was fine with me - I didn't want anything else to drink, and I don't have to live in her place, so cleaning doesn't matter to me). She also let me hug her with minimal fuss at the end, so I would consider the visit a success!

Then I lyfted home even though the distance is short because I didn't want to get stabbed. And now I need to sleep - I have to do all the things tomorrow, including a trip to the DMV and a writing date and packing and putting things away, etc. Goodnight!