Monday, July 31, 2017

fear of corners

I'm not feeling like blogging tonight, but I've gone so many nights without a proper post that I'm beginning to forget how to do it, so I should probably write something. I tried to write last night, but I was so exhausted that I somehow closed my laptop without finishing or posting, so #sorrynotsorry.

As I tried to say last night, I'm in Berkeley - I'm dogsitting for John and Jess's next door neighbors, which is great in some ways because it's giving me a quiet home base for ten days or so. I have grand plans to write a lot and cook a lot and generally get my productivity back on track, which is why I didn't rent a car - with a car, I would be tempted to drive all over the bay area to see everyone I know, and while that is a v. worthy goal, I really can't afford to spend the next two weeks doing that. I've already had too much time off this summer, and while I trust that the story is percolating in the back of my brain during periods like this, I need to actually sit down and write the story at some point or else all the percolation means nothing.

So, I'm holing up in Berkeley, getting all of my social needs met by John and Jess (who kindly fed me breakfast this morning since I hadn't bought groceries yet) and Veronica (who has to be in Berkeley every day this week on kid errands, and so is writing here during the day). I wasn't sure how this would go yesterday, when the dog I'm taking care of seemed to be extremely pissed off about my existence. I also wasn't sure how it would go last night, when she howled from loneliness and despair over her missing owners every couple of hours throughout the night. But this morning I opened my door and let her come in and sniff around me and my stuff, and then she was quite happy to let me take her on a walk, so we've reached some sort of careful detente.

Getting her to stop howling and take a walk was pretty much the most exciting thing that happened today - it was hard to top that feeling of relief. But it was great to be able to walk next door and have breakfast with John and Ian, and then Veronica came over and we worked all day. That, of course, means I mostly took care of things I hadn't been able to do last week, and also that I talked to her far more than we should have talked, but no regrets. We took a break to grab lunch from Sweet Greens, and when she left I had her drop me off at a grocery store so I could stock up on stuff and lyft back here. Then I spent the evening walking the dog, doing laundry, and taking care of some business stuff - all v. exciting, I know.

And now I need to fold my laundry and go to bed - I'm trying to stay on an early schedule here since I need to walk the dog in the mornings and Veronica is usually coming over around 8:30 (normal time in normal human situations, but super early for my vampirish tendencies). Goodnight!

the dog days are over

[editor's note: this was supposed to post last night, but when I logged in to my computer this morning, I found I never finished it. more to come tonight!]

You'll have to wait another day for a decent update - I got a few hours of sleep last night, got to the airport in Orlando, boarded my flight, and was thrilled to discover that I had an empty seat next to me. So I worked and napped all the way to San Francisco - I'm here mostly to dogsit, which is not going well at the moment (the owners left before I got here, and the dog was distinctly displeased to see me). However, the upside is that I'm now next-door neighbors with John and Jess, so I hung out with them and also took advantage of their offer for supper.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

california dreaming

Another night blogging on my phone, so you're going to have to wait again for a productive recap. But today was death....I was trying to type "great" and autocorrect went with "death", and that's so right that I'm leaving it.

I was super exhausted after my brush with the glorious future last night, and I also have a blister on my pinky toe that is the size of my pinky toe, so this morning got off to a rough start. But I met with my editor, had a long lunch with Vivi/Lizzie/Sarah (one person), signed some books, met another friend, and then had drinks and dinner with Amber since I really didn't see her enough this trip. And now I'm all packed up and need to sleep six hours before getting up to catch my flight - goodnight!

Friday, July 28, 2017

i'm a believer

I have seen the future and it is glorious.

And by that I mean I spent 6pm to midnight at Animal Kingdom, culminating in the new Avatar ride, which shows some of the possibilities of virtual reality in ways that I've never experienced before. I want to live in that world...but right now I live in a world where I have another day of conference to get through, and my roommate is trying to sleep, so I'll have to proselytize to you about our brave new virtual reality world another time. Goodnight!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

right said fred

Too tired to blog, especially since I'm on my phone since my roommate is asleep - but today was an excellent day full of excellent meetings, followed by a lot of fun at the RITAs, where none of my friends won. But for more info you'll have to tune in tomorrow - goodnight!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

this is what it sounds like when doves cry

Everything still seems slightly surreal, which I believe may be because I'm still dehydrated/exhausted from my intense vomiting experience the other night - but I've held it together remarkably well (literally! someone remarked on it today!), so hopefully some more sleep tonight will make it all even better.

Today was quite busy, though. I woke up in one hotel and had to shower and repack so that we could all adjourn to the Swan and Dolphin - two hotels connected by a breezeway, which is a lie because there's no fucking breeze and it's a million degrees in Orlando. My room (with Amber) is in the Swan, which is possibly nicer (and has a coffee shop), but is not where all the main stuff is, which means a lot of walking back and forth. So we got checked in (after I taught Grace the future, aka how to use uber), and then I had a meeting with an author friend, followed by lunch with Grace and Amber. Barbara met us as well, and then we went to a two-hour marketing talk (interesting! but I wanted to fall asleep and/or die in the middle).

Then I left to take a v. tiny break to myself, which meant unpacking instead of the nap I really wanted. That led straight into a meeting with Vivi (aka Sarah, aka Lizzie) and Kim about the workshop we're giving Friday. Then I hung out in the bar, and then Grace and Veronica and I had an early dinner. After that, I ran back to my room again, changed as quickly as possible, and then accompanied Grace to an awards ceremony.

Alas, she didn't win, but I had a lot of fun hanging out with her (even if I gave myself an RSI from clapping too much). We also ran into Kristin there, who I used to see quite a bit when I was active in the SF romance chapter, so we adjourned to the bar after to keep talking after the ceremony. Barbara and Monica eventually joined us, and it was all totally delightful.

But of all my days here, today was actually possibly the easiest one, so I should really take advantage of my bed while I have the chance. Goodnight!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

i want something just like this

I didn't blog last night because I felt like I was dying, #sorrynotsorry. And really, all I need to say is that I'm never going to eat crab again....

But let's rewind. Yesterday was a series of annoyances, since I had to pack up my car and deal with the AAA guy, who decided that my battery needed to be replaced. I'm not sure about this in retrospect, but I can't deal with the battery later, so c'est la vie. The AAA guy told me a long story of love and loss and how his first wife died (after divorcing him with a promise to remarry in four years, and then she died in four years instead), and it was all v. dramatic and will probably feed into a book someday.

Then I ran errands, ate lunch, bought some shoes, and got a mani/pedi, as required by RWA's bylaws. And then I had dinner with Sarah - we went to There, which was super fucking hipster and amazing. The food was great, the drinks were tasty, and we had a long, delightful conversation...

...which turned into me throwing up for three hours straight. I had crab, which is what I've had the last two times I got this sick, and now I'm pretty sure that it's not a food poisoning fluke and is probably a developing shellfish allergy. I'll draw a veil over all of this, but suffice it to say that I dehydrated myself by emptying out all my insides (and sweating profusely), and it was an intensely awful evening.

So I finally stopped puking at 1:30ish, and I set my alarm for 4:15...and then slept through it because my phone was on silent. I woke up at 5:09, which was 9 minutes after I had planned to leave for the airport, and I took a super fast (but incredibly necessary, due to sweat and vomit) shower and threw my remaining stuff in a bag and ran out the door and left the final cleanup to Sarah, which was too bad. But I made it to the airport with enough time to get a coffee (not enough time to get breakfast, but I didn't want to eat it anyway), so it all turned out about as well as I could have hoped.

I slept almost all the way here, with a break in Atlanta to eat some lunch. The check-in process at my current hotel was a kind-of nightmare, and it took almost an hour to get to my room...which is pirate themed in the most incredible way. But I'm only here for a night - my roommate wasn't able to get us a room in the conference hotel tonight, so we're a couple of miles away.

So I relaxed here for a bit, then went to the conference hotel to meet up with Grace, Veronica, and Barbara (my SF crew) for dinner. Amber (my roommate) went straight from the airport to the hotel/restaurant to join us, and it was all v. tasty and v. fun (with a waiter who seemed to be faking being Italian, but I could be too cynical).

And then we came home and tried to take selfies in the pirate bed and laughed until we cried, which is better than the crying I was doing last night, so I'll take it. Goodnight!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

cruel intentions

Today was another day that didn't go quite as planned. I woke up this morning and was actually productive for most of the day - I spent the morning journaling on the porch, which was delightful, and then I spent some v. solid time doing laundry and packing and generally getting ready to go. Since my flight isn't until Tuesday, this is unusually early for me, and I was feeling very smug about it....

So I took a long break and talked to my parents, as per usual. But by 5pm I was starving since I hadn't really eaten much beyond what I could scrounge from the fridge, so Sarah and I decided to go to Avanti since she hadn't been there yet. So we walked out to my car, got in....

...and it was dead. Boooo. Of course I immediately assumed that it had something to do with the service I just got done, although I don't know yet. And of course this is terrible timing, since I'm leaving Tuesday morning and need to move my car before that happens. But I didn't want to call AAA tonight - after they jump it, I'm going to have to drive it around for awhile, and I think I want to take it immediately to Katie's and leave it there, which means I need to be all packed up and have my car loaded when I leave here since I can't leave anything at the airbnb.

Needless to say, I was v. much not thrilled with the whole situation. So we took a lyft to Avanti anyway, since I was still starving, and I had an arepa and a lot of wine and some great conversation with Sarah to make everything a little better. When we got back, we walked down the street to DQ and got ice cream, which made everything even better (although we almost got horribly stymied there, since they closed the walk-up window right after we got there, and we wouldn't have been able to drive through because my car doesn't work, lol).

And now I need to sleep so I can deal with this new disaster tomorrow - goodnight!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks

Today was great, but I definitely overheated and now feel like an octogenarian. I took the morning pretty easy, but I made some iced coffee and some delish scrambled eggs and then sat out on the porch and worked for awhile. Yes, I'm living the dream.

But I had to live a different kind of dream this afternoon, since Sarah and I had plans to be social. Our first stop was a late brunch at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox, which I've wanted to go to for awhile - they are a sister restaurant to Linger and Root Down, both of which I love. Ophelia's is in an old brothel downtown, and they've turned it into a restaurant/concert venue. We got there in time to hear the last couple of songs from the brunch band, who were pretty good, and then we spent a lot of time talking over bottomless mimosas (which were served in pint glasses, bad idea) and some incredibly tasty brunch food.

Then we walked down the street and grabbed a drink and some nachos at a bar across from Coors Field (the Rockies' ballpark). The nachos were entirely unnecessary and yet so necessary, and my drink was pretty killer (some sort of mule-type drink with whisky and ginger beer, which I didn't finish because I didn't want to get drunk). Then we went to the ballpark just before the game actually started.

I'm not the biggest fan of baseball - it has some entertaining moments, but mostly I think it's boring. However, games can be fun - and the Rockies have clearly tried to lure more people in by creating a whole rooftop bar area and charging less than $20 for tickets to the bar area (which includes open seating in some nosebleed sections). I decided to prioritize water over drinks, which was probably wise since I overheated in the three innings when we sat in the cheap seats (the sun was pointed directly at us like a torture camp heat lamp). After that, I was pretty fucking done, but I wanted to power on since I thought I'd feel up for more fun (or at least a cocktail) once I cooled down.

Alas, my stomach started to hurt and I never got back in it to win it. We ended up leaving altogether at the bottom of the seventh, and Sarah was interested in coming home as well, so we got back here a little before nine like the old people we are. Then we watched a comedy show (Ari Shaffir on Netflix - really hilarious, you should watch him), and now I need to sleep and hope that it will help me recover from my heat-induced hangover. Goodnight!

Friday, July 21, 2017

she's never satisfied

I'm truly too tired to blog - I spent the morning writing (yessss), then grabbed lunch with Katie, then picked up my car from the dealer (and put new registration tags on it! which California mailed to Katie, thus ending one piece of my ongoing nomadic saga), then got my brows waxed and tinted for the first time in eleven months. My bangs cover a myriad of faults, but I like going into RWA feeling well-groomed.

Katie got her brows waxed after me, so I hung out until she was done, and then we ran an errand that involved driving an hour (yes, I'm a good friend). Then we went over to Tennyson Street, which is v. near my airbnb, and shopped in an adorable children's bookstore that is right across the street from another bookstore that doubles as a bar/event space. Any block that can sustain two independent bookstores is a good block, even if they're probably super judgey about romance.

Then, Katie went home to start her evening, and I picked up some takeout pizza and some margarita mix and took it over with me. This was the last time I'll see her before I leave, so we made the most of it - and by that I mean that we played with her children.

Then we said our (temporary) farewells, and I came back to my airbnb, where I talked to Sarah and also relaxed and also procrastinated for a couple of hours. And now I must sleep - goodnight!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

i've become so numb

I didn't sleep well last night - my stomach was full of acid, and waking up made my thoughts churn. Between Spinster Honeymoon and my potential new historical book (which doesn't have a plot, but does have a title and a cover), and the secret Iowa project I've wanted to work on for a decade and have never started, and my desire to build a reputation as more of a thought leader for women who want to make bold career changes, and my totally conflicting desire to sit around without pants and read all day....I have a lot on my mind at the moment.

But, I realized that I haven't woken up in the middle of the night with my stomach in knots in ages...possibly not since I lived in San Francisco (where I had a bed specifically designed to angle me upward like an octogenarian when that happened). So, despite all the many and varied opportunities and stories and risks in front of me, at least I can say that I'm generally happier and less stressed than I was a year ago...

sssanyway. Today didn't go according to plan. I woke up surly and stayed there - I had to take my car to the Toyota dealer for service, and because it was the majorest of the major services (120k), and there were all sorts of things to be done to it, I am apparently spending $1000 on it. When I balked at this under the pretense of not wanting to leave my car there long enough to complete the work (also true), they gave me a rental car so that I could go back into town to get some work done (the dealership is like fifteen miles from downtown).

This, it turned out, was a good thing, since they called me at four p.m. to confess that they'd cracked the oil filter case or some shit and that they would of course replace it for free, but that they didn't have the part in stock and need to keep my car until tomorrow. At that point, they also said that I might want to consider replacing my water pump, but I politely declined since I would rather buy $900 worth of shoes if given the choice than spend it on a water pump that may or may not need replaced yet (and I suspect I can find a cheaper place to replace that if it becomes necessary).

sssanyway again. I did get a lot of work done today - when I drove back into Denver this morning, I went straight to Platform T (where I had some good times last week), and camped out with a gluten free breakfast sandwich and an iced coffee and an iced tea until I was floating on caffeine. All that work was super solid, which made me happy. Then I came back to the house and worked for a bit more, but I slacked off at 4:30 and met Katie for a drink and a snack at Avanti. This was where we went when I first got into town, and we had the same bartender (a delightfully dirty jhokester), and it all felt v. lovely. Of course we got into a deep discussion about the 1980s farm crisis, as we are wont to do - don't all of you talk about massive economic disasters and vanishing ways of life over happy hour?

Then I came back to my airbnb and spent the last four hours in varying states of wanting to go to bed but not letting myself go to bed before a respectable hour. But the respectable hour (11pm) is upon me, so it's time to call it. Goodnight!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

i want your soul

Too tired to blog...I got up this morning and drove to Colorado Springs to see Barbara and discuss writing and life and new ideas over lunch, which was totally delightful. Then I spent too much time shopping for RWA - when it's the one chance in a year that I have to get dressed up like I'm going to a 'real' job, I want to make it count. By the time I was done with all my errands, traffic from the last mall back to my airbnb was awful, and it took almost an hour to drive twenty miles (still better than San Francisco, but barely).

But I spent the evening recovering - Sarah and I walked down to Tennyson and found dinner and drinks at a bar called West End Tap House. I had a burger with a gluten free bun that was totally delightful, along with a boulevardier and a shared order of truffle fries and a lot of conversation, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

But at this point, I'm totally wrecked, and I need to get up and accomplish things in the morning - goodnight!

hurts so good

As much as I would like to be getting actual work done, I spent most of today getting ready for my upcoming conference. That means laundry, trying on clothes, evaluating whether there's anything I need, etc., etc....all made more complicated by the fact that I don't have a home. But I brought a ton of clothes here in the back of my car for exactly an exercise such as today's, and I've mostly pieced together what I need to take (dresses and fun hot-weather clothes for Orlando next week, followed immediately by cool-weather clothes suitable for lounging and walking dogs and writing in Berkeley).

However, I still spent a lot of time running errands today. I first went to the coworking space and worked for a couple of hours, but then I snuck out to meet Katie at the mall for some retail therapy. I was v. v. good and didn't buy the sunglasses I tried on (there's sadness in my heart tonight), but I found some pajama/lounge bottoms on sale at Nordstrom, and I also picked up some shampoo/conditioner at the Aveda store, and I picked up the bras I'd ordered yesterday via the Nordstrom anniversary sale. I still have to go to a different Nordstrom tomorrow to pick up something else, but all in all, this was fairly efficient.

Of course, it was lovely to sneak out for a lunch break with Katie - while I expect that she'll tire of my evil influence at some point, so far she seems quite willing to keep hanging out with me, so I'm milking it for all it's worth. We eventually parted ways and I came back to the coworking space, with a stop at Chipotle for lunch (hopefully sans salmonella, although that would help me to lose the weight I put on in London/Venice/general springtime shenanigans). I worked for awhile longer (mostly photoshop), and then I took off for good to get a massage. It was the first massage I've had since Bali, and I felt like my neck really needed it - my neck has been better than I was expecting when it flared up on Sunday, but I'm trying to be super careful with it. I think I liked the massage, although she went super deep on some tender areas - if I die of a punctured artery in my sleep, I blame her.

But all in all it felt great, so I came home and tried to extend the bliss. There wasn't much bliss to be had, since I had to try on clothes and do laundry and take care of kitchen matters - but I did take some time to watch two episodes of 'Great British Bake Off', which was so very British that it was almost ridiculous how British it was. And now I'm desperate for sleep - goodnight!

Monday, July 17, 2017

only fools fall in love

I should have gone to bed an hour ago, but I chose to mess around in my journal and online instead - oops. Today was v. nice and highly productive, though. I got up fairly quickly, got ready, made some eggs, and was at the coworking space before 9:30, where I found Katie declaring that she needed to slog all day. Of course, that meant we took a break for lunch to check out a new crepe place down the street. It was #worthit, though - we split a salmon crepe and an italian-inspired crepe (tomatoes, mozzarella, bacon) that tasted a little like a pizza, and they were both delish (and gluten free!). And we caved and had a dessert crepe because we watched them make one and we couldn't resist the strawberries, blueberries, and nutella.

But break time had to come to an end, so we walked back (bitching the entire way about how hot it was and how strenuous the walk was, since we're Iowans at heart and Iowans never walk anywhere). I spent the afternoon getting a ton of stuff done, and I was v. happy with that. After work, I ran over to Katie's house (she left before me, but she'd gotten there before me), said hi to the girls, and conned my way into eating some of their supper (this was unintentional!). Then I grabbed my groceries (which I'd left there while transferring between airbnbs since I didn't want to leave food in my broiling car while moving), picked up Sarah at a workout class she'd gone to, and came back to my airbnb, where I did some dishes and worked until I was too tired to work anymore.

And now, on that boring note, it's time for bed - goodnight!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

when you're in texas look behind you

No news of note to report today - I woke up at ten after sleeping late to recover from the weekend, and then I was sitting in the living room minding my own business and reading through my journal when my neck started to hurt like I'd somehow pinched a nerve just sitting there. It was brutally bad, so I spent most of the rest of the morning lying in bed with a heating pad (which I'd conveniently bought when I hurt my shoulder three weeks ago). I definitely looked like a total princess, since the room I'm staying in has a sleigh-style bed and I was propped up on pillows, but it was the only thing I could do that helped, so leave me alone.

Eventually, I got up and decided that the rest of my body needed to move even if my neck didn't. So, Sarah and I walked ten minutes or so to the main strip of shops/restaurants in this neighborhood (on Tennyson) and went to a super lovely coffee place (Allegro). We sat in the sun while trying to get as much shade as possible and enjoyed our coffees, and I'm glad that I got out of the house for a bit, even if it didn't help my neck...

Then we came back here, and I crawled back into bed with my heating pad and called my parents. They talked for an hour and a half, which is longer than usual (to be fair, I also talked, so it's all our faults). Then, in deference to my neck I skipped making dinner and instead ordered Indian takeout - I haven't had Indian in way too long, and it was way too good, which means now I'm craving Indian all the time again like the addict I am. I also talked to Sarah for quite awhile, but at some point I needed to stop sitting on the couch, so I retreated to my room and spent more time on my laptop than I should have.

And now, I'm going to pop some more ibuprofen and hope this neck thing miraculously resolves itself overnight - goodnight!

any wrong you do he's gonna see

I'm so so tired. Last night, as you may have predicted, was rough - I got five hours of sleep in Katie's guest room, almost all of which was fitful and disturbed, before waking up at seven and dragging myself out of the house like some kind of thief. The only thing I stole, though, was whatever still lurked in my liver, so she should thank me for taking it so that she didn't imbibe it all herself.

I got back to my airbnb and promptly took a nap, then showered and finished packing and cleaned up and vacated around ten. I had to drive to the airport then - my friend Sarah, whom I met in Bali, came out to spend the next week here, and so I picked her up at the airport so that we could commence our reunion as early as possible. First up was brunch at Revelry - it was super tasty, but we were both regretful that we didn't get the baked potato with lobster and bacon, since that seems like a much better idea than huevos rancheros (even if huevos rancheros are statistically proven to end my hangovers faster than any other).

Then we found our airbnb and checked in - it's a super cute, surprisingly spacious two-bedroom Craftsman style house about a mile from Katie's, and I'm already in love. We immediately left again to stock up on groceries, but we were both in dire need of naps (Sarah flew from the east coast and I was still recovering from Katie), so we each got a bit of sleep before getting ready.

Our evening activity was a girls' night out with Katie. We went to Lola, which is an upscale hipstery Mexican place - the guac was great, my chicken enchiladas were excellent and unusual, and my (three) spicy jalapeno margaritas were perfect. Well, the one that came out tasting like we'd been baited and switched with cucumber wasn't perfect, but they remade that round for us, so #noregrets.

Of course, any time two or more Iowans get together, we are required by law and custom to reminisce about our home state as much as possible (Ritu and Bill and anyone who has had the misfortune of dining with us can attest to that). So, Sarah got to hear allllll sorts of stories about #smalltownlife - religion, water quality, a crazy gay dude evading property taxes, etc., etc.

We eventually vacated Lola and went around the block to Linger, where we sat on the roof deck and had frosé (apparently a thing now and I'm too old for this shit). It was surprisingly chilly for Denver tonight, but it was still gorgeous up on the roof, and we joked a lot about Walker Texas Ranger (as one does). Also, Katie and I strung together the perfect long joke about the dude who was farting next to me, Pa Ingalls, and fever and ague - you had to be there, but I'm recording it here so that future biographers will wonder what magic they missed.

And now I'm too exhausted to keep typing - but it was a super fun night, made even more fun by the fact that Katie and Sarah liked each other and so I didn't have to kill one of them to support the other. What a relief. Goodnight!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

i know why you chasing all the headlights

No blogging - I spent the evening hanging out with Katie, which started super tame (soup! brushing little girls' hair! watching videos about underwater life!) and then turned into lots of adult conversation in the basement until two a.m., which means we're going to be fucking wrecked tomorrow when her kids wake up at seven like the little angel monsters they are. And then I'll have to go back to my Airbnb, pack, check out, and then go to a new Airbnb - more info tomorrow. Goodnight!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

we sweat for a nickel and dime, turn it into an empire

Another lovely day in Colorado, and I'm already trying to ignore the fact that I'll have to pack up and leave soon. I slept a little later than planned, but I still got up in time to eat breakfast and pack a lunch and do similarly vital things before going to the coworking place. Katie was there today, but I successfully did some actual work without letting her distract me (or, more honestly, without letting me use her as an excuse to be distracted). However, we did take a break to walk down the street for coffee, and we also ate our lunches together, so that was all delightful.

But I had to leave a little after three, which was earlier than usual - I had happy hour plans north of Denver (closer to Boulder) with Chris and Natasha. They are a blast from the past - Chris and I were in India together, and Natasha and I worked really closely together when I worked for the big boss, since she was the big boss's admin. I also went to their wedding way back in the day, but they moved to Boulder five years ago, so we haven't had a chance to get together since then.

Sadly, Chris ended up with a last minute meeting that conflicted with our 4pm meetup, but Natasha and I grabbed a drink and snack before going back to their place. She picked up their boys (aged 5, 3, and 8mo) on the way, and we spent some quality time catching up while feeding the kids. It was great to see them - I really liked Chris and Natasha when we spent more time together, and I predict that I'll see them more often if (when) I (eventually) move out here (hedging much?).

But I left their place around seven so that they could engage in bathtime, and I drove back to Denver, made a late supper since my snack wasn't doing it (more eggs and hash browns, yum), and then watched the last two episodes of The Crown. I thought they were brilliant, all in all - I think they did a great job of capturing what must be such a lonely life and position, and how it would blight all one's relationships, as one character said in the last episode. And John Lithgow's Churchill was great. I recommend!

Now, though, I should sleep so that I can get even more work done tomorrow - goodnight!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

god save the queen

I had a great day, all in all, although a lot of it involved bingeing. I binged on social media this morning, and I binged on four episodes of 'The Crown' tonight (and I binged on hash browns with the eggs I made for dinner because I was feeling lazy and in need of some potatoes).

But I also got some good work in - I wrote for four hours at Platform T this afternoon, which was great. I also walked there and back - it was cooler today, since it seemed to be threatening rain all day, and so the walk wasn't the apocalyptic endeavor it would have been yesterday.

And now, although this is boring, I must sleep - goodnight!

hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancient melodies

Today felt like two days in one. I spent most of the morning overindulging in social media and schadenfreude, just like the good old days when I had a home and nowhere pressing to be. But I had to rally eventually so that I could meet Katie for lunch - there are a bunch of great food trucks that set up shop downtown during the summer months, so she suggested that we meet James there. However, her coworkers all decided to come as well, which made for a v. different, entertaining-in-a-bizarre-way vibe. I think I liked them all, but one of them managed to power through all the worst questions I get as a writer in the shortest amount of time possible (1. do you sell enough to make a living? 2. how many copies have you sold? 3. [insert somewhat condescending commentary on bodice rippers] 4. how did you start writing - but really, how did you *actually* start writing?). She obviously didn't mean any harm and was actually interested, so I didn't take offense, but it was a reminder that at some point in the future I need to develop a compellingly uncompelling version of my life so that I don't have to answer questions about writing....

But that's an extreme #firstworldproblem, especially since I'm lucky to be able to make a living from writing, so I'll suck it up and move on. Lunch was really great, all in all - it was warm out, I liked the people, Katie is always lovely, and my food was good. I picked some bison from an American Indian food truck - it was supposed to come on frybread, which probably would have made it spectacular, but I can't have frybread, so the wild rice substitute had to suffice. The bison was delish, though - braised and shredded, with cheese and sour cream and a tasty corn salsa. But there were a lot of other trucks that looked wonderful as well. Clearly this is another area in which Denver is more than capable of meeting my needs.

When we were done with lunch, I drove to Platform T and worked all afternoon - first with an iced tea, then with a cold brew iced coffee. The writing went kind of well, although I was having doubts today...but that's standard at this point, so just ignore my whining. Then I came home and talked to [censored], since I wanted to hear about his first [censored] and his new [censored] and all the other developments in his new [censored]. After that, I ate dinner (leftover beef tacos), turned on the tv, and watched like five episodes of an old season of Top Chef while answering emails that were almost as old. I am really not good at email, but you all know that, right?

And now I must sleep and hope no distracting news breaks overnight since I want to write tomorrow - goodnight!

Monday, July 10, 2017

do you see it clearer or are you deceived

I had a great day - I woke up slightly later than planned, but early enough to shower, eat breakfast, and make it out the door and to the coworking space before 9:30. Katie was already there since she's far more diligent than I am, so we chatted briefly, and I attempted to get some work done.

All in all, it was a v. successful attempt - I worked more hours on the story than I have in weeks, and I enjoyed the brainstorming and daydreaming and writing. I took a break to have lunch with Katie (we each brought our own stuff and ate it in the kitchen while laughing about ludicrous Civil War conspirators), but mostly worked all afternoon.

And then, when it was time to stop, I went back to Katie's with her, hung out with her and the girls (and James, who arrived just in time to take care of the grill), and ate dinner with them. Then I watched shark videos with the kids, who will hopefully not have nightmares tonight, and talked a little more with the grown-ups before it was time for the girls to go to bed and for me to come back to my airbnb.

Now, though, I need to sleep so I can recreate this magic tomorrow - goodnight!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

i ain't giving you a dollar

I think it's time for bed - I spent all day replenishing my introvert reserves, but now it's important to sleep so that I can pour my reserves into my writing tomorrow. Today started off early - I woke up at six so that I could get ready and take Aunt B to the airport so that she could catch a flight back to the city of corn (aka Des Moines). We said our farewells at the airport, and then I drove into Denver to pursue a day of solitude and preparation...

First up, I desperately needed breakfast. I found a place called Wild Eggs - it was more fast-casual than I was expecting (although that's not the right term, since there was a wait staff, but it felt like some weird amalgamation of fast-cazh, diner, and bistro based on the menu/prices/ambience). My food was good, but not great, but good enough that I left happy.

Then I found a tea and coffee place nearby that made me SUPER HAPPY - Platform T has a lot of delish teas (including the cold brew Earl Grey iced tea I had), and lots of coffees, and an interesting-looking food menu. I predict several visits to this place in the near future, since I'm a ten minute walk from it. I journaled there for an hour or two, and was quite content to just stay there...

...but at some point I had to vacate so that I could check into my airbnb. I got a one-bedroom this week so that I can hunker down and work and occasionally not wear pants (okay, the biggest motivation is that I'm tired of wearing pants). The place is super cute, and it's in a neighborhood that I'm checking out as a possible move far so good.

After I checked in, I ran a couple of errands, including a trip to Whole Foods. I realized tonight that I don't think I've cooked dinner for myself since sometime in London, which was three months ago. I've helped other people cook, and I've watched other people cook, and I've made a lot of scrambled eggs/omelettes/avocado toast...but it's no wonder I'm feeling a) in need of some hermit time and b) kind of gross and unhealthy since I'm eating a strange combo of things all the time.

So, I bought groceries, then came back and called my parents (they're good, thanks for asking!). Then I went to Target to buy food storage containers, since there aren't any in this place and I wanted to prep stuff for the week. Then I came back and made a taco salad, which was super tasty if I do say so myself. It's a good thing I thought it was tasty, since there's enough for three more meals...

And then I finished unpacking, and now I'm going to go to bed oddly early in hopes of getting up tomorrow and hitting the words fresh. Goodnight!

Saturday, July 08, 2017

look in the mirror, what do you see

I need to go to bed immediately - I v. stupidly (or kindly, depending on your choice of adjectives) volunteered to take Aunt B to the airport tomorrow morning, which means I need to get up at 6am, which is entirely too early for my body clock. But today was great - I slept in, and then I actually wrote for a couple of hours, and it felt so good to get into the story again that I may be excited about it (shock, gasp).

Then I spent the rest of the afternoon packing up all my stuff, taking care of laundry, cleaning, etc., etc. And then we went out for dinner at a restaurant in Castle Rock - I had gluten free pasta, which was way more carbs than I probably wanted, but the carbonara sauce was delightful. They forgot to bring my chicken with it, which was mildly annoying, but I managed to avoid inhaling all the pasta before they showed up with the chicken, so I survived. And the two glasses of wine I had with it smoothed out any annoyance I may have felt over the chicken debacle, so #winning.

Then we came home, and Aunt B and Uncle B went to their neighbors' house while I spent an hour and a half or so editing a writing thing for a friend of mine. And now it's time for bed - goodnight!

Friday, July 07, 2017

i'm only human after all

I meant to get more done today than I did, but I crossed some things off my to-do list that had been lingering there for months, so I'll totally take it. In an effort to go someplace where I could concentrate, I drove into Denver and went to the coworking space where Katie works. I got there I little later than I did on Wednesday, and we promptly went down the street for iced coffees. Iced coffees at a totally charming, cute, hipstery bakery/cafe are $2.25 each, which is reason #812 why everyone in SF should move here (actually, not everyone, since that would ruin it, but I think twenty or so of you should consider it).

Then we both worked, or pretended to, until lunch (Katie brought leftovers, I brought a v. tasty sandwich). At that point I was really thinking that I was going to screw around and waste the rest of the day, but I forced myself to concentrate and ended up doing some great stuff, so that was a wonderful surprise. But Katie and I still held to our prearranged date to get pedicures, which I was in dire need of (Katie actually pointed in shock to the amount of dead skin the woman grated off my feet, which means I made need to add some pumice to my nomadic necessities).

Then we went back to Katie's place, where Katie made dinner (a tasty frittata and some watermelon) while we hung out with the girls. James eventually came home, and we all ate and talked and generally laughed too much before I decided to go back to Castle Rock instead of hanging out while they put the girls to bed. When I got here, I did some laundry, journaled some more, etc., and then made plans with Aunt B and Uncle B for tomorrow night.

And now I must sleep - tomorrow I have to pack up my stuff in preparation for moving on down the road (my dramatic way of saying I'm going back to Denver to stay starting Sunday). Goodnight!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

you don't know how lucky you are boys

Too tired to blog - I got approximately four hours of sleep last night, and then got up at 5:30am to go on a hike with Aunt B. We went to a state park near her place, and it took a bit of time to jockey ourselves into position (we left my car at one end and took her car to the other), but the hike itself was great. It was three miles, not too difficult, and no rattlesnakes in sight despite copious warnings. The advantage of getting there so early is that we didn't boil to death in the heat of the rocks, so getting up was worth it (although I really didn't think it was worth it when my alarm went off).

Then I stopped at Starbucks on the way back to the house, and then I made avocado toast to satisfy my hipster cravings. Eventually I showered and Aunt B and I went to the outlet mall nearby - turns out they have a Lucy store, which is my favorite brand of workout/athleisure gear, so I got a pair of capris, a tank, and a sweatshirt and was rendered very happy for as long as the 'I just bought something' endorphins remained in my bloodstream.

When we got back to the house, I alternated between watching 'The Crown', working, napping, and journaling until it was time for dinner - a v. delish pork chop courtesy of Uncle B (it was a bona fide Iowa Chop, since they brought them with them from Iowa) and some twice-baked potatoes and salad courtesy of Aunt B. I read for a little bit after dinner, and then hung out in the kitchen and talked to Becky until it was time to go to bed.

And now, that's exactly what I'm going to do...goodnight!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

don't put your blame on me

I had a delightfully productive day despite feeling like I was overheating for almost all of it. I woke up this morning after sleeping surprisingly poorly last night (or not surprisingly, since I'd had way too much wine). Then I drove into Denver - I had a date with Katie to work at her coworking place, and this was a great decision, because I was extremely productive. Of course, I need to be similarly productive for the rest of time, but I'll take today as a good start.

We had a break for lunch (I grabbed a v. tasty burger from the place across the street), and then I worked the rest of the afternoon (with another break for me to go to Tattered Cover to pick up a book). I parted ways with her around five and drove back to Castle Rock, where I had supper with Aunt B and Uncle B - Aunt B made some awesome fish tacos, which I'm going to have to replicate as soon as I have a home again. Then we watched the first two episodes of 'The Crown', which I've been meaning to watch forever, and it became clear that I know waaaaay too much about the royal family.

And now I need to sleep - we're apparently going on a hike tomorrow, which requires waking up super early to avoid getting heatstroke. Goodnight!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

i'm still waiting for it

So much for detoxing...I blame Aunt B and the magnum of red wine she took to her neighbor's 4th of July party, which we drank almost all of. The rest of my day was great and v. relaxing (I got 9+ hours of sleep! which felt like a super indulgence since it's been a long time since I didn't have to get up and be anywhere), but now I need to sleep so that I can get up and try detoxing again tomorrow. Goodnight!

Monday, July 03, 2017

save the buckshot turn up the band

As you may have guessed from last night's post, I spent today paying the wages of my sins. I had the worst hangover I've had in many months - probably the only hangovers in the past year that compare with this one also involved Ritu and Bill (and that guy I had five bottles of rosé with last summer), so I guess today was par for the course.

Yesterday was great, though - I woke up at 8am in Colorado Springs feeling mildly hungover and sleep deprived (I'd had a lot of rosé with Barbara on Saturday since it was our last night together, but it was nothing like yesterday), but I managed to shower and pack my stuff and load my car and drive to Denver in time to have brunch with some friends who were in town. Ritu/Bill, Chris/Connie, and Steph/Jon were all at a wedding in Boulder this weekend, but I don't know the bride very well and so wasn't invited. But we managed to get together for breakfast at a place called Marlowe's - it was surrounded by some v. interesting people-watching, since there appeared to be both Denver ComicCon and some sort of little person gathering going on nearby.

My friends were all delightful, as per usual, and the brunch went all too fast. Chris and Connie (and their adorable children) had to leave for the airport and Steph/Jon went back to Boulder to see family, but Ritu and Bill and I were in it for the long haul. I was trying to be good (I know, you've heard that before, but really!), but it's hard to be good when the plan is to hang out in drink-type places for eleven hours straight...

We started off at Old Major, where I limited myself to one cocktail (a pimms cup) and some charcuterie (if I'm pleased with anything about yesterday, it's that we didn't gorge ourselves with eighteen meals). Then we got ice cream at Little Man, then had drinks at a place called Occidental (which is trying to be a punk bar, but it's trying a little too hard - but my drinks were decent).

Then we went next door to this speakeasy we discovered called Williams and Graham - it looks like a bookshop (which is why we initially looked at it), but the bar is hidden behind a fake bookcase. We were there when they opened and got in right away, and it was really awesome - I had three different cocktails (a boulevardier, a pisco sour, and another drink with egg whites that was quite yummy). The problem with me and cocktails is a) I love them, b) I want to try them all, and c) once I've had two, I want to have ten....

...which is pretty much what happened. Bill's friend Zac joined us at the speakeasy, and we all had an 8pm reservation at Root Down, which is one of my favorite restaurants in Denver. The food was excellent, as per usual, and my drinks there (the Don Draper, which was another whisky cocktail) were delish (and bordering on unnecessary). Then we ended up at Avanti, where I had a couple of v. ill-advised old fashioneds. Last call was earlier than we were ready to stop hanging out, so we went back to Katie's place and stood around in the kitchen and played some music-related trivia until it was time to send them all packing so I could sleep.

But I didn't get enough sleep, and this morning was an exercise in pain. The only silver lining is that the extreme relaxation I got to yesterday seems to have helped my shoulder - it definitely didn't hurt as much today, and while I don't think alcohol is really a solution, I'm certainly going to try to figure out how to stay relaxed so it can heal.

Anyway, I eventually showered and packed everything and met up for a late lunch with Ritu and Bill at a place I found called the Bacon Social House. You might have guessed that bacon features heavily on their menu. I thought it was super tasty, although putting bacon inside your tater tots is perhaps unnecessary (but yummy). And Ritu got a gluten free pancake that was super good and momentarily made me miss the sugary carb-bomb breakfasts that I mostly no longer have.

Sadly, we had to part ways before I could fully convince them to move to Denver - it probably doesn't help that I spent last night rambling about moving to Iowa and running for office, and so now they're not totally convinced I'll be here if they move here. But I'm going to keep trying - and if any of the rest of you want to move to Denver, DO IT.

After I said goodbye to them, I drove down to Castle Rock - my aunt and her scandalous pirate husband are here this week, so I'm hanging out with them. It already feels so good to have unpacked a bit, since I'll be here for a few nights - I need some downtime so I can write, and this feels perfect. I called my parents when I got here, and then Aunt B and I went to the grocery store and stocked up. We had a light dinner (mostly cheese) and hung out way past everyone's bedtime, and now I need to sleep so I can finish my recovery and get ready for tomorrow. Goodnight!

she was blinded by the light

I've been drinking since 1pm, and it's 2am you should guess that I was hanging out with either a) Adit or b) Riturani. In this case, it was Ritu. After many cocktails and many jhokes, I can't see particularly straight, so I'm going to sleep and try to type again tomorrow - goodnight!

Sunday, July 02, 2017

with a rebel yell she cried more more more

Too tired to blog - I had a great day in the Springs, which ended in me and Barbara drinking a lot of wine, and now I need to sleep so I can get up tomorrow for a blast from a very different past. goodnight!