Saturday, March 19, 2011

One Crazy Month (Part I)

I haven’t blogged in so long. Like a whole, freaking month.

Confession, though: ever since I learned how to schedule posts on Blogger, I’ve had this bad habit of backdating posts if a long negligent-blogger period goes by. Just so I seem more on top of things than I am.

But that only makes me seem like I had my act together a week/month ago, rather than like I’m doing some good blogging right now.

And so, no more backdating.

But now, dear reader, you are stuck reading about everything that happened while I was away. And let me warn you: it amounts to


(which reminds me: I still need to track down and read One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia. Okay, that’s going in my “To Read.doc” right now. What? Don’t you have a “To Read.doc”? Ahem. Okay, carrying on.)

We moved.

Remember that move I’ve been complaining about for almost a year? Well, it finally happened. This Valentine’s Day and the day after.

The day before, I baked epic amounts of cookies for the neighbors to um...sweeten the news (:-P) that a) we would be moving and b) two giant moving vans would be blocking half the street come morning. For two days, I watched some very nice dudes from Webb’s moving company carry furniture. I was helpful, I promise. I opened doors, and handed out waters, and said thank you so much at least a thousand times.

We’re still getting used to the new place and all its quirks. It’s a cool house, but we’re trying to figure out how to live in it.

For instance, I have this awesome window in my bathroom. But can you spot the problem with it?

It’s kind of in an awkward place. Showering here might get me arrested for indecent exposure.

So I’ve been sneaking off the guest bath every time I need to wash my hair. We’ll eventually figure it out though. Last week, I got curtains in my room, so I no longer need to change clothes in the tiny closet. (I am actually first on the curtain list. My brother only got his this week, and my sister and parents don’t have theirs yet.)

Aaaand it’s a nice opportunity to get new furniture. Here is a pic of my brother's brand-new bed-in-progress from West Elm:

Yes, my friends: at the age of 20, and a height of 6’3”, my dear little brother has finally graduated to a grown-up bed. He was so patient, and also so excited. I stayed up late Monday to help him. (My expertise was needed, because I’m the only person in the house who has bought furniture that requires assembly in the last five years. My parents are big on antiques. My brother and sister are students, who get cast-offs and school-issued beds.)

I went to New York!

I can’t believe I haven’t written about it yet. Usually, I write about it right away.

It was fun, like always.

Maria Gomez (good friend and editor at HarperCollins) and I visited my very favorite tea place ever - Alice’s Tea Cup. You know, the land of the epic-sized scones (pumpkin is the BEST! I get it every time I go). They were all decorated for Valentine’s Day. Which meant that they had all these fictional valentines up, and they totally made my day. Here’s my favorite:

In case it’s tough to read, it says, "To: Hermione. From: Ron. I may have the emotional range of a teaspoon, but you'll always be my sugar."

(Awesome, right? LOL!)

I also had wonderful, talk-filled dinners with my college friends. Two of those friends had gotten engaged since I’d seen them last September (to each other, btw – not separately), so we chatted a fair amount about the what, when, and where of their wedding. Very fun, but a bit surreal – they’re the first of my non-Southern friends to tie the knot.

Another friend, Kirsten, came to lunch to me at Rohm. I hadn’t seen her in a year, but it was like old times. She is really one of my favorite people. There’s a warm glow around Kirsten all the time, even when she is having a rough day, and whenever she asks, How are you?, you can feel that she actually cares about the answer.

(Also, fun fact: She currently works in the Flat Iron Building, which has to be the coolest office building ever. I love looking at the historical photographs in the lobby when I wait for her. You can see how once it was the tallest thing for blocks, and how skyscrapers have grown up around it like grass.)

Then, on Tuesday, I got to hang out with Jo, my agent who’s lovely, talented, and fun like whoa. She took me to see Gnomeo & Juliet. (She may never take me to a movie again, though, because I tripped over a small child on the way to the restroom.) We didn’t know anything about it before we went, we were even a bit apprehensive, but it was actually awesome! It’s wacky, it’s smart, it’s full of Shakespeare puns, and it’s got a smattering of Elton John songs. What more could you ask for?

Then we snuck back to Suite 500 to do some brainstorming for a Top Secret Project, which will remain nameless until later. (It is writing-related, but it is not a work of fiction. It is internet-related as well, and that is all that I will say. Stay tuned for details…) Sara Kendall was super brilliant. Every time we got stuck on a thought, she knew it in five seconds. Or she knew to ask the best source for knowledge on the go, ie. Twitter.

That night, Jo, Sara, Maria Gomez, and I headed downtown for some deliciousness at Blockheads, where we forced Maria to join Twitter. Which basically means that we took her phone, set up an account for her, and placed it in her hands. (Yes, this means I know her password. But I’m pretty sure that she has changed it by now. *resists temptation to make mischief*)

And….I met my editor!!! So exciting!! Courtney Bongiolatti. (Look! I finally learned how to spell her name without looking it up! This is awesome!) Jo and I met up with her at Bar Americain, which was super swanky.

Which made me a little nervous, because I’m not exactly the swankiest of people. But then Courtney arrived! And she’s very down-to-earth. We talked a little bit about EAS, but more about baseball, and our dogs, and Boston, and fun stuff. In case you’re curious, I ate a very swanky burger. The fries were awesome, perfectly fried and dusted in sea salt, and they came in a cute, little, irresistible tin cup.

And also...

It’s strange and lovely to return, you know.

Remember how I lived there once? Remember my mixed feelings?

Right before I get on the plane, I remember only all the things I miss most about it: how easy it is to travel without a car; the fantastic restaurants (and their variety); the beautiful old buildings, especially on the Upper West Side (see above); the Parks; and the high population of people who love books as much I do. I left a lot of friends in New York, and seeing them is probably my favorite things about visiting.

But by the time I leave, and the noise and the pace (and the smell) has gotten to me, I’m always happy with my decision to move away. I’m a much more cheerful tourist than resident.


Oooookay, this month was more epic than I thought. So, I’ll need to split it into a couple separate blog posts. Until tomorrow, my dears. :-)

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