Month: August 2009

08.30.09 observation

We’re at Station 43 aka Audley End House learning about the SOE.

Observation of the day: small town girls are scary!

My kid calmly retorts “but you are one.”

Too true.


8.28.09 retrieved

I retrieved my kid from his stateside sojourn, and now we’re back in Cambridge making frijoles de la olla, mole poblano, and tortillas from scratch.

Finding the constituent ingredients was, of course, harrowing.


8.26.09 retaliated

I had a lovely dinner with my agent, during which I studiously avoided questions like “what are you working on?”

Later in the week I was thwarted by capitalism yet again, and retaliated by purchasing another Comme des Garcons bag.

Now I’m reading vintage house porn during the waning hours of this holiday….

London, it has been fun. Lets do this again soon.


8.23.09 stings

Lolling around London Fields I observed intrepid young entrepreneurs selling homemade cocktails to a thirsty public, and other people wandering around chatting with strangers.

Someone approached and asked “Can I have your number?”




“For beautiful?”

“No – for the insect that stings.”


8.21.09 responsibility

Back in the land of responsibility, today I learned that it is impossible to order school uniforms unless you know the relevant “house colour.”

Though the school provides no guidelines as to what that phrase means in relation to the age or grade of my kid, and there is no sorting hat to decide.


8.20.09 treacherous

Earlier in the week I spent the whole night in a Soho members-only club. Last night I got trapped in the mosh pit at the antifolk festival. Both evenings ended on the highly entertaining nightbus. I love it; I make so many new …. friends.

I’m supposed to go out again shortly but really, am I too tired for another London all nighter? Or perhaps just too … lazy?

If I do go out, I have to decide what to wear and I’m not used to thinking about that. Life is so treacherous!

Countdown: ten days til real life resumes!


8.17.09 cover

Cover blown. One of the regular customers at my favorite cafe asked “so, you are a journalist?”

Oh no!


8.16.09 rationed

Something I wrote for The Guardian:

The truth is, healthcare is already rationed in the states.


8.14.09 frazzled

Lucky dress is out on the town, frazzled authoress contained within. Ever tried to meet a deadline while on a train, with only an iPhone and index finger at your disposal?

Not recommended.


8.13.09 hedonism

I’m on an extended working vacation in London but had to take a break from wanton hedonism to go back to Cambridge to pick up my prescription refills.

You know, those drugs that I must take to remain “alive.” The stuff I get for free because I live in a country with rational health policies.

Home for a day and the city attempts to charm me. Oh, Cambridge, what is the phrase – too little, too late? Though I do adore the river.


8.12.09 profligate

I am both amazed and extremely thankful I never knew about Dover Street Market before today.

I just bought a Comme des Garcons bag – and am reeling in profligate shock.

Presumably I will recover.


8.11.09 recalcitrant

While I forgot to book my own tickets, I did manage to organize a visit home for one of my recalcitrant teenagers.

In preparation for the flight to the states I allowed him to purchase gum for the first time ever.

The experience required a surprising level of detailed instruction.


8.10.09 reunion

My twentieth high school reunion is commencing in Bremerton, WA. While I seem to be wandering around …. London. England.

I really did intend to go. Oops.


8.8.09 knowledge

The days have been a mad swirl of activity, with coffee dates at the Front Room, excursions to Highgate Cemetery, picnics at the Thames Barrier, tickets for Le Cirque Invisible, entire days devoted to the BFI…

One afternoon next to the river I said “tide out, table set” and my kid didn’t know what the heck I was talking about. This demonstrates a truly shocking lack of knowledge about Pacific Northwest history and…. chowder chains.


8.4.09 fashion

This morning I tried to grab a cup of coffee at Rough Trade but got caught in the middle of a fashion shoot. I did not consent! I do not like!

In fact, it is fair to say I loathe Shoreditch, and love Southbank.

Probably shouldn’t say such things as doing so will almost surely mean I end up moving to Hoxton Square (or something), no matter how absurd and improbable that seems right now.


8.3.09 recommend

Away to London to take my kid for his annual pre-grandma haircut. I can heartily recommend Chaps and Dames in Finsbury Park. Right next door to my favorite cafe in the city and also, where else can you find opera singing barbers?

It has now been thirteen years since my last haircut, and it strikes me that the tragedy at the center of my life is: so much hair, and so little hairstyle! Trying just makes my neck hurt.


8.2.09 notice

Gabriel and Danielle have given notice they are moving out of my Portland house; the end of an era! That sweet little family has lived there longer than I ever did.

And note: despite long-distance pressure from real estate developers and lascivious locals, I will not be selling.

I bought a derelict but promising property in a crack corridor in 1996. I made it habitable, and then resisted touching the equity as the neighborhood gentrified to become what is arguably the niftiest on the west coast.

Passerby and even the occasional neighbor have tried to buy it off me at a deep discount because they think, as the only shabby holdover from olden times, the owner doesn’t understand the market. This is a category error. I might be far away but I’m not stupid.

The house is both beloved and my only strategic concession to saving for the future. I have no pension, but I also have no debt. My mortgage can’t go underwater; in this way and perhaps no other, I was quite a clever kitten. And regardless of the antics of the economy, I will always have a place to live if I want to go back.

I couldn’t otherwise afford to buy there now, for sure – the area is painfully perfect and priced to match.

Though I do admit the house needs work. I am going to paint it in tribute to the constructivism movement (because I can’t afford to cover it in mirrors), and I will be looking for new tenants soon. Friends only as per usual.


8.1.09 purpose

While running errands (as that appears to be my purpose in life) I developed a new and overwhelming goal: to live in a town tourists would never even consider visiting.

Oh, and my finger still hurts – updates will be brief by necessity.


8.1.09 anniversary

Today is the twenty-first anniversary of the accident.

Congratulations to us all on… remaining alive, at least.