Monday, July 13, 2009


I started this blog about a year and a half ago, a period in my life that the Caterpillar and I refer to as "Alice's Winter of Discontent." I was in a life slump, and needed an outlet. I still like to blog, but I've grown tired of the format of this site -- and seriously tired of calling people Wonderland-themed nicknames. Yeah, at the beginning that seemed fun and clever, and now it just gets on my nerves.

Instead, I'd like to write about the things I really love in life. And what do I love? Food, travel, and the wonderful people in my life. No gimmicks, no themes, no hackneyed nicknames. Of course, I could just use this same site to write about different topics, but the format feels stale and stagnant and in need of a change as well. So I'm going to start fresh, and see where it takes me.

Oh, and the aforementioned Caterpillar? Her name's Mary.

*And of course, you can always check out what Stefanie's been up to. That blog's not going anywhere, I promise.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ro Sham Bo

A few quick updates, lots of changes in my life right now.

We're engaged!

We bought a condo!

The inevitable personnel cuts at work. I'm a lady of leisure now!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Holy Crackers, Where've I Been?

Oh, right.

The Bahamas.

And putting a bid down on an apartment with the White Rabbit. And having it be accepted.

SHIT, April.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Cannot Tell a Lie

Isn't it glorious? Love, love, love!

Oh yeah, and the cherry blossoms are nice, too.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What a Card!

I've been seeing playing cards. On the street, in the grass, all over.

I did not pose this one, I swear.

I feel like this has to mean something. What could it mean?

It means... I'm King of my castle?

Maybe I'm just grasping at straws.

It means... I've been dealt a good hand.*

Either way, I like it. Feels lucky.

*Maybe it means I'm out of terrible puns. Hmm.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Stranger on a Train

Sometimes strangers make me cheerful! Like little kids in down jackets, arms forcibly splayed sideways, playing with snowballs. That thug-looking teen who gave up his metro seat to that very pregnant woman who had just gotten on the train. Elderly couples who walk hand-in-hand. That beautiful Ethiopian woman who worked at that pizza shop I frequented back when I interned in DC, who called me Sweetie as she brought me my usual veggie slice and lemonade.

Sometimes strangers break my heart.

I was on the train yesterday afternoon when a metro train driver got on my car, wearing the standard fluorescent yellow mesh vest. He slouched into the seat in front of me and pulled out his phone as the train pulled away from the station.

His phone was high up enough for me to see the text he was composing -- I wasn't trying to read it, but there it was. "I don't know what you want me to say. Just tell me what you want to do so we can be done with it."

My inner voyeur jolted. UH OH! she thought. Shit's going down! Then he paused before sending it, and scrolled down so the previous message was showing. The one that prompted his text.

"I think we need to talk," it said. "I'm not happy with this marriage anymore."

I felt like someone had poured ice water down my back. I was simultaneously overwhelmed with awkwardness at unintentionally invading his privacy at what was probably one of his most vulnerable moments; and a bone-crushing sadness, not only to be witnessing the breakup of a marriage, but that said breakup was happening via text message. Text message! He leaned his head against the glass of the train window, as if trying to melt into his surroundings, fluorescent vest and all.

And just the day before, I had felt positively consumed with love. I still do. Life's funny that way.

PS: How about a cheerier post? Let's say, tomorrow? I feel like I've been a downer lately!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Promise I'm Okay

Four different people have, within the last five days, asked me if I'm okay.

Not the joking kind, like when you have a coughing fit and, after rounds of semi-restrained laughter and choruses of "DRINK MUCH?!" someone invariably snarks, "Um, are you okay?"

The genuinely concerned kind. The kind that comes with a head-tilt and a lowered voice, as if talking about something taboo, something shameful. As if you've been giving out a vibe that causes your friends to think you're inches away from bursting into tears, or going on some kind of bender.

Am I giving off that vibe? Do I seem weird to you?

It's very sweet, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to know that I have such great friends (and family) to be concerned about me when they think something's wrong. On the other hand, I'm getting kind of weirded out.

See, the thing is: I'm fine. There's absolutely nothing wrong at all. Or, rather, nothing more severe than usual. I mean, sure -- I'm a touch anxious about all the pervasive life uncertainty, and yeah, wearing my wool peacoat and my scarves is growing sort of tiresome. But show me the woman who isn't anxious about something, anything in her current life; show me the woman who doesn't die a little bit inside every day past the Spring Equinox that she wakes up to a forecast of "feels like" 19 degrees. Show me that woman and I will show you a filthy liar.

Friends of mine, you're wonderful. I love you, and I love that you love me back. I love that you're concerned about me.

But I promise you, I'm okay.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Late Winter Haiku

Elusive Darling,
I yearn for you. Come on, Spring -
You used to be cool.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I have found myself, as of late, swimming through a multitude of unknowns.

White Rabbit recently took a new government job; one that provides a lifetime of constant world travel and new languages. It's an amazing and incredibly exciting opportunity. He's currently in training, and after that he will be sent overseas. He has asked me to come, and I've said yes.

But all possible excitement has been put on hold while we wait for this multitude of unknowns to be answered. Questions like Where?, When?, How long?, and even Who? hang in the air like a frustrating fog, blocking my view of mountains, deserts, coastlines, and urban cityscapes. I'm waiting for that fog to clear; waiting for it to roll back to reveal clear and sunny skies with highs in the low '70s. Northern California girls are used to this sort of thing.

Last night I successfully punched one of my foggy unknowns square in the face -- my apartment lease is almost up, and When? and Who? won't allow me to answer my landlord's equally important question of whether I'd like to sign for a new year. Luckily, I have the best landlords in the world, and although they do not allow month-to-month, they've allowed me a two-month lease extension, so I can give them a final answer after the fog clears. One unknown down, what feels like thousands to go.

Three more weeks.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


After last week's snow, White Rabbit and I drove past this guy, and we just assumed he was drunk.

He loves you, man.

I mean, come on. He's clutching a silver can in one stick-hand, he's staggering to one side, and he's slurring his snowman speech. ...Okay, I'm making a leap on that last one. But when I walked by him again the next morning, I did a double-take. Let's take a closer look at that can...

Whoa. I stand corrected.

Nourish on, good sir.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Geography Trivia

Those who know me know I abhor the bar scene.

Don't get me wrong, I love to grab a drink with friends, or stare in awe at wine bars' selections, or sip a pretty (but not too sweet) cocktail created using house-made juices and syrups. And I love a good dive bar -- my favorite, complete with stacks of board games and beers swigged from mason jars.

But the "bar scene"? Paying a cover at Rumors (overpriced even at $5), watching people sing Journey with their eyes closed at Front Page, and waiting in line in the snow outside Lucky Bar do not rank high on the list of ways I want to spend a weekend evening.

However, the birthday girl gets to choose the birthday activity without judgment; after all, it's the bar scene I hate, not her. So on Saturday night, after having a few drinks at her place (a portion of the evening I greatly enjoyed), I found myself in line outside Lucky Bar with a few of the girls. The place was packed inside, so we sidled up the bar to get drinks, then secured a spot in the crowd.

A guy approached us: "Can I ask you girls a question?" I resisted an eyeroll and we humored him. "This girl over there asked me if I could list all five world oceans, and I can only get four of them. Can you name the fifth one?"

He said he had already come up with Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic on his own. We stared, dumbfounded. Surely four girls with master's degrees could do this? I hazarded a hesitant guess ("Um... Antarctic?") that was met with mocking laughter.

Fine, so I guess geography's not my thing. Another guy approached us with a much different question.

"Hey, can you girls see my nipples through this shirt?"

I laughed. "Um, kind of. Sorry, hon." Ten minutes after he left us, he came back. "Can I ask you girls a question?"

I stopped him. "Wait, wait... is this going to be about your nipples?"

He looked startled, then asked incredulously, "Oh my god! How do you know about my nipples?!"

Good god. Needless to say, I was more than happy to brave the sleet to crawl into bed after that. Oh, and that fifth ocean? The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean.

I rule.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday, or The Day During Which I Must Restrain Myself From Telling Strangers They Have Schmutz On Their Faces

So, this weekend my mom found my blog (HIYA, MA!). I wasn't hiding it from her, just never mentioned it, as this thing is primarily here for my own entertainment. But she seemed delighted to have found it -- so delighted, in fact, that she Jewish-Mom-guilted me for my month-long lapse in posts.

"Write more!" she cried. Okay, mom, I will, I answered. I promise. But I still don't really have anything to say, or even any interesting photos to add. So today you'll be subjected to my rambly musings, with no punchline, or really even any point at all, in mind.

2009 is off to an interesting start. My body seems to be revolting against me, first with appendicitis last month, and now with the flu. In my heart I know that there are so many strains of the flu that the vaccine can't possibly protect against them all -- but an irrational, foot-stomping side of me thinks it's just not fair to have my shot and get the flu. I haven't had the flu since I was in perhaps the seventh grade, and I've forgotten just how unpleasant it can be. Especially as it pertains to ralphing at work. That's a technical, medical term, by the way. Ralphing.

But the past two months have had some positivity too -- it hasn't all been abdominal incisions and work-barf (and yes, mom, I just said "work-barf"). There has also been a wonderful (albeit cold) long weekend in New York City, and some incredibly good professional news for the White Rabbit that will affect me too. Oh yeah, and spring's just around the corner! ...or at least, it has to be... right? PLEASE?

I had coffee with Tweedle Wit this afternoon, and she schooled me on the concept of lent, a ritual whose point has heretofore eluded me. She said that the true purpose of giving something up for lent is not just to make a silly sacrifice, but to ditch something that might be coming between the sacrificer and his or her relationship with god.

"So, pledging to stop eating ice cream for forty days because you 'want to be skinny by swimsuit season' is not an appropriate lent sacrifice. Come on people, lent is not a DIET," she pleaded. But because I don't believe in god, I am hereby making a completely superficial lent sacrifice: I am giving up being a slacking, lazy-ass blogger.

You can thank my mom.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Winter Cheer

I'm feeling oddly cheerful.

He looks cold.

I'm several days late in posting these photos of winter, glorious winter, but I think they're beautiful. For someone who always hated the cold, always reveled in heat waves, I sure do love snow an awful lot. Or, rather, I love when it's snowing.

Contrary to popular belief, Southeast is lovely.

It's just so peaceful and calm when it's snowing, the romantic period between the first flurry and brown slush choking the streets. This week's snow days made me feel cheery and comforted.


The ensuing sidewalk ice slicks that threatened another emergency room trip with every cautious, slippery step? Not so much.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One Appendix Lighter

Winking-Eye Alcohol Suggestion

Not last Wednesday but the Wednesday before, I didn't feel so hot.

My stomach had been hurting for several days, just a dull (yet quite persistent) ache. I had dinner and watched some tv with the White Rabbit, who left his car parked outside my house and left me his key when he left -- just in case I needed to high-tail it over to urgent care the next morning, if it didn't feel better. I went to sleep, thinking it would just go away with rest, and was rudely awakened several times during the night by the pain. At 3AM, when I could stand it no longer, I got up, got dressed, got in the car, and drove myself clear across the city to GWU hospital's emergency room.

After waiting what seemed like an eternity, they started a slew of tests to rule out several different causes of abdominal pain (boo). They also started putting hefty doses of morphine into my IV (yay!). I developed a low fever and they put me in line for a cat scan after forcing me to drink a liter of that hideous contrast dye. The cat scan confirmed appendicitis, and they whisked me off to surgery, put me under, and pulled that sucker the hell out, after which I had to spend the night in the hospital (my first time).

So yeah. I've been MIA, but with good reason! Thanks to the White Rabbit and all the rest of my best friends for going out of their way to visit me in the hospital multiple times, bring me food, and watch DVDs with me while I drifted in and out of Codeine-induced naps.

When I came out of the anesthesia, the surgeon told me I had six visitors waiting for me in the waiting room. That felt good. Even better than the morphine.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oh, My Darling

I was just recently lamenting the inherent lameness of winter fruit. Cherries, berries, melon and stone fruit in the summer, apples and pears in the fall... dry, tasteless oranges in the winter? I haven't enjoyed winter fruit since my late grandfather passed two years ago, as he used to send a huge box of perfect oranges to my dorm every winter from some farm in Florida. All other oranges paled in comparison.

But oh, my darling Clementines! How dare I forget about these juicy little gems? Their peels practically fall off, and with them go the winter blues. The White Rabbit taught me to toss their peels into the disposal, which makes my kitchen smell lovely. I can't even look at this photo without feeling cheerier!

Orange you feeling cheerier?

And oh, my real darling: a very merry birthday, White Rabbit!