Author Archives: Alice

even hannah montana can’t escape my mom

“Your hair is so dark… I mean, it still looks good though.” This, then, how my mom greets me as I walk in. I don’t expect anything different, of course. Which is fortunate, since throughout the day that I learn … Continue reading

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if i had a superpower…

I know I have to do something about the stress when every phone call, every email, every time someone just says hi makes me angry. I feel the moment of weakness and that only makes me angrier, knowing I’m in … Continue reading

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this isn’t one of my good qualities

I step outside and stand in the tedious cab line. Normally, this goes quickly, but today, no cabs are in sight. The air is hot and sticky. My phone chimes with incoming mail. The cabs start arriving and the guy … Continue reading

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beautiful and dirty rich

Sometimes I wonder how I got here. I can’t say that I should have planned my life better, because of course, I did plan. I planned and planned and it was all wrong and came crashing down and I was … Continue reading

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i can’t be saved

A certain someone who has read this journal on occasion may see that title and think I’m at it again: all that “I’m an independent woman” rambling ¬†and OK we get it already, you’re independent and strong and don’t need … Continue reading

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firecrackers and beer for breakfast

On a bookcase in my living room is a framed photo of me and my grandma. It’s the summer of 1988. I have curly permed hair and am working at a fireworks stand by a lake in northeastern Oklahoma. I’m … Continue reading

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anyway you want it

“It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.” Sometimes it seems pointless to write when it’s been written so much better before. Sometimes I don’t have … Continue reading

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i want something else to get me through this semi-charmed kind of life

Sometimes. Sometimes, something hits you. Maybe like you’re walking down a quaint dirt road in the country. The kind with fields of flowers on either side. Lovely, really. And you’re strolling by, looking up at the fluffy white clouds and … Continue reading

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and sometimes i’m joyous and frustrated at the same time

I think it’s like this. I say that I want a clutter-free life, my heart like stone so nothing can stick to it. But that’s not really true at all. What’s true is that I welcome complication, but only when … Continue reading

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sometimes i’m wrong

I like to think of myself as completely non-judgmental. Do anything, feel anything you want. We’re all human and different and complicated and anyway, life is hard. We’re all just doing the best we can with what we have. But … Continue reading

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i’ve made a different kind of life

I came to an agreement with myself about my mom today. For a long time, when I was growing up, I thought my mom was right about everything, that she had a direct line to God, and that if I … Continue reading

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any title would just be a cliche

Sadness isn’t linear. It’s not like hourglass sand, slowly running out until one day it’s gone. Sadness surprises you with its ability to hide and then confront you at the most unexpected moments. You want to get through things and … Continue reading

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good times never seemed so good

Things that are happy. I can do this. I know a lot of happy things. OK. Here goes. Girl scout cookies. I especially love tagalongs. The trouble is that I can eat an entire box without even noticing. Don’t judge. … Continue reading

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i don’t want to write today

Sometimes, I got nothing. I could write about how very sad I am that my cat is dying and that I have to somehow, somehow figure out how to make the decision of when to let him go only I … Continue reading

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new driver perspectives

Car service to the Miami airport, headed for my flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil, the conversation began as always: you travel so much — surely you don’t have a husband or children. But then, a departure: not a prediction of … Continue reading

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tired

I should have lots to write about. I’ve been traveling for weeks: Atlanta, New Orleans, San Francisco, a convoluted route through London and Istanbul to Israel, then Jordan, and now Cairo. Another day and then I’m off for a day … Continue reading

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all this and your fortune too

I seem to spend a lot of my time these days being driven some place or waiting to be driven someplace or waiting after I’ve been driven some place. I started writing this while waiting in the lobby of a … Continue reading

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before seat belts were legally required

I don’t know if my first memory is really a memory or if it’s just a patchwork of things I’ve heard and images I’ve created from remnants of conversations and photos and stories. Most of my childhood memories are faded, … Continue reading

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we all had childhoods once

I think most kids think their childhoods are pretty normal as they’re growing up. We have no frame of reference, so why wouldn’t we think whatever we’re experiencing normal? It takes a while before we start to compare ourselves to … Continue reading

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my faith is like shifting sand, changed by every wave

I am, of course, a liar. But you knew that already. You’ve read about how I don’t need anything except my independence and how the only true validation comes from within. And yet you’ve also read about how I love … Continue reading

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solitaire

Business travel is built around the idea of the solitary. When you check into business hotels, you’re given a single room key and there’s only enough of that awful hotel room coffee for one. You’ll often get a king size … Continue reading

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it’s not really as bad as all this

I was sitting in a deserted corner of the Pittsburgh airport a few nights ago, waiting for a flight that would take me to Minneapolis, where I could in turn catch a flight that would get me back to Seattle. … Continue reading

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countercozen

verb. To cheat in return. (OED) My parents had an odd sense of parenting in a number of ways, but none more so than the utter randomness of their strictness. Case in point: When I graduated from high school, I … Continue reading

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christmas conversations

“I don’t know if you’ll like what I got you for Christmas. Not knowing your tastes or anything.” (Translation: I’m your mother and yet you never tell me ANYTHING.) My mom has an interesting sense of privacy. Which is to … Continue reading

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promise not to promise anymore

We all have pictures in our minds of who we want to be. And some days I’m just not that person. Some days I’m sad and useless and I have nothing creative or witty or interesting or smart to say. … Continue reading

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death and gin

Last night, I was sitting at a bar drinking gin, talking to a couple of strangers about death. Somehow we had gotten onto the subject of plane crashes and I said I had recently talked to someone who had been … Continue reading

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who needs love when the sandwiches are wicked and they know you at the mac store

Yesterday, between finishing overdue work for clients, attending a university board lunch, meeting with a potential client, having coffee with someone to talk about organizing an upcoming conference, and answering questions from my editor about my book, I managed to … Continue reading

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all the chances we’re gonna get happen here and now

Life’s a blur speeding past the window We’d love to stop but who has the time So much to do – we’re so far behind And we stay that way no matter how fast we go I wonder what’s the … Continue reading

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a story of a terrible daughter

How does one explain the following: when looking at the start menu of a computer, the icon for Firefox says “Internet” beside it and “Mozilla Firefox” below it and the icon for Internet Explorer says “Internet” beside it and “Internet … Continue reading

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something else to add to the insanity list

It is so incredibly easy to slip into this place of letting the flaws of others — issues that have nothing to do with us — influence how we feel about ourselves. I don’t know why it’s such a comfortable … Continue reading

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dangerous places

I went to a bookstore yesterday. Bookstores are dangerous. Not all of us can simply open a door and walk into what our alternate life might be. Bookstores always make me feel ambivalent, and this visit was no different. On … Continue reading

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a life of peaceful contemplation

I can write about how I feel and what I’ve done and about moments and snippets of conversations and what I see as I walk through an airport. I’m not quite as able to transfer a landscape to a page: … Continue reading

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