My Beautiful Boy


Apr. 2003-Oct. 23, 2016

[Photo taken in happier times, AKA one week ago.]

His death was sudden and shocking: both very quick and—in the bleak final hours—excruciatingly slow, brutal, and painful. I went from praying that he would live long enough to make it to the euthanasia appointment the vet and I had scheduled for 10:30 this morning (in case the last-ditch home remedies didn’t work overnight) to pleading with the universe to please let just him go.

At 3:12 this morning, convulsing on the bathroom floor where he always loved to laze, his head cupped in my hands, my baby went.

Oh my dearest, darling Nath.

You stupid, dumbass, beloved little shit, who never found a bit of plastic or lint on the floor (or even random flicker of shadow either, let’s be honest!) that you didn’t feel compelled to eat: I have no idea what you found to scarf up over the last few days that turned your tummy into a graveyard, but I am truly sorry I could not save you from yourself. You got into so many mishaps over the years because you found the whole of your world too fascinating to worry over every little detail, like “is this actually edible?” or “will this set me on fire?” Continue reading “My Beautiful Boy”

The Cat and the Heat Wave

Nathan think I am lying to him about the weather.

He cannot believe that the air-conditioned bedroom is truly the only comfortable space in the apartment, and so, every few hours, he marches to the door and meows loudly, demanding access to the rest of his domain. Perhaps five minutes later, he meows loudly from the other side of the door, demanding to be allowed back in—hotter than when he left, and somehow more indignant as well.

Nathan’s “What the hell, mom” face.

To be clear, I am just as pissed as the cat is about the heat. Almost as disbelieving, too, despite the fact that I am the only one in our shared home with access to weather reports, as well as the cognitive capacity for number sense.

Numbers which—if my sense is correct—hate me right now.

Just not as much as my cat does. Continue reading “The Cat and the Heat Wave”



…you try to wrap your head around the current state of the GOP and what it means for our country as a whole:

firefly_we re all doomed


Also (not that it matters anymore) (not that it mattered EVER), but wtf is even happening here.

[LOLsnort. #flippers]

I am strongly considering going into hiding for the rest of this election cycle. Please send care packages of chocolate and tequila to Alice Isak, c/o Nathan’s new box.


I mean, WHEW. 

Some days, I just don’t have the words. Perhaps I can borrow a few from Pooh and Piglet:  Continue reading “TFW…”


Oh my beautiful girl.

Thank you for loving me so long, and so well.

I once wrote that I trusted you would tell me when your time had come. In the end, I think we told each other: that it was time to go. And that it was okay to let go.

You know that I would have held you forever if I could have.

hildi young to old
L: Sleeping in my bed, Oct 1995 (age 2 mo.) R: Sitting — where else! — on my chest, Dec 2015

Well. That was certainly bracing.

It started with a klaxon bell at 4:30 yesterday morning.

From a distance, I understand it looked like this:

The tall building behind the smoke? Yeah. That’s where I live.

[If you’re anything like me, you’re feeling awfully nervous at this point in the story. Lemme jump ahead a moment and reassure everyone: I am okay. Hildi and Nathan are both okay. Everyone else is okay too: no lives were lost, either among my neighbors or the firefighters.]  Continue reading “Well. That was certainly bracing.”

The Stick Ladies: A Love Story

I was first introduced to the Stick Ladies through artist Claudia McGill, who included them as part of a portrait series on her blog back in August. Even though many stick lady friends had gathered for these photos, the sparks between these two were evident to me right from the start.

I shared my suspicions with Ms. McGill, and together we wished them well…wherever their journeys took them.


[Alice: I am totally grooving on the two ladies in the middle of the bottom photo, the ones giving each other the sideways glances. I’m imagining them having a courtship that starts out uncertain, then grows into quite the torrid love affair…

Claudia: Fairy Godmother says: if so, they will live a long life together and be happy!]

Imagine my surprise when their journey brought them both to my door, just a short time ago!

Nathan wasted no time greeting our guests —


despite the fact that they were clearly knackered from their travel.

Hildi, more attuned to social niceties, waited to be properly introduced once the Ladies had had a chance to relax and splash a bit of water on their faces.


When asked about their plans, the Stick Ladies informed me that they had decided to strike out on their own — to give their fledgling romance a chance to flourish — and were hoping I could give them a proper introduction to what the City of Brotherly Love might have to offer.

As they admired the skyline of their new adoptive home, both felt sure they had come to the right place for an adventure!

stickladies_skyline Continue reading “The Stick Ladies: A Love Story”