Archive for the ‘great job alice’ Category

Here I am

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Well here I am. A bicycle planner engaged to be married. Maybe I stopped blogging because things started going okay and then things started going pretty well and a blog post titled Today I Wore My Engagement Ring to the Bicycle Factory is not very interesting and probably boring. Am I boring? Is this boring?

I miss HoBaB. It was a constant presence during my rocky quarter-life-crisis. And maybe it was oversharing and not always appropriate but it was my way of relating during the uncertain phases of my life like being an underemployed 25 year old writing 200 word paragraph spam for a part-time real estate agent. It was hard and ridiculous and I had to make it funny because otherwise it would have been sad. And sometimes it was sad. But I could make fun of the sad. Like a self-deprecating angsty adolescent diary. It really was a kind of second adolescence where I was awkward and experimented with new haircuts and androgynous outfits and tried to figure out what I wanted to be (a JSK!). And now here I am. I have clients, a dishwasher, a diamond, and a copper core saute pan. In one week I’ll have a husband.

And even though being alone was not always easy, I made an interesting life for myself in Chicago, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. And then I met Adam and my singlehood started to merge into a life shared with someone else and my career started to take off and I could afford nice dinners and soon enough I had a routine. And with that things became a little more stable, a little less ridiculous, a little less sad, and a little less blog-able. Is this what it means to be an adult?

The first time Adam was out of town I panicked and then I thought, Wait, I can be alone. I did this for years.

I learned how to eat alone when I lived in Brooklyn and then again in San Francisco in the summer of 2010 when I stood on the sidewalk and interviewed people about their sidewalk feelings. I learned how to sit at the bar. Put my phone away. Stare straight ahead or at the TV. Inevitably the person next to you will comment on something like your food or the TV and you laugh and say I was thinking the same thing, and then you’re friends.

So when Adam was out of town, I went to a pub called Perry’s. I finished two manhattans and my entire cheeseburger and salad and I after unfruitful conversation with a couple of regulars I decided to go home.

When I left the bar I stood at my bike and checked my phone when I heard someone say, How are you supposed to text me when you don’t have my number? Was someone hitting on me? I looked up and two older men got out of a large BMW and smiled at me. Were they a couple? They approached me and the first gentlemen held out his hand and said, I’m Ken and this is Marty how do you do?

Ken was a jeweler and Marty was a lawyer and they both grew up in the Midwest and were single after wrapping up their latest divorces. Marty did my divorce, Ken said, as if it was an interior decorating project. I did my own too, Marty said. I looked impressed.

They were impressed that I was also Jewish and from the Midwest and Marty kept insisting that he’d get in touch with the local Jewish Community Federation. I’m on the board, he kept saying. Then Ken grabbed my hand and gasped, You’re engaged! Yes, I smiled. Is he Jewish? No, I said, but he’s half Chinese. I don’t know why I said that, but they were pleased. Oh good for you honey they said, can we take you to Kokari for a drink? When we walked in Ken escorted me up to the bar where the bartender waved to him and said, Pinot? Yes Ken said and clapped once, then pointed to me and said, This is Alex she’ll have a manhattan, then he circled my face with his hand and told the bartender, Remember this face. I waved.

We grabbed a seat at the bar and Ken pointed to the front of the restaurant and said, If you ever come here sit in the front, don’t sit in the back, that’s for the tourists. Marty nodded in agreement and then clapped his hands as if just remembering something, Do you like rice pudding? Of course, I said. He winked and waved over the bartender. Then another gentleman and lady wearing large baubles sat down at the seat next to us, and the man said, Oh, Hello Ken. Hello George, Ken replied. Ken puffed up his chest, leaned in close to me and said, He’s my main jeweler competition but I made a resolution that I wouldn’t said anything bad about anybody and so I’m going to stand here quietly until he leaves.  The bartender brought us a bowl of rice pudding and three spoons. And there we sat, in a tense silence eating rice pudding while Marty flirted with George’s date. At one point he picked up her hand and kissed the back of it. Ken scoffed. We talked about dating and they kept scanning the restaurant looking for women or maybe other people to recognize. And soon enough Marty clapped again. I need to leave soon, he said. But it’s Friday night, Ken said. Because, Marty said, I have to meet my Marin hiking group in the morning. You have a hiking group? Ken said. Jews don’t hike we’ve hiked enough! Marty shrugged. Ok, Ken said. I’m seeing my grandchildren tomorrow, let’s hit the road.

They walked me back to my bike and I handed Marty my business card because he wanted to connect me with the local Jewish Community Federation. They both kissed my hand and thanked me for a wonderful evening and then stood back and waved as I stooped down to unlock my bike. When I looked up, they were gone.

I don’t know what it means. Maybe they were my fairy Jewish single godparents reminding me what it used to feel like to be alone. Or maybe it was the opportunity to say goodbye to being alone. Like a bachelorette for my alonehood. Or maybe it was a reminder that I can always be alone. That becoming the legal half of a couple doesn’t mean that my single unit is gone forever. That I can still be with myself. Is this what it means to be an adult?

Ma Sweet gave me this look recently that was a combination of concern and sympathy and said, I think it may be time to shut down HoBaB. I gasped. Like, kill it?

I tried to come up with an excuse. I stopped blogging because I made it a rule not to blog at work and now I’m always at work and it’s been three years. Maybe in a couple of years I’ll turn HoBaB into a mommy blog. Or maybe it’ll just remain a capsule of my internet feelings. A place I can go back to and search keyword “diamonds” or “Switchey” and think about when things were hard and kind of weird and I had too many feelings that spilled onto the internet.

Low Pony Anniversary

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Here are some fun facts: July 1st was my 2 year anniversary in San Francisco, July 5th was my 2 year anniversary at work, and August 10th was my 2 year anniversary with Dr. Adam. This is big news I’ll tell you why. My head doctor told me it takes a minimum of 2 years until a place starts to feel like home. And at first I didn’t believe him because I had been in other places that felt like home much sooner than that. The difference was that everything in San Francisco was new: the city, my job, my friends, my gentleman friend. So he told me it would take 2 years and in the meantime I should have friends visit and show them my favorite places and also I should leave the city and then come back. Leave and come back, leave and come back, and every time I came back it would be like coming home. So I did. I went to like 15 east coast weddings. And it worked. Like pavlovian conditioning every time we land in San Francisco Dr. Adam says “We’re home!” and my mouth salivates.

The good news is I still live in San Francisco and I still have my job and also I still have Dr. Adam. Sometimes I get confused and when people ask where I’m from I’m like San Newphillicago! I also got a handful of promotions and am on my third set of business cards which is exciting and now senior staff are sending me to meetings with the big guys where I wear my lady business suits and put my hair in a low pony and give firm hand shakes/eye contact which is sign language for success.

In other news: Did you know that Ma Sweet bought a second Sweechigan house? Baller. It’s the one behind the original Sweechigan house so now we have a compound for parties and frisbee and Thanksgiving family hugs.

Police Friendships

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Adam and I got pulled over by a cop last night. Well, not really. But we were walking home from a bar and walking is very slow but we only had one bike, Big Red, so I sat on the back seat while Adam stood up and pedaled and for three blocks it was very exciting until it was more tiring than exciting and we stopped and I jumped off the bike and trotted alongside in the bike lane while Adam continued to ride it in slow circles while we made our way down the deserted street back to our apartment. And that’s when the UCSF police pulled up, and took one look at Adam circling on Big Red and me trotting down the street with a bike helmet and flashing light on my head and he said, Everything ok here folks? Because he probably thought we were drunk or in a domestic altercation and I said Oh yes, Officer! I We’re going home but we only have one bike! Which explains everything. And then I saw him staring at my helmet and I said, Safety first! He smiled and drove away and then two blocks later circled back and I waved and he waved and now we are friends.

The Fine Print

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Did you hear the San Francisco sports team is going to the big bowl event? It is very exciting for people here. I was going to watch the game yesterday but then I got a text from Lydia asking if I wanted to go to the Fine Print Fair instead which is the obvious choice. I imagined it would be a warehouse of screen printed t-shirts and pillows and tea towels, but when we showed up it was not in a warehouse but in a small room and everyone in the small room was over 60 and wearing ties, which is not a bad thing, except that it suggested we were in the wrong financial bracket. This was confirmed when the first print we saw was listed for $57,000. omg. We are in the wrong place. Maybe they have a discount bin? Turns out they did, but everything in the discount bin pile was $375. I was scared someone would ask us questions and then they would know that we did not have $57k to spend on prints because Lydia just bought a new dining room table and I bought a website. So instead, Lydia and I picked out our favorites and decided we would buy them when we were also riche and over 60.  Then we ate ham and cheese sandwiches. This would have been a perfect place to bring the FreetZ because she knows all about art and prints and shmoozing with 60 yr old print buyers. Next time.

On Saturday, Dr. Adam and I hiked up to the top of Mt Tam which is a mountain. I took a photo with my internet phone and then I put it on the internet to show everyone that I am sporty. Here it is:

View from the Top of Mt Tam. It's like being in an airplane except without the flying/anxiety attacks.

Doesn’t it look like a Bob Ross painting? Thank you.


Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

This feels like a movie. Like if a team of engineers who don’t play sports got together to play sports and called themselves something intimidating like The Frogs and didn’t win very often except for when the other team doesn’t show up and we win when they forfeit and we work really moderately hard and make the first round of the playoffs from all the forfeits. And then at the playoffs we have to play down a player on the field because some of our teammates don’t show up and we shrug and say let’s just give it our best shot and our best shot turns out to actually be better than the other team and we win the first round and then play the championship game an hour later against the top ranked team and then we tie and have to shoot penalty kicks for half an hour in the dark after the city turns off the lights at the field until at 10:30pm we score the winning penalty kick and all just clapping and yelling and giving each other awkward engineer work-appropriate high fives and hugs. It’s like that kind of a movie. And then we get a teeny tiny frog trophy.

No bigs, but our company soccer team, the Fehr & Peers Frogs, won the playoff championships. #ribbit

And my inverted skunk hair color striping makes me look like I have a mohawk. Great work Alice.


Monday, October 1st, 2012

Um. My coworkers printed a poster of this and put it on my office wall. I think I’m going to leave it up for our company’s Open House on Thursday night. If anything, I should put this image on a button and wear it on my commute. It’ll give me Caltrain cred.


Interviews and Appointments

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

You won’t believe what I did today. I stood outside in San Francisco and I interviewed people on the street. Remember when I did that for an entire summer? Me neither. Today I was helping with a study that is assessing the option of moving the Alcatraz Ferry Terminal to Fort Mason. Very important. So I stood in Fisherman’s Wharf and asked tourists about their modes of transportation. It wasn’t my survey. I didn’t write it or design it and this made it harder to give because I would ask the tourist the survey question and then they would say, I don’t understand the question, and I would say me neither, and then we would both shrug and talk about how cold san Francisco is in the summer. Most of the tourists were either German or from Texas, both of which I have visited, so it was really like talking to old friends. Also, breaking news, everyone drove to Fisherman’s Wharf and then complained that the parking was too expensive.

Alright here’s the most exciting news of all: I was appointed to the Caltrain Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). This is a very big deal. I am one of three representatives from the County of San Francisco and we advise the Caltrain Board on important things to do or not to do. Sometimes they listen. I applied for the position, then was interviewed over the phone by the head of transportation policy at the SF Mayor’s office, and then was appointed to the committee by the board (unanimously!) shortly thereafter. Last night I went to a community meeting in San Francisco to hear about improvements to one of the main streets in downtown and it was a who’s who of transportation planning. I was making it rain with my business cards. I ran around shaking hands with all the important people and then someone mentioned the head of transportation policy at the mayor’s office and I said, Wait, is she here? And they said, Duh, She’s right there and she is very important. And so I went up to her and I said, Hello it’s me Alice, I am the new rep on the CAC committee! And we stood there shaking hands and smiling at each other for 15 minutes. She was very smart and tall and had short hair and when she spoke about important Caltrain things she would lean in and lower her voice and I would lean in and nod emphatically to show that I understood or at least wanted to but sometimes I would get distracted by her earrings which were silver and long and in the shapes of flowers. At the end I decided she would be my new JSK.

Here is a photo of my new name plate. I am very important.

Things are getting serious.

Is this thing on?

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

I think I’ll start blogging again. Ready begin.


I saw the FreetZ this weekend. I know, I cried too. Besides the crying we also held each other and clapped hands and talked weddings because she is marrying a doctuh (!) and this demands a lot of brainstorming about color palettes and heel heights. There is the FreetZ and her Dr. sitting in a chair for two.  The point is that the FreetZ pulled me aside and said Ok I miss HoBaB and I said I miss HoBaB and then I started crying clapping and decided to start blogging again. Because when you have a feeling and you don’t put it on the internet where does it go?

I’ve been in really high demand recently with weddings and vacations and moving into new apartments with my boyfriends. Is this what being a grownup is? I get on the train in the morning and I see the other commuters and sometimes we’ll nod to each other, but not really because Caltrain Rule  #73: Don’t make eye contact. And then I work for 8 hours and I share work-friendly stories with my co-workers and sometimes when people leave leftover frenchfries in the office kitchen I eat them. And then I commute home and then I make dinner with Dr. Adam and then I’ll rearrange my shoes in the closet, go to bed, and repeat again the next day. I think this is typical, but I’m not sure. The truth is I don’t feel comfortable introducing HoBaB on to my work server because feelings don’t belong at work. Right now I am on the early train home and I am supposed to be working but instead I am HoBaBing shhhhhh. So here we are.

There are a lot of new photos. They live here.  You’ll see all of my vacations. I am doing a really good job of not putting ugly photos of myself on the internet anymore. Ma Sweet was getting angry and said Stop putting ugly photos of yourself on the internet, and I was like ok fine and I stopped. Except for this one. It is called The Evil Switchey Twinsies.


Ok done.

Breaking News

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

This is breaking news except it is 3 days old don’t be mad. Ok the breaking news is that my office held its annual foosball tournament this past month and guess who won? I’ll give you a guess. First name Alice last name Wheat.

I know right? Here’s proof.


The entire office watched the championship game. My team, The Wheat Thins, plays against the undefeated team, Dan and Stephanie (boring name). We were down 2-8 out of 10 for the win. And we came back and we won. And THEN we had to play again because apparently the way it works is the winning team is the team with the fewest losses. After the first championship game we were tied. So we had to play a second against each other to win. Follow me? The point is now I am famous and also feared by all of my new co-workers. Great work Alice.

Superhero choo-choos

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Here’s a list of photos.

Sometimes I am the first one on the train in San Jose and I stand in the front window for the first 15 minutes clapping like a 5 year old kid until we get to Mountain View and then I scramble upstairs and play it cool.

Front seat on the train choochoo

The mercedes is equally as excited to be on the traincycle.

The mercedes on the train

Then last night we went to our friend’s 31st birthday party and the theme was “capes.” So we went as superheroes here I am as a bike lane super hero which is hard to tell because it is just a pink cape but in mind I knew. My gentleman friend was Captain Grilled Cheese. I think we make a good team though: OMG somebody is parked in the bike lane! Save that biker! And give them a sandwich!

Here we are taking off.

Superheroes birthday party

And here we are flying. Flying is very hard. So hard that I was laughing so hard I couldn’t keep my arms straight. Being a superhero is tough.

To the bike cave!

Then when we save people with bike lanes and grilled cheeses we do our celebration dance:

Action superhero freeze frame.

Then today we went on a 3 hour bike ride. Here’s the map.

The end.