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On Being On The Ass End of the Fertility Curve

Written by Alison | May 29th, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Comments

When you first go to a fertility clinic, which we did on the advice of an OBGYN after six months of trying naturally netted us zero babies, they don’t really diagnose you like you expect they will. Instead they do tests and they try to fix the things they can fix and then when that doesn’t work they make comments in passing about what they think could be causing the infertility while also, when pressed, saying, “It’s probably a combination of things.”

The things it’s a combination of?

1) I  have endometriosis.

2) I had surgery for endometriosis 4 years ago which removed some eggs and may have left scar tissue on my ovaries preventing the fallopian tubes from picking up the eggs. (NOTE: I didn’t realize the surgery might complicate matters to this degree. At the time it seemed my hand was forced because there were masses on my ovaries and they had to rule out cancer which no one really thought it was but surgery was the prudent thing or so I’ve been told. Even my dad who’s the most overprotective father/conservative doctor in the world agreed it was the right call and at the time I was just happy I woke up with a womb still inside me NEVERMIND THAT IT WASN’T FUNCTIONAL AND WAS ONLY ONE OF THOSE TRENDY DECORATIVE WOMBS.)

3) I  have a short luteal phase which means from the time I ovulate to the time my next period starts is shorter than it should be meaning it’s possible I’ve been getting pregnant every month and miscarrying every month although I really don’t think this is likely as I feel like I would know if I were pregnant and it’s my belief that I’ve never once been pregnant.

4) I traded my fertility for a beautiful singing voice and human legs ages ago.

5) I’m one hundred and eleven years old.

6) I had polyps but those were removed and while no one knew if removing them would allow me to get pregnant, they did know that leaving them in would prevent me from getting pregnant except I just talked to two women who had babies while they also had fibroids/polyps so go figure.

But back to this age thing.

For the longest time, I saw myself as something between a whippersnapper and a prodigy. I was an extremely verbal child. I was holding conversations, interviews really, with adults at the age of 3. I wrote for the Los Angeles Times while I was still in high school. I was a professionally published writer all throughout college and I was published in People and Rolling Stone immediately after I graduated. I was in advanced classes and my friends were older and I always fell for older guys. I put an immense amount of stock in being and seeming older than I really was, which in retrospect is a sign of immaturity.

The thing with being so precocious in a professional sense is when something pulls ahead like that, something else probably always lags behind. For me what lagged behind was truly, in earnest, going through all the rites of passage and the stages necessary to become a mature, centered, fully integrated adult. My dating life and social life in general was nascent. Hold while I look up nascent.

Hm. Not sure that’s what I mean. Latent? Hold please.

Yes, that’s more what I mean. Dormant.

“Have you had much experience?” the first guy I ever kissed asked me on the phone a few days later. I was sitting in my childhood bedroom, which is where I lived, chatting on my duck phone which quacked instead of rang. Also, its eyes lit up red. Satan-style. The truth is I never liked that phone (sorry mom/dad!). It smelled like shellac and looked like it belonged in a hunter’s man cave. Before receiving the duck phone as a gift, because I liked all duck-related things, I had a pretty white trimline phone with keys that lit up. That was an attractive phone. But then I received the satanic duck with its brown keys and brown cord and I felt like I had to both use and like it because I’d made a big show of liking ducks. When you’re young what you like is who you are and I was the girl who liked ducks, and so I kept it while my pretty white phone sat unused in the garage.

The phone that got away

Back to the making out. For the record, it did not come naturally. It was very awkward and forced and I feel uncomfortable just thinking about it.

“Oh, I mean, sure I’ve slobbered on guys at parties,” I said as if this were neither a ridiculous nor disgusting thing to say. To me this seemed a perfectly reasonable, entirely fabricated answer suggesting my makeouts with men had happened at such a fast clip I barely could remember one sesh from the next. It was just a blur of lips and, apparently, saliva.

I wish I had access to my parents’ collections of family photos right now so you could take a gander at what I likely looked like as I was having this conversation. A few keywords? Big, frizzy hair, clear braces (clear on top, metal on bottom, natch), black leggings, an oversized shirt or sweatshirt, possibly a felt fedora and in general, fat.

“Huh,” he said. He would later break up with me because I was too “sarcastic” but what I think he meant by that was that I was too “unwilling to have sex.”

It’s not that I was a prude, it’s that I knew my limitations and I was barely able to kiss a guy without seeming like a spastic uncontrollable and unrelatable dork. The idea of ratcheting up the level of intensity up and down the amount of clothing terrified me.

What was I saying?

Oh yes, my friends were dating and beginning to have sex and getting to know themselves and other people and growing and maturing and I was wearing a silly hat a la Blossom and coming up with ways to lie to guys I met at coffeehouses while searching for even bigger and boxier blazers to pair with leggings and chatting on a duck phone.

Speaking of phones, which I just want to do for a few moments longer before returning to all the other stuff, at one point we had a beige cordless phone the size of a baguette. Not the size of a french roll which would be an appropriate size for a phone but I’m talking full on baguette that could serve 7-9 people. If you were talking on this phone and wanted to walk through a doorway you had to turn sideways. It’s possible I’m exaggerating a tiny bit although it’s also possible doorways were narrower. I mean, this was the 1840s when people were 17 pounds and you were lucky to see your 30th birthday and phones were the size of giant baguettes and no one had one in their covered wagon.

Being that this was the 80s, and I was in love with squiggles which you’d know based on my earrings and brooch, I grabbed our family collection of paint pens and metallic markers and besquiggled the fuck out of this phone. By the time I was done it looked like the opening credits of Saved By The Bell. And my parents were totally ok with that. I think they take a lot of heat in my stories for things like yelling a lot when I was young and not telling me I was Jewish until I was in my early 20s but when it came to encouraging expression on phones, they were tops.

So anyway, I guess what I was saying is I seemed mature for my age from a certain vantage point but I was also very behind for my age if you looked at it another way. But I think I still identify with the former so it’s weird to find myself on the ass end of this fertility curve.

I also have a zillion million more things to say and explain regarding my decision not to freeze my eggs, the way I never chose to have kids late in life but maybe refused to make having kids a priority in the way I should have, thoughts about 5 year goals and how my answer was always just “to be happy,” reasons why I didn’t prioritize having kids as I feared that would introduce a whole bunch of desperation into my dating life which I think we’ve established wasn’t going gangbusters and other stuff including but not limited to bangers and fizzies. Actually neither bangers nor anything fizzy (other than my personality and my urine if I’ve been holding it for a loooong time and am letting it out with maximum velocity) will be mentioned but I just felt I needed to rope you in.

Ok, this all will be continued. DON’T GO ANYWHERE.*

*unless you need to. I’m not unreasonable.

Treadmill licking; stylish jeans; other important stuff

Written by Alison | January 14th, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Comments

One of the things Tobey likes to do is squeeze his little body in between the space between the treadmill and the wall and then lick the treadmill. (I tried it once, didn’t see what was so great about it.) He was doing this just now and I looked over and our eyes met and I’m pretty sure he looked back at me with a look that said, “I’m sorry, but I have to do this.” Other things he has to do? Eat Kleenex, come running when he smells turkey (even if he’s asleep), bark if he hears dogs and occasionally try to seduce computer chairs.

In other news, yesterday I went on an audition held at the building where Chelsea Lately is taped and it was the single most fashionable place I’d ever been. Every single person looked like they had a stylist. Some were in jeans but the jeans were in saucy color and looked brand new. My jeans are just in regular colors and look medium old to acid washed.  Ok I don’t really own acid washed jeans anymore but you get what I’m saying. I did once own an entire denim outift that was white with black polka dots. I looked like a Holstein.

Now you might be thinking, “You? Looking like a cow? STFU,” unless you know me well or have known me over the years enough to know that I used to be fairly bovine. Sometimes I like to hide this fact because I’m worried if people know I used to be fat they will then look at me now and think, “Oh yeah, I see it!” however I’m also still mentally scarred enough from all the years of being the fat kid to think it might do me some good to just say it instead of trying to hide it.

Also something which started in New York which always amused me is people thinking I must have it so easy because of how I look. To me this is sort of like if someone got mad at me for being a small Asian woman. I would hear the words but wouldn’t take them in because the person being described just isn’t me. I also occasionally get, “Oh, like you’ve ever had trouble getting a boyfriend?” as if I was the prom queen. Some day I will dig deep into my past and barf photos and stories all over you. Look forward to that day!

In other, other news, I just wrote back to a message I received on Facebook and now I’m receiving all sorts of replies which is making me realize the message I responded to was a group message. I didn’t realize this. That story had no point.

Also yesterday after the stylish audition where I forgot that wearing dresses to an audition gives the mic guy nowhere to hook the mic battery pack so you’ll end up essentially getting naked in front of a room full of people while they search for a place on your undergarments to clip the thing, I went to Teresa Strasser’s book reading. I met a lot of very nice ACS fans who said a lot of very nice things and now I have a big head and am a total dick.

Perhaps you are wondering what Adam said to me on my first day on the job? So I’d auditioned the first week of January and found out I got the job over the weekend and was to start that Monday. Monday rolls around and I’m sitting in the studio and Adam walks in and I wave and he sees me and then says, loudly, “That’s Alison?” I’ve been giggling about this ever since. [Do I need to explain that he was making a joke? Pretending they'd hired the wrong person? I think it's clear however maybe the italics don't really get across the exact tone of voice.]

Did I have anything else to tell you? Ummm… Ummmmmmm….. I’m going to be on The Film Vault this week… um… and I haven’t been able to individually respond to everyone who’s said really nice things to me but I just want to thank you all.

The video from the day before my show featuring Yami and Paula

Written by Alison | August 23rd, 2010 at 11:23 am | Comments

Remember on my show when I played a video from the day before my show featuring Yami and Paula? This is that video! Enjoy!

Puppies, wisdom teeth, Dustin, socks, hoarding, babies

Written by Alison | March 8th, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Comments

I’m the kind of person who can feel attachment to just about anything, as evidenced by the way I name my plants and can’t bring myself to buy a fish because I know it would crush me to find Fred or Skippy (the name of my fish) belly up and to feel I had failed him. The irony, and now I’m not sure if that’s the correct usage of irony or the casual incorrect usage which eventually will become the correct usage since words are losing their distinct meanings and pretty soon we’ll all walk around “bemused” with “notorious” iPads that “literally” say “MLGHRF” on them and what was I saying? Oh yeah, the odd or unexpected thing here is that I can’t bring myself to buy a fish and yet I dream of having a puppy. You might be thinking, “Don’t you mean a dog? You know that puppies don’t stay puppies forever, right?” however I really just mean a puppy. I definitely don’t have time to deal with anything that’s losing cuteness and gaining size by the day. In fact, I fully intend to make any puppy I purchase sign a contract stating that either party may terminate the arrangement at any time.

I was thinking about attachment though because vronsfan2005 got his wisdom teeth out and tweeted about it and I got mine out some years ago and I was remembering that a few days before the procedure I was sitting in my chair at Time Out New York thinking, “These teeth will never be in this office again.”

I can also recall having trouble throwing away a sock many years ago, and Dustin (who is not my boyfriend! I realize that my blithe references to him may scare off potential suitors and I’m in  no position to scare off any potential suitors since my biological clock is ticking hard and I really want to get married and have babies immediately, in fact that’s what I tell guys I go on dates with when I explain that Dustin is not my boyfriend). Where was I? I really need to quit going on these long parenthetical tangents and then thinking I can get myself back on track. I’m a writer, so if anyone can I can, and yet it’s as if I’m driving a car and while trying to get back home I lose interest in retracing my steps and instead decide to just pull over and build a new different home. So my point was that Dustin is not my boyfriend, we’re just friends, but once  he busted me about my socks.

Anyway, I think maybe I’m a proto-hoarder. I have hoarding tendencies. Of course, I think probably everyone does which is why that show is so popular.

Oh and RSVP to my Ustream show on Wednesday, won’t you? It may or may not feature Jim Norton. It will definitely feature me talking about this whole online dating thing.

This one’s sad.

Written by Alison | October 19th, 2009 at 8:40 pm | Comments

Twelve years ago someone close to me died. If you’d have known me at the time it was all I really talked about and I also wrote poetry about it and strange prose poems and short stories and marveled at the way the pain caused this preponderance of words, this spillage, really, and not the frozen numbed out wordlessness you’d expect. If I may be precious for a moment, you could say the pain existed in hypercolor, even though when I remember that period of time it’s usually in a smudgy grays. Pardon me, I think I made myself puke.

Anyway, and this is a tangent, but I still feel a bit sheepish about the fact that I so clearly allowed everyone around me to witness my mourning but perhaps even more sheepish that my mourning outfit consisted mostly of Read the rest of this entry »

| Posted in goth, nostalgia, the angoras

even MORE photos

Written by Alison | July 7th, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Comments


Here’s my friend Yami and me on July 4.


Here’s Mike and me on July 4.


Here’s Mike pretending to be passed out on the sidewalk while Brian takes a photo of him. (This is an ongoing photo series.)IMG00739

Here’s Bret playing a rusty trombone. (Get it?)


Here’s me wearing a hat and glasses because when I see hats and glasses I have to put them on.


Here’s me at the beach looking like I totally belong.


Here’s my friend Brian wearing a stylish sweater.


Here’s the Nagel poster that Mike hung on the outside of his recording studio.


And here’s the Nagel when Mike and Brian attempted to set it on fire with firecrackers. I tried to stay inside but they made me come out and take a photo. (This whole adventure is recounted in this episode of The Daily Alison.)

The Daily Alison (Wherein I play tag and then interview Anthony Pignataro)

Written by Alison | June 2nd, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Comments

Anthony Pignataro and I used to work at the OC Weekly. He always wore shorts, hence the invention of his alter ego, Tony LongPants, who wears pants. I think this amused the rest of us more than it amused Anthony, as you’ll see when I bring it up. Anthony lived in Maui for many years after Orange County and worked as the editor-in-chief of the Maui Time Weekly. He’s written a book called Remember The Technicolor Dreamboat: And Other Tales of Maui’s Misfits featuring some of those stories which you can buy here.

Related reading?

I briefly mentioned graffiti. This is the story I was referring to.

And the headache dance is referred to here.

And here’s Anthony’s account of the Rick Dees run-in.

The Pocket Clowns

Written by Alison | April 1st, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Comments

Back when I worked at the OC Weekly we’d do a joke issue on April Fools. One year we put a fake band, The Pocket Clowns, on the cover. I wrote a follow up piece the next year. This is that story. Some of the humor is local and time-specific but some of it holds, I think:

| Posted in OC Weekly, comedy, nostalgia