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A sad and not very funny at all blog post which is also long

Written by Alison | September 4th, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Comments

This will be a surprise to no one, but one of my defenses is to make jokes. It’s also one of my hobbies and oftentimes part of my job and something which brings me joy. But it’s definitely a defense, too. Recently Marvin and I were at a support group for people with parakeets and they were talking about portacaths. For those who don’t know, a portacath is a catheter implanted under the skin for people who need to be given IV drugs frequently or whose veins need to be accessed often (as in chemo or apparently hemodialysis, thank you wikipedia) and it saves unnecesary wear and tear on the veins and skin and instead puts it in the chest. See, I just made a joke and it wasn’t even funny. The point is everyone recommends these portacath things even though Marvin was resisting but more on that later. So there’s also something called (or referred to) as a “power port” which is like a portacath but has two areas that needles can be inserted into, or something. There was some discussion in the group about the differences. “What else can you do with a power port?” asked someone. “You can plug a hair dryer into it!” I wanted to yell, time and time again. I’m pretty sure everyone appreciated my biting the inside of my cheek instead. Then later a woman was talking about how she’d had a whole bunch of stuff removed and if she needed surgery again she wasn’t sure what was left to take. “Your money!” I wanted to yell. I’m pretty sure that one would have been met with laughter and applause and quite possibly the entire support group (“for patients, caregives welcome”) would have fallen at my feet and asked if I’m a professional. Then they would have told Marvin how lucky he/she is to have me around since my effervescent outlook surely keeps the dread at bay. I tell myself and Marvin this all the time. But I didn’t say it on the off chance that instead of making me queen of the support group they might turn on me and wonder who let this person who doesn’t even have The Marvins speak.

Anyway, Marvin availed him/herself of the portacath mostly because he/she was being pressured into it and it turns out that it was not the big nothing kind of outpatient procedure we’d been hoping for but instead the doctor was right when he said it would feel like someone punched you in the chest. I mean, it was outpatient and on the scale of procedures at the hospital not a major one, but Marvin was in pain after and was also kind of angry and just not having any of it.

So then the day after, Marvin and I went to a meditation class a the hospital not because Marvin wanted to but because he/she though it would probably be a good idea since the class is to reduce stress and learn to manage anxiety.

Though I don’t regularly meditate I’m fairly open to all that airy hippie shit and read self-help books and have had my head shrunk on numerous occasions and think it’s important and so it wasn’t hard for me to get into the groove. To grok it. To dig it. To vibe with it. To feel it. I’m noticing that apparently the only phrases that are coming to me are ones I’d never use because I’m not an asshole. Or rather I’m not that kind of asshole. Language has turned on me! Anyway, you get my point. Marvin on the other hand is trying to be open to meditation but I’m pretty sure fell asleep and slept through the class. I meanwhile imagined myself in a tiny canoe made out of a peapod, like the kind a mouse would ride in a Disney storybook, and I was bobbing along peacefully in the gentle waters in my peapod boat, listening to myself breathe in and out. The sky was reddish and I’m pretty sure my friends, The Rescuers, were nearby.

But then the woman leading the class told us to imagine we were standing on a beach, either in the sun or in the moonlight, and I chuckled a little to myself because couldn’t she tell I was in a boat? I was really enjoying the boat, too, and I didn’t want to have to come in to shore. Bitch kept talking though and before long I had to drop anchor  and stand on the beach, which is not a euphemism in this case.

Then I started thinking about little Marvin and how I’d walked in on Marvin wearing an old, faded oversized pajama top that buttons in a way that doesn’t irritate the portacath, eyes red and rimmed with tears beneath his/her glasses with a bereft look on his/her face that said, “I’m breaking, I don’t know how to do this anymore,” the daily bullshit suddenly stretching out into a path of discomfort so total it obliterated the ability to hold out hope, to cling to small pleasures, to imagine a time the calendar won’t hold a series of frightening and possibly painful appointments, to feel safe in his/her body again.

And suddenly I ached to hug Marvin, to protect Marvin with my own body. And I began crying, thinking about how I wished I could just pick Marvin up on my own back and carry him/her until he/she was strong again. I imagine this is how a parent feels when their child is in pain. And the fusing of me with Marvin was so complete it simply became a situation where I’m in pain because Marvin is in pain. And then I wasn’t really meditating anymore, I was just sobbing.

This house is a very sunny tar pit

Written by Alison | August 25th, 2010 at 11:31 am | Comments

I’ve likened my parent’s house to a tar pit before in that when I’m here I find it hard to get out and also I smell vaguely like gasoline and feathers stick to me, but usually that only applies to my relationship with the outside world. I get stuck in the house. As if there’s an electric fence surrounding it. An electric fence surrounding a tar pit. Today though I’m noticing an inability to go into the other room to get my portable hard drive which would allow me to edit a couple videos. Without it? Videos will not be happening, at least not at this computer. So then what’s stopping me from lifting my ass off this chair and using my legs to go into the other room and then sitting down and opening my laptop and ejecting the hard drive and then using those same legs to walk back into this room and diving behind this computer (over the pen jar and wastebasket and careful not to knock off the post it notes stuck to this computer) and plugging it in and then sitting back down in this chair? I fell asleep just thinking about it. Plus the other room is really sunny. Like too sunny to have to endure this early, which incidentally isn’t very early. It’s as if I’m hungover though I haven’t had a drink since August 8 or August 1. I can’t remember but it was after a show and it was one beer. Before that I hadn’t had a drink since months before. I make a beeline for fun and then I take a left turn right as I get there. So what I’m saying is I’m not hungover, I’m just lazy. But it’s not true laziness, it’s paralysis. This house paralyzes me and whereas previously it only kept me inside but free to move about, overnight it’s acting like insecticide, or maybe it’s nerve gas, in that I take a movement and then get stuck. Dammit, that would have been a somewhat decent metaphor if I remembered the science behind insecticide and nerve gas.

See, part if it is that I’m currently at my mom’s computer which is big and nice and orthopedically correct and has a nice big chair and though she’s left handed and I’m right handed which means I have to move the mouse when I sit here, I’m ok with that. This is juxtaposed to me sitting on the couch in the family room with my feet up on the coffee table and my laptop in my lap, squinting because the sun is beating the left side of my face through the picture windows and then trying to concentrate even though the TV is on, loud, and people are in the room talking or possibly arguing. Usually I get about as far as checking twitter and then I decide I’m done with whatever I’m doing, or maybe I sit like that for awhile and then I stand up and everything hurts. And then I realize I’m far too young for everything to hurt but I’m pretty sure the coffee table is at the exact wrong height to not create some kind of lumbar chaos. And while we’re on the topic, pretty much everyone in my family has orthopedic problems but I don’t. I have some kind of disc problem which I’ve had forever, ever since getting thrown from a horse when I was 9 or possibly I was born with it, we don’t know, but it very rarely if ever gives me problems. And I like to pride myself on being someone who isn’t complaining about physical ailments all the time, with the exception of that left eye twitch a year ago which I just had to talk about. It’s not that I don’t complain, I just like to only complain about superficial things or feelings/thoughts.

What was I saying? Oh yes, I’m squatting at this computer. Not literally. I’m in a chair. But I’m a squatter. I’ve done a land grab. I’ve annexed it. I’ve absconded with it except I’m pretty sure I’m using that word incorrectly. Let’s check. Yes, that’s not at all what I mean.

And if I get up to get my hard drive? I will quite possible lose this computer. So my plan is to sit here until plate techtonics cause the family room to move closer to the computer room. It’s unfortunate that I already need to pee.

And now I’m overhearing some bickering over which parent I’ll be driving where later. I’m like a yo-yo, only my parents aren’t divorced. They’re just irritable.

You guys, remember when I used to be fun and funny? I miss that!

About tonight’s ARIYNBF and everything else in my brain

Written by Alison | May 26th, 2010 at 9:49 am | Comments

Ok don’t cry you guys, but it’s looking like I won’t be doing an ARIYNBF show tonight because I have to be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow. Did you know I grew up with a father who always pronounced it “crap of dawn?” Not because he didn’t know the correct idiom but because he thought it was funny to say crap? I did. This is the same man who would bait his children into saying the word “tank” (as in fish tank) so he could quickly say “you’re welcome.”

But anyway, back to how I’m breaking your hearts tonight: I’m sorry my dears! It’s quite possible I’ll go live at some point but it will just be me and my overwhelming charisma, not me and my overwhelmingly charismatic friends. All this, of course, is also because I’m changing the show time to Sunday. Could you be more excited? I really don’t think so.

In other news, yesterday was a busy day and in the audition I was actually asked to discuss something I’m passionate about which, if you’ve been watching my show or listening to me ramble on lately you’ll know is something on my mind. I’m pretty sure the guy operating the camera appreciated the chance to listen to me pontificate about not only my passion but about the very question and what it means and blah blah blah. You might think I’m using “blah blah blah” as a space holder to indicate that I was longwinded but I actually said “blah blah blah.” Not really, but wouldn’t that be funny/horrible if I did?

Which all brings me to some dating advice Dustin gave me recently. He told me I needed to stop externalizing my interior monologue because guys hear me discuss all the stuff going through my head and attempt to parse it or find some meaning in it related to them when really it doesn’t mean anything, it’s just me thinking out loud and grappling with my colossal intellect. (I added that last part.) The deep irony for someone who over-analyzes like me is the idea that someone could talk and talk and talk and it would mean nothing which means all those attempts at over-analysis are futile. Perhaps I’m the exception that proves the rule. Or I’m a hypocrit. Oh no, I’m doing it again. And by the way, if you feel lost and like you weren’t able to follow the last few twists and turns don’t worry, I pretty much have no idea what I’m talking about either.

But on to more pressing matters: showering. Since I have to be up at the aforementioned dawn crap tomorrow I’m thinking I’ll shower tonight however I’m sitting here feeling like I also want to shower right now. A morning AND night shower in one day? That’s sheer madness.

Oh, also! I’ve been given clearance to post some portions of essays I’ve been working on. They’re long so I think I’m going to post them in chunks at the same time each day. It will be like a serialized soap opera, only not a soap opera. You know?

Just say yes, it’s easier that way.

Also, it might be 412 degrees in this apartment.

Also, if you’ve ordered a tshirt and you’ve been chewing at your pen caps wondering where it is, good news: the mailers I was waiting on arrived so I’ll be putting the tshirts in the mail ASAP.

| Posted in gear, old ARIYNBF, romance, words

this duck again… plus passion, rage, self-indulgence and pepperoni

Written by Alison | May 23rd, 2010 at 8:51 am | Comments

So I thought I was overdue in posting photos, in fact this post was going to begin with, “I’m overdue in posting photos” however I just went and looked and unless I want to upload all the shots I took yesterday which I put on twitpic, which I don’t, I’m really not that overdue. Hence my reliance on Plan B. The Morning After Duckling.

By the way, that’s not my hand holding the duck. It’s not even my duck. How I wish it were!

Also, last night Dustin and I tried to do a livestream from his iPhone. This is what it sounded like: Lasht night Dushtin and I tried do do a liveshtream from his iPhone. We sounded drunk! But we weren’t! It was the audio! I shwear!

Also I have a couple little trips coming up and I couldn’t be more excited. Could I be more excited? I just said I couldn’t. Must I repeat everything?

Must I repeat everything?

Last week Tom Rapp played live on the show and it was amazing. I have all the footage sitting in my iMovie event pane and yet I can’t bring myself to begin editing. My ass is revolting. “Don’t sit on me!” it’s saying. Incidentally that was originally the slogan for the Continental Navy until a very early marketer came along and adjusted his powdered wig, had an affair with scullery maid, got drunk on moonshine and then belched something about synergy and call to action.

In other news, there is no other news. Actually, there may be but I don’t know if I feel like sharing.

Well I will tell you that two things are on my mind. One of them is that maybe I need to make some kind of special website for the show however what’s a good website that would have the video window and also the chat window? I’ve been looking at wordpress and tumblr themes and haven’t found anything that looks perfect or near perfect yet.

Also, I miss writing. This happens to me often. I bounce back and forth between missing performing and  missing writing. When I miss writing it’s because a part of me looks at everything I’m doing and thinks, “What the hell are you doing?” and longs to feel like I’m actually adding something meaningful to discourse/culture. When I miss performing it’s because part of me looks at what I’m writing and thinks, “This is about hair.”

Ok that’s not true. I only wrote one story about hair, titled “The Braid Bunch” and it was pretty good if I do say so myself, which I just did.

There’s a lot of talk in this new media world about “passion.” I imagine there’s a lot of talk about it on couples’ retreats as well. But inasmuch as it applies to branding and point of view and labeling and stuff which fundamentally makes me feel icky and yet is so necessary in this world it’s shorthand for “what do you stand for in a couple words.” So I’ve been thinking about what my passion is. By the way, you can’t say your passion is being entertaining. Or being funny. Or being liked. So I’ve been thinking about the inverse: what really pisses me off. Granted that’s not really the inverse of passion but you know. Things which piss me off? Stupidity, rigidity, lack of self-awareness, people who think they can outsmart you, bullshit, lack of ducklings.

Actually, I’m cutting myself off because I was just reminded of a different direction I wanted to go: there is something which has been pissing me off lately. Growing up I was a quiet conscientious overweight nerd. The nicest quiet conscientious overweight nerd you’d want to meet, but you get my drift. And then I was a professional writer for years and years. And now all of a sudden I’m on TV and I’m pretty and people react to me as an attractive person and while part of me accepts it, there’s a part of me that doesn’t connect at all with the person who people are reacting to. Does that make sense? It doesn’t really need to. So for awhile being treated as just a pretty face or as an object, if you will, which you will, was sort of thrilling in this very novel sense. Because the vulnerable part of me was the looks part, not the brains part. I’ve never questioned my intellingence and what I’ve accomplished, those parts of my identity are ironclad and for that reason I also don’t really ram them down people’s throats. I just figure that people will google search my name and see I’ve published thousands of articles or maybe I never thought it through enough to really realize that’s what they would need to do.

So fast forward to now-ish when occasionally I get treated like one of those talking heads on TV whose title is made up to give them a reason to go on TV and who is fundamentally an insubstantial person who happens to look good and instead of it being a novel or amusing thing it just fills me with rage. I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I’ve been treated as stupid and each time stands out to me because it was so jarring. Like being called the wrong name. And I recognize that writing about it here is really just writing for myself because if anyone is reading this they likely already know who I am and etc. But anyway, I know it’s dumb for me to waste my breath on people who didn’t take the time to google anything and who jump to conclusions and whatnot but it’s also a lesson in the fact that I need to somehow get my credentials a little closer to my amazing hair. In fact, I’m going to stuff them into my hair probably. Both for volume and convenience.

What else was I saying? I don’t know, I think I smelled pepperoni in the course of writing this and was distracted.

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.

Wintry mix

Written by Alison | December 5th, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Comments

It’s officially that time of year. That time when weather turns wet and gloomy and I put rollers in my artificially straightened hair (for volume, duh!) even though it doesn’t do a damned thing. Okay, actually that happens year round, but moreso when it’s cold. It’s also the time of year when jeans wick moisture from the ground which is great exercise because the denim becomes very heavy and so pretty soon you’re walking around with weights on your legs. The downside is that you’ll sink like a stone should you happen to fall in any body of water or end up in a pair of concrete shoes in the Hudson. Concrete shoes, it should be noted, also function as excellent free weights for toning your glutes and your triangles. One time I wore concrete shoes during a sprint on the beach and by the end I could have sworn I had the body of a 22 year old… trapped in the tangle of kelp I was dragging around along with some tin cans and a desert boot. You never know what (or whom!!!!!!!!)  you’ll find at the beach!

But back to this weather, it’s also the time of year when weather people give you their forecast, which I’m pretty sure they make up (no offense to meteorogolists! Some of my best friends are umbrellas!) and they will employ the term “wintry mix” to describe a blend of slush, rain, wind, snow, carob chips and sometimes yogurt chips or dried cranberries. By the by, I’m not using the word craisin because I decided one second ago that I didn’t feel like it. I’m fickle.

Onward! The word fickle makes me think of pickle which reminds me that last night my friend and I had a long talk about our hopes and dreams and then an even longer talk about foods and flavors we like or don’t like. It also veered into smells. To be fair, we didn’t talk about our hopes and dreams. I don’t like the smell of distilled vinegar, for example. She doesn’t like the smell of Rosemary. I don’t like the smell of Edith. I don’t like octopus, but not because I’ve tried it and made an informed decision, more like because there is a part of me that’s five years old and thinks it’s grody. Also grody? A fair amount of innards and entrails including but not limited to brains, testicles and insects. I guess I’m not that unusual really. But when I was in preschool I ate gizzard and I think I even liked it. I suspect I’ve already written about that here. Is it ringing a bell? For “nutrition” which is what they called “recess” different parents would bring in a snack and it was usually kid friendly fare and if you ate all of it you were in the “clean plate club.” This was back in the 1820s before everyone was worried about obesity. Clean plate club = Precocious fat ass club. Anyhoozers, someone brought in gizzard and I ate it and was praised for being in the clean plate club and to this day I wonder why someone’s parents brought in gizzard for a bunch of preschoolers. You know? Did I mention it was human gizzard? It wasn’t because humans don’t have gizzards, and also the preschool was staunchly anti-cannibal (this was conservative Orange County in the 1820s after all) but just wondering if I’d mentioned it.

I guess that’s all I have to say. What foods or flavors (or smells) do you guys like or dislike?

| Posted in fitness, pickles, the gym, words

New Blog Column: My New Thing (plus other stuff)

Written by Alison | November 22nd, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Comments

As a tireless historian of my own antics I’ve decided to start a new blog column called My New Thing wherein I document my various activities as one would a toddler’s. So for example:

My New Thing: Waking up really early and moving to the couch and falling asleep there for a few hours.

My Old Thing: Frottage

In other news, this new hand lotion I’m using smells kind of like a diaper. Perhaps one day soon smelling like a diaper can be my new thing?

And in other other news, I have an audition tomorrow morning for something I really hope I get unless the casting director is reading this in which case, hey, no big deal, easy come easy go. Unless a more passionate attitude is in order in which case I’d totally trade my left diaper hand for this role. Or something.

And in other other other news, I’d like to tell you all about what happened when I blew my nose this morning however even I am going to draw the line at snot. (Drawing the line at snot is my new thing.)

And in other other other other news, I didn’t make it to Dustin’s pig roast yesterday because I’m a bad friend who cannot shake the lingering effects of this swine flu and I didn’t want to get reinfected by the guest of  honor (the pig, not Dustin). I’m thinking of changing my email signature to, “Just so you know, eventually I’m going to disappoint you.” What do you think? Catchy, right?

In other other other other other news, I’m flying to CA tomorrow after the audition.

In other other other other other other news, I wrote a tweet wherein I said “Newtons, go fig or go home” which was really just because I wanted to make the pun. I later came clean regarding my fundamental okayness with various Newton flavors. Then I started thinking of more puns:

Sausage? Go pig or go home.

Archeology? Go dig or go home.

Stage lights? Go Klieg or go home.

Sticks? Go twig or go home.

Irish dancing? Go jig or go home.

I think you can see where that’s going.

| Posted in I love myself, dustin, lists, words

Endangered words and creepy girls

Written by Alison | February 26th, 2009 at 10:34 am | Comments

Gawker put up this post about endangered words and the scary thing is that I frequently use most of the words people are worried about losing and/or saying should be brought back. Why, just the other day I remarked to a friend, “Zounds! I’m headed to a hootenanny where I shall squeeze my guts with a stick! Then I shall tweet about any terrific frippery I encounter after said gut squeezing.” Which begs the question: Am I that person out there in the linguistic forest chained to a big tree? Because no one cares about that person. I mean, you don’t want them to get chopped down because that’s gross, but in general it’s like, “you should have thought about that before chaining yourself to a tree.” It also begs the question, does anyone chain themselves to trees or is that just a plot device from Family Ties?

It also begs the question if my references are anachronistic in the extreme so pretend instead of Family Ties I’d said One Tree Hill.

The other day Anna and I were talking and I told her a story where I’d worried I’d come off as a creepy goober and she stopped me and said nothing I could have done would be worse than having used the word goober. “But I like goober!” I weedled asthmatically. It was attractive. She relented a bit, perhaps I am more in touch with slang zeitgeist was the thinking, however I’ve since embargoed goober.

Goober, goober, goober, goober, goober, goober, goober, goober, goober, goober, goober, goober…

Oops, embargo repealed!

So, want to hear the story where I was worried I came off as a creepy goober? I think you do!

I had potential plans to hang out with someone I don’t know well however we’re both incredibly famous and exceedingly wonderful. He invited me to a thing and I couldn’t go to the thing so then maybe we were going to meet up the following day. He texted, “I’ll touch base with you tomorrow.” I quickly typed into my phone: “Not if I touch your base first.” And, here is the thing, I was sitting there staring at my own text thinking, “Don’t send this, it’s sending a message you aren’t intending to send.” And then I watched myself hit send, knowing this was quite possibly going to make things weird, because ultimately I was more in love with my dumb wordplay than anything else. Hence the question which I discussed with The 404, can girls be creepy?


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