Saturday, April 30, 2005

Vegas on ice

Shopping for a skating dress
[translation: small and spandex and terrifying]
Should be reserved for a day that did not proceed an entire fat week

I learned that today

It’s probably not the only thing that I learned today
But my memory was erased
By short skirts
And flesh-colored fabric
And rhinestones
[which, in skating slang, are referred to only as ‘stones]
And velvet
And Lycra
And tights

And the overwhelming desire to:
a. never eat again
b. gouge out my eyes with a sharp poking device

Friday, April 29, 2005

Two steps closer to elderly

At work today, in the midst of a spell of boredom, I got the sweetest fucking idea. It was like God whispered in my ear.

"Go to Jimmy John's for lunch, child."

I was instantly super-pumped.

Jimmy John's is the sandwich shop I frequented in college, you see. When I was a freshman, it was mostly confined to Big 10 campuses, but over the course of my education, the Jimmy John's franchise expanded (much like my brain and my hatred for higher learning).

So now you can get Jimmy John's sandwiches and not venture a foot onto a college campus.

Which I tried for the first time today.

I danced (the rumba, if you must know) into the Jimmy John's by my office. I sang my order for a #6 (vegetarian, even though I'm not).

And then I stood at the pick-up counter and itched myself.

Something wasn't right and it gave me the hives.

This is what wasn't right: there were old people working at Jimmy John's. Not mostly stoned art students. Old people.

And, while the sandwich was delicious, it just wasn't the same.

Because I felt like a suburban Jimmy John's sandwich engineer.


Thursday, April 28, 2005


I have been paid.

I have a job. It is officially officially official.

Break out the confetti.

And my credit card statement.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I'm still full

My day was all fucked up because I spent it in an office-wide meeting/training session/group hug instead of at my desk.

Totally screwed my equilibrium.

Normally, my days go something like this:
8:30: get to work, drink a cup of coffee and a glass of water
9:00: small snack, glass of water
11:00: small snack, glass of water
12:30: small snack, glass of water
2:00: lunch, glass of water
4:00: small snack, glass of water
[note: genuine work is generally squeezed in between my feedings]

Today, my day was more like this:
8:30: get to work, drink a cup of coffee and a glass of water
9:00: sit on my ass
11:00: sit on my ass, eat one mint
12:30: sit on my ass, have lunch
2:00: sit on my ass, eat one mint
4:00: sit on my ass

When I got home from work at 6:00, I was shaky and ravenous and hungry like a butcher.

In a span of approximately eleven minutes, I downed:
Four (4) pieces of pizza.
Three (3) Reese’s peanut butter eggs, left over from Easter.
Two (2) Girl Scout cookies.
One (1) bowl of leftover vegetables from last night’s dinner.

Quite the hypoglycemic binge, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The windpipe of the windbag

With the exception of my sister, the two lesbians on my team and myself (and, arguably, my dad), the hockey league I play in is male-only.

Big fucking deal. This bitch is aggressive. I’m not afraid of a little rough play.

I am, however, the smallest person in the league. Last Sunday, it proved to be a slight disadvantage.

It was the first period of play. I was mixing it up in front of the net, because that’s what players with no skill do. The puck got thrown my way and, because of the nature of the game, I got crosschecked.

Across the neck.

I can’t imagine that the opponent who crosschecked me did it with any malicious intent. He wanted me out from the front of the net; his crosscheck would have been benign to any other player in the league, just making contact with the player’s chest padding.

But I’m 5’2”. And he hit my neck.

And it bruised. And it swelled up. And I felt like I had tonsillitis for nearly a week.

When I came home, my neck looking like a battered woman’s, my mother was appalled.

I was in pain, so I might have been stupid enough to admit that I wasn’t wearing a neck guard. And she is my mom, so she might have been irritated enough to call me an irresponsible jackass.

Before my game this week, Mom left me a reminder.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I chose left; she picked right

I didn’t go to the visitation for Katy’s dad because I wanted to creep myself out.

The queasy stomach was a mere byproduct; I went to support Katy. I went because I know that, in the same situation, I would appreciate seeing her face. I went because it was the right thing.

And...maybe I just went to see her.

I hadn’t seen Katy since her high school graduation party. We were close in upper elementary and in junior high. We drifted in high school when Katy quit soccer and I guided my life by it.

Sometime during that summer when we were awkwardly no longer high schoolers and not college coeds, I found out that Katy was pregnant.

And, somewhere along the Name that Random Class of 2000 Graduate grapevine, I learned that Katy had a little boy. There was a marriage. Two years later, her family welcomed a little girl.

It upset me and it awed me and, truthfully, I didn’t understand it.

I also didn’t acknowledge it. I chose to ignore her decisions rather than recognize them as my own. I regret that.

But I’m not beating myself over it.

For every call that I didn’t make to Katy, Katy didn’t make a call to me. But that’s okay, isn’t it? Isn’t that part of growing up? You lose touch with friends.

You lose touch with friends. But, eventually, maybe something – a tragedy, perhaps – brings you back together.

If it does there will be a lot of souvenirs from our grand, chosen, different Roads of Life to share.

Two beautiful toddlers.

A college degree.

And the shared recollection of the worst fucking weekend at Girl Scout camp that the world has ever known.

Free advertising

Dear Right-to-Lifers,

Thank you for your overzealous picketing of the abortion clinic by my house.

If your group did not relentlessly picket the clinic, I would not know that I could obtain an abortion (because they are legal) so close to home. And right next to Starbucks!

How incredibly novel.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Fears and memories on a snowy Sunday afternoon

It wasn’t what I expected to do with my Sunday; if I’d known, I would have gone to bed sometime before 4:00 am with a lot less alcohol in my bloodstream.

But it’s something you do.

A childhood friend’s dad died. I found out at 10:00 am and was at the viewing at visitation at 2:30. In between, I skated and I thought (too much) about my own dad’s death.

I should probably point out that my dad hasn’t died yet. But I look at his family history and his health and his lifestyle and it doesn’t add up to a long life. Odd-timed phone calls draw fears of the news of the heart attack that seems absurdly inevitable.

I don’t know why I’m so morbid.

The viewing was held in the same funeral home, in the same room, that my grandma’s funeral was held. The casket was in the same place. The uncomfortable, worn, tear-stained furniture sat in the same configuration.

I’m not sure if it was the memories or the orchids, but I found it awfully hard to breathe.

But it wasn’t about me. It was about Katy and it was about doing the right thing.

I’ll get to that tomorrow. I need some time to turn it over in my head.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Building block

I am like a toddler, Colin, trying to put a square block through a round hole. I recognize this.

The key here is that I’m trying.

Friday, April 22, 2005

An instance in which I am overdramatic

I forgot my cell phone at home and I absolutely cannot deal with the anxiety of not having it within a three-foot radius of my hot little hands.

I should also mention that nobody ever calls me during the day.

And that this just makes me want to cry.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Youngest child syndrome

When I was a kid, I used to go to my dad’s hockey games. The league he played in was recreational and largely uninterested; I mostly liked to see him dressed up in all of his equipment and run around, unattended, in the stands.

It’s funny what you remember.

I remember driving home from a game with Dad. I was thirsty; he was drinking out of his water bottle. When I asked for a sip, Dad told me to wait until we got home, because I wouldn’t like the dirty water from the locker room.

But I was really thirsty and, truth be told, really impatient. After parking in the driveway, Dad went around to the trunk for his hockey bag and I went for the water bottle.

I gagged on the beer.

I was old enough to know what it was. It scared me. I knew that drinking and driving was reckless and illegal. Dad’s decision made me angry.

I held my fear and my anger in a knot in my stomach for weeks.

A good number of years later, Meg was napping as she and Dad were driving home from one of her hockey tournaments. She woke up and Dad was drinking beer. She berated him. She told Mom when she got home. She expressed her disappointment without a hint of shame.

She did what I was too afraid to do. Meg called out what I bottled up.

And that’s always haunted me a little bit.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I’m not going to lie

As of late, I have been blogging nothing but crap. Don’t tell me otherwise, kids, because if there is one thing in my life that I can be honest about, it’s my writing. I know when it’s good; I know when it isn’t.

Lately, it hasn’t been.

I can be honest with myself; nobody likes to suck.

I blame it on being happy.

But I’m none too thrilled about sacrificing my ability to write for this constant state of euphoria. Giddiness should not cancel literariness! Not all authors should go the way of Plath and Hemingway!

My writer’s block has built itself into a brick wall.

And I’m so hardheaded that I just keep slamming my forehead, hoping that my persistence will be rewarded and I will live to see another day of writing that is not so mediocre that it makes my skin crawl.

Clearly, however, that day is not today.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

This list is incomplete

I like Norah Jones when I’m going to sleep.
I like Jack Johnson when it’s sunny.
I like Eminem when I feel homesick.
I like Jamie Cullum over the loudspeakers at skating practice.
I like Aerosmith when my dad forgets that he’s not Steven Tyler.
I like David Gray when I need to stimulate my brain.
I like Maroon 5 when I feel like singing loud enough to make myself hoarse.
I like Counting Crows on rainy days.
I like Justin Timberlake when I’m in the mood for sugary pop.
I like Damien Rice when I’m thoughtful.
I like Missy Elliott when Meg and my cousin Liz are around.
I like Jason Mraz in the summer.
I like Sarah McLaughlan when I want to feel strong.
I like Sugar Ray when its muted.
I like Matt Nathanson when I just want to be.
I like The Monkeys when Mom is dancing.
I like Howie Day when I put aside his assault charge.
I like 50 Cent when I’m driving to soccer.
I like Tracy Chapman when my sister is singing along.
I like Ari Hest when I’m too exhausted to think.
I like Rachael Yamagata when I need a kick in the ass.
I like Backstreet Boys, but only when “I Want it That Way” is playing.
I like the RENT soundtrack when I’m in the shower.
I like John Mayer when I want to be reminded that I’m not the only one.
I like Dave Matthews Band anytime.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Dear Boys of the World,

Looking to charm me? Good news! It’s as easy as a three-letter word.

Exchange my nickname, Aly, for my full name, Alyson. Use frequently. Kick off your boots and watch with amusement as, Transformer-style, the magic word morphs me from Hard-Ass Bitch to Bouquet of Fresh Spring Flowers Tied with a Pink Grosgrain Ribbon.

...with more plot twists and costume changes than Saturday-morning cartoons!

I’m easily bought; don’t waste your money, your time, or your daily caloric allotment on dinner.

It's the truth. So. FYI.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

City folk

The town that I grew up in, which is also the town that I currently live in, is complete white trash.

Fortunately, I am a third-generation resident of this fine area, so not only am I residing in Redneck, USA, but I am also the proud owner of one of the better-known surnames around.

[“Is your dad Robbie? Me and Robbie, we stole beer off of the back of a truck in 1968! ...and now I’m your assistant principal. What a trip!”]

On my way to the mall today, I witnessed the fine sight that was a 300+ lb. man, in a kilt, carrying bagpipes, standing by the side of the road.

The Fat Bastard spotting occurred no less than four minutes after I stared, horrified, as a man did pushups in the parking lot of 7-Eleven while his young son watched.

I think we’ll stop this family legacy at three generations.

Unless the city names a road after us.

Or a strip mall.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Social butterfly

My Saturday night consists of marshmallow Peeps and Love Story (the book, not the movie) and a Damien Rice CD. And, quite honestly, that's okay by me.

Friday, April 15, 2005

It was a slow day

Excitement of my Friday:

-Finding out that the ultra-competitive soccer club that my sister played for (before being unjustly cut from the squad by her fucking asshole coach) folded.

-Learning that my female boss, like me, is nicknamed Hammer.

-Finding Del Monte Fruit Naturals cups o’ grapefruit in the refrigerator. Hi. I can pack serving-sized containers of my favorite fruit, PEELED, for work.

That is sound of productivity skyrocketing.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Learning curve

I don’t know how this all works.

I differentiate between what I want, what I wish for and what I truly believe I deserve.

I bite my tongue. I hold my breath.

It doesn’t seem to matter. But I can’t be sure.

I’m afraid that they all matter a little bit. An insignificant, but tangible, amount that piles up into a significant, tangible amount. One that cannot be ignored.

I do not care for games without rules.

I don’t like borders that aren’t clearly defined.

I want us to wear a label. I want us to follow a beaten path. I want to know what’s ahead. I want to know when it’s coming.

I want clarity; I’m wearing a blindfold.

Relying on feel and on instinct, I’m learning how to navigate.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

True story, true horror

When I was threeish, I took to calling my dad Robbie. I did this because I was born to be a smartass and because there would be no justice in this world if I did not use my gift.

Dad was not amused.

In the flickering light of the fireplace, he sat me down at his knee. We were a picture out of one of those old-country style Christmas cards that everyone sends out. You know. The ones that depict the quaint, magical Christmas and the happy, simple family. Wholesome bullshit that’s nice to think about but ridiculous to believe exists.

Anyway. I called Dad by his first name and he didn’t like it.

“You will know a lot of Robbies in your life,” he told me. “But you will only have one dad.”

I never called him by his first name again. Because I was the world's smartest three-year-old and because it’s true. He’s the only dad I’ll ever have.

This makes the oh-my-Lord-you-are-exactly-like-my-father-just-26-years-younger-and-not-my-blood-relative-thank-God things that Colin does just a little more terrifying.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I know better

Heather’s playing for my indoor soccer team tomorrow night.

I invited her; I couldn’t tell you why.

That’s a complete fabrication, actually. I could tell you why. It’s embarrassing. It’s weak. It’s not who I want to be or what I want to represent. But I will; I’ll tell.

I can’t give up on her.

I just can’t. I know that I should. I know that I’m setting myself for more of the same dishes Heather keeps serving – heaping helpings of hurt and anger and all-you-can-eat bitterness – and I don’t get up from the table.

I invite her to play indoor soccer.

I extend an invitation for her to join my outdoor summer team.

Next I will propose that we move in together and get best friends (I want –st –ends, but will roll over and give it up at any hint of pressure because I am a pushover and was born to be used) tattoos.

I’m a punching bag. Beat the hell out of me. Knock me away. I’ll come swinging back.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Clan-like tendencies

They don’t make families like mine anymore.

On Saturday afternoon, like every Saturday afternoon, I took my eight-year-old cousin, Paige, to soccer practice.

On Sunday morning, my dad’s side of the family – me, Meg, Mom, Dad, three cousins, two aunts and one uncle – went up to the high school for the varsity baseball team’s pancake breakfast fundraiser. The breakfast left much to be desired; we went mostly to support one of my cousins, a pitcher on the team. My Dad went to eat sausage.

Just after dinner tonight, my grandma popped in to drop off loaves of banana bread for my sister and me. Just because.

I have six aunts. Four live within a half-hour of me.

I have seven uncles. Five live within a half-hour of me. One is in Chicago. One is in heaven.

I have nine cousins. They all feel like siblings.

Serious dysfunction. Profound affection.

We’re like ice cream and pickles.

Don’t knock us ‘til you try us.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Hail to this victor

Do you see the ethereal glow emanating from the Tim Horton’s cup?

Yes, I finally won. A donut.

Job. Boy. Roll up the Rim to Win. Let’s fast-forward to May, because April is complete.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Question of the Year

What was so great about Vera Drake?

Because, clearly, I totally missed the boat on that one.

[Lucy did, too, which makes me feel better.]

Friday, April 08, 2005


Sometimes, I just don't think.

It's one of my bigger downfalls.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


One of the first concerts I went to was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with my mom, my dad and my little sister. I was about nine.

Sometime in the midst of the show, my mom grabbed me by my twiggy arm and leaned in close to my freckled face.

“Do you smell that?” It was loud; she was yelling. “That’s marijuana. I know what it smells like. Don’t forget that.”

I’ve never smoked weed.

Something must’ve clicked.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Check out my thunder thighs

Shopping for skating dresses creates enjoyment comparable only to shopping for bathing suits. the children’s department.

Random figure skating trivia o’ the week: every off-the-rack skating dress is a stretch velvet jumpsuit o’ horror, designed specifically to make 12-year-olds look like trampy 22-year-olds and trampy (or, in my case, not so trampy) 22-year-olds look like heroin-addicted transvestites.

And then there is the effect a bouncy, ruffled skating skirt has on a perfectly-normal-everywhere-but-a-skating-competition-and-often-admired-by-both-genders-DAMNIT ass.

I will do the world a service and refrain from further description.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Party on pause until paycheck

This is the unofficial official announcement that I have a job.

The papers haven’t been signed and the t’s haven’t been crossed but it’s been offered and the benefits have been explained and the salary has been discussed and unnecessary orientation has been scheduled and the location of my desk has been debated. I have a job, but I don’t officially have a job. I don’t officially have a job because I am superstitious and silly and afraid to get too excited and that Chicken Little is right and the sky is falling.

When officially official, singing it from the rooftop will commence. Eventually. When the job is officially, irrevocably mine. Officially officially irrevocably mine.

Whose following?


The last two months have treated me amazingly well. I haven’t kept that a secret.

What is making it all just a little more fun is a hell of a hot streak when it comes to finding excellent, fun and fabulous new music to which I’ve been rocking out to while growing up.

Turn up the volume. Whatever happens – if Colin murders 97 innocent children and kittens and I never get that bloody fucking new job that my boss offered me but his VP refuses to fucking step up to the plate and make official – these CDs will forever smell like early 2005.

Which, hopefully, I can look back fondly on.

Without prefacing with "this fucking bastard I once knew" or "the biggest mistake I ever made" or the like.

Dave BarnesBrother, Bring the Sun
Marc Broussard - Carencro
ColdplayLive 2003
Norah JonesFeels Like Home
KeaneHopes and Fears
Ray LaMontagneTrouble

Monday, April 04, 2005

My innermost secret

Okay, OKAY! I’ll admit it.

I do have AOL Instant Messenger set with an alert to Colin’s screen name; my computer emits an annoying squeal when he signs onto AIM.

And I do leave the sound turned up on my laptop when I go to sleep for this very purpose.

And my heart does go pitter-patter when Colin’s shrill AIM alert rips through the house and rattles the walls.

Which is a little too similar to Pavlov’s drooling canines, to be honest.

Hello. I am a big fat loser and I deserve to be poked in the eye with a sharp object.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Hockey Night in the D

Tonight's family hockey fun was capped off by my kid sister mooning the rink manager.

We are so normal it hurts.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

With mayonnaise, eggs and extra coolness

When my best friend, Lucy, says excellent it sounds like she's saying egg salad.

This is one of the few (thousand) reasons I love her.

Here are 17 more.

1. She has very red hair
2. She is a horrible driver
3. She likes fun games
4. She will enthusiastically eat Indian, Thai and sushi with me. Unlike anyone else I know
5. She had a car named Jerry
6. She has a car named The Running Egg
7. She is blatantly and unapologetically political
8. She always thinks that my idiotic schemes are brilliant
9. She reads John Irving
10. She couldn’t possibly know less celebrity gossip
11. She gives good nicknames
12. She can talk to anyone. For long periods of time
13. She keeps up on the latest independent films so I don’t have to
14. She doesn’t mind driving long distances for a good restaurant, an amazing used bookstore or a concert
15. She tells good stories
16. She never moves faster than a leisurely mosey
17. She’s always five minutes late

Friday, April 01, 2005


My hair isn’t only curly. It’s toxic.

Look. See for yourself.

My wet hair does that. Why, Internet? Why does my hair suck the soul out of innocent shirts? Where did my hair learn this behavior? It was such a sweet baby; where did I go wrong?

This hair-dying-shirts happens regardless of product. But only ruins select shirts.

Explain this to me, boys and girls.
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