28 December 2009

The Hand Holder

For the past week, Shrage has tried to convince me to see An Education with him almost every night. Obviously I love fucked up movies, but I saw the film awhile ago and, although it’s amazing, not something I want to see over and over again.  The movie, or more accurately my experience while seeing the movie, brought up something I have been cautious to write about. Shrage convinced me that enough time has passed and that I need to write about THE HAND HOLDER....

A few months ago I went on a date with a boy. This boy was cute, smart, well traveled, Jewish, blah, blah, blah. The first date was going swimmingly until something really odd happened--- as we walked out of the restaurant, he tried to hold my hand. Ummm, what?! When did hand holding on the first date become appropriate? Isn't hand holding after the age of 16 reserved for couples?!  In an attempt to reclaim my hand, I told him I was cold and wanted to jump in a cab. On the way home, I called my mom and told her about the date.  She said that if the hand holding was the only weird part, I was in good shape. 

For the 2nd date we went to dinner and a movie. I was starting to like him and trying to forget about the whole hand holding thing and then, as soon as the lights went down in the theater, I felt him reaching over for my hand. Obviously I started freaking out inside..... how can he like me enough to want to hold my hand?  Was he simply scared that I was going to leave him? In an attempt to subside my mini panic attack, I decided to try and channel Jess. I knew that Jess would think hand holding was a nice thing. So, I decided I would hold his hand for a few minutes and then pull away.  After a very long 10 minutes, I pulled my hand away from his and pretended to look for something in my purse. Not but 2 minutes later, I felt him fishing for my hand again. Ugh. For the rest of the movie, I felt like I was in a vicious game of capture Ali's hand. I tried lots of avoidance tactics- placing my hands under my legs, intertwining my own fingers in a prayer-like stance, but this kid was on a mission. To make matters worse, we were watching a movie about a creepy old man preying on a high school girl.  I know I am sensitive and all but wtf? How can you be all sweet and hand holding at a time like this?

When I brought up my concerns to friends and family, I could really see a divide. Kev, Katie and Amie totally agreed with me that it was weird, but most other people acted like I was crazy. Obviously Eric and Jess called me insane, but my dad was on the same page as me. He brought up some great points---- "If he can't stop holding your hand now, imagine what he'll do when he really likes you, I bet he tries to Velcro you onto himself.... He could have abandonment issues and....Maybe you should just get him a fake hand or bet yet, wear a hook and when he goes to grab it, he will learn a lesson...." My mom overheard our conversation, grabbed the phone, and told me that it wasn't that weird and that I need to give him at least one more shot. Since the woman is like 99% right, I agreed.

On our third date, I wore gloves---it was Amie's ingenious idea. Things were going well, gloves were brilliant and then, he asked if we could go to Bed & Bath. As much as I love Bed & Bath, pretty sure that place is reserved for serious couples. Again, trying the be "normal" I smiled and agreed. Obviously, I had to take off my gloves once we were inside. My hands were not out but 2 seconds when he went to grab them. This time, I could not keep my mouth shut…the things that spewed out of my mouth weren’t pretty. It wasn’t my finest moment. I knew I couldn’t go on when he tried to kiss me as we walked out of Bed & Bath.

22 December 2009

Kurt Cobain

Naturally, my brother is incredibly weird. Like my dad, he has gone through lots of....let's call them "phases." He is almost like an actor taking on new parts every few years. So, I thought I would write about some of my favorites....

When I was about 10 (Eric = 12) my mom came into my room and asked for all of my markers. Obviously I loved coloring and had LOTS of markers. After collecting the markers, she threw them away and told me that they were banned from our house. Confused and sad, I asked why. She refused to answer but once my dad came home from work, it was all out in the open. Eric, a tough hoodlum, had taken up "tagging." He decided to mark up the bathroom in Hebrew school. Of course he denied it to my dad (my dad always encouraged us to be like Republicans and deny, deny, deny). Best line spewed across the house from my dad (trying so hard not to laugh)… “Eric, it’s hard to deny tagging the bathroom door when you write ERIC HELLMAN FOREVER.” 

The year Kurt Cobain died, Eric was 14. That year, Eric had become very “Seattle.” Of course he cried and cried (Eric cries a lot). I felt badly but that soon faded as his sadness turned to fear. He had to sleep in my room for 2 weeks. Naturally at 12, I tried to reason with him--- Eric, you have control of killing yourself, what’s there to be scared about?” He called my insensitive and when I refused to let him “sleepover,” he resulted in guerilla warfare squirting soap all over my bed so I had to sleep in the extra room, which conveniently, he was already in.

Age 16 was a year filled with anger.  I’d like to blame it on hormones but that was probably not the culprit since Eric had facial hair at 11. Anyways, long story short, there was a tennis match and a racket and he may or may not have thrown at a coach. Being Jews in LA, the solution was sending Eric to a therapist (oddly named Eric).  I knew Eric (my brother, not the therapist) was feeling a bit shameful so I wanted to make him feel better. I asked my dad to take me to the mall. I searched for the perfect gift and I found it…a shirt that said—“I’m special” with a rainbow. I  was so proud of myself!  When I gave it to Eric, he started to cry and threw it at me… guess that was the wrong gift?

As an “adult” Eric went through a pimp stage. Now I cannot go into this phase since most of it was horrible but here are some highlights--- getting a pink Gucci bag in the mail with a note that said “love u lil sis,” being sent with Amie to London for a week and having Eric pay for it, getting flowers weekly. It was awesome to feel like a kept woman. I miss those days.....

11 December 2009

Theme Songs/Videos

Think these videos capture my inner soul

01 December 2009

Eric Scottman

Since my dad wrote a funny post, my brother felt he needed to write something as well. I sort of feel used but whatever Trevor....

From Eric Scottman (his name on his fake ID)

Here are some facts about my sister you may not know:

1- On her free time she likes to sit in her apartment alone and choreograph dances to miley cyrus and/or the cheetah girls. these dances include lots of shoulder shimmy's and at times the roger rabbit. She has filmed them on a few occassions but only the lucky people (amie and lizzie) are able to view.

2- She speaks vietnamese. One time she went with me to get our nails done and i look over to see how she is doing and sure enough she is going at it with Syu (my favorite nail technician) over which dumpling provides the least amount of weight watcher points. I was freaking out that 1- i had no clue she was still doing weight watchers and 2- she spoke vietnamese. She played it down and said that her and mr bluth sit in his office during slow times and get a rossetta stone lesson on a different language. that week just happened to be Vietnamese.

3- As children we would sit in the back seat of my parents car and name our unborn children. She would pick the obvious- Alison Jr. where as i would go for the more normal of names- Benjamina.

4- After seeing the movie Juno she tried to convince our little cousin Brianna (was then 16 years old) to get pregnant and have the baby.

5- If you ever get the joy of seeing her apartment try and look in every cabinet possible.....i guarentee you will find a nutrisystem meal almost everywhere. Her favorite is the Chicken picata.

30 November 2009

I am not important

Yesterday I called to chat with my dad. Quite quickly, he told me that he was scared that he may be suffering from anemia or writers block. Apparently, he is so boring Chaya (his dog) is avoiding him. I assured him that it would pass and he would be inspired again. Seems like I was right. Email to me (Eric cc’d)


Saw the concert last night on HBO. You must not be a very important person since, once again, you could not deliver any tickets for your father, the man responsible for giving you life.

I watched the concert for two main reasons—to determine how aging has affected the artists and beards. Of course, I was very anxious to see if the old performers could stand up for long periods of times. Would they need bathroom breaks? Would they need to sit and catch their breath? Would they have little elves reminding them all the lyrics? It really was mind blowing to see that all the song writers remember their own lyrics. How do they do that? Do you think they hide index cards with reminders? I forget almost everything now, especially that I am married, and most of the artists are older than me. Do you think they take special vitamins? Maybe you can look into that for me (since you failed to get me tickets and I gave you life).

Next, I was trying to get some inspiration for facial hair. It is a tradition of mine to grow a beard during Thanksgiving break---yes I still think I’m in school and therefore get a “break.” I was looking for some creative help from these artists. What’s hot right now in the facial hair forum? Are they sporting beards? Any new side burn patterns? I was hoping my personal favorite, the mustache, was back so I can finally grow mine back. I know you say they are perverted but It really does cover my thin upper lip. Sadly, I got no signs, no inspiration. I am not sure I can pull of the ZZ Top thing, but I like the way he looks--beard, hat and sunglasses.

As usual, I shaved but for all the wrong reasons. I have lotions, eye cream, organic skin softeners, special shaving cream, facial scrubs and tons of after shave to apply. I mean can you do a facial mask with a beard?? I think not. Your mother and I have a special night planned for tomorrow where we will bond over this new facial detox program I have come up with---facial mask plus facial peel plus super duper lotion your mother gets from Italy by way of New Jersey.

So, I did what every normal man would do and shaved off my beard. The beard is gone and will stay gone until I run out of product. By the way, will you buy me some new face products? I saw a picture of you and your face is looking really good. Are you using something new?
Love you.

19 November 2009

Part 2

As I waited to meet the fam at dinner, I popped into Borders. As I started browsing through my favorite aisle (obvi “self help”), something caught my eye...a book entitled “The Rules.” In case you are not up on this kind of lit, the book's premise is that there are "secrets" to capturing the hearts of Mr Perfect and by secrets they mean play hard to get, training men and being well groomed. Since my paid friend had recently "suggested" that I may in fact be sending bad signals to men on dates ( so much so that they feel they can hold my hand all the time) I figured I might as well pick it up. I mean if spending $9.99 teaches me about proper boundaries, why not?

As soon as dinner started I told everyone I was planning on evolving into a "rules girl" in the next week or so (or however long it will take to read this bible). Eric and Jess seemed very excited. Instinctively, I knew they were excited about different things. Naturally, my dad became the focus for the rest of the dinner so it wasn't until me, Eric and Jess drove to Franklin Lakes that we breached the topic again. As soon as Jess had the floor, she had lots to say...

Me: So in this book, it says that girls should not be loud, opinionated or funny.

Jess: Well, not at first. At first just be nice. It’s not important if you are funny or opinionated. Once you have them, then you can be funny. Also, I wouldn't talk so loud.

Me: So basically be someone I am not...trick them ?

Jess: Yes, just in the beginning. Everyone is pretending in the beginning. Eric tricked me. He said he liked going downtown to all the restaurants and having long dinners. We know he is scared of going below 42nd street and we have never ate below 72th street. He only likes to eat at two restaurants.

Eric: Jess, that is not true. We go to CPK alot and that's in the 60s.

Jess: And Alison, I think it sounds like you are mean to boys. Be nice, supportive and smile a lot. Always smile.

Me: Yuck. I don't look good when smiling. More importantly, how does one act nice and supportive?

Jess: You know, make them feel important. Nod your head when they talk. Smile like they are interesting. Sometimes I didn't even listen when the guys would talk, I just nod and tell them they were right.

Eric: Wow, Jess. Any other thoughts for her?

Jess: Well I don't think its a good idea to make fun of them. Let them be funny, you just listen. Don't talk a lot.

Me: This sounds horrible. I am not even sure I can do it.

Eric: Alison just channel Jess when you are dating.

Jess: Yes, that's a great idea.

Eric: How about we role play??? (we agree) Hi, I am Matt and I work at a hedge fund because I want to be rich. I love the suburbs, golf and cars.

Jess: Ok, Alison what would you normally say?

Me: Yuck. That sounds horribly depressing. I would probably slit my wrists.

Jess: Alison!!! That is completely wrong. The right answer is-- I understand. It’s hard and its nice to have things.

Eric (smiling from ear to ear): I would listen to her. She did well for herself, she got me.


16 November 2009

Part 1

This weekend was the big Franklin Lakes engagement party. Naturally, my parents and my grandmother flew out for the occasion. There is just so much material here that I am going to break it up by activity.

The weekend festivities began with dinner on Friday in the Time Warner Center. As family, we gravitate towards malls, even in the city. Within 10 minutes of sitting down, my dad said, "Alison, can you go to Sephora and buy me the lipstick you stole from me? Also, I need new moisturizer. I keep getting zits so I am thinking I need to try something organic or soy based." Yep, that's what he said word for word. His mother looked up and said, "Allen why are you wearing lipstick?" My mom interjected, "I think he means chapstick. Allen and Alison like the same chap stick." Note that the tube really is lipstick-like.

The company at dinner was perfect-- my bro’s BFF (Jon) that has been living on Eric and Jess’ couch (you can follow his shenanigans here www.twitter.com/hakakhasays), my grandma, Dad, Mom, Eric, me and Jess. Shrage could not make it since he was on a date with a girl named Alyson (with a y) at the Knicks game (um, yes you read that correctly). Anyways, the combination of people creates the most radical situation. Jess believes everything we say, Jon tries to convince my grandma that he is good enough for me to marry (he keeps asking her if he can date me and she keeps saying no way) and my Dad, Eric and I try to make each other laugh. Some of the dinner’s high points--

- My dad telling Eric and Jess that he wants his grandkids to call him Mr Hellman

- My grandmother telling us that as a young child she would take my dad to stores and sit him outside on the bench. When she came out, he would act like he did not know her and that she was crazy

- Jess telling me that I need to be less funny, nicer and quieter in order to get a boyfriend (note, there will be an entire post dedicated to this later)

- Jon asking for a black napkin, noting that if this was really a nice restaurant they would have already offered

- My mom whispering to my brother loud enough for me to hear that they should lie to me and tell me to get to his apartment 30 min before necessary so we would not be late for the party

12 November 2009

An Email from My Dad

I think its only fair that I share an email from my dad each week, almost like the best of Nella...

Last night's email to me and Eric (my mom was cc'd)

Subject: Packing

As you know, Deb and I are on the 8:30 AM flight from LAX to beautiful EWR. Today, we went to see Koji (um, hair dude extraordinaire) and I left in pain and penniless. My back is so sore from all the massages I got from his three assistants (yep, Koji has three hair assistants who, for no reason, massage my dad's back while my mom and I get our hair done). l told them that after they were done, just like Dancing With The Stars, I was going to send the least talented contestant home. It was such a smart plan--each massage was better than the one before. I was very kind and told them they were all great and I could not kick anyone off but we all know that I was lying. The Spanish girl has to go. She has no style, and with all the cool Japanese men she just doesn't fit in (side note: my dad bought hot pink Adidas that he saw on TV to impress the cool Japanese men at Kojis...real normal).

The other issue with us leaving LA is Chaya (his dog). She spotted the luggage and is not happy. No tail wagging. No little smile and she is not even attacking the TV when the Aflac duck ad comes on ( Chaya, the worst behaved dog in the world, attempts to jump into the TV as soon as an animal appears on TV. Naturally, my dad likes it and laughs every time). It's really hard to leave her but she's a dog and they forget a lot and she gets us back by doing things like using the house as her personal toilet the night before we leave.

I have my clothes ready to go, which is funny because I wear the same thing every day when I come to New Jersey. The theme of this trip is Johnny Cash. I'm only bringing black clothes. This makes it extra easy-- I am bringing one black belt and one pair of black shoes that your mother thinks are brown. For some reason these "brown" shows are causing tempers to fly in this house. They REALLY are black but let's see what happens.

I can't wait to see you guys, it's been too long not seeing you (note, we saw each other 3 weeks ago)

11 November 2009


I am having problems coming up with blog posts. Obviously I have an abundant amount of incredibly inappropriate ideas but since I am a professional, I cannot go there. Out of fear that I already blew my load, I turned to Eric.

Our exchanges went something like this…

Me: Can you write a post for me, I got nothing. And it has to be about me, not dad.

Eric: Come on, there is so much crazy in that head of yours. Have you talked about x or y (insert inappropriate ideas)

Me: Mr Bluth will get mad at me if I talk about x and mom said no one will date me if I talk about y.

Eric: Ok, let me write something tomorrow morning, I am like Emerson, I do my best work before the break of dawn.

And so, Eric sent me a post (which Katie had to edit, obvi)….

Two summers ago, we embarked on a family trip to Israel. It was nice to see the motherland and all but the one place I really loved was Jordan. While I was amazed by the art and the history of the place, Alison was focused on other things.

Our tour guide, Louie Louie (not making it up), spoke about how he met his wife. Apparently, when a man is ready to settle down, he summons his family together and declares, "I am ready to settle down and start a family now. Please find a woman I can do this with.” We were all intrigued and bothered by this unromantic way of life. Louie Louie even had his sister go and inspect his future wife’s, whom he had yet to meet, toilet and bathroom hygiene to make ensure she was not a pig.

While he was talking, I looked over at Alison and saw that something was a-brewing in that unicorn head of hers ( does everyone know that she was slammed into a wall as a child during summer camp and for many years she had something trying to break free from her forehead- a la unicorn head?!?).

After a few more days in Elat, we went back to NY. After we boarded the plane, and waited for take-off, Alison asked everyone to gather. The stewardesses must have thought something bad was happening…I mean a bunch of Jews standing around together and talking could ONLY mean bad things. But no. Alison, in her most serious tone, told us that she was ready to start a family and needed us to go find her a man. She even pulled me aside and said "..make sure his bathroom habits are clean and he knows how to cook a mean brisket."

Alison has been on numerous dates since -- homosexuals with mustaches (not that there is anything wrong with that), perpetual hand holders, hipsters who think not showering is the new cool, and many others. She still hasn't found the one which she likes to blame me for. I love it when she threatens me too. I love my sister. I have been telling her to go out to non-threatening places like church, temple, mosques, Barnes and Noble, Biscuits and Bath and many other places but she still is depending on me to find her the catch. To this day when we discuss her dating life she will say "it’s been over a year since we had the family gathering on the plane and you still haven't delivered." Who wouldn't love my sister….she is special!

03 November 2009

Bat Mitzvah

Sometimes, pictures tell the best story. So.... these are some highlights from my Bat Mitzvah with some commentary. Yes, my nose may be a bit smaller now, but that's because I had a deviated septum. And yes, my hair was brown.

Below is a picture of me, Ree and David. I was in love with David. Notice the excitement radiating from my face....it was LOOOOOOVE. He was from Long Island. Now being from LA, and not knowing about NY culture, I thought Long Island was some tropical, mystical area....then I went to GWU and learned otherwise.
Yep, me and Nella. Yep, he has a mustache.

Nella and his mother, my favorite, Grandma Doris. I love this woman. She wears limited edition sneakers, blasts opera music in her house and does yoga every week....'nuff said.

Classic. Look at all that metal...looks like we are laughing about something....I bet he farted.

Please note the sheath dress. I only wanted a sheath dress. Apparently, I was difficult at this time. My requests were the following:

1. If we had it at a hotel, I only wanted it at a Sheraton or Hilton (so radical that I was already brand conscious)
2. No theme, naturally the party was the theme 
3. No make-up or fancy hair ( my mom and I settled on letting her brush my hair and putting on mascara)
4. All Sunflowers. So my dad and mom hate sunflowers...ummm, they think sunflowers are like 2nd rate flowers.....looks like I won!

Look at my mom. How cute is she?!? Seriously. She is sooooo adorable!!

22 October 2009

An Email From My Dad

Today, I received the following email from my dad. It should also be noted that he sent it to me (both work and personal email) and cc'ed Eric and my mom.


Yesterday your mother and I returned home from a business trip in Las Vegas. We always fly Southwest. Great airline--no seating assignments, you get a number on your boarding pass and that’s how you board. Your mother and I got on the plane during the first 30 numbers. As always, I got the window seat and your mother got the aisle. It is understood that if someone wants the middle seat that your mother would move to the middle seat so I don’t have to sit next to a stranger. I don’t like strangers. I don’t play golf with strangers and I don’t talk to them. Everything looked good as far as the seats were going. No one wanted our middle seat and the plane door was about to close. I was free, an empty seat next to me...the world was great. I started to look out the window when, from out of nowhere, a blue Smurf, with a white face mask sat down in my middle seat. This thing was a smurf! It was wearing blue sweats and weighted over 200 pounds, and I’m being nice. To top it off, it was wearing a white face mask. I looked at your mother, she did not look back and for the next 40 minutes all I could think of PAPA Smurf and how you kids loved the show

The End

19 October 2009

Wild Wild West

Going home for the weekend is always awesome. Not only did I get to bask in the sun, I shopped for professional clothing, hung out with my parents, saw Jeremy in leggings, learned tips from Jo Callas and hiked with Sands. Here are some highlights:

1. My mother and I went shopping. This whole recession thing is really a drag and killing my wardrobe. My options went from Barney’s and Neiman’s to Target and my mom’s closet. Anyways, every shopping trip with my mom goes something like this…..she picks black and gray pants and skirts and 100 versions of white button down shirts (I think she wants me to dress just like her). Then, when something doesn’t look good or fit, she tells me it’s because I am not tall enough. Not tall enough?? The skirt doesn’t go over my child bearing hips, what does height have to do with that? Maybe if I stayed at my current weight and gained 8 inches the skirt would work. No matter how much I protest, my mom continues to say it’s just my height….

2. My dad and I spend the day together. Day went like this:

  • Breakfast at Arts
  • Buy baseball hats. I pick up a Red Sox hat so he decides that he should get a Yankees hat so it looks like we are rivals
  • Mani/pedis. Naturally, we walk in and everyone smiles and knows his name
  • Go home, run on the treadmill while my dad keeps me company by watching the History Channel and quizzing me, eating candy and throwing Chaya's toys at me
  • We go get my hair done. He watches and tells me he figured out the secret to Koji’s blow-outs…multiple round brushes.
  • We get hot chocolate (note: my father is somewhat of a hot chocolate connoisseur.) One day when he was in the city, we had to try every single hot chocolate we passed from my office to my apartment. That’s over 40 blocks of hot chocolate.
  • Perfume mission. My dad and I love shopping missions. This weekend, the mission was to determine if I needed a new scent so we went to Sephora and Bloomies to tested out a bunch of perfume. We liked two but he said they were not "me" --- I am not citrus, I am more rose and musk...hmmm.

3. When visiting with Jo Callas (my bestie from like 5 to college) at Tina’s Tree and Pumpkin , I kept noticing how lovely her make-up was… With this whole renewed version of myself, I figured I’d ask for some tips. So Jo gave me all the secrets. I did exactly what she said, hoping I will look just like her. See the similarity?

4. Friday night my dad, mom and I had dinner at home —bowls of cereal to off-set my newly acquired footwear. Then, as we all watched tv my dad says, “ I have a great idea, let’s all do masks!!” We go upstairs and my father is really bothered by the choices. Then, my mom remembers she has a hidden Ahava mask we got in Israel. My father happily applies gray mud all over his face and head. The directions say to keep on for 3 minutes. After the time is up, I ask my dad why he isn't washing it off. He tells me that he has a lot of toxins that need to be sucked out so he is going to keep it on for 20 minutes. 10 minutes later, my dad's face was completely hard and stiff. So classic.

14 October 2009

Baseball Card Dating

For about a year I have been trying to convince Kevin that Baseball Card Dating is one of my most brilliant ideas. Here is my pitch (pun intended)…….

I create a series of collectible “Alison Baseball Cards.” Naturally we have a photo shoot filled with awesome poses (me between tree branches, resting my chin on my fist, sitting on a bookcase with my legs crossed and batting my eyelashes). The backs of these cards would have “Ali-Stats.” Obviously the stats would not include weight but rather the important things like:

- How I am silly and serious.
- Words that come out of my mouth often: "strategic;" "branding;" "platform;” & "rad.”
- TiVo changed my life.
- I think Gregory Peck is the sexiest man in the world (to make my collectors jealous).
- I have a blog and I am obsessed with it.
- My favorite movie is Pirates of the Caribbean—cause I love parrots!

Then, I would give stacks of “Alison Baseball Cards” to men that I trust. When these lucky men whom I have entrusted with my fate meet an eligible match, they hand a card to him. Then, this special man contacts me via email. And yes, I would create a vanity email. It would even have a link to this blog.

On a scale of 1 to Radical…how radical is that?

12 October 2009

Reader's Choice

Kevin thinks I ought to increase my interaction with my readers so we have come up with reader's choice. Comment please...I can see you reading my blog, no need to play hard to get. What would you like to hear (more) about:

1. My Bat-Mitzvah
2. My lunch with Mr Bluth (read it and weep Kevin)
3. The effects of dressing professionally for two weeks
4. Baseball Card dating
5. My editor
6. Eric
7. My paid friend

07 October 2009


It seems like my dad is a real hit. This is not huge shocker--- my dad is the funniest person in the world (although Scott is a close second). So, I thought I would give people some more details about Nella....I even have some guest bloggers for this one....

My top (recent) moments with my dad....

- He fell in love with some woman on DWTS and begged his friend to get him in the show

- My mom yelled at us for “shopping like maniacs,” and took away all our credit cards so we collected all the coins in our house (and on the bottom of her bags), brought them to coinstar and then went to the Polo Lounge for lunch

Molly (my dad’s office mate) shares her top favorites....

- His entire office is covered with Simpson bobbleheads and he has never watched the show

- I no longer read gossip blogs and mags because he fills me in on the latest gossip—he loves Page Six

- He gets really excited every Friday for “Friday pizza” extra large cheese, well done. I order- he pays.. works out great.

- Everyday he talks on the phone with Robbie (his bestie) and they gossip like little teenage girls

**Dad and Robbie at Amie's Bachelorette Party ( Yep, Amie wanted to spend the time with my dad)

His Mother (my radical Grandmother) says....

My favorite story about your father happened when he was about 8 years old. We had just moved into a new house in Charlotte, N.C. There was lot of construction (of houses) all around us.

One day your dad wanted to show me what he had done. He said, "Come to the back of the house." So, I went out with him, and he proudly showed me all the wood he had taken from a construction site. I told him that was stealing and he had to take the wood back to the workers.

The next day , I was taking the car out to do something and all the men were looking at me, pointing and laughing. I knew your father was behind it. So, when he came back from school I asked him what he told the men when he returned the wood. After a little bit of an argument, he told me the truth. Allen told all the workers that his mother was a kleptomaniac and he is always having to return things she steals.

Eric shares a few Nella moments.....

-When my grandfather died I was quite upset. I was having a hard time holding in my emotions. Alison and dad kept giving me dirty looks and calling me a baby. They even whispered “P*SSY” a few times. After a while, he just came behind me, put a pill in my hand and said, “Swallow this and shut up, you are upsetting your mother.” That’s a classic Nella moment

-There were 3 years where dad did not eat carbs, ran like a maniac and kept telling me and Ali to stop eating

- My all time fav memory is going to the gun range in the mountains where he was convinced that we were going to be killed so he had a gun on his waist band. FYI, I was 11


Jeremy and I dated for 4 years. My dad loves Jeremy more than me and Eric combined. Whenever we see Jeremy he gets teary eyed and tells me that no one is as special as him. He also has a picture of us next to his bed. We have been broken up for 5 years now and he still gets upset about the break up. Real normal. Anyways, Jeremy and my dad would hang out every day after school—most of the time without me. His favorite memories:

- I like how your dad would go crazy about your mom never coming home for dinner.At 5:30 he would start calling her make sure she left. Of course he blamed it on me and said that dinner had to be early cause I had to go home and eat with my family at 7

- We all know your dad has beautiful calves ...was a bit weird how he talked about his calves as if they were sculptures he was working on

- I like when he actually thought something was funny, he'd laugh and then say, "that's funny"

- How weird was it that he always switched the names of your friends or just pretended that he didn't know them at all and they would freak out every time

- Watching the Food Network with him every day after school followed by watching him make dinner awhile telling me he was better than all the chefs

* My dad's favorite picture!

Lizzie (my 2nd best friend)...

- Walking into your living room and seeing your father wrapped in his blanket and telling me, "Look Liz, don't I look like I am a burrito"

- I was a freshman when Ali was a senior. He thought it was funny that all the boys looked at me. So one day, he just called it out and said, " Liz, just run across the living room so the boys could get a better look at my freshman butt"

- Each and every time I share a meal with the man at Arts

06 October 2009

Attention Monster

I require a lot of attention. Like, A LOT of attention.

For years, I felt quite ashamed about this never-ending hunger for attention. I tried and tried to convince myself that I needed nothing and no one. Obviously that was just a waste of time. I basically live my life as though I am on stage and everyone around me is merely the audience. Kidding (not really). Recently, I have really come to accept my reality and I am at the verge of actually celebrating it.

Last week I commented to my paid friend-- “I know we worked hard on feeling less shameful for needing so much attention. I really do accept and acknowledge it but I feel like I can’t stop asking for it now. To what end paid friend, to what end?? I am nervous that I inadvertently have become an attention monster?!? When will I be full???” Then, of course, she told me that we need to work on this and eventually, getting (and not getting) attention will not affect my self esteem. A sphincter says what?!? I bet I wear a size 2 before that happens.

So, to follow in the footsteps of the great David Letterman, I am going to air out my dirty laundry and make a joke of it.

Below is a graph that charts out my self esteem based on attention I received today:

05 October 2009

Home Alone

My mom is away at a work conference for 5 days. So, for 5 days my father is all alone. Well, he is not really alone since he has his best friend, Chaya. Chaya is our dog that my parents named after their favorite restaurant. Yeah, you read that correctly, we named our dog after a freaking restaurant.

When my mom first broke the news that she was leaving my dad, I panicked. Really? Is that a good idea? Once she left him home alone for 3 nights and whenever Eric and I called to “check in” he would be sleeping. He used this time to see if it was possible to sleep for 72 hours straight.

So, at 8 am PT I called home to make sure he was up. No answer. Called again and again…no answer. After freaking out and calling Eric, we finally located him…at work. Our dad went to work all by himself!

Naturally, I asked him about his upcoming plans. Here is what I learned---

  • Last night he made enough spaghetti and meat sauce for the entire week
  • He bought Chaya a rotisserie chicken at Gelson’s
  • For lunches, he brought in a loaf of bread and salami (he is going to alternate between mayo and mustard for variety)
  • He is planning on wearing the same sweater all week without a button down shirt to save on the dry cleaner bill
  • Every morning he is going to have hot chocolate for breakfast with real milk and whip cream
  • He cannot come home before dark because he owes the pool man money and needs my mom to pay him
  • The pool man found the lights for the pool (we have lived in the same house for 15 years) so he is going to swim at night (note, my father likes to snorkel in our pool, flippers and all)
  • He found a dead rat and wants to perform an autopsy like he sees on NCIS and then leave it on my mom’s side of the bed for a welcome home surprise
  • He is still depressed and wants a Rangers hoodie and hat
P.S. He just emailed me, "I forgot to tell you but I did a “clay” mask last night."
My dad LOVES masks

02 October 2009


I am kind of obsessed with ranking and ordering everything.

When I am with siblings I always try to determine who I like better—and obviously, I tell them. When Katie introduces me to a new song (e.g., Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA, Taylor Swift’s Love Story), I try to think about what Mr. Bluth will enjoy me singing more. If Lizzie tells me I am wearing a cute outfit, I automatically respond by asking her to compare it against all my other outfits—just in case I have a date soon. If Michelle says I look thin, I ask her if I looked thinner the day before. Also, I may or may not ask multiple people at work, who they like more, me or Kevin.

I am not quite sure how I became so "ranking" obsessed. One can argue this may just be a result of my competitive nature. Another, strong theory could be related to my father. Since I was about 10, he would ask me and Eric questions like-- "If your mom and I were on a cliff and in order to save one of us you'd have to drop the other, who would you save?" or " Who did you have the most fun with, me, your mom, your grandma or your friends?" Naturally my mom does not find this funny. Eric too dislikes these games. He has always been uncomfortable answering such questions but I’d venture to guess that's out of jealousy. See, my dad loves to tell everyone that he loves me more than Eric. In fact, whenever I go home and Eric does not, my dad will compulsively email him to tell him how happy he is to have his favorite child home. My fathers mother (my favorite) tends to rank things as well so I am thinking this may be in my blood.

Anyway, as my paid friend always says, we could think about why/how we do certain things forever but sometimes you have to just accept it. And yes, I ask her if I am her favorite friend who pays her. And yes, I ask quite often.

So, I have decided create some lists:

1. My 4 favorite people (non fam) whose names start or end with the letter "A"

- Amie: The ying to my yang. The peanut butter to my jelly. The Bert to my Ernie.

- Andrea : My non-paid life coach. My guru. My inspiration when purchasing sweaters.

- Daniela: Perhaps the only person I know who can feel, cry and laugh more than me. My 3rd best friend (after Amie and Lizzie, naturally)

- Melissa : The closest thing I have to an anchor (in a good way); My favorite person to dance and perform for**

2. Top 3 emails from my father this month:

- Hi Alison- Depression hurts. Where does depression hurt? Depression hurts everywhere. Depression hurts everyone. Can you steal some MSG swag for me? I would be less depressed if I were wearing a Knicks hat. Love your father (his full name and SSN were part of his signature)

- I like the post, “How Rude” the most. (Yep, that’s Amie's blog not mine)

- Can you attach your blog. Danny (his friend) said it was funny.

3. Top 5 Foods that I wish had “0” weight watchers points:

- Peanut M&Ms

- Sourdough bread

- Goat cheese

- Red Swedish fish

- Wheat thins

** Please note my editor is busy moving and Mel and I are not sure how to end this sentence without a preposition

29 September 2009

Happy Birthday Shrage

In honor of the birth of Michael Shrage, I am going to dedicate this post to the one thing we fight about most often....g chat etiquette.

Shrage has always pushed me to embrace g chat. I consider myself more of an AIM girl but after much convincing (and Shrage even signing me up), I accepted that we are no longer in 2004 and started “g chatting.”

Lizzie told me that the cool kids don't actually say "g chatting," that I can still say IMing but I like to show off and say the whole term. Anyways, I learned quickly that lots of people had already converted. I usually react poorly to change but I really did like this whole g chat thing---- I could mesh AIM and g chats, all my conversations were kept neatly on the left bottom margin and I liked that there were no AIM windows flashing on my screen out of nowhere. Obviously the lack of weemes was hard to swallow at first, but I got past it.

Not to keep bringing up Mr. Bluth BUT when you work for him, the whole chatting with your friends (along with sleeping and having a life) sort of goes out the window. So, yes, I keep g chat up but it’s mostly to converse with my editor, Ellen, Mel or Kev.

A few friends (ok, almost all) have told me that I am quite rude over IM but no one gets more upset than Shrage. He has made a few rude remarks but last week, he reached new levels. Not only did he yell at me at a a bar, he declared that he will never talk to me over g chat again. OUCH.

Sunday, while not working and enjoying an episode of Freaks and Geeks, I figured it would be a great time to "chat" Shrage up...

Me (g chat): Hello mister. I am watching your favorite show.
No response.
No response.
No response.

EMAIL from Michael Shrage comes in---

Alison- I noticed you g chatted me... I'm happy to correspond via email.


RESPONSE via email----

Omg. Are u never g chatting with me?

EMAIL from Shrage:

We can email, text, skype, or talk on the phone. I'll even kiss you thru the phone and send you the picture but g chating is not happening. Yes I see your status ("hi michael shrage. i love you. g chat with me"). Thank you but that doesn't change anything. How many episodes are you into Freaks and Geeks?

Might as well deactivate my account now…