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…

28 September 2009

Phone Dates

My mom and I have phone dates.

We talk often. Being that we are Jewish, she emails, calls, bbms and texts me at least once a day. If I do not respond within the hour, she uses all forms of communication to ask if I am alive (often cc'ing Eric). Since these daily conversations are only about 3 minutes, every few weeks we set up a "phone date."

This may not come as a surprise to people that really know me, but sometimes, I like to set an agenda before a call or dinner. Eric thinks this is the most ridiculous thing in the world but I think it's functional, sensible and efficient. It ensures that we cover all topics and we are in the conversation rather than thinking things like--- shit, remember to bring up dinner next Sunday.

After setting the agenda for the call---and it should be noted my mother’s one amendment to the agenda was to add the topic of eyebrows (she got them done for the first time and she likes them)---we began yapping.

We talked for a few hours. We laughed, we cried and her last comment was, as it always is, "sounds like you should move home." She likes to end all conversations like that. Sort of nice.

Clearly, I cannot let everyone in on everything we discussed but here are some of the highlights (aka the stuff Eric and I just laughed about for an hour).

Out of nowhere--

Mom: Do you always brush your teeth?

Me: YES. Why are you asking me that? What did Eric say to you?

Mom: Oh, nothing. Your dad just told me when I am out of town he takes a break from brushing his teeth. Since you two are so much alike, just wanted to make sure you brushing your teeth if no one is checking up on you.

Mom: Are you brushing your hair and wearing make-up everyday?

Me: Do you think I am a fucking recluse?

Mom: Alison, I just know you rush a lot and I think you need to take time to curl your hair and put on lipstick in the morning.

(Why do all moms think your life will change if you wear lipstick and curl your hair??? I am going to try to wear lipstick and curl my hair for a week and see what happens.)

One day, not that long ago, after reading some article about red lipstick, I wore it to work. Feeling like I had this dirty secret, I was acting very weird. I was meeting with Mr Bluth and I just blurted out-- "I am wearing lipstick today. I may act differently." He became uncomfortable. When Kev got to work, he was so excited that he asked if he could draw a picture of me so it could last longer. He did. It was not funny at all. At all.

Few minutes later....

Mom: No. You cannot get an MBA to look for a husband....unless of course work pays for it.

Few minutes later....

Mom: What if we pretended you were an alcoholic and you never drank again?

Me: Mom, I had 3 glasses of wine this week. Not sure that makes me an alcoholic. I drink 3x a month tops.

Mom: Yeah, let's still try this alcoholic route though.

Few minutes later....

Me: Dad is amazing, he keeps asking me to attach my blog to an email.

Mom: Oh, your father just learned how to open attachments on his blackberry. He keeps asking me to email him anything as an attachment.


23 September 2009

Debra Sue

My editor (obviously I have an editor) wanted me to broach the topic of my mother. I am a bit hesitant that this may not translate well since my mother is sane and thus, less comical. However, I work best with structure (says my paid friend) so I am going to list out my 8 favorite things about Debra Sue.

1. She thinks she is the "Funny Police." When the three of us (Eric, Nella and I ) laugh at something sophomoric (e.g, Farting sounds, Eric pretending to drive into an old person, my dad impersonating our dog - "Debby please clean my butthole, I just shit all over the front yard" - my mom actually says, "Stop laughing, that's not funny." What?!?

2. If you tell my mom bad news, she does not hear it. Like literally, my mom does not hear bad news. You know the styrofoam balls you used to create shoebox dioramas of the Solar System (or was that just me?) Anyway, my mom has one of those balls fixed around her head to protect her from all bad news seeping into her brain (naturally, its invisible) . Of course, I have tried to break this bubble but it is pretty much fixed to her head and it is incredibly durable.

The only story that reveals any clues as to where this ball may have come from is this--She wants to be a ballerina. At age eight her mother, who is a real charmer, said, "Debby, you cannot be a ballerina. There are no fat ballerinas.” I think this may have been the last thing to permeate through the rings of my mother’s head.

3. Recently, we were giggling at Target and she said to me, "You know what's so weird, I have been married longer than I know you." Yep, thanks mom, that's right. You got married to dad. You had Eric and then you had me.

4. She forwards me and Eric inspirational emails.

5. She forwards me and Amie rape warning emails.

6. She once forwarded me, Eric and Amie a PowerPoint on God. Yep, a PowerPoint on God. Yep, me, Eric and Amie had a conference call to discuss the PowerPoint on God.

7. She has amazing taste in shoes. We wear the same size shoe. She lets me take any pair of shoes I like.

8. My mom is the nicest person ever and you can pretty much convince her to do anything. For a few years, I wanted to be a performer ( I know big shocker). So I convinced her we needed to perform “You Don’t bring me Flowers” for Eric and my dad. Obviously she obliged AND she let me be Babs.

21 September 2009


This weekend was Rosh Hashanah. This holiday brings back so many fond memories--apple and honey, sneaking out of temple, Eric and I giggling at the hebrew to english translation, "Head of the Year (yes, head), etc.

Eric and I, as a united front, decided to forgo the trip to NJ and spend the holiday together in the city. He made me run (ugh) and then see a movie (not the rom com i wanted to see). I got pretty sick so I am rethinking the whole God thing. Anyway, being that it is the New Year and all, what a great time to reflect and make some new resolutions--

1. The obvious....acquire an eating disorder

2. Like boy who likes me

3. Cut down on starting sentences with, “My paid friend says…”

4. Stop sending hate mail to Mr. Bluth when drunk

5. Run without wanting to stab needles in my eyes

6. Brush my hair, wear make-up and/or heels 4 out of 7 days of the week

17 September 2009

The Lady Doctor

My roots were getting pretty bad, so I decided to go to LA for the weekend. I know that sounds weird, especially since I rarely brush my hair but my love and loyalty for Koji is pretty intense.

While I was home, I mentioned to my dad that I had been feeling a bit tired lately. Being a neurotic Jew, he insisted that I get my blood taken. I was a bit concerned about the logistics as it was 3 pm on Friday and my flight was on Sunday. Now, I don’t want to drop any names or anything BUT we are best family friends with a prominent gynecologist---aka gyno to the stars. All that being said, I was a bit confused about my dad’s confidence that we would get in with no problem. I insisted we call but my father said there was nothing to worry about. He promised we would have absolutely no issue.

As we parked in the garage, the parking attendant started chatting it up with my dad in Spanish ( weird Nella fact, he lived in Venezuela as a child and speaks Spanish fluently). When we got to the office, the office ladies got up and kissed my father. The nurse, not the sweetest lady, gave my dad a kiss and took us in right away. After she took my blood, my dad led me to a closet and whispered in my ear, “the secret stash”—and we loaded up on gloves. Fully freaked out, I said, “How the hell do you know your way around this place? Why are you friends with people at a gynecologist office? Are you secretly working here?”

Well, it turns out, my dad read somewhere that Brad Pitt gets B-12 shots for energy. Naturally, he wanted to get them too. He convinced his “friend” to give them to him. He also confessed that he tips the nurse when she gives them (she is gentler). Yep, my father goes to a gynecologist weekly and tips the nurse (crisp $20, in case you were wondering)

16 September 2009

Beat of My Heart

For about a year, Eric has been trying to convince me to train with his bestie, Joel. I had, in the past, strongly resisted, as I felt loyal to my own trainer. I would schlep up to her apartment where we would work out in a candlelit room. While we worked out, we would gab and gab while her dogs would lick me and her husband would do work in the same room. I happily embraced this alternative work out. I did not have to wear sneakers. I never broke a sweat. I was never sore. All and all, it was absolute perfection in my eyes.

One morning I was complaining about my body to Kevin (I know, he is so INCREDIBLY lucky) and he said, "I have an idea! Pay me half as much as you pay your trainer and I guarantee the same results.....NOTHING." With that, I decided to make some changes.

Enter Joel.....

Joel graciously accepted the invitation to improve my physique (that was my request, naturally). He even agreed to come to my gym. I was a bit nervous the first session. We had hung out a bunch so working out was definitely crossing a boundary (and we all know, based on the fact that I even have a blog, I have boundary issues).

When we met, the first thing Joel did was tell me to lift my shirt. I was totally confused. Joel and I had done our fair share of flirting in the past but I didn't even look cute. I was in leggings, an old t-shirt and no make-up. I did as he asked and looked down. He whipped out a crazy contraption from his bag. Ahhhhh, a heart rate monitor. So, heart rate monitor strapped on, we went over to the treadmill. Now, I like to think of myself as fit. It seems like Joel's heart rate monitor doesn't. After a few minutes of running, my heart was racing. Now the beauty of working out with a guy is there is none of that girl cuddling bullshit. No "Great job. You can do it!" More like, "What the hell were you doing with your trainer? Your heart rate recovery rate is pathetic." To my defense, Joel is really really really good looking. Like REALLY good looking. I think everyones heart beats quickly when they're around him.

Then came the other stuff....at one point, when I was doing some awkward plank with a jump and a ball, I tried to protest. "What if I fall? I am nervous. I could hurt myself. Not this punim! " Joel said he felt pretty confident I would be alright even if I did fall since I was only two inches from the ground. Shit head. Anyways, after an hour of balls and squats and lunges and stepping on fucking benches, I thought I was going to fall over. I actually asked him if it was possible for my heart to beat so quickly that it would die. He said yes. He also said to squat deeper and talk less.

It has been two weeks that Joel and I have been training. I can't feel my legs. I am not really able to lift my arms above my shoulders. I may or may not need to hold on to a wall when I sit.
All in all, I’d say it is going well?

14 September 2009


Shrage is my bestie. Really, I LOVE that boy more than life itself. If I could, I would bring him with me everywhere I went. He makes me smile. He makes me laugh. He can even calm me down when I get upset.

Recently, at a family bar-mitzvah (naturally he is my date to all family functions) my cousin Cathy accosted us---she said that we needed to get married and that if needed, we could even have her diamond. Please, I obviously need my own diamond.

Anywho, this whole “Ali and Shrage” thing is the topic of LOTS of conversation so I figured there is one thing to do….


Please feel free to share your thoughts

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

A few weeks ago, I fell in love. Well, I did not really fall in love but I did like telling people I was in love...

My cousin Brianna was about to go to college for the first time. She had requested I spend the night in NJ and naturally, as soon as the sun went down she bolted to her friends, leaving me alone. Since J Date and I were still going strong, I signed on. Not but a few minutes went by that I got an IM (just like facebook for you non J daters) from a attractive man. Not just "J date attractive," but like, actually attractive. His first IM said "move home." Confused, I looked at his location...California. So I figured out that he read my profile which says, "a west coaster at heart." After a few witty exchanges, he said, why aren't there awesome, funny people like you in CA? Obviously I have a funny profile (I may or may not have had some help there) and over IM I am extra funny ---it’s not until you meet me in person that I am incredibly awkward.

Long story short, we chatted and chatted and chatted. We had so much in common! We have similar jobs, we know some of the same people….we just had this great, witty repartee . After our first "virtual" date, I was quite smitten. I even woke up smiling, like you do after a really awesome "in person" date.

So, this man, who we will call Stalone, and I continued to speak every day and every day, I liked him even more. You are probably thinking this is insane but if you really think about it, it’s sort of genius. We have a “date” and there is no trying on a million outfits, no obsessing about if I wear my hair up or down, no need to shave my legs and, best part is, I can leave whenever I want. On some level, virtually dating is absolutely brilliant.

Now, I LOVE having secret "relationships" but knowing this was weird, even for me, I thought I needed to tell someone. First, I told Kevin. Kevin usually endorses my questionable behavior so I felt pretty good about sharing this secret with him. I started to tell him all about this fledgling love and he was excited for me. Then, we hit a speed bump when he asked where I met him. When I told him I had never really met him, his smile grew bigger and bigger as he shook his head (which he does quite when I tell him stories), "Ali, you really outdid yourself on this one. Even though you once told me you can’t call crazy people crazy, this is crazy.” OUCH.

Naturally I decided to talk to some other people....

I told the story to Amie and Todd (my BFF and her radical husband) and their responses were priceless. Todd asked a billion questions and then told me it sounded just great (he is so sweet and naive it’s astounding) and then Amie (the more pragmatic of the two) encouraged me to actually meet this virtual man before wasting any time or at least talk to him on the phone. Yep. that's right. We talked for weeks over IM and NEVER talked on the phone. I liked to think I was a lady, playing hard to get.

But at last, after I felt it appropriate, I let Stalone hear my voice…we had a phone date.

You know what's remarkable, if there were 5000 men in a room (or online), I promise, I would meet eyes with the most emotionally fucked up one. Stalone, so sweet and romantic over IM, was a whole new person over the phone …can’t even imagine what he would be like in the flesh.

The next day, confused and disappointed, I called Amie. After telling her all about the traumatic experience, I asked, "What are the chances of falling for a guy who was a completely different person offline?" and you know what she said, "um, pretty high when you are meeting online. Please stop J Dating.” Me and J Date broke up …..again.

09 September 2009

The Sound of Music

Much to my dismay, I tend to wear my feelings on my sleeve. This "issue" can lead to some not so pleasant situations in the workplace (more about this later).

Today, quite a few people asked me what's wrong. Now if I answered that question honestly, it would be, ummmmm, not good. Katie would be very disappointed. And, since I am working on being "normal," I am trying out some new things. Now, when I asked Kevin what to think about during a painful conversation, he suggested that I imagine the speaker farting. Now, I still think farting is absolutely hilarious so I figured I needed to do something that would not result in uncontrollable giggles. So, I have taken to singing songs in my head while people talk to me. Today, I sang this song...

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Brown paper packages tied up with strings, These are a few of my favorite things...."

As I was staring off, I started to think about how much I hate kittens and wool, for that matter. So I decided to think about my favorite things--- here are some of them (doing "9" to celebrate today's date:

1. This Card

2. Color Coded Books
3. Bab's Nails
4. Coffee Bean (like all Jappy LA girls)5. Skinny Girls in White Dresses
6. Lisa Frank School Supplies
7. Pez Jackets
8. Diet Lemondae Snapple (which I beleive was discountinued)

9. Kar-Dog talking about T-Mobile

08 September 2009

David Gregory Rothstein

Getting nervous I am becoming less compelling, I asked my core fans (aka Garden employees ) what they would like to hear about. Naturally, I listened to my toughest “fan.”

He said, and I quote, “I guess I would like to hear more about your childhood….I want to understand how you turned out like this.” Um, not sure that was a compliment. So, to give another perspective, I asked my brother to share the top five moments from my childhood…. (please excuse the offensive content, grammar and spelling)

5. Watching Alison's dance recitals.

My mom and dad were super supportive our after school activities. For me, it was mostly baseball and tennis. For my sister, it was dance class. My favorite part of Ali’s dance classes were the costumes. If you know her well, you know that Ali has a very “special” way of dressing ( we all remember the tent phase). Every time she had class , she’d come home with chocolate smeared all over her face. I am not sure what kind of dance class promotes chocolate eating in class but leave it up to my sister to find it. At the end of each “dance year” there would be a big recital. I always thought it was a big deal since my mom would make me wear a tie. I remember, each year, getting super excited to see the big show as my sister spent 8 months preparing herself -- both in class and in front of me and ALL her dolls Every night. All I know is when it came time for my sister's group to get up there they would always just stand there and kind of turn in circles repeatedly. My favorite “act” was a jazz routine where my sister kept waving to my mom and sticking out her stomach and laughing. I think my dad requested his money back.

4. The scissor stabbing incident

When i was a teenager i would have some regular sleepovers. Me and my friend, Ulz Klein, would hang out, watch movies, smoke pot on the side yard, look at gay porn magazines, and play video games. This one instance Ulz and I were in the upstairs den chatting when Ali came in. I may have called her fat…and all of a sudden, Ali became a crazy woman (don’t call her fat) and came storming in at me with scissors claiming she was gonna stab me. After some commotion and screaming, 90% of it coming from her, my father came running in. Clearly, the smarter of us two, she hid the scissors immediately of course my father thought I was going after her. He grabbed me and told me to leave her alone.

3. Cutting carrots = E.R. con no jewelry

At age 10/11 my sister became more or less brilliant. She was way smarter than me and would know things that could possibly get her on jeopardy. One night her eyes were hurting and she read in one of her science books that carrots are good for your eyes. At 10pm she came down stairs and decided to slice up some carrots. She also happened to slice a piece of her finger while doing it and screamed pretty loud which woke up the pervert (my dad). As the pervert was figuring out what to do, my mom told him to take Ali to the ER and get her stitched up. As she was bleeding all over the place, the pervert just sat there debating if it were safe for him to wear his watch or wedding ring to the ER. He literally sat there for 15 minutes debating what to do as my sister was bleeding like crazy. This gives a little better of an understanding as to why Ali and I am so neurotic.

2. 3am is the new bath time

All throughout high school i would be woken up by the sound of running water all cause my sister enjoyed her late night bath. I don't think she was a good sleeper. She would decide late at night to take baths and sometimes sing bel biv devoe or boyz 2 men out loud as she soaked in the tub for an hour or so. One time I had a friend sleeping over and he heard the bath and singing and he woke up and said "what the fuck is that???" I just said it was my sister, its normal around here. That friend never slept over again and is no longer my friend. That's when I discovered that 3am baths with singing of "END OF THE ROAD" was not considered normal in most homes.

1. Ali loves Party of 5

Most people in our age group are fond believers that 90210 was the greatest show ever (well, that and seinfeld). My sister will admit to her love for 90210 but do NOT try and argue with her that it is the greatest show. You will lose. This girl loves PARTY OF 5. She would go around quoting Charlie as if he were the grand wizard and she were a loyal kkk member. Alison was in love with this show. She would sometimes even say how if our mom and dad died she would want to adopt 3 more kids so we can be like them. I used to love watching my sister watch this show. She would cry at the end of EVERY episode and then she would watch it again cause she would record them on VHS. She would always make fun of me for watching reruns of seinfeld or 227 but party of 5 was different. She quoted that thing like the bible. I recall they once won an Emmy for best new show and she was in tears. Like she just won a Nobel peace prize or something. Later on, when the show got cancelled my sister spun in to a deep depression. I actually think she hasn't been the same since.