Tuesday, August 30, 2016


I'm in Houston, TX.  Which could be worse.  Personally, I'm kind of beat.

The big issue is my sinuses.  We were landing last night, and I felt a sharp, stabbing pain that originated above my left eye.  It was honestly some of the worst pain I have felt, ever.  I looked at the colleague I'm traveling with and said, "Look, if this is a stroke, and I don't make it downstairs tomorrow, that's what happened."

It's not a stroke.  It's just sinus pain plus cabin pressure.  You know, things as they are.

Last night, a young woman I used to work with posted something really nice on Facebook.  She now lives in Colorado and just got her dream job as a trainer with Miller Coors.  Good for her.  She mentioned in her post myself and one other woman who were her mentors "without even knowing it".

I needed to hear that.  You have no idea how much I needed to hear that.

To quote a musical - The Last Five Years, "Son of a bitch I guess I'm doing something right..."

And finally, today was Taco Tuesday:

I watched them make my tortillas in front of me, and they were delicious.  Note the chipotle mayo.


And with that - time for Tums, sinus meds and sleep.

Peace, love and carne asada,


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Kick 'em in the other knee...

I had a hell of an active weekend.  We went to East Tennessee to celebrate my Aunt/Uncle-in-law's 60th Wedding Anniversary.

Lots of food, fun and family.

On Saturday, we offered to go on a hike with one of the sporty cousins.  He's 20 years my senior, but he's healthier than someone 20 years my junior.

We had fun, but I'm sore as hell.

I picked up Matt's cold, and I feel like fossilized garbage.  I head to Houston tomorrow, and the hope is that I'll feel decent by the time I get home later this week.

This afternoon, we learned that the washing machine was dead.  It's possible we could have fixed it - but it could have been a $12 fix or a $300 fix.  And for $300, we could have a brand new machine.  The one that died came with the house, and it looked rough when we moved in a decade ago.

So I took the truck and drove to the Sears outlet. Two hours later, we were washing our first load in the new machine.  Works great.  But it about killed us both.

I have had a few frustrating weeks... I am hoping to pull it together a little.

Right now, though, it's time for for medication and sleep...

Peace and chicken grease.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

I said thanks...

Last night I received another bird-gram from my father.

I know, I know - it's all in my head, and that's fine, got it.

So, let's put it another way.  Last night I was sitting on my deck and a hummingbird came buzzing in about six inches from my face.

Now, Dad, back in the day, would feed the hummingbirds.  He, his mother and his sister would have a contest to see who got the first one each summer.  My first Christmas in Nashville, he gave me a feeder.  I could never get them to come, and the sugar water went bad.

So, in eleven years, I've been hummingbird free.

And then last night, one buzzed up to my face...as if to tell me something.

Something like, "Cut it out with the fucking magical thinking.  This is a coincidence, bitch."

And I'm sure it is.

But, for the sake of the argument, and this post - let's assume it was Dad sending a message.

What was he trying to say?

Possible Messages From the Beyond:

It may appear, like the hummingbird, that you are flying backwards.  Remember that motion is better than inertia, and even if you think you're not moving in the right direction, you're still moving.

Lay off the sugar water.

I will continue to be in your life in avian form.  It's just to remind you that you'll never forget about me and that even though I'm no longer alive, my love for you is.

You should really be feeding these birds.

If you're stressed out, catch a good buzz.

Aunt Mary is with me and she and I are having fun.  Don't worry about us.

I see you have a new dog, and I am glad.  I am sorry you lost Lola.  But this one seems pretty good.

The truth is, I just happened to be outside and there just happened to be a hummingbird.

And I happened to be in need of some kind of Dad-based guidance.

But on the off chance that it was his doing, thanks for the bird*.


*Another story for a different time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Other Universal Truths

Here are some things:

1. If you as a boss or manager have to specify that your door is always open, it really isn't.  Or, if it's open, it's only because they are NOT in there.

2. I love my dog's veterinary practice.  I had to take her in for a Kennel Cough vaccine today.  The "proper name" for that is Bordatella, which I always have to think about, or I'll call it Bortadella, which is not a thing.  Mortadella is an Italian deli meat.  Anyway, a good mnemonic would be that she needs BORDatella in order to BOARD at the kennel.

3. I wish I were more comfortable at saying no.

4.  I need to get back off of sugar.  As much as I hated it, I felt SO MUCH BETTER when I wasn't eating it.

5.  I love my pressure cooker.  Tonight, we're having a soup I made with turkey andouille sausage, collard greens, beans, tomatoes and chicken broth.  And cornbread.  Because I love cornbread.

6.  Sometimes, you have to get back to basics.  I made, for dinner the other night, pigs in a blanket.  Canned biscuit dough, low-fat hot dogs.  Highly recommended.

7. Once upon a time my father commented that I apologize too much.  Maybe it's because I'm mean and feel sorry.  Maybe he has a point.  Had.  Had a point.  Fuck, I miss him.

8. I watched "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" last night, and it was weird, but good.  Part of me would rather have been watching something garbagey, but I didn't, so... good for me?

9. I am still listening to Hamilton obsessively.  It's still amazing.  I still find a message in it every time.

10.  I may stop for more canned biscuits on the way home.

11.  Sometimes, when you can't say no, there is power in saying, "Yes, but..."

12.  In improv, you say "Yes, and..."

13.  I miss improv.  But I really miss stand up!

14.  See number three.



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

This Week in Allistory

Here I am, rock me like a hurricane.

I'm trying to get things a little organized while I'm in town this week.  I went to the dump, I started a box for Goodwill.  I ate some tuna casserole.

I will be doing some baking for a weekend gathering.  I've been trying to decide what, exactly, and that's kind of a pain - it turns out I prefer cooking, where I can wing it a little more - baking is like Chemistry, cooking is more like Modern Dance.

I took Modern Dance in college as one of my Physical Education credits.  I ended up with a couple of girls in my sorority in there as well as a friend of a friend (a guy) and it was... it was OK.

I remember that the teacher had a nice normal name like Sandra Drake, which is how it appeared on our schedule, but on the first day of class, she told us her name was Bala Saraswati.

Now, the original owner of that name was a famous dancer (http://www.balasaraswati.com/).  So it would like signing up for a rec league basketball team and the Coach, Ernest Williams walks in and says, "I'd like for you to call me LeBron James."

Umm.  Whatever.  I thrashed and flailed to Enya for a term, and passed P.E.

My other credit came from a Badminton Class.  I got into it with the instructor day one when she said, "Oh, you're left-handed, well, that's the first problem."  I told her that my being left-handed was in fact, not a problem, and that she could think of it as a challenge for her.

I was such a mouthy little asshole.  Well, I am still.  But I was, even then.

Anyway.  I like to cook.  I was relatively indifferent to Modern Dance.  What I do remember is that there was a bus that stopped just outside the dance building that pulled up about three minutes after class let out, and that if I didn't get that one, I'd be waiting for another half hour.  So there were some pretty impressive feats of speed - I managed to throw on a pair of shorts over my leotard and tights  - this is well before yoga pants were a thing, and we were required to have them for class - so I'd throw on a pair of Birkenstocks, a pair of shorts and run like hell for the bus.  I had long since given into wearing my backpack with both straps - but I know how ridiculous I looked.  Who cares.  I got back to my sorority house that much sooner.  I ate lunch, took a nap, went to Glee Club.

Things were easier back then.  In some ways.  I mean, I got home from Modern Dance and lunch was waiting for me.  Lotta grilled cheese and tomato soup.

But, to be fair, I was also taking plenty of Prozac, meeting with a therapist once a week, and feeling a general sense of dread because I didn't fit in.  I went home a lot of weekends just to sleep and recharge my extremely drained batteries.

So in some ways, things were more difficult.  I mean, I'm still taking meds and seeing a therapist, and I feel like I don't fit in.  But after 20 years, I think maybe I'm better at it. And I don't sleep the whole weekend.


Anyway.  I am going to the post office, and Belk and maybe get some Chick-Fil-A.

I'd give anything for a huge plate of grilled cheese and Campbell's tomato.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

No. Please.

I'm in Toledo, OH.

And then, a week in office.

Then Texas.

Then three weeks in a row in Cleveland, OH.

You know what's awesome about Ohio in an election year?


It's the swingiest of swing states, and there are these hate filled ads on TV.  And hate filled bumper stickers on cars.  And hate filled comments from my customers, who can say aaaaaaaaanything they want and I just get to sit there and smile, and fake laugh and try not to cry until I get to, at the very least, my car - but better my hotel room.

And this is not just people I don't agree with - the hate is on both ends of the political spectrum.

I just have to dig through all this horse shit, and assume that somewhere in there, is a pony.

Take two, they're small.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Slow Children at Play

I would like to think that the universe is constantly sending out signs - not just to me, but to anyone who is paying attention.

Here's the latest sign I've been getting.

This is a Carolina Wren.  It was my father's favorite bird.  I can't confirm that - I'm going on memory.  But, as I remember it, that's his favorite bird.

Anyway, while it's not an uncommon bird in these parts, I don't see them at my house often.

Until recently. 

Over the past few weeks, there's been one (or more than one, but I assume one) coming into my back yard.  Close, like, at the fence or on the deck.  And it comes close and raises wren hell.  Just, very vocal.

And I feel like... Dad is trying to tell me something.  Or I don't know.  Maybe there's just a Carolina Wren in town that happens to be in my back yard.

That makes more sense.  But this bird (birds?) seems to have a sense of URGENCY.

"Allison", it's chirping, "Listen to me, I have something important to tell you!"

But what?

Put some more thistle in the feeder?  Keep doing what I'm doing?   Stop doing what I'm doing?  Hang in there?  Take a deep breath?  Take a nap?  Cut my hair?  Cut out carbs?

I'll keep an eye out, and an ear open.

But you know, can't ignore a sign - even if you can't read it.

 Pretty sure this one says, "This Way to The Toga Party".


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Revisionist History

One of my favorite hobbies is checking the "On This Day" on my Facebook feed.

This morning, it told me that four years ago today is when  I got my nose pierced in Skowhegan, Maine.  It was sort of cute. 

I stopped wearing the stud in my nose maybe a year ago, maybe two?  I don't remember, except that I was at the zoo and I saw lots of trashy looking old broads with them, and then right after that, I got a cold, took it out for extended sessions of nose-blowing and never put it back in.

So, after I saw the reminder on Facebook today, I thought... huh, I wonder if I can still get a stud in that hole?  That sounds dirty.

Anyway, I bought a cheap stud on my lunch break and guess what!?!

I can't.

I'm sure I could force it and re-open the hole, but have you ever inflicted pain to your own nose?  It hurts like a motherf***er.

And really, to what end?  To remind myself that four years ago, I did something kind of silly, that is thankfully, not permanent.

Good thing I didn't get a tattoo.

The other kind of funny thing is that I had my hair dyed dark and straightened  at the time.

Now I'm stud-free, gray and frizzy.... and still happy.  Mostly.

So four years from now, where will I be?

Will I even still be blogging?

Probably.  And who knows what new holes or studs I'll have.

Haha, that definitely sounds dirty.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Little Pink Houses

When Matt and I were dating, I ended up at his high school one weekend to serve as a judge in a creative problem solving competition.  He was up in Nashville, and I was in his hometown, walking the hallowed halls where he matriculated.

When I arrived, I was told to check in at the Day Care Center.

His high school has a day care where students can keep their kiddos during the day.  In return for childcare, they spend one period a day there where they work and learn child care skills.

I was blown away by this, and I told Matt that night what a progressive idea that was.  He asked what the girls in my school who got pregnant did with their kids.

I said, "Girls at my school didn't get pregnant." 

He replied, "Girls at your school didn't stay pregnant."

And to be fair, he probably has a point.  It's statistically improbable that somebody in my high school didn't get pregnant in the four years I was there.  I can tell you that people had sex.  Anecdotally, empirically - people had sex at Roswell High School*.

Our mascot was the Hornet.  Here are two hornets, mating.

And I realize how elitist what I said probably sounded.  I get it - but it was 15 years ago, at least, and I feel bad about it.

But I grew up in a middle class suburb where bad things don't happen.

That's not entirely true.  Bad things happened.  One of my classmates was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma our senior year.  Went to prom in a wig.  That said, she survived and lives in Colorado with her husband and gorgeous kids.

That's it.  That's the bad thing that happened to our class.

So you can imagine my surprise the other day when I learned that two teenagers were found shot, dead - murdered behind a grocery store not a tenth of a mile from my high school.  One was a student at my high school - the other, at a school in a different county.  They were seventeen.  About to start their senior years.

I read the story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (online) and recognized the name of the detective - he's the younger brother of a guy I grew up with.  A fair number of people who grew up in the area stayed put. The fact that I didn't is something of a surprise to me.

They arrested a suspect and he's in jail now.  He has a history of mental illness.  He had a gun.

Y'all know how I feel about guns.  Not really the point.  The point here is that bad things happen.

Even to nice kids from nice neighborhoods.  And by the way, getting pregnant doesn't mean you're not a nice kid.  It just means that you're a nice kid who had a kid.

Be nice to yourself.  And to others.


*In re-reading this, I want to clarify - I'm not saying people had sex AT SCHOOL (although, it's possible, even probable).  I just mean that students of RHS were having sex.  Where?  Hell, I don't know.  Not my business. 

Monday, August 8, 2016


I went to the mall Sunday, and it was... not especially fun.

I need work clothes.  Specifically, I need some dress-up work clothes.  Stuff to wear onsite.  My September will be spent on the road in a big, big way - so I need a few pieces to transition into fall in Ohio. 

And I've lost a little weight.  Not as much as I want, but enough that my standard stuff needs to be replaced with a smaller size.  And I guess I could wait, but you know - I make decent money now, I might as well wear things that fit well and make me feel good, and not wait til things are in danger of falling off.

Anyway.  The thing is, I'm not thin, I'm still shopping in the Plus Size department.

Let me break down what that looks like.  At the Macy's near my office, there are two floors.  Floor one is 2/3 women's "Straight Sizes" -  meaning anything from 0-16.  The remaining 1/3 is cosmetics and shoes.  The second floor contains Men's, Children's, Housewares, Furniture, and roughly 1/6 of the second floor is Women's Plus - and it is picked over and sad.

Especially if you need business attire.  If you need cold-shoulder blouses with metallic accents or capris and nautical themed tees... you're all set.

If you need a nice dressy blouse and jacket... well, dream on.

I fared a little better at Dillard's.  Their Big Girl section is bigger and more varied, sort of.  There, I found a blouse.

A side note.  I'm finally at a point in my life where I can pick something off the rack and feel fairly confident that I can afford it.  I'm not saying I want to spent $70 on a blouse, but if I like it and it looks good - I can.  There's something nice about that.

So, three hours, four stores, one blouse.

I came home and texted my friend Connie that I look terrible in formal business attire.

She texted back:

Do not feel bad.  Remember Working Girl?

As a matter of fact, I do.

I love you, Joan Cusack.

I suggested that I need a fresh pair of Reebok high tops to pull my look together.  Connie suggested bangs.  I countered with shoulder pads.

And just like that, I felt better about striking out at the mall.

It also prompted me to look up "Let the River Run", and I've decided I need Carly Simon on demand to follow me and burst into song when I need to get pumped.

I'm so vain.  I bet I think that song is about me.

Anyway.  If I can find a jacket that makes the cut, I'll let you know.


Six thousand dollars? It's not even leather!

Does this make my butt look hideous?

Let the river run, bitches.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Assorted Whatnot

My Seattle trip is over.  I now have a week before I leave again.  Well, a week and 2 days.

Whatever.  We do what we do.

Anyway, not much happening.  I got a new pedicure today, because I banged my big toe on someone's roller bag and broke a toenail.  So now I'm wearing OPI's "Red My Fortune Cookie".

And the Olympics are on.  We watched a little Women's Field Hockey this morning.  Possibly the most painful sport to watch, ever.

I was thinking today about a passage in Little Women as I was cooking dinner.  My uncle sent an e mail to me, my mother and my sister thanking us for coming to the wedding, and each of us got an individual line that was directed at each of us.

And it reminded me of the passage in Little Women where they're sitting around just after Christmas Dinner.  Father March has just come home from the war, or, more accurately, he's come from a hospital recovering from pneumonia he caught while off at war - where, to be accurate, he was a minister.  A preacher, not a fighter.  Anyway, he's going around the table praising each of his daughters for something - basically, how they have matured in his absence.  Amy is less selfish. Meg got her hands dirty.  Jo is less masculine and Beth is... alive. Poor Beth.  Such a low bar.

But the girls are all eager to hear what their father thinks of them, and they hope it's something good.  We know that Jo is pleased, we know that Amy is.  Meg has just realized she's in love with John Brooke, so she's happy, but whatever - her hands are no longer white and pretty.   Beth is pretty much happy until she realizes she's dying.  And that's not for another several years, so she's happy to be with her family.

Anyway, that's what the format of the e mail reminded me of. 

Right now, dinner is in the pressure cooker, and we'll eat and chill out.

Tomorrow, I guess laundry and groceries.  That's how we do.



Monday, August 1, 2016

Eight Years and Change

I landed in Seattle, Washington for the first time eight years and one week ago.

And I wrote about it here.

Now, I'm baaaaaaaack.

And today, after landing, I went to Archie McPhee then to Ivar's for fish & chips.

Because I am nothing if not consistent.

Tonight, I'm sitting in my overpriced hotel room watching The Bachelorette.  Which, I never watch, but it's not difficult to catch on.

Jojo, who looks like a poor man's Isla Fisher is blathering over two equally interchangeable prettyboys.

I loved you in Wedding Crashers

Her mother, Soraya looks a little over-cosmetic surgeried.  The hair is fake, the lips are fake, and possibly other parts as well.

It's some dumb, dumb shit.

But I'll watch, then get some sleep, then go do some training... on billing.  My absolute weakest link.

Oh well.  Fake it til you make it.

Sweet dreams, y'all.