A Note to the Poo-pooers And Haters of Social Media

This is the first big storm on the East Coast that I haven’t been there for.

We’re it not for Facebook and Twitter, I would be an even bigger ball of nerves than I am. Many of my friends were lucky. Some now have beach front property.

I would be left to my own asshole brain thinking the worst were it not for consistent updates from those I love.

Stay safe, East Coast.

Well this was written awhile ago an apparently saved on my phone…
Whatever.
FREE CONTENT!

This is why Seth and I are friends.

Ali: Here are a few pictures of me with fire 🙂
Seth: Beautiful!
Ali: Rick was like “you look so scared” and I was all “I WAS!”
Seth: You look gorgeous in the third picture.
Ali: That was the one he said I was terrified in.
Seth: Frightened women are the prettiest. Said every dangerous drifter ever.
Ali: This is why I murder hobos.
Seth: Not murder. Pre-emptive vengeance.
Ali: I have missed you terribly.
3/7/13

WoS014: Dirty Basement Bear

On this episode, Seth and I haven’t spoken in over a month. We cry and I cram in as much as I can about the past month in 78 minutes. Debauchery, stupid snow, giving kids smallpox stuffed animals… and neither of us drink during this episode. BUT! Seth is on painkillers and muscle relaxers so you can start to hear him fade. I had spent the evening prior drinking more than I should have.

OH! And Daylight Savings Time is for suckas.

Play

QFP Quotes From Pals Catchup: October, November, December 2012

This sounds like somebody shit in my ears.
Seth 10/4/12

I have liquids.
Seth 10/12/12

We’ll get some Budweiser scotch while we’re at it.
Rick 10/12/12

Oh you’re from Cupertino? I love your font!
Rick 10/13/12

My arm makes my face go dark. Cat logic is awesome.
Ali 10/13/12

That’s such a painful pose! … But men like, so we do it!
Dana 10/13/12

Why do you need to overthrow the donut king?
Dana 10/13/12

Do you want to have a staring contest with me just so I can cry?
Robbie 10/14/12

God doesn’t close a vagina by opening an asshole.
Rick 10/14/12

He’s young and has good hydraulics.
Susan 10/14/12

No one gets a Snagglepuss reference anymore.
Eric 10/25/12

I’m an OG hoarder.
Payne 11/1/12

I know exactly what I’m doing with knives.
Amber 11/2/12

My vagina just breathed a sigh of relief.
Nikki 11/6/12

Jenn: “I always wanted an Easy Bake Oven.”
Ali: “Do you like hot pudding?”
11/7/12

I’m always weary about people that don’t love chocolate.
Jenn 11/7/12

Was there really any other type of Rick Danko than a coked up one?
Marissa 11/8/12

Shawn: The thing about Japan…
Ali: Educate me, Viking.
11/9/12

Ali: Why did I join a wine club?
Shawn: It didn’t really help you.
Emerald: You’re whining right now.
11/9/12

I wanna have sex with you and now I can’t. This is your fault.
Nikki 11/9/12

Fuck your treachery! Have you ever been bitten by a duck?
Nikki 11/9/12

Nikki: *French Accent* Mawwwhahahaha!
Matt: Which is French for Hahahaha.
11/9/12

Aren’t they supposed to smell like pickles and money? Or pickled money?
Emerald 11/9/12

I would pay you so much money to Sharpie your dick.
Nikki 11/9/12

Seth: Since Op Ivy played their last show in ‘89, you can’t be expected to buy the tee at a show.
Marissa: I also would have been six and was mainly listening to the theme from Land Before Time and Whitney Houston’s opus “The Greatest Love Of All”. The only Operations I cared about were the one I was undergoing for my sinuses and the one that involved an inanimate man and buzzing tweezers
11/13/12

If you pay $400 for a Fugazi shirt, Ian McKaye will personally punch you in the pants.
Seth 11/13/12

The guy on the left looks like a self-important German architect with eccentric sexual proclivities, the middle guy is what would come out it Neil Young and Bret Michaels had a baby, and the gut on the right is like, “yeah, I like piercings and 80s hairdos–whataya want from me?”.
Paul 11/20/12

Let’s get drunk, show up with weird paintings and heckle them mercilessly.
Josh 11/20/12

Basically all bad people names are great pet names.
Amber 11/20/12

You are a cat racist!
Amber 11/20/12

Killed by stuffed animals is not how I want to go out.
Cupcake 11/21/12

I’ve never laid an egg or a chicken.
Dominique 11/22/12

You build babies out of meat.
Seth 11/25/12

That sounds like a dude that went jogging at a taco festival.
Seth 11/25/12

Seth: it would be creepy and cute.
Ali: it would be creepdorable!
11/25/12

Are you mocking autistic children?
Puppy 12/1/12

Is it weird calling him “daddy” in a non-fetish setting?
Jackie 12/22/12

Your horror is an aphrodisiac to me.
Ali 12/26/12

He’s basically Rainbow Dash with Apple Jack’s accent.
Rune 12/29/12

Rune: I think Lady Gaga just douses herself in glue and rolls around in things.
Me: Yeah. She’s like Katamari.
12/29/12

He keeps his girlfriends private. I know because I stalked him on MySpace.
Rune 12/29/12

Yarr, bitches.

Today I had the best conversation with a stranger I have ever had. And I won.

I was at Starbucks and there was this relatively attractive dude talking passionately to two women. They were riveted. He was talking about the music industry and how pirating music is horrible and wrong.

I honestly had nowhere to be, so I just stood nearby and watched him talk. They asked him questions about his music. He talked about how it was so difficult for his band and everyone in the music industry to make any money because people were just stealing from the hard working artists.

I kinda chuckled and he turned his attention to me. He asked me questions about my spending practices, and my support of “independant” artists. Apparently, the look on my face read as “what an arrogant douchebag” because he started pestering me about whether or not I have ever downloaded songs for free, or if I used streaming music.

I answered honestly. Yeah, I used to download songs or share files with friends. I now use a streaming music program daily, but I make a playlist and then I end up buying the songs I like. Then there were more questions about his music from the two adoring women sitting there. How much work he spent recording. I even asked him about his experience with production.

He told me about the software he uses and seemed to be really excited about it. I asked him questions about what type of things he could do with it. Then I told him, “Man, that sounds awesome. I’d love to try it, but I’m still trying to recouperate from the holiday shopping.”

He then said “Oh, I can get you a free copy of it. I got it online.”

The thing is, I know the program. I know exactly how much it costs, because I’ve missed it since I first learned how to use it at school.

So I said “oh, a trial version?”

He then grinned and said that his friend cracked it, so he had the full version.

I then blinked at him, smiled sweetly, and said “oh. So… You pirated software…” and he told me that he didn’t, his friend did.

“So… What makes that any different from a pirated download of a song that a friend shares with you? SOMEONE created that. SOMEONE worked so hard to make art, and don’t fool yourself. Software IS art. I don’t care how expensive you think it is. Sit down, you fucking hypocrite.”

I don’t know if I said that verbatim, but I did tell him that software was an art… and I did call him a hypocrite… So I’m gonna high five myself.

Piracy is piracy.

They should really not let me in a chat room with customer service.

I’m pretty happy I didn’t say “I really hope that seasonal employee drowns in a fire”. Baby steps. I’ll take ’em.

 

You are now connected to Sanjay from Amazon.com.

Me: Hello, I have been trying to remedy this ridiculously inept delivery by UPS, but they have been nothing but problematic.
They told me that this package was delivered at 3:00 on 12/24 to my neighbor, when ON THE LABEL it says “Deliver to Leasing Office”. They have continued to give me the runaround saying that they would attempt to retrieve it and I have yet to hear back from anyone. I would like a replacement immediately and I would like UPS to be charged for it due to their gross incompetence.

Sanjay: Hello, my name is Sanjay. I’ll be happy to help you today.

Me: Fantastic

Sanjay: I apologize for the inconvenience. Can I have your order number, please?

Me: [omitted]

Sanjay: Thank you
Once again I am sorry for the trouble you had

Me: Oh it is most definitely not your fault, Sanjay.

Sanjay: Thank you Alison

Me: It is due to the gross incompetence of someone that apparently doesn’t read labels that works for UPS

Sanjay: Okay I understand
You have not received both the items right?

Me: Not I have not.

Sanjay: Alison, The best I can do here is can issue a full refund for these items and you can place a new order again.

Me: That is fine. Is there anyway to charge UPS for the refund? Because I would really like them to be punished.

Sanjay: As the items are third party product, It directly unable us to do any further changes

Me: A refund is better than nothing at all.

Sanjay: Thank you Alison thanks for understanding

Me: This is the second time they have “delivered” something to me and it has mysteriously walked away.

Sanjay: I am issuing refund right away

Me: Thank you very much.

Sanjay: Please allow me a minute while I process a full refund for you

Me: I apologize for being so caustic. I think, under better circumstances, we could have been friends.

Sanjay: Thank you for your warm words Alison

Me: You are very welcome, Sanjay.

Sanjay: I have successfully issued a full refund for the missing items
You will receive a confirmation email of refund right after this chat.
Is there anything else I can do for you today?

Me: Thank you very much. I can only hope that justice comes to the UPS man in the form of a herniated disc.
No, I’m all set. Thank you for being so helpful!

Sanjay: My pleasure assisting you today

Regarding Depression and Suicide (Obviously This Gets Dark)

On Wednesday, I had a discussion about depression with a friend. I have removed their end of the conversation as theirs is not my story to tell.

I am choosing to post this today because someone I have never met killed himself. And I fucking get it. I get it so much it hurts sometimes.
Fair warning. I get dark. I also am just writing this on the fly, so it may just be a bunch of thoughts that I put down.
I’m a tad fucked up. [Another friend] kinda unintentionally set me on a day of a downward spiral this week.
(I’m better now, just needed to process how truthful I was)
They asked about my scars, depression management, and my compulsions/triggers… and I spoke honestly about them.
Forgetting that occasionally that IS a trigger.
Yeah… They were like “you really handle your depression well. Do you take medication?”
I was like “nope. I use my sense of humor and love of adorable things to get me out of it.”
It is absolutely jarring how sometimes your own depression can catch you off guard. You know that it exists and acknowledge it exists, but the extent of how you feel sometimes pads the actual physical reaction your body has.

Depression, for me, can be several different physical reactions. A panic attack, scratching at my skin until it bleeds, punching the insides of my thighs, wanting to curl up in a ball and watch… anything that will make me laugh.

During my conversation with this friend, I actually wrote “It’s okay. I still am not sleeping with a knife in my room, so I know I’m okay.”

Logically, that seems fucked up. It really does. But, back east, I would have a knife in my room (in a box) as some sort of safety blanket. The idea that I could always kill myself later gave me an additional option to feeling terrible and therefore took a bit of the depression away. That object permanence was enough to calm me.

While that is an incredibly dark comfort, it kept me from killing myself. (Now? I can understand why my parents got me help and why I got myself help as well.)

The worst part of hearing about someone killing themselves is that I almost always internalize it. Like “fuck. That could have been me.” And it could have. I could be self-depracating and talk about how I always get distracted and never finish anything, but I really think it has to do with the fact that no matter how terrible it got, the Pandora’s box in my head still had Hope clinging to it.

Depression is a lot like arthritis. Some days are fantastic. Some are meh. Some are catastrophically painful. The only difference between the two is that there is no way to physically tell that someone is working through severe depression unless their face reflects sadness or anxiety. And I was really good at masking how I felt about things. Because I knew I didn’t want to hang out with the suicidal girl, I knew everyone else wouldn’t want someone that is perpetually Eeyore in nature. So I lied. I manipulated the muscles in my face into an emotion that I wasn’t sure I could feel anymore.

But you know what? For so much of my life I hated myself. Absolutely HATED myself. I felt like I was a phony. I felt ugly. I felt like I was lying to everyone (and I kinda was, by not sharing how I felt). I have reached a point in my life where I can look at myself in the mirror and not want to break it. People here throw me compliments (you’re beautiful, you’re so much fun) and I still have a hard time allowing myself to believe them, but on the days that I do… It’s like being kissed by the sun. Sometimes I forget that I thrive with conversation.

I have someone phenomenal in my life over here that exudes this incredible calm. I was at a party, found out that I would be staying over, realized I had no idea where I was, and was on the verge of a full blown anxiety attack. This person saw the almost-feral panic in my eyes and immediately grabbed me by the hand and forced me to focus into their eyes. That connection was like being grounded.

I had forgotten that touch and realizing that people aren’t just things that I observe is essential for my brain.
If there is anything that I have learned in my 29 years on this planet, it is simply this – You will not be helped if you do not ask for it. If you do look for help and feel you aren’t getting it, look again. Do not give up. This is YOUR LIFE. YOU DESERVE TO LIVE IT.

 

 

Resources:

  • Suicide Hotline:             1-800-SUICIDE       (2433) – Can use in US, U.K., Canada and Singapore
  • Suicide Crisis Line:             1-800-999-9999
  • National Suicide Prevention Helpline:             1-800-273-TALK       (8245)
  • National Adolescent Suicide Helpline:             1-800-621-4000
  • Postpartum Depression:             1-800-PPD-MOMS
  • NDMDA Depression Hotline – Support Group:             1-800-826-3632
  • Veterans:             1-877-VET2VET
  • Crisis Help Line – For Any Kind of Crisis:             1-800-233-4357
  • Suicide & Depression Crisis Line – Covenant House:             1-800-999-9999

You are not alone.

My New Years Recap

One of my more recent mottos (as of the last three-ish years) has been “do something that scares you”.

Honestly? It’s been rather liberating. By embracing this motto, I have stepped out of my comfort level. I have traveled to Florida to spend a weekend with girls I met on the internet. I have gone to conventions, flown to events that I wouldn’t have thought to go to… Hell, I even moved across the country and that was terrifying.

So… For New Years, I really didn’t want to feel like I was a bother to my fresh set of incredibly lovely friends. Instead, I put up a post on Facebook polling my friends to see what I should do – Comedy or Steampunk Circus?

While I was mostly inspired to go to the concert because some people I knew would be there, I also wanted to go because I had seen pictures and video of Abney Park and it just looked like something I would love. I’m a little bit Tim Burton, a little Amanda Palmer, a whole lotta Tank Girl, and definitely love the aesthetic of the Steampunk genre.

While I don’t devote a lot of my time to researching it, I find it visually stunning. Brass and bustle skirts and goggles and top hats and modified vintage just calls to me. Pretty much, if it used to shine and has a little luster left, I’m going to love it (I kept a silver spoon that was my grandmothers even after it went through the garbage disposal. I love it.). There is something so absolutely whimsical in thinking about what has been and what could’ve been. Imaginations run rampant in the steampunk community. Old computer fans are modified and installed into tophats, gas masks and fallout helmets are worn not only with pride, but with panache.

So what does one wear to a Steampunk concert? This was honestly on my mind the two weeks leading up to the concert. Originally I had planned on sewing an outfit for the fun, but I have a tendency of being a bit scatterbrained and neglected to do so. Luckily, I am easily influenced and had bought a bridesmaid dress at Goodwill MONTHS ago. It was a bit large, so I put a corset on over it and cinched the front of the floor length gown into a bustle. I also had some deconstructed/post-apocalyptic looking fabric that I pulled on underneath for some layered effect.

The night before the concert I realized that my neck was going to be bare and it didn’t seem to work. Originally I planned on using body glue to affix a cameo directly unto my skin, but I remembered that I had purchased these metal gears for scrapbooking (I know, right?) and I had a bunch of empty earring hooks. It actually came out quite well.

So the outfit came together and I managed to arrange to go to an afterparty with some of the people that would be at the concert. I ended up taking the MAX. So… If there is a “PeopleOfPortland” website, I might actually be on it. I was putting on black and white striped knee high socks to the delight of many an onlooker. To be honest? I loved the way the outfit looks and I will probably wear it again.

I got into the city early and because it was so cold I stopped at a nearby bar for a drink (and to change my shoes). Afterwards, I walked over to the Star Theater.

THE CONCERT!

The Star Theater said that the doors would be open at 8pm, so when I arrived at 7:30, the line was already long. I stepped up behind a couple wearing Victorian costumes and steampunked goggles and started feeling giddy. That, or it was the adrenaline rush of being in the cold and wearing four inch heels. I’m going to go with the costumed couple.

My friends arrived and we all started chatting and sharing stories and the doors finally opened at 8:30. We were welcomed by a juggling man on stilts. He had us laughing as we waited to allow the throngs ahead of us through.

Let it be said that the Star is my kind of venue. Beautiful amber light radiated from the sconces. Deep crimson curtains hung all over the place. The walls were lined with vintage posters, ads, pinup girls(!!!). Upstairs, there was a tarot reader and someone selling steam gear, along with a modest bar and deep seating. The main stage seemed to be its own entity and the adorning curtains only drew my attention more. My only regret from the evening is not touching them. They looked like they felt amazing.

After grabbing a drink, I ambled over to the staging area. The Wanderlust Circus had an acrobatic couple performing on the dance floor. As we waited for the show to begin, I realized that I didn’t have to worry about not knowing many people.

I have BAD WOLF tattooed on my shoulder, and Whovians tend to find other Whovians. I was stopped no less than six times by people admiring my tattoos. It was great because I got to have conversations with a bunch of new people.

Eventually I made my way back to the front of the stage and watched in awe as the members of the Wanderlust Circus performed for the crowd. The man on stilts that had us laughing outside had changed and did an entire lasso routine (sans stilts). People contorted, balanced on moving BMXs, and I found myself completely mesmerized by a woman doing aerial acrobatics on two lengths of suspended fabric.

After they ended, Abney Park took the stage. I had stepped away for a bit and when I returned the fog machine had to have been turned to eleven. The band members up front were much easier to see than those in the back, but there was this incredible energy pulsating through the speakers.

I’m not going to lie. I had a few drinks, but I can’t even listen to their albums without dancing. It was strange to me that people were swaying and not dancing as much as me, but I didn’t care. I was living in the moment and the moment was glorious. At one point I was dancing with my eyes shut and felt really warm. I opened them and the spotlight was shining down on me. I didn’t care. I just kept going.

Several guys pulled me into dances and I couldn’t stop laughing. They were all very talented at spinning me around, but I was getting dizzy so I politely ended it. That, and I’m just not used to dancing in five inch heels.

Abney Park paused to ring in the New Year and I got kisses from friends. I love kisses. They’re so delicious. They played a little bit longer and when the show ended I was exhausted but happy.

I went outside and ran into Captain Robert and I asked him for a kiss and he told me that would be inappropriate (as he is married), but he would give me an inappropriately long hug. I agreed to make it creepy as possible and the band members that were outside all came over. They were all incredibly lovely and signed my friend’s CD and then we were spirited off to an afterparty.

Abney Park is coming back in July. If you are in Portland and want to have a night of fun, you should go. You’ll see me there. Say hi.

WoS013: For Some Reason We Can’t Stop Talking About LadyParts!

Seth and I return for an episode of mass wonderment! Yes, we have some backlogged recordings that I have yet to edit, but I figured we’d post this one up first because there is news!

Alright… There isn’t a lot of news to warrant 90 minutes of your time but we DO talk about vagina a lot!

We also talk about Zoo Lights, Karaoke & Dares, early planning for my birthday, and Seth makes the coolest gifts for Christmas!

This was made for Jackie! ADORABLE!
Cunning, ain’t it?
Play

About Last Week…

As much as I would like to give you something profound during a time of terrible loss… I’m empty. I live about 20 minutes from Clackamas TC and I was born and raised in CT.

Find something that brings you joy, because you never know how long you’re going to have it for.

Live. Live. Live.