you are not my typewriter
{Saturday, December 31, 2005 . television is the blues}

During my first semester at University, I spent hours every day concentrating as hard as I could on the task of IGNORING the television, so I don't really feel like I've been watching tv at all. Now that I'm home, I watch it way more than is healthy.

It's all my mother's fault. She watches tv all the time, so I sort of end up sitting down next to her whether I intend to or not.

We use the television in a strange sort of way. We don't watch movies. We don't watch sitcoms. We don't usually watch the news. Instead of watching things that we enjoy - things that entertain us - we watch things that we can judge.

In the morning, we watch shows about small claims court (which I actually still haven't developed a taste for) where we can play judge. I think he's lying. I think she's stupid. God, what white trash. Etc.

We watch HGTV a lot, so that we can pass judgment on the taste of the interior decorators, the homeowners, the hosts.

We watch E! news and The Soup so that we can make fun of celebrities and criticize what they are wearing.

We watch Gastineau Girls, America's Next Top Model, and Being Bobby Brown so that we can gawk at how spoiled/shallow/stupid the rich and beautiful can be.

We watch Dr. Phil, Nanny 911/Supernanny, and Wife Swap/Trading Spouses so that we can criticize the way people handle their relationships with others.

This is beginning to sound like a self-condemnation, but I really enjoy doing all those things. And I'm not sure that there's necessarily anything wrong with it. The people I'm criticizing can't hear me. What do they care?

However, it's kind of a chicken/egg thing. I'm getting very judgmental, snarky, antisocial, etc. lately. And while I'm faily certain that these new television viewing habits are just one more symptom of that, it's not impossible that they're feeding my unfair judgments of people I know in real life.

I haven't been seeing very many of my old friends from high school, mostly because I'm afraid I'll get pissed off at them. Everything pisses me off these days.

Fucking television!

posted at 5:26 PM by Alison


{Saturday, December 24, 2005 . merry christmas}

Am I really supposed to give a shit about my relatives?

Like, seriously?

Am I actually supposed to feel some sort of kindship with my second cousin once removed whom I see once a year at best?

Am I a bad person for not caring about my aunts and uncles?

Would you hate me if I said that I probably wouldn't even cry if some of them died, even though almost anything can make me cry?

I forgot to go grocery shopping before the stores closed on Christmas eve, so my mom grudgingly drove me past both Jewel and Dominick's, just in case they were open. When I discovered that everything was closed, I cried. And I wanted to kill myself for being such a child.

And yet, when I try to imagine, say, going to my mom's cousin's funeral, I can't muster an ounce of sadness.

I do feel guilty about that. Or, well, I feel guilty for not feeling guilty about that? I wish I could think of some legitimate reason why I should care about any of those people, but I just can't think of any reason

Okay. I care about a few people.

I care about my grandma and grandpa. I care about my aunt and uncle and two cousins + cousin's children, all of whom live in Wyoming, even though I hardly ever speak to or see them. I care about my half sister in Mass whom I also hardly ever see. I care about my great aunt - my grandmother's sister. I obviously care about my mother.

And that's about it.

I feel absolutely zero connection to most of my aunts and uncles and to most of my cousins.

And it made me a little mad that Ethan, who means far more to me than pretty much any of those people, was NOT invited to Christmas even though no one could even pull the "well, he probably wants to be with his family today" card because his family is Jewish and isn't celebrating Channukah until late evening.

But then I felt guilty for being mad. These people share genes with me, and that arbitrary connection means that they should be more important to me than someone I love.

And then I felt guilty for making a snarky comment about my guilt.

I feel like I am four years old again. When I was little, my mother and I lived in a little prefab house in the woodlands of central North Carolina, where there was no door-to-door mail delivery. We had to go to the post office to get our mail. The room where we got our mail was long and narrow and completely empty except for the keyed mailboxes all along the walls. I used to run from one end of the narrow corridor to the other, pretending I was a zebra. One day, my mom took me with her to the post office, and when we arrived she asked me whether or not I wanted to go in. I said no, but I immediately regretted it. As she walked from the car to the post office door, I screamed at the top of my lungs for her to come back and get me. I can't remember if I was too young to know how to unbuckle my safety seat, or if I just didn't think that I could get out of the car without her, but I felt as if I were trapped and suffocating in that car. I screamed until my throat burned. I wanted to run back and forth in the post office more than anything else in the world. I can't remember ever crying so hard.

I know that seems like just a cute kid story, but I was actually crying when I typed it out. I still can't think about that day without crying.

Even then, I knew it was stupid. And that just intensified the pain. Knowing that I was just being childish. That's how I felt all day.

I had wanted an iPod for Christmas, but I didn't want to explicitly ask for one, since they are expensive, and I felt guilty. I had subtly mentioned to my mother about a month ago that used 40 gig iPods could be had for about $200. But my mother got me a brand new 2 gig iPod, saying that "that should be all I need." I decided the second I opened it that I would keep it in it's original packaging, sell it (for $190, less than they retail for) and use the money to buy a used 40 gig. But I felt so horribly guilty about my plan that I went into my room and sobbed for a good ten minutes after opening my presents. I consoled myself with the thought that if my mother had just taken a look at what's on eBay, she could have spent the exact same amount of money and gotten me what I wanted, but I still feel sick to my stomach.

I get sick to my stomach when I am anxious or guilty.

I felt sick to my stomach after I cried about not having anything to eat at Christmas brunch. I was guilty about crying, not anxious about not having anything to eat.

And I thought to myself, "Why didn't my mother just get something for ME when she went grocery shopping for the rest of the family?"

But then I realized that I am always telling her not to buy food for me, because she always either forgets to read the ingredients or gets me something I don't like.

And I felt sick to my stomach again.

posted at 5:37 PM by Alison


{Friday, December 23, 2005 . ex mas party}


Every time I come home I cook up a storm and piss my mother off by making a mess in the kitchen. I think she's full of crap, though, because in all honesty I usually leave the kitchen cleaner by the time I'm done than it was to begin with.

I made Christmas cookies for Alex's Christmas party on Wednesday. It was a good time.

I am less depressed this break than I was over Thanksgiving break, for a couple of reasons. First, this break is longer, so the prospect of going back to school is not looming over my head like a guillotine. Second, I am actually less depressed about going back to school, in large part because of the roommate change.

I feel like no time has passed since I went away to school. I wasn't ready to leave home, and at the risk of sounding melodramatic, it was very traumatic for me. So I just kind of shut down. I didn't talk to anyone. I didn't do much of anything. And I feel as if nothing has happened to me since I started college. It's kind of ironic that a time in my life which should be full of change and growth has been one of the most stagnant periods I've ever experienced.

But the way I'm looking at it now, I just needed a buffer semester. I needed a semester to adjust and deal with the shock of leaving home, without having to worry about making new friends and maintaining a social life and keeping my grades up all at the same time. Now, though, I feel ready to do those things. With my new roommate, I may actually have someone to talk to at school, and maybe that will warm me up to the idea of meeting people. I am hopeful!

Still, though, conversations with high school friends can be awkward. They all have stories about new friends and fun times and adventures. The socially appropriate thing to do would be to counter with my own stories about similar things, but I don't have any, so the choice is between making some flippant and self-deprecating joke about the fact that I don't have any friends at school, or just smiling and nodding and saying, "Wow, that sounds like fun." Neither is a very good choice, although the latter makes me sound slightly less pitiful.

I think the real issue is just that most people are less picky than I am. Most people CAN be placed with a random roommate and make friends with that person. I hate 90% of the people I meet, so I can't just go around meeting everyone on my floor and making friends with all of them. I hate meeting random people when the odds are so great that I'll dislike them, so I prefer to just not meet people. However, I essentially hand-picked my new roommate, so the odds are much better, and maybe I'll meet people through her who don't piss me off.

NOTE: This post was supposed to be full of pictures, but I CANNOT upload pictures with dial-up. It takes about an hour per photo, and it doesn't even work the majority of the time. I had a bunch of really fun pictures of cookies and people at Alex's party. And you can't even go to my buzznet to see them, because I have the same issue with that. DARN YOU, DIAL-UP!

posted at 12:31 PM by Alison


{Tuesday, December 20, 2005 . home at last, home at last. thank god almighty, i'm home at last.}

I got home on Saturday afternoon. Yes, I've been home for three days without blogging.

I actually blog much less when I'm home. You may have noticed that I sometimes don't blog on weekends. If I go a few days without updating, you can probably guess that I'm at home.

I blog less when I am home (A) because we have dial-up and going online is like Chinese water torture and (B) because I actually tend to be busier at home, with seeing people and all.

Sarah of Indeed There Will Be Time posted this today:

"Do you ever have those songs that make you so blindingly happy or sad you can only listen to them VERY sporadically?

Mine is "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the Rolling Stones. I want this played at my funeral. And my wedding. And I want everyone to get up and twirl around and dance.

What's yours?"

To which I replied:

"The Magnetic Fields - 'It's Only Time.'

The Beatles - 'Two of Us.'

Belle and Sebastian - 'We Rule the School.'

Coldplay - 'Yellow.'

Bob Marley - 'Redemption Song.'

Nico - 'These Days.'

'The Flesh Failures' from Hair.

The Postal Service - 'Such Great Heights.'

Oasis - 'Champagne Supernova.'

Ricky Lee Jones - 'Company.'

The Smiths - 'Cemetery Gates.'

Tom Waits - 'The Heart of Saturday Night.'

Van Morrison - 'Into the Mystic,' also 'Dweller on the Threshold,' also 'Straight to Your Heart Like a Cannonball.'

Here's the ones that are kind of cheezy/reveal what a nerd I am.

Frank Ticheli - 'American Elegy.'

The U of I alma mater.

'By the Rivers Gently Flowing, Illinois,' which is NOT a U of I song - it's the official state anthem of Illinois, but Revised Entrance #3 is based on it.

Of course, almost none of these songs would go on any kind of "favorite songs" list. They're just songs that make me get all sentimental. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are super high quality (although some of them are.)"

So what are yours?

posted at 3:11 PM by Alison


{Thursday, December 15, 2005 . going home}

I can't fucking wait to go home for Christmas break.

I go home Saturday. Day after tomorrow. Roughly forty hours.

"Oh, after a month of being at home, you'll want to go back to school."

No I won't.

Well, maybe it won't be quite so bad to come back. I just finished moving the bulk of my stuff to my new room, so I won't be coming back to incessant rap videos.

And if I never hear Mariah Carey's voice again, it will be too soon.

I like my new roommate a lot. She's very friendly, but not in a pretentious, "OMG I WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND SOOOOO BAD LOLZZZ" kind of way. She's funny. And Lithuanian. And about six feet tall, which should make for some good comedy (I'm about 5'1").

She and some dude named Mike (maybe a man friend? maybe just a friend friend?) helped me move all my crap. I have to have all my stuff out of my current room by the time I leave on Saturday, but the new roomie is leaving tomorrow, and I can't get a key until I come back next semester. Pain in the ass. So I basically have to be packed and ready to go home a day before I actually go home.

That was a really boring post. But it's been a boring day.

posted at 9:26 PM by Alison


{Wednesday, December 14, 2005 . }

You know how some people get hat hair? Well, I have headphone hair right now.

This is my fifth post of the day.


posted at 7:02 PM by Alison


HOLY SHIT I am TRYING to listen to music on my headphones, and my roommate is using her phone as a walkie-talkie and SCREAMING INTO IT and I am TRYING my DAMNEDEST to drown her and her (boyfriend?) out but she is SCREAMING and I want to SMACK HER.

I don't know how she keeps friends. She is the single rudest and meannest person I have ever met. I've never heard her have a polite conversation over the phone. She's always yelling at someone or complaining about something or saying "DAMN why you so IGNANT and why you TRIPPIN." EVERYONE IS ALWAYS TRIPPIN and she seems shocked and appalled at any question anyone asks her. "Where you at?" "I be in my ROOM. GAWH." "Whatchu doin'?" "NOTHIN! Why you TRIPPIN?" She talks like Napoleon Dynamite would if he were a black girl.

posted at 5:38 PM by Alison


Bush admitted today that much of the intelligence that led us to invade Iraq was wrong.

I felt a tiny temptation to be snarky and cynical and say something to the effect of, "too little, too late," but I can't help but feel like this is a really big step in the right direction.

Bush has never really made a move like this. Maybe he's mellowing out in his old age. Maybe he'll start giving up his self-righteous bullshit and actually start considering what his critics are saying and why.

I'm not being sarcastic. I think this is a very important move. And I really do think that this could be heralding the formation of a serious, comprehensive exit plan for Iraq.

At least I REALLY hope that's what it means. It certainly could!

posted at 5:14 PM by Alison


I want one of these for Christmas.

And the way I see it, it's cruelty free and therefore vegan. I mean, it was already dead when they found it.

Edit: Crap. You can't access that unless you're on UIUCnet. Here's the text of the article:

New York Times, The (NY) Edition: Late Edition - Final
Section: The Arts/Cultural Desk
Page: 1

JOEL TOPCIK. "Head of Goat, Tail of Fish, More Than a Touch of Weirdness" New York Times, The (NY)2005-01-03: 1.NewsFile Collection By NewsbankOnline. Infoweb by Newsbank, Inc. December 14, 2005. Three artists in Minneapolis are trying to breathe new life into the art of preserving the dead. Dead animals , that is.

The three, Scott Bibus, Sarina Brewer and Robert Marbury, are passionate about taxidermy, a practice they consider an art form and one that they say has suffered from the bigotry of the art world and the provincialism of professional taxidermists. The artists call themselves the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists, and they are dedicated to exploring the artistic possibilities of stuffing and mounting animal remains -- and not without a certain sly humor.

While some traditional taxidermists have applauded their efforts, the group has been criticized by the world's largest taxidermy organization.

In a recent four-way phone interview, the Rogue Taxidermists, speaking from Minneapolis, acknowledged a certain spirit of mischief in their work. "I think the point of the association should be to get as many people doing weird taxidermy as possible," said Mr. Bibus, with a prankster's glee.

Indeed, the absurdly gory, sometimes campy nature of the work is aggressively weird. But the three are earnest about their art and the ideas they are trying to highlight through taxidermy. All are animal lovers, with a number of pet dogs, cats, birds and fish among them; they use only roadkill, donations from veterinarians and unused animal remains from museums. A strict waste-not-want-not policy accounts for Ms. Brewer's mummified squirrel heads and pickled internal organs, what she calls "carcass art," which is not technically taxidermy.

To be sure, the Rogue Taxidermists do not claim to be the first to suspend animal remains in formaldehyde and call it art. But they hope that through their exhibitions they can inspire people to recognize the natural world around them and to reconsider their position in it -- whether, as Mr. Marbury said, the reaction is "revulsion or love or distrust."

In Mr. Marbury's estimation, taxidermy has a unique capacity to evoke the mystery of death. "When you deal with a dead object and then you are imbuing it with life and giving it characteristics," he said, "people become uncomfortable."

Taxidermy, literally "arrangement of skin," flourished in the 18th century, when seagoing voyages of exploration inspired in the public a fascination with natural science through the exhibition of the exotic animals and strange specimens brought home. At the turn of the 20th century, Carl E. Akeley, the acknowledged father of modern taxidermy, transformed into a form of sculpture the practice of crudely stuffing preserved animal skins. The lifelike animals in his dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and at the Field Museum in Chicago set the standard.

Though they admire the tradition of modern wildlife taxidermy, the Rogue Taxidermists are particularly drawn to the early history. "Prior to zoos, prior to museums, prior to galleries, we had these cabinets of wonder, these collections of art, trinkets, oddities," Mr. Marbury said. Then, with the rise of natural history museums, "they all sort of broke apart."

Now, the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists is hoping to honor that early tradition and celebrate the "showmanship of oddities," as the group's Web site ( puts it.

Mr. Bibus, 25, is the only formally trained taxidermist of the three. After graduating from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, he enrolled in a one-year certification program. His mounts might be mistaken for traditional wildlife taxidermy were it not for the conspicuous presence of blood and the unsettling depictions of consumption. Two pieces in particular show animals in the act of eating -- in one, a beaver is hunched over a bloody human thumb; in the other, a muskrat lolls on its back, gorging on the bloody hind legs it has torn from itself.

Ms. Brewer, 34, is the group's sideshow artist. A graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, she taught herself to stuff and mount animals , picking up techniques from books and video. ("It was a lot of trial and error," she said.) She combines parts from different animals to create mutant creatures and mythological beasts, like her half-cat, half-raven "Goth Griffin." She and Mr. Bibus met through the Internet, where her Franken-Squirrels (prices begin at $250) and signature two-headed hatchlings ($125) have sold briskly on eBay and at her Web site (

For his part, Mr. Marbury is not an actual taxidermist. "I'm the vegan taxidermist of the group," he said. He uses stuffed toy animals exclusively. Mr. Bibus and Mr. Marbury met last spring while exhibiting their work at Art-A-Whirl, a local arts festival. A native of Baltimore, Mr. Marbury, 33, lived for a time in New York, where he became fascinated with the way garbage collectors sometimes decorate the grills of their trucks with stuffed toy animals .

He conceived the "Urban Beast Project," a collection of imaginary city-dwelling creatures fashioned from plush toy animals and embellished with comically vicious fangs and other prostheses. He places them in urban dioramas and gives each a proper Latin designation ("Canis Boriqua," or "Boricua Dog," for example) and an elaborate biography.

The three held their inaugural show as the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists (a name Mr. Bibus had been saving for the right moment) in October at Creative Electric Studios, a gallery in the alternative arts enclave of northeast Minneapolis. Dave Salmela, an owner of the gallery, said he had been apprehensive about a show exhibiting dead animals , if somewhat intrigued by the prospect of controversy.

"Because of my own feelings about animals ," said Mr. Salmela, who is a vegetarian, "I even felt like I might be one of the people who was offended by the show."

The group braced itself for reactions of outrage and disgust. But the response was quite positive. "People who came to the show generally enjoyed and understood it," Mr. Salmela said. "I saw some people who looked a little sick, but I don't know of anyone being offended."

The pieces, displayed on the gallery's Web site (, include Mr. Marbury's "Lesser Yeti," a chowlike canine figure in its own diorama ($600), and Ms. Brewer's "Capricorn," a goat with wings and a fish tail ($6,000).

Though the show was not reviewed, it turned some taxidermists into art critics. Letters from traditional taxidermists commended the artists, Ms. Brewer said, for "expanding the limits of the art form." The most gratifying response, she added, came in the form of an invitation to tour the dioramas at the Bell Museum of Natural History in Minneapolis.

Bill Haynes, however, was not impressed. He is the vice president and one of the founders of the National Taxidermists Association, which he said is an organization with 35,000 members that represents commercial and hobbyist taxidermists in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. After viewing images of the Rogue Taxidermists' work that Mr. Salmela had posted at an online taxidermy forum to generate buzz for the show, Mr. Haynes responded by e-mail message with a withering critique.

"If you are looking for approval for this so called 'art,'" he wrote to Mr. Salmela, mistaking him for one of the artists, "I am afraid you have come to the wrong place."

"Most, if not all" taxidermists "abhor your displays," he continued, closing with a terse rebuke: "You can surely be called a Rogue taxidermist."

Reached by phone at his home in Sharpsburg, Ga., Mr. Haynes said: "The very fact that they're using the word 'taxidermists' is offensive. The National Taxidermists Association is an organization devoted to wildlife art -- i.e., we reproduce nature to exact standards that represent the good Lord's work. From what I've seen of the rogue taxidermy association, that's not wildlife art. It may be art of some sort, but it's not in my estimation taxidermy art."

Ms. Brewer was not bothered by Mr. Haynes's comments and interpreted his disapproval as resistance to change. "We're using the same medium they're using," she said. "We're just doing something different with it."

As they prepare for their next show at Art-A-Whirl in May, Ms. Brewer and Mr. Bibus have been trolling the highways for animal remains. "This is a good time of year to do it," Ms. Brewer said, because the cold helps preserve the carcasses.

"It's not a limited resource -- roadkill," Mr. Bibus said. After the Creative Electric show, the group actually received more donations than it could handle, forcing it to post a plea on its Web site asking well-meaning donors to refrain from leaving dead animals at the gallery door.

But the artists are gratified that their message of recycling and reuse has resonated. "I wish that more people thought about it that way," Ms. Brewer said about those donating roadkill. "Why not do something with it and put it to good use instead of leaving it on the side of the road?"

Photos: At left, "Goth Griffin" by Sarina Brewer of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists; at right , her fellow Rogue, Scott Bibus, in his studio in Minneapolis. (Photo by Sarina Brewer); (Photo by Allen Brisson-Smith for The New York Times)(pg. E1); Scott Bibus working some fish into a new piece of taxidermy art. (Photo by Allen Brisson-Smith for The New York Times); Sarina Brewer keeps the components of "Feejee Mermaid" a secret. (Photo by Robert Marbury); "Fighting Snow Skunk" by Robert Marbury, who uses toy animals . (Photo by Sarina Brewer)(pg. E8)

Copyright 2005, The New York Times Company

posted at 2:45 PM by Alison


The other day, I got a call from my mom. I tried to answer, but nothing happened.

At two forty-nine Monday afternoon, my cell phone FROZE. Nothing happened when I pressed buttons. I dialed numbers and pressed send, but nothing happened.

I got really freaked out.

It's stupid, I know. Human beings lived for thousands and thousands of years without cell phones, and there's nothing particularly dangerous or even significantly inconvenient about not having one for a little while. But something about not being able to call my mom and let her know my train was FINALLY on time made me feel really claustrophobic.

I guess I've just become really dependant on my cell phone. I don't use it nearly as often as I would guess most people do, but there's something very comforting about the idea that it's always THERE when I NEED it.

posted at 1:48 PM by Alison


{Tuesday, December 13, 2005 . }

A lot (meaning two) of the blogs I read have made really heavy/depressing/philosophical posts today. I thought I'd go ahead and make it a fad.

A few years ago, I dated this guy. He had a sort of bloggish website with a web board. It might still exist. I don't care to check. You are free to.

He had this thread about the nature of love. We had just broken up. Rather messily.

So while everyone else gushed that love was divine and sacred and magical, I explained (in retrospect, with really inappropriate venom) that I think love is nothing more than a set of biological imperatives, just like pretty much everything else in life. That didn't make anyone happy.

Well, it was probably my venom that made them the most unhappy, but I'm sure the fact that I was tearing down their ideas about something they deemed "sacred" didn't help.

And now, even though that mess is long behind me and I am now IN love, my thoughts on the subject haven't really changed much.

I still think that love can be reduced to some fairly primitive needs and desires, and I still think that there is nothing sacred or transcedent or whateverthefuck about it. Love is what our bodies and brains and hormones do to tell us "this person can do what you want. Stick with him/her."

Of course, what people want can be very complex. Ethan is smart and driven, which means he is likely to find success, which on a very primitive level is something that is desirable. He's also an extremely devoted partner, which is sensible for the same reason. He's funny and shares my opinions and values, and one of the most basic needs of any human is to seek out other people like us so we have a sense of community.

But other people have other needs. The same instinct that drew me to Ethan's intelligence and ambition may draw someone else to a partner with money. After all, one of the primary factors in why many people choose their partner is "security"; almost every girl EVER has uttered the words "I feel safe with him." Wouldn't having money make you feel safe? So then, is money a legitimate reason for loving someone? Why shouldn't it be?

And there is, of course, the matter of physical attraction. Sex is an enormous factor is who we choose as a partner - it is a very large part of romantic love. It is almost impossible to see the line where lust ends and love begins - and there often is no line. I sincerely doubt that even the most un-shallow people would be willing to commit to a long-term relationship with someone who was hideously disfigured, because your primitive instinct of "this person would not produce healthy offspring" (which, I think, exists even in homosexuals, on a subconscious level) takes over.

Love involves all kinds of primitive instincts, and, in my opinion, little else. I think that's why it's so often misidentified as being divine or otherworldly; it is so engrained in our subconscious, so visceral, and such a deep-seated part of who we are AS ANIMALS that it seems like some "divine" outside force that we have no conscious control over. Which, I guess, we don't, really.

That is not to say I don't think love is a wonderful thing. Love makes us happy because it satisfies our basic, subconscious needs like the need to feel a part of something and the need to ... well ... fuck. And there's nothing wrong with that! I say, the primitive joys are some of the best. We relish the simple pleasures of eating and masturbating. What's wrong with relishing love the same way?

P.S. I have purple hair now.

Asian people will say anything to sell you something. I went into this Korean salon and pointed to the color I wanted - a dark brown with just a hint of red - and the chick comes back with a swatch of purple hair saying, "We don't have that color, but we have this one." Isn't that kind of ... purple? "No. It will turn out brown. I will mix it with brown to make sure." She of, course, didn't, and now I have purple hair.


But she was really nice, aside from lying to me. And I liked looking at her Korean magazines. Maybe I'll go back later and ask if she has the color I originally wanted yet.

posted at 3:50 PM by Alison


{Monday, December 12, 2005 . bloggy shout-out}

I want everyone to go and read Invade the City! by my real-life friend Eric.

It's only about a week old, and it is a re-incarnation of his Xanga site, The Idiot King, which was apparently about a year old, but he only recently started updating daily.

It's really a fascinating read. It's one of those that I just can't WAIT to check when I read my blogroll.

He just writes about his own life and thoughts. It's stream of consciousness, in a very Raymi-esque sort of way. But before you go accusing him of ripping her off, I assure you that he's probably never read her, although you should, Eric, if you're reading this. And his voice, while sharing a lot in common with hers, is definitely his own, definitely very personal, and definitely very attention-catching.

posted at 9:21 PM by Alison


{Friday, December 09, 2005 . I took in a drifter.}

Well, not a drifter. A traveller.

His name is Will. He has been planning to go to Manchester England England to go to a vegetarian culinary school. However, he is from Kentucky, and the nearest British consulate is in Chicago. He had an appointment at the consulate on Thursday, so on Wednesday night, he set out on the long journey from Kentucky to Chicago.

His car broke down just north of Champaign.

And then it snowed like hell.

So he was stranded.

He spend all day Thursday just bumming around campus. He saw an ad for a Campus Vegetarian Society event, and as he is a vegetarian chef himself, he thought it sounded like a good idea. I was, of course there. I gave him my number in case he found himself homeless for the night. He did.

So he slept on my floor.

We had great fun conversations about music and we played Set. He used my computer to try and make another appointment at the consulate:

But they were all booked up. His flight to England is on Sunday, and he doesn't have his visa yet. Ahhh!

So this morning he had dorm breakfast courtesy of my iCard:

And then went out into the snowy town. He'll be catching a bus to Chicago sometime today to try and sort out the visa stuff before he leaves for Manchester.

Good luck to you, Will! I really hope things work out for you, given the crazy circumstances. Have fun in England (or NY, wherever you end up).

posted at 1:19 PM by Alison


{Wednesday, December 07, 2005 . the war on yuletide}

As a liberal, my most recent evil plot is apparently the destruction of Christmas .

This should come as no surprise. Every few hundred years, some group of progressives wages war on a December holiday.

For example, back in the sixth century A.D, the pagans of northern Europe were finding that their holiday traditions were under attack from the Catholic church. Instead of their traditional Yuletide activities like sacrificing pigs to the god of fertility and conjuring the spirits of the dead, they were forced by the damn papist PC police to observe the birth of Jesus.

Look, Rome. Christianity's popularity in Italy didn't mean that it had to be adopted everywhere. Paganism didn't need to be put to some kind of "global test."

posted at 10:35 PM by Alison


{Tuesday, December 06, 2005 . catch-all post}

This post is dedicated to all the other bloggers out there who secretly just want to write all the details of your life, but think better of it every time you go to write something. You gotta let it out once in a while.

Here is a laundry list of a bunch of stuff that you may or may not know about me.

- I am a freshman in music education at the University of Illinois.
- I am having trouble adjusting to college life. I haven't really made any friends yet, and I go home every chance I get.
- I completely failed to practice for my clarinet playing final, but I managed an A, with a reed that I had never played on before.
- I don't like my roommate. I think that she and all of the people she talks to on the phone are deaf, because she has to repeat everything she says twice, and every time the person she is talking to says something, she says "Heh?" really loudly and it sounds like a goose honking.
- I will soon be the treasurer of the Campus Vegetarian Society.
- I don't like drinking. It's not a moral thing. I don't think there is anything wrong with drinking (within reason). It's just that when I drink I get very uncomfortable and anxious and feel like I need to MOVE I need to GO SOMEWHERE I need to RETREAT.
- I also don't like caffeine, and I don't drink pop or coffee. It makes me feel like my chest will explode.
- I have to go to bed before midnight, or I will begin having suicidal thoughts.
- In one hour, I have to go turn in my marching band uniform.
- I am madly in love with my boyfriend, but I don't talk about it much on the blog. This is because I am 18 and he is 15, and I don't feel like defending us.
- I was only recently able to have normal, platonic friendships with boys. I read in Dr. Spock that when a girl is about 10 or so, she begins to be vaguely aware of her sexuality, and her first sexual feelings are for her father, and it is in repressing these feelings that she learns how to deal with and control her sexuality. I grew up without a father. So it took me a little longer.
- I grew up without a father. He left when I was four, and he died when I was nine.
- I don't believe in the concept of being "genuine" or "pretentious." Everything is pretense. What we call "sincerity" is really just very skilled pretense. All behaviors are learned, so there is no such thing as "acting natural."
- I call myself an agnostic, but I only say that so that I seem more open-minded to religious people. I am really an atheist. I mean, I can't profess to know enough about science to really explain where we DID come from, but logic dictates that it wasn't from God. When I figured this out, I got really scared and decided that I was just agnostic, because who knows? Maybe there is a God? But I'm not scared by that anymore.
- I have two dogs, and they are the cutest things in the universe.
- I am really glad that Bunny posted two proper entries recently. Since she has been getting closer to matrimony, she has been neglecting her audience.
- I am doing really well in my aural skills class.
- I am coming home this weekend even though I only have two weeks until the end of class. I will be judging the speech meet at Naperville Central.
- I am completely lacking in work ethic. I spend more time blogging than I spend practicing and studying combined.
- I was very angry when I discovered that the cable provider here in Urbana doesn't have the Travel Channel. My two favorite shows are Stranded with Cash Peters and No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain.
- Last weekend I was very excited that I might get to go to a party. It would have been the first party I've been to since I got to school, aside from Marching Illini parties which I am only invited to because I am in MI, but the person throwing the party forgot to call me. I felt really stupid for being upset about it, which is why I didn't write about it at first.
- I will hopefully be switching roommates at the end of the semester, but the girl who will be my new roommate isn't answering my e-mails. I'm getting really pissed off about it, because I need to file for a room change and stuff, but I can't do that until she lets me know what's going on.

posted at 3:34 PM by Alison


{Monday, December 05, 2005 . site problems}

So I can't view my site. I don't know if it's a problem with the UIUC network or blogger. If you are reading this, comment so I can know if others can read it. Although, if I can't access the site, I don't know how I'll view comments...

I got a new poster.

Also, have you ever heard of tornadoes being so powerful that they put blades of grass through trees? Well, I just had a similar experience. I had a pain in my foot that felt like a little shard of glass, and I look down, and there is a HAIR stuck in my foot.

A hair.

The hard shell that is the skin on the bottom of my foot was PUNCTURED by a PIECE OF HAIR.

Isn't that extremely bizarre?

posted at 8:58 PM by Alison


{Sunday, December 04, 2005 . fuck joyce}

After considering number1gq's position for a while, I think I've changed my mind. I think I agree with you after all.

I mean, really. Who wants to read about other people complaining about their mundane, everyday problems? It really is dull as hell.

Take, for example, one of the worst writers of all time, James Joyce.

I've read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man cover to cover, and I gatta say, I'm not impressed. All he ever does is complain! Like, a solid third of the book is dedicated to him just agonizing and bitching and moaning over his sins. Just be proactive and go to confession, for Christ's sake! Him wallowing in his guilt just does not make for interesting literature. Since nobody else in the world has ever experienced the emotional turmoil of adolescence, to be honest, nobody else is really interested. Nobody can relate to his problems, so he should really find something else to write about.

Moving on.

Friday night was Marching Illini Formal!

It really wasn't that much fun.

But check out that makeup! Jessi taught me everything I know.

Ethan came down, but we left as soon as awards were over. Neither of us really knew that many people there, so it was sort of awkward.

We cut out early and went to the Taco Bell across the street so that we would have someplace warm to be until he had to go back to Oswego. Some dude who I'm pretty sure was high offered to take this picture of us in front of a picture of a crocodile.


posted at 5:50 PM by Alison


{Thursday, December 01, 2005 . the number one gee qeueueueue}

So I was reading the b-log of my good and dear friend the Starved Artist and I happened to check the comments on her most recent post. Some jag left this comment:

"I've been reading your blog for a bit now, and I gatta say...not impressed. I know you're pissed about thangs but hey life's a bitch and then you die. All you do is rant on here. Complaning isn't gonna solve anything therefore be proactive and persue other things. If you meet a barrier in your way, find away around it. Cussing, swearing and ranting is unproductive but it does help to get that bad karma out so get a nice stiff drink, relax and enjoy yourself then re-evaluate your life and where you're heading. Nothing is ever easy as it seems and everyone is faced with adversary therefore your true strength lies in how you deal with it."

Apparently something, some incredible life experience or some magical epiphany has left Mr. GQ with authority to go around dispensing unsolicited advice to his fellow bloggers about their personal lives.

If Mr. GQ really has been reading Starved Artist's blog as much as he claims he has, then he would be aware of the fact that Starved is a PHENOMENAL blogger with more skill in her little finger than he has in his supposedly very skilled penis .

Because according to Mr. GQ, while passionate and interesting arguments against injustice are "unimpressive," didactic posts with terrible spelling that are actually just thinly-veiled brags about one's own sexual prowess are super interesting and way cool.

posted at 7:25 PM by Alison


I love the religious right. They are just so damned ABSURD that they pretty much make the best entertainment around.

These days, instead of worrying about issues that actually affect people's lives and, you know, MATTER, they have decided that the big crusade is to get the American Girl corporation (makers of American Girl dolls and clothes and accessories and books and movies and all sorts of other things that you would never think to associate with dolls) to stop associating with Girls Inc.

Apparently, American Girl has been selling these "I Can" wristbands which support female empowerment (which is supposedly not what the AFA people are against, but that's up for debate), and 75% of the proceeds go to this group called Girls Inc. Girls Inc. is the modern incarnation of the very old and well-established Girls Clubs, which were akin to the Girl Scouts. They encourage teenaged girls to get involved in protecting their rights, and/or what will be their rights when they get older. They have worked to pass legislation protecting battered women, title IX, and things along those lines. They also support a woman's right to an abortion. They provide information about and support easy access to contraceptives. And they actually condone lesbianism.

They must be stopped.

And so groups like the American Family Association have decided to boycott American Girl dolls until they stop supporting Girls Inc. They've already done the same to Bath and Body Works, who used to sell the "I Can" wristbands until they decided that making good with the religious right was more important than supporting a worthy cause.

posted at 4:44 PM by Alison



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