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Author Archive | Alison Rosen

personal effects

When I was a little kid my parents went away for a while and left my sister and me with a babysitter. I remember the whole weekend, or week (kids, like dogs, can’t really perceive duration of time, it’s all infinite and interminable) as being really sad and lonely. One night I walked into my parents room and saw all my dad’s junk on his nightstand and felt so relieved and comforted by it, as if suddenly remembering that if I sat among my parents’ things–in particular I’m remembering my dad’s stuffed koala with the dumb arms that velcroed into a “hug” around a coffee mug that was full of magic markers and pencils– it would be like they were there a little bit.

When my dad had a heart attack some years ago I drove to the hospital, following the ambulance, and my sister had a friend drive her down from school to meet us there. That night, when my dad was in the ICU, my mom stayed with him while my sister and I went home to take care of the dog and wait things out. Upon returning home I saw little puddles of wetness from where the paramedics had tried to start an IV and the wrappers and plastic caps from syringes near the chair where he’d been sitting when it happened. I think there was even one of those suction cup things they put on your chest. My mom called to say that she had been making hot chocolate for my dad and had left some milk in the microwave and could I remember to take it out. I remember thinking at the time that if my dad didn’t make it, the fucking milk from the hot chocolate that was left in the microwave would kill me.

Some years later we were all in Las Vegas and, included in the room service, was a tiny bottle of Tabasco. It was so cute that we decided to give it a name, as I’m wont to do with far too many inamimate objects. My dad chose Thad, short for Thaddeus. On the drive home he passed out from medication he was taking (referred to in the family as the Fake Heart Attack, or Fake HA, for short, as we thought he was having another heart attack.) He spent the night in the hospital in the desert and I spent the night thinking that you just can’t name a tiny bottle Thad and then die right away.

I’m really not ok with the way people can pass out of your life, or out of life in general, but their stuff remains. I could go on about pets and their collars and kennels and water bottles. About boyfriends and their phones and shirts and watches. About friends who died leaving whole houses of stuff behind.

People’s stuff makes them so human. And everything human seems to make me ache.

I was thinking about this in the subway station the other day. And I was thinking that I should write something about this someday, about the poetry of junk, and then I was thinking that in my current vocation there would never be a chance to do that, not even a little. And then the train came.

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Here's hoping

my insatiable blog public was able to get some much deserved sleep this weekend. As for daylight savings, and I believe I announced this at nine-AM-but-it-feels-like-eight-AM yesterday: it can crawl up my ass and die. Also, Maggie Brown’s in Brooklyn is a really cute good restaurant but twice now I’ve sat in the same booth and twice it’s preceeded emotional fireworks. and not the good kind. the kind that snap at your feet and make you go running the other way into an oncoming car. or the kind that singe your eye. or the kind that scary teenagers play with in the park when you’re 3 or 4 and you’re both fascinated and scared except for the fascinated part. or maybe just arguments. regardless, I recommend the Tuna Nicoise salad followed by a round of going home alone or maybe a snifter of Not Talking About It or possibly just a stiff getting the fuck out of there.

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round sentient being

My insatiable public demands more posts and who am I to disappoint? In the meantime, read this about male infertility but know that my very best joke (“frankly, your tighty-whiteys may be strangling your balls”) was cut. I should probably tell you about SXSW and how my left ear literally was bleeding when I got back, not from hearing so many bands or slamming drugs into my ear canal or doing anything hardcore and extreme, but from pushing an ear plug in too far I think, which is like hitting yourself in the head with a helmet or twisting your knee while putting on a knee pad or scratching the fuck out of yourself whilst putting on a straightjacket. The point though, is that I’m going to continue this dumb 8 ball conceit because actually I am one to disappoint.

Q: Are you a magic 8 ball?
A: Yes definitely.

Q: Am I a magic 8 ball?
A: Don’t count on it.

Frankly, I’m speechless.

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well hello again!

So I’ve been woefully remiss both in updating this blog and also in living my life based on the gentle wisdom afforded by the 8-ball standing quiet sentinel on the kitchen counter. Such assholetry stops here! And now!

This morning’s question: Will today be a good day?
The 8-ball’s answer: My reply is no.

Smarting slightly, I soldiered on to work, which is where I am as I type this. I’ll give the full report on whether the 8-ball was accurate later on. And by later on I mean never.


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More than you care to know

Curious how the wisdom teeth extraction went? Of course you aren’t! But I will tell you anyway, because it’s really the least I can do. I got to the office for my far too early appointment and filled out all the forms. Stricken by some heretofore never-experienced compulsion to be honest, I wrote “valium” in the space where you write what drugs you take. (come to think of it, the list would have been longer had I really been compelled), but I’d taken one that morning to take the edge off. My parents went with me and we all sat in the waiting room. They took x-rays and I was forced to note that a) x-ray machines have really come a long way since the last time I had oral x-rays which was like 10 years ago and b) but I’m still worried about my unborn children and the three hands they’re going to have. Then I went back to the waiting room. A little while later the woman specifically called all of us in. “All of us?” I asked. She searched my makeup-less face (ok fine, she looked at me) and asked my age. I told her I was 29. She laughed and said that just I should follow then. This was probably the high point of a high point-less day. I invited my mom anyway. Through heavily lidded eyes I watched a video detailing all the possible things that could go wrong delivered by a soothing infomercial-voiced woman and then the doctor came in. He thought he recognized my mom but she said she didn’t recognize him. He made a crack about how he was glad because he thought maybe they’d dated years ago and that would be awkward. (My mom is extremely cute and young-looking so I’m used to this. She’s also married, to my dad, so keep your MILFy thoughts to yourself, please) He went over the papers I’d filled out and asked me why I take valium. “Oh, I don’t regularly take it, I just took one this morning,” I told him. “Self-medicating for nerves,” he said flatly as he scribbled something. Then I switched rooms and they numbed the shit out of my face and at one point hit some nerve which caused what felt like an electrical surge to shoot toward my eye and temple. That sucked. The actual extraction blurred the line between “pressure” and “pain” as I didn’t feel “pain” per se but the amount of pressure exerted by pulling the teeth is kind of painful. I am tired of writing about this. Then they stuffed my cheeks with gauze and sutures were involved and as soon as I got in the car I started crying which I did on and off for the first hour or so even though it didn’t really hurt, I just felt like my face had been gang-raped. I chose (and by that I mean my dad who’s a doctor chose for me) to have it done under local because of the risks involved with general anasthesia especially in a doctor’s office as opposed to a hospital, but it’s a violent enough procedure that I can see the sense in being knocked out for it. That said, I’ve heard a couple people say that waking up from being knocked out was the worst part. I’ve also heard people say that was the best part. So then part of my face was paralyzed for a few hours which scared the shit out of me but the feeling and movement came back by the evening. And when it comes to tapioca I much prefer Kozy Shack to Hunt’s which tastes like stamps.

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I took some pictures of the office so I could show everyone but I don’t know how to put them up on this thing. Also, I’m getting my wisdom teeth out on Wednesday. I’m unexcited. Maybe a little scared but not really because I am not given to human weakness.

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now with more employment!

Hello darlings. I’m sorry I’ve been so abusive boyfriend/absentee parent who always says they’re going to take you somewhere fun to make up for all the shit but then disappears again, it’s just that I’ve started my new job as music staff writer at Time Out New York which leaves little time for anything other than pondering the best way to get across town. Seriously, I can’t figure it out. The bus is frustratingly slow. The walk is do-able but a little daunting if I’m carrying anything which at this point I am each day. I also, I dropped the M. For now. And finally, now that I have a job, all these other jobs are materializing. It’s both flattering and incredibly maddening since I’ve been basically nervously pacing back and forth in my apartment for two and half years wondering if moving to New York was a mistake and feeling like a sham and now suddenly it’s all coalesced. Where were you, jobs? But lest my description of my first 2.5 years in New York shatters your impression of my glamorous New York City lifestyle know that while pacing nervously my lip gloss looked incredible and oh, my hair!

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