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Everyone Does IVF

Yesterday Daniel and I were walking Wendy, trying to take her to more heavily populated areas because we’re trying to train her to be less of a maniac around humans who aren’t us and as we were headed home we ran into one of Daniel’s friends. It had been a few years since they’d seen each other and the guy was with his clearly pregnant wife.

We caught up, discussed career and homes and “have you talked to this person?” type-stuff and as it was going on I was thinking that I probably wouldn’t bring up the fact that we’re doing IVF. I just didn’t want to take anything away from her pregnancy and didn’t want to make her feel weird around me and I think there’s just something intrinsic in my female core that knows there’s cultural discomfort around the woman who wants a child but who is having trouble having a child and not only do I not want pity, I just would rather keep the focus on her news which is happy as opposed to mine which is complicated and awkward.

I am very open about our struggle with infertility—too open, many rooms full of men might say—but the one situation where I don’t immediately trot it out is when someone else is pregnant.

As I was thinking this, sure that not bringing it up was the right move, I heard Daniel say, “We just started IVF.”

There are times when marriage truly feels like a commingling of spirits, like you are two halves of the same whole, like you complete each other and are one heart in two bodies (which suggests you each have half a heart. How is that a good thing?) and you wonder how you existed so long without this other person who knows you so intimately it’s as if you communicate without speaking.

And then there are other times where you feel like what you are, two strangers who share a bathroom, use each other as their emergency contact, truly hope the best for one another, respect each other enough to both set an alarm when one has to be up super early which means two people are waking up every ten minutes while one of you hits snooze repeatedly and who often have a hunch about how the other feels but who don’t know for sure until you ask.

“If she guesses Moonrise Kingdom I’ll believe in telepathy,” Daniel told me he thought recently, as I guested on the Doug Loves Movies podcast. The game was to name as many Bruce Willis movies as possible and I was struggling. Daniel was in the live audience thinking the name over and over. Focusing on it, visualizing it, trying to send it to me with the power of his mind.

K-9?” I blurted out.

“The old Jim Belushi movie?” Doug asked incredulously.

“Yep!” I laughed as if maybe I’d been saying it as a joke.

Anyway, back to yesterday, before I had a chance to shoot a look at Daniel I heard the couple say they’d also done IVF. “Oh! What clinic do you go to?” I asked.

Turns out we go to the same clinic.

This is what I meant when I said, on a recent podcast, that ever since I’ve entered into the world of infertility, where I’m open about it and people are open about it with me, I feel as if it’s so much more common than you think. And so, as I explained on the podcast, I was briefly pulled out of this mindset when my good friend and fellow podcaster Jenna Kim Jones announced her pregnancy, which she achieved naturally, and which was a reminder that some people actually get pregnant naturally and easily and without spending enormous amounts of money and time and that also, though it’s become normal to me, there is a problem here and there is something a little broken about my lady bits and it shouldn’t have to be this way.

But then yesterday happened and now I’m thinking maybe I was right all along, that most of the kids in Los Angeles are conceived through IVF and that the reason everyone I know goes to the same clinic is because everyone does IVF, they just aren’t always open about it.

I just hope Jenna doesn’t feel alone. Everyone has their own pregnancy story and her way is just as valid, if a little less talked about.

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Happy bday, Woofie (RIP)

Today would have been Woofie’s birthday. He was the black miniature poodle we had when I was growing up. Here he is as a puppy:

Here he is letting it all hang out:

And here he is by the dishwasher:

I’d already moved to New York when he died (he was 17) but for years when I’d come back to CA to visit my parents I would think I heard him running down the hall. I miss him.

But don’t be too sad because five years later my parents got this guy!

But maybe you need to see what he looked like as a puppy?

But wait there’s also:

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Treadmill licking; stylish jeans; other important stuff

One of the things Tobey likes to do is squeeze his little body in between the space between the treadmill and the wall and then lick the treadmill. (I tried it once, didn’t see what was so great about it.) He was doing this just now and I looked over and our eyes met and I’m pretty sure he looked back at me with a look that said, “I’m sorry, but I have to do this.” Other things he has to do? Eat Kleenex, come running when he smells turkey (even if he’s asleep), bark if he hears dogs and occasionally try to seduce computer chairs.

In other news, yesterday I went on an audition held at the building where Chelsea Lately is taped and it was the single most fashionable place I’d ever been. Every single person looked like they had a stylist. Some were in jeans but the jeans were in saucy color and looked brand new. My jeans are just in regular colors and look medium old to acid washed.  Ok I don’t really own acid washed jeans anymore but you get what I’m saying. I did once own an entire denim outift that was white with black polka dots. I looked like a Holstein.

Now you might be thinking, “You? Looking like a cow? STFU,” unless you know me well or have known me over the years enough to know that I used to be fairly bovine. Sometimes I like to hide this fact because I’m worried if people know I used to be fat they will then look at me now and think, “Oh yeah, I see it!” however I’m also still mentally scarred enough from all the years of being the fat kid to think it might do me some good to just say it instead of trying to hide it.

Also something which started in New York which always amused me is people thinking I must have it so easy because of how I look. To me this is sort of like if someone got mad at me for being a small Asian woman. I would hear the words but wouldn’t take them in because the person being described just isn’t me. I also occasionally get, “Oh, like you’ve ever had trouble getting a boyfriend?” as if I was the prom queen. Some day I will dig deep into my past and barf photos and stories all over you. Look forward to that day!

In other, other news, I just wrote back to a message I received on Facebook and now I’m receiving all sorts of replies which is making me realize the message I responded to was a group message. I didn’t realize this. That story had no point.

Also yesterday after the stylish audition where I forgot that wearing dresses to an audition gives the mic guy nowhere to hook the mic battery pack so you’ll end up essentially getting naked in front of a room full of people while they search for a place on your undergarments to clip the thing, I went to Teresa Strasser’s book reading. I met a lot of very nice ACS fans who said a lot of very nice things and now I have a big head and am a total dick.

Perhaps you are wondering what Adam said to me on my first day on the job? So I’d auditioned the first week of January and found out I got the job over the weekend and was to start that Monday. Monday rolls around and I’m sitting in the studio and Adam walks in and I wave and he sees me and then says, loudly, “That’s Alison?” I’ve been giggling about this ever since. [Do I need to explain that he was making a joke? Pretending they’d hired the wrong person? I think it’s clear however maybe the italics don’t really get across the exact tone of voice.]

Did I have anything else to tell you? Ummm… Ummmmmmm….. I’m going to be on The Film Vault this week… um… and I haven’t been able to individually respond to everyone who’s said really nice things to me but I just want to thank you all.

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If this inbox is rockin' (and a dog photo)

I’m sitting here trying to bring my unread emails to 0. (I’ve whittled it down from over 800 to 595, which doesn’t feel like a victory. The problem is I half-read everything on my phone and then it stays unread in my inbox and if I’m especially busy, like I’ve been this past week, the emails quickly gang up and go nuts. I’m pretty sure they ordered a keg.) Anyway, I came across this photo which I may have already posted.

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Tobey is a tyrant!

My mom often talks about how Tobey gives her a guilt trip when she’s trying to leave the house without him and I often think she’s projecting/imagining because how can a dog give you a guilt trip? Then I take it one step further and think about how I grew up hearing that as an infant I demanded to be included in everything and had my parents wrapped around my little finger, which was exceedingly little as you can imagine. My parents were big on reading all those Dr. Spock child psych/behavior books, since this was the seventies (which is funny since I’m only 21) and so the way I’d spin my baby web was when they went to sleep I’d use my inexplicable baby strength to fashion a kind of hoist with my blanket and then I’d use a pop up toy to launch myself over the crib wall. Then I’d land safely, magically, and log roll into the family room where the books were kept. Sometimes I’d skateboard.  Then I just shimmied up the wall like a mouse or spider or go-go dancer, grabbed the books and opened them up to “Ages 0 to 6 mos.” and changed all the prose to, “Do whatever your baby wants.” It was pretty easy, or, as my sister and I used to say in third grade, cinchy.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is when I hear volition being attributed to creatures who haven’t yet mastered walking upright (speaking of, when is Tobey going to do that? He’s already 3!), I’m skeptical.

But then yesterday I tried to leave the house without him and he really did look up at me as if to say, “We’re pals, we go everywhere together, you’re taking me with you, right?” I explained that this wasn’t the case at which point he sighed heavily,  slammed the door and dyed his fur hot pink. Then he tied up the phone for what had to be hours. I’m trying my damnedest not to give into it but it’s difficult since he hid my keys and is now sleeping in my bed. (He’s letting me use his furry dog bed. He’s not heartless.) I’ve adjusted to the collar pretty well but the food is  killing me. Hard, dry, pellet-type things which reek of some unidentifiable meat smell for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I’m lucky someone will throw me a scrap of something that isn’t kibble. When it gets too much I sneak into the bathroom and pull Kleenexes from the trash. I can’t help it, they’re delicious.

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A list because you love lists

So I’m back in New York after six intense weeks of Marvin care and I have so many things to say it’s making it hard for me to say anything. This is a hazard when you’re a blogger who is known for sharing the details of your life. Also when you’re known for being achingly beautiful. I’m telling you, spending nights in the hospital did my complexion no favors. And that delicious hospital cafeteria food went straight to my hips. I think I should make a list of things I need to tell you:

1) I trust you’re all coming to see me Thursday in News Distillery at the 92Y. Here’s a story about Faith Salie that mentions it if you want more info which you probably do because you’re so like that.

2) I’m really proud of the ARIYNBF shows I put on in CA and I’m glad I did that even though at times it was hard.

3) Perhaps you’re reading this and you’re new to me and you’re wondering what I’m talking about.

4) Soon I will be able to speak about it, I think, but for now I have to be all vague and elliptical but here’s what you can know: one of my family members whom I’ve named “Marvin” was just diagnosed with something no one wants and so I’ve been helping out.

5) Not crabs, though no one wants them.

6) Or Jordan almonds.

7) Before the Mad Men premiere I kept wanting to write a list of “Mad Men inspired drinking games by someone who doesn’t watch Mad Men and doesn’t understand drinking games.” That person isn’t me, of course, since I watch Mad Men and love to drink till I puke.

8) It would be a persona. A device. A trope, if you will.

9) You won’t.

10) By the way, I don’t actually love to drink till I puke. In fact I seldom drink these days which is all part of the way I don’t have fun and am letting life pass me by.

11) woe = me

12) I’m actually tired of the Goldenrod Footbridge. Can you believe it?

13) In the past going home to CA was taking a break however a few days before I returned to New York it was suggested to me that I should return if for no other reason than I clearly needed a break and needed to get strong again before coming back to CA. This idea that New York is now the place I go when I need a break is doing all sorts of funky things in my head.

14) Specifically it’s doing the electric slide.

15) “A Marvin being sick marks the true end of childhood,” said a therapist.

16) Or maybe she said, “A Marvin being sick truly marks the end of childhood.”

17) Well, you get the point.

17.5) Not MY therapist! What use would I have for therapy? My brain is perfection and my emotions are a thing of beauty and my thoughts conform to the Platonic ideal of thoughts and my feelings are so appropriate you only WISH you had my feelings.

18) It’s hot in New York. I kind of hate that.

19) True Blood is now my favorite distraction and I’m sad I’m all caught up.

20) Also? I’ve been cheating on Splenda with Truvia. Just a little though.

21) I miss Tobey.

22) Congrats to Natali Del Conte on the birth of her baby boy!

23) Thank you all for the encouraging words you’ve sent my way.

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Photos: CA, NYC, Hannity

There are loads of photos that have been sitting on my phone or computer that I’ve been meaning to put on this blog and I think the time is now.

Here’s my mom and Tobey from when I was in California for Thanksgiving. Isn’t he cute? There is only one answer.


Here’s the beach. Isn’t it beachy? There is only one answer. (more…)

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