Letters: Volume 3 (Magazine Edition)

Okay you guys, this is the last Letters post for awhile - I promise.   We'll move on to something else tomorrow.   But I had to post this one.  It's just too sexy not to post.  You'll understand shortly... 

Dear Cosmopolitan Magazine;

I have written a column about 100 ways to spice up your sex life.  I think this piece would be a refreshing departure from your usual lineup.

I promise, you have never, ever, ever heard these ones before.  These are completely new concepts.  My article does not contain one single word that your readers will recognize from previous issues.  I have most definitely not listed exactly the same things on every other list you have ever published except with a few bizarre twists that no guy actually wants done to him.

My revolutionary list entices the reader to "try massaging your partner's perineum with Neosporin" or "tie your partner up with a rope made from completely renewable resources that costs $4 more than other ropes" or "try exploring each other's erogenous zones - and do it while wearing a scuba mask and singing along to Sting's 'Every Breath You Take.'"

And I have liberally applied the concept of combining the word "sex" with other words.  For sexample:  sexceptional, sexorcism, sextraterrestrial, sexcommunication, sexistentialism, sexport, sextermination, sexaggerate, sextrapolate, sexponential, sextreme, sextemporaneous, sex (that's sex combined with ex - like if you had sex with your ex boyfriend, you'd say you had "sex." LOL), FedSex, complsexity, sextrovert, sexamination, sextortion, sexplosive diarrhea, Kleensex, Microsoftcore sExcel, sexcalibur, sexacerbate, sexalted, sexasperated, sexcavation, sexceedingly, sexcrement, sexcretions, sexcruciating, sexcuse me, sexcuse moi?, sexecutive branch, sexecutive power, sexecution, sExedrine, sexemplify, sexonerate and my personal favorite, which is the very embodiment of what your magazine is all about: sexfoliate.  ISN'T THAT THE MOST AWESOME THING YOU HAVE EVER HEARD?   I bet you are just shitting yourselves over being able to publish that word for the first time.

But that list is not representative of the magnitude of my actual collection of sex/word hybrids - it is just a sexerpt!  If you want, I can sexplain more clearly.  LOL (that means "laughing out loud" which I'm not really doing - more like chuckling or merely breathing a little faster, but still).

If you don't feel comfortable publishing such a reformative piece, I have also prepared a list of 10 Must-Have Items for Fall.   Just a hint - it doesn't include an EPMotion automatic pipetting machine.  Or does it??

You won't regret your decision to publish me.


Dear Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition;

Here is my submission:

You're welcome.


Dear Time Magazine;

I am writing to request inclusion on your list of 100 Most Influential People.   I don't know if you've noticed, but I have over 100 followers on Blogger.   I get roughly 200 page hits every single day.  Well, except for Saturday and Sunday.  Apparently my readers have better things to do on the weekend than devote every waking second to reading my blog and commenting.  It's okay.  My feelings aren't hurt or anything.

Anyway, I would like it if you would include me on your list - possibly in your top 10.  And please use the following picture on my two-page spread:

Because I think your readers would appreciate seeing a sexy woman featured prominently in your magazine. I mean, don't you think they ever get tired of constantly seeing boring pictures of men in suits?  Playboy didn't get famous for covering the conflict in the Middle East.  Just saying...

Anyway, you can visit my blog if you want to check out my qualifications.   I think you'll find my style to be intelligent and engaging yet never heavy-handed.  I address tough issues with poise and clarity while still maintaining the image that I am speaking directly to each and every American.  I'm kind of like a younger, whiter, female-er Obama.
Okay, TTYL.


Letters: Volume 1 (Descent Into "Totally Inappropriate and Actually a Little Crazy-Sounding" Territory)

Dear Readers;

I had a really creative spurt today.  I probably shouldn't say "spurt", but whatever.

Anyway, I wrote, like, 75 letters to things, people and myself.  It may sound stupid, but I promise that it's brilliant.  You'll just have to see it for yourself.

I swear to God, I was laughing so hard at myself that I got a headache.

You may be wondering what this is all about.  It's simple, really: I write letters to things, some of which are offensive (the letters, not the things. Except for a few of them) and then I post a few of them at a time and you laugh and tell your friends that I'm a genius and then I get famous and rich and I don't have to look for a job anymore because looking for a job is a fruitless and painful process that is making me feel like I should just become an alcoholic so that I at least have something external to blame my failure on.

Are we clear?


Thanks for reading.


Dear Me;

You sounded like an idiot just then.  You are confusing your readers and alienating them by pressuring them to make you famous.

It is not their responsibility.

Wait, yes it is - but you should make them want to make you famous instead of writing stupid little letters about how poor you are and how they should make you rich and famous out of pity.

I know that you have lost 4 pounds in the last two weeks because you can't afford real-person food, but you don't need to tell other people that.  They don't have money either and they'll just feel bad for being unable or unwilling to help you which will make them retreat into denial about your existence and then they won't read your blog.

It's kind of like how you feel about those starving-children commercials - which is a topic that pretty much every funny person in the history of the world has joked about, but you are going to go right ahead and do it too, just because you think you did it differently.  You didn't, by the way.  You just said some unexpected things afterward.  That's like putting a hat on Jesus and saying you invented Him (good catch with the capital H).  Stop being a pompous asshole.

Okay, I'll agree with you that it is a good idea to test out how people will react to the words "Jesus" and "asshole" before you post your other letters.  I know how excited you are to post them, so I commend you for showing a little self-restraint.  Your audience will appreciate the awkward-but-present segue into the more offensive and disturbing branch of your sense of humor.

Well, you better post some of those letters you were talking about.  Maybe post some of the really short ones. It'll be like a preview.  But whatever you do - do not post the Jesus one or the one about Mexicans.    I know, I know, I know - they really aren't that offensive, but people are really easy to offend and you want to be famous, remember?  You don't get famous by being honest - at least most people don't. Maybe Abraham Lincoln.  But not you.  You have to ingratiate yourself to everyone.  I know it's hard to restrain yourself, but just do it, okay?  Please, please, please, please do it.  Just for a little while.  Just until you find out how many followers you'll lose from swearing and taking the Lord's name in vain.  Pretty please?


I have done all I can.  I hope you choose to be smart about this.  Good decisions are like making a deposit in the bank of your future.  Really?  That's the best you could come up with?  You better hope that people think you are really funny because you definitely don't have a future in advertising or inspirational speaking.

Carry on.


Dear Cup;

Thank you for being waterproof.

I'll talk to you later!


Dear SuperBalls;

I am 24 and a half and I don't have a job.  Please stop looking so goddamn fun.  Thanks.


Dear Inventor of Watermelon-Flavored Things;

Have you ever eaten watermelon?

Just wondering...


Dear Me;

You did it!  You didn't offend anyone's religion, ethnicity, culture or sexuality!  I mean, if the inventor of watermelon flavor is one of your followers, he might be kind of pissed, but you managed to not offend people in swaths.  I think that is an accomplishment. Go have some cake.



Sorcerer is my 100th follower!

People seem to like celebrating round numbers (and especially 100 of anything), so I figured I would offer him a prize for being the 100th person to like me.  That's right.  He gets the prize and not any of the 99 people who discovered me before him.  Just because he was 100th.

But don't fret, other 99 followers!  His prize really isn't that cool (pssst... Sorcerer... your prize actually is cool, but don't tell anyone).

As mentioned, probably ad nauseam, I am poor, so I have to get creative with my gifts.

I hereby grant Sorcerer the opportunity to choose the topic of a blog post.  He can pick any topic he wants and I will write about it and try to make it funny.

And... go!

Edit:  Okay, now I have 99 followers... whoever it is that un-followed me:  I know what you are doing, you prankster.  If you really want to pick a topic for one of my blog posts, go ahead.  You don't have to be 100th to be special... 

Offensive Post! (The Post Formerly Known as "Grammar According to Allie")

Grammar is a subject that is very dear to me.  However, I don't agree with some of the commonly accepted ways to use it.

Wait!  Don't stop reading!

This is not some snobby diatribe stressing the importance of proper grammar.

It is about making grammar better - my way.

1. "Very Unique"

Uttering the phrase "very unique" is like punching grammar in the face.  The reasoning goes that "unique" means "different from anything else in the world" so to say that something is "very unique" is completely unnecessary.

No it's not.

Every person in the world is unique.  Every snowflake is unique.  Property owners want you to think that their sh*tty 60's apartment with the "decorative" stairs to nowhere is unique.  But to say that individuals like Marilyn Manson or the late Michael Jackson are unique is an egregious understatement.  Yes, we are all different - but they are really, really different.  They are to "different" what Pluto used to be to the Solar System before it was so unceremoniously demoted (why do I feel the need to include Pluto in all of my grammar posts?)  - they are on the very outer edge of the spectrum.   They have a much greater distance between themselves and normal (which is still unique, just more normally so.)  Our language should allow for a descriptor to reflect that increased distance.

2. "..............................."

The number of dots in an ellipsis should reflect the length of the pause.

Writing would be so much more descriptive - so much more malleable and honest.

Example #1:

Jenny chewed her lip and fiddled with the pages of her Algebra textbook as she tried to find the right words.  Finally, she said "Mr. Smith... I'm.......... Pregnant."

"Uh................................................................................................................" said Mr. Smith.  

I know that it is not right to make light of student-teacher sex scandals, but it is my blog and I do what I want.  And for your information, Mr. Smith turned out to be a great father and he married Jenny the moment she turned 18.

Example #2:

"Knock Knock..."

"Who's There?"

"Jerry the Mute..."

"Jerry the Mute who?"


I also know that it is not right to make up Knock Knock jokes that poke fun at serious disabilities, but if you are offended now, you might want to reconsider reading further.  Also, you may want to pause and reflect on the sheer genius behind that joke since it is not every day that I come up with something that awesome.

Example #3

Upon noticing the packet of prescription Valtrex on the nightstand, Jenny asked "Mr. Johnson, what is Valtrex for..................?" 

"... it is Valium for large dinosaurs, my Dear..." 

Being an English teacher, Mr. Johnson knew not to pause as long as Jenny.    

(Don't worry - Jenny is legal in this story.)

3.  Daylight Saving Time, Down Syndrome and Dived

Over the years, people have added unnecessary S's to Daylight Saving time and Down Syndrome.  The first one is simple:  we are saving daylight.  It makes sense.

The second one doesn't compute quite as neatly.

Apparently Dr. Down didn't want to be like Dr. Alzheimer, Dr. Hodgkin, Dr. Asburger,  or Dr. Huntington.  He wanted to be more unique, so he simply named the disease he discovered after himself.  No apostrophe or S needed.

Some words are so commonly misused that they should be adopted as standard simply so that the smart people aren't the ones sounding like illiterate dummies.

For example, did you know that "dove" is not a verb?  Despite the fact that everyone and their dog uses it in such a manner, it is still considered correct to use the word "dived."

"I dived off the proverbial cliff when I decided to write this offensive post." 

But "dived" sounds retarded (so does "Down Syndrome" but I think I could get in some sort of trouble for saying that or something.......)

We should adopt "dove" so that I don't look like an idiot for trying to be grammatically correct.

4.  Favre

How this series of letters came to be pronounced "farv" I will never know.

Faver?  Sure.

Fav-ray?  Why not?

 Favery?  I guess it works.

But "farv??" What kind of dyslexic French a**hole came up with that one?*

While we are on the subject, I think I should address French as a whole.  French is supposedly the most romantic language there is - if you consider completely unnecessary and phonetically nonsensical extra letters romantic.   -eaux is supposed to make and "o" sound.  Really?   Are you so full of yourselves that you thought "Forget zee O.  We need four letters because our language eez four time better!"

I personally think that France would be world dominant if they didn't have all those superfluous letters slowing them down.

While we are on the subject of being on the subject of talking about foreign words, I thought I might mention something to my American friends.

If you are trying to pronounce a foreign word in an otherwise English sentence, please don't pronounce the word with a heavy accent.  It makes you sound pretentious and douche-y .

*I am in no way insulting Brett Favre himself.  If I were to do that, it would  decrease my chances of ever bearing his grizzled, womb-warrior children, and I definitely wouldn't want to do that.  

5.  Less/Fewer

I am going to back Strunk and White 100 percent on this one.

If there is one mistake that I cannot stand, it is the confusion of "less" with "fewer."

You commonly see this error in grocery stores: "Express Checkout - 10 Items or Less." 

Also in Porta-Potties: "This Unit is Designed to Accommodate the Needs of 10 People or Less During a Normal Work Week."  

Less is supposed to refer to an amount that cannot be counted - like air or sand.  Fewer refers to a number of things that are countable, such as oxygen molecules or grains of sand.

A few more examples:

- Jenny is less of a tramp because she slept with fewer teachers than Veronica.

- I made that Knock Knock joke less offensive by including fewer references to disabled people.  

- Mr. Johnson now uses less Valtrex because he has fewer Herpes sores.  

- Other languages are less awesome than French because they use fewer unnecessary letters. 

- "Less" should be used less often than "fewer" because there are fewer instances where "less" is appropriate.   Nonetheless, "less" is used more.  

I hope that your lives have been enriched by my mighty opinion.

I am sorry if I have offended you, but you should try to be less offendable.

A Brief Romantic History

Mr. Kitty

My first love was Mr. Kitty.

Mr. Kitty was a rattle with a plush cat's head on it.  He had no body.  Just a head.  Mr. Kitty may have greatly misinformed my infantile brain about the proper anatomy of living creatures.  Maybe Mr. Kitty is at the root of why I've never been a body girl.  I like faces.


My second love was Richard.  Richard was the middle-aged man that lived next door with his aging mother.  I followed Richard around like a puppy.   I would just show up in his house, unannounced, and watch him from the hallway until he noticed me and took me home.   One time I stole his cat and kept it in my closet for two days before my parents found it.  I don't know why I did it.  It seemed like a good idea...

Note: I often wonder about how my experience with Mr. Kitty might have influenced my subconscious to want to steal Richard's cat.

Ryan (and french kissing)

Shortly after Richard and just before my 4th birthday, I experienced my first kiss.  Ryan was a full year older than me.  He was the son of my dad's best friend.  Our families went camping at Lake Tahoe together one spring.  Ryan and I were in the middle of playing "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (I always had to be stupid April because I was a girl - Ryan got to be all the turtles simultaneously) when Ryan suddenly stopped fighting Splinter and said "Do you want to french kiss?"

I didn't know what that was or how it could potentially affect my immediate future, so I said "Okay."

Ryan moved in slowly, hand gently cradling the small of my back, craning his neck to the side and...

...began chewing on my lower lip with ferocity.

It hurt.

I pushed Ryan to the ground, began crying and ran to my mom.

When she asked what happened, I told her that I french kissed Ryan and it hurt.

My poor mother.


After Ryan, I went through a long dry spell before I met Nicholas.  I don't know if I loved Nicholas, but Nicholas was the first guy to ever see my hoohoo.  Not like that...

Nicholas told me that he and his friends played a fun game called "sword fights"where you pee into the toilet at the same time and cross streams.  He asked me if I wanted to sword-fight.  I said "sure."

That day left us both confused.

We went into the bathroom together.  I sat down on the toilet.  He said "no, no, no - we aren't going number two!"

I failed to understand the distinction.

He grabbed me under my armpits and hoisted me off the toilet, moving me aside so that he could show me how to do it right.

I watched Nicholas pee.

I tried to pee like Nicholas.

I made a mess.

Nicholas reprimanded me for "missing the dartboard" (probably a term his mother used).

I cried and ran to my mom, who had to explain the difference between boys and girls and why I wasn't a failure for not being able to pee like Nicholas.

Boyfriend (and others)

After Nicholas, I grew up, dated some dudes and eventually met Boyfriend.

The End.

(I'll post the unabridged version [the one that includes age 6 through Boyfriend] if you guys really want me to, but it's kind of long [not "tramp" long, but "encompassing many years" long) and I didn't want to launch into a soliloquy about my past without warning you or testing the waters to see if that is something you'd be interested in.)


As promised, I have scrounged through all of my old boxes and found for you a picture of myself with no hair

It is at the bottom of the "My Tweenhood Was a Haze of Baldness and Shame" post with a short description.  Please notice the way that I am holding my hands.  It makes the picture that much more ridiculous.

It isn't the clearest picture in the world, since I don't have a scanner and had to take a picture of a picture, (Boyfriend has much steadier hands than I do and he just took a pretty clear one)

It is the only one I have (I was somewhat elusive around cameras during that time of my life... )

Anyway, enjoy!

Guess What I Did All Night?

Boyfriend and I...

... spent the entire night cleaning up fiberglass dust from our house.

The guy who installed our insulation blew it into all of our cold air re-uptake ducts and left us to figure out how to deal with the mess.

We borrowed an industrial-sized vacuum from our neighbors and started sucking all of the insulation out of our ducts, but we didn't stop when the vacuum got too full and it started blowing all of the insulation that was once packed safely inside of it all over our house.

It was like snow, only itchy and carcinogenic.

I thought I would at least make the best of it and give you guys a good laugh...

I don't own goggles of any sort, so I had to rig up some fiberglass-dust-proof eyewear on my own.  I am wearing clear glasses and a superhero mask from a halloween costume:

Then I had to find a way to keep the stuff out of my lungs...

That getup turned out to be not quite enough to prevent the itchy lungs, so I went a little more extreme:

And when even this bizarre facewear failed to protect me from inhaling noxious particles, I had to pull out all the stops:

I would like to take this opportunity to explain why I am wearing a skirt instead of full protective clothing.  You see, the ambient temperature was roughly eleventy-million degrees, so the skin on my legs had to be sacrificed so that the rest of my body could survive while wearing three face masks, a scarf and several shirts.

The ridiculousness of it all is overwhelming.

Allie Gets Drunk

Note: I swear on my mother that this is a factual account (except that Brian isn't actually retarded.  I think.)  

As an 18-year-old, I had not yet fully grasped the concept of mortality or how my actions could increase or decrease my likelihood of experiencing it.

When I was invited to go boat-camping with four guys and a 32-pack of Natural Ice, I was all for it.   You might think you have some idea of how this story ends based on that last sentence, but trust me, you don't.  If it was possible to have any premonition of what was about to happen to me, even my stupid 18-year-old brain would have opted out.

But no one ever expects to end up sleeping on a pee-stained mattress in some meth-addict's yard.

Maybe I should go back a little and explain.

It was my friend Geoff's boat.   Geoff, Joey, Brian and Willie had decided to drive it out to a tiny, secluded island (red X on map) that was surrounded by jagged rocky cliffs.  A place where no cops could find us and reprimand us for our underage drinking.

We loaded all of our stuff onto the boat and set out toward our 900-square-foot section of paradise.

It took about 45 minutes to drive the boat out there.   We set up camp on the rocky beach and cracked into our overly abundant alcohol supply.  I had only been drunk once before and I did not yet know how to pace myself.

Just as the sun was starting to set, we got a phone call from a friend back on the mainland (how we had cell service on our island, I will never know, but I do know that there is no cell service in the middle of the lake).

The friend wanted to come to our island.  She wanted to be picked up.

I was so drunk, that I agreed to be a passenger on a boat driven by an even more drunk friend.  Again, you may think you have some idea of where this is going, but I assure you that you do not.

We drove safely all the way back to the marina, where our friend was waiting.  She decided that she didn't want to come camping after all.  We were too drunk to be mad.

We turned the boat around and set off across the water to our unmarked, unlit camping site.   In the dark.   That would have been a good enough adventure on its own, but we ended up mired in another problem entirely.

Halfway across the lake (approximate location of yellow X on the map), our boat ran out of gas.  Now, this particular lake, as you may have surmised from the part where I said it took us 45 minutes to get to our island, is very, very large (see attached map).  So large that all we could see around us were tiny specks of light on the distant shore.

Brian was passed out, so he didn't care.

We sat in silence for a few minutes, each contemplating our respective fates as best we could under the influence of way too much beer.

"Well,"  Geoff finally ventured.

"I have an oar."

An oar.


We took turns (well, everyone except for Brian) sitting on the bow and rowing.  We rowed for hours.

Lakes are really cold at night and I was wearing only a swimsuit, so I had to wrap myself in life jackets to keep warm.  At least I was safe (from drowning, at least.)

At approximately 3:00 AM we reached land (blue X on map).  The land we reached was the bank of a highway near a bridge.

I was told to stay in the boat and protect Brian.  The other boys would go try to find gas somewhere.

An hour later (by my calculations, which could be totally skewed by lapses in consciousness) the boys returned with two mangy-looking men.

I remember actually being able to taste the terror in the back of my mouth.  Maybe it was just bile - I don't know.  Whatever it was, it tasted terrible and it didn't make me any less nervous about the tattooed strangers that were quietly assessing my swimsuit/lifejacket-clad body like curators at a museum.

It was later explained to me that the boys did not realize they had left their wallets on the island until they had walked all the way to a gas station and pumped gas into their gas can.  They had been drunkenly haggling with the attendant, when two upstanding young drug addicts appeared out of nowhere and gave them an offer they couldn't refuse:  a free place to sleep (as opposed to staying on the boat?).

We left the boat tied to a pointy rock and followed the two men up the embankment and along the highway (we couldn't have gone far because I am sure someone had to carry Brian).  We eventually ended up at their "house" which was basically an old barn that smelled like drain cleaner and failure.

The leader of the two men pointed to a dilapidated pup tent that was half buried in garbage and unruly weeds.  Apparently we were supposed to sleep there.

All five of us climbed into the one-man tent and tried to sleep on the urine-soaked children's mattress that had been provided for us.

I don't know if I actually slept or just passed out, but around 5:30 in the morning, we were shaken awake by the gnarliest of the two men.

He said "Give me thirty-five dollars."

"Wha...?" was the collective response from the urine-tent.

"I said, give me thirty-five dollars.  For rent."

It became clear that the man expected us to pay for our stay in his excrement-coated tent.  Drug addicts are remarkably resourceful at coming up with extra income!

Thinking quickly, or perhaps just telling the truth, Joey said "We don't have our wallets right now... we'll pay you in the morning."

This seemed to satisfy the man.  He stumbled away.

An hour passed.

Brian started to regain consciousness.  We filled him in on why he was in a foul-smelling tent in some meth-head's backyard.  He told us that he had his wallet on the boat - it was hidden so no one would steal it.  We were simultaneously furious and very pleased with Brian.

We ventured a peek outside the tent.  One of the men was lying face-down in the grass.  We couldn't see the other man.

Geoff snuck out to go find Brian's wallet, fill up the gas can and retrieve the boat.

He came back a little while later in the boat.   He killed the engine and drifted quietly to shore.  He motioned for us to climb aboard.  We stumbled (as quietly as we could) into the boat.   Geoff started the engine, which woke up the man in the yard.  He looked at us groggily.  We tried to back out of the dock quickly, before the man could wrap his drug-weathered brain around the fact that he was not going to get his thirty-five dollars.

The man staggered to his feet like a wounded mammoth and began to bellow something like "F*ckers!  You have my money!" (It was hard to tell because he was slurring his speech).

We got the boat going just soon enough.

We drove to the nearest marina and filled up the rest of the tank.

We drove the boat back to our island in the broad daylight.

(You may think that the adventure is over.  But it's not.)

When we got there, Joey, Willie, Geoff and I wanted to go to sleep.  Brian had other plans.

He felt bad for passing out and not being able to tell us where his wallet was, so he became hell-bent on cooking us breakfast.

Now would be a good time for me to tell you a little bit more about Brian.  The name "Brian" is an anagram of the word "brain" which is ironic because Brian has always teetered between "self-aware-but-slow" and fully retarded.  Not literally, but almost.  He just lacks even an iota of common sense.  He is the kind of person that gets A's in school but turns around and tries to cook baked beans on a portable barbecue grill, not pausing to consider the incongruity between the size of baked beens and the size of the spaces between grill slats.

And he did just that.  After trying to open the beans by smashing them against a rock (and looking surprised when 3/4 of them splattered all over the place), Brian proceeded to pour the beans on the grill.

When that did not produce the results he had envisioned in his head, he switched his focus to cooking "bean-smoked" hotdogs.  Twenty of them.

I don't know why he thought we needed twenty hotdogs.  I don't even know why we brought twenty hotdogs with us, but that is not the point.

The point is that we decided to leave Brian alone and go to sleep in the tent while he figured out how to cook us something.

Ten minutes later we awoke to Brian yelling "Guys?  Hey... Guys!  You guys!  Guys... um... guys?!!" in an increasingly panicked tone.

We poked our heads out of the tent.


Brian had decided to grill our twenty hotdogs in the shade of one of the three pine saplings on the island.    We think he may have poured lighter fluid directly onto them, but we can't be sure.  At any rate, he did not consider that fire plus low-hanging branches equals burning.

Not_ only_ that.

He was trying to put the fire out with the left-over beer.

By the time we realized what was happening, we could do nothing but stand there and watch the foliage on our precious island burn to the ground.

And that is the story of how I got stranded in a boat, slept behind a meth-lab and played a part in burning down an island all in one night.


Worst. Day. EVER. (Almost)

Dear Readers;

You seem to enjoy the tales of my many stupidity/enthusiasm-driven mistakes. For this reason, I have decided to unveil my second-most unfortunate story of all time (first-most unfortunate story to follow shortly - if I decide you are ready for it... )  Every word of this story is completely true-to-life (or at least my best recollection of it). I have not embellished a single detail (aside from adding exact times to events that were just a blur of stress and anger. Oh, and the part about the bagel. It may have been a croissant.)

I feel thoroughly confident that I have already experienced the rock-bottom of my life.

Any one of the events that transpired on that fateful day would have been pretty innocuous as an isolated incident. But put them all together in a string of odds-defying bad luck, and you will find yourself in the midst of a crisis that not even Jon Krakauer would be able to comprehend completely.

It all started with a guitar.

Just before my Junior year of college, I saw a guitar in a pawn shop and suddenly decided that I wanted to be a musician - a decision I undecided about 3 weeks later, but not before enrolling in an "introduction to guitar" course. The course seemed like the perfect way to launch my rock star career. I was positively batty over the idea - until I actually tried to learn to play the guitar.

If you have ever been forced to sit for an hour-and-a-half in a room full of 35 people plucking away on 35 out-of-tune guitars, you may understand why I reconsidered my musical aspirations.

Once I undecided my decision, it was already too late to drop the course without first filling out a "drop slip" which is a little yellow form, to be signed by your instructor and the dean of your department, detailing your reasons for dropping the class (ADHD, poor impulse control, lack of musical aptitude, chronically bleeding ears).

Being the responsible person that I am, I stopped attending class for a few weeks, then waited until the last possible moment to try and turn in my drop form.

To tell you the truth, I forgot that I even needed to turn anything in until approximately 2:00 PM on that blemish of a day. Boyfriend called to remind me that I had to turn in my drop slip by 4:30 PM or I would fail the course ("Personal Calendar" is just one of Boyfriend's many and diverse functions.)

Anyway, I was on campus, eating a bagel, when I got the call. I simultaneously choked down the rest of the bagel and sprinted to the bus stop so that I could get home and start rifling through the drawer where I shove all my "important documents."

The stupid bagel cost me valuable seconds. I got to the bus stop just in time to see the bus driving away.

I heaved a sigh and began the 1.5-mile trek home.

I arrived at my apartment, sweaty and disheveled, just a touch after 2:30 PM. I began frantically looking for that little yellow slip - the antidote to certain academic failure.

I did not find it.

I reasoned that maybe the slip was at Boyfriend's apartment, since I also had an "important documents" pile there.  However, boyfriend was at track practice already and he had his keys with him (I didn't have a set of keys to Boyfriend's apartment. He never got around to making an extra one for me and I didn't want to be that girlfriend and badger him about it).  I managed to call him just before he headed out for his run (my only stroke of luck that day) and he agreed to run the keys by my apartment.

I met boyfriend in front of my apartment at exactly 2:48 PM.  He handed me his keys and went merrily on his way.

I was starting to feel the pressure of the impending 4:30 deadline, so I rushed to my car.  I unlocked my door, bumped my head on the doorframe as I was getting in, turned the keys in the ignition and...


It was not the first time that week that I had left my headlights on. It was actually a pretty regular occurrence.

I blame it on my mom.

You see, my mom also drove a Honda. Hondas are equipped with a neat little beeping sound which is supposed to warn you when your door is opened and your keys are left in the ignition or your lights are left on. Growing up, I heard the sound whenever my mom opened her car door. The sound was meaningless to a child who did not yet understand the minutiae of operating a motor vehicle, so my brain learned to ignore it. I eventually became completely desensitized to it. Now, I have to rely completely on my own awareness to remember to turn off my lights, and my awareness really is not that reliable.

Sadly, no amount of blaming my mother would bring my car back to life.

I stood in the street flagging down motorists for nearly 20 minutes before some V-neck-wearing Bulgarian giant with dreadlocks and a bad case of B.O. was kind enough to stop and help me push-start my vehicle.

It was 3:16 PM when I finally started the drive to Boyfriend's apartment. This particular drive was nearly impossible to complete in a timely manner since my city's traffic management is run by - well, I doubt that it is run by anything because no human could possibly be that fallible.

I should have walked. The one-mile stretch between my apartment and Boyfriend's apartment took me nearly 15 minutes to navigate by car.

If I had walked, I may have avoided the ensuing drama entirely.

I was in a hurry when I pulled up to Boyfriend's place. I left my car running and dashed up the three flights of stairs to his door.

I was engulfed by panic when I could not find my form.

After tearing through the entire apartment, I finally decided to check my car...

...my still-running car...

...the one with all the doors locked...

...the one with the little yellow drop form sitting in plain sight on the passenger seat.

F*CK!!!! (but also yay?)

How did I not see it before???

I had a Hide-A-Key. It was in a little magnetic case. Stuck to the refrigerator. At my apartment. Who puts their Hide-A-Key on their refrigerator? Apparently I do.

I ran as fast as I could (barefoot, because I just happened to be wearing heels that day - I never wear heels, but for some ungodly reason felt it was a good idea to wear them on that particular f*cking day) back to my apartment.

When I got there, it was 3:57 PM. I sprinted up my stairs to find... yet another locked door that I did not presently have the key to. I kept my apartment keys on the same keychain as my car keys - like most respectable people - and I did not think things through to the point of realizing I would need my car keys to get my house keys to get my Hide-A-Key to get my car keys.

I slumped to the ground outside my door, face smashed into the disgusting carpet. The janitor, who was probably wondering if dead-body-cleanup fell under his jurisdiction, stepped over my limp form -- the janitor!!

I sprang to life (probably prompting the janitor to wonder if zombie-crisis-mitigation fell under his jurisdiction) and begged the janitor to use his skeleton key to let me into my apartment.

"You live here?" He asked.

"Uh-huh," I responded.

And just like that, I was granted access to my apartment. I didn't know whether to feel happy or scared for my future safety, but at least I was one step closer to turning in my godforsaken drop form.

It was 4:06 PM. I snatched my Hide-A-Key from the fridge and ran back to Boyfriend's place to retrieve my car and the precious form contained within.

I got there at 4:11 and unlocked my car. I got in, bumped my head again and sped off toward campus, which was two traffic-filled miles away.

I parked in front of the Registrar's office (not bothering to buy a .75 parking stub which ended up garnering me a $15 ticket) and sprinted up the stairs.

It was 4:34 PM. The Registrar's station was closed for the day and it was final: my grade-point average was going to be annihilated by a 3-credit music course.

As I was turning around to go find a bathroom to cry in, a tiny pink note taped to the Registrar's desk caught my eye. It had that day's date written neatly in the upper left-hand corner. It read:

Drop slips due tomorrow by 4:30!!!!

Moving Time...

I know that most of you base your entire lives around when I will and will not be posting, so I figured I ought to warn you that Boyfriend and I are in the process of relocating.  This means that I will not have the internet for a few days (I'm going cold turkey).   I'll be back to my regular posting schedule in less than a week (probably even sooner, but I don't want to give you false hope in the event that something goes awry.)  If you absolutely cannot live without reading something new on my blog (who knows...?), I have prepared a little secret surprise for you to enjoy during my absence...

...But you have to find it (canadiandoubles, don't you dare tell anyone about how to get there!  Let them find it by themselves...)

Or you could just read and post tons of comments on my older posts to surprise me when I get back.  You have no idea how thrilled I would be if that happened.

Either way, I have not forsaken you.  I am just going out into the world to have experiences that I can later write about (I mean, you can't move to a new city without finding at least something to write about.  That sounded foreboding.... I hope I didn't just jinx myself...)

My Tweenhood was a Haze of Baldness and Shame

When I was 13, I shaved my head.  Bald.

It was a quadruple-dog dare.  I didn't want to look like a coward.

It all seemed like a fantastic idea while it was happening.  I was the center of attention - especially in the eyes of the boy who had dared me to do it.

I really liked this boy.  I had liked him since the 5th grade.  He had always been cooler than me, which really wasn't very hard to accomplish.  I mean, I wore wolf T-shirts, had giant braces and thought that it was socially acceptable to own elastic-waisted jeans.  I don't know how I came to the conclusion that shaving my head would make things any better.  I really didn't think it through properly.  Like I said, I really liked this boy.  I thought maybe I'd look like Demi Moore in G.I. Jane.

I called my mom at work:

Me: "Hey mom, is it okay if I use the dog shaver?"

Mom:  "For what?"

Me: "To shave my head."

Mom:  "Um... (prolonged silence in which I am sure she felt torn between her duty to protect my self esteem and her duty to allow me to express myself)... It's your hair sweetie.  Do what you want."

Me:  "Thanks."

My mother passively taught me a very important lesson about thinking things through.

My friend didn't just use the dog clippers.  He braided my hair, cut off the braid, used the dog-clippers on me and then went and found my mom's razor in the shower and shaved my head until it sparkled.  Everybody laughed.  Allie is so crazy!  I laughed too.  Look at how silly I am!  I am out of control!  I am so extreme right now...

...My time in the spotlight lasted about 4 minutes.

That evening, I eventually got around to looking in the mirror.  I had never been very self-conscious - I didn't have the fashion sense to know what to be self-conscious about.  But I knew ugly when I saw it.  I spent about an hour transfixed in front of my hairless reflection.

I was confused.

I wondered why I didn't look like Demi Moore in G.I. Jane.  

Was it my jawline?

I calculated how long it would take my hair to grow back.  I started to weep. (You can laugh.  It's okay.)

The ensuing months were filled with the kind of life experiences that force a person to develop their "inside beauty" lest they become devoid of any value whatsoever.

For example, I was waiting in line for the next stall in a public restroom and a little girl started screaming "this is the girl's bathroom!" I soon realized she was screaming at me.  I looked her dead in the face and said "I'm a girl."  Neither of us walked away without significant psychological damage and gender confusion issues.

Despite having my gender-identity ruffled, my interest in boys began to intensify.  Looking back, I am so sad for myself.  The futility of it all was mind boggling.  My best efforts at attractiveness only succeeded at making me look vaguely like something you'd see in Cirque de Soleil.   Apparently, this wasn't what the boys were looking for in a girl.

My friends were getting into makeup.  Not wanting to miss out on the fun and hoping to disguise myself under a thick layer of feminine awesomeness, I joined in.

We were terribly misdirected in our attempts at looking beautiful, so I ended up strutting around town with whore-red lipstick (it was like a neon frame for my giant, gnashing braces!), bright blue eye shadow and a nice, shiny, bald head.  I think I may have been wearing my wolf shirt.

Sadly, my best attempts at looking feminine and smokin' were not convincing enough.

I had been selected to play the lead in the school musical that year.  However, the lead role was a woman and my appearance-altering decision made it difficult for me to effectively portray that.   My teacher gently requested that I give my part to a more "convincing" classmate.  Instead, I was to play a male role.  To make it worse, I had to sing.  Like a man.  All I remember is being up on a stage, fake beard clinging fake-beardedly to my face, belting out some annoying song in my best baritone and wondering how my life had gone so wrong so early.

My hair eventually began to grow back, as hair is wont to do.  First I looked like a skinhead or cancer patient, then like a Chia pet, then like a marine, then like Gary Busey and finally, kind of girl-like.  I got rid of my wolf shirt.  I started plucking my unibrow.

Gradually, I began to fit into society again.  I almost learned how to put on makeup.  I bought a dress.  I even got my first boyfriend.  I think he turned out to be gay, but whatever.  If I was going to look like a dude, at least he reassured me that I looked like an attractive dude.

The important point is, I made it.  I survived the catastrophic ugliness that once shrouded my future in uncertainty.  And I learned an important lesson about being mindful of the consequences of my actions.  
Kind of.

Okay, so here it is in all of its blurry, hairless, dog-presenting glory:

P.S.  I think my dog (who was usually a morbidly obese chunk of pure disobedience) won that ribbon only because the judges thought I was a cancer patient.  After the competition, my mom overheard them talking about the "poor girl with no hair... what do you think she has?  Do you think it's terminal?"

My mom interrupted them and said "you must be talking about my daughter.  She did it on purpose.  There's nothing wrong with her physically."

I like how she included the word "physically" to insinuate that yes, there may be something wrong with me mentally but I definitely didn't have cancer  :)

I Am Destroyer


I just wanted a cup of tea.  How could I have known that this simple desire would lead to such utter chaos and destruction?

I was staying with a friend's parents while traveling in Oregon.  They were kind enough to feed me dinner AND dessert.  They cheerfully complied with all of my food-allergy demands.  They let me sleep on their vintage leather sofa without a protective bed-sheet underneath my filthy, drooling head.  And I destroyed their home.

I knew that I had to leave very early the next morning.  I would need caffeine.  I should have just gone to a gas station, but I didn't.   That night, I asked my hosts if I could brew some tea before I left in the morning.  My friend's mother showed me how to work the immaculately crafted and expensive-looking marble stove.  There was a teapot sitting inconspicuously on the counter.  I assumed that it was the vessel in which I was to heat my water.   Seeing no further need for clarification, I bid my warm and friendly hosts goodnight.


4:00 AM:  My cell phone heralded that fateful day with a salsa-inspired ringtone.  I groggily shuffled into the kitchen, turned on the stove and placed the teapot upon the right rear burner.   I didn't turn on a light because I wanted to be as unobtrusive as possible.  I sat down at the kitchen table, waiting for the telltale whistle of my boiling water.

It was about 4:07 when I first noticed the smell.

My sleepy brain slowly began to realize that there was something wrong.  "Burning plastic is not a normal household smell..." it thought to itself.

I got up to investigate the source of this noxious odor, thinking that maybe the oven had just been cleaned and I accidentally turned it on instead of the stove.  Oven cleaner can sometimes smell like burning plastic.

When I got closer to the stove, my theory about the oven cleaner was thoroughly debunked based purely upon the raw strength of the smell.  This was no ordinary scent.  Something epic had occurred to produce this vile trespass upon my nasal passages.

I probably should have turned on a light, but I didn't want to alert my hosts to the presently unidentified disaster in their kitchen.  I figured that I would identify the disaster, act quickly to control the problem and clean up any evidence before I went merrily on my way with no one the wiser.

Except that's not how it happened.  Because I didn't turn on the light, I had to rely on my sense of smell to locate the source of the problem.  Unsurprisingly, it turned out to be the teapot.

"Oh," I thought, "it must be a new teapot.   Maybe they didn't take off the price sticker and now it is burning."

If only that were the case.

I went to grab the teapot off the stove.   When I lifted it up, a plume of chemical vapors erupted into the air.  At this point, I was thoroughly confused.   What the hell?  Why was this happening?  I was starting to panic.

I turned off the stove and poured water on the chemical-spewing teapot because I figured that the problem was most likely burning-related and water fixes burning.  I thought I had the problem solved.

When the cloud of toxic fumes responded by growing in magnitude, I began to grasp the severity of the situation.

The adrenaline coursing through my veins finally succeeded in waking up my brain.  I opened the microwave to cast some unobtrusive light upon my predicament.


Holy sh*t.  Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.

The teapot had been reduced to a smoldering lump which was presently oozing outward in all directions, destroying everything in its path.

I picked up what used to be the teapot by its cord and threw it in the sink.  If you were paying attention, you may have noticed that I said "cord."  The teapot was not meant for stovetop use.  It was a plastic plug-in teapot.  "Was" being the operant word.

I don't know what this f**king demon of a teapot was made out of, but whatever it was, it had a remarkable capacity to keep burning despite my best efforts to put it out.  Also, adding water seemed to simply exacerbate the gaseous cloud that was beginning to form in the kitchen.

I took the object formerly recognized as a teapot outside.

By the day's first light, I could finally see the consequences of my actions clearly.   The charred relic of a teapot dangled limply by its mangled cord, winding in and winding out on itself as if it was shaking its head disapprovingly, saying "look what you did!"

I set it in the grass and hurried back inside.   I opened all the doors and windows.  I turned on the fan.   I quietly closed the door to my hosts' bedroom.

I could then turn on the light (why hadn't I done this earlier??)

I died a little inside when I saw that the previously immaculate stove was covered in a tarry, bubbling layer of super-plastic.  I stood, eyes transfixed on the spectacle before me, contemplating my escape options.


I could leave right then and let them try to figure out what happened.

I could tie myself to a chair and pretend that marauding anti-teapot extremists had ravaged the now-defunct piece of kitchenware as I watched helplessly.

I began frantically searching the kitchen for an answer.  I found a spatula.  I used the spatula to scrape off the worst of the mess.  It didn't really work.   I just destroyed the spatula too.

Applying my knowledge of chemistry, I began rifling through the bathroom drawers, looking for something that would dissolve plastic.  nail-polish remover!  Acetone will dissolve plastic, or at least loosen its grip on other substances.

I took the nail-polish remover into the kitchen and applied abundant amounts of it to the charred remains of the teapot.  (I don't even want to know what kind of damage my lungs were suffering form all these noxious vapors.)

It actually worked fairly well.  The stovetop was devoid of any stuck-on plastic.  If I tilted my head just right, I couldn't even tell that it was irreparably damaged.

I cleaned up the rest of my mess, and packed my things.


It was a Saturday, so I felt even less keen about waking up the proprietors of the household I had so nearly destroyed.

I opted to leave a note:

"Dear J_____ and J_______:

First of all, thank you for opening your home to me.  I truly appreciate your hospitality.  I am sure you are wondering what that smell is.  I regret to inform you that your teapot has perished at my hand.   I didn't realize it was an electric teapot and I put it on the stove.  I googled "burning plastic fumes" and, luckily, you guys should be okay as long as you don't get a really bad headache or start throwing up.   If you do, go to the doctor immediately.  I tried to clean up the stove.  I had to use nail-polish remover to get the plastic off, so that is why your entire house smells like acetone.  Don't worry, it'll burn right off when you turn on the stove again.  The remains of the teapot are out back, airing out.  I checked to make sure it hadn't set  your yard on fire before I left.  Enclosed, please find $20.  I know that the damage I have caused to your stove is far more costly than this meager amount could ever hope to atone for, but it is all I have.  It should at least be enough to buy another teapot.  I have some stuff that I could sell, so I should be able to pay you back in full at some point.  Once again, thank you for your hospitality and I am sorry that I destroyed your teapot and stove.  Please forgive me.  




My friend's parents are wonderful people with a good sense of humor.  They said that they understood, and his mother actually blamed herself for not telling me where the real teapot was.  She said she was impressed with my ingenuity in regard to cleaning up after myself.  Sadly, all the ingenuity in the world cannot make up for a total lack of foresight.