Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nice work if you can get it. And if you get it - won't you tell me how?

Picture-whore that I am, I tend to leave my camera at home and rely on my phone to capture the points of hilarity that seemingly abound in this crazy place. I was just cleaning off my phone and discovered some moments of late I had failed to share.

Now, I really do need to get a "real" picture of this.

I cannot figure out WHY anyone is paying actual money to run this campaign. There's no fine print anywhere. No company name, no nothing. The ad is exactly what it appears to be in this extraordinarily bad picture - a poster advertising pills you take to turn into Kanye. (And these ads are ALL OVER the subways, too.) If some poor little rich kid is just looking for a way to burn through a stack of cash and have a chuckle, I'd be glad to help think of some much funnier, better ways.

And because I like to make fun of terrible word choices...

...why did no one point out that "Liquid All" may have been a better choice? Man. I should have gone on a beer run and argued that the sign outside said "All Liquid" and that beer is in fact a liquid. Smartypants.


This is no aisle view of Hot Topic. Nope. Just my friendly neighborhood Duane Reade. Helping me dye my hoo-ha.

Also, Elizabeth chopped all my hair off yesterday.

It would look cuter had I not had to haul my cute self on and off of 3 trains and then walk an additional 15 blocks before finding a way into Manhattan this morning. Ah, public transportation. I pretty much hate you. The silly part is that just yesterday, I was giving the F train an imaginary pat on the back for more frequent, less crowded trains.

Speaking of train-wrecks, I'm seeing A Tale of Two Cities: The Musical tonight.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Obla-di-obla-da life goes on brah! lala how the life goes on.

I mean, I don't even know how I could even entertain the notion of leaving a city in which parties like this take place.

Last night was the perfect cap to an absolutely chaotic and ridiculous week. And as a result, I have done little but sit on my butt and giggle today.

Friday, August 22, 2008

You're everything I think I need, here on the ground

An excerpt from my personal journal:

Set me free.
Leave me be.
I don't want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am.
And I stand so tall, just the way I am supposed to be.
(Sara Bareilles)

...I currently have no gravity. I belong to nothing and no one. For the first time in my life, no one holds my heart but me. I don't mind, but I'm learning it's quite the tremendous weight to bear. Who knew?

Tonight, I stood in front of the mirror in naught but the slip that I (willingly) wore under my dress. I washed my face with cold cream instead of clearasil, because I'm noting it needs the moisture nowadays. I giggled at the grey hairs that I will no longer try to cover. Somewhere, I believe I finally left girl and found woman. But I didn't notice until tonight.

Two days ago, I was panicking at my lack of gravity. I've now found it, and it's got me centered in New York for the time being. While grappling with the concept that I might not be moving to Charlotte anytime soon, it's become apparent that I'm responsible for turning out of my own tailspin and landing safely, here on the ground. And I've had to face the difficult fact that I seemingly hit "pause" on my own life when I moved to New York and only ever viewed this time as a brief intermission. Maybe it's time to resume play and admit that my life might actually be happening. Here. On the ground.

It's been a long week. Lots of changes, y'all.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Twiddle-dee-dee, twiddle-dee-dum, Look out baby, cause here I come...

...or Hey, remember that time I auditioned for American Idol?, Part deux.

2:30AM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
Alarms start ringing. Sure, Irene and I are excited, but no one is excited to wake up THAT early. There's a lot of shuffling around and spraying of hairspray and general grunting. Irene is brave enough to apply makeup, but I know better than to try and correctly apply eyeliner before the sun is up.

4AM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
Bags packed and we're ready to go! See?

4:30AM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
After some very excellent streets of NYC navigating a la moi, thankyouverymuch, we arrive at Port Authority to collect our new friends. I have to say - I grew to LOVE these two and cannot now imagine the experience without them.

5AM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
We arrive, just as we're told. And sit in traffic for an hour and a half. But that's ok! The Fab Four takes this time to sing, chat, and really get to know one another. So. We're completely content.

6:30AM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
OUT OF THE CAR! DOWN TO GATE A! And the scene you can imagine is pretty much exactly what you expect. Like a cracked out, hyped up version of the cafeteria scenes from Fame, there are groups of people singing, dancing, showing off, and doing whatever it takes to capture the attention of the cameras milling around. It's hilarious and I cannot stop smiling.

8:15AM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
Doors open! In we rush! (Which is a little ridiculous, seeing how seats are already assigned, but whatevs.) One of the producers proceeds to warm us up and "teach" us the songs we are to sing for the crowd shots. The next two hours are spent screaming for the camera, waving for the camera, jumping up and down for the camera, chanting for the camera, and singing for the camera. I have to say, to get 20,000 people to sing together in an auditorium was a major feat. We done good.

Somehow, I doubt this view will make it onto tv.

Oh! And Jordin Sparks came! But did not sing! But whatever, baby got back, and I like that.

And then, some guy came out and proposed to his Baby Mama. (No, seriously. Kids in tow.) I noticed she made it through to the next round - wonder if she can actually sing.

11AM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
Finally, done singing Get Ready and Hit Me With Your Best Shot. As the production team, sets the stage, I decide to head for the bathroom. Apparently, so did everyone else.

At this point, another producer comes out and explains the process. 12 booths line the floor, each with at least one producer, some with two. Other producers float by as they hear good things. You sing, one at a time, in groups of four. You may be asked to sing something different. You will then either move to a holding room which starts the next round of auditions, or you will be dismissed. You will have your wristband cut off and make your way to the "non-winners" exit. (Because on American Idol, there are no losers.) Once out, you cannot gain access back in.
And if you make it, you will have another couple rounds of auditions with executive producers before you ever see the likes of Simon, Paula, and Randy.

11:30AM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
AND WE'RE OFF! The first two groups were contest winners from local affiliate stations. Damn. They were good. They were BRILLIANT and only a couple made it through. This is seriously cut-throat, y'all!

1PM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
The "I'll do anything to get on tv" ridiculousness begins.

Snow White came.

Snow White went.

Seacrest In! And Out!

3PM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
Apparently, a hot guy in a speedo still makes for good tv.

4PM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
Good Lord, costume ignored, this girl's mouth is HUGE.

5PM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
We're getting close. And antsy. At this point, we've all been sitting and watching some gross cries for attention make their way to the next round while some abundantly talented, gorgeous, and authentic people have been sent for the "non-winners" exit. It's so intimidating that I can't even begin to put it all into words. I decided to attend the audition for the fun and experience of it all. But then you get there and you start to think "what if I can do this?" And frankly, I wouldn't have even tried if a piece of me didn't think I had it in me. So I'm there, trying to not get bogged down in the negative energy that comes with watching amazing people get dismissed. It's not about them. It's about me, and what I can bring to the table.

Also, I'm officially in love with this guy.

Also, FOR THE LOVE, PEOPLE, STOP SINGING WHITNEY HOUSTON'S I HAVE NOTHING. I swear to you, 1 out of every 10 people sang this song.

7PM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
My group is finally up. After the Fab Four has one final run through for one another, we all get into our seats and begin to make our way down to the auditions. For all the hours I spent waiting, this portion seemed to take no time at all.

7:30PM, Tuesday August 19, 2008
I'm up. I take my place in front of my producer. I give him good eye contact, smile my best smile, remember proper breathing, and just sing. Not hard, not fast, not loud, not overdone. Just my voice. Out in the world, and right to him.

And I don't make it to the next round. But you know what? I did well. I wouldn't have changed a thing about my performance. So if I wasn't right being Alison just as she is, then I can live with that.

(There's more to the story, but for now I must get to my real world job. That's the funny thing about all this. Some people complain that dreams get in the way of life. I think that life gets in the way of dreams. But that's ok. That's life.)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

All I want is to rock your soul...

...or, Hey, remember that time I auditioned for American Idol?, Part One.

4PM, Sunday August 17, 2008
I meet Elizabeth at Port Authority. We head to Information to try and figure out how to get out to the Meadowlands. (Side note - in 2 years of living here, today is the first day I have cursed not having a car.) Crabby Information Lady sends us "next door" (Elizabeth: "I didn't know there was a next door") where we encounter Slightly Less Crabby Information Lady who sends us to Windows 1-10 where Window One Lady is helpful and not very crabby at all. To the bus!

We board and make it safely to New Jersey in no time flat. I'm excited. Elizabeth still can't figure out why she agreed to this.

5PM, Sunday August 17, 2008
Well. We're here. And I'm thinking the screaming throngs of people heading into the stadium wearing football jerseys MIGHT ACTUALLY BE GOING TO THE GAME. Where's the registration? Oh? All the way around the stadium and through the scary tunnel? No biggie!

(Scary tunnel.)

(Scary tunnel, and half the couple that followed us in.)

5:15PM, Sunday August 18, 2008
I hope I get it!

Ok. Made it. Through the big red doors marked "American Idol Registration."

And inside! To a crowd one. Apparently, all the crazies arrived early this morning, got their bracelets, and left. The rest will turn up tomorrow. So no insanity to report just yet, but I do have high hopes in the days to come. But I have my seat ticket and my wristband and that's what's important. See?

Elizabeth is STILL not amused.

5:30PM, Sunday August 17, 2008
We begin the trek back around the stadium. Trouble is, we don't know where to go to get the bus, and no one else seems to know either. All I do know is that if we're not on the 6:14 bus, we'll be waiting until 7:14 and that doesn't sound like so much fun.

5:40PM, Sunday August 17, 2008
Still walking.

5:50PM, Sunday August 18th, 2008
Yup. Still walking.

6PM, Sunday August 18, 2008
We make it with 14 minutes to spare! It's mighty hot and we're thirsty.

6:20PM, Sunday August 18, 2008
No bus.

6:30PM, Sunday August 18, 2008
Still no bus

6:45PM, Sunday August 18, 2008
Still no bus. But we've made new friends! One was very quick to inform us he made it to Hollywood in Season 3. The other equally quickly piped in that she's a professional singer who splits her time between 3 bands and hosting a karaoke...thing. Elizabeth wastes no time in informing them she's not there to audition and just needed another excuse to laugh at me. And I...well. I make 'em laugh.

7PM, Sunday August 18, 2008
Bus arrives! And it's full! So we stand in the aisle and piss off all the people just wanting to return to the City after their relaxing weekend at the Shore and regale anyone in earshot with our tales. Our Season 3 Veteran talks us through his journey in the audition process and to Hollywood. Turns out, he was a young child of 16 and now wishes to return an older, wiser 21 year old. Sheesh. I feel ancient. But it's good to hear his take and be braced in what to expect. This entire process is going to be about luck and looks. Singing well won't hurt, either, but it's a clear and easy third.

And it's hilarious that I want this, more than I've wanted most other things in this world. Weirder still that I don't hear the nagging in my head that I usually hear leading into an audition. I guess I just understand that this whole thing is almost entirely out of my hands.

Call it grace, call it luck, call it good vibes, call it prayers, call it what you will...but whatever you got, could you please send some my way on Tuesday?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Everywhere you go, you shout it. You don't have to be shy about it.

Dear Faithful Readers,

I've been blogging at this here blogspot for 8 months now. In that time, I realize I have gathered quite the audience of close friends, acquaintances, and strangers across the globe. You've all been very kind in putting up with my babble, stroking my delicate ego, and assuring me I am in fact amusing. And I have tried my hardest to never disappoint as I bring you my bad days, my gripes, my realizations and revelations, my stories, my heart and my hopes. So far, I've told the tales of being a 20-something in a complicated city and have regaled you with my thoughts on: androgyny, tourists, birthdays, love, drunken stumbles, baseball, football, ugly (funny) cakes, American Idol, John Krasinski, the current state of Broadway, grocery shopping, beer, wine, hot wasabi peas, dramatic subway rides, Manolo Blahniks, terrible puns, sweet tea, auditioning, fashion, knee socks, and goodness knows what else. Oh! And let's never forget that time I wrote an ENTIRE BLOG ABOUT A MAN'S ASS.

Suffice it to say, I don't think there are many secrets between us. Which is why telling you what I'm about to tell you is kind of a big deal. I have a feeling that this post is going to push you from "Alison? Yeah, she's a little bit crazy" straight on into "Call the men in the nice white coats, tell them to bring the straight jacket and sedatives, that girl done lost her damn mind!"


I am going to audition for American Idol on Tuesday.

Seriously. I mean, come on. I've been talking about it since sophomore year after Lori and I 'bout stomped a hole in her floor and deafened the entire campus with our shrieks upon Kelly Clarkson's coronation. I'm getting mighty close to that whole 28 years old cutoff. I'm never again going to be in a position where I'll live in the same city as the audition AND have a weekday off AND have a friend who also wants to go. And I mean, wasn't moving to New York all about taking risks and doing things I can do nowhere else anyway?
See, this all started when my friend Irene asked if she could crash while in town for the audition. I told myself if I had Tuesday off, I would go. If I was meant to audition, I would have the day off. But that's silly. Destiny and proper star alignment are for the big things, like love and really good finds at the thrift store. This kind of stuff I'll just have to take care of on my own. So I asked for the day off.

I then asked my friend Elizabeth if she would please please please please please go with me to get my armband on Sunday. When she said of course, I told her I loved her for putting up with my insanity. She responded "I love you for knowing I will."

I know I'm not the best singer, but I'm a damn good performer. I could do this. Or, I could just have another really funny story to add to my rapidly expanding collection. My father would call this a "win-win situation." I think I will, too.


P.S. Any song suggestions? I'm at a loss.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's a goooood life. A gooood life. A gooood night, to be alive.

Sometimes, my job is really super extra rough on me. I mean, it's pretty much a requirement that in my free time I need to check out restaurants and neighborhoods and attend shows and go out to clubs and have fun. Sigh. I mean, I guess if I HAVE to.

Saturday night has since been labeled as "Concierges Gone Wild." Adrian, Megan and I took it upon ourselves to head out to a club, all for the good of our job and comfort of our guests.

We are so, so very selfless. True story.

Now. I am NOT a club girl. As a rule, I refuse to lower my standards to give business to places that won't allow me to wear flip flops. I am a football game at a sports bar with cheap beer kind of girl. But whatever. I had some $10 hot pink shoes that were itching to get out onto the New York streets. And it's fun to go shake what my mama gave me (is that how the saying goes?) every now and again. But shhhh. Don't tell anyone I had a good time - it'll ruin my rep.

When you're at a posh night club, you should definitely be sure to do the following things:

Take silly pictures.

Sprinkle in some America's Next Top Model practice.

Be as ridiculously good looking as humanly possible.

(Or at least sit next to people who are so that their beauty will reflect onto you a little bit.)

Woo people with your amazing eyebrow abilities.

Oh yeah! And DANCE!

(until you're reduced to a hot and sweaty mess.)

And finally, hop in a cab. And be happy.

And exhausted.