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October 22, 2007

Can't. Make. Decisions.

How hard is it to make a simple decision, on a simple product, like a bed?  ARGHHHHHHH SO FREAKING HARDDDDDD.

I can't decide between the following beds:

A) queen size canopy from Pottery Barn Teen


-or-

B) king size canopy from Room & Board (the bed I have now, except I would have to rebuy it, since the ex is keeping the old one?)

The considerations include:
- My mom labels the first choice "a princess bed" which is "going in the wrong direction," and indicates my refusal to grow up (I've had to live in a grown up brown and beige apartment for the last two years!  I want to revert to childhood!!  I want white and pink!)
- I want a king size bed, but A) the first bed doesn't come in a king and B) the room is pretty freaking small for a king
- Is it ridiculous to buy a canopy bed to go in such a small apartment?
- Bed A is $600 less than Bed B.
- Note that the top bed has a footboard, which might close off the small space even more.  But, oh, I love that bed!  I haven't seen it in person, though ...

UPDATE: I've been informed that a canopy bed in such a small space (12 x 14) is insanity.  Okay ... so what about this bed, below?  Although I'm really devastated that my princess fantasy can't come to life.  I don't think I would've picked the apartment if I had thought I couldn't have a canopy bed!  Yeah, yeah, I know that sounds like I'm 7 and I refuse to take off my Disney Cinderella tutu or whatever, but you know what?  I've always wanted to go full out girly and never had a chance.  So I don't see what the problem is.  (Defensive much, right?)

Sigh.

Julia Allison: have you heard of flowers?
Jakob: the band?

October 21, 2007

Google Me Not.

I'm going on a date with a *new* guy on Wednesday, and I practically begged him not to google me.  "It'll be post-post modern!  A REAL blind date!" I insisted, hoping the tiniest bit of desperation didn't creep into my voice.  I just want, for once, the kind of date I used to have ... the kind where I didn't have to spend the evening explaining various humiliating blog posts, and the guy didn't think he needed to bring an NDA ... you know, just in case.  Ah, memories.

Do you think he'll listen??  Are you reading this now, Mister?  You're in trouble if you are!

Ugh, sometimes I think I should just change my name to Julia Goolia and start anew.

PS. In case any of my regular blog readers are confused, I am very much a free agent, as it were.  It's hard to pin me down ;)

October 19, 2007

strange.

I was going to go to sleep early tonight (under the covers at 10:30 - a RECORD), but something prompted me to get up and turn on my laptop.  And then I glanced over at my phone, on silent (it's always on silent), and I saw a number which hadn't called me in five months ...

He always said he would call when I finally moved out of my old boyfriend's place, and he had seen the Vimeo video I shot - as an odd coincidence, I was wearing the emerald earrings he gave me last Christmas.  I guess that's what prompted him to call.

It was so weird to hear his voice.  But what was even more odd was that I didn't feel ... the way I thought I would.  I was so angry and hurt when he stopped speaking to me, but god, now I'm incredibly glad he did.  It was the only way to really move on.  I mean, I care about him, I always will.  I still think about him.  But I'm pretty happy right now, and despite my continuing commitment-phobia, I'm enjoying my current love life.

I used to think that when I felt emotions about men while I was in relationships, that was the way things were and they would always be that way - because I felt them so strongly!  They HAD to be true!  I was CONVINCED I would marry A--.  Then I was CONVINCED I would marry M---.  And now?  I'm no longer convinced of anything.  (For the record, those are the only two men I've ever considered marrying.  And yeah, neither are my ex-fiance.  The irony does not escape me.)

I can't decide if the realization that it's difficult to trust yourself or your feelings in love is frightening and sort of depressing, or if it's empowering and sort of a relief.  Maybe a little of both.  I think the end result is that I'm more likely to enjoy the moments of falling and being in love, because I know they're ephemeral ... you might as well savor them while you can, right?

October 11, 2007

Lilly/Marshmallow 5 minutes ago


She doesn't seem at all perturbed by the HORRIBLE, RELENTLESS, MIGRAINE INDUCING, NOISE-ATROCITY that is the EVIL JACKHAMMERS outside my apartment, throwing me into a homicidal rage at 7:45 EVERY GODDAMN MORNING.  I've tried earplugs.  I've tried music.  I've tried overdosing on Advil.  NOTHING WORKS.  I am going to try another city if they don't GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE SOON.

October 02, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad!


Dad with me, circa 1983.

In honor of his birthday, I'm reprinting the below column, which I wrote in honor of my Dad on Father's Day 2006.  Happy Birthday Dad!  I love you.

THIRTEEN SIMPLE RULES FOR DEALING WITH MY DAD
AM NEW YORK – “THE DATING LIFE”
JUNE 19, 2006
BY JULIA ALLISON

My father is not big or tall. He does not own shotguns. And he has never threatened to murder any of my boyfriends with his bare hands.

He doesn’t need bare hands – he’s a lawyer.  He cross-examines them to death.

Most past beaus haven’t survived his withering interrogatives.

There was Greg, who often reeked of cannabis: “You do realize that pot is illegal in this country, correct?”  There was Jeff, who didn’t believe in going to class: “Would you say failing out of college indicates you don’t take your studies very seriously?”   There was James, who was superbly talented at drinking copious amounts of vodka: “How many alcoholic beverages, on average, do you consume in a given week?”

There was Dan, who nearly had a heart attack every time my father would interrupt one of our interminable high school make out sessions by pounding on my bedroom door and bellowing, “Are you studying physics? Just remember the first law: Bodies in Motion Stay in Motion!”  I’m still mortified.

Even The Current Boyfriend had a rough start.  After interrogating Boyfriend about his “intentions,” my dad pounced: “I understand you’re ‘divorced’ – would you happen to have a copy of the documentation? And exactly how old are you again?”

I’ve always told my boyfriends to “just be themselves” when they meet my dad.  I’ve always been a moron.

My new plan is this: No more being yourselves, unless “yourselves” is perfect.  Instead, all boyfriends who interact with my paternal unit will have to adhere to the following – let’s just call them Thirteen Simple Rules So My Dad Won’t Refuse to Pay for the Wedding. (Or have you arrested.)

1) My father will ask you many questions.  You will look him in the eye when you answer, and you will ENUNCIATE.  Under no circumstances will you check your Blackberry during the conversation.

2) You will not attempt to touch, kiss or partially disrobe me within three miles of my father.  You will not slap any body part of mine unless it is my hand and I have initiated a high-five.  Most importantly, you are not interested in cohabitation or sex until marriage, and even then, only to procreate.  You love me only for my mind.  My body?  What body??

3) Whether or not you believe in God, you will not begin a debate on the merits of atheism or staunchly declare, “You know, Marx settled this question a long time ago.” You will go to church with my father and you will sing along with the hymns. If you’re Jewish, you will pretend that you considered your bar mitzvah a spiritual experience and not the most efficient way for a 13-year-old to separate his relatives from their cash.

4) Speaking of cash, upon seeing my father’s house/car/boat/lawn mower, you will not say “that is money.”  You will refrain from ruminating aloud about your Kanye West-induced fear of golddiggers.  And you will never, ever use the word “pimp,” or debate how hard it is to be one.  Instead, you will set your car radio to NPR and hum Beethoven’s Fifth.

5) When my father asks you about your college education, you will not look confused and say “Huh?”

6) You will eschew all frivolous and/or hedonistic activities, preferring yard work, vigorous exercise and paying bills promptly and in full.

7) You will brag about working 167-hour weeks to save for the expensive college educations of your unborn children.  You will find a way to work the terms “personal responsibility,” “family values” and “401k” into as many conversations as possible.  You will name-check your health insurance provider ("Whoops, just broke my leg.  Good thing I have a low deductible with Blue Cross!").

8) You will profess a great interest in attending law school, even if you are currently a model slash waiter who (until five minutes ago) thought that the LSAT stood for “Last Saturday.”

9) You will not admit to any “youthful indiscretions.”  You never had a youth, or if you did, it was spent reading ponderous books about Thomas Jefferson, working part-time jobs that taught you “the value of a dollar,” and discouraging girls from going wild.

10) You will bring my father a nice bottle of wine, but profess not to drink, “except for the occasional glass of red at dinner.”  You have never heard of keg stands and you do not know what “boot and rally” means.

11) You will google David McCullough and reference him repeatedly.  “According to David McCullough,” you’ll say, and then you’ll make something up. If you’re challenged, you’ll reply sagely, “Well, look at chapter 18 of ‘1776.’”  No one will bother.

12) Under no circumstances will you admit to any of the following: pedicures, strip clubs, credit card debt, binge drinking, threesomes, comprehensive knowledge of unemployment benefits, comprehensive knowledge of drug trafficking laws, road rage, not voting, voting for a Democrat, and exceptional familiarity with internet porn.

13) You will not repeatedly mumble, “This is just like ‘Meet the Fockers.’”

If all else fails, think “What Would Colin Farrell Do?” … then make the opposite decision.

Dad, doing the whole "getting older" thing


Dad Now, with Langdon as a puppy, circa 2004.

Today is my dad's god-knows-what birthday (somewhere in his late 50s), so I thought that I'd write a little "through my eyes" tribute (I did the same thing with my mom a few months ago).

My dad is quite a character - almost 100% oblivious to pop culture (he once asked me "who this 'Angelina' character was"), he speaks thoughtfully, methodically, in an organized and disciplined fashion.  On birthdays and holidays like Thanksgiving he likes to ask big, important questions, such as "What have you learned this year, Julia?"  except it comes out sounding more like: "So.  DRAMATIC PAUSE.  What.  have.  youLEARNED.  this. year.  Julia?"  And he expects you to have a SERIOUS and THOUGHTFUL answer to that question, with statistics, facts, and exhibits charting your progress, intellectually, academically, financially and spiritually.

He doesn't just believe in the Protestant work ethic - he IS the Protestant work ethic.  Vacations and sports have no appeal to him - in fact, they don't even exist as possibilities, although he's a huge fan of jogging on the beach and weekend couch naps.  When I first moved to New York and started going to the Hamptons with my then-boyfriend, he grew increasingly concerned that I was acting "like a hedonist."  "Well," I asked him, "What should I be doing on the weekends?"  His answer: "Working, running errands, vacuuming, grocery shopping, maybe doing some laundry." As if that were perfectly reasonable.  Sigh.

He's infamous in our family for his extreme thrift (cough cough, cheapness), but he's never carried a credit card balance and always paid for his cars in cash (which he then keeps for 15 years).  He would probably still be wearing suits from the 70s if he weren't sartorially saved by a combination of my mom goading him to actually spend some money already and then taking his credit card and doing it for him, and my 84-year-old grandmother obsessively buying him shirts and socks.  To this day.

He lives with my mother in the same Chicago suburb he grew up in, barely two miles from the high school he (and my brother and I) all attended.  Every Sunday, I get a voicemail from him, with a description of his usually brain-numbing weekends ("Your mother and I took the dog for a nice walk.  And after that we went to a kitchen sink expo.  Then we attended a town hall meeting!")  It's all very Garrison Keillor sweet, really.  Dad loves to run 5ks, but I'm fairly sure it's just to get the free tee-shirts.  He subscribes to Word-of-the-Day, and will frequently forward them on, with horrible puns attached.  He adores New Yorker cartoons, and mails out the ones he deems relevant, with the printed names crossed out and yours written in.  When my brother and I were younger, in order to receive our allowances, we had to submit Excel spreadsheets updated quarterly with our budgetary goals.

Conservative (but ostensibly a Rockefeller Republican), he inexplicably voted for Bush twice in a row.  The family's still mad at him for it, and further peeved that he never made use of being in the same law school class as the Clintons.  Truly a tragedy.  My father does not fear cancer or drunk driving accidents or nuclear holocaust or muggers toting glocks - my father fears LIABILITY.  My brother and I were lectured on the issue at least twice a month for years.

He is one of, if not the, most ethical human beings I know.  Still, he does not "believe" in waiting on hold or in lines.  Also, he is a terrible driver.

Despite the very lawyer-ly facade of "serious," Dad actually has a fairly well-developed, albeit at times painfully corny, sense of humor.  An insanely loyal Princeton alum, he can rattle off every classmate, their profession, their kids, and their kids' professions, within a 2000 mile radius, all while singing the fight song and wearing one of his innumerable little black & orange Tiger printed vestments.

He is gregarious, a consummate networker, and one of the best public speakers I have EVER seen.  It was always his intention to run for public office - he thought very seriously about joining the Illinois senatorial race back in 2003 (um, you know, the one some guy named Barack Obama won?), but my mom said "oh, HELL no!" and threatened him with divorce.  He made the right choice, a political life is no life at all.  Still, he's so good at distilling large & complex ideas that I've always encouraged him to be a law school professor ("doesn't make enough money!").  Oh well.  For now, I suppose, his lectures will stay confined to my brother and me.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  I love you!


Dad Then, circa 1979.

October 01, 2007

oh, and also

In the meantime, Mr. Apology and I are back on.  I'm satisfied.  He knows he can't screw up again, though, or I'm done, and for good.

Thank you to photographer Noah Kalina for these gorgeous shots, which were Jakob's idea.  I think he wanted proof.  hahah

Life update, more or less

I haven't been feeling well all day today, just a sore throat and general malaise, a bit of a fever and that same splitting headache from last week (the jackhammers were unrelenting all day, but I wasn't even feeling well enough to leave the house).  So of course Britney would pick today to lose custody of her kids.  She always does this to me.  WHY BRITNEY, WHY!?!?

I'm doing the Morning Show tomorrow, and most likely several spots on either CNN or MSNBC or Fox about Brit Brit.  I'll keep you updated.

Other stuff on my mind ... I'm moving soon, to 53rd and 9th, and I've been having second thoughts about the location - it seems so far away from everything.  I suppose it's all a matter of perspective, but I love the area I live in now (21st and 2nd) - I can walk to the Village in 5 minutes, Soho in 15, across to Chelsea in 10.  I'm moving to be closer to the studios (Fox is at 48th and 6th, CNN is in Time Warner at 59th and 8th and MSNBC will be moving to 30 Rock), but I wonder how smart a decision that is.  I mean, I already have pretty extreme stress-related issues AND quite a bit of trouble separating my work from my personal life.  Is it really smart to move to a place where the primary benefit is being able to get to work faster?  Not to mention that Leven now wants to live with me, and let me tell you, a studio that's 12 x 14 isn't going to hold all our combined shoes, let alone, you know, us.  But I've already submitted an application and put down a deposit ... I just want this settled!

September 25, 2007

this does not bode well ...

It's 11:17 am and I've ALREADY eaten a chocolate chip cookie.  In addition to the egg & cheese on a croissant I devoured at 11:13 am.  I sort of feel like ralphing, actually.  One shouldn't have that kind of food in the morning.  Or ever, really.

Okay, off to write up Star's SCOOPS of the week for FoxNews' stellar gossip show, Lips & Ears, and then to interview an astrologer for a feature I'm doing.  Later today I'll work on next week's Time Out column (on breakups!  surprise, surprise), and then I feel a nap is in order.  Finally, the Opera!

Update: I spoke too soon!  CNN called to do a live-to-tape segment on the sheer fabulousity of George Clooney.  So that, instead of an astrology and a nap, is what I'll be doing this afternoon.  You can check out the clip this evening on Showbiz Tonight, 11 pm.

September 16, 2007

Just wondering ...

When do you give up on someone you're dating?  Where's the line?  Not the first time he disappoints you, or even the second.  But what about the third, the fourth, the fifth?

I disappointed the last guy I loved constantly.  It wasn't intentional - I happened to be emotionally bereft at the time, I could barely function, let alone be conscious of another person's needs.  But I let him down again and again.  He gave me five months of chances, and then one day, he drew the line.  And that was it.  Done.

Sometimes I wish I had that kind of rigid self-discipline.  I've never been good at cutting things off ... I'm a benefit-of-the-doubt kinda girl.  But I'm in a place in my life where I just don't want to put up with bullshit (if you're asking "Is there ever a time in your life when you put up with bullshit?" the answer is HELL yes.  High school and college.)

The irony I can't get over is that I'm probably the least demanding, least needy, least high-maintenance I've ever been.  In fact, my baseline requirements for men I date are pretty freaking simple: do what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it, and be cognizant of how your behavior may affect my feelings.  In other words, just be considerate.  Seriously, is that really so damn difficult?

In my head I keep thinking "Wow.  I cannot believe he's fucking this up."

August 20, 2007

Finally, Scientific Vindication



For my inexplicable and incessant love of the color pink