death of a salesman.

4 05 2012

let’s be clear: i am a terrible sales person.

when i was in 2nd grade, i quit girl scouts because i didn’t like being forced to sell cookies. in 5th grade, i quit trick or treating because it felt too much like solicitation. despite the fact that everyone loves girl scout cookies, and virtually every person in america has a bowl of candy at the ready on halloween, i couldn’t shake the dirtiness of asking someone to give me something- or worse, BUY SOMETHING!

it’s kind of my worst non-dismemberment related fear. like twitchy cold sweat vomit grade fear.

so here we are at IKEA bus time again, and we have 27 people signed up for a bus that holds 50. and on the inside, i’m all like OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT. but then again, i don’t actually want to ask anyone to to buy a ticket. or flood my facebook and twitter feeds with plugs for my little project. so i’m sort of at a stalemate.

so my decision was to try and overcome my fear in the least invasive and annoying way i could think of- a short and to the point blog post. just one more before i give up, pat myself on the back, and say “hey, 27 people is still pretty sweet. you’re gonna have a kick ass time”.

so here it is. Read the rest of this entry »

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monday pickthrough- balls in the air edition.

21 03 2011

sorry for slacking this weekend. it never ceases to amaze me how much energy performance sucks out of me. 3 shows and a lot of sleep, and not room for much else. on sunday morning, i was planning on going in to work, went upstairs to change clothes… and accidentally ended up taking a 3 hour nap.

so yeah, not much blogging. but only one more weekend and i’m free! except for the part where i’ll be really sad not to be doing it anymore. but, i’m am excited to have time to write and sleep again. plus, i’ve gotta work that ikea bus shit hard- AND i have a pretty exciting announcement coming up later this week about a collaborative project that i’ve been working on with some very sexy local fashion bloggers.

but i’ve already said too much.

for now, make some jokes about balls in the air, and enjoy these trivial tidbits. Read the rest of this entry »





portland’s greatest hits.

3 11 2010

remember that time i posted about all the things in portland that have been going out of business lately, and how bummed out about it i am? well, i’m still bummed out about it (north star- nooooooooo!), but i’m willing to let  it go… as long as the following 5 businesses promise me (blood may be required to seal the deal), that they will always be here. ALWAYS.

now, i didn’t just go for places that are fancy or popular. in fact, many of my favorites didn’t make the list (i’m sorry caiola’s and rosemont market, there just isn’t room for everyone!). i wanted places that were iconic, and integral to the structure that makes portland porltand. do you remember when jennifer grey got that nose job, and then she looked like nobody anymore and we all forgot about her? that’s what would happen to portland if these businesses went away. i’m THAT SERIOUS.

in no particular order…

1. material objects: first of all, we are extremely lucky that there are a lot of great consignment shops in this town, especially now that shit is going down with the economy. but material objects is the king of them all. i love that it still looks exactly like the 90s in there. i also love the fact that pretty much everything in the store is less than $20. friendly, unpretentious, and always stuffed full of dirt cheap fashiony goodness. love.

2. paul’s food center: ok, totally shifty- i would probably/definitely never buy produce there… but there’s just something about a sketchy independent grocery store plopped in the middle of town that warms my heart. it feels like the land before time in there, but with more drunks.

3. bill’s pizza: hub for late night wasted snackage, this is another kind of gross one for the list. their pizza isn’t very good (so salty), and kind of pricey (for a single slice of kind of shitty pizza), but they have beer and orange soda on tap, and if you’re lucky, you can hear drunk people having sex in the bathroom.

4. videoport: as a complete netflix whore, one wouldn’t figure that i’d be singing high praises to a video store,  but videoport feels like home. probably because it consistently employs the very best people in town, and last time i checked, netfilix didn’t have an “incredibly strange” section. it’s a cinematic archeological dig in there. i don’t care if all video is going online, videoport needs to stay open FOREVER. are you listening dennis?

5. yes books: YES. BOOKS. everywhere. piled into corners and on the floor. dusty and disorganized, like a vaguely alphabetical treasure hunt. i love the musty used book smell and the ornery owner. to me, it’s portland’s own tiny musty version of the embryo concepts bookstore from funny face.

honorable mentions: the eastland park hotel, geno’s, old port candy, and ferdinand.

what local landmarks do you refuse to live without (you don’t even have to live in portland)?





where did this pig come from?

5 09 2010

well, my vacation has finally come to an end. it’s sort of sad, but saying goodbye to the steady diet of bread and cheese (not a lot of vegetarian options in piscataquis county) and lifetime network was an absolute necessity. so i finally dock my bloated ass back in portland, and i’m unpacking all of my various jazz… and this pig rolls out. well, this plastic replica of an antique hog shaped  pin cushion, and its accompanying receipt for $8.99.

um… what? was i on pills or something?

nope. no pills, no demon possessions, no being held at gunpoint… no, something far more sinister was at work here: RETAIL AWKWARDNESS.

on the long ride home from greenville, we made multiple stops at antique malls, thrift stores, and junk shops, all of which turned out to be a bust.  we must have done the 2 minute tour of disappointment at least 7 or 8 times, slipping out the side doors while other customers distracted the shopkeepers from our lack of buying. in and out like some sort of dirty double entendre that i’m too tired to make right now. but somewhere near abbot (maine’s #1 town- at least alphabetically), we stopped into a tiny little antique shop and everything changed.

despite what it declared on the exterior signage, it was really more or a junk shop than anything. a combination of crappy reproductions, aging craft projects, and other dusty sub-garage sale knickknacks. about 30 seconds indicated that it was time to leave, but one unfortunate feature of this store was a large rascal-bound elderly proprietor sitting right next to the front door. oh, and no other customers. at one point i heard a door slam and thought that i might be saved by the distraction of other incoming suckers, but it was only the equally elderly husband of the proprietor, coming in to hover in another part of the shop. there was no escape!

maybe it’s just me, but sometimes when i’m in a kind of depressing store that i can tell isn’t weathering the economy very well, i am overcome with horrible guilt for not buying anything. even when the merchandise is utter (often utterly overpriced) garbage, i still somehow find myself looking harder, digging deeper into bins, trying to find anything that might be worthy bringing home. when the sad eyed shopkeeper is there to stare me down (on a rascal, by the front door no less!), i am powerless. it’s almost like i’m paying a price of the trinket to escape the awkward sadness.

when i saw the pig pincushion sitting on the shelf, i saw my ticket to get out of that store sans bad feelings.  am i the only crazy person who does this? furthermore, is anyone out there in the market for a pig pincushion?





an open letter to concord trailways.

9 08 2010

dear concord trailways:

back in my college days, i rode the greyhound with reckless abandon. so what if it had dirty pay toilets, and if i couldn’t get on the bus without some sketchy dude giving me his phone number.  2 hours smashed up against a window with an overly chatty seatmate whose only carry on luggage was a cardboard sign- NO PROBLEM (true story). guy across the aisle trying to look down my top while suggestively rubbing his groin area- CAKE (double true story). hey, is that a LIVE RABBIT in your tote bag? YOU BET (seriously, the greyhound is NUTS). when i was 19, it seemed like par for the course to spend my bus hours sweatily clutching a snapple bottle that i could smash against the window and cut anyone who tried to touch me. greyhound and i were old friends.

but somewhere along the way… maybe around the time i got my own apartment and could no longer wear my sweatpants to work… i found you concord trailways. with your spotless and airportlike bus terminal, free donuts and juice, and in-flight movie, greyhound was a mere smelly and uncomfortable memory. and it is that undying love and respect that i have for you now (there is no other bus in my mind), that brings me here to talk to you today. concord trailways, i have an AMAZING IDEA, but i can’t do it without you.

last week, my twitter friends @badlerory77 and @drwhogirl and i were having a little chat about going to ikea. unfortunately, the closest ikea is 127 miles away. it’s tough for portlanders. many of us don’t have cars at all, and for those of us that do have cars, most are not large enough to carry a billy bookcase home without 78 bungee cords and a lot of fervent prayer. this is where you come in, with your roomy cargo compartments and plush seats…

what if a couple times a month, you took us all on a trip to ikea? picture it- a sunny saturday morning, we could have snacks and watch a movie and finally all get a chance to load up on lingonberry jam and particle board furniture.  it would be the perfect combination of fun and convenience, all wrapped up in the solidarity of people who want good design but can’t afford to pay for it. all i’m saying is that i think it could really be brilliant, and i really want you to be a part of it.

you don’t have to answer right away, but promise me you’ll think about it. we’ve been together a long time… i think you owe me that much.

love forever,

allie.