Fatshion February Recap

First of all, the country is still bonkers and I am still struggling with how to be a sane person and stay informed. I read a lot of blogs myself, and I find myself annoyed with nearly all of them. There’s one food blog I read who recently posted a few politically-charged paragraphs, and I found myself rolling my eyes and thinking “Yeah yeah, get to the recipe” but then another one I love has said NOTHING about 45’s first month, and it enrages me. So, rest assured I care that the country is run by someone who LITERAL NAZIS support, but I will not go on and on about it because you already know and are similarly upset and we’re all agreeing to be frivolous for a few minutes together here. Deal? Super.

Last month was Fatshion February on many social media platforms–originally celebrated on Tumblr (or maybe even LiveJournal during the Fatshionista years?) and now I think people primarily post to Instagram. I’ve been partaking in posting for a few years now and I even met my best friend (WHO NOW LIVES HERE!!!!1!11!!1!!!) through the hashtag. I love seeing other peoples’ outfits, mostly because many other people wear terrible clothes (not YOU though, you are perfect). This year wasn’t that great, for me, because for some reason I don’t understand, a LOT of not-fat people post their outfits using that tag. Maybe they’re all body dysmorphic, but it feels like one of those attention-grabbing things insecure young people do; call themselves soooo fatttt so all their friends say “no ur not ur beautiful”. I still enjoy posting though, because I really like attention and I think I’m about at the max number of followers one can have before people start being mean. One time someone messaged me to say “Wow you are really large!” but I obviously wrote back to him and was like, “omg thank you! I’m actually considering a tattoo that says ‘SOME PIG’.”

The whole point of that, obviously, was to provide some background as to why I will be sharing a shitload of outfits all at one time, pretending it was on purpose, and not because I started this blog entry two weeks ago and now it’s an entirely different month. At all. Our house is mostly unpacked and decorated but we don’t have a desk yet, and for some reason I am really hung up on the idea that I’ll be a good blogger if I just have a real desk. But you see, shopping for a desk pretty much sucks. We’re not poor anymore, but the only levels of furniture appear to be Ikea and Rich People Shit, so I keep refreshing Overstock and hoping they’ll miraculously have a desk and chair that are fancy enough for me to want to sit in, but PH-balanced for a solidly middle-class-but-stingy person. Which is to say, maybe one day I will blog with regularity when I have a decent place to sit but for now I start on the couch, decide it’s not working, move to the kitchen, decide those chairs aren’t relaxing enough, move to the floor where the dogs bother me, and then I’m like “Netflix requires nothing of me but open eyeballs” and I give up. Also I have reached next-level bath nirvana with this combination: Lavender epsom bubble bath AND bath oil, a nice indica, The Great British Baking Show on the laptop (propped up on a folding step-stool), a huge glass of ice water, the butt heater on, aaaaand maybe a snack because even though I don’t know what half of those British desserts are, that show will still make me hungry. Also the bath tub = easy cleanup so there are really no downsides. Well except in the morning when Morning Alison has to drag Night Alison’s chocolate mousse spoon back upstairs. But still, #worthit.

Here are all 14 outfits I wore in February. I wasn’t nude the other half of the time but a few days’ photos weren’t good enough to post, and yeah okay, some days I don’t get dressed. If you would like to subscribe to that newsletter, it will be $99.95 per month.

For 2017 (which I guess is now 1/4 over somehow?) I would like to 1) Get a better camera than my iPhone (like say, an even newer iPhone), and 2) learn how to edit photos using a method other than Instagram. These appear to lose a lot of quality between my phone and the internet, and I need all the help I can get.

I have to go pick Zach up at the airport and then I have to have a huge panic attack about tomorrow. I’m going to visit a customer IN PERSON and tell them why their emails suck, and while I look forward to bossing them around I am also very scared of getting yelled at. I’m bringing doughnuts though, so they can’t yell at me while they’re chewing. Bye.


This week in a Facebook comment I said, “Being a person is real hard and practicing doesn’t even help!” and I still feel that so hard right now. My brain is so full that my head hurts, and so do many of my other organs. It feels [even more] shallow [than usual] to blog about clothes and food right now, but I’m not a politics journalist and my heart and head both hurt so much that I want to do something vapid and take my mind off of my outrage for a little while. I am not a great social justice warrior because I’m a lazy chickenshit and too scared to go to an actual protest, but for the record I have donated to both Planned Parenthood and the ACLU and encourage you to do the same. If you are anti-abortion then you are probably aware that birth control prevents not just live babies, but ALSO aborted ones so I bet you are a big fan of PP like I am. Now back to your regularly-scheduled fluff.

So hey, somehow it’s the end of January already! How do these things keep happening? If someone would have told me that time goes much faster when you’re old, whether or not you’re having fun, I probably wouldn’t have wasted so much time wishing I was a grownup. But here we are. I’m old and the world is bonkers, but for the time being we still have pizza, so let’s talk about that.

There is a spot here in the Couve that has been awarded the ultimate compliment by PDX Monthly, who says Rally Pizza gives Portlanders a reason to drive to Vancouver. I know I’m a real Southwestern Washingtonian because that headline made me feel equal parts proud and irritated. Hooray, I’m a local! (Man, I’m even mad that they butchered those photos so bad! I almost feel like they did it on purpose to make us look like rubes! SEE HOW VANCOUVERY I AM!) Vancouver is actually not very far from Portland, if you care to quickly google such a thing, but many Portlanders are duty-bound to treat my new home as if it were actually the new Oregon Trail–long and difficult and sure to end with your death by dysentery. My defensive nature obligates me to point out that my house is closer to downtown Portland than many actual-Portland neighborhoods, but my hipster millennial-ness enjoys living somewhere that is not yet crowded and still has delicious food and ample parking. Ugh, even the easy parts of my life cause emotional turmoil.

I’ve been to Rally twice now, and much like ELO, I can’t get it out of my head. Rally uses a gas-fired oven that gives a smoky char much like wood, but without all that sad tree-murder. The pies are about 12″, thin and pliant. The slices work well folded, or as I discovered–stacked like a sandwich. My sister and I split a pepperoni and a Tocco di Verde (house-made ricotta, hand pulled mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, fennel/chile/garlic oil, salsa verde), and while each was good in its own right, they were even stronger together.  Rally uses quality pepperoni, small and spicy, and in such a quantity that someone could steal a couple and you would only stab them a little bit. On a visit with my aunt, cousin, and whatever the title of a cousin’s baby is (my best friend Dr Google says it’s my first cousin once removed, but I usually just say “little cousin baby” because I grew up in the South), we got one pepperoni pie, and one Little Gina (hand pulled mozzarella, tomato sauce, fennel/chile/garlic oil). I generally prefer white pizza to those with red sauce, but I think the garlicky Little Gina had a lot more going on for it than the almost-bland Tocco di Verde. My sister and I both ate it, don’t get me wrong, but we kept wishing for a little more. More garlic, more spice, a tangier cheese, SOMETHING. That’s when the idea to throw some p(epperoni)’s on it occurred to me, and the pizzandwich was invented. A+++, would stack again.


I love pizza more than I love most people, but the real star of the show at Rally is the frozen custard. It’s decadent but somehow doesn’t feel like the gut bomb it truly is, maybe because it tastes too dang good for you to care. I haven’t tried a concrete yet, but I’ve had multiple sundaes and I can’t even pick a favorite. Maybe I should go try all of them just in case. For science. I can heartily recommend the Clouds in My Coffee, which has mocha pudding and crunchy chocolate bits, and the Salty/Sweet, comprised of salty candied hazelnuts and almonds, butterscotch, and malted milk crunch (which appears to be some sort of malty cookie). Rally also has a full bar and an interesting cocktail list, but you know I’m in it purely for the grub. Oh AND the place is decorated beautifully, so much my aesthetic that I’m considering calling them and asking who designed it because I want to be their friend and/or employee.

Other than stuffing my face with foods and double-fistedly keeping the legal cannabiz going, I haven’t worn many clothes. My job is flexible about working from home and I’ve been reaping that benefit a lot because the 8-mile commute ends up taking me an hour or more each way. I actually love the office and the people in it (and the plethora of coffee options) (and that I can bring the dogs) but the traffic is so heinous it hardly seems worth it. I worked from home today but Zach was around, so I slapped on some rags for a couple hours and pretended to be a functional person.

I’ve been singularly focused on getting the house together and as a result haven’t been clothes shopping much. I am still in clothes swap groups on Facebook though, and when this dress was listed I couldn’t resist. It was offered on ModCloth (of courrrssseeee) a few years ago, before I could afford to shop there and has been on my mental wish list for a while. I got these tights on Zulily a while back (can’t remember the brand, sorry!), and the shoes too (Chelsea Crew!). Earrings are from Target a long long time ago, and the belt is from Amazon (similar). I also bought a new coat on Ebay (because I finally live somewhere that requires one) though it was of course originally  from my tru luv 4-eva, ModCloth.

One day I would love to show you photos of the inside of the house, but the way things are going it will probably never be done. I ordered two bookshelves from Ebay, and only received one. I submitted a claim with Ebay, and they ruled in the seller’s favor because he provided a tracking number showing the item was delivered. Ebay won’t let you email them–they make you call, so I called and waited on hold for an hour and 25 minutes. When I finally got someone, I explained that I did receive ONE bookshelf but I ordered TWO and I thought things were back on track. Then they decided in the seller’s favor, AGAIN. I am not sure what else to do because they have asked me for proof that I did not receive two bookshelves and I’m really not sure how you prove you do not have something. I’m trying a chargeback with my credit card company but the part I’m angriest about is that my whole living room design hinges on having TWO of these stupid bookshelves, and I can’t find another one anywhere on the whole internet.

Okay my head still hurts and now I want pizza and I’m re-mad about the bookshelves so I guess I’ll go now. Goodbye, computer friends. Take care of your friends, and donate to Planned Parenthood in your enemies’ names.

New Year Same Me

Somehow it’s 2017 and since we last spoke I think I forgot how to even blog. As I mentioned previously, I was and am unsure how to do anything, like be a regular adult person, blog while employed, or whistle. I have lots of stuff to tell you but I think I waited too long so now it’s not even exciting anymore.


Since we left Atlanta in mid-September, it’s felt like my entire life has been in limbo. Even though I slept in a bed in Washington or Oregon for the vast majority of the past 90 nights, it’s felt like a sort of shitty extended vacation and not like my new residence. Worrying about finding a job, coupled with the stress of securing housing, nestled up next to the concerns about overstaying our welcome at every single person we know’s house (and an airbnb…and a couple hotels),  all converged to make it difficult to enjoy myself, even though technically I was in an ideal situation. Which is really stupid of me! I can’t believe I wasted months of not working being depressed instead of just being like “fuck it, let’s eat more cake.” I did eat more than my fair share of delicious things, but they weren’t nearly as tasty as they could have been without the dark cloud of an uncertain future hanging over my head. As much as I love change, I guess I like the “rearranged the living room” kind more than the “living somewhere without a job, house, or friends” kind.

When I was offered the job, they asked me to start on January 3. We were supposed to get the keys to our house on that day so I asked if we could push that back to the 9th. They booked me on a flight to the company’s main office in Nashville for the 8th. In a rare stroke of good luck, we actually got the keys on Christmas day. I wish I could say it felt incredible to finally have the keys and get to be in Our New House OMG, but it was anticlimactic. We’d only seen the house once in person and then visited the online photos multiple times per day. A couple months had passed between the photos being taken and the previous owners moving out, so not only was my memory a bit fuzzy, but the house had been through some changes since we’d last visited. Ok that makes it sound super bad and the fact of the matter is the sink and dishwasher were sort of gross and I just really forgot about how much goddamn carpet and beige paint there was everywhere. Patience is not a virtue I’ve ever possessed, and when I move I want the house to be completely ready for company within 12 hours. Unfortunately, that’s unrealistic once you’re no longer a studio apartment-dweller and all your shit’s in storage.

We scheduled our storage boxes to be delivered a few days after we got the keys and you’ll never believe it but they delivered the correct boxes, all of our stuff was inside, and nothing was broken. It was a New Year Miracle! I keep meaning to send Smart Box a letter saying that I love them, but I’ve been busy figuring out how I ever ended up with so many clothes. After 3 months of living with the same 10 dresses, the vast amount of choices my entire wardrobe offers is overwhelming. In a good way, though; I’m not complaining.

Despite being promised that the Portland area has mild winters, it’s snowed like 5 times since we arrived. My flight on the 8th ended up being canceled, and I got rebooked to come out on the 10th. Since it was last-minute, I had to take THREE PLANES to get to Nashville. One of those planes was extremely late, meaning I got here (hi! I’m in Tennessee right now!) even later than initially intended. All told, I was on the road 17 hours which I think is symbolic of the clusterfuck that ’17 is going to be. It’s maddening that it’s The Future and this is what air travel has come to, but that wasn’t even the worst part. I was booked at the Hilton Garden Inn, and when I rolled through their double doors at midnight all I wanted was a big ass bottle of water and a bed. The manager finished up a phone call so I perused the gift shop, and about 10 minutes later he greeted me by name. “Whoa! You’re good!”, I told him, and he was like “Yes well, we are only waiting on two people tonight.” He started talking about how they were getting rooms ready but they had some rowdy guests the prior night, and they had to do a lot of work to get the rooms back in order. “We had everything together except just one thing, but it’s a very important thing–the bed. So, you have a room at the Renaissance, a cab is on the way right now.” I was stunned, though at this point why should I be? Travel is a nightmare, the end. But I had already picked out a bottle of water from the shop, so I said, “okay soooo I guess I’ll wait for my cab but can I buy this water?” He told me to take it and to take whatever else I wanted from the shop, as a token to make up for my inconvenience. I should have been a literal kid in an actual candy shop, but I was too sleepy and confused to be greedy so I only ended up with some peanut M&Ms and a Colts Bolt, which is my new favorite thing.

By the time I got settled in at the Renaissance, it was after 1 and I was supposed to be in the office at 8. I emailed my New Job(!) to ask if I could come in at 9 or 10, but since it was so late I knew I wouldn’t have an answer til the morning, and set my alarm for 6. When it went off, I was totally disoriented but did have an email saying I could come in at 10. Buuuut then I couldn’t get back to sleep because I had first day jitters. I’m back at the Hilton now, they gave me two more free bottled waters, coupons for breakfast, and then I ordered room service. Also today at work (heyyy!) they took my picture for the website and at the very least, it made me laugh. I’d bought those tiny donuts at the Portland airport and they were mostly crumbs by the time I got to the office, but that didn’t deter me from shoving ’em in my face for my company-mandated silly photo.


I have worn and eaten non-doughnut items lately too, but we’re already running long (and boring, I know, I’m sorry) so I will limit this to one resto and one outfit.

Zach and I have located what is likely our favorite local place, out of many delicious local places. Frontier Public House is in an ugly, or at the very least nondescript building, just outside of downtown Vantucky. The first time we visited the area, last February, we drove by this place and snarked on it, but after checking Yelp it looked like we’d have to eat our words. And some fried foods. Poor us, right?

Frontier rotates their specials seasonally or maybe monthly, but has a solid core menu that changes less frequently. Currently, onion rings and a pick-your-protein po’ boy are specials and I highly recommend them both. Zach and I agreed these are the best onion rings we’ve ever had. They had a Varsity-like crunch, but were less greasy (or maybe just seemed that way because we weren’t eating in that cesspool on North Ave), and their homemade ranch is light and herby. I think the rings could stand up to a stronger sauce like a chipotle mayo or horseradish, but you’ll never catch me complaining about ranch. We went with a shrimp po’ boy and good gawd was it perfect! The shrimp were large (oxymoron?), crispy, and plentiful, and all the produce was somehow on point despite it not being tomato season at all. Frontier is one of the few places we’ll order a salad because we enjoy eating it and not just out of some weird dietary obligation. Partially because that damn ranch is so good, but mostly because somehow their simple blend of mixed greens, cotija, and lil tomatoes is super satisfying.

You kinda can’t see it because, y’all gravy fries are ugly if we’re being real, but they make these fries with gravy, cheese, bacon, and chives (not technically poutine because I know the rules, but it’s damn near. Damn. Near.) that are not to be missed. And my mom is losing her mind right now that I purposely bought and ate this many vegetables on purpose, but Frontier makes these Brussels sprouts that will make you question your commitment to a carnivorous life. Wait, bacon doesn’t count as meat, right? Because these sprouts come loaded with bacon, in a bath of heavy cream. Much like Carrie Fisher, I would like to dictate that that’s how you all talk about me after I die. “She drowned loaded with bacon, in a bath of heavy cream.”

I’ve been taking a break from ModCloth, not on purpose but they just didn’t have anything I wanted for a while. Plus shopping when I didn’t have a job seemed like a bad idea, especially since I would have nowhere to put any clothing I did buy. But, my BeaFF saw this dress on Ebay and sent me the link and I just couldn’t resist it. It’s a Lularoe, which is maybe a Mormon MLM company but I don’t care, they make some cute ass dresses. This one is a “Nicole”. They apparently name all their items but I’m not sure why they bother because I have a few Nicoles and a few Amelias, and none of them fit consistently. If you can find them for cheapish on Ebay definitely try one, but I don’t think these are worth their retail price point of $50 or more, especially since there’s no guarantee it will fit. The earrings are from Fred Meyer, the belt is Amazon, tights are We Love Colors, and shoes are also Amazon but I can’t find ’em (these are close though).


OKAY now we’re all caught up. If you read this whole thing, you’re my favorite person and I owe you a cookie.

No news is actually just more bad news

Hey friends. I think I’ve said this like 500 times already but I keep putting off blogging because I want to have a ton of good news for you when we talk, and currently good news is like “Alison? No thanks!”. Times like these I wish I’d set this thang up with a purpose because I am real torn between spilling my guts out and painting a pretty picture to make the internet think I have my shit together. Like since I’m job searching it would be nice to say, “Yes hello, I know how to use the internet and you can find proof here, at Clotheshog”, but since I wrote about both finding and losing my job, that’s not an option unless I want to also explain why I was let go after only a month. I wonder if there is a Guinness record for being fired quickly, and if maybe winning it would make me feel better and/or yield any monetary winnings. I have considered erasing or editing the blog entries that reveal my inability to stay employed, but I haven’t decided whether or not to do it yet. It feels sort of dishonest (please tell me you also pronounce that “dish-on-est” in your head), but 1) Who exactly do I owe honesty to?! There is no blog police who will come and make me tell the truth…yet. And 2) You can be a big ol’ blatant liar and still do many jobs, like be elected President, so probably lying about a job on my blog will be ok.

If you have noticed me being particularly dramatic or depressing on Facebook, don’t worry. I’m not suicidal and if I was, you could have all my stuff so it’s basically a win-win for you. I thought that after years (decades even!) of planning my exit from Atlanta, things would go a little more smoothly. I was reminiscing about my life pre-move with some friends (on the internet…I don’t have in-person friends anymore) and said how funny it is that a couple months ago my biggest fear was a flat tire somewhere in the middle of the country. Now my anxieties are more along the lines of “what if we’re homeless for literally ever” and “how will I ever find a job if I manage to get one after 5 interviews, 25 emails, and one project and STILL get fired immediately”. Hopefully a year from now I’ll be like “Aw December 2016 was so sad but here I am in my new house, gainfully employed and somehow more beautiful and fashionable than last year”, but even fantasizing about that feels like tempting fate. I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of buying property because oh my god I’m actually involved and it’s so boring and frustrating but basically everything related to buying a house has gone almost comically wrong. Selling our house in Atlanta wasn’t exactly a fun picnic but in hindsight it looks downright enjoyable compared to the clusterfuck that we’ve been dealing with trying to buy a house in Vancouver. That anxiety, coupled with the shitshow that is job searching, and in conjunction with figuring out where to live post-airbnb has resulted in near-constant tears and regret. It’s not that I miss Atlanta, it’s that I miss having all the things that prove to the world I’m an adult human. I have that “I just want to go sit on my couch” feeling, only I don’t have a couch anymore. As I put it earlier this week, it’s like I’m Dorothy but when I click my heels three times all I get is a 404 error.

So now that I told you about how sad I am and you’re feeling good about your own life choices, let’s talk clothes and food. I’m still working off my initial batch of clothes, which were not really prepped with December in mind, so things are getting rough. I have picked up a few things from Ebay, but I’ve managed to avoid the siren song of ModCloth, even through Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Food, I have to eat all the time to stay alive, so I have not been avoiding it at all.

Before it gets too cold, we’ve been spending a lot of time by the river. We (will eventually, hopefully) live near Marine Park, and have taken the dogs a couple times, too. I guess if you grow up somewhere near water it’s probably not nearly as fascinating, but I try to get at least a glimpse of the river every single day, if for no other reason to remind myself I MADE IT! I LIVE HERE! It’s hella easy for me to forget WHY things are shitty right now, and that reason is: I live in my favorite place on the entire planet!


First up, this cupcake dress from ModCloth was on my wish list for a loooooong time, but back when they sold it I was very broke. My BFF is in some clothes swap groups that I am not, and she snagged it for me knowing it was one of my unicorns. The tights are We Love Colors, belt & boots are from Amazon.


Next, this here dress from eShakti. They’re dead to me, but I love this print soooo much. Tights, of course, are We Love Colors. The shoes are Swedish Hasbeens, and they’re falling apart so I do not recommend buying their overpriced wooden shoes and I ain’t linking to ’em. Belt is Amazon.


My sister and I spent the day together last week, so I dragged her around Vancouver in the hopes she would think it’s cool. I suggested Brewed for some coffee and sandwiches because Zach and I have been previously. On my third visit, I’m still not sure how to feel about them. Pluses: Great food, super friendly staff, decent seating, cozy interior. Minuses: Slow wifi, coffee is just ok.

Y’all know me–I’m an iced latte gal. In my time here on earth, I’ve decided that cold brew isn’t my favorite. It’s a lot more acidic than a couple shots of espresso drowned in flavored milk, and I’m in it for the sugar. The first time I asked for an iced latte, the proprietor sold me on a concoction they call the OMG, which is a cold brew drink with a bunch of shit in it. It SHOULD be right up my alley, but I hated it. The coffee and syrups don’t balance each other out; they compete for attention. When my sister and I went, I asked for an iced mocha but instead received a hot mocha. It was cute and the couple sips I had were good, but I can’t stand hot coffee (or hot beverages of any kind) so I made my sister drink it after I took photos. The guy there is nice and talkative, so I didn’t feel like making him remake it, but maybe one day I’ll try their actually-iced mochas. My chipotle chicken sandwich was delicious, just like the other times I’ve tried it. Georgia had a PB&J, and it looked pretty regular.

The parking lot across from Brewed has an excellent mural situation happening, so I talked Georgia into being my phOOTDographer after we caffeinated. This dress is an old ModCloth item–if you can’t tell, the skirt is a crayon print. Tights are We Love Colors, shoes are from Amazon.


Gah I’m running out of time so I have to make this snappy–Zach will be landing soon! Okay so very speedily, today my aunt and I went to The Local Cow for some deluxe burg and fry action. Main Street in Gresham is so adorable it could be inside a snow globe, and this restaurant was no exception. We split some Salchicas y Papas, which are housemade fries, fried peppers, andouille sausage, and chipotle mayo. With a list like that, how could they be bad, right? Well they were not bad in the slightest, and my aunt kept saying, “these are the best thing I have ever had!”. The fries were perfectly crisp, the peppers and chipotle mayo provided a slow burn, and the sausage was like “sure why not, I’m also delicious so let’s make this a party.”

My burger had pimento cheese, bacon, and jalapenos, and it was super tasty. It could have had a buttered bun or maybe some mayo to add a little cohesion, but was otherwise perfect. The fries were slightly better than the burger, but I would definitely go again and plan on splitting a few things with a friend. The other fry options include garlic truffle and bacon bleu and I need those both, so I will either insist my aunt join me two more times, or try to make two friends who also enjoy thoroughly trashed-up fries.

Okay, gotta run to the airport. Love you.


Oh hello there! How the hell are you? I’m okay I guess. I am currently sitting in a coffee shop on my laptop like a fancy millennial. I have to pee and I can never decide if it’s weird to take my computer with me. It’s not like I need to compute while I pee, but it would be very terrible to leave for 2 minutes and have someone steal my expensive job-finding machine. Yesterday I went to a different shop and took my laptop with me to the bathroom twice but this lady who was sitting next to me just left her whole gang of stuff and I thought, “how do you know I won’t steal your things?” and also, “if someone else tries to steal these items am I somehow culpable? That’s not really fair. GOD being a good person is so hard sometimes.” Luckily no one even approached her items so I didn’t have to debate about what the proper behavior would be. No one is even near me, though, so there would be no bystander to protect my items. So fine, I guess we’ve established that the laptop comes with me. Now–what about the latte?! I don’t want someone to throw it away or somehow tamper with it but dragging a computer and drink to the one bathroom may cause people to think I’m setting up an office in there and that would be potentially awkward. But so would peeing on this couch, so my options are all bad.

I’ve been having a similar struggle with our airbnb host’s daily paper. Historically, it has been magically placed inside prior to my exiting the house each morning. This week, though, the paper has still been outside on the stoop when I go to take the dogs out. Monday and Tuesday, I picked it up and put it on the hallway table. Yesterday I was like “You know what, fuck it, this lady is being paid, presumably, to take care of the house while the owner is gone, so why the hell should I be paying to stay here AND picking up his newspaper?” and I left it there all day, but then I felt like an asshole because really who cares about picking up a dumb paper! It weighs like half a pound and I only have to carry it 4 feet! Finally after much internal debate, I resolved to pick the paper up, but by that time someone else had moved it. This morning though, when presented with the opportunity again, I picked that sucker right up. See what a good person I am, everyone!

I don’t currently have any food to tell you about, so let’s just talk about some outfits. In order we have:

  1. This dress is the envy of my BFF and while I would generally do anything for her, I can’t bring myself to give this one up. I love the cut, the colors, the buttons, all of it! Also everyone always says I look like Mrs. Frizzle when I wear it and even though I am of a post-Magic School Bus generation, I still appreciate the compliment. Even if maybe it’s not a compliment and is more along the lines of “You dress like you only interact with children.” Dress is originally from ModCloth, belt is from another dress I don’t even have anymore, shoes are Miz Mooz.
  2. This one’s from Torrid and features the fabulous Frida Kahlo. My favorite cardigan thingie was from Ross and yesterday I broke one of the damn buttons so now I have to search for another one. Shoes are Crocs.
  3. And this dress was also a ModCloth item. Belt is from eBay.

I wonder what it will be like to have access to my entire wardrobe again someday. I pray to sweet baby Jesus every night that all our crap hasn’t mildewed while in storage. Amen.


Hey remember that time I had a job? That was fun! I don’t have one anymore. I don’t want to talk about it. I mean I do, but I shouldn’t. But if you emailed me I would talk about it forever, probably. If you know of any job openings for someone who asks too many questions but still makes the customers really happy, please let me know.

Somehow it’s November, and somehow I live in Washington, sort of. I don’t have a job or a place to live, but Zach’s got a Washington driver’s license and we still have our airbnb until the 30th, so I guess that counts. I don’t even want to move back to Atlanta, or ever even see it in person again really, but I would be lying if I said I think I made a good decision to come here. I’m prone to wallowing; to squeezing out all of the sadness and anger I can muster, and just rolling around in it for a while, to see how it feels. To think about all the dumb shit I’ve ever done, and how it has compounded into this Huge Mistake that I have to fix, with a deadline looming. People keep telling me I’m being dramatic (duh), and that I’ll be okay because I’m tough (I’m not, I just hate being poor), and I’m good at looking for jobs (also no), but goddddddd I don’t feel like it! We JUST sold our house and our cars and all of our things! We JUST drove across the country and figured out how to drive a couple places without using a map! We JUST had a few weeks to go before we would be in a house, that belonged to us, and I could finally relax. And now I have to hit the job search again. And the house search.  And worry about money, and how the hell we’re going to share one car if I’m not working at home, but how the fuck we can afford two cars if I’m not making as much money as I used to. I know, I know, I know, I will be okay and we will be okay and one day this will hopefully be a bump in the road and I’ll be glad we left, but right now I feel like the universe is telling me I should have just resigned myself to dying in Atlanta where at least I owned property, had a job, and could find some decent barbecue.

On the bright side, when you don’t have a home, you get to eat out 100% of the time! Today we visited Sugar & Salt for the first time, and I’m guessing I’ll end up trying one of everything, possibly before 2017, even if it means I have to stand at the I-5 exit begging for cupcake money. Everything on the menu sounded amazing but the chipotle bacon chicken salad on ciabatta with cucumber & romaine was calling my name. Zach went with the baked French toast & bacon. He’s doing a tour of pumpkin spice lattes so he sampled theirs, and I went with an iced homemade caramel latte.

My sandwich wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but it was still good. The ciabatta was softer and less crusty than I’m used to, and the flour dusting on the bottom was too thick and powdery. The veggies were crisp and fresh, contrasting nicely with the spicy chicken salad. Our waitress offered me some additional chipotle mayo and that was an A+ recommendation. My latte was a disappointment, sadly. The homemade caramel aspect was tasty but the coffee was super weak. I wondered if they tried to steam the milk before icing it because I’ve seen some places make that mistake before, and it results in a similarly diluted drank.

Zach said his PSL was a little thin too, though, so it could just be their style. He loved the baked French toast and despite the panini-ized appearance of the bacon, it was executed well. We meant to grab some desserts but were too full to even glance at the case on our way out.

While we waited for our food, I made Zach take my outfit photo because the bakery was so damn cute. This is actually a newer outfit I pulled together since we’ve been out here, but I long for the day I have access to my full wardrobe again. I saw this skirt on someone’s Instagram a while ago and lusted after it ever since. It came up on Ebay a few weeks ago and I got lucky enough to pay more than anyone else wanted to for it. The top came from Target, the belt is from Amazon, and the shoes were also an Ebay find.


For dinner, we checked out Crave Grille, over on the other side of town. Vancouver is a small town, so it was only a 15-minute drive down the road. I still have no idea where I am most of the time, though, so every drive is exciting. When/if we visit again I’d get a burger, but tonight I needed a vegetable in my life. Since I don’t like vegetables, I had to balance that desire out with other things. Enter: Irish Totchos! Tots with house-made cheese sauce, ham, and green onions. I’m not sure how they settled on this combination, but I’m not mad about it. Their cheese sauce was perfect, and I would probably even eat vegetables if it meant they could be bathed in such a delicious concoction. The whole thing was pretty salty, but I feel like that should be evident by the ingredient list. My salad came covered with bacon, chicken, bleu cheese, and avo, just like the food pyramid intended.

Okay well thanks for listening, guys. I love and miss you and one day if I have a job and a house I hope you’ll come visit.

Clothes to wear, things to eat

Hey friends. I hope you’re doing super well. I’m honestly not doing that great if you want to know the truth. I think I thought moving to my dream city and getting my dream job would solve all my problems, which is not how real life works as it turns out. I knew that moving and starting a new job would be difficult, but I don’t think I pulled that thought out and expanded it and ruminated about what my daily life would look like, probably because for a while there I was positive we would never actually move. Now that we’re here, I’m wondering if we should have even come. I thought we would be like “What a great idea this was!” every night, but instead I think, “Wow, what if I ruined both of our lives forever and there’s no way to fix it?” pretty much constantly.

My job is so amazing and cool and great and wonderful and a dream come true, but it’s also overwhelming and scary and hard and I worry I’m going to fuck it up or reveal that my true self is a moron. Somehow I think that I am the best and smartest person in the whole world, while simultaneously being afraid that everyone sees the truth about what a dummy I am. The people I work with are so intuitive whereas I feel like I need a lot of guidance right now, and I know they’re willing to help me, but asking for help seems impossible sometimes. Multiple people have told me that I’m standing in my own way, but I’m not sure if I know how to get out of it.

Compounding my professional woes is the fact that we are still pretty much homeless. We have our airbnb until November 30, which I thought would give us until October 30 to find a house, because the contract period in Atlanta was generally 30 days. Out here, it’s standard to do 45, which means we should have found a house by now and if we don’t in the next few days, we need to make a better plan. Our airbnb was okay for vacation, but isn’t working out well as a long-term abode. Our neighbors above have a kid who is apparently training to be an Olympian stomper, coached by his 5 family members who are legacy stomping champs. That, combined with the fact that we have windows but they don’t exactly see daylight (which Vancouver/Portland has actually had!), has certainly not improved my mood. I’m not exaggerating when I say that most of my time has been spent in the basement crying, though I have also been eating delicious food and occasionally getting dressed.

For a week and a half we were staying with my aunt in Beaverton/Aloha (I don’t understand areas here and likely never will) (okay that is the wrong attitude to have. Let’s try: One day I will understand geography!) and got hooked on this little spot near her called Taming of the Brew. Their coffee offerings include a huge list of flavored syrups, and they’ve got a decent breakfast menu. Their food options are basically breakfast burritos (larger or smaller), breakfast bowls, or breakfast sandwiches (bagel or english muff). The owner of the shop, Marc, is around a lot and he made an effort to learn our names and drink preferences.

I looooved their iced lattes not just for the plethora of syrups (lavender vanilla! bourbon caramel!), but because they also serve COFFEE ICE CUBES. I know! I like to hang onto my iced drinks for hours sometimes, which usually means they get all gross and watered down. These dranks from Taming of the Brew just got stronger as the ice melted, which is like getting a dessert drink out of your initial drink!

Over the course of a few visits, we tried a burrito and a few different sandwiches. I can’t pick a favorite because they’re all tasty, aaaaand they’re all kinda similar too. The jalapeno cheddar bagel was super spicy and the perfect texture for a sandwich, but burritos are hefty and portable so they have their merits too.

I’m pretty sure I wore this outfit to TotB, so let’s throw it in here. The top is Retrolicious, and has tiny bikes on it. I don’t ride bikes I but I sure do think they’re cute, and this outfit matches my hair real well. I got this skirt on Amazon, along with the boots. Tights are We Love Colors, the belt is from Cats Like Us, and the jackety thing is from Ross.img_9981

We went to Nel Centro for happy hour with my cousin and her husband, and everything was sooooo goooooodddd. I ordered some sort of special cocktail and a lamb burger, and then we shared some pizzas. I managed to only spill a little bit on my dress!

The dress above is a ModCloth oldie that I got on Facebook in the swap group. It originally had some super-skinny straps, which are the bane of my existence. I had Heather shorten the dress, and then make some sturdier straps from the scraps. Scrap straps! The belt is from Amazon, and the shoes are Crocs (discontinued, but similar here).

A couple Saturdays ago, we checked out the Vancouver Farmers Market, where I got a big-ass falafel. The below dress is ModCloth.


We’ve become fond of a sushi chain here called Mio Sushi, which reminds me a lot of RuSans, for you ATLiens back home. The lighting is suboptimal, but their dumplings and trashy sushi are delicious. I’ll take a tempura-cream cheese anything, all the time.

Okay this is just a batch of orphaned photos I meant to do entire posts about and then didn’t. Please forgive me. We went to this pub called Shanahan’s and I wanted to like it but it was truly sort of terrible. It had an awful smell inside that wasn’t quite cigarettes but also not sewage or food or mold, just general badness. I ordered us this heaping pile of tots n’ fries, covered in cheese, bacon, and green onions, and while it wasn’t bad, it also wasn’t good enough to get me to come back. The tots were crispy and perfect but the fries got soggy quickly and the cheese congealed nearly immediately. I’m sorry Shanahan’s, I don’t get why Yelp loves you so much.

We thought we were going to be moving to a house within walking distance of Victor 23, so we met my aunt and uncle for dinner there last week to get acquainted. The bacon-wrapped jalapenos were the right amount of spice and smokiness, but my pastrami reuben was a dry disappointment. We may go back because yay local businesses, but I’m hoping their food improves with practice.

This past Saturday, we were headed back to the farmers market–like parked the car and everything, but then we saw a sign for the Vancouver Brewfest, and I insisted that Zach go and try all the local brews. I think this may have been the smaller Brewfest since their website indicates one is coming up in the spring. This one only had about 15 vendors, but it was right on the water so I soaked up the views while Zach soaked in the brews. I’m sorry, I had to. The fest wasn’t much to look at but I will probably never tire of living close to water.

I wore yet another ModCloth dress, We Love Colors tights,  my same ol’ jacket, and some shoes and a belt that I also dug up at Ross a while back.

I have no idea what I was doing for any of these outfits anymore, sooo we’ll skip all the exposition and go straight into the nitty gritty. Also, I’m living out of one Rubbermaid container until we have a house, so you’re going to see the same shit a lot. Like this jacket, which I have in multiple colors and wear a version of literally ever day. It’s from Ross, we’ve established that, I probably don’t have to keep telling you. My tights are pretty much always from We Love Colors, so I’ll tell you when they aren’t.

First dress is a ModCloth classic that I coveted for years and finally snatched in the Facebook group. The shoes are from Amazon and so is the belt. I won the purse on Ebay, but it’s originally from Costco which both pleases and horrifies me.

Second dress is Leota, by way of Gwynnie Bee. Belt is from Amazon.

Final outfit is a skirt I got on Facebook but I’m sure you can guess where it originated. I get that I’m not a model or even the intended body for most fashion but I feel like the skirt this girl is wearing is not the same thing I have, even though I know it is. The top was a Zulily find, the shoes are Swedish Hasbeens (similar), and the tights were probably from Avenue like 3 years ago.

Alright y’all, you’re pretty much caught up now. I love and miss you and hope you sleep well.

Clothes in different area codes

I wonder if our Smartboxes ever made it anywhere. The driver who came and picked them up seemed competent, and we tipped him $20 in the hopes he’d take care of our belongings.  I’m nervous though, because there was a disturbing lack of paperwork involved with the transaction.  We were told to make note of the container numbers, but we never signed anything and the driver didn’t even have a clipboard or whatever the 2016 equivalent is.  I would feel a lot better if he’d scanned a series of barcodes and required a password or a secret handshake.  It’ll be a while yet before we actually need the rest of our belongings so stay tuned!  Maybe we’ll get two containers full of treasure instead of just clothes and tools.

Before I finally got my act together and left Atlanta, I dreaded many things about moving. All the administrative tasks seemed insurmountable, and the more I thought about it, the harder it seemed to be.  How do you sell a house? How do you plan a drive like that? How do you bring dogs in a car with you and not murder everyone when the whining gets to be too much?  What do you sleep on the last night in your house, and then what do you do with it? The answers aren’t that hard, it turns out.  They all boil down to either 1) Google it, or 2) you just damn do it (oh or 3) Your mattress and then you drag it to the curb and then you call the county to pick it up when you’re in South Dakota).

SIDENOTE: How do people write entire books?  All I want to do is slap down 1200 words about clothes and/or food, and it seems impossible.  Also how do people write sex scenes when they know their mom will read their book?  I can barely tell you about a sandwich without being worried about embarrassing myself in front of my family and coworkers. Though I did karaoke in front of the whole company so why am I even pretending like I have dignity?  So many mysteries. /sidenote

So I did a lot of stuff and I wanted to blog about it but now it seems so far away that I don’t even care anymore.  I’m so glad to be out of the south that even talking about it seems unappealing.  Even though we just got here, it feels like so much has changed and like pwning (a typo but it still works) a house is this thing we did a long time ago when we were different people. Okay I’m being dramatic but it feels very technicolor Wizard of Oz, and Atlanta was the black-and-white farm and old Alison was the witch and she got crushed but her footwear was amazing and then I don’t know this has gone too far but I think you see what I’m saying.  I have long considered myself to be a negative person, but since we’ve been here I think every food is the most delicious food and every latte is the best one yet and the houses and trees are so beautiful and I can’t stop talking to every single person at every single place we go, much to the dismay of my companions.  The people here are just so goddamn friendly I can’t help but spill my guts to them.  Maybe it’s in the coffee shack handbook but every Dutch Bros and Black Rock barista asks me how my day has been in the most sincere way and then sometimes they give me a free drink (and not just when my card has 10 stamps THANKYOUVERYMUCH).  I don’t know if I’m different because I’m here or if people here are different, but either way I’ll take it.

Driving across the country wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be, which is why it’s so hard to blog about.  We didn’t get even one flat tire or speeding ticket.  We didn’t lose the dogs, nor did they do anything gross to the car aside from shed and get Milkbone crumbs everywhere.  We went through a whole gallon of bug wash, spent a small fortune on gas, and slept in places that probably gave us fungal infections, but we made it and now we sort of live here.  We’ve been stalking Zillow and Redfin and Realtor.com and yes even Trulia, but there just isn’t much for sale.  I should probably be more stressed out about that but I’m trying to limit my stress to one thing at a time, and right now I’m more focused on my NEW new job.

Last week I got to meet nearly everyone in the whole company, which sounds pretty regular except most of this company works remotely so people traveled from much farther away than I did, which meant I couldn’t complain. Now I can complain about not being able to complain!  I was overwhelmed for oh, the majority of the week and I kept wishing I could go home, but now that I’m home (or as close to a home as I have at the moment), I wish I was back in Quebec with my new coworkers.  Why can’t I just enjoy things when they’re happening, instead of in retrospect?  Is it a superpower?

So I guess I’m going to just dump a bunch of photos here and put some captions and then we can gradually try to catch up to present day.

I was going to tell you all about my last week in Atlanta but it was basically: freak the fuck out, eat food, visit Maegan and try not to cry, eat more food.

Then on the road, we stayed in awful places and then we saw beautiful things but were too tired to care.

Next up I will tell you about outfits and more food, but I better post this thing or it will never happen.



I, oh, I’m still alive. Yeah.

I guess Pearl Jam lyrics don’t quite carry the same weight when typed out, so please read today’s title in Eddie Vedder’s voice.

I have two other tabs with blog entries open, but they’re about things that happened over 7 days ago now, and my brain isn’t conjuring up the words very well.  I have an infinity of pictures to edit and I should probably organize my thoughts on all the shit that’s been going on for the past little while.  I feel like I’m blogstipated and I need to get all of these words and photos OUT, but it’s sooo haaaard.

For one thing, I started NEW new job.  And I think maybe one coworker reads this blog?  Or maybe more? I don’t want to flatter myself by thinking everyone’s watching, but considering it’s a brand new job full of smart people, thinking about any of them potentially reading this is terrifying.  The people at this job are genius-level intelligent, and many of them have Actual Blogs, with a point to each entry, and a decent design, as opposed to the glorified diary I’m keeping here.  I’m beyond nervous that someone will read this and be like, “Oh THIS is who we hired?  Fucking whoops, dude.  I demand a recount.”

Also things in general are just strange right now.  I don’t have a car anymore, I don’t have a home, all the friends I lived close to are now 3,000~ miles away, and family members that have always been across the continent are now local.  The theme of the past several days has been “surreal”.  I can’t believe we actually did it.  I can’t believe that when I fly home Friday that I’ll be flying home to PDX.  I am still in shock that I got this job, and I’m currently writing to you from Quebec, a place I never thought I’d go (not for any particular reason, it just never made it on the list).  I can’t believe we did the whole drive without losing a dog or a tire or even a pair of sunglasses.  I can’t believe I just turned thirty-fucking-four yesterday, and I still think poop jokes are the pinnacle of humor.  Sometimes I feel like I can feel every single day of all 34 years, and sometimes it feels like I went to bed after a tough day of 3rd grade and woke up as an adult.  I’m like Tom Hanks in Big, the more I think about it.

Okay now I’m crying and I don’t even know why, which means it’s time for bed.  The past two weeks have been a huge emotional blur and I’m looking forward to some sort of normalcy, though it could be a while before that happens.  Good night!





I don’t think I even have any pictures for you, guys. I could show you the empty house or the new car or ALL. THE. BOXES.  But I haven’t even had time for a good old fashioned outfit photo in quite a while. Actually there aren’t even that many boxes since we got rid of so much, so I guess that’s a small win. We’re to that point in the process where the house doesn’t feel like home anymore, and yet there seems to be so much left to put into containers or throw away or donate or try to squeeze a few bucks out of. We’ve sold all but one lamp, which I thought would be no big dill, but instead has put me in quite a pickle. I thought “How often do I even need a dumb lamp anyway?” but it turns out the answer is: a lot. Like, when it’s nighttime and the light switch is far away and it’s past 1992 so you don’t have The Clapper installed? Perfect time for a lamp! After tomorrow it’ll be all overhead lighting and tv-glow, like I’m some kind of savage.

No one ended up wanting to buy our gargantuan TV (I should be ashamed but we got it for the low-low price of $400 and I must admit it is one of the better things I’ve done with that amount of money)(…look I’ll just say it: I love TV, ok?), or the stand upon which it…stands, OR our amazing mid-century buffet, so those items may end up making the voyage across the country after all. People have had a lot of questions and concerns about getting rid of nearly everything we own, and I gotta tell ya: that was a SUPER easy decision and maybe even one of the easiest ones (second to: GTFO the South ASAP)! While I lov(ed) everything we own(ed), I also really loved the act of shopping for everything we own(ed), and look forward to doing that again. When the house finally felt finished, I was a little sad to have no longer have a legit reason to stop at Homegoods or Kudzu.  Also I decorated this house specifically with selling it in mind.  I didn’t want to have to go through staging, so I had it basically stage-ready at all times.  And that was exhausting, honestly.  I know my friends all wondered why we never actually sat on the nice couch (when I bought it 4 years ago it was half that price, so Thrive must be feeling pretty proud of itself these days), and it was because I was too scared that someone would ruin it and I’d never be able to replace it and would be stuck with a fancy, ruined couch.  I seriously considered buying an old lady plastic couch cover but my clean-freak half and my cheapskate half compromised on 2 cans of Scotch-Gard instead.  Since the goal is to stay in our next house longer than 4 years, maybe I’ll buy a couch I let people sit near.  And eventually on, after I work up to it.

So anyway I guess we leave on Thursday or Friday?  I keep saying it out loud and in my head, but it isn’t really sinking in.  Does that happen to everyone, or is my brain broken? I know for a fact that this is happening because I did all this work and the calendar says it’s time to close on the house and the furniture is gone and the reservations are made, but it just doesn’t seem plausible.  I thought I would feel more wistful as time marched onwards, but I’ve actually been feeling more bitter and fed-up.  I can only assume this is like a protective exoskeleton I’m constructing so that my mushy feelings stay inside and I can forge ahead.  If I was sad about leaving then it would be too hard to go, so it has to be this way.   I know there will be food and places and people that I miss, but I’m so ready to see my best-coast people and places that it’s barely registering that this IS IT.  Also I’m going to make all of our friends sign a pact that says they plan on moving to the west coast within the next 5 years, whether they like it or not, so there’s really no need to fret about “missing” people or “leaving” them.  Suckers. (Hey friends if you’re reading this I’ll be bringing around a petition later that is definitely seriously about Free Ice Cream For Everyone Forever so you should totally sign it without reading it super closely and it is definitely NOT a contract obligating you to move to Washington, at ALL.)

Okay well this Dance Moms isn’t going to watch itself and I have some leftover tiramisu that is definitely not going to be good in 3,000 miles so I better go handle that.  If I don’t talk to you before the end of the week, I’ll see you on the other side!