Getting To Know Everything About You

Date: November 10, 2015 at 10:49 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 36

I don’t think I’ve ever done one of these blog survey things. I’ve always had plenty to say on my own.

But on this drizzly Tuesday morning, I feel like writing, and yet I’m suffering from a bit of writer’s block. (This does not bode well for a full-time freelance writer whose livelihood and, uh, paycheck relies entirely on the ability to write, and to do it well.)

UNRELATED AFRICA PHOTO! #TBT!

UNRELATED AFRICA PHOTO! #TBT!

So while I let my deep life thoughts continue to marinate like a juicy piece of medium-rare meat soaking in a vat of A1 (SEE? I cannot write.), I will share with you some random facts about myself. Some may call this narcissism. I call it “The Art of Blogging.” And then maybe you will tell me something fun about yourself in return?

This isn’t even an official “blog survey,” either. I Googled “Fun Getting To Know You Questions” and copy/pasted the questions I was most interested in, like a magician.

Skillz.

Skillz.

Here we go!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? EASY. Giraffe Manor.

HI KELLY!!! Or maybe this is Jock. I don't remember. It's been too long :(

HI KELLY!!! Or maybe this is Jock. I don’t remember. It’s been too long 🙁

Just a normal Tuesday at Giraffe Manor.

Just a normal Tuesday at Giraffe Manor.

HAHAHAHA OMG U R CRAZY!

HAHAHAHA OMG U R CRAZY!

I would also like homes in Hawaii, Utah, Australia, and Italy, as well as a penthouse in New York City. I don’t think I will ever be able to fully abandon NYC.

TO ME, YOU ARE PERFECT. Except when you are too loud and crowded sometimes.

TO ME, YOU ARE PERFECT. Except when you are too loud and crowded sometimes.

"Abandoning NYC" to me means riding over the George Washington Bridge and into the Palisades. Eight miles away.

“Abandoning NYC” to me means riding over the George Washington Bridge and into the Palisades. Eight miles away.

What are your biggest fears? Snakes. Hairless cats. Scientology.

What did you want to be when you were small? A flying horse. There’s still time!!! Never give up on your dreams.

Where is your happy place? Africa is the first one that comes to mind, of course.

Little orphan ellies!

Little orphan ellies!

But also Central Park. The Conservatory Garden holds a very special place in my heart, but I also just love entering the park at Engineers’ Gate (90th Street and Fifth Avenue) and hanging out at Bernie’s Bench for a while. And the Reservoir. Always the Reservoir.

Sorry that I post some variation of this picture every single week. I cannot help it.

Sorry that I post some variation of this picture every single week. I cannot help it.

So swirly! Like cotton candy! Which, BTW, I've never eaten.

So swirly! Like cotton candy! Which, BTW, I’ve never eaten.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Chocolate soufflé. A meal-sized portion of it. (This is my favorite question to ask people when I first meet them. Try it! And wait for every guy you know to say “my mom’s lasagna.”) But I would want some pizza, too.

Three blind mice, snacking on some "fast food."

Three blind mice, snacking on some “fast food.”

If money were no object, what would you do all day? Bring puppies to visit sick kids and their families. Make them happy. Make them smile. Give love. Spread love.

PUPPY PARTIES FOR EVERYONE!!!

PUPPY PARTIES FOR EVERYONE!!!

I never told the Puppy Party People, but I hid this one in a [ventilated] file cabinet for a few minutes and kept him!!! (Nooooo, I didn't.)

I never told the Puppy Party People, but I hid this one in a [ventilated] file cabinet for a few minutes and kept him!!! (Nooooo, I didn’t.)

If you could share a meal with any four individuals, living or dead, who would they be? Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ellen DeGeneres, Amy Poehler, and Tina Fey. Then for dessert, we would invite Will Ferrell, Michelle Obama, Adam Brody as Seth Cohen, and Brian to join us. Celine Dion would be there, too, singing for us the whole time, and Beyoncé would show up to perform a surprise duet with her. Best party ever! We would eat chocolate soufflé, and Britney Spears and Taylor Swift would be our waitresses. We would tip them very well, and then they would donate their tips to charity.

What’s your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving is great because it revolves largely around food, plus casual 5Ks followed by naps are encouraged. But now that there are two little ones in our family (my nephew and niece, Tyler and Abby), Christmas is super fun and special. As a pretty non-religious family, we’re more about just spending time together than celebrating what the greeting cards tell us to embrace.

Brian and I bought Tyler this kickass little Specialized bike (like a mini version of Brian's!) for his birthday, but he just wants to ride the pink tricycle. Kids <3

Brian and I bought Tyler this kickass little Specialized bike (like a mini version of Brian’s!) for his birthday, but he just wants to ride the pink tricycle. Kids <3

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? If you think I’m gonna say I feel guilty about watching weekend-long Keeping Up With the Kardashians marathons while eating a whole pizza and not wearing pants, you’re wrong. That is what I love to do, and there is zero guilt associated with any of it.

Guilty pleasure ;)

Guilty pleasure 😉

What was the last book you read? So You Want to Be A Dancer? By Matthew Shaffer. All in one sitting. For work.

Are you a clean or messy person? Actually, both. I am very clean in that I do dishes and dust and generally like my surroundings to be tidy. The thought of an unmade bed is paralyzing to me. But I’m actually pretty messy and I have piles of shit everywhere.

What kitchen appliance do you use every day? Seamless.com.

Someday I will learn to use everything from our wedding registry. Promise! I will food process many things!

Someday I will learn to use everything from our wedding registry. Promise! I will food process many things!

What’s your favorite movie? Center Stage, Zoolander, Step Brothers, Pitch Perfect, High School Musical, Mean Girls, High School Musical 3: Senior Year. In that order. I have very refined taste in films.

What did you collect growing up? Oh jeez, everything. I was such a pack rat because in my mind, everything had feelings, and I couldn’t bear to throw things away and make them sad. Like even my rocks and stickers (collected both of ’em) had feelings. So yeah, stickers, rocks, Beanie Babies (is my Princess Diana one worth millions yet?), Barbies, and during one very strange phase, tadpoles from a nearby pond. And stuffed animals. So many stuffed animals.

STUFFED ANIMAL!

STUFFED ANIMAL! No JK it’s real.

If you were ruler of a country, what would be the first law you would introduce? Well first, we’re in trouble, people! Get out while you still can! But if you care to stick around: 1. Be kind. 2. Make friends, not enemies. 3. Do yoga. 4. Don’t be an asshole.

Namaste! Wheel!

Namaste! Wheel!

What is the most interesting thing you can see from your kitchen window? LOL, do people have windows in their kitchens? We certainly do not. But from our bedroom and living room we have pretty lovely views of the East River and the Triborough Bridge (or the “RFK Bridge,” which I will never call it).

I've lived here for three years, and I still love this view every single day.

I’ve lived here for three years, and I still love this view every single day.

What was your first job? I was an assistant in the baby dance classes at my dance studio and of course started a Baby-Sitter’s Club with my friend Becky. (I was such a Stacey, which is basically why I live in New York City now. And I totally wanted diabetes when I was growing up because she made it seem so trendy. Insulin was the ultimate glam accessory.)

We taught young girls how to dance and were "mother's helpers" in our spare time. You're welcome, world, for shaping your future leaders.

We taught young girls how to dance and were “mother’s helpers” in our spare time. You’re welcome, world, for shaping your future leaders.

But my first real, you-get-a-paycheck-now job was as a shop hand at a local printing company. I loved it. I was 16 and I would go in with my discman and I would spend eight hours every day collating printed materials, hand-binding books and manuals, shrink wrapping them, and doing very specific light manual labor. And then I worked at Abercrombie & Fitch, where I learned the art of the Side Belt and was instructed to wear flip flops year-round.

How many languages do you speak? Well, I minored in Spanish in college and so let’s say I speak 1.5 languages. On a good day, I’m fluent in English and “conversational” in Spanish, which basically means I vaguely remember how to conjugate verbs and think I’m an ace after 2.5 glasses of champagne. (College kids, I say don’t minor in a language. It’s a great skill, but unless you’re really planning to use it, you can always take online classes or something instead and then minor in something more useful, like marketing or advertising or finance or Snapchat.)

Hola caballo pequito, me llamo Alison.

Hola caballo pequito, me llamo Alison.

Who knows you best? On the day-to-day, the person who can best predict exactly what’s on my mind at any given time is my tiger-in-crime, Lucy.

This year's November Project "Better Than Bedtime" theme was black and white. You could interpret that however you'd like. So we were sheep, and that's our Little Bo Peep herder in the middle. We ran four miles through NYC in these costumes.

This year’s November Project “Better Than Bedtime” theme was black and white. You could interpret that however you’d like. So we were sheep, and that’s our Little Bo Peep herder in the middle. We ran four miles through NYC in these costumes.

The person I can talk to about anything and with whom four hours feels like five minutes is BFF Michael.

Michael and me just chillin.

Michael and me just chillin.

The person who most understands and supports my desire to still want to be a flying horse is my mom.

Mom Feller on the right, New-Mom-in-Law on the left!

Mom Feller on the right, New-Mom-in-Law on the left! (I’m in the middle.)

My brother shares all of my quirky traits and also shares my ailments (Crohn’s disease, shingles, WTF is wrong with us?). But the person who knows me best overall? Brian.

Wedding blog posts coming soon! Soon-ish! (Or not? I don't know. It's been a while.)

Wedding blog posts coming soon! Soon-ish! (Or not? I don’t know. It’s been a while.)

YOUR TURN, PLEASE. So I don’t feel so lame. Answer one or all of the above!

Posted in Happy Things and tagged , -

36 Responses to "Getting To Know Everything About You"

(Long time reader, first time commenter here)

What are your biggest fears? Nighttime + dark window + a stranger peering in from outside (ack!). This is why I can never live on the first floor of anything.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? A taco salad. With salsa and sour cream and tortilla chips and good old fashioned iceberg lettuce. Every.Single.Day.

What’s your favorite movie? Pitch Perfect, The Green Mile, Disturbia. And…. House of a Thousand Corpses. Don’t judge.

What did you collect growing up? For a little while I collected shopping bags. Like the plastic ones you get from Target. Your guess is as good as mine as to why I thought this was cool.

What is the most interesting thing you can see from your kitchen window? I have a kitchen window! It faces the backside of a very small unused theater, which means the most interesting thing I currently see is a pile of rocks. And sometimes a cat.

Laughed out loud – A) I agree with the dark window thing – none of my first floor windows are uncovered B) “and sometimes a cat” –

You make me lol.
One meal- pizza or spaghetti & meatballs or Mac & cheese. Can I just say carbs & cheese?

YES to carbs and cheese. I’ll allow it.

Place I would most like to live – Columbus, OH Close-ish to me now but the weather is so much better in that tiny distance.

Fear – wasting time. Not in an “oh my gosh I cannot relax” way but in a “suck the joy out of everything I can way”

Happy place – first – anywhere I am with my family, secondly a state park near my home where I love to run

Meal – carbs carbs more carbs, please note I am a carbitarian

Money no object? Read and volunteer

Fav holiday – the whole season from mid November through New Years – it’s just festive and food centric and I get to see lots of family

Last book I read – Troublemaker by Leah Remini – about……………….scientology. Creepy

I am more clean than messy but my ability to put up with messes increases as I age

Appliance I use every day – microwave – mostly for heating up the bean bag I use on my aching guts!

Fav movie – Ferris Buehler’s Day Off – ADORE

Never been a big collector

Law of the land – If I could copy yours word for word I would. I don’t understand negativity and nastiness – so unnecessary

Interesting things out my kitchen window – cows and peacocks. I live next to a farm

I can barely muddle along in English so unless specialized made up “cuss” words count we will go with 1

Person who knows me best – my precious husband who deserves an award for putting up with me!

Your peacocks and cows totally beat my sometimes-cat.

Yeah I was gonna say, I love how you’re so casual, like “Oh yeah, got some peacocks out back.” WHAT ARE THEIR NAMES? Taylor and Swift, maybe?

The peacocks are a riot. They make a call that sounds a bit like they are saying “hello”. When we first moved in my son was four and one day as he was drawing the sidewalk with chalk I hear him say “hello hello that’s all they ever say”.

It was interesting (Troublemaker). I am not a fan or a non-fan. There were definitely parts that felt self involved but it’s a bit hard to judge not having gone through that myself. Mostly I spent my time thinking “for crying out loud what took you so long to leave”! On a scale of 1-5 I would give it a three. Not at all sorry I spent time reading it but not so earth shattering that I would run around telling everyone else to read it either. The most interesting part to me was that she was in Sea Org at some point which I found truly bizarre since everything I have ever heard is that is the true “no way out” part of the whole whack-a-doodle dandy set up. I’d gladly lend it to you – even ship it up there if you like. I would say since you cannot stand her not to spend your money on it – just read it if you can borrow it or have it passed on to you.

But your cat is a surprise – maybe it will be there……maybe not!

Oooooh you read Troublemaker!! So part of me wants to read it because it’s all fascinating, but I feel like the media has already released all the good/juicy stuff. PLUS I watched her on 20/20 last week, and in spite of the fact that she did a good job playing Stacey Carosi on “Saved By the Bell,” I CANNOT STAND HER. So can you please elaborate on the highlights and lowlights from the book for me? THANKS. (Think of it as a book report, like from school. I will give you a grade if that will prove to be a motivating factor for you.)

PS – I will totally ask Farmer Miller (yes that is his name) how to properly address the peacocks so we can get that settled If the names are not appropriately sassy I will be sure to recommend Taylor and Swift 🙂

Love these things!

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? MAC AND CHEESE, for sure! cheese covered carbs, sign me up!

What did you collect growing up? Babysitters Club Books. I had them all and read them all multiple times. Best book series ever! Oh and beanie babies too (typical 90’s kid right here)

What was your first job? Worked at a bagel store., just so I could eat free bagels.

But what KIND of mac and cheese? Kraft? Annie’s? Velveeta? Homemade? Fancy restaurant kind with different cheese and bread crumb topping? Talk cheesy to me…

I STILL don’t throw some things away because I don’t want to make them sad. #whyamiadmittingthisontheinternet

I used to collect wine corks when I was younger! (Clearly I knew where my interests would develop in the future.)

And +1 on the carbs for life!

SO MANY PHOTOS OF GIANT CATS AND BABY ELLIES AND GIRAFFES! You’re making me want to go to Africa!

-Happy place? the strand
-Last book I read? The Story of a Lost Child by Elena Ferrante
-Things I collected? as a child, beanie babies and pogs…as an adult, books and nail polish(actually i might just be a hoarder)

Hairless cats made me laugh out loud!! How many times do you see those? I guess they’re pretty scary…but I would go with spiders myself. And dark basements..and being on top of a ski slope when your friends have already fled down the mountain. All phobias of mine. Anyway, thanks for your post, this is great!

I too have a HUGE fear of snakes but biggest fear is anything happening to my son (his favorite place in the world is NYC…we go every year for his Dec. 12th birthday)… Favorite movie..Stealing Home and when a man loves a woman…one last meal? Sushi dumplings from Umani. I still don’t know what is in the middle but they are the bomb. Guilty pleasure? Reading blogs like yours! First job…babysitter but I also worked at dairy queen for a summer (and gained 7 pounds…making $4.50 an hour was so not worth it)….last book read…who do you love by Jennifer weiner…who knows me the best? my three best girlfriends from high school and my hubby..

I have three huge bins of Beanie Babies…and three Princess Di ones. Let me know when they are worth something.

Biggest Fear- Needles. The sight of them makes me wanna scream. It sounds so silly. When I was 4 I fell sliced my head open and landed up in the ER and the doctor came in with what looked like the biggest needle ever..Long story short they had to put me in a straight jacket to stitch me up with 23 stitches.

Favorite Food- Do Cheerios count? I could eat them for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Oh and Nutella on english muffin with banana slices.

I am obsessed with Tiny Houses after living in a 345 sq ft studio in NYC. So anywhere I can park it.

Um hairless cats are the best! Mine is going to be named chingy and i am looking forward to getting him. Meanwhile going into surgery for my crohn’s on Friday – your strength helps bring me strength! Your the best

While I cannot get on your level re: hairless cats (though the name Chingy is hysterical), I am thinking happy, healthy, YOU’VE GOT THIS wishes for you this week. I hope the surgery goes well and that you get to take a really good nap afterward. Take good care of yourself — thinking of you!

I never tried cotton candy until my boys were old enough to ask for it. I always said I wouldn’t buy it for my kids but there it was. I tried it. It was sweet, but it was fun to crunch it in my teeth! What can I say?

Bring puppies to people to make them happy. YES!! Puppies make everyone nicer :). Last book, Girl Boss. I’d like to be really rich and travel everywhere and then see where I love best. Your writing always makes me smile 🙂

How did we never discuss that zoolander is one of your top films?? (I’ll say film instead of movie becuase it classes it up.) I can recite every line. Let’s do that next time we see each other. Done.

I would love to, but I think I’m getting the black lung, pop.

OMG! If Seth Cohen brings Capt. Oats, does that count as a person too?

Ummm….Center Stage is clearly one fabulous movie! And if Celine is singing to me while TSwift is my waitress and I’m having a convo with Seth Cohen, I’m pretty sure I’d be in heaven.
Also, a little girl in my class (5th grade) has a hairless cat named Rosie and she brings in pictures and I can’t help but cringe!

YOU SHOULD FAIL HER. She sounds like a terrible student.

I just found your blog and won’t lie — I’ve pretty much been binge-reading it for the last few days and I’m already back to 2012 entries. Get a life, Lauren!

Anyway, I was afflicted with the same “these-inanimate-objects-might-totally-have-feelings-so-I-can’t-throw-them-away” mentality, which led to many, many collections. Many of which have made all of my adult moves with me and may still be in my basement. Whoops.

Can I come to your dinner party? Tina and Amy are top on my list of people to meet.

First time commenter, here:

You are so funny, Ali. I love your blog. A few questions I have some definite answers to:

What I could eat everyday – Biryani, any variant – Chicken, mutton, fish, shrimp – give ’em all to me!

What I wanted to be when I grew up? – The lift /Elevator (wo)man, so all I had to do was watch people all day long and press a few buttons

Movies I can watch again and again – Independence Day, X Men: First Class, Dawn of the planet of the apes, Wolf of wall street, Mean girls, P.S. I love you, Terminator 2 :Judgement Day

Favourite holiday – Iceland, definitely. I went there two months ago, I want to cry every time I look at the pics. And Hampi, a heritage town in India.

And I can speak 4 languages 🙂

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA <3

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
A place where I could have:
– a view of water with a sandy beach,
– have wild animals roaming freely, like an African savanna,
– warm all year around,
– but still close to a mountain so I could go snowboarding all year around.

What are your biggest fears?
Drowning. I’ve had recurring dreams of drowning since I was little.

What did you want to be when you were small?
A veterinarian. I love animals so much but I could never be never be able to put one down for no reason.

Where is your happy place?
Being with my husband and my cat.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Lactose-free cheesecake. I know. It’s an oxymoron. And pasta, lots of pasta.

If money were no object, what would you do all day?
Train for Boston Marathon, travel to every corner of the world to see animals in their original habitat, and save cats. All of them. Big or small. Even the hairless ones!!!

If you could share a meal with any four individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
Albert Einstein – We share a birthday: Pi Day
Jane Goodall – My hero
Vincent Van Gogh – I’m fascinated by this artist
Johnny Depp – He’s intelligent and good looking. 🙂
Just think of the conversations!!!

What’s your favorite holiday?
Any time spending time with my family is my special holiday. It doesn’t need to be a specific day. All of my family lives at least 3+ hours away from me. It’s always meaningful when I get to see them. 🙂

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?
Coronation Street. It’s a British soap opera. The people aren’t as glamourous as the American soaps (no offense!) and feels like they could be my neighbours! And Kraft Dinner. The whole box.

What was the last book you read?
Does your blog count?

Are you a clean or messy person?
Clean but terribly disorganized. And I hate doing dishes.

What kitchen appliance do you use every day?
Bowl and spoon.

What’s your favorite movie?
Gone With the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Casablanca, Stand By Me and The Breakfast Club. All of these I can watch again, and again, and again.

What did you collect growing up?
Pennies. On rainy days I would pour them out of my piggy bank and separate them by year. I know, riveting isn’t it? 😛

If you were ruler of a country, what would be the first law you would introduce?
Equal pay for for women.

What is the most interesting thing you can see from your kitchen window?
The squirrels who manage to run along the telephone wire to get from tree to tree. Biggest surprise? When a raccoon did the same thing, I honestly didn’t think it was going to make it!

What was your first job?
My first (summer) job was as a transportation dispatcher at a chemical factory managing the trucks and rail cars that came in and out of the plant.

My first real career job was as a web designer at Discovery Channel Canada. There weren’t that many people with those skills at the time (this is way, way back in 1998!) and landed the job even before I finished school. Best thing about that gig? You learned something new every day. I’m still in the same field today!

How many languages do you speak?
English and French. I’m a Canadian, eh? I have also studied Spanish and Ukrainian.

Who knows you best?
My husband. I used to play the “Drama Queen” card but it never worked with him. He saw right through it. He’s my rock and a voice of reason when I need it.
And my longest friend Sarah. We may be on opposite sides of the country but when we see each other it’s like we pick up where we left off!

Not related to this post at all but I needed to call your attention to THIS: http://www.buzzfeed.com/elainawahl/giraffes-man#.bvZ7d47A4 (something tells me you may have already seen it/had others send you this link today).

Great fun post that made me laugh several times.
Well, I have windows in kitchen. I can see another house wall. Now I don’t know what’s better 🙂

What did you want to be when you were small?
….a cashier. But because I didn’t know that was the actual type of profession, I told everyone I wanted to be a “cash register.” Man, I thought those things were so cool. And money came out of them! Buttons and then money! So neat.