Room Raiders 2015

Remember Room Raiders? The dating/reality show on MTV that ran from 2004 to 2009? The dumbest show ever created? If not, let me remind you.

Room Raiders, the show that gives three unsuspecting singles the surprise of their lives when they find out they’re being picked for a date, not by their looks or charm, but by what’s inside their bedrooms. The girls watch helplessly as their dirtiest secrets are revealed.

Basically, one eligible contestant would raid the bedrooms of three other eligible contestants. Eligible contestant number one would rifle through the others’ things, judge them by the posters on their walls and the underpants in their drawers, and then—without ever meeting any of them—choose a winner to date.

I had two problems with this show. First, I hated that the people who had their rooms raided—the raidees—pretended to not know what was going on. They’d be in their house, taking naps or dropping deuces, and suddenly a stranger in sunglasses and a jumpsuit would run in, kidnap them, and throw them in the back of a van. The raidees would pretend to be a little confused, but otherwise went along it. THAT DON’T MAKE NO SENSE. IF A STRANGER CAME INTO MY CRIB TO STEAL ME I’D BE THROWING BOWS AND KNEEING B-SACKS. THAT CAN STAND FOR BALLSACKS OR BOOBSACKS, DEPENDING ON MY CAPTOR’S GENDER AND HEIGHT. I WOULD WILD OUT.

The absurdity of the premise was my first problem with Room Raiders. My second was that I was never on it.

I never signed up or auditioned for it or anything, I just always thought it’d be cool to have a stranger paw through my business and evaluate me as a love interest based on their findings. And I mean that sincerely—I truly did dream of being on Room Raiders. I think the show’s been canceled (or if it hasn’t, I’m too old and booed up now), so I’ve got to raid my own room. And since I’m the one doing the raiding, I’m going to feel free to explain the things that need explaining.

Things in my bed

  • 9 pillows (one for emotional purposes, one for sleeping, and 7 because I’m too nice to kick them out)
  • 1 green blanket with holes in it
  • 1 fitted sheet, with both mud and blood stains (from tiny dog paws and picked scabs, respectively)
  • 0 top sheets
  • Several dead or dying ticks, of both Wood and Deer varieties (result of the tiny dogs that co-sleep wit me)
  • 1 plastic dog bone
  • 1 piece of a deer antler

Things on top of my bedside table


Look at how impressively smooth those tinfoil balls are!

  • 1 brand new, beautiful Nalliegene bottle
  • 1 pair of tweezers for late-night belly tweezing
  • 1 tube of Abreva
  • Many bottles of lotion
  • Many never-to-be-read library books
  • 1 Bart Simpson thumb drive
  • 2 impressively smooth balls of tinfoil
  • Couple dead ticks

Things inside of my bedside table

  • 1 tube of Abreva
  • 1 baby tub of Vaseline
  • 1 baby Etch a Sketch
  • 1 empty box pet deodorizer for when my dog pees on my bed

Things in my closet

Photo on 5-12-15 at 9.42 PM

Look how lovingly Chico is looking at me. He think I look fly.

  • 1 pair Spanish sag pants
  • 1 Angora orange turtleneck sleeveless sweater
  • 1 shirt with sleeves but no shoulders
  • 39 shirts that need to be retired
  • 2 freakum dresses that will never be worn

Look at that d-bag kid. Nice tie, loser. Pay attention to your damn girl.

Miscellaneous things

  • 2 sets pink frill curtains
  • 1 pink carpet
  • 1 additional twin-sized bed in the corner where my mom sleeps when it gets too hot in the rest of the house
  • 1 creepy picture of adult children in a relationship that is most likely abusive
  • 6 glow-in-the-dark stars
  • 1 broken clock
  • 1 broken vacuum cleaner
  • 1 broken drafting table
  • 2 TVs

I’ve been living in it for the past two years, but I’d like to point out this is technically my sister’s bedroom, even though she moved out the house in ’01. So, really, this has been a raid of my sister’s room, not mine. Sorry, Chris.

P.S. What things would someone find if they raided your room?

Exercising at work

Ready for some scary news? Are you sitting down?


Because people who sit die.

That is a fact. Every single person who has ever sat will die. And people who spend six or more hours a day sitting are 78% more likely to die earlier than they maybe would have—of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other bad sitting-induced diseases. They’re also 109% more likely to be overweight.

Those are made up statistics, but they’re based in some fact. Google “sitting all day” and you will find millions—for real, millions—of results about how bad sitting is for you. From reputable sources, too: NPR, CNN, Today, etc.

The dramatic headlines say it all. It’s confirmed, he who sits the most dies the soonest.


I sit a butt ton. I sit on my butt a butt ton. I once traded design services for a standing desk, but it was a portable one and it wiggle waggled around like crazy and gave me a migraine, so I sold it on Craigslist for a quick hundo.

So, like millions of other office workers, I sit on a cushy computer chair for seven hours a day. And I drive for at least an hour a day. Then I go home, walk the dogs for thirty minutes, and then sit down to eat dinner, watch TV, read, or whatever. I sit enough to die.

Since I very dearly would like to minimize the risk sitting puts me at, I try to incorporate fitness and movement into my everyday office routine. Here is how.


I drink mad water. Probably 32 ounces every hour or two. When my Nalgene’s empty, I have to stand up, walk downstairs, fill up my bottle, and walk back upstairs to my office. And with water, of course, comes whizzing. I go pee about once an hour. It’s very healthy. Actually, once I had a water-drinking contest with a co-worker and got water poisoning and had to go home early. Normally, though, drinking water is healthy. I just had to learn to keep it under eight Nalgenes per five hours. That is not healthy. That is drowning.

Coffee runs

By coffee runs I mean getting up and walking across campus to a little market. I guess it works the other way too though, because I get super poopy from coffee. I take a sip and immediately got to rush to the bathroom. That’s TMI but it’s also standing up, and that’s good news.

I run for more than coffee. I’ll walk across campus for a single York peppermint patty. I’ll accompany co-workers to the library, or the mail center, or anywhere. If anyone invites me for a bit of walking, I accept their offer. Walking’s not sitting, and you know what that is? That’s good news.


If a co-worker comes into my office to ask me something, I stand up. They’re standing anyway, so I look like a gentleman. A gentlelady. People at work find me very polite and agreeable.


Although I am polite and agreeable, I also get bored extra quick when someone’s talking to me about worky stuff. So, while they talk, I drop down and do a few push-ups. Or I do calf raises, or a plank, or squats, or stretches, or other body weight exercises. Everyone in my department knows I’m passionate about not getting diseases from sitting too much, so they’re cool with it. Sometimes they even join in.

I also have a pull-up bar in my office—I try to do at least two pull-ups a day (pull-ups are hard). I get in some air crunches on the bar, too. I also do about five handstands against the wall per day. Doing those got more difficult when my boss moved into my office, but he knows to look away now.

Quick note: Squats are the trickiest, because girls wear tight pants sometimes. Squats and tight pants aren’t a good team. For example, a couple weeks ago I got up during a meeting to get water, go pee, and pop a few squats in the bathroom. I was wearing an old pair of semi-tight pants and, about three squats in, I blew out the B-hole. Ripped the crack seam right in half. It wasn’t huge, so I didn’t have to go home to change or anything, but that’s something I generally try to avoid—ripping my pants in the middle of a meeting.

All right, now you know how I get up from my chair. How do you get up from yours? We might not be the real Slim Shady, but let’s all still please stand up.

Self-Confidence and Social Media

My friend Katie and I went for a hike over the weekend. We brought skis and dogs to a small mountain where the snow came down through the pines on the hillside, muffling the groans of branches when it gusted and the creaks our feet made in the packed powder of the trail. At the peak we slid into ski boots and clicked into bindings, skiing down through falling snow while the dogs padded alongside—quiet and cold, the type of day that changes your life.



Holy moly writing that was terrible. I plagiarized half that diarrhea from a Hemingway book and still it’s making my insides burn with shatred. That’s a combo of shame and hatred and sharts, and it barely describes the amount of discomfort that paragraph makes me feel. “The type of day that changes your life.” Again:


But after you’re done throwing up, you can admit it sounded a little bit dope, right? Not the trying-too-hard paragraph, but the hiking experience itself. Katie and I really did hike up a mountain and ski down it with our dogs in tow. Doesn’t it make us sound like a couple of cool Maine ladies who spend their days backcountrying around the backcountry, chilling with four-legged creatures, and adventuring?

Imagine if I posted about our hike on Instagram. That picture of me with the skis and the dogs, with a Walden filter, and some caption about winter and Maine and snow. Maybe I tag L.L.Bean in it. Maybe I quote Robert Frost.

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.” –Robert Frost, Snow
#winter #maine #llbean #mansbestfriend #rescuepups #alwaysadopt

If I posted that on Instagram, you might think I was pretentious, but you also might think I was a lil bit cool. Quoting poets, rescuing dogs, hiking snowy mountains. You’d have no idea that I had to Google “Robert Frost quotes” to find that Robert Frost quote. Or that my dog didn’t come from a shelter—he came from a breeder, and I had to barter away months of my life in order to afford that tiny, expensive bed-whizzer. Or that my snowy hike last weekend was not at all life-changing, that in fact it sucked 100% balls.

It was less than two miles to the top but Katie and I each almost had true mental breakdowns on that hike. Our backs hurt, our feet froze, and snowmobilers kept trying to murder us. It took half an hour to get into our ski boots, I was convinced I shattered my Achilles tendon, and when we finally succeeded in putting our skis on, we learned the way back down was not down at all. That shady ass mountain was actually a field in disguise—we had to trek it cross-country style the whole way back. That hike was made of snot rockets and swear words, and it effin blew. But you wouldn’t know it from that picture.

I try to remember that every time I go on Instagram. I’m following lots of people who do cool things, and sometimes I get a little down on myself. My feed’s full of people’s pictures of their houses and vacations and brand new cars. Meanwhile, I’m living with my parents and starting collection jars for candy bars.* Every time I see a cool picture and I feel myself getting jealous, I think of all the ways it could actually suck.

  • Photo of someone’s new house: They have rats living in their walls.
  • Photo of a nice gift from a boyfriend: Their boyfriend is their cousin and also a thief.
  • Photo out of an airplane window: The person in the seat next to them has measles. And is also their boyfriend, the cousin/thief.
  • Photo at the gym, post-workout: They have rats at home, remember, so they like to get out the crib and Planet Fitness is open 24 hours.
  • Photo of their feet near water, someplace warm: The rest of their body is covered in rats. And hickeys from their cousin.

Really, all you have to do is add in rats and incest. Nobody’s life sounds good when you add in rats and incest.

*I’m up to 45 cents, if anyone would like to contribute.

Better Off Home

I took a shower last Saturday night. I put on mascara, perfume, and a T-shirt I’d only worn one other time without washing. I also seriously considered wearing earrings (but pierced ear holes smell like straight booty and idfwt). I was ready for a night out on the town in New England’s 29th biggest city. Curtis and I had plans to get dinner and drinks with a friend in Portland.

But on the way into town, we remembered PLANS ARE FOR FOOLS and instead got pizza and went back to my house to eat cheesecake and watch The Office on Netflix. I was asleep by 9 damn 30, and I couldn’t have been happier. (Also, our friend had furniture troubles and couldn’t make it, so it was just Curtis and me. Hells if we’re gonna spend a Saturday night socializing when we don’t have to.)

The thing is: going out blows. Sometimes I feel bad for thinking it blows so much, and that I don’t do more of it. I’m 25 now—when I’m 80, will I look back at my twenties and regret not going out to the club more often? Will I regret never learning how to twerk or jerk or yeet? (Those are all dances, by the way—not gross things.)

The answer is no. I won’t regret any of that. Because I did learn how to yeet. In my living room, in an old pair of my sister’s friend’s sweatpants, in front of my parents while they watched The Weather Channel. And then I went to bed and was asleep by 9 damn 30, and I couldn’t have been happier. I’m the type of person who’s better off in the crib.

To go out is to spend several hours interacting with others. I have nothing against others—some of my best friends are others—I’d just rather not have to interact with them in loud, dimly lit places when I’m sleepy. Plus I’m self-conscious in groups greater than two, so if I don’t drink I get bad social anxiety. But if I do drink, then I’m not self-conscious, which is even worse. My unself-conscious self is weirdly aggressive and … athletic, maybe. Or just competitive. And awful.

Por ejemplo, last year, I went to a strangers’ party in New York City. I was with friends who were related to these strangers, but I ain’t know them like that. I didn’t want to be socially anxious so I brought a bottle of Cîroc. At the same time I didn’t want to act like my uninhibited self and embarrass my friends, so I made a list of the things to avoid doing. The list included:

  • Speaking Spanish
  • Asking about food
  • Asking about candy
  • Doing push-ups
  • Talking about how getting into a fight could be cool
  • Drooling
  • Doing a southern accent
  • Talking about Patrick Stump
  • Talking about rappers
  • Rapping

This was a real list written in earnest days prior to going to New York. I even brought it along to make sure I didn’t forget about it.

It worked for a while, too. I went to the strangers’ party in New York, ate Hawaiian pizza, and had a sugary boozy drink. I laughed at people’s stories and spoke without stumbling and, in general, acted like a normal person. Until I met a girl from St. Louis.

You know who’s from St. Louis? The St. Lunatics. Nelly and Murphy Lee and their St. Louis-born rapping friends.

Me: Oh, St. Louis! Do you like Murphy Lee?
Girl from St. Louis: Murphy Lee?
Me: Yeah! You know, Baby Houie. One of the best in the Louie … “I’m so St. Louis, ask my tattooist. I was like the waterboy now they sayin’ you can do it.” You two related or anything?

Not only did I talk about rappers, I rapped. With that, all was lost. I started speaking terrible Spanish. Instead of push-ups I did fake pull-ups. I took a shot of white vinegar. Those strangers? I gave them all the suck-it sign and challenged them to dance battles.

That’s why I stay in the crib. We’re all better off because of it.

Surfing in the Winter

If you want to surf somewhere cold—like Maine in the winter, maybe—the first step is getting a thick wetsuit. If you don’t already have a thick wetsuit, visit your local surf shop and follow these steps:

Seek help from one of the friendly employees. Ideally you’ll find the owner of the shop, maybe a 60ish-year-old gentleman named John, and he’ll lead you to the wetsuit section of the store. You’ll want to be on your cell phone at this point, so John knows you’re important and not that serious about wetsuits. But you’ll also want him to sympathize with you, so knock over a skateboard display and fart a rotten one. This will show him you’re both down-to-earth and helpless, and it will endear you to him.

Follow John’s lead on this one. He knows how cold the waters can get, and will recommend the right ones to keep you warm. Some of them will have hoods, some will not—just make sure you tell him your sisters used to suffocate you under blankets and that you hate constrictive clothing and struggle with claustrophobia. He will not understand, but you’ll feel better having told him.

John will escort you to the fitting room, likely located directly across from the main entrance of the store. Tell him you’re wearing underpants—not a bathing suit—under your clothes, and ask if that’s cool. Remember, you will have earned his pity from the skateboards and the farts, and he’ll reluctantly let it slide.

Put on the first wetsuit. Since it’s supposed to be warm enough for cold-water surfing, it’s going to be crazy thick—six millimeters, even. Squirm your way in as best as you can. Then, once you’ve zipped yourself up, walk out from the fitting room and into the main part of the store, and ask John to check you out. He’ll tell you your crotch is sagging, and then he’ll make you tug at your junk for the next ten minutes. Finally he’ll tell you the wetsuit’s positioned correctly, and you’ll tell him you’re choking and that you “hate this so much.” Retreat to the fitting room.

Remember how you squirmed your way into the wetsuit? You will now realize that your shoulders are too broad and your fingers too weak to squirm your way back out. Tug helplessly for five minutes, get so sweaty the suit sticks to you even worse, and then run out of the fitting room shouting for help. Remind John about how much you hate constrictive clothing. Ask him to get you out of that GODDAMN THICK ASS FUCKING WETSUIT.

It will require two people—John and a high school girl who works there—to get you out of the wetsuit. When they’re done, thank them by explaining, again, how your sisters used to try to suffocate you with blankets. You will notice both John and the girl are uncomfortable yet amused. Look down and realize you are in your underpants in the middle of the store (just the top half, but still definitely underpants). Hasten back to the fitting room.

Do not buy a wetsuit. Do not surf anywhere cold.

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Should I Get a Dog in My 20s?

Are you in your 20s and trying to decide if you’re ready to get a dog? Do you want an adorable creature to take pictures of, but not sure if you’re really up for the responsibility of caring for it? Lemme give you my version of the lowdown on dog parenthood.

What to Expect During Puppyhood
Puppies are cute. They got this stank skunk breath that smells wonderful, despite the stank skunkiness of it. They hip hop around and chase butterflies and are soft and snuggly and floppy. And yet, much like Ben Franklin, puppies are the devil.

They pee and poop on your things—usually your floor, but sometimes other things, too. Like your bed. When my dog, Dizzy, was a puppy, he peed on my brand new mattress in the middle of the night. I took him outside to finish any remaining business, he didn’t do anything except sniff, we came back inside, and then he pooped in the hallway while I was trying to clean my mattress. I texted my mom and said “I WANT TO PUNCH HIM SO BAD RIGHT NOW.” That’s a terrible thing to think and to say, but I did want to punch him. Peeing in my bed I could forgive, but pooping in the hallway! After I’d just taken him out! I didn’t punch him, but if he were a person I maybe would have.

If you don’t want your puppy to pee and poop on your things, you’ll have to take him outside all the time. And you’ll have to follow him around the house to make sure if he does pee or poop, you can catch him in the act and tell him to quit it. Even if you work really hard at that, it still might not make a difference. Dizzy was still pooping inside after eight months. The little bandit pooped TWO TIMES during dog obedience school—in the middle of class, right in front of the dog trainer. Watching puppies all the time is exhausting, and it doesn’t even necessarily make a difference.

Other bad things puppies do: chew your things, chew other people’s things, bite you, bite other people, bark, try to eat stupid things that will kill them, take up all your time, take up some of your money.

Before getting a dog, you only ever have to worry about yourself. After you get a dog, you’ve got a real live creature whose well-being depends almost entirely on you. It’s a big adjustment. Before bringing home a puppy, make sure you got back-up. If it weren’t for my parents, I don’t know if I would have made it through Dizzy’s first couple of months. It was weirdly sad and lonely. Felt like I had postpartum depression or something (I say “or something” because I’ve never had a human baby and I don’t know what postpartum depression actually feels like). Dizzy and I are super tight now, but puppies are dicks. Know that it’s not all snuggles and selfies.

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 8.26.22 PM


What to Expect During Doghood
Having a dog definitely gets easier once they get a little bit older. They stop with all the indoor peeing and pooping, mostly. They can be left alone for hours at a time and trusted not to eff up too much of your stuff. Though they’re probably not as cute as they were as puppies, they’re still cute and they suck way less.

They will continue to cost you money. Dog food and dog toys and vet visits aren’t cheap. They will continue to take up your time, because they rely on you for entertainment and exercise and love. Also they get a little bit smellier. Most dogs will seek out rotten things outside just so they can roll in them. Their breath loses its puppy scent and instead smells like old hamburger and salmon. Dogs with long fur get poop stuck in the fur around their b-hole. If they’re like Dizzy and they suck at peeing, they splash pee on their legs and smell bad that way, too. Expect to do gross things, like pull rope out of their butt and cut matted fur off their wieners (if they have wieners).

Besides the gross parts, though, grown dogs are the bomb. They love doing activities and will be down for almost anything, unless it involves vacuum cleaners or fireworks. They’ll probably stare at you a lot and that’s annoying, but they’ll also be stoked when you come home from work and will keep you warm in bed if you let them sleep with you. All good things. Remember though: They are work. They need exercise and love. Be a person that’s cool with exercise and love.

For real: You ready?
In your 20s, most people are used to living young and wild and free. So what you get drunk? So what you smoke weed? You’re just having fun, you don’t care who sees. So what you go out? That’s how it’s supposed to be. But then you get a dog, and all that gets much harder. You want to drink booze and smoke marijuana? Your dog needs a walk, not a rain shower in the studio, Wiz Khalifa.

A few questions to answer before getting a dog:

1. Do I like dogs?
2. Do I like the dog I’m thinking about getting?
3. Do I have enough money to pay for food and vet visits?
4. Am I OK with spending that money or am I too cheap?
5. Am I lazy?
6. Do I mind gross things?
7. Am I all right with the outdoors?
8. Am I cool with exercise and love?

If you answered yes, yes, yes, yes—OK with it (not cheap), no, no, yes, double yes, then you’re probably ready to get a dog. Good luck!

A thing I’ve been working on

It’s been damn near three months since I’ve posted anything new here. That’s because:

  1. I’m lazy as hell.
  2. My left shin is acting up and freaking me out.
  3. I’ve been working on something else.

This something else is a longer, non-blog story that I’m planning to submit as part of an application for graduate school. I’ve included an excerpt of it below, but the whole thing is about 22 double-spaced pages. If you read the excerpt and have any interest in reading more of it, I would love to send you the full story and to have you tell me what you think of it. Tryna make it as good as I can, and your feedback would help. If you email, I’ll send it to you A$AP. (I’d use my real email address but I’ve seen the Google searches that bring people to this site. I got mad weirdos coming through.)

Also, a disclaimer: Some of this stuff I’ve already blogged about. Sorry if that’s boring. But! If you choose to read the whole thing, there is some freaky stuff I’ve never blogged about before, like the first time I shared a bed with someone (I was old and acted strangely. I’m not that thrilled about sharing it.)



In 1993, I had a bed head of blonde hair, a bug collection, and an insane speech impediment. I spent my days at home in Maine playing with Barbies, catching frogs, eating chips, and telling anyone who would listen how much I loved “big, black, muscly men.” I was four years old.

If I ever have a daughter who, at age four, confesses to me her love for big, black, muscly men, I imagine I’d be both horrified and delightfully surprised. If that’s the reaction my own mom had when I made the same confession, then I must have only registered her delighted surprise. She, like everyone else, loved it when I said my type of man was the LL Cool J type of man. So I told it to everyone.

“I heard you lost your first tooth, Allie. Nice work!” said Clayton, my next-door neighbor.

“Nah. Michael Jordan, now that’s some nice work,” I told him. “Asked Santa to bring me that ass for Christmas. Clayton you already know I love me some big, black, muscly men.”

“All right, kiddos, it’s nap time!” said Diane, my daycare provider.

“Word!” I said. “‘Bout to have some chocolate dreams up in this bitch. You know, cause I love big, black, muscly men and I think about them in my sleep. Nighty night, y’all.”

“How would your daughter like her cheeseburger?” asked a Ground Round waitress.

“She’ll have it done medium—” said my mom.

“Make that well-done, gurl,” I interrupted. “I want it black but juicy, with extra firm buns and a spooky big pickle on the side. I call it the ‘Allie’s Manwich’ in honor of my love and appreciation for big, black, muscly men. Yo, and that comes with chips, right?”

I never actually said any of those things, but I really did use that exact phrase (“I love big, black, muscly men!”) all the time. It was true; when I was four, black men with big muscles were the only men I was into. While other girls my age were watching Snow White and Sleeping Beauty and falling in love with Prince Charming, I was busy watching rap videos and counting how many rows of abs Tupac had. My mom has always been a big hip-hop fan, and by default my three older sisters and I were, too. Since the three of them had mostly grown out of Disney movies by the time I would’ve grown into them, and since they ruled the TV remote, all we watched was MTV. Once you’ve seen Tupac rapping naked on a toilet in his video for “All About You,” there’s not much to be gained from watching a cartoon prince kiss a sleeping cartoon princess.

If Cinderella is the ultimate fairy tale for most little girls, then mine was Salt-N-Pepa’s video for their song, “Shoop.” My entire notion of love and romance comes from that video. My entire notion of life comes from that video, actually. I remember watching it and seeing those chocolate chip, honey-dipped men dancing around shirtless—the guy in the leather vest and the do-rag, and the other guy in the baggy blue suit who stripped down to his underpants. I didn’t even understand what I was seeing, but I was most definitely trying to get a scoop.

It makes me sick to say that now—to admit that I was some kind of semi-racist horndog in pre-K, but I can’t change the past. I was a semi-racist horndog through-and-through. I was a blonde-headed, light-skinnded girl whose ideal Prince Charming was big and black and built. My sole redeeming quality was though I preferred black guys, I was down with just about anyone. I just wanted to shoop, goddammit—and with few big, black, built men to chose from in southern Maine, I had to take what I could get. That’s why a year later, on my first day of kindergarten, I fell in love with a scrawny white boy named Justin. He was the first boy I made eye contact with that day.



Willing to read more? Holla at and I’ll send you all of it!