Monday, July 25, 2011

something good can work

Situations in Which I Become Utterly Useless:

1. Basketball/volleyball/soft ball/flag football/badminton/most "team oriented" sports that you're forced to play in middle school P.E. class. I was always that girl, the one that everyone hates because of her exaggerated lack of coordination and suckiness in general. In most cases I was allowed to just stand around and loudly broadcast to my team to "WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT GIVE THAT BALL TO ME" but there were some mortifying occasions when I was forced into participating and I was so worthless that I embarrassed not only myself, but the whole class of preteen girls. Oh.

2. Any occasion that's even vaguely romantic in origin. You haven't heard a real stutter until you've heard my well-wasn't-that-romantic stutter.

3. Whenever someone makes me hold their baby while they are standing there watching me.

4. Whenever I have to try to improvise humor in front of anyone else. Drama class in 7th grade is a vivid and painful thing to remember for me.

5. When adults yell at me or try to talk me out of something. Even when I know that I'm right, I get really mushy and timid when a grown-up is "putting me in my place" and end up nodding too much and being like "yeah, okay, thanks, so sorry, gosh I'm dumb, 'kay bye!" even though I should be like "rawr rawr rawr, you're wrong and I'm right and do what I say and this is your fault so stop blaming me and stop talking like I'm 7-years-old." Afterward, I kick myself for being so easy to walk all over.
6. Any time there are bodily fluids involved. (Kaitlyn and Addy can attest to this: reference the infamous Meaghan Smith concert when Addy barfed in a hotel bathroom) Like tonight, when one of the (@%#$*!) dogs that I'm taking care of while house-sitting in California vomited all over the floor. But this was not average vomit. It was illogical, inexplicable vomit. It was alien. Let me give you a visual. Do this for me: hold your arms out in front of you in a circle as if you were hugging an invisible beach ball. Yes, thank you. This is the circumference of the barf-pool that came from a single Labrador tonight. Also, I am not exaggerating. Lucky for me, my dad was at the house just then so he had the "exciting" job of cleaning it all up, a task that would make a strong man weep from despair. A decent person would have offered to help, but since I turned utterly useless at the very sight of so much puke, the only thing I offered while my dad cleaned and cleaned and tried not to swear or kill the (@%#$*!) dog who produced such a monstrosity, was borderline insane, raucous laughter. My dad said: "This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me". And I held my sides from laughing so hard. My dad said: "I will never eat again". I doubled over. My dad said: "You probably could've helped out a bit, Avery" and I had to sit down on the floor because my knees gave out from laughter. I am a very selfish, mentally unwell person, this proves it.

One last thing: there is the most charming, perfect secondhand bookstore in Burbank that is complete with teeny-tiny passageways between floor-to-ceiling, double-shelved towers of crammed-in books and boxes and stacks strewn around the floor. There are yellow pages and first editions and second editions and eleventh editions and book-smell everywhere. You pay to a man who lives in a tiny hole in the books. There is every single classic imaginable (except Catcher in the Rye, apparently, which I am on a constant quest for) in a thousand different stages of decay and covers that show the decades changing. Price-tags have dreamlike numbers written on them such as "$3" or "$5" and everything is so perfect there you can't help but get greedy and start to want to purchase everything in the whole store. Due to my lack of cash at the moment, these books are what I have purchased so far:
-One bent-edges copy of The House on Mango Street, first edition of Vintage Contemporaries reprinted in 1991. I paid: $3.
-One dirty copy of The Little Prince (English instead of French, sadly, but at least I'll be able to read it), from its first printing in 1943. I paid: $2.
-One almost-new copy of Go Ask Alice (the inspiration for this blog's name, yes), 2006 edition. I paid: $4.
-One gracefully broken-in copy of The Bell Jar, the latest edition, which is the exact same one I've been pining after at Barnes & Noble but it cost a whopping $16.99. I paid: $5. Oh baby.

My total: $14.
My would-be total at Barnes & Noble: $46.96.

I'm not done shopping there yet, obviously. The Book Man who works there already knows that we're going to be best friends forever, since I told him so when I was paying for Little Prince and Mango Street that first time I discovered the store. If you go into the back section, on the bottom shelf under a carefully selected no-one-would-pick-this-up book with Tom Hanks's face on the cover, you will find my to-buy book stash. I'm so in love.

I will let you down.
-Avery Jalaine

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm leaving work now.


I'm so sad.
This is the best thing I've ever seen:

black friday: last day of work at nickelodeon

Today is my last day of work at Nickelodeon Animation Studios.

I feel like bawling and eating a lot.

Did it happen? Has it been a month?

Things I'll Miss About Nickelodeon:

1. Having an uber-futuristic passcard badge on a Nickelodeon lanyard that I use to gain access to "Authorized Personel Only" zones like some kind of spy.

2. Free Sprite, bagels, peanut butter, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal in the kitchen, up for grabs 24/7. (Obviously I've gained 1,000 pounds). And donuts on Monday/Friday.

3. The mushroom-shaped ice from the machine.

4. My cubicle, for some reason. Even though it's a dungeon-hole.

5. My fake 20-something boyfriend who wears chunky black-framed glasses and uses a mug with a mustache on it.*

6. Bonnie + Cheyenne, the interns that oversee our get-togethers and wellbeing. They're funny and Cheyenne is from Canada. (Which is why we celebrated Canada Day patriotically on July 1st.)

7. The supply closet, from which I am very tempted to thieve office supplies from.

8. Saying "Howdy!" to Don, our famous door-greeter. A fine fellow.

9. Getting paid for eating bagels at my desk and using StumbleUpon.

10. The funky decor in the studio. Like the green mirrors and the slime staircase and the crazy colored walls and the green fountain and the weird couches and the Lego Spongebob.

11. My friends - Halie, Jasmine, Madison, and Robby - who I think I love more than everyone else. They're silly and nice and laugh at my jokes and email me Harry Potter things and use bad language and I love it. I love them. I wish I could take them back to Utah.

12. Taking pictures that are dumb and mildly embarrassing in Robby's cubicle on his iMac.

13. Pretending to have a purpose when I walk around at work aimlessly.

14. My work email. (

15. Everything.

I'm getting very sentimental and weepy today. I say things like "this is the last time I'll sit in this swivel chair" or "this is the last time I'll use this Sprite machine". It's disgusting, really, but it's how I am about stuff like this.

But it isn't the end. I don't think it can be.

*And now, a real live portion of thrilling and emotional dialogue between Avery and Fake Boyfriend:

Avery: 'Classy mustache mug, sir.'

Fake Boyfriend: 'Oh, umm...'

Smashing, yes?

See you soon.
-Avery Jalaine

p.s. Oh, and I missed the Decemberists yesterday which made me really depressed, but then the universe wanted to mock me, so I drove through Valencia yesterday ("O Valencia!" irony, evil) and then I drove past a sign that said "The Decemberists In Concert August 12th". Oh, but I'll be in Utah by then. Dangit.) Clearly someone up there thinks my life is very humorous.

Monday, July 18, 2011

i wrote it about you, silly.

Have you ever loved something so much that you don't want anyone else to know about it, because they might ruin it? Have you ever loved something so much that you don't even want to see it? Don't even want it to exist, outside of you?

Sometimes I get nostalgic.

Sometimes I think too much.

Sometimes things don't turn out the way I might've hoped.

And when I laugh, it sticks in my throat.

Thought I accidentally "liked" something of yours on Facebook. Freaked out.

-Avery Jalaine

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

sweet cash dollarz

Tomorrow morning I have a financial meeting with Mark Taylor, the head of production for Nickelodeon Animation Studios and basically the boss of everyone. I'm supposed to come up with some money-type questions about my paycheck and spending and the likes.

These are the questions I've invented thus far, in case you ever need them around the head of a large corporation:

1. Is there any way I could make more money but do less work?

2. How much money does the average hobo make in a year?

3. Do you know of any places that sell 1970's sweaters for cheap?

My real hopes lie on question #3.

What to do if there's an axe-murderer in your car: scream.

-Avery Jalaine

Monday, July 11, 2011

and he said "you're a teenager. do you like that show?"

Unexpected Changes to Avery's Psyche and Life while Living in California:

1. I have mastered a perpetually frustrated, don't-bother-me-I'm-working face that is indispensable when I'm pretending to work around the office. I walk around in a quick, determined manner and carry things to appear heavily burdened. I type noisily. I sigh sometimes. And nobody seems to question my supposed busyness.

2. I saw my very first hooker in Burbank. Something about it felt like a Rite of Passage and so I was gleeful about telling everyone I met. And everyone seemed considerably less enthusiastic than I was about it. It's very tragic to live in a world where the topic of hookers doesn't provoke any emotion from the general populace.

3. Alternately, I saw my first drag queen in Hollywood.

4. I have an unfailing radar for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf shoppes that are within spitting distance from any decent locale in the San Fernando Valley. It's because of their ice-blended drinks (the better-tasting, fraternal twin of Starbucks' frappucino, which are also just as accessible down here) which I consume with much enthusiasm and zeal. And hey! Coffee-free!

5. I hang around a whole lot of 50-something men (because I hang around my dad and they are his friends), and it leads me to appear as some kind of groupie.

6. Make-up application time has been reduced considerably, and you think that'd be a smart choice but in all reality it's just an ugly choice.

7. I have a decidedly fake 25-year-old boyfriend.

8. I am quite the impulsive buyer, suddenly. And that's how I ended up with a vintage prom dress, two CD's of bands I had never heard of but I liked their cover art from Amoeba Music, and an apple pie even though I don't like apple pie (but I'm trying to because you can't be a good person if you don't like apple pie, you just can't).

9. I had to do emergency friend-making around here, and that's how I ended up with five new laugh-and-drive-around-and-have-inside-jokes friends, which is surprising considering that it took me, like, fifteen years to make any friends back home. Maybe my anxiety and lack of social ability is seen as endearing in California, in which case, I should move here.

10. I'm hopeless because sometimes I re-use my old jokes and people laugh like, "Oh Avery! Did you just think of that? You're very clever and spontaneous!" and I'm all, "Yeah well."

11. Yet to love sushi.

12. I have morphed into one of those irritating journal-toting girls that writes things while you're talking to her and makes you feel self-conscious and irate.

13. One time I jokingly yelled "I'm so indie!" like me and Addy always did back home, and then my friend took me seriously and said "Yeah, I'm more boho.." and then I was embarrassed because she thought that I'd made the dire faux pas of acknowledging the knowledge of indie. Gah.

14. There is a real live place here called Book Heaven: Books for $1. Isn't California the best?

15. I eat parfaits and granola. And organic fruit roll-ups. And Gushers, because I'm obsessed with them. I drink Sprite at 9 in the morning because I can. I act evasive when people ask why I don't drink coffee.

16. I find humor in slutty girls and their boyfriends, and sometimes I yell "Get a room!" even when they aren't doing anything and they hate me, but that's reasonable.

17. I visit the Wildlife Preserve in hopes of seeing turtles in the pond, and there never are any even though Dad swears he sees them regularly.

18. It was free slurpee day at 711, so I obtained one even though it's horrific how much food I eat around here and free food really shouldn't be offered to me.

19. I can walk to the mall from where I work.

20. I miss my friends and I miss my mom and I miss Dylan, but he's in the Philippines and I've been missing him for 11 months already. I miss Orange Leaf, even though it was a crappy, tween-infested hangout anyway. I miss Gilmore Girls at 3:00 and being loud and female in the house and Sunday pizza and angsting with Mom. I miss Bri and her animal necklaces and the Geo. I miss the Drama! of Juliana. I miss Katie and how she sometimes doesn't even bother laughing at my jokes anymore and us getting angry about the world and talking about how it would be better. I miss pretending to hate The Alpine Girls even though I've never actually met them. I miss being sarcastic and heavily witty with Addy and having someone that understands my jokes and likes to be Dramatic! about things with me even when the Drama! is on the tepid-side that day. I miss long, impromptu book chats with Emily or Kaitlyn or Addy. I miss the red-headedness of Zack. I miss Nathan Gallagher (just kidding, that was for Emily's sake). I miss going to the spinning park and the library and Del Taco (did you know they don't have one in Burbank at all??) and Snoasis, and Hawaiian Ice even though Snoasis is better, and I miss my room and I miss Eddie and Mundie and I miss the black-and-white Fox top that I forgot at home. I miss everything. But things here are good, too.

21. Everything is fine.

-Avery Jalaine

Friday, July 8, 2011


Hey! It looks like someone found my blog by Googling "Jonah Durtschi" and also "Roah". Way to go, obsessive-stalker-girls. I approve.

Except that, for the record, I'm not one of you.


Those posts were just a big misunderstanding, okay?

And they all lived happily ever after.

-Avery Jalaine

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

shhh, this is a covert operation

Hello, loved ones. It kind of seems like I haven't posted anything in a year (it's been 12 days).

That's because my life is sort of void of free time, much less blogging time, right now. Because of work (8 hours a day) and fratenizing with animation business people (1 hour) and sleeping (6 or 7 hours). I'm working on Penguins of Madagascar (6 Emmy's, oh baby!) right now, but I'm using "work" in the loosest, most objective interpretation of the word. Since I mostly spin around in my swivel chair and watch animatics of Penguins and get paid for it. It's fine.

I'll tell you more about work later, because I'm being very sneaky and blogging at work right now and will probably have to log off super soon, like when someone walks by and waves at me but I get paranoid and think that they're going to come check up on my "work".

Here's an interesting (read: humiliating) story that happened to me (of course it happened to me; because as a whole, my life is very embarrassing and sometimes painful) this past weekend. My pops and I went up (went down?) to the beach at Santa Monica to do some people-watching and food-eating and beach-bumming for the heck of it. Because I am Avery, I wore purple fishnets under my shorts and also because I am Avery, and because I am irresponsible and rebellious, I chose not to wear sunblock anywhere on me except for my arms.

Eight hours and one crepe later, and I had a bright red sunburn on my neck and chest and also suspiciously on one elbow, because I must have not been thorough enough with the arm-sunscreen job I did earlier. And I was like: "No big deal. People get sunburns on their necks all the time, it's normal." So I bought some bright blue aloe vera + menthol and went to sleep with sea salt in my hair. Next morning: I woke up to examine the damage again, and lo and behold, I'd missed one very conspicuous sunburn location. Which was, of course, up and down my legs, and criss-cross fishnet-shaped. So, it only appears that I have scales or at least a bright red, very contagious skin condition.

I've been wearing fishnets for 4 days to disguise it.

Plus hot pink lipstick yesterday to distract people.

My life is very hard.

Anyway. This post was a little meandering and a lot pointless for you, but I just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgot about you and that I'm still alive and maybe I wanted to entertain you a little bit with the fishnet drama. But I've got some new material down here that might interest you, so I'll be working on some California-inspired posts that hopefully won't bore you to death and I might just talk about ninja-reading techniques and panic attack prevention tactics and also probably a lot (A LOT) about food. Yeah, there will definitely be something about food in there.

I hope your summer is splendid. And long. But not in a boring-long way. In a summer-long way.

Quoi d'otre?
-Avery Jalaine