Wednesday, December 26, 2012

This is an amazing giveaway! Ahhhhh!

I came across this giveaway and thought I'd post, in case anyone is as nail polish obsessed as me.

Nail Freak is giving away the Illamasqua Christmas Duo that was SUPER hard to get on It was always sold out when I looked, so this is a great giveaway. Go check it out!

Check out her swatches too. They are amazing <3 br="br">

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I've never been very good at goodbyes.

We knew it was coming. His body was shutting down, and we knew it was only a matter of time until it gave out altogether. We prepared for it, trying to be positive but knowing that there was nothing left to do but pray that it would come quietly. He was suffering, alone in a hospital room miles and miles from where we were. The hardest part was knowing that it was coming, but not knowing when.

I thought it would be easier, having time to prepare. The last time I lost someone it was a shock, a surprise, a 911 call and a chaotic rush to try and reverse the inevitable. But this...this was slow. It was waiting and wondering, and your heart skipping a beat every time the phone rang, not knowing if that would be the call.

This morning, it finally was. And I learned that no, having time to prepare doesn't make it any easier. And it still doesn't mean you get to say goodbye. Not that I've ever been good at goodbyes. I usually go for "see you later," or "talk to you soon." But I don't get to say that this time. Even if Heaven is real, it's not "see you later." It's "see you in a lifetime." And with all the faith I've been raised to have, that still isn't a guarantee.

All I know right now is that I'll never get another chance to say things I've always meant to say, to ask him if I made him proud. I won't get the chance to study the lines in his face, or the faded ink of his Marine Corp tattoo, or hear stories from his childhood. I won't get to kiss his cheek or smell his aftershave and cigarette smoke combo, or tease him about driving his Cadillac--which he'd never let me do. And I'll never hear him say "I love you" again. And it hurts.

I've been so selfish, telling God that I'm not ready and asking for a little more time. Yesterday, I finally said that it wasn't fair to make him wait just because I wasn't ready to let go. And I know it was the right thing, and I know that this was best for him because it was too painful for him to suffer, but I'm so torn up. And all I want is just one more chance that I can't have because it's too late and I miss him already.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Castle Premiere = Castle Mani

Today is the first Castle Monday of Season 5. This calls for more than just my Castle Monday shirt.

This calls for a Castle Monday manicure!

This is one coat of Dandy Nails “Mighty Fine Print” over one coat of Wet ‘N Wild “Black Creme,” and a ring finger accent newsprint nail over Zoya “Dove.”

I loveloveLOVE "Mighty Fine Print." It's hard to see in this crappy cell phone picture, but it's a sheer-ish black base with tons of red and white micro glitters in it. I think it's my favorite of her indies that I have gotten so far.

And this is the best newsprint nail result I've gotten yet. I used vodka instead of rubbing alcohol, because I didn't have came out so clear. I'm pretty happy with this.

I am SO excited for the premiere tonight. 10pm on ABC. Everyone tune in. It’s gonna be epic.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

That awkward moment when you're writing a response paper for a Shakespeare class, and you don't mention the play at all...

...but instead you figure out who you are.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that conversation we had about identity. It’s actually something I’ve thought a lot about before now, too. My best friends are twins. We went to high school together, but it wasn’t until we dormed together at JCC that the three of us became inseparable. I remember sitting and just watching them interact with each other, and wondering what it would be like to have a twin. I even asked them what it was like once, and they told me that it was the best thing in the world to have a built in best friend. When I asked them if it was weird to know there was someone in the world just like them, they looked at me and said “Weird, B? It would be weird to not have each other.” I suppose that for children born without a twin, it is weird to imagine having one just like it is weird for my best friends to imagine living without a twin.
I suppose you’ve noticed I just referred to myself as B. No, it was not a typo. B is my nickname, bestowed upon me in a weird, drawn-out story sort of way. I’ve been Allyson, sometimes Ally or Ally-Rae, and for awhile after an unfortunate 4th grade spelling accident, Alien (Allyon), but when it comes to my best friends, affectionately known as Cup and Lee, I am B. I think nicknames are an interesting facet of identity, and for me at least, tend to reflect the persona I’m putting on. I’m Allyson when I am in class and most days at work, Ally-Rae with old friends from Chorale, Ally with my family and on days at work when the other Alisons are working, Allyson Rae when I’m writing, and Allyson Rae(!!) when my mother is really angry with me. The name I am called immediately triggers the part I play, whether it is best friend; student; carefree choir member; motivated T.J. Maxx employee; writer; or guilty, trouble-making daughter. All these personas are “me,” but at the same time, none of them really are. Why? Simply because I can’t let every aspect of every persona fuse together into one. I can’t be my best friend’s best friend when I’m wearing my “student” mask, and I can’t be studious while I’m cleaning up after rude customers at work. I can’t cater to my mother’s hopes and dreams for me while I’m out with my friends, and all the time I spend wearing all those different personas leaves very little time to actually be a writer. Actually…the more I think about it now, the more I think that the time I spend being a writer is the closest I can get to being “the real me.” Because when I am writing, nothing is off limits. I can write about the crazy things my best friends say, and the love/hate/love relationship I have with my family, and the crazy customers I deal with at work. I can let out all the elements of those many personalities through words, and I don’t ever have to hide a part of my personality that I don’t want to, the way that I do with other personas. That isn’t to say that writing allows me to be entirely the real me; there are still things I do not reveal in my writing, and that makes my “writer” persona still a persona. But even so, writing is the closest I have come to synthesizing all the elements of every persona into one.
How have I not realized this until right now? I always defined myself as musician first, writer second, but even as a musician I was still playing a role. I was still putting on a costume and conforming to fit into the identity that made me a choir member, or a band member, or a soloist. On stage, I wasn’t allowed to be the daughter or the sister, the best friend or the sales associate. I had to be “musician.” But in writing? In writing I can choose to explore one, or two or all of those personas and synthesize then into something more. And it’s all through words. That is really something.
I wonder if he'll be mad that I didn't mention The Comedy of Errors at all...probably. I'll figure out how to work that in. Maybe.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Avoiding Reading about Beethoven...

This is what I do when homework is not in my vocabulary.

I blog.

I'm going to the English department picnic this afternoon. I wasn't gonna go, but I really wanted to. I just didn't have a ride and I didn't have anyone to ask. I finally caved and asked my mom if I could go, because--let's face it--I have no friends. The few I made last year have graduated, and the people left that I know are people I don't particularly like. So I'm desperately trying to make friends before I graduate.

A girl in my Pop Culture class sent out an e-mail asking someone to ride with her to the field trip Friday. I was going to ride in a school van, but I felt kind of bad for her and I know the area pretty well, so I told her I'd go. That's something I never do. Hell, riding in a van is something I'd never do. I'd usually just ask my mom to take me and pick me up, so I wouldn't be forced into an uncomfortable situation. But life is made up of uncomfortable situations.

It's hit me recently that this is it: my last year of school. Grad school is not in my near future, and in the four+ years I've spent in undergrad--two at JCC and a little over two at Fred--I can count the number of new friends I've made on one hand...maybe two. When I say new, I mean new...people I had never met before graduating high school.

I've never been very good at making friends my own age. I just tend to relate better to professors, teachers...other adults. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I entrust my words to them. I hand them my thought and ideas in typed pages, and freely let them judge me without wondering what the consequences might be. But when it comes to peers in class...all I ever do is consider the consequences. I rarely speak up in class, and when I do...I'm automatically being judged. Or at least, I feel like I am.And it's funny because in reality, it is the professor that does the the form of a grade. I don't know. I have plenty of acquaintances, sure. People at work, people in class, one I hang out with. No one I can ask for a ride to the picnic.

So I'm trying. I'm trying to be more social. I'm trying to get to know people. That girl who struck up a conversation with me in class, that actually knew what Castle was about, even if she hadn't seen it--I added her on Facebook. Today in Steinberg's class, I actually volunteered an idea, even though it was terrifying to do so. I took a workshop style writing class with a professor I already trust, so that maybe I can learn to trust myself and my ideas with more than just the person wielding the red pen. I'm just desperately hoping that maybe, before it's too late, college will teach me about more than books; maybe, I'll finally learn how to be more than who I am.

Wish me luck.

Allyson Rae

Friday, August 31, 2012

I get grumpy when it is hot out.

It's hot. HOT. I'm sticking to everything and everything is sticking to me, and I don't like it. I came upstairs to sit near the English offices because there's like...a breeze right here, and its so comfy...well more comfy than downstairs, sticking to the chairs and tables and myself.

I'm waiting for Lee to text me, because we were supposed to hang out today. I told her days ago that I was free at noon and I'd be on campus, but for some reason, she feels like she needs to ask me the same thing every day...and then be surprised when I say I'm on campus and not at home. How do you want me to get there, apparition? I love her, but sometimes it is so frustrating because I feel like no one ever remembers what I say. Especially when she's the one that suggested picking me up from school in the first means less of a drive for her.

I don't know. I'm just hot and frustrated because I'm hot and I've run out of things to work on because I left my music history book at home because its heavy and I don't particularly feel like walking to the library to use that copy because its HOT and I don't know why it is taking Lee so long to run whatever errands she had to run, and Christ, why couldn't she have just picked me up first and let me go with her, and for that matter, why is it whenever we do things, she always leaves Zachy with her mom or puts him down for a nap or something because I actually like the kid and wouldn't mind hanging out with him too, but its like she feels like I'll care, and I won't. Wow, that was a very long run on sentence. Remind me never to put a sentence like that in an English paper. So here I am, still waiting, and I'm kind of hoping to run into someone who makes me smile, but I don't think that will happen today but who knows and I sound a little like a stalker, but I swear I'm not. I'm also really hungry because all I had today was Peanut butter and jelly because it is the cheapest thing these damn cafes sell, and I've got like 5 dollars to my name. I was hoping I'd be able to pick up my paycheck and put it in my account, but that won't happen today because they closed at 2. How frustrating. -_-

And this guy keeps walking by with the squeakiest shoes and I'm laughing so hard because you can hear him coming long before you see him. hehe.

I suppose I could write some more for my life history through food assignment, but I can't decide what other food to write food life has been so boring. I only had two really distinct stories, but I still haven't met the page requirement yet.

Currently, I'm listening to a conversation between some students and my least favorite professor. I really liked her when I had her, but she never really seemed to like me, and I don't know...she's just been kind of rude when I see her, and it makes me just...not like her. I wish my life were easier.

I'm still waiting on that text.

Anyway, this week has been pretty awesome, and I'm actually enjoying my classes...even the ones I wasn't looking forward to. As long as a professor can make me laugh and keep me engaged, there is still hope for me.

I'm kind of considering going back downstairs because this chair is starting to get uncomfortable, but its still so hottt, and at least up here, there is still a breeze.

Allyson Rae

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Semester of my "Victory Lap" and other things, possibly.

I spent all summer waiting for this. The first three weeks or so were fun, but after two months of T.J. Maxx and arguments with mom, I was so ready to get back to the world of academia. And now, after my first three days of classes, I finally understand the purpose of summer vacation.
Three days, and I'm already stressed.
I registered for 18 credit hours, because after two straight semesters of 12 credits, I was bored out of my skull and ready for a challenge. Turns out...18 credits is a bigger challenge than I needed to take on. So I dropped Black Women Writers (-sadly-) and now I'm settled (but still stressed) at 15.

-insert awkward "a professor just mistook me for someone else" moment here-

Anyway, I finally settled on Music History I, Early Shakespeare, American Popular and Mass Cultures, Romanticism and Music and Advanced Writing I: The Essay. ...heavy and terrifying courseload, but hopefully a lot of fun too.

Music History is already kicking my ass. Not kidding. All this terminology I barely recognize from two+ years ago, heavy reading and TONS of work. But the professor is funny and he keeps you engaged, even when the material is dryer than the bones of the composers we're discussing. (Oh that was a good one--I just impressed myself).

I was not excited at all about Shakespeare. Not even a little. I am not a big fan of his plays, but I needed a major author course and my original choice got changed from 2pm to thank you, so here I am. It seems okay so far, but we'll see when I actually get into the reading. -_-

Am. Pop & Mass Cult. is already awesome. Not even kidding. We get to blog about things for a grade, and there is one day that the syllabus simply says "Gilmore Girls." The only thing better would have been "Castle." Oh man. I don't even know how to put my excitement into words.

Romanticism and Music is taught by the same professor that taught my 60s music class a few semesters back. I considered dropping this, but after the first class, I couldn't bring myself to do it. It just sounds so interesting and will be a nice contrast to the dry early music history I'm taking in that other class.

And then there's Advanced Writing. The class I've been most looking forward to this semester. Professor Nez is easily my second favorite professor in the department, following only Prof. Kaplin, and she makes me so excited about writing that we could be writing about music history and I'd still be excited. (Are you noticing a pattern here?) Unfortunately, one of the most annoying girls I've met since coming to Fredonia is in the class, but I'm still excited, because I've learned to tune her out.

All in all, this semester is shaping up to be awesome, even if it is stressful to the max. Hopefully, blogging for 208 will inspire me to start blogging more outside the realm of tumblr--which is still fun and a go-to platform for me, but not really the best place for day to day blogs like this one.

Who knows?

And now I leave you with my cat in a box too tiny for his body:

Allyson Rae

Monday, August 13, 2012

Why I love studying English at the State University of New York at Fredonia

The English department at SUNY Fredonia is more than just an academic department for me—it has become a home. I’ve always loved words: the way they can be strung together in an infinite amount of combinations and always mean something new. But for the longest time, I had my heart set on a career in music. Obviously, that plan did not come to fruition, and I spent a year majoring in psychology, just trying to keep myself afloat. When I realized I was miserable and desperately needed a change, I sought out the English department chair for advice. The minute I stepped into her office, the entire atmosphere shifted. I felt more at ease than I had in months, and I knew it was where I belonged. Since changing my major, I’ve been challenged both as a student and as a person, and I’ve made enormous strides toward becoming the person I want to be. Through spirited intellectual debates and challenging research and writing assignments, I’ve found myself growing increasingly passionate about subjects I’d never thought of or thought I’d take an interest in. Of the many assignments I’ve completed, one has changed my life immeasurably. I was given the opportunity to complete a research project of my own design relating to English and literary study in any way. As a die-hard fan of the television series Castle, I chose to focus my assignment on the idea of television being a form of literature, using examples from the series to support my claim. After completing the project, I used social media to catch the attention of Castle series creator Andrew W. Marlowe, who took the time to read my paper and reply through twitter. This seemingly innocuous event garnered attention from not only my immediate supervising professor, but the English department as a whole, as well as the college campus newspaper and PR department. The success of this paper has opened my eyes to the option of going into a field of study relating to literary study and television in some form, which is something I’d never considered—and wouldn’t have without the opportunity to research something I was passionate about. That’s what I love about Fredonia. The professors here really care and take a real interest in their students—both in and out of the classroom—and are constantly going above and beyond to help us succeed. They want us to study what we love and love what we study, and they push us beyond what we think we can do into the realm of the impossible. Without the support and motivation from my professor, I never would have been able to complete the kind of project I did, and having the freedom to choose what I really wanted to talk about allowed me to actually be excited about the things I was researching. While my future career is still a mystery, every day I’m finding more and more doors being opened to new and exciting possibilities.
This scholarship is sponsored by

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 3rd

From my 365 day writing project, A Year's Worth of Words (

I remember the cracks and pops of his bones as they
settled into their rightful place with the stretch of his tired limbs,
the aching muscles protesting with the first movement of the morning.
A moan of satisfaction pouring from deep within his throat
and washing over me with the sweetness and slickness of honey, dripping
from the top of the smiling bear’s head. Settling back against the pillows,
still warm from the heat of his body, he’d sigh and reach for me,
tangling the unkempt strands of hair around his fingers, while he
thought I still slept soundly beside him.

He should have known better; the absence of my soft snoring—which
I still insist is merely fabrication—his first clue to my state of wakefulness,
but if he did know, he didn’t show it. I’d feel his fingers as they
caressed my scalp, before slowly sliding free from the tawny
locks of silk and sweat and tracing his fingertips along the curve of my
spine, playing each vertebrae like the bells of a xylophone.

When I’d finally turn to face him, his gaze would lock with mine,
a heaven of milk  chocolate encased beneath those eyelashes, and for
a moment I felt like that greedy Augustus Gloop, hopelessly drowning in
a river of the sweetest chocolate on Earth. And maybe I was, only
I was greedy for his kiss, his touch,  his taste: sweeter than
any chocolate money could buy. And with him, I was hopelessly drowning
in a love I could not escape from. To this day, I am still.

Through drowsy, half-lidded eyes, I’d watch that grin creep
across his face, likened to that of the Cheshire Cat, hungry with longing
and desire. I’d curl myself into the warmth of his side, my hip pressed into
his thigh and breathe him in, slowly steadying myself for the onslaught
of emotion that still took me by surprise with each kiss. His lips, soft and
warm against mine felt like home, and he tasted of the coffee and stale
cigarettes left over from our late night of whispered words and
promises we swore we’d never break.

Only we did break them, somewhere between
“I love you,” and “it’s over,” we forgot the things we
always said we’d do, the plans we made in the misty haze of a forever
that ended too soon. And now I’m left to be swallowed whole in
those milky chocolate memories of a winter that felt far less cold.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Year's Worth of Words, twitter-famous, and other randomness...

I don't really use this blog at all anymore. I've taken to doing all my blogging on Tumblr. Mostly because all I want to do is fangirl over Castle. And because I only have 7 followers here...versus 200-something there.

But I did want to post a link here, in case someone cool/important/famous happens across this page.

This started New Years' Day as my New Years' Resolution. I write. Every day. Just one thing. Whatever I'm inspired to write. Every day for a year. And it's the first resolution I haven't broken within a week. So so far, so good.

anyway, you can find it here: A Year's Worth of Words

Also, my main Tumblr: allthe-songs-makesense

Anyway, I do have a cool story to share with all...7 of you. It started with a research paper I wrote in my Intro to the English Major course last semester. Television as Literature: Castle and Detective Fiction – An Analysis. I earned an A from Dr. Simon, and posted it to my blog. You can read it here, if you'd like.

I think I will just post a copy of the e-mail I sent to our University's Director of sums up the story better than I can right now.


I just shared an exciting moment in my life with one of my professors, and Dr. Simon thought it was a story I should share with you. So I am taking his advice.

I suppose I should start by introducing myself. My name is Allyson, and I am a 4th year student here at Fredonia majoring in English. Last semester, I was taking a course with Dr. Simon, An Introduction to the English Major, and our final project was a research project, of our own design, that we would propose and complete as a final 10 page paper. I decided to focus my research on the idea of television as literature, using examples from my favorite television show, Castle as support for my argument. If you aren't familiar, Castle is an hour-long police procedural focusing on a team of homicide detectives that solve crimes with the help of Richard Castle, a murder mystery and crime novelist. There is something about this show that makes it stand out to me as more of an art form than just a television show, and it made a great topic of focus for my project.

Dr. Simon deemed my paper worthy of an A, and so I decided to post the paper on my blog page, where I interact with a lot of other Castle fans all over the world. And one night a few days ago, I got a crazy idea: What if I could actually get someone from the show to read this paper? So, on a whim, I tweeted a link to the blog page containing my paper to Castle's creator Andrew W. Marlowe, as well as his wife and fellow Castle writer Terri Edda Miller, and the show's two main leads, Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. I didn't really expect anything to come of it. About two in the morning, my phone starts going off, waking me with a Twitter notification. It turns out Marlowe not only saw my tweet, but read my paper, and deemed it worthy enough to earn a response. I was floored. He tweeted me back saying that he hoped my teacher thought I deserved an "A," because he sure thought I earned one for my efforts. I never imagined I would get any response, let alone a response that positive. That tweet also led to an insane amount of traffic on my blog the next couple days, from people all over the world.

It doesn't seem like much: just a 140 character response from a real Hollywood television writer, but to a girl from little Fredonia, meant something huge. All from an assignment I was given in a class where I had the freedom to write what I wanted to write about. That's what I love about Fredonia. The professors here (especially those in the English department--although I may be biased ;) ) really care about their students. They want us to study what we love and love what we study, and they push us beyond what we think we can do into the realm of the impossible. Without the support and motivation from Dr. Simon, I never would have been able to complete the kind of project I did, and having the freedom to choose what I really wanted to talk about allowed me to actually be excited about the things I was researching. And now I can cross "getting tweeted by a famous person" off my bucket list.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my experience, and serve as living proof that good things--impossible things--can happen to anyone, even in a college town as tiny as Fredonia.
So, as you can see...I've had a very interesting and exciting couple weeks. This story has gotten spread around the English Dept. Faculty listserv, and apparently has gotten great responses from the faculty. It' s also gotten attention from the PR office, and a Human Interest story was just posted on Fredonia's website, as well as being covered in an article in The Leader, SUNY Fredonia's student newspaper. It's also inspired me in my career ideas, as I'm considering going into television either the industry itself (writing or something) or maybe doing research and in-depth analysis like this as a scholar (grad school? maybe?). This has been an AMAZING experience. One that I never dreamed of, and something that is producing some really great opportunities for me.

I probably won't update here for another...few months. So if you want, you can catch up with me on tumblr. :)