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Ask Allison: The Answers You Have Been Waiting For!

January 12, 2010

Thank you so much for the wonderful questions! They really made me think and I appreciate that you trust my opinion so much!

Let’s get started…

Cara asked…My question isn’t how you’ve met so many people…it’s how you remember them! Their names, faces, etc. You are a fantastic networker from what I’ve seen. And I have no idea how you do it!

I suppose it just comes from interacting with people as regularly as I can, on Twitter, on Facebook, in person. It’s harder if I only talk to someone just once. I try to have conversations with people as much as I can and I think that having a tangible memory really helps. But my mother is a first grade teacher, so maybe I inherited it?

Lee Ann asked… Since you recently passed your 1 year dating anniversary with Erik, I’m wondering what has most surprised you about being in a long-term relationship so far that you didn’t anticipate.

My main thought about dating was always, “How can you possibly want to be around just one person ALL THE TIME.” But one year later and here we are and I look forward to seeing him and talking to him everyday.

Ashley asked… My fiance has Type 1 diabetes and I’ve made it a goal of mine to learn as much as I can about it. So my question for you, is what’s it like living with diabetes?

Check out the slideshow I did for Raise Your Voice day. Living with diabetes is a complicated, emotional disease that can’t be easily conveyed in words. I suggest visiting a message board like TuDiabetes to hear some personal struggles from people and perhaps even reach out and share your story as the partner of a person with diabetes.

Amber asked… It sounds like you’ve done a lot of traveling in your lifetime! My question is how you’ve managed to do that? Both financially (do you have a secret for saving) and taking time off work/planning etc. (Emily Jane dittoed this question)

First things first: I am in debt. By a lot. I can’t really afford anything but I am a travel addict so I try to do the best I can. About half the trips I take are funded by someone else – either my parents, my company or a pharmaceutical company. The other half are funded by savings or going easy on spending to offset the money I spent on a trip. I live within driving distance of a half dozen states, so many are weekend trips. My limit on lodging to $100-$110 a night, so I often travel with someone to split the costs, or I stay at hostels. Eating out is not a priority when I travel, so I don’t mind have a few fast food meals. There are a lot of free places to visit, many national museums and monuments that are free, or I visit parks or walk around town. As far as timing at work, I am a bit anal about planning on my vacation days. As I said earlier, I utilize weekends and 3-day weekends whenever possible, and the rest of the time I just try to plan early and fly at night in order to maximize my day off.

Autumn asked… What’s one thing about diabetes that you wish Eric understood better?

I think it would be nice if everyone understood that not everything in diabetes is so easy to figure out and that sometimes I don’t know why something happened. It’s complicated, even when it looks easy, and I think it’s easy for us with diabetes to portray diabetes as actually being easy when we are so casual about it. I try not to dumb things down for Erik.

Anonymous asked… What are your favorite New York City restaurants?

A few that have stood out are: Papatzul in Soho, a wonderful Mexican restaurant with really delicious, creative dishes and it’s never that crowded when I go; Cascina, a tasty Italian restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen with friendly staff and a spacious dining room (for Manhattan, that is) – nothing fancy, but it’s nice;  Cibo, another Italian restaurant by Grand Central Station, where I’ve been several times and they have one of the best prix fixe menus I have seen; and finally, Max Brenner’s, a chocoholic’s heaven with delicious entrees and even better desserts. Go starving.

Floreta asked… I’d like more on the cross country move. I’m planning to be a professional nomad. :P I’m moving cross-continent but hey, that doesn’t mean I have all the answers on a cross-country move.

This is probably I should devote to an entire blog post, but essentially my three main tips are: 1) Have a good sense of where you are moving to. Research the neighborhoods, the local news, study maps. Get a good orientation before you go because it will help with the culture shock and will speed up your acclimation. 2) Try to have a job before you go, but baring that, have a plan for how you can afford to live someplace. Stay with family, stay with friends, save money to sublet from someone. Big cities are expensive and are not kind to people with no job. 3) Network as much as possible. Get involved in young professionals societies, societies for your chosen profession, or a group from

Colleen asked…1. Pomegranates: yea nor nay? 2. What are a) your favorite and b) the hardest parts about blogging?

I don’t think I’ve ever had a pomegranate! But I know I’ve had pomegranate juice mixed in with other things, so I’ll go with Probably. My favorite part of blogging is interacting with so many wonderful people (yay!) and also knowing that I’m not a completely useless person and I’m having some kind of positive impact on someone, somewhere. The hardest part about blogging is definitely coming up with things to write about. I always feel like I need a story or a point to write something and it’s STRESSFUL.

J asks… How do you keep a dog from farting so much that she stinks up your office so bad you get dizzy?

Keep the dog outside. Or tape its butt shut?

Mr. Apron asks… How do you decide when it’s time to clean out all the shit from inside the back of the car?

Okay, who told you??! Nah, I’m just kidding. I don’t own a car anymore. But when I did, I usually only cleaned it out when I knew someone was going to be riding in the back. So it really good go weeks… months even. But when I moved to New Jersey and had a car, I actually tried to keep it in better shape, because I knew I would someday want to sell it for a good amount of money and didn’t want it completely wrecked. I probably cleaned it out closer to every couple of weeks, and at least once a month. But even then, lordy, I could come away with a garbage bag full of trash! And I’m only one person!

  1. tmana permalink
    January 12, 2010 11:39 AM

    RE: Cross-country moves: it helps to be networked with people in the area, or with national networks with local clubs/chapters, before you make the move. Two things that hooked The Other Half into NY/NJ metro social communities when he moved here (originally on a six-month contract) were ham radio and STARFLEET. Both of these are hobbies where — before the Internet was as pervasive as it is today — there were strong bonds between community members, regardless of how far away we were from each other and whether or not we’d met in person. Similar comraderie exists among other fannish and gaming communities, and among active members of the diabetes online community.

    • January 12, 2010 11:47 AM

      It certainly does help to know people before you move, and I know a lot of different blogging communities that have found friends or even roommates that way as well. My advice for networking was more for finding a job and also for finding local resources. While I knew Scott and Gina before I moved, and it certainly helped when I came here, they both live about 30 minutes from me, so finding people who were in Manhattan, or even in my neighborhood, helped even more. It really depends on where you are moving to, though, and how the city is structured. I have met a lot of people slowly through my online communities, but professional societies and meet-up groups are a great way to meet local people *quickly*.

  2. January 12, 2010 4:58 PM

    Thanks for answering my question, very interesting!! I really want to be a travel bug now that I’m finishing up school but the costs are OVERWHELMING!!

    • January 12, 2010 6:23 PM

      I agree – that’s why I try to stick local. You might want to try local cities, like Seattle and Portland in the States, or just explore Vancouver or other Canadian cities near you (sorry, I don’t know any because I am a lame, head in the sand American….whoops…).

  3. January 13, 2010 3:16 AM

    I definitely agree with you on the best part of blogging. I can’t believe how many people I’ve gotten to know (and on such a personal level) in a relatively short period of time.

  4. January 13, 2010 9:40 AM

    Thanks for the tips on where to find information! I’ll be sure to check them out.

  5. January 13, 2010 11:35 AM

    Loved reading this!

  6. January 13, 2010 2:08 PM

    Awesome! Q&A

Comments are closed.