Black Lives Matter

Let me just get this out of the way now:

maxresdefault.jpgIf you choose not to agree with this statement, feel free to read no more.

I know I haven’t blogged in quite some time, but today, I am afraid.

Why am I afraid?

I’m afraid that my country is becoming divided like never before.

I’m afraid that the killings won’t stop.

I’m afraid that my black brothers and sisters who are like family to me will be unjustly treated. In fact, I’ve WATCHED my black brothers and sisters be unjustly treated, and it is gut-wrenching.

I am afraid because a man who I love and care for deeply is black. He is one of the kindest, gentlest humans I’ve ever known and he’s hurting.

I’m afraid because he’s afraid.

I’m afraid because I cannot help him feel less pain.

I’m afraid that I have a nephews who, although not black, are bi-racial.

I’m afraid because I see people I grew up with on Facebook saying, “this is not a problem.”

I’m afraid because I see so many of us losing hope.

I’m afraid because I feel helpless.

If we cannot peacefully protest; what do we do? If our Congress men and women will not listen to our pleas; what do we do? If I am a white, female, who has never been subject to racism; how can I help?

Please, tell me how I can help. I want to help so badly. I cannot watch another video of someone being murdered. I cannot wake up and turn on the news to find that another gun has taken another life. I cannot watch the ones I love be treated unfairly and do nothing. I HAVE to do something. And yet…

I feel helpless.

I feel depleted.

I feel angry.

I am afraid.

Shannon Rose Allen




The Shallenge Week 10: Rooftop Rendezvous

Hello Shallengers!

I can’t believe it’s been TEN weeks since I started The Shallenge! As always, you can look up the original rules of The Shallenge here, and look up archives of past weeks.  I’m always happy to share any of your personal Shallenges on my page, so PLEASE hit me up with stories!

Here we go with this week:

1. Experience something new.

9/18 Attend a rooftop party with old friends

This week was the week of the rooftop. On Friday, I had a beautiful night with some old friends on the rooftop of a friend’s Hell’s Kitchen building. Although this is not exactly a “new” experience, it allowed me to reconnect with some friends I haven’t seen in a few weeks.

And also, with views like this, I don’t know how anyone could ever hate New York City.


2. Go somewhere in New York City that I haven’t been before. 

9/19 Little Branch Speakeasy

The Villages of NYC always have the best underground bars. Last weekend, I was looking for a quality (most likely overpriced) old fashioned, and Little Branch boasts a fantastic one. So I took a friend, and found out for myself. The space is small; the bar is located in the basement of an unassuming corner of the West Village. There is sometimes a line, but usually not too long. The music is present, but not overwhelmingly loud. I definitely enjoyed my $14 cocktail and some good conversation, but then it was time to

3. Do something alone that I would normally do with others.

9/16 Attend the Heart of Cool, weCliq NYFW launch party

A friend of mine, who I met through the Browns Backers invited me to his launch for his new app, weCliq with the fashion brand Heart of Cool. I had a plus-one to attend the party, but at the last minute I couldn’t find a friend to go with me.

So, I decided to be bold, and go alone.

Not only did I end up meeting some great people, but I also networked with some other creatives. I’m so happy that I decided to throw my ego out the door and go to this party alone.

And this was my view from the rooftop!


4. Say “yes” to something to which I would typically say “no.”

Going on a “date” and letting go

Yes, I know. I’ve talked about dates on here many, MANY times, but I allowed myself to go on a date and really just let myself go and not think.

Perhaps one of the reasons I’m so bad at dating is because I go into every date with a cynical viewpoint. Although my dating intentions are optimistic, when it comes down to it, I allow myself to think, “this isn’t going to work out.” I end up self-destructing before I’ve even gotten to know the person.

I’m happy to report, the date went well, and I’m not overthinking. For once. In my entire life…

5. Do something that scares me.

9/18 Submit my music and have it rejected

Friday I received a generic email from Pandora, telling me that my new song was rejected from their platform. I was given no specific reasoning, and have no clue what I could have done (if anything) to gain acceptance.

Picture this: Shannon Allen as an artist is an air mattress. Every time I get rejected it’s like a little pin prick into the air mattress, causing me to deflate just a little bit, until I can find a way to block the hole, before I lose all my air. I successfully plug the hole, but then a new, bigger pin comes up and makes an even larger hole. Then, an air mattress monster comes up and take a giant bite out of my side. After a while, the mattress becomes so perforated, that I’m continually attempting to plug up holes, filling myself back up, and keep old ones from re-opening. Sure, I can inflate again, but I will never be shiny and new like I used to be.

That’s what creative rejection is like.

6. Make a new friend. 

9/16 Fashion Week Party

At the fashion week launch, I met a lot of awesome people. I even met up with a new girl friend the other night who I met at the party! This city is too big and too beautiful not to expand my network of friends.

Keep spreading that love around!

7. Have a book of the Week

One Last Thing Before I Go – Jonathan Tropper

Tropper is the same author of the novel, This is Where I Leave You, which was made into a movie. His writing is cynical, yet lyrical. The fiction I’ve been reading lately tends to display fallible, almost anti-heroes, that you can’t help but sympathize. Although most of the characters in this book have questionable morals and lives that are well beyond repair, the novel is a view into the ways we justify our existence, especially when faced with our eventual mortality.

I loved it! Quick read, excellent storytelling, tragic, cynical, witty, sometimes mundane, and REAL.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I cannot even count the amount of times I’ve read this book, but it’s definitely over the 15 mark at this point in my life. I read the Harry Potter series at least once every year, sometimes twice…

And y’all KNOW how much I read.

The series never gets old to me. Every time I re-read these books, I’m reminded of why I love Harry and his world so very much.

8. Purge the unnecessary.

No purging today, but it’s slowly shifting into sweater weather, which means another re-vamp of the closet is coming soon!

9. Do something that makes me feel beautiful. 

Night time runs

This week I went on not one, not two, but three four-mile evening runs. Two of the runs were after 12-hour work days. Running at 9:30/10 p.m. is so freeing. The amount of runners, walkers, and bikers are sparse, so I am just left with my own thoughts and no distractions.

One of the nights, I had this pretty amazing view of the moon.


10. Surround myself with nature. 

9/21 Appreciate the New York sunrise

As I was walking to work Monday morning, this was my view. Not too shabby.


9/21 A night on the Chelsea Piers

That same day, I spend a lovely evening drinking wine, and eating a picnic of sorts on the Chelsea piers. The weather was perfect, and I enjoyed some good company.

Weekly Shallenge Score: 8.5/10

Shan Baby Score: 9/10

And here’s the Shan Baby Happy Face of the Week (ie my nephew this week while we were Face Timing because he’s SO FREAKING CUTE!)

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 6.39.54 PM

The Shallenge Week 6: Stronger

I’m exhausted this week. Apologies if this week’s Shallenge is a little brief. I shall possibly explain in another post later this week. But right now it’s 10:45 on a Monday night and my call time tomorrow is 7 am. By the time you read this, I will have been on set for server all hours! 

Anyway, let’s jump in!

1. Experience something new.

8/19 Color Me Mine

Jen and I adventured to a lovely place in Tribeca this week called Color Me Mine. The deal is you pay a studio free for paints and supplies, then an additional price for your piece, depending on the size.

You can take as long as you would like to make your creation. Jen and I both decided to go with key trays that looked like quote bubbles. Jen went with, “Don’t 4get Ya Keys Ya D-Bag” while I went with my favorite Latin phrase, “aut viam inveniam aut faciam.” (translated as: I shall either find a way or make one)

We had a ton of fun AND found out that the place is BYOB. So next time we’re bringing the champagne!!


8/21 Yankees vs Indians Game

I’ve been to Yankees Stadium a few times, but never to watch the Tribe play. It was a beautiful night, and I was with all Cleveland fans which was amazing. The Indians ended up winning which was awesome, considering we haven’t been doing so well this season.

Gotta love a good ol’ game of baseball!


8/22 Bowlmor Lanes Chelsea Piers

It was my friend’s birthday this week, so we celebrating by renting three lanes at Chelsea Piers’ Bowlmor Lanes. I haven’t bowled in YEARS so it was great to make an ass of myself and have fun with a ton of new and old friends.

At one point in the night, my team created what was called “The Model,” where essentially one walks down the runway like a top model and then casual drops the ball into the lane. I’m surprised no one kicked us out for all the crap we were pulling. Regardless, it was fun!

I took a lot of video, but no actual photos of me bowling. However, here is my bowling “look” for the night.


2. Go somewhere in New York City that I haven’t been before. 

8/19 Color Me Mine

(See Above)

8/22 Bowlmor Lanes

(See Above)

3. Do something alone that I would normally do with others.

8/21 Barry’s Bootcamp

I wrote last week about going to Barry’s Bootcamp and absolutely loving it. Well, this time I went ALONE and added on the treadmill rotation that I had previously skipped. When I tell you that Barry’s is the toughest, yet rewarding workout you will every experience, I mean IT IS THE TOUGHEST AND REWARDING WORKOUT YOU WILL EVER EXPERIENCE.

I encourage everyone who has a Barry’s location near them to check it out. If you live in NYC, you should absolutely check out my friend Zack H’s class because he’s incredible.

4. Say “yes” to something to which I would typically say “no.”

8/19 Joined a new dating app

Sigh. Yes. I did. And I’m already regretting it. This particular app promises to be free of any “fuck boy” riff raff, and yet it seems to be the same as all other forms of dating online: AWFUL.  I’ll probably delete it this upcoming week.

Side Note: I guess “fuck boy” has become my generation’s new term for douchebag. Yet, every time I hear the term, it just reminds me of a term one might hear on So You Think You Can Dance for a new type of contemporary dancer. Kind of like “B-Boy.”

Example: Next up we have Raymond, a “Fuck Boy” straight out of Detroit, Michigan.

Anyone else? It kind of makes me giggle.

5. Do something that scares me.

8/18 Set my new single, You Hate Me to arrive on social media sites

Yes. I will have a single AND a music video for you soon. Patience my friends. These things take time to perfect.

6. Make a new friend. 

8/20 “Basic Bitch” House Party

I went to a “Basic Bitch” party this last week that was light hearted and full of some super fun individuals. I was attempting to give you my best “housewife basic bitch.” I didn’t take a great picture dead on, but the whole outfit was complete with pearl, a sensible blouse and periwinkle dress shorts. Don’t forget the Toms shoes! 🙂


7. Have a book of the Week

I’m still working on The Martian by Andy Weir. I’m finding it difficult to get past all the space and science jargon. I’m enjoying the story, but I can only stand the book for so long until I put it down and go back to bingeing episodes of Orphan Black (WHICH IS FANTASTIC).

8. Purge the unnecessary.

I didn’t so much as purge this week, as I did organize. I ended up doing something like six loads of laundry in one day over the weekend, and then subsequently re-organized all my already clean clothing with my cleaned clothing.

I still would like to try to go through my closet at least once a month and try to get rid of 5 pieces. That’s my goal. We shall see if it actually happens.

9. Do something that makes me feel beautiful. 


I. CANNOT. STOP. WORKING. OUT! I know that I typically have a pretty regimented workout schedule, but now that I’ve been getting into classes like Flywheel, Soul Cycle, and Barry’s Bootcamp, I can literally see my body changing before my very eyes.

Here’s a silly picture of me dressing 80s style to my friend Zack’s Flywheel class.


10. Surround myself with nature. 

I just didn’t hit this one this week. Unless you count being on a rooftop at the house party, I did not bathe myself in nature at all.

Shallenges Completed: 7/10

Shan Baby Score: 7/10

Even though this face looks distressed, here’s my Happy Face of the Week, which just so happens to be the artwork for my new single: 


Love always,

Shannon Rose Allen

The Craft of Deceit

So I know I’m overdue for a post, so I’m just going to compile my thoughts, and hope that it presents itself as some sort of nonsensical discourse that eventually all makes perfect sense. Okay?


So I feel the need to vent/be a little sad about something that happened to me a few weeks ago.

Side Note: I own a tank top that states: Be nice, or you’ll end up on my blog.

You were warned.

So here it is. I met a person that I felt an instant connection with. I felt like I was comfortable around him; we fit strangely into each others’ lives even though it seemed as though we barely had anything in common. We came from different places, different backgrounds, had different types of friends. All this being said, I felt like we complimented each other.

Now, I’m aware that sometimes these things tend to get so intense, that they burn out like an exploding star, but I honestly didn’t think this particular instance would end like that.

Until it did.

Like this:


Why is it that I allow myself to get close to these men, who often have to PRY my emotions from my clenched, cold hands and make me have The Feels, and then kick me to the curb!? It’s almost like one gigantic cosmic joke. Almost like the Universe is telling me that it’s going to dangle these men in my face who do and say all the “right” things and then lay the smack down and say, “HA HA SHAN! Just kidding! You can’t have a man who is smart, and funny, and successful, and good looking, who likes you and might actually care about you!”

No. That would just be too easy.

Look, Universe, I’m twenty-fucking-seven. I’m not saying that I’m “old” per se, but I am getting “old-er” and I feel like it’s not fair that you keep treating me like some broken baby doll from the Land of Misfit Toys.

Except it doesn’t look like this:


It looks like this:


What’s the fucking deal???

And the PROBLEM with this, is that each time something blows up in my face like one gigantic bomb, that sets fire to all the blood and tissue and sinew in my poor, sad broken heart, I feel the need to EXPLAIN MYSELF.

Well then THAT just ends up blowing up in my face like another land mine that was left undetonated and the cycle continues.

And I look like this:


Long story short, when this particular boy blew up in my face, I thought perhaps I could justify my feelings by writing a well-written, concise email that explained EXACTLY why I reacted the way that I did and gave a DETAILED account of “The Feels.” I hoped that this person would read my heartfelt words, and know that the only reason I reacted the way I did, was because I had actual FEELINGS for this person. And they were indeed reciprocated. How do I know this? Because this person did things like call me “just to hear my voice,” send me text messages about future plans, wanted our lives to be integrated with one another. He told me that he was happy, and I was too.

Then, WHAT here is the problem?

And here’s what I think it is.

The men of my generation know how to say and do exactly what women want them to do. The sincerity of everything has been brushed aside. It’s an equation; a way to solve a problem. Men are usually the ones to find solutions to problems that their ladies present to them (often at the annoyance of the lady, who only want to vent).

My generation of men has perfected the craft of deceit.

And this is how that makes me feel:


Now I know I appear to sounds like a broken record about this particular subject, but I still cannot believe I continue to be duped by these men. What drives me crazy is that this one in particular felt so REAL. Perhaps I still fail to see the risk I’m taking every time I try to see the best in people.

I don’t know.

Anyway, after my email was sent and I presented my unfiltered feelings to this person, his first reaction was (and I quote), “I think it’s best for both of us if I take a step back.”

WHAT?! AM I TAKING CRAZY PILLS. I was aggressively courted by this person; swept off my feet, introduced to his best friends, told I was beautiful, told I was cared about. I did not concoct an imaginary person out of thin air!

So why does it always feel like I’m the one suffering when things go awry?

Here is this person who essentially took me for this magnificent ride in his flashy car full of “promises” and “futures” and “respect” and “caring for one another,” and then the MOMENT I decide that I would ALSO like to reciprocate feelings, he needs to take a “step back.”


I call bullshit.

I call bullshit on the entire thing. It’s like women of my generation can’t be fucking honest about how they feel because they will be labeled as “crazy,” whereas the men of my generation I believe actually WANT relationships and WANT to care about another person, but if they let themselves too close they feel like they are losing something. In New York a big excuse is the “career.” Another one I’ve heard is that they are just “confused about what they want, and looking for someone to help them figure it all out.”

What? Help you figure your shit out so that you can leave me in the dust, while you pursue your budding finance career and go off to fuck some other chick with a thigh gap and an IQ of 50?

I don’t get it.

I will never “get it.”

I’m sorry Taylor Swift, but boys don’t only want love if it’s torture. In FACT, the first hint of torture they start running. The reason they stay with you is because you’re beautiful, and powerful, and famous.

I feel like I’m almost a different species to these men. And I’m not talking about being a woman in general, I’m talking about being the specific kind of woman I am: strong-willed, driven, emotional (without qualms), blunt, honest, but also loving, and nurturing, and respectful, and thoughtful.

You don’t get to have one side of my personality and run aways when things don’t go the way you want them to.

Basic human interaction is full of choice and compromise. I feel as though my generation has become so self-indulgent that we’ve forgotten this. We’ve forgotten what it feels like to love and be loved. We allowed ourselves to achieve greatness in our lives, but not with each other. We’ve become hard; addicted to machines, and sex, and instant gratification.

Let’s let go of the deceit and start getting real.

Until then… scratch everything I said in this blog post (What I Think About on Airplanes) and let me go back into my shell until the winter is over and have someone else use a hammer and chisel to try to get my heart-sickle to open up again.


Shan Baby

27 Things I’ve Learned in my 27 Years

On Saturday, December 20th 2014, I will turn the ripe old age of 27. I have successfully been around the sun 27 times. Although I do not pretend to have all the answers to my life (in fact, I really don’t know most answers… isn’t that what your 30s are for???) I feel like I should gather up my knowledge I’ve gained in a little over a quarter of a century, and share it with you lovely folks. Some of my points are introspective, some of them are general things I’ve gathered, some of them are tidbits of advice. Take them as you will.

Because I felt like 27 things is a lot to write, I hired the help of two of my favorite people, Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen of Portlandia, to help me deliver the impending information you are about to receive.

(Also… I’m going to change my POV from 1st to 2nd to 3rd a lot. So you tense nazis can fuck off because I just don’t care. I’m aware of my incorrect usages of several tenses.)

Here are Shan Babe’s “27 Things I’ve Learned in my 27 Years”

1. There is always time to learn more

If I learned anything from going to college for six years, it’s that my education is never truly finite. I’m always looking for new ways to educate myself, whether it be academic or socially. We as humans only have a limited amount of time on this earth and I believe that learning should not be something that stops once you exit school.

I’m a big reader and try to read a piece of fiction and non fiction simultaneously. Most of the time I can finish books in about a week, and then I start right back up with a new set. The Strand Bookstore is my favorite place in New York City. No. Not just my favorite bookstore; it’s actually my favorite place to be in all of New York.

Sometimes I feel like I’m over-educated for the type of work I do. Then I remind myself that just because I don’t use all of my knowledge all day every day, does not make me less educated. It does not mean my brain is worth any less.

Plus, smart girls are the prettiest. 🙂



2. Never apologize for loving someone too much.

This is a doozy for me. I’ve often felt that I love a little too much, and often receive not enough love in return. My love scares people away. My love is too big for most people, ESPECIALLY when it comes to romantic situations.

But you know what? I don’t really care anymore. I used to do a lot of apologizing for my big heart. I like to shut it up in a box and keep it to myself. Sometimes it peeks out of its cave and makes an appearance like the Loch Ness monster of hearts, and then quickly disappears once it feels the hint of a threat.

Someday, when the time is right, my heart will come out of it’s Walden Pond and live in the real world again. But you will never hear me apologize for the way my heart feels. I will be sorry for things my heart has made me say, but I own my feelings.

I own my feelings.

That is a nice thing to say.


3. I’m much better alone. 

With all the above being said, I think I function much better off when I’m left to my own devices. I can wake up every morning and let whomever into my life, at the time and place that I choose, on my own terms. I don’t ever have to justify my feelings, who I am, what I want to be, or how I choose to spend my days.

Being alone is not being lonely to me.

I fulfill myself. I don’t need anyone else to do that for me.


4. Waking up every morning and telling yourself you are beautiful/amazing/perfect/loved in the mirror really works.

If I’ve learned anything by being a strange person, it’s that not everyone will accept your weirdness. If I could count the times I’ve been told I’m not pretty enough, good enough, skinny enough, talented enough, etc, etc, I would be a rich person.

However, on the flip side, if I counted the number of times I’ve been told I am enough, whether it be from friends, family, casting directors, mentors, random strangers, and (most importantly) myself, I would probably be even richer.

Too often, we focus on the negative, not the positive. Sure, I’ve been on the other end of some pretty palpable vitriol in my 27 years, but I also get told regularly that I bear resemblance to Jennifer Lawrence and I WILL TAKE THAT TO THE BANK!!

Reinforcing myself, to myself, every day is just another thing that makes my life a little happier.


5. Keep a journal

I love to write, which should be pretty obvious, as I’ve been blogging steadily for about three years. But I also keep three journals.

Now you are probably asking yourself, “Shan, what the fuck do you do with THREE journals!?”

Well, I have one general journal where I write my thoughts, one where I write down how I’m feeling that day based on a “glass-half-full” vs “glass-half-empty” scale, and a five-year journal that asks me a question a day for five years.

Keeping these private journals helps remind me of who I am. It allows me to release my thoughts on a paper, so that they don’t cloud up my mind. I see my journals almost like Dumbledore’s pensieve in the Harry Potter novels (NERD ALERT!).


6. Never apologize for being a Feminist with a capital F!

I love being a woman. It does not mean I hate men. Being a feminist does not mean I don’t shave my armpits (which by the way, is absolutely okay if you are a woman and you don’t). Being a feminist does not mean I don’t allow men to hold doors or pull out chairs for me. Being a feminist does not mean I don’t like it when a gentleman (gentleman being the operative word) tells me I look pretty, or sexy, or cute.

Being a feminist means that I believe in equality of the sexes. Plain and simple.



7. All men aren’t ass holes. All women aren’t crazy.

The battle of the sexes never ceases. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard a friend call a man a “douche,” “ass hole,” “prick,” etc. I also cannot even tell you how many times I’ve heard my guy friends tell me a girl is a “bitch,” “insane,” or the worst label anyone can give to a woman, “crazy.”

Millennials are conditioned to believe that we have to give extreme labels to everything. (ie. “I LITERALLY CANNOT EVEN.” “He/she is SO crazy.” “He/she is the WORST”)

This is bad. It hurts us in the end.




8. With that being said… Dating sucks

I feel like I can embrace most of my generation’s quirks and qualities, but dating is not one of them. Maybe I’m a little too old school with this one. The fact that we are all supposed to be okay with everyone dating, seeing, fucking everyone at the same time is just something I’m not into.

Whether or not you embrace the new wave of dating, it still does not change the fact that dating is pretty awful. Dating someone, especially post-college can be exhausting. Having to meet someone awkwardly at a bar after chatting with them online a few times, and then do this whole dance of “should-I-or-shouldn’t-I-tell-him-this-or-that” just feels like complete bullshit to me. There are too many games in dating. If you don’t show enough emotion, you’re fucked, but if you care too much you’re also fucked.

Perhaps this is why I’m single. I don’t know. As I’ve stated earlier today, I’m okay with being alone.



9. It’s okay to eat a pint of ice cream, drink two bottles of wine, and cry by yourself watching Crazy, Stupid Love when your heart is broken

We’ve all been there. Honor your feelings when you are heartbroken. We aren’t robots.


10. MAKE TIME for the family, friends and lovers

There is nothing worse than falling out of touch with a good friend or family member. We are all busy. We all have crazy lives. Make time. Don’t just send a text or write a message on Facebook. Make a phone call. Write a letter. Take the L Train to bum-fuck Brooklyn and smoke a friendly joint and watch Mean Girls. Send your family gifts just “because.” Tell the people you love that you love them as often as possible.


11. Do not make time for negative people. 

Negativity only feeds negativity. When I’m around negative people, this is what I turn into:



12. You only get one body: treat it with respect and kindness.

Do NOT work against your body; work with it. I am built curvy. I have big legs, a big butt and thick arms. When I started working with my personal trainer I made it very clear that I did not want someone who was going to try to shape me into a size 0. That is just not realistic for me. Instead, we focus on strength and agility and endurance.

Guess what? I look and FEEL better than I ever have.

Also, can we all just agree to stop picking ourselves apart? You are the only person in the world with your body. Let that fact sink in and embrace it.


13. Good makeup saves lifes. Also… fuck it if I don’t want to wear makeup sometimes

I love makeup. I like the way it makes me feel. I feel like my face is a blank canvas, and my makeup brings out my best features.

I also love a blank makeup-less face sometimes.


14. It’s okay if I don’t get married in my 20s

ALL RELATIVES IN MY LIFE: Stop asking me when I’m going to get married. I’m making a life for myself in New York. My life does not revolve around dreams of a white dress.


15. It’s also okay if I don’t get married at all

Deal with it.


16. VOTE

At risk of sounding preachy, I’m just going to say that with everything that has been going on in our country lately, our voices are important. Voting is imperative.


17. Do not be afraid of things that are strange, new or different

I often find that people and things that are strange, different, new, obscure, quirky, and unfamiliar are the most beautiful. Just because something is different does not necessarily mean that it’s wrong. If everyone and everything were the same, this world would be a boring place.


18. Good mothers and good fathers are hard to come by. If you are lucky enough to have both, keep them close.

Ok. Let me get preachy for a moment. I don’t have a mother. If you do, I implore you to pick up the phone and tell you that you love her. Same with your father. I tell my dad I love him every time we text or call each other. Just remember, not everyone has their parents, and not everyone has good ones. If you are fortunate enough to have both, spend every moment you can with them. Ask them questions about their past. Drink a beer with your dad. Hug your mom and let her get nostalgic over your baby pictures. Help your dad get rid of his hideous tie collection and then shop for new ones together. Let your mother relax on the couch while you clean the entire family’s Christmas dinner dishes.

I love my parents.



19 . Good brothers and sisters are hard to come by. If you are lucky enough to have both, keep them close.

Again, not everyone is fortunate enough to have loving brothers and/or sisters. I have both a wonderful brother and an amazing sister-in-law. I got to spend an entire week in Houston with them for Thanksgiving and for that, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.



20. Good friends are VERY hard to come by. If you are lucky enough to have even one, keep them close.

Just because you don’t necessarily have the best biological family, does not mean you cannot have a “family.” My friends, both in New York, and across the country are integral to keeping me sane. I wish I could take the time to praise each and every one of my friends right now, but then the blog post would become so much longer than it already is! (If you’ve made it this far btw, kudos! This is a long motherfucking post!)

Get into trouble with your friends. Be silly with your friends. Be weird with your friends. Let your friends into your lives and love them deeply. And always, listen.

Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Mike Chase, Photo Credit-Augusta Quirk/IFC



I will quote one of my favorite poets, T.S. Eliot, “It is obvious that we can no more explain passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.”

Find your passion(s). Make your entire existence revolve around these passions.


22. Bad relationships need to terminated as soon as they get bad

Learn to let go. Do not hold onto someone because of who they “used to be.” I learned the hard way in my last relationship. By romanticizing a person based on the good times, we hinder ourselves from moving on.

Most relationships end. Learn when to say goodbye. It doesn’t mean that the love you had was not real. It doesn’t mean those feelings weren’t real. It just means that it is over, and you will both be better people without each other.


23. There are things I love about being a Millennial

I love that my generation follows their dreams. I love that we dream big, and take huge risks. I love that we are individualists. I love that my generation cares less about skin color and sexuality, and cares more about character content. I love that we have the power to connect with people instantly from across the globe. I love that we are innovators and believers even when the odds are stacked against us.



24. There are things I absolutely despise to my core about being a Millennial 

I loathe our dating culture (as noted previously). I don’t like that we are so wrapped up in our digital words that I seldom ever hear someone’s voice over the phone. (I’m SUCH a phone talker. I want to HEAR you. Meaning and emotion get lost in texts). I hate how selfish we can be. I hate that we are often so disconnected with reality when we are so connected with the Internet. I hate how we seldom ever show our true emotions to one another, because caring is overrated.


25. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

We are human. We cannot do everything ourselves. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes, a fresh set of ears, or a shoulder to cry on is the best thing we can ask for.


26. Do not be afraid to disagree with someone, even if it is someone whom you love and respect. 

The wonderful thing about living in America, and being a free-thinking individual is that we can have different opinions, cultures, religions, lifestyles and still simultaneously exist. If you see something that you disagree with, or someone is treating another person unfairly, or someone is being racist or homophobic or sexist, do not be afraid to disagree. The tough part about this is when this person is your family member or friend. It is okay to disagree. It is also okay to agree to disagree. Use your best judgement.


27. You will not receive the kind of love you want from others, until you learn to fully love yourself. 

This last one is basically just reiterating what I’ve been saying this entire blog: Love yourself.

There was a point in my early 20s when I did not love myself, or even really like myself. I was confused about why others didn’t love me and figured there was something wrong with me.

I know what each and every one of my flaws are. I know I talk to much. I know I talk too loud. I know I overthink everything. I know I push people away the moment I feel threatened. I know I can get a little too drunk sometimes and make a fool of myself. I know I’m stubborn. I know I’m selfish sometimes. I know I don’t have skinny legs or arms. I know I can come off as pretentious, especially when I talk about music. I know I have a lazy eye that is only corrected by glasses or contacts. I know that I wear too much black and probably too much makeup sometimes. I know I’m weird.

But there are a lot of wonderful, amazing things about who I am. I also don’t love myself any less because I have flaws. It’s not very easy to love yourself all day every day, but it must be done if you expect anyone to ever love you. Whitney called it the “greatest love of all.” (RIP Whitney)

And with that, I’ll leave you with a quote from Mr. Leonardo da Vinci: “Life without love, is no life at all.”

Smile more.

Laugh more.

Live more.

Love more.

Here’s to the next 27!


Shan Babe

All the Warm Fuzzies

I am feeling especially grateful today.

I was wrapped early from set yesterday, and had the entire day to run errands around the city. As I was walking around Union Square among the droves of tourists and Christmas shoppers, I stopped and looked up at the skyline of my beautiful city.

I still just cannot believe I’m lucky enough to live in this beautiful city, with such beautiful people, and beautiful friends, with the loving support of my beautiful family.

So let me just go to a dark place for one minute, to explain why I feel so, incredibly grateful on this chilly, December day.

A few years ago I thought I would never be happy again.


I had become so accustomed to shitty things happening to me, that I started to believe that perhaps that was just my lot in life; to be unhappy and get through life always a little sad.

Reading that sentence back, it sounds really depressing, but I’m getting to the happy part, I SWEAR!

I might sound like a broken record for those of you who avidly ready my blog, but something profound happened after my mother died. I told myself that my life would revolve around loving.

Loving what, you ask?

Well, I had to start by loving myself. And whether or not you’ve gone through hardships or not, loving oneself can often be the hardest kind of love to exhibit. Loving myself was not easy. It’s not easy to wake up every morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love you exactly the way you are.

Side Note: I actually tell myself I love me every morning in the mirror. Try it. Seriously. You will that me later.

After I decided to love myself, I started giving more love to my family. Experiencing my mother’s death with my immediate family changed us all. I never hang up the phone with my father, brother or sister-in-law without telling them I love them.

Then I moved on to my friends (or my second family). There have been actual moments where I’ve texted friends and tell them I love them “just because.” Sometimes I don’t feel like I tell my friends enough how important they are to me.

I also decided to honor and love all aspects of my life: love for my city, love for my career path, love for my talents and creativity, love for my health, love for my body (this is a tough one).

I feel like this epiphany, or gift, or realization, or whatever you might call it was almost the universe’s way of telling me a little secret.

When I first moved to New York, after making the grandiose decision that I was going to “love” everybody and everything, I was confused about why the love did not immediately come back to me. I went through months where I was lonely, frustrated with my career and missed my old life in Boston. It took me a while, but I eventually found my core group of friends, found a groove with my starving artist lifestyle, and started living the life I’ve always wanted.

Yesterday, while strolling around Union Square, snow falling, wind blowing, I took a breath with my little asthmatic lungs, and smiled.

I wanted to run into the park, spin around and scream, “NEW YORK! I’M THE LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD!” (Someone please write a screen play about a neurotic, 20-something girl from the Midwest, and put this cheesy line in it. I’m waiting. No? Okay.)

Sure, I’m broke. I’m not famous (yet). I’m under-slept. I can get a little too drunk sometimes. I talk way too fast and too loud.

But I am LOVED.


I had a moment this morning when I woke up and realized that I cannot even count the number of people who love me on my fingers and toes because there are just too many.

Now, this is not meant to come off as conceited, or brag-y, or look-at-me-I’m-Shannon-fucking-Allen-and-everybody-fucking-loves-me!

I’m saying this because I’m GRATEFUL. Grateful might actually be the understatement of the century. I am grateful, thankful, honored beyond belief, lucky, #blessed (even though I detest this hashtag, it is imperative that I include it to demonstrate my sheer level of gratitude), fortunate, appreciative, overwhelmed, HEART FILLED WITH ALL THE WARM FUZZIES I COULD EVER WANT OR NEED TO EXIST ON THIS PLANET UNTIL THE DAY I CROSS OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE!



(And not literally in the figurative meaning, which apparently Webster has recognized as an acceptable definition of a word that literally means the opposite of figuratively. No. Literally in the literal sense!)

The love I have received in the past few months has surpassed any and all expectations. The support for my creativity, career, life, and just in general who I am as a human being, is incredibly overwhelming.

I thank you.

I love you.

I always have.

I always will.


Shan Baby



What I Think About on Airplanes

Note: This blog was written at approximately 8:51 p.m. central time while flying from Houston Hobby Airport to New York LaGuardia

I always have this sneaking suspicion that I’m going to die on an airplane. 

I’m sorry to be morose, because it is not my intention to write a sad, twisted, macabre post, but that just might be what comes out here. 

Let me first preface all this buffoonery by telling you that I used to be a great flyer. (Is it flier or flyer? Being the grammar nazi that I am, I should probably know this.) When I was younger, my family and I would take the occasional vacation where we would fly to various locations. I even flew to Chicago by myself at age 10 to visit my friend, Jessica. 

However, in my 20s, I developed a pretty severe case of flight anxiety. Back when I was taking pills to control my anxiety disorder, (post death of my mother) I could just pop a generic Ativan and go comatose until we landed. 

I’ve also developed the awful habit of becoming a “clap-lander,” AKA that obnoxious person who claps whenever the plane touches solid ground. (I know. Please roll your eyes into the back of your head. I think clap-landers might be on par with the annoyingness of negligent parents of small children on airplanes. No? Ok. Good.)

Let me also tell you that we are currently experiencing a fair amount of turbulence. The pilot has notified us that he is attempting to find a better altitude in order to “smooth out the ride,” but every dip we take just makes me think that I will plummet to my untimely death. 

My brother and I actually had a conversation over brunch the other day about how truly safe flying is compared to any other type of travel. My brother, being the brilliant scientist that he is explained that he had an in-depth conversation with a pilot who had flown for 38 years.

(Side Note: only one child could receive the science/math genes in the family, and it happened to be gifted to him. I ended up with the leftover creative, overly-talkative, emotional genes. At least these help me be a funny, witty writer? Yes?)

Anyway, back to this pilot. So, essentially the engineers, mechanics, scientists, pilots, and everyone else involved in either flying the plane or constructing it, is a genius and that there are such strenuous tests put on these pieces of machinery, (not to mention the mind-boggling skill assessments of the people who fly them,) that planes hardly ever crash. 

That being said, I’m still a bad flier (I still can’t fucking figure this out. Is it flyer or flier?? Dammit for not having access to Google to make me appear smarter than I really am) 

*Addendum: Grammar Girl cleared it up a bit for me. If you care to, click on this link:

Begin Side Note:

(A side note before we get to to that side note: There are going to be lots of “side notes” in this post because I’m desperately trying to put my irrational anxiety into constructive form as we speak).

*Side Note continued: I just went to the bathroom. And here are some thoughts I had:

  1. Why is it that I always try to follow the rules, and not line up like an ass hole outside of the aircraft lavatory?? Because, without fail, at the exact moment I make that decision, a lady who has to take a gigantic shit ALWAYS gets up and steals my spot that I was holding silently in my mind because I wanted to play by the rules the flight attendants gave to me??
  2. Wow… this lady really is taking a gigantic shit based on the time she is spending in there. Now I REALLY feel like an ass hole standing here next to the flight attendants, them gazing at me thinking, “She obviously didn’t listen to us when we said not to line up outside the lavatory.” 
    1. Male Flight Attendant: Can I help you with something?
    2. Shannon: I’m so sorry. I was just waiting for the light to go off and someone jumped in front of me in my imaginary line that I made up in my head. I just wanted to make sure it didn’t happen again. 
    3. Male Flight Attendant (Looking confused): Okay. Don’t worry. 
  3. Now that that terribly awkward moment passed, I decided to stare at my surroundings (remember, there is a lady taking an Earth-shattering shit in there) and notice this little, teeny rearview-type mirror hanging above me. After staring at myself for a few minutes (remember, we have lots of minutes here) I think that I look devastatingly cute, but extremely weird. Now, you may be asking yourself how these two idea can coexist. Well, I’ll tell you. I’m currently wearing black yoga capris, a Ghostbusters crew neck sweatshirt with the sleeves rolled up, a hippie bandana on my head, my favorite skull scarf around my neck and black combat boots that don’t come quite high enough, so my unshaved legs are peeking out just the tiniest bit. But, to offset this mess of an ensemble, I think to myself, “Shan, you look like a true New Yorker! Someone who doesn’t give a shit about what other people think and is confident in her weird, not-put-together style at the moment.” Then I sigh and look down at the floor, because I have been standing here for what feels like eternity, waiting for this mysterious woman to stop shitting. This prompts me to have a thought. 
  4. “Gee! I hope someday someone will love me enough not to care that I have big thick legs that kind of bow into each other like some strange oversize, chubby baby legs.” And then all my good thoughts about my quirkiness disappear. 
  5. Lastly, I think about how dreadful it’s going to be as I enter the bathroom as the lady in front of me (SURPRISE!) did indeed take a “I’m-gonna-drop-my-10-oversized-children-off-at-the-pool” shit. )

End Side Note. 

Back to my story: 

So during this bout of turbulence we had earlier, I jammed my pair of cheap ear buds into my ears, cranked up my newly-purchased Foo Fighters album (FYI: Sonic Highways, both the album and show are fantastic) and started reading Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please. 

Her book is lovely thus far, and one part in particular that called out to me was when she had her parents write the story of her birth. Amy’s mother was very detailed, talking about each step in her labor, while Amy’s father was not in the room during labor (it was the 70s) and his portion was short and concise about how excited he was to be a father. After both parents’ excerpts, Amy places a few pages for the reader to have their parents write down the story of their own births. 

At at moment I wanted to cry. (The operative word here being “wanted.”) 

Why is this so important?

BECAUSE I WANTED TO CRY, DAMMIT! And because I never got the story of my birth from my mother, which I knew would be similar to Mrs. Poehler: detailed and touched with the love that only a mother can give. Sure, I can still ask my dad about my labor, but the sadness I felt the moment I realized that I could not pick up the phone after this flight (pending that I don’t plummet to my death) was profound. 

A funny thing happened to me after my mom died. At first, I couldn’t stop crying. Everything would make me cry. I cried watching tv, if a professor told me that I got an A minus instead of an A on a project, if I didn’t receive a goodnight text from my boyfriend. (You get the idea). And then there was the SOBBING: i.e. when I would think about my mother and the life I would have to keep living without her. Then came the ugliness of depression, anxiety, therapy and corrective medication. 

Then all the sudden it stopped. I stopped crying. I stopped sobbing. I didn’t need therapy or pills or nights where I would drink myself stupid and look at pictures of my mom, silently cursing whatever god actually exists in this great big universe. 

It is very rare that I cry anymore. The last time I cried was fairly recently, but in all fairness, I was four drinks in, and saw my ex boyfriend AKA the man I thought I was going to marry for a good three years of my existence. 

Sometimes, not being the waterworks that I used to be is nice. But in that moment when I looked at the blank pages of Amy’s book, I wanted to cry so badly, I started to forget about the turbulence and focused on how frustrated I was that my heart would not let me release the tension it so desperately wanted to let out of it. 

And then I started thinking, how would Ro have told the story of my birth? Do you tell the story of a birth, similar to the way we recite eulogies? You know, where the eulogizer (Or as Zoolanger calls it, a “You-Google-Izer”) highlights all the best parts of a person’s life and leaves out the hairy details. No, Ro wouldn’t do that. Ro would make sure to tell every nitty-gritty detail of my birth, because she (like her daughter) loved to tell stories with so many ancillary details, that the listener sometimes forgets the original point of the story. 

Sound familiar?? 🙂 

Then I started thinking about Ro’s death. And how a doctor give her a time frame of how long she had left in her human body. What is that like? What is it like to be told that you have a quantifiable amount of moments left in your existence? 

For instance: If there was a clairvoyant here on my plane and he/she told me that this plane would crash tonight, would I become paralyzed with fear, or would I pick out the cutest boy on the plane, join the mile-high club and drink all the alcohol shooters and go out with a bang? (Ha ha! See what I did there??? Sorry Dad, if you’re reading this portion.) 

My mom sure didn’t stop living her life when she was given time. In fact, she tried so hard to stay alive that she not only lived a few weeks past when the doctors said she would, but some days her blood counts were so low, it was a kind of medical miracle that she was physically standing.

But back to why I can’t cry. 

I’m worried that I’ve become a bit hardened. Or maybe it’s just that once you’ve already had the worst day of your life (i.e. the day my mother died) and everything else is shifted in relativity. I can’t tell. 

But I can tell you something, after reading the first half of Amy’s book tonight, (I’m a fast reader) I feel like I’m going to try to live my life like my plane is crashing. Not to say that I don’t already attempt to live life to the fullest, but I’m just going to try a little harder. I’m going to try a little harder to tear away the layers that have accumulated on top of my heart. (As one of my favorite animated characters once told me, “Ogres are like onions.)

And once I peel away these layers, my heart might become a tender and fresh again. Of course there is always the fear that I will yet again be vulnerable to all the trials and tribulations that go along with being an emotional person, but I think I might be a better person for it. 

So now that I’ve gone ahead and spilled my innards all over this post, like I tend to do from time to time, I feel as though I have run out of words. 

Hopefully if this plane does, indeed crash, one of my family members will recover my laptop and open the “notes” application where I keep my list of passwords, my log of all the background/stand jobs I’ve worked on, and tidbits of unfinished songs/blog posts, and see that that there is one completed, thoughtful, kind-of-sad-but-in-a-funny-way blog post that the world simply MUST see. (Finish run-on sentence)

And that’s all I have to say about that. 


Shan Babe