Alby's Words

in no particular order

Alexandria Dobkowski

Alexandria Dobkowski
Austin, Texas, USA
August 03
I was born and raised in Maine, where I attended a small private prep school and was taken into foster care at 16. Post legal majority, I spent time traveling the US, staying with friends and living out of my car. I settled in Memphis, Tennessee for several years, working for a book publisher. I am currently a writer, editor, and mother in Austin, Texas. Via Salon, I once debated with Camille Paglia over whether girls can rock.


Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 8, 2008 11:37PM

A Call From the Darkness

It was winter in Maine and dark early. Clear still in my memory, all the landmarks of the house I grew up in: vast rows of tall windows, the sheen on cedar planks gleaming under track lighting, a plethora of houseplants hugging the corners, all the green and gold making for… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 8, 2008 10:35AM

Dem On Dem Anger

This past Saturday, my friend Jesus and I had been wandering along Buffalo Bayou in Houston, having a chat, when we decided to stop in for a beer at La Carafe, ostensibly the oldest bar in the area.

Downtown Houston on a Saturday afternoon, even an unseasonably cool one like… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 5, 2008 10:30PM

Women, Heart Attacks, and My Aunt Joan

“Thank goodness he’s gone and finally out of my hair.”

She pictures him, briefly, with his friends: out fishing in the sun, without a thought in the world for her. Far from sadness or resignation at this, she feels freedom and a measure of joy. For the first time in… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 5, 2008 1:45PM

My OS Life

The sun in Texas does not so much set as wander off for a few moments, maybe, leaving a full blazing heat radiating off every imaginable surface. In Texas, at dusk, the flowers are hot. It is another day, because for me, a day does not begin when I open my… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 4, 2008 11:48AM

Memphis, 1994

While digging through a plastic storage box in my garage, I came across this fragment of a poorly-executed comic I drew many years ago, when I first arrived in Memphis:

  mem comix2

Court Street, Memphis, Tennessee. Who knew there were twenty Court Streets, each one as derelict as the… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 3, 2008 12:39AM

How I Fell in Love With His Brother and Morphine at Gunpoint


More reminscence from the wilds of the north:


“There’s this party up at Hermit Island, wanna go with me?”

“What’s that?”

“It’s this place that I used to be a camp counselor, a little island near Bath. It’s really cool. We all get… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 2, 2008 7:58PM

Alby's Beets, Bacon, Shrimp and Scallops


Beet Scallop full

Ok, guys, you’ve done it. Writing about scallops (and beets! Someone was writing about beets some time ago, and it made me drool), even as a silly metaphor, has given me a craving. In case some of you are in the same predicament, here is an authentic Mainer… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 2, 2008 12:10PM

What Exactly is Wrong With Maureen Dowd?

There are many people who have written about the crazed ramblings of the Times’ titian-haired malcontent, but I am posing a serious question, and perhaps even an intervention. Maybe we can get Open Salon’s own pontificatrix to weigh in.

Today’s NYT column is frightening. Its title,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 28, 2008 10:45PM

Return to the Light: The Way Out, Part 3

The contrast between the environment at the shelter and the lifestyle of Meredith’s family was so stark I may as well have moved to the Taj Mahal. I continue to feel ceaseless gratitude to her mom for providing me with a respite from my life, a respite in every sense ofRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 26, 2008 6:47PM

It's Not Over: The Way Out, Part 2

The sun rises. I can still smell the sea on the calm cool air that morning. The flood of sunlight approaching is unstoppable and I have to make a decision. Time breaks our hearts as surely as trees break stone with their roots. I choose to pack what I can without… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 25, 2008 12:48PM

The Way Out: Part One

Ever since I posted Blocking the Door, I’ve gotten questions about how I got out. It’s a long story, so I will be posting it here in multiple parts.

In the summer of 1991 I was removed from the custody of my father and placed into foster care. The… Read full post »

AUGUST 22, 2008 4:59PM

The Truth Behind Big Pharma

There have been a number of posts/threads in the past few weeks about the election, the influence of lobbyists on politicians, and wholesale corporate greed (Tired of Evangelicals, Disaster Capitalists, What Do Lobbyists Do?, and my own Sexism+Capitalism) that I thought I would share some additional… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 21, 2008 12:58PM

Blocking the Door

The door was always blocked. I vacuumed in straight lines, twice a day, and if I messed up, I vacuumed the whole carpet over again. It was the same tic from earlier in my childhood, that creeping perfectionism, each essay copied over and over for spelling mistakes; never crossed out, just… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 20, 2008 3:50PM

Tearing Apart Church and State Like a Phone Book

A recent post by Rahul Parikh (From the Medical-Legal Department) reminded me of some issues involving the separation of church and state raised by something that happened at my daughter’s school when she was in kindergarten (She enters 1st grade in 5 days, 17 hours and 9 minutes).

Now, I… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 20, 2008 12:57PM

Ms. BLT: Worst. Roommate. Ever.

A few years ago, I took a contract job in New Hampshire. I needed an inexpensive place to stay as I would be splitting my time between Texas and the Northeast. A friend of mine offered to rent me a spare room in his house near Portland, Maine; and although I… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 20, 2008 9:49AM

Stephen King on My Barstool

After reading a post that included a fun quote by Stephen King (Spoiler Alert by The Biblio Files), I realized that I have never gotten around to telling my Stephen King story.

Before you think that this is a mindless bit of star fucking, I would like to note that… Read full post »

AUGUST 19, 2008 11:13AM

The Dog Days of Insanity

So…the guy who lives behind my house has a number of dogs. I can’t tell how many, just that they bark incessantly. Bark, bark, bark! Bark, bark, bark! A cacophony of canine vocalization. Even my kiddo’s dog, with a brain the size of a pinto bean, hardly barks at all—even when… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 18, 2008 1:04AM

She's Part of the Team: Women in Football

Spoiler alert: Wait, can you spoil non-fiction? No? Good.

Today I went to see the Austin premiere of the film The Longshots, a movie about Jasmine Plummer, the first female to play in a Pop Warner football tournament in the league’s history.

The reason that I was there is… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 15, 2008 3:47PM

Sexism+Capitalism: Rick’s Cabaret Posts 3rd Quarter Results

In the course of my work, I listen to the quarterly earnings calls that public companies hold for analysts and shareholders. Much of what I hear disgusts me, from the startling lack of sensitivity toward the nation’s working poor shown by a big oil company senior executive quite literally laugh… Read full post »