Allison Plean: For auld lang syne


Allison Plean

Allison Plean's column appears Fridays in the 4 Points arts and entertainment section in the Steamboat Today. Contact her at 871-4204 or e-mail

I lost my cell phone this week. I'm now officially ready for this year to end.

Although New Year's Eve is the most anticipated/disappointing evening of the year, we have a lot of things to look back on in '06 and be proud of.

We all survived the hippie invasion and exorbitant gas prices. We were given the second season of the wonderfully awful TV show "Wonder Showzen," and we learned some new quotable phrases from the movies "Borat" and "Talladega Nights."

We persevered through long lines on voting day and millions of rumors of the sale of the ski area. Some of us even permanently scarred ourselves tubing down the Yampa River.

But the craziest thing that happened to me this year was becoming a newspaper reporter.

Crazy, I know. I've never taken a journalism class in my life.

I used to envy Autumn Phillips' job. (She was the arts & entertainment reporter prior to me.) And I never thought I could even qualify for this position.

I guess my nice blue interview shirt and knowledge from reading the "The Associated Press Guide to News Writing" the night before my interview helped. And Mr. Dictionary, Mr. Spell Check and Mr. AP Stylebook have become my best friends - second only to coffee, that is.

I learned that people really do read the newspaper, but only when you make mistakes. And I learned that you can catch a high just from interviewing passionate people like Gary Burman (uilleann piper for Old School), Gavin Graham (owner of Tropical Rockies), John Sant'Ambrogio (cellist for Steamboat Strings Quartet and Steamboat Springs Orchestra) and Keri Rusthoi (artistic director and opera singer for Emerald City Opera).

They are just a few of the countless people who truly embody the passion and love for what they do in this town. They are an inspiration to all of us. Getting to know these people is the best part of my job. Keeping up with writing down every word they say during an interview is the hardest part.

Because of my job, I went to my first Strings in the Mountains concert, my first Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp performance, my first Steamboat Springs Orchestra concert and even learned how to square dance.

I've interviewed people with pesto in my teeth, and a co-worker finally taught me how to put on mascara. (I hope I can remember all the steps.)

I've discovered that interviewing artists is addicting.

I left every interview wanting to buy a kiln, canvas or trapeze.

Of course, it was a big year for the community, too.

We got a movie theater with stadium seating, a large office supply store and an art museum and an art co-op. The Steamboat Mountain Theater opened, Chelsea's moved into town, and the face of Lincoln Avenue changed forever with the destruction of the Nite's Rest and the Harbor Hotel.

We may have lost Brewfest, but we got a new Sunshine lift, a Hilltop bus route and the great Halloween costume of the "Dumpster diver."

Nationally, we survived the bird flu scare (also a great Halloween costume), Mel Gibson's arrest and Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston getting divorced. No one woman should be able to bogart the two-time sexiest man alive.

The greatest music discovery I made this year was Bright Eyes. Conor Oberst has the most perfectly matched sad voice to the most perfectly written lyrics. I can listen to songs like "First Day of my Life," "Poison Oak" and "Lover I Don't Have to Love" a gazillion times. And I have.

I also learned this year how destructive puppies can be. So did some of my roommates. And apparently when two dogs get together and chew through the sewage pump cord, things can get pretty stinky.

So when you are looking for someone to kiss at midnight - don't think of all your broken hearts and unfulfilled crushes. Start planning your next Halloween costume, make sure your cell phone is in your pocket and send in suggestions on how I can continue to improve your 4 Points experience.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

You lost your cell phone. You wrecked your car. You might be an irresponsible pet owner. You glorifly tramp stamps. This is not art, nor is it entertaining--in my opinion.

I am so sick of reading this drivel in four points. It is getting to be almost as bad as the bar napkin scribblings of Summer (or whatever her season was...).

What is next? A story about how you have to scrounge under couch cushions for gas money before pay day? That subject as already been addressed in too many columns du Printemps.

Why don't you write a column about art, entertainment and culture instead of trolling for skanks who are willing to have their butt crack plastered on a page of this rag?

Please, spare us the details of your personal life. Find interesting topics about ART, ENTERTAINMENT, PERFORMANCE, DESIGN and FASHION that are relevant to the local market. That would be so much more appropriate and professional. It might even be inspiring!

Why don't you write a column about the newest trends in interior design and give tips on how and where Routt County locals can acquire delivery of these goods?

Or perhaps you could write about fashion. How can aspects the latest trends on the runway be translated into an aesthetic that works locally? Hint--tats are NOT fashionable and will not land a woman on the cover of Vogue with the exception of AJ, of coarse.

Now, use that mascara wand for the powers of good as it is indeed a magic wand. Find something to write about other than yourself. Use your column space to publish words about the depth of local talent in the arts.

There are so many talented, interesting ARTISTS in this community. Many of them lead quiet lives. They are interesting, accomplished and highly educated people who could serve as a much better role models for the local wasted youth than the tatooed bar maids and amateur barefoot hippie dancers (sic) this column often glorifies.

In recent months beautiful photographs of Barbie Bonfiglio and a brief profile her projects were profiled. That was a great example of how the wasted space in Four Points should be put to good use. MORE of THAT....PLEASE!!!!

I have never heard of a woman contracting Hep or HIV from a tube of Chanel Mascara. Something to think about, girl.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

I forgot to give you credit for granting Keri Rusthoi some press. Classy, beautiful and talented Ms. Rusthoi is!

MORE of THAT, please.

Perhaps local artists such as Ms. Rusthoi could be a guest columnists and put the space set aside for Allison to better use?

A degree in journalism and communication from Yale is not a pre-requisite for contribution to 4 points as the author admits.

Guest columnists might be a wonderful solution to the current waste of space.


JazzSlave 10 years, 3 months ago


Bingo. I had a girlfriend in the 10th grade who packed multiple spiral notebooks with this kind of self-absorbed claptrap. Then, as now, I was baffled that other kids - both boys & girls - enjoyed reading it (although, they were in the minority).

I can only assume that the Pilot has received sufficient postive feedback re: Ms. Plean's navel-gazing so as to justify its continuation - which is as it should be, despite my (and your) own personal distaste.


Otto_Stader 10 years, 3 months ago

Bobbie_Dooley is the name of one of Phil Hendry's alter egoes on his fantastically witty radio show. Bobbie is the president of the Western States Homeowner's Association, and is known for doing such things as shutting off an elderly neighbor's air conditioning during a heat wave because the neighborhood covenants and restrictions prohobit running A/C units at night. The fictitious neighbor died, of course.

Okay, the biggest disservice anyone could do for the kids in Steamboat is to give them the idea that a career in art, entertainment, design, etc., is going to pay off for them. About every-other waitress in town had a degree in art a few years back, including advanced degrees in things like art history. If you can't win a full ride to Juliard, you're probably not going to make a living playing the cello, right?

Allison, you're a ditz, but that's okay. You know it, and you've picked a town where a ditz is not doomed to die in a high-speed crash or drive off an open draw bridge. You go, girl.

As I write this, Saddam Hussein is JUST about to be hanged by the neck for his murder of thousands of Iraqi women and children. Let's not forget that Saddam will never get a chance to set off a Korean A-bomb over Tel Aviv, and that Israeli children no longer have to carry gas masks to school with them because of the threat of an Iraqi poison gas attack delivered by SCUD missiles purchased from North Korea.

Steamboat is a little ol' fishbowl. There's always something interesting going on. We don't need people putting on shows and making stuff up; the real events are amusing enough.

Oh, and Fox just this moment reported that Saddam Hussein is dead. Let's see how long the South Park guys take to get out a new episode where Saddam is REALLY dead and shipped off to Hell.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

Just to make things clear-

I did not suggest that the wasted youth of Steamboat Springs aspire to become "artists". I would suggest instead that they strive to become economically productive members of society so that they might enjoy the luxury of purchasing and enjoying art.

Why cannot 4 Points cover actual art and entertainment as opposed to tats and bar tramps?

I cannot stand these columns in Fourt Points. In my view, Alison and Autumn might as well be the same person. The columnists in 4 points have always tended to self indulge and write about the first person no matter who might be the intended subject of an interview.

It is doubtful that I will ever look to Four Points for direction as what is new and current in music, art or performance. Even the CD reviews are outdated. What is often reviewed as a "new release" is crap that has been available on a band's web site for more than six months.

Four Points is just not WITH IT! The TAT fad peaked TEN YEARS ago for chrissake and it is not chic or cool to drive a dented jalopy. You asked for suggestions. I am suggesting that you get current and class your act up a bit.

And please--please--spare us the unfortunate self portraits. Or at least make the effort to correct the red eye. My eyes are still recovering from having to look at the tattooed arse crack you featured two weeks ago.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

Btw, Bobbie Dooley is pleased to have amazed and insulted Clevedave. Thank you.


Otto_Stader 10 years, 3 months ago

I may be a grumpy old white-man fart, but at least I can pull out of a parking spot without doing $2000 worth of damage to my Jeep. I think the word "ditz" is aptly applied to Ms. Plean for that and all her other crimes against self-sufficiency documented in her columns.

In the end, when someone pursues a career in "the arts," aren't they really asking the rest of us to pay them for doing what amounts to jumping around and making noise? The arts are a wonderful method of self expression, but unless there's a good day job behind it, a "career" in the arts is a life sentence to poverty and dependence upon perversion of one kind or another. I know two people who gave up careers in the theater because they could not take the constant inappropriate sexual advances that came with the territory, and a third who is scarcely recognizable because of the extensive cosmetic surgery she was required to have in order to be considered for bit parts on Broadway.

Covering "the arts" means bringing out the best of what we see or hear from the artists at the price of having to ignore the seamy sides of their personalities. It's a very rare successful performer whose life isn't a train wreck in most other areas. If you want to cover the arts and make it interesting, get a psychiatrist to include a personality profile of the artists. That would be interesting to read.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

oh, Otto dahling, your post is spot on. Accurate observations you have.

I know that so many of the most acclaimed writers and artists can be dx 'ed as bi-polar prostitutes. Interesting. I enjoy me some good art, literature and dance nevertheless. It is all about ENTERTAINMENT here in the good ol' USA. Entertainment may someday be the only economically viable export that the USA has to offer the global economy.

I know that I am not going to read much about that which is of any substance in Four Points. I also know that if I discover a gem of a book or the hippest new band, I am not going to read about it in Four Points until it is one year old news if ever.

And Ms. DaVinci. I agree with you as I usualy do these days. No doubt you just provided the spoiler as to Allison's next column.

Here is your next assignment Allison: submit the self mutilation photos and self obsessed ditzy ramblings to a My Space blog as that is the appropriate venue for your favorite subjects. Spare us from this nonsense in the Pilot.

On the other hand--write whatever comes to mind, girl. I have no vote that counts. It has been several years since I have last soiled my hands with the cheap ink of the Steamboat Pilot and Today. I am not even a regular reader of the on line version.

I will not be purchasing any advertisement in the Pilot at any time in the future. Therefore, I am officially disenfranchised and will likely be soon banned from this forum for not so silently judging you people.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

I often wonder if people such as Autumn and Allison realize that there are women in Routt County who are approximately their age who have successfully purchased and maintained homes and other real estate worth seven figures and who successfully maintain automobiles and aircraft worth six figures while these women are out wrecking their jalopies, interviewing bar keeps and photo blogging faded leathery tramp stamps.

It is possible maintain self sufficiency in addition having knowledge of the classics being current in the Arts.

How can a person who cannot keep track of her cell phone tell ME something I do not already know about Arts and Entertainment?

This "newspaper" is such a joke. I will only dirty my hands with it again when I am ready to purchase more real estate. I like reading those ads when I am in the mood to buy.

I vote for Guest Columnists only for future editions of 4 Pts....not that I even have a vote


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Maniston broke up two years ago. That is not this year's news. Anyone who reads The Star in the City Market check out line knows that.

Please. Do not encourage people to quote The Borat Movie. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRrgh. My ears ache at the thought just as my eyes ache from the Four Points butt crack Hep HIV photo of the week.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

BRIGHT EYES WAS "DISCOVERED" BEFORE 1998 by those of us in the know on the indie scene. Sheezuz. I have been in exile from the indie scene for ten years and even I knew about Bright Eyes before 1998.

Conor O was the darling be-yatch of music critics in the early part of this decade. And you are just getting around to this in 2006? Give me a break!

SHEEZUZ Girl. Have you even heard of Pitchfork?

The music "news" in Four Points is usually five years old. Pathetic.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

Allison Plean. I am calling you out. I want to know if you have actually heard or seen live even ONE of the bands that the Bitch Fork music critics named as the top 50 of 2006.

Oh. Justin Timberlake does not count ...even if you get the joke.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

  1. Booka Shade - Movements
  2. Ellen Allien & Apparat - Orchestra Of Bubbles
  3. The Long Blondes - Someone To Drive You Home
  4. Matmos - The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast
  5. M. Ward - Post-War
  6. Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country
  7. The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes
  8. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
  9. Mastodon - Blood Mountain
  10. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
  11. Tapes 'N Tapes - The Loon
  12. Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent Things
  13. J Dilla - Donuts
  14. DJ Drama & Lil Wayne - Dedication 2
  15. Brightblack Morning Light - Brightblack Morning Light
  16. Herbert - Scale
  17. Girl Talk - Night Ripper
  18. Mission Of Burma - The Obliterati
  19. Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor
  20. Danielson - Ships
  21. Belle And Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
  22. Lily Allen - Alright, Still
  23. Cat Power - The Greatest
  24. Califone - Roots & Crowns
  25. Hot Chip - The Warning
  26. Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
  27. Peter Bjorn And John - Writer's Block
  28. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
  29. LCD Soundsystem - 45:33
  30. Be Your Own Pet - Be Your Own Pet
  31. Man Man - Six Demon Bag
  32. T.I. - King
  33. Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
  34. The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine
  35. Beach House - Beach House
  36. Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming
  37. Harmony In Ultraviolet - Tim Hecker
  38. Phoenix - It's Never Been Like That
  39. Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
  40. Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
  41. Scott Walker - The Drift
  42. Boris - Pink
  43. Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
  44. Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
  45. Liars - Drum's Not Dead -
  46. The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls In America
  47. Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
  48. Joanna Newsom - Ys
  49. TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
  50. The Knife - Silent Shout

Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

Belle and Sebastion, The Decemberists and the Hold Steady do not count either.


Otto_Stader 10 years, 3 months ago

Jessie (Bobby_Dooley),

I don't know which makes me happier; seeing you posting again or realizing that I don't recognize a single artist or song on your list.

I'm happy that you have the $$ to own an expensive car and an airplane, but honestly, unless they win the lottery or inherit a fortune, how many people of either sex are willing to do the work necessary to engage in such conspicuous consumption. Having personally owned both an expensive car (the price of which did not prevent other motorists from banging into it on a regular basis) and an airplane (which came along just in time for the air traffic controllers strike and the second oil embargo), I found them to be sources of concern and eaters of precious time and money which could have been better spent on just about anything else. None of those expensive things came accessorized with the love of my life, and there's much more pleasure in lounging in our king-sized bed together, reading our books within earshot of our children and flocks of various domestic creatures, than I ever found at 20,000 feet talking to ATC.

Money can do lots of things for you, and good looks are a plus, but they cannot buy the envy of a person who doesn't want what you have.

Most of us don't give an aviation fornication about the arts, popular music, or the articles in the Steamboat Pilot. Creativity is its own reward, and it's a sure cure for boredom and envy. Allison is self-confident enough to put her life on display in the Pilot without hiding behind an alias, and in that respect, she's beaten us both.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

Otto, you are very wise. I agree with you as to everything you wrote except for the last sentence.

I do think that it is a shame that most young people do not have the drive to be so economically productive to be able to engage in what some might call conspicuous consumption.

I do not believe that conspicuous consumption is a positive thing in and of itself, nor does it necessarily bring happiness.

Unfortunately, in too many cases, the work that it takes for a person to acquire ownership of real property and significant investments before the age of 30 in an expensive market, e.g. chic neighborhood in a major city, beachfront, resort and golf coarse properties, without reliance upon an inheritance comes at the expense of enjoyment of some of the best things in life, e.g. rolling around on a king size bed with the love of one's life while reading great books and being surrounded by pets. What you described is the picture of happiness! I doubt that you chose the books that provide you with enjoyment based upon the reviews in 4 PTS.

This thread is NOT about ME. I achieved balance in my life with more ease than the writer could find her cell phone and repair her car.

This thread is about Four Points and the critique thereof. Neither the adventures of Allison or Autumn appeal to me. They make me cringe.

If there is something pathological about my personality that causes me to CRINGE when I read about the promotion of irresponsible partying or a young women's oblivous lack of self sufficiency, then it is time to revise DMSIV critiera for that pathology.

I knew women like Allison and Autumn in college. In some sense I owe them my gratitude. Without the ditzes at every University, we would have no one to occupy the bottom of the bell curve. Even a Lioness at the top of the food chain is dependant upon the bio on the lower rungs of the foodchain.

I am who I am. I have no intention of changing. I am not hiding behind an alias. I am proud of my self sufficiency. Allison made the query as to how she might improve my four points experience. I am giving my honest answer knowing that most people will want to skewer me for my answer to her question and knowing that I am very easily identifiable no matter what nickname I might assign to myself for the sake of my own enjoyment.

Heh. I LOVE BOBBIE DOOLEY. A hilarious characature of a bourgeois b-yatch, she is. She and I are not the same.

Again, I suggest that ANY 4 pts columnist stop writing about her own antics and stop promoting those horrid tat photos.

P.S. I wish all of you an abundance of happiness in the New Year! I even hope that AP finds her phone.


Otto_Stader 10 years, 3 months ago


I just cannot take anything in the Pilot seriously. Actually, I don't take anything printed in any newspaper very seriously because I've been the subject of coverage often enough to know that the facts are seldom accurate or complete.

Knowlege may be a product of education, but judgment is a product of experience -- good and bad experience. Judgment is the factor lacking in all we see from the Pilot, and in most of what we see from Steamboat in general.


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