Wednesday, November 5, 2008

For the Love of...

So’s been awhile.

I've been busy, and frankly nothing has really been inspiring me enough to sit down and drop the million or so things that I should be doing to blog for my four loyal readers (whom I talk to everyday anyway).

Over the past few weeks I dismissed the yellow "protect marriage" signs that have popped up around town. I have scoffed at the people standing on street corners in the name of their church. I completely underestimated the religious right...this is, after all, supposed to be the most progressive state in the union.

I think I mostly just couldn't believe that there could be enough people who are ignorant enough to pass such an injustice in today's world.

The propaganda was outlandish, claiming the amendment was about schools, children and freedom of speech (that last one really made me go WHA?). It was about discrimination and I find it ironic that in election that broke down years of racial discrimination, that a new brand popped up in its wake.

While people cheered around me for the dawn of change, I couldn't celebrate. I felt a lump in my throat as I watched the numbers of California's proposition 8 come in. The popular vote is in favor of altering our constitution to eliminate rights for a group of people, based upon a religious ideal that marriage is between a man and woman.

Our forefathers came to this country and wrote our laws to avoid religious persecution. We have a separation between church and state. How then, can the largest argument in favor of prop 8 be that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve? Maybe he did, but that has nothing to do with our legal rights.

I have been saying for awhile now...and I know it makes me sound like a leftist nut...that marriage should removed from the law altogether. If the church wants to take claim over the word "marriage" and its all means, take it. Let us make civil unions REALLY have all the rights of marriage and change its label. If you want to be married in the church...go for it, but the state won't recognize it until you get your civil union license.

I wish I had realized how close this was going to be. I would have done more...because people...we just amended our constitution to eliminate rights...what is this 1918?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let Me Tell You What it is Like to Have 17 Bug Bites on One Arm

It sucks.

Beneath my sleeve lives an angry colony of bumps that constantly remind me of their presence. And for some reason, they decided to concentrate themselves only on my right arm. I have a total of 18 mosquito bites at this very moment and all but one are located on my single arm. And really the annoyance of said bumps is not the worst of it.

Having a mess of bug bites on your arm is something akin to having leprosy I am finding. I tried to wear a short sleeved shirt to work yesterday for easier itching access, but all I found were looks of horror at my bare arm. “It is just a bunch of bug bites,” I would tell them as they backed away nodding and running out to get a fresh small pox vaccine. Seriously…its not my fault. I can’t help it if my blood is so nutritious and delicious that bugs come from miles around to suck it. It isn’t an STD that I am wearing on my arm here. I guess the incessant scratching is a problem too. Apparently people have a hard time focusing while someone is itching the flakes of dry skin off their body and into your morning coffee.

You try having SEVENTEEN MOTHER-EFFING bug bites on a single extremity and see if you can resist the urge to scratch! Gosh.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Two Tickets To The Looney Bin

Monday morning, 8:00 a.m. I took Gus in for his annual puppy exam. They told me mostly stuff that I already know…he is a fatty and stuff. Then I started mentioning stuff about how he cries like it’s the end of the world in the car and how he is scared of the kitchen floor and the vet was like…um…crazy?

Now I know that I am crazy. I came to that realization a long time ago and I am fully comfortable with my wacky ways. But when the doc suggested puppy Prozac to fight my pooch’s apparent clinical depression and anxiety…I had to wonder…did I make him lose his mind?

People often note the similarities between pets and their owners, but usually that is some flappy-jowled old man with a bull dog or something. But is it possible that the similarities are more than skin deep? Because God knows that I have a chocolate brown block head with crazy wrinkles, but is it possible that he has acquired my insanity as well?

Well, at least I’ll get to bring him with me when they commit me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Little Design Help

Learning to work with people is hard. There are a lot of little nuances to co-worker relationships that make collaboration difficult. This is not about one of those little things…this is just about stupid people and stupid stuff…two things for which I have zero tolerance.

Being a graphic designer…I make things “pretty.” A lot of my co-workers get offended by that word, but as long as you appreciate my ideas as well, I am perfectly happy to make it “pretty.” You might be surprised to know how many people care about the aesthetics of the wrong stupid shit. I mean seriously dude…you should ask my help picking out some non-pleated pants before you ask for my help to make your email “pretty,” because all I am going to do is change it from Comic Sans and delete that heinous clip art.

How would you feel if you were asked to create a collection of 50 bajillion icons for some stupid internal application and all but one were great, but this one kinda resembles a gall bladder, so could you please go back and do it over? Well no thank you very much. I would rather not waste more of my time because some random person who just had their gall bladder removed, thought an icon that I made looked kinda like a gall bladder (maybe if you turn your head and squint while on crack).

While we are raging about design-related irritations…lets discuss the design sophistication of email stationery. As much as I love puppy feet, I don’t necessarily think they are an appropriate choice for your law firm’s professional correspondence. I can see that if you are say…an engineer…that a graph paper background might seem like a stylish choice…but it isn’t. It is ugly. And when I get your emails I die a little inside. Less is more people…really…black text on a white screen is absolutely in these days. And while we are at it…animated gifs of little butterflies or belly dancers as part of your electronic signature…also mildly inappropriate. Here is a desperate plea to Mircosoft: “Stop producing these hideous backgrounds, it is like giving a loaded gun to a kid in a black trench coat…it is going to end badly.”

Ok…so now that I have worked myself into a flurry, I just need to express a few more things that annoy:
  • Times New Roman
  • Powerpoint transitions that involve checked flags or pieces of pie
  • Yellow text on black backgrounds
  • Buttons with bevel, embossing, gradients AND drop shadow (just cause you can open Photoshop doesn’t mean you should use it)
  • Microsoft WordArt…it is neither legible nor art…so don’t
  • Pastel rainbow excel spreadsheets

Cause…The More You Know…the less I will want to spoon my eyes out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What A Weekend

Let me tell you, because I know you are DYING to hear all about it.

On Friday night boyfriend and I decided to take my parents out. We bought them dinner and took them to see Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D! Other than Captain EO, 3-D kinda sucks balls. It always gives me an immense headache and then you try to take off your nifty space-age plastic glasses and the triple-vision of the screen without them is even worse. I have to tell you though; they have made some technological advancements in 3-D technology. You still have to wear those sexy glasses, but the lenses aren’t blue and red, they look fairly normal (for a cheap version of a blues brother). Also, they saved the really crazy pop-out stuff for special occasions, and the movie looked pretty normal the rest of the time. I was pretty impressed, how could I not be with a Brandon Fraser movie?

Saturday was my pseudo-aunt’s 30th wedding anniversary, so the most awesome Boyfriend ever flew the four of us up to Napa for lunch. While they went off and have there romantic lunch, Boyfriend and I sat at the bar and ate…a lot. We watched all the Olympic skull racing that one would want to see (and more…considering that nobody would really want to watch skull racing) and hung out for a few hours. It was nice, our waitress was a spaz, but that was ok cause she kept filling up my diet coke every time I drank more that an inch out of the glass. She was my favorite and got a big fat tip.

We got home from our bay airplane tour (which made me appreciate not living in SF all the more, because lets just say that all we could see of SF was the tippy top of Sutro Tower and as fluffy as those clouds looked from the top, they probably just made things cold, sad and depressing gray below) and began to pack for our next prospecting mission (next weekend). We packed our backpacks and went over our scenarios of “what if we see a bear” or “what if I fall down” and the rope tied around my waist and the large machete that Boyfriend is bringing along ended those conversations quickly.

On Sunday, we woke up at the buttcrack of dawn…make that more like the taint of dawn, because there is no light to be seen at 4 am. We drove in sleepy silence to the Santa Cruz harbor to go fishing. Aboard a friends fishing boat, I quickly found cover from the cold in the cozy little cabin. I napped until it got warm…that took awhile. When the sun came out, so did I and I actually caught TWO fish. One was too small and I released him back to his home. The other one was not the biggest, but he was the prettiest, and in my world of non-fish eating…that is way better. I got sunburned on my face…again…proving once and for all to me that the sunscreen that I have used on the last three outings is ineffective. Burn me once…shame on you…burn me three times…I need to buy new sunscreen.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Operation: Save-A-Chute

Our mission (and of course we chose to accept it) was to find the remnants from Operation: Drop-A-Chute. We gathered intel from a stump on a hill over-looking the canyon…it was there…we saw it…and it looked pretty much intact. The beauty of a reconnaissance mission is that you don’t actually have to DO anything. Mostly you find out what you want to know and then you get to play.

So that is what we did.

With the charade of finding a better route to the site we rode all over. We desecrated some graves, did a little trespassing, almost broke our necks several times, popped a tire and bent a rim…all in all a good old time.

Later that evening after the men had dropped me off, loaded me full of pain killers for my bruised and broken body and taken off again, I began to hallucinate. Every small noise in the bushes was an axe murderer and I knew it. So to busy my paranoid mind, I built a fire. Too bad the men had also taken all the matches and lighters away with them. So I tried to start the fire by banging two rocks together, but they were less like rocks and more like dense clumps of dried clay and just sorta crumbled. I tried rubbing two sticks together, but I did NOT have the patience for that shit. Finally I drew on the knowledge that boyfriend has imparted on me over our two glorious years together….grabbed a paper towel, dowsed it in gasoline and lit it with the car cigarette lighter. Boyfriend was so proud and I was pretty pleased with myself too…especially since my fire scared away the axe murderer.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

You Learn Something New Everyday

So Boyfriend has decided to become a prospector (it is actually kinda cute as I imagine him growing a long beard and giddily shouting “Eureka!” while doing a jig over his gold pan). So the logical first step in prospecting is to fly over in your private plane and drop 300 pounds of gear into your canyon of choice.

Boyfriend found his parachute on ebay and it arrived balled up in a garbage bag. Now you would think this might be a problem, since neither Boyfriend nor I have ever packed a parachute, but nah…we got this.

After watching a 3 minute video on youtube about how to fold the thing, we spread the 38-foot monster army green parachute on the green grass in the pitch dark night and began folding. We were pretty impressed with ourselves. We even found a high-tech solution to the lack of parachute sack by stuffing it into an old pillow case and stapling the sides. Genius. Look at us. We went from parachute packing virgins to mother-effing professionals in two hours flat. Sunday’s lesson was complete.

On Monday, Boyfriend went to actually perform the drop. And as the duffle bags crashed down from the plane with not even a partially-deployed chute, we learned the daily lesson: that you can’t learn how to pack a parachute from a youtube video.

Somewhere down there in that canyon Sasquatch is snacking on MREs and enjoying Boyfriend’s well-fitting shoes that surely fell out when the bags hit the rocky bottom at 200 mph and split open like melons. You know what they say…big feet…parachute-packing failure.

Monday, July 28, 2008

500 Degrees

This past weekend had an unintended theme: Burned

I would say that 85% of my body is covered in various flavors of burns.

It all started Friday night at the pizza spot when Boyfriend answered my starving plea to FEED ME with a steaming hot slice. As he reached across the table to serve up the pepperoni yumminess, I should have brought my plate up, but I was too hungry to lift my hand. It was slow motion as the piece of pizza reached my plate and slipped off the side and onto my arm…face down. Do you have any idea what it feels like to have 500 degree cheese and sauce gooped on your forearm? Let’s just say, it doesn’t feel so good. So as I jumped around on one foot (after falling from my arm, the pizza fell on to my flip-flopped foot) I watched the blisters pop up on my saucy arm.

Saturday’s activities included dressing my wound and stuff.

Sunday, I went to the lake with Boyfriend and Gus. It was super fun and I donned my 45 SPF lotion that was purchased less than a month ago. Boyfriend even helped me reapply after a few hours in the sun. But apparently that wasn’t enough. I am now my favorite Crayola shade of Lobster Red. Luckily, since I burned myself on Friday, I didn’t get sunburned in the large rectangular patch on my forearm where my bandage rested.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fatty Fat Fat Fat

You know how you have those days where your normal pants feel like your skinny pants and as you button that top button you wonder if they were mistakenly put in the dryer on high heat? And you have to do squats and lunges before you can bend over to put on your shoes? And you look in the mirror and see your puffy face and tell yourself that you are just bloated and that in a couple days that will all be gone?

Yeah…this is not one of those days. I thought I went through all those girlish-figure changes back in college when I discovered that I could no longer eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But let me tell you, the wardrobe that fit me just fine a month ago…not so much anymore.

“Oh you’re just being dramatic,” you might say. But no, I have proof. Yesterday, I wore a cute little blouse that I have had forever. Unfortunately, I couldn’t button it, but I wore it anyway (layering is my friend). It has these cute little cap sleeves with button closures. I sat at my desk typing away and I noticed that I was making more and more typos. My arms were falling asleep. I looked at my arms ballooning out of my sleeves and realized that if I didn’t do something fast…I might have to amputate. You won’t even believe what I had to do…I unbuttoned my little decorative buttons on my cute blouse. Do you hear me!?!? I had to unbutton my mother-effing sleeves!?!? There is fat and then there is so fat you have to unbutton you sleeves fat.

So if muffin tops and camel toes ever come in fashion, give me a call, I would be happy to give you some pointers.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hell On Wheels

Uncoordinated. Disoriented. Unbalanced. Anxiety-ridden. Injured.

These are just some of the adjectives that can be used in concert with the thought of Ashley on a bike.

Saturday was a day of miserable chores and errands and accomplishing things…everything that a Saturday shouldn’t be. So to get work-happy Boyfriend to let us stop raking, I knew I had to find something ultra-fun and wacky. I suggested a bike ride. It might not seem wacky to the average human, but to those who know me, suggesting physical activity is seriously out-of-the-box for me.

I donned my newly-purchased helmet (which I have contemplated just wearing all the time) and hopped on my sister’s bike (which I stole) and we were off. Well…Boyfriend was off…it took me awhile to get going. We took the back roads as long as possible…but the moment came where we had to ride along the busy street for like a block and a half. Illegal or not…I rode on the sidewalk…because I don’t have a death wish and prefer to live thank you very much.

TEN MOTHER-EFFING MILES LATER…we returned to this busy section of road on the way home. I cautiously led the way along the sidewalk, trying desperately not to fall as I bumped over the canyons that city officials would call sidewalk cracks. I looked ahead and noticed that the sidewalk narrowed in front of me as there were a bus stop. I started to “eeeeeee” quietly in a high pitch to myself and tried to focus on going straight. Just then, a beastly bus jumped out of nowhere (well…not nowhere…he was slowly pulling to curb for the last block…but scared the poop out of me nonetheless). I visually measured my handlebars. I visually measured the sidewalk between the bus and the bus stop…and with my constant swervy path, I was not going to fit. I stopped quickly as I sidled up alongside the bus. But when I went to set my left foot down I tipped and stepped off the curb. Simultaneously, I attempted to throw my other leg over the bike to steady myself. But my foot (those of you who know me also happen to know that I have very large feet that are a huge tripping hazard in the most normal situations) got caught on the center bar and I turned toward the bus to catch my falling self.

The resultant position involved me, one leg off the curb, the other folded up under me, with my knee wedged between the bus and the bike, both hands slipping down the side of the bus while my face (and particularly my nose) smushed against the window.

Needless to say…it was neither comfortable nor fun. What it was…embarrassing…as the passengers gawked at me and the driver asked me if I was ok.

Yeah…I suck at bikes. Boyfriend and I are going to stick to places from now on where I can’t run my face into parked buses.

P.S. I realize that my description may be lacking, so I drew a little illustration to clarify. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

They See My Rollin' They Hatin'

My sister hates animals. I know...what kind of a person hates animals!?!? I love animals. I even thought I wanted to be a vet until I learned about the horrors of fecal smears and stuff. In addition to animals, I love funny things. My sister, does not love funny things. I know...what person doesn't like funny things!?!? The only things that she laughs at in relation to humor and animals is when misfortune befalls them, like falling into some sort of body of water or getting bonked on the head so hard that they can't walk right. Needless to say when I showed her this gem...her reaction went something like this:
Beverley: a cat laying on a computer is not that funny.

ashley: rolling qwerty…
that is sooo funny

Beverley: it's ridin

ashley: whatever…do you get it?
we be ridin dirty
but riding qwerty

Beverley: qwerty is a keyboard?

ashley: look at the top left 6 keys

Beverley: i don't see any keys
just cat

ashley: no
the one you are typing on
do you get it now?

Beverley: top left keys

ashley: the letter keys

Beverley: oh


Beverley: i see that

ashley: so the cat...
is ridin qwerty
like ridin dirty

Beverley: wow.
that is so not funny

ashley: omg
i dont even know you anymore

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rollin Dirty

By day, I am mild-mannered (mostly) Ashley. But what you might not know is that I have an alter ego…Smashley, the heroically amusing drunk. People get jealous of other people who have had the honor of meeting Smashley. The legends of her escapades are told to captive audiences, longing for a glimpse of this creature.

Well…this weekend Smashley came out.

I went to Pismo with Boyfriend and the Rollin Dirty crew. It was a wind-blown, sleep-deprived mixture of motors, alcohol and offensive language. On Friday night, I rolled off the back of Boyfriend’s quad and nearly broke my neck. On Saturday, I sat on the beach for most of the day while the boys tried to break their necks. But on Saturday evening, I got a little brave…or stupid. I asked Boyfriend to show me how to jump. I just wanted a little one. Just a little tiny one. He chose some ridiculously steep dune and I lost momentum halfway up the thing. He told me to hit it faster. Apparently I did. When I came off the top of that hill I had the sensation of floating through the air. When I landed I looked back at Boyfriend, staring in disbelief. He showed me my tracks…I had jumped 25 mother-effing feet. I, being me, burst into tears and started shaking and we promptly rode back to camp where Boyfriend bragged to his friends and I poured myself a drink.

This was the first inkling that Smashley was lurking about. After finishing an entire bottle of margaritas it became obvious that she was present and accounted for. She danced like the little monkey for the crowd and passed out sometime shortly before dawn.

Morning came, and I got to deal with the repercussions of that crazy bitch. So, if you go to Pismo and you see a bunch of evenly spaced sand mounds near the end of the beach…beware…Smashley makes me sick…a lot.

Monday, May 5, 2008


I took a test today. A test that was completely unnecessary. A test that I volunteered to take. A freaking HARD test!

Well, if the subject line didn’t give it away…I failed. I knew I was going to fail. I had no doubt in my mind. I had dreams of big fat failure. I ate failure for breakfast.

I’ve failed tests before. Not a big deal…accounting…that was a nice fail. But that was the result of zero studying…I didn’t even go to class. Not the case this time. I studied…I went to every class. Apparently, I’m just an idiot now.

I wish I could blame it on the coughing guy in the test.
I wish I could blame it on the guy who shushed the coughing guy every single time he coughed.
I wish I could blame it on the freezing temperatures in the testing facility.
I wish I could blame it on the archaic “computer” that I took the test on.
Most of all…I wish my failure more like this…at least then we could laugh when I recovered from my concussion.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I Might Have to Kill Myself Now

This is a statement that I make more often that I should. I have never thought too much about it. But recently, my feisty coworker has brought it to my attention that such comments are inappropriate, as many people commit suicide. Now I don’t fully agree with this argument, because who cares…those people are dead…I didn’t really say that (It's ok…I’m already going to hell). So I have respectfully resolved myself to only use my suicidal hyperbole in the most serious situations.

Today I had such an instance.

I was staring blankly at my igoogle page when I noticed a quote that struck a chord with me. I could not agree with the poignant sentiment more. And it makes me want to jump off the bridge:

“If I answer questions every time you ask one, expectations would be high. And as you know, I like to keep expectations low.”

President George W. Bush

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nothing Like It

There really is nothing like stepping into a warm pool of vomit. Really…I would know…I just did it. Apparently Talulah’s stomach upset from the other night has continued. I just walked around the corner to fill the doggie water bowl and like a horrible car wreck…it was all slow motion. I lifted my foot and was in the process of setting it back down when I noticed the damp and chunky look of the linoleum. I couldn’t stop it…it was already in motion. I landed my foot square in the middle of the puke and splashed it all up my other leg.


I have to go take a shower now before I go see my celebrity sister in her show.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Relegated to the Mailroom

I have skills. Not being cocky…but I paid good money to institutions to amass said skills and I have a resume that proves it.

It isn’t that I am not willing to do tedious and brainless jobs like say…oh I don’t know…address and stuff 2000 invitations in 24 hours, but seriously…that sucks.

And it’s not like I don’t have 50 bajillion other things to do with my time since my boss went on maternity leave for FIVE (omg) months. And it’s not like there aren’t several people who clearly have time on their hands but don’t want to help, or if they do help, move so slow that it makes me want to jump up and down and do it my damn self.*

Luckily, boyfriend is not a snail and is ultra helpful so I only had to stay up until 10 doing it.

On the upside, I managed to not get any…that makes it a lot less annoying.

*perfect example of skills: proficient usage of the double negative

Monday, April 28, 2008

Honey! I'm Home.

Those who know me well know that I don’t do “domestic.” I may be crafty, which can sometimes be mistaken for domestic, what with the quilting and knitting and stuff, but these are very different characteristics. For example:

Cleaning: If there is a pile of steaming crap in the middle of the floor I might pick it up, but only if it is in my way and really stinky.

Cooking: Why the hell do you think packaged foods were invented?

Dishes: Oh HELL no! Paper plates.

But ever since Boyfriend moved in (yes big step big step) I have been feeling all…domestic-y. Actually, we are both fully embracing the domestic lifestyle. I have never…not one day in my life…made my bed. Bed is made everyday now. I go to the grocery store like 2-3 times a week…wtf…I HATE the grocery store. I cook dinner, I scrub pots, I even thought about cleaning a toilet (don’t worry I didn’t get that crazy).

The other day I putting the laundry in the washer…long before I reached my last pair of undies…and I looked out the window and saw boyfriend mowing the lawn. Gasp…when did I become Mrs. Cleaver…and if that is the case…when do I get to stop working and eat bonbons all day? Hmm?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sheeeeeeeeeees Baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Miss me?

Of course you did. *hug*

Forgive my week-long…I mean month-long…holy-shit-has-it-been almost-three-months?-hiatus.

“Where have you been?” You might ask, “Something very important must have happened to pull you away from your ten faithful readers.”

Not so much actually. I’ve just been feeling lazy. Yep…that is it…my big excuse.

But I am back and fully committed to my regular posting schedule. I have so many stories to tell you all:

How about the one where I managed to inadvertently turn Gus into a racist dog? Or how Talulah puked on my bare foot just 3 hours ago? Or how that whole school thing from my previous post makes me (on my best days) want to spoon my eyes out and change careers altogether because I am a talentless waste of space who make hideously-literal and over-commercialized excuses for design?

But we will save those stories for another day…

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Back To School

What the hell am I thinking?

In first grade I specifically remember faking sick, just for the hell of it, and then remembering that it was the day that we were all dressing up like pilgrims and Indians to have our mock thanksgiving feast…but I had already started my lie, so I had to keep it up and miss out on rock soup and construction paper hats…bummer. Diet coke count…1 a day.

I spent all of 7th and 8th grade doubled over in pain from the worst stomach aches…later determined to be stress and anxiety related. Diet coke count…2 a day.

In high school, the combo of AP class pressure, all night study sessions and countless extra curricular activities caused me to suffer severe migraines sometimes lasting for 5-7 days solid. They hooked me up to electrodes, tried to bring on seizures with lack of sleep and flashing lights, monitored me while I slept and put me on a rainbow of drugs with effects ranging from loopy to violent and everything in between. The final diagnosis…stress…oh…and my freshman year health teacher who forced all of his classes to give up soda and meat. Going cold turkey off a 5-a-day diet coke habit during the tumultuous years of high school…not good. The doctor recommended at least two caffeinated drinks each day. Diet coke count…5…then 0…then 4.

Off to college, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to take on Oregon, until the hippies got me down. And the grey sky made me want to take my life and I did too many pushups and slipped a disk in my back (yes it is possible and I know it is lame for a 20-year-old in her prime to slip a disk performing the president’s physical fitness test of all things…but it happened). Diet coke count…6 a day.

So yeah…what the hell am I thinking?

I started grad school this week. Diet coke count…7…and counting.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Value Of A Dollar

I work in the construction industry. I know all about the value of good estimate. That is why I was shocked…no disgusted…when I recently received a bill that was 636% of the original estimate. Say WHA?!?! Not double...or triple...more than sextuple! I had to look that up because I had never even heard the word for six-fold before for crying out loud.

I want to write more about this subject…but I am unable to express the sheer disbelief that I am feeling in words. I know we are in dire financial shape in this country…but really…is this the type of inflation I should be expecting? Cause if that is the case I should start looking for my sturdy refrigerator box now…all the good homes will be taken if I wait too long.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Date Ideas…That Don't Suck

I have recently pimped my iGoogle with all sorts of Google gadgets including my Jon Stewart quote of the day, President George W. Bush quote randomizer, cute baby animal picture of the day, joke of the day, coloring page of the day and (the subject of this post) date ideas. I usually get a good little chuckle from my main man Jon, gawk in stupefied wonder at the things that come out of the mouth of the current leader of the free world, look at the cute animals, read the horrible jokes (I am sure that some day I will be prompted to write about this one too) and consider for a moment printing out the coloring picture and going to town. But the date idea gadget is that one that I really thought I might use.

Boyfriend and I are both Libras and if you believe in that sort of hippy-dippy patchouli crap (and I do) you know what that combo means…we can’t make a goddamn decision about ANYTHING. Sample conversation on a Friday night:

Me: What are your plans tonight?
Him: Nothing really…what are your plans?
Me: Nothing…you want to hang out?
Him: You want to hang out?
Me: I asked first didn’t I?
Him: What do you want to do?
Me: I don’t know…what do you want to do?
Him: Do you want to eat?

…you get the picture…

So as a result of our indecisive nature, I thought I would let my Google gadget decide the fate of our evenings for us. Good thought…in theory. In practice…these are the types of date suggestions that I have been getting as of late (no joke):

Go to church together…HA!
Play broomball…does anyone younger than my grandma’s generation even know the rules for broomball?
Alter a poem to fit the occasion, put it on colored paper and have it delivered…what am I? 10? You want me to plagiarize? On construction paper? And then pay $.41 to have that piece shit delivered? And how is this going to occupy our date night?
Tour for-sale houses together…isn’t this in direct violation of the cardinal rules of not scaring a boy away? “Hey honey…lets go find our future home together and while we are at it…lets choose our china pattern and talk about what we will name our unborn children.”
Shop for clothes together…wow…original…and so fun for both parties…“Honey…does my butt look big in this?”

So yeah…if you have any better ideas than this…like spooning our eyes out together…please pass them on.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I Am An Island

Have you every felt so alone and cut off from the world? When it seems like nobody in the world can reach out to you? That is how I feeling today…I forgot my cell phone.

Remember the days before cell phones and pagers…when we didn’t have to be constantly connected to everyone and anyone…including the telemarketers who call me regardless of my number being on that obviously worthless “do not call” list? How did we get here?

The idea of my dear sweet mobile…sitting lonely on my windowsill…chirping and ringing with its futile attempts to grab my attention…well…it just breaks my heart.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I Hate Your Carbon Copy

I love email…mostly because I am a phonephobic. No…seriously…I have a mini anxiety attack every time I have to make a call…and GOD FORBID I have to leave a message…EEEEEEE! But that is irrelevant to this post.

Why must you CC me on the crunchiest of emails? Like for instance…let’s say that there is a young man living in my complex which is overrun by 40-60 year-old women. And let’s say that the younger guy has some friends over for a little get together that ends up going late. The course of action…if you are disturbed by this…should be to knock on his door and tell him to keep it down. It should not be to write him a berating email the next day and CC the ENTIRE complex mailing list.

But beyond that...people…if you are CCed on one of these types of emails…don’t reply to all and nod in agreement. The CC function is purely to keep people in the loop…not for public humiliation.

This has been a public service announcement on email etiquette…because knowing is half the battle.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Storm Watch…dun dun dun

Tonight…on the ten o’clock news…rain. OMG!

Ok…so the Bay Area is in the midst of a sucky storm…knocking out some power, flooding some gutters and causing people to drive like even bigger idiots than normal…but from the news you would think it was the end of the world.

Last night I get home and turn on the television hoping to find some lame Friends rerun to watch…but no…every channel…Storm Watch…StormTracker…Eye on the Storm…

I get it…its raining. I know that the writer’s strike is leaving the television lineup pretty sparse these days…but seriously…is some interview with an old man in a fisherman’s hat talking about howling wind keeping him up at night really newsworthy enough to interrupt the regularly scheduled programming?

Upsides of the weather:
  • Galoshes. I figured today was the day that I could get away with sporting my beige plaid printed galoshes. Hey…its all over the news…you have to be prepared.
  • The weather is a perfectly appropriate conversation topic when the weather is this ugly…so no more awkward elevator rides for awhile.
  • Snow! Tahoe is supposed to get nine feet this weekend! That means more powder to cushion my ass when I fall.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

An Open Letter to Pretty Much All Pants Manufacturers

Dear Sir,

I suppose it is possible that I am just a freak of nature, but I take issue with your pants.

As much as the cropped thing works for some people, I am not such a fan, especially in January. My ankles are cold and it is your fault. I look far and wide for pants that dare to graze the tops of my shoes. Sometimes I even find a pair that seem to almost work, but one time in the dryer and I look like I’m ready to go clamming.

I have developed some tricks, including sagging like a junior-high hoodlum and using my medieval-style rack device to torture my pants to an appropriate length just after washing. That works in some cases, but is it too much to ask for some cute pants that don’t show off my winter legcoat?

Some of you have moved toward multiple lengths (ankle, regular, long) but let me tell you…once I find the two pairs of pants at the bottom of the mountains of clothing...I find not so long. There must be some underground short-legged community to create enough demand for this length-challenged legwear.

Granted…I am taller than your average bear…I got the comments about playing basketball in elementary school and hunchy old ladies often ask me to get things off the top shelf in the grocery store. But I’m not the female Shaq or anything.

Ashley the Amazon Woman

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Yeah…so '07 had its ups and downs…but all in all…in the top 50th percentile of good years. '08…now this is a different story. It is gonna ROCK! How do I know? Because…here is my list of resolutions that are going to aid in making 2008 the greatest year of Ashley’s life to date. I will:
  • Blog more - I know this is the most important one to you. November wore me out…but I am back.
  • Not go crazy - This is key. I did a pretty good job this year and the year before. But '04-'05…yipes stripes.
  • Get a few more friends - Not that my current three friends aren’t enough…but I would like to be able to have enough people to put on my myspace top 4 to not include my sister’s ex-cat’s space. Miss you Fred.
  • Win the lottery - You might say…that is a stupid resolution…you have no control over that. Well you might be right…but I have just as much chance of winning the lottery as improving my diet and exercise habits so why not?
  • Get out of scary debt and into that good kind of debt that people talk about - Yes…I admit it. I am one of those morons who bought a house that she really can’t afford and is presently being reamed by my mortgage payment. Save the lecture…I know it by heart. So I am gonna take advantage of our brilliant president’s misplaced pity and get me a better loan.
  • Train my monsters to be dogs - I watched the Dog Whisperer marathon…piece of cake.
So yeah…'08…it is gonna ROCK!