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!