Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Mayan Apocalypse, Festivus, Christmas etc.

Well, just in case the world ends I wanted to wish everyone an awesome holidays. 

Jasper and I are heading home to my parents place till the 27th so I can spend my birthday and Christmas with the family.

Hopefully the world won't end because I'm really looking forward to the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength on the 23rd. 

For anyone who doesn't know what Festivus is....




Happy Holidays from Ash....and Jasper too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Holidays and Being Alone

There's nothing quite like the holiday season to really make it hit home, that you're alone.

Don't get me wrong.  I'll be spending my Birthday, Christmas and Boxing Day with my parents.  And I'll see my Aunts and Uncles on Christmas Day.  But it's not quite the same thing.

When you hit the age where your friends have paired off and are getting married, their priorities start to shift.  And as they should.  But it tends to result in the "single friend" being left behind.

Everyone's too busy around the holidays to get together for Birthday drinks.  And New Years plans are starting to shift towards doing thing with close family vs going out for a night of debauchery like us girls used to.

So although I'm getting together with friends to see a movie, and will probably have a lunch date.  Other than working, I'm doing nothing for the holidays.

In all honesty, it will be a nice break from the craziness that has been my job recently.

Part of it is the whole turning 29 thing, part of it is probably just feeling sorry for myself.

I just can't seem to get enthused about the holidays this year when I really have nothing to look forward to celebrating.

Cheers,

Ash

Kinda feeling like this cat looks

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Self Conscious Introvert GOES to a Party

I survived the staff Christmas Party that I was spazzing about when I wrote THIS.

We had a very nice dinner and then a bunch of us ended up at a bar afterwards.  The food was great, the alcohol was liberally applied and there were only a few minor catastrophes.  Nothing I couldn't survive.

So we closed our office at 4pm because all us girls had to rush home and primp in order to be at the restaurant for 6pm cocktails and 7pm dinner.

Now it's 15 minutes for me to get home in a cab, 40 if I take the subway.  So cab it was. 
Problem being, there was a huge accident up the street from my office and the police had shut down traffic in both directions.  So no cab.

Once I arrived home, I was already short about 30 minutes of primp time in an already condensed schedule.  I figured if I was going to arrive fashionably late at 6:15 or so, I needed to be in a cab and out my door by 5:45. 

Showered, contacts in, hair in the almighty towel turban I got all my accessories and stuff ready.

I started drying my hair and OMG, I need a hair cut.  It took me almost 45 minutes!!! to get the monstrosity that is my hair dried and straightened.  And that was a not perfect, rush job. 

So I'm dressed, primped and waiting for the cab (which took almost 20 minutes to pick me up BTW) and I'm out the door.

I get to the restaurant and I notice that OMG something in the car has snagged my pantyhose from above my knee all the way down to my ankle.  So I have the inner dilemma.  Leave them on, or take them off?

Thankfully NOT one of my co-workers
Off they went because having a snag on black hose is just tacky and visible.

To make things worse, my hair is not staying straight and making every attempt to burst into it's natural curly/wavy form which will eventually result in me looking like I stuck my finger in a light socket. 

Did I mention I actually woke up with a pimple on my nose that morning?  Yeah, I did.  My karma is THAT GOOD.

All in all, once I had a few drinks I didn't care that my legs were freezing, my hair was getting bigger by the minute and that my eyes were starting to hurt from the contacts that I very rarely wear. 

It was a good night. 

And then it started.  One of the firms partners and 2 of the directors decided that they needed to turn my dating life into a project. 

See this is what happens when you work with marketers.

There was the discussion that I needed to figure out what my brand image was, determine what consumers....I mean men I wanted to target and then come up with a communication plan.  To top it off, they are going to write my online dating profile and pre-screen my dates.

Can you tell they had been drinking?

I wanted to die, but at the same time it was hilarious.

At least I wasn't the only one being targeted.  One of the other single girls wanted in on it and they pounced on her dating life with just as much enthusiasm.  By the end of the night, they had 5 of us single girls and were contemplating putting it out to the whole company for their opinion in a project they called the "How to Catch the Right Man" tutorial that they were going to run. 

How do I know they were calling it that?  Because one of them sent out a bloody email to the ENTIRE COMPANY trying to determine the best time slot to have this discussion.

It was about that time, that I quickly downed my last vodka and called it a night.

Cheers,

Ash

Monday, December 10, 2012

Is EVERYONE getting married?

I know that logically, I've reached the age where it's reasonable for my friends and acquaintances to start pairing off in wedded bliss.

I get it.

But does EVERYONE need to get married all at the same time?

Last week I got the wonderful news that my ex-boyfriend, yeah THAT ex-boyfriend, got engaged yesterday.

I'm not enthused either kid.
Yay for him.

Ironically this will be his third engagement (third time lucky dude?) and it's to a girl he started dating in May of this year.

But despite my best intentions, I was much more upset about this than I probably should have been.  In the past 6 months,  2 of my female friends and 3 of my ex-boyfriends have gotten engaged.

When friends get engaged, you're happy for them.  It's exciting but a little sad because slowly one by one, everyone gets paired off and if you're single, you can feel like you are being left behind.  But when an ex gets their Happily Ever After, especially if the break-up was ugly or you lack fond memories of the relationship as a whole it's a bit different.

Sometimes you can't help but be a little angry that they put you through hell and instead of karma kicking them in the ass, they get their happy ending and pretty little bride while you're still stuck dating the never ending group of men that falls into the "I'm 30 but still act like I'm 18" category.

Is it wrong that I hope this blows up in his face?  I mean does that make me a bad person?  I had almost 5 years of hell and left the relationship a shadow of the person I was going into it and he's going to walk off into the sunset with someone he's known about 8 months?  It's not even like I want him back or anything.  GOD NO!!

It's just my inner bitch kinda wants him to be miserable for a while longer.

Cheers,

Ash

p.s. BTW, 3 ex-boyfriends in the past 6 months?  If you're reading this, and I've dated you?  WTF?  Am I like the Good Luck Chuck of ex-girlfriends?

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Self Conscious Introvert Gets Ready for a Party

I hate getting dressed up.

Ok, I don't hate it, but getting dressed up makes me very self conscious.

By my very nature, I tend to hide in a large group.  I'm generally self conscious about everything from how my hair looks to the size of my ass.

For work, I'm generally low key.  I wear glasses instead of contacts.  I let my curly hair do it's own thing and end up stuffing it into a messy bun 99% of the time.  I wear practically no make-up at all other than mascara and a bit of concealer.  I run around all the time so I rarely wear heels in the office anymore and 80% of my wardrobe is black.  Or charcoal.  Same difference.

So the thought of dressing up for our staff holiday party is daunting to say the least.

Every year for the party, I make a point of straightening my long hair (it's about 3/4 of the way down my back).  Wearing some lipstick and eyeshadow, popping in a pair of contact lenses and putting on a dress with some killer heels.

And every year I get people freaking out.  I mean the compliments are all very nice but it's the whole Clark Kent/Superman thing.  I apparently look DRASTICALLY different.  To the point that one year one of the partners walked right by me and didn't realize who it was.  And another year one of my friends had to do a double take.

So although the whole thing is fun, I don't love the attention.  And it makes me want to hide in the corner.

I learned last year, 5 inch red suede heels?  Don't really let you hide.

As some of my friends already know, I'm freaking out about it a bit this year.  I got the shoes, I have a dress but I'm starting to worry that it will be too cleavage revealing, I don't know what I'm going to do with my hair because it's too long and big and unmanageable and OMG I'm so pale!!!

BREATHE ASHLEY!!

Don't even get me going no worrying on if I'm going to wake up that day with a pimple or if my make-up will look stupid or if I'm just going to look totally ridiculous. 

Can ya tell panic has set in?

I mean I know I'm not alone in this.  Other people freak out too right?

I mean I've worked with these people for 5 years and it's only a cocktail party and dinner.  And it's company only so I don't have to worry about bringing a date.

OMG that would have started a whole other level of panic. 

I need a drink.

Cheers,

Ash

Monday, November 26, 2012

What is WRONG With Some People?!?!

Not often am I prompted to blog twice in one day.  Last time it happened, the result was "Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey and ACTUAL LITERATURE." That night, I was prompted to write because I was just baffled by something I had read on Goodreads.com.

Tonight, I am prompted to write because I have just encountered, what is possibly the biggest ASSHOLE to ever walk the face of the earth.

If ever there was an example of why I have stopped dating, this is it.

Years ago, my boss at the time joked with me that I attract assholes at an unnatural rate.  And that I should consider purchasing a t-shirt that said, "Assholes need not apply."

What I don't understand is why shitty people are just drawn to me.  I mean it can't be a karma thing.  Because unless I was like Hitler's best friend in a past life, nobody deserves this shit.

So tonight, on my way home from work.  I stopped off at the post office because I got a notice at my door that they had tried to deliver a package while I was at work.  Nothing strange there, I did my Christmas shopping last week and had ordered a few things online for people.

So I pick up my package, sign for it and am outside the post office adjusting things in my bag so I can easily carry the box home.  A man walked up to me and asked me if I had a light for his cigarette.  I politely said, "Sorry, I don't smoke."  Reasonable response right?  I don't smoke anymore and therefore don't have a lighter.

While I was continuing to shift around the things in my bad, the asshat turns to me and the conversation continues like this:

Asshole:  "Off to have a little fun?"
Me: "Excuse me?"
Asshole: "You going to ride whatever's in that box?"
Me: "What?"
Asshole: "The only places that ship with unmarked packages are "Adult Stores" so you should have fun tonight."

At which point, my fucking brain exploded.

This random asshole, was basically jumping to the conclusion that I had bought a vibrator at an adult store online that shipped with "discreet" packaging.  All because I picked up a box from the post office that was plain brown, and didn't have a company listed.  I mean it didn't have Amazon.com plastered on it or some crap like that.

Who the hell says that to a random stranger?  I mean what's the motivation and how rude can you be?  If you're goal Mr.Asshat is for me to fling myself at you because I'm clearly in need of a good shag? And is that the way you think you're going to accomplish it?

If your motivation was to just be a rude asshole.  Job accomplished.  But why me?  I don't get it.  Of all the women on the street, on all the days.  Do you just wait outside the post office waiting for the opportunity to say inappropriate things to random women?  I mean I've heard of guys randomly flashing women and crap like that.  But who, the fuck says something like that?

I really don't get it.  I mean, I would really love it if someone could explain that shit to me because my brain just can't wrap itself around the situation.

What should I have said in response?

"Yeah baby, want to watch."

Then take him home and kill him because the world is obviously better off with out him.

"Clearly you're quiet educated in the process of ordering sex toys, your girlfriend must need them to help you once you're done."

But clearly an asshole like that doesn't actually have a girlfriend.  And if he does, RUN AWAY WOMAN!!!

"Why yes it is, because I'd rather never have sex ever again in my life with a human if that human is you!"

I really don't get it.  I mean, I probably had the stupidest look in my face as I gawked at this man, called him an asshole and walked away.

It took me a minute, to fully build up a proper rage over it.  And by the time I did, I was LIVID.

Who the fuck does this guy think he is?  I repeat, who the fuck says that to a random person??

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Grumble,

Ash

p.s. In the box was a fucking handmade scarf I bought from etsy.com

Where the heck does the time go??

I feel grossly neglectful recently because I haven't found the time to write.  AT ALL. 

Does anyone ever have chunks of time that pass by completely and you don't realize it till like a month later?  I mean where did early November go?  Better yet, where did my early 20s go?

I joke.  But seriously, I have been sooooooooo busy the past few weeks and have nothing to show for it.

I've been working a TON (cracked 70 hours in the office a few weeks ago). 

Have had a ton of appointments, therapy, chiropractor, optometrist, regular doctor, dentist. 

I've done all of my Christmas shopping (if you're a shopper who leaves it to the 24th....HA!!), helped my Dad with his Christmas shopping, written up all my Christmas Cards, and even helped my mother put up her Christmas Tree. 

Have read quite a bit, had random coffee dates/dinner dates with various friends.

Met with my book club for the first time (read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn if you get a chance). 

Seen a few movies (GO SEE SKYFALL!!).

All of which has resulted in the time flying by, and yet most of it is a blur because it happened so quickly. 

But if a friend bumped into me on the street and said, "What have you been up to?" I would totally draw a blank because I feel like I've done a whole lot of nothing. 

I think part of the issue is that I always feel so rushed, like I'm sprinting from one thing to the next that even when I'm relaxing or doing something social, I don't get to fully appreciate it.  Which kinda sucks. 

Does anyone else feel this way?  That you're busy but not actually enjoying any of it because you're so busy?  I mean even when I curl up with a book and my kitten to relax, I'm constantly thinking about the million and one things I have to do around the apartment.

I think for the New Year, we all need to just take a deep breath and enjoy things as they come.  But don't even GET me going on New Years resolutions.  I don't want to think about it yet.

Cheers,

Ash

Friday, November 9, 2012

If Men Were Like Dogs......Literally

A little while ago I was inspired to write "If Men Were Like Candles".

Now you guessed it, I'm going there.  It's time to compare the different male personalities to yup, dog breeds.

I considered doing cat breeds but I figure that would just result in...sleeps a lot, licks his own butt, sticks his butt in your face at inopportune moments, poops in a box.  And that's pretty much it.  There's much more available to me with dog breeds.

Now another disclaimer, this is not intended to offend anyone.  So if you find this post because you Googled "Men are Dogs" don't bitch at me.  I'm not the one Googling "Men are Dogs" :P

So without further ado:

The "Jack Russell Terrier" Man 
Jack Russell and Golden Retriever

Very active, easily excitable, probably enjoys hunting and chasing small animals.  A little bit yippy but loyal.

The "Golden Retriever" Man

Affectionate, family oriented, good with children, likes to BBQ with the family or hang out at the beach. I picture a guy in Dockers and a Polo shirt playing with kids in the sand. Sympathetic and caring towards the elderly and blind.  Good husband material.

The "English Bulldog" Man

English Bulldog and Doberman Pinscher
Constantly on your couch grumbling or sleeping.  Probably scratches his balls in public.  Drools a lot.  Not very energetic and a little rough looking.  Potentially unemployed by choice.  Probably
drinks a lot of beer and crushes the cans on his forehead before belching.

The "Doberman Pinscher" Man

A little over protective.  The kind of guy who will get into a bar fight to defend your honor.  Works out A LOT.
Probably wears a lot of black and/or drives a motorcycle.

The "Puli" Man

Puli and Chinese Crested
Wears hemp.  Owns a Hacky Sack.  Face it, he's probably a slacker and smokes a lot of pot. Quelle Surprise? No. Go buy him some Doritos.

The "Chinese Crested" Man

The metro-sexual.  Probably wears skinny jeans,
gets Mani-Pedis, exfoliates and owns more hair products than you do.  And lets be honest,  he does a decent amount of "Manscaping".

Sorry guys, I couldn't resist.


Cheers,

Ash



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Therapy Turned Me into a Watering Pot

OK so I started "seeing someone."

No not a guy.  A therapist.  OK, actually she's a social worker.  But bottom line, I started talking to someone because I'm tired of feeling well tired.  Not physically tired but mentally and psychologically.

Best Cry Face EVER!
Now I've seen some immediate benefits and had a few "Ah ha!" kinda moments but what I've noticed the most is that going to therapy has turned me into a big bawling baby.

- I get good news, I cry
- I get bad news, I cry
- I'm tired, I cry
- I'm stressed about work, I cry
- Something disappoints me, I cry
- Something really cool happens, I start crying
- I read a book with a sappy ending, I cry
- I read a book with a horrible depressing ending, I cry
- I watch a depressing documentary on Netflix, I cry
- I go to therapy, I cry
- I get home from therapy, have a shower and have a substantial cry

You get where I'm going with this?  I feel like I'm crying over everything and it's driving me insane.  I am not a crier.  I mean seriously.  My grandfather passed away, I didn't cry at the funeral.  I've broken up with boyfriends totally dry eyed despite how upset I actually am at the time.

Now?  A fucking Hallmark commercial can make me cry.

I get that this is normal and blah blah, emotional release, it's healthy.  But it's pissing me off!!

So brain, hormones, whatever it is that's making me cry all the time, can we cut this shit out?
Cheers,

Ash

P.S. Am I mental?  Did any of my therapy going friends experience this?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Joy of Gift Giving

Everyone loves getting gifts right?

I mean who wouldn't?

But there is a different level of joy that you can associate with GIVING gifts. 

Before I get too far I want to recount a story from back in the day when I was still in University and with my Ex-jerk of a boyfriend.

We had been dating for a year and I was working at Chapters (a bookstore for my American readers) and it was the night of our 1 year anniversary.  It was November and we were in the middle of a horrible snow storm.  Near the end of my shift, I got a phone call.  It was a florist calling to tell me he had a delivery for me but that he wouldn't make it by the end of my shift at 7pm because the roads were horrible.  He was asking if I could wait.  I said yes of course and in my excitement called my boyfriend because I knew it was him sending me flowers on our Anniversary.  I was 19 at the time and this would be the first time anyone had ever sent me flowers.  


Calling turned out to be a big mistake.  My Ex was so angry that the driver had spoiled his surprise that he called the florist and angrily cancelled the order.  He wanted it to be a big production of surprising me while I was at work, and now that the surprise was ruined it was no longer worth it. 

I was heartbroken.  I mean I was 19.  I wanted pretty flowers.  I didn't care that it wasn't a surprise anymore.  But to my Ex, the act of sending me flowers didn't have anything to do with me, or doing something nice for me.  It was all about the production and showmanship of it.  I guess he wanted to appear like a great boyfriend who made public displays for his girlfriend.  

I just wanted my flowers.  I found out later they were two dozen pink roses.  I also found out that they gave him a serious credit on his next purchase.  We were together for almost 4 years beyond that and I never did get my flowers. 

Now back to gift giving.  For me, giving gifts is all about making the recipient happy.  It's not about how much money you spend, or the production of it all.  It's about knowing that the person you gave the gift to, felt loved, happy, appreciated and so on.  It's about making a person feel special on their birthday, or about cheering them up when you know they've had a tough week.  Sometimes all it takes is a card.  Sometimes it's a silly gift.  Other times it's something you know they want but can't afford to buy for themselves.  Regardless of what the gift is, it should be about THEM.  Not you.  As the giver, your joy could come out of making someone you love smile.

Think back.  What was the best gift you ever got and why was it so special?

Cheers,

Ash


Monday, November 5, 2012

Have I Mentioned I Hate Christmas?

OK, let me rephrase.  I don't hate Christmas in and of itself.  What I hate is the 2 months of Ho Ho Ho BULLSHIT that the media, retail and nutjobs shove down your throats for the 2 months BEFORE Christmas.

Case in point.  On Halloween, I saw my first Christmas commercial on TV while I was actually watching "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."

WTF?!

And then, I was flipping channels and came across an infomercial for bloody artificial Christmas Trees.  ON HALLOWEEN!!  Is nothing sacred anymore people??

On the morning of November 1st, there were carols on in the stores, and all the displays of Christmas Stuff was going up right next to the displays of discounted Halloween candy. 

What's the rush people?

I remember back in the day, there was no Christmas stuff in stores or on TV till the Santa Clause Parade, which is usually around the same time as the US Thanksgiving. 

Why did things change?  Do we really NEED 2 months of Jingle Bells running through our brains?

People obviously don't need that much time to shop because the stores are still packed on the 23rd and 24th so obviously it hasn't stopped people from leaving everything to the last minute.

I think as a society we need to put our foot down.  Christmas should be for the month of December only.  No other holiday requires 2 month of prep time.  All it is, is a fantastic money grab from the retail sector and an attempt to increase sales.  What happened to the spirit of Christmas? 

Personally I think the spirit of Christmas got lost while being chased by zombies on Halloween.  Serves him right for sticking his ass into a season that doesn't belong to him.

Cheers,

Ash

See Also -  Retail: The Death of Christmas

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

If Men Were Like Candles

OK, so I got this idea after reading a friends blog over at Once in a Blue DC Moon.  She talked about a guy she was going on a date with and she pointed out that he was safe and comfortable and kinda like an LED Candle.  I loved the analogy and if you read through the comments you'll see I compared my dream man to a Vanilla Scented Pillar Candle.  Warm, cuddly, likes a good book, a little spicy.  You know the kinda guy I'm talking about.

This spawned the idea that.....if men were candles what type would they be?

Disclaimer:  Forgive me in advance, but there are going to be some gross exaggerations and stereotypes used in the following.  This is intended to be funny only so don't yell at me please.

The Vanilla Scented Pillar Candle Man

Warm, affectionate, likes cats and curling up with a good book.  Spicy when the occasion calls for it but overall similar to putting on a comfy sweater. 

The Red Unscented Taper Man:  

Tall, looks dashing in a suit.  Always shows up for a date with roses and a grin.  Probably drives a sports car.  Slick. Probably doesn't take any relationship serious.  Probably dates multiple women at the same time.

The Black multi-wick Pillar Candle Man:

Dark, brooding, wears a lot of leather.  Maybe drives a motorcycle. Probably has piercings or a tattoo.  Probably good in bed but not the kind of guy you're bringing home to mom.

The Febreze Candle Man:

Friendly.  Good with kids, old ladies and dogs.  Probably wears a lot of polo shirts and loafers.  Doesn't cheat on his taxes, tips well and works a 9-5 job.  I envision the human version of a Golden Retriever.  Always happy to see you, minimal slobber.

The Tea Light Man: 

The love 'em and leave 'em type.  Stylish dresser, probably wears a gold watch.  Checks his reflection in all shiny objects.  Talks to your tits instead of your face.  Burns hot and fast but is gone in about 3 hours.

The Glade Plug-in Man:

Kinda dorky.  Probably good with computers.  Energy efficient and multi-tasks.  Probably doesn't deal well with large groups.  A little socially awkward but cute in an oblivious kinda way.  You'd never have to worry about him lying about where he's going after work which is a bonus.

Cheers,

Ash


Additions:

The Hand Rolled Beeswax Candle Man:

He's your outdoors man.  Woodsy.  Has a beard.  Goes hiking in his spare time.  Wears woolly socks and a lot of flannel.  The kind of guy that you'd call when you need a tree chopped down because you know he owns an ax and a pick-up truck.

The Birthday Cake Sparkler Man:

This guy is your gay best friend.  Your perma-date for your cousins wedding.  The only man who will answer you honestly when you ask "Does this make my ass look fat?" 

The Benefits of Being Nice aka. WTF Happened to Manners People??

Didn't your mother ever tell you that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar?

I know mine did. 

What I've realized over time is just how important it can be to be nice to people.  I'm not talking about being overly friendly, I'm talking about being polite and courteous.

Nowadays everyone is so busy and stressed out and I find that somewhere along the line, we've forgotten how to be nice to each other.

With little to no chewing?  Eaten by what??
How many times have you seen someone not hold the door for the person behind them?  Or not get up and offer an older person their seat on the train?  Not to mention the people that just bash right into you walking down the street and don't even pause to see if you're OK.

Have we really become that rude?  Or are we simply so preoccupied that we don't even notice these things anymore?

In my opinion, part of it is the fact that a lot of people walk around texting and emailing.  Another issue is people walking around with headsets and music blaring so loud that they can't hear people trying to get their attention.  But really?   Is that really the cause?  Or have we just become immune to indifference.

I think honestly, we've forgotten how good it feels when people are nice to us.

Case in point.  You're leaving the grocery store with a handful of bags.  The person in front of you notices your hands are full and holds the door open.  Simple right?  But more often than not it doesn't happen.  But when it does it actually makes me smile, and in turn I WANT to thank them because honestly, too often, simple things like that get ignored.  And who knows, maybe me making a point of thanking them will make them more inclined to do it again in the future?  Maybe people have stopped doing certain things because they think it is unappreciated?

I'm not sure.

Now I hate to sound like a grouchy old lady (come on people, I'm only 28) but I find that the younger generations are getting worse.  We somehow instilled it into a generation of young women that it's insulting if a man holds a door open for you, or offers to lift something heavy for you.  And we've in turn instilled it into a generation of men that it's not necessary to offer to do these things for a woman because it could be seen as insulting.  Last time I checked, being polite had nothing to do with gender.

If I see a woman with a baby carriage coming, I hold the door open for her.  If I see a man with his arms full, I hold the door open for him as well.  It has nothing to do with how old a person is, or what sex they are.  Heck it shouldn't even matter that their hands are full, we should be holding doors open for whoever is coming behind us.

And for all that his holy, say THANK YOU when somebody does.

Cheers,

Ash

This is actually what came up when I Googled "Polite Cat"  This is "Polite Woodchuck" 



































Monday, October 22, 2012

Tissues, Vicks and Bambi Legs aka. Having the flu

There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING worse than being sick.

Today is my first day back out in the world after having spent the last 4 days in bed.  And not for the fun reasons.  I had the flu.  That meant 4 days of fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, stuffed up nose, coughing and sneezing.

We're talking the whole nine yards here people.

Now I don't get sick that often anymore.  Usually the sniffles or a bit of a sore throat, but nothing worth missing work for.  But every once in a while, I get nailed with the cold to end all colds.

Last year around this time was Pneumonia.  FUN.

This year, it was the year of the flu.

And the one thing that I never drag my butt into work over, is a fever.

Having a fever sucks.   Not only is it horrible during the actual fever, but the aftermath is almost as bad.

My fever was at it's worst late Thursday/early Friday.  By the time it broke, I felt like someone had hit me with a truck.  Repeatedly.  I pretty much spent all of Thursday and Friday in bed, Saturday I alternated between bed and couch.  It wasn't till Sunday that I actually stayed out of bed all day. 

Now I haven't taken a sick-day from work in just over a year.  And here I was, taking 2 days off plus a weekend to recover.  But man did I need it.  I mean for me to be sleeping, probably 14 hours a day is INSANE.  I was either a lot sicker than I imagined, or my body was simply that run down and being sick was it's way of forcing me to slow the heck down.

Now 4 days in bed, with a fever and very little food can do a number on your body.  By the time I was functioning on Sunday not only did I still feel like I was hit by a truck, but I had earlier made the attempt to do laundry.  I figured, nothing would be better right now than fresh sheets on my bed.  Right?  Wrong.  What would have been better was keeping my ass in bed because after walking up and down the stairs to the laundry room, I felt like a combination of Bambi-on-ice + a little old lady who had run a marathon.  I was actually shaking.  My muscles felt weak, my joints were stiff.  I felt like I was going to pass out.

FROM WALKING UP THE STAIRS.

How scary is that?

Now the up side is that I am drastically better today than I have felt in quite a while.  For once, I'm not exhausted.  I'm still a little sniffly and I have a nasty cough but I don't FEEL sick.  And that's a huge improvement in my books.

The moral of the story is, take care of yourselves people.  If you're sick, stay home.  Don't go to the office and possibly infect others.  Take the rest you need to get yourselves better because nobody benefits from you overworking yourselves when your ill.  Especially you.

Cheers,

Ash

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey and ACTUAL LITERATURE

OK, so we've all established that I'm a bit of a book nerd.  On average I read about 2 books a week, sometimes more if I'm reading fluff, sometimes less if I'm really digging into some heavy non-fiction.

For the last year or so, I've used www.goodreads.com to track my books, read reviews and get a handle on my ever growing "To Read" list.

The cool thing about Goodreads, is that not only do you get great recommendations based on what you plug in and rate, but you get to read the reviews of other users and participate in any discussions stemming from the books you've ranked.

Now I want to preface this by saying, in no way am I a book snob.  I read it all.  Regardless of genre, author or subject matter, if something sounds good, or comes recommended.  I'll read it.

That includes reading things like Twilight, and 50 Shades of Grey.

I want to stop for a moment and give everyone a warning.  If you're rabid fans of EITHER of these series.  Stop reading now.  Because I'm going to rip them to shit.  And if you're fans and keep reading, I don't want to get into a big debate in the comments because I've offended you.  The following is my opinion and I'm entitled to it.

This entire rant was started by me stumbling across a thread on Goodreads that posed the following question:

"Which is your favorite; The Twilight Saga, Wuthering Heights or Romeo and Juliet?"

Now first off, I was highly impressed by the posters proper use of the semi-colon, but then again, this is the type of stuff that I notice.  Then I re-read the sentence and promptly lost my mind.  I mean seriously, I flipped my lid, startled my cat and did a mental double take.

Are you fucking kidding me?

My brain literally rebelled.  How could someone intelligent enough to correctly use ";" come to the asinine conclusion that this question even needs to be asked?

In what lifetime, will Stephanie Meyer EVER be considered in the same class as Emily Brontë and William Fucking Shakespeare?  I mean really.  No offense intended but REALLY?

Sorry, couldn't resist.
Now, I have read Twilight and to an extent I appreciate it for what it is.  I understand the appeal.  It's sweet, it's romantic.  I get it.  But on the other hand, it's poorly written and has a female lead character that is not only weak willed but a horrible example to young girls.  Not only does she declare herself in love with a guy she doesn't know and has barely spent any time around, but when he leaves her to save her own fool life she not only starts to shun her friends and family, but starts to physically endanger her life in order to feel close to him.  How is this healthy?  What are you trying to teach young girls?  That it's OK to give up your friends and hobbies for a boy?  That your life can't continue if that boy is no longer a part of it?  Fuck that.  Don't even get me going on the details of how unhealthy Edward and Bella's relationship is.  Beyond what I've mentioned already here are just SOME of the things that irked me about these books:

- Before they "date" he sneaks into her house to watch her sleep.
- He disables parts of her car so she can't go off to meet other friends because that would put her out of his range of protection. 
-  When he thinks she has died in an accident he tries to KILL HIMSELF. 
- He won't have sex with her before marriage because he basically wants to do as much as possible to keep her soul pure so when she eventually becomes a vampire she'll be less-damned than if they have sex.  This implies that people that have sex before marriage are I don't know.....bad people?  Can I take this moment to point out that Stephanie Meyer is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints (LDS)?  For those of you who aren't up to speed on the various religions. The Latter-Day Saints follow something they call the "law of chastity" that forbids adultery, homosexual behavior and PRE-MARITAL SEX.  Sorry kiddies, it also forbids masturbation and "immoral thoughts".  Guess what that means?  Your porn collection has gotta go.  

But I get it, it's entertainment.  But Shakespeare?  I think not.  

Now the Goodreads comment didn't mention 50 Shades of Grey but because of the controversy and the link to Twilight I figured I'd lump it in.

OK, so once again I'm going to preface this by saying, I've read the books, I am in no-way opposed to romance novels or erotica or anything like that.  What I am opposed to is bad writing, idiotic characters, shitty dialogue and cheesy sex scenes.

People ask me about 50 Shades of Grey ALL THE TIME.  Because I read so much, the either want to know if I loved it like they did, or exactly how shitty I found it.

Lets start with the positives.  These books are cute, at times very funny and yeah....that's all I got.  

For those that haven't heard.  E.L. James wrote these books originally as Twilight fan fiction online and based the characters roughly on Edward and Bella.  There are many similarities but basically she took the gist of it and added a lot of raunchy sex.  Sigh....Stephanie Meyer and her LDS Church buddies must just LOVE that.  But really that's what 50 Shades is, is mommy porn for the adults who read Twilight and really just wished that Bella and Edward would spend more time having hot glittery vampire sex.  Sorry was that too much? Let me get back to my point.

Christian and Ana's relationship is incredibly unhealthy.  I know, I know.  Christian was horribly abused and neglected as a child.  I get the trauma, I really do.  But the fact that he uses BDSM to control women because it's the only way for him to work out his neuroses is NOT HEALTHY.  BDSM is not therapy.  And the fact that he is having sex with and punishing women that REMIND HIM OF HIS DEAD PROSTITUTE MOTHER is fucked up on so many different levels that it just increases how sorry I feel for him.  Like with Twilight let's break down some of the issues I had with the series.  Bad writing and bad dialogue aside, here's what I balked at:

- Never in a million years is a VIRGIN going to not freak out when handed a non-disclosure agreement by a potential sex partner
- Christian's "rules" in their contract include things like what what to eat, how often to workout, what she should wear and how she should behave in public.  Now don't freak out, I know the contract is for a Dom/sub relationship but really.  
- He follows her and has her followed for "her own protection"
- He buys the company that she works for just so he can essentially spy on her.
- He refuses to let her see her friends outside of their apartment and places he deems "safe" without a bodyguard present
- He uses his power as the owner of the company she works for to get finance to reject a request for funding so that she can't go on a business trip with her boss because he doesn't like him and thinks he's hitting on her
 

I think I actually need a full paragraph to fully expand upon the issues with the Dom/sub relationship so here it goes.  He tells her at one point, that he actually wants to HURT HER.  Last time I checked, BDSM was about two consenting adults who enjoy giving or receiving pain.  Last time I checked, it wasn't OK to physically hurt your partner beyond what they have agreed to and are enjoying.  It's also not OK to go into a situation like that when the person in physical control is enraged or angry.  This is not a way for a couple to resolve a "fight".  That's how people get hurt.  That my friends is abuse.  Beating on someone because you are angry about something they did, is not safe or sane.  And in all honesty, a scenario like that has absolutely nothing to do with a sub's enjoyment of pain.  That's punishment pure and simple.  I think the thing that bothers me the most, is that E.L. James has openly spoke about how she did no research at all into BDSM before she wrote this book.  There are women walking around TRYING some of this shit because these books gave them ideas.  There are women talking about how they wish they had a man who took control like that.  That Christians obsessive behavior is just a demonstration of how much he loves her. Are you people listening to yourselves??

Trust me ladies.  If you were dating a man like Christian, his behavior would not be considered sexy.  Trust me when I say that if you were dating a man like that, that you would be running in the other direction.  Especially if you were a 20something virgin.  I'm all for wanting to help him, and I'm all for loving him despite his flaws.  But the man needs therapy and boundaries.  Because in real life kiddies, a man that stalks you and has you followed for your own protection, a man who tells you who you can and can't spend time with, a man who physically punishes you because of some slight and a man that runs to his ex-lover ever time you get into an argument is not the kind of man you would embrace a relationship with.  And in my opinion, touting this as the grand love story of our time is disrespectful to the multitude of women out there that struggle with abusive relationships and are trapped in marriages with controlling men like Christian that don't have the benefit of money and good looks.  I get that it's fiction but let's all take a step back and look at it for what it is.  

*exhale*

Now let's get back to the original question shall we?  Actually no, let's not.  Because when the day comes that Twilight is actually considered by scholars and academics around the world to be in the same category as Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet?  That day my friends is that day I hang up my trusty bookmark.  Turn off my eReader and start repenting for my sins because the fucking apocalypse is coming.  Screw the Rapture, the world is coming to an end people and we're all screwed.  Screwed I say!!

So literature?  I think not.  What this is, is fluff.  But if it were only fluff I could discount it and put it onto it's proper shelf.  But it's not just fluff.  It's fluff that teaches a young girl that her life is practically over if her boyfriend dumps her.  And it's fluff that makes impressionable women think that it's OK to let their lovers tie them up and spank them in anger.  It's not OK people.  And yes, I know, it's just fiction.  But the rabid fans running around preaching that they want to marry Edward or Christian make it more than just fiction.  They make it a source of influence.  And I don't know about you, but I can do without that type of influence.  So when people ask me, I'll pick Heathcliff every time.  Because although he's 50 shades of fucked up himself, I'm sure he could kick Christian's ass any day of the week.

Cheers,
Ash

p.s. I've seen a lot of people online saying stuff related to 50 Shades like, "Why do people think the writing is so bad?"  Two words for you.  Inner Goddess.  I want to smack that bitch upside her head with a two-by-four.  And if Ana called Christain "My poor 50" one more time I was going to scream. I'm sorry but every time I read that, I thought of 50 Cent the rapper and started singing "In Da Club"

"Go shawty, 'cause it's your birthday.  We gon' party like it's your birthday."

Sorry, I actually had to Google the lyrics to get the bad grammar correct.

Some "Inner Goddess" lines that make me want to scream: 

“My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.” 
“My inner goddess sits in the lotus position looking serene except for the sly, self-congratulatory smile on her face.” 
“My inner goddess jumps up and down with cheer-leading pom-poms shouting yes at me.” 
“My inner goddess looks like someone snatched her ice cream.” 

Seriously?  Her Inner Goddess needs to shut the fuck up and sit in the corner of I'm going to spank her myself.

See? I'm not the only one!!

  Wuthering Heights FTW!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Stupid People or Stupid Questions.....The Tech Edition

For anyone who doesn't know, a large part of my job involves on-site Tech Support.  We have consultants that are in two days a week and I work very closely with them on the open tickets and priorities.  But as we all know, tech problems don't wait for when the IT guys is available.  They happen ALL THE TIME.

So that means that I end up doing a hefty amount of troubleshooting on my own.  Sometimes with them on the phone, but at this point there's not much I can't fix from a software perspective.  And what I don't know off the top of my head, I Google.  No joke.

Last week was a particularly interesting tech week because not only was I dealing with IT problems at work, but I was fighting with my own laptop at home.

There's nothing quite like spending your day fixing computers, to have to go home and fix your own computer.

All of this made me think about some of the stupid computer questions I've been asked over the last 5 years.

Now I understand that not everybody is good with computers.  But you presume that someone that's worked in a corporate environment for the last 5-10+ years understands the basics of Windows and MS Office.  Sadly, as we all know, common sense isn't all that common.  That being said here is a somewhat humorous list of some of the funniest/worst IT questions I've been asked recently:

These are the one's I get daily that just hurt my head because people SHOULD know how to do these things:
- How do I change my Signature in Outlook?
Add caption
- How do I change my default printer?
- How do I make it print double sided?
- How do I make this text box bigger?

Then we get to the stuff that just makes you scratch you head:
- My monitor isn't working.....it's not turned on.
- The projector it's working.....it's not plugged in.
- My BlackBerry doesn't work.....it's not charged.
- I can't send or receive email......you're not connected to the Internet.
- I can't get onto the WiFi.....typo in the password.
** On that note, best password question I ever got was a guy ignoring a character in a password because he thought that the ! was for EMPHASIS.  I shit you not.

Finally we get to the land of the asinine:
- I'm working on something in excel but didn't save my changes.....can you get them back?  Um....no.
- Someone sent me a Photoshop file, what program do I use to open it? Um.....Photoshop?
- I'm looking for a document in the archive from 2001 but I can't find it.....do you know where we would have saved it? Considering in 2001 I was in High School.....Um.....no!
- I'm trying to send a file to someone but it's too large how do I get it to them? I don't know... FTP site, file transfer tool, flash drive, CD/DVD, carrier pigeon.  Pick an option, any option.
- I lost my BlackBerry, can you get it back? Um....how?

Now like I said, people have very different comfort levels when it comes to technology and I acknowledge that what may be simple for me, may be overwhelming for another.  But come on.  Really?

But let me open it up......post a comment with either a tech problem you need help with, or a funny story about your most interesting tech dilemma.  That way I can either help, or we can all have a good giggle.

Cheers,

Ash

p.s.  Obligatory kitten picture.

There's your problem!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Note on Fear aka. Why I like to scare the shit out of myself.

I am the first person to admit that I'm a huge fan of horror movies.  I mean since I was about 11ish, I've loved the feeling of anxiety you can get when you hear the creepy music and know something is going to happen.

Strange, I know, considering I avoid anxiety pretty much any other time.

But horror movies allow you a certain kind of release.  For me, honestly, it puts things into perspective.  I mean, no matter what's going on in my life, at least I don't have a maniac wearing a hockey mask chasing me in the woods.

See?  Perspective.

I don't know why in the context of horror movies, that people actually enjoy being afraid.  I mean I totally understand the adrenaline rush and the high you get after practically soiling yourself.  

And yet the funny thing is that in real life, fear is, ya know....terrifying.

I mean we can all fear an individual person, but 99% of the time, it's not some crazed lunatic with super strength and a machete. 

The things that we mostly fear are a lot more subtle.  For me heights, spiders, public speaking and failure will all give me the cold sweats and what feels like a mini-heart attack.  For others it's crowded places and snakes.  Not necessarily things that most people would consider terror inducing but ll of our fears are unique to us and partly what make us the people we are. 

Thinking about fear all came to mind when I watched a movie called Dread. This is a badly acted horror film that focuses on a bunch of college students that are doing a film project on fear.  They interview a bunch of volunteer students and ask them to describe their worst fears.  Now of course one of the kids doing the film is bat shit crazy and starts kidnapping people and forcing them to live their fears some of which are truly horrifying and pretty much succeed in breaking these people psychologically.

It made me think about confronting fears.  Why is it so hard for us to do?  I mean fear of specific things are actually a little easier to deal with.  I'm terrified of spiders yet am forced to kill them myself if they wander into my apartment.  But confronting the more intangible fears is much more difficult.

I know that rationally, spiders won't hurt me.  They're small and creepy, but a tiny green little house spider isn't going to hurt me.  I know this logically so it's easier to address by stomping on it using a large boot.  Overkill?  Maybe.  But it's my phobia so I deal any way I can.

Fear of failure is a little different and much more difficult to address because it's associated with deeper emotional issues.  I'm afraid to let people down, I'm afraid of my parents being ashamed of me, I'm afraid of a bunch of different things but it all boils down to ideas of inadequacy.  Things much scarier than a little spider.

But I think confronting our fears is necessary in life because without that, how will we ever grow?  Sometimes it's as simple as watching a scary movie, or killing that little spider in the bathroom.  Other times, not so easy but double rewarding.

Cheers,

Ash   

Spider Image from Hyperbole and a Half if you haven't checked out her comics, do so right now.

Monday, October 1, 2012

You Can't Fail.....If You Never TRY.

I've been thinking a lot about failure recently.  I know, fun thoughts right?

But what I've been thinking about, is that most of the things in my own life that I perceive to be failures, are not failures at all.

I am my number one critic.

After a lifetime of "constructive criticism" from family members, I've trained it into my brain that everything I do is not quite good enough.  That everything about me, could use just a little improvement.  And on bad days everything is probably crap.

I mean, of course, everyone could improve things about themselves or areas of their lives, but thinking of everything as lacking or a failure is destructive long-term.

But one of the things that I've started to realize is that because of my desire to not be criticized or be viewed as a failure, I have essentially stopped trying.  Because if I don't try anything new, I can't fail at it.  You know the thoughts I'm talking about.  Not talking to someone new because you presume they won't like you.  Not learning a new skill because you presume you're not going to be any good at it.  Or worse yet, not trying to improve something about yourself that you are unhappy with because you think it won't make a difference.

What I SHOULD have done, is work on convincing myself that just because something isn't perfect, doesn't make it a failure.  Because if I look at things with that lens, then what I actually have, is a series of accomplishments and a series of learning experiences.  Both are much healthier than viewing everything as a failure.

Easier said than done though.

When people criticize you, it can be damaging to your overall idea of self-worth when done to that extent.  But when you start to criticize yourself that heavily, the implications can be damaging to your entire identity.

So that being said, October is going to be the month for self improvement and self awareness.  When you find yourself being overly critical of yourself or others, think about how your framing those criticisms and focus more on input that can actually result in making a positive impact on your life.

Cheers,

Ash




Friday, September 21, 2012

I feel like....

Over the last few days I've had the revelation that I am allowed to feel the way that I do.

We all have feelings.  Good one's and bad, but over time I had convinced myself that I wasn't allowed to have certain feelings.

Get your mind out of the gutter, not THOSE kinds of feelings ;)

I'd feel angry at a friend because they had let me down and I would find myself rationalizing their behaviour so I wouldn't have to be angry at them anymore.  

Somebody would say something hurtful and I would find a way to turn it around that they are just being honest and that I'm being overly sensitive.  Or that whatever criticism they had of me was true and that I was at fault. 

Somewhere along the line, I started to think that I didn't have the right to my anger, or my frustration or my stress.  That in the grand scheme of things, the things I was bothered by weren't that important and were insignificant compared to what other people were feeling.

But I'm entitled to my feelings just as much as I'm entitled to my opinion. If I think someone has done something shitty that huts my feelings, then I have a right to feel that way.  Doesn't mean I want to dwell on it but acknowledging those feelings, addressing them and letting them go is a heck of a lot healthier  than making excuses for them, rationalizing their behaviour or worse off, finding a way to blame myself for their actions.

This may not sound like a big deal, but it was a huge deal to me and a revelation that was a long time coming.

Cheers,

Ash

And now to make myself feel better.....gratuitous kitten picture.

Jasper once tried to drown a feathered toy in his water bowl.  He went all jungle cat on it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Suddenly......KITTENS!

This post is as per someones request.  You know who you are.

Essentially, the Internet is filled with pictures of cats.

If you haven't seen "Catvertising"  check it out below.



Cat's have TAKEN over.  And why not?  They're awesome.  My cat Jasper happens to be more awesome than most.

Now I try not to be the crazy cat lady so I've ONLY written two previous cat posts. 

My Kitten: Cute but Evil  and You vs. Your Pet: The Battle for Bathroom Privacy

This post doesn't even have an exact theme.  It's just gratuitous cute cat pictures.

Because not EVERYTHING has to be serious.

 
Has anyone else ever tried to put fresh sheets on the bed with a cat hanging around?  We're talking serious play time and fun opportunities to attack you while under cover.
 
 
Jasper continues to be interested in all things cookware.  Thankfully no evil kittens were hurt during this incident because the stove was turned off but REALLY?  Why?  I have a theory that if he can fit his ass into it, he'll sit in it.
 

See? My point exactly.
 
 
Again, if it's shaped like his butt, it must be meant for sits. 
 
And finally, how exactly is THIS comfortable?!?
 

Crazy cat.
 
All in all, he is crazy but he's also adorable and a great furbaby.
 
 
I mean who wouldn't love that little face?

 
 
Cheers,
 
Ash
 
p.s.  Addition to the post prompted by something from the comments. 
 


Told you I took a pic before I helped him down.  I'm such a bad mom.
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dating In Your Late 20s Sucks - Part 3

I've already gone on about this topic in the past in Dating In Your Late 20s Sucks Part 1 and Part 2.

I'm continually surprised that people continue to comment on those posts and of all my historical posts, they continue to get the most regular hits.

I kind of want to start this out by going over some of the comments on these posts because they reinforce many of the things I'm talking about.

Comment #1:
Anonymous
Well, are you expecting men to be chivalrous? That is a common problem when women reach their late 20's. Men in their late 20's are fed up with the demands of chivalry.

Ask men out, pay for their meals. Heck, go dutch on dates. Be independent.

Finally, it might be you. Ever think about that? Perhaps you have standards that are too high, or a personality that is off the grid. There is nothing wrong with being yourself, but please understand that this could all be your problem.

I am a man who earns a low income, does not have a college degree and has an anti-social personality, so I know that my dating woes are mostly my fault. Unlike you, I don't have random women approaching me. Enjoy being a woman. It will work in your favor.

Comment #2:
Anonymous
Have you noticed when a man is single the problem is with him? People say, “You need to get out more, or you need to improve your game and learn how to talk to women.”

But when a woman is single its like, “Ahh well…there’s no decent men left out there.” If a man said that about women he’d be branded a sexist.

Comment #3:
Anonymous
I'm a 30 year old single man and I don't date women over the age of 25 because of articles like this. Too many bad experiences with picky, self-centered and downright mean women.

Comment #4: 
Anonymous
Sorry, but it sounds like you are the problem. Blaming men will only work for so long.

Comment #5:
Anonymous
27 year old grad student here. Single, attractive, very smart, musically talented, passionate, and also tired of coming home from less than memorable evenings and asking myself "isn't there more than this?" Hit me up :)
Anonymous?

Comment #6: 
Anonymous
I am a 28 yo single guy.

1) They want to be single.
---- Well, I wanted to be single when I was 24-25. not anymore-------

2) They have baggage or presume that you do.
---no baggage for me------------

3) They're living the party life while they cling desperately to their beer drinking youth.
-----check-----------

4) They're jerks, dicks, douche bags, pricks or psychos.
-----check...-----------

5) They've got mom issues, ex-girlfriend issues, ex-wife issues and/or women issues in general.
----- check. i am way too attached to my Mom ------------

6) They're workaholics.
----- Check. I work 15+ hours per day----------

7) They're gay.
------ Nope -----------

8) They're already your ex-boyfriend.
------- No ---------

9) They're the mythical "nice guy" who you hear exists but you never actually meet because he never attempts to talk to you.
------ Yeah. fits my profile ---------------

Ok. Now if you will notice, all of these comments are by men.  And all of them are posted Annonymously.  Even the guy who told me to hit him up ;)  Do I detect a theme here?  It's really easy to judge a woman you've never met isn't it.  I mean according to most of these guys, I'm probably a bitch, I expect too much, my standards are too high,  I'm being unfair to men and I have baggage that men are sick of dealing with.  That about sums it up?  

Ironically, these men have done nothing more than reinforce most of what I've said in my previous posts.  I'm not talking about them specifically and yet they feel they know enough about me to be judgemental.  I admit when I am making generalizations and all of the men and situations I talk about are real men that I have gone on dates with. I'm sure they have their own opinions about me but they are entitiled to them because they've actually met me.  

Some jerk who likes to hide behind the anonymity of the internet has no right to make judgements on my character or make presumptions about me.  

Gotta love the last guy though.  He totally owns up to his shit, which is more than most guys can claim.  

Recently I've been so busy with work that I haven't been on any dates.  What has come to my attention is that I actually know a lot of people that are currently on or have used online dating.  A friend of mine met her current love online and jokes that she "bought her boyfriend on the internet".  A few other friends are meeting tons of guys it seems, but none are panning out to be anything resembling an actual relationship.  The problem I see with online dating is that people, especially men seem to have forgotten their manners.  

Men online are either attracted to me because I have tattoos and piercings, are attracted to me because I'm an educated well read woman, or are attracted to me because of my rack.  Sadly, these men seem to have a preference for one thing or the other.  The guy that likes my tongue ring, very rarely cares about my hobbies and the well read guy with a job usually balks when they hear the words body art.  Now these are gross generalizations but they are generalizations based on my actual experiences so I'm entitled to them.  

I know aspects of my personality contradict other aspects.  I know that some of my likes and dislikes will either attract or repel certain men. I'm OK with that.  But don't be rude, don't be judgmental and above all else, don't start a conversation by asking me to see a picture of my tits.  It ain't gonna happen sweetie. 

Cheers,

Ash

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Look Ma, I got an award! The Liebster Blog Award.

When I started this blog, I did so with the intention of improving my writing and just putting my thoughts out there.  I never imagined that I would meet the cool people I've met.  We may not hang out over coffee, but these are my people.  I didn't know it before, but bloggers are MY PEOPLE.  The one's I know, they're a little awkward, a little neurotic and a whole lot funny.  What I've found binds us together, is that we all thought we were alone in this.  It wasn't till I started blogging that I realized that there are tons of people just like me, who share my fears, and quirks and passions.  And that they too feel the need to write about it.  Who knew something so simple would bring people together?

So that said, I am totally honored that two of my fellow bloggers have have given me the Liebster Award.


The Liebster Award is essentially the Blogger version of chain mail, but instead of promising money from Bill Gates, it is an opportunity to recognize bloggers that you enjoy.   The general rule is that you should award this to up and coming bloggers that you appreciate/enjoy/like as Liebster roughly translates from German to mean "beloved". 

Along with that, it's an opportunity to learn some things about your fellow bloggers by asking and answering some questions.  

Then in return, award this to other bloggers that you enjoy to recognize their work and to let them know that they are appreciated.  

And that is exactly how I feel.  Appreciated.

My girls Chrissy @ Quirky Chrissy and Ames at Onward and Upward have both passed on this fun award and I am honored to the depths of my heart to be acknowledged by two women that I respect equally for their strength and wit.  On a side note, Chrissy and Ames now follow each other's blogs and I take full credit for that in that they met in the comments section of my blog ;)  In turn, I have started following a few blogs that I found based via them as well.

So here are some of the questions they have asked me:

From Chrissy...
  • What is your favorite Dr. Seuss story? One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.  This is one of the lesser known Seuss books but when I was a kid I knew it by heart and loved it for all it's silliness.
Bump! Bump! Bump!
Did you ever ride a Wump?
We have a Wump with just one hump.
But we know a man called Mr. Gump.
Mr. gump has a seven hump Wump. So...
If you like to go Bump! Bump!
Just jump on the hump of the Wump of Gump
  • If your life were a movie what genre would it be? I would totally be a period drama.  You know me and my history-dork roots.  Think anything from Gone With The Wind to Shakespeare in Love.
  • What is the worst state in the union? Why? I'm Canadian so I think y'all are nuts.  Kidding.  No not really.  It's election time down in the US so it hurts my brain when I read articles in the New York Times mentioning things like "Legitimate Rape" and crap like that.  Right now, based on what I've read I'm going to say Arizona for this little gem of genius
  • Describe, in three sentences or less, your high school experience. I was smart and got good grades but wasn't one of the "smart kids", I also skipped school, smoked, listened to metal and had tattoos but wasn't one of the "bad kids" either.  Meant that I pretty much didn't belong with either group.
  • If you could sum yourself up in song lyrics, what song would it be? Wow, this is pretty hard.  I'm going to say "Dream a little dream of me" by the Mamas and the Papas 
"Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you. 
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you. 
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me"
  • If you could travel through time and space, where and when would you go? Medieval England/Scotland.  And can I be accompanied by the Doctor?
  • What is the best Halloween costume you’ve ever had? Keep in mind what I said above about me in high school.  When I was in the 12th grade I went as a suicide victim.  I basically turned myself into a ghost with pale make-up but carried around a noose, and put bloody gauze around my wrists.  I think back and go OMG, how insensitive can you be?  And then I just laugh because I went to a Catholic School and teachers were not impressed by my creativity.
  • What are your top 3 vices? Ooooo.  I procrastinate too much.  Never at work, but when it comes to my personal life, some things get put off as long as humanly possible.  I also curse too much but I'm getting better at that.  Lastly I'm guilty of not always giving my honest opinion of something/someone.  I'm one of those people that tries to cushion the truth so I don't offend or hurt someones feelings but I've realized that that does not help them.  Being cruel is one thing, but not being honest and letting something to something stupid is just as wrong. 
  • How much time do you spend on the interwebs? A decent amount.  I do a lot of online work for my job doing research as well as running the company website/blog.  Add to that my own blogging and the fact that I truly believe that Google can tell me everything, I'd say a decent amount more than sums it up.
  • If you could give yourself any title/rank/leader of any country/object/or whatever you want, what would it be? (Ex: I am the Empress of the Internet). This is hilarious.  Years ago, a friend of mine dubbed me "Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Dork" so I'm claiming that title officially.
  • What is your biggest pet peeve? Rudeness. That includes people doing rude things in public, people not saying thank you, people not using common courtesy to strangers in public.  All of the above.  Did your mama not teach you manners? 
From Ames...

  • What was the best day of your life? Is it sad that I don't have a good answer for this?  I don't really have that OMG moment in my life yet that I will always remember.  I mean I will never forget the day I graduated from University, the day I adopted my kitten, the day I met my best friend.  But I'm not sure those qualify.  In my heart, they all mattered to me but not on the EPIC scale that I imagine the best day of my life being.
  • Are you more introverted or extroverted? I'm totally an introvert.  I may come across as talkative and funny and outgoing but at heart, I'm shy and insecure and question EVERYTHING I say and do which makes me feel really awkward.
  • What are you most passionate about in your life? Words.  Reading, writing.  If it's written, I love it.
  • What's the longest romantic relationship you've ever been in? 5 years.  It didn't end well and I still bear the mental and emotional scars.
  • What's one thing you would change about yourself? I wish I didn't criticize and second guess myself so much.  In my head I'm constantly telling myself that I shouldn't say something, or do something or wear something or eat something.  Not only is it emotionally draining but sometimes it stops me from doing things I really want to do.  If I had listened to the voice in my head that said, "Nobody is going to give a shit what you have to say." I never would have started this blog.
  • What is your best personality characteristic? I'm incredibly loyal.  When the people I love need me, I am there no matter what.  Doesn't matter if you're sick, depressed, broke, stressed out.  I will always be there to listen/support/do anything for my friends when they are in need.
  • What are your top 5 favorite movies? Gone With the Wind, Love Actually, Across the Universe, Pirate Radio and Bambi.  Yes Bambi.  Don't judge me!
  • Where's the coolest place you've ever traveled? The Scottish Highlands.
  • What are a few things you want to do before you die? Travel more.  Find my place in the world.  Write a book.
  • What's one of your biggest regrets? That I allowed my ex to emotionally stunt me and my opinion of myself.  I've never blogged about this in depth but my ex made me so insecure about my own intelligence and accomplishments that I didn't go to my University Commencement Ceremony to receive my Bachelor's Degree because he convinced me that doing so would just be arrogant and bragging because he did not graduate.  Instead they mailed me my diploma.  Asshole.  I'll never get that moment back.
  • What's one of your biggest accomplishments? Completing a 4-Year Honors Degree at University in 3 years while working full time and dating an asshole that made me question everything about myself while maintaining my sanity.  

Now, in terms of reciprocating, here's some blogs that I enjoy and why.  Now most of these are established blogs but I'd also like to call out some of the not-so-famous blogs that I enjoy.


The Bloggess 

Jenny Lawson started it all for me.  She made me realize that there were people out there that liked the funny/neurotic/kinda crazy people.

Onward and Upward

Ames was really my first "fan" that I didn't know personally.  As I read her blog and her comments, I realized how very similar we are and that it's possible to make "friends" with someone you've never met.

Quirky Chrissy

We share a love of gratuitous cat picture, OCD, and sarcasm.  What more could you ask for? 

Cerebral Milkshake


Motherfucking Snickerdoodles.  Enough said.

Bangable Dudes in History

What is NOT to love about this.  It feed my love of history with my love of the utter ridiculous.  I've actually come up with someone I want to submit to be added to the list, I just need to build a case. 

Once in A Blue DC Moon

I just recently found this blog because she also comments on Onwards and Upwards but once I found her I spent hours reading her old posts.  Not only am I incredibly impressed and inspired by the health/fitness/nutrition regime that she has take on, but I can totally relate to many of the things she talks about like online dating.  Love me, love my cat!!  

To the above mentioned bloggers.  You're all awesome and I feel a kinship with you that I never anticipated.  Long may we blog and in a perfect world, I would be able to sit with all of you over coffee and have a good chuckle.


Answer the following in the comments if I've awarded you, or if you're just a reader of this blog.  I'd like to get to know you all a bit better!!

1. What made you start blogging?
2. What is the one event in your life that either changed you for the better, or the worse?
3. What is your favorite book/book series of all time?
5. What is your biggest Pet Peeve?
6. What is your greatest fear?
7. What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
8. What do you want to accomplish the most in your life?



Cheers,

Ash