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

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

None Of Us Are As Young As We Used To Be

I've come to the realization that none of us are as young as we used to be.

And I'm not talking in actual years. I'm talking mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Think about it this way....

10 years ago, they still couldn't say "SHIT" on TV till after 10pm.  There was no nudity on TV, and most of the sexual content was obscure innuendo.

Not to sound like an old fart, but kids these days are exposed to way too much adult content on television, the Internet and movies.

There's stuff now in PG rated movies, that when I was a kid would result in an R rating. And does PG13 even exist anymore?

When did exposing kids to sex, violence and profanity become acceptable?

Nowadays, kids have access to more and more information and it's aging them mentally.  No 10 year old needs to know what oral sex is.  Under ANY circumstances.  Remember this on the news a few months ago? Third Graders Having Oral Sex Under School Desk

Yeah, I was more than a little horrified by that myself.

But it's not just kids.  I'm part of a generation of corporate climbers in their late 20s and early 30s that as a result of massive amounts of stress and over work, feel like they are a decade older than they actually are and are starting to get the health problems associated with it.  In Japan, it even has a name. Karoshi is death from overwork.  In most cases, death is a result of heart attack or stroke due to stress.  The first documented case was of a 29 year old, otherwise healthy male who dropped dead from a stroke.  

In an age where we are living longer, are we necessarily living better?  The retired generation is subject to even more issues.  The Baby Boomers are starting to retire and there are not enough workers in the labour force to support their loss.   People are holding off on retirement as long as possible because they either don't have a retirement plan, or lost theirs when the recession hit. Cancer is a huge threat because of all the crap we've consumed and these boomers are terrified of terminal illness and their inability to pay for long-term health care.

For me, I've always though that the quality of your life is more important than the length of it.  I would rather live a happy, healthy and full life to the age of 70 or 75 than live till I'm 90 but be crippled by disease or mental illness.  Disagree all you like, but I don't want to be an emotional or financial burden on my family. 

All in all, people in all generations either feel older than they are, or are acting older than they are.  I think both are equally horrible.  But in a time of information and technology, what's to stop it from continuing?

Cheers,

Ash

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ya down with O.C.D.? Yeah you know me!!

In case you didn't notice?  I'm a little neurotic.

I've never had an issue with this, but I find that during periods of high stress, I become even MORE neurotic.

Which is just FUN.

Now don't let my title lead your astray, I do not have full blown O.C.D and am very thankful for that.  But I do find that when I get super stressed out, which is happening more and more, my brain tends to crack down on the things that I can control.  You know the whole, when your life is feeling out of control, control the things you can?  Well I take that to a little bit of an extreme.  But not a washing my hands 12 times kinda extreme.

On a normal day, I am a very organized person.  Everything has a place and can be found in it's place.  I like order and I like things to be in a logical order.

 Duh!
Yes, that means that all 684 of my books at home are not only shelved alphabetical by author's last name, but they are also organized by release date (oldest to newest....duh) and by series where applicable.

Crazy?  I don't think so.  Remember, I worked at a bookstore for 5 years.  Alphabetizing is in my DNA!!

My DVD are also likewise organized alphabetically and organized in chronological order within a series.  I even go to the extreme of  putting "prequels" in chronological order of the series vs. chronological order of release date.

That means Hannibal Rising comes first, followed by Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal despite being released Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon and Hannibal Rising.  The whole concept of prequels just fucks with my brain.

CD's are easy, artist first, release date within each artist second. Why would you do anything else?  I mean if I was REALLY obsessive about it, not only would they be alphabetical but they would be grouped by either genre or decade but that just hurts my head.

Does your head hurt now too?  Sorry. 

The funny thing is, I've been doing this for as long as I can imagine.  When I was in elementary school, I used to colour-code my day planner assigning a separate colour to each subject and co-ordinating the colour of the associated binder to match the day planner system.  And this was when I was 12!!  But I actually kept up the practice right through to university.  I mean how else can you glance at your day planner and instantly be able to tell personal appointments, from work, from Geography?  I mean it just makes sense people!

Now I don't have a problem with the fact that I do this.  It doesn't make me squirrely when I go to someones house and their DVD"s are shelved all willy-nilly.  I don't freak out about the disorder of the shelves at the grocery store although come on, sorting your cans by expiry date and then height is just logical to me.  How else are you going to know what's at the back of your cupboard?

But when I get super stressed, and I mean full on insomnia inducing, break out into hives STRESS, I start to organize EVERYTHING.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  The pens are all of a sudden going to be grouped not only by colour but by brand.  Different ongoing projects are going to get a specific colour highlighter assigned to them, and God help me if there are M&M's lying around because those things will be grouped into colour piles, evened off to match the lowest in volume and then eaten in a progressional sequence, which means yup....yellow before orange before red.

The thing is, I do it totally unconsciously.

When shit hits the fan, my brain DEMANDS order and my hands just do it.  I can't help it.  But in no way does it stop me from functioning and in no way does it translate to other people.  I don't by any means try to impart my ways on others and as mentioned, I don't go all squirrely if I see other people's things out of order.  I mean, geez, doesn't EVERYBODY do this?  You heathens ;)


Cheers,

Ash

BTW... I know that I have 684 books because I keep the list in an Excel spreadsheet.  I'm a dork, I know, I know.  Don't judge me.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I think it's time to break up with Facebook.

I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook.

I like that it allows me to keep in touch with people in an unobtrusive manner.  But I hate the bullshit.

It's a way for people to snoop around in your life, presuming you're stupid enough to put a daily
play-by-play up.

It's also a waste precious internet time that I could be utilizing to look at cute/funny pictures of cats.

Like this one.  LOOK AT THE FLUFF!
But more than anything, it's made me realize that most of the people I know are retarded.  Not in a short bus  kinda way but in a "Why in the HELL did you post that for public viewing kinda way?!?"

I mean what the hell is wrong with people?

When did we as a society, come to the conclusion that it is OK to update everyone you know about every little occurance in your daily life.

I don't care that you went to the gym and burned 800 calories, you're making me feel lazy.
I don't care that you went to the park with your child AGAIN and took a dozen pictures because LITTLE PEOPLE FRIGHTEN ME.
I don't want an hourly update on your pregnancy induced food cravings 'cause dude, I just don't need to know.
I don't care what you pinned on Pinterest, if I did, I'd go on fucking Pinterest.
I don't care that you got into an argument with your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse.  Because if you actually wanted to talk to me about it, you wouldn't post a passive-aggressive status on Facebook.
I don't care if you're sad/depressed/lonely/angry/frightened because again, you're being a passive-aggressive douchebag and I'm just going to ignore your cry for attention.

Are you getting where I'm going with this? 

Facebook has turned us all into over-sharers.  Most of the people on our friends lists we don't actively talk to and yet we feel the need to update these people about every inconsequential thing we do.

It's mental and it has to stop.

I don't know if I'm quite ready to cut the cord yet and delete my profile but over the next week or so I'm going to do a purge. 

If you have ever invited me to play Farmville/Cityville/Assholeville ever.....GONE!
If you play the above mentioned games and bombard my newsfeed with your "I built a barn!" updates then by all that is holy, you are so.....GONE!
If I added you as a friend 3 years ago because we went to school together but we have never ONCE talked in that time....GONE!
If your status picture is of you in your wedding dress despite the fact that you got married more than 12 months ago.....GONE!
If you have had more than one picture of your unborn fetus as your profile pic....GONE!
If I already block you from my newsfeed because your posts annoy me.....GONE!
If I have ever read your status and said "<Name> SHUT THE FUCK UP!" out loud or in my head.....you guessed it.....GONE!!

What I should be left with is people I actually talk to, care about or wish to interact with on any level.

Hopefully.

Cheers,

Ash