feel like typing

As 2007 comes to an end

1) Where did you begin 2007?
ocean isle with friends

2) What was your status by Valentine's Day?
completely in love after like 2 weeks

3) Were you in school (anytime this year)?
spring semester, yes

4) How did you earn your money?
CAI! and later, various temp placements.

5) Did you have to go to the hospital?
not that i remember...

6) Did you have any encounters with the police?
actually yes, four. one was Officer Dave, who was talking at the neighborhood meeting and gave me a Club for the car. one was with these two officers who were trying to figure out if the guy across the street was dead and rotting in his house. one was the cop who accompanied the tow truck that tried to take my car away. and actually, that other one was a state trooper. so i'm not counting that.

7) Where did you go on a holiday?
richmond, before i moved up. new york a couple times. boston, for a funeral. and a couple weekend trips down to NC.

8) What did you purchase that was over $1000?
bedroom furniture! and, umm....... well, my rent is 950...that's a lot too.

9) Did you know anybody who got married?
yes, actually, my husband got married this year

10) Did you know anybody who passed away?
at least two. and they were old.

12) Did you move anywhere?
to virgnia

14) What concerts/shows did you go to?
i went to some opera thing at dook, i think that was this year.

15) Are you registered to vote?
not where i live...

16) Who did you want to win Big Brother?
big brother is lame!

17) Where do you live now?

18) Describe your birthday?
brian was sequestered off in indiana. he was really sweet, tho, and came into town as soon as he could :) it was a good, low-key birthday.

19) What's one thing you thought you'd never do but did in 2007?
get married! that is, i didn't expect going into 2007 that i would be coming out of it married.

20) What has been your favorite moment?
'you may now kiss your bride'

21) What's something you learned about yourself?
i'm not a very good housekeeper but i'm a pretty good cook

22) Any new additions to your family?
a whole slew of in-laws

23.) What was your best month?
all of them! except maybe for january. even october was surprisingly not heinous.

24.) What music will you remember 2007 by?
'one bourbon, one scotch, and one beer'

25) Who has been your best drinking buddy?
brian and kyle

26) Made new friends?
a couple!

27) New best friend?
yes :)

28) Favorite Night out?
quiet dinner with my new husband at il palio, after a long, loud, people-filled, activity-filled, celebration-filled day

my one dog is barking

Eli is being gruff with me, and I'm not sure why.

Actually, I went and checked to see why he was being gruff, and it's because his water dish is empty. I keep having to refill that durn thing multiple times a day. Eli's a pretty thirsty pup, you see, and his current water dish has a big chunk missing out of the side, so there's only room for one meal's worth of water in the bowl before it would start spilling out.

Memo to the Universe: Eli needs a new water dish. A matching food dish would be swell, because matchy-matchy is grand. And, uh, Universe, cat dishes are much better for this little dog because he doesn't like to have to reach over the edge of a tall bowl to get to his food. Collar tags clinking the ceramic and all. Very startling.


the extreme hotness

I just want to take this opportunity to inform you all of my latest endeavor to score cool points with the boy.

See for yourself.

This is Brian, the Other to my Significant. He is behind the wheel of a car. But not just any car...

Can you tell what it is?

Does this help? I admit my "car photography" skillz are a bit lacking.

What about this? That's gotta help some, at least...

Well anyway. I'll just tell you the story.

Saturday was a weird day. We both got up and decided to spend the morning moving some things from Brian's dorm room over to the house, to get a head-start on moving him in so that it's not what we're spending the majority of Thanksgiving break doing. Smart us!! Anyway, so we did that, got good and weary, got some irritating Taco Bell (with a coupon! We are coupon fiends!!) and came over to the house to watch a movie and take a break. We ended up taking more of a break than expected, as Brian passed out for a long winter's nap. I was wide awake, though, and bored out of my head, and NOT wanting to do anything housework-wise. So I called my friend Kyle.

Here's the scoop on Kyle. He works for a used car company of sorts. He has access to cars that, for whatever reason, this company won't sell in stores or at auction. This means he can get good cars for cheap, and re-sell them a little while later. His first venture, a BMW Z4, was a moderate success, as best I can tell. His second venture was a 1992 Dodge Viper. The Viper also happens to be Brian's favorite car.

We've known for a while now that Kyle would be temporarily acquiring said vehicle. Brian didn't know WHEN said acquisition was going down, though. But because I'm the girl with the sweet hookups, I knew what was going on. And the previous Tuesday, Kyle and I had conspired.

So, back to Saturday. I was bored. Brian was sleeping. The weather was perfect. And, Kyle wasn't doing anything! I left Brian the sweetest note I could muster, whose placement managed to wake him (curses)! I then went to pick up Kyle, drive him downtown to the (locked! abandoned!) parking deck where the Viper was, illegally park my car, find entry to the deck, uncover the red 10-v beast, and (once again, illegally) sneak out of the deck via tailing someone in possession of a key card through the gate.

My car wasn't towed, which was a good thing. The bad thing was, Brian never really got back to sleep from his nap. Which meant that he then wandered the house, bored and alone, noticing all the housework I'd failed to catch up on. He called me to see what I was up to...I couldn't really give a good answer. No good He discovered that I had taken the yet-unloaded car full of his stuff; he also discovered that I had taken the keys to the OTHER car, so if he were to be going anywhere, it would be on foot. Fine, he thought to himself. It's a fine day for some playtime with Eli over at the seminary. Brian then discovered that Eli's leash was missing, probably in the car sitting in the driveway with no mode of friendly entrance. In his re-telling of the story, I sensed some frustration.

Meanwhile, I was stoked. Kyle and I were plotting. I had this big surprise in the works for Brian. And when I'm trying to pull off a plot, I get giddy. And relatively useless. I had to keep giving Brian non-answers that made not even an iota of sense. But I hoped the cherry-red surprise would make up for my being a dork, a spaz, and a weirdo all in one. I pulled up to the house, ready to get him to rush outdoors just in time for Kyle to cruise past. But...no Brian! He, and Eli, were not to be found. I assumed they were on a walk.

I called Brian, and I was right. They were at the seminary, and did I know there was a wedding going on? After a few inane phone calls, Kyle and I came up with Plan B and headed over there. Stealth was critical, though, so I had to find out exactly where Brian was, via a lame 'my toe hurts and I don't want to walk too far so just tell me where you are so I can park closest to there' excuse. I sense frustration in his retelling THIS part of the story, too. But in all seriousness, I totally ravaged my toe on a heartless corner.

ANYWAY. after a few last-second U-turns and another flub or two on my part, Brian spots the car. Kyle, like the champ that he is, pulls over to where we are. The boys do that boy thing where they stand around admiring tires and poking at the engine and stuff. And then Kyle says the magic words - "so do you want to go for a ride?"

And off we went, the guys in the Viper and me tagging behind, assuring them a ride home after the car was to be put to bed.

It's mighty difficult wielding a camera the size of mine whilst traveling down the highway.

To be continued...


this is the hedonist in me

Yesterday I left work a little later than I would have liked to. I was going straight home, looking forward to an evening of assembling invitations and being without Brian. I had my McDonalds happy meal in the passenger seat (with the fries mostly intact) and my mind was elsewhere. Or, more likely, nowhere.

I felt a little blue inside, thanks to the disastrous home-unmaking effects of a days-long long to-do list and evenings that are far too short. I was completely zoned out and, back in the recesses of my mind, hoping to find an oasis somewhere along the Boulevard.

I approached an intersection framed by large old oak trees, backed by a wide open sky. It was nearly twilight - the sun was almost set. In its decline, it was sending off invisible rays that bounced off all kinds of wisps and feathers and splotches of the most transient of cloud formations. The white had turned to a brilliant bright orange. The slowly darkening, sleepy periwinkle sky had touches of bright orange light, smeared here and there and all over.

It looked like the sky was on fire.

What a cool God who would let me live on a planet where this kind of remarkable thing happens only rarely enough for me to appreciate it.


at least looking at the saddle again...

Hi, my name is: Ashley

but you can call me: whatever you want.

Never in my life have I: felt like I knew where I was going.

The one person who can drive me nuts is: [censored]

My high school is/was: (was) fine, I guess...it could have been a lot worse.

When I’m nervous: my stomach gets really heavy and my ears ring and my hands shake.

The last song I listened to was: on the KPAX soundtrack

My hair is: finally doing what I want it to do on a regular basis, but very much needing to be trimmed.

When I was 4: I started having nightmares about the Cat in the Hat. Actually, that's not true, those didn't start until I was about 6...

Last Christmas: I was miserable, but ok with it.

I should be: working...but I feel awful.

When I look down: I get dizzy. Note to self: don't move head too fast.

The happiest recent event was: my bridal shower in Concord.

By this time next year: I desperately hope to have a "real job."

My current gripe is: I'm poor! I need furniture! and I'm sore, too...stupid virus.

I have a hard time understanding: why nobody wants to hire me for a job that I'd actually like to do.

There’s these girls: ....so not getting this one...

If I won an award, the first person I would tell would be: Brian. that's probably a no-brainer.

I want to buy: FURNITURE! oh my lord I need a few key pieces of furniture...

Where do you plan to visit: nowhere out of the ordinary any time soon... next 'trip' is to Hershey in November...

If you spent the night at my house: I'd let you use the box fan.

The world could do without: another ice age. just my opinion.

Most recent thing I’ve bought myself: a calendar planner thinger.

Most recent thing someone else bought me: truckloads of stuff off the registry!!

My middle name is: Marie

In the morning I: let the dog out, make the bed, and proceed to the bathroom.

Last night I was: feeling not-so-hot...

There’s this guy I know who: keeps coming over to my house and eating my food and driving my car....

If I was an animal I’d be a: dog. a small one. that did cute tricks and got lots of treats.

A better name for me would be: Jill.

Tomorrow I am: training the new girl.

Tonight I am: doing some of the house/wedding work that I didn't do yesterday...

My birthday is: April 17.



Your Score: Longcat

58% Affectionate, 37% Excitable, 40% Hungry

Protector of truth.

Slayer of darkness.


Longcat may seem like just a regular lengthy cat, but he is, in fact, looong. For proof, observe the longpic.

It is prophesized that Longcat and his archnemesis Tacgnol will battle for supremacy on Caturday. The outcome will change the face of the world, and indeed the very fabric of lolcatdom, forever.

Be grateful that the test has chosen you, and only you, to have this title.

To see all possible results, checka dis.

Link: The Which Lolcat Are You? Test written by GumOtaku on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test


tasty snack

One of the things I thought I would end up doing to pass the days of unemployment is knit. But, because I'm working on a project that I am completely uninterested in, and I packed up my stash to prevent me from starting new projects without finishing this one, there isn't much knitting going on in Cassa Mia.

I'm generally thinking about new knitting projects, though. I like prowling pattern sites and getting an idea for what I can do with my skill level and my stash, dreaming up all kinds of ideas and wishes. I wonder about the first pair of socks I'll knit; about the first sweater I'll knit; how quickly I'll be able to build my skills and get to the point where I wouldn't be afraid to tackle the harder patterns...to make the stuff that's actually useful or cute. Basic patterns are not so much on cuteness, in general, and it's a boring (and for me, long) hurdle to climb. I look forward to the feeling I'll have when I finish my first sweater or lace shawl or pair of socks. But in the meantime, I have developed a sort of sense of humor about my non-knitting skills. And I have NO shame about sharing my "ideas" with Brian, just to get a reaction. (note the chicken viking hat and the man thong.)

My favorite torture mechanism is threatening to knit some edible underwear. (for those people who actually like the idea of edible underwear and aren't repulsed by the idea of making some for yourself, there's a free pattern here.) Flashing around this picture, or even mentioning the notion and the popularity that the item might have at bridal/lingerie showers as a real spark-starter, gives Brian a nice shudder. It's a pretty effective trump card, especially when he's teasing me about knitting. Then I can reflect on the merits of knitting items that are meant to last longer than the average hook-up.

This evening, though, I came across a form of knitting that shouldn't survive snacktime - and it's not even remotely vulgar! (unless you consider the vegan lifestyle to be vulgar...which I don't.) It's another form of edible knitting that I can REALLY get behind. ...without it even touching my behind. ...unless the 'moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips' principle means that this knitwork will end up touching my behind...but that's ok, because it'd be after consumption, rather than before. But I digress.

Little teeny tiny edible knitwear! And there are step-by-step illustrated instructions here for all you adoring fans (photos courtesy of this site as well). And adoring you should be!! I LOVE this idea and I wish I liked marzipan because I would totally go for trying out the technique. I wonder if I could use fondant, but I'm thinking maybe not because I think fondant is a lot drier than marzipan and might not be as flexible. It's been a while since I played with fondant though, so it may be worth a shot. I used to do a lot of baking and I dabbled in sugarcraft, so maybe this discovery will inspire me to do some more of it!

Knitting. rocks. really. Knitters are so cool.


misadventures in cocoa land

Moving is a beast. but I have a boyfriend who makes it easier on me - makes it even bearable. And what a huge difference that makes.

I love my doggie. And he has a new long-distance girlfriend named Razzle. They look the same!! Except she has better ear fringe.

Cleaning my apartment is a bit un-fun. And I don't want to do it. Like, not at all.... which is why I'm blogging!!

The countdown has begun! in the meantime, back to the grind...


off to a great start

Well, I had part 2 of my last entry ready to be proofed and posted... and I opened up my dashboard today and it was poof-gone. And as this is moving weekend, and I'm sick, I don't expect I'll be re-creating the post any time before next week.

So, I leave you with this. Now, aren't you glad you know me?


Complaints, pt. 1

"women hear complaint as an invitation to move closer, but a man hears it as, 'somehow i have failed, because if i were doing my job you would be happy' "

I jotted this note on a desktop stickie the other day as I was lstening to a podcast put out by the Conscious Relationship Institute. The recording was of one of the weekly tele-seminars that CRI puts on. I've been listening to the podcast versions for over a year now - one of my longer-lived subscriptions. This series is hit or miss, but the hits are REALLY hits and worth wading through the less relevant stuff. In my opinion, anyway...but I dig self-help. So.

The particular hit that I reference above is a discussion with Dr. Pat Love. She's written a few books - I think her most popular is called Hot Monogamy - and she's some kind of relationship expert or something. (With a name like Dr. Love, how could she not be??) (Read her bio here.) RCI has hosted her for several seminars, but with most of these the dialogue goes something like, "Do you have this problem or one of these problems? Well then, you need my book because it has all the answers." A lot of the time, no actual content is delivered. This seminar was different, though, because she discuseed a lot of the content of her latest book, called How to Improve your Marriage without Talking about It (coauthored by some dude named Dr. Steven Stosny, whose bio I didn't look up). I haven't read the book, but I'll be scouting for it in subsequent bookstore adventures.

(Did you notice that every other word in the book title is not capitalized? yeah, me too... anyway.)

It's another gender-difference book, but it doesn't quite take the extreme categorization stance that the Mars/Venus guy does. It also seems to be written with an assumption of an intelligent readership. This brings me to my first rant:

If you've taken the time to poke through my personal library, then you've probably realized that I kinda like to read self-help books, and relationship/family books in particular. I've read quite a few of these, and have only come across a couple that were helpful - and ONE that was worth reading from cover to cover. actually, make that 2. (Fascinating Womanhood, and It's Called a Breakup because It's Broken.) A lot of self-help books are built on a good premise, but ultimately suck. You know why? (I bet you don't, I bet I'm the only goober you know who goes and spends an hour in the self-help section of the book store!) Well let me just tell you. Self-help books usually start off with a bang, and then get exraordinarily tedious, because the authors tend to take an insight or a principle, explain it, and then spend the subsequent 12 chapters applying this principle to every scenario that they could imagine - one application per chapter. Really, most self-help books could be cut in half, with the explication chapters condensed into bullet paragraphs. It isn't that the insights themselves are bad or worn out, they just get so. tired. after. one. or. two. chap. ter. s. My survival tactic (ha! surviving self-help!) is, once I get to the part of the book that talks about issue by issue, chapter by chapter, I just...skip. Pages. Sections. Whole chapters, even. I mean for real tho, once you get it, good Lord you get it!

But I digress.

When Dr. Love said what she said, my ears did a double-take. I listened again. It resonated. And I wrote it down.

More on this later... for now, back to the boxes.


buon giorno

Recently I have been learning about the inordinate amounts of pressure I put on myself to be the right thing, know the right thing, do the right thing...and if I can't, to shut up and stop trying. Sometimes I don't even try. With writing, this is no different.

Writing. Writing! For its own merit, and not for selfish (though necessary) purposes. Instead, because I have things that I am pondering. Because I have things I want to share. Because I want to interact in a thoughtful, interesting way, that doesn't dry my throat out.

Because I miss the feeling I get when my thoughts take on characteristics, draw themselves out like a map on a blank white space. The satisfaction, the resolution. The evidence. The risk. The record.

I didn't write, for what feels like a long time. I was injured. I wasn't capable of writing the way I was used to. And even when I was physically able to start writing again, I felt so rusty, out of touch, unpracticed, and limited, that I hardly tried.

Every now and then things would require me to write. Work. A break-up. Therapy. Even just an overwhelming desire to try to be whoever it was that I used to be. I've spent a lot of the past year or so emerging from what was for me a dark, scary time, and grieving the loss of who I was and where I thought I was going. I don't claim to have a fantastically dramatic story. Everybody has a burden, though, and I've spent the past while adjusting to a piece of mine. Sometimes it felt heavier than I could handle. And to cope, I turned inward. To remember, to forget, to heal.

And now! And now. Here i am! I'm back. Alive and well, happy and scared, lost and inextricably caught up at the same time. I don't have everything I ever wanted - I was wanting the wrong things. But I do have everything I need, for now - and a few extras that make every day sparkle. I know what it feels like to receive support from people who love me. I have a boyfriend and a dog, I'm moving to a new city, and soon I'll be starting a new job (that I haven't found yet). This is a whole new beginning.

I'm so excited!