Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Random Links

Apparently, the parents of several local seniors were not aware that graduation was coming up at the end of May.

Although this is NOT my emergency, it has sort of become that.

So I'm busy editing photos instead of talking to you.

I know, I know, but it pays the bills and you all don't. We've got to find a way to remedy that.

So here are some links:

I LOVE this graffiti. Personally, I would've also added "only go down the slide" because that's a hot topic amongst the parenting sect, but I thought this was an interesting message.

Speaking of graffiti, I love this Banksy guy and this stunt cracked me up.

I also thought these pavement drawings were really neat.

Morphine for babies? I think I just solved the infant mortality rate of the olden days. I'd like to find a case of most of these products though.

College degrees: Overpriced or Overrated?


I WILL stay here. Not I might stay here. I WILL stay here one day. Seriously, I WILL.

That's all for now.

Interesting Historical Information

When we had the haircutting incident, he walked into the room and told us that he didn't cut his hair with scissors in the bathroom, leading me to investigate and realize that he had indeed cut his hair with scissors in the bathroom.

So he has a prior record.

Interrupted from Pantry Cleaning

Big Kid: I didn't play wif a knife.

Ashley: Oh no? What knife?

Big Kid: No knife. I didn't touch a knife.

Ashley: Where?

Big Kid: Nowhere.

Ashley: Okay. I just hope you're not telling a fib because Santa is keeping a big long checklist, and if you get too many checks, you don't get any presents at Christmas. That would be awfully sad, if we woke up on Christmas morning and little kid had piles of presents, because he doesn't lie, and you didn't have one gift. I just want to make sure that isn't going to happen.

Big Kid: Oh. Um. (shifty eyed, frowning) Well, I didn't cut anyfing wif a knife.

Ashley: But did you play with one?

Big Kid: No, I tode you dat already.

Ashley: Yeah. You did.

Big Kid: So dere. Dat's what I tode you. Hmmmph. (snotty little look)

Ashley: Go to your room. Time-out.

Big Kid: AAAAAAHHHHH. NO. NOOOOOO. NO. I'm sowwy. I won't be nasty anymore. I'm sowwy for bein' sassy. Noooooo. Noooooo, mudder, noooooo.

Ashley: Get in there, or I'm taking away an hour of tv privileges.

Big Kid: No. Not my pwivwidges, not today. WAAAAAAAAH.

(later in time out)

Ashley: So did you see a knife somewhere? Even if you didn't play with it, did you see one? Because I would need to know because little kid could hurt himself badly.

Big Kid: No. I didn't pwetend it was a sword either.

Ashley: You didn't?

Big Kid: Nope. I didn't use da knife for a sword 'cuz dat would be bad. Dat could make you lose your pwivwidges.

Ashley: So could telling fibs.

Big Kid: What fib?

Ashley: Where is it?

Big Kid: What?

Ashley: The knife. The one you didn't use for a sword.

Big Kid: Um, it's not on da ceilin'. It's not on da floor. It's not outside, no it is not outside. It's not here, not dere, not anywhere. I don't know, I don't fink dere eben is a knife.

I really can't imagine the whole no knife policy declaration was just out of nowhere. He is a really ridiculous liar and he always starts getting smart alecky when he thinks he's got you. WRONG.

I can't prove it, but I'm 99% sure that there is more than one good reason for his butt to be in time-out right now, and the fact that he's in there screaming "Let me back out! What a bad gull you are, you bad, bad, gull. You open dis door." doesn't help his case one bit.

It's pretty much guilty until proven innocent around here and you better walk the line during the investigation, thank you very much.

Guess who is losing tv pwivwidges?

Bugz...I gotz 'em

Or at least my pantry does.


You get a little food in the pantry, feel like you'll be all set even if money is a little tight...and God sends a freaking infestation of bugs to wipe out what little food you've just purchased.


What did I do to deserve this plague?

My two things today are:
1. Identify the little fuckers
2. Eradicate the little fuckers

They are about the size of a pencil lead, are round, and brown. They seem beetle-ish and have no easily seen legs, antenna, or other features. Just like annoying round dots that drill holes through cereal and dog bones.

Sounds like fun, huh?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This Little Shit

Keeps pissing all over my house. Pooping too. Bright green today.
Later I found a chewed up green crayon.

My bedroom smells like puppy pee and I can't identify exactly where it is coming from.

Not cool. Not cool at all.

A Link

Stunning Photos

2 Things for Today

1. Clearing the laundry couch
(where am I going to put all of that laundry?)

2. Clearing the part of the center island I can see from the couch.
(because that's really the only part that matters)

Bonus points for figuring something out for dinner. No pressure on that one though.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dear Miley Cyrus,

Do NOT apologize about these Annie Leibowitz photos.

Are you freaking kidding me??

You are a teenage pop star on the cusp of washed up child star has been ...if Annie Leibovitz, who has photographed the freaking QUEEN OF ENGLAND, tells you to take your top off and wrap a blanket around do it. Right then and there. No questions asked.

The media is bored and you have been a target ever since they caught you acting your age on Myspace. Big whoop. I'm sure Billy Ray and your mother can handle this and that child pornographer Annie Leibowitz.

For heaven's sake.

Also, media...she was not "topless". These "Topless Miley Cyrus Pics" in the headlines insinuates that Vanity Fair has got a 15 year old's boobies on display. Shame on all of you.

Annie Leibowitz wasn't photographing Hannah freaking Montana. She's the artist, Miley was the subject, she wants to see bare back, parents are present...this is a NON-ISSUE.

The pics with your dad? Only "provocative" out of context. Oh, a 15 year old snuggled up with her dad, the horror.

I'm offended on behalf of Annie, yourself and your parents and wish you hadn't apologized.

Don't forget, Brooke Shield's was getting naked on film as early as 10 years old. By your age she was the "Nothing gets between me and my Calvins" Calvin Klein spokesgirl.

Now she's more or less fine, and has had a long and healthy career, and the crap her mom had her doing wasn't nearly as tasteful as a bare back with Annie Leibovitz.

Just don't get out of control like Lindsay and Brit Brit, and undo the black hair thing, I hate it. Otherwise, whatever. You're fine. Don't apologize.

Quite Frankly,

Problem Solving: NLP:2 Things Per Day

I've been thinking about NLP:RD and NMRLP:RD and why I'm just not feeling it anymore.

I've also been toodling around online and somewhere I saw that a to-do list shouldn't have more than 2 things on it.

Now this totally contradicts my own list theory, where one lists everything one can possibly think of, taking as much time to make the lists and to re-categorize the lists and organize the lists as humanly possible, in order to avoid actually doing anything on the list.

As much fun as this is, it is entirely ineffective.

SO, the new NLP:RD is to do 2 things per day.

That's it, two things. And two things that suck on Wednesdays, because Work It Out Wednesday was pretty effective.

So same amount of drinking, 2 things accomplished per day, 2 suckier things accomplished on Wednesday, whatever counts, no guilt as long as you can say you've accomplished 2 things.

I really like this idea. I will not be giving up my crazy lists, as ineffective as they are. They bring me great comfort and joy, but will be considered more of a recreational hobby than an actual plan to accomplish stuff.

Okay, who's with me? What two things are you doing today?

1. Order  enlargements (I know, still not done. You don't even want to know.)
2. Editing last client shoot.

It's really hard to keep it to two things. I will admit I have a whole page devoted to lists on my netvibes thing. But it's just TODAY, THIS WEEK, SOON, ONE DAY (that last one is more of a life's list of things to do that I'm working on now, fun stuff).

I'll just have the top two things in the TODAY list be my "MUST DO"s and then the rest is all bonus stuff that I'll feel really proud of accomplishing. Above and beyond sort of stuff. Suggestions for the use of the rest of my time. No guilt though.

This should work, right? It's fool proof. And cheater proof. Or actually cheater friendly which I guess is more my style.

So I spent most of my morning working on my new NLP:2TPD and the organization of said plan...this is time well spent, right?

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Today, being the Good Mother that I am, I took Big Kid to the local toy store for Webkinz Extravganza Day.

In the car on the way there, we had the following conversation:

Big Kid: Mia, in my cwass, her brudder Max is berry nasty to her.
Ashley: Why do you say that?
Big Kid: Because he won't let her in his room, and he's always cwosin' da door and stuff and sayin' she's a baby.
Ashley: That's exactly what you do to little kid.
Big Kid: No, no. I don't do dose fings to him.
Ashley: Yes you do, every single day. He is never allowed in your room.
Big Kid: Yeah, but he is a baby.
Ashley: He's your baby brother, you should take care of him.
Big Kid: I'm not his mudder.
Ashley: I didn't say you were his mother, I'm his mother, but you are his brother.
Big Kid: Brudders don't have to take care of da udder kids. Dat's what dere mudders are for.
Ashley: I mean just look out for him, be nice to him, play with him, you know what I mean.
Big Kid: Besides, I'm alweady takin' care of Murph all da time. I do everyfing for him, I take him out, I get him water, I pet him...
Ashley: Oh get out of town with that nonsense. No way do you take care of Murphy to the point that you have no time left in your day to keep an eye out for your baby brother.
Big Kid: Dat's what his mudder is for.


Several times today I have questioned this whole "sacrificing your own fun for theirs" bullshit. I might be wrong on this parenting philosophy. It very rarely happens, me being wrong, but I really think this whole parenting business should be more fun FOR ME. Heck, it's fun just being a kid. He'd probably be just as happy mixing mommy up a beverage as he would at the Webkinz party right?

Oh well, it wasn't too terrible. He had some allowance money and bought a pink poodle (I know, I know. The sales girl asked him if he was positive 3 different times, too) and he got a kitty cat for free. He has named them Poodle Noodle and Cat Matt. Can you tell that our new obsession is rhyming? Fun for the whole family right there, all day, every day, like it or not, headache or not.

So when we got home he hijacked my computer to play Webkinz and I took a bath and finished "World Without End". What a waste of life.

There is no way I'm paying the library $20 for that piece of crap, they can have it.

It was the exact same story as Pillars of Earth (more or less, same motivations, similar characters) but it sucked. It was too long, the characters didn't come together as seamlessly as they did in Pillars of Earth, and it was just lame.

I wanted to quit midway through and now I wish I had.

Anyway, it was a pretty eventful weekend for The Ashley Family, Big Kid being the recipient of most of that good cheer and still being a sassy little turd. Seriously, you just can't win with kids. It's never enough, so why bother?

Saturday, April 26, 2008


was a-maz-ing.


Holy cow.

Let me also state for the invitation to any performing STOMP cast member who would like to do me.

Wow. Just Wow. Something about percussion, good rhythm, and combat boots just makes me want to get naked.

I wanted to throw my panties on stage but I was pretty far from the stage...and I didn't want anyone to trip...and I was with Big Kid...and I was at an opera house...and I was wearing SPANX bike shorts instead of panties. So I didn't.

While we're on the subject, let's talk about proper attire. Proper attire would mean wearing clothing that was appropriate for the occasion. Going to the opera house and paying high ticket prices = dressing nicely. Regardless of the show, or the time of day, or your age.

Jeans are okay (if dressed up), but the t-shirt you got for free from Home Depot is not. Think Dressy Casual. I should not have felt overdressed in a black cotton dress and high heeled sandals. I should have blended right in, but you people with your SHORTS and CROCS and ratty T-SHIRTS made me feel conspicuous.

Big Kid thought I looked very pretty and told me several times. I think he was just glad I wasn't going to wear the bra and panties I was walking around the house in earlier in the day.

Big Kid: Um, are you gonna wear dat to STOMP?
Ashley: Yes, why?
Big Kid: (looking me up and down nervously) So dat will be your dwess?
Ashley: Yes, don't I look pretty?
Big Kid: Um, Sowwy.

So he was probably just making a big deal out of the black dress so I wouldn't go back to the beige grandma bra and the black and pink thong. Thank goodness he's never seen the Spanx. No one has EVER seen the Spanx, and no one ever will.

God forbid I'm ever in a terrible car accident and I happen to be wearing Spanx...just let me die before you even think about letting some hot EMT cut those ugly things off of me. Please. For the love of God. This is something that I have actually lost sleep over, this possibility. Don't let it happen.

Anyway, the show was great and Big Kid LOVED IT. He remembers parts of it that I don't, and was just captivated from start to finish. He's been stomping around here and banging on things all night.

We got really lucky at the Japanese steak house and ended up sitting at the same table as a 4 year old that Big Kid was playing with outside, so they were as entertained with each other as they were with the chef, who was great. I am so full right now.

little kid went to the zoo with gram and gramps and was supposedly no trouble at all, although they seemed awful eager to get us the heck out of there. He was dirty and sticky and fell asleep on the way home, so I'm guessing he had fun. Big Kid was especially glad to see him since my dad had told him that he was going to leave little kid on the monkey island. Big Kid told him not to do that, that little kid was his baby and he couldn't let him do that to him.

I guess he forgot about little kid being his baby when he held him underwater in the baby pool the other day. Just trying to make him swim, my ass.

So, all in all, it was a great anniversary celebration for The Ashleys. Did we regret, even a bit, including a 4 year old in our plans?

Hell to the motherfucking yeah we did, several times today. But whatever, he loved it. That's what this whole parenting gig is about right? Sacrificing your own fun for the sake of others.

Edited to add: Mr. Ashley says open invitation to any STOMP cast member that wants to do him too. But then he remembered that there were only two girls and one was a little man-ish, so he clarified no men and no women that look like men. Leaving him really only one option. However, I am not so picky, so whoever, call me.

Edited again to add: Actually, don't call me. Email me. k?thxbai

Friday, April 25, 2008

Worth A Mention

A highly respected and seemingly sane Bargain Board member says that a B complex vitamin has helped her anxiety tremendously and has given her the energy she lost when she began taking Lexapro.

Now everyone on the bargain board is taking B vitamins and MANY claim to feel better. So because I have to do everything the bargain board does, I am also going to begin taking them.

I either need some energy or 3 more of me...and as much fun as 3 more of me sounds, they wouldn't be easy to live with. I can admit that. And they'd be tough to find. Probably expensive too.

So yesterday I bought Costco's High Energy multivitamin horse pill thingies (not it's exact name, I don't yet have enough energy to get it out of the cupboard and check, sorry 'bout that), and today I took my first one.

So far, I'm still me. However, I'm pretty sure any minute now I'll metamorphosize into a super skinny, organized, successful genius and people will be throwing money at me to blog and photograph stuff and who knows, maybe even be a travel journalist.

Said money will enable me to buy a blackberry and employ a nanny and spend more time entertaining you all. From the road and everything. Perhaps my connections as a travel journalist could get us a sponsor for the Ashley's Closet Cruise.

Man, that all sounds good.

I'll keep taking them, you all keep your fingers crossed.


I Swear

I'm not too cool for you all, I'm just super busy lately.

Totally sucks for the closet!!

Today I had that senior photo shoot (that lasted most of the day) and now I'm editing the photos (that turned out great, thankfully, since I woke up early and was all hot and sweaty for them).

Tomorrow I have Stomp and the Japanese steak house!! I CANNOT WAIT for that.

So I WILL get you my observations on the NYC housewives and hopefully we can soon return to the chatty, non-productive haven that we were before.

The Renee 's Birthday

Happy Birthday To You

This day in history, a really long time ago, The Renee was born!

What would we do without her?

See? Did you imagine how boring and uninteresting our online worlds would be? Mine at least. So, it's a really important day, the anniversary of the day The Renee was born. I'd say third most important birth ever, after me and Jesus, of course.

I got her a really great present and I was excited to tell you all about it, but she hasn't gotten it yet. This is not good because I'm pretty sure it was sent over a week ago.

The Renee and I have bad luck like that, I got her Christmas gift like 6 weeks later. With a note attached saying sorry for the delay, but the dog was in the yard when they tried to deliver it before Christmas...well, I do believe you've been back within those 6 weeks and at some point you might have notified me so I could at least go get the package myself.

This is why people hate the post office. Just saying.

Anyway, Happy birthday to you Renee! I hope you manage to have some fun with all of those kids around.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm not Crazy

Ashley: I'm kind of nervous about my photoshoot tomorrow. I guess it's sort of like stage fright, but I don't know why I always dread it at first.

Mr. Ashley: Because you never leave the house so now you're like phobic about everything if you do.

Ashley: No! No, that's not true at all. You think that? It's just easier not to leave the house and I don't really need to and with gas prices being so high and all...

Mr. Ashley: Well, I just mean that since you're never around people, you get nervous if you have to go deal with anyone or go do anything.

Ashley: No, I like people. I'm fine to wander around Joann's or Target and I talk to strangers all the time, it's more like worrying about too much shadows or sun or it being too hot or the pictures not looking good for some reason. And getting up early, I hate getting up early.

Mr. Ashley: That's what I meant.

As Seen On TV

So, I just saw the infomercial for The Pancake Puff...

How have I lived without even knowing such a thing existed?

Big Kid was pretty impressed too, but said that $19.99 was a lot of money for pancakes...yeah, but is $19.99 a lot of money for the happiness ball shaped pancakes rolled in cinnamon and sugar would bring??

I've always believed that money CAN buy you happiness and I think this is a great example of that.

So does anyone have one? Does it bring you the joy that I can only imagine?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bring the Sun Back

Big Kid has had a REAL sassy mouth lately. Not sure what's up with that, but we don't like it.

So today I guess he was talking crap to Mr. Ashley outside and Mr. Ashley sent him to his room and ignored him while he cried and had a fit.

He ended up screaming himself to sleep, and just woke up a minute ago, 2 hours later:

Big Kid: Daddy? Daddy? DADDY!!

Ashley: Hey, daddy's not here right now, what can I do for you?

Big Kid: You could dest get me daddy. He ruined my day. He kept me in here 'til I felled asweep and now he's gonna get a timeout, for ruinin' my day.

Ashley: Are you kidding me? He didn't ruin your day, you did, by having a sassy mouth. And here you go again, first words from you...

Big Kid: Ima dest gonna talk to daddy bout dis. He ruined my day, now it's dest night time and dere is no sunshine, no sunny day, and I'm not puttin' up wif it. Tell him to come here.

Ashley: (mouth agape) Get up and go to the bathroom and you can go right back to bed.

Big Kid: Now you're gonna ruin my day? First, he takes away my sunshiney day and now you say I dest haf to go to bed and I'm not doin' it. I want sunshine right now. GO AWAY MOON, I DON'T LOVE YOU MOON. You, mudder, you go bwing da sunshine back. I want da sun to come back. And, and, you dest call daddy on da phone and you dest tell him he's in big twouble wif me. You too.

Ashley: Get back in bed. Seriously.

Now he's in there screaming and crying up a storm about bringing the sun back and how wrong it was of us to ruin his day.

Let's hope he passes out soon. He's screwing up PRIMO quiet time...I was even working on my Desperate Housewives of NYC post.

I know, I know...damn kids.

You'll All Be Glad

to hear that we got Big Kid ready, with an acceptable Passover lunch (actually, now that I think about it, we mixed meat and cheese, DOH!), rushed him off to school at the appointed find out that today is parent/teacher conference day and there is no school.


Now the teacher HAS to know that we're deadbeats, regardless of my playdates and cupcakes and other charades to the contrary.

Thank God Mr. Ashley drops him off and picks him up. It really makes him look bad.

We even KNEW about parent/teacher conferences, we just didn't know they took the day off for that.

Thank God our kid is Exceptional. I guess his teacher said the following:

Teacher: You know, every year you have your "one" in the class and he is mine. I just love him. Oh, how I love him. I honestly look forward to seeing him each school day. He is just so special, so cute, so smart...oh he is my heart. My love. (hand to her heart, big sigh). I don't know how I'll go all summer without him.

I know it seems weird but if you all ever want to go out, or need a break, or just need a sitter...please call me. I would love to watch him. I would take him to my house and just keep him if I could.

If I were Mr. Ashley, I would have shoved him at her and told her I'm just going to run home and grab his stuff but I guess he just thanked her politely and apologized for our dead-beatedness.

So no school = no quiet time for Ashley. I am not exaggerating when I say he has been making noise for 4 days straight. No break. He even talks in his sleep.


My Library Bill

is up to $40 and they continue to send me extortion attempts.

They will not allow me to pay late fines or renew books until I pay for the damaged book that I did not damage.

World Without End (sucks) and Thousand Splendid Suns (haven't even started) are so late they are claiming they are either lost or I am buying them (for $20-some dollars a piece...yeah-right).
Three other books are racking up overdue fines by the minute.

I guess it's a good thing I checked out a tall stack of really long, enjoyable books since I may as well take my sweet time and/or just keep them, now that the library has chosen to take this route.

Screw you and your not so free books, Library.

Oh, and don't forget that I not only have two children...I have a fleet of family and friends stupid enough to give me their library card on long term loan...IF I decide your establishment is even worth my time in the future.

You will not win this time, my friends. No way. No how.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Know I Suck

And I even have a lot to say, I've just been busy.

Mostly importing our financial info into which is certain to be life changing. I'm already really impressed with the whole deal. So impressed that it numbs the terror of actually paying attention to one's finances. There are pie charts, people. It knows how much I've spent at McDonald's this year, people. It's all very telling, I tell ya.

Secondly, I've been changing the world one city at a time (and satisfying my God complex) at Electro City. You don't even have to register to play, and it's really fun. So fun that it's easy to lose a few hours here and there. Oops.

and I've been messing around with this 30 Boxes online calendar that is probably the missing piece in my neverending puzzle of organization. I swear. This is it. Remember how I told you 2009 was going to be our year? I think I'm right.

I've also been organizing my internetz with Netvibes. Some of you come here through there, so I went there to check it out because I'm nosy like that, and I really like the whole idea behind it. Like having everything I would want online in one little box. Although the box in a box in a box in a box thing is getting a little weird, even for me, who loves boxes. There's just so much to keep up with these days.

So go do those things and hopefully by the time you're back I will have organized my thoughts enough to share with you my opinions on the important things. Like The Real Housewives of NYC.

Monday, April 21, 2008


To celebrate our anniversary, Mr. Ashley and I got tickets for Stomp on Saturday and we're going to take Big Kid.

Afterwards we're going to a Japanese Steakhouse for dinner, which I think will also wow Big Kid.

I just explained the whole concept behind Stomp to him and the complete and total excitement from him made me think that paying that much to risk being annoyed by a four year old wasn't such a crazy idea after all.

I think this totally cancels out me forgetting the Shabbat breakfast and skipping school instead of figuring out this whole unleavened bread business.

(I'll get it down by Wednesday, don't worry, thank you to the many informed commenters who have tried to help.)

Oh Man

my hard drive cannot be repaired as easily as they thought previously.

In fact, they are now talking about "data recovery" and "sending away" and "getting quotes"...and I just moved almost all of my images, personal and professional, to that hard drive because my laptop was freaking out.

I usually copy all images to my laptop's hard drive and my external hard drive at the same time, and I took all of the images on my laptop's hard drive and temporarily stuck them in a folder on my external hard drive so I could burn them onto CD and to try to make my laptop calm down with all of it's "low disk space" messages.

Then Mr. Ashley tripped over the external hard drive cord a couple of days ago. It really seemed like just the plug part was messed such luck.

I am such a freaking idiot and I guess I deserve it for tempting fate...but can't I get a break, Fate? Just for a minute?

I Was a Bride Once

Well, we kept Big Kid home from school today because we were ill prepared for the Passover/no bread thing and he was saying he couldn't have cereal for lunch.

We felt bad, and he wanted to go, but it's our 7th wedding anniversary and frankly, we just can't be bothered with the dietary restrictions today.

I had a whole big anniversary post planned but my whole day got eaten up with resume writing (don't ask, I'm not ready to discuss just yet) and now I've got a kick ass resume...but no big anniversary post, complete with pictures of my dress.

Because really, isn't each wedding anniversary celebrated so I can remember the glory of being a size 4 in a fairy tale princess dress?

Without a prettiest day ever.

Anyway, now Big Kid is on Mr. Ashley's computer (which has the scanner) and Mr. Ashley has gone to pick up my external hard drive from the repair shop. Since it was out of commission all weekend (grrrr), I have to do some work tonight. Just a little. I'll try to be back. Hopefully with pictures, but that is not a promise.

I do want to congratulate my friend Alissa who got married yesterday! She got married in Vegas and it was live via webcam--so cool! I was going to invite you all, but I didn't know if that would be cool. 'Hi! It's me, and 10,000 of my friends, watching you!'

That sort of thing is iffy, you know?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

About the Election

I'm over it.

Seriously, does it have to be this long, drawn out ordeal? I'm bored with it already, as I'm sure much of America is.

It's a system that was obviously invented, ohhhhh, 200 some years ago. Back when everything was boring and took forever and it was all uncharted territory.

So, being the "do-er" that I am, I have come up with a solution.

A Reality Show Election and Presidency.

But of course we need a prior political experience is the first prerequisite for candidates.

People across America will brainstorm on who they think is the smartest, wisest, nicest, fairest, whateverist candidate for the job and submit their videos of said candidate.

Somehow we would narrow it down to five, or something manageable, we'd get to know them via "reality television" + "media microscope" for a couple of months, then we vote for the winner. Runner up is vice-president.

Now obviously we don't want to be stuck with some psycho for 4 (or even worse 8) years (been there done that) and your average Joe or Jane would probably need some guidance, so they will have a team of advisors.

I'm thinking: the Vice President (aka runner up), the Bestfriend, 1 Republican, 1 Democrat, 1 Libertarian, 4 Political Reporters/Anchorpeople, 1 Environmental Advisor, 1 flamboyantly gay personal assistant/stylist, and America will get to call in and vote on the more major issues that he/she needs advice on.

Also, after 2 years we decide whether or not we want to keep them, via phone/internet/postage paid postcard. It's just too easy to get comfortable for 4 years.

I don't know, I don't think it's that crazy. I think many of us are ready for a change and who doesn't love reality television?? Plus, it's wonderful accountability, being filmed all of the time, and you know more people would vote and be involved and informed regarding politics.

I'm just sayin'.

It could work.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Guess Who

decided to trim up his hair in the bathroom with a pair of nail scissors?

Oh Lord.

Thank goodness the carnage was minimal, but he obviously got a chunk of bangs and one sideburn and there is hair all over the bathroom.

Since he has the shaggy thing going on right now, it's not too terribly obvious, but it's definitely going to have to be fixed.

It Has Finally Sunk In and...

what the hell DO they think I'm going to feed him during Passover week??

I can think of maybe 2 options and I'm not positive he'd eat either one.

Might I suggest that in the future they just use Passover week as their Spring Break instead of taking two weeks off in March for no reason if they don't celebrate Easter?

Because it would be much easier not to send him at all, but damn do I pay them a lot. And he loves it.

I'm all about the cultural diversity stuff, but it has to be at least halfway doable.

Also, this morning there was some big Shabbat breakfast. That all the parents came to. Except for us because we didn't know. How was I supposed to know it was a special Shabbat? They really do think those mountains of paper serve as official notification for events?

Big Kid didn't realize what deadbeats we are, but an associate of Mr. Ashley's did and called him to let him know that he had missed a lot of fun and that he still doesn't know what any of it was about.

Oh well. I just hope the teacher thinks we missed it knowingly. Like maybe I was sick, or little kid was sick, and Mr. Ashley had an appointment. I don't know, don't some parents have to work?? We could have been working.

Anyway...what AM I going to feed him? I can only think of turkey and cheese roll ups or room temperature chicken nuggets. Personally, I wouldn't eat either.

Edited to add: He doesn't eat yogurt, mac and cheese, anything white or creamy in texture.

A Challenge

Mr. Ashley: Hey, next week is Passover or something and he can't have bread, cookies or crackers in his lunch.

Ashley: Really?? Wow. So no peanut butter, no meat and cheese together, no bread, no cookies, no crackers? Okaaaaaay, but that will be a challenge.

Big Kid: I dest wanna hab cookies and bwead and sometimes cwackers.

Ashley: It's just for a week, and you can have it at home, not a big deal.

Big Kid: It is a big deal for me! I dest like to hab dose fings sometimes.

Ashley: Well, we choose to go to a religious school so we have to show respect for them and follow their religious rules. This is how the Jewish people do it, it's their holiday and we'll learn what it's all about. Maybe you and I could do a project together and find out the story behind Passover.

Bid Kid: I DON'T WANT TO DO PROJECTS, I DEST WANNA HAB COOKIES SOMETIMES. So dere. (turns his back to me and crosses his arms). I'm not eben talkin' about it anymore.

Ashley: Alrighty then.

Edited to Add:

No one be too concerned about the closet of doom reference in the next post. All in all, things are great, kids are healthy, roof is overhead, fridge is full. It's just the general state of the world that's got me down. For right now I will spare you the details because the things that have me feeling blue are either:

1. Depressing by anyone's standards. You know how sometimes you want to share a really gruesome detail or tragic story just to sort of relieve your own soul? But you know you're burdening the soul of the listener with stuff they'd be better off not knowing? That sort of thing.

2. Political. It may seem silly but the war is REALLY affecting me these days. I try to avoid it, but I just cannot, there is news and pictures and numbers everywhere I turn. In my very opinionated opinion, killing people just isn't right. No matter who you are.

3. Personal. So many people I know are dealing with sad stuff that it just adds to my general feeling of it being a struggle to live a normal life lately.

Also, the Heidi Louise stuff (which seriously pales in comparison to people's every day tragedies), there's only so much I'm going to go on and on about it here...but be nice to your dog. Because the regret of my indifference hurts even more than the loss and missing her. I feel like if I had loved her half as much as I miss me, it hurts.

And just general moving on, changing plans, new phase of life stuff...the sort of stuff you know is for the best but getting settled on the new path is bumpy.

Seriously, all sad, boring, depressing stuff that you'd rather not know. Well some of it you'd find interesting, because you're nosey bitches like that, but today's not your lucky day ;-)

So don't worry, I'm on my drugs, I'm not about to go drown myself in the bath tub (although a bath and some reading does sound good), I'm not keeping any amazing secrets from you all, I'm just in a funk and trying not to drag you all down with me.

I'll be back with some funny soon, I swear. In fact, maybe I need to run to the store (read: make Mr. Ashley run to the store) to get a bottle of wine to help make sure of that.

In An Effort...

to rescue the closet from becoming The Closet of Doom, I will just post links this morning and spare you all my thesis on The World Sucks & Why.

Coolest Treehouses
Cultural Guerrillas
Less Awkward Conversations
Ashley's Next Bed
Meteorite Photography
Amazing Old Photos

I don't know why that one is underlined, try not to let it bother you.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

No Mute Button

I just had the brilliant idea to take advantage of all of this girly-ness and dress Em up in a petticoat, tights, pearl necklaces and a hat, and as soon as I dragged my camera out she started pouting and said "Can I eat? I'm just stahvin'. I'm done wit this now." (said she who didn't eat the muffins.) Big Kid was pissed I didn't have "somefing cool for him to dwess in, like a bwack sirt and some cool sungwasses".

Damn kids.

Now they are eating Spaghetti-Os (barf) and playing copycat. A minute ago Big Kid just jumped up and ran around the table to kiss her on the cheek and I think they've exchanged 900+ hugs in the last 24 hours.

All in all, they've been really good. Not even that much trouble, it's just the additional noise that is an issue. If they came with a mute button, we could do this more often.

They Are Up

and fighting. He wants to play dress up, she wants to go outside. He wants to play hair cutter, she wants to play dentist. One of them declares that the other is no longer their best friend, someone comes crying to me, and then the other one later declares that they are no longer their best friend, and the other one comes crying to me.

Its very loud and chaotic and I have done some yelling.

Also, I made muffins this morning. Not the crappy astronaut "just add water" ones that I usually pass off on them...real muffins from a box with an egg and oil and everything. They thought they tasted weird. I guess they now actually believe that the cardboard astronaut-like muffins are what muffins should taste like.

I don't know.

I do know that I'm pretty much done. Also, I'm really glad that I didn't end up having to adopt that 4 year old twin I thought I was going to end up stuck with.

Because I'm really not cut out for one more kid.

Divine Intervention

Ugh, I feel so sorry for my mom about the horse. She has some stupid luncheon that she HAD to go to today too...screw that. I couldn't do it.

The whole event was super traumatic and although in hindsight it's obvious that it was all for the best, it's still one of those things that is just such a shock.

For those of you who don't read the comments, my mom was left with the sudden but urgent task of finding a backhoe so that Shadow could be buried before nightfall. My brother called, completely unaware of the tragedy, and she was crying and told him she couldn't find someone to bury her. Amazingly enough, my brother (who lives near the beach) had JUST had someone stop by his house out of the blue and offer to take a tree out of the front yard.

He's a renter and had no need for the guy, but he took his number and knew that the guy had his equipment, including a backhoe, with him.

He agreed to come right out and had even grown up on a farm and had buried several large animals before. He was considerate and kind, offering to work by himself if Mr. Ashley and my dad would rather wait inside, and when my mom asked how much she owed him, he told her that he was sure she had had a pretty sad day and to just give him whatever she thought she could.

Even he agreed that the whole thing was a sign of Divine Intervention and that it was all a very strange set of coincidences that brought him to her.

The vet also refused payment and felt horrible that it all happened.

It's a nice reminder that there are good people out there, and that Someone Somewhere is looking out for us.

The really sad part is that our horse Magic (I think it's spelled fancier than that, they're all Arabians and have silent letters in their long fancy names) is GRIEF STRICKEN. She was his best friend in the whole world, he would go berserk if she was taken to the wash rack for a bath and was out of his sight.

I guess he was leaning over the fence and neighing nervously at the tarp that covered her and he spent the night literally screaming, according to my poor mom, who barely slept.

So send your nice thoughts/prayers/positive energy if you've got any towards the direction of Magic and my mom, they've got a tough stretch of road ahead of them.

I resisted the urge to tell you all yesterday that it had been three weeks since Heidi Louise died and it still hurts me bad every single day. I know it's one of those things that only time will help and that there's really nothing anyone can say, but losing a pet does hurt so bad.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Overnight Update

After deciding that things just HAD to begin settling down for the evening, I proposed Alvin and the Chipmunks.

It was met with a "meh" sort of reaction, until Mr. Ashley just insisted on it.

So I set up the air mattress on the family room floor and made a big deal out of putting on pajamas.

Both kids: We're not going to bed right?
Ashley: Oh no, no way. We're just getting comfortable for the movie. Lie down so I can cover you with this pretty blanket with the cherries on it, oh it's so soft, so comfy for a movie.
Em: Coveh up my feet, don't forget to coveh up my feet.

(at this point I feel it is vital to tell you that when Em is tired, she sounds just like a 60 year old woman who's been smoking ciggies since she was 14 and drinks straight whiskey for breakfast. Also, it kind of sounds like she has a NY accent going on or something...very funny.)

Ashley: Okay, got it. Want this fuzzy gray blanket too?
Big Kid & Em: Yeah! No!
Em: Just put it on him. I don't want it touchin me. It's for him.
Ashley: Okay, here you go Big Kid.
Big Kid: I want it on her.
Ashley: She doesn't want it on her.
Big Kid: Dest make sure it doesn't touch my feet.
Ashley: Alrighty, anything else I can do for your majesties?
Em: Could you just stwoke my back? That would be great, if you could just do that for me.
Ashley: Um, no. Sorry princess. It's been a long day, just watch the movie.

Also, Emmers is deathly afraid of dogs. It's a true fear, not just some silly thing. She was terrified of Murphy and literally crawled up LK's body upon seeing him. I explained that he was her friend and just a baby and if she wanted to spend the night here she was going to have to learn to love him.

Now 85748 times since then I've heard how much she loves him, how cute he is, how she's petting him, how he is her bestfriend, and how she's going to come over every single night from now on.

Well, I'm glad they're getting along now, but I don't know about that.

While I've been typing they got off the mattress so Em could show us her freestyling dance moves. That was great. Then she was like:

Em: Do you wanna see an old dance I've got?
Ashley: Sure.
Em: It's just an old dance, not like the breakdancin' or nothin'.
Ashley: That's fine.
Em: (what looks like a short seizure) That's all I got. I know it's not much. But that's it.
Ashley: It's great, you two get back on the movie mattress.
Em: Big Kid, you lie down and I'll stwoke your hair, okay? That'll be nice.
Big Kid: No. What are you doin? You're dest messin it all up. Don't touch my hair.
Em: Uh. Whatevah.

I just took some pictures of them on the movie mattress and she said: "Hey, watch it with that light. You're like burnin' my eyeballs out and stuff. Really. You are." Protesting as she's posing it up and insisting on more pictures. She also insisted on viewing them on the LCD screen to make sure it "looks like she loves Big Kid enough".

I've been trying to jot down some of the funny stuff they say but it's all just too much and I'm so tired. Maybe I'll try to recount some of it tomorrow when I show you the pictures. Yeah, I wish I would just upload the pics now too, but really, I am tired.

The Sleepover Begins


The belly casting went well. LK's friend Arlynn is a really good sport. Apparently she didn't realize the extent of what she was getting into because when I told her to get ready she just sort of pulled her shirt up.

Ashley: Oh...topless. Is that okay?
Arlynn: Oh, yeah. Okay. (takes shirt off, standing in my kitchen in a bra and pj bottoms)
Ashley: Okay, now you have to rub this vaseline all over yourself.
Arlynn: Oh, really? Alright. That is kind of weird. Like just rub it in like a moisturizer?
Ashley: I think you want to get a lot on there, really grease yourself up, you know? I swear I'm not being a perv, I just don't want to end up giving you a full body wax job when this thing comes off. Are you going to take your bra off?
Arlynn: Oh, um, well...
Ashley: Have you seen one of these done before?
Arlynn: Yeah, on tv, but there was no nudity or vaseline involved.
Ashley: But I want the boobs in there, if that's okay. I mean, you don't have to, but have you seen them when it's like the whole upper half of the body? Sort of know? You don't have to.
Arlynn: No, it's fine. Okay. Whatever. (takes bra off, starts rubbing Vaseline in)
Ashley: I hope Big Kid doesn't notice, I could just see him telling his teacher that his mom had a naked lady in his kitchen rubbing stuff all over herself...Okay, now just make yourself comfortable while I smooth these gloppy strips all over you, okay?

It wasn't nearly as awkward as it sounds and actually turned out great. Luckily she had nice boobs, I think that helped the overall project. Also, the kids didn't even notice and no one was permanently scarred by any of it. So far so good.

So now I'm here with Big Kid and Em, who are a little loud for my personal taste. LK warned me earlier that Em still wakes up in the middle of the night for milk (she won the night feeding war) and that she goes to bed pretty late and wakes up early. Oh yay. I told her we didn't play that game around here and she laughed at me.

As she was leaving we had the following exchange:

LK: She'll be fine. Right?
Ashley: Oh yeah, this will be no big deal.
LK: What if she misses me in the middle of the night?
Ashley: I'll tell her you don't miss her and to go back to bed.
LK: She might end up in your bed.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, whatever, I'll deal with it.
LK: You're right, she'll be okay. Earlier today she thought that I was spending the night too and when I told her I wasn't she paused for a moment and then asked if you knew how to wipe butts. Don't worry, I told her you're an expert. HAHAHA. I'm out of here. Hell yeah.
Ashley: Bitch.

And now I'm here, with the incessant chatter from these two and the cycles of love, hate and indifference they keep going through.

Just a minute ago, as I was typing this, Big Kid decided to draw a portrait of Emily. He presented it to her and she got pissed:

Em: What is that??
Big Kid: It's you. It's dest a pitchur, of you. (Big smile)
Em: Uh. (huff) What is up with those dots all awound my mouf, huh?
Big Kid: It's fweckles.
Em: Look at my face, Big Kid. Do I have fweckles awound my mouf? Do I?
Big Kid: Well, no. I don't see any.
Em: Well, that's why I'm mad. That does NOT look like me.
Big Kid: (looks at picture, looks at her) Oh. I'm sowwy. It doesn't look like you. Now I dest have to frow it in da twash. (sadly)
Ashley: You don't have to throw it away, maybe it's someone else.
Big Kid: No, no. It's not someone else. It's for my Emmers and it's sposed to be my Emmers and it is dest not good enough. Dis is not a good enough pitchur for her. I will do a better one, a pwettier one for my Emmers.
Em: Come here, Big Kid. Give me a kiss.

Oh goodness, I'll be back later. With pictures. It's just getting louder and louder in here, I have to exert myself as the Alpha Dog before I totally lose control of this situation.

The End of an Era

One of my mom's horses unexpectedly died this afternoon.

She was my childhood horse's baby, all grown up. My childhood horse and lifelong friend, Dancer, was put down a few years ago after a good long life. Her baby Shadow was born slightly crippled and was kept mainly as company for the other horses and because my mom is a sucker for animals.

She was getting older, into her teens, and has been having problems with her leg. Unfortunately, in an effort to escape the vet, she broke her leg and had to be put down.

I am heartbroken for my mom, having to deal with the reality, the enormity, and the trauma of the event and its aftermath.

In one respect, I'm glad that she didn't have to make the decision to put her down just for being old and crippled, because she would have carried the burden of guilt and indecision for a long time, even though it would have been the right thing to do.

(we had a three legged greyhound they had to carry up and down the stairs and out to the bathroom...FOR YEARS)

On the other hand, I know all too well the shock and pain of losing a pet to a sudden and traumatic situation, and all of the "what ifs", even though they are good for nothing and it was all meant to be and happened for a reason.

It feels like the end of an era as far as pets go, with Heidi Louise dying and Dancer's baby, Shadow dying and us adding Murphy and them adding Duke to the family. It's definitely sad and another one of those things that makes you realize how quickly time is passing, when pets you remember as babies grow old and pass.

Avoidance, not action...oops

I have all kinds of shit to do. Today is belly casting day and Em is spending the night. So I should be cleaning up. I just really don't want to.

The Renee advised me to go do three things and I agreed that was a good idea.

So I'm going to do this, get a Coke, and wander around.

1-2-3 Done.

I DID get an email from Girl Crush this morning. It made me remember that someone here asked if she knows that she's my girl crush and I never answered that.

I'm pretty sure she does know. In fact, I think we're both so open about our liking of each other that it probably shouldn't even be called a crush anymore, we're probably officially an item.

It's a weird friendship because it has kind of been like that from the start. She sat by me at a "mom's night out" my playgroup had and I saw her "Realtor" pin (that I've teased her about a few times since) and gave her my comedy bit on real estate and talked her ear off about the market. Then LK came and I made everyone play musical chairs so I could sit by her and didn't really get to talk to Girl Crush again that night.

But then, she emailed me the next day (through my group's email) and said she had enjoyed meeting me and that I was really funny and it would be fun to go have a drink or three together.

Yep, she was courting me. Of course I was flattered and sent something witty back and things have just progressed from there. We joke as comfortably as friends do and seem to be mesh well. She knows, shares, and understands my phone phobia and she's a semi-sucky friend like I am, as in loses track of time and forgets to respond to your email promptly but shows back up soon enough and misses you and acts like you spoke yesterday. It's become somewhat of a contest to see who slacks the longest on the return of communication.

So we pretty much just skipped all of the superficial/artificial "I'm normal and on top of things and not scared of the phone" bullshit and got right down to it, love me or leave me style.

She invited me over for dinner on Friday but without the kids. As much as I LOVE this without the kids's not always easy for me to do. When I asked her if she wanted to go camping she said yes, but let's ditch the kids. LOL. I almost asked her this morning if she wanted to go to Disney with us in September if we go, but I wasn't sure if that was too much too fast. And we really can't ditch the kids for that one.

I also REALLY want to tell her about the closet because I know she would love it and some people think it's a fun way of keeping up with my life while I'm on my distracted/busy phases, but I just don't know, especially now that there has been so much talk of it and her. I'm sure she'd be flattered and amused, but the whole thing is a little weird.

Okay, now I've REALLY got to go clean up. Seriously. Like, the clock is ticking. Ugh.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Family Entertainment

So my mom was down at grandpa's place the other day, assisting in the entertainment of our out of town family.

Their plans for the evening included reviewing old home movies that would have grandma in them. She quickly searched through her videos before leaving and found one that had grandma's handwriting on it and said "Our Journeys 1987" (or something like that, don't quote me on it).

While visiting with my uncle, his wife, and my grandpa, she pops the tape into the VCR, hits play...and sees PORN.

Someone (*cough* my dad *cough*) taped porn over a home movie.

(And yeah, just typing the words "dad, mom, grandpa, uncle, wife, home movie and porn" together in the same post is enough to make me need therapy.)

First off, my mom is a total prude, (sorry mom), my grandpa is like 100 years old (probably 87ish, but still) and my uncle and his wife are my uncle and his wife.

I guess everyone shrieked and squealed and OMGed while my mom scrambled to hit eject, and my grandpa joked that he'd be happy to store the movie at his place.

(freaking barf...the things I do for you all...)

My mom was a surprisingly good sport about it. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there was hell to pay when she got home, but when she called me on her way there she was laughing hysterically.

I think it was the sort of laugh that you do at church or at funerals or in otherwise inappropriate places if you are a jackass like myself, or maybe when you're so beyond embarrassed all you can do is laugh.

And now I've shared it with the world. (sorry mom)

It reminded me of last Thanksgiving while we were at Mr. Ashley's parents' house. My laptop was set up on a stool near the couch, where I had put it down after downloading some photos.

I have it set up so that my screen saver is random photos from my hard drive. So I'm sitting there in their little family room with 16 year old SIL, her boyfriend, FIL, SMIL, SIL's bestfriend and both of her parents...and I look over and see Catfish and Trailer Trash Barbie pole dancing.

I can't say that I was subtle in my rush to dash across the room and hit a key, any key, to make it stop, and of course my bizarre behavior drew even more attention to the situation (which SIL's boyfriend was already definitely tuned into), and created all kinds of curiosity that couldn't be answered in a fully respectable, lady like manner.

(there was hairless pussy on my computer screen, people)

SMIL is not exactly the type to appreciate a bald beaver pole dancing slideshow in her family room on Thanksgiving, so it was a little awkward. Sorry 'bout that.

Speaking of awkward, there are photos of me in wedding lingerie...somewhere.

Catfish took some pics of me in my veil and corset and thigh highs, I gave them to Mr. Ashley, and he decided to hide them in a book.

He just doesn't know which book.

And I practically collect books.

Once I lent his friend Harry Potter and there were several moments of complete panic and murderous thoughts until he called his friend and told him to shake out the book and that he'd kill him if he looked at anything that fell out...and luckily nothing fell out.

But Harry Potter???

He might have hidden it in a kid's book??

So it could be anywhere?

That's a potentially awkward moment right there. There's something to look forward to.

At least I looked really hot.

Be Sexy Discreet Online Adult Store

Our friends at Too Timid have a 20% off coupon code until Friday April 18th. The code is: besexy

That's a pretty awesome deal. Don't forget to check out the freebie while you're there.

That picture is a link, so click and shop, my friends.

Edited to add: I'm pretty sure since it's also a charitable contribution to the Ashley Escape fund, that it's a tax deduction. Don't quote me on that. And don't tell the IRS that you know me. Or where I am. k?thxbai

Monday, April 14, 2008

Shrieking Monkeys

Well, the whole productivity thing didn't go so great today.

That last post was about the most productive thing I did all day.

At some point in the afternoon I started coming down with a wicked headache that gradually turned into a full blown migraine...and I had the command performance with the uncle tonight that I had made too many jokes about getting out of to get out of now.

I actually ended up kind of looking forward to it anyway, because I was having a kick ass hair day and had a need to get out of the house, headache and all.

And then we got there.

As nice as they are, they had brought the boys gifts.

Shrieking slingshot monkeys.

Not even kidding.

Within five minutes of our arrival, there were dogs jumping and barking, monkeys flying through the air screaming, kids squealing and too many adults talking. I was freaking the fuck out and positive that I was going to vomit and every shriek and bark further convinced me of that.

At one point, I remember briefly considering standing up and screaming, "I AM FREAKING THE FUCK OUT, PEOPLE!" but decided against it.

It was waaaaay too much noise for someone with a migraine. Luckily I managed not to make a spectacle and not to vomit and not to say anything rude about the screaming monkeys.

The kids were charming, even little kid who was so tired his finger was pretty much permanently attached to his belly button and who discovered that being a human milk fountain got a big reaction, and it was nice (as it always is) to see my grandpa and aunt and uncle.

I just wish the screaming monkeys and the migraine hadn't been involved.

I know...

that you're all waiting for me to say something, because that seems to be all you ever do, sit out there and wait for me to do something.

Lord knows you're not working, parenting, or spending that time voting for me in the awards listed in my sidebar. Ahem. Or leaving comments. (don't worry, I'm not about to yell at you again. Yet.)

Anyway, I'm not ignoring you all and I'm not out of things to say, but it will just have to come later because....(drumroll please)

I spent all weekend preparing for New More Relaxed Life Plan: Rough Draft (NMRLP:RD), which starts today, and I'm hoping to keep up the momentum!

So far I've only emailed and instant messaged with friends and caught up on some message boards. But I've got big plans.

WAIT--not true. I called about an art camp downtown for Big Kid this summer (They are fucking crazy if they think I'm paying them that much money. The kid's great grandmother's art has been featured in Architectural Digest, among other places. I'll just dump him off at her house.)

I also called about getting a post office box. (You never know when you all are going to start wanting to send me gifts. Kidding. Kind of. It's business related. But you could send me gifts there too.)

I thought about calling re: a yellow page ad, but I was all called out by then. I did well with both calls though and no one was mean to me.

Wednesday LK is bringing her very pregnant friend over and I'm going to do a belly cast on her and then later do a shoot with the newborn and it. I'm not sure exactly how it will all work, but it should be fun and it means LK and I will most likely spend Wednesday rubbing stuff all over a topless chick.

So I have that as motivation to clean up the aftermath of the great Depression of 2008.

That along with NMRLP: RD, of course. We'll iron out the details of that later, but I like the suggestion of more naps and I'm glad we all agree on the drinking.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In a Moment of Insanity

I offered to have Emmers spend the night Wednesday night.

And I wasn't even drunk.

That should be interesting.

Of course LK leapt at the idea, sealing the deal before I could regain my good senses.

Smart Woman.

9-1-1...Get us a waaaahmbulance

Murphy is crying because Mr. Ashley left the house.

Big Kid is crying because Mr. Ashley left the house without kissing Murphy.

little kid is crying because Big Kid is locked in his room and crying.

I am crying because it's too early to drink.

Sucks to be us today, huh?

(Junkmail Greetings really DOES have a card for everything!)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Questions I've Been Meaning to Answer-Updated

1. Can you explain how to watermark a picture?

It depends on what editing program you use. But basically you just type words (do not copy,, etc) on to the picture and then reduce the opacity, or on photoshop I use a dark gray font and change that layer to "screen". I don't really know what that means, but that's what I do.

2. How do you keep your feet flip flop friendly?

I don't. I wish I could answer that differently. During my pregnancies, I tried to get pedicures every two weeks or so, because something deserved to be pretty dammit. But now I'm poor and not knocked up and haven't had a pedicure since Catfish treated me to one in December.

When I had the flu recently, and I was a little bit delirious, I kept rubbing my feet around in the sheets and I was convinced I was growing hooves. I wanted to beg Mr. Ashley to slather my feet in body butter and put some socks on me, but was too exhausted to deal with explaining. I also wanted to get up and post about my feet turned hooves dilemma, but again, too sick. Sorry you missed it.

The other day out of desperation I used some thing my mom got me, I think it was called a Micro Planer or something (I bet she got it on QVC), and it actually did a really good job. I bet it works similarly to the ped-egg, but it scaled back the hoof parts and didn't seem dangerous or scary like those things the manicuring people try to bleed you with.

Mr. Ashley would love if I would paint my toenails more often...and I would love if he would surprise me with presents and tell me I'm pretty at least 3 times a day. So you can't always get what you want. I think routine pedicures would drastically improve morale around here, but he doesn't see that as a necessity.

So basically, my plan of attack with flip flops is to just hope that most people are too nearsighted or distracted to see my toes with any detail. Good plan, huh?

3. Someone asked (a long time ago) if I'm coming to Savannah in May and if I've been there before:

Yes and yes! OMG, I freakin' loooooove me some Savannah. I could live there.

It is freaking GORGEOUS and has so much character and I could take pictures all day, every day, all over town.

*Big sigh*

4. Does it bother you that there seem to be a lot of Ashley wannabee's out there? I've visited a few blogs of some of your commenters, and I feel like I'm reading carbon copies of your past posts. It makes me mad! It's ok to be inspired and create your own blog, but be original people!

Sorry, just had to rant here...

(You don't have to post approve this if you think it will cause controversy.)

Good question. The Renee and I were just discussing this the other day.

Yes, it does annoy me a little sometimes. There's a fine but fuzzy line between being inspired by and doing an imitation of...and I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I prefer compliments and presents instead.

But what can you do?

As long as no one is trying to be funnier than me, we're cool.

5. Does The Renee have a blog?

Not a public one. I keep begging her to do one, but she's all "I have too many kids and I spend too much time online and my nanny's all knocked up and I don't have the time for one more thing" Waaaah.

I even told her I had the perfect description for her:

Homeschooling stay at home mom to 4 kids with a long distance husband, a questionably legal knocked up nanny, and a business degree from Wharton, who rides an adult tricycle while listening to theme songs from retro tv shows and strives to get life under control.

WHO WOULDN'T READ THAT?? Her blog would be super smart too, The Renee always has interesting articles and statistics and things to think about. And she's funny. I steal some of her shit sometimes, like when I've done posts like:

So I said to myself, "Self, you need to get off your ass"...that's all The Renee, the Self thing.

I did that to her on our birth board too, she came up with the brilliant idea of recounting drama as band camp stories, which was funny as fucking hell, but even funnier when I did it. She made up a quiz for us all one day (she's a total dork like that) and one of the questions was who wrote the first band camp story and the only person who didn't answer 'Ashley' was me.

So some of you who think you're copying me, are maybe actually copying The Renee, who I do the occasional copying from. Anyway, she says she likes being a character here and she can still post and be funny without all of the pressure of keeping it up and devoting time and whatnot. Lazy, huh?

You all should protest, I've tried but it got me nowhere.

Okay, now I can finally publish those comments and get them out of my inbox. I'm going to have to devise a new system for remembering to answer questions in the comments. I'll put it on the list of things to think about.

Edited to add: The Renee can be very sensitive re: her adult trike. When she originally announced it, I told her that it was the queerest thing I'd ever heard and I would pay money to hear what the neighbors thought.

Then when she brought up the TV theme song downloads, I asked her if I had told her how freaking queer she was lately and there may have been a little bit of pissyness that I brought her adult trike into it, until someone (Alissa?) came up with the hysterical image of me riding on the handlebars of The Renee's trike with us singing the Laverne & Shirley song together as we rode through the streets.

So don't ask her if she wears a helmet with her trike. You just never know how that'll go over. (I choose to believe that she does, because it's funnier that way)

Edited Again to Add the song lyrics because the Laverne & Shirley trike image is even funnier when you know the words to the song, which are particularly funny for Renee and I with all of our failed motivational/inspirational b.s. Make sure you imagine it with her driving the trike, with her helmet on, and me on the handlebars in short shorts with my hair blowing in the breeze. k?

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Sclemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated.
We're gonna do it!

Give us any chance, we'll take it.
Give us any rule, we'll break it.
We're gonna make our dreams come true.
Doin' it our way.

Nothin's gonna turn us back now,
Straight ahead and on the track now.
We're gonna make our dreams come true,
Doin' it our way.

There is nothing we won't try,
Never heard the word impossible.
This time there's no stopping us.
We're gonna do it.

On your mark, get set, and go now,
Got a dream and we just know now,
We're gonna make our dream come true.
And we'll do it our way, yes our way.
Make all our dreams come true,
And do it our way, yes our way,
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you.

That's going to make me LOL the rest of the night.

You Know It's Bad

when you can't even FIND your vacuum.

It's a big purple Dyson too, so we're not talking easy to miss.

Checking out of life for 3 weeks isn't easy to recover from.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Other Day in The Car

Ashley: Mom, did you tell Cousin Julie about my blog?

Mom: Um, well, oh yeah! I just sent her the page about Heidi Louise and then she emailed me back and she was like, "Oh, what's this blog?" and I was like, "Yeah Ashley writes it and it's a really big deal, but it's a secret and don't tell your mom because Ashley has to be over the top someti--"

Ashley: So yes? I'm fine with her knowing, I've been wanting to tell her actually, but first I probably would have edited out the part about how I would rather douse myself in kerosene and light myself on fire than go hang out with her parents and brother.

Mom: You didn't say that.

Ashley: Uh yeah, I said that.

Mom: I don't remember you saying that.

Ashley: I said that.

Mom: Why would you say such a thing?

Ashley: Because it's funny.

Mom: Well maybe she won't read that far back.

Ashley: It wasn't that long ago, I bet she'll read that far back.

Mom: We'll just tell her that it was someone else.

Ashley: I don't know...she's pretty smart. She might remember that they were here just last month, around the same time I wrote that.

Mom: I really don't remember you writing that. I'm not sure why you would, I thought you really liked all of them.

Ashley: I do, but it was funny. I was dreading the actual event, not seeing them, the getting ready and watching the kids and small talk and whatnot. I ended up having fun, but looking forward to it isn't nearly as entertaining as preferring to set yourself on fire.

Mom: She probably won't read it. Right?

Ashley: She'll be fine, she's cool, of all people to understand making an ass out of yourself in the name of comedy, it's Julie.

So, in case you did catch that Julie, I didn't mean it. Not really anyway. You know your side of the family is the cool side. I just have anti-social tendencies (they're called Kids).

Now our other uncle is coming into town and my mom has declared a command performance at her house on Monday...and I'm pretty sure both kids are going to have an ear infection that day. Probably me too. Double ear infections all around. So sad, so sad.

Because, honestly, I'd rather bathe in honey and roll around in fire ants than go.

Sorry mom.

Teacher's Pet

Big Kid's teacher is hounding us about getting him into modeling.

She sent a note home the other day, cornered Mr. Ashley about it, called us to get our email, and emailed us the link to some talent agency that her neighbor owns.

She thinks his hat obsession is so cute that she bends school rules to allow him to wear it in the hallways and at recess (I don't totally approve of this. Life is a bitch and your kindergarten teacher next year may be too.)

Of course I love that he's clearly her favorite and this is PROOF that my kid is the cutest in the class.

Also, it is a fun idea.

HOWEVER, I have some concerns about this plan:

The cheese face--I just don't know that he's model material. The kid cannot smile normally on command. He suddenly looks like he's having an epileptic seizure or something. It's not cute. It's kind of funny, but not if you're really trying to accomplish anything attractive.

The time & effort--I'm really lazy. I'm also very mellow (to the point that it could be called apathy). I just don't know if I'm Stage Mom material.

Have you seen those bitches on "I know my kid's a star" on VH-1?

(one quick sec here...who decided Danny Bonaduce, infamous for being a violent hot head, should host a show with kids involved??)

I can't compete with that kind of ambition (read: desperation and psychosis).

Besides, I know he's a star without getting Danny Bonaduce involved...I don't know if I need to be getting dressed and driving around all kinds of places, begging him to behave, and waiting around and stuff.

It sounds like a lot of work. For me.

I am slightly interested because I could probably make some great photography contacts this way. But it may be another one of those marketing plans that never makes it off of the couch.

little Freak

Along with the constant bellybutton poking, picking, and pinching, little kid has developed a new, perhaps even stranger quirk.

Now if he isn't hitching up his shirt to poke the bebo, he is pinching and twisting his own nipples aka nickles. Especially if he's angry, he likes to get a good handful of baby booby and PINCH, sometimes even with both hands. I also catch him mindlessly feeling himself up, a little pull here, a little twist there.

Charming, isn't it?

On an unrelated, but sort of related note, he drank some of that oil air freshener that you put the reeds in the other day while I was on the phone with LK.

And yes, all knowing smartasses, it WAS somewhere I thought he couldn't get it. I have come to discover that there is no such place.

He relocks the fridge lock after he's done perusing the goods. The chairs have to be brought out at the beginning of each meal, so that he can't use them for additional vertical leverage. The only thing that keeps him out of the cleaning supplies is a double knotted shoelace...and he's been studying that knot.

Please tell me by the time he's in college he'll have outgrown grabbing boobies, destroying property, and breaking into shit...

Oh no. This might be something I should worry about.

NMRLP:RD Starting Monday

The New, More Relaxed Life Plan: Rough Draft begins Monday.

Basically, same amount of drinking, less expectations of cleaning, less pressure, less reminding, once again any little thing that could count towards your goal counts as a success, but you've got to do something.

Like our wise The Renee says, "Progress, not perfection. Action, not avoidance. Faith, not fear."

Seriously, she needs to at least make it a bumper sticker or something. The Renee, get a hold of me, I'll be your agent (since I'm rolling in the dough with all of my brilliant marketing ideas over here, that never seem to make it off my couch.)

NO ONE BETTER STEAL THAT SHIT. I *will* hunt you down, I'm at least good at that.

I'm pretty sure by the time 2009 rolls around, we'll be able to include NLP:RD in our resolutions lists, because by then NMRLP:RD will be a way of life and stepping it up a little will be a seamless transition.

Yep, 2009 is so our year.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Library Wins

Wouldn't you know it, I got a letter from the library.

Yes, I have some things overdue and a smallish fine, but those violations don't usually get a letter.

The letter said that The Giving Tree had pen marks and a stain on it and I owe them $16.


I *know* the pen was there when we got it, it was black ink and I remember thinking some kid must've been inspired by the pen and ink illustrations and it slipped by the Library Nazi because it blended in so well.

But NOW they see it, and who are they going to believe:

Carmen the Library Nazi?


Ashley who has allegedly damaged 4 other books (I'll admit to two) and constantly carries an overdue balance?


And I'm curious about this stain. I read the book twice, little kid was never near it, I kept it on the shelf by the front door. I just can't imagine it's anything to write a letter about.


You'll never have to look up my card number or handle my dirty money ever again.


2 Weeks + 1 Day Later

and I still really miss Heidi Louise.

Even as cute as Murphy Louis is.

An Even Exchange

Ashley: Look, I had brothers so that you guys would be friends. I thought two boys would play together, and love each other, and be friends with each other, and teach each other things and be kind to each other, and that is just not happening.

I am sick and tired of the fighting. If you guys can't be friends like I want you to, I'm going to have to get rid of one of you so the other one won't have anyone to fight with.

(quiet consideration)

Big Kid: Can I hab his red cwayon?

Ultimate Fighting Child Style

Did you all hear that whole big deal about bum fights? I guess people were paying the bums to fight each other and then broadcasting it on the internet? Or selling videos or something?

I'm fuzzy on the details, but I'm thinking about arranging something similar with my kids.

It's 9am...and I'm ready to kick both their asses.

But that's not legal, I guess. I think it's okay if you don't leave marks, but you just never know how these Irish boys will bruise up.

So instead, I'm thinking of clearing some space in the middle of the family room, getting out the video camera and telling them to take out their frustrations with each other and life once and for all, no more whining and crying, last man standing gets ice cream.

That's legal, right?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Disturbing Mish Mash

I don't know what's more disturbing...

This list of 25 most disturbing sex toys or the fact that I've encouraged you all to purchase at least three things on the list and have bought another for a friend as a gift (who wouldn't want a vibrating rubber duck??)

Once you're done there...go visit Discreet Online Adult Store

and feel normal about your purchases.

Seriously, it's all tame compared to most of the stuff on that list (and the few things on the list that I recommended and that too timid sells are cool, in my opinion...definitely not in the same league as a baby Jesus butt plug. Yeah, you politically correct letter writing world've got better things to do than pick on me now.)

Now if you want to see something seriously disturbing, here's a list of five tools to help you track the time you spend online. I can't think of any reason anyone would want to do that, other than to torture themselves, so it isn't a service that I would utilize, but perhaps some of you don't like living in denial and/or actually want help. Good luck with that.

Also disturbing, this article on the modern day slave trade . Now I'm all for indentured servitude. I see nothing wrong with a long term lease on another person as long as the agreement is amicable to both parties (sort of like marriage!), but it's pretty insane this sort of stuff still goes on and as a journalist it would be impossible for me to stay out of it and be objective.

Flying Peas

So this cute online kid's store emailed me to tell me that they have cute stuff.

Naturally, being the shopper that I am, even without the resources to support the habit, I decided to check it out.

Flying Peas really does have some cute stuff.

I want Big Kid to get this hat:

but he likes some other hat that I didn't like nearly as much. We did semi-agree on this hat:

But it doesn't come in his size. I'm going to keep working on him with the motorcycle hat. I would just order it but he'll be ticked when he figures out that I'm so broke that the money came from his piggy bank. (...however it is a hat for HIM, it's about time these kids start chipping in on keeping themselves decked out.)

I also love a shirt they have that says "The dog hates me"...perfect for little kid!! That would be a riot.

They also have the mystery baby shirt, which I saw somewhere long ago and was recently trying to find again for a baby shower. You open the bag and the shirt inside reveals your baby's future career.

They had lots of unique, funky baby stuff. I love giving quirky, memorable gifts for new babies, so I'm bookmarking them for the next time someone gets knocked up.

Anyways, I told them we'd probably love their stuff and they gave us a discount code to use: ASHLEY10 gets you 10% off.

So go look, I'm sure you need something. Besides, if you have a coupon, don't you pretty much HAVE to use it? It's like wasting money not to.

Edited to add: Darn it, I see that the motorcycle hat is temporarily out of stock. Well maybe by the time I talk him into it, they'll have it again. The engineer and gatsby hats on the same page are also awfully cute though...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Big Kid Does the Buzzard Lope

I've decided that the Buzzard Queen post and the Benefit post need to be separate, mostly because it is a lot of pictures (and you all know picture posts make me really tired.)

As children, Catfish and I spent many hot Sunday afternoons doing the Buzzard Lope on the small fishing island (aka where the poor, dirty kids lived) near the island we grew up on.

Looking back on it, we spent a lot of time doing fun shit while our parents drank, but this is the sort of bar you can pull up to on boat and we all know that drunken boating is a-ok, even with kids aboard. Or it was back then at least. So this particular hang out was always (and still is) a total hoot.

You'll see more of the "charm" (and I use the term in the loosest way possible) of this local hide out in the Benefit post.

So of course I was touched to introduce Big Kid to the time honored tradition of The Buzzard Lope.

This is the Buzzard Queen:

This is Big Kid and his horny ladies:








Klassy, huh? That's how we roll.


I lied about loving Republicans.

I'm sorry.

I've tried and I hold out hope for each and every one of you. There are MANY of you that I love as individuals, but as a group...I can't say you're on the Ashley Loves list. I'll admit it.

Call it Political Profiling.

I apologize and I've tried to change. I even tried to include you on the list but someone caught my lie. I hope you can continue to love me, despite this.

I mean come on...Ann Coulter? Rush Limbaugh??

I won't even start listing politicians, we'd be here all day.

So you all caught me. There is a true political incorrectness for everyone to get riled up about. I'm prejudiced against Republicans, but only as a group.

Troll Profiling

Many of you are upset by the recent uprising of trolls in the closet.

I have gotten emails, phone calls and comments, "Who would do that?", "Why?!", "Doesn't it upset you?"

Since I am familiar with this phenomenon (we've done this before a few times), let me try to shed some light on it for all of you who are new to people like this.

First off, it's highly unlikely that the the "autistic" anonyhole, "Uracist" anonyhole and the "Don't make fun of gun-toting dead old guys" anonyhole aren't one and the same. Let's face it, I am offensive on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. Yet the anonymous troll comments always come in spurts.

This is because your average troll cannot stay away. Even if they just absolutely despise me and think every word that falls from my keyboard is completely uninteresting and idiotic, for some reason, they feel compelled to read and respond to it.

I have experience with these people. I watch a lot of crime television, I also do a lot of internet surfing. I do a lot of people watching and a lot of Judging/Opinion Forming. Also, I'm Gifted and practically a genius (and I only say practically because I'm humble too.)

Based on these facts, I think we can all agree that I'm qualified to develop a Troll Profile, much like the FBI does with serial killers. In doing so, I hope to allay some of your fears and help you to understand our mentally and socially challenged frienemies.

Your average troll is:

-Super lonely. They are as inept in the online world as they are in real life. So when they go onto bulletin boards or blogs where people are forming relationships and enjoying each other's company, they feel jealous. Instead of trying to muster up some wit and charm and jump in and enjoy the fun, they just try to ruin the fun for everyone else. Which brings us to our next point:

-Not very smart. Now obviously normal people who are having fun together, exchanging ideas, laughing and getting to know each other aren't all going to dissemble and walk away sad when some freak bursts into the room and screams "YOU SUCK"...instead they look around in shock, choke back the giggles until eventually someone says, "What the fuck was that?" and everyone bursts out laughing at the ridiculousness of the person who made the spectacle.

Also, 99.9% of the time they think that they have a point...unfortunately, the point they have was formed with their lonely, unintelligent, anti-social mind, which means that chances are they either have a reading comprehension problem or are too narrow minded to understand sarcasm/intent/the bigger picture. If, by some fluke, they may have had a point, their presentation of said point will totally kill it. Once again, not smart enough to make people understand.

-They are unattractive. Obviously, this goes hand in hand with their inability to succeed socially in real life, because their unattractive exterior has hurt their self esteem and makes them want to put others down to feel better. It also makes them really look hard for flaws in people that appear to be attractive inside and out and they suffer the delusion that if they point out those flaws that other people will stop liking the attractive popular person...when really it just makes them look even uglier. I'd also feel confident in saying that at least 95% of them are overweight.

-They are delusional. First off, they will only see things how they want to see them, even if someone does point out that they've entirely missed the point of the topic at hand. Secondly, there are some delusions of grandeur, because they think that anyone cares for their opinion and/or that their opinion will change anything.

-They thought their kids would be cuter. Now let me start off by saying that, all kids are cute. Just not on the outside. We've all seen those kids that look like weasels, with their eyes too close together and their pointy noses. We've all seen those kids that are nothing but average, if even.

Now combine all of their above issues with signing on to parenting forums or blogs and seeing people with truly Exceptional just kills them. They can't not lash out at the unfairness of not even getting a kid they could relive their desolate, acne filled highschool years through.

So this is why we get so many assholes in the closet.

They love to try to save the world by slaughtering Ashley the Politically Incorrect Giant, yet are too ignorant to see that Ashley's actually making fun of the division that Political Correctness is creating.

Ashley loves gay people, black people, rednecks, old people, fat people, young people, spanish people, republicans, liberals, jews, mormons, catholics, baptists, pro choicers, pro lifers, ugly people, gun toting people, muslims, texans, everyone.

But Ashley doesn't automatically love you and all of your qualities just BECAUSE you're different.

People are fascinating. We're all different for different reasons. As long as the message isn't one of hate, it's oppressive and unhealthy to forbid people to notice human differences.

Some of our trolls also love to insult my parenting. Why they think I care, I have no idea. I put it all out there for you to read, trust me when I say I know some of you won't approve.

In fact, let me leave an open offer right here and now...if you think you can do better, PLEASE come be my nanny. We're not all the A+ lovin' every poop filled moment of it parents that we're expected to be. Maybe the Perfect ones can volunteer their services (other than anonymous blog comments) to those of us who just aren't doing it right.

So, once again, I've spent way more time on this than I intended, but there's been a lot of "whys" and some anger and I thought I could help with that.

So in summary, the why is because their life sucks. Then they come here and see us all having fun together, and read about my great hair and how I'm almost a size 6 again, and see that my kids are truly Exceptional, inside and out, and that so many love me despite my political incorrectness--and they just can't not try to pee on our parade.

Plus, sometimes they get 15 seconds of fame as a result of their attempt at peeing on us. A lot of them are Britney-ish that way, they want to be famous even if they're only famous for being totally mentally incapacitated with no medical excuse. Any attention is good attention when you are Alone.

So have no fear, dear readers. They can't hurt us, they only amuse us. In the beginning it used to be a little shocking that someone could dislike me so much and invest energy into that dislike, but these days it doesn't even give me pause, I'm just glad for another amusement to distract you all with.

And if you're getting trollish comments on your own've made it! Something you've written has affected someone! There's a good chance someone out there is jealous and stalking you! Even if they're hating every word...they're reading it.

So don't take it personally, just feel sorry for them and their weasel faced kids.

and yes, Carol Lee really DOES have a card for everything. So don't forget to check her out at and her Etsy shop, she has some seriously funny shit. We know I'm biased but I don't even have to be, some of it will seriously make you LOL and you know you have someone who deserves one.