I guess it's time for the weekly check-in...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's not that I haven't felt like blogging. Because I have.  Oh, have I.  While I'm at work, it's pretty much a constant stream of ideas and thoughts I'd like to write down somewhere--but of course, I can't since I'm at work.

Topics and/or thoughts in my head included but not limited to:
  1. how i'm wasting away my life
  2. the concert i went to 2 weeks ago
  3. my bro's gf's bday weekend, which was all sorts of epic and amazing. with a touch of falling asleep in the middle of a Mexican restaurant at 3am.
  4. stifling creativity by choice
  5. the displeasure of meeting the Biggest Douchebag In The World
  6. i'm constantly reminded how lucky i am to have the family i do
  7. my dad's return from the Philippines
  8. how my 16 year old self is kicking my ass for the direction i let my life go
  9. fuck me i want a tablet for my computer but i keep going back and forth about it
  10. i genuinely view my job as an annoyance that impedes my reading time.

But the fact of the matter is, I spend 9 hours a day staring at a computer screen.  I manage the accounts at work, which means working exclusively on a computer, going through electronic files and updating web records within a website. Around hour 4 I inevitably get a headache, by hour 5 I'm popping Tylenol, hour 7 I'm rubbing my eyes (I've saved a fortune by abstaining from eye make up since work started), and after hour 9 the last thing I want to do is go home and stare at one more screen.

On one hand, it's been interesting not being on a computer 24/7. Who knew there was so much life outside of this?! (I'm kidding) (Sort of) (Really) I admit my TV count has gone up a bit, but so has interacting with friends and having real conversations.

But on the downside, my poor little blog has suffered. I'm not giving up this blog, because I still enjoy it, and it's never really been about the readers and satisfying what they want (hate to burst that carefully placed bubble).  It's my little place, and it will be here for me when I can come to it.

Not that I don't feel bad, of course. My readers and blog friends are important to me, and I don't like that work - something I'm incredibly not crazy about - is taking me away from it/them/you.  My Google Reader has been upwards of the 700s for the past 2 months and it is driving me bonkers.  I'm trying, I swear--but you'll have to allow me the age-old excuse of a job getting in the way.


A quick announcement before ToT!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First, I waited until it was actually posted, but go check out the Schwab MoneyWise Money Mondays page! For those that did the 20sb blog-swap, you'll recognize them as the sponsor--now they run a contest where every other Monday they post up a finance-related prompt and you tell them an anecdote or experience.  WELL...if you check out the recent winners, you may just find a familiar name :)  Even though sometimes it sucks to think back about financial crises, it's an easy way to win $100...so that was nice!

Link up here!
 1. What’s the one thing you always do when you’re stressed?
I stare. It sounds weird, but when I'm incredibly stressed out, I simply freeze what I'm doing and stare at something. I'm not actually seeing anything; it's just moments where I space out. Not entirely productive, but...it happens.

2. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done for a friend?
You ever waxed a girl's back while she was drunk and trying to dress for a toga frat party? Yeah. College was a weird time.

3. What cleaning supply could you not live without?
A simple dust cloth does crazy wonders. But I gotta say, I'd take a vacuum because then I can suck up spiders/bugs. Icky.

4. How long do you plan on living where you currently reside?
Not too long, if I can help it. It's my parents' house, so I'll move out eventually.

5. Do you usually vote straight party, a mixture, or not at all?
Not at all?  That's a lie, but it's mostly just to avoid answering.

6. What’s something that you love to do, but seem to never make time for?
Bowling, art and design.

7. What’s your favorite store to buy things for other people?
It always depends on the person, but I'm fairly good at finding neat gifts from Target. Generic, I know, but I make it work.

8. What’s the weather like around you today?
Since I'm doing this the night before, I'll have to go with today's (now yesterday's when you read this) weather. It was coooold. And by "coooold," I mean it was mid-60s. But it was foggy and gloomy, too, so it seemed even colder.  I'm not complaining, I actually loved the weather.  That was where I work though; by my house it was high-70s and hot and blech.

9. What’s the worst book you’ve ever bought and read?
Hmmm...bought and read? I generally don't buy books until after I've read them (thank you, libraries), so I don't think I have any that qualify for this. Unless you can count textbooks where I was required to purchase before reading--in that case, I couldn't stand Heart of Darkness.  I know, I know, classic/great read/life changing/etc etc. I hated it.

10. What’s the closest thing to you that is yellow?
My necklace is gold, does that count?  If not...there's a mask I made in ceramics that's on top of the TV stand that I painted half yellow. Man...there is a surprising lack of yellow in my living room.


After last week, this week can only go up.

Monday, September 13, 2010

After spending Wednesday in a hospital making sure my grandpa was all right (he is, thankfully), I thought the week couldn't get much worse. I mean, being afraid your grandfather is going to die is a pretty shitty week in itself.

And then Thursday came, and I woke up, and all of a sudden the floor beneath me started to drop. And then rise. The only way I can describe it is that it's the sensation of being in an elevator - you know when it starts and the floor drops down before you get there, and then the floor comes back up a bit too fast?  It was that feeling, constantly, no matter where I was or what I was doing. Since that's not ideal for driving, I had to call out of work and my mom took me to Urgent Care. Thankfully it wasn't an inner-ear infection, but I was diagnosed with mild vertigo and sinus problems.  Friday the dizziness had gotten worse, so I had to call out of work, again. Having to miss two and a half days of work is not good when you've only been working there for 3 weeks.

And then Saturday happened.  The weekend! Good times! Time to relax, kick back, enjoy the fact that the next day you won't have any responsibilities, either. It's been such a shitty week, I'm glad for the weekend!

Except.  I was running errands with mom, having a good time just spending time with her after the stress of her dad being sick. We're in her brand new shiny Honda Civic, stopped behind a truck at a stop sign, waiting to turn out of the parking lot we were in. Making a comment about the song on the radio, laughing...then the reverse lights of the truck in front of us turn on. And he's backing up...and not stopping. Still not stopping. Mom honks the horn. Still. Not. Stopp--CRRUUUNCHHH.  Metal on metal is a terrible sound. My mom is stunned, I'm pissed off...the entire ordeal was in less than 2 seconds, and it is crazy how 2 seconds can alter a day.

And then the truck puts it in drive, and inches forward, and the next thing I know the truck is turning out of the parking lot.


Luckily, the only thing that flashes through my head are all the news reports and press releases I've ever written about hit and runs, and I know I need to get the plates.  All I'm doing is yelling, "Holy shit the fucker is leaving, get the plates, get the plates!"  So, luckily, I was able to get the plates.

Both my mom and I are not hurt. We're perfectly fine. Her beautiful shiny new car has a smushed front, the hood crunched accordion-style and the right panel of the car is dented in 3 places. We think the fanbelt was affected because a small drip was happening, too.  But she and I are fine aside from the bumped elbow I have when I tensed up as I realized the truck was going to hit us.  We were even lucky in that the car behind us at the stop sign saw the whole thing, wrote down the plates, watched the truck actually drive off, then stayed behind with us as our witnesses and called in the accident for us.  In terms of an accident, this is the ideal situation.

Doesn't make it suck any less, but it's pretty good in the grand scheme of things.

Everyone told us we're lucky to have gotten the plates on the car.  Even the police man told me I was smart for scribbling it down because, and I quote, "then the asshole is goin' DOWN."  Our tow truck driver gave a kind-of-scary laugh and said, "the jerk has no chance now!"  I want to get the fucker as much as the next person, but I feel as though my vengeance isn't as strong.

....so yeah. Worst week I've had in a really, really long time.  I'm almost looking forward to how mundane it's going to be going to work from 8-5.

I said almost!

This week had better go smoother, or I am going to kick some serious ass.  I don't know whose ass, but someone's.  Plus, I have a ridiculous amount of plans and can't afford to have it not go smoothly.  Which inevitably means something will come up, but I surely hope it has nothing to do with accidents or hospitals (please Lord hear my plea...).  And thankfully the elevator sensation and my dizziness has gone away, so at least that's an improvement over last week.


How's everyone else been?


Remembering what matters.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"What is all this talking on my radio? Where's the music?" I was groggy, having just been woken up by something--I couldn't figure it out, I just knew it was around 6am, 30 minutes earlier than I would normally have gotten up.  My radio was constant words and chatter, but I didn't bother to listen to what they were saying.  A faint glow was coming down my hallway, which puzzled me more. No one turned on TVs in the morning in my house; it had been discouraged for as long as I could remember, and the idea anyone would even try was an absolute horror to my 14-year-old self.

I got out of bed and went to the living room, too curious to let it go. "Mom?!" I exclaimed. Of all the people in the house who I thought would violate the no-TV rule, she was the last. I had expected my brother, since my father had had overnight duty at work the night before. I was about to start asking about the TV when I finally saw how stiff she was sitting, how she hadn't even looked my way when I'd said anything.  The remote control was in one hand, the telephone in the other.  "Are you ok? What's wrong?"

And then I saw the TV.  I remember the smoke, mostly. Lots and lots of smoke, from every direction, from everywhere, no matter which way the camera turned.  I saw the headlines on the screen, but nothing really made sense.  I had only vaguely heard of the Twin Towers, but I had no idea what they really were.  The idea that she was watching a movie flashed in my head for a second, but the layout of the picture was clearly a news channel. "What's going on? I don't understand.  What's happening?"

I've forgotten a lot of details about that morning, important things that I was so sure I'd remember years later. I have no idea if I saw the second Tower get hit. I don't remember any of what the news anchors said. I don't remember if I saw people on TV, or just the constant pictures of the towers. I'm certain I saw the Towers fall, but I don't have a memory of it.  What I do remember is the fear, and the hurt, and the terror on my mom's face and in her voice when she told me that planes had been flown into the Towers. That planes were being hijacked, and that they were saying it was terrorism.

What an ugly word: terrorism.  What person could ever justify an act meant to incite terror into people?  How does anyone feel they are working towards the greater good if the means are by fear and intimidation and destruction?  Even when I was younger and it was just a word tossed around the military lifestyle, I knew the implications and how wrong it was.

Hearing my mom say it, and the TV, and everyone else that day, all I could think was how that word had never meant anything to me before. Being a military kid, certain words are always in your vocabulary, but their meaning never comes to fruition.  They're part of history, given reason long-ago.  Those words aren't in my present. They're just not.

But they were, and I felt that terror when my mom looked at me and said, "Your dad called me and told me to turn on the TV, and not to worry about him. I can't get through to him again."

And I learned that even when you are 2,831 miles away from the worst national tragedy you never thought to imagine, you can be affected.  You will feel your own version of tragedy, of doom and helplessness.  You don't have to be in that city, in that state, even on the right side of the country.  Because when you see and hear that every station of power, every military base has been shut down, evacuated and/or on lockdown, you will feel the world get pulled out from under you.  And you will understand how widespread the attack was, how it was meant to break the country, not just the people who lose someone in the plane crashes and hijacks.

Without too many details, my father had overnight duty from September 10-11, 2001 at the largest Naval Air Station on the West Coast. He was one of the personnel in charge of the base the day, the hour, the very minute that these attacks happened.  He was one of the officers to evacuate everyone else and stay behind with the other officers in the event they would have to take action. That if for whatever reason, the west coast would have to respond or launch air defenses, my father would be a part of it.  That if for whatever reason, the terrorists decided to turn a plane towards the west coast, my dad could be at a target.

I'm very lucky that my fears never became real, that my only tie to this entire tragedy was a viewer and a possibility; never a true victim or one left behind.  It doesn't make me feel any less of this, but I understand that how much I can and will feel towards that day is blessedly limited.

When I think about 9/11, I don't like to think of it as a catalyst, as the worst day in my lifetime, as an ending.  I feel that does a disservice to those lost that day. It is a tragedy, it is a never-should-have-happened, it is a never-should-happen-again.  It is sadness, and anger, and frustration and fear and confusion and something that no one can ever truly understand.

But it is also a day that, no matter what was going on, we were all one. It was a day we came together as support, as hope and love and concern and belief.  It is the day we discovered what it is to be an American, or what it means to simply be human.  It is a day that we were all the same, that the rich where not the richer and the poor were not the poorer; that employees aren't the only workers and the glamorous weren't the shiniest.  It was a day where it was an honor to be alive, a blessing to feel and a gift to be able to touch someone.

Sometimes I do get angry about it still, and sometimes I do blame the day for a lot of other things that have happened. Like making me actually take notice of the danger levels when I'm on base.  Or being the reason for a war that has taken on its own meanings and angers.  For that very war taking away my friends for years at a time and altering them into the men they never should really be.  For that same war taking away a friend, permanently, and altering my heart in a way that never really should be. For the security that my father enforces once again as an airport employee. For changing the way of life by force and fear, rather than through learning and evolving. For creating such a deep sadness and tragedy into millions of lives.

But I always know that ultimately, it was a day where the hug was never tighter and the "i love you"s never meant more when my dad walked through the door that afternoon.  And that, too, is something I will never forget.


Fill-in-the-Blank Friday

Friday, September 10, 2010

Link up here if you participate too!

1.   The strangest thing I've ever eaten is Skittles & Wheat Thins together. Seriously. I'm not an adventurous eater, so that's the best I got.  (FYI, it's delicious!)

2.  I wouldn't be caught dead "smushing" with any of the Jersey Shore folk. Can you tell what I watched this evening? I blame the fact that I couldn't find anything else on to watch.

3.  When I am 75 I will....be that old woman still jammin' in the corner with her loved ones, not giving a damn what anyone thinks. I will also still be calling everyone "dude."

4.  If I had to be named after a place I would want to be named Marseilles. Because it is a lovely place. (Let's pretend it will work as a girl name.)

5.  My name is Ashley. It was almost Chelsea, but I am glad it isn't. No offense to the Chelseas of the world, but that name doesn't fit my personality.

6.  My all time favorite photo is one of my brother and I when we were kids; I was probably 2ish, BroBear was 4ish and we were in London. We used to sit in my mom's laundry basket and pretend like we were racing around in a car. My mom snapped a picture of us in her yellow basket; me in the back and my brother taking the wheel as it always was. It cracks me up that my brother's face is smiling, but then it looks pained--I can almost guarantee that I'm probably pushing my feet into his back.

7.  If I could afford it I would travel all around the world and write from wherever I wanted to be at that moment.


*tap tap tap* is this thing on?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Botanical Gardens in Balboa Park
  • I have a job. It is not what I want to do in life, I don't get paid enough, and it is a 45 minute drive from my house. But I keep at it, because I know I should and I really like the guys I work with. That makes me sound whore-ish, but I mean it because I am the only girl in the office. So when I say "I like the guys I work with," that means I like my office.
  • It feels early, but I've made the decision to do NaNoWriMo again this year. It was challenging and fun last year, and I'm intrigued to find out if it's possible for me to win while also working. I'm feeling a bit creatively stalled at the moment so I have no idea how this is going to work out, but I'll give it a shot.
  • To make a long story short, my grandpa was rushed to the hospital yesterday afternoon, so I have spent the last day and a half stressing the fuck out and running all around San Diego county (did anyone know there was a 54 freeway?! Because I sure as shit did not). He's fine, all is relatively well, and he'll be back at home by morning. Just with a bit more medication and the instructions to slow down.
  • I suuuuuper want a Darren Sproles jersey (SD Chargers).  Why the hell do jerseys have to be so damn expensive?!
  • My dad is in the Philippines now. It was kind of hard to say good-bye because it was frantic and stressful (we'd just found out about my grandpa, too), but he's safely there with his cousins and is ready to take care of the business that brought him there.
  • With all the activity of the past few weeks as well as starting a new job, I haven't had the chance go to running or play tennis. I am frustrated and feeling very fat.
  • A friend is visiting next week, and I am incredibly excited to see her. We saw each other briefly when I was in San Francisco is 2006, but haven't really been able to see each other since 2005. She was one of my closest friends, part of my high school group, and it will be lovely.
  • Remind me to tell you all how I keep getting hit on at In N Out. It is odd.
  • Has anyone heard about geocaching? Click here to find out exactly what it is, but I am intrigued! I want to go out and do some around my neighbourhood, but I unfortunately do not have a GPS system. Mayhapsly I'll figure out a way around it.
  • Labor Day weekend was quite good, relaxing and pleasant. Sunday was the closest I've ever had to a perfect day: spent with one of my best friends, we had a picnic in Balboa Park and watched all the people walk around. We walked through a bunch of the art studios on Spanish Village, finished out the afternoon with a leisurely walk through the park and some Japanese Cherry tea in the Japanese Gardens. After, we went downtown and walked around, poking in and out of stores and generally having a nice time. We went to dinner at BJs Brewery (if you ever go, get the flatbread pizzas. SO YUMMY.) and then watched a movie at her place. Plus, we got the best parking spaces everywhere we went. Perfection? I think so!
That's all I have time to update about, because I have 8 hours until I'm supposed to leave for work tomorrow, and I've been running on 4 hours of sleep while covering about 350 miles in the past 36 hours.  Friday at 5:36pm, I am collapsing on my bed and sleeping until 6:30am Monday when I have to get up to start the work week all over.

How are you guys doing? How was your weekend?


About Me

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I'm fairly obsessed with penguins, Peanuts (the comic), and the TV show Friends. Parentheses may or may not be (over)used in this blog, and books will pretty much be the only thing I ever talk about because they are my One True Love.


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i'm probably reading

Zoe's bookshelf: read

The Dragon's EyeAngelsThe Lightning ThiefThe Man of My DreamsCity of GlassCity of Ashes

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