Friday, August 29, 2008

Yay for me!

So I've been making cupcakes still. And loving it. Tim's work is constantly finding excuses to have food and this week was no exception. So when I got a text asking if I could make cupcakes tonight, I was pretty stoked.

I had no creative ideas, so I thought I would just use a different tip for my frosting to make the cupcakes look prettier. So I was going to do yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Always classic, right? But in the process of making the cake mix I spotted a recipe on the back of the box. A recipe I had seen once and not saved. So I got giddy and decided to adapt...

Enter the idea for peanut butter cupcakes with a sweet peanut butter filling and chocolate frosting. You know you just gained weight and got a cavity reading that.

So I threw peanut butter in the mix and baked. Cooled them off and filled with my sweet mixture. That was based off something I found online, but adapted to something I liked better. And it is sooooo tasty! Then I frosted using my special frosting tip and icing bottle. Only I ran out of frosting. Because that method takes a lot more than just spreading it with a knife. So I went back and used the knife so I could have enough frosting.

During all this I was asking Tim about why I was making them. Turns out, someone asked him to ask me. Yup. Someone at work requested cupcakes by me! Made my day.

So if you're jonesing for some peanut buttery goodness, gimme a call. We can arrange something.

Yeah, yeah...

I know. I haven't been posting.

But by the time I get home I'm usually tired. Or I just forgot what it was I wanted to say. So I'll work on that. I may just come up with some stuff and set it to post without me being at the computer.

So I promise: there's still blogs in my future.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tad moments

My nephew stayed the night here last night and tonight. And as is always the case when he stays over, I notice little things that I love and have to share.

I've realized just how exciting little things are to him. Like recently he has noticed his heartbeat. And comments on it. If he's been particularly active he feels his chest and comes running with this look in his eyes that's simultaneously amazed and proud. "Tia Ashley, feel my heart. It's beeping really fast."

Yes, he says his heart is "beeping." And it's just about the cutest thing I've ever heard. So I put my hand on his chest and feel his heart, and he says, "Can you feel it???" He's so impressed with his own heartbeat.

Then today he surprised my mom and I. We enunciate syllables sometimes with him to help him get the sounds right. Ya know, "Say 'sock,' now say 'er.'" Well today he did it to us! I couldn't figure out who he was talking about so he tried to enunciate it for me. And the look on his face was classic. He's quite the know-it-all feisty one lately. But it's adorable.

I also love when he's tired and watching a movie. He's reached the conclusion that if it's time to be quiet and we're really into a movie, he needs a blanket. Then he'll just cuddle up on the couch with the blanket and watch the movie. He has a serious attention span sometimes. But really, is there any better way to watch a movie than curled up with a blanket?

Hopefully he can demonstrate some more genius tomorrow so I can share it with you.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


It's time for another confession. Don't think less of me for this one.

I enjoy Britney Spears.

Yeah, I do. But before you accuse me of having bad taste, let me remind you that she hit it big while I was in high school. And it was cool seeing someone my age be successful. I never wanted to be her like some girls did, but I was a closet fan.

Because for some reason you can't like Britney (or boy bands or any other pop singer) without being judged. Which is pretty ridiculous. If you strive to be like that person then you may need help, but it's not a crime to enjoy the music.

Seriously, put on a Britney CD and try not to dance or tap your foot or something. It's difficult. Because even if it isn't the most original or creative sound on earth, it's catchy. I'm not comparing her to the Ramones or John Mayer or anything, but for that genre, it's enjoyable.

Was I waiting for a comeback after she divorced her husband? No. Was I counting the days to a new album? No. But I hoped she would succeed when she finally gave it another shot. Then came the award show on MTV. And the train wreck that was her performance. I felt bad, but also laughed at it. Because some people can only be that bad if they try. It was bad. I watched the video a few times, posted it in a myspace bulletin, laughed at the commentary by bloggers...

But I hope she can do better next time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A little something from class

So everyone knows I started school this week. I have sixth grade. I love them. My master teacher has all these awesome projects and stuff planned for them already. So one of the assignments they have been working on throughout the week is their "Autobiopoem." It's exactly what it sounds like. So here's one about me. I left out the last line (my last name) because who knows about some of you weirdos reading this...

Procrastinator, overthinker, creative, and sarcastic
Wife of Tim, daughter of the best parents in the world
Lover of baking, decorating, quiet mornings, and the rain
Who feels children should have fun, gas should be cheaper, and teens should be reigned in
Who needs a good massage, some time for herself, and money for groceries
Who fears the loss of loved ones, failure, and being alone at night
Who gives a shoulder to friends, love to family, and time to her students
Who would like to see Spain, a tornado, and many more movies
Resident of sunny California

So that's just some of what my kids have been doing. I liked it so I thought I'd do my own here. Feeling brave or poetic? Do your own. The format is there. Name, traits, relative, loves, feelings, needs, fears, what you give, what you want to see, residence... and last name if you trust the crazy interwebz (knot term).


I'm tired, my feet hurt, and I want to throw a pillow at my husband.

School went great this week. Great to the point that being at home is boring and I love my sixth graders more than Tim right now. They don't make me cook.

Have to go to the college campus tomorrow and tell financial aid to give me book money. That should be an adventure in incompetence.

I want a foot rub and a glass of wine. Hopefully I can give you something interesting tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yes, I actually said this

Tim just killed a spider. It was up on the wall behind the TV so he had to stretch to do it. Thing was so big it didn't just get squished, it exploded.

Me: Ewwww there's spider guts all over my wall!

Tim made a weak attempt to wipe them, there's still a huge spot of his guts.

Me: You didn't even clean it! There are guts on my wall. And now there's poop. Because poop is in their guts and you know he hasn't pooped after his dinner yet.

Tim: I don't think spiders poop dear.

Me: Yes they do. Everything poops. Except for girls.

Because I still maintain that girls do not poop.

A very Tad moment

I realized that a whole lot of people blog about their children. Some people have a flair that makes their blogs interesting. Or they just have kids that crack me up. And I realized that my niece and nephews make me laugh. Mostly Tad. So I thought of this one moment and wanted to share.

Tad has a plastic viking helmet. I think it was his brother's years ago, but he decided he liked it and it has come to live at our apartment. He wears it occasionally. But not often.

Well, he stayed with us the weekend we moved in here. And the ducks all over the complex were quite awesome to him so we walked around and fed them during the day. One day he wore his helmet on our walk. I told him he looked funny in it and he laughed. The next day we were getting ready for my cousin's birthday party. He likes it when his hair is spiky or in a mohawk so I asked him what he wanted for the day. He told me he wanted a mohawk. So I told him to go off and play while I finished my makeup. I finished, went to his room to get some socks or something for him, and called him to do his hair. He hopped into the bathroom wearing his viking helmet.

Me: Okay, take off your helmet. Let's do your hair.

Tad: But I want to wear my helmet.

Me: But if you wear the helmet you can't have a mohawk. It won't stand up.

Tad thought this out carefully, then looked at me and said, "But I wanna be funny." Like it was the most obvious answer in the world. I promptly died laughing.

And gave him a mohawk.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What are you wearing?

There are seriously some people who should ask for help when getting dressed in the morning. But I really can't fault them completely. I should blame Hollywood and designers. They could be considered at fault for the following things that I find horrendous, but there are some that are just plain stupid and I don't know where they came from.

1. Crocs: For toddlers, I'll let it slide, but I would never put any on Tad and let him out in public. For anyone over the age of five, there are only two reasons you should be wearing them. If you are out in your garden they are acceptable. They're easy to slide on and off and you can hose off the dirt. But leave them in your garden. Don't wear them to the store. You are also excused if you work in medical/dental and have to wear scrubs. Because I understand they are quite popular with that crowd. Wear away, but only with your scrubs. There's no reason to go to the store in them on your day off. Aren't flip flops just as easy?

2. Leggings: some people can pull them off, but not most of the people I see. And sorry Lohan, they should never be worn as pants. They are meant to go underneath other articles of clothing. And the shiny ones should be banished from the face of the earth.

3. Why, oh why, do guys still sag their pants? I don't want to see your underwear. And how do you put things in your pockets when they're down at your knees? That's a semi-serious question there.

4. Clear bra straps are stupid. When they're under something that mostly covers them, sure, I'll let you get away with it. But when you wear your clear bra straps with a strapless top or dress... ugh. I can't forgive you. They're clear, not invisible!

5. Girls, wear clothes that fit you. You aren't doing anything for yourself if you're squeezing into something a size or two smaller than it should be. You're actually drawing comparisons to a stuffed sausage. Yeah. You don't want those comparisons. Just buy the size you need. You'll look thinner if your stuff fits. No one else will even see the size so don't worry about it.

6. Okay, the hair that's bleach blonde on the top and black or seriously dark brown on the bottom... I don't get it. Really. It just looks sloppy. I don't know anyone who can pull it off. It doesn't look good! Pick a color and get some highlights if you have to, but don't look like a skunk.

7. On the topic of hair, don't let someone cut your hair with a lawnmower. All those emo kids with the hair that's about ten different lengths? Yeah, bad hair. I honestly refer to them as "lawnmower haircuts" Just stop.

8. Keeping with the theme of emo, boys... *sigh*... your pants should not be tight enough that we can see your testicles. Your stick legs look ridiculous. What's really sad is when your legs look better in those pants than your emo girlfriend's legs do. Ouch. Or when people can't tell if you're a boy or a girl.

Okay, so I think I'm done for now. I'll inevitably come up with something else that I hate though. Because I seem to hate a lot.

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School

... I'm tired. And my feet hurt. I totally wore the wrong shoes today.

But it was still a good day. I love my master teacher. She's awesome. So cute, so nice, and I already got a ton of ideas from her for my classroom one day. We only have 29 students (for now) but when you're used to 33 or 34 (hello last two semesters) it feels small.

I have sixth grade. I don't remember being that small in sixth grade. Some of them look just like the fourth graders I had last year. They're... little. My sixth graders from after school program a few years ago seemed older. I don't mind it. At least I don't have any towering over me.

Funniest moment of the day: the teacher let the kids ask about what they were going to be doing during the year. One girl busted out with this deadly serious tone and expression, "Are we watching that sex video this year?" The two boys next to her turned bright red when they tried to not to die laughing. What sixth grader feels comfortable asking about the "sex video."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I'm thinking this could be a new "feature" on my blog. Because there are a lot of things that I can't believe I enjoy.

Like right now, I'm thrilled that Just Friends is on. I own it, got Tim to buy it without him ever having seen it. I die every time I see it.

Ryan Reynolds as a fat high schooler, hilarious. Especially when he sings I Swear? Oh lord, I come dangerously close to peeing my pants every time. And Forgiveness may just be the best song ever. haha...

So you haven't seen it? Go rent it or add it to your Netflix. It's totally stupid, but enjoyably so.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Quote of the week

John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, on global warming:

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming... it is a SCAM.

This made me laugh. Out loud. Tim read it to me so I had to look the guy up. I knew all those tree huggers were unnecessarily paranoid.

If you want more from John Coleman, go here.

This is absolutely ridonkulous

I am a member of online message boards. If any of you readers are you are undoubtedly familiar with the term "trolls." If you're not familiar with it I'll give you the quick definition.

A troll is a person who comes to a board with the sole purpose of annoying people or harassment. That's it in a nutshell.

Now I've seen some obnoxious trolls. But then I was linked to this article today.

That is beyond stupid. Really people, you're going to take harassment to the very edge? I gotta say, these people have the very worst part of hell reserved for them.

That's all. This article just angered me and I felt the need to let others read it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My day

No fun stories for you tonight. Just lettin' you know how my day was.

It was good. The end.

Juuuust kidding. It sucked. The end.

Okay yeah, I'm kidding again. I totally didn't want to get out of bed this morning. Sucks that I didn't start getting my body used to early mornings again. Ugh... not looking forward to waking up Monday. Anyway, finally dragged my butt out of bed and took a shower. Did my hair in my cute braids (I lurve them) and went to my grandma's house.

This is my mom's mom, grandma Karen. Every Friday, my aunt Kathy goes over and they make an awesome lunch that aunt Kathy takes to my uncle and his coworkers. So I visited last week and thought I'd stop by again today. It might help that grandma feeds us when we're there... So I hung out with everyone (my youngest cousin was there too, she's funny). We caught up on everything. Grandma told me about her doctor's appointment (she broke her arm a few weeks ago, but she's healing quite nicely). Kathy talked about the antics of her children (three birth, two step - it's a full house). I talked about Tim passing his test and me starting school again.

Okay random interruption. My aunt Kathy totally robbed the cradle with her second marriage. Okay, maybe not totally, but my uncle Gil is closer to Tim's age than he is to Kathy's. So they totally get along like best friends. I try to convince Tim to call him "uncle Gil" just to weird him out. So Tim ran into Gil and the kids at a sports store this week and apparently Gil was gushing when he got home (they haven't hung out in a while, but they used to all the time when I watched Kathy's kids). So when I walked into grandma's today, Kathy said, "Gil said he saw Tim this week. It was all he could talk about all day." I laughed and said, "Yeah, they're totally gay for each other." We cracked ourselves up. Okay, continuing with my day...

Just chatted at grandma's. Filled each other in on things we didn't know about. Then Kathy and my cousin left. I stuck with grandma for a bit and found out my mom had the day off. Grandma was going to stop by to see which paint looked better in the bathroom (that my mom just repainted recently, but that's another story) so I decided I would go to mom's instead of coming home to roast in my hot apartment.

Went to mom's. We caught up on stuff, talked about some issues that I needed an update on, discussed what her plans are for the house now that my brother and I are both out. Grandma finally came by and agreed with us that the darker paint was better. Then mom and I ran errands. She really had the errands, but asked if I wanted to go. So I did. We went to Home Depot to get more paint and then mom got a hankering to go to the nursery nearby. Okay, my mom is dangerous at nurseries. She loves her yard and could easily spend hours looking at all the plants, flowers, fountains and whatnot at this nursery. So I helped her pick out some plants for some new pots (which she didn't even have yet) and she even bought me some new plants in the process. I made sure they're low maintenance because I have not had good luck with the plants I do have. While we were there my master teacher called me...

Oh. My. God. This woman sounds so fun and cute! I'm so excited for Monday now! We chatted for a bit, decided what time I should go in on Monday, and I just love her already. So yeah, definitely excited for this semester.

Anyway, check out of the nursery and head for the grocery store. Well, since my mom loves being a mom she of course bought me some groceries while we were there. Yay for mom! Because my PG&E bill for the month had me a little worried... We picked up some late lunch from the prepared foods while we were there. And bought the planters she had already bought plants for. I gotta say, even though I don't live there anymore, I am damn proud of my mom's house and its potential. She puts a lot of work into it and it shows. So bought our stuff, and headed home. Ate our super late lunch and then my brother showed up. We got to visit with him for a while. Then my mom started to paint and I decided I should probably get home before Tim so I could put the groceries away.

Came home, put groceries away, sweated and cursed the heat, then Tim came home. And we've mostly been vegging. We actually sat in the bedroom and talked about our days for an hour (it's at least five degrees cooler in there) then came out here and vegged. I made dinner (Tim helped) and now we're continuing the vegging.

So a decent day. Relaxing and not boring. Good for my last day of vacation, even if I wasn't productive. Whatev. Productivity is overrated.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

School is back

And I'm kind of nervcited. Like my new word? You can guess which two words I blended together. I'm all about word coinage lately.

So yeah, nervcited. Went to a meeting/orientation today. Not bad, they fed us lunch. Free food is always appreciated by this grad student! I met my new mentor and found out a little about how my last semester is going to be.

That's right. This is my last semester. Monday will be my last first day of school as a student. My next first day will be as a teacher. Crazy, huh? I can't believe I'm finally going to be done!

So I found out what school I'm placed at and it's a short walk away from where my honey and my mom work. haha How does that work out? So we can carpool sometimes, which is always nice with today's ridonkulous gas prices. It's also the same layout as my first elementary school (I attended two) so it'll be a little deja vuish. I called the school today to try and talk to the teacher (they recommend we do that), but she wasn't in. But the secretary was super nice and said they were excited for us (there are two of us from my school coming) to be there on Monday! I like to hear things like that.

Orientation was also nice because I got to catch up with my friends. Turns out my friend, Raine (don't you love her name?), has worked with the teacher I got before. And she loved her. Also always a relief to hear. I wasn't dreading it or anything, but it's always good to hear that the teacher is easy to work with. Because this master teacher has some serious competition. My previous master teacher was great. His teaching style was really similar to what I already had in mind, he let me jump right in and work with the kids... he rocks. He was also the videographer for my wedding and told my mom and my husband how much he loved having me in class. Not trying to brag, but who wouldn't love hearing that from someone who's been teaching for a while? So it sounds like this teacher may be just as awesome. I also heard she's got a crazy good organization system, so I'll be taking notes! It just takes a little stress off me, which is nice.

So just thought I'd clue everyone in to what's going on with school. I seriously can't believe this is my last semester. It felt like it would never be here. But I'm ready. I think...

Last time I checked, that isn't how you compliment me.

Not in vanity, but in honesty here... I get hit on. It's not like I can't walk out of the house alone, but there seem to be spurts where it happens more often and I get seriously annoyed. Because someone needs to teach these manlets how to properly compliment a female.

Example of a not-skeezy encounter: this happened... oh, years ago. Tim and I were already together and for some reason I was wearing a fake diamond on my ring finger. I thought I was clever and I liked it. Anyway, go to the bank one day, go inside, and a guy holds the door for me as I walk out. I thank him (my mom taught me properly) and he says, "Every nice looking woman deserves to have the door held for her." I thanked him again and he talked to me for a second. Then (and this was tried casually) asked if I was free for lunch as he was on his lunch break. I thanked myself for wearing a fake ring and said I was engaged. He said, "Well I hope I didn't offend you. You tell your fiance he is a very lucky man." He told me to have a nice day and walked away. Polite (if a little fast on the lunch date) and didn't use stupid words or phrases to say he appreciated how I looked.

Now some typical failures: these are just random but have happened more than once. Whistling. What? I'm a dog that needs to be called to you? No, so quit your stupid whistling. Staring at me for a really long time and turning it into one of those dirty leers. Ew. I know what's going on in your head. And just so you know, if I had a bottle of bleach, it would be splashed in your eyeballs and I would be at home taking a rape shower (not a literal rape shower, just that shower that you need because you feel gross, you know that feeling).

So the worst of the worst? Stupid slang terms. "Boo" and "shorty" are not terms of endearment boys. They are stupid slang words that the majority of us find moronic, at best. Ya know what? I don't even like hearing "baby." Unless it's from hubby. Point is, this will not work: slowing down your car and leaning out the window to shout, "Hey shorty, what's up? You lookin' good." Any variation of those words are equally as bad. If you think I'm pretty and can't come up with a good way to say it, maybe you should shut up. If you're going to make pervert eyes at me, prepare to be burned at the stake (in my head) or confronted if you do it at the wrong time or when I'm with the wrong people.

I leave you with another story of successful flattery. From a first grader. That's right, his dad taught him right. About three years ago I worked for an after school program in the "bad" part of town. Really though, the statistics for this area are bad and we got walked to our cars if we left late. So as my students were leaving my classroom to go to their next section, I had a first grader ask me, "Miss Ashley, are you going to marry your boyfriend?" I told him we would get married one day. He said, "Good. You're too pretty and nice not to get married. You tell your boyfriend he's a lucky man."

I think the first grader made me blush. I told his dad about it and he laughed. I guess the kid had a little bit of a crush. I still think about how stinkin' cute that was.

So how about it men? Care to start teaching these boys and manlets some real manners?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Shout out, and some randomness

So Tim and I went to see our wedding photographer today, Mariano, to approve our album. And I totally found out Mariano reads my blog. So shout out to Mariano!!! BTW, if you haven't checked out his site, go down to my section of links that starts with "I heart." And he's right there, Mariano - Photography. Check out his blog for updates of his work. I really do heart him and his work.

So anywho, my mother-in-law decided she was going to take everyone out as a kind of back to school thing. This is a big production. Because there's her and her husband, her four kids, her kid-in-law (me, duh), and her six grandchildren. So we went to Chuck E. Cheese. Thrills... NOT. We went to the one near my apartment, and sorry if I sound snobbish, but that one in particular tends to be a little ghetto. I haven't been in... twenty years or so? Something like that, so I knew it would be semi-interesting.

So highlight was that we didn't have to pay for dinner (always good when you're currently paycheck to paycheck) and I got to see all my nieces and nephews. That almost never happens. My newest niece, Willow, is only two and a half months. So stinkin' cute! And she smiles for me. I like to think I'm her favorite. Her brother, Talan, used to hate everyone that wasn't his mom or grandma. I'm not kidding, he would scream bloody murder if me or Tim or anyone else picked him up. Thankfully he's over that, so we actually managed to have fun with him. Then there's Beth's four, who are like my own anyway, so of course we had fun.

They have one of those photo booths that isn't actually a photo booth. It takes your picture and then "sketches" it so you end up with what looks like a drawing. Beth and I got Tad and took a picture. Then Beth said, "It looks like he has two mommies." So the lesbian jokes continued for a couple minutes. We do that a lot, I'm not sure Tim is too comfortable with it, haha. Then Tim and I took one with Tad that turned out super cute, except that Tim's shirt matched the background so he looks like a floating head. I'd post, but I don't have a scanner. Then we laughed and started calling them our ghetto family portraits.

So the real ghettoness? Beth went outside for a smoke and this group of four guys came by. Surprisingly didn't call her stupid names that are meant to be endearing (I could write a blog about those, wait, maybe I will!), but they were obviously talking about fighting with someone. Aaaand one pulls a gun from his waistband, messes with it, and sticks it down in his sock.


Of course Tim scolded Beth for not going inside and calling the cops. I would have done the same thing. But Beth has unfortunately dated these types and always tries not to get involved because of the whole "retaliation" thing they always have going.

But thankfully the night ended uneventfully. The kids added up all the tickets they (and we) won, bought cheesy toys and candy, and everyone headed home.

One more random thing for today... Tim passed his test for his radiography license!!! He wanted to throw up when it was all said and done. We're both super relieved. Now he can start looking for a "real" job as he puts it. And we can start a real savings for our house. Yay!!!

So if anyone wants to take us out for a celebratory beer, give us a call. We're in.

More family stories

Time for round two! I may find these more amusing than you do, but I'm going to write it all out anyway.

We went to Alabama last summer. My mom, my brother, Glenda and her kids, Brenda, and me. There was a family reunion and we were the "ones from California." There were lots of little things going on during the trip.

When we got into Alabama we rented a van and drove down to Greenville (where grandpa lives). Seven people and all their luggage (packed for almost a week) crammed into a van. But it worked. I think one of my butt cheeks went numb at one point, but we were good. We played movie quote games to kill time. We commented on how dark and woodsy it was on the route we took. Which prompted Micah to laugh about what her dad told them before they left. He told Glenda, "No shortcuts. You saw The Hills Have Eyes. You know what will happen." We got a good laugh out of that.

Then there were the hundred trips to Wal-Mart. I'm not kidding. We went three times in one day. I thought the greeters would be on a first name basis with us by the end of the trip.

On one trip we decided to go find some alcohol. Grandpa doesn't just not drink, he disapproves of it. So we couldn't drink at his house. But mom, Glenda, Micah and I were staying at a hotel so we could have alcohol. Brenda was jealous (she stayed at grandpa's) so she got a bottle of wine during one of our trips. And had my brother sneak it into the house in his backpack. We were laughing so hard. Especially when she told us the next day that she hid in her room and drank the whole bottle already. Then she had to sneak it out to the trash. I almost peed my pants laughing right there.

My brother and Carson (Micah's brother, Glenda's son) spontaneously burst out into song or scenes from Will Ferrell movies. They do it all the time. But in Alabama they were cracking us up. Whenever we went anywhere we had to cram eight people into the van because we took grandpa with us. Yes, eight people in a van for seven. Carson sat on the floor. So one of their random songs was about how "Mexican" we are by putting too many people in the van. I wish we could have recorded them singing it. They ad lib everything. They should have a TV show.

I was constantly trying to steal Micah's peanut butter m&m's. Constantly. We had a little war going, it was great.

Oh, and I have to mention the GINORMOUS cockroaches! Yeah. Grossness. But Brenda totally freaked out about them. And we laughed. In fact, one night she screamed bloody murder and scolded Nick and Carson for not "coming to her rescue." Yeah, we teased her relentlessly for that one...

At the reunion we met cousins I didn't know I had. I loved them. And my cousin Angie gets a couple honorable mentions here...

Angie was reading the last Harry Potter book. Just sitting there, not paying attention to anything else, nose to the book. Micah and I had finished it and she looked at me and said, "How mean would it be if we walked by and talked about how depressed we are that Harry died?" I laughed, but there's no way we would actually do it.

Then later, Angie's mom was talking to my mom. I walked over and Angie was standing there. She looked at me and said, "Y'all are from California?" In her adorable Southern twang. I nodded and she got this look like she was meeting someone who's been to outer space and asked, "What's it like?" I died right there at the cuteness. I tell her on myspace all the time that she needs to convince her mom that they need to visit. It's looking like that may be a possibility next summer. Yay!

So Alabama was an interesting time for my family. There are tons more stories to tell (like the video store that was also a tanning salon), but this is what you get today.

Look for part three coming another day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Really China? Really??

I haven't followed the Olympics much, but I have heard and read enough to start thinking that maybe we shouldn't have given China the honor of hosting the games.

I mean, come on. Who thought it was a good idea to send representatives and athletes from all over the world to one of the MOST repressive countries in existence? So I give you evidence of their assholery.

The little girl "singing" in the opening ceremonies? Lip synching! Because the girl with the good voice wasn't cute enough for the country's standards. Way to look like human beings China. Now you just look douchey. Here's the article.

Then there's the fact that in China "their internet is slow" so even though they promised the media freedom when they put in their bid, hmmm, some websites are blocked. Shaaaady. You can read a blurb about that here.

Wait, we can't forget about the disgusting air over there. We're not supposed to exercise outside on bad air days and these poor athletes are expected to perform at peak levels? That's definitely not a good thing. And here's an article concerning that.

Those are just my random observations. You can argue that there will be problems anywhere you go. But really China? You're going to be your oppressive bully self at a time like this? Have fun. Hopefully they'll be more selective in their next choices.

*hee hee*

So I lurk on The Knot. Frequently. And some of the girls on there crack me up. I had to share this with you. The girls were talking about cute babies and someone posted pictures of hers. Another girl declared that the pictures were so cute she just had an "ovary rumble."

Love it. I try not to get ovary rumbles. I have nieces and nephews to keep me busy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New Theory

I have found the cause of global warming people. Me. A grad student with no science background.

Wanna hear it?

People are stupid. So God decided, "Let there be global warming."

My rationale: people interfere with nature thinking that they are doing good. Take the California Condors. They're going extinct. Read here:

Now, after reading the article you see the problem right? Let's go back to the part where these wild animals depend on man-made feeding stations. You see the problem right? Oh wait, but they can't even breed without help.

This classifies the animal as stupid. Wasn't the dodo stupid? And it died. We didn't use a buttload of money to save them. But we're looking at our state facing a severe budget deficit, and we're spending money on these birds that are obviously too stupid to survive. Are we going to continue this crap?

So God got pissed. He's seen the uselessness of this bird and decided to let it go extinct. But those stupid humans... geez. So He gave us global warming.

Let the animals go extinct. There's a reason for it. Ever heard of natural selection?

My family

So this has come up in discussion more than once. I think there are a total of four "normal" people in my family. This includes both sides. And only the generation of my parents. As far as my cousins go... well, more of us are normal I guess.

I think.

Hell, I don't know! Maybe we're all nuts! haha

My mom's parents are split now. But they have four daughters together. Four girls growing up together = insanity. They still tell stories about growing up. Like when Kathy (the youngest) was always picked on. Or they would make her do things by threatening to not play Barbies with her. Brenda (the oldest) was always the goody two shoes. They still laugh about that. My mom was the next oldest, and as far as I know she was the one who was the most normal. Although I'm sure there are stories I haven't been told... Glenda was next and she was the tomboy. If you messed with her sisters, Glenda would seriously hurt you. And I already mentioned Kathy. She was totally mommy's girl.

My grandpa told me a story about the girls growing up. He had a rule that only three boys at a time could visit. The way he tells it, three boys would come and visit on the porch, then hop on their bikes and leave. A few minutes later three different boys would show up and visit for a while. Meanwhile the first group would be riding around waiting for it to be "their turn" again. I died laughing when grandpa told me that. Of course my mom claims not to remember it. But I believe it. My mom and aunts were quite the popular ones in high school. The boys looooved them.

Then there's my dad's side.

For starters, my grandma's house is totally haunted. Which deserves a blog of it's own one day. (Note to self: blog about grandma's.) But grandma Ophie and grandpa Felix have four kids too. First was my uncle Tim, then dad, then Judie, then Sam.

Wanna hear something funny? My uncle Tim married my aunt Glenda. So their kids are my double cousins. And we totally look like siblings ourselves.

So uncle Tim and my dad were the interesting ones (not to mention possibly the most sane) in the family. And being boys, they did some stupid stuff as kids. My personal favorite it throwing darts at each other. Well, not at each other. But they used to sit across from each other against walls, then throw darts to see who could get closest to the head without actually hitting each other.

Okay, maybe they weren't sane then, but they are now. I promise.

Dad told me that his friends had a van and that one night they stole some oranges from an orchard and loaded the back of the van. Then proceeded to ride around throwing oranges. And laughing when they exploded in the street. Boys are dumb.

Oh, and I can't forget that Judie confessed to throwing hot dogs at the hookers downtown. Because, ya know, they just wanted a weiner.

Oh yeah, mom hit dad the first time she met him. Because she thought he was talking bad about one of her sisters.

And my parents are actually high school sweethearts. They started dating... junior year? But mom broke up with dad on Valentine's Day. Maybe that's where I get my evilness... then she dated some goofy lookin' guy until she got back together with my dad.

And my aunt Glenda used to date my stepfather-in-law. Yup. They broke up right after I was born. Scariest part? There's a picture somewhere of him holding me as a baby. I was so weirded out when I found out they used to date.

Somehow, between my parents and my six aunts and uncle, I think half of my hometown knows me. In high school I was always afraid to try and get away with stuff because someone they know might be around.

So that's a little about my family. And those are all old stories. I have newer ones that I'll share another time. They're so much better when they're told though. I don't know if you can really appreciate them fully unless you hear them told by the people who were involved.

I can't wait to have kids and add to the craziness. Someday.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I'm totally gonna date myself here, but I played Oregon Trail in elementary school. And loved it.

Well guess what people? I finally found an online version!!!

I'm totally third in the top ten scores. No one in my party died. Go play and enjoy feeling like a kid again.

My grandma's house

My grandma's house is haunted.

I don't know if anyone knows for sure when it started. But here's my best attempt at explaining what I know.

This is the house my dad's family grew up in. Grandma and Grandpa got it built for them. It was their first house. The kids grew up in it, all of us grandkids have spent time in it. So there's no story about a burial ground or previous owners. Sorry.

The first story I heard about was a photo. I wish I had it to scan in here, but I don't. They periodically lose it over there. Then it resurfaces and I never get a copy. Next time I swear I'm going to. Anyway, the photo is taken one Christmas eve. I don't think I was born yet. So let's just call it 1980. Give or take a year. The picture is of my mom, dad, and uncle Tim sitting together. When you walk into the house the whole wall to your left is covered with 12"x12" mirrors. They're sitting so you can kind of see the mirrors on the left of the picture. Well, in the picture, right in the mirror, you can see a face. Not like a reflection of someone, a face that doesn't look like anyone we know. It's not the flash, it's not a reflection, I've taken pictures in that spot to try and make it happen again. I've played with the lights, nothing. There is just a face of someone/something in that photo. To my knowledge it has never showed up in another photo. And like I said, I've tried.

All four of the kids (my dad and his siblings) have had the same experience. They wake up, at night or during a nap, and feel pressure on their chest. Only on their chest, like someone is sitting on it. This isn't a constant occurance, but it has happened more than once to all of them. Then it will suddenly go away. I'm not sure if it has happened randomly while they are awake. I know for sure when they are sleeping though. Not the most convincing evidence ever for ya, but I had to share.

Then there's grandma and my late great aunt's story. I never got to hear aunt Sylvia tell it, but my grandma isn't the hysterical type to make crap up so I'll believe her anyway. When the house was still relatively new, Grandpa's sister, Sylvia, and her husband, Raymond (we call him Bert), came to visit a lot. The four were close. So aunt Sylvia came over one day and she and grandma dyed her hair. Grandpa and uncle Bert went off on some errand while they did this. The story goes that aunt Sylvia went to the bathroom to rinse her hair and while her head was in the sink she felt someone come in the bathroom. She picked her head up and no one was there. But she was sure someone had come in. So she yelled for my grandma. Grandma comes in and Sylvia starts to tell her what she felt and they both stopped talking and felt uncomfortable. Grandma said that she felt like someone was in there too. So they started to get scared. But when they turned to the door they were frozen. They just couldn't move. Grandma said it felt like the were glued to their spot. They were both crying and finally Grandma grabbed my aunt Sylvia's hand and forced herself to run out the door. She said it was really hard to run, but they ran out the back door into the back yard. They were fine, but they started feeling like someone was trying to push or pull them back into the house. They were still crying and didn't know what to do so they ran out front and sat on the curb. Sat there and cried until Grandpa and uncle Bert came home. They went in the house and there was nothing wrong. They haven't felt anything else like that in the house, but Grandma still can tell you all about it.

Then there was another great aunt (I think she's my great aunt) who stayed at the house while she was in town one time.

Karma and general angry ramblings...

I don't want to air my dirty laundry here, so I won't. But I have to vent something. It'll be short since I can't give details. And please don't message me or email me for details. This is all anyone gets to know. This is a serious family matter.

Karma is a bitch. Common saying, right? Well, at this point I have never hoped it's true more than I do right now.

I have two people who deserve to rot in jail (or hell for that matter) in mind. Are they there? Nope. All because there is someone entirely too compassionate behind them. Can I change the mind of that compassionate person? I can only hope that somebody can.

I have reached the point where I'm so angry all I can do is shake. And I can't even come up with any good solutions. Because there is no reason any of this crap should be happening. It just doesn't happen to people I know. Or that's how I feel.

So what do you do when it's beyond your control? Well, right now I'm waiting for the whole group to step in. Things have reached the point that they can't be ignored anymore. But I'm not the most patient person in the world. I want action now. But it can't happen yet. This is going to require so much work. And all just before I start school. How does it always pick up when I'm going to be the busiest I've been in my life?

Sorry this is so random and not fun, readers. I just need to throw everything out, ya know? Even if it does read like word vomit. My mini therapy until it comes up again (which will probably be later today). Maybe I should go jog it off. Nah, it's already too warm. I need a punching bag... although Tim did talk about going to shoot some clay pigeons tomorrow (it'll be my first time).

Whatever happens, I need prayer from those of you who pray. Just pray for the sanity, health, and decisions that my family needs to make. I need people to get smart in this family. There comes a point where blood does NOT run thicker than water, and I think we're there. So please, prayers and good vibes. We definitely need them.

And I can't ask you enough NOT to call me or message me privately. I'm not gonna spill it. So please, just don't.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I want...

I'm not a big fan of cooking. But I am a huge fan of baking. I'm not sure when it started. I know I made cookies for holidays in high school sometimes. Maybe that's when it started.

Tim and I bake every Christmas. I make my grandma's sugar cookies and a few other things that I enjoy. Tim makes fudge and his grandma's peanut brittle. It's a big thing that usually takes a couple days with all the prep, baking, cooling, and frosting. But I enjoy it. Until my back starts to hurt. Then I just get annoyed and have to take a break.

My other big thing is cupcakes. I can do cakes, but there's something about cupakes that is so much more fun for me. I do eyeballs and spiderwebs every Halloween. This year I'm contemplating throwing a new design in there. I have plenty of ideas, just have to narrow it down...

When I bake it isn't just one quick swipe of frosting either. I decorate. I like to challenge myself to do better than my last batch. And I try to take pictures of everything. For myself. Unless anyone was actually crazy enough to pay me for my stuff. I'd totally do it on the side of teaching. It's super easy! And I actually have fun with it.

So now I want to do it more often. It's been on my mind the past couple days. I love this stuff. I think I'm going to make some for Tim's work on Friday. Those will be awesome... I don't want to give it away but I'll post some pictures. And then I want another excuse to bake. I have the perfect summer cupcakes sitting in my head. Eventually I'd love to get into fondant so my designs can get crazier... but that will be a while. I need a bigger kitchen first!

So here's a link to some of my pictures. It's an album on myspace and I'll add to it as I keep making stuff. And of course post pictures here.

So, anyone lazy enough to pay me to make cupcakes for their next party?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Let's get something straight here

I never followed the story because I had better things to do. But I'm going to go ahead and throw my opinion out there.

The "pregnant man" who got on Oprah and everything... NOT a man. Sorry people. This is no miracle. It's a woman who wants to be a man. Huge difference.

I give you an excerpt of a New York Times article printed in June:

Mr. Beatie does not have a penis; his clitoris was surgically reconfigured to mimic a phallus. And the person born in Hawaii in 1974 as Tracy Lagondino also altered his body with chest reconstruction surgery, took bimonthly testosterone injections for years to suppress feminine sex characteristics, grew a beard and saw his hairline change. Like many transmen, he chose not to remove his female reproductive organs.

Well look at that. A woman with a uterus and a stretched out clitoris gave birth. So unusual isn't it? Gimme a break. It's ridonkulous that we even give this woman all the media attention we have. That's why this will be the only time I post about this. Just had to express a little frustration at the stupidity about all this. When a man who had a penis at birth gets pregnant, then let's put him on Oprah.

Really Target? Really?

Soooo... I usually love Target commercials. But that could be because I love Target with every fiber of my being.

So imagine my dismay today when I did not enjoy a commercial. I actually was annoyed by it to be honest. Why you ask? Did they offend me? No.

They used the Jonas Brothers to sing the song and star in the commercial.

Really Target?

Now you might be thinking, how are the Jonas Brothers any different than the High School Musical kid? Um, they're HUGELY different. The Jonas Brothers have become ubiquitous. And I don't understand it.

They appeared on Dancing With the Stars last season. Perez Hilton has this annoying obsession with them and posts about them almost daily. They were in that lame-o movie Camp Rock. And sorry, but I just don't get what's so great about them. They're odd looking and not attractive (go ahead and wish bad things on me Angie, but they aren't).

So really Target? You had to buy into the hype and shove them down our throats more??? Ugh. I'd break up with you, but we both know I'll be back. Your dollar bins, your cute clothes, your great prices... *sigh* But you will be sleeping on the couch for a few nights.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I've created a monster

So I got up this morning and I'm just vegging, getting ready to do some dishes when I hear quacking. Really. Loud. Quacking. And peeps.

I walk to my sliding glass door and there's my ducks from yesterday. Mom's waiting (not so patiently) and yelling for me to come feed her.


I didn't feel like it at the moment because my pajamas are not... well they just aren't something you wear outside. So I ignored her. She came back three times (that I noticed) throughout the day. I think I have a pet.

So I went out tonight before dinner to feed her and the little ones. Just like last night. At least if I go out at the same time I might be able to establish some sort of feeding time. Are ducks smart enough to figure that out? Anywho, when I went out she only had two babies with her. Now I'm kind of freaking out. If some damn stray apartment cat got the third... well, I have ways to deal with cats. We'll leave it at that. Hopefully baby number three will be back tomorrow. Otherwise I might be just a little bit sad.

And if anyone has stale bread (not moldy) send it my way. Those featherheads finished my tortillas.

Another confession

Hi, my name is Ashley and I am an adult who loves High School Musical.

Laugh, call me lame, do what you will. I tried to fight it, but the movies are just good. I'm a sucker for musicals anyway. No I don't think Zac Efron is in the least bit cute. I just like the movies.

I watch the trailers for the third movie and can't wait for October. I'm going to take my niece so I have a good excuse to go. My mom wants to go with us too. Actually, I'm at the point where I would probably go see it anyway, even without my niece.

So there ya go. I'm one of the old folks that likes those movies.

Monday, August 4, 2008

My ducks are Mexican

Our apartment complex has ducks. There's water features all over the complex and there are a ton of ducks wandering around. Sometimes you have to stop for them crossing the street. When we moved in back at the beginning of May there were ducklings everywhere. I was way excited about this. Who doesn't love baby animals?! The very first night we stayed here we woke up in the morning to hear baby ducks outside. We happen to have a little pond right off our back patio. Of course I was totally stoked to show my nephew the ducks. We feed them at least once when he stays here.

Well, I was disappointed because the babies started growing up and Tim said we probably wouldn't get any more last month. So this afternoon I'm in my living room and I hear the little "peep peep" of babies. I went outside and there was mom with three ducklings! Tiny ones, smaller than the palm of my hand. I promptly texted Tim, who was probably amused at my girliness.

So later they came to visit me again and the mom was being super loud. When I walked outside she swam right up to my patio so I assumed she wanted me to feed her. I went in to get tortillas since they're kind of old anyway and I should find something to do with them.

Well, the mom went to town. See her waiting in the background of the picture below? Every time I stopped throwing pieces she yelled at me. Loudly.

So I proceeded to sit there tearing up the tortillas into tiny pieces. I made some super tiny pieces for the little fuzzballs. The mom was almost up on my patio a couple times, but she wouldn't actually come through the railing.

There's my ducks (as my nephew says) eating their tortillas. They really liked it. So they have to be Mexican.

And here's a closer shot of my babies. I really want to catch the yellow one and keep him in my bathtub for a while. Or just hold him. I'd be fine with that too. I used to carry around the spring chicks at Tim's house too. Because they're just so damn fluffy!

So there ya go, my ducks. If you don't hear from me for a few days it's because the temptation was too great and I tried to grab the ducklings, resulting in some nipped fingers. :)

For wedding guests...

So there was an article on Yahoo about what not to do at weddings, and I just wanted to throw in my own two cents. Go ahead and call me a brat or worse for giving you suggestions on how to behave, but I guarantee you most brides today wish they could tell their guests some of this stuff ahead of time.

1. Turn off your flippin' phone. Seriously. No one wants to hear your phone ringing (even if it's a song at the top of the chart) during the ceremony. Or during the bride and groom's first dance, or any other time. If you're that important, at least put it on vibrate.

2. Pay attention to the names on the invitation. Those are the people who are invited. If your precious "angels" aren't listed, find a sitter for one night. If that's impossible, PLEASE don't call and ask if you can bring them. Please. No bride (or groom, or family member) likes to be the one put on the spot. Just RSVP with your regrets and don't take it personal. Weddings are not circuses, or zoos, or carnivals. Children will get bored.

3. Don't ask the happy couple (or their families) how much everything cost. It's just rude. Speculate on your way home if you must, but don't come out and ask.

4. If you respond that you will attend, please try to attend. Yes, things happen that are beyond our control. But just because you're having a fat day is not an excuse. Being irritated at your spouse for not cleaning the bathroom is also a lame excuse. Just try.

5. Don't try to steal the show. This should be a no-brainer, but I've heard stories. Ladies, leave your white dresses at home. Even black is acceptable now, so there's no reason to wear white. Also, put your boobs away. This isn't a singles bar. Gentlemen, could you leave the jeans at home for one night? Dressing nice is your own little way of showing that you care enough to put in some effort for this huge occasion.

6. Watch your alcohol intake. I know some sloppy drunks. I would be horrified if I had to deal with them at my wedding. Thankfully there was only our semi-retarded black sheep and I didn't have to deal with her. Anyway, just don't drink that much! The only exception to this is if a good portion of the other guests are also wasted. Then no one will notice at least, haha. But really, know your limits. You don't want to end up being "that guy" that groped the mother of the bride. Or "that girl" that tried to make out with the best man in the kitchen.

7. Keep the snarkiness put away for the evening. So you don't get along with some of the other guests normally? Get over it for the night. Think your wedding or your daughter's wedding was prettier/nicer/more fun? Don't say anything out loud. Weddings aren't the place for family drama or catty attitudes. Let the couple have their day without all these issues.

8. This is a "controversial" topic, but I'm going to mention it for the sake of all the brides that think it. When shopping for the couple, buy off their gift registries. Sure there are people who know the bride and groom well enough to get something totally them that isn't on their registry, but you should be absolutely positive they'll love it. And please, when shopping off a registry, turn in the printout to the cashier so the items can be marked. Five sets of baking pans are a bit excessive.

9. This isn't so much a guest problem as it is a suggestion to everyone who knows an engaged couple. Never ask if you're invited before the invitations go out. Just don't. It's awkward if they weren't planning on inviting you. I got some of those (also heard were, "So I'm invited, right?" or "I can't wait to get my invitation."). Do you know how hard it is to be put on the spot? So don't. Please.

10. If there ever is some problem, whether you got married and the couple doesn't know it or you have some other question about the wedding, call or email the parents or couple directly. Don't go through extended family members. I ended up with some nice drama because someone brought something up with my aunt instead of me or my mom.

11. Last one. RSVP. On time. Please! Nothing sucks more than trying to track down the people who didn't respond. I would much rather get some "no" responses than have to track people down all over again. They're stamped and ready to go, so take the one minute to check yes or no and choose your meal. Thanks.

So there ya go wedding guests. Don't pull a party foul.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Ph.D. in Horribleness...

So if you're one of the cool kids, you've seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog by now. And if you're not cool... then I guess you better run over to so you can catch up with everyone. But really, I am pretty much in love with this mini movie/musical.

It stars NPH. And Nathan Fillion. And if you don't know who they are... I've lost faith in you. *sigh* Joss Whedon came up with it during the writers' strike, and it is gloriousness. Pure and simple. I've watched it twice in the past three days I think. It just makes me smile.

Now if you haven't seen it, go away and read this when you come back. There are some people who have actually said it sucks. Um, NO. Joss Whedon wrote this thing and called up the people he wanted. And they did it. All on Whedon's cash. I'm not some Buffy freak who worships the ground he walks on. I never really got into the show actually. So I'm not giving you some biased review.

The songs are great. I get them stuck in my head. I even went to download them so I can have them until the soundtrack is released (and yes, it will be). Actually, I'm at the point where I'm not sure if it's the song writing or the delivery that gets me. I heart NPH. I'm a little sad that he's gay. Cuz if he weren't he'd totally be on my list. Every song he does = FANTASTIC. Especially the finale. Excellent and I can't describe it any better than that. Nathan Fillion is perfectly cocky as Captain Hammer. Not to mention he gets the best line ever. I will probably watch it again tomorrow. It's a nice way to kill some time.

So on a completely different note: I'm in love with James Franco in these Pineapple Express trailers. Makes me miss the days when I hung out with potheads. He gets the stupid, vacant look perfectly. I wanna make out with him. But I doubt I'll see the movie. Maybe, maybe, when it comes out on DVD. Because I just don't love Seth Rogen.

So the moral of today's story is: Watch Dr. Horrible. Friend the blog on myspace. And love James Franco in all his stoner fabulosity.