Me Monday: Cars & Skateboards Do Not Mix.

Hello everyone.

It’s now Tuesday, but I like to live on the edge. Moving on.

Today’s tale takes place back when I was around… 21ish. Back in the lazy days of summer.

This is another story of dumb decisions.

I was hanging out with my friend Lindsay (you’ve met her before herehere, & here).

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And we were just hanging around her house, driving around, taking walks around the neighborhood, watching TV – the usual lazy stuff.

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So after a bit of joyriding, Lindsay and I were heading back to her parents’ house to hang out some more.

Her parents house is at the top of a rather large hill. As we were driving up the hill, Lindsay’s brother, Brett, was skateboarding around with some friends at the bottom of the hill.

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I am about 90% certain that this was after I broke my elbow – and my arm was in a huge cast. And I was driving my (manual, stick-shift) car. So there’s that.

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All three of us (Lindsay, Brett & myself) were fairly free-spirited and liked to get in a good laugh. (And from what you’ve read about Lindsay and I before – we clearly never thought things through 100% of the time.)

Anyway. There Lindsay and I were in my Red 1997 Honda Civic.

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(Mine looked a little different than this but you get the idea. Fun fact: my little brother still drives this car. 19 years and still going!)

We stopped to chat with Brett for a second before driving back up the hill to Lindsay’s house.

As we were pulling away, Brett says, “Hey, I don’t want to walk all the way up the hill. Let me just hang onto the back of your car and ride up on my skateboard.”

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(Back to the Future style.)

Lindsay and I think, “Alright. Couldn’t hurt.”

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I make sure to go extra slow because I am NOT trying to kill this kid. I’m only creeping up the hill at maybe 10-15 MPH. And everything is going fine. He’s hanging onto the back and gliding up the hill like a magnificent gazelle.

BUT THEN.

I look into my rearview mirror to check on him, and I see him TRYING TO COME AROUND THE SIDE OF THE CAR SO HE CAN RIDE NEXT TO THE DRIVER’S SIDE OPEN WINDOW. WHILE THE CAR IS MOVING.

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I can literally see this accident about to happen. I’m watching it with my own two eyes. I try to slow down the car to a stop, but we are halfway up the hill and I don’t want to bump him off of the car and then he flies backwards into the abyss. Lindsay and I are like “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!???”

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Brett is on his skateboard, and as he’s trying to climb his way up around to the side of the car – his foot collides with the back tire.

AND THEN.

I feel the car go over a large lump and then a loud “OUCH! AHH!”.

I immediately stop the car and we jump out – Brett is on the ground and YES, PEOPLE, I HAVE RUN OVER THIS KIDS FOOT WITH MY CAR.

Lindsay and I are simultaneously screaming and laughing as we check on Brett. He was fine. Probably had a bruised foot but hey. As Lindsay’s dad always used to say:

“The stupid shall be punished.” – Lindsay’s dad.

I’ll never forget running into Lindsay’s house and yelling to her mom, “I JUST RAN OVER BRETT WITH MY CAR!!!” and the look on her face OMG. I felt like such a jerk hahahaha.

He totally would have made it up the hill completely unscathed had he just stayed put on at the back, too. So, as far as Lindsay and I are concerned – the fault this time lies 75% with Brett and 25% with us. Right?

Interestingly enough, this is only 1/3 out of the series where I hit things with my car. LOL.

Stay tuned!

xx Ashley

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Me Monday Series: Roaring Rapids

Happy Monday!

I’ve mentioned before how I used to live in Richmond VA & attended VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) many moons ago.

Near campus is the James River – and Belle Isle. People like to go there during the summer heat and swim around in the water and lay out on the big rocks near the shore.

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(It actually looks kinda dumpy here but it was cute. Maybe it was also kinda dumpy, too. But that’s just good ole Richmond charm for ya.)

Anyway so right after I moved there, one weekend my two roommates Peggy & Autumn and a group of other friends decided to take the day and go hang out by the water.

There was a particular part of the river that had a huge jump-off rock with a deep pool underneath to jump into.

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There was also a part of the rapids that allowed you to jump off of the rock and into a channel of water that brought you under and then down farther down the river.

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(That swirling part on the bottom is where you jumped in. Yes. Absolutely terrifying, you’re right.)

On this particular day, the water was extremely rough. Very fast-moving and very strong.

I, am not a very strong swimmer. I can swim. But, not very well against a particularly strong current. So I should have been smarter and just stayed on the rocks.

Should. Have.

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I’m usually fairly cautious when it comes to this kind of stuff. I try not to put myself into fairly clear dangerous situations.

Usually I’m like,

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( I’m kind of a old fuddy-duddy like that.)

Instead, that day I was bit by the “adventure” bug. The, “Oh! I’m young and free and should be doing wild and crazy stuff! Allow me to jump off these rocks into a swirling river current that leads into an even larger body of water somewhere who knows where! Vamos everybody!”

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The thing was – in order to get to the big rock that allowed you to jump off, you needed to first swim across a large part of the river. Because the large jumping rock was smack dab in the middle of the dang river.

I thought, “Oh, no big deal. I can do this.”

I started across with my roommate’s boyfriend – who was probably about 125 lbs soaking wet – and we knew right away that we were in trouble. We tried to cross the river holding onto some of the smaller rocks, but obviously the farther in we got, the stronger the current was.

Eventually, we got about halfway between the shore and the big jumping rock. We were both clinging to this smaller rock with the jaws of life.

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(Me.)

We were terrified of letting go, because we most definitely would be swept away in the current, into a very large portion of rocky rapids ahead.

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Felt like they looked like this.

But they probably were more along the lines of this:

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Whatever. Still scary.

One of my roommates – Autumn – is already on the big jumping rock and is yelling at me to continue over to her.

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My other roommate – Peggy – was on the shore, screaming at me to ABORT. ABORT. GET BACK TO SHORE IMMEDIATELY.

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Alas, I am stuck on the rock.

This is another one of those stories where I should have known better than to do something that I am clearly not prepared for.

It’s pretty clear at this point that the only way I’m leaving the rock that I’m clinging to is to literally let go and let the river take me where it may – and pray that I can swim towards the shore at some point down farther.

A friend on the shore yells out to me, “Hey! Just let go and the water is going to take you down the smallish rapids ahead. Just float on your back and let the water guide you down into the wading part.”

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So, I let go.

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I let go of the rock and the water takes me quickly. Along the way, my friend Peggy is trying to reach out and grab me from shore, but she’s still too far away.

So I brace myself for impact with the rocky rapids ahead of me. I try to grab onto any kind of rock along the way that I can – but there is too much moss n’ junk all over them and they are too slippery to hold onto.

I fall down the rapids and though it hurts – it’s not too bad. I think, “Okay! At least the worst is over! Now I can swim back to shore!”

Nope. Now the water is getting deep, as well as fast. I just keep floating down the river. I look up and the rock shore is super close but I’m going too fast still to grab it.

People are legit just watching me float down in amusement. I’m literally yelling out, “HELP. ME.”

And the people on shore are like,

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Meanwhile all my friends are watching like,

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The big problem that is because I was struggling so much before to grab onto other rocks and swim horizontally – I’m exhausted and don’t have a lot of strength left.

Finally I see a man and his family sitting on the shore near enough to me and I reach out and am like, “I. NEED. HELP. GRAB. ME.” and he finally recognizes that I’m not joking and runs over and pulls me out of the water.

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(It felt a little like this, tbh.)

When I’m finally up and out of the water I look across the river to my friends and yell a bunch of mean things and then vow to never get into that river. Ever. Again.

I’m fairly scratched up but otherwise fine. Notably shaken and also slightly mortified, but fine.

I literally have NO IDEA what happened to my friend’s boyfriend who was clinging to the rock with me, by the way. LOL. I have no idea how he got off of the rock. I mean, I know he did. He’s not still there. I don’t think. 😉

So, moral of the story?

  1. If someone is yelling for help – they probably need help.
  2. If you can’t swim all that well – don’t get into a potentially dangerous fast-moving body of water.
  3. Again: If you can’t swim strong enough to survive, period – don’t go into the strong and deep water. Dummy.

xx Ashley

Me Monday Series: Let’s Talk About SATC

Today’s Me Monday post is going to be a little different from the usual post. Instead of regaling a hilarious (to me) tale from my life, I’m going to talk a bit about an interest of mine. A certain television show.

Sex and The City.

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I’m not unlike the rest of all woman-kind in saying this. Pretty much every woman on earth loves this show. This is nothing special or different about me.

The series has so many relatable moments between not only male/female relationships, but also between female friendship. The relationship dynamics between these four main women are really enjoyable to watch. Every friend group has their Carries, Samanthas, Charlottes & Mirandas. Or a mixture between several. And the majority of the time the character that you think you are (Or who you really want to be, rather), is not who you really are or how everyone else sees you.

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Of course everyone always wants to be the Carrie – because she’s the best.

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She’s the funniest, most stylish & the protagonist. She’s quirky & witty & free-spirited and also has the best hair.

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Charlotte is equally as stylish, albeit in a different way. She’s more innocent but also smart.

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Samantha is the wild child of the group. She’s a free spirit but also can kick your butt. She is large and in charge. Type A and will not hesitate to let you know what’s up.

Not many people want to be the Miranda of the group. Even though she’s funny, smart and sarcastic – she’s also judgmental, neurotic, pessimistic and can be a total stick-in-the-mud. With the WORST wardrobe.

(Like, Girl! Get your life together!)

About 10 years ago when I began watching the show, I considered myself a bit of a mixture between Carrie & Charlotte.

Now, I would say I’m more of a mixture between Carrie & Miranda. With the percentage majority of my personality being Miranda. “NOOOOO!”, says my former self. But it’s true! I’m just a lot more practical and realistic about life. And my humor tends to be more sarcastic. I’m not the pessimist that Miranda is, but I do claim to be a realist.

Now please allow me to vent out some frustrations I have come to have about the relationships on this show.

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 When I was younger and I would watch the show, I would completely relate to Carrie and her relationship woes. I felt sorry for her and her Mr. Big problems and rooted for those two to work it out and stay together. Yes, I was on #teammrbig. Always.

I can remember thinking, “Oh, sure, Big is a jerk to Carrie but he REALLY does love her, DEEP DOWN. He just needed some time to realize that. But now they are together and love always wins in the end! What’s meant to be will find a way!” or some cliche junk like that.

Um. LOL at the logic of my 18-22 year old self.

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I recently started watching the show again this past week. I started at season 3, just because that’s when it really starts getting good. It’s the season where Carrie is with Aiden for the first time & Big is married to Natasha. The Carrie/Big affair happens and Aiden leaves Carrie.

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10 years ago me: “OMG! This affair is obviously so horrible. BUTBUTBUT! Carrie and Big are MEANT TO BE! Real chemistry just can’t be denied! Big should never have married Natasha in the first place! I love Aiden, but Big and Carrie are end game.”

Present me:How DARE you, Big! No, really! HOW DARE YOU? WHAT IN GOD’S GREEN EARTH ARE YOU THINKING, CARRIE?! Big so OBVIOUSLY does NOT care about you. He only wants you when you’re not available. He has ZERO concern for your emotional well-being, nor does he have any respect for you. LOOK AT AIDEN! What you think is boredom or being stagnant is actually just a STABLE RELATIONSHIP WITH A MAN WHO LOVES, RESPECTS AND CARES ABOUT YOU. HE’S ALWAYS THERE AND AVAILABLE TO YOU BECAUSE HE’S NOT A JERK. HE MAKES YOU A PRIORITY IN HIS LIFE BECAUSE HE VALUES YOU. And you’re throwing it all away! RUN FAR AWAY FROM BIG.”

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So, the argument could also be made that Carrie really didn’t belong with either Aiden or Big. Although Aiden really loved Carrie, what he wanted from life and from a partner was not who Carrie was. He wanted a wife and children and someone who was invested in making an average life with him.

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We all know that Carrie was not that person. Aiden could never truly accept that. All he ever tried to do was love her and be there for her. But she just couldn’t accept him for who he was. I also think this was because Carrie is a very insecure woman who doesn’t truly value herself. She always seemed to have one foot out the door with Aiden. Sometimes love just isn’t enough to sustain a life with someone and also overcome all the differences that make each person who they are.

Big, on the other hand, never saw or appreciated Carrie at all. Sure, he “loved” her in his own emotionally-crippled way, but why should she have to settle for that? He left her MULTIPLE TIMES. He CONTINUALLY chose ANYTHING ELSE over her. Maybe he loved her, but he certainly didn’t love her enough.

Remember when he REFUSED to make any kind of real commitment to her?

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(This scene always made me cringe. If you have to beg him to open up to you, there’s your answer girlfriend.)

Remember when Big left for Paris (but never invited Carrie or even remotely CONSIDERED her feelings while making the decision to leave), and then came back engaged to Natasha?

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Then the affair happened. When Carrie was in her first stable relationship in oh, ever? That obviously didn’t work out. Sabotaging oneself at its finest, folks!

Oh, and then way later when Carrie happened to call Big to see what’s up and he goes, “Oh, I decided to move to California. Sorry I never mentioned it. I actually probably would never have mentioned it at all if you hadn’t called me this evening. Also, I’m leaving tomorrow. Bye, LOL.”

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(Look at Carrie looking at Big all lovingly. “Big, you so silly. About to move across the country without telling me. We’re just so misunderstood! I still love you so much! Prince Charming!”)

Remember when Carrie was leaving for Paris with the Russian (Ugh, don’t even get me started on him), and Big FINALLY DECIDED that he loved Carrie and that he was “ready” to be with her and so he tried to sabotage one of her relationships yet again?

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(During this scene I’m like, “YES! YES! YES!”)

(You know you always wanted to say this to someone. Don’t even deny it. hahahaha)

Later he shows up in Paris plotting further sabotage, and finally tells her she’s “the one”, 6 YEARS LATER. Like that’s supposed to be some gigantic prize she’s won.

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THANKS BIG. SO ROMANTIC. THANKS FOR SETTLING FOR ME. NOW.

NOT.

Oh, and lest we forget the big one.

LEFT CARRIE ON THE MORNING OF THEIR DANG WEDDING.

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He just calls her on her cell phone and says, “I can’t.”

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“Oh but he turned around!!”, you say.

So what?! HE DROVE AWAY FROM THE WEDDING. WHY WASN’T HE ALREADY THERE!? WAITING FOR HER?! He completely humiliated her in front of hundreds of people. He couldn’t even show her the respect of showing up? Seriously?!

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I guess what I’m trying to say about Carrie’s relationship to Big is this: It’s TOXIC & OVERLY ROMANTICIZED.

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Obviously I understand that this is a TELEVISION SHOW and that it is SUPPOSED to be dramatic. But the lessons learned from this are still valid.

The moral of the story? I’m seeing this show in an entirely new light. I used to love Carrie & Big’s relationship. I saw it as a beautiful and tragic love story. But now? I see it as co-dependent, desperate and toxic. Carrie sacrificed so much of herself to be with Big. Yes, sacrifice comes with every relationship. But not at the expense of essentially changing who you as a person, solely because your partner doesn’t like you enough.

At the end of the first film they get back together because “It wasn’t logic… it was love”. And Carrie says, “Oh, why were we even going to have a wedding in the first place?” Like it was HER fault that Big left her at the wedding. She said that perhaps if she hadn’t pushed him so hard to be someone he’s not (by showing up and standing there for their wedding – because that’s so hard when you’re marrying the supposed love of your life), then everything would have worked out better. So they just go to the justice of the peace and get married and all is forgiven. Like, what?!

The show did a great job at taking this dysfunctional relationship and morphing it into something that women think is normal – or even, dare I say, romantic? On the outside, it looks passionate and exciting. But really, to me now, it just seems sad and lonely. Even with their “happily ever after”.

I think Carrie’s got it all wrong.

Is that what love is supposed to be? Confusing and anxiety-inducing?

Love isn’t just about drama, passion and grand gestures. And sizzling chemistry doesn’t always guarantee a stable relationship. It’s about being with someone who is a good person, and who doesn’t just say they’re in love with you because of how romantic it sounds, or because it’s something they think you want to hear. But someone who cares, respects and is decent to you because they are a real human being who treats people that they care about with kindness and empathy. Someone who protects and guards your heart. Someone who not only makes you a priority in their life but who also ACTIVELY shows you that this fact is TRUE. With no hidden agenda.

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(Me.)

Sure, I’m only 28. What the heck do I know?

What I know is this. In my past experiences (previous to my husband), I always thought that all the drama meant chemistry! love! passion! IT DOESN’T. The drama actually equaled instability & ambiguity. When someone values you, they aren’t afraid to show that to you. When someone doesn’t value you, you will always be confused. Relationships ebb and flow, but don’t excuse bad or harmful behavior.

For me, knowing real love was easy. I’d known Joe forever and although it took a long time to realize what we had together, our love happened quickly. And when it did, it hit me like a ton of bricks. In a good way. There were still all those exciting and passionate emotions at play, but there were no games in order to receive those things.

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There was no drama or confusion or anxiety at all. I just knew. And so did he. We knew exactly how we felt about each other because we were honest. Was it still ridiculous and inconvenient? You betcha! Dating to engaged to married in 3 months! But almost 7 years later and I’m even happier now than I was then.

So, girls. Please don’t confuse or romanticize toxicity and drama in a relationship for love. Learn from Carrie and Big. And Aiden.

I’m still going to keep watching the show – it’s one of my absolute favorites and always will be. I’m just going to be screaming at my television a lot more.

Also, #TeamAiden now.

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xx Ashley

Me Monday Series: Chris BROOOOOOWN!

I seem to have a lot of these weird celebrity stories, don’t I? I promise this is the last one. Unless I meet someone else – so I guess I can’t really promise that after all.

I also want to show that I am not the only one who can’t hang around famous people. There are others like me.

So about seven years ago I was living in the Richmond VA area attending college at Virginia Commonwealth University.

It was fairly well known at the time that because Chris Brown is from Tappahannock, you would often see him around the area shopping at local malls and the like, randomly.

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(Taking it back to a simpler time – before he viciously beat women for funsies. Yep. I said it.)

So to set the scene, it was two days before Christmas, December 23rd. (This was about two months before the whole domestic violence situation happened between Chris & Rihanna.) My roommates and I were at a local mall doing some last minute Christmas shopping.

I was looking at the calendars at one of those large calendar kiosks in the middle of the mall when I look up and see a small woman in really tall heels walk past me. She caught my eye because she was wearing black & neon green fingerless gloves. And who wears something like that, really?

Riri would wear something like that.

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So, I’m not a huge Rihanna fan or anything, really. I like her music, but seeing her in person was more just weird – rather than exciting (a la Kelly Clarkson or Taylor Hanson). It was more just the fish out of water experience. Like, what in the heck is she doing herewearing fingerless gloves, no less.

AND TO GIVE ME SOME CREDIT, I actually tried to be discreet about this sighting. At first. My friend Autumn was looking at the calendars a few rows back from me and I quietly tried to get her attention.

Me: PSST. AUTUMN.

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Autumn: Hang on. I’m looking at stuff.

Me: No, you really need to come here really quick.

Autumn: Okay just a sec…

Me: Autumn. It’s Rihanna. She’s standing right over there. 

Autumn: What?

Me: It’s Rhianna.

Autumn: What? Huh? What you say?

Me: It’s RIHANNA. RIGHTOVERTHERE.

Autumn: I cannot understand what you’re saying, nor do I care to be honest. These calendars are truly riveting.

Me: AUTUMN! IT’S RIHANNA! 

RIHANNA!

RIHANNAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

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*Autumn races over and shoves me out of the way*

Autumn: OMG IS CHRIS BROWN WITH HER?!?!

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Indeed he was.

I actually hadn’t even noticed him, or thought about him being there. Of course he would be there – why would Rihanna be there without him? Duh. They were there with a small entourage of people, shopping around. And here is where I actually start to feel bad about my involvement in this story. It was pretty clear that they were getting away with shopping around mostly unseen around the mall. But once I started screaming to Autumn to try and get her attention – all hell broke loose.

People began to come out of the woodwork and completely surrounded them. They walked into Gamestop and the crowd outside of the store became absolutely ginormous. No one was allowed in the store with them, so everyone just waited outside – screaming and trying to get their attention.

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(My top notch blackberry photo skills)

Both of them completely ignored the crowd. Never waved, smiled, or even acknowledged the crowd of people waiting to see them. Which at the time, I found incredibly annoying and rude. But now? I mean, I kind of get it. They were just trying to be normal for a bit and walk around a mall. Now that time was ruined. People were going to follow them everywhere, and it would have taken forever to take pictures with/say hi/sign stuff for everyone there.

On the same token – Hello. What else can you expect. So. It is what it is, I guess.

In order to get out of Gamestop, Chris Brown & Rihanna’s security had to clear a path through the crowd. They were telling people to get back and clear the way so that the couple and their entourage could come through and leave. Autumn & I had positioned ourselves right at the corner of the entrance to the store. (Our other roommate, Peggy, had long since called us insane and left the crowd, hahaha.) The group started to exit the store and as Chris Brown made his way out – I can only assume that Autumn blacked out, similar to how I did at the Kelly Clarkson concert.

Actually, you know what? I don’t think Autumn blacked out at all. I think she knew EXACTLY what she was doing.

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Anyway, as Chris was making his way out of the store – Autumn reached out and took hold of his arm. As she took hold of his arm (and when I say “took hold”, I mean a death grip), she yelled out,

“CHRIS BROOOOOOOOOWNNNNN!!!!!!”

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(While looking at him like this)

and he just turned around and looked at her with a look of complete disgust, much like this:

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Which then morphed into a look of total rage, much like this:

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(lolololololol, it was HILARIOUS I TELL YOU)

Chris’s security then straight up karate chops Autumn’s hand off of Chris’s arm and yells,

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“DON’T TOUCH HIM!”

And I KID YOU NOT. Autumn just looks at him straight in the face – laughs – and then yells,

“I ALREADY DID! HA!!!!!”

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So at the same time as Autumn is forced to release her vice-like grip on Chris’s arm – I am taking the money shot with my blackberry:

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Boom. Success.

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Then they left. and then we laughed hysterically about the experience for days and daysssss.

I honestly think that if Autumn had paid attention to me and what I was trying to tell her in the first place – that this whole thing never would have happened. I would have just been like, “Oh hey. There’s Rihanna. Cool.” BUT NO, since Autumn ignored me I lost my dang mind.

So, Rihanna, I know you’re out there reading my blog (Obviously). And I’m sorry for calling you out at the mall that one time in 2008. I was rude. My bad.

[End note: Interestingly enough, I happened to see Mr. Brown again about 2 months after the domestic violence incident at another local mall and at that time he was only too happy to say hi and take pictures with fans. No coincidence there. Someone had to do some damage control. Also interestingly enough – this time there was only a small handful of people wanting to see him. #colormesurprised #sike]

How was your Thanksgiving & weekend?!

Me Monday + OMG KELLY CLARKSON

Me Monday today will feature another concert experience from my past.

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Soooooooo I legit love Kelly Clarkson. I think she is one of the top 3 female vocalists, ever. Her music is fun & upbeat – and she seems to be an all-around good, grounded & down to earth person in general. Her first album Thankful was the first non-religious album I ever bought and I just love her. I’m not even going to apologize or pretend to be normal about it, tbh.

You remember my best friend Autumn from last weeks’ post, right?

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(This is the original mask photo! Came up in Autumn’s timehop. You’re welcome.)

Yes, another thing we bonded on when we became fast friends was our mutual love for Kelly.

So I have seen Kelly in concert 3 times out of an attempted 5 times. LOL. The first 3 concerts went as planned and were glorious. The last two didn’t quite work out because 1. In 2013 S & I happened to get sick the day before the show and couldn’t go; and then 2. Just this last September, Kelly got sick and canceled her show.

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(To say that I was unhappy would be a gross understatement.)

BUT this story is the tale of my first time.

The year was 2006. Autumn & I worked front desk at a hotel together. I was reading the newspaper and I happened to see an ad for Kelly’s new concert tour.

Me & Autumn:

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So there were two shows semi-close to us, one in D.C. and then one in VA beach. We would normally just go to the show in D.C., but this time we got fancy.

Me:

“You know, there is a show in D.C. BUT we could instead go to the show in VA Beach and then stay the rest of the weekend and make it a girls’ beach trip.”

Autumn:

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Us together, realizing the glorious weekend we were in for:

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So the weekend finally came and we made our way down to Va beach.

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Checked into our hotel and ran over to the concert.

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(In line to get into the venue)

We splurged on the good seats since it was our first Kelly show and we were on the floor, 11th row – it was amazing. So there we were, just hanging out before the opener (Who was the band Rooney – they were awesome. Also the lead singer is the guy who plays Michael in Princess Diaries. Fun fact for you!) and we were chatting about how much we love Kelly.

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We notice that an older family comes and is seated in front of us, which we thought was strange but, alright. Autumn is talking about how she voted for Kelly on American Idol religiously to another person next to us, and the older woman in front turns around and says something like,

“Oh, are you guys really big fans of Kelly?”

“Why YES WE ARE! THIS IS OUR FIRST SHOW! LOVED HER SINCE AMERICAN IDOL AND VOTED FOR HER EVERY DAY”

The woman then replies, “Oh, thank you so much. I’m Kelly’s mom.”

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We asked for a picture, naturally.

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This was awesome. BUT. It is not the climax of the story. Oh no. No no no no.

So then Kelly comes out and the concert begins and it’s even more glorious than I ever thought my life could be.

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(I think Kelly looks best as a blonde with long locks but her short hair here was on point.)

Anyway so like I mentioned before, we were in the floor seats in the 11th row and it was fantastic to be so close for the show. However, at the end of the concert Kelly popped up halfway towards the back of the venue to sing “Breakaway” – I’m assuming so that people farther back could see her and stuff, but come on. I PAID TO BE CLOSE TO YOU, KELLY. Rude.

ButButBut – In order to get back to the stage, obviously she had to walk through the aisle – RIGHT NEXT TO US – right?

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So as Kelly is walking down, everyone is pretty much up on their seats trying to get a good view in order to take a picture, etc. My seat was closest to the aisle & Autumn was right behind me. Both of us are up on our seats. Autumn has her digital battery-operated camera set up perfectly behind my shoulder so as to get the perfect close-up shot.

We are perfectly posed, ready for Kelly’s arrival.

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She walks up – Autumn is poised to shoot the shot – and honestly I just kind of black out at this moment. I’m not thinking straight or logically, and I just kind of jump.

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Yes, I said jump.

Literally, jump.

Yes, I tried to jump on top of Kelly Clarkson.

Yes.

Thank God for body guards, amiright?

So as I’m attempting to jump on Kelly Clarkson, her security that I didn’t notice earlier cold-cocks me and prevents me from making impact. In this process, my arm was thrown back. If you recall, I mentioned that Autumn’s camera was poised directly over my shoulder in order to get a prime close-up shot of Kelly as she walked by. Of course, when my arm was knocked back, I also knocked back Autumn’s camera and she never got the shot. Something I think she still holds a mighty grudge about to this day.

So after this happens, Autumn & I kind of regroup and get it together in time for the show’s finale, which was “Since u been gone” – OF COURSE, WHAT ELSE WOULD IT HAVE BEEN?

So you know how I spoke about amazing moments in your life that you just never forget in my first Me Monday Post?

One of those moments in life where you are just so dang happy that your poor little heart just can’t handle all of the emotions that are pouring out of you?!!!

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This was another one of those moments. Kelly was singing “Since u been gone” – one of my favorite songs of all time of course – & we had met her mom & almost touched Kelly & were at the beach for a girls weekend & I LOVE THE BEACH & I was experiencing this with my BFF WHO ALSO LOVES THE BEACH AND KELLY & the energy in the arena was off the charts & I remember that I was in a hella cute outfit that day & CONFETTI WAS LITERALLY FALLING FROM THE SKY AS KELLY SANG THE ENDING OF THE SONG, YOU GUYS.

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Autumn & I were just dancing and singing and throwing our hands up in the air to catch the confetti as it fell… so happy. So glorious. So majestic. So magical. All the best adjectives entered here.

Hands fly through the air while trying to catch the falling confetti at DayGlow March 31. The confetti marked the start of the ÒWord's Largest Paint Party.Ó By Mallory Radtke

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It’s pretty clear at this point that I lose my crap around celebrities. I don’t even know why, I just kind of black out and start screaming. I can’t control it at this point. Honestly, it’s embarrassing as hell but it is what it is. Just keep me away. For the good of everyone involved. I just can’t hang like that.

And here lies the memory of my first Kelly Clarkson concert, R.I.P.

xx Ashley

Me Monday + THE INFAMOUS MASK

So I spoke a bit on Friday about how my best friend, Autumn & I met. It’s fairly safe to say that we’ve had our fair share of shenanigans over the years (as all friends tend to have), but the one constant throughout our escapades has been the mask.

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First, allow me to explain one crucial element to this tale – the invention of the term Hoodin’.

Let me break it down for you.

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(circa 2006)

Hoodin’ (Verb) : It’s cold out. There’s pretty much nothing to do around town because, it’s a small town & everything closes after 8pm. SO, you get yourself to 7-11, purchase yourself a delightful Slurpee (Possibly some hot dogs if you want to get fancy). Then, back in the car. Hoodie on – hood UP, of course. Roll down ALL THE WINDOWS (Even though it’s >40 out). Blast the music and just drive. (Obviously we didn’t invent the act of driving around itself per say – but the hoodie thing? All us. Believe it. Patent pending.)

 Back to the mask. 

One evening Autumn & I were rolling about and we stopped off at 7-11 for our usual Slurpee order. Autumn happened to glance at one of the end-caps and what did she find? Oh yes. THE MASK.

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Purchase!

We had the absolutely brilliant idea to pop up and scare others while driving with the mask. I drove and Autumn would get down low in the passenger seat so that no one outside could see her. Then I would drive up close to the car next to us – and when they would look over, Autumn would pop up! at them with the mask on and scare the crap out of them. Completely safe. Also completely hilarious.

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So this phenomenon expanded from scaring people whilst hoodin – onto bringing it various places to take hilarious (to us) photos.

[Side note: Autumn is always the one to actually wear the mask. Always has been. I am the photographer in all cases. Not sure why really. I don’t even think I have actually ever put it on myself.]

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Out joyriding.

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Creepin’ on the corner.

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Under your car.

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In the woods behind your house.

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…Even in your house?!

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The mask traveled to my house in Hawaii!

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…and went boogie boarding.

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Also almost drowned.

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Don’t forget your sunscreen! (Skin cancer is real, y’all)

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Over to Kaneohe side to visit the China Man’s Hat (and practice some martial arts).

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Relaxing with some refreshing diet coke.DSC06153

Rising victoriously from the sea

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Some glamour shots 😉t71

Hello, do you happen to have any Grey Poupon?

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Anyway. So you get the idea.

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We also like to pass on our traditions onto future generations. They’ll thank us later.

So if you happen to see a skeleton clown mask out & about…

IT’S US.

Me Monday + Shopping Explosion

Hellooooo! How was everyone’s weekend?! Hope all your Halloween dreams came true.

Back here with another post in the Me Monday series.

So this tale takes place during the time we spent living in North Carolina, just outside Raleigh in a lovely little town called Fuquay Varina. Gorgeous. Magical. Magnificent. Look it up. (Cupcake Bite I love you and I miss you) (And even though they built a huge glorious splash pad in one of the parks RIGHT AFTER WE MOVED AWAY, RUDE)

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(What happens in Fuquay, stays in Fuquay. It’s that legit.)

In this home, we also were able to live next to some of our best friends –  by chance! We didn’t know them when we moved in but after we met we become fast friends, which = hello. Awesome. We basically shared backyards and could easily walk back and forth. Colin & Nicole are the names they go by and they also had a little baby girl about 8 months younger than S and so perfection struck twice, neighbor wise.

As young, tired & busy moms, Nicole and I were not able to make it out a whole ton just by ourselves to do fun things like shop & dish, as us girls are wont to do. BUT ONE SATURDAY, THINGS CHANGED. We planned an outing to a big mall in Raleigh weeks in advance, left the girls with the guys and SWEET FREEDOM!

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Off we went in my car.

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So there we are, driving down the highway, dishin’ & laughing like we do.

[Side note: I am using the term “to dish”, in jest. A long time ago Joe made a reference to how “we girls” – AKA all females in general – like to “dish” to each other. Like whenever he would see Nicole & I speaking to each other at all, ever, he would refer to it as “dishing” to each other. So now that’s how Nicole and I communicate to each other. We dish.]

All fellow parents can understand how utterly amazing it feels to get out of the house by yourself, let alone with a friend to do something fun when you have small children. Just doing normal, average things feels exhilarating. Taylor Swift rolling up 9-deep to the VMAs squad level exhilarating.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30:  (L-R) Models Gigi Hadid, Martha Hunt, actress Hailee Steinfeld, model Cara Delevingne, actress Selena Gomez, musician Taylor Swift, model Serayah, actress Mariska Hargitay, models Lily Aldridge and Karlie Kloss attend the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

(Me & Nicole on our way to the mall)

Anyway, I’m driving along and I see our exit and get over to get off of the highway. About .5 seconds later I realize, “oh, LOL, this is so not my exit.” So I pull a jerk move and try to swerve back over onto the highway.

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I thought that the lane was clear for me to move back over, but another car rolled up quick on my left side and we pretty much almost sideswiped them.

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But the other guy got out of the way and, “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA”, we laughed. All was well with us and we continued on our merry way to the correct exit for the mall.

We get there safely, park and are about to get out of the car when Joe calls my phone. I answer and he says,

“Hey, I forgot to tell you. After I went hunting last night I forgot to empty out the trunk. There is a ton of ammo & about 5 shotguns in the trunk. Sooooo… Be careful and make sure the car is locked up well.”

Me & Nicole:

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IF WE HAD ACTUALLY HIT THAT CAR ON THE HIGHWAY, WE COULD HAVE   EXPLODED, YOU GUYS.

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So Nicole & I just kind of stared at each other for a while in the car while we contemplated this fact.

For about 1 1/2 minutes.

Then we got out of the car to go shop because – hello – time was a-wastin’.

But we did laugh nervously & hysterically about it the rest of the day.