Archive for the 'Family' Category

08
Feb
09

hangin’ around this town

Here’s a video that has nothing to do with anything other than this song came up on my iPod the other day while I was on the Metro headed into work and it occurred to me I probably hadn’t seen the video since, well, the last time they showed videos consistently on MTV.

My friend Dan told me the other day that he still checks my blog out every day and every day lately, he’s been disappointed. And then my sister mentioned that I never update it anymore. I couldn’t tell you how many people still even bother checking in regularly. That’s the thing I’ve noticed about blogs … they ebb and flow. They’re like a comfortable sweater that you can leave in a drawer and pull it out when you need one. It doesn’t care if it’s been an hour, or six weeks, since the last time you put it on. I just wants to be taken around the block every so often.

I haven’t been to West Virginia since Christmas. I haven’t done a radio show since the week before Christmas. I don’t know the next time either will happen. I miss both.

My problem with the show is I just haven’t felt it in a while. I start thinking about wanting to do it, I get myself ready and then I think, “Well, I could do some laundry, or reading, or catch up with some people on the phone, etc.”

It’s 8 to 10 p.m. on a Sunday night because that’s the time I got myself into in its earlier incarnations. Then once we owned the stream, though we could have made it any time we wanted to, it stayed from 8 to 10. And then the NFL came.

It needs tweaking, to borrow one of my favorite phrases from a friend of mine. It needs some definite tweaking. I would rather work on my writing and develop ideas than put on a show that’s half-baked and forced, and I’m afraid I’d be doing that now. At least I’m honest enough with myself to say it out loud.

I’m thankful that I’ve had some time to actually spend here in DC without anything hanging over my head lately. For the Super Bowl, I spent it with a friend of mine and his wife and son. Yesterday, I had a GREAT time at the Auto Show with the gang from Richmond (area). I’ve been to a Georgetown-WVU game. I’m having lunch with two different people in two weeks and meeting an old friend for a Happy Hour hopefully next Friday.

It isn’t that I don’t want to go home. I miss my family terribly. But I felt the entire summer that I didn’t live in Washington. I stayed here five days a week and then got in the car to visit my sick father. I’m not complaining. Every single week I saw him and he got better was the highlight of my week. But that came at the expense of not knowing anything about where I live.

There’s a super Target three miles from my house. I didn’t know that until I went to the doctor last week and had an occasion to actually go down that road. I’ve never been to a Five Guys, but there’s one about 10 minutes away. I actually went to IKEA.

Maybe I’m introspective because I’m about 33 hours and 51 minutes away from turning 30, but who’s counting. My mother told me this morning it was a great milestone, and I told her it didn’t feel like one. Not so much because I’m dreading getting older — I’m already an octogenarian in a much younger body — but because I really feel like I’ve accomplished, at least professionally, what I’d hoped by the time I hit this age.

I’m in a major city. I’m working for a major newspaper. I’m actually an editor.

I’m still employed. I don’t feel like I’m at risk of not being employed. That’s more than a lot of people can say in these times.

So as I see the sun pour in here through the open windows, I’m starting to feel a little bit settled down. Months and months have passed without me feeling like I could actually breathe, and I’m finally there. Like it (most of the time) or not (only in heavy traffic), I live here. I still smile when I get off the train in the morning and look around at the buildings. I’m not disenchanted. Or hardened. I still find something new to appreciate every day.

Uh oh. Pollyanna’s arrived. I must be closing in on 30.

And speaking of that, if someone wants to get me a Snuggie, it won’t replace the electric blanket that Paige got me, but I’d love to wear it around my office.

11
Jan
09

there’s need to fear

underdog

Last night, I sat on my couch and watched Brandon in seven levels of hell as the No. 1 Tennessee Titans derailed and let the Cleveland Browns Baltimore Ravens take away their shot at an AFC championship.

Fortunately, I still have all of my teeth.

But then, Carolina went down like a sack of wet cement. And today? Wow. Sorry ’bout your luck, Giants fans. Geez.

And now, I’m stting here watching Pittsburgh mount a second-quarter comeback after being down 10-7 on San Diego.

It’s like life got inverted and any normal semblance of NFL playoffs went out the window. It’s almost like a real-life, NFL version of “Vote for the Worst.” It’s like we’re trying to get Sanjaya into the Super Bowl in a match for total dominance against Taylor Hicks.

Someone just needs to get me Chris Daughtry. Immediately.

(Note: It’s 14-10 Pittsburgh now. Much to my happiness. Much to Brandon’s dismay.)

So, I hadn’t really forgotten about the blog, but to say that I’ve been busy is a bit of an understatement. I spent the week before Christmas trying to compact about six days worth of work into two to meet the printing schedules of our other papers. I spent a great, great five days at home, and while I didn’t get the chance to see everybody I wanted to see, it was still nice to be in West Virginia and among people that truly make you feel like no matter where you roam, you have an anchor.

Once I got back from the Christmas visit, we jumped into our New Year’s printing schedule, and then before I knew it, it was almost time for the Obamathon. Wall-to-wall from Wednesday through the big day. I got home at 9 p.m. almost every night last week, and that’s after spending all day compiling things, looking for events, etc.

I have a weekly column now which rocks my face off. I’m so happy to have the chance to actually have a space, every week, for me to write. I’m a dork, but I get excited on Thursday mornings when I see people reading it on the train.

But it wasn’t until I got an e-mail from a good friend of mine last week (a good friend in spite of some pretty whacked out turbulence around the edges), asking me if the Girl of Words had run out of words.

I truly haven’t. I just haven’t had the time to actually stop what I was doing at work to spend 15 minutes or so updating. And I post links to Facebook sometimes whichs gets a discussion going, but it doesn’t replace this. It really doesn’t. I never think people care much about what I’m thinking until someone actually stops to ask.

So, there’s not going to be a show tonight. There’s not going to be a show until after the Super Bowl. In addition to being a little bit burned out, I realize that with the season premiere of “24” tonight and NFL playoffs, I can’t, and don’t really want to, compete. I want to enjoy “24” and the Super Bowl.

So, I’m thinking we’ll be back Feb. 8, which is three days before I turn 30. Woof. Three days before I turn 30. Man.

And maybe I should, at any rate, make time to blog more because it’s great, cheap therapy. I’ve also seen some things floating around town in the last couple of weeks that truly would have made great entries.

But I hope all of you that are still checking in are doing well … I do read your blogs, I think about you often. You’re alright in my book. 🙂

19
Dec
08

life with my sister

clowncar1

A conversation through BlackBerry Messenger:

Ashlea: OK…so this A-HOLE that’s living in our old house is at it again.
Ashlea: He called almost crying that the gas leak wasn’t fixed. But Herb cannot get anyone up to fix it until tomorrow morning!!!!
Ashlea: There’s NO OTHER OPTION. So I told him to get out and get a hotel room and send the bill to me.
Ashlea: Siiiiigh.
Jacque: How does he know it isn’t working???
Ashlea: No…Herb couldn’t fix that part til tomorrow.
Ashlea: So he’s in total panic.
Jacque: Jesus.
Jacque: Was he a Pussy McVagina when you rented to him?
Ashlea: We didn’t know it at the time, but he’s got a bigger vag than Mrs. Duggar.
Jacque: Hahahahahahaha
Ashlea: Hahahahahahahahahaha
Ashlea: That may have been one of the best quotes of my life. 😀
Ashlea: LOLOLOLOLOLOL
Ashlea: That was clutch.
Ashlea: Seriously. That’s gotta be put on something. Ur blog page maybe.

27
Nov
08

happy thanksgiving

I made this myself!! It's my first real turkey!

I made this myself!! It's my first real turkey!!

I’m a pretty lucky person. I know I like to labor under the pretense that I’m karma’s favorite whipping girl and that I’ve done something very, very bad in a past life to explain why I feel cursed with recurring bad luck.

But I’m really pretty lucky. I’m not 30 years old yet and I’m working at a job I could only have dreamed of as a child. I’m working at a newspaper in a real, big city. And not even just any big city. Arguably, the center of the free world. The capital. The place where it all goes down.

Sometimes, it takes some perspective. Six months ago today, I started my job in D.C. Six months ago Monday, my family thought that the unthinkable actually happened.

So, I thought I’d just use a couple of pictures to show what I’m most thankful for this year. I’m thankful, and so lucky, for so much, but these are the biggest three.

My Dad and Mom. For loving me unconditionally.

My Dad and Mom. For loving me unconditionally.

She might not get me. I might not get her. Love no matter what.

She might not get me. I might not get her. Love no matter what.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Take time to today to make sure the ones you love know you love them. Friends, family, the guy who sells you cigarettes at the drive-thru … they all deserve it.

26
Sep
08

i’m alive, and hey! thank you!! :)

Sorry it’s been quiet around here … I’ve been fighting the NyQuil hangover with a DayQuil stupor and nobody’s winning. Add a couple of projects at home (ask me about how long it took me to re-install Photoshop!) and I’m a useless heap for the most part.

However, I did want to take a minute to thank The Center for Consumer Freedom for featuring a link to my post on the hippo ad under their breaking news section on their front page. 🙂 Thank you for linking that, Mr. (or Ms.) Web Master. I’m just one kid out here fighting the good fight … the fight for my right to stuff myself full of tasty, tasty McDonald’s french fries and not sue a single damn person for it. Thanks for letting other people see your work in action in Metro DC.

In other breaking news: Dad goes home (for good) in seven to 10 days!!!! I can’t even believe it. I never would have thought it would be this soon, but I’m thankful. He went to New Martinsville for a home visit today and Mom took him around to all of his favorite places and it seemed to be just what he needed.

More later in a live report … I’m hoping to scam myself a visit to Ragtime in Arlington tomorrow to watch the WVU-Marshall game (which I absolutely, positively REFUSE … you hear me? REFUSE … to call the Friends of Coal Bowl). They’re the only people in the area showing it, I think. And I want to be around like-mindeds. I need to watch this game with fans.

06
Sep
08

like a hockey mom

Ahh, gee, Marge.

I’m actually just putting this link out here because I’m proud. It’s obnoxious, yes, but still.

Check out Brandon’s new writing job.

He’s almost Navin R. Johnson. But seriously, it’s a fun thing for him. I’m happy he’s found a niche, of sorts, up here in the “city.”

In other news, I’m pretty sure God’s mad at me for my earlier mocking of Ohio State. To remedy the situation, I’ve switched over to Lifetime: Television for Women and I’ll watch movies about some woman getting horribly wronged by some man, no doubt starring either Joanna Kerns, Judith Light or Meredity Baxter Birney, to try to atone.

26
Aug
08

echoes, silence, patience and grace

(I’m listening to the Foo Fighters right now and it seemed an appropriate post title … bear with me.)

I found a charger today for my iPod. I haven’t listened to my iPod since I lived in West Virginia. When I cleaned out my old desk at my old job, I’m pretty sure I lost it or left it behind, so really, kids back home — enjoy Mommy’s charger. I got one, and now my iPod is charging and when I leave here in another, oh seven hours, I’ll have music to listen to on the way home. Finally. Finally it’s all coming together. No more train silence.

So, speaking of silence … here’s a visual representation of me at work lately:

Don’t get me wrong — it beats doing nothing. But in case people were concerned, I’ve just not had time to devote to this during the day. Last week I was trying to get everything done so I could be in West Virginia Friday. This week, I’m catching up with what I missed.

West Virginia was a great time. I saw so many people I miss. I wish I could have been there longer, but I had to get up to Wheeling to see my Dad because I’m staying in Maryland for a few weeks. I just need to stay here. I need to get used to what it’s like to be here. In a few weeks, maybe longer, we’ll welcome my Dad home. A place we never thought he’d see again, really. I can’t believe it’s been three months. At first, they told us he might not even wake up for three months. They told us it could be a year before he spoke. Even longer before he could come home. Ah, predictions. He showed you. Man’s a fighter. I see it every time I see him.

In other news, I can’t believe how many e-mails (or MySpace/Facebook messages) from people who’d never heard the show and listened in Sunday night. Not only listened, but told me how much they loved it. And how hard they laughed at various segments. I haven’t seen e-mail like this since I started this fiasco back in March 2007. It was really encouraging. Sometimes, you wonder if people are out there. After I put up the post for people to listen Sunday, I had 15 people on my page (I saw it through Meebo) at one point. It felt good to see it happen again. I don’t know if it’s that everybody was home and sick of the Olympics or what, but I do hope that if you’re someone who came last week you come again and leave a message so I know you’re listening.

But overall, I’m having a hard time with a few parts of it right now — mostly being that no matter which direction it goes, someone’s not happy. That just leads to apathy on my part, and it could just tie to that I’m exhausted in every sense of the word, but when I’m not having any fun, it could be time to just walk away from it for a bit.

That’s not to say I don’t have fun in parts of it. I’ve laughed hard a few times. But some weeks it’s your fill-in letting you down and forcing a replay, some weeks your co-host’s computer won’t work and he won’t admit it’s his problem so your show is filled with technical glitches, sometimes your co-host shows up and doesn’t care about the stuff you picked but didn’t offer you any alternatives, sometimes people just plain don’t like your co-host. It feels really no-win at times and I’m just trying to have fun.

But I digress. Again, I’d like to attribute it to being worn out. I was reading the Lifestyle/Feature wire at work and there was an article on there about fatigue and how it can really do a number on your life. I’ve been living with chronic fatigue for about 10 years now and I manage it pretty well, but sometimes, I just need to unplug and do nothing but lay around and NOT think. I’ve been through more in 90 days than most people get in months. That I haven’t knocked over a 7-Eleven yet is remarkable.

I did research some Pilates classes downtown, though. That’ll be nice if I can work one of those into the schedule.

So, now you’re up-to-date for the most part with me. Now that I’m reasonably caught up, I’ll try to update a little more. A no-major-travel-on-the-horizon forecast is so refreshing.




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