Sunday, August 29, 2010

An Anniversary of Sorts

I'm not ashamed to admit it. I'm 31 years old and I want my mom. I think the older we get, the more likely we are to admit that out loud. One of the differences is, and most of you know this, that my mother passed away. In fact, it was 10 years ago today that she died.

The weird thing was that this week, I was bopping through my life thinking "Wow! It hurts so much less now. I miss her, but this is going to be an easy one." And then BAM! Not so much. Ten years is a long time. In fact, it's a third of my life. It's weird to think that 10 years is about half of the time that mom and I had together. Even weirder to think of being only 42 and I will have lived as long with her as without.

And clearly it's hard not to think of the things that she didn't get to see. Her grandchildren, Chef, me actually losing the weight she had so begged me to shed. I also think of the things that would be different if she were still around. I probably wouldn't have moved to Nashville. I might not have met Chef. There wouldn't be cats in my house, as she was very allergic.

It's easy to be sad about it. Mostly I miss her and the things she brought to my life. You don't realize how much someone motivates you by their presence until its not there. Or how much you appreciate getting a package or card in the mail until they start coming less frequently. It makes me realize the things that were really important. And on most days I try to remember those things and not the others that seem to take up so much of my time.

But despite everything--and I know I'm not alone in this--, I have no shame in saying that I want my mom.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

At Least It was A Straight Love Scene This Time

Clearly, I'm not the only one who has taken a shine to Eric Northman. What? You don't know who Eric Northman is? You must not watch True Blood. Because if you did, you'd know Eric Northman. That's not the actor's name--he's Alexander Skarsgard. Eric is the "bad" vampire (yes, a little redundant). As I was explaining to another fan and co-worker today, I really feel like Eric does the right things the wrong ways and gets a bad wrap for it.

Nonetheless, Eric mania has taken over America. He was the only one besides Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer that appeared naked on the cover of Rolling Stone. He's not listed on imdb's initial page of main characters. But I'm still digressing. The biggest problem I have with Eric's role in True Blood is that the first scene with him shirtless in a LONG time was a gay love scene. I'm not opposed to being gay (not that there's anything wrong with that--my Seinfeld homage), but it's a little disheartening when you've been waiting to see someone semi-naked and they are--just behind another man.

Chef is supportive of this infatuation in a way only he can be (a good way!). His take was "If Eric's gonna be naked, can he at least be naked with someone hotter than Anna Paquin so we both win?". It's a fair question and one that I'm hoping provides us both with a win-win situation.

On a separate less lustful note, has anyone else wondered what's become of Emilio Estevez? No? Just me? I guess that's why he hasn't really been heard from lately. Young Guns was on the dial tonight and it just got me thinking. I looked up his imdb entry and one of the trivia made me go "Huh? Really?". Apparently he was engaged to Demi Moore at one time. I wonder if she thinks of Emilio during sex with Ashton?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Things I Wouldn't Have Tried 5 Years Ago

I remember my mother telling me that my tastes would change and expand the older that I got. As a know-it-all kid, I didn't think they would. Of course, as it is with most things that I challenged my parents on, I'm wrong again. I do have to say that Chef has been the one who has expanded my horizons the most. Or myself. I mean, I will give myself some credit for making a concerted effort to try new things, live a healthier lifestyle and not just be the giant, shapeless bump that I could've easily been.

So, here are a few things that I've "discovered" (no, I'm not Magellan --or gelin'--nor do I think that I am discovering anything other than new-to-me things):

  • Brussels Sprouts: Toss 'em in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast those bad boys until slightly crispy. Delish.
  • Water: clearly didn't discover this, but actually start drinking it. Not until after a nurse was taking my blood on a finger prick and said "I can tell you don't drink a lot of water because it's taking forever to get a dot of blood." I don't know if that's true or not, but it did make me imagine that my blood was made up of Diet Coke.
  • Sushi: I was just too chicken and a little too country to have tried this without Chef there to navigate the menu.
  • Jogging: Who knew? I could jog for about two miles a day and actually enjoy it. And still do it more than two years later.
  • Bellini's: I'm not much on peach, but add some champagne and you've got a winner. Although Chef made this, it's not too big of a stretch to make me like an alcoholic drink.
  • Yoga: Okay, I tried it more than 5 years ago, but that experience did not make me want to try again. Mostly because I apparently got a little too relaxed during my first time. Now, I enjoy the lengthy stretching without self-consciousness.
  • Fried Green Tomatoes: I normally hate tomatoes, but this just goes to show that you can fry anything and I'll eat it.
  • Cats: Three years ago it took Chef about 6 months of leaving pictures of tiny little kittens on our computer desktop before I finally caved and said we could get one. I was determined to be a dog person. Turns out I'm a pet person. Obviously.
I'm sure I'll think of many more, but that's it for now. Anyone else got something they've added to their lives as an adult that I should try?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why I Hate My Apartment Complex

It started with a call around noon. My apartment complext called my personal cell phone and it went a little something like this:

"Hello, Ashley? This is Chastity from Westmont apartments. I'm calling to see why you haven't paid your rent this month."

Me: We paid our rent this month.

C: I'm showing that your rent was due on the first and you haven't paid it.

Me (scrambling to my computer to fervishly sign in to my online banking): Hold on for a second. Actually, I did pay. My bank account shows that you all cashed my check on August 4th for the amount of XXX. The account number on the back of the check that you endorsed is XXXXXX.

C: Oh, it's not showing up in our system. There must be a computer error that shows your rent being due twice in a month. I'll call IT and have them fix it.

End of phone call.

As I was sitting there with my hear pounding, I started to get fired up. We have never been late in paying our rent in the 6 years that Chef and I have lived together. Six years in one place. Never late. But the company calls us 16 days past the rent day and 12 days after the late fee day to accuse us of not paying. And there's no "I'm so sorry for this" or any kind of apology. Nothing. So now I'm fired up and I can't let it go. So I wait two hours and then call her back to express how disappointed I was in how the situation was handled and it just made it worse. Here's how that conversation went:

C:Westmont Properties, this is Chastity.

Me: Chastity, this is Ashley LAST NAME calling in regards to my rent payment.

C: Now which apartment are you in again? I've made a lot of calls today.

Me: Apartment XXX in XXXX complex.

C: Oh, right with the computer error.

Me: Yes, that was me. I was just calling to let you know that I'm disappointed in how the situation was handled.

C: Excuse me?

Me: I know that you are probably making a lot of calls concerning late rent but I am hurt that we've been tenants for more than 6 years, hadn't missed a payment and weren't treated better.

C: I don't know what to say. I mean, I said I was sorry. It was a computer error. And, you say that I make a lot of late rent calls, but I really don't. So I don't know what you want me to say.

Me: Actually, you didn't say you were sorry. That's why I was calling you back.

C: Well, I am sorry and now I've said it three times in this call.

Me: I'm disappointed in the manner and tone with which you made the call.

C: I am honestly shocked because I didn't have any tone with your call. It was a computer error and we fixed it. I'm sorry. What more do you want? I didn't yell or scream or anything.

Me: I'm hoping you wouldn't ever yell or scream at a tenant. I guess I wanted a little courtesy for having paid consistently on time and for an apology.

C: I've said I'm sorry.

Me: Fine. Goodbye.

C: Goodbye.

The above is why we will not be renewing our lease at this place. And why if you rent in Nashville, I would NOT recommend any place managed by Westmont Properties.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I Never Thought I was THAT Girl

But apparently I am. Last night my cruelty reached an all-time peak with Chef. He was actually a good sport about it, but I'm still feeling incredibly guilty. I turned into THAT girl. The one who made her boyfriend watch Lifetime Television for Women. And not just for Project Runway. I don't feel the least bit guilty about that pleasure as everyone should watch and adore Tim Gunn.

It was a Lifetime Made for TV movie. One that I'm a sucker for. Mostly because it was about a chunky girl who's a writer who lost weight and what happened after that. Not that that's a whole lot like my life as I didn't make up a fake personality, write a book, or get to wear a fabulous pair of Christian Louboutins. Nor did I meet a man who loved me only after I lost weight. I met one who loved me either way. And he also loved me while watching the end of a Lifetime Made for TV movie. God bless him.

In my defense, I do watch ESPN WAY more than Lifetime. At least an 8 to one ratio. If I'm being conservative. More like 10 to one during football season. I'm just saying. . .

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And He Took a Turn Towards the Ben Seaver

When I first pondered this the other day, I didn't realize that the actor in question was from Indiana. It almost seems sacreligious to poke fun, but at the same point, I can't pull my punches just because someone was born in the same geographic area that I was.

So, here goes. I wondered what the hell happened to the kid from Star Wars: Phantom Menace. The one who had to play Darth Vader as a kid. The second most hated character after Jar Jar Binks. It has less to do with Star Wars and more to do with the. . .did that kid die or what?

Well, he's still alive. Not working so much, but it seems like he pulled a Ben Seaver. It happens. You're a cute kid, but that doesn't necessarily translate into an attractive adult. I mean, the jury's still out on Dakota Fanning, but I'm leaning towards her making it. Jake Lloyd (aka Darth Vader) seems like he's more on the Ben Seaver end of the scale than Justin Timberlake.

Am I wrong?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

It's 10 Seconds and It Makes Me Laugh for WAY longer

Tosh.0 aired their usual viewer video and it cracked me up. And just thinking about it continues to crack me up. So I thought I'd share the simplistic genius of Invisible Engine and the 10 seconds that split my sides. Enjoy! My gift to you.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Attack of the Tacky

I have never been a girly girl. I have never considered myself exceptionally high maintenance. But nothing will change that perception faster than a trip to Gatlinburg.

I had never been to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Dollywood or anything in that area. Not that I hadn't wondered about it, but Tennessee wasn't the normal destination for vacations in Indiana. I had a few trips to Nashville, but other than that, it was mostly Indianapolis, Florida or the grandparents houses. We had the extra special trip to the Cayman Islands too, and a trip to Myrtle Beach, but I digress.

So I didn't know exactly what to expect. And Gatlinburg was beyond my expectations. I went with two of my chicks for a quick girls' trip. Had we gone for a mountain retreat, the experience might've been different. But probably not better. I love the tacky. It gave me fuel for the snarky comments for the entire time I was there PLUS a blog entry and some good stories.

So we had a great hotel (thanks, Jules!) and after the 6 hour trip (normally 4, but the traffic made it like Spring Break '94), we got dolled up for a night on the town. The recommended watering holes were a brewery that was owned by Calhoun's and the TGIFriday's. Not a great sign.

My favorite points of the trip were the crowded streets with families where at least one teenager looked mortified and parents were determined to make some memories, dammit. There was a plethora of options for miniature golf, ziplines and dinner shows. But places that stayed open past 1 a.m.--not so much.

The best part of the trip was the time with the girls. But that's often the case, isn't it? The company makes the trip.


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