A Blog Post to the Internet (Because who are we kidding pretending this is a letter?)

Some days I feel nostalgia for things I’ve never had. For example, a pen pal in second grade who keeps up the charade of old-school blind friendship for more than ONE flashcard-sized letter. This is coming from a girl who gets overly excited by getting an email from a real human because my ratio of those to casting notices and newsletters is super underwhelming.

Hence, I’ve been largely hanging out in the physical world with the notable exception of online poker because no one is perfect except for my dog, and even she poops on the side of the house sometimes because it brings her great joy.

Here is a short list of what I have been up to:

  • Started to run a comedic variety show where I have made a lot of inspiring friends
  • Gave up all variations of soda for 8-months, didn’t lose any weight
  • Booked a national commercial and several pilots
  • Rented a house in the city (with roommates) that bled my finances dry
  • Got really into tap dancing
  • Moved to my parent’s house
  • Ran into Ricky Gervais on my way to a commercial audition, got really jazzed about it. Pulled a butt muscle during the audition, played it off real cool.
  • Hollywood is glamorous, y’all

So now I am back in the valley, charming everyone with my valley accent, and working to get myself back on my $$ feet because I am not sure how possible it is to be in your 20s and not work in tech and have a savings account.

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Reasons Why I Haven’t Blogged

I went to a hardware store alone for the first time. It’s possible that 50% of my purchase was Diet Dr. Pepper.

I am getting over my lifelong fear of yogurt

I joined a comedic dance team, and it just gets me right in my humor sweet spot

I want to know the name of the thing in hotel rooms, where it’s like a special lock, but it also has a chain so the door doesn’t open all the way

I got a smartphone and I have to charge it every day. what.

One of my comedy idols told me I was naturally funny and I didn’t know what to say. I got to thanks!

I went to a rare book fair and drooled everywhere

I discovered how to turn on my television after two years

I am assuming my bad luck this month is to allow for athlete’s olympic dreams to come true. And I am OK with that.

One of my best friend’s got in a bad car accident. So I’ve been like, oh sh*t, life. (He is making a good recovery and his worse injury is a broken eye socket, but head wounds are terrifying)

I realized Zedd is a man

I’ve been taking flexibility classes, which are contortion classes for not-so-cool people

I am rereading my favorite book

Secretly Super Berkeley

Berkeley is a great school, a rigorous school, and a school with a transfer named Rainbow who boils every environmental history lesson down to a discussion of how a beaver would view the events of that era. In retrospect, that was either a bizarre attempt to get into the pants of the boring and balding professor or a perhaps an even more bizarre obsession with beavers. Both? Regardless, my empathy towards  beavers nowhere nears Rainbow’s (real person), though I still actively avoid things that were punishable  by death (glares) in the context of the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources, like having a smart phone, printing out  shit from the Internet and using plastic water bottles. For what it’s worth, I’m not a complete lost cause — I wear shoes, bras and deodorant. I also brush my teeth twice daily.

People ask me all the time if Berkeley lives up to its reputation, and the answer is yes, but not in every pocket. My most vivid Berkeley memory is when my Epic Poetry class was held in the dark and forebodingly damp basement of a bar because the professor didn’t want to cross a picket line. I spent the whole class repeatedly going up to people I didn’t really know and saying “Oh my G-d, this is exactly like Fight Club,” “I wonder how long until Brad Pitt shows up?” and “So, let’s wait for the teacher to get five stanzas in and then start brawling.” I  earned more WTFs than friends, but — worth it. Plus, English majors are creepy. Or at least the one that would  gchat me weekly asking me if I was single, and the one with Kenny G hair who would sit next to me and brag about playing some obscure Irish sport and definitely the obese girl who dyed her hair red and would always talk about Kafka, despite having the most epic late ’90s tramp stamp I’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing. To be fair, I have probably only seen a dozen late ’90s tramp stamps, but this one had a unicorn and stretch marks so I am confident that it is top echelon.

Appreciation

Hi friends,

I just wanted to super thank you for being so supportive of everything I do. As a bit of an introvert, it truly astounds me to find so many people that can relate to my short stories AND understand my sense of humor. You fucking rule hardcore, and I like you a lot.

Last August, I officially started pursuing comedy and humor writing. I’ve made some of the best friends I’ll ever have, grown massive crushes on people I’m too shy to talk to and eaten a lot of leftover coleslaw for dinner because that’s the level of poor I am. Also, coleslaw fucking rules hardcore.

While it’s been one of the best years of my life, it’s also been the most emotionally and physically exhausting. Doing comedy stuff 4-7 nights a week on top of working full-time and writing my book is insane. I am, in a way, fortunate enough to be the kind of person who needs to be hyper-productive, but sometimes that can run my whole life into the ground. For the last four months I have been getting by on five-hours of sleep a night and two Americanos a day. I’ve been living in the duality of having a great time being poor and young and pursuing a dream, but also being totally exhausted and living in a bit of haze. I took the past week off to sleep, watch the second season of Downton Abbey (holy shit), and evaluate what I’m doing with my life. The answer is yes, working my butt off is totally worth it, I just need to get an average of one hour more of sleep a night and neglect my non-comedy friends less.

Also, know that this isn’t a post made because I want to be lauded for living this lifestyle. It’s as selfish and shallow as any other type of life, just a whole lot more fun and highly relevant to my interest of living the simple life. Not the Paris Hilton kind, though Paris Hilton’s My British BFF is probably in my top ten reality shows of all time. Plus, the show itself is still simple because I can watch it for free, online — in bed.

Some of you have nominated me for those awards that go around these parts, which is super sweet, but I don’t really believe in awards and my inner-Berkeleyan won’t budge on that. Though, my inner-Berkeleyan is OK with reality television watching and occasional red meat eating.

I’m thankful that I’ve reached just the level of minor Internet fame that I am invited to birthday parties of people I haven’t seen in 10-years via Facebook. But I am mostly thankful for you, because knowing that every time I write something it goes out to 1,900+ people fucking rules, hardcore.

Hugs///

Ashley

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p.s. if you have any questions for me about anything comedy, writing or taking leaps of faith-related, feel free to post them in the comment section or e-mail me at ashleyjt7 [at] gmail. Bonus points if you tweet them at me @alltidashley

Eye Patches and Memories

You know how when you think about people you always picture them a certain way? Be it a hoodie they always wear, the haircut they’ve had forever, etc. etc.  I always picture my old landlady with an eye patch on. I actually almost wrote iPatch; this is a full disclosure blog.

Her name was Nancy and she was a very special lady. Her office was across from the liquor store between the door and the elevator, so everyone in the building had to pass her on their way in. She loved small talk, but she was very awful at it and it was awkward for everyone. It was always things like “there is a parking spot available if you need one, I am only telling you this because you’re my favorite”, “tell your roommate I’m not raising the laundry free because she’s my favorite” and random outbursts against illegals.

Her sidekick/only co-worker was this woman named Angelica who had really long nails, like long to the point where they were starting to curl over. Angelica would always have them painted with some pretty fabulous rhinestones. Basically, the two of them together were the best because they clearly didn’t like each other (but I guess it’s also possible that Angelica was also Nancy’s favorite). I would describe them as like the Odd Couple, but this is 2K12 so I am going to say that they were like Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah in Taxi. That comparison is definitely not entirely accurate, I’ve just been thinking about that movie a lot, and bringing it up to make sure that it actually exists. “Hey, remember that buddy comedy with Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon? I don’t understand why that happened.”

Anyways, Nancy, eyepatch, liquor store, apartment. I came home after calculus one day at 10 AM, opened the door to the apartment building, felt the feeling of dread of having to conversate with Nancy, passed her office door and actually made an audible sigh of relief. It should also be noted that I really hate small talk, because it’s just so shallow, formulaic and inconsequential. I have strong opinions about things.  So, I was super stoked that I had made it home free and that I could just go back to my apartment and pass out for a few hours. I turned the corner to the stairs and there stood Nancy at the mailboxes, a 60-something lady wearing leggings as pants, one of those 90s gray T-shirts with cats on it and an eye patch.

She proceeded to have an entire conversation with me without ever mentioning why she was wearing an eye patch. I could not tell you a single thing she said because I was so fixated on it. Because not only was she wearing an eye patch, but she was wearing an XXL eye patch and she was wearing it crooked. I just can’t overlook things like that. At least with small talk it’s OK to stare at someone’s face, I think, so I was probably in the clear. So now whenever I think about Nancy, I think about her in that moment, with her eye patch on.

One of my really good friends, and yes, favorite people, lives in that building now. Every time I hang out with him, which is always at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank and always after midnight, I go out of my way to ask about Nancy. Two weeks ago I got a text from my friend saying Nancy was leaving, and all I have to say is that it’s the end of an era, Glen Building.

Car Rides and Life Decisions

gross generalization: bad days really make you rethink your life

So I had a good day at work today, but my commute is epically long so I decided to check out the closest 24-hour fitness to kill some time/allow traffic to die down before heading home. This gym is one of the worst areas of town, but as someone who went to college in a bad area, I thought I would be OK with it. I also clearly like to pretend to be way more badass than I actually am. I walk into the gym and turn the corner to locker room and there is a security guard in thug stance. There are also sweaty thug-types using free weights and glaring at me. I walk into the locker room, and I see a sign that read “escorts are available to walk you to your car.” I fled like the little prissy white girl I am. Time at gym: four minutes.

Traffic doesn’t die down over the course of four minutes. Especially not during rush hour in Los Angeles. Time in traffic: 1.5 hours.

45 minutes in, while going 0.5 MPH in Westwood, I came to the conclusion that I need to make my moving day sooner, otherwise I might just die. I’m way too busy to commute for three+ hours everyday and not be a zombie. I have a stress/lack of sleep cold (cute) and I haven’t been hungry in about a week (my wallet is OK with this). My life is awesome in so many ways, but it would be so much better if my commute was 10 minutes. Apartment search begins this weekend, wish me luck :D.

Hugs///

AJ

p.s. I turn 23 this Friday. so weird. I do enjoy when life changes (new job, new place, new pli) coincide with birthdays. It makes everything all neat and tidy, and I am super into that.

p.p.s. I hope you are making Valentine’s Day baby jokes this and next week, because I feel like a lot of us were.