Firm opinions about absolutely nothing 🌞

Things seem bleak. Things ARE bleak. It seems like people are more divided, feelings are more hurt, anger and hate is permeating into every aspect of life. Personal lives, relationships, careers, friendships are being tested and pushed.. and after 2020, we kinda needed a break. As you know, or you should know, I refuse to comment/engage in political discussion, religious discussion, controversy of any kind really. This is because some of my most loved people are radically different than me, feel radically different than me, look radically different than me, love radically differently than me, and I still love them. Like.. a lot and for me, that’s the only thing I really need to know. Love harder, love better, love differently, love intentionally. My goal for 2021 is that everyone important to me feels seen, loved, and heard by me. Spewing hate and anger prohibits that. So.. no dice. 🤷🏻‍♀️

But… I was getting a little bummed that my promise to myself (and my loved ones) was preventing me from sharing opinions when it’s ALL THE RAGE on every social media platform. So, instead of anything political/controversial/hateful, I’m creating a list of super firm opinions I hold that effect absolutely no one and have no true detriment to society in the slightest. Enjoy.

1. Tupperware shouldn’t exist. I hate it; it’s disgusting, it’s smelly, it’s absolutely never clean again after the first use. 🤷🏻‍♀️ help me fight the war against Tupperware. Don’t even get me started on the lid situation. It’s just toxic.

2. Those goldfish, with the exposed brains, in pet stores.. are ridiculously frightening. They shouldn’t be exposed to children. They shouldn’t exist. Ferrets look like furry snakes and I am a little afraid of them also.

3. Rolling over on a squeaky dog toy in bed whilst in the middle of a deep sleep is the fur parent equivalent to the real parents rolling over on a child’s talking toy. The terror is the same, probably.

4. White queso is WAY better than yellow queso. But I can agree it can be mood dependent. In sum, queso is fucking bomb no matter what color. The same goes for enchiladas. It’s honestly magic.

5. I’m a huge advocate for finishing exactly 0 show series. I tried it once. Characters I loved died, the ending wasn’t what I expected, I was left hanging, overall… the ending didn’t live up to expectations. So.. I propose, we skip all endings. Watch a series until you don’t think you can handle another minute of the drama, then immediately turn it off, stop following, and forget the experience ever happened. I promise, your imagination won’t let you down – the show really might.

6. There are no slower drivers in the world than the drivers in Nebraska. I know, I know.. this probably coming off as controversial. It’s not, it’s FACT. As a Kansas Citian, I know how to drive at normal speeds. My fellow Kansas Citians, who have visited me, can all attest… Nebraskans are the SLOWEST. 🤷🏻‍♀️

7. Disney world is the Devil’s playground. I know, this may also be alienating. I’ll tell you more about it some other time, but just know.. it was the TRIP. FROM. HELL. I will never return, but good for all y’all that like it, I’m invested in your experience being better. But truly, everything on your trip could go absolutely wrong in every single way, shape, and form, and still be better than the TRIP. FROM. HELL.

8. Elephants should be household pets. For real. Everyone would be better if they had a baby pet elephant. Plus it could reduce carbon emissions. Slower, but reliable, transportation. Plus their memories are amazing. We all deserve one. 🐘

9. Bingo is the most fun game. Ever. Online bingo = a way of life. Live bingo? THE ANTICIPATION IS UNREAL. Bingo can be played at any age and enjoyed by every person. It’s America’s game, fight me about it!

10. Cheddar bites and mozzarella sticks are amazing ➡️ the phrase “cheese curd” is horrific and underserves the entire fried cheese industry. It’s a freaking crime.

11. Rappers/musicians shouldn’t be allowed to use cop sirens in their songs. It’s heart attack inducing if you are driving. I hate it and someone needs to make that a real life rule.

12. I don’t think it’s THAT offensive when people clap when the plane lands. I don’t get the hatred for the habit. Sometimes, you just gotta clap for joy. Sometimes you’ve been sitting for hours and you just need release energy somehow – clapping is that outlet. Don’t hate the expression. It’s probably better than like a freaking break dance competition or fist-fight.

13. Telephone calls need to stop. Like fully. It’s an ancient practice. Text me, message me, snap me, Facebook me. DO NOT CALL ME. Telephone calls desperately want to be extinct. I desperately want them to be extinct. Let’s make this the goal of 2021. Together, we can conquer the freaking telephone call NIGHTMARE.

14. Spring water tastes like fishbowl water. It’s gross.

15. Printers should literally NEVER be allowed to run out of ink and lightbulbs should never burn out. Who actually remembers either of those items when they go to the store? ABSOLUTELY NO ONE. Then.. BAM.. one day, in the middle of a school/work crisis, you’re suddenly reminded you’re out of the damn printer ink. And it’s midnight. And Walmart is closed. And life just sucks at that point. Printer ink and lightbulbs put people in bad moods. It’s a science.

16. We should make plastic dishware and silverware the new norm. Dishes are nasty. How lovely would it be if we could just use the plate for meal at hand and throw it away. No more soggy food. No more leftovers.

Honestly, with that… I’m circling back to the eradication of Tupperware. So I guess.. I stop.

Sunny daze ahead friends (probably).

Sunny daze ahead friends (probably).

Enneagram: Whatever

I have a secret.

I don’t know my enneagram, and honestly, I don’t want to. I get the basic premise of the enneagram test; it’s to help you understand yourself and your way of thinking, your perceptions, your inclinations, your triggers, and your passions. When you know your enneagram number, and you know someone else’s enneagram number, you can calculate compatibility with others, understand group dynamics more clearly, you know how to communicate better and share healthy relationships and discussions. I think we can all agree these are GOOD things. So… what’s my deal?

Twice in my life (that I can remember), I have taken these “tests” to identify my strengths and weaknesses, and both times, I didn’t get the answer I wanted. I know, I know, I know… that’s not how these tests work, but just hear me out, these kinds of tests are tricky.

I overthink the questions, I “lawyer” them if you will…”in this [blank] scenario, you would respond [blank] accordingly..” Immediately, my brain tracks to.. well it depends! Is it sunny or cold out? What side of the bed did I wake up on? What implications would this have on me, on my family, on my dogs? I know you’re supposed to go with your gut reaction, your first/immediate response. Here’s the thing: my gut doesn’t have firm opinions, and sometimes quite frankly, it’s fucking directionless. If my gut was a Girl Scout, abandoned in the woods, you’d never see me again, even if you left me with a map and a compass.

The first time I took a test, which I am considering similar to the enneagram test, I was in 10th grade. It was a Career Aptitude Test that went along with the practice ACT. I KNEW I wanted to be a doctor; had wanted to be one since I was three. It was my dream and I was bent and determined to make that dumb Career Aptitude Test reflect that very dream. I answered all the questions fully expressing my great, and what I thought to be endless, joy with helping people, working long hours, flexibility, all things science, gross liquids… everything I thought would point this test straight north – next stop: med school.

My number one recommendation: trash woman. I was shattered.

The second time I took one of these personality-style tests, it was in our leadership class in high school. I don’t remember the context; but it involved being grouped into 4-5 different color categories based on your answers. Everyone wanted to be yellow or purple. I got red.

And it might as well been a big ole bucket of scarlet red paint all over my face. Red was for domineering, loud, “natural-born” leader, sometimes argumentative, confident. I wanted to be the passionate/artsy purple or the lively/cheerful yellow; but no, I got stupid, bossy red. And I have hated the color red ever since.

Trash women have wonderful attributes and are a very, necessary (to put it in 2020 terms: essential) part of our work force. There is no shame in being a trash woman. I just didn’t want to be one (update: I still don’t). And testing the color red wasn’t supposed to be an insult, there are lots of fantastic people who have rewarding careers, where natural born leader and domineering are considered positive attributes. Hint: an attorney is one of them.

But the point is, both times, I tried to manipulate the answers to who I wanted to be and I didn’t get accurate results. To be clear, I am probably red 🙄, but the Career Aptitude Test was a fluke, and I often wonder what results I would have gotten, if I hadn’t insisted on steering my results towards what I KNEW I wanted to hear.

So, that’s my deal. I don’t trust myself to be honest with myself or the test. I think I will pick a number I want to be, shepherd my answers that way, and end up being like an 800 on the blue map, with swirls of purple and a massive streak of red.

To be fair to myself, and to you, I don’t really believe in grouping myself in one category anyways. I think knowing how your brain works and how your brain processes things is important. I think knowing how the people with whom you surround yourself with brain’s process things is important. I think it’s imperative to know your values, to have a strong moral compass, and to believe your heart to be good and sincere and kind. You don’t need a number or a color to know that.

Please understand: I have no problem with enneagram numbers and the full-hearted believers. I also know that the Career Aptitude Test and the Color-test (as I am naming it) are completely different than the Enneagram Test. I think there is true science to the Enneagram tenets; and I mostly believe it whole-heartily.

I just won’t buy in. To be honest, the test is too long anyways. The bar exam is the last test of that length that I will ever take. 😜 Of course, it is possible that this entire post gives away my exact Enneagram number. That would be the ultimate irony; poetic-justice in a way, but in the meantime…

Here I am, Ashley: Enneagram Whatever.

Sunny daze ahead, sweet friends. 🌞 probably.

2021 UNrecommendations

Well… it’s happening, due to high demand, and my monstrous ego, I’ve decided to blog. Simply put, I can’t imagine who wouldN’T want to read my crazy antics and get to know the inner-workings of my semi-stable brain. Maybe, you’ll laugh (hopefully, WITH me). Maybe you’ll cry or maybe you’ll get bored. It’s really up to you what you take from this, all I can promise is brutal honesty, a heavy dose of sarcasm, some cuss words (I am who I am, sorry dad), and a little insanity. My mom has also recommended I share some of my recipes.. so maybe that too.

So buckle up, strap in, glue your helmet to your damn head, empty your bladder and do whatever it is that you have to do to prepare for a ride.. a wild ride. A star-studded, bronc bucking, rodeo type of ride… my very favorite type. 💃🏼

2020 was a different kind of ride, like that weird ride in Disney world where they sing that one creepy song and you’re in the dark the whole time? The ride felt like hours, but really it was a few minutes, and the shrill song in the background makes you feel crazy. But at the same time, there were moments like that stupid carnival ride, the Egg Scrambler or whatever, the one that flings your insides into the side the car and bruises your lungs? Then, right when your innards have adjusted to be being slammed into the left side of your body, you whip them HARD to the right; whiplash fashion. Then the ride ends, right before you suffer internal bleeding and lose the last week worth of lunches. And oddly, you sort of had fun.

That was 2020. Mostly not fun, a little bruising, lots of shitty- high pitched songs/whining, but also.. somehow.. okay-ish? I came out alive, I came out healthy, closer to stable than you may have thought, and now… I’m just here to help. ⬇️

Just some “un” recommendations for 2021:

1. Drink a lot of water. Like a lot of water. But don’t drink a gallon of water a day if you are my size/similar size. Trust me, you’ll think inundating your kidneys and liver with love, and nourishing your internals the best way possible, but really… you’re setting yourself up to pee. Like a lot. Like 46 times a day (it seriously happened once). It only took me a week of this fun, before I got smart. DON’T DRINK A GALLON OF WATER A DAY.

2. Don’t vow to make 24 “life-altering, soul-changing, self-loving” actions on social media, then kick off the list with an amazing week long cruise with the Caribbean with all your favorite people. Inevitably, you will dock back at the port, corona virus will be running rampant, and all your soul-nourishing, fun-filled concerts and trips planned for 2020 will be canceled. Life took a dramatic turn, it wasn’t foreseeable.. but still NOT COOL. No one wants to watch you draw a bubble bath, light a candle and tout #selflove for the next 10 months. It’s a bad look. Trust me, I’m talking about me.

3. Don’t decide to change your anxiety meds, based on the recommendation of your Gyno, who’s MUCH more concerned about your nether-regions than your upper half – ya know.. the brain half. There’s the chance that she won’t notice your serotonin deficiency, rip you off all traces of any serotonin, and then make you feel like it’s YOUR fault you’re suddenly unhinged. Actually, learn from me. Don’t change anything that doesn’t need changed – EVER. change is dangerous.

Kidding. I know change is inevitable. But I hate it. It’s okay if you hate it too. I hope for minimal change in 2021 for me.. and for you if that’s what you want.

4. Stop waiting on others. Like.. if you’re sick, and you know your medication is wrong, and your doctor won’t call you back, you don’t have to throw up in trash cans for two months while your “doctor” insists you’re “adjusting”. You’re not adjusting. You’re sick as hell and she may be trying to kill you. If this sounds like it’s getting personal, it was. I’m over it. On a broader scale, just don’t wait on anyone, trust your brain, trust your body. And while I’m on it, stop waiting on those “friends” too. People that want to be around you, don’t make you wait, ever. EVEN IN A PANDEMIC.

5. Be sweet, but not too sweet. Don’t volunteer yourself to all your neighbors to be their pandemic-survival tour guide. Unless you’re a nurse, or a doctor, or a teacher (HINT- I AM NONE OF THE ABOVE), you’ll just end up driving your unknown neighbor’s great-grandma to the emergency room, for COVID-like symptoms, because you suddenly forgot how to say no. Here’s a thought; drop off an extra roll of toilet paper, offer some cans of soup if you have a couple to spare, and MIND YA OWN. don’t take a stranger’s grandma to their death trap. It’s bad for morale.

6. Don’t fail to explain the double-tap favorite trick on Instagram to the unfamiliar. There is NOTHING worse than a stalking situation going awry due to happy thumbs. (Mom, looking at you). Let’s be honest, there is something rewarding about seeing people you kinda hate/kinda love to hate get a little chunky.. but I think you really (ASHLEY- GIVING MYSELF A PERSONAL CALL OUT) need to think about your own quarantine 15, those “a-little-too-tight” jeans, and maskne before you get a little judge-y. I’m gonna go ahead and hop off my 100 pounds of cremated high-horse remains and stay in my own damn lane.

7. Speaking of exercise, you should do it. You should do it in a normal amount. You should commit, like a normal person, to a normal amount of work, that matches your current physical state. HERE’S, WHAT NOT TO DO – join OTF, work out like 900 times harder than you have since like kindergarten p.e., then be shocked when your body immediately rejects your existence. The method is tried and true -IT DOES NOT WORK. bursitis is no joke, and it will scare you out of every working out again, seriously. (See above Quarantine 15 commentary).

8. Don’t get drunk and carry your horse ashes around the house, weeping. At least.. not frequently. Even the world’s most patient dad, gets tired of putting away 100 pounds of ashes every other weekend. I’m gonna be honest, it’s taken me a minute; but those ashes and those tears don’t bring her back. But what I can do, what I should do, and what I think everyone should do, is live life harder, louder, and more lovingly. Learn from me. 100 pounds is a lot of freaking weight to carry around, whether it be the weight of grief, the weight guilt, the weight of paranoia, the weight of shame, 100 pounds of anything is TOO much. Unless you’re Matt, then 100 pounds of Ashley is the EXACT right amount. Drop the weight, sis.

9. Don’t let your 10 pound puppy do anything that you won’t think is adorable when your puppy is suddenly 50 pounds (small head, big butt – opposite of her mother as Matt so kindly reminds me). There’s a reason I wake up to paws on my face and my 100 rottie mix actually thinks she’s a lap dog. I can’t walk into my own damn house, without Lucy demanding a sit down, paws on shoulders, stare down. The queen THRIVES on eye contact. But actually- while I’m on the topic, just don’t let anyone do something to you that’s less than adorable more than once. Rule of thumb, life rule, important notice, WAVING NEON-SIGN OF LOVE FROM ASHLEY, don’t let anyone in 2021 treat you any less than perfectly adorable.

10. Don’t waste toilet paper. The world may shut down again, and if the hoarders get crazy, you’ll be reduced to the WORST brand, tissue paper, even a paper towel, with no end in sight. Don’t hoard it, because that’s real dickish. But also, don’t waste it; because let’s be honest, paper cuts are real.

That’s all I got for you, brought to you from my favorite place in my world, my bed, sandwiched between dogs… aka Heaven or a close enough knock-off for me.

Sunny daze ahead friends, probably. ❤️