Monday, January 2, 2012

what a difference a year makes

what a difference a year makes…

2011: in review

LESBIFRIENDS; what a difference a year makes by lesbifriends

around this time last year, i was beginning to feel a bit burnt out. i couldn't keep up with the pace of things; missed calls, unanswered emails, drafts upon drafts of incomplete text messages. my little castle on a cloud was getting mighty cramped.

i couldn't focus.

i couldn't remember my dreams at night.

i couldn't sleep at all. but it was alright- i knew in my gut something was changing. i knew that while things seemed pretty bleak, a new horizon was getting ready to emerge.

"quit your job? what do you even want to do? you can't just throw it all away because you can't explain your feelings…that's crazy-talk"

as the seasons changed from winter to spring, the rhythmic hum of my life turned shrill. i could no longer ignore what had been bubbling within me. i knew that if i didn't act on those urges- and fast, then i never would. i could see my life play out as a sad, pathetic, washed up version of all my dreams. i could see myself as an old man recalling the past in hopes of drowning out the now. i could see myself in every person who told me what i was doing was wrong- that dreams have a shelf life and we all have to grow up sometime.

my last day on the air was friday the 13th- an ominous day, but in an optimistic way. when i quit my job, there were a lot of people who didn't really get why i was doing it. shockingly enough, i was one of those people. i didn't leave with another job lined up- i didn't have a normal list of benchmarks to determine my success…i was more or less just wingin' it.

once out of the 9a-5p world (or 7p-3a world…i lived in many different ones) i told myself to simply, follow my passions. "i want to do stand-up but i can't stop making crafts. i want to make more videos but can't stop taking nature photos." my mind was in a constant state of frenzy; constantly swirling with questions, answers, and new projects. i had been used to a world where i was completely saturated in my job. since i left school, i was my job. i was always at work or thinking about it. transforming from a person to a job title isn't hard living in/around the nation's capital- people are constantly talking about what they do like it defines them.

around the end of the summer i was all but convinced i was beginning to go insane. i was beginning to run out of the money i'd set aside to survive sans job and more pressingly- i no longer WAS my job…i was simply myself- but who the fuck was that? oh hello mid-life crisis…what appropriate timing you have. this 24 year old, quirky young lady was in need of having her cage rattled! thanks for swooping on down and bopping her on the head.

my parents wanted me to get a job, my body wanted to be quiet and think. i was hopelessly tired and felt as if i was accomplishing nothing. waves of depression began to do their pre-crest pull. rather than continue to be still and listen to my inner voice, i began a full out sprint to the stage to begin my stand-up comedy career.

the rush when you come off the stage is one countless comics spend a lifetime chasing. it was addictive…one open mic turned into a handful of shows- but i wasn't proud of my work. when i started doing shows, i was venting about the things that i hadn't been able to say for a while. mostly about being a femme lesbian in a male-dominated world…and not because WE live in a male dominated world but i was coming from 5 years experience in the radio/TV industry- which is still very much a boys' club. i'd watch videos of my stand-up performances only to be horrified at how i came across…"that's not me! i'm more than that!!"

the challenge with "finding your voice in comedy" is first in realizing that you will never find your voice in comedy if you are looking for it. being humorous isn't a language or dialect, it is (at its core) about human connections… finding a universal thread and pulling it to evoke a smile. for several months i was scared to go back on stage. at the time i felt it was because i hadn't found my comedic voice but i know now that it was ME that i had yet to find.

i had to slow down- WAY DOWN from what i'd been used to. i had to re-evaluate everything. what do i believe? what are my talents? where do my passions lie?

in the fall i exploded creatively. what should have been a blessing seemed to be more of a curse. i was creating, thinking, and inside of my head so much that it was hard to do anything but create. i could see a future where i supported myself through my talents, and just like that- the fog of uncertainty began to lift. all this time i'd been telling myself that the voice within that urged me to make new things was a distraction. wanting to take pictures when i was to be writing jokes or making art when i should have been reading…these weren't distractions but muses waking up!

"you're ADD or something- everyone is now a'days."

i'm sorry- but that's just not true. i'm not hyperactive, i'm hypercreative- and no drug can slow down my brain. nearly 8 months have passed since i left a job for my dreams… and i still have no idea what the fuck i'm doing with my life. i have a ways to go before i'm supported by my art and living in my dreamworld but everyday brings me one step closer to all that exists within me.

people will always have an opinion and oft times they mirror the negative voices in our heads. i hate to be so curt- but fuck those people. life is a series of choices and these have been mine. i proudly stand behind them all. if you don't think i'm living my life according to your standards, you're absolutely right. i'm finally beginning to understand that direction and aim are two very different things. one aims at a target and success is black and white- either you made your mark or didn't. direction, on the other hand, has no specific end point…just movement.

i, ashley linder, vow in 2012 to continue moving in the direction of my dreams- join me, won't you?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

VLOG: an adorably awkward, dinosaur loving weirdo

coming to terms with being an adorably awkward, dinosaur loving weirdo
my personal vlog

i finally took the stage at Riot Act comedy theater in Washington DC and lessons were learned...lessons like "don't talk about period blood".

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

VLOG: "wow, that could have gone better"

"wow, that could have gone better"
my personal vlog

i spread my comedy wings and host my first stand-up comedy event at Ragtime in Arlington VA...needless to say, things could have gone better.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

VLOG: dino for pterosaurs

dino for petrosaurs
my personal vlog

i constructed an entire VLOG around a 10 second clip of me making cat're welcome world.

Friday, August 12, 2011

VLOG: august 11th

august 11th
my personal vlog

today brings many joyful things...
-the grand opening of Riot Act in Washington DC (8th & E NW)
-premiere of Apacowonderland later this evening
-METEOR SHOWER (i don't mention this in the video, but it is worth noting)

Friday, July 29, 2011

VLOG: job hunting

ashley goes job hunting
my personal vlog

with a new, state of the art comedy club set to open in DC in a few weeks, i kick up the creative in order to gain their attention...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


in an electrocentric world

there are several things i am good at. collecting pens that write smoothly and evenly- choosing the fastest lane when stuck in traffic- striking gold at thrift stores- and making crafts rank among my most useful skills. i used to fancy myself an avid texter as well but with the rise in text-related traffic accidents (read: they passed a law in both the states i drive in daily and i'm not trying to get any tickets) i've almost completely lost my desire not only to text but to communicate altogether via technology.

my tech-qualms aren't just limited to my phone, but the internet as well. i've grown increasingly more uncomfortable with the amount of information we ourselves willingly put out there. this epiphany couldn't have happened at a worse time, our society is rapidly changing and growing more and more dependent on technological what-have-yous. from cell phones to tablets to laptops to fucking robots that are disguised as cell phones (i'm talking to you driod); to hell with the copernican model- we live an electrocentric world and we've reached the age of automation.

for years science fiction writers and enthusiasts alike have warned us of a robot-lead revolution. fortunately for the masses the probability of robots raising arms against us is slim, but the likelihood of our own kind going ape shit with androids raised high is real- very real.

last week a friend and i were discussing our weekends. i told her that my sister and her boyfriend of 8 years finally got married and the ceremony was a beautiful one. the other bridesmaids and i wore long black and white silk gowns that danced in the wind. this would have been a picturesque moment were it not 11 degrees and all of us sans bra...but it wasn't about us- it was about love.

as i began to regale her with the tale of how the jello shots made it to the reception she stopped me mid sentence- "that reminds me, i'm so pissed at britt. i invited her out this weekend and she didn't respond to my text or my message on facebook. she's so rude."

sensing i had exhausted her with tales of my family being far too fun at the wedding, i fueled her tangent by stating, "don't you think you might be acting a bit harshly? it's just facebook and a phone...maybe she was out busy engaging in life or working. i think people are too quick to get pissed off about things that the other person isn't actually culpable for."

her pug looking head cock to the side told me that i had lost her. so i elaborated, "what i mean by that is, it's unfair of you to be angry with a person for something so trivial. if you never talk to britt face to face, how will she ever know you got upset about her lack of response? who's to say she even read your message? maybe she is ignoring you- but maybe she's just techburnt."

to be techburnt is to be completely strung out and over extended in the online world.

now i'm the first to admit, it comes across as pretty hypocritical of me to state that i'm not comfortable with a lot of technology and yet i have a twitter, a facebook, a tumblr, a youtube and a blogger account. in years past i even went so far as to swear to never sign up for a twitter account (as i was convinced it was a tool for the government to monitor 'the pulse of the people'...but that's a can of worms better left closed until another day.)

i now regard twitter as a electronic post-it pad that helps me organize my often scattered thoughts. unlike facebook it doesn't ram my activities in the faces of all my "friends". i don't have much to say positivity about facebook except when used properly it can be a great networking tool...this is the only reason i still have an active account, well- that AND i was allowed to change my name to "Eunikorn Kweif" (take that, heightened monitoring of name changes!).

my main gripe isn't with the services themselves, but how people conduct themselves after being privy to such personal information- as if that level of transparency is owed to us. it's unnatural to me to be mid-conversation with someone, only to be stopped with "oh yah i know, i read about that on your mentioned it on someones wall i think." what the fuck?!

i doubt i can do much to hault the progress of technology, but i can change how i interact with it. the overwhelming exchange of information shouldn't be feared, but we most definitely need to address how open we are online (as well as how open we expect others to be). feeling slighted for a misconstrued comment or dejected after a missed response online are no grounds for termination of a friendship, but rather an opportunity for you to talk to said person IN REAL LIFE.

forgive me in advance for not being the best texter, emailer, facebook wall-poster, or tweeter...i promise you that i'm still the same great friend deep down but i'd rather engage with my real life over the e-one i've constructed (except with tumblr...where i'm forever online and forever alone, lol).

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