Monday, May 31, 2010

late night confessions: friday night

late night confessions
tell me sweet little lies

i have a confession to make- friday night i lied to a stranger for no reason at all and the guilt has been killing me.
after going out to a local bar my roommate's friend invited a few guys back over to our place. completely unaware of this fact, i began to freak out on the drive home-
with a pinch of panic in my voice i said, "hey guys, i don't mean to be a puss- but the car behind us has been following us since we left fairfax. i'm going to circle the house so they don't know where we live. after three or four left turns you can call the police."
a muffled giggle came from the backseat, followed by-
"aw ashley- you are so cute. those are my friends! they are supposed to be following us!"
don't roll your eyes at me... i'm not overly cautious but i am overly trusting- and i know this about myself. i'm the girl who believes every angry person just needs a friend- even if that anger puts a shank in their hand, that doesn't mean that they can't toss me a high five with the other. with the rose colored glasses i refuse to take off, my mother always said- better to be safe than sorry...and this was one of those times.
after arriving home we all settle down and begin to talk. it's rare that new straight men are in our home, normally the wiener-owners that grace us with their presence are our well established lesbros.
not shockingly the four dynamic personalities surrounding these boys eventually caused them to sit back and simply marvel at our always entertaining conversations.
one boy was very quiet, so i tried engaging with him. "so, you grew up in this area?" in northern virigina, that's always a great go-to question, because more often than not the answer is yes and it will spawn a new conversation about how typical this area can be.
paying just a dash of attention to him must have gotten his gears turning as he then became particularly inquisitive. normally i would happily entertain the line of questions being tossed at me, but he was blacked out drunk and i was certain he wouldn't remember meeting me- let alone the conversation in question.
when i came to that conclusion it was then that i decided to have a little fun...
"you guys have a really nice place here. how did you all meet?" he asked as he stared at me blankly.
without skipping a beat i, equally as blasé, retorted "oh, we met off craigslist."
clearly he wasn't expecting that, "really? craigslist is sketchy as hell."
"well- everyone knows craigslist is a front for criminal enterprises." i muttered as shot him a glance that said- i don't fuck around. "we're no exception."
it's worth mentioning that i've never been classified as anything remotely close to 'intimidating'. my glowing, alabaster completion coupled with my awkwardly long limbs do nothing but remind people of an albino scarecrow...except even crows aren't scared of me. however i can masterfully commit to an idea and sound so believable that even the most outlandish of shit that topples out of my mouth sounds plausible.
"f'real?" he said half smiling- still unsure of my truthfulness "that's cool."
deadpan, i assured him "we are deep into money do you think four young women afford this place? you have no idea who you came home with."
anything more would have been too much, anything less- not nearly enough. without giving him a chance to respond i left the couch and retired to my room for the evening.

while alone in my slumber palace i congratulated myself on a job well done. i had successfully managed to either terrify my new friend or lick the envelope on my awkward life status- either way i left feeling satisfied. while i did feel a bit guilty about lying- i can't exactly apologize. for if were i to run into my new friend ever again i would most definitely recommit to my money laundering, craigslist loving ways. who knows, i might even let him know my gang affiliation!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

queerFAQtor wednesday

queerFAQtor wednesday
de-spelling the myths: bisexuals

mythmaster ashley makes an appearance to spit some myths about the bisexual community...and a personal 'atta girl to yours truly, as i have managed to get a dinosaur in every video- today's included. (not sure if i should be proud, but fuck it- I AM!)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

post break-up relationship

post break-up relationship
who the hell are you?!

"what's in a name? that which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet;
so my baby would, were she not my baby call'd,
retain that dear perfection which she owes
without that title."

after a relationship ends most assume that's it- the dissolution of the partnership is final and definitive. you both go your separate ways and hope to never run into each other ever again. as far as being 'lovers' is concerned, that chapter of your lives is over. outside of hollywood there is no end scene where all is right with the world and the two- temporarily parted lovers- run, slow-mo, into each others arms in a field of sunflowers. there is no moment where aerosmith's "don't wanna miss a thing" blares loudly over speakers and you kiss once more before one of you goes off to blow up an asteroid that is aimed to destroy earth. sometimes it simply is what it is, and that shared portion of your lives is done.

what we often forget is that in the avalanche of sadness there is room for hope. while something established is coming to an end, it is also the beginning of the newest chapter in your life- one of friendship with your ex. this isn't an easy route, but it can be done. where is the manual that says how one is to function after a break up? is it so wrong to handle oneself in a mature, reasonable manner? after every break-up i've had throughout my life i've been force-fed this 'mantra of independence' by those around me. you, undoubtedly are aware of this mantra without even knowing it. it's the well rehearsed speech that naturally tumbles out of our mouths when we see a friend in pain. regardless of the situation surrounding the break-up, catch phrases such as "you have more time to focus on you"; "you are better off"; and "you are now completely free", sting like an army of wasps. their intention is to make you feel more at ease with the notion of singledom and prevent you from future heartache but with every one liner tossed at you, you are further reminded that it's real- and it's gone. i don't think it's always appropriate to befriend an ex, but i have found that those who treat their break-ups as a transition into friendship generally come out of the ordeal with a few less scars.

there are sometimes where cutting and running is what you have to do. i hold onto the idea that everyone, with a little effort, can coexist in a harmonious fashion. i'm not about to say that everyone can be friends, because while YES it is in everyones limits to befriend everyone else it just doesn't happen like that. there are some people who just do not get along with others.

but for those who are open to friendly relations with exes, have you ever felt the harsh eye of friends of loved ones who think that the past should be left in its place? i've had lovers who didn't like that i was on good terms with exes, i've had lovers who strictly forbade any contact with exes (that relationship didn't last long. if you don't trust me than there is no room for us). on some level i can understand the hesitation, and agree with it- however in a relationship there should be a level of mutual respect. it seems if people have a problem with anyone, anywhere holding the title of 'ex'. wouldn't that include the greater portion of the world?! i digress, i've had friends who wouldn't go to parties because exes were there. i've had friends who refuse to have any exchange with their exes at all, and for what? like it or not, these people are a part of your history.

please don't misconstrue my words; i'm not trying to fill your head with grandiose ideas of a fictionalized life where every human interaction is, i'm filling your brain and my chest with positivity and the hope of a brighter day as i know this life is a see-saw. i know that the pain i've experienced and seen inflicted all around me when couples fall apart. now even if a break-up is done on the best of terms, with the sweetest of intentions, hurt/rejection/and loss are all there...just as when things end on a sour note. there is no two ways around that swamp of sadness, but i think that in some cases it is possible for that relationship not to end but transform into a friendship. i think that sometimes your grandma is right and every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end...ok, either your grandma or semisonic.

Friday, May 21, 2010

the ocean & the sandcastle

the ocean
& the sandcastle

the waves run ashore and reclaim the sand.
you watch a sandcastle melt into the water.
what once was majestic is now a memory.
naturally, panic sets in and your mind races-
"what if i had built it taller? or just a little bit stronger?"
reason tells you that you were never any match for the mighty ocean.
it was just a matter of time before she took back what was rightfully hers.
reason does little to ease the sense of loss.
just because you never owned the sand you claimed-
doesn't mean it was any less yours.
even though a pristine landscape now lives where your castle once did-
your work was not in vain.
you lovingly molded tiny, inconsequential, grains into a fortress;
you took scraps of broken shells and dirt and made something beautiful;
you built a house and made it your home.

sandcastles aren't meant to last forever.
after enough time, the waves will provide us all with a new perspective.

Monday, May 17, 2010

the power of pain

the power of pain
and the power of perspective

the thing i find both curious and charming about pain is it's unrivaled power. the power of pain is one that even the most idealistic optimist can't deny. unlike a soft caress- pain will always derive a feeling, even when we assume that the skin has grown too callous to feel.

lest it be a pinch or a punch- pain is synonymous with displeasure. poor, pitiful, pain- it gets such a bad rap, and why? because it doesn't directly emote happiness? because often time it forces one to learn a lesson? because pain is a harder emotion to forget than pleasure? whatever your issue is with pain, i assure you it's not as dismal as it might seem...

when i was 17 pain paralyzed me for the first time in my life. i went to an open casket funeral; his name was andrew and he was my second cousin. our story was an interesting one and began in middle school- before we even knew we were related. i knew him as the incredibly talented soccer star, whom all the girls swooned for. he was funny, personable, intelligent, dynamic and he talked to me. a seemingly trivial fact now but at the time middle school politics dictated that like oil and water, we weren't to mix. he was popular, attractive, and well spoken; i was still about 4 years shy of puberty, donned the classically lame glasses + braces combo, and i hadn't yet grown into my killer wit.

what i later came to find out was andrew was a bit of tomcat. don't get me wrong- he was sweet and genuine but he told me later in our friendship that he initially had talked to me in hopes of getting closer to my sister- the hot one, who was two years older and in high school! but unlike every other boy who hit me up in hopes of scoring with my gorgeous,untouchable older sister, andrew became my friend as years went on.

my great aunt, who was a second mother to everyone who knew her, passed away and our family attended the funeral. while at the luncheon the church threw after the service i saw andrew's mother. when our eyes met she scurried over my way, "hi ashley, you don't know me very well but my name is pam- and i'm your aunt...more or less." my mother's side of the family is a twisted tree to say the very least- west virgina residency, illegal adoptions, common law marriages, and what can only be described as "bloodless, self-imposed familial ties" is what they call the extended family.

she went on, "i'm not sure if you have met, but i believe you have a class with my son andrew- he's your second cousin." ANDREW? the boy who wanted to sleep with my sister IS MY SECOND COUSIN? i suppose it could have been worse- instead of some lustful, meaningless schoolboy crush, he could have actually slept with her...hello therapy! i've grown to love the mystery that is my maternal side, but at the time i was horrified. upon my return to school i saw andrew and asked if he knew of our relation- it was news to us both.

in high school we had gym together and both suffered sports injuries around the same time. he and i were sidelined and forced to watch everyone learn volleyball while we wrote papers on how our lives were enriched through the sport of spikes. both of us had gotten knocked up in soccer; he had chronic knee issues because of the dedication he had for his sport; and during a tournament a girl slide tackled me from behind and broke my wrist (full disclosure: the year prior, in the same tournament my actions lead to her breaking her arm off of a corner kick...i will go to my grave stating i never intentionally hurt her- nor did i even get carded for the move but i digress.) it was during this time we grew the closest we would ever be.

within a year he left for reform school and our conversations grew more sparse. our interactions became limited to family events, which were few and far between. then one day a medicine ball hit me square in the chest- i was told andrew was dead.

a death in high school is terrible for two reasons: one- teens are already on an emotional precipice and a death of a peer can have far reaching emotional consequences; two- (which was the unfortunate case with andrew) the rumor mill spins wildly and the death becomes a sideshow of sorts. i talked to his mother on several occasions after his death and to this day she regards the gossip surrounding her son's death as one of the biggest challenges during the grieving process.

i remember not wanting to go to the funeral not because i was too distraught to be seen in public, but i feared that people would judge my lack of reaction harshly. andrew and i talked openly of our depression and at that time i was still in a very dark place. while it wasn't directly the effect of his death, my depression had taken a turn for the worst and this was merely icing on the cake. i wanted to go to support his family and let them know what a brilliant light andrew had within him, so i sucked up my fears and went to the funeral.

it was an open casket...he was 17 and it was an open casket. to this day the image is burned in my mind...him lying there, soccer trophies peppered about a table next to him, the top of the casket littered with old photos and memories. it was the first time physical pain from sadness paralyzed me. i stood about six feet away from the coffin with my left hand on my right shoulder- this was the time when i should have cried, but all i could do was stand and stare. there was no outward expression of sadness, no tissues, no dramatic scene, just me standing in front of a coffin staring blankly at my friend- my family- andrew.

in hindsight, it's really no big surprise i didn't cry at andrews funeral- or any of the funerals i attended in that time of my life. emotionally i was completely shut off from the world, but with andrew's funeral came an epiphany. i was reminded that no matter how detached we become, we are always capable of feeling something. even though that something manifested itself in crippling depression and an awkward statuesque scene in front of a casket, the fact of the matter was that i felt something.

pain is vilified so much in our world because it's not pleasure, dealing with it isn't as easy as simply accepting joy. but that doesn't mean that we can't gain something from each painful experience that we have. with andrew's death, i learned that the lights are never completely turned off until you are dead. that no matter how strongly you believe you are emotionally inept or that depression is all you can feel- remember that you are feeling and you are alive...and that's forever something to celebrate.

Friday, May 14, 2010



we've been told all of our lives that absence makes the heart grow fonder. it's a mantra that is clichéd- trite- archaic- and abstract; and yet we cling to it as if it's our only lifeline left when backed into a corner. when someone departs from our lives or general vicinity, in order to lessen the blow we fill our heads with idyllic notions that they will return to our arms or hearts one day. we hold onto the hope that at that point the past will be erased and a new world order will ensue with you both living like kings.

it's easy to ignore the fact that absence can also have the contrary effect; not making the heart grow fonder, but helping to bring to light the fact that humans are self sustaining creatures and you never needed anyone, but rather wanted them there. we throw so much up to the heavens and call fate whenever something "can't be explained"; and why? because internalizing a feeling and analyzing it proves to be too much of a challenge? fate might have brought you two together, but a mutual choice kept you together. don't minimize your role in your own life. yes, the universe is bigger and more powerful than most can imagine but that in no way trumps the power of human choice.

the truth of the matter is that sometimes people don't return. life isn't always a soap opera with reoccurring characters and themes; sometimes sentences end with a simple period over an ellipse...and that's the end. it is a very challenging mindset for me to accept, but everyday it becomes more actualized to me.

i've always been unusually plucky and optimistic, thus 'throwing in the towel' or giving up on ANYTHING isn't something i do without a fight. most people claim it's their pride that keeps them from admitting defeat; i claim it's my heart. to give up on a person, a feeling, a task, or a dream means admitting to myself i set the bar too high; it means i unrealistically thought i could do something that i, in fact, could not. fuck my pride- it's my heart that shatters when i fail.

i've come to the realization that acceptance doesn't directly translate into failure. the initial emotional response might feel the same, but in all actuality they couldn't be more different. with failure- you set out to complete a task and either weren't capable or chose not to follow through with. with acceptance, i liken it to a novel- within it are a number of chapters, the parts to a whole. and while some chapters are more salacious and titillating than others, you don't throw the book down in disgust because a chapter has come to a close- you press onward, eager to see what's next.

with failure comes defeat; with acceptance comes hope.

i'm not giving up on dreams/people/life in general, but i rest assured knowing that if a day does come that forces me to stare facts in the face and walk away from something arguably unfinished, i will greet it with hope over despair.
i know that i'm strong enough to weather any storm, as are we all...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

queerFAQtor wednesday

queerFAQtor wednesday
talkin' dirty with apacowayner

i'm a shy guy when it comes to talking about sex on such a public level...but i think this was a respectable attempt at disscusing just that.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

queerFAQtor wednesday

queerFAQtor wednesday
queerFAQtor quizzles

this week we discuss being out in the workplace...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

random thoughts #29

random thought # 29
my brain is a shaken snow globe today

  • classifying myself as having wanderlust is a stretch. while it would be more accurate to say i 'have an unexplainable and overwhelming desire to wander throughout the west (specifically the bay area) whilst documenting my adventures via witty blog musings and entertaining videos', it just doesn't pack the same literary punch and have the same readability as the simplistic, 'wanderlust'.
    whatever verbiage you fancy, the fact still remains that san fransisco changed my life. i cannot wait to breathe that bay breeze once more. the city by the bay proved to be the first time a location transformed me, taught me, and opened my eyes.
    my best friend jill (of san fransisco) has taught me through her example that everyone should be in touch with their inner hippie. i'm not advocating going out and buying a brick of weed and smoking it by the reflecting pool on the national mall (because the 5-0 doesn't smile upon that ), i am however in support of a more whimsical way of thinking. i'm trying my hardest to channel that today, i'm going to find a flower- and let it know just how beautiful it is...then do the same to a person who needs to hear it.
  • i still refuse to understand twitter...but i'm finally willing to admit that it's a 'refusal' to educate myself, not the fact that twitter is complicated and beyond me.
  • nothing is more frustrating as when you are succeeding while failing at the same time. challenges come in all shapes and sizes. when one is massive enough, it's illogical to tackle it all at once... breaking it down into more digestible pieces isn't wrong but outwardly those around you assume you are gasping for air when in reality you are making big strides in your life. i'm succeeding for myself, but i can't shake the defeating feeling i get when you look at me in that way...i wish you would just allow me time and space to complete this task.
  • on may 3rd, 'world press freedom day', upwards of 35 journalists are still detained in prisons in iran for doing their here to e-mail iranian president mahmoud ahmadenijad calling for the immediate and unconditional release of journalists jailed in iran since june '09 and to reopen the sealed office of the association of iranian journalists. if we stop the press we shut down our most powerful link to the world. i still believe in the power of journalism in spite of the sensationalistic way that most choose to portray it.
  • i never thought i would classify myself as a person who believed that there was a genetic tie to homosexuality. if one could argue that point, than who's to say someone won't take it one step further and try to 'cure' this 'genetic mutation'...rounding us all up like livestock, 'fixing us',. ok- perhaps i thought a bit too colorfully on this one, but be that as it may- my tune has a new harmony added to it today. i've come to the realization that there HAS to be a genetic link for at least certain portion of lucky lesbians. much like 'dyke swagga', lesbian hat head is something that a special goup of lesbots are blessed with.
    you know that typical, american apparelesque, super slouchy beanie- that when held up looks like you could smuggle dreads and a bucket of babies inside? those aren't designed for people with sensible sized heads, they were designed specifically for hipsters and lesbians with lesbian hat head.
    i've yet to visually confirm that the lesbians who wear these hats without fear of them falling off ACTUALLY have cone heads, but i'm friggen convinced. it's just a thought...
  • i'm all for thumbing ones nose at social norms and being an original (a belief no doubt bolstered by my purchase this weekend, see left) but there are some who flirt with that line a bit too much. i can appreciate that people assert an artistic flair when it comes to the monotonous palate of facebook. i think that your default picture is the most blatant way for you to express your personality. perhaps i took a trip to crazy town recently, but last time i checked the 'face' of facebook had a self implied 'you' along with it. it can be topical and witty to upload a photo of another person, but when every photo of you is someone else i begin to get uncomfortable- cut that shit out. you do not look like selena gomez- you look like you...please stop uploading photos of her as your default only to have me feel like a shallow asshole when i realize that fact and become enraged that i fell for another fucking doppelganger.