Thursday, July 29, 2010


a breath of fresh air

fire has always been fascinating to me. i can't exactly pinpoint why... something about the way it quivers when perched atop a candle- the way the smell weaves its way into your clothes- the way its brilliance is best displayed when against the backdrop of a clear night. maybe it's the way the sulfur burns your nose when you flick a match and inhale deep- or perhaps it's the simple fact that holding raw power makes me feel strong. there is just something undeniable about fire that keeps me mesmerized.

that sounds eloquent but truth be told it's a fancy way of masking the fact that i'm just a pyro.

there are several ways to snuff out a flame. a painfully typical task, people forget that there is a grace and beauty that comes with extinguishing fire. you must always respect the fact that the allure of a flame is a double edge sword. lean in too close- leave burned; pay it no mind- miss out on natural magic.

if singeing all the hair off of my lower arms one summer night while testing out the flammability of nail polish remover taught me nothing else, at least i learned to respect the power of fire...also how to quickly put out your arms when they are fully engulfed. one can put out a flame through means of dowsing it with a non-flammable liquid; one could lick their fingers and pinch the flame out; and if you are feeling like a douche and want someone to think your cool- then just snuff that lil fella out in your mouth.

but what's the most beautiful way in which a flame is turned off? air. simple, crisp, unassuming air. after a strong gust blows through one of two things will happen to fire- it will either gobble up that wind and grow and spread, burning everything in its path...or it becomes overwhelmed and snuffed out, leaving only a smoke trail behind.

my world has been burning. i know that a breath of fresh air is all i need to turn down this oppressive heat. i also know that when i leave this chapter and move onto the next i'll only leave a smoke trail behind.

queerFAQtor wednesday

queerFAQtor wednesday
late night questions, interesting takes on "answers"

sure it's late...but of course i'm up.
when it rains it pours.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

in attempts to not be a bitch i become a bitch

in attempts to not be a bitch i become a bitch
and other fun flaws in my logic

aretha franklin holds a very special place in my heart. many mistakenly assume my love of ms franklin is a direct result of her humble hat choice during obama's inauguration. this hat did warm my heart a great deal but the main force behind my love of her is in the soulful way she sang the 1967 classic, respect.

the way she demands to be treated; the sultry way she lays down the law; the no bullshit approach to commanding respect- to me, it's inspiring. throughout the song she stands firm in her convictions and her wishes are made clear. "i ain't gonna do you wrong- cause i don't wanna; all i'm askin is for a little respect" she's not being hateful or a bitch- she's simply asking for common courtesy.

when it comes to trust, i get why the greater portion of people don't give it out freely. as a person who trusts people until they give me reason not to, i've found life can be a bit more emotive for those like me. but as it pertains to respect- that's a whole other monster.

while there is wiggle room with doling out trust; respect, i believe , there is no room for question- everyone deserves it... even those you would rather just punch in the throat. if everyone took a moment to calm themselves before lashing out in a disrespectful manner, fights would flow in a mature way. if everyone gave everyone else respect as indiscriminately as we give out snarky cut-downs, the world would be a beautiful place.

but as we all know too well, respect seems to be a fleeting virtue. all too often people put their pride before their dignity. treating someone like absolute horseshit just to prove a point is a counterproductive measure. the only point that's actually proven is that you are an asshole.

the biggest challenge in giving everyone respect is dealing with people who are rooted firmly in negativity. as of late i've encountered such people and it breaks my heart to be near them. i know that the world isn't always the best place and i know that not all people living on this earth are good natured but i remain blissfully unaware of this fact when i surround myself with only good people...logic that while probably isn't healthy, has worked for me for years.

the downside to indiscriminately giving people your respect is that sometimes it's not returned and you get trampled in the process. no matter how much kindness you shower a person with they still possess the power to thumb their nose at you. not to long ago, i went out of my way to be accepting of a person who left a rather foul taste in my mouth. i knew my feelings towards him were baseless and not exactly warranted- so i kept them at bay. i went out of my way to treat him respectfully. i was convinced that if i kept up my respectful end of the bargain, he would surely follow behind...i was mistaken.

i learned, through him, that it's not about how a person treats you but how you treat them. when i lay my head down to sleep all i'm left with is myself. i am the only person who knows who i am inside...and even i'm not the best authority on that subject. if i can honestly tell myself that i'm a good person each and every night, that's all that matters. i should not shoulder the burden of someone elses actions.

my mother always told me not to act with the expectation of a reaction because 9 times out of 10 people will let you down. i was trying not to be a bitch and in the process turned into doormat. but you know what? i'd rather have people drag their feet across me time and time again then throw it all away and become something i'm not. maybe i just react to pain in a different way but an eye for an eye was never that appealing to me. i don't understand why people hurt each other simply because they have been hurt...that only continues the cycle of anguish.

aretha is on a play list with such jams as "faith" by george michael and "hold on" by wilson phillips...don't you dare scoff at me, it's my "get through it" mix. when i take a step back and look at the lyrical content of my musical library, it's not hard for me to see a trend. i enjoy songs with a message. i want to flood my ears and brain with philosophical musings about life, love, and achieving your goals. just as in life, not everything on my itunes is all about unicorns and rainbows (i don't even have the auto-tuned version of double rainbow even though i LOVE THAT SONG i refuse to pay a dollar for it). there are times in life when people will try- completely unprovoked- to knock you into another world. remember who you are and who you want to be, THEN allow yourself to feel...and always, above all else: R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Monday, July 26, 2010


breakups suck

how are you supposed to react when the one person you never thought to doubt betrays you so viciously you fear it may leave you permanently jaded?

how do you remain positive when your world screams,
"people are selfish and not to be trusted...and because you seem to not want to believe that- lets ensure you do by completely dismantling everything you've ever held sacred"?

how can i look back at this time and see anything other than the utter devastation this has crumbled into. the once idyllic landscape we worked as a unit to maintain has become overgrown with thorns and brush. the pristine river that cut through the backyard runs as black as oil. it's been transformed from a peaceful pasture to the slut-peppered-party-of-a-lifetime...and my invitation has somehow gotten lost.

i hate the moment in a breakup when you realize the one you loved (and arguably still do) is now a stranger. when all the empathy drains from their eyes and their motivations turn inward. while you sit at home and weep over the
possibility of hurting them, they are out unapologetically living their life.
you have regressed to little more than a blip on their radar screen.
you are nothing more than one of thousands of flakes floating around in their snow-globe.
you cannot be friends because they are sleeping with your 'friends'
you cannot hang out with your friends because they are friends with the friend your ex is now laying with...biblically.
"i thought of you the whole time" are unspeakably harsh words...they should be forbidden.
nothing stings like being the last to know.
nothing feels like being purposefully left in the dark by all whom you trust.
you have to move out.
you are no longer important.

breakups suck.
watching the one who once cradled your heart in their hands rebound, sucks more.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

beautiful? bullsh*t.

random thought
beautiful? bullsh*t.

the other day my friend and i got into a conversation about picking-up and hitting-on girls...
friend: "pick up lines are bullshit- you aren't really saying anything meaningful. i just walk up to a woman and tell her she's beautiful."
me: "but telling her she's beautiful is arguably just as full of shit as saying 'have you sprayed your pants with windex...because i can see myself in them.' it just doesn't pack as zany or crass a punch...and sometimes crass is key."
friend: "i know you wouldn't seriously use a pick-up line on a girl."
me: "true- but i must admit, i have used them in an ironic fashion once or twice."
friend: "why do i feel like you've done that to me while i was drunk?"
me: "because i have."
friend: "bitch. well then how do you approach a girl if you think pick-up lines are trite and calling her beautiful is bullshit?"
me: "i tell her something real..."
friend: "that's almost poetic of you-"
me: "...via text. girls make me nervous in real life."
friend: "ahh, there's that ashley charm!!"

after our talk ended my thoughts continued to swarm around the idea of physical beauty being something worth complimenting. we can't take ownership of our looks, our clothes or our cars. all we own is who we are, the choices we make, and the life we live. when we say someone is beautiful, or conversely when we say someone is ugly- what are we really saying about THIS PERSON? nothing. if you are doing anything you're giving them your opinion and nothing else.

this whole notion of worshiping beautiful people, or even idolizing them does nothing but pull our focus in a meaningless direction. we aren't showering them with accolades for anything worthwhile that they've done. we aren't stroking them for changing the world. we are praising them for being pretty- which they arguably had nothing to do with.

es this mean i don't wear make-up when i go out or take part in a consumer driven society? no- not at all...i do all of those things and on top of that i do seek out partners that i find appealing physically. while beauty is subjective, that doesn't mean that it means absolutely nothing to me. just as i can recognize the attractiveness of someone physically, i can listen to their words and watch their mannerisms to see if internally that beauty is mirrored.

i'd rather have someone tell me that i have a rich and colorful mind over having them tell me i'm hot. that leads me to believe that they are actually listening to me- or better yet, we have made some real connection. that's what life is all about to me- connecting. hell, that's the whole purpose of my blog.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

a reminder...

“I am responsible.
Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have –
life itself.”

-Walter Anderson-

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

delusional dreamworld

delusional dreamworld
takin' shit with a smile

i take a lot of shit with a smile. when faced with the choice of flipping out or gracefully giggling a snide remark away, 99% of the time i choose the latter. it's simple to me- if you don't want to be surrounded by a shit storm of drama, then start with yourself and chill out.

normally this mindset leads me to an overall more peaceful, enjoyable life. floating above the antics that surround me has proven to pull me in a more introspective world. it has brought me closer to those who share my non-confrontational beliefs and helped me to drift further from a gossip driven world (that i stupidly thought would be nothing more than a distant memory outside of the walls of high school... or at least after college.)

i've learned however, that this viewpoint- this delusional, pollyannaesque, outrageously optimistic world i've chosen to live in- is not the real world. in the real world life is a see-saw and with every undeniable up there is an equally as depressive down. for a long time, i feared both verbalizing and internalizing this fact as i worried it would lead me to become jaded and blackened...but i now know that admitting the truth is neither optimistic or pessimistic- it's simply reality.

those i respect and care for have done a lot for me over the years. most of the time my experiences with others have been mutually beneficial. as our paths have become gnarled and intertwined my friends have lifted me up and helped me to become a better person. this to me is the purpose of friendship- to propel each other forward in life.

contrary to this fact, there have been those who have taught me lessons through less than pleasurable ways. i've been hurt, taken advantage of and completely disrespected by those whom i trust. one would think that i would learn that placing my trust in the hands of the unscrupulous many times over does not lead to warm fuzzy feelings.

it's easy to look at others and see where they have gone wrong, but it's harder to take an honest look at yourself and admit there is room for improvement. the challenge i face is pinpointing what exactly needs to change in my world for me to grow and thrive.

my mothers suggestion? "you need to take off your pollyanna glasses and know people WILL screw you. you give people the benefit of the doubt all too often. brush it off- move on- and surround yourself with positive people. don't be trusting of all people- they don't deserve it, you have to make them work for it. i'm sorry because i know how it hurts you to see the negative side of people...but that's life"

even knowing this; even after being burned time and time again; even after all the lip service/bullshit/and straight up lies i've been fed by people over the years, i still want to believe in humanity. i can't remove the glasses and become another east coast cynic. if i allow that side to take over then what's next? a jaded soul...a judgemental spirit...a negatively rooted world.

i know that there is a lot of darkness surrounds each of us every day, so if i make a conscious choice to look towards the light does that make me delusional? if so, i'll keep livin' in this dreamworld...and i hope someday you all join me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

queerFAQtor wednesday

queerFAQtor wednesday
miss apaco does miss manners

this week we discuss relationship deal breakers...i choose to focus on the road. (you're welcome mother)

a tough realization: everything, everyone

a tough realization
everything, everyone

when i was in a relationship it was understood that my time was mostly monopolized by another. my friends cut me a certain slack when it came to social engagements. but now that i reside in singledom it seems that that slack is no longer cut in my favor. it seems as of late my friends reactions are a bit more gruff when it comes to my declining party invitations or not being able to go out all the time.
in all honesty, i know where this is coming from. i haven't exactly jumped head first into single life. if anything, as i have left the realm of relationships i've thrown myself into my work. i don't necessarily feel bad about that but i do sit before you with an unmeasurable amount of guilt on my shoulders.

i feel bad. i feel like i can't be the friend everyone wants me to be. i feel like i can be a great friend to several people and i do just that. but i want to be the best friend that i can be to absolutely everyone i come in contact with- no matter how brief or minor our encounter. i don't want to compromise that facet of myself for anyone or anything.

yet i realize that i need to delegate my time more appropriately. i feel selfish and guilty and bad all the time because of brief yet mildly flippant text messages; because of facebook wall posts of discontentment. in actuality they are of little consequence, most of the weight they carry comes from my own mind...but i'm still upset. i feel bad.
how can i be the best person i can be to everybody when i'm focusing on myself, my work, and things i find important?
am i wrong for putting my work over my social life?
will i somewhere down the road kick a younger me and say, "good lord girl- why didn't you just focus on the moment and being happy- just enjoying yourself?"
now i'm not saying that i don't enjoy my work because i most definitely do. i'm very pleased with how i'm spending my time. i hope that someday it will all pay off. someday i'll look back at this time and say, "yah- it was tough but i'm glad you stuck it out old girl."
is it possible i'm wasting my todays waiting for somedays?

to all of those who i'm not the most present friend right now- forgive me. know that i want nothing more than to be the greatest friend, the most supportive person in your world and i'm sorry that i can't give you all all of that right now. i'm sorry if there is never a day that i can be everything to everyone.
...that's a tough realization.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

big ol' puss

big ol' puss
embracing your inner wussy

oh, i'm not shy about it- i am a pussy, in every sense of the word. not only i am a proud owner of the double-X chromosome but i avoid physical contact with angry people because i don't enjoy being punched. at this point in my life i've never been in a physical altercation...assuming i don't get jumped on the way to my car after work today.

my dukes have been involved in a scuffle or two with my sister (which she always won) but full on 'rip-outta-bitches-weave' type of encounters just don't come my way very often. being fairly tall, i walk at a level where smaller arms shoot up towards the sky and my face in order to show happiness or excitement. that's about it when it comes to my physical altercation record- accidental spurts of joy that spawn a shiner on my eye.

during my first year of college i tried desperately to be a bit more typical. with a heavy heart i admit that there was a time that i thought being myself would do nothing but lead to social ruin. all throughout high school i embraced my uniqueness and regarded it as my funky badge of honor. after a mean-girlesque senior year, my pride turned into shame and i felt my identity was something that HAD TO remain hidden. i was half in the closet, had just reached puberty and was thrust into college with no clue as to who i was.

in hindsight, i know who i was at this time. i was the same lil squirt i am today, just less wise to the ways of the world. puberty did nothing but make me taller (and thank god for that, because really- who wants to grow breasts during ones late teens?) it was freshmen year of college and my idea of fun was while wearing an outfit that only an acid-enthusiast would love, my friend and i would wander around campus playing 'paparazzi' (a game that required us to run around and take incredibly unflattering photos of each other then write insanely witty captions that no one thought were funny but us).

the main thing that set me apart from my peers in my early collegiate days was my apathy towards parties. don't get me wrong- i have no issue with others drinking and i love meeting new people but i did miss the boat on loving giant ragers involving kegs and terrible life choices. every time i found myself at such a party i would make friends through chain-smoking, as that was the only place i felt mildly at ease (sorry, mother). in attempts at normalcy, i would go to parties to be a "typical" college kid.

at one party during late fall, as per the usual, i stood stoicly on the stoop. a young boy approached me, no doubt realizing that we were the only two outside and his options were to become fixated on the sky or engage with me... we began a conversation. looking past both the lazy eye and the giant facial birthmark, i hoped that i would see a sign of intellegent life behind his pale brown eyes. i threw reason out the window and disregarded the fact that i was in a sea of lilly pulizer and gave him a chance to really dazzle me- unfortunaly he was just another douchey frat fella who couldn't grasp the concept of an unpopped collar.

just as our conversation came to a close a group of girls exited the party. one girl looked me up and down then walked assertivly over my way- i knew that face...she wanted to eat me alive (and who could blame her, i'm delicious!) from her teeth, to pearls, to hair- this girl clearly had a non-racial love of white. everything on her just glistened. she smelled like victoria's secret and her hairspray had glitter in it...she was fancy. after finally coming toe-to-toe with me she looked me dead in the eye. "hi, i'm sara- have you met my boyfriend?" she said in an adorably bitchy way, while pointing to my new friend. i, not realizing the question was rhetorical, answered with an honest and almost shocked "yes". i didn't understand why she was asking if i had met him when he and i WERE THE ONLY ONES ON THE STOOP.

her interesting phrase choice became all to clear the next day when i awoke to a knock on my dorm door. a friend i went to high school with came with words of warning- "you need to watch your pissed off the wrong sorority girl last night. she wants to fight you." my body lurched forward and my jaw sat in my lap. as my blank expression met his i busted out in a fit of laughter. "you can tell her that she can beat me up whenever she'd like", i said through a sneaky smile, "cause lord knows i'd lose."

my friend seemed confused. to him, throwing myself to the lions was the worst possible idea...and where i completely serious- he would have been right. but my point was simple. accept her challenge, let her know what a silly goose she was for wanting to fight me, possibly get beaten to a pulp, and then laugh about it.

i never did get the shit beat out of me by the sassy sorority girl. it was just one of the many times i took the humorous high road and it worked out for the best. from dramatic arm movements to fists of fury, one never knows when an idle hand will come in contact with their face at a high rate of speed. my artful ways of bobbing and weaving through packed parties and life in general has turned into a magical dance- a dance called 'keeping the peace' if only everyone would join in.

dancing: G.O.A.T.

dancing: G.O.A.T.
don't doubt it, ladies

i have a little gift inside of me. some mistake it for complete abandonment of both my dignity and sense of rhythm but i know it's true name- dancer...and not just any dancer, but the GREATEST OF ALL TIME. my daddy long legs step on the floor and it's over- no one dares to challenge the convulsion-like charm of my sick moves.

Friday, July 9, 2010

for the love of littles

for the love of littles
beyonce is bootylicious this we know,
for her song did tell us so.
little fannies, please be strong
from donk to dinky none are wrong.

(to the tune of jesus loves me,
oh, don't roll your eyes..i know, i know-
it's catchy and blasphemous of me!)

most like big butts and cannot lie. while you other brothers and sisters might deny me as a result, i have a confession to make... i am the owner of a lil lump round back- that's right my friends, i'm rockin' a dainty dumper.

remember the rare occasion when your parents would buy you a lunchable? i don't remember mine actually buying one for me as much as i remember the conversation that followed every time i asked for one. it would generally focus heavily on the financial obligation of such lunch treasures; how children were starving in india and we already had a shirt on our back WHAT MORE DID WE NEED?! my mother always acted as if i was asking for the baby jesus to spew pea soup when i asked for a lunchable. it literally required her to toss a box with over processed food in my face and call it a 'treat' don't even have to actually like your child to make them happy. even knowing this, i still regard them as both a sign of love from parents and a special delight for all children (even if my personal pallet has expanded beyond crackers, cheese, and awkward ham circles).

the anatomy of a lunchable is much like my own make-up. underneath a plastic sheath comes a delicious, snack-sized candy. pull back my neon cloak and you will uncover a small lump of love where my badonka-donk should be. it's little wonder why i affectionately call my fanny 'snack-size'.

now i'm the first to admit, it's not easy to embrace a less than ample booty. it seems as if our modern society has sunk its teeth into a ripe ol' apple bottom and tossed aside the core- the spirit of the ass, if you will.

most girls who share my lack of shape round back are shocked to find that i embrace what some feel is a physical shortcoming while they purchase padded underwear. what furthers their amazement and leaves their mouth agape is when i tell them that i regularly get comments on my delightful lil dumper. to be completely transparent- i should note that i always say 'comments' over 'compliments' as i know in reality these people aren't exactly tossing accolades my way. but as in life, it's all a matter of interpretation.

i interpret, "your butt is so soft, it's like laying on a little pillow" as "girl that ass is outta this world- let's snuggle". many might say i'm delusional- and they would be right. i hear, "it's less an 'ass' and more a meeting point for your a vagina on your back" and internalize it as, "i've been staring directly at your ass for an extended period of time and i said both 'ass' and 'vagina' in one sentence. either i want to sleep with you or i want to sleep with you."

now, do i really wish i had a watermelon shoved down the back of my pants? shockingly, no. i've grown to love the charms of what i posses. for instance, i wear my pants low- not gangster/super-thug-dyke low, but low enough that my hips are exposed on a regular basis. with low-rise pants or pants that hang a bit, one always has to be cautious of their crack poppin' out a la kilroy. BUT when you have a small posterior your crack starts much lower and thus your clothing options aren't limited to mom jeans and high-waisted trousers. i also can shimmy my way through aisles of movie theatres without ever being groped or have to apologize for my giant ass in someones popcorn.

i shroud my crack with a cloak of cockiness but in all actuality it's a defence mechanism. i love big booties on the women i pine after, but in my own drawers what i have is just fine. us with less than full fannies have to deal with everyone assuming that we wish ours were bigger. while i can admit that i'm attracted to larger ones, i appreciate the strength and grace it takes to shake a smaller tambourine. nothing makes me prouder than to see a skinny little caboose, gyrating wildly up in the club.

to my sisters in stunted dariairity- i urge you to stand strong. we might be little fellas but what we lack in girth we make up for in spirit. i for one will shake my snack-sized butt when and where ever i can- if only so others can see the inverted nature of my caboose isn't a handicap but a blessing in disguise. i leave you with the words of wisdom imparted to me from a drunk drag queen, "just because you don't have it doesn't mean you can't work it like you do." of course she was referring to a vagina- but the message still stands..WORK IT LITTLES!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

queerFAQtor wednesday

queerFAQtor wednesday
finally truth or dare week!

several weeks after initially posing the question to viewers we finally make good and do the 'truth or dare videos'. this video is a longer one but i assure you- it's worth a watch. what's mildly depressing to me is the fact that half of the video didn't make it past editing. some tidbits you will NOT find in here: my answer to the truth, "tell us a story about masturbation and your life" (i went on a 5 minute rant about my introduction to the word 'masturbation' at age 8); my completion of the dare, "put on your dinosaur outfit and dance in a public place to loud music" (i thought about completing this one at work, but i doubt i'd have a job afterwards so- pass).
happy wednesday friends!

Monday, July 5, 2010

vacation trip #3: reunited & reawakened

--vacation trip #3: reunited & reawakened--
upper east side, nyc

i was in new jersey somewhere around hour number three of driving alone in complete silence when i figured out the meaning of life. all of my life i've regarded driving somewhere- anywhere- as one of the easiest ways to slip into an introspective mindset. some go to secret gardens, some go to the ocean, i just want to drive.

my comfort in cars started as a child. an insomniac from birth it would seem- i've always had problems sleeping. as a baby my parents would strap me in the car seat and drive around the neighborhood in order to lull me into slumberland. as a teenager, my car was my escape. i never drove too far but i did drive for long stretches of time; to calm myself, to restore my sanity, to collect my thoughts, to unleash them into nothingness. driving brought my anxious mind some much needed comfort.

the thing i love most about driving, is you remain in a constant state of moving even while being completely still. my restless soul finds little comfort in slowing down. i feel guilty taking time to completely stop life in order to examine it. while i allow my mind to become calm and relaxed, my body is moving along with my while i'm never wholly still- i'm close enough to make me happy. (i blame this logic on my being an ambivalent gemini.)

in the past three weeks i've spent over 40 hours driving up and down the east coast- most of that completely alone. my latest driving adventure took me up to new york city. my best friend and her boyfriend recently sold all they own and moved from my utopia, san fransico, to their wonderland, new york city.

jill is an ethereal spirit. she is as intangible as air and yet as focused as a laser. she is one of the few people who has remained a fixture in my life regardless of distance, time, and emotional unavailability. she is also a phenomenal photographer. her cross-country move was two parts impulsively, one part calculated plan execution, and all heart. an unflickering flame glows within her and proves to be an inspiration to all who hear her story.

i found out on friday evening that i had to come into work early monday morning. that meant i had to leave that much earlier saturday morning to optimize my time in new york with jill prior to rushing back home for work. reason told me i would spend 30 hours in the city- tops; i would have to leave prior to fireworks even being considered so it really wasn't worth the 9 hours round trip. this momentary blip of logic was quickly overshadowed by jill's cries of “but it's my first weekend in the city- i used to live across the have no excuses”. she was right- why the hell not...let's go!

so back to my basically solving life's biggest riddle- what is the purpose of life? i've never really stressed this question too much, as i felt confident that life is interpretive and there is probably no actual purpose to it- it simply is what you choose make it. but when i posed the question to myself this long and lonely drive, i chose to dig a little deeper for an answer.

i began to think about humankind on a broad scale. now while it is up for debate for some people, i believe in evolution and going off of that logic it is safe to say that humans have proven to be quite adaptable over the years. the main factor that ties us all together is our ability to grow, change, progress, essence evolve.

my thoughts then slipped into my own world. if throughout the course of humanity all we have done as a group is evolve, why can't the same be said for the individual? what if all we are meant to do on this earth is simply grow? it may sound like a modest goal for one to set as life's purpose, but would it be so bad if we all challenged ourselves daily to emerge at the end of it transformed...if only just a little?

the weekend went by far to fast. within the blink of an eye i was driving back home in the same symphony of silence that welcomed me in the first place. it was good to see jill again- she's the type of friend that when you see her, all of your insecurities slip away. we understand each other in a way that very few do...she makes me make sense. i was proud for pushing myself out of the world of logic and reason and did something a little impulsive...
in essence i grew as an individual, and isn't that what life is all about?

vacation trip #2: straight club

--vacation trip #2: straight club--
washington, dc

i will be the first to toss myself under the bus and admit it's hypocritical- but generally speaking, all straight clubs make me feel weird. i go to bat for gay clubs all the time, assuring those who haven't been that it's worth a trip, you will have a blast...don't shun the unfamiliar.

i suppose i'm being hard on the establishments- it isn't their's the fellas that frequent such places whom leave me questioning why i even left the house. last thursday my friends and i started the evening at apex, a gay club in dc. as recent as several years ago apex's thursday night was a bubbling brook of activity. you ran into countless familiar ladies an gays, the drinks were cheap, it was college night, and for the most part- you knew what sort of crowd to expect week after week.

just one week after turning 23 reality slapped me across the face and assured me that my youth was fading fast. after our IDs were checked and our bracelets were fastened we walked into a ghost-town of a club. one or two committed dancers shook their bodies violently and waved their arms to no particular beat. other than that- no one was there. we attempted to see it though, hoping- wishing- praying- that we were just a little early and things would pick up.

things did indeed pick up and a steady trickle of fresh faces walked in. now by 'fresh faces', i'm not implying it was a bevy of beauties- but rather i doubt anyone outside of those i arrived with were even eligible to vote. my roommate, thuy, jumped on the dance floor at the sight of the young ladies. she began dancing with one but moments later returned.

"we need to go. NOW." she sternly said under her breath. not having any issue with making an early exit we all joined her in a walk towards the door. she explained to us that the young lady she was dancing with lived in our area and graduated high school nearby...not exactly an unheard of phenomenon in the northern virigina area. it would have been a neat story had it ended there, but thuy went on to tell us that not only did she graduate high school a few weeks ago but she graduated with thuy's baby brother.

wow. are we seriously "those old lesbians" now? i havn't even hit 25!

the night was still relatively young so we went to the straight club where our friend is a promotions girl. things started out fine. we grabbed a few drinks and began to float around the popped-collar peppered crowd. in my flat billed hat, skinny jeans and chucks i felt my sexual orientation was apparent outright. if there was any confusion, i was standing in a group of 4 or 5 lesbians- so that should confirm everything, right?


i'm not sure if it's because we exude a energy that genuinely wants to have a good time, or because drunk guys are persistent about pussy but whatever the reasoning, we were swimming in hetero fellas looking for fun.

i think it's presumptuous to shout within the first few moments of meeting someone about my sexuality. to me it implies that i have reason to tell them and if that's the first thing i say to someone at a bar, in my mind it's the equivalent to saying, "i feel the need to tell you this information because i assume you want to sleep with me."
after the second time i neglected to give out my number and after the third time my friends declined to slow dance, i did it. i dumped a giant can of worms onto the bar, "we are gay." this, of course, prompted the typical responses- "i'm a lesbian too, i love women"; "wait- like ALL THE WAY gay? like...100% no dudes?"; "well, whenever you want some real dick- i'm right here"; and the always charming, "shut the fuck up. you are lying".

just as in the halls of high school, the information quickly zipped back and forth across the bar. a man i had spoken with earlier in the evening approached me visibly upset, "you think just because you are pretty you can do what you want? i was nice to you. why did you have to lie?!" before i had a chance to sneak a word in he stormed off into the crowd.

i turned to my roommate, "what the hell was that about?" she was laughing uncontrollably at this point. after i talked to that man for a while, i had told him i was gay. he told me i was too pretty to be gay and i told him that most lesbians are but guys like him assume them straight. after he walked away he had gone up to my roommate to ask if i was actually gay. hearing this question over and over in one night can be exhausting so she thought it would be funny to spice it up and play dumb. "who? ashley? omg, she's gay? did she say that? haha wow, that's news to me."

aside from words, there was no way or reason to prove our gayness to these people.
we have no gay card.
we have no passport to love pussy.
we carry with us no scars or tattoo that indicates our sexuality.
we are all just why get so hostile because one or two girls in a bar of hundreds don't want to sleep with you?

one guy went so far as to ask me what the hell we were even doing there if we weren't "down with dick", as he so eloquently put. in a glance i asked him if he was serious...he stared right back at me- "you all are just a tease." by the end of the evening the bartender gave my friend his number, a british man was trying to break in to another friend's car in hopes of coming home with us, yet our gay little heads remained held high.

will i be returning to a straight club anytime soon? i'm not going to limit myself and rule it out completely- but next time: flannel, birkenstocks, and rainbows will be a must in our hetero club fashions- and if that doesn't work i'll settle for drinking alone.

home again, home again

home again, home again
jiggity jig

after what seems like my first vacation in years i've returned whence i came- back to reality. the break was much needed, but then again- when isn't it a perfect time to take a moment to break from normalcy?

the past few months have felt like the moments prior to a roller-coaster cresting the first summit. with each click locking the gears into a higher and higher position, time slows down. reason tells you to prepare for something- something big and powerful. your heart begins to race and for a moment the line between terrified and excited blurs into oblivion. you know at any second the machinery will cut out and gravity will then take over but in the meantime you toss your hands up and unleash a scream...

here we go-

i've had many adventures as of late. the first week in june i drove up north in search of a dream. in hunt for oprah, i wrote of my trip to new jersey in hopes of finding lady o and securing a spot on her new network. after a less-than-noteworthy audition i vowed to return in order to try- try again. a few weeks pass and a weekend trip to atlanta is on the itinerary.

--vacation trip #1: oprah's audition; atlanta, ga--

i woke up to the sound of soft chatter in the kitchen. my father leaned over the kick-wall dividing the kitchen from the living room, "almost ready to get up sweetie?" i smiled, nodded groggily and walked over to my overnight bag. i pulled out my checklist to make sure i had everything for our atlanta adventure. i had already gotten everything together the night before- rereading the checklist was more an ocd move on my part, but i wanted to ensure that this time things went without a hitch.

last time i went to the audition in new jersey i hit a few snags along the way. my stomach was alive with butterflies and my thoughts were scattered and frantic. normally i enjoy long lonely drives as i have time to sort out my thoughts and unharness my mind but this time around my father chose to join me and i welcomed the company. we both were treating this trip as a mini-vacation which lifted 75% of the pressure off my shoulders.

as more time passed between the first audition and the second my feelings towards the whole thing began to shift. i've worked very hard up until this point in my life to achieve those things that i want to. so i asked myself, "is this something that you want?". my initial reaction was an energetic and unmistakable "YES!! YES!!". as we drove the 10+ hour journey into the land of peaches i couldn't shake the term reality show...really ashley? you are for all intensive purposes trying out for a reality show, is that really who you are?

of course i mean it in no disparaging way to those who's answer is yes. my father and i drove up to the parking lot at 4:30am and there were already over 3000 people in a line that stretched for miles. it's clear that there is a passionate following for this thing. for me, saying it wasn't the be-all-end-all in my life was liberating. when i saw all those faces; when i felt the frantic energy of the crowd; when i walked around a giant warehouse looking for the end of the line- i knew that the answer was clear.

with my fears on the rise, i turned up to my father. with eyes wide and brows pointed towards the heavens i muttered, "this line is going to be here for a while, there are so many people here...i can't even find the end." he knew what i meant. "i'm not mad if you decide this is too much for you. it would be nice to just relax and explore atlanta." with that i smiled and nodded, together we walked back to our illegally parked car.

last time the crowd of 300 was borderline panic-town for me. now this go around there was 10x as many people and if that group were to take a turn for hysteria i knew i'd have the grand mal of panic attacks.

all in all i don't consider the trip a failure even though i didn't even stand in line or even try out again. the weekend was an incredible one. i wouldn't trade anything for the 20 hours i spent round trip with my father. we spent the whole time talking, laughing, and philosophizing about our lives...i hardly noticed the fact that we rare to never had the radio on.

i grew closer to a man that i've known, loved and respected for 23 years. he told me stories i'd never heard before. we talked about my papa (his father) who passed away years ago. the weekend that we drove down would have been his and my nana's 50th wedding anniversary. her friends took her on a trip to celebrate his life and my father told me countless tales of the sharp-witted man with the jet black hair.

the conversation took an unnerving tone amidst all this nostalgia and i couldn't quite put my finger on it. it wasn't until my father began his typical tirade about how he wants his funeral to be a celebration over a mourning that it hit me. "what's with all the death talk daddy? you keep talking about your health and papa and you have to tell me something? you aren't even 50!"

my directness took him by surprise. his father had died at the young age of 52. he had scores of health problems...none of which my father has but my father is committed to the idea that he will meet his maker sooner versus later. try as he might to sound rational and level-headed about the situation, there is something mildly depressing about talking about the reality of death with a parent.

by the end of our journey i felt as if even if oprah herself had gotten down on one knee and hand delivered my very own show to me i'd still take the seemingly pointless 20 hour drive with my father. leave it to oprah to swoop in with the magical ending. the woman IS a goddess- she doesn't even have to be there to facilitate happiness and growth..thanks for that one, girl.