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Ashley

1fem. proper name, all but unknown before c.1965; one of the most popular names for girls born in U.S. from c.1980; evidently inspired by the surname Ashley, Ashleigh (attested from 12c.), which means "clearing among the ash trees," from O.E. æsc + leah

America the stolen

In recent years, American citizens seem to have lost sight of what America is about. People have long been attempting to make this country into some easily definable entity, with a very specific culture and standard archetype. It’s a lie. A part does not make a whole.

About a week ago an article surfaced on FOXnews.com about some boys who got in trouble for wearing American flag shirts and bandanas. They went to a public school, so normally this wouldn’t be an issue, right? Well, it happened to be Cinco de Mayo and their Californian high school happens to have a fairly large Mexican population. The slant of the article was blatantly in favor of the American flag boys. It screamed “What has become of America?! How unjust! You agree, right? You’re American, right? Right?”

Here’s the thing: these boys didn’t all just wake up on May 5th and whimsically decide that today was a great day for some random patriotism. This was planned. This was an act planned with the intention of pissing people off. They knew full well that if one of their Latin classmates wasn’t openly miffed, that the school and their Mexican vice principal would be. Why should I be at all sympathetic for cocky teenagers who were purposefully trying to create an issue? I don’t think I should be.

For some reason, what really puts this over the top for me are the bandanas. Really, boys? Most schools don’t even allow bandanas anymore because they are too easily gang-related. I know my school didn’t like ‘em, no matter what colors they were.

No one at these kids’ school was forcing them to come in dressed to the hilt in the colors of the Mexican flag screaming “Viva La Mexico!” or even celebrate at all. The school hired traditional Mexican dancers, yes, but this was no doubt an educational tool. What’s wrong with appreciating another culture, anyway? Those boys could have woken up and worn brown or blue or white or any other randomly colored shirts and no one would have given a crap. But no, they were trying to make a statement, and an ugly one these days at that. “This is America.” That’s the statement. It should not be an ugly one at all. It should be welcoming, but it has become something overly proud and arrogant.

I had a great teacher who once told my Civics class that America was a big ol’ salad, not a melting pot. You can taste the different flavors in a salad- lettuce, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, cheese, maybe some kind of fruit. The tastes and textures of these foods are most likely incredibly varied and probably don’t have anything in common at all, aside from the dressing they’re doused in. My teacher explained that the countless different nationalities that make up this country are the different flavors and textures in the salad, all of which can be experienced, and that the dressing is the fact that we’re all Americans. The melting pot, he said, implies something different. Conformity. Everything pretty much tastes the same after it’s been boiling in that pot for a while. Sure, at one point that cube of chicken and that chunk of celery tasted very different but after a few hours in the water with a bouillon cube, they’re for the most part indistinguishable. The melting pot is conformity to a culture that isn’t yours.

To even think for a second that our “American culture” isn’t just bits of immeasurable other cultures mixed and matched into a patchwork quilt of sorts is a lie. Because that is exactly what we are. America has, in essence, stolen all the things we call our own. Yes, this sounds like a harsh way of putting it but it’s true. Even the name “America” is just the butchering of the name of Spanish mapmaker Amerigo Vespucci. We shouldn’t be ashamed of this stealing from other cultures though, as long as we realize that this is what we have done and continue to do. And once we do accept this, we can all be proud of acknowledging America as an accepting crossroad for cultures.

So to the American flag boys: America is so much more than just red, white and blue (which are also the colors of England, France, the Netherlands and 25 other countries), America is all colors. That’s what makes it beautiful, you see. But if you still dream of a place filled with a bunch of xenophobic people such as yourselves, you can take your… hmm, funny how all our “American” foods like pizza (Italian), apple pie (British), hamburgers and hot dogs (German) aren’t really American at all… Well, in that case, you can take your Any’tizers and go live in some other country with a largely homogenous population and see how it feels to be treated like the outsiders. It’s pretty win-win: you get to see how it feels and we’re rid of you.


No secrets today. That rant took away hours of my life but I think it was somewhat worth it, especially in terms of the procrastination factor (8 pages for English = not written).

Enjoy your country's diversity,
~Ashley

We'd all live one big holiday

One big holiday... in less than a week. I can almost taste it. Almost. 

My microeconomics final is tomorrow and I have an 8 page paper- the one I mentioned in the last entry that I still, um, haven't, uh, started- due at some point afterwards. It'll be fun. I've designated Saturday as chief packing day, as well as hang-out-with-friends-who-have-not-left-yet day. As for today, it was my last day of working for Franz. Well, this semester anyway. I'm going back next semester for Wednesdays and weekends (hopefully). Ugh... I'm really, really not looking forward to the paper. I love researching things but writing is an entirely different story. And on top of that, 8 pages? I should really stop complaining though. It's not like I'm not capable of it- after all, last year I managed to write a 10 page paper for Senior Project. It was on the history of high school/secondary education in the United States. Don't know if I mentioned that. Also, it was pretty epic. 


A guy at the computer cluster just sneezed into his hand. Yuck.

Yesterday was Caity's barbecue, for which I made my macaroni and cheese. The puppy untied my shoes and I successfully roasted (charred, really, but that's how I like 'em) many a marshmallow. Yesterday was also Abby's 4th birthday. I'd say that my own little puppy is growing up or something but she's totally not. I know that when I go home next Tuesday she'll run laps, spin in circles and then try several times to jump on me. Let's just face the facts.

With summer so close, I'm already developing a list of things I want to do. I do this every year and probably get 10% of the list accomplished. Maybe I just need a really, REALLY long list where I couldn't possibly accomplish all of it but accomplishing 10% would actually be accomplishing a lot...? Does that make sense? Anyway, my list follows, completely made up as I go along and in no particular order.

1) Go to places in NH that I went to as a kid. Such as... Whale's Tale, Clark's Trading Post, Storyland and that Mount Washington resort-place. No, I didn't stay at the latter, merely used it for its beastly swimming pool and a trail ride.

2) Go to places in NH that I've never been but have been hearing about forever. The only one I can think of right now is Canobie Lake Park.

3) Visit people. (I know, I'm sure my parents are going to be so happy spending their summer carting me around. What's that? I have a driver's license? Oh, I am fully aware of this, as are my parents. But apparently, I'm not allowed to drive alone until I have my own car BUT, I can't get my own car until my parents feel I'm good at driving on my own. Um, paradox? So yeah.)

4) Have people visit me since I probably won't be able to visit a lot of them myself due to the above-mentioned issue.

5) Actually go to the beach. I mean. I am fucking going to the beach this time, more than once.

6) Bonfires. At the very least a fire in that fire thingy in my backyard that we never use.

7) Volunteer at Greenlock. I'd say that there's about a 99% chance this one's actually going to happen, especially considering that like, it's my major now and stuff.

8) Take bunches and bunches of pictures since I JUST BOUGHT MY CAMERA BACK ON AMAZON! Some explanation if you don't know the full story: when I came to school in August, my Kodak CX3750 was perfectly functional. I put it in my backpack wrapped in a sweatshirt during band camp so nothing would happen to it. Checked on it the next day and the screen was completely broken. I could still take pictures but they sucked because I couldn't really see whether or not they were focused. I also couldn't see if my battery was dying. By January the entire thing was broken. Of course I called Kodak to see how much repairing it would cost. The verdict? About $125. Everyone told me I should just get an entirely new camera. But I like my camera, I insisted, I know how it works. So, I bought the exact same camera off of Amazon today for only $75. And it comes with a charging dock! Win! The seller had 100% positive ratings and it was listed as "Good" so I just hope that it works well.

I can't think of any more right now. But there are totally more. In the words of Lamb Chop, "It was on the tip of my tongue... but I think I swallowed it!" 

Secret #9:
I literally think of the above quote whenever I hear someone use the phrase "tip of your tongue." Every single time.

Enjoy your money, as I've noticed mine seems to run away.
~Ashley

It's much easier said than it's done

 My feet are incredibly sore. It's almost like a throwback to band camp in August where I was on my feet and marching for 10 hours a day. This time, however, it's due to three consecutive days of work. If you saw the size of my workplace you would understand. Three people is cramped. On the bright side, my next paycheck is probably going to be over $100. Just enough to buy me back my camera and still have a little extra. EP Parks and Rec hasn't called me back about a counselor job yet, but alas, it is only the 8th of May. I'll call them on Tuesday though, just so they remember me. As if putting my application in two months ago wasn't enough.

Girl Talk was last night and it was fabulous. I, as is now becoming typical, was watching literally from the sidelines in a bright yellow SCOPE security t-shirt. Highlights of the night include a girl getting arrested for trying to make out with a police officer and seeing an uncanny Amy Winehouse look-a-like in the bathroom. Girl Talk is a pretty talented guy. The show was... Imagine being in a club but you can always sing along. I can't really explain it. There was a lot of toilet paper.

As I mentioned earlier, this morning marked my third consecutive day of manning the cash register at Franz's Food and basically just doing whatever needs to be done aside from making food. Although yesterday I did make a couple sandwiches. Like with everything, my favorite part of my job is also my least favorite. I love the people and I hate them. I love the funny ones who know exactly what they want, the predictable regulars (even when they're cocky and order peppers and onions and ranch on their JBs...). I dislike the ones who have no idea what they want. Oh, and the ones who order using the numbers, though they don't really know any better. "Can I get a number 46?" Um, lady, I have no idea what that is. "I think it's called an Alex's first edition...?" Why thank you, now I actually have something to write on this order slip. Either way, I made a killing on tips today.

Tonight is Alpha Delta Phi's pancake night. What this means is that after serving people food from the hours of 9:30am to 3:30 pm, I will again be serving people more food (albeit at a significantly cheaper rate and for a very good cause) from the hours of 9pm to 1am. Bright side: I get to eat pancakes and laugh at drunk people who think that they're actually buying books after we tell them what their money's going towards. This is a very Adelphic week, what with our meeting tomorrow night and Caity's barbecue on Wednesday. Not complaining at all- far from it, actually. Major factor in why: puppy. That and, you know, I love everyone.

Monday is my last day of classes, meaning that in due time I will no longer be a college freshman. And you know what? Good grief. Here's to hoping that my sophomore year will make up for last semester with a whole bunch of kick ass awesomeness. Monday is also the day that I have four out of eight pages due for English. I was planning on doing some research today but the sore feet have given me the distinct impression that I need to kick back before I stress myself out some more. Research tomorrow. My paper is on how the urban environment that Bartleby of Bartleby the Scrivener and Willy Loman of Death of a Salesman lived in ultimately brought them to their demises. I'm using the phrase "urban depression." Is that an actual thing? Who knows, but hopefully it'll make my paper sound that much more informed.

I'm so tired. The frats set off fireworks (not firecrackers, actual colorful exploding fireworks) last night at 4am. Guess who that woke up? Yup. Me. Not cool guys, not cool at all. Okay, so maybe it would have been cooler if I were awake by choice and possibly somewhat intoxicated, but from the perspective of the person who had to wake up early in the morning for what she knew would be a very long day... not cool. Also not cool is the fact that my computer is still completely out of commission. I suppose that's what my next paycheck will go to too- a new hard disk or whatever it is that the piece of crap needs to start running again.

Well, I suppose that's really all I have to say for the moment.

Secret #8: 
Caleigh Stevenson is my oldest continuous friend because she was cool with the fact that I was obsessed with horses. Up till then, no one else was.

Enjoy your not sore feet, 
~Ashley

A solid soul and the blood I bleed

My laptop is broken again. It's not a virus this time though- more serious. I think it's actual, dare I say it, dead. Restoring it is going to cost me at least $70 unless Cameron actually can secure and deliver to me a free Vista OS CD. Otherwise, I'll not only be installing a new hard drive and 18 months worth of amassed applications but an entire operating system as well. Yuck. Someone told me once that HPs are shit. They are. I'm tempted to say that my next laptop will be a Mac, but a) they are very expensive and b) they're not really much better. iMacs are awesome, but Macbooks? Hardly all they're cracked up to be. Although, really, what is?

Today was my biology labs seacoast field trip. To summarize: slipping on more seaweed than I had ever laid eyes on, flipping over rocks to find green crabs, gunnels and brittle sea stars and... Yeah, that was about it. It was fun but I definitely never want to see that much seaweed again. At least I'll know the names of what's attaching itself to my leg in the water at the beach. "Whoa! What's touching my ankle? Hmm, seems like some Irish moss and bubblegum algae!" Yay, useless information that can kind of be used.

Class registration for next semester begins for me at exactly 12:30pm on Thursday. I was really looking forward to this until a few things happened: 1) I have to work. This, at the moment, is a minimal issue since Franz said I could just bring my laptop in and register really quick off to the side but 2) I no longer have a functioning laptop and 3) it would seem that all of the sections of one of the classes I really need to take (AAS 237 - Equine Care & Handling) are closed. Um, what? I emailed my adviser about it so hopefully everything will clear up before Thursday in that respect AND I'll find someone's laptop to borrow at work really quick that way I don't have to forgo an entire shift's worth of pay just because I need to do something that is literally going to take me under 15 minutes.

I'm eyeing one of the iMacs behind me. With finals approaching, the library computers fill up fast, especially the nice Macs. The girl sitting at it just logged off but is still sitting at it and reading something. There are other places for that girly. I know, who am I to be talking? I'll take command of the computer and do exactly what I'm doing on this XP: check Facebook and Twitter occasionally, while writing this. Not exactly academic but I guess better than just browsing Facebook pictures of people who I hardly know- this is a classic library computer pastime from what I've seen. Damn, she just re-logged in. Guess she's not done quite yet.

On one hand, I'm looking forward to the end of the semester a lot. More hanging out with friends, no classes... parties? We'll see. But there's the reason for the lack of classes: the actual finals. I'm not anticipating anything too difficult from sociology but biology and econ might give me a bit of a hassle, so to speak. And let's not forget the 8 page paper I have to write for English by the 17th, four pages of which I have to have ready as a draft for this coming Monday. There was a time when I missed writing papers last semester. I take that back. I missed writing papers for Mrs. Armstrong and Mr. Amore, for whom my writing style was good enough. My current English professor is a Ph.D grad student, specializing in 17th century British drama. I respect the fact that obviously she's had much, MUCH more experience writing papers than I have. That is clear. However, just because I don't see a poem in the same light as she does and my writing isn't boring and mechanical doesn't mean I should marked down. You asked for a paper about a poem, not a research paper so please stop crossing out all my adjectives. Do you want this thing to be 3 pages long or not? That was sort of an inner monologue, by the way.

Another thing I'm not looking forward to about the end of the semester is having to pack up everything. What if it doesn't all fit into the car? I've certainly obtained more than I came here initially with in August. And then the summer... I've got friends, I tell myself. My friends drive. But do they really drive 2+ hours from New Hampshire and Connecticut and Massachusetts to see me? I guess we'll find out. Do I drive to see them? If I can, I will. Hannah and I have the same favorite beach in Watch Hill, so hopefully we can meet up there at some point. Beatrice said she'd drive down and stay the weekend. Megan wants to do something at her place, as does Sara. Casey offered up the lake near his house. The Blitsteins pretty much live around the corner and the Brunos will be at the house until the seniors graduate on the 31st of May. Mike said Sam and I should visit, along with Mere. That will be fun. So perhaps summer will be good after all. I'm looking forward to the beach and all, but more importantly, to getting a call from the venerable city of East Providence in response to the application I put in to be a city parks summer camp counselor. I really should apply to more places, but I guess I am kind of counting on that one since I put the application in so early.

Secret #7:
Orange is my least favorite color. However, orange roses are my favorite variety of roses. Red's overrated. White is boring. Black is depressing. Yellow... there are lots of other yellow flowers. But orange roses, those are interesting.

Enjoy your ice cream. What's that, don't have any? Oh. Well, I do, or will in a short matter of time :)
~Ashley

[Kids theme]

 MGMT SAID HELLO TO ME. THEY SAID HELLO. TO ME. PERSONALLY.

That was the highlight of my night, as the caps should convey. I was sitting backstage, near the dressing rooms, at my security post with my rounds partner, Riley, when the first guy came down the stairs. He was the only one who didn't say anything but he was very clearly on acid. Like, just completely gone. But then the guitarist and Ben, the vocalist who works mostly with the synthesizers, came down the stairs. They said "Hello" to Riley and I. I, shocked that they even spoke to us, mustered "Hi." Riley, who is much more outgoing, said "Great job, guys! You were awesome!" To which they replied, "Thanks, you too!" And then Andrew came down the stairs- same scenario. 

Every time I hear one of their songs, I'm going to remember that. That these people who are innovative, talented, successful and have songs played on the radio, said hello to me. Aside from that, the fact that they were at my school, in my field house, and had to walk past me to get to their dressing room. Amazing. The guitarist was whistling the theme to "Kids" to himself. It was adorable to see that even the members of the band get their own songs stuck in their head.

The Willowz opened for MGMT. I'd never heard of them before, but they were very good live and very nice. The lead guitarist brought his grandparents. I had to check their security passes. That was pretty much my job- making sure everyone was going only where they were allowed. Not going to lie, it wasn't hard. Probably the easiest volunteering I've done. I was going to say "most rewarding" too, but that goes to Greenlock, hands down. But it's still pretty close in the rewarding department.

Remember what else today is? May Day. Shannon's birthday (stupid webcam won't let me record anything on Facebook), May Day carnival and the Derby.

It's going to rain in Kentucky today. No, I take that back. It is going to POUR in Kentucky today. Generally the Derby sees a smattering of different colored horses, but by the end of this thing they'll all be the color of mud. The wet Derbies are the best though. Some of the contenders have never run on a muddy track, or at least never placed on one, so it makes the race more interesting. My favorite, as I mentioned before, is Discreetly Mine. He's got good form and a nice long Thoroughbred face. Will he win? Probably not, but I'm thinking he'll definitely place. His dam was really good on sloppy tracks, so there's a possibility he is too. I also like Make Music For Me and Paddy O'Prado. I only hope that no one breaks their leg again. Eight Belles was horrific. 

The actual Derby race starts at 6:24 and the carnival is from 5-9pm. So, I'll go to the carnival from 5 until a little before 6, watch the race, and then go back to the carnival and get my share of cotton candy and spinny rides with my fellow Alpha Delts. And why not, I'll try the electric bull too. I love free things. I love college.

Secret #6:
I don't like chewing gum for a reason. When I was 6 my dad bought me a gum ball from one of those machines outside the supermarket. It was blue, I remember. I chewed it for a couple minutes and then attempted to blow a bubble. That failed miserably and the wad of half chewed but still very sticky gum shot out of my mouth and landed, somehow, in my long, shiny hair. Every tried to forcibly pull gum from anything? It doesn't work. I guess you're supposed to rub peanut butter over it, but in my father's car we were lacking a jar of Jif. He pulled to the side of the road somewhere and cut the gum out of my hair using his pocket knife, all while chastising me. I didn't chew gum until 7th grade after that.

Enjoy the month of May! Here's to hoping that it's fucking awesome.
~Ashley

Almost forgot...

I realized earlier today that I never included my "secret" at the end of last night's entry. Scan film fest was beast, by the way. I left with a ton of free stuff- yay free stuff! But I really don't have a lot of time for a super long entry at the moment. The gist of my day was Microeconomics, Biology, Careers in Animal Science, English being canceled and then going to fencing where I had to sit out icing my naughty knees. And of course, when I thought I would be okay to continue with drilling, my ankle did some sort of Matrix move and I fell on my bum. But I'm fine. Yeah though, that's really all I've got time for. On to the forgotten secret!

Secret #5
When I am alone, I rock out to what I deem to be inspirational guitar solos. Some are simple, some are complex, but I still think they're awesome. And so, apparently, does my body, which feels the need to dance (read: awkward wriggle with some air guitar-ing) when I hear said solo. Following are examples of a few of my favorites.

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Around 2:35 there's this riff that I just love for some reason. I don't really dance to that one, actually, but I definitely do some head nodding.




Solo begins around 2:38.


The entire beginning of this one. And yeah, I know it's not really a solo, it's still great.


Apologies for the poor video/sound quality, but this was the only recording of this song I could find online. Danstra is a small punk band out of Lima, Peru. Even with the poor sound quality though, you can get some sense of how insane the opening solo is. Also, if you can bear the sound quality (which is very up and down, you'll have noticed), try and listen for another one more in the middle. It's pretty good too.

There are tons more, just didn't feel like going through my entire iTunes library to pinpoint the best solos- all most likely in the middle or towards the ends of songs.

Enjoy the cold, because hopefully it won't be here to stay.
~Ashley

Hello, baby, you called?

 Once again the times would find me in one of UNH's many computer clusters. To my right is Megan O and behind me, Sara. She just got here. I'd say I've been here for... about half an hour or so? It's now 7pm and I'll be here for another 45 minutes. Then we'll all head up to the third floor for Scan's film fest. As for the previous aspects of my day... at 2 I had a lab practical for bio. I'd say it went alright. After that, well, funny you'd ask... Katie and I went to a sex fair? I ask it like a question because I'm still somewhat confused. We got there about an hour before it was supposed to end, figuring it'd probably be a lot of "Here, take some free condoms." and "This is what dental dams look like." Instead we watched a 1991 film called "Selfloving: A Portrait of a Woman's Sexuality Seminar." Know what that means? It means naked middle-aged women masturbating in a circle. Awkward? A tad. At least there was tea afterward. Anthony makes the best tea sandwiches. I had no idea that cucumber, cream cheese and cinnamon raisin bread go together that well but THEY DO. 

I'm looking forward to May Day:
1) It's Shannon's birthday and I'm going to sing her a song on Facebook. It's clever.
2) The high is 82 degrees. Fuck yes.
3) Kentucky Derby. My bet's on Discreetly Mine.
4) May Day Carnival in C Lot from 5-9pm.
        a) There will be rides.
        b) There'll probably also be cotton candy.
        c) ADPhi has a tattooing booth. I know, awesome.

Sure, Derby does coincide with May Day but I'll make it work.

I've been fooling around on the guitar a lot lately. Every day, actually. Which is much more often than it was before... I now can play and sing all of JET's "Shiny Magazine", which is a nice feeling. Now I'm working on "Shine Down" (also JET) and perfecting Augustana's "Boston." Yeah, my fingertips are paying for it (although not nearly as much as they would be if it weren't nylon) but I love my guitar. I'd like to work on this one too, haha. I also love Bloodhound Gang.

Right now I'm just, you know, typing this and listening to a playlist from FratMusic.com (nothing really to do with frats, but playlists put together for every occasion. I am partial to the Indie Party and Study/Relax Indie Style mixes.). Have you ever noticed that at the beginning of a lot of hip hop or rap songs the artist will say their name? I wish life were like that kind of. Before I start talking, just scream my name. Reactions might be noteworthy.

My roommate's boyfriend is on his April vacation, meaning that he texts her extra often. Being kept awake to an extent by this last night, I decided to take a nap this afternoon before studying for my practical. I rarely remember the dreams I have during naps but this time I did. It was somewhat scary. In the dream, I was in this place that I often go in my dreams. It's kind of like the MUB, but a part that doesn't exist. Anyway, I'm watching this woman put on a radio talk show. A guy comes in and whispers in her ear and I see her mouth "Oh my God..." She then announces that the Obama's were on their way to the airport in DC to catch a flight to Hawaii. The kids, Michelle and Michelle's mom were in one town car and Barack was going to be in a separate one. The car that didn't have Barack in it was bombed. They all died except Malia, but she had really bad burns and wasn't expected to live.

My dreams are rarely that realistic (or political), which is why it was scary. During the dream I was terrified. I didn't know what to think. In a way, it almost felt like 9/11 all over again in the sense that the sanctity of my country, which I had always assumed to be impenetrable, was destroyed. There's also something about killing women and children that has, at least in our culture, always been viewed as especially tragic.

I don't like to bother with politics lately. Not that it's ever been much different, but it's just extra stupid lately. Neither party is going to do anything incredibly good for the country and getting pissy about your preference just seems like a waste of your breath. And honestly, the more time I spend reading about different political philosophies the more and more I realize that I'm a socialist. Any student of history can tell you that capitalism has never helped anyone but the people on top. But these days being a socialist is akin to being a communist in the 50s. Gotta keep quiet about it or else it'll probably spark a huge debate between me and my more conservative-leaning friends. My father would probably disown me. Everyone thinks that their political philosophy is the "right" one (forgive the pun). I don't think anything's right in politics though. I'm not right, you're not right, so why do we need to talk about who's less wrong? 

7:42. Pretty lengthy entry. 

~Ashley

Watch them build up a meteor tower

 I swear that I honestly did not forget the flash drive I need to write my 5 page paper on purpose. I really did not. But it just so happens, that I took the wrong flash drive and am now at the library without the file I need to write my paper, which is due tomorrow. On the bright side, this gives me an excuse to bang out this entry somewhat guilt-free. It's not procrastinating when it was an accident, right? Right.

Friends. Was there ever a term harder to define? Well, yes. The term was 'cookie'. But I'm not going into that... What is a friend? What makes people friends? Is a friend someone you've known for a long time? Or is a friend someone who you have really good conversations with and enjoy the company of? I believe that there are several definitions of what a friend is or may be. For example, there are the people who you know deep in your heart that are your friends. You may or may not consistently label these people as friends, but you just know that you are friends. Then there are those who you publicly announce as your friend, but you might not necessarily get that same "we are friends" feeling that you do with the other person/people. 

In a meeting tonight, the idea of loving someone but not liking someone was discussed. I think that that's what I'm trying to get at. There are some friends that you love as well as liking. However, there are others that you love because you've been friends for a while or something, but you might not really like them all that much. (No Chris, I'm not talking about you.) Especially since coming to college I've really reassessed who my actual friends are and who I just give the label of friend to for the sake of... I'm not sure what. Image? Honor? Time?

My first "best friend" was someone named Courtney. We were in first grade. I'm not sure really how we became friends, but we did. Were we actually best friends, looking back on it? Not in what I think is the truest sense of it. We rarely played outside of school and she was the only one of her ("our") group of friends who didn't tease me mercilessly. No, my actual best friend was Heather. We saw each other often and both really liked dogs. We had an elaborate fake family of border collies that we would collaboratively write stories about and draw pictures of. We were weird together like that. For the most part, I fell out of touch with both of them after 5th grade- Courtney went to private school for middle and high school and Heather moved away to the boonies of Rhode Island. But hey, Heather and I are now Facebook friends. Courtney and I are not- I haven't worked up the courage to friend her. How lame am I, huh?

I didn't really have friends in middle school. At least, not any sort of best friend. I realized that I enjoyed the company of adults over my peers. And really, do you blame me? It was middle school. When I came to the high school, I suddenly gained a plethora of friends as a result of marching band. I can't explain how insanely happy this made me, as well as my parents. My friendlessness didn't depress me in middle school or anything, but it was one of those instances where you don't know what you were missing until you finally have it. Shannon and Lauren were the first people to go out of their way to talk to me during band camp and so, as a default, I became friends with them. Shannon went on to become the one with the best friend label. Chris was the first person who actually talked to me at band camp but I think the reason we didn't become "friends" as quickly as I had with Lauren and Shannon was because, being a sophomore, he already had a network of friends in the band. I resorted to following him around. My senior year of high school I experienced a boom in the amount of friends I had. Why? No clue.

Now, in college, the only person I can say that I have talked to very nearly every day is Sarah. And recently, I realized why this is. The key to a lasting friendship is having things in common. I've found that when you bond with someone over a shared experience as opposed to shared interests, once the experience is over, the friendship is hard to maintain. What do you talk about? I bonded with a couple people in the past by discussing our respective relationships. But, once I was out of that relationship, what was there to talk about? Not much, I'll tell you. Later on, I bonded with someone else over the fact that we were both single. We grew close and hung out often. When I was no longer single, we hardly saw each other. What was there to talk about? I guess you could say that we had at one point had shared interests, but they were variable interests, subject to change fairly easily. 

The other day when I said that I would talk about friends in my next entry, I wanted to go for something completely different. But, as you can see, I completely lost sight of it after the first paragraph of the rant, which ultimately morphed into me telling you about me history with friends/not friends. Whoopsie daisy.

Secret #4:
I have a pretty weird phobia. It is called koumpounophobia. What's that? It's a fear of buttons. I've been irrationally afraid of them since I was two years old. I didn't wear jeans until 6th grade because of it. I despised having to wear button-down shirts in middle school for band concerts. Simply put, buttons gross me out. I don't have it as bad as some people, though. Some people think buttons have nasty smell, some scratch the skin off their fingers if they touch a button (I just wipe my hands off on something). Really, see for yourself. Anyways, up until a year ago I had no idea that other people had the same fear. It's nice knowing that you're not the only weirdo.

Enjoy the fact that you don't have to write a 5 page paper in the next few hours,
Ashley

Moats and boats and waterfalls

I couldn't see Youth In Revolt on Thursday but I did end up seeing it last night before the neon party. It was good, if a bit unrealistic. But really, aren't some of the best movies unrealistic? Just the other day in my English class we were discussing how, when watching a movie or a play, one must be willing to accept that the movie/play is an entity of its own and can do whatever it wants. Something about willingly suspending your disbelief, I think?

Last night was fun. Sam and I very nearly won an epic game of beirut that went into double overtime. Very nearly. The party ended around 1 or 1:30am but I ended up gypsying about, first to Sara's room for crab rangoons and then to Sam's because Sara's hall director said we were too loud. The only downside to the evening was the weather and my choice of footwear. I now know for sure that wearing heels when it is cold and wet out is a BAD IDEA. I took them off halfway to Sara's, which meant that by the time we got there my feet were that painful kind of numb. Lesson learned: always bring a change of shoes when a trek back from the Gables is anticipated.

Today was supposed to be that day that was going to be monstrously awesome, remember? It might still be, but it's pretty chilly out and the music doesn't really sound very enticing yet. I figure in about an hour I'll casually stroll by Sigma Nu to check out the whole drinking games thing on the lawn. At least it's sunny out. I think I might be going to the beach tomorrow. We'll see.

Honestly, what I really want to do right now is take a nap and then watch Doctor Who episodes. I really should try and get out though.

Secret #3:
I would like to be the lead singer in a U2 tribute band. You know, if the opportunity ever presented itself.

I feel like I haven't been keeping up with the caliber of writing I first anticipated doing when I came back here. This is becoming more like a diary and that's not what I wanted. In my next entry, then, I'll talk about friends. Not absolutely sure where I'm going to go with that one, but I suppose I'll figure it out along the way.

Enjoy the sun,
Ashley

Veryfast

 I'm seeing Youth In Revolt in about half an hour so, like the subject line implies, this will be fast. 

Key points:
-I just won a beer goggle obstacle course and won a free t-shirt as a result. It's not a cool t-shirt or anything, just says "B.Y.O.B. Bring Your Own Bartender - Know Your Limits" on the front but nonetheless, it was free because I won it and I love college.
-Tomorrow at 10am I have a biology exam or, as my professor likes to call it, a large grading opportunity. Small grading opportunities are weekly quizzes. Twelve hours after said exam, I will be at a neon party. I don't own own anything neon (with the exception of nail polish), so getting dressed for this thing should be interesting.
-Youth In Revolt looks awesome. Hey, I didn't say this would be in order.
-Got my computer back Monday night. It's clean but slow.
-I got into Jessie Doe, my "plan C", for housing next year. Nothing against the place but I'm already on a wishlist for Scott or Sawyer.
-Saturday is going to be monstrously awesome (hopefully). Since I don't really feel like explaining it, here is a LINK. Um, tell me if that doesn't work. Anyway, from 2-5pm one of the frats is having drinking games on their lawn. Obviously it's with water because a) it is alcohol awareness weekend (and no, that does not mean extra alcohol) and b) it is literally in their front yard. But it should be fun nonetheless.

I'm hoping that when I go upstairs to the 3rd floor (I'm in the MUB computer lab right now) there's some awesome old movie playing in the lounge outside the theaters. Last time it was the first Land Before Time. Remember that classic? Yeah. Cera's a little bitch but Ducky and Peewee make up for it with their awesomeness.

Secret #2:
When I was little (circa age 7) I used to wake up before my parents and walk around the house, pretending it was a bed and breakfast and I was the owner. What did this entail? Speaking in a British accent to my dog and making french toast sticks in the microwave.

I will leave you with a video my favorite U2 lyrics to make it seem like this entry is actually a lot longer than it really is. Damn, I like typing on Macs. But anyway... I think it's the opening riff that makes it my favorite, although I like the poignancy of the verses as well. 




Voila! That was actually the only one. Weird.

Enjoy your respective boob tubes,
Ashley

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