True Story

{June 24, 2013}   Monkey Lately

True Story: I haven’t written about the monkey lately.

Well, I haven’t written about anything lately because I am SLAMMED. Very busy summer so far in real estate. This is a good problem to have.

Back to the Monkey lately. Is almost 6 the cutest age? I really think it is. Of course I’ve thought every age since his birth has been the cutest, but this is such a sweet time with him maturing and going to school. He’s still baby-ish but maturing quickly. Kindergarten really helped with that. I think sitting still while someone is lecturing you is very grown up. I struggle with it daily.

True Story:  eating lunch with him at school one day I got in trouble.

I opened the milk wrong and spilled it everywhere. I am pretty sure my name is on the board in his classroom.

I wish I could remember to write down all the funnies. Of course my kid is the funniest, cutest kid in the world. Just like yours. So you may be very glad I can’t remember to write them all down otherwise this post would be a book..

Monkey Lately:

1) Snowbirds.

So down here on the gulf coast winter is snowbird season. Northern retirees flock down to shake their tail feathers at the Florbama without the risk of slipping on the ice. They hang out at the post office (getting boxes or general delivery), the movie theater, the library (checking email), and restaurants and bars starting around 3pm for early bird and happy hour specials.

True Story:  I love snowbirds.

I really do. I spent almost every afternoon after school in elementary and middle school at my grandmother’s assisted living home. I am very good with the old folks. We really do appreciate their business down here and they are always welcome.

True Story:  There is one place snowbirds are not welcome:  The road.

Not being ugly here, I have real proof. First of all they bike in flocks, and many on recumbent bikes. It’s hard for an entire group of bikers to make a good decision about when to cross the road.

Secondly, they meander across the road to the beach. This is true for tourists in general. They all Meander/saunter/lolli-gag across a dangerous highway where people are drinking, driving and texting.  I lived across the street from the beach for 2 1/2 years. I ran for my life every time I crossed that street.

Thirdly, the driving itself. The birds just don’t always know where they’re going. Granted, your condo can sneak up on you when they all look alike. But the story I am about to tell you is inexcusable. I was going 50 mph down the beach road in the right, east bound lane approaching a glowing green light without a hint of yellow coming. Suddenly, I had to slam on the brakes in the middle of the road because a snowbird, who also happens to be in the right lane, has decided he needs to turn left. TURN LEFT PEOPLE, across a 45 mile an hour left east bound lane and 2 turning lanes lined with cars. Yes, $#*&%^$ snowbird, flew out of my mouth.

True Story:  Not long after that Ex-Pump calls to tell me that when he was driving our son he had to brake and G Monkey said, “what is it Daddy? Is it the $%^&*(# snowbirds?”

2) Every night when G Monkey goes to sleep he tells me that he loves me to the center of the earth and back and around the sun and double infinity. That’s just %#@$*& sweet isn’t it?

3) I may have a young diva on my hands.

He periodically walks into a room and screams, “This girl is on FIRE!”

Like most gyms, G Monkey’s Karate dojo has a mirrored wall. G Monkey can not help but to look in the mirror at himself, watching himself do his Karate moves. His Senei continually got on to him about paying attention and focusing, and to quit looking in the mirror. He laughed and told me I should get G Monkey a mirror for Christmas. Eventually, Sensei nicknamed him, “Hollywood.” Finally, one day he said, “Hollywood, why do you look in the mirror all the time?” Nervous, G Monkey said, “Because I’m so handsome.” 

He says, “I know that,” like you are a dumbass all the time.


ME:  It’s a beautiful day today.

GM:  I know that.

4) G Monkey is a budding young songwriter.

He told me he wrote a song the other day. I was so proud.


Beer, beer, ba beer.

beer, beer, ba beer.

I drink it in the sun.

I drink it on the beach.

I drink it on the porch.

I drink it on the islands.

I drink it while I Bar-be-que.

I drink it when I watch NASCAR.

Beer, beer, ba beer.

True Story:  The only comfort I can take out of this is that I was not his only muse. I don’t have a BBQ grill and I have never watched NASCAR.  His father perhaps?

{March 29, 2013}   Crossfit – A Review

True Story:  I do Crossfit.

I know. I know. Really? I’m sure you’re thinking. You lift weighted bars above your head and flip giant tires?


I also do reviews now. I mean again. I mean there will be more reviews in the future.

I think I’m a good reviewer and here’s why: When I like something it is the greatest thing on the planet and everybody should have one. When I hate something it is stupid and you should throw rocks at it.

Then again, I may not be a good reviewer and here’s why: I generally like every movie I see. I’ve only walked out of a couple in my life. One of them was one of those Pirates of the Caribbean movies because I couldn’t look at the dark under water gooey things anymore. I think that’s reasonable and understandable.

Since it appears I am probably just a C+ reviewer I am just going to pick random things and give them a score anyway. I think it’s better for all of us to know where we stand. I am just going to start scoring everything I eat, drink, use and individuals I meet. Please let me know if any of you are interested in volunteering for a review. I’m sure this site will crash with volunteers.

True Side Story:  Ex-pump once told a table full of people he thought it would be a good idea for each person at the table to say something they don’t like about each other.

He soon found out this wasn’t that fun of a game. People started firing off things like, “you have bad hair” and  “you’re too sexual.” I guess he still had lingering effects of the disturbing year of his life where he thought he was flawless. Don’t believe this actually occurred? Please read:

True Story:  So far there has only been 1 other review:

But I vow to continue flooding the internet with my unsolicited opinions. So stay tuned.

There are several reasons I really like Crossfit, and I’ll get to that. But first, I am going to tell you a few things you need to understand in case you feel like giving it a whirl. You may already know all this. I am aware Crossfit has been around a while. But this is my review so you can kiss it. I’m going to tell you about it anyway.

I mean when my 5-year-old son came home from school the other day and said, “Oh Mommy, I learned the coolest song today… John Jacob Gingle-heimer Schmidt.” I didn’t say, “Dude… That song is so old.” So, you can just bear with me.

1) The Beginning:

In the beginning you may puke. That is natural. We all think we work out, and we may be working out really hard, and when you look at the baseline (day 1 workout) it doesn’t seem like it will be all that hard. It is. It’s hard. That’s just all there is to it.

You will be sore for the first week or two. I don’t care if you run 10 miles a day, you will be sore. After the first couple of days I was standing in my office and I dropped a pen on the floor. I just stood  and looked around the room. Everyone was like, what?

Me:  Well, I can’t get that. I can not bend down and pick up that pen. I need one of you to do it for me, please and thank you.

I could only use bathrooms with handlebars on the wall for 2 weeks, because once I was down there was no getting back up.

2) You get mummified:

By mummified I mean, all wrapped up. You start collecting gear and bandages to protect yourself. Currently I wear an anlke brace, gloves, wrist wraps, a back support when I am lifting and I just added a brand new knee brace.

3) Official Crossfit Terms:


No joke. It is an official term. If you have never uttered that lovely word before in your life you will in the middle of 50 burpees.

Burpee:  Body on the ground, plank, jump your feet in, jump up and clap. Repeat.

Douche bag:  Anyone that acts like a douche bag in the gym. I don’t think this really needs to be explained.

Good luck:  Something you might say to someone who is walking in the gym all fresh faced while you are walking out sweaty and sick.

Paleo:  How you are supposed to eat, like a caveman. I am not very good at this part.

Box: The gym.

WOD: Workout of the day.

Snatch:  A lift move.

Jerk:  Another lift movement.

Are you seeing a pattern here? Thinking maybe these terms were invented by men perhaps?

True story:  We make fun of people who say, “Is your box open today? Did I miss your WOD?”

Another true story:  People really say that.

As you can guess, these terms make for a lot of jokes and laughter which is really good when you are dying from over exertion. It is also one of the reasons I really like crossfit and my crossfit gym in particular. This dirty bird fits right in.

True Story:  I give crossfit an A.

I really do enjoy it. It is definitely not for everyone but I think it is for me. You can not get bored. The workout is different every day, and they are short and painful. Key word here is short.

It is amazing the jump I have experienced in my fitness level. I couldn’t do one box jump when I started. I did 80 the other day. My body is tightening up. It’s interesting to watch that happen. I am committing to a year and hope to see major changes.

It also helps to cut down on bad habits because you CAN NOT do this workout after partying all night. Also, pretty affordable for what you get. It would be really affordable if I went every day.

True Story:  I do not know how I am going to handle the workouts in the heat this summer.

I read an article that some really smart scientists said a barley drink was good after a workout. I guess I could always try that.

True Story:

{February 19, 2013}   Car Talk

True Story: I’m real stupid about cars.

I’m smart about several things but automobiles are not included in that list. I do not care about cars. I don’t care to know how they work. I only drive one because I can not walk that far. I would prefer to helicopter my child to school in the morning rather than drive the 10 minutes there. Where is Christian Grey and Charlie Tango when you need them?

I enjoy a nice ride with beautiful scenery on a pretty day, but that is about as deep as my relationship with cars goes. I loathe pumping gas. I get bored to tears in the car if there is 30 seconds without a rocking song on or a stimulating conversation. I hate keeping them clean and maintained. I would rather stump my toe than pay for car insurance. Don’t even get me started on speed limits and tickets. Cars are bad for the environment, and now, it’s all more difficult and dangerous than ever to drive with smartphones in the mix. The desire to look at your phone is stronger than hunger I think. It is as involuntary as breathing.

In short, I’m holding out for a hover board.

True Story: I sort of ignored the fact that my oil light was on.

I KNOW. I know.  No need for lectures. Learned my lesson, sort of.

I would eyeball the gleaming oil light in the car and then move “get oil thingy checked out” from today’s to-do list to tomorrow’s. This went on for several days.

Finally I was driving down the road and the car just quit. I thought, “Oh sh*t, now I’ve done it. Idiot. Idiot. You dumb F*ck.”

What? Y’all don’t talk to yourselves like that?

I glided over to the side of the road and put it in park. I made a couple of deals with the powers that be that live in the sky during these times, crossed my fingers and attempted to crank the car…

It actually cranked with no funny noises or anything. I couldn’t believe it.

I eased back on the road plotting my next move. Surely, my luck wouldn’t be so good that I could just keep driving the car and this was a one time fluke. I wanted to believe I could wait until I got home to see my car people, but thought better of it. I googled a nearby place on my smartphone. Turns out I was about a block away from an auto repair/oil change shop. This is where the party starts.

In just a few short minutes after arriving I was fantasizing  about spending the ridiculous amount of money I was going to make on my reality show about this service station. It. Was. Awesome.

While I’m in the car with the motor running a lady wearing only shorts and a very thin camisole with no bra comes over to me and says, “We pay the power bill. A/C’s on.”

Oh yeah, this happened in the summer. I get out of the car and explain to the 3 people looking at me what just happened. A lot of head shaking follows.

LADY:  Honey, don’t let your car run out of oil. Ever.

ME:  I know, I’m stupid.

LADY:  I didn’t say that now, but that’s not a smart thing to do. Honey, if you need some oil just come on by and we’ll put some in her. Even if you don’t have no money… I’d rather put some oil in her than let her run dry.

ME:  Yes, ma’am. Never again.

They pull my car forward and start poking around in her. I just hear little grunts and sounds like, “Mmm huh.”

Not sounding good. I peak down the hole.

ME:  How’s she looking?

YOUNG MAN IN HOLE:  Don’t ever let your car run out of oil.

ME:  Yep. Heard that one.

Lady checks my mileage. I know what’s coming next. It’s pretty impressive. Only 100k for an 18-year-old car. I brace myself for the inevitable compliments.

LADY:  Whoo! Honey. She’s a buit! Don’t you go getting rid of her now. You call me before you do. I’ll take her off your hands.

I’m all like “awe shucks” and scuffing the ground with my shoe.

LADY:  Let’s just hope you didn’t burn her engine up.

Back to being a dumbass.

True Story:  It was an automobile miracle.

I didn’t kill the car. But, I am ready to get rid of her.

Time for a grown-up, showing property car. Hard to sell million dollar condos in her.

{January 22, 2013}   MIA

True Story:  Happy New Year! I’ve been MIA, and not just from blogging.

Hell, I’ve been working on this blog for weeks. I was going to post about a trip home from Vegas last month and then I thought you can’t just post out of the blue after months of a hiatus/coma/writer’s block without an explanation.

Brace yourselves: excuses coming. Busy, real estate work, Kindergarten (game changer), working on a screenplay, day dreaming, Netflix streaming (Gossip Girl. Don’t tell anyone), drinking wine, and if I’m honest, a little bit of depression.

You know how you don’t know you’re in the sh*t until your out of the sh*t? Examples: We don’t know we’re in a recession until 6 months into it. We don’t know our politicians can’t get anything done until it’s the night before their deadline. We don’t know 10lbs. is sneaking up until we can’t button our pants. You don’t know he’s cheating until you find the panties in the couch. See where I’m going with this?

True Story:  I haven’t been REALLY living any fun true stories to tell you.

Instead, I suppose I have been sulking and thinking and existing.

I had to start fighting my way out of this rut/depression/give-up, to even see that I was in the rut/depression/give-up. I have written many times here that the last few years have not been the easiest. Of course, after watching the horror of recent events in this country and throughout the world,  I really haven’t been through sh*t, have I?

Included in the personal trials of the last few years there have also been some very exciting times; like a feature film at Sundance, meeting all kinds of people and travelling, watching an amazing little boy grow up, and fun new changes for my family and friends.

Those upward turns to a positive, persistent personality like myself can mask the bad that’s going on. I have also mentioned here that I am a positive, never-give-upper to a point of detriment to myself. Meaning, the writing’s on the wall and I am in denial because it will turn around. Though definitely still this person, I’ll admit with age comes some sense of well, f*ck, maybe it won’t turn around this time.

I am finally ready to admit what Kenny Rogers has been trying to tell me for a long time, “you got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, and know when to walk away.”

True Story:  I LOVE A NEW YEAR.

I don’t mean the party the night before. Think about it. In your whole life you can probably count on one hand how many fabulous new years eves you’ve had. The evenings usually have way too much build up, or you end up party chasing only to find there wasn’t a kiss at the end of the night anyway. I blame Nora Ephron (RIP), When Harry Met Sally, and all the other TV shows and movies for this new year’s eve myth of a perfect night.

What I love about the new year is a clean slate. I love starting over, second chances and Monday mornings to redeem yourself. I get very excited to buy my new day planner/calendar for the year and write things in it. I choose to believe it doesn’t matter if you have pizza or fried chicken on Sunday because you can always have a slim fast shake for breakfast Monday morning. My Dad and I always say, “it’s day 1.”

Alas, but where’s the girl that tells everyone to just watch and see, I’ll get it done? Where’s the girl that says don’t tell me I can’t be a filmmaker, a writer, transform my body with crossfit, or win the lottery?

The answer my friends, is 37. The answer is so many ups and downs that at some point you say “I don’t know if I can get back up this time.”

Like the real estate market, I do believe I have bottomed out and am on the upswing. There is just less gusto in that swing this time. I am sure folks older than me are laughing and saying, “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

True Story: My attitude really pisses me off because I read a lot of inspirational quotes on facebook and nothing so far. Nada, no attitude adjustment at all.

I guess this new years I find myself a little bit jaded and gut punched. If I wasn’t so damn optimistic I would know just because you are up here one day, doesn’t mean you won’t be back down there again.

Examples: You work hard on a relationship and it ends anyway. You have a successful real estate business and fight through bubbles bursting, bad economies, oil spills and hurricanes only to find when the market improves you still have trouble getting to the closing table. You reach a pinnacle in Independent film only to find you got to come back home and start all over again and make another one.

That’s it! I’ve figured this whole life thing out: Do it. Do it again. Do it again. Then, do it one more time because no one is going to do it for you.

I don’t think that inspirational quote would get a ton of LIKES on facebook.

True Story: I love a comeback, and I am planning my own.

I am sorry I didn’t post to you loyal readers here for (I can barely bring myself to type this) 6 months. It took about 2 weeks just to write this post. 1 step at a time, right? I am saying it here and now, loud and proud: I AM BLOGGING, WRITING SCRIPTS, AND MANUSCRIPTS IN THE YEAR 2013 AD. Also, planning an upgrade to my generic vanilla blog design. I Welcome any ideas.

Toodles, until next time!

True Story: Facebook worthy inspiring quotes below.

‎”Determine that the thing can and should be done and together we shall find a way.” –  Abraham Lincoln

“The Best way out is always through” – Robert Frost

{July 22, 2012}   50 Shades of Ashley

True Story:  I took the bait.

Well, What are you supposed to do? Everyone’s doing it.

Don’t believe me? Just go out to a pool, beach, or park today. There should be several copies of 50 Shades of Grey lying around.

I kept hearing everywhere I went, “I couldn’t put it down.” My sister, who doesn’t read as much as many of us read the whole series rather quickly.

Going to BAM (Books a Million) is a favorite afternoon activity of mine and G Monkey’s. Of course the 50 Shades series is right up front. I wanted to text E. L. James and let her know my local BAM was helping her make $1 million a week. Damn! Fastest selling paperback series evah. Schwing! The sexual puns shall continue.

Hello my name is Ashley and I purchased a copy of 50 Shades of Grey. I am embarrassed to share my story with you but since we are among friends… Well, I have paraded it around the pool and beach. I have read it at traffic lights prompting dirty glances from other cars and winks from men. I have no shame.

True Story:  Since reading it, I have had a hard time understanding the hoopla.

I didn’t know anything about the story before reading other than there was some kinky business happening in it. I was quite shocked at the age of the characters. I guess I assume everyone in the literary world is my age. I didn’t expect the main character to be 21 and Mr. Grey to be 27. I also, kept waiting for some major plot twists. I suppose that is why I don’t read romance very often. I need more to happen than just the love story, unless, say the love story spans across continents and wars and death and such. Now that sounds exciting! Not just some kid’s thinky thoughts about her luvah.

I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the book. I did. It was fun to read something different, and I am a print junkie. I think it is part of my ADD but I will read anything around me always. Just going number 1 in the potty is too boring for me. I will read the back of the aerosol spray for the 15 seconds it takes to urinate. I will read whatever is in the front seat of my car at a stop sign. You get the point.

True Story:  If you carry this book around with you it will prompt many discussions with women and men.

I may actually sell a house to someone because of 50 Shades of Grey. It started a conversation with 2 women at the pool who later referred a buyer to me. Does anyone have E L James’ mailing address? I need to send her a referral fee.

Another thing I discovered is the different reactions to the book from men. One woman told me the book caused a fight because her boyfriend said, “Oh you’re reading that book that teaches women how to cheat.”

RIDICULOUS. If you have read the book you know there is no infidelity what so ever in the story. Actually, you would be “punished” if you cheated on Mr. Grey.

If you take the S&M out of the book it is quite a virginal love story. They might as well be Edward and Bella of Twilight fame.

Another fun reaction I saw while hanging out at BAM: a woman picked the book up off the stand by the door and her husband jerked it out of her hand saying, “Let me see that.” Ha! Silly boys. If they only took the stance of most married men, which is this may be the best summer of their entire marriage with Magic Mike at the theater and 50 Shades in the hands of their women.

One woman told me at the pool, as she could see I was just starting the book, “You’re going to want a man around.”

Me:  I don’t have one.

She looked around.

Woman:  Well, the Florabama’s across the street.

Translation: Honky Tonk Meat Market

New Term I probably did not make up: Money Porn. Let’s talk about the money porn in 50 Shades. I am certainly not a gold digger. The two relationships I have had in my life were with men who didn’t have cars or jobs when I met them. (I know. I know. Life is about learning).

You have to admit the billionaire thing is one of the sexiest shades of Grey. A flogging every now and then might not be so bad if you can get dropped off to go shopping in Charlie Tango, Mr. Grey’s helicopter.

Same goes for Edward the Vampire. So he’s a little pale and dead. He has super powers and an endless supply of money.

Therefore, I shall read the next two books in the series just as much for the money porn as the dirty bird business.

True Story:  I am currently studying how to ghost write Erotica to make some serious cabbage.

Random True Side Story:  I received a text out of the blue from my sister. It read: Does G Monkey still eat his boogers?

I replied:  I’m pretty sure.

I have no idea what that was about.

{June 7, 2012}   So this happened

True Story:  It should really be titled: So May happened, I mean the last few months, I mean the last 2-3 years happened.

Disclaimer:  Bullsh*t excuse coming.

I have been a total slacker on blogging. The last 6 weeks we have been re-writing the next film, I moved AGAIN, lots of G Monkey business, TRYING to sell real estate, deal with an international Prairie Love deal, and other general business.

Excuses are like buttholes, right? We all got em.

I have so much to share with you about the entire Month of May. It certainly will not all fit in this post. You would be reading for a week, and I am sure many of you have families to tend to.

First of all, this blog will have a sub-blog about the BuR Nation. I can’t get into too many details about it right now. Let’s just say I havent belly laughed about something so funny to me in so long, that it just feels right to share it with world. Stay tuned for more details of how you can join the BuR Nation. You will not like the exchange rate, but we understand that.

I had 2 family vacations this month that deserve their own sub-blog categories. But today I am just going to talk about 1 day in the recent sh*tstorm of my life.

Now, y’all know by now that I try to remain positive. The recent divorce, brokeness, oil spill, affair, moving, God the moving is the worst, have not broken me yet. But this day almost did.

You don’t have to believe or follow astrology to know something is going on around you that you can’t get out from under. I happen to follow Susan Miller’s She is one of the top astrology professionals in the world. She counsels governments, etc… Anyway, her monthly posts are very detailed and fun to read. Unless you are me most recently, in which she wrote, your life has been a sh*tstorm the last 2.5 years, and it’s going to get worse right now, and then you are coming out of it soon stronger ready for anything and everything. This last few weeks my birthdate in particular has been affected.

I don’t believe in luck. Luck is when hard work meets opportunity. I also don’t believe that everything that happens to me is caused by an outside force like planets. I happen to know that I’m a dumbass and screw sh*t up for myself all the time. But some things are true whether we believe them or not. And I have to admit along with the other Libras out there that some cloud has been following me around lately and I am ready to kick its ass.

So it is the week before I go to the British Virgin Islands for a week. I can’t afford to go but it is happening anyway. I am leaving a lot of balls up in the air to leave town: real estate deals, trying to unexpectedly deliver (turn over materials) to our foreign sales agent for an overseas Prairie Love distribution deal, take care of LLC and banking business for the new movie, and spend time with G Monkey. Oh yeah, and I had to be out of my old house before I left town and into my new house. So also moving and cleaning, which rocks as you know.

G Monkey happens to be in between school and summer camp this one week. Which is good because I get to spend time with him before I have to be away from him, but bad because I am so busy and forced to not be annoyed with him and play when I don’t really have the time.

Advice:  Do not move into the 1st floor of a fancy high-rise the week after their annual Home Owners Meeting. They are constantly fixing things and marking off the buildings “to do” list with contractors right outside my large see-in glass windows. This makes running through the condo dripping wet and naked from the shower to dig a towel out of a box difficult.

So one morning of this particular crazy week I get dressed wearing one of my favorite shirts and take the Demanding Paw to the dog walk area. She is doing her duty (get on the floor and give me some booty). Sorry the urge to write that song lyric was uncontrollable.

Anyway, all of a sudden on this bright cloudless day, I am hit by a rain shower. What’s more puzzling than that is that through my worthless nose which carries no olfactory glands at all, I can smell the bleach burning through my shirt.

They were pressure washing a balcony above me. Awesome. Good timing. I threw that shirt in the trash. One less thing to clean and fold.

True Story: They know me around this building.

I am not just saying that. They KNOW me. I got married here for God’s sake before it was even complete. I am in and out of it all the time.  Same management team for years.

With that being said, they know my car. You can not miss it. It is the only car in the parking lot that screams “Which one of us does not belong”. It’s an old piece of sh*t covered in bumper stickers. Not only do they know my car, they know I have a parking pass. Unfortunately sometime between the last time I drove it the day before and this morning the parking pass had fallen to the floorboard.

As I am walking by my car on my way in from getting bleached I see something unfamiliar. It is a giant 8×4 inch warning sticker in the middle of the driver’s side window. WTF? I peeled it off but by this time it had melted in the sun and now there is a white sticky film in the middle of my window which blocks my view. The car has been washed twice since. It will not come off. I have to roll down my window to see in order to pull out into summer time traffic. So that’s really great if you like awesomeness.

I stomped back inside the building, grabbed my packing tape, stomped back out to my car and wrapped the tape around the pass and rearview mirror 50 times. That mother effer’s not moving.

I started to shed 1 corner tear of frustration. Then said, “No. Universe, you can not beat me today”. Ironically, my new bumper sticker from the BVI says, “The beatings will continue until morale improves”. Fitting I thought.

So the rest of the day was spent fielding calls about a property I could have sold 25 times if it had clear title and trying to be fun Mom before I leave. There were more frustrating phone calls and emails, but I have blocked them from my memory.

Later that afternoon G Monkey and I stop in the Rite Aid. I am looking for some last-minute TSA pleasing travelling miniature items, and G Monkey is going to pick out a treat. I was spoiling him before leaving him for 8 days of course.

I am bent over looking at the travel stuff when I hear, “Uh, Mommy”.

Me:  Yes, Son.

GM: Uh, I can see your butt.

Me:  Don’t say butt, say bottom.

GM: Okay. Uh, Mommy.

Me: Yes.

GM:  I can see your bottom.

Me:  Okay. That’s fine.

Next thing I know I feel a little warm small hand on my big cold white bottom.

My shorts were split from top to bottom and I wasn’t wearing undies. My T-shirt did not go much further than my waist. @#$%^&*$#!$%^&&^%$$#*!!!!!!!!!!! WTF???

Me:  How long has it been this way? Did you notice before? Oh My God. I had no idea. I didn’t even feel it.

GM:  Uh Mommy. Can I pick out a treat now?

Me: Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t. Okay, stand behind me the whole time. Don’t let anyone see Mommy’s bottom.

I still had to go all the way to the back of the store to pick up a prescription that I needed for my trip. I saw some men’s shorts and swim trunks on a rack. I called out to the lady that worked there, “Ma’am, do you sell women’s shorts or skirts”?

She nods and walks away. She comes back with a pair of Barbie doll size tween beach shorts that wouldn’t fit on one of my feet. If I wasn’t holding my very large hand over my ass and the other hand keeping G Monkey from leaving me I would have started throwing things off the nearest shelf at her.

Me: Is that all you got?

She nods.

Me:  Awesome.

I make G Monkey walk behind me while I got the scrip and got the hell out of there.

True Story:  On the way out G Monkey started to run into the parking lot. For the safety of my child I let go of my pants and grabbed him. The man behind me had a hard time suppressing his grin when I turned around to see him and cover myself back up.

Honestly, I would have rather just walked in there totally naked and shopped instead of trying to keep the cheeks from scaring customers and scarring children. And the truth is, we really aren’t sure how long they were out there shining their whiteness all over town.

True Story:  If you have not received a return email or facebook message from me lately it is because of this kind of sh*tstorm I have been dealing with.

All you can do is drink after a day like that.

{February 29, 2012}   The Past

True Story:  We think about it a lot don’t we?

My horoscope said recently that because some planet moved into some house of mine, people and events from the past would start to reappear. Hmm. Interesting, or not? Let’s move on planets. I’m done living in the past.

In a matter of days this is how my past haunted me:

1)  I heard about the passing of a friend from another part of my life that shared my first name.

2)  An ailment in my body I thought was cured re-appeared.

3)  I reconnected with some old buddies. LOVE when that happens, like no time has ever passed between us.

4)  My 4.5 year old pooped his pants. Really? I thought we were done with that phase of his life. You aren’t supposed to do that again until the end right?

5)  I went to a Film Festival that Prairie Love attended and won last year. Stop living in the past Ashley. That was so 2011. Time to make another movie!

6)  Interesting moment from the past this last week. A friend that works at a restaurant needed to call me to get the Vampire’s Number. She had apparently left the restaurant forgetting to pay her tab and the only person my friend could think of that had her number was me. Ha! I found the number. Glad to be of help.

7)  I heard new stories of other indiscretions and disrespectful behavior by my ex-husband while we were married.

There are many ways to approach this subject.

Honestly, Ex-Pump and I should teach a class on how to be divorced. A lot of the reason we can still work together and jointly share pleasant custody of our son is my refusal to stay angry. I’m not being a martyr here, anger will eat you alive.

First of all, I am not going to raise my son in a heavy atmosphere. That is MISERABLE on the little ankle biters.

Secondly, it’s just not fun to be pissed all the time. It sucks. I see people that are mad all the time and I think you are drinking the poison. You! You are pouring it down your throat and everybody else has moved on.

Don’t think I don’t have to give this speech to myself sometimes. I believe that you are not responsible for how something makes you feel, but you are responsible for how you react to that feeling. Events and situations with other humans have to be given their proper amount of emotion from you, and then set aside.

I’ve always been the kind of person that would walk around and kick and scream for a while and get real mad, then, I am ready to move on pretty much in a matter of minutes. Remember the scene in Witches of Eastwick when Daryl (Devil) is ironing his own clothes and stomps around high kicking? That is me for about 20 minutes, then it’s over.

In a lot of these cases we are really just mad at ourselves, right? Why did I allow such ridiculousness in my life? Why do I not respect myself more? Why am I such a f*ck up?

That last part might just be me.

Warning:  You have to have some space from the issue to get that perspective, like I don’t know, 2 years. Don’t expect people not to stomp around like Daryl once a day for a while after an unfortunate event takes place in their life.

For example, something recently happened in my work life that I am still stomping around about. Not enough distance yet, I suppose. It felt like someone I trusted said, I like you but you’re just not good enough. For a couple of days I wanted to go outside and shoot 2 middle fingers at the sky and everyone that I saw. I got pleasure in people cutting me off in traffic and let 14 people skip in front of me at the grocery store when I was in a hurry. Why not? That’s what I’m here for people. Go ahead, just wipe your feet right there on my back.

But, this too shall pass, and if I think hard enough about it there is a lesson there for me, damn it. This learn from your mistakes business is really starting to piss me off.

Least favorite things from the Past:

a. Someone reminds you of something you did while intoxicated.

b. Pictures of you fat as a cow that resurface. Like the ones people insist on taking in the hospital 10 minutes after your baby was removed from your body.

c. Awkward grocery store run ins with people from the past you no longer associate with.

Me:  Hi

Them:  Hi

Me:  You still uh… work at uh…

Them:  Yep.

Me:  Alright, good to see ya.

Them:  Yep, you too.

d. Food you ate in the past that resurfaces.

e. Past Boyfriends you see that make you say WTF was I thinking.

f. Clothes from the past that no longer fit.

And Finally:

g. Money from the past no longer in your bank account.

True Story:  A drunk girl from High School I ran into once said to me, ” Move on Bitch”. At the time I thought she was a b*tch, but now I think she’s right. (PS: That particular story from the past will resurface another time).

I read somewhere:  The past is exactly that. Send it on down the river. Tie it up in a pretty package and ribbon if you must, but send it on.

True Story:  Whew! Glad that’s over with.

{January 24, 2012}   Fat Girls


True Story:  I have recently been thinking about the battle of the bulge.

Who am I kidding? It is constantly on my mind. I am so sick of thinking about my weight.  I know you ladies out there think about yours too all the time, right?

Well, now that I’ve really decided to do something about it, ironically, I don’t have to think about it all the time. I have adopted some new ways of doing things and that is all there is to it. I don’t have to think, “oh I shouldn’t eat that because I was bad yesterday”. With my new diet, I just know what I am eating. So far so good. I’ll keep you posted.

I have come to understand that exercise is great, but if you want your body to be smaller, you have to change the way you eat. For years, I was like well, I’ll just work out. That didn’t work out. Pun intended.

Where the problems started: 

Eating #1. Did I really have to write that?

I love food. I love a good meal, but I am not addicted to food. I do not emotionally eat. You will not see me with a pint of ice cream at the end of a bad/good day. Unfortunately, I enjoy the liquids more for emotional consoling.

My generation and older are taught to eat 3 squares a day and to be President of the “clean plate club”. Now we know that is not the best way to eat, but I still find myself telling my son to finish his supper. It is usually the good for him stuff he doesn’t want though.

I think y’all know by now I am not a blamer. I take full responsibility for most of my faults. I put my big girl panties on and deal with stuff.

True Side Story:  I was telling a group of people the other day how I fall down a lot, and one of my friends said, “yeah, but you get up like a big girl”. 

So what I am saying here is that I am not blaming society, Twiggy, or teenage bullying on my weight/body image problem, but I do think those things play a role in it.

Exhibit A at the top of the page: a picture of me in a bikini at age 15. I’m the one in the middle.

Which one of us wouldn’t want that figure? Well, the young lady in that picture thought she was FAT FAT FAT.

Not initially, but after I was told repeatedly that I was fat, I decided it was so.

Sure, girls are going to tease me, especially the flat-chested ones. Even family members had issues with my figure, telling me my butt was big, etc. It does stick out. Had I thought to take care of it, it might be worth a million bucks like JLo’s today. Naaaa, her’s is a priceless work of art.

I understand parents being concerned with a voluptuous figure on a young girl. But I did not flaunt it. The truth is, in high school we wore boys jeans and button down shirts. Rugby shirts were in style. Remember those? I wouldn’t have been allowed to wear skimpy stuff if I wanted to. But I have cleavage in a turtle neck, so sometimes there is really nothing I can do about it.

My dance instructor told me I was thick. I’ve never cared for that word. Boys teased, as they do. Point I’m getting at here is that it is inevitable in this society that at some point, a girl will stand in front of a mirror hating her body.

I’m not going to preach that you shouldn’t do it. You all know that. And I am not going to try to have that girl in the picture’s figure either. Let’s face it, 15 is a whole nother ball game. No, I just wanted to share more lady problems with you, and tell you I am going to wear a bikini for the 1st time in many, many moons this summer. Just making myself accountable again.

What happened in the 20 years since that photo you ask?

Nothing extraordinary. A pound or two a year is 20 plus pounds. You do the math.

In the spirit of Awards Show Season let’s look at some of the silly things celebrities say about how they stay in shape:

1) I once read in a magazine about a starlit who said she lost all her weight because “she broke up with cheese”.

Really? That’s it? You just stopped eating cheese? Are you sure you don’t have a personal trainer too?

2) “I’ll consider plastic surgery when the time comes”.

Translation:  I have been getting botox for 10 years. A face lift is right around the corner.

3) “I keep the weight off by snacking all day long”.

On what? Lettuce?

For once, will one of those wee, tiny, baby celebs say the truth when asked how they keep their figures.

My PR advice for an answer:

Well, it starts with genetics. Let’s face it, I hit the jack pot there. And remember, I am only 24. Then I work out 14 times a week with my trainer, run 5 miles, and go to yoga after that. When I eat it is high quality, organic very expensive delivered meals, and any time I see anything sticking out or dimpling in, I get to the nearest med spa and fix that sh*t.

True Story:  Would that not be refreshing???

{December 29, 2011}   Shake it up

True Story:  A change is going to come.

I guess I’m having a mid-life crisis, or I have been having one. You know how you don’t know you are in a recession until you’ve been in it 12 months? And then, after that period comes a period of denial about the recession?

Well, one little phone call the other day set off a chain of thoughts about what I already suspected about myself, something’s got to give.

The Doctor’s office called with some lab work.

Nurse:  Hey Ashley, got your labs back. Your blood sugar and cholesterol are high, so doctor’s prescribing this many milligrams of… Blah…Blah…

Me:  Wait, what? Can I come in and talk to her? I’m 36. I’m not just going to start taking cholesterol medicine. Do I have diabetes?

Nurse:  Uh, I’m not sure… Um, we can make you an appointment.

Me:  What about my thyroid?

Nurse:  This one is for… cholesterol I think, maybe your thyroid… Let’s get you in here to talk to her.

Me:  Yeah, let’s do that.

Here’s the thing. I am a fan of the pill… The tablet, the capsule, even the liquid. I am famous for carrying around a huge bag of medicine in my purse for anything that might ail someone. I don’t believe in “symptoms”. I think if there is something causing a symptom I might have something in my purse to fix it.

That being said I’m not just going to take a pill for a little elevated cholesterol without giving some lifestyle changes a shot.

So, I started thinking about my 2012 goals. The usual lose weight, came to mind, work harder, yada, yada… Didn’t seem to be cutting it. I need more change!

One thing I’ve learned the last 2 years, well, really, 36 years, is things are going to change anyway, whether I want them to or not. Some changes are outside influences beyond my control, and others internally bursting out of me. I might as well take control of some of them.

True Story:  Shocker! My kidneys and liver lab work were perfect. Got a gold star.

I know. I know. Something is wrong at Lab Corp. They must have swapped my blood viles. With the amount of wine I digest there is no way those organs got a gold star.

I have mentioned before that I am famous at NYE for saying, “This is my year”. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean it is not other people’s years, as well. I delight in the success and happiness of others. Acceptance speeches, happy facebook posts, and good news announcements from others make me swell with pride.

I am just eternally optimistic to a fault, when it comes to my own life. I believe there is nothing I can’t beat. And in my adult life, from college on, it has been an uphill battle to make it happen. I keep thinking the next year is it… Okay, maybe the one after that.

What is it I have been trying to achieve?

Well, financial security for one.

My working history consists of many more hours of work involved than payment. (True Dat you all say). Part of that is 1 of my full-time jobs I have worked very hard at for over 10 years and longer, if you include college, is a job I don’t get paid for, YET. 

Filmmaking & Writing. There has been small pay here and there over the years, but I can’t quit my day job, know what I’m saying? (say that like a lady at the grocery store that elbows you and talks out the side of her mouth).

I have maintained a successful real estate business over the years, with the exception of some income stopping hurricanes, real estate busts, economic recessions and oil spills… Wait, let me re-think the 1st part of this sentence.

2012 goals:  Completed non-fiction book, 2 movies in the can & a successful real estate business. Whew! I better get started.

Health:  I am not 21 anymore. I am learning to accept this.

True Story:  I need someone to walk around with an umbrella over my head reminding me of good choices and bad.

In the past, the devil on my shoulder has usually won.

Some of my Famous Bad Choices in the past:

1) Sure, I’ll have one more.

2) Hey ya’ll, watch this…

3) Tomorrow is Day 1 of the new diet/work out program/healthy lifestyle.

So 2012 Health Goals:

1) Stop eating so many things with faces.

I’m sorry. I’m a carnivore. I was raised in the South. I like a good “meat & 3”. (Non-southerners, that is 1 meat, 3 vegetables, a glass of ice tea and cornbread).

2) Pizza only once a week. That’s going to hurt.

3) No alcohol in the House.

4) Stop about 5,000 other bad habits.

True Story:  I have now made myself accountable.

I do believe we are in a transition as a society and planet, as arguably, we have always been. I know 2012 is bigger than me and my little changes, but believe you me, a change gonna come.

{November 11, 2011}   Shoes & Dating

True Story:  Can a girl really have 2 stories about shoes and 2 stories about dating that are necessary to share?

In my world, yes.

Shoes #1:

So you know I have been traveling a lot this last year. Well, I got this sh*t down now. I mean a good traveler is like an artist. I’m always jealous of those perfect travelers that just have like a back pack with them when they check in at the airport. How do they do that?

I used to travel like Kim Kardashian, 16 bags and all. Except they were from Target instead of Louis Vuitton.

I finally realized I didn’t need all that crap and got it down to one bag.

This last trip I bought nothing. I mean nothing, except 2 lottery tickets and a pair of cheap sunglasses because I had left mine at home. In fact, I’m pretty sure I lost some things while away. YET, yet, when packing to leave I could not fit all of my stuff in my suitcase.

After sitting on the bag 3 times to zip it, I still found crap lying around the hotel room. Really? How does this happen.?

True Story:  I had to use a gift bag to carry 2 pairs of shoes through the airport to get home. Sometimes I just piss myself right the you know what off.

Shoes #2:  While sitting in a dark movie theater with 2 friends a very interesting thing occurred.

My male friend was sitting between myself an another female friend. He reaches down and pulls something out of his shoe. He hands it to me and says, “what is this?” 

I take the “string” from him and try to figure out what it is in the dark. I whisper, “It appears to be some sort of string.”

Male friend:  It’s been in my shoe all day, driving me nuts.

My female friend on the other side of him grabs it and goes, “That’s my bra strap.”

AH Hahahahahaha.

That’s what I wanted to do. But because I am in a dark/quiet theater, I had to suppress my uncontrollable laughter.

Okay, this thrills me to no end. Because, come on? That is some good stuff. Pure awesomeness for someone like me that loves incidences like this.

On the other hand, I was green with envy. I mean, really? Who can snap off a fancy bra strap and have it land in a guy’s shoe? I so wish I could do that.

I have to have a team of professionals come in and un-strap my over-the-shoulder boulder holders. I don’t even know if the 4 inch straps that hold my goods up are even able to detach from the main rig.

Man, that’s some hot stuff.

True Story:  2 things of importance to note here.

1) Ladies, pay attention. If you can learn this trick you won’t have to leave an earring behind, or in desperate measures sometimes, your phone or driver’s licence to get a guy to call you again.

2)  My friend had showered, changed clothes and socks since the bra strap had landed in his shoe. Oh, I hope I never forget this story, even when I’m like 8O.

Dating… Online Dating to be specific.

True Story: I’m done.

I do have to be honest with you and tell you, that  I didn’t try very hard, and was extremely picky. But here are 2 reasons I am through with this business.

1) The only guy I met in person was an idiot, and the date lasted 21 minutes. I met him at a local establishment for an after work drink. Within 20 minutes of meeting him he asked me if I was on birth control.

Is there anything else to discuss here?

2) I met a guy on and started chatting. He was funny. It was going well. I gave him my phone number and we began talking/texting. A few days later my phone rings with a local number I don’t recognize. This usually means a real estate call. So I answered.

Me:  Hello, this is Ashley.

Woman:  Hi, my name is Tracy… Um, this is awkward, but why have you been texting my boyfriend Chris?

Me:  Oh, well, I have a very good answer for you Tracy. Because I didn’t know he had a girlfriend.

Tracy:  Well, how did it happen?

Me:  How did what happen? Nothing happened. Look, I’m really sorry about this. I have never met him in person. We were just chatting. Again, real sorry. I will not be speaking to him anymore.

Tracy:  But can you tell me what’s going on? I mean, I am so confused. I just don’t know what is happening.

Really? Now I am a couple’s counselor?

Me: I’m sorry. I really can’t help you. You two need to work this out. Okay, got to go now. Good luck. Bye now…

Tracy:  Wait, wait… I just need to understand.

Me:  Okay, good luck. Bye now.

I hung up.

True Story:  This is some bullsh*t.

et cetera