Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dear Brain; a letter of appeal.

.


Dear Brain,

I would like to request that we at least discuss when you decide to go on hiatus. These surprise “memory blanks” and occasional “space out” sessions are getting quite disruptive and embarassing. Stop blaming Age. Do your own damn work.

Sincerely,
your owner.

.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

naptime wins again

.
If I’ve learned anything this month, it’s that self medication is a silly idea. Self-care, self-maintenance, and regular healthy diet practices are good, but sometimes all you need is a good, strong, mildly expensive antibiotic. Tea, vitamins, salad; they’re alright, but they aren’t drugs! Yes I said it: drugs are good. As I’ve gone throughout the past few weeks marvelling at how lethargic I’ve been, and how very under the weather, not once did I stop to say “it’s because you are trying to combat diseases without help, you significantly harsh brand of loser.” Not to worry though, I finally said that to myself yesterday, once I got proper medication in my system and instantly noticed changes inside my swelling head organs. This is all too much information, isn’t it. But I felt I needed to write something after my silence, and I guess in some way this is an explanation for that silence; seeing as I could hardly move all week (not unless you count “curling up in fetal position and falling asleep” or “wandering aimlessly throughout the house”). But I am back I think, or I should be. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.


Despite my lethargy, I came to discover a few more life plans that I am actually quite excited about. I had a whole list of creative projects lined up already, and now after so much thinking and napping and moving slowly, I’ve added quite a few more. In short, I am about to become the most hands-on-creative person you know. I’ll be dabbling in quite a few areas of the arts. More than likely, I will realize that I am good at none of them. But knowing me and my wildly liberating ability to start things, I won’t mind that my talent levels are less than below-average. I will probably be too busy blabbing excitedly that I painted a picture to notice that the shapes on my canvas are unrecognizable, at best; and I know less about my other ideas than I do about painting, which is likely going to make for a very interesting winter.

Friday, September 24, 2010

a math problem, of sorts.

.
If I am drinking strongly steeped Echinacea tea to ward off my head cold, but am eating a large glazed donut at the same time, do they cancel each other out? Is this like a "zero plus one minus one" type situation?
.
+=

Thursday, September 23, 2010

prose envy

.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

~Emily Dickinson~




Monday, September 20, 2010

word 2 y'all

.


I was reminiscing tonight & came across a rather old memory. The memory consisted of four dudes singing a capella in their overall-shorts and backwards hats. The church floor beneath my feet was bending as we jumped. I was in the front row, right beside the stage (!) and falling desperately in love; my first "celebrity" crush. I was 8 or 9, and it was my first concert ever: Rhythm & News. Remember them?




Oh, the early 90's. You were so...ambiguous, style-less, and are currently good for a laugh. That being said, I still appreciate a capella, and I'm assuming my young fascination with this group is partially responsible. I used to kiss their oversized poster sometimes before going to bed. Uh. No I didn't.
.

gravity

.
Liberation comes in the strangest forms;
a hard decision;
a wearied, honest thought;

this hope beyond hope beyond logic, and the center that carries it. Making a plan and then scrapping it; making a plan and then following through; forgetting the plan making process exists at all, and simply moving. Growing to understand that the willingness to learn is much more important than the learning on its own. Refusing to forget the things I know, and choosing at least one foundation rule that will remain unbending… so long as I remain flexible in my understanding of the world and why it has an axis. Recognizing that I am not the funniest or best or smartest or most profound; I simply am, and I try, and that is usually enough.

These things, each in their own way,
have come to teach me
what liberation means.
.
..



.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mike Tompkins is Dynamite

.
Yup, this is neat.
I think the synth & cymbals are my favorite.
Or the whole thing...



.

Friday, September 17, 2010

because it's nice to make wishes

.

.

an odd sort of request

.


As a disclaimer, I am writing this post directly after reading this morning’s newspaper. I usually avoid this activity (for obvious reasons, which you are probably about to realize), but one of the articles caught my eye and I found myself reading it, jaw dropped. After I read it, I was bothered, upset, and deciding just how reactive I should get. And then my coworker asked me if I had heard this particular story and told me in more detail about the interviews she had seen on the TV news (something I never watch) in reaction to this event. At this point, I started seething. I feel as though there are shards of glass in my mouth. This post is me spitting them out. Be warned. I am vehemently angry.

In Pitt Meadows last weekend, at a party, a 16 year old girl was drugged and gang raped by as many as 7 males. The story is obviously a prominent one considering the circumstances. And my thoughts today aren’t even regarding the fact that this video (because yes, someone f*cking videotaped it) is being uploaded and spread viral on the internet via facebook; that the police can’t even take the videos down as fast as they are being put back up. What I reacted to this morning were the thoughts that are being expressed by quite a few of the boys they are interviewing (that were not necessarily directly involved, but were at the party).

“She was asking for it.”

This comment has been said often enough in response to this news story to disturb and disgust the very core of me. I have heard, at some point in my lifetime, that there were people in this world who believed that it was possible to justify the rapist. But when I heard about those people, it was almost in theory; as in “you know, there are actually people who believe in the eventual world domination of the termite.” But now…there are actually young men saying these things in public? On record? Because they actually really truly think that way?

The interviews with teenage boys have been numerous since last week and these interviews, combined with the viral nature of the video, warrant a hard, detail oriented look at the "why" behind the way this situation is playing out. What kind of trend in our current society and culture causes these boys (and other men) to justify, at all, this event? What is it that excuses (in their minds) their acts of violence and blatant disrespect for other people? How are they able to excuse themselves? Because rape is not excusable. Your penis is not a sceptre; you are not a king because you have one. Who, or what, is telling these young men that if a woman should exhibit behaviour A B or C that she is asking for it? No woman asks to be raped. Anybody who holds this opinion of a rape victim is an arrogant and braindead piece of shit. Disagree? Let’s dance.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

weather dependant

.

So I woke up the other day with a swollen left tonsil. In the days before that, my head and all its organs decided to fritz themselves into some sort of pressurized system. In the days before that, I threw my back out and subsequently fell over onto my bedroom floor while trying to pick up a small weightless object. Needless to say, I should probably make some sort of visit to some sort of doctor sometime soon (what kind of practitioner looks after senior citizens?). In the meantime, I’ve decided to self medicate. My Pilates class starts tonight, which should do something good for my anxious spinal column; I’ve been drinking herbal tea non-stop since last week; and that 4am wakeup call from my overzealous throat sent me running for the grocery store shelves for home remedies that have actually impacted my condition. Slightly. I have downed a significant amount of head-clearing pills in the past 4 days and on Tuesday alone I ingested over 5000% of my daily intake of Vitamin C (that was not a typo). A few more days of this, and I should be back to singing about kittens and lollipops. Or in emerg.
.

letters to Leah

.
go here to purchase these cards

Dear Leah,

Well, it is the morning of my birthday...or I suppose I could just say IT'S MY BIRTHDAY. People keep asking me what my big plans are. "For my life!?" I feel like responding. How could I care about cake when I have my WHOLE LIFE ahead of me? ...Really, I'm sure I don't mean that. I have always been a HUGE fan of birthdays (read: my birthday) and I don't plan to change that any time soon.

People are so damn negative about getting older. It's frusterating. It's like the same as those women who gab on and on about the HORRORS of childbirth and then immediately ask why you haven't had kids yet. Like there's some special club you get to join when you've done it, that you get to whine a lot and then belittle those "less experienced" than you. That is one club I have NO desire to be in.

I also refuse to join the "growing older is the shits" club. I LIKE GROWING UP. Sure, my ass is starting to jiggle and I have more gray hair than any of the other 27yr olds I know... but I also know more than I did last year & I am exponentially cooler by default. I have laughed enough to gain another faded (but growing) laugh line. So you see? Growing older isn't bad at all. What other excuse do we have to release our adolescent inhibitions and misconcieved notions about beauty, strength, and the way a naked body should look? NONE.

Age: it's better than everyone says it is.
Love,
ashley

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

witty, and then some.

.

Well now, this is a funny blog. So far, this post is my favorite. Who knew a little PAINT and some cleverly sketched cartoon characters could make me snort my milk up my nose? Enjoy.

a.

forget walking...

.
...from now on, I'm going to sashay. On the eve of my 27th birthday (and the eve of the oldest I have ever felt), I feel that this is a good decision. Since our whole culture is obsessed with youth and surgery, I've decided to oppose the trend by enjoying my birthday each year (as old as I feel. Ouch. My back is out. No really). No better way to enjoy yourself than to walk as if the world is your runway and you are the hottest thing on it.

Happy Birthday To Me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

fishy revisited





related afterthoughts: fishy, part one.

the girl who cried marathon

.
Remember this?


Cough.
Awkward grin.
Collar tug.

Yah…that is SO not happening. I haven’t been training or thinking about it at all. In fact, the last time I went for a run was July 15th (after my successful July 1st 10k). In between then and now, the only other “run” I did was on a quiet street in Edmonton to avoid the sudden rain. You know what I’ve done instead though, to make up for my lack of jogging / desire to commit suicide-via-long-distance; I’ve registered for a Pilates class, starting this Thursday. Ten sessions. Ninety bucks. Not bad.

I know what you’re thinking, “Pilates is the exact opposite of a Marathon.” …and I suppose that’s true, if you insist on counting up the score card that way. But something about the once weekly, hour long stretch & strengthening on a gym mat seems so much more appealing and healing than jogging through a city under pressure.

And, I’ve signed up for it. Paid for it even. Registered my name. This means I can’t change my mind, or blog about the idea and then crawl back a few months later to sheepishly confess my commitment issues.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

motivate me

.




















the poet
who sews
and belongs
in words
and between sheets
of paper
(in books).
the seamstress
who learned on her own
to read thoughts
and patterns
on paper
(and in looks).
the girl who remembers
the faults in her lines
and fabric;
well,
she's moving.
nowhere new,
except for the new places.
somewhere old,
except and including the old embraces.
on to books and believers,
bent pages
and mile-long to-do lists.
going closer to winged edges
and freedom seekers
and flight high peaks.
Bringing one small suitcase
and a heart unenchained by
a handle,
and paper.
the girl leaves a world and
begins a life.


© afterthoughtcomposer
.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

music for a found idea

.
Good music isn't just listened to, and a good listener doesn't simply hear it - the best music is made to be absorbed on some level; danced to, believed, or soul craved. Penguin Cafe Orchestra is a group that my roommate Pam introduced me to last year, via their song Perpetuum Mobile. Take a listen when you have a moment, to one of my favorite instrumental pieces, ever.

I've been soaking in the music of PCO all evening, gobbling up the links on youtube as though they were candy and I were a selfish child.  After I breezed through Perpetuum Mobile a few times, I started clicking on related video links (oh youtube). To my delight, I've actually found quite a few pieces of music by PCO that I really like (with the exception of their song "Milk", which is about as listenable as a cat tap dancing on a chalkboard). They wrote a lot of music during their active years (1972-1997), and so it took a good hour before I stumbled upon this one:



So, I am smiling to the music. Ear to ear, in fact. I first heard this song in a certain favorite movie of mine, and back then I actually replayed the scene a few times just to hear the song again - each time I watched the movie. Instead of looking at the credits (like a smart person), I forgot about the song. It wasn't until tonight, after a sequence of random clicks, that I stumbled across it in time to re-remember this song, and why I love it so much. 

Simon Jeffes (PCO's founder) wrote this particular piece, Music for a Found Harmonium, about a harmonium that he found abandoned on the streets of Japan in 1982. That's some fabulous imagery, adding to an already delicious song. I feel like you can tell, in the music, that the inspiration came from somewhere unexpected.

My recent vacation left me with a renewed sense of...desire. For life in general I guess, but even moreso, a desire for creativity and design. I am at my best when I am creating something, or finding something beautiful where another eye might not find it. I thrive in an environment that lets me enjoy the creative process: the hands on, fine-tuned whimsy that comes with making stuff up. And as I've taken time over the past few days to think and dream, I've actually come across a few suprises; ideas I wasn't even told were in there.

It seems I have a bunch of old, forgotten harmoniums in my soul somewhere, waiting to be dusted off and used toward creation.
We'll see.

epiphany, loosely defined.

.



The Dunk-a-roo is a cookie I've been eating since...elementary school. And yet, somehow, it has taken me until the ripe old age of almost27 to realize (with much excitement) that the kangaroo on the front of the package is actually related to the name of the cookie. Dunk-a-roo = Kangaroo?
And you dunk them? My word! I'm a genius.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

return


.


No matter how good the home life, leaving for vacation always feels remedial and necessary. No matter how good the vacation, coming home always feels like a welcome hug. Before I left for my two week adventure, I was frantic, nervous, and overexposed to the trials of thinking outside a very tiny box. But I am happy to say I am no longer so uncomfortable in my own diplomatic, overanalytical skin. Elusive pause button? I found you, you wandering snob. And now that I've found you, I feel like you're mine; like I own you, and get to keep you as a shield over my daily routine.

I like vacations.