Wednesday, February 28

Shameless plug

I will not pretend or hide it...I am plugging an event in Rhode Island that is near to my heart. It's my blog....I'm allowed to have a post without substance once in a while.

The University of Rhode Island Peer Advocates present:

the 5th annual production of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues"

Thursday, 3/1/07 @ 7:30 PM
Friday, 3/2/07 @ 7:30 PM
Saturday, 3/3/07 @ 7:30 PM

in the Memorial Union Ballroom at the URI Kingston Campus

Tickets are $7 with a student ID
$10 General public

ALL proceeds go to the Violence Against Women Prevention Program at URI.

It's a great cause - please come out and support these amazing women. :)

Friday, February 23

hi, my name is Ashley

And I'm an ebay-a-holic.

I have always loved eBay, but it has only recently dawned on me that it is not normal to spend 4 consecutive hours searching for red sox tickets, SLR 35 mm cameras, and beaded jewelry from india and japan.


I get a little overjealous with my bidding sometimes though. I start bidding on a few very similar items and then hold my breath as all the auctions end, praying that I am outbid on all of them because the truth is, I don't need a book on zen gardens. I just don't. [Even if it was 75% off retail value.]

People make fun of me but I have gotten some cool shit on eBay for WAY less than face value. Things I have bought:

1. $300 floor seats to Madonna [EACH] for $75 each. I could have reached out and
touched her at one point.
2. So many Red Sox tickets. Once to a sold out game against the Yankees. Not
terrible seats either.
3. A BRAND new, still in the box, never been used Olympus SLR 35 mm camera with 20" lens and case. With a year warranty. It is worth $400, I paid less than $100.

So laugh on, oh ye of little faith [and thriftness]. But what other people want to get rid of, I will gladly pay 75% off for. Now if you could only buy fabulous Carribean vacations on ebay. I'd be all over that shit.

Tuesday, February 13

Musical Memories

Anyone who knows me has some idea of the importance music plays in my life. I couldn't even begin to describe in words the place music holds in my life (so why am I blogging...? right, I'm getting there.) The truth of it is, there have been times in my life when music was really all I needed to help get me through. Music has such a powerful ability to instill creativity, fuel revolutions, express empathy and make everyone dance. While one song could help heal your broken heart, another will force you feel the weight of the world and the pain of losing someone so important.

I realize not everyone is this intense about music. I know a lot of people who don't even know all the words to their favorite songs. But even if you don't have an intricate knowledge of music and are not musically inclined at all - I can almost gurantee that there are songs that have the ability to transport you back to a certain place and time in your life.

For me, this is an intensely powerful force music has over me. It is comparable to stepping outside on a bitterly cold day and feeling that gust of wind almost knock the air clear out of your lungs. Or the shock you feel when you jump into a pool and your body first slices through the surface of the water. Or the quickening of your heart beat when you first realize you are in love. Some songs have the most insane ability to literally make me feel exactly how I felt at a certain moment in my past. The memory of that time becomes so vivid in my brain, not just as pictures, but as emotions, as colors, as sounds....the sense of touch and is as forceful as a sudden jolt of deja vu, stronger even, because it is not just a sense that I have been there, but the reminder of somewhere I was, somewhere I will never be again.

As my iTunes shuffles through the 1000 + songs on my playlist, I find myself having to skip many of the songs, as they remind me of painful past memories....or wonderful past memories that ended in pain. Or memories where I was so incredibly elated with my life that just remembering it brings tears to my eyes and slowness to my breath.

How music gained this much control over me, I will never know. But as I sit here and listen to one of the first songs that ever made me think of the love of my life....I am overwhelmed. And somewhat relieved that I still am able to feel so powerful just through thought.


Tuesday, February 6

A Recap (and I'm not broken!)

Let me just start off by saying the following:

Vermont is incredible and I did not injure myself at all snowboarding.

Now on to the details.

Jenn and I left Rhode Island a little later than expected on Friday morning. Who I am kidding, we expected to not wake up when the alarm went a little later than planned. There was 3 inches of snow on the ground in South County when we embarked on our journey north, which was a very good sign. The drive up through Massachusetts and New Hampshire was relatively uneventful.

Once we hit Vermont, however, we entered a different world. I'm not sure how or why this happened, but the scenery around us went from blah to breathtaking in a matter of miles. In addition to the mountains and the cute villages scattered on the landscape, there was a sense of calm there. At noon time on a Friday, it seemed like we were the only car on the road.

Jenn was determined to see a moose and therefore had pseudo conversations with them every time we passed a "moose crossing" sign.

"Come on moose! You've got the next 3 miles to come out and show your face to me"

She did this at every single moose crossing sign on the trip up and back. We did not see one single moose - you can imagine her disappointment. I was beginning to think the moose were purposely not coming out just to spite her. Or maybe they were all at a moose convention in Canada that weekend. It's hard to say really. But we definitely did not see any moose. It was a shame.

We stayed in Burlington the first night and I experienced the wonderfulness of this tiny, unique city. It is very vegetarian friendly, it is quaint and charming but funky and chic at the same time. I really did love it...and can imagine that in the summer time, it must feel like one of the most wonderful places on earth. I ended up buying probably the greatest t-shirt that has ever been made. It is a tribute to both Vermont and Sadie, Jenn's dog, who also happens to be a black lab. And the most wonderful dog that has ever lived. I am full of superlatives and emphatic terms of endearment tonight....but it is the only way to properly describe my Vermont experience.

The shirt:

If you're not as in love with dogs as I am, you might not understand how wonderful this is.

So we left Burlington, reluctantly, and headed south towards Stowe where I would attempt to glide down a mountain on a small piece of fiberglass. I know, I didn't think it was such a great idea either.

Oddly enough, not only did I not injure myself - I liked it - a lot! And I wasn't terrible either. Granted I spent enough time on my ass for an Australian ski instructor to look at me pathetically and ask, "Is this your first time?" Nah, I just love slamming my ass against firmly packed snow. Jesus. Even more hysterical is the fact that little kids were zooming past me on their little skiis and snowboards....without fear at all. Jenn pointed out that because kids aren't afraid of much, they don't hesitate while going down the mountain which actually helps them. I'm sure they haven't dislocated their kneecap when one ski decided to stick into the snow and not release from the boot, completely twisting their leg as if it could move independent from their torso. At any rate, ignorance really is bliss.

The woman who ran the inn was a trip - Alice gave us a very warm welcome and the sense that she was probably very lonely and loved when people came into the office to talk to her. I found this out while attempting to get some hot chocolate and check my email after we returned from the mountain. She cornered me near the hot water pot and began to ask me about our trip so far. I mentioned we had been to Burlington before coming to Stowe and she made sure to warn me of the dangers of a "big city." It was all I could do to not laugh, as I supressed my smile and nodded solemly, yes, Burlington, with all of those outdoorsy, dreadlock wearing hippies and free spirits....they might force you to wear tye dye and be one with nature. Oh the horror!

It was kind of her to warn me. She also made some comment about college students and working full time - something to the effect of "I don't know they do....stay up all night and work all day. That's how they get into the drugs, help keep em awake. My god, I don't know how they do it." Yeah....I know writing my position paper for Ethical Problems in Modern Society was really when I hit rock bottom with my heroin addiction. Doing lines in the library while reading Kant. Damn. Alice is so wise.

All mocking aside, she was very kind and our stay at the inn was pleasant....though the free "breakfast buffet" left a lot to be desired. Nothing like a mound of refined starches to start your day!

In truth, it was a great long weekend and I miss Vermont already. Though I have sworn up and down I would never move north where it is COLDER than here (see my chipmunk blog for further understanding), I could definitely picture living in Burlington. Even if it is a dangerous big city.

And don't worry, I bought some maple syrup. How could I leave without it?

Thursday, February 1

A little too much wine...and some photography