Saturday, March 31

Don't call. Never call. Always show up.

I know, I've been a little lazy with posting. Not lazy so much as preoccupied. With lots of things. Things that I choose not to talk about during this post.

Today I went to see my little brother compete in the high school state drama competition. The whole atmosphere reminded me of when I was involved with the drama club. [Well, technically dating women makes me a lifetime member of A drama club, but...not really the same thing.] But I remember how accepted I felt there and how it really became a safe haven for me. I see that he has that too, and it makes me happy for him. It makes me less worried for him as he trudges precariously through high school, trying to find himself in a "world" that demands conformity and breeds ridicule for those who refuse that demand. But for someone who is really just beginning to grow up, he is a pretty phenomenal person.

That being said, I have some very exciting news. Today, I cleaned. Just allow that to sink in for a second. I every inch of my place. I got on my hands and knees and cleaned top to bottom and all corners. It was a pain in the ass - but when I was done, the place actually felt like somewhere I wanted to hang out.

And finally, a display of my self-expression.

Wednesday, March 28

Strange Happenings on Hump Day

It’s only early afternoon and already this day is turning out to be spectacularly weird.

This morning, while getting coffee, I ran into someone who I do not like. Someone who I have interacted with in a variety of settings over the past few years and have come to believe that she is, in fact, a poor representation of the human race. And she should probably be voted off the island.

Let me explain. I don’t make it a habit to bash people, particularly not in writing on the internet. It’s a waste of time. And creates bad karma. But this person is one of the most stuck-up, self-centered, pretentious, ignorant women I have ever come across. She is incredibly book smart and “successful” [in the sense that she succeeds at sucking at life] both academically and professionally. But she doesn’t listen to anyone but herself and her mother, who I have never met, but imagine she is just as much of an asshole. She thinks herself the queen of everything she does, and not in a cute, humorous way, but in a, seriously I am freaking awesome so if you could please kiss my feet and listen to everything I have to say because I am always RIGHT so shut up and bring me my crown kind of way.

Anyway, I could drown you in anecdotes of her douchebaggery, but I will instead just recount my obligatory interaction with her this morning.

Me: Oh hi *****, how are you doing?
(read: Why the fuck are you ruining my morning coffee run?)

Queen: Hi!!!!!!!!! (the exclamation points are necessary to display her vomit-inducing fakeness) I’m doing great, as usual, how about you? Oh I haven’t seen you in forever!

Me: I’m doing good, thanks for asking. It has been a while. What are you up to?
(read: I was fine until I saw your face. Please don’t misinterpret my politeness.)

Queen: Oh, I’m so busy these days! I’m working up in Providence but still living with my parents in their mansion in Newport. I just simply can’t leave there. Bryan and I got engaged….did you hear? Oh my god he proposed to me when we were in St. Lucia in his parents timeshare, which, is GORGEOUS by the way, you should totally visit there is you have the chance. Have you graduated yet…..

Me: No, in May.
(read: I hate you.)

Queen: Are you excited? I remember graduation….so much fun! Do you know what you are doing afterwards? I remember my first job offer, so exciting!

Me: Well, I think I am going to m-…..

Queen: That’s awesome. Blah blah blah blah blah blah

This continued for another painful 5 minutes. It could have been 3 days, I don’t know. All time and space seem to cease when she talks and you begin to wonder if she has actually succeeded in destroying the balance of good and evil and subsequently caused the universe to blow up.

I guess I’m exaggerating a little bit. But you should meet this woman. You will understand.

So, I left the coffee shop, late for work and seething as I tried to convince myself that even she is a good person deep down. Right.

I get to work, and shortly thereafter must leave for a doctor’s appointment. ALWAYS a good time. I will spare everyone the gory details – because honestly, it’s lunchtime and even I don’t want to recount the poking and prodding.

I will say this. After being weighed (UGH. Wanted to punch very skinny nurse in the forehead) and measured, the doctor reported that I am 5’8.

I’m sorry, 5’ what? I asked. 5’8 she replied and looked at me strangely, because, at this age, who doesn’t know how tall they are?? Well, up until a year or two ago, I was 5’6 and a half. Close to 5’7. Some doctors would just say 5’7, rounding up an inch or two. I have been this height since I was FIFTEEN.

Suddenly and very sporadically, I have grown a little over an inch. “Probably just one of those things” the doctor shrugged and continued the exam.

What do you MEAN one of those things? One of those things where your head starts to vertically expand upward and cause the top of your head to protrude an INCH above your normal height? Of course when I got back to my office, I immediately did a google search for normal height growth in women. The results were mixed, but it seems I am not the only freak who continues to grow well past the normal age. OK. But is it going to continue?

My boss told me I should look on the bright side. At least now I can apply to be on America’s Top Model. Phew. That makes it all better. Now I’d just have to drop forty or fifty pounds and I am so in.

Saturday, March 24

Is this normal?

I know many women who have some type of shopping addiction. Several of my friends cannot live without their dozens of pairs of shoes. A lot of women just love to shop for anything. Period.

I am not like those women. I don't really like to shop - I mean, I enjoy buying a cute pair of shoes, or a cute new purse, or a pair of jeans that make my ass look really great. I do. But, the whole idea of just going shopping for no apparent reason....I mean, why? Retail therapy?'s all sort of weird to me.

I do have a shopping addiction though. I'm not proud of it. But get me within a five mile radius of a Barnes & Noble or any kind of book selling establishment, I lose all control. It doesn't matter that I have a shelf's worth of unread literature. I cannot resist. I become intoxicated by the new book smell, the endless shelves of books - fiction, nonfiction and everything in between. I know that I could just as easily go to the library and read the same books for FREE. I could save hundreds of dollars and still get the same type of intellectual stimulation.

But the book wouldn't be MINE. I wouldn't be able to read it whenever I wanted [or not read it whenever I wanted] and it wouldn't take up another perfect space on my book shelf.

Ok, this probably sounds somewhat mental. I KNOW. But I can't help it!

Today, I went and deposited my paycheck. And then, to celebrate, I went and bought about $75 of books.

Exhibit A:

Granted, one is a cookbook. But still. And one is a book of essays to help inspire me to write my entry into the Writers' Digest annual competition.


[NOTE: Yes, that is a teddy bear on the right side of the picture. MY teddy bear, Seymore. I have had him since birth. I will never, ever give him up. He is the only consistent being in my life.]

Anyway. I guess I just have to accept that I am addicted to owning books. Well, books in general, but specifically owning them. I guess there are worse addictions. Crack, for example.

By the way.

Dyed my hair last week. It is way dark, but apparently the closest color to my roots. Which means, I might actually NATURALLY have dark brown hair. Who knew?

Friday, March 23

Ah! Excitement. Crazy excitement!

I actually had planned to make up a pie chart displaying the amount of time I spend during a month THINKING about cleaning and the amount of time I actually spend cleaning. In my head, it was pretty f-ing funny.

But then. Then! I received ridiculously good, ego-boosting, make my day news.

An email I received:

Dear Ashley,

I have reviewed all of your materials, including your witty and entertaining blog, and am pleased to offer you a columnist position with ****** .com.

(insert all kinds of details here)


Mr. **** ******
Marketing person, *****.com

Ok, so it wasn't exactly like that - BUT - you get the idea. I was hired! For real! As a real life writer-person. They sent me a contract and everything. Like, a freelance writing CONTRACT. I know my caps are getting annoying. But I am simply in awe.

(That is what my business cards will say, I think. Ashley Daigneault. Writer-Person)

SERIOUSLY people - someone wants to pay me to write for them. This is....YOOGE! I'm not even trying to brag - promise. I just have to share my excitement with the blogging world - those who appreciate the world of internet writing the most!

Note: The astericks in the above (somewhat paraphrased) email are in place of actual company & actual boss' name. I will be linking my column to my blog, as per my contract, but I'm not sure exactly what the rules are for mentioning said company on here without proper logo and such. So for now, to be safe, I will refer to them as ******.com. The number of * will change according to how long I feel like hitting shift 8.

I'm so, so, so, so tired. I have slept 11 hours in the past 48 hours and worked 22. Hours. With 2 children. Under the age of 4. I'm not really good at math but in my head, that equation = the need for some serious alcohol / sleep. And NO ALARM in the morning.

So I'm going to bed. But I think I will dream about my future celeb status as an online blogger columnist. (Ha, ha, HA. totally kidding. I'm not that big of a doucebag) And also I will dream about being at BlogHer in July and tracking down my favorite "celeb" bloggers and begging to hang out with them. For real, I have some serious blog crushes on these chicks.

I'm rambling. I'm out.

Tuesday, March 20

Visual DNA

This site is really cool and interactive. So cool, in fact, that it caused me to post twice in one day. I am a super dork.

How glass embedded itself into my palm

Today was a near perfect day. I rolled out of bed around 11:00 AM, ate my favorite breakfast cereal, threw on some old clothes and set out to take some wonderful pictures. I have yet to really use my new camera [the one I bought on ebay and was a little obsessive about when I first bought it] so I decided since it was sunny out and I had nothing else to do, I was going to attempt to take some halfway decent pictures.

I drove to Newport and headed to the cliffwalk. I have lived in Rhode Island for almost 22 years and have never seen the cliffwalk. For those of you unfamiliar with RI, Newport is a small island in Rhode Island [which is not an island at all...more on that later] that has beautiful cliffs overlooking the ocean. There is a 3 or 4 mile stretch of pavement that circles these cliffs and really is breathtaking. Playing tourist in your own city or town usually leads to a feeling of wonder and guilt - the first because you realize you live next to and among true beauty in nature, and the second because you are too much of a lazy ass to go and appreciate this beauty, so lazy in fact that it took you 20 + years to venture 5 miles down the road. Lewis & Clark would be ashamed.

Anyway, instead of rambling about what happened, I figured a photo essay was in order. Enjoy :)

The first shot. Though black and white is pretty kick ass, it doesn't quite capture the blueness of the ocean. It was bluer than I had ever seen it.

I don't know why, but I really like random writing on stone or brick. I don't know why it says sleep over and over in a stamp like format. Makes for a good photo op.

This is New England. The temperature outside is 46 degrees. The water temp is probably 34 at the most. There were at least a dozen people surfing. Hard core, dude.

Doggie prints in the sand. Makes my heart smile.

So I climbed down the famous "forty steps" - which are all dedicated in memory of someone.

So I walked down the steps to get a better picture of this waterfall hidden between two of the cliffs. But I still couldn't see it very well. So I climbed further down. It was slippery, and steep....and....

I fell. On a rock. That had broken sea glass on it. Which proceeded to embed itself under my skin. Way under. Owwwww.

Ok, suck it up. There are pictures to be taken!


True story.

The end :)

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Monday, March 19

I am insane

I decided that my blog was dull. Boring to look at. I mean, I had a blogger-made template for god's sake. The other day I was browsing through blogs and came across 2 (not 1, but 2!) other blogs that had chosen my polka dotted blue/green background.

Panic flooded me. Ah! I'm not original! I'm a fraud! How will I ever be taken seriously in the blogging world?

(I know, I've created a monster)

So I went searching. I took a break from my short story writing...ask me about that later...and decided to explore different blog layouts. Little did I know that I was about to embark on a hellish 2 hour activity.

I won't bore you with the details - but trying to rewrite HTML code over and over and is maddening. I was at a coffee shop while this was all unfolding and my stomach was growling so loud, it drowned out the espresso machine.

The conversation in my head:

You are being obsessive and ridiculous! Go home! Make food! You are starving!

No! Look at my blog! It's all screwed up! How can I leave it like this??? WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK?

You are losing it. You can fix it when you get home. You've been on this site for over two hours. Give it up.

I just can't leave it like this. My stomach can wait...

Look! It's snowing out. Really hard. You should leave now. Go home, put on sweatpants, make dinner. BE ON VACATION! It is spring break. You are crazy.

Yes, thank you I know. I just have one more thing to fix on the code and I'll be....

**I change the code and hit "preview" only to see a series of incoherent letters, numbers and symbols on the screen instead of my wonderful new template, customized to fit my blogging needs.**

AH! NooOOOOO! (pause.) Ok, you're right. I'm losing it.

Thank you! Let's get the f out of here.

So I'm home now. And I ate before I finally fixed it. So here it is - the new face of The Lighter Side of Growing Up.

If you don't like it, deal with it. I am not going through that again for a while.


Sunday, March 18

In which I try to use reason and logic

Whenever I get sick [and that is fairly often - spending time with toddlers and infants coupled with the fact that i have real asshole of an immune system just simply does not work out in my favor] I usually try to deny that I am getting sick. I can feel the signs of sickness entering my body, and I chalk it up to the temperature change, the arrival of my period, stress, not sleeping enough, sleeping too much, eating junk food, not exercising, not keeping up with yoga....I have a laundry list of "reasons I feel like shit." Except - I have contracted some type of virus or infection from the germballs better known as the children that I watch.

I am afraid that although many of the excuses listed above have been used to explain my recent complaint of "feeling icky," that I am, in fact, sick. Yesterday, I spent the entire day in bed, only leaving to get up to eat an orange and to fill my glass of water. Sometimes to pee. Never left the house...but judging by the freezing rain that fell most of the morning, I wasn't missing much.

Today, I woke up feeling like a new woman. Cured! I thought as I showered, dried my hair and put on makeup, preparing to go out and greet the sunshine with a smirk. HA - I am not "sick" world, I was just resting after a week of stress and sleeplessness. I enjoyed the afternoon without feeling too terrible until I began to drive home - and that's when it hit. The achying, the sore muscles, the headache, the chills. I ate some dinner, thinking, again - I'm not sick. Just hungry. Food and water. That'll cure me.

Then crawled back into bed. And then, around 7:45 PM (eastern standard time), it hit me.

I. am. sick.

I actually probably have 1. a fever 2.a stomach thing 3.a sinus thing

I call my best friend, in town only until tomorrow. We are both "sick" actually - she with a throat thing. She's been sucking down vitamin c drops and spraying her throat with chloraseptic, which usually just numbs the hell out of the back of your tongue, leaving you unable to properly handle saliva. She seems to be doing ok with it, though she sounds like a boy on the verge of puberty. (Sorry babe.)

We are supposed to go out tonight, to celebrate a birthday and listen to drunk people attempt to recreate hits of the 80s and 90s from artists that we all know and love [especially when we are intoxicated] such as Journey, Jimmy Buffet and Belinda Carlisle.

But, once the reality of sick hit me, the idea of drinking six, seven, eight beers or glasses of wine seemed like a really terrible idea. Even if getting absolutely sloshed right now would be wonderful - I doubt I'd feel that way tomorrow when trying to fight off a hangover AND this illness.

Of course, I could just blame feeling crappy on drinking too much. Then I wouldn't have to actually BE sick.

Friday, March 16

If I wasn't such a sucker for you...

And with every passing day, I ask myself why I still live here. Why, season after season of mostly gross, miserable, unappealing weather, I choose to remain in New England. Perhaps it is because I am sucked in by the appeal of the (very short) spring and summer months and the beautiful (though sometimes wet & humid) weather they bring. In the summer, it is easy for Rhode Island to lure you in with its beautiful coastline, its serene sunsets and its way of transforming into a bustling touristy beach town right before your eyes. It is easy to be seduced by morning yoga on the beach, homemade ice cream from Brickley's, and outdoor festivals and concerts almost everywhere you look. Rhode Island takes on another life in the summer - it comes out of hibernation and begins to look like a place where people actually enjoy being outdoorsy.

But just as she takes you in and makes you feel all comfortable, warm and happy, a cold front moves in around early September that will empty the beaches and remind us all that cold rain, snow and cloudy days are around the corner. Growing up and loving Rhode Island is somewhat like an abusive relationship. There's the tension - the fall months, as it gets colder and grayer, the bitterness of winter peeking in every so often to make sure we are all sufficiently depressed....then the explosion -winter, which can be marked by the first day the temperature drops below 40 degrees in the morning and doesn't end until usually mid-April, when the moderate temperatures prove themselves to be more stable and permanent than they did in March. [Case in point: Earlier this week, it was 55 degrees, sunny, breezy....all around perfect. Just perfect enough to make me believe that perhaps spring was upon us. I left my window open as I slept. The birds chirped in the morning. And then, with the blink of an eye, I awake to find the yard covered in snow and sleet, my car covered in a thick layer of what can only be described as sludge. And it is 24 degrees outside my friends. 24.]

Where was I. Ah yes, the key part of the cycle of abuse. The honeymoon stage. Better known to us Rhode Islanders as summer. Summer can sometimes be too hot, but generally speaking is wonderfully warm during the day, cool enough at night, and brings a spark of life back that was probably lost during that last sleet storm while you were walking to your car with your umbrella being blown in the wind and your face frozen by the very cold rain. The honeymoon is what keeps us around. It's why we brave the bitter cold months. It's why we don't all pick up and move our entire state to Hawaii [we're small, I'm sure we could find a small island somewhere to all inhabit. we're bringing the red sox too. just so you all know.]

Well that and everyone in Rhode Island who grew up here is scared that the rest of the world is very dangerous. And very big.

My father on going to Italy over the summer on vacation, "I'm not going to Italy at a time like this! There are terrorists everywhere, people want to kill Americans, we'd all be forced to run around naked with chickens infected with bird flu while singing the national anthem!"

Alright, that might be a slight [slight] exaggeration. You get the idea.

But here I am. Fooled by Rhode Island's promises of warm summers and a plethora of beach days. I'm planning on breaking this cycle soon, I swear. I'm going to throw buckets of ice at myself anytime during the summer that I find myself swayed into staying, just to remember the feeling I had this morning while wiping said sludge off my car.

If I forget though - will you please remind me? Thanks.

Tuesday, March 13

Grade 16

It would be an understatement to say that I am sick of school. I basically have been in school since I was a fetus and quite honestly, I'm just not sure I have another paper or midterm in me. Though my four years of college have been at times enlightening, occasionally distracting, fairly sobering (although not all spent entirely sober) and almost always hysterical, I need someone to hand me a fork. Because, dear readers, I am done in the most extreme sense of the word.

But here I sit, about to embark on yet another midterm study session, cramming half a semester's worth of information into the tired prune that is my brain. Of course, this blog is only one of many tools I have used to distract my feeble mind from getting any actual work done. In no particular order, I have: checked my myspace (twice), looked at everyone's profiles on facebook (spring break pictures are both hysterical and horrifying), checked my email, read the NY Times online, checked the weather for the weekend, written in my planner, gotten coffee, made mindless conversation with the very cute barista and her very cute girlfriend (pathetically cute couple...makes me wonder: does perfect harmony in a relationship really exist? yet another inquiry into distraction...)

You get the (very drawn out) point.

Well actually, the point is, I am 6 weeks away from finishing my senior year of college and obtaining my bachelors degree (barring a short Math class I have to take during the first summer session due to a pompous economics professor and my refusal to keep my mouth shut during his ego-boosting rants and condescending words....much longer story). More specifically, I am 6 weeks away from being able to apply for jobs that require a BA....6 weeks away from freedom from homework, from last minute stress, from resigning myself to the fact that I am in a less than rigorous academic environment and I have exhausted any excitement or passion I once had for my major.

I am worried that the fervor and thrill that I entered college with is gone forever and that I am about to enter the working world and discover that life is just a few great moments and in between a series of dullness and stability. But I am more worried that I simply do not know exactly how to get where I would like to be. I see the destination just over the horizon, but I simply have no clear path that will lead me straight there. My mother reminds me frequently that I have so much time left, more time left that I even realize, and that I need to be patient. I'm not exactly sure what she means by this - either she has concocted an immortality elixer and is planning on slipping it into my ice tea when I'm not looking...or she is attempting to bestow the wisdom that comes with age. The wisdom that almost everyone older than me has told me my whole life - Don't rush it. Life goes by fast enough.

What they fail to see is that I'm not rushing life. Life, in essence, has always rushed me. If I didn't run just slightly faster, I think it would envelop me into a chaotic universe in which I had no control, in which my life was poured out in front of me without any input whatsoever.

What the hell am I talking about?

I should get paid to rant and ramble. I am perfect at it.


Wednesday, March 7


Going through my old blog on myspace, I came across one titled "10 things you never thought you needed to know about me" and thought I would share.

1. i love cucumbers on my bagel with cream cheese. mmmm [i know it's weird. but so SO good]

2. i have a sweatshirt fetish. i just love them. they are comfy and warm. white sweatshirts are my favorite, though at the moment, i do not own a white sweatshirt. [sad face]

3. When i was little, i dreamed about becoming president of the united states. no joke.

4. when reading a book, i rarely read every single word. i still enjoy literature and appreciate good writing. i just cannot for the life of me slow down to read every. single. word.

5. i own the three CD disc set of michael bolton's greatest hits. [shhhh keep this on the DL]

6. i cry fairly easily but HATE to cry in front of other people.

7. i have a large birthmark on my right thigh that resembles a map of north america. it used to resemble a map of austrailia when i was little, but when my thighs expanded [thank you puberty and wonderful genes], so did the "map." and, there is a small freckle in the upper right hand corner where new england would be. my mom used to say that it was a "you are here" map.

8. secretly, i wish i could pursue a career as a comedienne. i love love love making people laugh. runs in the family.

9. if i turn out exactly like my mother, i would be the luckiest woman alive.

10. the first girl i ever had a real crush on [2nd grade] had glasses, freckles and dark brown hair. apparently i have had a "type" since I was 7.

Monday, March 5

A series of requests

To mother nature:
I realize that officially spring isn't scheduled to begin until the 21st. But teasing us with temps in the high 50s this weekend was just cruel if you didn't intend for it to stay warm. February sort of kicked our asses, and we could all use a nice warm spring breeze. Also, I'm really fucking sick and tired of being asked "Is it cold enough for ya?"

To the new dog:
Stop pooping in the laundry room. It is such a random place to choose to drop one and it makes me think that you do it on purpose simply to be a pain in the ass.

To parking services:
I have managed to avoided getting ticketed by you good for nothing overpaid I have no personal vendetta against you this semester. However, today you were TOWING cars out of the Plains Road commuter lot where, every day, there are hundreds of empty spots. That is just a new low. Every time I see one of your cars, I hum the Grinch song. It is extremely fitting and well-deserved.

To my brothers:
Please be kinder to Mom. She loves you both more than you even comprehend and she is only trying to help. I realize you are self-absorbed teenagers (I was there once too, I understand) and you are sick of parental involvement. But she needs some kindness and compassion. Try to muster some up.

To my credit card company,
Enough with the phone calls. I know. I owe you money. I owed you money last month, I owe you money this month. I still don't own clothes I bought in 2004 at the Gap. I get it. But do you think I enjoy being in debt? Do you really think I have all kinds of money in the bank and just like racking up finance charges and bad credit? Have you experienced many people who exhibit this behavior? Didn't think so. Leave me alone.

To Arizona:
Please stay hot this weekend. I need some warm sunshine.