Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pieces of Me

I love relatives.

In fact, a very thoughtful one recently gave us a unique gift for Christmas.  She had one of our family photos turned into a jigsaw puzzle.  I know!  How..........special is that?!

I've been avoiding it like the plague saving it for a special occassion and guess what?  Last night Ian managed to find it under my car tire.  Thank goodness because I have been searching everywhere for that thing and was ready to call it a day and admit defeat.  But in swooped my nosy and relentless little troublemaker  determined seven year old, and luckily the puzzle was still intact and not damaged.  At all.  Not even a little bit.  Imagine that. 

I was thrilled, to say the least. 

So when Ian asked me to build it with him last night, I promised him I would, just as soon as I finished up some very important chores, such as
scrubbing the bathroom grout
retiling the roof
tilling the soil
and making and jarring fresh fruit preserves (it's never too late to start a new time-consuming hobby!)

but damn if I don't posess a fantastic work ethic and was done with plenty of time to spare.

So we started the puzzle by laying the pieces out on Ian's bed and sorting them by color.  I was in a patterned  dress in the photo, so spotting the puzzle pieces that were just me was easy enough, and I began to make a pile. 


After a few minutes I looked over to see how Ian's pile was coming along and noticed that he was done.

Everyone else

So it seems that out of a 500 piece puzzle, I consist of 457 pieces.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Case You Haven't Heard (insert eye roll here)

So Sunday was one of those days where for 24 hours the universe shrunk a little bit and revolved around Me (okay, so not really that much different than Monday-Saturday, but bear with me a moment). .

I recently became a columnist for OC Moms (as well as their Special Needs Ambassador) in collaboration with The Orange County Register, and my first article was published this past Sunday.

I woke up bright and early (or maybe I just never fell asleep?) and approached my laptop like a child on Christmas morning who can barely make out the faint outline of the bicycle he begged for and didn't think he'd get but HEY!! Look! there it is all shiny and new!

I found my article online and stared at the image staring back at me (mainly my tiny head and byline) like a mother who gazes upon her newborn for the first time, and though it sounds all kinds of warm and fuzzy, I'm pretty sure I looked creepy, especially with the pool of drool that was quickly gathering next to the keyboard.

And that is how my husband found me when he FINALLY woke up at the ungodly hour of 7:30 a.m (hello selfish! who can sleep in at a time like this????!!)

So naturally I spent the entire day glued to my computer and iphone, keeping tabs on the number of Facebook shares I was getting and making sure I knew what I was going to say when someonesuperimportantandfamous called me to offer me millions of dollars to write for a living.

The phone call never came (I'm sure it's a slight oversight and will be remedied quickly and accordingly), but the euphoric feeling that something I wrote was out there in cyberspace being read by way more people than this little 'ol blog lasted all day long, and really came to a head when, right before bed, I discovered that my article was also picked up here.

Um.  Hello Jazz Hands!!!!

Anyway, I wanted to share the news (again) and then I'll shut up (don't count on it) and I promise to blog more because I realize that it's been an entire week since I've posted something about.....myself.  Why you stick around, I don't know, but a big THANK YOU to everyone who has believed in my dream of writing.  Especially my uber handsome husband, my mom, my dad, my sister, my best friend, my mother-in-law....

And if that sounds a little like an acceptance speech, you're damn right it is.  Because next up is an Oscar, or a Peabody, or whatever the hell kind of award they give to a small town* writer with big ass dreams.

*Orange County, California is technically bigger than a small town.  In fact, I think it has like a few million people in it.  But it sounded better that way, and as a columnist, I find it necessary to take creative license in order to prove my point.  I don't expect you to understand.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lumberjacks are people too

In an effort to keep from rolling myself into the fetal position and giving in to the voices inside my head, I've convinced an innocent woman new therapist to take me on as a patient.  I found her through my network provider website, and picked her out of dozens of names because of her close proximity to my house and the fact that she specializes in crackheads life-challenged people like myself.  The good news is, when I called my insurance company and they looked up my modest list of diagnoses, I found out I qualify for something called "severe, lifelong, debilitating, she'll probably end up in a padded room someday mental illness status," which means I get unlimited, year-round access to a shrink! 

It's been years since I had this kind of therapy, my parents having spent the majority of my teens busing me between licensed professionals who promised them they were fully capable of excorsising the demons that had turned me into an unbearable heap of hormones.  I resented them for forcing me to talk to these strangers about my innermost thoughts, strangers who, quite honestly, came across as needing some kind of mental interventions themselves. So I've avoided therapy like the plague.  Plus, it's not like anybody ever freaked out over a little ocd, panic, alcoholism, depression, and agoraphobia, right?

But in light of the recent craptastic events which have occured around here, including Andrew's health problems, quitting a job I loved, and not winning the lottery for like the 100th time in a row, I decided it was time to give therapy another try. And so far, I have to say, it's going pretty well.  We seem to get along, my therapist and I, except when she tries to give me unsolicited advice. I get plenty of that from my mother; I don't need to go out and pay for it, know what I mean?

Oh, that and the other day she told me a story about a man who was chopping wood and gathering water when he suddenly became enlightened.  Despite this, however, he continued on with chopping wood and gathering water.  So far I've gathered that:

1.  This man was a moron.  He should have become enlightened while he was napping or getting a massage
2.  She wants me to go out and buy an axe
3.  I'm going to need to relocate near a river of some sort.

And even though I don't really know how becoming a lumberjack will solve my fear of malls and dangerous situations, such as going to a Denny's outside of my immediate neighborhood, I trust this woman to help me get over my phobias and learn to live again.

Unless she starts mouthing off and giving me her opinions.
Then all bets are off.

Because nobody likes a know-it-all.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Shrieks are Louder than Words

They make it work somehow.

They speak their own language.

Or in this case, they "shriek" it.

And it doesn't matter whether or not anyone else "gets" it.

It just matters that they do.

To say that I love these two more than any human should be capable of loving someone else is the greatest understatement in the known universe..

Shrieks are Louder than Words from Jo Ashline on Vimeo.

Oh.  and if you're wondering why they're just standing there, buck naked, freezing their keisters off, it's because we were waiting for the tub to drain. 

So that I could clean out the poop. 


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Best Friend's Bathtub is Dirtier than I Thought.

You can learn a lot about people by visiting them in their homes.   Color schemes, knick knacks, window treatments, florals vs. solids; these important details can often provide a tiny glimpse into the hearts and minds of the residents, illustrating their passions, hobbies, and personal habits.

A spotless kitchen, for instance, with nary a gadget in sight and a fridge covered in take out menus, may be indicative of a homeowner who prefers delivery to dishes.

A worn lazy-boy located front and center in a living room which boasts a television set larger than the square footage of most three car garages could be a sign that someone spends their days (and nights) glued to quality programming such as ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN IX and ESPN For the Divorced Dumbass Who Chose ESPN over His Wife.

And some of the most intimate details of a person's life, of course, can often be found in their bathroom.  Electric toothbrushes, air fresheners, anti-wrinkle cream, one-ply toilet paper; the bathroom is a breeding ground for personal information (raise your hand if you're a liar and have never opened someone else's medicine cabinet) and can offer true insider information on the people in your life.

So imagine my horror when I went to use the bathroom at my best friend's house, someone I thought I knew well, and my sense of sight was assaulted by um, this in her bathtub:

Now, I don't know what's worse:  thinking that her five year old daughter had something to do with this (in which case, may I suggest a medically induced coma until she's 21), or that my best friend's soriority days at a prestigous university were back to rear their ugly head (in which case, may I suggest less wine with breakfast).

The truth folks, is that there are no winners here.

Except of course, Ken.