Posted in adventuring, FANGIRLING, LIVE MUSIC, PHOTOGRAPHY, POP CULTURE, travel, wanderlust

HAUS OF GAGA

Nearly six months ago, I was in Las Vegas seeing Lady Gaga for the first of two shows I was going to be fortunate enough to attend during her Vegas residency. The first show, in November of 2019, was the Jazz & Piano show. The second show, scheduled for April 30, 2020, today, was going to be even more special. My mother and I had meet and greet tickets to the Enigma show.

Obviously a lot has changed since November, and we didn’t make it to Las Vegas today for the Enigma show. Or the meet and greet. That packs a punch.

I’m trying to stay positive and upbeat today, though it is admittedly hard. It’s all out of my hands anyway, so moping really won’t do any good. Covid-19 is in control of everything we do (or, rather, don’t do), and crying over an opportunity lost is just time wasted – although trust me. I’ve done some crying.

I wanted to share these photos with you all – especially for those who were not able to make it to Vegas for whatever reason, be it Covid-19 related or not – that I took at the Haus of Gaga exhibit. It was an incredible experience to see these iconic fashions close up! They aren’t the greatest photos, and the reason I didn’t share them before is because I assumed I’d have a second shot to take another, better batch, so bear with me.

Disappointment aside, I am grateful that I got to see my favorite musician shine so brightly back in November, and am grateful that today, while I’m not where I’d like to be physically, that I have my health, that my family is safe, and that we are getting by, breath by breath, moment by moment. Enjoy the photos (they are all totally thrown in at random, sorry!), and I hope we all get to see each other and smile and laugh and dance together to the pulse of the music that moves us very soon.

Posted in adventuring, ASHLEY IN WONDERLAND, PHOTOGRAPHY, POP CULTURE, travel

I LIKE SCARY MOVIES

So, I admit it – this was an adventure built totally of Instagram FOMO (that’s fear of missing out, for you boomers). Earlier in the year, I saw a lot of my California friends visiting an interactive exhibit called “I Like Scary Movies” in Los Angeles, and my body NEEDED to go. I knew that I had a late fall trip planned to visit Los Angeles in November, but, sadness abound – the exhibit closed in July, I believe it was. It was such a disappointment to see that we would miss out on such a cool experience, but I chalked It up to the East Coast blues and something else that I would have to miss due to my southern proximity.

It was just about a month ago when I got the “I Like Scary Movies” exhibit back on my mind, and I just so happened to morosely look it up – I was hoping to find that the exhibit was on tour, or would be touring soon. However, what I found was better – because for the week that we would be in California, they were doing an encore performance! WHAT! THINGS LIKE THIS DON’T HAPPEN TO ME! I snatched up three tickets faster than you can say lickety split and it was ON. We were going!

On our last day of vacation, after leaving the Disney bubble, we followed some questionable directions to a block of warehouses somewhere in Los Angeles, and there it was – “I Like Scary Moves”!

The staff (who was fantastic and so helpful) immediately greeted us, walked us through the rules, and set us off through the exhibit. This would probably be a good time to explain what the exhibit is, eh? Per their website:

“I Like Scary Movies is the experience that all scary movie fans have been dreaming of! A groundbreaking art experience that is a true celebration of some of the most beloved horror films. This is a unique opportunity for fans to interact and enjoy these films that they love in a completely new way with amazing interactive art and photo opportunities to share with their friends. I Like Scary Movies was born from the mind of experimental artist Maximillian, who wanted a way to dive deeper into this dark genre and explore these worlds outside of the traditional scare maze.”

So follow along through my experience at “I Like Scary Movies” if you dare!

NOTE: I’m only posting my own photos from the experience because I don’t want to post something that will make Tyler or my mother want my guts for garters. This does mean you are missing Tyler on a tricycle, and I’m sorry for that. Anyway, enjoy!

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Continue reading “I LIKE SCARY MOVIES”

Posted in ASHLEY IN WONDERLAND, DEATH/LOSS, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, PHOTOGRAPHY, relationships

THE GO TO HELL HAT

I used to always beg to borrow this hat when I was a baby punk rocker in high school, and joked that I looked better in it than my grandfather did. Now it hangs in my bedroom and still smells like his cologne, and honestly, I’m humble enough to admit: it looks pretty damn good on both of us.

Posted in ASHLEY IN WONDERLAND, DEATH/LOSS, FUNERAL SERVICE, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, PHOTOGRAPHY

I LOVE THE NIGHT LIFE

My grandfather’s memorial service was today. It was intimate, personal, and all about him, which he would have loved. I am eternally grateful to Lisa and the funeral home, the US Air Force, the pastors, all attendees (especially those who traveled great distances or in bad health to say goodbye to him), to my boyfriend and to my beloved friends, who have kept me afloat with their support.

Finally, I am above all grateful to Alicia Bridges for pumping out the disco hit “I Love the Nightlife”, which Grand adored and requested should close out the service. The family name “LAUGHTER” on the wall behind where his remains sat proved that while his time on earth is over, his impact in our lives is forever. Go chase the night life, Grand. You gotta boogie. 💡♥️