Posted in ASHLEY IN WONDERLAND, disney, DISNEY WORLD, MAKEUP/BEAUTY, PHOTOGRAPHY, POP CULTURE, travel, writing

WDW TRIP – MARCH 2017

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Posted in ASHLEY IN WONDERLAND, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, MAKEUP/BEAUTY, PHOTOGRAPHY, POP CULTURE, travel

EPCOT (01/27/17)

I always have to ask myself if EPCOT or the Magic Kingdom is my favorite park, and it’s such a fine line that it really depends on the day. But dayum, do I love EPCOT.

This was a first for us – EPCOT was hosting its first International Festival of the Arts, and I absolutely had to get down there to see what they had to offer. Also, I will use anything as an excuse to get to Disney World. Enjoy some photos from around the world and of some truly beautiful art, aka my selfies. JK. Sort of.

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Posted in travel

A GIFT TO HER FAMILY AND THE WORLD

Not much to say here – what can you say, really?

20 years ago last December, on Christmas Day, the nation was forever changed by the violent death of this little girl. She  was America’s Daughter – we all wanted justice for her, had never seen anything like her!  In a time before Toddlers & Tiaras, her eerily overpainted face and overly wise eyes unsettled us all. Who could do this? The American people craved answers.

Was it an intruder? Her parents? Her brother? A fan? We still don’t know, and probably never will. This child’s short lived life is arguably one of the most famous true crime stories in American history.

A body is just that – a body. A shell. Knowing that and feeling that are two different things, however. Death hag and true crime fan that I am, we pitstopped on the way to Atlanta to St. James Episcopal cemetery in Marietta, GA yesterday to pay our respects to the late JonBenét Ramsey. Her name evokes such an image – I think the majority of us have memories attached to her. The only thing I can say is that being there … it felt surreal. I wish I had a better word, but that’s it. It felt bigger than I could understand.

JonBenét rests in a peaceful corner of a quiet cemetery in a town that passes her by without a second glance – it seems almost laughable, considering her un-lived years have been rocked by near-constant controversy and scandal. With her half sister, Beth, and her mother, Patsy, nearby, she is Just Another Little Girl. Gone too soon. You could hardly believe you were standing over the shell of one of the most horrifying moments in the history of our nation, and truly, of time. It seemed almost inappropriately quaint, but maybe that’s the point. I don’t know. None of us do, do we?

Posted in ASHLEY IN WONDERLAND, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, relationships, writing

A Public Apology

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It was brought to my attention the other day that I have been somewhat of a hypocrite, as far as relationships go.

Rewind about five months ago. A classmate (and now friend) of mine was asked if she had any plans to start looking for an apprentice funeral director/embalmer position, and she answered no. She was going to finish school and then see what her boyfriend wanted to do, as far as his career and his location plans were. She looked right at me.

“Don’t judge me.” She said.

I scoffed.

“Too late,” I replied back.

Fast forward. With the same classmate/friend in tow at the Midwinter convention that we attended as a class last week, I found myself saying shades of the same. “I don’t have any plans to look for an apprenticeship right now. I want to really focus on school and then see where my boyfriend is at at that point, because one of us may move if a job opportunity comes up.”

Erika called me right out, and rightfully so.

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Posted in ASHLEY IN WONDERLAND, FUNERAL SERVICE, MENTAL HEALTH, PHOTOGRAPHY, writing

#FIREDUP2k16

So, I was fired from the funeral home.

Again.

One day shy of the one year anniversary of the first time I was fired.

Ahhhh, life. You never, ever, ever fail to keep me on my toes.

I missed class yesterday morning, which never happens. I set my alarm for the wrong time, I mixed up my days, totally goofed – but this meant that I could go into work early, and I was really excited to go into work. I miss work, I hate that school takes me away from work and that I don’t get to be as present as I want to be, as involved as I long to be. I didn’t text Tom and tell him that I was sneaking in a few hours early because I wanted to surprise him. Yesterday was the first day that felt like fall to me, the leaves are starting to change, the air was nice and cool, the sun was bright. I felt fine, I remember thinking that – I feel fine today.  I walked into the funeral home with a vial of shaved citrine in my hand (said to bring success in ones career) and an Elvis magnet, stoked to add them to the rest of the oddities collected on my desk.

I made it as far as the doorway. I didn’t even get to put my bag down.

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Posted in ASHLEY IN WONDERLAND, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, LIVE MUSIC, PHOTOGRAPHY, POP CULTURE, travel

IF YOU AIN’T FIRST, YOU’RE LAST!

So, I went on a road trip last week to see Melanie Martinez in Memphis, and that was really exciting and wonderful and I love her dear little Cry Baby heart infinitely – but there is something else a liiiiittle more important to do in Memphis that I’ve been wanting to do since I was a zygote.

Like, DUH! You go to see the King! People – after years and years and years of begging for what seemed like a trillion times to a trillion people, the stars aligned and I finally got to go walking in Memphis and see G-R-A-C-E-L-A-N-D! BUT! More on all that later.

Now that I have gotten better about flying, I was totally willing to fly in and out of Memphis so that we would have a little bit more time to vacation. There was one small fly in the ointment of my travels, however – if I drove, I would get to go to Mississippi and Arkansas. Two previously unchartered terrains on my growing list of states that I’ve visited.

So drive we did.

Ugh.

Driving.

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(This is me doing really well at being in the car for what turned out to be a nearly 12 hour stretch)

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Posted in ASHLEY IN WONDERLAND, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, turning 30, writing

Every stumble & each misfire

Oddly enough, I have been surprisingly calm about turning 30 – maybe even a little excited, dare I say? In all honesty, my calmness has been entirely shocking to me. Typically by the time September rolls around, I start to get that metallic, anxious taste at the back of my throat because I start thinking about aging and lost opportunities and all of the societal terrors that are ever so kindly imposed on women. In the week before my birthday, I am at my worst – crying, panicking, and most of all, in an endless cycle of self-loathing and self-criticizing. I have never handled birthdays well, no matter what the age – any mention or reference to aging has always been enough to make me clench my buttcheeks hard enough to suck an entire chair up my ass, legs and all – but somehow, when it comes to this one, I feel cool. Seriously. I feel pretty cool. This tells me that I’m either growing up or about to have an absolute mental breakdown – is there even really a difference between the two?

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