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Moved! [Feb. 11th, 2010|09:00 am]
Officially moved the blog and all my internet bulk to a new (more simplified) domain! Please follow me, I know changing bookmark and subscription information can be annoying.

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I Am the Asylum [Jan. 30th, 2010|07:40 pm]
 This is my review (of sorts) of The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn

I would like to say that I was unable to relate to most of Emilie Autumn's harrowing tale of the time she spent in a mental institution for trying to kill herself and the parallel story that she created about a young girl in the Victorian era who was also sent to a mental institution. I would like to say that I never thought of killing myself. I would like to say that I never attempted to kill myself before. On most days I forget that the event ever happened. I have masterfully convinced myself that every moment of that summer was a dream, and that I am not that girl (and I was never that girl) and that it was just another story in my mind that felt real. Real and painful but in the end, just make believe. Like magic. Like faeries. Just another thing I made up but then began to believe in.

But I cannot make Drew forget about it. I cannot make my parents forget about it. That summer was more real to them then it was to me. I spent it in a drugged sleep. They spent it in a nightmare reality. There are emotions they felt they I have never witnessed. I heard that when I was in the emergency room my father had a crazed temper tantrum in the waiting room. I have never once seen my father lose his temper. I didn't see it then. But Drew was forced to see it.

"Depression is a rather rude houseguest; Depression rarely calls ahead to see if it's a good time, and Depression never arrives alone. It brings it friends: Despair, Self-Injury and Suicide. Depression is the invisible plague."

In the end I was lucky because I was not committed to a mental hospital. I swallowed a jar of Ibuprofen and was sent to a psychiatrist who I was able to convince of my sanity so quickly that after a half hour long session he did not ask to see me again. After a life as a child of divorced parents, a victim of abuse, and a troubled teen (I once wrote a death note to one of my classmates, I got into numerous fist fights in high school, and I have violently kicked in lockers and thrown desks) I have only seen a psychiatrist twice. Does that make me angry? Do I wish I had received more attention? I had severe depression for two years--years where I would sleep for eighteen hours a day and cry at every waking second, and I had no one to talk to. No one wanted to talk to me. No one thought I needed help. They just considered my behavior as a sign of lazy rebelliousness. I was "acting out". In a drunken speech a few months ago, I brought up my suicide attempt to my mother and she began to cry. "You were reaching out to me," she said. But I wasn't. I am not mad that I did not receive more attention because that would mean that I had only ever cut myself or tried to kill myself to GAIN attention. And I did not.

"Nothing in my life has ever made me want to commit suicide more than people's reaction to my trying to commit suicide".

Besides, I was able to cure myself wasn't I? The Cure. That invisible spectrum that haunts the dreams of every poor soul that ever once thought of inflicting damage upon themselves in order to drown the voices in their head--to be normal. Just once. Depression and suicide may sound romantic to a person standing on the outside looking in, and don't try deny it because you know it does, but I would never even wish such an emotion upon my evilest characters.

I cured myself. Or at least, was able to help myself forget, through my writing. I wrote the demons and I told my story and I vomited worlds of darkness and suffering onto paper and onto computer screens. Some of these worlds I shared with others while others I kept locked away.

"I'm not stupid. I know exactly what's going on, and I'm not fighting it. If I have to go through this, I will glean from it any small benefit I can receive. I will not fight this. Bring it on. Bring on the cure. Bring on the fucking happy. I'm committed."

In a way, that is what Emilie did with this book. It is a hard book to read. The fictional parts are dramatized to make them sound more horrific than they historically were and the accounts from Emilie's own experience are even more numbing because you know that they are not make believe. But I can sympathize with her desire to make the parallel, fictional story as bloody as possible--because that is what your mind sees when you are plummeting through despair: just endless grotesque scenes that would shake the heart of any sane person, but for you is as normal as the sun rising. I know that my mind was and is still plagued by the most horrible thoughts. But what is even worse is that I cannot actually see why they are horrifying. I have had people read my stories only for them to freak out. I've had my sister call my father in a horrible panic, I've had my mother cry because of something that I've written down, and I never once thought that what I had written might have been something bad.

Reading The Asylum for Wayward Victorian girls has caused all these old memories and thoughts to surface, and no, that is not exactly a good thing. The first time I was ever able to write about my suicide attempt was two months ago, I think I'm beginning to come to terms with it.

Many people are writing about how hard it was for them to read some of the scenes in the book, and how it made them cry. I read it with a certain amount of morbid fascination and admiration (for Emilie's writing style). I did not cry once. I did not even think of crying. I know that facing the demons is a good, positive thing. And that is what Emilie did. With this book she faced her demons. It may be a hard read for some people who do not like to read about suffering and pain. If you like to keep your library filled with positive, happy literature than do not even attempt to open this book. It does contain within it endless sources of truth--the truth of what it means to love, to hate, to suffer, and to believe in the power of your own creation to lead you out of the darkness. The human mind is an abandoned house that must be filled with your own riches--whether that house be a place of love and warmth, or whether it is an asylum.

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Life Update [Jan. 30th, 2010|04:42 pm]
I am a nasty wench and have not been keeping up with the internet at all lately, which I suppose is generally a good thing because it proves that I am no longer a whore to cyberspace and that the obsession is waning.  At the same time so much has gone on in my life! I wasn't sure if I should make this post at either LJ or Phoenix Rising because some people read only one while other people read only the other, but posting at both seems overkill.

Anyway, my employment at Plato's Closet was short lived. In fact, tomorrow is my last day. This isn't  anything bad--I wasn't completely unhappy there and I wasn't fired, but I was instead offered an awesome editorial internship at Cengage Learning. This  not only guarantees me a kick-ass paycheck (the highest I've ever earned) and my own cubicle, but also happens to apply to my chosen career. So I start there in a few weeks. The hours are much more flexible than Plato's as well, and I'll have weekends off once again! (I think the key ingredient to happiness in life is having weekends off. Well, that is at least one of the ingredients).

The other awesome,however bizarre, thing that happened in my life is winning a trip to a tropical island of my choice.  Yeah. Months ago I filled out an entry form at the mall for one of those "Win 49,000 dollars OR a new car" thing.  Well, last week I received my entry form back in the mail as well as a letter telling me I WON. I called the number on the letter quickly and was told that I did in fact win one of four prizes: either the 49,000 dollars, a 1,500 shopping spree, an exotic island getaway, or 500 dollars cash. I also was guaranteed a two night stay to either Las Vegas or Orlando, air fair and accommodations included.  Of course I was rather skeptical but everything seemed legit. It was one of those contests that try to sell Time Shares to people, but because my income was so low I didn't even have to go through the whole timeshare fiasco, they just handed me my prize. I had to pretty much scratch a scratch off card to determine what I won and I won the exotic island getaway. I have a choice of either going to Hawaii, Aruba, Jamaica, or Puerto Rico for five nights. 

There is always a catch to life, and this trip DOES NOT include air fair, so Drew and I may not be able to go anyway. We're going try to ask for cash to put towards it for our birthdays and save up as much money as possible so that we may be able to go to Hawaii for our 5-year-anniversary in October. Hawaii is our number one choice, but it also has the most expensive air fair. Puerto Rico has the cheapest. Where we go pretty much depends on how much it costs to get there.

We are definitely going to Las Vegas for a part of spring break. I jokingly told Drew that if he fails to propose to me at either Las Vegas or on our five-year anniversary at Hawaii then he fails at life. He said we should get engaged in Las Vegas and married in Hawaii! I think he was joking...we joke about marriage a lot...

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Things I'd Do If I Didn't Need A Job [Jan. 24th, 2010|08:56 am]
 I always imagine what my life would be like if I didn't have a job. I know many people who go crazy when they're out of work, because they have no idea what they'd do with their time, but there is SO MUCH I'd love to do with my life that I don't have time for with work and school. I'm not complaining really, I just like to think about it. I'd be so blissful as a housewife. I don't understand the women who complain about it.  Of course, I see myself as being the future bread winner of my household. Oh well, fate will make my life as it is.

I know many of you will say, "You can do a lot of these with a job!" And I might be able to. But between taking eighteen credits and working twenty hours a week, I'm too tired to even consider including any of the following in my life. All my spare time is being devoted to school work and blissful relaxation.


  • Join the co-op and volunteer there for six hours a week
  • Take a yoga class regularly
  • Write for five hours a day
  • Have a beautifully decorated, clean house
  • Cook all my meals
  • Create a hula-hooping group
  • Join Roller Derby. My name would be "Bloody Haze".
  • Lean Mandolin
  • Take a sewing class
  • Have weekly lunches with friends
  • Update my blog daily
  • Grow my own herbs and mix my own oils
  • Grow a vegetable garden
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(no subject) [Jan. 19th, 2010|10:09 am]
 Oh livejournal, the things to tell you. 

But I don't feel like telling you anything.

I have been in such a horrible depression funk this week that I am worried if I speak I'll just drag everyone down. I really miss having friends to talk to about this stuff. All my friends are either in NYC or we just don't talk anymore. I sound like some kind of friendless high school girl, and last night I did dream that I was invited to a slumber party and all the girls who used to tease me in high school were there and kept heckling me and trying to get me to leave. 

The truth is I don't feel excited about anything. I don't feel motivated about anything. I just want to cry and I have no idea why. I miss old lives, like Lark Street, and I sit and mourn the person I've become without doing anything to change it. 

I've also put so much energy into trying to change who I am. Like trying to be this fashionable girl. The truth is I am not fashionable. When it comes to getting dressed I like to be comfortable. I should put more effort into my imagination I suppose. 

Things I want: To write more, to hoop more, to do yoga, meditate, and pray. To completely detach myself from my strange reliance on materialism. Because the rare time that I do break away from this obsession and immerse myself in those things, I am so happy.

Drew's new philosophy on life is to wake up every day and say to yourself, "What would totally make my day."  He asked me last night what would make my day today and I do not know. I suppose it would make my day if I broke out of this funk and wrote something. If I reunited with my dreams. If I just changed a fraction of myself. 

The truth is there is nothing that makes me feel passionate or useful or alive on this entire planet. I thought there was once but it seems to be that I was making it all up just to seem like I had something to live for. I have been lying to myself for years and the truth is, I am all talk. I am not a writer. I was when I was seventeen but I'm not anymore. I am barely a girl who even reads literature. I am a girl who spins a lot of shit about who she could be or who she wants to be but never actually does it. 

I am a dreamer. Day dreams are my passion. But not reality. Not life. 
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Kiss the Mirror [Jan. 15th, 2010|08:38 am]
 I've been sick with a horrible cold this whole week, and I am afraid it is bronchitis. It's not so bad because I don't have any nasal congestion, but my chest is in pain and I have a horrible sounding wet cough. If it doesn't heal itself soon I'll head to the doctor.

This week went so fast! I've gone to work, came home, watched Battlestar Gallactica, read books, and slept. I am trying to be more healthy but I even lack the energy to do that sometimes. I think I just have no self control really. I can't decide to tell myself, "Do your yoga, hoop, meditate, shop only at the co-op..." and have it be effective for more than five minutes.

Has anyone noticed how a majority of livejournal entries consists of the writer bashing themselves? Tearing down every little part of themselves that they dislike? I remember when Rebecca Wolff said to me, "You seem to dislike a lot about yourself, there is a lot you seem to want to to change.."

And it's true, it is so true.

I want to:

*Lose Weight
*Write All the Time
*Spend less time online
*Exercise More
*Read better books
*Reconnect with my friends
*Be inspiring
*Have an awesome blog like the ones I read
*Take pretty pictures
*Have more money, or spend less money

It's kind of crazy how unhappy I can be with myself. But in the end I really do love myself, and I think that is important. I might be a screw up and have been ever since middle school, but I still side on team Ashley Lorelle because I know that all those little things that bother me about myself aren't really bad, and can always be improved, and that I have my entire life to improve them.
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New Job [Jan. 7th, 2010|09:57 am]

 I've always had relatively good luck finding a job, and I had the same good luck yesterday!

I have not had a paying job since I quit the bakery back in August. I was working at Fence that whole time, but it was not a paying internship. Since coming back to Albany I have been casually filling out online applications to some places, not really wanting to find a job yet and sacrifice the vacation time I had. At the same time, I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to find a job. 

Surprisingly, a lot of places in Albany are hiring. Plato's Closet and Forever 21 were two places I received emails about. Forever 21 is opening this mega superstore in Crossgates Mall here in Albany. It's going to be insane. 

Drew's little sister Erika was visiting us for a week so I didn't actively go job hunting while she was here. She left Tuesday and I woke up yesterday with plans to go drop off the job applications I had filled out for Plato's Closet and Forever 21, grab some lunch, and then head home to chill for the rest of my vacation.

I swung by Plato's Closet first, asked for the manager, made a small speech that sounded something like "Hi, my name is Ashley. I got an email that you were hiring so I thought I'd drop of my application."  

Since writing my CV last summer applications are so much easier to fill out, I just attach my CV to every single one and it looks so much more professional. The manager, Addy, asked if I could come back at eleven for an interview. It was ten o'clock so I headed down the road to Colonie Mall to waste time. May I say that Colonie Mall is horrible? It has almost no stores I'd want to shop at except Barnes and Noble and Sephora--and I prefer Borders. There is this really great new cotton store there though that sells t-shirts, hoodies, and jeans at a great price. I bought a hoodie there last week for 7.50. But I digress...

When I got back to Plato's Addy gave me the awesome task of having me go through the store and find clothes to dress a mannequin in order to demonstrate my personal style (and whether or not I had a sense of style at all). Why don't more stores have potential employees do this? I thought it was genius. And it reminded me a bit of a challenge in ANTM, the ones where they have to rush through the store and grab clothes and then put that clothing together into a fashionable outfit. I was really intimidated by the task at first but it turned out to be really fun. 

After that Addy took me back for the "interview" which was two questions: What is Plato's Closet? "They buy and sell lightly worn brand name clothing for teenagers and young adults."

And: What can you bring to the team? I said, "I just like to wear clothes that make me happy."

After that she hired me, had me give her my availability, told me I'd probably move up to key holder in a few months, and then sent me to the Schenectady store for training. 

I must say that was the first job where I ever got hired and STARTED on the same day. I work again today and I'm hopeful for it. It reminds me a lot of what it was like to work at Pacific Sunwear, which is the kind of job I was hoping for. Already they are paying me more than the bakery. 

Anyway, this long rambling post that your probably skipped through the most of was just so say that yesterday I got a job at Plato's Closet.
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2009 Survey [Jan. 3rd, 2010|05:58 pm]
Because I haven't done one of these in a very long time.

Oh boy...Collapse )
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Ring Around the New Year [Jan. 1st, 2010|09:34 am]
Last night instead of going out or throwing a party we had a quiet night in instead. Anna and Erika came over and we played Trivia Pursuit and Little Big Planet and went to bed relatively early (2:00).

I have been having a really hard time relaxing lately. For the next few weeks I have no plans and nothing to do but sit around and do nothing, and as much as I want to I am having a hard time forgiving myself for such "laziness". Its this weird mentality that I can not get over. I have been applying for a bunch of jobs and surprisingly there are many places hiring, but so far no nibbles. I could be putting in some more effort to find a job, but at the same time I want to teach myself that its alright to just vacation and enjoy myself right now.

Anyway, It feels weird that its a whole new decade. 2009 started off great but the last six months were just an endless parade of bad bad bad. Alot of it was my fault. My only goal for 2010 is to not allow the mistakes I've made in the past to bother me so much, and to stop blaming myself for everything.
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Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Clause [Dec. 18th, 2009|11:05 am]
[Tags|, , ]
[Symphony |Winter's Carol-Tori Amos]

Some magical reminders this holiday season, about how anything is possible:

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

"VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood." ~ Francis Pharcellus Church, New York's Sun Newspaper Sept. 21, 1897

Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen ad unseeable in the world. ~ Francis Pharcellus Church
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