Hey, Dad.

Every year I write a letter to my father on Father’s Day and on his birthday (August 7th). It’s my way of staying connected to him, and some of you have reached out to let me know that these have helped you as fellow members of the same club no child ever wants to join. Air hugs from me to you.

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I had coffee, today for you.

I have coffee everyday, I know. It’s my vice, I got it from you. Of all the terrible vices in the world, I’d say I got a pretty decent one. But I got a large coffee after work, and I sat down and read with it. I savored it. It was worth it. I’m rereading A Cook’s Tour. I always liked it more than Kitchen Confidential even though I liked them both.

Anthony Bourdain died, Daddy.

“He, what? Anthony Bourdain? The chef with the travel show?”
“Yes, daddy. He. Yeah.”
“Well. Let’s hope he is at peace, now. He did good things for people. Depression is a terrifying disease.”

He did good things for the world. I got you his books whenever he wrote one. I always tore it apart from front to back before I could give it to you, trying to hurry and read it before Christmas or your birthday or Father’s Day. I won an autographed copy of Medium Raw and gave it to you. I accidentally spilled coffee on a couple pages and kept apologizing.

“Well, honey it’s a book. It’s not supposed to be put in a china cabinet.”

I’ve gotten back into improv. I found a good place with good people. I made some friends. You’d love Amy and Randy the most. You’d think they were hilarious and want to just listen to them. Weirdly it’s made me want to work harder on my sketch work. I have an idea I’m really proud of for a sketch revue. I don’t know if it will ever go anywhere. Maybe one day.

“Is it like one of the Kids in the Hall shows?”
“Kinda. A lot of it is weird like them. That’s what I like a lot. Maybe some Mighty Boosh, too.”
“The Mighty what? The Mighty Bush?”
“No, Dad. The Mighty Boosh.”
“Bush? George Bush? The president?”
“Sigh. No, Daddy. The Mighty Boosh. They’re British. I love them.”
“Oh, okay. Well, if they’re British I’m sure they’re good. Monty Python was British, you know that.”
“I do. I like them, too.”

It’s almost half way done. I’m very proud of it. Maybe I’ll ask Kerrigan if she has any ideas of what I could do with it. I think you’d like it. I’m working really hard on it. I think I’ve found my style, now. Sweetly dark. I think it fits me.

I did stand-up, too. I wasn’t scared, but I was very nervous. I heard your hearty laugh at one point. I had to stop for a second to see if you were there. Maybe it was just Lance I heard. You’d like him, too. He’s very sweet, and he’s very funny. I’m excited to do it again. I can’t wait.

I’m writing for a magazine now. I love it so much. It makes me so happy. I’m so proud of myself. I wrote a piece about Infinity War. I’m still most proud of that one.

“Oh, that’s the superhero thing with Robert Downey Jr?”
“Yes, Dad. And Guardians of the Galaxy. And Black Panther. It was so good.”
“The who and the what?”
“The guy from Parks and Recreation and the lady from Walking Dead.”
“Oh, okay. How is Robert Downey doing? Is he okay?”
“I assume good. I’ll text him on Facebook.”
“Honey, you don’t text on Facebook, you message.”
“I know, Dad.”
“Do you?”
“Wow.”

I would tell you about the Anthony Bourdain piece I’m working on right now and how genuinely difficult it has been for me. You would remind me to take my time, take a break if I need to. You would remind me what Bourdain did in that words are so important, and you would tell me that someone somewhere might need what I’m writing. Words are so important.

I’m stressed out, Dad. I’m trying my best to find a full time job and it’s hard and I just. I panic and get scared when no one is looking because that’s what I do. You would take my computer from me and tell me to take a break. Go to Starbucks and get one of those Frappe things. You would remind me that I’m no good to anyone if I don’t take care of myself for five minutes. I would listen.

I would listen long enough to get my computer back and go back to work.

I’m still trying to be better about the importance of self-care on myself. But it’s hard.

Jesus Christ it is so hard.

But I’m trying. I promise.

You would remind me that’s all anyone can ever do.

I miss you, Dad. I graduated college and I got the best internship I could imagine and I did a show with people I love and admire and I did a show all by myself and fuck I wish you were here to see it.

Thank you for always being the best dad I could have ever asked for. I miss you. I love you.

Caps won the Stanley Cup, by the way. That was pretty dope.

Love you.

– Ash Michele.

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AwesomeCon 2018 was P.Great.

Hey! So a couple weeks ago I journeyed up north to DC’s annual comics and pop culture convention, AwesomeCon. Granted I haven’t been to a convention since I was in high school, and even then it was a weird tiny little convention in the beach area that honestly I don’t even think is around anymore.

I only ended up going one day just because I neither wanted to drive back and forth multiple days or cough up cash for a hotel. So, I figured that driving to Springfield and coughing up $10 for a Metro ride would suffice.

The only bummer is that I only went on Friday, and all of the panels I wanted to see but one were on Saturday, and I wasn’t thinking. I really, really would have wanted to see John Barrowman’s Q&A or Boy Meets World but. Oh well.

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I didn’t get to go to this screening (shocking), but the little exhibit they had for this was IN. SANE.

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Cue me on the stairs screaming “WHAT THE FUCK” in front of small children.

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You could play this as it was functioning. And I did.

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Hey, baby.

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This was here because capitalism.

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You could take pictures with both the Metallicar and the Byers’ living room for $15 each but I’m cheap so. This suffices.

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I originally took this picture because I wanted to remember to come back and get one but I forgot so.

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Rey’s real costume that Daisy Ridley wore. Yeah.

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L-R: Rey, Kylo, and Luke’s real lightsabers.

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Mark Hamill wore this. Probably smells like him. I don’t know. Allergies.

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Kylo Ren’s real costume.

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Real Elite Praetorian Guard costume.

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Obviously the only reason I came.

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Celebrities: They’re just like us.

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I wanted a picture but this line was for. ev. er.

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I distinctly remember having this game for Sega Genesis and only beat it once.

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The only other reason I came. That’s what she said.

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RUBEN.

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PACIFIC RIM PANEL. SHIT.

Overall it was a great experience, and I have plans to come back even after leaving Virginia permanently. Here are some key thoughts from it overall.

  • John Barrowman is not only very tall in person, but genuinely very kind and friendly. And fucking shit he is even more handsome in person. Pictures do him zero justice.
  • I waved at Rider Strong while he didn’t have a line at his both as I was walking by, not expecting anything and he smiled and waved back. I waited until I was out of shot to hyperventilate and start crying. Holy hell.
  • Karen Hallion is very kind and quiet in person, but personable. She was super friendly and it was really cool to be able to buy a print (and a sticker tbh) from her in person. I got the one of Merida finding the TARDIS.
  • Ming Chen took me aback to see him in person. Also very kind, waved and said hello to everyone who waved or said hello to him. He genuinely seemed happy to be there.
  •  Bob Camp (creator of Ren & Stimpy) was there at artist alley of all places. I was behind a guy who was talking to him, and listening while I looked at his booth. The guy originally just thanked him for his work but then it immediately became cringey when the guy asked him about one of the writers from the show who ironically that morning was reported to have creeped on teenagers during the show. His friend/wife/person with him made a face and was quick to tell the guy that they don’t talk to him, that they haven’t seen him since 1992. I thought he handled that well. I just thanked him for his work and that it was a decent chunk of my childhood. I introduced myself. He asked me if anyone ever calls me Ashley (if you don’t know me, yes that is currently my legal name but I genuinely hate it when people call me that. It makes me uncomfortable.). I told him unfortunately sometimes but I prefer Ash. He laughed and said “Good. You seem like more of an Ash. Go with that.” So that was a cool little moment for me.
  • I had funnel cake. I don’t know. I just really like it and never get it.

 

Hope you’re well, and I’ll talk to you soon.

– Ash

December Photo Dump

This is. Needless to say. This is way, way, way.

Way.

Overdue.

Happy belated Christmas/New Year/All the holidays! Y’know how they say be careful what you wish for? Yeah. I wished to be busy surrounded by what I want to do and that’s pretty much what happen. Now if we could add a full time job out of state that makes me happy and feel fulfilled we’d be complete, but hey. Rome, a day, etc. Everything happens in time when it’s supposed to. Patience is that virtue I never learned, but I did learn hard work and dedication so. It levels out, I suppose.

Anywho. I do have some good content lined up for the next few weeks to make up for my break, however in the mean time enjoy this photo dump of my month of December.

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The 90s threw up on me, but gee wilikers my cat eye sure was on point.

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We got a relatively heavy snow the first weekend of December. It cancelled a networking/leadership conference I was really looking forward to, but it did look pretty on the lights. So.

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My reddit secret santa came through and gave me Sailor Moon ornaments<3

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Happy Christmas is a good but strange little film.

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Had a mini Sephora run. The Urban Decay lipstick was on sale for $9 (it was ultimately returned because while the color was gorgeous, the build up was not only very quick but really gross and uncomfortable so.), the beauty blender cleaner was my 100 point perk because I don’t know restraint, and the perfume I had a coupon for a freebie so. I fell in love with this sent recently and I don’t see myself turning back.

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Pusheen blind boxes are my weakness.

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Star Wars season.

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I got my normal 99 cent advent calendar from Trader Joe’s, and then I tried to be fun and got a tea advent calendar this year from World Market. It was great except for the fact that most of them had mint of some variation (I have a severe allergy). 😦

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Christmas Parade.

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I keep meaning to see this exhibit, but I’ll probably end up seeing it when it’s gone.

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I made a cold brew caramel cheesecake for Thanksgiving. It was great, however I must have misread the container because I was expecting the caramel sauce to be more creamy and less looking like excrement.

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My dreams came true and I finally got my own Marc Jacobs bag. Life is good.

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Bob and the Peanuts keep me company while I bake.

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I made some bread and watched YouTube. Leigh Ann got engaged!

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I finished this book that I bought on my birthday, and it was so fantastic. I need to do a Book Chat for it.

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Ulta’s birthday present for 2017 was definitely an either you loved it or you didn’t. I really dug it. A full sized, pigmented palette for free. Thanks.

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However, Sephora’s made me fall in love with Tarte. The blush especially is perfect, but I have to remember to apply with a light hand. Still forget. OOPS.

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Yum diddly yum.

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Austin needs this pillow.

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Toasted White Mocha is on point.

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Bygones on point as usual.

Till later,

– Ash

October Hits and Misses, October/November Picture Post

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Hey everyone!

So technically October has been over for about three weeks now, and I meant to have this significantly up sooner than later (I guess that means this will be in November’s minuses, womp), but this is a kind of two for one post. Pictures I’ve had stowed away for about a month, and hits and misses from October. Things that went well, things that could have been better.

October Hits

  • Created/attempted a month long creative writing challenge
  • Tried a new bakery (WPA Bakery, loved it)
  • Successfully accomplished an incredibly long desire to cosplay as Lydia Deetz (animated edition) for Halloween. Halleloo.
  • Grew significantly with improv

October Misses

  • Did not complete said creative writing challenge (but that’s okay, because now I know how to tweek it for next time so that it is successful)
  • Did not pack lunch nearly as often as I wanted to (but have successfully been doing so so far this month)
  • John Green’s much anticipated new novel, Turtles All the Way Down was fucking. horrible.

Luckily I don’t think that October overall had too many misses which is great. Overall, pretty good month!

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Nikolai sent me this picture of Bruce posing. ❤

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This meme.

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World’s tiniest, cutest apple.

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So much disappointment. Ugh.

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I refound this shirt and I was sooooooooooooo happy.

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Finally got to try Lunch.Supper! Was pleased.

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Canvassed at 9a. Was exhausted, but cute.

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Bones was the only one home. The only one.

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MY BAG BROKE. COOL.

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I stress bought a massive Porg. Yay.

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I need these pants.

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snort.

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I am the only one who enjoyed this and that is okay.

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Friends don’t lie.

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I’m a bat. Duh.

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This was really good, and hot chocolate is severely hit or miss for me.

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Though I know I should be wary, still I venture someplace scary.

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Do the Bartman (at Black Hand Coffee).

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I have missed you, sweet prince.

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This yard, though.

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This was on November 2nd. November. Second.

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This was the same day, tbh. #thatchestnutprailinelife

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Bruce’s Tinder picture.

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Hey, Lu<3

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I really love the designs for Starbucks’ holiday cups this year.

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Poshmark’s app randomly sends you sayings like this and honestly I’m not mad.

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Kayla invited me a couple weeks ago out to The Circuit with her and her friend and boyfriend, and it was so great. You serve yourself your own drinks (kind of, they give you a card and you return it to close your tab), and for $5 you get 20 tokens. All and all for what it is it is super decently priced. I spent most of the night playing pinball honestly. I really can’t wait to go back.

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Improv show was so great. And not just because I got curry fries at a British pub afterward. Although that helped.

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Best $5 spent.

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This is ocean holly, and it is gorgeous in its own creepy way.

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As much as I just bitched about it, the decorations at Short Pump Mall this year are really, really pretty at night. I’ll admit it. I’m in the mood, now.

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Bygones lives to impress and I love it.

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Toasted White Chocolate Mocha with dried cranberry pieces. Soooooo good.

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Okay, I’m officially ready for Christmas, now.

I love you all, and hope you had a great month. Here’s to the holidays!

  • Ash

 

This is 29.

So this is well over a month late, but hey it’s here. My birthday was about a month ago, and me being me I really just wanted to be alone. Where better to be alone than continuing my love affair with Washington DC? I did just that. I woke up that Saturday, left the house at about 8a, stopped at Starbucks to get my free birthday drink (with extra espresso shots and light ice please and thank you), got my podcasts going (and my external battery ready) and off we went. This is what happened.

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This was the night before, but still. When you have the option to go to My Noodle & Bar and get a Thai iced tea, you go to My Noodle & Bar and you get a Thai iced tea.

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I had coffee after this.

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Continuing the theme, Thai food at Mai Thai in Dupont. was for lunch. Wasn’t bad, wasn’t my favorite.

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Kramer’s is my favorite place. Ever. In the history of the world.

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Second Story Books. Gave me the honor of standing in the same room as an original manuscript of one of my favorite stories. Ever. Humbling.

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Fantom Comics. Very neat, very cute little comic shop. And a Subway. Not as cute.

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If you have the option to go to a La Columbe Cafe at any point in your life. Do it. Do it now. Thanks.

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This will make a return in a few moments.

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YO. BIRTHDAY TRUFFLES.

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I still have no idea what was going on with these balloons or whatever, but they sure as hell made for a great picture. Thanks, District.

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I FOUND BECKY.

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Tired.

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Dolcezza Gelato is INSANELY GOOD. Also, this Stumptown Coffee looks super questionable, but it was remarkably refreshing.

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I don’t know who/why a Walt Whitman quote was chosen for this exact location, but somehow it is very appropriate.

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I love a good Christopher Walken pun tbh.

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Dupont Circle will always be my favorite place. Always.

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I’m coming back, gimme a minute.

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I went to Ezme. I can now say I’ve had octopus in my life. Enjoyed it.

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I keep hearing Scott Thompson’s voice in my head. I ain’t mad.

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My optometrist’s office isn’t nearly this fancy. Get it together, Dr Gates.

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I came back. I told you I would come back.

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The Gin Gatsby.

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Bridget Jones’ Daiquiri.

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I will always stop in Trader Joe’s wherever I am. Always. Because I have a severe problem and probably need help.

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This is one of the best books I have read in awhile.

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WHY IS THERE AN ESCALATOR IN THIS TARGET. WHY. WHERE ARE THESE CHILDREN’S PARENTS.

 

And scene. This is a small portion of my day in DC. I’ve been driving up to DC for as long as I can remember to the point that I genuinely don’t need a GPS at this point, and really just bring it for in case of emergency. Because I’m superstitious like that. I did significantly more than was shown here (the Sephora there is 30000x better than mine. Meh.) but I kind of try to live in moments as opposed to take 5000 pictures of it.

Here’s to when we meet again.

  • Ash