Life is a Highway

I’ve had my Jeep 7 months. We got it new and I’ve taken quite a liking to it. That baby now has 13,303 miles on it. I drive. A lot. My Jeep and I have been around southern California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, and (duh) Texas.

fozzie

Y’all, I thought Houston was my motoring nightmare until I met southern California. Sure, there are good drivers somewhere – there have to be! I’ve been toying around with these letters in my head for months and every on ramp has only justified the snark that is about to be spewed.

thankyous

Dear Suburban Driver of Southern California Roads:
stopDoes it physically pain you to stop at a stop sign? No, really. Because no one seems to stop at them EVER, but if it’s your turn and someone doesn’t stop for you, whoa, Houston, we have a problem. Also, brake lights: are they optional? You have them. I can see them. So why don’t they work? Lastly, I am almost convinced that the blinker is the vehicular equivalent of an appendix in your mind, Suburban Driver of Southern California Roads. Much to your chagrin, I assure you that little stick on the left of your steering column does have a purpose, and a good one: it lets people around you know what the heck you’re about to do.

Sincerely,
Not Miss Cleo

cleo
Dear Fast Driver of Southern California Roads:
literacyI know, I know, you’re in a hurry. Guess what, sugar britches? No one cares. We all need to get somewhere, but you don’t see all of us raging around, in and out of lanes, no blinker, mere inches between bumpers. If it’s really that important, find yourself some lights and sirens. Might I suggest you put your middle finger back on the steering wheel? Please and thank you. You may do well with some smooth jazz or classical music to soothe your ragey nerves. 88.1FM or 105.1FM are good options, as are SiriusXM 66 and 76. Oh, and those pesky speed limit signs: I know you say to yourself, “Fast Driver of Southern California Roads, I know that sign reads 70 miles per hour, but they really meant 90.” WRONG. Literacy isn’t that hard, my friend.

Yours Truly,
Simmer Down Now, Here’s A Baby Animal

panda

Dear Slow Driver of Southern California Roads:
slugThe pedal on the right makes the car go. You should step on it. Everyone else is flying by at 80 miles an hour and here you are, putting along somewhere between molasses and grandma. ProTip: the fast drivers occupy the left side of the road and the slow drivers creep on the right. It makes sense: traffic needs to slow down to exit, ergo right lane is slower than other lanes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to exit – just stay there and cruise along at 47mph. No one will care. I promise. It’s just when you trudge along at the speed of a turtle when the rest of the road is going Ludicrous Speed, you’re a liability. Someone will hit you, or get unnecessarily aggressive and cause you to have a bad day. Just move to the right. Get out of the way. And, no, driving with your hazards on doesn’t make it any better if you’re not in the right lane – lookin’ at you, rusted blue 1989 Ford Ranger.

Sincerely,
The 68 MPH Speed Racer
drifting

Moves Like Jagger

And The Greatest Thing Found on the Internet Today Award goes to…

Y’all. I think Mick Jagger is my spirit animal. That is amazing. So, how did I come across this wonderful piece of bust a move brilliance? I just wanted something to express how awesome my knee feels after 3 miles this morning. No, really.

201501_1948_gaicd_smWhen you’ve been running for 20 years, you’re bound to have some wear and tear on a joint or two; for me, it’s my left knee. It’s not so much that it sounds like gravel that’s the problem, but what I’m guessing is my MCL, possibly my IT Band, hurts like nobody’s business after 5 strides. I have iced and applied heat, rested, stretched, foam-rolled, and medicated but nothing has given me any lasting relief. I know, I know – I should go to a doctor. There’s no swelling, discoloration, or limited movement: it just plain hurts when I run.

suck-it-up-buttercupIn fact, between the knee pain and the cyst in my foot (same leg), I really haven’t done a whole lot of training for anything because Holy Ouch, Batman! But I might have found a solution: KT Tape.

I managed to put in 3 miles without stopping because of knee pain. Full disclosure: I had to stop about a mile in because a bug flew into my eye (#RunnerProblems). Sure, it ached a little bit, but it was a gagillion times better than it has been. Yes, “gagillion” is a technical term and is totally measurable.

Monday I’m going to see an acupuncturist. I’ve been told by lots of runner friends that this is a good way to go. As I sit here with a bag of frozen Chicken Chow Mein on my knee, I’m trying not to think about how terribly afraid of needles I am. This is how I envision acupuncture:

hellraiser1-2I’ll make y’all a deal: if the KT Tape and the acupuncture don’t work, I’ll go see a doctor. Okay? Until then, I’m going to follow the happy-go-lucky encouragement of my favorite trainer, Jillian Michaels.

Jillian

Desperate Housewife Confession #1

IMG_7537

What have I become, dear reader? This is a picture I snapped yesterday afternoon after I realized what it was, exactly, I was doing:

There I was, sitting in my Jeep in the parking lot of Yogurtland eating a serious bowl of FroYo reading Harry Potter. “A nice afternoon escape?” you say. Oh, I wish it were so…

Adam and I are usually pretty healthy people: we eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, opt for lean proteins, shy away from sugar (except the occasional ice cream indulgence or, in my case, ginger snap binge), and limit the processed grains intake (breads, pastas, etc.) to practically zero. It’s just the way we’ve always been, even before we knew each other.

We decided to take it a step further this week: no sweets in the house at all AND no alcohol. No wine. We have our reasons, even if I don’t remember what they are… Did someone say sauvignon blanc?

wine3So what happened yesterday?

  1. Sitting in my Jeep — because I was too ashamed to sit out in the sunshine with the rest of the FroYo fans because I knew I wasn’t supposed to be eating it…
  2. In the parking lot of Yogurtland — because I didn’t want to get busted putting the cup in our trashcan…
  3. Eating a serious bowl of FroYo — salted caramel pecan with a sidecar of dark chocolate, topped with toffee pieces, brownie bits, and caramel sauce. Y’all, I don’t even LIKE chocolate. This is what bordeaux deprivation looks like. It ain’t pretty.
  4. Reading Harry Potter — on a Kindle so no one would know what I was reading because 31-year olds aren’t supposed to read Harry Potter. Oh, and because I wanted to draw the ordeal out as long as possible because, as long as we’re being honest, I had a sink full of dishes waiting for me at home and, dang it, I just didn’t want to do them.

And the worst part?

5.  I paid cash.

cone of shameMy name is Ashley McCully and I really don’t like hard lines when it comes to calories.

 

 

The Wheels On The Struggle Bus Go Round and Round (updated)

Lucky number 13. 1 week, 6 days. With so much to do and so little time to do it, I thought it’d be a great day to hop on the Struggle Bus and ride around for a few hours. Or all day. Or, ya know, buy a 2-day pass.

doggie door struggleYesterday we were without power due to some scheduled outage for maintenance. The notice indicated it’d be back on by noon. Hahahahahahahahaha *deep breath* hahahahahahaha. Yah. Right. And I’ve got some ocean-front property in Arizona.

You_Sit_On_A_Throne_Of_LiesRules for Power Outages

  1. The night before, fail to remember the power will be off. Don’t charge your cell phone and definitely don’t make alternative food arrangements.
  2. Because you didn’t make alternative food arrangements, open the fridge, but instead of thinking through everything you need so you only have to open it twice (once to retrieve, once to replace), go ahead and open it 3 or 4 more times. Fermented food is good for you!
  3. Lastly, remember that while your house runs on gas, the ignition switches are electric, so nearly take your eyebrows, arm hair, and fingerprints off in a blaze of glory when you try to light the gas with a match. (Try being the operative word here. Note: It won’t actually work, so don’t even try it.)

hindenburgThis morning, after my alarm didn’t go off and I slept an hour later than anticipated, I looked Monday straight in the face and said, “Hey, homie. Let’s do this.” *high five* Just as I went to give Monday the highest of fives, it jerked its hand away and I swatted at nothing but air.

SeacrestMaking breakfast, I had 1 egg left. Except the egg had a crack in the bottom and was stuck to the carton, so when I tried to remove it, the shell broke and I had egg all over my hands. No egg for me. Monday laughed at me and then collaborated with Siri.

watch this“Siri, I need directions to the nearest post office.” Siri sent me to a place that was never a post office. “Siri, this isn’t a post office. Where is the nearest post office?” 1.9 miles away? I can do that… Yah, also not a post office. “Siri, isn’t there a Lowe’s around here?” At least she got that one right.

stitch angerDry cleaners: check
Lowe’s: check
Post office: check (finally)
Gym: I know how to get there! Huzzah!

Answer: 2 hours.
What is the amount of time it took for me to run 3 errands, Alex?

Apparently in the last few years, riding a bicycle has gotten really hard. When I showed up for spin class, I was told I’ve been riding a bike all wrong. After my instructor adjusted, pulled, tweaked, and duck taped me into (onto?) the bike, I was ready to go. And an hour later, I was ready to get off that crazy contraption. So worth it…

01_Cinderella_finalAfter 60 excruciating minutes of pedaling, totally robbing me of all the happy memories I had of innocently riding my bike in the driveway as a child, all I wanted was a sandwich. There was a Subway nearby, but I don’t want shoe rubber chemicals in my bread, thank you very much, so I asked that bitc sometimes-helpful tool Siri to direct me to the nearest Which Wich. 11 minutes? Not bad. I hope this place exists…

eating my feelings37 profanity-streaked minutes later…

sammichThe things I’ll do for food. Oh, and wouldn’t you know I made 3 wrong turns, hit traffic, had my gas light turn on, and found my phone only had 1% battery on the way home. Now that I’m home, 6 hours later, safely tucked into my house, I don’t want to leave. Ever again. Unless someone else is driving.

karen

Human Sacrifice, Dogs and Cats Living Together – Mass Hysteria!

I love Ghostbusters. Such a great movie. Sorry, Zul, you’ve been replaced by wedding planning. I’ll be the first to admit, I can sometimes lean toward the dramatic (I may or may not have told Adam I didn’t want to go to the doctor because they’ll stab me with a needle and pour all of my blood into tubes) but I’m definitely NOT embellishing here. Okay. Maybe a little. But only a little.

10 ways wedding planning is like Ghostbusters:

  1. Venkman tells the pretty girl she special and possesses a gift (not really, she’s just pretty and he’s kinda scummy), while doling out electric shocks to the dweeb, who actually gets one right.
    Obviously I’m the pretty blonde (duh) and Dr. Venkman is every wedding consultant/salesperson I’ve encountered. Oh, and the dweeb? Yah, that’s my bank account. Watch it again. Yup.
    .
  2. Once word gets out you’re getting married, that ridiculous ex-boyfriend who hasn’t left you alone in years goes all Louis Tully on you, pathetically doubling his efforts to get your attention. Hint: It’s never gonna happen, bro. “Goodbye, Louis.” *slams the door in his face*
    Louis Tully
  3. Egon: “Ray, for your information the interest rate alone for the first five years comes to $95,000.” Don’t ever miss a David’s Bridal Credit Card payment deadline. Ever.
    mortgages
  4. This is totally how it feels to cross something off the ever-growing wedding to-do list. In fact, I think I shouted this very thing when I hired the caterer. Now, if only I had a button to push that would set off lights and sirens… Instead I just open a bottle of wine.
  5. You spend months planning to make sure every detail is in place for this one event. There’s only one shot. No mulligans. No try-agains. One wrong move and that unlicensed nuclear accelerator on the bride’s back could go berserk! There’s pulp in the mimosa orange juice?!? Back away from the bride, y’all…
  6. Stantz, Spengler, and Venkman have taught me that you don’t have to do the dirty work alone all the time. In the case of wedding planning, these nutty characters are more commonly known as “bridesmaids.” They are the ladies who love you enough to do the crazy things, like fire vendors, have a “come to Jesus” chat with that one guest who’s about to be kicked out, or wear really ugly dresses just because you told them to. Vera is my personal Class 5 Full Roaming Vapor and luckily, I have some fantastic friends to help me reign her in.
  7. “That’s a big Twinkie.” Really? A 35-foot long, 600 pound Twinkie is “big”? Thank you, Captain Obvious! This is how I feel every time someone reminds me how close we are to the wedding. “18 days? Wow, that’s soon! Do you have everything ready?” NO, AND THANKS FOR REMINDING ME, WINSTON!
    it-would-be-a-twinkie-35-feet-long-weighing-600-pounds-ghost-demotivational-poster-1245600842
  8. Sometimes you’re in a cheering, adoring crowd and the street just cracks and swallows you up, but you have to be strong because people are counting on you; pull yourself out of the massive hole you just fell into and remind them (and yourself), “It’s okay. We can handle it.” This very thing happened to me when I realized the wedding everyone else wanted was going to cost $123,456.78, except I didn’t fall into a hole in the street. I just sat down on the floor and cried. Totally the same. Then I blew stuff up.
    earthquake
  9. There are so many stories about brides and grooms not getting to eat at their wedding. Let this serve as a warning: If Adam and I don’t get delicious brisket and jalapeño-creamed corn, if we are deprived of smoked sausage and glorious macaroni and cheese, if my husband and I don’t get a piece of cake the size of a plate, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man will be as harmless as the Pillsbury Doughboy compared to the fit I will throw.
    stay puft
  10. Leave it to the Ghostbusters to remind us the sign of a successful night: surrounded by destruction, covered in marshmallow, pulling friends out of the rubble, emerging to the sounds of citizens going wild because they’ve been saved from Gozer the Traveler. If the day after, we’re not all having this experience, clearly something has gone wrong. “I feel like the floor of a taxicab.” << I’m going to have shirts made!
    taxicab

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells

Oh, wait. That’s me. I’m the smelly one. The elliptical and I went 10 rounds this morning.

elliptical 12-2As you can see, after 8 miles, the dang piece of machinery beat me. Jerk. I will say, though, 8 miles in 45 minutes ain’t too shabby! Hey, if there’s one thing Jillian Michaels taught me, it’s “Don’t phone it in at the gym!”

JillianI’d like to think Jillian and I would be friends, but then I remember I don’t like crying in public. I think I’ll just stick to her being trapped inside my TV for now.

butterAs for the pizza, wings, pasta, wine, cake, AND Thanksgiving feast I indulged in last week, well, I think I made some progress. I am going to fit into that dress in 19 days, even if I have to squeeze myself into some Spanx.

Spanx. I can’t decide if the idea for Spanx came from a man who wanted all women to look like Kate Upton or a woman who was sick of working out and not getting anywhere. Obviously the CEO is a woman, but the original notion that it’s totally worth it for women to pour themselves into a shape that is not their own. If it was a guy, that’s just cruel. I’d like to see that dude wiggle his way into a spandex straight jacket that takes 2 inches off your thighs (where does it go??) and then peel himself out without dislocating a shoulder.

injuryIf it was a chick, the whole “Tighter! My thighs still touch!” thing might do well with some counseling. The closest I’ve ever been to that was a babushka seamstress who fitted me for a corseted bridesmaid dress. I magically shrunk two sizes that day, and then nearly passed out around the time the rings were exchanged. THAT wasn’t embarrassing or anything…

spanx

“Live the dream”?! Really? Feeling like your insides are going to implode is living the dream? Ribs? We don’t need to stinkin’ ribs! And, for real, y’all, where does it go? This can’t be healthy.

I also love how all the models totally need Spanx. Yah, they need Spanx like Bill Gates needs a dollar.

modelsAnd they look so happy!

Left Model: This Pooch-Be-Gone is such a great idea! Hold on, what’s a “pooch”? That sounds awful.

Middle Model: I wish my butt looked this good all the time. Oh, wait, it does! Hahaha

Right Model: You, too, can shed those 3 stubborn pounds with this Spanx Tummy Tucker! And by “Tummy Tucker” we mean, “You didn’t really need your liver, did you?”

And now they have Spanx for men?! Um, no.

No Thank you Please

Okay, another day at the gym it is. And wine kale. Yah, that one. Lots of kale.

corgis

 

Here Comes the Bride(zilla)

Howdy, from chilly Fort Worth! I flew in Saturday night, did bridal pictures all day Sunday, and spent the better part of the day working, ya know, at my actual job and, because I wasn’t overwhelmed enough, I went to Hobby Lobby looking for silk flowers.

Screaming Frodo - WhyTo prevent me from becoming a total bridezilla, I’ve adopted the mantra “Pick your battles.” See, here’s the thing: most of the time, I just don’t care. Honestly, I don’t. This wedding is about a public declaration of love, fidelity, and faith. It’s not about flowers or invitations or music or cake. Just give me a good deal so everyone else can be entertained and leave me alone.

George Glamour ShotPhotography, Hair, & Makeup
“Hi, my name is Ashley. I don’t want my hair all the way up and I don’t know what shade of lipstick I’d prefer. That’s your job. You’re the professional and I trust the people who recommended you. As long as you make me look pretty, we’ll get along just fine.”

These professionals actually liked having creative license to make me beautiful and they did a fantastic job of it.

Battle: Avoided

dontevencareInvitations & RSVP Cards
“If me texting you details and your texting me your RSVP isn’t going to work, you’re not invited to the wedding.”

I have no interest in spending hundreds of dollars on invitations, envelopes, stamps, and ink for what will ultimately be thrown away, either by the recipient or me. Honestly, I’ve only met two people in my life who have kept every single wedding invitation they’ve ever received: my sweet, late Aunt Dorothy who kept them neatly in a keepsake book and a former Geology professor who has a PhD in Hoarding and Geochemistry.

Battle: Non-existent
(Now the guest list on the other hand, that is a battle that I’m still deciding whether I’ll fight it or not. I know, I know, time is ticking.)

tumblr_m6vcw0dXfa1r1m2dgo1_500Flowers
“I’d like white flowers, nothing too big and heavy, tied together with a pretty ivory ribbon. I like roses and hydrangeas, but I saw this awesome picture of a winter bouquet and saved it so you could see what I’d like. Here’s the aforementioned picture. Can you do this? You can? Great!”

Yah, she lied. What we picked up on Sunday looked nothing like the picture I showed her. Except the white hydrangeas. She didn’t even get the white roses right.

Me: Um, those aren’t white roses.
Florist: Yes, they’re white. The natural colors vary, giving some more of an ivory color.
Me: Ivory is fine, but those roses are not even ivory. They look like the “white” curtains hanging in a smoking room at a Motel 6 in Winslow, Arizona that was last renovated in 1977.
Florist: [looked like I just slapped her]
Me: Yah, I won’t be ordering more flowers from you if this is your definition of “white.” Thanks, though. [big smile]

Battle: Not the end of the world, but I’ll be finding an alternative solution for wedding day flowers.

wine3Helpful tip from me to all future brides:

Take a percentage of the wedding budget and allocate it for therapy. Seriously, you’re going to need it. Whether it’s actual counseling, a massage, or 3 martinis because it’s Tuesday, it will be the best, easiest money you spend on this event.

Here’s how I’d suggest deciding how much to save for the Sanity Fund:

  • 5% – You have one Vera in your life who will give you grief over just about anything
  • 8% – That Vera happens to be your future Mother-In-Law
  • 10% – That Vera is your mother
  • 12% – You have two Veras in your life who don’t know each other, so they can’t scheme
  • 18% – You have two Veras in your life who will talk about you and conspire behind your back
  • 20% – This is the point in time where I suggest you elope because that much of almost any budget will likely buy a couple of airline tickets to anywhere else other than where you are right now.

more wine