Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Blog Transfer aka. I'm over there now

Hi guys,

Just wanted to wrap this up for anyone who is still following my old URL.

I've transfered over to WordPress and set up some self-hosting and  a custom domain.

If you're following me on an RSS reader, you may have to update the listing as from now on I'm at

http://www.thatashgirl.com

my RSS feed is http://www.thatashgirl.com/feed

You can also check me out on Twitter @thatashgirl or

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/notlaughingwithyou

Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fluffy Thing Friday - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone.

This is my first Fluffy Thing Friday of 2014!

I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas and New Years and that nobody got out of hand over the holidays.  Personally, I had the most PG rated New Years EVER.  I bought my parents a new Computer for Christmas and it was delivered on New Years Eve.  So I spend the afternoon getting them up and running.  After that I really didn't want to do more than have a glass of wine, in my PJ's and curl up with a book and my cat.  I live such a thrilling life.

It was the first New Years of my 30s and I didn't even have a hangover!

Which is actually a good thing considering I went back to work on January 2nd.  But it made me think fondly back to the days of my youth, where hangover's weren't that bad.  Remember the days when you could spend the whole day in University, go to your part time job, then go out with friends drinking all night and be fully functional at 8am the next morning?  I remember going to work on Sunday mornings and I was pretty sure I was still tipsy.  Now a hangover practically KILLS ME.

Oh the joys of getting older.

But with that in mind, I present to you, some animals that really REALLY wish they had called it quits after 1 drink.


Is this the toilet?  Nope.  Close enough.


This cat is totally praying to the porcelain Gods.  


I have no words for this.  


Shhh.  Just stop talking.


And because Owls have the BEST facial expressions ever....



Cheers,

Ash

Monday, January 6, 2014

On Turning 30...and Remembering my 20s.

This year my Birthday came and went with little fanfare.  And that was OK.  I mean I didn't wake up with any more grey hairs, aches and pains or wrinkles that weren't there the day before so that's a plus in my books!!!

Because my Birthday lands over the Christmas Holidays, I've always struggled to get together with friends close to the actual date.  Christmas Eve is typically filled with family and frantic last minute gift wrapping.

And this year was no different.  Despite, ya know, the whole turning 30 aspect of it.

The week or so before my Birthday I was kinda stressing about the whole post-fire/lack of apartment/living with my parents/milestone birthday thing.  But by the time it rolled around, I decided to just embrace it.

My 20s are officially over and now that I think of it.   THANK GOD.

No joke.  Your 20s aren't all that awesome when you really think about it.  I mean yeah, there's partying and staying up late without feeling like death the next day but does that really matter?

Here's a few reasons why your 20s can be a challenge:

COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY AND THE WORK FORCE

You start out your 20s probably in College or University.  Which is not only expensive and will lead to the next decade being filled with debt, but stressful.  All those exams and essays and crazy 8am lectures.

By the time you graduate you're ready to start BEING AN ADULT but generally nobody wants to hire you because you're young and inexperienced.  And if they DO hire you, the pay is probably shit which doesn't help you deal with the whole debt thing which is hilarious when you consider you go into debt to get a job but can't get a job to pay your debt because you have no experience and nobody is willing to GIVE you the experience.  It's a vicious cycle.  And it sucks.


Speaking of getting a job.  When you're in your early 20s, fresh out of school, going on job interviews sucks.  You haven't grown into your work skills yet and more often than not, you're going on interviews for jobs you're probably not qualified for.  And guess what, the person interviewing you?  They know you're not qualified.  But if you're lucky they'll take a chance on a kid with no job experience who has a surplus of education and enthusiasm.  If not?  Congratulations, you're sticking with your job at the mall for a while.

PARENTS, FRIENDS and LOVERS

When you're in your 20s your relationships tend to change.  Your relationship with your parents can be tricky at this stage in your life because you're no longer a kid.  But unless you're living on your own and financially self-sufficient, you're still being treated like a kid.  It sucks.

Relationships with friends also starts to change at this point in your life.  Some of your friends may already be getting married and God forbid, having children.  If that's not you, you'll possibly lose contact with some of these people as their lives take them in drastically different directions.   It's normal.  It can be sad but at this stage in your life, you're maybe outgrown school yard friends.

Speaking of outgrowing school yard friends, if you've had the same boyfriend or girlfriend since High School or even the early years of College, this is typically the time when you either split up, or get engaged.  More often than not, it's split up.  Like with your childhood friends, you've probably outgrown each other and are starting to look for different things. 

YOU

All of this is happening because you are ultimately becoming a different person.  Your self-esteem is growing, you know what you want and don't want.  Or you have no idea what the hell you want and your self-esteem is in progress because you're on your own for the first time, getting chewed up and spit out by the adult world and are riddled with debt.  Welcome to being an adult!

Your 20s is a time to experiment.  It's a time to meet new people, try new jobs, live in new places and not worry so much about long term commitments.  It's the time to travel.  It's the time to learn and it's the time to make mistakes.  It's also the time to eat that cupcake if you want to because trust me, by the time you hit 30 you're going to think and over think every single calorie because gone are the days where you can skip lunch a few days in a row and drop the 5 pounds you put on over Christmas. 

So while I mourn the ending of an important decade in my life, I'm excited to begin a new one.  One where I'm more sure of myself then ever before.  One where I KNOW things will be better because I refuse to accept anything less.

Cheers,

Ash

Some of the cool and not-so-cool things I did in my 20s:

Graduated from University
Graduated from College
Got "Engaged" and pretty quickly got "Un-engaged".
Survived 3 major relationships that lasted 5 years, 2 years and 1.5 years respectively.
Moved out on my own.
Got my first "real" adult office job.
Traveled to: England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, New York, Las Vegas, New Orleans and a few places in between.
Got 4 tattoo's.
Pierced my Tongue and a few other things.
Adopted my Furbaby Jasper.
Went to a bunch of Concerts: Pearl Jam, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Aerosmith, Three Day's Grace, The Foo Fighters, The Rolling Stones....to name a few.
Broke my wrist, a few toes, a few ribs and a finger.
Met new people.
Started a Blog!
Taught myself how to Knit.
Suffered from Depression and self-medicated for a while.
Went into Therapy.
Fired my Therapist.
Speaking of Fire....my Apartment building practically burned down.
I moved back IN with my Parents.
I payed off about 90% of my Student Debt!!
I realized that no matter how bad you think things are, not only can they get worse, but there is nothing you can't survive if you set your mind to it.

So here's to turning 30 and may the next decade be filled with buckets of Awesome. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year....Oh Screw it, it's too Bloody Cold to Write

I've taken a bit of a blogging break over the holidays so I could mentally unwind after what was probably the craziest 3 months of work EVER.

But I'm back.  Except I'm too bloody cold to form a full thought.  Seriously.  Every time I start to think I get distracted by how bloody cold it is outside.


Now I'm Canadian.  And I can bundle up and rough it in the cold just as much as the next girl.  But that is TOO EFFING COLD.

When it's this cold, you bust out your warmest coats, cloves, hats and scarves.  Even your pets may need a little something to help keep them warm.

So just to make myself laugh, here's the Video Compilation of Dogs wearing Boots.

If you haven't seen this before, watch it.  No joke, they walk like they've pooped themselves because they're all OMG WTF IS ON MY FEET!!!!



Cheers,

Ash

Monday, December 23, 2013

Jasper plays Fetch

I've been telling my friends for years that I have a crazy cat that likes to play fetch.

Here you are.  For your Christmas enjoyment.  Jasper playing fetch.


If you listen you can hear him "talking" to me.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fluffy Thing Fridays - Christmas Trees + Cats

Hey all!

It's been crazy the past few weeks.  Work has been so busy and tons of people I know have been sick.  The time has just flown by.

I seriously can't believe that it is Christmas next week.

So in honoring the tradition of cute things and Christmas I present to you, the reason why I can't put up a Christmas tree anymore.




Yup.  I'm sitting in your tree.






So cute....but so evil.




Bottom line.  Cats + Christmas Tree's are a bad idea. Remember this?




So yeah, we don't have a tree up this year because Jasper would totally electrocute himself.

Cheers,

Ash

Friday, December 13, 2013

Holy Shit-balls Batman....Apparently it's Friday the 13th!

In lieu of our usual Fluffy Thing Friday.

Today I'm going to do a bit of an ode to the Tech Gods who decided to take a big ole crap on me this week.

We rarely do big printing jobs for our clients anymore.  It's a waste of money and not great for the environment.  Not to mention, nobody wants to lug around a 200 page PowerPoint presentation.

But this week, one of our teams decided that they wanted to print and bind their fancy final report.

Ok no problem.

We have 2 fancy Xerox Colour Copiers.  I had the supplies.  And I had 3 days.

Noooooooo Problem.

That was of course till 3 copies in, one of my copiers started getting streaks.

I replaced out all the parts that you can replace and it was still streaky.  I'd switch to my back-up machine but it's a lower quality and not suitable for this level of job.

I called Tech Support.

No problem we'll send some extra parts and someone will be there between Wednesday at 3:30pm and Thursday at 10:30am.

Not the end of the world.  That still left me a day and a half.

10:30am on Thursday.....no Tech Guy.


11:30am on Thursday.....no Tech Guy.

I called back.  "We'll send him an emergency page and get an ETA for you.  Someone will call you ASAP."

12:30am.....NO TECH GUY.  And no telephone call.

I call back.

"We'll page him again for you.  I'm so sorry, the supervisor for the department will call you in a few minutes."

1:00pm.  Supervisor calls me.  The girl at dispatch thought she was working West Coast Zone and slept in so none of our calls were getting sent through to the Techs.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!

1.  Not my problem.
2.  I get that shit happens, but how did nobody else at dispatch figure this out and pick up the slack.
3. How come nobody told Tech Support because they just kept saying....someone will call you!!!
4.  NOT MY PROBLEM.

So finally at 1pm a Tech Guy is dispatched, parts are ordered and he'll be on site mid-afternoon.

Secretly I say, YEAH RIGHT.  I'll believe it when I see it.

4:36pm.  My Tech Guy finally shows up.  He's here for over an hour but finally gets the machine up and running.

I left the office at about 6:00pm thinking....I'll just go in early in the morning and get the printing started early.  It's FINE!

7:45am on Friday.  Not only is my primary machine giving me an error message and saying "Contact Administrator"  but so is my back-up!!  So I couldn't even print lower quality if I wanted to.  Add on to that, WE ONLY HAVE THE TWO COPIERS.

At this point I say fuck it, I'm going back to parchment and quill.  I'm DONE.

I call Tech Support.  He tells me that my service window is 3-5pm.

NOPE!!!

I put my foot down, I haven't had a functioning machine in 2 days and I have already had one service call.  I need you to do better.

How about 1-3pm.  Better but can we escalate this?  I'm usually very laid back about the whole thing but I've got a deadline to meet.

How about 9am to 11am.

Perfect.

I pride myself on being polite to the Customer Service guys because honestly, I've worked retail.  I get that it's not their fault.  Yelling at them doesn't fix anything.  And honestly, it's not going to make me feel any better. 

The good news is that it's just after Noon and I'm back up and running.

Cheers,

Ash

This is for all the people today that asked me "When are the copiers going to be fixed?"


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Where the hell did the time go?

I started off the 2013 holiday season with a plan!

Unfortunately that plan went to shit some time back in November.

I was going to make some crafty gifts for my friends.

I was going to do my Christmas shopping EARLY!

I was going to mail all of my cards by the 15th.

I was going to help mom decorate the tree that we actually can't put up because my cat is insane.

I was going to do all of this because I wanted the week before our office closes for the holidays to be as calm as possible.

Pfft. 

Clearly I was delusional.

I'm not done my Christmas shopping.

I'm not done making my crafts.

Shipping Internationally is insane.

The tree isn't up because yeah, my cat's crazy.

Oh and work is so incredibly busy right now that I'm lucky to find time to pee. 

Exhale Ash.  The holidays are FUN remember?

Does anyone else find the holidays incredibly stressful?  It can't just be me?

And is everyone on track with their shopping/decorating etc?  Feel free to rub it in if you're on track and I'm not.

Cheers,

Ash

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fluffy Thing Fridays - For the love of Kittens

Hello all,

This week has been insane at work.  December always is because our clients are trying to wrap up projects and blow out budgets before year end.

Also, this week has been a klutzy one for me.  I'm pretty accident prone as it is so once you add snow and ice into the mix, it's a disaster waiting to happen.

We had our first ice/freezing rain on Monday and I fell flat on my ass, as per protocol.  It's not winter till I've fallen on my ass.  Just sayin'.

Then to top it off when I was digging in my trunk to get my ice scraper, the weight of the ice on the trunk slammed it down onto my arm.  I have a huge bruise now and why is it that the second you realize you have a bruise you're constantly bumping into things!!!!

So to distract me from this, I've been going through the cute pictures people have sent me.

This week's themes is kitten.  Because seriously, kittens rock.

That and it was my furbaby Jasper's 4th Birthday on the 1st so I'm in a kitten loving mood because I'm reminiscing over when Jasper was a baby.

He's learning to poop in his litter tray!  Pooping has never been so adorable.


So pretty.

 

Look at that little grump!



Look at that tail!  That tail could be a model!


  So much floof!



Cheers,

Ash

Here's a picture of Jasper the day I brought him home from the shelter.  He was about 8 weeks old.




















Now 4 years later, he rules the house.  Although apparently nobody told him that he's actually supposed to go INSIDE his new house (That my parents got him for his birthday.  Clearly they want grandchildren.)


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2013: A Year in Review aka. It could have been a hell of a lot worse

Every year, as I approach my Birthday, I take some time to think about what I've accomplished, or in some cases not accomplished.  What I've done to get closer to my goals.  Who I've met.  How I've lived my life.

This year my review has been particularly difficult.  I'm turning 30 in a few weeks.  For the first time in my life I have felt utterly out of control.  My job has been crazy, and oh yeah, my apartment burned down.

But despite the chaos I've accomplished a few things.  They may be small but amid the craziness of my life these past months, those small accomplishments have been so dear to me because honestly, the way things have gone?  It could have been a hell of a lot worse.

Last year was "The Year of Therapy".  Despite losing my home and living in a situation that is not the most emotionally healthy, I'm not nearly the mess I could be.  No joke.  Yes, I've lost some of the progress I have made but I'm still in a better place psychologically today than I was before I began Therapy.  Despite my mother's efforts to the contrary.


My insomnia is all but cured.  I don't want to say totally cured because one I get back to a normal work/travel schedule it may go to shit again but for now, it's more common for me to get 6-7 hours of sleep a night than 3-4.  It may just be because I'm travelling so much more for work that I'm exhausted but I'll take it.

I've made an effort to talk to more people.  Yes, because of the fire and my moving out of the City, I've lost touch with some people.  But I've reconnected with others.  And the people I've been in contact with most have been incredibly supportive and I appreciate them every single day.

The biggest of all for me has been a direct result of the fire and has truly been a blessing in disguise.  A year ago I was stressing about money because I was turning 29 and was still looking at $17K in Student Debt.  I felt like the money I was putting onto my debt wasn't truly making a difference because I was paying disgusting amounts of interest.  If I put too much money on my debt, I found myself running short at the end of the month and relying on my Credit Card.  It sucked.  But living with my parents for 9 months has allowed me to all but eliminate it and I'm hoping to have the rest paid off within the next 3 months.  When you've been paying off a debt for almost 8 years, being this close to debt free is huge.  I mean HUGE!!!

So despite everything, 2013 hasn't been all that bad.  I mean I totally could have gone my entire life without losing my home to fire but you know what?  It's going to be fine in the end.

Cheers,

Ash