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Thursday, May 19, 2011

I made $10 million in Vegas.


...says Romney. The other morning, I woke up much earlier than I ever like to volunteer at a Mitt Romney campaigning event. “National Call Day,” to be specific. Let’s be honest…my 8 AM laps around the convention center in pink Sperry’s collecting donation papers probably wasn’t much help. Actually, yes. Yes it was. I helped march those $10 million worth of donation papers (ahem, many candidates don’t raise that much money their whole campaign) up to the financial guys, knowing perfectly well I could be sliced with a massive paper cut at any moment, and since I chanced bloodshed, I like to believe I was essential in the fund raising. Either way, I now have a great new addition to my wardrobe—a giant “Romney: Believe in America” shirt that will be a fashion essential should I become extremely obese by the time next November rolls around (which I wouldn’t rule out). Brian was busy tagging heels at Nordstrom in anticipation for the big sale next week, so he missed out on hearing Romney give a little kick-off speech. I usually LOVE listening to presidential debates and speeches, and not because of the politics, really. I just love a powerful speaker. You can rule the world with eloquent wording. And, hello? Obama’s address to the country after Osama was killed? Patriotism articulated beautifully. Mr. Romney was less attention holding, but I guess the combination of discussing The Economy (it’s now a proper noun since it’s basically a living person, I’ve decided) with a PowerPoint of discouraging numbers makes my brain turn off after about 10 minutes. Maybe it’s an emotional defense mechanism, preventing me from passing out after contemplating my future life working a third job at McDonald’s and stuffing my K-mart purse full of stolen filets of fish just to feed my starving family at home, all after The Economy takes another hit. Okay, that’s not what Mitt said, but that’s what the numbers looked like to me. Still, it was fun to get caught up in the excitement of the campaign AND see my long lost friend Rachel, who was in town for the event!! Unfortunately no picture, because duh. I don’t take pictures unless it’s an international affair or something. Oh, and because my camera was in my purse, tossed in a pile at the entrance. To a convention center. THEY HAD ME LEAVE MY PURSE IN THE FRONT OF A CONVENTION CENTER WITH EVERYONE ELSE’S! And I obliged. Ugh.


Since I’m being so politically active, may I also mention I would be excited if John Huntsman were to run for president? You may have guessed I am not voting for Obama next year, unless he forces The Economy to be best-ies with Public Education, or bedazzle the Statue of Liberty; both of which are equally as unlikely. I won’t bash Obama, because I think he’s a really nice guy, and I agree with him here and there. Among other issues, his over-involvement in college sports and commentating on ESPN was what put me over the edge. Oh, and did the un-jailed rappers who voted for him since he “understands the struggle.” I’m looking at you Maino and Nas. I’d like you to move out of the White House, Obama, but next door to me! You seem to have a fun family and great marriage. You and Brian can make basketball brackets together every March, while Michelle and I go read to young children at elementary schools, because the school districts will probably forgo professional teachers altogether and simply ask for volunteers. I will do this happily, unless the scheduling conflicts with my McDonald’s job, in which case Michelle can go without me and I’ll come back later with filets of fish for all! See, the transition from White House to our neighbor would be easy and fun.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My original title was slightly offensive.

I want to come out of the closet about an issue I have struggled with my whole life. I’ve tried to change, but I just can’t. It’s not a conscious decision I personally made…I was just born this way. God created me like this. I don’t want anyone to think less of me as an individual, but I can’t hide such a crucial part of my personality anymore.

I don’t see it as an illness, or a personality disorder, or any sort of character flaw. For that reason, I’ve decided to let the world know this about me. I LOVE McDonald’s filet of fish sandwiches. I said it. I’m not hiding in shame anymore. It’s just who I am. No longer will I purchase these tartar sauce covered pieces of heaven exclusively from the drive-through window. No longer will I blatantly lie to friends about liking this sandwich. No longer will I only enjoy it's extra buttery buns quarantined in the back corner of McDonald’s with one special friend who wishes to remain anonymous (but if you want a hint, she wears a size 7). I am a fillet of fish lover and I’m okay with it. I know what you must be thinking. This must come to you as a shock. Please still be my friend.

And just for the record, if you have noticed McDonald’s has a double-decker filet of fish (yeah, it’s new), don’t worry. I won’t eat that. And also for the record, I don't know what this sandwich consists of. Does anyone? I don't know...I just...I just like it...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spain...or, "No Hablo Espanol, Mi Amor."

Aside from an impressive amount of hits from Lithuania, does anyone even read this blog? I didn't think I'd post pictures, but I decided I have a personal photo deficit, so I should put some I've actually taken on my blog. Plus, Spain was amazing.

My grandma recently planned a girl’s trip to Spain, and I was lucky enough to be the recipient of one of the golden tickets! She invited my mom, Aunt Kathy, and cousin Chantel (who is one of my favorite people in the world) for their birthdays. You understand why I'm so lucky? Not my birthday. I like to think it's because I'm so fun. We drove and flew around for a week, and stayed in Malaga, BEAUTIFUL Ronda, Gibraltar, Marbella on the Mediterranean Coast, and Madrid. We were disappoint the port to Morocco was closed, but in retrospect, I’m a little relieved after Thursday's event. We stopped by a Picasso museum (he is from Malaga!), saw castles and cathedrals, watched flamenco dancers,and picked tuna off of everything. WHAT'S WITH THE TUNA?!! I love seafood, and I know we are by the coast, but this was like, mashed up, processed can tuna on salads, crepes, sandwiches...and floating in my EGG YOLK. Anyway, we also blew up lots of converters, ate paella & gazpacho, and tried to tan by the Mediterannean. I enjoyed the "real life" nuns. The last one I saw was at Jack in the Box, so this felt more appropriate.

Also worth mentioning: my first experience with Ambien, and my first experience in First Class. Hey, it was an accident, but I thoroughly enjoyed drinking my beverage out of a real glass instead of a plastic cup. And my cheese platter.

One would assume that after 7 years of Spanish classes, I'd be able to converse at LEAST on an elementary level. Nope. So Chantel and I decided to end all of our choppy Spanish words with, "Mi amor," and then people at least went along with our charades. Out of several other European countries I've visited, Spain spoke the least English. Not what I expected! Between a severe language barrier and renting a car in a new country (a car with windshield wipers of doom that never turned off, nonetheless), with all signs in Spanish and directions in kilometers, this adventure had plenty of reality show potential. The possible cover for "Ashton and Chantel take Spain:"

Total toursits.


OR


Almost getting ran over by a dolphin bus at the top of Gibraltar after being chased by a monkey for a granola bar.


INCREDIBLE TRIP!!! We LOVED the time to be silly and catch up. Thanks Grandma! ABUELITA!! See, I knew that one.

Muchos fotos...mi amor.

Alright, look. This is a ton of pictures. Hopefully someone looks at them, because they have taken a YEAR TO UPLOAD!!! And sadly, viewers are at the mercy of my photography skills. When we asked a stranger to take a picture of us, it was literally JUST the person asking:



Gracias.

So, here is the collection. I have only taken about 8 other pictures the entire 5 months prior to this...maybe we can keep that in mind.

Pretty hotel in Malaga up on the hill!



Our incredible hotel in Marbella. That blue dot behind it= Mediterranean. Makes me wish I was made of money. Euros, to be exact.




My mom and her mom. Do we look alike? Still deciding.


My mom and her book of Spanish phrases. Our favorite word: fuego.




Prom picture. This made everyone else feel awkward.












Are you kidding?! BEAUTIFUL Marbella!!







Public transportation in Espana, I guess.










Lost.


Chan's new purse!










The drive to Ronda. Too bad my photography skills are just as NOT pro as my camera. Trust me, it was gorgeous. Like Napa, with Spanish flair and some goats. If you are not a driver afraid of heights, or a nauseous passenger, it's very enjoyable.



We took a little horse and carriage ride. We ran over this cement post...popped right off.




A really, really, really deep gorge in Ronda. And very possibly the most beautiful place in the world.




Ronda.


Odds are good that I took this because we were all screaming. However, please note that the wipers are not currently in action, which is a good sign.


Being tourists. Glad we could use these stickers so our bus driver could find us when we were late. Pizza Hut was calling our names. Nothing like normal American food after everyyything else had tuna on it.


This would be Gibraltar! I love that it is British.


Lots and lots and lots and lots of monkeys on Gibraltar!







That's Africa!



Beautiful mosque in Gibraltar.



Some lady trying to tell us to get on a bus knew we just didn't get it, so she drew it out. You see the bus resemblance? Kind Spaniards. Don't mind that we were riding this bus around the runway. You know, where the planes taxi and bags fly free? How we got there is a mystery. Good tour, though.