blessednbabbling











My birthday is approaching, slowly but surely. Due to some heartbreaking circumstances I didn’t do very much (read: almost nothing) for my last two birthdays.

This year will be different.

Talking with TwinPisces (who shares a birthday with me, March 8) I decided on how I wanted to celebrate turning 27.

The party dates are March 9-10, 2012. (a Friday and Saturday)

Friday I was going to go to my favorite rapper’s restaurant Straits and end the night with a party in my hotel room. Saturday I said I was going to treat myself to some spa time.

Well, I learned that Luda is closing Straits so that he can open up and focus on Chicken ‘N Beer, his new restaurant located at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. This sucked b/c I’ve never been to Straits and was banking on going for my birthday.

So of course I had to find an alternate restaurant. I thought of all the restaurants I’ve been to and the ones that really stood out to me. My heart settled on my favorite restaurant, Red Lobster. For some reason (that I don’t understand) the social networking world has deemed RL unworthy. Oh well, I STILL love it and will be dining there for my birthday.

Friday after dinner (exact RL location pending, stay tuned) I will be having a party of sorts in my hotel room (hotel pending, again stay tuned). I’ll only be staying one night at the hotel and on Saturday I’ll be treating myself to some much needed and deserved time at Spa Sydell (loc..you get the picture)

Guidelines (please read and understand each) :

1. EVERYBODY is responsible for their own meal at Red Lobster

2. EVERYBODY is welcome to rent their own hotel room if they’d like b/c NOBODY will be staying the night in mine.

3. Alcohol is welcome at the hotel but since I don’t drink I will not be providing ANY. I will have non-alcoholic drinks available (read: soda and water). However, if you choose to drink YOU are responsible for A) bringing your own alcohol and whatever you’ll need to go with it and B) your OWN way home (so if you need a DD bring them with you or just don’t drink. Or you could rent a room. It REALLY is that simple). If you choose to drink and NOT rent a room your SAFE way home is YOUR responsibility. Your drunk behind will NOT be staying the night with me. I love you but no.

4. If you’d like to join me at the spa you’re more than welcome to. Your treatment is your responsibility though .Go here for their prices.

*I will keep everyone posted about the hotel location so that anyone wanting to rent a room will be able to do so in a timely and hopefully inexpensive fashion.*

Hope to see y’all there!

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{July 19, 2011}   Life as a 25 year old Virgin

This is, so far, the hardest piece I’ve ever written although I was SO sure it would be the easiest. It’s the complete opposite. How hard should it be for me to write about my life as a 25 year old virgin {{emphasis on the word “my”}}? It shouldn’t be hard at all, but *sigh* it is.

I’ve been a virgin my whole life but this year, well the months between my 25th birthday and my next one, I’ve actually embraced it and sort of, begun to flaunt it more. I’ve always been proud of this but I’ve also felt that {{esp. during my late high school, early college years}} a lot of women think I’m bragging about it. Some have even told me that I think I’m better than women who aren’t virgins by this age. Believe me, I don’t. My sister says that I am better because I’m waiting and they didn’t. Uhm, okay, but I just feel that they made a choice and I’m making one as well.

Being this age and still having my virginity is not as fun as it seems/looks. Aside from people constantly asking about what I do whenever I get horny or asking me whether or not I masturbate (neither of which are ANY of their business, by the way) you also have those who ask if I’m gay. {{And if you are one of THOSE, I’m not, have never been, never will be.}} Then there are those who try to figure out what it is about me that keeps me from getting a man that either wants it (and for the record I feel some kind of way about my virginity being referred to as “it” but anyway) or has enough game to convince me that they’re “the one”. Game won’t work on me, saying no, in this instance, comes naturally to me.

This, among other things, has made me keep this information to myself for so long. So, why be proud of it and talk about it now, you ask? For the first time in a long time I told someone about it and they responded a lot more positively than I expected. He actually called me an alien and I think by that he meant women like me don’t exist. But, we do, we’re just {{as I like to call us}} an “endangered species”. He told me I shouldn’t hide it or be ashamed of it. I agreed.

My best friend called me “pure” once and I laughed. But, he’s right.

I’ll admit that I get this “glad it’s not me” feeling when I hear of or see women who have had to deal with unexpected pregnancies, being judged for having a certain number of partners, etc. I unintentionally hurt some feelings when I asked my friend if she actually thought about what kind of father the man she was sleeping with would be if she were to get pregnant. She didn’t consider it and though she loves her son, she’s not very fond of his father. This feeling also comes when I see women who become attached to a man (or fall in love) ONLY because the sex is good.  Please take note that I’m not judging these women, I’m just “glad it’s not me”.

I also decided to be more “open” about it when I answered a twitter question about when was the last time I had sex. My answer shocked a high school friend of mine who then kind of put me on blast on twitter (in a good way though). She said that if I have sex before marriage I’d hurt her feelings, lol.  And then I answered a question from Raheem DeVaughn (who follows me) and said “still in possession of my virginity so I can’t say”. To my surprise he RT’d it to his followers which resulted in me getting mentions of how honorable that is and how proud these women (who don’t know me) are of me. I also got mentions telling me to keep it and that I might as well since I’ve waited this long. I even got one from another virgin who’s in her twenties and she said {{because I’m older than she is}} that I give her hope that it’s possible to continue to keep her virginity this far into her adulthood.

Another reason I don’t like telling people is because they think I’m lying. How am I supposed to prove something like that? Am I supposed to carry a doctor’s note that says “she’s been checked and I confirm that she’s still a virgin” and show it like it’s some kind of ID?  All I can tell you is to get confirmation from people who know me. A college friend said that if you talk to me long enough you’ll see that I’m telling the truth about being a virgin. I didn’t (and still don’t) get exactly what she meant by that but okay. And I hate being asked why I’ve waited this long? Does it really matter? I don’t think so but, if you MUST know, for the first 24 years I was on the “I’m waiting until marriage” train. I’m now on the “if the RIGHT man {{and ‘right’ by my standards alone}} comes along” train.

People and their misconceptions of what a virgin is supposed to look, think, and act like make me laugh. I’m supposed to be COMPLETELY clueless about sex and not participate in conversations on it. I’m also not supposed to be proud of having big boobs. Quote from a complete stranger who overheard me conversing with a friend “so what’s the purpose of you being heavy chested when no man has ever been able to enjoy them”. Really dude? That’s the ONLY thing my boobs are good for? I beg to differ. I’ve heard {{from friends}} that I do indeed have an inner freak and I’ve just now realized that they were right. But, I’m not supposed to have one because “you won’t know until you’ve actually had sex” right? I think that thought process is stupid. I’m the exact opposite of what I’m supposed to be as a virgin. I can’t speak on the specifics of sex but I can give you my thoughts on what I WANT to get from it. I’m guessing that big boobs and a large butt (which I don’t actually have, my butt is super small) are to magically appear the day I decide to lose my virginity? Yeah, that’s stupid as well. As far as the freak in me, am I not allowed to dream/think about what I want to happen in the bedroom? The worst thing that can happen with that is for me to at least try it and THEN discover that I don’t like it.

I enjoy living life free of the stresses/emotions/feelings that come along with sex. If I’m EVER to change my mind about it, it will be MY decision and no business of the rest of the world. I wish to not be judged on this decision because I didn’t judge others on the age they were when they decided to relinquish their virginity. That probably won’t happen but I can still hope. And despite being told that I will be unable to hide the fact that I’m no longer a virgin I will do my best to keep it a secret.



{July 18, 2011}   3 Years Old

*this is my most emotional piece yet, I cried myself to sleep  when I finished this piece. It was after 3am and I BADLY wanted to call somebody but I didn’t want to interrupt any of my friends’ sleep. I sobbed uncontrollably until sleep overtook me*

I looked at my desktop background (which is a picture of my 3 nieces) just now and realized that two of them are the age I was when my daddy (their granddaddy) passed away. That age is 3, my other niece is 5.

I think about their comprehension level and figure that I had that same level when I was that age. I think about how they look at me and probably believe that I’ll live forever because at 3 they don’t know any better.

They have yet to experience death. {{Well, the 5 year old has, she lost her grandmother last year}}

Which ultimately led me to believe that I had absolutely NO clue what was going on around me when my daddy died. I’ve heard stories about how I almost got left at the daycare and how I only cried because my mama and brother were crying. I’ve seen pictures too. But that doesn’t mean I understood what was going on.

I had no idea that the man I called daddy would be physically gone from me forever. I had no idea that from then on he’d only live in my heart and the hearts of those who knew him.

I can only imagine how my mother explained to me that I’d no longer be able to SEE my daddy and I often wonder what EXACTLY it was that she said to me. How did she start the conversation and when she asked me if I understood, what did I say? I’ve yet to ask these questions because I can’t bear to hear the answers. Maybe when I’m 30.

I look at the picture of my 5 year old niece and wonder would I have understood it a bit better had I been 5 instead of 3? Her level of comprehension is more advanced of course but she looks at me the same way the other two do, as if she’s sure that Auntie Ashley will be around forever.

So I know I looked at my daddy and was absolutely positive that he’d be around forever.

And now I’m starting to wonder what my mama said to me the first time I asked about my daddy after he’d been buried. Did she remind me of whatever talk we had during the days leading up to his funeral? Or did she simply re-explain the situation to me?

How many times did she actually have to explain the ENTIRE situation to me before I got to the point where I understood and stopped asking about him?

Thinking about these questions bring tears to my eyes and even wondering what answers I got to these questions bring them on.

But the last question I must ask myself is, how would I explain this to MY child if I had to?



{July 13, 2011}   Love and Hate Relationships

I have a love and hate relationship with quite a few of my personality traits. What amplifies these relationships is that these traits are here for an eternity, they’re not going ANYwhere no matter how many times I try to change. I’ve actually given up trying to change and will tell people who have issues with it, “You know me, or you say you do, you should know this is just how I am”

They are but aren’t limited to:

  • being overly emotional
  • being overly sensitive
  • my inability to get (and stay) mad
  • being too nice to the undeserving
  • caring too much
  • treating people the way I want to be treated
  • having detailed and intimate dreams

Now, don’t get me wrong, these are all WONDERFUL characteristics to have and I do love having them until I get overly emotional or too sensitive about something really petty or something NOBODY else would understand. Until I start hating how someone can hurt my feelings and within 24 hours I’ve forgiven them and gone back to loving them. Until people start taking advantage of my generosity, or when I can’t STOP caring about someone who has obviously stopped caring about me. Being nice and treating people the right way when they treat me like crap. Having these dreams and not being able to act on them for whatever reason.

And then I go back to loving these traits when I see that some people appreciate them.

It really is a never ending cycle.

So, in essence, I have a love/hate relationship with my personality. This is just who I am and though I don’t like it at times, I’ve accepted that I will never change.



{July 12, 2011}   the natural hair thing

*and no, I’m not debating ANYTHING in this post with ANYBODY*

this whole natural hair thing the black community has going on is starting to get on my nerves. Yeah, I said it.

I call my hair “natural” b/c EVERY strand on it, the grey ones included, is MINE and not store bought. (this is why you’ll see “chemical free” all through this post)

If you disagree, oh well. this is MY head, not yours

I’m tired of hearing the comparisons between women who have chemical free hair and those of us who don’t. Tired of hearing both sexes say how a chemical free haired woman will forever trump/look better than a woman who chooses to put chemicals in hers. If that’s your opinion, fine, feel free to speak it, just don’t act like your opinion on the matter is better than mine. It’s not. Different, yes, better, no

to the women whose chemical free hair is two different shades, what are you using to get it that way? Chemicals, right? *I could be wrong on this one and if I am, sorry*

and to be honest, I think a lot of women have gone chemical free b/c it’s the “thing” to do right now. If you aren’t one of these women, my hat goes off to you, I’ve heard how hard it is to start going chemical free and keep it that way

If you like women who have chemical free hair, fine, but DON’T put down women who choose to put chemicals in theirs.

If you are a woman who has chemical free hair, fine, but DON’T act as if you’re better than permed hair women b/c you don’t add chemicals to yours

I’m so tired of hearing “women who have chemical free hair can go out in the rain and not worry, yada yada yada”. I don’t worry about the rain b/c I have an umbrella and more often than not I’m wearing some type of jacket with a hood on it. I also carry, on days it might rain, those plastic caps that were popular back in the day. So trust, rain doesn’t bother me either.

I unwrapped my freshly permed hair and I must say it’s beautiful and I love it!! I love that it’s starting to grow, how I can it feel it on the back of my neck, see it sitting on my shoulders when I look in the mirror and how, when I do actually let someone get close enough to me, they run their fingers through it.

My hair has also been pulled and he enjoyed it

I’m also tired of hearing the “what’s natural vs. what’s not natural” debate

Yes, I THOUGHT about what I’d look like having chemical free hair and how much money I’d save from not having to pay to have it permed. Decided that it’s not my thing and will continue to get my perms

another thing that’s like a 5 out of 100 on the importance factor, I’ve seen, either in person or via a picture, less than 10 women who have made me say “her chemical free hair looks wonderful on her”.

*natural hair and all that it entails has now gone on my ever growing list of things I don’t talk about*



{July 9, 2011}   My Laurabug

I’m not even sure where to begin this blog but I guess the right way would be to begin by saying how we met.

During my junior year of high school my JROTC teachers thought enough of me to send me on a National Youth Forum retreat in DC. Here is where I met one of the nicest girls ever. Her name was Laura and she was from New Jersey. We’d been assigned to the same group and our hotel rooms were next to each other. (Boy I wish I knew what I did with the pictures from that trip, I have them somewhere though).

my bug

It was in February, the week of the 22 to be exact. I remember this vividly because that same day my twin god brother and sister were born.

At the end of the forum as we were packing to go back home she and I exchanged addresses, emails and numbers. And we’ve been communicating that way ever since.

Yes, this means that we haven’t seen each other since we first initially met. Can you imagine how many letters, emails and phone calls we’ve exchanged over a 9 year period? A lot, more than a lot actually. We’ve sent pictures of course. She’s gotten taller and has cut her hair but it has since grown back. I’ve cut my hair twice too and it’s growing back.

We’ve been through so much together, drama with family, friends, boys, everything. Some people are shocked that we’ve kept in touch for so long without seeing each other and therefore call us merely pen pals instead of friends. We are SO much more than that though.

I swear she’s the ONE person (outside of God) that REALLY knows how to make me feel better about myself. And she does it as if it’s second nature to her. Even when I feel that NOTHING is going right in my life she’ll send me an email chronicling nothing but good things that I have overlooked.

She’s part of the reason me and someone else are still friends because when I thought I’d had enough and was ready to let go she told me how much I’d benefit if I stuck it out and held on. I did and she was right.

She’s been in med school for what seems like forever but she graduated recently and is a now a doctor.

my med school graduate

Even though she just recently graduated I’ve been asking her about certain medical issues since she first got to med school. She helped to educate me when my family first learned that my great-grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease.

She’s been everywhere doing research, working in hospitals, etc and I’m so happy for her.

teaching in Peru

in Australia

Abel Tasman hike in New Zealand

I remember when she first told me that she was going to Johns Hopkins University. My first thought was Dr. Ben Carson and I spoke with her about him. Told her how I came to know of him. I believe I sent her a copy of the tv movie that was made about his life. The then Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick spoke at her graduation from JHU and then she went on to the University of Chicago for medical school. She’d sent me an email and was excited to tell me about the speaker b/c she knows I’m a huge Ravens fan.

For my 21st birthday she sent me a box full of little things that kids play with to remind me that just because I was getting older didn’t mean I still couldn’t have fun. Included was Play-Doh, a miniature slinky, one of those little bendable stick people, a squishy ball and more. She also sent me 3 shot glasses that had her Frisbee team’s logo on it. Unfortunately 2 of them got broken (not by me) but that third one has been put away, never to be used. Other than the two broken shot glasses, that I’m still upset about, I still have everything from that box.

She once sent me an email saying that she’d heard about bad flooding outside of Atlanta and was checking to make sure that my family and I were safe. We were. Not too long after that,  I’d heard about bad shootings in Baltimore and realized that they weren’t too far from the hospital she was working at. So of course I returned the check-in/are you safe email. She was and was taking precautions to keep it that way.

I love her with all my heart and would do anything for her. She’s been a wonderful friend to me and she says that I’ve been a great friend to her too. I hope so.



A few Fridays ago I was able to mark off an item on my Bucket List. There isn’t much on this list but having a photo shoot done was definitely on it.

My friend Kenneth Cummings, who I call Blu, ( facebook.com/blucanon) is a photo journalist who was in town for the weekend.

He agreed to photograph me and I’m so happy about how the pictures came out. I loved every minute of it and Blu can now attest to how goofy I really am.

my "natural laughter"

I became the first person Blu tried his Double Take effect on other than himself. I love the way these came out

the double take

He did a few more shots of me in one of my favorite SYM1DidIt (fbk.com/sym1didit) shirts

SYM1DidIt!!!

looking at these pictures and thinking back on the things he was saying to me to get me to make certain faces makes me laugh

 

you don't want to know what he said that resulted in this face

 

closeup of my "signature" facial expression

 

I really like this one

the few words that resulted in this face *see below* always make me smile

can't describe this face but I know what brings it on

I’ve never once dreamed of being a model but I have thought once or twice about having my picture taken professionally. And I do NOT count those picture shops in the malls as “professional”.. lol

So to be able to do this, with a trusted friend, meant a lot to me.

Thank You  Blu!!!



{June 23, 2011}   Coontastic is what I am

“you listen to a lot of coon tunes Ash”

A tweet to me from a friend the other day after my excitement about Jeezy doing a video for his song “Ballin’ “ off his new mixtape. I love that song but I had already dreamt what the “Broads” video would be like.

That tweet got me thinking though…do I really listen to that much coon music aka music that’s out of my character? Yes, I do and I love it.

I actually sat down and did an inventory of sorts of all the “Ashley I can’t believe you of all people listen to/like that song” songs I have in my music library.

These songs include but aren’t limited to:

–        Gucci’s So Icy

–       Memphis Bleek’s Round Here

–       8Ball and MJG’s Comin’ Out Hard (yes, the whole album)

–       Master P’s Bourbons and ‘Lacs

–       Gorilla Zoe’s Lost

–       Ruff Ryders’ Down Bottom

–       Big Tymers’s Oh Yeah

–      DRS’s Gangsta Lean

–       The Luniz’s I Got Five On It

–       Drunken Master’s 50 Niggas Deep (and I know quite a few niggas who this song applies to)

–       Tela’s Sho’ Nuff

–       The Game’s One Blood

–       Do or Die’s Po Pimp

–       Pastor Troy’s Dope Boy

–       Boyz in Da Hood’s Dem Boyz

–       Jim Jones’s Don’t Push Me Away

–       Rick Ross’s Blow

–       Cam’ Ron and Kanye’s Down and Out

–       Countless T.I. songs (I swear TI mentions my friend’s name in You Don’t Know Me)

–       Countless Jeezy songs

 

I also love the songs where there’s like a thousand rappers on it. Besides the beat, which I love, I enjoy hearing the different styles of these rappers come together over one beat. It’s nice to hear a New York rapper followed by one from the deep south and then one from some other state

Some of my favorite collaborations are

-the remix to TI’s Top Back (Jeezy’s verse on that is my favorite)

-the original and remix to DJ Khaled’s I’m So Hood (these two exemplify what I mean about the different styles coming together)

– the remix to Jim Jones’s We Fly High (the order in which they rap was best, in my opinion)

With all of these songs one would wonder how Luda, a rapper who some people deem “soft”, holds the number one spot (pun intended). It’s his vocal dynamism that I love so, that’s what keeps him at numb. one.

This all started when I used to ride with my brother to school. He was always playing the whole Coming Out Hard album and I grew to love it. It’s actually my favorite non-Luda rap album. This is also when I heard and loved Master P’s Ghetto D and Juvenile’s 400 Degreez. He also played for me Lil Wayne’s I Feel Like Dying and that is one of my favorite Weezy songs.

My love for songs of this nature escalated when I went to GSW. This is where I met most of my weed head/alcoholic friends.

If you know me more than likely you’re aware of my sheltered upbringing. I was raised in the church and we all know the stereotypes associated with women raised in the church. You’re probably also aware of how most of the people I associate with smoke weed and are forever getting drunk. So to hear that I love these songs is surprising to some people.

I’m attracted to what I like to call the “educated thug”. In the words of Kelly Rowland “a rude boy that’s good to me with street creditability”.  Weed heads and alchys fascinate me on some odd and probably weird level that I can’t explain.

Most of the time when I listen to “coontastic” songs I don’t exactly understand the metaphors in them. I don’t always ask, mainly because it doesn’t matter, but I know that I can go to my friends and they’ll explain a lyric to me. I remember when I first learned what Camillionaire meant by “Ridin’ Dirty”. I laughed b/c I was told “you do it all the time”.

However, when I do understand a metaphor on my own a big smile forms on my face.

This was my attempt to explain my random tweets of rap lyrics from such songs. To really know me is to fully understand my love for these songs.



{June 14, 2011}   An update on my weight

My mama finally asked me what sparked this new eating and exercise regimen I’ve been on. She was SURE I was going to say something about what a friend or whoever told me.

Wrong!!!

It was this video

It came across my Tumblr dashboard and I watched with about 3 cookies in my hand. I put the cookies down b/c I was ashamed that she could do that and I couldn’t.  She’s in better shape than I am. I mean I can hold up my weight, fairly well I might add, but I’m not sure if I can hang upside down on a pole by my ankles (I’d love to try it one day though.) I’m sure she’s probably healthier than I am too.

I watched this video like 5 times. I have got to try this.  I want to get my body in whatever shape it needs to be in to do that with the ease that she does.

the only thing she did that I can do is stand on my head. I can’t even do a split anymore.

That is the biggest reason I started this whole thing. Another reason was that I wanted to get some sort of exercising into my schedule no matter how light it may be

My weight is still rapidly dropping. Two days ago the scale said 101lbs and I got kind of excited. That is, until I got on it late last night and it said 99lbs.

I have a pair of capri pants that were bought for me when I was in 10th grade. Never knew why I didn’t wear them back then but I kept them b/c they’re so cute. they fit perfectly now.

there’s a pair of jeans in my closet that are a size 1 that I haven’t been able to fit into since 2004, they fit again (yay!!).

I had to reassure my parents that I wasn’t doing this so that I could be super skinny.  and I’m really not.

I keep at it b/c it’s a great feeling to eat “right” and exercise. also, I’m excited that I came up with an exercise plan on my own and it works.

 



{June 13, 2011}   Weight Loss (for me)
I realize that I’m the type that can eat a lot  and not gain weight.
However, that doesn’t give me the right to continue to abuse this trait. I reluctantly agreed that this “eat whatever I want and not gain weight” thing may not last once I either enter my 30s or give birth
I am more than fairly small for my age, hell my almost 12yo nephew weighs more than I do. but at the same time I’m not in the best shape and I could stand to be healthier. being thin/small does NOT equal healthy or in shape.
So, I came up with a plan of sorts.
I no longer eat after 6:30pm unless I’m out somewhere and even then it’s something light. When I’m home which is almost all the time, if I get hungry at night I eat either some fruit or pop a bowl of popcorn. I also walk the back part of my neighborhood in the evenings.
it’s not much but it’s better than what I was doing a month ago which was no matter what time it was if I was hungry I ate whatever I wanted.
With this new plan came rapid and unexpected weight loss. and when I say rapid I mean so fast I actually had to stop with the neighborhood walks b/c the pounds were dropping way too fast

see? and that picture was taken about 2 weeks ago. I have since picked up my walking and 3lbs! But just as quickly as those 3lbs came, they left again. :0(

I’ve also noticed that some of my clothes have gotten a bit too big now. I have 3 or 4 pairs of jeans that used to fit just right around the waist but now, the smallest thing being put in my back pocket (i.e. my cell phone, keys) makes them fall down. and my pj’s are starting to fall off my hips too. you may laugh (and I did too at first) but it’s kind of sad when you think about it.

I did NOT plan on this happening, like I don’t pride myself on being under 100lbs. Actually the weight range that makes me comfortable is between 103lbs and 106lbs.

I’d like to think I’m in better shape. and with changing my eating times I’ve slightly altered WHAT I eat.  I eat more salads and I’m SLOWLY getting away from burgers. Don’t worry though, my love for french fries isn’t going anywhere.  I was never really a junk food/sweets person but I will have the occasional brownie or cupcake. I’ve unconsciously stopped eating fish and I’m not even sure why that is, I just stopped. I also eat even more fruit than I used to.

I have always said that diets aren’t for everybody (and neither are gym memberships) and that people could possibly lose weight with their own plans if they’re serious about it and keep at it.

It works for me (a little too well actually) so I think that someone making and keeping with their own weight loss plan could work for them too



et cetera