Saturday, July 31, 2010


New header time! I love changing my header... this one was a little overdue. Changing my header is like getting a darling new shirt with which I'm absolutely in love, and wearing it for a special occasion. Weird comparison, I know, but the feeling is the same. Happy!

Friday, July 30, 2010


It is not:

"For all intensive purposes..."

It is:

"For all intents and purposes..."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chill Out

Question: what is it about a woman who drives a 2010 Range Rover that makes her think it is okay to ride my bumper, throw up her hands in anger, flip me off, point her finger at me and silently yell at me (I'm sure she is screaming - how do I know? The look on her kid's face) as I look at her through my rear-view mirror? (Might I add that I'm sure my face was classic... shocked and utterly confused... a slight, upward turn of the mouth might have occurred - it was quite the funny scene to behold.)

No, lady, I'm not going to break the speed limit (I'm already going seven over) and no, I'm not going to run the red light. (It was red before I even got to the intersection. They didn't name it the "California Stop" by accident. Stopping for red lights is like a sophomore in high school studying for the ACT... it doesn't really happen.)

Just because you're running late for your botox session and to drop your kid off at the nanny's house, doesn't mean you can take out your anger on me. You should have left your 2.5-million-dollar-five-car-garage-home five minutes earlier. Take the phone off your ear, smile and breath.

If you are who you (and your paid fan club) think you are, they will wait for you.

Chill out, lady.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jane Austen's Fight Club

This is pretty funny...

"We were no longer good society."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book wormy

Hi, I'm Ashley, and I am a book worm.

I love reading. I want to spend all my extra time sitting in Barnes and Noble reading.

The current read is Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol." It is the only book in my apartment I haven't read yet. (That really isn't saying much because, (1) our bookshelf is fairly small, and (2) we only have about ten books on the shelf. But, I am thoroughly enjoying the book. I read "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons", so I felt it only appropriate to finish the "trilogy."

Latest reads I enjoyed:
1. "Devil's Food Cake" by Josi Kilpack (found at Deseret Book) (Murder mystery novel- a fun, easy read.)
2. "The Silence of God" by Gale Sears (also found at Deseret Book) (Non-fiction in novel form about first LDS Russian family during the Bolshevik Revolution - phenomenal.)

The next book on the list is my little sister's favorite book, the tragic back and forth love story of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles," by Thomas Hardy. (A classic.) She has raved about it for years, but I'm finally getting around to it now.

The next book after that is called "Writing Jane Austen." Boys, don't be immediately turned off to this... yes, it is kind of a girly book, but it isn't a newly discovered Jane Austen manuscript over which your girlfriends are going to freak out. Take comfort. It is a modern novel about a woman who is asked to finish a newly-found and unfinished manuscript by Jane Austen. Sounds fabulously intriguing. (I say that as a wanna-be author... someday.)

And after that... "Eat, Pray, Love," by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Also, can I please recommend a book to you readers? If you have not already, I would ask that you please contribute to the "Alexander Dumas' trust fund" by purchasing his book, "The Count of Monte Cristo." No, the movie does not count. Not even close. The book is absolutely phenomenal. There are two versions: abridged and unabridged. The unabridged includes a lot of the history and politics of the timing of the book... some necessary, some not. I have read both versions and it just depends on how much time you have... or what you're interested in.

Any good books I'm missing? I'm open to suggestions!

Land O' Lakes and Butterflies

Yesterday, my coworkers and I drove up to Fresno and we have been working here and in surrounding areas.

FYI: There is nothing up here.

I probably drove over 100 miles through farm land. Then we hit the city of Corcoran: the farming capital of California. Guess what season it was in Corcoran? Yellow butterfly mating season. Yes. I have a thousand little yellow butterflies on my windshield, and they aren't just hanging on for a free ride. They'll be scraped off tomorrow at the local Chevron.

Then we drove by the Land O' Lakes farm... the Land O' Lakes farm. Don't know what Land O' Lakes is? Go walk through the butter isle next time you're at the grocery store. Think of me, and that I drove by the dairies that produce that butter.

It also hit 100 degrees as we were driving around.

Too bad I didn't have any popcorn.

(I don't know how many of you get my humor... I feel like I need to explain the joke: Land O' Lakes butter + hot weather = buttered popcorn. I'm lame.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Niece #4 (Danica)

Nephew #1 (Talmage)

Naturalization Ceremonies

I was in Sacramento a couple weeks ago, working and meeting with some clients. It has been a really long time since I last visited Sac, but enjoyed seeing the small town. It was pretty dead while I was there because the Legislature is out of session – which means most of the population of that city is gone. One of our clients, a lawyer-gone-lobbyist, arranged for my coworkers and I to have a private tour of the state capitol. It was pretty amazing, to be honest. We walked right past the “Governator’s” office – no, I don’t know if he was “in” or not.

As we were leaving the capitol, I saw an announcement for the naturalization ceremony. I thought how cool it would be to see a naturalization ceremony and watch people be sworn in as citizens of the U.S. On my plane ride home, I found an article in Southwest’s “Spirit” magazine highlighting citizens from other countries who were recently sworn in as U.S. citizens. I was surprised to learn that citizenship candidates must demonstrate a knowledge of American history and an understanding of the principles of democracy. What follows are 25 out of 100 possible questions the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services uses to test this knowledge. Applicants are asked 10 out of these questions and must respond correctly to at least six of them.

I shouldn’t have been surprised as I read through these questions and I felt like I was back in my tenth-grade AP American History class with Mr. Ochoa. I remember flirting (or rather, trying to flirt) with the cute guy sitting next to me – Jonathan. My best friends were in that class, which is a really bad idea if one should be concentrating on learning. And, it was the last class period of the day- dangerous. I’m being pretty sarcastic if you can’t tell, but what I took for granted in that eighth period, some people spend years trying to learn so they can master this test and prove their loyalty to their new country - all to become a legal citizen of The United States of America.

So, what kind of citizen are you? If you were to take this test, would you become a citizen right away? Or would you have to study a little longer and retake the test? I’ll admit that I was a little rusty on one or more of the answers, but for the most part, I feel that I am a dedicated citizen of the U.S. (Answers are included below.)

1. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?
2. What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?
3. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
4. What is freedom of religion?
5. What is the “rule of law?”
6. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?
7. If both the President and the ice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
8. What does the President’s cabinet do?
9. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?
10. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states?
11. There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.
12. What is one responsibility that is only for U.S. citizens?
13. Name one right only for U.S. citizens.
14. What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?
15. What are two ways that Americans cap participate in their democracy?
16. What is one reason colonists came to America?
17. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?
18. What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?
19. Why did the colonists fight the British?
20. Name one problem that led to the Civil War?
21. What was one important thing Abraham Lincoln did?
22. What did Susan B. Anthony do?
23. During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?
24. What movement tried to end racial discrimination?
25. What did Martin Luther King Jr. do?

1. We the people
2. Speech/ religion/ assembly/ press/ petition the government
3. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
4. You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion
5. Everyone must follow the law/ Leaders must obey the law/ Government must obey the law/ No one is above the law
6. Checks and balances/ separation of powers
7. The Speaker of the House
8. Advises the President
9. To print money/ to declare war/ to create an army/ to make treaties
10. Provide schooling and education/ provide protection (police)/ provide safety (fire departments)/ give a driver’s license/ approve zoning and land use
11. Citizens eighteen and older can vote/ You don’t have to pay to vote/ Any citizen can vote (women and men can vote)/ A male citizen of any race can vote
12. Serve on a jury/ vote in a federal election
13. Vote in a federal election/ run for federal office
14. Freedom of expression/ freedom of speech/ freedom of assembly/ freedom to petition the government/ freedom to worship/ the right to bear arms
15. Vote/ join a political party/ help with a campaign/ join a ciic group/ join a community group/ give an elected official your opinion on an issue/ call Senators and Representatives/ publicly support or oppose an issue or policy/ run for office/ write to a newspaper
16. Freedom/ political liberty/ religious freedom/ economic opportunity/ practice their religion/ escape persecution
17. American Indians/ Native Americans
18. Africans/ people from Africa
19. Because of high taxes (taxation without representation)/ because the British Army stayed in their houses (boarding, quartering)/ because they didn’t have self-government
20. Slavery/ economic reasons/ states’ rights
21. Freed the slaves (Emancipation Proclamation)/ saved (or preserved) the Union/ led the United States during the Civil War
22. Fought for women’s rights/ fought for civil rights
23. Communism
24. Civil rights (movement)
26. Fought for civil rights/ worked for equality for all Americans

God bless America.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Font size

You know you've been sitting working at the computer for way too long when you finally finish and decide to check out Facebook... but instead of typing "Facebook" into the URL bar, you type "font size."


My last entry asked this question:


Is it legal in the U.S. for a man to marry his widow's sister?

Here is the answer:

First of all, how is a widow defined?
A woman who has lost her husband by death and has not remarried.

The man is deceased. So, for my question, it doesn't work, because the man is dead. He can't marry anyone...

Get it?

Just some food for thought. Makes you think, huh?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Think about it...


Is it legal in the U.S. for a man to marry his widow's sister?

In critical thinking, there are two types of thinkers:
1. Impulsive: they take no thought; answer quickly.
2. Reflective: they ponder and ponder but most of the time can't decide; no or slow answer.

Which are you?

And, what is the correct answer?

A Dad's Life

Obviously, I'm not a father, but nevertheless, I got a huge kick out of this video.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Book List

Dear Reader:

I'm not sure how much you know about me. I don't really know a lot about you. But, I wanted to share something with you. A few days ago, a person asked me what my top 10 reading list is. Sheesh. I have a love/hate relationship with that question, or any "top 10" question. To pick 10 of something, I feel, limits me a little to all of the options out there. I have way more than 10 favorite books, but here are a few that I have read more than once, thus meriting a top 10 position.

1. The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis)(Phenomenal book. This one really makes you think. Don't read it if you are looking for something light.)
2. How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)(I think everyone should read this book at least twice in their lives.)
3. Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln (James Humes) (Similar to HTWFAIP)
4. Jane Eyre (Charolette Bronte) (Probably one of my favorite books ever.)
5. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) (Yes, I am one of those girls... but it is a classic.)
6. Freakonomics (Stephen Dubner) (If you are interested in business or economics, you'll think these next two are interesting. They aren't dry - they are actually quite entertaining.)
7.Tipping Point (Malcom Gladwell) (Love it.)
8. The Infinite Atonement (Tad Callister) (This is such a powerful book. I almost speak with reverence when I talk about this book because, of course, the topic, and what it did for me and my testimony of the Atonement.)
9. To be well-rounded, I guess I should add a non-classic, fiction book to the list. I'd probably have to say Life of Pi. I thoroughly enjoyed this book - it was an easy/ interesting read. I loved the author's writing style.
10. I will leave number 10 blank - I feel like I'm limiting myself if I fill up my 10 spots. There are so many amazing books out there!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mini pause


I'm leaving for a couple days to go to a family reunion... but my family doesn't think I'm coming!

This is just an immediate family reunion, so I will get to see my older siblings and their children and my parents. (Lil sis is still on the mission.) I'm freakin my bean I'm so excited! [Thank you Amanda and Eric for teaching me that phrase.]

I wanted to let you know I will be out of "internet reception" for a few days, thus the pause in blogging. But I will be back shortly. I'm hoping none of my family sees this before they see me at 2:00 this afternoon! Can't wait for the surprise!

Can you just give it to me straight?!

How many times have you attended a baseball/ basketball game/ event where the National Anthem was sung?

I'm not sure if I can even fill up one hand counting the times where the National Anthem has been sung "straight." You know, the way Francis Scott Key wrote it... without the flailing of the voice at every pause. Don't get me wrong, there are people out there who sing the Anthem with so much gusto it sends chills up your arms, but for once, I would love to just have them give it to me straight and simple.

Saturday Night Live does a fabulous mock up of exactly what I'm talking about.

Click here to see SNL's skit.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Outfit for Chuckarama

I found the perfect outfit for someone to wear when dining at Chuckarama... (or "Up-Chuck-arama" as my father so lovingly refers to it.)

"Over all," I think you'll have a pleasant experience! Happy dining!


"Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of foreseen incidents and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way."

--W.H. Murray, quoted by Neal A. Maxwell

Monday, July 12, 2010

Guest highlight

I just want to highlight a friend of mine. Her name is "Painting the Air." She has this incredibly urban/ retro/ classy style, and I absolutely love it. She took some fabulous pictures a little bit ago and posted them on her blog... I emailed her and am anxiously awaiting her reply so I can figure out her secret to producing these pictures.

Love you, my "napkin alert" friend.

Video Game

So I guess there is a video game out now where the challenge is to see how quickly you can fill up the Gulf of Mexico with oil. The catch is, you have to finish filling it up before Obama is done playing a round of golf.

Ha ha ha.

Come on... laugh... it is kind of funny... you have to admit.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


"First class... up in the sky!"

Yep, that's my job... glamorous. Want to know why I consider it glamorous? I worked in the following cities the last few weeks: Compton, Inglewood, Glassell Park, Culver City, Long Beach... South LA baby. I even drove down famed "Cherry Avenue" in Compton. I loved every second of it.

I was talking with a liquor store owner when a couple homeboys walked in - I finished my business and walked out. They asked me if I had a boyfriend; I nicely said no. Then one of them walked after me and said, "What!? Girl, get back here! Do you want a boyfriend?" I laughed and said no, thanks!

Oh, Compton.

Losing Our Religion

Interesting link to a new book coming out, titled: "Losing Our Religion." I read through this free chapter and am getting on Amazon to order a copy for myself. Seems like a fresh perspective and commentary on America's slow distancing from its traditionally Christian roots. It also looks like a social commentary on how Obama and the media are BFF (Best Friends Forever) and that is the reason why religion is dwindling from our country. Hmm. Anxious to read it and form more of an opinion on it.

Read an excerpt of the book here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A weekend of ethnic proportions

Yes, a weekend of ethnic proportions. This weekend, I ate the following ethnic foods. Can you guess which foods go with which ethnicity?

1. Bratwurst, potatoes and mustard

2. Pita bread, lamb, cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic and hummus

3. Noodles, beef, carrots, celery, onions, chicken broth, cilantro

4. Curry, chicken, spinach, raisins, rice, nan

(a) Turkish

(b) Vietnamese

(c) Indian

(d) German

Don't ask me which one my favorite was... I don't think I could even come close to choosing one. It was pretty amazing eating German food again, after spending 18 months in Germany. Same goes for Turkish food - although, I didn't spend 18 months in Turkey, it kind of seems like I did because Turkish people are all over in Germany. I have not visited Vietnam or India... yet.

Monday, July 5, 2010

San Fran

I'm in San Francisco for the week. I came up on Friday to spend the weekend with some friends, now I'm staying here the rest of the week for work.

More to come on my adventures, but I do just want to say that Friday night, I stayed in a one star hotel room in the Tenderloin. *Shutter.*

There is a difference between being cheap and being smart. I learned that difference Friday night. Yes, I checked out early the next morning.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Freshman year

Have you recently looked back at pictures of yourself from high school or your freshman year of college? Here is how your experience will probably go: your eyes will widen a little as you slowly start to shake your head... then you'll bow your head, close your eyes, and laugh...

[note: this only really works if you have been out of high school for more than four or five years... if not, then your pictures on Facebook are probably still socially acceptable.]

If you haven't done this, you should. I'll bet you ten bucks you'll get a really good laugh out of it.

I did.