Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I chew on non-food items.  All the damn time.  Seriously, I don't even notice when I'm doing it anymore.  Here is a list of things I love to chew on:

1) cheap plastic pens (especially the tops)
2) water bottles
3) erasers
4) silly putty
5) the rubbery casing that surrounds my fancier pens
6) paper clips
7) finger nails
8) rubber bands
9) straws

I know you're thinking that chewing on something like a paper clip could be painful and dangerous, but don't worry - I am a professional.  I have methods to avoid the pain and only experience the pure joy that comes from this bizarre oral fixation.  The worst thing about this addiction is probably the embarrassment I feel at work when someone wants to borrow one of my pens.  Literally all of my pens have been so chewed up that it looks like a wild animal attacked them.  They don't even look like pens.  Anyway, here is how the scene goes down:

Co-worker: Hey Ashley, can I borrow a pen real quick?
Me: (panicking, sweating, and glancing nervously at the cylindrical plastic graveyard that is my pen holder) Um ... um ... sure.

That's when I take way too long to choose a pen for them.  I attempt to find the least disgusting one, but they're all pretty much horrific.  Not to mention that when they ask me, I'm usually in the process of further destroying one of my pens and have the mangled top of it hanging out of my mouth.  So, I can usually see the immediate regret in their eyes as they are faced with that sight.

Me: (handing them a heap of plastic and praying it isn't a freshly chewed one with saliva stuck to it) Here you go!
Co-worker: (examining the pen as if I had just handed them a dead rat) Uh, thanks.

They write as quickly as possible, trying to not touch the pen with any unnecessary fingers, and then practically throw it back at me while wiping their hands on their pants.  Then they usually scurry off to the bathroom to wash off the shame.  I am left totally mortified.

But does this stop me?  Do I then make any and all efforts to stop this awful behavior? 

No.  No I do not.  It feels too good.  And in my head, I say things like ...

"Hey it's ok, at least you're not a raging alcoholic.  At least you're not a crack addict.  So you like chewing on things - so what?  Babies chew on things all the time and no one says anything to them!  Maybe I'm some rare breed of human that actually continues teething through their entire adult life!  People should think about THAT before they judge me.  Yeah.  Yeah, I feel better.  Ok, I need a pen.  Now."

Speaking of babies, oh my god do they have the most amazing-looking things to chew on!  I am so jealous when I see a baby happily chewing on a squishy plastic teething ring, especially the water-filled ones.  Why don't they make things like that for adults?  I need a company to come out with some adult-appropriate chewing item that won't destroy my teeth any further.

Again, I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking: gum.

Gum and I get along pretty well, actually, but the texture just isn't solid enough for me.  Plus, the flavors can be overwhelming.  If they made a gum that was 10 times more solid and was plastic or rubber flavored, I would be all over it, believe me.  But they don't.  This is why Willy Wonka needs to be real.  Surely a man who can fit an entire 3 course dinner into a piece of gum could create these things for me.  I'd even offer to babysit the Oompa Loompas for him while he was hard at work.  Well, unless they did that let's-surround-this-chick-and-sing-about-her-personality-flaws thing.  Then I would probably freak the fuck out and bolt.

By the way, I have been chewing on a pen top the entire time I've been typing this.  I actually need to get some new pens because these are the same ones I've been chewing for a couple months now.  There's nothing quite like the feel of brand new pen plastic when you take that first bite.  Mmmmmm.  Oh, I should probably make it clear that I don't get any sexual pleasure out of doing these things.  I realize it might sound like I do.  You're probably reading this like, "Damn, Rick sure does have it easy if all it takes to turn Ashley on is showing her a new pack of Bics," but honestly, it's not like that.

On a side note, my brother has a thing for chewing ice, and whenever my mom catches him doing it she gives him a lecture about how he's going to ruin his teeth.  When I see this interaction, I think 2 things:

2) When she finds out what I chew on, she's going to disown me.

So there you have it.  If all the previous blog posts didn't quite convince you that I'm 100% a weirdo, this should do it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Joe Update

I know I wrote a Joe blog not too long ago, but I got some good quotes recently, so I just have to share them with you all.

1) Halloween

Joe informed me that last year for Halloween, he dressed up as Jesus (big surprise) and got super wasted and ended up passing out by 11pm.  He also apparently fell off the bed at some point during the night, but he doesn't remember doing that.  Instead of taking full responsibility for his actions, Joe chose to blame the costume.  He says that since he was dressed as Jesus, people expected him to be able to drink huge quantities of alcohol with no problem.  When I asked why they would expect that, he simply said,

"You know, 'cause of that whole water into wine thing.  I mean, Jesus is supposed to be able to drink like a motherfucker!"

This year for Halloween, Joe is either dressing up as a chicken or a penguin.  My vote is for penguin.

2) Easter

Joe told me yesterday, while we were on the subject of Halloween costume options, that he wants to get a giant bunny outfit in honor of the upcoming Easter holiday.  He plans to wear this into work so that his co-workers can take pictures with him.  He also generously stated that they could even bring their kids in for photos.  I gotta say, even though this idea is ridiculous, I would totally take a pic with Bunny Joe.

Joe is also highly concerned about what his wife is making for Easter dinner:

"I wanna have a say in the menu 'cause if I leave it all up to my wife, I'll end up eating asparagus casserole and asparagus ham and asparagus ... on the cob."

Yeah, God knows I hate that asparagus stuff, especially when it comes on the cob. 

3) Joe likes to sing, remember?

Seriously, he sings constantly, always in the high-pitched voice for whatever reason.  As I'm writing this, "What a Feeling" from Flashdance is blaring from his direction, and of course he's singing along.  Anyway, there was an incident earlier this week that had me laughing for a good 20 minutes straight.  There's a guy named Rod who sits next to Joe, and Rod makes a lot of calls to clients and trains them on things and does little important seminars.  Well, Rod was on one of these client calls, when out of nowhere, Joe busts out (in the high-pitched girly voice) with:


I mean, honestly, I have no idea how that song popped into his head, or why he felt the need to holler out that particular section of it, but wow I laughed so hard thinking about how a client had just heard that in the background.  They probably think we're all absolutely insane.

4) Alarm clock

I don't know how Joe and I got on the topic of alarm clocks, but we did.  He was standing at my desk telling me that his wife needs a new alarm clock but he has had the same one for 18 years, and it still works perfectly.  As he was trying to describe how perfect his clock is to me, he struggled to find the most suitable words:

"It's not quite the Jesus of alarm clocks, so I'll say it's the Methuselah.  No wait, what's something that's really hardworking?   Who was that guy that raced the train?  It's like him.  Although, at the end of that story, he died, so maybe that's not the best analogy.  I'll just stick with Methuselah for now."

Guy that raced a train?  What???

Ok, there are your Joe updates for today!  Oh wait, one more - he just sang/shouted "SAY MY NAME, SAY MY NAME" Destiny's Child style.  Oh lord.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Things That Annoy Me: Bowling Alley Edition

I love going bowling, and lately Rick and I have done it quite a bit.  I'm not all that great at it, but it's super fun.  HOWEVER, there are many aspects of being at a bowling alley that definitely get on my nerves:

1) Bad Parents

I don't know what it is about these places, but bowling alleys make a lot of parents completely forget that they have kids.  The kids run around screaming while the parents continue to bowl and have no idea that their kids are nowhere in sight.  To be fair, usually they notice after about 20 minutes or so.  I once saw this mom lose her kid about 4 different times, and when she would go looking for him, she wouldn't even take THAT seriously.  Her idea of looking around for her son involved her peeking under the benches where her family was sitting and then giving up completely. 

These parents also don't try to keep their kids from ruining other people's games.  I've had kids crash into me while doing victory dances after they managed to knock 1 pin down, and the parents don't even call them back to their side of the lane.  I've also had a kid hurl his ball towards me, and again, the parents think that's totally acceptable.  I bet I could make a killing if I promoted an idea like In-Alley Babysitting.

2) Overexcited Underachievers

Usually female.  These chicks will squeal at the top of their lungs for any result other than a gutter ball.  I don't know what would happen if one of them ever managed to actually get a strike - they'd probably die right there.  If they happen to be with a boyfriend, the most annoying thing is when they knock down about 2 pins and even the boyfriend joins in cheering for them.  It makes me wonder if these people behave like this in other aspects of life.  I mean, let's say they manage to cook something without burning it - do they then call everyone they know and squeal on the phone like OHMYGOD GUESS WHAT I JUST DID; YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE IT!!!!!  I don't know, perhaps I should take a lesson from them and learn to be excited about the (very) little things in life ... but I feel like I'm too much of a pessimistic bitch to care about stupid shit like that.

3) Guys Who Think They're Amazing

This pretty much applies to any guy who has ever stepped inside a bowling alley.  I don't know why, but they all feel like they have to look cool while hurling a ball at some pins.  This inevitably results in them looking ridiculous and retarded.  I've seen it all, trust me.  A couple weeks ago, Rick and I were next to a bunch of frat-looking guys (barf), and one of them kept running up with the ball, slamming it down in what he imagined was a manly style ... then, once the ball was rolling, he would finish by going up on his tiptoes while balancing on one leg ... like an arabesque.  Seriously, what the fuck?  It was like: MANLYMANLYMANLYOHIMALITTLEGIRLNOWLOOKHOWPRETTYIAM.

Most of the other guys I see just try to roll/throw the ball as hard as humanely possible, which more often than not causes it to go straight into the gutter.  Then they stomp off cussing because everyone knows cussing and looking pissed off is also a sign of manliness.  Morons.

4) People Who Steal My Damn Ball

I don't particularly like the fact that I'm forced to share the ball holder thing (and the computer) with another group of people, but I deal with it.  Well, I deal with it until one of them uses my ball.  I HATE THAT.  I know they have their own f-ing ball to use, but no, because theirs didn't come out of the dispenser fast enough from their last roll, they just grab mine.  Last weekend, this chick kept doing that, and I finally had to let her know who was boss.  When she and I both happened to be up at the same time, I glared at her meaningfully then violently grabbed my ball in a clear display of, "This is mine, biatch!"  Luckily, she got the message and didn't touch my ball for the rest of the evening. 

Rick hates this too.  A little kid kept stealing his, and I mean, if it's a kid I would normally be more forgiving, but this goes back to the whole thing about how parents let their kids do anything they want while bowling, so it pisses me off no matter the age of the criminal.

5) The Ancient Technology

Ok, I'm sorry, but how long have bowling alleys been around???  You'd think that by now, I could get through a game without the damn pin resetter malfunctioning.  At least once during a bowling session, all of these things will happen to me:

- The pins will just lie there after I knock them down and not get cleared
- The pins will get cleared but not reset
- Everything will get cleared and reset but the score won't change
- Everything will get cleared and reset and the score will change to an incorrect number

What makes it worse is when everyone's lanes are screwing up at the same time, so you can't even flag down a staff member to correct it.  So basically, in an era where we can have things like smartphones and 3d television, why the hell can't bowling work properly?  Argh.

Even with all of these annoyances, I keep going back.  The only decent-sounding reason for this that I can come up with is just that bowling kicks ass.  Next time I'm gonna go for a personal best and try to hit 120!  Woo!

Friday, April 1, 2011


Joe is pretty much the most entertaining guy at my office.  He loves to talk/debate with people, and he's fairly loud, so I can listen in on almost all of his conversations.  His views on certain things are at times ridiculous, but he will defend them to the end.  I think the best way to go about explaining Joe to you guys is just to provide a list of random facts.  Here we go, and no, I'm not making ANY of this up.

1) Joe has a Jesus obsession.

Last year, his focus was on "Baby Jesus" and he would talk about him constantly.  I think he even had a picture of an infant Jesus somewhere on his cubicle.  In all conversations, he would talk about how Baby Jesus played a part in all his decisions.  This year, it's just Jesus in general, so I guess Jesus has grown up.  Joe says he's "really tight" with Jesus, so we should all listen to him when he talks about how we'll be judged and what Jesus will or will not like.  I don't consider Joe to be a religious person, so that just makes it even weirder.  I think he thinks of Jesus the same way kids think of imaginary friends.

2) Joe loves to sing.

He will sing 80's songs at least twice a day, and it's always in a high-pitched falsetto.  His favorite Christmas song is "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey.  He usually changes the lyrics to "All I want for Christmas is Joe" when he sings that one.  I once got into a debate with him about the lyrics to Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal."  Now, I'm sure you all know I am basically the MJ expert, but Joe tried for about half an hour to convince me that the song said "Eddie, are you ok?" instead of "Annie."

3) Joe has a fear of odd numbers.

Seriously.  For example, if you were to give him some candy, and you gave him 3 pieces, he would give one of them back to you.  He just can't handle it.  Although, trying to give him candy would probably never work because of the next fact:

4) Joe also has a fear of germs.

Now, this one is extreme.  He will not touch anything that someone else has touched without first sanitizing it.  He will not shake your hand, and if he has to, he will race back to his desk to use hand sanitizer immediately afterwards.  He will not use anything in the office kitchen for fear that someone else's dirty hands have touched it.  He will not share food or drinks with his wife.  Even if something is individually wrapped in protective plastic, he most likely still won't use it because people have touched the protective plastic wrapper.

5) Joe doesn't know how a lot of things in the real world work, and he is just generally odd.

We are currently doing a wellness program at work, in which, if you want, you can track how many cups of fruits and vegetables you eat each day.  Well, when Joe saw that email, he rushed over to my desk to ask me how big a cup was and how many did I think he could eat in one day.  He, having no concept of a cup, estimated that he could easily consume 24 cups of fruit a day, and I could not convince him otherwise for quite some time.  The wellness thing also includes wearing a pedometer to track your steps each day.  Joe informed me that his plan for this was to strap his pedometer to his cat and make the cat run around the house.

He also recently asked me the best way to go about begging people for money.  See, Joe is on this kick about asking strangers for "a dollar" until he has enough dollars to pay off his house.  He told me that he was just planning on going up to people and saying "Give me a dollar!"  I told him he should ask more nicely, and he said "Oh ok, so something like ... 'Give me a dollar?'?"  I told him to maybe use the word "please" or to at least invent some fake charity that he was collecting money for, but the most polite thing I could get him to agree to was phrasing "Give me a dollar" with a question mark on the end.

While we're on the subject of money, when Joe gave me permission to write this blog entry, he said that if this post sparked a book deal, he wanted 50% of all the money I got for it.  I told him my people would talk to his people.

Yesterday Joe stopped by my desk to say goodbye as he was leaving, and he chose that moment to impart some wisdom:

"Ashley, you should know this:  You can never trust a man who makes an appointment to get his hair cut.  You can also never trust a man who wears a bracelet.  Those are two hard and fast rules.  And I know the bracelet one to be true because I once got laid off by a bracelet-wearing man.  I thought for a year about blowing up his car ... but I don't know how to make bombs."

Believe me, that's not even one of the weirder Joe quotes.  In fact, I might start keeping a list of Joe quotes and posting entries on here that solely consist of all the weird things he said that week.

I love Joe a lot, and he's usually very nice to me ... but yeah, damn, he can get really weird.