Tuesday, July 19, 2011

7 Days

The time has come.  In 7 days, I'll be in Day 1 of the 3-day long Bar exam.  And so now, it's time that I surrender my "life" (if you can even call it that right now) to Bar/Bri so I can crush this thing.

I promise I'll get back on the L.A. List as soon as I'm done!  I plan on doing nothing but fun things that will provide you with plenty of stories and photos to fill the gaps in your day.  It will be glorious.

Till then, my friends, take comfort in the fact that your life is, in all likelihood, much more awesome than mine.  I'll miss you more than you'll miss me (trust me on that one).  Ciao!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Come Away With Me

{SFO's not-so-new-anymore terminal}

I want to arrive and not know where I am.  I want to step off a plane and hear gibberish on the overhead announcements.  I want to hail a cab that isn't yellow.  I want to feel the clumsy bulk of a Let's Go book my purse.  I want to make plans, and then get lost and discover something better.  I want to see the days flying past, but know there's no rush.  I want to feel the wind blowing over a different ocean.  I want to fall asleep to an unfamiliar rhythm.  I want to feel foreign.

Foreignness is my comfort zone, as backwards as that sounds, and right now, I want nothing more than to be there and not here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

First Fridays (Two Fridays Ago)

For those of you who don't live in L.A., First Fridays is an event on the first Friday of the summer months where all the stores and art galleries on this main street in Venice (Abbott Kinney) stay open late and food trucks flood the streets.  It's like a frat party for 20-somethings who like to pretend that they're really there for the art.  I kind of love it (except for the part where the streets get too crowded for my claustrophobic self...but before that, I love it).

Just a few snaps from the galleries we peeped in:

Collages using wheatpaste from the Faile Artist Collective, aka artists Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller out of Brooklyn.

 {I feel awful but I lost the flyer I had picked up with this artist's name on it.  If you recognize his/her work, give me a shout!}

And in case you were overwhelmed by all that culture...

{This time around we had pork buns at the Flying Pig food truck, but there's always a next time.}

Something for everyone here in L.A.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thanks [Sharz]

Today's top search terms:

"ashley newly la lawyer crazy girl"
Fairly accurate portrayal except I'm not really a lawyer yet, but I'll take it.

"ashley newly la giant nerd"
Less enthused about this one.

"beautiful woman in bar/bri berkeley 2011"
Why yes, that IS me.

In Search of Silence

Please let me rant tell you about my yesterday.

It's 10:00am.  I get to the library as it opens (as per uge/yooj).  I spread my stacks of books and pens and papers and supplies (re: candy) all over the table with purposeful selfishness to ward away potential desk-mates.  I open my books, highlighter poised.

And then, the loudness begins.

It starts with the piercing chip bag scrunch.  I could have sworn it was one of those ear-damaging Sun Chips bags, but apparently they stopped making those.  Whatever.  Still not socially acceptable.

Then it's the other guy with the iPod.  Volume pumped to the max so that everyone knows that that guy's listening to techno to get his study on.  To all you people out there who think your headphone buds are vacuum sealed to your ears, letting nary a sound wave escape: I CAN HEAR YOU (unfortunately).

But it's OK, I can do techno.  At least it's not trumpet scales or something.

A few minutes later, the crazy old man at the corner desk joins in.  Apparently, the lists of numbers he's been furiously copying have given him all sorts of new material for his conspiracy theory, which he so generously decides to share with all of us.  Who knew there was so much hidden meaning in the page numbers from the index of a coffee-table book about the history of L.A.

He tires himself out; he falls asleep.  Now it's just the iPod depriving me of 10% of my brain power.  Until around 11:00am, that is, when we get the CD riflers.  Yes, apparently people in the world still listen to CDs, and all of them come to the Santa Monica library to check them out.  They never know what they want, so they rifle.  Endlessly.  Slamming the plastic cases back against each other like they mean it.

My annoyance builds with every slap, and anger punctuates my thin layer of focus.  I glare over the railing down at the CD racks, hoping to at least make someone feel bad.  No one notices.  Of course not; they are too busy slapping CD cases togetherW. T. F.

In a moment of attempted rationality, I console myself with the thought that this is a public library, after all, so I really don't have a right to complain, right?  <Cue crazy guy yelling about Vietnam.>  Too public for me.

So I relocate.  I sweep up my books and I trudge through the stacks, seeking a desk without a deskmate, a corner without an iPod.  I climb stairs, I peer around corners, I pace hallways.  And then, I find it: The Perfect Study Spot.  A corner with only one desk.  By a window (with the shade down).  Surrounded by books.  A nice painting on the wall.  Odor-free.

....And right on top of the blasting air conditioner.

So I shivered in silence.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Look Up

Even in the trenches of BarBri, the sun shines through if you look for it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Help Support Warm Current!

Today I'm going to take a little break from talking about myself *gasp*, and give the spotlight over to one of my favorite organzations: Warm Current.

Warm Current is a non-profit co-founded by one of my friends from law school, Quinn Rotchford, and inspired by a hope to "spread the pure joy of ocean recreation to individuals who otherwise could not afford it, both in our local communities and around the world."  They've got a good thing going.

It all started when Quinn spent some time traveling around South America with some of his friends, and on his return, he was inspired to do something to benefit the children living in the coastal communities who didn't have the luxury to be able to experience the ocean and surfing like he did.  Most people would write a check and send it on its merry way to "Children's Charity Inc.," but Quinn and his friends did something bigger.  They started their very own 501(c)(3).  (Yeah, they're that kind of people.)  Brian and his little brother have been helping out with the operation, too (so maybe we're almost kind of those kind of people?).

To date, Warm Current has donated over 250 wetsuits to underserved communities all over the world including Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Morocco.  And they also run surfcamps in the Pacific Northwest (Quinn's home territory) for underserved and at-risk youth.

{surf camp kiddos}

Awesome, right?

If you like what you've heard and you're in an altruistic state of mind, I've got some info for you on how you can lend a hand.  From now until July 31, Warm Current is running a campaign called the "Faces" campaign.  It works like this: you donate $5 toward the purchase of a kids surfcamp trailer, and you submit a message or photo along with it; then when Warm Current buys the trailer, they make a mosaic to decorate the side of it out of all the pictures and messages submitted (kind of like this -- did you see that YouTube montage?); then the happily decorated trailer travels around to start up kids surf camps and spreads oceanic joy all over the world.  If you're the shy type, you don't have to submit a picture of yourself -- it can be a picture of a nice sunset, your dog, yo mama, whatevs.  If you're not feeling the mosaic thing but you still think Warm Current is awesome (it is), then click here to find other ways you can help out (and I know your girlfriend will thank me when you get rid of that old wetsuit that's been stinking up your apartment).

Thanks for tuning in and for all of your help!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Did You Find What You Were Looking For?

{appropriately random}

One of the best parts of writing this blog is getting to see the behind-the-scenes search terms that lead you lovely readers to my corner of the internet.  Yes, in case you didn't know it, I get to see the trail you leave that gets you here.  (Creeped out yet?)  Oh, you thought there was still some thin screen of privacy between your laptop and mine allowing you to keep a semblance of dignity in your internet persona?  Sorry to burst your bubble, but your secrets are not safe with Google.*  JK.  Kind of.

Anyway, this week was an especially amusing week (for me) over in the Stats tab.  For these hapless searchers, I imagine it was less amusing and more dissatisfying when they washed up on this blog.  But now, their misfortune will become your amusement.  So here are my three fave searches of the week:

"basketball player who wears lipstick" -- Well yes, I did mention a basketball player, and I did entitle a post "Lipstick," but sadly, I have nothing to offer you that combines those two things.  I wish I did, though, because I think that a basketball player wearing lipstick would greatly enrich my content.

"ashley bachelorette ace hotel palm springs" -- hmm maybe someone is planning a second, post-marriage bachelorette party for me?  (If so, you have my full endorsement.)  But if you were just trying to stalk pictures of me at my bachelorette party, I can assure you that that is a futile exercise as I am not so naive as to allow such indecencies to escape into the interwebs.  And it wasn't at the Ace Hotel.  Oh, you were looking for one of those other gazillion Ashley's in the world, who actually was cool enough to have her bachelorette party at the Ace.  Yeah, sorry for sidetracking your search; I'll get out of your way now.

And my ALL-TIME FAVORITE: "celebrities playing with each other."  Oh man.  Looks like I've really accomplished something meaningful here on this blog of mine.  I'm so glad that these are the kinds of searches that bring y'all over.

With that, I wish you happy searches and happy weekend.

* Don't get me wrong -- I think Google is FAB.  Clearly, I am using their blog platform.  And their email platform.  And many of you use their search platform to find me.  Plus, Google Preschool.  Yeah.  Best company ever?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Same

                           July 4, 2010                                                                      July 3, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Party in the U.S.A.

In honor of our great country's birth, I bring you today a guest post from one of America's biggest fans and most loyal supporters.  An avid follower of local and national politics, a Revolutionary War know-it-all, and a guy who once said that when he retires, he'd like to teach civics to high schoolers -- ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Mr. Brian Pearson (aka my husband) and his Top Five Reasons for Loving Amuuurica!

{the beach today}

Happy two hundred and thirty fifth birthday America!  For those of you who don't celebrate America's overall number-oneness the other 364 days of the year, I give you the top 5 reasons that you should be proud to be an American (unless of course you're British, Canadian, or some other silly nationality, in which case I'm sorry, and you might want to look away while I enumerate our awesomeness).

5. While the rest of the world is freaking out about rising food prices, we're busy trying to explain why ours are so low.

4. We've had our fair share of goofy white guys in the Oval Office, but could you imagine if this guy was going to be our king?!

3. Some people think it's a bad thing that we're numero uno in the obesity category, but all those eating skills come in handy.  Just ask American hero, Joey Chestnut.

2. Freedom isn't free, but $357.28 buys you an AK-47.  (Laugh, but you'll be thankful when the Soviets, Chinese, North Koreans invade)

1. There are 35 countries in North and South America, but there is only one group of people known as "Americans."

Here's hoping you have a patriotic, fun, and supremely American Independence Day.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The W

Remember when I said I was going to the W Hollywood for a Duke Alumni event and I got all excited about getting to meet Grant Hill?  Well here's where I recount that fabulous celebrity meeting, right?  Unfortunately not.  In fact, I have several things to apologize for in today's post:

1. Grant Hill was in fact not present at our alumni event.  Brian seems to have lied miscommunicated.

2. I left my SD card at home -- seriously devastating.  I actually considered going home to get it but that would have been craziness in LA traffic.

3. I have like zero minutes right now to write you something that really encapsulates the coolness of the W Hollywood.

But, let it be known, this was the most awesome alumni event I could ever imagine.  There was an all-Duke band that was really legit (Delta Rae, also so emo in that picture) - I was impressed! - and a LOT of people showed up, including a few girls from my sorority that I haven't seen in years!  Mostly, it was just refreshing to see so much Duke spirit since generally, outside of Duke's stone walls, everyone's a hater (or a poser).  And it also just felt nice to be able to relax around people with a common experience to bond over.  It made me feel a little bit less lost in this big city.

And now, here's all I've got for eye candy.  Please don't kill me for putting up these iPhone pics.  Just know it hurts me more than it hurts you.

That's all for today my pretties, but oh man do I have a surprise for you on Monday.  (Spoiler: a guest post in honor of the 4th!)  I'm SO excited about it.  And you should be too!  Happy FRIDAY!