Miss Ashley Pants


“The wandering mind’s not always lost”

Tried to watch "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" for the second time last week.

Ben, it's not you, it's me. I'm sure it's a great film, but it's next-level inception depressing just how “it’s me” the issue is. The whole movie’s concept is the “me issue” - I gave this film a second go, and ya wanna know what happened?

I started... daydreaming.

And missed like... all of it.

I’ve always assumed daydreaming is a bad thing, because that’s what they tell you in school (AKA the acquired helplessness institute where I earned an idiocy degree). But after this one article I half read (half daydreamed through), I realized that there is such a thing as “constructive daydreaming”.

When this Einstein doc came on a few weeks ago, I thought it was lame they’d reduce homeboy's “thought experiments” to trivial "daydreaming". But, there's nada trivial about it. It’s all about where your head's at - starting with what you feed it. If you're uni-focused and lost in cyclical thought, your daydreams probably will be obsessive and result in negativity and unhappiness. But if we expose ourselves to new shiz constantly, we get new thought fodder, and a chance to relate that new input back to whatever the initial situation was we got distracted from in the first place.

There were some interesting experiments done to test effective daydreaming. (I say "interesting" because I feel like it's a nice euphemism for "bullshit-'cause-you-can't-see-my-thoughts). Anyway, these researchers gave subjects and a control group a task and instructed only half of them to daydream during it. The ones who did were more productive. In another test, the same thing was done while volunteers had to generate creative ideas for everyday things.


I like this idea of constructive daydreaming, but my issue is the one voyeurism variable.

The thing is, if people are doing something private like daydreaming, they're going to behave like quantum level particles: unpredictable when observed. If I know someone is going to be recording my progress, you can be damned sure I’m going to daydream with a purpose. The purpose of serving my ego, that is. I mean, I’ve got a lot of muh’fkkers to beat and a researcher to impress with my witty creative answers at the end, ya know?

But if I’m at home without some bespectacled lab rat to unlock my noggin and watch the chaotic vomit pour out like a fire hydrant of shame, what’s the point?

At home, I don’t have to explain to anyone that I lost an hour’s block of time to daydreaming. I don't even have to say that daydream centered on looking out the window and witnessing zombies teeming outta the woods.

Or how I subsequently glanced down at the grass below to see if the mythical ambulating corpses could climb up to my window if they pleased.

Or admit my relief upon visual confirmation that no ladders or footing existed to permit the viscera starved creatures access to my elevated abode.

Or my returned concern at the thought "what if they're like the Z-Day zombies???".

You see? Absolutely none of this ever needs to be verbally cemented into reality so others can judge me. 'cause there’s no notepad to record my neurotic entropy.


It’s interesting though. Sans researchers, I do best with these “thought” or “concept” experiments when I’m in a minimally interactive, public setting. Somebody will say or do one tiny thing and I make a tiny internal connection with it. After that, my brain's off to the races.

I can have a whole cascade of “Aha!” moments simply from a little old lady’s gait or some truculent child’s cries of protest about keeping on his shoes. Contrarily, I could sit for hours in solitude and get not shit done.

If you’re in a creative field, the only way to retain these fleeting nuggets of compressed cognitive carbon, is to do the spastic thing and write 'em down right away. None of this “I’ll remember it later” bullshit.

In the end, the whole constructive versus compulsive daydream capacity probably has more to do with location – both physically and emotionally. The latter, we modify by willingness to alter action, reaction, and what we expose ourselves to.

And the former’s not terribly tough to control.

Unless – of course - you wake up tied to a fluorescent lit dungeon pipe against the soundtrack of distantly dripping water and start sorting through the roofie colada fog - only to hazily observe the walls are neatly decorated with easy access torture tools and bits of brain.

In that event, I’d suggest trying your hardest to constructively daydream.

Starting with an escape plan, perhaps.


And, yes. I often imagine a reality where Bates is cradling a sledgehammer in the corner and staring me down as I sit bound to my laptop marinating in the absence of creative inspiration.


The queen stays in the picture!

Despite my dislike of celebrity deification, I grew up like lots of li’l girls – counting on landing looks like Gwen Stefani, or the ever-classic icon she emulated, Marilyn Monroe.

And then being obviously disappointed like 80% of the population who might've been happier had they just seen her more relateable off-camera snappies like this one:


(Maybe it's 'cause she's having a barbiturate barbeque by the pool, but homegirl looks far happier sans makeup, and with her dog and stuff.)

Given the many crappy attempts to channel the retro-starlet in various films (which totally missed the mark), I was kind of disappointed when “My Week With Marilyn” came out several years ago. Mind you, I liked it as a chick flick. Really. And Michelle Williams did quite well at easing into the role without coming off like a parody. Much like Williams’ husband Heath - who visibly had traces of “The Joker” persona (the lip licking and Lynchian voice) going into subsequent interviews prior to his passing (R.I.P, homie) – Michelle too seemed to carry remnants of Monroe into discussions like the round table with other big timers.

In fact, Franco kept unknowingly giving her this look whenever she spoke:


To be fair, everyone was trying their hardest to hide that same reaction.

It's to be expected, I suppose. I'm not in film, but we are what we practice repeatedly and our perceived reality is that in which we submerge ourselves consistently. For an actor (or anyone in any creative sort’ve profession), I suppose you’d better have a pretty good outside-of-work life in order to keep in touch with reality and avoid the void of cray-cray vacuuming you up.

And exactly that – reality – is my only real gripe about the film.

Not that it inaccurately portrayed Monroe (they never can perfectly, can they? Everyone has a different version). But as the tale was meant to be from the kid who played the “third” on the set - the Colin character (and meant to be based on actual events) , I had a problem with believing even the film's creators believed it. When I first saw the film, I liked the easy fluff of it, Michelle’s performance, the wardrobe, lighting, cinematography, and that it was based on a true story. But something bothered me in the content that I could neither shake nor put my finger on.

After seeing the documentary "The Prince, The Showgirl, and Me" - about the actual kid on the production, I think I know why.

A lot of "My Week With Marilyn" comes off like a reenacted lie you might tell your buddies to sound cool (“Marilyn and I had a secret sexless affair!”).


There's a phone call conversation scene that seemed contrived. Then there was the scene at the end - her showing up at the pub to say goodbye to him - that was lacking in veracity also.Then, at other points it even morphs into what sounds like delusions of grandeur (Marilyn insisting Colin show up at her house when she doesn’t know him, Colin heroically scaling a ladder to Marilyn’s room, her handlers give up on trying to unlock the door while a stranger was in the room with her).

When I finally saw the documentary based on the journals from the actual real-life Colin, I realized the kid wasn’t even some square or doe eyed English ingénue. He was far more intriguing- a pretty cheeky closet queen. To be honest, the documentary was far better and the real Colin seemed like far more fun.

But even the documentary seemed like bullshit.

I mean, he documented day after day of production and, for whatever reason, kept out all of his alleged dalliances with Miss Monroe… until the very end. The whole affair was neatly consolidated into one letter for a friend. Convenient.

None of these stories are probably accurate portrayals of what truly transpired. And no one really cares. None of this historical chronology about people made of the same meat drawn from stardust as you and I... really fckkng matter.

But, my thing is, so long as we’re gonna keep making faux-reality movies that require negative twelve percent of our brainpower to view, can we please, please keep in the snarky gay guy?

Or just do a reprisal with the kid from Glee – “My week with Britney”

Yeah. Let’s make that happen - even though I kinda feel like the whole movie’d be a peen equipped fangirl following her around like a lapdog while she makes this face:


(Yes, he's definitely right behind you.)


Dear Starbucks: Bring back seasonal drinks till it’s warm, thx

Winter in Virginia is like the annoying ex who you think finally got the picture and is leaving you alone. And for like a week or two, it’s nothing but sunshine and windows down and you feel free as a fkkng bird. Then, wham, that bastard Jack Frost comes back like Cusack under your window - boom box, luminaries, and all.

(Although the only thing they share in common is their nipple perking capacity.)


Yeah, yeah fine. We can go out if you gimme your trench coat.

I’m freezing.

While I’m totally powerless over the weather and carping’s of no use – what’s going on, Spring? It’s the ides of April, it’s snowing in New York, and I had take my leg warmers back outta wardrobe retirement.

The nice thing about warm weather is I start to feel less compelled to inundate myself with sugary coffee drinks and not burn ‘em off as I GrizzlyBear into my chick-cave of cozy isolation and rapidly manifesting adipose tissue. But today, as I reluctantly half-assed my stretching routine in name only, that old familiar feeling of caffeine cooing my name like a cinematic 50’s starlet, emerged for the third time today – and long before noon. To my shame, I acquiesced.

As is my nature, I immediately began mentally justifying my sucrose concoction as I slurped it greedily from its paper container. “It’s probably not that bad for me… I’ll use it for energy – to do some writing… I bet it’s not even that many calories… I’ll eat healthy at dinner… I’ll burn it off later… I wonder if the dog shat on the carpet again…Is that a hangnail in my shoe?”

(Inner femme monologue is so painfully cliché)

Thusly, I just wanted to come home and see what kinda cardio debt my extra Starbucks expeditions incur:




Geezus. Apparently, if I don’t want to commit to running until my shins splinter into a peeled banana bones every time I visit my caffeinated wondrous Wonka Factory, I can get one of these instead:


Right. I might as well burn my clitoris off while I'm at it. I mean, why have any fun in life ever?

Also, why are you comparing my gastro-gasms to shit like goldfish and fries? I should find whoever made this infographic and sneak "Two girls one cup" into their favey porn files for such a heinous creation.

Fcckit. I’ll just run until my toenails develop a sanguine crust.

And so long as we all have to undertake this chilly reality together, let’s unify with signs and protest the following chant until it becomes java law:

“Seasonal joe
doesn’t go!
til temps aren’t!
So goddammed low!”


Let’s all take a moment and be grateful these gremlins are extinct

Aww. Traffic sucks? Coffee line too long? Pay freeze this year?

That sucks for you – but not nearly as much as being swallowed whole by a giant serpent that looks like it crawled outta a flick collaboratively created by King and Spielberg . Times like this – when life feels shitty - it’s good to be grateful. And what better way than to pause and reflect on what we do have – like all of our arms and legs without crunched or protruding bone shards. Here, I’ll help you out in a guided gratitude mediation, as we become mindful…

Today we’ll take a moment to appreciate that these retro-behemoth boogey men aren't a part of our modern reality:

First up is Duckaphelant Rex:


His gov'ment name is actually Platybeledon grangeri, but he actually looks exactly like my sister’s pit bull does after capturing a shoe and trying to disintegrate it using sheer jaw powered velocity.

And here we have a winged demon:


Meganeura Monyi is massive. Muh’fkkr’s wing span was a foot long. (And here I spend all summer complaining about little horseflies and gnats as I try to tranquilly catch a batch of cancer in the sun.)

Next, we have a MonStrich:


I dunno if the Dinornis Robustus was dangerous at all, but he just looks like an asshole. Maybe that’s because he's 12 feet tall and resembles that timidly violent thing from Harry Potter, though. The hipa-whatever?

Heep! Heep-hop! HeepHopAnonymous?!?!


The Titanoboa Cerrejonesis was a supersized 42 foot long and 2,500 lb snake that we're only 60 million years past getting over.


“Excuse me, I’m looking for a tree with an apple and a couple naked kids? I have a woman’s life to ruin and a long-running mythology to initiate”

“Yeah, man – right over there”


Hey, you know when you eat magic mushrooms and suddenly a giant scorpion materializes from another dimension in the corner of your room?

Me either. ‘cause I was born with feathered levitating devices and devoid of genitalia or sin. However, if you’ve ever made the mistake of mixing psilocybin while watching “The Cell”, maybe you time traveled and saw this friendly guy:


Don’t let those 18 inch claws fool you, Jaekelopterus Rhenaniae isn’t your sweet, every day, crocodile proportioned scorpion.

And now, for a 20 ft sloth:


Megatherium Americanum was a giant sized sloth wh– whoah...


I knew that sleazy sloth meme was onto something. Just look at this furry ass Amazon working that Jurassic pole.

That's it for now.

If no one ate you today, thank your higher power.

Even if you think I’m talking about a telephone pole



This is your captain speaking. Burn your passports.

For some reason, I got my passport updated six years ago. #delusionsofplandeur

And as the weather improves, I realize I've yet to partake in the cliché Eat, Pray, Malaria experience I so long to enjoy.

Part of it’s lack of funds. Part of it’s plain old fear of the unknown. Part of it’s that I have a finite amount of patience when it comes to airports (and I feel like my reserves got temporarily tapped after my last trip to L.A.) But mostly, it’s about funds. And I don’t just mean the flight and stuff either. I’d like to pretend I could do the hostel thing or backpack, bumming around all Bohemian on a bike in Anywhere, Earth. But the truth is, I think I’d short circuit a little once the gravity of such a low-maintenance set up set in.

I might even be alright with nixing makeup or internet for a bit. But taking away my coffee or soup cups? That's akin to fisticuffs. Punishable by quarter horsing. I’m a wildebeest upon waking. Don't care where I am.


I don’t need all this crap I say I need.

Not to keep converting oxygen to carbon dioxide, anyway. And the nature of that changes zero whether I’m here or across the globe. However, I’m unwilling to give it up here. And so long as that’s so, it’s not going to be much of a pleasant holiday I'm footing funds for, if I have to do without it on top of jet lag, TSA molestation, getting pickpocketed by reprobate children, and gesticulating a senselessly improvised sign language to the locals - all the while thinking “I shoulda done Rosetta Stone…”

The point being, when I go - I want it all. Locale and amenities.

So, on a rainy day like this, fccka passport. Burn it. I’mma armchair pilot this bitch to places that have both.

“This is your captain speaking.

I’m in the cockpit playing video games and drinking ayahuasca tea. 'cause this is a fantasy. And I do what I want.

Also, if you look under your chairs, you all get free flotation devices!!!!1 And you’ll need them because our first water landing destination’s in the Maldives…”

Choose-your-own-adventure moment: to drown in a watery grave, stay here. To spend a week in the Maldives before heading to other luxury resorts, put your cursor over lady's bum and click:


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Neural Holiday with Captain Ash

“This is your captain speaking. Our day of armchair traveling initiates in the Maldives…”

So, this place called Cocoa Island is a buncha floating water suites with private diving reefs.



It looks like a dream. Yet, I’m just curious to know if I’d be as excited if they'd shown a fat old man in the photo, stumbling gracelessly through those waters with the gait of a corpulent corpse – instead of, ya know, that schmexy lady.

Then there's this other Maldives hotel - The Conrad Maldives Hotel.

After a 30-minute private seaplane trip, you arrive to a feast of a kajillion types of kinds of cheeses and wines to eat, while a kajillion types of sea creatures wish they could do the same to you, and settle for undressing you with their eyes.


("Undressing you from your skin suit, that is, Cla-deeece. FFFff-fFFFuuhfFFF!")

I'm just thinking about those nights I wake up at 3 A.M., certain that satan's waiting at the end of my bed - knife and a fork in hand, and a napkin tucked neatly into his collar. Somehow a sudden awakening to levitating teeth with fins seems worse.


I like this idea of a “star bed” that rolls in and outta the shelters in Kenya.


Stargazing’s amazing and what better place to do it than somewhere you can actually see the heavens sans light pollution?

But before we start, can you contact the concierge about keeping my outdoor bed outside and sending up a second one that stays inside? I don't need tarantula stowaways, thanks. Also, can I get upgraded to the mosquito net option? I just watched "Mary and Martha" and I'm worried the man in the sky will see this as an opportunity to fulfill my "I'd die to weigh ten pounds less" prayer from last year.


I dunno where this is, but I'm equally enthused and worried for her.

#tooclosetotheedge #makingmeanxious #ruiningthisfantasy


(Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali)



Funny, I have this exact color scheme, but I want to be in their arrangment instead.


Maybe that's 'cause I'm not in South Africa.


(Phinda Homestead, South Africa)

Or 'cause I'm missing the elephants casually loitering in the periphery.


Tree Hotel in Sweden (no, really - that's what they called it) looks pretty nifty:


“What’s in the baaax??!

What’s in the BAA- Oh…

Me? I go in the box? Mmkay.”

Photos from TreeHotel, Harads, Arctic Sweden

There's so much yes transpiring here, that I'm having trouble making fun of it (except for the decor looking a bit like the inside of Clockwork Orange rapee's house.)

Also in Sweden, there’s the Icehotel. Yep, again. That's the actual name.


I know what you're thinking. Yes. Simple name. But the Swedish make the sweetest shit, so they don't have to have extravagant names f- Ohhh you were thinking, "How do folks fckk without melting the bed?"

Yeah. I think this place is more of a novelty visit than copulation locale.

Too chilly to bone.


Also, when I saw this, I remembered that song “The New Zero”.

The lyrics talk about going to a “ice hotel” and for years I thought Rasputina was giving a metaphor where the “new zero” was a new low of ending up in a crack house (“Ice hotel”).

Turns out, nope. I was just overanalyzing shiz as usual.

For example, these actual ice hotels. That exist. In Sweden.

I reduced a beautiful song about a beautiful place to a meth reference … for a decade. That's how small-minded and pessimistic I a-


The French save the day with this pop-artist decorated hotel in Marseille...


(Hotel Au Vieux Panier, France)

Graffiti? Gang signs? frenetically strewn tags 'cross the walls?

Just as I thought. A luxury... CRACKHOUSE.

And the world I've yet to travel - makes sense again already.

"Thank you for flying the free skies. We're preparing for our descent back into reality, so please put on your seat belts, tip your dancers, and stow your belongings - including any expectations about the life you thought you should'a had."


The passion of the crazed

Remember the Van Gogh ear story from elementary school art class?

Wait. Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that we were told stories at age single-digit about the hewn pinnae of deranged painters. To be fair, I think they might have left out the bit about it being for the sake of a hooker.

"What's your five year plan?" "I only have two. And I gave one of them away." "I said 'year'..." "Sorry. Couldn't hear you."

"What's your five year plan?"
"I only have two. And I gave one of them away."
"I said 'year'..."
"Sorry. Couldn't hear you."

As a kind gesture the prozzy told ugly-as-sin Vincent (that’s a paraphrase of a direct quote – not personal observache) that she “liked him”. Unaccustomed to hearing (foreshadow for ya) this, he asked “what do you like about me?” She replied, “Your ears” (probably didn’t have a good follow up lie on deck after ‘I like you’). So he went home, sliced off his sound receiver, and packaged it up pretty for her with the instructions to "guard it carefully".

That same “what do you like about me?” concept was injected into his art, too.

The dude ate, bled, breathed, and shat painting. The proverbial “starving artist”, he'd get money from his brother each week - and he’d only eat using three or four days worth of the donation while the rest went to paints and canvases.

When I heard this, I thought, “Wow. That was really nice of his brother to do.”

His brother was nice - and he wasn’t just avoiding some guilt void either. He took the shiz to a whole ‘nother level, sending a friend (who Van Gogh didn’t know) over to buy a painting. The idea was (since nobody else was buying his art and galleries wouldn’t even take ‘em for free) that a stranger would buy a piece and Vincent could feel good about his art earning cheddah.

Homeboy wasn’t having it, though.

Perhaps a bit batshit - but not a dipshit - he saw through the ruse straight away. That “what do you like about it?” concept – same question he asked the prozzy – came to mind. This guy comes outta nowhere, picks up the first work he sees, and says he wants it. What could he like about it when he didn’t even look it over? Vincent called him on his bullshit, said he KNEW his brother sent him, got mad at the dude and his own brother, and said, “You’re obviously blind to art and I’m not going to exploit a blind man by selling him art.”

He’d give his own ears freely to a sex worker who truly liked them.

But he’d deny his work for money if it meant nothing to the buyer.

I thought, “What an asshole. His bro’s just trying his hardest.”

But the thing is, I forgot how sick the guy was. There was an acquired savant syndrome documentary on Discovery a while ago, where these people get hit on the head or whatever and suddenly can play piano or feel an insatiable urge to paint. It’s not just an “I like it and I’m good at it now” thing, either. They’ll have to stop their car to write or create.

Also, I realized something even worse: I do that too. People will compliment my crap writing and I’ll be like, “Well what did you like about it? Hmmm?! Quote me a line. Recite me paragraph three, verse seven, AS YOU STAND ON ONE LEG!!!1


I see people with passion – and they also have balance. If you’re cutting off everyone in order to create and then morphing into a cornered-rat lashing out sans remorse… is that really passion? Or just a brain-malfunction induced compulsion?

And can too much isolation and creation concentration turn run o’ the mill zeal into lunacy?

More importantly: how was it Mr. PainterPants was financially bereft and bony – but could still afford Roxannes’ red lobe special?


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Junkie reform – spirituality demystified

“There is a lack of scientific evidence documenting how and why 12-step programs work.”


I'm Not Saying It's Magic, But... MAGIC

This was at the end of an article I read recently. And don't get me wrong - the author added that "75 years of history provides more" and it doesn't "need" scientific inquiry. But I'm kinda sick of mysticism where it's not needed. To be fair, Dr. David Sack didn't fail with the majority of his article. And he definitely wasn’t slamming compulsion treatment programs. Sack does comprehend step efficacy for addicts. Indeed, programs like these have helped celebs and Jane Doe’s alike discover the wonderful world of being able to handle life without having to reach for the benzo bottle every time a fork falls from the dinner table or Spot craps on the floor.

So what gives?

Equality, Trust, and Reality - Oh My!

First, one of the most important concepts has nada to do with using drugs or food or anything to feel better. Addicts in a program will tell you that using is a symptom of an underlying unhappiness that needs to be sorted out. By seeing that all the other addicts scattered ‘round the room (regardless of whether they came outta Compton or Beverly Hills) are essentially suffering that same discontent – it creates a level playing field of equality.

And that similarity mindset (coupled with the anonymity principle) lays a foundation for the program and breeds a basis for trust. And that trust is vital if you’re gonna be sharing shame with strangers.

"I'd 13th step me so hard."

"I'd 13th step me so hard."

That may sound kinda Kumbaya. But it’s almost as true as it is important to understanding the scientific explanache.

Amgydala, Duh
The reason I’m sacking Sack’s assessment on the science front is that – while there’s some stuff you’d have trouble describing in the program – not all of it is. So there's no reason for employing the Ancient Aliens dude answer and being lazy.

For example, there was this documentary I saw where a doctor demonstrated via brain scan imagery, what happens in addicts. The brain bit called the amygdala is what regulates stress in people. For addicts, it doesn’t function properly, putting them in a constant state of stress and perceived helplessness.

I thought this was interesting and let it marinate up until I got sent a random TED talk called, “Stress Can Be Your Friend!” The title alone looked really stupid. For some reason (boredom) I watched it anyway.

Hormone Whore

In it, the chick explained how (for any normal person) in times of stress, we release Oxytocin (no, not Oxycontin, ya fckkn fiend). This “cuddle hormone” streams through our blood like a diva, demanding that we do one of two things to relieve stress:

1. Get help… or…
2.Give help.

I knew we didn't have free will, goddammit! We're all slaves to our body chemicals. Faaack!

That said, when we face that stress-induced fear head on, stress levels reduce. When we don't, we look for shit to force-manifest fake serenity. Like drugs. Going back to that amygdala-stress problem in addicts (who don't realize they've got the illness before they take a drug or drink) - because that chemical lowers the excess of stress, they don't need to bother doing what the body asks. Then they get dependent and need more. Anyone can get dependent on chemicals - but not everyone's an addict. The dependent can stop. For an addict, it's inconceivable to go back to the head-hell they used to call home. The new hell of "never enough" is at least punctuated by periodic euphoria.

That it's at the expense of body, family, friends, and finances is of minimal importance to the newly skewed brain.

So, How's A Program Fit The Science?
The isolating nature of addiction (and the fact that the brain physically changes during dependency), makes understanding and changing habits of drug taking to "help or get help" seem preposterous.


However, gaining a network of peeps (who they start to see are more like them and trust) makes that concept become less of an abstract fantasy. The "don’t-be-a-sphincter principles" the program champions make fear less of a deterrent too.

This all parallels perfectly with any worthwhile spiritual path (that hasn’t yet been maneuvered into a buncha fire n brimstone bullshit). Even for regular healthy folk – when our grey matter goes batty, we’re meant to vent or serve.

And the latter's less annoying than it seems. If nada else, it curbs those cognitive “holy fckk; my body’s gonna die and putrify and shit itself one day” moments. Indeed, it's always nice to remember the other animated meat around us is more than an army of robots swathed in synthetic skin.

For the still confused, here's a fiend flowchart I've made for you. It's slightly less challenging to follow - but you gotta start counterclockwise.


"Lack of scientific evidence" my ass.


ASMR – climax of the mind?

I tried, man.

So, you might know I love brain hacks. And not just the self-trickery sort, either. I think I even posted an entry about binaural beats not long ago and how they can tune your brain into everything from sleep to caffeine style inspiration. And there’s heaps of other sound styles like those, too.

For example - ASMR.

Some people (douche residue, I believe they’re collectively called) pronounce it “ASS MAR”. And what it stands for is Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Now, for a long time, I thought this term was reserved for that skin tingly feeling we get when we hear a really amazing song. Wrong. People who experience ASMR actually get this sort of a brain-gasm when they hear certain sounds – paper crinkling, tapping, the sound of someone’s tongue parting from the roof of their mouth, etc.

Those capable of feeling it describe ASMR as “euphoric”.

Not one to pass up a chance to hit my cognitive G-spot (sans having to interact with others or do any manual labor), I set on a Youtube quest. And…the list of videos that came up should have been a deterrent in and of itself.

"Entering Weird Part Of Youtube. Better drink my own piss."

"Entering Weird Part Of Youtube. Better drink my own piss."

Ultimately, I didn’t get it. Is this one of those things where you should have your eyes closed?

After approximately two minute of research (with my eyes open), I decided that:

1. The most effective one still only reminded me of my dog sniffing in my ear while I’m stretching on the floor.

2. That felt more like a spider army had infiltrated my shoulder bones than "euphoria".

3. I sort of wanted to hear how they'd sound after I punched them in the jaw (not saying I wanted to do it - just wanted to know how it'd sound)

4. Salad Fingers was far better at whatever this vocal queef crap is.

For some strange reason, not much research has been done on this yet. (I guess if people start learning ways to get their own serotonin flowing, big pharma’d be big fucked). One researcher’s MRI study of subjects’ brains mid-sensation has yet to be published. Another scientist hypothesizes that the feeling might be a conscious experiencing of one’s own serotonin release. Ya know –the neurotransmitter that makes us wake up and kick ass after a refreshing sleep?

Oh...wait. That explains why I can’t feel it.

Here, you try it out. I can't be bothered anymore.

All this lingual clicking's making me anxious.


Princess Inimical

“I always thought Barbie was a slut”
– my mom.

“I didn’t! I totally loved Barbie!”


The truth is, I’m lying. I knew something was up with Barbie’s overt sexuality – that no women I’d seen or met looked like her – but I didn’t know what a slut was. I wrote a thing a year or two ago about how Ariel and Pretty Woman were released dangerously close to one another for characters who shared so many similarities.

At this point in kidhood, we’re not that ensconced in our egos yet that we feel apt to point out disparities every five seconds as we do in adulthood. Rather, we’re still looking for similarities. In fact, I think I went back to playing the match-card game after my mom decided that letting me watch Roberts get poon pillaged on a piano might be a bit much.

"So, slut squared plus pushup equals Prince Richard Gere...carry the two...double the D's..."

"So, slut squared plus pushup equals Prince Richard Gere...carry the two...double the D's..."

Then recently, I thought about it more. My Barbie chicks had huge tits, long necks, and the sorta faces that usually require plastic surgery. Tink is any dude’s wet dream with her micro-dress, gymnast thighs (seriously how’s she get that from flying?) and her silent saunter. She was just a little tart with wings.

And goddammit I wanted to be her.

Then there’s Ariel - the reason I demanded my first training bra be purple (“I don’t CARE if there’s nothing to put in it!”). And, of course, Jasmine was the reason I spent every summer since fifth grade wearing crop tops with jeans.

It wasn’t until later that I graduated to run of the mill Hollywood objectification.

But something interesting happened then. I started to identify with the villains-in-princesses bodies. Cher’s sorta snotty side (in Clueless). The bitchy chicks in The Craft (love Faruza Balk). Even later on when I was supposed to be an adult, I couldn’t even pay attention to anyone else if Jenny Schecter graced the screen on “The L Word” in all her bitchy lezzy goodness. There’s just something about being a bitch Princess that appealed to me to no end.

Tink - the Emo years.

Tink - the Emo years.

Is it because I wanted to be adored and sexy while remaining on a pedestal?
And the best way to do all three was layer on a cloak of snark for an arm’s length zone of inhibition?

Definitely not. My culture’s not to blame for grooming me. I’m sure I requested the mean streak sleaze gene when they were doling out DNA.

Seriously, though. I try my hardest to nix my nefarious inclinations before they pour outta me. And all femi-nazism aside, it’d be nice for classic characters to have more evenness. This “bad guy” “good guy” shit is useless preparation for the real world. Everyone I know and love and avoid (and me, obv) alike have all displayed the capacity for awesomeness and asshole-ism. It all happens in the same person. When we try to be perfect protagonists and fail at being the sexy star of our own story before we even hit puberty, villainous vixen becomes the wicked witch for which we settle.

So on the count of three, let’s all draw Belle in her boxers, acne cream, and astigmatism glasses. Then Tink after delivering twins. And, finally, Ariel in her alma mater sweatshirt stained with – what?! Sushi and soy sauce??!

Fccking cannibal slut.