Joe and I leave for our honeymoon in two days. We still have lots to take care of and some people to see, but then we will be off to paradise enjoying each other and talking about the exciting future together. It will be glorious and warm and tropical and just thinking about being there makes my heart beat a little faster. I keep fantasizing about stepping off the plane. We haven’t really had a vacation together in 3 years. Additionally, we’ve never had a vacation together where we stay in one place. It’s also been ad adventure of hopping from place to place, seeing this and seeing that. This will be so different and relaxing for the two of us to stay put and relax. I am off to make lists of what to do and what to bring and do laundry and make some lentil soup. Biggest decision is what books to bring. Should knitting come along? Did I mention it’s basically a beach day down here today? This painting makes me relax —

John William Godward – A Congenial Task, 1915.

ADT – America’s Dickiest Technicians

So, about a year ago, at about 2am or so, before Joe was leaving for a week long work trip across the country, we decided to call ADT and see what installation and service was to have our home protected. The lady we dealt with was really nice and sweet and made us feel good, saying she could send someone the next day to install and we would be up and running just in time. Great great great! At the time I suppose we(I) were(was) feel ing very vulnerable. Not only is going from living in a Brooklyn brownstone to an isolated beach community a change of pace, we also had some issues in trusting someone who knew us and what we had. I just wanted to feel safe, so why not trust technology to do this for me? (ugh)

So ffwd about a week or two after we had our service installed and every time we left the house/set the alarm we had a call within 20 minutes that the alarm went off. The first two times we actually turned around — was someone really casing the joint and broke in that quickly after we left? wtf? Each time the house was fine.. so it must have been a glitch, who knows.

So anyway, this ended up happening time and time again .. we have a cat and a small dog, they assured us that the sensor would not pick up on anything under 100 lbs.. well, It was Pippen (the cat) and we ended up having to have a technician come back out (I’m sure we can all agree how freaking annoying it is to have technician window appointments to begin with) — so he comes out, and is weird, as always, and is telling us that since our house is really only 3 rooms that there is nothing he can do for us, but put the sensor in one of the bedrooms, which most likely, a robber, would come into one of the bedrooms to “look for jewelry” — so we ended up putting the sensor in that room, we were also instructed to put anything valuable in there before we left the house. Like, ok? so every time I leave my house I need to go around and gather all my valuable stuff and hoard it into one room? This sounds like a paranoid roller coaster.

SOoOOooo.. of course, the cat still trips the alarm in there, and we end up being at the movies one time it happens, and since ADT can’t get us on our cell the second it happens, they send a cop, which finds no weird behavior, and then we proceed to get BILLED from Toms River Police Department for a “False Alarm” — $100.00! Like, WHAT? what if there was someone in there? how is ADT and TRPD the ones that get to decide what we owe and what for…. I’m annoyed. So we stop using the alarm. It’s becoming more of a job than just worrying about whether or not you are getting broken into. I’ll also add at this point Joe has stopped traveling for work and our nemesis has moved so I am feeling safer anyway on a daily basis. Oh, I’ll also add since the “Restore the Shore” thing has been going on down here we have lived in a constant state of construction work. So there are strange men just walking around our house day in and day out. We have a port-a-potty or two lined up to our property, whenever I go to grab the mail or hang laundry I get hollered or whistled at. Just over it.. all these strangers having opinions and cat-calling.

Okay now I am feeling like the last place I should write about this is online.. also I just had a customer who said “just so you know, there was a break in a few blocks away last night..” like, really?

So when summer comes and we put the AC unit in our bedroom window, we basically stop using the alarm ever because if you have a window open you have to “by-pass” the window to set the alarm and its a really big pain in the ass so we stop. We don’t get broken into. Life continues on. So does our $50.00 a month charge. Imagine if we had been putting that aside for like, health care? For us, or for the animals? We’ve paid $1,100.00 for an ADT alarm that has caused us more paranoia and stress then getting broken into possibly could have.

So I ask Joe a few times if he could please call and cancel our service. It’s not feasible in our home and we don’t use it, what’s the point. So he does.. and they end up slamming us with a $520.00 charge to cancel. I am just so fed up right now I don’t even feel like writing about it. But we are struggling so hard with money the last thing we need is to pay this ridiculous amount for a piece of shit undependable service that has taken up so much time and energy this past year. I’m pissed and ADT can suck it because they suck. If we kept out three year contract we would have paid much more than $520.00 but still, what pieces of shit making us pay that when they are huge corporation that sucks and we are two little poor nobodies who can’t deal with what’s in front of us to begin with and now this. I’m just pissed pissed pissed.

“For a company that’s supposed to make their customers feel safe and secure I felt anything but that with you guys” – Joe on the phone 😉

Back To The Earth

There is nothing to kill a writing buzz like a brain fart on your WordPress password. Like seriously, I can’t handle all the passwords anymore! It’s too much! I surrender. So for now I will write this up in Word, and then in 20 minutes, when I can try again, I will reset my password.

It’s 4:18 on a Saturday afternoon and I have basically wasted this day away. According to me, according to Joe, it’s fine, I needed my rest, and that’s why I love him (although sometimes I wish he rode my ass a little more to get shit done, but that’s a blog post for a different non-Saturday day).

I woke up a little before 10, after having weird dreams about forgetting how to walk (so I skipped instead). I had some leftover baked ziti for breakfast and watched 2 episodes of “Don’t be Tardy” that were on the DVR. Kim Zolciak is my spirit animal, and her husband Kroy, was born on my birthday (#912). I just wish Bravo had hour long episodes because once I’m grooving it’s always over (I just got into this show last week during a marathon). Then I ate some more (English muffin with cream cheese and jelly) and since I was sooooo cold, I found myself under the covers. Stinky soon followed, and then I put on “How to Get Away With Murder” (which I am not loving) and quickly fell asleep for a few hours.

So now I am awake and my Ma is bringing over dinner in a little bit, so I need to clean this place up so it’s presentable. Not kidding our kitchen table is covered in bills, magazines, and apples.

Joe has been at the store since 5:30 AM and he is having a good day. It’s Columbus Day Weekend down here so there are a lot of people sauntering around, most likely closing their homes up for the Winter, but lucky for us, needing coffee and enjoying shopping. It’s weird how people didn’t really shop in the summer, like for things, but as soon as “back to school” season began, people started to buy more physical stuff. It’s like in the summer all you need is the experience but the fall/winter is all about the possessions or something.

I put on Jason Mraz’s latest album, “Yes” – it always makes me feel so much better. I love his music so much it’s my feel good go to jamming. Not even kidding I just start to dance and float around like there isn’t a million things to keep me stapled down. I’m sitting here bobbing my head and shoulders as I write this. This newest album features “Raining Jane” a female rhythmic foursome so it has all these dreamy vocals and drum sessions. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! It’s also a lot more hippy dippy then his other ones, which were a little more about relationships and the fight, this one is about getting back to the earth and self love and taking it easy. I bought this right as we moved into this house last September, and we must have played it 800 times while cleaning/ unpacking/ painting. Isn’t it so fab when one of your favorite artists grows with you? Yeah, I thought so too.

So what else? I am going to get together a bunch of knitted goodies that I made to sell at the store tomorrow. We are setting up a tent out front and I hope it goes off! There is a parade in Seaside so we can expect a lot of traffic. I might even have Joe in the middle of the road juggling to get customers to stop. Maybe we should set up a kissing booth. I don’t know.

I’m going to close this with one more thing, I read the latest “Astro Insight” by my favorite cosmic online lady, Kathy Biel. The Libra New Moon is upon us, and it’s bringing great things (fun fact: we got married during the Virgo New Moon) – you can read it here, but I got the feels when I read the last paragraph, “As the Libra New Moon turns the page, we have the inspiration, tools and incentive to start writing. Word by word, line by line, paragraph by paragraph. This freedom of expression is one of the pay offs of what you’ve come through the past three years. Run with it.” I sent it to Joe (without pointing out my affection for the last paragraph) and our convo went like this –

Joe: you kidding me with that last paragraph?
Ashley: I know!! I wanted to write to you to read the last paragraph specifically
Joe: you’re like a fairy
Joe: my fairy
Ashley: That just made me tear up
Ashley: All I’ve ever wanted was to be someone’s fairy
Joe: you are for a lot of people I think
Joe: certainly me
Joe: you have a beautiful take on life, both the good and bad
Ashley: I’m craving motha f’ing cole slaw
Ashley: i love you
Joe: love you too

He has been very cool and supportive of me re-finding my voice through this blog. I don’t mean to out him with his cuteness but it’s just going to happen so sorry Joe, deal with it. Yes, he jams out to Jason Mraz with me and thinks I am a fairy. He’s all mine.

Um, so I just looked out the window as my favorite song was coming on and a butterfly fluttered by. Thanks, world. I love you. Life is beautiful.

Where did all the bloggers go?

I am going through my bloglovin dashboard, trying to organzine absolute chaos. When I used to work for a living *ha!* I had to follow all sorts of different blogs to know what was going on in the word. The design world, the mama world, the wannabe fashion blogger world, the tech world, on and on and freakin’ on. I had them all under my personal dashboard (realizing now this was kind of a mistake) and as I kept finding new blogs I was obsessed with I kept adding new categories that go something like “Favorites” which then became “Absolute Faves” which then morphed into “Absolute absolute” — you get the idea. So now I am trying to get back into reading blogs but they are all kind of gone, or super zined out.

When I say zined out I mean personal bloggers turned corporations or society bloggers (with others voices portrayed on their blogs more-so than their own). It’s kind of weird and making me sad. I am reading farewell after farewell from ladies who I read for years on end. Clearly, I left them as well. But I never knew they stopped. A lot of them have moved on solely to Instagram, or have gone ahead and started an Etsy or a Big Cartel.

I mean I’m just as guilty, but now being back, as Ashley Faye, with my own sentimentally weird demented voice. I am totally feeling myself.
I am thinking I might have to find a new circle of blog friends, and this is exciting, but also kind of sad, like I said, because the internet is so different now that I just don’t think the relationships formed will be as genuine. But whatever, maybe I’ll be like I am in real life, and make no new friends.

me, circa 2000, “ashleyfaye” zine days.

Paper People

I just had such a frustrating altercation with a newspaper delivery guy. I’m sitting here, minding my business, editing some photos, and he comes in. This guy is wearing sweatpants and a teeshirt, with a huge silver chain with a huge gaudy cross on it. Every time I’ve ever seen him, same outfit. He’s the kind of guy that gets a little too comfortable in someone else’s store, I guess because he goes into so many so often.

He has come to pick up a check for the Liberty News. They deliver a bunch of our papers, The New York Times, Star Ledger, Bergen Record, Wall Street Journal, etc. We really make zero profit on offering the papers (I really hate having the papers) — I think the highest we make on any is 8 cents? The time that goes into marking them, counting them, organizing them, omg! Don’t even get me started on how much waste is involved. We throw out so much. If you ever need paper for moving, get in touch. I gotchu. Plus, we receive our money for them and it goes into our daily count but then we end up writing checks for up to $400.00 and it just messes with my math issued brain (example: Oh score! we made $500 today… oh wait, $175 of it was papers) — I’d also like to add real quick that paper people (which I like to call them) are the people that come in demanding “THEIR” paper, whichever one it is, usually only get that paper (thanks for the 8 cents) — and can be rude. There are people that come in and get the paper and a coffee and some other stuff, and they are great. But I really just want to kind of issue a PSA about buying the paper at a store and having respect to the people busting their hump to get you your precious little paper and maybe you can at least smile at them. Once in a while.

Anyway, back to the sweatpants guy. He comes in and is looking for his check, I’m like hmm I’m not sure where the bill is (Joe usually handles paying these dudes, and he is substitute teaching today). This guy gets impatient really quick at my not being able to find the bill, mind you, he doesn’t have a copy or a register of what we owe him either. So we are both kind of at fault. I call Joe a few times and no answer (understandable) so this guy is leaning over the counter like in my face, starts telling me how he can’t believe we are closed on Tuesdays now and we really should have let him know. Also, that we are really on his “Shit list” and they might start “Cutting the papers off” for us. My eyebrow went RIGHT up and was like, “Listen, I REALLY don’t appreciate your hostility right now toward me about these papers.” He was like O.O because really who the f walks into a ladies store when she is by herself and starts cursing at her and getting in her face? Then he’s like “Where could the bill be? is it in any of these drawers?” and reaches over the counter and touches where our other drawers are. Its like, no dude, don’t come near me.

Joe calls back and tells me where to look but there is no amount and then sweatpants looks at his phone and he has the amount, $434.00, even. So I am like okay great, let me write you a check so you can get out of here. He then proceeds to tell me more about how we should have told him we were closed on Tuesdays because he really doesn’t feel like coming out on the island on Thursdays to get the check. I told him that Joe talked to who he was supposed to talk to about all of this and there didn’t seem to be as much of a problem as you, mister sweatpants, is making this out to be. He also said, get this, that he “thought we were nice people” … Like what? Because we are closed on Tuesdays now, to not only take other jobs but to have a life, we are no longer nice people? I told him that yes, we are nice people, and to have a nice day and be safe leaving the island.

I just don’t fucking get people. I watch this dude leave and get in his mini van (being driven around by an older man) and he starts with all these hand motions pointing in here and my head starts to pound. I’m so over people sometimes. I mean I love people and this is part of working with the public but this sweatpants dude really struck a nerve with me today.

Back to editing. I am also streaming American Horror Story, Season 2 — which I tried to watch a while back but it scared me too much. So maybe thats why I talked back and got angry. But honestly I usually don’t talk back to people like that but it felt kind of good. I just hope he doesn’t come back to kill me. F that guy.

PS – another guy came in earlier this morning looking for his Star Ledger, oh yeah, also, the Liberty News didn’t deliver the papers today anyway (shit list!) so we didn’t have this guys paper (he got 4 donuts anyway) but he said he sent his neighbor here yesterday and we were closed so his neighbor went to WaWa and “said he’s never coming back here” — “it’s hard to run a business like this when you close one day, I used to be in business, 34 years, ran a service station. I worked constantly, just made it home for dinner everyday.” I said to him “wow that’s great that you were able to be home for dinner, that’s a big feat these days!” I just can’t stand everyone having opinions right now. Not. in. the. mood. Send me to Pluto.

PSS – Do not send me to Pluto. Hours later I actually though “What if I got sent to Pluto” and it gave me an insane sense of anxiety. So yeah, no Pluto for me.


One of my resolutions in starting this blog was to be myself, 100%, right? Well, I haven’t put up a new post in 9 days, because of, well, fear. Not fear of the blog per say, but fear of admittance and fear of moving forward or fear of trying to move forward but inevitably moving backward because for some reason every risk I take or road I travel ends up ruined. I am really not trying to be dramatic with that word, “ruined”, but at this moment I feel like my life is in ruins. I am sitting here in my store, with one one customer since 11am, wondering what the fuck did we get ourselves into and how the hell we are going to make it through this off-season.

The waves out there are huge, you guys. I stood on the beach for 10 seconds to get a quick video and I was covered in sand, whipping me in the face like a million needles. These waves are so enormous that just looking at them fills me with this sick thrill, I imagine myself stuck out there, in the big one, breaking 100 feet out. I would be done. I feel done in other aspects, so this is comforting.

I have always been afraid, though. If I sit back and analyze myself from being a young child fear was always where I went when I was alone with my thoughts. Fear of freaking everything. I don’t know how to break this cycle. But bad things just keep happening to me or those around me, and it fills me with fear.

Someone just came in from the bakery a few doors down. They said they lifted everything in the kitchen 4 feet off the ground. All the media outlets around here are reporting non-stop about this hurricane. Pre-Sandy, when a hurricane was on the way, people celebrated. “YAY! Nothing to do! Let’s hole up and drink beer!” Now I am sitting here with such fear that not only my business, but my home, could be flooded. Deep down I really don’t think it’s going to happen, but I guess that’s me just trying to stay optimistic. Every text that comes through is someone asking me what it’s like down here. Should we really be afraid? Should we be picking up a uHaul right now and packing all of our things? I don’t want to regret it if something catastrophic happens but I am really trying to be in control of my fear.

If we get flooded, and things get ruined, it’s going to make everything that we are fighting for right now so much harder.
The thought of it really makes me feel sick inside. The ocean is so powerful, and I love it for it. But right now, I’m just kind of scared.

Autumn begins..

Well, hello.  I am having a slight case of blog-fright right now.  Not sure why, but it’s been a long time since I’ve written/created anything online (outside of social media) and I feel like I am ducking back into a bar in my hometown.  Not sure what to expect or who will see me, or what they will think.  The difference?  This time I really don’t care what is seen or what is thought of me.  During my hiatus from writing I have lost and loved greatly.  I opened a store with my now-husband, and spent a lot of time reflecting on what is really right for me.   Honestly, I still don’t have an answer about what is right for me, and I am pretty down and out about it (watched the entire season of “Once” in under 36 hours kind of down and out), but I had an eye opening realization that it might be because I wasn’t expressing myself anymore.  

In August, when I got the email that once again, “ashleyfaye.com” was due to expire, I went back and forth about renewing it.  I have been sitting on this domain for a few years, just because I wanted it, but never had the energy or any desire to write about my life again.  I decided to renew it, and today, somehow, I built this blog and am now writing a post!  How crazy how quickly the energies of the zine world can come back and sweep one up, and refresh them.  Get it? refresh.  I hit that button so many times today tweaking and tweaking.

It’s 7:20pm and I am sitting here in the store.  I got here at 7:00am but I am still feeling energized.  I had a total of 5 customers today, but it didn’t even bum me out.  It’s also worth noting I am now on S2E13 of “Once” (listening more than watching, but it keeps me company).   Right before I started writing this, I was beckoned up to the beach.  The sky was pink and I could hear the waves from my desk.  It was so refreshing.  I have been thinking about how much I miss New York today.  Autumn nights are the best nights for taking walks, I miss taking walks.  Today is actually the first day of Autumn.

Joe took some work up north, with the NFL this week.  I’m going to make chicken tacos tonight.  I need to remind him to bring home some tortilla chips, and when I get home I have to check if the sour cream is still good.  I love tacos.  I always wished my family would have had “taco night” for dinner.  Whenever I was at friends houses I wanted to eat 5 tacos! I love wrapping a crunchy shell in a soft shell.

I’m going to sign off now, and go let the animals out, take the chicken out of the freezer. Oh, and make sure that the DVR is recording the season premiere of Nashville tonight. How did the last season end again?

It’s good to be back.


Memphis & Nashville, Tennessee

In early February, Joe and I took a work trip.
We went to Memphis and two days later drove to Nashville.

Despite barely making all of our flights (snow) we arrived inspired and immediately hit the pavement to explore! First, we had an obligatory Fat Tire while sitting down at Gus’s ‘World Famous’ Fried Chicken. It came highly recommended & was worth it. Afterward, we walked around downtown, ended up on Beale Street, headed into a few bars, looking for music .. it was a Wednesday (off season) so we were out of luck. Although we did have the pleasure of learning a lonely bartenders life story over a drink, then headed back to the hotel and I was fast asleep as it got dark .. love that.

The following day we had the opportunity to go to Graceland! I’ve considered myself an Elvis fan since I was a kid, but this trip took it to a whole new level. I’m bold enough to say and smart enough to know that Elvis had a huge part in shaping American music. Since we were filming in Graceland we were about to spend more time inside then I had anticipated. I was soaking in every detail, imagining what it must have been like when his home was fully functioning.. it’s all still set up, the TVs, record players, kitchen .. it’s quite special, if you make it to Memphis I wouldn’t miss the chance to visit. My Uncle Rich was a huge Elvis fan in the 60’s, he bought two monogrammed handkerchiefs and sent them to him. In return, he received a personalized letter and when Christmas rolled around, a card from The Presley family. The card is framed and comes out every year for the holidays. When I saw the stone wall covered in fans messages I knew I had to leave a little piece of our family there. That night, we spent filming on Beale Street.. afterward Joe and I headed to The Buccaneer Lounge – a little bit outside of downtown but the word was it was a sure bet for late night music … nope, it had ended for the night! The bar itself was cool, we had beers and left.

The next day we stuck around Memphis until late afternoon, then took the four hour drive to Nashville (I’d recommend seeing both cities in one trip.) We reached our destination late on Valentine’s Day, checked in to our room (The Hutton Hotel) I quickly added as much volume as I could to my hair (gotta do Dollie proud!) threw on a dancing dress, and headed down to what they were calling The Honky Tonk.. it was a quick cab ride from our hotel, the bars were pumping music out of every door, cheap beers, good energy, exactly what we needed. We had another full day and night of work, then headed back to NY the following morning.

Over a month later and I’m still thinking about Tennessee.. my favorite part was being immersed into cultures that revolve around MUSIC. It wasn’t about superficial needs or wants or drama (although I am sure it exists everywhere) — it was about listening, moving, grooving. It’s something I do not have a problem understanding … bring me back! on vacation!

The past few days ..

the past few days around here have been prettaaay prettaaaay good.

thursday joe and i went to see a brand new off broadway show called “Bike America” — it was great, we truly loved it. it was refreshing to be in a theatre, we made a pact to see a performance 1x a month – small or large. more on bike america to come soon, keep an eye out.

yesterday i had morning meetings and then ended up in the spa! for my birthday joe got me a gift certificate and it was exactly what i needed. there was a massage which ended up being mostly a realignment of my structure… it was interesting, so far i feel physically better… i think. next came a 75 minute facial.. yez. i have had problems with my skin since forever – the past year has truly been a challenge to find what routine works best for me. the esthetician turned out to be exactly who i needed to speak with! we are moving forward with an all natural regime and routine and i am excited to share the details here (when and if they work! fingers crossed.)

last night we met up with friends in williamsburg. all the guys from joe’s college team who were in the NY area came through. it was a lot of fun. i got to spend more time with shae and his fiancee – who just got back to the states after living abroad for a few years. welcome back guys!

also, finally got to intro dave my new camera so we had fun collaborating as always (pictures and video below)

i hope everyone is having a nice weekend! i am dragging my ass to head upstate for a bit and work on a new show. packing is the worst, especially when you haven’t unpacked from the trip prior. time to chug some coffee and hike it into full gear. xo

Jumpin’ on the wagon

I usually don’t pay much attention to college basketball (unless a former coach happens to make the Tournament). But, what Florida Gulf Coast University has done cannot be left unnoticed.

The Eagles are the first team to be a #15 seed and advance to the Sweet Sixteen.  Their 1st win was vs. #2 Georgetown Hoyas, winning 78-68. They then beat #7 San Diego State Aztecs, 81-71.  Next up, #3 Florida Gators on Friday night.

Better yet, this video (below) cannot be left unnoticed. It’s a compilation of their dunks throughout the postseason (their conference tournament and their first 2 games of March Madness, so far). Anyone who likes basketball can appreciate this, a 15-seed that has advanced to the Sweet 16 by playing not only smart and confident basketball, but with style, too.


NO ONE would have or could have guessed that this team would go so far. (Except maybe some of the players and their parents.  Even then, I bet most of them didn’t expect it).  It’s the teams like FGCU that make the Tournament what it is.  We all know that schools like Louisville and Duke and Michigan and Syracuse and so forth are going to be there in the end.  It’s the schools we’ve never and may never hear of again that make this tournament unparalleled to any other sporting event.

So now we wait till this weekend, when Gulf Coast and 15 other teams will ride whatever it is they’ve used to advance so far and hope it continues to work.  I can safely assume that no one from FGCU imagined getting past the first round, but that’s the thing with this tournament.  Now that they’re here, who knows?  All we do know is that everyone will be tuned in this Friday night when the #15 seed Florida Gulf Coast Eagles take on #3 seed Florida Gators, hoping for yet another upset.  I know I’ll be tuned in.

Can you say ‘bandwagon?’

Go Eagles!

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