Things to do in Los Angeles #2- Go to Malibu Lagoon Beach

December 14, 2013
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Note:  Hey guys!  As this my second go at this blog, I wanted to include a disclaimer that about five or so of the first posts are actually going to be re- releases from the first time the blog went up, this being one of them.  I thought it’d be a nice one for this cold winter day to help remind us that no matter how anti-cold LA can make us, at least it’s not summer in the valley!  So without further ado:

 Things to do in Los Angeles #2-  Go to Malibu Lagoon Beach

 Was today a hot day again in LA?  Oh, rlly? I hadn’t noticed.  Just kidding, wherethe#$%%isfall??. 

 As you may have deciphered, today was another really hot day in LA.  Again.  Jame keeps telling me it’s the last one for a while but I’ve heard the same promise from him about 5 times now and at this point think he’s just trying to new age mind trick me into manifesting a less bothered by the heat me or some such trickery because it’s just not happening. 

  Now as some of you may know I happen to be an actress but what a lot of people may or may not realize is that between here and stardom most of us have to work “stay afloat jobs” and I’ve personally had about 90 between here and college.  In my quest to pay rent I’ve done everything from babysit the children of Irish Tap Dancers while they were performing to allowing a couple of scientists to get me tanked on vodka in some lab and test out new DUI tests on me.

  Now on this particular day I happened to be working as a dog walker- a job which for the record can be a lot more adventurous than it sounds – I’ve come across everything in people’s homes from a Wiccan ritual table to a full scale S and M dungeon, but that’s another blog.   

 And so it was that I found myself at high noon in the midst of 95 degree valley heat on the other end of a beagle’s leash.  This particular beagle mind you takes his heritage as a hunting dog quite seriously and insists on stopping every five or so seconds to sniff random oddities he finds in the road with absolutely no consideration for whether or not they happen to be in the shade.  So when Jame called to interrupt my pleading with Beagle boy to please God drop whatever it was he had decided to eat because sniffing just didn’t cover it, that we decided maybe a trip to the beach was in order.

 Now I’ll admit that when I first moved to LA I wasn’t much of a beach person.  I tried several times.  I did. I’d go out, lay in the sand, watch the waves, even toe the water but at first I just couldn’t seem to figure out exactly what it was you were supposed to do there.  

  Being raised in the South, the most use I’d ever found for a body of water was a river in a tiny town called Hardy that more closely resembled a mixture of a floating trailer park and Marti Gras combined than anything I’ve ever seen anybody in Malibu do.  Everyone was alarmingly sober and none of the men where even making an effort to get the women to flash them in exchange for a cheap set of plastic beads.  The whole thing was incredibly confusing. 

 The  tide eventually turned for me when I was once cast in a commercial that required me to spend two 12 hour days on the beach-  the down side being that the dates of the commercial not only happened to fall in the middle of winter but also on what I still believe to be the two windy-est days in the history of all the world.  Let’s just say if you want to make a low budget horror movie, I’m still convinced there’s a whole uptapped premise in the fact that when a nice, unassuming piece of sand is propelled by 40 mile an hour wind, it becomes a whole other entity entirely.  Add that to the fact that any given piece of sand on a beach has about 400 million buddies just like it, all waiting for the wind to turn them into tiny torpedoes and  you’ll quickly realize that one of the best damn things that can happen to you on a beach is actually nothing.

  Anyways, in our quest for some cool breeze Jayme and I ended up at Malibu Lagoon State Beach- one of our favorites due to the fact that not a whole lot of tourists have figured out it exists and you’ll never find yourself having to fight for towel space.  There also is a little lagoon out there on the way to it you’ll walk through with signs that have pictures of the endangered wildlife that live in the lagoon.  

 I must admit mostly the signs just stress me out bc I’ve never actually seen any of these said wildlife, leading me worry that maybe the signs need to be updated to memorials, but I guess there’s nothing to do but hope for the best. 


.Anyways, as we were relaxing on the beach this particular day, it turns out that fate had a bit more in mind for us than just a relaxing day at the shore.  As I was lying in the sand watching the waves and wondering if mermaids ever got pruney fingers, I saw a strange figure just above the tide.  I warn you at this point that though somewhat censored, the image you’re about to see is graphic so direct small children and vegans away from the screen. 


  As I approached the figure I found it to be what appeared to be a half-eaten lobster who for clarity’s sake we’ll hence forth refer to as Tom.  Though I can never be quite sure what it was that did Tom in, he had met with a bad bit of luck and had not only died a horrid death but now laid exposed on the beach in shame.  Something inside me pulled at my heartstrings and Jame and I agreed something should be done….okay so Jame mostly just laughed in amusement and took pictures of me on his phone as the following episode unfolded, but regardless I thought that someone should say a few words. 

As I approached Tom, my thoughts went to another place that many, less thorough “things to do in LA” lists will insist you visit without including proper warning.  There’s this place named Neptune’s Net down in Malibu that lots of people rave about, but as one-time patrons Jame and I have never been able to bring ourselves to go back.  I was advised on what an awesome joint it was by a guy I used to work with at stay afloat job number 62 who for identity hiding purposes we’ll refer to as Bob. 

  Anyway, with all Bob’s talk about this great place in Malibu, I decided to take Jame, who is a fan of sea food, down there one day to show him how hip I am to the sea food scene.  My problems began about 35 minutes after we’d started driving.  At 45 I began to grumble.  At 50 I was pissed, and when we hit an hour I was cursing Bob’s name for not telling me that when he said Malibu he meant the farthest-ass side of Malibu possible, and trust me, most people don’t realize how far-ass out Malibu goes.  F—in’ Bob.

   When you finally find the place though, you walk in to find a nice beer selection that would be just lovely but for the prospect of buzzed driving home on either a busy highway or if you prefer the more scenic route, a canyon full of death defying peaks someone once got brave enough to run a road through.    

 On our visit however, I figured I’d be made considerably less grumbly after I’d had a few bites of one of Tom’s kind only to stop dead in my tracks when I went up to order.  Right there behind the gentleman who takes your order, float an entire  tank of Tom’s still living tribe- the kind you think are just a really cool fish tank in the supermarket when you’re a kid and too young to know the horrible truth. 

 I’ll tell ya, I’m a fan of lobster. I’m even a fan of eating lobster.  But the idea of picking a living thing from among its buddies, sentencing it to death, and then consuming in front of its peers was just too much to handle.  I tried to take a few deep breaths however as I started perusing the tank, hoping to catch one of the lobsters in the act of poking another of the smaller, more defenseless lobsters with its claw or peeing in the tank in hopes of turning the whole thing into an act of vigilante’ justice.  I stared.  I waited. 

 I examined each creature closely hoping to pick up on subtle signs of adulterous husband lobsters or ones that were on the way out anyway due to old war injuries.  The lobsters stared back at me in wide eyed innocence.


 An hour and 2 McDonald’s extra value meals later Jame and I swore we’d never repeat the experience.  F—in Bob.

  As I stood now in Malibu, staring at Tom, thinking of his friends I’d almost murdered, I knew that karma had led me here today.  Me and my heart for lobster kind.  I searched the beach for something in which to give him a burial at sea, which I feel was what Tom would’ve wanted and came up with a piece of a 2×4 that had floated over from India probably.  I said a few words and knocked Tom’s body….which kinda broke into a few pieces, back towards the water and waited for the sea to lap him up and carry him peacefully back to the depths from which he came.  


Yeah…so the thing about lobsters is it kinda turns out they float.  I gave it a valiant effort, seriously I did, but after about the fifth time Tom floated back I figured I’d done all I could do and sorta just kicked some sand over him.  May you rest in peace my crustation friend in that big no fishing zone in the sky.

  After that Jame and I enjoyed a few more waves before we headed back up to the lot they threaten to tow your car if you park in.  Park there anyway, they don’t, they are just trying to get you to park in the not-at-all-worth-it $12 beach parking lot.

 Peace out for now and enjoy the waves!


Things to do in LA #1- Figure out how to start a Blog- December 11, 2013

December 12, 2013
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Hey guys, and welcome!  I’m Ashley or Ash if you prefer, and this is a blog I actually started quite a while ago but lost track of so I thought it might be fun to bring it back.

I originally came up with the idea for it one night when me and some friends where eating at the same damn Japanese restaurant we always do when we go to the same damn movie theater we always go to. At some point between the same damn steamed rice and….well a slightly different drink due to the waitress accidentally bringing me a regular rather than diet Coke to chase my same damn Saki, I  decided it was time to spice things up in life.

After all, I’m getting to that age where my facebook feed’s become a weird mixture of alcohol and babies, with all my friends’ idea of fun moving from the former to the later at an alarming rate.  Perhaps it was time I too found a more grown-up hobby- and preferably one that didn’t have to incubate inside my womb for the next nine months.

Now ya’ll gotta understand I grew up in Arkansas- which probably explains why I sometimes say shit like “ya’ll” – but anyway, I quickly realized most of the “grown-up” style fun I’d been witness to when I was a kid tended to involve either mass amounts of casseroles or Jesus- both of which I’ve noticed tend to be found in somewhat shorter supply here in Los Angeles where I live now.  And it was as I attempted to broaden my horizons, brainstorming through everything fun I could think of that didn’t involve a four wheel drive vehicle of some sort- that it finally occurred to me that perhaps the ticket was precisely my lack of expertise of all the fun things people do in LA.  Why not find out and why not write about it as I went?  And so what follows will be a series of little stories about my wanderings through LA. and it’s attractions- both textbook touristy and obscure and off the map- often guided by my Native Los Angelino boyfriend James aka Jame or Jayme.

So, I rushed home on that fateful regular Coke drinking night to start my blog only to find that in my excitement I’d forgot the smallest snag of details- that I had no idea at all how or where to start a blog.  Damn.

Feeling rather unmodern and certain I’d be banned from coffee- shops nationwide if the news got out, I began to wonder where I could turn for help.  Then it hit me.  Aha, my sister-in-law had a blog I recalled!  It was trendy and grown-up sounding and had to do with….babies.  Damn.

It was then that I turned to the old American stand-by- when it doubt, Google that shit.  Sure enough, a few clicks later I was feeling very accomplished and tech savvy despite the fact that it turns out it takes about as much skill to start a blog as it does to order a value meal from a drive thru restaurant.

And so, with my new little dashboard excitedly awaiting its first post and few ideas already of things to do in LA, I felt like I had things pretty much figured out.  That is until I noticed a cute little icon offering me the chance to further the fun by adding…photos!  Damn.  Now although I myself don’t mind a pose every now and then I’ll confess one of the thoughts that popped into my mind was the fact that many of the blog photos I’ve personally been exposed to tend to feature the author’s kids doing cute shit or standing beside landmarks, such as (sigh) ones you’d find if said author was out exploring LA.

And while I often find it adorable that Jame most often appears in our vacation photos as the back of a head or his thumb over the lens when he’s the photographer, add that to the above paragraph and you’ll see my dilemma.

Luckily by that point in the evening I’d started drinking vodka I’d mixed with a little water and microwaved for a few seconds- thinking how much different can it be from the Saki from the Japanese restaurant- so the clear answer arrived swiftly in the form of this guy.


Ladies and Gentleman:  Meet Frog.  If I remember correctly I won him for Jayme from one of those little claw games at Disneyland.  As my eyes landed on him,, I rolled over all the qualifications.  Cute, occasionally makes funny faces, loveable, small= baby.  He was perfect, my watery warm Smirnoff and I decided and so he’s been cast as a kind of stand-in to appear in cute poses at the various sites when Jayme has wondered off and I’m starting to boarder on feeling like a Grade A selfie.  Besides, what says super intelligent modern blog like a stuffed animal at the Hollywood sign? Right?