Actually, it IS Rocket Science

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Conversations category.

Bad movie

Because the rest of the United States has apparently gone absolutely BATSHIT MENTAL, I decided to follow suit (or out of sheer boredom and lack of wanting to watch any actual news out of sheer disbelief/pissed-off-dom, which I am THIS CLOSE to attempting to coin as a phrase) and engaged in an airing of this fully abysmal horseshit of a movie that was playing on the only premium channel I get, because I knew that by doing so I wouldn’t be bombarded by the onslaught of jack-assery that the national media is without a doubt dispensing like little candied pills to all of us on the local networks.

I digress.

That piss poor excuse for a movie was Charlie St. Cloud.

Oh holy lord, I’m pretty sure I’ve just exonerated any former boyfriend who tried to explain to me why they attempted to watch The Notebook or any other absurd rendition of an on-screen massacre of an already butchered attempt at chick-lit.

Par example:  An actual conversation that went down between me and a previous fellow, which now makes me cringe with self-indignation at how callous I was (but somehow, I really don’t think I’ve changed that much since):

Ashlin:  So what’d you do last night?

Guy:  Nothing.  You know, there was nothing on tv, nothing going on, so I just ended up watching a movie.

Ashlin:  Cool.  Whatcha watch?

Guy:  Ummm… nothing really.  Just some crappy movie.

Ashlin:  Haha- what was it?

Guy:   I dunno.  I wasn’t really watching it.  I was cleaning my room andyouknowIwasn’treallypayinattentiontoit.

Ashlin:  (because now I’m intrigued simply because he’s circumventing the question).  Aw, c’mon, what was it?

Guy:  *siiiiighhh* … Aotmninooyrk.

Ashlin:  Wait, sorry, I think you cut out, what?


Ashlin:  … Oh!…

Guy:  … Yeah…

Ashlin:  Well, I mean, that’s cool, you know… whatevah.

Guy:  Shut up, you know it’s crap.

Ashlin:  …Dude.  You lame.

Guy:  Shutup!

Ashlin:  HA!  Sucker.

(I actually ended up really liking that guy and eventually got slammed for not being open enough.  Touché. Point taken. I AM workin’ on it, Neener, promise 😉 )


So, anywayyyy… Charlie St. Cloud.

There’s something really weird about this movie that I can’t quite put my finger on.  Maybe it’s the fact that such an absolute piece of tar could actually have been made and set free into the wilds of movie theaters everywhere.

Here’s a movie about a guy, played by the headache-inducing Oscar-worthy Zac Efron who apparently has been allowed to let his grief for his dead brother manifest in hallucinations rather than seeking proper psychological aid.  That’s pretty screwed up enough already. BUT HOLD UP! It’s also the saving grace for his ability to save his love interest who turns out lost at sea because you’re never quite sure if his problem is a legitimately understandable issue of an inability to come to terms with human mortality or if it’s some sort of supernatural talent for seeing dead people, since she begins showing up around him and no one else can see her.  So instead you, the audience, gets strung along for an hour and a half not really getting what the HELL is going on.  Is she dead?  Is she dying?  Is she eating cucumber tea sandwiches on her hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of a sailboat that she just happens to own at 16 years old, all under the guise of being a regular girl?  Oh yeah, they sprinkle in some E. E. Cummings in there to make you think they’re well-read or some shit, when really you know it’s just a trap.  A big, fancypanced trap to make you think this movie is making you a better, more well-rounded person. Lest we forget this is a dude who is talking to a fabrication of his mind that might be indicative of schizophrenia or something even worse… AND PEOPLE STILL LET HIM STEER A BOAT.

Notice that kid's face. That ain't acting. That's poorly disguised fear.

You ever get so hungry you’ll eat just about anything, so you opt for the nearest thing around you in some sort of low blood sugar haze and realize after the fact that you just ate an entire bag of 5 day old stale Snyders of Hanover pretzels that you drenched in yellow mustard to distract your tongue from the fact that it was trying to send you messages that you were eating food that was no longer edible.  Then somewhere about 5 minutes later, when you return to normal and your skin is no longer green, and you’ve got to once again find a store that will sell your size of purple pants, and you realize what you’ve just done and the waves of self-loathing wash over you in typhoon capacity?  That’s the type of poor-decision hangover I had this morning after gulping down that cowplop.

The only thing that made me feel any better about it was when I talked to a friend this morning and mentioned that I had submitted myself to self-torture last night, and she helped talk me down from the ledge with a simple pivotting of perspective:

Ashlin:  Ugh, I can’t believe I watched that crap.

Friend:  Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a movie you would enjoy.

Ashlin:  It was just so absolutely dumb.  Why the hell would someone actually make a movie like that?!

Friend:  Hmm.  Yeah, no, I don’t think you’re looking at it the right way.

Ashlin:  Huh?!  Are you actually vouching for it?

Friend:  No, I’m not.  But you’re trying to actually get something from it, like a lesson, or something.

Ashlin:  Right.

Friend:  Don’t you realize the only reason that movie was made, and also the only reason most people watched it, was to see Zac Efron take his shirt of continuously for several hours?

Ashlin:  … Holy shit.


I think everyone should find themselves a friend who can provide bad movie refuge if they haven’t already, and do so immediately.  I already feel much, much better.


Loaded gun

And now.  Another installment of a conversation with the Most Brilliant Person Alive.


MBPA:  You worked at a toy store?  What was that like?

Ashlin:  Oh, it was all right; it had it’s moments.  Sometimes we were allowed to play with a bunch of new toys that hadn’t been marketed yet.  There was this really cool thing called an “Airzooka” that we had a blast with.

MBPA: An “Airzooka?”

Ashlin:  Yeah.  It was a pretty simplistic model of a handheld air cannon.  It had a plastic tube with a bungee on one end and you pulled it back to release this highly concentrated ball of air wherever you directed it.

MBPA:  Whoa.  That’s pretty cool.

Ashlin: It was pretty cool; someone could do it from really far away and you could still feel it go right through you.

MBPA:  Like chili?

Ashlin:  I… …shit.  Well playyyyed, nastyass.

Come with me if you want to live

(ED. NOTE!!  It was just brought to my recollection that this IS, in fact, bad Sitcom Gold!  And holy shit if it’s not a perfect example of MBPA and mine’s friendship, neatly rolled into a one minute clip.  You know, without the chipped tooth. See below original post)

With the news that’s circulating the pop culture drag race right now, I’m reminded of another priceless conversation a few years ago with The Most Brilliant Person Alive.

You need to trust that I am not, nor have I ever fabricated or elaborated any of these conversations.  I say that because what I’m about to explain to you, by most other standards, would be considered the stuff of bad sitcom gold.

We came across a young woman who introduced herself to us and explained she was on temporary exchange from her job in Austria.  We all exchanged niceties, and the girl moved along to do other things.  The Most Brilliant Person Alive and I then went back to our convseration:

MBPA:  Wow, she doesn’t even really have an accent.

Ashlin:  Hehe, what, were you expecting her to sound like AH-nold?

MBPA:  Huh??

Ashlin:  You know… “Eeet’s naht a tumahhh.”

MBPA:  …

Ashlin: “Ahl bee bach.”  You know.  “Hasta la veesta, bebeh.”

MBPA:  …Nnno.  I was thinking more like… “G’Day, MATE!”

Ashlin:  …

MBPA:  You know!  …”Crikey!”…??

Ashlin:  (oooooohhhhhnononono)

UPDATE!:  I have a new found respect for Dumb & Dumber.  Although it is a bit eerie the similarities.  (Thanks, Jason!)


In between writing papers for class and installing a truly offensive-sounding motion sensor in my apartment because I may or may not be losing my everloving mind and could be fast approaching becoming one of those hyper paranoid aficionado’s simply because I found my washer open without opening it myself, I fall back on past conversations with The Most Brilliant Person Alive, and bask in the glow of the ridiculous outcomes of our discussions.

MBPA:  So I went to the store this weekend and d’you know what’s in season right now?!

Ashlin:  No, what?


Ashlin:  Ha.  Yeah, I love it when you can get fresh corn for cheap.

MBPA:  YEAH!  I bought a half dozen of it for a buck!

Ashlin:  That’s pretty nice!  You should make a salsa or a chowder out of them.

MBPA:  Oh no, that won’t be happening…  Do you want to know something?

Ashlin:  …what?…

MBPA:  …I ate 5 ears of them last night.

Ashlin:  …

MBPA:  They were just THAT good!

Ashlin:  You ate…

MBPA: … 😀

Ashlin:  You ate FIVE ears of corn… …  In one sitting?

MBPA:  Yeah, well, I had some steak along with it.

Ashlin:  DUDE.

MBPA:  Well, I had to balance it out.  Protein, you know?

Ashlin:  Uh…

MBPA:  They were just so good!  I couldn’t stop myself.

Ashlin:  Really.

MBPA:  Uh… Yeah.

Ashlin:  Well why didn’t you just go for broke?!   Why’d you leave one off??

MBPA:  Well… I mean… …I have to moderate.

Ashlin:  … (I can’t even… what?)

Izzo’s Smuggling

There is a magical place that only exists in Southern Louisiana where tortilla shells grow larger than your entire upper torso and carnitas are slow roasted with a lemon-red-pepper garlic rub until they fall apart with the touch of a feather.  That place is known as Izzo’s Illegal Burrito by its birthrite, but Val Hala by any other.

It’s hard to describe the level of satisfaction that comes with eating an Izzo’s burrito, but if I tried to do so, I’d say it’s as if your tongue were capable of achieving its own carnal peak (in the most platonic sense, of course), this would be the outcome.   Originating in Louisiana’s state capital, Baton Rouge, I came to know and love Izzo’s throughout my duration as an undergraduate at LSU, and would still be a willing advocate for the place to branch out nationally, if not globally.   The place makes Chipotle look like that nasty meat truck that gave you the shits last week; five different kinds of salsa as well as pico de gallo made daily, three different types of lettuce, a variation of cheeses, and a cilantro dressing that makes you want to drink it out of an 84 oz. water bottle in chugs.

Izzo’s had a sign on their exit door that simply read:  ”See You Tomorrow.”  Cocky bastards.  They knew they had you.

Which is why, when I went to visit my parents about a year ago in Lake Charles, a small town over two hours from Baton Rouge, I was beyond ecstatic to find that the heavens looked down on my parent’s small city and had generously placed an Izzo’s within a mile from their residence.  You guys, I about did a triple spit-take when I was riding with my mom to make a last minute run to the mall to see those yellow green and orange letters pop up when we turned the corner, and I wasn’t even drinking anything at the time.  It put me in such delirium to see the installment that I made this weird sort of guttural noise followed by an exclamation that made my mom pump the brakes and me lucky that nothing happened that would make me pay for the damage to the rear of her car if the person behind her hadn’t noticed and smashed into her bumper.


“Oh my god.  Mom.  You guys got an IZZO’S??!!!”


“You guys GOT AN IZZO’S!  LOOK!!”


“Do you REALIZE what this MEANS??!”



“Oh, geez, Ashlin. Should I worry about you?”

And thus began my evening excursions to Izzo’s in Lake Charles.  Since then, without question, every. time. I go home to visit family and friends, I inevitably make the pilgrimage to Izzo’s the night before I leave to go back home.  I enter their fine establishment and order the largest installment on their culinary map:  ”The Illegal” which estimates out to (get ready) TWO THIRTEEN-INCH-TORTILLAS rolled into one, and then STUFFED with as much Mexican fare as you can hold in your pretty little mind.

How do I know this?  I called Izzo’s as I was writing this just to confirm and the guy on the phone casually explained, “Sure.  I mean, it’s just two THIRTEEN-INCH-TORTILLAS that we roll into one.”  Like, NO BIG DEAL.  Just a meal for your entire five person family in one neatly rolled up package.  I do this so that I can partake in its glory for the next few days (don’t think that shit doesn’t stay fresh- I have the technology. I have the capability to make it even better than it was before.  Better.  Stronger.  Fresher. Ice packs).

Anyway.  I order one of these badasses every time I go home, which they carefully wrap in aluminum foil and place delicately in a plastic bag, where I then nurture it, unopened, during its overnight stay in my parents refrigerator and then gingerly tuck it into my carry-on the next morning.

The Lake Charles airport is exceedingly generous in their TSA restrictions, which I’m certain is the only reason I’ve gotten away with such ridiculous behavior over the past several trips.  Do you guys know what it’s like to bring a GIANT ambiguous item wrapped in FOIL through the x-ray machine??  No?  Am I the only idiot willing to take that risk?

Probably so.

But the first time I did it, I kid you not, I explained to the TSA commander-in-chief that I was packing a lunch item with me, and offered to show it to him.  He was gracious enough to explain that he might need to see the item, especially if it were covered with foil, and I obliged, exposing the honking burrito that was larger than my upper body.  Dude took one look at it, inspected within its wrapper, and pulled it out of my backpack.

F&%#ing shit.  So long, Izzo’s.  I hardly knew ye.

The man then proceeded to poke and prod the item in question with such intensity and stealth that I broke out of my Izzo’s-induced derangement and legitimately began to worry that I was going to be taken aside very soon for personal inquisition.

You know that moment in Sophie’s Choice where she’s making The Big Decision?  I was considering the same thing between my burrito and my plane tickets.  No jokes.

And then the guy, I’m not even kidding, places the massive burrito back in my bag and looks up at me and says,

“First of all, how are you going to fit all of that in there?”  pointing to my stomach.

“And next, where’d you get that?  I gotta get my hands on one of those.”

I nursed that burrito for the next several days for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with extreme happiness and contentment of a human-and-tortilla-rolled-vehicle-of-bliss match made in heaven , and I can’t wait to do it again.

Hell hath no fury like a pubescent scorned

I swear to all that you define as holy, the kids in my apartment complex are so much cooler than I ever was as a kid.  I leave my windows open a lot of times because the obnoxiously temperate climate is a fringe benefit of living in Southern California, but an added bonus is hearing the convserations that take place outside my window.  And you guys, some of them are priceless.

Just overheard outside, two boys who if I had to guess are around 13 or 14, due to all those cracks and squeaks that would make you want to hand someone a throat lozenge if it were due to anything other than puberty.

Boy 1:  I just got the Green Hornet dvd, you wanna go watch it? (sounds like he’s dribbling a basketball)

Boy 2:  Yeah.  Seth Rogan’s awesome!

(sound of dribbling stops, followed by sound of a person getting socked by something, possibly a basketball)

Boy 2:  Aoow! Douchebag.

Boy 1:  HAHA!  Five stars!

Boy 2:  I’m gonna steal your Green Hornet dvd, shithead.

The once and future McQueen

In lieu of doing backflips in discussion of  The Royal Wedding, I guess I’ll throw a bone in its general direction by addressing an instance that plays into the 6 degrees of separation from it.  Follow me, if you will:  Some wedding went down recently that got more publicity than the inauguration; the bride’s dress got more publicity than the Oscars; the dress’ designer, Sarah Burton, got more publicity than the Fukushima Reactor; Sarah Burton works for the late Alexander McQueen line; The Most Brilliant Person Alive, mentioned before here, once addressed Alexander McQueen’s passing with me; I fully intend on having a marriage one day which garners more publicity than the inauguration, the Oscars, and the Fukushima reactor combined (totally do-able).  AND WE’VE COME FULL CIRCLE.

MBPA:  Did you hear?  Alexander McQueen died!

Ashlin:  Yeah, I heard.  Pretty crummy.

MBPA:  Do you know how it happened?

Ashlin:  He killed himself, didn’t he?


Ashlin:  Yeah.  Makes it even worse, doesn’t it?  I can’t imagine how depressed he must have been to have done that.

MBPA:  That’s sad.

Ashlin:  I know.

MBPA:  I mean …If you kill yourself, it means you don’t like yourself. … …Very much.

Ashlin: … … …(oh holy henry)

Things that make you go fffuuu

I had the opportunity to meet the most brilliant person alive about three years ago (ed. note: and dealt with him for the continuing three years until I finally moved out to California, so think about THAT while reading).

Most Brilliant Person Alive:  You know what I’m worried about?  North Korea.  Why isn’t anyone talking about THEM on the news?

Ashlin:  But they are.  They’re talking the crap out of North Korea on the news.

MBPA:  But not enough.  I think we should all be informed on the nucular threat North Korea has.

Ashlin:  … Wait. … Say that again?

MBPA:  What?  North Korea?

Ashlin:  No. What threat?

MBPA:  Nucular threat?

Ashlin: …

MBPA:  See what I’m talking about?  You don’t even KNOW about it!

Ashlin:  No… No. I’m very aware.  Just do something really fast for me.  Say “nuclear threat” again.

MBPA:  Nucular threat.

Ashlin:  NOPE.  Say it again.

MBPA: … Nuc-u-lar threat.

Ashlin:  You know you’re saying it wrong, yeah?

MBPA:  What?

Ashlin:  Nuclear.  You’re putting an extra “u” in the middle of it.  You’re saying it like a hill person out of “Deliverance.”  You’re saying it like George Dubya.

MBPA:  Nuc-u-lar.

Ashlin:  Say “New”

MBPA:  New.

Ashlin:  Say “Clear”

MBPA:  Clear.

Ashlin: Say “New” “Clear”

MBPA:  Nuc-u-lar.