7.26.2015

A Three Sentence Movie Review

1. Trainwreck


Pure Amy Schumer, unfiltered, and thus, not-your-average romantic comedy. It's easy to see this is the first movie script she has ever penned; it's clearly novice in some areas. However, it matters not--there are enough shocking, sweet, hilarious moments to make up for any lull in the script.

2. Timbuktu


This movie stayed with me for several days after the credits rolled. The serenity of the desert contrasted with the harshness of the religious extremists occupying Timbuktu is so very striking here. I like how the movie explained the mindset of both the captives and the extremists, somehow allowing the audience to understand the humanness of everyone involved--this is a must watch.

3. Something, Anything

On Netflix Instant
I think there will be two conclusions from viewers after watching this movie: one, that the lead character (Peggy) is selfish, and two, that Peggy was on a quest for truth. I could see both sides; however, I think I ultimately sided with the second conclusion, mostly because I truly believe we are a society brainwashed, and Peggy was simply battling with the undoing of that brainwashing. The movie has got a slow pace, but like a slow epiphany I like how Peggy's end decision is revealed (you're gonna hate her obviously fake wig, though).

4. Hector and the Search for Happiness

On Netflix Instant
Even though Simon Pegg is in this (who is as charming as he is hilarious), I just couldn't get on board with Hector. While the questions asked in this film were generally quite profound and a good foundation, the actual film couldn't answer such questions in an equally profound way. Some people on Netflix seemed to love it though so maybe it's worth a watch to draw your own conclusion.

Image credits: 1/2/3/4



7.16.2015

That Moment When You Buy a One Way Ticket



There is nothing more symbolic of a life change than the moment you hit the "confirm" button on a one way ticket purchase. This is the 5th time I have bought a one way ticket. Each time I've had a different feeling about the act. 

The first and second time was when I tried to live in Turkey. I didn't have anything planned. I didn't have a job in place. Through this, I learned I'm totally not spontaneous. I can't just go "where the wind takes me." Because of my lack of planning, I lasted all of a month before running back home. I happily bought a one way ticket back, back, to Cali, Cali. 

The third and fourth time were going to and coming back from London. Going to London, I was majorly excited to hit the confirm button and live a new life abroad. Nearly a year later, I was unsure if a one way back to the USA was what I wanted, but I hit confirm anyway. Through this, I learned that my instincts have always been on point and I should listen to them more often. 

The fifth time I bought a one way ticket was all of 5 days ago. SAN to JFK. All I can tell you is this purchase feels right in every way possible. My head, my heart, and my plane route are all aligned in the same direction. And that's a good feeling. 

***

Have you ever bought a one way ticket? Did you end up staying or did you turn back? 

7.14.2015

I Have a Crush on the Boston Public Library

If you're gonna visit Boston, I IMPLORE you to not skip this little gem. It's free, it gorgeous, and it was one of the highlights of my trip (although, admittedly I always fall in love with public libraries). This place most definitely rivals the New York Public Library, although I'm pretty sure it's a bit smaller.


 But really...can I live here? I truly do have a "crush" on this place, if it were possible to have feelings for inanimate objects (it is). That's because this place feels very much alive, a breathing piece of architecture with a vast collection of knowledge at its fingertips...er, bookshelves. I've always been attracted to the smart guys. Boston Public Library, can I have yo numba?




I really don't know WHY we have steered so far away from such gorgeous architecture in 'Merica. I think EVERY building should look like this, starting with my future home! That's totally reasonable, right?  

7.08.2015

A Three Sentence Movie Review

1. Magic Mike XXL



That's RIGHT--I saw Magic Mike XXL and I'm NOT SORRY...all the ladies gotta watch this! The script is crap, the plot is negligible, and it really is a terrible, terrible movie. BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT NONE OF THAT MATTERS because I had an absolute blast watching Channing and the boys shake their asses (plus a convenience store scene that was the BEST).


2. Jurassic World



Don't go into it even thinking it will compare to the brilliance of the first--it just can't capture that magic. Instead it capitalizes off of the nostalgia-loving group that is 90s kids, and nostalgia it does deliver in heavy doses, sprinkled with a bit of charm from Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Overall, this makes it a fun one-time watch.


3. Coffee in Berlin


On Netflix Instant
I found this film oddly refreshing and a great watch, down to the symbolism of Frederich not being able to get a damn cup of coffee all day. Not everyone will like this film as on the surface it seems to be about nothing. However, a closer look at all the happenings of Frederich's day reveals an almost clandestine coming-of-age theme that I really just loved.


4. Take Care


On Netflix Instant 
The plot is a little unbelievable: woman badly hurt from a car accident guilts her ex-boyfriend to come take care of her, much to the dismay of his current girlfriend (who comes up with this shit?). However, I liked it anyway. It's funny in a realistic way, and somehow also sweet despite the circumstance.

Picture Credits: 1/2/3/4

7.03.2015

The Post Where I Get a Little Narcissistic



This is going to be a narcissistic post, but I don't care.

I'm proud of myself. 

I'm proud of going after a job I really wanted, even it meant waiting around for ages for things to come together. That waiting prompted me to ask my boss for exactly what I wanted. And I got it. Ask and you shall RECEIVE. 

I'm proud of making the decision to move to New York and really going with that decision. I've learned from this experience that making a decision, even if a little unsure about it, is better than vacillating between too many choices. 


I'm proud of knowing that I can have the things I want in a career: a job I am truly passionate about, one where I get to travel for work, where I get to talk to students about fulfilling a dream of studying and living abroad, and where I don't have to go to the same office everyday (I enjoy mixing up the work week). 

I am proud for not settling. And in order to not settle, I had to work for it. I had to take less pay in an assistant role while keeping the main, grand goal in mind. In doing this, I have achieved said goal! This doesn't mean that this job will be all rainbows and butterflies...I will sometimes have to work weekends and late nights, but I welcome this knowing I will be doing something that I really, really love. This sits well with my soul. 

Lastly, I am proud for being true to myself. I knew deep down it was time for a move, time for a change, time for some action. This truth nagged at me everyday, and I knew it could not be ignored any longer. I am proud for being Ashley, unapologetically. 

This WAS a narcissistic post, but I am proud of being able to claim these actions as my own, and for knowing sometimes it's okay to be a little proud. 


Photo credits: 1/2

6.29.2015

Really Big News (My Head is Spinning)


So, remember I alluded to having some possible big plans in the works? Well it's been a few months in the making, but I am finally (and happily) being promoted as an Student Advisor with Across the Pond (a company I adore), and I am moving to NEW YORK CITY.

New. York. City.

Newwwwwwww York (bleepin') City.

Is this real life?!?

I don't know what else to say except that this feels right, and I feel a little less scared than when I moved to London. That's because London completely trained me for these big moments in life, moments I am ready to grab and stand up and say YES to. Not without fear, but with the knowledge that I have one life to live and I AM GOING TO LIVE IT DAMMIT. I'm excited for all the new things to come. I move toward the end of summer, and I'm really, really ready...


6.20.2015

My 5 Favorite Boston Sites

1. The Freedom Trail 


I'm totally cheating by putting down the Freedom Trail as #1, cause the Freedom Trail actually covers NUMEROUS sites. The trail takes you on a "follow this brick road" tour through the major historical sites of Boston. It's a GENIUS idea and there's even an app for it!! Expect to see old churches and graveyards, state buildings, and the site for the Boston Massacre. The trail is something like 2 miles in length--totally walkable and completely worth it.



2. Fenway Park/Red Sox Game


A photo posted by Ashley (@ashleyjay33) on

After going to a Red Sox game, I think I'm a fan now. It's hard to not be sucked into the Red Sox cult when witnessing the die-hard fans in person. All I could think while I was there was "Now this is a baseball game!!" Oh, and I got to sing "Sweet Caroline." Yep, I'm in the cult now.




3. Boston Harbor

Beautiful and historic Boston Harbor. And if you're anything like Ilse and me, you'll want to reenact throwing tea into the harbor. (Yes, Ilse and I are actually holding tea bags--English Breakfast, in case you're wondering). Of course I put this photo on Facebook, tagged all my British friends and captioned it "NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, BITCHES!" Our founding fathers would be proud. (We didn't actually throw the tea into the harbor, by the way).


4. Famous TV Sites--Cheers and Ally McBeal


Do I need to explain? If you're a fan of either of these shows, you just gotta go!


5. The Boston Public Library 

I'm pretty sure I'll be dedicating a whole post to this gorgeous library, but I had to also add it to this list. DO NOT MISS THIS GEM. I was flabbergasted by its beauty, and there's just something about lion statues.

What are some of your favorite Boston sites? 

6.15.2015

Boston: the Old, the New, and the Pretty


Boston is this really cool mix of historical and modern buildings, and they all seem to work like an intricate puzzle. In my mind, it reminded me of both London and San Diego--sooooo, Ashley in city form, basically? Yes. I would definitely call this place a soul city of mine. I'll get into more stories in later posts, but I simply wanted to show you all the pretty I saw...





 The above picture is actually at Harvard, but I had to sneak it in, because Harvard!!





Boston, you so pretty

6.13.2015

A Love Letter to Boston



Boston,

You have joined the ranks of Cities I Adore, Cities I Would Live In, and any other love list I can make for cities. You've got beauty, you've got style, you've got history, and you've got that sexy attitude. Clearly the full package, I can't help but wonder if I will indeed live in you one day. Like Rome, London, New York, and other cities I keep close to my heart, you are a new favorite I will dream of on the rough days, my beautiful muse...

Until We Meet Again,
Ashley xoxo


***
Yeah, I'm a little insane. Whatevs. In all seriousness, I have a few Boston posts up my sleeve! I need to catch up on blogs! And I've been awaiting some important news from my job. Egads! Next week should be interesting.


6.04.2015

A Three Sentence Movie Review

I thought I would hurry up and watch a few films to get this post up sooner rather than later. All this in order to warn you against #1. Just doing my civic duty!!


1. Aloha



DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME, MONEY, OR OXYGEN ON THIS MOVIE. I am convinced that Rachel McAdams, Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Bill Murray were either drugged/owed Cameron Crowe favors/were coerced to sign onto this piece of shit film. I can't even list all the issues with it, but one HUGE problem is that has about 20 plots in one movie, all of which give you a migraine by the end.


2. Annie Hall


It took me far too long to see this brilliant piece of art that must have been extremely innovative in the late 70s. I can clearly see how many movies have tried to match the witty dialogue (Before Sunrise), the artistic elements (500 Days of Summer), and the endearing realism found in Annie Hall, which truly is the gold standard. Diane Keaton just shined from within here; the brilliant cast (a young Christopher Walken??) mixed with the loveable neuroticism that is the script had me just adoring this film.


3. Barefoot



Ugh, what even went on here? It's my fault for playing it, I guess, but you know a movie is bad when it brings down the usually refreshing Evan Rachel Wood (who plays a mental patient here). It's not the worst thing I've ever seen (see number 1, above), but it's certainly not worth your precious time.


4. In a World...


Solid film, and Lake Bell is totally loveable in it. There wasn't an innovative plot, or anything, but the acting is superb and the dialogue is ace (including making fun of how the Brits say soy, "soya" if you're interested). I'd call this a funny feel-good film that gives a small glimpse into the world of voiceovers.


Photo Credits: 1/2/3/4

***

And I'm off to Boston tomorrow...the travel bug is back again! 
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