the ashley adventures

it is never too late to choose happiness

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saturday was rachel’s brother’s birthday. being the wonderful sister and epic party planner she is, she rented a brew bus to take us around to some chicago breweries. originally, we were going to go to indiana to go to three floyds… but it ended up being dark lord’s day there and tickets are really hard to come by. was just as fun due to the unbelievably gorgeous weather (although it is back down to 40 today… what is this?), wonderful company, and a whole lot of beer. 20130503-100701.jpg

20130503-100829.jpgthis was at bad apple, one of my top five favorite places in chicago. i am obviously strikingly sober. allagash white is the best and bad apple has it for five bucks.


cheers at revolution. probably my favorite chicago brewery. it was a really great tour, and they do it every saturday at noon. thinking about going back tomorrow. 20130503-100913.jpg


some pictures from the bus. rachel had it extremely stocked with beer. our driver was named jonathon and didn’t even mind when we made him take 1.2 billion pictures.20130503-101025.jpgthis bar, headquarters, opened up a few months ago a few blocks away from me and it is now one of my favorites. this was our end stop. they have a hundreds of old school arcade games to play for FREE and great beer. it’s perfect because then the guys have activities (why do men always need activities?), and the girls could park their asses in chairs and talk and drink. not that i don’t love playing the arcade games, too.

20130503-101146.jpgwatching the bulls game at nick’s. triple overtime. we won. hell yes, chicago.

not pictured:
*allison, jaimie, and i running into atlas brewery to pee. only pee. we were all supposed to go inside and hang out but were having too much fun on the bus.
*tony and i jumping out to pee at his apartment (are you noticing a pattern here? i have a bladder the size of a pea) and him bonging a beer from a second story window.
*texting entirely too much. why do i text so much? i need to work on being in the present with the company i am with, rather than glued to my damn phone. it’s one of my short-term goals.
*fried chicken at clark dogs. i. love. clark. dogs.
*ben blasting dashboard confessional, taking back sunday, and new found glory. instantly transported to high school.


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there are some things that no one tells you about dating after divorce. or maybe they do and i just don’t have divorced friends. because, you know, most people my age are not divorced.

one is that it’s really hard to go backwards and begin a less committed relationship than the one you just left. you spend your dating years slowly building up to more and more committed relationships, until the mecca of them all. to go backwards from this is a mind fuck. the doubts and insecurities you are already carrying with you are magnified because you are used to being with someone who was prepared to commit his entire life to you. i have no idea how to overcome this.

another is that you will start having flashbacks to your old relationship every time you have even the most mild scuffle or disagreement. this isn’t necessarily because your new relationship has the same issues as your last one, but because you are still you and you still think the same and rationalize the same and are still bothered by the same damn things. this makes it extremely difficult to not second guess yourself and think OHMYGOD WE’RE DOOMED. it also makes you start second guessing your new special man friend because you thought he was different.

he is, you’re just not. well maybe you’re a little bit different. but, like, not that much. but what (i think) is important to remind yourself is that you don’t have to be that person anymore. this is maybe your one opportunity to take the things you hated about yourself from your last relationship and dismiss them as best you can. i don’t really know how to do this either, but it’s a nice thought.

last, it is really really hard to like yourself and feel worthy of being loved again. when you tell people this it sounds trite and kind of like you’re being melodramatic. you’re not. you feel like shit about yourself and need a fuck ton of reassurance to feel better. make sure he’s up for it.

there’s more. but it was emotionally exhausting writing these three. and really, i wrote them like i was talking to other people but mostly i was just talking to myself. these are the things that are hard. these are the things i want to change. it helps having them written. i like words.


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shipwrecked bones


grant and i saw parkway drive at the house of blues last night. it was really an amazing show.


it was good enough to make the ten dollar budweisers and running through rainy downtown chicago in a skirt worth it.



grant was basically in heaven. he has a parkway drive tattoo and he loves their story. it makes me so happy when people just radiate happiness like he did last night.

20130419-221915.jpggrant’s parkway drive tattoo. it was so fun to hear the song live that it is based on.