REASON #1: THIS IS THE FIRST SHOW I’VE EVEN WANTED TO BINGE-WATCH IN A VERY LONG TIME
This is the first show I’ve wanted to do my version of “binge watching” on in a VERY LONG TIME. It’s very important to note that I am NOT a binge watcher. (I usually don’t even watch movies all at the same time, much less watch more than one episode of a show on any given day.) The last time I was watching a show where I HAD to know what happened next was probably in Season 2 of BBC Sherlock or Season 6 of Doctor Who.
But with Umbrella Academy, I just couldn’t stop watching it, especially after the second or third episode. I divided the first episode up over a few days (a normal rate for me watching a 1-hour episode of anything), but I watched an episode or more per day starting with Episode 4.
On the day I finished the series, I watched 2.5 episodes, which is a ton of watching anything for me. But it was THAT good. I HAD to know what happened next & was willing to lose a bit of sleep over staying up to finish an episode. And when I found myself in my car in a parking lot waiting for it to be time to go into a concert venue, I took the fifteen or so minutes I had & used it to watch JUST A FEW minutes more of the show. Whether or not the episode ended on a cliffhanger or with a new revelation, I really cared about the characters & NEEDED to see how this was going to end.
The plot was just so fucking good though, which made Umbrella Academy one of the best, most intriguing, most well-done series I’ve watched in a long time.
OVERVIEW: Got to meet Art Garfunkel thanks to some glorious serendipity, published two books, released two songs, put out a new comedy video, saw 4 concerts,went to the Florida State Fair for the first time, milked a cow for the first time, rode a camel for the first time, finished revamping all my online store listings, did my first cartwheel, got to pet cows, sheep, lambs, a donkey, & a burro for the first time, & more!
CREATIVITY & BUSINESS
- BOOKS: Published 2 books – Ashlee Craft/Assemblage, Issue 14 & Moles (Wonderful Wildlife #9). Began on a new poetry book & Fallon the Wizard, Book 2.
- MUSIC: Released 2 songs – “There Was a Man” & “& The Night Was Over (Post Rock Remix)“.
- Began painting on canvas paper for things I think would come out better painted on textured art paper instead of regular copy paper, the latter of which is what I usually use for most of my art. Painted my crying circus strongman & the upcoming orange-haired funky girl paintings. This was also my first time in a long time of painting actual cohesive paintings (aside from book illustrations; I’ve drawn cohesive things but hadn’t made any cohesive “paintings” for a long time). Also, this was my first time of painting people (just a few months ago, I finally realized I could DRAW people [I always had this weird belief that I couldn’t, or couldn’t do it well], which lead to my Mighty Boosh & Pee-Wee’s Playhouse themed works).
- My Mom & I collaborated on a piece of art for the first time ever, where she came up with an idea & I drew it! The result of this was the Marching Money design.
- FINISHED EDITING ALL MY PRODUCT LISTINGS ON SHOP ASHLEE CRAFT as part of the months-long revamping of my shop! GO CHECK IT OUT HERE →
- Submitted the first thing I’ve ever done that’s going to be published in someone else’s magazine! SO EXCITED about this, because the magazine also happens to be one of my favorites. Announcement about this coming soon!
- Put out a comedy video – an interview with Victoria of Victoria’s Secret! Based on a joke that did surprisingly well at the comedy club.
- Began to “storyboard” movie scenes! What this means is, as I learned more about what goes into directing films, I realized I needed to draw a storyboard of the different shots I wanted for things I was filming. But then I realized I didn’t know what made a good shot, so I decided to draw storyboards for some of my favorite movie scenes. This is so much fun & so educational.
- Filmed footage for a “commercial” I am making & wrote & recorded a jingle for it!
- Applied for three acting jobs, two of which I auditioned for.
- Published my 2018 Yearly Review article! You can read it here.
- Wrote 8 poems, including my first two “newspaper poems” ever!
- Made my first absurdist comedy quote image using an old vintage photo/illustration (an idea I’ve had for a while).
- Began planning script for the one-person show that I’m developing. Played around with script & ideas. This will be something I pursue pretty soon.
- Published an article about why I began watching movies again (after a hiatus in doing so).
- Published an article about my goals for 2019!
- Saw Herbie Hancock at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL. Phenomenal.
- Saw Fleetwood Mac in concert at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. It was one of those big, iconic concerts for me & I’m so so glad I got to see them.
- Saw Art Garfunkel at Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, FL. Thanks to some MAGNIFICENT serendipity & the fact that I bought the very last “cheap seat”, which put me sitting next to the best friend of the wife of one of Art Garfunkel’s very best friends since college & still to this day, I GOT TO MEET ART GARFUNKEL & shake his hand & tell him how his music had been really important to me when I was a teen. He looked at my hair & said, “Good hair cut.” It was SO MAGICAL.
- Saw Christopher Cross at Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, FL. So many flamingos.
- Went to Panera & tried their Prickly Pear Hibiscus Fresca for the first time! It’s awesome!!!
- Drank Swiss Miss K-Cup hot chocolate for the first time!
- Ate My/Mo Mango Mochi Ice Cream for the first time! SUPER GOOD. I’ve tried some other flavors of the My/Mo mochi ice cream but I’d never tried the mango one before.
- Ate dinosaur gummy candy for the first time.
- Made these banana almond flour muffins for the first time, after a very long time procrastinating on making them. They were super good.
- One day, I had a soft-boiled egg in a cheese bed, sliced wild tomatoes with salt, & a yellow chocolate cupcake for breakfast.
- Tried the Applewood Smoked Bacon Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet for the first time, & it was incredibly good! I’m usually not the BIGGEST fan of pork tenderloins, but this one had an amazing flavor & my Dad is super good at cooking meat.
- Tried Campbell’s Chunky Jazzy Jambalaya soup for the first time!
- Tried Mighty Sesame Vanilla Tahini bars for the first time!
- Tried Chobani Gimmes yogurts in the birthday cake & cotton candy flavors!
- To use up some roasted chestnuts I had, I melted blue cheese on them & they were awesome! That, plus some marshmallow hot chocolate, made for some awesome breakfasts.
- Tried rainbow Twizzlers for the first time & they were great & so colorful & fun!
- Bought some Walmart-brand Peach Bellini water flavoring, & I really enjoyed it.
- Tried a veggie mixture with fresh vegetables that I bought that you microwaved to cook. It had salsa & cheese you put along with it, & it contained cauliflower, sweet potatoes, kale, & some other stuff. Really good mixture; I just can’t remember which brand it was.
- Tried La Croix Kiwi Watermelon sparkling water for the first time!
- Tried gummy frogs for the first time! They’re really good, & super funky.
- STARTED READING: (* means a re-read; everything else is new to me) The Adventures of Robin Hood (Howard Pyle), The Anatomy of Peace (The Arbinger Institute), An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake (Srinivas Rao with Robin Dellabough), A Little Book of Sloth (Lucy Cooke)*, The Ugly Animals: We Can’t All Be Pandas (Simon Watt), Mindset (Carol Dweck), Steal Like an Artist (Austin Kleon)*, The Untethered Soul (Michael Singer), The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Agatha Christie)*, The Lessons of History (Will & Arial Durant), The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey)
- FINISHED READING: (* means a re-read; everything else is new to me) Letting Go (Dr. David Hawkins), Level Up Your Life (Steve Kamb), Girl, Wash Your Face (Rachel Hollis), The 4-Hour Work Week (Tim Ferris), The Anatomy of Peace (The Arbinger Institute), A Little Book of Sloth (Lucy Cooke)*, Mindset (Carol Dweck), Steal Like an Artist (Austin Kleon)*, The Untethered Soul (Michael Singer), The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Agatha Christie)*. Total: 10 (up from 7 in January)
- WATCHED: (episodes in parenthesis for shows; all others are films. * means re-watches; all others are things I’ve never seen). Barbie Dolphin Magic, Absolutely Anything, Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later (Reunion), 555 (Acting), Cold Pursuit, In Order of Disappearance, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy (King Tutta), The Office (Fun Run), The Umbrella Academy (We Only See Each Other at Weddings & Funerals), Red 2, Gayle (Episode 19 – Jay). Total: 11 (Exact same number of things I watched last month)
- ALBUMS I LISTENED TO: (*First time listening to this album!). St. Vincent (St. Vincent)*, Abandoned Luncheonette (Daryl Hall/John Oates), War Babies (Daryl Hall/John Oates), A Wizard/A True Star (Todd Rundgren), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John)*, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (Panic! At the Disco)*, Varsity (Varisty), We are So (ModPods), Escape the Gray (my own album), Our Own House (MisterWives)*, Three Dog Night – The Complete Hit Singles (Three Dog Night)*, Fleetwood Mac (Fleetwood Mac)*, Earth (Jefferson Starship), My Girl & More of the Drifters (The Drifters)*. Total: 14 (Up from 7 last month)
- Was reminded of the amazing scene in The Dark Knight Rises (one of my favorite films EVER) where Batman is preparing to climb out of the pit & everyone is chanting “rise”. One of the best movie scenes ever & a huge inspiration to me on more occasions than I can count, so unless you’ve just watched the movie already this week, give it a watch here.
- Looked into different dog foods & experimented with two different new types for Sparky, my Boston Terrier/Shih-Tzu/Chihuahua mix in order to find one that he likes, that’s good quality, & hopefully helps improve his skin health.
- Bought my rabbit a better brand of rabbit food to upgrade his diet.
- Added more organic soil to both my pet millipede enclosures to improve their environments. They had some coconut coir mixed with oak leaves & twigs in their tanks but I wanted to give them nice deep soil to burrow in now that I had organic soil. They seem to really like it!
- Researched & switched guinea pigs over to a different brand of food that is still good quality but more cost-effective & a lot easier to find in my area.
- My dog recognizes my car now, so he watches for me when I’m coming home & when he sees my car pull he, he gets excited & starts barking.
- Did my first cartwheel EVER! This was something I’d wanted to do for a long time.
- Hung up all my current buntings on the ceiling in my room. It looks AMAZING & I have even more; I just haven’t found the box they’re packed in yet. But the ones I hung up made my room look so so MAGICAL.
- Got another savings account at my bank to help me better divide up my money & save it for specific things, such as certain bigger purchases I want to make or investing. Changed the names of the savings accounts to be what I want so when I put money in them I’m not just putting it in “Savings Account 3” but “Road Trip”.
- Sprayed a pair of shoes with shoe waterproofing for the first time!
- Redefined “failure” for myself so that the idea of it is no longer something that can stop me. I realized that even if I “failed”, I could still craft a most excellent life, like I am already doing now. When you have nothing to lose, you have everything to gain.
- Shattered my phone screen by dropping my phone on cement, for the first time ever. Not a highlight, but I did learn how to “fix” a phone screen with packing tape. It’s still growing strong, & I plan on keeping it for a while because it’s still usable & I prefer to fix things rather than spending money on new things when I don’t need to.
- Unsubscribed from several email newsletters, which frankly I haven’t missed at all!
- Cleaned up a lot more of my bedroom, which I’ve needed to do ever since I moved.
- Ended up at a stop light next to a truck that had bee cages in the back & a sign on the tailgate that warned that it was transporting bees, & I thought this was great.
- Worked more on painting & decorating the sand koala sculpture I’m reinventing. I got it at a thrift store years ago & it’s bland so I’m making it awesome & funky.
- Saw a COW COMING OUT OF A FOREST & it was FANTASTIC!!!
- Tried a new makeup look where I did colorful freckles with face paint crayons, & I LOVE IT.
- Began to sort through my jewelry collection. Also cleaned off a lot more of my desk, which has been a complete mess for months!
THINGS I PURCHASED
- Began using the RenPure Rose Water body wash, & it is SERIOUSLY A FAVORITE.
- Got a new T-Rex Hot Wheels car to add to my collection of Hot Wheels.
- ONE OF THE BEST THINGS that I purchased were two TOTALLY ADORABLE, mischievous, & colorful owl kitchen timers with the SWEETEST FACES EVER.
- Hallmark cards were BOGO at the grocery store, so I got two that I’d had my eye on for a while – one with kittens screaming with joy, & another that says “We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”. Both are going to be framed & hung up on my walls, which is what I like doing with cards.
- Bought another Jack Reacher book (one that I do not own yet [I own a large number of them]) for $0.50 at the library!
- My Mom gave a plush alligator for Valentine’s Day & it is ADORABLE <3 <3 <3 She also got me a plush stegosaurus & a TOTALLY ADORABLE huggable plush sloth. My sister got a PINK GLITTERY PLUSH HEDGEHOG!!!
- Bought a plush triceratops, which I love because it’s primary-colored.
- FOUND DINOSAUR-SHAPED PASTA at the grocery store, so of course I bought some.
- Bought an awesome old book about cacti at the library for $0.50!
- Got my Makeup Eraser sample & it’s great! Really works the way it’s supposed to.
- Bought a wind-up dinosaur, holographic rainbow Easter egg garland to decorate my house with, a notebook for “storyboarding” movie scenes in, & a wooden painted frog.
TRAVEL & EXPERIENCES
- Went to the Florida State Fair for the first time EVER!!!!! I absolutely ADORE fairs. I love everything about them, including all the great food stands, which give me major aesthetic & design inspiration. Saw a lot of great booths & food booths. And while I generally never play games at the fair, I still like taking inspiration from seeing the prizes you can with (think: giant pastel plush sloths & alpacas). One of my favorite booths was an inflatable lemonade stand. Ate a blue raspberry Sno Cone while I was there.
- MILKED A COW for the first time ever at the Florida State Fair. This was the thing I most wanted to do at the fair & I wedged myself in there among all the children who were also trying to get their turn to milk the cow so I wasn’t mistaken for an uninterested parent. IT WAS AMAZING. Also I got one of their official “I milked a cow at the Florida State Fair” ribbon & sticker & posed with it while smiling smugly.
- RODE A CAMEL. GUYS, I RODE AN EFFING CAMEL. I did this at the fair too. They are so tall & I got to ride it three laps around the ring & their humps are so fuzzy.
- GOT TO PET SO MANY COWS. This was my first time petting adult cows (I petted a baby cow last year). My favorite was a big reddish cow with huge horns (I think it was a Scottish Highlander or something) who kept putting its horns in the walk way but was a big sweetheart. Petted so many types of cows.
- PETTED A SHEEP AND LAMBS FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!!! Their wool is so soft & fuzzy & lambs are so effing adorable. Like, I can’t even believe how cute they are in real life. Favorite sheep was one that kept trying to be sociable because it wanted food & kept trying to take the empty feeding cups out of the bin on its stall. Petted a lot of different breeds of sheep.
- SAW BABY GOATS THAT HAD LITERALLY JUST BEEN BORN, like, their-mom-was-still-licking-them-clean new, & they were super-microscopic, & they were effing adorable as anything.
- Went on rides at the fair! I went on the yo-yo ride with my Mom, we both went on that really really tall ferris wheel & got to see the whole fair from a bird’s eye view, & used my last few tickets to go through a decent fire fighter-themed fun house (I love fun houses, BTW).
- Got to pet a donkey & a burro, both for the first time!
- At the fair, also got to pet a bunch of goats of a variety of types, which are obviously always adorable. Saw a baby water buffalo & baby pigs that were wagging their tiny little tails as they nursed, & baby chicks. Saw baby cows, including a baby cow that had only been born earlier that day. I saw them giving the mom cow an IV because she was dehydrated after giving birth. Also saw zebras, an alpaca, a llama, a kangaroo, & giraffes. Went into the rabbit & chicken show barn & saw lots of adorable breeds of both, as well as some gorgeous chickens & fluffy chickens (including some with FLUFFY FEET!!!). And some chickens with crazy hair. ALSO I got to watch a turkey make a gobbley noise in real life! It was awesome! Also saw geese up close & they were really cute.
- Couldn’t get to the exit I needed to in time before the highway split, so I had to take a different road home. This serendipity lead to me driving past the Florida State Fair when everything was LIT UP AT NIGHT & BEAUTIFUL, on the VERY LAST NIGHT THAT IT WAS THERE, & it was so magical to be able to see.
- Went to the grand opening of an Earth Fare store, which is the first time I’ve ever been in one! Got a free reusable shopping bag. They had three huge pink balloons flying above the building & you could see them from the road!
- Went to a new pet store in my area that I’d never been to before to see what they had.
- Went to the movie theater with my whole family for the first time in YEARS.
- Found a small ringneck snake on my back porch! Tried to catch it to remove it from my deck but I got away from me & left my deck on its own accord. But this was my first time of ever seeing a ringneck snake, & if you like snake, they’re really cool looking!