31 October 2011

2 Posts in 6 Hours

I've never posted twice in one day before...

There's something wrong with it somehow.

But Tall One wrote and posted something on Google Buzz today that I thought deserved a repeat. Good job, brother. Nicely put.

It's Halloween, and I would like to thank all the little people for making this great holiday, of eating candy and getting sugar highs, possible.
Halloween is that time of year when all the little children go out and get hundreds of individually wrapped candies for you to munch on later that night and for breakfast the next morning, either with or without parental consent.
It is a time of year where we say goodbye to October and see that November is here and that we somehow missed February, March, April, May, June, July and so on…
But here we are and the holiday season is almost upon us. When we change from the scary side of life to the happy Christmas carol singing side of life. Some even believe that Christmas carols should be song all year round. But I believe that the moment that Halloween is over and done with, we can begin to sing Christmas carols again! Thank heaven for Halloween; for it is the only thing keeping us back from singing Christmas carols all year round!
Thank you Halloween, for you are the way we get all the tricks out and save the treats for the coming holiday season. You are a spotlight in a child’s life. A way to keep us content until Thanksgiving comes around. YUM!
So keep on doing what your doing Halloween! You save us from making Columbus Day the highlight of our October. You give us an excuse to gorge down all the candy we can find. You save us from buying Christmas decorations in October (wait never mind). You bring us the Great Pumpkin! And we get to dress up like crazy people!
So remember this October 31, 2011, all the things Halloween does for you and your friends!
-- Austin Schaffer

Love always,


This morning in class we got to listen to שירים של עברית (Hebrew songs). It was a very happy thing.


אריק איינשטיין - אני ואתה

They tell me that this is the Israeli equivalent to Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven'. It's not nearly as amazing, but...

חיים משה - תודה

Coolest. Song. Ever. Okay, maybe not; but it's the best one I've heard all day.


Love always,

26 October 2011

If I Were a Dominatrix...

I realize it's a funky title. Stay with me, here.

If I were a dominatrix... besides being called Lady Persephone... I would wear these boots:

These are $1395 calf leather boots from Jimmy Choo. Yeah.

Not to worry anyone,  though, because the likelihood of my becoming a dominatrix is slim to none. Here are the factors I considered, running over the numbers in the vastly practical difference engine that is my brain.

PROS (reasons to be a dominatrix):
  1. I would get to wear the boots.
  2. You announce that you're a dominatrix, people are very likely to be intimidated.
  3. One of these days I could star on a reality television show titled, 'Kids, Your Mom's a Domme'. It could be just like 'Sister Wives', only less pligy and with more chains.
CONS (reasons not to be a dominatrix):
  1. No matter where you are, the sex trade is tricky. Legalities fluctuate, depending on who's in the state legislature and who the major lobbies are... not to mention individual city council organizations... licensing could be tricky.
  2. Peak work hours are likely the reverse of 'normal' business hours. I would prefer to be home evenings, if at all possible.
  3. It could be slightly awkward to mention in Relief Society meetings. ("And we'd like to welcome a new member to the ward. Sister Schaffer has moved into the cul-de-sac near the park, and she works as a dominatrix.")
  4. Dominatrices probably need to have long, neatly manicured, painted acrylic fingernails. That ain't gonna happen in this lifetime, honey. I'm a pianist, and I can vividly imagine the very real possibility of nail-bed bruising. Not to mention that obnoxious clicky-clacky noise.
So, with a grand total of three pros and four cons, I decided not to take that career path. That is my method. The end.

Love always,

Note: No submissives were harmed in the writing of this post.

24 October 2011


Today kind of feels like a combination between two songs.

Radiohead - 'Karma Police'

Death Cab for Cutie - 'Title and Registration'

With this song added in for good measure.

Pink Floyd - 'Wish You Were Here'

I don't know why. One of those days.
They're kind of fun to have, every now and then, I suppose.
Days where life is just a little bit off-kilter.
Not in a bad way, or in a good way,
Just in a 'life is different today' way.

For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself
For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself
Phew, for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself
How I wish, how I wish you were here
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year
Running over the same old ground
What have we found?
The same old fears
Wish you were here

Love always,

23 October 2011


This week I've discovered the words of Pablo Neruda. And they are so beautiful that I don't even care he was a communist.

It's not very often that words achieve their full potential. Usually words are wasted, sometimes they come close to beauty, but when words can reach down inside you and touch your soul in the way that normally only music can... that is art. That is beauty. That is power.

And it should be celebrated, no matter from where or who it originates. In whatever form, in whatever packaging, at whatever cost, true beauty should be held up like a banner to the world.

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: when I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

- Pablo Neruda

These words inspire memories;
of nights with stars
of walks in the dark
of the moon
of warm laughter
of safe arms
of whispered words
of tears of both joy and fear.

These words inspire hopes;
for a time when goodbyes no longer have to be said
for tiny feet and miniature breathy sighs
for piano music filtering through the walls at all hours
for when written words can be spoken
for battles fought together instead of apart
for an entire chorus of "goodnight"
for a home with a fireplace and an armchair.

Some beauty is obvious. Some is a little bit trickier. But without it... what have we left to remember? What have we left to look forward to?

Beauty creates in us a remembrance of purpose, a regeneration of commitment, an opportunity to say, "This is what I have promised, and this is what I will do."

It is so easy to be caught up in the moment, in the day-to-day humdrudgery of school or work or laundry. We can forget the real reasons we're here. We can forget that there's something behind all this. Behind, and above, and through, and beyond. There is so much eternity, and life is merely a little speck that we must fill with as much learning and accomplishment and love as we can. We are given this tiny pinprick of time, placed here to skirmish, armed only with nearly inaudible whisperings of mission and truth.

Beauty provides us with a place to rest, to breathe, if only for a moment.

Love always,

19 October 2011

Dear World

Dear World:

I'm really not angry. I just look that way. Today is a happy day.

It's cold. The sun is shining in my eyes. This limping thing I'm doing isn't just to get sympathy; I'm actually in pain. And I'm trying to read that sign over there, but I'm blind and the words are too small. Hence the narrowed eyes, the furrowed brow, and the general expression of displeasure. Besides, if you were attempting to retain the insane amount of relatively pointless information that I am, you'd be looking pretty grumpy too.

I realize that I might look like a scary person who just decided to murder someone, but I hope this post assuages your fear.

Ashley Schaffer

P.S. - Thank you, scrawny-looking freshman, for opening that door for me. I realize the action was motivated more by terror than chivalry, but I won't hold that against you.

Love always,

14 October 2011

Just a Note

I woke up this morning when the moon was shining through my window, and I could see Venus beneath it. It was one of those moments when the world is beautiful, and I was so very grateful to be alive.

Then I looked at the clock, and realized that I so did not want to be awake that early. But after those times when my brain goes, "I'm so happy, HAPPY, HAPPY!" there is no going back to sleep, no matter how late I was up. Oh well. Michael Jackson's 'Billy Jean' was on the radio a while later, and it made up for my chagrin about only getting four hours of sleep.

So I got up, got ready, left home before 7am--when it was still dark outside--and hoped the school library was open this early during fall break. Thankfully it was, because it's cold and I left in too much of a rush to grab a jacket.

Now that I think about it, I may have even forgotten to brush my hair after I got out of the shower (which could explain why it looks funny). Hmm. I really don't do mornings well.

You know what I've decided? There needs to be someone who forces me to listen to Rachmaninoff first thing every morning. Left to my own devices I just turn on the radio and flip obsessively through the stations for something I deem acceptable. There needs to be someone who will turn off the radio, put on Rachmaninoff, and say, "Ashley, quit complaining about wanting something you can sing along to; the Red Hot Chili Peppers are awesome and all, but at six o'clock in the morning? You need something with a little more substance." I won't do it on my own, but it would be a nice thing to have in life.

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

--Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 'Ulysses'


Don't try to find the answer
When there ain't no question here.
Brother, let your heart be wounded;
And give no mercy to your fear.

Run to the water
And find me there--
Burnt to the core but not broken,
We'll cut through the madness
Of these streets below the moon.
These streets below the moon.

--Live, 'Run to the Water'

Love always,

P.S. -- I painted a miniature pumpkin the color gold last night. October is awesome.

08 October 2011

About Me

Who am I?

I am Ashley.

I could say that I'm a junior at the University of Utah, double-majoring in political science and mass communication, with a minor in campaign management. But that isn't who I am; it's only what I do.

How much of who I am can be separated from what I do? Because it would appear, at least to a point, that the things I do define me. But that sounds incomplete.

I am a daughter.

I am a sister.

I am a friend.

I am a musician.

I am a thinker.

Someone who dances in the rain,
and obsesses over the gas prices at the place down the street even though I don't have a car,
who reads Ayn Rand for the way the words flow,
who sings along with the radio even (especially) when I don't know the words,
who can't help but do an awkward happy-dance in the mail-room when there's something there for me,
who reads Shakespeare to giggle at the naughty bits,
who has a blog even though I can easily list ten reasons not to have one,
who has to consciously put effort into translating thoughts into words,
who has an irrational fear of water,
who reads really nerdy webcomics even though I don't understand the math,
and bakes cookies at midnight (but only sometimes).

Someone who loves the little things in life:
the feel of cotton
the sound of laughter
the smell of newborn babies
the taste of sour lemons
the sight of smiling eyes
because without these... it is so easy to forget:

That I am a child of heavenly parents.
There are people here who love me.
And I have a work to do in this world.


Someday I will be many things:
a teacher of my children
a political strategist
a protector
a provider
a mother
a lover
a wife
and a bunch of others.

I look forward to all of them.
I prepare as best I can for all of them.
Some will be easy.
Most will take more work than I can even imagine.

That is someday.
But someday will be here before I know it,
          and someday depends upon today.

Love always,