[Photo Credit: Harley Maili, CEO and owner of Photodelphia Studios]
By Ash Catcher.
"I like odd things, and people, of which I have met, and collected many thoughts about my life…. I am a squirrel. I hide things, and you only see the tip of the iceberg- plus I nut up."
Apparently I come from a family of collectors. This is not news to me, I just thought I had a shit ton of interests and had trouble honing on one specific focus ( very Ash I know) but what I didn’t realize is what or exactly what it was that I had squirreled away. I am almost 30 and I have been collecting records since I was 15, that's almost 2 decades collecting vinyl, which you know if you have had the pleasure of hauling vinyl up and down flights of stairs ya know that shit is heavy. I probably have like close to 200+ vinyls, 7 inch, you name it I have it. I just cleared another record player, I think I am on my 4th or 5th. I just obliterate technology like Jubilee. Headphones, computers, you name it UH PHONES! I am collecting those too apparently… Books, art, clothes PLANTS! I think I just have a lot of stuff, but it all seems to have its own home, and such. I can't even begin to get into how many concert ticket stubs I still have- I am going to have to do something super special with those! SO I wanted to take a quick look at why humans feel the need to keep things. Nine seemed enough to me, and again love those odd things:
I have a shit ton of things, there is no other greater unit of measurement to describe all the things I have acquired. I have a lot of plants, books, clothes, records, artwork ( mine and others) and now cat things. THANKS BANNER! It can sometimes be overwelhming…. Oh and mugs please please if you see me with a mug in my hands if there is nothing hot in it please wack it out of my hands I don't need another mug, but I have been looking for more wicker chairs.
I love collecting things. This problem fills some sort of emotional void that I developed as a child. But what I love more is liquidation. I love selling off my things. I get an enormous rush from getting what is essentially something that just sits there and turning it into fast cash. I do this like close to every other season. I donate clothes, and try to be fashion-conscious. I feel like you got to spend a little money to make money. I really like researching and pricing items, something that I have inherited from my dad I am sure. He has an enormous collection of items as well. I really didn’t have much choice in the matter. it is just something I am weirdly good at. Desire, Acquire, Catalog, and Sell- it is really quite fool proof.
I am always so curious to see who likes to collect things!
See ya next Wednesday!
I just finished both versions of The Cult Classic movie, entitled Suspira. Why oh why do male directors think they can embody feminism is beyond me. The tones of both movies seem forced, and give me strange Black Swan vibes, but uh German? I cannot imagine that working in a dance company is a walk in the park but for it to be portrayed like this cmon. I get the artsy aspect, no I really do I just am failing to see the correlation of this over used stigma, that well women are scary as fuck. To what end are we going to stop remaking movies that didn’t need a remake at all?
The 1977 version was pretty complete in my personal opinion. I feel the exact way about Carrie as well. If you just discovered this minute genre of horror, do yourself a kindness and dont be like me I watched the original Suspira and then the remake or whatever people are branding it as. It just doesn’t work. This late version reminded me so much of that movie with Jennifer Lawrence, Mother that I was like uh WTF. I had to watch that movie twice in a row, but it wasn’t because I didn’t understand the plot…. I got “distracted”.
Suspiria was violent, and gory to be sure, but it was also overwhelmingly poetic in Argento's command of color and visual language I am a huge sucker for lighting in movies, it's very David Fincher / Oliver Stone but like just a dash of Rob Zombie — the knives danced just as gracefully as the film's ballerinas and the splashes of blood more evoked a modern art painting than the slasher film I had expected. It is abstract as all fuck.
My one small problem was this:
But why do women always get to be witches? Is that kinda a bad thing to explore this mysterious trope? I love horror, shocker but it is one of my favorite things to came out of the human race, people are fucking terrifying. I sometimes feel like I am in a horror movie, I think there is a word for that. Now here is the thing about “Suspiria" that I really enjoyed was that avant-garde horror genre. Foreign movies are infanntly a different class of “spookies”. So because I have been all over the fucking place this week, and an ode to witches here are my top 10 fav witchy cult movies.
Witch Movie Should YOU WATCH
Welcome to Vegflix & Chill, the whole plant based cookbook, for the avid fad dieter/ healthier conscious, and self proclaimed movie buff. For all you multiple screen millennial that need a little help in the kitchen, oh boy do I got some cool recipes with just the right amount of passive aggressiveness that reminds you of your nostalgic 90’s upbringing, You, and I are going to take back the kitchen for all those times we got shamed for trying to make something without your mama’s blessing. IE: was anyone else’s ass chased out of the kitchen?Not just me, okay then let's get cookin!
So I am sure you’re not asking yourself this but, why go Vegan? I mean really what's the point? Now we could get into an unethical debate on how the American agriculture treats it’s livestock, and such but I am gonna keep things simple, c'mon this is the first time I have really done something like this, why spoil things, right? I went vegan, mostly plant based, because I was looking to prove to others that not only can plants be tasty, but you have got to be a complete psychopath for eating all those cute animals, unlike you I don’t aspire to be A Bateman of any sorts. But I will flash some sweet new business cards that I just got shamelessly. I got a weird thing for business cards.
So let's just get to it, why did I stop eating meat? I stopped eating meat officially when I was about 15, from then on anytime my family ate burgers I had myself a big ol mushroom cap It wasn’t really discussed openly in my family, rarely anything is. My mom was a hella boss tho she tried super hard when I was a vegetarian, I still ate cheese and ice cream back then, don’t put me on the scarecrow cross for it. I feel like being vegan was something that you progress naturally to. Think of it as a level up. In the days before all these awesome new veggies, and impossible burger options, I was tripping on shrooms since circa 2000 whatever the heck. But boiling down to it I stopped eating meat primarily because I probably watched one too many documentaries on the meat packing, and grain industry, and I was like NOPE! Never again. A big Ol’ N- O- P-E. Plus my family got a dog, and from then on I named every inanimate object ever since. This girl didn’t have a prayer.
Another question I usually get is, why do people sometimes cheat on their vegan diets? I am not really too sure, because maybe we are human, people make mistakes, and sometimes ya want some ice cream other times ya wants cheese. As for me I am notorious, freakin known to go on a cake binge here or there. Most CAKE AINT VEGAN! If you can’t find a vegan substitute for something don’t freak out, just chill. While it’s okay to not always have all substitutes be vegan just try to be more aware of everything you’re putting into your body. 1 egg won’t kill you, but eating red meat every day, c’mon now this isn’t the 1950’s darlin!
But Ash, why movies? Movies offer me a great form of escapism and I'll be the first to admit that not only do I speak with a steady slur of pop culture movie references to break the silence, but I am also that weird ass person that goes to that B or Z rated movie by herself. As long as there are pretzel bites, bitch i'll watch anything. The more weird and obscure the movie or the reference the better!
So yeah plants and movies, so go cook something up and then plant yourself on the couch, go zone out and feel like a human again.
And I am going to try and keep any and all introductions short, I hate, hate, hate when you can’t find the recipe and the food blogger just goes on about their dead dog, the importance of beekeeping, and why only psychopaths keep an army of bees at their disposal, or their ex husband’s weird animal husbandry fetish.
So...... Let's get cookin’
Until Next time,
Written By: Ash Catcher
This past weekend, I ventured off to New York again! I decided to check out The Ossining Castle, an abandoned estate once belonging to David Abercrombie, and his partner Ezra Fitch. This 25 room Medieval Style home was something to see for sure! If those names sound semi familiar congrats you were probably one of those snotty teenagers that insisted on fast fashion, and an ode to expensive/ cheaply made clothes, made from children all around the world. With their exclusive stores, and oddly dim lighting, the obnoxiously loud music made me both hate, and become oddly ready to embrace mid 2000’s clothing trends, by hopping on that "Hot Topic” Man the mall really screwed me as a teenager. . I am not even going to touch on the perfume air that was circulated through all those stores either. I am happy to report the remaining part of their home had no traces of such a smell. Good thing too.
There was however a SHIT ton of other people, including a badass lady with a drone. I got to see most of the place, it has not been properly maintained, apparently the property has been on the market since 2017. Now I am trying to do what I do, snap a few pictures, make polite conversation with passing explorers, etch but there just seems like an awful amount of debris for this place to have been “abandoned” so I had a thought: this castle is smack dab in a neighborhood. Conveniently placed near Sleepy Hollow, and Briarcliff Manor, both places known for some spooky activity. What if this place just kinda ended up here as a mistake? Nothing seemed particularly strange about this place. What seemed strange to me was that…..
Every window was smashed through I couldn’t even get a decent shot of a room without there being someone in it, or some sort of odd item dragged into a corner. i did not move anything, I am not here to deface anything, just observe. Certainly this would either mean there is a person who frequents this property often, and "stages" pictures, or there is a heck a lot of foot traffic coming in and out of this house. On what was almost 50 acres, now stands at less than 2.5 the surrounding houses seem to mask this decaying building that I had to drive past it twice until I could see a bit of it from the road. Priced at 3.2 million it is technically for sale, but best of luck trying to preserve this piece of history.
10/10 for all the spiral staircases. These were terrifying to go up and down on! I think I counted over 10, too! I am so glad i went here during the Spring and not in Winter.
Overall this was an interesting, sort of quick hit on my way home sort of adventure. Much needed in terms of keeping up with my weekly “Ash” like activities. I need to be going to more places this summer, if anyone has any suggestions I am always looking for new places to hit up and explore. I am not sure what the easiest way that would be, send me a pigeon.
See ya next Wednesday!
Addiction is like addition.
I did not ask for your dependency to add over time, yet here we are.
You’re like something a bit extra.
I did not know I needed you until I didn't want to live without you.
Or is that couldn’t. Yea no…
You crept up out of me.
I didn't see it until recently.
You found me when I was a bundle of nerves.
And that's when I knew I was going to be in trouble.
Addiction steals some of the most beautiful souls I have known.
But let it get bad again, and it can leave you so empty, borderline soulless.
Fondly depended on, but if you can get a handle on it- rather than just getting another handle of it
As you say: “More power to you."
I cannot. I know myself, and I am telling you that is something I cannot control. Flat out.
And I think you struggle with it too. It's a we thing.
I just have better things to do than escape reality all the time.
But I think you have a bit more to go.
The compulsion is there.
The damage too, it's a-lot to repair.
It's hard to quit something you can't see.
But you can feel it taking hold of you once again.
This Addiction’s jurisdiction is no longer welcomed.
If you feel like you’re gonna cave, just have some watermelon.
I used lemons, they’re super sour to some.
Either way you can use almost anything to feel numb.
The encryption of your DNA some say.
Recover isn’t speedy, but it can be underway.
It takes a lot of patience, and self love.
All you need is to hit the bottom, no more kid gloves.
I've been reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I found it wedged between a duplicate copy of some Christopher Hart cartoon guide and another Ultimate Guide to Drawing Stuff and Things. It's kind of like a self-help book for creative folk.
In the first few chapters, The Artist's Way introduces the concept of the shadow artist. Shadow artists don't have a badass origin story about being born in a pit of darkness, fulfilling some kind of prophecy, or anything like that. It's kind of a sad one, actually.
You're seven years old. You like to write. Maybe you draw too. You spend hours in your room with a pack of printer paper and colored pencils, pinning your designs to your walls. You write plays you make your siblings perform with you in your living room. You explore all the things that make you wonder. Your parents, your teachers, and all the well wishers cheer you on. Long story short, you create a ton of stuff all the time and you love every second of it.
Fast forward you're in high school. You've got a part-time job because your parents want you to learn some kind of responsibility or how to manage money. Now you just doodle for fun during your lunch break. Instead of writing stories, you're prepping for your SATs and ACTs. You're corralled into an AP Physics course and told it'll boost your class rank—so you take it instead of an art class. Then comes the college applications and career fairs. This is where it gets real. You want to be a painter or a poet or a playwright, but the same people who were once rooting for you are now telling you these things won't pay the bills. (Most have good intentions though). You take a second look at those printer paper drawings, and now they don't look as good as you thought. So you take their advice and put your passions on the back burner. You get the picture.
Shadow artists are basically people who grew up to love to create but walked way for one reason or another. Their parents told them they wouldn't make a living as a playwright. They didn't think they were good enough and that their form sucked. They thought they weren't true artists/creative folk. They hang around other creative people so that they can vicariously live out their dreams through other artists instead of claiming their own “birthright” as a creative person. And you can bet they beat themselves up about it. They're essentially caught between the dream to act and the fear of failing.
Sometimes to ensure some shred of success, a shadow artist pursues a “shadow career,” or a job similar to what he/she wants to do. So instead of being a fiction writer, you're a journalist. Instead of being a director, you're a film critic—and so on.
The other ugly part of being a shadow artist is when you believe you can't be “great” without giving up something else you really, really wanted. That author of that book I keep mentioning says, “In other words, if being an artist seems too good to be true to you, you will devise a price tag for it that strikes you as unpayable.” So, the price of being a talented comic artist means you'll die alone. If you want to be an incredible novelist you have to develop a dependency on alcohol and cigarettes. In your mind, you can't have it all.
I'm saying all this because I'm a recovering shadow artist. (At LSB we don't really like to talk about ourselves on here, but sometimes it just helps to use ourselves as examples.)
I grew up with a passion for drawing. I spent hours in the basement of my old house just drawing and hanging my pictures up on the wood-paneled walls with my mom's hospital tape. As I got older my sister and I started writing short stories back and forth (most of which were Spider-Man themed), and people said I had a knack for storytelling. I skipped AP classes and took art classes instead. At some point, someone said I can't make a living as an artist. I know this person genuinely meant well—most people who say this do. But eventually I started having these crazy thoughts about not being good enough and how all my ideas sucked. So what did I do? I walked away. Instead of being a fiction writer I majored in journalism (because those things are similar, right?). I reduced my art to being a hobby I did on weekends (until I became so self conscious I quit art entirely). Trying to write a story became an excruciating endeavor. This led to an on-and-off relationship with writing for a few years.
Getting back into it isn't easy. In my experience the best place to start is to take yourself seriously. You're an artist. You're a writer. You're a whatever-the-heck-you-want-to-be.
And it's okay to feel like you suck or are out of practice at first. Julia Cameron says, “By being willing to be a bad artist, you have the chance to BE an artist, and perhaps, over time, a good one.” Anne Lammott says something similar in her essay, “Shitty First Drafts.”
Ramble, mess up, get lost in it. You'll be busting your ass learning how to play again, and it'll be hard work.
You owe it to yourself to at least try.
I have a friend in California, he sends me postcards.
A super funny guy, and I can tell was never a lifeguard.
There are all kinds of places I still want to see.
But for now I have to settle for PA, crackers, and brie.
I am going out there, out west I mean.
I am SO tired of snow, and the East Coast Scene.
So off to Cali, I will eventually go.
Time for something new, time to grow.
Surfing, and hiking sound like just the thing.
Change my name officially, get another nose ring?
All sorts of opportunities out in the west.
Something different, a change in scenery, a whole new quest.
It's going to happen, eventually.
Gonna cost an arm and a leg to relocate, consequently.
California, yes I am dying to go back to you.
The only things I'll miss on the East Coast are the moos.
I have a friend in Cali, I hope he stays.
Or at least until his lease is up, I think it's May.
Sending postcards has been super neat.
We're both Russians, and love beets!
Sending me cards from my favorite places.
Joshua Tree, Sequoia, he covers all the basics.
West Coast here I come.
Just have to work a little bit harder and increase that income.
By: Ash Catcher
Photo Credit: @ugly.luck.heaven
Location: Cafe Volo, Manayunk PA.
It's alright to be unwell.
It's nothing major, maybe some days it's just a spell.
It's alright to not be okay.
I think at this point everyone these days is a little gay.
You don't have to always feel satisfactory.
But please stop eating all the snacks in the pantry.
You don't have to seek anyone's approval.
But self improvement is crucial.
As long as you keep trying, who really cares.
Trading software for eclairs.
It’s fine to not be up to mark.
Because of Covid, I’ll probably never go to another amusement park.
Life is never up to par anymore.
The highlight of my week has been the Traders Joes in Ardmore.
Things are a bit different now, and it's kinda shitty.
But that's okay cause at least we both have kitties!
Things aren’t even close to being copasetic
That one AJJ song that ended in parasympathetic.
It’s fine if things aren't going so swell.
Cannot believe it’s been over a year since I was gonna meet Drake “Bell”
- See ya next Wednesday!
Here is something that I had to to be the littlest bit high to come into realization. ( I am typing this with one hand to, my cat is heck a needy this morning) I cringe at the thought of me have graduated college almost 10 years ago, some people think I have very little to show for it- I am not focusing on those people today- instead I am more focused on how much I have learned outside of a state instituted learning facility. You’re right that was a Suicidal Tendencies reference, that's literally the best way I can sort of describe my time at college.
I learned a lot academically, but nothing I learned in college really prepared me for daily life struggles. I am an artist. I didn’t take any personal finances, I know zilch about the stock market, nor do I really care to. I guess really the only useful thing I did learn and graced my semi developed adult brain with was learning, and becoming moderately good at learning another language.
Learning Russian, while I am no way not the best opened a lot of doors for me, I started teaching at Russian speaking school, got a real taste for the culture, literally I am mostly sour cream, if you have had a late night diner run with me you know Betty, at Suburban Diner just hands that shit out to me. Learning Russian sparked something else in me too, it was that I noticed I was never satisfied. If I finished a project, as soon as I handed it in- instant regret, I would always say to myself I can do better, I can push more, I can be more. My take on college was much more serious than in high school, I did not give two flying fucks about high school. However I felt like my parents had so much expectation for me to even attend college that I do what I do with most things…. I rush through them. I don't take my time, I feel like sometimes if I can get away with the bare min I will. Learning in a classroom isn’t for everyone, trust me I have been on both sides of that smart board I know.
Nowadays, I obtain most of my information from reading. Yes like from a book, but also I am on Reddit way too much- But yea books, I have a lot of those and in an enormous variety of different topics, and sizes. To anyone who had the displeasure of helping me move, I know they’re heavy, and yes I do have a Barnes and Noble Membership still, why, do you need to borrow it? Recently I have been even more into spirituality, I guess more so than I used to be, I am not 100% cause you know this could be the all up in my head, and then again maybe not? I see WAY too many synchronicities, repeating patterns, and odd things happening around me. My town is weird as shit, and I am like semi-conscious at this point that there is something bigger going on- I am also a little bit stir crazy being at home on my only day off for the next two weeks, ya girls got some grinding to do- literally I’ll be grinding coffee for the next 2 weeks haha.
Back to it Ash- Some would say that learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior, I disagree I think if you don't contradict yourself are you 1: real? And 2: are you really learning if you aren’t constantly changing your view on something due to what you just read. I value peoples in-site, and yes I get caught up in the comment section, I think people are both endearing, and severely misguided. I love that. But seriously the way I choose to educate myself post Malone college has very little to do with my IQ. Not sure what it is up to now, but if it is anything like my credit score we may be in business! I do like the fact I have broken a DISC test 3 times running, that made me feel semi special, and also crying into a personal Ben & Jerrys. I can't understand the horror! I was never good at fitting into boxes. I have no time for personal hang ups, and I certainly prioritize myself, my home, and now my cat?
Real quick I am going to throw this out there:
Some quick ways to learn something new as you go about your day are:
See you next Wednesday
I am having trouble recognizing people's faces without a mask.
The whole lower part of their faces remains a mystery,
and then I see the rest of it and I just can't recognize them.
Instant cognitive facial recognition dissonance. It almost sounds like a real thing.
I just want to travel back in time.
Or at least to 2009.
Where in pictures everyone had one eye; intentionally
And had mastered the art of camera angles.
I miss when malls were actually a thing.
When Apple didn’t lock all of my music
Causing me to lose MONTHS of songs.
( That shit was carefully curated dammit)
I miss running in the gym without a mask.
I just want to have a real conversation with someone without yelling at them.
I am becoming so fucking deaf.
Or one of my headphones just cut out.
I don't mind waiting in line at the grocery store.
Because I never really liked it anyway.
But I know it will be worth it because I will walk out with a cute plant.
I love my new tree. I named him Benji.
If you feel like you’re craving normalcy.
You’re really just craving something that you know.
Something that is comfortable
Like that whole I've been here before I know what to expect.
It's not so scary, but I need you to know that “THIS"
I am pretty sure this episode of Twin Peaks, just turned into The Twilight Zone, and is about to pull a Black Mirror.
Whatever happened to that show: Am I going to be searching for "Freaks and Geeks" for free for the rest of my life.
I should have bought the dvd when I had the chance.
I NEED TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF THIS HOUSE.
I can't recognise anyone when I go outside.
I don't recognise anyone inside either.