ashtag

#Ashtag #25: A Constant State of Reverie

The Dallas Comedy Festival starts this week. Do not miss it! Welcome back, or hello, welcome for your first time. This is the monthly edition of #Ashtag, where I attempt to stay hip and "with it" by digging into current Internet trends.

We're going to get a little different for #25 though. We're going to peel back the curtain and take a look at the old fogey pushing the buttons: me.

Some of you may have asked yourselves, "How does Ashley stay so far behind pop culture to need to do #ashtag?" "How does she spend her time instead?," and "How did she not know what Drake was?"

I may be the only one actually asking these questions. Either way, we're getting the answers this week.

First, I have a short daily commute. I max out at about 10 minutes in my car at a time unless I'm making a special trip somewhere. I'm very lucky to live so close to my job(s). My car radio and I spend a limited amount of time with each other except when I listen to Think while I eat lunch in my car. Yes, I eat alone in my car a few times a week. I like it, and you can't stop me. But because of this limited radio time, I'm not hip to the pop music. Although, if we're being honest, I don't think a longer commute would make me inclined to listen to pop radio on the regs. This entire paragraph is moot. Let's move on.

As I've mentioned in previous #ashtags, I don't have cable. I'm what they call a "cord-cutter." I do keep up with shows that I like on Hulu and Netflix and even Amazon Prime. The most commercial action I get are the same handful that repeat over and over again on Hulu. It always blows my load when I'm at a home with cable of how out of the loop I am with the ad game. I have to sneak away from conversations where people start talking about funny commercials they've seen because I know nothing, and it's not interesting to hear about a commercial you haven't seen.

Moreso than my light TV and radio ingestion, I think my constant state of reverie can be blamed for my out-of-touchness. In case you're like I was not too long ago, reverie does not mean to revere something. It is "a state of being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts; a daydream." If you already knew that, kudos to your vocabulary.

I know the proper pro-noun is "who" for Drake. I was just joshin' ya.

I spend far more time dilly-dallying in my own head than I do paying attention to what a Drake is. This is not to say that I'm playing around in some wonderland in my brain, although it can be. I spend a lot of my time doing the brain equivalent of pacing around a living room. It can be very unproductive.

Luckily, I get to be productive at a real-life wonderland, Dallas Comedy House. I get to perform, write, teach, and do bits on bits with super funny and talented people. I spend so much of my time at this place, and I can't express how lucky that makes me feel. I get to spend most of my brain power on this art of comedy, where our medium is human interaction. Hands down, given the choice a million times, I'd always choose to be an out-of-touch oddball who sometimes feels old and ill-equipped for the real world over being savvy, hip, and technologically competent.

Ashley Bright is a writer/performer at Dallas Comedy House. She’s a graduate of and an instructor for the DCH Improv Training Program. You can see her perform every weekend at Dallas Comedy House. You can also see her performing in the Dallas Comedy Festival starting this week!

#Ashtag Week 11: Cold, Hard Steel, and Cookies

Pittsburgh, Steel City.  Imagine our picnic here for our 11th week anniversary. This is the 11th week of #ashtag!! Eleven weeks!! Eleven. Eleven is a number. It follows seven sometimes; not numerically, but as a convenience store chain name. We all know that. The 11th hour is when sh*t gets real and down into the nitty gritty. Okay, I'm reaching. I guess there's no reason for us to get as jazzed up about the 11th week like we did for week 10. Traditional gifts for 11th anniversaries are steel. Cold, hard steel.

Just as with every other edition of #ashtag, we're going to dig through the Internet, find the top trends, and learn things about ourselves and humanity. At the very least, we will learn about the most recently and fleetingly popular things online. I may have been reaching again when I said we would learn about ourselves and humanity, but you never know.

Sports are back on top this week. The Google top searches are flooded with the names of NFL teams. Let's just get this out of the way right now - I'm not a huge football fan. Neither college nor professional gets my gears goin'. Can we all just agree now that I can skip over this admission in the upcoming weeks during the football season? Of course, if another elevator video or something pops to the top, we can get into it. But no one is going to have fun with me recapping game highlights and scores, especially not me. I will say that the Steelers lost this week, which is not very cool. Steelers. Steel. Eleventh week together. A win from them would have been a nice 11th week anniversary gift for all of us, huh? Moving on.

Amanda Bynes was arrested for a DUI, so her name was a top search. Do you remember when she did the "Ask Ashley" sketch on Snick's All That? Let's remember her that way. On a near perfect and unintentional segue, you can "Ask Ashley" any real life/burning need for advice questions by emailing dchadvicecolumn@gmail.com. I will be fielding the questions for next week's edition of DCH's "So Says the Comedian" and dispensing life advice. I can channel Amanda Bynes if you'd like, but it may involve starting a fire in my driveway.

Another Wayne & Darth possibility. My references are current and on point.

One of the top hashtags this week is #lamerduos. I skimmed over it because I thought it was the name of a sports star, Lamar Duos, as it was mixed in with other sports team and athlete name hashtags. Sports are big right now, guys, as we've discussed above. Sadly, hashtags do not come with definitions even when you Google them. You just have to read through posts and try to piece together the intended use. #lamerduos appears to be applied to tweets attempting to make puns out of famous duos. Many of these fit the "lamer" part of the hashtag, such as "Sonny and Chair" and "Screech and Chong." Actually Screech and Chong was probably the best of what I saw. Oh boy. Hmm, I'm hating, so let me try to pop one off the top of my dome. Okay, um, Wayne & Darth...like a showdown between Batman and Darth Vader. No? Okay, I'm out. The tweeter of "Sonny and Chair" is better than me, and I am okay with it.

This week I headed over to VH1 for the top music videos of the week. For no other reason than that CMT provided me with hip-hop last week, so I thought it best to shake up my sources. And because VH1 has always been super cool and cutting edge. That was sarcasm, and I apologize, VH1, you're cool. According to the Top 20 list, the No. 1 video of the past week is Meghan Trainor's "All About that Bass." It's a catchy tune with a pastel colored video. I don't like her throwing out the "skinny bitches" line because we're all okay - skinny or not. But it did make me feel better about eating a cookie while I type this. [Editor's Note: Respect the treble.]

As we like to do, let's end with a note about my progress in the Kardashian game. I've done a little better this week. I've started jobs and remembered them. My publicist hasn't yelled at me as much. It's been a pretty alright week. #thisisnotreallifeandirealizehowpatheticthissoundspleaseemailyourquestionsforadvice

Ashley Bright is a writer/performer at Dallas Comedy House. She’s a graduate of the DCH Improv Training Program and is currently a level 3 sketch writing student. You can see her perform every weekend at Dallas Comedy House.

#Ashtag Week 6: I Still Know Nothing

This week I'm continuing my foray into the world of today's popular culture. MTV aired their annual video music awards, the VMAs, over the weekend. I do not have cable, so I didn't watch them. Even in my teen years (my peak submersion into pop culture) I rarely watched the VMAs. Although, I did always tune in for the MTV Movie Awards. Who new MoonMans were still a thing?

I probably should have invaded the home of one of my cable-having friends so that I could have watched the awards show and did this piece some justice. Instead, we'll let the Internet fill me in on what happened. As it stands, most of the top searches relate to the VMAs. Blue Ivy, the toddler daughter of Jay-Z and Beyonce, apparently stole the show. Katy Perry tweeted, “OMG BLUE IVY JUST PERSONALLY WAVED AT ME. MY LIFE IS OVER.” The three-piece family hugged and smooched on stage. The audience cooed.

Miley Cyrus won for "Wrecking Ball" and sent a homeless teenager up to accept on her behalf in an effort to raise awareness of youth homelessness, a la Marlon Brando sending the Apache woman up to accept his Oscar for the Godfather. By the by, I'm part Apache and the lady that accepted for Brando kind of looked like my mom in her youth. I just like telling people that I'm part Apache. It makes me feel cool. Alright, I'm moving on. Geronimo.

In reading up on the VMAs, I came across several names that I was not familiar with like Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, and Jessie J. I watched their videos and it turns out that I had heard the songs before. My next sentence is going to get me some dirty looks from folks, but it's the truth. When I had heard the Ed Sheeran song in passing, I thought it was a Justin Timberlake song. My bad.

The number of presenters and performers' names that I had never heard of outnumbered the names that I did recognize. There's a girl band out there named Fifth Harmony winning awards. Who knew? I made it 40 seconds through their video, "BO$$," before I turned it off. The lyrics "Michelle Obama, purse so heavy" were on a screechy repeat. I can only take so much, folks.

I do know of Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift, who were both heavily featured on the show. I read a recap describing Minaj's wardrobe malfunction as "dangerously close to revealing her upper and lower front." I'm not exactly sure why the term, "upper and lower front" made me giggle, but it did. Neither front was exposed because Nicki Minaj held her dress closed, while she sang... Rapped? I don't know.

This is actually way more clothing than we've come to expect from MTV. It's like they are Amish or something.

I haven't been able to find an actual video of it, but the reviews of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels' appearance all say it was incredibly awkward. The two were there to promote the upcoming sequel, "Dumb and Dumber To." Carrey fell off the stage doing a dance cracking a joke involving ebola. I hope we've all learned what happens when you make fun of ebola. You fall down. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

I've spent this entire week's #Ashtag recapping the VMAs, and I'm okay with it. In looking at pictures of the red carpet, presenters, and performers, I learned that I still know very close to nothing about today's youth and what they're digging. Honestly, there are entire television shows, music genres, and celebrities that I have absolutely never heard of. So, let's meet back here next week, so I can keep getting a little less ignorant. Or a little more, depending on your perspective.

As a special note because I know you care: I made it to the A-list and I bought that house in Miami I had my eye on. #kardashian:hollywood

Ashley Bright is a graduate of the Improv Training Program at DCH and a level 3 sketch writing student. She performs every weekend at DCH.