Monday, February 27, 2017

HGTV Anonymous

Silence is Golden… I was shocked at first, I couldn’t believe that for the first time the entire award show season that there was going to be an award show without any nasty jokes made about Trump. That was until about three and a-half minutes into it when they started, and sadly it never ended.
To be honest, I did not watch the entire show. I did however flip back and fourth several times to see what was going on. Hey, I'm an actor and being that the Oscars used to be the equivalent of what the Superbowl is to football… it is only natural to want to see what films and performances take the top honors. (BTW Hacksaw Ridge was robbed!)
I say, “used to be” because over the past several years Hollywood or shall I say Hollyweird seems to have forgotten that they are supposed to be in the business of entertainment and not politics. 
It's just not as fun as it used to be to keep up with it all. Honestly the only things we watch in our house are HGTV, Animal Planet, and sometimes Fox News. Most of the time I have Classical or CCM Music on the Music Choice channel going on the TV in the background. Why? Because Classical Music makes you smart, and in my opinion it is just more fun to watch than a bunch of junk set to program my noggin with boatloads of gobbledygook.
This my friends is how it all started… My decision to tune out the junk, and tune into other things. I’m seriously starting to wonder if I need to check myself into “HGTV Anonymous”. You see I wanted a new bedroom suit. I had fallen in love with a set at Restoration Hardware called the St. James collection in antique white. The catch, I didn’t particularly care for the almost six thousand dollar price tag it came with. Ov vey!
So I did what any thrifty person in this situation would do. You guessed it, I hit Craigslist. After a few weeks I found a set just a few miles away from our house. It was perfect! Solid wood, unlike most of the furniture on the market today, which is, manufactured wood and pressed board. I made an appointment to see it, got the Mr. and boom we were off. It was just as perfect in person as in the ad. So we made arrangements to pick it up the following day.
Then, it was off to the Home Depot for Chalk Paint. What is chalk paint you might wonder? It is a fantastic way to make furniture look antique. It can be used to do so many crafts and it looks amazing! There are lots of colors to choose from as well. The best part you don’t have to strip the previous finish. Just paint right over it, then do the topcoat.
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It took about three weeks to get two coats on everything, and then let it dry and do the top coat matte clear. I found amazing knobs on lowes.com and viola’ our new bedroom set was complete.
However, after getting it into the bedroom and set up was when I started to notice every little knick and scratch on every bit of paint it seems in the entire house. Could it have something to do with watching too much, Flip or Flop, Love it or List it, or House Hunters? Probably…
I then told the Mr. we needed to finally finish painting the ceiling that we never finished a few years ago. Then it was the hallway, it was too dark and too tan, that we needed to brighten it up. Then it was the entryway by the front door. Now it has moved onto the woodwork. Yes all the white woodwork in the entire main level of the house “needs” to be painted.
So after several trips to Home Depot, Lowes (and to Dunkins for fuel to do the job) we have the house upside down and covered under plastic. Blue tape everywhere and I’m thinking that I might think twice before I tune into HGTV again… because after all this is how it all starts (no wonder I’m behind on getting my new music out).
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Add to the chaos the fact that not only are my own four dogs and one cat in the house while this is going on, we are currently pet sitting my moms two dogs as well. This makes for a whole barrel of monkeys or shall I say fur babies who want to see what their fur and paws look like with paint on them.
Here are some signs you might be watching too much HGTV:
- The employees at Home Depot know you by name.
- The employees at Lowes know you by name.
- The employees at both stores know what projects you are working on.
- The employees at both stores ask to see photos of the finished projects. 
If this sounds familiar, it may be a good idea to reduce ones HGTV viewing. Oh who am I kidding? I’ll never stop watching and why should I? There’s nothing wrong with Spring-cleaning any time of the year. Hey it’s a surefire way to keep oneself from ending up like another TV show that no one in the world ever wants to find themselves on… hoarders. ;o) Happy HGTV-ing!
Blessings, Love & Music!
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

Monday, January 9, 2017

Here We Go Again

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Thank God for the inside voice...

It’s awards season again, the first of the bunch kicked off last night. I’m happy to say I didn’t watch. Instead the Mr. and I chose to watch the new version of Ben Hur. Which despite reviews from the critics, we loved. I’m not surprised though, since the producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett are out as Christians (a group critics seem to love to marginalize and criticize).
I made a decision long ago to simply “unplug” from the things in entertainment that go against my morals, values and beliefs. All too often instead of celebrating good art (which unfortunately these days is so few and far between), it winds up turning into a half-baked political pontification session.
Well apparently last night was no exception. The Hollywood mucktey mucks did not disappoint this year, and their brave leader was none other than Meryl Streep. After the movie was over, I picked up my phone and there it was, all over social media and the news. So of course I had to go find a clip and see for myself what all of the hullabaloo was about. My inside voice was going “watchu talkin bout willis” while I almost spilled what was left of my dunkins decaf all over my lap.
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Now I’m not going to pick it apart because I do believe we are all entitled to our own opinions. To think for ourselves, to be what we want and to not let others do our thinking for us. I will say this though… her entire argument and character assassination of Donald Trump was based on a total lie.
I wonder though... where pray tell were all of the Hollywood "defenders of the disabled" last week when a disabled boy was held hostage and tortured for up to forty eight hours on Facebook live by four african american teenagers while they screamed obscenities? What was that? Crickets... that's what I thought.

Lies, misrepresentations, things taken totally and utterly out of context, are exactly what almost the entire news media or her precious “profession of journalism” did throughout the entire election season. All in a planned correlated effort not to get to the truth (that she said in her speech she is worried about protecting), but to hide the truth from the American public. In order to elect or shall I say coronate their hero none other than Hillary Rodham Clinton.
To their shock and horror it did not work. The American people chose instead to unplug just as I have from the media propaganda. Donald Trump brilliantly decided to go around the media and take his message straight to the American people. Thank God it worked because I honestly do not believe America could have survived a Hillary presidency. It would have been the nail in the coffin for our country after eight years of the Obama nightmare.
Am I being hypocritical for lambasting Meryl for having an opinion when I clearly have my own? Noway hosay. Meryl is entitled to have all the opinions she wants. The problem is when she goes on national television and broadcasts that opinion on a show that is not about politics; that further perpetuates a story that is based on a total lie. Sorry, but that is just plain ignorant in my opinion.
Hollywood is so mortified by the thought of a Donald Trump presidency that they have taken to making these pathetic PSA videos being shared all over social media. The funniest thing about them is these actors are all going on and on about the Constitution and our founding fathers, when 99.9% of them would not know the constitution if it bit them in the butts. Really can you imagine some of them passing a simple quiz about our nations actual founding history?
When uninformed people with a worldwide platform insist on pontificating publicly and perpetuating lies it is dangerous. Have an opinion, yes be involved, disagree even, but for the love of God please, please, please get your information from somewhere other than the mainstream media (and if I have to explain what the mainstream media is then I rest my case).
These Hollywood celebrities whine that the “majority” of the American people voted for Hillary, blah blah blah… they are having temper tantrums because they say the American people did not get who they voted for.
Newsflash to all the Hollyweird crybabies: the American people got exactly who we voted for. We the American people (you know the people in flyover country, the Christians, the silent majority) got exactly what our founders so brilliantly and uniquely created. They set up a system to prevent mob rule and tyranny. Since the Electoral College didn’t go their way now they want to abolish it. Had Hillary won though, they would all be praising the brilliance of it all, hypocrites.  
So please stop whining, stop making PSA’s. Trump is President. Get over it, just like we all had to for the last eight years. Go back to making movies, art and hopefully one day you will wake up to your stupidity. If not, you’ll most assuredly find yourself four years from now, and God willing eight years from now in an America that is greater and stronger than ever before (no thanks to you).
Blessings, Love & Music,
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

Monday, December 19, 2016

Pull the Plug

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The Christmas season is in full bloom. Seems like everywhere you go there are signs of the season. Lights, decorations, "holiday" themed beverages at your favorite coffee joint. Yes I had to use "coffee" as an example. Why because I love it, and in case you're wondering my favorite is Dunkins. No matter where you go from the big box retailer down to the local diner it appears everyone is all dressed up ready to make merry.
This is a good thing right? I beg to differ. I was out and about the other day and it hit me, not that it hasn't before, but this time it really stuck out like a sore thumb. Ironic I would use that analogy given what I'm about to type... but all I could see were not the pretty lights, decorations, or signs of the season. All I could see were a bunch of people with their faces glued to a glowing machine and it bothered me. It really bothered me.
The holidays are a time for celebration. Connecting with loved ones, taking time to reflect on the year past and look forward to the year ahead. I know that this time of year can mean different things to different people. Some people deal with incredible sadness or depression this time of year as well, which is terrible. I wonder though, can we as a society for the love of all that is good and right in the world just put down the flipping phones?
One could think it hypocritical of a Greek Girl who uses technology to connect her music with the world to be complaining about people having their faces stuck in their phones, but hear me out. See that's just it. I "use" technology for a purpose, to accomplish a task. To connect, and that's it. For some it has become a very unhealthy addiction and if you ask me it is tearing apart the fabric of our society.
I've written about this before, but the truth is social media is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing to be able to connect with people whom you never could before. So for a business, or independent recording artist such as myself it is an incredible tool. For people in their personal lives though it can be very destructive. We've all seen it, a family out to eat all sitting around with their faces glued to the phones, including the parents. Some you can even see scrolling their Facebook feeds.
Many people today are not happy. In my humble Greek opinion they are not happy with their own lives because they are so busy scrolling to see what others are doing and how great everyone else's life is, that they are missing out the life that is right there in front of them... sad.
Everyone wants to be famous. Again, something I have blogged about on many an occasion. It's not enough for a kid to just play the piano and be good at it; we have to broadcast it all over social media. Moms blasting pics of their kids dancing, singing, baking, you name it. Video after video, and the younger the better. Um hello parents... hate to be the one to break the bad news but there is a creepy word lurking and trolling the internet and I'm just saying something to keep in mind before you post, pedophile.
Why can't it be enough to just live our moments and see where life takes us. Life is a journey... well these days it seems less and less of a journey and more like a race that some people are running fifty miles and hour trying to catch up to the person on instagram who has the most perfect talent, or thing, or life, or beat out the next internet celebrity who pops up.
I'm not saying not to share your moments and be proud of your kids, that is not at all what I am saying. I'm saying everything in moderation. It's like with the commercialism of retail. Stores are promoting the next holiday before the current one in many instances is even over yet. Why? Because of social media. People are far too busy these days. Kids, and even adults have to be involved in multiple activities after school and work. People are so busy running here and there that there is hardly any time left to just "be". To just enjoy life and enjoy some quiet time. Quiet time what's that?  You mean we don't have ten places to run today after work or school? My goodness what on earth will we do with ourselves? See what I mean.
Much of this stems from social media. There has been study after study about the dangerous effects of social media on people’s emotional well-being. At the end of the day there is a very wise saying... "Comparison is the joy thief" and it is
So this Christmas my wish is that people will pull the plug. Realize like the wise old Grinch did: “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
I wish for people to take time out from social media to live life and enjoy the life that they have whatever that may be. No not everyone has a perfect life, and that's OK because there is always time to change it. Perfection is an illusion. There are no perfect people, and there are no perfect lives. Christmas does't come from a store, and life is not lived in a little glowing box.
Take some time to reflect on the year that was 2016 and look forward to 2017 with joy and anticipation that it is going to be the best year yet.
Blessings, Love & Music.
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

Monday, November 21, 2016

Get Me to My Safe Space

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To celebrate Veterans Day the Mr. (an Air Force Veteran) & I went to see the film Hacksaw Ridge. I was moved and saddened by the stark contrast. In the week or so that has followed I have watched a tragedy unfold across the country that sadly has proved my observations to be correct. 
WARNING: This blog is NOT politically correct. In fact sharing it on Twitter may result in account shut down. Which would also prove my observations to be correct, since Twitter is now in the censorship business. They seem to have no problem allowing child porn, and individuals or groups who post all kinds of hateful barbaric ideology. Yet if one openly posts the truth, or something considered "conservative" in nature... whoa nelly. That simply cannot be tolerated and must be banned.   
A very mixed up generation is coming up. Entitled, angry, arrogant, and hateful. It's OK though because Lady Gaga wrote a song telling them they were "Born this way". A generation who simply cannot handle opposing viewpoints. They demand their way be the only way, and must shut down all opposition.
While those who serve and who have served in our Military make sacrifices for others. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice. They work together with all kinds of people from different backgrounds, religions and walks of life. They unite to achieve a common goal. They learn many valuable lessons in the Military, one so missing in today’s culture, is learning to put others interests ahead of your own.  
The Greatest Generation stopped a mad man from taking over the world. They literally marched to hell and back in the worst of conditions in the worst of times. Now we have a generation of whiney babies demanding safe spaces, canceling college exams, having cry ins, protesting, out marching around destroying other people's property and "killing people" because they "don't like" an election result?
So let me see we bully people because we don't want to be "bullied"? Hmmm, watch the news for a few minutes. I'm not going to even begin to express the things my inside voice is saying because that would definitely get me banned from Twitter. Let me see, in the last ten days or so there have been people who oppose the election results who think it perfectly acceptable to do things such as:
Block an ambulance from passing, resulting in the death of the patient inside.
Standing outside a car full of "Trump Supporters" threatening to set it on fire.
Pulling a man (a supposed Trump supporter) from his car in an intersection in broad daylight. Beating the living daylights out of him while someone films it, loots the car then take off with it, leaving the man in the street beaten and bloody. 
Where are the news media on this? Where are all the MSNBC, CNN, and ultra left wing "journalists" or rather shall I say "personalities" (because we all know that journalism is the farthest thing from what they have been doing for the last decade and longer). Where are they? Why are they not speaking out against this disgusting behavior? I'm willing to bet that if Trump supporters where out there doing these things to "Hillary" or "Bernie" supporters in mass, it would be splashed across every TV news headline, and newspaper in the country.  
This is not acceptable in any way, shape, matter or form, to anyone, anywhere, period. We are all Americans, we ALL bleed RED. Trump is President, get over it, grow up and move on. No one acted this way when Obama was elected, and trust me there are many who did not support him or agree with anything he did. Did any of the people who didn't support him go out and create anarchy having temper tantrums in the streets about it? Didn't think so. Ironic the ones pointing the fingers calling Trump and his supporters hateful are the ones doing the destruction. We have a word for this in the Greek language, "Hypocrisy".
See this is what happens, when we celebrate mediocrity, everyone gets a trophy, everyone is encouraged to do whatever they "feel" like, and there are no consequences for our actions. My mom who is definitely not politically correct and has no filter says "We outta take those trophies they got for doing nothing back, and when they block public access or disturb the peace, we should bring out the fire hoses".  
Seriously though, people really need to take a deep breath. The season for giving thanks is upon us. People should stop and be thankful for the fact that they were born in the freest nation in the history of the world. A nation that even gives them the freedom to act like juvenile delinquents if they want to. They should stop to remember the men and women who serve and who have served to protect the flag that flies to keep them free.
God help us. I pray that people wake up to their idiocy. Go see the movie. It's a refreshing step back in time. A reminder of a few of the things that made America so great. May we once again return to those values and ideals that made us a shining city on a hill.
Blessings, Love & Music,
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

Monday, October 24, 2016

Black Cat

I am now a cat momma. There I said it. What, whoa, whatchutalkinboutwillis? Greek Girl you have five dogs... That is exactly what I was thinking when I saw a skinny, dirty little black cat sitting on my moms doormat meowing his little head off.
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My animal loving heart was saying, "Scoop this little fur baby up and keep him". My inside voice was saying "Cat... um, you have not one, not two, not three, but actually five dogs who do not particularly care for cats, did you forget?"
Now I know most everyone is probably more interested in the upcoming election and the latest wikileaks document dump, and Project Veritas videos than in my little black cat rescue story. However since almost everyone is on election overload, why not take a mini brain break? I mean even Hillary said looking at Cat gifs can be therapeutic. That she is right about. That may be the only thing in my opinion, but hey that’s a blog for another day.
So back to the story of how I became a cat mom. While we were on vacation in Greece and my mom was pup sitting our five furkids a little black cat starting sleeping on her doormat. Why didn’t she just bring him inside one may wonder. Well, that is because she already has a big fat spoiled rotten cat that does not like other cats. Besides, her own two dogs, and my five who were gracing her with their presence.
Fast forward to our return from vacation. We went upstate to her house and when I saw him I just couldn’t help myself. My mom had already brought him inside briefly to give him a bath, and try to get her cat to maybe accept him, which was not happening.
So for the few days we were there, I tried my hardest to find someone who could adopt him. I must have called or texted everyone I know, and got nothing. Sadly, since there are so many stray, abandoned, neglected and abused animals out there everyone I know is already over burdened with more pets than they ever planned.
Since Halloween was looming, there was no way I was going to leave a little black cat who was very friendly out on the streets for some lunatic to do God knows what to. He would actually go up to people walking by on the street meowing and following them. He clearly wanted a person of his own.
So, the day we were leaving I was on the way back from an appointment with the Mr. I started to ask him what we were going to do about the cat, knowing I didn’t really feel right about leaving him outside. Before I could even finish my sentence he blurts out “I think we should just keep him”. After I picked my jaw back up from the floor, I said “Really?” and he said “yup”.
So we made a pit stop to go buy kitty supplies. Carry bag, toys, food, etc. We got all the necessities. I let the Mr. name him, since it was his idea after all, his name is "Jaxson".  Then we made the three-hour drive home with five dogs in the car and one little black cat at my feet in his brand new carrier.
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Since then I have learned the skill of wrangling animals. I keep the dogs in one area of the house locked into a few rooms, and the cat gets the run of the joint. Or, the dogs are out with run of the house and the cat is safe in his room along with his kitty dream house in front of the window, and about a bazillion toys.
I have learned all the things about being a kitty momma that I never knew before. Such as, if he eats too much too fast (which he likes to do since he was a stray) he will vomit and that can lead to an expensive vet trip, eh hem. Along with not to leave any kind of toys that have little strings out as they can cause a blockage due to cats tongues grabbing onto.







I have learned that kitties think they are ninjas, and that he pretty much can scale a small building in a single bound. The best thing I have learned though is that there is no greater feeling than to save the life of a helpless animal. Yes it may be a lot of work; yes you may spend money you did not plan to spend. At the end of the day though, when they are all curled up in your lap and they look up at you with that gaze that almost seems to say “thank you for saving me”, it makes it all worth it.
Can't forget to share the doggies in their Halloween Costumes...
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October is “Adopt a Shelter Dog Month". Dog or cat, it’s always a good time to save a life and bring a little happiness to your life. Hey it’s good for your health too. Having a pet can lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol; bring companionship, and so much more. So what are you waiting for? Make everyday a happy day, don't shop adopt... your life will never be the same.
Blessings, Love & Music,
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com