ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Lust, Turkey Gizzards + A Ladylike Toast

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

I blame my bleak and very unpromising cooking skills on Thanksgiving, you know.

You'd think I would have gotten better from helping my mom prepare such a yearly feast for me, her and my dad. (Mashed potatoes were my sworn duty. Probably because they're mashed, requiring heavy amounts of manual mashing child labor. Not to be confused with child mashing labor.)

But since my dad took it upon himself to be all Pennsylvania and go and shoot the turkey himself, this meant a couple of things that my adolescent self wasn't too impressed with:

  1. The plucking of feathers.
  2. The chopping of heads.
  3. And last but not least, gizzards. 

Do you know what a gizzard is? Do you? Because if you don't, DO NOT LOOK IT UP. You will vomit. And then it will be my fault you threw up on Thanksgiving. And I can't have those kinds of things on my conscience.

But yes. Watching my mother DECAPITATE A BIRD THAT I ONCE LOVINGLY DREW FROM THE SHAPE OF MY HAND as a kindergartener made me vow never to get into that whole cooking thing.

I mean, I give the lady props. This is a woman who refused to drive if it was drizzling outside because of poor visibility–yet who had no problem taking a cleaver and getting her Lizzie Borden on. (I will have you know I just Googled “famous ax murderer” to come up with that name. Probably better not to have that on my Google history, should I ever get a boyfriend. One day he's all innocently using my computer to Google game time for the Packers, and–whoops!–up pops my sweet, sweet Google search history, including seemingly-appropriate-at-the-time gems like “famous ax murderer,” “kidnapping in Colombia,” “average price of girl sex trafficking,” “Saddam Hussein,” “pesticide,” “pretty boy names,” “erase Instagram comments you've made,” and, of course, “mobile home paneling.”)

Yes, these things I actually just looked up in my Google history, and yes, I SWEAR IT WAS ALL INNOCENT. Well, all except the pesticide. I definitely had malicious intentions with that. Fucking ants.

This Thanksgiving, however, I will not be mashing potatoes or gawking at gizzards–as I haven't for many years.

Rather, today I'll be heading to a favorite local restaurant in town, here in Costa Rica, having Thanksgiving dinner with the owner and friends–people that I've since adopted as family, whether they know it or not.

And I must say, I am grateful.

Grateful for the cool breeze this morning. Grateful for my business. Grateful for you. Grateful for all of the chance encounters, serendipitous occasions, and people who have accidentally–and not so accidentally–crossed my path. For the way the world always seems to work everything out–whether you're ready for it or not. For kind eyes. For gentle souls. For compassionate words. And for the moments when you and another person feel undeniably, inexplicably connected. For red wine. White wine. Pink wine. And every glass in between that has, through its bonding powers, brought me closer to another human being, as we shared stories of old flings, new flings, and the time we fell flat on our face. Figuratively and literally. I am grateful for embarrassing moments, as they keep me humble, as I am equally grateful for my victories, as they keep me hungry. I am grateful for experience. For unwanted (but much-needed) lessons. For patience, perseverance, and peppery passion.

But most of all, I am grateful for lust.

For the lust of the game. For the lust of life. For the lust of next year, and the year after.

Because it's the lust that makes us feel alive.

It's the lust that fuels our ambitions.

It's the lust that keeps us moving–even when we aren't sure we can.

And it's the lust that's the one thing that can make you when you have it. And break you when you don't.

I am grateful for her.

Because it's the lust that has gotten me to where I am today.

And it'll be the lust that gets me to where I'm going tomorrow.

And on days I can no longer share with my family that once was–gizzards and all–I know that, at the very least, she'll be there to pick me up by my rhinestone sandal straps and say, “Let's go, kid. You're with me.”

And I'll simply nod.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, FROM ME, ASH, AND THE MIDDLE FINGER PROJECT.

To lust.

Jul 8

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I’ve got little patience for excuses. I proactively call myself out whenever I catch myself making excuses in order to either procrastinate or invent reasons why I shouldn’t put myself out there. Why? Because sometimes, putting yourself out there is nail-bitingly, blood-curdingly, will-drive-you-to-drink, flat-out terrifying at times. It’s far easier to continue doing what we’ve […]

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2017

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Change is fucking messy. You’re effectively molding yourself, and re-molding yourself, the way a sculptor would a piece of clay. And yet, nobody says to the sculptor: Shame on you, butter fingers, for not having it perfect the first spin. Rather, there’s an expectation of process. Of trial, of error, of slow transformation; of forming, […]

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Apr 25

2010

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Apr 25, 2010

Here’s a little something to ponder: Band Aids. What comes to mind? Perhaps a small, rectangular piece of flexible plastic with adhesive that sticks to your skin and pulls at your little hairs when you finally tear it off, bringing back unpleasant memories of your last Brazilian wax. No? I should leave the Brazilian wax […]

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May 29

2012

On My Red Hot, Sinfully Sexy Affair.

May 29, 2012

  I’m currently gnawing on a big, squishy, ripe red tomato. Right now. As I type this. I’m forking salty chunks into my mouth as I hope (but not pray–I’m pretty bad at that) that tomato seed juice doesn’t dribble all over my keyboard. Before my current lusty, red hot tomato affair, I was getting […]

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Nov 22

2012

Lust, Turkey Gizzards + A Ladylike Toast

Nov 22, 2012

I blame my bleak and very unpromising cooking skills on Thanksgiving, you know. You’d think I would have gotten better from helping my mom prepare such a yearly feast for me, her and my dad. (Mashed potatoes were my sworn duty. Probably because they’re mashed, requiring heavy amounts of manual mashing child labor. Not to […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Jul 20

2012

Stay Foolish. Stay Wise. Have CONFIDENCE.

Jul 20, 2012

Rules–particularly the dogmatic variety–are most useful for those who aren’t confident enough to make their own damn decisions.   For the rest of us, there’s vodka–so we can cope with the decisions we were foolishly wise enough to make.   So help us, Grey Goose.   Amen. -Excerpt from my forthcoming book, The Middle Finger […]

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Jul 18

2010

The Real Value of Travel (Come Sneak Away to the Beaches of Costa Rica, If You Dare)

Jul 18, 2010

A Sexy Story With a Lesson We sit in near silence, the only interruptions being an occasional mojito-induced outburst of nervous laughter, the sound of my silver chandelier earrings gently clinkering together, and the relentless tropical rains that steadily pelt the top of the canvas roof of the 4×4 automobile we are in. It’s shamelessly […]

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I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

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