Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm addicted but I'm trying to go cold turkey.

I have a substance abuse problem. I am totally and completely addicted to...Dr. Pepper. I know that drinking a lot of soda is bad for you because of the carbonation and the sugar and everything, but I really can't help myself.

I drink at least one Dr. Pepper a day.

I've tried to cut down. I've tried to give it up entirely. But I can't seem to kick the habit.

I used to drink water all of the time. Growing up with my grandparents, they rarely bought soda of any kind, but when they did they either bought Coke or the off brand of Dr. Pepper (which I hated and wouldn't touch), neither of which made it to the top of my "I really must drink it" list. So mostly I drank bottled water. We're talking six or seven bottle of Disani a day, sometimes with a lemon slice, but mostly just the plain water.

Then my senior year came, and with it came a boyfriend who loved Dr. Pepper as much as I did. And his parents ALWAYS kept it in stock at his house, which is where we and our friends spent most of our time. High School Boyfriend had the entire lower half of the house to himself. It had it's own entrance, he had a fridge and freezer and microwave and the computer and a TV and couch and his bedroom, and the rest of the family and the kitchen and the other TV was upstairs. So he pretty much had his own place. We all came and went as we wanted, and that was fine. Except that I had this unlimited access to this unlimited supply of Dr. Pepper.

Seriously, if they were down to one case his mom went out and bought three more. There was ALWAYS Dr. Pepper in that house. And we drank it A LOT.

At school, I still downed three or four bottles of water. I mean, you couldn't actually carry soda with you to class and drink it. You could have it, but it had to stay closed. It was against the rules (except for when I was a student aide for my Physics teacher. She let me drink soda because it was her off period and there were no other students or teachers around to see) and there was also something about it might spill on a school computer and ruin it. Although spilling water would be just as bad as spilling a soda for a computer. Liquid in general is bad for computers.

If that wasn't bad enough, when I went off to college I had to live on campus. Guess what? At college, you have UNLIMITED REFILLS for soda at any of the dining halls. ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. Buy one soda, fill it up for free the rest of the day. And you could have soda in class because the Professors didn't give a flying fuck what you did as long as you showed up for lectures and tests. And even then, most of them actually didn't care if you showed up to the lectures as long as you passed the tests. Some even supplied donuts.

That was it for my water habit. I downed about ten cups of Dr. Pepper a day, and these were the sixteen ounce cups they kept in the dining halls. That's a lot of Dr. Pepper. And yet I came home ten pounds lighter. Probably because I forgot to eat most of the time. I was underweight to begin with when I first went to TSU, and my family had a TFO when I came home with my pelvic bones and my ribs sticking out so far they looked like they would break through my skin.

Admittedly, I did get really sick right before I came home and on top of that Tyler had died so I was sad and between the wasting sickness and the depression of loss and forgetting to eat when I was too tired or too paranoid to eat alone, it's no surprise I came home weighing 96 pounds. It wasn't intentional or anything. And after three months of being home again I gained all of it back, and now four years later I've gained ten more pounds. The doctor is still pushing for another five, but I'm good like this.

Okay, I want to go back to 106. I thought I was fat all through high school. Now I'm even more fat, although still underweight, which means that I'm not fat, just crazy. And I wish I had the self control to just say no to bad foods but I can't so I've decided to start exercising because Boyfriend promised to teach me how to ride a bike and so I will.

And I'm giving up Dr. Pepper.

I've got signs stuck up all over the place.

At work. On my hands. On my computer. On the fridge door. On the bedroom door. On the bathroom mirror. Everywhere. "Say NO to soda. Drink H2O!!!!! And occasionally tea."

Now, I'm not dumb enough to think I won't slip up.

But I'm shooting for a month.

A month of no soda.

Can I do?

I think so.

I have more doubts about being able to ride a bike than I do about my ability to stay off the Dr. Pepper. I mean, I went months without Dr. Pepper for years, so I can go back, right?

I had a farewell Dr. Pepper yesterday.

I can totally do this. I can.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I don't think Boyfriend is planning to murder me, so it must be love.

Boyfriend and I have been discussing our vacation plans. This is epic in our relationship because we've never actually planned a vacation together. Sure, we went to New Orleans and Virginia and Las Vegas together. But those trips were never planned. Well, the Virginia one was planned for me and I decided to drag him along at the last minute to spend time with Daddy and to meet my step mother and sisters. But the New Orleans and Las Vegas trips were kind of random.

This is literally how they happened.

The trip to New Orleans:

Unsuspecting Channelle leaves work happily as always and gets in car with Boyfriend. Boyfriend is looking quite mischievous and happy as he gives Channelle her hello kiss.

Boyfriend turns to Channelle and says, "I want to go to New Orleans." Channelle says, "That's nice. When were you planning on going?" Boyfriend, "Tonight." Channelle, " now?" Boyfriend, "Yeah. You don't have work for the next five days. Let's go." Channelle, "I'm not packed?" Boyfriend says, "Yes you are. Our bags are in the back."
Channelle, "Um...okay."

And so we went to New Orleans in his M3, and it was like a farewell trip since a few months later Boyfriend decided the M3 just wasn't exciting enough for him and he sold it and bought a motorcycle. Which he got bored with and sold anyway after it burned my leg.

And then there was Vegas.

Channelle and Boyfriend are lying in bed, watching Mythbusters on instant Netflix. Boyfriend finally drifts off to sleep around ten, but Channelle stays awake. At ten thirty, Boyfriend suddenly wakes up. Boyfriend stares at Channelle for a few moments, silently staring into her eyes. Channelle is secretly thinking Boyfriend has lost his mind and is about to kill her.

Instead, Boyfriend says, "Get in the shower and pack some clothes."
Channelle, "Why?"
Boyfriend, "We're going on a road trip. You're on vacation anyway."
Channelle, "Where are we going?"
Boyfriend, "I'll tell you in the car. I don't want Roommate to hear. He can't come because he has to work, and I don't want him to feel bad."

So Channelle packs and showers and in the car Boyfriend says, "We're totally going to Vegas."
"Because I feel like it."
"You're not going to try to talk me out of it?"

And so we went drove from Austin to Vegas in a Maxima that we were watching for a friend because the Miata had been totaled by a drunk driver a couple of weeks earlier and we still hadn't replaced the car. Arizona was beautiful.

Anyway, planning vacations together isn't something Boyfriend and I have ever done before. It's like...a sign of commitment.

Not that I'm not committed. I love Boyfriend and I don't want anybody else. It's just that I'm totally freaked out by the idea of marriage. I mean, I am so freaked out by the M word that when my dad calls and asks if I'm going to be married, I get flustered and change the subject. So scared of marriage that when we went to Vegas and Boyfriend suggested that we go look at the Elvis Chapel to see if it was really ridiculous I took off in the other direction screaming behind me that we couldn't go inside a wedding chapel in Vegas after we'd been drinking, that's how accidents happen.

So. This happens to be a step in the more serious direction. Or Boyfriend is planning on taking me away so he can murder me and leave my body somewhere and then convince my family I ran away. But Boyfriend isn't the creepy, murdering, serial killer type, and anyway he knows my family isn't that stupid. I despise them most of the time, but I always call and check in. If I suddenly stopped, they'd know something was up.

I mean, look at Boyfriend. This isn't the face of a serial killer. This is the face of a nerd. And a pretty boy. I never really noticed that before. Boyfriend is a pretty boy. And a nerd. Classic. I mean, I knew he was a nerd, obviously. That was part of why I was attracted to him. He blushed when we first met. So awesome. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, making a guy blush out of nervousness.

Anyway, since I don't think the pretty boy factor actually makes him any more or less likely to be a serial killer, I'm pretty sure he really just loves me and wants to take a vacation with me. Because he likes to spend time with me. Probably because of my silly, quirky personality that he finds so endearing, though I have no idea why. I personally think it's obnoxious that I'm so adorable. That's not vanity. That's fact. My coworkers think I'm the most adorable thing ever. Especially when I get mad. And nothing makes me angrier than being told I'm adorable when I'm angry. It completely defeats the purpose of being angry when nobody takes your anger seriously.

I digress. So Boyfriend wants to go away with me for an extended period of time, just the two of us, probably by airplane. (This isn't him being cruel: he's never been on an airplane before and I can't deprive him of the experience. I will personally be heavily medicated for the duration of the flight because landing and taking off terrify me.) Or he might opt for car since he loves driving and we did just get a brand new Hyundai hatchback thing that has a model name but I don't really remember because cars are totally boring to me. I only picked it because it was sapphire blue.

Cars are just dull. Boyfriend freaks out over them and continuously laments selling his M3 because it was an awesome car. Apparently, M3s are very awesome. They are so awesome even Stephanie Meyer's fast car loving vampires love them. Or the blond one did, anyway. Me? Well, I know M3 is a BMW and that's a really awesome brand of German car made to look really pretty and go really fast. It looked like a normal silver car to me. I loved the M3 because it had heated seats. Do you know how awesome that is in winter when you are underweight and anemic and always cold? Heated seats are absofuckinglutely awesome when you're me. Seriously, it's a hundred and two degrees outside and I'm sporting woolly boots, a jacket, blue jeans, and my heater is on under my desk as I type this.

But that's not the point either. My point is that Boyfriend has given me jewelry, he's taken me for weekends away with his family, and has gone away with me and mine. Now we are taking the logical next step, which is extended vacation together.


And yet, I'm not resisting. So that's a good thing, right?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Stay away, Demon Spawn.

I think something went wrong in my brain during its early development. You know, sometime between when my egg was fertilized and the time I was born.

I have no maternal instincts.

Absolutely none.

I don't even think children are adorable in a "I never want them but they still make me laugh" kind of way. I. Do. Not. Like. Them.

Zero tolerance.

When most people look at babies, this is what they see. It's all innocent looking, and it's none threatening, and they think maybe they'd like to hold it. There are generally lots of oohs and ahs and cooing noises. People just lose their minds over these big eyed, drooling, pooping noise machines. I don't see any appeal here at all. It's even got all of that gross baby fat that hangs around in rolls. I had that as a baby, too. Which is why I don't look at my baby pictures. I don't find it adorable or endearing.

And if the reaction to cute adorable (to other people) babies isn't bad enough, there's the reaction that people have to the other kind of baby...the kind of baby that I despise more than the normal kind of baby. The kind of baby that sends even total strangers to do their bidding.

The squalling baby. There is some sort of magical appeal for people when there is a loud, screaming baby in the room. People want to hold it, to pet it, to give it whatever it wants so that it is happy and adorable again. They coo and aw over this damned obnoxious noise maker so much that I think they should all be committed. Why? Because it's a noisy thing that has no purpose outside of screaming, eating, and pooping. There is no appeal there.

Do you want to know what I see when I look at a baby? It's not a cute, adorable little angel waiting for love and affection. No. What I see is this little monstrosity. Behold the Evil Demon Offspring.
No, it is not cute. No, I do not want to hold it. I don't even want to look at it, so awful and horrifying is the sight. When I look at a baby, I see a little monster just waiting for its chance to destroy me and everything else in sight. My instinct is to get as far away from it as I can as fast as humanly possible. I see only death and destruction and misery when I look at a so-called adorable little baby. Demon Spawn would be a better name.

People seem to believe that my general lack of love for children (especially babies) makes me a bad person. I really don't think so. I don't go around antagonizing children or killing them or stealing from them. I just don't want the damn things near me, and since I avoid places that children flock to, I think that it's fair that people don't subject me to their spawn.

Like my cousin Alesha who recently had a baby. Knowing I hate children, that I don't like babies, that I don't even know what to do with them, she greeted me by sticking her two week old daughter into my arms.

And what did the little demon do?

Started squalling immediately.

I held it out from my body, turned my face away, and demanded that somebody remove the thing from my care. My whole family thought it was funny. So did Boyfriend, who eventually took the monster and cooed over it adoringly for half an hour.

Boyfriend likes children, the poor guy. He's a sucker just like the rest of humanity that adores children. I tried to like children. I really did. My high school boyfriend had two younger brothers. They were smart and well behaved children. I didn't mind them. I became quite fond of the older one, Tyler. It broke my heart when he died. I held his newborn niece a few times. But I couldn't stand it when she cried.

Boyfriend has a little brother. He's nine tomorrow. And sometimes I don't mind having him around. And sometimes he's annoying and obnoxious and evil like all children and I want nothing more than to spank him and stick him in a corner until it's time for him to go. He's well behaved for a child, unless you tell him no. What he does is more annoying than a tantrum. I can ignore a tantrum. His brother whines and whines and whines until his brother stupidly gives him what he wants. I just want to smack him upside the head until he learns that no means NO.

And when he has homework, if you check his answers and tell him one is wrong, he throws a fit if you try to make him redo it. But Boyfriend sticks him in the corner for that, which is where I prefer him anyway. Boyfriend finds it incredibly amusing that I dislike children so much. It's one of my more endearing personality quirks, according to him. He loves how I freak out when children touch me or my things with their germ infested hands.

I think he's a little crazy, but that's okay because I'm a little crazy, too.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not so blond anymore.

There is a debate going around. You see, I've recently dyed my hair...brown. As a natural blond, it was a big step for me. But I'd been wanting to for years. First, I decided to digitally color my hair in a picture to see what it would look like. This was the way the picture turned out in the end. And I admit...I had a little too much fun with the virtual make over and I added eyeliner and eyeshadow. But I couldn't help myself. But I loved the way my skin and eyes look next to the brown, and so I decided to just go ahead and do it.

After discussing it with Boyfriend, first. And by discussing, I mean that I told him I wanted to dye my hair brown and I really didn't care if he told me he didn't want me to do it because I would look beautiful either way and he better still love me. And he said, "I prefer you to stay blond, but it's your hair. Do whatever you want."

Which is exactly what I did. First I did research about doing it myself. I usually go to my Aunt's salon, Urban Betty, but my grandmother is mad at her for leaving my Uncle, so I decided to avoid family drama by skipping out on Austin's best salon. (I don't know if it's the number one salon or not, but it was featured in a magazine as one of the top four salons in Austin.) But my research told me that my hair would probably turn gray if I tried to do it myself.

That scared the hell out of me, so I called a salon. The colorist had never had someone want to go from blond to brown. She wasn't sure how to do it. So she called the color company who supplies them with product, and they told her to dye my hair red first, and then brown. So I spent three hours in the chair going from blond to red to brown in one day.

The result is this shiny, dark, beautiful hair I've been sporting ever since. Boyfriend says that it's pretty, but he still preferred me blond. Unfortunately for him, I love my new hair so much that I don't think I'll ever be switching back to blond.

My biggest fear going dark was my skin color. I have extremely pale skin that I thought would look sallow with dark hair. But as you can see, my eyes are bright, my cheeks are rosy, and I do not look dead at all! In fact, I think I look really pretty. I love the shiny most of all. As a blond, my hair absorbed light. It kind of glowed. But it didn't reflect light. It wasn't shiny. But dark hair does reflect light and shine, and I love it. All of the shine products I couldn't use on my blond hair because it made it look oily, I can put it on my brown hair and wear it all day without a problem.

I would just like to say that blonds do not have more fun. I have just as much fun as a brunette as I did when blond. amuses me to shake my hair in the sunlight because it shines. So I have more fun now than I did as a blond. Go figure.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Our rubber band people (and their guitar playing animal companions)

Random things get left behind in the store all of the time. Like some Styrofoam holly berries and some 3D glasses that had the lenses poked out. And I get very bored at my desk sometimes. Very. Bored.

For the last couple of years, I've been collecting rubber bands that come in our daily shipment. Our store gets a LOT of rubber bands in our shipments. I don't know why they feel like sending us our orders held together with rubber bands inside bags inside of boxes. Really, the bags themselves are sufficient to keep the different items separated. So I started out collecting them on this little wire kitty I made out of some spare wire and super glue. It didn't start out as a kitty, but that's what it turned into. After a while we had a lot of rubber bands piled up on kitty. So we started a rubber band ball rather than wasting all of the rubber bands, and eventually our rubber band ball got too big for the skinny rubber bands. If I tried to put a skinny rubber band on the big ball, the rubber bands would almost always snap and pop my delicate flutist hands. So I started a second rubber band ball to be created only with skinny bands, and the large one would continue only with rubber bands fat enough to take the pressure.

The result was that the two rubber band balls have two different rubber band colors, both flesh toned. And one day somebody left the Styrofoam holly berries I mentioned, and the 3D glasses, and an idea was born.

I took the empty sticker ribbons from the price gun and curled them, then stapled them together. I made on long and big for the larger ball, and one small for the newer ball. I made two sets of eyes, and two mouths. I took the red holly berries and stapled them to the larger set of paper ribbons, and a blue ribbon that had been used to wrap a box of cookies to the other. Then I put it all together...and the result was this.

I have dubbed them Baby and Mama. They are our Rubber Band People. Notice that Mama has lighter rubber bands than Baby. Also, there is a blue rubber band that was added to Mama, and a blue one on Baby as well. They rest on recycled Starbucks Coffee Collars to protect them from rolling off. They don't look it, but they are very heavy.

Yes, they are COMPLETELY made of rubber bands. There is no ball or rock at the heart. The very center is a rubber band wound around itself and then wrapped with other rubber bands. Since I have added the faces and hair, people (not only children did this) no longer pick them up and try to bounce them. And the little stone sitting between the two of them? That's Zeta. She's a rock taken from a Zen rock garden display for our chimes. We figured the display wouldn't miss one little stone...or two, actually, since John actually made a male version that looked like a genie. But he took that one, so now I only have Zeta.

Baby and Mama and Zeta get lots of laughs, and several offers to purchase them. I've been offered as much as fifty dollars cash for the pair, which is awesome considering I haven't paid anything to make them. However, if I sold Baby and Mama, Zeta would be left alone. And so would the guitar playing animals that live next to them. They would really miss their friends. Of course, I also get a lot of offers for the guitar playing animals, but they are actually my manager's personal collection. He has no room for them on his desk anymore, and so he sent them to live at my desk. Sometimes I get a little tired of telling people not to touch them because they aren't for sale. People don't actually like being told that they can't have something. Some of them get a little nasty and insist that I shouldn't have them out on display if they aren't for sale.

But those people are stupid because I'm sure lots of people who work at desks personalize the area to make it seem less of a boring death sentence while they work there. I mean, I spend nine and a half hours a day at my desk, and if it looked all bland and boring I'd probably end up losing my mind.

Anyway, this was really just a tester to learn how to put pictures in my blog. Turns out it's pretty easy to do. Awesome.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Why? WHY do I let him do this to me?

I don't know how I allow Boyfriend to talk me into these things. I know I sound like a really dumb teenager sometimes, but I'm really not. That is, I am neither really dumb or a teenager. Anyway, that's not the point. The point is, I totally knew better deep down. I knew it was a bad idea. I knew I was walking straight into a trap, and like a moth drawn to the candle's flame, I didn't fight it.

See, it all started like this.

Boyfriend: Hey! I found my copy of The Shining!

Me: The Shining? What's that? Some alien movie?

Boyfriend: *sigh* I can't be upset that you don't know that. You avoid a lot of movies. It's a really old horror movie with Jack Nicholson.

Me: What, the guy that looks crazy because of those really pointy eyebrows?

Boyfriend: Yeah, that's him. So can we watch it?

Me: Good God, Boyfriend! You remember what happened last time I watched an old scary movie!

Boyfriend: Oh yeah....*chuckles*

*start flashback*

It was late one night, on a Tuesday. I didn't have work the following morning, and I wasn't the least bit tired when midnight rolled around. Boyfriend was in bed next to me, playing a stupid computer game. Something with soldiers on a beach. Probably some world war two game. Don't those always open up on beaches? Like that movie Finding Private Ryan or whatever it was called.

Anyway, I found myself flicking through channels, and I found a movie just rolling through the opening credits on AMC. I like a lot of older movies, so this seemed like a good thing to watch. I figured I would eventually become drowsy and could just turn the TV off and go to bed. Unfortunately, this was not a normal movie.

The title should have given it away to me. I should have turned it off and watched the Nanny on Nick at Nite. Instead, I watched The Amityville Horror. I'd never heard of it, but it's evidently based on a true story.

Long story short: a psycho man was tricked by the Devil into murdering his whole family in his house. The house was built on some sort of portal to hell where demons could take over you or something. There was a poor priest who got sick because he tried to bless the house. (Really? Who has a house blessed when they first move in? Did anybody ever really do that?) Obviously the Devil just doesn't like blessings on his portals. But whatever. So the man was locked up in a mental facility, released...and he married a lady, and they bought the house where he'd murdered his family, and then the Devil started talking to him again.

But somehow in the end they all escaped and they left the house together and George was no longer crazy because they Devil couldn't reach him outside of the portal. Or something. The ending is really vague to me. Only the terrifying moments in between are clear. Like the flies. God, the flies really grossed me out. And the voice. Most people think the voice was cheesy. So not. It worked on me.

The thing was, I was so engrossed in NEEDING TO KNOW HOW THE STORY ENDED that I couldn't change the channel. I couldn't bring myself to look away or turn it off because not knowing is worse than knowing. So I sat through the whole thing, my heart racing, my hands all sticky. And after it was all over, despite how old the movie was and how I knew my apartment couldn't possibly be a portal to Hell because there is no hell, I was terrified.

I turned the closet light on. I turned the TV to Nick at Nite and let the sounds of the Nanny mask the silence in the room. And I couldn't sleep. For three nights I caught only the smallest snatches of sleep, always jerking awake at the sound of movement or if Boyfriend moved in the bed.

end flashback*

Boyfriend: Well, you don't really need to be afraid of this movie. It's really not even scary.

Me: Boyfriend, I had nightmares for weeks about the Ring, and you said THAT wasn't a scary movie. Obviously, our definitions of scary are not identical.

Boyfriend: It's an OLD scary movie. Like Psycho. It's just not scary.

Me: Boyfriend! Psycho scared the living crap out of me!

Boyfriend: Seriously, Chanel, it's about a man and his family and they get snowed in a hotel by themselves and the man loses his mind. It's not scary.

Me: *feeling like it's a bad idea* Okay...

Thirty minutes later...

You can only see my eyes peeking out over the top of the blanket. I'm snuggled so close to Boyfriend he's almost falling off the bed, and I keep trying to get closer to him and further from the TV, which is just pushing him closer to the edge. I can't look away.

And I can't sleep for the rest of the night. I'm terrified that some psycho ghost is going to try to convince Boyfriend that I'm going to betray him and he's going to try to chop me up into little pieces with an axe.

It's going to be a long week.

IN ADDITION: As a general rule, I don't mess with my blogs after I post them. And another general rule I have that isn't really spoken but is something I actively try to follow is to avoid commenting on politics and law. Seriously, most people just end up angry. BUT, something I overheard today really rubbed me the wrong way, and so I thought I'd just speak my mind on the subject, since I'm pretty sure only one person reads this anyway. Lone reader, I'm sorry if I offend you.

So what happened was that somebody came in talking on their cell phone (which is totally rude, by the way, when you're talking loudly on your cell phone in a store so that everybody can hear your conversation) and I overheard (couldn't really help it) something she said.

"Oh my God, she was totally drinking while she was pregnant. That's why the baby is all fucked up looking. It doesn't matter that she didn't know, she totally should be brought up on criminal charges for that! It's illegal!"

God. The idiocy I witness every day.

First, if the girl didn't know she was pregnant and drank, it really wasn't her fault. She didn't do it intentionally. And before you jump in and say, "Well how the hell do you not know you're pregnant?" I'll explain. Not every woman has cravings, gains weight, misses periods...sometimes there are literally NO symptoms of pregnancy until...oops, there it is.

Second, it is NOT illegal to drink while pregnant. Yeah, it's a really fucking bad idea if you're planning on keeping your baby full term. Because, you know, drinking does cause problems (sometimes deformity) in an unborn fetus. It's merely highly recommended that you DON'T drink. No law on that because you can't tell a woman what she can or can't do with her body. Even when she's pregnant because, guess what, an unborn fetus is not a person.

Even if someone KNOWS they are pregnant and drinks despite the knowledge, there can be no legal consequences. Why not? Well, the law says a fetus is not a living human being until it takes a breath. So any damage you do to your baby before it is born is not abuse, neglect, or anything else illegal because you're not inflicting harm on a person. It's just really fucking dumb and selfish.

Now, there are some people who believe that life begins at conception, blah blah blah. You can believe that and know it in your bones, but the law says differently. So you can be morally outraged all you like, but the law is what rules, not morality. And what a woman decides to do with her body is her choice. The only action you can take against a mother is having CPS (or whatever you call child protective services in your state) investigate after birth to make sure the baby is not being neglected or abused after it's considered legally alive.

Anyway, I just thought I'd clear that up. You know. In case somebody didn't know. And for the record, I don't approve of drinking while you're pregnant. But I respect a woman's right to control her body in any way she sees fit.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Theft. Sloth. Dishonesty. All ends with Innocence.

I get four or five snide comments about my job everyday. I assume that the snide comments are made for one or both of the following reasons: the customer believes that every employee should serve them because they are special, or they are jealous because I can do whatever I want as long as I make sure to answer the phones.

I realize that as far as jobs go mine does seem pretty awesome. I mean, I sit at a desk and have to answer phones and occasionally check the cameras to make sure no funny business is going on. But in between those two tasks, I can literally do whatever I want at this desk. I can read, draw, talk on my cell phone, text, talk to people, do homework, or play on my computer. As long as I stay seated, the manager doesn't care what I get up to at my desk. The day I work behind the counter, I don't have the same freedom. But four days a week, as the receptionist, I am as free as a bird.

Because my job is just that freaking cool and laid back, I know that people are jealous and I expect the snide remarks. I didn't expect what just happened ten minutes ago.

A mother and her kid came into the store. The boy is small, maybe four years old. He has a bunch of legos in his hands. I hate it when children bring toys into any store, but especially ours. If they lose their toys somewhere in the store, they generally think they can just take one of the toys we keep here for children to play with in exchange. Sadly, that's not the way the system works. You lose your toy, that's that. We don't give out our toys. So when this boy came in with his legos, I just knew it was a bad idea.

I played my games, ignoring him and the mother as they did their business. The boy played with our toys, then took his legos off to some other location. He came back to play with iron man without the legos. When his mother was ready to leave, he went back to where he left his legos. And they weren't there. I noticed some other boys putting them in their pockets. The mother approached me, and I was prepared to tell her the other boys had the toys.

But she spoke first. "Toby, I think this girl took your legos and put them in her box."

Uh. What?

"I didn't take your legos. I don't need to play with toys, I have a computer."

And then the woman snapped at me in the most snotty voice I've ever had a woman use on me, "Oh, right. It must be so great to be able to play games all day instead of actually doing some work. Where are my son's legos?"

Excuse me, bitch?

"Actually, my job is to answer the phones, and that's all I have to do. So I am working right now, and I can play games and answer phones at the same time. I already told you I didn't take your legos. I don't know where they are."

Now, I could have still told her the other boys took them. But she'd called me lazy, accused me of stealing toys from a four year old, and by asking me where the toys were after I'd already told her I didn't take them she was calling me a liar.

Obviously, I had no intention of helping her after that. I merely repeated that I hadn't taken them, that he'd come back to play with the toys without them, and for all I knew they were laying on the floor somewhere in the store.

"Well, since he can't find his toys, can he have the iron man figure?"

This is usually the stunt the kid pulls. Adults generally know that if the kid loses something, he doesn't get it replaced. I don't know what the hell this lady was thinking, but she clearly felt some sort of entitlement.

"No, we purchase those toys for other children to use in the store. If we gave them to every kid who lost a toy, we wouldn't have any to distract children from playing with the expensive instruments."

"Well, you have his legos, so it's not like you're losing anything."

Again with the accusing me of theft.

"No, I already told you we don't have his legos. I'm sorry, but you can't have one of our toys."

She left in a huff, the kid was screaming, and I couldn't fucking care less.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pale Skin is Beautiful, Isn't It?

I have pale skin. I've always had pale skin. Except for a couple of summers in my childhood, I've never been a bronzed, glowing goddess. Because, personally, I think that pale skin is beautiful. Don't get me wrong, though. Tan and Olive and Dark skins are pretty, too. I think natural skin colors are absolutely gorgeous. But tanning really grosses me out.

Recently a new tanning salon opened up in the shopping center that I work in. The store is called Too Hotties, and they seem to be pretty popular. Every time I walk by on my way to Muang Thai to get some lunch or a snack of a soda, there seems to be a few bronzed girls waiting in line to be painted some more.

Personally, I'm against the whole tanning thing. Spray tanning, tanning beds, laying out in the sun with tanning oil on trying to get darker: all of it rubs me in a wrong way. I see people like my older sister who try to get as much unprotected sun as possible so they can get dark, and it just makes me think, "You should be on a poster for how to get skin cancer." My older sister is like a walking want ad looking for skin cancer. Seriously, she's just begging for it.

Me? I don't go to the beach. When I wear a swimsuit, it's always covered by a big t-shirt or a linen jacket and some shorts. I'm always covered head to toe in SPF 80 sunblock, and I'm always packing the bottle to reapply every four hours. I sit in shade. I do everything I possibly can to make sure I'm protected from the sun. I like my pale skin, as I said. I think my pale skin is beautiful, and I wouldn't want it artificially colored with paints or darkened by the sun that causes skin cancer.

When Too Hotties opened, they brought a few fliers and coupons into the store. The girl (ridiculously tanned and resembling the color of an Oompa Loompa rather than a human girl) handed me the fliers and gave me her spiel, asking me to hand the coupons and fliers out to anyone that might be interested. I immediately thought of my sisters, and while I don't condone artificial tanning, I'd rather my sisters all spray tanned instead of UV tanning, so I thought I'd give them the coupons.

And then the girl made her fatal mistake.

Looking me up and down, she said (in what she obviously thought was a friendly and flattering way) "Hey, since you work in the same shopping center we'll give you and extra special discount on top of the coupons! We'd be happy to help give you beautiful, glowing skin! We can fix you up, no problem!"

First, this comment was unsolicited. I expressed absolutely no interest whatsoever in ever entering her shop. And looking at me it's pretty DAMN clear that I've never tanned in my life, and I'm not going to start now.

Second, she insulted me. "Giving" me "beautiful, glowing skin" implies that I don't already have beautiful, glowing skin. And while my skin doesn't glow in the bronze statue way, my skin is radiant and healthy and I get compliments on how pretty my skin is all of the time. I do take care of my skin, after all. I exfoliate it every night, I moisturize, I don't pile on oily and damaging make-up. So my skin is beautiful and glowing without their help.

And adding "We can fix you up, no problem!" was overkill on the double insult. If the whole comment was the wound, and the giving me beautiful skin was the salt on the wound, then the "fixing" it add-in was lye on top of the salt on top of the wound. She probably thought she was being helpful, I thought she sounded pretentious. Not everybody who isn't tan wants to be tan, and she shouldn't assume that.

Because what she did was far more than make sure I never patronize that business. No, what she also did was make sure I wouldn't pass on advertisement. People who take on the point of view "if you don't look like me you should because this is the only way to be beautiful" should not be rewarded. Sure, lots of people think tan it awesome, but it's bad for business to go around insulting people who aren't tan. You want to EXPAND your client pool, not keep it the same size. And if all you do is insult the people you feel are in need of your service, then you've just guaranteed that they won't give you their business.

As I said, I don't find darker skin unattractive. But as evidenced by the way I prefer my hair (either extreme blond or extreme brown) it's obvious that I like extremes one way or the other. But in a natural way. So pale is pretty, natural olives are pretty, and ebony dark skin is beautiful. But fake bronze metal copper tan color? Absolutely not. It looks fake, it is fake, and it's bad for you to boot.

Am I the only person that thinks pale is beautiful?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Inspire Shine & Repair Serum is a TREATMENT and REPAIRS nothing.

There are many things that I hate, and several things that just piss me off. One of those things is the hair care industry. Why? Because a lot of things they sell you (at ridiculously inflated prices) don't actually do what they claim. Like a lot of the brands of shampoo sold in stores and not at salons that are made for color treated hair actually have peroxide in them. What does peroxide do? Damages hair by drying it out and fading the pigment. Which is great for people with blond hair (not the drying and damaging part, but the removing pigment part), but it really sucks for dark hair colors. It just means you have to color your hair that much more often.

But that's neither here nor there as far as this particular rant goes. Today, I was on my facebook (I signed on because I wanted to check on my chocolate shop) and I happened to notice that one of the cosmetic based FB pages I'd subscribed to had added a new post about a product. If there's one thing I love, it's a hair product that is all natural, no chemicals. I was immediately interested, clicked to read the full update...and became pissed off.

Inspire Shine and Repair Serum.

See. That word repair is tricky. It implies that it can repair damaged hair. Now, as a person who has been fabulous spoiled in the hair care industry since childhood (my Aunt owns Urban Betty here in Austin, and it's been voted in the top four), I know exactly what I can expect from hair care products. One thing that I learned early on is this: damage to your hair is permanent.

As in cannot be repaired.

As in you have to cut the damaged parts off to get rid of it.

There is no product in the world (the whole freaking WORLD) that can repair a damaged cuticle or fix a split end. Absolutely nothing. Once the cuticle is torn or chipped, that damage is there to stay. A split end will always be split. Yes, you can blow dry your hair with a concentrator and a boar bristle brush to smooth split ends and make them LOOK like they are repaired, but it's still split.

Now, not everybody has had the same vigilant hair care that I've received in my life, and so they foolishly believe advertisements that claim their product can repair damage. Not wanting anyone to be fooled, I commented on the new product explaining that it could make your hair look healthier, and even nourish it, but it couldn't possibly repair any damage. I would have been perfectly fine with the company if they had left well enough alone. I wasn't calling them out for false advertisement. I was merely making sure that nobody misunderstood what they meant by "repair".

Unfortunately for this cosmetic company, they responded to my comment personally and used my name. They said, "Hi Channelle, Inspired Shine & Repair Serum does repair hair by adding moisture and nourishment to the follicle. That's why it's best used daily as a vitamin, as it continuously helps your hair look better day after day."

You know what that means? It's a moisturizer. It is a TREATMENT for dry hair. Does it REPAIR dry hair? No. So long as you keep using it, your hair will feel soft and it will be shiny. But the fact remains that you are genetically gifted with dry hair, so if you stop using the product your hair will be dry again. You can't fix that. And assuming your hair wasn't damaged to begin with, since you're taking care of it with a product that is chemical free it will start to look better, but it will stop looking better if you stop using the product.

But that doesn't REPAIR anything.

And because they insisted (INSISTED) that their product REPAIRS, I've officially decided to stop use of all of their products. There is absolutely no way I will support a product that makes money tricking people into believing it will cure problems that it can't.

And I do mean it CAN NOT repair anything.


To TREAT the problem. A temporary fix. So, the next time you read or hear about a hair care product that "repairs" something, stay away from it. There are plenty of products out that their tell the truth: why pay for something you aren't going to get?

My Shelfari Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog