Monday, January 31, 2011

I wish! I wish!

I just checked my weather forecast for the next four days. Here it is.

Do you see why this is important? 


Look again.

That's right. We have a prediction for snow on Thursday. Soft, fluffy, pretty flakes of precipitation will be appearing in my part of the world. In Texas. Let me just remind you folks that the last time it snowed here in Austin was December of '09, so we are long over due for some dry fluffy matter to fling at one another.

I owe Padawan a packed snowball to the face because he threw one at me last time when I wasn't expecting it. And for the record, yes it hurt. No, I wasn't being a baby. He threw a snowball at me when I wasn't even looking, and he threw it full force right into the side of my skinny little arm. I cried and got mad and refused to go to the store with him for two hours after that.

So I'd say yeah, he's got it coming to him. But he can't get his if we don't get the snow. (I tried to have my step mother pack a snowball for me and then put it in a lunch box packed with dry ice so she could Fed-Ex it to me. But she didn't do it.)

I'm asking that you cross your fingers and send happy wishes for snow to Austin, Texas. I promise, if we get snow I will make sure I take a picture of the snowball as it strikes Padawan so that you may all laugh with me and join me in my celebration of revenge well served. Wish really, really hard.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'm only tired, not crazy. I think.

I stayed up entirely too late reading Gone with the Wind last night. The result is that I was really tired when Choo Choo tried to wake me up for Walkies this morning. Good dog that she is, when she couldn't hold it anymore she had an accident on the wood floor instead of the carpet. Much easier to clean.

Thank you, Choo Choo.

When I was getting dressed this morning after I finally woke up (about half an hour ago, and yes I took Choo Choo out for walkies) I happened to catch sight of something weird in the mirror. Great balls of fire! Finger marks dug into my belly!Red, angry looking finger marks!

And, before you guys say it, I tested with my own fingers to see if maybe I grabbed myself in my sleep. Too far apart and too large to be my own, and Padawan left at five thirty this morning. Which leaves two culprits. Choo Choo, who has no fingers, or Kane. Who has no fingers because he's invisible, but he was presumably a man when he was alive, so he probably has fingers and hands I just can't see.

Actually, when I tried taking a picture with my camera (because I knew nobody would believe me without a picture) I realized they looked far more like toe marks than finger marks. In which case it still can't be me. As much as we all like to imagine we're incredibly flexible, I am not. I am not even capable of bending down to touch my toes, I sure as heck couldn't step on myself while I was sleeping.

Unfortunately, with a flash all of my skin turned white as a ghost. Without the flash everything is in shadow. I can see the marks faintly in the picture, but no amount of adjustment makes them more obvious unless you look at your computer from a certain angle. I circled the marks in the no flash picture.

But in case you don't believe me, and you want to laugh, I have a picture from work the other day that I've been saving for just such a moment as this.

This is my coworker, B-Money, who has given his permission for me to put this picture on the interwebz. That thing in his hands is a half sized Barbie Guitar that someone brought in for a restring and tuning. B-Money obliged them, and he was playing it to make sure it was tuned when I couldn't resist the urge to take a picture. For the record, he looks bald because he is bald. He shaves his head because he started loosing his hair. Male pattern baldness.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The real world is completely overrated.

Sometimes I wonder if you guys are just waiting for me to bust out some kind of serious post talking about politics and the world and what's wrong with it. I really hope you guys aren't because I can't stand thinking about, let alone writing about, the real world. It horrifies me. And if it isn't horrifying me, it's boring or irritating me. I despise the news because all it gives me is the bad stuff. Where the hell are all of the happy stories? Can't they ever just say, "Hey! Somebody did something totally awesome today!"

Nobody wants to hear the good stuff, though. Misery sells.

I prefer to be happy.

Like that time that I flew to San Diego to see Mouse graduate Basic Training for the Marine Corps. The happy tears when he saw me in the crowd, the surprise because I hadn't told him I was coming. The reunion and the catching up because I'd been angry and only sent him one letter the entire time he was gone because I hated war, politics, and the military. But despite that, I was still proud watching him. I had to go. I'd seen him off to Basic when he left and there were plenty of tears. Angry, bitter, unhappy tears. It wouldn't have been complete if I hadn't been there to watch him graduate. The happy tears were necessary.

And San Diego was beautiful. The sky was that perfect shade of cloudless blue that is warm and bright and so pretty it makes you want to cry. I might have cried. The Pacific Ocean was beautiful and so clean and clear that I could see straight to the bottom when I was standing on cliffs over the water. When I put my toes in that water for the first time, there was this awesome feeling of accomplishment. One more down. The Atlantic, the Gulf, the Pacific. I'm only short one trip to Alaska to put my feet in the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Alaska, and then I will have been in every ocean and gulf that touches the United States. 

Though I hate flying with every fiber of my being, it was worth the fear and anxiety and horrible daydreams in which I imagined all the ways I could die in the air. It was worth it because it brought me one step closer to my goal.

Because I love to travel. I love to see beautiful new places. Arizona was beautiful with it's rock formations. Vegas, with all the lights and the excitement and the hustle, was beautiful. New Mexico, with it's flat desert and the sunset the color of fire and blood, was amazing. Even West Texas, with it's "mountains" and cows, was pretty.

I've been in every single state in the Southern United States, but I think my favorite thing I've ever seen was driving through the Smokies as the sun came up over the mountains and it hit the mist, and there was bright, golden light that I knew, at fourteen years old, was probably the most beautiful thing I'd ever see in my life. I haven't seen anything to match it yet. I tried time and again to paint that image. Failure upon failure upon failure. It turns out that no matter how much you want to, sometimes it's just impossible to share beauty that you've witnessed. Also, I have no gift for landscapes. I'm better with people even if the noses never come out quite right.

I've even been to Maryland and Washington DC, though I hate the drive. Especially when going into Maryland and there's this huge bridge you have to drive over. It makes me nervous because it goes up and then down like a hill. I always hated bridges (but I'm perfectly good with tunnels) and this bridge takes the cake in horrifying. Why they would make a bridge like this. . . /\ . . .I have no idea. It's silly. And scary. Like what if your breaks go out on the way up or down and you hurtle out of control and die in a fiery inferno of pain and death and fear?

See, the world is bad enough without engineers scaring the living hell out of people with these ridiculous designs. Bad enough that you have to drive over large bodies of water to begin with, don't let's make it worse by forcing you to drive up to the clouds and then back down to Earth again. There's nothing fun in that. Though Maryland itself has some pretty sights. (Not pretty voices though. I don't know why Northerners insist on talking through their noses, but it's almost as irritating as a Southern Drawl. Can't people just speak normally?)

I have to say, though, that I saw absolutely nothing noteworthy in Alabama except a lot of Stars and Bars in windshields, which is noteworthy only in the fact that I expected to see more Alabama State flags. I don't know if I just missed the beauty because of the way we traveled, or if I'm just prejudiced enough against Alabamians that I wouldn't let myself see any beauty. I recall vividly, however, the "Welcome to Alabama!" sign at the border that was shot up with bullet holes. So classy, Alabamians. So classy.

Virginia is probably one of my favorite states to visit, and not just because Daddy lives there. I love the Magnolia trees. I've never in my life seen Magnolias in Texas outside of a florist, but Daddy had a huge Magnolia tree blooming in his backyard the first summer we went down to visit him. The flowers were big and beautiful, like the tree itself was. The smell. . .divine. (That is, after I loaded myself up with enough allergy meds so that my nose could function. Once I cross the Mississippi River I have allergies like everybody here in Austin seems to have.)

When I first decided that I wanted to go into Journalism, it was because I wanted an excuse to travel. I'm not interested in finding beautiful people. I like beautiful formations and beautiful music. That was what I wanted to travel to find, to write about. It didn't actually end up working out that way, obviously. It turns out I lack the writing style of  a journalist, and anyway Journalism is a dying field thanks to the internet. Also, I have this obsession with having a real home that isn't conducive to a life of constant travel.

Aussie said it best when he said, "Chanel, you are a paradox wrapped in a mystery covered with an enigma. There is no figuring you out."

Maybe that's true. 

I hardly understand myself sometimes. Most of the time, actually. Sometimes Padawan will say that he doesn't understand me.

And I can only shrug my shoulders and say, "Well, that makes two of us." And then we laugh.

Everything always comes back to a laugh, because life in my little world is funny. Not depressing or angry or violent or political. Who wants anything like that? People who spend their lives following politics and war and the tragedies of the world are just...missing out on some of the better things in life. The happier things.

Everyone else can enjoy reality. Me? I like my reality the way it is.


Friday, January 28, 2011

It's hard to live with a ghost and a dog.

Wednesday night I wasn't feeling well and Choo Choo was barking and barking and barking and no matter how many times I told her to stop barking she just kept doing it, and for absolutely no reason. And I felt nauseous and my head was pounding and I was irritated that I ruined dinner because I forgot I already added the Dijon to the sauce and I added it again so the chicken tasted like way too much Dijon and I couldn't eat it. And she wouldn't stop barking. So I reached down and I gave her rear a swat.

Please understand, I do not ordinarily spank my dog. Even in my irritation, I made sure to not actually hurt her. She didn't yelp or give any sign that it had hurt. She just got quiet, turned around and looked at me. Hard. With this judging look in her big golden eyes. And then she put her ears down, put her tail between her legs, and she went and hid under the bed.

She stayed there all night and only came out the next morning when I dangled her leash for walkies. But as soon as I let her off the leash once back inside, she immediately ran and hid under the bed again.


Well, my feelings were hurt at that point. I went to work miserable, thinking that if she was still mad at me when I got home that I would go buy her a treat at the store to win back her love. Yes, I know that bribing other creatures for their affections is the wrong way to go about it. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Apparently, though, she forgave me in the ten hours I was gone, because she greeted me as per usual with an excessive amount of yipping and licking and dancing on her back legs when I got home. The perfidy of women. Even dogs.

Geeze. Well, it saved me a trip to the store.

I don't even get it. Padawan gives her a swat at least three times a week for some bad thing she does. (Generally it's because she'll crawl up into bed with us and get right by his face before letting out a loud, particularly high pitched bark for no reason, waking him up. And it irritates him, so he swats her little rear.) But she does not get all huffy with him for it. She doesn't jump off the bed and hide. She just trots over to my side of the bed and curls up with me. Then she growls at him when he puts his arm around me. But she doesn't hide from him or act all offended. 

In fact, he spanked her just last night because she woke him up three times with her shrill barking, and we've both been feeling under the weather.  But she got her revenge. Apparently, she left him a gift on the bath mat this morning while he was in the shower. She knows better, of course, but I guess she was trying to make a point.

Which was lost since I was the one who cleaned it up and then I had to spray the mat with oxyclean and shove it into the washer. (Oh, I think I forgot to put it in the dryer before I left this morning. Balls!)

Choo Choo, it seems, is waging war. And she's not even the only one. 

Our Ghost/Alien/Mysterious Being is stirring up trouble. Wednesday night, before everything went bad, Padawan's mom came by to borrow Padawan's key because she didn't have hers and needed it because Little Sister had left and locked her out of the house. (Presumably Little Sister lost her key and borrowed Mother's.) A minute or so after Padawan walked outside to meet her, my cell phone went off. It was giggling.

Maniacal giggling is Padawan's ringtone. I couldn't figure out why he was calling, so I ignored it and went on my merry way. I was alternating between singing My Funny Valentine and Summertime while I was cooking dinner. He didn't call a second time so I figured he must have accidentally called me.

When he came back up I smiled and asked, "Why did you call me?"

"Huh? I didn't."

"My phone rang. It was your phone calling me."

He shook his head. "I didn't even take my phone with me." It was sitting on the table. He'd left it there.

But it had called me. Just then, my phone vibrated with a new voicemail. I listened to it. It was me. Singing. Alternating between My Funny Valentine and Summertime accompanied by the clangs and noises one would expect to hear while someone was making dinner

The phone called me on its own. 

Or Kane did. (Oh, that's what I'm calling our Other Worldly Visitor.)

There's also the incredibly irritating fact that whenever I come home or wake up in the morning all of the cabinets in the kitchen are open. But I'm not sure if that's Kane being a ghostly pain in my butt, or if it's Padawan just being too lazy to close the cabinets after he gets something. I could ask, but men have a tendency to call those kinds of questions nagging. Maybe I should just hire a spiritual median (isn't that what they're called?) to help me communicate with Kane. Then I could ask him to just make sure the cabinet doors are closed at all times when not in use. It's just creepy to come into the kitchen to find them all open. It's like The Sixth Sense, but creepier since it's happening to me.

Between Choo Choo's campaign to bark incessantly for absolutely no discernible reason and Kane's determination to creep me the hell out, I haven't been sleeping well and I think I'm coming down with something. Probably the same thing my coworkers have all been suffering from the last couple of weeks. Great. Just what I need. To become a Succubus of Viral Plague yet again.

Sudden thought: What if the reason Choo Choo is suddenly barking for no reason is because Kane, invisible to human eyes, is taunting her mercilessly? Oh, damn that troublesome Kane to hell and back again! It makes more sense than Choo Choo just barking for no reason.

Great. Now I feel even worse for spanking her.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The new and improved Rosebud!

I thought you guys needed to know that I decided to give Rosebud a makeover. She just wasn't happy sitting in Pink Lady's hand-me-downs, especially considering that Pink Lady died in that cover and skin. Also, she really didn't feel like the pink skin and cover fit her name or personality.

Rosebud has been unhappy for months. I started to worry about her sanity. Then I decided that I would just have to bite the bullet and make her happy.

Behold: the new and improved Rosebud.

The new leather cover. I know, it's not pink and Padawan might take it. But you haven't seen the REST of it that will ensure that he will keep his hands off.

Why yes, that is a very feminine design on the side. that the hint of a rose???

Just thought I'd give you a closer view. Note how the skin actually fits because this is the appropriate size skin and cover for my Kindle. 

Yes. This is the back of Rosebud. I tried to find a skin with an actual rosebud on it, but the closest I could find was this one with the rose. And it's FABULOUS. 

And just one more. Because I love the way she looks so much.

I guess you could call this a half-assed blog, but I don't usually blog on Wednesdays anyway. I just wanted to share Rosebud's happiness with everyone. (Padawan says I suffer from something called compulsive shopping. But Rosebud needed this. Right?)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bam! Just copping a feel.

I had this whole beautiful rant about how much I hate this stupid bitch that pissed me off this morning while I was walking Choo Choo...

But then a six year old boy copped a feel on me at work and I'm trying to decide if I feel more violated or amused. I'd probably feel less violated if I wore a bra. There would have been more padding between his hand and my boob than the thin tank top and long sleeved pull over I happen to be wearing.

I'm not even sure how it happened. This is precisely why I do not like children hanging around my desk talking to me. One second he was telling me about how I was supposed to wear my long sleeves under my short sleeves, and the next second his little hand was right there. BAM! No warning. Just copping a feel. 

Caught off guard, I didn't know how to react. I pulled away, my eyes got big, and I looked up to see JayJay was amused. He saw the whole thing. And I looked back at the kid. He didn't have any reaction to his own diabolical action. I was in shock. How do you react to that?

The last time that happened (yes, this kind of thing has happened before) it was done by my co-workers nephew who was about four years old. And his dad saw him do it and told him that was unacceptable behavior. This kid's dad wasn't around to see it, and I was frankly to shocked by the sudden attack to be able to think of anything to say.

So I just let him go on talking about Sonic until his dad took him home.

Lesson learned. No more letting children hang around my desk, even adorable red headed, brown eyed children that seem to be well behaved. Absolutely not.

Where did he even learn that behavior to begin with? 

I think violated is coming ahead. I'd have to say that was a premeditated action. I am fairly certain he knew exactly what he was doing. 

Little turkey.

Moving on, though, Wheat is now officially pissed at me because I put up a sign on my Facebook that a friend made and shared with me a year ago to motivate herself to lose weight. Apparently, though she's as skinny as a rail, Wheat found this sign incredibly offensive. Never mind that she supports Miley Cyrus on her one way trip to ho-ville, and Ke$ha on her way to skeez-city. Apparently, supporting the degradation of all that women have worked for in the last century is far less a bad thing than sharing a joke an overweight friend made about herself, along with several other signs she made with my own amusement in mind.

Apparently my sister has more of a right to be angry that I said obesity is a disease than I have to say that Miley Cyrus, Brittany Spears, and Ke$ha are doing a really good job in displaying themselves as sexual property rather than free thinking individuals, and are therefore bringing the dignity of Woman down with them. According to her, being a woman doesn't give me the right to be offended by their trash. But she, as a bean pole, is allowed to be offended that an overweight girl made a silly sign on the internet and I shared it with my friends. Because it was funny. 

And after she caused all of that public outrage, everyone went to see the picture in question and they all said the same thing: exactly what part of this is offensive? My own mother, who is about seventy pounds overweight, couldn't see the part of it that was so offensive to my 110 pound sister. 

The truly hilarious part in all of this, though, is that the signs have been up on my Facebook for well over a year now, and she only chooses now to be offended by it. A year. And she just woke up one day and decided she didn't like it.

She is now no longer speaking to me. I wonder if she'll disown me for this. I'm certainly not apologizing. Humor is humor. It knows no bounds. According to her own stipulations, the only funny jokes are the ones made about skinny, brown haired, white men. Everything else is socially unacceptable and politically incorrect.

But she has her own adult website that any kid could happen across by simply googling a certain common name and "wolf", which I find personally disturbing, but I don't say anything because it's her right to do what she wants. Though it's really not socially acceptable to make it open to everyone. There should be an age requirement. 

Hypocritical to the core, though, my sister isn't above telling racist jokes to the (unfortunately) racist members of our family. But it's socially acceptable as long as nobody is around to be offended. And she laughs when she hears them as long as nobody is around who might be offended. It's a front she puts up. She's only offended or morally outraged when there is someone to put on a show for.

I don't think my sister is racist. That's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying she's a god-damned hypocrite, and I'm sick of her standing on her soapbox when she thinks she's got an audience to listen to and agree with her. It's like those people that go to church on Sunday with their "I'm holier than thou" attitude, and the next day you see them at a strip club guzzling as much beer as they can while stuffing singles into an eighteen year old girl's g-string.

I am not perfect. But I am not a bad person either. And since her whole point was that obese people would be offended if they saw it when it was in fact made by an obese person to motivate herself to lose weight (and she told me I could share it with my Facebook because she'd meant it to be humorous), Wheat had nothing in her corner. She picked a fight, lost, and her response is to now completely ignore me.

She'll get over it when she needs something from me. Probably money. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Here we go with that whole "model" thing again.

(Just for knowing I put this thing up there so you guys could select a reaction to my blog. It's kind of limited. But it's there. If you feel like doing extra clicks.)

Last night I was making dinner when my cell phone rang. "Wheat Cell" flashed across the screen, and I sighed audibly before putting down the spoon in my hand and answering. Wheat rarely calls for the sake of conversation. She generally calls when she wants something.

"Hello, Sister."

"Nelly! Will you do me a huge, big, GIANT favor? Please? Because you love me?" She sounded really excited, like she was just busting with good news.

I knew she was calling because she wanted something. It never fails. *sigh* "What?"

"Nelly, will you audition for America's Next Top Model with me? They're coming to Odessa!"

*awkward pause* "You want me to what?" 

"I want you to come with me to audition for America's Next Top Model! You know, with Tyra, Miss Jay, and Nigel!"

That's what I thought she said. Was she out of her mind? "For the love of god, Wheat, I know what America's Next Top Model is! I don't want to be publicly criticized and then have it put on TV! If you want to do it, just do it!"

"But I don't want to do it alone!"

"Well, ask Brat to do it with you. They love it when twins audition."

*sigh* "But I wanted you to do it with me."

I sighed, quickly losing interest and patience. "Wheat, I love to watch the show. But I'm not about to drag myself all the way out to Odessa on Valentine's Day to audition for a show that believes I am too short to be a regular model, too fat to be a petite model, and too damn skinny to be a plus size model. I don't fit the criteria."

"You only have to be pretty!"

"Wheat, it's not about being just pretty, and you know it. There's a certain body type they like."


"I will go with you for moral support if you need me, but I will not subject myself to their scrutiny."

*sigh* "Fine. I guess that will be enough."

When I hung up the phone I started laughing, and Padawan came in the kitchen with a funny look on his face. "Why did your sister want you to go to Odessa?"

I laughed even harder. "She wants me to audition for America's Next Top Model with her! Can you believe her?"

He looked at me weird.

"What is that look on your face?"

"Why not?"

My jaw dropped. "Why not? Padawan, I am not a model. There's a certain kind of look they go for."

"But, most of those girls are really ugly without their makeup. You're beautiful when you're not wearing makeup. You could win."

I laughed. "It's not just about being pretty, Padawan. It's about how your face photographs. My face...doesn't take pictures well at certain angles."

"Everybody thinks they take bad pictures."

"It's not about good or bad pictures. It's about great pictures. High fashion pictures."

"I think you should do it."

I rolled my eyes and we sat down to eat. "You're opinion is biased. You're in love with me."

"That doesn't change anything." And then he tackled his orange chicken and rice.

Oh, I admit, when I watch the Cycles of America's Next Top Model I imagine what it would feel like to compete, what it would feel like to win. I admit: I live vicariously through the girls in the show, and I have yet to pick a favorite who doesn't wind up winning. (Except for that one Cycle, and I personally can't stand that Heather was sent home.) But I am not in any way interested in putting myself though that. The drama that goes on off the photo shoots is completely ridiculous, and I personally can't stand other females. How on earth could I stand living in a house and sharing a room and bathroom with thirteen other girls, each believing she is entitled to the royal treatment?

I don't think they'd make it out alive.

I'm glad, though, that she called and asked. If she hadn't, what would I have written about in my blog today? 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Where is Mount Rushmore?

Last night I called in an order to one of my favorite pizza places that I haven't ordered from in quite a while. I honestly felt bad that it had been something like six months since the last time I ordered from them. It wasn't because I went on a diet, or because I was suddenly too poor for take out. Padawan and I have been eating as much pizza as usual. 

I hadn't call in six months because I was having an affair. 

I was cheating on Rockin' Tomato. I was cheating on them with a new pizza place that opened up that had no delivery charge and a monstrosity of fatty awesomeness called Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Pizza. For those of you that are unaware, this is awesome. If you take chicken, bacon, and ranch and stick it on a sandwich, a pizza, or on a damn plate and eat it straight up, it  is fucking unbeatably fabulous. You cane eat two slices of this pizza and feel happy and full. But it's so fucking delicious that you have to keep eating until you have eaten half of the pizza or you feel like you're going to explode. Because of this amazing slice of sin, I had a six month long affair with the new place.

But last night I had a craving for pizza rolls. And the only place you can get good pizza rolls in Northwest Austin is at the Rockin' Tomato. Also, they have this really good ranch dressing with garlic for dipping that I can only describe as orgasmic. Yes. It's just that good. 

Anyway, so I called and said I wanted to place an order for carry out. (Not carry out as in you carry it out to me, but carry out as in I'd like to come pick it up.) Then I gave them my phone number.

"Okay, is this for Chanel"

Wow. I forgot about that. Sometimes I order from them on days that I'm working, and if the phones are ringing non-stop I have my friend Dizzy call in the order for me. Dizzy gives them my phone number and then says, "Put it under Princess." So they had my name in their system as Chanel/Princess.

"Yeah. That's me." I couldn't help laughing. He sounded so confused. A lot can happen in six months. This guy was clearly new, because everybody else knew the story behind that. Most of them just said "Princess" without the Chanel because they found that far more entertaining. Some people are so easily amused.

I totally intended to go with Padawan to pick it up, but because of something on StumbleUpon, Padawan insisted that I take a stupid world geography test to see how smart I was when it came to global geography. Let me just say this in my defense: I made As in all of my Geography and History classes from the beginning of my school career. I used to be so good at Geography that I even made an A in my college geography class, despite the fact that I couldn't understand a damn word the Professor said all year long because he had this horrendously thick Korean accent. It was so thick I probably could have cut it with a knife, and it grated on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard. 

The thing is, I made As in Geography because I had to know it. Frankly, I didn't care about any of it. History I found fascinating and went out of my way to learn more than they were teaching me. Geography...well, it just didn't interest me. *shrug* To each his own. So I made myself remember it as long as I needed to, but as soon as that information was no longer necessary I shoved it to the back of my mind where it either escaped or was forgotten.

I did fine on the first three levels. Basically, they would name something and you would have to take your  mouse and click the spot it was located in. Cities and buildings and rivers and blah blah blah. All well and good.

But then they had the nerve to ask me to click on the location of Mount Rushmore.

Mount Rushmore? Are you kidding me? Well, I knew it was in the United States. But I have never known what state it was in, let alone where exactly in that state it was. Who the hell cares about Mount Rushmore? I mean, really? It's just some Presidential faces carved into the side of a mountain. The presidents themselves represent amazing things in history, but the mountain itself is rather unimportant. As in, why the hell should I care about it? 

I don't. So I never knew what state it was in. So I guessed.

Seemed like Washington State was a good bet. Lots of mountains. Far away. Obscure.

Um. Wrong. 

Now, the states aren't drawn out on this stupid thing. It's just the whole continent of the US with only natural boundaries showing, but no state lines that aren't physically there. So when they showed me the proper location I couldn't be entirely sure what state it was in, only that it was in the Northern US close to Canada. It didn't TELL me where, though I think the area is either the bottom of North Dakota or the top of South Dakota. Or it might to the left of the Dakotas. I don't know. 

And then it had the nerve to give me no points. Well, for the love of God, I was at least in the right damn country. I pinpointed within 2 kilometers where Manchester, England was though I've never been there in my life, but they wouldn't give me any points for Mount Rushmore? Well, fuck them.

I made it through level four, and then the bastards had the nerve to tell me that I had a world geography IQ of only ninety five. 

On the bright side, though, I scored 95% on the test immigrants have to take in order to become full citizens of the United States. According to their statistic something like 92% of Americans can't even pass it, let alone make an A on it. Since it's all questions about things they teach you in American History, it leaves me to believe that a lot of people are idiots.

And nowhere on that test did it ask me to pinpoint on a continent the exact location of Mount Rushmore, because everybody knows that Mount Rushmore is nothing more than a stupid tourist attraction that people stop to see to give themselves a false sense of intelligence, belonging, and culture.

Like, OMG, I'm so cultured that I, like, drove halfway across the country to look a mountain that was turned into a giant sculpture of these dead presidents!!!!! Like, I don't even know which presidents they are. Tee hee! I am, like, not even sure what they did that made them so famous!!! But I'm cultured because I'm taking pictures of them. OMG, OMG!!!!!

For the record, the presidents represented are Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt (Teddy, not Franklin), and Lincoln, and I think knowing that, and who those men were and what they did, is far more important than knowing where their faces were carved into the side of a mountain.

I digress. Because I was taking this stupid test, I gave my card to Padawan to go pick up the food. And then he came home, we ate and watched House, and went to bed.  Padawan got up for work and left while I was sleeping. Unintentionally taking my debit card with him this morning.

Meaning that I had to waste fifteen minutes this morning searching our apartment desperately for loose change so I could buy a coffee to warm me up.

Wow. This is one long, random bit of rambling. I should probably delete. But I think I'll post it for now and maybe delete it later. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

So I like to sing. So what?

I like to sing along with the radio. I have always liked to sing along with the radio. My parents also like to sing along with the radio, and Relly and I picked up the habit. We sang along with any and every song we knew. If we found a song we hadn't heard, we learned it in one hearing and belted it out the next time we heard it.  As far as we knew, everybody liked to sing along with the radio in the car or at home or in the store when it was on the speakers. Wherever we were, when music was playing, Relly and I were singing with it.

When I was eight my mom had a friend in the car with her, and our favorite Dixie Chicks song came on. Not stopping to think, we started singing along, failing to notice that Mom wasn't singing with us. After the song was over, her friend laughed and said, "Do they always do that?"

"Do what?" my mom asked.

"Sing along with the radio."

"Oh, that. Yeah, they always do because JR and I always do."

"Even when other people are in the car?"

My mom shrugged as she turned her truck onto the highway. "They aren't shy about singing."

"With voices like that, they shouldn't be. I've just never seen kids sing along with a radio like that."

Relly and I heard the conversation, but we didn't comment. We just started singing the next song that played. It didn't bother us. Although not nearly as talented as Daddy, we knew we'd inherited at least a passable portion of his musical abilities. We loved music. We loved singing with it, dancing to it, listening in awe as Daddy played something by ear and made up words. There was nothing more fun to us.

Because our family did it, I assumed that everybody sang along to music, regardless of who could hear or what you sounded like. When we visited Memaw and Papaw over the summer, Papaw would sometimes turn the radio off mid song, just to see what would happen. We never failed to keep going, keep time, and when he turned the music back on we were right where we were supposed to be. 

In middle school, when I would go hang out with friends, I did the same thing. Though my sister wasn't there with me (we had our own separate friends by then) I didn't stop. If I knew it, I sang it. And it was always that way, and nobody ever said anything about it. Sometimes my friends would even join in. When Daddy started dating Step Mother, she and her children also sang with whatever music was playing. It only served to reinforce my belief that everybody did it.

When I was sixteen, I started hanging out with Coltizzle and Matteo. (Obviously these are not real names.) They each had a car of their own, and whoever's car we rode in on any given day, I sang along without thought. And one day, Matteo turned to me and said, "How do you just do that?"

I stopped mid note and asked, "Do what?"

"Just sing in front of people like that. You always do it. It's like you don't care who hears you."

"Everybody sings with the radio," I answered.

"Coltizzle and I don't," he pointed out.

I thought about it. "But everybody else does."

They shook their heads. "Haven't you noticed that nobody sings until you start singing?"


"Well, nobody does if you're not."

"That's stupid. You mean to tell me that if I'm not in the car and you guys are listening to a song you like, you just...listen to it?"

"That's exactly what most people do."

"Well, that's just weird."

They both stared at me. "It never crossed your mind to think that you're weird?"

"What? No! Does it annoy everybody or something?"

"No! You have a pleasant singing voice. It's just that you don't care who listens. You can't stand reading a paper you've written in front of the class, but you can hop on a stage and play a part in a play, and you can sing with the radio and not care who can hear you. It doesn't make sense." That was Coltizzle. In those days, he rarely spoke unless he had a really good point to make. 

"But...everybody sings with the radio," I repeated.

"I'm telling you, none of us sings with the radio if you're not in the car."

Suddenly it dawned on me that maybe I should care who heard me singing. Maybe they all laughed and made fun of me behind my back. Maybe I was a freak or annoying. Maybe I should stop.

And I did. For the rest of high school, I only sang along with the radio in the company of my closest friends and my family. If somebody I wouldn't talk to about my deepest secrets and my biggest problems was present, I just listened. It wasn't nearly as fun, and sometimes I really had to concentrate on not doing it, but I was successful. 

Until one day Coltizzle, Matteo, five other friends, and I all piled into his Suburban to head off for Senior Lunch together, and Coltizzle switched his CD player on and one of my favorite songs by a German band came on, and I didn't even hesitate. I launched straight into the song and belted it out like nobody was listening because the song was just that awesome. 

I heard MK in the back seat say, "Wow, Chanel has a surprisingly pleasant voice." And then I remembered that not everybody sang along with the music, and they all probably thought I was weird. But when the awesome song was weighed against what everyone else thought, the song won. I finished it in high spirits.

And that day I decided that I didn't care who sang along or not, who laughed or who didn't. I didn't care if somebody I'd never met before heard me singing with the radio and thought it was the funniest, most horrendous thing they'd ever seen. I had a lot more fun singing with the song than I did just listening to it in awkward silence, and if anybody had a problem with it and had the nerve to complain, I could find a other friends to spend my time around.

So if I know a song, I sing it. At work, I sing along with my iPod, regardless of how many customers there are  and who can or can't hear me. I sing as I walk down the street with my headphones on. I sing when I'm cleaning or I'm walking Choo Choo. 

A co-worker commented one day when I busted out a Taylore Swift song.

"You're not supposed to sing at work." We work in a music store. 

"If you don't like the way it sounds you can cover your ears or go somewhere else," I said sweetly.

"I didn't say I didn't like it. Just that most people aren't allowed to have that much fun at work."

I picked up a trombone lyre that was sitting on the counter, held it up like a microphone, and started singing again. He laughed and went back to pricing things.

My name is Chanel. I'm five foot four and a half inches tall. I have brown hair and green eyes. I like to paint. I have a dog that I like to chase around the living room. I play the flute. I can tune a guitar and play Smoke on the Water. I can restring a guitar. I own over forty pairs of blue jeans, and a million pairs of shoes. I wear pajamas to the store sometimes. I like to wring my wet hair out on Padawan while he's sleeping in the morning after I've had a shower. 

And I sing whenever I can because it's fun, and life is too short to miss out on all of the little things. So sing along with me and never mind the people who complain. They need to learn to have fun.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


My co-worker JayJay and I were talking last week, and we somehow got onto the subject of bacon. Now, I personally love bacon. It tastes yummy in salad, in mashed potatoes, on baked potatoes, on pizza, on a sandwich or a burger. Bacon is so good it even tastes delicious by itself. It even tastes good on a fresh, warm tortilla with butter. I know it sounds weird. Just try and then tell me that you don't like it. I bet you will love it, though, so I'm not worried.

Anyway, he said something like, "Everything would be better if it tasted like bacon!" Which seems pretty accurate. Even chocolate and bacon taste epic together.

Well, today on his lunch break he wandered around Target to kill time. And he found this:

That's right. Bacon Salt. As in, "We're going to take the salt that you like to put on your food and add the delicious flavor of bacon."

And the slogan says right there. "Everything should taste like bacon."

If I had a better camera on my phone, or if I had brought my camera with me to work, I would have been able to take a better picture in which you could actually read the words. Unfortunately, the batteries had to charge and my cameraphone was all I had to work with, which is exactly why I'm not smiling and holding this next to my face like a bad model on a TV infomercial. My camera on my phone plus florescent lighting equals extremely white skin, remember?

Uses for Bacon Salt:
  1. French Fries
  2. Popcorn
  3. Mashed Potatoes
  4. Baked Potatoes
  5. Bacon
  6. Any Kind of Potato
  7. Burger
  8. Eggs
  9. Omlette
  10. Breakfast Taco
  11. Stir Fry
  12. Salad (in place of salad seasoning)
Basically, there are an infinite number of possibilities for Bacon Salt. You could even put it on steak if you were so inclined, or on top of chicken with Monteray Jack cheese and some mushrooms. Yummy.

But bacon does not aways mean good things. Oh, no. Sometimes, bacon is annoying.

The only time I do not like bacon is when the smell of bacon is on my clothes. My Grandmother's house permanently smells like bacon because she makes bacon in the kitchen five out of seven days of the week, and they've lived in the house for like ever. Since Dinosaurs roamed the earth or something. So the smell has permeated everything. Stand in that house for five minutes, and you will smell like bacon for the rest of the day. Take off your clothes when you get home and toss them in the dirty laundry, the smell of bacon will fill your laundry room within the hour. 

Try explaining to your friends in middle and high school why you always smell like bacon underneath the sweet smell of your shampoo and perfume because they notice. And new friends? High School Boyfriend told me after we started dating that when we first met, he thought my natural body smell was bacon. Like, instead of smelling clean or like BO or something, there was only bacon. Imagine the paranoia after that.

Imagine how horrifying it was going to stay weekends with my best friend and having her immediately pull my clothes out of my overnight bag so she could smell them. Why? Even fresh from the dryer they smelled of bacon, and she loved the smell. 

You know what I hate? 

Those stupid Taco Bell commercials where the two women go to the club and the girl sticks the bacon thing in her purse to attract men. She's all, "Men love bacon." 

And the men are swarming around her, telling her she smells intoxicating.

Bullshit. As High School Boyfriend proved, men don't like chicks who smell like bacon. They think it's weird, and probably a little gross, though nobody has ever said as much. It's just the tone, I guess.

What guy thinks to himself, "Whoa! She smells like bacon! That's awesome!"

No man, that's who.

And if the smell of bacon turns you on...there's probably something wrong with you.

If you do not study...

Another day, and yes, Padawan's headphones are still AWOL, and he's still insisting they are merely "misplaced" and not "lost." My male coworkers, loyal to their gender to the very end, agree with him. Props to him for his determination, I guess, but try explaining to Relly that the really nice ear buds she painstakingly selected for his listening enjoyment have been "misplaced." 

I bet you ten to one she hears "lost" and winds up feeling hurt that her gift was so little appreciated that he didn't even wait a month before losing them.

Choo Choo, meanwhile, has gone on what I can only presume is a hunger strike of sorts. She refuses to eat her food all day and begs and begs food from us while we're trying to eat dinner. Since she gained so much weight while being fed table scraps under the table, Padawan and I have gone "tough love" as far as this issue is concerned, and she gets nothing. Only after we clean up the table does she go and eat her food, and she brings it by the mouthful to whatever room I'm in and sits it in front of me, eating it on the carpet piece by piece while watching me. I think she's trying to look sad and pathetic so that I feel bad for her (I kind of do. I wouldn't want to eat that kibble) and give her people food. Unfortunately for her, Dr. Kevin Spacey said that the reason she cries when I cut her nails or brush her teeth or bathe her is because she knows that I'll stop rather than make her unhappy, and she's taking advantage of my weakness.

Padawan doesn't credit her with that amount of manipulative intelligence, but let's face it. She's female, and she's my dog, and I did pretty much the same thing to my parents when I was growing up, so I can't put it past her. It is only logical to assume my dog is only doing this to make me feel sorry for her so she can have her own way. 

Despite how much I want to give her what she wants, I just can't do it. For her own good, I just have to resist her little tail wags and big eyes and the dancing on her hind legs...

Moving on. 

I know I told you guys that I watched The Fellowship of the Ring with Padawan a few nights ago, but I didn't tell you that I had the ultimate Internet StumbleUpon Geek Moment. I was seriously sitting on the chair waiting for this scene to come up the entire time, just so I could do this.

Padawan wasn't expecting it. He was just enjoying the movie. 

Wait for it. 

Wait for it.


Chanel: "IF YOU DO NOT STUDY!!!!" 

And then Gandalf finished...


So. Epic.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy Faces, Angry Birds

Why yes, yes these are three of my co-workers sitting at work. And yes, those are iPhones sitting in their hands. No, no. There is no massive world crisis going on that they're getting constant updates from, and no family emergencies to handle via text.

Yes. Yes, they are playing Angry Birds.

Yup. All three of them. At work. Playing Angry Birds.

Can you tell Manager Man is at the NAM Convention in California and the work ethic has suffered something of a decline in the last week? Look at their faces. They are so happily engrossed in their silly little Angry Birds that they failed to notice that I was even taking a picture. Look at their happy faces. Just look at them.

Don't you wish you could work here for a day?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Do you know where they are?

HPFF and I have made up for the time being. Or rather, I've decided that I don't care enough about the incident to continue plaguing the Beta who had such a bad attitude. I stress she was the instigator. I was an innocent victim. So what if I ruined their formatting? If anything I should have been congratulated on pointing out a flaw in their website design that left it so easily vulnerable to being hacked. I deserve a Medal of Honor or something. Not that I expect special treatment or anything, but did she even look at my pen name? Hello, I have twenty thousand readers, meaning that my story is the favorite of twenty thousand users,  and I am a personal favorite of three thousand members, twenty of which are moderators of the website. I think I'm deserving of a little more respect than seventeen days of waiting.

Balls of fire! The people I have to deal with in my line of work!

(P.S. That was total sarcasm. I'm not really that much of a Prima Donna. I don't think. Am I? I dunno. I might be. I've never really asked...and I'm not asking now! If you think I am, for the love of all that is Fabulously Neurotic, keep it to yourself!)

Anyway, Choo Choo is not pregnant. Apparently, her weight gain had absolutely nothing to do with pregnancy, but was a result of a couple of humans (who live in our little home who shall remain nameless) feeding Choo Choo table scraps under the table. The increased eating of her own food was simple enough to explain: she thought that if she kept her bowl empty, she'd get more people food. Apparently it worked. (I honestly have no way of knowing if my dog is actually smart enough to make the connection, but I'm sure she noticed that I went and checked her food bowl before giving her table foods, and only if it was empty did she get a piece. Unless she danced on her back legs. But who can resist that? Certainly not the two people who live in our apartment...)

So last night Padawan and I finished watching LOTR The Fellowship of the Ring and followed it with a couple of episodes of House Season 3 (oh, Hugh Laurie, how you make me smile) before going to bed. When Padawan went into the bathroom to wash his face and brush his teeth, I decided to make the bed rather than wait around until he was done so I could have my turn. When I pulled the pile of blankets off of the bed, I found my old blue earphones that I'd given him after I bought by pink gummies for my new Nano.

I didn't understand why he was using my crappy old headphones since Relly had given him a really nice pair for Christmas less than a month ago. So I asked, "Padawan, why are you use my old headphones? Didn't Relly get you some for Christmas?"

"Yeah, I can't find them."

Well that didn't surprise me. Padawan has extremely bad luck when it comes to headphones. He loses them, breaks them, washes them, or they just stop working. It's kind of funny, but he doesn't like to be laughed at. Keeping his dignity in mind, I attempted to hide my amusement, and I choked on my own laughter and made a noise somewhere between a cough and a snort. 

"What's so funny?

"You had them less than a month and you lost them. Duh."

Padawan became indignant. "I did not lose them."

I laughed outright. "Do you know where they are?"


"So you lost them." Case and point.

Padawan came back. "No, I didn't lose them." He kept emphasizing lose. 

"Do you know where they are?"


" they're lost."

If you can believe it, this argument (can you call it an argument if you're laughing the whole time? What is this? A debate? A verbal battle?) went on for five minutes with absolutely no change until Padawan said, "They are not lost! They are merely misplaced."

Well, I thought about it for a second before I answered, "Do you know where you put them?"


"So you don't know where they are?"


"Right. So they're lost."

And then I started laughing at the look on his face. Apparently, in the male mind, there is a big difference in something being lost and being merely misplaced. And in my world, if I can't find one of my shoes but I know it's somewhere in the apartment, I still don't know where it is so it is lost. That's the definition of lost: you don't know where it is and can't find it.

I let it slide after that and he got into bed and I went to wash my face and get ready for bed. However, after I turned out the lights and crawled into bed and settled under the covers, I snuggled up to him, put my lips to his ear and whispered, "You don't know where they are, so you lost them." Then I kissed his cheek, giggled, and rolled over to go to sleep. 

He made a noise something like a sigh, but he didn't say anything. Probably because he knew I was right. Which I am, right? If you don't know where you put them, and you don't know where they are, then that means they are lost right? And misplaced is the same thing as lost, correct?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hack. Hacks. Hacked. Nope, didn't do it.

We all know that I happily write HPFF for entertainment, and that it really cooks my grits (grinds my gears?) that sometimes I get a chapter taken down or refused because I didn't mention in a disclaimer that the "lyrics" I used weren't really a song and I'd just made it up (I never use anybody else's work), or I didn't explain that whatever magazine I was supposedly quoting didn't actually exist (I make up my own sources to avoid this problem). Apparently, to protect their asses, you have to explain everything, and after six years of writing for them, I've gotten pretty good at disclaiming everything that could possibly need a disclaimer up at the top of each chapter. It's annoying, but I do not fail.

The website that I happily write my HPFF for has two versions of an editor. The Simple Editor, and the Advanced Editor. Naturally, when they first started using the Advanced Editor I was all gung ho for it. But after three chapters written and posted to the so called "Advanced" Editor, I found that it had a major flaw. It interpreted every double spacing between paragraphs as a single space, and therefore when submitted for preview before submitted for publishing it would add two more spaces between each paragraph automatically. If you found a mistake and went to edit a second time, it added two more. Therefore I would wind up with four, six, or eight spaces between each paragraph that I would have to go back and delete one by one. If I didn't put any spaces between my paragraphs because I knew it would automatically do it, it would refuse to let me preview the page. It was a headache, to say the lease.

No matter how hard I tried, I could never, ever manage to submit a perfectly formatted, easy to read, no unnecessary lines of nothing chapter with the Advanced Editor. And while the Advanced Editor was an awesome time saver in so many ways, like simply selecting the Italics setting when I wanted to use it, and having a button I could press once and the whole page would be immediately justified and the text would line up beautifully, it caused more problems than it prevented.

After three chapters of fighting with the stupid not-so-Advanced Editor, I switched back to Simple Editor where I happily coded everything myself in HTML. And we're talking really simple HTML that I use for my chapters. It's not like I was building a website or anything. I was using basic alignment, text, and page break codes. I wasn't even changing the color of the text or anything. And while typing your own code is often times irritating, it's far less irritating than dealing with "Advanced" Editor.

Until just ten days ago, I have never made a mistake in my coding. I never realized that leaving a mistake in my coding could be a problem to anyone but myself, and while I pride myself on always triple checking my code before I submit anything to be published, I knew it was only a matter of time before some little error slipped by my check and something would happen. Presumably, I would accidentally leave half a page in italics when I only wanted one word Italicized for emphasis.

I couldn't figure out why my newest chapter hadn't appeared on the site despite my publishing it ten days ago, and this morning when I went to check to see if it had appeared suddenly, I found a message in my inbox and a note on my chapter posted "Not Approved."  When I opened the message, I was furious.

"Jan 14 - You have open bold and italics tags at the end of your chapter which are messing with our formatting. Hacking is against the terms of service." And it was followed by the usual option of editing the mistakes or deleting the chapter from the archive. 

I am, at this moment, undecided about which part makes me angrier. The fact that it was a simple Coding error that the Beta could have fixed herself in less than thirty seconds without having to bother me about it, or the fact that they accused me of hacking because I forgot to close a simple code.

Hacking? Let me just say this. If your website has such simple coding that a simple < i>< b> open ended code  can completely and totally fuck with your format, then how does your website function at all? Far more sophisticated computer users than myself could easily do more harm than that with a more complicated design to hack, and I'm being harassed for forgetting to close Italics and Bold? 

If I wanted to hack the website to mess it up, I would not use the account that I've had for six years. I would make a fake account that I didn't care about and I would use that to mess everything up. And I would make everything HUGE and turn all of the font like hot pink or something. I wouldn't just put everything in bold italics. That's got to be the dumbest hack ever.

Adding lye to my already exposed irritation, they then had the nerve to make me queue my chapter for seven more days rather than have it immediately available to the public to make sure that I fixed the hack. 

Outraged, I sent a scathing reply to the insult because it was clearly an accident and not an intentional hacking, and because I didn't need to be put on hold for ten days to explain the little error. If it took them ten days to figure out why the formatting was messed up then they need to get a new team of people to run the website. I should not have been kept waiting for more than two days, and I certainly shouldn't be subjected to a seven day wait for an unintentional interference.

And we're not even talking website wide formatting interference. It could not POSSIBLY have effected any page other than the one that would have showed my chapter. I fail to see why they went all Nazi Gestapo on me for it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Where the hell are Bill Pullman and Sigoureny Weaver when you need them?

It is possible that I have like...the Virgin Mary of Dogs. What do they call it in that book that I only read once because I was curious but haven't looked at since because I think of it more like a fairy tale than an actual historical document? Something like Immaculate Conception.

I think my dog has Immaculately Conceived.

She's gained a fifth of her body weight in the last two weeks, she's had a drastic increase in her appetite, and I think her doggy nipples are swollen. (Do you call them teats like on a cow? Boobies maybe? I don't know.) I could be imagining it. After all, I know for damn sure that my dog did not copulate or procreate or have happy time with another dog while she was in heat.

Choo Choo was guarded like Fort Knox. Nothing got past me, or Padawan, or my Grandparents. And when one dog got a little too sniffy, Brat's wolf-puppy dog beast (yes, the one that tried to turn me into a werewolf and failed) tried to rip his throat out and he never came back. Ever. It's hard to show your face when you're a big, tough German Shepard and you get your ass handed to you by a six month old puppy. And a FEMALE at that. He probably chewed off his own testicles after he left since he probably figured he didn't deserve them. The male species in general is a little sensitive to losing to girls. Of course, I lack the equipment to actually empathize, so I could be wrong. Maybe they don't care at all.

Point being, if Choo Choo is prego she's got have a doggy abortion. I know it's cruel and wrong and God, I don't want to kill puppies (I'm totally for human abortion, though. Isn't that a little backwards?) but puppies under six months old are forbidden in our apartment complex. The risk of puppies leads to a two hundred dollar raise in monthly rent and a two hundred dollar fine for each puppy, plus another one fifty for each pet not on the lease.

See the problem.

No amount of puppies are worth the risk of that amount of money. And if it's a Dog God's Immaculately Conceived Puppy (Dogs probably have a deity they believe in, right?) then it's probably going to be huge, and Chihuahuas are notorious for having complicated births. I don't want my dog to die for puppies I don't want or need.

No, no. No puppies for Choo Choo. However, her eating has slowed down today, and she looks thinner. This could just be a "I've been eating things I shouldn't be eating" thing that led to her sudden surge in weight. I'll be the first to admit that I like to feed my dog scraps of people food under the table at meals because she dances on her hind legs and it's just so freaking cute that I can't resist rewarding her adorableness.

Speaking of often are you supposed to bathe them? I give Choo Choo a bath every Wednesday, and she feels all soft and smells like grapefruit for five days. Is that too often? Or is it acceptable to bathe smaller dogs more often because it's easier and everybody deserves to be clean? 

Oh. New thought. What if the ghost thing that I think is living in my closet is actually a ghost dog and it impregnated my dog out of some misplaced desire to bring joy and sunshine into the world?
Or it just wanted to annoy the living hell out of me.

Either way, Choo Choo is going to have a pregnancy test on Monday. (Yeah, they actually have blood tests to see if dogs are pregnant or not) Though Dr. Kevin Spacey assures me that if she got pregnant in heat in November she'd be about ready to pop right now and I'd definitely be able to feel puppies moving around in her belly. (I felt nothing, but when I put my ear to her tummy I heard noises. Not barks, obviously. But moving noises.)

I haven't decided. I might cancel if she doesn't get fatter. 

My god, I feel like I'm in that movie about aliens where the alien is living inside of the man's body and it suddenly bursts out of his chest and then it puts on a top hat and a spot line shines on it and it dances across the counter of the diner singing, "Hello my honey, hello my baby, hello my ragtime gal"...oh, wait, that was Spaceballs, not the alien movie...Well, I feel like a mixture of the two movies in my head except I'm not worried about it killing some useless space traveling man, I'm waiting for the gremlins to come out of my dog. And I would be sad if my Choo Choo died. She's my furry child.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


It is one o'clock in the morning on my day off, and I am awake and online. Not because I've been out partying and having a good time. Not because I am so engrossed by something on the internet that I can't bring myself to pull away. No, I am awake and online and blogging at one in the morning because my older sister, Relly, has dropped off of the face of the planet and we can't find her and I can't sleep and I've exhausted all of my resources.

I would rather be awake because I was having a fucking awesome night drinking myself into oblivion while dancing to shitty hip hop music that is required in most dance clubs that don't sport live music. Or even dancing badly to some heavy metal band that rocks the scene at Red Eyed Fly or Emos or Head Hunters or something. I'd rather being listening to techno pop bullshit electronically produced noise at Elyseum than sitting here playing detective in an attempt to locate my 23 year old sister.

Apparently, at some point this evening she was talking to T-Man and she got another call on her cell phone. She switched over, switched back and said she had to take the call but she would call him back in a few minutes, said she loved him and hung up. She never called him back.

Not long after that it was time for Mom, Ran, and Relly to leave to meet Padawan and myself for Mom's birthday dinner. Relly said, "No, I've already been to two birthday dinners with you two, and Channelle hasn't had any. You guys need the time together. I'm going to stay here and watch TV, and when you come back we can finish watching *name of movie* together." 

So, with plans for a movie after dinner, Mom and Ran left her at home. When they returned, her car was gone, her phone was gone, and her wallet was gone, but her purse was left behind. Weird, since she had absolutely NO money, no gas, and her credit card was maxed to the limit last week so she doesn't even have the dignity a credit card would lend her. And she never goes ANYWHERE without her purse. EVER.

But Mom and Ran didn't worry until T-Man called at eleven and said that Relly had said she would call back over four hours ago and hadn't and she wasn't answering her cell. Relly wants to move in with this man, marry him, have babies and raise his other two boys together like a good nuclear family. She ALWAYS calls him back. ALWAYS.

That's what freaked Mom out, so she called me and I called Relly, then I called Brat who called Relly, and I called Memaw who called Relly. And then I proceeded to call all of her friends and my mutual friends and putting out pleas on facebook begging for anyone who had heard from her to step forward.

Apparently, at about eight her boss at her Dominos job texted her asking her to cover a shift and she responded immediately with a "I will check my schedule." So the last anyone heard from her was eight. I called the hotel that is her second job and asked the man who answered. Apparently I wasn't the first. He'd gotten seven phone calls that night of various friends and family trying to locate Relly. What can I say. When we worry, we investigate.

Then I got the bright idea to check the cell phone records to find the number. The page said it had the records of all calls and messages and downloads for her phone from 1-11-11 at 9:43 PM EST. Since the mysterious call was a couple of hours before that, I decided to get the full record to call it. But it wouldn't load the last page, the page with the critical fucking number, and T-Mobile doesn't have a tracking option on its cell phones so we can't GPS track her. 

Then I went through all of her contacts and called anyone I hadn't already called. Since it was after midnight on a Tuesday night I wasn't surprised no one answered. I left various messages.

In the meantime I called every police station, sheriff's office, and emergency room within the Georgetown/Round Rock/Jollyville/Austin/Cedar Park/Lago Vista area trying to find out if she'd been arrested or admitted or in an accident. I went to her facebook to look at the pictures of her car to find a make and model and year and a license plate number. Unfortunately I only got the make and model and color, but Mom told me the year and then I had her look on the insurance paperwork for a vin number to use to get the license plate.

All of it came to nothing, however, because she wasn't in an accident that was reported or arrested or anything, but every single officer and deputy I spoke to urged me to file a missing persons report and asked me if she had a history of depression or suicide and if she was on any medication.

No to all of that. Except the history of depression. She...


Now hear this. We have found her. Apparently, she got a phone call from her friend Lauren (who I called and left a voice message with) and she and her husband had gotten into a huge fight and she was upset so she and Relly met up at IHOP to talk about it. Relly left her cell phone in the car. Lauren got my voice mail and told Relly. She went to get her phone and called Mom, then T-Man, then myself, but Mom called me and told me so I called Brittany and messaged Wheat who was talking to me online and then I hung up in time for Relly to call and tell me she was fine.

So I'm going to bed now.

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