Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'm The Girl For Whom They Invented Incentive Programs

Last month, in preparation for the big conference in Kansas, I went to a super ritzy Beverly Hills Salon. I paid $105 for a haircut. $105! The results were great, sort of. I mean, I got a fantastic haircut and fantastic color. The kind of haircut that you don't have to do anything to and it still looks good. The rich, pretty red color I requested. I just looked a little more like an almost 35 year-old woman than my inner almost 35 year-old woman wants to look.

But I signed up for this incentive program. And to my great joy, a $24 coupon arrived in the mail for me this week. $24 free dollars! So I trotted my happy ass back to the salon today to cash in the rewards, mostly because I misread the ticket and thought it expired on Saturday when it actually expired a year from Saturday.

But such details didn't stop me! I quickly grabbed some conditioner, and because I had about $10 left to spend, I thought I would pick up some new eyeshadow. All of my current eyeshadow is old, and cheap, and kind of ugly. So the makeup lady swooped in on me, washed off my face and worked some magic. PMS zits disappeared! My eyes were dramatic, yet natural! A subtle pink glow emanated from my cheeks!

So instead of buying one shade of eyeshadow, I bought three. And a compact to put them in. And a fancy makeup brush. I did manage to refrain from the concealer and the blush and powder, but only just. I spent some $55 over the $24 free dollars I had intended to spend. And yet I still feel as if I got a great deal. I don't think, "Wow! I shouldn't have blown $55 on makeup!" I think, "Wow! I saved $24 that I would have spent anyway!"

I also consulted with my stylist. We have plans to grow into a longer (not long), hopefully more youthful and funky style. I fear, however, that I have outgrown my funkiness and will have to accept my fast-approaching middle agedness. I'm fighting it, though. I also requested a call from my colorist. I want to bring back the blonde for summer, but I feel I should consult with her, if only because that is one of the perks of spending big bucks at a Beverly Hills Salon.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

So I Quit. And Then Came the Heart Attack.

I finally had it with the bike shop. One too many days of sitting alone at the counter waiting for the boss man to arrive. One too many instances of having given much more than was required of me and then being asked to give just a little bit more. One too many apologies to customers when shit entirely beyond my control was fucked up. One too many times of not having the information I need to do the simplest of tasks. One too many times of being asked to say a little white lie so that the shop doesn’t look like the total Flakesville that it is. One too many days of being forced to bear the responsibility for Captain Chaotica’s stressed-out life, troubled interpersonal relationships, medical problems, and poor managerial decisions.

Of course I didn’t mention that these were my real reasons for putting in an unheard of One Month’s Notice (because I am a softie and really don’t want to make my departure too stressful to the already overstressed Captain) because, really, what good would that do? Would the Captain learn anything from the truth, or in any way alter his behavior? Not Likely. Especially as the Captain is really operating in pure survival mode, almost drowning under the burden of his reality but somehow managing to keep his chin just barely above the surface.

Honestly, the moment I quit, I felt the weight taken off of me. That’s how bad the situation had become, having almost imperceptibly shifted from slightly annoying to completely unbearable over the course of my two months there. And once that weight was off, I no longer was embittered; just happy that in one month’s time, I will have moved on. I could suddenly see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, and I knew that it was beautiful.

Also I’ve started being completely rude to customers who annoy me, a skill honed during my many many years waiting tables at Perkins.

Annoying Guy: You just give these water bottles out, right?
Me: No. They cost $3.99. (A price I made up on the spot).
AG: But I had to wait longer than the time you told me. Shouldn’t I get it for free?
Me: No, you shouldn’t get it for free. But if it will shut you up, you can have it.
AG: (embarrassed) I mean, it’s free advertising for you.
Me: You want the free water bottle. Take the free water bottle. Just admit that you want the free water bottle because you’re greedy, not because you are altruistically looking to advertise our shop.
AG: Um, thanks for the water bottle.

So Tuesday I was going in to work. I told the Captain I would be there between 3:30 and 4:00 and I arrived at the 4:00 end of the equation, albeit still on time. And because I was still on time, I sort of maliciously took pleasure in the fact that he had to be on the receiving end of the waiting game. He had to wonder just when I would walk through the door. He had to want to leave, need to leave, and know that he was stuck there until my happy ass showed up. It was delicious. And short-lived.

I walked in to find that the Captain, who has a long history of horrible horrible heart problems, had just called 911. The store or his life in the store had literally pushed him over the edge (or swallowed him under, if I want to keep my metaphors consistent). He was wheeled out of the store on a gurney under the care and supervision of the LAFD and has been in the hospital ever since.

And who, you may ask, is holding down the fort?

You know who.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Apparently, I'm Bebe


I even took the quiz twice to make sure I gave the most honest answers because I figured on the first time around I would try to beat the test, even though I'm not exactly sure how one beats the Which South Park Girl Am I test. And twice I was Bebe.

So call me Bebe, Baby.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Tour of California

Apologies in advance for anyone who isn't totally insane about cycling. Check back tomorrow for another post.

My honey and I went down to Long Beach last week to catch the final stage of the Tour of California. It was so cool! Even cooler than last year!

We took the train down; despite rumors to the contrary, Los Angeles does have public transport. In fact, walking around Union Station (one of the nicest train stations in the world, I'm convinced), it becomes obvious what a stellar public transport system it was meant to be before the car and tire companies started throwing money at the politicians of the 1940s to turn LA into a car town. Union Station is enormous, a hub meant to handle throngs of people with easy and located so as to efficiently connect people to both the local stops and other towns throughout Southern California. If only the connecting lines and subways (there are some subway lines, just not what had originally been programmed) had been built. Instead it's overkill, long hallways that echo with the footsteps of the few people walking them.

But the train was pretty awesome and convenient. We went past the Watts Towers and decided that we would take another day trip to the towers sometime in the future. Only a few weirdoes, too. The man with too much mucous behind us who snorted and swallowed, snorted and swallowed. The racist black dude who wouldn't make room for the wheelchair-bound black dude ("I ain't moving, coz!") because he thought Mr. Wheelie was Mexican; Mr. W responded by stretching out his leg (not sure why the wheelchair) and putting his foot right on the handhold that RBD was using. Once RBD figured out Mr. W was, in fact, not Mexican, he fled the train in embarrassment. At which point Snotty (a white dude) got up and apologized to Mr. W and they bonded over being displaced New Yorkers.

When we got to Long Beach, we sort of ambled our way toward the race route, stopping at a kickass bookstore and at a Bucky's, you know, taking our time. As we walked by one of the big hotels, we noticed the team cars lined up outside and decided we should cruise the hotel. Who walks by us in the parking lot? World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Paolo Bettini, that's who! Holy crap the guy's legs are bigger around than he is tall, I swear. In the lobby Stewie O'Grady chatted with Thor Hushovd, Fast Freddie Rodriguez and Chris Horner sported their pregnancy test-sponsored kits, the T-Mobile guys (with German mullets) strolled to their efficiently lined up bikes, and a few Liquigas Italians (no doubt rock star huge in Italy) walked around, confused in their anonymity.

The race was great. More star spottings on the bikes: Bobby Julich, Ivan Basso, Levi Leipheimer. I stood in shock, hearing that my All-Time Favorite US Rider, George Hincapie, broke his wrist (in mile 5 of a 100+ stage that he not only finished, but dominated as the super-domestique he is) and was out of the T of C and the Spring Classics. I waved to Johan in the car and he waved back. And in possibly my best moment, while everyone was watching the huge TV screen as the Peter Gunn theme played at the start of the race, Floyd Landis walked right past me, no more than a foot away and under supervision of an entourage of besuited and beshaded guys (lawyers, no doubt). No one except me noticed. I said, "Alright Floyd!" (eloquent, I know), and he totally gave me an appreciative smile and nod, and all the heads around me snapped as they figured out why this one little lady was cheering for Floyd. Plus we talked to Levi's mom (the whole family comes out in Levi T-Shirts; no wonder he's the best of the best or else he'd be the kid that got beat up and made fun of on the playground). She was so nice! Plus, she expressed her motherly nervousness at each of the moments that made the race so incredibly good this year - the first time trial, the massive attack by Jens Voight and his amazing time trial (followed by Levi's even more amazing time trial), the ingenious tactics of Riis when he sent O'Grady out and the Discos perfect counter-domination - and her whole demeanor reminded me that these guys really are guys, guys with moms who feel the intricacies of the sport like moms and not like fans.