Luke’s Debut on My Channel
Give it a watch. Tell him he’s pretty.
Give it a watch. Tell him he’s pretty.
Monday, January 8, 2018 was Luke and my first anniversary. It was a roughly 3-day celebration.
On Sunday, we spent roughly the whole day together after I got home from work at noon. We went to a couple grocery stores then made potato pancakes for dinner because we are #PotatoPancake. The recipe that we followed (mostly) can be found here. We cut it down greatly because we only had two medium-sized potatoes and are only two people. We also added paprika because Luke loves paprika. We also shallow fried them because 2 cups seemed like they would be deep-fried and that just didn’t seem right. They were delicious but could have used a bit more salt than we used.
On Monday we (I) woke up early and hung out in the morning. We exchanged gifts. He had gotten me more because he was short on cash for my birthday and Christmas so he made up for it for our anniversary. I opened an amazon box to find a pasta roller for us to make pasta together, Egghead by Bo Burnham, and Eggsistential Thoughts by Gudetama, The Lazy Egg. I gave him a “date jar” filled with popsicle sticks that had different date ideas written on them. Afterwards, I went online to look up the sushi restaurant we were going to and find out what time they opened. We weren’t just planning to do regular sushi; we were going to do all-you-can-eat sushi. In doing my research about when the restaurant opened, I found that for $23 during lunch hours, you only got one hour of all-you-can-eat-sushi. This hardly seemed like enough of a deal since the sushi was made to order so you had to wait for it to come out to you. We almost gave up on the AYCE deal but found instead that another restaurant, Sushi Bang Bang, does AYCE sushi for $26 at lunch. They opened at 11am and we arrived around noon, after I did my hair and make-up.
Not only could you get sashimi, nigiri, and maki rolls from the sushi bar, we were able to get a number of appetizers from the kitchen as well as tempura and other Japanese entrees. From deliciously fresh salmon sashimi to hot takoyaki and pork katsu, Luke and I ate $100 or more of sushi for about half the price. We went home happy but incredibly stuffed and felt the need to just lay around for a while before either of us had to go to work.
On Tuesday, the last day of our 3-day celebration, we met with Shayla Webb at Bull Creek Park to get photos taken for our anniversary. I met Shayla at Ulta but she left since her photography business started taking off in December. Now she’s been taking photos for families, couples, and weddings and doing it very well. We were all ready for it to be a bit awkward because she wasn’t sure how to pose us and we weren’t sure how to pose, but in her telling us what to do and us being our goofy selves, we got some amazing photos out of it. We laughed basically the whole time and Shayla captured every moment and the essence of our relationship very well. It was such a fun experience too because whenever I’d gotten professional photos taken before, they were in a staged studio and this was out at a public park around nature and with a beautiful creek and waterfall. There was also a film crew in the area filming, what Luke thinks, was a commercial. They brought in potted trees.
After we left the photoshoot with Shayla, Luke and I were deciding what to eat when we got home but realized we wanted to go to Costco and get samples and $1.50 hot dogs. We got samples, a hot dog, drink, and chicken bake and also got a few groceries. Doing domestic things with Luke like grocery shopping are some of my favorite things to do with him.
Our first year as a couple absolutely flew by. We went from friends to in a relationship and moved to Austin together in 2017. I’m so excited to see what 2018 is going to bring us.
If you’d like to see more of Shayla’s work, check her out at swebbphoto.com!
Last night, I drove home from work crying. At the time, I was rather confused as to why. I had a normal shift until the last five minutes, during which one of my managers asked me if I remembered a customer from the previous night. She showed me an email written to Ulta customer service in which the customer said that I was rude, condescending, and glared at her because she wanted to split a transaction because she wanted to give the products she was buying as gifts. In the conclusion of her short statement, she recommended that Ulta “reconsider my employment” because she deemed my behavior unacceptable there, or in any retail job. Her statements were false.
Though I do not remember exactly the interaction with this customer, I know that I was not rude or condescending to any customers. I did not glare at any customers that night, or ever. What I do remember, is that there was a customer with her name that came in. There was a customer that wanted to split a transaction to use two coupons, something I was told we are not allowed to do. I apologized and said that I could not do it. She seemed a bit annoyed but left without making a big fuss. This was not the first time that this situation occurred since I started working at Ulta in July, but this was the first time I heard something back about it.
After reading the statement and telling my manager that I was sure it was about the coupons, she told me that she didn’t think it sounded like me, and that she was, in no way, reconsidering my employment. She also added that I was not in any sort of trouble. I followed up by asking her about the coupon situation, actively trying to figure out what I had done wrong and how to fix it in the future.
We closed up the store, I got in my car, and started on my short drive home but started crying at some point. It took until Luke came home from work for me to finally understand what I was feeling. This woman, someone who has next to no impact on my life, attacked my character, not knowing me at all. Have I been rude and condescending to people in my life? Yes, who hasn’t? I will be the first one to admit that I’m not always a nice person. But over the years, I’ve tried to fix this. Other than “positive outcomes only,” the other motto I live by is simply “don’t be a dick.” Much in the same way I am fighting the internalized misogyny I have been ingrained with, I am fighting being a horrible person.
Many people will tell you being mean is easier than being nice. Obviously, if the current state of the government is anything to go by, this is true. I’ve stated this for many years in conversations with friends, family, and anyone that would listen. It is something that I preached about on my radio show at The University of Tampa. I wish I could be a bitch. You can get what you want much easier because you can step on, and over, people without giving it a second thought. You can use them, you can degrade them, it doesn’t matter. I’ve never been this kind of person.
However, I am not 100% nice. I’ve talked about friends behind their backs. I’ve not supported friends when it benefitted me. I’ve not supported friends when it hasn’t benefitted me. I have, for no reason other than I am petty and like drama, criticized people, their looks, their life choices. I am not 100% nice and I do not claim to be. Again, this is something I am working on.
This customer however, did not write that she didn’t like my hair. She did not write that I was too ugly to work at a make-up store. She did not write that I didn’t let her use coupons so she was mad she couldn’t get another $5 off of her purchase. She lied and called for corporate, and my managers, to terminate my employment at a job that I actually really enjoy. She told them that, in a heavily customer service role, I showed poor customer service.
I’ve had customers unhappy with me in this role. It happens, you can’t make everyone happy. Every other time, I’ve brushed it off. This time it stuck. It was because, as Luke explained to me, she lied and attacked my character. According to her statement, she was not unhappy with the policy, as other customers have been. She was unhappy with me. Even though I have had many customers very happy with me- a teenager hugged me, another woman brought us samples of her product (I’m not allowed to say what) because she had a fight with her partner and we helped her feel better before she went back home- but this occasion had me in tears.
This got me thinking about my future and what I am trying to do with it. Since I was young I have wanted to be famous. The reasons for this have changed over the years. When I was younger, I wanted to be famous because it seemed glamorous. As I’ve gotten older, the reason has changed to the fact that I simply want to have a voice. While this is still a dream for me (part of why I’m going to start making videos again) I had another dream: working for the Events Team at Rooster Teeth.
Not only is Rooster Teeth in the gaming community, one known to be less than cordial towards women, they are also an internet-based company, another community known not to be nice to women. This has always been a reservation in my mind, but it was one I was sure I could get past. I always thought that because a) I’d have a strong community of women behind me and b) I’ve generally had thick skin in the past, I would have less of a problem with the online abuse than some others. Now I don’t know that that is true. This incident has caused me to, once again, reconsider my life and what I’m going to do with it.
In a few days, weeks, months, I will get over this incident. I will laugh about the extreme that this woman went to to call for my termination over a coupon. I will have more amazing encounters with customers that love me and the service that I give them. I will make even better relationships with my managers, proving to them further that I am not the person this woman alleged that I am. It will not keep me down. But it will still be a fact of my life, and an event in it. It will still be something I have to think about, something that could very well shape my future. This customer was mad that she couldn’t save an extra $5 on her purchase, so she felt it worthy of her time to lie and call for me to be fired. She could have spent $0 to just be nice.
Life has been weird again and I don’t know how ready I am to talk about it all, so I’m going to talk about last weekend instead.
Friday, September 22, 2017 was Luke’s 23rd birthday. Thankfully, Ulta did not have me working that night so when I got home from my temp job, I was able to make dinner and a cake for him. You’re probably looking at this cake and wondering what in the heck happened to it. 1) The candles melted more than anticipated because he took longer than expected to blow them out, 2) it’s not a normal cake!
Luke isn’t a huge fan of cake. He likes brownies, cookies, pie, ice cream, and basically any other dessert over cake. Funfetti however, is a cake that he likes and will eat happily. Because of this, the Monday before his birthday, I went to H-E-B after I got out of the office (the only other day Ulta didn’t have me), and stood in the baking aisle much longer than I thought I would, trying to pick out what to buy. The idea I had going in was to buy Funfetti cake mix, a tub of frosting- which I would choose quickly when I got there, and then go back home to relax the rest of the night. Instead, I stood there grabbing different boxes, debating how he would feel about them, and then putting them back.
Green is his favorite color so I thought green cake would be fun. It used only egg whites. I put it back.
He likes brownies better so maybe brownies. You don’t typically frost brownies so that fun gets missed out on. I put it back.
He really likes cookies and they’re easier to eat than cake. He would be upset with me if I made cookies without him. I put it back.
I stood there for a good 15 minutes talking to myself about what birthday treat he would like the best, just to pick out the regular Funfetti cake and white marshmallow fluff Funfetti frosting. The rest of the week I thought about how I would bake the cake. We have a few different Pyrex baking wares thanks to both of our mothers, but none of them are the fun round cake shapes. I could have made a rectangular cake in the 9×13 pan, but that didn’t seem good enough and I could have just made brownies if I was going to use that.
I had the rest of the week to figure it out but eventually ended up settling for the 9×13 and a whole lot of frosting. That is, however, until I saw a video on Facebook.
This video was from Tasty? Tastemade? Delish? One of the food accounts. They put cake batter into a waffle iron. I’d seen this before but never had the inspiration to do it before this. Luke LOVES waffles. So that is what is pictured above, a Funfetti waffle cake with white marshmallow fluff Funfetti frosting and almost totally melted candles. It came out really well and then we had leftover cake waffles for a few days because there was much more batter than just for four waffles.
He was surprised by the idea and was thankful, yet again, that I was the spontaneous (read: actually meticulous planner) and cute one because he just hasn’t learned how to be that yet.
For dinner, before we ate the waffle cake, we had boneless beef ribs that I tried to cook like steak- sear then bake- and came out almost perfectly but that I thought I’d messed up royally, rice, and broccoli.
The next night we went to Red Lobster and I got them to bring Luke a birthday sundae and sing to him. Then after that we walked around a mall before going to the 10pm IMAX screening of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, getting interrupted and evacuated from the theater about 15 minutes before the movie was supposed to start for the fire alarm, and eventually getting home around 1 am. The movie wasn’t super, but it was about as much fun as the first one with a few scenes that I could have very much done without.
The next morning I worked and we hung out around the house. It was a good weekend. I was content.
My last post was over a week ago. I’d been meaning to post in this time, but life has been rather busy. Because of that, this is going to be a rather long post, but it’s going to be pretty all-encompassing. And I’ll break it down into the different categories and keep them short-ish. To start:
I got my August GlamBag around the middle of the month. This one had three different bags that you could have received and I got the one I wanted. In the bag I received two CLIV Max Hyalruonic Masks, theBalm Cosmetics theBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Eyeshadow in Willkommen, MAKE UP FOR EVER EXCESSIVE LASH Aressting Volume Mascara, Hikari Cosmetics Shimmer Bronzer in Flush, and Hey Honey Come Clean: Propolis & Minerals Face Scrub.
So far I have used one of the masks and don’t have a lot to say about it. I like these masks, they are refreshing and for at least the next day after using them, my skin feels softer and looks brighter. Since I don’t use them regularly though, I can’t really say anything more than that. I know that these having hyaluronic acid in them is supposed to be a good thing too, but honestly, the word “acid” used in the same sentence as the word “face” makes me uncomfortable. I’ll probably stick to the green tea masks.
The eyeshadow and bronzer I haven’t actually used. I swatched them, because that’s what you do, but I don’t use a lot of eyeshadow and bronzer. They just aren’t my jam. I thought the swatches looked pretty nice though.
I like the mascara. I use it with a primer, obviously, but it works. I think most mascaras work pretty well with a primer, but I have found a few that didn’t work super well, and this was not one of them.
As for the face scrub- I’ll be tossing this out before I finish using it. The description on the ipsy website says that every people with sensitive skin love it but I don’t see how. I have pretty normal skin- gets oily when I don’t wash it for a bit but is generally okay. THIS STUFF BURNED. I love face scrubs. I looooooove the way my skin feels after exfoliating. Unfortunately, after exfoliating, it felt like there was salt poured all over my face. This was not a good feeling. I don’t think I’ve ever given anything from ipsy one star until now.
I am a Blue Apron customer. I originally signed up because I was curious and with a Rooster Teeth promo code, I could get $30 off, making my first box half price. Because I am stingy, I didn’t finish signing up at that point. I held out and they sent me an email for $40 off. Still wasn’t enough. Then I got the email for $50 off and I finished my membership and got my first box. Since then I have had a love/hate relationship with them. I believe that $60 is too much to be dishing out monthly for these meals so most of the time, I’ve been skipping weeks and only getting the boxes when they’ve got meals that look especially tasty in them. Since my first box however, all the of the boxes I have received after were boxes that I didn’t actually want and only received because I forgot to skip them. On 9/1, I received one of these boxes.
I was upset a) because $60 that I was not expecting to spend was now going to be spent and b) because I forgot about it, I didn’t even get to pick which meals I received and I got the default meals, one of which was barbecue baked chicken breast, sweet potato salad, and sauteed green beans. I spent $20 on barbecue baked chicken breast, sweet potato salad, and sauteed green beans. You can’t see my face, but it is unamused.
Since the box came in on Friday morning, I was at work so I asked Luke to bring it in and put all of the ingredients away. He did so and didn’t say anything was wrong with any of them. That Saturday, we decided to make one of the meals that turned out pretty well. On Sunday morning, I decided to go through all of the ingredients, just to see what we had. I pulled the sweet potatoes out of the pantry to find that one of them had turned completely to mush. What’s worse, somehow there was liquid in the bag that proceeded to leak all over the kitchen floor. I was livid. Luke then informed me that the sweet peppers in the fridge had also looked a little funky. I pulled them out and surely enough, they were moldy. I immediately took photos of it all and sent Blue Apron an angry email stating that for $60 I should not be getting bad produce (this wasn’t the first time) and would be cancelling my account. They responded the next day saying that they credited $10 to my account and how to cancel my account should I choose to proceed that way. This confused me as I have never seen a company actively tell people how to stop being customers. I guess they have so many that they figured they didn’t need me anymore.
I have yet to cancel because I don’t want that $10 to go to waste, but I will after I use it up.
My job hunt is still active. I am still working part-time at Ulta, though not many hours. I am still working temp in the same office I have been since August and today, I had an interview for the permanent position. In about a weekI also have an interview for a different position at a different company. I don’t want to jinx any of it so that’s all the information I am currently putting out there, but I’m nervous and pretty scared. A lot of what’s currently scaring me is the potential to have to choose which job I want because I don’t know right now. I’ve been talking to many people about this and I haven’t come up with a clearer decision. I suppose that is a bridge to cross when I get there however, because I could only get offered one or neither and then all of this anxiety was for nothing. We’re hoping for a much better outcome than that though.
Besides that, I’ve been dealing with needing to get a TX driver’s license and that has been a whole process that I can’t wait to be over.
Luke and I also bought season passes to Six Flags Fiesta Texas which is in San Antonio. The passes we bought will get us into any Six Flags though, so whenever we’re home, if anyone wants to go to Great America, we are there. The passes were supposed to be a birthday gift to Luke, but I just didn’t have the money to cover it so the surprise was ruined. So I still have to find a gift for him. If nothing else, I’ll bake him a cake. I can do that.
Yesterday was the first day of school at my alma mater, The University of Tampa, and at Austin Community College, the school Luke is now attending. While he is not big on photos to document big moments, and his parents did not have to move their baby boy into a dorm for the first time, I still saw many move-in photos from UT on social media over the weekend and it made me a bit nostalgic.
Since graduation in May up until the first of August, I was not working. This was not such a strange feeling because I’m used to having the summers off. As a student for the last 16 years of my life, I’ve gotten used to being busy as can be from August to June and then being a carefree kid in the remaining months. I knew this wasn’t going to continue to be the case however, which is why it was still scary even though it felt normal.
Now that I have been working for about a month at this temp job, I feel like I am back into a routine, much like the same routine I have known since I was five. The problem however, is that a) since this is a temp job, I am very likely to get thrown out of this routine very soon and b) even if I can keep it permanently, come May/June, I’m going to be ready for a three month break that isn’t going to come.
Even while I feel that I am back into the routine, the amount of free-time that I have when I get home from work has been weird. When I was younger, homework was no big thing for me; I finished it within an hour of getting home from school and then I had the rest of the night to go outside and play with the rest of the neighborhood kids. As I got older, this playtime went away. In high school and even middle school, my time at home was to be spent on homework and studying- there was no time for dilly-dallying (I still dilly-dallied… at the cost of my proper sleep schedule).
Then I got to college and found a ridiculous amount of free-time again. I went to classes for four (or less) hours a day and then had the rest of the day to do nothing as I pleased. I started to get bored so when I found an organization that I liked, I latched on and didn’t let go for my entire four years at UT. By the time I graduated, I think I’d spent more time in the Student Productions office than in my own rooms on and off campus. It was there that I’d found a love for event planning, so it just made sense that I was going to spend every free hour I had in the office. Even if I wasn’t exclusively working on programs, I found a way to make myself busy.
Now this temp job has me up at 6:30 am and home at 5:30 pm with nothing to do until I go to bed around 11 pm. With Luke working nights, I’ve been alone too, some nights unsure of what to do with myself. Recently, I’ve been crafting, working on ideas for this blog, and other personal projects. This has been a lot of fun, but I’m still missing something (and need more money) which is why I’m so excited that I’ll be working at Ulta.
This will hopefully be taking up a lot of the free-time I spend doing little to nothing at home, in an environment that I love. Ulta is a store that I’ve wanted to work at since I could work and, though it is part-time and at a pretty low wage, it will be something to keep money coming in if I don’t make this temp job into a permanent one. I still have my fingers crossed on that though.
And now, just to reminisce, the first photo taken of me at UT. I’ve used it a lot to look back at the times, but it’s still definitely one of my favorites.
In mid-to-late August 2007, I was in an interesting place in my life. I was 12-years-old, going on 13 come November, and I was what one could call an emo preteen. I felt that the world was against me and like I didn’t have many friends or anyone to lean on or look to. One of my older brothers, Kaz, was away in Colorado attending the United States Air Force Academy and the other, Toby, was going into his senior year of high school. Knowing that he wouldn’t be around in a year to help me through the difficult time I was going through, he decided to bring me to youth group at a church that was not ours and not even Catholic.
I’d fought going for a few weeks, also believing that God had turned his back on me, but eventually caved. Since it was still summer, the “class” part of youth group hadn’t started yet so the activities for that night were to play soccer in the big field behind the church. This was a great way to ease me in because I didn’t know anyone and would have felt awkward in the class if I had just been thrown in.
I don’t remember much else from that night except that I had fun and I’d met a boy. That boy was Luke.
Fast forward through the next ten years and here we are, celebrating ten years of knowing each other and me putting up with him through all of that time. It is not ten years of friendship and definitely not ten years of being together. We have not even hit one year yet there.
I’m not going to go into the all of the details of those ten years because I think he and I would both agree that there were some times that we’d like to leave in the past. It’s all gotten us to where we are now though- living together in Austin, happy as clams… most of the time.
To go into the details would also be to invade the privacy of someone else and put her on blast, something I do not want to do. The past is the past and I am looking to the future.
What I can say about where we are now is that it is partially thanks to Rooster Teeth and RTX, and we are happy. We’ve both learned from our past experiences and are willing to continue learning. To paraphrase something Luke has expressed to me before, if we’d started this relationship back when we were so young, one of us probably would have messed it up by now and we’d be lacking our best friend, something that we’d already been through a few times and don’t want to do again.
To celebrate the past ten years, on Saturday, the first day we’d been together for dinner since we started working, Luke decided we’d have ribeyes, my favorite steak. Yes, steak is expensive. No, we didn’t buy it just for this. Steak is surprisingly cheap in Austin and as of yesterday, we’d gotten four meals out of the two steaks we made on Saturday night.
To accompany the steak, we also made garlic parmesan mashed potatoes, kale chips, and fried plantains. It was a good dinner and a good night watching Descendants 2 for the second time.
Below is a bit of a photo representation of how far we’ve come. We were babies. Now, we are toddlers.