Tiara Joy

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Mukilteo, WA, United States
I'm a mid-late twenties female that's just trying to get my life going in the right direction in all aspects. This blog will follow me thru all my thoughts no matter how silly, serious, funny or sad.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My brother Brandon

Today is my brother Brandon's birthday. He is turning 28 years old today! He's a pretty awesome guy if I do say so myself. He has been there for me through it all. Thru my first boyfriend, my first cigarette, my first beer, my first lie, he knows it all.

The first time I ever lied, I was around 3, I had wet my pants and my mom asked me if I peed in my pants. I looked her straight in the face and said "NO! Brandon did!" From that point on I used Brandon as my scapegoat for almost everything. It doesn't work so well anymore.

I remember Brandon used to let me hang out at parties he would throw at the house as long as I would clean it all up the next day so mom would never know. I always thought he was being so cool to let me party with the older kids but in reality he just didn't want me to blow his cover to mom.

Before he had his license he would steal our old Cadillac to take it to the driving range or to Taco Bell. He would let me go with as long as I promised not to tell on him. I loved it. I felt like a rebel. Once he started dating Stephanie, his now wife, I was allowed to hang out a lot more. Steph and her friends were always good sports and would let me tag a long to almost everything they would do. His friends were like older brothers and sisters to me. They always looked out for me and still do. If I showed up at a party, they would always make sure nothing bad would happen to me and include me in on everything. I rarely was treated like the baby sister.

As we got older we started doing our own things. Brandon moved out and got an apartment with Stephanie. I moved in with my boyfriend, Adam. We still hung out every once in a while but not nearly as often. He turned 21 and started going to bars and I was still a little high school kid. I broke up with Adam at the end of my Junior year and needed somewhere to live. Brandon and Stephanie where living in a 3 bedroom duplex with Brandon's best friend, Seth. Being the great bro he is, he cleaned out half of the 3rd bedroom and put up a shower curtain to divide the rooms and let me live with them.

My room was half the boys office/game room and half 17 year old high school girl. I was living with them right when they started planning their wedding and it was a blast. I loved living with my brother. After I graduated I moved out and down to Cali for a few months and then back home. This time I lived with Austin but I still stayed at Bran's most of the time. He had a baby girl, Mikayla, and I would help watch her when I could.

Brandon has always been there when I've really needed it. When I got in some serious trouble on a school trip my freshman year he was the one I called. When I got in my first car accident and needed a guardian to release me from care, he is who I called. When I lost my "v-card", he was the one I told. When I found out I might not graduate, Bran and Steph were the ones that lit a fire under my ass. When I snuck out the first time and didn't come home till 5am, he was the one out checking the ditches and looking for me.

My brother Brandon is one of the best guys I know. He is the only guy I know will make me laugh every 3 minutes or so. He is right up there next to my pops when it comes to people I want to be proud of me. He may not be as sensitive as Austin and he may make fun of me until I cry every time I see him, but he is still the rock in my life. Thank you for being my brother Brandon. Thank you for always being you and always being there for me. You are an awesome brother, a great son, and an amazing father! I love you!

Friday, August 21, 2009

My jobs and the stigmas that go with them

So I work at a Harley-Davidson shop and currently I am in charge of the Evo Espresso bar. It doesn't sound very glamorous and it really isn't. In the bike industry you are either part of the sales team and know your product, or you are the receptionist, office chick, or Espresso girl. If you are part of the "team" you get much more respect. People think you have knowledge about the products, the bikes, the best roads to ride on. They believe you must ride yourself and they seem to like you a whole lot more. But, when you are just the Espresso girl, receptionist and so on, you suddenly turn into "the cute girl". The girl that knows nothing about bikes. The girl that is only here in between quarters at college. You must be in college to perform these jobs. Somehow it's unthinkable for you to WANT to be a barista if you aren't in school. It's the lowest spot on the totem pole.

Now I used to work in a different dealership. I worked at Lynnwood Cycle Barn's now defunct metric location. I worked there for 2 years. I was NOT the receptionist or barista except for when the position needed to be covered. I have been an enthusiast for this industry for years. I worked in Motorclothes. Which still had its stigmas. Such as: You were just there for eye candy. You were the Motorhoes. You couldn't possibly know that the helmet is too small or too big or that certain chemicals will eat away at the strip on the bottom of Arai helmets. You can't possibly understand what gear is the most protective and comfortable to ride in. I had many guys tell me that they would prefer a guy to tell them everything I just told them. You couldn't really know how each helmet is made and the process that goes into it. There was no way in hell you knew how the cow hide was treated to get the right thickness and softness. So on and so on. You couldn't possibly be able to see a guy on a bike ride past and tell you the specs on everything he was wearing."

But you got more respect from the men then the "dumbo bimbos" that work in the cafe and front counter. It's just how it worked. While at Cycle Barn I stepped away from Motorclothes because of all the girl drama. It was starting to be a huge cat fight everyday and I needed to work with the boys.

 So I started working in shipping & receiving. I touched every part that came into that store. I knew the computer program better than half the people on the floor. I was throwin' tires and slingin' lube day in and day out. I was forklift certified. I knew every part that went into a Honda 50cc motor and knew what a petcock was. I loved my job. I got more respect for my job. I was GOOD at my job.

I'm also an amazing barista. The Cafe de Barn was going down hill fast. My boss in shipping was the boss of the cafe. I soon took that over. I did the orders and trained the girls. I advised him on who to fire and who to keep. I was the manager of the cafe and I did that while working in the back. I loved it. So I got to do the two things I love. Make coffee and stay in the back AND be in the industry I love! What more can a girl ask for?

A lot more it turns out. I worked there for 2 years and received one $1 raise. It was bullshit. I worked harder than the majority of people there. My product was out to the floor before you could even take a 2nd break. I covered every department that needed me while still completing my own job tasks. My boss could go on 3 week vacations and know that everything would be getting done. I turned a cafe with a $6k deficit into at least coming out even. I was a huge asset to that company.

 But no matter how much my boss fought for me to get a raise, they refused. So I made the decision to quit. That decision was one of the hardest.

I started working in a cubicle as a customer service rep at a collection agency and I hated it. Yes I was getting paid $3 more an hour, but I hated my job. Try telling someone that you work for a collection agency and see the response you get. People hate collectors like they hate lawyers. You never want to hear from either of them. I had to tell people that asked where I worked not to worry, that I wasn't an actual collector. I had to wear dress shoes and business attire. I had to file for hours on end. I was on the phone with retarded clients that didn't know what was going on. I had to baby the collectors because they didn't know how to do their job. I hated it.

I eventually got fired from that job.

 A month later I called a few of my reps from when I worked at Cycle Barn. I was still in contact with them and saw them at every bike event. I asked them to keep their eyes open because I wanted back into the bike game. I needed to be back.

I got an interview at Eastside Harley and it was all over from there. They were going to put me in motorclothes but needed someone to start the espresso bar back up. So they stuck me in there against their will. They tried to tell me I was too qualified to work there. They thought the same about motorclothes. I had to tell them I wouldn't be interviewing unless I wanted to be there. I have managed to turn profit in the cafe and have made it successful.

I'm just the barista but that's OK.

The boss men know I'm more than that and they got plans for me. Don't judge me and think I can't do anything more than make coffee. I can do it all. And I will. In the next few months I'll be scaling down the cafe and start doing inventory control. I will be in charge of redoing the entire way motorclothes keeps their products. I will re-organize storage and show them a better way to track progress. After that, who knows where I will be. They may put me back into the cafe. They may keep me in motorclothes. Heck, I might be the receptionist but as I'm sitting at these positions, listening to everyone's spiel on how I should want more out of my life, I'll be the one smiling. I know I'm where I'm happy and I know I have big plans in my future.

This dealership has come into my life when I needed it most. The people here are outstanding and I met a guy. The guy. I met Cory. My life has gone from a crazy, hectic, alcholic spiral into a stable, healthy, happy line. But we'll save that for another post.

Just remember, that girl that works at your coffee stand, she probably has a whole lot more going on than you think. Maybe she's in college, a lot of them are. But maybe she owns that stand and four more down the road. Maybe she works there to supplement her own t-shirt line. Maybe she just loves making coffee and does it well enough to support her life. Same with those receptionists. Drop those stigmas and remember we don't know what these girls do when they get home. We don't know if they are stoked on that job and are right where they want to be in life. Suppose it comes down to don't judge a chick by her profession. I still feel silly telling people I work in the cafe. I still feel like I need to justify it. Like I need to prove I came for the bikes, not the coffee. But I'm getting better at being proud of where I am. It's the best damn place I've been in my entire life.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The people and pets I live with

Let's see..... Hmm.... Where to start.... I'm living in Mukilteo, well, Everett if you want to be precise. I live with my boyfriend Cory; my brother Austin; and Cory's friend, JJ. It's still very new and we are all still learning each others quirks and pet peeves. We have a fish that my niece, Mikayla, named Pretzel, much to Cory's dismay. He thinks it's a silly name since it looks nothing like a pretzel but it has stuck so that's his name. Prezel is pretty bad ass... You can shake his food at the tank and he'll come swimming right up. Or if you are just chillin in the kitchen he'll swim up and watch everything you do. We just got a little puppy and his name is Wheeler. I tried to tell him he looks nothing like a Wheeler but than the damn dog had to go climb all over everything as if to tell me he may not look the part but he can act the part. Wheeler was a rescue puppy and has had a tough little life for the first 8 weeks. His momma and all his litter mates were dropped off at the main intersection in Granite Falls, WA. All of his brothers and sisters and momma died. One sister and Wheeler were caught but the sister had been hit and had massive injuries to the neck and back and so she was euthanized. Wheeler was the sole survivor. The lady that caught him had rehomed him to a family with 2 little kids who named him Cody and that lasted for about a day until the landlord saw him and knew he would be more than 30lbs. So they took 'Cody' back to the person they got him from. Luckily for me, I was searching Craigslist daily for a puppy that fit Cory's requirements. I showed him a pic of Wheeler and we went to go see him that night. He was the sweetest dog in the world and very smart. We put him in the bed of the truck to let him wander around while we talked to the chicka that was rehoming him. He was very good and just kinda did his own thing but came when you called him and didn't seem skiddish of anything driving past on the highway. Huge trucks and little race cars didn't even make him perk his big ol' ears up but then it happened. A Harley rode by and all of a sudden His ears were up and he was trying to look over the side to see it. We thought it was a fluke then a second one went by and the same thing happened. Cory looks straight at me and then at the lady and said he's a keeper, he likes Harleys. Wheeler is pretty well adjusted and has already been on a few little weekend trips with us and listens very well. He is just about fully potty trained already at a 9 weeks! He can sit and stay. He knows NO very well. He doesn't chew on anything yet but I'm sure that will change pretty soon. Altogether a good looking puppy and super chill. We lucked out on this one! So onto the people.... Let's start with Austin. Austin is my older, but not oldest, brother. He has been living with me since about May and so far so good. He's kinda a hermit and doesn't really socialize with any of us but that's the way he likes it so who am I to force him out of his little dungeon. We have always been pretty close and he is the sweetest guy I have ever known. The last time we lived together was right after I graduated high school and moved back home from my little stint in Cali. It was interesting back then. We were dirt poor and living off of canned potatoes and food people would clear out of the pantry to give us. We shopped at the Grocery Outlet and barely ever had money for gas. We were sharing a car and tryin to make it work. I think I was making about $7.58 and hour working at Albertson's. Anyways.... He is an awesome roomie; doesn't make messes, pays the bills on time and even babysits Wheeler! I love my brother! JJ has been my boyfriends friend since they were wee little tots. I don't know too much about him but I know he has a solid head about him and happens to be a big lover. I can always count on JJ for comedic relief. I think it weirds him out to live with a couple and I think he feels awkward sometimes but it works. He loves to cook so it's lots of fun for me because we kinda take turns and learn from each other. I would have to say he is a pretty solid guy. I joke with Cory all the time about how JJ is totally my #2 and if me and him don't work at least I can fall back on JJ. Cory doesn't think it's very funny though. Hehehe I'm not going to go into Cory right now. I could write abook about him. Just know that he is amazing and you'll learn lots about him... Well, not too much because he would probably kick my booty for writing a blog about him. He likes to stay private. But I'm an open book! So I need to find a good balance before I start in on him. So long for now!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The first of many!

Well I suppose I should start with a hello to all of you out there in the cyber world and let you know what the point of this blog is for. I really don't know what this will morph into. It may become about my cooking and how I wish I could be Ree (www.thepioneerwoman.com) and whether the newest recipe turned out well. I may post my favorite recipes or I might be extremely selfish and not share my secrets. It may become a bitching post for all the things that irritate me. Whether it's about my amazing boyfriend, my growing puppy, the fact that I live with 3 men and everything that entails. Or maybe the irritating customers from my job or that asshole that cut me off in traffic this morning. It may become about my quest to get into culinary school. I'm wanting to apply at the Art Institute of Seattle for my Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management. If I get in this might never be updated or if it is, it might teach you all the terms I'm learning. I really don't know where I'll go at all with this but I think that's the fun part. It's free for me to do whatever I please. To talk about my childhood, my adulthood, my goals and dreams. To discuss important topics like Harleys vs Triumphs and Tundra vs Tacoma and Waterproof Mascara vs Non-Waterproof and God vs the World. Stick around. It should be an interesting ride.