How much can I type in just 5 minutes?

Last night a former student of the massage school came in to be our "victim." I drew the lucky straw and worked on him for an hour, and then we all sat down to ask him questions about the state board exams. It was fairly informative, but through it all I was a little weirded out. I kept thinking, "wait a minute, I've dated you." I swear I spent a couple of years with the Massage Dude's doppelganger. The hair, the voice, the mannerisms, the body, the expressions, the laugh... At the end of our Q & A I couldn't decide if I wanted to buy him a beer or smack him upside the head, and I very pointedly (and three times!) checked out his hands to see if he had any fingernails. Some of you will now have a very good picture of Massage Dude in your head. Some of you will still be in the dark.

Ah, trust me, it ain't that interesting, either way.


On another note of weird, I had a dream last night that the San Antonio Spurs were guests of honor at this huge banquet dinner I was attending. They sat at my table because they knew me from the reality t.v. show I'd done with them the previous summer. On the team: Rob Schneider (hilarious but major halitosis), Bam, and a dark-skinned Mini Me. Oh, and some random guy named Mark that I think was their manager. Or boy toy. The Spurs were having a blast, but a little ticked off at all the trouble they were having, trying to change their name from the "San Antonio Spurs" to the "San Antonio-Austin-and-Houston Spurs."


Now, I'd better skedaddle so I can call the management office about this giant puddle that has resulted from today's thunderstorm and a leaky window. Shoddy workmanship, anyone? Hell, I'd better skedaddle before the whole place falls apart.


Update-y goodness

My parents and grandmother were in town all last week cleaning and repainting Sister’s playroom, er, I mean, visiting. I took Friday off to spend a little quality time which happened, as it usually does, about 3 hours behind schedule. Because getting my family to decide on an activity and then actually get out the fucking door already! takes a mammoth amount of energy of which I am in short supply. We ended up at a state park which is home to tons of fossilized dinosaur footprints, but only after a twisty-turny, s’posed-to-be-90-minute drive that in fact lasted 3 hours and caused the Gilligan’s Island theme song to blast around and around in my head.

Saturday the plan was to meet up at Sister’s house, visit for a while (hard to visit when some people are out on a 4 hour grocery trip and other people are still slaving over the playroom makeover, however) and then pile back in the car to go to the Fort Worth art fair. This way, the family could gorge themselves on “art” with inflated price tags and I could gorge myself on overpriced fair fare like funnel cake and an $8 polish sausage. I do not regret the $8 sausage. (note to Googlers: sorry to waste your time.) I do regret the purchase and consumption of a $6 wine margarita. Not sure what happened to the hard liquor at the fair, but a margarita made with wine just ain’t right, people. Especially when the hope for a buzz fades with each Sip of Weird.

[edited to remove work-related commentary. And there was much rejoicing.]

I did eventually get to study on Sunday for the second Anatomy test which, ahem, I aced last night. I’m awfully pleased with myself, considering the anxiety and the lack of time and the oh-god-the-Skeletal-System-sucks-and-what’s-a-medial-malleolus bit, but hey, I’m a big nerd after all.

For the second practical evaluation (also last night, thanks a lot, teach!) I had to work on Miss IEP herself. At the end of the hour, I braced myself for a barrage of “constructive criticism” but instead was told that a) it was an “excellent” massage and b) I’m the only student in the class who has nearly put her to sleep on the table. So. It’s a little hard to concentrate with all the Smug in here. I’ll catch ya later this week when I’ve been knocked off my high horse by the Muscular System.


I am not making this up

I was going to post a picture of my new office then describe some artwork that will be hung soon, but I've decided that while you may not need proof that I have a new office, the artwork kind of falls into the see-it-to-believe-it category.

I'm sure I've mentioned how different Boss Lady and I are, from backgrounds to beliefs to what we consider aesthetically pleasing. But I don't know that my objection to the paintings she plans to hang around the new office have so much to do with personal taste as they do with the cringing that comes every time I think of someone coming in, seeing the "artwork," and assuming it reflects the mindset of everyone in the office. I'm not even bothered by the fact that these paintings were given to Boss Lady as a gift, created lovingly by her friend's 10 year old son back in the eighties with a potato stamp and his father's blessing.

(Okay, that last bit of the last bit is a little annoying; your child's artwork belongs on your refrigerator, not framed and hung around my office, but whatever.)

Anyway. Following is one of a group of paintings that I diplomatically banned from my office (the better to grace the common walls and reception area, my dear).

Q to Boss Lady: I'm sorry, what's that big figure standing in the midst of all the oil wells?

Boss Lady (laughing): I think that's a Saudi! Hee Heeee!

Q: Nice.


19 months later...

A year and a half of being shut away in an alcove of the boss’s kitchen.

A year and a half of having to fill in for an often indisposed housekeeper when the laundry service, repair men and UPS people came to the door. Or waiting for a caterer to arrive for a personal party when I’m supposed to be at class, but can’t leave because Boss’s husband won’t come home from work, preferring to take my presence in the house (and lack of a life, apparently) for granted…

A year and a half of being surrounded by odd photos of Boss Lady’s relatives, grocery lists and discarded newspapers, and nothing to call my own.

A year and a half of having my desk drawer ransacked and my computer messed with every time one of the boss’s sons came home on break.

A year and a half of sharing a bathroom with a housekeeper who camped out in there an average of 3 times each day, 40 minutes each time.

A year and a half of pretending to sympathize when Errand Man, Housekeeper or Handy Man would bitch about Boss and her husband.

A year and a half of needing help around the office. Desperately. Despairingly.

A year and a half of not being able to take a break like the rest of the normal, working world.

A year and a half of not being able to rearrange anything at my desk because (again) it wasn’t my house.

A year and a half of back pain from sitting in a “desk chair” that was more decorative than functional.

A year and a half of trying to make phone calls fit around the droning of the leaf blower or the vacuuming that seemed to occur 80 times a day (why is it so impossible to just vacuum a room? Just do the whole room! Don’t do a fourth of the rug, fold some laundry, do another fourth, pester the boss’s assistant, back to the rug…).

A year and a half of Housekeeper asking me questions like “Does peanut butter make your husband constipated?” and “When’s the last time you had a mammogram?” Oh, and “Have you ever used Monistat?”

My new office has a door and a window, and is blissfully quiet in the afternoons. I can start setting up my personal effects whenever I want. And my new assistant (her favorite Golden Girl is Rose, by the way) is currently working on a most tedious project, so here I am, reunited with my good friend the Internet. I have arrived.


"Almost" is close enough for me

Well hellooo, Internet. Oh how I've missed you. Between trips to and from the new office space, furniture order & delivery shenanigans, the traumatic and sudden severing of our telephone and internet wires by clumsy (and, I must say, indifferent) construction workers, you have been hard to reach lately. But lo, the storm is clearing, and as soon as I get this jungle of over-sized boxes in my new tiny office (hey, it's better than my old tiny office, fondly referred to as The Hole) transformed into a desk and file cabinet, I will finally be able to pull myself up out of the pit of Too Much Work And No Office To Do It In. Unfortunately, Boss Lady isn't able to access our network from the home office yet, so she won't be able to work in the new office for another week or so.

I know, I'm crying for her, too.

So, hopefully by Friday, dear Internet, the dust will have settled; we can pour ourselves a drink and have a niiice long chat. Be here or be square. Or something like that.


Lose it like you mean it

Last night we were schooled in face and abdomen massage. Who knew that a powerful undercurrent, churned up from the hectic work weeks, lack of sleep, and the neener-neener aspect of kneading someone’s brows was steadily moving me closer to the edge of Slap Happy Falls? As my classmate's face was smushed around during the cheek and chin kneading (while she tried to remain dignified), I managed to keep a lid on all but a runaway snort (cleverly disguised as a cough).

After a demonstration that caused a bit of queasiness in my own stomach from watching someone else’s get pulled around like homemade play dough, it was my turn to step up to the table. While I doubt I will ever practice abdomen massage (the one massage sequence that pretty much serves just the one purpose) on anyone not constipated (or masochistic), I earnestly undraped my (victim) classmate.

(During the abdomen massage, the client should feel free to “pass wind,” as manipulating the intestines tends to activate the digestive process.)

(That’s right: an important part of the massage sequence is choosing the right moment to boldly reassure the client that it’s cool if they need to let one rip.)


(You know the whole giggling-at-a-funeral thing, and how, the more you try to get it under control, the worse it gets?)

Yanking my Grown-Up hat over my head, I began to concentrate on looping circles around my classmate’s navel, Ms. IEP’s militant tone contrasting with the called-for movements (“Sun and Moon!” “Now, Rock the Wave!”), and by the time we got to the colon friction I was feeling pretty zen. Zen enough to risk asking Ms. IEP why we work descending, to transverse, to ascending, as it seems a little, overkill. She stopped glowering to make blank-faced eye contact. “Because,” Ms. IEP said, in a casual, matter-of-fact voice, “if you’re moving poo, you want to start at the blockage point, don’t you?” And that's when I lost it. Lost track of the sequence, lost contact with the “client,” lost my hold on the giggles, lost my shit completely, if you’ll pardon the intended pun. For about 10 minutes the class howled and wiped away tears and then we got back to business. I should have known there was no hope after that- every couple of minutes the Bizarre Event Commentator in my head would whisper “the teacher said poo” and I’d lose it again, causing everyone else to lose it again with me. Because I am 5.

More antics followed as we each took a turn having our intestines prodded and poked, joking that we could not be held responsible for any “wind” coaxed out of us. And praying our bowels would stay silent. Yep, bursts of laughter followed immediately by panicked thoughts (“oh god, stop laughing, it would be so. damn. embarrassing to laugh and then toot explosively in front of everyone. Ha! Toot! Oh god, stop laughing, it would be so. damn. embarrassing…” etc.)

Relatively collected, we began joint movements. Knee flexion combined with draping mistakes and comparisons to gynecological exams had everyone in hysterics again. “Okay,” growled Ms. IEP, dabbing her eyes, “let’s do the arms.” Traction to the arm, above-the-shoulder-stretch, la dee da, now we take the arm across the client’s chest and push the elbow down in a stretch. Wasted from the earlier merriment, I lay passively on the massage table as my classmate threw my arms around. She was concentrating so completely on her hand placement that she hadn’t once looked me in the eye.

On the last joint movement, she threw my arm across my chest and stood with her hand pushing down on my elbow, triumphantly looking at the teacher as if to say “The beast, I have vanquished him verily with my broadsword!” Ms. IEP glanced at the pose and said “And you’re finished?” Classmate, ignoring my drooping sheet, resistant shoulder, and the arm that was somehow crumpled over my chest and face, wrist bent back unnaturally against the massage table, declared that she was. The room was silent, save for the ticking clock, as everyone waited to see if the student would catch on that she was not, in fact, finished.

I couldn’t take it any longer and let out a whimper that was half-smothered by my bicep. “I feel like a broken toy!” I cried. My classmate looked down and gasped, and everyone else promptly lost it all over again. Ms. IEP left the room to compose herself, but we spied her in the hallway, doubled over against a wall, shaking with laughter. Shortly after that, she declared us done for the night and sent us all home.

Good times.