Mr. Fix It

Monk has been in Vegas for a few days, acting as Guest Judge for the Miss America pageant.

Not really, but the real reason he's been in Vegas has to with his job, and we all know by now that I don't pay attention to what he does for a living, so one guess as to how much I know about why he went to Vegas, and what he's been doing there. The sad thing is, he explained it to me about three times before he left, and once yesterday. Something to do with a convention center, limo rides to fancy dinners, and drinking expensive scotch on the company dime.

Monk's Vegas Vacation concludes today, which is terrific. We can return to our regularly scheduled program. I've missed having him here in Dallas (not that we see each other during the week these days), especially when I've been feeding the dogs, taking out the trash, folding the laundry, picking up the yard... It's like having your pool boy go on strike- suddenly there's too much to do, no time to do it yourself and worst of all, no hot guy to look at while lying in the sun and sipping iced tea.

(I’d really like to be the kind of person to whom this analogy would make sense. “Oh! Yes! I know exactly what you’re talking about! In fact, just last summer Volari decided to take some classes and left us in the lurch for a whole month! You can’t imagine how inconvenienced we were to find leaves in the deep end every morning.” Also, I don’t like iced tea. But I wasn’t sure how to keep that scenario fluid and realistic at the same time. Is it the norm to lie around the pool drinking orange Fanta with a bendy straw?)

More important than the day-to-day tasks: There is a rather large hole in our kitchen ceiling that needs a patch and a light fixture. Monk and I spent nearly four hours last Saturday on a mission to replace a few lights around the house. The mission was successful in that we discovered exactly how little we know about light fixtures and electricity in general. Unsuccessful in terms of the big hole in the ceiling where a light should be. With wires coming out of it.

It’s great that Monk returns this evening, as I haven’t had the time (or the inclination) in the past four days to attack said hole with tape and plaster, and instead have been pointedly ignoring the horror every time I enter the kitchen.

Kind of like I’ve been pointedly ignoring the fact that it just doesn’t feel like Home without the huzz.

But mostly I'm excited about getting the ceiling patched up.


And I moved faster than a speeding bullet.

3:30 in the morning, and I wake to Blockhead-the-dog shifting position on the bed. The room is dim, calm and toasty, the air purifier hums a soothing white noise lullaby. I reach out to Blockhead, motioning her to come over and give me a cuddle. I have just clumsily raised my outstretched hand towards her when she vomits into it. And over it. Gushing. Onto the bed. And my pillow.

The only way I would have leapt from the bed any more quickly? If the vomit had been cold. Which it wasn't. Because it was vomit.

I'll give you all a minute here to clean yours off the computer screen.

Monk went to get a towel to, I don't know, dab daintily at the ocean of puke, but I vetoed his plan and started tearing the covers off the bed. Then the sheets. Then my pillowcase. Monk groaned at having to change the sheets in the middle of the night. And groaned some more when I started removing the mattress pad from the bed. If he'd had his way, we would have gone back to sleep on top of a bare mattress. "But I'm tired!" he whined. He looked longingly at his side of the bed, the side that had conveniently escaped the regurgitation. I held my ground, the new sheets went on (with a little pouting and a refusal to change his un-ralphed-on pillowcase), and we tried valiantly to return to dreamland.

So that is how my day began. In case you were wondering: Yes, I'm quite ready for this week to be over.


January's killing me, but we'll talk about that later

So. Deep Tissue is interesting. The Head & Neck section is almost over, and you should all take the following message to heart: Please tip your massage therapist as he probably knows how to kill you.

We also know how to hurt you, make you nauseous, make you pass out, make your sinuses clear up, and make your headache go away. I’m guessing the last two will be the massage effects I will advertise.

Each evening we enter the classroom and have to pair up with someone new. Seems like a decent group of LMTs so far (that’s “Licensed Massage Therapists” to you civilians), except for the guy that brags about being a player and makes lasciviously-intended comments to every female in the class, at every opportunity. Nothing specific or clever, mind you. Most of the remarks are along the lines of “you get up here, girrrrl, you know you want to” with a wink and a tongue click; one wonders if he’s ever actually scored with this ghettofied Benny Hill routine.

There’s also a somewhat freaky woman who I thought was hitting on me, until I realized that she’s just one of those people who will hug and stroke and smooch and climb on top of and straddle (as they lie on the massage table) anyone. Still, when the time came last night to put on our rubber gloves (streeeetch... SNAP!!!) and stick our fingers in our partner’s mouth, I was quite happy to be paired up with someone on the other side of the room.

In conclusion, some thoughts from the first few classes:
1) So, good thing we weren’t given a syllabus or ever told what reading we should be doing outside of class, or what to bring each evening, or anything, really, to prepare us for this course. This will surely help me work on my control freak issues.

2) Hmmm. I’ve never had someone relieve a headache and then give it back to me at twice the intensity in a 10-minute period.

3) Too much! Too much! Why aren’t these moves in the class handouts? Why isn’t someone recording all of this?!

4) Okay, I definitely need to work on my memory retention.

5) Oh good, I wasn’t the only one feeling overwhelmed (as evidenced by the 3 video cameras and the digital voice recorder that appeared the next evening).

6) I may also need to work on my trust issues (crossed my mind as my partner batted my trachea around).

Next week we start on the shoulder. If the beatings inflicted on my face, neck and mouth are any indication of the good times to come... Wish me luck.


Oh, hey there

Wow, time flies when you're buried in work. And two ice storms. And one of the dogs having surgery (she's okay, thanks for asking). And more work. And spending two hours at Home Depot knocking $1600 off your flooring estimate. And then there was work. And a new class starting with an asshole of a teacher (it's too bad he's so obviously a pro, or I'd feel free to hate him with a fiery passion). And a hot stone class (which is making me rethink adding this service to my repertoire- lugging 55 stones around? Not so much fun, in case you were wondering).

And.... work.

So. When I can see my desk again, I'll post something more substantial. I'm thinking that'll be Wednesday.


I am not my hair

I’m sure you’re wondering how my little happy hour outing went, so I will skip over the other details of the weekend (like how a class was canceled Saturday due to an ice storm that never showed, and how the clinic shut down yesterday due to another ice storm that –you guessed it- never showed) and just give a summary of Friday night.

In fact, let’s rate it in Cool Points, shall we? 100 being ohmygod-so-fabulous-I-can-hardly-stand-it and 0 being ohmygod-somebody-tell-that-freak’s-keeper-that-it’s-escaped-from-the-basement-again.

The venue:

+100 points for being 10 minutes away from my office, which unfortunately, due to the storm, turned into about 25 minutes of stop-and-go, the rain coming down so hard it was like being in a car wash.

-20 points for having valet parking with the valet spaces reserved in front, the public spaces in the back, forcing people who chose to park themselves to run around the rather large building in the freezing rain trying to find the entrance before their already unfashionable hair morphed into “uh, excuse me, miss, I think something crawled out of the sewer and died on top of your head.”

-10 points for not-so-hot service (not sure why it would take 20 minutes to pour a glass of wine. You don’t have to let it breathe, folks, it’s the house red. Just unscrew the cap and dump it in a glass.)

-10 points for the extra long table reserved in the front of the establishment. Not conducive to having one big conversation, and a little too easy for the drunken 50-year-olds to zero in on the table full o’ladies.

+15 points for the soft pretzel basket. Even though the queso tasted like someone had dipped their bacon in it, it rocked.

Venue total: 75 Cool Points. Not bad!

The group:

+100 points for 15 people (ish) showing up despite the weather being determined to shit on everyone.

-15 points for the event host bailing at the last minute.

+15 points for the majority of the group making an effort to meet everyone else.

-20 for the girl who disappeared halfway through the evening and was later spotted playing pool with some random Former (as in, now balding and beer-bellied) Frat Boy type.

+15 points for the conversation that went quickly from the weather to Real Life topics.

-10 points for two women ditching the conversation to humor ol’ Slurry McPoolPlayer for an hour.

Group total: 85 Cool Points. Great!

(Sigh.) Me:

+100 points for showing up to an unknown venue to meet a bunch of new people all by my lonesome.

-30 points for showing up with The Haircut.

+10 points for not calling attention to The Haircut by touching it, mocking it, or desperately yelling “Make no mistake! I’m much cooler than this I swear! I am not my haircut!”

+10 points for controlling myself, in general, meaning: Not making too many bizarre jokes or blunt comments. But!

-10 points for not controlling myself enough: During the conversation in which the group agreed that remaining friends with exes (the important ones, not the ones from the 23-day “relationships") is no good. I seem to remember a rather authoritative tone of voice coming from me, declaring “the only way you can truly be friends with an ex is if (drumroll, please) the sex was really bad.” Have you heard crickets in a bar before? No? Hang out with me sometime.

+5 points for getting a laugh after making fun of myself for the above comment. However:

-10 points for talking about C.H.U.D. You’d think I’d know better by now. I should keep a reminder card in my wallet about this. No one else has seen this movie, and I am one big loser for being so scarred by it that I can still tell you, nearly 20 years later, what the acronym stands for.

+15 points for leaving on a high note, and getting a few “good to meet you” emails the next day.

-30 points for The Haircut. Second verse, same as the first. Coming or going, the shame remains the same.

Total for me: 60 Cool Points. I call that a passing grade.


Meeting Anxiety

Remember how I applied to that women's group a while ago? (No? Just go with it.) Turns out my application was accepted, leading me to conclude that apparently they'll let anyone join. Tomorrow evening the group is hosting a happy hour near my office, and I will therefore be introducing myself to 20-30 women from the Dallas area.

This is where I mention that 1) I'm not the most social person, and 2) I don't think I make a very good first impression. Especially with women. Monk and I were watching a movie earlier in the week (Shopgirl- highly recommend it by the way) and there's a scene in which (I don't think I'm ruining the film by describing this, but if you're some kind of a purist who needs to be surprised by every second of a film, you may want to skip ahead. And also, steer clear of any movie with Ryan Reynolds, just a heads-up) the girl says to the guy "Are you the kind of person that takes time to get to know, and then once you get to know them... they're fabulous?"

That would be me. Once you get to know me, I can be a pretty cool person. Until then? Totally painful to be in the same room with me. So. These women are in for a real treat tomorrow!

The two aforementioned issues tend to produce a cloud of Meeting Anxiety that settles over me for several days before any meet-a-bunch-of-strangers event. And while I know all the stress is completely pointless, since these things usually turn out okay (and sometimes better than okay), it happens every time. But still I (sporadically) force myself to participate in the social side of life because I know it is Good For Me. And I'm hoping if I cast my net wide enough, I'm bound to trick at least a couple of people into liking me enough to hang out a few times a year. And that would be good because I think Monk would like some peace and quiet every now and then. Hence meeting strangers for happy hour.

So naturally I was more freaked out than I should have been when the trim I was getting from Sister last night turned into a massacre. It's mostly my bangs. My bangs, they are ridiculous. I'd always wondered if I could pull fringe like this off; now I know definitively that I cannot. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal- hair grows, life goes on and all that. But the timing could have been better. The hair will not be helping the first impression tomorrow night. The hair, in fact, will probably run in ahead of me, arms a-flappin', and announce to the group that I am a dickweed.

It's going to be great.


Smile and nod

Yesterday at the clinic, when my first client arrived, I noticed they had scheduled a 90-minute Deep Tissue session with Yours Truly. Being foolishly ethical and all that, I told the receptionist there had been a mix-up: I haven't been trained in DT yet (but talk to me in a month), so I shouldn't have been scheduled to give a (more expensive) Deep-Tissue-specific massage. Instead of opening up a dialogue with the client as to whether she actually wanted DT, or perhaps she just needed a therapeutic session with deep pressure, the receptionist must have said something like "moron over here can't do deep tissue so you can piss off." Because that is just what the now-ex-client did.
This is where I take a Public Service moment to tell you that a lot of the time a client thinks they want Deep Tissue work, but once it starts? They realize that is not what they wanted at all and holy god would you please stop fucking with my muscles what have they ever done to YOU thankyouverymuch.
Seeing as how I now had about 2 hours to kill before my next appointment, I sat down to stare at the walls and kick myself for being honest. What a dope! As I waited (and waited. and waited. oh, and waited.) for the next client, I decided this honesty thing had to go. Hence, when the next client came in and started talking about Deep Tissue work on his back and neck, I smiled and nodded and promised to fix him right up.
Quinn says: "No problem, we'll definitely focus on your lumbar region and rhomboids with that, just let me know if anything becomes too uncomfortable or painful."
Quinn thinks: You have no idea what 'Deep Tissue' really means, do you?
And of course he emerged from his session feeling great, took my card, tipped me well, yadda yadda.
My next client came in for a 30-minute session and told me she only wanted me to work on her head. Not comprehending, I asked a few questions until I learned she was there for headache relief: "I asked them to schedule me with someone who did scalp massage and they told me you were the one to see for that." So I smiled and nodded and put on my Scalp Whisperer* hat (who the hell is scheduling these people with me, and why are they making up skill sets and head-rubbing reputations?), and we began the session. She spent half the time probing my so-called expertise to figure out the cause of her tension headaches and what could be done to relieve them in the future.
Quinn says: "I've, um, actually heard that Excedrin Tension Headache is pretty effective."
Quinn thinks: Because the commercial tells me so.
The client complimented my technique and asked if I knew anyone else, if I had any friends who experience chronic tension headaches.
Quinn says: "Oh absolutely, it's a pretty common problem, really."
Quinn thinks: So apparently I'm just blatantly lying now? I don't talk to my friends about tension headaches. I'm not even sure the three of them get regular headaches.
The woman left the session feeling much better and extremely grateful that I-with-the-magic-fingers had graced the clinic with my presence that afternoon.
I can't wait to start the advanced program next week- I don't think I want to include "Bullshit Artist" on my business cards.


Happy New Year and all that

To be honest, New Year's Eve was a bit of a letdown. We turned down PhotoGirl's invitation to a poker night since we'd already accepted an invitation to another party (yes, we fancied ourselves quite popular, for about 5 minutes), and last year's party-hopping had been a little too frantic for our tastes. This year we lost our designated driver, thanks to snowstorms in Albuquerque which caused a re-strategizing (a revised strategery, if you will) of the night ahead. Monk's bold idea was to "play it by ear. We'll stop drinking at midnight and then we'll be good to go by 2 or so." I had a couple of objections to this plan: 1) "play it by ear?" Texas is not the state in which you want to risk a DWI. If you're one of those idiots that drinks and drives in the first place. Which I am not. Anymore. 2) "by 2 or so?" How young do you think I am, sir? Gone are the days when staying out past 3 in the morning was a cakewalk. And without a drink in my hand, it's safe to say I'd be ready to leave shortly after midnight.

And no, I don't think I have much of a problem.
After a full day at the massage clinic Sunday, I came home to an equally-exhausted Monk. We dragged our asses through a meal, a shower, and the drive over to the party's location. Monk was proudly wearing a new once-a-year shirt. What's a once-a-year shirt, you ask? It has become a New Year's Eve tradition for Monk to wear the one t-shirt in his wardrobe that, on any other day of the year, I refuse to stand next to in public. I'm not normally the type of person who tells her spouse what he should and should not wear. Ripped? Whatever. Crude humor? More fun for everyone. So old it's practically transparent? Hey, they're not my nipples poking through. But this:

is where I draw the line. That, my friends, was the shirt that created the once-a-year shirt category, and Monk wore it with great enthusiasm on last New Year's Eve.

You'd think he wouldn't be able to top that, and maybe he shouldn't try. Maybe he shouldn't go out and spend money on more wince-inducing prints. You'd think he'd be happy enough with the infamous horse shirt. You'd think wrong:

Can't wait to see what he finds for next year.

In terms of making fun of people's crazy, drunken resolutions from last year, I don't have much to offer. Some were mildly entertaining, some were tragic, but most were downright boring (what's up with setting reasonable goals, people?).

Speaking of boring, most of the revelers were related to the hosts. In fact, it is safe to say that 3/4 of the guests were the parents of the host and hostess. And, with the exception of Monk, Clod, Host and Host's Cousin leaving to shoot fireworks off in a field (then in front of some houses, under a streetlamp, and into a port-o-potty), they were all quite happy to sit and play cards for hours.

I had instructed Monk earlier in the day that this year we'd be more proactive with our camera at the party (this is when we still thought the party would get wild), since last year we came home with only a handful of very tame photos, plus some horrific self-portraits (people need to tell me when my hair is making a Nike swoosh on my forehead, dammit). Monk tried to get busy with the camera as the evening wore on, but... Let's just say he is not the best of photographers, even without the vodka tonics and a penchant for turning the flash off.

After ringing in the New Year, three calls to Skyhawk in Albuquerque (11pm: Happy New Year! Oops, sorry, got the time difference wrong! 12am: Okay, Happy New Year for real! Oh, I know, but it's midnight for us. 1am: Happy New Year for you, now! Me, 2 minutes after 1am: Damn, Monk, quit calling your boyfriend.) and nearly 2 hours of watching people play cards, we decided to call it a night, having captured most of the merriment already, vague and fuzzy though it might have been.

Maybe next year we'll make some more friends (to bring us up to... 7 seems like a good number) and try our hand at hosting the party, or perhaps we'll ring in 2008 on a beach somewhere warm and quiet. For now though, I'm looking forward to 2007- a few classes, more travel (we hope), major home improvement, and a new...areercay (how smooth am I?).

And how does your 2007 look so far?