Same old, same old

So... what did YOU do over the weekend?

Sometimes I'm awfully grateful to have a boss that doesn't take an interest in my personal life.


Randomly yours

So you know how I took this chair massage job that starts tomorrow? I didn't mention that I hung up the phone after accepting the job and said "well crap, I'd better get online and buy a massage chair!" Against my better judgment I gambled with the shipping method (since 2-Day Air would have been about $100) and... It hasn't arrived yet, people. We have less than four hours before I go into full panic mode.


I sent an email to someone several weeks ago and have not had a response. This means a) something in my email was so utterly offensive that No Response is the only response or b) my friend is dead. Or perhaps c) my sense of time lately is so effed up that it hasn't, in fact, been several weeks but instead just a couple of days and I need to settle down already.

(Although I'm pretty sure it has been several weeks. And, in my not-so-humble opinion, it was a perfectly nice email with decent Response Potential.)


Monk came down with something this week that has my germophobic tendencies screaming and gnashing their teeth. I've Cloroxed the doorknobs and the t.v. remote, wouldn't let him prepare our dinner last night, and have been frantically waving away at the air when we're within two feet of each other. Heaven forbid he be allowed to breathe freely in his own home. Yes sir, I certainly know how to make a guy feel special.

(I'm also being the asshole who keeps saying "I'm sorry, but I just cannot afford to get sick right now." Like anyone can ever "afford" to get sick. As though anyone has ever woken up and thought "you know, today would be a great day to come down with the flu. Screw the To Do list. My coworkers would love to have my workload dumped on them, and hopefully we'll lose some clients, too. Hey, maybe I'll throw some money down the toilet later. Just for fun.")


At class on Tuesday night I astounded my technique partner with the fact that I always have my sheets, lotion, etc. in the car with me. Because I'm prepared to massage at a moment's notice. At the drop of a hat. Right after I leave the office. I think he got the idea. Unfortunately (for him) I went off on some tangent about a massaging superhero, making jokes about changing in phone booths and responding to the Hand Signal shining up in the sky, while my partner was 5 minutes past being finished with our exchange.

(The "at a moment's notice" thing is kind of a lie, anyway, since I leave my table at home all the time. But I can lend you some sheets or lotion at a moment's notice. Just let me know. I'm on it.)


Shut up, Alanis

Sunday morning the clinic called to see if I'd be able to come in the next day for a 2-hour spa package. As luck would have it, I had the day off work (thank you, Mr. Presidents) and was therefore able to make some extra money early yesterday morning. The woman was so happy with the session she plans to come back one Monday a month, to start the week off right. I hope whichever massage therapist ends up with her as a regular thanks me, at least. Because I'll be here, at the office, not massaging. But I swear I get just as much joy out of spreadsheets and approvals-in-triplicate. I swear.

(I'm swearing right now in fact- can't you hear me?)

Sunday evening I received a call about a chair massage job. For a few hours on each of the next four Saturdays, I'll be earning a decent amount of money from what appears to be a fairly easy gig. I couldn't bring myself to commit to the weekends beyond these upcoming four, as Saturday is technically my ONE DAY OFF and a girl needs her down time. If I didn't have a full-time job already, I would have committed to the next two months and laughed all the way to the bank.

(Has anyone ever seen someone laughing all the way to the bank? I've never heard of this actually happening in real life. Or maybe it happens all the time and we just mistake jolly old kings of fortune for crazies.)

(Excuse me, I mean "the mentally ill.")

Yesterday after my spa appointment, the owner offered me a massage therapy job on the spot. For Saturdays. Which won't work, even if it weren't my ONE DAY OFF, since (in case you skipped a paragraph) I've just committed to this chair massage job.

Last night one of my classmates asked me if I'd be interested in sharing an office in Dallas with him, which would not only give me a great location for my (potential) clientele, but would save us both a lot of money. Obviously, when you're just starting out it's hard to swing a monthly rent payment in the nicer Dallas areas. Unfortunately, when your credit card balance is bigger than your mortgage payment, and you've just spent a good chunk of change on car repairs and vet bills and a massage chair and besides, if-we're-going-to-commit-to-a-monthly-payment-it'll-be-for-a-new-car-for-pete's-sake, renting a massage therapy office cannot be a priority at the moment. Toiling away at your salaried position with paid time-off remains the Responsible Thing To Do. Sometimes I hate being a Grown-up.

It just figures, doesn't it? What's funny* is that in six months I'll be sitting around, twiddling my thumbs and wondering where all the clients, affordable office space and job offers are. And panicking. And possibly stocking up on Ramen** for the first time in my life.

*Actually, that's not so much "funny" as it is "incredibly distressing."

**Although I've heard that urban legend of the dehyrdrated mouse carcass found in someone's carton of Ramen, so maybe not.



So the event monitor is being returned. I just can’t do it, folks, no matter how lazy and unconcerned-about-my-heart that makes me look. I put it on the other night, read the instructions, talked to the customer service people, and found out that not only is this thing bulkier and more difficult to wear than I thought it would be (but how much fun was it to hear "line it up with your left nipple..." five times? Oh that's right, NOT fun. Quite UNCOMFORTABLE in fact), it also mandates that I make a call every. damn. time I have an episode. Since I cannot make these calls from a cell phone, I’ll have to find a landline each time- something that is hard to do when one is in class, running errands, or racing around headless-chicken-style at work.

The cardiologist's nurse who explained everything to me last week told me I’d only have to call after every five episodes, and also that “it looks like an iPod.” Hardly. The thing is so big and cumbersome it clunks against my hip and won’t even stay clipped to my waistband like it’s supposed to. So... iPod, sure. Maybe the iPod Fred Flintstone might have. No sign of a smart-ass talking bird turning levers inside of it, however.

Today I called my doctor (primary, not cardiologist) and explained (in a tone meant to sound firm and calm but that ended up all whiney and pouty) that this Six Weeks of Event Monitoring is Not Happening. That my flutters MUST be due to stress (I’m sure doctors appreciate when their patients call them with the diagnosis- saves a lot of time for the doctor, you’re welcome!) since now they’re consistently happening when I have stressful thoughts. Watch:

Car’s in the shop for an oil leak, I wonder how much this is going to cost us. Flutter.

New section of massage class starts soon. Will we get a new teacher? Flutter.

Quitting my job. Flutter.

Making it as a massage therapist, not a massage-therapist-slash-office-drone. Flutter.

It’s like a magic trick! That no one can see and that nobody cares about!

Back to the whine-whine-pout-pout. I emphasized my lack of sleep and lack of quality sleep and declared my certainty that, should I be able to actually get a good night’s sleep (it's been several years since that has happened, if you can believe it), I might not get these flutters and constantly feel like punching someone in the throat or crying. After much debate with the doctor’s nurse and being on hold for 10 minutes while she called the doctor (which reminded me very much of the Car Salesman “let me go talk to my manager” Schtick), I now have a prescription for Ambien. I’m a little nervous, as I’ve recently heard about some pretty scary side effects with Ambien: Sleep-walking, sleep-eating and sleep-suiciding. I was really hoping to play Pick Your Pill with the doctor, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

So we’ll see how this works out. I’ll be stacking a pile of empty cans by the bedroom door tonight in case Monk needs to be jolted awake in time to rescue me from falling down the stairs, eating all our Ziploc bags, or offing myself with the cheese slicer.


A cardiologist and a massage therapist walk into a bar...

Friday's appointment with the cardiologist was surreal and anticlimactic. Surreal because I was the youngest person in the waiting room, by about 50 years. Anticlimactic because this cardiologist is probably the most apathetic doctor I've ever met.

(Although, "most" can't really describe "apathetic," can it? I mean, you either are or you aren't, right? What do you mean you don't care?)

(Now that's apathetic.)

The only time he showed any emotion whatsoever was when he judged me for having about 5 drinks per week. He even shook his finger at me! And called me bad! Like I have a problem or something! I don't have a problem, just because I enjoy an alcoholic beverage or 5 throughout the week. Five! In seven days! I almost laughed and told him he should have seen me in my glory days, er, college, but he was glaring at me and I was a little scared. It's not like I get smashed every night when I get home (as much as I'd like to, sometimes). Frankly, I don't have time to have a drinking problem: I'm hardly ever home and I'm definitely not drinking when I'm out and about, as I still don't have a pretty silver flask with my intials engraved on it, no matter how cool I've always thought that would be. I certainly don't believe I have an alcohol dependancy or anything. Healthy love of, sure. Dependancy, no. Why are you looking at me like I'm getting defensive? I'm not getting defensive. Fuck you.

Except for the bit where he essentially called me a Heavy Drinker Headed for Nothing Good, most of the time he talked past the tip of my nose and out the window. Zero eye contact, even as he skimmed through my paperwork, looked me up and down, held a stethoscope to my fully-clothed chest and had me take two of the quickest deep breaths I've ever taken, half-heartedly rubbed my stomach while asking if I'd had any issues there, shook my hand, and flew out of the room and on to the next cardiac case.

His much more personable nurse came in to explain how the event monitor works. I guess I thought it would be smaller. With less obvious wires. That wouldn't need to remain attached to me 99.9% of the time. The thought of wearing this thing at the office is no big deal (and should even help with some Boss Reconditioning), but I have no idea how this is going to work for my class. Walking around with this thing is a bit... melodramatic, don't you think? Woo hoo, look at me! Ask me about my possible heart condition! And everyone will just shake their heads and roll their eyes like, What's up, drama queen.

Once I receive the event monitor (via U.S. mail, so, whenever) and hook myself up, I'll have to call every few days and download the event reports to reset the thing. And sometimes the nurse will call and ask me what was going on during a certain event so they know I wasn't actually having a heart attack at the time my heart rate spiked.

"I was exercising."

"I was breaking up a dog fight."

"Um, we were- yeah."

"I was drinking! Heavily and over-excitedly! Two beers in four hours on a Saturday! Wooooo!"


Define "eustress"

Men: Do you think you’re good in bed?

I assume most of you answered “yeah, I think I’m good in bed.” Some of you had more of an ellipsis instead of a comma in there, but still. One of you answered “fuck if I know,” and two of you just thought “who cares?” Oh, and possibly three of you are all “what is this ‘sex’ that you speak of?” and some woman just yelled “hell, they all THINK they’re good in bed!” and all the other women just laughed really hard.

Except that one woman in the corner who really hates generalizations as a rule and gender stereotypes in particular and was just told she must be into interior decorating “because you’re a lady” so kind of has a chip on her shoulder and a bad taste in her mouth but she’s kind of annoying anyway so everyone’s ignoring her.

Anyway. Just wondering.

(Or maybe this morning I started one of the four books I’ve been writing in my head for the last 5 years and this issue came up –no pun intended- and has since been running around and around in my mind like a mouse getting chased by a broom in a very small, confined space, all Tom-and-Jerry-like.)

(I’m not really going anywhere with this, which is coincidentally how these writing projects usually play out, if the two unfinished screenplays -call me Schubert!- are any indication.)

(And call me if you get the Schubert reference.)

(I have recently been reunited with my two old loves: Vague ideas and run-on sentences.)

(And parentheses!)

(But yay for a new project! With class and work and big home improvement plans, this is clearly the best time for it!)


Per the doctor’s suggestion Monday, I was treated to a tetanus shot. This resulted in my arm feeling bruised and achy for a few days. What made the whole bruised and achy thing even better was going to my Deep Tissue class Monday and Tuesday nights and having my arm brutalized over and over.

I also felt achy and flu-ish all over which concerned me, so of course I looked up “Tetanus Shot Side Effects” online (because I never learn!) and check it out:

“Such reactions include crying for three hours or more”
'Laughing uncontrollably' was not listed, however I believe that was a more a side effect of someone in class saying "if you use the right amount of lube, you can go in even deeper..."

Also (back to the side effects, perverts):
“More serious adverse reactions include the rare cases of anaphylaxis (an allergic reaction involving difficulty in breathing or swallowing and facial swelling that can be fatal) and possibly Guillain-Barré syndrome, a nerve inflammation. People who have had a severe reaction to the vaccine should not receive further doses.”
Well no shit, Sherlock.

But I think I’m in the clear. Tomorrow is my cardiologist appointment. True to the irony of life, my heart flutters have gone into hiding. Perhaps I can skip the consultation altogether? Although I kind of like the idea of carrying around my little machine, telling the boss that I have to wear it at all times to measure my stress levels, then pushing the button over and over frantically every time she talks to me.

So. The cardiologist tomorrow. I really hope he doesn’t give me a stress test. Or, if he does, maybe it will only involve someone jumping out from behind the door and yelling BOO! at me. That would be okay. Not Okay would be if the stress test involved a treadmill. Because the only thing worse than having to run on command would be having someone watch me while I run on command. This is also the main reason I never joined the army.

Wait, I just thought of something worse than being watched while I run: Being watched while I run... in that horrible paper gown.



And Monday is EKG Day

Chair massage class. Taught by some dude from Transylvania or thereabouts, who fancied up his lecture with magic tricks and boasts about his Halloween-themed adventure park outside of Dallas. Kept offering me a job as a corpse for September and October. I would have been offended that instead of massage jobs getting passed my way, I was being aggressively recruited to play a dead woman, but the man had a certain charm, an intriguing accent and honestly? He had me at “where’d my finger go?”

Ah, Saturday, my ONE DAY OFF each week. Thanks to dumb luck and a foggy morning back in December, I got to spend my ONE DAY OFF at a defensive driving class. And not just any defensive driving class, a COMEDY defensive driving class. I tried to psyche myself up that morning by charging down the stairs yelling “who’s ready for some comedy?!” and “Things are about to get…. ZANY!” to no avail.

The class wasn’t so bad if you can ignore, for 6 hours, jokes of the anti-gay and anti-Hispanic variety. If you can’t, you write something illegible down in your notebook then bitch vaguely about it in your blog.

Also, I’m not going to say that the cartoon we watched about senior citizens getting drunk and driving around, smashing up light posts and groping statues, etc. was worth losing 6 hours out of my ONE DAY OFF, but come on: Cartoon senior citizens having cocktails and doing the Snoopy dance? Awesome.

Also Saturday
Went out to dinner to a little (okay, big) Lebanese restaurant in Dallas. The black light was a little disconcerting (hey everyone, check out the lint I brought!), the French martini was delish, and the belly dancer was the icing on the cake. My restaurant pick was a big hit, leading me to think about maybe possibly adding a little restaurant recommendation list to my sidebar (if only to prove to some of you out-of-towners that yes, Dallas can be a cool place to visit. If you steer clear of defensive driving "comedians" and the Republicans).

Relatively full day at the clinic. Splitting the money with the clinic is starting to hurt. If you live in the Dallas area and you’re not passing my information out to everyone you know so I can get my business off the ground? All I can say is shame, shame, shame on you.

So I’ve been experiencing a bit of a heart flutter for the past couple of months. I call it a heart flutter because that sounds cuter than the Google/WebMD ohmygodyou’regoingtodie palpitation that it probably is. When you call the doctor’s office about heart trouble but you sound relatively calm, they assume you’re not going to die that day and schedule your appointment for Not Anytime Soon.

This morning I went in (finally) and after the routine bits of the visit and a long conversation with the doc, I was treated to my very first EKG experience. If you ever find yourself in a situation where there’s even a remote possibility you’ll need an EKG, skip the lotion that morning. Otherwise the process takes even longer than it should, and your dignity is even more compromised than when you first put on the paper gown.

Since the EKG didn’t reveal much except how relaxed I remain while being groped and alcohol-swabbed and having stickers applied all over my chest and legs, the doctor told me she suspected stress, and would like to hook me up with an event monitor. At first, I was thrilled. When I realized I would not, in fact, be getting a little person following me around all day barking mandates like “no, no, tomorrow won’t work at all for her, you’ll have to pencil in next Tuesday,” and “okay, now here’s the moment you thank her for all her hard work” at the boss, the husband, the teacher, etc., I wasn’t so thrilled.

I’ll be carrying a little pedometer-like machine around with me, and will have to remember to press a little button every time I experience one of my heart flutters. Several weeks down the line I’ll check back in with the doc to confirm that I am not going to die of a heart attack and that I am, as all have suspected for years, just plain crazy. It just stinks that I have to wait so long for my meds.