Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Things I love about living in rural Texas...

-The peace and quiet.

-How I can see all the stars and constellations at night.

-Hearing roosters crowing in the morning.

-That my boots get mucky enough I have to take them off as soon as I enter the house.

-Noticing kitty paw-prints all over my car.

-That Harley has made friends with at least one of the barn cats, who loves to rub herself against him as he sniffs her.

-Seeing cattle and horses on a daily basis. Actually, having cattle and horses to either side of my house!

-Hearing coyotes howling at night, sounding like wolves...and hearing the neighbor's donkeys braying defiantly in reply.

-Seeing green grass, even in winter.

-Christmas wreaths on the front of big-ass pick-up trucks.

-How friendly and helpful everyone is.

-Seeing cows grazing right next to an adult video store.

-Passing the "Northfork Ranch"...LOL

-The Red River

-Seeing cardinals every day.

-Passing a stretch of country road lined with trees, which seems to be the territory of a very large raptor of some sort, since I see it perched in one or the other of the trees almost every day.

-Saying "Y'all". :D

-The wonderful library and the lovely people who work there.

-The sunrises and sunsets.

-Oncoming traffic stopping to let me make a left turn (UNHEARD of in Las Vegas!).

-Really cheap auto insurance.

And finally:

-IT'S NOT LAS VEGAS!!!!

Haiku Time

Yes, it's that time again! I've woefully neglected Sparrow's weekly haiku contest, due to the whole moving half-way across the country thing, but I luckily made it this week!

So, go! Write haiku and submit them to the contest, it's for a good cause. You only have until 10 PM EASTERN to finish it, so don't dilly-dally!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thanks

I owe thanks to so many people, I'm not sure where to begin. Well, I guess I should begin at the beginning, right?

Thanks to the wonderful FarmFamily in Colorado, and all the attendees at Blogorado in early November, who showed me what it's like to spend time with true, like-minded friends.

Thanks to Gay_Cynic, who mercilessly and relentlessly pummeled me with logic on our drive back to Las Vegas from Colorado. He made me realize that moving to Texas was not just feasible, but NECESSARY.

Thanks to my miserable, moody jerk-of-a-roommate in Las Vegas, who made moving out that much more attractive.

Thanks to all my friends and colleagues in Las Vegas, who didn't say I was crazy, but rather encouraged me to follow my dream and get the hell out of Sin City.

Thanks to my daughter Silver, who after a brief moment of fury at my decision, backed me up 100% and helped me move.

The most thanks go to my anonymous Knight in Shining Armor, who oh, so generously accompanied us on our cross-country trek, while putting up with driving the beast of a rental truck, dealing with my traumatized and occasionally ill-mannered pups, and the sniping that's common between mothers and their know-it-all teenage offspring.

Thank you, all you wonderful people!!!

*mwah*

Houston...

we have a problem.

Somehow I don't think I'll be able to walk my dogs here:

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Sorry, this just tickled my funny bone! This pic is from our first night on the road, in Flagstaff. They'd had a foot and a half of snow the week before. Luckily, we had great weather the entire trip.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Farewell, Las Vegas!

'Cause I'm outta here!

No regrets.

TEXAS, here I come!

I have no idea when I'll be able to get online, and no clue about my eventual internet access in my new home, so it'll be catch as catch can.

As a final token of my love for Las Vegas, I give you the smoke shop I always marveled at, the shop whose proprietor for the longest time I was sure was named "Huka", and you'll see why...

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Ah, Vegas...you gotta love it!

The girl is back in town...

Yay, Silver is here!!

Just in time, of course, to help me with the move. I'm so glad to see her!

Heh, she asked me if I thought she looked any older, and I said, "Nah...you still look like you're twelve!"

Hey, I'm the MOM, I get to say shit like that!

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Isn't she a cutie?!

Amazing.

So, Tuesday was my last day at the spa, and I had no regrets whatsoever at leaving. Most of the people who worked there with me from the beginning are long gone, having moved on to bigger and better things. (Sound familiar? ;)) Not to mention that I made a whopping $175 the entire last week I worked there.

It was a completely different story at the chiropractor's. Yesterday was my last day there, and I was very sorry to see my patients for the last time. A patient I've been massaging for months was scheduled, and since we always chat during our sessions, she knew it was my last day and that I was moving to Texas. This lady is unemployed at the moment, living with her sister, and has no car. She instead rides her bike all over the valley, taking enormous risks (in my opinion), since this town is not exactly bicyclist friendly! She's also a full-time student, and for obvious reasons, she's extremely short of cash. After the massage was over, I went into the room to change the sheets and found 15 one-dollar bills and a mound of change on the table, underneath her discarded gown. I was so touched that she'd literally emptied her pockets for me. It's nice to know that such a special lady is rooting for me and appreciates me!

One of my previously discharged patients called the office wanting to know who was there, since she had some home-made pomegranate jelly to give to everyone, and when she heard it was my last day and that we'd had a no-show, she raced over to fill the slot and paid out of her own pocket, her insurance benefits having been exhausted already. Oh, and I got a jar of jelly, too. :)

She also asked me, if I had time, to come over to her house this evening to massage her and her daughter, and I was glad to do so. Not only is she super-nice and one of my very favorite patients, but every little bit of money is going to help me with my moving expenses.

I'm going to miss these special people, but hope to still stay in touch. (H'ray for the intarwebz!)

Tomorrow I load up the rental truck (which I'm picking up at 7:30 AM...GAH!) and hit the road toward my new life.

I can't wait to get started.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

La Cucaracha

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but though creepy-crawlies in general don't disturb me in the least, I'm quite phobic when it comes to the dreaded, disgusting, disease-bearing COCKROACH.

I was preparing for a Diamond massage the other day, which is our most exclusive, expensive service. It involves a full-body scrub (exfoliation), plus a massage incorporating Swedish, deep tissue, and hot stone modalities.

I opened one of my cupboards to check how many sheets I had, and froze...as did the heinous cockroach sitting on the topmost sheet in the stack.

Now, when I say "phobic", I mean that I've mostly overcome the severe phobia I had as a child. I don't scream anymore, or gag, or jump on top of the nearest chair, table, bed, etc. Nor do I run away and cower in a corner, whimpering pathetically. (All behaviors which I have displayed in the past.)

Instead, as I felt my heart rate ratchet up while I started hyperventilating, I sprang into action. I HAD to kill this motherfucker, before the service started, and without alerting the guests on the other side of the door that anything at all was amiss. I slowly backed away, even as the noisome critter impudently twitched its antennae at me.

Bugspray! Where was the bugspray? Did we even HAVE any bugspray? Apparently not, I decided after frantically searching the storeroom. Foiled, I decided to return to the scene of the insectoid crime and dispatch the miscreant using more forceful measures...i.e. my shoe.

I pushed the table aside, so the bug couldn't run underneath, then, holding one of my shoes aloft, I started wildly pulling sheets out of the cupboard and onto the floor. Hey, they were soiled already, so who cares?

There it went! Unfortunately, it scurried into the next cabinet over, where all the towels and face cradle covers were neatly stacked. Great, now I'd have to replace all of those, too.

All this time, the clock was ticking down, every second bringing me closer to the moment when I'd have to collect my client from the lounge area.

I finally gave up, after emptying the towel cabinet, too. The vile critter had obviously scurried back into whatever hell spawned it, leaving behind droppings as evidence of its miserable existence. Droppings *I* would now have to clean up. Blech.

After hastily disposing of the soiled sheets and towels (and the poop, never forget the poop), I went and got my client and started the service. This was the longest hour and a half of my life, if you disregard the times I was in labor, of course.

The whole time I was massaging and scrubbing the nice lady who'd forked over a small fortune for this privilege, I kept seeing shadows scurrying out of the corner of my eye. You have to remember that the room is extremely dark, as well...this contributes to the client's relaxation. It was doing NOTHING for my blood pressure, though. Any time my ankle brushed against one of the dangling edges of a sheet, I imagined the skittering legs of the roach depositing germs in their wake. It was all I could do to at least maintain the semblance of calm. I had nightmare visions of the cockroach crawling ON MY CLIENT during the service.

I wanted to cry.

Finally, after about three eternities, we were through. I couldn't hustle the client out of the room fast enough!

I looked around my treatment room carefully: No roach.

I restocked my cupboards and went about my business, albeit with one eye always scanning the floors and walls carefully, wanting to make sure my nemesis didn't take me by surprise again.

It wasn't until the next day the villain showed its ugly face again, cheekily sitting on top of the clean sheets in the cupboard, causing me to experience serious deja vu.

Luckily, on this day I could employ my secret weapon: my favorite spa attendant, Maura! She who has no fear of cockroaches, and was blase about smashing it with MY shoe (hey, it was the least I could do, since she was willing to kill it, to let her borrow my shoe to do so), after I had rendered it a bit incapacitated but not dead by judiciously employing Lysol spray in an attempt to kill the damn thing.

My foe finally vanquished, I tidied up my room, new sheets AGAIN, and prayed I'd not have another encounter with an evil cucaracha.

You hear that, Cockroaches? Stay away from Christina LMT!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yee-HAH!

My brand spankin' new Massage Therapy License for the State of Texas arrived in the mail today!

*whew*

I'm so relieved...now I can get right to work as soon as I get there!

On my way...




Sorry for the ghetto "photoshop", I didn't want to waste time tinkering with the pic!

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha

An interesting canvas...

I keep my car parked in the (tiny) driveway of my roomie's house. Yesterday morning, I awoke to find my car encased in a lovely layer of ice. I luckily have a rear windshield defroster, and I scraped enough of the front windshield with my gloved hand to enable me to drive to the stop 'n' rob to get my morning decaf coffee.

Today, as I was driving away from my veterinarian, I glanced in the rearview mirror and noticed some writing in the dusty residue on my rear windshield. Some witty person had written GLOBAL WARMING, MY ASS!!!! on it at some point during yesterday's icy morning.

I larfed and larfed!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

'Nother Update

So...I've found a place to live!

Actually, I found it via Craigslist the Saturday after Thanksgiving. :)
I'm renting a room from a gentleman who lives in exactly in the area I wanted to move to, so YAY!

He lives in a large home on several acres of land, raises sheep, rabbits, and chickens, and has a 2,000 sq.ft. garden in his backyard that he could use some help with. Hey, the price is right, and if I get to eat the produce from that garden, of COURSE I'm going to help! I told David (my future landlord/roomie) that as long as he showed me what to do, I'd be glad to help out. Oh, and kids and pets are welcome...he has plenty of room. (Yes, I googled him and checked the sex offender registry, give me some credit!) Plus, I do have good instincts about people.

In other news, I have a part-time (weekend) job waiting for me, too! At a brand-new spa about a half-hour (freeway) drive from Newtown. That was a complete shot in the dark, btw. They hadn't advertised an opening, I just googled local spas and emailed them with my resume attached. Then they contacted ME. Life is good.

Silver and I roll out of Vegas on Friday the 18th of December, and I do NOT plan on looking back.

Don't worry, I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

You know...

...you live in a questionable neighborhood when one of your neighbors is breaking pieces of styrofoam off of a box to use as "snow" for her outside Christmas display.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Update:

First off, I called the Texas Board of Massage Therapy today and my application HAS BEEN APPROVED!!!
Now I just have to wait for them to print the actual license and mail it to me. :D


Second, my lawyer, Denise (name redacted), received the medical billing statements from the opposing attorney and sent them on to Darci at the surrogacy agency, along with a sternly worded email. Something to the effect of: take care of this, or we'll be forced to sue you, and NOBODY wants that...

I'm having a good day.

Two weeks...

since I switched to decaf coffee. And I feel great! I'm sleeping better, except when Lourdes the 100 pound dog shares my double bed...
No headaches, the crankiness has subsided, and my mind is clearer now.

I've gotta keep this up!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Uh. Mah. Gah.

The spa has been proactive and has already hired my replacement, a young lady I've known for a while, by sight anyway, since she worked as a dealer on the casino floor. Alecia is a recent graduate of my alma mater, NSMT, and is a welcome addition to the spa.

We were pretty much done with work by early afternoon, and after futzing around a bit, I asked if she'd like to do a trade.

Oh. My. God.

She's good. She's so very, very good. I've been in pain for the past few days, my back and neck giving me hella problems...Alecia pounded the shit out of me, and I feel better than I have in months. MONTHS. I had some really bad trigger points, and she killed 'em, and not with kindness, with extreme prejudice, rather.

Of course, I'll probably be bruised tomorrow, but it was so worth it.

Thank you, Alecia! I'll get you next Saturday!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

QOTD

From my daughter Tally, about the movie "2012", which she enjoyed tremendously:

It's about humanity...and special effects.

I laughed uproariously.





Later in the same chat, Chaos said:

You kill the fun in movies, Silver.




Gmail group chat rulz!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving...

have a GOOD one, Folks!

:D




UPDATE:
Just wanted to add that I'm most definitely thankful for the wonderful readers I have...you make it worthwhile for me to try to come up with my scribblings!

Sorry...

about the lack of posting, but I'm going slightly insane trying to get everything together for my move. Finding a job and a place to stay are high on my priority list as well. Thanks for your patience, I know my blog has been teh suxxor lately.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Awkward...

is glancing down during the scalp massage to find your client's eyes wide open, staring at you...

Overheard in the Spa

Me (in the shower): Maura? Could you hand me a razor, please?

(a few moments later)

Maura (handing the razor over the shower stall door): Did you want me to shave you, too?

Me: ...

Me: Uh, no...it's just my armpits, that's not much fun.

Maura: Okay.

Fear and Loathing

The epiphany I had on my drive back from Blogorado was facilitated by my friend GayCynic, who pummeled me about the head and shoulders with logic.

I'm not happy living in Las Vegas, and haven't been for a long time. Now that my daughter is off to college, I really have nothing holding me here.

So I have decided to move to Texas, home of the bigger and better!

I have many, many blogfriends who live there, who have already been helping me out with information, tips, hints, offers to check potential rentals out, offers to let me stay for a few days when I get there, and the list goes on and on. It's so good to have friends.

I'm moving the week before Christmas, I've already given notice at both of my jobs, and have been assured of receiving letters of recommendation. My application for my Texas massage therapy license went off by certified mail a week from yesterday, and I got the little green postcard in the mail confirming receipt a few days ago.

I've also been applying for full-time jobs at various local hospitals, since I do have a lot of experience in the medical field. I'll need to be making money right off the bat to pay my bills, and while I certainly want to build up a private massage practice, things like that take time (and money), two things I'm not exactly blessed with currently.

So, we'll see how things go. I might have help for my move, I might not. I might rent a truck or trailer, or I might shove all my crap into my storage unit and move bare-bones. Silver will be here on her winter break to help me, but we still have to get her back to Vegas in mid-January to catch her flight back to North Dakota. Maybe I'll do another roadtrip!

Oh, my poor car...;)

Anyway, life is too short to stay somewhere you're miserable, even if you do have a job. Friends are more important. I'm pursuing happiness, Peeps! And it feels great!

And a wee bit terrifying.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Two more things I remember about Blogorado:

First, my face getting tired from smiling, nay GRINNING so much.

And second, how much I LOVE the smell of gunpowder.

Another tip for massage clients:

When I tell you before the massage, "Undress to your level of comfort," that doesn't mean you can take your underwear off half-way through the massage. Got it? Good.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Haiku

Don't forget to try your hand at Sparrow's Haiku Contest!

It benefits our military service folk serving in harm's way. So go ahead, participate...what? Are you chicken?!

Bok-bok-bok...

C'mon! Don't be scared! It's EASY!

5syllables
7syllables
5syllables

Piece of cake.

:D

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What I Did Last Weekend (with PICTURES!):

Met many imaginary friends, except they were REAL!

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One of them was a Man in a Kilt!!

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(I'd put more pics of my friends up, but a lot of them are camera-shy...)

Had LOTS of guns in my trunk, and none of them were mine:

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Went to a library and a museum:

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Yes, that's the most dangerous librarian in the world.

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Ate TONS of delicious food, but was too busy eating to get any pictures...:D

Went horseback riding:

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Began the process of learning how to shoot (because I have a long way to go, Baby! But it was a very good start.):

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I even had ammo in my back pocket in this one, LOL.

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Fired an Evil Black Rifle™:

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One among many others I fired, Yay!

Told people where to go:

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I kid...I don't even remember why I was pointing, but it's a good picture!

Met the cutest little girl I've known since MY girls were little, and my supremely stylish and and always classy friend, Phlegm Fatale:

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(She can even make a Porta-John look like an acceptable prop.)

Narrowly avoided hitting a HUGE deer (I was in the vehicle RIGHT behind this truck):

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But I still helped desecrate the deer carcass:

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And even found the time to blog a little:

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Basically, I had the best vacation I've ever had, meeting the nicest people I've ever known.

Thank you all. I'll be there next year, with bells on.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The way to a girl's heart is through the gun range...

This is my AAR (aka "after action report"), and it's gonna be simple, because honestly? I might not be quite as shiny or squeaky, but I'm still a n00b.

Any errors in spelling, etc. are mine, I'm going off smudged pencil on a tiny, spiral notebook. Don't blame my teachers, who were nothing but awesome: patient, kind, thorough.

One of my best memories of being at the range is hitting the half-sized silhouette at 250 yards, turning to LawDog and exclaiming, "I HIT IT!" Only to have him reply with a gentle smile, "Of course you did."

THAT'S the kind of teacher who will make any student shine.

Thanks are due to Aepilotjim, Ambulance Driver, Old NFO, and of course the aforementioned LawDog.

Thanks also to all the cool kids who let me play with their toys! So nice of them to share.

Okay, I'm going to list the firearms I got to shoot, with my own little cryptic notes. I hope this makes sense. And I have no pictures yet, but I will eventually.

At Blogorado, I fired the following weapons:

-Bersa Thunder .380 (yes, the famous one)
Not to blaspheme, but I only felt this was okay, possibly because I have HUGE hands for a woman.

-Springfield 1911 MilSpec (this one was Jim's)

-Ruger 22/45

-Glock 17 (SQUEEEEE! I loved this. :))

-Heritage Arms Rough Rider .22 (fun!)

-Sig Mosquito .22

-Rock Island 1911 .45 ACP

-Smith & Wesson 5 screw .38

-Henry Lever Action .22 (again, FUN!)

-Single Action Rossi

-AR 15 with EoTech Sights (Meh, believe it or not)

-Citori 12 gauge shotgun (this one was FarmMom's, and I actually hit a few clays! w00t! MUCH FUN)

-Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 magnum. (Oh, my GOD. I lurved this gun! Thank you so much, Stingray! I knocked down a popper with each shot.)

-Smith & Wesson model 25 .45 Long Colt (VERY nice)

-Walther PPK (this was FarmGirl's; it was extremely cool to shoot, fit my hands well.)

-Taurus PT 140 Millennium

-Hi Standard HD Military .22 (I loved shooting this, because I finally took down my nemesis who had been taunting me all day: the full soda can. I hit that sucker TWICE.)

-Taurus Judge (shoots either .45 Long Colt or .410 shotgun shells; this is FarmMom's critter killer, and it's a beast! I loved it...maybe I'm a (gun) size queen?)

-Ruger Mark III 22/45 (my notes say I liked it!)

-Bersa .45 (ditto, this one was Gay_Cynic's, thanks, G_C!)

-M14 (kicked like a FUCKING MULE, but I didn't bruise. I was sorta/kinda hitting the target, and that's all that matters to me!)

DUNN, DUNN, DUNN:

-M24 in .308 caliber (hit a barrel that was 970 yards away, 3 out of 5 shots, and it was WINDY. Don't piss me off. ;) Funny thing about this is, so that I wouldn't feel intimidated, Jim told me I was shooting at the one that was 500 yards out. I only found out last night that I was shooting at the FARTHER one. Yeah, he's evil like that, and he admits it!)

Well, that's all, Folks. I'm sure I forgot a few guns here or there, I was so excited it was bound to happen. I'll have you know that I always waited until I was off-range and unarmed to do any squeeing or happy dances. Safety trumps squeeing, always.

I've definitely found a new hobby, certainly an activity I love.

I also have to remind myself to breathe...I was getting a bit out of breath from excitement, and from unconsciously holding my breath while aiming and firing. No worries, I'll get better!

Oh, and I hit the bull's eye on my first target with my third shot. Just sayin'...

(Oh, I know: Beginner's luck!)

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

All Honor to Them

To all those who've worn our country's uniform and served: Thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thank you so much for EVERYTHING,

FarmFamily!

I had the best time of my life over this past weekend. Absolutely the best.
FarmGirl and her Mom, Dad, and Mamaw are the kindest, most hospitable and generous people it has ever been my pleasure to meet.

I do not exaggerate when I say that attending Blogorado and meeting all the other bloggers was a life-altering event for me. More info will follow as I process it. I just got back into Las Vegas and I'm trying not to collapse from exhaustion before all my laundry is done.

Pics will be posted and an after-action report of all my shooty goodness as well.

Bear with me, and be patient, please!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Phlegm Fatale

...shows how much she loves fondling balls:

Fuzzy Balls

"They're so warm...!"

Friday, November 06, 2009

Poetic Justice

When you go around taking pictures of people's asses, then have the audacity to POST THEM ON YOUR BLOG, you shouldn't be surprised at the outcome. Rest in Peace, Jim. It was nice knowing you, however so briefly.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

BLOGORADO!!!

I'm going to be incommunicada for a few days, my friends. One of my friends from the Gunblogger Conspiracy, FarmGirl, is hosting a shindig at her abode in Colorado...and we're calling it BLOGORADO! (Clever, no?)

Thanks to splitting travel and room costs, and the kindness of my roommate, who offered to watch my dogs for free, not to mention the overwhelming generosity of the FarmFamily in providing provender for all of us bloggers descending on their town, I'm able to attend, myself!

This is the first vacation I've ever taken, just for myself, by myself. I'm so excited, I feel like I'm leaking SQUEEEEE everywhere!

We're going to shoot many guns, big and small, ride horses, shoot the breeze, drink undoubtedly copious amounts of alcohol, and just have a blast in general.

I'll take lots of pictures, and I'll try to blog when I get the chance, internet access being rather spotty, I'm told.

The best part, by FAR, of this entire weekend is getting to meet all of my friends, IN REAL LIFE.

I'm happy. :)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Nipped that one in the bud...

Overheard inside a treatment room:

I'm massaging an Army MP, recently returned from Iraq, and I've already thanked him for his service...

The massage is almost over, and I'm working on his left quad.

Client: (tentatively) So....I promised my buddies I'd ask you a question...

Me: (sternly) DON'T ask me for a Happy Ending! If you ask me for a Happy Ending, this massage is OVER.

Client: (in a VERY small voice) Okay.

I was laughing inside, though.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Deja vu?

On Halloween, I did a massage that felt very familiar...almost like I had experienced it all before, not because of similar clients, but more because it was a comedy of errors...

It was a side-by-side massage, and I was alone at the spa, due to some people leaving early, and some calling off. We beseeched Madison from our sister property, and she was gracious enough to come to our aid.

The oddness began at the booking. It was a mother and daughter pair, and both had the same first name. I'll call them Gladys. So we had Gladys Senior and Junior, though Junior was pretty senior herself! Which meant Senior was ANCIENT. Not to mention tiny and built like a little bird.

I was massaging Junior, while Madison tackled Senior (NOT literally). The main thing I noticed about Junior was that she hadn't showered. I got a powerful pong of body odor, overlaid with perfume. Not a very pleasant combination, but I'm a professional, dangit, so I kept on truckin'. The next thing I noticed was getting a lovely scratch on my thigh, THROUGH my skirt and fishnet stockings (don't forget I was in costume, including five-inch boots!) because Junior decided against wearing her hair clip, and clipped it onto the corner of the table instead. Where it was in the perfect position to SCRATCH ME as I was coming around to that side of the table.

*sigh*

I explained to her that I was going to put her clip on the counter with her other things and proceeded to amuse Madison with my non-existent juggling skills: My hands were very oily and the plastic hair clip was therefore very slippery! Luckily I didn't drop it, though it was a close thing.

After that little interlude, everything ran smoothly. Right up until Senior shook the rafters with a tremendous, basso profundo FART. Right in Madison's face.

My head whipped around because I was so surprised, and I met Madison's gaze of horror...that was enough to set me off! I laughed (silently) so hard, my entire body was shaking, and I was supremely grateful that Junior (somehow) remained oblivious to everything. Maybe she was sleeping!

At any rate, this was the last of the unusual happenings during this massage, but they were quite enough to give me that niggling feeling of deja vu...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I LOVE this song!



I always love female rock singers, and this is a new band called Halestorm. Love 'em almost as much as Flyleaf.

Party Time!

Okay, I have several pictures from the Halloween Party last night, but first I'd like to make two observations of parties in general:

1)Drinking games are really, really boring if you are not drinking.

2)The guy who thinks he's hysterically funny, isn't. He's usually an obnoxious douche bag.

I did have fun, despite not staying very long and not drinking, I met several nice people, and I actually TALKED to them! Funny thing is, I mostly talked to a gal named Tara (another PIRATE, w00t!) about meeting people on the internet who are NOT creeps. I told her that I've met the most wonderful people online, that I feel I've found my tribe, and she just looked at me with incomprehension. She's just had bad luck, I believe.

I also saw the most incredible, clever costumes. Two young men came as Mormon missionaries, complete with bike helmets and backpacks. One of them was artfully made up to look like he'd either been in a wreck, or been beaten up. Even his shirt was torn, soiled, and bloody.
Then we had zombie Marilyn Monroe, accompanied by zombie Gilligan and zombie Skipper. Too funny! The guys were draped in seaweed, and had seashells and starfish glued to their shirts and pants. I loled!

We had three lady pirates, including myself.

Anyway, on to the pictures!

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Our hostess with the mostest: Crystal

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The Grim Reaper, and his flapper lady (Pete and Maura)

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My direct supervisor, Joy, as Athena (though she should have gone with an owl, not an asp...)

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Gladiatrix Marisol, with Crystal and Maura.

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Crystal with Tara, one of the other pirate ladies.

So, I left the party at around 10 PM, because I knew I had to get up early today. Plus, the hardcore drinking had begun, and I was feeling a bit uncomfortable.

Now I need to start planning what to wear/what I'll be NEXT Halloween! I LOVE dressing up in costume. :D

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Avast, me Hearties...

It's HALLOWEEN!

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Ye'd better have a Happy Halloween...or I'll make ye walk the plank!

ARRRRRRRRRRRR!

Interesting Legal Development

I received the following email from my lawyer a few days ago:

Christina,

FYI- I spoke to the attorney for Richland the other day and explained our circumstance and that we may have to sue others to get relief for you. He told me he has another case for Richland involving the EXACT SAME situation! Apparently, you're not alone!

Denise (name redacted), Esq.


Fascinating, isn't it? It would be very interesting to find out whether the other lady used the same surrogacy agency as me, because that would certainly indicate a pattern. We might only be the tip of the iceberg!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A tip for panhandlers:

If you approach my car and ask me for change, and I tell you, "Sorry, no," do NOT flip me off, okay? You giving me the finger is not going to induce me to magically change my mind and hand over some money to you, nor is it likely to influence any other motorists who might have observed your gesture to be more generous than I.

Just some helpful advice.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Now it's time to VOTE!

Okay, People. You have until tonight at 11:00 PM EASTERN to vote for your favorite haiku at All Atwitter! No, this is most certainly NOT a bleg for you to vote for my entry, I didn't even vote for my own haiku!

Read all the submissions, then choose your very favorite and vote for it. I'll be honest: I voted for Phlegm Fatale's, and not because she's my bestest friend, either.

Enjoy reading, and maybe you'll be inspired to participate next week...(see how diabolically clever I am? Muahahahahahahaha...)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Go! Participate!

In Sparrow's weekly haiku contest!

The winner gets to choose a military service member and Sparrow will send a deluxe care package to him/her. What a wonderful lady she is!

Not to mention it's ART. Haiku, I mean. So do something for your brain at the same time.

You have until 10 PM Eastern tonight to submit your haiku, so get cracking, Peeps!

I <3 Business Cards...

My day was looking rather bleak when I came into work earlier, I had not a single appointment booked. I was futzing around on the computer in my room, psyching myself up to go exercise despite a lack of motivation, when Alicia knocked on my door and told me I had a 9 AM appointment.

Furthermore, she told me the client had booked two 50-minute Swedish massages back-to-back, as it was cheaper for him to do that (due to a special we're running), than to have an 80-minute Swedish, as he had originally planned. So, one hour and forty minutes of light-to-medium pressure, full body massage. Piece of cake!

Icing on this cake? Alicia told me he had requested me by name!

Turns out I massaged him back in February, and he managed to hang onto my business card the entire time since then.

He's also a very good tipper!

What lesson did you take away from today's story, children?

ALWAYS HAND OUT BUSINESS CARDS, IT CAN'T HURT AND IT MIGHT EVEN HELP YOU MAKE MONEY!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Drama!

Turns out my roommate is having a little feud with our next-door neighbor. Or maybe I should say our neighbor is feuding with my roommate!

I was at WalMart yesterday evening when I got a call from Keith, my roommate. I heard some voices and a LOT of barking in the background. He said, "Animal Control is here. Where do you keep Harley's and Tucker's rabies tags?"

After I told him where their collars were, he ended the call with no further explanations, and I wrapped up my shopping as quickly as I could and headed home.

Everything was quiet when I got there, including Keith, who was quietly seething.

The neighbor called Animal Control and reported him for having "Fifteen dogs, all jammed into that tiny house!" Which was a lie, by the way. There were only eight dogs in the house at the time, and five of them were OURS. Stupid bint.

The visit by Animal Control was actually anticlimactic. They didn't expect him to let them inside the house, but he did. He also immediately produced his business license for them to peruse, which spiked their guns quite nicely. They also commented on how clean the house was, for having so many dogs in it. Well, YEAH. Hello? It's his business, and he's extremely organized and fanatical about cleanliness, despite being something of a slob personally. (No offense, Keith!)

What I'm worried about is that Keith not only gets mad, he also gets even. This was merely the opening salvo in a resurgence of a battle between him and our neighbor, one I was unaware of.

He has already retaliated in one way: He has security cameras outside the house, and he showed the nice Animal Control officers footage of our neighbor's Lab, off-leash, crapping in our front yard. Which our neighbor did not pick up, of course. This means two citations for her.

I'm really afraid this is going to get ugly, fast.

I'll keep you all posted if anything else happens.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Does this blog make me look old?

Yes, People: It's my third Blogiversary!

Three years ago today, I started this modest little blog, and modest and little it has stayed. And that's just fine by me!

Just think...three years on the internet is like three decades in real life! Sorta like dog years...;)

Thank you to all my readers for sticking by me and reading my ramblings, you make it all worthwhile.

Here's to another three years! (At least...)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Quick Legal Update

Answer and Counterclaim filed.

Next up: Demand letters...muahahahahahaha!

To quote a friend:

That is all.

The best things in life are free...

and that goes DOUBLE for coffee!

I walked into my local Stop 'N' Rob for my morning coffee, and found the manager singing along with Olivia Newton John to "Hopelessly Devoted to You" from the Grease soundtrack.

I, nothing loath, immediately chimed in, and we sang to end of the song together as I filled up my travel mug with coffee.

Apparently this charmed said manager sufficiently enough to tell me, "This one's on me!" when I walked up to the register to pay!

Never thought my pipes would earn me a dime, much less a cup of coffee...can I call myself a professional singer now? ;)

A question and NOT FUN!

First the question...is it bad to have a handful of screws left over after you install a car stereo?

NOT FUN: when the car door closes on your ankle.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

QOTD

from a chat with my daughter:

ZOMG...they're ORCS!!

Bonus points to whoever gets the reference.

Got Haiku?

Head over to Sparrow's place and enter her weekly haiku contest...it's for a wonderful cause.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Seen on the casino floor

A woman wearing a t-shirt stating:

DANGER: MOOD SWING IN FIVE MINUTES

Excellent post, Jay

THIS is why he runs with the big dogs.

Go, read JayG's post on why gun control will always fail to reduce violence.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Random

Remember, I give every client one of my business cards after their massage...

I'm putting clean sheets on the table in a treatment room right after my last massage of the day, when a male guest in a robe, sipping coffee, stops in the doorway and eyes me...

Guest: Hi, are you the manager?

Me (laughing): No!

Guest: Well, there's a business card back in the men's spa that says "Christina - Manager"...

Me (charitably): Maybe you read it wrong...my name is Christina LastName.

Guest: No, it said "Christina LastName - MANAGER"!

Me: I doubt that, I'm sure it said "Christina LastName - Massage Therapist". We have a spa director and a supervisor, no manager. And I'm happy being an Indian, I don't want to be a chief!

Guest: "LastName"...where's that from?

Me: It's Dutch.

Guest: Oh, that's cool...

Guest (abruptly): Is that your natural hair color?

Me (blink, blink): Uh, no...my hair is brown, it's just colored a bit auburn right now.

Guest: And you have green eyes?

Me: No, they're BLUE.

Guest: Well they look green!

Me: Must be my shirt...

Guest: You know, you're pretty good looking.

Me (laughing nervously): Well, thank you!


Guest walks away


Never a dull moment, I tell you...

Friday, October 16, 2009

An Experiment

Last night was something of an experiment for me. I'm not used to going to the movies by myself, and had in fact been resisting doing so since I left Silver in North Dakota. Anyone who knows me well will realize how unnatural it is for me to go so long without visiting the movie theater...I LOVE going to the movies and enjoy everything about the experience. (Except for how ridiculously expensive everything is...)

Instead of spending the evening sitting in my skivvies in front of the computer, surfing the 'net, I dolled myself up and went out.

I headed to the Red Rock Casino, where I saw "Zombieland" at the Regal Cinemas there.
VERY funny movie, see my previous post. And while I certainly missed seeing Silver's reaction to stuff, and missed our quiet snarking back and forth, I did enjoy myself tremendously.

Then, to continue my dissipation, I settled at the Rocks Lounge inside the Red Rock and played Deuces Wild video poker for about half an hour, while enjoying my free coffee with Bailey's and whipped cream...mmmmmmm.

Lest you think I'm some sort of compulsive gambler now, my budget is $10.00, and I cashed out at $11.25. So I MADE money; even counting the dollar tip I left the bartender, I came out ahead by a quarter! That's about my speed at gambling, I can't imagine wagering large amounts of money, it would make my tummy hurt!

So, all in all a successful outcome to my experiment. I'll have to repeat it soon...just to make sure I can get the same results...it's for science, after all!

Christina's One Word Movie Reviews

Zombieland: hysterically funny!

(Okay, so that's TWO words...who cares?!)

Seriously, Folks: Go see the movie, you won't regret it. I laughed out loud on numerous occasions. Just remember it is very gory.

Monday, October 12, 2009

One Moment

I was given the heads-up about a walk-in just fifteen minutes before the scheduled appointment, and I had been taking a nap. After grumbling for a few seconds, I rallied: brushed my teeth quickly, fixed my hair, repaired my makeup (I'm a pro!), grabbed my oil and put my game face on.

After I called from the entrance to the men's spa and received acknowledgment from the client, I had to wait for a few moments, and I could hear his hesitant approach; he came around the corner, using a cane, taking careful steps with his twisted leg, his torso slightly hunched over, a huge smile on his face.

As we greeted each other, I shook his left hand, since he held the cane in his right.
While I guided him to the treatment room, I asked him a bit about his health history, and he explained he'd just come home from Iraq.

IEDs do massive damage, and those who survive them are usually permanently disabled, like my client.

Slightly halting speech from a brain injury, shrapnel and surgical scars all over his body, yet that incandescent smile that would not quit: tomorrow was his 24th wedding anniversary, and he was the luckiest man on earth.

Two healthy, happy children, an 8-month-old granddaughter he dotes on, and the love of his life still with him, by his side. His only regret that he couldn't bring all his soldiers home with him; two had lost their lives in the desert, and he told me he'd have gladly taken their place...a true hero.

If I can give to such a man even one moment of respite, a brief period without pain, and maybe an ear and a heart to listen to his story, I'm fulfilled.

I thanked him for his service, told him I was grateful for his sacrifice, and that the entire country is in his debt, but his response to that shook me. He told me I, and people like myself, those who are grateful and who love and appreciate the United States and know how good we have it here, are the reason he went to war. HE was grateful to ME, this wounded warrior, this hero. And I was left without words. Only tears.

Overheard inside the Casino, Ten Minutes ago...

one security guard remarking to the other:

Man, I was still drunk when I came in to work last night...


D'oh!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

FINALLY!!!

If you direct your gaze to the ticker in my sidebar, you'll see that my weight now stands at 159.

The last time I weighed this little was when I got pregnant with my first child...which means I'VE FINALLY LOST THE BABY WEIGHT!!!!

It only took me a little over 18 years...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thank you, Sir...

for a wonderful, entertaining, not to mention educational weekend. :)




UPDATE:

Wow, my readers have dirty minds...I LIKE that!

I learned how to play VIDEO POKER, you pervs! Sheesh, what did you think I meant...?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Bring it.

Paid my lawyer her retainer today (and thank you again, all you wonderful people who helped me, I cherish you!) and signed the contract.

You assholes wanna play hardball with me? Bring it. My lawyer has teeth, and isn't afraid to use them.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Nice!

I LOVE it when clients upgrade during the service! Not only is it a testament to my massage skills, but I also get HALF of the difference in price, not our usual 35%.

It always gives me a little boost. Plus it's a great incentive program from our boss to motivate us to up-sell.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

THIS, however, you can probably see all over the U.S...

but wish you couldn't!

I was leaving my local Stop 'n' Rob this morning, after picking up my caffeinated breakfast (yes, I'm an admitted failure at kicking the habit), and I saw a gentleman leaving who had, well, I won't call it a hat.

It was a visor, on his head. No big deal, right?

WRONG!

First of all, he was wearing the visor upside down. That's bad enough. But he was also wearing it SIDEWAYS. Basically, the part that's supposed to keep the sun out of your eyes/face? Over his ear, upside down.

I was already in my car, or I might just have asked him what the point was of wearing the thing in the first place. Just to look stupid? Well, if that was his objective, he succeeded admirably!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Only in Vegas...

I was pulling into the employee parking lot at the casino today, around 6:30 AM, and saw a man walking across the street, "dressed" only in a white towel slung around his hips, and flip-flops. He had a bundle of clothes in his arms, but why he wasn't wearing *them*, I haven't a clue!

I tell you, every time I start thinking I'm jaded, something comes along and surprises me all over again!

Friday, October 02, 2009

*sigh*

Sometimes I feel cursed. I got a call from the Admissions Director at the Nursing College yesterday afternoon, asking me to come in for a meeting this morning.

Apparently, the sister campuses (which have been around much longer than the recently-established Las Vegas campus) have a much higher first-time testing pass rate for their graduates taking the NCLEX, so the Las Vegas campus is implementing some changes to improve the local students' outcome.

Bottom line: there will be NO November class. The next class starts on April 2nd. Not too big a deal, right? Except for the fact that they're starting over with the entire admissions process. AND they're shrinking the class size from 38 to 24. So more competition for fewer slots. The good news is that they're "extending me the courtesy" of an automatic admissions interview, because I apparently had the highest test scores the director has ever seen (who knew?), and my essay was also the bomb. Though he didn't quite put it in those words...;)

Also, since I've been through this interview before, I won't be nearly as nervous, and I'm already making bullet points so I don't sound so much like an idiot this time.

AND, since I'm making much less money this year than last, my FAFSA will hopefully grant me more financial aid next year.

As you can see, I'm trying very, very hard to find the silver lining in this whole mess. Even if it's only a millimeter thin...

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I'm happy to report...

I went to the park this afternoon and did NOT walk into a tree.

Legal Mess Update

Here's what's been going on:

-I've been served with papers. Basically the collection agency is suing me on Desert Perinatal Associates' behalf. I have until next Friday or Saturday to respond.

-I found a good lawyer, who has a detailed plan of action. Unfortunately, I'm having problems scraping together the $1,500 retainer she requires, so nothing has been done yet.

-The parents finally replied to my initial email, but they told me to contact Darci at the surrogacy agency, who has ignored my calls and emails thus far.

-I sent an email to the News Director at Channel 13 Action News here in Vegas. I've heard nothing yet on that front.

-My aunt is sending me $500, and my DAUGHTER, the college student, informed me after the fact that she also sent me $500 from her financial aid money. Now tell me, isn't she an awesome kid? I have $50 bucks saved up from tips, and I guess I'll have to get a payday loan of some kind, because I HAVE to get my lawyer on board, ASAP.

That's the status update. If anything changes, I'll let you guys know!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Adding injury to insult...

I walked into a tree tonight. And I was walking BRISKLY.

Voila:

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I look like someone whacked me with a big stick. Now to come up with a variety of amusing explanations to keep from having to admit how FUCKING STUPID I am...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Second one...

I just massaged another guy (the second one) with a tramp-stamp tattoo. This one was a back-packer from Australia, really nice guy. The first one was a few months back and he was from Scotland. Consensus: if you see a guy with a tramp stamp, he's most likely NOT from the United States. Unless he's gay.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My ticker.

I don't know if you've been paying attention to my weight-loss ticker, but just in case you haven't noticed, I wanted to point out to you that I've changed my goal weight by ten pounds. I moved it up from 135 to 145, because honestly, I think I'd be too skinny at 135. It's amazing and a bit scary to me that I only have about 16 more pounds to go in my journey. Hopefully those 16 pounds come out of my upper thighs...just sayin'!

At any rate, I'm so close I can almost taste victory on my tongue, and its taste is sweet.

:)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Yet another pet peeve.

Hypocrisy of parents who make their kids wear bicycle helmets, but don't wear them themselves. What kind of message are you sending your kids? That's about as asinine as buckling your baby into a car seat, but not wearing your seatbelt!

"Oh, wear the helmet to protect your skull, but once you turn 18, who gives a fuck anymore?!"

Oh, and if you do put a helmet on your kid's head, make sure it fits properly and covers the fucking forehead, okay, Moron? You know, the part of the skull most likely to hit the pavement if your precious babe goes over the handlebars? Wearing a helmet so loosely that it slips back and forth is useless.

Christina's rant and public service announcement of the day.

I LURVE the thrift store!

I just bought five pairs of jeans, two belts, and three sweaters for a grand total of $32.50. You can't beat that with a stick!

I got lucky because the jeans were half-off today, $2.50 a pair instead of $5.00.

WIN!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm in.

I haven't blogged about it, since I didn't want anyone to know if I failed...but I just got the call yesterday that I've been accepted into the next class at a private nursing college here in Las Vegas!!

I start classes on November 30th, and will be finished in 22 months, graduating with my Associates Degree in Nursing. Then I will take the NCLEX and become a Registered Nurse!

Everything is falling into place, here's hoping the next two years go as smoothly...

Of course, you'll be riding along with me, so to speak!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Client Roundup

I massaged three clients today.

My first client was incredibly demanding and micromanaged the massage.

My second client had the most horrid hangover breath EVER, which he insisted on blowing in my face.

My third client was a former boxer and wanted to get deep tissue work, though he only paid for a Swedish massage. And he had really, really smelly feet.

That being said, all three of them were extremely kind, interesting people, whom I enjoyed chatting with and working on.

Nobody's perfect, least of all me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My first time.

I lay back against the hard surface, my clothes mostly discarded in the rush to get to this point. My partner, much more experienced than I at this sort of thing, murmured soothing words of encouragement.

I spread my legs wide, as commanded; I closed my eyes, a mix of excitement and nerves making my heart race inside my chest.

I felt the heat first, then the pressure, then...RIIIIIIIIIP.

Ouch! That smarted...

Yes, Folks: I've gotten my first ever Brazilian wax.

I love the results, and it wasn't as painful as I feared. Don't ask for pictures, please, 'cause it ain't gonna happen!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Floridians, you gotta love 'em!

I massaged a very nice old lady yesterday, visiting from Florida, who paid me a wonderful compliment. She told me after her massage that she felt like a new woman! That always makes me happy. I was even happier when she tipped me $45, which is more than I make on commission from the massage! Both events, combined, made my day.

:)

Gee, thanks. [/sarcasm]

If you're getting a massage while massively congested due to a nasty cold (which, I reiterate for probably the thousandth time, I do NOT recommend), and not only do I considerately dispose of your nasty snot rags, but give you my very last cough drop, the least thing you can do is leave me a tip. Especially if, as you said, you LOVED your massage.

Thank you. Enjoy your flight back to Australia. Where they apparently don't tip.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Seen on the casino floor five minutes ago...

a woman, wearing a "Turn to Christ" t-shirt, going wild shooting craps.

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's been two weeks...

since I moved, and I finally feel like I'm completely settled. I went from a 1000 sq.ft. apartment to a 100 sq.ft. room (plus a 25 sq.ft. storage unit!), and said room is rather full with my belongings, but to me it feels cozy rather than cramped. I hung the last picture and unpacked the last book today, and I have a warm feeling of accomplishment at last.

The dogs seem finally to have made the adjustment, I no longer have to keep the bedroom door closed at night so they don't have an "accident" somewhere in the house (they now know to use the doggy-door to go outside). This is a Very Good Thing, because my roommate keeps the thermostat set just below "swelter", and my room got suffocatingly hot with the door closed, even with a fan going. My dogs sleep under the covers, you see...and they put out a LOT of heat!

Anyway, I no longer have the feeling that I'm simply spending the night at someone's house...I'm actually home.

It's a good feeling.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Turn of phrase...

Overheard inside of a treatment room:

Wow, what you're doing to my shin TOTALLY doesn't suck!

Introducing:

Dorothy, my newly-minted massage therapist colleague!

What a nice young lady. I'm very impressed.
She's not quite 4'10" tall, and looks about twelve. Needless to say, she has to set the massage table as low as it'll go!

She was kinda thrown into the deep end today, her very first day. I tried to help her out and explain things as we went along, but it wasn't easy because we were all busy this afternoon. Our last massage of the evening was a couple's hot stone massage. I'd gotten everything ready hours before when I had a break, so that we wouldn't be running around like chickens with their heads cut off. The massage was scheduled for 5:00 PM.

5 o'clock rolls around, and our clients are nowhere to be seen. Hmmm. They booked in person earlier in the day, and the massages were paid for at that time. Yay, we get our commission and don't have to do any work!

Wait...not so fast. At quarter after, they waltz in.

An Asian couple whose English skills are rather lacking, which bodes ill for the rest of the massage. So we get them on the tables at 5:20, which means they're getting a thirty-minute hot stone massage instead of a fifty minute one. NO PRESSURE, RIGHT?

Of course I ask my client, the man, whether he's had any recent injuries or surgeries, he says that both he and his wife are healthy. Excellent! We proceed.

Obviously we don't have enough time to do the full body. I massage the entire posterior aspect (the entire back of his body, while he's lying face-down), then turn him over to start massaging his neck and scalp.

I've barely started rubbing his neck with the stones, when he suddenly thrusts his right foot out from under the sheets and says, "My big toe is sore!" Of course, I assume he wants me to work on this sore spot, so I put the stones down and mosey to the foot of the table to work on his big toe.

I start gently rubbing it, and he's twitching and "ouch"ing, finally he jerks his foot away and says, "No, my toe is HURT, please don't touch it!"

To that I say: D'OH! with a side of *facepalm*!

Miscommunication and language difficulties rear their ugly, ugly heads.

I fall all over myself apologizing, of course. Because the customer (or massage client) is always right.

Needless to say, I did not get a tip from this massage. Oh, well.

What a lovely beginning to Dorothy's glamorous career as a Las Vegas Massage Therapist!

Profound wisdom...

seen on a t-shirt worn by a rather rotund man walking on the Strip today:


Fat people are hard to kidnap.

Good point!




In other news, I'm still alive, and Michael Jackson is still dead. As is Teddy Kennedy.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I'm sick...

and my creative juices have been drowned in mucus.

I'll be back sometime soon. Hopefully I'll feel better ASAP.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Happiness is...

having my elderly client tell me after his very first massage ever, that he hasn't felt this good in years. :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

PSA

Okay. Moaning while I'm massaging you is fine. Groaning, even. Mutters of appreciation are also dandy.

But don't say anything that could be applied to another activity I could be performing, instead.

In other words, I don't want to hear "FUCK, YEAH!" come out of your mouth while I'm massaging your neck. No matter HOW heartfelt the sentiment.

Thank you.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Made it!

The move was successful, I'm almost done with everything at the old place, and I'm totally exhausted and getting ready to go to sleep.

I have a few interesting spa stories to share with you. But they'll have to wait until I'm not about to faceplant onto my keyboard!

Hope you're all having a great weekend. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ARGH!

Procrastination, thy name is Christina!

I'm officially moving tomorrow morning at 7:00 AM, and I'm not done packing. As a matter of fact, I don't even have enough boxes!

Fuckity-fuck.

Wish me luck, I don't think I'm going to get much sleep tonight...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Las Vegas' Motto

No, I'm not talking about "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." That's the official motto.

I'm talking about the unofficial motto for Vegas.

Douchebags'R'Us

I think about that every time I drive in this benighted town.

Nuthin'

is what I've got.

No interesting clients (because we've been so slow), no funny bumper stickers or anyone who annoyed me so much I wanted to blog about it.

*sigh*

The only news I've got is the fact that I'm moving into my friend Keith's house on Friday. And that I've been procrastinating packing, which is really, really bad.

I'd better get on that!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Seen on my drive home...

a bumper sticker reading:

The more people I meet the better I like my dog!


He has a point.

Friday, August 21, 2009

*LOL*

Apparently, the UND Marching Band is a very big deal in Grand Forks...they made the news!

If you look carefully, you will see Silver at 0:47, all the way on the right! The camera is right behind her! w00t!!

On September 5th, the band will be performing at the UND/Texas Tech football game in Lubbock...I wonder if it will be broadcast on TV, and I wonder if there's some way I can watch it.

Here's the link to the news snippet:

ClICK HERE

KEWL!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm home

Meh.

Grand Forks Wrapup

Tonight's my last night in Grand Forks, North Dakota. I'm leaving behind my wonderful daughter, Silver, to make her own way in the world.

*sigh*

It's hard to let go.

So, yesterday we moved her into her dorm room. She's in a marvelous Residence Hall with very few students staying there, which I think is a wonderful thing, but some students apparently don't. I was told by a fifth-year student, who's been living there since her Sophomore year, that usually everyone is in their own room by the end of the year due to girls moving out to a busier Hall (read: one with more "action"). Or they join sororities, or whatever. Anyway, she said that usually by the end of the year, there will only be about twenty women staying there.

Here's a before picture of her room, when we first entered:

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After we rearranged the furniture and had everything unpacked and set up, her desk:

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She gets the top bunk:

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And in her pleather-clad glory (note the BIG-ASS album on the top shelf next to her...that's the infamous Pokemon card collection. Also note the gigantic stacks of cards next to the album. Those are some of her "extra" cards.)

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Okay, photobucket is being a big pain in my ass, by not letting me embed some pics that have been resized, so I'll just post some links to pics of the exterior of her building.

Click

Click

Click

Isn't it pretty?

The highlight of yesterday, however, was being asked by another resident if I was moving in...if that isn't an ego-boost, I don't know what is! I would recommend she get her vision checked...

Today I returned the rental car in the morning and spent the rest of the day chilling out in my room, avoiding the rain and thunderstorms...Silver wasn't so lucky, she had to be out in the weather! Poor thing. I guess it's impossible to stop worrying, even though she's "all grown up"!

This concludes my mini-travelogue. I wish I had more pictures, but since I was the driver, it was impossible to take pics from the car, and the weather was too inclement for me to walk around everywhere like I had planned (and I was not properly clothed for bad weather, either!).

By this time tomorrow, I'll be home with my dogs...but I bet I'll still be listening for the wicked chuckle coming from the other room...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Obvious differences.

We were driving back to our motel after the day's shopping excesses, and we happened to pass an elementary school.

There was one glaringly obvious thing that underscored the tremendous differences between Grand Forks, ND and Las Vegas, NV.

There was NO FENCE OR WALL around the elementary school grounds. Just lots of lovely green grass. I repeat, because I still can barely believe it: NO FENCE around the elementary school.

Anybody and his uncle could walk right up to the school building. The kids could wander right off the campus and across the street.

Amazing.

Grand Forks Update

Hi, everyone!

This is just a quick recap of yesterday's events. Dun-dun-dunnnnnn...

First of all, the packing was a true nightmare. Silver wanted to take everything but the kitchen sink with her, but naturally we were constrained by the limitations placed on us not only by the airline, but also our own physical strength!

I had planned on our leaving the house at 3:00 AM, but true to form, we were in the car at 3:40. Luckily, the three AM scheduled time left us a big buffer (I KNOW how we are, so I planned ahead! :D)

The first snafu we encountered was checking in our two giant suitcases, one of which was truly ginormous. The lady looked at me, looked at the suitcase, checked the scale, looked at me again, and asked, "Is there any way you can remove five pounds from this bag? Otherwise I'm going to have to charge you $50.00."

YIKES!

I assured her I could most certainly get five pounds out, and immediately opened both suitcases and started frantically transferring Silver's knickers, among other various and sundry items, from the morbidly obese suitcase to the merely obese one.

It worked.

*whew*

Disaster averted. I did NOT want to shell out any more money to Allegiant Air, which charges you for everything, including snacks, beverages, and even blankets, if you need one. Which I did, because I was freezing on the flight, but I chose to decline, since again, I didn't want to spend any extra money!

We arrived in Grand Forks, ND, after an uneventful flight, to find gray skies and a steady rain. Silver was ecstatic, since she loves bad weather, me? Not so much!

Though having my hair rained on made my 'do FABULOUS. Seriously, I looked like I had just come from the salon!

Bear with me, I know this must be boring you all silly.

Rental car acquired (a Toyota RAV4, for the trunk space), we proceeded to our hotel, where we were told our room wouldn't be available until 3:00PM. This was a dilemma, because it was only noon and frankly, we were exhausted from staying up all night.

So we went to the nearest McDonald's for sustenance, which killed maybe 45 minutes, then drove around Grand Forks and did the campus drive-by tour.

Grand Forks and the campus of the University are truly gorgeous. So GREEN. I mean, not even the golf courses in Las Vegas are that green. Hell, not even the FAKE GRASS in Las Vegas is that green!

Huge, leafy trees everywhere. Beautifully maintained older homes interspersed with the brick campus buildings. Man, today I need to take my camera with me!

We drove by Silver's residence hall a few times in our meanderings, and it's so CUTE. It's very small, and apparently she'll be on the top (third) floor, where there are only four or five dorm rooms. Of course there's no elevator, so I'm NOT looking forward to moving her in tomorrow morning and having to carry all her stuff up the stairs.

We headed back to the motel at around 2:30, and they had our room ready, thank goodness. I collapsed onto the bed and had just dozed off when Silver's phone rang: It was her roommate, whom I'll call "Jane", for G.I. Jane (she's in Army ROTC), who was in town on her way to her uncle's and wanted to meet us. We were game, even exhausted!

We met Jane, who is a perfect match for Silver (likes video games, can quote "The Princess Bride"), and her Dad, and they showed us the way to the local Target, where all dorm stuff is on sale. We loaded up our cart with all of Silver's needed linens, a trash can, hangers, and a desk lamp. (My GOD, I'm even boring myself. I apologize.)

Then we headed over to the Panda Buffet, a Chinese buffet/Mongolian barbecue, where we met Jane's uncle and aunt and their kids, who live on a farm about two hours away from Grand Forks. They invited Silver to come over with Jane on the occasional weekend or holiday to help out on the farm...*lol*! My mind shuddered to a halt as I contemplated the unthinkable: MY daughter, who is complaining of sore muscles this morning because of having to lift the carry-on luggage, totin' that barge and liftin' that bale on a farm. I'm ALL for it, it could only do her good! Not to mention it will broaden her horizons a bit.

After partaking of various delicacies at the Panda, we made our farewells and headed back to our motel, one thought in our minds: SLEEP.

We didn't bother setting the alarm, since we knew we needed as much sleep as we could get after our previous sleepless night, and gratefully crashed.

Which is why I'm writing this so damn late today. We slept until nine AM!

Okay. We've got to hit the road. Many things left on our to-do list for today, including taking pictures to bore you with later.

Signing off in ND!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Almost time...

In a few hours, Silver and I will be winging our way to North Dakota. We're going to get her settled and set up in her dorm room, ready for anything!

I supposedly will have high-speed internet in my hotel room, but I won't be holding my breath. I will make it my goal to find a good wifi signal SOMEWHERE, so I can keep my faithful readers updated on all my adventures.

I also plan on taking plenty of pictures, so be prepared for the onslaught!

This is Christina LMT, signing off...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

No.

Me: No, Silver! You don't need to take your entire frickin' Pokemon card collection with you to college. You especially don't need to take all the extra cards with you, "just in case"! We are not driving up there, remember? We have to pack all of your clothes.

Silver: I have to take my album with me, so that I have a place to put my new cards when I buy them.

Me: STOP BUYING POKEMON CARDS. GROW UP!

Silver: You know, they have a "21-and-over" division at Pokemon tournaments!

Me (mumbling): Might as well call it the "Perpetual Virgin" division...

Silver: Hey, there's nothing wrong with being a virgin!




She's got a point there!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Overheard at the Chiropractor's office...

Me: GAWD, I need some coffee. BAD!

Sarah (the new CA): OMG, so you're NOT a Mormon?

Me: Nope.

Sarah: Thank God, I thought I was the only one!




You have to understand that (besides us two, obviously) the ENTIRE office staff and both Chiropractors are LDS. As are many, many of the patients.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Some spa tips for you

If you've just spent the past six hours walking around the Strip in 100+ degree weather, I DON'T CARE THAT YOU TOOK A SHOWER THIS MORNING. Take another fucking shower before I massage you. It won't kill you, and it will prevent me from wanting to kill you because of your disgusting and rank odor.

If you insist on wearing shorts when I massage you, I appreciate cool ones, like the Simpsons ones a client was wearing yesterday.

If you're a female who's training for MMA events, don't take testosterone.*
I don't care if you're convinced it will help you win your fights.

a)Everyone can tell you're taking it.
b)The effects are irreversible.
c)It's scary, especially your beard stubble and the obvious sideburns you try to shave off.

*Okay, so this has nothing to do with the spa, per se. Consider these bonus tips!

Overheard at McDonald's

"I'm destroying the environment every time I take a piss!"

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Overheard at the spa...

(said in a thick Southern drawl) "Shit, for how much I paid for that mattress, it should sleep for me!"

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Reward.

I had one of my favorite patients at the chiropractor's tell me today that since she started getting massages from me about two months ago, she hasn't woken up from the pain in her shoulder ONCE. Now that is the best reward I could ever get from doing massage.

I got choked up, just a little.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The joys of massage...

do not include being repeatedly gassed by one's client. It is something to endure.
At least I'm not married to the man, like Rhyan's client in this couple's massage. SHE has to deal with his raunchy ass on a daily basis.

Maybe she has no sense of smell.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Role Reversal

Have any of you parents out there had a "WTF?!" moment with regards to your kids?

Mine occurred a few nights ago. I had told Silver I was going to sleep and bade her good night. I got myself and my puppehs situated in bed (an effort fraught with dangers, I'll have you know), and was reading an excellent book called "Band of Sisters", by Kirsten Holmstedt.

Next thing I remember is looking up into Silver's face as she's gently tugging the book out of my hands, while simultaneously reaching for the light switch to shut off my light.

She had wandered into the kitchen to get some water and noticed the light on in my room. Remembering that I had told her I was going to sleep, she popped into my room to find me literally faceplanted between the covers of my book.

Basically, my daughter was tucking me in! It was too cute. But the role reversal was a bit disconcerting to me, I have to admit!

Well, I hope I have many more decades ahead of me before she gets sick of changing my diapers and shoves me off into a craptastic, Obama-ized nursing home, I'd better enjoy these tender moments while I can! ;)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The awesomeness that is today!

Not only did I have a fantastic day at the chiropractor's this morning, but I was also informed by the office manager that they'd like to keep me on as a permanent employee!
I was so thrilled, I did a happy dance right then and there. Their regular therapist will be coming back from maternity leave, but she only wants to work one day a week, which will be Tuesday afternoons, while I will be keeping my Wednesday morning/Thursday afternoon schedule. Apparently both the staff AND the patients love me! :D

So now, if my spa job goes tits-up, which is a distinct possibility, I at least have some money coming in. And I just plain love working there.

But wait, that's not ALL of the awesomeness!

Silver re-took her driving test AND PASSED IT! Yay, I don't have to be her chauffeur anymore!

AND we're going to see Human Nature for the second time tonight...free tickets ftw!

I've abused the exclamation point quite horribly in this post, I see. I apologize both to it and you, my dear readers.

Anyway, that's my awesome day so far. If anything even awesomer happens, I'll be sure to let you know.

:)

My very favorite client response to my question of "How do you feel?" after the massage is, "WOW."

Makes me smile, every time.

Obvious.

When you drape your client's back and immediately notice a tattoo of a rollerskate trailing flames and stars, with the caption "Talk Derby to Me" underneath it...it's obvious that ROLLERCON is back in town!

I can't believe it's been a year already.

Well, hopefully all the lovely ladies will feel the need for some serious massage.

Monday, July 27, 2009

One.

I massaged a very nice lady this afternoon, whose fingers were adorned with two-inch acrylic nails.

One burning question was running through my mind throughout the massage:

How the hell can you wipe your ass with claws like that?!


Also, and completely unrelated: If you're dragging your huge-ass suitcase through a crowded hotel, BE CAREFUL OF OTHER PEOPLE.

Don't ram your suitcase into someone's leg and keep moving without even apologizing. And don't act like you don't know what happened, when the rammee is hopping up and down while letting loose a string of profanity that's turning the air blue and setting your hair on fire. Thank you.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Frustration!

My life is truly so boring lately...all I can think to blog about is the utter frustration I feel at having a requested book be parked at the library, waiting for me since Friday afternoon, and not being able to pick it up until Sunday night because of my work and the library's closing time.

ARGH.


I've waited for this book FOREVER.

But tomorrow night, finally, it'll be in my hot little hands.

Can you folks take the excitement?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Christina's One Word Movie Reviews

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince = Magical!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

D'oh!

If you're going to read a smutty novel, and stop reading right in the middle of a particularly juicy sex scene, it might behoove one to keep better track of said book, and not leave it at the movie theater concession stand. Oh, and if you do leave said book, don't use one of your business cards as a bookmark, doofus!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Update...

So. I sent the collection agency a debt validation letter, so that they will send me copies of everything they have that proves (to them) that I am responsible for the bill.

I found a lawyer and talked with her on the phone for almost an hour today. It's nice to have somebody willing to go to bat for me! As soon as I have all the paperwork together, I'll set up an appointment to meet her at her office. I used the Nevada State Bar Lawyer Referral Service to find her (thanks again, Ed!).

She told me it sounds like a breach of contract case. First we will send demand letters, and if the situation is not resolved by these, we will *gulp* sue.

I hate, HATE the thought of that, but I will do whatever is necessary to get this whole mess taken care of and my credit cleared. It has already had a negative impact not only on me, but on my daughter, too. She needed a co-signer for an alternative student loan, and the bank denied me because of the open collection.

Luckily, my brother has agreed to co-sign. Thanks, Grosser Bruder! Without his generosity, we'd be up the creek without a paddle and Silver would not be going to North Dakota.

That's it from Drama-LLama-Land.

In other news, my future roommate is awesome. I can start moving things in piecemeal anytime now! He cleared out the rooms I'll be using, so I think I will start emptying my closets and getting a jump on things. I took my pups over to meet his, and the meeting went well (except for Harley pooping in his kitchen! THAT was embarrassing!) Hey, he's used to using the litter box, he just needs to get used to using the doggy-door to go outside. After much scolding, he was aware he'd done a no-no, and did go outside to pee. And this is WAY too much information.

It's been really slow at work except for Saturday, and tomorrow isn't looking much better, unfortunately. I did one half hour massage yesterday, and two massages today, one a half hour, one an hour. Thank God for my part-time job! The chiropractor is certainly keeping me busy. :)

And finally, I took the doggehs to the park this evening, and we ended up smack-dab in the middle of a thunderstorm! I think we were inside the actual park for maybe two minutes, then the heavens opened and it really started pouring. We picked the dogs up and sprinted for the car, but we still got soaked! Hey, at least we were laughing!

I hope everyone has a marvelous week, I have Harry Potter to look forward to. Silver and I are going to watch the movie on Wednesday, and I can't wait! You have another One Word Review to look forward to now...isn't that special?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What a day!

I had a fantastic day at the spa today. I wasn't TOO busy, where I feel like I need to be on life support when the day is done, but the four people I did massage were EXCELLENT tippers, and that makes a huge difference. If every person I massaged tipped me the way my clients did today, I'd have no financial worries at all. But for every generous client, I get two or three skinflints. Such is life in Las Vegas!

After work, I picked Silver up and we went to WalMart to get various groceries. She's suddenly interested in learning how to cook (less than a month before she goes off to college, where she'll NEVER have to cook), so we picked up some stuff for her to make shrimp in butter/ginger/cilantro sauce. We'll see how that goes...

I also had to buy some exercise pants. Workout clothes and undies are the only items I refuse to buy at the thrift store. I mean, I have to draw the line somewhere, right?

I got teary-eyed in the fitting room, because I couldn't believe I had to buy the smallest size pants available, size 4-6. I feel like the incredible shrinking woman!

Now, there's no way in hell I could fit into size four jeans, for example (yet!), but these pants are slightly stretchy and fit just fine. Now I can work out in style (or at least without my pants bagging everywhere!) Let's see how long I can wear these...;)

UPDATE:
Forgot to mention something. There was a family with a very young toddler in the WalMart while Silver and I were there. It was quite disconcerting to keep hearing things like, "NO! NO, Christina, don't touch!"; "Go with Grandpa, Christina."; "Walk, Christina...I'm NOT going to carry you. Yes, you CAN walk."
My head kept whipping around every time I heard my name. *LOL*!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Oh, how sweet it is...

So I went back to Therapie to complete my trade with Alicia earlier today, and ran into a former classmate of mine who works there, too.

She had no clue who I was, because she didn't recognize me! Once her sister (also a classmate) stopped laughing at her, she hugged me and complimented me on how great I look.

I guess I really don't understand the impact of the transformation, because I see myself every day. Having someone you haven't seen in a few years fail to recognize you really drives the point home. And it is very, very sweet.

It's a small world, with a bit of a conundrum

I massaged a very nice lady yesterday who spent over thirty years teaching in Europe at Department of Defense Schools (DoDDS). She's retired now, but there's some big convention going on here, so there are lots of other current and retired DoDDS teachers and other faculty in Vegas right now.

We got to talking and comparing notes on our impressions of Europe vs. the U.S., and we discovered that one of her best friends is the principal at the very high school my twins are currently attending in England.

It is a very small world.

On to my puzzle:

I massaged an older gentleman yesterday who was solid through-and-through. There was not an ounce of fat on this man, he was extremely toned, but didn't have the body of a weight-lifter or work-out fanatic. His hands were very rough and callused, as were his feet, but his skin was milk-white all over, like he never goes out in the sun. He was one of my silent clients, so I never got to ask him what he did for a living (as a matter of fact, he fell asleep during the massage!), but I'm so curious and I've been racking my brain, trying to figure out what job he has.

Does anyone have any idea or suggestion what this man's profession might be?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Poor Phyllis!

Here's the story I promised you before I went into legal-drama-land here on the blog.

I got into work last week, only to be accosted by my co-worker Phyllis, who pounced on me the instant I walked through the door.

"Did you hear about the weirdo?"

"Which one?" (a sad, but unfortunately truthful question.)

Okay, so Phyllis was massaging a gentleman of foreign extraction. She had been warned he might try something, since he had asked the front desk what ethnicity his therapist was, her hair color, how old she was, etc. Of course, that's not quite as bad as the clients who wanted a line-up of the female therapists, but still. (Naturally, the front desk refused to answer his questions.)

The massage progressed normally (except for his insistence on very thorough gluteal massage), until Phyllis turned the client over. He wanted her to massage his inner thigh, and she refused. While she was doing the neck and scalp massage (how we usually end the session), he begged her to massage his quads again. Sighing inwardly, she complied. With about two minutes left in the massage, she told him she was finished with his leg, and was about to return to the interrupted scalp massage, when he yanked the sheet off and, grabbing his junk, asked, "What about THIS?"

Phyllis did an abrupt about-face and marched out of the room, stating, "We're through here."

That's not the best part though. She quickly grabbed our supervisor (Billie) and was explaining the situation to her, when the client came out of the room into the hallway (in full view of anyone else, I might add) COMPLETELY NAKED, asking bewilderedly, "Is it over? Are we finished?"

Ya think?

Billie made him put his robe on, at least, and told him to go back into the men's spa. Here Jarvis came to the rescue once again, and told the client where he needed to go if he wanted the happy-ending kinda massage.

Here's a tip to all you travelers headed into Vegas: If you want the kind of massage with extra services, just ask a cabbie to take you to the right place. They know where to go. Or look up "massage" in the yellow pages. You won't find any legitimate therapists in the book, but you'll find plenty of the other ones!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Update on the Drama-LLama

So, here's what I've done so far:

-Got all my paperwork (contracts, correspondence, etc.) together.
-Contacted Clark County Legal Services, left them a message
-Called the UNLV Law School's Legal Clinic, but they're not accepting any new cases right now
-Called the lawyer referral service and got another attorney's name and number. If the Legal Services thing doesn't pan out, I'll contact her.
-Got several email addresses to various news channels here in Vegas (to use as a last resort)

The ball's rolling, here's hoping it ends up in the right place!

In other news, the friends I was going to move in with next month bailed on me, but I called my pet sitter, who happens to be looking for a roommate, and will probably move in with him. At least he's okay with pets! And has a big yard with actual GRASS (a rarity now in Vegas) AND a doggy-door.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

How appropriate!

Exactly two years ago today, on July 9th, 2007, I was at the hospital delivering fraternal twins via c-section. They were in no way related to me genetically, I was a surrogate mother.

This ties in to the drama I'm experiencing right now. I really didn't want to talk about it here, but today I realized that all you readers are a huge untapped resource for advice! I'd be stupid to waste the opportunity.

So here you are: Drama...

The parents of the twins I had two years ago are originally from Ghana, West Africa, but they live in London, England and own their own business.

They and I went through a surrogacy agency, called (then) Third Party Parenting Connections (TPPC), to set up our agreement, which was put into writing by lawyers and made all legal. Yippee. According to our contract, the parents were responsible for all medical bills incurred in the course of the pregnancy. They'd have to pay for anything not covered by my insurance. At the time, my health insurance did NOT cover any infertility treatment, including surrogate pregnancy, so the parents paid cash for everything.

As the pregnancy progressed, I developed gestational diabetes and had to see a specialist at Desert Perinatal Associates (DPA). At my first visit, I told the office staff there that my visits would be cash pay, that my insurance didn't cover them, but I was pooh-poohed and told that they'd already received prior authorization from my insurance. Okay then, whatever, I thought. I did have to fill out the typical paperwork, since I was the patient, stating I accepted financial responsibility, etc. They wouldn't have treated me otherwise.

At every subsequent visit, my portion of the bill (whatever DPA said was my coinsurance) was paid over the phone with a credit card, wielded by a nice lady named Amy who worked for Third Party Parenting Connections. Everything went smoothly, and as I said earlier, I had the babies at full-term, they were healthy, and everyone was happy.

A month or so later, I received a bill from Desert Perinatal Associates for $18,000. Seems my insurance company did, in fact, deny their claims. Since I was the patient who had filled out and signed paperwork, they came after me. I panicked a bit, but then faxed the bill, as I had done many times in the past with every other bill I'd received, to Third Party Parenting Connections.

Then came the collection calls and letters. WTF? Why wasn't it paid?! I forwarded those to TPPC as well. The calls and letters stopped and I heaved a sigh of relief.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I requested my three-in-one credit report, because I was concerned about my low credit score. I knew I'd probably have to co-sign some non-traditional loans for Silver's college, and wanted to find out what was going on and fix it.

I did find several errors in my report, including the collection from DPA, listed under "closed accounts" with a balance of almost $20,000 now! I disputed the collection, explaining that I had never been financially responsible for the charges. Two weeks or so later, I received a letter from the credit agency stating that their investigation revealed that not only was I responsible, the account was in fact still open!

I thought it was just a misunderstanding and called the collection agency involved the very next day to clear it up. BIG MISTAKE, CHRISTINA!!! The bill had in fact never been paid.
Seems I had somehow fallen through the cracks two years ago, and now that the collection agency was aware of me and of the open account, they were going to come after me with a vengeance.

I contacted Third Party Parenting Connections (now called Footsteps to Family), and was told that there was nothing they could do, their account with the parents and myself was closed, and they weren't responsible for anything. Darci, the owner, never returned my phone calls, she told me this in the lone email I got in response to my query. She never conceded that I had indeed faxed the original bill to the office, and Amy no longer worked for the company (coincidence?).

Last Friday I got a lovely letter from the collection agency stating that if the outstanding bill was not paid in full within ten days, a civil lawsuit might be filed against me. Oh, and the balance, due to accrued interest, was now up to $25,000.

The only contact info I have for the parents is a yahoo address that I'm not even sure they still use. I emailed them last Saturday and have gotten no reply. Understand that I'm fully aware that this is in no way their fault.

So. This is the clusterfuck I'm dealing with now. I used the Nevada State Bar Lawyer Referral Service (thanks, Ed!) and got the number of a lawyer who deals with stuff like this, but he hasn't called me back so I guess he's not interested in taking my case.

My office manager at the chiropractor's knows LOTS of local lawyers (go figure!), and she got on the phone and located another very good attorney who deals with contract law, but he wants $2,500 up front. Uh, NO! See, I'm not sure this is even the right way to go. A lawyer will want to go after the parents, but I'm not really interested in that. I honestly don't give a shit if the doctor gets paid. It was his office staff's fucking stupidity that created this mess in the first place. I want the collection agency to back off and I want the collection removed from my credit report.

So now I think I'm going to go to a credit counseling service (which is free) and lay the whole thing in front of them. There has to be a way to fix this. Doesn't the collection agency have to prove that I am indeed responsible? Yes, I signed paperwork, but I never paid a dime at that office, all they have records for are payments made by Amy, over the phone.

Well, my readers, do any of you have any bright ideas? THIS IS NOT A BLEG FOR MONEY, BY THE WAY. I know I put up the donation button, but honestly, I don't see myself shelling out thousands of dollars for an uncertain outcome, especially with the parents being in a foreign country. I'm sure the $2,500 would just be the beginning, and I don't want to go down that road.

I just want advice and ideas; consider this a brainstorming session.

Now you know why I've been so stressed lately, and why my blogging has been so lame. (What? It's ALWAYS lame?! Gee, thanks! ;))

Feel free to comment away. Thank you in advance for your advice, it's greatly appreciated.