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 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.


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'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


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


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.


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


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


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...;)

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.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I love you, Alicia!!!

So, I'm very, very ashamed to admit this...............but it's probably been almost a year since I had a massage myself. I know, I know! "Physician, heal thyself" and all that jazz. I can almost see you guys rolling your eyes.

But my massage-less existence has come to a wonderful, wonderful end. YAY!

There's a beautiful jewel of a spa located right next to my chiropractor, called Therapie, which is owned by a former classmate of mine, Sally. Several other former schoolmates of mine also work there, one of whom is ALICIA. Last week after work, I dropped by for a chat and Alicia, who happened to be working the front desk, and I arranged for a trade. I got a massage today, and next week I'll be massaging her.

Oh, my GOD. She's good. I feel like a million bucks. Like I lost twenty pounds. Like I could float away. Like I can finally really shake my hips and DANCE again.

Alicia worked me over but GOOD. I had massive knots under my shoulder blades, and one huge one inexplicably in my right quadriceps muscle (wtf?). My traps were like boulders, and my rhomboids were like planks of wood.

Alicia really worked those trigger points out. She's truly an excellent, excellent therapist. I'm almost a little intimidated at the thought of massaging her next week. But I'm sure that will pass.

Because I kick ASS, too. And now I feel so incredible, I'll be able to do an even better job.

Thanks, Alicia. You're the bomb!

Meanwhile, back at the spa...

I've had a pretty darn good week. A few slow days, to be sure, but also a couple good days, too. And people have actually been tipping fairly decently, for a change.

I even impressed a Greek gentleman so much, he came back today for a second helping of Christina's massage! And he told me he'll be back once more before he goes home. AND he's a good tipper, too.

It just works out that way, sometimes.

Tomorrow, when I'm not so beat, I'll regale you with Phyllis' adventure, which occurred my last weekend. Why do I always miss the excitement?!

As an aside...

Yeah, it sure does. Sometimes, anyway.


I don't want to sound all ignorant, but does it qualify as "ironic" for a five-foot-tall man to be wearing a Michael Jordan basketball jersey?

Hilarious it most definitely was...but was it IRONIC?!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Fuck this.

You know I can't stop blogging, no matter what else is going on! My issues have NOT been resolved, but I'm working on 'em. And that's what's important, right?

Anywho, I'll be back soon with some spa stuff.


Friday, July 03, 2009


Gonna take a little break. I have some serious issues to resolve, then I'll be back. Maybe I'll be able to tell you guys what's up, and maybe not. I also have a story from the spa, something that occurred on my day off! I'll tell you about that one, for sure.

Take care of yourselves and have a wonderful Independence Day!

Thursday, July 02, 2009


I wonder if anyone can tell me why my speaking voice is so much higher-pitched when I speak German compared to when I speak English?

It's definitely a noticeable difference. So what's up with that?

Anyone? Bueller?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I had a little insight at the dog park today.

There's a small dog park and a big dog park, referring to the size of the canine visitors, not the area of the respective parks themselves.

My dogs, being small to middlin', use the small dog park.

Now Tucker LOVES to race along the dividing fence, barking furiously and taunting the big guys on the other side. He snarls, snaps and howls, enticing them into long chases back and forth.

But if one of those Great Danes, Labs, or Rottweilers should happen to visit the small dog park? Tucker would make a bee-line for me at full speed and either try to climb into my arms (if I was standing), or jump onto my lap (if I was sitting down).

Internet trolls behave exactly the same way! Hidden behind their supposed anonymity, they taunt, trash-talk, and insult. But if you smack 'em down, or track 'em down, they collapse like a fallen souffle or run crying for mommy.

Pathetic, really.

(No, I don't have a problem with trolls. I'm not popular enough! :))