Saturday, February 28, 2015

Be careful when choosing tattoo locations...

A lady I was chatting with who admitted to 79 years admired my tattoo, then told me about her daughter, saying,

"She got a tattoo on her boob, it was a kitten. Over the years it S..T..R..E..T..C..H..E..D, and she had it turned into a unicorn. It still doesn't look right."

It was hard not to laugh while simultaneously cringing at the mental image.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Vignettes from the Spa

Even though I blogged about Valentine's Day weekend and how crazy-busy I was, I got sidetracked recounting the horrendous drive home on Saturday night and completely spaced mentioning how Friday the Thirteenth kinda fucked me over! OH, NOES...we cannot have that! So I must share the stories with you!

I'm not superstitious at all (discounting my belief in Tip Karma), but I swear Ft13 was out to get me.
I dropped shit. I broke shit. I made messes everywhere.

For example, I was hustling to grab a bite to eat between clients (because of course we were slammed and I was starving), and while I attempted to snag a piece of apple out of the fridge, I knocked my coworker's tupperware container of yogurt and chia onto the floor. Where the lid popped off and half of the yogurt spilled. So not only did I waste half of her food, I was late getting my next client because I had to clean up the mess!

My massage gel bottle tipped over in the microwave where I was heating it up. Mess, late. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I was pulling paper towels out of the dispenser, and the cover ripped off the wall.

See what I'm getting at?

Then you add in the clients and you get a recipe for more shenanigans. One lady was menstruating and sprang a leak. Those sheets got tossed, we didn't bother dealing with them except to bag 'em and toss them in the trash. On a slow day we probably would have washed them separately with bleach, but with Valentine's Day weekend madness, the laundry was already piling up and we were hard pressed to keep up with the wash-dry-fold-restock cycle.

Finally, my last massage of the day was another couple's massage. 90-minute Deep Tissue on a big guy who was sore from all the snow removal he had been doing for work, pretty much working seven days a week for the past month or so. He and his lady were taking a much-needed break. I killed myself working on him for 90 minutes, and my colleague and I were waiting for the couple right outside the room with water when they emerged, blinking sleepily. I was slightly skeeved but hopeful when he lowered his voice confidingly and confessed to having "left something on the 'bed'" for us.


First of all, it's a FUCKING MASSAGE TABLE, not a bed. For the millionth time.

Second, leaving me cash on the rumpled sheets makes me feel like a whore.

Third and Last, leaving me only TEN DOLLARS for a kick-ass, 90-minute super-deep tissue massage makes me feel like a CHEAP whore.

Not a feeling I relish, believe me. Although, making my coworkers laugh uproariously when I explained my reasoning to them made it ALMOST worth it...

Have I mentioned how shitty the roads are? I mean, considering what Mass residents pay in taxes, you'd think the roads would be better maintained. Not so much.

One of the main routes I take during my commute is truly a nightmare. Frost heaves and GIGANTIC potholes make for an interesting drive. It's much worse of course when I'm driving home at night and the visibility is poor. Then I curse in counterpoint to the ker-THUNK of driving into a pothole I saw too late to dodge.

In other news, I have dubbed a new client "Tiny Dancer", because she truly is. She's so small and slight, the hot towel I put on her back is too big. A hand towel. Her back is so narrow, the edges of the towel brush the sheet on the table. And she's so petite (aka SHORT) that I have to fold the bottom of the towel over so it's not too long for her back. Unbelievable. Oh, and she is a dancer, so the nickname really fits. What's even more unbelievable is that I had to do such deep tissue on her that I swear I could hear her ribs creaking, and I think I bruised my ulna on her shoulder blades. Wicked high pain tolerance.

The variety and diversity (or are those the same?) of the human body never cease to amaze me. We all have basically the same parts, but we're all different, sometimes radically. That's one of the reasons massage will never bore me. The other reason is that massage provides blog fodder, so we all win!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Observations on Valentine's Day

As a massage therapist, V-Day can kind of suck. Especially when it's part of the weekend, like this year. It's usually the busiest weekend of the year at any spa. It was super-nice to come home to flowers, and my daughter gifted me with chocolate (OMNOMNOM) and a cute card, so that rocked.

And granted, I made a lot of money, but DAMN, I was exhausted last weekend. For the first time in a long time, my hand actually hurt by the end of my shift. Well, it started hurting during my second-to-last massage, with my right thumb leading the charge to PAIN. I think all the shoveling of snow and scraping of ice lately contributed to that, and probably the fact that I'm lifting weights again, too.

Making V-Day even worse, It didn't help that we're experiencing a winter that resembles Dante's 9th circle of Hell. Ugh, driving home in a blizzard last Saturday night was horrendous. The new spa I work at is located in the downtown area of a quaint historical village, normally about 25 minutes away from home. Well factor in beginning blizzard conditions, giant snow banks everywhere reducing both visibility and LANES,  and Massholes, and it took me over an hour to get home.

Are y'all familiar with "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift?" Don't feel bad, I haven't seen more than the trailer myself. But as my car slid ever-so-gently and somewhat gracefully toward a 15-foot snowbank while I was carefully making a left turn, all I could think of is, "I'm starring in 'The Slow and the Petrified: Peabody* Drift'!"

The number of stupid people I saw on my commute boggles the mind, by the way. There was one gentleman, bundled up appropriately, but wearing all dark colors, with no reflective vest or lights, riding his bike in my lane, but going in the opposite direction. The shoulders of the road and the sidewalks were all buried in tons of snow. The only reason I even saw him were the two white, plastic bags with take-out (I'm assuming), dangling from his handlebars. They were swaying hypnotically to and fro, like giant testicles, and caught my eye, lucky for the almost (future?) Darwin Award winner. I guess when you want Chinese food, and they're not delivering, by golly, you're going to get it yourself, weather be damned!

On one stretch of my commute, the right-most lane turns into an exit, while the two left lanes swoop down into an underpass. The barrier between the underpass and exit is clearly marked, and a yellow flashing light helps make it visible. As I was approaching, I was worried that I'd hit the divider, because I couldn't see the yellow light. The snow coming down and blowing everywhere was severely reducing visibility, windshield wipers in overdrive notwithstanding, and the drifting and accumulating snow on the road surface rendered lane markings invisible. I was just trying to stay in line with the brake lights ahead of me and stay in the tracks. As I inched closer to the divider, I still didn't see the flashing yellow light, but I did see some red ones...I guess I didn't need to worry about driving up onto the dividing barricade because someone had already beaten me to it! It must have just recently happened, because no police cars or tow trucks (or ambulances!) were there, and the driver was pacing back and forth alongside his car, which was really wedged up there good. Poor guy.

This was all white-knuckle driving. Which didn't help my right hand at all. Finally I made the turn onto my street. I was so fucking THRILLED to see a snow plow, I didn't care that I had to follow slowly behind it. I was just glad to see and drive on pavement, however briefly. My elation popped like a soap bubble at a hedgehog convention when I got to my driveway and saw that the ever-helpful snowplow had plowed it shut with about a two-foot wall of slush, snow, and ice. No way was my car going to power through that, even if I had been willing to risk trying. I mean, two years ago I attempted something similar and smashed my beautiful Blue Zephyr into a hedge! I don't have the money for that shit. Again.

So, at 10:30 PM, after pulling a massage double shift and driving home under truly shitty conditions, I had to call SCI-FI and my daughter (she of the card and chocolate) to bring snow shovels down from the house and to help me shovel out a path big enough to get the car onto the property and park. Said car meanwhile was mostly blocking the lane and I was panicked that someone would smash into it, despite my hazards blinking a warning.

Oh, and shoveling snow involved finding a place to PUT it. Which meant lifting the shovel over my head to try to heave the snow onto an already-imposing snow bank. With the severe wind we had, usually half of the load blew right back into my face (NO JOKES, YOU SICK FUCKS.)

Finally we managed to get my car parked safely and all three of us trudged back to the house to get warm. As I nibbled on my Valentine's Day chocolate (thanks, Tally!) and sniffed my flowers (thanks, SCI-FI!), I pondered the only benefit to the blizzard that I could see: I was lucky enough to get a snow day for Sunday, yay! Some of my colleagues weren't as lucky. Remember the spa's location, downtown in a quaint, historical locale? While a State of Emergency was declared for Sunday, meaning driving to the spa was a no-go (no matter what our clients think of us, or how self-important we might be, being a massage therapist does not make you "emergency personnel"), plenty of staff and customers live within walking distance of the spa, so the manager opened for business at 1PM on Sunday afternoon!  Gutsy move on her part.

And I guess enough clients to make it worth opening the spa subscribed to the old adage (which I just totally made up): "Nothing says LOVE like walking through a blizzard to get a couple's massage!"

Ah, Valentine's Day...good thing you only come once a year.

*That's pronounced PEE-bid-dee in these here parts, just FYI.

Friday, February 20, 2015


Just because I've been doing massage for over nine years now doesn't mean I know everything and have seen everything.

When my client told me, "By the way, just so you know...I'm really hairy," I should have refrained from uttering a condescending, "Oh, don't worry about it, I've been doing this for a long time and, trust me, it's not a problem."


I AM professional enough that not even a shocked "MEEP!" escaped me when I draped my client's back, but the "most hirsute client EVAR" position was handily won. Yes, he beat the German-shepherd-esque client I massaged way back in school.

I wasn't even grossed out, I'm over that shit. The logistics were interesting, however. Half a bottle of lotion was used, as the pelt absorbed the lion's share before it could reach the skin. Care was taken not to pull or tug too much, nor to tie knots in the hair (which has been known to happen on occasion!).

I could share more, but making fun of my client is not the point. He can't help the fact that he could wear a mask and nothing else and be set for Halloween. The point is that I have no business getting too big for my britches. In nursing, that's a given. I'm a total n00b and know nothing. But I guess in massage therapy, I've been getting complacent. It's really good that I'm working in a new, fabulous spa, where I'm learning new modalities (WARM BAMBOO, ZOMG, it's AMAZING!) and new techniques. It's important to stay (somewhat) humble.

I ain't all that!

Friday, February 06, 2015

Overhead in the treatment room...

I'm about three-quarters of the way through massaging a male client...

Client: Ahhhh, there's nothing like a woman's touch...

Me, thinking: You're lucky I don't "touch" you vigorously upside your head!

Seriously, that's not a compliment, under the circumstances it was kinda creepy!

Thursday, February 05, 2015



I am now officially an RN (well, I need to get my license in the mail, but let's not quibble...I passed the fucking NCLEX!)

So, Christina RN LMT...hmmmm.


The test was truly awful and a total mind-fuck. You walk out of there feeling like an utter loser, like there's no chance you passed. Then you have to wait to find out. And if you want the "quick results", you have to still wait 48 hours and shell out eight bucks to get the Pass/Fail.

But I'll put it all behind me now and focus on finding a job!! Fix my resume to show my shiny new credential and start applying everywhere.

Wish me luck!