White Knuckled

•October 2, 2009 • 2 Comments

What started out as pure bliss turned ugly at about 16.4 minutes into the 20 minute massage. 

My upper back and shoulders burn constantly from the knots and tension that have hijacked my upper body.  And since I had a few errands to run, I made a mall stop on my way home from a work event Wednesday night and looked forward to getting a little chair massage for some instant relief.  The last time I did it, the woman did a fine job although she didn’t get into the deep tissue that I needed – but for $20, it was still worth it – and didn’t require me to get NAKED *shudder*.

Last night there were two Chinese men working their magic at the massage kiosk and I was lucky enough to arrive just as the last client was leaving so I got right in!  Perfect!  I got situated with my face in the padded toilet seat-y looking thing and rested my arms and hands on the arm rest with my hands curled around the front of the pads.  My masseuse was awesome!  He totally dug in and started beating the hell out of my muscles.  He even used his elbows to get in there and loosen things up.  Eventually I could feel the knots start to dissipate and the burning subsided.   Ahhhh.  Bliss. 

All of a sudden the guy is standing at my head working on my shoulders and neck.  And his bits were rubbing on my knuckles!  AAARGH!  I froze.  I was trying to figure out of this was intentional or if he didn’t realize those were my knuckles. At first I didn’t realize those were his bits.  I considered pinching whatever it was but thought better of it.  As my luck goes, he is probably a black belt in Karate and could have separated my skull from its stem in one fell swoop. 

I would love to see what my face looked like as my eyes sprung open and popped out of their sockets at the point of realization.  All that tension and muscle constriction that had been successfully released in the previous 15 minutes returned instantly at that moment.  And then I wanted to puke.   I was starting to feel violated.

Now that my new close personal friend had me good and rattled, he decided to kick it up a notch when he started massaging the rest of my body.  Granted, I didn’t tell him ONLY to work on my shoulders and upper back so I should not have been shocked when he worked his way all the way down my back and started pounding on my hips and butt.  As many massage therapist do, he started doing the slapping thing all over my body.  My head, shoulders, back, butt and thighs all took a few whacks.  Then he worked his way back up my body, stopping long enough to slap the sides of my boobs around awhile too.  GOOD GOD, I usually don’t want a massage to end but this was a whole different story.   At least he could have offered to buy me a drink first…

Once he was done, I grabbed the cash from my purse and threw it his direction and then scurried away with my head hung low and my tail between my legs like a sheered dog.


Emotional Tilt-a-Whirl

•August 14, 2009 • 1 Comment

Thursday was one emotionally twisted day.  

It started off in its usual hustley-bustley way of rounding up kids and getting them out the door.  This day was different in that I took them and their Grandpa to the airport for a 5 days trip to Colorado – without me.  It is very odd thinking that my kids are 1000 miles away and out of my comfort zone.  The thought of something happening to them terrifies me and gnawed at me for days before they even left.  I totally trust Bop, and I know that I have to start letting them explore on their own, so I sucked it up and took the chance, even though it made my stomach hurt all day. 

Next was a lovely trip to the Jane Brattain Breast Center to get another mammogram.  Apparently they found something of interest in one of the girls and wanted me to come in for another picture and an ultrasound.  I know so many people right now who are fighting cancer that I figured I would be joining the club.  It’s amazing what went through my head as I sat in the waiting lounge with the other women.  I started the whole examination of conscience and trying to figure what things in my life would warrant me getting breast cancer.  I wondered if I have the mental strength to fight it.  How would my kids deal with losing me?  It was a very intensely emotional mind bender as I sat and waited my turn at the mighty boob press, knowing that my future would be decided in the next half hour.   Last year, the waiting room had a giant bowl full of awesome little butter mints in pink wrappers that I shoveled into my purse nibbled on to deal with the fear.  This time I had nothing but my own crazy mind.

My name was called and I traipsed back to the room with the tech.  She showed me the xray from last week and it was very clear – there was an obvious white spot in the center of my right breast.   And then I discovered something incredible.   My boob could be smashed so thin I could see light through it!  If whatever was in there could pop, it did.  Holy Hannah!  Being man-handled by a chick is a little odd in itself, but when I saw my boob splayed out and as thin as a crepe, I was amazed.  When she finally unlocked me from the stockade, my right boob hung a good 4 inches lower than the left.   I daintily hoisted my dangling right boob over by arm and carried her back to the waiting lounge to wait for the ultrasound.   The mental warfare continued as I played out the worst case scenario in my head. 

Finally, the tech came and got me and pulled me into a consultation room to tell me the news.  The spot we saw is the point where two blood vessels overlap.  I nearly burst into tears when she told me the news.  Instead, I hugged her, said thanks for the good news, and bolted out the door.   My entire walk to the car was filled with a huge prayer of thanks for being spared this time.   But now my stomach and my boob hurt. 

Some day I will learn to say no.  My company asked me to participate in filming the annual United Way Fund Drive employee video so I agreed to it.  After signing up, I started having huge anxiety issues about it.  I hate hearing myself on tape and hate seeing myself on film.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to do it.  My hair looks like hell, I swear my googley-eye is back, and I’m not a 20 year old any more.  Nothing like the reality smack down when you realize you’re *whispering* “middle aged”!  I kept my word and showed up for the taping which went fine.  The videographer told me that I have a lot of very animated expressions and asked me to do five of them into the camera.  That was really kind of fun.  I hope to God they don’t show up during the outtakes portion of this video though! 

Once the third trial of my day was done, I was spent!  I went home and crashed from the emotional tilt-a-whirl I was on all day long!   The kids made it to Colorado safely.  I am spared the C-word for a while, and the video taping session went fine.  So, I guess all the drama was good for putting me in touch with the reality of how truly blessed I am.

Miami Ink?

•August 12, 2009 • 2 Comments

I’m going to be traveling for work at the end of the month and my sister is meeting me in Miami for a few days of sisterly bonding.  No doubt she will try to get me into the Miami Ink tattoo parlor to commemorate this once-a-decade event.  I’m already wondering what tattoo would befit such an adventure. 

Last time we vacationed together a mudskipper or cannibal were the perfect choice.  I can’t even begin to imagine what might be in store this time.  Gang symbols?  A thong-clad butt?  A portrait of the infamous Andrew Kunanen who murdered Versace in South Beach?  Anything is possible after our last adventure together.

 Beth and I were touring Alaska and found ourselves in Hope, AK.   Being fish-curious (fisherman-curious may be more accurate) as I am, I decided to scale an endless bank of mud to catch a glimpse of the giant flailing red salmon that had attracted a crowd of hopeful fishermen.  So, off we hiked to get in on the action.

Note:  As the self-appointed Alpha sister, I take my role very seriously.  And as always, I was doing a most excellent job of leading the way to the stream and giving Beth all sorts of instruction on where to step, what to watch out for, how to do it correctly, etc.  That is, until the suction between my Birkenstock and the mud was stronger than the force of my step. The Birkie stayed put, while inertia took hold of me and flung me to the ground like a rock.   With little more warning than a loud slurping noise, and a split second visual of me going ass-over-tea-kettle, I was covered in mud.  

If you look in Webster’s Dictionary under the word “irony”, you will most likely find the picture of me covered in mud from head to toe wearing the one pink Birkenstock sandal I had left.  Beth patronized me had the good sense to ask if I was OK before breaking out into maniacal laughter (that lasted for days, perhaps weeks).  She was also kind enough to stop at the local General Store so I could bathe in their bathroom sink.   The “Muddy Mudskipper” nickname was born that day to honor my excellent leadership skills.    




Our next adventure led us to Denali National Park.  Mt. McKinley was clearly visible from our cabin in Denali but I needed more.  Much more.  I needed to get up close and really SEE the “Great One”, Since neither of us had brought our mountain climbing gear (although both of us were undoubtedly in good enough shape to scale one of the world’s tallest mountains in an afternoon), Beth and I did the next best thing and hopped on a flight-seeing tour with a of couple women from New Jersey.  Up we went…Beth in front with the pilot and me in the back with two other ladies.  Unfortunately, I am afraid of port-a-potties didn’t feel the urge to pee until the moment the wheels left the earth.  By 40 minutes into the flight, I was hallucinating from the pain.  Visualization exercises helped somewhat, but my mind kept straying, and I had crazy thoughts and visual disturbances for nearly 90 minutes.  I did manage stay dry the entire time though!  This is by far one of my proudest accomplishments.


Mt. McKinley – See that black speck in the distance?  That’s us in our little plane.

On the five hour drive back to Anchorage, I admitted to Beth that I had been thinking about who we would eat if the plane crashed.  Scarier yet?  Beth had thought the EXACT same thing (and she had used the potty before we left so delirium is not an excuse).  We agreed the hefty gal might be too greasy, and the frail one would barely make a decent hors d’oeuvre.  But the pilot? He was definitely our ideal dinner date. 

Had we not had this shared experience, how would we have ever discovered that we are direct descendants of the famed cannibal, Alferd Packer?


I’m hoping our Miami adventures will lead us to discover that perhaps we are also descendants of Captain Hook, or maybe even Jimmy Buffett.

A-Hole New Meaning

•July 8, 2009 • 1 Comment

Recently, I had the joy of hanging with my friend Cathy in Key West for a few days of fun, sun, humidity, glorious sunsets and mojitos.   My ideal vacation includes equal parts adventure, relaxation, exploration, and laughter.  This vacation did not disappoint. 


Adventure?  Check.

For a few minutes I managed to overcome my overwhelming desire to run screaming out of the water at the mere thought of fish in my midst.  Honestly, I spent a solid 20.4 minutes in chest deep waters in Bahia Honda, a beautiful and secluded beach about 4o miles out of Key West without freaking out!  I am NOT an ocean, lake, or pond swimmer due to my fissue (fish issue), but it was so freakin hot that I had no choice but to risk being eaten alive or melt into a puddle of goo and spend the rest of my existence stuck to someone’s flip flop.  I took a chance that Cathy would protect me from the dorsal-finned beasts that lurked.  And she did a fine job.  She even earned herself a ride back to the hotel in our rented, air-conditioned, and way-too-cool electric blue PT Cruiser for clearing the seaweed from my path.  That’s the great friend I am. 

Relaxation?  Check.

There is just something to be said for overdosing on Vitamin D when you live in a freakin tundra.  I’m convinced the luminescence from my seriously albino-white flesh had the ability to reflect enough sunlight to throw aircraft off course and inspire another Vampire novel series.  I honestly felt my cells come to life after half an hour of soaking up the sun’s rays for the first time in years.   There was something detoxifying about having the sun baking my SPF-30 coated flesh, so I made sure to order up a Mojito to ensure my equilibrium stayed in check.  There is a delicate titration that must occur.  I’m very scientific that way. 

Key West Sunset Extraordinaire

Exploration?  Check.

Most days Cathy worked on gaining acceptance into the NAACP by laying around the pool from morning til late afternoon while I explored Duval Street and other parts of Key West.  Every time I passed The Garden of Eden, I was handed a card and coupons for 2 for 1 beers or margaritas.  The  Garden of Eden just happens to be Key West’s “clothing-optional” bar.  What a concept!  For all the times I’ve complained about not having something to wear, I’ve finally found a place to not wear it!    Of course this whole clothing optional thing captured my curiosity and imagination.  Since I’d not seen any naked people walking into the Garden of Eden, I asked a cabbie how the whole clothing optional bar thing works .  Word on the street is that you strip down in the bar and have to keep an eye on your own clothes.  They encourage you to bring your own towel but will rent them out if you need one.  

Scans 001

Several times during the course of our trip, Cathy and I ran into the bachelor party from Chicago that was on our plane.  The guys were all pretty fun and decent except for the one guy in every group that everyone wants to ditch.  Fat Andy looked like a mini replica of Louie Anderson and was tolerable up until the point when he started talking.  The guy was a freak show.  He talked about the most inappropriate crap that may have been funny after about 14 more Coronas.  Maybe not even then.  I think he may be the type that just spews crap to get a reaction out of people.  It works.  The reaction is called “flight”.

On our last night in town, I begged Cathy to check out The Garden of Eden with me.  She DID NOT want to go there but when I assured her that it was CLOTHING OPTIONAL and not NUDITY MANDATORY, she relented and followed me up the stairs to the roof-top naturalist’s paradise.    After my immediate scan for flesh, I was surprised and somewhat disappointed that there wasn’t much skin to be seen.  There were a couple of girls dancing topless and a rotund little man perched bare-assed on a barstool.  I couldn’t help but search for the towel that separated his sweaty butt  from the red glittery vinyl seat.  Nope.  Nada.  Nothing.  Cheap ass wouldn’t even rent a towel.

He was perched there in all his naked glory soaking up every bit of attention he could get.  With the heat and humidity factor being around 96 degrees, I envisioned this guy’s ass getting so sweaty and slippery that he’d eventually slide right off his bar stool, hitting his head on one of the bottom wrungs, and landing in a heap of flesh, sweat, and spilled beer.  I finally scanned upward and felt a chill of dread when I realized that he looked hauntingly familiar. 

Yes…Fat Andy was the naked man on the barstool!   I’m sure Andy saw us and knew we saw him.  Cathy and I refused to make eye contact out of embarassment for him.   Cathy used this ideal opportunity to make her escape from the place and dragged me out without much resistance.  We could hardly contain ourselves long enough to get out the door before we broke into screams of laughter.

Not only did Dear Andy bring Cathy and I fits of laughter that have resurfaced repeatedly in the past weeks, he brought a whole new meaning to the term “bar-stool”…

Laughter?  Check.  Check.  And Check!

Nice Kitty

•June 21, 2009 • 3 Comments

I am curious how my kids are aware of so many “bad” words when Mark and I don’t swear around them.  I used to really enjoy swearing and still do when I’m out with adults.  It’s kind of a rebellious thing I’ve picked up since the kids came along.  I have to admit I’m kind of proud of the fact that I was able to turn off the potty mouth for the sake of the children.  Now I’m starting to resent that other people have taken the opportunity to move in and start painting on my personal canvas.   And I’m a bit perturbed that I wasn’t the one to introduce them to the joys of swearing.

Joey and I were talking about movies and Joey was trying to explain why Gremlins 2 is Rated PG-13.  He figures it’s because of the violence since it only had 3 “bad words”.  When prompted for the bad words, he informed me that it was the D-word and H-word that were used.  How did he know those are bad words?  Then I asked him how he’s managed to learn what bad words are.  Does he hear me or dad say them?  “No”, he replied.  According to Young Joey, apparently our tuition money is going toward more than just reading, math and music.  All along I thought we paid money to the school to keep them holed up in a cave and shrouded in an iron-clad cloak of innocence.  DAMN!

Joey sat quietly and pondered  for a  minute before he decided to ask me about a potentially new bad word he heard.  “Hey Mom?  Dylan told me that there’s a bad word you should never say to Mexicans or black people, but I don’t know why it’s a bad word.”

Me:  *eyebrow raises*

“What word is that?” I question.

Joey:  “Pussy cat without the cat”.

Me:  *holding back screams of laughter*

“Hmmmm… Well, I don’t think that would be something to call anyone unless you can run really really fast. ” 

It was sure nice of Dylan to give him the heads-up on that one.  Although I am curious why he had it narrowed down to only Blacks and Mexicans.   I think the can of whoopass he’d get from anyone being called a Pussy cat without the cat would be equally as threatening.

Face Lift

•June 21, 2009 • 6 Comments

I need a new me. 

                           A new start. 

                                            A better Attitude.

What better way to get that rolling than to spruce up the blog page and get excited to stop in everyday?  If only I could stop calling it “wordpressure”.

The crux of the problem is that NOT enough people are taking the time to amuse me or stop by to provide me with blog-fodder.  I’m going to have to start drumming it up on my own or start making shit up at random just to have something to post once in a while.

April Foolery

•April 2, 2009 • 2 Comments

A few weeks ago I was driving Jake and his friend, “Normy”  to hockey practice.  A fun song came on the radio so I started singing and chair dancing.  The boys were laughing at my antics so I asked Normy what crazy things his parents do.   “They sit on me and fart”, he said.  

Knowing his parents and their sense of humor, this came as no shock.   Normy is always a great kid when he’s with me or at our house but he is a handful at home.  He’s strong-willed and quite a little spitfire but I always enjoy having him around and have never had the urge to fart on or near him.  Yet.

Suddenly I got a brilliant plan for an April Fool’s gag to play on little Normy’s parents.  I decided to enlist the help of a friend whose kids go to the same school and write a letter from the principal to Normy’s parents about their odd style of discipline. 

Here is what the letter said:


April 1, 2009


Re:  Normy


Dear (Normy’s parents),


While, as parents, we all try to do what is in the best interest of our children, it has come to our attention that you employ unconventional discipline methods that we don’t feel are appropriate or aligned with raising productive members of society.  We have learned that you quite frequently sit on Normy and expel your flatulence near his face while he is held immobile.  According to Normy, the inhalation of your noxious fumes causes him shortness of breath, gagging, and sometimes he has a bad taste left in his mouth for days after the occurence .   


This has been confirmed by teachers who have conducted a sniff-test on Normy’s breath and found it to smell distinctly like methane.   As you are likely awaremethane is flammable.


We are gravely concerned that should Normy decide to try smoking cigarettes after having inhaled your methane-laced flatulence, he could combust.  While we doubt the likelihood of this occurring, we are not prepared for a child combusting on school grounds.  Obviously this would not only be hazardous to Normy himself, but to anyone who  may be nearby.    You would be held financially responsible for any playground equipment that should happen to burn, as well as any cost of therapy needed for the children who may witness such an event.   So, as you can see, your method of discipline by farting in the face of youngsters could cause deep and lasting trauma to the future of many of our innocent children around the country.  Please consider modifying your diet, and employing other means of torture to modify your son’s behavior.





(Social Worker and Principal)