Monday, April 30, 2007
It can be difficult to know sometimes whether or not you’re going to be really busy. Some weekends I’ll have 9 or 10 appointments, and sometimes there will only be half that. There are days when you have four clients booked, but two end up canceling at the last minute. And similarly, there are times when you suspect a slow day and you’ll get a couple of walk-ins. You take the good with the bad (kind of like blowjobs, they’re nice and all, but nobody likes teeth.)
The one thing I hate more than cancellations though, are when people show up late. I certainly have compassion for the ones that are sincere and apologetic, it’s the ones that act like your time (and that of your other clients) isn’t as important as theirs, that get under my nice caramel skin. Keep in mind, when you show up late, I’m forced to make a decision. Do I dock you the time you were late and risk you being upset, or give you the entire session and get behind for the rest of the day? What do you think happens?
You’re requested to show up 15 minutes prior to your appointment, which is standard operating procedure for just about every place of business in the entire health industry known to man; the dentist (that bastard), your family physician, the chiropractor, the va-jay-jay doctor, so on and so forth. The spa is no different, except that we ask you to be early not only to fill out the intake form, but also because with each massage you are given a complimentary foot soak treatment with bath salts and aromatherapy oils. Trust me, the foot bath is just as much for me as it is for you. I can’t tell you how many times someone’s walked around all day in the heat of summer in their sweaty ass shoes only to come in late, miss the foot soak, and leave me to deal with fermented toe jam fumes for an hour. [takes a deep breath] Aaaahh . . . . summer’s right around the corner!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I was recently asked by a few readers about whether or not I talked when giving a massage and I thought this would be a good time to address it. Believe it or not, this is one of the more popular questions concerning my line of work, right next to “Happy Endings” (yeah, yeah, laugh it up jackass) and "Do your hands ever hurt?". Basically the only talking I do during a massage, besides responding to a client’s questions, is asking them if the pressure is okay and to let them know when I’m going to apply hot towels to their body (which feels heavenly by the way).
Otherwise, I’m a firm believer in NOT talking during a massage. You paid good money to come to me for relaxation, stress relief, and alleviation of pain. Other people get paid to talk. Prior to the session, I take your medical history (in case we have sex), and ask a few other questions like what areas you’d like extra attention to and what type of pressure you like. I also inquire into the type of work and activities you do, to get a better understanding of where I might find issues and how to resolve them. Other than that, once we’ve started, I’ll let you know when to flip, when to take a few deep breaths, and when to expect my balls on your forehead (just making sure you’re still paying attention).
Some people do get nervous (mostly the first-timers), and a little chit chat usually sets them at ease. I’m familiar with this process and am pretty good at making people feel comfortable. So, I have no reservations with engaging in a little small talk. Once the massage gets started though and they have an idea of what to expect, they eventually relax and let me do what I do best, which is making you melt.
Every now and then you do get somebody who just won’t shut the hell up. Let’s not confuse these people with my regulars who know me well and initiate a little friendly conversation, (usually during the beginning of the massage). The real “hardcore” talkers don’t interpret your short answers as you prefer silence and wouldn’t mind gagging them with a towel and setting them ablaze like a human bonfire. Oh no, they take your lack of participation as a mere invitation to continue talking about meaningless shit. I’ve had people run their mouths for the entire 60 minutes even while face down with my elbow embedded in their back. I’m pretty gregarious and love good conversation as much as the next guy, but for the love of oxygen consumption, (and my sanity), put a fucking lid on it. I've even had a couple clients thank me for being quiet, explaining that their old therapist wouldn't stop blabbing. That's all the reassurance I need.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Since I was already late, I figured I would make a quick deposit at the bank, thinking I wouldn’t have a chance later in the day. Going against my initial impulse to hit the drive through, which everyone knows is slower than just going in, I parked and strolled in for my “quick” transaction. I handed the head teller, (it said so on her name plate) my deposit slip and checks, and patiently waited for my receipt followed by a prompt thank you. The girl was really cute, but I couldn’t help noticing she had a layer of dark peach fuzz that covered all of her arms and her entire chest, (for a moment I wondered what it would be like to pet her and if her boobs were hairy too).
After the first check meandered through her little machine, the printer yelled out as if being stabbed, and then went into cardiac arrest. The really cute Ewok teller apologized profusely while obviously not having a clue on how to fix the issue. I told her not to worry that it had been one of “those” mornings, and that I expected a meteor to take us all out in the next few minutes anyway. I watched the "View" on a nearby TV while I continued to wait and noticed all the other tellers huddling around the defunct machine as if it were an ER patient that had just popped an artery on the operating table and everyone had been struck with a sudden case of amnesia. As I waited for the meteor, I thought how pathetic it would be to have Rosie O’Donnell’s face be the last thing I see before I die.
Eventually, someone besides the “head teller” fixed the printer, and I was on my merry way. Two minutes turned into to twenty, and I began to wonder why I switched banks to begin with and what head teller really meant. Now I was almost an hour late no thanks to the cosmos, but hey, at least I wasn’t in a bad mood (until I arrived at work anyway). “Hey Brown, would you mind putting together these three shelving units we just bought?” I was asked. Sure, because after my hour and a half commute through Hades and the pits of lost souls, there is nothing else I would rather do than assemble a bunch of shelves with a trillion pieces and a screwdriver the size of a votive candle. I’m all over it.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I like to do chair massages from time to time, because the money is good and relatively easy to make, and because it reminds me of why I spent $500 on a damn chair that I never get to sit in. On a more serious note, it does come in handy for volunteer work at events like Breast Cancer walks and for promoting one’s business. For some reason that escapes me, it’s much easier to convince a stranger to sit in a chair for a 15 minute massage than it is to get them to lie down on a bed completely naked while you rub hot oil over their bodies in a dark room for an hour, (people are weird like that).
As I said before, the money is good, you get it right away, and at some events you’re even fed and get a few breaks (you know how I am with food). However, this particular one ranked right up there with slave work. No food, warm ass water, and even a warmer room. With only ten minutes per, you don’t really get to sit down at all, so you’re on your feet the whole time too. This may sound like complaining, (which it is), but after four hours of pushing, pulling, compressing, twisting, and contorting your body in every which way for the benefit of a good massage, you tend to get a little tired even when your're in good shape.
The first couple of hours are usually fun, and when people sit in the chair backwards you find it amusing. Towards the end though, when you’re hungry and tired, you don’t find anything cute at all and you definitely do every thing in your power to not get that “big guy” in your chair either. What you never find cute are people that can’t ever relax. It never ceases to amaze me how many people sit in your chair or on your table, are tense, and have no earthly idea what relaxing is or how to achieve it. It’s like teaching someone with cerebral palsy how to do yoga. Coaching someone towards the end of your day and having to say "RELAX" repeatedly, becomes extremely tiresome. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but trying to massage a contracted muscle is like kneading bamboo. It kind of defeats the whole purpose of getting a massage to begin with. Do me a favor, if you’re the kind that has no idea how to relax, smoke a joint before you get a massage. It’ll really help us out. Unless of course your pregnant, in which case you should eat lots of pancakes and listen to Michael Bolton.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Through touch alone a client can sense nervousness, fatigue, inexperience, or recognize confidence, strength, and caring. All of which can alter their mood, how they interpret your techniques, and ultimately their spa experience. With that being said, you never, ever, want to be giving a massage while you’re sick. Not only are you exposing your client to obvious risks but the quality of your work is inevitably compromised.
Upon waking up for work this morning, without forewarning or indication, I had an instantaneous snot spewing head cold. Besides the inability to breath, I felt perfectly fine. Normally I would call another therapist to cover for me, but not only was I opening, I was that therapist. I figured I only had 3 clients today, so I took a Sudafed and headed on in.
The morning went remarkably smooth and after a gallon of oolong tea I was ready for my last client of the day, who was scheduled for a 90 minute Hot Stone Massage. Thirty minutes had passed by and the client was face down enjoying her little piece of heaven. I don’t know if it was the increased temperature of the room, or the affects of the medicine wearing off, but I was immediately hit full force by a gravity-induced nasal drip. I tried leaning my head back to slow the avalanche of phlegm from creeping down my face without having my hands leave the client, but there was no stopping this rogue mucus from reaching the outside world. The stream of snot had begun its descent and started to meander its way through my mustache creating an itch of a lifetime. Without being able to sniffle or blow my nose, I was left with no choice but to use my sleeve, until I could get reinforcements.
Eventually I was able to get to some small towels for quick wipe here and there, but the rest of the massage was miserable and I was so preoccupied with keeping bodily fluids from dripping on the client that my performance was a bit affected. By the end of the session I had a soaked sleeve, 3 snot rags distributed around the room, and my nose was completely rubbed raw. Despite it being the worst stone massage I’d ever given, the client said it was one of the best she’d ever received and left me with a substantial tip.
Damn, she should catch me on a good day.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I know, you’re probably thinking that 90 minutes is way too long, but really it’s the perfect amount of time. It lends for a more thorough massage, and I don’t feel rushed to work everything in especially when a client needs extra attention to a specific area. The two hour massage is definitely too long though. Try doing one of those at 9:00 am on a Sunday morning still hung over from the night before. Good times.
She was about 40 years old, worked out regularly, and had one of the most beautiful backs I’ve ever worked on. Most tall women are also on the thin side, which usually means that I won’t be doing any elbow glides, due to the protruding ribs exposed like little speed bumps. Hers was immaculately well toned, yet retained every bit of shapely femininity. To understand my excitement on working with such a beautiful canvas, imagine what Michelangelo must have thought when presented with the Chapel’s ceiling (okay well maybe his initial excitement anyway).
One of the fun things about my job is that I can be as creative as I want and there are no set routines to which I must adhere. (Kind of like a club bouncer. I imagine he can choose any number of ways in which to pummel a rowdy patron’s face in, or select from a long list of choke holds to subdue a drunkard and remove him from the premises.) Often times however, the clients anatomy and state of physical fitness, will determine what strokes I’ll be able to perform. For instance, there is a technique in which I position the arm behind the back, (as if you were being arrested) and pull the scapula away from the rib cage stretching the rhomboids and surrounding tissue. (It sounds gross, but I assure you it feels magnificent.) On most people this stretch can be achieved with minimal work, but on others there is a little too much “flesh” to allow my fingers to “hook” under the shoulder blade. You can either try the best you can, or skip the scapular pull all together. Over the years I’ve learned to move on. If you’re fumbling around trying to get someone’s body to do something it won’t, it will only make you look like you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. Kind of like the time I lost my virginity. But that my friends, is an entirely different story.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Tales of a Mexican circus, sexed up waiters, a Beetlejuice midget, and a honeymooning stripper will all undoubtedly entertain you. I’ll dazzle you with stories witnessed from the very center of my first ever Foam Party, and make you gasp as I recall the night that shall forever be known as the Bloody Buffet Horror (the tip of my finger will never be the same). There were also drunk Pollocks, sun burned albinos, and more beautifully bronzed boobies than the whole Eskimo population could see in an entire lifetime. And finally, I shall recount the most horrific tale of all, the return flight home. (Let's just say there was more vomiting on the plane, then there was during the whole week in Mexico.)
Thursday, April 5, 2007
I was listening to the radio on my way to work this morning (which is a little unusual since I prefer to read), and a song came on from that girl that used to be with the Black Eyed Peas. Yeah, her. I refuse to call her Fergie, because doing so would require me to respect her as an artist, and nothing could be further from the truth. I also refuse to call celebrity couples by Hollywood coined blends like Brangelina or TomKat. I’ll call Michael Jordan “MJ”, I’ll acknowledge James Brown as the “Godfather of Soul”, but there’s no way in hell I’m calling anyone who makes millions with songs like Fergalicious or London bridge, anything besides *fuckface, or in extreme cases of annoyance, stupid ass bitch. I may be bitter, but that’s not the point.
Anyway, I was amazed when the radio “bleeped out” the phrase “broke ass” from the lyric, “take your broke ass home”. Astonishing. I’ve heard the words bitch, anus, goddammit, and pussy all on the radio, but apparently you’re not allowed to say ass in a song. Is that not the most asinine thing you’ve ever heard in your life? (Well of course next to marijuana being illegal, and making chocolate statues of Jesus without clothes.)
*Here are the actual seven words that the FCC does not allow to be used on public Radio or Television: Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits. However, if paired with common inoffensive nouns like face, head, or brains, then the words fuck-face, shit-head, or shit for brains, are all perfectly normal and readily accepted. Furthermore, pairing any combination of these deadly seven curse words together as in fucking shithead, or motherfucking cocksucker, is not only socially admissible, but those who do so are usually considered to be very talented and skillful.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
What a fucking loony. Surely this is a man without a momma. If I did some senseless shit like that, my Mom would make me eat all that chocolate in one sitting, saying Hail Mary’s the whole time. I totally get that he’s an artist, and he’s worked with food in the past, and blah blah blah. But dude, don’t act surprised that people want to pull your eyes out and shove them up your ass, so you can see what a shit head you are for pulling something like that during the holiest week of the year. Dumb ass. Can't you just do some enema painting or fling your feces around like everybody else?
Sure, you can say whatever you want because of freedom of speech and all, but I dare you to scream the “N”-word in the faces of some gang bangers. There will be repercussions my friend (assuming you’re white anyway). And don’t insult a Brown man’s momma either, that shit will get you stabbed, even if the crazy bitch did make him eat 200 pounds of chocolate.
Monday, April 2, 2007
I have pretty decent breakfast rotation, but after today, I’m done with cheerios. As the Trumpster would so emphatically declare, "You're Fired!" I don’t suppose there’s anything really exciting about them anyway, besides that they help lower your blood pressure or cure cholera, or something like that. Wooptiedoo. They certainly don’t turn your milk into a sugary rainbow of delight, make cool crackling noises, or lacerate your gums. They don’t even stay crunchy for very long, and no amount of blueberries or strawberries will ever take away the fact that they taste like the box they come in (or an old shoe).