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dream a little dream...
06.26.05 (5:02 am)   [edit]

Last night I dreamt that I was dating a girl from Windsor, and while taking her back home, I bumped into Clownboy at the checkpoint.  He walked by me and kicked my testicles.  I responded by beating the *shit* out of him.


And you know what?  Beating the shit out of him felt GOOOOOOD.



 
Update
04.30.05 (1:49 pm)   [edit]

Here is a brief update on my life:


Financial stress level: 10 of 10.  My ex-wife is suing me, I'm already $4200 in debt, I earn a gross of $370 per week, and who knows how this court case will turn out and how much I'll owe to whom after the dust has settled.  The lease on my $350-month car ends in December, and I'm pretty sure I've gone way over my mileage limit.  I'm going to owe them money. And I'll still need to buy a new car.


Health level: 0 of 10.  I am overweight, I get no exercise, and I have constant mild chest pains.  I turn 32 years old tomorrow, I'm 5'8" and weigh #230-ish.


Employability rating: 3 of 10.  I have been fired from most jobs I've held in my life.  Having spent the last six or seven years in the IT industry as a technical trainer and/or network engineer, I have very little to show for it in terms of real-world, hands-on experience.  I am very intelligent, but have a short attention-span, a poor short-term memory, and can be very belligerent and stubborn.


Academic attractiveness: 2 of 10.  I've failed way too many college classes to be taken seriously anywhere anymore.  The fully-funded chemistry PhD program at UMich most likely wouldn't touch me with a 10-foot pole.


Relationship potential: 4 of 10.  Again, I'm below-average height, overweight, introverted, stubborn, a divorcee who will probably shortly owe major money to my ex-wife and assorted lawyers, and I demand much while giving little in return.  I don't like going out, and even if I did, I have no money do to anything.


So, that's the hole I'm in which I need to begin working my way out of.  Here's what I have going for me:


1) If I do lose this court case, I may be able to sell the house in Boston which my ex-wife and I still co-own.  This would be difficult, but do-able and would probably take care of any debts I owe to her, her lawyer, and my lawyer.


2) I am employed at two jobs - one full-time (but hourly), and one part-time.  The part-time job is a new career for me - massage therapist.  And I must say, I kick ass at it.  I may not be the best or most knowlegable massage therapist in the world, but my current boss says I give the best massage she's ever had, and she's had more than her fair share from other people.


3) Despite my saying otherwise, I have time to exercise.  This needs to become my #1 priority.  In fact, I think I'm going to go do so right now.


 



 
Dream 3 of 3
07.19.04 (3:53 am)   [edit]
I dreamt that my parents' house actually existed here in Ann Arbor, and that it was about 50 times bigger than it really is, and housed a performance theater. It was also abandoned. So one day I discovered it was unlocked, so I and a few of my massage therapy classmates went inside to check it out. It was remarkably well-kept, so we decided to make it our own private hang-out spot. I cautioned my classmates, though - I told them "Now, I don't want this, my parents' house, to become Party Central for Ann Arbor, or anything like that." They assured me it wouldn't. Oh, one of my co-workers was also there, and a male friend of his. No sooner did they say that, but guys who look like the cast of the Sopranos showed up, ready to chase us out of the building. My classmates scattered, and I ran up a few flights trying to find any kind of weapons to fight them off. I found a couple of guns, and managed to fight the Sopranos off with the help of my co-worker. His friend, however, got shot up pretty badly - lost a leg, too. However, he was immediately bandaged up and in remarkably good spirits, despite having just lost a leg.

A couple of days later, we were hanging out at the house again, and the Sopranos came by again. This time I ran upstairs to find more guns, and I came across this young woman who was squatting in the house. Her eyes were completely white. I said "Are you okay?" She cheerfully and enthusiastically replied, "I'm a demon, man!" I asked her to make me a demon, too. So she bit me, and suddenly I was a demon, which didn't seem to change me too much. The Sopranos caught up with me, and started shooting and throwing knives. The bullets didn't pierce my skin, and the knives would just make a small cut in my hands when I would block them.

Analysis?

 
Dream 2 of 3
07.19.04 (3:44 am)   [edit]
I dreamt that I was trying to track down Connie. I dreamt that I found her living way the hell up in Houghton, Michigan. She had married, converted to Christianity, and in my dream I raped her.

Analysis?

 
Dream 1 of 3
07.19.04 (3:42 am)   [edit]
I dreamt I was at the funeral of one of Heather's relatives - I don't think it was her dad, but it might have been. She didn't know I was coming, but for some reason it was held in Michigan so I decided to go. I sat a few rows behind her, and the funeral was held in sort of a community-theater setting, with rows of chairs that raised slightly as they went back. At one point, she turned around and looked at me - she was wearing a rather thick leather collar with a metal ring in the middle. She smiled at me and had a tear in her eye.

Analysis?

 
my psychotic parents
06.21.04 (2:43 pm)   [edit]
Music playing: The Cure, "Doing the Unstuck," Wish

I really don't feel like re-writing all this out, so I'm going to be lazy and just paste:

Me: My mother did something extremely disturbing this weekend and I'm not quite sure how to handle it.
L: ?
Me: One of her cats had a litter of four kittens, and she and my dad drowned them.
Me: I couldn't believe it.
Me: I'm still rather in shock about it.
L: me too.
Me: Yeah.
Me: See -
L: why didn't they give them away?
Me: I don't know whose idea it was -
Me: I have a feeling it was my father's idea -
Me: but I'm not sure.
Me: I don't know *what* they were thinking.
Me: But I'm kind of mad at my mom -
Me: I mean, she has all these cats -
L: if they're going to do that with the kittens they should have just gotten the cat spayed in the first place. *shudders*
Me: she's not diligent enough to make sure they're all fixed -
Me: so one the one hand, I'm thinking "What the fuck did you expect???"
Me: And at the same time -
Me: I know my dad is not a fan of the cats -
Me: and he doesn't have the same respect for life that I do -
Me: so it's very possible that he decided to put his foot down with this litter.
Me: And my mom felt that she couldn't argue, because of her poor track record.
Me: So now I'm sort of caught between my strong feelings about what they did -
Me: and the fact that I don't want to blow this out of proportion.
Me: And my sister can *never* know about this.
Me: She would just go ballistic.
Me: I wouldn't blame her.
L: how old were the kittens?
Me: Newborns.
L: ah.
Me: Like, that morning.
Me: I just never would've thought my parents capable of that level of cruelty.
L: *nods*
L: would that qualify as cruelty to animals?
Me: I would assume so.
L: that's terrible.
Me: I know.
Me: I was eating a brownie when my mom leaned over and whispered to me -
Me: I stood there for at least a minute, not chewing my brownie.
Me: I couldn't comprehend what she said.
L: I just don't understand why they didn't give them away?
L: they couldn't wait 8 weeks?
Me: I don't know.
Me: So what do you think I ought to do?
L: *shrugs* what can you do?
Me: 1) ignore it
Me: 2) yell at them for it
Me: 3) call PETA.
L: do you think yelling at them for it would accomplish anything?
Me: Not sure which is the best course of action.
L: and certainly you aren't going to turn your parents in.
Me: Nah, but it's tempting - teach my father a lesson.
L: is he at least getting the cat spayed so it won't happen again?
Me: I dunno.
L: in perspective though, it's no worse than what people do to cow, pigs and chickens.
Me: Well, here we differ -
Me: not because a cat is "worth more" than a cow -
L: well, I guess at least you use
Me: but because I don't think animals should be killed just because they get in the way -
L: the cows, pigs, and chickens for something, so at least it's not completely pointless.
Me: if you're going to kill an animal, that's okay with me, but at least *do* something with it.
Me: Right.
L: they can make kitty stroganoff.
Me: heh.
L: mmmm...tender.
Me: Yeah, but they *didn't*, so I'm pissed at them. ;-)
Me: brb
L: or how about a nice fur muff for sis.
Me: Hey yeah!
Me: ;-)
L: your parents are creepy.
Me: They weren't before!
Me: Now they've apparently gone psycho.
Me: I don't think I'll be spending the night there ever again...I'll wake up with a horse head in my bed.
L: lol
L: hey just count your blessings they only had two kids of their own! :-P
Me: It may be one soon...if I suddenly disappear, call the cops!
L: *nods* I'd be worried, you are the youngest.
Me: And haven't reproduced yet...shit.
Me: Can you come over tonight? ;-)
L: lol
L: sorry, not scheduled to ovulate for another 2 weeks.
Me: Gonna have to be on the lam for that long...I can hack it.
Me: I could live off the land in West Park.
L: *chuckles*

So anyway...the Relay on Friday night was kind of a waste - I was there at the very beginning, from 6pm to 10pm, and none of the adults wanted massages. The kids, however, were all over us. Kind of dumb. If I'm going to work on someone, I want it to be someone who really *appreciates* it, and I'm sorry, but an 11-year-old kid just can't.

L. came over that night, and we went and ran errands all day Saturday, and then went to see "Saved" - cute movie, and damn if the girl didn't look like one of my co-workers (who also recently had a baby, ironically). Sunday we went to a driving range. She mentioned how she used to go to "the shooting range at MIT"...I think my image of that institution has been forever altered. But, I've been looking up public ranges for us to go to - sounds like fun to me too.

Oh - 100% on my muscle test this morning. Go me.

Music playing: Belle & Sebastian, "If You're Feeling Sinister," If You're Feeling Sinister

 
the return of psycho j.
06.17.04 (9:47 am)   [edit]
Music playing: some dumb Sound-of-Music-esque hold music courtesy of SBC

Got lots of much-needed sleep last night...I tossed and turned all night on Tuesday, probably a combination of adrenaline from playing my drums and the fact that we had a rather large test on Wednesday - we had to give a massage with an instructor watching us and asking us to show them different things, and we also had a four-page written test. I was the first one to take the practical, and had the *director* of the school watching me. She gave me a 94% - I was happy with that, but I know it wasn't the highest score. I also got a 98% on the written, which may have been the highest score in my class, I'm not entirely sure. Clownboy may have tied me - who knows, who cares.

So last night I got home from work at about 8, played for a little bit, then just said fuck it and went to bed. Got much sleep. Exercised this morning - go me.

I was going to go to the Relay for Life on Saturday, but another massage therapist (who apparently is recovering from breast cancer) came down with a swollen hand (!) and they've asked me to cover for her tomorrow night. That's fine with me - I asked my boss if I could cut out early tomorrow night, and he said sure. Very cool - I'll miss out on the Friday Night Slam. This also means that I could theoretically go to PP on Saturday, but I already gave it to T., and I told L. to come over on Friday night after I get home. So, I'll just spend Saturday with L. and relax a bit.

I'm kind of disappointed in T., though - I asked her if she wanted to take my spot at PP on Saturday, and she said yes but she can only be there from 1 pm until 4pm. That's not very long...what, two, *maybe* three massages? Ah well. At least I avoided having clownboy jump in and volunteer to go.

Oh, so this entry was supposed to be about Psycho J. I ran into one of her ex-bfs at N.'s dinner party last week, and I was inspired to email her afterward. She's married now, and *was* pregnant, but had a miscarriage a couple of weeks ago. We've been emailing back and forth and I've been telling her all about my classroom drama just to keep her entertained - she's on some medication that makes her a bit dizzy. I'm not really sure why I'm indulging her this way...I'm not really interested in being *friends* with her and I certainly don't want to fuck her. Maybe I just write to her because I'm as bored as she is. Kinda sad. But, I have little better to do at work.

I had sent my Mass. lawyer a whole stack of copies from my bank statements proving I'd paid my ex what I owe her and more...he took them and sent them to her lawyer, but did not keep a copy for himself. This means I get to spend two hours in the sweltering copy room making new copies, and overnighting them to him. Asshole!

Music playing: The Smiths, "Rubber Ring," Louder Than Bombs

 
little drummer boy
06.15.04 (12:36 pm)   [edit]
Music playing: nothing

Well, I am now the proud owner of a new Yamaha DTXpress Special electronic drum kit. Here's a link:

http://www.samash.com/catalog/showitem.asp?ItemID=29242&TempID=4&Method=3&CategoryID=33&BrandID=0&PriceRangeID=0&PageNum=0&DepartmentID=4&DepartmentKeeper=4&pagesize=10&SortMethod=6&Word1=&Contains=&Search_Type=SEARCH&GroupCode=nonetodaythanks

I ran home for "lunch" as soon as I saw that Fed Ex had delivered it - got most of the assembly out of the way, so all that's left to do is to cable everything up and go to town.

And boy, did I get this thing on the right day. I got a call from my lawyer in Mass - there's a trial date set for Sept. 15th. We're going to talk again next Tuesday and go over everything I sent him, and the ex's response. We'll probably talk to her lawyer as well at some point.

Can't wait to go home and beat some skins.

Music playing: Roland Orzabal, "Ticket to the World," Tomcats Screaming Outside

 
fun weekend
06.14.04 (12:43 pm)   [edit]
Music playing: some generic hold music offered by the Brinkmann grill company

Fun weekend: spent Saturday at a "refinement" workshop at school...paired up with S. and T., but at one point W. lost her partner, so I had S. and W. working on me at the same time. One of the TAs called it "massage a trois." Very clever. I was hoping A. (who I've been talking to online for many weeks now) would call me to get together, but no such luck.

I spent Sunday morning rearranging my living room a bit - I bit the bullet and ordered an electronic drum kit from Sam Ash - $1600. Should be mucho fun. I could've gotten the $899 kit, but this one has multi-zone cymbals and snare, and comes with the bass pedal and throne. I asked for next-day delivery, but I didn't place the order until late on Friday, so I'm guessing it'll arrive tomorrow. I'm stoked. I might set it up in my massage studio if it's easy to tear down quickly, but we'll see.

Had a "best of/worst of" experience in class today. We're doing presentations in class late in July, and we picked our topics today from a prescribed list from which we could not deviate (I already asked the director of the school - she said no). So A. and I were talking since we wanted to work together, and we settled on Music & Art therapy. Thing is, the groups have to have four people, and there was a sign-up sheet, so there was no guarantee that you'd get the topic you wanted. Fortunately, I happened to be standing up at the desk when I asked the TA when she'd post the sheet - she said "Right now - why, do you have a topic you want to pick?" I said "Yes!" I grabbed a pen, wrote my name under Music Therapy, and A.'s under Art Therapy. Turned out a *lot* of people wanted Music Therapy, so I was stoked that I got it. Clownboy also wanted Music, but he settled on "color therapy" - which means he'll be presenting in the same group as A. and me. Ah well. I don't think these presentations require a lot of interaction between us, so it shouldn't be a problem.
Still, I need to make this presentation *good*. I'll bring in my drum kit if it's feasible. And if not, then my bass at least. It's possible to get like 200 points for this 100-point assignment, and that's what I want.

Then, went to another ballroom dance class with N. She's sweet, but damn annoying. She mumbles like crazy and has an extremely annoying laugh. Ah well. At least I have a dance partner.

Music playing: the same goddamn hold music, if you can believe it.


 
the last temptation of frodo
06.07.04 (3:31 pm)   [edit]
Music playing: The Cure, "Why Can't I Be You?", Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me

Day from hell, day from hell, day from hell. Gotta keep my chin up. A. is sitting on my head and crushing it (I have to stop partnering with her in class). I received a voice mail from my lawyer in Massachusetts - God only knows what my ex is up to now. She's getting married in a short while...I find it hard to believe she'd choose now to stir the hornet's nest. But, she's unpredictable that way.

I mean yes, it *might* be good news (that her lawsuit against me has been dismissed due to the overwhelming amount of evidence against her claim), but I won't know for sure until I get the guy on the phone.

Music playing: David Bowie, "New Angels of Promise," Hours

 
ethical dilemma part II: electric boogaloo
06.06.04 (5:08 am)   [edit]
Music playing: nothing, still watching the carnage-fest that is Return of the King - who's fighting who, and why do I care?

So R. and I had "dinner 'n' a movie" last night...ate at Raja Rani and saw "Super Size Me" - maybe not the best film to see immediately after dinner, but it was playing at the Michigan and we both wanted to see it. The date was okay, I suppose...I wouldn't mind spending more time with R., but she didn't exactly knock me on my ass. She just seems a little "simple" to me...she's got a kid (I had known that for a while), but her idea of a good time is going to a bar or seeing an "action" movie. Not sure how compatible we'd really be.

So here's the part I've never been good at: how do you downshift into "just friends" - and really mean it? I wouldn't mind hanging out with R....and I think that the "just friends" thing only works when both people are on the same page about it.

If we're not...see, this is where the consequence of the ethical dilemma rears its ugly head: uncomfortable interaction with R. in the future - like, the next time I go to give massages at PP. So, we'll just have to see how this whole thing plays out.

I swear, one-third of this movie is scenes of Frodo passing out. The other two-thirds are scenes of humans and orcs getting tossed around. And another thing: for being a *wizard*, Gandalf sure doesn't do a hell of a lot as far as spell-casting's concerned. He lit off some cool fireworks in part one, but since then I've been rather disappointed in his prestidigitation skills. Whatever happened to the bright young Gandalf I hired?

(And I'm sorry, but Aragorn's brief musical number at the end is just *goofy*.)

(But yeah, Arwen's just the picture of "hot." Hopefully the secret home video of their wedding night will show up on the internet soon.)

 
yet another ethical dilemma
06.05.04 (3:28 pm)   [edit]
Music playing: nothing - watching Return of the King and trying in vain to follow along.

Ethical dilemma: so I'm at PP this afternoon giving massages, and R. (who I've worked on before) signed up for another session (although she chose reflexology instead of Swedish). When I first arrived there, apparently no one signed up for the 9:45 slot, so I basically sat there for an hour waiting for the first scheduled client of the day (kinda wished they'd called me...ah well). As I was sitting there twiddling my thumbs, R. came in and started chit-chatting with me. Recall that I had run into her at Pinball Pete's last weekend, when she was with some guy. So we're chit-chatting away, and I enjoyed talking with her. Eventually she goes back to work and I see my first client, and see R. again later in the day. After all my massages are over and I'm packing up, R. comes in again and gives me her review form - and she has attached her number on a post-it note on the form. Hmmm. She says, "I put my phone number on there--"

(I'm thinking, "Oh, she must want to come by some other time for a massage.")

"--I think you're pretty cool, and if you'd like to hang out some time, give me a call."

(Hmmm...we had a lecture or two about this in class, as I recall...something about "dual relationships," "don't date your clients," something like that.)

I say "Okay, I'll give you a call later." What the hell - she's not paying me, so she's not officially a client. Justifications are man's best friend.

So after I got home and had a *proper* shower (due to the hot water being AWOL this morning), I called her up -

(She just called - we're meeting at Raja Rani at 8.)

So I guess that sums it up. I'm violating massage therapist protocol for the sake of going out on a date. Hmmm.

Sigh.

So, okay...

Fact: I'm single. Haven't found the woman of my dreams yet. That's fine, no problem.

Fact: I will meet many, many, many women via my fledgling career as a massage therapist. Some young, some old, some single, some spoken for.

Fact: I'm not using massage as a *means* of meeting women, but it is an inevitability.

Fact: dating clients is unethical until six months after I've worked on them.

Fact: I would really like to avoid blowing my chances at becoming a massage therapist by dating one of my clients.

Justification: does going out to dinner constitute a "date"?

Justification: is a client who doesn't pay me considered a "client"?

Justification: if the client initiates the contact outside of the client/therapist relationship, is this unethical?

Justification: if I were to discuss these concerns of mine with R. (or any other client/dates), and they understand my position, does that alleviate the burden to not date them?

Who knows.



 
write a blog entry I will!
06.04.04 (10:12 am)   [edit]
Music playing: The Cure, "Another Journey by Train," Join the Dots

So I took my massage chair to my allergist's office this morning, at their request - I worked on three people, but was hoping to work on six. I haven't really done any chair work since the seated massage workshop back in March, so I suppose it was good practice.

I caught myself in a no-no moment, though: I was working on this woman, massaging her arm, and I found myself thinking, "I'm bored." This really struck me - I realized that's a pattern with me. I get bored *so* easily, and frequently think about the next thing I can do. Oh, I can't wait until I can leave work and go home and play piano. Oh, I can't wait to stop playing piano and play Age of Mythology. I can't wait to stop playing AoM and give that massage I have scheduled for tonight. I can't wait until this massage is over and I can go to bed.

Kinda made me think of Yoda's line: "Never his mind on where he was! Hmm? What he was doing!"

The really odd thing is that I really do honestly *enjoy* giving massages...why was I drifting so badly this morning? It may have just been fatigue (I was up way too early), coupled with a little disappointment that I didn't get to work on more people this morning. I also think I don't like chair massage as much as table - they're too brief, not deep enough, etc.

Still, I need to learn to focus more on what I'm doing in the *moment*, and not just thinking about what's next. And honestly, I don't do it that often - I do it at work a lot, but not when I'm giving massages - only in rare occasions when I'm really tired or working on someone who smells bad (which thankfully hasn't been a big problem yet).

I am definitely fatigued today...had to be up at 5 in order to make it to my allergist's by 7:30 (well, without being rushed), and I kind of tossed and turned last night.

Music playing: nothing as I'm on a goddamn boring conference call in which someone keeps trying to blame the network for a problem which is clearly not a network problem.



 
visions of sugarplums...
06.03.04 (11:39 am)   [edit]
Music playing: Belle & Sebastian, "Seeing Other People," If You're Feeling Sinister

Had an interesting conversation with N. last night, the Mexican girl I've gone out with a couple of times. We'd made a plan to buy a "Buddy Christ" statue and put it on the dashboard of her roommate's car. It finally arrived in the mail the other day, so I emailed her to let her know. She emailed back and asked if I wanted to help her host a dinner party next week. Sure, why not, sounds fun albeit frightening - I'm not good in small-group situations.

So I called her on her cell phone to talk about the plan, and as soon as I get her on the phone she starts sobbing hysterically. I get her to calm down and tell me what's going on. Turns out she's sobbing over the fact that there's something wrong with her brake pedal (not the brakes themselves, just the pedal), and apparently the mechanic she took her car to keeps screwing up and breaking things rather than fixing the original problem. And she's *sobbing* over this. I'm sitting there thinking "You're kind of over-reacting, aren't you?" But of course I didn't say that. I just tried to get her to focus on her options: take the car somewhere else, demand her money back from the original place, and call the Better Business Bureau.

I couldn't help but think about that all evening...I definitely would not want to be with someone who broke down and *cried* when dealing with these non-life-or-death situations. However, as I was in the midst of raining down judgment on N.'s weaknesses, I thought "Hey, BJ, are you the master of level-headed responses to minor inconveniences?" The unfortunate answer is no. I yell, I swear, I berate other people, I've even been known to put my hand or foot through drywall on occasion. This bull has a temper, I'll never deny that. I suppose on the whole, it's better to be someone who breaks down and cries in the face of stress rather than someone who gets violent.

One of my female co-workers went to see one of my female classmates for a massage last night...they ended up spending quite a bit more time together than just the massage. (No, it's not a lesbian thing.) I'm thinking of inviting both the classmate (and her bf) and my co-worker to this dinner party N. wants to hold.

My social skills are extremely lacking. I don't know how to small-talk with people. It bores the crap out of me and I'm not sure how to overcome that. I also don't have much in common with a lot of people - I sort of exist in my own little bubble world and that's that. Kinda tired of that.

Music playing: The Cure, "Jumping Someone Else's Train," Boys Don't Cry

 
My Deep Dark Psychosis (by Kenner)
06.02.04 (11:52 am)   [edit]
Music playing: Billy Bragg, "Honey, I'm a Big Boy Now," Talking with the Taxman about Poetry

A classmate of mine asked me this morning why I'm interested in prenatal massage. I said, "Long story." She said she hoped to hear it some day. I emailed her a few minutes ago, and I figure the email might make for good bloggin'.

When I was 8 or 9 years old, my big sister Kathie was diagnosed with cervical cancer (she was 18 or 19 at the time). It was obviously a pretty scary time and I didn't really know what was going on, but I knew enough to know it had something to do with her "girl parts" and that was about it. The part that I remember most vividly was that first day, when she got the news from her doc. My mom had driven her to the appointment, and being 8 or 9 I went pretty much everywhere my mom went, so I was with Kathie in the car on the way home. She was crying all the way home, and when we got home she ran to her bedroom and cried the rest of the night. And it wasn't that boo-hoo kind of crying, either - she was *screaming* out of mortal fear that she was going to die (and obviously she had good reason to think that). As it turned out, her doc later performed cryosurgery and cut away the cancerous tissue from her cervix, and she's fine. But I sat there on her bed with her that first day, and just watched her screaming, and couldn't do anything to help her. Unfortunately, no one sat down with me and explained what exactly was going on, so I took that memory and buried it niiiiiiiiiiiiiiice and deep, like any 8 or 9-year-old kid does when he's facing something he doesn't understand.

Fast-forward to freshman year of high school. I started having these rather significant problems with the idea of childbirth. The whole idea tormented me - why would anyone want to do that? Why would any man want to be a part of that whole process? How can a man do that to a woman in good conscience? I talked with my friends about it - they thought I was nuts, a) for even thinking about it at the age of 14, and b) for being at all concerned about it, being male. I talked with people at my church (back when I went) - they thought I was nuts too, saying that painful childbirth is part of God's plan (see Genesis 3:16) and that I should just accept it. No one took this problem of mine seriously, but it was a serious problem. I would cry myself to sleep some nights. If I was watching a TV show or movie and a birth scene came on, I would freak out. The weirdest thing is that I would torment *myself* - I would go to libraries and bookstores and look up all the books on childbirth - I'd look at all the nasty, ugly pictures. I'd start sweating, I'd start shaking, I'd feel like I was going to throw up. Why I kept on doing that, I don't know. This went on for about six years.

Fast-forward to sophmore year of college. My sister (who'd been happily married for a few years) announces she's pregnant. Fabulous, just what I need - my biggest fear right in my own family. Luckily her due date was in mid-January, so I figured I'd be safely away at college when the "big day" came. My luck held, for once, and Steven was born January 20, 1993. My dad called me up and said "Well, you're an uncle now!" I said "Great." He said, "Do you want to go in on some flowers for your sister?" I said (and I can't believe I said this), "Dad, you know I can't do that." I couldn't be happy about this. Childbirth was not a thing to celebrate, in my mind.

But, a couple of months passed and I started making an effort to get into my role as an uncle - I figured nothing horrible had happened, and since everyone seemed happy, I may as well make an effort to not be a complete killjoy. So I finally went home one weekend, and I saw my sister sitting there, holding Steven, and she was happy, and everyone else was happy too. So okay, I can deal with this.

We proceeded to have a fairly normal family weekend, doing our usual family thing (albeit with a new addition). At one point, my mom was talking about going somewhere, and said something like "you'll have to drive, though, what with Kathie not being allowed to drive and all."

I said "What? Not *allowed* to drive?" My mom visibly winced and said, "Well, Bradley, there are some things about Steven's birth that you don't know about." I can't stand not being in the know, so I made her tell me - besides, I'd read all sorts of nasty tales from those fucking books I read over the past six years, I figured there was nothing I hadn't heard. My mom told me that Steven had been born via c-section after Kathie was in labor for two days, because of *the surgery she had had for her cervical cancer.*

All those memories I had pushed down came flooding to the surface like some psychological Old Faithful - I'm actually quite surprised I didn't faint right then and there. I just stood there stunned for a minute, and then said "Oh...yeah. I remember that."

So I went back to school with this new memory, but I wasn't even remotely cured of my problem. I fell back into my old routine of going to the library and looking at all the nasty pictures in the childbirth books. One day, I was looking through this one book (don't ask me the title - it didn't really matter after a while), and I saw a picture: this woman was in a hospital, people in masks standing all around, IV needes sticking in her arms, and her arms were *strapped* down to the table. Nasty, evil picture that elicited my typical reaction: sweating, shaking, nausea, etc. I flipped the page and saw another picture: a woman giving birth in her bedroom, on her knees, in her husband's arms, her midwife standing a few feet away. The woman was sweating a lot and obviously working hard, but I got *slightly less sick* looking at this picture than the previous one. I noticed that difference and jumped all over it: why was this picture more palatable than the other one? The difference was pretty obvious: the latter picture was a home birth.

I started researching home birth with a vengeance - you'd have thought I was a med student or something. I read everything I could get my hands on about it, and for the first time in my entire life, I could see myself actually having kids of my own. Everyone who I'd ever talked to about this problem of mine would inevitably say "But it's such a *natural* thing!" Well, the pictures I looked at said otherwise. Now, I was finally able to equate "childbirth" with "natural," and it just made sense to me.

Now, it took me a while to figure out why home birth was okay to me, but I've since figured it out: when my sister was all freaked out about her cervical cancer, I sat on her bed and watched her screaming. I felt completely *helpless.* When freshman year hit and I started thinking more and more about the realities of childbirth, I felt the exact same feeling of helplessness, and I'm pretty sure most men feel this way - they just don't talk about it because childbirth is erroneously believed (by both genders) to be a "woman's thing" in which men play a distant-secondary or even disposable role.

I still feel this way, and I still go out of my way to avoid seeing any movies or TV shows that have birth scenes in them - I still haven't seen Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl for this exact reason. I'm pretty much continually bombarded by childbirth imagery (count how many TV commercials you see that feature a pregnant woman, and you'll see what I mean), and I to this day have a hard time dealing with it. So, in August, I finally broke down and saw a therapist. I didn't think that seeing a therapist in itself would "cure" me of this problem, since I'm pretty good at analyzing myself. I went to see him because I wanted to know if I needed a) drugs or b) any specific form of therapy for my problem. He said neither were really necessary. However, he did say that what I needed to do was get more *involved,* and that would help alleviate my feelings of helplessness. I agreed, and told him that I've thought about becoming a prenatal yoga instructor (I'd love to teach classes for couples), and that I plan on writing a book on home birth for men after I've had my own. He suggested maybe getting into massage therapy - something I hadn't thought of before. I started looking into schools, started saving up as much money as I could, and voila - here I am.

Will I be disappointed if I don't become a successful prenatal massage therapist? Yeah, a little...I mean if nothing else, I'll be able to alleviate my own partner's discomfort, but since that's the primary motivation for taking this course, I'd like to achieve some level of success with it. I'm really enjoying massage therapy in general, though - I think taking this course was a great idea and it's something I'd like to become successful with in general, not just in a prenatal aspect. I was very concerned before the class started that my gender would get in the way of people accepting me as a prenatal massage therapist and actually coming to see me for my services - I'm still expecting a bit of resistance, but I guess I'll just have to prove myself in that arena.

Music playing: Rush, "The Analog Kid," Signals

 
god *wants* me to write this entry
05.31.04 (3:44 am)   [edit]
Music playing: nothing. It's 7am and L. is still sleeping.

From my Lycos horoscope (which is arguably the standard by which all other astrologers are measured): "Speak up today; your friends are waiting to hear about what is happening. You might feel there is no news to report, but you are such an insider that just casual descriptions of what you see every day will excite everyone else."

Hence this entry.

So let's see. On Saturday, after L. arrived, we went out for sushi and decided to go play games with geeks at Underworld. Turns out Arborweb lied about which night was their "free game night" - it's Monday. But I got to chat with the guy behind the counter and picked up a copy of the D&D Player's Handbook - no, I'm not thinking of getting into D&D again, but I think it'd be a lot of fun to make up some educational, kid-friendly scenarios for my niece and nephew.

Afterwards, we stopped at Pinball Pete's, and after kicking L.'s ass at air hockey, I fell in love. No, not with her - with this awesome game they have. It's essentially a drum kit hooked up to a large screen that plays tunes and tells you when to hit one of the six electronic percussion instruments in the kit - there's a high-hat, a snare, a high and low tom, a cymbal, and a foot pedal for a bass drum. I must've spent at least six bucks on that game that night. Mucho fun. I'm not sure how effective a replacement it is for buying a *real* drum kit (which I would very much like to do), but it's a good time nonetheless. Oh, and I also ran into one of my clients from PP while I was there - she was there with some guy who didn't look quite like her type, but who am I to judge?

On Sunday, S. from class came over for a trade. She was okay - needs to lift weights though. L. and I made omlettes, then went out and bought rollerblades. We went to Buhr Park (after many hours of searching, despite having passed right by it early on in our drive - I realize now that Eisenhower merges into Packard, and that makes all the difference) and skated at the skate park there. There were all these teenage kids there, and they were pretty funny - I think they were slightly impressed that this far-out old man wasn't afraid to strap on some skates and get out there. Of course, I didn't spend nearly as much time on the ramps and whatnot as they did, but it was still fun and I do plan on going back.

L. and I hit Pinball Pete's again, then came home. I did the biggest load of laundry I've ever done in my life (all the used sheets from PP were still waiting), and then we went out and got movies and ice cream. We watched "Spellbound" and "Cannibal the Musical" last night. Yes, I cried during Spellbound. Sue me.

Music playing: Trey Parker, "It's a Shpadoinkle Day," Cannibal sdtk.

 
what would Freud say...
05.29.04 (5:22 pm)   [edit]
Music playing: Milton Banana Trio, "Tigresa," Tipo Exportacao

As I was driving to the PP clinic this morning to give massages, a sudden realization hit me that had me laughing for a good ten minutes:

When I write erotica (which is rare, but I do, and it's good), I typically write a) from a woman's perspective, and b) using fairly technical terms. I never write how he "thrusts his throbbing member into her moist pussy," I write that he inserts his penis into her vagina. (It's better than it sounds...you'll just have to trust me on that.) Now, the question of why I write from a woman's perspective...well, it's just more interesting that way - I know what sex feels like for me, and I prefer to spend my erotica-writing time wondering what it feels like for *her*.

But the second point - why do I write in such technical terms? This one's eluded me for a while, but I haven't really given it much thought. It hit me during my drive this morning, though.

When I was young and enduring the painful process of learning about sex from my parents (typically Mom), she would use very *precise* terms, as I assume parents and other educators typically would. Since the bulk of my sexual education came from "offical" people (like parents and health class teachers) and less from fellow guys (who I never really cared to talk with), I think I've pretty much adopted my sexual terminology from them.

I remember two occasions in particular: once, when I had the misfortune to watch "Police Academy" with my parents in the room, the scene came on where Georgina Spelvin hides under the podium and gives George Gaines a blow job. I was maybe 11 or so, and my mom decided to use the opportunity to embarrass the fuck out of me by asking, "Do you know what she's doing under there?" I played dumb, of course, which may have been the unwise course of action, since my mother decided she had to explain it to me in great detail. "It's called oral sex, and it feels good and it's an okay thing to do." Very sex-positive, thanks Mom. The second occasion came up when my mom and dad and I went to the local grocery store, and Dad ran in to the video store next door. Mom and I were out in the car, and I made the mistake of asking what Dad was doing in the video store. Mom said, "Well, your father is renting an X-rated video for he and I to view after you have gone to bed." Shouldn't have asked.

But I couldn't help but think of those occasions...my mom definitely did the right thing in both instances (and I admit I'll probably do the same thing and humiliate the crap out of my kids too), and even though I didn't necessarily *learn* anything from her about sex, I did pick up on the very precise language she used.

Thanks, Mom. When I become a rich and famous erotica author, I'll dedicate my first anthology to you. Posthumously.

The massages went well today...did four - the last girl chickened out on me! She met me in the hall but was a little early, so I asked if she could come back in 10 minutes (I had to eat my lunch), and then someone else came in and said she didn't want the massage anymore! I wondered if my deodorant had failed me or something. I saw her later after I had packed up, and I said "You chicken out on me?" with a wink. She said yeah, and hemmed and hawed a bit, but then later said "If I don't have a hangover next week...." I said, "Ahhh...is that the truth I hear? It sounds just a little different than the rest of what you're saying..." She and the other woman with us were laughing. Two of the massages today were Reflexology - interesting. I was falling asleep while giving one of them, but during the second one, the client was more talkative and curious about what was going on, and I enjoyed talking with her - she was interesting.

No.

Music playing: Milton Banana Trio, "Ao Meu Amigo Joao," Tipo Exportacao

 
don't be gay, Sparky!
05.28.04 (9:18 am)   [edit]
Music playing: Julee Cruise, "Into the Night," Twin Peaks sdtk.

Ever since people started coming to my apartment to receive massages, I've become hyper-aware of how my apartment presents to people - the look of it, the smell of it, the temperature, noise level, etc. My mother would be so proud - I vacuum more now than I ever have, dust frequently, and I scrub my bathroom and kitchen regularly.

All my life, I've been perceived as being gay. I'm definitely not, and not for a lack of experimenting, either. It's just not something that does anything for me. I'm just not a stereotypical "guy" in many ways. The former tenant of my apartment *is* gay, and although this doesn't really affect me at all (he's really quite a funny guy), the one thing that remains from his residence in what is now my apartment is this rainbow-colored light outside the front door. I think it's kind of cool-looking, despite my color-blindness, so I have no desire to replace it.

So this morning, I'm standing in my kitchen baking cookies, front door and windows open, rainbow light shining outside, and Depeche Mode blaring on my stereo. *Old* Depeche Mode. Like Vince Clarke's Depeche Mode. Like "Boys Say Go"/"What's Your Name"-era stuff. I just started *laughing* at how "gay" the whole scene must have appeared. And I can't say that I didn't care - I switched off the DM and deleted the whole Speak & Spell album from the playlist - but I didn't stop baking my cookies, and the rainbow light still shines bright. People who judge other people by their conformity to stereotypes should be taken out and shot. I bake cookies, cry at movies, give massages, listen to the Pet Shop Boys and like pussy - get used to it.

Speaking of whom...

Music playing: Pet Shop Boys, "My October Symphony," Behaviour

 
page of cups
05.27.04 (10:37 am)   [edit]
Music playing: Enigma, "Page of Cups," Voyageur

A's response to my "commercial" is as follows: "Initially hilarious...residually offensive." Not sure what exactly she took offense to, but since I have such a huge crush on her, I'm taking it way too seriously and over-analyzing her comments.

I'm really looking forward to my Saturday at Planned Parenthood again...I like giving massages there. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a correlation between my working there and the foul mood I've been in all week - all the time I sit here, I think to myself that I could be out giving massages, which I love to do. But instead, I'm sitting inside dealing with this crap. I spoke with a graduate of the school about her post-grad experience and how she's still working as a social worker because she doesn't want to get burned-out on massage. I understand this and am very aware of my own feelings about it, but I think I'm going through this Andy-Kaufman-esque fixation on my body and more *physical* activities than mental, and I kind of welcome an opportunity to be in a job where I'm forced to do more physical labor. Maybe I'll get lucky and die of leukemia when I'm 36 too. (Wow, really nihilistic of you there, beej.)

Things to do:

1) switch my Cingular cell phone to a 734 area code number (it's still 248...causes confusion)

2) print up business cards (w/ new cell phone number)

So I'm on the phone with Cingular as I write. Problem is, my reception at my new apartment, for some reason, sucks ass. I'm thinking of switching to Sprint simply because my damn on-call phone from work is a Sprint and it picks up the Sprint signal just FINE.

Okay, number changed - no, I'm not posting it here, ya telemarketers. So now I can go get cards printed up.

Okay BJ, start thinking like someone *with* common sense for once. Isn't it a little early to be thinking of handing out business cards? No, not really, because I'll be able to start charging at the end of July - may as well start building that client base now. Besides, people are already asking for my contact information. Okay, so who are you going to hand these cards out to? Whoever asks for one. You're not going to just walk up to strangers and hand them one, are you? No, of course not - I'm too shy to do that anyway. I may post them on public bulletin boards if there are other business cards, but that's about it. No leaving them on coffee shop tables either, right? Right.

What about the pregnancy massage issue? I plan on making it a specialty and noting it on my card (along with shiatsu and reflexology), but I haven't had *any* training on it yet, not even a lecture. Might be premature to put that on a card. Yeah, I'll leave that off for now.

Lunchtime.

Music playing: They Might Be Giants, "Subliminal," John Henry

 
robots in disguise
05.26.04 (1:52 pm)   [edit]
Music playing: Bach, "Aria" from the Goldberg Variations, performed by Glenn Gould

I have noticed this week that I've been in a pretty consistently foul mood while sitting here at work. I'm tired of problems that are not network-related that other people expect me to get involved in, I'm tired of other people not stepping up to the plate and being part of a *team*, I'm tired of the fucking change control process and how it reflects badly on me when someone else doesn't like the way I engineer a change and the change gets delayed...the list goes on and on. I even have gripes about the parking lot.

Had yet another interesting morning in class...T. was talking with me rather loudly about A., and used the phrase "I like her too." Uh, the "too" is kind of a giveaway there. I kinda winced. Like I said, kind of a bigmouth. A. came in and I showed her the four books on pregnancy massage I'd bought, and let her borrow one. While she and I were talking, clownboy came up and interrupted us by trying to arrange a trade with A. She made up an excuse not to. Before he let her go, he used his trademark line: "Did you want to pair up today?" This was before class even got started, of course, and I of course had not asked her if she wanted to pair up. She had little choice but to say yes. After clownboy left, I said to her, "If he ever asks if you have a partner, you're welcome to point at me." Turned out we were split up into triplets, one person giving, one person receiving, and the third critiquing the giver. So A. and clownboy teamed up with a woman who had dropped in from the night class, and as it turned out, A. didn't get to have clownboy work on her - which she confided in me was kind of disappointing, since she wanted to "see if he had improved, for some sick and twisted reason." Well, after the day was done, A. said to me, "I think there's something like seriously wrong with him, like, genetically." She didn't go into detail, but I've emailed her asking for details of her day. I was paired with W. and S. and having a good old time. I think W.'s starting to get a little tired of my perverted comments, though...she was working on S.'s glutes, and said something like "That's just called butt muscle mashing." I said, "But enough about your college years." She said, "There is a line, BJ." I'll make an effort to scale back around her.

I'm wondering if I should have a talk with my HR guy here at work about my annoyances. I mean, EDS offered my $77k at the same time that my current employer offered me $69k. Of course, living in Ann Arbor makes up for the difference, but I was so desperate to get out of EDS that I didn't mention their offer to my current employer when we were still negotiating salary. I'm a fool, I know, but I was desperate to get out of EDS and took whatever my current employer offered without haggling over it.

Sometimes I just want to go buy a few acres of land and live off the things I can grow on it. To hell with all this technological crap we think we need to survive. I'd be in better physical and emotional shape, at least.

(Very "Fight Club," I know...)

Music playing: Hadyn, Piano Sonata No. 59, performed by Glenn Gould

 
The Brooklyn Institute for Massadge Terapy
05.25.04 (12:04 pm)   [edit]
[Open on a shot of "Vinnie," dressed in a white suit, sitting on a couch, flanked by Amber and Shane. Amber is white trash, holds a cigarette in her left hand, and stares blankly into the camera. There is a not-too-modern phone at her side. Shane is dressed as a slut, tube top and spandex. She files her nails as Vinnie speaks in an irresponsibly thick Brooklyn accent.]

VINNIE: Hey yo, my name's Vinnie, and I'm the director of the Brooklyn Institute for Massadge Terapy. Would you like to become a bona-fide massadge terapist? Many people aspire to this universal dream. And now you can too. For just eight large, myself and my team of bona-fide massage terapists will teach you the skills you need to become a successful and prosperous massadge terapist. Just listen to some of our satisfied customers.

[Cut to shot of two DRUGGIE girls, featuring the comedy duo of Wendy and Tomi. Wendy has wildly dialated pupils and appears to be staring at objects that only she can see, whereas Tomi wears thick dark sunglasses, and giggles the whole time, covering her hand with her mouth.]

WENDY: Yeah...massage really takes you to another place...(stares off into space)...ooh!...(laughs slightly)...yeah...I usually drop a tab before I...(drifts off again)...(notices the light on the camera)...wow, that's an awesome red light...(drifts off again)...what were we talking about again?

(Tomi stops giggling for a moment, picks up a paper bag and a can of Pam cooking spray, and begins spraying it into the bag.)

[Cut to Matt, dressed in full clown garb, sitting on a curb looking like he's had a bit of a rough day. He smokes a cigarette and is shot in profile.]

MATT: Yeah, I usually go have my back worked on...those kids climbing all over me all day...those fuckin' kids...(takes a drag on his cigarette)...are we done? I gotta take a piss.

[Cut to Rebecca, dressed in her Catholic schoolgirl uniform, standing in a bare room a la those trashy Calvin Klein ads that didn't run for too long...]

VINNIE (off-camera): What's your name, dollface?

REBECCA (nervous and giggly): Um...Rebecca.

VINNIE: And how old are you, Rebecca?

(Rebecca mouths "seventeen" while an obviously-not-Rebecca's-voice is heard in voice-over saying "Eighteen.")

VINNIE: Yeah, that's a good age, good age. So tell me, Rebecca, have you ever had a professional massadge before?

REBECCA: Um...no.

VINNIE: Well you know, Rebecca, I just happen to have my professional massadge table right here with me, I could give you a professional massadge right now.

(Vinnie picks up a folding card table and stands in front of Rebecca, with his back to the camera.)

REBECCA: Um... (backs up a step)

(Vinnie extends one of the legs of the folding card table in a suggestive manner.)

VINNIE (to someone behind the camera): Hey, turn the camera off.

[Cut back to Vinnie, Amber and Shane sitting on their couch. Shane has stopped filing her nails and is now rubbing her thighs subtly but suggestively.]

VINNIE: Why not give us a call today, and make an appointment for a professional massadge? And guys, when I say "professional massadge," I mean just that - don't expect to be coming down her expecting to get your knob polished, 'cuz it ain't gonna happen. We don't do that kind of thing down here.

SHANE: I do.

(Vinnie looks at Shane. Amber tilts her deadpan expression over Shane's way. They look at her for two beats, then look back at the camera.)

VINNIE: Okay, Shane does. But don't even think about it. So give us a call today - 1-800-massadge [the number flashes on the screen: 1-800-MASS-ADG], where my lovely assistant Amber lies in wait to take your call.

(Shane has crossed her left leg over her right...and over Vinnie's left.)

VINNIE (cont.): Yeah, I know "massadge" is spelled wrong in the number...there's an E at the end, but numbers is only seven letters, whaddya gonna do?

(Shane is now showing her gluteus maximus to the camera and is rubbing it suggestively.)

VINNIE: Give us a cawl.



 
an open letter to the anti-abortion-rights activists who stand outside the Planned Parenthood clinic
05.24.04 (4:01 pm)   [edit]
To any pro-life activist who may read this:

I?m a student of massage therapy. I am here at the Planned Parenthood clinic to provide free massages to the hard-working staff of the facility. One day I thought about the work that the people here do, and how stressful it must be. I thought about what it must be like having to tell a young woman that she?s pregnant, or has HIV or some other sexually-transmitted diseases. Some people have jobs that require them to deal with difficult people, or work in dangerous environments. The employees of the Planned Parenthood clinic have to tell people their lives have just permanently changed.

So I decided to come to the clinic and do what I could to make their day a little less stressful. The first time I came to the clinic was a Friday morning, and my way into the parking lot was clear. The second time, pro-life activists (perhaps yourself) were standing in the road waving at cars to stop, which I did. After I told the young woman with the ?pro-life? t-shirt that I was there to give massages to the staff, she waved me on through.

And then I proceeded to give massages for the next five hours at the clinic. And all that time, I thought about the people standing outside the clinic. I also thought about the work that I was personally doing inside the clinic.

And then I thought about Jesus.

I thought about how Jesus regularly ate with sinners. I thought about how Jesus put himself inbetween an adulterous woman and those who would have stoned her to death. I thought about how Jesus healed the ear of a Roman Centurion who had come to arrest and crucify him.

And then I thought about me, and I thought about you.

I spent my day serving the employees of the clinic. I did what I could to give them a brief respite from their very stressful work ? work that many low-income men and women depend on. I showed them that someone out there appreciated what they do and encouraged them to continue.

And what did you do? Stood outside and rained down judgment and wrath on the employees and clients.

Now I ask you - which would Jesus do?


 
schiess dem Fenster
05.24.04 (12:45 pm)   [edit]
Music playing: Bach, "Partita No. 4," performed by Glenn Gould

What a weekend. What a day. Where to start.

So after the CPR class yesterday (which felt remarkably like drinking from a firehose), my mom and sister came over and I gave them massages. My sister didn't stop talking the whole time, which is pretty characteristic of her. They left at about 8:30pm, and I picked up my cell phone to see that N. had called and left me a voicemail. I called her back and asked if she wanted to get together. Mind you, I'm on the verge of collapse *anyway.* Still, I went over to her place, and we drove around A2 for a bit before getting ice cream at Stucci's and coffee at Starbucks. We discussed the idea of buying a "Buddy Christ" dashboard statue for her roommate who recently sold his truck to get a tiny Nissan, in order to save money and one day get a Corvette. I let her borrow "Dogma" since she hadn't seen it before, but I showed her the Buddy Christ scene first. I got to bed at 11pm.

Got up this morning and went to class. For some reason I was suddenly inspired to speak in a very loud and obnoxious Brooklyn accent that made everyone crack up - in particular, my use of the word "massadge." I got 100% on the muscle quiz we took today - I'm pretty happy about that. Then we paired up to do a "shiatsu review." Our class isn't too keen on shiatsu (except for S., who's a space cadet anyway), but we put on our happy faces and paired up. I was making a conscious effort to choose someone other than A., but the people I was going to ask jumped the gun and paired up with others before I had a chance. So, what the hell, I paired up with A. once again.

I have never laughed as hard or as long as I did today with A. We're both fairly perverse-minded people and tend to not hide it from each other, so we're usually cracking jokes back and forth with each other. At one point, we were doing these "Makko-ho" stretches for the fingers and hands, and they involve pulling up and down on the fingers one at a time. We're all working on our left hands, and I look over and see A. working on her right hand. I say in my best schoolmistress voice, "That's not your *left* hand, A." Still holding on to the finger she's stretching, she tilts her right hand up and flips me off. I start laughing hysterically, and I don't stop for a good ten minutes. I'm laughing so hard that I'm crying and sweating. I simply could not stop, and it was making everyone else in the class crack up just listening to me dying over there in the corner. A. was laughing her ass off too, even to the point of her nose chronically running.

Eventually I calmed down (for the most part...a few aftershocks here and there), and A. and I started our shiatsu trade. I mentioned the class presentations that we're doing in the next month or so (they haven't even officially told us we're doing them yet, so we're way ahead of ourselves here) - the general theme of the presentations is "alternative medicine," and there's a prescribed list of topics you can choose from (herbal medicine, yoga, some other ones). I asked A. if she'd like to join me in requesting permission to do a presentation on midwife-assisted home childbirth with me (and probably a couple of others). She said yes, absolutely, and I mentioned the four books I recently bought on the subject. A.'s sister is a midwife, too, so she'd be an excellent resource for us. I'm really hoping they'll let us present this topic - it's something I'm really interested in, and I'd be working someone I'd obviously have a good time with.

A's boyfriend had better be another James Fucking Bond, that's all I have to say.

When I go home tonight, I am going to sweat. When I get up tomorrow morning, I am going to sweat. When I get up the morning after that, I am going to sweat. I am going to sweat every day for the rest of my life.

I'm not doing this for A. I'm doing it for me.

Music playing: Tears for Fears, "Listen," Songs from the Big Chair

 
told you so
05.22.04 (2:47 pm)   [edit]
Music playing: Depeche Mode, "Dream On," Exciter

I bagged *six* massages today. I'm quite tired, but not as burned out as I thought I'd be by this point.

Met an interesting girl at PP (you knew this was coming...) - her name's A., and she's actually Saudi Arabian, born in Pakistan. She's like four-foot-nothing, 25 years old, and cute as a button. She has the most lovely dark skin - she even made sure to make me wash my hands before I gave her a facial massage, because she didn't want any "oil" on her face (it's lotion, but okay). She was funny as hell - she was by far the most excited about getting a massage as anyone on the staff, and she *ran* down the hall towards the room I was in when it was her turn. She was very enthusiastic about seeing me again for another massage...let's see how enthusiastic she is when she actually has to *pay* for it. I'm really curious about her and want to know more - I know, I know, gotta be ethical and professional about it. She did give me her phone number, though.

Would I want to date a woman from a foreign country again? Dunno. She said one of her hobbies is "shopping," which is typically a red flag for me. Reminds me of Pai Mei's line: "All you Yankee women know how to do is order in restaurants and spend a man's money!" Got news for ya, Pai, it ain't just the Yankee women who have that skill nailed.

So anyway, now I'm tired. Gonna go nap. Tomorrow I've got a trade with S. at 10am, then CPR class from 1 to 5. Might talk A. (the obsession A.) into trading with me after class. We'll see. I don't think I really *need* to set up any more trades, as I'm pretty sure my weekends at PP will more than take care of them. I dunno.

Music playing: Depeche Mode, "Leave in Silence," A Broken Frame

 
nothing new
05.20.04 (1:27 pm)   [edit]
Music playing: Bach, "The Well-Tempered Clavier, Fugue No. 8," performed by Glenn Gould

A thankfully not-very-nerve-wracking day at work...just a lot of cleanup of all the minor stuff that got back-burnered during the fires on Monday and Tuesday. I'm spending my free time studying back muscles - won't have much time to do it this weekend.

Here's the odd thing about me...I've been keeping a journal...know what a journal is? Back in my day, blogs were called "journals"...but anyway...so I've been journaling since 8th grade. For the last few years, I haven't kept up on it. Not sure why.

So why do people feel the need to keep journals? Dunno. I enjoy doing it, I know that much. Now, here's the 64,000-dollar question: why do people feel the need to post their innermost thoughts online? Me, I don't really care much about that aspect of it - I just like having an place for my journaling that I don't have to maintain.

(later...)

Well, I'm back from my mid-afternoon massage...it was okay, but I felt a little rushed, for two reasons: one, I knew I had to come back to work, and two, the client was a little later than I had expected. Ah well, that'll happen, and from what I understand, you're perfectly allowed to charge them the full hour even if they're late, which makes sense. It just started me thinking: I haven't done many back-to-back massages so far, so will I experience that same feeling of "hurry" that I did today, when I know that I have another client on-deck? I hope I'm able to keep it under control - I don't want to deprive a client of the minutes they're paying for just because they have someone in line behind them.

Time to play some games.

Music playing: Annie Lennox, "Bitter Pill," Bare