Category Archives: health

“Hey! Are You Sleeping?” Said The Mother.

I have two business trips coming up, the first of which takes me to Vancouver, British Columbia.  Conviently, my Mother’s house is somewhat along the way. She lives in the hell fire deserts of Palm Desert, California.

See, it’s along the way, so I make a pit stop.

Fear not, trust me, there is a blog coming about my flights from Boston to the blazing hot, scorching deserts of California.  This however, is a quicker story for my internal body temperature will not allow much more than 5,000 words….as the external temperature of the sands rise, so does the temperature on my scalp.

In fact, as I write this, it is reaching 105 degrees today in Palm Desert.  That is hotter than two mice having sex in a wool sock, next to a wood stove, in January hot.  Just saying.

The day of my flight, I got up at 4:00AM.

Arrived to the airport at 7:30 AM.

Went through TSA Pre-check screening, had my shoulder bag x-rayed twice and then searched by 8:25 AM.

Took off on my first flight by 9:45 AM.

Took off on my second flight by 1:30 PM.

Arrived to the desert at 2:30 PM.

Mind you being on the west coast, makes my life three hours behind my regular program.  Everything is confusing to me.  I convince myself to stay awake until 8:00 PM.  Then I can go and take  shower and get ready for bed.  It will be 8:30 by the time my head hits the pillow and by God, that’s close enough.

Eureka!  8:00 arrives and I couldn’t be happier.  I am off and running.  Good night Mother.  Good night two chihuahua dogs..Buddy and Tina.  See you in the morning.

By 8:35 I am in bed, lights out.

ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZz

Next thing I know, for some reason I am being woken up.  Don’t know by what.  Don’t know by whom.

I hear someone calling my name.  What the hell?  What?

I turn over and see my Mother standing by my bed.

??? Ok this is odd.

??? Why is my Mother standing next to my bed?

??? What???

??? Why is her head glowing?

??? Where the hell am I?

??? What the hell is she saying?

??? Who is dead?

??? What???

??? What the hell is she talking about?

??? Whose dead?

??? Where the hell am I and how did my Mother get here?

??? Who the hell is Tina?

??? What the hell?

At this point I figure, well if my Mother is here, I might as well follow her to see what the hell is going on.  All I can think is….who the hell is Tina?

I follow her out to the living room and my sleepy fog starts to lift…….

Ooooooohhhhh, I am at my Morher’s house.  Ok.

She’s upset. Ok.

She thinks the dog is dead.  TINA.

Ooooooooooohhhhh.

My Mother goes over to Tina’s bed and says, “TINA!  Come on! Time to get up!” And she claps her hands.

I am like, well…..the dog is deaf…..no wonder she isn’t responding….she can’t hear you.

Then my Mother grabs Tina’s head and it flops back on to the bed.

Lifeless.  No response.

Well. Shit.

Maybe, the dog is dead……not like I am an expert at these things.  So then I think, well now what?  We have a 12 pound porky Chihuahua dead in a bed.  Now what?  I ask the obvious….

“Do you have an emergency vet?”

As we stand there looking at the dog.

The Mother yells, “Wait!  Did she just breathe?”

I’m like…..lady, I barely know what state I’m in at the moment.  Could be Massachusetts or it could be California….

Mother yells, “No!  She definitely moved!  Look!”  And sure enough….Tina, the death defying, coma inducing, deep sleeping dog came rousing back to life.

With this, I bent over, put my forearms on my thighs and took some deep breaths.

SWEET JESUS!  I am going back to bed.

The Mother came and tucked me back into bed with a kiss on the forehead.  I took a look at my cell phone before going back to sleep…..it was a whopping 9:35PM.

Exhausted, I laughed….”who the hell is Tina?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relax – Can’t Do It!

Here’s the thing.  I know it’s Easter and this post should probably, if I were politically correct, to be about Jesus’ rising from the dead.

It’s not.

Rather, it’s about my massage.

A few weeks ago, I set up a make shift standing desk at work, to help eliminate some of my back pain as I can’t sit all day long.  Complete with empty boxes, reams of copier paper and old ship awards….it dawned on me.  I need a massage.

My back had been driving me crazy.  Like a third arm was trying to make it’s way out of the right side of my lower back.  It’s that damn spinal erector set muscle. Of course, if I grew an arm out of my back…literally having an arm behind your back, might be beneficial.  I don’t know of anyone who does, but it’s hard to say.  It would be good for back scratching I suppose.  And washing the back.  And maybe a back rub.  I’d rather have eyes behind my head.

The usual practice for me was to use a gadget from Brookstone called the iNeed pillow.  Four little balls go round and round.  I lean into that thing like a buffalo during a dust storm on the high plains.   Complete with the knot in my back passing over the balls like a buffalo stomping his foot to maintain an upright position.

Thump……thump…….thump……..thump…….thump.

Ahhhhh relief.  Sweet creator of the iNeed, I have relief.  Lord have mercy.

Thump……thump…….thump……..thump…….thump.

The problem doesn’t show up until the next morning when I get out of bed, stretch and think….WHAT THE HELL!  WHY IS MY BACK BRUISED? Ouch.  Ouch.  What did I do?  Then it dawns on me….I over did the iNeed.

But I really NEEDED it and NEEDED it.

Damn.

So I take a couple of weeks off from the iNeed and think to myself, I’ll go for a massage now that I can sanely touch my back without wincing from the over enthusiastic relief received from the iNeed.

One of the guys at work was talking about the massage plan at a local place and it sounded pretty good.  So I made an appointment and signed up for a massage on Saturday – let’s see what they’ve got.

My therapist was…..let’s go with Julie.  We talk about my pain, yatta, yatta and she explains how she has all these certifications and licenses in different areas and her focus is to  “work the connective tissues.”  I am keeping my fingers crossed this isn’t going to be a Rolfing session, which I’ve experienced and the Rolfing series nearly killed me.

She tells me to lay face up as she starts with reflexology first.  THAT sends me over the moon, as I love having my feet rubbed.  This is going to be great I think.  I can’t wait to fall asleep on the table.

I quickly undressed and climb under the covers where the heating pad was already warming up the bed.  She comes back in and we begin.

Rubbing my calve.  Rubbing my shin.  Rubbing my calve.  Rubbing my shin. Digging into my calve, along the shin bone.  Digging in around my ankles.  Focusing on the ankles.  Rubbing the calve.  Digging into the left side of the calve.  Digging into the right side.  This goes on for a good 7 minutes.  I’m mentally sending into the Universe; “Foot please.  Massage the foot.  Foot.  Foot.  Foot.  Foot.”  Suddenly she thumps the bottom of my foot and proceeds to the other leg.

Same routine.

I’m laying there thinking, “when does reflexology mean shins and calves?  It’s feet.”

It didn’t matter cause it still felt really good and I fell asleep for a minute.  I drifted off and started to dream about our cat Monkey.  Imagine my surprise when I jerked awake and for a brief second couldn’t remember where the hell I was.

Dark room with amber colored light and asian music playing.  WTF?

Of course, the other thing I’ve come to realize about going for a massage is, they need to make these rooms bigger.  You’re there to relax, destress, get your connective tissue back in line – and being jostled by the therapist moving the stool around doesn’t work.

You’re in the zen zone and then bump, shake, shake, scuffle, screech.  Don’t worry, just the therapist moving the stool around to work on your head.  Awesome.

The other part of my personality is I’m not a touchy feel person.  Never have been and don’t anticipate I ever will be.  Nothing against anyone.  I’m not a toucher.   Even public transportation is difficult for me due to limited personal space.  It’s just me.

I like wearing an imaginary hula-hoop.  Please stay outside that hoop unless I invite you into the trusted ring of space.  Very few people get an invitation.  Those of you that have, know who you are and don’t press their luck with the personal space thing.  I thank you for that.

Julie begins to work on my neck and shoulders, while I’m still face up.  Deep breath in….and OOOOOOUUUUUUUUUTTTTTT.  Okay.  Then she is breathing with me.  OUUUUT.  Breathing on me.  On my face.  OUUUT.

Oh lord.  This doesn’t work for me.

OOUUTT.

Going to my happy place.  Small fuzzy animals.  Snuggly little critters.  Happy.  Happy. Happy.

OOOUUUUT.

Well, at least she had minty breath.  Could have been worse.

Next it’s time to flip over to my stomach.  Safe zone!  Thank you!

Fine.  Here we go with the back.  Finally.

Then what’s that sound?  Rumble, rumble.  Rattle.  It continues.  It’s metal and something moving around.  Not a laundry machine.  No a cart going down the hallway.

Rumble.  Slide.  Shake.

Sounds like the air duct.  It’s just the air duct vent.  I’m sure of it.  I forget about it for a while.  Then it’s back.

Sounds now like something scraping against metal.  Whirling against metal.  Scampering against metal.

Dear heavens above, so help me if an animal comes shooting out of the air duct like some act on America’s Got Talent where they’re shot out of a cannon.  Now, as Julie massages the connective tissue in my back, with her elbow….all I can imagine is what the hell that noise is that is actually competing with the gentle spa music.

Could be an animal in the duct.

Could be workers upstairs.

Could be Mission Impossible Agent taking photos of Julie cause she’s wanted by the CIA.

Could be the air vent.

Could be someone in the hall doing something with a metal bookcase – like dancing with it.

Could be an animal in the duct.

Could be an artist studio upstairs and they’re working with a buzz saw.

Could be an animal in the duct….pretending to be a Mission Impossible Agent.

.

.

.

.

I don’t ask and I don’t want to know.  Julie doesn’t seem concerned, so neither am I, except I am pretty sure there could be an animal trapped up there in the duct.

FLASH BACK:  Years ago, when I lived in Seattle, I knew a bird managed to fall into our bathroom vent.  You know, the one you turn on when taking a shower, so it makes noise like it’s removing steam…but it doesn’t really?

Nobody believed me.  Finally.  I had to get maintenance to come in and look – as I was certain.  Yep.  There was a bird.  Told you it smelled like chicken

RETURN:

By the end of the massage the Secret Agent Critter in the air duct has gone away and I’m unable to ask about the noise.   Darn it.  However,  I did sign up for the massage plan.   I’ll see her again in two weeks….reflexology here I come….cue the Mission Impossible music.

 

 

 

 

 

New Gynecologist – One Way to Start Your Day.

When you move, you need lots of new things.

New house keys.
New way to get to work.
New utility company.
New curtains.
New stuff in general.

You also get the bonus, if moving far enough away from your current location,
a new cha-cha doctor.

I’m not talking about a dance instructor either.

First of all, the one thing I can’t get over in my mind, is
WHY?
WHY?
W H Y?
Would a man want to be a gynecologist?

It’s not like the female nether-region is a beautiful thing to look at.

Who wants to look at those?

All.
Day.
Long?

After his 50th one, would he not be bored?

No doubt, the next time his lover wants to strip down and have a passionate love making session……he is going to have one of several thoughts:

Eh, I’ve seen better.
Ugh, I don’t want to see another one.
Wow, if they were all as lovely as yours.

I don’t get it.
Which is why I always go with the female gyno.

Besides, she gets the whole concept of having a coochie.

Thank you.

So today I started my day with a visit to my new obgyn.
Excellent. Can’t wait.

First off, I tried to find someone close to my office.
Check. Under 6 miles away, however in Boston that could still be 30 minutes of travel time.

Second, had to be female.
Check.

Third, had to have a good reputation.
Check.

Fourth, I had to be able to pronounce their name.
Check.

There is nothing worse than someone saying, “What’s the name of your doctor?” And the only thing you can say is, “Well, it starts with a SK….”

I turn on my WAZE app – and The Terminator – directs me to the front door of the new doctor’s office. He avoids traffic congestion so I traveled this morning through some neighborhoods that were overflowing with mansions. Tiny, winding, two lanes, through the woods kind of area….and enormous….gargantuan homes. Big enough to hold a medium sized fortress of warriors if necessary. Beautiful.

The downside to this morning’s drive is that I had NO IDEA where I was going and I’m sure the people behind me were very much screaming, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?” I’m literally dazed and confused.

Sorry folks, keep calm, I’ll make up my mind in a moment. Okay, it may be two moments. Stand by….I’m waiting on The Terminator.

With fifteen minutes to spare, I arrive at the office.
I’m always late, so this fifteen minutes is obviously a mistake.
OR
I didn’t actually get lost on the way over!

Up to the office I go and check in.
They give me the standard clip board to respond to the various questions.

Do you smoke?
Do you take drugs?
Do you drink?
Do you wear a helmet?
Do you have any allergies?
Do you wear a seatbelt?
Do you drag race?

Yes, seriously, it asked if I wore a helmet.

When they asked me in person, I said, “well, not in daily life.”

Then into the health questionnaire I go….hang on to your hats.
There must have been 100 possible health issues.
At the top it said the usual: check mark if you have / had any of the following:

Acid Reflux
Acne
Aging
Aggravation
Arthritis
Anemia
Angina
Anxiety
Ass issues
Asthma
Athlete’s Foot
Avian Flu
.
.
.
.
.
.
Back Pain
Beetlejuice Complex
Binge Eating
Bird Flu
Blisters
Bloating
Bone Spurs
Bound feet
Bruising
Belly Dancing Fetish
Bulimia
.
.
.
.
.
Heart palipatations
Heart failure
Heart murmer
Heart weakness
Heart attack
Heart value complications
Heart disease
Heart worms
Broken heart
Hemorrhoids
Hearing loss
Hot single last-nerve complex

You get the picture. It was all you would think they’d ask and then everything else.

I didn’t even have a chance to complete my paperwork before they called my name. It was the helmet question that hung me up. I should have taken a photo.

Into the little room I go to verbally answer the questions that were on the paper. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me god.

What I’ve discovered is that I should have check marked, memory failure.

In the interview I was expected to remember things that happened 30 years ago. Seriously. Who remembers when they got their first period? What? No clue. When did I first have sex? What age did I learn to drive? What? When was my first obgyn exam? How old was I when I discovered the truth about Santa? I make them up and advise them of such by adding an “-ish” on the end.

How old was your father when he died?
No clue. Sad. But true.

My answer tactic, is……I turn my head to the left, look out of the corner of my eye to the right, squint and say, “65-ish.”

How old is your mother? I turn my head to the left, look out of the corner of my eye to the right, squint and say, “65-ish.” This, I know is a lie…

Because of the next question….

What age did your grandmother die? I know this one, cause my mother says it all the time, “You know Grandmom died at 65, I shouldn’t live this long.” She is obviously older than 65 – The Mother.

You see a pattern here? I also say out loud that I really need to put this stuff down on a piece of paper. I just don’t remember these things. I only have so much space in this walnut of grey matter. I can barely remember my own phone number let alone how old people are….and when I got my first period.

This concluded our historical overview of my life. I was then advised to get undressed and the doctor “will be in really quickly.”

Seriously?

What doctor ever arrives quickly?

Quickly according to whose watch?

Do you mean quick in patient time?

Quick in a doctor’s time who may or may not always be running late, so today they’re closer to on time?

Doesn’t matter…I do the one thing I can do:
I stripped faster than a dancer at a tits & ass club.

Then I sat.
And waited.

Then I realized I had to pee.

In Alaska, they take a pee sample. So I’ve been waiting to go. There was no mention of peeing in a cup.

I open the door and stick my head out into the hall.

Fear not, I have my gown, which opens in the front – wrapped tightly around my body.

I see a young doctor – MALE – down the hallway.

I don’t see my nurse.

So I wait inside the door. Not two minutes later she comes bounding in – scared the both of us. Apparently the young MALE doctor alerted. Good doctor! Good boy!

I explained the previous doctor always took a sample “What for?” was the response. Well, to test whatever it was they wanted to test.

Then she advised me the gown should go with the opening to the back.

REALLY? This is great news!

Down the hall I go, pee in a cup and turn my gown around.

I return to my little room and not two minutes later in walks my new doctor.

The first thing she tells me, while staring me straight in the eyes is she is an instructor at her hospital and she has a doctor in training.

A
MALE
DOCTOR.

Would I mind if he came in for the appointment?

She then said some more things but I couldn’t get past: MALE DOCTOR IN TRAINING.

I had flash backs to all those hospital shows where the esteemed doctor brings in the interns to see how it works. What?

A MALE DOCTOR IN TRAINING.

The interns gather around the bed. Ask crazy questions. Prolong the experience.

A MALE DOCTOR IN TRAINING.

Do I want not only another doctor looking at my YaZoo but a MALE DOCTOR IN TRAINING?

He’s learning. Not leering.

Meh. Blech. Seriously, is it rude to say no?

I finally snap back into reality and advise her, it’s fine but when it’s exam time – he needs to go.
OUTSIDE.

She waves Dr. Jordan into the room.

Oh My God. It’s the same doctor person I saw in the hallway 5 minutes ago.

He is so young. I don’t even think he shaves yet.

I immediately reach back to make sure my butt is covered in the gown.
Check.

He introduces himself and I shake his hand.

His hand could compete with a freshmen boy at a dance for the sweat factor.

He was more nervous than a short person in a room of giants.

More nervous than the chicken trying to get across the damn road.

Okay, I’m the naked one here.
Are you certain you want to work in this profession?
There’s nothing to be nervous about – seriously.

I mean, if I fall off this table and you see everything cause my gown will have exposed my entire being – then hell yes….we have an embarrassment factor. Overload in fact. But, no need to worry about it, cause I’m not going to fall off the table.

The doctor and I reviewed how I got here, why I moved, my health, the goal for the day etc. I spoke to both of them. They couldn’t believe my age. When I said, I was very dull, she insisted I was quite entertaining. Alright then. Then I literally thought, “oh if you only knew how entertaining….I have a blog.”

Eventually the young and impressionable and awkwardly placed Dr. Jordan was asked to leave the room.

Breast exam. Check.
Feet up. Check.
Poke. Poke. Poke. Check. Check. Check.

Done.

Really?

Okay. Really?
We’re done?

I didn’t have to sit and wait in the lobby.
No peeing in the cup on demand.
I wear the gown with the opening in the back.
I get nervous learning doctor with sweaty hands.
The exam is focused and no nonsense.
I’m in and out in an hour.

Really? We’re finished. Is this good or bad? No idea, but I’m delighted I don’t feel like someone should have bought me dinner after the whole thing.

Eureka.

Now I need to make a note to remind The Mother to send me a note with everyone’s death dates, causes of death and when they discovered the truth about the Toothy Fairy. Someone has to know these things – either than or its off to Ancestry.com.

OMG! There Is Something IN THE BED!

Scene: 1:30AM. The AC has just kicked on and everyone is sleeping peacefully in the house.

The gentle, tick, tick, tick of the ceiling fan going round and round eases through the hazy night like the register of a musician’s time keeper.

One small feline, known as Taku, is curled up in the middle of the king size bed, next to her momma’s hip. Snuggled in for the night as usual.

Without warning, it strikes.

Here….we go…..the story begins:

Taku erupts like she was spring loaded from a Jack in the Box.

In one swift move, Taku ejects herself from the middle of the king size bed, to the bottom of the bed, to the floor. Something had her and she was terrified. What was worse, it woke me up and I was gobsmacked as to WTF was going on at 1:30 in the morning.

One moment the homo-sapien feline momma was peacefully dreaming of roller-saking at Radnor Rolls and the next minute I’m shock-forced awakened to trauma kitty freaking out about the monster in the bed.

WTF is going on? Who is President? Who won best actor in the Golden Globes? Who married George Clooney? How many days till summer? What day is it? Can I wear pink striped pants and yellow shoes? I’m so confused? I love kitty cats.

What? Where am I?

Taku comes back up into the bed. And decides to…..STALK my better half’s side of the bed.

Taku, is only 9 months old and is generally full of piss and vinegar. For her to be afraid of something, is unusual. This is out of the ordinary. Not to mention…in the middle of the night.

She returns to our bed, and when she does, she is scared and decides to stalk “the prey” by crawling along side my legs as I lay on my back in bed. Belly crawling would be the name of the game at this point.

WTF?

The entire time, she is focused on something on the side of the bed my other half is sleeping on.

Well, thank goodness it’s not my half of the bed.

WHAT IS WRONG? TAKU? TAKU? WHAT IS IT?

Nothing. She is serious about whatever she is hunting.

She is shaking.

She is VERY intent on her kill target.

Shit, was she hoping for a part in Kill Bill?

Then she stops and the posturing beings.

Butt up.

Front leg out.

Whapp. Whapp.

WTF?

She is smacking things in the bed covers.

WTF! WTF!

WHAT THE HELL!

I sit up, look at her, look at what she’s smacking and advise her, like the good homo-sapien mother, “there is nothing here.”

She turns around and hurls herself off the bed.

I start to settle into a doze of a sleep and she is back again. Stalking her prey.

On.
The.
Other.
Side.
Of.
The.
Bed.

I look at her and tell her…..
Taku, there is nothing there.

She ignores me. And then proceeds to belly crawl up the bed towards my hip. Every third step she stops and looks.

Her neck extends like E.T.

I swear, her neck must go another 5 inches in length….ridiculous for such a small cat.

Next thing…..wack, wack, wack…..with her long front legs…..kill that bed cover.

Then she runs off the bed.

Again she comes back up to the bed….and here we go again….crawling along my legs.

Her neck is extending.

She is now got an eye on a new target.

Her head is swaying back and forth on the target……

Her right paw comes up….ready to deliver a grand swat in the dark.

I stop her just as she is about to strike an erie….green.….glow in the dark… a watch face.

For PETE’S SAKE!

This is the last thing I need…Taku Kitty smacking…. the Better Half in the middle of the night…..over a mysterious glowing green watch face! Are you f-ing kidding me? Oh for crying out loud! This is not a monster!

She leaps off the bed, literally throws up on the floor ….because she’s so frightened by what she’s seen. Mind you, by this point, I’ve been whispering to her and trying to calm her down.

All she knows is something nearly had her. All she can see is some ridiculously glowing green thing…..a watch face. Which of course, must die, at 1:45AM.

I’m thinking. Is there something more?
AWESOME.

After throwing up her entire dinner, she gets back up on the bed and proceeds to hunt the attacker.

This has to stop. I have to show her. There’s nothing there. It’s like reasoning with a child.

Right?

I debate. Do I turn on the bedside light or the cell phone light? You know they put those handy little lights in the cell phones now. How nice! The better half says he can sleep through anything. We’ve been together for ever – so I decide….if there truly is something “IN THE BED” then I want to see it clearly, so I’m turning on the bedside light. I put my glasses on and prepare myself.

I flip on the light.

The Mister wakes up immediately….of course and looks at me.

It’s not like I could say, “Our youngest was having a nightmare and thought there was something attacking her….which was YOUR WATCH!”

So I just blink twice at him and calmly say, “Sorry. I thought there was something in the bed. Sorry.” All the while, quickly shuffling the blankets around to ensure I didn’t see anything scurrying around underneath.

Then here comes the ALPHA kitty – Liggy comes up on the bed. She, is of course, foliowed by Taku.

Liggy is the Queen of All Things Cat. And I swear, although Liggy likes to snuggle, I think Taku was so scared, she went and told Liggy…….I can so see this happening and this is how it happened:

“There’s something green and glowing in there and it scared me…you go in there and look.”

So Liggy climbs up on the bed….gets a drink of water out of my water glass and then curls up by my pillow…no big deal. Done. She has done this for years. Get over it small fry…is what Liggy is thinking.

There could have been a Palmeto Bug (aka flying coach roach). There could have been a lizard. There could have been a roach. There could have been a who knows whatever. Liggy doesn’t give a rat’s ass. Liggy is 14 or 15 years old. Whatever. I’m here. Move over. Feed me. Love me. Snuggle me. Get over it, or eat it. Or leave the room. Meh. I’m too old for this shit.

Everyone calmed down or left the room until morning.

I woke up at 6:30, at which point…..we progressed to Chapter 6 of the story:

Taku was still terrified of the bed. She was still very busy hunting that half of the bed. I had to pull all the covers off the bed to show her, “THERE IS NOTHING THERE….STOP BEING SO JUMPY. STOP ATTACKING THE BLANKETS.”

She has since investigated the room numerous times on her own and has come to the conclusion, it was a bad dream that was transferred the the glow in the dark watch face.

I have ensured The Mister has removed the watch and placed it face down on the side table….so as to not cause a pandaemonium overnight. OMG and heaven help all of us if it truly was a Palmetto Bug, or anything else, in the bed….because then truly, you will have to pry me off the ceiling along with the Taku.

Whole Foods…a Vortex to Acting Like 5 Year Olds.

I was thrilled when I moved here to discover a Whole Foods right around the corner from my house. Coming from Alaska, this was a brand new experience. I had heard stories about the LUXURY of shopping at a Whole Foods.

Vegetables are like diamonds encased in security sealed cases.

Cheese by the pound is on display by region.

Fresh meat all organically grown, petted daily and humanely put down for sale.

A salad bar worth drooling over.

Fresh this and wholesome that.

Vitamins, detox mixtures, tonics and fresh squeezed orange juice….oh my fucking my.

Seriously….people…this is heaven on earth.




Yeah, it’s heaven on earth if I want to be ignored by the staff, nearly run down by patrons and….on top of it all pay out the ass for a 4oz container of guacamole, of which I could make better at home.

What am I missing here?

I simply don’t get it. There are several things that slap me in the face when I go in there:

1. Their customer service SUCKS. Granted, they have good produce. Every time I dash in to pick up something, it always happens the produce guy has his little cart right in front of whatever item I need in the produce aisle:

Corn on the cob? Check.

Tomatos. Check.

Apples. Check.

Potatoes. Check.

Vegan salad dressing. Check.

Doesn’t matter, he is parked there and it never crosses his mind to MOVE THE FUCKING CART a foot to let me select my green beans, snow peas, broccoli or peppers. It annoys the hell out of me. I’m sorry. It’s common sense. You have a customer approaching, with a basket on her arm and obviously looking at the produce right in front of you.

Why yes, I would like some of those carrots with the green leafy tops still on….all five of them for $9.99. Could you excuse me?

So

I

Could

Just

Reach

The

Damn

Carrots?

Oh, no wait, I see the issue. You are too busy laughing it up with the guy who is stocking up the pineapples and grapes. Never mind. Don’t want to bother you. Let me climb over your cart. Who is the customer here?

Apparently the overhead they charge for the produce also includes a gym membership fee.

Who knew?

It annoys the shit out of me.

AND, the people who check you out never smile. Tonight, when I ran in to grab corn and tomatoes, the guy walked away from the counter without saying a word so he could go throw a paper out two rows away.

REALLY?

I always approach and say HELLO! HOW ARE YOU?! Nothing.

If you really hate your job so much that you can’t smile and greet your customers, such as Michael this evening at my local store, then you need to go work somewhere else. The lady at the corner hot dog stand has better customer service than these people. It never fails. Save the overhead and have self check out!

Wait! Do you think because people are paying $5.99 for a pack of gum….gives you the permission to ignore your customers and treat us like shoe leather? Oh wait, you thought we were the plastic shoe leather? Pleather? THAT explains so much then.

But should one of their friends come up to help bag, whoa! It’s all fun and games….my, how the tides turn. Did I just slide down the rabbit hole? Apparently you are just hard of hearing and you didn’t hear my greeting.

Maybe I should just start yelling at people.

Let’s move forward.

********* The Salad Bar *********

So the tremendous salad bar. They have a great selection of soups. If you enjoy soups.
I don’t.

The salad bar is a typical salad bar. A variety of leafy greens to select and toppings. Nicely done.

Then the opposite side is mixed salads, rice salads, weird shit and shit I wouldn’t eat as I don’t eat weird shit or limp shit, or shit I can’t pronounce.

I’m sorry but when you see zucchini and squash that has been sliced lengthwise and then grilled….placed under heat lamps….it’s not right. They’re limp. They’re gross. It’s veggie abuse. Same goes for the eggplant. It is a horror flick right there in the deli. I have to turn the other way as it makes my stomach turn. Kind of like smelling sour milk.

Imagine holding up a piece of limp grilled zucchini in your hand….it falls over. So sad. It was excited at one point, I’m certain of it. Who wants limp shit? Okay, maybe a starving Sasquatch.

But apparently someone out there is enjoying the limp shit. Desperate, hungry, rich people, that don’t know about crisp veggies. Imagine holding up a piece of limp grilled zucchini in your hand….it falls over. So sad. It was excited at one point, I’m certain of it.

The thing I hate about going around that damn salad / deli area are the people.

No

Sense

Of

Personal

Space.

Which brings me to another point of the experience at Whole Foods….

2. The regulars. Maybe it’s where I live. I think it’s a feeling of entitlement. I’ve started to wonder what’s happened to two things: personal space and common courtesy. It’s not like we’re on the NYC subway here….ass to coot-chy …. DAMN.

Bumping elbows, watches, shoulders, baskets, hips…..okay – BACK THE FUCK UP!

Unless you are planning on popping open a bottle of wine in aisle 9 and then taking me to dinner, you are way too close to me. Knock it off.

There is no reason for your shoes to be hitting my shoes – there is plenty of space to go around me. I am all of 5’2 on a good day and it’s not like I weigh in like a gorilla. I don’t even have a cart! There’s simply no reason to be up my ass, over my shoulder, climbing up my eyeballs to get around me.

Take a breath.

Take a step to the side.

Go around me.

SAY EXCUSE ME! It’s not difficult!

If I stop to look at something, you are going to have to adjust your plan and detour. Don’t roll your eyes and huff at me. I’m not your child and am certainly not your spouse. Life does not revolve around you, jackass. Get over it. I’m putting my basket down and looking at this colon detox powder for the next ten minutes or until you stop glaring at me. If you’re going to continue, I will pick up this anal itch cream and ask you if you’ve tried it.

Don’t tempt me.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah….life sucks….get in line with the rest of us. Waaaahhhhhh.

Oh my god….if you are going to shop in here, suck it up and act like an adult.

That’s what I don’t get. To shop in Whole Foods, you have to have money, yet all these people in here act like five year olds.

They’re playing chicken with their carts in the aisles.

I’m not moving….you are going to have to climb over me if you want to get that hot sauce, fucker.

They will run you down to get to the salad bar – and block it. MINE! IT’S ALL MINE!

Missy is going to be a defensive blocker for the vegan cheese display and then at the organic wine area.

Sorry, did you want to get in the front door? I’m cleaning my cart handle off with the sanitary wipe. Sorry.

Clint is on his phone shouting about his latest trade while trying to choose what bread to get sliced. PICK ONE!

For the love of all things holy – concentrate – get your shopping done and move out of the way for the rest of humanity.

******* The End Result *******

I’m done with Whole Foods.

We have found a fabulous farmer’s market up north we go to every weekend. We can fill up bags and bags of fresh produce for just dollars. It’s fantastic. Right from the farms. I can go to our little guy and get what we affectionately call…”Hooker Vaginas”….but we have to get there early as he sells out. We get a quart for $10 and then I usually get my own for $3 and enjoy it in the car on the way home. Eric sometimes gets one as well. It’s good for us yumminess.

I would rather drive 30 minutes and go to a Trader Joe’s than go through the non-sense we continue to experience at a Whole Foods. I don’t get it. It’s not worth it. They’re not making me feel like a valuable customer and I’m not going to support them as a business. It’s ridiculous. Yes, they may be easy and healthy, but there is lots to be said about good customer service and feeling welcomed into the establishment.

Thanks for letting me vent…..I feel lighter…..like dandelion fluff or glitter in a confetti cannon.

Your Fingers In My Hair

One of the hardest things about moving to Miami is finding a hair stylist.    In Juneau, I had the same stylist for ten years and then he moved.  I was horrified.  It was as if suddenly God shouted there would be no more coffee or cheese on earth.

W H A T ?

Then I found a great new hair stylist who I used until my final day in Juneau.

Whew.

Fast forward to Miami and 40,000 salons, spas, hair cutters and strip malls offering quick cut services.  What to do?  Only one thing.  Try.  Try.  Try again.

So far, I’ve tried three salons.  The first was nice but too far away after a few visits.  The second was….honestly…..the stylist just didn’t listen.  I’d sit in the chair, tell her what I wanted and I swear she barely cut anything off my head.  Not to mention the color never stayed.  Lastly, it’s never a good thing when it looks like you’ve tried to behead me with the electric shaver.  Oh, I’m not kidding!  Big giant red cut across the the back of my neck.

In Juneau, my hair was my glory.  In Miami, it’s my struggle.

Needing to get another cut.  I was dreading having to go back to salon #2.

puffy dog

The stylist, I knew would cut off the equivalent of a gnat’s leg hair width of an amount and the end result would be my head would look like a giant q-tip.  

Yeah me – cause that’s the latest hot style!  Everyone loves that look!

Finally, due to my simple exasperation, my better half searched and found a place on line and I gave it a look.  My initial response was “are you kidding me?  Have you seen the pricing?”  A few visits and I could buy a new car…and we all know what kind of car I want.

As my hair continued to get pouffier, yes that’s a word, thank you.  I cancelled my standing appointment at the salon that doesn’t listen to me and made an appointment at the next salon attempt.  We’ll call this place, “Salon Oh La La.”

I walked in the front door and nearly turned around as I thought: oh no, this is not for me.  No.  No. No. No.  This can’t be right.  I’ve never been in such a salon.

No.  It’s not the mix of 4 different languages that make an impact on me:  Spanish, Russian, Jewish and Muslim.  That’s just a common, regular day in Aventura.  What stuns me is the 3 tiered, enormous, bigger than a VW Beetle, crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling….over a circular couch that could very well be in a porn film or posh advertisement with nearly naked men lounging on it.  Wait, in fact, I think there might be nearly naked people lounging on it.

Every square inch of space has someone in some form of processing.   There’s no waiting area, so I continue to stand in the middle of the chaos.

Well, this is awkward, as I wait to be attended to by the front desk.

My uncomfortableness is compounded as I don’t know where to look as there are people everywhere.  And, by the way….why do they have a money machine in here?

I have to yell my arrival to the woman at the front desk.  Yell.  Over.  The.  Noise.

I can only yell my name and appointment time to her as, unfortunately I have no idea who my appointment is with.  When they called me back to tell me my time (as I requested my appointment via their online system) the background noise from the salon was so loud I couldn’t hear who the name was of the stylist.

OH yes!  You’re with Suyera.

Great!  (WTF? I think silently to myself…what name did she say?)

A few minutes go by and this young guy comes up and introduces himself to me:  Hello.  I am Stoerj.  Nice to meet you.  Please, this way.

He is so quiet and I have barely understood anything of what he said.  Not that he has an accent but he is quiet.  OH MY.

We go to his station and he asks what I want to do.  I tell him I need his help.  That he is my third stylist and I am looking for someone to just do what needs to be done.  He says, “not to worry.”  Then he starts to look at my hair, which I wear naturally curly.

He looks at the back and says, “WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED HERE?”  No mistaking his dislike of my shortened buzzed cut at the nape of my neck.  “WHO DID THIS?”  He’s obviously quite upset.  “TERRIBLE!”  I continued to just let him go on and he continued to run his fingers through my giant mass of hair.

A few minutes later another gentleman joins us and my stylist introduces him as Joseph.  He and Joseph start to consult together over my hair – in Russian.  Joseph calls my stylist Sam.

Eureka!

I have a name!  Mental note to self.  SAM.

The two of them push my head to the left, to the right and to the front.  All of the sudden…. Sam’s voice goes up four octaves and his sentences start running together.  The only word I could understand was:

FUCK!

Again, he’s not happy about the shaved nape of my neck.

I’m thinking, it’s a good thing I didn’t ask him to do this again.

Joseph walks away and Sam says to me, “don’t worry, I will fix this mess in the back.  It will take a few visits, but it can be fixed.  They should have never done this.”  Little did he know, I wanted it like that.

We did color and high lights, low lights, mid lights, rough lights, sweet lights, edgy lights and I even had a cappuccino while I lighted and processed.

It was time for the wash out and he leads me over to the sinks.   A Russian girl comes out to shampoo me.  All I could think to myself was two things….

1.  Please, don’t wash off my eyebrows, I have to go to the store after this.

2.  I don’t think you need to shampoo down my neck.

No, I am not kidding.  She would hold my head up by placing her palm on the crown of my head and then shampoo down my neck.

DOWN

MY

NECK.

I wasn’t just a bird in a bird bath, I was a raccoon in a bird bath.  Water was going everywhere.  I thought at one point….if I start to squirt water of my mouth we’re going to be in trouble here.

My thought process went something like this for the shampoo session:

marilyn

Please don’t wash off my eyebrows.  Oh my god, is my mascara waterproof?

I bet I look like Marilyn Manson by now.  How is this water NOT going in my ears?  Is it necessary to wash my forehead?  Oh wait, time for the neck again.  Please don’t wash off my eyebrows.

Note to self:  Thank god I invested in the clear eyebrow sealer, thank you Bobbi Brown.

Back to Sam, we’re down to business.  He uses his index finger to push my head this way and that way.  The cutting starts normally enough.  It’s your typical hair cut.  Comb and cut.  Comb and cut.  He dries my hair and uses the flat iron.  It looks fantastic.  I love it.

Little did I know the best was yet to come.

Cue Edward Scissorhands.

images-2

I’m not kidding.

It starts with Sam pulling up sections of my hair with one hand……while he cuts wildly….as gravity pulls my hair back into place.

This occurs all over my entire head.

Step two:  He takes sections of my hair and twirls it around his finger.  These large twists of basically hair rope are cut into with his ridiculously fast scissors.   Again, all over my head.

Step three:  Get out the hair dryer.  Tilting my head to one side and then the other, with the hair dryer on….causing my hair to blow wildly….he cuts madly into the forced wind.

All I can do is keep my eyes closed and hope the scissors don’t nip my eyeballs or my ears.  He moves so fast and the sound of those scissors makes my upper lip break out into a sweat.  Talk about scaredy cat ….. I’m on the verge of scaredy cut.

Witcha….witcha….witcha….witcha….witcha…witcha…witcha… (sound of his scissors)

Not to meRollercoasterntion he leans into the chair while doing all of this so I’m also vibrating at the same time.  It’s like a getting a little massage.  No, actually, it’s like you’re going up that first big hill on a roller coaster.  That chug, chug, chug feeling, but at 100mph.

Or, I’m riding along in a POS car and it’s stuck between 2nd and 3rd gear and can’t get over it.  Goodness.

I’m somewhere between getting my hair cut and a Siegfried and Roy act.

The other thing is, when I open my eyes, it amazes me…his cutting draws an audience.

It truly is a performance.  I’ve never had people watch me with such jaw dropping (literally) anticipation.  Perhaps they too are worried about my eyes and ears.  Today when he threw back my hair and I opened my eyes there were four people standing around his station.

FOUR!

They said, “SAM! Beautiful work!”

He said, “Oh no!  She is beautiful!”

Even the woman and stylist in the station across from me yell over how great it looks.

A lady, his next client can’t stop exclaiming how wonderful it looks and wants to know if this is my natural color.  Seriously?  

Ok – who doesn’t want to go to a stylist that says this?  Who doesn’t want to go to a stylist that gets an audience when he cuts?  Is this what it’s like to be a rock star?

Joseph came back over and told Sam he did a great job.  They spoke more in Russian about my FUCKED UP area but we’ll be okay they reassured me.  HA!

hughes

I get the 360 review in the mirror and Sam walks me over to the reception counter so I can make my next appointment.  The receptionist hands me my bill and I realize I won’t be making my first car payment …. instead, I will upgrading to Hughes 500 helicopter payment.  Well shit.  But you know what.  It’s SO WORTH IT.

Now, I also see why they have the money machine in the lobby – tips are cash only.

Sam gives me a kiss and hands me his card with my next appointment on it.

Guess what.  His name is Assaf.

Apparently, I need to get my hearing checked.

Hard Bodies Apply. Yes, You!

When I lived in Juneau, Alaska…… strip clubs, porn shops and Hooters restaurants were not readily available.

Occasionally one of the local bars would host a “topless poker tournament” and of course a friend and I couldn’t help ourselves. We went.

The same bar flew in “HOT! HOT! Strippers from Anchorage!” Again, we couldn’t help ourselves and we went.

Twice.

These same “HOT! HOT! Strippers from Anchorage!” Also came to town as the ring girls for the sponsored UFC style fights. I, of course, went to those (and sat right next to one of the judges…ringside.)

Needless to say, these woman were a disappointment. I think the topless dealers were mothers of ten, who breast-fed until the kids were able to form full sentences.

Their nipples were dragging on the felt.

Who enjoys that?

The “HOT! HOT! Strippers from Anchorage!” While cute – in their early 20’s….were not anything you would expect to see in say….a strip club.

They had paunchy beer guts.

They had cellulite.

THEY WERE IN THEIR 20’s!

Girls in their 20’s are supposed to be trim and tight. Then again, this is Alaska. There is a reason, besides the cold, we are covered up in wool and rubber clothing 11 months out of the year.

Some time in between these adventures in Juneau we had a tourism convention in Anchorage. Leave it to me to pour everyone into a cab late one night and head over to the strip club in Anchorage: The Bush Company.

Yes.

Yes, I did.

It was a lot of fun.

The women – were “better.”

Not Vegas standards.

Not even midwestern standards.

Definitely better than topless poker tournament dealer in Juneau, Alaska standards.

We bought a couple of lap dances for various members of our party – those people know who they are….ahem. Of course, we picked out the best looking dancers in the lineup. I was not one who received a lap dance – thank you.  I don’t need that drama.  But appreciate the gesture.

Now I am living in Miami where very little is left to the imagination.

VERY.

LITTLE.

Here is my latest issue. Which was discussed at length today with my “kinder and gentler Mister.”

As we were driving along….there pops up a Hooters. Now, one of our missions on this earth is to find the best chicken wings. Granted, at home we are vegetarian / vegans. Out of the house we will go for fish or chicken wings, a pizza now and then. On a really bad day I will call home and tell him, “I need a cheeseburger…..meet me at …..”

THAT is my weapon of choice.

CHEEZZZZEEEE burger.

Just dip me in the blue cheese, and let me lick myself clean really. CHEEEZZZZZZEEEE burgers are my weakness.

Last meal on earth?

CHEEEZZZZZZZZEEEEEEE burger.

At any rate. We go past the Hooters, which I have been to numerous times before throughout my life span.

What is the deal though? Why is it…you get a Hooters with the woman in the shorts and tank tops.   Really?  I’d like a well-built man to serve me some time. He doesn’t even have to serve me a meal – just bring me drinks.

The Mister says, “Yeah it’s called Chippendales.”

No.  It’s not.  What I want doesn’t exist.  I don’t want the dancing and the grinding….that’s extra nonsense that detracts from the beauty of the body.

It’s embarrassing for him and for me. I don’t need that agony. Thank you. Or else he’s gay.  Or he has a girlfriend who is stalking him outside and the whole thing goes to hell in a handbasket in 17.4 seconds.

NO thanks.

Women have beautiful bodies. Soft curves. 

Men have hard bodies by nature. They are strong and protective creatures. I don’t want to see a man who pumps enough iron that he can pull a tractor-trailer – that to me isn’t attractive. You know the “Arnolds” of the world.  I don’t want to see the veins popping out of their necks.

That isn’t hot, sexy or anything in between.

I want a well-defined, nicely built man with a charming personality to serve me a drink.

Shirtless.

With abs.

And those nicely cut muscles along his hips……those ones…… you know the ones I’m talking about ladies.  Those muscles …..as a man would say, “hips I can grab on to” muscles.

M E O W.

Men have a plethora of bars, strip clubs, peep shows, restaurants …..all hosted by exotic women. Barely clad in anything resembling a uniform. Let’s not even get started on the magazines.

MEN!

You know exactly, what I’m talking about here.  You go into the club.  The ladies greet you.  A gorgeous woman give you whatever you ask for.  She smiles and asks how has your day been?  Hair is being flipped.  Eyes are wide.  Lips are licked.  Oh my.  Totally interested in you.  Cleavage is exploded, oh so sweetly.  Innocently.  A touch on the forearm or thigh.   Yes, whatever you want.  How was your day – oh that sucks….so tough.  A laugh and giggle.  Another big smile.  Can I get you a drink?

Jameson – check.

Double vodka – check.

Budweiser – check.

Chicken wings – check.

Completely and totally into you.  Whatever you say and ask for can be yours.

I WANT THIS!

Yet in reality…

What do women get?  Jack shit.

Certainly not the same level of peep shows, bars, strip clubs, restaurants or other establishments…hosted by nearly naked men. I am sure they are out there, but not nearly to the same degree. It’s no wonder women are going after the pool boys!

Why is that do you think? Men are visual animals no doubt.

The Mister says this is because, “Men aren’t going to feel comfortable going into a woman’s version of a Hooters.”  Yeah well you  know what men?  You need to buck up and grow some thick skin and get into the game.  Woman have had to fluff and puff, pull and tuck, nip and inject themselves to mold themselves into what you find sexy and gorgeous.

Grow a big hairy pair and get some fucking confidence in yourself and get out there.

You know who has confidence in themselves?

Europeans.  One word:  Speedos.

If you need the name of a great waxer, let me know.

Or, could it be that woman simply don’t have time for the lusty skin bullshit?  We simply have more important things to do? Would we rather spend our time elsewhere? We never gave that type of establishment the type of recognition it needed?

Or are we voyeurs behind masks of annonineminty? What the hell?! Imagine, if you will. …. If we were cut loose in a sex club. I’m just saying.  Chaos and mayhem.  Would you be the one hiding behind the curtain or jumping into the swing?

Look at all the bacholorette parties every year and the must have requirement: the for-hire male stripers. THAT says something. Open an old fashioned phone book and look up “escort” try and search for MALE. You’ll have to wade through 25 pages of female before you can find anyone sending out the boys.

You can pick out men with hookers more easily in a bar than a cougar with a pup.  WOW!

Honestly.

Whatever the reason, ladies, we need to be enjoying the view. Pure and simple.

Every day, I pass by giant billboards for mens entertainment clubs: Tootsies. Scarletts.

I pass by sex shops. There’s one the name just make me laugh every damn time, “The Sexy Box.”  Yeah, well, the only time it was busy was right before Valentine’s Day. The other I’ve seen billboards and have driven past is “Hustler.” You’ll be glad to know….they also sell….”couples” gifts. Well, thanks.

I’ve been in sex shops. The one thing I regret is I didn’t buy the penis straws when I saw them. Seriously. Saw them in Juneau – didn’t buy them. Now I wish I did. Damn.

HA!!

Ladies, The boys are going to “the bar” to watch the game. To meet the boys. To discuss a business deal. Yatta yatta yatta. Whatever, that’s fine. It’s their inner caveman coming out. Let them go and oogle. Fine.

Well you know what?

We may only get the pleasure of the ridiculously bad PlayGirl magazine. The yearly calendars with firefighters or the Chippendales. But….there is a great photographer out there….check him out.

Michael Stokes…..find him on Facebook  and his book on Amazon.com:  http://www.amazon.com/Masculinity-Michael-Stokes/dp/386787428X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347800523&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+stokes Amazon  Amazing.  It’s time to stand up and say

Yes, please, I’ll have a martini…make it a double.

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