Tag Archives: Brookstone

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.


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


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.


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.


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


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


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.






Can You Hear Me Now?

Could someone please….invent a portable language interpretation device? Maybe I haven’t found it yet at the local Brookstone Store. Oh wait, I live in Juneau, Alaska – we don’t have a Brookstone. Damn. I don’t even have a Taco Bell for that matter.

This device would have to be small and light. It would also have to be cute. I’ve tried using the delightful “Point It” book but all I get are blank expressions and more confusion. I’m thinking I could strap it to the voice box area and it could interpret what is being said automatically.

Does anyone else get frustrated with not understanding what is being said to them?

Urgent looking eyes.
Angry eyes.
Failing arms in all directions.
Stomping off in confusion.
Yelling louder and louder…hoping to get your point across.

I’m thinking, in an ideal world, I would hold up the device to the throat of the person I’m speaking to, so I can understand what they’re saying. Then I could hold it up to my throat to translate my answer. That seems logical.

Maybe it could have accents too. British, Australian, American, Russian, French, Scottish. If it had an accent capability, then maybe it could come with a function to read random bits of information to you. For example:

Can’t sleep at night? Switch on the “Dream Story” and listen to a sexy Scottish man, like Sean Connery, read the phone book to you…yummy!

Having a hard time getting motivated to get up? Switch on the “Rise and Shine” function and listen as an Asian Drill Sergent, with the enthusiasm of Richard Simmons, motivates your ass out of bed.

Need some encouragement to discipline children or jump off the high dive? Switch on the “You Can Do It” and get into gear as a man who sounds suspiciously like Vladimir Putin whips your weak heart into shape. (Of course, I just like saying the name Putin….and actually had a cat named Putin….who I nicknamed….Poot Poot. Probably wasn’t the best choice of a name, but it made me laugh.)

But of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the “Lover” program. Within a quick 3 minutes, a smooth talking Frenchman will have you melting like chocolate over a strawberry.

Unfortunately, as of yet, I haven’t found such a device. Rosetta Stone won’t help me either. Would I use it in my travels all of the world? Perhaps. In all honesty, the reason I want to find one of these devices is so I can attach it to my cat FeeBee.

She is driving me nuts.

She’s lost most, if not all, of her hearing.



Luckily she still has her eyesight.

Where’d you go?

She screeches all the time. At the top of her lungs. If I’m in the same room — she screeches then looks at me. If I’m in bed at night, she tears around downstairs and then let’s loose these gurgling shrieks….that used to send me bolting down the stairs —- thinking she’s injured.

First time it happened I leaped out of bed, grabbed a bath towel and went running. She was a the bottom of the stairs looking at me:


I stood half-way down the stairs with my mouth hanging open.
Are you serious?
It’s bed time.

She’s not a kitten. She’s not a teenager aching to get out of the house. FeeBee is in her elderly years and is hell bent on driving me crazy with this new found vocal routine.

She yells at me and then looks at me. Then she’ll yell a little louder. And look at me. She’ll soften her shriek and look at me. All day we could go without the screaming routine and then suddenly….she let’s 4 yells go all at once. Almost like she forgot and had to get her quota out. If I could just figure out what she wants….

I love her more than anything (don’t tell her sister or my better half) but damn girl….I need some help here!

I’m suspicious that she’s really asking for the keys to the car, so she and her sister can go joy riding. Yeah, like THAT’S going to happen.