Tag Archives: relaxing

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.






Stop Talking….. Before I Get Out the Duct Tape.

On my Fridays, I take the ferry to / from work. It’s like a sightseeing trip.
This past week, in the morning, I was able to score a chair out on the deck.
Sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Sailed right into downtown Boston, calm and relaxed.
THIS is a civilized commute.

The return home is even better as they have a bar on board.
Usually, I throw my bag into a seat and grab a Chardonnay for $6.
This. Is. Nice.

If I were a guy, I’d have at least two beers on the way back. I watch them and most do. Some buy two beers right off the bat. Smart.

This past end of the work week, I was the third person in line for the ferry. So I was able to get my wine on the way to finding a seat. I decided to sit outside on the return as well. It was lovely. Sunny. Didn’t need a coat. Beautiful. I settled in and prepared for the start of my weekend.

There were 34 people on the outside deck.
3/4 of them were on their smart phones.
1 was reading a book.
Several were enjoying the surroundings, hidden behind their sunglasses and drinking their beers.
1 was politely smiling and nodding his head.


Because the girl he was sitting next to would not shut the hell up.
She talked.
And talked.
And talked.
And T A L K E D.
And kept on talking.
She never took a breath.
Not to mention she was loud.
Annoyingly loud.
They were right behind my left shoulder.

The point in having a conversation with someone is to say something – then let the talking partner have an opportunity to respond. To talk to the point of vomiting words is not carrying on a conversation. It’s being a selfish conversation hog. When you are a conversational hog, you don’t care what the other person has to say, because all you want to hear is your own voice. Your conversation partner practically has to karate chop you to get you to shut up or they need to fly the white flag and give up.

This, does not a good conversationalist make.

She literally, I don’t think ever….. took a full minute of silence.

These are some of the areas she covered in her 40 minute filibuster:

She just got married.
They bought a house.
Since she is now married, everyone is telling her to go back to school.
She’s not sure she really wants to go back to school.
And why should she go back cause she just got married?
Does that make any sense? No. It’s so odd.
She works at a hospital.
This department is so much better than her previous one because you’re not trying to save lives in this one.
There is a lot less pressure.
But who knows if this is the right department for her.
Oh and there is this doctor who just annoys her.
And the co-workers are really great, especially this one….
Her new husband used to work at an Auto Zone.
Now he is doing referrals.
They are so excited to be back in Boston.
Although she doesn’t like the winters.
She loves this weather though.
Isn’t it nice weather?
Her mother told her to bring her sneakers when she comes to visit.
It was good she told her, cause she wasn’t planning on bringing her sneakers.
There are so many trails.
When she and her mom went on the trail behind the house, there were lots of turkeys.
Her mom is afraid of turkeys.
She takes pictures of all the turkeys.
Oh look! There’s another one, better get a picture.
What do you think this is? Left over and forgotten bridge?
They aren’t doing anything with it.
Wonder what it’s here for.
That is so random.
40 minutes of this. Relentless babble.
She was early 20’s.
He was in his 50’s.
Obviously he was an old family friend as she was asking him about what so-n-so is doing now a days, how excited her mom will be to know she ran into him, it’s been such a long time. Etc.

Shut up.
Shut up.
Shut up.

What is usually a pleasant 40 minute water journey home, felt like an eternity.
There were no other chairs available on the deck – so I was stuck unless I wanted to go inside.


It was like being in a long hallway in a horror movie, trying to get to the end, but the hallway kept getting longer and longer. There was no end in sight. Your anxiety rising like a repeat of Chinese food in the back of your throat.

At any moment, I felt a giant alien may come out of someone’s chest, or a little kid on a red tricycle was going to show up and pedal around the deck. Either would have been better than being pummeled by her voice.

This was pure agony.

I was annoyed.






For the love of god – put a sock in it!
Here! Use my sock!
You are melting any ear wax I have because of the incessant noise that is your non-stop verbal cacophony.

Yes, the gentleman did get a few words in edgewise. I only know this because I could hear the wind blowing for a change. He was soft-spoken and got to the point. He didn’t pontificate on the pros and cons of going back to school or eating out at the new place around the corner from work. This man understood the etiquette for conversation. It’s only too bad he didn’t educate her on what that entailed.

I’m sure his face was tired of smiling and nodding by the time they got off the boat.

My ears were ringing when I got off and I only had one chardonnay! I should have followed the boys on board and had a second.

The Alaskans Hit the Beach

The nude beach that is….

My first experience, three years ago,  with the nudist beach was interesting.  Over the hill and down the trail we went only to be met with the startling conclusion:  Girls and Boys, we’re not in Juneau anymore.

At the bottom of the hill there was a road block.  It was all I could do  not trip over the whale sized person lounging on the sand….like a welcome mat.  Really?  You couldn’t move over a few feet?  Scuze me…pardon me…

Well you don’t see that in Alaska, unless it’s actually a beached whale.

Since that introduction, I’ve visited the beach every time we go to Hawaii.  It’s one of the highlights to my vacation.  Don’t ask me why.  It’s simply a “must do” activity.

Anyhow, onwards and upwards…

Surveying the area, it’s glaringly apparent the majority of visitors grab a location closest to the entrance – it’s MOBBED.  But further down there’s fewer people and lots of open beach space. Hike up the cooler and chairs, we’re hiking into flesh country. The Alaskan has found her beach spot.

The spot I chose is right in the front – you’re probably not surprised.  It’s funny – the very back of the beach has a solid line of people from end to end.  Must be the second choice location if you can’t get near the entrance.  Couldn’t even muscle a beach towel in between those folks – they were stuccoed in like coral decorations on a seawall.

I’d rather have some fresh air and be able to stretch out on my towel than have pry myself in between two glistening oiled up strangers.  Excuse me, could you hand me another beer?  Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen put your sunglasses on, the Alaskans are hitting the beach – naked – and we’re a wonderful halibut white color.  We lathered up, cracked a beer, settled in and began to soak up the Maui sunshine. Talk about glistening in the sunshine like diamonds.  Even the seagulls were confused about our reflective quality.

Now it’s time to ponder, which way to look.  In front of my spot were two men, the color of cooked bacon, playing Frisbee….you can only imagine what was dangling at my eye level.

Disclaimer:  It’s not my fault God made me this height and certain things just happen to be at eye level when sitting in a beach chair, on the beach, in a nudist environment.  Thank you.

It was all fun and games until Bacon Colored Man #1 lost control of his Frisbee serve and Bacon Colored Man #2 had to come over to me and apologize and pick it up at my feet.  I’m sorry, did you say something?  I was distracted.

I love to people watch.  I’m as happy as a Magpie in a sparkling heap of trash when left alone to people watch.   If this was an Olympic event, I’d enter.  No hand / eye coordination necessary.    Now I have a cooler of adult beverages, a comfortable place to sit, warm sand under my toes and sunshine…..what more could I ask for really?

Where are those Bacon Men?

Sorry, I had a flash back.

Back to the point at hand…people watching.  What struck me as funny were the number of people who came to look at us sitting on the beach…..from their tour boats.  Giant catamarans, holding 150 people would sail by – barely 1/4 mile off the beach.  This beach is apparently listed in some of the tour narratives.  Interesting.  Had I known I was going to be apart of the touring outline, I would have at least worn my tiara.  As it currently stands, I’m wearing my sunglasses and floppy beach hat.  Similar, but nothing close to fabulous.

I can only imagine what the captain was saying:

“Everyone!  Get your binoculars!  There is a spectacular sight off our starboard side.   You won’t want to miss taking a look at this.  One of our popular beaches for homo sapiens!  Quite the species….”

Each time I pondered an appropriate reaction:

Flip them off.

Jump up and moon them.

Shake my ta-tas.

Wave like the Queen.

Result:  I stared back at them and toasted them with my bottle of beer.

My next observation were the groups of 4 (two couples) that would wander all the way down, not much further past us and wouldn’t take so much as their top off.  Okay, so what’s the deal?  I get it….they were giggly couples who wanted to say they went to the nude beach – without having to admit they actually took anything off.

Being nude myself, I found it a little odd to see them fully clothed in the surf.  THEY were the odd ones that stuck out.  Kind of like a fart in an elevator.  Everyone else on the beach was either completely naked, top off or bottoms off.

I also tremendously enjoyed the older couple that walked back and forth.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.  He was obviously comfortable with himself as there wasn’t a tan line to be found on his cinnamon raisin toast skin.  She, on the other hand, I think might have been related to the Easter bunny.


Pink pleated tennis skirt.  Pink sun visor with blonde puffy short hair coming out of the top like Old Faithful.  Proud as a peacock prancing next to her man.  Back and forth.  It was like watching a tennis match they went past so often.  She was engrossed in observing the crowd of sunbathers and he was praying they could go back and sit down so he can enjoy the gorgeous ocean view.

What a funny bunch of people.  Of course, I didn’t know a soul except for my better half.  And he was encouraging “get your raft and get out there.” We’re here to celebrate my 40th birthday so I better get out there and enjoy the day.

Okay, off I go with my most favorite hobby inducing item in Hawaii.  A cheap pink raft.  Down to the ocean I go.  I could float away in the peacefulness it was so calm and enjoyable.  Cool and clear water.  Definitely not in Alaska any more.

Of course, when it was time to come back in so we could head back and get ready for dinner, I realized he was taking photos of me.  Okay, maybe he should invest in a camera instead of using his phone for the pictures.  Mental note honey, put a lock on that thing!