Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rub you (the right way).

In January, at the end of a particularly long work day, my boss came to my desk with an envelope. Inside was a gift card for a spa. I wasn't aware, but her "token of appreciation" had ulterior motives. My wonderful and caring boss was trying to tell me something...
I needed to chill the fuck out.

I took the card home, and stuffed it in my scarf drawer until two weeks ago, when shit really hit the fan. In my industry, it is common to burn out after a long period of stress. After a stretch of long work hours, plus a number of personal and professional crises, I felt like hell. I looked like hell. It was tough to get up in the mornings, and even tougher to drag myself through a ten-hour day of taking care of other people when I couldn't even take care of myself.

"Sarah", my boss said, "Have you used that gift card yet?"

I went home and had to google what happens inside a spa. That's how green I was to the concept of self-care. The menu was disappointing to say the least. I was seeking something like "pay us $40 to sit alone in a warm, quiet room for an hour with lots of nice pillows and NO ENYA", but instead I found a bunch of treatments that would not be of any benefit to my personal situation.
Manicures? No point. I wash my hands a bare minimum of forty times a day, and my natural inclination, despite the fact that I will be turning thirty soon, would be to get sparkles or smiley faces airbrushed onto the tips (probably a poor career move).
Pedicures? I just can't wrap my head around someone spending an hour's worth of attention on my feet, and guess what? Feet are disgusting. Even mine.
Facials? No amount of attention to my face would rectify the years and years of binge drinking, smoking cherry-flavored papers, and the fact that I can barely force myself to drink a full glass of water in a day (beyond the water used to make cup after cup of delicious coffee). Not even worth the effort.
What's left on the spa menu? One thing. A massage.

Now, I was a kid of the eighties and early nineties. Thus, I was in the most susceptible demographic to have the crap scared out of me by the millions of PSAs that were on TV every single day. If you would've told me, up until a few years ago, that you had let a stranger rhythmically rub their hands all over your naked body, I would've told you to go get tested at the free clinic, and to call the police immediately. If you had told me you had paid for such a service, I would've recommended you to a good psychiatrist. You have to protect your bathing-suit area, kiddo!
Yes, I certainly had some hangups about getting this massage. It took me another week to get up the balls to book an appointment. The woman on the other end of the phone had to ask me to 'relax' while I gave her my personal information. Uhhh... That's what I'm trying to do, dude. I was nervous and full of questions, and I hadn't even stepped in the place yet.

They had me fill out a form when I got there. It asked me where I hurt the most. I handed back a nearly-blank form. They didn't have check-boxes for "need to erase the memory of the fact that some of my co-workers are terrible", or "need to stop waking up in the middle of the night, remembering that one of our pregnant teens has a 7AM ultrasound that they will most certainly forget about". The massage therapist ('masseuse', I was told, is a term only used at the many, many rub'n tug establishments in town) took me into a small room and sat me down to ask more questions. Of course, I took this time to tell her that I worked a very stressful job, and put my little body through a lot of abuse over years of trudging to and from work. Did you know that 10-year-old Keds are not a sturdy walking shoe? Not that I care, or anything...
I also took this little question-and-answer period as a great chance to do my own meticulous inspection of the place. I checked under the massage therapist's nails for dirt, checked the floor for dust, checked the table for boogers, and double-checked to ensure that the woman that was about to fondle my unclothed body was not giving off any "rape-y vibes". If I was getting naked in this room, it better be sanitary and safe.

The actual massage was alright. Mostly, it felt oily and a little rough. The music sucked. I chatted neurotically through the entire process. I had her explain each and every maneuver she was doing, and why it was clinically necessary. She kept having to warn me that the process would not be beneficial if I kept tensing up immediately after she had worked on an area. It was probably the most painful ninety minutes of her life, but, hey, she made $120 dollars off of my bare, anxious body. In the scheme of things, it was not all for naught; I looked in the mirror on the way out, and noticed that I looked taller! Also, did you know that I actually have a neck? Me neither!

All in all, it was not a terrible experience, but I still can't shake the fact that the massage would have been so much more enjoyable if performed by the master himself, Mr Johnny Gill. He would rub anyone the right way- I am sure of it. Satisfaction easily guaranteed. He says so himself.

Maybe I should start taking Ativan again instead. That shit was like a massage, but in a convenient pill-form. Aaaaaaativan. It even sounds relaxing.

~sarah p.

p.s. My father was a music lover, and would sit with us and watch the new videos on MuchMusic when we were kids. I can distinctly remember the air thicken in the room with awkwardness whenever this video would come on the screen. The same feeling would cloud the room when my parents heard me listening to R. Kelly's 12 Play album, when watching the scenes in The Bodyguard where Kevin Costner kept plowing Whitney Houston, and when we'd stumble across Madonna's Sex book at the library with my mom. I didn't know it then, but that feeling was a natural barrier that eventually drew a safe boundary between my parents and my personal life in my adulthood. I am so thankful for those moments now- particularly when my parents ask me what I did on the weekend, and I am under no obligation whatsoever to tell them the truth. I don't want them to know, and they don't want to know anyway. I like it that way. Hurrah for uncomfortable childhood memories!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning.

For months and months, this select group of photos has been taunting me. Every time I open my laptop, there they are, staring me in the face.
Each one of these photos represents a post that never made it, an initial concept that was deemed too stupid, even by my standards, to come to life. Just try to guess what kind of posts these pics would've churned out (don't worry- I have no clue either)!
Looking at them, all grouped together like this, I have to wonder what the fuck I was ever thinking. Was I drunk, or maybe just not paying attention? Sometimes really wack things seem really funny at first! By the next day though, I've totally talked myself out of some jazzed-up 300-word post on men in spandex. What a difference a day makes. Be thankful for that day.
Alas, it is time. Time to drop each and every one of the pictures into the trash bin on my desktop. So long. Hasta la vista. I need room on my hard drive for more MP3s... Funkclassicmaster has been on fire lately!
Here are some of the ideas that you, dear reader, were (quite luckily) spared from over the last few months:

Some of these were very close to becoming real posts... Real long posts.
Consider yourselves lucky.

~sarah p.

p.s. Also, hi there! How are you guys? Great??? Really great??? The weather is not-so-Spring, but Cadbury Eggs are back in stores, so nobody should be frowning right now. I didn't wear mittens at all last week, and this weekend is going to be the best. I am going to see T-Pain on Thursday! How many of you can say that?
p.p.s. That beagle in glasses! The world needs more of this.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In other TV news:

If you haven't started watching Real World Las Vegas, don't bother.
I promised myself (let me repeat: promised myself) I would not watch this season. I get sucked in every other season, and it's a real bummer to realize, when it's all over, that you've just spent 20+ hours in total watching stupid, shallow strangers pick fights with other stupid, shallow strangers.
However, one small peek during the premiere last week, and now I'm stuck watching the entire season. Fabulous.
Here's the rundown of Las Vegas so far:

The Real World stopped trying to pretend to be a realistic portrayal of young-adulthood years ago. It's gotten to the point where they just take a bunch of low-grade fame-seekers and lock them in a casino with hundreds of gallons of vodka and a full crate of condoms and let them "have at 'er". All while the cameras roll.

They hired two of the exact same guy to be in the cast this season (and they are currently fighting with each other!). Diversity is a thing of the past. So far, only one of the two has admitted to being on a gay-for-pay website in the past, but I'm sure the other one will 'fess up about something good before the season's over. Twinsies!
2011 is, apparently, the year of the blonde, possibly bi-sexual, shy, rural frat boy in LV.

The product placement has gotten out of control on this show... We're only on the second episode of the season, and they've already eaten at Subway probably 40 times. Subtlety is also a thing of the past, don't you know...

Again, do yourself a favor and just don't bother. There are finer things to do on a Wednesday night- like, basically, anything but watching The Real World.

Those of you that know me well know that I am not a very good sleeper. Since a very young age, I have been, by nature, a night owl. To this day, I spend a lot of nights in bed, staring at the ceiling and worrying about what I'm missing at 4AM on a Sunday morning (besides that adorable Mr. T infomercial), and wondering what ever happened to the fourth chick in Destiny's Child. (Juuust kidding about that last part... I saw on 'Behind The Music' that Beyonce's dad sacked her because she was stealing away the spotlight. Smart move, Mr Knowles. )

Anyway, I'm always desperately searching for something to ease my mind into a deep slumber. Something so slow, mindless, and gentle that it would be impossible to stay awake. Something on OLN. Travel shows are a sure bet, but you know what's even better (and by 'better', I mean 'even more mindless')?
Travel shows where they search, unsuccessfully, for made-up monsters and ghosts.

Recently, I've been drifting off each night to a show called 'Destination Truth', which should be called 'Destination Unknown', because they have never, ever been able to prove the existence of a single creature. Truth be told, it actually seems like a pretty sweet gig to me: you fly into an exotic local, stay with the natives, and run around the forest in the dark with night vision cameras, pretend to be scared for a few hours. You bring some specimens back to the "lab" in LA (which may or may not actually exist, due to the extremely high number of "inconclusive results" I have seen coming out of there), and talk amongst your colleagues on the likelihood of the shadow you saw in the forest being a real, live ghost... Just the one you were hunting for in the first place! That being said, because you have no actual hard evidence, we'll all just have to assume that it exists.
Holy fucking dream job. Am I right? This is someone's real occupation right now.

With all of the craziness in the world today, sometimes it's nice to be fed a little bit of bullshit before bedtime. Let's just face the facts: the 11 o'clock news is a real bummer, and nothing calms the soul more than watching grown men run around the forest after elves in Iceland, and blame their malfunctioning camera equipment on "elf magic" (instead of blaming it on their mid-morning trip to the Brennivin factory). So, so cute.

~sarah p.

p.s. You won't even be able to stop the cuteness at Stars & Muscles 10- next weekend, you guys!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


If we run into each other, and I ask how you're doing, you really have to realize that I'm doing this strictly as a formality. Of course I already know how you're doing... I'm not under a fucking rock over here.

...I already saw that you got engaged two weeks ago on Facebook. I saw that your baby was, rather graphically, successfully potty-trained recently. Good for him.
I'm not a good actor at all. Sometimes it is extremely difficult to nod along while someone rambles on and on about things I already know about. It's just that I've had a lot of practice lately, and I really think I've got my "listening face" almost perfectly perfected. The key to looking sympathetic is to twist your face slightly, keep your eyes wide, and try not to let the other person know that you are currently ranking your favorite Southern rappers in order of hair-style in your head. Still, I'm creeping on you, mamí... No denying it. I know what's going on in your life, and pretty soon I'm going to have to tell you that things are "fine, I guess", and that I'm "so busy with work", and you're going to nod back at me like you give a fuck. Seems a little pointless, no?

The world is no longer a private place. A friend of mine recently busted her husband having sex with the neighbour, all because of a pocket-dial. Back in the day, the semantics of this maneuver would have been incredible... He would have had to knock the receiver off of the hook, stretch the phone-cord across the room, and find enough fingers, whilst in coitus, to dial a seven-digit number. Now all it takes is a wayward kick in the direction of one of those fancy phones with the big screens to let the world in on your little secret... It's easier than ever to creep, sometimes you don't even have to try.

You sure do go on a lot of dates at The Olive Garden. I know this because you 'status update' my fucking brains out. With media constantly opening the door of communication wider and wider, I have just found more things to judge about you. Guess what? I'm sizing you up, pal.
When I was younger, I used to forget my parents' birthdays every year, and nobody batted an eyelash (well, maybe my parents did). Now, I've got to be on the ball all the time so I don't miss sending someone a "birthday text" or "birthday sext", depending on who we're talking about. People expect you to know things like birthdays and anniversaries nowadays. It's the modern thing to do.

People are always lying to my face and saying that they've "gotten rid of Facebook", or that they "don't understand Twitter". Fuuuuck off. I am Twitter-less, and you know the honest reason why? I really don't think I'd have enough entertaining shit to post. When someone says they're "too busy for Facebook", what they're really saying is "I'm googling your name instead, and spending the rest of the time looking at internet porn". Yo, I see you, hippies. I know what you're really about.

This post wasn't really to rant against social media- it's totally unavoidable, and will probably take over the whole planet in less than a year. I do, however, think that we are almost at the point of being able to release the entire concept of the "casual run-in", wherein you painfully relay stupid details about your current to someone you went to junior high with, in favor of the "observation brows", a small eye gesture and nod to say "I see you, I recognize you, but I hate your love of Tim McGraw and your incessant banter about your stupid kids".
Haven't we evolved to this level by now?

~sarah p.